Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Release Blitz & Review: Mum's The Word - Staci Hart

Mum's The Word (Bennet Brothers #3)
by Staci Hart
Published: March 31, 2020

Falling in love with a Bennet is not an option.

My mother has summoned me home to take my place at Bower Bouquets, and as the heiress, I’m expected to do as I’m told. I’m expected to sit by her side as she does her best to decimate the Bennet family and their flower shop, Longbourne. I’m expected to play by her rules, or she’ll ruin me too.

But the day I crash into Marcus Bennet changes everything.

And the kiss seals the deal.

If my mother finds out, I’ll lose everything—my family, my life, my security. Worse, she’ll make sure the Bennets pay for my mistakes.

Falling in love with a Bennet is not an option.

But I might not have a choice.

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5 Stars
Well, it should come as no surprise that Staci Hart has once again hit a home run with Mum's the Word. As the final novel in the Bennet Brothers series I had high hopes, but Marcus is well...Marcus, and I admit I wasn't sure of the romance Staci could create for him that I would believe. She absolutely exceeded every thought I had though, giving readers a beautiful, touching, believable forbidden romance that put hope in my heart and tears in my eyes. Maisie turns Marcus' life upside down, in such a way that all his plans and numbers and trusted life lessons can't help him. The beautiful Bower daughter should be his enemy and he hers and yet they cannot fight the pull. A chance meeting, an explosive reveal, and a love that will be put through the test of their families longstanding rivalry.

"I wanted to see her again as desperately as I hope it'd never happen."

Marcus has been the sure-footed Bennet brother, the middle child who thrived on order and numbers. Independent, somber, and uninterested in the short-lived affairs his brothers once partook in. Marcus is so different than his siblings, but my word does Staci Hart give him a romance that, in my opinion, rivals the others. It is passionate, forbidden, a true alignment of the stars. Maisie is the opposite of everything her mother wants, a true romantic with a desire to help humans. Made of compassion, charm, and the flowers she's been raised around Maisie is everything Bower is not and yet she is swept up in a battle of wills with her mother. But with Marcus comes a new passion, one that doesn't rely on her mother's power to succeed. These two are literally an actual match made in heaven, there is no doubt in my mind that they were meant to be. I know, I know, I totally got over invested in the story, but it's like the world had aligned for it all to happen just so for them. Sure, it wasn't without bumps, but my word do these two just bring out the best in one another.

"Because this was the beginning of something-I knew it in my marrow. Hang the rest. Because Maisie was mine. And I wasn't about to let her go."

Family oriented, sweet sweet romance, and some smutty love too? Mum's the Word had it all and them some. Maybe it was a bit less garden-y, but all the aspects of the Bennet family chaos was there and seeing the Longbourne Flower business change and grow and thrive was just the icing on the romantic cake. This story unfolds in such a beautiful, floral way. I mean, quite literally, the words Staci uses are gorgeous and so descriptive it all unfolded in front of me like a movie. Mum's the Word is a story within a story and it's one I could not put down. I've loved the Bennet brothers and I cannot wait to see this world expand.

Need to catch up on the series? The first two standalone books in the Bennet Brothers series are both LIVE and available from your favorite online book retailer!

Everyone hates parts of their job.

Maybe it’s the paperwork. Maybe it’s the day-to-day grind. Maybe it’s that client who never knows what they want, or the guy who always cooks fish in the microwave.

But not me. I love every corner of the Longbourne Flower Shop, every flower, every petal, every stem. I love the greenhouse, and I love Mrs. Bennet, my boss. I love creating, and I love being a florist. I don’t hate anything at all.

Except for Luke Bennet.

The Bennet brothers have come home to help their mom save the flower shop, and Luke is at the helm. His smile tells a tale of lust, loose and easy. He moves with the grace of a predator, feral and wild. A thing unbridled, without rules or constraint. When he comes home to save Longbourne, I almost can’t be mad at him. Almost.

He doesn’t remember that night I’ll never forget. That kiss, touched with whiskey and fire. It branded me like a red-hot iron. But it meant nothing to him.

Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.

Because if I don’t, I’ll fall in love with him.
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They say there’s no such thing as perfect.

But I’ve built my life to perfection—the perfect boyfriend, the perfect apartment, the perfect career planning celebrity weddings. My job—my only job—is to make sure every event is absolutely and completely perfect.

What’s not perfect? Kash Bennet.

And I wish I didn’t find that so appealing.

I could have told you every perfectly imperfect thing about the gardener at Longbourne. Like his hair, lush and black and far too long. Or his nose, the flat bridge of a Greek god, bent a little like it’s been broken. Or his size. Beastly. Roped and corded with muscles, gleaming with sweat and peppered with dirt. There’s no escaping him, not if I’m going to use his family’s flower shop for my events.

But nothing is what it seems. And in the span of a heartbeat, my perfect life is turned inside out. They say the best way to get over somebody is to get under somebody new. When Kash offers his services to the cause, it sounds like the perfect plan.

What’s not part of the plan? Falling in love with the gardener.

But they were right—there’s no such thing as perfect.

And I’m the fool who finds out the hard way.
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Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Release Blitz & Review: The Truths We Told - E.K. Blair

The Truths We Told (Secrets & Truths Duet #2)
by E.K. Blair
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 12, 2020

When Kate finds her world crumbling around her, she does everything possible not to crumble with it by building castle-strong walls to hide behind.

A person can only hide for so long.

Thrust back into the life she’s been running from, she’s forced to confront the damage she left in her wake. Working to repair fractured relationships, she discovers one that just might save her from all the wreckage.

The only one who can save her is herself.

Realizing she might be on a broken path to healing, Kate must make a choice—a choice that could be her defining moment.

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$2.99 for a limited time!
Free in Kindle Unlimited
5 Stars

Time has passed, but Kate's wounds are not healed. She's returning to Miami, to school, but the embarrassment, the fear, the judgement she knows is awaiting her makes the return difficult. Running would only last her so long though, so she's forcing herself to face what she left behind. Repairing the broken relationships she misses makes her realize she hasn't repaired things with herself and she must choose between healing or running again.

"I was a battleground of love and fear, of silence and rage."

I knew The Truths We Told was going to be heavy, but my word does E.K. Blair takes us through the ringer. Our once bright, confident, tom-boy Kate now holds her insecurities in front of her like a shield. She struggles to accept that her friends are not judging her and struggles even more with believing them when they say it wasn't her fault. I already loved Kate, but I loved her even more in this book. Facing your fears, overcoming something that has changed the course of your life is so difficult. I think E.K. Blair wrote Kate and her experience so incredibly well. Her healing is so powerful, especially as she learns to lean on her friends and family again, accepting that not everyone will judge her or hurt her. Of course, we get a romance and she so deserves one. It isn't an easy romance, Kate's healing comes first, but it is a profound and beautiful relationship. It's impossible to say much without giving it all away, but let's just say that this book features all the secondary characters you loved in the first.

"All her cracks and broken parts expose themselves, setting me on fire like a thousand suns, and there's nothing I wouldn't do for this girl."

Emotional, heart-wrenching, and written in such a personal way, The Truths We Told is an incredible final novel in the Secrets and Truths Duet. I highlighted so many passage; the setting, the characters, the dialogue ringing so true to real life. I love E.K. Blair for always being willing to write the realities of life, no matter how hard, and her characters aren't broken, but rather putting their pieces together in beautiful new ways. I loved this duet and I cannot wait to see what's next from E.K. Blair.

Author Bio

E.K. Blair is a New York Times best-selling author. Her books range from thrillers to romance to YA, all of which shine a light on the inner workings of relationships through adversity. She resides in Oklahoma with her husband and two beautiful children.
When not writing, you will most likely will find her sipping on a mug of overly-sweet coffee while watching reality television or the latest true crime documentary.
Author Links

Release Blitz & Review: Where We Fall - Cynthia A. Rodriguez

Where We Fall (The Souls Duet #2)
by Cynthia A. Rodriguez
Genre: YA/NA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 12, 2020

Two lovers, meant for each other, defying their destiny.

But when catastrophe nearly tears them apart, will fear separate them further? Or will love bring them back together?

Where We Fall is a companion novella to When We Crash, the story that introduced us to Dexter Andrews and his passionate yet troubled soulmate, Noa Cruz.

4 Stars

A catastrophe once again threatens the future of Dexter and Noa, but the Angel of Death is willing to keep giving them more chances if Dexter continues to not give up. He won't give him the answers, but he'll let him keep trying. Fear stands in their way though, when one is ready the other runs. When they're finally ready to run to one another life and fate has other plans.

"We loved each other so much, we hated each other."

Oh. My. Lanta. How do I even review this without giving anything away? Where We Fall finds us immediately after the events of When We Crash and crash we did. This time we get Noa's perspective, both in the present and in incredible glimpses into the past. Pieces of the puzzle we didn't know were missing are put in place and yet, even with the puzzle fitting together, Noa and Dexter can't seem to finish it. Filled with the same angst and heartbreak and love as the first part, Where We Fall is the dramatic conclusion I both needed and shied away from. I knew this story wouldn't be easy, nothing is ever easy where bargaining and death is involved, but my word does Cynthia A. Rodriguez put these characters through it. With incredible prose and no fear at all, Cynthia tells us a story of love, of fighting for every chance you're giving, for the wake up calls life gives us when we aren't paying attention.

"'No big deal,' I whispered. 'Just watching my soulmate walk away.'"

Raw, intense, and unexpected, Where We Fall is a stunning conclusion to The Souls Duet. If you can, read these two back to back, don't take a break in between. Embrace those tears, cozy up with your emotions, it has the most impact when read together. Complex and incredibly detailed, Where We Fall, really The Souls Duet in its entirety, is a magical story of hope and it's one I highly recommend.

Cynthia hates writing her own bio. In her down-time, you can find her watching movies, ranging anywhere from classic to action flicks (she has a weakness for Marvel adaptations), and reading any novel she can get her hands on.

She loves hearing from her readers! You can reach Cynthia at cynthia.a.rodriguez6@gmail.com. Both her Twitter and Instagram handles are @thecynrodriguez.


Release Blitz & Review: Fool Me Twice - Carrie Aarons

Fool Me Twice
by Carrie Aarons
Published: March 12, 2020

When my best friend died of cancer just before her eighteenth birthday, she left her coveted bucket list to me.

The things she already crossed off? Skinny dipping, going to Paris, completing the local hot wing challenge, road tripping to the ocean, and sending out a message in a bottle.

So, it falls on me to finish it for her, to honor her memory. In the next year, it’s my mission to:

1. Dye my hair
2. Have sex
3. Camp out in a tent
4. Go bungee jumping
5. Get revenge on Lincoln Kolb

Most are doable, some terrify me, and then there is the last item on the list. When the raven-haired football god dumped my best friend during senior year of high school, she was devastated. The jerk with charm for days found out she was sick, and betrayed her in the worst way possible.

But he doesn’t know me, I went to school a town over. Now, to fulfill my promise, I’m the newest freshman on the campus where he is the big man. If there is one thing, aside from cheap beer, that a jock can’t pass up, it’s a shiny new girl.

So when I catch his eye, play hard to get, and then fall into his bed, I know my scheme is working to perfection. But what Lincoln can’t see coming is the beatdown I have planned for his ice-cold heart.

Unfortunately, what I never saw coming was the one he had planned for mine.

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5 Stars

Henley is doing it all for Catherine; the college, the bucket list, the boy, it's all for her, to finish what she couldn't when cancer took her away too soon. They seem like easy tasks, especially with her aching heart and her angry grief. The list, her memories of Catherine's hurt about being dumped by Lincoln though, they don't prepare her the enigma that is the future football star on campus. Their chemistry is instant, the banter and wit they share makes it seem possible, but when emotions get involved it gets harder for Henley to mark the final item on the list off. Lincoln can't take his eyes off the girl, no college party, no football game, no ball bunny compares to her, but he doesn't know that the guarded look in her eyes is meant to be his undoing. When the task is complete it will be the ultimate test of their hearts.

"Unfortunately for Lincoln Kolb, he has no idea the door her just openly invited me to walk through."

I knew within 10% that this book was different and it sure was; Fool Me Twice is Carrie Aarons' very best. A new adult standalone filled with heart, Fool Me Twice is the story of Henley and Lincoln and the relationship that wasn't so much up to fate as it was planned. Somehow Fool Me Twice is just the right combination of sweet romance, college hilarity, and heart-wrenching grief, it's pages of authentic college experience marked by the poignant loss of a best friend. Henley is so loyal to her friendship with Catherine, it's honest and real feeling, but it also means that she isn't loyal to her own heart. Henley's individual story, her perspective, is one of the best coming-of-age stories I've ever read and the romance with Lincoln, and his perspective of the whole thing, really brought it to life for me. 18 and losing a best friend, starting college, trying to follow a list that has stayed young while one has matured. It was just incredible, I felt like I was there, I fell for Lincoln and Henley just as they fell for one another, and I fell for this book.

"Because Henley Rowan is going to be a hard nut to crack ... though she was smooth as velvet in my bed."

Carrie Aarons captured that feeling of the college experience, of falling in love, of picking up yourself after hitting the ground so perfectly. There's no insta-love, no love-triangles, no classic over-the-top college scandal to rock the couple, just an honest love story that felt like it could happen in real life. I devoured this book in one sitting and I think you'll find you will too, it's just that good.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Release Blitz & Review: The Secrets We Held - E.K. Blair

The Secrets We Held (Secrets & Truths Duet #1)
Author: E.K. Blair
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 26, 2020

Born and raised in West Palm Beach, it’s time for Kate to move to
Miami, spread her wings, and have the time of her life.
her world. Lies spin into a web, trapping her in a nightmare she believes to be
a fairy tale.
scared to face, so she runs.

Wings are easily broken.

Deception masks itself as love while it slowly consumes every inch of

Fairy tales only live in fables.

Soon, her body will be painted in a truth she can’t deny but is too

A person can only run so far.

Purchase Links
$2.99 for a limited time!
Free in Kindle Unlimited
4.5 Stars

She's back, she's angsty, she made me cry, she's E.K. Blair. Okay, cheesiness aside, I am so excited we have something new from E.K. Blair and that it is as stunning as, well, everything she's ever published. The Secrets We Held, just part one of the Secret and Truths Duet, is a long, emotionally-fraught novel that had me laughing, crying, and falling in love. It is classic E.K. Blair and I am one happy one-click fan. I know, you're over here wondering if emotionally-fraught is a good thing, but I promise it is. There is no other author out there, I'm serious, that can cover such difficult topics, taking their characters to the absolute lowest depths, and come out with such a beautiful story of independence, growth, life lessons, and love. They're realistic, so if you're feeling emotional while reading it's a good thing. I'm not looking for rainbows and butterflies, I'm looking for a story I relate to and E.K. Blair once again gives us that with The Secrets We Held.

Binge-worthy, new adult aged, and a complete roller coaster, The Secrets We Held follows Kate as she experiences her first real relationship, finds friendship in college classmates, and discovers the strength of herself, her family, and her friendships. Kate is your typical middle-class surfer girl from Florida; she thrives in the water, has closer friendships with the males in her life, and has absolutely no interest in the sorority world her best friend is thriving in at college. She wants to be in the water, she wants to be hanging with her friends, and she wants her inconvenient crush on Trent to go away. Trent is all surfing, college, party time, he has enough serious in his life and isn't looking for more than fun. He has an inconvenient crush on Kate too, but more than that he cares about her like a true friend. When Kate starts dating a newbie surfer with affluent connections in Chicago things should be all rosy, but Caleb gives off some seriously bad vibes to her friends and when the truth comes out her friends will have to help Kate even when she won't admit she needs it.

"But nothing is okay. Everything is all wrong."

Not a typical love triangle, The Secrets We Held sees the college-aged characters as they go through family drama, classes, dating, and facing the secrets they hold inside. It's a book about bringing the walls down, learning to trust, and climbing out of the dark even when it seems so impossible. I admit it took me time to connect with Kate and Trent, their alternating perspectives are very different, but ultimately that worked for me. Their voices were distinct, their impression of the same events are unique, and the friendship that's so back and forth ends up being vitally important in the end. I can't expand a lot further on the plot, there are a couple difficult topics covered, but I think E.K. Blair did a fantastic job. It's detailed, that may be hard for some readers, but the way the characters tackle, grow, and overcome is just incredible. I ended this book feeling so good about the characters, really desperate for the next novel, and yes, like E.K. Blair is back with a total winner.
Coming Soon

Releasing March 12
$2.99 for a limited time!

Author Bio

E.K. Blair is a New York Times best-selling author. Her books range from thrillers to romance to YA, all of which shine a light on the inner workings of relationships through adversity. She resides in Oklahoma with her husband and two beautiful children.
When not writing, you will most likely will find her sipping on a mug of overly-sweet coffee while watching reality television or the latest true crime documentary.

Author Links
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