It’s Live!!

Totally Folked (book #1 in the Good Folk: Modern Folktales series) by Penny Reid is NOW AVAILABLE!

One unforgettable night leads to an unlikely shared connection, and unlikely connections never go unnoticed by the good folks in Green Valley, Tennessee. . .

Totally Folked an all-new small town romantic comedy filled with humor and heart from New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid is available now!

Synopsis

Jackson James follows the rules. He has to. He’s a sheriff’s deputy in a super small town with a super big personality. However, strict adherence to the law during the day has been enjoyably balanced by rakish rules at night. Jackson, typically happy to protect and serve (and serve, and serve), starts questioning the value of wayward evenings when they begin to feel more like being waylaid rather than getting laid. Could it be that Green Valley’s most eligible—and notorious—bachelor longs for something (and someone) real?

Mega movie star Raquel Ezra follows only one rule: always leave them wanting more. Strict adherence to this single rule has served her well. Studio execs, reporters, audiences, fans, lovers—no one can get enough of the smart, savvy, and sexy bombshell. But when “generous offers” begin to feel more like excessive demands, years of always leaving has the elusive starlet longing for something (and perhaps someone) lasting.

When Raquel abruptly returns to the quirky Tennessee hamlet, her path crosses with the delectable deputy with whom she spent one unforgettable night. Unfortunately, scandal and intrigue soon follow. Raquel and Jackson must decide which is more important: following their rules? Or, at long last, finding something real.

TOTALLY FOLKED is a standalone, contemporary romantic comedy novel and book #1 in the Good Folk: Modern Folktales series.

Fall in love today!

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Barnes and Noble Paperback: Coming Soon

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Meet Penny Reid

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Connect with Penny

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Mailing List: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

Website: www.pennyreid.ninja

Now Touring!

Now Touring!

Dream Spinner (Dream Team, #3) by Kristen Ashley

“Kristen Ashley’s books are addicting!”

Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author

Dream Spinner, an all new action packed standalone with heat and heart from New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley, is out now, and we have an excerpt just for you!

In this steamy and emotional contemporary romance from a New York Times bestselling author, two damaged souls must overcome the pain of their pasts to have the love they’ve always dreamed of.

Synopsis

After years with no one but herself to rely on, Hattie Yates has finally met the man of her dreams. But she was taught from a young age that it was hopeless to dream. There was only success, failure was not an option and it had terrible consequences. Now, the thought of another disappointment petrifies her. But when a suspicious phone call leads to more trouble than she can handle, there’s only one man Hattie trusts to help . . .

Axl Pantera knows Hattie is the only woman for him—and so does Hattie. Yet despite the attraction burning between them, Hattie refuses to let Axl in. The former soldier is determined to woo Hattie into letting down her walls, yet when danger comes calling, he finds himself battling for more than her heart. Axl will do anything to prove to Hattie that they’re meant to be, but first, he’ll need to keep her safe.

Grab your copy today!

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Amazon Audio: https://amzn.to/2SmJ6k2

Audible: https://adbl.co/3umw3MT

Excerpt

“Yo, Axe,” Hawk greeted.

“You got a minute?”

In answer, Hawk tipped his head to the chair opposite his desk and tossed his phone on the top of it.

Since Hawk rarely sat, the men who visited him didn’t either.

But for this, Axl closed the door behind him after he entered, moved to a chair, and put his ass in it.

Hawk watched this, and he hesitated, but then he joined him, sitting behind his desk.

“Is everything cool?” Hawk asked.

“I got a sitch. Personal. And I was hoping you might talk it through with me. Maybe have some insight.”

“Hit me,” Hawk invited.

And there was one of the bennies of working for Cabe “Hawk” Delgado.

He was a good boss, generous with his knowledge, gave credit where it was due, didn’t get in your face if you fucked up and held up your hand that you did…

And he had time for you even when he didn’t.

“I met Hattie’s dad last night.”

Hawk’s lips thinned.

Right.

His boss might not be in on their chats, but not much happened with his crew that Hawk didn’t know about.

So he knew about Don Yates.

“I got blindsided,” Axl told him.

“How?” Hawk asked.

“He loves her, Hawk.”

Hawk held his gaze a beat before he sat back in his chair.

Yeah.

This was going to be a conversation.

Hawk’s voice was lower when he inquired, “He loves her, and he hits her?”

Axl shook his head. “I got no excuse for that. Or the verbal abuse he keeps doling out. What I know is, recently, he called her a whore.”

“Jesus,” Hawk clipped.

“She didn’t tell me that. She told Ryn, Ryn told Boone. And I got it from Boone. But before…” He paused, then got to it, “I can’t step in with her dad. She knows their relationship is dysfunctional. She feels beholden. I could only have her back. Until I heard that. Then I shared I was going to have to have words with her father.”

“Good,” Hawk murmured.

“Then I got there, and the man was practically beaming, he was so fuckin’ happy Hattie brought her boyfriend over to meet him.”

“Fuck,” Hawk grunted.

“So we sat down. He gave me the ‘What do you do for a living’ and ‘How’d you meet my daughter’ gig. I answered. All was good. Then I told him I couldn’t have him upsetting Hattie like he did by calling her a whore. He tried to explain it by saying he was in a bad mood. I told him, in future, if he was in a bad mood, he needed not to take that out on Hattie.”

“On your first meeting,” Hawk noted.

“On our first meeting,” Axl confirmed.

“Which happened…what? How long have you been seeing her? A few days?”

“Yep.”

“You laid down the law with your woman’s father the first time you met him after you’ve been with her a few days,” Hawk laid it out.

“Yep.”

“Christ, Axe, you don’t fuck around,” Hawk muttered.

Add Dream Spinner to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2OVpxOq

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Hero, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation, Moonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.

Kristen’s novel, Law Man, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for best Romantic Suspense. Her independently published title Hold On was nominated for RT Book Reviews best Independent Contemporary Romance and her traditionally published title Breathe was nominated for best Contemporary Romance. Kristen’s titles Motorcycle Man, The Will, Ride Steady (which won the Reader’s Choice award from Romance Reviews) and The Hookup all made the final rounds for Goodreads Choice Awards in the Romance category.

Connect with Kristen

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FyJg18

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3hl0A7e

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Website: https://www.kristenashley.net

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Free for a limited time!

Random Acts of Crazy by Julia Kent is FREE



Synopsis

I never intended to pick up a hitchhiker wearing nothing but a guitar. A guitar. Really. I don’t collect guys like that (don’t ask what kind of guys I do collect), but when you spot a blonde, tanned, sculpted man with a gorgeous smile and his thumb poking up and practically begging you to stop – you stop.
And I definitely never thought I’d be staring into the bright blue eyes of Trevor Connor, the lead singer for Random Acts of Crazy, an indie rock star I followed like the slobbering fileshare fangirl I am. How he came to be lost six hundred miles from home is quite the tale, but how we fell in love is even more unreal.
Because someone like Trevor Connor, headed to Harvard Law next year, isn’t supposed to want someone like me, a rural Ohio chick majoring in Boredom at Convenience Store University who is all curves and frizzy blonde hair and manners so unpolished they have sharp edges that make you bleed.
But he did.
When his best friend, Joe Ross, the bass player for Random Acts of Crazy and a man who makes Calvin Klein models look like Shrek, drove eleven hours through the night to rescue him, though, it got real complicated. It’s one thing to like two different guys and be torn.
What do you do, though, when maybe – just maybe – you don’t have to choose?


Available on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, Amazon CA, Apple Books, Kobo, Nook, and Google Play.

You can Whispersync the audio narrated by Andi Arndt, Sebastian York, and Tad Brandon to save even more.

Audiobook available on Audible, Amazon, and Apple Books.

Random Acts of Trust just $2.99

I swear I am not the kind of person who gets her cell phone caught in places that require an ER trip and an OBGYN.

But, apparently, I am.

I’m also not the kind of person who spends all her time thinking about the guy who got away.

But, apparently, I am, too.

Starting a new life in Boston isn’t supposed to include repeatedly embarrassing myself in public, meeting a crazy blond woman who has ties to the band Random Acts of Crazy, and definitely isn’t supposed to include wallowing in a past I thought I’d left behind four years ago.

But, apparently, it does.

And the drummer for the band, Sam Hinton, is the boy I loved in high school and who disappeared with my heart. Now he’s back, better than ever.

Second chances aren’t supposed to make scars disappear and hearts mend.

But, apparently, they can.

If you trust enough.

Fate took their lives by storm four years ago and put an unbreachable gulf between Sam and Amy. Can time really heal all wounds…or are some scars too deep?

The second book in the Random series (after New York Times and USA Today bestseller Random Acts of Crazy), Random Acts of Trust is a romantic comedy that explores the love between one man, one woman, and ends with one Happily Ever After (and no cliffhangers or chickens).

Random Acts of Fantasy just 2.99

You ever really think that you’ll win the lottery? Meet Mr. Right? How about two Mr. Rights?

Somehow the universe is handing me everything I want (except for that lottery part…), and I don’t like it. Not one little bit. Because just when you get all your dreams handed to you on a silver platter, that’s when an airplane dumps its sewage on your house. Or your mama’s diabetes takes a bad turn. Or your mobile phone gets stuck in your hoohaw.

(What? It happens…)

Boring old average me got everything I wanted already, moving from small-town Ohio to big-city Boston to follow my heart. So when the fancy invitation offering me a pile of money to come with the band, Random Acts of Crazy, to perform on an island resort and be their manager arrived, I thought it was a cosmic joke. Enough money to help my mama get what she needed, five days in sunny paradise, and a shot at greatness for the band? Unreal. One big shoe was waiting to drop. On my head.

Just like no one really ever finds a man wearing only a guitar standing by the side of the road hitchhiking and ends up falling in love with him and his friend and moving halfway across the country for true love, no one gets an invitation to come to what turns out to be a resort where people make what me and Joe and Trevor do together look like a chaste peck on the cheek. But…

Well.

I guess these things do happen.

To me.

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Now Available!

Now Available!

Moonglow (Blood Magic, #2) by L.H. Cosway is Now Available on Kindle Unlimited!

Synopsis

After six months in hiding, a familiar face walks into Tegan’s new life with a proposition. A little girl has been kidnapped and she’s the only one who can help rescue her.

But there’s a catch. To rescue the girl, Tegan must return to the city she once called home and fool the vampire she’s been harbouring feelings for all this time.

She must play the role of a spy, and though she’s supposed to be pretending, as soon as she lays eyes on Ethan all those feelings she tried to suppress come flooding back. Her biggest fear is him discovering the truth, because then he might just end up hating her forever.

Moonglow by L.H. Cosway

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was SO GOOD!
We got to get a little bit more background about this paranormal world L.H. has created, and the rules and rulers that govern it.
We also got to get to know Tegan a little better as well as Finn, Rita, and of course Ian.

The ending.
My Gawd!
I want the third book now!

Great read!
Great characters!
Great writing!

View all my reviews



*** Moonglow is book #2 in L.H. Cosway’s Blood Magic Series. A previous unedited version of this story was published under the title Tegan’s Return.***

Buy Links:

Download Nightfall (book #1)

Pre-order Witching Hour (book #3)

Pre-order Sunlight (book #4)

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

 

 

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Title: Spectre
Published by: Shiloh Walker, Inc
Release Date: July 22, 2019
Genre: 

 

 

Synopsis

 

Myth. Monster. Mine. 

​​​​​​​

Spectre 

I wasn’t even a man when I took a life for the first time, although you couldn’t say I was a child. If I’d ever had a childhood, it hadn’t lasted long. My father, may he rot in hell, had seen to that. I took his life as well and that, too, happened before I was old enough to be considered a grown man. I never regretted it for a second.

​​​​​​​That path almost led to my own grave and would have, if I hadn’t stumbled across somebody who was as different from my father as the day was from the night. Sarge had seen the monster lurking inside, so he took control, gave me guidelines, rules, so I wouldn’t be the monster my father had planned.

​​​​​​​It worked. I restrained the worst of my rage and honed the skills that had been drilled into me—theft, stealth… assassination. The broken child ceased to exist and I became Spectre, an assassin spoken of in whispers, hired to take out the worst of humanity.

​​​​​​​Then I was sent to kill her…and my world came to a screeching halt.

​​​​​​​Tia 

​​​​​​​It’s taken a long time, but I finally had a nice, steady routine. I stopped trying to conform to the neurotypicals of the world and found my own normal.

​​​​​​​Normal went out the window when I walked into my kitchen and found a strange (hot), dangerous looking (so fricking hot) man drugging my new dog.

It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to leap at him like a banshee and attack, but that’s what I did.

​​​​​​​When my attempt to wreck the vehicle was averted, my kidnapper didn’t hurt or threaten me. In fact, he told me he wanted to protect me.

​​​​​​​This (hot) guy had to be crazy. But if he was crazy, what did that make me? Because I believed him. More, I found myself seeing something beyond the rigid, blank mask he wore.

​​​​​​​He kept trying to push me away, but I couldn’t seem to keep my distance. He calls himself a monster…but when I look at him, that isn’t what I see. I just see him…and I know he’s meant to be mine.

​​​​​​​Warning: This isn’t a snuggly, comfy read. The male MC is a hired killer, while the heroine is neuro-atypical. Some dark material is involved—the hero kidnaps the heroine. There’s also violence when he goes on a rampage against those who put a contract on her. Also references of abuse (not against the heroine). Also very graphic, erotic scenes with minor bondage play.

 

Add on Goodreads

 

 

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Buy the Book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Play | Smashwords

more buy links coming soon

 

Excerpt

 

“Agree,” he said, his voice practically soundless. “Agree to what I asked, damn it, and call your fucking brother.”

“I’m not here to do whatever the fuck you tell me, dumbass!”

“That’s obvious.”

I sneered at him, a reply forming but it never made it past my lips. His hand curled around the back of my neck and I felt the impact all the way down to my toes. But there was nothing cruel or domineering about—it was…gentle. Protective, even.

But then he moved and his next action wasn’t even close to gentle or protective. He pressed me back against the wall and wedged himself between my thighs, let me feel, up close and personal, that big cock I’d noticed moments earlier.

I sucked in a startled gasp, then let out a hungry mewl before I could stop it.

“Keep pushing,” he whispered against my ear. “Just…keep pushing, Tia.”

He moved against me and I shuddered as his cock dragged over me—thick, heavy, demanding.

“Keep pushing.” He bit my earlobe. “You’re not in your nice, safe world right now with some nice, safe guy you met for drinks at the bar near the aquarium.”

He moved against me a second time, then a third.

I squeezed my eyes shut against the onslaught of sensation. Sensation too intense, too consuming.

I’d never felt anything like it.

“Those nice boys will walk away, Tia.” He reached between us then, cupping me.

I sucked in a breath as he ground the heel of his hand against me.

I tried. I tried to brace myself against the impact of what was coming. His fingers slid lower. Defenseless, I clamped my thighs around his hand and dragged my lids up, staring at him.

“I’m not a nice boy. I’m not nice at all.”

He went to pull away.

And that greedy, needy part of me wailed in denial.

Curling one leg around his hips, I moved my hips against his. “If you’re so fucking not nice…then do it already.”

Casper went rigid.

Before he could pull back, I curled my free arm around his neck and glared at him.

“Stop it,” he said.

“No.” I leaned in and kissed him. I wasn’t very good at kissing. At least, I didn’t think I was. I’d never enjoyed it before. The only time I had enjoyed it had been in the SUV with him—just hours earlier—when he’d been distracting a trucker. I wanted to pretend it was something other than what it was, but I was a lousy liar.

Not even to myself. He was right about that.

I kissed Casper the way he’d kissed me, tracing the line of his mouth with my tongue, catching his lower lip between mine and sucking it between my teeth, then biting down when I felt him shudder.

The heat between us sparked, grew, flamed. He thrust against me again and again and I was starving for more, to have him naked inside me, fucking me hard and deep.

He lifted his head and watched me, withdrawing before rocking against me again, slow and steady, letting me feel the full, heavy weight of his cock dragging over me.

“You’re playing a dangerous game,” Casper said, one hand palming my ass, lifting me, adjusting the angle so that when he passed over me again, the sensations were that much more intense.

I might have bit my lip bloody to keep from responding…except I realized that was what he wanted. He didn’t want the response. He didn’t want the reaction. It was safer, for him, if he could pretend I didn’t react. Not to him. Not to this. Which made it that much more laughable. I’d never felt such a strong reaction to a man before, and everything about him made it harder to control my response.

He slid over me again and the cotton material of my leggings dragged over my wet, engorged clitoris. I sank my nails into his shoulders and shoved closer.

Fuck safety.

Fuck logic.

Fuck everything.

I wanted to come.

He tensed.

“Tia…”

I dragged my lids open and stared at him, lashes heavy, body lax. “I want to come. Stop telling me what kind of game I’m playing when you have your cock wedged up against my pussy, Casper. Stop talking about…whatever it is you’re talking about unless you’re going to do something about it. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a mess right now. I can handle it by myself but it will be a lot easier if you’re not fussing at me.”

A hard breath shuddered from him.

He shoved a hand into my hair.

Then, even as I tried to center myself, he shoved his other hand into my panties. “You want to come?”

 

DIY ebook ad templates (3)

 

About Shiloh Walker

 

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Shiloh Walker is an award-winning writer…yes, really!  She’s also a mom, a wife, a reader and she pretends to be an amateur photographer.  She published her first book in 2003. Her latest romance, Cocksure, released in November 2018.

She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance, and urban fantasy under the name J.C. Daniels.

 

 

ARC Review

cover

 

“5 – Can people change when they realize what they’ve lost – Stars?”

This book wrecked me.
This book, as in as so many of Natasha Ander’s books is one of misunderstanding, confusion, and miscommunication.

This book really stuck with me because I became emotionally involved.
I related to the characters, in
particular, Libby who was raising her daughter by herself and trying to do the absolute best by her all by herself.

I was reading it and crying so hard, that I couldn’t see the words on my kindle at the end of the story, that I had to stop and get a coffee so I could finish the book.

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Okay, let’s start by saying that this book runs parallel with “More Than Anything” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42994451-more-than-anything

I think you can read this book as a standalone, BUT you would benefit greatly by reading “More Than Anything”, so you would understand what the bet was they refer to in the story and what it did to Harris and Tina, and why their relationship was so volatile, even after 10 years.

I have to admit, I absolutely hated Greyson at the end of “More Than Anything”.
He reminded me so much of Dante Damaso from “A Ruthless Proposition” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25896664-a-ruthless-proposition?ac=1&from_search=true.
(I despised him too).

I thought he deserved every which way Libby was treating him.

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I had Absolutely no compassion or remorse for how she was treating him because she trusted him once with her heart, and he trampled all over it.

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BUT, once again Natasha Anders has an amazing talent of letting her readers see the other protagonists point of view.
How Greyson was ostracized, made fun of, and excluded from social interaction. He just didn’t “tick” as other people did.

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We are able to see how Greyson felt, what he experienced, how he grew up not making friends and trusting people easily because he was so reserved and quiet.

It certainly doesn’t forgive what Greyson thought or how he acted, but it explains “why” he acted the way he did.

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Now, he has to fight for his daughter and his wife, and he’ll do anything to do right by them.

His journey to forgiveness, reconciliation, and FINALLY admitting love was SO worth the battle and wait.

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I highly recommend this book, but I recommend that you read “More Than Anything” to totally enjoy and understand the dynamics of the story and the characters involved.

 

Pre-Order Links

preoder links

 

 

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.”

*Cover Reveal*

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Coming Up Roses, all-new enemies to lovers romantic comedy from Staci Hart is coming August 1st, and we have the beautiful cover!

 

 

Synopsis

 

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.

FACEBOOK-cover-reveal

 

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2F2RTOF

 

About Staci

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.

From roots in Houston to a seven-year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

 

Connect with Staci

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Release, Review and Excerpt

Natasha-Bammer

Synopsis

Two lovers strive to trade a grim past for a bright future in this story of bittersweet yearning.

Tina Jenson belongs to the same social stratum as Harris Chapman, but he’s out of her league—at least that’s what she thinks before they jump in bed together. It’s the perfect night, but when she overhears crude, hurtful comments the next morning, she can’t get away fast enough.

Ten years later, Tina’s life is a mess. That night with Harris didn’t just hurt her feelings; it started a cascade of disappointment and heartbreak. Every time she bumps into Harris, her heart twists inside out. She still wants him, but she’s harbouring a painful secret from their night together that she’s not ready to reveal.

Crossed signals, high-society whispers, and shame have kept Tina and Harris apart for years, but deep down, they’re hungry for each other and eager to write their own rules. Can they let go of the past and find their way back to each other, or are the barriers between them too high and too strong?

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“5 -Then, Now, and Forever Stars!”

As with all of Natasha Anders’ books, I always feel a whirlwind of emotions when I’ve finished one of her stories.

Her characters are so damn complex and layered.
The characters and histories are heartbreaking, sad and painful.
But, the journey to forgiveness and healing is SO worth the read.

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This story is no exception.
I absolutely adored Tina’s character. She went through so much at such a young age, and
the consequences of that “one night” still affect her.
The strength it took to persevere (even though she was so broken) was inspiring.
Unfortunately, in order for her to survive, she had to build an almost indestructible wall around her heart.
It was the only way she could cope and semi-function for the last 10 years.

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Until… she started spending time with Harris.
There is so much history and hurt between the two of them.
Some things are just unforgivable, and Harris doesn’t know the whole story about what happened after that “one night”.

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So many secrets are screaming to come to light and now is the time.

I loved Harris! He was such a great character.
His perseverance, gentleness and love for Tina was beautiful.

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I really enjoyed this story.
It is a story of loss, regret, forgiveness, love and learning to move forward and second chances.

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“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

Excerpt

“How you’d like your steak cooked?” Harris asked.

“Medium rare.” Tina retreated to one of the mismatched tall stools at the breakfast bar and clambered up onto it. She watched him competently move around the kitchen, cleaning and washing the spuds before readying them to go into the oven. He hummed softly beneath his breath as he worked … the tune was very familiar, but because his humming was so off-key, she couldn’t quite place it. The title hovered on the edge of her brain.

“Ugh, what is the name of that song? It’s driving me crazy!”

He looked up, startled. “What song?”

“The one you’re humming.”

“I’m not sure. Wait…” He hummed again and then breathed a few lyrics in a falsetto voice that reduced Tina to stitches. He repeated the same two words over and over again. And the words, combined with the seriously off-key tune, were definitely familiar to her.

He shook his head before saying, “I’m not sure what that song’s called … hey, stop laughing. I know for a fact your singing voice isn’t much better.” His offended observation just made her laugh harder. “Do you know the song title?”

“It’s…” She gasped for breath, then broke down into gales of laughter again when she glanced up into his expectant face. She folded her arms on the countertop and dropped her head for a moment as she tried to bring her giggles under control. Once the laughter abated, she lifted her gaze to his smiling eyes—he didn’t really look offended at all, just gently amused. “I’m sorry. It’s not your singing … okay, it kind of is. But I think I found it funnier that you were asking for the song’s title when you k-kept…” She inhaled deeply when it felt like the laughter was threatening again. “Kept singing it in that godawful voice.”

“What do you mean?”

“The song’s called ‘No One,’ Harris. By Alicia Keys.”

“Oh.” He twisted his face into a sheepish grimace before chuckling, the sound deep and masculine. “That makes sense. I like that song.”

She did too. In fact…

“We danced to that song. On my twentieth birthday,” he said, his voice quietly reminiscent. She nodded, surprised that he remembered the song, considering the state he had been in that night.

“I know.” Danced. And then kissed. Her very first kiss. The song had come to mean so much more to her, but she determinedly tamped down those particular memories.

Amusement fled, and they exchanged an uncomfortable look before both averted their eyes. Silence descended, their troubled history once again asserting itself between them. Tina nervously drummed her fingers on the Formica countertop.

“Tina.” His voice sounded anguished. “If I could do it all over again…”

She stopped tapping and lifted her hand to prevent him from saying anything further.

“Let’s not go into this again, Harris.” She watched him screw his eyes shut as he battled with what looked like some pretty powerful emotions.

“Damn.” The word was soft and fierce and sounded like a prayer.

“Why don’t we…” She paused as she considered the words she was about to utter. No matter which way she phrased them, they would seem like an olive branch. And she wasn’t sure if she wanted to extend one yet. Or ever. Still, she was in his—temporary—home, about to break bread with him, so to speak, and maybe—for her emotional health—it would be best. “Why don’t we set this aside? For today at least.”

She watched his throat move as he swallowed and then shifted her gaze to his navy-blue eyes, which were alight with gratitude.

“I’d like that,” he said gruffly, offering her the tiniest of smiles.

Tina heaved a relieved sigh, feeling lighter than she had in months. Possibly years.

“Good. Now, how about you get those steaks on? I’m starving.”

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About the Author

Since making her publishing debut in 2012, Natasha Anders has drawn praise and attention as a unique voice in romance. Montlake author and 2018 RITA® Finalist, Anders was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She spent nine years as an associate English teacher in Niigata, Japan, where she became a legendary karaoke diva. Anders currently lives in Cape Town.

Connect with Natasha Anders

website: https://natashaanders.com/
Twitter: @satyne1
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