Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Blog Tour: Excerpt - CAKE by Carmen Jenner


Cake, an all-new romantic and hilarious standalone from USA Today bestselling author Carmen Jenner is available NOW!

Cake_Carmen_Jenner_AMAZON 4.52.14 PM.jpg

Poppy Porter's ex is getting married ... to her ex-best friend. To land her dream job of partner in the most prestigious firm on the Upper East Side, Poppy must now pull double shifts as their wedding planner and maid of honor. And the icing on a truly craptastic cake? Leo Nass. Handsome, infuriating, womanizer, and … the best man. Despite their longstanding loathing, Poppy doesn't see Leo coming. Literally.
One ruined cake.
One archnemesis.
One hour to save the wedding.
Can they put their hatred aside long enough to save Poppy’s job and Bridezilla's head from exploding?
Piece of cake, right?


I sneak closer to the bed, my heart pounding as I throw the pillow at him. The guy shifts in his sleep, and his breathing slows, but a beat later the snoring starts again and I have to resist the urge to scream. Instead, I raise my poker and jab the sheet covered body. It’s not hard, just a quick jab or two, but he still doesn’t stir.

“Hey, asshole!” I shout, and whack him hard in the butt with my poker.

The giant freak jumps up and seizes my hand. His grip forces me to drop my weapon. He yanks me toward him—on top of him—and this is how I find myself eye to eye with the beast. He breathes his heavy, stinking breath on my face, and I wince and wrinkle my nose.

Leo’s eyes crinkle in the corners as he laughs. “Morning, Pop Tart.”

“Get the hell out of my bed. And brush your goddamn teeth. What are you doing in my house, Nass?”

“Ah, still feisty, huh? Is this like an all-day thing with you, or do you eventually turn from an angry sea witch into a person? Would coffee help?”

“Fuck you, Leo.”

“Darlin’, you wish.”

“You’re disgusting. I wouldn’t touch you if—”

“Yeah, yeah, if I were the last man on Earth. I’ve heard it all before, sweet cheeks, and I don’t buy it for a second.” He flips us so suddenly my head spins. I’m beneath him, my wrists pinioned to the bed above my head by just one of his strong hands. The other glides up my side. My sheets have twisted up around us, but from this angle it looks as if Leo Nass is very much naked in my bed.

“Goddamn it,” I complain once I find my voice. “I’m going to need to burn these sheets after you leave.”

His eyebrow quirks, and the grin he gives me is all-out salacious. He shifts his weight between my legs, then he drops his hips and grinds his erection against me. I’m stunned, speechless. I have no words. They’ve all left me because my brain has turned to mush and my vagina is the only one thinking, and I’m really not okay leaving her in charge. “Why burn them when we’re not done messing them up?”


Read Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

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About Carmen:


Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA Today and international bestselling author. 

Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU, 2015. 

A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore makeup addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child. 

A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?

Connect with Carmen:

Stay up to date with Carmen by joining her mailing list here:

New Release: Excerpt + Review - REMEMBER ME WHEN by Brooke Blain


Experience the heartbreakingly beautiful journey of Ollie & Reid in…Remember Me When, the emotional conclusion to The Unforgettable Duet, from Brooke Blaine is now LIVE


My worst nightmare and your greatest fear became a reality:
You don’t remember me.
You don’t remember the accident, or the weeks afterward.
You don’t remember my bed as your safe place,
or when, against all odds, you fell for me.
You remember me only as the casual acquaintance you saw as you grabbed your daily coffee.
Three sugars, two creamers.
Perhaps an acquaintance is all I’ll ever be to you now.
Maybe I can shoulder the heartbreak and the loss of you, if it means you’ll be happy.
You remember me when.
Remember Me When is the second and final book in The Unforgettable Duet and should only be read following Forget Me Not.

5 Stars

OMG! I'm absolutely ecstatic over this damn book!!! GAH! It was the right combination of heartbreaking, sexy and romantic. After reading Forget Me Not I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book and know the outcome.The conclusion to Ollie and Reid was just heart melting!!

Ollie! Ollie! Ollie!!! *swoon* A fantastically written character full of so much love,compassion, patience and kindness. He was in bliss one second and it was all taken in the blink of an eye. I wanted to yell, kick and scream because these two were so adorable they gave me butterflies. 

And Reid, poor Reid! After everything he has already been through I was so sad for him. I was in a hurry for him to get his HEA but I never wanted these two to end. Brooke Blaine had me completely in love from the very start. This was such a phenomenal read. I highly recommend .

** ARC received in exchange for an honest review **

The Unforgettable Duet Excerpt

An excerpt from


“IT’S MONDAY, AND you know what that means,” Mike said as he cut off Big Bertha’s engine and looked over at me expectantly.
I patted my pants pocket to make sure I’d shoved my wallet inside before we’d headed out this morning, and when I felt the outline of the trifold, I nodded. “Yep. Extra-bold coffee comin’ up.” As I popped open the passenger-side door, Mike’s hand landed firmly on my arm, halting me before I could get out of the ambulance, and I looked back at him over my shoulder.
“It means don’t be a chickenshit, Ollie, that’s what it means.”
Lifting my eyebrows, I glanced around, searching for whoever it was Mike thought he was talking to, and when he read my quizzical expression, he snorted.
“Yeah, that means you,” he said.
“You callin’ me out?”
“Damn right I am.”
I shook my head. “I’m not a chickenshit, and you know it.”
Mike shrugged and let go of my arm. “Fine. Prove it.”
“I can’t do that.”
“You can. You just won’t.”
Yeah, whatever, he had me there. Something always held me back from saying much more than hello to the guy in the fitted chinos and starched collared shirt and tie that I saw most mornings in the coffee aisle at Joe’s Grab ’N Go, and Mike never could resist an opportunity to rib me for it. I never should’ve told him about my crush in the first damn place, but being my best friend as well as my work partner meant we tended to overshare in the time between calls.
“He’s straight, Mike. Leave it alone, huh?”
“You don’t know that for sure.”
I picked up a container of mints and shook a couple into my mouth before tossing it back in the console. “Trust me. I know.”
“You ask him since the last time I saw you?”
Rolling my eyes, I ignored his question and pushed open my door. “You want that coffee or not?”
“Mhmm. The date for you, too.”
“Jesus,” I muttered, slamming the door before he could make any other requests. I could hear him chuckling behind me as he got out to pump the gas. And out of the corner of my eye, a flash of red pulling into a parking spot had my heart beating a bit faster. It was ridiculous that I’d even wonder for a second if I’d see him, since hardly a weekday had gone by in four months when I hadn’t. But that flutter of anticipation still sent a thrill through me, the handful of minutes seeing him every morning the highlight of my day.
That’s it. I need to get my damn life back. Working all these overtime shifts to pick up some extra cash over the holidays—and giving the guys with families some time off—had sent my extracurricular activities into a tailspin. If I didn’t get laid soon, I’d crash and burn. Or, worse, hit on the straight guy.
“Hey, Ollie,” Mike called out, and I paused with my hand on the door to the Grab ’N Go before moving aside to let the woman behind me pass through. When I turned around, a mischievous grin played on his lips as he inserted the gas pump into Big Bertha’s tank and began to hip-thrust.
Oh for the love of—
“And while you’re at it, maybe grab me one of those apple fritters, would ya? And a soda for later?”
So much for New Year’s resolutions, I thought. That had lasted less than a week. Not that I could blame him when it came to the tempting basket of freshly baked goods that sat by Joe’s register every morning—even I had a hard time passing on those. Still, Mike had wanted to lose the twenty pounds that had crept up since Halloween and made me swear I’d keep him in check.
“You sure you wanna do that?” I asked.
Mike looked pointedly over at the red Mazda3 and his smile grew. “Life’s too short to pass on the good stuff, wouldn’t you say?”
That fucker. I shook my head and shot a glare his way, and then I went inside, determined now to buy out the apple fritters and personally stuff ’em down his meddling throat.
“Morning, Oliver,” Joe greeted me from behind the counter where he was ringing up a customer, and I smiled his way before grabbing a handheld basket and heading down the aisle for Mike’s Sprite. I took the third bottle from the front—yeah, I never took the first one of anything—and laid it in the basket as the freezer door slapped shut behind me.
I kept a tight grip on the handle as I took my time walking toward the far aisle, the anticipation building in my gut. Finally, I rounded the corner, and just as he was every day, Bluebird stood in front of the coffee station, refillable mug in hand and somehow looking more gorgeous than I remembered. My memory never did him justice.
I didn’t move as he placed his mug beneath the machine’s spout and hit a button, and I knew exactly what he’d get, the same as every morning: a latte with light foam and three sugars, two creamers.
Today he was dressed in a pair of black slacks, with a white button-down shirt and a midnight-blue tie—always so well put together, from his stylishly tousled dark brown hair, so dark it was almost black, down to his black loafers. A couple of days of stubble covered his usual freshly shaven jaw, and I imagined how it’d feel under my hands as I took either side of his face and pulled him toward mine—
Bluebird’s curse shook me out of my stupor as my feet managed to move again, and as I got closer, I saw that the usual brown liquid coming out of the machine was a cloudy white instead.
He let out a frustrated sigh. “Hey, Joe,” he called out to the owner. “Latte machine’s down.”
“Again?” Joe scratched his jaw and then said, “Sorry about that, Reid. I’ll get someone out to fix it today.”
“No problem,” Reid replied, dumping out the hot water from his mug into the tray, and hello, I finally had a name to go with the face: Reid. How was it I’d gone so long without knowing?
I pulled out a couple of large disposable cups from the rack and reached for the coffee pot at the same time as Reid, our fingers brushing each other ever so slightly before we both jerked back. His touch shot through me like an electric jolt to my heart, and the surprise that lit his eyes told me I wasn’t the only one affected.
“Sorry,” he said, and then cleared his throat. “Damn static.”
That wasn’t static, I thought, but I wasn’t about to enlighten him, so instead I gestured to the almost empty coffee pot. “No problem. Go for it.”
“Oh…uh…” He glanced at how little was left and shook his head. “That’s okay. You were first.”
“Nah, go ahead. Something tells me you need it more than I do.”
“You sure?” Reid asked, his forehead creased like he didn’t want to impose, but I wouldn’t have minded him taking the last of the coffee every day, so long as those dark chocolate eyes of his stayed on me.
“I insist,” I said, and then leaned in to whisper conspiratorially, “Besides, I know where Joe keeps the spares. I’ll just make another pot.”
A grateful smile lifted his lips. “Thanks.” Then he poured himself a full mug of coffee and scratched his jaw as he said, “Ever have one of those mornings?”
“All the time.”
Reid looked up at me, and then his eyes shifted down to my name and title patched in on my uniform. Oliver McFadden. Paramedic. “Yeah, of course you do. Paramedic, huh? I don’t know how you do it.”
“Helps that we can filter caffeine through IVs for a quicker hit on bad days.”
He laughed as he ripped open three sugar packets and dumped them into his drink. “I think I’m in the wrong field.”
“What is it you do?”
“I teach music education at Castle Hill.”
“Middle schoolers?” I whistled. “I think I’ll stick with my job.”
“I wouldn’t blame you some days. They’re mostly a good group, but man, there’s a few whose mission is to run off the new teachers.”
“And you’re one of the new ones?”
“Four months running.” He tossed the empty packets into the trash and then held his hand out to me. “I’m Reid, by the way.”
I stared at his hand for a couple of heartbeats before taking it in mine. His long fingers were cool to the touch, unlike my perpetually hot ones. It could be negative fifty outside, and my hands would still be warm. “Ollie,” I said, and then shook my head slightly. “Well, Oliver, but everyone calls me Ollie.”
“Ollie,” Reid repeated, still shaking my hand. “I’ve never met an Ollie before.”
“Mom was a big fan of Laurel and Hardy. I’m just glad she didn’t go with Stan.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realized that was an unnecessary reference because he probably had no idea who the hell Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were, but Reid surprised the hell out of me by laughing.
“Your mom has good taste. I used to watch their stuff at my nan’s,” he said, and then let go of my hand.
I missed the contact immediately.
Before I could respond, Joe’s gnarled fingers clamped down on my arm as he hobbled in between us and hit the side of the latte machine with his cane.
“I don’t think it’ll respond to a beat-down, Joe,” Reid said, as he stirred two creamers into his coffee.
“Worked once before. By George, I’ll do it again.”
As Joe whacked at the machine, Reid shook his head at the stubborn man. Then he capped his mug and smiled at me. “Thanks again, Ollie. I owe you one.”
“Anytime,” I said, and meant it. “Hope your morning improves.”
“I’m counting on it. Bye, Joe. I’ll leave the money on the counter.”
Joe grumbled what sounded like a goodbye and kept fiddling with the latte machine as I rinsed out the coffee pot and started up a fresh brew.
Two steaming mugs and a bag full of apple fritters later and I was climbing back into Big Bertha, still reeling from my run-in with Reid. It was so unlike me to moon over a guy, for fuck’s sake, but there was something about him that had caught my attention from day one and never let go. Today’s encounter had only served to pique my curiosity. I’d always thought him older, maybe mid- to late twenties, but he said he’d only been at Castle Hill for four months. Maybe that meant he was fresh out of college? Or could be he’d relocated from somewhere. Definitely somewhere still in the South, since he seemed to have the manner of someone who’d grown up with parents who drilled in the Yes, sirs and No, thank you, ma’ams so telling of this part of the country, though his accent didn’t betray much of a twang.
“That has got to be the biggest, dumbest grin I’ve ever seen on your ugly mug,” Mike said, staring at me like I’d grown two heads. “Did you finally do it? Did you ask him out?”
I tossed the bag of fritters and soda into Mike’s lap. “Feel free to choke on those.”
“Ahh, I’m gonna take that as a yes, then. He shoot you down?”
After setting the coffees in the console, I fastened my seatbelt and waited for Mike to get the hint we needed to get moving.
“The hell, man?” he said. “You gonna leave me hangin’?”
I arched my brow in his direction, and when I didn’t say anything, he gave a grunt and started up the rig.
“One of these days, Ollie,” he grumbled, pulling out of the gas station. “You know all my personal shit. See if I spill my guts anymore.”
“You wouldn’t know what to do if you couldn’t talk about Deb twenty-four seven.”
“Hey, it’s not my fault I scored a good one. Just letting everyone know what they’re missing out on.” As Mike slowed down behind traffic, he glanced over at me and waggled his black eyebrows.
“Make sure to do us a favor and hand out barf bags the next time you get started.” I nodded at the bag of pastries in his lap. “And don’t tell Deb I’m doin’ a horrible job of keeping you accountable.”
“Nah, she likes my love handles.”
He laughed and tore into the bag of fritters with one hand, while keeping his other on the wheel. When he’d made me swear last week that I’d keep him on track while he “cut the crap,” I’d thought he was nuts. Even with an extra twenty pounds on his strong six-foot build, Mike was as attractive as ever. Black, close-cropped curls, a permanent tan, and dimples that only seemed to have deepened the past few months.
The hot ones are always straight. At least they are in Floyd Hills, Georgia, I thought, my mind drifting back to the man I always made sure to run into during the workweek. And yeah, I got that straight vibe from Reid too, though even he couldn’t deny the spark that had ignited when our hands had brushed against each other. That wasn’t enough to hang any hope on, though, much as I wanted to.
“His name’s Reid,” I said, breaking up the quiet in the cab, and when Mike’s head jerked in my direction, a fritter half shoved in his mouth, I was unable to keep the smirk off my face anymore. “Teaches music at the middle school.”
As I casually sipped my coffee, Mike’s jaw practically hit the ground. “No shit.” A horn sounded from behind us, and Mike stepped on the gas, shaking his head. “About damn time. What else did you talk about?”
“Nothing. Joe came over to give the coffee machine a concussion, and that was the end of that.”
“Dammit, Joe. Way to cock-block.”
“Nah, he didn’t know.”
“Well, you have an opening now,” Mike said, winking at me. “And that was only a pun if you want it to be.”
“Oh, Jesus. I’ve done it now.”
“Created a monster who uses puns against me.”
Mike laughed as I flipped on the radio to drown out any other comments his sugar high wanted to lob out, but when Bing Crosby began to croon about a winter wonderland, Mike groaned and jabbed at the buttons to change the channel.
“I can’t believe they’re still blasting Christmas music in January. Didn’t they get the memo that Santa Claus already came to town, and all he brought me was a damn snow blower? When the hell am I gonna use a snow blower around here? I think my in-laws called in a favor.”
Chuckling, I brought my coffee up to my lips and blew softly, while Mike continued to flip through the stations until a country song began to play. He started to sing along, something about naming babies and dogs, which would normally have me eye-rolling him to death. But since his mouth was now otherwise occupied and he wasn’t digging for more information out of me, I didn’t bother putting up a fight to change the channel. Let him belt out “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” for all I cared. Until a call came in, my mind would be preoccupied by…other things.
A quick tone alert came through the radio, and I punched the music off as a call came through from dispatch.
“Unit 110, please respond Code 3 to the intersection of Mercer and Thomas on a multi-vehicle accident with injuries. Fire responding for possible extrication.”
I picked up the receiver. “Ten-four, Unit 110 en route. ETA less than two minutes,” I said, as Mike dropped the plastic bag on the ground at my feet and flipped on the lights and siren.
“Not how I’d want my day starting out,” he said, cutting through an intersection to make a left on Mercer.
“Saddle up,” I said. “I have a feeling it’s gonna be a long one.”
Traffic going east was already beginning to back up, the roads congested at the height of morning rush hour. Now with the accident up ahead and the cars unable to move to the side, Mike had to pull us into the suicide lane to get by. From the opposite direction, a backup unit, along with two police cars and a fire truck, veered toward the intersection, though it looked like we’d get there first.
I could see the smoke rising up ahead, and as we got closer, it seemed to be coming from beneath the hood of a black four-by-four truck that had smashed into a—
“Oh shit… Ollie…” Mike’s voice trailed off as we both caught sight of the crushed passenger side of the car that had been T-boned. The crumpled car had been no match for the bigger vehicle; it looked like they’d skidded into the middle of the intersection during impact. The car’s hood punched up at an awkward angle with the truck half inside, and broken glass littered the road.
I’d seen the sight so many times before, but never had the breath left my lungs in a rush, never had a faint ringing sound filled my ears, and never had a wild sense of panic seized my chest like it did right then.

Because the mangled car, the one I was responding to, was none other than Reid’s bright red Mazda3.

Author’s Note: The Unforgettable Duet must be read in order, beginning with Forget Me Not. Ollie & Reid’s journey continues in book two, Remember Me When.

Read Remember Me When Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Start the Series Today!

Forget Me Not

Amazon US I Amazon Universal

Add to GoodReads


About Brooke


Brooke Blaine is a USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary romance that ranges from comedy to suspense to erotic. The latter has scarred her conservative Southern family for life, bless their hearts.

If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for years. Or you can reach her at

Connect with Brooke

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If you’d like to be the FIRST to know about a new release, sale, giveaway, or upcoming signings & events, make sure to join Brooke’s mailing list HERE

New Release: Excerpt + Review - FOUND by Annabelle Michaels


Author- Annabella Michaels 
Title- Found: Hamilton's Heroes Series Book 1 
Genre- MM Romance 
Release date- February 23 
Cover artist- Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art


Buy Links!



As a former U.S.A.F. Pararescueman, Jeremy O’Brien is used to following orders, no questions asked. So, when Micah, his boss at Hamilton Security, asks him to take on a special case, he readily accepts. Micah’s instructions are simple, find the man in the picture and bring him back to Chicago.

​Seven years ago, Zane Wilkinson left the hospital against doctor’s orders, only to suffer a final, devastating blow that left him with no choice but to leave the only place he’d called home. Feeling heartbroken and empty, Zane moved from town to town just trying to survive, while never letting anyone get too close.

​In a chance encounter, Jeremy finds himself crossing paths with a man who fits Zane’s description. His instincts tell him that he’s on to something, but Micah warns him that he needs to be absolutely sure. Jeremy sets a plan in motion that will allow him to get closer to the man he believes to be Zane. However, the closer he gets, the more he likes the man and begins to question why he was sent to find him.

Will Jeremy be able to follow through with his orders without becoming too attached? Or will he realize that in his search for Zane, he’s found so much more than he bargained for?


4.5 Stars

I love love love this author. Annabella Michaels is amazingly talented and her stories always keep you enraptured from beginning to end. Jeremy and Zane's journey was very slow paced then any previous books I've read from this author. It was very sweet and sexy as these characters build up their friendship to more. 

Zane's past is just absolutely heartbreaking and I just loved his strength, his will to survive and his determination to move forward. My heart hurt for him. Jeremy was exactly what he needed and I loved that he had so much patience and self-control when it came to Zane. Although, there was a time or two where I wanted him to just man up and take what he wanted, lol. 

These two were just the sweetest and I absolutely loved the outcome of this story. Although, I did stay feeling like their story was almost incomplete. I felt like because of the slow pace build up, the actual relationship portion was rushed and overshadowed by the other important aspects of this story. I'm looking forward to catching glimpses of them in future books.

Overall, very well written. Annabella Michael delivers a great read and I can't wait to see what comes next from this series. 

*** ARC received exchange for an honest review ***


He pulled up to the window and I watched him as he lifted his hips and dug his wallet out of his back pocket. The move shouldn’t have been sexy, but it planted images in my head of those hips rising up to meet mine and I had to swallow back a groan as I turned and looked out my own window. The guy was sexy as fuck, there was no denying that, but I could barely get him to look me in the eye or talk to me. If he knew the things I’d been thinking about him, I’d scare him away for sure.- Jeremy 

About the Author


  I am married to my high school sweetheart who let’s face it, is a saint for putting up with me all of these years. Together we have been blessed with the chance to raise two amazing human beings and so far, we haven’t screwed it up; I’ll let you know for sure later. I love watching movies, cooking, going to the beach and spending time with my family and best friends.

 I am an obsessive reader who is a complete sucker for a good love story but loves to feel a broad range of emotions throughout a book. I think real life is hard enough and so my books offer twists and turns, but always with a happy ending. 

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Release Blitz: Review + Excerpt - EVER AFTER by Riley Hart & Christina Lee

Ever After RDB Banner

RELEASE DATE: 02.28.18

Ever After Cover



As next in line for the Evergreen crown, Prince Merrick Davendall’s future involves ruling, marriage, and producing an heir of his own. But he’s long been tormented by desires that are far from princely. Especially when the beautiful Cassius is promoted to be his new valet, and Merrick is struck by a longing like never before—a longing to know him far beyond royal and servant.

After his father’s passing, Cassius Havendale’s sole duty is to provide for his family. A promotion to serve a pampered prince is something he endures only for their sake. Surely Prince Merrick has no understanding of true suffering of the common people, nor could he possibly understand what it’s like to desperately desire something he cannot have.

Except the prince is not at all what Cassius imagined. Kind, humorous, and caring to those in need, he also shares Cassius’ affinity for the arts. In fact, Merrick understands his deepest vulnerabilities in a most remarkable way.

As their affection deepens, the underlying tension between them becomes unbearable and they’re unable to ignore it any longer. But when the queen prepares a lavish ball with all the eligible ladies in the land in attendance, Merrick must fulfill his obligations to his country, and Cassius has the needs of his family to consider. They’ve long known their stolen moments would have to come to an end, but are they ready to give up one another and the idea of a happily-ever-after?


Gay Couple Love Home Concept

4.5 Stars

I'm a fan of both authors individually and the previous collabs they've done together so I knew I just had to read this. First of all, the cover is phenomenal and it's the perfect image that set the visual image of magical fairytale for me. And a magical fairytale is exactly what these authors deliver. 

The characters are beyond adorable. They were both super sweet and smitten from the moment they set eyes on each other. Prince Merrick and Cassius's journey was romantic, sexy and heartbreaking yet touching and absolutely beautiful. I loved that the authors made the Prince very humble despite his status. He showed compassion and he was very caring and loving. As was Cassiuss, who was also a very admirable man with the genuine love he had for his family and the things both MC's were willing to sacrifice for the sake of their family.

This is definitely a very magical fairytale that let's your mind wander and really escape off to a far away land. Very well written and I would absolutely recommend. Totally loved the magical make believe world with a pinch of modern. A great read from beginning to end. 

** ARC received in exchange for an honest review **


“Now you are all set,” Cassius remarked, slipping the national Evergreen sash over Merrick’s neck and adjusting it over his shoulder.
Merrick was entertaining the Duke of Cairn this morning for brunch. The king would be joining them this afternoon for ice fishing on the property. Apparently, the royal family of Cairn were avid fishermen, and when the king mentioned it a few weeks back on his visit, Merrick’s father told them about Evergreen’s abundance of freshwater trout. Merrick did not exactly enjoy the sport, but Cairn was Evergreen’s closest ally, and it was important to entertain them properly while they discussed pressing matters, including Merrick’s royal visit to their lovely countryside in the coming months.
“At breakfast I overheard the cooks going on about how handsome the duke is,” Cassius mentioned casually as he smoothed down Merrick’s coat and then picked at some lint on the lapel.
The change in topic threw Merrick, and when he did not respond, Cassius glanced up curiously at him. Merrick smirked as he wrapped his hands around Cassius’s waist and pulled him closer. “You are jealous.”
“Of course not!” he declared as his neck turned beet red. “I was only relaying the gossip in the castle.”
“Hmmm, that’s very peculiar since you’ve never seemed to be affected by gossip before,” Merrick remarked, backing him against the wardrobe, the innocent look in Cassius’s eyes completely charming.
“What are you doing?” Cassius asked, his gaze flashing toward the closed chamber door.
“I don’t give a flying fig whether the duke is handsome or not. I have never paid him any mind.” Merrick kissed his cheek. “What I do know is that a stunning man is standing before me, driving me completely mad. And I long to take his prick into my mouth.”
Cassius gasped and swayed toward him. Merrick wondered if Cassius felt just as feverish after spending such a sweet and intense moment in the woods the other day. He only dreamed to know more of him before it was too late.
“It is all I thought about last evening after you left me in the parlor room with the conservation committee,” Merrick added with a groan as he gripped the waistband of Cassius’s trousers. “I want you in my bed every night. In my arms. But I know it is an empty wish.”
“We…shouldn’t,” Cassius replied in a gruff voice even as he sank against Merrick, his prick already hard as the steel jousting stick on display in the Great Hall. “You make it quite difficult to properly concentrate on my duties.”
Merrick drew back immediately, searching Cassius’s eyes. “I am sorry. I do not want you to feel any sort of regret.”
“Never.” Cassius grasped Merrick’s hand and placed it against the bulge beneath his zipper. “But now I shall go around all day with the front of my pants uncomfortably tight while you socialize with the handsome duke.”

Merrick hissed and then promptly dropped to his knees before the valet.

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Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together.

She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves.

Life is good. Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.

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Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I've been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn't until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I'm addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Blog Tour: Excerpt - HEART STRONGER by Rachel Blaufeld


“So exquisitely titillating, full of hope and second chances, and so honest, this is Rachel Blaufeld’s best and swooniest romance yet! I LOVED it!”
- Katy Evans, New York Times Bestselling Author

Heart Stronger, an all-new emotional romance from Rachel Blaufeld is available now!

HeartStronger Full

“Sometimes, I feel like I’m watching a movie . . . that it’s not really me, Claire Richards, getting this second chance at life.”

“Open your eyes, it’s you, and I’m damn glad it’s with me.” ~ Aiken

Single mom and college professor Claire Richards only wanted a few hours of me time to soak in her tub, read a book, and drink wine.

But tragedy struck, and Claire found herself with a lot more me time than she bargained for.

Three years later, Claire is still mourning her losses when Aiken Fordham—who looks young enough to be one of her college students—moves in next door.

Forcing Claire to face her fears, Aiken almost forgets his reason for moving to Small Town, Pennsylvania. Falling for the sexy, smart, and strong professor next door was never in the plan.

But now it is . . . until their future intersects with their pasts.


The downpour stopped just as I did, soaked in rain and sweat. Rolling my neck, I took in my house. It was cute. Too cute for a single dude, but it was all fixed up, and I wasn’t in the mood for a renovation project.

I bent over to stretch, touching my toes, and before I could stand up, Smitty was at my feet, tail wagging, tongue lolling, begging to be petted.

“Smitty!” Claire came running out her front door, dark hair tied up in a messy bun, wearing tight black pants and a fitted green blouse. No shoes. She stopped in front of me, and I noticed her pink toes and tanned feet.

“Smitty, bad boy! You can’t leave the house.” She grabbed his collar and tugged him to her side.

“S’okay.” Wetness seeped into my eyes, and I swatted it away, making the burn worse. Squinting and blinking, I remained focused on the woman in front of me, and all woman she was. There wasn’t one girlish thing about my neighbor, and no—before you think it—I didn’t have mommy issues.

I had lean-muscular-legs and pouty-lips issues, both of which Claire had in earnest. Not to mention, I had a separate thing for independence after growing up around all these farming wives, who basically did all the heavy lifting for none of the credit. Then there was my dad, unable to move on, the epitome of lost.

“Don’t say that. He can’t be running out of the house.” Her breath was short at this point; she was almost panting. “He’s all I have.” It was a whisper of a sentence, but I heard it. Fuck it, I felt it. I got pain. Hated anyone else having to experience it.

She was eaten up with pain, but kept her head up—I could tell. I wanted to crack her veneers, let the pain ooze out, and see her smile in earnest.

Deep shit for a young guy, but I’d grown up fast. Like in the last forty-eight hours.

“I put my hand out to feel if it was still raining, and he bolted as soon as he saw you,” she continued to explain.

“Like I said, I’m cool with Smitty, but I get it. He can’t be escaping.”

“Thanks for understanding.” She stood, prim and proper, her gaze heavy on the concrete, clearly avoiding any direct eye contact.

“You okay, Claire? I’m sorry about last night.”

“I’m fine.” She turned back toward her house.

“Claire, listen, we got off to a bad start. Can we start over? Aiken Fordham, nice to meet you.” I held my hand out, flexing my bicep, waiting for her to return the favor.

“Claire Richards.” She took my hand, her smaller, dainty, and way smoother hand slipping into mine.

“Ugh. What do you want, Aiken? Look at you, shirtless, dripping from running in the rain.” Her hand whipped out of mine and began whisking up and down in the air, motioning at my very naked torso. “What could you possibly want from me? If you need an egg or a stick of butter, pop next door. Otherwise, let me be. I need to get out of here and beg Mary to give me a class full of students, probably not much older than you.” She alternated between eyeing me and her disobedient dog.

“You’re a beautiful woman, Claire,” I called, running up behind her. “And I’m a warm-blooded man, who’ll probably never have a need for a stick of butter. I’m a big boy. I know how to find a grocery store. All by myself too.”

She flung open her door and motioned Smitty inside. He stood at the screen door, staring us down with sad doggie eyes.

“Is there something wrong with getting to know my neighbor? I don’t know anyone here. Maybe you could be neighborly? Or are you so closed off you can’t do that? Because if so, that’s a damn shame,” I said through gritted teeth. Admittedly, I was more frustrated than I should have been. I was a man who desperately wanted the broken woman in front of me.


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About Rachel:


Rachel Blaufeld is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense, New Adult, Coming-of-Age Romance, and Sports Romance. A recent poll of her readers described her as insightful, generous, articulate, and spunky. Originally a social worker, Rachel creates broken yet redeeming characters. She’s been known to turn up the angst like cranking up the heat in the dead of winter.

A devout coffee drinker and doughnut eater, Rachel spends way too many hours in local coffee shops, downing the aforementioned goodies while she plots her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end as lusciously as her treats.

As a side note, Blaufeld, also a long-time blogger and an advocate of woman-run anything, is fearless about sharing her opinion. She captured the ears of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog, BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and running a business, often at the same time. To her, work/life/family balance is an urban legend, but she does her best.

Rachel has also blogged for The Huffington Post and Modern Mom. Most recently, her insights can be found in USA TODAY, where she shares conversations at “In Bed with a Romance Author” and reading recommendations over at “Happy Ever After.”

Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two beagles. Her obsessions include running, coffee, basketball, icing-filled doughnuts, antiheroes, and mighty fine epilogues.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found courtside, tweeting about hoops as her son plays, or walking around the house wearing earplugs while her other son, the drummer, bangs away.

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