Category Archives: Friday Feature

Friday Feature, Interview & PRINT Giveaway: Can’t Forget You by Rachel Lacey

I am thrilled to welcome Rachel Lacey to Book Reviews and More by Kathy!

Kathy: Thank you so much for joining us here today!Could you please tell us a little about your newest release, Can’t Forget You?

Rachel: I would love to! This is the third full-length book in my Risking It All series (although it can be read as a standalone). This series follows three former foster brothers who reunite as adults to open an extreme outdoor adventure company together out in the mountains of North Carolina. Mark Dalton, the hero of Can’t Forget You, is a tall, scarred man of few words. He’s an Army vet, discharged after being injured overseas, and he is possibly my favorite hero that I’ve written to date. This is a second chance romance, as Mark and his former high school sweetheart, Jessica Flynn, go head-to-head over a piece of land they each need to expand their businesses. Of course, it doesn’t take long for them to realize the spark between them is as strong as ever, but they have a lot of hurdles to overcome before they get their second chance at love.

Kathy: Your book reunites high school sweethearts. What’s your favorite thing about this couple?

Rachel: I’d have to say it’s the strength of the emotional connection between them. Mark thought he was doing the honorable thing when he broke up with Jess before he enlisted in the Army when he was eighteen, but he never stopped loving her, and he’s fantasized about her all these years. Jessica buried her feelings behind her anger at him, but once life throws them back together, their feelings for each other are so strong and so raw. This is one of the most emotional books I’ve written – for me anyway. I shed a lot of tears for these two as I helped them find their way back together.

Kathy: If you could pick one song to describe Jessica and Mark’s relationship, what would it be?

Rachel: Funny you should ask, because every book in this series is titled after a song! And this book is titled after a song by one of my longtime idols, Gloria Estefan. It’s such an honor for me to be able to use her classic Can’t Forget You to represent Mark and Jessica’s love for each other. They were separated for over ten years, but they never forgot each other or the strength of their love.

Kathy: With Jessica running her own spa and Mark co-founding a nature adventure business, I wondered what kind of business you would run if you could.

Rachel: The only business I’d ever want to run is the one I do: being an author! I love being my own boss and especially the chance to have my dream job.

Kathy: Who is your favorite supporting character in this book and why?

Rachel: That’s tough because there are so many supporting characters that I love, but I have to go with Bear the dog. She really captured my heart from the first moment I wrote her onto the page, and I especially loved letting her capture Mark’s heart too. Letting Bear into his life was Mark’s first step toward being ready to commit to bigger, better things with Jess.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite book or author you like to recommend? Do you have a comfort read?

Rachel: Oh, goodness, so many! This time of year, my comfort read is always Lori Wilde’s newest Christmas book – this year, it’s Cowboy, It’s Cold Outside. She releases a new Christmas book set in Twilight, TX, every year, and they give me all the feels. No one writes Christmas romance like Lori! A few of my other recent favorites have been Royally Endowed by Emma Chase, An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole, and East in Paradise by Tif Marcelo.

Kathy: What project are you currently working on?

Rachel: Right now, I’m writing a two-book series that I’m calling my “Rock Star Duet,” which I hope to release next Spring. It’s a change of pace from my usual small-town contemporary, but it’s been so much fun to capture my love for New York City on the page as well, and I’m so excited about these books.

Kathy: Thank you so much for chatting with us today! Congratulations on your new release and I’m looking forward to your next series (musicians are a weakness of mine!)


Title: Can’t Forget You by Rachel Lacey
Risking It All Series Book Three
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 353 pages

Summary:

YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST LOVE

Jessica Flynn can’t wait to buy up that patch of unspoiled North Carolina woodland next door and expand her spa. What could be more sensuous than a hot-tub soak under the stars? Jessica would love to bask in the romantic view herself-but first she needs to find the right man to join her in this fantasy. Back in high school, she thought that was the dark and brooding Mark Dalton. But then he left to join the Special Forces, and when he returned to town, it felt like their teenage love affair had never even happened.

Mark Dalton has his eye on the same property for his own business. Yet there’s something he wants to have even more. Because Jessica is sweeter than he remembered, and he’s finding it hard to resist his attraction to the competition. When they finally find themselves alone, deep in the forest, nature can’t help but run a little wild. But if she ever finds out what he’s been hiding all these years, she may never forgive him…

Add to Goodreads.
Add series to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo *


Forever Romance

Risking it All series:

Run to You

Crazy for You

Can’t Forget You


Author Bio

Rachel Lacey is a contemporary romance author and semi-reformed travel junkie. She’s been climbed by a monkey on a mountain in Japan, gone scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and camped out overnight in New York City for a chance to be an extra in a movie. These days, the majority of her adventures take place on the pages of the books she writes. She lives in warm and sunny North Carolina with her husband, son, and a variety of rescue pets.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

I am giving away TWO PRINT copies of Can’t Forget You (US Addresses ONLY). To enter today’s contest for all three PRINT books, fill out the form below. PLEASE NOTE: Contest is open to US mailing address ONLY. Contest ends 5 PM mountain time Monday December 18th.

The books for this giveaway were generously provided by Forever Publishing. Forever will mail the prize to the winners.

Follow Forever Online: Website* Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Instagram * #ReadForever

3 Comments

Filed under Contest, Friday Feature, Interview

Friday Feature, Interview & PRINT Giveaway: Slammed by Victoria Denault

It is my pleasure to welcome Victoria Denault to Book Reviews & More by Kathy. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to join us here today.

Kathy: Can you tell us a little about your new release, Slammed?

Victoria: Slammed is an opposites-attract, forbidden romance. Dixie is a PR dynamo who wants to impress them team owner and move up in the organization. Eli, a goalie on the junior team, wants to get over the serious injury he suffered and prove he deserves a shot in the NHL. When they get stuck in a broken down elevator together sparks fly but giving in to the attraction means risking their career goals. Throw in a little family drama on both sides and it starts to get really complicated.

Kathy: What’s one quality you admire in each of your main characters, Dixie and Eli?

Victoria: I admire Dixie’s close bond with her siblings and dedication to her family and I admire Eli’s sense of adventure and how he’s always trying to make people smile, especially Dixie.

Kathy: What kind of research did you do for the San Francisco Thunder series? Are you a huge hockey fan?

Victoria: I’ve been a huge hockey fan since I was a kid and it’s the only sport I actively watch/follow. Because of that I didn’t have to do much research about the sport, but I did do a lot of research on skate/cut injuries, like the one Eli suffered. That was hard because it meant watching a lot of horrific videos of players getting cut, but I wanted to make sure I got the details right.

Kathy: Eli is known for his cheesy pick-up lines in Slammed. Which one was your favorite?

Victoria: My favorite is actually one Dixie delivers to him. “You remind me of my big toe because you’re big and cute and I’ll probably bang you on my coffee table later.”

Kathy: Do you have a favorite book or author you like to recommend? Do you have a comfort read?

Victoria: I have SO many favorite books and authors it’s hard to recommend just one. Recently I read Most of All You by Mia Sheridan and I adored it. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it. Other of my all-time favorites include Pucked Over by Helena Hunting and Try by Ella Frank.

Kathy: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

Victoria: I always wanted to be a high school English teacher, which is probably weird, but it was my high school English teacher that really cultivated and supported my love of reading and writing. It would be nice to be able to do that for other kids.

Kathy: What project are you working on next?

Victoria: I’m taking a break from sports romance and working on a few different things.  One ‘work in progress’ is a series about a family that’s been through something really horrible and is trying to put the pieces back together. The books focus on the siblings who are in college and how they find love after/despite what they went through.

Kathy: Thank you again for stopping by today. I am eagerly looking forward to reading Slammed and I am very intrigued by your work in progress!


Title: Slammed by Victoria Denault
San Francisco Thunder Series Book Two
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 337 pages

Summary:

Not every goalie plays it safe…>

As a publicist for the San Francisco Thunder hockey team, Dixie Braddock is too busy rescuing the players from trouble to get into any of her own. Except, of course, when it comes to the super hot new goalie. Because when a guy’s kiss curls your toes and sets your heart on fire, how the hell do you just walk away? But if anyone ever catches them together, she’ll lose her job faster than any slapshot.

Eli Casco is on the brink of having everything he ever wanted. He’s finally been called up from the minor leagues to play on a championship team. And he just had the most mind-blowing night with the woman of his dreams. But now that he’s an official Thunder player, Dixie is determined to keep her distance. None of the fame and fortune means anything to him without her to share it. If he truly wants Dixie in his life, it’s time to throw down his gloves and put everything on the line.

Add to Goodreads.
Add series to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo * BAM! * IndieBound

The San Francisco Thunder series:
Score


Author Bio

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filed romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French, and hockey.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * BookBub * Amazon


Giveaway

I am giving away TWO PRINT copies of Slammed (US Addresses ONLY). To enter today’s contest for all three PRINT books, fill out the form below. PLEASE NOTE: Contest is open to US mailing address ONLY. Contest ends 5 PM mountain time Monday December 11th.

CONTEST OVER

The books for this giveaway were generously provided by Forever Publishing. Forever will mail the prize to the winners.

Follow Forever Online: Website* Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Instagram * #ReadForever

1 Comment

Filed under Contest, Friday Feature, Interview

Friday Feature: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

AVAILABLE January 9, 2018!

Read the first four chapters (free): Amazon * B&N * Kobo * Google Play


Title: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 352 pages

Summary:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.

Add to Goodreads.

Pre-Order Links (Available January 9, 2018): Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo

2 Comments

Filed under Friday Feature, Spotlight

Friday Feature & Giveaway: High Test by Elizabeth Noble

May/December romance

Hello, I’m Elizabeth Noble and thank you for stopping by and to Kathy for hosting me today!

The May/December romance is one of my favorite tropes. I use an age gap of eight to ten or more years in most of my books.

You have the older man who, like fine wine, just gets better with age. Combine that man with a younger man who brings a new perspective to a relationship and what’s not to love?

The greatest thing about this trope, to me anyway, is its versatility. I love that I can include an age difference in just about any plot. Giving my characters that age gap automatically adds so many obstacles and conflicts, some significant, some minor, but all give a little more spice and interest to the main story-line.

Did I mention May/December is a personal favorite of mine?

Characters are able to connect with each other and the reader through their age-related insecurities. Their romance blooms under the safety and knowledge that no matter what others might think, the characters can support each other. They learn about themselves and their love interest and develop a commitment to their new-found relationship.

While the main theme of High Test isn’t a May/December romance, it is a significant aspect of the story. Each man must deal with how society sees him, as a gay man and as someone dating an older/younger man. A bit of a double whammy. Neal, the older of the two, has the maturity that comes with age to be very forgiving when the need arises. Hayden, the younger of the couple, reaches within himself to find the courage to ignore how others might judge him for dating a man twenty years older than himself.


Title: High Test by Elizabeth Noble
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Imprint: Dreamspin Desire
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Romance
Length: 202 pages/Word Count: 52,776

Summary:

The coffee is rich. Hayden isn’t. But Neal doesn’t need to know that—yet.

Hayden Owens is just your typical graduate student working his way through school as a barista for the Owens Coffee Company—no relation. But he keeps the “no relation” part to himself when he meets dashing architect, Neal Kirchner, a successful older man from an old-money family. Hayden doesn’t exactly lie, but he figures it can’t hurt for Neal to believe he’s a rich kid. After all, Hayden doesn’t want Neal thinking he’s a gold digger.

The closer they become, the harder it gets for Hayden to come clean. Something always seems to get in the way. When a company bankruptcy and a jilted, vindictive woman threaten to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.

Add to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press (eBook) * Dreamspinner Press (Paperback) * Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo


Excerpt

They strolled down the sidewalk. Despite his earlier feelings of inadequacy, Hayden felt comfortable with Neal. The walk gave him a chance to get some clean, fresh air into his lungs and clear his head. His insides were more settled, and the tense feeling in his chest dissipated.

When they reached the bistro door, Hayden’s panic ratcheted back up. The people inside were sharply dressed, even the ones in casual attire and jeans. They had designer bags and expensive, tasteful jewelry. Hayden might not have been able to afford such things, but he saw enough at work to know many of the labels.

What the hell was he doing here trying to blend in wearing a simple Henley, Chucks, and off-the-rack department-store jeans?

Neal must have sensed Hayden’s hesitation because he picked then to put one arm around Hayden’s back, squeezing his shoulder for a few seconds. He moved his hand lower and rested it between his shoulder blades. “Would you like to try the patio or eat inside?”

“Patio. It’s so nice out tonight, and I’ve been cooped up in the coffeehouse since one.”

Neal stepped up to the hostess desk and said, “Two. A table on the patio, please.”

Hayden saw Neal put one hand on the desk and the woman there smiled and asked, “Will fifteen minutes be all right?”

He couldn’t see the denomination, but Neal had very discreetly given the young woman a folded bill that obviously made her very happy.

Neal smiled warmly, slipped his hand into his pocket, and said, “That would be perfect.”

“If you gentlemen would like to wait at the bar, there’s plenty of room.” The hostess nodded toward a large wooden bar with brass trim. She handed Neal one of those disks that would light up when their table was ready.

“Thank you.” Neal turned to Hayden. “Shall we?”

Hayden smiled and ducked his head as they walked to the bar. He’d never been in a place like this. A few people were very obvious when they looked at him and Neal with raised eyebrows. He could practically read their thoughts: He was interested in nothing but the man’s money and was probably a hired escort, and a few other judgments that became less polite as Hayden mentally scrolled down the list. A young woman with a man easily twice her age caught his eye, winked, and offered him a thumbs-up.

Turning tail and running crossed Hayden’s mind. The problem was he really liked Neal and had the impression Neal was genuinely interested in him. He kept asking himself over and over if he would find Neal so appealing if he were a factory worker or worked in retail or tended bar. Hayden kept coming up with the answer yes.

Neal moved a tall chair out from the bar and swung it around for Hayden before taking a seat in the next one over. “Do you like wine?”

“Um… I-I guess. I haven’t had much and don’t really know about many kinds. My family isn’t much for wine.” Hayden laughed nervously and ran one finger over the edge of the bar. He could simply go to the bathroom and slip out the back door. A quick glance around the restaurant convinced him that might not be possible since the men’s room was in plain sight of the bar.

Neal smiled, and the corners of his eyes crinkled. He chuckled softly, reached over and stroked the back of Hayden’s hand a few times. “Would you try one of my favorites if they have it here?”

Hayden kept his ass firmly on the seat and nodded. He realized Neal would be deeply hurt if Hayden snuck out. Memories of the emotions he’d experienced when he thought Neal had stood him up flashed across his mind. Not following through with dinner would be just as bad, if not worse. He took a deep breath. “I’d love that, thank you.”


Author Bio

e noble

Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire. ELIZABETH NOBLE started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.

Elizabeth has three grown children, two grandchildren, and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed-breed canine princess and her sidekick tabby cat. Elizabeth lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening and winter and summer sports (go Tribe and Cavs!) and stargazing all year long. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Facebook Group * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest * Email * Dreamspinner Author Page * Amazon Author Page


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 Comments

Filed under Contest, Excerpt, Friday Feature, Guest Blog

Friday Feature & Giveaway: Twisted Truths by Rebecca Zanetti

Title: Twisted Truths by Rebecca Zanetti
Blood Brothers Series Book Three
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Length: 432 pages

Summary:

You can’t escape the past . . .

Noni is desperate. Her infant niece has been kidnapped, and the only person who can save her is a private detective with too many secrets to count–and more enemies than he can name. A man who walked away from Noni without any warning a year ago, a man who broke her heart. But with Talia’s life on the line, Noni needs his help now more than ever–and this time, she won’t take no for an answer . . .

The moment Denver Jones sees Noni, the memories come rushing back. The fire in her eyes. The determination in her voice. The danger of having her in his life. Denver had to push her away once, but now with vicious criminals threatening Noni and her niece, he’ll do whatever it takes to protect them. But enemies from his past are circling, and they’ll use anything–and anyone–to get to Denver.

With twists and turns that will blow you away, TWISTED TRUTHS is sexy, action-packed suspense at its very best from New York Timesbestselling author Rebecca Zanetti.

This trade paperback edition contains extra bonus scenes not available anywhere else.

Add to Goodreads.
Add series to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo
* BAM! * IndieBound


Excerpt

Slowly, numbly, she shrugged.  “I knew you were dangerous and relentless in pursuing somebody,” she whispered.  But a killer?   Her search for him had held a romantic element, and she knew it.  This guy was all edge—no romance.  “Am I in danger?”  Her voice quivered, but she had to know.

“Yes.”  He didn’t move.  Didn’t even seem to breathe.

She blinked.  Rapidly.  “From you?”

His eyes darkened.  “No.  The only thing I’m capable of breaking is your heart.”

Cold swam through her.  The arrogance.  “You think you broke my heart?”

His lip twisted.  “I know I did.”  His tone was low with what seemed like self-hatred.  Dark and raw.  “I’m sorry.”

Those words.  She’d needed those words and hadn’t realized how badly.  “Thank you,” she said, going on instinct.  “Then how am I in danger?”

“I’m in danger, and anybody close to me is free game for an enemy who will keep coming until I’m dead.  Until everything I care about, everything I dream about, is taken away and I want death.”  He looked back down at the computer, intensity pouring from him.

Whoa. Okay.  Denver didn’t have one bit of hysteria in him.  His words scared her, but curiosity still rose up.  “Who?”

“Irrelevant.  As soon as we get Talia back, you have to forget me.  Now.  Back to Richie.”

She could live forever, and she’d never forget him.  Not for one second had she been able to pretend he didn’t exist.  But he was right.  They had to find Talia, but he still needed to explain more.  She had a right to know everything.  “I have files on everything.”  She threw her pack at Denver, and he easily caught it before it smashed him in the face.

He didn’t so much as frown.  “Thank you.”

She swallowed.  They were in the same room.  After a year of hurting for him, he was right there in solid form.  More than solid.  She hadn’t imagined his hard body or intense charisma.  He owned every room he walked into with no effort.  She’d never met anybody like him, and here he was.  Her body tingled, her heart ached, and her mind spun.  Yeah.  Denver was definitely there.  “What now?” she asked, her eyes gritty and her throat scratchy.

“I’ll do some research.”  Slowly, numbly, she shrugged.  “I knew you were dangerous and relentless in pursuing somebody,” she whispered.  But a killer?   Her search for him had held a romantic element, and she knew it.  This guy was all edge—no romance.  “Am I in danger?”  Her voice quivered, but she had to know.

“Yes.”  He didn’t move.  Didn’t even seem to breathe.

She blinked.  Rapidly.  “From you?”

His eyes darkened.  “No.  The only thing I’m capable of breaking is your heart.”

Cold swam through her.  The arrogance.  “You think you broke my heart?”

His lip twisted.  “I know I did.”  His tone was low with what seemed like self-hatred.  Dark and raw.  “I’m sorry.”

Those words.  She’d needed those words and hadn’t realized how badly.  “Thank you,” she said, going on instinct.  “Then how am I in danger?”

“I’m in danger, and anybody close to me is free game for an enemy who will keep coming until I’m dead.  Until everything I care about, everything I dream about, is taken away and I want death.”  He looked back down at the computer, intensity pouring from him.

Whoa. Okay.  Denver didn’t have one bit of hysteria in him.  His words scared her, but curiosity still rose up.  “Who?”

“Irrelevant.  As soon as we get Talia back, you have to forget me.  Now.  Back to Richie.”

She could live forever, and she’d never forget him.  Not for one second had she been able to pretend he didn’t exist.  But he was right.  They had to find Talia, but he still needed to explain more.  She had a right to know everything.  “I have files on everything.”  She threw her pack at Denver, and he easily caught it before it smashed him in the face.

He didn’t so much as frown.  “Thank you.”

She swallowed.  They were in the same room.  After a year of hurting for him, he was right there in solid form.  More than solid.  She hadn’t imagined his hard body or intense charisma.  He owned every room he walked into with no effort.  She’d never met anybody like him, and here he was.  Her body tingled, her heart ached, and her mind spun.  Yeah.  Denver was definitely there.  “What now?” she asked, her eyes gritty and her throat scratchy.

“I’ll do some research.”


Author Bio

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Find Rebecca at: http://www.rebeccazanetti.com

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest * Facebook Group


Giveaway

Follow Forever Online: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Instagram

Comments Off on Friday Feature & Giveaway: Twisted Truths by Rebecca Zanetti

Filed under Blog Tour, Contest, Excerpt, Friday Feature

Friday Feature & Giveaway: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

Title: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne
Love Unexpectedly Series Book Five
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 218 pages

Summary:

She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

Lauren Layne’s USA Today bestselling Love Unexpectedly series can be read in any order:
BLURRED LINES
GOOD GIRL
LOVE STORY
WALK OF SHAME
AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS

Add to Goodreads.
Add series to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo


Excerpt

As I walk, I check the weather app on my phone, delighted to see that while it’s nothing but rain today, there’s a chance of a snow shower tomorrow. Nothing says Christmas break like snow.

I just miss my train, but there’s a decent-ish voice singing “White Christmas” nearby, and the platform’s not too crowded, so waiting’s not as bad as it could be.

My eye catches on a middle-aged woman who’s set up camp under one of the stairwells. It’s not unusual to see all manner of people under the streets of New York, although this one’s better dressed than most. She’s wearing a blousy red shirt, jeans, and ankle boots, and is sitting cross-legged on a plaid blanket. She’s got twigs of what seem to be fake roses in her hair.

None of that’s the weird part.

What’s weird is that she’s watching me. Intently.

We make awkward eye contact, and I give a quick smile before turning my attention back to my phone.

But I still feel her eyes on me.

Not in an unfriendly way, not in the way that makes me mentally catalog whether or not I saw any cops on my way down here who would hear me if I scream. She doesn’t seem eager to push me onto the train tracks either, and since that’s every New Yorker’s secret fear, that’s a plus.

Still, the focus is unsettling. I glance up again, and her eyes lock on mine. Her dark gaze is clear and focused, and I can’t decide if that’s more or less disturbing than if she seemed sort of hazy.

Then she smiles right at me. “Kelly.”

I get immediate goosebumps for reasons that have nothing to do with the winter weather. She knows my name.

“Come.” She beckons. “Come. I see.”

Now you’re thinking, Hell, no. Run!

I should be thinking the same, and on some level, I am, but . . .

There are a couple dozen people around. None are paying attention to me, but it’s not like I’m all alone in a dark alley.

And look, we’ve already established that I believe in fate expressing itself through a Magic 8 ball and horoscopes, and though I haven’t mentioned it yet, I totally avoid black cats, the number thirteen, and walking under ladders.

I also believe that there’s such a thing as sight. I know, because my grandma had it.

Grandma Shirley was one of those delightfully batty old ladies that most people dismissed as quirky, but nobody can deny that she seemed to know stuff. She knew when I’d win my soccer game, and by how many points. She knew when her cat’s litter of kittens would be born, down to the minute. Once she’d even predicted an earthquake, even though they’re really rare in New York.

She’d passed away when I was in eleventh grade (she’d predicted the when and how of that too), and though I didn’t inherit her talents, I’ve never stopped believing that some people see and know things that they shouldn’t. I call it the Sight.

I step closer, and the woman grins and beckons me even nearer.

I stop a healthy few feet away. I’m superstitious, not crazy.

The woman leans forward. “You seek love.”

Huh. Color me unimpressed. I mean, don’t most humans seek love? Sure, I’m recently single, and I don’t particularly want to be. And maybe I sometimes try a little too hard to find my forever guy.

But I’m not hearing anything other than generic lucky guesses from this lady.

“Sure,” I say, already starting to back away.

She holds up a hand. “The one you seek? Your forever guy, the love of your life . . .”

I freeze, because her phrasing echoes my thoughts almost exactly. A coincidence? Maybe. I don’t move away just yet, willing to hear her out.

She smiles again. “You’ve already met him.”

I blink. “What? I think you may want to recheck that crystal ball. I’m single.”

Her smile merely grows. “I didn’t say you weren’t single. I said you’d already met him. You just let him go. He’ll come back to you before Christmas.”

Whoa whoa whoa. This is . . .

Huh.

“You’re telling me that the love of my life is one of my exes?”

She extends both of her palms as though to say, There you have it!

I stifle a little surge of disappointment. Clearly she hasn’t met my exes. There are some decent ones in the mix, but mostly they’re duds, and none of them make my heart beat faster. Well, maybe—

Nope. No. Do not go there.

Thankfully, I feel the rumble of an oncoming train, and a glance over my shoulder tells me my ride outta here is approaching.

“Thanks very much,” I say with a strained smile. “Merry Christmas.”

“Happy holidays,” she says with a nod, standing and gathering up her blanket. Apparently she’s taken a cue from Madison Meyers and is sticking close to the PC route. Fair enough.

I lift a hand in a wave and move toward the train, but her next words give me a fresh wave of new goosebumps.

“Tell your parents happy anniversary. Thirty’s going to be a magical year for them.”

I whip my head around. “How did you—”

The woman is gone.

Like vanished gone.

Leaving me to wonder . . .

If a woman I’d never met was right about my parents’ anniversary, was she also right about other stuff?

Have I already met my one true love?


Author Bio

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

Author Links: Website * Twitter * Goodreads * Instagram * Facebook


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 Comment

Filed under Blog Tour, Contest, Friday Feature