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Category Archives: Romance

Release Blitz: Crown of Crimson by Karina Halle

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Crown of Crimson, an enthralling dark fantasy romance in the Underworld Gods Series from New York Times Bestselling author Karina Halle, is now available!

All Hanna Heikkinen wants is to be reunited with her father again. After all, that’s why she ventured into the dark and dangerous fantasy world of Tuonela, the Land of the Dead, in order to save his life. But this time her devotion to her father comes at a cost—her growing relationship with Tuoni, the God of Death himself, who held Hanna captive in exchange for her father’s life. The last thing she expects is to feel remorse at leaving Death at his castle of Shadow’s End without even saying goodbye, and yet he’s all she can think about.

Death has always prided himself on never trusting the living, but Hanna’s apparent betrayal has left a scar fathom’s deep. Vowing revenge on his future bride, and making sure she upholds her end of the bargain, Death sets out across his realm to steal Hanna back, which only fans the flames between them. But Death and Hanna aren’t just fighting each other—malevolent Old Gods are rising to power within the realm, magic is being poisoned, and buried secrets are brought to light, secrets that may cause Hanna to lose everyone she loves dear once again.

Read now!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xJqugE
Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/Underworlds2

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3NN08A1

Start the series with River of Shadows today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3874MbT
Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/underworld1

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3rCxHvg

Meet Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Connect with Karina

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3LCSTIw
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vo9pq4
Instagram: https://bit.ly/3LHKB21
Join her Reader Group: https://bit.ly/3wAzpQt
Stay up to date with Karina by signing up for her newsletter here:
https://bit.ly/3PAEqQy
Website: http://authorkarinahalle.com

Review: Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

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Review: Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.

They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.

Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.

For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.

When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.

Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever. 

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My Review

Every Summer After is a fantastic debut novel filled with all the mistakes of young love, forgiveness, and second chances.

It took six summers and one unforgettable weekend to change Persephone’s life forever. No matter how hard she tried, she never got over her first big love. When tragedy strikes, Persephone finds herself returning to the place she never thought she’d step foot in again. Suddenly Persephone is forced to confront the ghosts of her past…

Every Summer After is a beautiful story of young love and the mistakes we make trying to find our way. I fell instantly in love with Persephone and Sam. Their story hit me with all the feels and left me hanging on each and every word. The road to happily ever after for these two is not an easy one. It’s filled with longing and regret. It’s filled with mistakes and betrayal. It’s filled with hope and second chances. Persephone and Sam’s story took me on one heck of an emotional journey. I loved the push and pull, the will they/won’t they moments. And I just loved every second of it.

Every Summer After is well-written, engaging, and will easily consume your afternoon. This book gave me all the feels and checked off all the boxes for this reader. I’m blown away by the fact that this is Carley Fortune’s debut novel and can not wait to read more from this author in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli

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Review: Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli

Can love survive the dark?

No matter how far she runs, the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark. The scent of damp earth curls into her nose when she sings and moss creeps across the stage. It’s as if the woods of her childhood, shrouded in folklore and tall tales, are trying to reclaim her. But Emeline has no patience for silly superstitions.

When her grandfather disappears, leaving only a mysterious orb in his wake, the stories Emeline has always scoffed at suddenly seem less foolish. She enters the forest she has spent years trying to escape, only to have Hawthorne Fell, a handsome and brooding tithe collector, try to dissuade her from searching.

Refusing to be deterred, Emeline finds herself drawn to the court of the fabled Wood King himself. She makes a deal—her voice for her grandfather’s freedom. Little does she know, she’s stumbled into the middle of a curse much bigger than herself, one that threatens the existence of this eerie world she’s trapped in, along with the devastating boy who feels so familiar.

With the help of Hawthorne—an enemy turned reluctant ally who she grows closer to each day—Emeline sets out to not only save her grandfather’s life, but to right past wrongs, and in the process, discover her true voice.

Haunting and romantic, Kristen Ciccarelli’s Edgewood is an exciting novel from a bold, unforgettable voice in fantasy.

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MY REVIEW

Edgewood is a truly unique young adult, fantasy novel.

Edgewood is a well-written and intriguing story that spins quite the web of mystery. I enjoyed the mysterious woods and all of the secrets they held. I loved trying to figure out who you could trust or not. This book does dive into some pretty tough issues such as memory loss and I think the author did a really great job with the way she not only handled them, but the creative spin she put on them.

My only complaint about this book is that I wish the pacing had been a little more on point. There were some parts where the story seemed to drag a bit. And I do wish that the romance between Emeline and Hawthorne had been fleshed out a little more. Yes, their romance was definitely a slow-burning one, but they really left me wanting more.

Even though I did have a couple of issues with this book, I did find it to be an enjoyable read. I really liked all of the fantasy elements and the world this author created. I thought the author was really creative with the way the tough issues were handled.

This is my first book by this author and I would definitely be interested in checking out more from her in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review* 

Blog Tour with Review: Screams in Symphony by Kelsey Clayton

Blog Tour with Review: Screams in Symphony by Kelsey Clayton

Screams in Symphony, the jaw-dropping conclusion to The Malvagio Mafia Duet from USA Today bestselling author Kelsey Clayton, is available now!

​​From USA Today bestselling author Kelsey Clayton comes a dark mafia romance filled with pain, betrayal, devastation, revenge, and a mindblowing ending that will have you questioning everything.

There once was a girl,
tarnished and ruined by the actions of others.
Some are born plagued by darkness,
but she was doused in it by those she trusted.

Like Lucifer himself,
she fell from the heavens and landed amongst the flames.
Now she wears her crown black,
with diamonds coated in the blood of her enemies.

This isn’t the story of a girl who saved the villain.
This is the story of a girl who became something much worse,
and the man who loved her for it.

Download your  copy today!

FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/32OdF7r

Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/screamsymphony

Add to Goodreads→ https://bit.ly/3dw5TB3

Start the duet with Suffer in Silence!

FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3EuhLPX

Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/suffersilence

Add to Goodreads→  https://bit.ly/SISPart1

MY REVIEW

“Pain is a dangerous thing. It can make people crazy. Turn them into something they swore they’d never become. And once you give into the pain, there’s no guarantee you’ll ever come back from it.”

“There in the middle of destruction, I kiss her like she’s breathing the life back into me. Like we’re breathing the life back into each other. It’s an intoxicating dose of serotonin straight to my system, until the pain comes back in.”

Screams in Symphony is the deliciously disturbing, most anticipated conclusion to the Malvagio Mafia Duet. This book pulls out all the stops. It’s dark. It’s twisted. It’s all-consuming. Screams in Symphony will keep you on the edge of your seat and will leave you devouring each and every word.

Screams in Symphony picks up right where Suffer in Silence left off and completely hits the ground running. This story is dark and ruthless. It’s a twisted tale of love and revenge that will take these characters to unexpected places. Filled with lots of twists and turns, this book had my heart-pounding and left me hanging on every word.

Screams in Symphony lived up to its name and delivered on all fronts. This book was intense, with some parts that were hard for me to read. Even with all that, this book still left me with my mind-blown. For all my of my dark romance-loving friends, this is a book/duet you won’t want to miss. So, run and grab the Malvagio Mafia Duet today. You won’t be disappointed….

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Excerpt

“I’ll see you later, S.”

I nod. “Yeah, sure.”

The second she’s out the door, Kage is already heading toward me. “What the fuck was that, S?”

It takes everything in my power to hold back my smile, amused with how possessive he is. “I don’t know. She’s determined to become my friend.”

“And you’re okay with that?”

I shrug half-heartedly. “She’s…tolerable. And besides, it’s not like I can go out and find new friends, being dead and all.”

He stares back at me before shaking his head. “No. Nope. I don’t like it.”

Giggling, I stand up and walk toward him, dipping my fingers into his pockets. “I can’t spend the rest of my life with just you and Beni.”

He cocks a single brow at me. “Who the fuck said Beni is invited?”

“Kage,” I laugh. “I need other friends.”

“Why?”

Arching up on my tippy-toes, I press a kiss over his heart. “Because they keep me from wanting to kill you in your sleep.”

His hands land on my arms, and he moves me away from him so he can look down at me. “How many times have you considered doing that exactly?”

“Four…”

“Oh,” he says, relieved.

“…teen.”

Sputtering on air, his jaw drops. “Fourteen?”

I tilt my head side to side. “Give or take a few.”

“Saxon!” he groans, his amusement slipping through.

“What?” I ask innocently. “You’re a little insufferable sometimes.”

The corners of his mouth raise as he stares down at me. “Mm-hm. Great. I’m sleeping in the panic room from now on.”

A laugh bubbles out of me as I press my lips to his. “That’s probably smart.”

Meet Kelsey

Kelsey Clayton is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance novels. She lives in a small town in Delaware with her husband, two kids, and dog.

She is an avid reader of fall hard romance. She believes that books are the best escape you can find, and that if you feel a range of emotions while reading her stories – she succeeded. She loves writing and is only getting started on this life long journey.

Kelsey likes to keep things in her life simple. Her ideal night is one with sweatpants, a fluffy blanket, cheese fries, and wine. She holds her friends and family close to her heart and would do just about anything to make them happy.

Connect with Kelsey

Website: https://bit.ly/3DsOofS

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3EpVov3

Instagram: https://bit.ly/3lyBjLz

Twitter: https://bit.ly/3xTlhkk

Release Blitz with Review: Juniper Hill by Devney Perry

Release Blitz with Review: Juniper Hill by Devney Perry

Juniper Hill by Devney Perry is now live!

Memphis Ward arrives in Quincy, Montana, on the fifth worst day of her life. She needs a shower. She needs a snack. She needs some sanity. Because moving across the country with her newborn baby is by far the craziest thing she’s ever done.

But maybe it takes a little crazy to build a good life. If putting the past behind her requires a thousand miles and a new town, she’ll do it if it means a better future for her son. Even if it requires setting aside the glamour of her former life. Even if it requires working as a housekeeper at The Eloise Inn and living in an apartment above a garage.

It’s there, on the fifth worst day of her life, that she meets the handsomest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Knox Eden is a beautiful, sinful dream, a chef and her temporary landlord. With his sharp, stubbled jaw and tattooed arms, he’s raw and rugged and everything she’s never had—and never will. Because after the first worst day of her life, Memphis learned a good life requires giving up on her dreams too. And a man like Knox Eden will only ever be a dream.

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Audible, Google Play, Kobo, Barnes & Noble!

Amazon: https://geni.us/Xfnmh

Apple Books: https://geni.us/ChXAw

Nook: https://geni.us/fTv4g

Kobo: https://geni.us/MQulv2F

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3G1ONHY

Audible: https://adbl.co/3zvIl9R

Narrated by: Maxine Mitchell & Jason Clarke

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3ipx2IX

My Review

“That was the problem with that line. Every time he was around, I wanted to cross it.”

“Knox was a good man. He was as reliable as the sunrise. As breathtaking as the Montana sunsets. He was the type of person I wanted Drake to become.”

“Let me make it clear. You are mine. Drake is mine. For all of your todays and each of your tomorrows. Mine.”

The latest addition to the Edens Series is here and I couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s no secret that I absolutely loved Indigo Ridge, so when I heard about Juniper Hill the bar was set high. And let me tell you, Deveny Perry obliterated the bar and gave me one heck of read to start off 2022 with.

From the moment I picked up Juniper Hill I was hooked. Memphis had the weight of the world on her shoulders and was looking for a much-needed fresh start with her baby boy. What she didn’t plan for was Knox. Knox is the ultimate book boyfriend. Sure Knox had his fair share of heartbreak, enjoyed his solitude, and wasn’t looking for love, but the moment he laid eyes on Memphis, it was like someone had flipped a switch, and I couldn’t wait to see how it would all play out.

Juniper Hill delivered on every front. The characters are real and perfectly flawed. The moment you meet them, you can’t help but want to know more. I loved all of the good moments and all of the hard ones too. I loved the ease of the relationship between Memphis and Knox, and the way Knox treated Memphis’s little boy just tugged on my heartstrings. They took their time getting to know each other, building a solid foundation. Both of them trying to move past the pain and disappointment of the past.

And just when I think I couldn’t possibly love the Eden family more, they had to go and prove me wrong. The Eden family took Memphis in and gave her the fresh start she needed. They showed her what a real family should be and what it was like to have someone in your corner with no strings attached. The Eden family is the real deal.

As you can tell, there is just so much to love about Juniper Hill. Devney Perry has once again delivered an unforgettable, swoon-worthy small-town romance. This must-read romance will leave readers utterly captivated and unable to put down. It’s a story of second chances that left with stars in my eyes one minute and tears the next. I laughed. I swooned. I was on the edge of my seat. In the end, I was taken on one heck of a ride and left with all the feels.

I loved everything about Juniper Hill from beginning to end and can not wait to get my hands on the next book in the Edens Series!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Meet Devney
Devney is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in Washington with her husband and two sons. Born and raised in Montana, she loves writing books set in her treasured home state. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her family. Writing one book, let alone many, was not something she ever expected to do. But now that she’s discovered her true passion for writing romance, she has no plans to ever stop.

Connect with Devney

Website: www.devneyperry.com

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kncXnb

Amazon: https://geni.us/nAXkP

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/devneyperrybooks

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/324585607979213/

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Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/devneyperry

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2v1Hr7t

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Year in Review: 2021 Reading Challenge!

Year in Review: 2021 Reading Challenge!

Each year, I try to create a reading challenge that’s not only fun and challenging but also realistic. This year, I set the bar pretty high, and couldn’t be happier with the results. I’ve read over 128 books for this challenge, 113 of those being books that have sat on my kindle for far too long. I’ve discovered a lot of new authors and exciting books in 2021 and can not wait to see what next years challenge will bring.

Here are the books that made my 2021 Reading Challenge a success:

CategoryBook Title
Re-Read a favorite bookCity of Bones by Cassandra Clare
A book by an author new to meCrashing East by Aly Stiles
A ContemporaryBlame It On The Champagne by Fiona Cole
A New Adult ReadThese Monsterous Ties by K.V. Rose
A Biker NovelTounge by K.L. Savage
A Paranormal/FantasyA Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas
A Sports RomanceThe Bombshell Effect by Karla Sorensen
A Romantic ComedyBet Me by Lila Monroe
A book chosen for its coverOne Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker
Accidental PregnancySay Yes To Love by Anne Williams
Older Brother’s Best FriendFalling For My Brother’s Best Friend by Piper Rayne
Holiday Romance (any holiday)Holidate by Monica Murphy
ForbiddenSweet Dandelion by Micalea Smeltzer
BillionaireClose Quarters by Kandi Steiner
Bad BoySkater Boy by Mary Catherine Gebhard
Workplace RomanceBossy Nights by Liv Morris
Fake RelationshipThe Trouble With The Fake Boyfriend by Holly Renee
Marriage of ConvenienceDon’t Kiss The Bride by Carian Cole
Favorite tropeSancte Diaboli: Part One by Amo Jones
A book with a red coverThe Life You Stole by Jewel E Ann
4 books on your TBRThe Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb
The Saint by Kelsey Clayton
Corrupt My Mind by Kelsey Clayton
Savage by Caitlyn Dare
2 New ReleasesDestructive King by RVD
The Invitation by Vi Keeland
A trope you haven’t read in 12 monthsThe Dead List by Jennifer Armentrout
A Rock Star RomanceGone For You by Jayne Frost
A Non-Romance bookBecoming by Michelle Obama
A ClassicI Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
A book picked by a friendThe Kiss by M. Robinson
Dark/TabooFable of Happiness, Book One by Pepper Winters
Historical RomanceThe Songbook of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon
Fairy Tale Re-TellingThe Love Hack by Lauren Helms
A YA BookThe Problem With Forever by JLA
Enemies to Lovers tropeA Vow of Hate by Lylah James
A book that will make you Ugly CryBared Souls by Ellie Wade
A book with an Age Gap tropeDead Man Walking by Giana Darling
A book with Friends to Lovers tropeFor Keeps. For Always. by Haley Jenner
A book with a blue coverThe Life That Mattered by Jewel E Ann
4 books on your TBRShow Me How by Molly McAdams
Alpha’s Claim by Amelia Hutchins
Crossed Fates by Lexi Foss & Elle Christensen
Lost Souls by Emma Creed
2 New ReleasesUnderboss by Kristen Proby
One More Time by Aurora Rose Reynolds
1 DuetLove and Lies Duet by Stacey Lynn
MafiaRuthless Monarch by Ava Harrison
A NovellaForevermore by Alex Grayson
Sweet RomanceThe Bloom Girls by Amy Pine
Romantic SuspenseBroken Sparrow by Chelle Bliss
A book with a Cowboy on the coverTrue Love Cowboy by Jennifer Ryan
A book, where the main character is/, was in the militaryLove So Irresistible by Marquita Valentine
Small Town romanceSouthern Heart by Natasha Madison
First Responder (Police Officer/Firefighter/EMT)Protecting What’s His by Tessa Bailey
Second Chance RomanceRise by Cassandra Robbins
Dystopian/Science FictionRunner by Evie Mitchell
A book with a yellow coverEternally North by Tillie Cole
2 books on your TBRUnforgettable by Melanie Harlow
Beneath the Stars by Emily McIntire
2 New ReleasesBroken French by Tasha Boyd
Strict Confidence by Skye Warren
Insta-loveDistraction by Aurora Rose Reynolds
Bearded Man On CoverSide Hustle by Emily Goodwin
A Fighter/MMA BookFighting For Irish by Gina Maxwell
A TrilogyCruel Summer Series by Rachel Van Dyken
Finish A Series I StartedA Line of Duty Series by Tessa Bailey
Bully RomanceThe Bet by JL Beck & C. Hallman
2 DuetsThe Pawn Duet by TM Frazier
The Retake Duet by Ella Fox
2 NovellasBeautiful Nightmare by Giana Darling
Fallen King by Giana Darling
2 Sweet RomanceAnything But Sweet by Candis Terry
Kissing Her Crush by Ophelia London
A Suspense or Romantic Suspense NovelThe Au Pair by Emma Rous
Read 1 SeriesThe Baraginer Series by Laura Thalassa
2 Box Sets of BooksDark Legacy: The Complete Collection by Jaymin Eve Bleeding Hearts: The Complete Duet by A. Zavarelli
Small Town RomanceFragile Hearts by Amber Kelly
A Stand-alone NovelThe Love Interest by Kayley Loring
A Beach ReadAin’t He Precious by Sawyer Bennett
4 Books I Already Own Per Month
JanHere Be Sexist Vampires by Suzanne Wright
Dear Enemy by Kristen Callihan
Even If It Hurts by Marni Mann
Focused by Karla Sorensen
FebWreck by Cora Brent
Treachery by Lily White
Not What I Expected by Jewel E Ann
The Dare by Elle Kennedy
MarchCrazy for Loving You by Pippa Grant
The Sinner by Kelsey Clayton
Guilty Pleasure by Jessica Prince
Never Gonna Happen by Cynthia Eden
AprilWhat Are The Chances by Ashley Munoz & Brittany Taylor
Callous Prince by Brecker Gray
Bad Alibi by Jessica Prince
Wrong Text Right Love by Claudia Burgoa
MayTempt Me by Kally Ash
From Our First by Carrie Ann Ryan
Bad Liar by Lauren Rowe
The Legacy by Dylan Allen
JuneFaking Ms.Right by Claire Kingsley
Aggro by Coralee June & Carrie Gray
Love At First Fight by Carrie Aarons
Rich Prick by Tijan
JulyHawk by Kat Savage
Protecting You by Claire Kingsley
My Besties Ex by Piper Rayne
Waiting On The Rain by Claudia Connor
AugFlame by Chelle Bliss
Falling For My Enemy by Claire Kingsley
Cruel Temptation by Kelli Callahan
Gods & Monsters by Saffron Kent
SeptOff the Cuff by KI Lynn
My One Week Husband by Lauren Blakely
Dotted Lines by Devney Perry
Hold the Forevers by KA Linde
OctPretty Little Savage by Lucy Smoke
Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles
The Lies We Tell by Becca Steele
Wreck & Ruin by Emma Slate
NovRuthless Stranger by Maggie Cole
Royal Line by Carrie Ann Ryan & Nana Malone
The Fall We Fell by Victoria Denault
Wicked Rule by KI Lynn
DecDevious Lies by Parker S. Huntington
Keeper by Harloe Rae
Saint & Sinner by Georgia LeCarre
Only One Night by Natasha Madison

Ring in the Holidays with Excerpts from Festive Reads by Bestselling Authors Rainbow Rowell, Suzanne Redfearn, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Chandler Baker

Ring in the Holidays with Excerpts from Festive Reads by Bestselling Authors Rainbow Rowell, Suzanne Redfearn, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Chandler Baker

Ring in the Holidays with Excerpts from Festive Reads by Bestselling Authors Rainbow Rowell, Suzanne Redfearn, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Chandler Baker

This winter, rejoice in a festival of entertaining new tales from Amazon Original Stories. Unwrap unique short reads by bestselling authors to keep your holiday season merry and bright. Visit www.amazon.com/holidaystories to browse a curated selection of stories—free for Prime Members and Kindle Unlimited Subscribers—and read on for excerpts from the titles by Rainbow Rowell, Suzanne Redfearn, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Chandler Baker.

***

After a long, lonely year, two people stumble toward each other in If the Fates Allow a holiday short story by Rainbow Rowell the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.

Reagan crept to the side to get a closer look. It looked like the deer had managed to snag its foot between two crossbars and a small tree that was growing right next to the fence.

Mason was still inching toward it, with his hands out.

“What are you doing?” Reagan asked again.

“I’m going to help it get free.”

“It’ll get itself free.”

“I don’t think it will. It’s wedged pretty good.”

The deer broke into frantic movement, struggling against the fence. “It’s going to injure itself,” Mason said.

“It’s going to injure you.”

This wasn’t a fawn or a hungry little doe; the deer was as long as Reagan was tall—it must have weighed two hundred pounds.

“Shhhh,” Mason was saying. Maybe to the deer, maybe to Reagan. He was crouching behind it, which seemed like the dumbest decision in the world.

Mason,” Reagan whispered.

“It’s all right,” he said, reaching for the trapped hoof. “Her other legs are on the other side of the fence.”

“I think that’s a buck.”

“She’s not a buck, look at her head.”

The deer struggled again. Mason froze. Reagan took another anxious step toward them.

When the deer stilled, Mason shot forward. He bent the tree back and grabbed the trapped hoof, lifting it free.

The deer pulled the leg forward—and in the same motion, kicked its other hind leg through the fence, catching Mason in the chest.

“Oof,” he said, falling backward.

The deer ran away, and Reagan ran to Mason. “Jesus Christ!” she shouted. “I told you!”

Mason was lying on his back in the snow. Reagan went down on her knees beside him. “Are you okay?” she asked, touching his arm.

His eyes were wide. “I’m fine,” he said. “Just surprised. Is she okay?”

“The deer?”

He nodded.

“She’s fine,” Reagan said. “She’ll live to spread ticks and disease, and destroy crops. Where’d she get you?”

He pointed to his shoulder.

“Can you move it?”

He rotated his shoulder. He was broader than he looked from a distance. Broad even under his coat. His neck was thick, and one of his ears was partly inverted, probably from an old injury. He had snow in his ears and his hair. His hair was much darker than Reagan’s, almost black.

“Did you hit your head?” she asked.      

“No. I think I’m okay.”

“That was so stupid, Mason—that could have been your face.”

“I think I’m okay,” he repeated. He lifted his head up out of the snow and pushed up onto his elbows.

Reagan moved away from him.

He stood up, so she stood up, too.

“That could have been your neck,” she said. “That was so stupid.”

“Okay,” he said, nodding. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

Reagan’s heart was still pounding. Mason looked worried. There was snow on his glasses, and his mask had fallen below his nose. He was holding her arm. “I’m sorry, okay? Are you hurt?”

“No,” Reagan said. “I’m just . . .”

Mason was holding her arm. He was standing right next to her.

Reagan made a fist in the suede collar of his coat and pulled herself closer to him.                  

His head dipped forward, more fiercely than she was expecting, to kiss her.

Read More About If the Fates Allow Here >>

***

From Suzanne Redfearn, the bestselling author of In an Instant, comes a heartfelt short story about one couple’s journey to discover if there really is a secret ingredient to happily ever after before their upcoming holiday wedding in The Marriage Test.

The server appears. “Something to drink with dinner?”

“Do you have a white burgundy?” I ask, feeling like something bright to match my mood.

The server points to the French section of the wine list.

“Oh,” I say, as the list is limited and pricey. “I only want a glass. I’ll just take a—”

“A bottle of the finest white burgundy you have,” Justin interrupts.

“Justin—”

He waves me off.

The server leaves, and I lean in to kiss him. “I love you.”

“For ordering a bottle of wine?”

“For ordering a bottle of wine to make me happy.”

I sit back again, and he returns his hand to my knee. “Good evening.”

I look up, and my breath catches. Standing a foot from our table is Annabelle Winters, my chef idol since college. She’s five feet tall with narrow shoulders and wide hips. Curls of wild black hair escape her white cap, flour dusts her black chef coat, and in her hands is a cutting board with a round loaf of bread.

“I understand tonight is a special occasion,” she says, a Mediterranean accent rounding the words. I tilt my head as Justin nods. “In my home country, we have a tradition: remarkable moments are celebrated by the breaking of bread. So, I made this loaf specially for you.” She sets the board on the table, wisps of steam spiraling from the golden, flaky crust. “This is pogača, the bread of my childhood and a symbol of love.”

With a small bow, she pivots away.

“That . . .that was . . .I can’t believe it . . .that was Annabelle Winters.”

Justin smiles wide, a proud grin that crinkles his cheeks. “You told her it was a special occasion?”

“It is,” he says. “We are together.”

I look at the loaf. “Wow. Pogača. My grandmother told me about this bread. It doesn’t use eggs or milk, and it’s cooked on a hearth over an open fire.”

“It’s still warm,” he says. “It must have just come out of the oven.”

I lift it to my face and inhale deeply, warm yeast and flour filling my nose. “Mmmm.” I hold it toward him.

He takes a breath, then leans back and nods. “Well, go on . . . break bread.”

Grinning like a kid at Christmas, I grip the edges and start to twist.

“Wait!” Justin yelps, stopping me, the loaf suspended.

He falls from his chair to the deck, my leg flopping from his lap along with his napkin.

I giggle. “What are you doing?”

“Okay,” he says, now kneeling on one knee. “Keep going.”

The people at the table behind us have stopped what they were doing and are now looking at us, and I notice Annabelle Winters beside the entrance watching as well. I look at the bread, then at Justin, then back again, and blood rushes to my face as I realize what is happening.

“Really?” I say.

He nods toward the bread.

Cheeks spread wide, I tear it in two, sending gold crumbs raining onto the tablecloth.

Poking from the steaming center is the corner of a stainless-steel cylinder.

I dig my fingers in to pry it loose and set it on the palm of my hand. An inch and a half tall and two inches in diameter, it’s engraved on top with two doves surrounded by a ring of leaves.

The woman behind us shifts for a better view.

Heart pounding, I prize off the lid. Sitting on a bed of white satin is a stunning sapphire ring, the center stone blue as the deepest ocean, a single diamond baguette on either side.

“Ava Nicole Barnes,” Justin says, his voice elevated for the audience, “keeper of my heart, guardian of my soul, and woman of my dreams, will you make me the happiest man on this earth and do me the great honor of becoming my wife?”

Read More About The Marriage Test Here >>

***

Not happy? No problem. Fake it. From New York Times bestselling author J. Courtney Sullivan comes the sharp witted short story, Model Home, about the reality of reality TV.

On the ninth take, things get heated between the husband, Todd, and his wife, Noreen.

He complains that this house only has three bedrooms, leaving no possibility for the man cave he was promised he’d get if they gave up their downtown Milwaukee loft for the suburbs. She seems flabbergasted that he can’t see the advantage of sacrificing that space for what is by far the biggest backyard of the three houses they’ve looked at.

Todd says in a tone that manages to sound both jokey and hostile, “If we buy this house, you can’t complain when I play my electric guitar in the living room. Have you thought of that?”

Noreen replies, “I’m only ever thinking of Colby and Mason.”

If you ask me, they both deserve an Oscar. The tension is palpable, even though everyone present knows they already bought this house seven months ago.

House Number One belongs to Todd’s cousin. It isn’t for sale. House Number Two is soon to be listed. The owner was happy to provide access, since being featured on our show, even as a reject, will sell the place in a minute.

I, the wise referee/realtor/designer, smile and say for what feels like the one trillionth time in my life, “Sounds like you two have a lot to discuss. Babe, let’s leave them to it.”

I wonder briefly if I’ll ever get to say these words again on camera, but I have to put the thought from my head.

I never call Damian babe in real life. Especially not now, but even back when I could stand him.

He doesn’t meet my eye. He’s staring into space, going out of his way to look disinterested. No one notices but me. Lately I think of my husband as a disappointment turducken: a lack of ambition wrapped in a beer gut wrapped in a statement tee designed for a much fitter man.

Read More About Model Home Here >>

***

Everyone is home for the holidays, clamoring for all the Christmas cheer only their mother can whip up. They can already smell the chestnuts roasting—or is that Mom’s hair on fire? From New York Times bestselling author Chandler Baker comes the laugh-out-loud short story, Oh. What. Fun.

During normal times, Mom loves to spend most of her day on the phone with one of us or the other. As soon as she hangs up with Channing, she’ll call Sammy; as soon as she’s done with Sammy, Tyler will call; and then she starts the whole process again. Not that we’d ever say this out loud, but we’re in the thick of our lives, so we’re busy with dating and kids and friends getting married and pregnant and such, and, well, Mom’s stories are kind of dull. Though obviously, in retrospect, this is an instance when we should have paid better attention.

Unlike Mom, Channing never complains about anything and so she didn’t make a big deal of it when Mom, again, forty-five minutes after the agreed-upon time, took over the kids, leading them on a special explorer hunt to find Canelo the Elf.

Mom is wild about that Elf on the Shelf. Canelo joined us three Christmases ago. The twins are in a Spanish- immersion program, hence the name, and Channing and Doug explained to us that if Canelo started the month of December at their house, he’d need to travel for the time spent at Grandpa and Grandma’s. It only made sense. So the trick is there are actually two Canelos. Mom bought a body double so Channing could leave hers safely at home. Canelo’s antics are one of those things we all tease her about: Somebody has too much time on her hands. But the truth is, we do kind of get a kick out of him.

Mom keeps the Elf ’s next move top secret from everyone, even Dad. Last year, Canelo relaxed in a Crockpot Jacuzzi filled with marshmallows; then he stole all of our toilet paper to build snowmen and rode a zip line down the stairs. This year was off to an impressive start as the twins took binoculars and donned safari hats to track down Canelo, who was wearing camouflage in one of the old oak trees. But we guess we’ll never know what else Canelo had in store, because Canelo hasn’t moved in two days. His painted, unblinking eyes stare at us from his perch, and none of us have been able to work out yet how it is we should explain this to the twins.

We think at some point during the Canelo expedition Sammy pulled up and plopped down on the couch, probably with his shoes still on, and started messing around on his phone. Every group of siblings has a “one,” and Sammy, for us, is the Boring One, mainly because he’s twenty-five and always on his phone. Also he just broke up with his girlfriend (see: always on phone), and yet when we tasked him with one very simple to-do—break into Mom’s phone—well all the sudden he apparently “didn’t know anything about phones.”

Sammy didn’t see anything or hear anything or smell anything unusual, but as we’ve already pointed out, this can’t be taken as gospel since he was preoccupied texting back and forth with his ex.

Sammy

do you know what kind of laundry detergent you used to use on our clothes? Bc mine smell all weird now.

Mae-Bell                                              

It’s the fabric softener. Downy infusions. Scent: Romantic.                                                         

Later, we passed around the conversation to weigh in by committee on whether she meant anything by it. We even consulted the Downy website while Mom handed out homemade eggnog because none of us care for the store bought, and there we learned that the Romantic scent carries “sensual aromas of delicate floral, white tea, and peony,” and at least half of us found it difficult to overlook a smoking gun like “sensual” right there as the subtext.

After dinner, Mom asked Channing if she’d mind watching the twins for a few minutes while she cleaned the kitchen, and we all took bets on whether Sammy and Mae-Bell would be back together by spring. The holidays can be hard on people, you know. Everyone except for Mom anyway, who just loves an excuse to corral us all together under one roof. Nothing makes her more upset than a year when she has to share Channing and the twins with Doug’s family. This year, Doug’s family was indisposed because they were up in Vermont visiting Doug’s aunt, but they probably could have been in the ICU and Mom would have been just as happy as long as the result was having Channing and the girls all to herself. Not to be alarmist, but of all the years to up and vanish, you just wouldn’t expect it to be one where Channing was set to be home the whole time.

Read More About Oh. What. Fun. Here >>

***

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Release Blitz with Review: Indigo Ridge by Devney Perry

Release Blitz with Review: Indigo Ridge by Devney Perry

Indigo Ridge by Devney Perry is now live!

From USA Today Bestselling Author Devney Perry comes a small town, enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance.

Winslow Covington believes in life, liberty and the letter of the law. As Quincy, Montana’s new chief of police, she’s determined to prove herself to the community and show them she didn’t earn her position because her grandfather is the mayor.

According to her pops, all she has to do is earn favor with the Edens. But winning over the town’s founding family might have been easier if not for her one-night stand with their oldest son. In her defense, it was her first night in town and she didn’t realize that the rugged and charming man who wooed her into bed was Quincy royalty.

Sleeping with Griffin Eden was a huge mistake, one she’s trying to forget. He’s insufferable, arrogant and keeps reminding everyone that she’s an outsider. Winslow does her best to avoid Griffin, but when a woman is found dead on Eden property, the two of them have no choice but to cross paths.

As clues to the murderer lead to one of Quincy’s own, Griffin realizes Winslow is more than he gave her credit for. Beautiful and intelligent, she proves hard to resist. For him. And the killer. 

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Narrated by: Vanessa Edwin & Jason Clarke

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3hbPdCe

My Review

“One morning spent in a rocking chair, and the world had shifted. Like going for a ride and veering off the main path to get a look from a different angle, and then discovering that the trail you’d been on was lacking in every way imaginable.”

“…Sank in with her. Deeper and deeper. She pulled. I followed.”

“I don’t think I could quit you if I tried.”

I loved, loved, loved this book!! What an amazing start to the Edens Series! Winslow and Griffin had me hooked from page one and left me hanging on each and every word…

Indigo Ridge is the first book in The Edens Series and it follows the story of Winslow and Griffin. When we first meet up with Winslow, she’s new in town and is determined to make a name for herself, win over her co-workers, and the town’s founding family, the Edens….The last thing Griffin has time for is the newest resident in Quincy. Every chance he gets, he reminds Winslow that she’s an outsider. Winslow does her best to stay away from Griffin, but fate had other plans for these two…

Winslow was one tough cookie! Life hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park for her and she dealt with everything life threw at her with an unimaginable grace. She is the type of person who never gives up, listens to her gut, and always sticks to her guns. And then we have Griffin. Griffin loves his family and loves his community. He’s not a fan of newcomers and can be a jerk when you don’t really know him. There is more to Griffin than meets the eye and he is definitely an unforgettable book boyfriend.

I loved the romance between Griffin and Winslow. The moment these two were around each other, you just knew that one night was never going to be enough. Their chemistry was off the charts and just oozed off the pages. I loved the way their relationship just flowed. It was an incredible slow burn that just left you aching for more. Ugh! I just couldn’t get enough of these two together.

If the incredible romance wasn’t enough to keep you glued to the pages, Devney Perry threw in a mystery that will keep readers guessing. I loved trying to figure out what was going on and putting all of the clues together. I had my suspicions and was pleasantly surprised when it all came together in the end.

Indigo Ridge hit all the marks for this reader. Indigo Ridge is a captivating and entertaining read. It’s well written and will easily consume all your thoughts. If you’re like me, you won’t be able to put this book down. I personally devoured it in just a few short hours. Indigo Ridge is the perfect blend of romance, drama, and suspense. I loved all the small-town feels and enemies to lovers vibe. I loved the danger and I loved that this author kept me on my toes. Honestly, I loved every moment of this story and can not wait to dive further into this series!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Meet Devney

Devney is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in Washington with her husband and two sons. Born and raised in Montana, she loves writing books set in her treasured home state. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her family. Writing one book, let alone many, was not something she ever expected to do. But now that she’s discovered her true passion for writing romance, she has no plans to ever stop.

Connect with Devney

Website: www.devneyperry.com

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kncXnb.

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Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/devneyperrybooks

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/324585607979213/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/devneyperry

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/devneyperry

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2v1Hr7t

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/devneyperry

Review: A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer Armentrout

Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, a Maiden as the Fates promised, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.   

However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania—she’s not the well protected Maiden but an assassin with one mission—one target. Make the Primal of Death fall in love, become his weakness, and then…end him. If she fails, she dooms her kingdom to a slow demise at the hands of the Rot. 

Sera has always known what she is. Chosen. Consort. Assassin. Weapon. A specter never fully formed yet drenched in blood. A monster. Until him. Until the Primal of Death’s unexpected words and deeds chase away the darkness gathering inside her. And his seductive touch ignites a passion she’s never allowed herself to feel and cannot feel for him. But Sera has never had a choice. Either way, her life is forfeit—it always has been, as she has been forever touched by Life and Death.

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MY REVIEW

Sera’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold a desperate deal her ancestors struck, Sera must become the consort to the Primal of Death. She may not be a well protected Maiden, but rather an assassin with one important mission. Make the Primal of Death fall in love with her, become his ultimate weakness, and end him. If she fails her mission, her kingdom will be doomed…

When we first meet up with Sera, we discover that she’s never been treated like a member of the family. She’s just a means to an end that had no choice but to fulfil her destiny. Nothing she did was ever good enough and when things don’t go as planned, life gets progressively worse for Sera. That is until a mysterious man enters her life. Immediately drawn to one another, their explosive chemistry will leave readers dying for more.

Sera is one awesome heroine. She takes no prisoners and isn’t a damsel in distress. She’s loyal to a fault and while trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes, she’s doing the best she can with all that life has thrown at her. Then we have Nyktos AKA the Primal of Death AKA Ash. Not only is he a God, but he plays a pretty heavy roll in Sera’s destiny. He is one tough character with the alpha tendencies we’ve come to know and love from this author. Together these two have terrific banter and a slow burning romance. And if you follow my reviews regularly, you’ll know that I’m not the biggest fan of slow burns, but JLA, sure made it work with this book.

A Shadow in the Ember is an intriguing read from beginning to end. With addictive writing and a compelling storyline, A Shadow in the Ember will keep readers on the edge of their seat and keep them guessing the entire time. This story has wonderful characters that pull you into their story instantly and leave you desperate to learn more. There’s romance, intrigue, and fate. There’s lots of world building and questions for the reader. There’s a ton of action and betrayal lurking around the corner. I loved all the twists and turns. It seemed like there were a ton of surprises just lurking around the corner. And just when I thought I had a handle on things, the carpet was pulled out from under me and I was left with one thrilling cliffhanger.

A Shadow in the Ember is an excellent companion novel to the Blood and Ash Series. This story left me spellbound and utterly captivated. I have a ton of questions and can not wait to find out all of the answers. JLA has pulled out all of the stops with this book. And in the end, all I can say is “Hold on readers! You are in for one heck of a ride.”

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.*

Release Blitz for The Valentine Suite by Tracy Broemmer

Posted on
Release Blitz for The Valentine Suite by Tracy Broemmer

Grief drove Alys and Fletcher apart. Their son’s destination wedding and the double-booked Valentine Suite bring them back together. Will their stay in the Valentine Suite heal their broken hearts or drive them further apart?

Readers who enjoy Marci Bolden and Kristin Hannah, will love The Valentine Suite by Tracy Broemmer, an emotional and healing, women’s fiction novel.

Blurb

Grief pulls some families together and rips others—like the Hollands—apart. Two years have passed since Alys and Fletcher Holland lost two of their children in a fatal accident. But time has done nothing for Alys’ broken heart.

Her surviving son’s destination wedding means a reunion for Alys and Fletch, who divorced shortly after the accident. Alys intends to keep to herself for the wedding festivities and hustle back home to her quiet, sterile life when the big day is over.

When the double-booked Valentine Suite at the Kahalina Resort puts Alys and Fletch in close quarters, Alys soon finds it’s difficult to ignore the man she fell in love with over twenty-five years ago. Fletch frustrates her, but he protects her, too, acting as a buffer between her and the rest of his family and their son’s wedding guests.

Will their stay in the Valentine Suite drive them further apart and send them home as strangers or will their time together in the suite mend their broken hearts and put their family back together?

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Excerpt

Copyright 2021 Tracy Broemmer

Alys Holland rested her head on the lounge chair and closed her eyes only to open them immediately. She’d only just arrived in Palos Verdes earlier in the evening—after a four-hour flight, a thirty-four-minute wait at the rental car counter, and a quick stop at a liquor store in Redondo Beach. The next two weeks that stretched out before her beckoned, invited relaxation, respite,  healing. The trouble with that being that she would need to tear the scars away and dig into the pain to heal completely.


She wasn’t willing to do that. Not for Iva. Not for Fletch or Claire.


Not even for Ledger.


Still, her chest felt squeezed, painfully so. Gasping to breathe, Alys leaned forward, coughing hard at the tightening sensation. Shoulder and neck pain were sometimes symptoms of a heart attack in women; she had read somewhere that coughing could save someone suffering a heart attack until help arrived.


She wasn’t having a heart attack, though. If Iva were here, she would tell her that. She would roll her blue eyes and laugh at Alys, though usually Alys laughed, too, and laughing together took the sting out of Iva’s words.


No heart attack, though at her lowest points—and there had been so many now—she would have welcomed it. Death, sure. If there was a God, Alys would have died two years ago. The fact that she hadn’t, that she still woke in a comfortable bed every day, was why she quit believing. She would take death, gladly, and she would take the horrible pain and die in the most horrible way possible.


If only.


She heard music in the distance. Someone trying to sing an old Foreigner song, though the voice most definitely did not belong to Lou Gramm. Was it still the same band who had played at the bar two years ago?


The bar—Howie’s, no use pretending she didn’t remember the name—was just north of the main hotel where she was now. Where she and Fletch had stayed then. Still part of the resort campus, it was a family friendly bar and grill, and when they had wandered there, hand in hand one night, there was a summer festival going on. Perfect for enjoying live music and cold beer while you waited for a table.


She and Fletch had grabbed a beer—Fletch was into weird IPAs at the time and he had ordered a Firestone Walker Mind Haze, while teasing her about her simple, safe lager—and wandered over to the fence to watch the sunset bleed dark purple and a deep, flushed pink over the ocean, already black with night.


Alys thought the music was mediocre, but mostly, she remembered that incredible sunset and the feel of Fletch’s warm, solid body at her side.


She sipped from her thick glass tumbler. The glasses—everything—here was nicer than her own personal belongings. Which was saying something, because she and Fletch had done well together, and they had amassed a lot of nice things.


Lost some, too.

About Tracy Broemmer

Tracy is the author of the women’s fiction series, the Williams Legacy, and several stand-alone women’s fiction novels. She has recently dabbled in contemporary romance, as well.

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