Like Reviews by Crystal On Facebook

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#GiveAway #Review - To Have and to Hold By Lauren Layne

To Have and to Hold
The Wedding Belles, Volume 1
By Lauren Layne

About TO HAVE AND TO HOLD:

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in Lauren Layne’s sizzling brand-new contemporary romance series The Wedding Belles, about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true but their own. Leading us down the aisle with the first in the series, To Have and to Hold, Lauren Layne will rouse summer lists with a reception line of great reading as she “produces winner after winner” (Fiction Vixen).

She’s going after a second chance at life…

Discovering her fiancé is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin’s business—and breaks her heart. Brooke thinks she’s found a fresh start in NYC with the Belles and her first bridal client, a sweet hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings.

But will she miss out on another shot at love?

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya’s wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving that Maya’s fiancé is a liar. Standing in his way is the stunning blond wedding planner who’s hell-bent on a comeback mission—and who both irritates and arouses him. Can he persuade her to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning…is theirs?

To Have and to Hold will have readers engaged from the start, and wedded to the idea of a summer and fall season filled with Wedding Belles! 

Pocket Books
July 26, 2016
ISBN 9781501135132
$5.99

Amazon Buy Link

Review: 

To Have and to Hold is the first chance I have had to read Lauren Layne's work. Let me tell you it will not be my last. Ms. Layne had me captivated by the middle of page one and I was completely engrossed until the end. There is a touch of  intrigue, romance, family, friends, awesome co-workers, and just that nice little bit of friction that makes for a perfect story.

Brooke Baldwin has been through an extremely embarrassing event and has moved to New York to start a new life. She's hired by the Wedding Belles as a wedding planner. I enjoyed how the Belles work together and quickly form a friendship with Brooke. She fits in with her new co-workers right away.  Her first wedding is for Maya Tyler. Brooke and Maya get along just fine and seem to form a nice friendship. Then there is Seth, Maya's brother. The instant attraction between Brooke and Seth is sizzling hot. I admired Brooke for picking up and moving on. She's strong, independent, sweet and caring with just the right amount of sass to stand up for what she believes in. 

Seth wants nothing to do with marriage. He's been burned in the past and really just wants to concentrate on running the family business. He's a hard core business man set and determined that likes things to run smoothly. His little sister announcing she is getting married throw one major kink into Seth's well run plan. He will do anything and everything it takes to make sure that his sister is happy and safe. When She meets "the wedding planner" his mind wonders to places it hasn't been in a while. I really did like Seth. There was a time or two I might have wanted to tell him to get his act together where the women in his life were concerned. I could see his point in doing everything in his power to protect them. 

I really enjoyed the whole story. I enjoyed watching Brooke and Seth push each other's buttons. One minute their butting heads and in the next their smoldering hot attraction is winning out. 

Maya is a sweet girl that just wants her wedding to be perfect. She is ready for that happily ever after. She also has a touch of her brother's temper and there is one scene that I just loved. She knows how to "sweetly" put someone in their place. She's also a little mischeiveous. 

I don't want to tell you too much about the intrigue and secrets. I will say that I could not wait to see just what was going to happen next and was surprised but felt the lead up to the secrets revealed. 

I can not wait to see what Ms. Layne has in store for us in the next Wedding Belle's book. I know I will be impatiently awaiting the release of For Better or Worse. I am sure it will be an awesome. 

I was given the opportunity to read and review this scrumptious story so that I may share my thoughts with you. As always it has been my great pleasure to share my thoughts with you on To Have and to Hold.

Amazon Buy Link


What others are saying about The Wedding Belles Series:

“This engaging tale has a light, fun style…enough teases are given about the other “Wedding Belles” to create genuine interest in where their stories lead.”
Publishers Weekly (To Have and to Hold)

“There are family and friends, coworkers, people that aren’t as they seem, wedding information galore, dinners, drinks, chocolate, fear, anger, hurt, sadness, secrets, lies, deceit, tears, laughter, happiness, romance, loving and love.  There is nice closure…This is only the second book of Layne’s that I have read.  I look forward to reading the next two books in the series, FOR BETTER OR WORSE and TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH.  There was an excerpt from book two FOR BETTER OR WORSE, at the back of the book that just whet my appetite for more.  I look forward to seeing what the Wedding Belles will be up to next!”
—Romance Junkies (To Have and to Hold)

“Layne packs as much into this sexually charged and emotionally intense novella (an introduction to her upcoming Wedding Belles series) as most authors do in a full novel…The heat between [Leah & Jason] is enough to melt steel, and the emotional connection and psychological struggles will keep readers engaged.”

Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW (From This Day Forward)


“[From This Day Forward] is trope-nip to me. Weddings/wedding planners, check. Second chances, check. Sassy heroine, check…As this book is the prequel to the forthcoming Wedding Belles, I cannot wait to get all of their stories!...From This Day Forward is 100% recommended for anyone who likes stories about weddings, stories about people who are a really good at their jobs, relationships that are a tad explosive both in and out of bed, and introductions to new tribes of characters to get to know over the next few books.”
—Fresh Fiction “Fresh Pick” (From This Day Forward)

From This Day Forward  is a delightful book. Now I can't wait for the other ones in this series…Lauren Layne hit it right on the nose on what goes on behind the scenes…Can Jason and Leah see wedding bells in their future? We can only hope and wait for the next book in the “Wedding Belles” series. From This Day Forward was a great kick-off to the series.”
—Fresh Fiction (From This Day Forward)


About LAUREN LAYNE:

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sex, Love, and Stiletto contemporary romances and the all-new Pocket Books series The Wedding Belles. She lives in New York with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. Visit laurenlayne.com, meet the author on Facebook at LaurenLayneAuthor, or follow her on Twitter @_LaurenLayne.




BOUQUET GIVEAWAY:

We are excited to do a Wedding Belles Bouquet Giveaway to celebrate the publication of the first in the series, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD. The Wedding Belles Bouquet will include To Have and to Hold (7/26), For Better or Worse(8/30), and To Love and to Cherish (10/18). You can visit all sites on the Bouquet Giveaway Tour to enter to win–but keep in mind you can only win once! U.S. only. Each winner will receive one copy of each book during the week of its publication date.

Sunday, July 24th

Monday, July 25th

Tuesday, July 26th

Wednesday, July 27th

Thursday, July 28th

Friday, July 29th

#GiveAway - Lavender in Bloom By Lily Velez




Lavender in Bloom 
By Lily Velez


It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France…
Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.
Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.
Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.
Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.
Publication date: July 25th 2016Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult 

EXCERPT:
“I think of you almost every moment, Noah. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. I am utterly tormented by these things I feel for you.”
It was as if lightning had struck Noah. He was paralyzed by the admission, stricken silent, and at his core, an inferno devoured him. Its heat filled his veins, spread from ligament to ligament, muscle to muscle. Jeremie had once read aloud a poem regarding a phoenix making its nest in a person’s bosom. Noah felt the phoenix now, felt her awakening, shifting, extending her wings and beating them powerfully so that he was left breathless, but no more breathless than by what Jeremie did next.
Jeremie came to him at once, erasing the last of the distance between them, and this time, Noah didn’t back away. The thin gap of space between their bodies sweltered. Still, Noah didn’t move. He didn’t move as Jeremie cupped Noah’s elbows, fingers grasping at bone. He didn’t move as Jeremie pulled him nearer. He didn’t even move when their faces were close enough for him to feel Jeremie’s warm breath against his mouth.
“Tell me you feel the same,” Jeremie whispered. It sounded like a prayer. His head was bowed slightly to be at level with Noah’s.
There was a pull in Noah’s stomach, an unfamiliar desire growing heavier. He was close enough now to see the velvet trimming on the collar of Jeremie’s coat, the paisley design of the white ascot at his neck. Jeremie’s lips lingered before his own, daring, eager, ravenous. It would’ve been effortless to give in, to lean his body into Jeremie’s, to be overtaken by the fever consuming him. He wanted to. Of that much he was certain, and it shocked him like nothing else ever had.
Tell me you feel the same, Jeremie had whispered.
And Noah, still fighting a war he hadn’t even known had begun long ago, had thought to, had nearly conceded to it. But then he saw an image of Jeremie’s father, cold and cruel, bringing his own son to ruins, and in the end, he couldn’t. He wouldn’t. For Jeremie’s sake, he couldn’t fall.
Firm in his resolve, he drew up his strength and stepped back out of Jeremie’s hold. The moment he did, the phoenix extinguished herself.
Tell me you feel the same.
Noah met his eyes, forcefully, meaningfully. “I don’t.”


Author Bio:
Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the 'real world' (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she's not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn't participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at www.lilyvelezbooks.com.

XBTBanner1

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#GiveAway #ReleaseDayBlitz - NACHO FIGURERAS PRESENTS: RIDE FREE by Jessica Whitman

NACHO FIGURERAS PRESENTS: 
RIDE FREE 
The Polo Season Series #3
by Jessica Whitman


World-renowned polo player and global face of Ralph Lauren, Nacho Figueras dives into the world of scandal and seduction with a new fiction series set in the glamorous, treacherous world of high-stakes polo competition.

Antonia Black has always known her place with the Del Campo family-a bastard daughter. And it will take a lot more than her skill with horses to truly belong within the wealthy polo dynasty. In fact, she's been shuttled around so much in her life, she doesn't even know what "home" means. Until one man shows her exactly how it feels to be safe, to be free, to be loved.

Enzo Rivas knows Noni is way out of his league. After all, he's the stablemaster, and she's the boss's sister. But he can't see the hurt in her eyes and not want to protect her. And he can no longer deny the electric tension jumping between them. Yet just when he's ready to risk it all and change their relationship forever, a secret from her past makes him question everything he thought he knew about her…


(July 26, 2016; Forever Trade Paperback, Mass Market, eBook; )


Buy the Book
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google | Kobo | IndieBound  

Excerpt: 
When Sunny started crow-hopping, Enzo Rivas didn’t worry. The big mare had always been hot, and it wasn’t out of character for her to occasionally get a little bored and try to test her rider.

But when Sunny started to buck, Enzo knew something was seriously wrong.

The pony threw her head down, kicked out her legs, and whinnied fearfully, almost sending Enzo out of the saddle. He pressed his knees against the saddle, grabbed the reins, and battled to pull her head back up. She fought him, flinging her head down again and heaving her back legs into the air.

For a moment, he thought he was going to be thrown, and his body automatically tensed, preparing to hit the ground, hard.

It wouldn’t have been the first time Enzo lost his seat to an unruly horse. It was part of his job, after all. Nobody trained horses and didn’t occasionally get thrown. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t fight it.

Sunny came back down onto all four legs again, and Enzo, sensing a split second of opportunity, yanked the reins sharply to the right, forcing the pony’s head so far over that her nose touched his knee. She screamed in outrage and spun in a circle, but she was powerless to kick her hind legs from this position.

Enzo kept her in that stance, letting her spin as many times as she wanted, speaking to her softly in Spanish, until he could feel her temper start to ebb and her muscles soften, one by one, under him.

He relaxed the reins and let the pony’s head back up. As they cantered forward, he noticed a large, bald-faced hornet floating away from them.

“Ah. Poor girl,” he said, “you got stung.”

Sunny snorted complacently as if in agreement, then reared up, threw Enzo backward into the grass, and bolted, riderless, down the pitch.

Enzo lay there for a moment, the breath knocked out of him, staring at the cloudless Florida sky. It had not been a bad fall, as falls went, and he knew that once he could breathe again, he’d be fine. But he was also pissed, and he knew it would be better to get his temper under control before he chased down the errant horse. It never helped to be mad when dealing with ponies.

“Rivas?” came a distant voice that made him close his eyes and smile ruefully. Of course she would find him like this.

“Enzo, are you okay?”

She was closer.

He struggled to a sitting position, still a little winded but determined not to be on his back when she reached him.

“I’m fine,” he said, and then almost fell over again, he was so dizzy. Damn that horse. He bent his head to his knees and closed his eyes.

“You don’t look fine. You look like you got knocked on your ass.”

He slowly turned his gaze up toward Antonia Black and felt his heart speed up in a way that had nothing to do with his fall.

It was getting worse. He could hardly look at her anymore without being filled with an almost paralyzing ache of attraction.

She reached out her hand, her dark eyes twinkling with amusement, and after a beat of hesitation, he took it and let her help him to his feet.

For a moment after he stood, he let his hand linger in hers, allowing himself the luxury of feeling the tingling heat that seemed to generate from her skin into his. But then he dropped it, remembering the runaway horse.

“Did you see where Sunny went?” he asked.

She laughed. “She pranced right into the barn. I’m sure one of the grooms has her by now.”

He nodded and winced, already sore from the fall. “She got stung,” he said.

“Oh,” said Noni, “I know. I saw the whole thing.”

He smiled and rubbed his neck. “Hot horse,” he said ruefully.

She smiled back. He felt his chest squeeze in response. “Hot horse,” she agreed. She looked him over. “You sure you’re all right?”

He nodded. “I’ll probably be sore, but nothing is broken.”

“Good,” she said.

They gazed at each other for a moment.

“Are you going to Hendy’s party tonight?” he finally said, needing to break the tension.

Her mood suddenly changed. She frowned, and a red flush touched the creamy skin of her cheeks and chest. “Yeah, I guess,” she said in an abrupt tone. “Anyway, if you’re really okay, I’m going to head on home.” She quickly turned to go. “I’ll see you at the party.”

He watched Antonia walk away, heading for her truck. He had the impulse to call out, stop her, ask her what was wrong. But before he could act, Noni swung up into her truck, her platinum blond hair streaming behind her, slammed the door with a bang, and was gone in a cloud of dust.

He clenched and unclenched his fist, reminding himself that every time she slipped away, it was better for both of them. Less complicated, safer.

Nothing good, he reminded himself sternly for the ten millionth time as he started back toward the barn, could come from anything happening between us.

She is my boss’s sister. She is a Del Campo. I would only end up hurting her.

The words were his litany, but lately they were starting to lose their power.

He shook his head. Being stern with himself wasn’t working anymore. He could feel that he was starting to weaken. Being around her at work, being her friend and confidant, without ever hinting at his real feelings, had begun to exhaust him.

It was a part he knew he could not play much longer. All his good reasons for keeping his distance, all the rules of the barn and vows to himself that he had clung to over the years had started to feel weightless compared to his growing feelings for this woman. The many times he had repeated to himself that it was unprofessional, that he wasn’t fit to be in a relationship, that he didn’t deserve her, that she was too fragile… it was all beginning to feel as insubstantial as a fairy story. A cautionary tale he’d heard as a child, meant to keep him away from gingerbread houses and wolves in the woods.

Because she was different these days. She was stronger and happier and more stable. And her happiness made her all the more irresistible.

And maybe, he thought, I’m different, too…

He turned back around at the barn door, watching the lingering trail of dust that her old blue truck had left behind. He thought of a moment in the barn earlier that day, when he had held the head of a pony for her while she bent over its hind leg, hammering in a new shoe. For just the quickest second, she had looked up and met his eyes, and a devilish smile had danced over her mouth. It had been the kind of carefree grin he would never have imagined on her face when he had first come to know her. It seemed to prove that she was finally mended. Certainly, she was a changed woman from the one he’d met all those years ago.


About Nacho Figueras:

Argentine polo player Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras has become one of the most recognizable and talented polo players in the world.  He is currently the captain and co-owner of the Black Watch polo team.  In addition to playing polo, Nacho has been featured as a face of Ralph Lauren and its Black Watch clothing and watch collection since 2000. In June 2009, he was voted the second most handsome man in the world by the readers of Vanity Fair and has appeared on numerous television shows, such as Oprah and Chelsea Handler. Nacho currently splits his time between Miami and Argentina with his wife, Delfina and their four children, Hilario, Aurora, Artemio, and Alba.


Social Media Links:
Twitter @nachofigueras
Instagram @nachofigueras
Facebook.com/NachoFigueras
Add Ride Free to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/22PzatA

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#GiveAway - Night Magic by Kathleen Ann Gallagher



Night Magic 
Moonlight & Jasmine Series Book 1
by Kathleen Ann Gallagher

Kathleen will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

BLURB:

Krista Winter is in need of legal counsel. Several years ago she was forced to flee her life as a teacher in New Jersey after being shunned for practicing witchcraft, and her past is about to catch up with her.

Jon Bartolo is a dedicated attorney. His days are spent helping his clients with their struggles, and his nights are spent in agony, lost in a world between life and death. His mother, who died three years ago, lurks in his house, suffering from a curse for eternity, without a final resting place.

A smoldering fire ignites between Jon and Krista almost immediately, however, he’s sure his secret would frighten any woman away. An afternoon escape brings them closer, but doubts linger between the love-struck couple.

Burning questions about how to fuse their futures together with so much of their past still clouding the future becomes a heavy burden that they’re both trying to bear on their own. It will take a touch of magic if there’s any hope in sight.


GENRE: Contemporary Paranormal Romance

DISCOUNTED RELEASE PRICE OF 99 CENTS - * OFFER VALID ONLY FOR A LIMITED TIME *


 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
EXCERPT:
  
Steadying herself, Krista stared into his eyes with her heart racing. As Jon moved in again and plunged his tongue deep into her mouth, he caressed her back, and she surrendered mercifully to his touch. Each passion-filled kiss felt as if he was a long lost lover who had reappeared and claimed her heart’s desire. There was no telling what might happen next. Her whole body relaxed as he nuzzled her ear, teasing her with playful nips at her neck. All rules had been broken, but it didn’t matter. His hard shaft rubbed up against her, and she swayed back and forth, unable to break away from temptation. Jon’s breathing sped up as his hands traveled up and down her back. She quietly moaned, lost in another world. Every movement brought her one step closer. Was she lonely enough to have sex with a man she’d just met? Each kiss weakened her guard. Maybe it was fate. As his hand trailed across her back, her body rocked with his. Each flicker of his tongue along the sides of her mouth was electrifying, as if he wanted to devour her, and she found herself in a trance-like state. This was what she’d been missing. Running her hand across his firm bicep, the room spun. The warmth of his body was raising her level of arousal. Here, in the middle of his office, she experienced a passion like no other. Everything seemed right. Lust took control of her senses, and she let herself go with it. With each kiss, he cradled her in his arms, his embrace warm and protective like a warrior of love. How did this happen? Had she found the man she was destined for, or was it all a dream?

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Kathleen writes contemporary and paranormal romance in her home in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and their two fur babies, Luc and Chaz. She spent years working as a registered nurse in an emergency room. She is also active in Community Theater. She has three children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might find Kathleen on a beach down the Jersey Shore, wearing a straw hat and sipping on an iced tea as she plots her next romance novel.

You can find Kathleen at the following places:

Monday, July 25, 2016

#CoverReveal - Second Chance By Suzi Macdonald


Second Chance
By Suzi Macdonald

Release Date: October 17, 2016


Blurb: 
Teige Adams fell for the dazzling Zani Fairmichael in high school, but Zani was far too sophisticated to fall for a tall, geeky misfit like Teige. Twenty years later, he is a successful photographer with a string of glamorous ex-girlfriends behind him, and Zani has become plain Allie Brown, the mother of demanding teenage twins.

When Teige discovers that Allie has separated from her husband and is moving back to their hometown, he is determined to try for a second chance at the girl he never had. But Allie, on the rebound from a difficult marriage, isn’t certain what (or who) she wants. And Teige’s slightly unhinged ex-fiancée and Allie’s soon-to-be-ex-husband have their own ideas about who Teige and Allie should be with. And then there is Katie, who is certain that Teige is The One for her.

Will Teige finally win Allie’s heart – or is it too late for a second chance?

Contemporary Romance

About the author:
 
Suzi Macdonald can’t remember a time when she wasn’t lost in fiction. She wrote her first full length novel by hand when she was twelve years old and she has been striving to live up to it ever since. She lives in a village in Scotland with her partner, their two children and a rather silly dog. When she isn’t writing she spends her time reading, walking and project managing.

#SALE Only $.99 - Flash Fire By Dana Marton


Inline image

Flash Fire
By Dana Marton

Inline image NY Times bestselling author Dana Marton is excited to announce that FLASH FIRE (A Navy SEAL Romance), the 2016 RITA Winner for Romantic Suspense, will be on sale for just $0.99 for one week.  Normally priced at $3.99, it will be just $0.99 from 7/25/16 - 7/31/16.  Readers and reviewers love this award winning international romantic suspense thriller!


FLASHFIRE (A Navy SEAL Romance) Blurb:
Former SEAL turned lawless mercenary Light Walker just wants to be left alone to avenge his brother's death. He wants nothing to do with Clara Roberts, a by-the-book investigator on a secret mission, who is trying to talk (cough) badger (cough) him into helping her recover an American teenager who'd disappeared abroad. Clara Roberts isn't crazy about the uneasy partnership either. How can tequila-swilling Walker be her best option? And, dear Lord, the things that come out of that man's mouth! 
Soon the sparks they generate--and the trouble they stir up--threaten to set the jungle ablaze. But as attraction grows into love, looming danger turns into all-out war. Clara and Walker must hold on to each other and race against time to survive. Fast-paced, heart pounding, laugh-out-loud funny. Get ready for a wild adventure!

***Note from Crystal: Read my review here

And be sure to enter the great contest on her website

A VERY STYLISH RAFFLE

(Hey, just because I sit around all day in yoga pants, writing, it doesn't mean I don't know style!)

Enter to win these fabulous British phone booth bookends, a Kate Spade pencil bag with goodies inside, and a signed copy of FLASH FIRE, my 2016 RITA Award Winning novel. Super easy one click entry right here. No hoops to jump through. GOOD LUCK!!!

Raffle ends on August 1st, 2016.
Inline image