“A Hallmark-type romance with a twist of ancient magic!”
What if what you wanted got in the way of your destiny?
French MBA grad Lili Grenault needs to succeed at her last pitch meeting to fund her international green tech business. But her grandmother tells her to drop everything, find her one true love, and embrace her magical legacy by Beltane, in one week, or chaos and failure in her life will ensue.
San Francisco investor Brett Barnaby wants to find his great-grandfather’s gravesite in Amiens, France, one of the primary battle sites of World War I. Family legend says that purpose, greater mission, and perhaps even untold riches, will be unlocked when he finds that grave. But his search in Amiens brings up fear, anger, and dire warnings about some wild Green Man. He turns to local Lily Grenault for help.
Can these two independent freethinkers work together to prevent chaos from triumphing and find love in time in the labyrinth of roses?
***A short novel. This is a novella of approximately 20,000 words.***
A stand-alone novella, this story is also the fourth in the series, A Magical Tales of Romance and Adventure.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Oh my word, I love Labyrinth of Love and Rose’scover! I don’t know who the male model is, but his eyes are stunning, and the overall look he’s giving the camera is perfection. Even the font and coloring were spot on!
As for the story itself, I didn’t feel a connection to Brett and Lili. While their story was fascinating, I wasn’t drawn in like other novellas by the same author. The Wild Man was a captivating character. I envisioned a cross between Swamp Thing and Poseidon. Who couldn’t love meddling Gra-mere?! She made me smile.
I agree with Lili, the heroine, things felt rushed. However, there were plenty of elements I think readers will enjoy. As usual, Beth writes about uncommon plots that revolve around a unique line of characters.
Heart Rating System: 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) Score: ❤❤❤
Administrative assistant by day and boss lady on social media by night, Theresa enjoys sharing her charmed life with half-million followers. The only thing she loves more is being engaged to the hottest doctor at the clinic where they both work. Cementing her fame by reaching one million followers would be the icing on her wedding cake.
Life stops running smoothly when her husband vanishes on their wedding night and a leaked photo of a barely-dressed Theresa yelling at the police sparks a viral sensation. With everything at stake—love, reputation, followers, and career—she embarks on a reluctant voyage of discovery. Follow Theresa as she stumbles over her new husband’s secrets and develops her inner strength.
Start reading this thrilling paranormal romance novella today!
Of course I wanted to keep my tedious, entry-level clerical job that somehow paid less than my last one. I loved waking up at six in the morning to ensure the office opened by eight. I loved working for orthopedic surgeons striving to be the best ortho clinic in town. Who wouldn’t want to have not one but three self-centered, competitive, and arrogant bosses?
I exercised and put on makeup each workday because I was the face of OrthoCity. I dressed like I made half as much as the doctor that signed my paycheck. When the doctors squeezed in more consults, I worked longer hours. When the doctors surpassed their allotted time in the operating room at the hospital, resulting in their office visits needing to be rescheduled without notice, I worked tirelessly to make it happen smoothly. When not one but two doctors impulsively took weeks off for vacation, leaving me with only one doctor and too many entitled patients, I continued to work with a smile on my face. I was here, working, consistently and reliably.
“If you want to keep your job, I need you to show up on time and open the damn clinic!” my boss said in that booming voice of his that I would never grow fond of.
A heavy hand gripping a blue monogrammed pen waved a little too close to my face. I leaned back and bit the inside of my cheek to keep my smile in place. As if I were staring at still water, my superficial smile reflected back as a deep frown on Dr. Eames’s freckled face.
“Mrs. Reid waited outside for an hour! One long, unacceptable hour before you showed up disheveled and unfocused. Long enough for her one-star review to be published on My Doctor and Google Reviews. So don’t sit there nodding like I’m the scary bad guy,” he said while standing over his desk. “Just do your job before I replace you.”
Still lacking anything appropriate to say, I nodded.
He glared through his black-rimmed glasses. My boss led our small business well, but he annoyed me to no end. He spoke loudly even when he wasn’t yelling, and he wore prints and patterns that made me squint.
The fact that he wore a blue, fitted, long-sleeved shirt with a Star Trek emblem pin on the right side of his chest today might have been understated, but the scolding he so readily dished out did nothing to make him more likable. Apparently, he required a verbal response to end this irritating meeting.
“Yes, sir,” I said through gritted teeth and with my eyes averted.
“Consider this your second strike.”
Dr. Eames simultaneously opened a thin patient file, tapped his mouse to wake up his computer, and dismissed me from his presence.
I stood and adjusted the lion ears headband to make it pinch less. My thick, curly hair worked well with my costume. I pulled on the plush lion tail secured to my scrub pants to reshape it from sitting for the last ten minutes. Knowing Dr. Eames would be staring at a well-shaped ass he could never tap, I walked out of my boss’s office like I had just gotten promoted.
In an intoxicated haze, I headed to my hotel.
The bar was in the same neighborhood as the hotel, so I didn’t bother hailing a taxicab. By the time I reached the corner of the street, I started sobering up, and my brain finally recognized the pain signals from my heel-encased feet. Don’t wobble. Don’t limp.
If I made a left turn, I’d be in my hotel room in about eight minutes. But the street wasn’t well lit or populated in that direction. Or I could turn right and safely take the long way around. Turning right meant fifteen minutes of trying not to limp or stumble. It also guaranteed that I would be harassed by catcalling men. As much as I loved attention, I could do without the daily catcalls while walking the streets of NYC. I turned left.
“Hey! Funny thing, I didn’t get your name or number.”
I stopped walking. Pro-athlete guy had caught up to me, unable to take a hint. I would have to turn around and say no to him directly.
That’s when I heard a growl that made me freeze in fright. I literally peed a little. An untrained dog on the loose? Or an escaped tiger from the local zoo? Maybe it was a bear standing behind me? While I had no idea what kind of wild animal made that horrific sound, it was behind me on a New York City street in the early hours of the morning. Next, I heard the scream of a grown man, followed by something heavy hitting the ground. I ran. Correction, I flew down the street. That eight-minute walk down a couple of deserted streets took five minutes maximum.
Panting, I stopped to collect myself three buildings away from my hotel’s entrance. I shook the nerves out of my hands. I took deep breaths to steady my racing heart. I dabbed my forehead and upper lip to remove the excess sweat. Pretending to be sober and calm, I approached the fancy hotel with a single cursive E on the front awning. The doorman saw me and smiled. Having someone open a door for me never got old. Not trusting myself to keep it together, I nodded politely and silently made my way through the brightly lit lobby and to the elevator bay to get to the eighth floor.
Nervously, I wondered what to tell James if I ran into him. No Jaz as an alibi. I drank too much, stayed out too late, and worst of all, I’d spent the better part of the last hour letting some generously muscled guy grind up on me. Did he chase me outside of a bar to ask for my number? Did I really hear the awful sounds of an animal attack? I shivered. Too much vodka was my only conclusion.
Luckily, James and I had agreed to have our own hotel rooms down the hall from each other. Presumably, I needed a full night of beauty rest and didn’t want to know what time my drunken husband-to-be stumbled in after hanging out with his boys at a strip club. Who knew I’d be the one intoxicated and scared at two in the morning, hoping I didn’t run into anyone I knew as I made my way to my hotel room?
I somehow avoided detection and got to my room. Once my hotel room door closed behind me, I crumbled to the floor. With blurry eyes, I made a half-laugh, half-cry sound. I was safe, and I abso-fucking-lutely needed a shower.
Twenty minutes later, when my digits were pruney and the hot water turned cool, I exited the bathroom in a plush hotel robe.
“You still smell like him,” James stated quietly.
I managed not to pee on myself again, but I couldn’t stifle my scream.
Azaaa Davis is an International Bestselling American author of urban fantasy & paranormal romance novels. ✨
She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today. Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly–and sometimes terrifying–situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughters.
Azaaa is working diligently to finish writing more fantasy novels while raising her daughters. Thank you for showing an interest in her stories!
Sarah Redman, a bank project manager up to her neck with work, wants some adventure in her life. A career opportunity in Paris seems like a dream come true, but once she gets there nothing goes as planned. The job interview she thought she wanted falls through and her dreams about a crying dragon trouble her. To top it off, she gets lost in the tunnels of Paris with a man who attracts her more than she wants to admit.
Trainer extraordinaire, Josh Kleine, needs to pull off a successful presentation at the Paris Transportation Conference to land more clients and save his company. But strange events in the tunnels under Paris drive him to distraction and into a strange, profound sadness. In search of answers under the city, he gets trapped below ground with a gorgeous woman who he desires like none before. But will the sadness tear him apart before he can convince himself and her that love does not only exist in fairy tales?
Together they may hold the key to the strange disasters striking the City of Lights. Can Sarah unravel the secrets of the city and of her heart in time to save them all?
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
I love mythical creatures and folklore. Dragons are such imposing and awe-inspiring creatures. You think of them as fierce beasts and not ones that are weighed down by sorrow. Parisian Amour is a magical short read that shines a light on a love so strong time has no meaning. A love that defies logic.
Josh and Sarah were fated to meet. They shared a spark that has the potential to be an everlasting love.
They may not live HEA, but they sure are HFN – which I thought was a perfect ending.
On a side note: With chestnuts being a prominent word in the story, Beth created an earworm. 😀
Heart Rating System: 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) Score: ❤❤❤❤
A sexy, single dad standalone romance coming soon from New York Times bestselling author Kendall Ryan.
Life threw me a curveball. An adorable eight-pound, four-ounce curveball with her mother’s eyes and my dark hair. I’d like to think my single-dad game is strong, but honestly? I’ve been struggling a little.
When a beautiful young woman moves in next door and offers to give me a hand, I jump at the chance to hire her as a nanny. Jessa is amazing with my daughter. She’s also patient, kind, and way too pretty.
The number one rule of hiring a nanny? Don’t bed the nanny.
It’s a rule I intend to keep.
But as the days pass, I begin to realize how much my life is missing. Companionship. Romance. Intimacy. When I discover my heart has space for one more female, it’s a lost cause, another curveball. The hot-as-hell nanny is leaving soon for a mission trip to Central America. No sense in letting myself fantasize about Jessa being a permanent part of my life.
The closer we get, the more difficult it becomes to keep my feelings in check, because my heart won’t listen. And neither will my libido.
Well, you know what they say. Rules are meant to be broken . . .
Sunlight pours onto the front porch of the three-bedroom home I bought several months ago. I gave up my apartment in the city for a suburban zip code, a lawn I don’t have time to mow, and nosy neighbors who want to know why my baby’s mom isn’t in the picture.
It’s . . . a lot.
But at this moment, lawn mowers and property taxes are the least of my concerns.
The stress I’ve been under for the last few months, ever since before my daughter was born, has been beaten into temporary submission by warm sunshine, good company, and the cold beer in my hand. Anxiety still lurks just below the surface, in the tension in my shoulders, in the dark thoughts that linger, but for now at least, I’m relatively at ease. Summer has finally come to Chicago, and I’m parked in a lawn chair on my front porch with three of my best friends.
“Just like old times. Right, man?” Hayes leans back in his chair, kicking his feet up onto the brick ledge. He’s the easygoing one, always able to put people at ease.
I used to be that way. Friendly. Fun-loving. Always down for a good time. Now it’s a mixed bag. The stress of becoming a single father has done a number on me, and I’m still fighting for breath on what feels like a sinking ship at times.
“Something like that,” I murmur, lifting the bottle to my lips for a sip. The beer goes down with a bite, hoppy and full-bodied.
To my left, Wolfie grunts his approval. In contrast to Hayes, Wolfie is a bit of a handful. Complicated, but loyal. Unpredictably moody, yet reliable. Although his foul moods have improved drastically since he started dating my younger sister—a story that I have no intention of getting into right now.
“Thanks for the beer, man,” I say, raising my beverage in Caleb’s direction.
“Fuck yeah. Anytime,” he says before downing what I can only assume is half of his beer and releasing an enormous belch.
Caleb is a bit of a wild child. I keep waiting for the guy to grow up, but so far, that hasn’t happened. He’s still the same shamelessly immature guy I met in college, and by all indications, that’s not changing anytime soon.
“Chill, man,” Hayes whispers to Caleb, nodding in my direction. “Boys’ night isn’t just for the boys anymore.”
Ah. That’s my cue to acknowledge the tiny little cherub resting in my arms. Marley, my baby girl, who has my dark hair and my ex’s blue eyes and creamy skin.
“Oh, come on. She’s dead asleep.” Caleb leans forward in his chair. “Hey, Marley. Maaarley. Marzipan!”
My two-month-old daughter doesn’t wake, nestled peacefully against my chest, her plump little fist clutching my T-shirt.
We all take a moment to watch the rise and fall of her back, the cutest little poop-and-puke machine you ever did see. Even when she’s pooping and puking, she’s the most beautiful thing in the world, and you can fight me on that. I’ll die on that hill.
“How’s she been?” Wolfie asks with a deep line etched between his brows, tipping his chin toward the sleeping baby.
I smile. I’ve missed my old roommate’s perpetual frown.
Paternity leave has been . . . interesting. A bit isolating, but I’m starting to realize it doesn’t have to be that way.
“Good. She’s good.” It isn’t a lie. Marley is a good baby, usually low maintenance with only the occasional meltdown. Kind of like her dad.
“How about you?” Hayes frowns as he studies me.
Damn, I must look as exhausted as I feel.
“I’m alive.” I chuckle, but the humor in my voice sounds forced. That’s a new one for me.
“You’ll feel better once you’re back.” Caleb nods sagely, as if my returning to work will somehow restore the balance of the universe.
“If I come back,” I say to remind them, only half joking.
My partners graciously gave me six weeks of paid paternity leave, with a little leeway in the budget to sneak in another week or two.
Together, the guys and I own a sex toy business named Frisky Business, both an ecofriendly line of toys that we manufacture, as well as a retail store in the heart of Chicago. Despite the shop being a second home to me for years, I haven’t set foot in the place in six weeks, and part of me can’t picture myself going back. At least, not until I find someone I trust to take care of the most important person in my life, Marley.
“What about the day cares you were researching?” Wolfie asks, and I can see him crunching the numbers in his head.
I’m well aware that Frisky Business can’t afford to keep me on paternity leave for much longer. It’s already been two months.
I scowl. “No luck. Did you know there’s a government website where you can look up safety violations and infractions of any licensed day care? It’s terrifying,” I say with a shudder that’s all too real. “All the day cares within a five-mile radius have too many accident reports to even count.”
“Shit, seriously? Well, what about Beth?” Hayes asks.
Ah, yes. Beth. Part-time mother of my child, full-time med-school student alongside her med-school-student boyfriend.
They certainly don’t have the time to care for a child 24/7. We share joint custody, but a lot has been falling on me lately, not that I’m complaining. I love spending time with Marley, and I want Beth to be able to build her career. She’s a good mom, juggling school, a new relationship, and Marley with relative ease.
“When she finishes her residency next year, she’ll have more time to care for Marley. For now, she and Brett have her two days of the week. Beth wants more, but she can’t quite swing it right now.”
The guys nod, trying to understand this new life I’ve found myself living.
One day at a time . . .
Let’s rewind. Thirteen months ago, I was happily single, living in the city without a care in the world. The only unknown in my life was the familiar and somewhat amusing panic of waking up next to a woman whose name I couldn’t remember. Back then, I was going on a minimum of three dates per week, some of which ended with a satisfying hookup with whichever lucky lady could keep up with me.
My love-for-life dial was cranked up to 100 and locked into place with superglue. Nothing was gonna slow me down.
Of course, all that changed with a phone call from my former friend-with-benefits. Beth was busy becoming a doctor, and neither of us had time for a relationship. But Netflix and chilling became our thing for a couple of months last year, until those two little pink lines changed everything. Beth was carrying my baby, despite the precautions we’d taken.
But even with the massive overhaul of my social life, life is better with Marley, on all counts. She’s given me purpose, a word I thought was only reserved for the kind of people who go on mission trips to Guatemala twice a year.
Nowadays, I’m so much more than just Connor Blake, the bachelor. More than co-owner of Chicago’s number one sex-toy shop.
What if falling in love put the life you cherished in jeopardy?
Dahlia, a Santa’s Elf, has 21 days left before Christmas to create the best toy in the world without using magic or revealing her true identity.
tuck on how to complete the prototype, and working as a temp in San Francisco’s financial district with no time for love, will her Christmas fling get her unstuck, or will she turn her back on her beloved career for her heart?
Liam, an up-and-coming financial analyst, swore off women after getting dumped by the love of his life.
He just found out his ex is going to the company Christmas party with his rival Michael Hendricks.
Up for promotion against Hendricks, Liam has to win the favor of his boss.
His best bet is to invite the vivacious secretary Dahlia to the party.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
A Christmas Fling was a unique, adorable novella. In it, an elf goes to the Human world for vacation and to work on her toy. She had no plans to fall in love. Her toy, winning the toy competition, was her everything. That is until Liam came into her life.
Liam was all work and no play until a woman, Dahlia, literally ran into him and the dog he was watching for a friend. They had a deal to keep things light, but you know how those go — pesky feelings always seem to pop up.
The unordinary romance character (the elf) made this novella highly enjoyable. I do love plots that break away from the norm, and this plot was certainly not your typical one. The author should consider pitching it to the Hallmark channel. I bet they’d jump at the chance to bring it to life.
Heart Rating System: 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) Score: ❤❤❤❤