Tag Archives: comedy

Review of “Wedding Tango (Rhythm & Romance Book 3)” – Mariposa Cruz

Print Length: 64 pages

Moira Williams is dismayed when her daughter, Tami, announces her engagement. Sure Jon’s a great guy, but why do they have to get married in Buenos Aires? Though she dreads seeing her ex-husband, Alan, the gorgeous father of the groom has her pulse racing.

Widower Alan Rochester buries his grief with non-stop home improvement projects, but a sexy redhead has captured his attention. He’s eager to show Moira the sights of Buenos Aires from his college days, but is he ready to face the world again?

South of the equator, nothing is as it seems. Can Moira and Alan navigate through their feelings for each other and save their kids’ dream wedding from becoming a nightmare?

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Moira was frustrated by the time Alan reached her in the rotation. Rattled by the distracted dancing husbands and Roarke’s stare, Moira wanted to scream. Finally paired with a smooth dancer and the best-looking lead, she feared being an anxious, clumsy fool. Standing so close to him, she noticed that his eyes had flecks of brown and were framed by long lashes. Those gorgeous hazel eyes gazed at her with concern.

“You okay?” Alan asked.

“I don’t get Tango,” Moira confessed.

He nodded. “Let’s try something else then. For now, concentrate on the rhythm of the music,” he said as he took her into his arms. He waited for the opening strain of the music to pass before he led her around the dance floor.

“Better?” he asked.

“Much better,” Moira replied. Focusing on the music helped. Despite a few missteps, she finally felt as though she was dancing, not stumbling. Alan’s firm, but light, touch made it easy to follow him. The music drew to a close much too soon, and Becca announced the end of the lesson.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

No matter the location, there’s usually always a hiccup or two when it comes to weddings. Mariposa showed us what could go wrong during the wedding planning process AND how all those unforeseen bumps don’t mean a thing once you exchange I do’s.

There was plenty of drama unfolding in Wedding Tango, but readers also experienced love (old and new) between several characters. 

Sometimes a person just needs a sweet romance story to get through their day or, in this case due to book length, lunch break. 

As much as I enjoyed the wedding hoopla, I must say the La Bibliotecha stayed on my mind long after I finished Wedding Tango… more so than anything else.

The La Bibliotecha is a bookworm’s dream destination. The La Bibliotecha is a hotel where each room is inspired by a different book genre. Now, I don’t know if a hotel like this exists or not. If not, it really needs to be built. I want to go there. I want to keep visiting it until I have vacationed/lived through every genre… twice. Hmm, maybe three times.

Do I recommend this short story? Yes.

Do I highly recommend Mariposa saving up all her royalties and putting it towards building this bookworm’s dream vacation hotspot?

ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Mariposa Cruz balances writing with working as a fulltime corporate paralegal. For her Mariposa Musings blog she has interviewed a variety of real life characters from romance authors to psychics. She works, writes and dances Salsa in Reno, Nevada.

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Author Showcase – Lauren Blakely (The Heartbreakers Series)

The Heartbreakers Series is a three-book romantic comedy series. Three brothers, three standalones, three love stories that’ll make you laugh, swoon and fan yourself from the heat!

 

That smoking hot one-night stand with a former rock star? Turns out he’s my son’s new music teacher. Oops.
But I didn’t know that the night I met Campbell. All I knew was he played my body the same way he played a guitar — like he owned it.

My libido is still high-fiving me after being self-served for too many years, and we’re both ready for another night or two of fun, especially since we don’t just have chemistry in bed — we connect over everything.

That is, until I learn he’s the man who’ll be coming to my house twice a week to teach my son — the best music lessons money can buy.

Time to turn down the volume on our shenanigans. Only that’s easier said than done.

***

I can rock a guitar solo in front of thousands, I can write chart-topping tunes, and I can absolutely stop thinking about my student’s mother naked.

After all, I’m a single parent too, and I know what it’s like to put your kid first. That’s what I do every damn day.

Trouble is, now that I’ve had Mackenzie, it’s hard — and I do mean hard — to stop wanting her. Harder too when I get to know her, and learn she’s an awesome mom, a great friend, and, oh yeah, she happens to get along perfectly with my daughter.

All we have to do is set some rules. No dating, no nookie when the kids are around, and no one gets hurt.

It’s all working out beautifully. Until we start breaking the rules, one by one.

Making music with her in the bedroom is easy. But will we be more than just a real good time when the music stops?

 
 
 
 

It’s so easy being best friends with a gorgeous, talented, charming guy.

Said no woman ever. Except me.

My friendship with Miller is a sure thing — he’s my plus one, my emergency contact, and my shoulder to lean on. He’s also been by my side helping me raise one helluva awesome kid who’s the center of my world.

Nothing will change our easy breezy friendship. Until I have the bright idea to convince him to start a new band with me.

Trouble is, our sizzling chemistry in the recording studio is getting harder to ignore, no matter how risky it might be.

***

Sing sexy songs with the woman you’ve been lusting after? Get up close and personal as you croon to the woman you’ve wanted for years?

Piece of cake.

NOT.

Performing with the sweet, sassy and insanely wonderful Ally is like one gigantic obstacle course of challenges for my libido. And my libido is one sexy love song away from kissing her senseless and taking her home.

But, I’m not a serious kind of guy, and she’s not a one-night-stand kind of woman. If we cross the horizontal line, we might risk our sure thing and end up out of tune forever…

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There are a million reasons why Miles Hart isn’t the man I should date but allow me to enumerate the top three. He’s friends with my brother, he’s a single dad, and he’s a sexy, in-demand rock star. He might as well wear an off-limits, totally unavailable, and don’t-even-attempt-to-ride-this-ride sign.

And there’s one more, little itty-bitty thing — he’s never asked me on a date.

That is, until he asks me to be his plus-one when his band plays at his high school reunion. It shouldn’t be a big deal. After all, we’re just friends, and no one is giving us our own hashtag. Except me . . .

***

I have three good reasons to keep my hands off Roxy Sterling—her brother’s my business manager, my kid is the center of my world, and the last time I fell hard for a woman I was burned so badly that my interest in relationships has gone up in flames. But once I bring Roxy’s body next to mine on the dance floor, I want all the not-safe-for-work things I can’t have with her.

My brain knows there’s no way for us to work, but tell that to my big mouth. Because the second she plants a hot, sexy kiss on me, I have the bright idea to ask her to keep being my plus one—turning one night into a few.

What’s the harm in spending a little more time with her and having her by my side at all these events? Nothing at first, until I learn exactly how risky we might be.

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A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! 

 

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Author Showcase / Interview – Laura M. Baird (Unexpected Adventures)

Howdy and welcome to Kam’s Place, Laura M. Baird!

 

  1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(LMB) I’m Laura M. Baird; wife, mother, former U. S. Army, Dental hygienist, and now, happy to say, published writer. I started writing just before putting myself through hygiene school, twenty years ago. I dabbled over the years, but only within the last 4-5 did I tell myself this is what I want to do! After attending a writer’s conference and being totally energized, I got serious with submissions, and only since August 2017 have I had the fortune of being published. I’ve worked with 4 publishers and as of June 2018, I have eight titles out.

(KAM) You really are a jack of all trades! 

 

 

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

(LMB) I typically have a few stories going at once, so what doesn’t flow for one, I’ll try to pour into another. When I’m stuck all together, I take a break and try not to force it. ‘They’ say to write every day, but sometimes that just doesn’t work. I’ll lose myself in a read or focus on promotion, even jot down ideas that spawn for an entirely new story. Once I get back to it, hopefully I have a fresh perspective.

 

 

  1. Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(LMB) I write romance, with sub-genres of contemporary, erotic, comedy, and suspense. When not working my day job 3 days a week or writing, or focusing on anything to do with writing (such as promotion or motivational books) I’m reading romance, usually while walking on my treadmill if I can’t get outside. Hubby and I also love walks when it’s not raining (I live in the PNW); watching hockey and college football.

 

After losing her husband of thirty years, Grace, at the age of fifty, thought all she’d ever feel was grief and loneliness. She certainly never thought to feel love again. After being convinced to take the trip of a lifetime, a surprise encounter with Cole has her rethinking her feelings—especially when he ignites a passion unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Will Grace allow herself another chance with this second time love?

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  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(LMB) Yes, my family and co-workers know I write, and what I write. My sister is my biggest supporter! Many think it’s really great, but few have yet to read my work. (Not that I don’t want them to – I’m proud of what I write.) Even patients are excited for me; several are surprised (and blush) at what I write.

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(LMB) Ho, boy… only 10… Nora Roberts started it off for me. Donna Grant, Darynda Jones, Laura Kaye, Rebecca Zanetti, Rachel Grant, Toni Anderson, Kerrigan Byrne, Tiffinie Helmer, and Robyn Peterman.

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(LMB) I would LOVE to see Rebecca Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome series go to big screen. The world-building, plot, and characters are just amazing. As for the cast, I’m afraid I could spend hours researching stars and probably not do justice. (Sorry.)

(KAM) I haven’t read the series…. yet.  🙂 

 

 

  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(LMB) I’m polishing stories I started a few years ago for NaNoWriMo, about cover models, after seeing Wander Aguiar in action at a writer’s conference. I have two written and a loose outline for at least two more.

(KAM) Best of luck on all your projects! 

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(LMB) Many of my stories are digital only, with two in print (so far). They can be found at my publisher’s sites under my author name, Laura M. Baird: Evernight Publishing, Black Rose Writing, and The Wild Rose Press, as well as digital retailers: Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Smashwords. At this time, they can be read in any order. I’m starting a series (several are in the works) but so far only the first book in my New Adventures series has released.

 

When Special Forces Soldier, Bob meets Becca at his cousin’s weekend party, they share one night of explosive passion. But when Bob’s called away on mission after mission, he wants Becca to have a life instead of waiting on him, and tells her to move on. Shocked and hurt, she does, moving to San Diego to eventually marry and have a son, only to divorce shortly after. 

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  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(LMB) I love engaging, so feel free to email me or stalk me at laurambaird@outlook.com. 

 Website Link

Facebook Link

Twitter Link 

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Link

Instagram Link

Bookbub Link

Smashwords Link

 

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(LMB) I’d just like to thank you for this opportunity to showcase my work and hopefully gain new readers. I look forward to many more years of writing sexy, fun, and thoughtful stories.

 

Laura, it has been a great pleasure getting to know you. I look forward to reading all your creations. Ladies and gents, keep scrolling below to get a glimpse of Unexpected Adventures, book one in Laura’s New Adventures Series.     

 

Order and routine is introverted Abby’s motto, so when she’s being pushed to step out of her comfort zone, meeting hunky Shaun may be just the catalyst she needs. 

Their swift attraction to one another leads to new adventures that include paragliding, tattooing, and, yeah—Abby relinquishing her virginity. 

Laugh along with Abby as she discovers how fun it can be to step off her straight line.

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After making a sharp turn up a hill, Denise suddenly slams on the brakes, sending me forward into the dash. “What the eff!? You don’t stop on a blind corner!” she yells, glaring at the car in front of us.

I wince at her shrill voice, my arms already aching from bracing myself. “Pretty sure he heard that. How could he not? I, on the other hand, am now deaf in my left ear.”

“Sorry,” Denise said, still looking out the windshield. She lays on the horn. “What a doofus! We’re not that far from Sherri’s.”

“Jeez, calm down. Maybe he’s having a problem. Let me go see what’s up.” I start to open my door when she grabs my arm, startling me.

“No! He could be some deranged person, luring unsuspecting women into a trap!”

“Uh, huh. Watch Dangerous Minds much?” How she could stand to watch shows like that is beyond me. “It’s no wonder you’re paranoid.” I grab my phone out of my bag, reaching for the door handle again. “I’ll be fine. It’s broad daylight. I’ll approach the passenger side and see what’s up. Maybe he needs directions. Or his car is having problems.”

“Well, let him call for help himself. I’m sure he has a phone. Everyone has a phone!”

“Denise, relax. If you hear gunfire, put it in reverse and get the flock outta here.”

“Very funny, Abby. Not! Let me just drive around him. We can call for someone when we get to Sherri’s. Her house is the next one up at the end of the cul-de-sac.”

“Well then, maybe he’s a guest. Call Sherri and see if she’s expecting anyone driving a maroon Honda Civic. I’ll wait, if it makes you feel better.”

“Fine,” she huffs. She puts the car in park then fishes her phone out of her bag.

As Denise is waiting for Sherri to answer, I see the driver open his door and reveal himself. Now I’m starting to get all paranoid thanks to my sis. “What are you doing?” I whisper, knowing full-well he’s going to make his way over to us.

“Uh, Abby, he’s coming for us! What do we do? Sherri?!” She realizes she’s connected. “There’s a guy coming at us! Oh my God!”

“Calm down,” I say without any effect. Denise is getting hysterical, blabbering on the phone while the guy’s walking to my side of the car. “Why my side?” I mumble. “Don’t you always go to the side opposite of traffic?”

“You were going to go to the passenger side!”

“Yeah, well you can’t be too careful,” I say to her. “He doesn’t look menacing,” I now say to myself. No, he doesn’t look menacing at all. In fact, he looks down-right relaxed as I track his casual movement. He’s wearing flip-flops, board shorts, a tank top, and mirrored glasses. Sandy hair blows across his forehead and pearly whites shine from between his luscious lips as they part in a smile.

Why am I thinking his lips are luscious? What is wrong with me? He could very well be a deranged lunatic in disguise.

Somehow, I doubt it with a look like that. A player? Possibly. A lunatic? Nah. One look at those tan, muscular arms and those perfect legs, and I’m convinced. What does he do to stay in shape, I wonder?

I’m barely able to make out what Denise is saying to Sherri when the stranger leans over and raps on my window. I open it just a crack and stupidly reply, “Can I help you?”

The baritone chuckle he emits makes all my short hairs spring to attention and the butterflies in my stomach take flight.

Oh, brother.

We’re locked in a gaze. At least I think we are, even though I can’t see his eyes but I’m trying like heck to stare right through those dang mirrored sun glasses and all I see is my own reflection…

“Okay, thanks Sherri,” I hear Denise say in the calmest of voices. “He’s okay. It’s just her brother.”

I break the stare to look at Denise, then back at the stranger at my window who is apparently ‘just’ Sherri’s brother. I watch as he removes the glasses from his face, still smiling with his perfect lips.   My eyes zero in on the iciest of blue eyes I’ve ever seen. And not icy as in cold and calculating, but crystal clear, sharp and focused. Yet somehow warm and soulful. At least … they’re warming me.

I feel my face blush. You’d think I was looking at a movie star.

Well, we are in California…

“Hi. I’m Shaun.”

 

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Author Showcase – Jill Shalvis (About That Kiss: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel)

When love drives you crazy…

When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylieshoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help—Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him—or seduce him.

the best thing to do…

No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.

…is enjoy the ride.

As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more.

 

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**Excerpt courtesy of Jill Shalvis’ Website**

 

Chapter 1

Kylie Masters watched him walk into her shop like he owned it while simultaneously pretending not to notice him. A tricky balancing act that she’d gotten good at. Problem was, like it or not, her attention was caught and captured by the six foot, leanly muscled, scowling guy now standing directly in front of her, hands shoved in his pockets, body language clearly set to Frustrated Male.

She sighed, gave up the ridiculous pretense of being engrossed by her phone, and looked up. She was supposed to smile and ask how she could help him. That’s what they all did when it was their turn to work the front counter at Reclaimed Woods. They were to show potential clients their custom- made goods when what they really wanted was to be in the back workshop making their own individual projects. Kylie’s specialty was dining room sets, which meant she wore a thick apron and goggles to protect herself and was perpetually covered in sawdust.

And she did mean covered in sawdust. Wood flakes dusted her hair and stuck to her exposed arms, and if she’d been wearing any makeup today, they’d have been stuck to her face as well. In short, she was not looking how she wanted to be looking while fac- ing this man again. Not even close. “Joe,” she said in careful greeting.

He gave her a single head nod. Okay, so he wasn’t going to talk first. Fine. She’d be the grown- up today. “What can I do for you?” she asked, fairly certain he wasn’t here to shop for furni- ture. He wasn’t exactly the domesticated type.

Joe ran a hand through his hair so that the military short, dark, silky strands stood straight up. He wore a black T- shirt stretched over broad shoulders, loose over tight abs, untucked over cargos that emphasized his mile- long legs. He was built like the soldier he’d been not too long ago, as if keeping fit was his job— which, given what he did for a living, it absolutely was. He shoved his mirrored sunglasses to the top of his head, revealing ice blue eyes that could be hard as stone when working, but she knew that they could also soften when he was amused, aroused, or having fun. He was none of those three things at the moment.

“I need a birthday present for Molly,” he said. Molly was his sister, and from what Kylie knew of the Malone family, they were close. Everyone knew this and adored the both of them. Kylie herself adored Molly.

She did not adore Joe. “Okay,” she said. “What do you want to get for her?”

“She made me a list.” Joe pulled the list written in Molly’s neat scrawl from one of his many cargo pants pockets.

Bday wishlist: — Puppies. (Yes, plural!) — Shoes. I lurve shoes. Must be as hot as

Elle’s. — $$$ — Concert tickets to Beyoncé. — A release from the crushing inevitability of

death. — The gorgeous wooden inlay mirror made by

Kylie.

“It’s not her birthday for several weeks,” Joe said as Kylie read the list. “But she told me the mirror’s hanging behind the counter, and I didn’t want it to be sold before I could buy it.” His sharp blue eyes searched the wall behind her. “That one,” he said, pointing to an intricately wood- lined mirror that Kylie had indeed made. “She says she fell in love with it. Not all that surprising since your work’s amazing.”

Kylie did her best to keep this from making her glow with pleasure. She and Joe had known each other casually for the year that they’d both been working in this building. Until two nights ago, they’d never done anything but annoy each other. So that he thought of her as amazing was news to her. “I didn’t know you were even aware of my work.”

Instead of answering, his eyes narrowed at the price tag hanging off the mirror, and he let out a low whistle.

“I don’t get to set the prices here,” she said, irritating herself with her defensive tone. She had no idea why she let him drive her so crazy with little to no effort on his part, but she did her best to not examine the reasons for this.

Ever. Joe had been special ops and still had most of his skills, skills he used on his job at an investigation and securities firm upstairs, where he was, for the lack of a better term, a professional finder and fixer. He was a calm and impenetrable badass on the job, and a calm, impenetrable smartass off it. On the worst of days, he made her feel like a seesaw. On the best of days, he made her feel things she liked to shove deep, deep down, because going there with him would be like jumping out of a plane— thrilling, exciting . . . and then certain dismemberment and death.

While she was thinking about this and other things she shouldn’t be thinking, Joe was eyeball- ing the opened box of chocolates on the counter, which a client had brought in earlier. A little card said Help Yourself! and his gaze locked in on the last Bordeaux— her favorite. She’d been saving it asa reward if she made it all day without wanting to strangle anyone.

Mission failed. “It’ll go right to your hips,” she warned.

He met her eyes, his own amused. “You worried about my body, Kylie?”

She used the excuse to look him over. Not exactly a hardship. He was lean, solid muscle. Rumors were that he’d done some MMA fighting right after his service and she believed it. He was perfect and they both knew it. “I didn’t want to mention it,” she said, “but I think you’re starting to get a spare tire.”

“Is that right?” He cocked his head, eyes amused. “A spare tire, huh? Anything else?”

“Welllllll…maybe a little junk in the trunk.” He out- and- out grinned at that, the cocky bastard. “Then maybe we should share the chocolate,” he said and offered the Bordeaux to her, bringing it up to her lips.

Against her better judgment, she took a bite, re- sisting the urge to also sink her teeth into his fingers. With a soft laugh that told her he’d read her mind, he popped the other half into his own mouth and then licked some melted chocolate off his thumb with a suctioning sound that went straight to her nipples, which was super annoying. It was February and blis- tery outside but suddenly she was warm. Very warm. “So,” he said when he’d swallowed. “The mir- ror. I’ll take it.” Reaching into yet another mystery pocket, he pulled out a credit card. “Wrap it up.”

“You can’t have it.”

At this, he studied her with a hint of surprise, like maybe he’d never been told no before in his life.

And hell, looking like he did, he probably hadn’t been.

“Okay,” he said. “I get it. It’s because I never called, right?”

She pushed his hand— and the credit card in it— away. But not before she felt the heat and the easy strength of him, both of which only further annoyed her. “Wrong,” she said. “Not everything’s about you, Joe.”

“True. This is clearly about us,” he said. “And that kiss.”

Oh hell no. He didn’t just bring it up like that, like it was some throwaway event. She pointed to the door. “Get out.”

He just smiled. And didn’t get out. Dammit. She’d grounded herself from thinking about that kiss. That one drunken, very stupid kiss that haunted her dreams and way too many waking moments as well. But it all flooded back to her now, releasing a bunch of stupid endorphins and every- thing. She inhaled a deep breath, locked her knees and her heart, and mentally tossed away the key. “What kiss?”

He gave her a get real look. “Oh, that kiss.” She shrugged nonchalantly as she reached for her water bottle. “I barely remember it.”

“Funny,” he said in a voice of pure sin. “Cuz it rocked my world.”

She choked on her water, coughing and sputtering.

“The mirror’s still not for sale,” she finally managed to wheeze out, wiping her mouth.

I rocked his world? His warm, amused gaze met hers, going smoky and dangerously charismatic. “I could change your mind.”

“On the mirror or the kiss?” she asked before she could stop herself.

“Either. Both.” She had no doubt. “The mirror’s already sold,” she said. “The new owner’s coming for it today.”

The buyer just happened to be Spence Baldwin, who owned the building in which they stood. The Pacific Pier Building, to be exact, one of the oldest in the Cow Hollow District of San Francisco. Since the building housed an eclectic mix of businesses on the first and second floors, and residential apartments on the third and fourth floors, all built around a cobble- stone courtyard with a fountain that had been there back in the days when there’d still been actual cows in Cow Hollow, the entire place went a lot like the song— everyone knew everyone’s name.

In any case, Spence had bought the mirror for his girlfriend, Colbie, not that Kylie was going to tell Joe that. For one thing, Spence and Joe were good friends and Spence might let Joe have the mirror.

And though she didn’t know why, Kylie didn’t want Joe to have it. Okay, so she did know why. Things came easy to Joe. Good looking, exciting job…hell, life came easy to him.

“I’ll commission a new one,” Joe said, still looking unconcerned. “You can make another just like it, right?”

Yes, and normally a commissioned piece would be a thrill. Kylie wasn’t all that established yet and could certainly use the work. But instead of being excited, she felt . . . unsettled. Because if she agreed to the job, there’d be ongoing contact. Conversations. And here was the thing— she didn’t trust him. No, that wasn’t right. She didn’t trust herself with him. I rocked his world? Because he’d sent hers spinning and the truth was, it’d take no effort at all to once again end up glued to him at the lips. “I’m sorry, but maybe you can get Molly…” she eyed the list again ” …puppies.”

And speaking of puppies, just then from the back room came a high- pitched bark. Vinnie was up from his nap. Next came the pitter- patter of paws scram- bling. At the doorway between the shop and the showroom, he skidded to a stop and lifted a paw, poking at the empty air in front of his face.

Not too long ago, her undersized rescue pup had run face- first into a glass door. So now he went through this pantomime routine at every doorway he came to. And she did mean every doorway. Poor Vinnie had PTSD, and she was his emotional support human.

When Vinnie was thoroughly satisfied that there was no hidden glass to run into, he was off and gal- loping again, a dark brown blur skidding around the corner of the counter like a cat on linoleum. He was half French bulldog and half Muppet, and no one hadever told him that he was under a foot tall and twelve pounds soaking wet. He actually thought he was the big man on campus, and he smiled the whole way as he ran straight for Kylie, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, drool dribbling in his wake.

Heart melting, Kylie started to bend to reach for him, but he flew right by her.

Joe had squatted low, hands held out for the dog, who never so much glanced over at Kylie as he took a flying leap into Joe’s waiting arms. Arms that she knew were warm and strong and gave great hugs, dammit.

Man and pup straightened, rubbing faces together for a moment while Kylie did her best not to melt. Like most French bulldogs’, Vinnie’s expression of- ten read glum. She called it his RBF— resting bitch face. But he was actually the opposite of glum, and the mischievous, comical, amiable light in his eyes revealed that.

“Hey little man,” Joe murmured, flashing that killer smile of his at her pup, who was valiantly at- tempting to lick his face off. Joe laughed and the sound caused an answering tug from deep inside Kylie, which was maddening.

She had no idea what was up with her hormones lately, but luckily they weren’t in charge. Her brain was. And her brain wasn’t interested in Joe, excel- lent kisser or not. See, she had a long history with his kind— fast, wild, fun, and . . . dangerous. Not her own personal history, but her mother’s, and she refused to be the apple who fell too close to the tree.

“I’ll pay extra,” Joe said, still loving up on Vinnie to the dog’s utter delight. “To commission a new mirror.”

“It doesn’t work like that,” she said. “I’ve got jobs in front of you, jobs I have to finish on a schedule. A mirror I haven’t yet even started isn’t for sale.”

“Everything’s for sale,” Joe said. And how well she knew it. Shaking her head, she reached beneath the front counter, pulled a miniature tennis ball from her bag, and waved it in front of Vinnie, who began to try to swim through the air to get to the ball.

“Cheater,” Joe chastened mildly, but obligingly set Vinnie down. The dog immediately snorted in excitement and raced to Kylie, quickly going through his entire repertoire of tricks without pause, sitting, offering a paw to shake, lying down, rolling over . . .

“Cute,” Joe said. “Does he fetch?” “Of course.” But truthfully, fetch wasn’t Vinnie’s strong suit. Grunting, farting, or snoring— these were his strong suits. He also often went off the rails with no warning, zooming around a room in a frantic sprint until he started panting and then passed out. But he did not fetch, not that she’d admit it. “Vinnie, fetch,” she said hopefully and tossed the ball a few feet away.

The dog gave a bark of sheer joy and gamely took off, his short bowlegs churning up the distance. But as always, stopping was a problem and he overshot the ball. Overcorrecting to make the sharp turn, he careened right into a wall. He made a strong recovery though and went back for the ball.

Not that he returned it to Kylie. Nope. With the mini– tennis ball barely fitting in his mouth, Vinnie padded quickly into the back, presumably bringing his new treasure to his crate.

“Yeah, he’s great at fetch,” Joe said with a straight face.

“We’re still working on it,” she said just as a man came out from the back, joining them at the counter. Gib was her boss, her friend, and her very long- time crush— though he knew only about the first two since dating her boss had never seemed like a smart idea— not that he’d ever asked her out or anything. He owned Reclaimed Woods and Kylie owed a lot to him. He’d hired her on here when she’d decided to follow in her grandpa’s footsteps and become a woodworker. Gib gave her a chance to make a name for herself. He was a good guy and everything she’d ever wanted in a man— kind, patient, sweet.

In other words, Joe’s polar opposite. “Problem?” Gib asked. “Just trying to make a purchase,” Joe said, nod- ding to the mirror.

Gib looked at Kylie. “Told you it was remarkable.” It was pretty rare for Gib to hand out a compliment, and she felt her chest warm with surprise and pleasure. “Thanks.”

He nodded and squeezed her hand in his, momentarily rendering her incapacitated because…he was touching her. He never touched her. “But the mirror’s not available,” he said to Joe.

“Yeah,” Joe said, although his gaze didn’t leave Kylie’s. “I’m getting that.”

Suddenly there was an odd and unfamiliar beat of tension in the air, one Kylie wasn’t equipped to trans- late. Because her parents were teens when she was born, she’d been primarily raised by her grandpa. She’d learned unusual skills for a little girl, like how to operate a planer and joiner without losing any fingers, and how to place bets at the horse races. She’d also grown up into a quiet introvert, an old soul. She didn’t open up easily and as a result, not once in her entire life had two guys been interested in her at the same time. In fact, for long stretches of time, there’d been zero guys interested.

So to have that bone- melting kiss with Joe still messing with her head and now Gib suddenly show- ing interest after…well, years, she felt like a panicked teenager. A sweaty, panicked teenager. She jabbed a finger toward the back. “I’ve, um…gotta get to work,” she said and bailed like she was twelve years old instead of twenty- eight.

 

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Review of “Sweet Cheeks” – K. Bromberg

An all new second-chance love story by the New York Times Bestselling author of the beloved Driven series.

It all started with the invitation. To my ex–fiancés wedding. 

I should have ignored it.Thrown it away. Set it afire. But I didn’t. I replied.

With a plus one.

Enter Hayes Whitley. Mega-movie star. The man who has captured the hearts of millions. But I gave him mine years ago. He was my first love. He was my everything. Right until he up and left to chase his dreams without so much as a simple goodbye.

When he showed up  out of the blue ten years later, I should have known to steer clear. I should have rejected his offer to take me to my ex’s wedding and told him he was crazy when he suggested we act like a couple to show my ex, it’s true, I could do better than him.

But I didn’t.

And now we’re left wondering if the pieces of the life we once shared still fit together somehow. First loves are hard to forget. The question is, do we want to forget? Or do we risk the chance and see what happens next?

 

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There are few books that I finish and immediately want to start again. This is one of them.

While the beginning started off on a lull, the story really started to pick up steam and get steamy once Hayes and Saylor headed off to paradise island for her ex’s wedding. You’d think a situation where you are venturing to your ex-fiance’s wedding, a place where you’re loathed and mocked at, would be disastrous. However, Hayes made the time there memorable with his adventures, playfulness, and overall sweet nature. Love that was lost was found again. 

With that said, his stardom did bring its own share of drama during their weekend away. Love was tested and almost lost again. With a battle on his hands, Hayes brought his A-game for sure via his social media posts, his romantic gifts, and (in the end) proving ACTIONS DO SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. 

Ladies and gents, if you love romantic comedies, this is the perfect book for you. A sweet treat without the unwelcomed, pesky  calories.  😉 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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