Tag Archives: contemporary

Author Showcase – Lyz Kelley (Billionaire’s Secret) (Doctor’s Secret)

A compelling novel filled with everyday hero stories from Lyz Kelley, the award-winning author of Blinded.

 

Billionaire Weston Carver gets what he wants.

And he wants the savvy Courtney Kramer to run his newly acquired business. 

Courtney wants nothing to do with the sexy and powerful New York influencer. His domineering nature drives her crazy, but if she’s going to avoid losing the women’s shelter building lease, she needs a financial backer to secure a loan.

Weston has the money and means to support a half dozen charities, and co-signing a loan? No problem. But what will he want in return?

Time is running out. If she wants to continue helping women in need, she must make a deal with the uber hot CEO—a deal that doesn’t include her in his bed.

 

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An emotional novel filled with everyday hero stories from Lyz Kelley, the award-winning author of Blinded.

McKenzie Carver is not a miracle worker.

How is she supposed to deal with the obnoxious, self-important, sexy surgeon that won’t listen to reason? 

 

The obstinate doctor is putting her family name at risk with his over-the-top demands and bullish nature. But he’s her responsibility, her family says, and she must find a way to keep him in line. If she doesn’t, he won’t get the hospital operating room—the robotic suite her family has funded—functional.

Garrett Branston is a workaholic with a sharp wit and irresistible charm—but his charm isn’t working on gorgeous McKenzie Carver. She might be suggesting he chill, but the attraction between them is anything but cold.

When she tells him he needs some serious PR intervention and suggests a fake engagement to redeem his reputation, he agrees, as long as she’s the one to pose as his fiancee.

But Garrett is still hiding something, and McKenzie fears his secrets will ruin everything her family has built.

 

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Award-winning author Lyz Kelley mixes a little bit of heart, healing, humanity, happiness, hope, and honor in all her books that are written especially for you. 

She’s a total disaster in the kitchen, a compulsive neat freak, a tea snob, and adores writing about and falling in love with everyday heroes.  
You can also find Lyz on Facebook and Instagram for news, contests, giveaways, and more exciting stuff!

If you want to interact with Lyz, connect with her in her Facebook reader group, Everyday Heroes Unite.

 
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Review of “Lottie Loser” – Dana L. Brown

It’s been twelve years since Lottie Luce ran away to Indiana, three weeks before her classes were to begin at IU, to avoid a confrontation with her best friend, and secret love, Nick Greyson. On the night she’d believed he was going to tell her he wanted her for more than a friend, Lottie caught Nick in a compromising position with her long-time nemesis, Ashley Marshall. The hurt and humiliation were more than she could bear.

Now a product of personal reinvention, Charlotte Luce is the youngest, and first female market president of Olde Florida Bank, and her life is nearly perfect. That is until Nick comes home to Anna Maria Island, hoping to save his father from financial ruin, and Charlotte’s carefully created world stands still.

Lottie Loser vacillates between the present, and the memories of the young girl who thought she had found love, lost it, and is now forced to examine the decisions she made, as well as the chemistry she and Nick still share.

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

 

For the most part, Lottie Loser was a story about two people forgetting their troubled past and starting anew. This book was charming, like Nick Greyson, until it wasn’t. I don’t mean that negatively. An out of the blue banking mystery unfolded and everything changed. Charlotte’s life was affected the most. Twelve years ago, Charlotte was hurt by Nick’s actions. Present-day, she’s smack dab in the middle of those same feelings.

When Lottie’s life could be more complicated, someone makes a confession that shocks the hell out of her. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, wait until you read the cliffhanging ender. The entire story was fabulous, BUT chapter 73 was off the charts good. (Being sort of vague to avoid spoilers)

I did knock a point off for the frequency in which she time jumped from Then to Now. At times, it messed up the flow of the story. Other than that, there weren’t any major storyline issues. I think romance readers will enjoy this story. I sure did.

Story continues in Call Me Charlotte (already available for purchase)!

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Award Winning author, Dana L. Brown, went from Bank to Books with her debut novel, Lottie LoserA long-time banker and graduate of the American Bankers Association School of Bank Marketing and Management, where she earned the distinction of Certified Financial Marketing Professional. She attended Ball State University, and majored in business.

The mother of three daughters, she lives with her husband in Indiana, but loves traveling to the laid-back lifestyles on the beaches of Florida. Lottie Loser is her debut novel.

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Review of “Trudy’s Diary: A Libraries of the World Mystery, Book One)” – Amy M. Reade

Daisy Carruthers moved to Washington, DC, from New York City following an emotionally draining murder investigation, little knowing she would soon be involved in two more. But when her boss and her best friend come under suspicion for killing two adulterous lovers, Daisy has no choice but to help when they ask. 

And when she comes across a diary and an old dime novel with suspiciously similar stories and unknown origins, she knows all the mysteries are somehow connected.

Can she figure out the identity of the killer–or killers–before it’s too late?

 

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

 

Trudy’s Diary was actually a multi-layered mystery novel. Daisy was investigating two murder mysteries in present day and the disappearance of Trudy from the 1800’s. As I was reading Trudy’s secret thoughts, I wondered how her story played into the events of the present. I didn’t see the connection. However, when all the pieces clicked into place, I was impressed on how Amy connected all the dots.

Whether I was stepping into the past or attempting to unmask today’s killer, I was thoroughly engrossed with the happenings in Trudy’s Diary.

You don’t have to be a history enthusiast to read this story. You just have to like mystery novels with a touch of love and romance.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Amy M. Reade is a cook, chauffeur, household CEO, doctor, laundress, maid, psychiatrist, warden, seer, teacher, and pet whisperer. In other words, a wife, mother, community volunteer, and recovering attorney.

She’s also a writer. She is the author of Trudy’s Diary, A Libraries of the World Mystery (Book One: Library of Congress), The Worst Noel (Book One in the Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery series), The Malice Series (The House on Candlewick Lane, Highland Peril, and Murder in Thistlecross), and three standalone books, Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of the Hanging Jade. She lives in southern New Jersey, but loves to travel. Her favorite places to visit are Scotland and Hawaii and when she can’t travel she loves to read books set in far-flung locations.

Her days are split between writing and marketing her books, but uppermost in her mind is the adage that the best way to market a book is to write another great book.

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Author Showcase – Sandy Barker (The ‘Someone’ Series)

 A heartwarming and hilarious travel romance, book one

Sarah Parsons is on a mission to find her former fabulous self, the adventure-seeking traveller with a massive bucket list.

Step one: Trade in her cheating ex—a.k.a. the most boring man in the world—for a new leather handbag and a trip to Greece.

Step two: make her life bigger.

Step three: try not to panic while completing steps one and two.

Humiliated after discovering her boyfriend with her yoga bestie, Sarah breaks up with them both and decides it’s time to fall back in love with her first true love—travel.

She books the perfect trip to revive her humdrum life—ten days sailing the Greek islands on a yacht. Salty air, blue skies, the quiet pace of island life, and maybe making new friends—idyllic.

But if one more well-meaning person says she might meet someone in Greece, she’ll smack them upside their well-meaning head. Even the thought of starting again with someone new is exhausting. It’s the last thing she wants.

So, what will happen when she meets not one ‘someone’, but two?

As the sails catch wind, Sarah and her fellow travellers explore the stunning Cyclades Islands, all while she finds herself drawn to the cute American guy who makes her laugh and shares her longing for a bigger life. And when it turns out that there is more to a brief encounter than she originally thought, Sarah wonders if a flirtation with the silver fox could turn into something serious.

Should she dive into a holiday fling, embark on a relationship, or stick to her plan—steer clear of men, enjoy a love affair with feta, and find her own bigger life?

Ten days, two men, one boat, and one big decision.

 

Eve, Amazon Customer, 5⭐: I loved this book! From the very first page, I felt like I was on this incredible trip to Greece with a friend. And a really good friend, at that. The characters are so great, the food was amazing, and the views were spectacular! I felt like I was right there along with Sarah and the rest of the “family!” I loved how easy it was to get lost in this book, and how easy it was to laugh along with our main character and friends. Such a well written and fun read. I loved every minute of it and I cannot wait to find out what happens in book 2 and 3!!!

Angie, Amazon Customer, 5⭐: If you’re looking for a romance book about adventure and finding love when you aren’t looking for it, then this is for you. The characters are realistic and you get to experience the struggles and thoughts of a woman who’s debating whether she should trust her heart or her head. Not only will you want to travel to Greece after reading the vivid descriptions of the scenery and food, you’ll also get a new appreciation for living in the moment.
 
Jonelle, Goodreads Contributor, 5⭐: What a delicious journey around the Greek Isles! I found myself devouring the mouth watering food and savouring the visual feasts right alongside the protagonist, Sarah. Beautifully written, full of interesting characters. I couldn’t put it down. Have added sailing the Greek Isles to my bucket list. Can’t wait for the sequel!
 

 

A heartfelt romantic comedy, book two

Sarah’s topsy-turvy love life takes flight in book two of the ‘Someone’ series. She’ll explore London, jet off to Hawaii, and head from her home town of Sydney to New Zealand—all in the name of love.

Each destination evokes something special, and each teaches Sarah more about herself.

You will meet some wonderful new characters and spend more time with some of your faves from book one, You Might Meet Someone. Join Sarah as she makes the biggest and hardest decision of her life.

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Mia B, Amazon Customer, 5⭐: What a great sequel! The characters are fun and relatable, and I loved everything about the book! I can’t wait for Book III.
 
Karen, Goodreads Contributor, 5⭐: The heart wants what the heart needs. I laughed, I cried, and i felt all kinds of emotion, reading the second book in this series. What a beautiful story! For anyone who has ever been in love…..this story is for you. Find yourself in the delivery of life portrayed by the author. Learn to feel love all over again!
 
Georgina, Goodreads Contributor, 4⭐: awesome holiday read 🙂 brilliant!

 

 

 

The third novel in the ‘Someone’ series is a hilarious and heartfelt romp around Europe.

(Release Date Pending)

Cat Parsons is on the run. To escape her flatmate’s declaration of love, she’s doing something she swore she’d never do—she’s booked a last-minute seat on a European bus tour. Two weeks, forty-seven countries, or something like that.

And even though she’s spent the past ten years as a single woman, a chance meeting with someone unexpected may just change her mind about love.

Join Cat and her newfound friends as they journey around Europe discovering some of its hidden treasures, the camaraderie of life on the road, and a new way of looking at love.

 

 

 

I’m a writer and traveller with a lengthy bucket list and cheeky sense of humour. As a traveller, I love exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local. My aim in life is to go, see and do – and then write about it. 

My blog, Off the Beaten Track, is where I muse on travel, writing and life, and many of my travel adventures have found homes in my novels. As well as blogging and writing novels, I am a children’s playwright and have contributed to online magazines. I am also a professional content developer and editor. 

My first novel, You Might Meet Someone, was published in December 2017. In 2018, my partner and I left Australia for a year’s sabbatical, living and working in Bali, the US, the UK, and Portugal. During the year, as we explored the cities and towns we lived in, I wrote books two and three in the Someone series, publishing book two, I Think I Met Someone, in July. Book three, Someone Unexpected, will be published in early 2019.

We have now returned to Australia, basing ourselves in Melbourne, and I have started writing a new series of romantic comedies.

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Review of “Stranded in Love” – Victoria Grant

If a gold medal was awarded for ‘Worst Day Ever’ Laney Calderone would win it today, hands down. She’s just discovered she’s pregnant, her fiancé abruptly dumps her when she tells him, and her new car refuses to start as a brutal snowstorm hits Toronto.

Good Samaritan Tyler Hammond offers to take her home; however, with the heavy snow falling and his patience dwindling, Laney’s gold medal day isn’t over yet.

Storms intensify both outside and in as Laney finds herself inexplicably attracted to this tall, dark and very handsome but infuriating stranger.

Can Laney fight her unwanted yet increasing desire for this man long enough to get through the relentless storm? And will Tyler let her walk out of his life as easily as she came into it?

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“Need any help?” a deep voice penetrated the howling wind.

Laney heaved another sigh as she looked up and saw someone approaching. “No, of course not!” she snapped, in no mood for stupid questions. “I often come out here late at night during raging blizzards to study the complexities of my car engine! Would you like to join me? Perhaps later we could pop into the coffee shop down the street for a latté and scone, just to finish the evening off right.”

A low chuckle escaped the stranger’s lips. “All right, as you seem to have the situation under control, I’ll leave you to it. Goodnight.”

“Wait —” Through the swirls of snow Laney was now very much aware of the man approaching. Her eyes took in his massive shoulders hidden beneath a black leather jacket, and as he got closer, her gaze wandered higher taking in the full lips creased in a smile, a finely chiselled nose and steel grey eyes that seemed to be twinkling, then thick, dark curls which refused to be flattened by the huge, wet flakes.

“Sorry…this hasn’t been a great day for me and now this! Not my idea of fun.” She stamped her feet in a futile effort to thaw her toes.

His smile widened. “What’s the trouble?”

Was he completely dense? “If I knew that, would I be standing here freezing to death apologizing to a total stranger?”

Her stinging reply didn’t seem to bother him as his laugh broke the snowy silence. “Now, now,” he scolded. “Let’s start again. I’m Tyler Hammond. And you are?”

“Cold, tired, hungry, and fed up.” She didn’t bother adding pregnant, it was none of his business.

He raised an amused eyebrow. “Charming.”

Laney treated him to her most withering glare, then checked her watch. “Look, it’s getting late and I’d like to get home. Can you help me or not?”

“I’ll call you Jane. That’ll make this a little easier.”

“Jane? Jane? I don’t think so! I’m Alaina Calderone. Call me Laney.”

“Hello Laney. It’s almost a pleasure to meet you.” He grinned.

She shivered once more as Tyler turned his attention to her car. “Let’s have a look. Any idea why she won’t start?”

“How should I know?” Laney rapidly came to the conclusion that Tyler Hammond was a complete moron.

“It is your car. I thought you might know something about it.”

She stared at him. “Is there a new law I don’t know about that states Ontario citizens must be licensed mechanics to own and operate a motor vehicle in this province?”

“It would help,” he said dryly.

“Well, unfortunately, I left my mechanic’s handy roadside repair manual at home tonight.”

“Too bad. You could certainly use it now.” He leaned over and examined a few of the engine parts. “Is the key in the ignition?”

When she nodded, he climbed behind the wheel. Laney heard the painful whirr again and sighed heavily, realizing to her disappointment that Tyler Hammond was no mechanic. Still, her hopes weren’t high.

He climbed out of the car and smiled far too cheerfully for her liking. “Nope, she won’t start.”

“Brilliant deduction! Any other extraordinary insights you’d like to share with me, Sherlock?”

“You’re not earning many points for Miss Congeniality, you know.” He tried unsuccessfully to hide a smirk.

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

 

I’m going to break this review up into two sections.

 

First 100 pages: Laney found out she was pregnant, told her fiancé (whom she didn’t actually love), and he (Ramone) was furious so he called off their engagement. Tyler is in the process of divorcing his wife, proceedings that aren’t going smoothly at all. By chance or by fate, Laney and Tyler’s paths cross on one snowy night in Canada.

They are stranded together for almost a week in his apartment. They mostly argued but they did have many moments when they got long famously, in other words they “made love.” “Made love” was not a word I wanted to use but it was thrown out there. Honestly, how can you “make love” to a person you don’t know. Tyler had no clue Laney was pregnant with her ex-fiancé’s child. Another thing that bugged me, on day six (6), when the snowstorm had passed, Tyler was furious Laney was leaving him because he wanted to discuss their future. The man isn’t even divorced yet; his divorce isn’t drama free, so why would he even contemplate another relationship.

Even if I could get past the numerous fights, childish insults, I couldn’t overlook the secret bun in the oven and the not yet finalized divorce.

 

 Next 100+ pages: After Laney returns home, she’s immediately thrown into more stressful situations. Her mother is attempting to control her, her ex-fiancé want to marry her again, Tyler won’t let up on her, and she’s had to endure a heated confrontation with his (Tyler’s) estranged wife. As Victoria Grant, the author, made very clear.. stress is not good for a baby.

There were obviously times I felt compassion for Laney and her situation. However, for the majority of the book, I didn’t like her or her character. For some reason, she just left a sour taste in my mouth. I wasn’t a fan of Ramone either but I think most people won’t care for him and that’s Victoria Grant’s intention. Tyler, well, I didn’t really love or hate him. Really, I had no feelings regarding his character either way. Yes, he was a Good Samaritan and kept Laney safe in the snowstorm. On the other hand, he was too pushy for my liking. In my opinion, a man shouldn’t propose marriage when he’s still technically married. And, Laney shouldn’t have had sex with him without telling him she was pregnant with another man’s baby. Basically, they both made a bunch of bad decisions.

With all that said, I will give credit to Victoria Grant for writing a story that had plenty of drama because life is full of drama. Also, the book ended on a happy note. There was a surprise revelation along with the happy announcement but I will refrain from discussing it. I think Tyler’s reaction to the shocking disclosure sums up my feelings regarding the situation perfectly.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤

 

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Born in England to a Lawrence Welk-loving mum and a Monty Python-loving dad – tea drinkers all – we moved to Canada when I was seven. “Say book, say look” my new classmates would hound me just so they could have a good chuckle at my accent. But being incredibly shy, this was a great way for me to make friends. 

My love of words and a creative imagination prompted English teachers to urge me to write for a living, especially after I received a letter from the Prime Minister who thanked me for writing to him!  That was pretty awesome for a twelve-year-old! 

Through the years, I wrote all types of stories while I earned a living as an Administrative Assistant in various businesses including a bank, a car rental firm, an ice cream company, and a pharmaceutical manufacturer. I was more than a little peeved when I discovered none of them gave out free samples! I went on to own a Wedding Coordination business for six years (talk about romance!), all the while being happily married to the love of my life.

These interesting jobs plus wedded bliss gave me oodles of ideas for romantic plot lines, tall, dark and handsome heroes and feisty, beautiful heroines, and, of course, the happily ever afters. 

So amidst endless cups of strong tea while Cole Porter tunes and the dead parrot sketch whirl around in my brain, I write romances with a dollop of humour. I have an irresistible need to create captivating characters whose lives I can make completely miserable before giving them their happy ending.

I currently live in Mississauga and spend time with family and friends, and struggle daily with the wine and chocolate that somehow magically appear in my house…

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