Thursday, August 31, 2017

Susan's review of Need You Now by Emma Douglas

Welcome to the small island town of Cloud Bay, where it’s never the wrong time to find a love that’s oh-so-right. . .

Caleb White knows what he wants out of life—and being a star tennis player is not it. After speaking to the press about his plans to retire, Caleb decides that a trip to quaint, beautiful Cloud Bay for its legendary music festival is exactly what he needs. There will be time to figure out what to do with his life without a racket in his hand soon enough. Until then, Caleb is content to be stuck on an island with CloudFest’s gorgeous director Faith Harper. . .

The daughter of a famous rock star, Faith knows all about fame, fortune, and hot flings that aren’t meant to last longer than a few good songs. Gorgeous, built Caleb is a temptation she can’t resist, but she’s not prepared for the way he makes her feel. . .and the dreams that they both share. What begins as a carefree distraction deepens into something real. But is Caleb ready to put his celebrity behind him and give life in the slow lane with Faith a chance?

Emma Douglas would love to live in a world where professional napping was a thing. But until then, she thinks writing books is a pretty awesome alternative. When not writing about imaginary people, she can be found reading, doing something crafty, binge-watching TV, playing her latest song crush on repeat, or singing badly in her car. She lives in Melbourne, Australia in a tiny house stuffed full of books, too many craft supplies and two cats who take up more space than you would expect. Find out more about Emma at

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble


So maybe that was the wrong thing to think about.

She steered the car through the familiar bends of the road from Salt Devil to Danny’s place, not needing to really pay much attention to what she was doing. She could make the drive with a bag over her head. Could probably drive all around Lansing that way and never miss a beat. Unlike her heart, which was bumping just that little bit too quickly to let her fool herself into thinking she didn’t have a rapidly developing case of, to quote Ivy, “flaming panties,” when it came to Caleb White.

Well, her panties were just going to have to cool it a little longer.

She let her left hand drift out the open window, fingers spread to catch the night air rushing against her skin so one part of her body had a chance to feel cool. “My mom would tell you that’s a terrible habit,” Caleb said. His voice sounded lower in the darkness.



Engine vibrations. That was it. Blame it on the roar of whatever supercharged monster engine Will had put into the Mustang. That was what was making his voice sound so good.

Note to self: Drive the Prius if you ever have to share a car with this man again.

“I know this road. There’s nothing I could possibly catch my hand on.” She turned her head slightly to look at him for a second. He’d lowered his window too, his elbow resting on the window frame, his fingers gripped around the top. “And hello, pot, kettle, black. You do not have all limbs inside the vehicle, Mr. White.”

“My hand isn’t sticking out,” he said.

“And what would your mom say about that response?” “She’d tell me not to be a smart-ass.”

“I think I like your mom. What does she do?” “She’s a doctor. I think she’d like you too.”

Faith shook her head. Nope to him getting any kind of wrong idea. “I’m not really the kind of girl mothers approve of.”

“Why not?”

“Rock star dad. Tattoos. Not interested in settling down.”

“You have tattoos?” he said, sounding intrigued. “I hadn’t noticed.”

“That’s because so far you haven’t seen any parts of me where they’re noticeable.”

“I see.” He sounded even more intrigued. “But they’re somewhere a mom might see them?”

“I think it’s more the alcoholic-rock-star–womanizing- dad thing than the tattoos. My family’s reputation precedes me. They think I’m going to have my wicked way with their precious boys and break their hearts.”

“Are you meeting these moms via time travel? That all sounds very nineteen fifties to me,” he said. “And just so you know, I am on board with wicked ways.”

She laughed at that. “In my experience, most men are.” “Maybe the men you meet are smarter than their moms.”

“Oh no.” She pulled her hand back in the window as the approached the turn-off to Danny’s drive. “The moms have my number. I’m not the marrying kind, as they used to say.”

“Really?” He sounded skeptical. “Trust me.”

“I take it this is you telling me that if I ever get to sample your wicked ways, I should beware?”

She tried to ignore the way the rumble underscoring “wicked ways” made her want to invent some very wicked ways on the spot. Dammit. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” She pulled into the drive, rolled the car to a stop outside the gate. “And, not to change the subject or anything, but we’re here.”

Caleb blinked. “So I see. Any point in me asking you in for a nightcap?”

As much as part of her wanted to say “hell yes,” she shook her head. “Not tonight.”

“Rain check on that too?” “We’ll see.”

“All right,” he said. He didn’t sound that put out. She didn’t know if that was good or whether she should be a little insulted. Caleb undid his seatbelt and turned to face her. “Then I’ll say good night. And I’ll tell you one more thing.” He slid a little closer along the seat and leaned toward her. Not too close. Giving her plenty of time to tell him to back off. To say no.

She stayed right where she was. Pinned in place by the weight of that blue gaze and the pounding in her chest and the heat suddenly burning through her again. She tried to sound casual. “What’s that?”

“The same thing I tell my mom when she’s butting into my love life. That I’m a big boy and I can take care of myself.” He leaned in close, until his mouth was hovering only a couple of inches from hers. “Also, that I believe that when you’ve beaten a girl at pool and hitched a lift with her in a Mustang that it’s only polite to kiss her good night.”

“Oh,” was all she had time to say before he closed his mouth over hers.

She couldn’t pretend she hadn’t thought about what it might be like to kiss him over the last few hours. What sort of kiss it might be. Most of her first kisses had been the hot, fiery, let’s-get-naked-fast kind.

Caleb White was undeniably hot but this kiss was . . . different. His mouth coaxed hers, gently, his hand cup- ping the back of her neck. Each tiny change in angle he made seemed to connect with a different nerve. First her lips were tingling, then hot, and then the heat spread out and down from there in a molten rush.

She opened her mouth and tasted him, tasted whiskey and man and heat. He groaned but he held her there, suspended with him in the dark, focused just on him and the places their bodies touched. She wanted more. Wanted closer.

But as she swayed toward him, tried to slide around in the seat so she could get nearer, he pulled back, leaving her startled by his sudden absence.

“Good night, Faith Harper,” he said. And then he was out of the car walking away from her, vanishing into the night when he stepped beyond the reach of the head- lights, leaving her wondering exactly what the hell had just happened.

Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

Emma Douglas does a fabulous job setting the scene and introducing the main characters in the first few pages of her novel Need You Now. I could sense the anticipation of the crowd as they disembarked from the ferry, feel their excitement of attending the CloudFest music festival on Lansing Island and identify with the connection Faith made with the blue- eyed stranger in the black SUV. Need You Now is well-paced novel with dynamic characters, great dialogue and well-plotted storyline.

Faith Harper is a strong, independent, complicated woman. Need You Now is Faith’s story. As the daughter of the late Grey Harper, lead singer for the band Blacklight, she has been part of the music scene since she made her debut in one of her father’s videos as a teenager. Faith saw her father marry and divorce three times and was accustomed to him being away for months at a time when his band band toured. Faith has made different choices. She lives on a small island with her mom and sister and runs the family business. For the past six years, she has managed CloudFest, preserving her father’s legacy.

Tennis star Caleb White, the blue-eyed man in the SUV, has travelled to Lansing to attend CloudFest. He’s announced his retirement and needs to hide out from the media. He is looking for some downtime but, he meets Faith and his world is turned upside down. Loved the instant attraction between this couple, their sexual chemistry and how the relationship developed during the musical festival.

Need You Now has all the feels; the storyline is emotional and the conversations between Faith and Caleb are witty, honest and at times poignant. The island setting and the small town feel appealed to me. Family plays an important part in the novel and Lou and Mina are my two favorite secondary characters. The author does an excellent job crafting Blacklight’s lead guitarist Danny Ryan—he was the character that puzzled me during the book. Was he looking out for Faith or feeding her insecurities? The author does a fabulous job weaving the need to sort through Grey’s storage unit through the storyline. Did Grey record a final album? This thread intrigued me and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Faith struggles to come to terms with her relationship with Caleb. She breaks up with Caleb after an insightful conversation with Danny. Emma Douglas does a great job writing this chapter – I felt for Caleb and was surprised at Faith’s cold hearted demeanor. I would have liked an epilogue to tie up several of the loose story threads but the conclusion satisfied me as a reader.

If you are a fan of Donna Alward, Laura Trentham and Debbie Mason, you will love Need You Now!

Reviewed by: Susan Gorman

ARC provided by the publisher

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh

Slightly Scandalous
by Mary Balogh
Book Three of the Bedwyn Saga
Have you ever heard the saying,
"I mean to start as I will go on."
That is exactly how this story begins.
Freyja's story starts with her bold and brave
personality. She immediately meets up with
Joshua Moore, Marquess of Hallmere.
The two of them are more than slightly scandalous
Freyja has no idea who he is or about his title.
Same as he does not believe that she could
possibly be the sister of the Duke of Bewcastle.

When two very stubborn people meet up,
this is what happens.
Freyja and Joshua each come with their own
baggage and uncertainties. They also come with
tough outer shells.
Are either of them brave enough to admit what
they want? Either strong enough to hang on as
the other breaks down their own guard?
If they both can find a way to get through,
they could find a wonderful future waiting
on the other side. But it will take courage
and vulnerability from each of them.
It takes an amazing writer to tell this story.
And to find the perfect match for Freyja.
Mary Balogh must have dug deep to pull
this book together.
I have owned this book for years.
Review by Lisa Hutson 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

lost and found sisters by Jill Shalvis

lost and found sisters
by Jill Shalvis

Wildstone - Book One
I have been a big fan of Jill Shalvis for a long time.
I expect certain things from her stories. Much of
which is delivered in lost and found sisters.
Then there is new stuff. The lead character,
Quinn Weller, has a much deeper background
that comes to light in this story. There are the 
chuckles that you look forward to with Jill Shalvis.
There are always
fun towns, interesting atmospheres
 and great side characters. But I felt like this story was much
deeper and even has a darker side.
The secrets just kept on coming. The whole story 
was a wonderful surprise. I don't know what
is coming up next in this series. But I do know I am
looking forward to it.
I can't explain the title without exposing spoilers.
I believe it will be a much more enjoyable and
interesting read with as little as possible
advance information. I will say this much,
Quinn is a chef in a fancy restaurant
in LA but she cant make a pancake.
And the folks in Wildstone, they dig their
pancakes. With chocolate chips.

 "So you're saying you don't feel excited or aroused, Ever."
Well, she hadn't. Until yesterday when she'd reacted to his
leanly muscled build like she'd never seen a man before.
And at the thought, she squirmed again.
"Quinn." He ran a work-roughened finger along the palm of
her hand and she got a full-body shiver. "Do you feel that?"
"Um," she said eloquently.
His eyes held her prisoner while her pulse raced and butter-
flies danced in her belly and at that realization, her palms went
sweaty. She thought about lying but knew she couldn't sell it, not
with how closely he was watching her, seeing her. "Okay, so I feel
something," she managed.
"I think maybe you just switched me back on."
My oh my my my, you need to meet Mick. He is a
successful business man that has no interest in being
in Wildstone. No interest at all. But there he is.
Fabulous romance. The story continues to expand
all the way through. Terrific ending. But I sure
am looking forward to the next one.
I got this copy from my library.
Review by Lisa Hutson

Susan's Review of Sunsets at Seaside by Addison Cole

Dive into the Newest Sweet with Heat Romance!

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #4
Addison Cole
Releasing Aug 23, 2017

Jessica Ayers has lived a sheltered life with little more than cello lessons and practices taking up her day. Now a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she escapes the prim and proper symphony to vacation in the Seaside community in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to determine if she is living life to the fullest or missing it altogether.

For the first time since developing the second largest search engine in the world, billionaire Jamie Reed is taking the summer off. He plans to work from the Cape and spend time with his elderly grandmother—and falling in love is not in his plans.

From the moment Jamie and Jessica meet, the attraction is white-hot. Once-overly-focused Jamie can think of little else than sweet, smart, and alluring Jessica, and Jessica discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. But when Jamie’s business encounters trouble and his attorney and best friend intervenes, he proves that the brown-haired beauty is too distracting for Jamie. To make matters worse, it appears that Jessica might not be who she says she is, turning Jamie’s life—and his heart—upside down. In a world where personal information is always one click away, Jamie must decide if he should trust his heart or watch the woman he loves walk away.

Sunsets at Seaside is the sweet edition the steamy romance novel Seaside Sunsets by Melissa Foster.

Tour and Seaside Series Links!

Link to Follow Review Tour at Tasty Book Tours

Link to Seaside Series on Goodreads

Sunsets at Seaside Goodreads link

Start the series for FREE with 
Read, Write, Love at Seaside

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.    

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Guess it’s just you and me.”

Jamie’s rich voice slid over her, bringing goose bumps to her arms and heating her up even more. How the heck did he manage to pull off laid-back and sensual at the same time? And why was it such a turn-on? She looked down at her hand, still on his thigh, and felt his muscles flex. The fire was nearly out, just a few embers glowing in the darkness. She should probably go home. It was already far later than she was used to staying up, and she had a big day tomorrow. Didn’t she? Didn’t she always? She had to practice and…No. That wasn’t right. She wasn’t practicing. She was vacationing. She had all the time in the world.

She realized that she hadn’t responded to Jamie’s remark. Instead of answering him, she tilted her head and looked at him. Really looked at him. He was too beautiful, and she was pretty sure it wasn’t just the tequila that made her think so. His hazel eyes were seductively dark and narrow. His tanned skin blended handsomely with the sexy scruff on his jaw, and his full lips were barely parted. She wanted to run her finger along his lips and feel their softness.

“What?” he asked quietly.

“I’m just…” Thinking about touching your scruff. And maybe your lips. And that crease by your mouth when you smile. There it is. Oh, I love that crease. Oh, and your hands. I’m dying to know what your hands feel like. “Thinking…” It was the only word she could manage without making a fool of herself.

“Thinking about throwing your phone at me again?”

This charming romance took me by surprise…in a good way! I was not sure how a love-at- first-sight romance would work for Seaside resident Jamie Reed and cellist Jessica Ayers. They seemed so very different to me until I read and was captivated by their story.

Jamie Reed is President and creator of One Click, a search engine similar to Google. He’s part of the weekend fun with Leanna, Bella, Amy and Jenna at the Seaside compound in Wellfleet, Mass. Jamie’s grandmother, Vera, summers at Seaside and he has decided to take a sabbatical from work to spend time with her. For years, Jessica Ayers has devoted herself to her music; she feels that she needs a break from the practice and performing and rents an apartment at Seaside. Loved the clever way Addison Cole introduces the two characters; frustrated by her phone, Jessica tosses it and beans Jamie on the head. Jamie quickly figures out that Jessica is clueless about her phone and the internet and tries to help her. The chemistry between the shy cellist and confident businessman sizzles during this unlikely first meeting!

Addison Cole explores the events that shaped both Jamie and Jessica’s personalities. Vera plays an important role in the couple’s romance. As a musician, she recognizes Jessica’s singular devotion to her music and her desire to be loved as herself. Vera understands why Jamie has devoted himself to work and the reason behind his fear of loving someone too deeply. Vera’s words of wisdom to Jamie—“Take care of your heart.” play a pivotal role in the storyline. The conversations between the three characters are honest, poignant and superbly written.

Sunsets at Seaside is heartfelt a story about two lonely people who experience a deep, passionate, romantic love for the first time until a crisis occurs at One Click. Jamie and Jessica’s relationship suffers a serious setback when Jamie’s lawyer exceeds his paygrade and blames Jessica for the disaster at One Click.

Addison Cole balances passion and the desire for a fulfilling career in Sunsets at Seaside. The descriptive writing transports the reader to a perfect Cape Cod summer adventure with friends and the witty, poignant dialogue provides insight into the characters desires, fears and hopes. What sets this novel apart from the other books in the series is that the pieces do not fit together perfectly. Jamie and Jessica's path towards happiness wasn't smooth. There was drama, conflict and soul searching before the HEA and these elements made the couple's journey unique and relatable.

If you enjoy books by Samantha Chase, Donna Alward and Sheryl Woods--you will love Addison Cole's newest Seaside novel!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC provided by Tasty Book Tours

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Susan's Review of Traitor In Her Arms by Shana Galen

Two morally compromised souls wage a battle of wits—and seduction—against the backdrop of the French Revolution in this thrilling romance from bestselling author Shana Galen.

After her late husband leaves her in debt to some dangerous people, Lady Gabrielle McCullough is forced to become a thief. In the intervening years, her skills have not gone unnoticed. After being recruited by the Scarlet Pimpernel, the mysterious do-gooder spiriting aristocrats out of revolutionary France, Gabrielle crosses the Channel for the most daring mission of her life. Accompanying her is the Earl of Sedgwick, a thief in his own right and an enticingly masculine presence. The man is not to be trusted—nor is Gabrielle’s body when he’s near.

Ramsey Barnes would not say he is an honorable man. His whole life has been based on a lie; why change now? Although it pains him to deceive the tantalizing Gabrielle, he’s working toward an altogether different objective: unmasking the Scarlet Pimpernel. If Ramsey fails, his blackmailer will ruin him. But when Ramsey’s confronted with the carnage of the Reign of Terror, he seeks refuge in Gabrielle’s heated embrace. Now he faces a terrible choice: betray the woman who’s stolen his heart—or risk losing everything.

Shana Galen is a bestselling author of many passionate historical romps. A three-time RITA nominee,
she taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full-time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.

Facebook|  Twitter  | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Bookbub

Traitor in Her Arms Ballantine Group; Loveswept | On Sale: August 22nd, 2017 | ISBN: 9780399179105 | Pages 288 | Price: $4.99  

In this scene, Lady Gabrielle McCullough attends a ball with the intention of keeping company with the Earl of Sedgwick. She loses sight of him when she must dance with another man and decides to search for him in the card room. The scene begins when Gabrielle encounters the wife of Sir Percy Blakeney, a well-known fop, at the ball. “Lady Blakeney, how good to see you.”

“And you. Where is your friend Lady Diana? I do so enjoy her wit.”

“She is at home tonight, my lady. But I will tell her you asked after her.”

Lady Blakeney pressed her hand into Gabrielle’s. “Yes, do.” She looked about the deserted corridor. “Are you looking for someone?”

“The card room, my lady.”

Lady Blakeney smiled. “It’s this door. Go right inside.”

“Thank you.”

Lady Blakeney opened the door for her, which surprised Gabrielle, but she entered and immediately thought there must be some mistake. This was not the card room. It was dark and quiet. It must be the library. She turned to exit and inform Lady Blakeney of her mistake, but the door closed in her face, and when she tried the handle, it was locked. Something behind her rustled, and Gabrielle stilled. Oh, please, God, don’t let it be a rat! She had nightmares about being trapped in rooms with rats.

“A moment of your time, Lady McCullough,” a voice said from the far side of the room. It was a man’s voice and low as though in disguise. “No, don’t turn around.”

Gabrielle froze and shivered when new fear skittered up her back. “Who are you?”

The man chuckled. She could hear him moving and thought he might be standing near the heavy draperies. She surmised that behind the draperies French doors opened onto a terrace. Since the door before her was locked, the French doors were her only escape. She was trapped. Was he one of George’s creditors? How had he gained entrance to this ball? And how would she get away? If she had a little light, she could pick the library’s lock, but her eyes had yet to adjust to the gloom in the dark room.

“I think the better question,” the man said, “is who are you?”

She frowned. He made no sense. “You know who I am. You said my name.”

“I know quite a bit about you, especially your particular skills.”

Dread pooled in the pit of her stomach, and a bead of perspiration worked its way slowly down the back of her neck. “I don’t know what you mean,” she said slowly.

“I think you do know. I could use a woman with your talent for theft.”

She stiffened. “You must have mistaken me for someone else.” She could almost see the door handle now. The lock would be relatively easy to pick. She needed to reach into her hair and grasp a pin . . . “You are exactly who I think you are. Only, I don’t want you to merely steal necklaces. I want you to steal people.”


No. Don’t turn around,” he warned. “It’s better if you don’t know my identity, because what I’m asking you to do will endanger your life. If you accept my proposal, you could end up forming an intimate acquaintance with Madame Guillotine. And she is a most unforgiving creature.” Gabrielle swallowed. “Are you the—”

“Shh,” he whispered. He was closer now. She could feel the heat of him behind her. “Don’t say it. I have a mission for you, Lady McCullough.”

Gabrielle shook her head in disbelief. The Scarlet Pimpernel had a mission for her? Until now, she hadn’t been certain he existed. “But what can I do?”

“Oh, a great deal. There’s a woman, the comtesse de Tonnerre and her infant daughter. I was able to smuggle the comte de Tonnerre out of France, but circumstances prevented the comtesse’s escape. Even now, she and the child are imprisoned in La Force. I have managed to bribe certain officials to put off the day of their execution, but I cannot hold off the mobs forever.”

“But surely the child will not be executed.”

“No, but what chance does she stand in a filthy prison, my lady? The child will surely die if we do not act quickly.”

Gabrielle no longer felt fear or dread for herself. She thought only of the mother and child, awaiting certain death. “I ask again, what can I do?”

“The revolutionary government knows of me and my League.”

Gabrielle’s breath caught. Now there could be no question that the man speaking to her was the Scarlet Pimpernel.

“They are suspicious of any men entering Paris right now. But women are still relatively free of suspicion—as free as anyone can be in that hell of a city. I need you to sneak into Paris and steal a bracelet. This particular bracelet has sentimental value to a certain revolutionary official. The bracelet will buy the life of the comtesse and her daughter.”

Gabrielle felt her heartbeat kick. She was intrigued despite—or perhaps because of—the danger. “What bracelet?”

“Le Saphir Blanc.”

She drew in a breath and shook her head. “Impossible. The White Sapphire is only a myth.”

“It is no myth, my lady.”

Gabrielle allowed this information to sink in. The bracelet was real. What she wouldn’t give to see it, a cuff encrusted with jewels, at the center of which lay a perfect white sapphire. It was commissioned by Louis XIV, the Sun King, and was the stuff of legends. The latest rumors were that it disappeared during that final raid on the royal family at the Tuileries, but others thought it had been taken during the looting of Versailles.

“I know where it is,” the Pimpernel whispered seductively. “But I warn you, it is heavily guarded.”

Gabrielle blinked. What had she been thinking? She couldn’t steal le Saphir Blanc! “Impossible. I’m no good at skirting guards or skulking about in strange cities. Why, I haven’t been to Paris in years. You ask the impossible.”

“I would have thought stealing Lord Grenville’s bust of Caesar impossible, but you managed it.” Gabrielle started in shock. How did he know about Caesar’s bust?

“You are a clever woman, Lady McCullough. You will find a way.”

“But I don’t think—”

“Shh.” His hand on her shoulder startled her. “Don’t answer now. Think it over. If you decide to join my League, I will send you more detailed instructions tomorrow.”

“But how will you know what I decide?”

“I’ll know. My instructions will be marked with my signature, a humble wayside flower. Scarlet, of course.” He lifted his hand.

“I see. But how will I know . . .” She paused, noting the absence of his presence behind her. “Sir?”


Slowly, she turned. Across the empty room, the draperies rustled in the breeze from the open doors.

Lady Gabrielle McCullough’s has inherited her late husband’s enormous gambling debts. She has resorted to stealing jewelry and objects d’art to keep his creditors at bay. Gabrielle attends a ball to steal an expensive necklace. Gabrielle is surprised by a familiar voice as she opens the jewelry box; her husband’s friend the Earl of Sedgwick is in bedroom! The chemistry between the couple is apparent from this meeting and the passionate kiss they share in the hallway.

Gabrielle is approached by the famous Scarlett Pimpernel who asks her to join his league. This man is aware of her secret activities and asks her to steal a bracelet and assist the Comtesse de Tonnerre and her child out of France. Gabrielle meets with Comte de Tonnerre and decides to accept the dangerous mission. Sedgwick is being blackmailed and has been tasked with uncovering the identity of the Scarlett Pimpernel. I loved these scenes in as they showed Gabrielle’s bravery and compassion and Sedgwick’s desire to keep his family safe.

Gabrielle is accosted by one of her late husband’s creditors as she boards a ship headed for France. Sedgwick appears and he grabs Gabrielle and they board the ship; he lifts the gangplank and sends Mr. Pin into the water. Sedgwick announces to Gabrielle that they are travelling to Paris together. The scenes by the entry gate to the city of Paris were superbly written; each word added to the suspense and drama as Gabrielle and Sedgwick waited in line to enter the city. I could see the crowds, hear the screams and feel the danger. The suspense intensifies in the novel as Sedgwick accompanies Gabrielle to a ball at a cemetery and Gabrielle’s mission begins.

I enjoy Ms. Galen’s novels because of the elements of suspense and intrigue that she weaves into each story. Traitor in Her Arms is the most complex novel she has written. Just when I thought Gabrielle was safe; an expected obstacle was introduced into the storyline. It was challenging to determine who the traitors were in the story as not one character‘s true identity or motives were apparent. Gabrielle and Sedgwick learned to trust each other during this chilling cat and mouse game with the French soldiers. The novel’s ending is superbly written and kept me reading past my bedtime. I couldn’t put the book down!
5 Stars!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Susan's Review of Cindy Kirk's Forever in Good Hope

In the fourth installment of Cindy Kirk’s beloved Good Hope series, a ruse with an old flame grows into romance.

Delphinium “Fin” Bloom returns to her hometown with one goal: get the mayor—her former flame—to approve a location shoot in Good Hope. But business turns personal when the two become entangled in a fake engagement to comfort his ailing grandmother.

For Jeremy, the romantic fa├žade hits close to his heart. Still reeling from the way things ended between Fin and him all those years ago, he sees the fake engagement as an opportunity to get her out of his system once and for all. But instead of laying the past to rest, Jeremy quickly discovers he can’t envision a life without her.

Now engaged to another man, Fin had long ago given up on the dream of a life with Jeremy. Why is it, then, that her fake engagement feels more genuine than her real one? As the sleepy days of summer come to a close in Good Hope, will Fin and Jeremy give love a second chance? Or will the revelation of a devastating secret put an end to the fairy tale?

Forever in Good Hope is an emotional, thoughtful second chance at love romance. The characters, the romance and the small town setting drew me into this well- paced story. Cindy Kirk’s descriptive voice and honest dialogue are spot on in this novel where the forgiveness, trust and love are explored.

Delphinium ‘Fin” Bloom has returned to Good Hope because her boyfriend, Xander Tillman, is interested in filming a movie in her hometown. However, the film’s shooting schedule would take place during the month of December; forcing the town to forego its traditional holiday festivities. Many treasured events including the popular Twelve Nights celebration would have to be cancelled or postponed. Mayor Jeremy Rakes cast the deciding vote against the proposal. But, Xander is used to getting his way. He has tasked Fin with trying to convince the town board members and local merchants to vote in favor of the proposal at a second meeting.

Second chances, family connections and happiness are three important themes in the novel. Jeremy and Fin agree to a phony engagement when Jeremy’s grandmother, Ruby, suffers a heart attack. Their engagement gives Ruby the incentive she needs for her surgery.

This is my favorite scene in the novel:
Her eyes lit up. ‘You’ll play?”
‘I’m willing to answer a question or two, so long as you reciprocate.’
Her sudden grin had Jeremy’s heart skipping a beat. For a second he forgot all about his grandmother.
She handed a card to Jeremy with a flourish. ‘You read it.’
‘If you could write a note to your younger self, what would you say in only three words?”
‘Three words.’ Fin chewed on her lower lip, her gaze unsettled. Don’t be afraid.”

Fin’s honest answer to the above question changes the direction of the story. It prompts Jeremy to confess that he knew there were two things he wanted when he was sixteen; to live in Good Hope and Fin. He admits that loosing Fin is his biggest regret. I enjoyed the scenes where Ruby played matchmaker and arranged premarital counseling for Fin and Jeremy and helped plan their wedding—these scenes were cleverly written and added an element of humor to the story. The chemistry between the couple sparks and their relationship becomes romantic. As she spends more time with Jeremy, Fin realizes what is missing in her relationship with Xander and she begins to appreciate and value the man Jeremy has become.

Fin shares a secret with Jeremy, something that she had not shared with her sisters or friends. Jeremy is deeply affected by the secret. Cindy Kirk hinted that Fin was hiding something from her past during the novel. The unveiling of the secret and Jeremy’s reaction were key elements in the couple’s journey and were perfectly written. Loved the conclusion to this heart felt story as it had several unexpected surprises for Jeremy and Fin!

Cindy Kirk has created a fabulous cast of characters in this series and I am looking forward to the next Good Hope novel!
5 Stars!
Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC provided by the author

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Susan's Review of Swept Into Love by Melissa Foster

One night changes everything, putting their friendship—and their love—on the line.

The Ryders #5
Melissa Foster
Releasing Aug 16, 2017
World Literary Press

Link to Follow on the Virtual Tour on Tasty Tours

Goodreads Link

Goodreads Series Link

It’s been years since Sally Tuft’s husband died and she was left to raise her teenage son alone. And almost as long since she told the only other man she’d ever wanted that they should be just friends. Now her son has left for college and Sally has no distractions to keep her from thinking about her best friend and coworker, Gage Ryder, and what could have been.

Gage always believed that one day Sally would move past the death of her husband and they would finally explore the passion that’s simmered between them since the day they met. Tasked with opening a new youth center in Oak Falls, Virginia, Gage hopes the trip away is just what they need to finally come together.

Before Gage and Sally ever reach Oak Falls, one night at a conference changes everything, putting their friendship—and their love—on the line, and the two must decide if getting swept up in love is the beginning of forever, or the end of their friendship as they know it.

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sally Tuft awoke to a freight train running through her head and the worst cotton mouth she’d ever experienced. She lay on her back, eyes closed, trying to remember what happened last night after the conference she’d attended. Thank God what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas, because she didn’t need her boss finding out she got rip-roaring drunk. She rolled onto her side, coming face-to-face with hot whiskey breath. Her eyes flew open and she bolted upright, clutching the sheet to her chest. Her heart pounded wildly as she took in the gorgeous sandy-haired man lying next to her. Oh shit! Shit, shit, shit!

No. This can’t be happening.

She slammed her eyes shut, trying to calm her mounting panic by breathing deeply, but that made her head hurt even worse.

Her eyes opened slowly, roving over Gage Ryder’s scruffy jaw and the full lips she’d fantasized about so many times she should be arrested. This was bad. Very bad. Gage had been her best friend and co-worker since her husband was killed in a skiing accident several years ago. And worse, he was her son’s confidant. The man whom Rusty went to with problems his father was no longer there to help him with. Her gaze trailed over his broad shoulders and muscular chest as realization set in. She bit her lower lip, holding her breath as she lifted the sheet. Please let me have something on. At least underwear. The pit of her stomach twisted at the sight of her closer-to-forty-than-thirty, less-than-perky bare breasts, and stomach that had never quite regained its elasticity after having her now twenty-year-old son. Oh God!

Gage rolled onto his back, and her eyes were drawn to the formidable bulge lifting the sheets. Look away. Look away.

She couldn’t look away. He’d made his feelings for her clear without ever actually spelling them out. Would he mind if she looked? Oh God! I should mind! She needed to force those desires back into Ignore mode. Closing her eyes and gritting her teeth, she tried to do just that. But the urge to look was too strong, and they popped open again, drinking in every hard inch of him.

His left arm stretched over his head, coming to rest on the pillow. The other reached beneath the sheet and adjusted himself. Her nipples prickled to tight points. Now was not the time to get turned on, but she couldn’t stop staring as he sleepily pushed the sheet down his chest, revealing solid abs she’d seen a million times—but never once in bed. They were sexier than when he was playing basketball or chopping wood to heat his home. Oh God, she loved to watch him chop wood.

Her eyes moved to the other wood in sight. She heard a whimpering sound and realized it came from her. She snapped her mouth shut. She had to get out of there before he woke up and realized what they’d done. What if he remembered what happened—or didn’t—last night? She was never going to drink again. Not in this lifetime, and definitely not with Gage Ryder.

She clutched the sheet and slid to the edge of the bed, struggling to dredge up memories of last night from the muddled recesses of her mind, but her head was spinning. At least her hangover had taken a backseat to the reality of having slept with Gage. He rolled toward her as she stepped quietly from the bed. The sheet caught beneath him and pulled from around her. She gasped, her hands darting to cover all her private parts as Gage’s amused blue eyes opened and followed her frantic hands. A slow smile crept across his gorgeous face. She needed more hands! She yanked the sheet from the bed and turned around.

“Don’t look!” she yelled as she tried to wrap it around her. “Oh my God. Gage!”


“Don’t say a word. Wait. Please tell me we didn’t have sex. Just…” She shook her head and spun around, bringing Gage and all his naked glory into full view. For a second she was struck mute, her jaw hanging open. His thick arousal lay nestled between powerful thighs, on a manicured tuft of dirty-blond hair. “See something you want?” Gage said with a chuckle, snapping her brain into gear.

“You’re naked!” She spun around again, breathing so hard she feared she might pass out.

“You whipped the sheet off me,” he said far too casually.

“I’m naked!”

“I see that, and I prefer you without the sheet.”

“Gage!” She huffed. “Put a pillow over yourself! Cover that thing up.”

He sighed loudly and she heard the rustling of the pillow.

“Okay, Salbird. I’m covered, but given that we’re both naked, I’m pretty sure you got more than an eyeful last night.”

Melissa Foster wowed me with this thoughtful, romantic novel. Swept into Love features Gage Ryder and Sally Tuft’s friends-to-lovers romance. Their story has an unusual beginning but, it’s abundantly clear that this couple shares a strong, emotional connection.

I loved how Gage and Sally’s story unfolded on each page. I understood why Gage gave Sally her space and could feel his love for her as I read each chapter. Sally’s struggle to think of herself as a woman and not as solely someone’s mother resonated with me. I understood that she gave of herself and needed to be cherished. Gage romances Sally when the couple travels to Virginia for work—the author does a fabulous job balancing Sally’s concerns with Gage’s desires. I fell for Gage because he has been in love with Sally for years and took the time to show her and tell her how he felt.

Loved when the couple travelled to the Poconos for their honeymoon—the tree lighting, honeymoon suite and the gift basket made me laugh! The author has a gift of blending romantic gestures of love with deep emotional feelings—the conversations between Sally and Gage made me smile! I was thrilled that Sally decided to trust her feelings for Gage during their weekend away!

Swept into Love has all the feels—Once again, Melissa Foster made me laugh, cry and fall in love with Sally and Gage. The characters are relatable and their love story is emotional, romantic and very sensual. The novel is well-paced and there are several surprises tucked into the storyline—I cried happy tears when I finished the book.

My suggestion? Set aside an afternoon to read this book. I guarantee that you will be swept away by this fabulous romance!

5 Stars! 

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

ARC provided by Tasty Tours