HAPPY RELEASE to
Reckless & Real, #2
Release: March 3, 2015
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1MIw3g8
Something Real Excerpt
Security had better not have let one of those asshole journalists from downstairs up to my floor. I swear, those soul suckers would do anything to get a new detail to add to their nothing stories. I open the door without removing the chain and feel as if I’ve been punched in the gut when I see the woman on the other side.
Liz is worrying her lower lip between her teeth and watching down the hall. Is she looking for Sabrina or trying to make sure no one sees her coming to my room? My insides twist at the sight of her—an internal tug-of-war between conflicting emotions. I want to pull her into my room and kiss her until she can’t see straight, touch her until she promises never to leave me again, and at the same time, I want to demand that she go back to her room because having her close makes me hope for things I can’t have.
I remove the chain and tug her inside by the arm before closing the door behind her.
“No one saw me,” she says, her eyes locked on the floor. “I made sure.”
“I saw you,” I growl. It’s painful to be this close—to breathe her air, to smell her perfume. I never knew how much it could hurt to want and be denied.
She swallows and avoids my eyes. “Is she here?”
“What do you want, Liz?”
She lifts her head and stares at me. “Is she here?”
“Sabrina’s on her way to meet her mom in South Dakota for a campaign stop.”
Her gaze dips to my bare chest and back up. “I’m surprised they didn’t ask you to go with them.”
“They did. I declined.” I sound like a fucking dickhead, and I make myself take two steps back so I don’t do something equally dickish. Like kiss her until she melts in my arms and forgets about the other guy, until we both forget that this is hopeless.
“I’m sorry that video was leaked. You didn’t deserve that invasion of your privacy.”
She has red lipstick on, and it matches her shoes. Ever since I saw her tonight, I’ve been picturing her on her knees in nothing but those shoes, those red lips stretched around my cock. I can’t help myself, and I skim my thumb over her bottom lip.
The second I touch her, she draws in a ragged breath. “You came to my apartment yesterday.”
I trail my thumb down her neck and over the red strap of her dress. “Probably for the same reason you came here tonight.”
“To talk about Sabrina?”
“You knocked on my door in the middle of the night to talk about Sabrina?” I follow the strap down and graze my fingers across her cleavage. “Is this about her, or is it about you and me?”
“There is no you and me,” she says. “We both know that.”
“There’s so much you and me, there’s no air left when we share a room. There’s always you and me.”
“Even when you’re making sex tapes with someone else?”
“And even when you’re keeping warm in another man’s arms.”
SOMETHING RECKLESS is on sale for .99 cents until March 14!
Reckless & Real #1
Release: December 22, 2014
He talks dirty to me, but I don’t know his name.
He wants to tie me up, but I don’t know his face.
He turns me on, but I couldn’t point him out in a crowd.
I’ve fallen for an anonymous stranger, and tonight the anonymity ends. Tonight I want more than typed secrets and texted promises. I want something reckless. Heat. Passion. The thrill of being entirely possessed.
Because I suspect this anonymous stranger isn’t a stranger at all.
Lizzy Thompson met riverrat69 online through Something Real, a service promising to deliver meaningful relationships by forbidding its users to share names or photos until they’ve reached a certain benchmark. She was looking for love. He was researching an investment. They hit it off. Talked and flirted, hid behind screen names and cartoon avatars.
Now they’re breaking the rules and meeting in person. But Liz is prepared. She’s picked up hints and followed clues.
She’s ninety-percent convinced she’s discovered the identity of her dirty-talking online friend.
She wonders if her ex-lover Sam Bradshaw knows her identity too.
When she rolls the dice on one reckless night, her chance at something real could crumble.
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1rcGtNp
About the Author
Once a college English professor, I now write full time. I live in rural Indiana, where, when I’m not writing, I get to hang out with my husband and two kids–a six-year-old boy and
a two-year-old hellion, er, girl. Not surprisingly, reading and writing remain my favorite activities, though both come in bits and pieces these days, not the big hunks of time I en- joyed before I had children. When I’m feeling virtuous, I like to go running (I use that word liberally. I’m really, really slow) or do yoga. Don’t worry, I’m always careful to balance out such activities with a hearty serving of ice cream or a chocolate martini.
Twitter: @writerlexiryan; https://twitter.com/writerlexiryan
The Empire State Box Set for .99 cents!
Box Set Release: February 20, 2015
Anna Kirby is sick of dating. She’s tired of heartbreak. Despite being smart, sexy, and funny, she’s a magnet for men who don’t deserve her.
A week’s vacation in New York is the ultimate distraction from her most recent break-up, as well as a great place to meet a stranger and have some summer fun. But to protect her still-bruised heart, fun comes with rules. There will be no sharing stories, no swapping numbers, and no real names. Just one night of uncomplicated fun.
Super-successful serial seducer Ethan Scott has some rules of his own. He doesn’t date, he doesn’t stay the night, and he doesn’t make any promises.
It should be a match made in heaven. But rules are made to be broken.
The Empire State Series comprises the novellas A Week in New York, Autumn in London and New Year in Manhattan.
Praise for the Empire State Series
“The Empire State Trilogy is one of the not only good ones, but GREAT ones. I am so in love with Ethan and Anna.” – Book Briefs
“The writing is excellent and you’ll be hooked from the very beginning.” – Love Between the Sheets
“5 “I don’t Bullshit” Stars! If you haven’t started this series, you need to now!! It’s an easy, quick, and smooth read that you are sure to enjoy.” – Book Bitches Blog
“I would give it 6, 7, 8, or 9 stars if I could.” -Obsessed with Books
About the Author
I write sexy, contemporary romance novels – the kind I like to read. My books Faithful and Hopeful are stand-alone novels although there are some overlapping characters. The Empire State Series of novellas starts with A Week in New York.
Ruined by romantic mini-series of the eighties, I love all things romantic. There’s not enough of it in real life so I’ll settle for books and films.
I love the rain, the West Wing, London, days when you don’t have to wear make-up, being alone, being with friends, elephants and champagne.
Hearing from readers is the best thing in the world so get in touch!
Published February 11th 2015
‘You were my first and you are my last, I promise you that. Ever yours, ever mine.’
Luci Harrison is an Englishwoman in New York with a successful career as an economist, a happy family life … and a guilty conscience. One rather large obstacle prevents her from agreeing on a wedding date with her fiance, David. Luci hasn’t been completely honest with him. She’s already married.
Alex MacDonald, better known as British rock-star Xander Mack, enjoys international acclaim as guitarist and lead-singer with When We Were Gods, and an enviable lifestyle with his beautiful fiancee. But while Dana has patiently insisted on marriage before she will have his children, her tolerance is tested when he is suddenly thrust into fatherhood.
Broken promises, secrets and surprise revelations force Alex and Luci to face the truth and the consequences of their decisions. True love endures but is it enough?
Days of Joy and Sorrow is the second book in the Ever Mine Trilogy.
Review by Jennifer:
I waited a long time for this one and was rewarded with a great read. It was bittersweet. I grew to love these characters and the title says it perfectly. There was some joy and sorrow which left me with lots of feels.
Luci and Alex are great characters. They have a history together that is both romantic and sad. In this second book the reader gets to see them make decisions that may not be the best but it’s what happens to allow them to move forward after so much time apart. I was on the edge of my seat just waiting for what I wanted to happen. I want so much for these two but I don’t know if it is going to happen. There’s some pain that they are left with and there’s an unknown factor coming onto the canvas of Alex’s life. So much more to this story.
I love the writing. Each character is well written. The time lapse of the story is easy to follow. There is no guessing as to what is going on and how it all fits. It’s a smooth read that keeps the reader entranced.
This is book 2 of a trilogy and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Alex and Luci. I’m kind of afraid there might be more sorrow but I’m hoping for a happy ending.
How We Remember is book 1.
Published December 21st 2012
August 16th, 1977, is the day Elvis died. It’s also the day that Luci first meets Alex, and a strong friendship quickly develops when they discover common ground. As teenagers, they enjoy a passionate romance but, in 1984, events unfold which change their futures forever, and their beautiful relationship suddenly ends…
September 2000. Lucinda works at the New York office of a UK multinational. During her commute, on the cover of a magazine, she recognises the face of someone she hasn’t seen in a very long time. Should she approach him and demand an apology or just contact her lawyer?
Rock star Xander seems to have it all but, despite fame and fortune, happiness is still proving elusive. On his 35th birthday, he’s determined to enjoy his fantastic party aboard a luxurious yacht in a Manhattan marina. All goes wonderfully well until an unexpected guest appears…
Secrets from the past are revealed during conversations between various guests at the party, and interwoven is the story of Alex and Luci’s romance and the truth of the events that led to their parting. When all is finally revealed, what will the future hold for them?
Check out my review on goodreads:
HEART & SOUL
.99 CENTS SALE
February 15th – 22nd
every love story needs a song
Gabriele Baumann-Smith is deliriously in love with her young husband Lennon.
Except, it turns out that Lennon Smith isn’t his real name. In fact, he’s full of secrets: a cottage on the southern British coast, an old girlfriend and… an identical twin brother.
Callum Jones—not his real name—can’t believe his brother’s widow came to England. He’d warned Mick—Lennon—that an inheritance could put the girl’s life in danger, and he was right.
“Mrs. Smith” is the last thing Callum needs to worry about right now. She’s beautiful, sure, takes his breath away at times. But when she looks at him, who does she see?
Gabriele’s heart is battered and bruised. Can one brother fix what the other left behind? And will they live long enough to find out?
The Minstrel Series, #3
Release: June 2014
About the Author
Lee Strauss is the Amazon best-selling author of A Nursery Rhyme Suspense Serial Series (Mystery Sci-fi Romantic Suspense),The Perception Series (young adult dystopian),The Minstrel Series (contemporary romance), and young adult historical fiction. She also writes younger YA fantasy as Elle Strauss.
Expected publication: March 1st 2015
by Harvest House Publishers
copy provided by Netgalley
“The Sisters of Mercy Flats”, begun in Promise Me Today, continues in this wonderful new Western-flavored historical romance. The McDougal sisters are experts at swindling men, and this time Anne-Marie enters into a bargain bordering on blackmail–with a Crow warrior.
From what I gather this is a re-edited version of an earlier book that was released in 1993 under the title Promise Me Tomorrow. The earlier version was a historical romance. However, this version is still a romance but a Christian romance. I haven’t read the original version.
This was a surprisingly delightful story full of adventure, unlikely friendships, and falling in love. I totally enjoyed every second I spent reading this book.
I like the character of Anne-Marie. She is spunky, smart, and loyal. She tends to get herself into some impossible situations but finds a way out of them. She’s rescued by Creed Walker and his life is anything but simple after that. There is just one adventure after another once Anne-Marie comes into his life. They are an unlikely couple but it works.
There’s a bit of history sprinkled into the story but it’s not overwhelming. It is there to put a time frame and setting to the story. It’s the ending of the war between the states. It also lends to the adventure that Anne-Marie and Creed are involved in.
Quincy is another character in the story. He is a friend of Creed Walker. He comes to the rescue when Creed and Anne-Marie are in a tight bind. The three of them become unlikely friends but it works.
This is book two and can be read as a stand alone. However, after meeting Ann-Marie I want to meet her sisters.
The three wily and beautiful McDougal sisters can swindle a man faster than it takes to lasso a calf. But their luck is running out, and they’re about to be hauled off to jail. When the wagon carrying them falls under attack, each sister is picked up by a different man. Unfortunately for Abigail, she’s grabbed by a twit of a shoe salesman, Mr. Hershall Digman. She steals his horse and rides off to the nearest town, not giving him another thought…until she discovers those secret papers in his saddlebags. Could Mr. Digman be a Confederate spy?
As if to prove it, the man who comes storming after her is no shoe salesman, but a handsome captain who wants his papers back…at any cost. And Abigail wants a ride back home. Together they embark on his mission, determined not to trust each other…or the God who won’t seem to let them go.
About the Author:
Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, three daughter-in-laws, and six wonderful grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.
Lance and Lori are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.
Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has had over 100 books published.
First of all I’d like to apologize for not having this post ready yesterday, the day I was scheduled. Second, this book is absolutely perfect. Well worth the wait.
New Adult/Adult Romance
Release: January 20, 2015
I grew up with three brothers. They weren’t tied to me by blood, but our connection went beyond genetics or bearing the same last name. Our connection was forged the summer I turned thirteen, the summer my mom ended her life and left me in the custody of John Armstrong, a man I’d never met. Packing all I owned in a couple of boxes, I left the familiarity of the big city and headed west to Red Mountain Ranch, set in a lonely valley outside of Jackson Hole.
Nothing was as it seemed at Red Mountain—it didn’t take long for me to figure that out. John was kind to me but distant, as if he was afraid to let anyone get too close. His three teenage sons had their own devices for keeping love as far away as they could. The eldest distracted himself with cheap relationships that had a shelf-life of one night. The middle son threw himself into the rigor of running a ranch, and the third wielded cruelty and mind-games in his quest to keep people from getting close.
Time has gone by, and I’ve spent those years trying to forget the brother I’d fallen for—the biggest mistake of my life.
Finally, I’ve moved on. Finally, I’m back. But what I didn’t realize was that running away from the wrong brother meant I’d also run away from the right one. The one who’d been there for me all along, waiting in his brother’s shadow for the day I either would or could move on.
But a decade is a long time to wait. Has the brother I should have chosen all of those years ago moved on too? Am I about to discover that my biggest mistake wasn’t falling in love with the wrong brother, but failing to return the love of the right one sooner?
Does unrequited love have an expiration date?
I’m about to find out.
Author’s Note: This book is a “sweet” romance that isn’t overly sexy. Fans of LOST & FOUND will be interested in THREE BROTHERS.
Review by Jennifer:
This was a story that had one of those great story lines. Three brothers, a ranch, a girl, and a curse. What could be better than that? Absolutely nothing.
Chance, Conn, and Chase are the names of the three brothers. One is the strong, perfect, keeps everything together type. The oldest is nursing the wounds of a deep loss, and the baby brother is a drunken jerk. Can you guess which one I swooned over? Yep, Chance had my heart and Scout’s as well.
I loved the character development of the story. Getting to know characters is one of my favorite parts of reading. The way we get to know the brothers and Scout is perfect. The back story is told more through character conversation than inner monologue. I liked that. The story itself had just enough of a hook and then a small twist. Definitely kept me drawn in.
I liked the way the family curse played into the story line. It has taken love and kept love from some of the characters. To see the men of the family believe so strongly in it was kind of heartbreaking. However, one strong, stubborn female can really change perspective. Gotta love Scout.
I can’t really do this book any justice through my review. It truly is an amazing read and I’m so excited to share it with you. I just don’t know how to tell of all the wonderful goodness of this book without spoilers so I won’t. Just know that if you take a chance on this book you won’t be disappointed.
Nicole Williams, I do believe this is my favorite book of 2015 so far, but that can be our little secret.
About the Author
I’m the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the CRASH series (HarperTeen, S&S UK), LOST & FOUND series, UP IN FLAMES (S&S UK), The EDEN TRILOGY, and a handful of others. I write stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. I tell love stories with happy endings because I believe in making the world a better place, and that’s one tiny way I can make it so. I’m one of those people who still believe in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep my head in the clouds any day over having my feet firmly on the ground.
Mature Young Adult
Release: December 2, 2014
Cole Porter knows his home life isn’t ideal, but when a situation arises and he’s forced to pack up and move on, he realizes it’s better to be in a position where you understand the ins and outs rather than to be tossed into the unknown.
Emory Montgomery is as close to perfect as she can possibly be—good grades, beautiful, poised, popular—but having it all isn’t always enough. Perfect has its drawbacks, and even the most flawless people crack under its pressure.
There are people who come into our lives for a reason, when everything else is shattered, burned, and bruised. Sometimes their purpose is clear, but often the smoke and the brokenness conceal the light.
THE DAMNED can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Review by Jennifer:
Not going to lie, this book dealt with two serious issues; eating disorders and self harm. These two characters, Emory and Cole, recognized something in each other. Cole said it was because they were the damned. Meaning that they were dealt a lot in life that they had to deal with and they chose to control it the only way they knew how; self harm and eating disorders.
I liked the characters and the back and forth of POV. Emory comes from a home that looks good on the outside but she has a controlling mother and an absent father. She wants to be perfect and many things are out of her control. She can control what she eats. Cole comes from a messed up broken home. Circumstances cause him to go live with his sister. Cole deals with the pain by inflicting pain on himself. Meeting Emory changes his life. They are both forced to face their demons and get the help they need.
My only complaint with the book is that when it gets to the point that Emory and Cole have to get help we don’t get to see any of that. The book jumps 9 months later with Cole telling what happened and it seems like a happy ending. I don’t know. As a reader I want to go on the journey with them. It just seemed a bit rushed.
I recommend this book. I believe the story line was real and at times raw. That’s one of the reasons I liked it.
About the Author
Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing New Adult and Young Adult Fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is a tea lover with an obsession for Post-it notes and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.
Adult Contemporary Rockstar Romance
Release: January 28, 2015
“You have the ability to make controversial characters sympathetic. Maybe I just want to be understood.”
Acclaimed literary biographer Elizabeth Winston writes about long-dead heroes. So bad boy rock icon Zander Freedman couldn’t possibly tempt her to write his memoir. Except the man is a mass of fascinating contradictions – manipulative, honest, gifted, charismatic, morally ambiguous.
In short, everything she sought in a biography subject. When in her life will she get another chance to work with a living legend? But saying yes to one temptation soon leads to another.
Suddenly she’s having heated fantasies about her subject, fantasies this blue-eyed-devil is only too willing to stoke. She’d thought self-control was in her DNA, after all she grew up a minister’s daughter. She thought wrong.
Outside your comfort zone is the only place worth living…
Zander Freedman has been an outlier – many would say an outcast – for most of his life. But there’s no disaster he can’t overcome, from the break-up of his band to the fall-out on his reputation. His Resurrection Tour is shaping up to be his greatest triumph – if his golden voice holds out. Contracting a respected biographer is simply about creating more buzz; Elizabeth’s integrity the key to consolidating his legacy as one of rock’s greats.
All the damn woman has to do is write down what he tells her. Not make him think.
Or encourage the good guy struggling to get out. And certainly not to fall in love for the first time in his life.
Turns out he is scared of something – being known.
Rise – a redemption story of a rock star going straight(er) through the love of a good(ish) woman.
Turning a bad boy into a romance hero
By Karina Bliss
Zander Freedman, the rock star hero of Rise, has been a minor character in three previous books. I wrote him as vain, selfish and egotistical, a neglectful son, bad brother and lousy boyfriend. And yet readers loved this guy and wanted his story, possibly because of his few attractive qualities – unflinching honesty, intelligence and a keen sense of irony.
One of my biggest challenges in finding ‘the hero-within’ was Zander’s reputation for vanity. How is a reader going to fall in love with a guy rumoured to have had everything from Botox and tattooed eyeliner to hair implants?
In one scene, I had the heroine’s family voice every Yuck the reader would have around a guy with a ‘beauty’ regime. And then fall over themselves when they thought Zander was visiting. Because the guy’s still a rock god, still extraordinary. And it’s too easy to criticize a stranger. In effect, I’m asking the reader to keep an open mind.
Given that Zander is smart and ambitious it also made sense that he would deliberately exaggerate his vanity for the press. Any publicity is good publicity when this showman is promoting the band’s tour. He also takes a pragmatist’s view of maintaining his looks; keeping in shape is simply a part of his job as Rage’s frontman. And finally, I made him supremely confident in his masculinity. At one point he even says, “A real man should be able to seduce a woman in a tutu and a tiara…Actually that would be fun.”
Most importantly, I gave Zander the vulnerability attached to being a beautiful person. Women date me because of the way I look. What will happen if I stop these treatments? Who will love me as I age? The Beauty, as well as the Beast, is judged on appearances.
Of course that’s just one aspect of the reinvention of Zander Freedman. Hopefully, I’ve intrigued you enough to read about his moral make-over.
Do you have a favorite bad-boy hero? Enter the Release Giveaway and go into the draw for an e-book of Rise.
About the Author
New Zealander Karina Bliss’s debut, Mr Imperfect, won a Romantic Book of the Year award in Australia, the first of eleven books published through Harlequin SuperRomance. Her most recent release, A Prior Engagement, was a Desert Island Keeper at likesbooks.com. Her next release, Rise, is a single title, self-published contemporary which continues the story of Zander Freedman, who first appeared as a villain inKarina’s bestselling title, What the Librarian Did – a book that made DearAuthor’s Best of the Year list in 2010.Two of Karina’s books have also featured in Sizzling Book Chats at SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.
Find out more at www.karinabliss.com
New Adult Contemporary
Published by HarperCollins
Release: December 29, 2014
What do you do when you fall in love with your best friend’s boyfriend?
That is the question that twenty-six year-old Justine Sterling has been asking herself ever since the day she met David Whitman, her best friend Renee’s boyfriend. Justine is determined to ignore her growing feelings for the irresistibly charming David, until one night, when she finds herself in the bed of the one person she should stay away from.
When Justine and David’s affair ends in heartbreak, Justine is forced to repair the damaged friendship with her best friend. In doing so, she learns that right and wrong decisions aren’t always black and white, and sometimes you have to follow your heart to see where it leads.
Honestly I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this one. I read the first book and just didn’t know if I could be as forgiving as Rene. The friend code was violated and it was going to take a lot for me to like Justine.
Justine redeemed herself in my eyes. The saying that there are two sides to every story fit perfectly in this instance. I knew Rene’s feelings about what went down and this book gave me Justine’s feelings and insight. I loved the telling of the story in the here and now and then the flash backs to that time when the betrayal happened. Justine is a character that I think many can relate to (not the cheating with your best friend’s boyfriend). She is an individual who has her own identity but she lost it a long the way. She always had Rene and then she had David. She really got to know herself through a “self help book” that forced her to look at what she really wanted.
Justine’s journey from guilt to redemption, heartbreak to new love, settling to getting the real deal, was everything the reading experience should be. There was so much to take in. You go through a lot of emotion for this one character. She’s a great dynamic. I’m grateful for this story that let me see Justine in a new light. She totally redeemed herself and became her own person.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Open the pages and see why Love Bites, but is totally worth it.
Make sure to also check out the first book:
Published December 5th 2013
by HarperCollins Publishers
First Published January 13th 2012
About the Author
Rachel discovered she wanted to be a writer at the age of ten, when her love of R.L. Stine murder mystery novels inspired her to start writing her own.
In 2008, she began freelance writing for several magazines including Prevention, Jamsbio and Worcester Magazine.
Rachel graduated from Bridgewater University in 2011 with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies. She currently resides in Santa Monica, CA.
The author will be giving away (1) Swag Bag and (1) $25 Amazon Gift Card.
Make sure to follow the book tour - http://wp.me/p20ttU-5y
The Runaway Series, #2
Adult Contemporary Romance
Release: December 23, 2014
The Runaways are back…
For Layla Lewis, life is finally back on track. After her “runaway year” in Cornwall, another year has passed—an idyllic year spent with sexy new love, Joseph Scott, in the sultry heat of Florence. For best friend, Penny, life has also changed. Having recently given birth to a baby girl, she’s busy embracing motherhood. But, for the runaways, life is never that easy…
A chance encounter with Joseph’s ex-girlfriend, Tara, has explosive consequences for the new lovers, and all three are forced back to Cornish shores. Meanwhile, motherhood is not the joy Penny thought it would be—she’s heading for a breakdown and fast!
The bubble is burst, the idyll shattered.
Tara has a secret and only Joseph knows what it is. Despite being asked to trust him, Layla can’t help but question what the secret is and what it has to do with them. As Penny arrives in Cornwall too, some friends will pull together, others will not.
This secret, Layla suspects, will tear them all apart.
Review by Jennifer:
Runaway Ex is book two in the Runaway Series. Although I didn’t read book 1, I still enjoyed this book. The author subtly weaved information from book one seamlessly into the story of book 2.
What I found to be the most enjoyable was the eclectic mix of characters and their story. The story was told in moments of the character’s lives until the characters were all brought together into one place. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters as individuals before seeing them interact with each other in a momentous way.
Even though there were couples, the female characters were the ones that struck a chord with me. Layla had a bad breakup in book one so being with Joseph was her reward and she put them in this happy little bubble. The problem with bubbles is that at some point they pop. Penny was a new mom on the brink of a break down. She was questioning why she was depressed and not bonding with her child. She couldn’t possibly have postpartum depression. Tara was Joseph’s ex running away from her life in Australia. She also had a big secret. Each character that came on the scene was absolutely perfect to the story telling. They were characters that were dealing with real world problems. How they handled them and interacted with each other is what kept me glued to the book. I found the female characters to be real and relate-able. They had strength and vulnerability at the same time. To me that is real.
The characters were English so that lent to some sayings that are familiar to the English vocabulary. As I read, I would hear their accents in my mind. I love accents. It seems all my favorite actors are either British/Irish/or Scottish. A book where I can imagine the men speaking to their lady love with those melting accents had me kind of swooning.
Diving into this book I wasn’t sure what to expect, having not read the first book. However, the story telling grabbed my interest then the characters found a place in my heart. This is a well written book. I’m hoping there will be more “runaways” in the future. These characters find that you can’t runaway from your problems, but you just might run into your happy ever after. I totally recommend this book and if your into reading a series read book one as well.
The Runaway Series, #1
Adult Contemporary Romance
Release: July 2, 2013
Dumped by her hotshot boyfriend and boss, Layla Lewis quits her job and heads to Trecastle in North Cornwall to house-sit for a friend-of-a-friend. Trecastle isn’t new to her; it’s a place where she holidayed regularly with her now-estranged mother. It’s also the home of Hannah McKenzie, her childhood friend. Hannah has tempted her with a place to live and a job in the local pub. Needing time to nurse her battered heart and escape her “real life” for a year, Layla accepts.
Hannah is a talented artist as well as a barmaid. She lives in the village center with her boyfriend Jim, a singer in a local band. They are happy together, or as happy as they can be, considering. Hannah loves Jim, but there is someone she loves more and it’s pushing them to breaking point.
Meanwhile, back in Brighton, Layla’s fiery yet loyal friend Penny seeks revenge on her behalf, sending a forged email that could damage her ex’s business prospects. Penny wonders if she has gone too far but is soon preoccupied with her own problems: the sizzle has fizzled in her marriage, and she feels neglected. After getting frisky with Dylan one night, she confesses all to her husband—and he’s been like ice ever since.
Over the course of a year, there is laughter and heartache as all three endeavor to rein in their tumultuous love lives—discovering you can run all you like, but if it’s love you’re up against, true love, good things can only happen when you stand your ground.
About the Author
Born and bred in the sunny seaside town of Brighton, one of the first literary conundrums Shani had to deal with was her own name – Shani can be pronounced in a variety of ways but in this instance it’s Shay-nee not Shar-ney or Shan-ni – although she does indeed know a Shanni – just to confuse matters further! Hobbies include reading, writing, eating and drinking – all four of which keep her busy enough.
After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in English and American Literature, Shani became a freelance copywriter. Twenty years later, the day job includes crafting novels too. She is the author of contemporary Cornish romance – The Runaway Year – published in 2013 by Omnific Publishing. The Runaway Ex is the second in the Runaway series.
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