Buns (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton-a review

BUNS (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton-a review


Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2017

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.


REVIEW: BUNS is the third installment in Alice Clayton’s contemporary, adult HUDSON VALLEY romance (rom-com) series focusing on a tight knit group of friends in Hudson Valley, New York. This is hotel rebranding specialist Clara Morgan, and hotel manager/owner Archie Bryant’s story line. BUNS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although I recommend reading the series in order for history and fun !!

Told from first person point of view (Clara Morgan) with a final chapter from Archie’s point of view BUNS focuses on Clara’s struggle to enact changes at the dated Bryant Mountain House, Bailey Falls, New York in the Catskills Mountains. The Bryant family is struggling with bookings, and Jonathan Bryan, current owner, has called in help in the hopes of refurbishing his dying business. Enter Clara Morgan, hotel rebranding expert, and the woman with whom Archie Bryant will fall in love. What ensues is the antagonist relationship between Archie and Clara as Clara struggles to push Archie out of his comfort zone-in more ways than one.

Clara Morgan is a passionate female lead who battles the demons from her past. Unable to settle down, her work as a hotel rebranding specialist is the perfect foil for a woman afraid to commit beyond the present fearing rejection in both life and love. Archie Bryant is a man stuck in the past: refusing to move forward especially in his personal life. Meeting Clara throws all of Archie’s caution to the wind until the day Clara walks away without explanation or good bye. The $ex scenes are intimate and sensual.

There are a large number of secondary and supporting characters including several employees at the Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, as well as the return of Roxie and Leo (Nuts #1), and Natalie and Oscar (Cream of the Crop #2) .

The world building looks at the attempted revitalization of the Bryant Mountain House, Clara’s battle to convince Archie that the changes will make a positive impression, and the building romance between two people moving in different directions.

BUNS is a story with a little bit of humor, romance, conflict and fun. The back and forth banter between Archie and Clara is sexy; the banter between Clara and her besties (Roxie and Natalie) as well as Logan and Chad, is lively and entertaining. The premise is amusing and engaging; the characters are dynamic, energetic and passionate; the romance is captivating and playful. If you are wondering about the title-BUNS-this is in reference to the ‘hot cross buns’ that the Bryant Mountain House serves to their honored guests. BUNS is a delightful and charming story about two people struggling with their direction in life.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Cream of the Crop

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy


Down and Dirty by Tracy Wolff-a review

DOWN AND DIRTY by Tracy Wolff-a review

Down and Dirty

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2017

Emerson: Talk about bad first impressions. I have too much riding on this job to show up late on my first day looking like the winner of a wet T-shirt contest, all thanks to an arrogant quarterback who drives like he owns the road. Hunter Browning thinks that because he’s famous, he can fix everything with a smile and a wave of his hand. He’s too bronzed, buff, and beautiful for his own good. Or mine. I can’t let on that I’m a fan . . . no matter how much fun we’d have in the sack.

Hunter: Hitting that puddle was my best play since winning the Super Bowl with a touchdown pass. Sure, it’s not my preferred way to get a girl wet, but I’ll make an exception for Emerson Day. She’s got a sharp tongue and a red-hot temper, even with her soaking clothes plastered to her every curve. Now I know exactly what my next play will be: hire Emerson as my personal real-estate agent, save her job—and see if I can take her off the market.


REVIEW: DOWN AND DIRTY by Tracy Wolff is a stand alone, contemporary adult, erotic romance story line focusing on star quarterback Hunter Browning and realtor Emerson Day.

Told from dual first person points of view (Emerson and Hunter) DOWN AND DIRTY follows the building relationship between Lightning quarterback Hunter Browning and realtor Emerson Day. Hunter needs a house and finds himself oddly attracted to new agent Emerson Day-a woman with attitude to spare since her run in with our story line hero only minutes before. When Hunter chooses Emerson as his real estate agent, our heroine is determined to find the man exactly what he needs. What ensues are the quick building romance between Hunter and Emerson, and the fall out when Hunter’s life implodes behind the scenes.

The relationship between Hunter and Emerson is quick to develop-from enemies to friends to lovers within a matter of hours, Hunter’s attraction to Emerson finds our story line hero considering the future with a woman he has known for a couple of days. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. The sexual attraction is palpable; the chemistry is energetic and hot.

We are introduced to Hunter’s teammates: Tanner Green, Shawn Wilson, and Cameron Smith, as well as Hunter’s sister Heather, niece Lucy and nephew Brent; Emerson’s boss Kerry, and fellow agent Alice. I am hoping for more story lines focusing on the San Diego Lightning.

The world building looks at family and friendships, love and loss, grief and acceptance. The character development is limited, as the story line remains focused on the present without revealing any history or background for our leading couple.

DOWN AND DIRTY is a quick read; a fast paced, spirited story line of romance, loss and a happily ever after. The premise is realistic and tangible; the characters are passionate and colorful; the romance is spicy and provocative. DOWN AND DIRTY is a playful, energetic and emotional story line.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy


Viable Threat (Outbreak Task Force #1) by Julie Rowe-Review and Book Tour

Viable Threat (Outbreak Task Force #1) by Julie Rowe-Review and Book Tour

Viable Threat Banner

Outbreak Task Force #1
by Julie Rowe
Release Date: May 22, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspense

Viable Threat

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 22, 2017

Special Forces soldier and medic Walter River would give anything to snatch more than a few seconds of down time to see if he can rattle the no-nonsense and incredibly hot Dr. Lloyd he’s protecting, but dodging explosions, snipers, and student radicals who’ve unleashed a lethal bio-engineered microorganism have made that almost impossible. Maybe he’ll get a chance—if he can figure out how to keep them both alive.

CDC microbiologist Ava Lloyd races to find a cure for a bio-terrorism organism sweeping El Paso. The few stolen moments with her very hunky bodyguard River have been explosive, but no matter how alluring he is, she can’t afford to get distracted. The clock is ticking, people are dying by the hundreds, and once this crisis is solved, they’ll both be off on their next assignment, thousands of miles apart.


REVIEW: Viable Threat begins with Walter River going through a regular day, teaching the soldiers at Fort Bliss how to survive a day in the military, when he finds himself reassigned to help the CDC with a mysterious outbreak. His orders: protect Dr. Ava Lloyd as she gathers samples at an outbreak site at the local college. Once he and Ava head out, things go awry very quickly. As they make the scene at a coffee shop that seems to be ground zero for the outbreak, they are faced with an agitated crowd of onlookers that River has to take control of pretty quickly. If only that was their biggest obstacle……….. When Ava is then approached by a disoriented college aged guy, who just happens to be wearing a suicide vest, things get A LOT wonky real fast.

With the CDC being in charge of the situation going on in El Paso, River and Ava find themselves having to navigate different governmental agencies who are vying for control of the situation. There are two things that River and Ava agree on: 1. Not all of the agencies are there for the same reasons. 2. In order to stop the terrorists behind the outbreak, they will have to work together. As the death count continues to rise and things start to spin even further out of control, River and Ava fight with everything they are to protect the general population, and themselves, from this homegrown threat. They also fight their growing attraction to one another……

Viable Threat is a great story. The premise, especially in this day and time, is timely and a little scary. River’s honor knows no bounds and is a nicely written character. He has a past that we only get hints of in this story, but said past has affected him greatly. Ava is a nicely written character as well. She has a strong sense of self and goes toe to toe with the best of them. Together, their courage leaps off of the page. The supporting cast is nicely written as well and the world Rowe is building is great to read. There are a couple of characters that I can’t wait to know more about. I’m hoping that the next book is about a certain character who works in his “lab in a box”and has a bit of a secretive past. This is the first I’ve ready by Julie Rowe, but I definitely look forward to reading more. If you like your romance with a little suspense, medical intrigue and terrific characters, you won’t go wrong with this one. Well done, Julie Rowe!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Vickie M

About the Author

Julie RoweJulie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!” A double Golden Heart finalist 2006, Julie’s writing has appeared in several magazines such as Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living. She currently facilitates communication workshops for her local city college. Julie enjoys hearing from her readers. You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com or on Twitter  https://twitter.com/JulieRoweAuthor


Grand Slam (The Boys of Summer #3) by Heidi McLaughlin-Review and Book Tour

GRAND SLAM (The Boys of Summer #3) by Heidi McLaughlin-Review and Book Tour

Grand Slam Banner

The Boys of Summer #3
by Heidi McLaughlin
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, baseball, romance

Grand Slam

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo / ibooks / Google Play

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2017

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2rzsmEu

Win the game. Lose your heart.

Everyone knows who I am and that I could have any female fan I want. That’s supposed to be the “perk” of playing left field for the Boston Renegades. But I don’t want just any woman; I want her.

She should be just another face in the crowd, but I can’t stop thinking about the one night we spent together-and her look of regret the morning after.

Because Saylor Blackwell is the kind of woman who haunts a man. Smart, sexy as hell, and one of the best managers in the business. She’s every ballplayer’s dream woman. And I’d do anything to make things right with her.

I’m done sitting on the bench when it comes to Saylor Blackwell. Time to swing for the fences.


REVIEW: GRAND SLAM is the third installment in Heidi McLaughlin’s contemporary, adult THE BOYS OF SUMMER baseball, romance series focusing on the Boston Renegades. This is Boston Renegades’ left fielder Travis Kidd, and PR agent Saylor Blackwell’s story line. GRAND SLAM can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous installments is revealed where necessary.

Told from dual first person points of view (Travis and Saylor) follows the second chance romance between Boston Renegades’ left fielder Travis Kidd, and PR agent Saylor Blackwell. Without giving away too much information GRAND SLAM focuses on the off-season as Travis must traverse a minefield of legal drama, slanderous accusations, and the less than stellar support of the fans and some of his teammates. Enter PR Agent Saylor Blackwell, the only woman able to clear Travis’s name, and the woman that calls to our hero’s heart. What ensues is a stress filled legal battle to save Travis Kidd, as he struggles to convince the woman he loves that he is innocent of all of the charges.

GRAND SLAM is a story of betrayal, defamation and retribution but it is also a story about one woman’s struggle to do what is right for a man she doesn’t believe is as innocent as he claims. As Travis battles the media, the fans and the legal system, Saylor battles for her heart and that of her young daughter.

The relationship between Travis and Saylor is one of second chances. Two years earlier, following a one-night stand, Saylor walked out of Travis’s life without explanation, and in the ensuing time has acted cold and deceptive when ever in his presence. Their rekindling relationship and romance is complicated when Saylor’s young daughter begins to fall in love with the man in question. The $ex scenes are limited but seductive.

There are a large number of secondary and supporting characters including several members of the Boston Renegades: Ethan and Daisy (Third Base #1), Cooper and Ainsley (Home Run #2), as well as attorneys, agents, top office brass, family, friends and fans who may or may not support their fallen hero.

The world building focuses on the relationship between Saylor and Travis, as well as the legal problems of our leading hero. Not everyone is willing to offer Travis their support including some of the members of his very own team. I struggled with our heroine’s less than cooperative behavior throughout the story. Fearing repercussion in her own life, Saylor’s questionable attitude was awkward, heartbreaking and tragic. The potential fall-out for Travis Kidd meant a life darkened by secrets, betrayal and lies.

GRAND SLAM is a gripping and passionate story line. The premise is edgy; the characters are colorful and dynamic but our heroine’s lack of action was discouraging and disappointing under the circumstances; the romance was sexy but challenging. GRAND SLAM will captivate your imagination and break your heart.

Reading Order and previous reviews
Third Base
Home Run
Grand Slam

Copy supplied for review.

Reviewed by Sandy

Q & A

Hi Heidi. Welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of GRAND SLAM. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

1. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Let’s see. I’m a mom of two living in Vermont. I’m originally from the Pacific Northwest, where I developed a love for the Portland Trialblazers and Seattle Mariners. Now I’m a fan of all baseball teams, the Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins and New England Patriots. When I’m not writing, I spend my weekends (and some weeknights) at the basketball gym watching my daughters play.

2. Who or what influenced your career in writing?

It was challenge that I gave myself. I love reading and thought that if they can do it, so can I. So I did. I turned my journaling into paragraphs, put stories behind photos I would see and started developing characters.

3. What challenges or difficulties have you encountered writing and publishing your story?

Marketing. It’s hard. There is no right way to get the word out.

4. Would you please tell us something about the premise of GRAND SLAM and THE BOYS OF SUMMER series?

A few years back Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks was accused of rape, right around the time I released Third Base. I knew then that it would Travis Kidd who went through a similar situation.

5. Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Absolutely. People are visual. The cover is the first thing they see.

Thank you Heidi for the great answers. Always a pleasure to feature the author at The Reading Cafe.


Excerpt intended for mature readers 18+



Whenever I wake up with a hangover, I often ask myself why I drank so much and promise that I’ll never do it again. That promise is something I’ve been breaking for the past few days, and up until now, I didn’t care.
I had hoped the booze would muddy my memory of last night, but it hasn’t. Every word she said, every expression she had, every punch to my chest to get me out of her apartment is crystal clear. I fucked up, and I don’t even know how. All I know is that the sobs I heard on the other side of Saylor’s door last night were enough to sober my stupid ass up.
For hours, I sat against her door, until a resident suggested I leave or they were going to call the police. If I hadn’t been arrested ear- lier, I probably would have encouraged them to dial Boston’s Finest. Another man might understand my plight. The woman that I want to be with kicked me out of her house, and while I probably deserved it, I didn’t want to leave until she stopped crying. I didn’t want to be the one to walk away in her time of need.
But as egos go—and believe me, mine is huge—I couldn’t let it get in the way any longer, so I walked my drunk ass back home with my tail between my legs, only to stay up all night while the booze wore off, knowing that I had to live with whatever I’d done to Saylor.
She’s the last person in the world who I want to hurt, and she’s the one person who can save me. Not only from a life behind bars, but from myself. When I’m with her, I’m a different person. The cocky son of a bitch whom everyone is used to doesn’t exist when she’s near me, and frankly, that is the man I like, or at least I used to. It’s easier being a fucking douche. It’s second nature to me and comes with the territory of being named one of the city’s most eligible bachelors.
Except when I’m with Saylor, I can be the man who hides in the shadow of that Travis Kidd. I can be the kind of man who doesn’t have to have a one-liner available or wink in order to get a phone number. When I’m with her, life outside of baseball starts to have a meaning, a fucking purpose.




The Boys of Summer

About The Author Black and Red

Heidi McLaughlin: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter /Instagram /Pinterest

Heidi McLaughlin Originally from Portland, Oregon and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland Westie/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot.

When she isn’t writing one of the many stories planned for release, you’ll find her sitting courtside during either daughter’s basketball games.

Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, is currently in production for a major motion picture.


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Forever romance


Highland Faith & Highland Hope (Wild Thistle Trilogy ) by Madelyn Hill-a review

HIGHLAND FAITH / HIGHLAND HOPE (Wild Thistle Trilogy ) by Madelyn Hill-a review

Highland Faith

Amazon. com Amazon.ca / amazon. uk /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 17, 2017

Lady Faith MacAlister wishes for adventure, be careful what you wish for . . .

Huntress Lady Faith MacAlister seeks adventure. Her father’s dying pledge tethers her to Wild Thistle Keep, thwarting her desire to explore the world beyond the palisade. Solace is found while hunting and providing sustenance for her clan. When snatched from the safety of MacAlister lands by a rogue bent on securing a ransom, she finds the adventure of her life.

Disgraced Captain Graeme Ross travels the high seas in search of bounty to sell in order to secure lands seized by the Crown. He longs to regain his honor in his father’s eyes and continually risks his life on the high seas. Lacking enough funds, Graeme and his crew follow Lady Faith MacAlister as she hunts. Out of need and desire, he kidnaps her. The lady captivates him for the moment he laid eyes upon her. Bold and spirited, she fights him. When he negotiates a ransom, deception tears the burgeoning romance apart.

Now, Lady Faith and Captain Ross seek to settle those differences hindering their union, despite the stretch of land and sea—and angry Highlanders standing between them.


REVIEW: HIGHLAND FAITH is the second installment in Madelyn Hill’s historical, Highlander WILD THISTLE romance trilogy focusing on Faith, Hope and Honor of Clan MacAlister. This is Lady Faith MacAlister, and Captain Graeme Ross’s story line. HIGHLAND FAITH can be read as a stand alone without any difficult. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Faith and Graeme) HIGHLAND FAITH follows Lady Faith MacAlister as she becomes the captive of Captain Graeme Ross. Graeme’s father is about to lose his lands to the Crown and Graeme’s only chance to save his father is a quick influx of cash from an unlikely source. Enter Lady Faith MacAlister, second oldest MacAlister daughter and sister to the MacAlister Lairds. Lady Faith will find herself the victim of an abduction –but a willing captive within days when she loses her heart to Captain Graeme Ross. What ensues is the building relationship between Graeme and Faith, and the fall out when the ransom is paid.

The relationship between Faith and Graeme is one of enemies to lovers; a captive falling for her reluctant jailer but a man desperate in his attempts to save his childhood home. Graeme will find himself falling in love with the woman he holds hostage but a man that is more than willing to step up in desperate times. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of sexually graphic, over the top language and text.

Once again , there is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Faith’s sisters Honor and Hope, as well as Hope’s husband Aidan MacKerry-MacAlister. We are introduced to the crew of the Blue Boy, all of whom will fall in love with our leading lady.

HIGHLAND FAITH is a story of family, love, desperation and betrayal. The premise is entertaining and enjoyable; the characters are colorful, honorable and inspiring; the romance is passionate and fated. Madelyn Hill invites the reader into a captivating story line as one couple finds love on the stormy seas.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy


The Wild Thistle Trilogy #1
by Madelyn Hill
Genre: adult, historical, Highlander, romance
Release Date: August 31, 2016

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk /

About the book: RELEASE DATE: August 31, 2016

“Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan was second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.

She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the lairdship Aidan MacKerry seeks flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Hope, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right to be laird and prove, despite their differences, he loves Hope.

The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.


REVIEW: HIGHLAND HOPE is the first installment in Madelyn Hill’s WILD THISTLE Highland, historical, romance trilogy. This is Lady Hope MacAlister, and Aidan MacKerry’s story line.

Told from several third person points of view including Hope and Aidan HIGHLAND HOPE focuses on Aidan MacKerry’s return to his boyhood home-the MacAlister Keep, and a legacy he hopes to avenge and retain. Years earlier Aidan and his family had been ousted from their clan, and in the process Aidan and his father lost any hope of retaining the title of Laird. Enter Lady Hope MacAlister, the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep, and the woman with whom Aidan would fall in love. What ensues is the building relationship between Aidan and Hope, and the simmering betrayal that lies close to the surface regarding Aidan’s return.

HIGHLAND HOPE is a slow building story line that follows Laird Hope MacAlister as she struggles to gain the respect of the clan and the council but not everyone is happy with a woman in charge. Aidan’s appearance brings with it a renewed sense of purpose for the council, but a purpose that hides a secret agenda.

The relationship between Aidan and Hope is acrimonious. Hope senses that Aidan knows more than he is revealing; and Aidan is a man determined to regain the title he knows he deserves. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of sexually graphic language and text. I had hoped for more interaction between the leading characters.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Hope’s younger sisters Faith and Honor, as well as an older woman named Nora who is more of a mother figure to the MacAlister clan.

HIGHLAND HOPE is an engaging tale of passion and power. The premise is spirited and dramatic but predictable-the requisite evil is easily deduced; the romance is sensual and uplifting; the characters are dynamic and inspiring. HIGHLAND HOPE will entertain fans of the Scottish romance genre.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy


The Nanny Arrangement by Rachel Harris – a Review

The Nanny Arrangement by Rachel Harris – a Review


The Nanny ArrangementAmazon / B&N / Kobo / Book Depository

Soft-spoken and shy Hannah Fisher is determined to make the man she’s loved her entire life finally see her as a woman. With the help of a makeover, a new mission—Operation Find My Happy—and the convenient forced proximity of a tour bus, she vows to win her best friend Deacon’s heart.

Former bad boy and current fiddle player Deacon Latrell has the world at his fingertips: a new gig with a famous band, plus his best friend on tour as his son’s nanny. Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Now if only he could stop imagining kissing the daylights out of his childhood BFF…

With one friend set on pushing the boundaries and the other afraid to rock the boat, one thing’s for certain—their story would make one heck of a country song.



The Nanny Arrangement by Rachel Harris is book two in the Country Blues Series, by Rachel Harris.

Hannah Fisher is determined. She’s has finally decided to go after exactly what she wants, and that is the boy next door who she has been in love with since they were teens. After spending time away in Paris, she has come back to town with a new mission – Operation Find My Happy!  And her sights are set on her best friend, turned country rocker Deacon Latrell. 

Deacon Latrell hasn’t had an ideal life. In fact if it would have been a lot worse without his best friend Hannah and her family.  He is a single father raising his young son and through it all he knew he could count on Hannah being there, that is until Hannah goes away.  While Hannah is away being an au pair in Paris he realizes just how much she means to him, but nothing will ever come between their friendship.  And it seems that everything is falling into place.  Deacon recently landed the gig touring as the fiddle player for the famous country band Blue. All he needed was a Nanny for his son Max for the tour. Just so happens Hannah returns from Paris with a new look and a mission.  She jumps at the chance to be Blue’s Nanny while on tour. What could be more perfect than spending hours on a tour bus wth Deacon and working to accomplish her mission. 

I enjoyed Hannah from page one.  She was determined to make a friend of the boy next door Ashe did just that!  Now with a new look and a determination she is going to do everything in her power to get her man.  She showed her love for Deacon and his son Max in everything that she did for them.  But how can she get Deacon to see beyond their friendship and see the woman she is now! And I loved how she was awkward about getting what she wanted, completely made her relatable. 

Deacon – *sigh* what is not to love! Other than it takes him forever to see what is right in front of him.  He is a loving fatherr and puts his son first.  It just takes him a little while to realize that Hannah has always been right where she was supposed to be – by his side. But his fear of losing their friendship keeps him from realizing the love of his life has been right there in front of him all along!

A wonderful book that shows you exactly what can happen when you allow friendship to bloom into romance. And a perfect summer romance. Looking forward to reading more in this series! 

Reviewed by Erin

Copy provided by Publisher


Interview with model Jacob Rodney Hogue

Interview with model Jacob Rodney Hogue

TRC: Hi Jacob, and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the cover of Laura Kaye’s RIDE WILD. We are BIG fans of Laura at The Reading Café. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Jacob Hogue 4Follow Jacob on : Instagram

Jacob: I grew up living in multiple states temporarily, but spent most my time in Great Falls, MT until I was 15. I moved to Yuba City, Ca at that age. At age 19 I joined the Army reserve and after 8 years and one deployment to Afghanistan I chose not to reenlist and moved to Long Beach, CA to model and act.

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Jacob: Dreams and aspirations as a child were very limited. I grew up in a loving yet sheltered Christian home. I loved singing and sports but never really approached either as a career possibility.

TRC: When not modeling what is your ‘day job’?

Jacob: I work security at Sgt Peppers Dueling pianos on the weekend and am also an avid writer in my free time. I write songs, poetry and am creating my own tv show.

Jacob Hogue 7TRC: Would you please tell us about your beloved four-legged friends?

Jacob: My pets are my children. I have two pitbulls. My male is 1/2 bullmastiff. I also have a savannah cat, who is the coolest guy ever (hence the name “Xander Cage” and my girlfriend has a dainty little Siamese girl.

TRC: What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Jacob: Modeling was something I never really considered, but my good friend, John DeWall, had dove into modeling and acting and put me in touch with Wander once I was out of the Army and now here I am.

Jacob Rodney Hogue cover 2TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Jacob: I have never had a shoot go completely wrong, but if it ever does happen I’m sure I will make the best of it because that’s all one can do. I love to be challenged.

TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

Jacob: When it comes to nude modeling. My advice is always do your homework on those involved and then do what you want to do. I’ll repeat that. Do what YOU want to do. If you’re truly self aware and know who you are then focus on that. There will always be people who disagree with you or have different perspectives and that is okay. There’s always a chance that walking through a door can open others as well as close others. If you’re happy with what you’re doing than that’s what is important.

TRC: The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. At times do you feel alone, surrounded by so many people? What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Jacob Hogue 1Jacob: I never feel alone. I consider myself an outgoing introvert. I thank my girlfriend and my younger Brother for that. We see most things the same way and they always have my back because of our similar perspectives on everything. She loves photography and modeling and he is a musician. I’m an outgoing introvert so if I’m alone it’s because I’ve chosen to be for that moment. When I’m stressed I just remind myself that I can handle it. Eight years in the Army help with that. I also smoke a joint and have a glass of wine. I focus on controlling what I can control.

TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance storyline has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model’?

Jacob: When it comes to a stigma on the male model/ romance industry I don’t really give it much attention. There are so many perspectives and opinions out in the world. A person just needs to focus on doing what they want and love. I think the recent jump in the industry is due to the love of all the people involved. I’ve only been to one event/signing but the fans are fanatics and I believe the same could be said for the authors. It’s a community happy within itself and growing. There will always be those throwing shade or causing conflict but the few cannot destroy the masses.

Jacob Rodney Hogue coverTRC: What do you do to prepare yourself for a shoot?

Jacob: As an avid writer and inspiring actor when I get on set I just create my interpretation of the character and write my own scene in my head to play with. I become what is asked of me. And I love it. I always approach shoots like I’m in a scene of something.

TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Jacob: I’m the kind of person who doesn’t keep track of the number of stuff I’m on. I’m honored and enjoy every single one but I’m always chasing the next one. Plus, the goal is to be on more than I could count so why bother lol

TRC: Do you remember the first cover (book or magazine) on which you appeared?

Jacob: The first magazine I was on was a cover/ editorial for obvious magazine which was awesome. I actually wore most of my own clothes and helped style myself which was awesome.

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Jacob Hogue 2Jacob: I spend a lot of time on walks with my dogs to relax. I live 4 blocks from the beach so how could I not. Also, I’m a huge believer in the best way to relax is to just do nothin. Non-typical meditation of sorts. I just sit down somewhere and do absolutely nothing, except for maybe smoke a joint 🙂

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Jacob: In the next 5 years I’d like 1) quit my day job 2) have my tv show idea really go into motion 3) still be happy. You will always hear me resort back to being happy. There are so many forms of it and I feel people get too caught up in chasing other people’s happiness or trying to please everyone. I believe in being selfish and kind at the same time. Do what you want, be nice to people and avoid those who aren’t.

Jacob Rodney Hogue cover 7TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

Jacob: I’ve actually already mentioned it in an earlier question. Hardly anyone knows I write and love to sing. I was a choir boy in high school and took vocal lessons.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about modeling ?

Jacob: The biggest misconception I’ve experienced is many people believe there is no hard work in it. It is unreal the work behind the scenes and when you’re on set shooting you are expected to do your job so it’s not all for nothing. People who don’t look for the big picture will never see it. Misconceptions are for the ignorant who are not concerned with learning. And I have ZERO time for that. I love to not know things so I can learn. But I do wish I knew everything.

TRC: What type of music do you listen to? and what music is on your playlist today?

Jacob: I listen to almost everything so I’ll name artist : Mixon (my brother) Logic, j cole , usher, JT, Lukas graham… all country, all types of rock, some classical, some jazz… like I said… everything

Jacob Hogue covers 8

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Jacob: I’m currently finishing up the script for my pilot episode and trying to book more modeling and acting jobs. To see my Latest project follow me @jacobrodneyhogueshow I put everything in instagram

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Jacob: I would love to stress my beliefs in being happy. Whatever your happiness is. Do that. Always try to understand others perspectives whether you agree. Seeing how all different types of people get to different types of places will help you navigate life. In the end do what you want and be happy. Stop caring about what everyone else thinks. You can always find people who are on your level. Be happy be happy be happy.

Lightning round

Favorite Foodpizza

Favorite Dessert-Twinkies

Favorite Movie-Legends of the Fall and Warrior (sorry had to give 2)

Favorite TV Show-Shameless

Last Movie You SawLa La Land

Secret Celebrity Crush-Michelle Rodriguez

Dark or Milk Chocolatemilk chocolate

Last Book You read-Inside Delta Force

Pet Peeve-ignorant pit bull comments

TRC: Thank you Jacob for taking the time to answer our questions. It is always a pleasure to meet the man behind the cover. We wish you all the best.


Rescuing Kassie (Delta Force Heroes #5) by Susan Stoker-Review & Book Tour

RESCUING KASSIE (Delta Force Heroes #5) by Susan Stoker-Review and Book Tour

Rescuing Kassie

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 16, 2017

Add to your GOODREADS shelf

Graham “Hollywood” Caverly feels the chemistry with Kassie Anderson in the emails they’ve been exchanging through a dating site. When they finally meet in person, and that online chemistry proves to have real-life sizzle, he knows she’s the one. He couldn’t be happier when their first date, at an annual Army Ball, goes better than he could have imagined. Until Kassie drops a bomb.

Kassie doesn’t want to approach Hollywood on the dating site, but threats to her family leave her no other choice. She definitely doesn’t want to fall for the man. But fall she does. Hard. After she admits the ruse–and after some understandable anger on both their parts–Kassie wonders if, in Hollywood’s arms, a happy future is within her grasp.

But her past always finds her, and in Kassie’s case, that’s a dangerous proposition–because she’s connected to an old enemy of Hollywood’s Delta Force team. Very intimately connected… And it will take Hollywood, his Delta brothers, and even some outside help to do what should have been done the first time–eliminate the threat once and for all.

** Rescuing Kassie is the 5th book in the Delta Force Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings


REVIEW: RESCUING KASSIE is the fifth installment in Susan Stoker’s contemporary, adult DELTA FORCE HEROES romantic, suspense series focusing on an elite team of military personnel. This is team member Graham ‘Hollywood’ Caverly, and department store clerk Kassie Anderson’s story line. RESCUING KASSIE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary although I recommend reading the series in order as some of the events of the current story line are connected to the events of Marrying Emily. There is a slight cross-over with the author’s Badge of Honor series.

Told from several third person perspectives including Kassie and Hollywood RESCUING KASSIE follows the building relationship between Delta Force officer Graham ‘Hollywood’ Caverly and department store clerk Kassie Anderson. For weeks Kassie and Hollywood have been communicating via a dating website but little does Hollywood know that Kassie is being threatened, and Hollywood and his Delta Force soldiers are targeted in a game of revenge. What ensues is the set up and take down of the people targeting our story line heroine, and Hollywood’s quick jump to love and a happily ever after.

RESCUING KASSIE picks up several weeks after the events of MARRYING EMILY and in this there is some background information that is revealed throughout the story. Kassie’s ex boyfriend has destroyed her confidence and trust in the military machine, and with it the threats from a familiar source. Hollywood knows that to end the threats to his team, and the woman he loves, Kassie will remain part of the game.

The relationship between Kassie and Hollywood is quick to build but initially suffers when Kassie reveals the truth behind her introduction to our leading hero. The sexual relationship is slower to build as Hollywood takes his time getting to know the woman with whom he is falling in love. The $ex scenes are limited and mostly fade to black but there are a number of scenes of sexual exploration and play that are intimate, erotic and seductive.

There are a large number of secondary and supporting characters including Hollywood’s Delta Force teammates: Rayne and Ghost, Emily and Fletch, as well as Emily’s daughter Annie, Harley and Coach, and Dane ‘Fish’ Munroe whose story is next in Rescuing Bryn. Several characters from the author’s Blade of Honor series cross over for familiarity. The requisite evil is two-fold as our heroine struggles with the threats against herself and her family.

The world building looks at the friendships and camaraderie, lives and loves of the elite Delta Force team-a blacker than black ops special unit who are but ghosts in the wind.

RESCUING KASSIE is an amazing story of suspense, romance, revenge and betrayal. The premise is engaging, energetic and moving; the characters are colorful, spirited and dynamic; the romance is passionate and emotional. Susan Stoker’s creative story lines pull the reader into a sexy world of military heroes and the women they love.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Delta Force Heroes

RESCUING RAYNE: Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO /

RESCUING EMILY: Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO /

RESCUING HARLEY: Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO /

MARRYING EMILY: Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO /

RESCUING KASSIE: Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo

About The Author

Susan StokerNew York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all-American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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