Ten Days With The Highlander by Hayson Manning – a Review

Ten Days With The Highlander by Hayson Manning – a Review


Ten Days With The HighlanderAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Go-getter Georgia Paxton has ten days to acquire a quaint hotel in the Scottish Highlands for her travel accommodation company before she’s off on her next grand adventure. Too bad the sexy, broody Scot who owns the place is dead against the idea…and that she’s in very real danger of losing their little bet to see who can convince whom first.

There’s no way Callum MacGregor is going to let the gorgeous American turn his tiny hometown over to bored tourists looking to satisfy their Outlander fantasies. He only has ten days to convince her to slow down and see the magic of the town and its people. If he succeeds, he won’t have to run her out of the county. But if he fails, Georgia might run off with his heart.



Ten Days With The Highlander by Hayson Manning is a Contemporary Romance. Georgia Paxton was born to roam.  Raised by her hippie parents she is never content to stay in one place too long.  She is also corporate America.  Her job with LiveAbout –  a destination vacation company.  She travels from destination to destination acquiring properties. She is the big gun.  The one they send in to close the deal. Her newest assignment is Glenlagen, Scotland.   How hard can this assignment be?  Just like all the others, get in, get out and close the deal. 

Callum MacGregor was once corporate America but it turns out it wasn’t for him.   He has come back to his roots in Glenlagen, Scotland.  He has bought the local pub and an old manor house and turned it into a hotel. The pub has been fully renovated but the hotel is a work in progress.  He is all about community and what it means to be a part of this amazingly magical place.  He watches out for his neighbors that’s what community does.

I knew the moment Georgia pulled into the hotel and met Callum that things were going to be quite interesting.  I loved the mix of Corporate America versus hometown morals and values. Georgia is there to convince Callum to sell her company his hotel as a resort destination.  But Callum likes things just the way are and does not want to open his town up as a tourist destination. He is happy and content with the way things are in his life.

Georgia is adamant about the fact that she will never settle down and start a family.  Her life is about movement from one place to the next and she is content with that.  The moment she encounters Callum she begins to see another side to her corporate lifestyle. Callum is the perfect mix of Scottish delish!  He is rugged and hard working and nothing means more to him than family and friends.  He steps up and watches out for his neighbors and makes sure everyone is taken care of in his small quaint town.  The town is magical.  From the moment the author begins to describe it, it is magical and exactly where you want to take your next vacation. Callum begins to show Georgia that there is more to life than making money.  That settling down and enjoying the little things can make for a happy and content life. 

The mix that both main characters bring to the story is wonderfully written and I would have loved for it to continue on.  One of my favorite parts of the story was the mention of Coupon, PA which I grew up 9.5 miles from.  Always fun to read of places you are familiar with. Loved the story, loved the setting and all of the characters.  I hope that this story continues as there are several secondary characters I would love to read more about.  Wonderfully written and filled with magical folklore and delicious sounding foods. If you want to take a trip to a magical Scotland town with wonderful characters and an even more wonderful love story – this is the book for you!

Reviewed by Erin

Copy provided by Publisher





Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy – a Review

Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy – a Review


Cat Shining Bright
Joe Grey Mystery series – Book #20
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Release Date: August 15, 2017
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The stakes are higher and more personal than ever for feline investigator Joe Grey when death comes to his beloved coastal California town in this twentieth installment of the enchanting cat mystery series.

While new father Joe Grey is overjoyed to teach his three young kittens about the world, he misses his cop work — secretly helping solve crimes alongside his human friends at Molena Point P. D. But when beautician Barbara Conley and one of her customers are found dead in the salon, Joe makes an exception, he heads for the crime scene. He has no idea that the kittens are following him, or how they will complicate the investigation.

But this is not the only danger to the kittens. A stranger is lurking around the home of Joe’s tabby lady, Dulcie, where the kittens were born. Both parents’ backs are up and their claws out, ready to protect their babies and to protect Wilma Getz, Dulcie’s human housemate.

As the death of the beautician becomes entangled with a gang of thieves working the village, Joe, Dulcie, Kit and Pan are all into the investigation; and they are led to unexpected connections, to the building of the new cat shelter and to a neighbor who becomes suddenly an unexpected part of the tangle.




Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy is the 20th book in her fabulous & fun Joe Grey series.  I have read every book in this series, and it is one of my favorite go to books when I want a sweet lighthearted mystery with a group of wonderful talking cats, and their humans.  These are magical sentient cats that live in Molena Point, California, but only their humans close to them know, and the cats are the real ones who solve the crimes.   I am amazed that into the 20th book, Murphy can still win us over each and every time.  I adore our cats, Joe, Dulcie and Kit.  They are awesome, sweet, daring, and clever.  The humans who are a major part of this series, are Clyde and Ryan; Wilma, Charlie (who is married to the police chief, and he does not know about the cats).  They are all an awesome group that makes this series so much fun and exciting.

In Cat Shining Bright, Dulcie has given birth to three kittens, two boys and a girl, and Joe, the proud father, is finally able to get past the stress of Dulcie giving birth.  Joe and Dulcie have always been a team from the start of this series, and we have enjoyed the love they have for each other.  A few books later, we met the wonderful sweet and daring Kit, who found her own love, Pan recently. It will take a few months, with everyone waiting with anticipation, for the kittens to begin to talk.  It was very well written and fun when they did. 

It is Kit and Pan who will discover a car theft ring stealing cars during a storm; this after the death of a beautician found in her salon with a customer.  Though Joe has been spending most of his time with his kittens and Dulcie, he becomes intrigued by the car thefts, and will join Pan and Kit in their investigations.  The Molena Police department has gotten used to Joe entering the station and falling asleep in the Chief’s office’ of course they do not know he listens and learns all the information there.   One day, the kittens became interested in what their father was doing and secretly followed him; Joe will catch them before they are discovered, but their curiosity is now peaked. 

What follows is an exciting mystery, trying to find out who murdered the two people, and who was behind all the car thefts.  There are trying times when Joe, Kit, Pan and even the kittens find themselves in danger.  When Wilma (Dulcie’s human), senses an intruder in her house, she will take Dulcie and the kittens to stay at Clyde & Ryan’s (joe’s humans) house for protection.  Someone knows about the secret book about the magical sentient cats, and their ability to talk; and they want the book.  Besides the cats finding clues, and making secret calls to the police, the humans will also play a big part in solving the crimes.  As I have noted before, I love the characters that have accepted our cats; Charlie, Ryan, Wilma, Clyde, Kate, etc.  We also spend time with the police department characters, such as Max, Dallas, etc, who have no idea about the cats.

This is a fun series, exciting mysteries, and fantastic characters, including cats and humans.  Do not let that fact that these cats can talk deter you into reading this series. It is a fun and awesome series, and so well written my Shirley Rousseau Murphy. Give yourself a chance to read this enjoyable series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher


Demon’s Mark by T.F. Walsh – a Review

Demon’s Mark by T.F. Walsh – a Review


Demon’s Mark
Hell Unleashed series – Book #2
by T.F. Walsh
Release Date: August 1, 2017

Demon's MarkAmazon

As a half-demon, Cary has survived a lot… but this love thing might be her undoing.

Levi Walker, master demon hunter, is on a mission to find the demon bastard who killed his best friend. As he finally tracks down the beast, he’s suddenly distracted by the newest Argos recruit – the sexy vixen who also broke his heart – and the battle takes a deadly turn. Now with the recruit in the beast’s sights, both she and Levi are instantly marked for death.

If Cary Stone’s secret is revealed (she’s a demon half-breed, after all), she’ll be thrown straight into Hell. After a lifetime following her father’s advice – never let anyone get close, never stay too long in one city, and ALWAYS work alone – in the past year she’s broken all the rules.

Not only did she get a job hunting demons, she also fell in love with the most badass hunter of them all. Oh and, if things weren’t interesting enough, she managed to grab the top spot on the hit list of the biggest mercenary in Hell. Yeah, shit just got real.




Demon’s Mark by T.F. Walsh is the 2nd book in her Hell Unleashed series. Cary and Levi….Cary and Levi…..CARY AND LEVI! You want to talk about a hot, sexy bad ass couple.  They’ve got it all.  Sparks are flying everywhere, the attraction is off the charts.  They work together to kick demon butt all over town.  They both have enough attitude to fill up a football stadium.  No damsel in distress or wimpy dude located here.  Once again, this is a story that is jam packed with amazing plot twists, action and a smoking hot love story.  Add in the fact that Cary is a demon half-breed and has the major hots for Levi, her demon hunting partner, and we’ve got a seriously awesome storyline.  Levi finds out Cary is half demon when Argos sends out a text message calling all hunters to track Cary down with a bounty being paid of $100k.  How can he love her and hate her at the same time?  How is it possible she is possessed? Oh and let’s not forget that Cary has also been marked by a demon in Hell.  Demon hunters tracking her down AND demons from hell on her heels too?  Well, isn’t that just the most romantic situation you’ve ever read about? 

Each twist and turn had me biting my nails, anticipating what would happen next.  How will Levi handle the news that Cary is a cambion?  Will her try to capture her and collect the money? Or will he protect her from the hunters and the demons?  Let’s not forget Blinkie, the really ugly hellhound that bounded out of hell to help her. Why does she now have a hellhound by her side and why is she the only one who can see him?  Levi can’t see the hound, but he can feel him licking his face. How do you explain that?  How will they remove the demon mark?  And will they actually survive? 

Walsh’s writing has the perfect blend of everything, amazing characters, imaginative plots and action that makes your mouth drop open.  I can’t express how much I enjoyed reading this book and riding the roller coaster of emotions right along with Cary and Levi.  One aspect of her writing that I love is she writes from both Levi and Cary’s perspective and it gives so much more meaning and depth to the story.  It’s intriguing to read how each character interprets the same situation in their own way.  All I can say if you read any of T.F. Walsh books is to hold onto your seat, it’s going to be an amazing ride!

Reviewed by Tricia

Copy supplied by Author



Dragonsworn by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review

Dragonsworn by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review


Dark-Hunter series – Book #21
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Release Date: August 1, 2017

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There is nothing in the universe the cursed dragon, Falcyn, hates more than humanity . . . and in particular, Greek humans. In a war he wanted no part of, they systematically destroyed everything he’d ever cared for. Now he lies in seclusion, away from the world and waits for the day when evolution will finally rid him of the human vermin.

Medea was born the granddaughter of the Greek god Apollo, and among the first of his people that he cursed to die. But she will not let anyone rule her life. Not even her notorious grandfather. And when Apollo sends a new plague to destroy what remains of her people, she refuses to standby and watch him take everything she loves from her again.

This time, she knows of a secret weapon that can stop the ancient god and his army of demons. Once and for all. However, said device is in the hands of a dragon who wants nothing to do with politics, the gods, humanity, demons or Greek Apollites. And especially not her. He is the immovable object.

My enemy’s enemy . . .

When Apollo makes a strategic move that backfires, he forces Falcyn back into play. Now Medea either has the weapon she needs to save her people, or she’s unleashed total Armageddon. If she can’t find some way to control the dragon before it’s too late, Falcyn will be an even worse plague on the world than the one Apollo has set loose. But how can anyone control a demonic dragon whose sole birthright is total destruction? 




Dragonsworn by Sherrilyn Kenyon pleasantly surprised me.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about Medea getting a storyline as I’m not a Stryker/Daimon fan, but I really enjoyed her character. She was a strong female lead; feisty, funny, smart, badass with a sword, loyal to those she holds dear, and turned out to be the perfect mate for Falcyn.  Falcyn has been a mystery to me so far and really intrigued me, so I was very eager to get my hands on his story and see what makes this dragon tick.  Let me just say, Falcyn did not disappoint me in anyway.  He is everything you would expect from a dragon shifter; strong, arrogant, cunning, smart, charming, funny and sexy as hell.  No wonder Medea was instantly attracted to him, one would have to be comatose not to.  The two hit it off immediately with their personalities, witty banter, and past demons both are trying to bury.  They wind up realizing just how much they have in common over what’s been done to them over the years, and have an understanding for what the other has been through. For me they are two characters who just clicked from their first scene and ran away with their story.  There was no shortage of witty banter, off the charts sexual chemistry or heart warming moments between Falcyn and Medea.  

The cast of secondary characters of Urian, Blaise, Brevalaer, Brogan, Simi, and a host of other characters we meet along the way, along with Sherrilyn’s unique humour just added something more to the story.  Lets just say there was no shortage of off the wall shenanigans, or sarcastic comments to be found.  Even in the most dire of situations our dysfunctional group manages to bring the humour and turn a dark moment into a funny one.  I don’t know how many times I LoL at one of their comments or actions.  I swear this group of misfits had to be one of the funnier groups for me to read about in a Kenyon book, and she has no shortage of funny off beat characters.  There was just something special and unique about this crew.  Maybe because they couldn’t be more different from each other, and the fact they are all from different species, etc, but they just made the story fly by and keep me entertained.  They just fit for some reason. 

Along with finding out more about Falcyn, the relation between him, Maddor and Blaise, why Medea needs his dragonstone to save her race, and the sizzling romance between Falcyn and Medea Ms. Kenyon continues to drop hints about other characters, storylines and strengthening the ties between the DH and CON series.  We learn more about the first Malachai, Monakribos and the prophecy surrounding him that is linked to none other then Apollymi!!  We learn some very interesting details regarding her and a past life, that also affects not only Ash, but Styxx and his son Urian.  In true Kenyon fashion we are left hanging as to what’s going to happen next with Urian and his HEA who I won’t say a word about because it’s such a major spoiler.  I never saw it coming and was shocked when I read who it is. I for one can’t wait to read his book and see just where Ms. Kenyon will take us, and just how Apollo plans to use Urian to bring down Ash once and for all.  Can I just say Apollo needs to go, I say sick Simi and her sister on him and let them feast.  I now hate Apollo more then his sister the Heifer Goddess.

So much happens in Dragonsworn that I’d be here forever reviewing it.  So instead I tried to give you as much as I could without dropping too many spoilers.  If you aren’t up to speed on the series you will be confused and a little lost as to all that is happening.  If you are up to speed then you will hopefully understand all that is going one and where it’s leading us.  Dragonsworn was fast paced, action packed and filled with sexual chemistry thanks in part to the lead couple of Falcyn and Medea. The cast of secondary characters helped to further the plot and add some fun along the way.  The new reveals about characters, past, present and future storylines will have your head spinning as is par for the course with Kenyon.  Dragonsworn leaves you wanting more and eagerly anticipating Urian’s book Battle Born. 

Until next time, happy reading my fellow Menyons!! 

Reviewed by Marcie



A Wedding Tail by Casey Griffin – a Review

A Wedding Tail by Casey Griffin – a Review


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Wedding planner Zoe Plum has brides from all walks of life vying for her services. The only problem is: happily-single Zoe doesn’t actually enjoy weddings—but that might change when she meets the singer of a local band playing at one of her weddings. His name is Levi Dolson and he’s too gorgeous for his own good. And now he’s gone ahead and charmed her new dachshund. . .

It’s no secret that Zoe doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to make sweet music with Levi. While she’s convinced she doesn’t need a man, when someone starts setting one trap after the next to make sure she never plans a wedding ever again, she might need Levi in more ways than she could have imagined. But just how far is Zoe’s hidden enemy willing to go? The only thing Levi knows for sure is that he will do everything in his power to protect the woman who brings music to his soul. Maybe that will prove to Zoe, once and for all, that he is a man worthy of her heart. . .




A Wedding Tail by Casey Griffin is the 3rd book in her Rescue Dog Romance series. I did enjoy the previous books in this series; however I had mixed feelings about this book.  I will go into that later.

Zoe Plum, our heroine, is a wedding planner, and a friend of our previous heroines (Addison & Piper). Zoe loves planning weddings, though she has sworn off men since she was left at the altar years before.  The story begins with Zoe in the midst of making sure the wedding she is doing goes well, but it will turn out to be the wedding from hell, as everything goes wrong, which includes the best man claiming he loves his best friends bride to be.  Needless to say, the wedding did not go off, but it will haunt Zoe for most of the story. 

Levi Dolson ,our hero, is a musician with his own band. He is scheduled to be a groomsman, but he also does side things to make extra money, like play a piano, ride a horse or sing anything.  Levi considers himself a catch or a womanizer, and he does everything to get Zoe’s attention.  Though she has no interest, and with everything falling apart, Levi will be there every step of the way to try to help Zoe, and win her over. Levi also gets a kick out Zoe’s side business (selling sex toys).

What follows is a slow build romance, as well as a suspenseful story about who is trying to destroy Zoe by sabotaging everything she is involved in; whether it is destroying her van, framing her for various attacks, stealing her assistant, and destruction of her business and reputation.  Zoe can’t seem to get a break, as she becomes a suspect in a possible murder.  Levi will be there for her, as he is very persistent and a calming influence on her; slowly she begins to have feelings for him.  We will also be introduced to Zoe’s new pet, as she ends up adopting a dachshund, Freddy, who was cute.

This had a good storyline, and the last third of the book was very exciting; especially with Zoe right in the middle of trying to save her friend from a serial murderer.  I also loved Zoe’s two friends, whom we had met previously.  What I had mixed feelings about was the wild craziness in the first half of the book, and the emphasis on the sex toys, which was intended to be funny, but it annoyed me more than making me laugh.  I also did not really like Zoe, nor Levi early on.  When the murder mystery element of the storyline picked up, I got to like our couple better and the suspense was very well done.  Overall, this was a good story, but some of  the early humor was a bit over the top.
Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher


Merika’s Story by M.A. Abraham – Review & Giveaway

Merika’s Story by M.A. Abraham – Review & Giveaway


Merika's Story


Merika's StoryAmazon / B&N / Kobo

Merika’s mother surrounded her with a false sense of security, by blocking her memories and powers, to hide their identities. It all begins to unravel when her mother dies, and she is drawn back into the world of her forefathers.

Merika works to make a place for herself amongst the new people she has met. She wants to know more about her ancestors, even though she is overwhelmed by memories and powers she didn’t know she had. She likes her new home it is different. The people are genuine, and she finds an acceptance. She wants to take some time to explore this world, but others have different plans. She refuses, however, to be manipulated

As a result of his mother’s upbringing, Tyrus views most women with a degree of contempt. He wants nothing to do with them. Like Merika, he was brought up in the outside world. In the lands of his father, he finds peace, if nothing else. The last thing he needs is someone like Merika to complicate things, no matter how attracted he is to her.

Kodac is the male Primus of his world. His sons are as powerful as he is, and will one day take his place. He wants to see them settled and with a family to continue their lineage. He knows Tyrus’ mother was a major manipulator, who took him away from his father’s influence. Merika could be the solution to Tyrus, for she is a good match. He is willing to do anything to get them together, even placing her in the path of males of power. His belief is that Tyrus will act on their mutual attraction, rather than see her in the arms of another man



Merika’s Story by M.A. Abraham is the first book in her Daughters of the Valley series.  It is always exciting to find out what M.A. Abraham has in store for us whenever she starts a new series.   M. A. Abraham gives us another wonderful romance of two people determined to fight their destiny.  She has a wonderful imagination, and always gives us a different and fun new world-building. 

We meet Merika, our heroine, immediately as she is driving into a major storm.  When her car gets stuck, Merika is forced to walk along a dark road to find a place for safety. With her aggravation and fears, she unknowingly is making the storm more severe and dangerous.  As Merika enters a hidden realm, she begins to sense something pulling her.  While Merika is coming toward them, we meet those who live in the Valley (hidden realm), as they sense a powerful force coming.  We meet Sephora and her daughter Serena, who worry about this new powerful person.  We will also meet Kodac, a male leader of this world, and his sons Tyrus and Rodan.  When Merika comes face to face with these people, her fears will escalate, causing her unknown power to rise.  It will take both Kodac and Tyrus to stabilize Merika. 

What follows is a wonderful story about Merika learning about her true past and getting to know all the people in the Valley.  She will learn her recently deceased mother’s origin, and how to use her powers.  Merika will become best friends with Serena, who is also a powerful female alpha. 

Kodac was a wonderful character, who only wanted what was best for his sons.  He did everything to befriend Merika, and help push her toward his son, Tyrus, whom he felt were perfect for each other.  Tyrus is the heir apparent to be the Alpha Prime of the Valley. But best laid plans do not always work out, as both of them were stubborn and independent, causing them to get off on the wrong foot.  But Merika was a wonderful heroine, whom everyone liked, including all the other men who were interested.  This of course frustrated Tyrus, who did not want to become involved in a relationship, but found himself being drawn to Merika, despite his determination not to.

Merika’s Story was a different type of world, with powerful people, who lived in peace.  It was a fun and lighthearted story line, with wonderful characters created by Abraham.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review



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Leave The Night On by Laura Trentham – Review, Excerpt, Tour & Giveaway

Leave The Night On by Laura Trentham – Review, Tour & Giveaway



Leave The Night OnAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Books-a-Million / IndieBound

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge–life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiance’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage–and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?



Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham is the 4th book in her wonderful Cottonbloom series.  Leave the Night On reads very well as a standalone, with brief appearances from the earlier leading characters.   I wasn’t sure what to expect, as we knew little about the Abbots.  Wyatt Abbott owns ¼ of the family  garage and restoration business, and he loves restoring old cars.  Sutton Mize brings in her fiancée’s classic Camaro to have a full restoration done as a wedding present.  The Abbott Brothers are excited to start their new restoration project, which will open them up for more business, with wealthier clientele.

Wyatt welcomes Sutton, remembering her from high school, when he had a secret crush on her.  But they have not seen each other in years, as she is from the wealthier Mississippi side of Cottonbloom, and Wyatt and his brothers are the from the blue collar Louisiana side.  When Wyatt takes the car, he makes sure that everything is empty and to Sutton’s shock, he finds expensive dinner receipts and a lace thong under the seat.  Sutton recognizes the thong, as it came from her boutique, where she sold it to her best friend.  Wyatt sees Sutton’s shock and realizes that her fiancée has been cheating on her.

What follows is a wonderful fun story line, where Sutton will ask Wyatt to help her get revenge on her ex- fiancée by being her new boyfriend.  He of course accepts, as he feels bad how she was treated, and wants to help and protect her.  He knows there could be no future for them, since they are from different backgrounds.  Slowly, as they both begin to spend a lot of time together, going to her gala’s and family dinners.  Wyatt was the perfect person for Sutton to get over her ex, as he opened her up to another life of having fun and enjoying things; and also making her that much more stronger and independent.   I loved Wyatt and Sutton together.  They made a great couple, with great chemistry.

While they try to fool Sutton’s Ex and her best friend, there are other things happening that blends into the story.  We meet all the Abbotts, including the aunts and the other 3 brothers.  The only brother I did not like was Ford, who only cared about himself and had no interest in working on the cars.  Ford gave Wyatt such a hard time, which made him even more unlikeable.  I am sure at some point in this series; we will get his story and eventually his redemption.  All the other characters we got to meet were great and I look forward to finding more about them.

Laura Trentham once again gives us a wonderful story, great characters, fabulous couple, heartwarming small town atmosphere, and a sweet wonderful romance. You should be reading this series, and I can’t wait to return to Cottonbloom.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher



Sutton stared at the lace concoction. From La Perla’s fall collection. Fine Italian lace. Ridiculously expensive for something so small. A special order with the addition of a small embroidered heart to sit at the owner’s hipbone. Oh yes, she was acquainted with the underwear but not intimately acquainted. She’d ordered them through Abigail’s Boutique, but not for herself. She was too practical.
Wyatt Abbott shook them even closer to her face, obviously expecting her to take them. The thought of touching the lace made her shrink against the driver’s door, and she fumbled for the handle, finally finding it and yanking. The door opened and her momentum sent her to the shop floor on her butt. Her skirt bunched around her thighs, probably high enough for Wyatt Abbott to see her simple cotton pink panties from Victoria’s Secret. The fact they weren’t white was the wildest she got. She’d even waited for them to go on sale. With a bruised ego and bottom, she scrambled up. Wyatt hadn’t moved. His mouth was parted, still in a slight smile, the panties dangling from his fingers. Instead of the roil of emotions gaining steam inside of her, she concentrated on his hands. They were rough-looking and callused. The nails were short but lined with grease. And they were big. They built things. Fixed things. Put things back together. A darkness came over his face, clouding his earlier good-humor and giving him an edge of danger she hadn’t sensed through his teasing. Instead of getting out of the car from the door, he stood up on the passenger seat, stepped to the driver’s seat, and hopped next to her, the black lace of her betrayal dangling in his hand. “What’s the problem?” he asked. A jackhammering noise from the other bay filled the space so she didn’t have to. The crazy thing was that she had sensed something wrong. Something had been wrong pretty much since she and Andrew had gotten engaged.
She’d tried to put it down to nerves or how busy they both were with work. But the truth was she’d been dragging her feet with the wedding preparations. Between the two of them pulling away, the distance had grown until only an echo of what had drawn them together remained. The hum of a motor and the flash of sunlight on metal drew her attention to the open bay door. Her best friend, Bree Randall, stepped out of her BMW coupe dressed in heels, grey slacks, and a sleeveless silk shell, the pink contrasting beautifully with her dark brown hair and ivory complexion. She was a lawyer for Cottonbloom, Mississippi’s city government and had been Sutton’s best friend since first grade. No way could Sutton smile and pretend everything was fine. She grabbed the front of Wyatt’s coveralls and looked up at him. The boy she remembered had been too cool and a borderline jerk, teasing her incessantly, almost to the point of tears. The man was still too cool, yet something new lurked behind his ease. She hoped it was akin to kindness. Bree drew closer. Stuck between a devil she knew and one she didn’t, Sutton took a chance. Her voice was hoarse and begging and she didn’t care. “Get me out of here. Please.”

Without taking his eyes off her, he called out, “Yo, Jackson. Could you put the lady from the Beemer in the waiting room? Tell her Miss Mize isn’t feeling well and stepped out back for some fresh air.”

If his brother answered, she didn’t hear him. Wyatt put a strong, stabilizing arm around her shoulders and guided her around various pieces of equipment and mechanical parts to a door tucked away at the back of the shop floor. She stepped outside, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. The freshness of the air counteracted the bile rising in her throat.

Her knees wobbled as the stark reality of the situation and the fallout took shape in her mind. She glanced at the man by her side. What was Wyatt Abbott thinking right now? Probably that she was borderline psychotic.

A huge red barn sat behind the shop, and they passed from sun back into shadows. A body-sized punching bag twirled from a high beam as they passed by. That explained why the arm at her back was so solid. Her heels tapped on the wide-planked floor. The smell of weathered wood was overlaid by something sweeter. Honeysuckle, maybe.
No hay was stored in the Abbott’s barn. Two tarp-covered cars, the bottom curves of their tires the only part visible, formed a path to the back where a scratched up leather couch and mini-fridge sat.

“Sorry it’s so dusty in here. We like to keep the doors open if the weather’s nice because of the views and cross breeze.” He took a blue towel from his back pocket and wiped off a section of the couch, leaving yellow streaks of pollen. Getting a little dirty was way down on her list of worries and she plopped down, wrapping her arms around her stomach and leaning over so her forehead nearly touched her knees.

“You want a Coke or tea or something?”

She raised her head enough to see his big hand holding out a bottle. He shifted back and forth in his black work boots, the hem of his coveralls ombrèd black to grey with grease.
“It’s a little early for whiskey, but I’ve got that too if you’d rather.” He sounded so worried and unsure, she straightened, took the Coke and pressed the cool plastic against her cheeks and neck.

“You must think I’ve gone batty.” She rarely drank alcohol and never whiskey, but for a moment she considered it as a viable option, even though it was still technically breakfast. It was five o’clock somewhere, right?

“I think something really bad happened,” he said. “I’m not sure what, but I suspect it has something to do with the restaurant receipts and the underwear.”

“Oh God. The receipts.” Her mind hadn’t even circled back around to those, but everything notched into place like a puzzle whose missing piece turned up stuck on the bottom of a shoe covered with chewed up old gum and bug guts.
His late nights working. Breaking dates at the last minute. His distraction. How long had it been since they’d shared the same bed? Two months? Three? She’d put it down to the natural progression of a committed relationship and the busyness of their lives, assuming things would be better once they were living under the same roof.
“I’m a moron.” Tears crawled up her throat and choked off her feeble attempt of a laugh.

She closed her eyes wishing she could teleport herself back under the covers. The cushion sagged next to her, and she tipped towards him, her shoulder bumping his biceps. A moment passed before his arm came around her shoulders, and they sank back into the couch together.
She turned her face into the space between his neck and shoulder and took a deep breath, desperately trying to get a handle on her out-of-control emotions. Pain was to be expected, but the flashes of fierce fury took her by surprise.
Easygoing and nice and cheerful were bandied about when people passed compliments her way. At least, she’d always taken them as compliments. Now she wasn’t so sure. Maybe all those things were code words for weak and gullible.

Another breath. She concentrated on Wyatt’s warmth and scent. So different from the expensive cologne Andrew wore. Wyatt smelled like pine trees and the garage. His dark, almost black hair, tickled her nose. A tear slipped out and she wiped it away with the heel of her hand.
“You want me to go get your friend?” His chest vibrated against her, deep and rich.

Friend? She didn’t want to examine the other half of the betrayal. Worse than Andrew cheating on her was who he’d been getting down and dirty with. Her best friend. No. A friend wouldn’t sleep with her fiancé behind her back while helping her plan the wedding with an enthusiasm that oftentimes exceed her own.

Sutton ransacked her brain for moments she could point to and say Aha! but none came to mind. Bree had been supportive and helpful over the last few months. Lies. How many lies had Sutton accepted as gospel truth? A few more tears escaped along with a ragged breath.
Wyatt made a humming sound that was distinctly uncomfortable, and he pulled away. “Let me—”

She grabbed his coveralls. “No. Don’t you get it? That was her thong.”

He shifted to face her. “Is identifying underwear in a single glance your superpower?”

Despite her life crashing down, a shard of humor sliced through the shock, and her lips twitched. “Expensive underwear. The heart on the panties matches her tattoo. A special order.”

“You fiancé and your best friend?”

Put like that, she felt even dumber. “My life has turned into a cliché.”

“It’s a cliché because of how often it happens. Nothing for you to be ashamed of. It’s them that should feel like chickenshit.”

“You don’t understand how people like to talk.”

“I understand, alright. I just don’t care what people say.” The defiant edge in his voice spoke of his own pain and sorrows, but right now she only had room for her own. He was quiet for a moment. “You want me to get rid of her?”

Sutton sank back and took a swig of Coke, the burn bringing a different, more welcome, sort of tear to her eyes. “I need to talk to her. Confront her.”

“Yeah, but not hurt and crying. You need to prepare. Get mad then get even.”

His advice made her sit up straighter. She’d been raised to smooth feathers, not ruffle them. Her mother had taught her how a smile and pleasant word could diffuse most situations. The lessons had contributed to her business success but hadn’t done her personal life any favors. Another whip of red-hot fury flayed her heart.
“She’s my ride back over the river.” Her voice sounded even and strong, her anger a mast to cling to amid the wreckage.

“I can be your ride.”

“But you have work to do.”

The look he cast her was full of disbelief. “You’re not going through with the restoration, are you?”

The Camaro, the red harbinger of her ruin, had already slipped her mind. She didn’t even like the stupid car. Her daddy and Tarwater senior had hatched this surprise over a round of golf with Ford Abbott after she’d confessed she couldn’t think of anything to give Andrew as an engagement present. Only when her daddy had anted up half the money had she agreed. Their “go big or go home” mentality had seemed a ridiculous waste to her.
Dear Lord, her family. What would her daddy say? As a long-standing judge, he was sort of a colleague of Andrew’s. She closed her eyes and rocked forward and back on the edge of the couch.

“What if I’m overreacting?” If only this was a bad dream. Yet, did she really want that? An undercurrent that felt vaguely like relief trickled through the anger and humiliation and doubts.

“About which part, your fiancé cheating or who he was cheating with?” Wyatt stuck a hand into his pocket, came out with the thong and tossed it on her lap.

She leapt up and brushed it off as if she were Miss Muffet and it was a venomous, hairy, black spider. She kicked at it with the toe of her shoe. The red heart mocked her from the black lace. Yet the little girl who’d shared her pimento cheese sandwich with Bree every day during kindergarten wanted to be wrong.

She sank back down to the edge of the couch, feeling like she was shoring up the situation with Scotch tape. “There could be a reasonable explanation. Like she and Andrew went to lunch and for some reason she had them in her purse and they fell out. Maybe I’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion.”

“Maybe.” He shrugged. She appreciated the fact he wasn’t calling her on her BS excuses even though his face was the definition of skeptical.

“You sure you don’t mind giving me a ride?” she asked.

“I’ll get rid of your friend and take you home. That should buy you some time to figure things out. Confront her on your terms.”

Her initial impressions of Wyatt Abbott were from the viewpoint of a preteen girl. Back then, she’d been self-conscious of her skinny arms and legs and flyaway hair, and whenever she’d come to the garage with her daddy, Wyatt had made it his mission to tease her mercilessly.
What was he now? On the surface, she’d label him a good old boy. Fun, flirty, simple. Except, his gray eyes were anything but. Not flat like shale, but ready to spark a fire like a flint. Raw emotions provided a sharp awareness. Her memories of him urged her to be cautious with her trust, yet his jaw was set and his shoulders were rolled forward as if ready and willing to go into battle.

“Why?” she finally whispered.

“Why what?”

“Why are you being so nice to me? You hated me as a kid.”

“Hated you?” He stuffed his hands into his pockets and tipped his head enough to shutter his intensity of his eyes. “I never hated you, in fact . . .” He shook his head.

“In fact what?”

“Not important. Simply put, unlike your fiancé and your friend, I’m not an asshole. If you don’t need me—”

“No, I do need you.” She stood but misjudged how close he was. They weren’t touching, but she could feel his heat and appreciate his strength. “I just . . .”

Wyatt Abbott was handsome, but even more potent than his looks was an intangible confidence and ease with himself. The man probably talked a different woman out of her panties every weekend. Would he cash in on her humiliation for a good story to tell brothers and drinking buddies? Did it even matter? Whether it was him or someone else, rumors would rush through the town like their river after a storm

Insecurities pinged between her head and heart, the message clear. Protect yourself. But surely, she could at least trust him to get her home. “I would really appreciate a lift home.”

He chaffed her arms like a coach might comfort a little kid after a loss. “It’ll be okay. You wait here while I handle your friend, okay?”

She nodded, and he strode back toward the garage. Highlighted in a shaft of sunlight, he hesitated at the metal door they’d ducked through and glanced behind him. A zing of warning—or premonition?—skittered down her spine.
Her life had been spun into chaos, yet in that moment, she felt connected to Wyatt in a way that terrified her. Then he disappeared, and she waited to discover out if her trust had once again been misplaced.


About the Author pink


Laura Trentahm II

SaveAn award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. Then He Kissed Me, a Cottonbloom novel, was named as one of Amazon’s best romances of 2016. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she’s shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as big as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.

Social Links:
Facebook / Author Blog / Twitter@LauraTrentham / Author Website / Goodreads

There are two giveaways below:


Giveaway pink

Laura’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of LEAVE THE NIGHT ON to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe:

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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9. Giveaway runs from August 5 to August 8, 2017


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Laura Trentham is doing for a beach bag prize pack with Cottonbloom books!

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The Playboy Prince and the Nanny by Donna Alward – Review, Tour & Guest Post

The Playboy Prince and the Nanny by Donna Alward – Review, Tour & Guest Post




The Playboy Prince and the NannyAmazon / B&N Nook / Google Play / Kobo  / iBooks

Prince Diego Navarro is the “spare” to his brother’s “heir”. While Raoul performs his crown prince duties with the appropriate sense of nobility and poise, Diego’s garnered a bit of a reputation as a playboy – despite the good he does behind the scenes with his favorite charities.

But when tragedy strikes and his sister-in-law is killed in a car accident, Diego knows it’s time for the playboy to step up. If not for his brother, then for his niece and nephew, who now find themselves without a mother.

Which is where Rose Walters comes in.

Rose isn’t intimidated by money or glitz. The veteran nanny has worked for the rich and minimally famous, but a manor house is no comparison to a castle… or the handsome princes who live there. However, the worst thing she could possibly do is fall for the gorgeous playboy with a surprising heart of gold. He’s a prince; she’s the help. He lives in the tabloids; she loves her privacy. But when her two darling charges start to play matchmaker, Diego and Rose don’t stand a chance.

The Playboy Prince and the Nanny is the first book in Donna Alward’s royal duology.



The Playboy Prince and the Nanny by Donna Alward is the first book in her Royal Duology. Once again, Donna Alward gives us a wonderful sweet delightful romance.  The Playboy Prince and the Nanny revolves around a Royal family, but this book was so much fun to read, as every single character was great, and I loved every moment of it.

Prince Diego Navarro is with his friends at a bar, living the life of a playboy prince, when he sees on the television the news of terrible tragedy in his homeland of Mazazur.  His sister in law and the nanny were killed in the horrific car crash, and Diego heads home to help his brother, Raoul, the crown prince, as well  as his niece and nephew through this trying time.  Raoul has always performed along with his father, the King all the duties required of nobility, leaving Diego to live his fun wild life.  But Diego is determined to step in and show his brother and father that he is more than capable of handling any duties required.  It will be Diego who will hire a new nanny to help with the children.

Enter Rose Walters, the new nanny, who has come with excellent references with the rich and famous.  Rose knows the rules, and is very good at her job.   Rose was wonderful with her two charges, Emilia and Max, and in a short time they come to love her, as does she, and helps them learn to adapt to the loss of their mother.  When Rose arrived, she was met by Diego, and though he was handsome, caring and totally different than his playboy image, she knew she needed to avoid him as much as possible.  Her attraction to him was real, and soon Diego will find himself enjoying the friendship he had with Rose.  Both of them find it hard to keep their distance, as Diego tried to spend time with the children and Rose. 

Of course, with a Royal family, pictures are secretly taken and Rose find herself exactly where she did not want to be; on the cover of the papers.  She was help, and he was a prince.  There could be no future.  Rose must decide if she should stay, or leave the precious children, who would get hurt again. However, the Navarro family does not let the media dictate their lives, and to her surprise, Raoul and his father are supportive, finding themselves caring about her, too.  Diego is determined to show Rose how much he loves her and that she will be accepted into the Royal family.  I loved Diego and Rose together, and I adored both Max and Emilia. 

The ending was so well done, happily emotional and very satisfactory.  If you enjoy a sweet well written romance, with so many likeable characters, you should read The Playboy Prince and the Nanny.  If you have not read Donna Alward, and you enjoy romances, you should be reading her books.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher



Guest Post-White and Aqua

The Inspiration behind the Princes of Marazur…

When it came to really sitting down and planning out the Princes of Marazur duet, I had to do some serious thinking about my princes. I’d already established them a bit in The Rancher’s Runaway Princess, but this was different. They had more of a walk-on role in that book, and now they were going to be center stage.

I knew that:

Raoul is the Crown Prince, and takes it seriously. That he’s married with a girl and a boy. That he and Diego lost their mother when they were very young, and that Lucy (their half-sister) is born of an affair.

Diego is the “Spare” heir, and he’s the one who rebelled as he grew older, establishing a reputation as a palace bad boy and playboy. Sure, he went to university, but he was more interested in the polo ponies and fillies of other sorts than really studying. I also knew that when the story started, he would need to be trying to shed that reputation, build some credibility, and be an asset to the family.

Sound like anyone else you can think of? #willandharry

I also found myself thinking about the remake of Sabrina that was out years ago, featuring Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear. Now granted, this heroine isn’t going to fall for Diego and then really realize she’s in love with Raoul. But it does represent a bit of the dynamic between the brothers, much like Linus and David in the movie. Linus doesn’t think David will ever settle down, doesn’t think he takes things seriously, and David’s used to being underestimated. In the end, Linus learns to loosen his stranglehold on his responsibilities and trust David, who is ready to grow up and show there’s more to him than his past reputation.

Of course, once I started writing, the characters took on a life of their own and simply became Diego and Raoul, with their own issues and struggles and triumphs.


About The Author

Marti Corn Photography donna alward H-R 1600


A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.

Social Links:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Author Blog / Pinterest

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