Release Day Blitz, Review, & Giveaway: Tequila Sunrise (Layla Reyne)

Title: Tequila Sunrise

Author: Layla Reyne

Series: Agents Irish and Whiskey (Spin-Off)

Publisher:  Carina Press

Release Date: November 13, 2017

Length: 120

Sub Genre: MF, Romantic Suspense, Novella

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Book Blurb

True love perseveres in this Agents Irish and Whiskey spin-off novella from author Layla Reyne

Former FBI agent Melissa “Mel” Cruz spent years skirting the line between life and death, knowing the next assignment might be her last. Back from overseas and eager to enjoy life outside the Bureau, she’s ready to give Danny Talley a Christmas Eve he’ll never forget.

A proven asset in high-stakes missions, Danny’s known for having the skill and brains to get the job done. When the Talley flagship is hijacked during the company holiday party, he’ll do anything to save his family, his love and everything they’ve all worked so hard to build. But their enemies have a secondary protocol—leave no survivors—and that plan is already in play.

Navigating through a tangled web of lies and betrayal, Mel and Danny race against the clock to retake the ship before their future goes up in flames. As the seconds tick down, they’re forced to face their greatest fear—losing each other.

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Excerpt

This had to be karma, retribution for sleeping his way through his teens and twenties. Don Juan Danny, Mel had once called him. Then of course he’d fallen for her, the resident badass who could break his neck as easily as she could break his heart. Which almost happened last spring when she’d nearly died, twice.

He could still remember her unconscious form, thrown against the wall and hair singed off by an explosion. And not twelve hours later, her blood, her life, pooling under his hand and staining her white sweater, bleeding out from the gunshot wound she’d taken to save his brother and their niece.

Miraculously, she’d pulled through, both times, and so had they, but Mel refused to be caged, and Danny knew they’d never last if he tried to put her in one. Granted, he got a stomach ulcer for it, no matter how calm he seemed on the outside, but if that was the price he had to pay for being with her, so be it. Having come close to losing that love, to losing her, he didn’t want to experience that awful feeling again for many, many years.

Years. They’d have years together, a lifetime, he reassured himself…

Praises for Tequila Sunrise

A brilliant return to the Irish & Whiskey universe with nonstop excitement and a badass heroine. It was so gratifying to see a fearless character like Mel who didn’t sacrifice love and tenderness toward a significant other just for the sake of being strong and powerful.

–Nora Sakavic, author of the All for the Game series

On Christmas Eve, on the night when John Talley, the patriarch of Talley family (also Aidan and Danny’s father), formally retires from Talley Enterprise, their ship where the event is held is hijacked. Danny and Mel — alongside familiar faces Aidan, Jamie, Nic, and Cam — have to figure out how to disarm the hijackers while keeping everyone safe.

While I am not completely satisfied with Irish and Whiskey series in overall (I’m still holding a grudge against Aidan) but I like both Danny and Mel in those books. So I was pretty happy when I heard they would get their own spin-off story. In Tequila Sunrise, we catch up with what they are up to, after Mel resigns from the FBI and joins Talley Enterprises as their Chief of Security.

We get some flashbacks from important moments of their relationship, which I thought was quite amusing. Danny has Casanova reputation, and Mel is not exactly a stranger towards the Talley family, so Danny needs some ammunitions to convince Mel about his feelings. There are also a couple of flashbacks of Danny with his oldest brother (who died) as well as Mel with Gabe (who also died) which are quite touching.

I wasn’t really into the hijacking plot though — there were a little twists and turns regarding the motivation behind it; it was a bit too Hollywood spy movie-esque for me. Never a big fan of that when it comes to my romantic suspense *shrugs*.

Overall, it is a nice novella.

Author Bio

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

 

Connect with Layla: Author Site | Twitter | FB | FB Group | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter

Giveaway

To win any back catalog ebook by Layla Reyne + a secret swag pack full of Agents Irish and Whiskey goodies and gift card!

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ARC Review: Once a Charmer (Sharla Lovelace)

Allie Greene and Sebastian “Bash” Anderson are the BEST of friends. They have been in each other’s lives for years — with Bash also pretty much becoming a father figure to Allie’s daughter. They haven’t really crossed the line though, the fine line between friends and lovers. Until that kiss, the kiss that Allie gave Bash few months ago when she thought that he was shot. Now Allie’s nights are bombarded with sexy things that Bash does to her…

I think, compared to the previous two books, this is the first time I’m being quite comfortable with the story written from the heroine’s first person perspective. With A Charmed Little Lie (book #1) and Lucky Charmed (book #2) I missed the heroes’s thoughts. I wanted to understand how they fell for the heroines. Especially because Nick was a stranger to Lanie, while Sully was Carmen’s ‘one who got away’.

In here, I felt like I didn’t need Bash’s perspective. I KNOW without a doubt that Bash always loves Allie. He has been Allie’s person for years, the one who keeps Allie’s secret, the one who Allie turns to during times of need, the one who knows Allie inside out. The ball is pretty much in Allie’s court, so to speak. Allie, who is now dealing with a teenage daughter, a father with ailing health, and news that she might lose the family diner she’s been managing for the past seven years. It is definitely NOT the time for all sexual repressed feelings towards her best friend to coming like a torrent of rain *laugh*

Allie is probably my favorite heroine of this series so far. Allie becomes a single mother when she is seventeen, her father has a gambling problem and he pretty much gambled their live savings away after her mom died. So she becomes the responsible one. It must not be easy but Allie never gives up. She’s strong, determined, and I admired her so much. I liked how she dealt with her daughter too. Allie can be a tiger Mama but she’s not exactly restraining Angel as well. I thought their relationship as mother and daughter was pretty healthy.

My slight problem with Once a Charmer is in the romantic progress between Allie and Bash. Despite my certainty of Bash’s feeling I thought there were other important things happening in Allie’s life as well (her daughter, the diner) that the romance became slightly pushed in the background. Even if Allie constantly thinking about Bash and the sexy dreams. Which is too bad considering that Bash easily takes the title as “King of Charm” in my eyes. His speech for Allie alone … MAN, hands down, kicks Nick’s or Sully’s asses in the ‘big gesture’ department … I am dying for more Allie and Bash moments.

All in all, Once a Charmer is lovely, heartwarming, and sweet. I love this series and I hope there’s still more tales coming from this small town of Charm, Texas.

RATING: 4 out of 5

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title:
 Once A Charmer
Author: Sharla Lovelace
Series: Charmed in Texas, #3
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 271 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
Release Date: October 17, 2017

ARC Review: Chasing Christmas Eve (Jill Shalvis)

Spence and Colbie meet on the legendary fountain when Spence practically pushed Colbie into it — well, it’s the dog’s fault, but still… *grin*. Spence then takes Colbie to stay at his building when Colbie says she needs temporary place to stay while she is working on her writing (psst, Spence doesn’t know that Colbie is a famous YA author, okay? She uses pen name!). There is attraction from that first moment and they decide to act on it, even if they know it’s going to be a short one since Colbie is heading back to New York in three weeks…

When it is announced that there will be MORE books of the Heartbreaker Bay series, not just the original three books, I am so happy! Because Shalvis introduced bunch of interesting characters right from the start, and I thought back then, if Spence and Joe didn’t get their own story, I was going to haunt Shalvis on her Twitter everyday! *laugh*.

Chasing Christmas Eve is the story for our millionaire and resident genius, Spence, and it offers Shalvis’ brand of sizzling humor and chemistry. I know I can count on Shalvis when the mood strikes and I want to read something light, easy, and fun. Spence and Colbie are amusing to read individually AND together. Especially when Spence is dealing with Elle’s bitchiness or Caleb’s tendency to steal food and Colbie’s way of trying to work on her books.

The ‘conflict‘ happens because they both know about the time limit. Spence and Colbie don’t want to involve feelings into their romantic affair. Of course we all know that resistance is futile *laugh*. I’m not worried that Spence and Colbie won’t make it, they are a good match for one another.

The only thing that slightly frustrated me in this book was Colbie’s inability to say no to a lot of people in her life. I think Colbie lets her family depends on her a little bit too long because she’s used to being the provider. Her family members annoyed me, to be honest. It also takes time for Colbie to deal with her agent and publisher. I wanted to see her to be more strong-headed towards all of them, and it didn’t happen as quickly as I expected.

I cannot wait to read Kylie and Joe’s story next…

 

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title: Chasing Christmas Eve
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay, #4
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon Books
Purchase Links: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
Release Date: September 26, 2017

ARC Review: Tangled Up in Tinsel (Candis Terry)

Candis Terry returns to Sunshine Valley, Oregon, with Tangled Up in Tinsel, featuring Parker Kincade, fourth in line in the all gorgeously yummy Kincade brothers. Parker is planning to open a restaurant to help the family business in the midst of his older brother’s wedding preparation. Parker promises Jordan that the restaurant will be the venue for Jordan and Lucy’s wedding reception. Parker is pretty much under stress when Gabriella Montani, a gorgeous woman who wants to finally take first step to reach for her food dreams, approaches him and ask for a job as his upcoming chef….

I think this book is sexier than the previous two books and this time it’s a good thing. I mean, Jordan and Lucy have ‘not-so-pretty’ history. Declan and Brooke have that boss/assistant/friends-to-lovers tension. Parker and Gabi, on the other hand, have the freedom to explore the insane sparkling attraction between the two of them without any strings attached (at first!).

I LOVED how Gabi takes charge of the obstacles that came her way… You know what, she can be my new best friend! Sure, Gabi may come a little too-good-to-be-true on page (she can cook, she can use power tools, darn girl!) but I loved her tenacity. Yes, there are moments when Gabi seem to lose her confidence, that she needs to ask help from her Nonni for advice, that she crows back to the girl who had her heart broken after his father’s affair … however, it seems that Gabi is always able to get back up again.

Gabi may insert herself in Parker’s decisions about the restaurant or in Jordan and Lucy’s wedding preparation, but she has smart and clear visions, she becomes integral to the result. I didn’t find her nosy at all!! Like I said, my new best friend 🙂

As for Parker … well, when he’s NOT being an idiot he can be my new book boyfriend *grin*. How could I not love a man who can cook, who is playful, who can become a peacemaker when the family are all shouting in distress, and who can say the perfect words to his younger sisters when they both need it? Plus that Christmas gift he gives Gabi … and the words he has behind it to explain the meaning of the gift? SWOON-WORTHY STAMP OF APPROVAL!!!!

I enjoyed all of their interactions; the back-and-forth innuendos were really fun to read. Compared to book #1 and #2, I think this one is mainly has smooth-sailing pace. I didn’t see a big problem that could stop Parker and Gabi to be together. Which is why Parker being an idiot near the end felt like a bit too forced by the author to create a tension. I didn’t feel it was believable enough and I was a bit annoyed by it. Having said that, in overall, I was still very much entertained. I basically finished this in one sitting.

So I can say that this is another winner from Candis Terry, one of my favorite authors in this genre *smiling happily*.

PS: Jordan as Groomzilla was HILARIOUS!! But of course the wedding was beautiful *siiigh*

 

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title: Tangled up in Tinsel
Author: Candis Terry
Series: Sunshine Creek Vineyard, #3
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon Books
Purchase Links: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
Release Date: September 26, 2017

ARC Review: Sugar Pine Trail (RaeAnne Thayne)

Sugar Pine Trail is Jamie Caine’s and Julia Winston’s story. Julia is the Haven Point’s librarian. Jamie is the lead pilot for Caine Tech company jet fleet, second-youngest Caine brother and number five in line. Jamie needs short-term place to stay for six weeks while his condo is being finalized. Julia, who now owns her family house after her parents passed away, ends up agreeing to rent the upstairs apartment to Jamie. Julia has been having crush on Jamie for a long time. When Jamie arrives in all of his gorgeous glory, Julia starts to think that the arrangement is a bad idea. However, before that issue is solved, Julia finds herself also being a temporary care person for two young brothers on this holiday season …

Haven Point … I’ve been with this series since the very beginning three years ago and I always LOVE return to this small town. I read the last book back in May, and I am happy to have another one not that far along.

I loved both Julia and Jamie … I loved Julia’s kind heart. She might be acting all awkward around Jamie but once Clint and Davy come into the picture, Julia is like mama bear. She might not have experience with kids, but she’s willing to give it everything. I loved her background, and the fact that she tried to improve her life this holiday season. I loved that she finally found her confidence, despite initial thoughts that she was too ordinary, too plain, for Jamie Caine.

As for Jaime, well hell, he’s a fine, FINE man :). I might not know much about him before since I didn’t read Thayne’s Hope’s Crossings series but I loved the man that I read here. I loved his interacting with the kids (and cats!). I enjoyed the part where Jamie finally realized that he fell in love with Julia — even if he didn’t think that Julia was his type at first. And of course he had to give Julia the perfect Christmas gift *swoon*

Sure, this book enforces the “introvert librarian who lives with cats stereotype“. Plus some things might be a little manipulative to evoke emotion, like the appearance of young Clinton and Davy. I mean if Clinton and Davy are not there, will the romance between Jamie and Julia be developed? I don’t know. But I don’t bloody care. Because in the end, I was touched in my heart, had tears in my eyes, and formed a huge smile on my face. That’s all that matters.

PS: The rest of the Caine siblings are characters from Thayne’s Hope’s Crossings — except Jamie and his older brother, Aidan, who starts Haven Point series with the book Snow Angel Cove. The siblings and their significant partners made appearance in this book, alongside the Caine patriarch and I loved being with them.

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title: Sugar Pine Trail
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Series: Haven Point, #7
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books
Purchase at: Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo
Release Date: September 26, 2017

ARC Review: Blame It On The Bet (L.E. Rico)

After their father died, Hennessy O’Halloran and his three sisters are determined to raise enough money to save their family pub from the hand of Bryan Truitt, a real estate developer from Los Angeles whose plan is to build a theater to replace the pub. Bryan comes to Mayhem in order to smooth the deal. Hennessy and Bryan end up entangled in a bet: Bryan will stay in Mayhem until Hennessy raise the money to buy out the loan or until the day before the loan comes due. If Bryan leaves before five weeks, he will pay the loan and deeds it back to O’Halloran family for nothing.

Entangled Bliss line promises sweet, sweet romance (and closed-door sex scenes) and that is one of my particular interests of trying this title from new-to-me author, L.E. Rico. Blame It On The Bet is the first book of Whiskey Sisters series, set in the small town of Mayhem, Minnesota. With dual narratives, I found myself being entertained with both characters as well as the citizens of Mayhem. Oh they are a HOOT!! Especially Father Romance. Yep, that’s how they call him. Oh, and Helen — Bryan’s badass assistant. She was totally awesome.

Both Hennessy and Bryan were nice characters. Yep, despite the set-up that should make Bryan the enemy, I found him more of a good guy. He totally didn’t have a “villain-y” vibe and he seemed to embrace the quirks of events that happened in Mayhem, like the chilli cook-off or trivia nights. That made it fun to read. There was sweet sparks between Hennessy and Bryan, and I liked how their relationship progressed.

I was a little confused with the girls’ names though — what can I say, I still classify ‘girls’ name vs. ‘boys’ name in my head to make it easier to differentiate the two. So names like Hennessy, Jameson, or Walker, totally threw me off a number of times. Also the Bryan’s background felt a little forced, like the author needed to introduce a conflict for these two somehow. Or else this was going to be a little too smooth.

In overall, I liked this. I am curious about Jameson and Walker next …

RATING: 3.5 out of 5

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:
Title: Blame It On The Bet
Author: L.E. Rico
Series: Whiskey Sisters, #1
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 326 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Purchase at: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook
Release Date: September 11, 2017

ARC Review: New Tricks (Kelly Moran)

New Tricks is Drake (the oldest O’Grady brother) and Zoe’s story. I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for this one. All of the bread crumbs given in previous books by the author promised a quite emotional read. With Zoe being both Drake’s and Heather’s — his deceased wife — best friend, it’s a friends-to-lovers with a side of guilt kind of situation. I want to know how Kelly Moran tackled that.

Well, guess what this book is another winner for me; it’s totally right up my alley.

Same heart; different ways of love

I thoroughly appreciated the fact that while in the beginning Drake might be in conflict regarding his new-found feeling towards his best friend, but then he completely embraced it. Drake saw Zoe in both her strengths and vulnerabilities. The progress from seeing Zoe as his best friend to someone Drake loved a lot more was convincing; it helped that Zoe was in his life since forever. They had their own special moments, even when Heather was still alive.

In terms of pursuing this relationship, Zoe was the one holding back. Usually I’m easily annoyed with a heroine’s tendency to run away from her possible happiness. In this case, though, I could understand why Zoe was reluctant. She had a lot on her plate. It was more than Drake being her dead best friend’s husband, but there was another issue related to Zoe’s mother having early onset dementia.

For me, Zoe’s excuse rang true and it was heartbreaking to read. My heart went all out for her. I thought Zoe was an amazing character, and she might be my favorite heroine from this series. If I have an ounce of her beautiful heart, I’d probably be a better person.

Reading Drake and Zoe’s relationship flourished was a delight. That grand romantic gesture by Drake made me all teary eyed *sigh*.

We met in an empty room.
Two broken souls among the fray.
Years and distance and regret between us,
And with one call, you stayed.

I wish there is one more chapter, an epilogue maybe, just so I can see everyone in their happily ever after

Redwood Ridge has been an excellent series read. I’m so happy that the author tweeted back to me back in July and said that there would be more books from Redwood Ridge (Jason the firefighter is next followed by Parker the sheriff!)

RATING: 4.5 out of 5

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

Title: New Trick
Author: Kelly Moran
Series: Redwood Ridge, #3
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 216 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo
Release Date: September 26, 2017