KISS MY BOOTS by Harper Sloan

July 18, 2017

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Coming Home Series, Book 2

I loved the first book in this series, Lost Rider, so I am super excited to be kicking off the blog tour for this new book! Plus, one lucky reader will win a copy of Lost Rider!

This book centers on Quinn Davis. The first book was a romance between Quinn’s brother and her best friend. This romance is between Quinn and Tate, the boy she loved as a teenager. Tate spent every summer in this small Texas town where his grandparents lived. But he left for Emory University and never came back. He finished medical school, practiced in Atlanta and spent time with a woman who he thought was also only interested in a physical relationship.

Eventually, circumstances changed. His grandparents died and he bought their house, including his grandfather’s medical offices, and he moved back, hoping to find the girl he left behind.

Quinn has some serious abandonment issues, between her mother leaving her as a very young child, and Tate leaving, too. But even those she’s dated, she’s never felt about anyone the way she feels about Tate. So when he comes home, they decide to start over.

There are some sweet moments, especially with her family, and some sexy moments with Tate, and a really funny scene with one of Tate’s exes. While it didn’t have the depth of the first book in the series with all that back story and drama, it was a fast, fun read.

7/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

KISS MY BOOTS by Harper Sloan. Pocket Books (July 18, 2017). ISBN 978-1501155215. 368p.

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To win a copy of the new paperback of LOST RIDER by Harper Sloanplease send an email to contest@gmail.com with “LOST RIDER” as the subject.

You must include your U.S. street address in your email.

All entries must be received by August 5, 2017. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States only. Your books will be sent by SIMON & SCHUSTER|POCKET BOOKS.

One entry per email address. Subscribers to the monthly newsletter earn an extra entry into every contest. Follow this blog to earn another entry into every contest. Winners may win only one time per year (365 days) for contests with prizes of more than one book. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone.

Praise for Lost Rider, Book 1:

“Sloan hits it out of the park with her first Coming Home contemporary western romance…Maverick is a perfect hero: multilayered, complicated, deeply damaged, yet blooming with the new promise of love. Leighton is appealing and real, as are a strong supporting cast of characters whom readers will be glad to follow into sequels. Sloan enhances the gripping story with country songs that open each chapter. This absolutely spectacular effort catapults Sloan to the top of her genre.” —Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

About the author:

Harper Sloan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Corps Security and Hope Town series. She started writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night. Harper lives in Georgia with her family. Visit her at AuthorHarperSloan.com or Facebook.com/HarperSloanBooks.


SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS by Susan Mallery

July 14, 2017

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Kelly and her sister Olivia have been estranged for many years. Their mother was the town whore and eventually walked out on the family. Kelly thought that Olivia was just like their mom and convinced their father to send her to boarding school before she ended up a teenage mother. They haven’t seen each other since, so Kelly and her dad, Jeff, are surprised when Olivia shows up.

Kelly and Jeff, run the family business, a tulip farm. They live in a small town about an hour outside of Seattle. Olivia has been living in Phoenix, doing staging for a real estate company. Things are really slow in hot, hot Phoenix in the summer so she decides to spend some time reuniting with her family.

Both girls have serious relationship issues, with each other, their mother, and with men. Kelly was in a five year long relationship and when the guy broke up with her, she really didn’t care. When the boy she had a crush on in high school starts pursuing her, she’s interested. He manufactures tiny homes, like the ones on HGTV, so that was a fun subplot.

Olivia has been following in her mother’s footsteps, happily seducing men but never really having a relationship. And Kelly’s best friend Helen is secretly in love with Jeff, the sisters’ father. All three women have big secrets, but eventually find happiness with each other and the men in their lives. It is a joyful and occasionally painful road to get there.

I learned a bit about tulips, which was nice. I grew up in New York and when I was a kid, I planted tulips every year, then dug the bulbs up again after they finished blooming and stored them in a Barbie doll lunchbox in the garage. Tulips don’t grow in Florida, although I guess you could refrigerate them and fool them into thinking it’s winter but I haven’t tried that. I live in a tropical paradise and while tulips are lovely, I don’t mind not growing any.

I liked the characters a lot and enjoyed spending time with them, even for just one night. There were three romances here and everyone had their happy ending. Another fun read from a terrific storyteller.

7/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS by Susan Mallery. HQN Books (July 11, 2017).  ISBN 978-0373802760.  448p.

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WIRED by Julie Garwood

July 11, 2017

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Buchanan/FBI Series, Book 13

This series is new to me and I’m not sure who Buchanan is, but the FBI is front and center. I guess it doesn’t matter because I don’t feel like I missed a thing.

Allison Trent is a most unlikely computer hacker. A really good hacker, who only hacks for good. Like the time some bad hackers stole the life savings of all the residents of a nursing home. She stole it back, gave the money to the FBI along with a detailed, step by step accounting of who did it and how. All anonymously. She is a sort of Robinhood of hackers. Oh, and she models on the side to make extra money because she’s still has a few months left to go before college graduation and she’s gorgeous.

Allison and her older sister were orphaned as young children, and an aunt and uncle took them in and raised them. Her sister has moved away, and Allison is still earning money for her aunt and uncle, who do not treat her kindly, to say the least. They basically look at her as a means of support and harass her repeatedly.

One day her best friend Jordan invites her on a tour of a new FBI computer center. While there, Allison is questioned by two of the agents. The next thing she knows, she is put in an office by herself and asked to hack into the FBI computers to find a leak. Which she does. They hire her and one of the agents, Liam, takes charge of her.

Liam is a hottie who is constantly traveling for work so doesn’t form any lasting relationships. To him, sex is recreational, a way to kill time between assignments. But something happens with Allison – he is really drawn to her and can’t get her out of his mind. And she finds herself falling for him but afraid that he is just using her.

This is a very fast read. Liam and Allison are interesting, well drawn characters but the rest of the cast we barely get to know. The biggest hole in the plot, well, more like a major annoyance to me, is that Allison, this brilliant coder, doesn’t know something so simple, so basic as thow to block a phone number to keep her relatives from harassing her. By the end of the book it was really annoying me, but that’s just me. Other than that, I enjoyed the book and read it very quickly as it really held my interest. I loved the idea of a woman who could code

I loved the idea of a woman who could code circles around men, but the fact that she also models was a bit much –  she couldn’t get part time work coding? Really?

Other than that, I enjoyed the book and read it very quickly as it really held my interest. If you can suspend your disbelief, it is an enjoyable read.

7/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

WIRED by Julie Garwood.  Berkley (July 4, 2017). ISBN 978-0525954460. 320p.

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THE LIGHT IN SUMMER by Mary McNear

June 29, 2017

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A Butternut Lake Novel

This was my first time reading this author, and I intend to read more of these Butternut Lake books. This was a really good, fast fun read, perfect for summer.

Of course it probably helps that the main character, Billy, is the small town librarian – that always gets me interested. She is a single mom, the result of a one-night stand, her first time having sex, when she was 18 years old. The father was a fishing guide in Alaska, and by the time she realized that she was pregnant, he had moved on with no forwarding address. Luckily, she has wonderful parents who support her and help her raise her son, Luke.

Fast forward several years and Luke is a young teen. Billy’s dad passed away, and they are both having a hard time dealing with it, but Luke refuses to discuss it. He has made a couple of new friends and is getting into trouble with them – getting suspended on the last day of school, then getting arrested for graffiti. This is a very small town in northern Minnesota, and the cop knows Luke is a good kid so he gets off with just a warning. But Billy is worried about how to handle this new person who is living in her son’s skin.

One day at work, Billy is looking out the window and sees a man driving a Porsche being ticketed. Cal is really good looking and turns out to be staying with his sister for the summer, while going through a divorce and selling off his partnership in a Seattle architecture firm. Eventually, Billy and Cal meet and there is a strong attraction, but things move slowly for a while. Billy is dealing with Luke, and Cal has his issues but they keep bumping into one another and things progress nicely.

This was a one night read for me. I loved these characters and the small town life – an idyllic summer read. Unfortunately, my library only has digital audiobooks of her earlier books – going to have to see what I can do about that!

6/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE LIGHT IN SUMMER by Mary McNear. Thomas Dunne Books (September 6, 2016).  ISBN 978-1250089090.  304p.

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THE LIGHT WE LOST by Jill Santopolo

June 20, 2017

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Lucy and Gabe met as students at Columbia University in New York City – on September 11, 2001. Yes, that September 11th. There was that shared trauma, but something more and Lucy was upset to find out shortly thereafter that Gabe had a girlfriend. But she moved on.

Until they met again. And it didn’t work out again. Or the next time. Star crossed lovers? Perhaps. And then finally the time was right.

By then Lucy was a successful children’s television producer and Gabe had found his calling in photojournalism. They quickly moved in together and were deliriously happy. At least Lucy was. They were in love, but Gabe was feeling stifled in his career. He wanted to go to where there were wars, where he thought his photographs might make a difference. And without telling Lucy, he arranged for such a job. Until he had to tell her because he was leaving. She was crushed.

Lucy eventually moved on. She met a man and slowly, very slowly, he wooed his way into her heart and eventually they married. But Gabe kept popping up every few years or so. At a reunion. On a stopover in NY. Lucy’s husband wasn’t a fan, but he dealt with it as best as he could. And Lucy was happy, for the most part. But Gabe was always there in her heart and after thirteen years, their history would finally catch up with them in a devastating way.

This book was unputdownable and I loved it, despite shedding tears along the way. The writing reminded me of Rainbow Rowell and especially Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, so if you are fan of those authors, try this one.

A terrific, terrible modern romance.

6/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE LIGHT WE LOST by Jill Santopolo. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (May 9, 2017).  ISBN 978-0735212756.  336p.

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COME SUNDOWN by Nora Roberts

June 11, 2017

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I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who was who in this book about four generations of women living and working together on a ranch/resort in Montana. I finally got it but not until most of the way through the book but that’s on me. And really, it wasn’t all that important in the scheme of things.

Bodine runs the resort side of the family business and she’s really good at it. As a child she had a crush on her older brother’s best friend, Cal, but he left to do horse work in Hollywood before she grew up. Now he’s back and the chemistry between them is definitely there. He’s been hired on the ranch side of the business but when some employees retire, she hires him for the resort and things start heating up.

The day after Bodine’s mother got married, her sister Alice ran away from home. She never came back and Bodine and her brother never knew her. The story moves back and forth occasionally between Alice’s life and the rest of the family and the difference is stark, to say the least.

Bodine and Cal are out riding one morning when they find a woman’s body on the side of the road. It is one of the resort’s bartenders and she’s been murdered. Then a short time later another body turns up, and the small town sheriff has his hands full with the murders as well as his deputy who has some bad blood with Cal from when they were kids.

You can see the ending coming from a mile away and frankly, I wasn’t even looking so that was a bit of a disappointment. I’ve only read one other Nora Roberts book (I know, I know, she’s written well over 150 books!) and I loved that one (The Obsession) but this was one was just okay.

6/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

COME SUNDOWN by Nora Roberts. St. Martin’s Press (May 30, 2017).  ISBN 978-1250123077. 480p.

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THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND by Julia Quinn

June 7, 2017

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A Bridgertons Prequel: Rokesbys, Book 2

Cecelia Harcourt is in trouble. Her brother is in the army, fighting in the colonies when she gets a letter informing her that he has been injured and is in the hospital. Her father has just died, her mother died many years earlier, and a loathesome cousin has come sniffing around, trying to talk her into marrying him. He suspects he may inherit if her brother is dead, but Cecelia wants no part of him. She could go live with an aunt, but that doesn’t appeal either.

Instead, she gathers up the strength and the courage to sail to the colonies, try and find her brother and nurse him back to health. But when she finally arrives, no one seems to know where her brother is, he is presumed missing. But she does find her brother’s best friend, Captain Edward Rokesby. He is lying in a makeshift hospital and has been unconscious for a week after receiving a terrible head wound.

The doctor in charge won’t let her help Edward until she blurts out that she is his wife, and that changes everything. She is permitted to sit by his side and nurse him back and a few days later, he regains consciousness – along with amnesia. He has no memory of the previous few months.

Oh what a plot we weave when first we practice to deceive – and while deception seems to be at the heart of a lot of romance novels, Quinn’s expertise and experience really show here. The story is believable and compelling, and I finished it in one very late night. Another excellent read from a Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame author.

6/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND by Julia Quinn. Avon (May 30, 2017). ISBN: 978-0062388179. 384p.

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NEW YORK ACTUALLY by Sarah Morgan

May 30, 2017

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From Manhattan With Love Series, Book 4

My regular readers know that this is one of my favorite series. Originally it was supposed to be a trilogy, but I was so happy to hear there would be more. This one is another terrific entry into the series.

This series was originally about three women, best friends who get downsized from their jobs and form their own company, a sort of concierge service for Manhattanites, called Urban Genie. Each book centered around one of the women, but now their world has expanded. This book is about Molly, who uses the dog walkers recommended by Urban Genie and is friendly with the women, and Daniel, who is friends with one of the women’s brothers. Not as complicated as it sounds, and hardly worth an explanation, but there you have it. Romance series tend to grow by focusing the next story on a peripheral character, so there is always some overlap but I think this series is best read in order.

Molly has emigrated to America from England because of some horrible incident that is hinted at throughout the story, but not exposed until nearly the end. We know it was a relationship gone horribly wrong that also caused her friends and family to abandon her. leaving her gun shy about love, to say the least. Interestingly, Molly is a psychologist who specializes in relationships. In New York, she starts a blog called “Ask a Girl,” using the pseudonym Aggie, and she has a huge following and earns a book deal out of it. That book was a big bestseller and now she is under contract to write another. No one, except the gay couple upstairs, knows that Molly is Aggie or what happened in the UK, and she aims to keep it that way.

Daniel is one of the most successful divorce lawyers in New York. His sisters are the dog walkers, so when he sees Molly running in the park with her dog, he borrows a dog from them to try and catch her interest – and it works. Molly’s dalmation, Valentine, is her best friend and she likes it that way. She has no interest in getting involved with anyone again, not after all the heartache she’s left in her wake. Daniel is also gun shy, working with all those couples who are getting divorced and the bitterness and acrimony that goes along with it. But he’s all about casual sex, and the chemistry between them is so strong that Molly can’t deny it.

They become friends with benefits, for lack of a better description, but there are many stumbling blocks along the way, some of them pretty major. But this wouldn’t be a romance without a happily ever after, and there is. This was a one night (ok, a late night) read for me – I loved it! The next book is Holiday in the Hamptons, which comes out August 29 (or June 15, I’ve seen both dates,) but you can pre-order it now.

5/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

NEW YORK ACTUALLY by Sarah Morgan. HQN Books (May 30, 2017). ISBN 978-0373804108. 384p.

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TREMAINE’S TRUE LOVE by Grace Burrowes

May 26, 2017

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True Gentlemen, Book 1

Not sure how I missed this, but this book was a 2016 RITA Finalist for Historical Romanace and now that I’ve read it, I know why. And look at me, starting a series with book 1! This book is from 2015, and there are two more out already. I found it on a list from Overdrive, the company from which my library (most libraries) gets most of their ebooks. Luckily I found the next two in my library on the shelf (thanks, Barbara!) especially since the ebooks have a waiting list. The fourth book in the series, His Lordship’s True Lady, comes out in June – at least on Kindle. I should be all caught up by then.

Tremaine St. Michael is of mixed heritage, Scottish on his mother’s side and a French comte on his father’s. But mostly he is a man of commerce, always wheeling and dealing and making himself a fortune in the process, mostly in the sheep/wool business. He’s visiting the Haddonfield’s in hopes of buying their rare Merino sheep. But it is the eldest daughter, Nita, who is distracting him from his business.

Nita has decided she’s never going to marry. She inherited her mother’s gift of healing, and much prefers taking care of her neighbors than staying at home. But Tremaine is unlike any of the men she has met before. Their chemistry is interesting to watch ignite.

The usual drama ensues, including a duel which doesn’t come up as often as you would think in these historical romances, so that was a nice touch. I also like that the setting was in the country, not in London like a lot of historical romances. A bit of sex, nothing too graphic, but enough to make it interesting. It was a fun, fast read and I can understand why it was nominated for the RITA award.

5/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

TREMAINE’S TRUE LOVE by Grace Burrowes. Sourcebooks Casablanca (August 4, 2015) ISBN: 978-1492621027. 416p.

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THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER by Amy E. Reichert

May 18, 2017

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Sanna Lund is the fifth generation to live and work on the family apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Once a thriving family business, now it is just Sanna and her aging father, and business is terrible. Sanna is obsessed with making cider, but doesn’t have the first idea about how to sell it.  Her father borrowed money to purchase all the expensive equipment necessary for making and bottling cider, but it is just collecting dust. She also has a gift – she can see colors in the apples that grow on their orchard. By mixing different colored apples she can achieve the flavors she wants. It’s the touch of magical realism that Reichert is known for.

Isaac Banks is a web designer whose ex-wife, a drug addict, has overdosed and died. Their young son, Bass, doesn’t know and Isaac can’t bear to tell him, so instead he takes him on a road trip for the summer. They wander aimlessly until they reach Door County, where he learns the Lund family could use some help in their orchard. Sanna is suspicious when her father hires Isaac, but they have a trailer out back where father and son can live. Then the senior Lund falls off a ladder and is seriously injured, and it’s Isaac and Bass that pick up the slack.

Sanna is surprised to find herself attracted to Isaac, and he to her, but he also realizes that he is going to have to move very slowly to win her over. Sanna has a brother who moved away from the orchard and is now trying to talk her father into selling to a big developer. There are other complications along the way before the happily ever after is reached.

Another enjoyable and delicious read – with recipes.

Enjoy this short video – Amy E. Reichert talks about her new book, THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER, and why Wisconsin is more romantic than you thought!

5/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER by Amy E. Reichert. Gallery Books (May 16, 2017). ISBN: 978-1501154928. 336p.

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