Smartypants Romance Spring Launch!

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Smartypants Romance Spring Launch 2020 is coming soon and we have the all-new covers!

Ten authors. Ten stories.

March-May 2020

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BEEF CAKE by Jiffy Kate

Releasing: March 17, 2020

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If opposites do actually attract, then Gunnar Erickson and Frankie Reeves take the cake.

Frankie Reeves is complicated, even though she won’t admit it. She fills her days working as an ER nurse, taking care of her mom, and searching for the father she never knew. Anything else has no place in her perfectly compartmentalized, purposefully simple life. Attachments? No thank you. She has no time for that.

Gunnar Erickson recently moved to Green Valley to train at Viking MMA with his brother Cage. Being the youngest of the Erickson clan, he’s always felt like he has something to prove, and now that he’s finished with college, it’s his time to shine. But before he can step into the ring, a freak accident sends him to the ER and into the care of one Frankie Reeves.

While he’s immediately smitten, she pretends to be unfazed by this six-foot-three, two hundred and thirty-pound beef cake. Gunnar sets out to prove to Frankie that, not only does she like him more than she wants to admit, but he’s not the uneducated, brute she assumes he is. To Frankie, he’s the worst kind of complication, but that doesn’t make it easy to stay away.

‘Beef Cake’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book #4 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find Jiffy Kate online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/jiffy-kate/

CODE OF HONOR by April White

Releasing: March 24, 2020

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A painting, a panic room, a thief, and her lover … whose job is to catch her.

There are three things you need to know about Anna.

1) She’s a bounty hunter with adrenaline junkie habits,

2) She’s the “awkward” twin, and

3) She’s a thief – kind of.

Darius designs security systems for Cipher Security, and the strange and remarkable woman he met the night the painting was stolen is as intriguing a mystery as his hunt for the thief is.

But the lady has no filter, and she knows she can’t lie to the man who looks like a Disney Prince and kisses like fairytales are true, so she runs from the one person who may actually see her as the heroine of her own story.

‘Code of Honor’ is a full-length contemporary romantic suspense, can be read as a standalone and is book #2 in the Cipher Security series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find April White online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/april-white/

BEEN THERE DONE THAT by Hope Ellis

Releasing: March 31, 2020

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Theirs was a forever kind of love, until it was stolen.

ZORA LEFFERSBEE’S once perfect life is no longer perfect. Her tenure at the University is in question, funding for her employees uncertain, and her faux-fiancé, Jackson James’s unpredictability is wearing on her last nerve. Just when Zora is convinced things can’t get more complicated, life proves her wrong.

What the heck is he doing here?

NICK ROSSI’s complicated life is still extremely complicated. He’s used to fighting for everything he has, but he’s also used to winning. Now a man of power and influence, his return to Green Valley after so many years hasn’t gone according to plan, especially with the woman he’s always wanted.

She can’t know why I left, or why I’m back.

A powerful woman intent on righting the wrongs of the world, Zora doesn’t have time or energy to deal with the man who broke her young heart.

A powerful man intent on righting the wrongs of the past, Nick can’t help wanting to protect Zora, even if his devotion is unrequited.

‘Been There Done That’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #1 in the Leffersbee series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find Hope Ellis online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/hope-ellis/

THE TREBLE WITH MEN by Piper Sheldon

Releasing: April 7, 2020

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As far as Green Valley is concerned, Kim Dae disappeared into the Wraiths a decade ago. They were sort of right. Kim has spent her life since Jethro fighting her curious nature and trying to blend into the background. Unfortunately for her, a mysterious Maestro comes to town and takes quick notice of her for reasons unknown to anybody.

The masked conductor, known simply as Devlin, was already a source of much gossip thanks to his reputation for getting fired. Now, his sudden interest in the quiet fourth chair cellist has added fuel to the rumor fire. The new conductor of the symphony needs to learn to control his temper and finish his latest musical masterpiece and only the reluctant star of his symphony can help him do that. If Devlin can’t convince Kim to help to finish his latest composition he’ll lose everything.

Can Devlin and Kim compose without losing composure?

‘The Treble with Men’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #2 in the Scorned Women’s Society series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find Piper Sheldon online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/piper-sheldon/

CUTIE AND THE BEAST by M.E. Carter

Releasing: April 14, 2020

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Living with her mother seemed like a good idea at the time. But Elliott Donovan’s living arrangements are not working for her anymore. Desperate to get back on her financial feet after a divorce and out from under her mother’s thumb, Elliott takes a job in the child care center at Weight Expectations, a local gym.

It has everything she needs – family friendly hours, more pay than she expected, and a super cute trainer who just happens to have part of his house for rent.

Abel DiSoto was living the good life until his wife walked out taking half of the family income with her. The blow to his ego was bad enough, but after a fire at the gym scattered Abel’s clients, and consequently his commissions, he’s stuck figuring out how to make ends meet, too. Renting out the master suite of his house to his new co-worker seems like an easy solution. They’re both mature adults, they both have eight-year-old daughters, and their work schedules coordinate so they can lend each other a helping hand to ease the burden of single parenthood.

The only downside? Living like a blended family when you’re not actually a family can present some challenges.

Welcome back to Weight Expectations, where the unexpected is likely to happen.

‘Cutie and the Beast’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book #3 in the Cipher Office series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find M.E. Carter online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/m-e-carter/

BATTER OF WITS by Karla Sorensen

Releasing: April 21, 2020

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Hate at first sight couldn’t possibly exist, right?

That’s what Grace Buchanan thought, before her useless car stranded her on the side of a deserted road just inside the Green Valley city limits.

When Tucker Haywood—tall and handsome and full of southern charm— shows up to help, her reaction to him is the strongest thing she’s ever felt in her life, and it makes no freaking sense.

It doesn’t make much sense to Tucker either. Not why she hates him, or why he finds her so intriguing. He knows well enough that Grace is moving to Green Valley for a fresh start, not to distract him when he’s got no room for something like her in his life.

The complications between them are endless, but that doesn’t stop her definitely not love-at-first-sight feelings from changing into something else entirely.

Grace and Tucker are about to learn the hard way that in Green Valley, hating someone has never tasted so sweet.

‘Batter of Wits’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #5 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find Karla Sorensen online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/karla-sorensen/

CARPENTRY AND COCKTAILS by Nora Everly

Releasing: April 28, 2020

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Everett Monroe can’t keep his eyes off his gorgeous tenant.

He’d like to put his hands on her too, but she’s prickly, closed-off, and gives new meaning to the word disgruntled. In other words, she’s his perfect match and he’ll do anything to make her see it too.

Willa Hill has finally left her teen runaway past behind and wants a fresh start—alone. Men are nothing but trouble and she’s had enough man-trouble to last a lifetime.

Too bad her irresistibly sexy, nerdy-hot landlord doesn’t agree.

When their mutual yearning becomes a white-hot fling and passion crosses carefully drawn, albeit one-sided boundaries,

Everett finds himself in love and Willa finds herself in a pickle.

Because, unfortunately, when she returned to Green Valley, her problems came too.

When the past she escaped crashes into the future she finds herself wanting more than anything, will Willa stay in Green Valley?

Or will she run away again?

‘Carpentry and Cocktails’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #5 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find Nora Everly online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/nora-everly/

UPSY DAISY by Chelsie Edwards

Releasing: May 5, 2020

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College, cookies, capers, Oh my!

Daisy Payton has everything.

Exceptional grades.

Impeccable clothes.

Model family.

But perfection comes at a high cost, and Daisy is wilting. Determined to use college as her chance to bloom anew, she’s focused on only one thing, leaving the Payton name behind and forging her own path—even if she has to tell the teeniest of fibs to do it.

Trevor Boone has nothing.

Abandoned as a child.

Raised by distant relatives.

Constantly reminded he’s a burden.

Trevor’s lived at the edges of opulence for years, having all he’s ever desired dangled just out of reach. But his ambition is finally about to pay off and nothing will distract him from his goal—finishing college top of his class and starting life, on his own terms.

When Daisy and Trevor meet it’s clear from the start that they’ll tempt each other to distraction, can they learn to put their ambitions aside and fall or will they lose it all?

‘Upsy Daisy’ is a full-length romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #1 in the Higher Learning series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find Chelsie Edwards online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/chelsie-edwards/

LOVE IN DEED by L.B. Dunbar

Releasing: May 12, 2020

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Sometimes it takes an outsider to force us to see who we are. The real struggle is accepting what we learn.

For Beverly Townsen, nothing could be closer to the truth. Virtually a shut-in, Beverly has pulled back from Green Valley’s community, preferring the isolation of her farmhouse and her daily routine of viewing home improvement television shows. When the opportunity arises for her own home improvement and a personal re-assessment, she’s not so excited about the reality of real life versus DIY programs.

Jedd Flemming understands physical pain and personal loss, but it’s never stopped him from bucking forward in life. A former military man and rodeo star, his life as a nomad comes to an end with false accusations and a family matter back in the Valley. It’s been a long journey to find his way home and once there, there’s nothing he wants more than to reclaim what he’s lost…and maybe the elusive female reclusive who holds a sliver of his past.

With an unprecedented proposition, Beverly finds a stranger living in her barn, raising horses on borrowed pastures, and plowing his way into her vacant heart. Old hurts linger, but sometimes love in deed is louder than words.

‘Love in Deed’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #6 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find L.B. Dunbar online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/l-b-dunbar/

STRANGER RANGER by Daisy Prescott

Releasing: May 19, 2020

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New park ranger Daphne Baum is a reformed good girl. Breaking free from her overbearing family as soon as she turned eighteen, she’s been on her own ever since. The life of a park ranger, moving from park to park, suits her just fine. Though still a rule follower, she’s okay with a little sin in her life.

Every generation of Hill men has its black sheep. The general consensus among the family is that Odin Hill is the lucky bastard this go around. At seventeen, he blew out of town like an angry tornado only to return fifteen years later withdrawn and secretive. Living like a recluse in the hollows in the Smoky Mountains, he’s happy to keep to himself and is content to let locals believe he’s the town weirdo. Odin prefers the company of his pet pig to the nosy citizens of Green Valley.

When Daphne discovers Odin might be committing nefarious deeds on park land, she vows to find out the truth behind the handsome, yet chaotic, loner. Will the stranger help the ranger discover the difference between being good and doing the right thing? Or will they find themselves on opposites sides of love?

‘Stranger Ranger’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #2 in the Park Ranger series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Find Daisy Prescott online: https://smartypantsromance.com/authors/daisy-prescott/

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The Day He Went Away by Jennifer Millikin

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THE DAY HE WENT AWAY by Jennifer Millikin has had a makeover and we are celebrating with a relaunch of the book! 
 
Read it for FREE in Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/37kVwLZ
 
Add it to your TBR Pile: http://bit.ly/2TgD9DJ

Join Jennifer’s Group: 

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About the Book

Life was roses. I was happy. I had my dream job. I’d finally fallen in love with the man who’d been waiting for me since he was a boy. Soon his four years in the Army would be over, and we’d be together forever. My perfect life was squarely in my palm. And then it was snatched from me. The harshest, cruelest truth became my reality.

And I turned into a shell of my former self. Then a stranger arrived, wearing Army fatigues and closely cropped dark hair. Fulfilling a promise to his comrade-in-arms brought him to my front door. And the focus of his promise, it turned out, was me. His mission was simple: Care for me. Heal me. Bring me back to life.

But what started out as an uncomplicated mission is quickly turning personal. He came here to take care of me. But neither of us expected how much he’d need me, too. And we definitely didn’t expect these feelings. My broken heart knows how wrong it is. We’ll fight it, harder than we’ve ever fought anything. But I’m afraid to win, and I’m even more terrified to lose. Of all his missions, I may be his most dangerous.

About the Author

Jennifer Millikin is a contemporary fiction author of five full-length novels and a contributor for Scottsdale Moms Blog. When she isn’t writing she can be found cooking, hiking, or in downward dog.
Website:  https://www.jennifermillikinwrites.com/

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Librarian Laura’s Review of The Day He Went Away

Kate Masters and Ethan Shepherd have been best friends since they were very young, living next to each other as they grew up and spending most every waking moment together. They have shared so much of their lives with each other, and they even share a birthday. As they grew up, however, their best friend feelings grew into “I’m in love with you” feelings. Ethan is home in Phoenix, AZ, on leave from the military for 10 days before he heads back to Afghanistan for his final 10 month tour before he can be home for good. Kate finally confesses her love for him because she can’t hold it in any longer, and come to find out, Ethan has been in love with her for years. As the 10 days dwindle down, they find themselves thinking about a future together and savoring the precious time they can spend with each other.

But life doesn’t turn out the way they wanted it, and soon Kate is a shell of her former exuberant self, drowning her grief and loneliness in alcohol. But then Nick arrives because he made a promise to his Army brother, Ethan, that he plans to keep. Nick doesn’t realize how much his life will change as he gets to know Kate and see for himself why Ethan loved her so much. As Kate and Nick get to know one another, they realize that they need each other to get through the pain of losing Ethan. Fans of Rebecca Yarros, Susan Stoker, and Suzanne Brockmann will enjoy this book. It is a quick and enjoyable read full of romance and friendship.

Thank you to InkSlingerPR for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

tmp_dn4FWX_4947357a06bbc6fa_TheSunDownMotel_UPDATEDThe Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Publishing February 18, 2020

This is one of the best mystery books I have read in a long time! I normally don’t read books with supernatural elements, but this one was done so well that I would read it again and again! Fans of Stranger Things would love this book! Atmospheric, creepy, suspenseful, and so hard to put down! The story unfolds in dual narratives between Viv in 1982, and her niece Carly in 2017, who have very similar lifestyle choices, despite the age gap of 35 years and that Carly wasn’t even born when Viv disappeared. This is the story of the doomed Sun Down Motel, the strangely compelling town of Fell, New York, and a string of murdered girls with unsolved cases and unfinished business.

1982: Viv doesn’t get along with her mother. She takes off on her own, ending up in Fell, New York where she accepts a night shift position at the Sun Down Motel, a place full of secrets and not much business. She finds a roommate, Jenny, who isn’t really around much, so she spends most all of her time alone. The Sun Down Motel is rumored to be haunted, and it doesn’t take long for Viv to become intrigued, and spooked by its mystery. A young boy died in the pool a few years back, which is now closed down and deserted. Even more disturbing is the string of young women who have been murdered in the small town as of late. Viv is so bothered by the unsolved cases that she begins to retrace the final days of each victim, becoming totally consumed by her amateur, but surprisingly valid findings. She makes a friend with a local police woman, Alma, who doesn’t believe Viv. She thinks Viv spends too much time at the Sun Down and tries to get her to seek therapy. Viv is brave and tenacious, continuing to investigate even when she starts to feel real danger. The killer is still walking free in Fell, and Viv is determined to stop him at all costs.

2017: After losing her mother to cancer, Carly is sort of over college, so she leaves Illinois and makes her way to upstate New York, to the town of Fell, where her aunt Viv spent her last days before she died. It pains Carly to know that her mother died grieving her only sister, believing her to be dead, and never knowing the truth about what really happened to her. Carly lucks out and finds Heather, who turns out to be a great roommate and friend. When she arrives at the rundown, eerie Sun Down Motel to retrace the steps of her aunt Viv, Carly ends up with a night shift job, the very job that her aunt Viv had 35 years prior. What could possibly go wrong? It will give her time to investigate and try to figure out what happened to Viv. Buckle up, Carly, because the Sun Down Motel is ready for you. The question is…is Carly prepared for it?

I absolutely loved this book with the strong female characters. Original, well-written, and unputdownable! It gave me chills at many points along the way. Now I’m off to read more of Simone St. James’s books.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an early copy of this title.

Rules of Engagement by JT Geissinger

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About the Book

28587667._SY540_Love is a battlefield for a quirky matchmaker and the cocky football star who hires her to find him a wife. 

Rules of Engagement, an all-new laugh-out-loud standalone sports romance from J.T. Geissinger, is available now!

As the owner of Perfect Pairings matchmaking service, Maddie McRae earns her living helping others fall in love. Dubbed the Wedding Whisperer due to her success getting couples down the aisle, the sweet Southern belle knows that the foundation of wedded bliss is built on similarities: opposites might attract, but they don’t stay together.

Which is why she’s holding out for her own Prince Charming, a perfect gentleman who will arrive one day and sweep her off her feet with his devotion, kindness, and charm. Enter Mason Spark.

Rude, arrogant, and notoriously allergic to monogamy, the hottest quarterback in the NFL is Maddie’s polar opposite. He’s also her new client. Her gorgeous, infuriating new client who’s paying her an outrageous sum of money to find him a wife. With his multi-million dollar contract on the line due to his behavior on and off the field, bad boy Mason is willing to pretend to settle down.

But when he starts to fall for the adorkable matchmaker who can’t stand him, the playboy finds himself in the game of his life to keep something he never thought he’d lose—his heart.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/36fg0EP

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About J.T. Geissinger

J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she’s written eighteen more novels. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking wine, surfing the internet, and daydreaming about all the things she’s going to be when she grows up. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles with her husband and deaf/demented rescue kitty, Ginger.

Joyce42Connect with J.T. Geissinger

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Website: http://www.jtgeissinger.com

Unexpectedly Yours by Rebecca Shea

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Librarian Laura’s Review of Unexpectedly Yours

48704644._SY475_I got some major Pretty Woman vibes from this book. Well, minus the whole hooker angle. Highly successful, stupid rich, ridiculously gorgeous man falls for beautiful woman who lives frugally with a fierce determination to handle any and all problems without the assistance of others. Neither Drew or Gracie are the type to go home with someone they meet in a bar, but that’s what happens the night they meet. They plan to never see one another again, but fate proves them wrong. Andrew McPherson who lives in San Fransisco, is in town for business, having just acquired a large advertising and public relations firm in New York. It was the perfect time to get out of town, having caught his own brother in bed with his fiancé a few months back. Needless to say, Drew is not looking to start a relationship with anyone. Grace Morgan has worked very hard to get where she is today – a talented advertising agent. Sadly, most anything she makes goes toward her mounting debt from her mother’s medical bills. Gracie is the type of person who puts others before herself, even if it means living in a not-so-safe run-down apartment in Red Hook and spending little to no money on herself. She doesn’t have time for a relationship, choosing to spend her time working and hanging out with her loyal, fun-loving best friend, Jamie.

After an incredible night with Drew, and hardly believing it happened to someone like her, Gracie shows up at work on Monday to find out that Drew is now her new boss, having acquired her company to merge it with his family-owned company based in San Fransisco. Mic drop. How is Gracie supposed to focus on her work and giving it her best when Drew eyes are studying her during meetings and he insists that they start dating. She knows she shouldn’t get involved with her boss, but her heart won’t just won’t listen. This book is definitely steamy, people. If you are hoping for a clean romance, better keep looking. This story will guarantee readers a happily ever after, even if it’s totally not what either main character had in mind for an ending. I won’t give away much more of the plot, because I would encourage you to read it yourself.

Thank you to Social Butterfly PR for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Summary

Intense. Sexy. Unforgettable.

They promised they would never see each other again, but fate had other plans.

Andrew’s entire life has been spent working toward one goal—to own the top advertising and public relations company in the world. He’s driven, ruthless when it comes to business, never letting anything stand in his way . . . until Grace.

Grace has worked hard to build her advertising career. She’s fiercely talented and dedicated to her clients. Grace has no interest in getting involved with a man when she knows her focus should be on her career and paying off her mounting debt.

Andrew knows better than to get involved with a woman who is completely off limits, but he never backs down from what he wants, and he won’t stop until Grace is his . . . only this might cost him more than he’s willing to give.

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Rebecca Shea Profile PicAbout Rebecca Shea

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven), the Bound & Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies) and two stand alone novels, Dare Me and Fault Lines. She has also co-written two books with her friend, A.L. Jackson, The Hollywood Chronicles: One Wild Night and One Wild Ride.

​She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working full-time and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters.

When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her son’s football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

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A Favor for a Favor by Helena Hunting

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Librarian Laura’s Review of A Favor for a Favor

A Favor for a Favor R3Book 2 in the All In series was just as good, if not better than, the first one (A Lie for a Lie). Readers will be happy to see Rook (RJ) and Lainey pop up quite a bit in this story, which is Rook’s little sister, Stevie’s story. Stevie is strong and she has spunk. She’s honestly one of my favorite female characters in a long while. She changes her hair color frequently and doesn’t take crap from anyone. Unfortunately for Stevie, the book starts with her finding her boyfriend Joey with another woman on their couch in their new apartment on her birthday. Talk about a bad day! Her older brother, RJ, a Seattle hockey player with loads of money and fame, offers his penthouse apartment since he and Lainey and their toddler Kody live in a house across town. Her arrival to said apartment, however, is momentous, and not in a good way, thanks to the uber-hot guy across the hall. Their first interaction is in the middle of the night; Stevie is tired, mad at her ex, and in a general mood unfavorable toward men. Can you blame her? The racket she makes while trying to get in the apartment wakes up the bear. The half-naked bear of a man she won’t soon forget, that is. Bishop, who seems to have a new pair of ridiculous boxers on (and nothing else) each morning when he retrieves his paper, assumes that Stevie is RJ’s mistress, and treats her as such, in his irritating cold and smug manor. Stevie assumes that the gorgeous females rotating through Bishop’s apartment are his conquests, which is also inaccurate. Then Stevie finds out Bishop is one of RJ’s teammates when he receives a serious groin injury during preseason. Stevie, a physiotherapist, has just started a new job at the college, where unfortunately her obnoxious cheating ex, Joey, works. Then, Billboard Boxers (as she and her new friends refer to her hot neighbor) asks her for a favor. And you always return a favor with a favor, right? Stevie starts additional therapy for Bishop which is a win-win because he gets back to the ice sooner, and she gets to treat a professional athlete and get a letter of recommendation. Stevie needs a little help from Bishop acting as her “fake boyfriend” to ward off Joey and his aloof reasoning for them to get back together. Bishop’s fake boyfriend skills are hot, hot, hot! But, it turns out they need each other more than they want to admit to themselves. The lines between fake and real begin to blur and are soon completely obliterated. But, there’s the problem of big brother RJ, who isn’t too happy with Bishop going after her “baby sister.” And another issue – Stevie wants nothing to do with the limelight of a famous hockey player. She doesn’t want the fame – she only wants him.

I highly recommend this angst-filled, hate-to-love, sports romance. Helena Hunting is a rock star and I devour everything she writes. I read this in one evening and couldn’t put it down. I loved Stevie and Bishop’s story, perhaps even better than RJ and Lainey. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for another of RJ’s teammates, King, in Book 3 (A Secret for a Secret) which is expected in May 2020.

Thank you to Social Butterfly PR for providing me with an early review copy in exchange for honest feedback.

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About Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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The Winston Brothers series by Penny Reid

I’m not a huge series reader, but I must tell you about my all-time favorite series. I met author Penny Reid at the 2019 Book Bonanza in Dallas, TX this past August. Of the over 50 authors I met there, Penny was the most humble, kind, and hilarious one. I knew immediately that I would enjoy her books, and man was I spot-on! Her writing is so refreshing, full of hilarious banter, romantic escapades, and a strong bond between a Southern family of six bearded brothers living in small-town Green Valley, TN.  

Of all Reid’s books, my favorite are the Winston Brothers series. The first book in the series is called Truth or Beard and is the story of Duane Winston. Duane’s mama, Bethany, was the beloved town librarian but she passed away at a young age after a fairly quick battle with cancer. Sweet Bethany’s only bad habit was staying with Duane’s despicable daddy, Darrell Winston, who is in jail due to his illegal exploits with the local biker gang, the Iron Wraiths. Bethany and Darrell had 6 boys (Billy, Jethro, Cletus, red-headed twins Duane & Beau, Roscoe) and one girl, Ashley. The brothers are ultra-charming and handsome, but also prone to mischief. Reid’s characters are charming and unique, and she tackles tough issues very well with her tell-it-like-it-is dialogue. Cletus, Duane, and Beau run an auto mechanic shop in Green Valley. Jethro is a park ranger with a bit of a sordid past. Billy is a senator, and Roscoe, the baby of the family, becomes a veterinarian. Ashley took on a sort of sister-mom role to the guys when Bethany passed away. They are all very close, and Cletus is a main part of the glue holding them all together.

Each book in the series focuses on a different Winston brother and his romantic exploits. They can all be read as a standalone full-length romantic comedy, but are better enjoyed when read in the order of publication so readers can follow the progression of the family as it grows with marriages and births. It’s easy to spot these books for their creative cross-stitched covers, each depicting a different bearded Winston brother (and one of Ashley!). (Side note: I also love that Penny cross stitches, just like me! Nerds, unite!) My personal favorite of the brothers is Cletus because of his extensive vocabulary and extreme geekiness that only someone like he can pull off as cool. Not to mention his homemade sausage and special coffee. He makes me laugh so hard!

I hope you enjoy this series and let me know what you think! The fictional world of Green Valley, Tennessee that Penny created is so popular and loved, in fact, that now there are a whole bunch of other amazing authors writing book series that take place in Green Valley, TN. The Winston brothers make many appearances in the Smartypants Romance books, which I absolutely love! They are all part of the amazing Smartypants Romance group. For instance, the Donner Bakery series which is Cletus’s wife, Jenn’s, bakery and the Scorned Women Society series by Piper Sheridan which is the story of Suzie Samuels, and all of the women that heartthrob, bad-boy turned park ranger Jethro Winston left behind. And, my personal favorite, as a librarian of course, is the Green Valley Library series, which have amazing titles (Love in Due Time, Shelf Awareness, Crime and Periodicals, Prose Before Bros). I mean, come on, the titles alone make a librarian swoon! And there are a bunch more Smartypants Romance books launching this year. Yippeee!

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from Cletus Winston:

“Stay away from the normals, the small-minded people who fill their brains with small-minded pursuits, who blend in and keep up with the Joneses. Those people will tear you down and make you boring. Instead, surround yourself with the weirds. With the misfits, oddballs, and outcasts. Because the normals, bless their hearts, have no idea how to have fun.”