Manhattan by Kandi Steiner

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copy-of-manhattan-cover-finalLibrarian Laura’s Review of Manhattan

Manhattan is #3 in the Becker Brother series by Kandi Steiner. If you like small-towns, Southern gentleman, friends-to-lovers romance, whiskey, and angst, this is definitely the series for you!

Mikey Becker and Kylie Nelson have been best friends since they were eight. Mikey lost his father in a mysterious fire at Scooter Whiskey Distillery and Kylie lost her mother after a very quick illness the same year. Sharing a painful, but unshakeable bond, Mikey and Ky were inseparable all through the awkwardness of puberty and right up until Bailey came along and became Mikey’s girl. For two years while Mikey swooned over and made plans with Bailey, Kylie stood by him as his best friend, even though she loved him so much more than that. Beautiful, charming Mikey is aloof to her feelings for him and never did realize what was right in front of him all along. Now they have graduated from high school and Mikey is still reeling from the loss of Bailey. She left for Nashville to pursue her music career, leaving him in the dust, despite all of their plans to pursue music together in Nashville. Kylie is planning on a gap year, as a way to honor her late mother. As if Kylie’s heart could break into any more pieces, a down-in-the-dumps Mikey announces his plan to move to New York and start over fresh in the city of opportunity. Kylie is crushed. What kind of future in Stratford will she have without Mikey? But instead of letting him go without a fight, she devises a last ditch effort to get him to stay – by showing him everything Stratford has to offer him. Two months to prove to Mikey that he can find happiness again in Stratford, if only he will let the painful past with Bailey go and let himself truly live again. It doesn’t take long for Mikey to figure out that it’s not so much Stratford that could change his mind, but Kylie. However, the road to happiness for the youngest Becker brother and his lifelong best friend is not as smooth as they imagined. I promise you’ll love this story. I couldn’t put it down – finishing over half of it in one sitting. I can’t wait for the final Becker brothers story to release! Kandi Steiner is the queen of angsty romance and small-town, slow-burn romance.

Thank you so much to Social Butterfly PR for providing me with a review copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

 About the Book

The fire… the guitar… THE FEELS!

Everyone knows not to fall in love with your best friend. But when your best friend is Michael Becker, it’s impossible not to.

He’s everything our town knows a Becker brother to be: devastatingly handsome, charming as a thief, and the icing on the cake — a sentimental musician who’s never without his guitar.

And he was mine. At least, that’s what I’d convinced myself.

Our bond was born in elementary school, strengthened by circumstance and the promise to always be there for each other, no matter what. And the best thing about my life was being friends with Michael Becker.

Until it was the worst.

I watched him fall in love with someone else, and helped patch him back up when she left him behind. But when he drops the bomb that he’s moving to New York, I realize it’s my last chance to tell him how I feel. And I ask him to make one more promise.

One summer. One list of adventures to remind him that our small town has more to offer than memories of the girl who left him behind. One last chance to tell him I’m in love with him.

And I’m just dumb enough to believe that maybe he could love me, too.

You’ll love this book if you love:

➔ small town romance

➔ country romance

➔ summer romance

➔ romantic mystery

➔ friends-to-lovers

➔ slow burn

➔ angst

Download your copy today or read FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2M8G0dD

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/ManhattanKS

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

About Kandi:

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi:

Mailing List: bit.ly/NewsletterKS

Facebook: facebook.com/kandisteiner

Facebook Reader Group: (Kandiland): facebook.com/groups/kandischasers

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kandisteiner

Twitter: twitter.com/kandisteiner

Pinterest: pinterest.com/kandicoffman

Website: www.kandisteiner.com

Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

www.kandisteiner.com/events

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Regretting You

Librarian Laura’s Review

Having read all of Colleen Hoover’s books and knowing how amazing she is, I was overjoyed to see she had another book coming out this December. I had no idea that this book would surpass all her others for me, putting it at #1 in my CoHo lineup. If you don’t read any of her others (and I guess we can still be friends if this happens) read this one! This is the one I want you to remember – it’s just so well written and so heart wrenching. She ripped my heart out over and over…but in a good way!

First off, let me mention, that compared to the other CoHo books, the romance in this book is very tame (no steam!). So if that was holding you back from reading one of her amazing books, read this one! The story has the typical angst and romance, but it’s just a more tamed down version. It still gave me goosebumps and tears, so I’m not knocking it in any way!

Talk about an impossible situation, 34 year old Morgan is babysitting her 2 month old nephew, Elijah, for her younger sister and best friend, Jenny, on Jenny’s first day back to work at the hospital where Morgan’s husband of 16 years, Chris also works. She gets a call to come to the hospital because Chris has been in an accident. She arrives to find Jonah, Jenny’s fiance and father of her nephew also waiting for news. They soon learn that Chris and Jenny were together and both in an accident, and that neither survived. In an instant, Morgan’s husband and best friend are gone – her entire support system vanishing in a moment. Now, imagine you were Morgan for a moment – imagine the gamut of feelings you would feel when you then discover that Chris and Jenny were having an affair (for who knows how many years of your marriage) and keeping it secret right under your nose for years! How can Morgan begin to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart while caught in a whirlwind of anger, shock, disbelief, loss, betrayal, and grief. Though she never felt goosebumps or butterflies and married Chris when she found out she was pregnant at age 17, she did love her husband. He was the kind of guy everyone loved. How will she keep the hurt from her daughter, Clara, who thought her father hung the moon? She can’t tell Clara, because Chris was an amazing father to her. How can she ruin that for her own daughter? Morgan and Clara’s relationship was already a bit rocky before the accident, and now the foundation has shifted, causing an epic battle of the wills.

And then there’s Jonah…Morgan is still unhappy with him for leaving town after high school without a word or a visit since. She and Jonah were always able to communicate without words, and she felt a special connection to him back then, even though Jonah was dating her sister Jenny and Morgan was pregnant with Jonah’s best friend Chris’s baby. So, of course, Morgan stifled her feelings and went on with her life, putting all her energy into raising Clara and keeping a happy household, while her dreams of going to college slowly faded into the distance. But, Jonah, being the upstanding man she knew he would become, has come back home to raise Elijah and marry Jenny. Now, Jonah is left alone with a 2 month old baby and some of the same crippling feelings of anger, betrayal and grief as Morgan. Can you see the writing on the wall, my friends? Only, Morgan is strong willed and selfless. She is determined to keep her feelings for Jonah bottled up, taking the blame from her daughter in order to keep her from knowing the painful truth about her father and Jenny, who Clara was closer to than her own mother. Morgan will have a tough time, however, with the ever-present, ridiculously handsome, attentive and loving Jonah back in her daily life. 

There’s also a parallel story going on with Clara and her love interest, Miller. Her father was against her dating Miller, but Jonah “Uncle Teacher” is both she and Miller’s history teacher, and he assures Morgan that Miller is in fact one of the good ones. Clara and Miller’s story feels like a wonderful YA book that is interspersed with Morgan and Jonah’s story and I loved them both so much! Clara and Miller’s story has humor, awkward dating moments, setbacks and so much love.

I will forever associate watermelon jolly ranchers and the color orange with these wonderful characters you have created, Colleen. You are everything that I aspire to be as an author someday. And, pretty please, keep ’em coming!

Thank you to Montlake Romance for the advanced reader’s copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Q&A with Author Colleen Hoover

You are ‘label-less’ in the fact that you write in several genres. Readers never know what to expect next. If someone asks, how do you label yourself?

When I self-published my first novel I had no idea what genre to put it in. I thought I had written a drama but it turns to that I had written a romance. I’ve learned a lot since then, but I still don’t put a lot of weight in genre when I write. When your best friend is begging you to read a book, it’s not going to matter what genre it is when someone you trust is passionate about the story.

To keep all of your stories and characters straight, you must be very organized.

I’m the most disorganized person you will ever meet! I have no schedule. I can’t wake up before nine in the morning. I probably don’t go to bed until like three in the morning. I usually work about 16 hours a day.

What happens if you get blocked when you are writing?

If I get stuck writing, I go for a drive and play music. Music really helps me plot. I love The Avett Brothers, X Ambassadors, Airborne Toxic Event…I could go on and on.

What can you tell readers about your latest release Regretting You?

I would spoil it if I told you about it! Most of my books are like that. I can’t say what they are about or it spoils it. But I can say that Regretting You is told from a dual point-of-view centered on the inner lives of both a teen and adult protagonist.

Sounds like lots of different types of readers will be interested!

Absolutely. I wanted to write a book that bridged the gap between young adult and contemporary romance so that mothers can read with their daughters. I think it’s exciting to see people sharing reading experiences.***

Excerpt: Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Despite knowing I just pissed my mother off by being half an hour late for curfew, I still can’t stop smiling. That kiss with Miller was worth it. I bring my fingers to my lips.

I’ve never been kissed like that. The guys I’ve kissed in the past all seemed like they were in a hurry, wanting to shove their tongue in my mouth before I changed my mind.

Miller was the opposite. He was so patient, yet in a chaotic way. It was like he’d thought about kissing me so often that he wanted to savor every second of it.

I don’t know that I’ll ever not smile when I think about that kiss. It kind of makes me nervous for school tomorrow. I’m not sure where that kiss leaves us, but it felt like it was a statement. I just don’t know what exactly that statement was.

My phone buzzes in my back pocket. I roll over and pull it out, then fall onto my back again. It’s a text from Miller.

Miller: I don’t know about you, but sometimes when something significant happens, I get home and think of all the things I wish had gone differently. All the things I wish I would have said.

Me: Is that happening now?

Miller: Yes. I don’t feel like I was entirely forthcoming with you.

I roll onto my stomach, hoping to ease the nausea that just passed through me. It was going so well…

Me: What weren’t you honest about?

Miller: I was honest. Just not entirely forthcoming, if there’s a difference. I left a lot out of our conversation that I want you to know.

Me: Like what?

Miller: Like why I’ve liked you for as long as I have.

I wait for him to elaborate, but he doesn’t. I’m staring at my phone with so much intensity that I almost throw it when it rings unexpectedly. It’s Miller’s phone number. I hesitate before answering it, because I rarely ever talk on the phone. I much prefer texting. But he knows I have my phone in my hand, so I can’t very well send it to voice mail. I swipe my finger across the screen and then roll off the bed and head to my bathroom for more privacy. I sit on the edge of the tub.

“Hello?”

“Hey,” he says.

“Sorry. It’s too much to text.”

“You’re kind of freaking me out with all the innuendos.”

“Oh. No, it’s all good. Don’t be nervous. I just should have said this to you in person.” Miller inhales a deep breath, and then on the exhale, he starts talking. “When I was fifteen, I watched you in a school play. You had the lead role, and at one point, you performed a monologue that went on for like two whole minutes. You were so convincing and you looked so heartbroken I was ready to walk onto the stage and hug you. When the play was finally over and the actors came back out onto the stage, you were smiling and laughing, and there wasn’t a trace of that character left in you. I was in awe, Clara. You have this charisma about you that I don’t think you’re aware of, but it’s captivating. I was a scrawny kid as a sophomore, and even though I’m a year older than you, I hadn’t quite filled out yet, and I had acne and felt inferior to you, so I never worked up the courage to approach you. Another year went by, and I continued to admire you from afar. Like that time you ran for school treasurer and tripped walking off the stage, but you jumped up and did this weird little kick and threw your arms up in the air and made the entire audience laugh. Or that time Mark Avery popped your bra strap in the hallway, and you were so sick of him doing it that you followed him to his classroom, reached inside your hoodie, and took off your bra and then threw it at him. I remember you yelling something like, ‘If you want to touch a bra so damn bad, just keep it, you perv!’ Then you stormed out. It was epic. Everything you do is epic, Clara. Which is why I never had the courage to approach you, because an epic girl needs an equally epic guy, and I guess I’ve just never felt epic enough for you. I’ve said epic so many times in the last fifteen seconds—I’m so sorry.”

He’s out of breath when he finally stops talking.

I’m smiling so hard my cheeks ache. I had no idea he felt this way. No idea.

I wait a few seconds to make sure he’s done; then I finally respond. I’m pretty sure he can hear from my voice alone that I’m smiling. “First of all, it’s hard to believe you were ever insecure. And second, I think you’re pretty epic, too, Miller. Always have. Even when you were scrawny and had acne.”

He laughs a little. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

I can hear him sigh. “Glad I got that off my chest, then. See you at school tomorrow?”

“Good night.”

We end the call, and I don’t know how long I sit and stare at my phone.

***

About the Book

Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: December 10, 2019
Publisher: Montlake

Summary

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

Author Biography

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including the bestselling women’s fiction novel It Ends with Us and the bestselling psychological thriller Verity. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Hoover and her family founded the Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service that offers signed novels donated by authors. All profits go to various charities each month to help those in need. Hoover lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit http://www.colleenhoover.com.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.colleenhoover.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorColleenHoover/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/colleenhoover
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5430144.Colleen_Hoover

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card!

Us, Again by Elle Maxwell

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Us, Again is a standalone, contemporary second-chance romance and the debut novel from author Elle Maxwell. I couldn’t stop reading it – both main characters, Graham and Mackenzie, will stay with readers long after the final page.

5 years ago, Mackenzie Thatcher and Graham Wyatt were young teenagers in love. The high school seniors were dreaming up their future together, when two weeks after graduation Graham’s parents were killed in a car crash. Unable to cope with the loss and grief, Graham turns to drugs and alcohol, keeping secrets from Mackenzie. While purchasing pills from his dealer one evening, Graham finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and a man is shot right in front of him, landing him in prison for 5 years as an accessory to the crime. At this point, Mackenzie’s heart and future plans with Graham are shattered. She wonders if he ever really loved her at all, if he was able to keep such  major secrets from her. Determined to ward off relationships, Mackenzie moves on, growing a thicker skin and attitude along the way. Now she lives with a roommate, her hilarious Latina best friend Marisa, and has a job in social work, which is tough but rewarding. Her love life is rather nonexistent, because though she tries not to, she is always comparing them to Graham, the one who will always have her heart. Super sexy, alpha male Graham is released from prison and he has one goal in mind – find Mackenzie, apologize, tell the truth, and do whatever it takes to win back her trust. However, Mackenzie’s a lot stronger than she was 5 years ago, but every bit as beautiful to Graham. Getting her back into his arms and heart is going to be a lot more work than he thought. Good thing he doesn’t give up on a challenge. I won’t give up any more of the plot, but trust me, you’ll love it! Elle Maxwell has nailed the second-chance romance story with steamy romance and a bit of suspense/danger thrown in for good measure. I can’t wait for her next book!!

Thank you to the author for the chance to read an Advanced Review Copy and provide my honest review.

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Grayton Beach Dreams by Melissa Chambers

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Librarian Laura’s Review

Grayton Beach Dreams is #5 in the Love Along Hwy 30A series by Melissa Chambers. This could be read as a stand alone romance, but readers will appreciate reading it in order so they know the full back story of the characters and their friend group in the picturesque beach town of Seaside, Florida. Chambers does a fabulous job of connecting the characters between the books. This novel is Cassidy’s story. Cassidy Anderson, the 44-year-old owner of Seaside Sweets, a popular bakery, believes that she is past her prime and too old for romance. Cassidy usually dates older men who have been convenient, like Todd, one of the compassionate volunteers on her recent trip to Jamaica. It doesn’t help that all of her close friends are now married or getting married, leaving her feeling a bit like an extra wheel at times. When the smoking hot, young bar owner, Jesse Kirby, starts shamelessly flirting with her and making his interest known, she gets hung up on their age difference, even though it doesn’t bother 29-year-old Jesse or their mutual friends in the slightest. Things really heat up between Cassidy and Jesse when they end up on the same luxurious (private jet, anyone?) weekend getaway for mutual friends Chase and Shayla’s pre-wedding festivities. Jesse treats Cassidy like no one has ever treated her, not to mention he’s sexy as all get out. Enter some family drama and a few surprise visitors from their pasts and the odds seem to be stacked against the two lovebirds. Will Cassidy give in to the warnings of others or choose to follow her heart and be all in with Jesse. You’ll just have to read it and find out. Thanks to the author for an early review copy in exchange for honest feedback. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to be released!

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Book Details:
Grayton Beach Dreams 
by Melissa Chambers 
(Love Along Hwy 30A series, #5) 
Publication date: October 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis:

Having spent his college years and early twenties faithful to his sweetheart who ultimately dumped him for his brother, Jesse Kirby will never again be anyone’s fool. He’s been making up for lost time by sampling every woman he missed out on. But as thirty approaches, the revolving door to his bedroom isn’t doing it for him anymore. When he meets the altruistic Cassidy Anderson, he realizes it’s time to make some meaning out of his life. Sure, she may only be interested in him for his body and his literary tattoos, but he will make her see him for the man he now knows he can be.

Cassidy Anderson has always lived her life to serve others and dated stable men her own age or older with the same goals in mind. As she considers an offer from one of those stable men, twenty-nine-year-old bartender Jesse Kirby sets his sights on her, giving her options she doesn’t need to consider. It’s been so long since Cassidy has experienced a body and a libido like his that she isn’t sure if she can pass him up. But just for a taste, because a relationship like theirs could only be headed for heartbreak.

AUTHOR BIO:
Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She has served as president for the Music City Romance Writers and is the author of the Love Along Hwy 30A series, the Before Forever series (YA), and Courting Carlyn (YA).
Author links:

Giveaway: Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

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A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting

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Librarian Laura’s Review

A Lie for a Lie is the first book in the new All In series by Helena Hunting. A remote cabin setting in Kodiak Island, Alaska. A sexy, alpha male hockey player on a solo fishing trip. An anxious, beautiful young woman working on her thesis.  Chicago based, professional hockey star and team captain, Rook “Rookie” Bowman wants to just be a normal guy for a few weeks, away from the media and the ladies throwing themselves at his feet. While he enjoyed it for a while, a few quiet weeks to be himself is really tempting. He flies out to Alaska for an annual fishing trip with his brother, but this year his brother’s wife is expecting a baby and Rook ends up solo. It would have been the first trip to the cabin with his brother since their father passed away. His plans of actually being alone change dramatically when a beautiful woman literally falls into his lap on the plane. And the best part of all, she has no idea who he is. He doesn’t want Lainey to know about his drama-filled past, or to be starstruck for his wealth, so he tells a little white lie about his background, using his parent’s alpaca farm as inspiration. It’s only a matter of time, however, before the truth comes out.

Lainey is researching dolphin mating behavior on Kodiak Island, Alaska, working on her third thesis. She is the youngest of 7 children and her parents treat her as such, questioning all of her decisions and sheltering her as much as possible. A comical mishap with a scarf propel Lainey right into the lap of a very handsome and charming Rook on the plane. He then acts as a security teddy bear for her anxiety during a turbulent ride out to Kodiak Island. As fate would have it, Lainey’s broken-down, cobweb-filled rental cabin turns out to be only a few miles from Rook’s Alaskan vacation home – a mansion as far as I’m concerned. After a pulse pounding storm and a leaky roof bring poor Lainey back to the safety of Rook’s arms and home, he encourages her to move in with him for the duration of her stay.  Thus begins a 4 week long, blissful honeymoon-esque trip for Lainey and Rook. Everything is roses for the young researcher and hockey megastar, until a family emergency calls Rook back to Chicago very abruptly. Unfortunately, Lainey knows him as “RJ”, an alpaca farmer, and is therefore unable to find him once she returns home. After Rook leaves, a huge storm cuts the power to the cabin, leaving him unable to call Lainey and get her number so they can reconnect.

Flash forward to a year down the road, after both Lainey and Rook have sulked and reminisced over one another, fate intervenes again. Rook is attending a birthday party for a teammate’s son at the aquarium where Lainey is working. He would recognize her voice from anywhere and can’t believe his luck for a second chance. But , how can he tell Lainey who he really is, a famous, filthy-rich hockey superstar, without losing all of her trust and a chance for a future together. To liven things up a little more, Lainey has a lie of her own, and it’s a big one. You’ll have to read it and find out. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I loved this book and can’t wait for the next book in the series. Helena Hunting is skilled at hitting readers right in the feels, and for that I thank her. H squared will always be one of my favorites!

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

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A Lie for a Lie, an all-new sexy second chance romance from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting is available now!

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KeBlqZ

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ALieforLie

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2MTMWOC

Audio: https://amzn.to/2KM4CZF

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2MJpbIG

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’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

 Connect with Helena

Instagram: http://instagram.com/helenahunting Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenaHunting
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Zt1xm5
Facebook Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/385795934890523/
Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/

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The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada

imagesOriginally published in Library Journal, March 22, 2019.

Young Puerto Rican single mom, Angel Gomez, is almost through nursing school, while bartending at a high end club, the Peacock, in the evenings to pay the bills. Pregnant at 15, she then lost her mother at age 17, giving Angel an independent, tough exterior. Her older, brassy neighbor Gabriella, a hair salon owner, helps take care of 7 year old Jose, a mixed race boy with asthma who loves baseball. Yankees star pitcher, Caleb “Duke” Lewis, is having ankle pain after a scandalous bar fight which left his best friend dead. He begins secretly coming to Angel’s clinic to receive treatment from the shady attending doctor. The handsome black baseball player is cocky, proposing that beautiful Angel pretend to be his girlfriend for the media to keep attention off of his injury, hoping he’ll get contracted for another season. Meanwhile, Angel is dealing with sexual harassment at both of her jobs, while Duke has financial trouble. The title is a bit misleading; as the characters never really have a perfect date, only attend a party together that ends with quite the unpleasant surprise. Told in alternating point of view, the story is full of diverse characters, but it’s also overfilled with subplots, choppy narrative, and the ending is tied up in a predictable bow. VERDICT: Recommended for strictly additional purchase as this contemporary romance novel has far less plausibility and actual romance than others of its genre.

Neat by Kandi Steiner

Librarian Laura’s Review of Neat

The second book in a three part series set in and around the Scooter whiskey distillery in small-town Tennessee, Kandi Steiner’s Neat will have readers eagerly anticipating the third book. While the first book, On the Rocks, was Noah’s story, Neat focuses on one of Noah’s three brothers, Logan Becker, a tour guide at the distillery. When not at the distillery working or spending family time with his mom and brothers, Logan spends his time reading and organizing things in his clean but humble home.

The Scooter and Becker families are not fans of one another and have a very tense working relationship. Logan’s grandfather was one of the original owners, but he was left out of the legal documents by the Scooters as they forged a wedge between the two friends and business partners. Logan’s father worked for the Scooter’s as well, up until his untimely, mysterious death in a fire at his office. The Becker family has their doubts that it was an accident, giving them more reason to distrust the Scooters.

Imagine Logan’s trepidation and dread when he’s told that Mallory Scooter is finally going to work at her family’s distillery, and in his department to boot. Mallory makes a deal with her money-obsessed, overbearing father to work at the distillery in exchange for studio space to open her art studio, which has always been her dream.

Logan’s anticipated dread and unease quickly turns to pleasure once he gets to know Mallory and her determined, rebellious attitude toward her future and her family. Though they are fully aware of the destruction a relationship with each other could bring to their plans, neither Logan or Mallory can resist their attraction to one other, creating swoon-worthy romance and a hard-to-put-down story. There is also an element of mystery that comes into play when Mallory and Logan stumble across a box of Logan’s father’s belongings that they were told were burned in the fire. Why would the Scooter’s save them in an old storage closet?

This could be read as a stand-alone, but I would recommend reading On the Rocks first so that you’ll have a more full picture on the backstory of the Scooter and Becker families and the reason for their Capulet and Montague like rivalry. Well done, Kandi! I can’t wait for the final book in the series, Manhattan, to release.

Thank you to Social Butterfly PR for an advanced reader’s copy for review.

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Rival families. Deep secrets. Exact opposites who can’t help but cross all the lines. Neat will leave you thirsty for more Becker Brothers!” — bestselling author Staci Hart

Neat, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by Kandi Steiner is LIVE!

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My life is over.

I swore I would never work at the whiskey distillery with my last name on it, that I would never be a part of my father’s legacy. But when I graduated with my art degree and realized there were no jobs, the devil appeared, and I sold my soul, agreeing to work in the family business if he’d give me the art studio I’d always dreamed of.

It can’t be that bad, I thought.

Until I realized my new boss was Logan Becker.

The Becker brothers have a reputation for being trouble, and since I love trouble, it’s no surprise to me that I’m infatuated by that forbidden fruit the first day I walk into the distillery. That lean, whiskey-eyed, too-hot-for-his-own-good man hates me — and I can’t blame him. His family has been at war with mine for decades, and for good reason.

The Beckers and the Scooters are the Montagues and Capulets of Stratford, Tennessee.

But if he’s Romeo, and I’m Juliet?Well… we all know how that story ends — and for that reason, I tell myself to steer clear.

Because if my father finds out I’m falling for Logan Becker, my life actually will be over.

And Logan’s will be, too.

Neat is a stand-alone book in the Becker Brothers Series.

➔ Small town

 

➔ Country

➔ Romeo & Juliet vibes

➔ Angst paradise

➔ Holiday romance

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Qg5p9D

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/NeatKS

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2LOF0N8

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About Kandi:

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the firstHarry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with
her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer, and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi:

Mailing List: bit.ly/NewsletterKS

Facebook: facebook.com/kandisteiner

Facebook Reader Group: (Kandiland): facebook.com/groups/kandischasers

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kandisteiner

Twitter: twitter.com/kandisteiner

Pinterest: pinterest.com/kandicoffman

Website: www.kandisteiner.com

Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

www.kandisteiner.com/events