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.”

 

 

 

The Boyfriend Blog by K.L. Grayson

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About the Book
Boyfriend (n.)
1) A frequent or regular male companion with whom one has a romantic or sexual
relationship.
2) A myth. A legend. Impossible to find.
According to her eighty-year-old neighbor, Lizzie Donovan is looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong places. Though it’s made great fodder for her blog, Lizzie is finally tired of swiping left and awful blind dates, and she’s ready to take Mrs. Skinner’s advice and find love the old-fashioned way. Goodbye dating app, hello grocery store, book store, dog park, and wherever else she might be able to meet a good man. And she really has nothing to lose. Not only will she be entertained along the way, but even if she ends up alone, she’ll always have her longtime best friend, Aiden, by her side.

Friend zone (n.)
1) A situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an
unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other.
2) Location of Aiden Wallace.
According to his eighty-year-old neighbor, Aiden Wallace has been friend zoned. And that’s mostly his fault because instead of opening his eyes and seeing what was right in front of him, Aidan has spent the last several years enjoying the single life. But things have changed—he has changed—and now he needs his best friend, Lizzie, to stop shoving him into the friend zone so he can work at winning her heart. Until then, he’s stuck watching her string of dating disasters and wishing she’d believe him when he tells her he’s the one.

 

Librarian Laura’s Review of The Boyfriend Blog

If you like best friends to lovers romance with both steam and hilarity, this is the book for you. KL Grayson’s The Boyfriend Blog is a fast-paced romantic comedy sure to delight romance readers for it’s charming characters and laugh-out-loud funny dating charades.

Lizzie, unlike her happily married twin sister Emily, is not so lucky in the boyfriend department. Every time she tries dating, it doesn’t end well. In fact, it usually ends with her crying (literally) to her next door neighbor and best friend since childhood, Aiden. From a date who was secretly on two dates at the same time in the same restaurant to a date who introduced her to both his parents and his pregnant ex-wife during the date, Lizzie has unfortunately seen it all: the bad, the worse, and the downright ugly. With each failed date, her hope for a romantic future dwindles.

As an outlet for her frustrating dating life, she starts a blog, The Boyfriend Blog, where she recounts her experiences in the dating world, all the while keeping it a secret from even those closest to her, Emily and Aiden. The only catch…Aiden is in love with Lizzie and doesn’t know how she’ll react. He doesn’t want to lose his best friend. So when she leaves her laptop open and he happens to glance at it while in her apartment, he can’t help but read a blog post and formulate a plan to win the girl, once and for all. Lizzie also secretly loves Aiden, and she can’t stop thinking about that impulsive moment a few years ago when she passionately kissed Aiden, only to have him act like nothing happened and even refuse to talk to her about it. Lizzie has tried to bury her feelings for Aiden and opted for being his best friend. But, she can’t help the butterflies in her stomach when Aiden looks into her eyes or wraps his big, strong arms around her to comfort her after each failed date.

When Lizzie decides to give boyfriend #22, Aiden, a try, things heat right up in the very best way. But love isn’t always easy and Lizzie and Aiden will have to fight through a few major roadblocks on their road to happy ever after. Will boyfriend #22 be her last, or is Lizzie doomed for spinsterhood? You’ll have to read it and find out!

I really enjoyed this book. It’s definitely an adult book; I wouldn’t recommend it for teen readers. Readers will delight in the fun story line with just the right amount of steam to keep things interesting.

Thank you so much to Social Butterfly PR for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

About K.L. Grayson

K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained
daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she
writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the
day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males,
brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that
order.
Connect with K.L. Grayson:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BooksbyKLGrayson/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/booksbyklgrayson/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/booksbyklgrayso/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/k-l-grayson

Us, Again by Elle Maxwell

us again

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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Beyond the Pale by Jennifer Millikin

IMG_4614 copyLibrarian Laura’s Review

I couldn’t put this book down, guys! If you like love triangles and angst, this is the one for you!

Lennon first met Brady and Finn in the 3rd grade when the was the “new girl” in Agua Mesa, Arizona.  They have been the best of friends ever since. So much so, that they made a pact 8 years ago that if one of them went back to Agua Mesa, the other two would go along in solidarity and support. When Lennon’s mother unexpectedly dies of a heart attack, she is forced to go back home to handle the arrangements. Lennon had a terrible home life growing up, so she doesn’t really feel any sort of loss. However, she is once again faced with the painful events of the past that she has tried and failed to outrun ever since. And the hardest part of it all is that her two best friends that she loves, Brady and Finn, are now men who are both in love with her. Brady, the steady, level-headed young lawyer who grew up with everything handed to him, but would still give anyone the shirt off of his back. Finn, an app developer and hard worker, has been stealing kisses with Lennon since they were teenagers, and he isn’t afraid to profess his love to her. Raised by his uncle in a trailer on the wrong side of town, he was not handed anything like Brady. He is also fiercely protective of Lennon. Being in constant close proximity to both men is cause for some very angst-filled romance, my friends. The romance is actually quite tame throughout the book, but Millikin definitely knows how to amp up the passion, through tender scenes with stolen kisses in this impossibly difficult love triangle. Lennon knows that she loves both Brady and Finn, and she always will. But, which one is she in love with? 

You’ll have to read it and find out. I don’t want to give away any more of the plot, and you’ll thank me for that later. I loved this story and can hardly wait for the next book in the series (One Good Thing) to come out in Spring 2020. The cliffhanger on this one, though. Jeesh, everything was going along just fine and then the last sentence…Boom!

Thank you to InkSlinger PR for the review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Today we are celebrating the release of a new, standalone title from Jennifer Millikin by participating in the blog tour. BEYOND THE PALE is available now to purchase or read for FREE as part of Kindle Unlimited, and you will not want to miss this love story! Be sure to follow Jennifer for exclusive updates about the book.

Read it now as part of Kindle Unlimited

CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/beyondthepalebook

 

Beyond the Pale by Jennifer Millikin

Available Now  |  Contemporary Romance

Read it now as part of Kindle Unlimited

CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/beyondthepalebook

Book Blurb:

My whole life I’ve known Finn Jeffries and Brady Sterling would be my undoing.
The three of us were inseparable, but growing up with two boys as your best friends comes with it’s own certain type of growing pains.
As a child, Finn was wild and free, and grew up to be a devilishly handsome man with a smirk that frustrated me as much as it did other things to me.
Brady was brave and loyal, and the kind of man he grew into didn’t surprise me a bit: devoted and gallant, with a handsome, trustworthy face that made my heart beat faster.
We went our separate ways for college, but now it’s eight years later and a pact we made back then has brought us back to our hometown.
Back to the complicated situation we ran from.
Back to the love triangle we never really escaped.
I love them both, and it’s time for me to make a choice.
I’ve always known one of them would be my forever, I just never knew which one.
And I still don’t.

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

 

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.

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