Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday (100)


The Sound of the Stars
By: Alechia Dow
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: February 25, 2020

Book Synopsis:

Don’t miss this spectacular debut novel… Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity? This road trip is truly out of this world! A beautiful and thrilling read for fans of Marie Lu and Veronica Roth. 

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population. 

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her. 

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does. 

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

First off, I was drawn to this book because I think the cover is striking!  Secondly, when I saw the blurb mention that the story was for readers who are fans of Veronica Roth, my curiosity was piqued, because I love her books!  Add in the awesome sounding sci-fi blurb with references to a road trip, music, and books, and I was all in!  I'm so excited to read this story and try out a debut author!

What Are You Waiting On?

Book Spotlight: Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne

Coming Home for Christmas
Haven Point #10

RaeAnne Thayne

Harlequin Books

Release Date:
Sept. 24, 2019

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Book Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today best-seller RaeAnne Thayne is taking readers back to the beloved town of Haven Point in her latest holiday novel, COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (HQN Books; on sale September 24th, 2019). Building on a mystery teased in The Cottages on Silver Beach, this latest installment in the wildly popular Haven Point series follows Luke Hamilton as he attempts to reconnect with his wife, Elizabeth, who has finally resurfaced after having been missing for several years. 

More than seven years after Elizabeth’s mysterious disappearance, Luke, their two children Cassie and Bridger, and the tight-knit community of Haven Point are still reeling and looking for answers. Many in town suspect Luke had something to do with his wife’s disappearance—including the new district attorney, who is preparing to press charges against him. But based on a tip from his best friend, FBI agent Elliot Bailey, Luke has known Elizabeth’s true whereabouts for months. Now, with the prospect of criminal charges bearing down on him, Luke resolves to finally reestablish contact with the woman who broke his heart and vanished without explanation so many years ago. 

He discovers Elizabeth on the Oregon coast, living under a new name and with a new appearance. But although her face may have changed, Luke still sees in her eyes the same Elizabeth he fell in love with more than a decade ago. Elizabeth, for her part, is trying to find her way back to herself after the series of tragedies that led her to run away in the first place—including the death of her parents in a terrible boating accident and her own battles with postpartum depression. But despite the new life she has built for herself, Elizabeth is desperate to reunite with Cassie and Bridger, so when Luke asks her to return to Haven Point to spend Christmas together as a family, she jumps at the opportunity. 

As the holiday season casts a magical glow over the cozy town of Haven Point, Elizabeth reconnects with her children, trimming trees, baking cookies, and basking in the bliss of this second chance at motherhood. At the same time, she and Luke start to rediscover the undeniable spark that still exists between them. As Luke and Elizabeth draw closer and closer together, can the lights and joy of the holiday season in Haven Point help them rediscover hope, healing, and love—all in time for Christmas? 

In the tradition of RaeAnne Thayne’s beloved holiday novels like Sugar Pine Trail and Season of Wonder, COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is a story about the enduring power of love and the gift of new beginnings—a perfect book to curl up with next to the fire this holiday season. 

Praise for RaeAnne Thayne:

“Romance, vivid characters and a wonderful story; really who could ask for more?”
—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“RaeAnne Thayne gets better with every book. The Cliff House is an absorbing, romantic, and deeply moving story about taking chances and being brave in both life and love—I didn’t want it to end!” 
 —Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times best-selling author

“Thayne is in peak form in this delightful, multiple-perspective tale…. A warmly compelling and satisfying work of women’s fiction.” 
Booklist on The Cliff House (starred review)

“Another deftly crafted gem of a novel by a master of narrative storytelling…. Season of Wonder is compelling and unfailingly riveting read from first page to last.”
Midwest Book Review on Season of Wonder

 “Heartwarming and endearing.”
 —Omnivoracious on Season of Wonder 

 “An ice-cold case adds a dash of mystery and drives the plot of this family-rich reunion story that looks at some serious emotions and brings our protagonists together…A thoroughly charming seasonal read.” 
Library Journal on The Cottages on Silver Beach

 “Thayne's trademark charm shows up in both the setting and the characters, making this a delightful read no matter the time of year.” 
RT Book Reviews on The Cottages on Silver Beach

 “Deliciously flirty and totally engrossing.” 
Library Journal on Sugar Pine Trail 

 “Endearing small-town residents and bratty cats add humor to this heartwarming, steady-paced holiday romance.”
Publishers Weekly on Sugar Pine Trail 

“As Thayne spins a charming installment in her sweet Haven Point series, she does a fabulous job of keeping all the threads that could lead to a happily-ever-after ending tangled up in suspense.”
Booklist on Serenity Harbor

 “Riveting to the very end.”
—BookPage on Serenity Harbor

Book Excerpt:

Luke was here. 

After all these years, he was here, standing on the porch of Brambleberry House. 

She couldn’t quite believe this was really happening. Her day had started out so normally. She took her dozen different medications, meditated, went through the routine of exercises she used to keep her battered body from seizing up. She had gone to the greenhouse for a few hours. Her hands still smelled like the pine branches she had woven together for evergreen wreaths. 

All in all, it had been a routine day. She never expected that before the day was out, she would be here talking to her husband, the man she had loved since she was eighteen years old. 

She had imagined this day so many times, had dreamed of the chance to see him again, to explain the choices she had made and the terrible consequences that had resulted from those choices. 

Now that he was here, she felt tongue-tied, constrained by all the years and miles and choices between them. 

What could she say? No words would ever make up for what she had done. 

Of course she couldn’t go with him. She had a job here. She worked at the garden center and was busy this time of year selling Christmas trees and wreaths, working on floral arrangements, planning ahead for the growing season. 

She was also responsible for the gardens here at Brambleberry House—though admittedly, that wasn’t a very good excuse this time of year. She had already supervised the Christmas decorating in the garden and wouldn’t have anything to do until spring began its slow return to this part of the Oregon Coast. 

Returning to Haven Point didn’t terrify her. As he pointed out, she had been back a dozen times over the last several years. 

It was the idea of returning to Haven Point with Lucas Hamilton that made her blood run cold. 

Her stomach twisted into knots. He wanted her to drive there with him. It was eight hours from here. Eight hours in a car with a man who had every reason to despise her. She couldn’t possibly do it. 

But what choice did she have? If she could believe him— and she had no reason to think he was lying, as he had always been honest with her—she had to return to Haven Point or he would be arrested. She couldn’t let that happen. She had already put him and their children through so very much. 

She owed him. This was the least she could do. 

Accused of her murder! How was that even possible? Luke had never raised a hand to her, and she hated that there were apparently people in Lake Haven County who didn’t know him well enough to understand that. 

 “Hurry up.” Her husband’s voice was resolute. “You can take your return flight once we’re done with the legalities or you can rent a car in Boise and drive back.” 

She wished that were possible, but the simple act of driving a vehicle was one of the abilities she had lost. 

Wild tendrils of panic made her palms sweat and her stomach roll. She wanted to go back to her second-floor apartment and curl up in her bed with the covers over her head. 

“I...I need time to make arrangements.” She tried one more time. “I can’t just leave town without a word.” 

His raised eyebrow made her all too aware of the irony of what she just said. That was exactly what she had done seven years ago when she had walked away from him and their children and the life she had destroyed. 

“One hour. You have one hour and then I’m coming to get you, wherever you are. You’re going back to Haven Point, even if I have to tie you up and toss you into the bed of my pickup. Don’t think I won’t.” 

He was so cold, hard as tungsten. This version of Lucas Hamilton was very different from the one who had been all sweet tenderness during their dating years and the first glorious months of their marriage. 

She had created this version. She had forced the joy out of him, not only because she left but during those troubled years in between. 

It was time to make things right. She had to do her best to fix what she had destroyed. 

“All right,” she finally said, trying hard to keep the trembling out of her voice. “I can be ready in one hour. What will you do in that time? Do you...? Do you want to come in?” 

She did not want him in her home, her sanctuary. Brambleberry House had become her refuge over the past few years. She wouldn’t say she had completely healed here, but this was at least where she had started the process. 

“No. I’m fine.” 

“There are several nice...restaurants in town, if you need to grab a...bite to eat.” 

Did he notice the way she stammered now, the awkward pauses she hated? Of all the things she had lost, tangible and intangible, fluent speech was one of the gifts she missed the most. She hated scrambling around for words, having them right there on the tip of her tongue but not being able to find them. 

“I have a sandwich in the truck. I’ll eat there. To be honest, Elizabeth, I don’t want to leave this spot. If I go anywhere, who knows if you would still be here when I come back?” 

She nodded, hating his contempt but knowing that she deserved every bit of it. “I’ll...try to be quick.” 

Her hands were shaking. Everything was shaking. She felt nauseous, and her head hurt. Oh, sweet heaven. She did not want to have a seizure today. They were mostly controlled these days but tended to sneak up on her when her reserves were low. 

She slipped back into the house. As she had expected, Rosa was waiting inside the entryway, along with Melissa Fielding, the tenant of the first-floor apartment.

“What is going on?” the nurse asked, eyes filled with worry. “Rosa tells me that man says he is your husband and that your name is not Sonia Davis but Elizabeth something-or-other.” 

She sighed. “Rosa is right. Both of those things are...true. I’m...I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. It is a very long and painful story. A past I...thought I had put behind me.” 

It was a lie. She hadn’t put the past behind her. She lived with it every single day, haunting her every waking moment. Luke. Cassie. Bridger. They were etched on her heart. 

The only bright spot about Luke bursting back into her life was the possibility that she might see her children beyond random glimpses from a distance. She might be able to talk to them. Hug them. Perhaps try to explain, if she could find the words. 

“What does he want?” Melissa trailed after her up the stairs, Rosa behind her. 

“He wants to...take me back to the place where I lived with...with him. Haven Point, Idaho.”

“I hope you told him no way in hell,” Melissa said. “You don’t need to go anywhere with him. He might be your husband, but that doesn’t make him your lord and master. He can’t just show up out of the blue and drag you off like some caveman.” 

“Luke is not like that,” she protested. “He is a good man. That is...that is why I have to go with him.” 

She paused outside her apartment door, desperate to be alone—to breathe, to think, to recover—but also well aware she needed to convince her friends not to call local law enforcement on her behalf. They were so concerned about her, she wouldn’t put it past either of them. 

“Look, I know you’re...worried about me. I am grateful for that. More grateful than I can say.” 

She reached for their hands, these two women who had taken her into their generous hearts and befriended her. She had lied to them. She had deceived them about her identity, about her past, about everything. 

It was yet one more thing to feel guilty about, though small compared to all she had done to her family. 

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to explain everything. I can tell you only that I made a...a terrible mistake once, many years ago. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time but...nothing turned out the way I planned. Now my... my husband needs me to go with him so that I can begin to try to make amends. I have to, for his sake and for our...for our children.” 

Rosa and Melissa gazed at her, wearing identical expressions of concern. “Are you certain this man, he means you no harm?” Rosa asked, her Spanish accent more pronounced than usual. 

She was not certain of anything right now, except that. Despite his fury, Luke wouldn’t hurt her. She knew that without one fiber of doubt. 

“I will be fine. Thank you both for worrying about me. I should only be gone a...a few days. When I return, I can tell you...everything. All the things I should have said a long time ago. But now I really do have to go and pack a bag.” 

She could see the worry in their frowns. Rosa looked as if she wanted to argue more. She might be small, but she was fierce. Elizabeth had long sensed that Rosa herself had walked a dark and difficult road, though her friend never talked about it. Elizabeth had never pried. How could she, when she had so many secrets she couldn’t share? 

Melissa reached out and hugged her first. “If you’re sure— and you seem as if you are—I don’t know what else we can do but wish you luck.” 

“Thank you.” Her throat was tight with a complex mix of emotions as she returned the hug. 

Rosa hugged her next. “Be careful, my dear.”

“Of course.”

“You have our numbers,” Rosa said. “If you are at all worried about anything, you call us. Right away. No matter what, one of us will come to get you.” 

Those emotions threatened to spill over. “I will. Thank you. Thank you both.” 

“Now. What can we do to help you pack?” Rosa asked. 

Everyone deserved friends like these, people to count on during life’s inevitable storms. She had once had similar friends back in Haven Point and had turned her back on everyone who tried to help her. 

She would not make that mistake again. 

“I have a suitcase in my room, already...half filled. Can you find that while I...grab my medicine?” 

“You got it.” 

She deliberately focused her attention on the tasks required to pack, not on the panic that made her feel light-headed. 

After all this time, she was going back to Haven Point. As herself, this time, not as the woman she had become seven years ago when she walked away.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA TODAY best-selling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page, and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story. 

Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor. 

Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 60 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. 

RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Blog Tour: Unearthed (Death Seeker #1) by Cecy Robson

Death Seeker #1

Cecil Robson

Release Date:
Sept. 24, 2019

Add to:

eARC from Author in exchange for a honest review

Book Synopsis:

Fae was once a flourishing paradise. Until Death turned greedy and destroyed it, targeting the creatures who inhabited it. Those who survived escaped to Earth’s realm, but Death wasn’t far behind . . . 

Olivia Finn is just another pixie trying to blend in among humans and hide from the death hounds who devoured her family. Clinging to the talisman that keeps her veiled from those who hunt her, she believes she is safe. . .. Until Death finds her and discovers she’s immune to its grip. 

Now that Olivia’s power is unearthed, she is sought by Fae who see her as their savior and stalked by dark entities compelled to destroy her. Can she trust the King of the Dead who has sworn to train and protect her? Or should she obey her instincts that warn he desires more? 

Olivia can no longer hide from Death. To survive, she must seek it.

My Thoughts:

Unearthed was the first book I've read by Cecy Robson, and I really enjoyed it! Olivia came from Fae, but had to relocate to earth (New York,) after it was destroyed by death.  When she and her friends are attacked by the Cu-Sith,(death hounds, a form of death that killed her family,) she discovers that she has unique powers that make her the only hope for her kind. She thought she lacked magical abilities, but while the earth's magic has clashed with the majority of magical beings, in others, it has altered it.  

The Grim Reaper, Ankou, or (The King of the Dead,) offers to train Olivia, so that she can hone her abilities, and become stronger and more powerful; in order to defeat Cathasach, the ultra powerful and sadistic leader of the Cu-Sith.  What starts as an unlikely partnership, quickly turns in to a close friendship, and feelings begin to grow between Olivia and the Ankou.  However, the Ankou has asked Olivia to release his soul from the torment that he has experienced for so long, in exchange for his help.  If she defeats Cathasach, can she destroy the soul of the Grim Reaper, when she is falling in love with him?

Unearthed was such a fun and fast-paced urban fantasy.  I loved encountering so many different magical creatures; pixies, nymph's, elves, leprechauns, fairies, garden gnomes, giants, banshee's, gargoyle's, dragons, and more! The dangerous tension of the ever growing threat of Cathasach and the Cu-Sith kept me at the edge of my seat. I loved watching as Olivia trained and learned how to use her magical abilities.  She was petite, but packed a powerful punch with her huge heart, courage, perseverance, and compassion to those all around her.  I loved her character!

The Grim Reaper was a character that I enjoyed getting to know as well.  He was extremely lonely, tormented, and ashamed of who he was, and what he had to do to survive.  However, Olivia brought out a fiercely loyal, attentive, and vulnerable side to him.  The interactions between these two were exciting, and had me eager for more!

As far as secondary characters went, my favorite was Jane, an extremely old and powerful hydra. She brought levity, and a ton of laughs to the story with her eccentric personality! I also loved the shapeshifting dragons, (Olivia's good friend, Frankie,) and (Stevie, a goth teen who had a huge crush on Olivia, and she had sworn to protect.)

If you're in the mood for a fun, fast-paced Urban Fantasy, with a variety of magical creatures, danger, a ton of laughs, and the beginning of an epic romance, I recommend you check out Unearthed!

Favorite Quotes:
  • “I just royally pissed off a guy who carries a scythe and knows how to use it." -Unearthed, Cecy Robson
  • “My better judgment warns that this isn't a man I should allow in my bed. It's a shame I've already allowed him into my heart. .”-Unearthed, Cecy Robson
  • “Even death needs love.”- Unearthed, Cecy Robson

Book Teasers:

Book Excerpt:

…in the Glen a nightclub where the Fae like to gather 

Lights flash and magical mist pours across the dance floor, allowing privacy to those desperate for touch. Fae aren’t plentiful, and neither are establishments for us to gather. That’s what makes the Glen fun. It doesn’t just bring my kind together, it frees us. No glamour, no pretending. We discuss magic and the old realm, curse Death for destroying it and celebrate our survival.
With a shimmy and a shake, lavender and silver wings sprout from Dahlia’s back. She stretches, relishing the feel of simply being herself. She winks at me, her glimmering lavender eyes and lips radiant. 
A drunk mountain troll stumbles between us. She releases my hand, allowing him through before clasping my hand and guiding us through the gyrating swarm of bodies. “Let’s have a drink, darling.”
I squeeze her hand. Fae are affectionate beings. In the human world, we cage our need to caress, embrace, and make love. It’s a way to keep our identities secret and another way to prevent Death from finding us. 
Bill’s broken glamour was a result of a stolen kiss. It revealed his form to a human and worst of all damaged his talisman. Our talismans remain the only way to hide from those who hunt us. Without them, it’s a death warrant with our executioners often seconds from being collected.
A banshee sprints away from the bar and through the swarm of Fae. With all the grace of a swan, she leaps into the air and straddles the male who entered behind us. “David!” she screeches. “Sorry,” she adds when we groan and cover our ears.
“David” loses his tiny accountant persona, morphing into a giant cyclops with a long blond Mohawk. He laughs, catching the banshee when her legs break free of his widening waist. 
She screeches. Again. The thought of that voice in the throes of passion makes me cringe. “David is going to need serious earplugs to get through the night,” I mutter.
Dahlia giggles, her laughter like wind chimes in the soft breeze. “Perhaps. But it will be worth it, darling,” she sings.

©Unearthed, Cecy Robson, LLC September 2019

Purchase At:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About the Author:

Cecy Robson is an international and multi-award-winning author of over twenty-five character driven novels. A registered nurse of eighteen years, Cecy spends her free time creating magical worlds, heart-stopping romance, and young adult adventure. After receiving two RITA® nominations, the Maggie Award, the Award of Excellence, and a National Reader’s Choice Award nomination, you can still find Cecy laughing, crying, and cheering on her characters as she pens her next story.

Connect with Cecy online: 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post (46)

Hosted by:  Tynga's Reviews
Hosted by:  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This week was hectic and flew by quickly!  My family and I went down to see my father's side of the family because my grandmother needed a pacemaker put in and my uncle is suffering from major heart complications and is in a coma.  Also, my husband and I had a lot to do with figuring out where we want to live because our lease is up in a month.  

Yesterday, my family and I went to Mimi's Cafe and the waitress asked about my daughter having special needs, because her son also does.  We chatted for a bit.  She said I was doing a good job, and us special needs parents need to stick together.  She was really sweet to my daughter, and made me feel good.  

Then, I went to Macy's and the cashier asked me if my daughter had Autism as does her son.  She couldn't believe how well my daughter was doing.  She said she doesn't take her child out because people stare and make rude comments when he has a meltdown from getting sensory overload, (that's when kids with Autism can't tolerate the noise volume or the large crowds.). I gave her some tips for her son, and told her that those things use to really bother me when my daughter was younger.  However, I learned along the way that we have to live our lives too, and our kids have the right to go places.  I know it's easier said than done, but to ignore those people like they aren't even there and give herself and her son the life she wants, instead of staying indoors all the time.  She got teary eyed, told me I was a good mom, and said I gave her hope. It made me feel good, to be able to help someone who was going through such a tough time.  My husband was with me and couldn't believe I had run in to two special needs moms in one day. 

My daughter's social worker had told me a while back that he thought it was wonderful that I had my daughter in so many activities (gymnastics, swimming, and horseback riding), because a lot of special needs families (especially those who have children that have severe needs), don't go out.  We recently took my daughter to Disneyland, and had some very negative experiences with people.  My daughter touched a kids balloon and the father got angry, she grabbed another kid's cup and that father tried to yell and get in my daughter's face, and I got in front of her, and angrily yelled at him.  My daughter is eleven, but very childlike, innocent, and doesn't understand societal norms.  We've been working hard on teaching her, but it takes time for her to learn, and social cues and societal rules are the hardest with Autism.  

So I urge you to be that smile or patient person, the next time you're out and you see a child having a fit, (it might be from sensory overload or because a child is mentally younger than you realize.). Or, if you see a child touch or grab something, (for example my daughter put her hand on a lady's cart at the grocery story, and she got angry, because she said "excuse me that's my cart," and my daughter didn't immediately remove her hand. These kids need the practice of being out in public, and should be able to go fun places like any other child.  Their disabilities already take so much away from them, and sometime what they need, as well as their exhausted and embarrassed parents, is to be shown, kindness, compassion, and patience.

Last Week on the Blog:

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Blog Tour: Fake Date (Dating #2) by Monica Murphy

Fake Date
Dating #2


Monica Murphy


September 17, 2019

Add to:



eARC from author in exchange for a honest review

Book Synopsis:

Working at Bliss Lingerie, Sarah Harrison deals with all sorts of—interesting clientele. Yet no one sparks her interest more than Jared Gaines, the ultra-rich, ultra-sexy businessman who frequents her shop, buying delicate little “gifts” for the women in his life. 

But one day, Jared sends her a gift from Bliss. Then another—and another. So when Sarah walks into his office demanding to know why he can't stop sending her gifts, he makes her an offer she somehow can’t refuse: be his fake girlfriend for the weekend while attending his brother’s engagement party. 

Next thing Sarah knows, she’s in San Francisco, pretending to be in love with Jared. Not that it’s a hardship. Once you get the man away from the office, he’s much more relaxed. Sweet. Funny. Even…thoughtful? Oh, and sexier than ever, of course. 

Their pretend relationship feels very real, very quickly. Soon Sarah’s in over her head. Could what she and Jared share turn into something real? Or is it all actually…fake?

Start the Series with Save the Date!
My Review

My Thoughts:

Sweet Sarah Harrison works at Bliss Lingerie and is a personal shopper for the grouchy but gorgeous billionaire, Jared Gaines.  For the last six months these two have been enjoying a push pull dynamic where they enjoy pushing each other's buttons, and there is no denying the sizzling chemistry between them.  When Jared starts sending Sarah gifts, she has mixed feelings and decides to confront him about it.  What ultimately comes of that conversation is him asking her to attend his brother's engagement party weekend in San Francisco as his fake girlfriend, and she ends up agreeing.

Jared Gaines reminded me of a Mr. Darcy type.  He came off as grouchy, abrupt, and rude, but he ultimately went through a bout of major character growth.  It didn't happen quickly and unrealistically, and I enjoyed the journey of what it took to get him there.  Even though he frustrated me and Sarah at times, I also couldn't help but feel for him and ultimately understand why his walls were up with all that he had been through.

Sarah was such a sweet, compassionate, and likeable female lead.  She was mature for her age, due to being a surrogate parent to her two younger siblings.  Sarah had so much responsibility that she didn't really get to have adventures and enjoy her life.  I loved seeing her getting the opportunity to be young and free.  Sarah and Jared had a fun, romantic and sexy whirlwind, and I wanted to see these two succeed!

Fake Date was a fun romp!  This story was a great addition to the Dating Series, and can be read as a standalone.  I loved getting to see Sarah interact with Caroline from the first book, as well as all of their other girlfriends.  Jared's sister Candice was one of my favorite character's in this story.  I loved her effervescent personality, and am thrilled that the next story will be hers! Fake Date was a wonderful romance, and I truly enjoyed it!

Book Teaser:

Book Excerpt:

“Mr. Gaines,” I say, pasting on my best customer smile when he lifts his gaze to mine. 

His dark brown eyes flash with an unfamiliar gleam and my breath catches in the back of my throat. “Back so soon, I see.”

“You know I can’t resist you, Miss Harrison.” His smile is slow. Wolfish, if that’s really a thing. I read it in a romance novel once, thought it was kind of silly, but right now, it’s working for Jared. 

His entire demeanor right now reminds me of a predatory creature. His face is all hard lines—stern, straight nose, granite jaw, sharp cheekbones, steely eyes. Yet his mouth, his lips are soft. Full. Lush. 


Shaking my head at the wayward thought, I return his smile, trying my best to remain polite. Professional. 

“Is there anything in particular you’re looking for this afternoon?” I’m surprised by how steady my voice is, considering I feel like my insides are sloshing back and forth, like I’m on a boat in the middle of the ocean. 

“You don’t have anything pulled aside for my appointment?” He raises a single brow, the expression on his face practically daring me to say no. 

Well, guess what? I’m about to say it. 

“No, I didn’t pull anything aside.” I shrug when he glares at me. “You never told me the nature of your visit.” 

He glances about, making sure no one is around, I’d assume. And lucky for him, there’s no one in the store currently. It’s the middle of the week, early afternoon. We normally don’t get too many customers at this time. 

We are the only two people in here. Even Marlo has disappeared. 

“Perhaps you can show me some of your newer items,” he suggests. 

“I can do that.” All new arrivals are at the front of the store, so we’re in the right spot. I lead him to a table showcasing our latest bra and panty design. “Celestial is the theme for spring into summer.” 

I point to the bras made of thin, sheer netting and pink silk, tiny pale pink stars stitched in a scattered pattern across the tulle fabric. They leave nothing to the imagination, and the panties are the same. 

“They hide nothing.” He holds up a pair of brief-cut panties, turning them this way and that. Every time he holds underwear in those big hands of his, I melt a little inside. I don’t know why he affects me like this. 

“You’re right. They don’t,” I agree, grabbing a thong and flipping it over to the thin string of lace that makes up the backside. “But they’re terribly sweet.” 


I glance up to find him watching me. “Sweet yet sexy,” I counter, my cheeks going hot from the way he’s studying me so carefully. 

“You like the celestial theme?” 

I nod. Press my lips together so I don’t say something I regret. Like, I love this theme, or Do you want me to model the panties for you? 

Yeah. That’s a bad idea.


About the Author:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. 

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she's not writing, she's reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She's a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

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