Category Archives: Avon Books

[Review & Giveaway] The Wedding Date by Cara Connelly

 

 
 
The Wedding Date by Cara Connelly
A Save the Date Novella
Releasing November 19th, 2013

Blurb
 
Julie Marone isn’t your ordinary matchmaker. Instead of setting up singles, she matches already-happy couples with their dream homes. It’s her calling. Her gift. And since she lost the other half of her own happy couple, it’s become her passion.
Cody Brown isn’t your ordinary cowboy. Instead of roping runaway steers, he wrangles sick kids and strung-out junkies as an ER doc. It’s his job. His responsibility. And since his brother lost his wife to a drunk driver, it’s his mission.
When Cody moves from Austin to Boston, he wants Julie to find him a condo, and fast. But she’s got issues with that. Because not only is Cody single, he’s a doctor to boot, and ever since her fiancé died, she’s got a major grudge against doctors.
Cody charms her into breaking her “couples-only” rule, but when he angles to be her date for her sister’s Christmas Eve wedding, he finds out Julie’s “no-doctor” rule is unbending. Still, he’s not quitting, because as hard as Julie fights it, there’s heat between them. If Cody has his way, they’ll be a couple by Christmas, and the next dream house Julie finds will be their own.
 
 
Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | iTunes 
 
My Review: 
4.5 Star Review – The Wedding Date

I recommend this book.

This book contains heartache, passion, and laughs.    

Julie has a gift for matching couples to there perfect homes.  When Cody stops in her office he needs a condo.  She turns him down as she only works with couples. 
 
When he talks her into helping him out she does but she’s not happy about it. He is not part of a couple and even worst he is a doctor. 

Something in her past has made her hate all doctors.  How will Cody breakdown her walls if he is hated by her for his profession? 

Cody is very attracted to Julie and really wants to get to know her better.  With her doctor issue is it even worth it?

I like Cody and Julie.  You can feel the chemistry jump off the pages.  On one hand you can understand Julie’s issue with Doctors but since Cody was not even around can she really blame him also?  Love how Cody slowly breaks down her walls one by one. 

 
 

Author Info
 
 
 
 
Cara Connelly is an award-winning author of contemporary romances. Her smart and sexy stories have won high praise, earning Cara several awards including the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart, the Valley Forge Romance Writers’ Sheila, and the Music City Romance Writers’ Melody of Love. Cara lives in rural upstate New York with her handsome husband Billy and magical rescue dog Bella. Cara is proudly represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal/Lyon Literary Agency.
Author Links
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6921968.Cara_Connelly

EXCERPT

Outside, a sleety December drizzle came down from a leaden sky. Cars shissed past, spraying sludge. She sprinted next door to the Plaza and marched straight up to the desk. “I’m looking for Dr. Brown,” she informed the pretty brunette with the “Ashley” nametag. “Can you ring his room?”

Ashley broke into a smile. “Oh, Cody’s not in his room. He went down the street to Starbucks.” Looking up over Julie’s shoulder, her smile widened. “Here he comes now. And he’s got my latte. Isn’t he sweet?” She sighed.

Julie turned around. And sure enough, here came Cody, swaggering across the ultra-opulent lobby, a dozen gilt-framed mirrors ricocheting his reflection off every wall. Even if she’d tried, she couldn’t escape the golden hair, the stubbly sun-kissed jaw. She couldn’t ignore the nut-hugger jeans that served up his package on a plate, and the battered leather jacket, unzipped to display a rain-spattered T-shirt plastered to his paving-stone abs.

Ashley sighed again.

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Filed under Avon Books, blurb, Cara Connelly, Excerpt, Giveaway, Review, Save the Date, Tasty Tours

[Book Spotlight & Review] Hard Target by Kay Thomas

 
 

 

Hard Target by Kay Thomas
Publisher – Avon Books

Elite Ops, #1   
Genre – Romantic Suspense
Release Date – November 12, 2013

~BOOK SUMMARY~


The first installment in the Elite Ops series, featuring sexy ex-military men … and the women who rescue their hearts.

Former DEA agent Leland Hollis wasn’t planning on being a hero. Recovering from an injury sustained during a drug bust gone wrong and with more personal demons than he cares to admit, he wants nothing more than peace and a chance to rebuild his life. But when Anna Mercado’s crazy ex shows up wielding a baseball bat, Leland can’t ignore his instinct to help. And after her son is kidnapped, Leland agrees to deliver the ransom into dangerous territory south of the border.

Anna has no choice but to go with this stranger she’s just met if she ever wants to see her son again. But getting the boy out of a violent cartel region involves risking everything. And for that Leland will have to convince Anna to do the scariest thing of all … open her heart and trust him.



Pre-order Hard Target

AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE 

    

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17557325-hard-target?ac=1


My Review: 

4.7 Star Review – Hard Target (Elite Ops # 1)

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Kay.  This book includes passion, laughs, heartache, kidnappings, murder, betrayal and a few gun fights.


Anna Mercado is on vacation with her husband and son when she overhears her husband planning her murder and her son’s kidnapping.  She goes on the run and is hiding in a hotel when he tracks her down.  Leland is staying at the hotel and comes to her aid and saves her.  When her son is kidnapped they team up.  He is going to protect her no matter what as he thinks he might be the reason they took her son. 

Anna is slowly falling apart and is trying her hardest to keep it together.  When they find out exactly what the kidnapper wants Leland is furious.  He gets even more furious when Anna agrees.  No way is he letting her give the kidnapper what he wants.  How is he going to save everyone and get them all out of this mess. 
 
Grab the book to find out.

Leland is a strong willed man.  He has issues of his own but is determined to save Anna and her son no matter what.  Even if they both hate him after.  Anna has had to be strong for a while but she is slowly unraveling.  Can she really trust Leland to get her son back?  Does she even have a choice.


A very good read.  Kay delivers a suspense fueled love story like no other.  You know at the end of the day people are going to be furious about the steps that were taken for the outcome to be good.  They will just have to learn to deal with it.
 

Contact Info for Kay Thomas
 


About Kay:

I didn’t grow up burning to be a writer. As a child I wasn’t even much of a reader until fourth grade. That’s when I was stuck at home with the flu and my big sister read THE BLACK STALLION aloud to me. For hours I was enthralled—shipwrecked in a foreign land and riding an untamed horse across the hot desert sand. Then tragedy struck. My sister lost her voice. (I think she caught my flu.) But I couldn’t wait to hear what happened to Alec Ramsey—so I picked up that book, finished reading it by myself, and went in search of more adventures at the local library. Today I live in Dallas with my husband, our two children, and a shockingly-spoiled Boston terrier.

My next novel will be published with Avon Impulse in November 2013. HARD TARGET is the first installment in a three-book romantic suspense series titled ELITE OPS, featuring sexy ex-military men…and the women who rescue their hearts. For excerpts, book trailers, and more—visit my website.


Connect with Kay:

Read an Excerpt

“Take Zach from the party before the guests arrive. We won’t dump her body until the designated time. It’s all been arranged.”

Anna stopped in the doorway of the Presidential suite, her husband’s words abruptly penetrating her lust-fogged brain.

“No, I’m not worried. Haven’t you heard? Mexico is the land of vicious drug cartels and random violence. My wife will be a sad statistic.”


Was this a dream?

She felt the cold Italian marble beneath her bare feet and recognized Max’s voice in the adjoining room, but she didn’t wake up. The seductive words he had whispered moments earlier on the beach still resonated in her head.


The only thing I want you to wrap yourself around is me.

She’d come up immediately when Julia had volunteered to get Zach and the cousins’ meals from the hotel’s beach grill. But on the way to the room she’d been calling herself all kinds of a fool. She and Max were on the verge of officially separating even though they’d been living apart for several months. The counseling wasn’t working. Having sex was a terrible idea. Even comfort sex.

Yet he’d been so attentive, so different on this trip. So anxious to please her, while keeping his temper completely in check. Last week she’d been considering which attorney to use in a divorce. Now she was just grateful she was standing here overhearing his phone conversation in the next room.

Her thoughts raced and her blood chilled, but her feet were glued to the imported floor. She stared across the opulent suite’s living room to the open balcony doors. The heir to the Mercado Tequila fortune settled for nothing less than the finest, even when planning his family’s demise.

An ocean breeze blew through the room, ruffling her hair like a playful lover. The Gulf of Mexico was just as blue as it had been ten minutes ago when Max kissed her on the sand, yet everything had changed. She was listening to her husband order their son’s kidnapping and her murder.





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Filed under Avon Books, Book Summary, Elite Ops, Excerpt, Kay Thomas, Review, Romantic Suspense, Sinfully Sexy

All Out Of Love by Lori Wilde

All Out Of Love by Lori Wilde

Publication date: June 25, 2013

<div style=”font-size:11px”>Publication date: 05/01/2013</div>Cupid Texas #2
Published by Avon Books
Pages: 369

Back of the Book

The newest Cupid, TX romance, from the author of The First Love Cookie Club and the Jubilee, TX novels…

Football star Pierce Hollister has fame, fortune, and beautiful women who’ll do anything for him…whether he asks them to or not. But when it all comes crashing down, Pierce finds himself back home, running the ranch in Cupid, Texas, wondering how it all went wrong.

But one thing is right: Lace Bettingfield. The former plain-Jane has turned into luscious knock-out—trouble is, she won’t even give him the time of day no matter how many passes he makes.

Being in love with your older brother’s best friend is awkward enough, and Pierce was the cause of Lace’s most embarrassing high school moment ever when her secret letter to him declaring her love landed right on the front page of the school newspaper! Pierce is still as stubborn, sexy, and arrogant as ever…but Lace is about to see that things aren’t always as they seem…especially when it comes to love.

Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUE

 


Millie Greenwood High School, Cupid, Texas, May 25th 2001

 Dear Cupid,

I am crazy in love with my older brother’s best friend, Pierce Hollister! You should see him in his gym shorts when he’s out on the football field running sprints. OMG, he’s got the most amazing thighs. Of course that’s nothing compared to the way his butt looks in Wranglers. Be still my pounding heart!
 

And his eyes! Blue as the ocean.

 

He made direct eye contact with me once. It was a moment I will never, ever forget until my dying day. I’d dropped my books in the crowded hallway and I was fumbling to pick them up, when suddenly, out of nowhere, I see a pair of black cowboy boots and a hand reaching out to help me.

 

I looked up and it was him!

 

I got tingly all over and honest to God, I thought I was going to die right there on the spot! This is no ordinary boy. He’s the quarterback of the football team! He dates cheerleaders! His daddy owns the biggest rancher in Jeff Davis County and here he was helping me!

 

And I’m nobody. I’m pudgy (Mama calls me fluffy) and I wear glasses and I stutter. I’ve had speech therapy, but I still can’t speak without stammering and that is in a relaxed atmosphere. Believe me there was nothing relaxed about this. Every muscle in my body was tuned as tight as the strings on a concert violin and I couldn’t have said a word if my life depended on it.

 

His eyes met mine and he smiled.

 

Smiled! At me!

 

“Here you go,” he said, handing me my biology book (it had to be biology, didn’t it?) and our knuckles brushed. I don’t know how I kept from bursting into flames. “Have a nice day.”

 

And then he was gone, leaving his heavenly sunshine and leather scent lingering behind, as I stared after him with my mouth gaping open.

 

Pierce Hollister had smiled and touched my hand and said seven whole words. To me!

 

I have no chance with him. I know that. He’s a senior. I’m a freshman. He’s handsome as a movie star. Way out of my league. He’s filet mignon and I’m day-old bread. Okay, so I am a direct descendant of Millie Greenwood, but so are practically half the people in this town. It’s not a unique claim to fame.

 

It’s silly of me to wish and pine, I know. But Cupid, I just can’t stop thinking about him, no matter how much I try. Every night before I go to sleep, I imagine what it would feel like if he were holding me tight against his muscled chest, our hearts beating in perfect time together. Beating as if we were one.

 

That’s why I’m writing to you, Cupid. I’m miserable with love for him. I want him to love me back so badly that I can barely breathe. Please, Cupid, please let Pierce Hollister fall in love with me. I know I’ll have to wait for him. I am only fourteen after all and he’s got a girlfriend and a football scholarship to the University of Texas next year, but one day? Someday? Please!

 

–Yours in total despair, Hopelessly Tongue Tied

 
Lace Bettingfield stood frozen in freshman homeroom, half in the doorway, half out of it with her backpack slung over one shoulder.

 
Seated in front of her were seventeen students, and every single one of them was reading the current issue of the school newspaper, The Cupid Chronicle.

 
Ominously, hairs on the nape of her neck stood up.

 
The fact that everyone was reading—including the stoners and the jocks—was odd enough, but when they all looked up at her with what seemed to be perfectly choreographed smirks, Lace’s stomach took the express elevator to her Skechers.

 
In a split second, her gaze darted to the student nearest her. It was Toby Mercer, her biology lab partner.

 
Toby was six-foot-six, and weighed the same as Lace, a hundred and sixty-two pounds; on him the weight was gaunt, on her it was zaftig. He possessed strawberry blond hair and skin so pale it had earned the nickname Casper way back in kindergarten. She’d known him her entire life. His family lived just down the block from hers. She’d comforted him when kids had picked on him. They’d attended each other’s birthday parties. They’d dissected frogs together.

 
But right now, Toby was looking at her all narrow-eyed and smug, like she was a dilapidated barn and he was a wrecking ball.

 
She flicked her eyes from Toby’s face to the paper that he held in his hand and there it was.

 
Dear Cupid.

I am crazy in love with Pierce Hollister!

 
It was the letter she’d written to Cupid, her private letter that had never been meant for anyone’s eyes but her own, printed on the front page of the school newspaper!

 
Her letter. Front page. Declaring her love for Pierce.

 
How? How had this happened?

 
Unlike the tourists who came to Cupid, wrote letters to the Roman god of love and deposited them in the special letter box in the botanical gardens, (expecting them to be answered by the town’s volunteers and published in the weekly Cupid Chamber of Commerce circular) Lace had never intended for anyone to see this letter.

 
She’d written it in study hall three days earlier as she gazed out the window, watching the football team practice. She carefully folded the letter and tucked it into her side pocket of her notebook with every intention of burning it in the patio chiminea that weekend when her parents were out of town.

 
Reality hit her like a fist to the face.

 
Mary Alice.

 

Mary Alice Fant, her second cousin, who was also editor of The Cupid Chronicle. Pierce had recently dumped her for the head cheerleader, Desiree Hartford. Two nights ago, Mary Alice and her parents had come over to Lace’s house for dinner and at one point, Lace had caught Mary Alice snooping around in her bedroom.

 
Oh, God!

 
Now, everyone knew her about secret crush. Her life was ruined. Nausea splashed hot bile into her throat. Her entire body flushed hot as August in the Chihuahuan desert.

 
One heartbeat later, and the class erupted into a feeding frenzy.

 
“Do you imagine she calls out Pierce’s name when she’s touching herself?” sniggered Booth Randal, a smart-assed stoner who spent the bulk of his time in detention.

 
“P…pa…pa…pa…Pierce,” another boy stuttered in a fake falsetto, “Yo…yo…yo…you…ma…ma…make me so hot.”

 
Moaning and breathing heavily, the two boys pretended to kiss and fondle each other, while the other students hurled derisive catcalls like stones.

 
“Poor me,” wailed Tasha Stuart, whose mother worked in the teller cage next to Lace’s at Cupid National Bank. “I’m sooo in love with the most popular boy in school and he doesn’t know I exist.”

 
“Who knows,” someone else called out. “She might stand a chance. Pierce could be a closet chubby chaser.”

 
“Na…na…na…not unless she can sta…sta…stop stutt…stutt…stuttering.” Toby stabbed her in the back.

 
“Yeah, who wants a girl whose tongue is hopelessly tied?”

 
“One day. Someday.”

 
“Please, Cupid, please, please, please.”

 
The words slapped her harder than any physical blow. She knew these people. Was related to some of them. Had thought many of them were her friends, but they’d turned on her like hyenas.

 
The only one who looked at her with anything other than ridicule, was Pierce’s younger brother Malcolm. He slunk down in his seat, pulled his collar up, sunk his chin to his chest, and kept his eyes trained on his hands folded atop his desk. He was embarrassed for her humiliation.

 
Blindly, Lace spun on her heels, and almost crashed into the teacher, Mr. Namon.

 
He put up his palms, “Whoa slow down, what’s going on here Miss Bettingfield?”

 
Head ducked Lace shoved past him, and fled down the corridor.

 
But there was no sanctuary here.

 
The hallways were lined with students, several of them holding copies of The Cupid Chronicle. Some laughed. Some pointed. Some made lewd gestures. Some threw out more catcalls. A goth girl was slyly singing, “Crush,” a song about a stalker.

 
Everyone was going to think she was a stalker.

 
“Hey, Tongue Tied, drop thirty pounds and maybe you can land your dream man.”

 
“Reality check. No guy like Pierce could ever love someone like you.”

 
“Yes, he touched your hand, but I heard he washed it off in Lysol afterward.”

 
Lace plastered her hands over her ears, willed herself not to cry, but it was too late, tears were already streaming hotly down her cheeks.

 
Nightmare. It was a living nightmare.

 
And just as in a nightmare everything moved in slow motion. It felt as if she was trying to run through knee-deep mud. Her lungs squeezed tight. Her heart was pounding so hard she thought it was going to beat right out of her chest.

 
Good. If her heart beat out of her chest she would be dead.

 
It seemed to take hours to traverse that hallway. She kept her head down, didn’t once make eye contact. She was headed for the exit, desperate to find a place to lick her wounds.

 
The morning sun glinted against the metal bar in the middle of the exit door. Almost there. Salvation was just a few steps away. She rushed forward, her legs breaking through the slow-motion morass.

 
Her hand hit the bar and she gave a hard shove.

 
But fate, that vicious bitch, wasn’t done with her yet.

 
The door smacked into something solid. Someone was coming in at the same time she was trying to get out. Trapped. She was trapped. No exit. Knock ‘em down if you have to. Just get the hell out of here.

 
She raised her head and found herself staring into Pierce Hollister’s blue eyes.

 
Her heart literally stopped and a whimper escaped her lips.

 
For Mary Alice to print her letter in the school paper was a horrible betrayal. The bullying by classmates that she thought she knew was unbearable. Breaking down and crying in front of everyone was humiliating, but nothing that had happened to her that morning was as bad as what was written on Pierce’s handsome face.

 Utter, abject pity.





My Review:

5/5 – Since I don’t have a 4.5 rating I am giving a 5 but feel it should be 4.5

Highly recommend this book.
Lace Bettingfield had a crush on Football star Pierce Hollister back in high school.  She wrote a letter to cupid about it and the letter gets into the school newspaper.      
12 years later Lace is back in town working at the Botanical Gardens in Cupid. 
Pierce is back in town as his father is sick and he broke his leg in a super bowl football game.  He is supposed to be doing PT so he can get back to football.
Pierce is suddenly everywhere Lace is and she is wondering if he is stalking her….
Lace is trying hard to fight her attraction to Pierce because he wants to go back and play football again.  So if she falls for him again she will be left behind and alone as she wants to stay in Cupid.  If he goes back to playing football will she be okay with that?
Pierce is trying to get Lace to believe that he wants her.  She thinks he wants her because she around. 
They are funny and have great chemistry together.  Lace is witty and tends to throw off Pierce with her comebacks. 
Pierce has a bet going with his brother that he will plant the best crap of pumpkins for the town.
Love the flower references instead of sometimes cursing!!!
Also love the Football/Flower words they throw back and forth.
 
 
In the end will we find out the below?
What exactly is wrong with Pierce & Malcolm’s father?
Will Pierce win the bit against his brother?

Will Pierce play football again?

 

A few of my favorite lines from the book:

But fate, that vicious bitch, wasn’t done with her yet.

“You keep a tool for breaking into cars in your toolbox? How very gangster of you.”

Wow. Way to make a guy feel like a balloon in a cactus patch and yet, he couldn’t seem to stop with the innuendo. “I’d love to give you a spark.”

 “Ouch.” Playfully, he rubbed his arm. “You can pull in your claws, kitten.”

“Don’t pussyfoot around, Auntie. I’m a rip-the-Band-Aid-off-quick kind of person.”

“Well, you do have a sense of humor. I’ll grant you that.  Go ahead and give me your number.  If he’s interested, he’ll call.  If he doesn’t call, well, shooger, you have to face the truth. He’s just not that into you.”

A grin split his face and he cupped a hand around the ear closest to her. “Excuse me. I didn’t quite catch that. Did I hear you say that you need me? Why didn’t you say so”? Just let me gallop home and get a condom and I’ll be at your service.”

“With all the provocative terms is it any wonder that football players have such reputations as sex machines?” she observed.

She couldn’t help laughing. “Plant sex.”

 

Contact Info for Lori Wilde

Twitter – @LoriWilde

 

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