Tuesday, October 30, 2018

First Earl I See Tonight (Review)

Once upon a time three young ladies vowed to record their first London seasons…and to fill in the gaps of their finishing school educations. Thus began The Debutante Diaries—and London will never be the same…

“Fans of Regency romance authors Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, and Mary Jo Putney will go wild.”—Booklist

An heiress with a daring proposal. An earl who’s determined to resist her. And a love that just might be written in the stars, in First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett.

Recently jilted by his fiancĂ©e, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport is not in the market for a wife. Even if Gray didn’t have his hands full renovating his crumbling country house, it would take more than a bold marriage proposal from a headstrong young beauty to thaw his frozen heart. Gray is confident that spending a week at his ramshackle estate will change her mind about marriage, but every passionate moment he spends with her tempts him to change his…

A talented artist, Miss Fiona Hartley desperately needs her dowry money to pay off a blackmailer set on ruining her sister. The handsome earl seems a sensible choice for a husband…if only she can convince him that romance will play no part. But marrying in name only may prove difficult for Fiona. Gray can’t help but be dazzled by her genuine warmth. Yet as their feelings deepen, Fiona’s deadline looms. Will her secrets destroy them, or is true love their final destiny?
First Earl I See Tonight
Debutante Diaries #1
Anna Bennett
Pub Date: 10/30/18
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 5/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

The first in Anna Bennet's Debutante Diaries series is the kind of regency romance I live for! First Earl I See Tonight is the beginning of an intriguing series for the most romantic of romantics. A jilted duke, bitter and hardened toward love, is propositioned by a young woman desperate to save her younger sister from ruin. The immediate answer is a hard "no" but Fiona's talent and genuine charm may be all she needs to secure the safety of her sister's reputation.

First Earl I See Tonight moves at a balanced pace. There's enough time to get to know Fiona, her younger sister and their best friend, and the Gray. There's even a bit of intrigue as Fiona tries to determine just who has the nerve to blackmail her. A good chunk of reading time revolves around Fiona trying to convince the duke to marry her as they get to know one another. Gray's dark past sneaks to the forefront while the cast attends a house party at his country estate. The characters' depth is revealed piece by piece as the story plays out and it left me with a warm feeling. I loved Fiona's wild plan and her determination in the face of rejection. She risked much for her sister and even when her feelings toward Gray became more her compassion rose to encompass his feelings as well. I had a lot of 'aw, that's so sweet' moments reading this story and I would definitely repeat the process a couple dozen more times!

You certainly can never go wrong with a regency romance and especially not with Anna Bennett! I'm excited to read the next book in the series, The Duke is But a Dream, which sounds just as enchantingly romantic as First Earl I See Tonight!
*ARC provided in consideration for review*

Monday, October 29, 2018

BLOG TOUR: Meet Steffi Lockwood of Jamie Beck's New Sanctuary Sound Series!

Meet Steffi Lockwood the Heroine from Jamie Beck’s The Memory of You

Thank you so much for inviting me to talk about Sanctuary Sound, I'm Steffi Lockwood. I admit, it is strange to be back in my sleepy hometown after spending so much of my youth wanting to escape to something bigger and, in my mind, better. But life in Hartford didn’t live up to my dreams. I wouldn’t say I left because I got attacked, but it was a wake-up call for all the ways that life wasn’t really making me happy. One night while watching my favorite HGTV show, I got inspired to quit my construction job and return home to start my own home renovation business with my childhood friend, Claire, a designer.

While I enjoy the quiet beauty of our small coastal Connecticut town and am happy to reconnect with Claire, my dad, and my brother Ben, my homecoming isn’t all roses and sunshine. Although my mom died long ago, I can’t help but miss her when I’m at my dad’s house on Lilac Lane. I’m also dealing with some kind of brain fog, most likely from the many concussions I’ve suffered, including the last one I got when attacked. Then there’s the rift between Claire and our other dear friend, Peyton. We used to call ourselves the Lilac Lane League and were the closest of friends. I really relied on that sisterhood (having only brothers, myself). Now I’m trying to remain neutral, but that’s not easy when I have to live and work with Claire, and she’s still brokenhearted because her ex ran off with Peyton. But the biggest regret that follows me around town has to do with memories of Ryan Quinn, my high school sweetheart—the greatest guy in the world that I was dumb enough to ghost in college.

Like I mentioned, when I was younger, I thought I wanted a bigger life. I didn’t want to be like my mom, who married and died young without ever seeing anything of the world. I wanted adventure, and to get that, I had to break free from town and from Ryan. Fast- forward to now, when his mom just hired me to convert her porch to a family room. I didn’t know she needed to expand her house because Ryan’s marriage imploded and he’s just returned from Boston with his young daughter, Emmy. Let me tell you, ours was not a pleasant reunion. I did my best to apologize and be polite, but there’s only so much shaming I can take before I push back. Still, I’m not the same young girl I was back then and I’d love a chance to make amends with Ryan. His daughter is a real spitfire who makes me laugh, too.

Whatever happens with Ryan, I know I can take care of myself and make a success of this business, especially once this stuff with my memory heals. If I can also help my friends repair their relationship and win Ryan’s forgiveness, too, I’m going to try. At the very least, I can be the kind of friend to his daughter, Emmy, that his mom was to me when I needed one. Wish me luck!

Stefanie Lockwood can repair anything, except her heart—that’s still recovering.
After a brutal assault leaves Steffi with puzzling memory lapses, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime friend puts her in the middle of a rift with another. Worse, being hired by her ex-boyfriend’s mother forces her to confront old regrets.
Public defender Ryan Quinn wasn’t shocked when his wife left him, but he was floored when she abandoned their daughter. With his finances up in the air, the newly single dad returns to his childhood home in Sanctuary Sound. The last person he expects, or wants, to see working on his family house is Steffi Lockwood—his first love who shattered his heart.
Although Steffi and Ryan are different people now, dormant feelings rekindle. But when Ryan’s concern for Steffi’s mental health prompts him to dig into her past for answers, will what he learns bring them together or tear them apart for good? 
The Memory of You
Sanctuary Sound #1
Jamie Beck
Pub Date: 10/23/18
Montlake Romance
Rating: 4/5
Amazon | B&N | Audiobook

Jamie Beck opens her new Sanctuary Sound series with a bang! Steffie Lockwood is a builder with a fledgling business. The opportunity to work in the home of her high school sweetheart sounds like a trap set by his mother, but becomes a chance to repair her friendship with Ryan Quinn.

This is a second chance love story with a balanced dose of drama. While Steffie's two best friends are split because of a betrayal, Steffie deals with random blackouts she believes are related to her recent attack. The Quinns aren't the kind of family to admit any weakness so Steffie's stubbornness is ingrained. Ryan is concerned for her safety and the safety of his daughter when they start spending more time together. Ryan's life took a different course when Steffie broke his heart: unexpected pregnancy and marriage, moving back in with his parents, and ultimately divorce. It takes everything in him to restrain his anger with Steffie, but her tenacity causes him to give her another chance and leave the past behind.

I love that this story has layers. Steffie and Ryan have to learn forgiveness and trust, among other things, in order to leave the past behind and create the future they always wanted. Jamie Beck effortlessly gets readers emotionally invested in this story and wrapped up in the dreams of the characters. If you've already read and loved any of Jamie Beck's previous series, then you'll confidently find The Memory of You your next favorite read. I'm definitely ready to dive into another Sanctuary Sound novel!
*ARC provided in consideration for review*

EXCERPT: The Memory of You

“I do understand, Emmy. Better than you think.” Steffi took the partially folded tarp and snapped its final fold on her own, then crouched to Emmy’s eye level. “I wasn’t much older than you when my mom died. I missed her so much it felt like the whole world turned into a dark black hole. Most days I wanted to jump right through that hole and follow her to heaven. I was so angry that she left me like that, even though she couldn’t help it. But I kept all those feelings tight inside, like a ball right here.” Steffi pointed at Emmy’s stomach. “Holding all that stuff inside hurt, but it made me feel strong. It seemed better than crying, for sure. Then a girl named Claire moved in across the street. She was very sweet and sporty, and I liked her right away. I was lucky because she was patient with my moods. And at the end of our street was another girl our age, Peyton. Peyton was popular, but it turns out she was kind of lonely, too, for other reasons. 

“Anyway, somehow that summer we all started spending time together. We gave ourselves a name—the Lilac Lane League—and we started a journal, because Peyton liked to write. We wrote down our dreams and the things that made us mad, and the things that made us laugh. Our crushes, first kisses, all that stuff. Little by little, that knot in my stomach unwound because my friends made me less lonely. That’s how I know the fastest way to feel better is to make a new friend.” 

“You’re my new friend.” Emmy’s voice sounded small and shaky. 

“I am your friend, but you also need a friend your age. I know you miss your old gang, but try to make one new friend here, too. I promise there are nice girls. I grew up here, after all, and I’m nice.” Steffi smiled and brushed some of Emmy’s curls off her face. 

Ryan decided to enter the conversation now, before Emmy broke down in front of Steffi or put her in a more difficult situation. He exited through the kitchen door and crossed the partially framed porch to get to the yard. “Hey there, ladies.” 

Emmy snapped her gaze at him, and he saw the panic in her eyes. His daughter’s fear of him speared his chest like a sword. He’d failed at his marriage, and his daughter was paying the highest price. He couldn’t fail her, too. He dropped to his knees and opened his arms. She flew into them in a heartbeat. 

He hugged her and swayed, like he’d done when she was so much younger. Steffi quietly retrieved her toolbox and took it to her van. 

“Emmy?” Ryan asked once they were alone. “I’m sorry this is such a hard time for you. I want to help you, but I don’t always have all the answers. I do know one thing, though. You can’t call people names and expect to make friends.” 

She cried against his chest, each tear falling like acid raining on his heart. “Oh, sweetie, it’ll be okay. We all make mistakes. The important thing is to apologize and try to learn from it.” 

“You always say that,” she muttered into his shirt. 

“Because it’s the truest thing I know.” He kissed her head. 

“So why can’t you and Mom apologize and make up?” 

He hadn’t expected that question, although maybe he should have. “It’s not that simple.” 

“You always say that, too.” 

If a conversation with her took this much work at this age, he could barely imagine dealing with her in her teens. “You’re all dirty from helping Steffi. How ’bout you go inside and clean up before dinner? I need to talk to Steffi for a second. Then I’ll come in, and we can figure out how to apologize to Katie Winston.” 

Emmy nodded while swiping her arm under her runny nose. “Okay.” 

She wandered into the house just as Steffi came back from the van to get the rest of her personal things. He stood to speak with her. “I heard part of what you said to Emmy.” 

“I know you don’t want me to speak for you, but I just—” 

“It’s okay. Thank you for making her feel like she can confide in you. I should’ve listened to you the other day.” He crossed his arms and blew out a long breath. “I’m in over my head doing this on my own.” 

“You’re not on your own. You’ve got your parents. But even if you were, I know you can do it. She loves you. She wants to make you happy and proud.” 

He nodded, although he knew he was screwing it all up. 

“Well, I’d better take off. Benny’s expecting me for another training run.” 

“You guys are disciplined. I haven’t had a chance to get in a good workout in three months. Pretty soon I’m going to be too soft.” He patted his gut. Granted, he was still pretty fit. He could probably keep up with Steffi for a few miles, anyhow. 

“I’m sure your mom would watch Emmy if you need to hit the gym or the mean streets of Sanctuary Sound.” She tipped her head, grinning. “My brother might even like some male company now and then. He gets sick of my singing.” 

Ryan laughed. “Well, you were good at a lot of things, but singing wasn’t one of them.” 

“You didn’t used to complain.” She hit his arm. 

He grew quiet for a second, remembering the many times he’d listened to her terrible rendition of Lifehouse’s “You and Me” in the car or on the patio. “No, I never did mind those private concerts.” 

The air between them turned sweet and thick with fond memories. Holding hands, soccer footwork challenges, the first time he’d copped a feel, and the light in her eyes when he had. The images almost made him want to take hold of her hand again; his heart beat with that hot desire like it had at seventeen. 

“Dad!” Emmy called from the door, breaking the spell. 

“You’d better go,” Steffi said with a wistful smile before she turned and walked back to her car. 

He watched her go and waited … waited … Just before she got to her van, she peeked over her shoulder at him again, and everything seemed a little bit brighter.


Also by Jamie Beck:


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National bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. She’s a 2017 Booksellers’ Best Award finalist, and critics at Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing novels, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking as well as hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family. Fans can learn more about her on her website, www.jamiebeck.com, which includes a fun “Extras” page with photos, videos, and playlists. She also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks.

Connect with Jamie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Friday, October 26, 2018

BLOG TOUR: Kyle’s Top 5 Memories With Ophelia from A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst

Kyle’s Top 5 Memories With Ophelia from A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst

In A Brand New Ending, Kyle Kimpton and Ophelia Bishop are only eighteen years old when they decide to run away together to pursue their dreams. Leaving the family farm behind, they escape to Hollywood to get married and chase their careers. Kyle plans on being a famous writer, and Ophelia longs to be a singer as great as Adele. Unfortunately, their paths diverge and rip apart their relationship. As Kyle thrives in Hollwyood as the new hotshot screenwriter in town, Ophelia falters when she realizes in order to be famous in the music industry, she needs to change who she is. Choices are made that rip them apart, and Ophelia returns to the family farm with her heart shattered and dreams destroyed. Kyle realizes he’s made a big mistake letting go of the only woman he’s ever loved. His memories haunt him. Here are the top five he thinks about constantly: He remembers the first time they kissed when they were sixteen years old. Riding on horseback through the meadow, Ophelia falls off her horse, and when he frantically checks on her, they gaze into each other’s eyes and he realizes at that moment, he is in love with his best friend. They share their first kiss, and when they walk away hand in hand out of the meadow, everything has changed. When Kyle’s abusive father blames him for his mother’s death, he runs to the only place he’s ever felt safe: the Bishop family farm. Ophelia opens the door and instantly senses his pain. She holds him tight and for the very first time, Kyle cries in her arms. When they were young, they hung out with Ophelia’s brother, Ethan, and were called the Three Musketeers. They’d run around the small town of Gardiner, raising hell, and ending up at Bea’s Diner for her famous burgers and pies, detailing the glory of their future. Ophelia would sneak out at night to meet him at the barns. They kept their relationship secret from Ethan and Harper (Opehlia’s siblings) and spend nights lying on a blanket, under the stars, holding hands and talking about their dreams and future. Kyle vowed to wait until they were married to claim Ophelia as his. They get married in Vegas in a tiny chapel, by Elvis, and when they return home to their tiny apartment, they make love for the very first time.  
After a decade, Kyle returns to his hometown and back to Ophelia. He intends to create many new memories with the woman he loves. He dreams of running the Inn with her side by side as he writes his new books on his terms. He wants to raise a family with her in their childhood town, and be surrounded by the people and animals he’s always loved. He wants to watch her sing again, making people happy, finally owning her special gift without fear. And this is where A Brand New Ending begins... 

A love story will be rewritten in this heartfelt romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

Ophelia Bishop was a lovestruck teenage girl when she and Kyle Kimpton chased their dreams to Hollywood. Kyle’s dreams came true. Ophelia’s did not. When Kyle chose his career over their relationship, Ophelia returned home to rural New York to run the family’s B & B—wiser, and more guarded against foolish fantasies. Now Kyle has come crashing back into her life, and all her defenses are down.
Kyle can’t think of a better place to write his latest screenplay than his hometown. After all, that was where he met the heart of his inspiration—his first love. He knows the damage he’s caused Ophelia, and he wants a chance to mend their relationship. If anyone can prove to Ophelia that happy ever afters aren’t only for the movies, it should be him.
As much as Ophelia’s changed, she still has feelings for Kyle. But her heart has been broken before, and she knows that Kyle could run back to Hollywood at any time. She gave up her dreams once, but maybe she can dare to change her own love story…one last time.
A Brand New Ending
Stay #2
Jennifer Probst
Pub Date: 10/23/18
Montlake Romance
Rating: 4/5
Amazon | B&N | Audiobook

A Brand New Ending revisits the family owned bed and breakfast in Hudson Valley where Ethan and Mia went from enemies to lovers in The Start of Something Good. Ethan's sister, Ophelia, now has to face her first love when he returns home to write the story that could finally ease his writer's block.

What I've enjoyed about this series so far is the depth that takes us beyond romance to challenges faced by everyday people. Both Ophelia and Kyle struggle with trust and forgiveness with each other and the past. Desperate to reconnect to the place he once called home, Kyle throws himself into repairing his relationship with Ophelia. However, the secrets they keep from one another threaten to sabotage any progress made. If you're a fan of second-chance romances then this will be right up your alley! It reminds me a little of Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer.

A Brand New Ending has a quite a few emotional ups and downs that will keep readers intrigued. The sense of not having the full story when it begins pushed me along and kept me turning the pages. Don't skip this next amazing entry in Jennifer Probst's Stay series!
*ARC provided in consideration for review*

Also by Jennifer Probst:

Excerpt of A Brand New Ending:

He parked the car and cut the engine.

Ten years.

Ten years since he’d come home to the small upstate New York town of Gardiner and gazed upon the staggering Shawangunk Mountains. Ten years since he’d touched snow. Ten years since he’d been surrounded by the eerie beauty of nature’s silence.

And too many years since he’d seen the only woman he’d ever loved.

They’d been the three musketeers—Ethan, Ophelia, and him—caught in a world of their own making. Memories assaulted him. Of running through the woods when they were young and racing horses barefoot as the green meadow flashed below. Of moonlight walks and late nights at Bea’s Diner, squeezed into the cracked red-vinyl booths as they spun dreams of the future and feasted on greasy burgers. Of his first kiss with Ophelia. The taste of innocence and passion mixed with Juicy Fruit chewing gum.

He closed his eyes, staggering under the raw emotions the images brought. Some of those dreams had come true for him, but the price had been brutal.

It was time to make things right.

It was time to reclaim what he’d lost.

Kyle glanced at the passenger seat, his fingers already reaching to stroke the leather laptop case. He’d left a fancy mansion behind, along with rooms filled with expensive trinkets meant to amuse, entertain, and distract the masses. He’d walked away from a gourmet chef, housekeeper, and personal trainer. His garage still held the laser-blue Lamborghini and the sleek black Hummer. He’d left the tuxedoes and designer clothes in his closet; the cedar wine cellar still filled with rare, expensive wine; and the four-poster mahogany bed that had seen too many lonely nights.

Now all he had to his name was one battered suitcase, his laptop, and a Ford Fusion rental car.

And for the first time in way too long, he felt the beginning of a creative spark—the sexy wink of his muse beckoning him closer to his childhood home, where he’d sworn he’d never return.

He grabbed his phone and tapped out a text to Ethan.

I’m here. How bad is she going to take it?

He waited a bit, until the familiar gray bubble with ellipsis popped up.

Don’t know—depends on how pathetic you look. Still have no clue why she’s mad at you.

Kyle winced as guilt punched through him. Falling in love with your best friend’s younger sister was a no-no. Running away with her was even worse. But eloping and not telling his friend about it?

There was no making amends for that one.

He cursed, then tapped his fingers again.

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

Don’t be stupid—it’s a great idea! The inn isn’t booked up and she’s just being stubborn. Go inside, make nice, and I’ll be there in an hour.

He groaned and resisted the urge to bang his head against the steering wheel. When he’d asked about staying at the inn for three months to work on a new project, he’d worried Ophelia would refuse. When Ethan told him to book his ticket, he’d been relieved.

Until he found out on the plane ride that Ophelia had actually said no. Ethan had conveniently left that part out, citing in true guy code it would all be fine.

Her refusal to see him hurt more than he’d imagined it would, but now he had no choice. Everything was set in motion, and he wasn’t about to return to LA. Not only had he committed to writing this screenplay surrounded by his memories, he’d sworn to fight for a second chance with Ophelia. It was time they both faced the past, put some ghosts behind them, and figure things out. After all, it had been eight years.

She had no idea he was about to walk through her door with the intention of staying for the next three months—in the dead of winter.

That’d be bad enough, but when she heard his other piece of news?

Things were gonna get a hell of a lot worse.

He stayed in the car a few more minutes, trying to psych himself up. Maybe she’d surprise him and be open to talking things through. Maybe she wouldn’t be horrified when he told her about what he’d discovered a few months ago. Maybe it would all work out fine, just like Ethan said.

Even better?

Maybe he’d find himself again.

Grasping at all those positive possibilities, he gritted his teeth, grabbed his bag, and got out of the car.



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About the Author

Jennifer Probst is the New York Times bestselling author of the Billionaire Builders series, the Searching For series, The Marriage series, the Steele Brothers series, and The Start of Something Good, which is the first book in the Stay series. Like some of her characters, Probst, along with her husband and two sons, calls New York’s Hudson Valley home. When she isn’t traveling to meet readers, she enjoys reading, watching “shameful reality television,” and visiting a local Hudson Valley animal shelter.

Connect with Jennifer: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Love on Catalina Cove Takes Hold of Your Emotions (Review)

In her brand-new series, Brenda Jackson welcomes you to Catalina Cove, where even the biggest heartbreaks can be healed…

In the wake of a devastating teen pregnancy that left her childless and heartbroken, Vashti Alcindor left Catalina Cove, Louisiana, with no plans to return. Now, over a decade later, Vashti reluctantly finds herself back in her hometown after inheriting her aunt’s B and B. Her homecoming gets off to a rocky start when the new sheriff, Sawyer Grisham, pulls her over for speeding, and things go downhill from there.

The B and B, a place she’d always found refuge in when it seemed like the whole world was against her, has fallen into disrepair. When a surprising benefactor encourages Vashti to reopen the B and B, Vashti embraces a fresh start, and soon old hurts begin to fade as she makes new memories with the town—and its handsome sheriff…

But some pasts are too big to escape, and when a bombshell of a secret changes everything she thought was true, Vashti is left reeling. With Sawyer and his teenage daughter determined to see her through the storm, though, she’s learning family isn’t always a matter of blood—sometimes it’s a matter of heart.

Love on Catalina Cove
Catalina Cove #1
Brenda Jackson
Pub Date: 10/30/18
HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audiobook

The first in Brenda Jackson's new series is absolutely a must read! Love on Catalina Cove is one of those stories that take hold of your emotions and don't let go even after you finish reading. When I read the premise, I knew I was going to fall in love Vashti's story. Even so, I wasn't prepared for the wonderful twists and turns that brought this story to life and made Love on Catalina Cove the best series opener I've ever read!

Vashti has lived with a series of disappointments since her world changed at 16. She's carved out a life for herself in New York, but the death of her aunt and her inability to sell her inn brings her home to Catalina Cove. Instead of the disdain and gossip she expected she's met with open arms, a plea to reopen Shelby by the Sea, and the mystery of what really happened to the child she lost all those years ago. With the handsome sheriff, Sawyer Grisham, supporting her quest for the truth Vashti gains purpose and a future that doesn't seem as bleak as it may have before.

I enjoyed every aspect of this story especially getting to know the residents of Catalina Cove. It's such a beautifully imagined place! You can just feel how the characters' histories have created a rich space to escape into. Catalina Cove is not only a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, but a warm community eager for growth while maintaining its charm. I wish there had been a little more detail about the inn and how it fit into Catalina Cove, but I can understand how much of the story was taken up by the startling revelations Vashti uncovered.

With its small town charm and plot that draws interest even beyond the sweet and sexy romance, Love on Catalina Cove is perfect for fans of RaeAnne Thayne or Brenda Novak.
*ARC provided in consideration for review*

Also by Brenda Jackson:

Monday, October 22, 2018

BLOG TOUR: Message From the Author of He Loves You Not! (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Take the "Fidelity Test" with Tara Brown's He Loves You Not 

My newest release is He Loves You Not!

The high concept romance is centered around Lacey Winters, my hard working and slightly devious heroine.

She’s intelligent, fun, and absolutely gorgeous inside and out.

Her main love in life is her brother Martin, who at the start of the novel is diagnosed with something terrible.

The sickness puts Lacey into a bit of a tailspin. Not only is her favorite person in the world sick, but the availability of her funds for her final year of college come into question.

Not that she would ever complain, the money is going to a worthy cause.

But Lacey needs to graduate. Her dream job is awaiting her.

Which means nothing will stop Lacey from finding the money. She’s ingenious, crafty, and surrounded by the wealthy elite of Manhattan. All she needs is a plan.
As if God handed her the idea himself, the week she is desperate for an idea, one lands in her lap. Most of her friends are dating guys Lacey has questioned at one point or another, and that week one is being particularly shady.

With the help of her brother, Lacey puts that questioning into practical application—a fidelity testing company called The Test Dummy.

What she doesn’t expect is that the idea will hit home with so many of Manhattan’s upper crust. But it does.

And pretty soon, business is good.

Too good.

Which is where everything goes wrong, and right.

Fidelity testing is how Jordan Summers is brought into her life, even if it’s to test him for his socialite girlfriend.

The number one rule of the company was don’t get caught.

After meeting Jordan, it quickly changes to don’t fall for the clients.

But nothing is easy in love and war.

And make no mistake, Jordan Summers is at war.

His father has decided to use him in a plot to get a huge investment from a family friend, by hooking Jordan and the man’s daughter up.

The daughter couldn't be less interested in the relationship and Jordan is desperate to get out of it. Desperate enough to hire the hot new fidelity testing company under the guise he’s his new girlfriend then make himself look guilty.

It’s a brilliant plan.

What he doesn't know is the company is owned and operated by the girl he’s chasing and that his infidelity will question everything she thinks she knows about him.

This tale is high drama, loads of angst, and laughing out loud for hours.

You won’t want to miss this one!


How can a fidelity test possibly go wrong? In this sweet and sexy romance, international bestselling author Tara Brown counts the ways…
Among her superrich friends, Lacey Winters never minded being the “poor one.” That is, until her tuition money and big dreams vanish overnight. Now Lacey has a plan to make some extra cash—a devilishly brilliant plan. For a fee, she’ll test your boyfriend to find out if he’s faithful or a cheating jerk. Her next target: a slick and sexy trust-fund playboy. Unfortunately for Lacey, his charms aren’t just legend. And before she knows it, she’s under his spell.

It was bad enough that Jordan Somersby’s father forced a spoiled “society princess” on him. Then Jordan had to go and find his dream girl—the beautiful, fun, and down-to-earth Lacey. And he’ll do anything to prove he’s sincere. But pretty soon it’ll be Lacey’s turn to prove that this is not just a game.
Because, when it comes to mixing love and deception, nothing is what it seems. And Lacey and Jordan are about to face the ultimate test.
He Loves You Not
Serendipity #2
Tara Brown
Pub Date: 10/23/18
Genre: New Adult; Romance
Rating: 4/5
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Tara Brown once again dives into the world of the rich and privileged in the second of the Serendipity series. He Loves You Not packs more of an emotional edge by focusing on a young woman who rises above adversity while rubbing shoulders with people that view her as 'other' because she's not from an influential family.

Lacey loses her tuition funds to her brother's unexpected medical expenses. Raised to be independent,  she devises a way to get the money she needs. Her ingenious idea to anonymously test the fidelity of someone's significant other brings in the cash, but when she's forced to test Jordan Somersby things get a little dicey. Jordan is also stuck in a pickle caused by his money hungry father. He's forced to date a girl he doesn't know and can't turn his back on his family without causing a big rift. Lacey and Jordan have very different ways of handling their challenges, thanks to their upbringing, but somehow they meet in the middle.While their problems and frustrations connect them, and sometimes divides them, I was very curious about how this story would play out. The plot had the potential to go round and round in circles unless something drastic brought it together, and Tara Brown does drastic with style!

He Loves You Not seriously gives off Gossip Girl vibes, but it's not all backstabbing and scandal. There are sincere friendships in the novel that I kept waiting to see blowup, but I'm happy that it's not taken to that level. If you loved the drama and romance of Fling Club, you'll be even happier with He Loves You Not!
*ARC provided in consideration for review*

He Loves You Not Excerpt:

I dialed my brother and hid in an alcove.

“Lacey?” He answered like he was confused.

“Yeah,” I whispered, and glanced around. “I need advice.”

“Okay.” His tone still seemed skeptical.

“What if I created a company that fidelity-tested guys, offering this as a service for a fee? Is that morally wrong?”

“Fidelity-testing service? Who would honestly pay someone—never mind. Forget I even asked that. We both know who would pay for something so stupid. Is this hypothetical?” He laughed hopefully.

“No,” I whispered, and scanned the hall again. “What would I need?”

“Honestly? I don’t know. I’d need a minute to think about it.”

“You have a minute.”

“Okay. Uhhhhh. A website that couldn’t be hacked. A system of being paid that couldn’t be traced. A couple of girls who could easily blend in and not be recognized if they wore simple disguises. A way of recording every interaction as proof. An email account that’s linked to the website that could send the recordings of the guy being disloyal.”

“Have you given something like this much thought before?” I asked quietly, a little worried.

“Yeah, this is totally what I spend all my free time thinking about,” he said sarcastically. “It’s simple logic, moron.”

“Can you help me make this?” I closed my eyes for a second and really contemplated if this was a good idea.

“Probably. You would make your entire year of tuition and probably mine in the next two months of summer. I would totally be down for this.” He was too eager. “I legit have nothing better to do. But I have one condition.”


“Hennie. You give me your blessing to ask her out. I will knock that website outta the park.”

“Fine,” I hissed, and closed my eyes and forced myself into a momentary chant of do whatever makes him happy before I continued with the regular worries. “Are we going to burn in hell for manipulating people like this?” Second-guessing was already starting.

“No. Dude. If girls are willing to pay you for this, that’s their choice, and you should take the money. And it’s the guy’s choice whether or not he acts like a dick. Not your problem. This is like being a PI for love. That’s what you should call it. PI for Love.”

“I was thinking Fidelity Tester,” I whispered, and checked the hall again.

“That sounds stupid.”

“You’re stupid.” We automatically slipped back into our brother-sister banter.

“Love Tester,” he offered, ignoring the name-calling game.

“Man Tester.”

“Dear God. Don’t you claim to work at a marketing firm?”

“Shut up. Test Dummy.” I laughed, thinking how insanely stupid this idea might be and how dumb I sounded even contemplating it.

“Winner!” He smiled. I could hear it in his tone. “Test Dummy it is. I’ll set up the email account now: iamthetestdummy@gmail.com. The address is available; no surprise there. I guess there isn’t a lineup of other creeps putting money on the name.”

“Okay.” I inhaled sharply. “I’ll go advertise it where all the girls look, kinda random and casual, like it’s on the DL.” I took a second deep breath. “Thanks.”

“No, no. Thank you for the chance to contribute my talents on such a positive, healthy, world-benefitting project, with the side perk being you forced to accept my adoration of Hennie. First order of business, stop the players; next up, save the whales. I’ll get started now.”


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About Tara Brown:

The international bestselling author of Roommates and the Puck Buddies series, Tara Brown writes in a variety of genres. In addition to her comedic Single Lady Spy series, she has also published popular contemporary and paranormal romances, science fiction, thrillers, and romantic comedies. She especially enjoys writing dark and moody tales, often focusing on strong female characters who are more inclined to vanquish evil than perpetrate it. She shares her home with her husband, two daughters, two cats, an Irish wolfhound, and a Maremma Sheepdog. Find out more about Tara by visiting www.TaraBrownAuthor.com.

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