Tag: romance

Romance: LIPSTICK ON THE STRAWBERRY by Margaret Ann Spence

thumbnail_LipstickontheStrawberry_w11172_750LIPSTICK ON THE STRAWBERRY by Margaret Ann Spence • Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Published July 2017

Estranged from her family, Camilla Fetherwell now lives in the United States and owns a successful catering business. Returning to England for her father’s funeral, she reunites with her first love, Billy, whom she hasn’t seen since her father broke up their teenage romance. Billy seems eager to resume their love affair. But after one blissful night together, things take a turn.

Camilla suspects her father may have led a secret life, and when Billy reveals something he, too, has discovered, her apprehension grows. Billy holds her heart, but their relationship might be tainted by what her father hid. A reunion seems impossible.

Her life feels as splattered as her catering apron. As she watches her food stylist make a strawberry look luscious with a swipe of lipstick, Camilla wonders if a gloss has been put over a family secret? Can she and Billy survive what’s underneath?

 

Author Bio:

thumbnail_Author photo- Margaret Ann SpenceMargaret Ann Spence was born in Australia and has made the United States home for many years. She now lives in Phoenix, and is often found in the kitchen or tending an unruly garden.

In Lipstick on the Strawberry she takes as backdrops Boston, Massachusetts and  Cambridge, England, cities she’s lived in and loved.  Lipstick won First Place, Romantic Elements Category, in the 2015 Beacon Contest, sponsored by the First Coast Romance Writers.

 

Wounded SEAL Trilogy by Mitzi Bridges

Wounded at the LakeWOUNDED AT THE LAKE by Mitzi Pool Bridges • Military Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Published October 2015

Ex-Navy SEALs Cooper and Dirk Browning’s PI firm has been hired to find out who kidnapped their teammate’s ten-year-old daughter, Christie. They are stretched thin investigating two frustrating cases, in addition to handling their flourishing military canine-training enterprise.

Coop and his star dog-in-training find a mysterious woman with a head wound. Her memory is gone. Between trying to find a clue to Christie’s kidnapper, and his efforts to find the real identity of the woman he names Lori, Coop falls in love.

So does Lori. But how realistic is that? She doesn’t know who she is, and Coop can’t envision a life with a woman he knows nothing about. When the truth comes out will their love survive?

51KVf4dOH4LWOUNDED AT HOME by Mitzi Pool Bridges • Military Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Released April 2016

Financial analyst Sky Chapman must free her sister of a murder charge. Ex-SEAL Dirk Browning uses his skills as a private investigator and a military dog trainer to search for a way to keep Sky safe while they look for the killer and the missing millions the killer thinks she has.

Neither Sky nor Dirk want the attraction that springs between them. She, because she refuses to fall into the philandering-husband trap both her mother and sister dove into. He, because his mother abandoned him to the Brownings at the age of ten and he never saw her again.

The killer has given Sky a timeline. Find the money and turn it over, or she and her sister die. Will Sky survive long enough to explore the feelings she has for Dirk? Will Dirk be there for her? Or will the thief and killer make the questions moot?

51dhMT1rTiLWOUNDED AT WORK by Mitzi Pool Bridges • Military Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Released August 2016

FBI Agent Matthew Montgomery is handed a serial killer case on the same day his worthless cousin files suit for half of the sizable Montgomery Trust. His brothers, fellow retired SEALs, dig in to help find the proof needed to thwart Matt’s cousin. Ex-Army Carrie Sullivan is a PI in the brothers’ investigative firm. She goes undercover in a missing woman case that collides with the one Matt is investigating. He wants her to back off, as she fits the profile of the serial killer’s victims. Somehow, their feelings for each other have changed from friendship to something more intense, but they have to get past obstacles, real and imagined, as they find themselves falling in love amidst a storm of evil. When Carrie is taken, she wonders if she will survive long enough to overcome the wide divide between their backgrounds to make a life together, and Matt is determined to do everything in his power to give them a chance to try.

A love for reading turned into a love of writing. After years spent in the business world, I turned to another profession and for the last twenty-five years have poured my romantic heart out in romantic suspense books.
Thanks,
Mitzi Pool Bridges

 

Review: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Melissa Pimentel

51unp28xXlLTHE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Melissa Pimentel • Romance • St. Martin’s Press • Released Aug 22, 2017

Book Review by Colleen L Donnelly 

 

“The One That Got Away” has the air of the Bridget Jones Diary series – a young woman amidst the complications of family and peers, telling and recounting the story of that one love – Ethan – who was there, and then not, but might be again.

Ruby is a quick-witted and slightly sour heroine, a modern girl fully up to date on who and what’s in, and doing her best to operate both as she navigates her sister’s wedding where the ex love of her life appears also. Because of Ruby’s speed in a generation that insists on it, I was a bit slow catching up with Pimentel’s dive into the story – the jargon, the current trends, and Ruby’s compulsion to stay on top, causing me to flounder before I attached to Ruby and cheered her on. But I did. And it was worth it – for anyone else not of that generation or speed.

I applaud Pimentel. She tells a story of Then and Now without chapters, switching back and forth from third person in the Then, to first person in the Now, sandwiching Ruby’s and Ethan’s happily ever after…or not between past and present events. There was never a lull in the story, the writing keeping pace with the setting, leaving me intrigued and wondering how, why, and if Ruby and Ethan would ever make it.

The characters are real and humorous, Ruby’s biting inner thoughts toward family, friends, and coworkers who deserve those judgments, entertaining. This is a light and fun read with situations and people we can relate to, and a smattering of profanity that like Bridget Jones, suited the characters and their lives.

If you are looking for a humorous romance that includes some of the downsides of love and life and still makes you smile, “The One That Got Away” is right for you.

Colleen L Donnelly http://www.colleenldonnelly.com/

Review: EMERALD COAST by Anita Hughes

51SUPCYoIvLEMERALD COAST by Anita Hughes / Romance / Released Aug 1, 2017 by St, Martin’s Griffin

EMERALD COAST is told in trademark Anita Hughes style – a current dilemma that can only be resolved as relevant past events surface and unfold. “Emerald Coast” is the quest by divorced Lily and Oliver to escape the hurt of mutual betrayal in the past and find happiness apart…until they are thrown together unexpectedly at an exotic resort.

Written with the full flavor of taste, sight, and sound Anita Hughes does so well, the reader is caught up in the sensuality of the setting, feeling every temptation and opportunity Lily and Oliver each does as they forge forward to create new, individual lives and leave the pain of their pasts behind. However, this same environment that entices each toward the new, also churns up unbroken ties still binding their hearts and souls to the old. Not alone in this upheaval, new lovers, old flames, and current family members also get caught in the turmoil. The Emerald Coast becomes the perfect stewing pot of what’s old and what’s new, forcing dross and truth to the top for Lily and Oliver to face in order to discover what their futures really hold.

“Emerald Coast” is a very pleasant read, immediately absorbing the reader into its characters’ situation and lives. Their struggles to escape the hurt of past betrayals heightens the tension, and the fiery furnace of escalating circumstances takes the novel to that “I don’t want to put this book down” level. Free of anything graphic, this book still takes the reader on a very human and relatable journey that I highly recommend.

Review provided by Colleen L. Donnelly a #1 Amazon Bestseller

Book Excerpt: THE LADY’S ARRANGEMENT by Colleen L. Donnelly

perf5.000x8.000.inddTHE LADY’S ARRANGEMENT by Colleen L. Donnelly / Released May 31, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Book Excerpt

Ben was tall, and he felt even taller as he took a step closer and leaned my way. “It takes two to bind a contract, and since I’ve just withdrawn, your arrangement is null and void. And just so you know, you can thank your lucky stars I’m not staying to marry you, because I take surprises a lot better than I take orders.” His eyes stayed on mine until his gaze traveled from my face down to my boots. “And wearing trousers doesn’t make you any more suited to giving orders than wearing a skirt would make me fit for giving birth.”

My nails dug into my palms as I rolled my hands into fists. A word I’d heard Ted say when a pail slid off his bad arm came to mind. The word was immoral, but probably not too immoral for Ben Miller. “Just so you know, Mr. Miller, I’ve been running this ranch for three weeks now, in pants. I find skirts get in the way of things you’d probably be surprised I can do.”

The half-smile returned. “I won’t argue that. Skirts surely do get in the way.” Ben straightened and slapped his hat tighter on his head. “Been my experience, too.

Fortunately, neither one of us has to put up with one, since you can keep right on doing things the way you have been. I’m giving you an early parting. I’m leaving.”

New Release Book Excerpt: TROUBLED SPIRITS by Sandy Wolters

419T43CkM6LTROUBLED SPIRITS by Sandy Wolters / Spirit Voices Book One 

Romance / Fantasy – ghosts / Released May 5, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Blurb  Jody has been a conduit for ghosts her entire life. Not only do they come to her for help, but at times she experiences what they feel when they die. This gift or curse comes at a high personal cost—especially when a child is involved. There’s not a man alive who is willing to compete with troubled spirits.

Jared, a wealthy and determined high-powered P.I., has lived without love his entire life. In business if he wants something, he goes after it with a vengeance and is usually not denied. His life experiences have taught him that believing and trusting in others is a dead end street.

But on one magical night Jared meets Jody, and they soon find themselves on the brink of falling in love. But will the spirits surrounding Jody relinquish their hold on her in order for Jared to stake his claim or will their love disappear in an ethereal puff of smoke?

Book Excerpt

Chapter One

Startled from a deep sleep, Jody opened her eyes to find a young child’s misty form sitting on the bed—tears streaming down her face. As it often happened with kids that cry for any length of time, the poor little girl’s sobs were punctuated with hiccups.

Groggy from sleep, her first instinct had her reaching out to embrace the small girl and offer whatever solace she could. Tendrils of unease spiraled through Jody’s body when her fingers unexpectedly encountered cold air instead of warm flesh. Her mind roused instantly. She knew at once this child was dead. Spirits had none of the warmth of the living—though they possessed all the same passions.

As she rose to a sitting position, her heart couldn’t help but break for the tiny, cherubic girl who somehow had found a way onto her bed. The heavy weight of the child’s despair settled squarely on Jody’s shoulders. As the realization of the spirit visitation hit home, she found herself in the unenviable position of having no clue how to appease the little girl. She’d just have to stay the course and watch as the child exhausted her pain-laden tears enough to calm herself and speak her mind. Maybe that was all the little angel wanted from her.

Waiting through the weeping and hiccups proved to be agonizing. Several tense minutes passed until finally this beautiful little girl with auburn hair raised her cobalt blue eyes to gaze into Jody’s soul. “I’m Fiona. I want to talk to my mommy and daddy.

Stricken by the sad message, Jody’s breath caught in her throat. Her hand instinctively covered her heart, trying unsuccessfully to repel the grief radiating from this tiny apparition. The emotional turmoil Fiona expelled dampened Jody’s soul and weighed heavily on her. Anxiety rolled off the child’s spirit in waves and crashed into her body. Each new surge of emotion left Jody feeling battered as if being caught between an angry ocean and steep rock cliffs with no means of escape.

Warning bells blared in Jody’s head. Her empathic abilities were on high alert. Under these conditions, she’d never be able to distance herself from the onslaught of the little ghost girl’s crippling emotions. Unable to separate herself from the child’s grief made coming up with the appropriate response to soothe Fiona impossible.

“Oh, baby, I’m so sorry you’re hurting.” Her heart broke for this child as well as the mother and father who had lost her. She couldn’t imagine how parents found the strength to cope with the loss of one so young and sweet.

“I sit with my mommy all the time, but she can’t see me. She can’t hear me. When I try to touch her, she doesn’t feel me. I’ve tried to talk to my daddy too, but he’s so worried about mommy that he…he…” The poor little girl couldn’t continue.

Fiona’s bottom lip started to quiver as she fought valiantly to control her tears. Witnessing the sheer determination in that small gesture made Jody’s pulse race. The ghost girl caught her lip between her teeth to quell the tremors. The show of absolute strength in that gesture was duly noted. The young child trying her best to suppress her emotions alerted Jody to the importance of this visitation. It saddened her to see one so young digging that deep to gain the power needed to stabilize such debilitating emotions. The fortitude required for such a feat was impressive.

Book Excerpt: SECOND CHANCE IN LAGUNA by Claire Marti

thumbnail_SecondChanceinLaguna_w10862SECOND CHANCE IN LAGUNA By Claire Marti

Released March 31, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Nick arrived right on time, looking gorgeous in faded jeans and a plain white t-shirt. How did he always manage to start the butterflies fluttering in her stomach? Just by standing there with the setting sun framing him? She was in trouble.

“Hi beautiful, ready to go?” He clasped her face in his hands and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

Returning his kiss, Sophie wound her arms around his neck and deepened it. She couldn’t resist. His strong arms wrapped around her waist, hugging her close to his broad chest.

“Mmmm, feel free to greet me like that every time I come over,” he said, lips curved up into a sweet smile.

Heat washed her cheeks and she returned his smile. “Let’s go. Prepare to be blown away by the movie snack of the century.”

Determined to keep things light and enjoy the movie before “the talk,” Sophie thrust down the lick of panic bubbling in her gut. She’d accomplished next to nothing all afternoon, instead wrestling with whether she needed to tell him about Doug.

The angel on her shoulder whispered to tell him because if they were going to have any kind of relationship, even a friends-with-benefits one, honesty and trust were vital.

The devil urged her to zip it. They’d only known each other a few weeks. What if he lived up to his “Player of Laguna” reputation and expected only a fun fling? Even though he seemed deeper than that. What if she scared him off with a premature talk?

 

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress. Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. She teaches at studios, online for the international website http://www.yogadownload.com and also has a Yoga for Cancer Recovery DVD.

Claire is a sought-after speaker on the power of yoga and meditation for cancer survivors. She’s been published in numerous magazines with articles on wellness and has written a memoir on her experience as a breast cancer survivor. Her debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, won best unpublished contemporary romance in the Molly and third place in the Maggie. The Wild Rose Press will publish it in March 2017. Check out a teaser here: Second Chance in Laguna. She’s hard at work on the second and third novels in the Finding Forever in Laguna series. Claire is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the San Diego Romance Writers.