Release Blitz: Constellation by Jennifer Locklear

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Title: Constellation

Author: Jennifer Locklear

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 20

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Synopsis

She’s intelligent, beautiful, and emotionally numb.
He’s older, sophisticated, and harboring secrets.

Up-and-coming executive, Kathleen Brighton is ready to launch her family’s firm into the next level of success. Polished and professional on the outside, Kathleen’s personal life is a source of constant struggle and letdown. But after one night alone with Jack Evans, her sexy new colleague, her life takes a turn toward erotic intensity.

Torn between her instinct to guard herself and her irresistible desire for Jack, Kathleen has only known heartache. And when she finds herself in the middle of a shattering personal crisis, she must trust fragile and uncertain bonds to survive. Will Kathleen conquer the demons of her past to find a future worth fighting for?

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About the Author

Jennifer

Jennifer Locklear lives in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. She married her high school sweetheart, Morgan, in 1995. She is the mother of two children, a son and daughter.

Jennifer enjoyed creative writing as an adolescent, but set aside her favorite hobby to concentrate on college studies, career and family. In 2010, she rediscovered her passion for writing when her husband recruited her to edit his own stories. They co-authored and published their debut novel, Exposure, in 2014.

Since 2000, Jennifer has been employed in fundraising and development for a non-profit organization. She has been a contributing reviewer for the “Bookish Temptations” book blog and is a founding moderator of “Argyle Empire,” an approved fan site for author Sylvain Reynard.
She also enjoys participating in charitable activities, both locally and online.

Constellation is Jennifer’s first solo novel.

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5 books I’m going to read by the end of summer

By this time next week, I will be in my dear-old hometown of Philadelphia, most likely sweating profusely and wondering why I left the not-very-humid, mild Stockholm behind. But I need my annual dose of America. I never travel without my Kindle, and I’ve already begun stocking it with books that I’m itching to read. So what’s on my list?

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I’ve heard a lot of good things about In Black & White by Catherine Lavender, so I’ve already 1-clicked it for my Kindle. 

Micah Winters always knew that she was different. It was the pigment of her skin and the texture of her hair that revealed that she was a woman from biracial parents. For five decades, Micah’s African American mother has remained silent about Micah’s estranged father (Sidney Irving). It is not until after Sidney Irving’s death that Micah learns that she is the daughter of the legendary novelist and screenwriter. Now with her mother’s memory fading away from Alzheimer’s disease, Micah can only rely on a novel that was written from her father years ago to understand her parents’ past during the time of segregation in the United States. Micah’s once simple life is not so simple anymore as she tries to make sense of an unfamiliar world as she inherits her father’s wealth and private past. With an abandoned heart, Micah must forgive the past in order to discover who she really is.

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 23.45.14I’ve been a fan of Kathleen Tessaro since I read her debut novel, Innocence. Her latest novel, Rare Objects, sounds like the perfect read for a historical fiction fan like me. It’s set in Depression-era Boston centers around an unlikely friendship  and a secret. I’m already hooked. 🙂

Maeve Fanning is a first generation Irish immigrant, born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston’s North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and as headstrong as her red hair suggests, she’s determined to better herself despite the overwhelming hardships of the Great Depression.

However, Maeve also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin—a rebellious appetite that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life. When the strain proves too much, Maeve becomes an unwilling patient in a psychiatric hospital, where she strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic young woman, who, like Maeve, is unable or unwilling to control her un-lady-like desire for freedom.

Once out, Maeve faces starting over again. Armed with a bottle of bleach and a few white lies, she lands a job at an eccentric antiques shop catering to Boston’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Run by an elusive English archeologist, the shop is a haven of the obscure and incredible, providing rare artifacts as well as unique access to the world of America’s social elite. While delivering a purchase to the wealthy Van der Laar family, Maeve is introduced to beautiful socialite Diana Van der Laar—only to discover she’s the young woman from the hospital.

Reunited with the charming but increasingly unstable Diana and pursued by her attractive brother James, Mae becomes more and more entwined with the Van der Laar family—a connection that pulls her into a world of moral ambiguity and deceit, and ultimately betrayal. Bewitched by their wealth and desperate to leave her past behind, Maeve is forced to unearth her true values and discover how far she’ll to go to reinvent herself.

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 00.01.08I love Dorothy Koomson’s novels and I 1-clicked her latest, When I Was InvisibleWhen I Was Invisible, a few weeks ago. I haven’t started reading it yet, but it’s probably going to be one of my Philly reads.

‘Do you ever wonder if you’ve lived the life you were meant to?’ I ask her.

She sighs, and dips her head. ‘Even if I do, what difference will it make?’

In 1988, two eight-year-old girls with almost identical names and the same love of ballet meet for the first time. They seem destined to be best friends forever and to become professional dancers. Years later, however, they have both been dealt so many cruel blows that they walk away from each other into very different futures – one enters a convent, the other becomes a minor celebrity. Will these new, ‘invisible’ lives be the ones they were meant to live, or will they only find that kind of salvation when they are reunited twenty years later?

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 00.17.07Rowan Coleman‘s We Are All Made of Stars sounds like the sort of book that will make me weepy (which I love!), so I’ve 1-clicked it! Rowan is also known as Scarlett Bailey (who has written some of my absolute favourite Christmas novels). Looking forward to diving into this decidedly non-Christmasy book! 🙂

A dedicated nurse, Stella finds comfort at the hospice where she works the late shift, especially since her husband returned from Afghanistan—cold, distant, and shattered by painful memories he refuses to share. The hospice at night is another world, where the dying receive closure by creating the letters that Stella helps them write. The pages are filled with love and humor, sometimes regret, and, occasionally, even instructions for a perplexed husband on how to run appliances. There’s one rule: The letters are mailed only after the patient has passed.

Suddenly Stella is faced with a dilemma: A woman under her care, Grace, has written a confession to the son she abandoned many years before. The letter clearly needs to be read before Grace dies. But if Stella mails it now, she breaks the rule—and risks tampering not only with Grace’s wishes but also with fate.

Navigating passion and grief, loyalty and loss, and a marriage threatened by silence and secrets, Stella discovers that letters hold a special power: granting solace, saving memories, nurturing relationships. As the words endure, love redeems.

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 00.30.23Finally, I still haven’t had a chance to read Pulling Doubles by Christina C. Jones, so I need to remedy this before the end of the summer.

All Devyn wants – besides a tall, fine husband and eventually a few babies to fulfill her “about to turn thirty, running out of time, cute black family” dreams – is to finish her yearlong internship at University Hospital. She’s excited about the experience, eager to learn, glad to help wherever she can… it should be easy, right?

Well, it would be… if it weren’t for arrogant, know-it-all, always-got-something-to-say Dr. Joseph Wright. Devyn can’t stand him, and if his attitude is any indication, the feeling is mutual… or is it?

Joseph doesn’t “do” doctors. Or nurses. Or patients. Or anybody else who has anything to do with the hospital, for that matter. University Hospital has infiltrated enough of his life, and the last thing he needs is a blurring of the lines between professional and private.

… until smart, sexy, sassy Nurse Devyn Echols comes along, and stomps all over those lines.

When you’re pulling doubles with the person you hate to want so bad… something is bound to ignite.

That’s it for me today! Next week, I’ll be writing to you from Philadelphia and I’ll be sure to share with you my bookstore finds!  

Which books have you 1-clicked this summer? Share your recommendations in the comments and one lucky commenter will win a $10 Amazon gift card. Hurry! I’ll be choosing + announcing the winner on Monday, July 18th. 

 

 

Reviews: Let It Shine & Stunning in Stilettos

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 23.35.51Leave it to Alyssa Cole to write a historical IR romance that tackles one of our most violent and divisive periods of history. Thank you, Alyssa, for writing Let It Shine and sharing it with us. I loved it from start to finish!
This tightly written novella is a coming of age story for Sofie and Ivan, who’ve known one another since they were children–Sofie’s mother Delia was the housekeeper for Ivan’s family and Sofie and Ivan were childhood playmates whose friendship was cut short by the death of Sofie’s mother. Now years later, they’ve both become activists, getting involved as nonviolent protesters in the civil rights movement while the communities around then advise otherwise. For Sofie, her father only wants her to be respectable and not make waves. He thinks he is keeping her safe in trying to groom her into a docile young woman. For Ivan, now a regional champion boxer, he and his father are at odds over his boxing–his father wanted him to be a scholar–and in how they each deal with their grief over the loss of Ivan’s mother. This would be enough to cause problems for the two–but race and religion separate them. Sofie is black and Christian; Ivan is white and Jewish. And in this point in history, interracial relationships are punishable by law. And segregation is the law in Richmond, Virginia in the 1960s.

What I loved about Let It Shine that it weaves in the politics and history of the time so seamlessly with the love story. Both have equal weight in this story. And really, this is not something we can ignore. It would have been disingenuous to ignore or pretend that the violence directed at the Freedom Riders never took place. And to write a story set during this time period–the early 1960s–and setting and NOT take it up would have led to a boring and not very interesting story. But Alyssa Cole took the challenge and tackled it head on, giving the readers a fantastic sense of the courage and fear Sofie and Ivan have as they embark upon their journey into adulthood and to the reality of what their lives will be in 1960s America.

A five-star read! I look forward to Alyssa Cole’s next release!

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Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 23.41.48Nana Malone scores with another winner with Stunning in Stilettos. If you haven’t read the other books in the Stiletto series, it’s okay–this one is a standalone, but you’ll probably be hooked and want to read the others as well.

Stunning in Stilettos focuses on Kyra & Bryan and their instant attraction. For Kyra, This book was about Myra and Bryan’s story. Both Star Trek fans (he of Deep Space Nine, she of the Next Generation) , they meet when Kyra is on what should be the final interview for her dream job. The person who should interview her is late, but then Bryan arrives and an instant spark ignites between the two. Both have sworn off relationships after a string of bad ones and–when Kyra discovers that Bryan is actually her boss and not the simple colleague she assumed him to be, she tries to put professional distance between them–but it’s not easy for either of them. Especially considering they are both fighting a losing battle with that red-hot attraction that keeps bringing them together.

What I loved about Stunning in Stilettos is that Kyra and Bryan respected one another, even with all the bickering and coming at odds. Their chemistry and the common ground they shared laid a great foundation for their relationship. And, of course, Nana is a master at turning up the heat, so prepare to fan yourself a few times. Two thumbs up to this fast-paced and fun-to-read love story!

**Note: I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.**

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Reviews: Slip of the Tongue and Scot Appeal

slip of the tongue coverCan you be in love with two people at the same time?

This is the question that Sadie Hunt struggles with in Slip of the Tongue. On the one hand, there is her husband, Nathan, who–until recently–treated her like she was the centre of his world. Suddenly he’s become cold and distant with her and makes her feel like she is invisible and unwanted in his life. On the other hand, there is Finn, the sexy new neighbour who’s just moved in across the hall from Sadie and Nathan. From the moment she meets him, there’s a white-hot connection between them.

Now, before you ask: this is a novel about marriage and infidelity. So if you have a problem with reading about people cheating, then maybe you should still read this book to gain a different perspective.

What I loved about this book was how all three characters showed us their best and worst sides. No one is the good guy here. Even Nathan, who is presented as the good guy, is actually pretty selfish and manipulative when he wants to be. But what is so interesting with Slip of the Tongue is how Hawkins handles the affair. Even if you don’t agree with how it starts, you empathise with the characters. Well, at least, I did.

This is a very intense book with some very sexy moments. It’s also a book that takes a good, long look at what is marriage and what makes a good one…and what makes a bad one. It’s also about second chances at love. But what I think will resonate with readers is the emotional layers in this novel. It’s not a straightforward love story, but it is definitely a story about love–romantic, illicit, familial. And I loved Slip of the Tongue.

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MelissaBlueScotAppealMelissa Blue has done it again: made me absolutely adore the sexy Scotsmen she creates. Marcus, our ruthless CEO who’s pretending to be a handyman to get the company and the position he wants, is very, very sexy. And he thinks he doesn’t have the capacity to fall in love. Now, I usually avoid any stores about ruthless businessmen, because they usually bore me. But Marcus and his backstory are quite intriguing. And then there is Ivy–who is a virgin even those she’s closing in on thirty–but she’s not one of these insipid ones that goes around saying “holy cow!” or talking about her “inner goddess”. She’s kickass and she feels authentic and real.

What I really enjoyed about Scot Appeal (and the entire Under the Kilt series) is that the relationships and the conflicts the main characters experience feels very grounded and realistic. These are adults dealing with adult problems and behaving like proper adults and not as overgrown teenagers. And the way race is addressed is very subtle without it becoming an overblown sticking point.

Following this story of unlikely neighbors who become lovers was so much fun. I admit: I ignored my yummy Swedish hubby to finish reading this book and he was a good sport about it. I will have to make it up to him this weekend. 🙂

I loved Scot Appeal and the chemistry between Marcus and Ivy, and I think you will too.

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