Stephanie Fowers for Sweet Romance for Christmas (Excerpt & #Giveaway) #RomBks4Chris19

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Robin & Marian
(Adventurous Romantics #2)
By Stephanie Fowers
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
August 11th 2019 

Robin King lives up to the legendary name of Robin Hood more than he should—a bigshot billionaire and successor of King enterprises, a Prince of Mischief and a rogue who steals hearts ... and maybe even a few kisses. He never thought he’d follow the storyline so closely, until the day he gets in trouble with the law and pays the price—all for protecting his younger sister Scarlett.

Taken in by an Outlaw

Marian is a hard-hitting reporter … or would be if the New England Chronicle would stop assigning her puff pieces. Now she has the chance to prove herself, but it could prove her undoing—since the story of a lifetime might just be Robin King, a ruthless scoundrel, who she swore would never break her heart again.

Making New England Olde again

Together, they must overcome their differences to save their hometown from thieves and corruption. And they’d better do it before someone gets killed. As danger lurks closer, legend becomes life, and Robin’s feelings for Marian deepen as he struggles with sharing the secrets that could clear his name and ruin his sister.

(Affiliate link included.)
Excerpt

The door ripped open and she came face to face with Robin. Same laughing eyes, same devilish look under hawk-like brows. His dirty-brown hair had curled up in a stylish mess. He’d come straight from her memories—though older and more dashing, like he’d stepped through the glossy covers of those gossip magazines she despised. He was tall and strong, with broad shoulders and an athletic build—a modern day Robin Hood in black t-shirt and faded jeans. And she hated it!

His almond-shaped eyes turned appreciative when he saw her. “Are you new?”

Clearly he hadn’t recognized her. It wasn’t too surprising really—she’d hidden in the back room when the “infamous playboy” had come to visit his sister when they’d been roommates, but before she could explain, he was approaching her. “If it’s all the same to you, Mrs. Koch can’t know what we’re up to.” Marian recognized the name of their housekeeper. Clearly Robin was up to no good if he was hiding his latest mischief from her—never mind that he owned the place now. “I’m so sorry to mix you up in this,” he said, “but we need help cleaning this up.”

And then his hands were on hers. Was this how he treated his staff? Wait. The thought gave her pause. He thought she was the help? Scarlett had compared her to a little French maid. How galling. She was so caught up in her angry thoughts that she’d allowed him to pull her into the entertainment room where she saw the remains of a poker game. Smashed plates and glasses had tumbled from an immense—and broken—china cabinet.

“It’s not as bad as it looks…” Robin’s hand dropped from hers as he attempted to clean up the mess. He looked up at her under heavy lashes. “Honestly, if I’d known how pretty you were, I’d have smashed these sooner.”

She gasped as he winked at her. Robin! Was this really a case of mistaken identity or was he teasing her? “I have half a mind to get Mrs. Koch myself,” she threatened.

He smirked at that. “If you could find a broom first…”

So she could crack it over his head? Not knowing what to do, Marian caught sight of Scarlett’s fiancé. The ends of Alan’s auburn hair fell over a soulful eye as he stared down at a record he had saved from the mess. He’d recognize Marian if he saw her, but he was too caught up in reading the record label. It was a vintage Louis Armstrong vinyl. He turned it over in his sensitive hands.

“Robin, your stepmother is going to kill you,” a deeper voice boomed. “That’s her prized Russian collection.” Turning, Marian saw a giant of a man. She’d know John anywhere, even a decade later. His skin was rich brown, the color of the earth after a storm; his head was buzzed—his facial hair was different from when they were kids, of course—but he’d towered over them back then and now was no different. He was one of those who’d earned his nickname in Robin’s merry band, although no one could get away with calling him “Little John” to his face. 

“My nephew is trying to teach me how to make a bull’s eye!” a young voice piped up.

Marian caught sight of a smaller boy of about five years of age. He had a bow in his hand. His small finger pointed to an ugly painting against the wall with several arrows shot through it. They’d been using this room for target practice? How little they thought of the furniture… or of money. 

“This is my Uncle Midge,” Robin introduced the child. “Also my godchild.” Yes, Marian remembered hearing about him. The young boy clearly looked up to Robin; he was a miniature of him, actually, with freckles, almond-shaped eyes, and a pointed chin. Robin’s grandfather had remarried a much younger woman, and Midge was the result of their union… before she’d run off with an artist. Come to think of it, was this one of the man’s ugly paintings Scarlett had talked about? She peered at it, but the torn flaps obscured the signature.

Robin ruffled the boy’s hair. “He was not supposed to actually let the arrow go. So there’s that.”

“And who would be the one who gave him the arrow, pray tell?” The final member of Alan’s bachelor party drew forward with dark, sullen looks. He was clean-shaven with black, heavy brows, and his hair was tied up in a hipster topknot. He wore a suit jacket with matching pants and a casual knit shirt. It took Marian a little longer to name him, but then she felt a wave of recognition run through her at his British accent. “But sure,” he said in his haughty tone, “blame the child.”

Ah yes, this was Robin’s cousin, Guy. He’d grown up in England with his mother. She had refused to play along with what she dubbed Richard’s “childish obsession,” and in so doing, unknowingly named him after one of Robin Hood’s greatest villains. It was a source of great teasing amongst his cousins. Just like the others, Marian hadn’t seen him for years.

Yet when he saw her, he hurried to pick up her hand and kiss it. His brown eyes were full of meaning. “What are you doing here with us vile men, Marian? Isn’t Scarlett’s party interesting enough for you?”

Finally, someone hadn’t seen her as the servant. She felt a smile tug at her lips. Guy’s British charm had always been hard to resist. When they’d been younger, her parents had teased the two that they’d arrange their marriage. She was ashamed to admit that that kind of talk had ended after Guy’s parents had lost their fortunes in poor investments.

Looking over at Robin, she shrugged. “Robin always did try to get me into trouble.” She cast him what she hoped was a teasing glance. “Just like old times.” Robin’s shoulders stiffened as he turned to actually look at her. His beautiful hazel eyes took her all in. Marian felt too amused to be angry. His astonished expression made everything worth it.

“Marian?” Robin stretched to his feet to retrieve her hand from Guy. “Why didn’t you say anything?” His gaze swept over her again, including that hateful apron. “My own little Maid Marian?”

Other Books in the Series

In the Pursuit of Eden
(Adventurous Romantics #1)
By Stephanie Fowers
Adult Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 390 Pages
April 1st 2019

Everyone wants to find Eden’s Paradise. Except Ivy.

Ivy is a city girl through and through. So when she follows her twin brother into the forests of the Uintas to make a documentary about looking for a treasure that’s plagued her family for generations, she’s a little out of her element. It's the same treasure that ended her father's life. Add to that her run-ins with the dashing, but infuriating Aiden Hunter. The Southern hottie has rescued her so many times that it’s getting embarrassing. Of course, she’d be more grateful if she didn’t suspect him of putting her in danger in the first place—a danger that keeps growing the closer they get to the truth.

Forced to be allies, the two are thrown into each other’s paths, and she realizes that she has more in common with him than she thought. While Ivy searches for clues in the journal of a wayward saloon girl, Eden, to discover a life that mirrors her own, Hunter fights the demons in a past that seems tangled up in hers. His secrets are hers. The only way to get at the truth is to find an uneasy truce… and maybe something more because Hunter may not be the enemy. In fact, he may be the one who needs rescuing. Now, Ivy has to figure out who she wants by her side, and what she’s willing to give up for love.

After all, Paradise was never meant to be found alone.

(Affiliate link included.)

About the Author


Stephanie Fowers loves bringing stories to life, and depending on her latest madcap ideas will do it through written word, song, and/ or film. She absolutely adores Bollywood and bonnet movies; i.e., Jane Austen. Presently, she lives in Salt Lake where she's living the life of the starving artist.


Tour Schedule
(Posts go live on the day they're scheduled.)

December 11th: Launch
December 12th: Julie Coulter Bellon - Truth or Dare
December 13th: Delaney Cameron - The Gift of Love
December 14th: Raneé S. Clark - Her Country Christmas Date
December 15th: Stephanie Fowers - Robin and Marian
December 16th: Aspen Hadley - Blind Dates, Bridesmaids & Other Disasters
December 17th: Maria Hoagland - Santa Cam
December 18th: Rachel John - The Christmas Bachelor Auction
December 19th: Sally Johnson - Dear Mr. Darcy
December 20th: D.E. Malone - Love Like Forever
December 21st: Melissa McClone - Mountain Rescue Romance Series
December 22nd: Brooke St. James - The Suite Life
December 23rd: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally (as long as winner is eligible to receive prize)
Ends December 28, 2019

Cowboy Christmas Redemption by Maisey Yates for Harlequin's Holiday Blog Tour @HarlequinBooks #HarlequinBooks #HarlequinRomance



Welcome to Harlequin's Holiday Blog Tour! I'll be spotlighting each of the six
books on the tour from now through December 15th. Check out the sixth book below...

Cowboy Christmas Redemption
(Gold Valley #8)
By Maisey Yates
Adult Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
September 24th 2019 by HQN Books

Summary

As snowflakes fall in Gold Valley, Oregon, will this rugged cowboy finally win the woman of his dreams?

Cowboy Caleb Dalton has loved single mom Ellie Bell, and her little daughter, Amelia, for years. But since Ellie is his best friend’s widow, Caleb’s head knows Ellie will always be strictly off-limits. If only his heart got the memo. So when Caleb discovers that Ellie has a Christmas wish list—and hopes for a kiss under the mistletoe—he’s throwing his cowboy hat into the ring. If anyone’s going to be kissing Ellie and sharing this magical time with her and her daughter, it’s him.

Ellie has dreaded the holidays since losing her husband. But this year, she’s finally ready to make some changes. She never expects the biggest change to be the heart-stopping kiss she shares with Caleb. For almost five years, Caleb has been her best friend, her rock, her salvation. This Christmas, can Caleb prove he’s also the missing puzzle piece of Ellie’s and Amelia’s hearts?

(Affiliate links included.)

Excerpt


From Chapter Two

Caleb Dalton hadn’t had much to smile about for a long time. It had been a bear of a few years, since his best friend’s death, and while time might ease a wound, it wouldn’t ever bring Clint back.

But that permanence made space for movement, around the grief, around the pain. And finally toward a future he’d been planning for a long time.

Clint had been, honest to God, one of the best men on earth. The hole he’d left behind had been huge, and Caleb had dedicated himself to caring for his friend’s widow and child in his absence.

That had been his life, his whole life, for nearly five years. And it was fair, because it had been Ellie’s life, too.

He cared for Ellie. A ---- of a lot. He’d met her because of Clint, but she’d been in his life now for more than ten years.

His feelings for Ellie were complicated. Had been from the beginning. But she’d been with Clint. And there was no doubt Clint was the better man. More than that, Clint was his brother. Maybe not in blood, but in every way that counted.

Caleb had never claimed to be a perfect friend. Clint was one of those people who’d drawn everyone right to him. He was easy to like. Caleb’s own parents had been bowled over by Clint from the time they were kids.

And Caleb’s jealousy had gotten the better of him once when they’d been younger. Something that made him burn with shame even now.

He hadn’t let it happen when they’d been adults. No matter how tempting it had been. No matter how much he’d…

A muscle in his jaw ticked.

He gave thanks that there was a space in front of the Gold Valley Saloon, and he whipped his truck there up against the curb, ignoring the honk that came from behind him.

He turned around and saw Trevor Sanderson in his Chevy, giving Caleb the death glare.

“Hold your ---- horses, Trevor,” he muttered as he put his truck in Park.

He should have been quicker.

----, that was life in a nutshell. Sometimes, you were just too late. For parking spots, and for women.

He’d tried to get that image out of his head. More times than he could count over the past decade. Had tried to erase that first time he’d seen Ellie.

It was at his parents’ barbecue. Late one summer afternoon.

He’d been talking and laughing with his brothers, and he’d lifted a beer to his lips and looked out away from the party. Then he’d frozen.

It was like the world had slowed down, all of it centering on the beautiful blonde walking toward him. The golden light from the sun illuminated her hair like a halo, and her smile seemed to light him up from the inside out.

As she’d gotten closer, he’d taken in every last detail. The way the left side of her cheek dimpled with that grin; her eyes, a mix of green and blue and a punch in the gut. Her lips were glossy pink, and he wondered if it was that stuff that women wore that smelled and tasted like cherries. He couldn’t decide if he hoped that it was or not.

Twenty years old, more experienced with women than he probably should be, and ready right then and there to drop down to his knees and propose marriage to the one walking in his direction.

It took him a full minute to realize that the beautiful blonde was holding hands with someone.

And that that someone was Caleb’s best friend on earth.

It was a surreal moment. It had been a sea change in his soul. When his feelings for Ellie had tipped over from nothing to everything.

A revelation he hadn’t been looking for, and one he sure as ---- hadn’t enjoyed.

It was like the whole world had turned, then bucked, like a particularly nasty-ass bull, and left him sprawled out on the ground.

It had been the beginning of a thorny, painful set of years. As he’d gotten to know Ellie, as his feelings for her had become knit deep into his heart, into his soul. She’d become more than his friend’s woman, and more than a woman he’d desired. She’d become a friend to him.

In many ways he was thankful for the depth of the feeling, because it was the reason he’d been able to put aside the lust. The idea that he’d fallen in love with her at first sight.

When Clint had first started dating her, she’d been in school, so she hadn’t been around all the time. But during the summers, and on breaks, she came around with Clint.

Went to the lake with them. Went fishing. Came to Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The summers at the lake, though, that had been a particular kind of torture. All of them swimming out in the water, her and her swimsuit. A tiny bikini that had left little to the imagination.

And he had been so very interested in imagining all the things that it did conceal.

And he’d felt like the biggest, most perverse asshole.

Then there had been the time that Clint had asked him to take her out riding.

Just the two of them.

Because Clint trusted him. Of course he did. Why wouldn’t he trust his best friend? So he’d done it.

Had taken her out on the trails that wound behind the Dalton family property, up to the top of a mountain. And he looked over at the view with her, watched the sunset. And everything in him had wanted to lean over and kiss her on the mouth. To act on the feelings that were rioting through his chest.

For just a breath she’d looked back at him, met his eyes. And he’d thought maybe she’d wanted it, too.

Yeah, it would have exploded his relationship with Clint, but for a minute it seemed like it might be worth it.

Then she’d looked away. And then he’d come back to himself.

Clint was his brother. In every way but blood.

And he couldn’t betray his friend like that.

Anyway, Ellie loved Clint.

She didn’t love Caleb.

And no matter how much he might not want to, he had to respect that.

So he hadn’t kissed her. They had ridden back down that mountain, and nothing happened between them. But late at night, Caleb had taken himself in hand and fantasized that it had.

Two days later Clint and Ellie had been engaged.

Caleb had agreed to be the best man.

She’d married Clint. And while his feelings for her had remained, they’d shifted. As they’d had to.

He wasn’t perfect. He’d never touched Ellie. Not like a man touched a woman, though that hadn’t stopped him from going over the accidental brush of fingertips, of their elbows touching, over and over in his mind if it had happened on accident.

It hadn’t stopped him from keeping and cherishing secrets with her, even when he knew he shouldn’t. Hadn’t stopped him from pushing some boundaries that not even Ellie had realized he’d been pushing at.

Ellie was the one who’d realized, for the first time, that he was dyslexic. And he’d sworn her to secrecy. And in that secrecy had come secret reading lessons.

And he’d…well, he’d lost control of his own feelings again. And once he’d recognized that, he’d cut them off. Cut her off.

But then Clint had died, just a month later. And everything changed again.

Since then, his relationship with Ellie was about their coming together to try and fill the gap Clint had left behind. His helping where she needed it.

Helping with the house, with her grief, with Amelia.

That was all.


Excerpted from Christmas Cowboy Redemption by Maisey Yates, Copyright © 2019 by Maisey Yates. Published by HQN Books.

About the Author


New York Times Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.


Weekly Update #348, just ten more days...


Welcome to my Weekly Update where I share what's been going on and what's coming up!

I'm linking up to The Sunday Post, hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I just can not believe that Christmas is a week and a half away!!! I'm so not ready! I have all the gifts, but my house isn't ready. I hope to get to it this week with family coming in town. I did read some good books last week and have some more coming up this week and then will enjoy a good break over Christmas. How about you? Are you ready for Christmas?


This Week


Other Things of Note

I'm running two really fun events this month over at Prism Book Tours. One is only running through Sunday and the second goes through next week. They both have fantastic giveaways, so definitely check them out:

Last Week

In case you missed any of these over the past week...

A heartfelt #RegencyRomance... Kit and Elizabeth by Karen Tuft (Review & #Giveaway) #KitandElizabeth @covenantlds


Welcome! This book is a sequel to The Earl's Betrothal (which is currently on sale for Kindle for $2.99) but there are also brief mentions of the characters from The Gentleman's Deception and Wager for a Wife, all of which I've enjoyed and you should definitely check out. This newest from Tuft can be read on its own though. Read my review and enter the tour giveaway below...

Kit and Elizabeth
By Karen Tuft
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 296 Pages
December 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications

Summary

Lady Elizabeth Spaulding’s world has fallen apart. Despite living her entire life to please her demanding parents, the Duke and Duchess of Marwood, she has little to show for it. After Elizabeth’s second failed betrothal, her father’s debts and appalling acts of retaliation force him to flee the country, consigning Elizabeth and her bitter mother to a life of poverty and exile. But Elizabeth’s fortunes change one day when an elderly acquaintance makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

Lady Walmsley, widowed and childless, is in need of a lady’s companion—and who better than the lovely Lady Elizabeth? Determined to rescue Elizabeth from her dreary life in the country, Lady Walmsley secures the help of Kit, the dashing Earl of Cantwell, in her quest. But the young woman they find is a ghost of the charming girl they once knew. Taken in by Lady Walmsley, and with Kit’s enthusiastic encouragement, Elizabeth finds herself pushed further and further from her empty solitude as she discovers the joy of truly living. Now, for the first time in her life, she must decide for herself who she is and if she deserves to be loved.

(Affiliate link included.)

My Review

KIT AND ELIZABETH is a story of neglect, heartbreak, friendship, and love. The characters are delightful and the story is so heartfelt that readers won't be able to resist loving it. Highly recommended to sweet historical romance fans!

I love stories that are balanced between the difficulties of life and the sweetness of love. This one definitely is. There are some difficult people the characters face, as well as a society where there are expectations and gossip galore. The story also shows the various relationship found at this time in history, such as arranged marriages, unfaithful spouses, friendships, family (both by blood and by adoption), and love matches. I literally ate up the first half of this story. I loved all the interactions between Kit, Lizzie and "Aunt Margaret." There is so much humor, chemistry, and just good friendship. My heart went out to Lizzie and Kit. The story did lose a bit of its momentum in the second half when these characters travel to the country, particularly as some things were completely let go in regards to being chaperoned, but it was still very enjoyable. I especially loved the epilogue. It was perfect for this story.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and definitely recommend it to sweet historical romance fans. Having read the other books by the author, there were also some delightful cameos from prior characters. A perfect read for those looking for a story to warm their heart.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

The Earl's Betrothal
By Karen Tuft
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 264 Pages
May 1st 2016 by Covenant Communications, Inc.

Summary

Out of the war and into another, Captain Lord Anthony Hargreaves finds the politics of romance to be as uninviting a battle as the one that nearly cost him his life in Badajoz, Spain.

Wounded both mentally and physically from the Peninsular War in 1812, Anthony returns home to find that his older brother has died, placing Anthony next in line to inherit the estate. But he’s not ready for such responsibilities. And when Anthony’s dying father pleads with him to marry and produce an heir to preserve the family title, it nearly sends Anthony over the edge; nevertheless he dutifully faces a long line of hopeful young ladies who await him. No one grabs his attention, though, like Amelia Clarke, his mother’s stunning companion, who is off-limits for the earl. But when Anthony unwittingly puts Amelia in a compromising situation, he dedicates himself to protecting her reputation.

But the horrors Anthony faced while away from home have left him feeling broken and tormented. And Anthony finds himself drawn to Miss Clarke, the only one who can chase away his demons, but he must overcome the hostility of a society driven by class, a jealous duke bent on revenge, and himself—for could Amelia ever really love a haunted man?

Read my review HERE.

(Affiliate link included.)

About the Author


Karen Tuft was born with a healthy dose of curiosity about pretty much everything, so as a child she taught herself to read and play the piano. She studied composition at BYU and graduated from the University of Utah in music theory, where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies.

In addition to being an author, Karen is a wife, mom, grandma (hooray!), pianist, composer, and arranger. She likes to figure out what makes people tick, wander through museums, and travel, whether it's by car, plane, or paperback.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read any of Tuft's books? Will you be reading this one? Do you enjoy Regency romances?

Raneé S. Clark for Sweet Romance for Christmas (Excerpt & #Giveaway) #RomBks4Chris19

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Her Country Christmas Date
(Love in Little River #2)
By Raneé S. Clark
Sweet Contemporary Romance, Novella
Paperback & ebook, 98 Pages
December 1st 2019 by Sweetly Us

Is ten days, twelve dates, and a little Christmas magic enough for happily ever after?

Dru North has far more substance than the party-boy reputation given to him by the media, which is why a quiet Christmas in Little is just what he needs. From the moment he meets Amber Miller, who’s staying across the hall, sparks fly, and a magical Christmas party leads to an impulsive kiss.

While Dru is eager to get to know Amber during the quiet vacation, she’s wary of his reputation and his riches. She challenges him to take her on twelve dates before she’ll consider their relationship anything more than a holiday fling—a feat given the fact that she’s only in town for ten days.

Amidst the big family holiday Dru has always dreamed of having, Amber finds herself trusting with every “date” that Dru isn’t the bad-boy she thought him to be. But his insistence that this can be more than a holiday fling has Amber worried about the future. Dru’s a famous country star with money to burn, and she’s just a teacher. Are their worlds too far apart for a happily ever after when the Christmas magic is over?

(Affiliate link included.)

Excerpt

She laughed. The way her laughter sometimes escaped her, like it was a surprise, tickled his insides with more warmth. It could be zero degrees out here, and he could stand next to her and not feel it. He glanced back at the window, catching a few people watching them, and shifted into the darkness on the other side of the fire. He glanced around them.

“What is it?” she asked in a whisper.

He looked down at her, turning so that he faced her, blocking them both from anyone determined to find them. “Looking for mistletoe,” he teased.

She put her warm hands on the sides of his neck, then slid her fingers up into the short hairs there. “Ummm, not really necessary.”

He tilted his head down toward her, stilling as he neared her lips. He’d just met this woman an hour before, but the pull to her was magnetic. He couldn’t avoid it if he tried. She didn’t even give him time to think about it before she leaned into him, finishing off the distance between them and pressing her lips to his.

The fire behind them seemed to jump from the pit and explode around him. He wrapped his arms around her back, shifting her backward to lean against the side of the house. Her fingers slid up farther, pulling his head down to her. He let the magic of the night take over for several seconds, or maybe minutes, while he kissed her.

She pulled away and stared at him, her fingers slowly trailing back down the back of his neck, gripping his shoulders. “That was ... um ... wow.”

He drew in a long breath, loosening his arms around her, but not enough to let her go. Not yet. “Yeah.”

“I don’t think I should have done that.” Her voice trembled with a light laugh. A fake one.

“Because you hardly know me?”

“You’re Dru North.” She blew out a breath.

Usually the insinuation didn’t bother him. The women he’d dated in the past had figured out quickly enough what was hype and what was him. And there was a lot of hype. But he tensed anyway. He liked Amber. Really liked her, and it hurt to be judged so quickly.

Then he shook it off, deciding that was unfair. She’d known him all of an hour or so. Enough time for him to be charming. Not enough time for her to separate an image from the real guy.

“You’re Amber... ,” he started to tease and then broke off when he realized he didn’t know her last name. Classy, North. If there was ever a reason to believe that he was the womanizing bad boy, he’d just given it to her.

“Miller,” she supplied. She gave him a see what I mean look.

He would not have tried to convince her to go upstairs with him, no matter how long they’d spent together tonight, but that’s not what his image said. He’d just have to show her. “I want to get to know you,” he said, taking her hands in his and kissing her knuckles. She relaxed a little.

“This is crazy,” she whispered.

He spread her fingers out in his and then began kissing the tips. “Please.”

“I’m only here for ten days.”

“Plenty of time.” Let me prove to you who I am.

She tapped her fingers against his chest, watching him as she considered. “Okay. But you can’t do that again.” He raised his eyebrows in question. “Kissing me. It messes with my head.”

“That’s an unacceptable deal. It doesn’t have to be on the first date, but I am going to need to kiss you again.” He loosened his arms some more, making sure she understood she could walk away at any moment. She was irresistible, but he was standing out here in the cold, in the dark, purposefully out of view of the other guests at the party. He didn’t want to scare her.

“Twelve dates,” she said.

Dru scowled. “What?”

“You can kiss me again after twelve dates.” She punctuated this by sliding her hands inside his jacket, her hands cold against his chest.

“You’re only here ten days.”

She pulled up one shoulder, mock grimacing at him. “Well, either you’ll rise to the challenge or ... you won’t.”

Other Books in the Series

Roxy's Song
(Love in Little River #1)
By Raneé S. Clark
Sweet Contemporary Romance, Novella
Paperback & ebook, 133 Pages
September 8th 2019 by Sweetly Us

The night Tag Turner claimed he loved Roxy Adams and begged her to follow him to Nashville to live his dream, she sent him packing since she knew it couldn't be real. Even if he did insist he’d been singing his love to her for years.

Eight years later, Tag, now a famous country star, rolls back into small town Little River hoping for one more shot at winning his high school crush. But Roxy loves her quiet, country life on her family’s ranch—a life that doesn’t have room for someone who can’t buy coffee without national media attention.

Not ready to give up, Tag stays in Little River to work on his next album and convince the woman he loves to give him a chance. Will Roxy ever trust his feelings are real and not just lyrics in a song?

(Affiliate link included.)

About the Author


During her early years of reading, Raneé S. Clark devoured fantasy books, which continued into her adulthood—since she often believes that a well-written romance novel is a delightful fantasy. Though raising three boys can sometimes hamper both romance with her own Prince Charming and her writing, she tries to get a little of both in every day. And most of the time she succeeds.


Tour Schedule
(Posts go live on the day they're scheduled.)

December 11th: Launch
December 12th: Julie Coulter Bellon - Truth or Dare
December 13th: Delaney Cameron - The Gift of Love
December 14th: Raneé S. Clark - Her Country Christmas Date
December 15th: Stephanie Fowers - Robin and Marian
December 16th: Aspen Hadley - Blind Dates, Bridesmaids & Other Disasters
December 17th: Maria Hoagland - Santa Cam
December 18th: Rachel John - The Christmas Bachelor Auction
December 19th: Sally Johnson - Dear Mr. Darcy
December 20th: D.E. Malone - Love Like Forever
December 21st: Melissa McClone - Mountain Rescue Romance Series
December 22nd: Brooke St. James - The Suite Life
December 23rd: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally (as long as winner is eligible to receive prize)
Ends December 28, 2019

The Christmas Kiss by Virginia McCullough (Tour Grand Finale & #Giveaway) #ChrKissTour

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

Welcome back to Bluestone River, a prairie town in Northern Illinois. I had great fun writing Emma O’Connell’s story, especially after Parker Davis comes to town. . .


"The Christmas Kiss By Virginia McCullough is another romantic adventure that takes two people on a wonderful journey. They have to find a way to work together and to learn that maybe they both have someone else out there for them. They just had to look. I am giving this book five stars and recommending it all the romance readers out there."


"Virginia McCullough has a knack for bringing small towns to life on the pages of her novels – with characters you easily care about and plots that reflect both the realities of life and the wonder of romance. The writing style is smooth and engaging, and the romance moves along at a realistic pace . . . I liked the protagonists being a little older than 20s and early 30s – it added an extra dose of wisdom to their personalities which in turn resulted in less of (and shorter-lasting, less earth-shattering) the typical misunderstandings that we so often see in romance novels. Another great read for the season – or anytime of year, for that matter!"


Parker had to laugh at himself. As much as he’d tried, he couldn’t stop looking at Emma, not from the first glimpse of her approaching him. Maybe it was the sassy way she’d twirled her cane that intrigued him. Straight dark hair set off large brown eyes that lit up in fun, but turned serious when something subtle shifted her mood. She was taller than average. Her body was curvy and strong—easy to picture her as that girl jock she brought up.

He bet Emma was a good dancer. He closed his eyes and there he was, holding her close and slow dancing on the pier. Now why had that occurred to him? He didn’t know her. Not even a little bit. He gave the railing a little bump with his palm, as if that could knock her image out of his brain.

onemused - Review

"This book has a lot of build-up to the romance/relationship and plenty of talking to really bring you into their relationship. This was a sweet and clean romance that builds really well over time. The Christmas setting also really shines through with the build-up over the season and plenty of Christmasy scenes. I loved this older/mature romance of two people who know what they want out of life and a partner. This was a fun, Christmas-time romance read overall."

EmpowerMoms - Review

"I liked seeing Parkers daughter Nicole blossom during the story, along with Parker and Emmas friendship. I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait to read more books about Bluestone River!"

Pause for Tales - Review

"This was another sweet Christmas read that features a couple who are older and more mature as they are in their late 30's and early 40's. It was refreshing to read about that age and the author does a good job of showing their maturity in their lives. . . . This was a cute holiday read that brought this family together."

Remembrancy - Review

". . . I adored visiting this community and its residents again. The added Bluestone Holiday celebrations added to the charm of the book. The romance, while fairly fast, progresses in a believable manner."


"If you enjoy family-oriented stories, it you believe in second chances, if you are thrilled with first kisses and new beginnings, you will want to read The Christmas Kiss. This is my first book by Virginia McCullough and she has convinced me that Bluestone River is a special place -- I hope to have a chance to go back!"

Hallie Reads - Review

"The Christmas Kiss is sweet and fun and full of holiday cheer, a nice addition to the Back to Bluestone River series. . . . I enjoyed my time with them and am looking forward to more of Bluestone River once again."


"I am giving The Christmas Kiss five plus stars. Readers who enjoy heartwarming and clean romance will not want to miss this one. I look forward to the next addition to the Back to Bluestone River series."


"I love a friends-to-more story, especially when it takes place at Christmastime! In The Christmas Kiss, Emma and Parker initially seem like an unlikely pair, but they both have good hearts and care about others. . . . I enjoyed this rich, full-bodied cup of Christmas love."


"I can't stress how much I loved this book! . . . This is a delightful book that will be sure to put you in the Christmas cheer!

I highly recommend this book."


"I really enjoyed this one. I'm glad to be visiting Bluestone River again. I love the small town feel of the book. I really loved Emma. . . . This book has plenty of heart and feels."

Harlie's Books - Review

"Ms. McCullough wrote a book that I desperately needed with only two weeks left in school. It showed me some things that I would have never thought about, characters that I grew to love and an ending that was beautiful. Not to mention the birds in it and I learned a lot from Parker when it came to the care that wounded birds need."

SPLASHES of Joy - Review

"I really like the Bluestone River community and enjoyed being back for a visit. The scenes and details of this little place makes me feel at home. And with the Christmas decorations and festivities, it is just when you want to be for a part of your Christmas Season. I encourage you to check out this book. You are sure to have hours of entertainment, enjoyment and Holiday pleasure as you read The Christmas Kiss."


"One of the best parts of the story is getting to catch-up with Ruby and Mike as [they're] excepting their first child now. McCullough cleverly put their lives in the life of Emma and Parker - showing how tight-knit Bluestone River is. . . . McCullough has already charmed me into loving this series. . ."


"A delightful holiday romance! . . . I recommend this book to anyone enjoying a small town romance with a close knit group of family and friends playing a key part in the story line. Sweet interactions, a whimsical setting and a romance sure to please."


"I like that it is a slow burn kind of a relationship between the two of them, especially considering their frequent opposing viewpoints. Then again, the ones that start out at odds often lead to a more intense attachment, right? And I like having romances with "older people," (though we're not old at this age!) for a bit of a change. Add in all of the holiday feels and you have another winner in this series."


"Get ready for that warm, fuzzy, Christmasy love feeling folks because this book fairly oozes with it! That's right. This second installment in the Bluestone River series brings Parker and Emma together at this perfect time of the year and it is nothing less than yummy. . . . Ms. McCullough truly deserves a huge round of applause for providing us with one of the most wonderful reads of the Season."


"The attraction between the two is immediate and apparent, but doesn’t rush through. It is a slow and natural progression with how they work together to bring the sanctuary to life. . . . If you enjoy a clean romance without Christian references – these books fit that description. This one was a “curl up on the couch, cup of cocoa, warm blanket, cloudy day” read. Cozy and beautiful."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

The Christmas Kiss
(Back to Bluestone River #2)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Will working together

…lead to together forever?

Recently divorced, Parker Davis needs to focus on his new job so he can provide a stable home for his daughter in time for the Christmas holidays. The problem is, he’s frequently at odds with his boss. He and Emma O’Connell approach everything differently. Yet he finds her intriguing, and Bluestone River festivities keep pushing them together—often enough that two people at odds could find themselves evenly matched in love!

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

A Family for Jason
(Back to Bluestone River #1)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She’s not home for keeps

Unless he proves first love is forever

Bluestone River is a minefield of memories for Mike Abbot—all involving Ruby Driscoll. Twenty years after scandal divided them, they’re both back in their hometown. Ruby’s visit is strictly temporary. But as she uses her trauma expertise to help his vulnerable son, Mike faces what his heart has always known. Ruby’s still his one and only. This time, can he convince her to stay?

About the Author

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.


Tour Giveaway


- 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card and a $25 Etsy eGift Card
- Open internationally for those who are eligible
- Ends December 18, 2019

ENTER HERE
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The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson (Tour Grand Finale) #DatCharPrism

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Author Interview

What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read it?

I hope readers come away from the story having laughed and smiled over the crazy antics (some that were plucked directly from my mothering life) but also learned more about the ups and downs of the foster system, some perhaps even finding themselves called to get involved in some way. That’s what happened to our family. After writing this book, we were led to start fostering ourselves and our house recently became officially approved.


"I LOVE THIS STORY! . . . The Dating Charade is fresh and fun. I was entertained and amused, and also moved by its incredible and unexpected intensity. Melissa Ferguson is a clever storyteller, infusing her writing with equal servings of wit and depth. . . . this heartwarming book has earned its spot on my Favorites of 2019 list."


He swung the locker closed. He needed to get it together.

In the stillness of his room he lay on his back, picked up his phone. It glowed in the otherwise dark space. Even as he typed the words in the app store and hit the download button, he felt the heat on his neck, the shame in even considering the terribly desperate option. He twisted his neck to double-check the lock on his room door. The mere act of looking into one of these sites depleted the level of his manhood. This was just testing the waters, he reminded himself as he swiftly created a username and logged in, scrolling down the page as dozens of faces popped up. He would just take a look around, see if this was a real possibility for expanding his connections . . .


"...a family drama story with both Cassie and Jett finding their way with the kids they’ve inherited. And, neither one knowing about the other’s situation with miscommunication occurring. . . . this was a delightful read. It was heart-warming and often heart-tugging."


How does this book stand out in this genre?

The Dating Charade is a bit different from the typical rom/com, particularly because while there are several laugh-out-loud moments, there’s also the story revolving around the children and the issues they have to face (abandonment, addictions, foster care). So, I guess I’d say, The Dating Charade is happiness and total happily-ever-after with a bow, but also carries a message about the power of family, however they came to be.

Among the Reads - Review

"Such a funny and heartwarming story!

I don’t always enjoy stories that combine humor and serious elements. A balance is needed to make this work. To not make the humor seem out of place in the midst of the tragedy or to make the more serious elements seem like a shock because they are so extreme. Melissa Ferguson crafted a story that had me laughing and pulling out the Kleenex! . . . If you enjoy laughing and romance, I highly recommend The Dating Charade!"


He rested his hand on the top of her car door and paused, the door separating their bodies but their faces suddenly not so far apart. “Till Wednesday, then.”

The exposed skin of his neck was red from the chill, and beneath his form-fitting jacket sat a pair of dark jeans that complemented his green, button-down oxford. Any drift of cologne—if he wore any—was overpowered by the thousands of pines surrounding them, infusing their world with shouts of Christmas.

Nat King Cole’s melody, “Almost Like Being in Love,” came over the outdoor speakers, drawing them toward one another like the red-velvet ribbon draped around the large Christmas trees in shop windows.

“Till Wednesday,” Cassie repeated softly.

Wishful Endings - Review

"Ferguson has been added to my must-read, auto-buy list of authors. I loved her writing style, the characters, and this story! So much emotion and heartbreak, but so much hope and love as well, making the story not too heavy, which is the perfect combination. Definitely recommended to both Christian and non-Christian contemporary romance readers."


Cassie’s face hurt from smiling. For ten minutes she drove with that smile—a slaphappy grin. When a car cut her off turning into Food City, she had nothing but a Merry-Christmas-to-all grin to give him. As she slowly passed the lights of an ambulance and two feuding citizens beside busted cars, her wide and vibrant smile met them, and with understandable misunderstanding both citizens threw a few choice words toward her before turning back on each other. But there was nothing to be done about it. The smile wasn’t going anywhere.

What if he was the one?


"From laugh out loud moments to more emotional and serious layers, The Dating Charade has appeal far beyond its cute cover and promising synopsis. . . . With just one novel to her name (she has a novella I’m wanting to read!), Melissa Ferguson has found her way onto my must-read author list. I eagerly look forward to whatever she pens next!"


"Okay, so first; WOW!!! I’ve loved books and I’ve laughed reading books but never so much as this one. This book? I have no words! It was messy, sappy, happy, and wonderfully one of the best books I have ever read!"


Jett whispered tersely, pointing to the thrown items. “Drew. Pick. Up. Your. Macaroni.”

Drew looked up at him while shoveling another handful—literally, as in hand without the spoon—of macaroni into his mouth. “Can’t. I’m a dinosaur. Dinosaurs don’t have hands.”

Jett’s uncle stifled a smile.

Jett himself stifled a look that would’ve slid that smile right off his uncle’s face. He set the fork down and stood. “Young man . . .”

Harlie's Books - Review

"This is a fun read but it does go deeper than you expect. Ms. Ferguson does an excellent job of balancing out the light with the dark. I just wish, in a way, that there was more romance. But hey, I love romance books. Do yourself a favor and pick up this gem of a book. You will thank me later."

Backing Books - Review

" loved this! Getting to see these characters interact, both adults and children, made this a great read. Cassie and Jett are two amazing people who really step up to the plate when it comes to taking care of the three children they have each suddenly found in their care. Taking care of children is never easy, and these two were thrust into that with three kids!"


So, this was how it was going to be. He’d thought that exact thought a thousand times since entering that long stretch of highway between his aunt’s house and his own. Every time, however, the blow lessened. At first it was like he had stood against a wall, and a truck had slammed into his body at seventy-five miles an hour. Then it felt like being strapped to a tree, an archer shooting an arrow into his chest. This morning it was a brass-knuckled punch to the face. Now, however, the hand giving the blow had softened, no more of a sting than if Sarah had slapped him on the cheek. He was getting used to the pain.

Could perhaps even acknowledge a part of him liked watching the two small heads huddled close together beside him, Dakota’s little hand in his. Could acknowledge he was getting used to seeing a stack of diapers next to a stack of movies.

It wasn’t as lonely.

Faithfully Bookish - Interview & Review

What is your next release and/or what are you working on now?

M: The Dating Charade released December third (woo!!!) and I’m working The Cul-de-sac War coming out fall of 2020. 🙂

"All the hearts on the cover of The Dating Charade are entirely fitting because this story has heart in a big way (and a healthy dose of hilarity, too… often at the expense of the main characters)! I laughed, I cried, I hugged my kids, I told one of my kids to read this book! . . . Melissa Ferg[u]son’s debut is a “nothing but net” three-point shot for the win! I highly recommend this story!"


"There are many hilarious situations, and I loved how the children keep Cassie and Jett on their toes. A heartwarming debut, with lighthearted humor, with a heartfelt core. Highly enjoyable read."


"The novel was a fun and cute read. I like that even though Cassie was jaded, she still tried to open up her heart to love. . . . a novel about two separate people adopting children and learning to care about others than themselves. Overall, I like the idea of family being people who you choose and not only the ones you are born into."

SPLASHES of Joy - Excerpt

Jett was a bona fide hero.

And she couldn’t let him go.

Pulling herself back to the present, Cassie shook out the pink tablecloth and threw it across the Ping-Pong table, shaking out her thoughts as she did so.

Meanwhile, Bree, with crossed arms, stared at her as though she’d watched every bit of Cassie’s playback reel. “Listen, if you don’t call him, I’m going to. I’ll marry him myself, Cassandra Everson.”

Uplifting Reads - Review

"I totally fell madly in love with this book and all of its characters. . . . And there are plenty of moments that will tug at your heartstrings. I admit that I cried both sad and happy tears while reading this book, as well as almost laughing to the point of tears. There's just so much love and greatness in this story. I'm so glad that I picked it up."


When you are not writing, what other hats do you wear? What do you do for fun?

When not writing, I’m a mother of twin 4-year-olds and a 2-year-old daughter, and they stay all day with me. I also teach Bible and Religion online primarily for my alma mater, King University.


"The Dating Charade is a super cute, fast paced and fun read. I knew that this was a debut novel when I started reading it but it certainly doesn't seem like a debut novel at all, it reads as a novel penned by a more experienced author, so kudos to Ms. Ferguson for that."

EmpowerMoms - Review

"This author did such a great job with the struggles and horrors of foster care, trying to be a single parent, and trying to just get thru the day-loving and hating every minute of it-being exhausted but grateful at the end of the day. As a parent, I could relate to so many of the struggles, laughs and tears. I loved reading this book!"

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

Star, as she was always so keenly aware, was nowhere to be seen.

For the past seven years she’d watched for the magic minute when the girls left their schools and made their way to the Haven. At the window, at 2:15 p.m. every day, she’d waited for them to come. Like the rumblings of thunder before a heavy storm, she and her staff would feel the anticipation, the shake, before the magic minute struck. The sudden rush at the computer to finish that report, to send that e-mail, to put the finishing touches on that flyer. The dash to the coffee station for a refill, because it very well could be the last calm moment for the rest of the day.

Often Cassie couldn’t stand it any longer and would step out the front door with her fresh mug, beckoned by the distant sound of the final school bell.


"Oh my goodness! Add this book to your TBR pile right now! If you love clean romance written from a Christian perspective, The Dating Charade is a book for you. I had to keep checking to make sure this was “for real” Melissa Ferguson’s first book, because it sure doesn’t read like a debut novel! Sure enough, it is! I’m already looking forward to her next book."

All excerpts from The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson. Used with the permission of the publisher, Thomas Nelson. Copyright © 2019 by Melissa Ferguson.

The Dating Charade
By Melissa Ferguson
Contemporary Romance, Christian
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 336 Pages
December 3rd 2019 by Thomas Nelson

Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.

Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.

But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author


Melissa Ferguson is an adjunct professor for Bible and religion at King University. She lives in the charming town of Bristol, Tennessee, with her husband, twin toddlers, and baby girl. She used to have hobbies like running and backpacking the Appalachian Trail outside her door. Now her hobbies include admiring the Appalachian Trail out her minivan window while singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" en route to the library.


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