An undercover actor in a Texas high school... Hickville Crossroads (Review)

Hickville Crossroads
(Hickville High Series #4)
By Mary Karlik
YA Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 255 Pages
May 4th 2020

Summary

Frasier Anderson is one of the hottest teenage actors in the UK, but he’s virtually unknown in the US. Now he’s landed the leading role in a big-budget Hollywood film that could make him an international star.

So how do you prepare a Scot for a role as a Texas high school student? Give him a fake name, a fake accent, and embed him in a Texas high school. He only has to follow three rules:

No drama. No girls. And no telling who he really is.

Jenna Wiley is smart, funny, and has a few no-drama, no-dating rules of her own. Her friendship with new kid Ethan Smith is perfect and might even lead to something more. Except for a few things that don’t add up. Like his mom being afraid to have company. Or their house, which is more staged than lived in. Or his sister, whom nobody talks about.

It all comes to a boil when Frasier’s biggest secrets hit the tabloids and the paparazzi swarm Hillside with Jenna in their sights.

Can Frasier convince Jenna that shy, goofy Ethan Smith is closer to real than the image the tabloids have created?

And can she ever forgive him for breaking the most important rule of all? Because for Jenna, when it comes to love and science, the truth is all that matters.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

HICKVILLE CROSSROADS is a sweet story about on undercover actor and a girl who has sworn off dating who find an instantaneous attraction to each other. Of course things don't quite go according to plan and drama ensues. Fans of YA contemporaries, where romance is the focus, along with plenty of drama may enjoy this one.

I liked Frasier from the start. A celebrity who is also vulnerable and dealing with overbearing parents while trying to act like a regular guy in high school is a bit of a balancing act. Throw in trying to sound American and hide a Scottish accent as well as the fact that you're an actor and there is quite a challenge. I really liked his character and how sweet he is. Jenna is razor focused on her grades and not dating, especially after a betrayal from her last boyfriend and best friend. She's got a full and loud house at home and a strong group of girlfriends. The first day her and Frasier meet, they just click with those awkward, super-charged moments of chemistry when their eyes meet. Yep, cue the sappy music. Lol! Their story is sweet and starts with hanging with Jenna's family and friends while they try to be friends themselves. Of course, but then things happen and Jenna is all-over-the-place dramatic while Frasier has some serious heartbreak to work through. So, lots and lots of drama.

My issues with the story stemmed from an almost insta-love scenario and the level of drama for a guy who was at school for a single week. I just couldn't quite buy all of it, particularly the anger Jenna felt. I think if the author would have let some time pass where they were seriously dating or actually dating (I don't know that one date would be considered really dating) and them get more embedded in each other's lives, it might have worked. I also didn't get a lot of the issues with communicating with each other and Jenna not knowing what was going on with social media as it is. There were just a lot of little things that I felt needed some ironing out.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, this was a sweet read. I appreciated that it was clean and I liked the overall story and characters.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Xpresso Book Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

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Have you read any of the books in this series?

Check out the cover for Stay by Jennifer Silverwood + #giveaway! #StayPrism #coverreveal @prismbooktours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Stay
By Jennifer Silverwood


Romantic Urban Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 216 Pages

"Sometimes, love isn't as magical as people expect it to be..."

Rona believes love is nothing more than a myth, a tale for little girls. Until the immortal ruler of the seas appears from thin air and she is swept into a dark and dangerous affair, turning myth into a grave reality.

Commanded to work as the savior of true love, Rona realizes that love is just an illusion as grandiose as magic and after two thousand years, she is ready to give up. Until the night a human, deep in the underbelly of the city that never sleeps, sees her. She recognizes him instantly, a lost love. Trouble is, he has no memory of her.

Tasked with mending a relationship between the love she lost thousands of years ago and another woman, Rona will have to learn what it means to be human all over again when past and present collide.

Can love transcend time or will Rona be forced to roam the earth alone, forever?

(Affiliate link included.)

Cover History

Check out prior covers for this book originally published in 2013...

All designs, including the updated one, designed by Najla Qamber Designs.

About the Author


Jennifer Silverwood has been involved in the publishing world since 2012 and is passionate about supporting the writing community however she can. After studying traditional art at University, she loves helping Qamber Designs & Media bring authors’ books to life. Jennifer is the author of ten novels and founder of We Write Fantasy, a blog and support group for fellow genre authors. She hopes to share her passion for art, music, and literature via words and work ethic.

Learn more about Jenn’s misadventures in writing & life at www.jennifersilverwood.com


Cover Reveal Giveaway


- One winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card
- Three winners will receive an ebook of Stay
- Open internationally (for those who can accept prizes)
- Ends May 30, 2020

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I Can't Wait for... The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning (Can't-Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday) #CWW #WOW


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

This pretty much caught my attention from the title and then that it's inspired by The Princess Bride, which has been a longtime favorite. It's my pick this week...

The Princess Will Save You
(The Princess Will Save You #1)
By Sarah Henning
YA Fantasy
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 368 Pages
July 7th 2020 by Tor Teen

Summary

The Princess Will Save You is a YA fantasy adventure inspired by The Princess Bride, in which a princess must rescue her stable boy true love, from the acclaimed author of Sea Witch, Sarah Henning.

When a princess’s commoner true love is kidnapped to coerce her into a political marriage, she doesn’t give in—she goes to rescue him.

When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown.

But Amarande was raised to be a warrior—not a sacrifice.

In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.

“Full of inconceivable wit, daring adventure, and cunning political machinations…It’s as if Sarah Henning looked into my soul that yearned for a book like The Princess Bride and said—as you wish. And yes, this is a kissing book.” —Ashley Poston, author of Heart of Iron

“The Princess Will Save You is everything we love about YA fantasy, complete with first love, sweeping adventure, and a fierce heroine who holds her own. There’s something for everyone in this book.” —Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of The Sky in the Deep

“An action-packed adventure with a fierce heroine that is sure to enthrall! Sarah Henning has created a fantasy narrative that weaves together love and betrayal, pirates and swordplay. Sure to please anyone who grew up loving tales of princesses.” —Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of The Bone Houses

(Affiliate links included.)


Will you be reading this one?

A story that tugs on the heart... Stay with Me by Becky Wade (Review & #Giveaway) #SWMPrism #BHPFiction @PrismBookTours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

I stumbled upon Becky Wade's debut years ago and have followed her ever since. Her romance is always chemistry-filled, she writes fabulously complex characters, and the stories themselves are genuine and heartfelt. I think I've cried and laughed and swooned while reading each of her books. She's starting a new series and I'm already in love. Check out my review and a giveaway below...

Stay with Me
(A Misty River Romance #1)
By Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
May 5th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

Summary

Loving her is a risk he can’t afford . . . and can’t resist.

When acclaimed Bible study author Genevieve Woodward receives an anonymous letter referencing her parents’ past, she returns to her hometown in the Blue Ridge mountains to chase down her family’s secret.  However, it’s Genevieve’s own secret that catches up to her when Sam Turner, owner of an historic farm, uncovers the source of shame she’s worked so hard to hide.

Sam has embraced his sorrow, his isolation, and his identity as an outsider. He’s spent years carving out both career success and peace of mind.  The last thing he wants is to rent the cottage on his property to a woman whose struggles stir his worst failure back to life.  Yet, can he bear to turn her away right when she needs him most?

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

STAY WITH ME is a story of dealing with trauma and the pressure of perfection. It's a story of vulnerability, forgiveness, family, and romance. Readers will love these characters and cheer them on as they try to overcome what life has thrown at them and their own poor choices, while opening up to others and reaching out to God's grace. Definitely recommended to Christian contemporary romance fans and fans of the author!

This is a story that is so prevalent to the time we live in with all the pressures of the world, to be perfect and successful. Prescription drug addiction is such a huge issue in our society. I've been lucky to not have to face it personally, but I could still relate to Gen and Sam and their situations. They were each imperfect and flawed, but were trying to do the right things and trust in God. I loved their interactions with all the banter and sizzling chemistry! They really were a perfect match in how they balanced each other.

Here's one favorite quote from this story:
     Relationships were painful and messy and beautiful and important. The mess came with the beauty. The pain came with the importance.
     That was life. And God was calling him to live it.

Of course, there was more going on in this story than just Gen and Sam. I also loved Gen's relationship with her sister. Gen's mom was a little crazy and very controlling, but I know she had her reasons for her smothering and being overly positive. Then there was a bit of a mystery mixed in too that was an interesting and a unique aspect of this story. There was a strong element of faith, but it never came across as preachy or forced. It was an interesting focus to see how these characters thought they could somehow "pay" God back for saving them or redeem themselves when they couldn't. I'm sure the messages of forgiveness and mercy will resonate with many readers.

Just a few very minor complaints... The Austen references were fun as I'm a fan, although a bit over the top in places. Gen and her sister were part of the Miracle Five, five kids who miraculously survived an earthquake in their teens while on a mission trip. I don't know that I loved the sections from that, but it did act as a set up for future stories in this series. I'm definitely curious to see what happens with Sebastian, Ben and Luke (even though it's going to test Sebastian's and Ben's friendship). At least I hope the series will tell their stories!

In the end, was it what I wished for? I really enjoyed reading this story! There were lots of connections to struggles many face with drug addiction and feeling "enough." The romance was fantastic as were these characters! If you're a fan of small-town charm, great characters, family, faith and romance then definitely give this new series from Wade a try.

Content: Prescription drug addiction, a reference to abuse and a murder.
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

Take a Chance on Me
(A Misty River Romance #0.5)
By Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance, Novella
ebook, 97 Pages
February 25th 2020

Summary

When baker Penelope Quinn steps in to help her brother’s family through a medical crisis, she’s forced into close proximity with charming Air Force fighter pilot Eli Price.

Penelope has one iron-clad dating rule—she does not date airmen. Months ago, she relaxed her rule with Eli and immediately lived to regret it. After a long deployment, he’s now back in Misty River and, to her dismay, she finds him just as tempting as always.

Eli’s spent months thinking about funny, feisty, creative Penelope. He once leveraged his focus and drive to become a pilot, his childhood dream. Now he's set on leveraging that same focus and drive in order to convince Penelope to give him one more chance.

This romantic prequel novella introduces readers to the quaint mountain town of Misty River and a brand-new series from Christy-winning author Becky Wade!

Read my 5-star review HERE.

(Affiliate links included.)
Currently FREE

About the Author


Becky Wade is the 2018 Christy Award Book of the Year winner for True to You. She is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. Her humorous, heart-pounding contemporary romance novels have won three Christy Awards, the Carol Award, the INSPY Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award for Romance. Becky lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three children.


Tour Schedule


Tour-Wide Giveaway


One winner will receive:
- A $100 gift card
- A paperback copy of Stay with Me
- A hand-knit scarf
- A pair of earrings
- A package of “Georgia Blues” coffee
- A package of apple oatmeal muffin mix

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Will you be reading this one?

Check out a Q&A with the author... The Archer at Dawn by Swati Terrdhala (Interview & #Giveaway) @jeanbooknerd


Welcome to my tour stop (follow the tour here)! I'm sharing an interview
with the author today, so check that out and enter the tour giveaway below...

The Archer at Dawn
(The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy #2)
By Swati Terrdhala
YA Fantasy, Mythology
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 449 Pages
May 26th 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books

Summary

Romantic intrigue and electric action fill the gripping sequel to The Tiger at Midnight, a world inspired by ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology. Perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Victoria Aveyard.

A stolen throne. A lost princess. A rescue mission to take back what’s theirs.

For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebels, the upcoming Sun Mela provides the perfect guise for infiltrating King Vardaan’s vicious court. Kunal returns to his role as dedicated soldier, while Esha uses her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to seek allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the throne.

But amidst the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel’s entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their countries and to each other.

Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives. In book two of Swati Teerdhala’s epic fantasy trilogy, a kingdom will fall, a new ruler will rise, and all will burn.

Praise for THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT

“Thrilling, entertaining, and beautifully written, this is one adventure YA fans won’t want to miss.” —Buzzfeed

“[A] vibrantly imagined South Indian–inspired trilogy opener...Teerdhala adds plenty of surprises to her finely limned characters to produce a lush fantasy.” —Publishers Weekly

“Teerdhala’s debut, immersed in Indian fantasy, features two compelling protagonists who must question their loyalties and decide what they’re willing to sacrifice for the chance at a new future. Fast-paced action and a budding romance between emotionally layered characters make this a promising start to a gripping new series.” —ALA Booklist

“[A] lush blend of folklore, fantasy, and romance.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Set in a fantastical South Asia, this combination of romance, action, and magic will appeal to fans of Sabaa Tahir and Renée Ahdieh. A strong choice for YA fantasy shelves.” —School Library Journal

“Cat-and-mouse maneuvering between assassin Esha and reluctant soldier Kunal will hold you in tantalizing suspense in this searing debut exploring love, loss, and destiny. The Tiger at Midnight is as alluring and fearless as its characters.” —Stacey Lee, award-winning author of Outrun the Moon

“A deliciously twisty cat-and-mouse story that had me racing through the pages. I love stories that challenge their protagonists’ beliefs, and both Esha and Kunal face complex, heart-breaking decisions in their journey to discover both themselves and each other.” —Natasha Ngan, New York Times bestselling author of Girls of Paper and Fire

“Follow Esha and Kunal on a dangerous journey through lush jungles and bustling cities, where the stakes are life and death, and victory comes at a terrible price. Teerdhala has written a masterful debut full of breathless twists and turns and a romance to ignite the senses.” —Axie Oh, author of Rebel Seoul

(Affiliate links included.)

Interview

For those who are new to the series, what should readers know?

THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT is the first in a YA fantasy trilogy that follows the story of Kunal, a dutiful soldier, and Esha, a legendary rebel spy named the Viper. When their paths cross one night and Esha is accused of the murder of Kunal’s General, a dangerous cat and mouse game starts between them, one which throws everything they’ve known into question.

In THE ARCHER AT DAWN, without giving away any spoilers, things have come to a head. Kunal and Esha go to Jansa with the mission of rescuing the Lost Princess just as the Sun Mela, an ancient celebratory tournament, begins. And of course, things get difficult!

Would you tell us about the main characters from THE ARCHER AT DAWN?

Esha and Kunal are the main characters and THE ARCHER AT DAWN is the continuation of their story from book 1 in the series, THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT. When they first start out at the beginning of TIGER, Esha is a legendary rebel known as the Viper who is determined to bring down the hated General of the Red Fortress, but she’s also a girl trying to deal with the pain of her past. Kunal is an obedient soldier for all purposes, but there’s a voice inside him that’s begun to question his duty and wants something more for his future.

When THE ARCHER AT DAWN starts, both Esha and Kunal have had to shed some of their previous identity and discover who they are–and who they want to be.

If we were to come and visit for the Sun Mela, what would the experience be like as a spectator?

Absolutely chaotic, but in the best way possible! I modeled the Sun Mela after the epic tournaments I’d read about in old Indian epics, like the Mahabharata, and the horse races in Siena (which are so cool!). There’s a tournament, which is thrilling, but what I’d absolutely love about it is that it’s also a festival that’s filled with celebration and dancing and overall merry-making. So think colorful, intense, and tons of fun. And tons of food!

What challenged you the most about writing this story, and did you find writing book two a different experience than writing the first book?

Book 2 was a lot harder to write, for sure. The first book in a series opens up a myriad of doors for the story and book 2 will start to narrow them down. Also, everyone talks about the dreaded book 2 syndrome and I tried my hardest to make this book stand on its own as a result. I wanted it to be people’s favorite book in the series if possible!

What’s one of your hobbies or something we might not know about you?

I’ve been dancing and singing for almost two decades now! I used to love performing as a kid and while I haven’t had as many opportunities recently, it’s still something I absolutely love. I’ve actually been thinking of finding some ways to get back on the stage for fun, but I haven’t landed on one thing yet.

What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on edits for Book 3 and I’ve started to write some fun, new ideas I have. Hopefully I can share them with you all soon!

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to an Amazon affiliate link.)

About the Author


Swati Teerdhala is the author of The Tiger at Midnight series, which has appeared on both Barnes and Noble and Book Riot’s Most Anticipated Novels lists.

After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BS in finance and BA in history, she tumbled into the marketing side of the technology industry. She’s passionate about many things, including how the right ratio of curd-to-crust in a lemon tart. She currently lives in New York City.  

PHOTO CONTENT FROM SWATI TEERDHALA


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- 3 Winners will receive a Copy of THE ARCHER AT DAWN by Swati Teerdhala.
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends June 15, 2020

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What did you like about the interview? Have you read this one or The Tiger at Midnight?

A sweet story about a group of sisters... The Earl's Winning Wager by Jen Geigle Johnson (Review)

The Earl's Winning Wager
(Lords for the Sisters of Sussex #2)
By Jen Geigle Johnson
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 206 Pages
May 1st 2020

Summary

Lord Morley's life will change forever when he wins a game of cards and a family of sisters to go along with it.

Miss Standish in none too pleased to have become the responsibility of yet another Lord, even if he is full of charm and goodness. Her responsibilities are to her sisters first.

With the repairs on the castle moving forward nicely and concerted efforts in a season in Bath made to find suitors for them all, Miss Standish and Lord Morley must determine where duty stops and matters of the heart take over.

Read this warm tale of family, sisters, loyalty and love to get a huge dose of the best part of a regency romance fans of Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer would enjoy.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

THE EARL'S WINNING WAGER is a story of instant attraction, family, friendship, and romance. Set in Brighton, with the ton visiting and a family of sisters moving from being impoverished to among society, makes for a sweet romance with twists and a few conniving characters to mix things up. Recommended to those who enjoy this author and series, and light, sweet historical romance.

I really liked this family of sisters. They each had their own personalities with their own faults, talents, and dreams. I loved how the oldest was a bit like the mother hen of the group, as they've lost both of their parents. I also really liked Morley. He was just a solidly good guy who was trying to figure out how to fulfill his responsibilities to the Standish sisters while also courting the oldest. There was an immediate attraction and chemistry between them, but they were a bit awkward in trying to figure things out. What made this story enjoyable were the sisters though. There were lots of fun and sweet moments involving them. The romance was sweet.

I think I would have enjoyed this story slightly more if I'd read the first book in the series, mostly because the couple from that book is in this story quite a bit. Otherwise, this story was fine to read on its own. I did have a few issues with how easily Morley leans on a former romantic interest and Miss Standish is open to a rake that she doesn't know. Those aspects of the plot didn't really work for me, especially since Morley was seasoned enough to handle things differently and had closer friends he could have leaned on instead. I also would have liked the characters and story fleshed out a bit more. The ending was really abrupt and I would have liked more added on there.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed this story overall. It was sweet with a fun group of characters in the Standish sisters. I'm definitely curious to see how each of the sisters turn out.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Singing Librarian Books, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author


Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her love for uncovering obscure and fascinating pieces of history while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Although she married a man whose substance is the stuff with which heroes are made, thinking up stirring matches for everyone else keeps her riveted to the keyboard--whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America. Her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. They start with a grand entrance, immediately get pretty bumpy and difficult, are full of hills and and some ravines, but always end happy.



Have you read either of the books in this series?

Weekly Update #368, movie marathons and school ending...


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 feel so many of my days blend together. It's like we're living in a weird Twilight Zone episode. We finished a Marvel marathon (after finishing Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Harry Potter marathons over the past several weeks). We all cried in the theater during Endgame, and have watched it a handful of times at home after seeing it in the theater, but watching it this time after watching all the movies in order made it a bit more emotional. I looked over at my youngest daughter and she had tears streaming down her face and then just started uncontrollably sobbing when Natasha dies. Lots of hugs ensued. 


I also celebrated my 19th wedding anniversary. It was a bit climatic. The kids are with us all the time and we were still under full quarantine. We originally had plans but put them off. My husband did come home with a ton of chocolate and you can never go wrong with that. 😃

The three youngest are now finished with school for the year and my high-schooler will be finished this coming week. I'm ready for it to be done because it's been such a hassle. I'm hoping with quarantine partially lifted, we'll have a bit of time to do some fun things outside the house, but still not around other people. Lol!

This Week


Book Deals

Check out my lists on my Amazon shop, one for ebook deals (including freebies) and one for YA print books that are under $7. If you're looking for some new books, feel free to check out my store here (obviously this is an Amazon affiliate link). I do plan on trying to keep these lists maintained and have already added a few more freebies, but don't know when they'll go back to full price, so do check prices (images are linked to each list below).


Giveaways

I have two Onyx & Ivory book boxes I'm giving away. One giveaway is on my blog here and the other is on Instagram here. They'll both run through the end of May.

Last Week

New Releases/#Free & Bargain Books for May 18th - May 24th #freebook #booksale #booklinkup #booklinky


Here are the New Releases / Free & Bargain Books, hosted by
Sharon over at Beck Valley Books, for this week! Check it all out below...

Authors please feel free to add your own books.
Readers please free to add your own finds.
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!


By adding your link, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and transmitted to Inlinkz in accordance with their Privacy Policy.

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here

Come back and check out the new selection every week!

Check out my Q&A with Author Josi S. Kilpack for Rakes and Roses @JosiSKilpack, @ShadowMountn


Welcome to my tour stop! This is my second stop on this tour (you can find my review from my previous stop here). I have been a fan of Kilpack's since reading To Have or To Old years and years ago and am honored to share an interview with her! Check it all out below...

Rakes and Roses
(A Mayfield Family Romance #3/Proper Romance)
By Josi S. Kilpack
Adult Historical Romance, Christian
Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
May 5th 2020 by Shadow Mountain Publishing

Summary

A standalone novel in the Mayfield Family series with an unusual premise and an uplifting ending.

Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man's world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.

Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he's a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.

When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she's so carefully built.

ADVANCE PRAISE:

"Uplifting...Kilpack flips the typical Regency romance script, with the heroine rescuing the hero. Kilpack's strong, upright heroine who finds a way to claim her power in Regency society sets this love story apart. This magnetic tale will appeal to fans of emotional romance."—Publisher’s Weekly

“Kilpack takes traditional regency roles and challenges them. She shows how one person can make an impact in the world. I found the story and premise unique.”—Heather Gardner, Fire and Ice

“This is a story of redemption above all else…the ending was perfect.”— Lucinda Whitney, author of Rescuing the Prince




Interview

For those new to the Mayfield Family series, what should readers know?

The Mayfield Family series is set in Regency England and is about a dysfunctional family trying to find their way back to connection. Though Rakes and Roses is the third book in the series, the books in the series do not need to be read in any particular order and each story stands alone.

Would you tell us a little more about the main characters from Rakes and Roses?

Harry is charming and handsome and yet has managed to squander his inheritance by living a dissolute life in London that has left him friendless and terrified.

After Lady Sabrina’s abusive husband died she became independent in ways most women never will be. She does not take this power for granted and tries every day to make the world a better place but she’s lonely and afraid she’ll never truly find happiness in a life alone.

What were Harry’s and Sabrina’s first impressions of each other?

They meet for the first time six years before the story starts when he helps her out of an awkward situation. She pegs him for a charmer and a rake and he pegs her for an anxious but beautiful older woman. They are both right. 🙂 When their paths cross again, his choices have caught up with him and she’s in a position to help. He finds her a harsh task master, and she finds him a ridiculously weak man.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

Probably Lady Sabrina. Though our situations are very different, I’m independent, ambitious, careful about letting people too close, but pushing forward with a brave face most days. My teenage self relates to Harry a bit, but luckily I grew out of my wild ways before I made too big of a mess.

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

That most of us are wounded in one way or another and sometimes we need help from those a bit further ahead of us on the road. It can be just as freeing to help someone as it can be to receive that compassion. I truly hope that this story helps readers gain insight into themselves or people close to them. Writing the story did that for me.

What challenged you most about writing this story?

I’ve never written a “playboy” before. Probably because I don’t love reading that character type, so I’m not drawn to writing it. But I like to challenge myself and Harry was my challenge in this story. To portray him properly, I needed to find my own place of compassion for him and also show the depth of change that helped him to move beyond his past. It forced me to set aside some of my own judgments and really “see” how our families and our circumstances can shape us. I went over and over his portions to make sure I didn’t let him off the hook too easily but also showed adequate compassion for his struggles.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most and why?

I really love Sabrina. She’s strong but vulnerable, heroic yet anxious about her choices. She has learned how to thrive in a world not made for her, which I find impressive and inspiring. I really enjoyed bringing her to life.

What’s one of your hobbies or something we might not know about you?

I love to crochet. I’m not very good—I only know about 4 stitches and can’t read a pattern—but I love having something to do with my hands that creates something that otherwise wouldn’t exist. I mostly make blankets and scarves, but I really love it and feel disproportionate pride to the accomplishment of finishing a project.

When you want something to read and relax to, what genre do you reach for and what are some of your favorites in the genre?

I love to read women’s fiction, which is usually a deep dive into a woman facing some sort of life altering situation or choice. I appreciate the insight I gain into the world through the stories that do a good job of this and often think about portions of these stories for years to come. Liane Moriarty and Maria Semple are two of my favorite women’s fiction authors. If they wrote a new book every week, I would drop everything to read it.

What are you working on next?

I’ve finished Book Four in the Mayfield series, Love & Lavender, which is about Harry’s twin sister, Hazel. I need to do a bit more polishing on it, but it’s come together well. I’m also working on a contemporary romance. I’m lucky to be able to write a variety of genres and I enjoy the diversity and fresh challenge each genre gives me.

Other Books in the Series


(Linked to my reviews.)


About the Author


Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical series and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton's Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.


Tour Schedule

May 04
My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)
Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
All About Romance (Guest Blog)
May 05

Timeless Novels (Review)
Literary Time Out (Review)
May 06

For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)
Courtney Reads Romance (Review)
May 07

Fire and Ice (Excerpt)
Gwendalyn's Books (Review)
May 08

History Lizzie (Review)
Wishful Endings (Review)
May 09

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)
Relz Reviewz (Character spotlight)
May 10

Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)
Delighted Reader (Excerpt)
May 11

Frolic Media (Guest Blog)
A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
Bringing Up Books (Review)
May 12

Lu Reviews Books (Review)
May 13

English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)
Adventure. Romance. Suspense (Review)
May 14

Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals (Interview)
So Little Time…So Much to Read (Spotlight)
May 15

Storybook Reviews (Excerpt)
May 16

The Book Diva’s Reads (Review)
The Fiction Aficionado (Review)
May 17

Inkwell Inspirations (Spotlight)
Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)
May 18

Romance Junkies (Guest Blog)
Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review)
The Lit Bitch (Review)
May 19

The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Interview)
Heidi Reads (Review)
Bookworm Lisa (Excerpt)
Laura's Reviews (Review)
Katie's Clean Book Collection (Review)
May 20

The Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)
Joy of Reading (Review)
Austenesque Reviews (Review)
May 21

The Calico Critic (Spotlight)
Getting Your Read On (Review)
From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)
May 22

Wishful Endings (Interview)

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