16 March 2023

Archenemy by Christina Bauer Blog Tour!#XpressoTours @XpressoTours

 

Archenemy
Christina Bauer


(Angelbound Xavier Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: March 9th 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Ancient Egyptians. Powerful gods. Lost loves. And one badass warrior with wings.

Welcome to the beautiful land of ancient Egypt… only it may not stay so lovely for long. The chaos god, Set, plans to destroy the human world. Fortunately, the angel Xavier has the perfect plan to imprison Set and fast. Even better, Xavier can enact his scheme alone… which is just the way he likes it. No partners. No complications. No problems.

Suddenly, a gorgeous woman materializes. Calling herself Camilla, she declares she’s from the future. All of which is strange enough, but things soon go from bad to weird when Camilla announces that she and Xavier must work together—it’s the only way to defeat Set.

Wow, does Xavier ever hate thatidea.

The warrior angel decides on a strategic retreat. In other words, Xavier works to avoid Camilla at all costs. Turns out, that isn’t so easy. This mystery woman has set Xavier’s blood on fire in a way he’s never felt before. No matter how hard he tries, Xavier simply can’t desert her.

But is Camilla another element of Set’s destructive chaos magic… or is she Xavier’s only chance to save both himself and humanity?

Angelbound Xavier Trilogy
1. Archenemy
2. Archnemesis
3. Archangel

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

ARCHENEMY

MEETING CAMILLA

XAVIER

I slap on my best smile. “How about you put the knives down? We can talk.”

“I’ve got the weapons,” says Camilla. “I’m leading the conversation. You’re here because you want to join Horus’ party.”


“What makes you say that?”


“We have records in the future, Xav. Horus only held the same party every night for a few thousand years. Visiting him is a waste of time.”

“What makes you say that?”

Camilla shoots me a deadpan stare. “Seriously? You’re going to make me say it?”

“Say what?” I shouldn’t be enjoying this banter so much, but I do.

“Horus is a pompous, drunken brat. His mommy taught him the spell to imprison Set. Horus did nothing but repeat the incantation.”

“Meaning?”

“If we want to reinforce the Red Pyramid, then the person we need to see is Isis herself.”

“I made a promise. I’m seeing Horus first.”

“Well, I’m on a tighter timeline.”

“Then, visit Isis yourself.”

“She doesn’t know me. You’re coming along.”

I purse my lips. “I don’t see any reason why we must—” At that moment, the ground rumbles beneath our feet. I raise my pointer finger. “That’s a regular earthquake.”

“False. This part of the world does get earthquakes. That is Set getting loose and making my point that we must work together and fast.”

“Says the woman with the poisoned blades.” I sigh. “Much as I’ve enjoyed seeing you again, I’m off to visit Horus now.” I shoot her another smile. “Are you going to stab me?”

Camilla bobs her head as she considers. “No.” She flicks her wrists, making the blades retract into holsters that must on her forearms. “But I’m not giving up, either. I call for ceremonial combat again.” She pins me with a hungry look. 

Now, I could just cast my spell and head off to see Horus. But that really was an amazing kiss. So, I ask the obvious question. 

“What kind of combat are we talking about?” 

Camilla strolls toward me, pausing when our mouths are a breath apart. I cup her face in my palms and pull her in for another kiss. This one is a slow tasting. Heat pours through my core. 

Camilla slides her hands up my shoulders. Everywhere she touches me, there’s a trail of fire on my skin. She soon moves her fingertips onto the very spot where my wings meet my back. The sensation is beyond erotic. 

Suddenly, a sharp pain zings across my shoulders. Camilla is pinching a particular spot on my wings. I’d felt a slight scratch when Camilla touched my neck before, but nothing like this. My legs turn watery beneath me.

“What magic is this?”

“Nerve pinch. It only works on lower-level angels.”

“What? How?”

“I don’t know how it functions, I only know that it works. You came up with this move during the great Hellscape Rebellion of 1632.”

And with those strange words rattling around my head, the world around me starts to fade. My body goes limp.

I lose consciousness.

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Newsletter / Blog / LinkedIn

GIVEAWAY!

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Like You’ve Nothing Left to Prove by E.L. Massey New Release Blitz! @ninestarpress @indigomarketingdesign #LGBTQIA+

 #newadult #booklover #bookblogger #bookaddict #romancereadersofinstagram #booknerd #bookworm

Title:  Like You’ve Nothing Left to Prove

Series: Breakaway, Book Two

Author: E.L. Massey

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 03/14/2023

Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 66200

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, gay, interracial, new adult, sports, ice hockey, uni student, ice skating, professional athlete, physical disability, anxiety disorder, coming out, service dog, cooking/foodies, stanning, social media, hashtags, homophobia

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As the headline-stealing captain of the Houston Hell Hounds, nineteen-year-old Alexander Price has one goal: the Stanley Cup. He’s got the talent. He’s got the drive. But he’s also got an anxiety disorder and his therapist on speed dial. And, oh yeah, he’s gay. And he’s not willing to hide it anymore.

At eighteen, figure skater Elijah Rodriguez has already had his Olympic dreams crushed by an accident that left him with a seizure disorder and an existential crisis. Now a popular vlogger and freshman in college, Eli is trying to figure out what his new future will look like. Which is a little difficult because, oh yeah, he’s dating Alexander Price.

Eli and Alex are happy. It’s sort of a new state of being for both of them. But Eli is out, Alex isn’t, and their very visible “friendship” is already raising eyebrows. They have a plan: Alex will make their relationship public at the end of the season, hopefully with a Stanley Cup in tow. But what happens when that plan is derailed by an overzealous fan who outs them—right before the Hell Hounds’ playoff run?


Like You’ve Nothing Left to Prove

E.L. Massey © 2023
All Rights Reserved

The problem with dating a celebrity is that sometimes they have to do ridiculous things like take a call from their agent on Christmas Eve when they should be cuddling with their boyfriend.

Something about a sponsor and a New Year’s appearance and an upcoming photoshoot that had to be rescheduled? Eli lost the thread pretty quickly. He watches all of Alex’s games and has made an effort to actually understand hockey rules (though what actually counts as goaltender interference is still a mystery to him). He thinks his boyfriending duties are pretty well covered. He doesn’t need to know which jockstrap Alex is currently endorsing or whatever.

So Eli is reading Great Expectations, proud of himself for getting a head start on next semester’s readings, hoping his boyfriend comes to bed soon, and feeling very sleepy. Though that could be the Dickens. Actually, that’s not fair. He enjoys Dickens a fair amount. But Great Expectations is certainly no Bleak House.

He flips the page and glances up as Alex paces into the bedroom from the hallway, where he’s been in and out of earshot for the last half hour.

Eli’s parents are asleep at the opposite end of the house downstairs, and his sister, Francesca, is still awake next door if the music coming through the shared bathroom door is any indication.

“Hey,” Alex says, tossing his phone onto the top of the dresser. “Sorry about that.”

Eli waves Great Expectations at him in a conciliatory manner. “No problem. But since you’re up, I left my Chapstick in the bathroom.”

Alex gives him a fond look that Eli is still getting used to: a little squint, a little crooked smile, a raise of one eyebrow. “Is that a request?”

Eli tries to look as cozy and pitiful as possible. “Please?”

Alex rolls his eyes but slips through the bathroom door and switches the light on, painting the wood floor gold.

“I loved him against reason,” Eli shouts after Alex, “against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”

“I already said I would get it,” Alex shouts back. “You don’t need to woo me with Dickens.”

“Ah, but I must always woo you, my love,” Eli argues, affecting a terrible English accent, “With Dickens or otherwise.”

“Can you do your wooing a little more quietly?” Francesca yells from her bedroom.

Eli stifles his laugh in the duvet.

Alex turns off the light, runs into the cedar chest, swears, and then crawls up to flop inelegantly on top of Eli. He tries, very ineffectively, to apply the Chapstick for Eli until, laughing even harder, Eli wrestles it away from him and does it himself while Alex pretends to pout.

“Hey,” Alex murmurs, smudging the words into Eli’s neck, “do you maybe wanna do that thing where you drag your fingernails up and down my back until I fall asleep completely blissed out on oxytocin?”

Eli slides his book and then the Chapstick onto his nightstand and moves his hands automatically to Alex’s shoulders. “How did you know? That’s exactly what I wanted to do.”

“Oh.” Alex makes a point of settling in further before going absolutely boneless. “Well, that’s perfect, then.”

The bruises on Alex’s side look particularly stark when painted in moonlight, and Alex is warm and sleepy and vulnerable. His curled fingers in the periphery of Eli’s vision make Eli’s chest ache in a way he can’t explain with anything other than love. This soft, tactile man, who smells like VapoRub and Eli’s detergent, is so far removed from the visceral, overconfident Alexander Price, whose skill and notoriety sell out hockey arenas. In the dark and the quiet of Eli’s childhood bedroom, it almost feels as if they’re two different people. Except Eli is the only one privileged enough to know this gentle night-time version.

“Mm,” Eli agrees, dragging his nails lightly, so lightly, up the expanse of Alex’s back. “Perfect.”

NineStar Press | Books2Read

E. L. Massey is a human. Probably. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her partner, the best dog in the world (an unbiased assessment), and a frankly excessive collection of books. She spends her holidays climbing mountains and writing fan fiction, occasionally at the same time.

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Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code! 

15 March 2023

Tidal Ides by Layne Daniels Release Blitz! @indie_pen_pr #LayneDaniels #TidalIdes #IPPR #IndiePenPR

#CandyCaneKey #ManOfTheMonthClub #ContemporaryRomance #MustRead #SteamyRomance #EnemiestoLoversRomance #BeachRomance #SmallTownRomance #Goodreads #KindleUnlimited #NowAvailable #NewRelease

When the new theater director wants to shake up the routine, Candy Cane Key's mayor has some issues to take up with her. Readers who love Jessa Kane and Jamie Schlosser will enjoy Tidal Ides by Layne Daniels, a steamy, small town, enemies-to-lovers, beach romance..

Buy Now or Read FREE with KindleUnlimited!

My job as mayor of the most Christmasy town South of the North Pole comes with enough perks to overlook the headaches of municipal leadership. Most of the time. The new owner of Candy Cane Key’s Community Playhouse is putting that theory to the test.

Austie Norman, with her holly berry red lips and evergreen eyes, fits in perfectly. If I ignore the way she’s messing with tradition and making changes. And if I ignore the way she blazes past tradition and brings fresh energy to town. Definitely if I ignore the way she makes my heart trip over itself every time we argue about her plans to produce an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Ides of March. We can’t do Shakespeare when we’re meant to be doing Seuss. This is Candy Cane Key and people have certain expectations when they come here.

I can ignore all of that to fall in love. I just need to find a way to make Austie ignore all the ways I drive her crazy so she falls in love with me, too.

The MAN OF THE MONTH CLUB is a steamy small-town collection featuring a new hottie (or two!) every month. In 2023, escape to Candy Cane Key, Florida, and celebrate ALL the holidays with your favorite group of romance authors and their delicious men. Can’t wait to see you there!

Buy Now or Read FREE with KindleUnlimited!
Add to Goodreads Here!

About Layne Daniels

Layne is a USA Today Bestselling Author, a long time reader of steamy romance, and began writing her own stories in December of 2020. Her favorite books to read are about Daddy Doms, strong alpha men who fall in love with fierce women, and sex positive living. When she’s not writing, she’s wrangling her family of jocks into some semblance of chill, running a business, getting ALL the tattoos, and living her love-at-first-sight fairytale with Mr. Mine.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon | Newsletter | Reader Group

This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR

Face Value: From Working the Pole to Baring My Soul by @AuthorChristineMacdonald Blog Tour! @acornsireadbooktours @thatgalkiki @iReadBookTours

    #iReadBookTours #books  #authors #memoir  


​Book Title:  Face Value: From Working the Pole to Baring My Soul by Christine Macdonald
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  320 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher:  Wordee
Release date:  Mar 8, 2023
Content Rating:  R: Story of days of stripping to now better life.   

Face Value: From Working the Pole to Baring My Soul is Less Than Zero meets Miami Vice but with more make-up and hairspray. It is the story of a beautiful, free-spirited, wide-eyed little girl from the island of O`ahu who has no childhood memories before the age of nine. What trauma could have erased her early life, she may never know. What she does know is that for as far back as she can remember these events influenced her unusual life. Christine tells her story with raw, honest, relatable, and no holds barred writing, taking us through the pain of her adolescence compounded by a rare skin disease that left her face permanently disfigured. Her darkest moments include drug addiction and dancing nude on stages in Waikiki. In Christine’s personal story, we experience life behind the tropical island backdrop of coconuts and palm trees, falling headlong into the underground world of adult entertainment where Christine spent nearly a decade trying to find her self-worth.

Macdonald is a Los Angeles-based author who grew up on the Hawaiian Island of Oʻahu. At 13, she was diagnosed with Acne Conglobata, a rare and severe skin disease that left over 80 percent of her face scarred. Adding to her trauma of an emotionally and psychologically neglected childhood, it led her to Hawaii's underworld as an exotic dancer in Waikiki. For the first time, she felt beautiful and partially fulfilled her dream of becoming a Fosse dancer. Through her writing, Macdonald uses her voice, a unique blend of cutting-edge truth, and self-deprecating humor to inspire others to release their shame and tell their story. She is public about her struggles with addiction and mental illness—and her road to recovery. It is her passion to speak to people with self-esteem issues and, rather than judge them for their choices, help them find value in embracing what they consider to be their flaws.

connect with the author: website twitter ~ facebook  instagram



What's Not Lost by @ValerieEMTaylor Blog Tour! #womensfiction #chicklit #Giveaway @valerieetaylor @iReadBookTours

 #womensfiction #bookstagram #authorsofinstagram #bookworm #fiction #bookish #books #romance


 
Book Title:  What's Not Lost by Valerie Taylor
Category: Adult Fiction 18+  
Genre: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Publisher:  Aspetuck Publishing, 324 pages
Release date:  February 7, 2023
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M. There is some bad language and references to sex scenes, but no explicit sex scenes.


Through the eyes of an overachiever, the schemes of a homewrecker, the magic of a bottle of wine, and a CAT, award-winning author Valerie Taylor propels this captivating and heart-warming romance to an unpredictable and delightful conclusion.

Kassie O'Callaghan is searching ... for herself and for answers. With her husband six feet under and an engagement ring on her finger, Kassie is convinced managing a company merger in Paris will complete her quest for recognition on her own terms. When she learns her fiancé's ex-girlfriend is pregnant, Kassie's dreams come tumbling down. At least for the moment.

Despite pleas from her younger fiancé to stay in Boston and a warning from her best friend forever of what's at stake should she leave, Kassie heads to Paris with courage and perseverance. There, she stumbles into a world of wine and roses as she tries to put the wisdom of her experience to the ultimate test.

​When a Greek businessman tries to rescue her, Kassie discovers-in life-it's not whether you win or lose, it's the way you love that counts.

Six years retired, three years a published novelist, always a reader of good stories. Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, CT. She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. After her divorce, she spread her wings and relocated her career to Boston and then to Seattle. When she retired, she resettled in her home state to be near her two grown children and granddaughter. Taylor’s a member of the Westport Writer’s Workshop, the Independent Book Publisher’s Association, the CT Authors and Publishers Association, and the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association. She’s a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator. With the expected release in February 2023, What’s Not Lost is the final season in the What’s Not trilogy. Her debut, What’s Not Said, was published in 2020, with the sequel, What’s Not True, following closely in 2021. Taylor’s next journey will be into the world of cozy mysteries.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ bookbub ~ goodreads

Guest Post

Three Things I Learned by Publishing Three Books

By Valerie Taylor

Multi-award-winning author of the What’s Not trilogy — What’s Not Said, What’s Not True, and What’s Not Lost


Writing and publishing three books during a pandemic was never on my bingo card. But I did it, and I’m grateful to the many people who helped me along the way. Whereas I discovered oodles in my journey, here are just three things I learned by publishing three books.

 

Writing part-time is possible. Conventional wisdom often given to aspiring authors is that you must write every day. At least 500 words a day is a good benchmark, I’ve heard. Hogwash. While a worthy goal, in my world, it’s downright unrealistic and impossible. Besides a writer, I’m a grandmother to a now ten-year old young lady. Many afternoons during the school year, I pick her up after class and keep a watchful eye while she does her homework. During the summer months, we spend even more time together, meaning less time for me to write. 


As such, in order for me to write a novel, I schedule my writing hours. Using a calendar, magnetically affixed to my refrigerator, I pencil in the days each month I commit to writing. On the Saturday blocks, I set a word goal for the week. If I don’t reach that number, I increase the goal for the following seven days. 


This worked for me especially as I wrote What’s Not Lost, the last book in the trilogy. Thanksgiving weekend 2021, I realized I had only drafted ten thousand words. For sure I needed a kick. I made a commitment to finish the manuscript by February 15, 2022. I planned it out on my calendar, and, indeed, it happened. On the assigned date, I typed THE END, and cheered the 81,000 words. Then, of course, the fun began with revisions, editing and production. Which, on reflection, actually took longer than writing the story itself.


Moral of the story. If you can write every day, go for it! If not, do what’s “write” for you!


Readers Say the Darnedest Things. After What’s Not Said published in 2020, I was amazed that I was getting reviews. Honestly, I hadn’t given much thought to that aspect of being an author. Over the past few years, I’ve learned to not take them personally.


It’s easier to do that when the feedback is written. That is a tall order, though, when I’m meeting with a book club (in person, or on Zoom), and a reader expresses her opinion of the storyline or characters. There’s not much I can do at that point to rewrite the narrative.


However, sometimes readers have the best ideas. Consistently, readers of the first two books in the series said they wanted to know more about the relationship between Kassie and her BFF, Annie. And universally, people wanted more of Topher the cat. Not just a cameo appearance. So, as I was writing What’s Not Lost, I tried to fulfill readers’ requests on both counts. Hopefully, successfully.


And then there was a member of a book club in Seattle, WA. During our discussion of the first two books, she offered an amazing idea of how Kassie’s life would take a turn in the last book. Funny thing, I had been toying with some version of her idea but hadn’t pursued it. Since I hadn’t finished the draft yet and was clearly motivated by this reader’s excitement, I was able to incorporate her concept. I adjusted the plot and believe the storyline became stronger because I opened myself up to what one enthusiastic reader had to say.

 

There can always be a sequel. What’s Not Said was supposed to be my great American novel. It was one and done. I hadn’t deliberately written a cliffhanger. Yet, many early readers thought I had and kept asking me, “What’s next for Kassie?” It didn’t take me long to succumb to their requests. Using my planning process described above, I was able to publish What’s Not True eleven months later. And while writing it, I purposely ended it up in the air, committing myself to writing the trilogy. A trilogy. Meaning the end. No more, right? Wouldn’t you know, now that What’s Not Lost is out in the world I’m being asked for a fourth installment in the story. I’m humbled to know that readers want more of Kassie and her cast of characters. Nevertheless, what I learned is that the saying, “Leave them wanting more,” is apparently a good mantra. And while there can always be a sequel, I wonder if there should be? 


Spoiler alert! While not a sequel, I am spinning off one of the minor characters in What’s Not Lost to be the sleuth in a new cozy mystery series!


Please contact me at: www.valerietaylorauthor.com

Come along with me in my journey.

Subscribe to my newsletter: Behind and Ahead at www.valerietaylorauthor.com/subscribe

Follow me: Facebook.com/valerietaylorauthor

Twitter: @ValerieEMTaylor

Instagram: ValerieETaylor

WHAT'S NOT LOST Book Tour Giveaway

Enter to win 
$50 AMAZON GIFT CARD
(grand prize)
or
Signed Copy of WHAT'S NOT LOST
(5 winners/USA only)



14 March 2023

The Baronet’s Lady Biologist by Alissa Baxter Blog Tour! @alissa_baxter @hfvbt @vinspire2004 @alissa.baxter.writer @Vinspire-Publishing

 #TheBaronetsLadyBiologist #AlissaBaxter #HFVBT


The Baronet’s Lady Biologist by Alissa Baxter

Publication Date: February 28, 2023
Vinspire Publishing

Genre: Traditional/Sweet Regency
Series: The Linfield Ladies Series, Book 3


Georgiana Linfield is a lady biologist who is determined to travel the world. Upon arriving in London for the Season, she decides the best way to fulfil her dreams is to find an amenable husband to indulge her every whim. Refusing to give up her interest in natural history for a dull domestic life, she sets out to forge a different path for herself.

When her father’s elderly cousin asks her to set his natural history collection in order, she accepts his request with joy. However, the task brings her into almost daily contact with his godson, Sir Giles Tavistock, a renowned entomologist, who regards her with some suspicion. When Sir Giles discovers her skills as a scientific illustrator, he asks her to sketch his South American butterfly collection, and they forge an uneasy truce.

Their tenuous connection is shattered, however, when Sir Giles believes a rumour casting Georgiana in a far from flattering light. Vowing to have nothing more to do with him, she keeps him at a distance. But when the baronet’s butterflies attract unwanted attention, a series of events unravel that make Georgiana wonder if the famous collector might have done the impossible and captured her heart.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Alissa Baxter wrote her first Regency romance during her long university holidays. After travelling the world, she settled down to write her second Regency novel, which was inspired by her time living on a country estate in England. Alissa then published two chick lit novels, The Truth About Clicking Send and Receive (previously published as Send and Receive) and The Truth About Cats and Bees (previously published as The Blog Affair).

Many years later, Alissa returned to her favourite period with her Linfield Ladies Series, a trio of Regency romances that feature women in trend-setting roles who fall in love with men who embrace their trailblazing ways...at least eventually. Alissa currently lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two sons. She is a member of The Beau Monde - Regency Fiction Writers.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, February 28
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Feature at Coffee and Ink

Wednesday, March 1
Review at Reading is My SuperPower
Feature at Books, Ramblings, and Tea
Feature at Books in Their Natural Habitat

Thursday, March 2
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, March 3
Review at Historical Fiction With Spirit

Monday, March 6
Review at Bookworlder

Tuesday, March 7
Feature at I'm Into Books

Wednesday, March 8
Review & Excerpt at Elodie's Reading Corner

Tuesday, March 14
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, March 16
Excerpt at Lisa Everyday Reads
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Saturday, March 18
Review at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.


Faking It With The Grump by @kateokeeffewriter Book Blitz! #FakingItWithTheGrump #kateokeeffe #XpressoTours @XpressoTours

  #romancereadersofbookstagram #romancereads #romancebooklover #romancebookaddict #romancebooksofig #romancebooksofinstagram #romancebookworm

Faking It With the Grump
Kate O’Keeffe


(Second Chance Café, #1)
Publication date: March 14th 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

He’s grumpy, boring, and thinks it’s okay to wear a suit and tie to a smalltown bar full of lumberjacks. But when I kiss him? Let’s just say I wasn’t expecting THAT.

Harper Cole

It’s one thing to be dumped by the huge Hollywood star you thought you were going to marry. It’s quite another to move back to the small town you’re both from.

As a booby prize for being shown the door by Dex Ryan, everyone is trying to set me up with their son, their nephew, or their long-lost cousin’s gardener. Either that or they’re throwing me pitying looks that say, “You’re a big loser.”

I’m not going to put up with their patronizing sympathy anymore.

So, when I spot new-guy-in-town Christopher Young, I set out to make him mine. Or you know, pretend to make him mine. I’m still in a horrible funk over Dex, and Christopher is an uptight grump. Not exactly my type.

The fact that despite appearances, he’s gorgeous and doing weird things to my blood pressure doesn’t mean a thing.

Really.

Not. A. Thing.

Christopher Young

Hunter’s Creek, population next to nothing, is the reason I work all the time. I’m solely focused on buying the town’s lumber mill so I can go back to NYC and get my big promotion. This small town is a means to an end. Nothing more.

That is until the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen superglues her lips to mine in an unexpected and very public way. She’s not the kind of woman I usually go for with her boho dress and ankle boots, but that kiss…

I’m disappointed when she comes up for air and tells me it’s all for show. But if Harper Cole wants me to be her fake boyfriend while I’m here in town, who am I to turn her down? Being attached to a local might ingratiate me to the townsfolk and make my job that much the easier.

After all, dating Harper can only be make believe. Nothing more. Not when my entire future is at stake.

Faking It With The Grump is a grumpy-sunshine, opposites attract, fake relationship romance set in the small town of Hunter’s Creek, Washington. It’s the first book in the new Second Chance Café series. Each book follows a different sister’s love story and can be read as a standalone novel or as part of a series.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

She looks suddenly nervous. “Okay, here’s the thing. I kind of told some people today that you and I are…well, that we’re…”

When she doesn’t complete her sentence, I lean in and ask, “You and I are what?”

She glances around nervously before she says, “Dating.”

I straighten, shocked.

As my brain tries to comprehend what she just said, I blink at her a few times.

I need clarification. In my experience, beautiful women don’t usually go around telling people they’re dating you without your knowledge.

Well, not sane, beautiful women, anyway.

“Did you say you’ve told people you and I are dating?” I ask.

She nibbles on her lip, reminding me of a rabbit. It only adds to her appeal. Despite my concern, she’s confirmed she’s not exactly sane. “I did warn you it was weird.”

“That’s true, you did. But that doesn’t explain why, exactly.”

She clasps her hands together, clearly uncomfortable.

I’m overcome with the strangest sensation, wanting to reach out and place my hand over hers to reassure her it’s okay.

I don’t.

She takes a breath. “I know this makes me sound crazy. And I’m not crazy. Really, I’m not.”

Said no crazy person ever.

“I don’t know if you recognize me or know what happened, but even if you don’t, I really, really need you to pretend to date me because—”

Wait. Pretend?

Her eyes dart to something behind me, and before I fully realize what’s happening, she’s pushed the bar stool to one side, closed the distance between us, a decidedly wild look in her eyes.

“Everything all right?” I ask her tentatively.

“Okay if I kiss you?” she murmurs out of the corner of her mouth.

I blink at her. “Now you want to…kiss me?”

She nods, her eyes darting behind me and then back to my face. “That okay with you?”

This gorgeous woman who smells like a meadow, the double threat, the woman who only just told me she wants to pretend to date me, now wants to kiss me.

As confusing as this situation may be, I’d be an idiot not to leap at this.

“Sure,” I tell her, the thought of having her soft lips pressed against mine making my belly clench.

It would appear she’s not a woman to be told twice.

Immediately, she pulls herself up onto her toes, places her hands at the back of my head, and before I can utter another word—like “why?”—she leans in toward me and kisses me.

I don’t move for fear this is some kind of mirage. Not that I think mirages are all that common in Washington, what with it not being a desert. But seriously, this sort of thing doesn’t happen to me a whole lot. Or, you know, ever.

And I’ll be honest, as far as kisses go, it’s easily the most surprising of my life, hands down. One second, she’s explaining to me why she wants me to fake date her, and the next she’s kissing me, like it’s no big deal at all.

The problem is, for me to kiss someone like Harper Cole, it should be a big deal.


USA TODAY Bestselling Author Kate O'Keeffe writes exactly what she loves to read: laugh-out-loud romantic comedies with swoon-worthy heroes and gorgeous feel-good happily ever afters. She lives and loves in beautiful Hawke's Bay, New Zealand with her family and two scruffy dogs. When she's not penning her latest story, Kate can be found hiking up hills (slowly), traveling to different countries, and eating chocolate. A lot of it.

Visit kateokeeffe.com to sign up to her newsletter and you'll receive a FREE romcom.

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