Book Review ~ ‘To Catch a Falling Star’ by L. Duarte.

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To Catch a Falling Star by L. Duarte
Crossing Stars #2
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult.
Release Date: TBA

To Catch a Falling Star by L. Duarte


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SYNOPSIS

It’s been five years, but Melody still mourns the death of Tim, her soul mate and beloved husband who never had a chance to hold their daughter. Mel and her daughter have the love and support of Mel’s brother Will and sister-in-law Portia, the famous Oscar-winning actress-turned-mother. Mel works three jobs and mothers Ella, but she spends her mornings facing the demons of her grief. Her faith and her father, the pastor, helps Mel grapple with her grief.

Portia opens her home to her childhood friend Tarry Francis, a successful, womanizing rock star. He’s trying to beat his addictions. Again. He’s going through the motions, but needs his drugs and rowdy lifestyle to keep his childhood pain in check. Tarry’s privileged upbringing contrasted with his cruel parents, who starved him of affection. Who can fix that?

Mel is forced to counsel Tarry, but he’s so damaged and unwilling to try that she’s not sure anyone can help fix him. She gives him a special coin. Could this open their hearts to each other and fuel their love? Is this a step forward that will free them to catch the falling stars? Or will Mel remain faithful to her first love?

Rich in meaning, To Catch a Falling Star is about two lovers whose hearts struggle to open to find the magic of the journey of love. It’s a joyful and passionate story about overcoming challenges to lead us to love and the fulfillment of our dreams.

To Catch a Falling Star is the stunning follow-up novel to L. Duarte’s debut Chasing Stars about Portia and Will’s romance. A spiritual and playful read, L. Duarte has provided readers the chance to believe in healing a broken heart.

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I received an ARC of ‘To Catch a Falling Star’ in exchange for an honest review.

I always lament when I start an amazing book just before Christmas. With all the festivities, helping my parents prepare for the annual ‘have the whole family over for boxing day’ bash, having to remove my nose from a book long enough to have christmas dinner is a tough chore, especially when reading a book as wonderful, emotional and heartbreaking as ‘To Catch a Falling Star’.

I absolutely adored the first book in this series ‘Catching Stars’ which told the story of Portia and Will, and I was so pleased that author L. Duarte was able to not only meet the brilliant level of ‘Chasing Stars’ but also to exceed it and literally have me travelling to the stars as I read this
beautiful story.

L. Duarte’s beautiful writing style always has the ability to bring me to tears in the space of a second. Her gorgeous prose had me so connected to the story, and I found myself so invested in Tarry’s personal development of overcoming his demons and his fight against addiction, as well as the beautiful relationship that he and Mel begin to develop when they are both at the lowest points of their lives.

What I really loved about ‘Chasing Stars’ was how not everybody got their happily ever after. I really liked how Tarry was still spiralling despite his best friends finding solace in their life. To be able to read Tarry’s story from his own perspective, to see the struggle he had and the way his mind worked through the addiction that plagued him was a real priviledge. Tarry’s internal dialogue was written to absolute perfection and I felt so connected to him as not just a character but as a real man who was struggling to find his true self. To see his connection with music and how he expressed his inner demons through singing and composing was great, and I loved how he shared this with Mel.

Mel was another great character who I really connected with. I’ve always been one of those people who is sceptical of second love. I’ve not experienced love for myself so I suppose the romantic in me always believes that you can’t love another person after your first husband dies. Reading Mel’s story completely widened my view on this. The story was tackled so beautifully and with such grace that I finally began to understand how Mel was finally able to think of Tim and their time together fondly rather than wallowing in his absence. I loved how we were given glimpses into Mel and Tim’s past, it made him seem so real to me, and I mourned his loss with Mel and understood her fear of falling in love again. This was delicately approached and I can’t say how much I loved this story and the pace of the development of Mel and Tarry’s relationship.

With her beautiful storytelling and her creation of realistic and relatable characters, L. Duarte has become one of my favourite authors who I would read time and time again. ‘To Catch a Falling Star’ is on my list of favourite books for 2013, and I can’t wait to see more of L. Duarte’s work.

5 Stars and a definite recommended read. This book will have you travelling to the stars!


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Book Blitz ~ ‘Exception’ by Patty Maximini.

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Exception by Patty Maximini 

Publication date: November 2nd 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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SYNOPSIS

When all hope for moving on from a life filled with pain and abuse was gone, Emily Watson closed herself off to the world, packed her bags, and moved across the country in search of a new life. What she found was a career she adored and friends she loved. It wasn’t a full and complete life, but it was definitely better than what she knew before.

When all hope for being loved and accepted for who he was instead of what he had was gone, Taylor Carter decided that trusting people outside of his family wasn’t really smart and would only lead to disappointment. With his world turned upside down, his life became about his work, and every new relationship was meaningless and superficial. He was safe and definitely content but never truly happy.

When all hope for staying awake during a long day was gone, Emily and Taylor found themselves at the same coffee cart. Little did they know then that the worst coffee they’d ever had would forever change their lives.

When hopeless people are blinded by an endless pain, when contentment and safety feel like the best options, and when love seems impossible, they may just find an exception.

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“You kissed me,” he said, in between chuckles.

Emily groaned and covered her burning face. “Not that. Don’t say things like that. Besides, I didn’t kiss you, I kissed your cheek.”

Taylor couldn’t understand why she was so embarrassed by such an innocent and sweet display of affection, but it was very funny. With a smug chuckle he teased her once more. “Twice—you kissed my cheek twice.”

“I haven’t done that to anyone other than Charlie, Z and J in a very long time, so don’t make fun of me,” she begged from behind her hands.

“Hey, I’m not. I’m just—wowed.” He removed the hands that covered her face and, with a gently finger beneath her chin, he lifted it so she would meet his eyes. “I really liked it, please do it more often,” he requested honestly.

“When you’re done with your story, I might do it again,” she teased with a shy smile.

“I better get on with it then,”

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10 Things I Think Every Aspiring Author Should Know!

1-      The easiest part of being an author is writing a book.

2-      Make as many friends in the writing community as you possibly can. Only authors understand the rollercoaster that publishing a book is, and at one point you’ll need the support.

3-      Reviews are only other people’s opinions. Don’t freak out over them.

4-      The more you check your reviews on Goodreads the crazier you’ll get. Be careful.

5-      You need a good editor. It doesn’t matter if you know grammar like the back of your hand; your book needs a professional set of editing eyes.

6-      Look for critique partners whose opinions you respect and trust their feedback. It’s better to hear from them that the scene you thought was awesome really isn’t, than from readers.

7-      Read books written by authors you judge to be better than you. They will challenge you to better yourself.

8-      Not everyone will like your book, that’s a fact. So be grateful for those that do and don’t get upset by the ones that don’t.

9-      It takes time and perseverance to make it. Be patient.

10-   It’s only worth it if you have fun, so write for yourself first.

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There are 20 ebook copies of ‘Exception’ up for grabs!
For the chance to win a copy, enter at the link below!

(Open Internationally)

~ A Rafflecopter Giveaway ~

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Patty

Patty Maximini

Words have always been a passion of mine. I’ve always loved to read them, write them and learn them in other languages. Last year, I’ve decided to take that passion and turn it into a book, the result was Exception, my very first novel due this October.

Whenever I’m not sitting behind my computer, I’m either enjoying the company of my dear hubby, Alex, and our four four-legged babies or reading. I’m a firm believer in long hand written letters, love of any kind and good stories.

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Book Blitz ~ ‘The Cure’ by Stephanie Erickson

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The Cure by Stephanie Erickson 

Publication date: November 14th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

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SYNOPSIS

“One life will make the difference.” Macey Holsinger has been hearing that promise her whole life. But it hasn’t saved anyone yet, not even her little brother.

The disease has claimed countless lives in the last hundred years, and the government is working hard to find a cure through human testing. Testing that has killed nearly as many people as the disease.

At sixteen, Macey has better things to think about than saving lives and submitting to any rule other than her parents’. As a budding artist, she has her whole life ahead of her, at least until she faces her own testing.

Questions plague Macey. Questions that make everyone else nervous. How can death be justified with more death? What’s the point of all this?

Answers evade her until she’s left with only one question: How much will she sacrifice in the name of the cure?

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5 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

by Stephanie Erickson.

 

5. Everyone and their mother has an opinion

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has an opinion about your life, your writing, your approach to publishing, your cover art, your book layout, your venue, your promotions, and…well, you get the idea.  Learn to filter out the ones who are just being mean because they are jealous, and the ones who are being constructive.  That is quite possibly your most valuable tool.

4. Read!

There seems to be a stark division on this subject.  Either people feel writers should devour books like air, or they think you shouldn’t read at all for fear of copying someone else’s idea.  Personally, I think the latter is complete hogwash.  If you don’t read, how are you supposed to learn and grow as a respectable writer?  You can not only get ideas and see how other people are writing, but you can learn grammar, vocabulary, and evolve your style by reading.  So, for heaven’s sake read!

3. Write as much as possible

So, most people will say, “write every day!” but I’m a realist.  I know you can’t write every day.  But you should write as much as possible.  The idea behind the sentiment of “write every day!” is that it’s a priority for those people.  Maybe their number one priority.  For me, even though it’s not number one on my list, writing is still a priority for me, so I set goals.  Usually weekly goals, like I need to write 5,000 words this week to stay on track.  And, even if I’m not in the midst of writing a first draft, I still try to write, with stuff like this – blog posts, journal entries, musings etc.  Bottom line here: Whatever you write doesn’t have to be Earth shattering.  It just has to be words on a page.

2. Never stop learning

The writing and publishing world is going through a dramatic change right now.  If you are dumb enough to refuse to evolve with it then I’m done talking to you.  There are a tremendous amount of resources out there, and all you have to do is absorb them.  Some of my favorites are Stephen King’s On Writing and David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visable.

1. Find what works for you

I used to be a seat of your pants writer.  My first book – The Blackout – was filled with plot holes, changed character names and major issues when I finished with the first draft.  So, for The Cure, I tried outlining.  The first draft went much better.  I had fewer changes, fewer mistakes, and in the end, produced a better book.  However, I was flexible with my outline.  When inspiration struck me, I went with it and ended up writing several chapters that weren’t included in my outline.  I feel like it was a good marriage of outlining and seat of your pants writing.  And it worked for me.  You might be a little more organized than that, and need to have a 17 page outline before you can even think about writing, or you might just need to start at it when the mood strikes.  That’s fine.  The important thing is to keep trying different things and do what works for you.

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Enter below for the chance to win…

A Kindle Fire!

 
(Open internationally as long as Amazon ships there):

~A Rafflecopter Giveaway ~

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StephanieAuthor

Stephanie Erickson

Let’s see. What do you want to know about me? I love apocalypse movies like 2012 (which is probably why my first book is sort of apocalyptic), I love to read, I love my fur babies, my husband and my family.

I’m a graphic designer by trade, but hoping to some day be able to write full time.

Dan, my husband, and I are brand new parents and loving life!

As far as writing goes, The Blackout was my first published novel, but I’ve been writing for quite awhile. I won honorable mention in the 72nd Annual Writer’s Digest Competition for a short story junior year of college, so that was…awhile ago anyway. Although I published a scholarly paper senior year, fiction writing has always been my passion. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

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Blog Stop + Review ~ ‘Being Kalli’ by Rebecca Berto.

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Being Kalli (Kalli #1) by Rebecca Berto
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance.

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 SYNOPSIS
At nineteen, Kalli Perkins has never been in love and doesn’t ever intend to be. She has her issues handled. She’s managed to keep the secret of what happened to her nine years ago from her mother, although her mother’s usually high anyway and barely notices Kalli or her little brothers.
One night at a party, Kalli makes a bet with her friend, Nate, that could change everything. But she didn’t count on him. Nate’s very capable of satisfying her, not only under her clothes, but in her heart, too.

She just doesn’t know it yet.
*** Recommended for mature readers due to explicit content. This book is published in Australian English and includes relative diction. ***
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Book Review ~ ‘Being Kalli’ by Rebecca Berto ~ 5 Stars!

You know that feeling you get when you read a book that just resonates with you and you then spend two weeks attempting to write a review because all you feel you can do is just obscenely ramble about your adoration for it?

Well, Being Kalli is one of those books.
I always adore Rebecca Berto’s writing style as it has a brilliant mix of both prose and factual statements which makes reading it almost like experiencing the story in real life. In Being Kalli, there’s a way that she manages to entwine psychological elements in her book so well with the everyday activities of Kalli’sl life that made me identify with her as a character and as a real person. There’s not many characters that I can say I’ve stuck with and sympathised with through all of their bad choices like I did with Kalli. Seeing the trauma she was subject to in her childhood and the strength of her love for her little brothers made her to me seem, despite some of her more racy behaviour, a real role model to other sisters and daughters. She faced a lot in life and through it all she still longed for the love of her mother, and everything she did she did with the benefits of her little brothers at the forefront of her mind.
I adored the relationship between Kalli and Nate, and also the way that the relationship developed. I liked that the part of storyline where their relationship deteriorates and then begins to build again was not all forced into the final quarter of the story, as with many stories. I liked that  Kalli attempted to fix their relationship throughout the novel, making it part of the drama along with the issues she faces in her home life.
What really made this book stand out to me, and yet again remind me of Rebecca Berto’s exceptional skill at storytelling, was that she always brings the details within the novel to the next level. Her descriptions of playing the Violin, and of the fluidity of a piece of music, with the different tones was absolutely superb. I can’t tell you the number of times where authors forget to have the character add rosin to a bow. ROSIN PEOPLE ROSIN! Rebecca Berto not only showed this, but she also gave the action a reason in a reader-friendly way by making the use of rosin a joke with Nate. In my opinion, that is first class storytelling and is real ‘show-not-tell’.
This story is one of love, family, overcoming fears of the past and trust and as always Rebecca Berto brings in some really difficult and emotional issues in her writing and tackles them flawlessly. In this novel the issues of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Child Sexual Assault, Emotionally absent parents, and the fears of a girl who despite her strength of character towards her brothers, mother and people who do not know the real her, has an emotional vulnerability which needs only the most devoted of men to soothe.
5 stars!

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ENTWINE
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PRECISE  (Pulling Me Under #0.5)
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PULLING ME UNDER (Pulling Me Under #1)
Pulling Me Under by Rebecca Berto
 

 
DROWNING IN YOU
drowning in you by rebecca berto

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Rebecca Berto
Rebecca Berto writes stories about love and relationships. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her books, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.


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Book Blitz ~ ‘Holiday Heat’ by Noelle Adams.

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Holiday Heat by Noelle Adams
(Love for the Holidays)

Publication date: November 6th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

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Synopsis

Available exclusively in Love for the Holidays (five book Christmas bundle)

After being hit with heartbreaking tragedy, Carrie has thrown herself into a hot, secret relationship with Matt. With Christmas approaching, she realizes she might want even more from her sexy, damaged artist, but the boundaries around their relationship make anything deeper than sex impossible.

Matt was the rising star of the art world, but he hasn’t painted since a tragic accident two years ago. His passion for Carrie finally inspires him, but first he must convince her that the heat between them is far more than just sex.

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“What is it?” Matt asked. His vivid eyes were knowing and astute. Sometimes she wondered how far inside her soul they could see.

“Nothing.”

“Feeling guilty about your sleazy affair?” he asked with light irony.

His question was perceptive—just shy of the truth—and it left her feeling a little uneasy. To hide her response, she raised her eyebrows. “I thought you said ‘affair’ wasn’t the appropriate word.”

He chuckled and reached over to skim his fingers along her back again, lingering on the spot he’d admired before—the deep curve and dip just above her bottom.

She watched him in silence. He was looking at her body with an expression that was both amused and strangely hungry. His coloring had evened out, although he was still wet with perspiration. Her eyes dipped from his face to his chest, and she couldn’t help but notice the lines of faint scars there. There were a lot of them. And more on his arms. Plus the two deep ones on the side of his head.

He’d barely survived that car accident two years ago.

Matt’s body wasn’t perfect—wasn’t flawless and invulnerable. His muscle development was lean, masculine, and efficient, but he wasn’t a body-builder. And he was scarred. Scarred so deeply. Scarred in so many ways.

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Holiday Heat is available exclusively in Love for the Holidays, a five book Christmas bundle that will be on sale for just $.99 from December 11 through December 24!
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Book Trailer

for Love for the Holidays~ YouTube ~

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Noelle Adams

Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

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Book Review ~ ‘Erasing: Shadows’ by K.D. Rose.

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‘Erasing: Shadows’ by K.D. Rose
Erasing: Shadows #1
Publication date: December 18th, 2013
Genres: New AdultParanormal

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SYNOPSIS

What if to save the ones you love, you had to unlock the key to a different reality?

Generations of mystery smash together when a seemingly traditional family must shatter their illusions of normality to confront themselves and their friends, leaving no possibility unexplored in order to rescue- well, who exactly? Watch the Ross family, the High Five Gang, and multiple generations dig into an innovative explosion of imagination where they must confront numerous realities, real-world danger, and worst of all—their own teenage hormones!

In a place where nothing is as it seems and shocks are around every corner, even the people you thought you knew may find themselves strangers in this moving and provocative reality-bender. With breathless pacing and psychological intrigue, Erasing: Shadows and the High Five Gang will keep you guessing until the very end.

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Book Review ~ ‘Erasing: Shadows’ by K.D. Rose ~ 3.5 Stars!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is going to be a slightly mixed review, so before I get to the nitty gritty I’m going to just make clear that this author has obvious talent, and is a natural storyteller and any criticisms I make during this review are only made in the hope to give constructive advice to the author, which may help improve the novel if it were to be revised.

The author created an engaging, intriguing and clever storyline. The way that she used the idea of astral travel and created her own world with it is just one example of her strengths as a writer. However I feel that, like myself, other readers may have trouble falling into the story as there was little if any detailed explanations of what exactly astral travel is. I feel that in the author’s reminder to ‘show and not tell’ a lot of the detail that explains the storyline was left out before we were thrown into the action. In my own opinion a short prologue that gave a brief insight into the history of Michael and Mira’s travels, and what exactly astral travel means, would have really helped me get to grips with the concept of this book a lot quicker. As it is, having finished the novel I still don’t think I fully understand exactly what astral travel means, or why they needed to make certain astral trips to find their missing son.

Having these missing elements had me struggling to make it through the first half of the novel as we were introduced to more characters who have astrally travelled in the past with the Ross’ before I really understood the concept of the story. I understood Michael and Mira’s desire to find their son, but I still don’t understand how them travelling to the astral plane and meeting at a certain meeting point would help them recover their son. With a little more explanation as to the ins-and-outs of astral travel at the begining of the story I feel this would have made me better understand the story.

This being said, I am so glad that I made it past the 50% mark of the story as I really engaged with the later storyline and began to connect to the characters in ways that I found difficult earlier when struggling with concepts and terminology. I adored Stu’s character and am so excited to see if a relationship develops between him and Madison in future books in the series. In the day since finishing this book, I have been smiling when I think about the few, but meaningful, interactions that they shared in this book.

I am also excited to see more of Mira’s character in the real world. Despite her being a main character throughout the book, I look forward to seeing the mother Mira rather than the child Mira. Her character was brilliantly portrayed throughout this story and the author’s portrayal of a young Mira wandering the astral plane with a mysterious young friend was so intriguing and suspenseful to read as I saw the emotional progression of Mira through her childhood and waited in anticipation for her reunion with her husband and the ‘High Five Gang’.

Overall this was a unique, exciting and intriguing story which had me on tenterhooks as I reached the later stages of the novel. It was clever, imaginative and showed the true skill of the author. The author has a wonderful prose-like writing style that is a real pleasure to read. My only suggestions for improvement would be to give more explanation or detail regarding the astral travel aspects of the novel as I spent most of the novel feeling as though I only knew half of the story and was just trying to keep up with the characters.

3.5 stars, and an enjoyable read.

ARC provided through Xpresso Book Tours



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Cover Reveal ~ ‘Unwanted Stars (Love of My Life #4)’ by Melissa Brown.

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Presents

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 Unwanted Stars

(Love of My Life #4)

By Melissa Brown

RELEASE DATE: February 3rd

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SYNOPSIS

It’s funny how the tiniest of things can change your life… an invitation, a simple kiss goodnight, a matchbook…

Auden Kelly is in need of a change.

She’s trading in her nine-to-five sales job for the adventure of a lifetime: a one year contract with a European tour company.

For one full year, Auden will get paid to see the world. What could be better? Her brother gives her a journal, instructing her to document all of her adventures as she travels from country to country. And that’s exactly what she does.

When a mysterious stranger enters her life, however, everything changes: her expectations, her priorities and her view of the world. And nothing for Auden will ever be the same.

Note: Although these books are part of a series, they do not need to be read in order

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I was distracted from my daydreaming by the most intense eyes I’ve ever seen. The were blue, the brightest blue. Although one of them had a patch of brown next to the pupil. Tan skin, blue eyes, dark brown hair. And a stare that made me uncomfortable.

I’d noticed him before. The first day of the tour, in fact. He reminded me of Henry Cavill. Broad shoulders, tight ass, bulging muscular arms and a gorgeous face. When he smiled, he had a boyish look about him, but when his lips were pressed tight, like when he was listening to Anabelle describe the sights, he looked like an alpha male. A hot, dangerous alpha male. I’d purposely avoided him because I didn’t want to give Anabelle any ammunition towards getting me fired. And now that I knew Tom had blabbed, I felt even more determined to keep my attraction in tact. I’d purposely stayed away. I hadn’t even heard his voice yet. Was he American? Canadian? British?

But, now he was staring and I couldn’t avoid him any longer.

“Auden, right?” he asked, offering me a fresh blueberry from a ziploc bag. I narrowed my eyes at him and his choice of snack. Here we were, in Amsterdam. He could buy a brownie laced with pot or a million different kinds of sweets. But, he was munching on blueberries.

“Thanks,” I said, grabbing a couple berries from the bag and popping them into my mouth. They were juicy and sweet. Almost intoxicating.

Stop it, Auden.

“Have you worked here long? I’ve never seen you before.” It was then that I really heard his accent. British. Delicious.

“I’m new. But, why would you have seen me before?” I tilted my head in confusion.

“My mates and I like to take trips every few months. Blow off steam.” He said, popping another berry into his mouth. His lips were a gorgeous shade of peach. “And Jordan’s the best.”

“I see.” I said, pressing my lips together, not knowing what else to say. It wasn’t often that a man could get me tongue tied. But, it was happening. All I could focus on was the dimple on his right cheek when he smiled. And how his left eye had a small patch of brown within the blue.

“Unique name.”

“Huh?” He snapped me out of my daze. “Uh, yeah. I guess.”

“Don’t hear it very often.” He said.

It was then that I realized I didn’t know his. And it was my job to know it. How was I going to get out of this one?

“Campbell,” he said,“Campbell Hutchins.”

“Like the soup?” I said. As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew they were unprofessional. But, he simply laughed.

“Wow, never heard that before.” He said, running his fingers through his silky brown hair, “My friends call me Hutch.”

“Seriously?” I asked, taken aback.

“What do you mean?” He looked confused.

“As in Starsky & Hutch?” I pressed.

“You are way too young to know that reference.” He said, shaking his head from side to side.

“They made a movie reboot when I was in high school. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson…remember?”

“Right.” He said with a lopsided grin. He had such a boyish charm to his smile, it was unnerving.

“Besides, you don’t seem old enough to know the original show either. That was the seventies.” I narrowed my eyes at him. He could be in his early thirties, but there was no way he was old enough to have watched that show when it was on the air.

“Saw it in reruns.” He said with a shrug.

“Nice to meet you, Starsky.” I said with a smirk. He shook his head at me and extended his hand like the English gentleman that he was. I tried my best not to feel the electrical current coursing through every nerve in my body. This was a brand new sensation. Which is saying a lot considering my boy-crazy history. This was unique and terrifying and wonderfully exciting. “Sorry, I mean Hutch of course. So, Campbell…where’d your parents think of that one?”

“Do you always interrogate tour members about their names?” he asked with a chuckle. My cheeks turned pink when I realized I usually didn’t give a crap about people’s names or the origin of said names. But, he was different. It was like I needed to know anything I could learn about this handsome stranger.

“Just answer the question,” I said, flirting with a tilt of my head and arms crossed across my chest.

For a second, everything stopped as Campbell looked down at my feet. He smirked as his eyes climbed up my calf and to my thighs. They lingered there for just a second before continuing up to my torso, my chest and finally my face. When our eyes met, he grinned and I suddenly felt as naked as the day I was born.

“Tradition.” He answered. When I looked confused (because obviously I’d forgotten the question since he’d studied every inch of my body as if he wanted to devour me). “I’m named after my great grandfather. He was kind of a hero in my town.”

“Where are you from?”

“Jersey.”

What?

“Um, no. Try again.”

“What do you mean?” he asked with a chuckle.

“I’m from the states, pal. I know when someone’s from Joi-zee and when they’re not. And you clearly are not. Where are you really from?”

He threw his beautiful head back in laughter, that dimple once again making a grand entrance on his cheek. Something twitched in my belly—desire, I think. Until I realized he was laughing at me.

“And you call yourself a tour guide? The island of Jersey…one of the Channel Islands…” His voice trailed off as he leaned his forehead in my direction. If he could read my mind, this is what it would say:

I.

Am.

A.

Dumbass.

You know those moments when you really just want to crawl in a hole and forget your poor excuse for a life? Yeah, this was one of those moments. I could never get that moment back. I could never convince this gorgeous man that I was not only aware of the Channel Islands, but had probably been to one or two of them as a child. I just wanted to slink back to the tour bus and hide behind the seats. So not like me. I didn’t let men get under my skin. Hell, I got under their skin. Who was this guy?

“Uh–Of course,” I said, stumbling on my words. “I was just kidding.”

Just then, I was saved by another member of the tour. A mousy brain haired American girl named Becca.

“Excuse me, Auden. Anabelle needs you.”

Thank God.

“I’d better, um…go,” I said.

“Until we meet again,” he said with a chuckle.

Not if I can help it. The next three weeks would be agony if I had to dodge that gorgeous man every time our bus made a stop. Lord, beer me strength.

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FINAL5

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FINAL18

Bouquet Toss

(Love of My Life #1)

bouquet toss

SYNOPSIS

Ever since Daphne Harper graduated from college, all of her friends have fallen in love, become engaged and walked down the aisle. Be it a blessing or a curse, Daphne (a hopeless romantic and perpetual single girl) catches the bouquet at every single wedding she attends.

Daphne’s love life is a mess. Her first love, Mayson, haunts her heart and keeps her from pursuing happiness with any man who comes along. As she struggles to move on from the one who got away, Daphne wonders if she will ever break her curse and find her happily ever after.

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FINAL6

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Champagne Toast

(Love of My Life #2)

champagne toast

SYNOPSIS

Kate Armour and Evan Maxwell fell hard and fast for each other while attending college. Their once passionate and loving relationship ended when old scars eventually tore them apart. Two years after their breakup, they’re each struggling to piece together what went wrong in an attempt to move forward.

Kate, a no-nonsense bartender, must face her past while attempting to focus on her future.

Evan is stifled by his bitter heart, which threatens each and every relationship he attempts after walking away from Kate.

Will life offer them a second chance at love or are old patterns simply too hard to break?

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Picturing Perfect

(The Love of My Life #3)

picturing perfect

SYNOPSIS

Hadley Foster has been through a lot in her twenty-two years: the death of her beloved father, her mother’s descent into mental illness, and the loss of her soulmate, Jason Kelly, from whom she walked away years ago.

Despite all this, Hadley has remained hopeful and optimistic about life. She has been with upstanding investment banker Tucker for six years, and the future looks bright—until a trip to Europe with her best friend brings a series of events no one could have foreseen. Suddenly the brilliant future she has envisioned for herself seems to shatter before her eyes. She is faced with a stark choice: move on again, or pick up the pieces.

Back home, nerdy but handsome Jason Kelly is now a successful writer who could have anything—and anyone—he wants. But deep down, he still misses his beloved “Haddie” and dreams of winning her back.

When destiny leads their paths to cross once more, Hadley and Jason must confront not only their painful past, but what the future may hold for them both.

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FINAL6

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FINAL1

melissa brown

Melissa Brown

I have always been fascinated with books—-ever since I was a little girl sitting in front of my record player, following along with my huge 12×12 storybooks.

I love books—everything about them. I love reading them, being surrounded by them in bookstores and libraries, and most recently, writing some of my own.

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FINAL8

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