Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts Blitz and #Giveaway


Love on a Battlefield
Posy Roberts
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance
Not every compass points north.
Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute, until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.
Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.
Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.
EXCERPT:
My father started taking me to Civil War reenactments long before I understood the politics of the war and its moral implications. I was introduced to the tradition before I knew what any war was truly about.
It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I was allowed to carry a weapon and shoot it myself. The physicality of battle was exciting. Hand-to-hand combat when munitions were spent was better than football any day.
But there were strict rules my dad implemented that I didn’t enjoy. “If we’re going to do this,” Dad always said, “we’ll be as authentic as possible. We’ll do it right, unlike those people who think this is Summer Stock.”
I wasn’t allowed to socialize with the Yankees at all, so I hung out with the Confederate kids or sat around campfires listening to the adults shoot the shit. If school was in session, I’d bury myself in homework and often ended up helping some of the younger kids with their lessons. The guys my own age . . . Well, we had little in common. Some were intense, a few down-right scary with their racism so proudly displayed.
What I’d learned after hanging out with them for years was that they hated everyone who wasn’t like them.
I wasn’t like them, but I wasn’t about to let them know for fear they’d turn their hate on me.
For the last two years, I’d watched a Union kid who only came to a few of these events, not like most of the reenactors, who made this a way of life. When he showed up, he was the center of attention. Maybe because he was novel, but when he was there, he always drew my eye. It was obvious the other kids looked up to him, fawned all over him, really. I never got close enough to talk to him, to find out what made him so fascinating.
But I saw it from afar. He was strong yet graceful, with a mess of hair in a color I’d never seen outside of jewelry or pipe fittings. His smile was easily earned, and he seemed so . . . carefree. So unlike the overly serious and angry kids who surrounded me.
I’d watch the Union kids in their shorts and T-shirts laughing and having fun. I wanted to be a deserter. I wanted to go see what life was like on their side. It sure as hell looked like a lot more fun than what ended up feeling like a weekend prison sentence in a hot, scratchy suit.
I couldn’t stop myself from turning to him, staring at him. I’d watch him leap into the air to catch a wayward Frisbee or wrestle boys to the ground, then help them up, all with a bright smile on his face.
Last summer, he’d worn a wreath of daisies in his hair, walking around as if it was the most normal thing in the world. My ‘friends’ laughed at him and speculated about his sexuality. I joined the adults then, unwilling to spend any more time with the assholes. It brought me closer to the redhead too, so I made myself blend in with my surroundings and looked to my heart’s content.
I didn’t know his name. I never got the chance to find out, but if he was here this time, I was determined to discover it.
As we arrived Friday afternoon, I scanned the area for his hair but didn’t see him. After setting up camp, I followed my father out of our tent and joined the other men as they scoured maps and walked the battlefield to get a lay of the land. I turned down an invitation to hang out with the Rebel kids and instead listened to an expert on this particular battle drone on and on. Sitting there, sweating in my wool uniform under the scorching heat for hours, I had to get out from under the sun.
“I’m going to go fill up my canteen,” I whispered to my father.
“Stay hydrated.”
I gave him a quick nod, made my way past the tent filled with women and young girls quilting or spinning yarn, and found the metal water pump. I pushed down on the handle, trying to draw up the water, with little luck.
That’s when I saw him. He was in full Union dress, the buttons of his coat making the gold and red highlights in his hair appear metallic. He was unlike anyone else I’d ever seen.
He walked toward me with a wide smile. Sure of himself, but not cocky. More . . . careless. Utterly free.
“Want some help?” he asked. “I heard it’s hard to get this one started.”
I met his blue eyes, brilliant and wild like the sea. I was stunned into silence. He was even hotter up close, and suddenly I was unable to form words. I nodded my assent instead.
He wrapped his fingers around the metal handle and pushed down. It made a grating squeak that echoed, but the lever moved. He helped me push it down several times, hands sliding closer and closer with each pump until our fingers intertwined.
He laughed as water poured from the spout, and he bent down to taste the stream. The smell of iron surrounded us as I filled my canteen.
I watched him wet his hair, making it darker, which made his skin look extra pale. He was gorgeous, and the way the sun hit him right then, he looked like something out of a dream.
Stop being cheesy, I chided. So he’s hot. Don’t turn him into a fricking poem.
I replaced the cork, slung my bottle over my shoulder by the leather thong, smiled at him, and rejoined my father.
As we lined up on the battlefield the next day, I saw that shock of auburn hair straight across from me. Before I could make eye contact, the battle had begun, horses moving, gunfire blasting, and a few men already collapsing to the ground, probably playing out some real-life soldier’s tragic end.
I took out several Union soldiers with my fake munitions before I tripped over a rock. As I regained my footing and stood up, he was right in front of me.
I don’t recall if we gave each other a visual cue or if he said something, but we both decided to take a hit, bodies falling to the ground. We landed face-to-face, limbs sprawled out in opposite directions. My father was near, so I slammed my eyes shut, authenticating my death until I heard his voice move away with the continuing battle building.
When I dared open my eyes again, the Yankee soldier was staring at me, smiling and licking his lips. His jaw was strong, defined, dusted with stubble from who-knew-how-many-days growth, and it drew my attention to his chin and full lips. We lay there studying each other for several minutes, shamelessly staring, before he scooted closer.


Author Bio:
Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.
She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.
Her stories have been USA Today’s Happily Ever After Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.

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Gaslight by Dannika Dark (Crossbreeds #4)


Gaslight

My Rating:
Written by: Dannika Dark
Publisher: Dannika Dark
Publication date: 02/18/2018
Series: Crossbreed , #4
File size: 679 KB
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Paranormal | Scifi

Raven Black returns in another heart-pounding installment of the USA Today bestselling Crossbreed series.

Vampire trafficking is a sinister business, and nobody knows that better than Keystone. After Raven discovers hidden clues in a cold case, the group sets a trap in hopes of catching an elusive criminal. But when the plan backfires, Raven’s world is thrown into chaos, and Christian’s loyalty is put to the ultimate test.

Buried secrets come to light, and the only thing keeping Raven grounded is her insatiable thirst for vengeance. The stakes are high as they travel to a place where the landscapes are as treacherous as the immortals who live there. This time, there’s no room for mistakes.

Will Raven have the courage to tame the violence in her heart before it swallows her whole?
Gaslight (Crossbreed #4)Gaslight by Dannika Dark

Raven’s research into an open vampire trafficking case reveals a sinister Breed underworld that she is all too familiar with; catapulting, Raven into enemies from her past.

Delving deep into the dark underbelly of the Breed world made for some spectacular reading. Dannika Dark reveals a lot more insight into the world Raven has found herself thrust into.

Relationships are going to be tested, some will grow stronger and then some leave us unsure of the outcome.

Christian’s character has proven to be what we all saw glimpses of in past Dark’s novels, that alone made for some swoon worthy moments.

A must read for any Dannika Dark or urban fantasy fan, Gaslight was a 5 star read for me.

I received this ARC copy of Gaslight from Enchantress Design & Promo. This is my honest and voluntary review. Gaslight is set for publication Feb. 20, 2018.



DRAGON LORE AND LOVE: Isis and Osiris by N.D. Jones #Release & #Giveaway

DRAGON LORE AND LOVE:
Isis and Osiris
by N.D. Jones
Enter to Win: Winner's Choice of Swag gear featuring Dragon Lore and Love Cover 
Ends March 5, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Fourth Gunman by John Lansing (Jack Bertolino, #4)

The Fourth Gunman
by John Lansing

My rating: 4 stars

Series: Jack Bertolino - Book 4
Genre: Crime/Thriller
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 375 (estimated)
ISBN: 1501189530 (ISBN13: 9781501189531)
Available from: AmazonBarnes & Noble, & Goodreads


A captivating thriller in the Jack Bertolino series full of intrigue, action, and dark humor as Jack is called in to investigate a missing persons case.

Jack Bertolino is a retired investigator who just can’t seem to get away from the job. He’s the best at what he does, with a moral compass that doesn’t point quite true north and a dark history with the mafia. To the FBI, Jack is about as valuable a man as they could ask for. So when one FBI agent’s brother goes missing, Jack is pulled into a search that could mean the difference between life or death.

The Fourth Gunman by John Lansing (Jack Bertolino, #4)

The Fourth Gunman (Jack Bertolino #4)Sometimes it isn’t what you know, but who you know and Jack Bertolino seems to have a handle on who to know when he needs help on a case involving an undercover agent who has gone missing.
Jake was working on a mafia owned gambling ship, there one minute, gone the next. No trace, but plenty of suspicions. Had he double-crossed the big guy and run off with a large chunk of cash? Had he been discovered and eliminated?

Follow Jack through the twists and turns of investigating, attraction to a young mafia princess, dinners with a mob boss and a list of favors called in and favors returned. Where is Jake? Could his sister, an FBI agent, be wrong about him? Was he playing both sides of the fence or was someone out to frame a man who wasn’t there to defend himself?

High rollers, beautiful people seeking a private place to gamble and more, Jack is up to his ears in gritty intrigue, dark humor, lies and deceit. One thing for certain, this retired investigator isn’t afraid to use any methods at his disposable to get the answers he seeks in THE FOURTH GUNMAN by John Lansing.

For fans of suspense and mystery, heroes who know how to dig up the dirt and uncover those pesky skeletons in the closet, THE FOURTH GUNMAN is a great read to sink into. A little gritty, with a hero who colors outside the lines!

I received an ARC edition from Gallery Books!


The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

The Beauty That Remains
by Ashley Woodfolk

My rating: 4 stars


Publisher: Delacorte Press (March 6, 2018)
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: YA Literature & Fiction
Print Length: 336 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
We've lost everything...and found ourselves.

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death might pull them apart. 

Autumn always knew exactly who she was: a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan has always turned to writing love songs when his real love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan is a guy who can't stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger who's struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Despite the odds, one band's music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.
The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

The Beauty That RemainsDark, edgy and filled with emotional turmoil and the heavy feeling of loss, THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS by Ashley Woodfolk tells the tale of a group of teens individually dealing with the loss of a loved one either through illness, suicide or a deadly accident. These are their stories, their reflections on the past, and their attempts to heal and give up the ghosts of guilt that haunt them. In the end, these seemingly individual struggles will find their healing through music and a band that, in a sense also died.

Ashley Woodfolk has given realism and life to her tale by not shying away from social issues that often carry stigmas, suicide, depression and LGBT awareness in an age group where hormones rage and emotional maturity has not been reached. Guilt also is a heavy them throughout this story. There is guilt of words said in moments of hurt and anger, guilt for surviving and guilt for not having done something, believing events would have played out differently.

Three deaths, the survivors left behind in pain and overwhelming grief, unable to move on as they rehash events, isolating themselves from both receiving and giving support.

Well written, heart wrenching and emotionally draining throughout, Ashley Woodfolk tells young adult readers it is okay to “feel”, yet unhealthy to not move forward. Certainly a book that will resonate with any reader who has loved and lost without finding a black and white road to closure, because just maybe, there is none, but life and love will go on as those lost will always be a part of those who survived.

Written in an edgy and slightly disjointed way, the atmosphere created seems to mirror the emotional turmoil being lived.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Random House Children's/Delacorte Press!


Secrets of Bennett Hall by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

Secrets of Bennett Hall
by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

My rating: 4 stars

Series: Return to Amston - Book 2
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press (January 29, 2018)
Publication Date: January 29, 2018
Genre: Gothic Mystery
Print Length: 234 pages
Available from: Amazon
Darkness once twisted Adelaide Dinsmore’s mind, but she thought she had grown out of that. Her job as a teacher in Hedlund proved that – until she discovers one of her students dead and the town turns against her. As her mind starts to crumble, she is offered a new job, this time as a governess for Gentleman Bennett’s granddaughter back east. 

Bennett Hall is a sprawling manor of winding tunnels and manicured lawns, and the fence is really just for show. The little girl, Theodora, is a delight, albeit quiet, and the Bennetts are kind enough, especially the dashing young Joseph. So what if one of the servants sends chills down her spine every time he looks at her? Surely that, and the noises in the night, are figments of her imagination. She won’t allow the past in Hedlund to tarnish her future at Bennett Hall.

Then, Theodora begins to speak of a Villain who haunts secret passages in the manor, and Adelaide stumbles upon a sealed off wing where ghosts whisper from the shadows. Twisted inventions fill the basement and the villagers are wary of the Bennett family. 

The longer she stays at Bennett Hall, the less likely her chance for escape, but she cannot leave Theodora or Joseph. The darkness in her mind might be the only thing to save them.

Secrets of Bennett Hall by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

Secrets of Bennett Hall (Return to Amston 2)Adelaide thought she had found her calling as a teacher that maybe her dark past could be left behind. One terrible event will find her unemployed once again, until she is offered a job as a governess at a massive manor filled with winding passages and deadly secrets. Things go bump in the night, and Adelaide is determined to discover what this unusual family is hiding, how she is connected to them and how to get out alive.

SECRETS OF BENNETT HALL by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek is a Gothic mystery, dark and peppered with deadly secrets that have been hidden from the world in a dank cellar. Add a pinch of steampunk and a feisty heroine clinging to her sanity by a string and readers will feel themselves propelled back in time in this twisted tale of a family who can’t let go of the past.

A quick read with dastardly villains hiding in plain sight, secret passages and one woman who is at the heart of it all. Entertaining from start to finish!

I received a complimentary copy from Jordan Elizabeth Mierek!


On Hart's Boardwalk by Samantha Young (On Dublin Street, #6.7; Hart's Boardwalk, #2.5)


On Hart’s Boardwalk
My Rating:
Written by: Samantha Young
Series:  On Dublin Street, #6.7; Hart's Boardwalk, #2.5
Publisher: InterMix (March 20, 2018)
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance


One of New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young’s most beloved couples returns for the first time in a brand new novella set ten years after her blockbuster bestseller Before Jamaica Lane…

Nate and Liv have a great life together but they miss the spontaneity and freedom they enjoyed early on in their romance. Careers and their children have inevitably kept them busy, so when Nate discovers Liv is feeling disconnected from him, he plans an anniversary trip to the idyllic seaside town of Hartwell, Delaware. There he hopes they will have the opportunity they’ve been craving—a chance to reinvent themselves and fall in love all over again.

With each new day comes a new adventure, from wedding crashing at the five-star boardwalk hotel to pretending they are two strangers having a chance encounter at the boardwalk bar. In the midst of this daring, sexually charged game of romantic rediscovery, Nate and Liv discover the only constant they need is each other.
On Hart’s Boardwalk (On Dublin Street, #6.7; Hart's Boardwalk, #2.5)On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows there is ups and downs. Young captures the essence of one of these downs between one of our favorite couples Nat and Liv. But she doesn’t only do that, she also includes a bunch of characters from both her On Dublin Street series and On Hart’s Boardwalk series…a win, win all around.

Young doesn't just hit an emotional cord, she plays a symphony with words weaving you deeper into both the On Hart's Boardwalk and On Dublin Street worlds. I flat out loved it and was amazed by everything that took place in a novella length telling.

I receive this ARC copy of On Hart's Boardwalk from Berkley Publishing Group - InterMix. This is my honest and voluntary. On Hart's Boardwalk is set for publication March 20, 2018.




Shattered Destiny by Yumoyori Wilson & Tamara White Blitz and #Giveaway


Shattered Destiny
Yumoyori Wilson & Tamara White
(Reclaiming The Throne, #1)
Publication date: February 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
What if one act of kindness shatters your destiny? One moment that changed your life forever. Would you embrace it or fight with everything you had?
Born to a powerful mother and father, both highly respected in our clan for their magic and strength, I was neither powerful nor respected. I was born a null. Devoid of any of the strength or power of my clan and to make matters worse, my attempted shift into dragon form revealed I’m nothing more than a mere human.
When my mother became ill and my father abandoned us, I became the head of the household. I didn’t mind doing hard labor; actually, I enjoyed knowing I could be of use to my mother by performing the duties she could no longer do.
My life had become the same routine until I decided to step in and help an injured dragon who crossed my path. After healing them, my clan turned on me, taking me to the King to be interrogated. Now, I’m free and on the run – beginning my journey into the unknown.
I am Abigail Fiammetta. I vow to live and reclaim the shattered pieces of my life. Even if I have to kill to do so.
SHATTERED DESTINY is a new REVERSE HAREM, paranormal series. Recommended for 18+ audience, containing mature sexual content, violence and strong language.
EXCERPT:
“If you think I did such a horrible job, why don’t you stop talking the talk and walk the walk? Fight me,” I declared.
I could hear gasps around me, the villagers were clearly shocked by my announcement. Raphael narrowed his eyes at me, giving me a good up and down look. He grinned, sighing dramatically before he took a step forward, his tall frame hovering over me.
I wasn’t going to be intimidated by his height, glaring up at him in defiance as I stood my ground.
“You could get hurt, pretty girl,” he whispered low enough, so only I could heed his warning.
“I don’t care. Sometimes you need to prove your worth to be seen as an ally rather than a burden,” I whispered back.
I tried to ignore the soft fragrance that hit my nose and ignore his handsome face.
I bet all the women swooned over him, and even though I wouldn’t tell him to his face, he was attractive and doing his share of making my body tingle in want.
Maybe it was the weird connection I was trying to ignore—a force begging for us to be closer…to be one? Wait a minute. Did he just call me pretty?
He grinned, and for a second I saw pride flicker through his purple eyes that lingered on my lips before he stepped away.
“Alright. Let’s see what you’re made of, A-B-Gail.”


Author Bio:
Yumoyori Wilson is from Toronto, Ontario. She loves to sleep and write her days away. She works at night as a registered nurse. She has a little addiction to bubble tea and coffee but loves to workout. She has big plans for the writing world and can't wait to share them with everyone.



GIVEAWAY!

$10 Amazon gift card
Ends March 1, 2018

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Lightning in a Bottle by Gina Ardito Tour & #Giveaway


Lightning in a Bottle
by Gina Ardito
Genre: Contemporary Romance


After suffering through a humiliating divorce in New York, Bo McKenzie is out of luck, money, and patience. Arriving in Silverton, Texas, she’s bet her last dime on the launch of her craft brewery to get her life back on track. Despite her vow to stay focused solely on the beer business, one man manages to capture her heart. Can she trust him?

Drew Garwood’s one true love has always been serving the legal needs of his neighbors. His greatest trouble is keeping his brother on the right side of the law. When Bo McKenzie sweeps into town, she rouses his passion and provides the spark his life has been missing. Whatever happened before she came to Silverton has left her guarded and suspicious. Can he break down her defenses?

As the two struggle to rein in their wild attraction, secrets and greed could destroy the brewery and force Bo out of town for good – unless Drew can find a way to convince her to stay. 



I kill houseplants. There. Now you know one of my greatest shames. I'm not boasting. I just figure that if you're reading this, you're looking for more than how wonderful life is as a writer. You get enough of that elsewhere. Ditto for political rants, how to lose thirty pounds in a week, and creating gorgeous crafts with nothing more than twine and soup cans. My goal is to connect with you, dear reader, even if you're not a writer, not a New Yorker, not a mother, not a female. We're human (unless one of us is a spambot), and what we have in common is flaws. So here are a few more of mine:

I sing all the time. I sing songs most people don't know--jingles from television, crazy stuff I used to listen to on Dr. Demento, Broadway and movie soundtracks, and I can even bum-bum-bum through instrumental music. I sing in the car. In the shower. While I'm grocery shopping. And I headbop while I sing. When I'm not singing, I talk to myself. Just ignore me and move on. You get used to it after a while.

I don't eat my vegetables. Seriously. I only started eating salad about ten years ago, but I'd still rather have a cookie.

Given the option, I would live in a mall where I would never have to worry about freezing temperatures or too much sun. I'm extremely fair-skinned and could burn under a 60-watt light bulb.

I can't sleep without background noise so the television's on all night. If it's too dark and too quiet, all I have are my thoughts. And even *I* don't want to be alone with my thoughts.

Don't ask me to Zumba, line dance, or march in the parade. I have absolutely no rhythm.

I color outside the lines. Not because I'm a rebel, but because I suck as an artist. My artistic ability is limited to being able to draw Snoopy sleeping on his doghouse. And I don't even draw that well.

Regrets. I have more than a few.

My favorite activity is sleep, and I'm pretty good at it. I don't clock a lot of hours, but I can powernap like a Persian cat and rejuvenate within ten minutes.

I consider shopping and dining out excellent therapy for anything wrong in my life.

My feet are always cold. Always. My husband of more than a quarter century claims it's because I'm an alien sent to Earth to destroy him. (He might be right about that.)

Coming to my house for a visit? Unless you've given me plenty of advance notice, be prepared. My floor will not be vacuumed, there will be dishes in my sink, and I only make my bed when I change the sheets once a week (I'm climbing back into it ASAP. Why make it?) Housecleaning is not high on my priority list. Okay, to be totally honest, it's not on the list at all.

I can resist anything...except ice cream.

Since this is our first date, I figure I've revealed enough secrets for now. But if you've read this bio and think I might be the author for you, pick up one of my books or stalk my website




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
2x $25 Amazon Gift Cards

Ends March 6, 2018



Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Brush with Fame by Melinda Hazen

A Brush With Fame
by Melinda Hazen

My rating: 4 stars

Publication Date: January 6, 2018
Publisher: Melinda Hazen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Print Length: 471 pages
Available from: Amazon
What if by chance you met a famous person? And he wants you.

Rafaella Hamilton, a talented makeup artist, accepts a one-day sub position on a movie set, where she meets the charismatic lead. British heartthrob actor Evan Hutchinson, intrigued by Rafaella’s understated beauty and charm, surprises her with a job offer to finish the film.

After much playful conversation and post-work engagements together, Rafaella realizes Evan wants more from her than just a workplace relationship. This in turn compels her to make a love-altering decision enabling her to explore a relationship with Evan.

Love is hard enough under ordinary circumstances, but is Rafaella and Evan’s relationship strong enough to withstand his Hollywood lifestyle, interactions with glamorous co-stars, the tabloids, and over-devoted fans?

When unthinkable tragedy strikes, testing their love, and forcing them to make painful choices, will an ultimatum destroy their relationship?

A Brush with Fame by Melinda Hazen

A Brush With FameShe knew he looked familiar, heck, he was definitely handsome, but when Rafaella Hamilton first flirted with British heartthrob Evan Hutchinson, she had no idea who he was or what they could become to each other. A makeup artist, Rafaella would soon learn that even the best concealer couldn’t hide what she was beginning to feel for Evan. She was pretty sure he felt the same way towards her, but would the life of a star be too much for Rafaella to accept? Would her personal insecurities and desires clash with the younger Evan’s own goals or the future he had mapped out for himself?

When Rafaella’s past comes back like a horror show on steroids, she is forced to look at her life, her dreams and needs. Is she strong enough to walk away if Evan cannot make the same choices? Would she be playing a high school game, hoping he would bend to her wishes? Painful choices must be made, but sometimes through pain comes clarity and love. Will they find a love that will survive the tests of life?

A BRUSH WITH FAME by Melinda Hazen is a tale of two worlds colliding, joining together and being torn apart with gaping wounds left in the aftermath. I found Evan to come across as a man unaffected by the life he has, sincere enough to know what he wants and honest enough not to dangle empty promises.

Rafaella, although in her late twenties almost seemed too na├»ve for the world she lived in. I did enjoy hearing her thoughts regarding Evan, they were spot on as she dared to hope he was attracted to her in the beginning. She did have a brutal wake up call that made her realize what she wanted in life and their exchange was heart wrenching, but for the most part, honest, particularly on Evan’s side. Rafaella rolled the emotional dice and had to play out her hand. Choices of the heart are difficult at best, but love isn’t a game.

Melinda Hazen has put a very realistic spin on loving, losing and moving on, no matter the outcome, which could only change if two people still wanted it. A sweet romance with a touch of darkness and pain, but isn’t that pretty realistic, too? Want a romance with two "nice"people looking for love and acceptance as they are? This is it!

I received a complimentary copy from Melinda Hazen!