*blog tour* A Veil of Vines by Tillie Cole

To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.
But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth.
For some, they are real life.
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.
I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set.
I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.
In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more.
And I am soon to become one of them.
I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
… or at least I was, until I met Achille.
And everything changed.
Caresa

As my papa’s G5 began its descent, I looked out of the window beside me and waited for the plane to break through the clouds. I held my breath, body tense, then suddenly the burnt-orange remnants of daylight flooded the plane, bathing the interior with a soft, golden glow. I inhaled deeply. Italia.
Fields and fields of green and yellow created a patchwork quilt below, rolling hills and crystal-blue lakes stretching as far the eye could see. I smiled as a sense of warmth ran through me.
It was the most beautiful place on earth.
Sitting back in my wide cream leather chair, I closed my eyes and tried to prepare myself for what was coming. I was flying to Florence airport, from where I would be swiftly taken to the Palazzo Savona estate just outside of the city.
I would meet Prince Zeno.
I had met him twice before—once when I was four, of which I had no memory, and again when I was ten. The interaction we’d had as children had been brief. If I was being honest, I had found Zeno to be arrogant and rude. He had been thirteen at the time and not at all interested in meeting a ten-year-old girl from America.
Neither of us had known at the time that that our betrothal had been agreed upon two years prior. It turned out that the trip my papa had taken to Umbria when I was eight was to secure a forever-bond between the Savonas and the Acardis. King Santo and my father had planned for their only children to marry. They were already joined in business; Zeno’s arranged marriage to me would also strengthen both families’ place in society.
I thought back on my New York farewell of nine hours ago and sighed. My parents had driven me to the private hangar and said their goodbyes. My mama cried—her only child was leaving her for a new life. My papa, although sad to see me go, beamed at me with the utmost pride. He had held me close and whispered, “I have never been more proud of you than I am right now, Caresa. Savona Wines’ stock has plummeted since Santo’s death. This union will reassure all the shareholders that our business is still strong. That we are still a stable company with Zeno at the helm.”
I had given him a tight smile and boarded the plane with a promise that they would see me before the wedding. And that had been that.
I was to marry Zeno, and I hadn’t protested even once. I imagined to most modern-day women living in New York, the process of arranged marriages sounded positively medieval, even barbaric. For a blue blood, it was simply a part of life.
King Santo Savona died two months ago. The shareholders of his many Italian vineyards, the stakeholders in Savona Wines, had expected his son, Zeno, to immediately step up and take charge. Instead, Zeno had plunged himself into the party scene even harder than before—and that was quite a feat. Within weeks my papa had flown out to Umbria to see what could be done.
The answer: our imminent union.
One winner gets a Signed Copy of A Veil of Vines + Limited-Edition The Future Mrs. Marchesi T-Shirt
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Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.


Susan’s Review: 4 stars

Oh wow! What a different kind of story from Tillie Cole! It was soft and loving and kind of had an ethereal quality to it…like a fairy tale.

What happens when you are young and dream of marrying a prince and then get your dream only to find out that it’s not exactly what you thought it would be and fall in love with a simple winemaker? Do you do what your family and society expects of you or do you follow your heart? Caresa had that very problem. She was betrothed to Zeno, unoffical prince of Italy. Neither really wanted to marry the other but were doing it out of obligation. Then, Caresa meets Achille, the award winning winemaker who lives a simple life on his vineyard. Achille and Caresa fall in love, but can things work for them? You’ll need to read this and find out ;0)

Achille had such a sweet soul. He wanted nothing more than to make wine and love Caresa. Even though Caresa was doing what her family expected, she was brave enough to want to fight for her love. They were beautiful together.

*thanks to Ardent PR for sharing a copy of this with me*

*COVER REVEAL* Casanova by Emma Hart

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00027]I loved him more than life.

He broke me and he didn’t even know it.

I ran from him.

He didn’t chase me.

He never needed to, because he knew I’d come back.

He was right.

Death brought me home to him.

Brett Walker.

Drop dead gorgeous and filthy-mouthed with a smile that turns saints to sinners.

A casanova to his core.

My ex-best friend.

And the bad boy whose reputation precedes him—the same reputation I’m tasked with turning to gold… Or so they think.

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1p0a9045By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.

She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

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*COVER REVEAL* The Room Mate by Kendall Ryan

New York Times Bestselling Author Kendall Ryan brings us a brand new standalone on January 24, 2017 – THE ROOM MATE! When someone is off-limits it’s hard to resit.

 

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room-mate_amazonThe last time I saw my best friend’s younger brother, he was a geek wearing braces. But when Cannon shows up to crash in my spare room, I get a swift reality check.

Now twenty-four, he’s broad shouldered and masculine, and so sinfully sexy, I want to climb him like the jungle gyms we used to enjoy. At six-foot-something with lean muscles hiding under his T-shirt, a deep sexy voice, and full lips that pull into a smirk when he studies me, he’s pure temptation.

Fresh out of a messy breakup, he doesn’t want any entanglements. But I can resist, right?

I’m holding strong until the third night of our new arrangement when we get drunk and he confesses his biggest secret of all: he’s cursed when it comes to sex. Apparently he’s a god in bed, and women instantly fall in love with him.

I’m calling bullshit. In fact, I’m going to prove him wrong, and if I rack up a few much-needed orgasms in the process, all the better.

There’s no way I’m going to fall in love with Cannon. But once we start…I realize betting against him may have been the biggest mistake of my life.

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kendall-ryan-headshot-1-picA New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

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Fake Off by Michelle McLoughney

 

 

 

Title: Fake Off
Author: Michelle McLoughney
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 30, 2016
Blurb
Polly Doyle hates her job, her life, and being stuck in her home town. Being a twenty-something, newly single, phone-sex operator isn’t exactly where she saw herself on career day. When Polly lands a spot on the popular TV show, The Bake Off, she vows to win. Baking is her passion and her ticket out of Cavern’s Bend. There’s just one, very big man-shaped problem. It’s couples year. Polly doesn’t want a man, but for the first time in her life, she needs one. Faking it for a living comes naturally to Polly. Faking The Bake Off, should be a piece of cake. If only her fake boyfriend wasn’t so edible, so hot, and so damn infuriating!Keane Marshall loves his job, his life, and moving back to his home town is the icing on the cake. Being a twenty-something, newly single chef of the hottest restaurant in Cavern’s Bend, is exactly where he wants to be. Until he gets roped into a competition with a woman he hoped he’d never see again. Polly Doyle was the first girl he ever wanted. The first girl he fell in love with. And the girl who sucker punched him into 6th grade infamy. Faking The Bake Off should be a piece of cake. If only his fake girlfriend wasn’t so sinfully spicy, so teeth tingling sweet, and so damn infuriating!

A spoonful of sugar, and a whole lot of spice.
Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK

 

Author Bio

Michelle McLoughney is an Irish author and child prodigy. That’s a lie. As a child she pretended she was a prodigy, and also that her father was Ming the Merciless. Thus, a career in fiction was born, or, lying for a living. Whatever. Michelle writes books that have hot men and kick ass heroines. Also, books that have hot women and kick ass women. There’s a theme running here somewhere! Probably that hot kickass women should rule the world. Michelle likes cake and pie. In fact she has never met a cake that she didn’t like, first world problems. Please connect with Michelle in any way you’d like. She’s a Facebook regular and appreciates the feedback. And cake. Send cake.

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3 stars

This was a fun quick read.  Polly and Keane were great together, and I loved the glimpses of their childhood friends.

 

*BLOG TOUR* Hail Mary by Nicola Rendell

 
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At a boxing gym in Chicago, Mary Monahan accidentally knocks out the most handsome man she’s ever met. After she wakes him up with a few slaps and some smelling salts, the very first thing he does is ask her out for ribs and beer. His name is Jimmy. He looks like a Gillette model. And he’s just too hunky to resist.

Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi is mystified that Mary has absolutely no idea who he is. Mystified and refreshed. He is, after all, not your everyday NFL quarterback. He shops at Costco, has a soft spot for Pinterest, and is in the midst of an epic losing streak.

Jimmy falls for Mary fast and hard, the way he does everything—balls out and like it’s fourth and long. And he realizes he’s finally met his match. That stamina he’s so proud of? Doesn’t stand a chance against her Kegels.

But what they don’t know is she’s also his new physical therapist, recently hired by the Bears to work on his rotator cuff…and groin injury. If she can’t help him, he’ll be traded faster than they can say “offensive penetration.”

In spite of the thousands of internet memes featuring Jimmy’s face with captions like: “HEY GIRL, WANT TO TOUCH MY BALLS?” Mary finds herself falling for him and his unrelenting desire to make her his.

Until a toddler shows up at Jimmy’s door.

And throws their lives into total chaos.

***

To the reader: Contents includes love, sweetness, naughtiness, honey, champagne, and an HEA. Safe.


With her hand in mine, I hail a cab on Fullerton. She isn’t saying much, and I like that. I like talking to her, getting dirty, watching her lose her words. Because I’ll tell you what, I’m planning on her losing a shitload more than that before I’m done with her. Losing everything to me. That’s the fucking plan.
The cabbie pulls off to the other side of the road a little way up from us and puts on his hazards to tell us he’s waiting. As we head for the crosswalk, I kick aside a drift from one of the plows, but it’s unsteady footing, icy and slick. As she begins to slip, her grip on my hand tightens.
“That’s enough of that,” I tell her, and scoop her up into my arms, newlywed-style.
She squeals and hangs on tight. She fits fucking perfectly in my arms, and I love the way she feels tight against me. Her fingers slip past my collar, and her fingernails dig gently into the back of my neck. “I can walk,” she says, mostly to my mouth. Then she raises her eyes. “It was just slippery.”
I don’t answer right away. I don’t want to come on too strong. I don’t want to scare her, but I don’t want there to be any fucking mistake at all about what I want or how I plan to get it. “I know you can. I’m sure you can do pretty much everything.”
Her eyes glisten, and I hoist her up a little higher in my arms. The walk signal starts flashing its hand as we get to the other curb. “I’m no shrinking violet.”
“Good. Because I’m going to need you to come strong for me tonight.”
Her body reacts before her face does, her back arching under my hand, that bend so delicate under my palm.
“Multiple times. Loudly.”
She presses her face to my chest and moans out what sounds like, “Who are you?”
“And you’re going to tell me what you like and how you like it. We’re not going to fuck around. Communication, pussycat. That’s the key.”
There go her words again. I’m getting to know that glaze in her eye, disoriented with desire. “And what about you?”
Now we’re even with the cab, but I’ve still got some things she needs to know. “I don’t come until you do. At least twice.”
She’s got no answer for that, so I bring her chin up toward me, stretching her pretty neck out with my thumb on her jaw. “You hear me?”
She nods. She breathes. She blinks.
“That’s how it’s going to go.”
“I think I can handle that.”
I laugh, sending a plume of steam out of my nose. This girl has no idea how badly I want her. How badly I need her. How fucking hard I am already to get inside her. “Yeah? You think so? You think you can handle me?”
Her eyes widen a little. “I think so,” she whispers.
Then I let her slip from my arms, such a fucking shame, but I’m not about to let her open her own door. As she gets into the cab—on the street side, the safe side—I say into her ear, “We’ll just see about that.”
A signed copy of Hail Mary and a $50 Sephora Gift Card
Open US only
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Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.
Author Links
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Susan’s Review: 4 stars

This was my first Nicola Rendell, and it won’t be my last!  This was funny and swoony and I really enjoyed it 🙂

Perfectly Paired by Lexi Blake

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perfectlypaired_highresA table for two

Waitress Tiffany Hayes knows what she wants and she wants Sebastian. Top’s grumpy sommelier calls to her in a way no man has before. She simply needs to show him that they belong together. Finding an opportunity to spend some quality time with him turns out to be the easy part. Convincing Sebastian to look beyond his damaged heart and soul is far more difficult.

A thirst he can’t deny

After losing everything he held dear, Sebastian Lowe has finally rebuilt his life and the walls around his heart. Tiffany is a sweet temptation he struggles to resist. She’s bright and complex, but he’s sure she can’t handle his dark desires. When they’re thrown together on an assignment, he can’t help himself.

A perfect pairing

 

As passion builds, the new lovers are both forced to face their pasts. To have a future, they must find a way to heal the wounds they thought would haunt them forever.

* * * *

 

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Damn but she was a beautiful woman. She was also something he needed to keep his hands off of. No matter what Big Tag said, he did not date women he worked with.
He didn’t really date anyone. He played with subs. When the need got too great, he found a partner for a brief time. He didn’t sleep with anyone. He fucked, and that was starting to get very old. Empty.
“So you said something about house rules?” Tiffany leaned forward, her elbows on the bar. “Are these housekeeping rules or like big bad Dom rules?”
“I don’t suppose I differentiate.” He couldn’t let those big eyes of hers soften him up. It had almost happened at her apartment. When she’d stood up after he’d spanked her and there had been tears running down her face, his impulse had been to reach for her. He’d wanted to draw her in the way he had that night when she was drunk and she’d cried on his shoulder. He’d wanted to smooth back her hair and promise her everything was going to be all right, that he could fix things for her. It was a path that was sure to lead to discomfort for her and humiliation for him. “I prefer a clean living space. I don’t like for things to be messy. I expect that you will keep your things in their proper place.”
Because no matter how hard he tried, he could still trip. The legs he now walked on were only a year old. He’d spent the first two years in a wheelchair.
The Garden’s Wheelchair Dom.
He still wasn’t completely comfortable in the prosthetics.
“I can try,” she said with a frown. “I’ll be honest, I’m not the world’s biggest neat freak.”
He’d been able to tell that from the state of her apartment. It had been cluttered, a bit dusty. With the exception of her easel. That had been perfectly taken care of. He rather wished he’d taken the time to ask to see her art.
He’d seen one painting that night he’d taken her home. It had been a painting of three laughing girls, the swirling colors so vibrant he could hear them giggling as they splashed in a puddle on a rainy day. The figures had been more impressions than photographic reality, but he’d known what she was trying to convey.
“If you cook I’ll clean, and the other way around.” He’d started a list in his head on the long drive. The drive that would have been considerably shorter had they left at the proper time. As she’d sung along to sugary pop songs after she’d changed his radio, he’d sat and considered how to proceed.
With caution. Lots and lots of caution.
“I’m not the best cook in the world,” he continued, “but I can manage. Most nights, of course, we’ll be eating at Top as our training sessions for the new restaurant will last long hours, but I would prefer to eat breakfast here rather than skipping the meal or picking up fast food. Eric made sure the fridge was stocked with a few items I requested.”
“Breakfast.” She gave him a little salute with her free hand. “I can manage that.”
“In addition to our duties at Top, we will now be taking on the additional task of appearing to be a long-term D/s couple, and we need to talk about what that should look like.” Another thing he’d been thinking about ever since that moment the trap had closed around him. “You know you probably could have gotten us out of this assignment. It’s much more difficult for the Dom to say no. The sub always holds the power. Is there a reason you didn’t use yours today?”
“I didn’t want to,” she replied simply. “I don’t have a full-time Dom and I thought it would be interesting to see what that’s like.”
Was she thinking at all? “You know nothing about how I function as a dominant partner.”
“And now I do,” she replied. “You like rules and schedules and you tend to be very fair.”
“I can be quite exacting in my standards.”
“I can be quite flexible,” she shot back as the sexiest smile crossed her face. “I’m serious about that. I can still do the splits and everything.”
“You’re far too reckless, Tiffany.” He didn’t appreciate recklessness so why was she like a siren calling to him? If he listened, he would end up wrecked.
“You’re far too uptight, Sebastian.”

 

 

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE



Susan’s Review: 5 stars

Why haven’t I read anything by Lexi Blake before? She’s on my TBR list. She’s even on my Kindle. Thank heavens I’m taking some time off in December to do some reading not for the blog because I’ll be going back to the beginning of her Masters and Mercenaries series and reading it.

This was sexy and funny and emotional. Sebastian was alpha and strong, yet so vulnerable. I just wanted to hug him ;0) Tiffany was bubbly, a little bit of a procrastinator, a master at avoidance, and knew what she wanted. She kind of reminded me of me…LOL

Yes, this is book 3 in one series and book 12.5 in the grand scheme of this world, but I totally wasn’t lost. Would I have enjoyed this more if I knew the back stories of some of the other characters? Sure. But even without that background knowledge, I gave it 5 stars because I absolutely loved everyone I met in the book.

A Veil of Vines by Tillie Cole

To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.
But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth.
For some, they are real life.
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.
I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set.
I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.
In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more.
And I am soon to become one of them.
I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
… or at least I was, until I met Achille.
And everything changed.
I opened the window beside me and stared at the illuminated entrance. I swallowed hard and placed my empty glass on the bar. Metal groaned, breaking through the twilight, as the massive black wrought-iron gates began to open. The limo slowly pulled onto the property’s lane, and I drank in the thick forest that shielded the estate. I inhaled the freshness of the lush green trees. The unpolluted sky was thick with stars—not a single cloud in sight.
A few minutes later, the thick woods cleared, and I gasped. Acres and acres of gold and green vineyards covered the landscape. The scents of plump grapes and damp soil permeated the warm air. I closed my eyes. It reminded me of being a child. It brought me back to the days before I was taken to New York. I could still feel the heat of the Emilia-Romagna sun on my face, the deep smell of olives, grapes and flowers drifting in the breeze as I ran around our Parma estate.
I smiled a nostalgic smile and allowed my eyes to drift open again. I rested my arms on the window and leaned my chin on them as the limo drove on. There were several small villas peppered over the landscape, their lights twinkling in the distance. They must have been the winemakers’ residences. It was not only the Bella Collina merlot that was made on this land; other reds were too—particularly the Chianti from the region’s finest Sangiovese grapes. The Bella Collina olive oil was also up there with the best. But nothing compared to the famed merlot.
The limo turned right, and my breath caught in my throat. I lifted my head and stared disbelievingly at the property ahead. Bella Collina was a veritable Palace of Versailles tucked away in the Umbrian wilderness.
“Mio Dio,” I whispered as I took in the imposing stone structure, the sweeping steps and the vast number of windows set in the building’s walls. Large pillars of red-veined marble flanked the entrance. Cypress trees framed the estate as if it were the shining star of a fine Renaissance painting. Sculptures of famed Savona monarchs of old stood proudly on the manicured lawns, and strategically placed lighting illuminated the sheer perfection of every piece of topiary.
As a child, I had been to the Palazzo Savona in Florence. It was widely regarded to be one of the finest estates in all of Italy, if not western Europe. But this . . . this . . . there were no words. It was perfectly placed, as if it had always been there. As if it had grown naturally from the Umbrian earth just as sure as the vines and woods that kept this architectural treasure hidden from view.
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

 

Maid for the South Pole by Demelza Carlton

Maid for the South Pole

by Demelza Carlton

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Hotel maid turned meteorologist Audra is determined to make her mark on the world without a man getting in her way. Seizing the chance to join an expedition to the South Pole, she thinks all her Christmases have come at once.
Until she returns to the research station and meets her new roommate.
When Jean-Pierre’s wife broke his heart, he swore off women, vowing to spend his holidays in Antarctica for one final season. He didn’t count on sharing a room with an Australian woman who hates him for something he can’t even remember.
Will the heat of a South Pole summer be enough to thaw two icy hearts?

Amazon: http://www.smarturl.it/rir7
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/maid-for-the-south-pole/id1147802831?mt=11
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/maid-for-the-south-pole-demelza-carlton/1124468811?ean=2940153695693
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=S1dEDQAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/maid-for-the-south-pole
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/660749

Giveaway: http://blog.ravenpublicity.com/giveaways/demelzacarlton/

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A taste of what’s in store in Maid for the South Pole:

 

Ice, ice and more ice unfolded below, until the blocky buildings of Davis Station came into view, sitting on the only patch of rock in a sea of white. Eric brought the helicopter down behind the buildings, beside what he said was a lake and the station’s water supply.

Jean began to help Eric unload his gear, but Eric waved him away.

“They heard us arrive, and I radioed ahead to tell them I have their special Christmas supplies. Give it five minutes and I’ll have more volunteers than I know what to do with, helping me unload. Go report to the station leader for your accommodation assignment before he knocks off for the day.”

Armed with Eric’s directions to the station leader’s office, Jean headed inside, out of the cold. He found the office occupied by a woman – definitely not a he. Cautiously, Jean knocked on the open door. “Hey, I’m looking for the station leader?”

She gave a tired wave. “That’s me, for my sins. Who’d have believed we could have a water shortage while we’re surrounded by ice? Even with shorter showers, it only stretches so far. I’m Ali, by the way.” She extended her hand across the desk.

Jean shook it. “Jean Pennant, climate change biologist from the University of Washington. Here to finish my PhD research out at Heard Island.”

Ali stared. “Jean? Spelled J-E-A-N? We all thought you were a woman.”

Jean made a show of patting down his chest, then his groin. “No, definitely not a woman.” He grinned. “If it makes you feel better, I was told the station leader here was a man. I guess it’s hard to tell when we’re all dressed alike outside.”

“True.” Ali reached for a folder on her desk and cast her eyes down on the contents. “You’re here for your accommodation assignment, yes? It looks like you’re in luck. You’re housed with the summer Met team in SAM, the Summer Accommodation Module.” She pulled a page out of the back of the folder and marked it with two crosses. “You’re here. Your sleeping quarters are here.” She tapped the paper with her pen. “That’s Living Quarters, where we do pretty much everything else except work and sleep.”

“Sounds pretty simple,” Jean said, craning his neck to look at the map.

“Here.” Ali handed it to him. “I’ll let you get settled in today. Tomorrow, one of the training officers will take you through all our station procedures, so you know what’s what. They’ll schedule you in for the next round of survival training, too, before you go on your expedition. Have fun.”

That sounded like a dismissal to Jean, so he thanked her and headed out.

His boots crunched on the grey gravel road as he trudged up to his temporary home, a big, red barn of a place. As long as it was warm inside, he didn’t care what it looked like. The sleeping quarters were easy to identify because they had people’s names on the doors. Two to a room. He hoped his new roommate didn’t snore, like the geologists he’d shared with on Heard Island last year. If he did, Jean would requisition some earplugs from Stores tomorrow.

Just like on the map, his room was right at the end of a corridor. Jean knocked cautiously, but he received no response from inside, so he cracked the door open. Light flooded through the window, revealing an empty room. Empty of people, at least, seeing as his roommate had already claimed the top bunk and half of the available storage space. A closed laptop sat on the desk, beside a box of tampons.

Jean’s bag thumped to the floor. He knew a few marine biologists who used tampons in their waterproof camera housings to absorb moisture, but Ali had said he was rooming with a meteorologist, not a marine biologist or a photographer. An amateur photographer, maybe?

Jean checked the door. His name was definitely on it, below one that looked vaguely familiar: Audra Zujute. Where had he heard that before?

An image of Doug came to mind. That was right. Doug had talked about someone called Audra. It wasn’t exactly a common name, so it was probably the same woman Doug said had nursed him aboard the icebreaker last year. Probably best to take the crewman’s advice and thank her, then, in case she remembered him later and thought he was an ungrateful asshole. Maybe if he saw her, it might jog his memory of the days aboard the ship. Hey, it was worth a shot.

In the meantime, he decided to check his email, seeing as Ali had given him the station’s wi-fi password. Perhaps Louis had sent through some new corrections on the chapters Jean had emailed him from McMurdo. Sure enough, he had – enough to keep Jean busy for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

He lost track of time, reading comment after comment and making the required changes. The light coming through the window faded to darkness without Jean taking his eyes off his tablet.

It wasn’t until the door handle rattled that Jean’s thoughts strayed from anything that involved penguins. He leaped to his feet, smoothing down his shirt. The last time she’d seen him, he’d been badly injured and probably incoherent. He wanted to make a better impression this time.

As the door swung open, Jean marched forward, sticking his hand out. “Hi, I’m Jean-Pierre, your new roommate. You must be Audra. I believe I owe you for what you did on the Aurora Australis last year.”

Her already large eyes widened as her face paled. “Shit,” she said, before she turned on her heel and strode off

*RELEASE BLITZ* Hail Mary by Nicola Rendell

 

 

 

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At a boxing gym in Chicago, Mary Monahan accidentally knocks out the most handsome man she’s ever met. After she wakes him up with a few slaps and some smelling salts, the very first thing he does is ask her out for ribs and beer. His name is Jimmy. He looks like a Gillette model. And he’s just too hunky to resist.

Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi is mystified that Mary has absolutely no idea who he is. Mystified and refreshed. He is, after all, not your everyday NFL quarterback. He shops at Costco, has a soft spot for Pinterest, and is in the midst of an epic losing streak.

Jimmy falls for Mary fast and hard, the way he does everything—balls out and like it’s fourth and long. And he realizes he’s finally met his match. That stamina he’s so proud of? Doesn’t stand a chance against her Kegels.

But what they don’t know is she’s also his new physical therapist, recently hired by the Bears to work on his rotator cuff…and groin injury. If she can’t help him, he’ll be traded faster than they can say “offensive penetration.”

In spite of the thousands of internet memes featuring Jimmy’s face with captions like: “HEY GIRL, WANT TO TOUCH MY BALLS?” Mary finds herself falling for him and his unrelenting desire to make her his.

Until a toddler shows up at Jimmy’s door.

And throws their lives into total chaos.

***

To the reader: Contents includes love, sweetness, naughtiness, honey, champagne, and an HEA. Safe.


Chapter 1
Jimmy


She’s got a hell of a left hook, and her jab is no joke either. It’s hard to tell what she really looks like, with the big blue rubber mouth guard between her teeth and the black padded headgear covering her jaw and cheeks. But I know this: I want to get my hands on that body. Her tight pink tee is low cut and skin tight, and across her breasts are the words: “NOBODY’S PUSSYCAT.”
A cold draft blows in from the window, making goosebumps ripple up her arms. A thin stream of sweat runs down into her cleavage, and then I watch her nipples tighten. Christ. With little bounces, she heads back to her corner and bends over for her water bottle. Stretchy black leggings and no panty line.
Fuuuuuck.
The buzzer dings and we square up. She holds her gloves up to her face, ready to go. They’re bubblegum pink with white cuffs; the girliest weapons I’ve ever seen.
But never mind the gloves. It’s those eyes that have me. Shit, those eyes. This crazy deep green. Packers’ green. Jets’ green. Green like cash. Green that could make a guy go right out of his mind.
Pow goes a jab into my stomach and I double over, tasting my Gatorade from an hour ago. Before I can breathe, before I can even get up my gloves to slow her down, she pelts me hard with a cross to my sternum that knocks the wind straight out of me. I gasp for air and stagger back into the ropes.
“Jesus Christ,” I moan. “Who are you?”
Her eyes light up in this smile. This beautiful fucking smile that I feel way down inside. Then she bounces on her toes and smacks her gloves together out in front of her. Whap, whap. “I’m Mary!” she says around her mouth guard. “And you’re slow!”
Cute. But, yeah…no. Nobody talks to me like that. Nobody. I hurl myself off the ropes, colliding with her in the center of the ring, skin against skin now. I press into her sexy shoulder with my bicep, feeling the sweat between us. She nails me in the gut again; a solid, low-slung straight, and I think, I can’ t hit a girl, can I?
No. Fuck, no.
So I stretch my arm between us, the padding of my glove holding her steady right below her collarbone. She swings for me but I’m a foot taller and she doesn’t stand a chance. “Jerk!”
Obviously.
But on the upside, now I can really get a good look at her the way I want to; close up, but not so close that she’s pummeling me. Her legs are solid and I can even see that little curve of her hipbones barely showing through her leggings. I let my eyes follow the line of sweat to her inner thighs, to that wet, hot place where everything comes together. Fuck. I want my hands on that place. I want to feel the softness and the strength. I want to know the taste of that sweat. The way that softness gives under my tongue.
Ding goes the buzzer. I push her away, padded knuckles to her shoulder. She spins and gets into her corner, so I do the same.
I grab my water bottle and squirt it into my mouth, watching her all the time. She’s fucking beautiful, this one. Fucking gorgeous. The woman of dreams. Of fantasies.
From a pink Nalgene, she takes one big gulp, two, and a little water dribbles down her lips, rolling in drops down her throat. Her eyes stay right on mine. Her chest heaves. Her eyes flash. Her lips tighten. And that’s when it happens. She peels off her T-shirt and tosses it to the floor so that the only word showing is PUSSY.
Ding.
Her body is fucking perfect. I mean perfect. I moan into my mouth guard and I look her up and down. Lean but not thin. Sexy and strong. A fighter’s body. A woman’s body. A body strong enough to take everything I want to give it. And then some.
She turns to set down her water bottle, bending at the waist. And that’s when I see it. The tattoo. It’s a ribbon of black lace that runs in a beautiful, feminine line down her back from right shoulder to left hip, curving down into her pants. Tough as hell, pretty as can be. And with the sexiest tattoo I’ve ever seen in my life.
Stick a motherfucking fork in me. I’m done.
“Nice ink,” I tell her as we square up again.
“Thanks,” she says, leaning in to my shoulder.
“I’ve never seen one like it.” I hook my arm around her again and pull her in. I smell something familiar. I can’t place it. She slips free and moves behind me. For one second, all I can hear is her shoes on the mats.
“I rebelled when I turned 30. It was either this or a tramp stamp.”
“Of what?” I pivot so my face is close against hers.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” She smiles tight around the mouth guard. Her glove comes through the air, cutting through the noise of the gym. Whooosh.
I get my right hand up just in time to block her with my glove. The impact rolls down my forearm like I’m nothing but Jell-O.
She lets another jab fly but misses me—barely—and I slip around behind her. The hair at the nape of her neck is curly and wet, and a long dark braid runs down her back. That strip of wet fabric at the top of her pants, dark with sweat. “Why are we fighting?” I growl as I get closer. “Why aren’t we out drinking? Making trouble? Fucking around? Let me take you out.”
She spins to face me, her eyes wide open, surprised. “You wanna drink with me?”
“Hell yes, I do. And a lot of other things.”
“You want me? Fight me.” She fires her bubblegum pink cannons at my stomach with a one-two combination that makes me feel like I’m nothing but a 283-pound heavy bag.
I try to get in a left cross, but she’s way faster than I am and comes up from under with a hook straight out of Manila.
That one got me in my brainpan, in my marrow. “Fuck that,” I snarl.
“Atta boy!”
No way. Nobody atta boys me. I’m Jimmy Goddamned Falconi. I’m nobody’s boy. Never.
“Atta girl.” I nudge her in the shoulder with my chest.
Around her guard, she says, “You fight like you’re in molasses. But you’re strong. You some kind of athlete?”
At first, I’m about to laugh. For about one second, I think I might be on Candid Camera or something. I mean, I can’t walk to the bathroom on an airplane without someone asking me to sign a cocktail napkin. I can’t get through Costco without someone asking me to sign their shopping list. Some kind of athlete?
I’m Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi. Quarterback for the Chicago Goddamned Bears. I’m somebody.
But there’s zero recognition in her eyes. No flicker of the fangirl. No sign she’s playing it cool either. To her, I’m just a guy getting his ass kicked by a girl in pink gloves.
“Hello?” She presses into my chin with a slow uppercut from the right.
I snap out of it. I don’t even know how to answer her. I play quarterback for the Bears. Ever heard of them? Or maybe, Ever heard of football? America’s Game? Fuck. I wouldn’t even know how to start. I’ve never had to explain it. People just know. “Yeah, I like to work out.”
“Then act like it,” she says, all piss and vinegar, and puts her guard back in her mouth. Wham comes that jab into my gut. Pow goes the straight to my pecs. I loop one arm around her and pull her body in close, hooking the back of her neck with the crook of my elbow. I pull her closer, tighter, both arms around her, to get a feel for her…but also to give myself a goddamned break.
She struggles a little, trying to squirm free, but I see the smile on her face, the crinkle of the skin at her eyes.
I pull her head closer to mine. I must be twice her weight; no way is she going to get free now. We are the welterweight and the super heavyweight. Wrong class totally. But then she wedges her forehead in against my chest. I watch her wind up, her biceps flexing, and, boom-boom-boom.
Every time she connects, I lose a little more air and groan, “Fuck-fuck-fuck!”
“Atta boy!”
Fuck. That.
So I keep her pinned and she starts fighting harder, which makes me want to hang on to her more. I press my nose against her head. In her thick brown hair, I can smell her shampoo, her conditioner. Coconut.
While I’m distracted by that smell, thinking of sunscreen and ukulele music and drinks with umbrellas and her on a beach, she slips out from under my arms and pops up in my face.
Well, shit.
“What, you chicken? Gonna hit me back? Or do you want to dance around for an hour or two? Because I can totally do that. I just have to go home to feed the dog.” Whap-whap go her padded fists.
Oh no, no way. No way am I going to let a pretty little thing talk to me like that. I sniff hard and man up.
I give her a jab. A hook. A cross.
And she blocks me every damned time. Blocks me like she’s fought me before, or like she’s known all along what I’ll do when it comes down to it.
Fucking wax-on-wax off, one-two-three.
Pow-pow go her gloves into my side, and fuck. I think I feel those it in my spleen. Enough. Enough. Anger boils up through me like cheap vodka after a long night.
I’m Jimmy Falconi. And I’m gonna make this girl know my name.
I crack my neck side to side and get serious. I suck air through the holes in my mouth guard and get my fists up. I edge her into the corner and those eyes flash at me. She’s sweating hard and her mascara is smudged. Her hair is mussed and her skin is slick. It makes her look dangerous. Angry. I’d like to smudge that mascara a little more. In bed. Immediately.
But first, I’m going to show her who’s boss.
The more she works herself up, the hotter she gets. That’s when something catches my eye. There’s something written on the white cuffs of her gloves. All fuzzy, written in black marker:
On the right glove: HERE COMES…
On the left:…TROUBLE!
Whomp.
She nails me in the jaw with a haymaker, and my molars shake. “Come the fuck on,” I growl back at her, with my glove pressed to the side of my face.
She smacks her gloves together, and lowers her chin. “Are we sparring or chatting? Hit me!” Bounce, bounce, bounce. Butterfly, bee. Whap, whap, whap. “I’m not going to break!”
I work my jaw open and closed a few times thinking, Okay. Fine. Fine. I didn’t think it was going to go like this, but I can roll with a hostile defense, sure. Wouldn’t be the first time. I give her the old elevator stare—up, down, up again—and get stuck on her belly button for a little too long. But then I get a game plan together. I figure I can hit her in the stomach. Not too hard, not hard enough to hurt her, but hard enough to let her know who’s in charge here.
Which would be me. Me, pussycat. Me.
Nudging the edge of her shoulder with my glove, I drive her backwards. Our eyes lock and I get this…this…prickle all through me.
This woman.
This one. Right here.
I want her. So fucking bad.
The fucking gym with its ten phones playing mariachi goes silent. The guys by the cooler egging her on go silent. It’s just her and me and the sweat dripping between us. Soft skin, sparkling eyes. She smells like a summer day and she’s looking at me in a way that no woman has ever looked at me. Ever.
Like she’s gonna own me and she knows it.
Which is bullshit.
She gives me a little lift of her chin and tightens her lips around the guard. She wipes her nose with her glove and then lowers her head. “Come on! You going to fight or are you just going to screw around?”
With my left hand, I jab her softly in the stomach. With the right, a play-hook to the jaw. I raise her chin on my glove so her eyes come up to mine. Then I pull her close, my arm around the back of her neck again. “You wanna screw around?” I say into her ear.
Bam, another hit to the stomach. “I haven’t even gotten started,” she answers.
Fuck it.
She wants to play? Fucking fine. I’ll play. I’ll play hard. I square up. But she gives me this eye. This champion eye. A winner’s eye. Cocky like no eyes I’ve ever seen before. Tom Brady doesn’t have anything on this kind of cocky right here. My luck, this girl’s some UFC champion. Christ.
But I can take her. Yeah, I sure fucking can.
Probably.
I decide on a straight jab; a no-fail straight jab that I plan just hard enough to send her reeling but not hurt her, not actually injure her. I know the punch. It works in bar fights and brawls on the field. An all-American move. As I wind up, everything slows down. I’m 6’6”, 283 pounds, and I throw a football for a living. When I wind up, I wind up. As I do, she ducks, fast as fucking lightning. Greased. Elegant. Lethal. So as my arm is powering through the air, as my momentum gets caught behind 12-ounce training gloves, she pops back up like a goddamned whack-a-mole.
Those eyes flash again and she smiles so hard I can see her dimples.
Dimples. Oh, fuck.
I watch her shoulder tighten, her tricep pucker, and that’s when she lets me have it for real.
The punch comes from left to right, blocking out my view of everything. I don’t see the Mexican flag on the wall. I don’t see the graffiti mural over the windows. Nope. The universe turns bubblegum pink.
It doesn’t hurt, not at first, and as I’m flying backwards, airborne, I have just enough time to think to myself, I wonder if this is what a knockout punch feels like…
Before everything flickers to black.
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Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.
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*REVIEW* J.C. & the Bijoux Jolis by Katy Regnery

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JC and the Bijoux Jolis by Katy Regnery is NOW LIVE!

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Young passionate couple making love in bed

Blurb:

If the best man and maid of honor are both single, it’s practically an unwritten rule that they should pork.

…so begins a rocky acquaintance between Jean-Christian “J.C.” Rousseau and Libitz Feingold at the wedding of J.C.’s brother and Lib’s best friend. While manslut best man J.C. is surprised when maid of honor Libitz soundly spurns his advances, his curiosity is piqued. The girl he couldn’t have becomes the only one he wants.

So, when he finds a seventy-year-old portrait in the attic of his sister’s mansion that bears an uncanny resemblance to the prickly gallery owner, he enlists her help in solving a mystery seven decades in the making. Traveling from Philadelphia to New York to Marseille, a couple who started off as enemies will discover that even cynics can find true love…and mortal man is no match for destiny.

Get to know the families of Blueberry Lane!

*All books in The Blueberry Lane Series can be enjoyed as standalone novels.*

Young passionate couple making love in bed

EXCERPT

“You must be the famous Libitz,” he’d opened, taking his assigned seat beside her, and flashing his sexiest grin.
After all, if she was his chosen conquest for the weekend, there was no time like the present to work his wiles. Wearing a simple black sheath dress with aqua circles, 70s-style mod make-up and oversized silver and crystal chandelier earrings that almost brushed her thin shoulders, she’d turned to him and blinked those wide, all-seeing eyes.
“And you…must be kidding.”
Taken aback, he’d stared at her for a second before chuckling. “Wha—I mean, how’s that?”
“Let’s start over,” she said, cocking her head to the side. “Here’s your line, Romeo: “Hi, I’m Étienne’s brother, Jean-Christian. It’s nice to meet you.” Want to give it a try?”
He cleared his throat, his smile fading. “Hi, I’m Étienne’s brother, Jean-Christian. It’s nice to meet you.”
She locked eyes with his, her lips neutral, neither tilted up nor down. “Hi. I’m Libitz Feingold, Kate’s best friend…and it’s not cold enough.”
“What?” asked J.C., feeling completely turned around.
“It’s not cold enough in hell for me to fall for someone like you,” she said, then shifted back around to talk to the person on her other side.
Well, fuck me, thought J.C., taking another gulp of beer as he tried to figure out if he was insulted or impressed. After a moment, he nudged her in the side with his elbow and she looked at him over her shoulder, her expression annoyed.
“Yes?”
“I hear the temperature’s dropping there,” he said casually, then added, “because they’re expecting a visit from you.”
“Ha!” she chortled, a genuine grin brightening her eyes for a moment before she quickly reigned it back in to practiced ennui. “Is that right?”
He shrugged, tipping his bottle of beer back as he held her eyes, challenging her to come back at him with something clever. “So I heard.”
“From all the friends you’ve got there?”
He almost spit his beer out. Damn, but she was quick.
“Truce?’ he asked, placing his beer on the table and holding out his hand.
She stared at his hand for a moment, then looked away, leaning forward to pick up her champagne glass and bringing it slowly to her lips. “No, thanks. Mama didn’t raise no fool.”
“You’re unreal.” She shook her head, that bored look still in place.
“Nope. I’m real. I’m just not a good target for charming scamps looking for trouble.”
“A target? Shit. Who got to you?” he asked, feeling a little abused by her insta-judgement of him without actually getting a chance to know him in person. Not that she was wrong exactly. But getting into trouble with the right person could be a hell of a lot of fun.
“The list is long and distinguished,” she shot back.
His eyes widened and his lips wobbled.
“Oh, God,” she said, shaking her head as her cheeks bloomed an appealing pink under her make-up. “I walked right into that one didn’t I?”
“Yes, you did,” said J.C. with what he hoped was a disarming grin. “All together, now…”
“So’s my Johnson,” they said at the same time, quoting the rebuttal line from Top Gun.
“Hey, look at that,” he said, still smiling at her. “You do know how to have fun. I was beginning to worry.”
Her smile instantly faded. “You’re not as cute as you think you are.”
“Yeah,” he said, nodding as he finished the last of his beer. “I am.”

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Make sure you don’t miss the start of the Rousseau series! Jonquils for Jax is now available!

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Marry Me Mad is one swoonworthy read!
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Young passionate couple making love in bed

About the Author:

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.

Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.

In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

Author Links:

Website/Newsletter Signup | Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Susan’s Review: 5 stars

Katy Regnery has done it again! She’s written a story that left me with a smile on my face and characters that will live on in my mind for a long while.

For as swoony as Cort was in Mad’s book and as giving and patient as Gard was with Jax, I think J.C. is my favorite hero in this series! Sure, he was a cocky playboy….until he met the woman who made him want more. Then he showed such vulnerability. I just wanted to squeeze him.

Libitz was perfect for J.C. She also had a history, so she wasn’t expecting perfection from him. When she told J.C. that love and relationships take commitment and work, I wanted to shout her words from the rooftops for all the world to hear. She couldn’t have been more spot on.

*thanks to L.Woods PR for sharing a copy of this with me*