Monday, March 20, 2023

Book Blitz & Giveaway - FLIRTING WITH THE STRANGER by Gia Stevens

Flirting with the Stranger
Gia Stevens
Publication date: March 20th 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Have you ever mistaken a guy for a stripper and had a scorching hot one-night stand with him only to find out he’s your new boss? No? Just me?

The first time I met Van, I was instantly drawn to his charismatic smile and stunning good looks as I shoved dollar bills into his waistband.

The second time I saw Van, he walked into my bakery as the new owner and boss. That time, I kept my dollars to myself.

But there’s a problem, owning a bakery wasn’t his choice and all he wants is to sell. Somehow, I need to persuade him to keep the business, so I can keep my dream job. When he admits he doesn’t know the difference between “frosting” and “icing,” I realize I have my work cut out for me.

With each passing day, our chemistry ignites like a chocolate flambé. But it’s a distraction I don’t need. I know from experience that when I wish for everything, I end up with nothing.

Van’s young and irresponsible, he can’t possibly know anything about running a bakery or falling in love. But he’s determined to prove me wrong.

It turns out he has a few cupcakes up his sleeve that just might satisfy my sweet tooth.

Flirting with the Stranger is a reverse age gap, strangers to lovers, one night stand, boss/employee romantic comedy with a hero who has a real sweet tooth for something besides cupcakes. Be prepared to laugh-out-loud one minute and swoon the next in this steamy standalone romance.

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


“Finally, you’re here.”

“Oh. Um.” Play it cool, Van. Don’t let the hot girl get you tongue tied. “Of course, where else would I be?” I flash her a dimpled smile.

“No, seriously. You’re an hour late. The least you could’ve done was call. We have a group of girls who are ready to see you take your clothes off. Let’s go.” Her dainty fingers wrap around my wrist. The warm contact sends a current of electricity coursing through my body as she tugs me up the stairs.

“Wait.” I plant my feet. “What are you talking about? Take my clothes off? I think I deserve dinner before I get naked.” I flash her a seductive smile.

“Dinner? Are you kidding? We weren’t told we had to feed you.” She drops my hand and rests it on her hip. “Look, we have a thousand dollars for you plus tips, if you’re good, to take your clothes off and shake your ass while we all ooh and ahh over your ripped abs. You have ripped abs, right?” She lifts the hem of my shirt, exposing my hard six pack. “Oh yes, that’ll do.” Her gaze lingers on my exposed stomach for a few extra seconds before she reluctantly drops the fabric. “So, are you coming or am I calling your boss to tell him you won’t do your job?”

Fuck. She thinks I’m a stripper for her party. But it pays a thousand dollars plus tips. Since I’m jobless, I could use the cash. I wager the battle in my head for a split second and, fuck it. First time for everything. “Lead the way.”

She spins around and climbs the stairs, the shimmering sequins on the ass of her dress hypnotizing as her hips sway back and forth. As the giggles and laughter grow louder, I second guess myself. I’ve never done this before. I mean, I’ve gotten naked before, just never with more than one girl watching.

“Our entertainment has arrived!” the bombshell announces to her friends.

Author Bio:

Gia Stevens resides in the up north of Minnesota. She lives for the warm, sunny days of summer and dreads the bitter cold of winter. A romantic comedy junkie at heart, she knew she wanted her own stories to encompass those same feelings.

When she’s not busy writing your next book boyfriend, Gia can be found playing in her vegetable garden, watching reruns of The OC and Gossip Girl, or curled up with a good book.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Instagram / TikTok / Bookbub / Newsletter

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Thursday, March 16, 2023

Audiobook Review - BE OUR GHOST, Book #3 in A Merry Ghost Mystery by Kate Kingsbury

Be Our Ghost 

Author: Kate Kingsbury
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mystery
Release Date: October 9, 2018

About the Book:

If bed-and-breakfast owners Melanie and Liza, along with their laughing ghost tenant, can't find a real estate developer's killer, their own estate will end up with their next of kin.

The Merry Ghost Inn is well and truly open for business. Melanie West, her grandmother, Liza, and their beloved sheepdog and wolfhound mix, Max, are rapidly getting the hang of running their charming bed-and-breakfast inn on the rocky Oregon coast. Not that business goes without a hitch - when your hostelry boasts its own laughing resident ghost, you'd better expect the out of the ordinary. But Melanie and Liza take it all in stride...until a hotshot real estate developer arrives in Sully's Landing, touting his plans to build a tacky amusement arcade smack dab in the middle of the tasteful cliffside town.

No one in Sully's Landing can stand the gaudy developer, but it's still a shock when he ends up murdered. It's even more shocking when Liza's friend Doug emerges as the chief suspect. Melanie and Liza put on their sleuthing caps yet again and set out to clear Doug's name. 

They nearly check into accommodations six feet under when, en route to the crime scene, their brakes give out and they narrowly miss plunging over the cliffs to the beach below. Meanwhile, the merry ghost who haunts the inn tries to help by dropping clues for Melanie to find, but her mind is otherwise preoccupied when the killer kidnaps Liza and holds her prisoner.

Now it's up to Melanie to piece together the ghost's clues, save her mother, exonerate her friend, keep her guests happy, and make sure Max gets his walkies in Kate Kingsbury's third mirthful Merry Ghost Inn mystery, Be Our Ghost.

Buy Links:

My Review:

"Be Our Ghost" is Book #3 in this Merry Ghost In series. Usually by this time I start to get bored with a series, but I couldn't stop listening to this one. Characters that I love, a fantastic narrator and a good mystery all come together to make this a great book to listen to. Again, this can be a stand-alone, but I think you would enjoy it more if you read these books in succession to get the background. 

This time, our super sleuth duo become dragged into a murder investigation after Liza's good friend Doug is suspected of murder. But someone doesn't like them snooping around and Melanie and Liza find themselves being targeted with their lives at stake. Their only hope is to find out who really killed the real estate developer before they become the next victims.

With the help of a clue from Orville, the Merry Ghost, Melanie starts coming to some surprising conclusions.

I loved this series and wish there were more. I did see other books by this author that look promising and I will soon be checking those out as well.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Kate Kingsbury
 grew up in London, England, and at a very early age began telling stories to her school friends during the London Blitz of WW II while huddling in bomb shelters. Kate moved to the U.S. in the early sixties, and had passed her 50th birthday when she published her first book. Writing as Doreen Roberts, (her real name at the time) she published 26 romance novels for Harlequin/Silhouette. In 1991 her first Pennyfoot Hotel book was published and since then Kate has written 35 mysteries, including the Manor House mysteries, the Bellehaven House mysteries(written as Rebecca Kent) and the Raven's Nest mysteries, (written as Allison Kingsley.) Her new series, The Merry Ghost Inn Mysteries debuted in January, 2017 with Dead and Breakfast, featuring a B & B on the Oregon coast. She has one son, Regan, and lives with her husband, Bill, in the beautiful state of Oregon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Book Blitz & Giveaway - FAKING IT WITH THE GRUMP by Kate O'Keeffe

Faking It With the Grump
Kate O’Keeffe
(Second Chance Café, #1)
Publication date: March 14th 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

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

Harper Cole

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

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

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

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

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


Not. A. Thing.

Christopher Young

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

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

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

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

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

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


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

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

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

I straighten, shocked.

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

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

Well, not sane, beautiful women, anyway.

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

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

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

She clasps her hands together, clearly uncomfortable.

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

I don’t.

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

Said no crazy person ever.

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

Wait. Pretend?

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

“Everything all right?” I ask her tentatively.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Bio:

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

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

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Sunday, March 12, 2023

Audio Book Review - DOOM WITH A VIEW: A Merry Ghost Inn Mystery #2 by Kate Kingsbury


Title: Doom with a View

Author: Kate Kingsbury
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mystery
Release Date: September 12, 2017

About the Book:

With the arrival of six senior reading group members at the Merry Ghost Inn, the long-awaited grand opening week has finally begun for Melanie West and her grandmother Liza. All is well with the Oregon coast-side B&B until Melanie's dog, Max, finds the dead body of one of their guests.

Everyone at the inn immediately falls under suspicion, including the innkeepers themselves. Melanie and Liza are not sure who they can trust, and the idea of cohabitating with a murderer is enough to send chills down anyone's spine. To make matters worse, the curmudgeonly town detective wants them to steer clear of the investigation, but doesn't seem too inspired to solve the case in a timely fashion himself. To clear their own names and to avoid the blight on the inn's reputation that yet another dead body will bring, Melanie and Liza dive headlong into the murder investigation.

With a little help from their chuckling ghost, Melanie and Liza dodge the detective, tip-toe around their suspicious guests, and still serve up delicious bed-and-breakfast meals on time in Kate Kingsbury's delightful second Merry Ghost Inn mystery, Doom with a View.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Yes, I'm binge-listening this series. After listening to the audio book of "Dead and Breakfast", I immediately went back to Audible to get Book #2 in the Merry Ghost Inn series. It's such a light, fun book to listen to. It can be a stand-alone, but I suggest you listen to Book #1 first to get a bit of background.

In "Doom with a View", Melanie and Liza finally have the grand opening of their B&B. Everything is going well until Melanie's dog Max discovers one of the new guests dead in the driveway. The police tell the houseguests to not leave town until the murder is solved, but Melanie and Liza have new guests arriving soon and they need the first guests to leave! Since the detective seems to be dragging his feet, our two ladies are at it again to solve this mystery with a wee bit of help from their laughing ghost currently in residence.

So now I'm ready to start Book #3. Thank you Kate Kingsbury for such a delightful book. And thank you Tavia Gilbert for your excellent narration and for bringing these awesome characters to life.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Kate Kingsbury
 grew up in London, England, and at a very early age began telling stories to her school friends during the London Blitz of WW II while huddling in bomb shelters. Kate moved to the U.S. in the early sixties, and had passed her 50th birthday when she published her first book. Writing as Doreen Roberts, (her real name at the time) she published 26 romance novels for Harlequin/Silhouette. In 1991 her first Pennyfoot Hotel book was published and since then Kate has written 35 mysteries, including the Manor House mysteries, the Bellehaven House mysteries(written as Rebecca Kent) and the Raven's Nest mysteries, (written as Allison Kingsley.) Her new series, The Merry Ghost Inn Mysteries debuted in January, 2017 with Dead and Breakfast, featuring a B & B on the Oregon coast. She has one son, Regan, and lives with her husband, Bill, in the beautiful state of Oregon.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Audiobook Review - DEAD AND BREAKFAST: A MERRY GHOST INN MYSTERY by Kate Kingsbury


Dead and Breakfast
Author: Kate Kingsbury

Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mystery
Release Date: January 10, 2017

About the Book:

Melanie West is getting her life back on track after a messy divorce when her grandmother, Liza Harris, asks her to join her in opening a bed-and-breakfast inn. Together, Liza and Melanie purchase a purportedly haunted mansion on the Oregon coast and jump right into clearing out the cobwebs. But while attempting to remove wallpaper in an upstairs bedroom, the new B&B owners stumble upon a very real skeleton in their closet. The police suspect the skeleton is that of the wife of the previous owner of the B&B, but no one in town seems to want to say much about her.

As the inn owners try to juggle renovations with their own amateur investigations, their grand opening looms closer and closer - and a friendly ghost in their walls starts playing tricks. But it all comes crashing to a halt when a new body is found stabbed to death on the beach below the inn - the victim chillingly close in resemblance to Melanie herself. It seems someone doesn't appreciate newcomers prying into the small town's past, and now it's up to Melanie and Liza to get to the bottom of these murders to save their business - and their lives.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

"Dead and Breakfast" was my first experience with Kate Kingsbury books. But after listening to this first book in the Merry Ghost Inn Mystery collection, I immediately added the next book!

Melanie and her grandmother Liza go in as partners, purchasing an old house that they intend to turn into a Bed and Breakfast. While renovating the home and removing some very old wallpaper, they accidently discover a closet that the wallpaper had been covering. Yes, there is a skeleton in the closet! A real one! How are Melanie and Liza going to meet their deadline for opening the B&B if the police close off the second floor rooms until the case is solved? And since this is a cold case, the police aren't doing much. So Melanie and Liza decide to do a bit of investigating themselves.

This is a stand-alone story but if it's a good idea to listen (or read) this one first before moving on to the next book in the series. And I'm pretty sure you will want to move on to the next book. This was an absolute delight to read (er... I mean "listen"). I loved the characters and the storyline had enough mystery to keep me wanting to listen to more.

I also want to commend the narrator, Tavia Gilbert. She was beyond excellent! Loved her narration and various voices.

This is a light-hearted book and a joy to add to my collection. 

My Rating:

About the Author:

Kate Kingsbury
grew up in London, England, and at a very early age began telling stories to her school friends during the London Blitz of WW II while huddling in bomb shelters. Kate moved to the U.S. in the early sixties, and had passed her 50th birthday when she published her first book. Writing as Doreen Roberts, (her real name at the time) she published 26 romance novels for Harlequin/Silhouette. In 1991 her first Pennyfoot Hotel book was published and since then Kate has written 35 mysteries, including the Manor House mysteries, the Bellehaven House mysteries(written as Rebecca Kent) and the Raven's Nest mysteries, (written as Allison Kingsley.) Her new series, The Merry Ghost Inn Mysteries debuted in January, 2017 with Dead and Breakfast, featuring a B & B on the Oregon coast. She has one son, Regan, and lives with her husband, Bill, in the beautiful state of Oregon.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Book Review - WRONG ALIBI by Christina Dodd


Christina Dodd
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Fiction
Release Date: December 29, 2020
Publisher: HQN Books

About the Book:
From New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd comes an all-new thriller featuring a bold and brash female protagonist, a brutal and twisty murder that will have readers turning the pages and a villain that will have them keeping the lights on at night. WRONG ALIBI is perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Karin Slaughter, and Sandra Brown.

Eighteen-year-old Evelyn Jones lands a job in small-town Alaska, working for a man in his isolated mountain home. But her bright hopes for the future are shattered when Donald White disappears, leaving her to face charges of theft, embezzlement—and a brutal double murder. Her protestations of innocence count for nothing. Convicted, she faces life in prison…until fate sends her on the run.

Evie's escape leaves her scarred and in hiding, isolated from her family, working under an alias at a wilderness camp. Bent on justice, intent on recovering her life, she searches for the killer who slaughters without remorse.

At last, the day comes. Donald White has returned. Evie emerges from hiding; the fugitive becomes the hunter. But in her mind, she hears the whisper of other forces at work. Now Evelyn must untangle the threads of evidence before she’s once again found with blood on her hands: the blood of her own family…

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

If you're looking for a great thriller or mystery, you really can't go wrong with any book written by Christina Dodd. This may not have been my favorite, but it was still a page-turner and a great read.

Evie feels fortunate to have landed a great job with Donald White, but there were so many red flags thrown in front of her, I started to feel that Evie was far too naive for her own good. There were a few times that I wanted to scream at her! And the touch of romance toward the end didn't seem quite right either. But all in all, this was an interesting book and I enjoyed reading it.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Christina Dodd
: Readers become writers, and Christina has always been a reader. Ultimately she discovered she liked to read romance best because the relationship between a man and a woman is always humorous. A woman wants world peace, a clean house, and a deep and meaningful relationship based on mutual understanding and love. A man wants a Craftsman router, undisputed control of the TV remote, and a red Corvette which will make his bald spot disappear.

When Christina’s first daughter was born, she told her husband she was going to write a book. It was a good time to start a new career, because how much trouble could one little infant be?
Ha! It took ten years, two children and three completed manuscripts before she was published. Now her fifty-nine New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels — paranormals, historicals, and suspense — have been translated into twenty-five languages, recorded on Books on Tape for the Blind, been called, “Books To Read If You Love Nora Roberts!” by Bookbub and the year’s best by Amazon and Library Journal. Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle (11/18/05, # 13 Down: Romance Novelist named Christina.) Booklist calls her, "Wildly entertaining, wickedly witty."
Christina is married to a man with all his hair and no Corvette, but many Craftsman tools.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Book Blitz & Giveaway - ALE'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR by Sylvie Stewart

Ale’s Fair in Love and War
Sylvie Stewart
(Love on Tap, #1)
Publication date: March 2nd 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Hollis Hayes is the worst neighbor in the entire history of neighbors.
She’s also the hottest.

I don’t have time to fight with the dog groomer next door. There’s a brewery to run, siblings to rein in, and a mom to look after. So if Hollis thinks I’ll roll over and let her drive me out of business, she’s not nearly as smart as she thinks she is.

Sure, I enjoy the little pranks we play on each other, and I don’t hate watching her prance around in those tight leggings. But she’s gone too far this time, even if she pretends to know nothing about it.

I’ll do whatever it takes to save my business from going under, and if that means playing dirty with the girl I love to hate, game on.

If you like snarky banter, sizzling chemistry, big crazy families, and evil geniuses, Ale’s Fair in Love and War is your next weekend read. It is a standalone steamy romantic comedy with tons of heart and an HEA.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks




The bell rings over the door again, and my eyes flash to the brawny figure darkening my doorway.

Speak of the devil—literally.

His scruffy jaw is locked tight, the tension in his shoulders telling the story of his less-than-ideal day. As those piercing blue eyes drill into mine, it occurs to me, not for the first time, what a crying shame it is that such beautiful eyes are wasted on a troll like Cash Brooks.

“Well, hello, neighbor.” I paste on my brightest smile. “What brings you to my salon today? Need a cold shower?” My tone is drenched in so much syrup I might give myself an actual cavity.

Cash stalks toward my counter, worn work boots scuffing the tile as he approaches. I purposely ignore the way his thigh muscles strain the denim of his jeans.

When he stops just across from me, chest heaving and lips curled into an angry snarl, I respond by wrinkling my nose and waving a hand in front of it. “I’d say so. You smell like a brewery.”

This is simply too easy.

A growl spills from his curled lips, indicating that my latest prank has rendered him incapable of speaking in human. Just as well, considering what a giant bull-headed caveman he is.

A crimson flush licks at the skin just under Cash’s stubbled chin. “You posted an ad for my virginity?!”

My brows draw together as I fix a pout to my lips. “Oh, did nobody take you up on the offer?” I reach over the shiny pink counter separating us and pat his shoulder, ignoring its muscular firmness. “Don’t be embarrassed. Virginity is just a social construct anyway.”

He shakes my hand off with a jerk of his arm, and I cover my pout with a contemplative finger. “Although maybe I shouldn’t have said anything about your looks.” I lean closer to whisper, “I just didn’t want anyone to be disappointed when they met you.”

He jabs the air in front of my nose with his finger. “You’d better prepare yourself, lady.”

I slap his hand away without missing a beat. “Lady? Oh, you are cruel, aren’t you?” I coo at him, causing his jaw to do that clicking thing I so enjoy.

“You ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” Cash grinds out through clenched teeth.

With that, he whips around and stalks back to my front door, giving me a prime view of his inconveniently nice ass.

“I haven’t seen anything yet,” I correct him but don’t get the pleasure of his responding expression. “Have a wonderful day!” I shout.

His growl is just barely audible as he disappears out of sight.

Ah, it is, indeed, a most wonderful day.

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Sylvie Stewart loves bad jokes, dirty rom-coms, country music, and baby skunks—preferably all at the same time. Most of her steamy contemporary and romantic comedy novels take place across her favorite state of North Carolina, and her characters never run out of snarky banter or snacks. When her laptop closes, Sylvie is a sucker for hugs from her twin boys and a good laugh with her hot-nerd hubby. If you love smart Southern gals, hot blue-collar guys, and snort-laughing with characters who feel like your best friends, Sylvie's your gal.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Book Blitz & Giveaway - EXCEPTIONALLY UNCONVENTIONAL by Victoria Clarke

Exceptionally Unconventional
Victoria Clarke
Publication date: February 27th 2023
Genres: Adult, Historical, Historical Romance, Romance

The Honorable Miss Lucilla Iverson is an exceptionally unconventional young heiress trying her best to be unexceptionally conventional despite her love of horses and racing curricles. When she attracts the attention of a hardened older bachelor, a duke, no less, it sets the ton afire with anticipation.

Many young bucks seek her approval, including a notorious (and now penniless) gamester who intends to marry Miss Iverson and her money whether or not she agrees. On an inside track for Lucilla’s attention is Oliver, Lord Hartwell, despite a near miss at running her over while driving his phaeton in the company of his cousin, the handsome and mysterious duke. Which of the three will win her heart and hand, to live happily ever after? That is the question!

Goodreads / Amazon


“Miss Iverson has been quite amicable to every young man that we have presented to her all evening. Is something amiss, Lady Edevane?”

“Sharp as ever, Clementina. The boy has been toadying her for weeks and does not seem to take a hint.”

“I see!” Mrs. Drummond-Burrell replied, her eyes narrowed and her lips pursed. She did not appreciate being used as means to force a young lady’s hand and made mental note to mention this episode to her fellow patronesses at their next meeting.

In the ballroom, Miss Iverson allowed herself to be led to the floor and begrudgingly took her place. As the music began, Mr. Moore’s arm came about her waist. Her eyes glanced up at his and she fixed a withering glare upon him. He was undaunted, and indeed barely managed to conceal a smirk.

“Why do you look at me so, Lucilla?” he asked mockingly.

“I do not recall giving you leave to use my name, Mr. Moore.”

“Perhaps you did not, but we are such old friends, what is the harm in it?”

“It may not be harmful, but as it is not pleasing to my ear, I will request you not use it, if you please,” she replied witheringly as they whirled about the room.

“Whatever have I done to make you so upset, Miss Iverson?”

“Other than your underhanded effort to force me to accept a waltz with you, Mr. Moore?”

“I should think the effort was rather successful,” was his cheerful reply.

Miss Iverson’s jaw clenched. People were watching, she knew, so for quite some time she performed her steps in silence while he spoke on mundane topics and considered himself to have won the round. No one could overhear them, but anyone could surely guess she was angry at her dancing partner, and so she forced herself to fix a smile on her face as she looked up at him again.

“It is clear to me that in spite of my mother’s efforts to convince me otherwise, you are quite aware that I do not seek to encourage your familiarity.” Her words were deliberately blunt in an attempt to knock him off his perch, and it appeared to succeed, for his brow darkened momentarily. But as suddenly as it appeared, the frown vanished and he plastered a false smile on his face.

“You wound me, Miss Iverson! What have I done to draw such ire? I have surely not offended you.”

“You are well aware that your attentions offend me.”

“I am at a loss to understand why, for I am your humble servant.”

This drew her eyes up in a flash, and she said scornfully, “Indeed!”

“Have I not loved you since childhood?”

“I vividly recall your penchant for tossing spiders at me.”

“Only in my childish efforts to gain your notice, I assure you.”

“Then I suppose you were also in love with my brothers?” she replied with sarcasm ebbing in her voice.

As he paused to consider the right thing to say in reply, she suddenly pulled away from him and he realized the music had ended. She bobbed a quick and shallow curtsy before spinning on her heel and marching away. He felt irritation wash over him at her defiance. Yes, a less troublesome wife would be best. But he might enjoy breaking Miss Iverson of her spirit.

Author Bio:

I am an Australian writer, traveller, and horse rider. I am a lover of all things England and history - with a healthy side of sci-fi and fantasy.

My debut novel 'Exceptionally Unconventional' was written during 2020-21 while my late mother was fighting her final battle with breast cancer. I wrote it in a largely light-hearted way in an effort to keep her spirits up during that time - several of the characters were parodied versions of her acquaintances, so I was very happy to have succeeded in that particular endeavour!

She never got to see it published, but just a few weeks after she passed away, I was offered a contract on it from one of the first publishers I submitted it to. You'll notice the dedication I chose when it finally came time to write one.

I am currently working on my second manuscript.

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The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon