Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Blog tour: Happy Ever After In Christmas by Debbie Mason

Happy Ever After in Christmas
Christmas, Colorado #7
By: Debbie Mason  
Releasing June 28, 2016   

It's beginning to look a lot like love . . .

As her thirtieth birthday approaches, Deputy Jill Flaherty decides it's time to live a little. When she walks into Sawyer Anderson's bar in her sexiest dress, she's not thinking that he's her brother's best friend or about the many women he dated during his years as a pro hockey player. All she's thinking is that it's finally time to confess to her longtime crush how she truly feels.

Sawyer is done being a player on and off the ice. Yet no one in the small town of Christmas seems to believe he's ready to settle down, not Jill, and certainly not Jack, who is determined to keep Sawyer from breaking his little sister's heart. But as Sawyer and Jill's relationship heats up, can he prove that he's her happy ever after?

When you reach the end of a series that's kept you company, made you laugh, swoon and fall in love with a fictional town and great characters you wished were real, it's hard to turn that last page and realize you won't be part of your fictional friends' lives anymore. 
That's what happened to me when I reached the end of Happy Ever After In Christmas.

I've loved this series from the very first book I've read - I discovered it by the time book 4 released, but I went and bought the first three and followed the rest of the journey with every new release. Which also proves that this series works perfectly even if you don't start from the beginning, although I recommend you do because each book has its own special parts, its own special magic moments that will grab your heart and make you wish you were in Christmas, Colorado.

This book, just like the previous ones, is the perfect mix of fun, laugh-out-loud moments, sweet scenes and heart-warming romance. It will keep you glued to the pages and make you want to read on, while at the same time you won't want it to end.

Jill and Sawyer played an important part in book two, Christmas In July (probably my favorite in the series), and appeared sporadically in the other books, seeing as Jill is a deputy and Sawyer is the owner of the local pub, The Penalty Box. I was curious to see how the author would bring them together and make them fall in love, and I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. Jill and Sawyer's story was amazing, with some emotional moments that nearly brought me to tears, as well as the usual funny moments that are typical in this series, and romantic scenes that put a silly smile on my face. There is also a little bit of angst toward the end, that will definitely make you hold your breath, but all in all, this is a sweet and emotion-filled romance with sky-high levels of chemistry - without the graphic sex scenes as a bonus. 

Sometimes when I truly enjoy a book, I tend to blabber on and on about all the things I liked. With this series, I should probably write a mile-long post and I still wouldn't be able to convey all my feelings. Suffice it to say, Debbie Mason has quickly become my one-click author from the very first book I read, and I have no doubt if you like clean, small-town romance, she will become your go-to author as soon as you discover her books.

If you've enjoyed the previous books in the series, Jill and Sawyer's happy ending won't disappoint you. If you've yet to meet the people of Christmas, you can enjoy this book all the same, but I'm pretty sure you'd want to go back and read the other characters' story, too. In order to avoid spoilers, I would suggest starting from book one - you won't regret it. 

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Debbie Mason is USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Release day blast: From This Day Forward by Lauren Layne

The Wedding Belles #0.5
Lauren Layne
Released June 6th, 2016
Pocket Star

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in this prequel to USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Up-and-coming wedding photographer Leah McHale’s career is on the rise–thanks in no small part to the Wedding Belles, the elite New York wedding planning agency that always throws top-tier business Leah’s way. So when one of the Belles asks Leah to fill in at the former First Daughter's wedding, Leah is overjoyed to say yes–until she finds out who she’ll be working with.

Jason Rhodes is the one man who was able to capture Leah’s heart and, once he had it, promptly stepped all over it and left her broken. Now he’s working side-by-side with her at the biggest wedding of the season and Leah is determined to give him the cold shoulder. Despite his persistence, she is not going to fall for his charming, impish ways again. Not even if he still has that killer, irresistible smile...

Fans of Lauren Layne won't be disappointed by the new Wedding Belles series. Sassy heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, entertaining banter and steam are the customary elements in the author's books, and this novella has them all. 

A nice second-chance romance and  ideal weekend read, From This Day Forward focuses on two freelance photographers who sometimes work for the Wedding Belles agency. Both Leah and Jason are summoned at the very last minute to work for the Belles in a very important, exclusive ceremony that could potentially boost their careers. The only problem is... Leah and Jason sort of hate each other after they dated a year ago and, because of a misunderstanding, they both got their hearts broken. A weekend together is going to be tough, especially since neither has stopped feeling the strong attraction for the other. 

Seeing as I loved The Wedding Planner movie and dreamed of being a wedding planner myself, I very much enjoyed the premise of the series, the NY setting and the wedding-related plots. Like I said, the story is a nice second-chance romance, without any major drama or angst. The chemistry between the two characters is just as high as their dislike (or pretend dislike) for each other, so the fun part in the book is reading how Leah pretends to hate the sight of Jason while having dirty thoughts about him, remembering what it was like when they were together. Jason, on the other hand, is super sweet, while he tries to win Leah's heart back with his funny comebacks and swoon-worthy attitude.

Just like in all the previous books by the authors, you can expect steam - lots of it, when the two finally surrender to their feelings. Although it was just a little bit too steamy and detailed for my liking, the rest of the book made up for it with a very entertaining and captivating plot. 

I'm sure this series is going to be just another hit.

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Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian. 

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Book review: It Happened At Christmas by Debbie Mason

Wow! Just another fantastic story in the Christmas, Colorado series by Debbie Mason. This is one of those series I wish could go on and on. I've read Skye and Ethan's story in one day, because I simply couldn't put it down (glad I had a day off and took full advantage). Yes, it's that good! 

Ethan O'Connor starred in the previous books, seeing as in book one he was the town mayor and in book two he went on to pursue a political career as a state senator, and made a brief appearance toward the end.

Skylar Davis (a.k.a. Skye) appeared only briefly in book one, since she was the heroine's best friend and didn't live in Christmas at the time, and she also showed up in book two, where she became the Sugar Plum Cake Fairy (by the way read book two, Christmas In July, if you haven't - it's my favorite in the series).

Ethan and Skye are just like night and day, both politically and personally. Ethan is a conservative Republican, a suit-and-tie ex assistant district attorney who's now concentrating on running for senate. He always does the right thing, acts like the perfect gentleman and hardly ever loses control (except when he's around Skye).

Skye is an animal rights activist, a vegan, and a little crazy at times, but totally spontaneous in her attitude - which caused her a few problems in the past, when she rebelled to a very conservative father who, in a way, reminds her a little of Ethan. 

There's no way they could ever fall in love with each other, right? Uh... wrong.

When they first met in book two, their dislike for each other was as clear as day, and I was really curious to read how the author would bring them together. As it turns out, opposites clearly attract as when the book opens, the reader finds out through Skye and Ethan's reminiscing that they spent a very steamy night together a few weeks before. Although they pretend to hate each other, the memory of that night is still very vivid in their minds. 

Ethan knows Skye is the wrong woman for him, especially since they don't share the same political views and she could threaten to ruin his dream of becoming a senator.

Skye knows Ethan is the wrong man for him, since he reminds her of her own father, who kicked his wife out of his and Skye's life because she was just as "spontaneous" as Skye and destroyed his dream of becoming a politician. 

They both know they can't be each other's happy ending. Too bad one unexpected little surprise is going to bind them for life... Get ready for a fun-filled ride toward a beautiful happy ending! 

I loved following Skye's journey, discovering a little bit more about her past and getting to know the real person, not the spoilt, rich girl everyone else thinks she is. The author's ability to pull you right into the story made me feel like I was right there with her, sharing her insecurities and fears, feeling the attraction she shouldn't be feeling for Ethan, and the pain that followed some tough times toward the end of the book.

Ethan came off as a very likable character from the very first book, and I warmed up even more to him now that he was the center of the story. I liked seeing his loyalty to his family and town, even when his heart wanted something else, and I liked the way he stood up for Skye when other people (his campaign manager and his mother, mainly) went a little too far with their comments. He's the Prince Charming every woman wishes for, and I really liked him (he's pretty adorable when he calls Skye "cupcake"!!).

The small-town community, with their matchmaking skills and camaraderie, plays an important part in the story, just like it does in all the books in the series - and it's one of the reasons why I love this series so much. Lots of funny moments thanks to Skye and Ethan's friends, as well as some romantic, swoon-worthy moments that will warm your heart and leave you smiling in contentment. 

Just like in the other books in the series, the chemistry between the two main characters is pretty much tangible and off-the-charts, but there are no graphic sex scenes - which made me enjoy the book that little bit more. 

If you've read the previous two books, it goes without saying you need to read this one asap (but make sure you do it over the weekend, so you don't have to put it down). If you've yet to discover Debbie Mason's books, this one's a good pick to start the Christmas, Colorado series - although I have no doubt you'll want to go back and read the previous two books, too.