Monday, October 17, 2016

Blog tour: Mistletoe Cottage by Debbie Mason

Harmony Harbor #1
Debbie Mason
Releasing Oct 25th, 2016

'Tis the season for love . . .

Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she's forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter's blue eyes-and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.

Sophie's return is a shock for everyone . . . especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they've concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic . . .

Wow. What an amazing book! I'd give it 10 stars if it were possible, but I'll have to settle for 5. If you’re looking for a sweet Christmas romance and a beautiful series starter that will have you hooked by chapter one, you should definitely pick up Debbie Mason’s latest release.

I’m a big fan of the “Christmas, Colorado” series and, even though I’ve loved every single book Debbie Mason has written, the start of a new series is always a big question mark for me. Will I like the new characters? Will I miss the old ones? What if I don’t warm up to them? What if I can’t stop comparing the two series?
All my doubts dissipated like morning mist by the end of page two. By the end of chapter one, I was hooked. By the end of chapter two, I was already half-way in love with Liam Gallagher. And the more I read, the more I enjoyed meeting every new character, and fell a little more in love with this new series. Needless to say, when I reached the last page I wanted the next book in the series, like, yesterday!

What I love about this author is her ability to pull you into the book, making you feel as if you’re right there next to the characters. There were moments when I imagined that, if I closed my eyes, I could be right there in Harmony Harbor, hearing, smelling and feeling everything the characters did. It’s not often I’m pulled so completely into a book that it’s hard to come back to reality afterward; Debbie Mason is one of the very few authors that always manages to do that for me. Every new book is a new life I can’t wait to start living alongside the characters featured in the story. And when I reach the last page, I feel like I have to say good-bye (even if only temporarily) to a group of friends I’ve had so much fun with. Crazy? Maybe, but that’s one of the things I love the most about Debbie’s books. 

I usually tend to ramble on and on about a book I’ve liked, but not even all the words in the world could express how much I loved this book and how it touched my heart deeply. I just want you to please trust me on this and go buy your own copy of Mistletoe Cottage right now.

If you’ve enjoyed the books in the Christmas series, you’ll love the people of Harmony Harbor just as much. The small-town setting, the camaraderie, the funny scenes that will have you laugh out loud, the chemistry that’s always kept on the clean side of the spectrum—all the distinctive elements that made me (and all the other fans of Christmas) love the previous books are all included in this new series. Add a crazy (and super funny) Italian matriarch, an Irish family with a meddling great-grandmother who can’t stop meddling even after her heart’s stopped beating, a family feud between the hero’s and the heroine’s families, and an adorable little girl who will steal your heart from the very first scene. Not to mention a very handsome, very Irish, and very romantic firefighter. And here’s the recipe for another best-selling series you’ll never get enough of.

If you’ve yet to discover Debbie Mason’s books, this will be the perfect first book. I have no doubt you’ll fall in love with the people of Harmony Harbor.

The paramedic removed the tube from Mia’s mouth and smiled. “All good. In the normal range.” Sophie’s daughter jumped off the back of the ambulance, and Liam went to stand up. “Oh no you don’t,” the thirtysomething brunette said to Liam. “Lift your shirt, hot stuff, and let me have a look.”

Liam laughed. “Yeah, not happening. I’m good, Kris.”

“So I’ve heard.” She gave him a flirty wink. Then, with gloved fingers, motioned for him to lift his T-shirt. “Your dad asked me to check you out. Don’t be embarrassed if you got a little flabby while you were convalescing. We won’t tell anyone, will we, Daff?” she said to the other paramedic who approached the ambulance.

“My lips are sealed. But just hang on a sec, and I’ll give you a hand.” The woman grinned as she started to unload her supplies in the ambulance.

Sophie’s irritation with Liam for Mia’s reproachful look faded at the reminder he’d been shot. 

 “You two so hard up you’re getting unsuspecting men to strip for you now? You know, there’s a club—” He winced as though remembering Mia was there and hanging on his every word.   

Sophie needed to know he was okay and intervened. “Liam, maybe you should let them check you over. You were carrying Mia, and with all your equipment . . .”

 “Soph, Mia probably weighs—” Giving his head a slight, frustrated shake, he tugged up his T-shirt. “Happy now?” 

Sophie hoped his question wasn’t directed at her. She doubted she could respond even if she wanted to. And it wasn’t because of the small, puckered pink scar on the left side of his stomach. The ridges of taut muscle and a tantalizing, narrow trail of dark hair that disappeared beneath his turnout pants were messing with her head . . . and other parts of her anatomy. Parts that hadn’t been messed with in a long time. 

The paramedics moved in, spoiling the sigh-inducing view. Sophie leaned to the left. 

Kris glanced over her shoulder with a knowing grin. “Looks pretty good, don’t you think?” the paramedic asked Sophie.

“Yes.” The word came out as an embarrassing croak, and she cleared her throat. “Really, really good.”

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Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series and Harmony Harbor 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 three wonderful children, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book review: Unlucky In Love by Maggie McGinnis

Holy Guacamole!!! With each new book in the Whisper Creek series I hate this author a little more... because every time she manages to make me fall head over heels in love with a new, very handsome and, alas! very fictional, cowboy. Her books always give me a bad cowboy hangover I need days to recover from... So, yes, I love her books but I hate that Whisper Creek doesn't exist - nor do the cowboys!

In the first three books in the Whisper Creek Series, we got to meet the two Driscoll brothers (Decker and Cole) and their handsome friend Daniel, the town vet. In Unlucky In Love, we meet two characters who are new to the fans of the series—and this might be a good reason to grab the book even if you haven’t read the previous ones.

Alexis is a school nurse from Maine who got jilted weeks before her wedding—two weeks to be precise—which reinforces her idea that she’s cursed as far as love is concerned. She always got dumped two weeks before some event and always considered herself the good-for-now girl, just until someone better came along.

Gunnar is a handsome cowboy (no surprise there), who’s moved around the country all his life, following his military family even though his parents weren’t exactly the picture-perfect couple. When he had to leave Whisper Creek as a teenager, he left his heart there, so he promised himself one day he’d settle down in Carefree, Montana, buy a piece of land, build stables and start a family.

When Alexis’ sister, Katie, sends off an application to fill the position for the summer ranch nurse at Whisper Creek, Alexis isn’t sure this is a good idea. Their mother, who has a penchant for drama and for thinking she’s always on the verge of a heart attack, has always depended on responsible, caring Alexis. So while Katie enjoyed her life, Alexis had to put her mother first for most of her adult life. Now is time for Katie to step in and take care of their mother while Alexis goes and tries every other experience she’s been too scared to try before.
While Katie just wants her sister to become a new person and get over her ex, Alexis thinks this might be a good idea to show Tristan (said ex) what he lost and what a fun person she can be, so she can get him back.

When Gunnar is picked as the official welcome committee member who’ll have to pick up Alexis at the airport, he isn’t exactly thrilled. He’s imagining a middle-aged nurse he’ll have to sit next to for two hours on the ride back to the ranch. But his world is thrown slightly off-kilter when he sets eyes on Alexis—and the feeling is mutual.

Alexis had seen pictures of the cowboys on the ranch website, but she’d been pretty sure they were all professional models playing cowboy. To her utmost delight, she was sorely mistaken and Gunnar is one of the handsome cowboys she and her sister drooled over while checking out the website.

Lexi looked shyly up at him. “So. You’re… wow.” Then her face flushed. “I’m sorry. I mean, I saw your picture on the website, and I thought, no way this is a real cowboy, and now here you are. Real. And… cowboy.”

This is a sort of attraction at first sight kind of story. Both the hero and the heroine feel something spark the moment they meet, but they obviously refrain from acting on the attraction, seeing as Alexis wants her ex-fiancé back and Gunnar wants a family, not a summer fling.

“I’m not kidding. She doesn’t know a soul out here. I’m just trying to be a friendly face.”“Of course you are.” Cole smiled. “What color are her eyes?”“Scotch on the rocks.”Cole laughed out loud. “So, brown, then?”“No. Definitely not just brown.”“Oh, buddy.” Cole clapped him on the back. “Less than twenty-four hours, and you’re already a goner.”

Their time together on the ranch is beautifully described and, just like in the previous books, you’ll be pulled into the story and will be able to see, smell and feel life on the ranch. You’ll become another member of the Driscoll family, you’ll laugh at Alexis’ antics and suffer with her, you’ll fall in love with Gunnar page after page, and by chapter three you’ll already be rooting for their happily ever after.

He grinned. “Sorry. But there are way too many guys eyeing you, and I know you’re still hung up on The Idiot, and I know you’re not staying, and I know it’s all a bad idea, all the way around to kiss you… but for tonight, you’re with me, and I’m going to make the most of it.”

Once again, Mrs. McGinnis has crafted a beautiful story filled with the best elements of romance, without the annoying sex scenes that most of the time take away from the story (at least, as far as I’m concerned). There is absolutely no lack of chemistry, and you won’t be noticing the lack of sex because the writing is so compelling, you just won’t be able to put the book down for a moment. 

Coming back to real life after spending a few dreamy hours on the Whisper Creek ranch was a tough task, just like it happened with every book in the series. This is one of those books you don’t want to put down (not even for a snack or to get some sleep) but you also never want to finish. If it were possible to have the Whisper Creek series be something like The Neverending Story book/movie, I’d totally volunteer to be a beta tester!

So, well, I hope this explains why I started my review saying I hate this author (although she’s one of my favorite ones). After being enthralled by the beauty and the peace of Whisper Creek, coming back to reality sucks. Big time.