Meet Lane Anderson from Tracy March’s Tempted in the Tropics and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome Lane Anderson, hero of Tracy March’s Tempted in the Tropics, to the blog this morning!

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Lane Anderson]  Doctor, guitarist, loyal, cautious romantic

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you share a typical day in the life of Lane Anderson?

[Lane Anderson]  Get up. Think about Paige. Get coffee from Paige’s bakery, even though she’ll barely speak to me. See quirky senior-citizen patients in small-town Maple Creek who believe Paige’s baked goods are magic. Get more frustrated with Paige. Get an invitation to play guitar for a wedding on the lush island of St. Lucia in which Paige is the maid of honor. Say yes, even though it smacks of a set-up with Paige. Try to sleep. Worry about how many ways this could go wrong.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words come to mind when you think of Paige?

[Lane Anderson]  Sassy, sexy, and sentimental.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you find most exasperating about her?

[Lane Anderson]  Paige doesn’t know why it’s impossible for me to help her with her Special Recipe program, even though it benefits my patients. It has to do with my past in Austin, and I’m trying to keep that a secret. What frustrates me most is that she makes me want to risk telling her. Oh, and there’s that magic she believes in. Totally exasperating.

[Manga Maniac Café] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Lane Anderson]  I wouldn’t have started a medical practice with my ex-fiancée. What a mess that turned out to be.

[Manga Maniac Café] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Lane Anderson]  My secrets.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t arguing with your neighbors?

[Lane Anderson]  I like to chill out and play my guitar. Classical guitar isn’t everyone’s thing, but I play country and rock tunes, too. People can razz me about the classical thing, but that’s how I wound up in St. Lucia with Paige, playing guitar for our friend’s wedding.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less?

[Lane Anderson]  Love, laugh, life with Paige

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

Tour wide Giveaway $100 Amazon Gift Card

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And!!!! Tracy is also giving away a charm bracelet at each stop on the tour!!!   US Shipping address.

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Tempted in the Tropics  Suddenly Smitten Series Book 2 by Tracy March

Publisher: Entangled Publishing – Bliss

Cover Artist: Jessica Cantor

 BN

About the book:

The only thing they agree on is the sultry heat between them

Nothing’s more important to Paige Ellerbee than her struggling bakery, Sweet Bee’s. When Lane Anderson, the temporary new doctor hot enough to rival McDreamy, moves in next door, though, she’s sure things are looking up. Until he threatens her business in their first conversation.

Lane just wants to practice medicine responsibly—not argue with the flighty bakery owner next door. But when he finds himself traveling down to the Caribbean to play guitar for Paige’s best friend’s wedding, suddenly the sight of the blonde in a bikini eclipses the fact they can’t agree on anything. And as their vacation romance grows, his reservations about starting something after getting burned by love are washed away like sand on the beach.

But once Paige and Lane land back home, will these polar opposites be able to forgive their feud and find lasting love?

About the Author:

Award-winning author Tracy March writes romantic thrillers influenced by her career in the pharmaceutical field, and her interest in science and politics. She also writes lighthearted romances inspired by her real-life happily ever after.

Always up for travel and adventure, Tracy has flown in a stunt plane, snowmobiled on the Continental Divide, ziplined in the Swiss Alps, and been chased by a bull in the mountains of St. Lucia. She loves Nationals baseball, Saturday date nights, and Dairy Queen Blizzards—and rarely goes a day without Diet Coke and Cheez-Its.

Tracy lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her superhero husband who works for NASA. They recently spent two years living in Washington D.C., and enjoy visiting often—especially when the Nats are in town.

Website: http://www.tracymarch.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tracy-March/151834621538910

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Tracy_March

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4575285.Tracy_March

Interview with Claire Baxter, Author of Flirting with Danger

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Hi, Claire!  Welcome to the Manga Maniac Café.  Please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Claire Baxter] I’m an Australian romance writer, a reader, a former corporate communications manager, a gardener, and a swimmer (though not a good one).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Flirting with Danger?

[Claire Baxter] Firefighter Jasmine Mackinnon has always just been one of the guys. So no one’s more shocked than she is to find herself kissing fellow firefighter and all-around sinfully handsome playboy Aaron Parkes after a friend’s wedding. Jasmine knows she can’t risk an emotional connection with a colleague—a potentially dangerous entanglement when fighting fires together—and nothing’s more important to her than her job.

Aaron never noticed how beautiful Jasmine was until he saw her out of her firefighter duds, but there’s something about the fiery woman that tempts him. Though he knows pursuing a real relationship is out of the question for a serial dater like him, when their casual flirtation builds into something more serious, it’s not just their jobs or their safety on the line. It’s their hearts.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Claire Baxter] I’d had this heroine in my head for a long time. I knew she was tough and prickly and worked in a male-dominated workplace in which she was just one of the boys and that was exactly the way she wanted it. I also knew that she fell for a co-worker, but I had no idea what job she did.

One day during a conversation with a non-writing friend, my friend mentioned a girl she knew who wanted to become a firefighter and suddenly lightbulbs sparked to life all around me. As soon as I knew that Jasmine was a firefighter everything else about her story fell into place, including Aaron.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Aaron?

[Claire Baxter] Sexy, cheeky, commitment-phobe,

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jasmine had a theme song, what would it be?

[Claire Baxter] That’s an easy question because I played the song every day while I worked on the story. It’s SWEET ABOUT ME by Gabriella Cilmi. Gabriella actually sings: “There’s nothing sweet about me.” Tomboy Jasmine would definitely say the same about herself.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Aaron is never without.

[Claire Baxter] Can I say his sense of humour?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find on Jasmine’s bathroom?

[Claire Baxter] When we meet Jasmine you will never find make-up in her bathroom. Nor will you find perfume or hair-styling equipment. She simply doesn’t bother with any of that girlie stuff.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Aaron’s greatest regret?

[Claire Baxter] Oh, good question. Possibly his greatest regret is that he wasn’t able — wasn’t enough — to stop his mother drinking herself to death after his father disappeared.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Claire Baxter] Romantic comedy and light-hearted women’s fiction authors such as Jill Mansell, Cathy Kelly, Marian Keyes, Carole Matthews, Jennifer Crusie, Rachel Gibson. All very different voices, but their stories are funny as well as heart-warming. That’s what I hope to achieve with my writing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Claire Baxter] A mug, hot water and a teabag. Can’t write without my tea.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Flirting with Danger?

[Claire Baxter] Same as always…the internet. I’ve now installed Freedom, the app that switches off internet access for a set amount of time. It’s good, but I can always find something else to distract me, eg, weeds in the garden, bookshelves that need re-organising (I’ve had to turn my chair around in my workspace to stop me staring at the bookshelves and thinking of ways to re-organise them!).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Claire Baxter] Spark by Brigid Kemmerer. I think one of the reasons it had such an effect is that I don’t read YA or paranormal. This book is both YA and paranormal, and totally blew me away. I haven’t read the other stories in the series yet, but I will. Definitely.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Claire Baxter] I’m sure I’ve loved reading since I saw my very first ABC book, but the one I remember that swept me away to a fictional world was Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. It was the first in a series of 12 about children who had adventures in boats. I read all of them and was so sad when there were no more to read, but I quickly discovered other books to love.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Claire Baxter] I read, of course. I record episodes of my favourite TV series and watch them in blocks – I love murder mystery series especially. I work in the garden – there’s always something that needs doing out there.

If I have a whole day off I love to go for a drive with my husband, either into the Adelaide Hills or to one of South Australia’s many beachside towns. Occasionally we’ll fish from the jetty, but more often we’ll just enjoy being near the ocean.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Claire Baxter] Website: http://www.clairebaxter.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ClaireBaxterAuthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ClaireBaxterAu

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/374466.Claire_Baxter

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Amazon link

 BN

Flirting With Danger by Claire Baxter

Publisher: Entangled Publishing – Bliss

Date of Publication: September 9, 2013

Number of pages: approx. 190

Cover Artist: Jessica Cantor

About the book:

To be together is dangerous. To stay apart is impossible.

Firefighter Jasmine Mackinnon has always just been one of the guys. So no one’s more shocked than she is to find herself kissing fellow firefighter and all-around sinfully handsome playboy Aaron Parkes after a friend’s wedding. Jasmine knows she can’t risk an emotional connection with a colleague—a potentially dangerous entanglement when fighting fires together—and nothing’s more important to her than her job.

Aaron never noticed how beautiful Jasmine was until he saw her out of her firefighter duds, but there’s something about the fiery woman that tempts him. Though he knows pursuing a real relationship is out of the question for a serial dater like him, when their casual flirtation builds into something more serious, it’s not just their jobs or their safety on the line. It’s their hearts.

About the Author:

Claire Baxter writes contemporary romantic fiction of all lengths. Her short stories have been published in commercial women’s magazines around the world, while her novels have been translated into 20 languages and have been nominated in the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year Award, the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and the Cataromance Reviewers’ Choice Awards (Winner, Best Harlequin Romance).

Before following her passion to write full-time, Claire was an award-winning corporate communications manager. Earlier, she worked as a translator and a PA.

Claire grew up in Warwickshire, England, but for more than 20 years has called Australia home. She considers herself lucky to live near one of Adelaide’s beautiful metropolitan beaches where she loves to walk and think up stories.

Enter Claire’s tour wide giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and charm necklace.

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Excerpt

Jasmine awoke, surprised that she’d managed to sleep at all, with a raging thirst thanks to downing enough champagne to float a small sailing boat. Well, not so much in truth, but way more than she was used to, and enough to give her a pounding head and make her swear to stay away from Zoe at any future parties Leanne might throw.

As she drank her third glass of water, the full horror of the kiss returned to her with appalling clarity. Aaron might have kissed her first, but she had flung herself at him.

Groaning, she bent over till her forehead met the countertop with a satisfying clunk. But it wasn’t satisfying enough, so she lifted it and let it drop again. And again. How could she have been such an idiot? Of all the dimwits in the world, she was the award-winning, cake-taking number one of all time.

For pity’s sake, if she’d had to lose control, why couldn’t it have been with someone else? Someone she didn’t work with. Someone she didn’t hold in such contempt—outside of work, that was. She had nothing but respect for him as a fellow firefighter. His private life was another matter entirely.

Aaron knew how she felt about his lifestyle; he could hardly be unaware, since she’d made it as clear as she possibly could during the time they’d worked together. And she’d been equally critical of the women who fell for his charm—the charm she’d always claimed to find unfathomable. Now, she’d behaved no better than a woman he’d picked up in a pub.

Spotlight and Giveaway: Tempted in the Tropics by Tracy March

Tempted in the Tropics by Tracy March

About the book:

The only thing they agree on is the sultry heat between them.

Nothing’s more important to Paige Ellerbee than her struggling bakery, Sweet Bee’s. When Lane Anderson, the temporary new doctor hot enough to rival McDreamy, moves in next door, though, she’s sure things are looking up. Until he threatens her business in their first conversation.

Lane just wants to practice medicine responsibly—not argue with the flighty bakery owner next door. But when he finds himself traveling down to the Caribbean to play guitar for Paige’s best friend’s wedding, suddenly the sight of the blonde in a bikini eclipses the fact they can’t agree on anything. And as their vacation romance grows, his reservations about starting something after getting burned by love are washed away like sand on the beach.

But once Paige and Lane land back home, will these polar opposites be able to forgive their feud and find lasting love?

Early Praise:

“This is a terrific book! The storyline is fresh, modern and engaging. This is a fast-paced read the flows fluidly from beginning to end. The author does an excellent job of creating sexy seduction scenes that sizzle with heat.” – LJT on Goodreads

“Oh. My. Gosh. I so loved Tempted in the Tropics by Tracy March. It was entertaining from start to finish with the perfect blend of romance, laughter, and passion.” – Amy on Goodreads

About the author:

Award-winning author Tracy March writes romantic thrillers influenced by her career in the pharmaceutical field, and her interest in science and politics. She also writes lighthearted romances inspired by her real-life happily ever after.

Always up for travel and adventure, Tracy has flown in a stunt plane, snowmobiled on the Continental Divide, ziplined in the Swiss Alps, and been chased by a bull in the mountains of St. Lucia. She loves Nationals baseball, Saturday date nights, and Dairy Queen Blizzards—and rarely goes a day without Diet Coke and Cheez-Its.

Tracy lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her superhero husband who works for NASA. They recently spent two years living in Washington D.C., and enjoy visiting often—especially when the Nats are in town.

Buy links:

 B&N | Kobo Books

Tracy’s links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Giveaway!

Tropics Beach Bling prize pack including a charm bracelet, ring and a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card.

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Spotlight and Giveaway! Flirting with Danger by Claire Baxter

 

Flirting With Danger by Claire Baxter

About the book:

To be together is dangerous. To stay apart is impossible.

Firefighter Jasmine Mackinnon has always just been one of the guys. So no one’s more shocked than she is to find herself kissing fellow firefighter and all-around sinfully handsome playboy Aaron Parkes after a friend’s wedding. Jasmine knows she can’t risk an emotional connection with a colleague—a potentially dangerous entanglement when fighting fires together—and nothing’s more important to her than her job.

Aaron never noticed how beautiful Jasmine was until he saw her out of her firefighter duds, but there’s something about the fiery woman that tempts him. Though he knows pursuing a real relationship is out of the question for a serial dater like him, when their casual flirtation builds into something more serious, it’s not just their jobs or their safety on the line. It’s their hearts.

About the author:

Claire Baxter writes contemporary romantic fiction of all lengths. Her short stories have been published in commercial women’s magazines around the world, while her novels have been translated into 20 languages, and have finalled in the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year Award, the Booksellers’ Best Awards, the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and the Cataromance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

Before following her passion to write full-time, Claire was an award-winning corporate communications manager. Earlier, she worked as a translator and a PA.

Claire grew up in Warwickshire, England, but for more than 20 years has called Australia home. She considers herself lucky to live near one of Adelaide’s beautiful metropolitan beaches where she loves to walk and think up stories.

Buy links:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo Books

Claire’s links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway!

Enter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bliss Turns One! Join the Celebration and My Must Read List!

Entangled Publishing’s Bliss imprint turns one today!  Don’t forget to celebrate on Twitter (#BlissBall Twitter Party:  9-10pm EST), and make sure to follow Bliss on Facebook for all the fun.

Haven’t tried any Bliss titles yet?  Here are some of my favorites to get you started. (Click the titles for the Amazon product page)

Desire by Design (Entangled Bliss) by Paula Altenburg

He stole her job, and now she’s stealing his heart.

Eve Doucette finally almost has it all. She’s free from her mistake of an ex-husband and just landed her dream job: project manager for a new City Hall and drafter of the final design. That is, until a handsome architect sweeps into town to commandeer her blueprints.

Famous architect Matt Brison is unsatisfied with his mundane life in Toronto. So when the mayor of Halifax asks him to spearhead his City Hall project, Matt jumps at the opportunity. There’s just one problem: the feisty and beautiful project lead, Eve, who isn’t exactly thrilled about her new "coworker" hijacking her design.

But when the sparks begin to fly, they both find themselves falling for the colleague they shouldn’t want. And before they know it, their already shaky foundation might come crumbling down…

 

Real Men Don’t Break Hearts: A Real Men Novel (Entangled Bliss) by Coleen Kwan

Ally Griffin is horrified to learn her new landlord is none other than the infuriating playboy Nate Hardy—the man whose wiles she just knows got her jilted at the altar six years ago. Add to it that her ex-fiancé Seth is showing up in her hometown of Burronga, Australia, to marry his beautiful new bride…for real this time. But the kicker? Everybody’s treating Ally as though she’s still heartbroken. She’s just fine, thank you very much, but could The Jilter have the decency not to hire her sister as his florist?

Nate Hardy is tired of his high-flying city career and bachelor lifestyle and is looking for something more real. The last thing he needs is to find himself undeniably attracted to Ally, the woman with whom he never saw eye-to-eye. But is he even capable of what Ally wants and deserves?
As Ally tries to pull her life out of the rut it’s fallen in, she doesn’t count on Nate stirring up her emotions. A short-term fling with the resident bad boy is practically irresistible, but only if she can guard her heart…

 

The Practice Proposal: A Suddenly Smitten Novel (Entangled Bliss) by Tracy March

Liza Sutherland isn’t looking for love. Not from a charity-auction date she didn’t even bid on and especially not with Nationals first baseman Cole Collins, the guy she obsessed over as an awkward teenager. She won’t get involved with a notorious player, no matter how attractive Cole is.

Cole Collins is up for contract renegotiation, but after too many late-night parties, he’ll need some positive publicity before he can make the roster. His agent, Frank, pitches Liza as the perfect prop…only Cole didn’t account for Liza no longer being just a teenager with a crush. She’s gorgeous and smart and he’s instantly hooked.

When Frank makes Liza a deal she can’t refuse—a bet she will fall in love with Cole or a cool half mil goes to charity—the game is on. But neither bet on the real feelings that surface. Could a fake fling turn into an official forever?

 

Jane’s Gift: A Lone Pine Lake Novel (Entangled Bliss) by Karen Erickson

Lone Pine Lake’s resident playboy, fire captain Christian Nelson, is happy with his single-guy lifestyle. But when quiet, mysterious Jane Clark comes for a tour of the firehouse with her three small children, Chris is immediately drawn to the beautiful woman—even though he’s been burned by commitment in the past.

Jane’s been battling scars both physical and mental—having lived through a devastating house fire years ago—so she’s hesitant when her brother’s best friend, Christian, offers to help quell her family’s residual fears of fire. Jane’s mind is the epitome of once burned, twice shy, but her heart has other plans.

Despite her brother’s warnings about his friend’s playboy status and dangerous occupation, Jane can’t help but fall for the gorgeous fire captain. Can two scarred people find the strength to let go of their pasts to live in the present, when a lifetime together might be the sweetest gift of all?

 

Just for the Summer: A Lake Bliss Novel (Entangled Bliss) by Jenna Rutland

Dani Sullivan has come to Lake Bliss to write her latest cookbook and take a breather. After the year she’s had, she deserves a summer retreat to reevaluate priorities and make peace with past decisions. But from the moment single dad and sheriff Matt Reagan shows up, she has a hard time convincing herself that a life away from Lake Bliss could beat the life she might have here.

Recently divorced Matt is ready for a new relationship, but he doesn’t want short-term—his son needs permanence, and so does Matt’s heart. Unfortunately, it’s the smart-mouthed and sinfully sexy Ms. Sullivan who catches his eye. But when Matt learns Dani’s secrets, will he still want her to stay? Or will her chance for love last just for the summer?

Entangled’s BLISS Imprint Turns One! Join the Celebration!

Entangled Publishing wants to invite everyone to celebrate the one year anniversary of their Bliss imprint.  Check out the info below for all the deets!

 

It’s been an amazing year as Bliss released over 20 titles and have plenty in store for everyone going forward. Bliss couldn’t have gotten to where it is without all of the wonderful readers out there.

To say thank you and welcome to new readers August will be filled with special events. Here is the lowdown for the #BlissBall celebration:

  • #BlissBall Twitter Party: Wednesday, August 7, 9-10pm EST: Join 10 Bliss authors for a Twitter party and be ready to win some #BlissBall bling!

  • Pin It to Win It Pinterest giveaway: Sunday, August 11: Showcase which Bliss books you can’t wait to read.  Follow BlissEntangled and stop by to find out how to win a $25 Amazon gift card on Sunday.

  • Blogger Love: August 19-30: Of course we think Bliss books are so sweet and sassy that readers can’t help but love ‘em but don’t just take our word for it. Fans will be posting why they love Bliss books and readers will have a chance to win a "Sweet" grand prize package. Follow Bliss on Facebook for each stop.

  • Bliss Ball Facebook Parties: Join Bliss for not one but two Facebook parties with the lovely Bliss authors.  August 27 and August 29 from 8-10pm EST we will be chatting with Bliss authors, readers and there will be more great prizes to win!

Check out our full list of Bliss books and come ready to party and win!

Excerpt and Giveaway! Love Him or Leave Him by Sara Daniel

Please welcome Sara Daniel to the virtual offices!  She’s here to share an excerpt from her latest release, Love Him or Leave Him.  This is an Entangled Publishing release under their Bliss line.  After the excerpt, enter the awesome giveaway!

Excerpt – Love Him or Leave Him by Sara Daniel

“We’re creating a cocoa scientifically,” Becca explained. “We’ll record each ingredient used and the reasons why we picked it, as well as the reasons why we reject the others. We’ll also record our response to each flavor.”

Connor could handle a taste test. After all, he judged the Chili Cook Off each year. “And the audience is supposed to find this entertaining?”

“Hey, be thankful I saved you from boredom and you get to be up here doing the fun part.” She shook her head. “I can only imagine what people do for fun in real cities.”

“You don’t think this is real?” Connor asked.

“I don’t think our community is a fair representation of what the rest of the world is like. And really,” she teased, “would you want a chipped ceramic mug of brown liquid to rank at the top of your memorable life experiences?”

She pulled a tray of spices from her bag and arranged it between them. “Why don’t you taste the plain cocoa first, so we have a starting point?”

Connor dutifully lifted the steaming mug, trying not to be stung that he wouldn’t count as a memorable part of her life.

“Your response should include whether the smell and taste of each ingredient makes your partner feel more romantically inclined,” Pauline added to the group.

He nearly spewed his drink. He was supposed to not only admit, but rate the increase in his attraction to Becca?

“Good, you firmly established us as a zero on the romance scale.” She smacked him on the back. “That’s where I intend to stay. If you start moving up the scale, I will poison you.”

He pressed his lips closed to keep from smirking. It wouldn’t do to let her know her murderous threats made him feel more romantically inclined.

 

Tourwide giveaway:

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card

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Purchase link:

Book Info:

Sometimes dreams are where you least expect them.

Connor O’Malley and Becca Sanders were once high school sweethearts, ripped apart by rumors in the small town of Kortville, Illinois. Connor left to join the military, and Becca stayed, waiting for her younger brother to graduate so she could live her dreams of traveling the world. But now that Connor’s back as the town sheriff, Becca finds herself struggling to resist the too-handsome man who once broke her heart.

Connor loves Kortville—its quaintness keeps at bay the painful memories of Afghanistan he’s sure make him unworthy of any woman, particularly the beautiful brunette he’s always secretly dreamed of a future with. But when a scandal rocks the town, suddenly Connor and Becca must trust in each other if they want to weather this storm…and come out on the other side of it together.

Buy links:

Amazon | B&N | iBookstore | Kobo

About Sara:

I write what I love—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. On the personal side, I’m a frazzled maid, chauffeur, and slave to my children. I was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. (The children’s book The Bravest Squirrel Ever by my alter-ego Sara Shafer is the squirrel’s fictionalized version of that experience!) I’m crazy about country music and the drama of NASCAR. And I have my very own happily-ever-after romance with my hero husband.

Follow my blog, like me on Facebook or email me for the latest updates on my books and writing projects or to debate the best race car drivers!

Sara online:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Review: Act Like You Love Me by Cindi Madsen

 

Title:  Act Like You Love Me

Author: Cindi Madsen

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

What would you do for a second chance with your first crush?
Brynn McAdams isn’t the awkward drama geek she was in high school—she’s grown up and confident, or at least she likes to think so. But when her old crush, the impossibly handsome and impossibly unattainable Sawyer Raines, comes back to town to direct her community play, Brynn finds herself determined to be someone other than the girl he doesn’t even recognize. Good thing she’s an excellent actress.  
After his bad breakup in NYC, the last thing Sawyer wants is to get involved with another actress. But the glamorous and beautiful Brynn draws him in, even though as her director, he knows she’s off-limits. There’s just something about the woman that feels…familiar. Like home.  
As Brynn’s lies start to snowball, she struggles to stop acting and come clean. But what if Sawyer is already falling for the fake Brynn, not the Brynn she truly is?


Review:

Once again, my favorite trope called to me and prompted me to read Act Like You Love Me.  This is actually a tough book for me to rate, because there is a lot about it to like.  I enjoyed the characters, the setting, and, yes, as I already mentioned, the second chance at love trope.  What knocked it down a few pegs?  Not enough physical contact, and that’s the bottom line.  This is a sweet, gentle story about finally embracing who you are, and accepting all of the oddities that make you unique.  After reading so many Brazen titles in the last few weeks, this one fell flat in the chemistry department, and the sexual tension earned only a low rating on the thermometer.  While it’s nice to have the protagonists engage in conversation before ripping their clothes off, the lack of pay-off was disappointing.  Sawyer is the most restrained male I’ve met in romance in a long time, and while I appreciate that he’s a gentleman, I like a little more rough and tumble (or at least a good wrestle on the couch) type of guy.

Brynn is a character I was immediately drawn to.  She was a nerd in school, uncomfortable with herself and awkward, and the target of jokes from her peers.  She has fought long and hard to move beyond her dork persona, and is finally happy with her life and herself.  She works at the family fishing and bait shop, acts in local stage productions, and finally feels comfortable in her own skin.  Sure, she’s still a bit of an oddball, and her unrestrained passion for plays and literature has chased off every guy she’s dated, but big whoop!  She’ll eventually meet the man of her dreams.  She hopes.

Into town strolls Sawyer, the guy she had a crush on in high school.  He is helping out his aunt by agreeing to direct the play that Brynn is acting in.  It’s a nightmare come true for her.  He first sees her while she’s struggling to change her shirt in her car, giving him a flash of skin and bra.  How embarrassing!  It’s like high school all over again.  She’s still trying to get over the most embarrassing moment of her life, when she had an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction in front of the entire school!  More grating, though, is that Sawyer doesn’t even recognize her.  She had a crush on him forever, and he doesn’t even remember her! Talk about a major blow to her ego.  He doesn’t even remember her asking him to the prom!  Jerk!

Sawyer is dealing with two major issues.  First, he is still reeling from his father’s illness and eventual death when he was in high school.  Second, he is still trying to recover from a bad breakup with an actress in NY, and when he sees Brynn, all he can think is that she’s a carbon copy of his ex; self-absorbed, only interested in herself.  He makes so many false assumptions about her that I really wanted to slap him.  He is so self-righteous, he knows that he has to be right.  I guess he is carrying around so much emotional baggage that he can’t see around all of those weighty issues.

When Brynn follows some questionable dating advice from her brother, things get even more out of hand.  Instead of just being herself, she puts her acting skills to work and pretends to be someone else.  Someone less..overwhelming, I guess the word would be.  Then, before she realizes what’s happening, she is spinning so many half truths and outright falsehoods that she doesn’t know how to come clean with Sawyer.  She knows that she’s misjudged him and that she’s falling for him, but she doesn’t know how to explain the misperceptions that she’s allowed to continue and hasn’t bothered to correct because at first she just wanted him gone.  Oops!  There is this sense of dread through most of the book, because you know that Sawyer isn’t going to take it well when he learns that he’s been deceived, whether intentionally or not.

This is a quick read with both angst and humor, and the only thing holding it back for me was the lack of spice.  The heat level is non-existent, even for a Bliss book.  As stated previously, I just prefer a jalapeño or a habanero  to a mild green chili pepper, both in my cooking and in my reading.   Your mileage will vary.

Grade:  B-/C+

Review copy provided by publisher