Novella Review: Santa to the Rescue by Adele Downs

 

 

Santa to the Rescue (Entangled Flirts)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Santa to the Rescue is a very cute story.  Jamey is the new guy in town, and he’s working through his probationary period at Appleton Fire Station.  He’s feeling a little blue because it’s his first time away from home during the holidays, and he doesn’t have anyone special to spend Christmas with.  When he meets Heather at the grocery store, he’s instantly charmed, but can he convince her that he’s worth taking a risk on?

This novella worked for me because Jamey is such a sweet guy.  He’s proud to be on the Appleton fire fighting team, and now that he’s accomplished that goal, he’s eager to move on to his next life goal; finding the perfect woman and starting a family.   Being away from home for the first time is rough on him, so he wants to meet someone special to spend Christmas, and possibly the rest of his life, with.  Heather seems like the girl of his dreams, but when he has to break a commitment he made to her, he has to show her that he’s not a flake or a liar.  A tough job, because Heather has been burned many times in the past.

I’ll admit that Heather’s attitude irritated me at first.  Jamey was upfront about why he couldn’t make it to the party at the hospital, and I thought she was acting like a spoiled child about it.  If she couldn’t accept his odd fire fighter hours before they are officially even dating, how is she going to deal with them if they do enter into a long term relationship.  When she finally pulled on her big girl panties and admitted to herself that she needed to be more accepting of his erratic schedule, I did like her better.  Part of Heather’s problem with Jamey breaking the date was because of betrayals in her past, but if she never even gave him a chance to prove himself to her, she was going to be one lonely RN.

Jamey is desperate to make Heather understand how important his job is to him, and I loved how he was able to integrate a job conflict into her party.  Here’s a guy who goes above and beyond the call of duty because he is such a nice guy.  He was willing to think outside of the box to make Heather, his boss, and the hospital administration happy, and it’s hard to fault a guy for that.

Santa to the Rescue kicked off my holiday reading spree on a positive note.  Clocking in  at about 50 pages, there is a realistic conflict to Jamey and Heather’s romance, and a satisfying resolution for everyone.  You can’t beat that, especially in a holiday read.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Firefighter Jamey Tucker knows three things in life to be true: an honorable man doesn’t go back on his word; never hurts a woman; and lasting love isn’t a myth. But with his recent move to a new job at Appleton Fire Station, the long hours don’t offer hope of finding the love he’s looking for.

When Jamey meets beautiful pediatric nurse Heather Longhurst after hearing her sing "Santa Baby" in a supermarket aisle, he offers her a promise he discovers he can’t keep. Heather has been betrayed by men in the past, making it hard for Jamey to gain her trust. Determined to find a way to win her heart, Jamey uses firefighter engine-uity and Heather’s favorite song to prove he’s got Christmas spirit she can believe in all year.

Cover Reveal: All I Want For Christmas is You by Molly O’Keefe

LoveSwept has another holiday romance hitting shelves soon.  All I Want For Chiristmas Is You is penned by Molly O’Keefe, and it will be available November 4.  Because it’s a novella, I will more than likely bite on this one.

 

All I Want for Christmas Is You (Short Story)

By Molly O’Keefe

Loveswept | 978-0-345-54244-1

On Sale November 4, 2013

About the book:

In this touching eBook novella, a prequel to Molly O’Keefe’s Crazy Thing Called Love, a young woman swept up by first love is ready to say “I do”—until challenges arise during the holiday season.

Maddy Baumgarten and Billy Wilkins are spontaneous, in love, and prepared to elope the day after Christmas—that is, if Maddy’s family doesn’t throw a wrench in their plans. Her parents are more than a little reluctant to give their blessing to the impending nuptials. After all, Maddy’s barely out of high school and Billy’s a notorious bad boy. Maddy doesn’t care about Billy’s rough past—all she cares about is living in the here and now. But after Maddy’s mother stops speaking to her in protest, and a Christmas Eve heart-to-heart with her father leaves her with butterflies, Maddy starts to get cold feet. She loves Billy, but is she taking this big step too soon?

About the Author

Molly O’Keefe published her first Harlequin romance at age twenty-five and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring each character’s road toward happily ever after. She’s won two Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice awards and the RITA for Best Novella in 2010. Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she now lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband, two kids, and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.

Pre-order ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU

Connect with Molly: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Cover Reveal: Heating Up the Holidays by Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers and Serena Bell

I have another cover reveal this morning!  This time for Heating Up the Holidays, a holiday anthology from LoveSwept.  It releases October 28th, and features stories from Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers and Serena Bell. 

I enjoy reading holiday stories, especially novellas; do you?

 

 

 

HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS

3-Story Bundle (Play with Me, Snowfall, After Midnight)

Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers, Serena Bell

Published by Loveswept

On Sale October 28, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8041-7840-2

HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS features three sexy holiday novellas, each one centered on a different holiday: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. With stories from bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones, the popular Mary Ann Rivers, and Loveswept debut author Serena Bell, HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS is the perfect anthology to keep the romance going throughout the holiday season!

ABOUT LISA RENEE JONES (Play with Me): 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES which has sold to more than twelve countries for translation with negotiations in process for more, and has now been optioned by STARZ Network for a cable television show, to be produced by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland).
Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 30 books with publishers such as Simon and Schuster, Avon, Kensington, Harlequin, NAL, Berkley and Elloras Cave, as well as crafting a successful indie career. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.
Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

ABOUT MARY ANN RIVERS (Snowfall)

Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.

ABOUT SERENA BELL (After Midnight)

Serena Bell writes stories about how sex messes with your head, why smart people do stupid things sometimes, and how love can make it all better. She wrote her first steamy romance before she was old enough to understand what all the words meant and has been perfecting the art of hiding pages and screens from curious eyes ever since—a skill that’s particularly useful now that she’s the mother of two school-age children.

Pre-order HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS from your favorite retailers!

Connect with Lisa Renee Jones: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Connect with Mary Ann Rivers: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Connect with Serena Bell: Facebook | TwitterWebsite

Connect with Loveswept: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Interview with Robin Covington, Author of Secret Santa Baby and Giveaway!

Robin Covington dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her holiday romance Secret Santa Baby.  Please give her a warm welcome.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Robin Covington] I hit forty and eliminated the words “can’t” and “shouldn’t” from my vocabulary. Don’t dare me because I’ll do it!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Secret Santa Baby?

[Robin Covington] It is about two best friends who have been in love with each other for years but never acted on it. The hero, Nick, decides to go for broke, makes sure he’s Tessa’s Secret Santa at the office and seduces her with the gifts in the song, “Santa Baby”.

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

[Robin Covington] Entangled Publishing (my fab publisher) put out a call for submissions for short stories based on the song “Santa Baby”. I started thinking about what would happen if the gift giver in the song was anonymous, linked it up the office Secret Santa game and the story poured out of me.

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

[Robin Covington] Reserved. Passionate. Loyal.

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

[Robin Covington]  Every Girl Like Me by Sugarland

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Nicholas won’t leave the house without.

[Robin Covington] His eyeglasses.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Tessa’s purse?

[Robin Covington] Gum (she never chews gum – it grosses her out), a hairbrush (With her curls she has to fix it in the morning and then leave it alone except for finger-combing), and a designer wallet.

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

[Robin Covington] Music – I listen to it all the time. Other writers – I read voraciously. Some of my favorites are Harper Fox, Jill Shalvis and Hank Edwards. Movies – I love the vividness of visual stories.

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

[Robin Covington] Time. Time. Time. ( I can write anywhere – just give me five minutes.)

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

[Robin Covington] Half-Moon Chambers by Harper Fox. She writes emotion, plotlines and characters who keep me turning the page. I can’t open a book of hers without having time to finish it in one sitting.

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

[Robin Covington] Hang out with my husband and kids. I sing in a band and that is a ton of fun. I also do needlework – intricate cross stitch over linen of antique patterns.

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

[Robin Covington] Website: http://www.robincovingtonromance.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobinCovingtonRomanceAuthor

Twitter: @RobinCovington

Entangled Publishing/buy links: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/?s=robin+covington&x=19&y=20

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Blurb for Secret Santa Baby:

Tessa Stoneman hasn’t been able to get long-time friend and business partner Nicholas Boone out of her head since they shared a single kiss in college. Even when she dated Nicholas’s best friend. Now that she’s giving up her position at GameNerdz to strike out on her own—and now that she’s single—maybe it’s the right time to see if there’s still something between them.

Nicholas knows once Tessa leaves the company she helped found, they might drift apart. Before she starts her own company in the new year, he wants to woo the woman he fell in love with during college. So he poses as her Secret Santa, gifts her with items from the song “Santa Baby,” and plans a big reveal at the company holiday party. But when his best friend wants to rekindle his romance with Tessa, will Nicholas lose his last chance?

Bio:

Robin Covington, who NYT Best Selling authors, Robyn Carr and Carly Phillips, said was their new “auto-buy author”, writes sizzling hot contemporary and paranormal romance. A Night of Southern Comfort, her best-selling debut was nominated by RT Book Reviews for the 2012 Best Contemporary Romance from an Indie Press for bringing a “fresh, modern feel to the genre while still sticking to the things that get our adrenaline pumping — sex and danger”. When she’s not exploring the theme of fooling around and falling in love, she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Mangianello.

Robin is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of the Waterworld Mermaids, a Goddess at The Naked Hero, and a contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today. You can find Robin on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (@RobinCovington).

Giveaway Time!

You can enter for a chance to win a digital copy of Secret Santa Baby! Just fill out the widget below.  Earn extra entries by following.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase Secret Santa Baby from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-santa-baby-robin-covington/1045469139?ean=2940016112213

Happy New Year!!

We at the Café will spend the first day of the New Year chasing after naughty puppies, reading, feasting at the local Indian buffet, and counting our blessings.  I have much to be thankful for, including wonderful friends, a loving family, and all of my crazy critters.  I also wanted to thank everyone who drops by to read my posts.  Thank you and have a wonderful NEW YEAR!

Excerpt: The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby by Victoria James

Entangled Publishing and Victoria James wanted to share an excerpt from Victoria’s holiday romance The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby.  Enjoy!

Excerpt: The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby by Victoria James

Jackson poked the logs in the fire a little too harshly and muffled his cough as a cloud of smoke engulfed his face. He tried to appear calm and natural even though he felt like he’d been backed against a wall by letting this woman and the baby into his home. How had he gotten into this mess? He could tell Hannah was trying to figure him out, and the look in her eyes was unsettling, like she was pleased when he told her about Charlie being a stray. He glanced over at her as she pulled off her red hat and a mass of caramel colored hair came tumbling out. He didn’t want to notice how shiny and soft it looked. He turned his attention to the fireplace again, but watched from the corner of his eye as Hannah straightened out her clothing.

Hannah was definitely beautiful—not in a made up, high-maintenance sort of way. She had high cheekbones and full, rosy lips. And even though he didn’t want to notice, her eyes were like dark emeralds, large and almond shaped, with impossibly thick black eyelashes. Even more perplexing than their indisputable beauty was the emotion and the warmth they held in them. They weren’t vacant, they weren’t flirty, and they weren’t the eyes of someone who had been friends with his sister. They were clear and sharp, not hollow like someone who was stoned all the time. No, she was too pulled together to have been friends with Louise. So then who the hell was she?

He willed himself not to look lower than her chin. Dammit. Too late. She was curvy and slender in all the right places. He felt himself fighting back a surge of complete and total unwanted desire that gripped him out of nowhere. What was going on with him? Must be a natural reaction to a woman who wasn’t thinner than a twig. The last woman he’d slept with had been so skinny he wondered if she had ever eaten a carb in her entire life. But this Hannah woman was off-limits. He didn’t date women with children or people associated with his family. And even though there wasn’t a wedding band on her hand, she was probably with some guy. Not that it mattered. Not in the least, because he wanted nothing to do with her. Anyone connected to his family was the enemy.

“Look, I really am sorry for barging in like this.” She folded her hands in front of her and bit gently on her lower lip. Why were her lips to appealing? Focus buddy, focus. He shrugged, dragging his eyes away from her mouth. “Don’t worry about it.”

“I really wasn’t planning on getting here so late—”

“How did you know I was going to be here? No one knows about this place except my business partner and PA.” He saw the exact moment that her embarrassment turned to discomfort.

She waved a hand dismissively, but her voice sounded forced. “Oh, you can find anything online these days.”

He crossed his arms in front of him. She wasn’t looking so confident now. “No, you can’t. You can’t find anything about this cabin online.”

She averted her eyes. “It wasn’t her fault. I was probably a tad dramatic.” Maybe it was the sudden change in tone or the softening of her expression that made him get defensive.

Jackson narrowed his eyes. “Whose fault?”

“I think her name was Ann,” she said, biting her lip and looking away. Jackson tried to hide his shock. In all the years Ann had worked for him, she’d never released any personal details about him.

“What did you tell her?” He was genuinely interested in knowing how the hell this woman had managed to get the address of his cabin.

“I may have said it was a matter of life or death.”

He rolled his eyes. He was surprised Ann fell for that. “You seem to use that line as a catch-all, don’t you?”

“Well, I really did need to find you. And she was quite concerned when I mentioned the death part,” she said, lifting her chin. Something about the way she stood, the way she wouldn’t stop looking at him made him uneasy.

But no matter what, he knew she was here to tell him something he didn’t want to know. Not that it should matter. Nothing she could tell him would make him change his mind about his family. He turned his back to her, focusing on the fire that didn’t need his attention at all. He heard her shuffling around and then the quiet padding of her feet across the wood floor.

“I’m sorry to bombard you with this.”

He ignored her attempt to open up the conversation. He turned to look at her, eyeing her snow-soaked pants. “Do you want to take off your jeans?”

Her green eyes grew comically large. “Pardon me?”

He almost laughed out loud at her expression. “I mean, you’re soaked. I can get you a blanket or something and you can put your jeans in the dryer.”

“Uh, no, I’ll stand here for a few minutes. I’m sure they’ll dry quickly by the fire.” Her face was still red as she moved closer to the fire.

Why should he care if she wanted to stay in wet jeans all night? “Why don’t I show you and uh—” He motioned to the baby with his chin. “—the baby your room?”


You can learn more about Victoria by visiting the following:

Visit Victoria James: www.victoriajames.ca

Twitter: @vicjames101

Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-James/412431258807271

You can learn more about Entangled by visiting their website.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, you can order The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the cover below

 

About The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby:

Jackson Pierce didn’t make his fortune entertaining every half-cocked idea, especially one involving diaper changes. Not even the cute brunette who links him to the baby in her arms can crack his icy heart.

A baby on the doorsteps is the least of Hannah Woods problems–she has to find the baby’s uncle, or the child will end up in foster care. She sleuths her way to the reclusive CEO’s doorstep only to find six feet of holiday sexy–and a door slammed in her face. But when Jackson comes around, and urges they marry for little Emily’s sake, Hannah finds herself falling for the jaded billionaire and wishing for a holiday miracle of their own…

About Victoria James:

Victoria James is a romance writer living near Toronto, Canada. Victoria is a mother to two young children, and one very disorderly feline. Victoria attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and graduated with a degree in English Literature, where she met and then later married, her own hero. After Queen’s, Victoria earned a degree in Interior Design. After the birth of her first child she began pursuing her life-long passion of writing. Her dream of being a published romance author was realized last February, 2012, when Entangled Publishing bought her manuscript. Victoria is living her dream-staying home with her children and conjuring up happy endings for her characters.

Meet Author Maire Claremont!

 

Please welcome Maire Claremont to the virtual offices!  Maire also has a story in Entangled Publishing’s Christmas anthology All I Want For Christmas Is A Duke.  She is here to chat about her story, The Twelve Days of Seduction. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Maire Claremont] I am a total gypsy soul! I love to travel about and constantly see new things and new people. I’m a book and movie aholic and I’m never happier than after a marvelous play.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Twelve Days of Seduction?

[Maire Claremont] The Twelve Days of Seduction is a nod to Jane Eyre and features a heroine’s mother, a lady runs away with her drawing master. The heroine fights her way to a much better life, but has a number of secrets! And when her employer, the duke, finds out there is hell to pay. There’s also a whole lot of pleasure!

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

[Maire Claremont] Delilah Marvelle and I both wanted to write stories featuring a duke and I loved the idea of doing a story up in a isolated castle where the romance is all part of the landscape too. My heroine, Adriana, insisted on being a cheeky young woman who’d been masquerading as the perfect young woman. I loved creating her.

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

[Maire Claremont] Clever. Resourceful. Loyal

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

[Maire Claremont] Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Adriana won’t leave the house without.

[Maire Claremont] A BOOK!

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

[Maire Claremont] Not taking a chance on love when he had the chance. It has haunted him for years.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this story?

[Maire Claremont] I loved exploring Victorian Christmas traditions! And I adored bringing two characters who couldn’t dare to express their desire, even though they had secretly wanted each other for so long.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is  your favorite holiday themed book?

[Maire Claremont] With out a doubt, A Christmas Carol by Dickens. I try to read it every year.

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

[Maire Claremont] I LOVE to hear from readers, especially since I’m recently published. Its fun! You can find me at my website, Maireclaremont.com, on twitter @maireclaremont, and Facebook!

I look forward to meeting you all!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Check back for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, courtesy of Entangled Publishing!

Want to start reading All I Want for Christmas is a Duke right now? It’s only .99! That’s Two SCANDALOUS reads, one low price!

About the book:

Merry Christmas, Mrs. Robinson by Delilah Marvelle

Lady Jane left her father, the Earl of Chadwick, and the ton behind to experience life on the stage. After a disastrous marriage, the widow is living on the edge of poverty, determined to guard her heart, when a secret admirer from her past demands a second chance.

Shy and retiring Martin Nicholas Pierce, the Sixth Duke of Somerset, has carried a torch for Lady Jane since her youth, but he is five years her junior. When she married another man, he left for Europe, determined to put her out of his mind. After returning to find Lady Jane free, he vows to replace the memories of her cursed Twelfth Night with a new beginning.

The Twelve Days of Seduction By Maire Claremont

Alexander Hunt, Eighth Duke of Berresford, is aware his ward’s governess isn’t quite what she seems. Although Miss Flint is beautiful and intelligent, she misrepresented herself to gain employment, and he threatens to give her the sack mere days before Christmas.

Desperate to convince the sexy duke not to tear her from the little girl she’s grown to adore, Adriana challenges him to seduce her before the Twelve Days of Christmas have come to an end, although she fears it may cost her heart. Alexander accepts the challenge, unconcerned that he has as much to lose, if not more, than the delectable Miss Flint.