romantic comedy

Blog Tour: Stranger Ranger by Daisy Prescott

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Happy Monday all! Today I’m sharing my review and recommendation of Stranger Ranger from Daisy Prescott. This is Daisy’s second release in the SmartyPants Romance imprint, and trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss it. If you love a weirdness, a little mystery and a whole lotta bearded goodness then you wanna know Odin and Daphne. Guaranteed to make you swoon, laugh and all around feel good.

Happy reading. ~ Amber

Stranger Ranger, an all-new standalone contemporary romance from USA Today bestselling author Daisy Prescott, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!

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New park ranger Daphne Baum is a reformed good girl. Breaking free from her overbearing family as soon as she turned eighteen, she’s been on her own ever since. The life of a park ranger, moving from park to park, suits her just fine. Though still a rule follower, she’s okay with a little sin in her life.

Every generation of Hill men has its black sheep. The general consensus among the family is that Odin Hill is the lucky bastard this go around. At seventeen, he blew out of town like an angry tornado only to return fifteen years later withdrawn and secretive. Living like a recluse in the hollows in the Smoky Mountains, he’s happy to keep to himself and is content to let locals believe he’s the town weirdo. Odin prefers the company of his pet pig to the nosy citizens of Green Valley.

When Daphne discovers Odin might be committing nefarious deeds on park land, she vows to find out the truth behind the handsome, yet chaotic, loner. Will the stranger help the ranger discover the difference between being good and doing the right thing? Or will they find themselves on opposite sides of love?

‘Stranger Ranger’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #2 in the Park Ranger series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy of Stranger Ranger TODAY!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/368n8SR

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/38fDgUf

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2RdgqHi

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2G9DccG

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/30Po5yN

amber-review   5 Stars

I absolutely adored this story!! Daphne and Odin are full of quirks, full of secrets and full of attraction for the other. Once again Daisy Prescott takes us on a journey into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ranger Daphne is a bit of a loner, having been a bit of a nomad as she tries to find a permanent ranger gig. Odin is the strange farmer guy with a pet pig he takes for walks. But these two just seem to keep crossing paths, and when they finally connect? Yeah it was kinda everything I wanted. I loved this couple. Loved Patsy Swine and Roman the bougie dog. Loved all the other characters we get more glimpses of, and can’t wait to go back.

Check out Happy Trail, book 1 in the Park Ranger series of standalones, FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2pN2x77

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/32EWbWa

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2qxnUK8

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2o8XOwd

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Excerpt

By early afternoon, the crowd at the farmers’ market fades, leaving only stragglers, bargainers, and tourists sampling the charms of small town life.

I’ve had enough people for the week I’m looking forward to the quiet of my own company. All the talking and friendly chatter exhaust me. You’d think vegetables would sell themselves given they’re pretty self-explanatory. Yet folks wanna hear a story about a carrot being grown from the guy who pulled it out of the dirt himself. So I play my part of the happy farmer at the stand. It’s my bad luck I’ve always been charming. Part of my DNA.

My family has lived in the mountains surrounding Green Valley longer than anyone around here can remember. Before there was a National Park or even a Cades Cove, the Hills had established a homestead in the Smokies straddling Tennessee and North Carolina.

Because our last name is Hill, some people like to joke we put the hill in hillbilly. Jethro Winston for example. He’s hysterical. Some people think they have a sense of humor when they’re just being mean-spirited. As my Nannie Ida always says, glass houses provide good views, but then again, so do mirrors.

This is why I prefer the company of Patsy over most folks. She’s smart, a good listener, tidy, and doesn’t give a damn about my family and reputation. She has more class than a lot of the gossips and Sunday church-goers around here.

After I consolidate the remaining produce into crates and load up the van, I fold the tables and collapse my tent. While I work, the face of the brunette ranger floats through my mind.

She looked familiar but I didn’t recognize her name. It isn’t likely our paths have crossed. I don’t get out much and I’m not hanging around the bars or the visitor center in Cades Cove. Normally, one of my cousins covers the stand at the weekly farmers’ market and I can avoid the crowds. This is what happens when I let my guard down and am forced to engage with the public. I get iceberg and Bible quotes. I’ve never been a fan of either.

Bothered I’m still thinking about her, I close and lock up the van.

“Come on Patsy, let’s go for a walk.”

She gives a happy snort and steps closer to where her leash hangs on the top rail of her pen.

When the two of us stroll through town, folks stare. It’s worse when they insist on sharing a comment, tell the same old joke, and, in general, make a fuss. Honestly, I assume at this point people seeing the two of us together would be old news around here.

Guess some folks don’t have enough going on in their lives that they need to make commentary about people minding their own damn business.

I don’t understand what the big deal is about a man walking his pig.

Patsy’s excellent on a leash. Doesn’t pull. Has never instigated fights with dogs. Hasn’t bit anyone. Doesn’t do her business in the middle of the sidewalk. In my mind, she’s much better mannered than any old hound dog.

She’s pretty darn perfect in every conceivable way.

Except the one time she trampled Mrs. MacClure’s flower bed. Even that was my fault for not paying closer attention to where we were walking.

If I had to find fault with her, Patsy thinks she’s in charge. And she’s a little more than spoiled. I only have myself to blame.

“Clarice, please tell me you see that man walking his pig.” A woman shouts to her friend and points from about three feet away.

“I’m not invisible,” I tell her with a flat smile.

“Oh dear.” Her companion rolls her eyes. “You’re a tall drink of cool water, aren’t you?”

The question is rhetorical. Being compared to a refreshing beverage doesn’t require a response, so I remain quiet. Patsy tugs on her leash and releases a frustrated snort that we’ve stopped walking.

“You two have a nice day, m‘kay.” I step off the sidewalk to pass them.

I’d like to say their behavior is atypical. If I hear “You’re like the Jolly Green Giant. Only less green” one more time …

For the record, I am not jolly.

There must be something in the well water around here. We grow ‘em tall in Green Valley.

Does a pig need to be walked on leash for health and exercise? No.

I’m the only weirdo in all of Green Valley who likes to take my daily constitutional accompanied by a sow. Not even Cletus Winston is as much of an oddball as I am. And that’s saying something.

He’s only interested in pigs and boar in terms of sausage. In my opinion, he’s missing out. If we were friends, or even friendly acquaintances, I might suggest we partner up. Truffle salami can be incredible. Or so I remember. I don’t eat pork anymore. Not since I’ve had Patsy. I’d be offended if she ate human body parts around me.

Hogs will eat pretty much anything you give them. A few years ago a pig farmer went missing. Wife said he ran off with his mistress. Everyone believed her until his gold tooth turned up in the muck and mud of their hog pens. Macabre, but true.

I don’t eat pork and Patsy doesn’t eat me. It’s an unspoken pact between us.

Not that she’s some sort of demon pig crazed with bloodlust. Not at all. She’s the best pig in eastern Tennessee. Don’t need a blue ribbon from the state fair to make it true.

This leisurely stroll around town is all part of my ruse.

If someone sees us ambling someplace we don’t belong, they’ll leave us alone, which is the entire point.

There’s freedom in being a weirdo. Folks keep their distance. Sure, there are the asinine comments, but for the most part they assume I’m dim-witted or crazy. Fine by me. With or without my porcine sidekick, I’ve always been different. I learned early on that people like to form and hold onto their own opinions. Pointless to try to change someone’s mind. What they think of me is their problem, not mine.

About Daisy Prescott

Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog, Mulder, and an imaginary house goat. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.

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Find Daisy Prescott online

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Website: https://www.daisyprescott.com/

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Blog Tour: Cutie and the Beast (Cipher Office #3) by M.E. Carter

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Welcome back to Weight Expectations, where the unexpected is likely to happen.

Cutie and the Beast, an all-new roommates-to-lovers romantic comedy from M.E. Carter, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!

Welcome to the Cutie and the Beast Blog Tour stop. What an absolutely delightful story from the lovely M.E. Carter! I so enjoyed reading about Abel, Elliott and their girls finding a happy ending together. Make sure you read my review below and check out not only the other goodies in this post, but go check out other SmartyPants Romance releases available now! Happy reading. ~ Amber

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Living with her mother seemed like a good idea at the time. But Elliott Donovan’s living arrangements are not working for her anymore. Desperate to get back on her financial feet after a divorce and out from under her mother’s thumb, Elliott takes a job in the child care center at Weight Expectations, a local gym.

It has everything she needs – family friendly hours, more pay than she expected, and a super cute trainer who just happens to have part of his house for rent.

Abel DiSoto was living the good life until his wife walked out taking half of the family income with her. The blow to his ego was bad enough, but after a fire at the gym scattered Abel’s clients, and consequently his commissions, he’s stuck figuring out how to make ends meet, too. Renting out the master suite of his house to his new co-worker seems like an easy solution. They’re both mature adults, they both have eight-year-old daughters, and their work schedules coordinate so they can lend each other a helping hand to ease the burden of single parenthood.

The only downside? Living like a blended family when you’re not actually a family can present some challenges.

Welcome back to Weight Expectations, where the unexpected is likely to happen.

‘Cutie and the Beast’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book #3 in the Cipher Office series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy TODAY or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2RnGgqQ

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2tt0Az5

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/38oFcda

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2NI0xqc

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2NLdj76

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amber-review 4.75 Stars

A truly lovely story from start to finish! Cutie and the Beast had heart, humor and just the right balance of realism to help you connect with the characters. Abel and Elliott go from strangers to roommates to friends and then lovers, all while balancing single parenthood. The pacing of this story was so spot on and not rushed. While there might have been an insta comfort between the pair, I liked that their connection was more organic. Both are dealing with daughters that are high energy, but thankfully Ainsley and Mabel are quickly bffs in every way. The conflicts the couple encounter were believable, and the way Abel and Elliott worked through things to find their HEA was as well. M.E. Carter knows how to craft a total feel good read!

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Excerpt

In my haste to not be late, I barrel right into a woman coming through the front door.

Grabbing her arms to steady her from falling, I apologize profusely. “I’m sorry! I didn’t see you. Are you all right?”

Smiling tightly, the blonde isn’t thrilled a random stranger practically ran her over. But she’s polite anyway. “I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure? You aren’t hurt?” I don’t think she is, but sometimes I don’t know my own strength.

This time her smile is a little more genuine. “I’m sure. You sure are in a rush.”

Letting go of her arms, I feel like she needs an explanation other than me racing around like an idiot. “I’m the one parent who has a tendency to be late for school pickup. The lady at the front desk gives me a nasty evil glare if she has to call me.”

This woman, whose name I still haven’t bothered to ask, laughs and I’m struck by how cute she is. She’s definitely a few years older than I am, but not by much. There’s nothing about her that necessarily stands out in a crowd, but her smile is genuine. This is a woman who likes to laugh and have fun. I always gravitate toward those people, which gives me a fleeting thought: I should have noticed my ex-wife hardly ever smiled for real. Laughing was even rarer unless it was at someone else’s expense. Those should have been easy indicators she wasn’t the one for me.

“Parker Elementary?” the blonde asks.

“Yeah.” I give her a quizzical look. “How did you know?”

“Do not mess with Ms. Alexander’s routine. She will cut a bitch.”

My laugh comes easily, and I find myself hoping this woman is a new member. She’s funny. I love it when clients have a sense of humor. Offering her my hand, I introduce myself. “I’m Abel. Trainer here at Weight Expectations and father of Mabel in second grade.”

She places her cold hand in mine. “Elliott. Interviewee for the childcare position and mother of Ainsley, also in second grade.”

“Ah! Well it’s nice to meet you. Fingers crossed I’ll see you here later as a fellow employee. And if not here, at Parker Elementary as a fellow parent. Hopefully not in Ms. Alexander’s line of sight.”

Elliott holds up her gloved hands and crosses her fingers around each other. “Wish me luck. Now run fast.”

About M.E. Carter

My name is M.E. Carter and I have no idea how I ended up writing books. I’m more of a story teller (the more exaggerated the better) and I happen to know people who helped me get those stories on paper. I love reading (read almost 200 books last year), hate working out (but I do it anyway because my trainer makes me), love food (but hate what it does to my butt) and love traveling to non-touristy places most people never see. I live in Houston with my four kids, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who was just a twinkle in my eye when I came up with my pen name. Yeah, I’ll probably have to pay for his therapy someday for being left out.

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New Release: Batter of Wits (Donner Bakery #5) by Karla Sorensen

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“Heartfelt, hilarious, with a dash of angst…Karla Sorensen shines with the perfect feel-good read!” –Author Catherine Cowles

Batter of Wits, an all-new funny and heartwarming romance from Karla Sorensen, is LIVE!

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Hate at first sight couldn’t possibly exist, right?

That’s what Grace Buchanan thought, before her useless car stranded her on the side of a deserted road just inside the Green Valley city limits.

When Tucker Haywood—tall and handsome and full of southern charm— shows up to help, her reaction to him is the strongest thing she’s ever felt in her life, and it makes no freaking sense.

It doesn’t make much sense to Tucker either. Not why she hates him, or why he finds her so intriguing. He knows well enough that Grace is moving to Green Valley for a fresh start, not to distract him when he’s got no room for something like her in his life.

The complications between them are endless, but that doesn’t stop her definitely not love-at-first-sight feelings from changing into something else entirely.

Grace and Tucker are about to learn the hard way that in Green Valley, hating someone has never tasted so sweet.

‘Batter of Wits’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #5 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy TODAY!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/30wAA1J

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2NDSL0j

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/37cWWrV

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2vab3Qz

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/3ajscat

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2RDMZge

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2G2H1As

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2ueXOh5

Coming to Kindle Unlimited on April 27th!

About Karla Sorensen

Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.

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Beef Cake (Donner Bakery #4) by Jiffy Kate

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Reading and loving a new trip to Green Valley!! Review to come soon! Love these SmartyPants Romance books, because the Penny-verse keeps getting more and more entertaining!

Check it out! ~ Amber


I was all in with this slow burn romance that had me laughing and swooning from cover to cover” –Author Andrea Johnston

Beef Cake, an all-new small town contemporary romance from Jiffy Kate, is LIVE!

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If opposites do actually attract, then Gunnar Erickson and Frankie Reeves take the cake.

Frankie Reeves is complicated, even though she won’t admit it. She fills her days working as an ER nurse, taking care of her mom, and searching for the father she never knew. Anything else has no place in her perfectly compartmentalized, purposefully simple life. Attachments? No thank you. She has no time for that.

Gunnar Erickson recently moved to Green Valley to train at Viking MMA with his brother Cage. Being the youngest of the Erickson clan, he’s always felt like he has something to prove, and now that he’s finished with college, it’s his time to shine. But before he can step into the ring, a freak accident sends him to the ER and into the care of one Frankie Reeves.

While he’s immediately smitten, she pretends to be unfazed by this six-foot-three, two hundred and thirty-pound beef cake. Gunnar sets out to prove to Frankie that, not only does she like him more than she wants to admit, but he’s not the uneducated, brute she assumes he is. To Frankie, he’s the worst kind of complication, but that doesn’t make it easy to stay away.

‘Beef Cake’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #4 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy TODAY!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/38ipiAU

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/364MzVJ

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/30tZjUD

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2FX2D15

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About Jiffy Kate

Jiffy Kate is the joint pen name for Jiff Simpson and Jenny Kate Altman. They’re co-writing besties who share a brain. They also share a love of cute boys, stiff drinks, and fun times.

Together, they’ve written over twenty stories. Their first published book, Finding Focus, was released in November 2015. Since then, they’ve continued to write what they know–southern settings full of swoony heroes and strong heroines.

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New Releases to Explore from SmartyPants Romance

New!! New!!

SmartyPants Romance is bringing us so many fabulous new stories in the Penny Reid Universe. Here are two that came out last week that y’all should take a look at. Both are from the Green Valley Library Series. I’m currently reading Crime and Periodicals and am loving it!! Prose Before Bros will be my next read. So go check out the blurbs, and they are both now in Kindle Unlimited!

Happy reading. ~ Amber

 

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Crime and Periodicals, an all-new heart-felt single dad romance from Nora Everly, is available now!

 

In Green Valley, Tennessee everybody knows everybody, but nobody knows Sabrina Logan.

Sabrina has been hiding in plain sight for years. Living her life inside of books, dutifully helping her family, and hoping no one will notice her. So far? Mission accomplished!

Yet when sexy—and distrustful—sheriff, Wyatt Monroe returns to town with his daughters, he definitely notices the quiet librarian everyone else overlooks. The single dad can’t seem to shake thoughts of shy Sabrina. Without quite understanding the impulse, Wyatt makes his mission finding her again, so he can . . . well, he’ll just have to reckon with that later.

What Wyatt discovers is a woman who trusts too easily, but who’s afraid to live. Trust doesn’t come easily to Wyatt. But living? That’s never been a problem.

And he’d sure like to show her how.

‘Crime and Periodicals’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#2 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Download your copy today!

Amazon:https://amzn.to/2qfsNrc

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/CrimePeriodicals

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2kxGGhZ

 

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“Fans of swoony love stories with strong female leads putting alpha males in their place will adore this book!”- Katie Ashley, New York Times bestselling author

 

Prose Before Bros, an all-new opposites attract romance from Cathy Yardley, is available now!

 

Nothing about being a librarian prepared Thuy Nguyen for such a wide variety of casseroles. Or life in a small town. Or becoming a farmer.

But what can she do when her catastrophe-prone best friend begs her for help? After all, Maddy has always been there for Thuy. It’s time to return the favor.

It’s simple really, all she has to do is: learn everything about farming ASAP, save her BBF’s family business from disaster, and avoid being caught staring at Maddy’s biker brother, and his muscles, and his smile, and his soulful, sexy eyes.

Oh yeah, and she should definitely not fall in love with him.

Easy, right? . . . Right.

‘Prose Before Bros’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#3 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Download copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon:https://amzn.to/2JMpFd9

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Prosebefore

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2m2K8S8

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2m3pzFj

About Nora Everly

Nora Everly is a lifelong bookworm. She started reading the good stuff once she grew tall enough to sneak the romance novels off the top of her mother’s bookshelf and it has been non-stop ever since.

Once upon a time she was a substitute teacher and an educational assistant. Now she’s a writer and stay at home mom to two small humans and one fat cat.

Nora lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and her overactive imagination.

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Website: https://www.noraeverly.com/

 

About Cathy Yardley

Cathy Yardley is an award-winning author of romance, chick lit, and urban fantasy, who has sold over 1.2 million copies worldwide. She writes fun, geeky, and diverse characters who believe that underdogs can make good and sometimes being a little wrong is just right. She spends her time writing in the wilds of East Seattle, riding herd on her two dogs, one son, and one husband.

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Website: http://cathyyardley.com/

 

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Review: Stud Muffin (Donner Bakery #2) by Jiffy Kate

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I’m telling y’all that these SmartyPants Romance releases are some of the most fun I’ve had reading books this fall! Today I’m sharing my review of Stud Muffin by the dynamic writing duo known as Jiffy Kate. I’ve met these ladies at a signing, but this was my first time reading them; and they truly knocked my socks off! I loved Tempest so MUCH and Cage was just as fantastic!! So check out my review, keep scrolling for an excerpt of awesomeness, and then go look for more of these gems set in the Penny Reid universe. You’ll thank me I’m sure! Happy reading. ~ Amber 

It’s hard to get revenge without getting a rap sheet.

Stud Muffin, an all-new friends-to-lovers standalone romance from Jiffy Kate, is available now!

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After Tempest Cassidy walks in on her husband banging her high school nemesis, her whole world gets turned upside down. She goes from being known as the Duchess of Muffins to the town crazy. Her new MO: revenge. Eventually, Tempest grows weary being arrested. Yet what choice does she have? If she’s not angry, then she’s simply . . . sad.

Just as she decides to get her life back on track, in walks Cage Erickson, the new bouncer at the local strip club. He’s scary-handsome and the polar opposite of her ex. She’s attracted to him, but she’s not looking for a rebound. He’s attracted to her, but he’s not looking for a serious relationship. So, they agree to be friends.

But when lines get blurred in the friend zone, will they both get burned? Or will it be a TKO?

‘Stud Muffin’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#2 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35TdNQh

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amber review 5 Stars of Awesome

This was my first read from Jiffy Kate and I loved every word!! Another home run story from Smartypants Romance for me. I absolutely loved Tempest and her fire! From the start and she loses her cool on her douche of a husband, to landing in jail for driving said douche’s truck into Miller’s Pond. She was kinda my hero! I cheered for her and cried with her. And then Cage walks into her life. Oh this man!! He is trying to find a new purpose and identity after an injury when he meets Tempest. I really felt that they both helped the other find their way, falling along the way. So many things to love in this Green Valley story. So, so very much. 

Excerpt

As Mindy gets closer, she begins rubbing her hand over her belly, ensuring I know she’s with spawn, I mean, child. How far along is she anyway? The picnic wasn’t that long ago and she didn’t look pregnant then, did she? Maybe she did, but I was too shocked by the ring on her finger to notice? My mother would’ve said something to me when she broke the news about Mindy and Asher being married, so she must not have noticed either.

Maybe she just carries big… and early. Maybe she’s pregnant with multiples. That would be rich—I can’t even get pregnant with one, but Mindy Mitchell, husband stealer extraordinaire, can have my husband and all the babies.

All I know is that I have to stop gawking because Mindy is enjoying this way too much.

“Hey, Tempest. Soup for one, I presume?” Her smile is wide and condescending as she glances at the contents of my shopping cart.

Bitch.

“You know, I’ve been so busy lately that canned soup is all I have time for some nights. It’s not always the healthiest option, with all that sodium, but I’m fortunate to not retain water, like you obviously do.”

Really, Tempest? Is that the best put-down you can think of?

“I’m not bloated, silly.” She laughs, swatting the air in front of her face. “I’m pregnant! Of course, I don’t expect you to notice the difference.”

It’s illegal to hit a pregnant lady, Tempest.

She’s not worth the jail time.

Deep, cleansing breaths.

You don’t look good in orange.

“How far along are you?” I ask, willing myself to stay calm. “Elephants are pregnant, for what, two years?” I know I’m being immature, but I’m using my words and not my fists, so I’m calling it a win.

“Gah, you’re such a bitch. No wonder Asher wanted to leave you. At least I was able to give him what he wanted,” she brags, rubbing her belly even faster than before.

Maybe if she rubs a little more, a fucking genie will pop out, and I can at least get three wishes out of this deal. Wish one: Asher and Mindy disappear off the face of the planet.

“And,” she continues, “because I know it’s driving you crazy, I’ll let you in on the secret. I’m in my third trimester.” She smiles and squeals, like we’re BFFs and she just told me the best news. “Just a couple more months to go and this precious bundle of joy will be in the world… Asher is going to be such a great daddy.”

The blood drains from my face as I do the math in my head. Asher and I have been divorced for almost two months. I found them in bed together three months before that. Two plus three does not equal the amount of months it takes to be in the third trimester. I know my pregnancy facts.

Mindy just answered one of my many burning questions: that sack of shit was cheating on me months before I busted him.

And now, he’s having a baby with someone else.

Honestly, I don’t know how to feel right now… numb, blind-sided, furious, hurt?

All I know is I’m trying my damnedest not to lose my shit.

Deep breaths.

“Believe me,” Mindy says, breaking through the haze I’m in. “I tried and tried to get Asher to leave you before you found out about us on your own, but he didn’t listen.” She sighs, like she’s disappointed for me… like she’s on my side and she was trying to do me a favor. “Oh, well, life goes on, right?”

We enter into a bit of a staring competition for a brief moment, her bright, smiling eyes against my crazy, sadistic glare. I feel the crazy oozing out of me. When she finally starts to back her buggy up to make a U-turn in the aisle, she has the audacity to smile… and wink at me.

She’s the incarnation of Satan.

Asher and Mindy aren’t going to have a bouncing bundle of joy, they’re going to have a devil love child. I should alert the media. This has a horror movie written all over it.

“See you around, Tempest,” she says over her shoulder, before stopping and turning. “Oh, I guess I’ll see you at the reunion, if not before… and you’re bringing a date, right?”

Deep breaths, Tempest.

I don’t answer her with words, only with my glare, hoping it burns a hole in her skull.

You can do this.

Don’t let that cow win.

After she makes a turn onto another aisle, I take a few more deep breaths, willing my nerves to calm, and when that doesn’t work, I close my eyes and try harder. With my hands on my knees, I suck in air like it’s going extinct. My breathing becomes routine and I automatically start swaying my body in preparation for the Tai Chi moves that come next.

Cage has been teaching me a little bit of Tai Chi to further help channel my anger and anxiety and I have to admit, I love it. Completely forgetting where I am, I begin to perform my favorite combination of steps. If people see me, I don’t care. I’d rather them talk about me doing Tai Chi in the canned goods aisle than losing my shit at the Piggly Wiggly.

I’m finally feeling relaxed and in control of my emotions, so to celebrate my victory, I decide to throw a few punches into the air, similar to what Rocky Balboa did after running up all those stairs in the movie.

I am Tempest Cassidy, master of my emotions.

Thoroughly enjoying myself, I decide to end my impromptu workout with a killer roundhouse kick… right into a tower of Pork N Beans.

At first, it’s only a few cans. I lurch out, containing them in a lunge, looking around to see who might’ve witnessed my performance. Only a lady down at the other end of the aisle seems to be in the know. I breathe out a sigh of relief, feeling uncharacteristically lucky as I try to balance the cans and myself.

Just as I decide it’s safe to stand up, I lose my balance and the cans in my hands take a tumble… and then the entire end cap begins to fall.

Cans.

Cans of Pork N Beans are rolling everywhere.

When everything finally comes to a rest, I’m sprawled out on the glossy tile of the Piggly Wiggly in aisle six, using my body as a dam to stop them from getting too far. I’m afraid to move… afraid to breathe…

About Jiffy Kate

Jiffy Kate is the joint pen name for Jiff Simpson and Jenny Kate Altman. They’re co-writing besties who share a brain. They also share a love of cute boys, stiff drinks, and fun times.

Together, they’ve written over twenty stories. Their first published book, Finding Focus, was released in November 2015. Since then, they’ve continued to write what they know–southern settings full of swoony heroes and strong heroines.

Connect with Jiffy Kate

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kkDmqx

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Website: http://www.jiffykate.com/

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Blog Tour: Love in Due Time (Green Valley Library #1) by L.B. Dunbar

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Happy Monday and welcome to The Geekery Book Review’s Blog Tour stop for Love in Due Time! I simply loved this pair. L.B. Dunbar is for me the queen of grown up romance. She also does a sexy silver fox better than just about anyone out there in my opinion. Check out my review below and an EXCERPT!

If you haven’t 1-clicked this one yet get on it because you need to know Naomi and Nathan! Plus part of this story takes place on Halloween, so what a great week to read!!

Enjoy and Happy Reading! ~ Amber

Love in Due Time, an all-new second chance romantic comedy from L.B. Dunbar is available now!

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Naomi Winters will be forty—soon-ish—and she’s only been with one man. One night. One time. Long ago. She believes everything happens for a reason, and the universe spoke about Nathan Ryder.

Nathan Ryder isn’t the same man who hightailed his bike out of Green Valley eighteen years ago. As a rule breaker, women are one area he acts a fool. Case in point…the local librarian. He can’t get a read on her, but she’s one risk he’s willing to take. Again.

What do an eccentric librarian and a sexy silver biker have in common? More than you think.

The due date on their love might not be expired after all.

‘Love in Due Time’ is a full-length, contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Green Valley Library series.

Copy of GVL01-LIVE

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2kwBn29

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2m24uuN

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/LoveinDueTime

Nook: http://bit.ly/2kv2FpK

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2kx2n1t

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amber review  4.75 Stars

First off, is don’t let anyone ever say hot things don’t happen in libraries because they haven’t met Naomi and Nathan. I swear from the first awkward meeting these two have the sparks were poppin! L.B Dunbar did such a great job writing a nicely complex and layered story between the shy librarian and the blast from her past, single dad silver fox. Secondly, this is not your average romantic comedy because there was so many things happening that brought all the emotions. Naomi is so shy and withdrawn at times, but she still has this inner strength. The flirting between she and Nathan was so sweet, but then so steam inducing with eighteen years of pent up longing. I loved the flashbacks that you see from both of them, which I thought really brought a fullness to the story. The suspenseful elements were a bit of a surprise, but again brought so much to the story that I didn’t see coming but made it even more than I hoped. Throw in Nathan’s polar opposite children, Naomi’s sister and her drama (hello L.B. I think I need this story), and two people who never forgot the connection that changed so much. This story had it all!! I don’t wanna give anything away, so I’ll just say I laughed and cried and sighed and maybe shed a tear or two. Just read it.

 

Excerpt

“Naomi?” My hands cover her shoulders, holding her steady.

“This is all my fault.” Her eyes widen, the widest I’ve ever seen. Panic fills them.

“What do you mean?”

“I … I can’t believe this happened again.” Her hands come to my chest, and she gently pushes at me. “You have to get out of here.”

“What?” My brows pinch at the harsh tone.

“You need to go. I can’t be near you.” Her voice struggles to stay level.

Ouch. That stings a little.

“Why?” I take one step back under the force of her hands.

“I can’t be around you. This can’t happen.”

“Lady, what are you talking about?” My voice roughens.

“Bad things always happen after I’m with you.”

I stiffen, straightening to my full height. My arms cross and I glare down at her. Saying such a thing is just downright mean. Her head shakes as her fingers curl along the open edges of my work jacket. Suddenly, I feel like she’s tugging me to her instead of pressing me away.

What the …

“When I’m with you, something happens. Something bad.” Her breath catches. “Because we kissed, the library is closing.”

I stare at her. She can’t be serious, but I see the hysteria in her eyes, like a rabid, trapped animal. She actually believes what she says.

“Well, we didn’t kiss,” I remind her, my tone stern and condescending. “I kissed you, remember? And you didn’t kiss me back, so I don’t think it counts.”

She glares up at me, her fingers still gripping my open jacket. Her shoulders fall, her head lowers, and it’s as if I can visibly see her relax, like water cascading down a building, washing over her.

Exhale. Settle.

Exhale. Calm.

“I didn’t kiss you back?” she questions and then her head pops up again. She nearly shrieks with the hesitant realization. Commence inhaling, like she’s winding up again. Full steam ahead.

“I didn’t kiss you back,” she repeats, her excitement growing. Another exaggerated inhale.

“I didn’t kiss you back!” Now, she’s just downright gloating, and the engine’s ready to blow.

“You don’t have to sound so pleased,” I murmur. I glance up and notice Mrs. MacIntyre watching us through the window of the librarian’s office behind the check-out counter. Her eyes narrow and I’m certain we’re making too much noise for her liking.

“I … I’m so relieved,” Naomi admits, her head falling forward, her fingers loosening on my jacket. Then her face turns up again. Her lids lift, slow and lazy. Her mouth curls in sweet relief, and she pulls herself up on her toes by the open edge of my jacket and does the damnedest thing. She kisses me.

 

 

About L.B. Dunbar

L.B. Dunbar loves the sweeter things in life: cookies, Coca-Cola, and romance. Her reading journey began with a deep love of fairy tales, medieval knights, Regency debauchery, and alpha males. She loves a deep belly laugh and a strong hug. Occasionally, she has the energy of a Jack Russell terrier. Accused—yes, that’s the correct word—of having an overactive imagination, to her benefit, such an imagination works well. Author of over two dozen novels, she’s created sweet, small town worlds; rock star mayhem; MMA chaos; sexy rom-coms for the over 40; and intrigue on an island of redemption. In addition, she is earning a title as the “myth and legend lady” for her modernizations of mythology as elda lore. Her other duties in life include mother to four children and wife to the one and only.

Connect with L.B. Dunbar

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kkGqTy

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Amazon: https://amzn.to/2kvIEiS

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Website: https://www.lbdunbar.com/

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Blog Tour: Sticking To The Script (Cipher Office #2) by Stella Weaver

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Welcome to the Blog Tour stop for Sticking to the Script here on The Geekery Book Review!

I really enjoyed this second in the Cipher Office series! Check out my review and an excerpt. Trust me Steven and Ken are worth the read. Check them out in KU now!

Happy reading! ~ Amber

Sticking to the Script, an all-new standalone in the romantic comedy Cipher Office series, from Stella Weaver is available now!

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Steven Thompson had a bad year. A string of mean, kinky (the alarming kind, not the good kind), and crazy dating debacles combined with a boss who appears to be experiencing male-prenatal-psychosis means Steven’s stress levels are high. They’re so high, he’s decided to quit dating and focus instead solely on his job.

Until he meets Dr. Ken Miles.

Doctor Ken Miles is having a fantastic year. His hard work is paying off in a big way . . . professionally. But his social life? Not so much.

Until he meets Steven Thompson.

Steven isn’t so sure about Dr. Miles, but Ken is one hundred percent certain about Mr. Thompson. And even though both men know full well that the key to getting what you want out of life is hard work, they can’t seem to make them—together—work.

Will they ever get on the same page? Or just keep sticking to the same old script?

‘Sticking to the Script’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#2 in the Cipher Office series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Copy of CO02-LIVE

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35BGZLv

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/StickingtotheScript

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2lAVqg6

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2k11L3Z

 

amber review 4.5 Stars

I was so happy to get Steven’s story. His quick wit has been a favorite since I first met him in Neanderthal Seeks Human. Little did I know all the layers and struggles that were lurking beyond his perfectly coifed self. He and Dr. Ken Miles make a surprising and oh so good pairing. Loved the banter and the insecurities both have. It was oh so much fun watching them figure their stuff out, fight it out and try to get an happily ever after. From the start these two had a push pull that you couldn’t ignore. From starting what Steven thought would be a friendship to navigating a new relationship, this pair gave hot and awkward a run for its money! Throw in a crazy stalker-ish guy from Steven’s past, and this one kept me on my toes turning pages! I also loved all the appearances from the Knitting in the City favorites I’ve grown to love. I can’t believe that this was Stella Weaver’s debut novel, because it was soooo well written!! While the characters of Steven and Dr. Ken Miles were created and introduced in earlier Penny Reid penned books, Stella did a wonderful job sussing out more of who they are and how they fit together. I continue to be impressed by the releases from SmartyPants Romance, both the stories told and the authors writing them.  

 

Excerpt

“He asked you to a movie?” She blinked, nonplussed.

 

“Who are we talking about?” Nico asked, leaning around Elizabeth to look at me. His green eyes held a mischievous twinkle, no doubt eager to hear a new chapter of farce and lunacy in Steven’s Big Book of Dating Disasters.

 

“Ken Miles,” I replied.

 

Nico’s twinkle and dimple disappeared. Whether Elizabeth disliked Ken or not, I was sure Nico loathed the man. I couldn’t blame him; it was his prerogative to hate men who used to lust after his wife. He arched one raven eyebrow and asked, “How’d that come about?”

 

“Yeah,” Elizabeth said. “How, Steven?” Her tone was curious, but I thought I detected a little tinge of disapproval that I didn’t like.

 

Not wanting to make an issue of anything, I replied with an easy nonchalance. “I ran into him at Buzzy’s. We started talking about Mystery Science Theater 3000—”

 

“That show’s a riot,” Nico asserted, reaching for his fritter. “The reboot is pretty good, too.”

 

“That’s what I told DKM.” I took Nico’s lead and grabbed my own heavenly pastry.

“Then, when he found out the movie was playing at the Music Box,” he asked me if I wanted to see it. So, we went.” I shrugged.

 

“There’s a movie?” Nico asked. “How did I not know this?”

 

I mumbled around my fritter bite, “You’re not missing much.”

 

“Stinker, eh?”

 

“Little bit.” I shrugged again. That had been two, overly casual shrugs in just a few seconds and I worried I was playing it too cool. Elizabeth’s powers of observation surpassed my own. If I wasn’t careful, she’d have me giving her every last detail of the evening.

 

“So,” she broke in. “Are you thinking this might have been like, you know, a date?” Her brows were drawn together in concern, her words tentative.

 

I tilted my head in stern exasperation. “Puh-leeze. The man didn’t know who McSteamy was. I got the memo that he’s straight.”

 

“Who’s McSteamy?” Nico asked.

 

I pursed my lips together, raised my eyebrows and gestured to Nico. “I rest my case.”

Elizabeth laughed. “I’m sorry, I just didn’t want you getting the wrong idea or anything. He’s”—she looked at her husband in apology—“he’s very good-looking, and I could see how asking you to a movie could get your hopes up.”

 

“Nah,” I waved dismissively. “I know what’s up. But I think we could hang out,” I volunteered without thinking. I instantly regretted my slip.

 

“Good luck with that,” Nico said with a laugh.

 

“We had a good time. He’s kind of funny,” I defended.

 

“Not possible,” he declared. Nico was a comedian, and a very successful one at that. He knew what was funny and wasn’t about to give the odious Dr. Miles any benefit of the doubt where humor was concerned.

 

Inexplicable annoyance spurred me to continue. “I think I might make hanging out with him a regular thing.”

 

“I don’t think a stiff like that knows how to have fun.”

 

Elizabeth grimaced at her husband’s uncharacteristic snark, then issued me a sympathetic smile. “Well, it will be good for Dr. Ken Miles. He’s not the most colorful person in the city, that’s for sure. Maybe you’ll broaden his horizons.”

 

 

About Stella Weaver

Stella Weaver is a reader, writer, sloppy crafter and family-woman. She’s a native of coastal northern California who now lives on the Texas Gulf coast. She’s won the much coveted #1 Mom of the Year Award and has the coffee mug to prove it.

Connect with Stella Weaver

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2kkyQs5

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Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lAVRXM

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Website: https://stellarweavings.blogspot.com/

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Blog Tour: Weight Expectations (Cipher Office #1) by M.E. Carter

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Eek!! Life got away from me today, but I’m still so excited about our Blog Tour stop for Weight Expectations by M.E. Carter! So it’s a late night stop, but trust me any time is a good time for Rain & Carlos! I loved this story!! So, so much! Everyone run out and grab this one on Amazon, and if you are in KU it’s included now!!

Check out my review below. And make sure you stop by tomorrow for our stops for 2 more SmartyPants Romance releases I whole-heartedly recommend! Happy Reading all. ~ Amber

Hilarious, engaging and relatable, I started laughing out loud from the first page” — Kristin Vayden, bestselling author

Weight Expectations, the first in the romantic comedy Cipher Office series of standalones, from M.E. Carter is available now!

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Rian Thompson thought she joined the gym to get healthy. Little did she know she was about to add hundred and ninety pounds of swoonworthy abdominal muscles and arrogance to her life.

Every day in Rians’s life follows a predictable pattern, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s got a nice job, a nice place to live, and a nice family—even if they are a little wedding-zilla-ish at the moment.

She doesn’t need anything spectacular to be happy. She just needs to get healthy—mentally, physically. . . and maybe spiritually if that happens. But she’ll settle for two out of three until her sister finally gets hitched.

Carlos Davies thought his life was perfect. Little did he know it was about to be turned upside down by a woman who is not his type.

In Carlos’s mind, his life is damn near perfect. He’s got a great job, a great place to live, and a great stash of pick up lines that always work. It has occurred to him that maybe no one actually takes him all that seriously. But with these bulging biceps and thick, dark hair, does that even matter since he’s never sleeping alone?

Welcome to Weight Expectations, where great—and unexpected—things happen.

‘Weight Expectations’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Cipher Office series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2nQ4Rtx

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/WeightExpectations

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2lZkGwJ

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2k6uftk

amber review 5 Stars!!

So super cute!! I can tell I’m gonna love these books in the SmartyPants World so much!! This one was a slow burn of a read with two totally opposite people. Rian is so funny as she forces herself to go to the gym and ends up with a trainer. Her banter with Abel the trainer was fantastic btw! She’s trying to prepare for her bridezilla sister’s wedding, so she’s trying to “get healthy” basically to appease her ridiculous sister. Rian is smart, witty and good to everyone she cares about (sometimes too good). Carlos is a clean eating, workout devotee, who’s a bit of a manwhore. These two should have nothing in common. Right?

Except, ever since their first accidental encounter Carlos has been intrigued by Rian. Rian was a bit turned off by him. But when Carlos finds that she could be the perfect
candidate to fill a must-fill now position they become co-workers and reluctant friends. Too bad Carlos has it bad and Rian is trying not to lose her mind trying to figure him out.

I loved both of their insecurities. I loved how Carlos takes a chance and is so patient with Rian. He got her. She gets him. These two together made my heart happy.

About M.E. Carter

My name is ME Carter and I have no idea how I ended writing books. I’m more of a story teller (the more exaggerated the better) and I happen to know people who helped me get those stories on paper. I love reading (read almost 200 books last year), hate working out (but I do it anyway because my trainer makes me), love food (but hate what it does to my butt) and love traveling to non-touristy places most people never see. I live in Houston with my four kids, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who was just a twinkle in my eye when I came up with my pen name. Yeah, I’ll probably have to pay for his therapy someday for being left out.

Connect with M.E. Carter

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2ly7Fu3

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2lzBqdQ

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Website: https://www.authormecarter.com/

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Blog Tour Stop: Happy Trail (Park Ranger #1) by Daisy Prescott

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Welcome to The Geekery Book Review’s stop on the Happy Trail Blog Tour!! 

I absolutely adored this story! I hope that you will enjoy my review and thoughts on Olive and Jay. There is also an excerpt in this post, so you can get a taste of this pairing.

Happy Trail is launching a new series set in the Smokey Mountain National Forrest Park, but it also is part of SmartyPants Romance . If you haven’t been paying attention, SmartyPants is the brain-child of Penny Reid and all the books take place in her worlds. Being as I’ve finally delved into and discovered the geeky awesomeness that is Penny Reid, I’m in heaven!! So I hope that you all will take a journey into the Penny-verse as well.

Happy reading all! ~ Amber

“Happy Trail was a feel good, funny and heartwarming adventure with the usual Daisy Prescott charm..”– T. Gephart, USA Today bestselling author

Happy Trail, an all-new opposites attract standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author Daisy Prescott, is available now!

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A man of few words, Ranger Jay Daniels values the calm, quiet solitude of the Great Smoky Mountains. Never quite fitting in with either side of his family, he prefers the company of birds and trees to people.

Yeah, he’d most definitely prefer a bird—any bird, any bird at all, take a vulture for instance—to the human-tornado hybrid that just blew onto his peaceful stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

The path of true love never has run smooth for Olive Perry. After getting dumped and promptly abandoned in the middle of her multi-month hike, Olive swears off men. Determined to finish the long trek by herself, she doesn’t need a prince—or broody and taciturn ranger—to save her.

Yet, when an early snowstorm threatens the mountains, and Ranger Daniels is charged with getting hikers to safety, that includes hot-tempered Olive Perry. Snowed in and forced to share an abandoned cabin, can Olive’s heated intensity melt Jay’s cool reserve?

And if so, will this happy trail lead to true love? Or will their time together be just another bump in the road?

‘Happy Trail’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Park Ranger series.

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Download today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2jXmYvE

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2lB3BJv

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/HappyTrail

Nook: http://bit.ly/2m0VeXN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2lEAwww

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2jXnfPc

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2ku05Al

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2kwOTmm

amber review  5 Stars

What a fantastic journey to a happy ever after! I knew when I heard that Daisy was going to write in the Penny Reid world that it would be better than good. This story was everything I’d hoped for and didn’t know I needed!

There was something about Olive that spoke to me. She’s kinda trapped in her too perfect world of expectations, always pushing the boundaries of sorts but always somehow ending up with egg on her face. When she sets off on this hiking expedition on the Appalachian Trail with her latest boyfriend, Olive had no idea how she would find herself. Not only did she find an inner strength she never realized, she also found one hot, broody park ranger.

Ohh how I adore Ranger Jay!! He’s so guarded and closed off, but observant. Maybe that’s why he’s such a good ranger and maybe that’s why he specializes in birds. Then again it could be all the layers that Jay grapples with that is why he keeps himself hidden. I absolutely loved when we get more of who Jay is, seeing his family and learning his history.

Oh but Olive sees him, and Jay sees Olive. They see possibility in the other. Happy Trail was a beautiful slow burn, opposites attract story that I didn’t want to end! I loved all the details about hiking the AT, and birds and the appearances of Winston’s (esp Cletus!) and Daisy’s Nut House and the jam session. So much love and happiness in one story!!

 

Excerpt

“Can we drop the pretense of not being trapped on the wrong side of the fence with whatever bloodthirsty beast is making such a sound?” I squint into the distance, hoping narrowing my eyes will give me super strength vision.

It doesn’t. I step behind Ranger Daniels for protection.

“What are you doing?” He twists his neck to look down at me.

“Hiding. I believe you took an oath to protect and serve.”

“Pfft. You’re confusing me with a police officer. I’m here to engage, educate, and empower.” He moves so he’s beside me.

“You carry a gun, don’t you?”

“Sometimes. Do you see a holster now?”

I scan his hips and shake my head, allowing my eyes to linger on the tight fit of his uniform pants over his strong thighs and the thick belt at his narrow waist. Ranger Daniels is packing heat, but not of the pistol variety.

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

A distinct braying reaches my ears.

“Is that a donkey?” I tip my head.

“What would a donkey be doing up here? Makes no sense.”

“Ask him. Or her.” I point at the gray beast moving toward us. “I’m a city girl, but I’m pretty sure that’s an ass.”

“Well, I’ll be damned.” Jay removes his hat.

Maybe he plans to shoo away our attacker with it?

The gray form ambles toward us, letting out a loud bray and revealing large teeth.

“Should we be worried?” I’m standing behind Jay again.

“About a donkey? They’re mostly docile. He’s probably just curious.” Shifting his attention forward, he addresses our new friend. “Hey there. Where’d you come from?”

The donkey halts.

“See? He’s fine. Probably thinks we’re bringing treats.”

“And what will he do when he realizes we’re showing up to his house empty-handed?” I’m half mocking. In my world, not bringing a hostess gift is an unthinkable breach of etiquette. I have no idea about the social decorum for equines.

“Let’s go.” Jay encourages me forward with a sweep of his hat.

We take several steps and the donkey does the same without breaking eye contact, like we’re about to duel. There’s definitely a challenge, a mild threat in the eyes of our new foe.

“Should we slowly retreat to the fence?” I whisper at Jay’s back.

“Nah, we’re fine.”

“Maybe he’s a guard donkey.” I slide a glance over my shoulder toward safety. We’re a dozen or so yards away, but it isn’t too late to make a quick escape.

Jay’s eyes meet mine. “You know guard donkeys aren’t a thing.”

“I’m a stranger in a strange land—anything’s possible.” I wait until he faces forward to stick my tongue out at him.

He’s shaking his head and clearly not paying attention to me anymore as he stomps across the squishy field.

Left with no choice, I follow after him.

My boot slips in the mud, or donkey poop—it’s impossible to tell the difference. I squawk and flail my arms as I tumble forward in an awkward motion resembling the mating dance of an emu.

The donkey’s ears prick up before flattening against his head.

“Uh oh,” I murmur as I straighten up.

“It’s fine,” Jay says for the dozenth time.

Only he’s wrong.

 

About Daisy Prescott

Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog, Mulder, and an imaginary house goat. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.

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