Saturday, June 29, 2019

New Release Review: HEARTACHE AND HOPE by Jay McLean



Heartache and Hope, the first book in Jay McLean’s Heartache Duet is available now!






HEARTACHE AND HOPE
by Jay McLean
Publication Date: June 28, 2019
Pages: 324
Source: Author | Purchased







About the book:

Ava Diaz needs saving.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
Just like she doesn’t know a thing about the boy she sits next to on the first day of senior year.
He thinks she’s a brat.
She thinks he’s entitled.
Maybe first impressions don’t always last…
Because Connor Ledger’s about to save her.
He just doesn’t know why.

My Thoughts

In her new novel HEARTACHE AND HOPE, Jay McLean makes it incredibly easy to get caught up in Connor and Ava's love story. They are complicated characters, each with their own history and struggles, who you only want good things to happen for them. They had my heart right away.

Just as the title suggests, there's a lot of heartache that both Ava and Connor experience in their daily lives. It's so ingrained in them that they can't ever really escape from it. We see glimpses of a reprieve, but it's always there looming. And they both feel the demands of their responsibilities which keeps them from sharing their love for each other completely.

The characters in HEARTACHE AND HOPE really make this book an unputdownable read. I freaking love Ava! She has this unimaginable strength after everything that she's been through. There's a vulnerability to her too. And the moments when she starting to open up to Connor - you get her lightness and you feel happy that she gets to be happy. The supporting characters: Rhys, Trevor, Corey, and Karen are interesting and complicated that I want to know their stories too. I just love the moments with Rhys and Connor and their smack talk, but their real talk too.

One of my favorite lines:


"It would be nice if I could help turn someone’s bad day into just a bad moment." - Ava

And this touched my heart:
“If you need proof that magic exists, I’m right here.
” - Connor

And this moment CRACKED me up:
“Trevor!” I screech. “Shut. Up!” Trevor laughs, his head thrown back as he opens the door of his truck. “Go easy on her,” he tells Connor. “She’s on her period. Apparently, it’s a heavy flow."

I die. Right there. On my driveway. Dead.


I died right along with Ava, LOL!

Since H&H is just the first part of a duet, I knew that I'd finish with many unanswered questions and the desire to know more. I don't mind stories that are unresolved or end with a cliff-hanger. I actually enjoy having the chance to speculate about what could be and imagine what's happening with the characters. Having said that, I'm extremely happy to know that we'll get more of Connor and Ava in part two of the duet, FIRST AND FOREVER. And soon too!

I loved this book for the characters, for their struggles, for their realities, and for all their hope. I definitely recommended HEARTACHE AND HOPE if you like contemporary romances and sports romances. An incredible read.




Download your copy today or Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!



$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
http://bit.ly/2Ypj25K



Read an Excerpt:


They look like fireflies. The way the water falls from the sky, illuminated only by the streetlamps. I stand in the middle of the road, barefoot and barely breathing, my arms out, face to the sky. 
I don’t know how I got here. 
When I climbed out of my window, the sun was just setting and now… now I’m surrounded by dark skies and false hope. 
[…]
I know I should go home. 
That I should face my fears and tackle them head-on. 
My mind travels the right roads at the right time to get me there, but my heart…
My heart takes me to Connor. 
Outside his bedroom window, mud seeps between my toes, and the frigid air creates goosebumps along my skin. I raise my fist and tap, tap, tap on the glass. 
A moment later, a light turns on. And then nothing. I tap again, my heart racing. The blind lifts and Connor appears, his eyes squinting. It’s clear he’d been asleep, or close to it. Hair a mess, he’s shirtless, the obvious beginnings of bruises mar parts of his torso, and I look down, shame filling every part of me. I bite down on my lip as he slides the window up. “Jesus Christ, Ava. What the hell are you doing?”
His warm palms meet my soaking wet elbows, and then his entire body is cocooning mine, lifting me off my feet and into his bedroom. My feet land on his soft carpet, and I look down at the mess I’ve made. “I’m dirty,” I tell him. 
Inside and out. 
Dirty, dazed and damaged. 


About Jay McLean
Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult and Young Adult romance, and skilled procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her three little boys, investing way too much time on True Crime Documentaries and binge-watching reality TV.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.


Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in her dream home where music is loud and laughter is louder.


For publishing rights (Foreign & Domestic) Film or television, please contact her agent Erica Spellman-Silverman, at Trident Media Group.


Connect with Jay:
Newsletter:  www.jaymcleanauthor.com


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cover Reveal: LIES by Kylie Scott

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LIES, a fast paced and sexy standalone filled with the perfect blend of heat and humor from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, is coming July 21st and we have the sexy cover!

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Betty Dawsey knows that breaking things off with Thom Lange is for the best. He’s nice, but boring, and their relationship has lost its spark. But steady and predictable Thom, suddenly doesn’t seem so steady and predictable when their condo explodes and she’s kidnapped by a couple of crazies claiming that Thom isn’t who he says he is.

Thom is having a hellish week. Not only is he hunting a double agent, but his fiancé dumped him, and thanks to his undercover life, she’s been kidnapped.

Turns out Thom is Operative Thom and he’s got more than a few secrets to share with Betty if he’s going to keep her alive. With both their lives on the line, their lackluster connection is suddenly replaced by an intense one. But in his line of work, feelings aren’t wanted or desired. Because feelings can be a lethal distraction.

Lies - PO.jpg

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/LiesKS
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/31cAz3h

Cover Designed by Hang Le
Photographer: Brian Kaminski
Model: Terry Dormer

About Kylie Scott

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

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Connect with Kylie Scott

Book+Main Bites: http://bit.ly/2ETz5RQ

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Blog Tour Excerpt: SAVE THE DATE by Monica Murphy

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Save the Date by Monica Murphy is out in the world! And you can read an excerpt of this new contemporary romance right now. Read the excerpt and then get a copy at any of the retailers linked below.

ENJOY!

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Save the Date, an all-new standalone contemporary romance in a new series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy.

Caroline Abbott loves her job—helping engaged couples pick out the perfect save the date cards and invitations for their dream wedding. Working at Noteworthy means she has to deal with the occasional bridezilla, but Caroline’s always up for the challenge.

Until one particular bridezilla walks into the stationery store who’s fiancé happens to be the boy Caroline shared her first kiss with. Alexander Wilder is all grown up now, helping run his family’s successful luxury hotel chain, and is somehow even better looking than she remembers.
When Caroline just happens to catch Alex’s fiancée half naked with another man well, of course she has to tell Alex. Of course, he breaks off his engagement.

And of course, the ex-bridezilla has gone completely bonkers.
At least Caroline has her friends to save her from crazy ex-fiancées. But she also has the sudden interest of…Alex? Caroline knows they share a connection, but is he on the rebound? Or after seeing her all these years later, does he really want something more?

SaveTheDate - AN .jpg

Download your copy today!

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

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Excerpt:

I head straight for the pickup counter, where I see my skinny vanilla latte waiting for me, my name written on the side of the cup in Stella’s familiar scrawl. Without hesitation I grab it, inhaling deeply before I take a sip. Just a tiny sip so I can savor it. I close my eyes for a second, maybe two, and when I open them, I find a guy standing there.
Watching me.
And he’s not just any guy. He’s cute. Wait, no. Not cute. He’s…hot. Dark hair. Blue eyes. Wearing a suit that fits him perfectly. I know just from looking at the fabric that it’s custom. Expensive.
He’s smiling at me. And I’m scowling at him in return because the caffeine hasn’t quite hit my bloodstream yet, so I’m not on top of my game.
“You looked like you were having a moment.” His voice is deep. Rich. His face…vaguely familiar?
I stand a little straighter. Take another sip of my coffee as I contemplate the man in front of me, because for some reason I still can’t come up with anything to say.
Listen, I always have something to say. But this guy. This gorgeous, well-dressed maybe-stranger, is leaving me a little…
Dumbstruck?
Huh.
“That moment you were just having. With your coffee,” he continues, gesturing at the cup I’m clutching in both of my hands, like it’s my baby. Which this morning—every morning—it is.
“She loves coffee,” Stella says from behind me.
Glancing over my shoulder, I give her a look, one that says shush.
“I can see that.” The amusement in his voice is obvious. He thinks it’s funny. The sacred moment I was having with my latte made him smile.
I wouldn’t mind coming up with other ways to make him smile.
Whoa. Where did that thought come from?
“What I want to know is, how did you get such special treatment?”
I blink at him like I’m an uncomprehending idiot. “Excuse me?”
“Well, I’ve been here for the last fifteen minutes. First, standing in line.” He gestures at the line of customers that trails out the door. “And now, waiting for my order.”
Guilt fills me. Just a tiny bit. Sweet Dreams Café is the most popular bakery and coffee shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea. All the tourists love it. All the locals love it too. It’s been in Stella’s family for generations.
“Yet you skip past the line, walk straight in here and grab your ready-made drink within a few seconds of your arrival. Do you have a Fast Pass?” A brow lifts, and I’m hit with a quiver. Like Cupid just drew back his bow and shot that arrow right in my heart.
Or perhaps that arrow struck me in, ahem, other places.
Who knew a brow lift could be so sexy?

Meet Monica:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she's not writing, she's reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She's a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

It's Release Day: SAVE THE DATE by Monica Murphy

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Save the Date, an all-new standalone contemporary romance in a new series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is LIVE!

Copy of Save the Date AMAZON.jpg

Caroline Abbott loves her job—helping engaged couples pick out the perfect save the date cards and invitations for their dream wedding. Working at Noteworthy means she has to deal with the occasional bridezilla, but Caroline’s always up for the challenge.

Until one particular bridezilla walks into the stationery store who’s fiancé happens to be the boy Caroline shared her first kiss with. Alexander Wilder is all grown up now, helping run his family’s successful luxury hotel chain, and is somehow even better looking than she remembers.
When Caroline just happens to catch Alex’s fiancée half naked with another man well, of course she has to tell Alex. Of course, he breaks off his engagement.

And of course, the ex-bridezilla has gone completely bonkers.
At least Caroline has her friends to save her from crazy ex-fiancées. But she also has the sudden interest of…Alex? Caroline knows they share a connection, but is he on the rebound? Or after seeing her all these years later, does he really want something more?

SaveTheDate - AN .jpg

Download your copy today!
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2DIhImp

Release Blitz Teaser-2.jpg

Meet Monica:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she's not writing, she's reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She's a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica:

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop

Thanks for stopping by Actin' Up with Books as part of the Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds. For my giveaway, I have a copy of BE TRUE TO ME by Adele Griffin.



BE TRUE TO ME by Adele Griffin
Published by Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Synopsis

How far is too far to go for love?

Jean
: Could it be true? Instead of a summer playing handmaiden to Daphne, was I being delivered something entirely different—a summer in the spotlight? A summer starring Gil Burke and me?

Summer flings and sexy romances were Daphne’s territory. Not mine. I was the one you didn’t pick.

I swatted off my hope like a bumblebee, knowing it was already too late. I’d been deliriously stung.

Fritz: People always joked about summer romances because they didn’t last. Summer romances were made out of ice cream and cotton candy, intensely sweet before they melted into nothing. But I’d never thought of Gil as a summer thing.

Gil was my real love, my real first. We were outsiders together, we had each other, we didn’t care that we didn’t belong.


Giveaway Details
Must be 16 years or Older to enter
U.S. addresses only
To enter, fill out Rafflecopter below
(invalid entries will be disqualified)
Giveaway ends June 30, 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019

Blog Tour: THE PERFECT DATE by Evelyn Lozada with Holly Lorincz



THE PERFECT DATE 
by Evelyn Lozada
with Holly Lorincz
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 11, 2019


Synopsis:
When a single mom ends up playing an unwilling fake girlfriend to a charming playboy baseball player, love suddenly turns everything upside down in this fun, heartwarming multicultural romance.
Angel Gomez has never lived by the book. A Bronx-based unwed mother by the time she was sixteen, Angel’s personal mission has always been to show the world that a Puerto Rican girl is not to be messed with—especially by a man. The only thing that matters to Angel, now, is providing for her son and earning enough tips at the club to complete her nursing degree along the way. Love is nowhere on her agenda.
Caleb “The Duke” Lewis is a star pitcher for the Bronx Bolts whose romantic escapades make delicious fodder for gossip columns. But lately he’s been trying to keep a lower profile—so much so that when he meets Angel, first while she’s in her nurse uniform and the next time behind the bar, she has no idea who Duke is, fails to fall for his obvious charm, and ends up throwing a drink in his face! She is the perfect woman for Duke...to fool the tabloids into thinking he’s finally settling down. But what begins as a charade soon has Duke and Angel hurtling into a full-blown romance that rocks each of their worlds and begs the question: Is this the real deal—or are some love stories just too good to be true?

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Angel Gomez hissed under her breath.
Claro. Of course. If she was going to get a paper cut, it would be from the page illustrating the male reproductive system. The twenty-three-year-old sucked at the thin line of blood on the web of her hand, squinting hard at the flayed cojones in her anatomy textbook.
As a nursing student, Angel knew the male anatomy— from the bulb to the external urinary meatus—but her ability to reel off the Latin names of penis parts seemed to scare the living, breathing version away.
Not that I want a man, she reminded herself, her inner voice stern. Focus, girl.
Dark spirals of hair popped free from her ponytail as she bent closer to her textbook. Concentration was elusive. She closed the window next to her with a shriek of metal on metal, shutting out the gray February breeze and the number 4 train running on the elevated tracks down Jerome Avenue. She tilted her head, listened.
What is that? Breathing. It was gaspy, heavy breathing, coming from the depths of the worn corduroy couch behind her. Angel twisted in her chair.
“Jose,” she said, too loudly, knocking pages of lecture notes off her makeshift desk on the radiator.
“Mama, I’m fine,” the seven-year-old boy muttered. He turned up the live radio stream coming from the decrepit laptop and avoided her eyes.
“Go get your inhaler. Now.”
“Just a minute. The Duke is about to pitch.”
Faintly, she could hear Suzyn Waldman, longtime announcer for the Bronx Bolts, adding color to a local charity game. “He’s winding up and . . . another beauty, right over the plate . . . Ohh no, the batter’s hit a hard foul right into the dugout.” The announcer clucked, but then, “What’s this? The Duke seems to want off the mound.”
“No!” Jose yelled at the computer, as if it could hear his complaint.
“His ankle may still be giving him problems.”
“Jose! What’d I tell you?”
Jose’s face shone with perspiration as he stomped past her, wheezing down the hall to his room. That beautiful pouty face, she thought. His bronze complexion, a shade darker than hers, was the perfect blend of her and his father. Jose’s dad was long gone, however—the high school quarterback had disappeared when he found out his fifteen-year-old girlfriend was pregnant, but not before slapping her around, yelling, “That ain’t my kid.” Angel had shoved him into the hallway, slammed the door in his face. She didn’t want him. She didn’t need him.
Two years after Jose was born, her mother died. Angel was seventeen. She almost buckled from the pressure of the responsibility to care for another, tiny human. She had no safety net. His dark eyes, staring up at her with such adoration . . . She’d shoved steel into her spine, stood up straight, and vowed her boy would be safe, happy, and healthy on her watch.
And she was doing it.
In a few more weeks, she’d be done with nursing school and would take her final boards. She survived by putting her head down and pushing through, focused on getting them out of this decrepit apartment building filled with dust and screeching train brakes. She kept the rest of the world’s bullshit at arm’s length.

From The Perfect Date. Copyright © 2019 by Evelyn Lozada and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Griffin.


About the Authors

EVELYN LOZADA, is a high-profile American-Latina reality television personality, entrepreneur, author and philanthropist. She is best known for her role on VH1’s hit series Basketball Wives (2010-present), OWN’s hit series Livin’ Lozada (2015), author of the first installment of the book series: The Wives Association: Inner Circle (2012) and creator of Healthy Boricua (A Puerto Rican Lifestyle Guide to Healthy Living). Evelyn has become a national trendsetter, a “go to” fitness export, jewelry designer, fashion and beauty maven, social media royalty and a stimulating voice and proactive supporter of causes that effect women and girls through the Evelyn Lozada Foundation. Evelyn is a Bronx native, mother of two (Shaniece Hairston and Carl Leo Crawford) that currently resides in Los Angeles.

Holly Lörincz is a successful collaborative writer and owner of Lorincz Literary Services. She is an award-winning novelist (Smart Mouth, The Everything Girl) and co-author (best-selling Crown Heights, and How to Survive a Day in Prison) living in Oregon.

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