Category Archives: Romance

#longandShortReviews #bloggingchallenge 1.29.2020

Happy Wednesday, all. Today’s Long and Short Reviews blogging challenge is one I can get behind: Best book/movie/TVcouples.

I’ve got one of each! hee hee

BEST BOOK COUPLE:
Hands down ( for me) it’s Eve Dallas and Roarke from the IN DEATH Series by JD Robb ( Nora Robert’s doppelganger). Both are in their 30’s and have had horrible, dark pasts. Once they find each other in the first In Death book, neither ever looks away. Their heat level together is off the charts, but though the sex is great between them, what I love more than anything is the way Roarke cares for Eve. He makes sure she eats when the responsibilities of her job make her forget to. He makes sure she sleeps and when nightmares attack her he’s right there to hold her through them. He helps her when she needs help whether she asks for it or not, and he truly is a touchstone in her life. I could read about these two and their escapades for the rest of my life!

BEST TV COUPLE:

Now, realize  when I tell you who I think make the best TV couple that I am not 20. Not even 40 or 50. My favorite TV couple of all time is Lucy and Rick Ricardo. Why? Again, I go with the love first. Despite being a ditzy, non-thinking, always up for anything wife who gets into trouble more than she is out of it, Ricky LOVES Lucy with all his heart. That love shows in every single episode of their groundbreaking television show. Real life couldn’t compete with tvlife, though, and these two divorced. But by all accounts they loved one another until the day they died.

 

BEST MOVIE COUPLE:

Again, not 20, 40 or even 50, kids! My favorite movie couple of all time is Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in every single movie they did together in the 1930’s and 40’s when romcoms were king and movie stars really were stars and not celebrities! From Bringing up Baby to the Philadelphia Story ( a personal fav) these two epitomized the zany, wacky, and convoluted scenarios they where thrown into on screen. Laugh out loud funny, wildly chic, and always heartwarming, these two could do no wrong on the big screen.

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this challenge have to say. L&SR

And because self promotion is king of the hill in publishing nowadays, don’t forget I’ve got two new books out, one of them the first in a new series.

TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS ( A Match Made in Heaven, bk 2)

Lawyer Cathleen O’Dowd wants to break free from her boring image. Widowed young, she’s toed the good-girl line but now wants a little fun and laughter in her days…and nights. Living in a small town, though, she can’t do anything that would tarnish her professional reputation. Mac Frayne’s tragic past has turned him into a sullen loner. In town to write a book on the city’s founder, his plan is to get it done, then head home to his solitary existence. When circumstances force them to work together, their opposing personalities clash, but the sexual attraction between them is palpable. Can a simple affair with an end date be just the thing to brighten up their lives?

and A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK

Elite bodyguard and P.I. Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. He doesn’t get emotional with his clients, but when a woman from his past is threatened, his next job becomes personal.
Family lawyer Abigail Laine is the target of a client’s vengeful husband, but refuses Rick’s offer of protection. He walked away from her four years ago, and she swore to forget him.
Now her reluctance to accept his help could cost Abby her life.

Until next Wednesday, peeps ~ Peg

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me

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Filed under Long and SHort Reviews, Romance, Romance Books, RomCom

#Author Donna Simonetta on #writing series Romance…


 

Recently, I wrote a blog about my favorite one-click authors.   I’ve actually done several, and one name is consistently on that author list: DONNA SIMONETTA, who’s visiting me today.  I “met” Donna through our mutual publisher, the Wild Rose Press , and from the first book of her’s that I read, I was hooked as a reader. I’m so proud to know her and call her a friend, but I’m really blown away by the fact that she calls me one!

Donna’s got a new entry in her RIVERS BEND series that she’s talking about today. I have the book uploaded on my Kindle and I’m starting it tonight!!!! Who wants to bet I’ll be getting even less sleep than I usually do tonight? heehee.

Here’s Donna…

My new release, What Was I Thinking, is the final installment of my Rivers Bend Trilogy. To celebrate, Peggy Jaeger invited me to visit her blog and talk a little about writing a series. Since Peggy has written so many series I loveloveLOVE, Will Cook for Love, San Valentino Family, The MacQuire Women, DotComGirls, and A Match Made in Heaven sound familiar? I think I got all of your series, didn’t I, Peg? ; ) My point is––Peggy is a queen of series romance, so having little ole me write about it on her blog feels a little bit like bringing coals to Newcastle. But here goes…

My Rivers Bend books are set in a fictional small town on the Virginia-Maryland border. The river in question is the Potomac, which flows through the town. And the series follows the romantic adventures of the Braden family. Oldest brother Jeff is a former NFL player, and favorite son of the tiny town. He runs the Retreat at Rivers Bend, a corporate retreat facility, and is raising his tween daughter on his own, since her mom passed away when she was just a baby. He’s happily single…or so he thinks! He may just have met his match in newcomer to town, librarian Magda Horvath, a Yankee transplant, who blows into town with her one-eyed shih-tzu rescue dog and turns Jeff’s world upside down. Their story is told in book one of the series, A Sweeter Spot. Which is coming out as an audiobook very soon!

 

Jeff’s sister Heather is featured in book two in the trilogy––Love is Lovelier. She works for Jeff at the Retreat, and is seriously unhappy with her brother when he hires her first love to work at the Retreat, in a job that should be hers. To be fair, Jeff didn’t know about Heather and Mick’s history. But now that Mick is living in town, old passions flare, and maybe they’ll get a second chance at their first love in Rivers Bend.

What Was I Thinking wraps up the trilogy with youngest brother, Jason Braden. He’s the romantic wild child of the family…never settling down with one woman. But when Lily Davis moves to town to take care of her niece Hadley (Jeff’s daughters’ BFF, and featured in the previous books), sparks fly between Jason and Lily. At first, they are sparks of mutual antagonism, but a wild Vegas fling changed them to sparks of attraction, and maybe by the end of the series, these two opposites will find their happy-ever-after in Rivers Bend.

This little town has begun to feel real to me. I’ve been so immersed in it for the last few years, while I’ve been writing these stories. I can picture the town green, with its’ gazebo on the river, the old brick library where Magda works, and would love to get a cup of coffee at the Nosh Pit, or a slice of pizza at Mancini’s. I’ve been walking its’ streets in my own mind for so long, I’m going to miss it now that the Rivers Bend trilogy is complete. The Braden family, and all the quirky secondary characters who reside in the Bend have become old friends to me. And while I’m proud to have finished the series, and excited for all of you to read the third book in the trilogy, it’s a bittersweet moment for me. I don’t know if I’m ready to leave Rivers Bend yet. Mick’s little brother moved to town, and he’s just crying out for his own HEA, and maybe the next generation of Bradens, oldest sister’s Deidre’s college age twins, will need their stories told too. Never say never.

In the meantime, I’m polishing up an unrelated novel, about ghost hunting brothers in Richmond, VA, which has the potential to become a series too, and I’ve had the idea for a spin-off of the Rivers Bend series nagging at me for a while. It’s set in my current hometown of Baltimore, and features Lily’s best friend Roni, and Heather’s musician friend, Chase. But right now, their story is just a twinkle in my eye.

I hope all of you enjoy visiting Rivers Bend, as much as I enjoyed creating it, and all my old friends in the small town become new friends of yours, as you read the series.

 

 

A Vegas fling never leads to love…does it?

Blurb:

A wild Vegas fling isn’t the traditional Thanksgiving celebration, and Lily and Jason have been like oil and water since they met. Blaming their steamy hook-up on too many shots at the bar, they head home.

Back in the real world, Jason wonders if he’s ready to give up his crown as the Playboy King of Rivers Bend to be with just one woman. And Lily has enough on her plate right now without adding Jason Braden to the mix, even if their attraction is crazy-strong.

But life is good at throwing curveballs, and a lot can happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Maybe even enough to lead these two polar opposites home to each other in Rivers Bend.

Excerpt:

“I think about a lot of things.”

She felt him stiffen up behind her, and Jason’s tone of voice was defensive. She hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings. “I know you do; I didn’t mean anything by it. We poke at each other”—she shrugged—“it’s kind of our thing.”

His grip on her hand loosened, and then he took control of the dance, by twirling her until her back was pressed to his front, and he began to move sinuously in time to the rhythm. His breath tickled her ear, as he spoke right in it to be heard over the music. “We’ve got a thing, Moonbeam?”

Jason had ditched the tie and suit jacket after the wedding, and his body heat scorched her through his crisp white dress shirt. And man-oh-Maneschewitz, his lean, hard body felt good. Really good. The Marine might be bulked up, but Jason’s body felt like it had been made for hers, which given their mutual antagonism, seemed like proof Fate was enjoying a good laugh at her expense. Against Lily’s better judgment, her body melted into his warmth and began to move with his.

“Sure, we’ve got a thing,” she said over her shoulder, and was irritated to hear a trace of breathlessness in her voice. She cleared her throat and continued, “Like that—you calling me Moonbeam, because you know it bugs me.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: // Barnes & Noble:// Kobo //  Google play //Books-a-million

A little about Donna:

Donna Simonetta writes the kind of books she loves to read–contemporary romances with heart, humor, and heat. The kind of books that help you escape the real world for a little while. Writing is Donna’s third career. She toiled in the business world, and when she decided being an Account Executive wasn’t for her went back to school to get her MLS degree. Next, she worked in a school library for many years. But, Donna dreamed of being an author since she was a little girl, and began to squeeze writing into her day. After the publication of her second book, Donna decided to leave the library and become a full-time author. It can be a solitary job, so she loves to connect with her readers–you can find her online Here:

FaceBook // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon // BookBub // Instagram// Wild Rose Press//

Donna lives in Maryland with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Peggy here: for the record – Donna is amazing at series romance, herself, so don’t let her fool ya!!! I’ve reviewed the previous books in her Rivers Bend series and am so looking forward to reading WHAT WHAT I THINKING?? 

My reviews:
Love is Lovelier

Love Calls You Home

A Sweeter Spot

Happy reading, peeps.

Until next time ~ Peg

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

#WeeklyWrapup 1.19.2020 I’ve been busy!!!

I’ve been all over the place this week, on my tour, but also visiting other writers on their home blogs. Here’s a recap on any stops ou may have missed- don’t forget to visit and enter the rafflecopter!!

I visited fellow WRP sistah Rebecca Grace on 1.17.2020 

Love Romance Reads had a great interview with Rick Bannerman on 1.14.20

Kari Lemor gave my book a shout out on her blog on 1.13.20

I have an interview over on Silver Dagger tours where I start my tour for A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK on 1.13.20

I’m featured on NNLights New Year Book fete on 1.13.20

I’ve got another full week ahead of me on the Silver Dagger tour, so stay tuned. Here are the upcoming tour stops for the week, staring today:

Jan 19

Sylv.net

Craving Lovely Books

Jan 20

Mythical Books

Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed

Jan 21

Anna del C. Dye official page

Maiden of the Pages

Jan 22

Breaking Genre

Luv Saving Money

Jan 23

The Pulp and Mystery Shelf  

Book Corner News and Reviews

Jan 24

Tammy L. Bailey Author Blog

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!

Jan 25

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Insane Books

Jan 26

Book-Lover

Midnight Book Reader

Like I said, BUSY!!!

Until next time, peers ~ Peg

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Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense

#SDSXXTours @RomanceNovelGiv A PRIDE OF BROTHERS:RICK

I’m still on my book tour and today I’m visiting one of my favorite places ROMANCE NOVEL GIVEWAYS. They asked me a question I get asked a lot as a writer and wrote about it for them,  here.

So stop by, read all about it and enter the rafflelcopter the tour set up for me. And if you do visit, please leave a comment so I can chat with ya!

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense

#WeeklyWrapup I’ve been all over the blogging map this week!

It’s no secret if you follow my blog that I’ve got a brand new series starting on Monday, 1.13.20 titled A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK. It’s a new romantic suspense trilogy about a private eye firm run by brothers ( hence, the name. Heehee)

I’ll be all over the place promoting it for the next month, but this past week I started my own little tour and visited a bunch of fabulous authors who volunteered to help me get the word out about the book – love them all. At each stop I told you all a little more about the book, how it came to be, what my inspiration for writing it was, and a bit more about my writing quirks.

So, if you missed any of these, here’s a recap of where I was all week with the links included so you can visit me. Better late than never, I always say.

On Monday, January 6, I visited WRP sistah Alana Lorens

On Tuesday, January 7, I hopped over to another wonderful WRP sistah, author Judith Sterling.

Wednesday, January 8th, brought me to WRP writer and friend Jennifer Wilck

Thursday, January 9th I flew over to WRP sistah Amber Dalton

Friday, January 10 I made it all the way over to Jeny Heckman’s blog

Today, Saturday Januray 11, I’m camping over with  author D.V.Stone starting at 7am ESt.

I was thrilled when the book was featured on Pretty-Hot.com, too, on January 6.

So, stop by and catch up and then stop back here next week because I’ll be starting a SILVER DAGGER TOUR that features giveaways and Gift Cards, so you won’t want to miss out on that.

Until next time ~ Peg

Blurb:

Elite bodyguard and P.I. Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. He doesn’t get emotional with his clients, but when a woman from his past is threatened, his next job becomes personal.

Family lawyer Abigail Laine is the target of a client’s vengeful husband, but refuses Rick’s offer of protection. He walked away from her four years ago, and she swore to forget him.

Now her reluctance to accept his help could cost Abby her life.

Preorder your copy here before it releases on 1.13.20

Amazon //B&N // ibooks //Books-a-million

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Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense

MY word for 2020 : PERSISTENCE

No it isn’t a lonely western town between Devil’s Head and Snake Canyon! It’s my word of 2020. The one that is going to take me to new levels in my career and my personal life.

2019’s word was FOCUS and I did just that for the entire year. I wrote 4 books, blogged 5-6 times a week, and sold more books than I had for any previous year. Can I support myself yet, financially? No. But it’s coming and it’s certainly a closer concept than it was in 2018.

This year I’m taking that focus that  I honed so well in my writing career and adding to my personal life and mixing in a huge does of PERSISTENCE.

persistence | pərˈsistəns | noun

firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition; the continued or prolonged existence of something: the persistence of huge environmental problems.

I LOVE this definition. OBSTINATE continuance in a course of action IN SPITE OF difficulty or opposition. That definition could have been hand written by the gods of words for me! Hee Hee.

In case you  missed it earlier in the week, these are my goals for 2020:

  • Write a minimum of 1000 words before I start my actual day – what this means is that while I’m still in jammies, I write. Once 1000 words is achieved I get to get dressed, and do the adulting things I need to – like gym, laundry, etc. When they are done, I can write more.
  • Finish 3-4 complete manuscripts in 2020; self-pub one of them. A lofty goal.
  • Gym 6-7 times per week. No excuses. I’ve got a wedding I need to be camera ready for in May 2020.
  • Eat better, and by better I mean, cut out the crap!! All of it.
  • Double my book sales this year through organic exposure. More about this in 2020 blogs!

It’s going to take a great deal of PERSISTENCE to do those things, so, once again, I think this is the perfect word for me to live my life by in 2020!

Thoughts, peeps?

Until next time ~ Peg

And if you’re looking for me in 2020, I’m usually here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me

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Filed under Romance, Romance Books, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A look back at my year of reading….

 

I’m a big reader.

I know: shocked ya, right? Hee hee.

This year I read 117 books for 2019 Goodreads Challenge. In reality, I read a whole bunch more because a large  number of them were print books and the goodreads ones were really only e-books I read on my Kindle.

The number is probably closer to 200 for the year.

It’s no wonder I love to write since I love to read so much. Goes hand in hand, eh?

Here’s the top of the list of my favorite read books in 2019. Some were print, some e-books, but they were all fabulous and I highly recommend them and their authors.

In no particular order, here you go:

UntouchableJayne Anne Krentz (My rating)

the third book in the CUTLER, SUTTER and SALINAS series, it’s a dark story woven through the golden age of Hollywood – and a goodie!

Passion on Park AvenueLauren Layne (my review)

 

In my review I stated that this might just be Lauren’s best book to date ( and that’s saying something because they’ve all been 5 star reads for me) and I wasn’t wrong. This first chapter of the CENTAL PARK PACK series is a great intro to the gals and their potential love interests.

Where the Crawdads singDelia Owens 

For some strange reason I never reviewed or rated this book and if I had I would have given it 5++++ stars. The story is so lyrically told I felt as if Delia Owens was sitting in my living room speaking it aloud to me.

Love on Lexington AvenueLauren Layne (my review)

Book 2 in the CENTRAL PARK PACK series is a deep dive into widow angst that is funny, sexy, and just up my alley when it comes to RomComs. Lauren hit all the right spots with this book and I am eagerly awaiting book 3 which is releasing in 2020.

The One for YouRoni Loren ( my review)

This 4th installment in the Ones Who Got Away series was my favorite for so many reasons. Read my review to learn why. And then start with the first book and read them in order. You’ll be glad you did.

Never TellLisa Gardner (my rating) 

You can’t go wrong with A DDWarren police mystery and now that the amazeballs Flora Dane is helping her, well, 5stars isn’t enough!

Quinn’s  ResolutionKatie O’Sullivan ( my review)

Rock star romances are a popular trope and most are just okay. But Katie’s take on Quinn MacDonald and the tragedy that occurs just as his career is taking off compelled me to give this book the 5 stars it deserved. Filled with sorrow and jumping with heat, this story is short but it packs a powerful punch.

Elusive DreamsKari Lemor (my review)

You usually read Marriage of Convenience tropes in historical novels. Well, Kari took the well-loved trope and modernized it to perfection. I went through almost an entire package of Kleenex’s while I was reading Tessa and Eric’s love story and I bet you will, too.

I can’t wait for 2020 and a whole new year of books to read by my favorite authors. And who knows: maybe I’ll find some new favs!

Until next  year ~ Peg

 

 

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Filed under Romance, Romance Books, Uncategorized

25 Days of Holiday Romance day # 14 – The Perception Game

Today’s offering is from Wild Rose Press sistah Cadence Vonn: THE PERCEPTION GAME

Perception is a sizzling reality that inflames two hearts.

When it comes to sex, school teacher Camille Weatherby considers herself an exhibitionist. She refuses to allow anyone to control her life, and relationships are out of the question. Any affairs are one-night stands, and the only thing that matters is the pleasure she garners from the thrill of possibly being caught. But an encounter with a hot stranger at a costume party leaves her disregarding that rule.

Millionaire bad boy Garrett Gerard craves control, especially in the bedroom, and money buys what he enjoys. His indiscretions have caught up with him, and his father presents an ultimatum–straighten up or lose the chance to be president of the family business. Camille tests his willpower, and he can’t resist showing her what it’s like to be with a dominating lover.

When their fling is discovered, Camille and Garrett are forced to fake an engagement to save their jobs. But the more they’re thrown together, the more sparks fly.

Amazon Purchase Link

About the Author : Cadence Vonn

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Filed under Romance, Uncategorized

#SundaySnippet 12.8.19

So I had a new book release this week. TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS dropped on Wednesday and I’ve been so excited with the marvelous reviews I’ve gotten so far. This story truly wrung me out to dry so many times. The emotions of both Cathy, my heroine and Mac, my hero, were so intense that for a few days I had to walk away from the story when I was writing it. Luckily, I always had Nanny Fee to bring me back to center and provide some comic relief.

In this scene, Nanny is providing some interesting advice to Cathy that only a 93 year old uninhibited daughter of Eire could.

I found them huddled together on a sofa in the sunroom. They were both laughing, and Nanny had a hand flirtatiously placed over Frayne’s forearm. His laughter, rich, deep, and husky, was a sound I could have listened to all day long. Hell, all year long. A tingling sensation tripped up my spine when his eyes narrowed, practically disappearing from his face as he smiled. He threw back his head and howled at whatever my grandmother was saying.

It was delightful to see him relaxed and happy, and I have to admit, my heart stuttered a bit when he brought Nanny’s gnarled hand to his lips and pressed a sweet kiss against her knuckles.

“Number One, all done, are ya?” Nanny asked.
I came into the room, a grin tugging on my lips.

“Nanny, what tall tales have you been telling Mr. Frayne? I could hear the both of you laughing from the hallway.”

“Ah, lass, nothing bad, to be sure. Merely sharin’ a few simple stories about me time touring.”

“Oh, good Lord.” I knew exactly what she’d told him. Nanny’s days as a concert pianist were legendary in our family. Legendary and naughty. She’d had affairs with at least two dukes, one baron, and a smattering of lesser-titled men throughout the royal houses of Europe before coming back to Heaven and marrying her second husband. And then her third. And fourth, who was, thankfully, the last.

“Your grandmother has led an extraordinary life,” Frayne said, the light in his eyes bright and clear. “Tales of her touring life would make for a terrific book.”

“Salacious, more than anything,” I said.

“Don’t be gettin’ any notions to write about me escapades, young man.” She swatted his arm with a grandmotherly thwack. “If I ever decide to write about me life, I’ll be doing the tellin’, not someone else.”

“I’d be thrilled and honored to be your scribe,” Frayne said. “Anytime. Simply say the word.”

“Ah, go on with ya.” She swatted his arm again. “I expect the two of ya will be off to dinner now. Seldrine okay?” she asked me.

“She’s fine. Lucas is with her, taking her through everything she needs to be prepared for.”

“She’s a strong lass. Well…” She sighed deep and, because this was Nanny, theatrically. “Off with ya both now. Go enjoy a good meal and you”—she pointed at Frayne—“don’t be forgetting I want a full report on Robert when you’re all done with your research.”

“That’s a promise,” he told her.

“Good. Now, give us a kiss and run along.”
I wasn’t surprised when Frayne bent and bussed her cheek.
“And you,” she said when I bent to do the same. “I want to hear all about this event Olivia told me you’re signed up for. I want all the deets, as the kids say.”

I nodded, my cheeks scorching.

Intrigued enough to want to read more? Here’s where you can get your copy today:

Available at these fine online retailers in Ecopy or Print: Amazon // B&N // Applebooks   // Rakuten-Kobo // google play // Books-a-million //

Also available at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH

Please enjoy the lovely Book Trailer my friend Nancy Fraser made for the book: TTA

Add it to your Goodreads List: TTA

Add it to you BookBub List: TTA

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Romance, Today Tomorrow Always

#Bookrelease Day!!! TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS is here!

I can’t fully explain how excited I am to finally have this story in print! Cathy O’Dowd’s path to an HEA was tortuous for her – and me!!!! This book wrung me dry so many times! I’m thrilled to finally be able to share it with the romance reading world.

Blurb:

Lawyer Cathleen O’Dowd wants to break free from her boring image. Widowed young, she’s toed the good-girl line but now wants a little fun and laughter in her days…and nights. Living in a small town, though, she can’t do anything that would tarnish her professional reputation.

Mac Frayne’s tragic past has turned him into a sullen loner. In town to write a book on the city’s founder, his plan is to get it done, then head home to his solitary existence.

When circumstances force them to work together, their opposing personalities clash, but the sexual attraction between them is palpable.

Can a simple affair with an end date be just the thing to brighten up their lives?

Excerpt 

Frayne was alone at one of the computer workstations, sheets of paper and files scattered about the desk next to him.

I took a moment to observe him before announcing myself. Thick-lensed reading glasses perched on the very tip of his nose, a millimeter from falling from his face. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why that was so endearing, but it was. His hair fell over the collar of his shirt, today covered with a jet-black pullover. A tiny moth hole crossed over his bicep. The notion he needed someone looking out for him, caring for him, making him take care of himself, bounded through me.

The story Maureen related spilled back to me, and my heart sighed. I knew the emotional devastation losing loved ones could wreak, and since I was now aware of what had happened to Frayne’s family, I understood the perpetual grief in his eyes.

Another striking thing about Frayne was that for all his awkwardness, some might even say shy demeanor, he was an extremely attractive man, and the very fact I noticed it was astounding. I hadn’t looked at nor thought about another man in all the years of my marriage, even while Danny had been away for years on end on active duty.

The only man I’d ever loved, ever considered being with, ever looked at, was Danny Mulvaney. Picturing Mac Frayne as someone I could see myself getting to know on a purely personal and physical level was behavior so far out of my emotional wheelhouse it startled me.

“I’m sorry I kept you waiting.” I tossed my coat and bag on a chair “I came as soon as the ceremony ended.”

Frayne peered at me over the tops of his glasses through eyes a little unfocused, a little startled, and a whole lot of befuddled cute.

He blinked, and then his gaze swept from my face down to what Maureen calls my marriage duds. When I officiate, I pair a plain white silk blouse with a black double-breasted jacket and either a black A-line skirt or trousers, depending on the season. On one lapel of my jacket, I always wear a 14-karat-gold, single rose pin, gifted to me by Colleen, to symbolize the love and affection of the couples I marry.

With a quick flick of his hand, Frayne swiped the glasses from his face, and tucked one of the bows into the vee of his sweater. His gaze made its way up to my face again, and he cocked his head in a move I was coming to recognize signaled he was going to ask a question. “You didn’t stay for the reception?”

“Like I told you yesterday, sometimes I do, but most times I simply sign the paperwork, take a few photos with the happy couple, and then let them have their party. If I stayed at every wedding, I’d never get anything done on the weekends.”

“I’ve been to my share of weddings”—he stood and tilted his head to one side—“but I’ve never had to sign papers at one, other than my own. Are there that many people you know getting married that your weekends are typically so full?”

A grin split my face at his words. “They are when I’m performing the ceremonies.”

It took him a second, then the cloud of cute confusion cleared in his eyes. “You’re a wedding officiant?”

“Technically, I’m a justice of the peace. But yes, I officiate at weddings. I came here from Inn Heaven after performing a ceremony.”

“Well, that certainly explains it.” His lips twitched at the corners, and for a brief moment, an image of pressing my own against them burned quick and bright in my head. “I saw them setting up the ballroom for some kind of event before I left this morning. Your sister was everywhere.”

“I know that’s the truth because I’ve seen it for myself. Maureen is exceptionally organized, a trait that runs rampant in our family.”

His gaze swept down my attire again, the small grin tugging on his mouth, broadening. “I spotted another redhead in commando mode, too. She resembled you and Maureen.” His grin grew. “I’ve never actually seen someone bark orders before.”

“The barker was Colleen, my middle sister. She’s a wedding planner and was in charge of today’s event. I officiate at a lot of her non-religious ceremonies.”

Available at these fine online retailers in Ecopy or Print: Amazon // B&N // Applebooks   // Rakuten-Kobo // google play // Books-a-million //

Also available at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH

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Now, I’m off to read TTA again!
Until next time ~Peg

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Today Tomorrow Always, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor