Saturday, 27 May 2017

REVIEW: ABANDONED by RHONDA POLLERO


Abandoned
Finding Justice #2
By: Rhonda Bollero
Releasing June 6th, 2017
Forever
 
 
In Abandoned (Finding Justice #2) by Rhonda Pollero, Emma McKinley is determined to learn what happened twenty years ago when her father assassinated the President of the United States, which is why she's moved to the town where the assassination occurred. Except with someone sending her mysterious letters and the threats she's receiving, there's only one person she can turn to. But in turning to the sheriff, Conner Kavanaugh for help, Emma will have to tell him everything about her past. Will the sheriff still be willing to help, or will he turn his back on her just as so many others did long ago?
 
This story had all the makings of a 5-Star read such as the wonderful characters, great plots twists that had me wanting to know what else the hero and heroine would go through to achieve their happy ever after, and then I got to the end and the trouble the main characters face. It just didn't work for me, especially with the bad guys being so meticulous when it came to the assassination of the president, and yet, so careless when it came to silencing one of the main characters. However, in saying that, I really enjoyed the rest of this book, especially the way it started, because what happens sets the fast-pace of the story and had me wanting to discover more about why the heroine's dad did what he did. Yet, it was chapter one where things really became exciting due to how the hero and heroine meet. Certainly, Emma shows Conner she can take care of herself.
 
Both the main characters are really good and I loved the dialogue whether it was intense due to their back stories or teasing when they're actually getting along. Certainly, the moment the hero and heroine meet drew me into this story even more, as Conner thinks he's doing the heroine a favor, and yet, she has this very stay-away-from-me-I-don't-need-your-help vibe and I liked what she did to warn him away, although it could have gotten her into serious trouble considering his profession.
 
Moreover, the heroine is strong and brave the way she's able to handle everything thrown her way including the things being sent to her, which make her even more determined to discover the truth of her father's motives. I also liked how she proved her worth as a lawyer, because her skills show she's a fighter and never gives up on anyone or anything. Yet, what I liked most about the heroine is how she helped various townspeople turn their lives around. It reveals her kind and caring nature and illustrates that she likes to see the best in people, despite what has happened in their pasts. And besides, she has the means to help them, so why shouldn't she? While Conner, he's confident, a good guy that would do anything to help someone, and I liked how he gained Emma's trust, even though it isn't easy because of the secrets she's keeping. I also liked how far he was willing to go to protect the heroine, as she needs the support of someone when things begin to happen that are beyond what Emma can handle.
 
Overall, Ms. Pollero has penned a really good read in this book, although I was disappointed by the ending with the bad guys. However, I loved how things worked out for the hero and heroine, because Emma needed Conner after her loss and I loved how she was willing to help him solve his problems when it came to his brother's imprisonment and the custody battle with his ex-wife. I would recommend Abandoned by Rhonda Pollero, if you enjoy romantic suspense, the opposites attract trope or books by authors Anne Calhoun, D.D Ayres, Incy Black or Cate Beauman.
 
 
 
 
BLURB
There is nothing more dangerous than desire . . . 
 
Emma McKinley is a bright young lawyer with a very dark secret: She's the daughter of an assassin. Twenty years ago, her father shot and killed the president and Emma has been desperate to understand why ever since. She's changed her name, moved around . . . but the past keeps hunting her down. First came an irresistible job offer, luring her back where the assassination occurred. And now Emma is receiving mysterious newspaper clippings about the shooting as a terrible reminder-and a deadly threat . . .
 
Sheriff Conner Kavanaugh has been burned before. But from the moment he meets Emma, there's something about her he can't resist. Something is haunting her-that much is clear. And as the threats against her mount, he'll do anything to protect her and win her trust. If the past doesn't catch up to them first.
 
BUY LINK:  Amazon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 26 May 2017

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: THE DOCTOR'S REDEMPTION by VICTORIA JAMES

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The Doctor's Redemption
Shadow Creek, Montana #3
By: Victoria James
Releasing May 22nd, 2017
Entangled Publishing (Bliss)
 
 


In The Doctor's Redemption (Shadow Creek, Montana #3) by Victoria James, Doctor Luke Thomson has come to Shadow Creek for a reason and that's to confront the past and apologize to those whose lives he believed he turned upside down. He knows getting close to Gwen Bailey is reckless, especially because of the secret he's keeping, but there's no denying their chemistry. However, when Gwen learns the truth about his past, will she be able to forgive him for what he did, or will their chance at happy ever after be ripped away?

Ms. James is an author whose books I could read one after the other and never grow tired of her stories, because she writes incredible characters with back stories that more often than not tug at my heart-strings; and stories with fast-paced plots that hook me from the very beginning and leave me with the biggest smile at the end, because of what the hero and heroine have to overcome to be together, and certainly, this story was no different. The way this book started with the prologue sets the fast-pace of this story, and had me reading quickly, determined to discover what the hero is going to do. He has so much guilt that he needs to absolve himself of, if he's to be completely happy, and the only way that's going to happen is to confront his past.

As for the dialogue, it was well-written, spell-binding and had me hooked, as it illustrates the power of love and forgiveness and the beauty of redemption and hope. When Gwen learns what Luke has been keeping from her, will she be able to forgive him when he had ample opportunity to explain his reasons for being in Shadow Creek? Moreover, the dialogue was a wonderful combination of intense due to the main characters back stories and teasing due to this couple's growing relationship. Their banter definitely ups the sexual tension, as Luke does his best to resist Gwen. However, Gwen doesn't make things easy for the hero to resist her. She knows what she wants, and after suppressing her needs and desires for the last five years to take care of her family after tragedy struck, she's determined to get everything she wants -- love and happiness. The question is -- is Luke the right guy for her?

Both the main characters were enthralling, and I loved every moment the hero and heroine interacted. Sometimes, it was fun and amusing and at others, it was deep and had me wanting to cry, because of their in-more-ways-than-one connection. Luke knows he's risking his relationship with Gwen by not revealing his secret, and it made me empathize with him. When would he realize that what happened years ago wasn't his fault? Will the secondary characters be able to help him overcome his guilt? Furthermore, Luke is strong and brave for the reason he's in Shadow Creek, and I could understand his need to face the past.

While Gwen, she's been through a lot with having lost two people she loved and then feeling like she had to be responsible for her family when things got tough, so it's understandable why she finally wants to do something for herself. As her family is finally starting to heal from their loss and finding their second chance at happiness, so isn't it time she did the same? Also, I liked how kind and caring she is and the effort she goes to in getting to know Luke. Will he accept her invitations? Then there's the nickname the heroine had for the hero, and I liked that he felt comfortable with her calling him it, because it certainly fit with his order whenever he came into Gwen's shop.

Overall, Ms. James has delivered an incredible read in this book where the chemistry was intense and the ending left me completely content, despite the fact that I cried when Luke explained his reason for being in Shadow Creek and was met with various reactions from Gwen and her family. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up nicely, because readers discover how far Luke and Gwen have come in their relationship. Does Luke finally believe that love at first sight exists? I would highly recommend The Doctor's Redemption by Victoria James, if you enjoy a story with fun banter, wonderful characters in both the main and secondary, and a plot where the characters have some tough obstacles to overcome to be together. I would also recommend this book and the other stories of this series, if you enjoy books by authors Melanie Shawn, Noelle Adams, Jennifer Shirk or Samantha Chase.
 
 
  
BLURB
Gwen Bailey has been busy taking care of everyone but herself. After a tragedy tore her family apart, she put her dreams aside to be with family. Now that her life is getting back on track, and her new Chocolaterie is open, she can concentrate on snagging the handsome, mysterious customer who has her dreaming about her own happily-ever-after...
 
Doctor Luke Thomson has spent the last five years filled with guilt. He hopes to make amends in Shadow Creek, however he doesn't count on falling for the adorable and gorgeous Gwen Bailey. He vows to not get involved with her, but she's too sweet to resist. It's only a matter of time, though, before the truth comes out. Luke knows there's no way Gwen will look at him the same way once she discovers his secret...
 
BUY LINKS:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo
 
 
Check out the other books in the Shadow Creek, Montana series:
 
 
 
  
Meet the Author:
Victoria James is a romance writer living near Toronto. She is a mother to two young children, one very disorderly feline, and wife to her very own hero. Victoria attended Queen’s University and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She then earned a degree in Interior Design. After the birth of herVi first child she began pursuing her life-long passion of writing. Her dream of being a published romance author was realized by Entangled in 2012. Victoria is living her dream— staying home with her children and conjuring up happy endings for her characters. Victoria would love to hear from her readers!
 
Connect with Victoria : Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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Thursday, 25 May 2017

REVIEW: THE FAVOR by BLAIRE EDENS


The Favor
By: Blaire Edens
Releasing May 22nd, 2017
Entangled Publishing
 
 
In The Favor by Blaire Edens, after the disaster her marriage turned out to be, Anna Bishop believes she's better off alone. Yet, she'll do anything to make her little boy's life happier, which means accepting help from her best friend's brother, Clark, who comes to her young boy's birthday party dressed as a superhero. However, coming through for her son isn't the only problem Clark solves for her when he proposes they get married to make sure her ex-husband doesn't get full custody of their son. Will Clark be able to break through Anna's walls to show her that not all men are like her ex, or will her need for independence after her disastrous marriage send her running from the one person that can make her completely happy again?
 
This is the first book I've read by Ms. Edens, and I absolutely enjoyed it due to the main characters, the bond between the hero and the heroine's son, the dialogue because the heroine is stubborn and isn't ready to put her trust in another man after her ex and the way this ended that illustrates love is worth fighting for, especially when someone's words help the characters realize it. The way this story started had me sympathizing with the heroine, because her ex-husband is a complete jerk that loves to lord his power over her and the fact that he has money and the means to take her son away from her. However, it was from the moment where the hero entered the story where things became very interesting, as he stands up for the heroine while creating a major problem for her when it comes to the custody battle for her son. Why couldn't Clark realize that what he does will get them both in trouble?

Both the main characters were really good, and I could understand why the heroine feels the way she does about relationships. Her ex did a real number on her, and she craves her independence to make certain that she can take care of herself and her son without needing another man in her life to take care of her. I also liked how good of a mom she is and that she would do anything for her son, even if it means having to marry Clark to secure her son's future. While Clark, he hasn't had it easy and believes he doesn't deserve love, family and happiness in his life after what happened to his best friend. He blames himself, which is understandable and had me feeling sorry for the hero, because there was nothing he could have done to save his friend from being as hurt as he was. Nor can he take away his friend's suffering. However, what I liked most about the hero is how he proved to the heroine she could trust him with everything he does for her and her son; a young boy that he ends up forming a special bond with.

Overall, this book was a delightful read where the dialogue was easy to follow and had me smiling at times, the chemistry was entertaining and the ending left me believing the heroine was lucky to have found a guy as great as Clark. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up brilliantly with how it links back to the beginning of the story and how it reveals how far Anna and Clark have come in regards to love, family, happiness. I would recommend The Favor by Blaire Edens, if you enjoy the sister's best friend trope or books by authors Rachel Harris, Victoria James, Sonya Weiss and  Coleen Kwan.


 
BLURB
Single mom Anna Bishop doesn’t want help from anyone, but she does need a superhero for the birthday party she’s has planned for her seven-year-old. Luckily, her best friend’s brother agrees to suit up and play the role.
 
When architect Clark Wainwright agrees to do his sister a favor, he never expects to end up in a pair of tights...not to mention the tight spot he ends up in when he creates trouble for his sister’s best friend. Clark is a fixer, and he’ll do whatever it takes to fix the problem he causes for Anna and help her keep her son...whatever it takes...even of it means proposing.
 
Anna could do with a little rescuing...but it just might be Clark who gets saved in the end.
 
BUY LINKS Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

EXCERPT REVEAL: I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE by LAUREN LAYNE

 
A feisty beauty must choose between
winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.
 

I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
Oxford Series #4
Lauren Layne
Releasing June 13, 2017
Loveswept


New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.

PRE-ORDER TODAY!


Bradley froze when he saw her, and she was pretty sure she saw the urge to turn and run flicker across his face.
Again she felt a stab of disappointment. In him. And in herself for apparently having misread him. She’d thought he was better than this.
Bradley’s eyes moved between her and Nick, and though he didn’t look all that surprised at seeing them bickering, his gaze grew hard as he saw Nick’s hand on Taylor’s face.
Nick, naturally, took his sweet time removing it, and she resisted the urge to kick his shin.
“Morning, Bradley,” Taylor said, pleased that her voice sounded calm and friendly. As well it should. She’d had plenty of practice over the better part of a year pretending that she and Bradley were nothing more than colleagues.
Other than a few close friends who knew they were dating, they’d done a mostly decent job of hiding their romantic relationship from coworkers. Better than she and Nick had done hiding their antagonistic one.
“Hey, Taylor. Nick,” Bradley said.
He entered the room and reached for a coffee mug, turning his attention toward the other man. “Didn’t realize you’d taken on another assignment. What for?”
“Not sure,” Nick said, checking his watch. “Have a meeting with Cassidy in a few to find out.”
“Here’s hoping it’s an offsite gig that takes you far, far away. Maybe he needs someone to cover Siberian winters,” Taylor said to Nick, even as she watched Bradley out of the corner of her eye.
“Don’t need to travel to find severe winter. It doesn’t get any chillier than right here,” Nick retorted, waving his hand over her head in a storm cloud gesture.
She shoved his hand aside, her attention still on Bradley, who was determinedly avoiding her gaze.
Coward.
It was going to be darn hard to get him to see reason when he wouldn’t even make eye contact.
Nick, ever too perceptive for his own good, noticed the tension and gave a quick look between her and Bradley, his gaze turning speculative.
She shot him a warning look that clearly said, Dont.
He shot an answering smile that clearly said, Watch me.
“Bradley, don’t suppose you’re in the market for a roommate?” Nick asked, his voice deceptively casual.
Bradley’s head snapped up, and finally, finally his blue gaze collided with Taylor’s. Dammit. Why did he have to be so beautiful? He was like a mischievous angel, all twinkling blue eyes, dimples, a sexy cleft in his chin, dark blond wavy hair . . .
“What?” he asked Nick distractedly, still looking at Taylor.
“Taylor here wants to share her original crown molding with someone.”
Bradley winced, and Taylor felt a little surge of gratitude toward Nick. He couldn’t have known it, but it was the perfect jab. She and Bradley were both into prewar architecture—had eaten up the broker’s description of all the building’s original elements.
Taylor should be sharing that crown molding with Bradley. And he damn well knew it.
His eyes met hers in silent misery—an apology that she wasn’t quite ready to accept. Heck, she wasn’t even ready to acknowledge it, because she had no intention of being dumped. Not by him, not by any man.
Taylor ignored the guilt written all over Bradley’s face as she held his gaze. “Yes, it seems I unexpectedly have a free bedroom and more rent than I can afford. If either of you knows anyone looking for a roommate . . .”
Bradley’s handsome face twisted regretfully, and he set his coffee aside, taking a step toward her, apparently forgetting—or not caring—that Nick was still in the room.
“Taylor. Damn it. I told you—”
“Actually, I do,” Nick said, interrupting.
Taylor forced her gaze away from Bradley’s pleading face toward Nick’s smug one. “You know someone who needs a roommate?”
“Yup.” He crossed his arms and watched her.
She made an impatient gesture with her hand. “Who? It can’t be one of your ex-girlfriends—I don’t want to inadvertently hear any gross details about you. And not one of your frat-boy guy friends—my living room isn’t cut out for Call of Duty.”
“Yeah, because that’s all I do all day.”
She rolled her eyes. “Okay, for real, who is it?”
His grin was slow, sly, and the very definition of trouble. “Me.”





Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 



 
*No Purchase Necessary*

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: FROM THE START by CHERYL ETCHISON

 
He’ll have to confront the nightmares from his past 
if they’re to have any chance at a future.
 
 
FROM THE START
American Valor #3
Cheryl Etchison
Releasing May 23, 2017
Avon Impulse

 
In From the Start (American Valor #3) by Cheryl Etchison, Kacie Morgan finds it hard not to be jealous of her younger sister who is soon to be married. It should have been her, especially when she was in a relationship for seven years, but instead she and her boyfriend went their separate ways. Determined not to have her heart broken again, she's sworn off dating military men and promised herself she won't put any of her plans on hold. Except Michael MacGregor isn't a man she can easily ignore, no matter how much she wants to. So, when a problem arises she needs help with she turns to Michael. Can she keep her heart out of their deal, or will she fall for the type of man she swore she'd never fall for again?
 
What an enjoyable read Ms. Etchison has penned in this third book of her American Valor series, which started with me feeling sorry for the  heroine, as she's not having fun and should be because it's supposed to be a happy moment for her sister. Will meeting Michael make the night better? Will Kacie do something she doesn't normally do? However, what I liked most about the beginning of this story is the moment the hero and heroine meet. Michael isn't used to a woman being resistant to his charm, and the fact that Kacie is make things interesting. Then again, the fact that he has some things in common with her ex doesn't help. Will Kacie be able to overlook what he does have in common with her ex?
 
The dialogue was well-written, intriguing and drew me in because of the main characters back stories, the way the heroine is resistant to the hero's charms, the proposition the heroine has for the hero and discovering whether the heroine will realize how much she wants Michael in her life before it's too late. More importantly, will she realize that Michael is nothing like her ex, despite the fact that there are similarities between the two men? Furthermore, I really liked the heroine and couldn't help but be affected by all the emotions she experiences -- happy, jealousy, sadness. She's happy because of Michael coming into her life at a time where she needed him. Also, she can't help but be a tad jealous of her sister's happiness and the fact that she's getting married. Then there's the moment where she's sad and realizes what a mistake she's made in doubting Michael.
 
Both the main characters entertained me from start to finish, and I loved their playful banter, as Michael does his best to charm the heroine and make her see that he's a good guy. Will he win Kacie over completely? Moreover, I felt for the hero when he talked about his past, what happened to his brother and the promise he made to someone he loved. Because by honoring said promise, he's continuing to stay in a job that threatens to end his relationship with Kacie. Will he finally do what's right for him, instead of sacrificing his chance at happy ever after for a promise he made when he was so young? While the heroine, her ex did a real number on her and I could understand why she's so hesitant to give another man a chance, especially a man that reminds her so much of her ex in regards to his career and his name. I also liked how determined she was to stick to her plans, no matter how much she and Michael cared for each other.
 
Overall, Ms. Etchison has penned a delightful read in this book where the chemistry was strong, the romance was wonderful and illustrated just how much these two needed each other to heal from the hurts of their pasts. The way this story ended was perfect, because of what Michael did to be with Kacie. It proves just how much he loves her and wants to be with her. However, it was the final chapter that wrapped this story up perfectly, as Kacie fits right in with Michael's family and I loved how they teased each other, especially when Kacie and Michael are talking about the moment they first met. I would recommend From the Start by Cheryl Etchison, if you enjoy the matchmaker trope or books by authors Cristin Harber, Codi Gary or Cora Seton.
 
 
    
BLURB
For many women, Ranger Battalion Surgeon Michael MacGregor is the ideal man. He’s far better than average looking, a generous tipper, not to mention an officer and a doctor. So when he encounters a woman resistant to his charms, he finds himself… intrigued.

Kacie Morgan has had her fill of arrogant military men since the last one left her with a shattered heart and one heck of a career rut. Now, with her prestigious fellowship starting in the fall, all she has to do is survive the summer—and her little sister’s wedding.

When an ill-fitting bridesmaid dress has Kacie wanting to temporarily shake things up in her carefully planned life, she knows just the man to call. They agree to a no-strings, summer fling, although it isn’t long before Michael wants Kacie for forever.

But to win her heart, he’ll have to confront the nightmares from his past if they’re to have any chance at a future.


 

May 2013
Kacie Morgan raised the cloudy glass tumbler to her lips and licked the course salt from its rim, all the while surveying the bar, knowing she was officially in hell. Despite it being a fairly new establishment—and a nice place as far as bars went—it just wasn’t her scene. The cowboy hats and cowboy boots. The painted-on jeans that both the men and women wore. The line dancing and mechanical bull.
 
Then there was the fact she couldn’t stand country music. She might have been born and raised in the South, but the appreciation for songs about racing pickups down red dirt roads, getting drunk on Jack, and skinny-dipping in farm ponds must have skipped a generation.
 
She sighed and turned back around, catching a glimpse of herself in the mirror behind the bar.
 
Dear God in the heavens. She shouldn’t have looked.
 
She squeezed her eyes shut and tossed back the remnants of her margarita on the rocks. A tang and tart shiver raced the length of her spine, her body squirming involuntarily to shake it off.
 
Her empty glass met the cow-print bar top a little heavier than intended, the upside being it garnered the bartender’s attention. “Another?” He shouted to be heard over the music.
 
“Sure,” she said. “Why the hell not?”
 
He came over to clear away the empty glass and his eyes roamed her chest as he took his damn sweet time to read the front of her shirt. She didn’t have to glance at the mirror again to know the club lights ignited the rhinestones across her shirt, the word bridesmaid glimmering in the relative dark like a ’70s disco ball.
 
“Eight weeks,” she chanted to herself. “Eight. More. Weeks.”
 
Just eight weeks until the bachelorette weekend, the holiday weekend, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, all of it would be over. Her baby sister would be happily married and, more importantly, her maid of honor duties would be complete. No longer would she have to be overly friendly to women who were not her friends. No longer would she be guilted into wearing questionable attire or spending money she didn’t have on all of the cutesy little things they wanted her to “chip in” on.
 
Kacie handed the bartender a few bills as he returned with her drink, then resumed leaning against the bar, watching as the country music gave way to hip-hop and the puritans bolted for the bars and seated areas. In the span of a few minutes, the dance floor became an instant bump and grind session for anyone under the age of twenty-five or with more than a few drinks in them.
 
In a sea of cowboy hats and baseball caps, her baby sister was easy to spot. The rhinestone tiara with attached veil on her head glittered in the pulsing lights as she bopped around the dance floor. And all the other bridesmaids were right there with her.
 
If she were a better maid of honor, a better big sister, she’d suck it up and join them. But she just couldn’t find it in herself to move. Ever since her well-planned future with a man she loved—or at the very least thought she loved—had taken a deep dive into the toilet nine months earlier, she found having fun an almost impossible feat. How sad. How pathetic.
 
With a pang, Kacie realized at the age of thirty-one she’d become what she always feared most—a total buzzkill.

 

 
Cheryl Etchison graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s School of Journalism and began her career as an oil and gas reporter. Bored to tears and broke as hell, it wasn’t long before she headed for the promise land of public relations. But that was nearly a lifetime ago and she’s since traded in reporting the facts for making it all up. Currently, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and three daughters.



 

Q&A with Cheryl
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I really enjoyed the early interactions between Michael and Kacie for this book but especially the scene where they have sex the first time. The conversation is so shallow and matter-of-fact since they’ve agreed to just use each other for sex.
I also loved the argument between Michael and his sister-in-law. Bree has been more like a sibling to him for so many years that it’s only fair they’d argue in the same way he and his brother argue. Politeness be damned!
What gave you the most trouble with this story?
When I started this book, I hadn’t planned on Michael suffering from PTSD. But when I began the editing process and reading it from the beginning, I realized all the clues were there. He doesn’t really talk about his issues although it’s clear those who know him best realize something is a bit off. And whenever the suggestion is made that he speak to a therapist, he blows it off because he doesn’t believe his problems are bad enough to warrant treatment. Which I think, sadly, is an accurate representation for so many of those who serve in special operations units.
Name three things on your desk right now.
A small crystal pig with pink wings named Penelope. I have always loved the expression “When pigs fly!” and have always taken great pleasure in proving people wrong.
A two-year-old fortune that says “You’ll never know what you can do until you try.” I found it in my fortune cookie at a time when I was debating whether or not I was read to query literary agents.
A small Galah figurine given to me by the Australian family I lived with while on foreign exchange in high school. They had rescued an injured Galah, which is a type of cockatoo, and taught this bird to say my name. That damn bird made me crazy because he would sometimes escape when I came home from school and then proceed to hide high up in a tree while calling my name over and over, taunting me.
If you could have dinner with any three authors (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?
My first instinct was to say Jane Austen, but I fear she’d end up being a disappointment and ruining my perception of her. Ernest Hemingway would have to be my number one since his personal life was as exciting as his stories. Second would be Dorothy Parker since she had zero problem saying exactly what she thought. Throw in the fact she was blacklisted in Hollywood, I can only imagine the dirt she knew. Number three would have to be Stephen King. I’d love to know what his childhood was like and whether or not his own writing gives him nightmares.  
What are you favorite types of stories to read?
I absolutely adore historical romances. They are always my go-to read when I’m in a bad mood or a writing rut. I love all that despite a ton of societal rules, there were women who willingly ignored them and threw caution to the wind. Personally, I like to think had I lived during the Regency era that I’d have been one of those women who wore pants and rode astride and basically thumbed her nose to everyone who dared say “You shouldn’t do that!”
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
 
There was a built in desk in my bedroom growing up and it being the only desk in the house, that’s where the Selectric typewriter lived. When I was in elementary school, my mother would write youth soccer recaps for the local paper and when she was done I would sit down and mimic her. I don’t recall ever writing fiction. Instead, I wrote recaps of the Olympics and Super Bowls. In school I always excelled at creative writing but it wasn’t until I was in college, at the encouragement of a professor, I switched from Accounting to Journalism. After graduating, I always wrote for work, but never for myself. Then when my oldest was born, I quit writing altogether for about six years until I found an online community and began writing fanfiction. Through that I made a friend who was a member of RWA and encouraged me to attend the national conference with her in 2011. The rest is history.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
When I began working on this story five years ago, it was the story of a doctor who’d just left the army and was trying to find his way in the civilian world. Sadly, my hero was, in a word, boring. He was too nice. Too polite. He was just… ugh. But I kept at him and gave him a brother and father and he began taking shape. By the time I actually started to like Michael MacGregor, I realized his story would be better if his younger brother’s story came first. So I went back to square one and began working on ONCE AND FOR ALL. When I returned to Michael’s original story last year, I had to scrap most of it because some scenes were more like Danny and other scenes were more like Lucky (the hero in HERE AND NOW). So I had to practically start completely over, but this time I knew exactly who Michael MacGregor was and what he’d been through.
What do you do when you are not writing?
As a mom of three, I’m usually pretty busy when I’m not writing. There’s always a kitchen to be cleaned or laundry to be folded or a kid to be driven somewhere. And now my oldest has her learner’s permit and I’m the one she drives with the most. So that’s always fun. Not really.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I love that I was given the opportunity to bring Michael and Danny’s mother to life in this book thanks to my editor suggesting I include a flashback. If there is one couple I would love to write, it would be their parents. I would love to see Mac MacGregor fall head over heels in love with Lily.