Spotlight on Nancy Naigle and ‘Christmas Joy’!


christmas-joyBOOK BLURB: Joy Holbrook might be all work and no play, but that changes when her Aunt Ruby takes a fall that lands her in a rehabilitation center before the holidays. Joy takes a leave of absence from her job as a market researcher to run the family farm, even though the timing may hinder her chance at garnering the promotion of her dreams.

Ben Andrews isn’t your average accountant. He also happens to be the handiest man in Crystal Falls. He’s helped his elderly neighbor, Ruby Johnson, decorate for the annual Christmas Home Tour—and win—the last several years. He’s not about to let some drop-in niece break their winning streak.

Ruby seems overly concerned about Joy being able to handle Molly. Under the impression she’s referring Molly the bunny that is one of the menagerie of animals, Joy’s not worried at all until the next morning when a little girl named Molly shows up. For the sake of her aunt, Joy is forced to partner with Ben while Ruby is on the mend to help with preparation for the Christmas tour and, in the process finds her career-focused heart dreaming of a family.

Will the magic of Christmas help her to open her heart and find her everlasting joy?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Book Depositary / Google Play /


At seven o’clock on the dot, Ben stood at the front door of Ruby Johnson’s house, feeling a little as he had when he was a teen picking up his prom date. Unsure of what the night would hold, but excited to figure it all out. He raised his hand and knocked.

When the door opened, Joy stood there looking more beautiful than ever, with her hair pulled up in a messy bun and wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt with the sleeves pushed up.

Disquieting thoughts danced through his mind, like what his hands would feel like running down her arms as he pulled her in for a hug, a kiss. Maybe even more than that.

He held back the involuntary reaction to gush over how pretty she looked.

The last thing he wanted to do was spook her, since he seemed to have a way of saying the wrong things around her. Play it cool, Ben.

Even with that neckline covering every bit of her, and not an ounce of makeup on her face, she was incredibly sexy to him.

“Come on in,” Joy said.

Ben followed her into the living room and placed the folders he’d been carrying on the pine plank coffee table in front of him.


He could push her into a cha-cha and she’d never know it, the way she was dodging him. Why was she so nervous? “Do you specialize in Christmas trivia?”

“No. Not really, but I have been working on a Christmas account for a long time, so I do have a lot of it.”

“I see.” But darn if she didn’t quit spouting trivia like some kind of Christmas Trivial Pursuit dictionary of lost facts, and start answering his questions, he was going to lose it. “Do you like white lights or colored lights on your trees?”

“One of the leading vendors out of Georgia has reported that, of the hundreds of thousands of strings of lights sold each year, seventy percent are white. So I guess white are the most popular.”

“Do you like white lights or colored lights on your trees?”

“One of the leading vendors out of Georgia has reported that, of the hundreds of thousands of strings of lights sold each year, seventy percent are white. So I guess white are the most popular.”

Ben dropped the string of lights from his hands to the ground and stood there, blinking.


“I’m not asking you for a free market research analysis. Not even what’s popular. I’m asking what you like.”

“Does it matter?”

“Yeah. Sure it does. I’m interested.” And you’re beautiful when you quit sidestepping me.

She fumbled with the lights, as if he’d said that out loud. “I don’t know that I can answer the question. I haven’t put up a tree by myself. Ever. So I don’t know what I’d pick.”


“No. I’ve never had a Christmas tree of my own. In fact, the last Christmas I celebrated was here with Ruby when I was a teenager, and there wasn’t much celebrating going on that year.”

“The year your mom died?” She nodded.

“But that was, like, what—ten or fifteen years ago? What about all the Christmases since then?”

“I just stay busy. Head down. Work. Keep it all a safe distance from me.”

“How’s that working for you?”

“Until this very minute, it seemed to be working fine, but I’ll be honest—” She stopped pulling the string of lights through her hands. “—I’m feeling a little nostalgic about it all now.”

“Holidays will do that,” he said.

“It’s like I’ve missed out on making memories with Ruby because I was so afraid of reliving the painful ones with Mom.”

He wanted to hold her. Tell her he understood and wished she weren’t hurting. To be there for her. But she didn’t seem ready to share her pain. He resisted the urge and simply offered, “I’m sorry.” “It’s okay.” Her words were soft. “I can’t change the past. But I can definitely revisit the way I do things going forward.”

Better to reroute this discussion to something safer, and anything that might lift the mood. “So you are a workaholic who has never been married. Have no children. Haven’t celebrated Christmas since you lived here in Crystal Falls.”

She plugged her string of lights into the wall. Nothing. “Sounds kind of pitiful, doesn’t it?”

“Nothing pitiful about it.” He dragged his strand over and plugged it into the other socket. His strand lit and began to blink. “I do think,” he said as he laid his hand on her leg, “that maybe you’re overdue for a very special Christmas.”

REVIEW: After reading this book, I have only one question: Why has it taken me this long to read this author?! OMG! This will be one of those stories that I’ll have to reread every Christmas season. It was not just fun but so cute and warm and made me feel all sorts of fuzzy. Seriously!

I adored the hero and the heroine was someone many of us could really relate to. And the plot was great as well. I’m a sucker for romances with kids in it and this one has this cute kid, Molly and my heart was just filled with love for this tyke.

As for the hero, let me say this: this man rocked this story! He will make you wish on a falling star, that’s how dreamy and good he was. I loved the complexity of his character as well. He was so real! His emotions were real!

This story had everything a good Christmas story should have, charm, wit and heartwarming characters everywhere. Must read this season!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

nancy-nagleAUTHOR BIO: USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. She began her contemporary romance series, Adams Grove, while juggling a successful career in finance and life on a seventy-six-acre goat farm.

Now enjoying an early retirement from the financial industry, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, cooking, and the occasional spa day with friends. A native of Virginia Beach, she now calls North Carolina home.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram /

‘The Baron and the Mistress’ by Karyn Gerrard

tbaatm-kgSTORY: Forget the Horrors. Remember…me.

A shivering young woman leans against a lamppost in the most notorious street of ill repute in all London. For Asher Colborne, Baron of Wenlock, this is a haunting vision of beauty and wretchedness. He is shocked to discover the dressed-in-rags creature is none other than Chastity Armitage, who captured his heart more than two years past.

Desperate for food and lodging money, Chastity is forced to sell herself. She never expected a tall, handsome man to appear as if from mist and change her life forever. She is given a choice, continue down the path of never-ending poverty or become the baron’s mistress.

Though they are both determined the arrangement remain an emotionless business transaction, the attraction between them is scorching. Many barriers and obstacles lay in Chastity and Ash’s path. Can the baron and the mistress embrace true love?

REVIEW: Let me say this upfront. This is a very sensual read. The love scenes in this tale for some readers could be too hot to handle. Ms. Gerrard is one of those authors that can weave an erotic and sweet love story so well that will have you panting and sighing at the same time.

The story and characters were well written and developed with just enough of complexity in the plot that they felt real and their romance felt tender yet sensual, heartwarming and romantic.

If you’ve never read this author, this would be a perfect time to start! Just be warned, sensuality in this one is off the charts!

Melanie for b2b

‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ by Debbie Macomber

tdoc-dmSTORY: Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that’s the last straw. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness.

To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the disagreeable grinch won’t even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie’s blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain’s gruff façade to reveal the caring man underneath. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain—and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love.

REVIEW: It wouldn’t be Christmas season if I skipped reading Debbie Macomber Christmas themed story. And that’s what happened last year! So, I’m on my second DM book this season and the stories while similar, still managed to entertain. Especially the heroine.

Julia’s character was one of those unbelievably perfect human beings that you might think it could never be real, until you get to know her a bit better. And then you find out why she is kind and considerate to all, even to those that are not kind in return.

The plot was sun and funny, and the pace just perfect. If you don’t walk away with a lesson of “killing them with kindness” then you’d be missing the point our heroine is trying to teach us all about it.

I hate to repeat myself, but this is why I love reading this author. I enjoy her clean, light and inspiring content.

If you’re like me, in a mood for a sweet, light and very entertaining Christmas themed story, this’ll be just perfect for you.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Little Bookshop on the Seine’ by Rebecca Raisin

tlbots-rrSTORY: Le Vie En Rose

Bookshop owner Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with her new Parisian friend for 6 months! And saying yes is a no-brainer – after all, what kind of a romantic would turn down a trip to Paris? Even if it does mean leaving the irresistible Ridge Warner behind, Sarah’s sure she’s in for the holiday of a lifetime – complete with all the books she can read!

Picturing days wandering around Shakespeare & Co, munching on croissants, sipping café au laits and people-watching on the Champs-Elysees Sarah boards the plane. But will her dream of a Parisian Happily-Ever-After come true? Or will Sarah realise that the dream isn’t quite as rosy in reality…

REVIEW: Sarah lives in a small town in Connecticut and is struggling to keep her bookshop open. It’s called The Bookshop on the Corner. Her boyfriend is Ridge, a reporter, who is traveling doing freelance work. This means that their time together is minimal. Sophie owns Once Upon a Time bookshop in Paris. It’s located right along the Seine and is in a perfect location. Sarah and Sophie have become friends via a bookshop blog and Skype quite often. So, when Sophie’s heart is broken by her boyfriend, she suggests to Sarah that they exchange working at each other’s bookshops for a period of time as Sophie needs to get away. Living in Paris has always been on Sarah’s bucket list and so she agrees. They will live in each other’s apartments so it all works out perfectly.

When Sarah arrives in Paris, she is thrown right into the bookstore and becomes fascinated with the numerous customers and vast size of the store itself. Excited about being in Paris, she finds herself constantly tied to the store juggling all of the customers and endless duties. She soon discovers that while she is willing to work as many hours as necessary to get the jobs done, her French counterparts work when it pleases them to do so. However, she manages to steal some time away from the store here and there to explore the beautiful city of Paris.

Readers follow Sarah as she meets some of the regulars who come into the bookstore and stay all day. There are writers and painters and poets. The business at the bookstore is enormous with the tourists who line up to buy from the large and varied displays of books. Once Sarah lets her co-workers know she will not tolerate their attitude toward working, they come to respect her more and they become friends. They introduce Sarah to the little shops and restaurants that the tourists don’t know about but which thrill Sarah.

Although Sarah is having a lovely time in Paris, she is disappointed that her plans to spend time with Ridge keep being put on hold as he flies from one country to another chasing news stories. After three months in Paris, she is sad that they have only had one day together. With both of them so busy, they are constantly missing one another’s phone calls as well.

As Christmas approaches, Sarah is in her element making plans to decorate the bookstore for the holiday and offer lots of festive events. While she loves Christmas and is excited about it, she is hurting because Ridge is not there and she cannot help but question where their relationship is heading. As a romance novel lover, Sarah is hoping that she will be able to find her own HEA.

I loved this book. The author described the Paris that I personally know and love, including all of the things that make it such an exciting city. Romance book lovers everywhere will want to read this. I promise you that it will be a book you won’t soon forget.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘Hearts Ablaze’ Anthology


BOOK BLURB: Eight bestselling authors. Eight sizzling tales from the Old West to set your heart ablaze…

In Whispered Love, bestselling author Kathleen Ball takes you to the wild Pacific Northwest, a land bristling with handsome, well-muscled lumberjacks. Foreman Samuel Pearse has only one rule; no women allowed. Until he finds one asleep in his bathtub—Pat Clarke, the company cook. With her secret revealed and her virtue at stake, Pat turns to the only man who can help her…the one man who can set fire to her heart.

In Kate’s Outlaw, award-winning author EE Burke spins a suspenseful yarn about a half-breed desperado who abducts—and then rescues—a railroad heiress. On the run from danger, with enemies on both sides, Jake and Kate seek solace in each other’s arms…and ignite a love as powerful as it is forbidden.

The Officer and the Bostoner, from USA Today bestselling author Rose Gordon, follows the adventures of a well-to-do lady traveling cross-country to meet her intended. Instead, she finds herself stranded at a military fort and forced into an unwanted marriage. Can a hot-blooded officer spark love in his wife’s cold heart?

In Fool’s Rush, from USA Today bestselling author Ciara Knight, a young woman, desperate for independence from all men, embarks on a crazy cross-country wagon train adventure disguised as a man. Rather than finding her independence, a bounty hunter captures her under the guise of horse thieving, a crime punishable by hanging. Will a man she’s lied to for months save her, or will he surrender her to a monster with a badge?

Ridin’ For A Fall by Kirsten Lynn immerses you in a fiery tale of forever love. When circumstances force best friends and Wild West Show performers Lena Boden and Kyle Allaway to marry and return to Wyoming, they must stand together against internal doubts and external forces seeking their destruction—or risk a fall that will knock them out of the saddle for good.

A Warrior’s Heart, from best-selling author Amanda McIntyre, brings to life the passionate story of a bold Cherokee warrior and the brave white woman he rescues from certain death. Thrown together by circumstances not of their own making, they overcome betrayal and tragedy to find a love strong enough to bring nations together.

The Rancher, by bestselling author Hildie McQueen, transports readers to 1870s Montana Territory and into a sensual encounter between an injured rancher and a woman running for her life. Sometimes love enters at the worst moment.

In The Drifter, bestselling author Elizabeth Rose takes you on an epic journey across the plains, as drifter Chase Masters shows up wounded at Nessa Pemberton’s stagecoach relay station mistaken as the bandit who killed her husband. Can a single mother learn to love again and put her trust in a man who is nothing but a drifter?

BUY LINK: Amazon / Barnes & NobleKobo / Goodreads 


REVIEW: Whispered Love by Kathleen Ball is a one fast moving story! I loved the hero and heroine and their road to happily ever after was filled with adversity, but the two had enough strength and love to overcome it.

At times sweet and plenty sensual, this story will suck you in and hold you enthrall ’till the end.

Kate’s Outlaw by E.E. Burke tells the tale of the West that will open your eyes about many things that happened as the railroad is moving into the west and goes through Indian Territory.

I loved the couple and their blatant differences. Their love was sweet and tender and timeless.

If you’ve never read this author, this story is perfect for you to discover her writing voice. She is one of my favorite American Historical story tellers and it bears repeating, what I love about her and all the books she’s written, is her seamless blend of immaculate research and storytelling. She’ll take you on a journey you’ll never forget.

If you love historical fiction you will enjoy this romance between Kate, the daughter of a railroad baron and Jake, the Indian she meets and can’t forget.

The Officer and the Bostoner by Rose Gordon is a story of two totally different people that fall in love. It was fast moving, funny and sweet.

If you like opposites attract trope, then this is a must. You’ll love the bantering between these two!

Fool’s Rush by Ciara Knight has such great heroine and hero. I loved them both equally. If you like your heroine to be strong and independent woman and your hero strong and brooding, this story is for you.

But what I loved the most is the way our heroine disguises herself in order to run from her life of servitude.

This story is fast moving, funny and entertaining.

Ridin’ For A Fall by Kirsten Lynn is a story with two very likable characters and an overwhelming amount of adversity to overcome before they embrace their happily ever after.

I hope you read this heartwarming and at times very sensual story. I loved it!

A Warrior’s Heart by Amanda McIntyre came as a surprise to me. What was surprising to me was a paranormal aspect to it and I liked it. This was a well written story with an Indian hero to die for!

The heroine was very interesting and her visions were at the heart of this story.

Heartwarming and fast moving.

The Rancher by Hildie McQueen gives you an Alpha hero in its best! He’s handsome, honorable and complex. It takes just as complex character of the heroine to draw him out and by doing so, she falls in love with him.

I also liked the plot of this story and so wished the story was just a tad longer. It would have helped me get to know the heroine better. Regardless, I did like the story and highly recommend it.

The Drifter by Elizabeth Rose is a story of a drifter who is mistaken for an outlaw, and a heroine who blames that identity for the death of her husband. Their way to each other is fraught with peril and heartbreak, but they take a chance on each other. Liked it a lot!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author.

Spotlight on Anna Bennett and ‘My Brown-Eyed Earl’!



William Ryder, Earl of Castleton, is at the end of his noble rope. Not only has he broken ties with his longtime mistress, his mother has publicly announced her wish for him to marry a suitable young lady―if only to help him raise the twins left in his care. Hiring a governess should solve some of Will’s problems…but when he meets the candidate in question, he finds himself in an entirely new predicament.


Miss Margaret Lacey is brainy, beautiful, and, once upon a time, Will’s betrothed. But she bowed out of the engagement―and, since then, has never been the same. A tragic accident robbed her of everything, and now, at age twenty-three, her marital prospects are slim to none. Penniless but not without pride, Meg convinces the vexingly handsome Will to hire her for the job. What neither of them could have expected from this arrangement, however, is an attraction that burns stronger than ever. Are these two lost souls finally ready to be schooled in the art of love?

BUY LINKS: Amazon  / B&N /  Kobo /


Will leaned forward on his elbows and pinched the bridge of his nose. Somehow, in the space of a week, his highly ordered, luxurious life had fallen apart.

First, Marina, the beautiful widow he’d been seeing, hinted that she wanted more than the mutually pleasurable arrangement they’d agreed to, forcing Will to break things off with her.

Next, his recently deceased cousin’s mistress showed up on Will’s doorstep with the twin girls, threatening to leave them at an orphanage unless he took them in.

And then last night, he attended a dinner party in honor of his mother’s birthday. In front of a dozen guests, she announced her sole wish: that her son marry before she turned fifty—in exactly one year. After choking on his wine, Will promised to give the matter some thought.

Then he had gone directly to his club and drunk himself into oblivion.

Jesus. He stood, ran his hands through his hair, and checked his reflection in a mirror between a pair of book- cases. Gibson was right—he looked like hell.

Bad enough to scare off a potential governess.

He swiped the cravat off his chair, slung it around his neck, hastily tied it in some semblance of a knot, and but- toned his jacket. There was nothing to be done about the stubble on his chin or the faint imprint the desk blotter had left on his cheek, so he threw back the rest of his coffee and congratulated himself. Within the hour he’d have a governess to manage the twins, and at least one aspect of his life would be set to rights.

Gibson was already shuffling down the corridor. “My lord,” he intoned from the doorway, “may I present Miss Lacey.”

Will blinked. Lacey . . . it was a common name. Surely the potential governess couldn’t be—

She glided into the study and cast a wary look his way.

“Good afternoon, Lord Castleton. It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

Dear God. It was her. The vicar’s daughter who thought she was too damned good for him. Standing in his study, cloaked in a drab dress that might have been lilac once but now more closely resembled gray. No ribbons adorned her brown hair. No ringlets framed her face. In fact, the only decoration she wore was the light smattering of freckles across her nose.

REVIEW: London – 1817

Miss Margaret (Meg) Lacey, age 23, is hoping to find a position as a companion, but her friend is insisting she apply for a governess position to twin 6-year-old girls, Diana and Valerie. Meg and her two younger sisters have been cared for by their Uncle Alistair after the deaths of their parents 8 years ago. However, she realizes that her uncle’s finances are in bad shape and she needs to find a way to earn money.

The man Meg is applying to for the position is none other than William Ryder, the Earl of Castleton. Lord Castleton is the man her parents had wanted her to marry. At the time, she was only 15 and was not interested in marriage at all and ended up insulting him.

Fighting a hangover, William is ready to interview the prospective governess. Why is he hungover? His mother has just requested that he marry within a year.

William offers Meg the position with good pay. Although she doesn’t really feel qualified to teach the girls, she work hard to make sure she is doing a good job.

The girls’ mother was the mistress to his recently deceased friend. She dumped them on William because she does not want to keep them. If he didn’t take them, she would have put them in an orphanage.

Meg enjoys working with the girls even though they can be rather trying at times. The girls develop a fondness for her too.

As Meg and William spend more time together, a spark ignites that turns into heated desire.

This is a good book with a great plot and I enjoyed it immensely. There is a bit of suspense added to the story that will keep the reader guessing and drawing them deeper into the story. Do grab a copy of the book. I think you will truly enjoy it.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

annabennett_authorphoto_color-300x400AUTHOR BIO: Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided that books with balls, dukes, and gowns were the best. So, when she had the chance to spend a semester in London she packed her bags—and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.

Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anna found her way back to writing the stories she loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart®. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Other weaknesses include reality TV, cute shoes, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter /

‘Veiled In Blue’ by Lynne Connolly

vib-lcSTORY: It is up to the Emperors of London to protect the throne—without risking their hearts…

Governess Eve Merton would have fallen into serious trouble on her walk home if a handsome stranger had not stopped to help her. But when Mr. Vernon gives her a lift on his horse, he makes no secret of his attraction. As a well brought-up young lady, Eve does her best not to notice, but when he sets about courting her, she knows she’s in trouble. For she has a secret: she is the daughter of a deposed king, which means not only is she without a dowry, but also that her life is in danger…

Little does Eve know that Mr. Vernon has secrets of his own. In truth, his name is Julius, Lord Winterton, and he’s well aware that Eve is the offspring of the Old Pretender. In order to save his sister, he must convince Eve to wed—though he wants nothing to do with love. But as the two grow closer and an attempt is made on Eve’s life, Julius may realize that fighting his heart’s true desire is a battle most pleasurably surrendered…

REVIEW: Julius, Lord Winterton, a.k.a Mr. Julius Vernon, is a widower with a six-year-old daughter named Caroline and a sister named Helena. The girls are currently staying with his mother. She has been imploring him to get a companion for Helena and keeps reminding him that he also needs to get remarried to one of the women that she has chosen for him. His mother is also threatening to use Helena as an unpaid companion. It angers Julius for his mother to try and manipulate him.

Currently, he is on a secret mission to find the legitimate children of the Old Pretender and provide them safety. One of the people he seeks is Miss Eve Merton, who is has been raised as the daughter of the late Reverend and Mrs. Merton of Appleton. He decides to visit his brother, Alex, for a few days and search for Eve at the same time. Riding his horse on his journey, he happens upon a young lady who has twisted her ankle while walking along the road he is traveling. He assures her that is a trustworthy man, so she agrees to ride on his horse with him to her destination. He is delighted to find that she is the Eve Merton whom he seeks. Upon arrival in town, Julius ensures that Eve is safe in her home. He then decides to stay at an inn in town under the name of Mr. Vernon.

When he meets with his brother, he shares his mission with him. He also shares that he thinks there is a spy in town and they have to flush him out.

As Julius is quite taken with the lovely Eve, he calls upon her and her mother. He enjoys walking and talking with her. Eve feels that at the age of 27, and a woman with no dowry, her prospects for marriage are behind her and she prepares herself to be a spinster. Even though Mrs. Merton has told her the truth about her background, Eve doesn’t believe it.

Julius calls upon Eve but finds he has competition in that other men are interested in her. Realizing she will have to marry someone, she thinks she should accept an offer from Sir Henry although she doesn’t care for him. When Eve and Julius are discovered kissing, Julius immediately announces that they are betrothed. Yet things are not rosy for them as they both face enemies that need to be identified and conquered.

The story was OK for me but it tended to drag in parts.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b