BOOK REVIEW: “Plan Cee”

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“Plan Cee” by Hilary Grossman

Blurb: Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.

My Review: 

When I heard that Hilary Grossman would be writing a sequel to “Plan Bea,” I knew I had to read it! Once I started reading, I did not want to stop. From the first book, I loved Cecelia’s character, so I was eager to get to know her better!

While on the outside, her life seems perfect, when her past comes back to haunt her, in more ways than one–things get out of the way control–and fast.

There were so many times I was clutching my stomach and wondering what Cee would do and how she’d handle whatever situation came up, but she didn’t disappoint. After all, when a lover comes back in the picture, it’s normal to wonder “what if,” even though she’s now married with twin boys. While I’m not as brave or would be so easily tempted (especially if I was happy in my marriage), in the end, I understand why she did. With each swipe of the page, there were great twists, which, thankfully, turned out for the best.

As for the ending, I was in tears. Cee made the right choice on which path she wanted to be on, and I applaud the author for making what I think was the right choice, mainly for the fact that some people never change…I’m not going to give any spoilers, but…WOW! My only issue with this book was that I wanted to see how once she made her choice life would be for her.

This is a must-read book would be perfect for a day at the beach!

I give “Plan Cee” 5 stars!

**Click HERE to get your copy of “Plan Cee” now!

**Reviewer Note: While it’s mentioned that “Plan Cee” is a standalone, I highly recommend that you read “Plan Bea” first, (click HERE to see my review).

RELEASE DAY: “Playing House”

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“Playing House” by Laura Chapman

Blurb:

She’s a work in progress . . .

Bailey Meredith has had it. As an assistant at a prestigious interior design firm, she’s tired of making coffee and filing invoices. She’ll do just about anything to get out from under the paperwork and into the field for real experience. Then she sees an ad for a job that seems too good to be true.

He’s a fixer upper . . .

Wilder Aldrich knew she would be perfect for the crew the moment he saw her. His hit home improvement show only hired the best, and Bailey had potential written all over her. It isn’t just her imaginative creativity and unmatched work ethic that grabs his attention. There’s just something about her.

With chemistry on screen, it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly behind the scenes as well. But with Bailey’s jaded views on romance and a big secret that could destroy Wilder and everyone he cares about are either of them willing to risk it all for love?

**Click HERE to get your copy of “Playing House” now!

Review and Excerpt of “Defining Her”

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“Defining Her” by Samantha March

Blurb: Nellie Hawthorne is a woman who has it all. A devoted husband, her own business, a wealthy lifestyle. But the Nellie she is now is much different from her past. A past filled with abuse, addiction, and men. Nellie’s carefully constructed new life is suddenly in jeopardy when a blast from the past emerges in her small town and her overbearing mother-in-law starts pushing for grandchildren and questions start being asked. A budding new friendship presents itself at an opportune time, and a once friendless Nellie finds herself growing closer to Prue Doherty.

Prue Doherty is the quintessential good girl. Always making the right decisions, always playing it safe. Until she meets a man that could change all of that. Still reeling from a devastating breakup and betrayal that had her fleeing from Chicago and settling into suburb life with her mom close by, Prue finds herself in a damaging funk. But everything changes when she befriends Nellie Hawthorne.

Nellie is trying to escape her past. Prue wants that perfect future. While both women strive to change their lives, they continue to cling to the past. But what defines us? Who we were then . . . or who we are trying to be now? Lies, manipulation, and deceit are woven throughout the pages of this edgy women’s fiction novel, with an ending you won’t see coming.

**Grab your copy of “Defining Her” now: Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Kobo

My Review: 

I’ve been a fan of Samantha March for a very long time, so I was very excited to receive an ARC of “Defining Her.” I read almost half of it the first night–it was that good!

Coming from a horrific background as a child and young adult, Nellie’s life is quite different now that she’s a married woman and a business professional. Having the pressure from her husband and mainly her mother-in-law about having a baby, I felt like when Nellie befriends Prue, it’s a way of a distraction. Like Nellie, Prue had a rough time as a younger woman, but not nearly as bad. In the beginning, I felt sorry for her and even liked her, but toward the end, I was a little surprised at how she handled herself. Maybe she was jealous of Nellie’s life, I don’t know, but in her case, it was easy to understand that her past caught up with her.

Over time, I thought it was interesting to see how the bond between them grows, but what I really loved was the ending, and how certain secrets are divulged. I don’t give any spoilers, but I was so happy with how everything ended and would love to see this book as part of a series.

While this book was dark in a lot of cases, the mystery of secrets between the women and their past was written beautifully. If you’re looking for a quick read over the weekend, I recommend “Defining Her.”

I give “Defining Her” 5 stars!

*****

EXCERPTS

From Chapter 1

Nellie

I pulled up the schedule and minimized it to a small square, dragging it up to the top of my screen. I loved keeping an eye on the appointments, seeing the client name turn purple upon checking in, then yellow when their room was cleaned after they were finished. Our salon had three Versa Spas and sixteen regular tanning beds, all varying in speed and power. Mondays could be a fairly busy day, as people have their high hopes for the week, their mental to-do lists of how to get it started off right. Even during summer season the tanning salon stayed busy. Heaven forbid one of the suburbanites looked less than stellar taking their children to the pool or their summer activities and camps.

I blew out a breath. I could feel my old self threatening to peek through my carefully worked on new persona. My Mrs. Hawthorne persona. I wasn’t the old Nellie. I wasn’t.

I turned back to the computer, watching the check-ins and check-outs start to happen. I scanned the schedule again. Mostly familiar names in there. One in particular stood out to me on that day. Prue.

I clicked on her profile, which opened up the client information, including their photo we scanned from their driver’s license. Yep, it was the woman I’d been observing the past . . . oh, two weeks or so. Cute blonde bob, though longer now than in her picture. Bright green eyes. Petite. I remember being the one to give her the tour when she first joined as a member. I towered over her, and I’m 5’7.

She stuck out to me because she seemed so . . . sad. Something in her piercing green eyes stuck out to me that day. I didn’t know what her story was and I knew it wasn’t my business. We all deal with our own shit in our own way. But something . . . just gave me a pause. I never really had an empathic bone in my body, and I wasn’t the girlfriend type. I tried doing that whole have chicks on my side that I can count on and have each other’s backs years ago and that didn’t pan out. Nah. It’s just me and Harrison now. And our neighbors and Harrison’s work friends and the girls at the salon, but these are all acquaintances or employees. Not friends.

Working on a graphic for the Labor Day sale distracted me from my thoughts, and I forgot about Prue and much of anything else. I worked on a color scheme that popped, a layout that was aesthetically pleasing, and squeezing in all the pertinent details to the sale. At noon on the dot, my phone gave a chime. Time to break for lunch. If I didn’t schedule my reminders, I would forget to eat all together. And yes, I cared about my body and my health and I worked out, but I did not skip meals. I was not anorexic or bulimic, thank you so much. I was healthy.

I drove to the deli and picked up a typical lunch—turkey and cheese on wheat bread, loaded with spinach, green peppers, lettuce, a few pickles, and low-fat Italian. I asked for an apple and, back in the office, grabbed a Smart Water out of my personal mini fridge. I watched YouTube videos while I ate—everything from how to perfect my winged liner to design tips to music videos. This was my time to zone out. To forget work and deadlines and schedules and invoices and just chill.

At ten to one, I started cleaning up my mess. Throwing my wrappers away. Wiping up some apple juice dribbled next to my MacBook. Clicking out of YouTube and getting back to the daily schedule. And, just like clockwork, I watched Prue’s name become highlighted. She tanned Monday and Thursday at one o’clock each day. Ten minutes a time, though she stayed in the room for nearly twenty.

I headed out to the front desk, while Kerri took off for the day. The next employee, Sasha, was scheduled at two o’clock, so during this hour, I sat out front and checked people in and out and cleaned rooms. I loved my job. My career. My business. And while no, I didn’t need the salon to help us financially, I loved having a schedule. A normalcy to a life that had rarely seen any. A purpose.

“Have a good rest of your day, Kerri. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Sure thing, Nellie. Catch you on the flip.” Kerri waved enthusiastically and headed out the door, gaudy pink Coach purse slung over her shoulder, already thumbing away on her ginormous cell phone. I made a mental note to buy my best and favorite employee a real designer purse this year as her Christmas bonus. Coach was so . . . basic.

I shook my head as I took a seat behind the reception desk. Listen to me! Coach was basic. How so much could change in so little time. If you had told me this would be my life at twenty-nine not even ten years ago, I would have laughed in your face. Or tried to rob you.

I looked up when I heard a noise and saw Prue approaching the desk, head down, car keys in hand.

“Thanks for coming in!” I said cheerily, a smile on my face.

She glanced back at me, just for a moment, but I saw the tears slipping down her face before she managed to put her sunglasses on. “Thanks,” she practically whispered, before she was gone.

I frowned, looking at the screen. I checked out her room on the computer, then proceeded back to room 8 to give it a clean. Wiping down the bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about this particular client. Why was she giving me the vibe that I should . . . help her? Offer her a shoulder to cry on or at least just someone to talk to? Maybe she was like me and never had a real friend she could count on. Maybe I could be that person for someone. Maybe making a new friend was just what I needed right now. To remind me that I had changed my life for the better, and I could still be that better person. Maybe the timing was perfect, what with my past threatening to return. This was the life I ran away to. I had to keep it together.

From Chapter 2

Prue

Once back home, I had just over an hour to get showered and changed and to the school. My mom, Jean Doherty, was the principal of Eakwood Elementary School, one of the three elementary schools in this small town. School had only been in session for two weeks but I found myself there three days a week helping out. They got unexpectedly short-staffed in several places right before the school bell rang for the first time, so I was filling in. Because I didn’t have anything else going on in my life. Right.

I was a court reporter and worked hard at my job. But it wasn’t your typical 9-5 desk job. Some days I worked in the courtroom from eight in the morning to two in the afternoon without a break. Some days I worked solely from home, transcribing notes and proofreading the depo. Not very often would you find me in the office of my employer, Swank and Marty, because it simply wasn’t needed and now it was too far to travel. Just three blocks west of Michigan Avenue, when I lived in Chicago I was there much more often, simply because I enjoyed being there and around my co-workers. That changed real quick when I learned one of my office-friends, Brandi, was sleeping with my boyfriend. That put a real damper on the office morale, especially when I learned she moved into the house with him that I cosigned my name to on the mortgage. Yeah. That stung.

After my relationship imploded, I hightailed it out of Chicago and to Oamark Park, to be closer to my mom. Since my dad died three years prior and I was their sole offspring, I often wanted to be closer to her. It was only about an hour drive from here to Chicago and I came back nearly every weekend to be by her or bring her into Chicago, but it was different being just minutes away from each other now. And being that I was at her school so much, we saw each other on nearly a daily basis. I wasn’t complaining because I loved my mom and our relationship was fantastic. I just didn’t . . . expect life to turn out this way.

It was all planned out. I had been with Deacon Moore for three years. We were in love. We met through mutual friends at a birthday party one night and had our first date just days later at Portillo’s. He was everything to me. My best friend. My biggest supporter. He gave me shoulder rubs when I was hunched over my steno machine all day and night. He brought me foot-long sandwiches when I was in the courtroom and only given a ten-minute lunch break. He eventually started working in my office, which I loved. He came home with me and charmed my mother. I thought a proposal was coming anytime. We bought a house together. It was my own version of a fairy tale.

Until it all came crashing down. Turned out the perfect Deacon wasn’t quite as perfect as I thought he was. He had been seeing Brandi on the side for nearly eight months. Eight months. We signed the mortgage papers as he was sleeping with another woman. How . . . how could someone do that to a person? And why? Why make me waste so much time and money and energy when he didn’t even want to be with me? What was the point?

Though money was never really much of a concern for me—Dad had a good life insurance policy and court reporters made a better-than-decent salary—but Deacon was still slowly draining my finances. I paid for the home inspection, the realtor fees, the upfront taxes. I paid the loan payments on the new car “we” purchased together but only Deacon still drove. Deacon and Brandi had missed three mortgage payments and the bank called me to get that paid because my name was still on the mortgage. All that nonsense has led us to court, which means . . . more money being drained out of my account. I couldn’t believe I made such a mistake. That I was so easily fooled. That I was betrayed by my lover, my best friend. Betrayed by a co-worker and someone who I was at least friendly with, if not real friends. And the fact that it totally upended my life was just the cherry on top.

I went from thinking a marriage proposal was on the way, moving into a beautiful home, bringing a new puppy into our lives to living in a small cramped apartment with my finances in jeopardy. Suing my ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend to try to gain back some of the money that I spent paying their freaking mortgage. It just wasn’t fair.

I pulled up to the school and parked in the employee parking lot. Walking in, my thoughts were still on how my life turned so quickly. What did I do to deserve such deceit? I was the good girl, the good person. I had morals and always tried doing the right thing. Karma scared the crap out of me. I was the dependable, reliable one. How was this fair, karma? Huh? It wasn’t. It just simply wasn’t. And that infuriated me. What was the point of always making the right choices if this is what I got in the end?

*****

**About the author: Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things beauty, fashion and fitness. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has five published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, Up To I Do and Defining Her, and one holiday novella, The Christmas Surprise. You can also find her on Youtube sharing beauty reviews and creating makeup tutorials. When she isn’t reading, writing, or vlogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.

**Contact Samantha: Instagram   Youtube   Twitter   Snapchat   Facebook   Amazon   Blog

**Click HERE to grab all of Samantha’s books for $0.99 now (for a limited time)!

*****

**GIVEAWAY**

**Click HERE to enter the in the Rafflecopter giveaway!

*****

**Click HERE to see more stops on Samantha’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours!

*****

BOOK FEATURE: “Playing House”

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“Playing House” by Laura Chapman

Blurb:

She’s a work in progress. . .

Bailey Meredith has had it. As an assistant at a prestigious interior design firm, she’s tired of making coffee and filing invoices. She’ll do just about anything to get out from under the paperwork and into the field for real experience. Then she sees an ad for a job that seems too good to be true.

He’s a fixer upper . . .

Wilder Aldrich knew she would be perfect for the crew the moment he saw her. His hit home improvement show only hired the best, and Bailey had potential written all over her. It isn’t just her imaginative creativity and unmatched work ethic that grabs his attention. There’s just something about her.

With chemistry on screen, it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly behind the scenes as well. But with Bailey’s jaded views on romance and a big secret that could destroy Wilder and everyone he cares about are either of them willing to risk it all for love?

**Available on March 21! Available on: Amazon   Apple   Barnes & Noble   Kobo

*****

“PLAYING HOUSE” EXCERPT

Keeping a close distance, she followed Waverly up the cracked path to the house. Bailey took quick mental notes of her surroundings. The exterior needed a lot of work. The sagging roof missing gutters made her think they’d find the inside in similar disarray. They stepped through the front door, nearly tripping over Wilder Aldrich, who was measuring the entryway.

“Hey!” He sprang to his feet and out of their way. “What did I tell you about waiting until I gave you the all clear?”

“You were taking for-frickin’-ever, and some of us were freezing our tits off.” She pursed her lips and took on a warrior stance, seemingly daring him to say something else.

Conceding victory to her, Wilder turned and flashed an apologetic grin at Bailey. “Hey.” He offered a hand. Warmth permeated through the thin material of her glove. “Welcome to Casa de Waverly.”

Giving him a smug grin, Waverly sipped her coffee and faced Bailey. “Do you have a smart phone?”

Bailey stared blankly for a second, still dazzled by seeing Wilder up close. But she quickly snapped to attention and dug her phone out of her coat pocket.

“Good,” Waverly said after inspecting it. “While you’re on the job, I’d like you to snap some photos for our social media accounts. I’ll want to vet everything before we post it, but we need to start building the buzz for the next season while we’re filming. In exchange, we’ll cover your phone payments to take care of your data usage. Understood?”

“I can do that.”

“Good. Now . . .” She pulled out her own phone. It was the latest model that had come out on the market a month ago. With all of its reported bells and whistles, it put Bailey’s poor phone to shame. “I’m going to make a quick call. I’ll be back in a few minutes, and we can get started on,” she gestured around her, “this mess.”

She spun on her heel and waltzed out of the room, cooing into the phone.

Wilder cleared his throat, and Bailey turned to give him her full attention. She estimated he was only a couple of years older than herself—maybe in his late twenties or early thirties. He looked younger in real life than he did on TV. He was leaner and a little shorter—though she still had to crane her neck a little to meet his gaze.

He was also more handsome. Not the GQ model, your tongue-sticks-to-the-top-of-your-mouth kind of sexy. But he was hot in the same way the guy you sat next to in Chemistry was. It was enough to distract you from formulas and Bunsen burners every so often, but not enough that you’d ever set the lab on fire or forget to finish your final exam.

So far, he seemed much more serious. Where was the guy who scared Waverly with a stuffed dummy in a closet in the last episode she’d watched before calling an end to the marathon?

He was, she realized, studying her every bit as closely, with those hazel eyes speckled with green. Noting that, she didn’t feel quite as rude taking mental notes on the man in front of him.

At least she looked good. She’d laid out three outfits that morning in the hotel room. The first was a long, silky turquoise tunic that she’d paired with a pair of black leggings and knee-high boots. It was similar to the clothes Waverly favored on screen—only hers weren’t name-brand knockoffs. Then she had the casual jeans, a gray T-shirt that she could dress-up with a navy blue blazer. And there was option three: dark-wash, fit jeans, a chambray shirt, and a scarf. It was an ensemble that fell somewhere in the middle. It was the one that looked the most like her when she inspected herself in the mirror.

It was the one that felt most like her now in the middle of the foyer.

She wondered what he saw when he looked at her. Did he see a confident young woman ready to tackle major projects adeptly? Or did he see someone who was desperate to create, no matter what happened? Both were correct, but which one shone through right now?

Like a light switch, that triggered something in her. She offered her hand again. “We haven’t officially met. I’m Bailey Meredith.”

*****

GUEST POST

HOW IS PLAYING HOUSE DIFFERENT FROM YOUR OTHER BOOKS AND WHAT MADE YOU WRITE IT?

Playing House marks a bit of a change for me as a writer. Though it still carries the comedy—and hopefully whimsy—of my previous books like The Marrying Type and the Queen of the League series, this story is different. It focuses primarily on the love story in line with contemporary romances. Plus it’s steamier—there’s no fading to black here. (Sorry, not sorry, Mom and Dad.)

That’s why I’m calling it a sexy romantic comedy. You’ll still find laughs and giggly situational elements, but there are also a few scenes that made me blush to write.

I didn’t add these scenes to be gratuitous by any means, or because I was trying to be edgy. I just realized—once this story came to fruition—that it called for some spice. Because sometimes when a woman cares for a man, and he feels the same admiration for her, they want to express it in a physical sense.

As a reader and writer, I was raised on great love stories told by the likes of Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, and Judith McNaught. Not only were they some of my favorite writers, but they also became my teachers. It felt like a natural profession to shift my writing more squarely under the romance umbrella, because these stories are among my favorite. That’s not to say I won’t return to another chick lit story or sweet romance in the future. But right now, my current roster of books to-write tends to lean in this direction. It’s been a lot of fun.

As for why I felt the need to write Playing House in particular . . .

The idea for Playing House came to me the weekend after I published First & Goal, the first book in the Queen of the League series, back in September 2015. I was attending a conference in Indianapolis for my day job at a museum. My co-worker and I, by mutual agreement, kept our TV tuned into HGTV whenever we were in the room. When we weren’t in lectures or meetings, we were in front of that TV. It amounted to hours and hours of home décor, home purchasing, and so on.  At a certain point, I started to wonder . . . how much of it was real? The work, the relationships, all of it—how much of it is true and in the moment, and how much is manufactured for TV?

And I let my imagination wander.

By the end of the weekend, I whispered to my co-worker that I was pretty sure I had an idea for my next stand-alone novel. So I did what I always do when I have a story idea. I obsessed about it and researched it. I ended up reading blogs and message boards to answer some of my questions about what happens when the cameras are off. I also watched way more hours of some of my favorite HGTV shows like Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, and House Hunters. By the time National Novel Writing Month came around in November, I had the gist of my story.

Even with all of my watching and reading, the characters and situations are original in Playing House and it is a work of fiction. I did not use any of the real-life stars as inspiration, nor did I take any true stories and make them my own. The only thing I really stole was the consistent element I saw throughout every post: most of the work happens when the cameras are off and there’s always more to the whole story than what we see on TV.

I hope readers will enjoy reading about the world in Playing House as much as I did imagining and writing it.

*****

**About the author: Laura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, Going for Two, Three & Out, The Marrying Type, and Playing House. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. She loves talking to readers. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also get the latest news from her website, blog, and monthly newsletter.

*****

**GIVEAWAY**

This month, during the Playing House blog tour, you can enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of 1 free Audible copy each of The Marrying Type, First & Goal,  Going for Two or 1 $20 Amazon gift card.

**Click HERE to enter the giveaway!

RELEASE DAY: “Plan Cee”

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“Plan Cee” by Hilary Grossman

Blurb: Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.

**Get your copy of “Plan Cee” now!: Amazon

“Plan Bea” by Hilary Grossman

Blurb: We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really?

On the outside, Annabel O’Conner has it all – the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and a mother from hell! Just when she gives up trying to regain her overbearing mother’s love, an unexpected call turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believes about her life. 

Could falling in love give a cold, stubborn, and selfish woman a second chance to open her heart back up to her family?

Beatrice Buchanan has spent more years than she can remember distancing herself from everyone close to her. She barely has a relationship with her grandchildren. The only time she manages to have a one way conversation with her daughter is during her weekly fifteen-minute commute to the nail salon. When Bea meets Walter on a cruise she realizes there may be more to life than designer clothes, killer handbags, and impressing the ladies at her posh country club.

As the mother and daughter duo team up to plan “Long Island’s wedding of the year” they confront the secrets and lies that have defined them. This humorous emotionally honest women’s contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you.

“Although a light read, the subject matter was very sad at times and I found myself choking back tears, but in a good way! It was so authentically heart wrenching yet often very funny too. The characters were so well fleshed out and three dimensional – no one was perfect and no one was fatally flawed – like real life. I thought the twist was genius!”

– Meredith Schorr Best Selling Author

**Get your copy of “Plan Bea” now!: Amazon

*****

**GIVEAWAY**

**Click HERE for your chance to win a $25.00 Starbucks Gift Card!

*****

**About the author: By day, Hilary Grossman works in the booze biz. By night she hangs out with her “characters.” She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She’s been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball – she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on Long Island.

**Contact Hilary: Blog   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram

BOOK FEATURE: “Whisper of Love”

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“Whisper of Love” by Melissa Foster

Blurb: Tempest Braden adores her family and her small hometown, but sometimes too much of a good thing can be confining. At almost thirty, having watched most of her siblings find true love, she’s anxious to experience her own happily ever after, and the move to Pleasant Hill, Maryland, is just the change she needs. When she rents a room from ruggedly handsome, and closed-off, artist Nash Morgan and his adorable son, Phillip, she thinks she’s found a little slice of heaven on the outskirts of town, where she can concentrate on building her business. That is, if she can ignore the undeniable heat between her and the sinfully hot single father.

When Nash bought his farmette, he had one goal in mind—to provide a loving, stable home for his son. He never imagined he’d be raising Phillip alone, or renting out a room to keep their heads above water. Then again, he never imagined losing his brother, or spending two years sailing around the world with parents who seemed to forget one son was still alive.

Sparks fly from the moment Tempest moves in, and her positive energy and inquisitive nature brings new life into Nash and Phillip’s quiet, confined world. For the first time in years, Nash wants to let a woman into his world, but while his loss made him stronger, that strength came at a price, leaving him walled off and wary of opening his heart again.


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EXCERPT

Nash Morgan shifted his three-year-old son, Phillip, onto his hip and reached behind him to shut the gate. The chickens scurried away amid cackles and mad wing flaps. He set Phillip on the ground, and his son shook his head, shrugging like he’d been doing this for twenty years and couldn’t believe the chickens still ran from them. He ruffled his boy’s springy dark curls, drawing a serious, expectant look and an outstretched hand from Phillip. Nash loved his little man’s eagerness to get started on their evening chores. He handed him a smaller bucket from inside his larger one and nodded toward the coop.

Phillip returned the nod and clomped his booted feet into the coop to collect the eggs. Nash adjusted his baseball cap, listening as Phillip counted off each egg with an “Mm-hm.”

He drew in a deep breath, hoping, for the millionth time, that he was doing enough for his son. He was the only parent Phillip had. Or rather, the only one who wanted him, a fact that never failed to grate on him like nails dragging along a chalkboard. His cell phone rang and Larry Robert’s number flashed on the screen. Nash uttered a curse. Larry owned a gallery in North Carolina, and he’d given Nash his first big break. A break that could have carried him to a lifetime of success. But after Phillip was born he’d been unable to keep up with the demands of custom orders. Larry was opening another gallery in Virginia, and he wanted to feature Nash’s work. Nash had turned him down, but Larry was persistent.

Swallowing the acidic taste of disappointment, he let the call go to voicemail and looked across the yard at the barn, which served as his workshop for the furniture he made and sold in town. He’d long ago locked up his metalworking and wood-sculpting workshop and stored his unfinished work. Gallery-worthy pieces, if he ever had the time to finish them. Pipe dreams. He’d had them, even made them a reality for a while. But that was a long time ago, and there was no sense thinking about something that could never be—at least not until Phillip was much older.

He ducked into the coop and checked the chickens’ food and water. Scanning the nesting beds, he snatched up the few eggs Phillip had missed. Phillip leaned against Nash’s leg and yawned. Nash couldn’t imagine anyone not loving their child with all their heart, but Phillip’s mother, Alaina, had taken off three months after their son was born, and other than receiving official documents releasing her from her parental rights, he hadn’t heard from her since. Not a day passed that he didn’t worry about the long-term effects her leaving would have on his son.

“Good job, Phillip.” He said his son’s name so fast it came out sounding like “Flip.” He set down his bucket, wrapped his arms around his boy, and whispered in his ear, “I love you, little dude.” He kissed his cheek and scooped him up, earning the sweetest giggle known to man.

Nash grabbed the buckets and headed for the goat pen. Big and Little, the two goats, trailed behind them as Phillip followed Nash through the process of checking their food and water and sweeping out the goat house, as he did every night. Phillip wiggled the nozzle of the water pipe, just as Nash had, mimicking his “Hm.” Nash tossed a cup of oats in the food bin and waited while Phillip did the same. Big nibbled on Phillip’s shirt, and Phillip leaned down and kissed his head.

“C’mon, buddy.” Nash had grown up in rural Virginia. Most of his friends had lived on farms, and he had no doubt that caring for animals would help Phillip learn responsibility. Not to mention that his son adored all types of animals, from squirrels to goats to worms. That was just fine with Nash. In his experience, animals were a lot more trustworthy than people.

The sound of tires on gravel drew his attention. He scooped Phillip into his arms, locked the goat pen, and grabbed the buckets.

“Visitor,” he said, carrying Phillip toward the house and eyeing the Prius parking behind his old Ford pickup truck. His truck was a gas guzzler, but as much as he hated that, he needed the bed of the truck to haul the furniture he made into town. He hoped Tempest Braden, the woman coming to see the room he was renting out, wasn’t a preachy tree hugger. Hell, he hoped she would turn out to be the silent type so he could pretend she didn’t live in their house.

Phillip’s brows knitted, his hands firmly planted around Nash’s neck. He wasn’t used to visitors. The last several people who had come to see the room they had for rent hadn’t been the kind of people Nash wanted around his son. They’d rubbed him the wrong way—too aggressive, too loud, too shady, too flighty. He just needed a stable, responsible person to rent the room so he could afford to upgrade a few of his tools and start saving for Phillip’s future. He tightened his grip on his son and headed up to meet the tall blonde stepping from the car.

Her wispy skirt fluttered around her knees. Large pink roses with muted green leaves looked as if they’d been thrown onto the flimsy white material haphazardly. A fringe of lace lined the edges. On anyone else the flouncy, floral skirt might look immature. But her legs went on forever, and coupled with her tight, curve-hugging tank top, she looked like Sweet and Sexy collided at the corner of Sinful Temptation.

**Buy Links: Amazon   B & N   Google   iTunes   Kobo


mel-author-photo-headshot400**About the author: Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.

**Contact Melissa:   Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads

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**GIVEAWAY**

**Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!


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BOOK REVIEW: “Taking a Chance”

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“Taking a Chance” by Becky Monson

Blurb: Liza Parker has a fear of heights, crowds and small spaces. So what’s a girl like her doing on a crowded elevator going to the top of the Empire State Building? Freaking out, that’s what she’s doing. Enter Jay Sanders, a tourist who thinks he might be able to help Liza face her fears, but she has to be willing to spend the day with a complete stranger. Maybe taking a chance on Jay is just what Liza needs.

My Review: I’ve been a huge fan of Becky Monson ever since reading “Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace,” so I was excited to start “Taking a Chance.” Having it been a late and lazy Friday night, I figured why not start what turned out to be an adorable novella.

Though they began as strangers, I could feel instant chemistry grow between them–even through Liza’s fears. I loved how Jay took charge of their day together and helped her overcome several obstacles. While it was emotional for her to achieve her goals (not only for herself but mainly for her sister), I liked that it didn’t take away from the storyline between these two.

My only complaint was that I wish it could’ve been a full novel, and am curious if things continue between Liza and Jay after their day together.

If you’re looking for a uber-sweet novella you can curl up with on a lazy weekend, I definitely recommend “Taking a Chance!”

I give this book 5 stars!


monsons77better**About the author: By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last… but it probably won’t.

**Contact Becky: Website   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram


COVER REVEAL: “All That Glitters”

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“All That Glitters (Songs of the Heart #1)” by Tracy Krimmer

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction. Age category: Adult, Release Date: summer 2017

**Today is the cover reveal for All That Glitters by Tracy Krimmer. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The cover is designed by K Creative Designs: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1379730808720098/

Blurb: Country-music star, Dory Walker, never wanted to come back to the small town of Sycamore Bay. But after her fairy-tale life is flipped upside down, and her marriage becomes a casualty, she has no choice.

Harris Malone is a man with few commitments. He keeps a low profile most days while he cares for his young daughter and helps run his dad’s hardware store.

But when he and Dory run into each other at the local gas station, all either can think about is the searing kiss they shared many years ago.

Can a woman who only wants to rekindle her career and a man who enjoys a no-strings attached lifestyle find everlasting love

**Click HERE to find “All That Glitters” on Goodreads now!

 


TracyKrimmerPicAbout the Author: Tracy’s love of writing began at nine years old. She wrote stories about aliens at school, machines that did homework for you, and penguins. Now she pens books and short stories about romance. She loves to read a great book, whether it be romance or science fiction, or any genre in between, or pop popcorn and catch up on her favorite TV shows or movies. She’s been known to crush a candy or two as well. Her loves include fitness, reading, coffee, dogs, and naps (not in that order), and her dislikes are blue cheese, cold weather, and burpees.

**Contact Tracy: Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads   Amazon   Instagram   Newsletter


 

BOOK FEATURE: “Restless in L.A.”

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“Restless in L.A.” by Robin Finn

Blurb:

It was an innocent online flirtation. Until it wasn’t.

Alexandra Hoffman thinks she has it all together. She lives with her work-obsessed husband Jason and their three challenging children in upscale Los Angeles. She never meant to “friend” her old boyfriend, Matt Daniels. She hasn’t seen him in twenty years. But as Alex’s fortieth birthday approaches, she finds herself re-connecting with Matt online—and re-reading her college journal, which details their intense connection and unresolved ending. But Alex’s hands are full with the kids, one of whom she just can’t help, no matter how hard she tries.

Lonely and alienated by the helicopter moms, and from Jason who is never around, Alex’s flirtation quickly moves from on-line to real-world. Alex realizes—too late—that she cannot trust herself. When she meets Matt for dinner, the attraction is undeniable. And when he touches her face, it’s electric. As her life spirals out of control, she clings to her free-spirited life coach, Lark, to make sense of the mess she’s made. But Lark’s advice is clear: Alex must confront her past and find the courage to face her future, even if it means risking everything.

**Click HERE to pre-order your copy of “Restless in L.A.”


colorheadshot**About the author: Robin Finn is an author, essayist, and advocate for children with ADHD/2e. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Disney’s Babble.com, ADDitude Magazine, and elsewhere. She has master’s degrees in public health from Columbia University and in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Robin lives in Los Angeles with her husband and family.

**Contact Robin: Website   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram


BOOK REVIEW: “The Whole Man”

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“The Whole Man” by C.F. Rose

Blurb: Evan O’Cleary was in college when she spent a passionate 48 hours with up-and-coming baseball star Jesse Walsh. But after he broke her heart, she vowed to never see him again. So why does her heart leap when she runs into him ten years later

Jesse not only abandoned Evan, but also his dream of becoming a major league baseball player when his brother died in Iraq. Shattered by the loss, Jesse turns inward. He refuses to commit to more than a one-night stand, until he sets eyes on Evan again, whose body still draws him dangerously near…

Evan knows better than to trust Jesse, but when he protects her against an abusive ex-turned-stalker, one thing leads to another and she finds herself in a delicious encounter on his living room floor. Jesse may not be willing to commit just yet, but maybe Evan can break down the wall. As she gets close, though, Evan uncovers a devastating secret that could destroy their families and drive them apart forever.

My Review: The theme for this book was definitely romance all the way. I was hooked from the beginning, and it didn’t let me down. Though at times, it was a little repetitive and a few scenes I didn’t think belonged–only because I wanted to get back to Evan and Jesse, “The Whole Man” was emotional, yet beautiful, too.

While Evan and Jesse were both broken when they met, time (10 years) can do a lot to people, and from the start, it was like magic when they were together, as they both fought back some very heated sexual tension. I won’t give any spoilers, but I urge you to buy this book…trust me, you won’t regret it!

If you’re looking for a page-turner, and one that will make you melt during a few scenes, then I recommend “The Whole Man.” I give this book 4.5 stars!

**Click HERE to buy “The Whole Man”


cf-rose**About the author: Cheryl Rosenberg, writing as C.F. Rose to protect the innocent, is a sportswriter turned romance writer. When she’s away from her laptop, you can find her at the gym or serving as her kids personal uber driver. She grew up on the East Coast, but survives in too-sunny Southern California with her husband, the three kids and two rescued mutts.The Whole Man is her first book.

**Contact C.F. Rose:

Website   Facebook   Twitter


**Click HERE to see other stops on C.F. Rose’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours!