Thursday, 8 December 2016

New Release Spotlight & Review: Seaside Whispers by Melissa Foster



Seaside Whispers
Seaside Summers #8
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing November 30, 2016
World Literary Press



Seaside Whispers

Seaside Summers

Having a mad crush on her boss’s son, Matt Lacroux—an intriguing mix of proper gentleman and flirtatious bad boy—is probably not the smartest idea for single mother Mira Savage. Especially when the company, and her job, is already on shaky ground. But as a Princeton professor, Matt’s life is hours away from Mira’s home on Cape Cod, keeping him safely in the fantasy-only zone. And as a single mother to six-year-old Hagen, with a floundering company to save, fantasies are all she has time for.
With hopes of becoming dean off the table, and too many months of longing for a woman who lived too far away to pursue, Matt’s publishing contract couldn’t have come at a better time. He heads home to Cape Cod on a brief sabbatical, intent on starting his book, and finally getting his arms around sweet, seductive Mira.

A surprise encounter leads to white-hot passions and midnight confessions. The more time Matt and Mira spend together, the deeper their relationship grows, and the love and attention Matt showers on Hagen is more than she has ever dreamed of. But Matt’s sabbatical is only temporary, and Mira’s not saving his father’s company so she can leave it behind. Will their whispers of love be enough for one of them to change their life forever?




Link to Follow Tour: HERE


   Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

MATT LACROUX NEEDED a shower, a vacation, and to figure out what the hell he was doing with his life—in that order. And sex. Sex would be good. It had been a long time since he’d had a warm, willing woman in his bed instead of a research project to work on, papers to grade, or notes to coordinate on the book he was writing. In fact, now that he was thinking about it, he might move sex up to the top of his list—if he didn’t have someone else’s blood on his hands.
He tugged off his torn shirt, tossed it in the hamper, and turned on the shower. He’d been back on Cape Cod for less than three hours and had already broken up a fight between drunken college kids over by the Bookstore Restaurant, where he’d eaten dinner and thought he would write for a while. Maybe he should have done what so many other professors did when they took a sabbatical and gone to a nice resort somewhere, or holed up in a mountain cabin. He could have stayed at his cottage on Nantucket, but he missed his family, and his father wasn’t getting any younger. Plus, his siblings’ joint wedding was only two months away. It was taking place on their mother’s birthday, to honor her memory. It was time to reconnect.
His mind drifted to the other person he’d like to reconnect with, Mira Savage, his father’s employee and the woman who had been occupying Matt’s thoughts since he met her last summer at his younger brother Grayson’s engagement party. They’d spent the entire day together with her adorable son, Hagen. He’d seen her half a dozen times since, during brief visits home. They’d taken Hagen to the park together and a few other places, although they’d never gone on an official date. They’d exchanged occasional texts over the weeks in between, but that was as far as it had gone. It being Matt’s attraction to a woman who lived too many hours away to get involved with. Mira wasn’t the type of woman whose life he could complicate with intermittent encounters. She was a selfless woman who put her son and others first. The type of woman who blushed when he got too close. The type of woman a man took the time to get to know—almost a year, that’s pretty damn long—to show her she could trust him, a woman who should be taken care of and protected but not smothered. And she was the only woman he’d like to undress slowly, loving every inch of her incredible body until she was trembling with need and slick as a baby seal. Keeping himself in check had been like dancing on hot coals, but he’d never stopped thinking about the sexy single mother and her inquisitive son.
He stripped off his slacks and stepped into the shower, turning the faucet to cold now that he was hot and bothered over Mira. He closed his eyes and exhaled a long breath. One thing at a time.
The water shifted from his head to his back, and Matt looked up at the faucet, which promptly fell, clipping his cheekbone.
Ouch! What the—” He grabbed his cheek and pulled away from the water spraying in all directions from the broken spigot. Perfect. Just perfect. He washed the fresh blood from his fingers and quickly rinsed off.
He stepped from the shower and dried off, eyeing the offending fixture. The damn thing had a crack around the housing and rust on the inside. He’d rented his friends’ cottage in the Seaside community for the summer. The place was in great shape, but things like showerheads were easy to miss when renovating. It was after nine o’clock, and Amy and Tony had a little girl. Matt wasn’t about to bother them about a freaking bathroom fixture. He pulled on clean clothes and called his father, who owned Lacroux Hardware Store.
Hey, Pop. Is the electronic code to your shop still Mom’s birthday?” His father had been talking about retiring lately. The hardware store was meant to be the family legacy, passed down to one of his five children, only none of them wanted to take it over. But right this very moment, Matt had never been so glad that his father was in the hardware business. The Cape wasn’t big on chain stores. The closest Home Depot or Target was a good forty minutes away.
Yes. What’s wrong?”
I need a showerhead for Tony’s place.”
Want me to run one up to you?”
Neil Lacroux would do anything for his children—even though they were all grown up. Matt knew he’d been lonely since their mother passed away unexpectedly from an aneurysm a few years ago, which was another reason he’d chosen to come back home during his sabbatical. He made a mental note to stop by the store and visit with him.
I’ve got it, Pop. Sorry to bother you.”
The drive to Orleans took only a few minutes. Even though Matt had grown up on the Cape, it always took him a day or two to adjust to being out of the city. Slacks and button-downs were replaced with shorts and tank tops, people moved at a more relaxed pace, and no matter how far from the beach he was, sand was ever-present. Sand in the grass, sand on the floors, sand on the seat of his car—and he hadn’t even been to the beach yet.
He punched in the code to the security keypad, and the minute he was inside the dark store, he heard it. Tap, tap, tap. He froze, every neuron on high alert, and listened. Tap, tap, tap, tap, pause, tap, tap, tap. It was coming from his father’s office. His arms instinctively flexed, preparing for a fight. He moved swiftly and silently to the office door and listened to the incessant tapping. Dad’s calculator?
He pushed the door open, and his body flooded with awareness at the sight of Mira sitting at the desk, her fingers flying over the calculator. Maybe this was his lucky night after all.
Her hand flew to her chest. “Matt…?” His name came out all breathy. “You scared me. I had no idea you were in town.”
Because I made a point of wanting to surprise you, although not exactly like this.
Sorry about that, sunshine. I just got in a little while ago. I came to get a showerhead.” He walked into the small office, taking in the ledger on the desk, illuminated by his father’s ancient single-bulb lamp, and the family photos thumbtacked to the wall. He noticed a new photograph front and center, a picture of Hagen holding a fishing rod with a little sunfish dangling from the line. He knew how much Mira and Hagen meant to his father, but seeing Hagen’s photo among their family’s brought the full impact home. He shifted his gaze to Mira, and as the shock of his arrival wore off, a beautiful smile spread across her face. There it was, the brightness that had hooked him all those months ago. The sweet look of innocence and rebellious I-can-take-on-the-world confidence in her gorgeous eyes. She had no idea what she did to him.
Sunshine,” she whispered, and shook her head.
You can’t deny the way you light up everything around you.” He’d given her the nickname last summer because she had such a positive outlook on life.
You should see me before I have coffee in the mornings.”
I’d like that more than you know.
A showerhead? Let me show you where they are.” She pushed to her feet, nearly bumping into his chest in the close quarters. Her chestnut hair tumbled sexily over her shoulders as she stood before him, one hand perched over his chest, the other reaching up to touch his cheek. “What happened?”
Their attraction had been immediate and intense last summer and had only grown stronger with each subsequent visit—at least he knew it had for him. For months he’d buried any hope of exploring their connection beneath classes and research papers. Now, as she gazed into his eyes, all those heated memories came rushing back.
I was assaulted by the old one.”
Ouch.” She grimaced, and the spray of freckles on the bridge of her nose rose with the effort.  
He hadn’t been able to get that cute mannerism out of his head when he’d gone back to Princeton, and damn, did he like seeing it again.
You might need a stitch.” Her fingers lingered on his skin, warm and soft.
He covered her hand with his, pressing it to his cheek. “It’s nothing, really.”
She nibbled nervously on the corner of her mouth. “I’ll just…” She pointed out of the office, and her hand slid from beneath his. Her breasts brushed against his arm as she walked away, stirring more of that same dark attraction.
There was no shortage of women vying for Matt’s attention. From coeds to faculty, he could have his pick back in Princeton, and the choices were just as plentiful here at the Cape. But the only woman he saw when he closed his eyes at night was heading down aisle seven of his father’s hardware store.


I always enjoy picking up and reading a Melissa Foster novel and Seaside Whispers really conveys a strong community feel as we follow Matt Lacroux and Mira Savage to their happy ever after.

Princeton Professor Matt Lacroux has had Mira on his mind for a long time, so with a recently secured book deal, he takes a sabbatical from the university and comes home to write his book and to see if this woman that's invaded his dreams can become something more.

Single mom Mira Savage moved back to Cape Cod to be near her family. She loves her job at the hardware store because the boss lets her work around her young son's schedule. However, the business is suffering because it can't compete with the larger stores and she's worried about having to find another job. When the sexy bad boy son of the owner comes back on a sabbatical, Mira's dreams come true only he is only around for three months. Can she protect her heart and her son's too?

It is always a dilemma when writing a review for one Melissa's novels because I don't want to sound like a broken record and keep writing the same phrases repeatedly to describe her writing because all her books are consistent in their quality. Of course, there's always some that have a setting or protagonists more appealing than others, yet all are still enjoyable and fun reads. Seaside Whispers is definitely a favourite. From personal experience, I can relate to Matt's frustrations with his academic career as well as smile at Hagen's thirst for knowledge.

I'm not a fan of novels that include small children especially if they have their own dialogue, however, Hagen more than held is own in this novel in a relatable way. He was an integral part of Matt and Mira's story and complimented the protagonists perfectly.

Overall, I loved this book because it's sexy, heart-warming with captivating characters.

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher World Literary Press***
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. 


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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

New Release Spotlight: Raphael's Fling



Raphael's Fling
The Darcy Brothers
By: Alix Nichols
Releasing November 17, 2016
Self-Published


My name is Mia Stoll and I dream about publishing a monograph on medieval Paris. Problem is, I’m better qualified for writing a handbook on how to go from a budding scholar to a pregnant runaway in three easy steps. 
- - -
My sister Eva carries a torch for the wrong man. Here’s the gist of my sermons to her: “Drooling over your hunky astronaut boss is a loser’s trek to Calamity with three stops along the way: Heartbreak, Job Loss, and Spinsterhood.”

The thing is, I’m in a terrible—you could even say impossible—position to lecture Eva.

I’m attracted to my own boss.

Raphael d’Arcy is funny, smart, and uber-rich. He’s also smoking hot. That alone should have scared me away, were I not such a dolt, my academic achievements notwithstanding.

But there’s more.

Raphael is France’s most notorious playboy who doesn’t do relationships. He does one-night stands. If sufficiently intrigued, he might do a fling. Which is the most I could ever hope to have with him—a short-lived fling.

So what, right? It’s not the end of the world.

But consider this: Getting my heart broken by Raphael d’Arcy is the 
least of my worries. Some very serious merde has been piling up in my life lately.

And it’s about to hit the fan.

RAPHAEL'S FLING is a sexy standalone romantic comedy. No cliffhangers. GUARANTEED: a swoony bad-boy hero, laugh-out-loud moments and a happily-ever-after.

Link to Follow Tour: HERE
   Amazon | Amazon UK 


How did I come to this?
I sigh, smooth my clothes one last time, and head for the cream leather-padded door.
Mia, wait!” Raphael calls after me.
I halt and turn around.
He opens his chiseled mouth as if to say something, then shuts it, and gives me a tight smile. The smile of a person having second thoughts on the advisability of what he was going to say.
Well, I’m not waiting around for the result of his inner deliberation.
There are two bulky reports on my desk and a few dozen emails I need to go through before I can leave tonight. Ergo, time is of the essence. Ergo, I resume my hike across Raphael’s vast office until I reach the door. It unlocks smoothly and without a sound, bless its high-tech heart. A sneak peek into the hall to check if the coast is clear, and I slip away without saying good-bye to Raphael or Anne-Marie, his faithful PA.
Just like a lawbreaker.
Well, maybe not a lawbreaker, but definitely a reoffending violator of the Workplace Code of Honor. In particular, of Rule #1 which says: “Workers shall not have sexual intercourse with their hierarchical superiors, inferiors, or posteriors.”
While there’s some controversy over the exact meaning of “inferiors” and “posteriors,” everyone knows that a “superior” is more than just your immediate boss. The concept also covers your boss’s boss, your boss’s boss’s boss’s boss and the Boss of Them All, the CEO.
It’s a very sensible provision, by the way, and one which I totally approve of and adhere to.
As I rush down the hallway, my heels clicking on the marble floor, I realize I should’ve put my observation in the past tense. As in “I used to adhere to.”
Having repeatedly broken the Code’s first rule since March makes me a rogue and a hypocrite of the worst kind.
How did I fall so low?
Here’s a clue: it’s Rudolph the Reindeer’s fault.
God knows, I hadn’t planned on this when I landed the world’s most unexceptional job as assistant to the daily bulletin editor at DCA Paris. DCA stands for “D’Arcy Consulting and Audit.” Yup, the “d’Arcy” that’s sandwiched between “Raphael” and the rest of his fancy name on my lover’s official letterhead paper.
Having sexual intercourse with Raphael d’Arcy du Grand-Thouars de Saint-Maurice, a gentleman and a libertine, was the last thing on my mind when I started at DCA. In fact, it was nowhere near my mind.
Despite my murky past, that’s not who I am. Nor does my life need more complications right now.
Trust me.
Pauline Cordier’s familiar silhouette takes shape at the end of the hallway just as I reach the elevator and push the button. My heart skips a beat. If my direct supervisor sees me on this floor, she’ll assume one of the following two things: A. My presence here is work-related, meaning I’m going over her head; B. My presence here has nothing to do with work, meaning I’m sleeping with one of the senior managers.
Needless to say, both alternatives are equally conducive to me getting sidelined, ostracized, and ultimately fired.
I take a deep breath and give the approaching figure a furtive glance.
It isn’t Pauline.
The woman doesn’t even look like her at this distance.
Phew.
You may not believe me, but I wasn’t sure what Raphael d’Arcy looked like when DCA hired me. Having scanned his official bio in preparation for my job interview, I had formed a vague image which boiled down to “young, well-born and well-dressed.” The specifics of the Founding CEO’s background and appearance hadn’t lingered in my mind. I doubt they’d even entered it.
Because they were not important.
All I wanted from Monsieur d’Arcy was a job at his firm that gave me a monthly paycheck to complement the pittance my school calls a scholarship. That way, I could finish my doctoral program without having to sleep under bridges or borrow money.
Parisian bridges can be drafty, you see. And damp. As for the stench courtesy of well-groomed dogs and ill-groomed humans, don’t even get me started! On top of all that, bridges offer no suitable storage space for research notes, photocopies, and books.
In short, they suck as accommodations.
As for the borrowing, my parents taught Eva and me that debt must be avoided at all costs. Their “debt is bad” precept proved stronger than the knowledge that everyone lives on credit in Western societies today.
Except my parents, that is.
Then again, they live in rural Alsace. Life’s a lot cheaper there than in la capitale, so they were able to make it into their fifties without a single loan to cloud their horizon.
My phone rings as I step off the elevator on the second floor, relieved that no one saw me in Top Management’s heavenly quarters. Considering that I’ve been sneaking out like this for two months already, the probability that someone will see me and that it’ll reach Pauline’s ears is growing by the day.
And it freaks me out more than I care to admit.
As I answer the phone, Raphael’s deep, sexy timbre breaks me from my worries.
You left your panties here,” he says, sounding amused and smug at the same time. In short, his usual self.
No, I didn’t—”
Oh crap. I did.
I got five minutes before the managerial,” he says, “so if you want to come back and collect—”
No!” I look around and lower my voice, “It’s OK. I’m sure I can make it through the afternoon without them.”
Oh, I don’t doubt that. The question is whether I can make it through the afternoon with the knowledge you’re without them.” He pauses, as if pondering the question and then adds, “And with them in my pocket.”
My stomach flips.
Something achingly—yet delightfully—heavy gathers in my low abdomen, reminding me of what Raphael and I were up to a mere half hour ago. Suddenly, every step I take makes me aware of my pantyless condition. The friction of my skirt’s silky lining against my bare skin makes it prickle. My breathing becomes strained, and my heart thumps in my chest.
As I struggle to calm myself before entering the office I share with two other assistants, I picture myself in Strasbourg in our family physician’s immaculate office.
What’s my diagnosis, doctor?” I’d ask after he’s examined me.
Not to worry, mon petit! You’ll live.” He’d push his regular glasses to his forehead and put on his reading glasses. “You have a textbook case of lustium irresistiblum.”
Please, can you make it go away?”
He’d smile and shake his head, updating my file on his computer. It’s like a viral cold, mon petit. It’ll clear up on it’s own, eventually.”
And that, my friends, is the second clue to the mystery of how I got here.
It appears I have caught a virulent strain of lustium irresistiblum for lady-killer Raphael d’Arcy. And with my luck, we’ll likely get caught before it clears.
Got to go,” I whisper into the phone and hang up.
I take a few long breaths to chase my arousal away before I enter the office.
Easier said than done.
The things Raphael says, the things he does to me… They don’t just excite—they break into my brain and muddle it up on a deep, molecular level. Throwing ethical norms against that kind of invasion has been as effective as attempting to shoot down the Death Star with foam darts.
But I’ll keep on trying.
Till the bitter end.

Alix Nichols is an unapologetic caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. She is a Kindle Scout and Dante Rossetti Award winning author of critically acclaimed romantic comedies.

At the age of six, she released her first rom com. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper.

Decades later, she still loves the romance genre. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have made Amazon bestseller lists, climbing as high as #1. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.

For exclusive content, giveaways and special offers, including a bonus book, subscribe to the monthly newsletter on her author website: www.alixnichols.com



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New Release Spotlight: Wrong Brother, Right Match by Jennifer Match



Wrong Brother, Right Match
Anyone But You #3
By: Jennifer Shirk
Releasing December 5, 2016
Entangled Bliss
Wrong Brother, Right Match

Anyone But You Series


Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except...when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.
Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother—it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator—the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months—his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed "right match" might just be the wrong brother.



Link to Follow Tour: HERE


Kennedy grew silent again. She began chewing her bottom lip. His eyes automatically dropped to her mouth, and for the forty-eighth time since being trapped together, he thought about kissing some sense into that anxious brain of hers.
You’re right.” Her words were so soft, he wasn’t sure she’d spoken them. “He’s wonderful. Really awesome. But honestly…” She gave him a sharp if slightly tipsy look. “I’ve never said this to anyone, so you can’t tell a soul.”
He gave her a droll look. “Who am I going to tell?”
She stared him down for several seconds as if judging his sincerity. “Cross your heart?”
Cross my heart,” he repeated, making the motion against his chest.
Okay.” She bit her lip. “It’s just that…sometimes I doubt we’re meant for each other.”
Really?”
Yes. I know it’s crazy,” she murmured. “Especially since I can’t afford for my software to be wrong.”
Before he could respond, the lights overhead flickered. Her head whipped up toward the ceiling. “Thank God!” The elated expression on her face reminded him of a child watching fireworks go off. “We’re finally going to get out of here,” she squealed.
Yeah…awesome.” Matt swallowed hard. He should be happy, too. Why the hell wasn’t he happy? He’d finally be out of this cramped elevator and away from this anxiety-ridden woman with her boyfriend issues. But instead, all he could do was bank down a strange sense of disappointment at the thought of her walking through those elevator doors and him never seeing her again.
He stood first then held out his hand to help her up. Her palm met his, and he tugged just as the elevator began to move again, causing them to lose their balance. His back slammed against the wall, and she fell into his arms.
Nice catch,” she said with a laugh, obviously still feeling the effects of the champagne.
Matt held on to her, his heart beating wildly. Having her in his arms ignited all kinds of thoughts, all kinds of feelings. Naughty thoughts. Good feelings. His gaze captured hers for a long moment until eventually her smiling face grew serious, too. Then his conscience tapped him on the shoulder.
What the hell do you think you’re doing? it said. You’ve both been drinking. And she has a boyfriend.
He’d always hated his conscience.
Matt?”
Matt didn’t move. The elevator was going to open soon. They would be free to leave separately or leave together. There was still a choice. Growing up, he had always been the one to toe the line. Do what was right for everyone else in his life. But so help him, he didn’t want to do that this time. Maybe it was the alcohol, but he wanted her. True, the woman had a boyfriend—a neglectful boyfriend—but still, there were rules for that sort of thing, weren’t there? Like what if…
Screw it.
He kissed her.

Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME. Recently, her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance.

Lately she's been on a serious exercise kick. But don't hold that against her.




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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Release Day Blast & Review: Someone Like You by Lauren Layne



Someone like You
Oxford #3
By: Lauren Layne
Releasing December 6, 2016
Loveswept
Someone Like You

Oxford Series


Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
 
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.
 
After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

Advance praise for Someone Like You

“Fun and flirty, sassy and steamy, with a deep emotional pull that will keep you turning the pages.”—Kelly Jamieson, author of Top Shelf

“An unsung hero with a story that touched my heart. Emotional and gripping. A top favorite of 2016 for me.”New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland



Link to Follow Blast: HERE


All the Oxford books can be read as stand alone novels but I heartily recommend that you read either one or both preceding novels before Someone Like You, to fully understand the Lincoln Mathis that everyone thinks they know because the reality is something very contradicting.

This highly anticipated novel doesn't disappoint as we delve into the life of Manhattan's favourite man-whore Lincoln Mathis. He's as smooth as ever and charms the beautiful Daisy Sinclair, a woman he must avoid. Yet when his well-worn façade slips, this woman sees the real man is someone carrying a tragic burden, one he feels destined to carry forever. Can she help him overcome his shattered emotions to love again?

Daisy Sinclair lives a charmed life in her eight bedroomed mansion in Charlotte, NC. With a more than generous divorce settlement, she keeps herself occupied, mostly. When she meets Lincoln Mathis at her twin sister's wedding, she can see right through the man her sister told her to avoid. However, she has her own secret and like Lincoln doesn't expect to ever get over it. That's until he offers to help her.

As a mood reader, I had to pick the right time to read this novel because Ms Layne had dropped a few hints in Oxford #1 & #2 about a Lincoln Mathis we didn't know existed. I interpreted that as something heartbreaking and my instinct was correct. Lincoln story is heart wrenchingly sad however that feeling definitely doesn't extend to the overall mood of this novel. Yes, a couple of time I had tears in my eyes but I also laughed out loud at the one liners. The light-hearted banter between the Oxford guys and the Stiletto ladies is ever present either in the workplace or during social events. It's a classic Lauren Layne novel to a point but also has an emotionally intense side which tugs at the heartstrings. My heart ached for Lincoln but simultaneously, I was willing him to take control of his feelings so he could find the much-needed closure he deserved.

Overall, it's a novel that will stay with you for a while. It's sobering sometimes but has a satisfying happy ending for an adorable couple just meant to be together.

***arc generously received courtesy of Loveswept via NetGalley***


Lincoln, you know that I love you like a brother, but if you make a move on my sister, I will end you.”
Lincoln Mathis took a slow sip of his cocktail as he studied the fierce bride-to-be. “I hope Cassidy knows how lucky he is. You’re so delicate and gentle.”
Emma Sinclair, soon to be Emma Cassidy as of this time tomorrow, lifted one elegantly manicured fingernail and flicked his chest. “Promise, Lincoln. No hitting on Daisy.”
I don’t hit on women.”
Emma gave him a look.
He held up his free hand in surrender. “I don’t. They come to me. I’m like the stamen.”
Emma stared at him with wide, slightly accusatory brown eyes. “The what?”
The stamen. The pollen-producing part of a flower, Sinclair. Don’t you watch the Discovery Channel? Animal Planet? I just saw a fascinating documentary on bees. See, when the bees land on a flower, their little feet pick up pollen from the stamen— “
Mathis. Are you talking to my fiancée about semen?” Alex Cassidy asked, coming up beside Emma and setting a possessive hand on her waist.
Stamen,” Lincoln clarified. “Not semen. Honestly, is sex all you people think about?”
Yes.” This came from Riley Compton, a brunette bombshell whose status as New York’s foremost “sexpert” meant she had zero qualms about discussing sex at her best friend’s rehearsal dinner. “And you know, actually, the stamen is rather sexual. I saw that bee documentary too, because these are the sort of things you do when you’re nursing a never-satisfied baby, by the way, and the stamen is a flower’s male reproductive organ. Sexy, right?”
Emma inserted the arm not holding her champagne flute between the two of them. “Guys, it’s my wedding weekend. Can we not talk about flower boners?”
Fair enough, Bride,” Lincoln said. “What do you want to talk about? Cassidy’s boner?”
Alex Cassidy choked into his champagne.
There will be no boner discussion,” Emma said. “Lincoln and I were just having a chat about how Lincoln will be maintaining his distance from my sister.”
Speaking of flowers, where is Daisy?” Riley asked, scanning the room.
Running late. Knowing my sister, her dress had a slight crease from the suitcase, and she won’t make an appearance until every wrinkle’s banished, every hair’s in place, and there’s not a speck of lint anywhere.”
Gosh, however will I keep my hands to myself?” Lincoln muttered.
Lincoln, I swear to God—”
He’s messing with you, Em,” Cassidy said, carefully tugging his fiancée away from Lincoln. “Don’t let him press your buttons. And Lincoln, man, what is with that drink?”
Lincoln glanced down. “It’s called a Jasmine. Gin, lemon, some Campari—”
It’s pink,” Cassidy observed.
Right? You want one?”
Cassidy rolled his eyes. “I’ll stick with wine, thanks. Ah shit, there’s my grandma waving us over. Emma, you up for talk about the state of your uterus?”
Emma groaned. “Oh no. I thought she’d agreed to wait until after the wedding to talk about my eggs.”
I’ll go with you,” Riley said. “As the only one in our little group of friends who’s ever pushed a human skull out my—”
Okay, I’m going to expand my taboo list,” Emma said. “No talking about boners, flowers, or vaginas.”
Fine,” Riley said, as she entwined her arm in Emma’s and started leading her toward Cassidy’s grandma. “But if Grams starts talking about fertility, just follow my lead . . . ”
Lincoln smiled as he watched his friends walk away. He could follow, certainly, help run interference, but new mom Riley was a far better choice for this particular bridal-party duty.
Besides, as best man, Lincoln had enough to worry about. The ring, reconfirming transportation to the church tomorrow, the speech that he was going to slay tomorrow, the—
Lincoln’s best man to-do list scattered as his eyes landed on a woman standing in the doorway to the private event room. He did a double take. When had Emma found time to change? Generally speaking, he didn't consider himself particularly in tune with his friends' clothes. Especially the women, because, well . . . he didn’t really give a crap. But he was pretty damn sure Emma had been wearing a white dress just ten seconds ago.
Now she was wearing a short yellow dress, with fussy, flowy sleeves, high-necked and a bit demure—
No, not demure, Lincoln amended as she turned. Hot. The dress was backless, showing a smooth expanse of lightly tanned skin from the small of her back all the way up to long dark blond hair.
. . . Blond hair.
Emma had shoulder-length brown hair. A wardrobe swap, he might be able to buy, but the hair?
You idiot.
He was looking at none other than Daisy Sinclair, the forbidden fruit, in the flesh.
He’d forgotten that Daisy wasn’t just Emma’s sister—she was Emma’s identical twin.
Other than the fact that she was, apparently, not to be hit on, Lincoln didn’t know much about her.
Well, he supposed he now knew that she dyed her hair blond.
Or maybe Emma dyed hers brown?
Whatever. Girl stuff he didn’t care about one way or the other.
And yet he didn’t look away, captivated somehow. He racked his brain for everything he’d heard about Daisy Sinclair.
He knew that she and Emma had grown up in North Carolina. But Emma left for New York City shortly after college, and Daisy had stayed. He thought he remembered talk of a recent divorce, although he didn’t recall the details.
Didn’t need to, really. Lincoln knew better than anyone that not all relationships had happy endings.
Lincoln watched as Daisy hesitated just inside the doorway, unnoticed yet by the rest of the bridal party and out-of-town guests.
Making people comfortable was a particular skill of his. Normally he’d be over there in a heartbeat with a glass of wine and some of his best banter until her shoulders relaxed and he’d coaxed a smile from her pretty face.
But he wasn’t entirely convinced Emma wouldn’t make good on her castration threats, so instead Lincoln merely studied Daisy. The woman was beautiful. No surprise there, since Emma was gorgeous. Yet, though their features were identical, they were attractive in entirely different ways.
Emma was all polished confidence, stunning in an untouchable sort of way.
Daisy was softer somehow. Gentler. She seemed . . . touchable.
Lincoln’s cocktail froze on its way to his mouth as the forbidden rocked him back on his heels. Daisy Sinclair was not for him to touch for reasons that had nothing to do with Emma’s threats.
As though sensing a man’s brooding thoughts on her, Daisy turned slightly, her eyes locking on his. Eyes that he’d known would be dark brown like Emma’s, and yet eye contact with Emma had never felt like this.
Lincoln felt something akin to panic, because for a heart-stopping moment, it felt like Daisy Sinclair was seeing him. Not seeing the Lincoln he wanted everyone to see.
The real him.
He gave himself a little mental shake. Get it together, Mathis. The woman doesn’t even know you.
None of them did.
Not really.
He saw the moment of answering shock in her own gaze, sensed that for a split second, she considered turning and running. From him, from the party, all of it.
Then he saw something else. Something familiar, because he’d done it a thousand times himself. She squared her shoulders, and he watched as a mask slid into place.
He knew even before she approached that Daisy was exactly like him—good at being around people only because she chose to be. Knew that perhaps once it had been second nature, and now it was nothing but a deliberate attempt to make sure everyone thought she was okay.
Daisy began making her way toward him, and he tensed for reasons he couldn’t identify before ordering himself to chill out.
It was just his friend’s sister. The maid of honor to his best man.
She stopped in front of him, and he caught just the faintest whiff of her perfume, a surprisingly elegant scent for someone named Daisy, before she extended her hand.
You must be Lincoln Mathis, The Manwhore of Whom I Should Beware?”
Her voice was a surprise. It had the same low huskiness as her sister’s, but years in New York had all but erased the Southern from Emma’s whiskey-raspy voice. Daisy’s drawl was very much intact—a mint julep on a hot day.
He grinned and took her smaller hand in his. “Which would make you Daisy Sinclair, Delicate Flower to Whom I’m Not to Speak.”
She grinned. “Nailed it.” 

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Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official 
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