Book Review: Fall of the Harvest Moon by Nina Walker and Kimberly Loth

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My Thoughts:
Fall of the Harvest Moon is the final book in the New World Shifters series by authors Nina Walker and Kimberly Loth. This book picks up where the last one left off and takes us on a fast paced journey towards the conclusion.

We follow Poppy as she navigates becoming a Lycan and deals with the after effects of having killed The King and biting Rhys. So many questions were left unanswered at the end of Book 3 with the clarification and conclusion coming to light in this book. Poppy starts to take control and stand up for herself and the other girls. Rhys is confused and trying to come to terms with a lot of things as well as handle being the alpha. There is also a bigger focus on the romance between the characters and an interesting twist to this equation.

The authors have done a great job in bringing the story together and tying up all loose ends. As a reader, we come away satisfied with the story and the characters and how they end up. This story is fast paced and we see much more action than in the others. In addition to this, we also see a lot of the characters grow into their own and take control of their lives. It is indeed a beautiful journey of four books that the readers will take with these characters whom they will grow to love or hate. But, it is all worth it in the end.

This is a world where werewolves, lycans and other shapeshifters come together and hopefully, eventually live in harmony with the humans. A truly wonderful conclusion to the series, I highly recommend this series and of course this book (if you have read the rest) to all fans of  books in the genres of paranormal romance.

Book Review: Not By Blood by Chris Narozny

About the Book:

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When Tina Evans gets a call from her brother in the middle of the night, she doesn’t think much of it; she’s been fielding distress calls from Bill for the last twenty years, ever since the day their father killed their mother.

At first, this call seems just like all the others: Bill’s holed up in a Brooklyn drug den and needs her to come rescue him. But when Tina gets there, her brother’s nowhere to be found. Instead, she discovers the body of a private detective hidden in the junk heap out back. He’s been shot to death, and his gun is missing from its holster.

Tina’s about to dial 911 when she receives a three-letter text message from a number she doesn’t recognize: “Shh…”

Tina doesn’t believe in coincidence—the death of this detective and her brother’s disappearance must be related. But how? Could it be her father pulling the strings from his prison cell? And is she willing to risk her own freedom—and her life—to uncover the truth?

My Thoughts:

I received an ARC via NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books. The following is my honest review of the book.

Release Date: 18 Jul 2023.

Not By Blood is a thriller that follows Tina as she searches for her brother after receiving a call in the middle of the night. In addition to this, her husband meets with an accident and is in the hospital in a coma. Finally, she is forced to question everything she knows when she discovers the body of a private detective with whom her husband and even her brother might have been in contact.

Tina investigates the mystery surrounding her brother and husband while relying on her foster brother to help her out. She is also being threatened and as she tries to figure out what is going on, she is in a race against detectives of the police department whom she doesn’t trust. The author brings out the brother-sister dynamics and the dynamics of dysfunctional families quite well. Having grown up in a foster family, we also get a glimpse into Tina’s state of mind and her affection for her brother Bill. Secrets are kept for a long time and when they are revealed, the characters are forced to face the consequences of what has happened in the past.

As the story progresses, we are given glimpses into the past as we follow Tina, her brother Bill and her foster brother Paul. We also meet Tina’s father who is in prison and a few other characters who help move the story along. The character interactions are interesting in the story though some seem completely unrelated to the main plot. The story is easy to read and a little predictable by the middle. It was not as fantastic or gripping as I had hoped it would be, but I did enjoy the mystery in the plot and the twists at the end.

Overall this is a good debut psychological thriller by the author and I did enjoy reading it. This is a one-time read and will be enjoyed by fans of the genre!

Book Blitz: A Home for Christmas by Katie Eagan Schenck

A Home for Christmas
Katie Eagan Schenck
Publication date: October 11th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance

Brad has just one wish this Christmas: to find a real home. Having lost his parents before joining the Marines, he misses that sense of belonging and family. When he meets an introverted flight attendant on his journey to start his civilian life, he wonders if this might be his chance.

After a messy divorce, Shelly has decided the only person allowed within the brittle walls of her broken heart is her daughter, Lilly. At least, until she meets a friendly man who hails from her hometown while working a routine flight. When she learns he needs a place to stay, she offers the apartment over her garage out of the kindness of her heart – and her desperate need for extra cash.

Even as Brad endears himself to Shelly by saving the town’s Christmas pageant, she attempts to keep her distance to protect the fragile stability she’s built since her divorce. But Brad’s willingness to walk the fine line between what Shelly’s heart wants and what her head allows slowly wears down her resolve. And when Brad receives a job offer near the only family he has left, Shelly must decide whether she’s willing to risk her heart again before he leaves her home, and her life, for good.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Lilly’s phone was still connected to the speaker and “I’ll be Home for Christmas” played. “I love this song, though it’s bittersweet.”

“Because you haven’t had a home for Christmas?”

“Well, yes,” he said, staring at the tree. “However, the lyrics aren’t really promising the singer will be home for Christmas. He mentions at the end how he’ll only be home in his dreams. For me, home isn’t about a specific place, but more about the people who make it a home.” He turned toward her. “My parents are gone and, as I told you before, my sister and I aren’t close. So my home for Christmas is truly in my dreams, because it doesn’t exist anymore.”

Shelly’s eyes softened, and she took his hand. “I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

“It’s not your fault, and I’m not surprised.” He gave her a half smile and patted her hand before letting go. “Leave it to me to turn a lovely Christmas song into something depressing.”

“But you’re right, it is kind of a sad song.”

“Perhaps we can make it happier.” He stood, then performed a slight bow and offered her his hand. “Would you like to dance?”

She raised her eyebrows dubiously, but she accepted his hand and he pulled her to her feet. They faced each other, both unmoving, until Brad brought her closer to him and placed his free hand on her waist. Her hand rested on his shoulder as they swayed together to the beat.

She was soft and warm in his arms and he detected the faint scent of cinnamon and something floral. As they turned in the limited space of the room, he was reminded of earlier that morning when he helped her into her coat. The way his fingers tingled when they touched her skin. He recalled how the look in her eyes made his heart stop. Now, his heart was pounding, and the air seemed to hum with electricity, just like that morning.

He directed her to twirl, then caught her at the waist. This time, she was close enough to rest her head on his chest as they continued to sway. He tightened his arm around her and wished this could last forever. For reasons he couldn’t quite explain, it felt like they had known each other for years, instead of only one day.

The song’s last notes played, and they stopped swaying in the sudden silence. When she gazed up at him, her emerald eyes were sparkling. She was absolutely radiant, the happiest he had seen her since they met. He released her waist, but he held onto her hand.

With a smile, he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it in what he hoped was a gentleman-like way.

“Thank you for the dance.”

Shelly averted her gaze. “You’re a wonderful dancer.”

Author Bio:

Debut author, Katie Eagan Schenck, writes sweet romance that warms the heart and gives all the feels. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s either working on regulations for the federal government or binging Hallmark movies. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and their three cats.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Book Review: The New Wife by Amanda Brittany and Karen Clarke

About the Book:

The people you trust are the people who hurt you the most.

Nell Cosgrove is the new wife who got it all. She married her handsome, wealthy boss within six months of meeting him. They live in a beautiful riverside home. She has a flourishing career.

The only problem is her two stepdaughters, Ruby and Poppy, who are fiercely loyal to their mother, and reject all her overtures.

But now everything is falling apart. Nell’s marriage is starting to crack. Her husband spends more and more time away on business.

She gets creepy text messages from an unknown admirer. He sends mysterious bouquets of flowers to her office. She starts making mistakes at work.

Everything Nell thought she knew about her marriage and her new life is about to be turned upside down.

Book Links:
Buy Links – https://geni.us/dtHHa2
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63045634-the-new-wife

About the Authors:

Author Bio – Amanda Brittany


Amanda lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and cute dog. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family and friends, walking her dog, reading (her go-to is fictional crime and psychological thrillers) and she is far too keen on red velvet cake. She loves sunny days by the sea, and snowy days through the window of a cozy room. Amanda has raised over £8700 in eBook royalties for Cancer Research UK in memory of her sister. She is the author of six psychological crime thrillers, and co-writer of psychological suspense novels with author Karen Clarke.

Follow her at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandajbrittany
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mandy.brittany
Instagram : http://www.instagram.com/amanda_brittany_author

Author Bio – Karen Clarke


Karen is a multi-published author of romantic comedies and psychological suspense novels, as well as co-writing thrillers with Amanda Brittany. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children and when she’s not writing, she reads (a lot), loves walking and taking pictures — the birds in her garden are probably the most photographed in the country.

Follow her at:
Website: https://www.karenclarkewriter.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenclarke123
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karen.clarke.5682
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenanne37/

My Thoughts:

It’s my stop on the Book Tour for The New Wife today! I am grateful to be on this tour with so many wonderful bloggers and reviewers.

The New Wife is a suspense filled psychological thriller that will have the reader on the edge of their seat. The story is narrated from two points of view. One is of Nell, “the new wife” as she is called and the second is of one of her step-daughter’s, Ruby. Nell has a very unsteady relationship with her two step-daughters as they blame her for their parents break-up and divorce. They are rude to her and make life difficult for her in the hope that their father will leave her and reconcile with their mother.

All the characters in the story are portrayed in grey shades. As cracks start to appear in Nell’s marriage, she decides that perhaps couples counselling is the best way to save them. A fiercely independent woman, Nell hoped that marriage would bring stability and happiness to her life. However, she did not expect her husband to change as he did, or perhaps this was how he always was and she did not see it from the beginning.

A lot of things start to go wrong and Nell doesn’t know whom to trust. The authors have done a great job in throwing the reader off track while always focusing on Nell’s and Ruby’s thoughts and feelings. Little do we know that there are other forces and people at play and soon everything will come crashing down. I truly enjoyed the story and the twists and turns. Though some parts of it were predictable, I definitely did not see the ending and the events of the epilogue coming. That was a major curve ball which made me realize that I could not guess the complete story after all.

The story focuses on mental health issues and how the characters deal with it. It also shows us how the decision of each person affects them and the others around them. Overall this was a gripping read and I recommend this for all fans of psychological thrillers. It is definitely worth reading!

Book Review: Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

About the Book:

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Anju is the daughter of an upper-caste Calcutta family; her cousin Sudha is the daughter of the black sheep of the family. Sudha is as beautiful, tenderhearted, and serious as Anju is plain, whip-smart, and defiant. yet since the day they were born, Sudha and Anju have been bonded in ways even their mothers cannot comprehend.

The cousins’ bond is shattered, however, when Sudha learns a dark family secret. Urged into arranged marriages, their lives take sudden, opposite turns: Sudha becomes the dutiful daughter-in-law of a rigid small-town household, while Anju goes to America with her new husband and learns to live her own life of secrets. Then tragedy strikes them both, and the women discover that, despite the distance that has grown between them, they have only each other to turn to. Set in the two worlds of India and America, this is an exceptionally moving novel of love, friendship, and compelling courage.

My Thoughts:

Sister of My Heart is a beautifully written story of cousins Anju and Sudha and their unwavering love for each other. The story introduces us to the girls and their early childhood. We follow them as they navigate the world and even find love. They get pushed into situations that they do not expect and end up in different parts of the world. Not everything is as happy as it seems on the surface. As time passes, we come to know of a secret that will shatter everything and change everything they know and that we know too.

I have always admired the author’s style of writing and I enjoy reading her books. This was no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed this story filled with love, heartbreak, a sense of belonging and maturity. The characters are well developed and interesting and grow into themselves as time passes. This is well depicted in the book and is something that pulled me instantly. The author also focuses on things left unsaid and hints of things that people want to say in a way that keeps us guessing. There is also a good understanding of their feelings and thoughts which are vital to the story. As readers, we are on a journey with these girls and the only way we can relate to them is if we understand what they are thinking and how they feel. This is brought out by the author in the way she has handled the plot and the characters, with a lot of care and love.

This story is one that will stay with the reader even after it is finished. The beauty of the relationship the two girls share and how they navigate the truth is what forms the backbone of the story. It goes to show that no matter how devasting a secret or fact is, we can go above it and still retain or even reclaim lost or broken relationships. What’s important is the understanding and maturity of a person and the choices they make. I truly enjoyed this book and strongly recommend it to everyone.

Book Review: Once Upon A [Hidden] Time by Samreen Ahsan

About the Book:

This is book 4 of [STOLEN] SERIES
2015…
All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castle-and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. When Steve Bernard, a wealthy videogame designer offers her to model for a princess character in his new game, Myra can’t resist his offer to enter the mysterious, colorless, and cursed Hue Castle. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to it by blood and sorcery. When she enters the castle’s doors, she awakens dark powers, time travelling through a cursed mirror, torturing her present, and rewriting her future, leaving Steve Bernard with millions of questions.

1415…
Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine, nor felt the rain, or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father King Stefan, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman, who walks into his life through a cursed mirror, out of his dreams, and introduces him: love.

Will Myra break Edward’s curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly? Will Steve ever be able to finish his game without Myra? Past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.

My Thoughts:

I have been a fan of Samreen Ahsan’s writing and this series since the beginning. There is something magical about the setting and the story that draws the reader in. This series is a modern day retelling of the Beauty and the Beast. The story jumps between two times, one set in 1415 and the other in modern day 2015. I absolutely love how Samreen has chosen to name each book in the series giving us a hint of what is to come. There is so much meaning behind each title which becomes clear as you read the book.

This book is the fourth in the series picking up where the third book ends. In this book we follow Myra as she navigates the court and her life with Edward. She has brought some light into his life and some parts of the curse seems to be broken. On the other hand we follow her as she deals with the king and his attentions. In parallel to this, we follow Steve as he finds a way to explain Myra’s disappearance and his budding relationship with childhood friend who is also a police officer and involved in the investigation into Myra’s disappearance.

At some parts, it feels as though this book is just building on the existing feelings and settings. The rebuilding of the relationship between Edward and his niece is beautiful to read about. Myra is like a breath of fresh air and brings joy to everyone she is around. She is also a strong independent woman whose opinions stand out and thus she has to be careful in front of whom she expresses this. In a time when women are meant to be quiet, seen and not heard and definitely not stand up for themselves, she is unique and out of place. As she reads more about the Hue dynasty and the past, it’s origins, she is worried that history might repeat itself thus setting her and Edward apart.

What remains to be seen is whether Edward will stand up for what he wants and believes in. Will he stand up for love? Will the king force Myra to marry him? With so many questions arising from the ending where the author threw us a curve ball, I am looking forward to the next book which will conclude the story and the series! This is a wonderful read and I recommend it for fans of romance, retellings, time travel and fantasy fiction.

Book Blitz: Art of Self-Maximization by Dr. Sanjeevv Khanna

Do you look forward to wake up each morning ready to face a new day and new challenges? Or does the fear of failure keep you from reaching your true potential? Do you feel you are stuck in life and not progressing? Do you want to leave your comfort zone, but are not sure how to do it? Only when you are clear about what you want to achieve in your life and your goals can you work toward it.
In his book, “ART OF SELF-MAXIMIZATION” the author, Dr. Sanjeevv Khanna, gives you the recipe to live a fulfilling life. This book will help you identify the areas in your life where you need to make a change to realize your true potential.
Reading this book will help you…
Discover what you are passionate about
Visualize your life goals
Overcome fear of failure
Live a balanced and full life
Get back the joy of living
Dr. Sanjeevv Khanna, a renowned Ikigai, Life, Relationship & Leadership Coach, has provided the blueprint to successful living in this book. It is sure to help anyone looking to maximize their life experiences and come out of the daily rut. Read this book to learn the important hacks to manifest your desires and attain success.
Book Links:
Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Art of Self-Maximization

“We are kept away from our goal not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”- Robert Brault.

The universe controls our actions. Have you ever been told this? Have you not heard people talking about the sheer significance of luck in one’s life?
The answer is categorically affirmative. You often come across people blaming their luck for not getting a job or a good score or for being yelled at by a superior, and the list goes on and on. Why don’t you take a minute and ponder upon the concept of luck? Think about Rajesh, a young man, who is just out of college and is looking for a job. A year passes by, and Rajesh has miserably failed in his attempts to secure a job.
Now, whenever he is asked about being unemployed, he blames his luck. The truth is, Rajesh only applied for the jobs that his connections referred him to. Although this is a good way of job hunting, Rajesh had neither updated his resume nor enhanced his professional skills. He assumed his luck would put things in place somehow. Let me tell you this. The recipe for success is 99 percent hard work and 1 percent luck. Look around you. The world is brimming with opportunities.
The ones who have succeeded grabbed those chances and worked really hard to accomplish their goals. This is the story of all successful people.

“Opportunity does not knock; it presents itself when you beat down the door.”- Kyle Chandler

We all want to succeed, and we all know that it is easier said than done. One can dream, but turning your dreams into reality is the actual task at hand. We are aware of many rags to riches real-life stories. Consider Narayan Murthy, Indira Nooyi, Karsanbhai Patel, Shah Rukh Khan, Rajnikanth, or even late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; none of them were born with a golden spoon. How did they reach their current stature?
Well, simple. All of them were open to opportunities, and they worked hard. They explored the path to board a purpose-driven life. Go ahead and look up a few stories yourself. And then, ask yourself this: What makes them who they are? How are they so ahead of the pack?
You need some crucial elements to fill your life with a purpose. Have you heard of consistent behavior? A consistent behavior motivates you, lets you overcome hurdles, and helps you move closer to your focus.
As you adhere to consistent behavior, you dig an option to change the conditions in the surrounding environment. Anyone who lives a life filled with purpose instills consistent behavior in their outer and inner circles.
The next crucial element is to be psychologically resilient. You need to be flexible and make adjustments wherever necessary to meet your goal, no matter what obstacles and demands you might face.
By avoiding adversities and managing the environment dynamically, both physical and psychological, you can reduce your problems, especially if your life does not have a purpose.
Additionally, having a purpose in life enables you to effectively allocate available resources like energy and time. These resources allow you to pursue the purpose. Other actions with zero worth are kept to the least. Besides, the resources they could have used up are redirected to purpose-driven actions. Such components are deemed important elements to pursue a life filled with purpose. In their absence, it’s almost impossible to find and achieve one’s life purpose.

About the Author:

Dr. Sanjeevv Khanna is  India’s 1st Licensed IKIGAI coach and also he is ICF & NLP Certified Life Coach. Dr. Sanjeevv Khanna  is also Founder & CEO of Academy for Self Maximization, Director – CBO, Startup Lanes Strategic Partner & Executive Director –  Noble Manhattan Ltd., U.K. Global Leader – Artemes, Mentor of Change -ATAL, Niti Aayog. He is also the author of Ikigai is Ikigai & Art of Self-Maximisation.Author on the Web:
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram

Book Review: Shut The Lights by Smita Bhattacharya

About the Book:

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A dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets… and the lengths we go to, to save the ones we love. For lovers of non-formulaic domestic noir suspense.

For this family, the lockdown came as a blessing.

On 24 March 2020, with merely a four-hour notice, the Indian government declared a three-week lockdown as a containment measure for COVID-19. In terms of scale and severity, this lockdown was unparalleled worldwide. However, quite unexpectedly, for a family of four, cooped up in a plush Mumbai apartment, it came as a blessing.

On the face of it, Suvini, Mridul, Damien, and Tara belonged to an upper-middle-class family, with its typical privileges and pressures. But inwardly, each of them held a dark secret that threatened to derail their very existence. And the shutting down of everything had given them the unique opportunity to get away with it.
Or not.

Inspired by actual events.

For readers of Herman Koch, Elizabeth Haynes, and Leila Slimani.

My Thoughts:

Every time Smita tells me that she has written another story, I jump at the chance to read it. I was lucky to get introduced to her two years ago and I have been a fan of her writing ever since. What intrigues me the most is how she takes everyday incidents or current situations and turns them into a complete story, replete with strong characters and an entertaining plot with twists that you don’t see coming.

Shut The Lights is a suspense novel set during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic during the first lock down in India. This was a time of great confusion and uncertainty wherein we did not know what was happening, what to do, how to stay safe etc. Smita took this feeling and situation and turned it into a story that will have the reader on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what happens next.

In this book, we follow an upper-middle-class family as they navigate the lockdown and deal with being confined within the house all the time. We observe their strained interactions while the cracks in their relationships that were barely visible start to come to light. However, the most interesting part of this story is in the twist and how the family comes together, despite the web of lies, as one to protect their own and try to hide a shocking secret.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as the feelings of the characters and their reactions to a lot of the situations mirrored our own during the first lockdown of the pandemic. The book is relatable in this sense and full of mystery with well developed characters who could be anyone around us. I strongly recommend this book for those who enjoy reading non-formulaic domestic noir suspense as mentioned in the blurb.

The Freedom Manifesto: Seven Rules to Live a Life of Your Calling by Karan Bajaj

About the Book:

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In 2019, Karan Bajaj quit his job as Discovery India’s head to start WhiteHat Jr with the mission of making every kid a creator in this world. At the time, everyone thought Karan was reckless to give up a high-flying corporate career at the age of forty, but eighteen months later, WhiteHat Jr was acquired by BYJU’s for $300 million. On the surface, it was one of the fastest startup-to-exit journeys in India, but the seeds of this were planted a decade ago when Karan first decided to create his own set of life rules.

In The Freedom Manifesto, Karan, for the first time, reveals these secrets to help you transform your life. Unconventional, practical and no-nonsense, these seven rules will help you prioritize what matters most, radically transform your mindset from an employee to an owner, create a daily routine to end self-doubt and negativity and break the shackles of conformity to design a life of your calling. These rules will set you free, not just financially, but also help to reveal your best self.

My Thoughts:

The Freedom Manifesto is insightful and gripping in a way that I did not expect. I generally do not read non-fiction and especially books of self-help or self-improvement (not yet anyway!). However, this book is indeed a stepping stone for me, inspiring me to consider reading more books out of my comfort zone ( usually fiction) and to explore new avenues and genres.

The book draws on the author’s personal experiences as the basis for explaining several simple steps to transform your life. Karan doesn’t just talk to us about his successes but highlights his failures and the lessons he learnt from them. He is open, accepting of his decisions (both the ones that worked and those that did not), precise and clear in his thinking and critical of himself in a way that draws the reader in, igniting sparks of interest in following his journey. Through this journey, we also read about steps that we can follow to help ourselves, questions to ask to help introspect and suggestions on what to do after we have thought of the answers. I found the style of writing and presentation to be quite unique and this is what captured my attention. The book and writing are personal but written in a way that anyone can understand or relate to and this is something I quite enjoyed.

In conclusion, I truly enjoyed reading this book even though some of the formulas went over my head. This is something I would have to truly look into at some point. In general, I realized that a lot of the questions that Karan raises or suggests that we ask ourselves are ones which I have thought of but never focused on specifically. The point which sticks with me is what to do with the answers once have them and how to prioritize things which are important to us. All this makes this book worth reading!

#99Cents Deal :: Imagine the Kiss (Crystal Creek Series #7) by Laura Haley-McNeil

Available for 99 cents from 23rd till 29th May!

Two people open themselves to the truth and open themselves to each other.

Her marriage in ruins, violinist Teagan Whitloch Munroe escapes into her music and the solace she finds at the Crystal Creek Ranch. Practicing in the woods helps her piece together her life, but she isn’t alone. When she hears someone hiking nearby, she demands he reveal himself, but the only revelation she gets is a soothing voice that heals the pain in her heart.
Maimed by a crushing accident, the once famous architect Phineas St. Cyr protects the world from his disfigurement by sequestering himself in the woods on the Crystal Creek Ranch. When he hears the intoxicating strains from Teagan’s violin, he can’t resist the beauty that quiets his aching soul, and he yearns to know the woman who creates such beauty.
Teagan finds sanctuary in her friendship with this connoisseur of music, but soon realizes Phin’s hiding more than his hideous scars. As they become entangled with each other, Teagan is stunned to learn they share more than a love of music. They are caught in a web of deceit by someone threatening to reveal Phin’s secrets. His exposed past endangers Teagan, and he can no longer walk away. This time he must face the enemy determined to defeat him. He’ll fight to the finish to protect the woman he can never love. No price is too high to keep buried the secret that will mark Teagan for destruction.Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Imagine the Kiss

Chapter One

Teagan Whitloch Munroe was trembling. She was trembling, and she couldn’t stop. She’d been trembling for more than two hours—since she’d left the downtown Denver condominium she shared with her husband, Dr. Wilbert Munroe. What she’d seen inside the condo—in their bedroom—made her want to vomit. A cold knot of disgust and revulsion gripped her stomach.

When she’d walked into the master bedroom, she must’ve gasped. Will was lying on the bed, but he wasn’t alone. He’d lifted his head from the pillow. He looked right at her.

And swore.

He didn’t look surprised. He looked annoyed.

She’d pressed a hand over her mouth.

Blinded by tears, she’d backed into the doorjamb and stumbled into the hallway. She didn’t remember running out of the condo, but she must have. Her legs throbbed, and her chest ached. The only thing she remembered was her husband calling her name. What had he said? Let’s talk? She didn’t know if she should laugh or sob.

And she remembered the dulcet laughter of the naked woman who was servicing him in bed. Teagan’s and Will’s bed. Teagan had thought Ginny Andrews was her friend.

Some friend. Ginny who was svelte and toned. A contrast to Teagan who’d struggled with her weight since she was seven years old.

A shuddering breath rocked through Teagan’s lungs. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She wiped them away.

She barely remembered driving to the Crystal Creek Ranch, throwing a saddle on her favorite horse, Champagne, and racing through the meadows until she reached the aspen forest covering Crystal Peak.

Fighting against the despair that filled her, she wrapped shaky fingers around the reins and urged the Arabian horse through the trees bursting with spring green leaves. Her vision blurred, and she tried to focus on the pink wild roses and purple elephant’s head mingling with the green undergrowth. The splashes of Crystal Creek tumbling over rocks sounded next to the trail. It was happy and musical and far from the darkness that crowded her heart. Her stomach roiled and begged to be emptied of the half sandwich she’d eaten during the orchestral rehearsal that afternoon.

She ran her hand over the horse’s neck damp from perspiration.

About the Author:

A native of California, Laura Haley-McNeil spent her youth studying ballet and piano, though her favorite pastime was curling up with a good book. Without a clue as to how to write a book, she knew one day she would.
After college, she segued into the corporate world, but she never forgot her love for the arts and served on the board of two community orchestras. Finally realizing that the book she’d dreamt of writing wouldn’t write itself, she planted herself in front of her computer. She now immerses herself in the lives and loves of her characters in her romantic suspense and her contemporary romance novels. Many years later, she lived her own romantic novel when she married her piano teacher, the love of her life.
Though she and her husband have left warm California for cooler Colorado, they enjoy the outdoor life of hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and snow skiing. They satisfy their love of music by attending concerts and hanging out with their musician friends, but Laura still catches a few free moments when she can sneak off and read.

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