Friday, March 31, 2017

Audio Book Review ~ Onions in the Stew by Betty Macdonald, Narrated by Heather Henderson

Onions in the Stew
by Betty MacDonald
Narrator: Heather Henderson
Length: 9 hours 40 minutes
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Audio Release Date: 2016
Genre: Humor, Memoir

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The bestselling author of the American humor classic The Egg and I continues the adventure with this collection of tales about life on the fringe of the Western wilderness. Writing in the 1950s, Betty MacDonald, sophisticated and urbane, captivated readers with her observations about raising a family on an island in Puget Sound. As usual, humorist MacDonald is her own favorite target. She manages to get herself into scrapes with washing machines set adrift in rowboats, used cars, and a $25 Turkey Squasher. And then there's the scariest aspect of island life -- teenaged children.

Onions in the Stew is Betty MacDonald’s fourth memoir and it is so hilarious! There is really no set theme in this installment, just a collection of humorous moments from Betty’s life living on Vashon Island during and after World War 2 with her second husband and two daughters.  It was such a treat to peek back in time through Ms. MacDonald’s words and her amazing ability to turn any horrible event into something that will have you laughing at loud.  Raising two teenage girls is a challenging feat for any mother, but Ms. MacDonald’s witty humor made it sound like a whole lot of fun.
Heather Henderson narrates Onions in the Stew, and she does an outstanding job once again with this installment. I can’t think of another narrator that could even come close to the exceptional talent of Ms. Henderson.  As I have stated in previous audio book reviews from this author, her voice of Betty MacDonald is perfect and I feel as though Ms. MacDonald is in the room with me.  Ms. Henderson is also able to give each of the characters a distinct voice which I think really adds to the story.  I don’t feel as though I am being read to, instead I feel as though I am right there with each of the characters – which makes this a wonderful listening experience.  The production quality of this recording is top notch and the narration flows effortlessly. 

Onions in the Stew was exceptionally well-written and with the charming characters and numerous laugh-out-loud moments makes this one book that I would highly recommend to just about anyone who is needing an uplifting and funny reading/listening experience.  You really can’t go wrong with this title and is well worth a credit.

Story – 4 stars
Performance – 5 stars
Overall – 4.5 stars

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press, Inc. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Click HERE to listen to an Excerpt

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Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.
MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).
Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts.  Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire;  and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine.   She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry.  In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Blast & Giveaway ~ The Ivory Queen (Order of the Bell #1.5) by Jacob Devlin

Hello readers!
Are you looking for your next read?
Well, let us help make things easier for you!
Welcome to the Book Blast for
Ivory Queen (Order Of The Bell #1.5) by Jacob Devlin
presented by Blaze Publishing!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Looking for more books to read? Read on and find a book that’s waiting for you to devour!
Twenty-five years ago, the venomous Queen Avoria was banished from the enchanted realms of Florindale and sentenced to spend eternity inside a cursed mirror.
After a seemingly endless tumble through the mirror’s abyss, Avoria awakens in a gloomy metropolis in the darkest corner of Wonderland. There she meets the shrewd King of Hearts, Cornelius Redding, and the two strike a turbulent alliance. As Avoria helps Cornelius execute his conquest of Wonderland, she plots her own vengeance against the world that cast her out. In the city's cold shadows, Avoria finds pawns in the souls that defied her, truth in the reflection that calls to her, and power in the past that forged her. And thus, the Ivory Queen begins carving a path to the ultimate throne.
Ivory Queen 
(Order of the Bell #1.5) 
by Jacob Devlin 
Publication Date: January 10, 2017 
Publisher: Blaze Publishing

    "a well-written glimpse into the magic mirror." - Janelle   " Avoria is a really fascinating villain"Samantha  
When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.
The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.
The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.
When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.
The question is who?
Shadow Fall 
(Shadow Fall #1) 
by Audrey Grey 
Publication Date: November 22, 2016 
Publisher: Blaze Publishing

After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.
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Crescenzo never would’ve thought his father’s figurines were modeled after real people, but when his loved ones start vanishing from his life, he must unite their real life counterparts and seek their aid to save his family.
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The Carver 
by Jacob Devlin 
Publication Date: July 19, 2016 
Publisher: Blaze Publishing
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Nerd Blast & Giveaway ~ THE COURAGE TEST by James Preller

The Courage Test
by James Speller
Age Range: 9 - 12 years
Grade Level: 4 - 7
Lexile Measure: 630 (What's this?)
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (September 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250093910
ISBN-13: 978-1250093912

Will has no choice. His father drags him along on a wilderness adventure in the footsteps of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark--whether he likes it or not. All the while, Will senses that something about this trip isn't quite right.

Along the journey, Will meets fascinating strangers and experiences new thrills, including mountain cliffs, whitewater rapids, and a heart-hammering bear encounter.

It is a journey into the soul of America's past, and the meaning of family in the future. In the end, Will must face his own, life-changing test of courage.

A father-and-son journey along the Lewis and Clark Trail--from Fort Mandan to the shining sea--offers readers a genre-bending blend of American history, thrilling action, and personal discovery.

My mother pushes me out the door, and I don’t know why.

“I don’t want to go,” I tell her.

“I know,” she says.

“But why now?” I ask again. “All-Stars starts this week. I don’t want to miss it.”

“We’ve been over this,” she says.

She might as well say what every parent resorts to when they run out of good answers: Because I said so. There’s no explanation, no more discussion. It’s time for me to go.

I feel ridiculously, stupidly, helplessly annoyed, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I see in that instant my mother is getting old. Stray gray hairs, wrinkles around the down-turned corners of her mouth. She looks tired and thin, sick of arguing with me. I carry a fully loaded metal-frame backpack on my shoulders and a smaller gym bag in my right hand—stuff for the long drive, all my technology’s in there. I don’t want to go, but I can’t stand here forever. So come on, Mom, let’s do this.

“You’ll have fun,” she says. “It’s good for you and your father to spend time together.”

“Please, Mom.”

“He’s the only father you’ve got,” she says.

I give her nothing in return. Not a nod. I’m not even listening. I turn my back to her.

“Bye,” she says, and adds, “I love you, Will.”

I walk away like I don’t hear.


I raise my hand in good-bye without looking back.

My father waits in the car. He steps out as I approach. I nod to him, hey. None of this is my idea. I have no say, no choice. I refuse to be happy about it. I’m not going to make this easy.

“Here, um, let me help you with that.” He reaches to take my backpack.

“No, I got it,” I say, leaning away.

“Oh, okay, sure,” he says.

He stands there, not knowing what to do.

“Are you going to pop the trunk?” I ask. Because: obviously.

Flustered, my father moves to the driver’s side door. He fumbles in the front pocket of his water-resistant khakis, drops the keys on the road, stoops to the ground. I glance sideways, slyly, to check how this is playing from the front window. But my mother is no longer watching.

She’s gone.


"Preller stirs doses of American history into a first-rate road trip that does traditional double-duty as plot device and coming-of-age metaphor. Will is initially baffled and furious at being abruptly forced to accompany his divorced father, a history professor, on a long journey retracing much of the trail of Lewis and Clark. ...Will survives a meeting with a bear and a spill into dangerous rapids—tests of courage that will help him weather the bad news that awaits him at home." --Booklist

"Whatever young explorers look for on their literary road trips, they’ll find it here."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The lively narrative is interspersed with Will’s entries for a school writing assignment, which contain lots of facts about the original journey, as well as postcards to his mother. Despite the emotional heft, there is plenty of action, including white-water rafting and a close encounter with a bear. A middle grade winner to hand to fans of history, adventure, and family drama."--School Library Journal

James Preller (born 1961) is the children's book author of the Jigsaw Jones Mysteries, which are published by Scholastic Corporation. He grew up in Wantagh, New York and went to college in Oneonta, New York. After graduating from college in 1983, James Preller was employed as a waiter for one year before being hired as a copywriter by Scholastic Corporation, where he was introduced (through their books) to many noatable children's authors. This inspired James Preller to try writing his own books. James Preller published his first book, entitled MAXX TRAX: Avalanche Rescue, in 1986. Since that time, James Preller has written a variety of books, and has written under a number of pen names, including Mitzy Kafka, James Patrick, and Izzy Bonkers. James Preller lives in Delmar, New York with his wife Lisa and their three children.

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter 
3 Winners will receive a Copy of The Courage Test by James Preller

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy

The Wolf Mirror 
Caroline Healy
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.

Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.

With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.

Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.

Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.

Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.

Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.

Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. 
Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.

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Lady Cassandra Miller woke with a jolt. The silk, damask cover had slipped from her bed during the night. She shivered in the chill. Ludlow Park was eerily quiet. It seemed as if the house was holding its breath in expectation. Of what, she could not imagine.
Under the covers, she pulled the lace end of her night shift past her knees, down towards her shins, wrapping it around her toes. Winter was coming and the nights were getting colder. She had foolishly ignored Miss Blythe’s advice and refused a warming pan, declaring that it was too early in the year for frost. She snuggled deeper in the bed, regretting her decree.
She wished her mother was here. This time of year, coming into the darkness of winter, Cassandra felt her absence the most; her Mama, the exquisitely beautiful Lady Augustine Miller. If the stories of her youth were to be believed, she had commanded the attentions of not three but four prominent gentlemen during her début. Cassandra smiled to herself before twisting around in an effort to get comfortable. The horse hair mattress was lumpy. She would instruct Molly, her new maid, to beat it in the morning.
‘How am I expected to sleep in such discomfort?’ she said to the darkness before sitting bolt upright, her frustration rising. ‘Insufferable!’ She turned and punched her eider down pillow.
The room had recently been renovated, her furniture repositioned. Wallpaper had been purchased from London and a new canopy of light green silk had been added to the four posters of her bed. A mahogany writing desk and matching chair had been imported from France. According to Miss Taylor of Upton Manor, they were the most fashionable of furnishings and a necessity in any lady’s bedroom.
‘Simpering idiot,’ she said into the dark.
Miss. Taylor was very free with her opinion, an opinion that Cassandra usually disagreed with. Much to her dismay, it was her duty to suffer the companionship of the ladies of the neighbourhood once a month. It was a tradition that her mother had established, before Cassandra was born. The gatherings were an opportunity to become better acquainted with the families of the parish.
Cassandra loathed the events. In truth, as far as Cassandra could make out, the occasion was an excuse for gossip, a way to show off the latest fashion and a means of securing a match with someone’s brother, uncle or at times, even father.
These thoughts irked her. There would be no going back to sleep now, her blood pumping with discontent. 
She reached to the chair beside her bed and pulled a well-worn shawl over her shoulders. If Miss. Blythe was to see her wearing such an item of clothing, she would scold her no end. Oh Miss. Miller, so unbefitting for a lady of your stature. Her governess still called her Miss., even though by rights, since her mother’s death, Cassandra was now the Lady of the house.
However Miss. Blythe, for all her remonstrations, had been a tower of strength and sense in the last three years. She had taken Cassandra under her wing and instilled all the knowledge she possessed. Cassandra had learned to move in polite society, to host social engagements, to handle the servants. In truth she had learned how to administer a large estate in a relatively short period of time; a fact that she was particularly proud of.

For a simple governess, Miss. Blythe’s knowledge of society was quite impressive. Yet sometimes Cassandra found her cautious nature overbearing. Every now and then she wanted to throw discretion to the wind, order beef instead of mutton for a dinner party. Or perhaps go out in the carriage without a bonnet. Such recklessness would not be acceptable of course. It would seriously hamper her chances of attracting a suitable husband.
Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.
In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The Bohemyth, Short Story Ireland, Short Stop U.K., Five Stop Story, Prole, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice
Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.
She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.
(More details can be found on her website
 Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


Release Day Blitz & Giveaway ~ CRAZY FOR YOU (Risking It All #2) by Rachel Lacey

Author: Rachel Lacey
Series: Risking It All, #2
On Sale: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $7.99 USD
eBook: $6.99 USD

The second book in Rachel Lacey's irresistible contemporary romance series about three foster brothers who return to their hometown to open an extreme sports business, perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins, Rachel Gibson, and Jill Shalvis!


Emma Rush can't remember a time when she didn't have a thing for Ryan Blake. Haven's resident bad boy is just so freakin' hot-with tattoos, a motorcycle, and enough rough-around-the-edges sexiness to melt all her self-control. Now that Emma's over being a "good girl," she needs a little help being naughty . . . and she knows just where to start.

Before Emma's brother enlisted in the military, he made Ryan promise that he would protect her from everything--including himself. When her brother doesn't come home, Ryan needs to turn his screwed-up life around to honor his pledge. But he knows he's still not the right kind of guy for someone as sweet as Emma. Only he can't stop wanting to be with her. Wanting her. Falling in love with a good girl may be the craziest risk this bad boy can take . . .

Ryan Blake held a bottle of Maker’s 46 in his right hand, a tumbler in his left. With a flick of his wrist, he tossed the bottle. It flipped once before landing back in his grip, top down, ready to pour. He filled the tumbler, set a napkin on
the bar, and placed it in front of the brunette on the other side. “Bourbon, neat.”
“You’re good.” She picked up the glass and tipped it in his direction. “Not what I was expecting in this little bar in the middle of nowhere.”
“I try,” he said with the friendly, semi-flirtatious smile he always used on single ladies seated at his bar. She wasn’t wrong. The usual clientele at The Drunken Bear had little use for fancy liquor or bartending tricks, but the trio in front of him were tourists looking for a good time, and he’d see that they had one.
“You were just about to tell me about this tattoo.” She placed her hand on his biceps, fingering the eagle he’d had inked there after he flew this coop ten years ago.
“That’s right.” He shifted backward so that her hand slipped to the countertop. He encouraged flirting—it led to better tips and made the night more interesting—but this chick was getting a bit too friendly, considering the diamond band on her left ring finger. “This one was for spreading my wings. Thought I’d fly far away, and yet, here I am back in Haven.”
“You’re from here then?” one of the other women asked, shamelessly ogling the tattoos on his arms while giving him an eyeful of cleavage.
“Born and raised. Moved around a lot, but I can’t seem to shake this place. It’s in my blood.” Once upon a time, he’d been hell bent on getting as far away from this sleepy North Carolina mountain town as possible. Spent the better part of a decade drifting from place to place, taking with him only what he could carry on his bike. Funny how things came full circle. He picked up an empty pilsner glass another patron had left behind.
He turned at the familiar voice to find Emma Rush stand- ing there, one hip propped against the bar, and he damn near dropped the glass. Emma’s trademark ponytail and jog- ging pants were nowhere in sight. Tonight, her blond hair cascaded over her shoulders in shiny waves, her blue eyes sparkled at him from behind a tasteful—yet sexy—amount of makeup, and her red top was tucked into a pair of jeans that fit her like a glove. He swallowed past the sudden dry- ness in his throat. “Hey, Em. What brings you out tonight?” “Girls’ night,” she said with a smile, gesturing to her friend Mandy, who stood by the door talking on her cell phone. Emma slid onto an empty barstool. “I wasn’t expect-
ing to see you.”
“I’m still here a few nights a week.” His new business
venture—Off-the-Grid Adventures, an extreme outdoor sporting facility he’d opened with his good buddies Ethan Hunter and Mark Dalton six months ago—was finally bring- ing in enough income that he soon wouldn’t need to bartend to pay his rent. “What can I get you?”
“Untapped amber ale, please.” She watched while he filled a frosted mug. “Thanks.”
“My pleasure.”
She lifted the mug to her lips and took a long drink. “Damn, that’s good,” she said with a happy sigh, setting it on the bar.
“Always been more of a pilsner guy myself.” He tried not to stare as she licked froth from her upper lip.
“Hi, Ryan.” Mandy stepped up to the bar beside Emma. He leaned back, tearing his gaze from Emma’s lips. “Hi.”
Emma turned to her friend with a smile. “Ready to get a table?”
“Yep,” Mandy said. “Have fun, ladies.”
“We will.” With a wave, Emma walked off after her friend, and damn, those jeans cupped her ass like perfection. No doubt about it, Emma looked hot tonight. And his thoughts were way out of line. He’d promised Derek he’d look out for his little sister, not drool all over her.
“Your girlfriend?” the brunette at the bar asked, eyebrows raised as she sipped her bourbon.
Ryan cleared his throat and dragged his eyes away from Emma. “Just a friend.”
“Mm-hmm.” The brunette gave him a look that said she didn’t believe him.
He turned to check on his patrons at the other end of the bar, but his attention was once again diverted by Emma— or rather, the preppy-looking businessman she was talking to now. Ryan couldn’t make out their conversation, but the guy wore an irritatingly smug smile, and Emma didn’t look at all happy to have bumped into him.
Ryan moved down the bar, chatting and pouring drinks as he went, all the while keeping an eye on Emma. She was deep in conversation with the businessman, although the guy seemed to be doing most of the talking. Emma smiled and nodded. She glanced up and met Ryan’s gaze, rolling her eyes at him with a smile while her companion kept on talk- ing.
Next thing Ryan knew, the guy had slung an arm around her shoulders, gesturing wildly with his free hand while Emma subtly edged away from him.
Ryan was around the bar and across the room before he’d even realized what he was doing. “Everything okay over here?”
Emma shrugged out from under the guy’s arm, but her smile wasn’t nearly as warm or genuine as the one she’d given Ryan a few moments ago. “Yep.”
“We’re fine,” Obnoxious Dude answered. “Who are you?”
“Ryan Blake. And you are?” “Tristan Farrell.”
“Tristan and I are . . . old friends,” Emma said.
By old friends, Ryan assumed she meant former flames. And since she clearly wasn’t enjoying his company, it was time for Tristan to leave. Ryan crossed his arms over his chest and stared him down, waiting for the loser to get the message. It didn’t take long.
Tristan backed up, his eyes darting toward the front door. “Well, it was great seeing you, Emma. Take care.”
“You, too.” She watched as Tristan left the bar then turned to Ryan. “Forgot how much I dislike that guy.”
“He hassling you?”
Her eyes rounded. “No! Just talking my ear off, really.
Sorry to distract you from your duties at the bar.”
“No problem.” Keeping an eye on his patrons was part of the job, although he was probably feeling more protective of Emma right now than the situation called for.
“Right, well . . . looks like my table is ready.” She waved over her shoulder as she walked away.
Ryan headed back behind the bar, turning his attention to the trio of tourists and their mostly empty cocktails. “Any of you ladies ready for a fresh drink?”
As it turned out, they all were. While he mixed their cock- tails, he allowed his gaze to roam over to Emma’s table. She was deep in conversation with her friends Gabby, Carly, and Mandy, all of whom he knew, none of whom made his gut tighten the way it did every time he looked at Emma tonight.

He had no idea where this had come from, but he had to get over it, pronto. Emma wasn’t interested in a player like him, and even if she were, she was off limits. He’d made a promise to her brother when Derek went off to war, and Ryan had no intention of breaking it.



Rachel Lacey is a contemporary romance author and semi-reformed travel junkie. She's been climbed by a monkey on a mountain in Japan, gone scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and camped out overnight in New York City for a chance to be an extra in a movie. These days, the majority of her adventures take place on the pages of the books she writes. She lives in warm and sunny North Carolina with her husband, son, and a variety of rescue pets.