Wednesday, August 31, 2016

For Better or Worse (Wedding Belles #2) by Lauren Layne

For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

Release: August 30th, 2016
Romance Subgenre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Wedding Belles #2

Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

Character Study
Second in Lauren Layne’s Wedding Belles series, For Better or Worse is the story of neighborhoods to agree to be friends with benefits. Heather and Josh both agree that they’ll keep emotions and attachments out of things so, of course, just what do you think happens!?!

I must say that I found this book to be the perfect summer read. It’s seemingly fun and “light” on surface, but it takes a deep dive into commitment and what happens when a partner keeps a secret at the end of the book. Add the quick pace and witty humor of Heather and Josh into the mix and you get a book I can see myself recommending to lots of different readers and friends.

Note: I’m not personally a fan of reading about a hero/heroine being with another person. In For Better or Worse we do see Josh interact with a one-night-stand early in the book. However, if that doesn’t bother you, or you can persevere without that messing with your head too much, read this book please! For me, the one-night-stand registered but didn’t impact my feelings towards Josh once the book was finished.

The playlist I created for this book is very character-centric. Each song selection is singularly Heather or Josh focused. Can you guess what songs I picked for each of them?

“No Sleep” by Maor Levi, BRKLYN and Mariah McManus

Don’t stop we’re on overload
No sleep until tomorrow
And tonight got to let it go
You and I, you and I

“You Matter to Me” by Sara Bareilles and Jason Mraz
Because you matter to me
Simple and plain and not much to ask from somebody
You matter to me

“Habit of You” by Keith Urban
I could make a habit of you
Waking up in my bed
Staying up till two
‘Cause you’re stuck in my head
It’s a symphony you sing to me
When you call out my name
I don’t know what else to do
But make a habit of you
Habit of you
Habit of you

“Carry Me” by Kygo and Julia Michaels
Could you carry me?
Back into your heart again
Could you carry me?
Right into your distant hands
Could you carry me?
Right back where we started from
Could you carry me?

“Till I Fall Asleep” by Jayme Dee
And tell me that it's not over yet
We were never good at saying goodbyes
Oh we were never good at saying goodbyes
Why can't you see what's right in front of your eyes?

What did you think of For Better or Worse?
Are there any songs that remind you of Josh, Heather and their HEA?

About Lauren Layne

Lauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan.

She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2) Lisa Kleypas

Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

Release: Mary 31st, 2016
Romance Subgenre: Historical Romance
Series: The Ravenels #2

A ruthless tycoon

Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better . . .

A sheltered beauty

Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable . . . the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…

Marrying Mr. Winterborne

Character Study
“Ain’t no hero like a Kleypas hero.”

Truer words may never have been spoken. When a friend told me that a good place to start with historicals would be Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflowers series I never expected to honestly and completely love each and every one of those books. However, I do. I adore them wholeheartedly. So I kinda surprised myself by not diving into her newer series, The Ravenels, right away. I’m on that train now though! I liked the first book in the series, Cold-Hearted Rake. But let me tell you, the second book was pure magic. Marrying Winterborne is funny, and touching, and erotic and most of all it was really, really satisfying. I’ve reread it at least a half a dozen times in the past month.

The heroine of Marrying Winterborne, Helen, plays the piano. After seducing her soon-to-be-husband, Rhys, he promises her a piano. Rhys is struck with the image of her playing just for him and imagines her fingers gliding across the keys. So naturally I did a deep, deep dive into Victorian era parlor music. The curated soundtrack for Marrying Winterborne are some of my favorite pieces that were played during that era in the parlors of those wealthy enough to own a piano. Since Helen loves to play and she even exchanged her original, priceless diamond engagement ring for something smaller that would allow her to play more easily, I took a guess and decided that she would have an amazing musical ability along with lots of time to enjoy practice. Thus, the pieces aren’t very novice-friendly but they certainly are beautiful.


What did you think of Marrying Winterborne?
Are there any songs that remind you of Rhys, Helen and their HEA?

About Lisa Kleypas
LISA KLEYPAS is the RITA award-winning author of 21 novels. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two children.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Author Guest Post: Mind Mates (Pull of the Moon #2) by Mary Hughes

Mind Mates by Mary Hughes
Release: August 23rd, 2016
Romance Subgenre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Pull of the Moon #2

Pretty little shifter, wizard prince—their taboo love could burn the barriers between worlds.

Shifter Emma Singer has more problems than she can shake her pretty little wolf tail at. Her heirloom journal is missing, her pack alpha wants her for his harem, and her family plans to sell her to him. Even her wicked little crush on her hot boss is doomed—why would six-and-a-half feet of handsome royal wizard want a boring, good-girl iota shifter like her? Not to mention her only power is going berserker—that's a real relation-shipwreck!

Gabriel Light is a wizard prince who turned his back on his exceptional powers after he was accused of causing his parents' death. Now he pours his intellect into his tech business, and hides his naughty, forbidden lust for his pretty shifter clerk. But when his sister is imprisoned, and Emma is kidnapped, it's time for this alpha geek-wizard to decloak with all laser cannons blazing. Only one problem—how can he be sure Emma won’t get caught in the crossfire?

Then Gabriel and Emma stumble on hidden magic, a key to power beyond imagining—if they can stay alive long enough to use it. But if Emma unleashes her berserker wolf on their enemies, can Gabriel draw her back from the brink before she destroys everyone in her path?

Warning: Contains a hot wizard prince panting to bring out a good-girl shifter's naughty side. Accidental voyeurism, deliberate orgasms, a jealous rival wizard, and fun with prophecy.

Author Guest Post

I'm excited to have author Mary Hughes on the blog today to discuss her novel, Mind Mates. Thanks for sharing, Mary!

Thanks to Romance Playlist for this chance to share music! Tunage plays a big part in my life—hubby and I met in high school music theory class and still make music together in our regional symphony. When I’m pounding the writerly keyboard, I don’t have anything playing externally, but there’s always music going in my head.

The songs below resonate with the characters in Mind Mates (Pull of the Moon book 2). In fact, I had such fun picking them out, I put together a video just for Romance Playlist. (\images\socialmedia\MindMatesCharacterForComputer.mp4) I love a variety of music, and here’s a sample of cello, Irish flute, power metal, country, and more. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!

~ ~ ~ 

Emma Singer, heroine: Emma’s a sweet little iota wolf shifter, always saying “I’m fine” even when she’s not. But there’s more to Emma than the pretty little wolf on the surface...

“Brian Boru's March” (James Galway/Ulster Orchestra)

Gabriel Light, hero: Gabriel’s a six-foot-five wizard prince who hides his brilliance behind glasses and his Techie Titan persona. Until Emma brings out the bad boy in him...

“Through the Fire and Flames” (DragonForce)

“Wrong Way Charlie” (Jerry Becker/Mr. Lucky Swing Syndicate)
Buy On Amazon
42 Guys in Suits video:

The Enforcer, antagonist: An arrogant swizzle-stick of a man, the Witches’ Council Enforcer has jailed Gabriel’s sister for taboo witch/wolfshifter mating and wants to execute her. Now the Enforcer is going to jail Emma too?

Cello Wars (The Piano Guys)

The Key: What is the mysterious Key to Night foretold by the d’Avignon prophecy?

“Send Me An Angel” (Scorpions)

Emma and Gabriel together:

“Ring of Fire” (Johnny Cash)

Leaving you with one more for Emma, who’s deceptively quiet but fiery underneath!

“Hallelujah” (Mannheim Steamroller)

About Mary Hughes

As a girl, Mary Hughes spun romantic, happily-ever-after stories to get to sleep. A husband, family, two degrees and a blackbelt later, she's delighted to spin them for readers.

She's lived with love and loss, in bright times and dark, and learned we can all use a break from reality every now and then.

So join her for action, sparkling wit and red-hot love. Strong men. Stronger women.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Stud for Hire (Stripped Down #1) by Sabrina York

Study for Hire by Sabrina York

Release: August 16th, 2016
Romance Subgenre: Contemporary Romance, Cowboy Romance
Series: Stripped Down #1

Just south of Fort Worth, Texas, you’ll find a little ranch where the hot, toned cowboys are ready and eager to take it all off and make your naughtiest fantasies come true...

When her sister plans a wild bachelorette weekend at the Double S Ranch, Hanna Stevens is pretty sure she’ll just grin and bear it while the other women get their fill of hot cowboy strippers. After all, Hanna has never met a man who made her really want.

Zack, Hanna’s future husband, offered to marry her and save her family’s ranch from financial ruin, and while she accepted, it was never what you’d call a passionate affair. But when she locks eyes with Logan, Hanna is suddenly overwhelmed by the feeling she’s always craved and never experienced: Pure. Animal. Desire...

Character Study
ALL THE FEELS. This book gave me all the feels guys!

I’m not sure I could recommend this book any more highly really. If you like cowboys, you like your romances a bit steamy and you are a fan of unrequited love, go buy this book ASAP.

Now...onto the playlist. I really struggled to find a playlist that worked for Hanna and Logan. I had a few requirements.

  1. Country music...duh.
  2. I wanted the songs to focus on Hanna and Logan together. When the book starts Hanna is with someone else and she carries around a lot of guilt and fear. I felt like the best parts of this book really happened once Logan and Hanna began working together and were free to be themselves and grow as a couple. 3) This playlist tries to capitalize on their feelings for one another and their new relationship.
  3. I wanted newer songs that I anticipate will stand the test of time. No classics, just songs that remind me that you can love someone in the present knowing that your love will just grow and evolve in the future.
Last thing...Sabrina York, if you are reading this. PLEASE please please give Logan’s brother’s books. I would like more of them ;)

“Mine Would be You” by Blake Shelton

What's the greatest chapter in your book?
Are there pages where it hurts to look?
What's the one regret you can't work through?
You got it baby, mine would be you
Yeah you got it baby, mine would be you

“Still Fallin” by Hunter Hayes
You're still laughing with me,
And we're still making memories,
I'm still a fool for you, and there's a million reasons why

“Die a Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett
And I know that I can't ever tell you enough
That all I need in this life is your crazy love

“My Girl” by Dylan Scott
Yeah baby girl you gone and done it again
Makin' all the guys wish you were with them
But I bet they don't see what I see when I see my girl
Oh, my girl
Yeah, that's my girl

What did you think of Stud for Hire?
Are there any songs that remind you of Logan, Hanna and their HEA?

About Sabrina York
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. With over 25 titles her books range from sweet & snarky to scorching romance. Visit her webpage at to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Represented by Lane Heymont with the Seymour Agency.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Select Contemporary Man Candy Concessions: Entangled Summer Carnival

Welcome to the Select Contemporary Man Candy Concession Stand-featuring heroes that are so irresistible, you'll be kicking your current book boyfriend to the curb! Below, MK Meredith, Abby Niles, Hayson Manning, Alison Bliss, and Carol Pavliska are kicking off the Man Candy Wars by introducing you to their heroes (both new and old). So be sure to read up on these men so you can vote for you favorite fictional man candy at tonight's Man Candy Wars!


My name is Drago DeLuca.

I’m known in the Italian business world as The Dragon, but don’t let that dissuade you. I may be a corporate carnivore, but a maiden in or out of distress is surely my favorite meal. Women are beautiful creatures, and one who isn’t afraid of her power, who shows spunk and confidence is like eating dessert first. All the glory, followed by a savory dish that leaves one satisfied for days.

Though I’m a man of the world, my heart belongs to my nonna. She’s the one women I’d give everything up for. That’s the kind of loyalty you get from me once I believe your love is true. But therein lies the challenge. Experience has taught me true love is a rare, and one might even say endangered, entity. I admire bravery and intelligence and if ever both qualities were found in one woman who also puts me in my place, the temptation would be far too great to resist--and believe me, once you get a taste of The Dragon, you won't want me to.


I hate these things. The internet is too impersonal. I’m more of a one-on-one, face-to-face sort of guy. But what the hell, Abby asked me to tell all you lovely readers a little about myself. Since I love that woman, she gets what she wants. Though if I had my preference, I’d rather do a meet and greet so I’d have the honor of seeing each of your beautiful faces. 

Unfortunately, this will have to do for now. I’m Brody “The Iron” Minton. I’m a heavyweight fighter. But don’t let that tough man career fool you. While I can knock the shit out of any man I square off with, and will do so without hesitation, I’m a huge softy. I blame it on having five sisters. 

As far as I’m concerned, family is everything. I take my role as Uncle Brody seriously. To prove my point, I have a white Persian cat named Princess—picked out and named by my niece. Yes, it can be embarrassing to tell people that, but that child is my world. And if she wanted to name it Princess, then by damn, that cat was going to be named Princess, and to hell with anyone that laughed at me for sticking to it. 

I love my Harley and going on long rides in the country. I find my peace out on the open road.  
Tattoos are cool as fuck.  I’m working on finishing my sleeve right now. I have a couple more frames to go. One of Hawkeye then of Deadpool. Yes, I’m a comic book nerd and I’m not ashamed to admit it. 

I believe women should be treated with respect. I have five sisters, remember? I’ve watched them cry too many times over douchebags. I refuse to be one. 

Well ladies, I need to jet. My niece will be here in just a bit. I’m babysitting for a few hours so my sister and her husband can go on a much needed date. I hope each one you has an amazing day!


The name I go by at the moment is Dug. You all don’t know me yet. I am book two of the Bound series. You might have met me in Bound to the Bounty Hunter.  I don’t talk much, but I observe a lot, especially my work colleague Arabella Tennyson, who used to go by the name of Mia. Guess she’s hiding secrets too. There isn’t a lot to know about me. I like my beer cold and my food hot. I don’t date, and I don’t do relationships which kills my mother and sisters, who have not stopped matchmaking since I landed back in Colorado where I now work for Harlan Franco. I foster severely neglected dogs, I’m a Bronco’s supporter, and I once had a perfect life. 

I’m FBI Special Agent Jake Ward and, without a doubt, I am your ideal man candy hero. I may not always be forthcoming with my feelings, but I’m always honest. Maybe even to a fault. Okay, so I can be a bit cocky and arrogant at times. I admit it. Some might even say I’m infuriatingly alpha. Mostly because I like for a woman to play by the rules. Oh, wait. I’m supposed to be listing my good qualities, aren't I? Okay, let me try this again. I’m protective, loyal, and rule-abiding…when I get to make the rules. I’d take a bullet for those I love, and I always protect what’s mine.

I’m Julian and I don’t do crowds, so I’m honestly not looking forward to being dragged off to a carnival and paraded around as man candy. And although I’ve been promised a spot in the kissing booth if I behave myself, I’m highly suspicious I’ll end up in the dunking booth instead. One thing I definitely won’t be doing at the carnival is eating carnival food. I haven’t always treated my body like a temple, but I do now. No meat, no dairy, lots of working out. I admit that some people find it annoying, but nobody complains about the result. In fact, women seem to rather enjoy it. They also appreciate my many tattoos, British accent (I might play that up a bit), and lightning fast fingers. Get your minds out of the gutter, loves. I’m a guitarist. I’m also known for the somewhat peculiar condition of synesthesia, which means I see sounds as colors. Believe me it’s not as lovely as you might think. It’s why I left the stage for the sanctity of my recording studio. I no longer crave the spotlight, and the attention of one special woman is all I need. Be sure to stop by and say hello at the carnival. I might end up being the thrill ride of your life.


Don't forget to check out the authors and their books!

Malibu Secrets by MK Meredith, on sale for just 99¢!

Find it online:

Author Info:

Fighting Love by Abby Niles, on sale for just 99¢!

Find it online:

Author Info:

A Wife in Name Only by Hayson Manning

Find it online:

Author Info:

Rules of Protection by Alison Bliss

Find it online:

Author Info:

Color Me Crazy by Carol Pavliska

Find it online:

Author Info:

And be sure to stop by the other carnival booths for more fun and giveaways and each day stop by the Facebook event page to chat with the authors.