Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review - - Moonlight Over Manhattan

Moonlight Over Manhattan
By Sarah Morgan
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Reviewed by Janga




With her brother Daniel and Molly Parker planning their wedding (New York, Actually) and her twin Fliss and Seth Carlyle settling into newly-wed bliss (Holiday in the Hamptons), Harriet Knight’s life is changing. She has decided that it is time for her to overcome her shyness and step out from the protection with which her siblings surrounded her. The holidays seem a good time to begin her self-improvement program, so she has declared the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas a time when each day she will challenge herself to do one thing on her list of Things Harriet Knight Wouldn’t Normally Do. Online dating is one of those things, but thirty minutes into her third bad date, she is doing another of those things—climbing out the window of the ladies’ room with the help of her new best friend, the loquacious Natalie the waitress. Unfortunately, the jump landing Harriet’s escape requires leads to a twisted ankle, which forces her to visit the emergency room, another thing Harriet doesn’t normally do.

Dr. Ethan Black is the attending physician in the emergency room. His father and his grandfather are primary care physicians, and his mother is a pediatrician—all happily practicing in upstate New York. But Ethan prefers the city and the excitement of leading a team in a busy trauma center. Harriet is not his usual patient. Her smile, her gratitude, and her normalcy all make her different from his usual emergencies. He thinks she is lovely and interesting, but Ethan is not looking for romance. He never expects to see Harriet again.

Is he ever wrong! When his sister Karen has to leave town because of a family emergency, she asks Ethan to dog-sit. He is not happy with the idea, but he loves his sister and his niece and can’t refuse the favor. Karen promises that Madi the dog will be no trouble and that with her regular dog-walker showing up twice a day to walk Madi, Ethan will have little to do. To his shock, he returns home the first day of life with Madi to discover the dog, who doesn’t cope well with change and loneliness, has trashed his apartment. Dr. Hot loses his cool, shouting his frustration and making Madi cower and Harriet, who arrived on the scene just before Ethan, stammer, a humiliation that sends her fleeing with Madi.

Abject apologies smooth things over, and when Ethan pleads with Harriet to become his live-in dog-sitter, she agrees, although not without reservations. The workaholic doctor discovers how pleasant it is to come home to Harriet’s serene, nurturing presence. She even nurses him through a bout with the flu. Harriet is cautious, but she finds Ethan irresistible. Soon romance is blooming amid the December chill. But Ethan, with a failed marriage behind him for which he blames himself and the demands of his job, is convinced that he cannot be what Harriet needs. Harriet, scarred from her relationship with a verbally and emotionally abusive father, will not allow herself to settle for less than a full commitment. The situation looks dire, but with a little help from their friends and family, these lovers may overcome the obstacles.

This is the sixth book in Morgan’s From Manhattan With Love series, and it is another winner. Harriet is a dear--genuinely sweet, vulnerable, and innocent to a rare degree. It is easy to root for her to gain self-confidence, to become more of a risk-taker, and to find the kind of happiness her siblings have found. Ethan is a bit more difficult because he will not allow himself to become emotionally open, but his love for his family and his friendship with his colleague Susan give hints of the caring man he is beneath the image he has constructed. His fears may be better hidden than Harriet’s, but they are no less a force in his life.

Morgan has a gift for creating characters who have depth and believability. She does it again in what appears to be the final book in an excellent series. I loved Harriet before I started the book, and I learned to love Ethan. Fans of the series will be pleased that Daniel and Fliss are a natural part of the story without taking attention away from the central romance. Ethan’s friend Susan is a scene-stealer and a wonderful addition to the book. And the conclusion left me smiling as I wiped a tear from my eye.

If you like contemporary romance that is sweet and sensual and with enough Christmas trimmings to make it a satisfying holiday read, you should add this one to your TBR. I’m always sad to bid farewell to a Sarah Morgan series, but I look forward to How to Keep a Secret, a multi-generational story set on Martha’s Vineyard and scheduled for release on July 10, 2018.



Monday, December 11, 2017

Winner - - Christmastime Cowboy







The randomly chosen winner of a copy of

Christmastime Cowboy by Maisey Yates is:

Eileen A-W

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Winner - - Victoria Alexander






The randomly chosen winner of a copy of 

The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger is:

traveler

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Winner - - Maggie Robinson









The randomly chosen winner of a print or ebook copy of

Schooling the Viscount by Maggie Robinson is:

MsAwesome

Please send your full name and mailing address 
(for a print copy) or email address (for ebook copy) to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Winners - - Coming Attractions






The randomly chosen winners from the 
December Coming Attractions post are:

Pamela Devereux
(Kindle copy of Redeeming Lord Ryder)

and

Debbie Oxier
(Kindle copy of Call to Redemption)

Please send your email address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Winner - - Susan Sands






The randomly chosen winner of a 

signed copy of Christmas, Alabama by Susan Sands is:

PattyB43

Congratulations!

Please send your name and mailing address to us at:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Friday, December 8, 2017

Today's Special - - Berkley Bookmas: Marry in Scandal







The Romance Dish is tickled pink to be part of the exciting 2017 Berkley Bookmas!  I'm especially delighted to be hosting today's spotlight author, Anne Gracie with an excerpt from her upcoming April 2018 novel, Marry in Scandal. This is the second book in Ms. Gracie's Marriage of Convenience series and one I'm especially eager to read. If you haven't read the first book in the series, Marry in HasteI highly recommend it. (Read our Just Between Us review here.) 

Berkley Bookmas is filled to the brim with exclusive content from authors like exclusive excerpts, deleted scenes, author recipes, and more! Check out the calendar of events below: 








Marry In Scandal ~ Anne Gracie
London, 1818

“I have secured a duke for the opera tonight,” Agatha, Lady Salter announced with an air of triumph. Bone thin and immensely elegant, her steely silvery hair intricately coiled, piled high and bound into a kind of turban, she fingered her lorgnette with long fingers and eyed her three nieces with a critical gaze.
Lily Rutherford, Lady Salter’s youngest niece, swallowed. She sat with her sister Rose on the chaise longue facing the old lady. George, technically a great-niece rather than a niece, lounged casually on the armrest of a nearby chair.
“Do dukes sing?” Rose idly twirled her fan. “I had no idea.”
Don’t be facetious, Rose,” Aunt Agatha snapped. “You know very well why I have arranged this opportunity—it’s for you in particular.” She added, “As well, he is bringing two friends, one of whom—”
She broke off, her eyes narrowed. Lily tensed as the old lady raised her lorgnette. It was a warm day and Lily’s thighs were sticking together, but she didn’t dare move. Aunt Agatha despised fidgeting.
But her gaze came to rest meaningfully on George, who gave the elderly dowager a bland smile in return and stayed where she was, one leg swinging in an unladylike manner.
Georgiana! Are you wearing breeches under that habit?”
George shrugged, entirely unrepentant. “We’re just back from our morning ride.”
The old lady closed her eyes in a ‘heaven-help-me’ expression, muttered something under her breath, took a deep breath and continued, “As I said, the duke is bringing two of his friends, and one of them might be interested in you, Georgiana—though not if you sit like that! Or wear breeches. No gentleman of taste—”
“And one of them might be interested in Lily.” Rose smiled warmly at her sister.
Aunt Agatha glanced at Lily. “Perhaps,” she said dismissively. She raised her lorgnette and raked it critically over the person of her youngest niece.
Lily, knowing what was coming, sucked in her stomach and held her breath. But it did no good.
“I see you have failed to follow my advice about the diet that was so effective for Lord Byron, Lily. You’re as fat as ever.”
“Lily isn’t fat,” Rose flashed angrily. “She’s lovely and rounded and cuddly. But not fat!”
“And besides, she did try that dreadful diet,” George said. “For two whole weeks and it made her quite sick for no result. Potatoes drenched in vinegar? Ghastly.”
“A small sacrifice for the sake of beauty,” Aunt Agatha said with all the complacence of a woman who had never had to diet in her life.
“Lily is beautiful as she is.” Rose squeezed her sister’s hand comfortingly. “We all think so.”
Aunt Agatha snorted.
“Better to be sweet-natured and cuddly than a nasty, well-dressed skeleton.” George gave a meaningful glance at Aunt Agatha.
Lily tried not to squirm. She hated this, hated people quarreling over her, hated it when Aunt Agatha examined her through her horrid lorgnette—as she did every time she visited. Under that cold, merciless gaze, Lily always felt like a worm—a fat, unattractive, stupid worm. And she couldn’t bear another evening of it.
“I’m sorry but I can’t come to the opera tonight,” she found herself saying. “I have a—a previous engagement.”
There was a short, shocked silence. Rose and George blinked and tried to conceal their surprise.
Aunt Agatha’s gaze, her eyes horribly enlarged through the lens of her weapon of choice, bored into Lily. “What did you say, gel?”
Lily swallowed but held her ground. “I said, I have a prior engagement.” She pressed her lips together. She was hopeless at arguing;, she always gave in eventually, so it was better to say nothing.
Aunt Agatha gripped her carved ebony stick in a bony grasp and stamped it on the floor. The floor being covered by a thick Turkish rug, the effect was rather lost. “Did you not understand me, you stupid gel? A duke and two of his friends have agreed to join our party at the opera. A duke! And two other eligible gentlemen. And you say you can’t come? What nonsense! Of course you will come!”
Lily eased her fingers out of her sister’s grasp. Now her hands were sweaty, as well as her thighs. She wiped them surreptitiously on her skirt and said with as much dignity as she could muster, “I was under the impression you had issued an invitation, Aunt Agatha, not an order.”


 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Shy young heiress, Lady Lily Rutherford, is in no hurry to marry. She dreams of true love and a real courtship. But when disaster strikes, she finds herself facing a scandal-forced marriage to her rescuer, Edward Galbraith, a well known rake. 

Despite his reputation Lily is drawn to the handsome Galbraith. In the gamble of her life, she agrees to marry him, hoping to turn a convenient marriage into a love match. 

As heir to a title, Galbraith knows he must wed, so a convenient marriage suits him perfectly. But there is a darkness in his past, and secrets he refuses to share with his tender-hearted young bride. All Lily's efforts to get close to him fall on stony ground, and in desperation she retreats to his childhood home--the place he's avoided for nearly a decade.

Must Lily reconcile herself to a marriage without love? Or will Galbraith realize that this warm-hearted, loving girl is the key to healing the wounds of his past--and his heart?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Only lucky person who enters the giveaway will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card
and one copy of each of the books below. 
Click to enter: http://bit.ly/2zlFxAq


FPO



For next week’s fun, head to one of the following blogs on December 11:

·         My Friend Amy
·         The Romance Studio
·         Booked & Loaded
·         Vampire Book Club
·         Coffee and Characters
·         Rantings of a Reading Addict
·         Diva Does 4 Good
·         Just Another Book Bitch
·         Literary Escapism
·         Reviews by Reds
·         3 Degrees of Fiction Book Blog
·         Novel Grounds  




Are you reading Anne Gracie's Marriage of Convenience series?

Do you enjoy a heroine with curves?

Are you as excited about Lily's story as I am?


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Tour Review - - The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger


The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger
By Victoria Alexander
Publisher: HQN
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Reviewed by PJ



She must secure her future

A lady should never be obliged to think of matters financial! But when Lady Wilhelmina Bascombe’s carefree, extravagant lifestyle vanishes with the demise of her husband, her only hope lies in retrieving a family treasure—a Renaissance masterpiece currently in the hands of a cunning art collector in Venice. Thankfully, the Lady Travelers Society has orchestrated a clever plan to get Willie to Europe, leading a tour of mothers and daughters…and one curiously attentive man.


He must reclaim his heritage

Dante Augustus Montague’s one passion has long been his family’s art collection. He’s finally tracked a long-lost painting to the enchanting Lady Bascombe. Convinced that the canvas had been stolen, he will use any means to reclaim his birthright—including deception. But how long before pretend infatuation gives way to genuine desire?


Now they’re rivals for a prize that will change everything

Willie and Dante know they’re playing with fire in the magical moonlit city. Their common quest could compromise them both…or lead them to happily-ever-after. 



Victoria Alexander's second Lady Travelers Society novel is a sparkling gem filled with witty dialogue, intriguing characters, and a delightful romance that unfolds against the backdrop of some of Europe's oldest and most beautiful cities. I didn't want to put it down.

Willie and Dante are so much fun! Poor Dante. He's a brilliant businessman, passionate about his art and his family, who accompanies his sister and niece on the mother/daughter tour being "hosted" by Willie with one goal in mind: retrieve his grandfather's painting before Willie can. He's had the lady thoroughly investigated, of course and expects what rumor and reputation suggest. What he discovers is someone more complex, more intelligent, more challenging, more lovely. Will his goal change mid-stream? Will the lady become more important than the painting? Will she ever forgive his deception? Will his sister spend the rest of her life saying, "I told you so?"

I adored Willie. Growing up without the loving guidance of caring parents, she eloped with her charming husband at a young age and embarked upon a madcap life that was all parties and fun. It all comes to a crashing halt when she finds herself a widow at twenty-eight, is deserted by all of her "friends," and discovers her philandering husband has left her not just penniless but in debt. Recovering the painting left to her by her grandmother will bring her the much-needed funds to ensure her survival. Hosting the tour is a means to an end. She doesn't expect to enjoy it - or the people on it - quite so much. She doesn't expect to discover how much more she really is, or to make friends, real friends, or to find love - the deep, lasting, genuine kind. But will that love survive Dante's deception? 

I enjoyed Alexander's first Lady Travelers book but this one is even better. The entire cast of characters is a delight, vibrantly drawn and encouraging the reader to know them better. I'm hopeful some of them will show up again in future Lady Travelers books. The cities visited on the tour are also characters of a sort. Alexander's descriptions are a feast for the senses, making me feel as if I were right there with Willie, Dante and the others, absorbing the history, the scenery, and the romance of their destinations. It made me want to book a tour of my own!

If you enjoy witty banter, heart-felt romance, and characters that leap from the pages, all set within some of Europe's most fascinating cities, book your own tour with Willie and Dante in Victoria Alexander's The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger

Do you enjoy road romances?

Have you read any of Victoria Alexander's books? Do you have a favorite book or series?

What countries would you most like to tour?

One randomly chosen person leaving a comment will receive a copy of The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger.  (U.S. / Canada only)




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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble



Connect with Victoria

Website | Facebook | Twitter





Victoria Alexander’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Friday, December 1st: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, December 1st: The Sketchy Reader – spotlight/excerpt
Monday, December 4th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Tuesday, December 5th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, December 6th: Books a la Mode – spotlight/excerpt
Thursday, December 7th: The Romance Dish
Friday, December 8thWhat I’m Reading
Monday, December 11thA Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, December 12thThe Sassy Bookster – spotlight/excerpt
Wednesday, December 13thFrom the TBR Pile
Wednesday, December 13thBTH Reviews
Thursday, December 14thBlogging with A
Friday, December 15thOMG Reads
Monday, December 18thA Holland Reads
Tuesday, December 19thA Night’s Dream of Books
Wednesday, December 20thJathan & Heather
Thursday, December 21stBooks & Bindings

Friday, December 22ndBook Reviews and More by Kathy



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Today's Special - - Harlequin Winter Holiday Traditions (+Reads) Blog Tour



I'm delighted to welcome the Harlequin Winter Holiday Traditions (+Reads) Blog Tour to The Romance Dish today. One of my favorite holiday traditions is curling up on the sofa under the glow of the Christmas tree with a cup of hot chocolate (laced with Kahlua is even better) and losing myself in a good book. Today, I'm happy to share an excerpt from one of Harlequin's Winter Reads: Can't Let Go, the emotional fifth book in New York Times Bestselling Author, Gena Showalter's The Original Heartbreakers contemporary romance series. 



Excerpt from Can’t Let Go by Gena Showalter





He was back.
Ryanne Wade poured her world-famous fruit cocktail moonshine—affectionately known as CockaMoon—into a small mason jar and, as discreetly as possible, watched as Jude Laurent prowled through her bar. And okay, the moonshine wasn’t exactly world famous but regionally famous. Okay, almost regionally famous; made from her personal recipe, it was distilled at a local brewery and sold exclusively at the Scratching Post.
Jude had once called the drink Downfall in a Glass. Or DIG. Like, you’re digging your own grave, Wade. Just to get a rise out of her, she was sure.
The former army ranger was a new resident in her hometown, and one of three co-owners of LPH Protec­tion, a security firm. Sometimes he looked like a brawler from the maddest, baddest streets, yet other times he looked like a businessman fresh from a boardroom negotiation—and he’d won. Tonight, he was a bona fide brawler, ready to throw down and heat women up. He wore a black T-shirt, ripped jeans and combat boots. Leather cuffs circled his wrists, and three silver rings glinted on his fingers. His version of brass knuckles?
No matter his persona du jour, he was always as gor­geous and tempting as sin—and an all-around pain in Ryanne’s backside.
He really churned her butter.
Usually he only blessed the Scratching Post with his exalted presence when one of his two friends required a designated driver. He never ordered anything but water, and never spent a dime or even left a tip for the wait­ress unlucky enough to serve him. Namely Ryanne. Not even the insulting kind of tip: a note on a napkin. Fetch my drinks faster next time, and you’ll get cash.
The worst thing about him? He liked to stand at the jukebox and intimidate patrons with a death-ray glare. Oh, and let’s not forget how he sometimes attempted to police the door, commanding people to sit and stay as if they were dogs, simply because they’d had a sip of something—anything—alcoholic.
The nerve of the man. And the body on him…
Ryanne fanned her flushed cheeks. Time to crank up the air conditioner. Because no, her boiling blood had nothing to do with Jude’s sexy, muscled, delicious, sexy, mouthwatering, sexy good looks.
Not too long ago—okay, okay, soon after meeting Jude—Ryanne had decided to nix her ban on roman­tic relationships and pick someone to date. The timing was purely coincidental, of course, but her hormones had been out of whack ever since.
Besides, even if she did want Jude, she wouldn’t go after him. Despite his surly attitude, females young and old continued to approach him in droves, stealthily or not so stealthily dangling their bait, but he never even nibbled. He might as well have Off Limits tattooed on his forehead.
Was tonight the night he relaxed and had a little fun?
Shivers rained over her as he cast a dark, brooding glance in her direction. He had collar-length blond hair
with the slightest wave, eyes bluer than a morning sky, and the body of a surfer: lean, muscled and bronzed. But he also had a perma-frown. To her knowledge, he’d never smiled, joked or laughed, and he’d always radi­ated scary-hot menace and aggression.
If he ever smiled…goodness gracious, her hormones might explode from lust overload!
Of course, he had a good reason for his bad attitude. A few years ago, he lost his entire family in a terrible car accident; his wife and twin daughters were gone in the blink of an eye. Talk about the ultimate heart­ache. Ryanne reckoned guilt and grief ate at him on a daily—hourly—basis. And she absolutely 100 percent empathized.
But come on! His troubled past didn’t give him the right to accuse her of duplicitous flirting practices in order to boost return visits, and oversalting snacks to ensure patrons remained thirsty. First, she wasn’t a plain, ordinary flirt; she was flirtish, and there was a difference. She wasn’t after conquests but smiles. Sec­ond, how would Jude know anything about the food? He hadn’t tasted a single dish she served.
For some reason, he’d pegged Ryanne as a villain­ess at their first meeting, and his opinion of her hadn’t changed.
Dang him. I’m as sweet as sugar, and probably tast­ier to boot!
When he turned on his heel and headed her way, a frisson of electricity raced through her. Their gazes locked once again, and his step hitched—so did her breath. The sight of him, drawing nearer while fully focused on her…
Keep your cool, mi querida.

~~~~~~~~~~~


Can't Let Go
by Gena Showalter
Publisher: HQN
Release Date: October 31, 2017


New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers tale about an icy war vet and the only woman capable of melting him…
With trust issues a mile long, Ryanne Wade has sworn off men. Then Jude Laurent walks into her bar, and all bets are off. The former army ranger has suffered unimaginably, first being maimed in battle then losing his wife and daughters to a drunk driver. Making the brooding widower smile is priority one. Resisting him? Impossible.

For Jude, Ryanne is off-limits. And yet the beautiful bartender who serves alcohol to potential motorists tempts him like no other. When a rival bar threatens her livelihood—and her life—he can’t turn away. She triggers something in him he thought long buried, and he’s determined to protect her, whatever the cost.
As their already scorching attraction continues to heat, the damaged soldier knows he must let go of his past to hold on to his future…or risk losing the second chance he desperately needs.





Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.






Have you read any Christmas romances yet this year? 

Have you read any of Gena Showalter's The Original Heartbreakers books?


What's your Christmas reading beverage of choice?







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