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Friday, December 27, 2019

BOOK REVIEW + EXCERPT: Christmas in Silver Springs by Brenda Novak (Holiday Romance)


CHRISTMAS IN SILVER SPRINGS
Silver Springs #6
by 
Brenda Novak

Publisher: Harlequin

Pages: 432
Publication Date:  October 29, 2019
Genre: Holiday Romance





Come home to Silver Springs for the holidays, where broken hearts learn to love again…together.

So much for forever. When Harper Devlin’s rock star husband ditches her on his way to the top, she takes her two daughters to her sister’s place in Silver Springs for the holidays, hoping family can heal her broken heart. But comfort comes in unexpected places when she crosses paths with local Tobias Richardson.

The moment Tobias spots Harper, he recognizes a sadness he knows all too well. After spending thirteen years in prison paying for his regretful past, Tobias is ready to make amends, and maybe helping Harper is the way to do it. But offering her a shoulder to cry on ignites a powerful attraction and a desire neither saw coming.

Fearing her reaction, Tobias doesn’t reveal his checkered past. He’s falling hard, and if Harper finds out, he’ll lose her for good, especially because her famous ex is now trying to win her back. Secrets have a way of coming out, but maybe this Christmas will bring Tobias the forgiveness—and the love—he deserves.





When Tobias woke up, light was streaming through the kitchen window, the only window without a blind, and the TV was off. He couldn’t remember turning it off, but he figured he must have—until he grew alert enough to realize he wasn’t alone. Harper hadn’t gone into the bedroom after the movie ended. She was right there, snuggled up against him, her head on his shoulder. 

He needed to change his position. His foot had gone to sleep. But he was reluctant to move. Her hand rested on his bare chest and her leg was slung over his.

There wasn’t any other way for them to fit on the narrow couch, so he told himself not to get too excited. It probably didn’t mean a whole lot. But her openness and trust were even more intoxicating than the weight of her pressing him into the cushions.

His arm tightened around her as the desire to kiss her rose inside him. He’d kissed quite a few girls when he was a kid. Since he’d had little adult supervision, and he’d seen his mother making out so many times and with so many different men, he’d become sexually aware early. But he hadn’t been with many women since being released from prison. He’d decided he needed to heal first, get on his feet so he’d have something to offer a partner. And if he ever wanted to be liked in this place, he had to be careful. Otherwise, his actions would reflect poorly on his brother—and Aiyana Turner, since she’d been kind enough to give him a job. So there was that, too.

Besides, he’d known that getting involved too soon, or with the wrong person, could destroy his peace of mind quicker than anything else. He’d seen it happen with his mother far too many times. So after breaking things off with Tonya, he’d been with only one other woman in the past five months—a one-night stand he’d later regretted. After calling him incessantly for three weeks, the woman had shown up out of the blue, despite what he’d already told her on the phone, and wound up sobbing on his front doorstep when he had to reiterate that he wasn’t interested in continuing the relationship. 

Harper stirred and raised her head. As soon as she saw that he was awake, their eyes met, and when she moved her leg, he knew she could feel his erection.

He held his breath, waiting to see how she’d react. He thought she should get off him and move away in a hurry. Being so close to her, and in this particular position, he wasn’t feeling much self-control.

But she didn’t.

That was sort of an invitation, wasn’t it?

He lowered his gaze to her lips. Surely one kiss couldn’t hurt.





I received a copy of this book for free.  This is my honest and thoughtful review.

Although this was my first visit to Silver Springs, it was hard not to feel that I wasn't back in my hometown, surrounded by family, friends, and lots of love! I look forward to starting over from the beginning; however, I can guarantee that you will be lovingly welcomed wherever you chose to begin.

There is something about reading Christmas books during this time to really get you in the spirit, and this book was certainly a wonderful addition! I'll admit that I was instantly hooked when the synopsis mentioned a rock star husband, but from the opening lines, it was very clear that Tobias was going to put readers through all the emotions. A troubled past and poor decisions have cost him many years, but his heart is certainly not hardened, especially when he sees the pain behind Harper's eyes. Their attraction is immediate and all-consuming, but far from being believeable! The desire between them is palpable and really makes you believe in second chances.  Some moments are clearly far from PG-13, but these scenes never felt gratuitous. Though their backgrounds are vastly different, they both did not have the typical experiences of most youth, and are making up for lost time in the arms of one another. The charm is discovering how two seemingly incompatible people ultimately bring out the best in each other. 

While the majority of the story focuses on the relationship building between Tobias and Harper, the richly developed cast of secondary characters added many layers to the storytelling. I especially loved that the events take place across the month of December and into the new year, so that there is always a hint of the holiday, but this isn't something that needs to be read specifically at Christmas. Heartwarming, inspiring, and charming, there is something here for everyone and it will be hard to not get wrapped up in the spirit of the season regardless of when you read it!

My expectations were far exceeded with this read, and I now have a new author to search for! Silver Springs brings silver linings, happily ever afters, and many more stories to cozy up with!





It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s career as a bestselling author–she caught her day-care provider drugging her children with cough syrup to get them to sleep all day. That was when Brenda decided she needed to quit her job as a loan officer and help make a living from home.
“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda says. But she sold that book, and the rest is history. Her novels have made the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and won many awards, including eight Rita nominations, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Book Seller’s Best, the Silver Bullet and the National Reader’s Choice Award.
Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are proud parents of five children–three girls and two boys. When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually raising funds for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). So far, Brenda has raised $2.6 million!
Join Brenda Novak’s Online Book Group on Facebook–http://www.facebook.com/groups/brendanovaksbookgroup/. They’re currently reading CHRISTMAS IN SILVER SPRINGS, the next book in the Silver Springs series. Get an autographed copy in one of Brenda’s popular Brenda Novak Book Boxes: http://www.brendanovak.com/store/

WEBSITE  |  FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  INSTAGRAM


Many thanks to the author and Pump Up Your Book blog tours. It was a pleasure reading, review, and hosting! Check out more of the books on Harlequin's 12 Books of Christmas Winter 2019 by clicking HERE!  And be sure to check out the other great blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

Monday, December 2

Virtual Book Tour Kick Off at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Tuesday, December 3

Book Review at Gimme The Scoop Reviews – One Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 4

Book Review at Becky on Books – One Christmas Eve

Friday, December 6

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – A wedding in December

Monday, December 9

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – Stealing Kisses in the Snow

Book Review at Moonlight Rendevouz – Coming Home for Christmas

Book Review at Splashes of Joy – Home For Christmas

Tuesday, December 10

Book Review at Gimme the Scoop Reviews – Christmas From the Heart

Book Feature at I’m Into Books – All

Wednesday, December 11

Book Review at Joy Hannabas Instagram – Low Country Christmas

Friday, December 13

Book Review at Becky on Books – A wedding in December

Book Review at Eastern Sunset Reads – Coming Home For Christmas

Monday, December 16

Book Review at Moonlight Rendezvous – Christmas in Silver Springs

Book Feature at ebook addicts – All

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – The Giving Heart

Tuesday, December 17

Book Review at Gimme the scoop reviews – The Giving Heart

Wednesday, December 18

Book Review at Eastern Sunset Reads – Cowboy Christmas Redemption

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – An Alaskan Christmas

Book Review at Becky on Books – Cowboy Christmas Redemption

Thursday, December 19

Book Feature at Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – All

Friday, December 20

Book Review at Gimme the Scoop Reviews – Low Country Christmas

Monday, December 23

Book Review at Becky on Books – An Alaskan Christmas

Book Review at That’s what She’s Reading – One Christmas Eve

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – Christmas in winter Valley

Thursday, December 26

Book Review at Gimme the Scoop Reviews – A Coldwater Christmas

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – A Coldwater Christmas

Friday, December 27

Book Review at That’s What She’s Reading – Christmas in Silver Springs

Book Review at Gimme the Scoop reviews – Stealing Kisses in the Snow

Book Review at Stranded in Chaos – Cowboy Christmas Redemption



Monday, December 23, 2019

SPOTLIGHT + EXCERPT: One Christmas Eve by Shannon Stacey (Romance)


ONE CHRISTMAS EVE
Cedar Street #2
by 
Shannon Stacey

Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 118
Publication Date:  November 11, 2019
Genre: Holiday Romance





They couldn’t be more different. Or more perfect for each other. New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey returns with a warm and cozy opposites-attract Christmas story.

Zoe Randall is busy living her life as she damn well pleases. She’s back in her favorite town, her divorce in her rearview mirror, and living out her childhood dream of running a bookstore with her cousin. She has no interest in the uptight nerd who opened his boring-ass business next to her shop…until he complains about one of her sexy window displays. Then it’s game on.

Preston Wheeler knows he takes life a little too seriously. But when the saucy bookseller next door starts pushing his buttons, he can feel that changing. Beautiful, vivacious Zoe challenges him in all the best ways, and soon he’s pushing her buttons right back: teasing and flirting all the way through the holiday season.

As Preston loosens up and Zoe is treated to the man behind the suit (particularly his forearms), she realizes she’s more interested than she cares to admit. And Preston comes to see the beauty—the absolute delight—in adding Zoe’s bright splashes of color to his once very black-and-white existence.



Preston still couldn’t get those words out of his head. And the reason for that varied depending on the time of day it was.
During daylight hours—even when he’d been handling meetings and finalizing some real estate things in Boston—he’d mull over the statement because it might help explain why Zoe had been so prickly when he reacted badly to the sexy window display. His disapproval had been strictly for the actual display, but she’d obviously been deeply hurt by a man who’d been judgmental about her sexuality.
At night, when he should be sleeping, he couldn’t stop himself from wondering what exactly Zoe Randall wanted to do that could be classified as disgusting.
If anybody ever asked him, he would say he’d never had an overly active imagination. But when it came to Zoe and sex and picturing doing all manner of things with her, he’d found out his imagination was capable of being not only overly active, but extremely creative.
It made sitting around the small living room with her family on Thanksgiving Day pretty awkward for him, and the discomfort wasn’t just from the third helping of macaroni and cheese and sampling four different pies, or not having an idea what was happening in the football game on TV. He tried to focus on the sports, to get his mind off her, but he was so lost he couldn’t invest in either team. During a break in the play, everybody got up to refill their drinks and pick at the desserts, and Preston used the guest bathroom off the back hall. When he came back to the kitchen, Zoe was alone, covering the desserts with plastic wrap.
“Need some help?” he asked, walking over to the table to stand next to her.
“I’m about done.” She licked apple filling off her finger, which made every muscle in his body tense in response, and then turned to face him. They were so close, she had to tip her head up to look up at him and everything but the urge to kiss her faded away.
She reached up and tucked her finger into the opening at his shirt collar, so her fingertip touched his throat, making him swallow hard. “No tie. Top button unbuttoned. Is this your casual look?”
He nodded, not sure he could actually speak until he cleared this throat. “I figured the suit was a bit much for Thanksgiving.”
When she tugged a little at the button her finger was hooked over, he closed the gap between them, putting his hands on her hips. His brain was short-circuiting and he wanted to make sure they were on the same page. “What are we doing right now?”
“Surrendering to the inevitable?”
“Yes.” He barely had time to whisper the word before their lips met and the world shifted under his feet.
As his mouth devoured hers, his hands skimmed over her back and pressed her even closer before he went back to the delicious curve of her hips. She tasted like sweet apple pie and he dipped his tongue between her lips, needing more.



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she's not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.



Many thanks to the author and Pump Up Your Book blog tours. It was a pleasure hosting! Check out more of the books on Harlequin's 12 Books of Christmas Winter 2019 by clicking HERE!  And be sure to check out the other great blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

Monday, December 2

Virtual Book Tour Kick Off at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Tuesday, December 3

Book Review at Gimme The Scoop Reviews – One Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 4

Book Review at Becky on Books – One Christmas Eve

Friday, December 6

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – A wedding in December

Monday, December 9

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – Stealing Kisses in the Snow

Book Review at Moonlight Rendevouz – Coming Home for Christmas

Book Review at Splashes of Joy – Home For Christmas

Tuesday, December 10

Book Review at Gimme the Scoop Reviews – Christmas From the Heart

Book Feature at I’m Into Books – All

Wednesday, December 11

Book Review at Joy Hannabas Instagram – Low Country Christmas

Friday, December 13

Book Review at Becky on Books – A wedding in December

Book Review at Eastern Sunset Reads – Coming Home For Christmas

Monday, December 16

Book Review at Moonlight Rendezvous – Christmas in Silver Springs

Book Feature at ebook addicts – All

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – The Giving Heart

Tuesday, December 17

Book Review at Gimme the scoop reviews – The Giving Heart

Wednesday, December 18

Book Review at Eastern Sunset Reads – Cowboy Christmas Redemption

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – An Alaskan Christmas

Book Review at Becky on Books – Cowboy Christmas Redemption

Thursday, December 19

Book Feature at Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – All

Friday, December 20

Book Review at Gimme the Scoop Reviews – Low Country Christmas

Monday, December 23

Book Review at Becky on Books – An Alaskan Christmas

Book Review at That’s what She’s Reading – One Christmas Eve

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – Christmas in winter Valley

Thursday, December 26

Book Review at Gimme the Scoop Reviews – A Coldwater Christmas

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook – A Coldwater Christmas

Friday, December 27

Book Review at That’s What She’s Reading – Christmas in Silver Springs

Book Review at Gimme the Scoop reviews – Stealing Kisses in the Snow

Book Review at Stranded in Chaos – Cowboy Christmas Redemption