โœ๐Ÿป Professor Romance’s 4 โญ๏ธ Review: Piper Sheldon’s Hopelessly Devoted, a SmartyPants Romance โœ๐Ÿป

Overall Grade: โญ๏ธ โญ๏ธ โญ๏ธ โญ๏ธ

I find, when I read a novella by an author I adore, I simply want more. Piper Sheldonโ€™s newest offering to the SmartyPants universe is very much the case. I would say that the biggest downfall to her Hopelessly Devoted is its insistence in wanting more story for her MM heroes, Jack and William โ€œSkip.โ€ What Sheldon has done well with her newest book is weave it into the fabric of her Scorned Womenโ€™s Society. Sheโ€™s teased out Jack from My Bare Lady, and Skip from The One That I Want and crafted a space for them to meet, fall in insta-love, struggle with their baggage, and find their happy ending. Sheldon invites you into a story that adds dimension and diversity to the bigger SmartyPants universe. While there is a bit of steam here, this story isnโ€™t really about that. Sheldonโ€™s story suggests that we must find our own happiness, erecting healthy boundaries that allow us to fall in love and live more abundant lives. She marries the sweet, compassionate Jack persona with the grumpier, more reserved Skip. Sheldon gives us the story that Skip and Jack need while reminding us of the stories of the other Scorned Womenโ€™s Society members, but I would have loved a bit more flesh on this apple of a story. In the end, however, I enjoyed the journey of William and Jack, and I can only hope we will find them again in future Piper Sheldon stories. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

โœ๐Ÿป Check out this cute cover for Meghan Quinn’s A Not So Meet Cute! It’s coming November 2nd, so preorder your copy of it today. โœ๐Ÿป

A NOT SO MEET CUTE by Meghan Quinn

Release Date: November 2nd

PREORDER IS AVAILABLE!!!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3DNQNCe

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3DL5WEk

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3FWnorx

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3BSrRc9

AUDIO will also be releasing on November 2nd!!

http://mybook.to/anotsomeetcute

Add to Goodreads:

https://bit.ly/300JA33

Blurb:

How did you two meet?

The quintessential question asked to every couple. And the answer is usually some bubbly, lovey dovey tale of being struck in the bum by Cupidโ€™s arrow.

My meet cute (well not so meet cute) is slightly different. I was trolling a wealthy neighborhood in Beverly Hills, searching for someone to take me as their bride, you know, to make my arch nemesis jealous who consequently just fired me.

He was stomping around the block like some sort of gorgeous ogre, mumbling about a business deal gone wrong and attempting to finagle his way out of it.

And thatโ€™s when we bumped into each other.

There were no sparks.

Not even a hint of blossoming love.

But next thing I knew, I was scarfing down free chips and guac, listening to this man lay out all of his problems which led to his big ask . . . he wanted me to be his Vivian Ward, you know, from Pretty Woman–minus the frisky behavior.

Weโ€™re talking about living in a mansion, intimate double dates, and pretending we were head over heels in love . . . and engaged. Can you imagine?

The absolute audacity.

But people do crazy things when theyโ€™re desperate. And I reeked of desperation. So, I struck up a deal.

My one big mistake, though . . . big . . . HUGE? I accidentally fell for the incomparable Huxley Cane.

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

Connect with Meghan:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360513.Meghan_Quinn

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meghanquinnbooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn

Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meghan-quinn

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LitE4x

โœ๐Ÿป It’s Release Day for Erin Nicholas! Sealed With A Kiss is LIVE. What’s not to love about an “opposites attract” fake girlfriend to a celebrity romance? โœ๐Ÿป

Whatโ€™s a girl to do when her celebrity crush needs her to be his fake girlfriend?

Sealed With a Kiss, an all-new opposites attract romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas is available now!

Keep her damned feelings to herself, of course.
Child TV star turned adult wallflower Naomi LeClaire has vowed never to return to the spotlight.
But when sheโ€™s stuck in a storm with Donovan Foster, the hot, charming, wild-life rescuing internet sensation, and she finally gives in and kisses him…and a few articles of clothing end up on the floor…suddenly her simple, quiet life is tossed upside down.

Especially after the paparazzi catches a heat-of-the-moment kiss. Now everyone assumes she’s his girlfriend and, when she realizes thatโ€™s the best way to keep Donovan out of trouble, Naomi agrees to play along. Even though it puts her center stage with her private life in very public view. Again.

Theyโ€™re a whirlwind of opposites-attract chemistry the fans love, but they’ll surely blow over faster than a Gulf Coast hurricane. As long as they can keep straight what’s real and what’s just a once-in-a-lifetime fantasy.

Fall in love today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VoGROU
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Sealedwith
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3xlywbX
Nook: https://bit.ly/3Ah94pB
Kobo: https://bit.ly/37locWH
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3ju1m4G

Add Sealed With a Kiss to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3jnH2lO

Start the series of standalones today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3e7KfDs
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3aaZ2Mm
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/otterlyirresistible
Nook: https://bit.ly/3g5YgUF
Kobo: https://bit.ly/32eESMY
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3ablaWL

About Erin Nicholas

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as sheโ€™s been reading them. To date, sheโ€™s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as โ€œtoe-curling,โ€ โ€œenchanting,โ€ โ€œsteamy,โ€ and โ€œfun.โ€ She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.
Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be โ€œshockedโ€ by the sex scenes in her books).

Connect with Erin
Website: http://bit.ly/2NkB2uF
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2tdTM8e
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2QLd1Pr
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3a3rnm4
Instagram: http://bit.ly/36NqV9y
Website: http://bit.ly/2FM3Doo
Stay up to date with Erin Nicholas by joining her mailing list:
http://bit.ly/38a5Fv5

โœ๐Ÿป 1) Ilsa Madden-Mills is my FAV author of football romance. 2) Beauty and the Baller has the best cover to undo a dreary Monday. 3) Reserve your copy of it NOW! โœ๐Ÿป

Beauty and the Baller, an all-new small-town sports romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is coming March 29th, 2022 and we have the stunning cover!

An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancรฉe in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her hisโ€ฆfor one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes sheโ€™s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

Reserve your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3CRMSE1
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/BeautyBaller
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3CRmo5r

Add Beauty and the Baller to Goodreadsโ†’ https://bit.ly/3uhUb4F

About Ilsa Madden-Mills
Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancรฉe and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

Connect with Ilsa
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nY2pxT
Instagram: http://bit.ly/35xfNfo
Stay up to day with Ilsa by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2ZWaTYh
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EESfM9
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2GaR6cn
Book+Main: http://bit.ly/2s4j9ci
Website: https://www.ilsamaddenmills.com
Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: http://bit.ly/37B6Nay
Sign up for phone alert for book releases (max of 4) Text ROMANCE to 21000
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โœ๐Ÿป Willow Aster and Laura Pavlov’s Don’t Cry Over Spilled MILF is Coming November 18th. Ready to check out the sultry cover? โœ๐Ÿป

โญ โญ โ„‚๐•†๐•๐”ผโ„ โ„๐”ผ๐•๐”ผ๐”ธ๐•ƒโญ โญ

๐‘ฏ๐’๐’๐’š ๐‘ฑ๐’–๐’๐’Š๐’‘๐’†๐’“ ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’๐’๐’๐’˜๐’‚๐’š! ๐‘ฎ๐’–๐’” ๐‘ป๐’‚๐’š๐’๐’๐’“ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’€๐‘ถ๐‘ผ!

๐…๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐–๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐€๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‹๐š๐ฎ๐ซ๐š ๐๐š๐ฏ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ญ๐ก ๐›๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐†.๐ƒ. ๐“๐š๐ฒ๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ-๐œ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ. ๐ƒ๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐‚๐ซ๐ฒ ๐Ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐’๐ฉ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐Œ๐ˆ๐‹๐… ๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ–๐ญ๐ก!

โ„™๐•ฃ๐•–๐• ๐•ฃ๐••๐•–๐•ฃ โ„๐•–๐•ฃ๐•–: http://mybook.to/dontcryoverspilledmilf

๐”ผ๐•Ÿ๐•ฅ๐•–๐•ฃ ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•– ๐”พ๐•š๐•ง๐•–๐•’๐•จ๐•’๐•ช: https://bit.ly/DCOSMGiveaway

A hot, sexy playboy and a gorgeous single mother who wants nothing to do with him.

Buckle up, Susannah Brighton. Gus is coming for you. No pun intended.

Susannah

I make my living writing romance.

I prefer my heroes to remain fictional.

But Gus Taylor is better than anything I could have dreamed up.

Sexy and funny and dauntingly handsome.

My little girl and I have been on our own for a long time and thatโ€™s the way I want to keep it.

But Gus Taylor makes me question everything I believe.

Gus

Iโ€™m a good-time guy.

Iโ€™ve always worn the title with pride.

But from the moment Susannah Brighton moves next door, Iโ€™m a goner.

And sheโ€™s got a little girl.

In the beginning, I think sheโ€™s just a mom Iโ€™d like toโ€”forget about it.

All thatโ€™s changed now that I know Susannah and her angelic daughter.

Iโ€™ll do whatever it takes to win her over.

Because when you know, you know.

And I plan on writing myself into her happily ever after.

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/DCOSM-GR

Cover created by: Jena Brignola, Bibliophile Productions

๐ถ๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘โ„Ž ๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘’๐‘ …

๐”น๐• ๐• ๐•œ ๐Ÿ™: ๐•Ž๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•ฅ๐•–๐•• ๐•Ž๐•–๐•• ๐• ๐•ฃ ๐”ธ๐•๐•š๐•ง๐•–: http://mybook.to/WantedWedOrAlive

๐”น๐• ๐• ๐•œ ๐Ÿš: ๐•‹๐•™๐•– ๐”น๐• ๐•๐•• ๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•– ๐”น๐•–๐•’๐•ฆ๐•ฅ๐•š๐•—๐•ฆ๐•: http://mybook.to/boldandbullheaded

๐”น๐• ๐• ๐•œ ๐Ÿ›: ๐”ธ๐•Ÿ๐• ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•–๐•ฃ ๐•„๐• ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•–๐•ฃ๐•—๐•’๐•œ๐•–๐•ฃ: http://mybook.to/anothermotherfaker

๐”ฝ๐• ๐•๐•๐• ๐•จ ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•– ๐•’๐•ฆ๐•ฅ๐•™๐• ๐•ฃ๐•ค!

Willow Aster

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Laura Pavlov

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โœ๐Ÿป Professor Romance’s 5 โญ๏ธ Review: Jewel E. Ann’s The Lost Fisherman โœ๐Ÿป

Overall Grade: โญ๏ธ โญ๏ธ โญ๏ธ โญ๏ธ โญ๏ธ

At the end of The Lost Fisherman, itโ€™s clear that time is the unifying spirit of Jewel E. Annโ€™s The Naked Fisherman and The Lost Fisherman. In the first book, the age gap between Fisher and Reese works to complicate their relationship. As a reader, you find yourself wanting to force a potential relationship on them because, as romance readers, everyone loves a happy ending at the end of a book. However, Ann builds the tension around โ€œperfect timingโ€ with the naivete of Reese in contrast to Fisherโ€™s vast experience. I mentioned in my review of The Naked Fisherman that that book was really more about Reeseโ€™s growth than Fisherโ€™s experience. 

In The Lost Fisherman, the tables have been turned. The timing is seemingly โ€œrightโ€ except this being a Jewel E. Ann story it isnโ€™t. And the tension of Fisher and Reese falling in love feels both decadent and frustrating in equal measure. The Lost Fisherman explores Fisherโ€™s journey to finding himself again, and the tension that Ann builds in this story overwhelms you as you fall deeply into their story. Thankfully, the promise of a happy ending allows for your survival of the story.  Couple that with the easy banter between Reese and Fisher (my favorite aspect of this duet of stories), and as you turn the pages, you remember, once again, how much Jewel E. Ann is a master storyteller. 

The crux of The Lost Fisherman is the idea of timing, of living in the moment. In The Naked Fisherman, Fisher had the upper hand, and a potential relationship would have always been โ€œunevenโ€ had they continued on together. After five years, Reese has had the opportunity to โ€œliveโ€ life, to grow and become more of herself. Now, their possibilities are endless, although Ann plays with it in this story even more. I personally loved the complications of this book, the tether between Fisher and Reese that grows taut and loose throughout the progression of their story. And through it all, I love the Reese of The Lost Fisherman more than the Fisher of The Naked Fisherman, both of them wizened guides of a particular book. In this story, the playing field feels level yet studded with landmines. 

Each turn of the page of The Lost Fisherman reminds you to live for the โ€œgood enough dayโ€: to love hard, laugh often, and choose happiness. To not read this duet is to miss out on an opportunity to laugh and cry and challenge yourself to live life with courage in the face of adversity. These are the apt lessons learned from Jewel E. Annโ€™s newest book, and itโ€™s glorious. 

In love and romance, 

Professor A

โœ๐Ÿป Professor Romance’s 4.5 โญ๏ธ Review: Heidi Hutchinson’s Key Change โœ๐Ÿป

Overall Grade: 4.5 โญ๏ธ

Heidi Hutchinsonโ€™s Key Change is a surprisingly beautiful story about learning to love yourself even if you donโ€™t feel like youโ€™re worthy of it. Going into it, I had no experience reading Hutchinsonโ€™s brand of romance, and if I must be honest, I wouldnโ€™t necessarily call Key Change a romance. Instead, it seems more like womenโ€™s fiction with a side of romance. There are some aspects of it that you should know before going into it:

  1. Itโ€™s a slow burn. I loved it as its present pacing because the heroine of the story, Hannah, is striving to live a better life after decades of living as a self-important, mean girl. Even though the story begins with the more reformed version of herself, it takes most of Key Change for her to like herself. This is accomplished through her relationship with Johnny, but it also involves self-reflection and mindfulness on her part. In fact, that is probably my favorite part of this story: Hannah is intentional in her actions and thinking. When her thinking begins to spin out, she seeks out counseling to help her. Key Change is a book about living intentionally.
  2. This story is more fade-to-black than explicit. And I have never been so happy for it in a story. I loved the progression of Johnny and Hannahโ€™s relationship. Hutchinson is incredibly careful with them, and given their background, it shows smart storytelling. If youโ€™re looking for blatant $ex scenes, there is the hint of one in a flashback, but the book is more about Hannah learning to love herself in all of her iterations.
  3. This story is situated in the Knitting in the City and Cipher Security Systems world. Therefore, Quinn, Alex, and Damon make appearances. While they arenโ€™t central to the story, these characters act as the wizened assistance that Hannah requires. 
  4. While Johnny is a key component of Key Change, honestly, Hannahโ€™s journey feels more important. As such, Johnnyโ€™s characterization is a bit flat. He is the type of hero whom you love to love because he acts heroically by stepping in to raise his younger brother, agreeing to work with Hannah with the shadow of their past covering him, and forgiving Hannah when he realizes the complications of her past. There is much that is complicated about him other than the disdain he has initially for his attraction to Hannah. Once he absolves himself of it, he exists in the story to love Hannah. Itโ€™s really that simple. 

Again, I was surprised at how much I loved Heidi Hutchinsonโ€™s Key Change. Hannah and Johnnyโ€™s evolution acts to show that the hero and heroine donโ€™t need to be perfect specimens for a story. They simply need to love and be loved, and that is definitely the case with this newer book to the SmartyPants Romance. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

โœ๐Ÿป Oh, Amy Daws. Sweeper’s cover is SOMETHING. Daphney and Zander are coming November 4th. Get ready and preorder your copy TODAY! โœ๐Ÿป

Cover Reveal Banner copy

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Daphney Clarke canโ€™t stand the cocky footballer next door. But after one steamy hallway kiss, Zander is convinced that neighbors-with-benefits would be a much better game to play than neighbor wars.

Only question is, who will be the winner?

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Sweeper Cover-wrap

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book info

Title: SWEEPER
Author: Amy Daws
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: November 4, 2021
Platforms: Kindle Unlimited/Amazon
Cover Designer: Amy Daws

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about the book

Sweeper Cover-front

The cocky footballer next door has some serious ballsโ€ฆ
luckily, Daphney Clarke knows how to play.

Zander Williams is the hot new American determined to take European football by storm. His head is so big, it barely fits under his backwards hat. And when heโ€™s recruited to one of the biggest up and coming clubs in London, heโ€™s certain to make his name known.

Managing the building where they live is only one of Daphneyโ€™s many jobs. Itโ€™s why she has zero patience for the obnoxious American on the other side of the wall who makes the most ungodly noises and likes to answer his door in nothing but a pink tea towel.

Tensions build and after one steamy hallway kiss, neighbor wars quickly shifts into neighbors-with-benefits and thatโ€™s a battle they both intend to win.

But Daphney doesnโ€™t know the real reason Zander is in London and now sheโ€™s stuck in the middle of a game she didnโ€™t even know she was playing.

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buy links
Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Sexpert-coming

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giveaway

PB Giveaway-preorder

Enter on Facebook and Instagram

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about the author

Amy Daws Head Shot-sizedown

Amy Daws is an Amazon Top 13 bestselling author of sexy, contemporary romance novels. She enjoys writing love stories that take place in America, as well as across the pond in England. When Amy is not writing in a tire shop waiting room, sheโ€™s watching Gilmore Girls, or singing karaoke in the living room with her daughter while Daddy smiles awkwardly from a distance.
For more of Amy’s work, visit: http://www.amydawsauthor.com

connect with the author

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โœ๐Ÿป Forrest for the Trees by Kilby Blades is one of my favorite stories in the next season of SmartyPants Romance. If you love a little hate-to-love, small-town, slow burn romance, then you will ADORE this story. โœ๐Ÿป

Forrest for the Trees, an all new slow burn small town romance from Kilby Blades, is LIVE in Kindle Unlimited!

Read my review HERE.

Forrest Winters isnโ€™t just a federal fire marshal; heโ€™s a thorn in Ranger Sierra Bettsโ€™s side. The way he swings his big axe, fixes her with his chameleon gray eyes, and talks about his jurisdiction has a way of breaking her concentration. He has a way of showing up everywhere he doesnโ€™t belong, including Greenbrier Ranger Station. And he really needs to quit stealing her bacon bites.

When a series of suspicious fires, an underhanded co-worker, and a cagey Parks Police Chief threaten her job and the park itself, Sierra grudgingly agrees to partner with Forrest. Their side investigation may be her best shot at preventing the framing of an innocent man. But can his firefighting expertise and her detective skills lead them to the real arsonist before Forrest breaks her with his charm?

‘Forrest for the Trees’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone and is book #1 in the Green Valley Heroes series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe

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Excerpt

โ€œDo you walk around with bacon in your pocket or something?โ€ Sierra asked.

Forrest gave Everest a final rub and rose to his feet. โ€œI reckon itโ€™s just good, old-fashioned Southern charm.โ€

Reaching toward his face, he pushed up the temple of his sunglasses until they sat on top of his head. Forrest looked down at her, smirk on his face, as usual, having his fun. Only, for Sierra, there was nothing fun about the heat that rose to her ears every time his gaze set on her, clouding her thinking with his smoky eyes.

Forrestโ€™s eyes werenโ€™t just gray, and they werenโ€™t โ€œjust eyes.โ€ His gaze was penetrating and clear, with dark lashes that matched his dark hair. His irises were never the same, though whatever their hue at any given moment, a dark charcoal ring that looked like drawn pencil outlined the lighter color, adding intensity. Today they shone brightlyโ€”the color of wet shaleโ€”a stark difference from the last time sheโ€™d seen him. Theyโ€™d turned dark, like slate, when heโ€™d talked about the fires. There was something wondrous, and magical, and devastating about watching the way they changed.

โ€œWhat are you doing in my neck of the woods?โ€

Forrest chuckled and crossed his arms. โ€œYour woods again, huh?โ€

Sierra mirrored his posture. โ€œโ€˜Neck of the woodsโ€™ is a Southernism. I know how yโ€™all like your sayings.โ€

He laughed again, his voice rich and deepโ€”another thing about him she had the bad habit of replaying in her mind.

โ€œBetter than a pig likes slop.โ€ Forrestโ€™s eyes twinkled.

It made Sierra grateful for her own sunglassesโ€”windows to her soul, and all. She didnโ€™t want to think what Forrest might notice if he really saw her then. He would never stop gloating if he knew of her susceptibility to his allure.

โ€œYou never said what you were doing here,โ€ she pointed out.

โ€œFollowing up on some potential fire hazards. Just being vigilant. You know how it is โ€ฆโ€

Sierra nodded. โ€œI do.โ€

โ€œI was just down at the ranger station โ€ฆโ€ he began haltingly. โ€œI wanted to thank you for what you left meโ€”you know, my fire marshal snacks.โ€

Sierra bit her lip against her own smile. โ€œYou liked that, huh?โ€

โ€œNot just me. The guys thought it was pretty funny.โ€

โ€œYou told me you could read, so I figured โ€ฆโ€ She trailed off innocently, and shrugged.

After their last conversation and his repeated, willful ignorance of her Tupperware marked specifically as being โ€œRanger Snacks,โ€ sheโ€™d brought in a smaller Tupperware labeled โ€œFire Marshal Snacks.โ€

โ€œSad thing is, a different fire marshal mustโ€™ve beat me to it,โ€ he continued. โ€œImagine my disappointment when I opened the container and it was empty.โ€

โ€œOh, no!โ€ She feigned shock. โ€œWhat did you do?โ€

โ€œPicked up the phone and called Ed Ellis. Asked him to put out an APB to track down whoever had my bites.โ€

โ€œThen you helped yourself to the ranger bites, Iโ€™m guessing.โ€

He made a production out of looking distraught. โ€œTheyโ€™re not as good as fire marshal bites, but I had no choice.โ€

He didnโ€™t take his gaze off of her. When heat rose again in her ears, she knew she had to go. Plus, if she didnโ€™t get moving, she really would be late.

โ€œNice to see you, Marshal Winters.โ€

His smirk melted into a half-smile. โ€œAlways a pleasure, Ranger Betts.โ€

About Kilby Blades

Kilby Blades is a USA Today Bestselling author of Romance and Women’s Fiction. Her debut novel, Snapdragon, was a HOLT Medallion finalist, a Publisher’s Weekly BookLife Prize Semi-Finalist, and an IPPY Award medalist. Kilby was honored with an RSJ Emma Award for Best Debut Author in 2018, and has been lauded by critics for “easing feminism and equality into her novels” (IndieReader) and “writing characters who complement each other like a fine wine does a good meal” (Publisher’s Weekly).

During her career as a digital marketing executive, she moonlighted as a journalist, freelanced as a food, wine and travel writer and lived it up as an entertainment columnist. She has lived in five countries, visited more than twenty-five, and spends part of her year in her happy place in the Andes Mountains. Kilby is a feminist, an oenophile, a cinephile, a social-justice fighter, and above all else, a glutton for a good story. Follow her everywhere @kilbyblades.

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It’s been five years since I’ve seen him. An unexpected event takes me back to the place where it all began.

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ย Meet Jewel


Jewel is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today best selling author with a quirky sense of humor. When she’s not saving the planet one tree at a time, you can find her role modeling questionable behavior to her three boys, binge-watching Netflix with her husband, and writing mind-bending romance.

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