Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ARC Review: The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant







Title: The Christmas Cowboy Hero
Author: Donna Grant
Release Date: October 31, 2017 (ARC)
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Category: Western Contemporary Romance
Type: Digital










Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant returns to Texas, where a small-town legend just might find the greatest gift of all. . .

’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays—even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.

Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wits’ end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby—and the inescapable longing in his heart—off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along? 




Favorite Line:

“I’m going to have to teach you how to bargain, because you suck at it.”  ~  Clayton




Dialogue Highlight:

“It’s been a long time since I’ve kissed anyone.”
“Their loss. My gain.”And damn if he didn’t feel male pride at having her in his arms.
She glanced at the ground as she smiled. Then her gaze met his as she pulled her hands down to rest on his chest. “Be careful, Clayton East, I might realize you’re a good guy.”
“I can promise you that I’m not.”
Her grin widened. “You’re wrong.”
He drew in a breath and took a step back, separating their bodies. There were no more words needed as they began their walk back to the house. No sooner had they reached the porch than her brothers opened the back door to look for her.
“I’m so full my stomach hurts,”Caleb said, looking a bit green.
Brice rolled his eyes. “You shouldn’t have eaten that slice of cake after the pie and the four cookies.”
“Caleb,”Abby admonished with a roll of her eyes.
Her youngest brother put one hand over his stomach as he raised the other, palm out. “Give me five minutes, and I can eat the ice cream Mrs. Justine offered.”
“Oh, no you’re not,”Abby set. “You’ve had more than enough.”
Caleb’s face crumbled in a frown. “Abby, that’s not fair. Brice ate just as much as I did. And he had the ice cream.”
Clayton hid his smile as Abby swung her perturbed gaze to Brice.
The teen merely grinned and shrugged. “What? I can hold my food better.”
“Oh, my God, you two,”Abby mumbled. “Grab your coats. We need to get going.”
When the boys went back into the house, Clayton grabbed her hand before she could follow them. Abby turned to him. As her big blue eyes met his, he grinned.
She gave him a wink in return. He reluctantly released her hand as they entered the house. There was a round of good-byes with his parents before he walked her to the door.
Right before she closed the car door, he said, “Be careful.”
“Always,”she replied.




Excerpt:  (from ARC – content could change)
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age.
If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.

His eyes dropped to her lips. Blood surged to his cock at the thought of taking her mouth and tasting her sweetness. Just before he was about to lean forward, Brice and Caleb came into the house with Shane.
The sound of her brothers had Abby looking away. Clayton stopped her before she turned from him. When her gaze once again met his, he said, “Your brothers are fine. Mom and Shane are with them. You can take some time for yourself.”
“I know,”she said in a low voice. “I’m just so used to being the only one to watch over them. Brice seems to have grown up overnight. I think you’re the cause of that.”
He held back a frown at the sadness in her voice. “Are you happy about that?”
“Yes,”she said with a small smile. “You’re a good example for both of my brothers.”
“So are you.”
“Abby,”Caleb said as he came into the office, his hair windblown and his brown eyes alight with joy. “Oh, my God. This place is so awesome. It’s so much more than Brice described. I mean it’s …wow.”
She smiled, laughing at Caleb’s enthusiasm. “I’m glad you think so.”
Caleb then turned to Clayton. “I know Brice is working off a debt, but is there any way I can come work with him this weekend? I promise I’ll pull my weight.”
Clayton was surprised at the boy’s request. “Did you ask your sister first?”
“Abby, please,”Caleb begged. “You can have an entire weekend to yourself.”
“I wouldn’t know what to do with myself,”she said with a wink. “Actually, I think I’ll be here going over the books anyway. I’m fine with it, but the ultimate decision is Clayton’s.”
Caleb turned his dark gaze back to him, silently pleading. As if Clayton could hold out against such fervor. He gave a nod, which had Caleb yelping in excitement before running back to the kitchen to Brice.
“I hope you don’t regret that,”Abby said, chuckling.
But all Clayton could think about was that she would at the ranch. With him. He swallowed, his gaze lowering to her lips as he thought of kissing her. Hell, it’s all he’d been thinking about for days.
Then he had a thought. “Why don’t the three of you stay the entire weekend? Come Friday night.”
A small frown furrowed her brow. “I don’t know.”
“Why not? We have plenty of room. The boys can bunk with the other workers if they don’t want to stay in the house. Consider it a little vacation for you. You don’t even have to work.”
She shook her head while she smiled. “I’ll be working.”
“Not the entire time. Say yes, Abby.”
“Why?”
“Why not?”he countered. He didn’t want to tell her that the thought of her staying at the ranch pleased him more than anything had in years.
Abby blew out a breath as she contemplated his offer. “I don’t know.”
“What are you afraid of? Having a good time? Enjoying this place? Or letting someone do something for you?”he challenged.
“I knew you were going to bring that up.”
He shrugged, knowing that she was the one doing him a favor by looking through the books, but he intended to make sure she had some fun, as well.
“Don’t make me go to the boys,”Clayton said. “If I mention it to them, they won’t let up until you give in.”
Her gaze narrowed on him as she tried to hide her smile. “Oh, that was sneaky.”
“I do what must be done to get what I want.”And he wanted her there.
She gave a single nod. “All right.”
It was all Clayton could do not to give a shout just like Caleb had earlier.




Review:

Clayton East is the ideal “perfect guy”. He’s a retired Navy SEAL, he’s got mad skills that aid in protecting those he loves; he’s intelligent; he’s gorgeous – Oh! And he’s a cowboy that fills out a pair of Wranglers very nicely. *le sigh* He’s been running from tragedy in childhood and refusing to deal with the loss. Instead, he joins the Navy and then takes on an assignment in Africa. When suspicious activity threatens the livelihood of his family ranch, he is called home to get to the bottom of things. He wasn’t bargaining for the beauty he encounters who has the exact skill set he requires. It isn’t difficult to figure out a way to keep her near, but convincing her to let her guard down will be another thing altogether.

Abby Harper thinks of herself last in all aspects. She’s been taking care of her brothers since their mother ran out on them and her life consists of working and providing for them. She doesn’t have time for anything social – and she doesn’t want it. Love isn’t a great thing. It isn’t unconditional; it doesn’t pay the bills; and it frequently breaks your heart, leaving years of wreckage in its wake. When her brother finds himself in hot water and at the mercy of Clayton East, she assumes the worst. But Clayton is all about second chances – especially if it involves keeping Abby around. As they untangle the web of deceit surrounding the ranch, she comes to care for Clayton a little more each day. But forever isn’t forever and taking a chance on love isn’t worth the risk.

Nothing like getting into the Christmas season early than with some really fun, entertaining reads! I very much enjoyed my time spent with Clayton and Abby. Books in which a character has to grow in order to realize that their only chance might be sitting right in front of them are right up my alley. Clayton accepts his feelings relatively soon, but Abby resists for a while. There is a slight amount of suspense within the book, but not surrounding their relationship. Everything happening around Christmas is a benefit because she and her brothers have never experienced one like this before. I can see where I would have been awe-struck in such a situation myself. It is very easy to like the characters within the book. The secondary characters add a lot to the story and draw you in even more with their own growth. This book is a great reminder of how tragedy shapes us and ultimately how it can lead us to where we are meant to be. I don’t want it to sound too heavy with the tragedy, because it isn’t like that – after all, we are looking for a Christmas-themed HEA.  Probably my only complaint is that the word “atop” was used so many times that it became annoying. It is probably mostly personal preference, but I feel like “atop” is more of an older word and that I would read it in a Historical novel versus this contemporary novel.

Overall, this book will get you in the holiday spirit and have you rooting for the main characters in no time. There is some sexual content that is pretty explicit; no dirty explicit, erotic explicit. I’m sure this read will satisfy readers even if they aren’t looking specifically for a holiday read. Ms. Grant did a wonderful job of creating lovable, endearing characters that readers will enjoy getting to know. Get your warm, fuzzy, holiday groove started right with this sexy, sweet read. 

Kindle version provided by NetGalley/St Martins Press in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Feature: St. Martin's Holiday Release Blitz



**St. Martin’s Press ~ Holiday Romance Blitz**





Hello, hello! I am absolutely thrilled about this feature because I have had the opportunity to review ALL of the books in this post today except one. But I do plan on reading that one as well … So my plan is to make this week a week of St Martin’s New Holiday Releases! Whoot whoot! Each day following this post will be an ARC review of one of the books in this feature! And I have to tell you, there wasn’t a bad book in the lot!. Sure, I referred some over others, but overall, I really enjoyed them all! I don’t want to waste any time and really want to get to the feature, so let’s find out about all of these spectacular reads from some pretty fantastic authors! Please allow me to introduce to the blog, St. Martin’s Holiday Romance Extravaganza!







**Emma Douglas**

**BIO**
Emma Douglas would love to live in a world where professional napping was a thing. But until then, she thinks writing books is a pretty awesome alternative. When not writing about imaginary people, she can be found reading, doing something crafty, binge-watching TV, playing her latest song crush on repeat, or singing badly in her car. She lives in Melbourne, Australia in a tiny house stuffed full of books, too many craft supplies and two cats who take up more space than you would expect. Find out more about Emma at www.emmadouglasbooks.com.




**A SEASON OF YOU**

St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
ISBN: 978-1- 250-11098- 5
Price: $7.99

**BLURB**
It’s Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season...

Will has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina’s husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she’d want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he’s kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina’s heart. . .

Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she’s kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can’t quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay’s first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas—and forever—is Will?

Buy Links

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**Kieran Kramer**

**BIO**
Kieran Kramer, author of the Impossible Bachelors series, was born in Washington, D.C. to an Air Force pilot father and actress/singer mother. She grew up mainly on Johns Island, a rural sea island near Charleston, South Carolina, where she helped build her family’s log home. Having worked for the CIA and as journalist for The Charlotte Observer, Kieran is now a stay-at- home mom. She once won $34,000 on Wheel of Fortune, and also won on Family Feud. She’s been married to her naval officer husband, Chuck, for twenty-one years, and they have three children.




**CHRISTMAS AT TWO LOVE LANE**
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
ISBN: 978-1- 250-11104- 3
Price: $7.99

**BLURB**

The best gift of all is the one you share with someone else. . .

From the moment he strode through the iron gate and into the offices of Two Love Lane on a crisp December day, it was obvious that Deacon Banks was something different. He wasn’t a Charleston native, not with that adorable Yankee accent. And unlike the usual client at the elegant matchmaking agency, he had no interest in finding a woman to marry—just a few no-strings dates while he was in town.

Macy Frost takes her professional services very seriously—how could she not, when she’s rumored to be a direct descendant of Cupid? Tech entrepreneur Deacon says he’s just trying to make his social-climbing aunt happy by being seen out and about with a few prominent beauties, but Macy insists she can make her client fall in love…for real.
And Deacon can’t help but think she might be right. As charming as the palmetto trees and magnificent harbor may be, it’s the beautiful, breath- of-fresh- air Macy who’s become Deacon’s favorite part of the scenery. But can the hopelessly romantic Southern belle stop trying to fix him up and just let Cupid do his work on her own heart?

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**Donna Alward**

**BIO**
A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at- home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.



**DECK THE HALLS**
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-250-17933-3
Price: $3.99

**BLURB**

With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in- arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

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**Nancy Naigle**

**BIO**

USA Today bestselling author NANCY NAIGLE whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. Now happily retired, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and the occasional spa day with friends. A native of Virginia Beach, she currently calls North Carolina home. Nancy is the author of Christmas Joy.




**HOPE AT CHRISTMAS**
St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
ISBN: 978-1- 250-10867- 8
Price: $15.99

**BLURB**

Sydney Ragsdale is divorced, but her husband is still calling the shots. In an attempt to shake free from his hold, she and her daughter, RayAnne, head for tiny Hopewell, North Carolina to the only asset her ex has no control over – a decaying farmhouse that once belonged to her grandparents. She finds solace at The Book Bea, the bookstore she’d loved as a child during her summer stays.

Kevin MacAlea, Mac to his friends, is the local high school history teacher and baseball coach. Father of a twelve-year- old son, he’s Hopewell, North Carolina’s most sought after bachelor. His young bride abandoned him and his son just before Christmas and has never come back. It has left his son bitter about Christmas which is hard for Mac who loves the magic of the season. He’s been the Santa here in Hopewell since the year Seth was born.

When a catastrophe forces The Book Bea to close before the end of the year, everyone in the small town is feeling the loss. While Sydney is already off-balance by the bad news, her ex-husband breaks a promise to their daughter that sends Ray Anne running away. As Sydney tries to figure out what her next steps are she discovers all of the answers are right here in Hopewell.

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**Donna Grant**

**BIO**

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.




**THE CHRISTMAS COWBOY HERO**
St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
ISBN: 978-1- 250-10867- 8
Price: $15.99

**BLURB**

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant returns to Texas, where a small-town legend just might find the greatest gift of all. . .

’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays—even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.

Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch,

Abby is at her wits’ end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby—and the inescapable longing in his heart—off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?

Buy Links

Purchase








**Manda Collins**

**BIO**

Manda Collins is the author of the Studies in Scandal series, The Lords of Anarchy series, The Ugly Duckling series and the Wicked Widows series as well as several other Regency-set romances. She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.



**WITH THIS CHRISTMAS RING**
St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
ISBN: 978-1- 250-10867- 8
Price: $15.99

**BLURB**

A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever-- on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

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**VARIOUS AUTHORS ANTHOLOGY**

**CHRISTMAS IN KILTS**
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-250-17932-6
Price: $4.99

**BLURB**

Tis the season to fall in love! These five bestselling authors bring you great tiding of highlanders and romances this holiday season!

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin

A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander who visits for the holidays and brings with him an offer and hope.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall

When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart.

A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans

She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent

What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas... maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.

SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick

An encounter between an English officer and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

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I know there weren’t any excerpts, but fear not, I Include small excerpts, a favorite line, and a dialogue highlight in every review! So be sure to come back and check each one out! It’s never too early to start getting in that holiday spirit and these books will help you right along. I mean Christmas is vomiting n the stores already, so we might as well embrace it and put our energy in to something we love while we are at it, right? Exactly! Reading! Please leave a comment and tell me what you think of the books. Which one do you want to read the most? Are any of these  Your feedback is always wanted.  I hope you all enjoyed your time here today. A thanks to Entangled for putting the info together. And a special thank you to the authors for allowing us to feature their book series today!

As always, buy links are included in the post. If you are so inclined, purchase the book for yourself. There is no better way to support an author. I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us today. Wishing you all a fabulous day. Until next time …


HAPPY READING!!!