#ChickLitMay The End!

This is just the quickest post ever to say thanks so much for sticking with me through #chicklitmay! I didn’t get everything done I wanted to, but a lot of reading was done and in fact I have two more reviews to come in the next few days, The Last Laugh by Tracie Bloom, which I’m devouring at the mo, and The Mum Who’d had enough by my now favourite author Fiona Gibson (spoiler, it’s a five star). I’ve also plans to get to all the books I got when stacking the shelves the other week.

#chicklitmay was great as it got me fully back into jumping for romantic comedies and chick lit, and appreciating laughing out loud and bright colours and Summery series, which I had totally strayed away from. It was detrimental that I had done this as obviously I write chick lit and it would only take a short amount of time before this side of my writer’s brain would be switched off (I honestly believe reading the genre that you write is essential). I never say never but I don’t know that I’d ever write thrillers, I adore them now, but I think some people have amazing wiring that allows them to think up plot twists that are actually viable, and characters that are believable and that have dimensions to them and make us believe it all. I have seen thrillers where it didn’t work and I’d hate to contribute. Add also of course that I feel the need to make something inappropriate happen at every stage of writing, someone falls, hits into someone, vomits (sorry, but has happened in the first two books and in the book I’m writing at the mo, she is very drunk and I really can’t say she’s not going to get sick into someone’s bag, it just seems inevitable:() etc, so no, this is my genre and I’m thrilled that I’m excited about being back to it. Saying that of course an absense of something makes your heart long for it and I’m going to be reading One Click by Andrea Mara and No Safe Place by Patricia Gibney next.

I am sorry, I had expected #chicklitmay to be something more mesmerizing than it turned out to be, and I know I in no way stand up to the bloggers that push themselves all in to a month or a theme (I bow to them actually, especially when I think of for example Jen Med and her Bookouture time), and there’s no way I converted anyone, but I hope you got some form of enjoyment anyhoo:)

 

The Girl I was Before by Izzy Bayliss

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Length: 244 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: When Lily McDermott walks in to find Marc, her husband of just three months in bed with actress Nadia, life as she knows it is over. Lily thinks things can’t get any worse when she sees photos of her husband and his new lover splashed across the glossy magazine pages, but when she loses her job too, she is at her lowest ebb and turns to baking to soothe her soul. Wounded and broken she has to try and pick herself up again with the help of her best friend Frankie and with her encouragement, Lily decides to turn her hobby into a business and sets up Baked With Love. However whatever Lily does, it seems disaster soon ensues and when handsome stranger Sam comes to her rescue, Lily isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage.
Can Lily risk opening her heart again or is she destined to allow Marc to shadow her life forever? 

The Review: I have to admit I have no idea how this book was on my Kindle. Normally I vaguely or sharply remember a book blogger hosting a book, or I remember Amazon recommending it, but the origin of this witty beauty escapes me. And it is that! Not only that, the author lives in Ireland so yay!

This is the story of Lily, who walks in (as you can see above) to find her husband of just three months in bed with an Oscar nominated actress. To make it worse he goes off radar after and doesn’t even attempt to fight to get her back. Izzy works as a call centre operative for a pregnancy test firm, which, come on, is ingenious(I was gutted when she was fired)! There are lots of funny moments in this book, and references to things that were right up my street, Cheryl, Home and Away, Kate Middleton, L K Bennett, Jennifer Aniston, and Your Face or Mine, to name a few(or maybe I’ve used them all, apologies if I have!)! There were also a heartbreaking family backstory and a lovely lovely dad who reminded me of the dad from Bridget Jones (sniff). I loved her friend Frankie and her sister, Clara was, um, interesting. My only thing at all with the book would be with the cover, which I don’t think puts across what a sparkling, bright read this is.  Really enjoyable and I’m most definitely going to read ‘Baked With Love.’

Rating: 4.5/5

 

 

#CoverReveal Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café #ChickLitMay

Great that the series that brought me back to chick lit is now part of chick lit May, but this times as a reveal for the next in this lovely series!

Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe Cover Reveal

What they say: Jaz Winters stuck a pin in a map and fled to the village of Sunnybrook, looking for a brand new life – and after a rocky start, it’s beginning to look as if she made the right decision. Her blossoming friendship with Ellie and Fen has seen her through some dark times, and she’s managed to land two jobs – waitress at The Little Duck Pond Café and working as a weekend tour guide at Brambleberry Manor, the country house that’s been in Fen’s family for generations.

Sure, life isn’t totally perfect. There’s the irritating know-it-all guy who keeps popping up on her manor tours, for a start. He seems determined to get under Jaz’s skin whether she likes it or not. But she supposes it’s a small price to pay for the relative peace she’s found, living in Sunnybrook.

But just as Jaz is beginning to think rosier times are on the horizon, a shock encounter looks set to shatter her fragile happiness.

Will she be forced to flee from Sunnybrook and everyone she’s grown so fond of? Or will she find the strength to stand her ground and finally face up to the nightmares of the past?

This novella is part of a trilogy:

Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café which is FREE for today on Amazon UK (buy here and see review here!)

Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café

Winter at The Little Duck Pond Café

So here we go (hums sunshiny song)

Cover IMG_0565

How gorgeous and Summery is that?!:) Pre-order on Amazon UK here

Author Bio

Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred on life in a village café. Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café, published on 18th June 2018, follows the first in the series, Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café.

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Summer Breeze: The Windmill Cafe by Poppy Blake #chicklitmay

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Length: 100 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

As Rosie Barnes serves glasses of tangy lemonade and ice-cold prosecco at her summer garden party, she couldn’t be happier. The Windmill Café, with its peppermint green sails is a roaring success and has given Rosie a chance to escape the heartbreak of her busy life in London.

But then disaster strikes when popstar Suki Richards is taken unexpectedly ill at the party. Now all eyes are on Rosie…have her famous raspberry cupcakes poisoned her most high-profile guest? Or is someone else trying to damage Suki’s chance of stardom?

If Rosie wants to save her picture-perfect life, and the reputation of her beloved Windmill Café, she’s going to have to get to the bottom of the mystery…and fast!

The Review: This series is most possibly the most shared on social media and so I knew it had to be featured in Chick Lit May! It’s the story of Rosie, an ex florist, who is now in The Windmill Cafe, organising the first garden party of the premises. I’ll admit for a while I wasn’t sure if I’d missed another book of the series, as the information was drip fed to us, but soon caught up.

We see Suki Richards, who is making it big in the pop world. When she is found in a bad state, poisoning is suspected and Rosie and another character, Matt (who has such an excellent back story) set out to find what really happened. I’ll be honest, if I hadn’t been totally in the mood for this I’d probably be saying that this was a bit too young for me, in that it was extremely innocent and cutesy how they went about finding the possible culprit, but with the weather and the lovely setting of the Windmill Cafe’s surroundings, actually it suited me just fine. The banter in this book was great, with some nice shots of humour and a lot of drama. I’m afraid I did judge and raise my eyebrows at the fact that Rosie had moved (and was guided to, which I found even worse!) from law to floristry to a cafe (only because she’d loved law, of course people can make career moves for jobs they’d adore, but … okay, gonna stop digging my hole here!), but this may be dealt with in another part of the series. All in all it was a nice change to have a romance that dealt more with a mystery (albeit an extremely light, innocent one) and I enjoyed.

Rating: 4/5

Miss Adventure by Geralyn Corcillo #ChickLitMay (book 1 of Love in the Limelight Series)

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Length: 349 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

The award-winning Miss Adventure is the first romantic comedy in the In Love in the Limelight series, where all the books are stand-alone reads, each with its own heroine and hero. It’s the Limelight of zany Los Angeles, where the different stories criss cross, and where the paparazzi just might sink in its glittery talons at the most inopportune and down-to-earth moments.

Miss Adventure: After she survives a freak fast food accident, skittish city girl Lisa Flyte becomes a national joke in the tabloids. Really?! So she decides it’s high time she get herself a backbone and stop letting life plow right over her. But how is she supposed to get tough after a lifetime of watching from the couch? Jack Hawkins, that’s how. The adrenaline junkie from her MBA class needs someone to test his new line of idiot-proof beginner gear, and clueless urbanite Lisa might just be perfect. They strike a deal. The two of them survive (barely!) their bumbling adventures in the wild. But will they survive each other?

All Reader Reviews appreciated! Miss Adventure has been previously published as She Likes It Tough and She Likes It Rough by GVR Corcillo.

The Review: You all have to know how much I totally heart both the books and personality of this author, whose work is always incredibly beautiful and yet full of energy, twists and over the top comedy (see previous posts on Geralyn here ), and so I am gutted I never got to this before, a book about Lisa Flyte, possibly one of my most stand-outish, brilliantly done characters ever.

Lisa, on waking up as a millionaire from a coma after a drive thru nearly crushed her car (which the media had a field day with), decides things have to change- she’s been afraid of life for too long and wants to woman up. And how better to help her than Jack Hawkins, an adrenaline junkie who scales mountains and scuba dives in his sleep. I loved the way the two of them met, and loved Jack’s indifferent attitude to everything and bemusement at her and her constant references to film, which at times were so spot on I almost jumped about! When he asks Lisa to help test adventure gear for beginners and we get in depth look at various equipment and techniques, I literally hung on every-single-word. The comedy was top notch, as were the smile out loud moments and wonderful, wonderful romance, that wasn’t always obvious but that made you suddenly put a hand to your heart and inhale. A special moment for her awful family who were like something out of a Roald Dahl novel! All in all just such a special book and again, one that is ridiculously highly recommended!

Rating: 5/5

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About the author: First and foremost, screenwriter and award-winning romantic comedy author Geralyn Corcillo loves reader reviews! In other news…When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching old movies, British mysteries and the New York Giants. She lives in a rickety old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite. Visit Geralyn at geralyncorcillo.com and even leave her a note – she loves to connect with readers!

Geralyn’s website: geralyncorcillo.com

Geralyn’s books on Amazon

Geralyn on Goodreads

Geralyn on Facebook

Geralyn on Twitter

Dreaming of St Tropez by T A Williams #chicklitmay

dreaming

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The perfect summer escape on the French Riviera. Sun, sea and secrets…

After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.

Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal.

Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez. The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…

Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the process?

A heart-warming, funny and emotional journey for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver.

The Review: I had a number of TA Williams’ books on my Kindle when I saw people raving about this and the guilt I felt was immense having sen how lovely the author is on social media in terms of sharing content, being supportive to other authors etc (we’re in the same chick lit group). As a result I went straight to Amazon to grab this, a gorgeous read set on the French Reviera (note: phew to my loving it as I’d never read his books before!!).

So this is the story of Jess, who we meet showing around a sexist brute who is a Russian aristocrat. Jess turns kick-ass on him and next thing we know, she’s without a job. I easily settled into the book and was thrilled when her and her friend Hope began to discuss how great it would be to get away somewhere like-say-St. Tropez. Instead they’re dog walking (in all fairness, not something I’d mind, and they don’t either, but, you know, I’ve gotta set the scene and all;)) and trying to figure out what to do. Enter Brutus, a lovable labrador (who supplies many moments of easy going comedy throughout the book) and his owner, who needs someone to help mind the dog. And guess where they need to go? You’ve guessed it! They’re heading to the sun soaked, picturesque St. Tropez!! (Yes,  there are moments such as this that are idyllic and make you cock your head to one side, but it really didn’t matter. )

With drama thrown in left right and centre, a who will she end up with that’s done very well, a moody, sullen, millionaire that has plenty of issues to deal with, and oh, yes, special mention for the bodyguard of the piece, I found this book to be beautiful, mesmirising actually in terms of its settings, and yet with an unputdownable quality to it that made me sure I’m going to start moving through T A Williams’ back catalogue quick smart. The perfect summer read that puts you in the most lovely holiday mood.

Rating: 5/5

Watching You by Lynda Renham #chicklitmay

watching

Length: 328 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: Ewan Galbreith is out of prison. Libby Owen is scared. Fifteen years earlier she saw Ewan murder her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun, and now he’s coming for her.

The Review: I took advantage of Lynda Renham being a predominantly chick lit writer (read content from this blog on her here ) to get this, ‘Watching You’ into the mix (I know, genius right?!). The blurb is short, which actually here I like as what more do you need to get you invested?! And it’s so easy to invest time into this, a book that starts with a bang and continues its momentum as we meet Libby Owen, who has changed her name and is living in fear of her life after she was threatened by a man she helped put in prison for the murder of he aunt and uncle. The book is basically us following Libby as she gets more and more paranoid about Galbreith coming to pay her back, while you’re wondering if it is actually him. You are thrust back in time to see what happened to lead to the murders and shown the village, where many people actually had a reason to go after Libby’s uncle.

In modern day we also meet the man himself, Ewan, and a sergeant Fran Marshell and Inspector Mike Magregor, who have been following the case from the start.

I really enjoyed this book, even though it was a bit grubby at times, with sexual content and harsh language, but I suppose that’s par for the course in a story set in an opressed little village where the man of the manor uses people like pawns and smushes them to keep things going the way he wants. In terms of the modern day story I enjoyed trying to figure out if I was wrong in a very early assumption I made. I wasn’t, I’ll admit I guessed very early on part of the twist, although I had a few different thoughts on how it was going to happen, which is the fun of it really, isn’t it? I vaguely thought one of the additional components to the twist might happen, but fought against it and yes, I raised my eyebrows when it happened. To be honest, there’s times where the term ‘suspension of disbelief’ comes to mind, and I think die hard thriller readers mightn’t be choice targets for this book, but saying that I think others will enjoy it and I appreciated what the author was doing and didn’t at any point want to put it down.

Rating: 4/5

Author Q&A Laura Heffernan from The Reality Star Series

So today it’s great to have Laura Heffernan here, author of The Reality Star Series. First, though, the books!

Buy the series on Amazon

About America’s Next Reality Star (book 1)

SEEKING THE SMART ONE

Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.

Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .

About Sweet Reality (book 2)

SUGAR, SEA SALT, AND SHOW BIZ
 
Jen Reid’s life after walking off a reality show has been great–she’s gone from being a broke twenty-four-year-old Seattleite with no love life and no job to the twenty-five-year-old who got the guy, moved to Miami, and is starting a bakery with her best friend. She thinks her showmance love might be about to propose. And with mouthwatering goodies based on everyone’s favorite shows, her business, Sweet Reality, is destined for success.

That is, until a killer competitor opens right across the street. If she’s going to save Sweet Reality, Jen has to come up with a secret ingredient–like the recipe that won Totally 80s Bake-Off. Jen can get it–if she steps back into the spotlight. Soon she and her boyfriend are out to sea on a cruise ship full of reality stars, including her nemesis, Ariana; her lying, cheating ex; and some wicked producers looking to bring the drama. Separate cabins, “surprises” from her past, and scenarios tailor-made to spark fights are just the beginning. But with her self-respect, her business, and her future on the line, the fallout from this made-for-TV plotline will be all too real . . .

 

About Reality Wedding

SAY ‘I DO’—OR ELSE
 
When Jen Reid escaped a reality TV cruise with her relationship intact—if not her hair—she swore she was done with the cameras for good. Sure, she and Justin met, had their first kiss, and got engaged with tape rolling, but manufactured drama and ruthless producers have shaken them up more times than she can count. With Jen’s reality-themed bakery just getting started and her brand-new lawyer fiancé in a pile of debt, they’re a long way from glitz and glamour, and that’s fine by Jen. Until the Network calls and tells her that unless she says “I do” to a wedding special, Justin will be out of a job.

Now Jen has two weeks to plan an all-expenses-paid “dream wedding”—and dodge the tricks and traps of a showrunner happy to mess up her future in the name of ratings. Luckily for Jen, she’s got plenty of experience with cake and popcorn. But when real-life drama and reality TV twists collide, the cliffhangers may just follow her right down the aisle . . .

Laura, welcome to the blog. Can you tell us a little bit about your books? Who do you think they would suit?

The Reality Star series follows Jen, a millennial who tries out for a reality show to help pay medical bills from an accident. She’s looking to win the cash prize, but is surprised when she finds herself falling for co-competitor Justin. The books should appeal to fans of Sophie Kinsella or Leah Marie Brown. And the reality show is the backdrop, so even people who don’t watch a lot of reality TV can still enjoy them.


Where did the idea for the books come from?

My best friend went on a reality show a few years ago, one that is fairly similar to the show Jen stars in on the show. It was fun to see all the background information and all the ins and outs of reality TV. My friend’s experience got me thinking about what kind of show I’d want to be on myself, and The Fishbowl was born.

Have you always wanted to write chick lit?

I’ve always wanted to write. Over the years, I’ve tried various genres based on what I was primarily reading at the time. But chick lit has always been my first love. It’s what I always go back to, and it’s the only type of book I’ve ever been interested in enough to finish one (or several).

Can you tell us what you’re up to next?

I’m currently in the middle of writing my next series, Gamer Girls. It follows three college roommates who love board games, each with their own book. In the first one, Gwen is determined to win the American Board Game Championship–and equally determined not to get played by last year’s champion, Cody. 

Lastly, If you had to  pick three favourite books what would you pick (they  don’t have to be chick lit by the by!!!)?

This question is so hard! The Shopaholic books will probably always be among my all-time favorites. The series has had some ups and downs, but those first three books were my introduction to chick lit. I go back and read them all the time. I also adore the Harry Potter series, which I like to count as one book. 🙂 And I will forever adore The Awakening by Kate Chopin. 

Thanks so much for coming over, Laura!

About the author

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Books

Website

Twitter

 

The Cottage at Hope Cove by Hannah Ellis #chicklitmay #bookreview

thecottageathope

Length: 337 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Lizzie Beaumont has it all: a great career, a wealthy fiancé, and the wedding of her dreams just months away. But when her fiancé puts work before her again, she sets off for a week in the picturesque town of Hope Cove. She’s hoping for time away from the chaos to find herself.

Instead, she finds Max.

When the gorgeous guy next door asks her for decorating help, Lizzie finds herself all too eager to please. The week she expected to drag suddenly flies by, and before she knows it, she has to return to her other life. The life with the impending marriage and the fiancé she loves.

Or does she?

One week with Max has left her questioning her life choices. Is her fiancé the man of her dreams, or just the man who asked? Now Lizzie must decide what her life will be. Will she go for the safe and predictable route, or take a chance on a man she hardly knows? No matter what she does, someone’s heart is going to break. She just doesn’t want it to be hers.

Review: And now, as they say, for something, well not completely different, but still! We start off seeing Elizabeth Beaumont and her boyfriend Max discussing their wedding in passing as they try to find time to spend with each other in the midst of busy careers. I loved seeing Eliazabeth’s work in a magazine and could understand her passion for a job. They’re supposed to finally take a holiday together but then, again, work stops Max but he convinces her to head off on her own to the lovely Hope Cove. And it was lovely:

“The village streets were narrow and dotted with bright white cottages with neatly thatched roofs. When she reached the bay she stopped the car and gazed out. A full moon hung over the water, and the sea sparkled beautifully in its reflected glow.”

I fell in love with Hope Cove in the same way I’d enjoyed hearing of her time at the magazine, and gobbled up the fantastic setting. And then we met Max. I have to admit I wasn’t so sure about him at the start but then, on saying that it’s been some time since my stomach has leapt around solely from the mesmerizing romance in a book. I was so torn. Both of them were due to marry and yet the pull of the chemistry and connection between the two of them was so strong that I still wanted them to get together.

I loved Elizabeth becoming Lizzie and that the book didn’t always succumb to cliches and that everything was so realistic in terms of what life had in store for them and how they had to get back to ‘real life’. There were twists that were unexpected, and mix-ups and misunderstandings that were welcome and realistic. I’ll admit when we went along to Hope Cove I was afraid we’d be trading comedy for beauty, but there were still sudden out of the blue smiles, albeit more understated than Ms. Ellis’ previous books. I hearted this book so much, every single second of it and read it in one night with my eyes searching out the next words while still relishing those before. I have always been a fan of the author’s before now and know her online, but this book has moved me into Superfan mode. One of my top books this year! Cannot recommend enough.

Rating: 5/5

Note: Read previous reviews of this author’s books here

 

#ChickLitMay #Excerpt Izzy As Is by Tracie Banister

As part of #ChickLitMay , and following on from The Happily Ever After Hop, which will continue over the next few days on all the various Facebook page (to read my post, enter some great giveaways and search out loads of excellent chick lit authors look here  ) where better to go than to Tracie Banister, one of the organisers of the hop, with an extract from ‘Izzy As Is,’ a book I absolutely adored!  (Read review here),

 

izzyasis

Please note that the cover leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The party is over for bikini model Izzy Alvarez. For six years she’s made a good living by flaunting her God-given assets on runways and in front of cameras, but now as she approaches the big 3-0, the bodacious Latina is shocked to learn she’s aged out of the profession that’s kept her in mojitos, mani/pedis, and designer thongs. What’s a girl with a taste for the finer things in life and no marketable skills to do?

Getting a regular job is too boring to even consider, so Izzy decides to follow in the footsteps of her newly-engaged frenemy and become a trophy wife. Although she’s desperate and too broke to get a chipped nail fixed, Izzy still has standards for her future husband, which means no uggos, no vertically-challenged guys, and no geezers who need to pop a blue pill to perform in the bedroom. Enlisting the aid of her computer whiz nephew and her closest pals, Izzy goes on the prowl for a rich, marriage-minded man, encountering likely candidates in a lot of unlikely places.

The high life she’s dreamed of may be within reach when Izzy meets a charming, successful man who’s not only hotter than a steamy summer night in Miami, but ready to settle down. Now all Izzy has to do is make sure her loud, crazy Cuban family doesn’t scare off el hombre perfecto—oh, yeah, and squelch those pesky, romantic feelings she keeps having for the sweet, cash-strapped guy she’s known forever. Will Izzy’s hunger for money win out, or will her fiery heart demand to be heard?

Excerpt:

As we’re polishing off the last of the appetizers and I’m starting to feel a pleasant buzz from the rum, our conversation is interrupted by a familiar voice. “Izzy! Topaz! Nacho! Oh, my gosh, I haven’t seen you guys in forever.”

I turn to see Silvana Diaz, fellow model, friend (more like rival since we’re Latinas in the same age group and have always been sent up for the same jobs), and . . . I quickly take stock of

the wealthy-looking, pudgy, salt and pepper-haired gentleman whose arm she’s clinging to . . .

new member of the Sugar Daddy Matchmakers service?

“Yeah, it’s been a while. What have you been up to?” Besides hanging out at a plastic surgeon’s office. The once noticable bump on the bridge of her nose is gone, and her lips have doubled in size since the last time we crossed paths.

“Oh, you know, just spending time with my man.” She strokes Middle-Aged Murray’s suit-clad arm and gazes at him adoringly. “He proposed on Valentine’s Day!” Silvana shoves her left hand in my face.

“Woah!” I jerk back in surprise when I see the size of the rock on her ring finger. Has to be at least three carats, and its platinum band is studded with sparkly diamonds, too. “That is quite a ring. You have great taste,” I compliment her fiancé.

“Only the best for my little mango.” He grins up at her. Yeah, that’s right, Silvana is a head taller than her hubby-to-be.

“He calls me that because I’m sweet and exotic,” Silvana explains, and I try not to gag.

“We’re all really happy for you, Sil,” Topaz says kindly. “Have you set a date yet?”

“No, but it will have to be later this year since I’ll be busy through the summer.”

I sit up straight in my chair, suddenly on high alert. “You’re going to be tied up all

summer? Did you get a national campaign or something?” Silvana is only six months younger than me, and she’s not nearly as pretty even with all her new cosmetic enhancements, so she’d better not have booked some big job, or I’m going to start flipping tables Real Housewives-style.

“I’ve retired from modeling. I don’t really have time for it anymore since Harry has to travel to Asia for business every few weeks, and I go with him since we can’t stand to be apart. Plus, it’s not like I need the money anymore.” She holds up her left hand and wiggles her fingers

to remind us once again how well-off her intended is and giggles.

So, Silvana no longer has to work and by the looks of things, Harry (ew, I hope that’s only his name and not an adjective that could be used to describe his back) is providing her with a very nice lifestyle that includes international travel and some very impressive bling. Hmmmm . . .

About the author

tracie

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. She is the proud winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award (Romantic Comedy) and a Bronze Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards (Chick Lit). Although Tracie swore she’d never write a sequel to any of her books, the character of Izzy Alvarez, who first appeared in In Need of Therapy, would not be denied. Izzy As Is is Tracie’s fifth novel, and she hopes readers enjoy this return trip to Miami.

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