California Girls by @SusanMallery #WomensFic #BookReview


The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters

who get dumped in the same week…

Finola, a popular LA morning-show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by the news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.

Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.

But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.

From Amazon

Biography

Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women’s lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan’s books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on “the new queen of romantic fiction.” (Walmart) Booklist says, “Romance novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling,” and RT Book Reviews puts her “in a class by herself!”

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool’s Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they’re an integral component to a happy life. Visit Susan online at http://www.SusanMallery.com.

My Review

Just when the world seems against them, three sisters find an inner strength and a bond they never expected.

Television personality, Finola is finally ready to give her husband his greatest desire-children. She plans to tell him on a rare getaway that goes awry when she learns he’s been having an affair.

Zinnie is happy on her own. She’s focused on a nursing career and only dates because it’s ‘the thing to do.’ So, when her best friend (a cancer survivor) approaches her to be a surrogate, Zinnie jumps at the opportunity to help. Except, being pregnant and alone, is harder than she expected.

Ali is getting married in six short weeks and she’s going crazy between preparations and keeping up to her mother who needs help decluttering her home so she can sell it. Then, in a cowardly move, her fiancé sends his handsome brother to call off the wedding.

What follows is how these three so-different sisters overcome the crisis each of them face and find strength from unexpected places.

Some of my favorite scenes happened in the family home as the three girls and their mother come together amid thirty years of memories.

I give California Girls 4 lovely kisses- An enjoyable read!

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin-MIRA books for this opportunity.

They have a month to clear his name and convince society they are madly in love… The Earl I Ruined by @ScarlettPeckham #Historical #Romance @PureTextuality


BOOK SYNOPSIS

She’s beautiful, rich, and reckless…

When Lady Constance Stonewell accidentally ruins the Earl of Apthorp’s entire future with her gossip column, she does what any honorable young lady must: offer her hand in marriage. Or, at the very least, stage a whirlwind fake engagement to repair his reputation. Never mind that it means spending a month with the dullest man in England. Or the fact that he disapproves of everything she holds dear.

He’s supposedly the most boring politician in the House of Lords…

Julian Haywood, the Earl of Apthorp, is on the cusp of finally proving himself to be the man he’s always wanted to be when his future is destroyed in a single afternoon. When the woman he’s secretly in love with confesses she’s at fault, it isn’t just his life that is shattered: it’s his heart.

They have a month to clear his name and convince society they are madly in love…

But when Constance discovers her faux-intended is decidedly more than meets the eye—not to mention adept at shocking forms of wickedness—she finds herself falling for him.

There’s only one problem: he can’t forgive her for breaking his heart.

BOOK INFO

The Earl I Ruined by Scarlett Peckham

Series Secrets of Charlotte Street Book Two

Genre Adult Historical Romance

Publisher Independent

Publication Date December 11, 2018

Amazon  https://amzn.to/2Eb3axu
Kobo  https://goo.gl/2xt9KW
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TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the release of THE EARL I RUINED by Scarlett Peckham, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!

LINK:  https://bit.ly/2Ualg7v

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Scarlett Peckham.  Giveaway ends 12/24/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.

Excerpt

In this scene our heroine awaits our hero in a powdering closet, where she plans to be discovered kissing him to convince their families they are in love.

(It does not go well.)

She knew him by his footsteps alone. That precise clipped pace, the moderate thump of a well-kept heel articulated under a (she imagined) slender but finely muscled calf. He never shuffled or stomped. He walked the way he did everything: elegantly.

She reached out from behind the closet door and grabbed him.

Perhaps with too much force, for he came careening toward her in a half stumble and nearly crushed her against the shelves.

“What are you doing?” he gasped, bracing against the shelf above her head to find his balance. The closet was small, just big enough for two adults to stand in. It was lined with wig stands and jars of powder and smelled heavy, like starch and milled soaps. And now, like the woody, balsam scent of whatever Apthorp used to oil his hair.

“Waiting impatiently to be discovered weeping in the wig closet by my future husband,” she said irritably. “Who is four minutes late.”

“May I ask why you are in the wig closet?”

“Because wig closets are just the improbable, tucked-away kinds of places that young lovers go when they wish to steal a moment of privacy to offer each other comfort outside of the prying eyes of their extended families.”

He glanced at her face in the shadows.

“You appear decidedly dry-eyed.”

“Can you please get on with it?”

“Pardon?”

“Hurry. When we’re discovered, you can’t be freshening up your peruke. Kiss me.”

He inched backward into a stack of smocks. “Absolutely not.”

“Must I do everything?”

She latched on to his shoulders so that he could not escape and, before she could lose her nerve, planted her lips on his.

She had not taken the initiative to kiss anyone since that first fumbling attempt on Apthorp all those years ago—and it was harder than it looked to do it properly, without accidentally eating someone’s nose or clacking into his jaw with one’s forehead. She felt like a mole nosing in the dark for a berry on a bush just slightly out of reach. Under her fumbling lips Apthorp went completely rigid. She stood up on her toes, trying to get better purchase.

He yanked his head out of her reach. “My God, what are you doing?”

“Kissing you. My brother will come looking for us at any moment. We must be locked in a passionate embrace.”

He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, his eyes flashing with some emotion she couldn’t place.

“You know, Constance, you really must learn to ask permission.”

He must really learn to stop lecturing her, but now was not the time to press the issue.

“Please just kiss me.” It was imperative that when Archer found them, they be engaged in something more convincing than a discussion of the etiquette of courtship.

Apthorp stared at her, as if debating something in his mind.

“Constance, may I kiss you?” he asked in an official, courtly tone, like he was modeling correct behavior on which she might be tested later.

“Obviously.”

Gently, he took a hand and tipped her mouth up to his. Gently, he put his lips to hers.

Given what she knew about the secret ways he spent his time, this pretension to gentlemanly delicacy was rather laughable. And they did not have time for it.

She snatched his head in her hands and mashed her face to his, trying to mount a more persuasive display of ardor before anyone witnessed this chaste, practically nonexistent peck.

She felt a rumble beneath her hands.

His shoulders were shaking.

With laughter.

She gasped and pushed him back. His shoulders hit the shelves, causing a wooden wig stand to fall onto a sack of lavender-scented powder, which erupted in a cloud that itched her nose. She immediately fell into a coughing fit so violent that, half-weeping with laughter, he pounded at her back.

“You cow,” she said through gasps. “Because of you, we will both suffocate.”

He stilled, clearly trying to restrain his mirth. “I’m sorry.”

“What is so unbearably humorous?”

“The fact that you are mauling me in the powdering room.”

“I was not mauling you. I was evincing passion.”

His lip quirked up. “In my experience,” he said softly, “that’s not how passion works.”

“No? It works by tiny mincing nibbles at my lower lip?”

“It builds. Lovers have to get to get a feel for one another.”

“Sounds dreadfully dull.”

He stared at her lips for a beat too long, then glanced up into her eyes.

“I assure you, Constance, it isn’t.”

She wanted to be angry at him, but she could not fail to notice that his eyes no longer held the ire they’d borne when he’d looked upon her yesterday. His gaze was earnest. Like he wanted her to understand something that was important to him.

She found herself at a loss for a response. Because for the first time, she was connecting the rumors about this man and his salacious nocturnal predilections to the person whose eyes lingered on her face rather more kindly than she’d have expected of a hell-raking letch, yet with a knowledge in them that made her shiver.

“Haven’t you ever been properly kissed?” he asked softly.

She stuck out her chin, embarrassed to admit that she was far less bold in her private behaviors than the devil-take-it portrait she liked to affect in public. “Of course I have.”

He bit his lip. “Not by anyone who knew how to do it properly, apparently.”

ABOUT SCARLETT PECKHAM

SCARLETT PECKHAM is a four-time Golden Heart® finalist in Historical Romance who writes steamy stories about alpha heroines. Her Secrets of Charlotte Street series follows the members of Georgian London’s most discreet – and illicit – private club with lush writing, historical detail, a feminist worldview and a light touch of kink.

Scarlett lives in Los Angeles and when not reading or writing romance she enjoys drinking immoderate quantities of white wine, watching The Real Housewives, and dressing her cat in bowtie.

AUTHOR LINKS

Newsletter http://geni.us/TheScarlettLetter

Website https://www.scarlettpeckham.com

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

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

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