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review 2019-08-27 08:10
Blog Tour w/Review - Handle With Care



Handle With Care

by Helena Hunting




New York Times bestselling author of SHACKING UP and I FLIPPING LOVE YOU Helena Hunting mixes humor and heart in this scandal-filled romantic comedy.



Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman


Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and
the broody, cynical CEO.



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.


Buy-Book Link:












I slip onto the empty bar stool beside the lumberjack mountain man
who looks like he tried to squeeze himself into a suit two sizes too
small. He’s intimidatingly broad and thick, with long dark hair that’s
been pulled up into a haphazard man bun thing. His beard is a
hipster’s wet dream. His scowl, however, makes him about as
approachable as a rabid porcupine. And yet, here I am, sidling up
next to him.

He glances at me, eyes bleary and not really tracking. He quickly
focuses on his half-empty glass again. Based on the slump of his
shoulders and the uncoordinated way he picks up his glass and
tips it toward his mouth, I’m guessing he’s pretty hammered. I order
a sparkling water with a dash of cranberry juice and a lime.

What I could really use is a cup of lavender-mint tea and my bed,
but instead, I’m sitting next to a drunk man in his thirties. My life is
extra glamorous, obviously. And no, I’m not an escort, but at the
moment I feel like my morals are on the same kind of slippery


“Rough day?” I ask, nodding to the bottle that’s missing more than
half its contents. It was full when he sat down at the bar an hour
ago. Yes, I’ve been watching him the entire time, waiting for an
opportunity to make my move. While he’s been sitting here, he’s
turned down two women, one in a dress that could’ve doubled as a
disco ball and the other in a top so low-cut, I could almost see her

“You could say that,” he slurs. He props his cheek on his fist, eyes
almost slits. I can still make out the vibrant blue hue despite them
almost being closed. They move over me, assessing. I’m wearing a
conservative black dress with a high neckline and a hem that falls

below my knees. Definitely not nearly as provocative as Disco Ball
or Navel Lady.


“That solving your problems?” I give him a wry grin and tip my chin
in the direction of his bottle of Johnnie.


His gaze swings slowly to the bottle. It gives me a chance to really
look at him. Or what I can see of his face under his beard,


“Nah, but it helps quiet down all the noise up here.” He taps his
temple and blurts, “My dad died.”

I put a hand on his forearm. It feels awkward, and creepy on my
part since its half-genuine, half-contrived comfort. “I’m so sorry.”

He glances at my hand, which I quickly remove, and refocuses
on his drink. “I should be sorry too, but I think he was mostly an
asshole, so the world might be better off without him.” He attempts
to fill his glass again, but his aim is off, and he pours it on the bar
instead. I rush to lift my purse and grab a handful of napkins to
mop up the mess.

“I’m drunk,” he mumbles.


“Well, I’m thinking that might’ve been the plan, considering the way
you’re sucking that bottle back. I’m actually surprised you didn’t ask
for a straw in the first place. Might be a good idea to throw a
spacer in there if you want tomorrow morning to suck less.” I push
my drink toward him, hoping he doesn’t send me packing like he
did the other women who approached him earlier.


He narrows his eyes at my glass, suspicious, maybe. “What is


“Cranberry and soda.” 


“No booze?”


“No booze. Go ahead. You’ll thank me in the morning.”


He picks up the glass and pauses when it’s an inch from his
mouth. His eyes crinkle, telling me he’s smiling under that beard.


“Does that mean Imma wake up with you beside me?”


I cock a brow. “Are you propositioning me?”


“Shit, sorry.” He chugs the contents of my glass. “I was joking.
Besides, I’m so wasted, I can barely remember my name. Pretty
sure I’d be useless in bed tonight. I should stop talkin’.” He scrubs
a hand over his face and then motions to me. “I wouldn’t
proposition you.”


I’m not sure how to respond. I go with semi-affronted, since it
seems like somewhat of an insult. “Good to know.”


“Dammit. I mean, I think you might be hot. You look hot. I mean
attractive. I think you’re pretty.” He tips his head to the side and
blinks a few times. “You have nice eyes, all four of them are


This time I laugh—for real—and point to the bottle. “I think you
might want to tell your date you’re done for the night.”

He blows out a breath and nods. “You might be right.”


He makes an attempt to stand, but as soon as his feet hit the floor,
he stumbles into me and grabs my shoulders to steady himself.

“Whoa. Sorry. Yup, I’m definitely drunk.” His face is inches from
mine, breath smelling strongly of alcohol. Beyond that, I get a whiff
of fresh soap and a hint of aftershave. He lets go of my shoulders
and takes an unsteady step back. “I don’t usually do this.” He
motions sloppily to the bottle. “Mostly I’m a three drink max guy.”


“I think losing your father makes this condonable.” I slide off my
stool. Despite being tall for a woman, and wearing heels, he still
manages to be close to a head taller than me.

“Yeah, maybe, but I still think I might regret it tomorrow.” He’s
incredibly unsteady, swaying while standing in place. I take the
opportunity for what it is and thread my arm through his, leading

him away from the bar. “Come on, let’s get you to the elevator
before you pass out right here.”


He nods, then wobbles a bit, like moving his head has set him off
balance. “That’s probably a good idea.”


He leans into me as we weave through the bar and stumbles on
the two stairs leading to the foyer. There’s no way I’ll be able to
stop him if he goes down, but I drape one of his huge arms over
my shoulder anyway, and slip my own around his waist, guiding
him in a mostly straight line to the elevators.


“Which floor are you on?” I ask.


“Penthouse.” He drops his arm from my shoulder and flings it out,
pointing to the black doors at the end of the hall. “Jesus, I feel like
I’m on a boat.”


“It’s probably all the alcohol sloshing around in your brain.” I take
his elbow again, helping him stagger the last twenty feet to the
dedicated penthouse elevator.


He stares at the keypad for a few seconds, brow pulling into a
furrow. “I can’t remember the code. It’s thumbprint activated though
too.” He stumbles forward and presses his forehead against the
wall, then tries to line up his thumb with the sensor, but his aim is
horrendous and he keeps missing.


I settle a hand on his very firm forearm. This man is built like a
tank. Or a superhero. For a moment, I reconsider what I’m about to
do, but he seems pretty harmless and ridiculously hammered, so
he shouldn’t pose a threat. I’m also trained in self-defense, which
would fall under the by any means necessary umbrella. “Can I


He rolls his head, eyes slits as they bounce around my face.



I take his hand between mine. The first thing I notice is how
clammy it is. But beyond that, his knuckles are rough, littered with

tiny scars and a few scabs, and his nails are jagged.


“Your hands are small,” he observes as I line his thumb up with the
sensor pad and press down.


“Maybe yours are abnormally big,” I reply. They are rather large.
Like basketball player hands.


“You know what they say about big hands.”


I fight not to roll my eyes, but for a brief moment, I wonder if what’s
in his pants actually matches the rest of him. And if he’s unkempt
everywhere, not just on his face. I cut that visual quickly because it
makes me want to gag. “And what do they say?”

His eyes crinkle again, and he slaps his own chest. “Something
about big hands, big heart.”


I bite back my own smile. “Pretty sure you’re mixing that up with
cold hands, warm heart.”


His brow furrows. “There’s a good chance.”


The elevator doors slide open. He pushes off the wall with some
effort and practically tumbles inside. He catches himself on the rail
and sags against the wall as I follow him in. I honestly can’t believe
I’m doing this right now.


He doesn’t have to press a button since the elevator only goes to
the penthouse floor. As soon as we start moving, he groans and
his shoulders curl in. “I don’t feel so good.”

Please don’t let him be sick in here. If there’s one thing I can’t deal
with, it’s vomit. “You should sit.”

He slides down the wall, massive shoulders rolling forward as he
rests his forehead on his knees. “Tomorrow is going to suck.”


I stay on the other side of the elevator, in case he tosses his
cookies. “Probably.”


It’s the longest elevator ride in the history of the world. Or at least it
feels that way, mostly because I’m terrified he’s going to yak.
Thankfully, we make it to the penthouse floor incident-free. On the
down side, now that he’s in a sitting position, getting him to stand
again is a challenge. I have to press the open door button three
times before I can finally coax him to his feet.

In the time between leaving the bar and making it to the penthouse
floor, the effects of the alcohol seems to have compounded. He’s
beyond sloppy, using the wall and me for support as we make our
way to his door. There are two penthouse apartments up here.
One on either side of the foyer.


He leans against the doorjamb, once again fighting to find the
coordination to get his thumb to the sensor pad. I don’t ask if he
needs my assistance this time since it’s quite clear he does. Once
again I take his clammy hand in mine.


“Your hands are really soft,” he mumbles.




The pad ashes green, and I turn the handle. “Okay, here we go.
Home sweet home.”


“This isn’t my home,” he slurs. “My cousin’s family owns this
building. I’m crashing here until I can get the fuck out of New York.”
I scan the penthouse. It an eclectic combination of odd art and
modern furniture, like two different tastes crashed together and this
is the result. Aside from that, it’s clean to the point of looking
almost like a show home.

The only sign that someone is staying here is the lone coffee cup
on the table in the living room and the blanket lolling like a tongue
over the edge of the couch. I’m still standing in the doorway while
he sways unsteadily.


He tries to shove his hand in his pants pocket, but all he succeeds
in doing is setting himself off-balance. He nearly stumbles into the



“Thanks for your help,” he says.


He’s back in his penthouse, which means my job is technically
done. However, I’m worried he’s going to hurt himself, or worse,
asphyxiate on his own vomit in the middle of the night, and I’ll be
the one catching heat if that happens. I’ll also feel bad if something
happens to him. I blow out a breath, annoyed that this is how my
night is ending.


I heave his arm over my shoulder and slip mine around his waist
again, leading him through the living room toward what seems to
be the kitchen. There’s a sheet of paper on the island, but
otherwise it’s spotless.


“What’re you doing?” he asks.


We pause when we reach the threshold. “Which way is your


He looks slowly from right to left. “Not that way.” He points to the
kitchen. It’s very state of the art.


I guide him in the opposite direction down the hall, until he
stumbles through a doorway, into a large but simply furnished
bedroom. Once we reach the edge of the bed, he drops his arm,
spins around—it’s drunkenly graceful—and falls back on the bed,
arms spread wide as if he’s planning on making snow angels. “The
room is spinning.”


“Would you like me to get you a glass of water and possibly a
painkiller for the headache you’ll likely have in the morning?” I’m
already heading for the bathroom.


“Might be a good idea,” he mumbles.


I find a glass on the edge of bathroom vanity—which is clean, apart
from a brand new toothbrush and tube of toothpaste. I run the tap,
wishing I had a plastic tumbler, because I’m not sure he’s in any
state to deal with breakable objects. I check the medicine cabinet,

find the pills I need, shake out two tablets, and return to the

He’s right where I left him; sprawled out faceup on a massive king-
size bed, legs hanging off the end, one shoe on the floor beside
him. I cross over and set the water and the pills on the nightstand.
I make a quick trip back to the bathroom and grab the empty
wastebasket from beside the toilet in case his night is a lot rougher
than he expects.

I tap his knee, crossing my fingers he’ll be easy to rouse. “Hey, I
have painkillers for you.”

He makes a noise, but doesn’t move otherwise.


I tap his knee again. “Lincoln, you need to wake up long enough to
take these.” I cringe. I called him by name, and he didn’t offer it to
me while we were down at the bar. Here’s hoping he’s too drunk to
notice or remember. His name is Lincoln Moorehead, heir to the
Moorehead Media fortune and all the crap that comes with it. And
there’s a lot of it.

One eye becomes a slit. “Every time I open my eyes, the room
starts spinning again.”


“If you drink this and take these, it might help.” I hold up the glass
of water and the pills.


“’Kay.” It takes three tries for him to sit up. He tries to pick the pills
up out of my palm, but keeps missing my hand.
“Just open your mouth.”


He lifts his head. “How do I know you’re not trying to roofie me?”
I hold up the tablet in front of his face. “They don’t say roofie, so
you’re safe.”


He tries to focus on the pill and then my face. I have my doubts
he’s successful at either.


His tongue peeks out to drag across his bottom lip. “The cameras
in the hall will catch you if you steal my wallet.”


I laugh at that. “I’m not going to steal your wallet, I’m going to put
you to bed.”


“Hmm.” He nods slowly and opens his mouth.


I drop the pills on his tongue and hand him the glass, which he
drains in three long swallows. “Would you like me to refill that?”


“That’d be nice.” He holds out the glass, but when I try to pull
away, he covers my hands with his. His shockingly blue eyes meet
mine, and for a moment they’re clear and compelling. Despite how
out of it he is, and how much he resembles a mountain man, or
maybe because of it, I have a hard time looking away. “I really wish
I wasn’t this messed up. You smell nice. I bet your hair is pretty
when it’s not pulled up like that.” He flops a hand toward my bun.
“Not that it’s not pretty like that, but I bet if you took it down, it
would be wavy and soft. The kind of hair you want to bury your
face in and run your fingers through.” He exhales a long breath. “I
haven’t had sex in a really long time, but I feel like I would have
zero finesse if I tried right now.”

I smile and turn away. In the time it takes for me to refill his glass,
he’s managed to get one arm out of his suit jacket. He’s made it
most of the way onto the bed, feet still hanging off the end, but he’s
on his back, which is not ideal.

I set the glass on his nightstand, along with a second set of
painkillers, which I’m assuming he’ll need in the morning, and give
him another nudge. “Hey.”


This time I get nothing in the way of a response. I poke him twice
more, but still nothing. He can’t sleep on his back with how drunk
he is. He needs to be on his side or his stomach with a
wastebasket close by.


I can’t in good conscience leave him like this. My options are
limited. I shake my head as I kick off my shoes and climb up onto

the bed with him. This is not at all what I expected to be doing
when I brought him back up here.


I stare down at his sleeping form. His lips are parted, they’re nice
lips, full and plump, even though they’re mostly obscured by his
overgrown beard. His hair has started to unravel from its man bun,
wisps hanging in his face. He has long lashes, really long actually,
and they’re thick and dark, the kind women pay a lot of money for.
His nose is straight and his cheekbones— what I can see of
them—are high. With a haircut, a beard trim or complete shave,
and a new suit that actually fits, I can imagine how refined he’ll
look. More like a Moorehead than a mountain man lumberjack. I
shake my head. “I need you to roll onto your side, please,” I say


Nothing. Not even a grunt.


I pull on his shoulder, but he’s dead weight. Leaning over him, I
make a fist and give him a light jab approximately where his kidney
is. “Lincoln, roll over.”


And roll he does, knocking me down and turning over so he’s right
on top of me. We’re face-to-face. Good God, he’s heavy. His bones
must be made of lead. He shifts, one leg coming over both of mine.
I push at his knee, but his arm swings out and he wraps himself
around me on a low groan, pinning my arm to my side. He’s like a
giant human blanket.


“How did this become my life?” I say to the ceiling, because the
man lying on top of me is apparently out cold.


I try to wriggle free, I even yell his name a bunch of time before I
give up and wait for him to roll off me. And while I wait for that to
happen, I replay the conversation with his mother, Gwendolyn
Moorehead, that took place forty-eight hours ago and put me in this
awkward position underneath her drunk son.


I’d been standing in Fredrick’s office, still digesting the fact that he
was dead. It was shocking that a massive heart attack had taken
him, since he was always so healthy and full of life.


Gwendolyn, his wife—now a widow—stood stoic behind his desk,
papers stacked neatly in the center.


“I’m so very for your loss, Gwendolyn. If there’s anything I can do.
Whatever you need.” The words poured out, typical condolences,
but sincerely meant because I couldn’t imagine how my mother
and I would feel if we lost my father.


Gwendolyn’s fingers danced at her throat as she cleared it. “Thank
you,” she whispered brokenly and dabbed at her eyes. “I
appreciate your kindness, Wren.”


“Let me know what you want me to handle, and I’ll take care of it.”


She took a deep breath, composing herself before she lifted her
gaze to mine. “I need your help.”


“Of course, what can I do?”


“My oldest son, Lincoln, will be returning to New York for the
funeral, and he’ll be staying to help run the company.”


A hot feeling crept up my spine. I’d heard very little about Lincoln.
Everything from Armstrong’s mouth was scathing, Fredrick’s
passing references had been with fondness, and my interactions
with Gwendolyn had been minimal as it was Fredrick himself who
hired me, so this was first I’ve heard of Lincoln through her. “I see.
And how can I help with that?” I could only imagine how difficult
Armstrong would be if he had to share the attention with someone

else, particularly his brother.


“Transitioning Lincoln.” Gwendolyn rounded her desk. “You’ve
managed to turn around Armstrong’s reputation in the media
during the time you’ve been here. I know it hasn’t been easy, and
Armstrong can be difficult to manage.”


Difficult to manage is the understatement of the entire century
where Armstrong is concerned. He’s a cocksucker of epic
proportions. He’s also a misogynistic, narcissistic bastard that I’ve
had to deal with for the past eight months on a nearly daily

basis—sometimes even on weekends.


My job as his “handler” has been to reshape his horrendous
reputation after his involvement in several scandalous events
became very public. It wasn’t a job I necessarily wanted, and I was
prepared to politely reject the offer, but my mother asked me to
take the position as a favor to her since she’s a friend of


Beyond that, my relationship with my mother has been strained for
the past decade. When I was a teenager, I discovered information
that changed our relationship forever. Taking the job at Moorehead
was in part, my way of trying to help repair our fractured bond. The
financial compensation, which was ridiculously high, also didn’t
hurt. Besides, Gwendolyn is on nearly every single charitable
foundation committee in the city, and since that’s where my
interests lie, it seemed like a smart career move.


“Since you’re already working with Armstrong and things seem to
be settled there for the most part, I felt it would make sense to
keep you on here at Moorehead to work with Lincoln. He’s been
away from civilized society for several years. He’s nothing like his
brother, very altruistic and focused on his job, rather than
recreational pursuits, so he should be easier to manage.”


I fought a scoff at the last bit, since “recreational pursuits” was a
reference to the fact that Armstrong couldn’t seem to keep his
pants zipped when it came to women.


Gwendolyn pushed a set of papers toward me. “It would only be for
another six months. And of course, your salary would reflect the
double work load, since you’ll still have to maintain Armstrong in
some capacity while you assist Lincoln in transitioning into his role


“I’m sorry, what—”


Gwendolyn pulled me into an awkward hug, holding onto my
shoulders when she stepped back. Her eyes were glassy and red-
rimmed. “You have no idea how much I appreciate your willingness

to take this on. As soon as your contract is fulfilled, you have my
word that I’ll give you a glowing recommendation to whichever
organization you’d like. Your mother told me you’re interested in
starting your own foundation. I’ll certainly help you in any way I’m
able if you’ll stay on a little longer for me.” She dabbed at her
corner of her eyes and sniffed, then tapped the papers on the
desk. “I already have an agreement ready and an NDA, of course.
Everything is tabbed for signing.”


I’m pulled back into the present when Lincoln shifts and one of his
huge hands slides up my side and lands on my breast. At the same
time, he pushes his nose against my neck, beard tickling my
collarbone. He mutters something unintelligible against my skin.
I’m momentarily frozen in shock. Under any other circumstances, I
would knee him in the balls. However, he’s not conscious or even
semi-aware that he’s fondling me. Thankfully, now that he’s moved,
I have some wiggle room.


I elbow him in the ribs, which probably hurts me more than it does
him. At least it gets him to move away enough that I can slip out
from under him. I roll off the bed and pop back up, smoothing out
my now-wrinkled dress. My stupid nipples are perky, thanks to the
attention the right one just got. Probably because it’s the most
action I’ve seen since I started working for the Mooreheads eight
months ago.


I hit the lights on the way out of the bedroom, pause in the kitchen
to grab a glass of water and check out the sheet of paper on the
counter. It’s a list of important details regarding the penthouse,
including the entry code. I nab my purse, snap a pic, and head for
the elevators.

I have a feeling this is going to be a long six months.



From Handle With Care. Copyright © 2019 by Helena Hunting and reprinted
with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.






Handle With Care (Shacking Up, #5)Handle With Care by Helena Hunting
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #5, in the Shacking Up series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers, and to more understand the series, I recommend reading these in order.

Wren has been working with someone awful. When she is approached to help the awful guy's brother she hesitates. Then she figures her future plans are worth it. When she meets the man who she will be working with, she questions everything.

Lincoln absolutely hates being attracted to Wren at first. Then he realizes he cannot make it one day in this smothering city without her. He is used to fresh air, and now she is the air that keeps him alive. Can he keep her or will he lose her to the wind?

These characters are so vibrant and so real. I felt for them as I read each page. This series just seems to get better. The pace was good, the heat was HOT, and the book was just a great read.

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews



Handle With Care Blogger Q&A – with Author, Helena Hunting


Q: Can you tell us a little about your new release, Handle with Care?

A: Handle with Care follows the story of the reclusive Lincoln Moorehead, who has done everything he can to separate himself from his family and their massive media corporation. Upon the death of his father, he’s forced to come home for the funeral, and then asked to stay on to help transition the company with the assistance of Wren Sterling who has been commissioned to overhaul Lincoln’s image in the public eye. 


Q: Lincoln Morehead and Wren Sterling are the lead characters in Handle with Care. Which one of them did you find the easiest to develop? What is each characters best and worst traits?

A: I always find developing the male lead the easiest. I’m not sure why exactly that is, but Lincoln’s character was so easy to round out and develop. Lincoln’s worst trait is that he jumps to conclusions without first getting all the facts, but his best trait is his altruism. He’s very much about giving back, and despite the fact that he can be a grumpy jerk, he’s also an incredibly good human being. Wren’s worst trait is that she can be a martyr for things that are outside of her control but her best trait is her strength of character and her belief in redemption.


Q: What was your greatest challenge while Handle with Care? What was your greatest pleasure and/or reward?

A: Wren is a badass heroine, so I think finding the balance between her strength of character and those hints of vulnerability could be tricky at times. I really wanted to humanize her and make her relatable and I hope readers connect with her. I LOVED writing the banter between Linc and Wren. They are both such strong personalities, and that made putting them head to head so much fun. 


Q: Which do you find easiest to write-the humor or the heart?

A: Humor always seems to find a natural place inside the story, but for me it’s about the balance between the two. I love taking a heavy moment and inserting some kind of comic relief before I go for the feels again. 


Q: Do you work from an outline while writing your novels? How closely do the finished novels fit your original vision of the characters and storyline before you begin writing?

A: I outline extensively. Most of the time I have about ten thousand words of outline and character development before I even start writing. It’s just how I work most effectively. I need to know who my characters are going in and where I want them to be by the end of the book. I generally stick to my outlines very closely since they are so detailed.


Q: What did you edit OUT of this book?

A: A lot of f-bombs.



Q: Do you listen to music while writing? Does it influence the flow of the scene you are writing? 

A: I do. I create playlists for every single book I write, and I often (always) listen to the same playlist while I write the book. This means that I burn out albums and songs for my family on a very, very regular basis. My husbands list of artists he will no longer listen to grows exponentially with every release. Halsey always finds a place on my playlist and the song Joaquim by Oscar and the Wolf was a particular favorite.


Q: When sitting down to write a new book you have a specific outline to follow or does it just flow naturally?

A: The first step in my process is always to write an outline. I need the bones of the story down, where the character arcs will fall and what the conflicts will look like before I start writing the book.



Q: What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

A: I like hanging out with my daughter and craft. Recently we went camping, which was a fun experience, although I grew up with a family cottage so we would spend a lot of the summer there.


Q: Name three things on your desk right now.

A: Broken Knight by LJ Shen, Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey, Resist by K. Bromberg, Undeniable by Melanie Harlow, The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros (still gives me the chills when I think about it), Verity by Colleen Hoover.


Q: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

A: The banter between Wren and Linc and writing a grumpy, jerk hero who really isn’t a jerk but sure acts like one!


Q: To get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?

A: I have two cats, Digit is a 14 year old pure white polydactyl cat who sheds like nobodies business and Pumpkin (named by our daughter) is a 6 year old black cat who often thinks he’s a dog, eat edamame beans and begs for bacon at the table.



Q: You've written many books & bestsellers, in many genres.  What has been your favorite to write thus far?

A: That’s a hard question to answer. I love them all for very different reasons, but I will say that I had a lot of fun writing Wren and Linc because of the banter and how much I love writing a strong heroine.


Q: What was your favorite book or series in your youth?

A: I used to love reading VC Andrews books, and Clive Barker, which I realize are very, bery different!


Q: What would you like us (the readers) to take away from your story?

A: That families aren’t perfect and people can make mistakes, yet still grow from them.


Q: What is your favorite platform to connect with your reader to date?

A: I have a reader group called The Beaver Den and I love it in there. The readers are always sharing book experiences and it’s a great community! If you want to join my group you can do it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HelenaHuntingBeaverDen



Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

A: I just finished the third book in the All In Series, which the first book will be releasing this fall. Next I’m starting a standalone, but I also have a new series I’ll be starting soon, and I have a book idea or two for secondary characters in the last two books of The Shacking Up series, as well. It’s safe to say that my writing schedule is planned for the next two years!


Q: Do you believe in love at first sight?

A: I don’t know about love at first sight but when I saw my husband from across the room for the first time I thought, “man, he’s pretty” and then when we had our first conversation the connection was instant. I think people can “click” and be drawn to each other for inexplicable reasons.





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review 2019-07-18 07:10
Blog Tour w/Review - Making Up



Making Up

by Helena Hunting




A new standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting.  


Cosy Felton is great at her job—she knows just how to handle the awkwardness that comes with working at an adult toy store. So when the hottest guy she’s ever seen walks into the shop looking completely overwhelmed, she’s more than happy to turn on the charm and help him purchase all of the items on his list.  


Griffin Mills is using his business trip in Las Vegas as a chance to escape the broken pieces of his life in New York City. The last thing he wants is to be put in charge of buying gag gifts for his friend’s bachelor party. Despite being totally out of his element, and mortified by the whole experience, Griffin is pleasantly surprised when he finds himself attracted to the sales girl that helped him.  


As skeptical as Cosy may be of Griffin’s motivations, there’s something about him that intrigues her. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas and when real life gets in the way, all bets are off. Filled with hilariously awkward situations and enough sexual chemistry to power Sin City, Making Up is the next standalone in the

Shacking Up world.    






New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.  


Buy-Book Link: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250253378





We’re a couple of minutes away from my apartment, which also means we’re almost at the end of our date. End-of-date protocol often means a goodnight kiss.


And I’ve eaten onions. Lots of them. What the hell was I thinking? I feel around in my shorts pocket, hoping I have a random stick of gum. I find a tiny square packet and pull it out, along with an old tissue. I shove that back in my pocket and sigh with relief as I carefully open the Listerine Pocketpak. There’s one strip left. I pop it in my mouth, wishing I had water since my mouth is dry and I’m suddenly super nervous.


Griffin pulls up in front of my apartment building. I swallow a bunch of times, trying to get the strip to dissolve on my tongue and glance out the tinted window, seeing it from his perspective. I don’t live in a bad part of town, but I sure as hell wouldn’t leave this car sitting out here for any length of time unless I wanted it keyed or stripped down.


Griffin shifts into park and turns to me, one hand resting on the back of my seat near the headrest. “I had a great time, Cosy.”


“Me too, thanks for dinner.” I tried to fork over my share, but he was quick on the credit card draw.


“It was my pleasure.” He leans in the tiniest bit, a nonverbal cue that he’s going in for a kiss.


I mirror the movement, giving him the go ahead. My stomach flutters in anticipation. I exhale slowly through my nose. Even though the Listerine strip should be doing its job to mask the onions, I don’t want to ruin the moment by breathing that in his face.


His fingertips skim my jaw, and I close my eyes. And then his lips brush my cheek. I wait for them to move a couple of inches to the right, but after what feels like a lot of seconds—and is probably only a few—I crack a lid.


Griffin is still close, a wry smile on his lips and a smolder in his eyes.


“Seriously, that’s it? A kiss on the cheek?”


His smile widens, making his eyes crinkle at the corners. He’s nothing like the guys I usually end up on dates with. College boys don’t take things slow. If I were out with one of the guys from school, I’d be sitting in a beat-up Civic with some stupid music playing, and he’d be all over me with his tongue halfway down my throat, copping a feel.


“I thought all the onions you ate were the equivalent to garlic for vampires.” Griffin fingers my hair near my shoulder. I’d really like him to finger something else. Wait. I mean I’d like to feel his hands on me. Not in my pants. Okay, maybe I’d like them in my pants, but not after date number one.


“I wasn’t thinking, and I really like onions. A lot. In hindsight, it’s not a great date food. I feel kinda dumb. And I guess at first I wasn’t so sure about you. How was I supposed to know you’d actually be kind of normalish?”




“Well, you drink club soda on purpose, so you can’t be all there.” I tap his temple.


Griffin circles my wrist with his fingers and drops his head, lips brushing over my knuckle.


“We can’t all be perfect, now, can we?”


“I suppose not, and perfect is boring.”


“That it is.” He hums against my skin, and I feel it through my entire body. “I would like to try that kiss again, if you’re still interested.”









Making UpMaking Up by Helena Hunting

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is book #4, in the Shacking Up series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers and gain full understanding of this series, I recommend reading these in order.


Cosy has a hard job. She is Las Vegas, working at an adult toy store. When Griffin comes in she assumes he is just another perv off the street. Lots of those in Vegas.


Griffin is bowled away by Cosy from the moment they meet. He just has to figure a way to get her to go out with him. How will he ever survive a future that could be so blank now that he has met the one?


This is in my opinion, this author's best work to date. The characters feel very real. Flawed, good looking, and struggling to show excitement for their current situation. Then they get together and magic! I loved their banter and the heat was sizzling over. ***This early copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review.


View all my reviews





Helena Hunting Blog Tour Q&A MAKING UP


  • What inspired you to write Making Up?


I’d introduced Griffin in the previous Shacking Up Series novels, Shacking Up and Hooking Up—he was a bit of a mystery for readers because he was talked about, but not really present. I had a very clear picture in my mind of who he was, and the kind of woman who would end up being the perfect fit for him, and it was not his fiancé from the previous books.  


  • Introduce us to your main characters!


Griffin Mills is the oldest of the three Mills brothers. At thirty-three he’s had several very long term relationships and was formerly engaged, but that relationship went up in flames. He’s gorgeous, smart, loves the numbers side of the family business he’s part of—a chain of hotels he’s set to inherit with his brothers. Also, he’s a little awkward, which I love, because there’s nothing quite like a hot guy who doesn’t have all the lines and fumbles a bit when he’s dealing with someone he’s attracted to. It makes for some hilarious banter with his love interest, Cosy Felton. Our heroine is a twenty-two year old who has been a bit of a nomad for most of her life, but is finally finishing school and happens to work at an Adult Toy Store part time. It’s definitely not her favourite job, but it pays the bills. She’s sassy, not much of a planner and definitely more than Griffin bargained for.   


  • Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?


Just keep writing. Every day put words on the page and surround yourself with positive people who are there to support you. Ask questions, join book groups, be an avid reader and an observer.


  • How is Making Up different from your other books?


Making Up has a trope I’ve never really explored or played around with before, so it was a lot of fun to write. While I’ve written age gaps before, it hasn’t been a key part of the storyline, or had a significant impact on how the characters perceive the relationship. Griffin and Cosy are from two very different worlds and balancing their expectations and insecurities was one of my favourite parts of writing their story. Making Up has my signature quirky, sassy heroines and I love writing heroes that are sexy, yet a little awkward. While it’s a light read, there’s some drama, and some heavy baggage, which I think grounds the story and balances out the hilarity.


  • I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?


I’ve been so lucky to read so many amazing books this year but I’m going to go with Broken Knight by LJ Shen which releases this August. I love YA/NA romance and angst, and she knows how to deliver both flawlessly.


  • Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?


We all need a little escape from our own realities once in a while and Making Up is a fun, sexy romance that’s perfect for the summer. Also, Griffin is hot, and not particularly suave at times. I think we can all appreciate a guy who doesn’t have all the lines, especially if he looks like he should.


  • A famous movie producer wants to make your books into movies and they want you to cast your characters from Making Up. Which actors/actresses make the cut?


This is always a fun question and I’ll be 100% honest, I never actually look at actors prior to writing a story because I generally have a picture of the character in my head. But, I went on a Pinterest mission and Alex Morgan (she’s a soccer player, not an actress) would make a fabulous Cosy if she suddenly switched career paths. Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee) is super sassy, and could definitely play up the humor in this story, so she would be a legitimate actress choice. Gabriel Macht has a great smolder and can rock a seriously sexy suit, so I think he’d be great as Griffin.


  • Favorite quote or scene you wrote in Making Up?


  Making Up is definitely a rom-com with some incredibly hilarious moments, but Griffin has some heavy baggage, which means there are also serious moments, and this is one of my favourites: “Talk to me. Fall apart on me. Show me your weakness so I can give you my strength.”  


  • What inspired you to become a writer?


  I’ve always loved to write, but finding time was a challenge during university and then afterward I was building a career and we renovated a house down to the studs—which takes up a lot of time and doesn’t leave much of an opportunity for putting down words (but it was an amazing experience). When I gave birth to my daughter she struggled to sleep—or rather stay asleep—and that meant I spent a lot of time awake in the middle of the night. So I started writing again during those late nights, and finally penned my first full novel.  


  • What is a typical writing day like?


  I usually start with a run and then copious amounts of coffee while I manage the administrative side of things—ie emails, social media posts etc. But when I sit down to write I have a playlist I put on repeat, more coffee, sparking water (so I can stay hydrated) and my cat Pumpkin generally lies on top of my closed laptop and supervises me for the day.   


  • Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?


  I listen to the same playlist while I write a novel. So if it takes me two months, then I listen to the same set of songs for two full months. I’ve destroyed A LOT of albums for my husband over the past several years. I just need the background noise, and listening to the radio or unfamiliar songs can be distracting.


  • What has been one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a published author?


  I’ve only been in the industry for five years and there has been so much change, learning to adjust and adapt and just staying true to your personal goal is really the most important thing I’ve learned. I think when you start out there are just so many unknowns, and taking risks can be scary, but if you don’t take those risks, it’s hard to grow as an author.  


  • Can you tell us about what’scoming up next after this for you writing wise?


  I have one more book in The Shacking Up Series, HANDLE WITH CARE, which releases at the end of August! Griffin’s cousin and best friend, Lincoln Moorehead, is the hero and if you didn’t know, he is also Armstrong’s brother. Lincoln is the polar opposite of Armstrong so it was so fun to write. I can’t wait for people to meet Griffin and Cosy and Lincoln and Wren.   


  • How can readers connect with you online?


  They can connect with me all over social media!


Website→   http://www.helenahunting.com/

Amazon →  http://amzn.to/1y6OBB7 

Twitter → http://bit.ly/HelenaHTwitter 

Facebook  → https://www.facebook.com/helena.hunting69/

Pinterest →  http://bit.ly/1oQYRVN 

Instagram →  http://instagram.com/helenahunting Goodreads→ http://bit.ly/GoodReadsHH NEWSLETTER  → http://bit.ly/HelenaHnewsletter 

Bookbub →  http://bit.ly/BookBubHH 

Facebook Reader Group  →  http://bit.ly/TheBeaverDenHH 



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text 2019-02-20 07:10
Book Tour - Cold-Blooded


As the toughest son with the fewest morals, Manō Alana promised his mother that he’d protect his siblings. Since her death, he’s embraced his role as the family heavy, but killing is the one part of his job he hates. And the awful nightmares driving him to commit violence aren’t doing him any favors—nor is the sinister, ancient magic calling to him from under the slopes of a dormant volcano.


A shakeup in power between rival drug lords reveals a half brother Manō didn’t know he had, complicating the Alana family’s plans to take over the marijuana trade on Maui. Not only that, but one wrong move could turn the sexy cop he’s involved with against the family.

When a crime the Alanas fought hard to bury is exposed, their whole cartel is in danger. Now Manō’s blood has him trapped between two clans: the siblings he’s loved since they were kids, and the ruthless, shadowy kin he just learned he has.


Manō can either succumb to the darkness threatening to drag him under or tap in to its power and embrace his role as a cold-blooded killer.




About the Book:


Cold-Blooded by Kendall Grey

Series: Ohana Book Two

Genre: Adult, Supernatural Suspense

Publisher: Howling Mad Press

Publication Date: February 19, 2019


Purchase Your Copy Today!


Also Available On:





What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

A trip to Australia several years ago sparked the backdrop for my Just Breathe urban fantasy series. I was part of a whale research team and learned a ton about whales during my time there. Many of my experiences in Hervey Bay, Queensland became actual scenes in the Just Breathe books.

I also own property on Maui and go there at least once a year. Early visits fueled my ‘Ohana supernatural suspense series and gave me lots of ideas for not only portraying the setting of those books but also Hawaiian culture.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. Writing can be exhilarating or debilitating, depending on the book. When I write comedy, I usually have loads of fun. Heavier stories can be hard on the soul, though.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Yes! I have two pseudonyms—Seven Slade (check out COMING OUT, a friends-to-lovers romance with a twist) and Kendall Day (FALLING FOR MR. SLATER is an enemies-to-lovers teacher romance).

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I tried writing what everyone else writes, but it’s not for me. I’d rather make art than house payments (just ask Letty Dillinger, the heroine of my Hard Rock Harlots series). If I can’t write what I want, I don’t enjoy it. No point in being miserable, so I write original stories from my heart and hope the right readers will find them.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I took most of the money I made from STRINGS and put it toward my condo on Maui. Best investment ever! But nowadays, a good investment for me is paying a solid editor and quality cover designer for every novel. Bad editing and bad covers will ruin a book.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

THE PRICE YOU PAY by Aidan Truhen. It’s effing brilliant and so, so funny!

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Whales, of course! Whales have been my spirit animals since 2006 when I met my first one off the coast of Massachusetts. I wrote an entire series based on them (INHALE, EXHALE, and JUST BREATHE).

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Currently, three. They’re all written and have been through first-round edits, but for various reasons, I haven’t gotten back to finishing and publishing them. Maybe one day.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

My research is always extensive. I don’t often do a ton of research before writing, but I’ll stop to look things up while I’m writing. I’m a firm believer in fact-checking every little detail I’m not sure about.

What did you edit out of this book?

I had to cut several thousand words from COLD-BLOODED on the advice of my betas and editor, and it broke my heart. There’s one scene that provides the answers to all the mysteries in the ‘Ohana series (as well as a connection to my Just Breathe series and its upcoming spin-off books). Readers said it slowed the pace too much. While I understand that, it was painful to delete it. I wanted to yell, “The entire book is unpacked here, and you’re not seeing it! UGH!” But they were right. The scene slowed the pace too much, so I worked around it. Maybe I’ll published that deleted scene someday.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

Ideally, I’d be a marine naturalist on whale watch boats.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

YES! All the time. In fact, pretty much every book I’ve published is connected in some way to the others. Sometimes it’s the characters; sometimes the worlds overlap. I love finding ways to connect my stories, even if readers don’t notice. It makes me feel like I’m welcoming a new member to the Kendall Grey ‘Ohana. Ha!

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Dealing with my own emotions around writing. I’m very hard on myself and have paper-thin skin. The tiniest bit of criticism hurts. When I get edits or beta feedback, I have to read through everything and step away from it for a few days so I can come back later and look at it more objectively. I try not to read reviews. Those can be brutal. It’s best to avoid reading other people’s opinions of my work.

Does your family support your career as a writer?

My husband is by far my biggest supporter. My kids pretty much ignore anything to do with my book stuff. Ha! My parents have both passed away, but my dad was around during my first release, and even though he didn’t read the story, he was very supportive. My sister and a couple aunts are also amazing. The rest of the family … I don’t think most of them view what I do as valuable or an actual job, even though this has been my full-time job since 2008. I don’t talk about my work around friends or family much. They’re just not interested.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Absolutely. I struggle with depression, and that puts a dent in my writing mojo from time to time. When I’m feeling down for long stretches, I can’t write. Thankfully, it’s been a while since I had a depressive episode, so writing has been much easier this last year. But yes, writer’s block is very real for me.




About Kendall Grey:


A whale warrior, indie freedom fighter, and vodka martini aficionado, KENDALL GREY is calm like an F-bomb*. She writes about fierce women and the men who love them. Her aliases include Kendall Day (FALLING FOR MR. SLATER) and Seven Slade (COMING OUT).


Kendall lives off a dirt road near Atlanta, Georgia, with three mischievous Demonlings, a dashing geek in cyber armor, a long-haired miniature Dachshund that thinks she’s a cat, and an Aussie shepherd mix whose ice-blue eyes will steal your heart and hold it for ransom.


*Detonation manual not included.


Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  | 

 Pinterest  |  YouTube  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon




This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.





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text 2019-02-07 07:10
Book Tour - Unlucky in Love

Unlucky in Love
A.J. Renee

Publication date: January 30th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


Lucky in Love.


That’s the name of the dating app I picked, hoping to find Mr. Better Than Average so I can hold off planning my future as a cat lady.


I’ve been distracted eyeballing a tall, dark, and handsome Latin hottie who works in the library with me. He is way out of my league, and a woman has needs if you know what I mean.

Finding a man shouldn’t be hard when all I have to do is swipe left or right. It’ll weed out the slimy men who have Bad Date written all over them.

Yeah, I’m learning quickly that I’m rather unlucky in love after all. The men I pick need warning labels, kissing lessons, and a good talking-to about manners.


Should I throw in the towel, or will this series of bad dates be exactly what I need to win Mr. Right?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo





Author Interview with Author, A.J. Renee




  1. What was your favorite book in your youth?

I loved reading the Babysitter’s Club.


  1. Do you write to music or make music playlists for your works?

It depends on my mood. I created my first playlist for Unlucky in Love.


  1. Your degrees and education are quite impressive. What started the urge to write?

Thanks. I’ve always had a creative streak but never imagined I’d be a writer. My best friend passed suddenly, and a story popped in my head that wouldn’t shut up until I wrote it. Widower’s Aura was the product of my grief and it set me on my current path.


  1. What are you hoping your writing/this book will impress upon your readers?

Unlucky in Love is about hope. Izzy left the dating game and decides to give things a try again. The outcome isn’t what she expects and just as she considers giving up she’s surprised. Life is full of surprises. You don’t always find love where you expect it or when you want it. Don’t lose hope.


  1. Will you share something with our readers that you have never shared with anyone else?

I’m a pretty open person so this is hard! Not a clever fact but no one knows… Izzy’s boss in Unlucky in Love was inspired by my old boss doing that same job.


  1. Do you have another genre you want to write but have not tried yet?

I love reading romance novels, so I don’t see myself leaving the genre as a writer. Maybe one day an idea will form for a novel in Horror?


  1. What most influences your books?

Life. People I meet or see spurn the ideas. Sometimes out on a run something will come out of nowhere and I’m forced to stop and jot it down in my phone.


  1. Where is a fan best to find you online?

I’m on a variety of social media, but I’m the most active on Facebook or my reader group, St. Fleur Belles.





Author Bio:


AJ Renee is the author behind the St. Fleur series, Beauty Unmasked, Winter’s Surprise, Surviving Paris, and Finding Love at the Falls…. She’s a military wife and mother to three young girls. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with her Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology while working at the library.


She loves to write steamy romance with suspense and a happily ever after. When she isn’t writing or interacting with her readers, you can find her spending time with her family or reading. AJ enjoys traveling, researching family history, and all things New Orleans.


Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



a Rafflecopter giveaway





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text 2019-02-02 10:55
Book Blitz & Giveaway with Q & A! Build (Burns Brothers #1) Gillian Archer!





Hello, Readers! I have am going to share another contemporary romance release with you today – Build – the 1st book in the Burns Brothers series by Gillian Archer! Enjoy & don’t forget to enter the giveaway!





Build: A Bad Boy Snowed In Romance 
by Gillian Archer 
(Burns Brothers #1) 
Publication date: January 29th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance




Welcome to Badass Builds where the motorcycles are as sexy as the brothers building them.


Austin Burns:

I thought she wasn’t real the first time I saw her. To be fair I was a hungover mess when I woke up and looked into her gorgeous eyes. After getting the second worst news of my life—that my father would be paroled soon—I’d escaped to my buddy’s posh cabin near Lake Tahoe. Now the maid with the gorgeous eyes is snowed in with me, and I wonder if she might be a better distraction than the mountain of booze I’d planned on drinking. She’s curvy in all the right places, and the snow is falling faster.


Rachel Tannenbaum:

As a single mom, I don’t have time for men, especially irresponsible tattooed bad boys like my ex. But Austin is hot. And sexy. And stuck here in the cabin with me. I can’t say no to fling with this bad boy, especially since Austin is so gorgeous and awkwardly sweet.


One night becomes two, and I don’t know if I can risk my heart—and my little boy’s—if Austin wants it to become more when we get through the snow and back to reality.





Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41735486-build





AVAILABLE in ebook

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2Tfypv4

B&N: http://bit.ly/2FEwb6h

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FIq9BC

iBooks: https://apple.co/2PSUl1A






LET’S give a warm welcome to Gillian Archer! She’s here to tell us about BUILD!

HELLO, GILLIAN! Thanks for joining us today!

Thanks so much for having me. I’m thrilled to share my new release with you!



- Summary of the book (In your own words)


Alpha male gets snowed in with cleaning lady. Sexiness ensues then they have to figure out if they can have a future together when they get back to reality.




- Please share the opening 3 lines of this book:


Days like today, I really wish I’d been an only child.
“You’re full of sh*t if you think the West Coast Kings are going to be happy with a paint job like that.” My younger brother by eighteen months, Nathan, growled as we stood in our workshop with all my brothers gathered around the cans for the Kings build.




- 3 Fun Facts about the book.


*The first half (where the hero & heroine are snowed in together) takes place in Lake Tahoe, CA where I married my husband fifteen years ago.

*The Burns Brothers series was inspired by my True Brothers MC series and my late night watching of the tv show American Chopper. The Burns Brothers are just as dysfunctional but in a relatable and hopefully a redeemable way.

*Rachel’s son, Wyatt, was loosely base on my three year-old daughter and all the crazy things she says.





- If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why? (Please share a little snippet of the scene)

Probably the scene where the hero helps the heroine with her fear of dogs.





I flinched when Austin appeared at my side. My fight or flight instincts kicked in as I took a few steps back—away from him or the dog I didn’t know. I just wanted to fly away.


“Whoa. Hold up. It’s okay. No one here—man or dog—is gonna hurt you. If it’ll make you feel better, you can take your charger and hole up in a bedroom with the door locked or whatever. Here.” He held the cord out in his hand and the gentle, understanding look in his eyes melted me, and I started babbling.


“I don’t want to be antisocial, it’s just that dogs kinda scare me.” And you kinda scare me too.

“Ah, I’m sorry, sweetheart. I’ll put him in the garage so you don’t—”

“Oh no. You don’t have to do that. I don’t want you kicking him out. I can hang out upstairs or something.”


“It’s not exactly like I’m putting Blue out in the cold. Cole’s garage is nicer than most people’s houses. It’s nicer than the house I grew up in. Blue will be fine.”

I shook my head as I accepted the cord. “I’d still feel bad.”


Austin rocked back on his heels and stuffed his hands in his back pockets. “How deep is this fear of yours? Could you come over and meet Blue? I’ll turn on the lights and stand between you. Despite his size, he’s really a big marshmallow, I swear.”


I bit my lip in indecision. Austin was persuasive, but my fear of dogs went pretty deep. If Blue was a Pitbull, I was out of here. “What breed is he?”


“He’s a Great Dane. They’re the teddy bears of dogs, I promise.”


“I, uh, okay.”


Austin smiled at me as he grabbed my hand. My heart stuttered for a second before it pounded hard in my chest. I’d like to attribute my sudden arrhythmia to fear, but I knew better. I just didn’t want to think about it. Nothing was going to come of this anyway—Austin still thought I had a man back home.


He flicked on the light switch with his other hand, flooding the room with light. I blinked against the glare then focused on the large dog on the floor. My whole body tensed. The dog’s head tilted as he watched me. Unlike the monster that’d mauled me as a teenager, this dog was kinda…lazy looking. Blue let out a soft sigh then fell over onto his side with a human sounding groan. My lips curled slightly, and most of the tension drained from me. He looked sweet and not threatening at all.


“See? He’s a lazy lump. Most days I’m lucky if I can get him off the couch. He’s like a big, lazy teenager but with none of the attitude. And trust me, I’d know.”


I nodded slightly, not letting Blue out of my sight. I knew Austin was the oldest of four brothers. But I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to look like the crazy stalker I clearly was.


Austin’s rumbling voice tore me from my thoughts. “Are you okay with getting closer to him? Blue won’t mind.”


“I, uh, okay,” I mumbled. Blue looked sweet enough, but I was still too nervous to trust he was a teddy bear. He still looked very doglike to me.


“I got Blue two years ago. When he was a puppy, he was the size of most medium adult dogs. But he was as lazy as ever, even as a puppy.” Austin chattered away as we approached the dog in question. Blue blinked languidly at us but didn’t get up, or even lift his head. A low thumping sound pulsed in the silent room as Blue’s tail wagged, walloping away at the floor. “He’s lazy; he won’t get up even when he’s excited.”


My smile grew as I watched Austin kneel down next to the prone dog. He rubbed Blue on his ribs, but still the dog didn’t really move—aside from his tail, which continued to thump against the floor. “Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?”

The baby talk was ridiculously sweet and totally at odds with his professional persona. With the tattoos and muscles and overall badass aura, it made my ovaries flutter to watch Austin caress and sweet talk his dog. And it totally distracted me from my fear, right up to the point that Austin grabbed my hand again.


“You okay with giving him a little pat? I’ll keep myself between you two for your peace of mind, but you’ve got nothing to worry about. He let my brothers lay on top of him.”


My heartbeat thrummed in my ears from the combination of my fear and Austin’s touch. But that sweet, soft look in his eye had me grinning, and before I even realized it, words were coming out of my mouth. “I, uh, yeah sure. That’s okay.”

Austin guided my hand toward Blue’s blue-grey coat. The dog didn’t flinch as our entwined hands moved over him. His fur was soft and kinda bristly. And warm. After a minute Blue groaned again and rolled onto his back, leaving his soft fleshy belly exposed.


“He really loves belly rubs. Here.” Austin moved our hands over Blue’s belly which felt surprisingly like my own skin—soft, hairless, and with that give of a not really firm tummy.


I laughed as I petted him. Austin smiled and looked into my eyes as our hands continued to move over Blue.


“See? Nothing to worry about. Blue’s just a big ol’ baby. Not a scary bone in his body.” Austin’s fingers linked with mine for a second.


I looked down at our joined hands and felt a tingle between my legs. It’d been so, so long since I’d been near a guy I kinda liked, let alone touched one. But I knew no matter how I felt, nothing would ever come of it. I had a son at home, a mom to take care of, and besides, I doubted he had the same jolt that I’d felt just because our hands had touched. He still thought I was married.


You could fix that, a naughty little voice whispered in my head. But I couldn’t think of a way to bring it up that didn’t sound like a come-on. I didn’t want to look like a needy hussy, especially if he wasn’t into me. How embarrassing would that be, if I all but threw myself at him and he rejected me? Meanwhile, we had to spend however much time together. Alone.


No thank you.





- What do you want people to take away from reading this book?


That family has so many different definitions. And everyone deserves their own HEA!



- What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2019?


I should have book 2 of the Burns Brothers series, FAST, (aka Ryan’s story) available in the summer and maybe book 3 (Dylan’s story) by the end of the year!



What’s your stance on snow? Love it? Hate it? Wish it would go away already? (That last one might be mine….) Let me know in the comments!





· $25 Amazon gift card


Giveaway ends Feb 7th:


a Rafflecopter giveaway






Gillian has a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering but prefers to spend her time on happily ever after. She writes the kind of stories she loves to read—the hotter the better!


When Gillian’s not pounding away on the keyboard, she can be found surfing the couch indulging in her latest reality tv fixation, baking something ridiculously tasty (and horrible for her waist line) or snuggling with her husband.


Home is currently in the wilds of Nevada with her amazing husband, ridiculously cute kiddo, and goofy dog.

Website - https://www.gillianarcher.com/


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/GillianArcherWrites/


Twitter - https://twitter.com/gillianarcher


InstaGram - https://www.instagram.com/gilliarcher/


Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4970467.Gillian_Archer











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