Saturday, April 29, 2023

This OR That #Giveaway № 102 ~ For Internal Use Only by Cari Kamm OR Whoever You Are by Donna Marie Lanheady #ForInternalUseOnly #WhoeverYouAre


I have sooooo many books!

The This or That Giveaway! feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to cull my collection and to share some of the many books I have. I get to clear off some of my shelves to make room for more books and give someone else the chance to enjoy these treasures.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


For Internal Use Only
by Cari Kamm
Paperback ~ February 2013

Chloe Kassidy has just been accepted into one of Manhattan’s most exclusive art exhibits, Love Through Light. However, with her singular dedication to her career, she soon realizes that in sacrificing her personal life, she has never been in love. A hopeless romantic who is terrified of heartbreak, Chloe begins to enlist the help of her circle of friends to learn about love through their very different stories and experiences.

In Chloe’s emotional rollercoaster to having the greatest love story ever told, she’ll learn that like her photography she must use the negatives in life to develop and prove that she’s a strong woman who found her way to love through light.

Inspired by the notion that women grow up with ideas of true love and destiny, For Internal Use Only approaches those ideas with a decidedly twenty-first century viewpoint. A humorous love story with an edgy and dramatic twist, For Internal Use Only is a vastly entertaining novel that gives each of us a new fairy tale to look forward to: our own.


Whoever You Are
by Donna Marie Lanheady
Paperback ~ September 2012

A complex family drama of buried truths and self discovery.

What defines you... and what happens when something you think defines you changes?

Emily McGinn, a recurring character from Where Secrets Lie, believes she knows exactly who she is and where she belongs in the world, until she stumbles upon a buried family truth. Emily's quest to excavate the truth alters her perception of the people closest to her and shifts her perception of herself as well, undermining what she thought was a straightforward life.

Set in the unique and breathtaking foothills community of Boulder, Colorado and its environs, Whoever You Are follows Emily’s tumultuous journey as she reassesses not only how she defines herself, but also how she defines family and whether she bears any responsibility for the actions of those who came before her.



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Thursday, April 27, 2023

Book Blitz! Stars Like Gasoline by Jessika Grewe Glover ~ Excerpt and #Giveaway! #StarsLikeGasoline @jessikamittens @XpressoTours


Stars Like Gasoline by Jessika Grewe Glover
Publication date: April 24th 2023
Genres: Adult, Thriller

When Celia, a Florida art curator, purchases the haunted house of her brother’s deceased fiancé, the spirits threaten her life and her career. To rid the home of the malevolent ghosts, she enlists the help of her brother, Oscar, and Adrian, the best friend of Oscar’s late fiancé, who’d been killed as an Afghanistan veteran. The three are about to be thrown into a chasm of events involving a dead French artist, a Dutch aerospace heiress, and a missing Japanese painter who is presumed to be dead. Not to mention a stalker that begins to threaten Celia and Oscar.

The link between these events appears to be a hidden journal from the 1980s Celia discovers in the home, belonging to a dead, but revered French artist. As Adrian helps decipher the clues, an attraction burns between him and Celia, raising the stakes of the game someone is playing. A game that no one might make it out of alive.

Goodreads | Amazon



“The blisters hurt like the devil when the water hit them, and the open sores on my ankles were screaming demons at me. The night was the kind of heat the air conditioning doesn’t quite hold the upper hand over. Every window was fogged over with moisture. A 2019 Kikumoto painting with no title was a rare find indeed. If I could only get the release for the other piece I’d found, I could bet the gala would draw art dealers and patrons from much farther than our usual guests. Strange that the Cesar acquisition had come from Fort Pierce. While it had a small arts community, the town just south of us wasn’t known for the careful upper-middle-class and bourgeois lifestyle of Vero Beach. Maybe I was tired, but it felt like I was missing vital puzzle pieces here. An anonymous donation of a huge Cesar collection, Kikumotos appearing out of nowhere, seemingly belonging to no one, and a Cesar having once been in my house but now missing.

Cabinet doors slammed in the kitchen, and a thump preceded the sound of running water. I jumped in my seat, leaving my laptop open on the small writing desk, which sat facing the front window. Goosebumps ran a race up my legs and arms, chilling every inch of me. Clenched fingers opened and closed over my phone. Screw it. I texted Oscar.

Something is in here. Don’t call Adrian. If you’re already home, no worries. Just letting you know.

As I raised my eyes from the phone screen, a reflection caught in the fogged window. Silhouetted against the arcing bougainvillea was a man, standing directly behind me. The chair crashed to the floor as I stood like a jack-in-the-box. An icy touch reached out. I grabbed at the salt from the windowsill and tossed it at the shape, watching as the aberration in the room broke apart momentarily. A Spode Blue Italian salt bowl sat on the corner of the black spindle-legged desk. I cupped my fingers into the salt granules, pulled a handful, and spun in a quick circle, entrapping myself within the purported protection circle. I chanted an old Wiccan protection spell I’d found in an eighteenth-century grimoire in Boston and watched the spirit come closer and closer to the circle.

“Elements of Day,

Rays of Sun,

Hear what I say

“Goddess of Night,

Strength of Other,

Goddess of Light,

Protection of Mother.”

God only knows why I had that memorized when I’d only seen the piece a handful of times. The Catholic side of the family would be appalled by my use of a Wiccan spell, but La Madre María hadn’t been working so far."


About the author

Jessika Grewe Glover is the author of Another Beast’s Skin, the first book in a contemporary fantasy trilogy. She grew up in Miami dreaming of magic and other realms in which to escape the heat. She currently resides in the Los Angeles area with her British expat husband, two kids, and the world’s fastest bulldog.

Connect with Jessika

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Book Blitz! Return to Hummingbird Way by Reese Ryan ~ Excerpt and #Giveaway! #ReturnToHummingbirdWay @ReeseRyanWrites @XpressoTours


Return to Hummingbird Way by Reese Ryan
Publication date: April 25th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

In this heartwarming small‑town romance, can three months, two planning projects, and a meddling grandmother finally make two high school hate crushes see just how right they are for each other?

Ambitious real estate agent Sinclair Buchanan is ecstatic to be her best friend’s maid-of-honor—until she discovers the best man is Garrett Davenport. Sin and Rett’s mutual hate crush ignited when they were teens and hasn’t let up since . . . except for that one extremely hot (and extremely regrettable) night they shared five years ago.

Nothing gets Rett fired up like going toe-to-toe with Sinclair. She’s as infuriatingly stubborn, and as absolutely gorgeous, as when he fell for her back in high school. Working together to plan their best friends’ last-minute wedding is one thing, but when his matchmaking grandmother gets involved Rett knows he’s in deep. Attraction has always simmered between them, but this time, they’re both in danger of losing their hearts.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play



“Garrett Davenport, how very nice of you to finally show up.” Sinclair sashayed toward him, clutching a clear clipboard decorated with a colorful floral design.

Sinclair assessed him with disdain, flecks of green and gold dancing in those large hazel eyes he’d been mesmerized by from the first moment he’d laid eyes on them in high school. She pursed her glossy pink lips, her nostrils flaring, and planted a fist on one curvy hip.

The bossy little she-devil was infuriating, attitudish, and fucking gorgeous. And she damn well knew it.

Her floral, sleeveless dress showed off her toned arms and sculpted shoulders—a feature he’d never noticed on a woman before, let alone been attracted to. The hem of the flirty little skirt grazed her midthigh, accentuating her tawny brown skin, a shade that landed smack between her father’s dark brown skin and her mother’s olive skin tone.

Sinclair flipped her hair, a deep, rich brown highlighted with ribbons of honey blond, over one shoulder and ran her manicured nails through the waterfall of shoulder-length waves. Her gaze bore into him, and if looks could kill, he’d be lying on the floor stone cold.

“You do realize you’re an hour late to your own best friend’s engagement party.” She leaned into him, speaking in a harsh whisper that only he could hear. “You sure you gon’ be able to show up for the wedding on time?”

Her nasally voice reminded him of Whitley Gilbert’s from A Different World. And just a few minutes into the conversation, she’d already intimated that he was an unreliable slacker. Rett clenched his jaw. Yet, as annoyed as he was, he couldn’t help noticing how hot Sin looked tonight.

“Sorry I’m late,” Rett finally managed. He shoved his hands, balled into fists, into his pockets. “Something came up.”

Sinclair’s gaze dropped to the placket in front of his zipper momentarily. Her eyes widened and her cheeks and forehead flushed. She quickly returned her attention to the clipboard.

Maybe he wasn’t the only one who couldn’t forget their previous encounter.

“It’s always some excuse with you, Rett.” Sinclair wrapped her arms around the clipboard, clutching it to her chest. Her eyes didn’t quite meet his.

Was she clutching the clipboard because he made her nervous? Or was she shielding her body’s reaction after shamelessly ogling him two minutes into their conversation?

It didn’t matter. Because Sinclair Buchanan was as irritating now as she’d been when they’d been forced to hang out together while Dexter and Dakota had dated in high school. She seemed to hate him on sight back then. But he hadn’t helped matters when he’d tried to talk his cousin out of getting serious with Sin’s best friend.

When Dex had suddenly ended things with Dakota the Christmas after he’d left for college, Sinclair had confronted Rett outside his grandmother’s house. She’d been as mad as a hornet and had cussed him out six ways to Sunday—sure he’d been behind the breakup.

He hadn’t been. But he hadn’t bothered telling her so. Besides, as distraught as she’d been, he’d doubted Sinclair would’ve believed a single word he’d said.

Since Dexter and Dakota’s reconciliation, Sinclair must surely have learned the truth: he had nothing to do with Dexter and Dakota’s breakup back then. In fact, he’d been as shocked by it as anyone. But evidently, it didn’t matter, because Sinclair clearly still wasn’t a fan. Though she certainly had been that night in his hotel room, given the enthusiasm with which she’d called his name and the marks she’d left on his back.

“It’s not an excuse, Sin. I planned to be here on time, but I was sidetracked by—”

“Didn’t think you were going to make it.” Dexter approached, holding Dakota’s hand. The two of them looked ridiculously happy, and Rett felt a slight twinge of envy.

“And miss your engagement party?” Rett slapped palms and clasped hands with Dex. “No way, cuz. Been waiting half my life to see you finally tie the knot with this beautiful lady.” He turned toward his cousin’s soon-to-be better half. “Congrats, Dakota.”

“Thank you, Rett.” Dakota’s grin lit her brown eyes. She gave him a big hug. “And for the record, I knew you’d be here tonight. It was these two who were sweating it.” She gestured toward Dex and Sinclair, then glanced around the room. “Mama Mae didn’t come with you?”

“She’s sick and didn’t much appreciate me fussing over her,” Rett said.

“But you did anyway.” Dakota smiled. “The relationship you two have is adorable.”

“’Cause Mama Mae is the only woman who can get him to behave,” Sinclair muttered as she scanned her clipboard. When they all turned to look at her, Sin looked up and shrugged. “What? You know it’s true.”

“Be nice, Sin.” Dakota pointed a finger at her best friend. “You promised you two would get along.”

“Fine.” She flashed Rett a dead-eyed smile and turned up the Whitley Gilbert singsong southern belle voice. “We are so very glad that you could join us this evening, Garrett. I was just about to ask the staff to take the food away. So please make yourself a plate.” She batted her long, thick eyelashes. “In fact, why don’t I escort you to the buffet?”

Dexter and Dakota snickered, and Rett couldn’t help chuckling to himself.

That was as warm a greeting as he could expect from the former beauty queen, who now employed that same charm in her job as one of the island’s top real estate agents. Evidently, she reserved that charm for people not named Rett Davenport.

Sinclair turned and walked toward the buffet, indicating that he should come with. He did, captivated by the subtle sway of her hips as he followed in the wake of her soft, delicate scent. All of it taking him back to that night they’d shared in Raleigh five years ago.

Yes, he’d been an immature jerk to Sinclair in high school. She clearly still held a grudge and had no intentions of letting him forget it. Despite the night they’d shared.

Fine. Because he wasn’t here for Sinclair. He was here for Dexter and Dakota. For them, he’d tolerate Ms. Thing. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t have a little fun with her.


About the author

Reese Ryan writes sexy, deeply emotional romances with family drama, surprising secrets, and unexpected twists.

Past president of her local Romance Writers of America chapter and a panelist at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Reese is an advocate for the romance genre and diversity in fiction.

Connect with Reese

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Bookbub | Youtube

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Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Release Day Blitz! Deep Tide by Laura Griffin ~ Excerpt #DeepTide @Laura_Griff @BerkleyPub @penguinrandom

Happy Release Day!

Congrats Laura
on the release today of
Deep Tide!

Deep Tide by Laura Griffin
Romantic Suspense, 352 pages
Published April 25, 2023 by Berkley Romance

An undercover FBI agent and an independent coffee shop owner must team up when a local barista is found dead and danger circles their coastal Texas town in this new romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.

With two brothers on the police force, Leyla Breda is well aware of the rising crime in her small beach town, but she never expected it to show up on her doorstep. When Leyla finds one of her employees murdered in the alley behind her coffee shop, she's deeply shaken, and as a new law enforcement officer in town begins to circle her place of business, her instincts only sharpen.

Sean Moran is on an undercover The seaside community of Lost Beach may look like a picturesque postcard, but his team suspects it's a point of intersection for several crime syndicates that the FBI has been investigating for years. Even so, when the brash and beautiful Leyla Breda starts bossing him around, he's immediately intrigued. He knows her brothers want him to back off, but every time he sees her, he feels more of a spark.

Leyla's connections in the local community and Sean's skills allow them to go deeper into the case together than they would be able to go alone. But when a single crime spirals into something much darker, Sean's carefully planned mission takes a deadly turn.


Sean Moran slipped away from the party. The bride and groom had left under a shower of rice, but people were still milling around beneath swags of white lights, drinking the couple’s booze and enjoying the breeze off the water. Sean would have liked another drink, but he needed to get back to his condo. As he crossed the wooden bridge spanning the sand dunes, he spied a woman on the beach with a champagne flute in hand.

Leyla Breda.

Her formfitting dress looked silver in the moonlight, and it shimmered against her body as she strolled toward the surf. Nearing a piece of driftwood, she dropped her shoes to the sand and sat down. She nestled the flute at her feet, then lifted her arms and twisted her dark hair into a knot at the top of her head.

Sean stopped at the end of the bridge. He had about a hundred things left to do tonight, including contacting his boss.

Instead, he walked over to Leyla.

"How's the champagne?"

She jumped and turned around. Recognition flickered across her face, and her shoulders relaxed.

"It's good." She held up her glass. "You didn't have any?"

"Nope. Can I get you a refill?"

She smiled. "What, are you a waiter now, too?"

He stepped closer. "I'm Sean Moran, by the way." He held out his hand. "We never actually met."

"Leyla Breda." Her handshake was brisk and businesslike, but the warm look in her eyes gave him hope.

"Joel's little sister," he said.

"That's me."

He turned toward the water so he wouldn't be tempted to stare down the front of her dress.

"I didn't get a chance to thank you earlier," she said. "Things got really hectic."

"Looked like you had your hands full."

"So, are you here for Joel or Miranda?"

He looked at her. "Joel."

She tipped her head to the side as she gazed up at him. "And you know him from . . . ?"


She frowned. "Here?"

"No. We go way back. We were in the same academy class in Houston, spent some time at HPD together."

"Oh. That was a while ago."


"So . . . the vice squad, then?"

"Yeah. Mind if I sit down?"

"Not at all."

Sean lowered himself onto the other end of the sandy log. He didn't like the direction the conversation had taken so he steered it back to her.

"So, how long have you been a caterer?" he asked.

"Hmm . . . let's see. I guess it's been about three weeks now." She turned and smiled at him, and he felt a hot jolt of attraction. "Why? Can you tell?"

"Not at all."


"Well, the timing seemed a little bumpy."

"Just a little." She rolled her eyes. "We had several staffers no-show. It happens a lot in this business. People are flaky. Despite all my planning, you could say we were a bit rushed."

Rushed was right. No woman had ever clapped at him before. He'd discovered it was a turn-on.

Excerpted from Deep Tide by Laura Griffin Copyright © 2023 by Laura Griffin. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved.

About the author

Laura Griffin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty-five books and novellas. She is a two-time RITA Award winner as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award.

Connect with Laura


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Monday, April 24, 2023

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? April 24, 2023 #IMWAYR


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are! 


Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. 
Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

After the Storm
by Ashley Farley
Pub date ~ May 10

I Will Leave You Never
by Ann Putnam
print ARC
Pub date ~ May 9

Shadows in Death
by J.D. Robb
Narrated by Susan Ericksen
audio-book from my TBR shelves

What I recently finished

The Collected Regrets of Clover
byMikki Brammer
Pub date ~ May 9

Underwater Daughter: A Memoir of Survival and Healing
by Antonia Deignan
print ARC
Pub date ~ May 2

What I am going to read next

The Half of It
by Juliette Fay
print from Goodreads win
Pub date ~ April 11

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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Saturday, April 22, 2023

This OR That #Giveaway № 101 ~ Momnesia by Lori Verni-Fogarsi OR The Wisdom of Hair by Kim Boykin #Momnesia #TheWisdomOfHair


I have sooooo many books!

The This or That Giveaway! feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to cull my collection and to share some of the many books I have. I get to clear off some of my shelves to make room for more books and give someone else the chance to enjoy these treasures.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


by Lori Verni-Fogarsi
Paperback ~ Published March 2012

She's smart, pretty, and runs her own business. So then why does she feel so dead inside? Between work, two kids, and a husband who finds her about as exciting as furniture shopping, this is the story of a (formerly-exciting but now way-too-typical) suburban mom who diagnoses herself with "Momnesia" and sets about finessing a new version of her old vivaciousness:

MOMNESIA (mahm-nee-zhuh) - noun: Loss of the memory of who you used to be. Caused by pregnancy, play dates, and trying to keep the house cleaner than the Joneses.

She finds some adventure pursuing her own interests, and does make some new friends (including the battery operated variety), but still feels like nothing more than a caretaker.

In between dealing with her husband's manic-depressive behavior, drama with her friends, and some naughty Internet escapades, she keeps facing the question, "Is it that I haven't been myself? Or is it that I am being myself but just different than I used to be?" It isn't until she tosses the Invisible Rule Book altogether that she discovers life--and love--have more to offer than she ever imagined!


The Wisdom of Hair
by Kim Boykin
Paperback ~ March 2013

Life can be beautiful, but it takes a little work...

“The problem with cutting your own hair is that once you start, you just keep cutting, trying to fix it, and the truth is, some things can never be fixed. The day of my daddy’s funeral, I cut my bangs until they were the length of those little paintbrushes that come with dime-store watercolor sets. I was nine years old. People asked me why I did it, but I was too young then to know I was changing my hair because I wanted to change my life.”

In 1983, on her nineteenth birthday, Zora Adams finally says goodbye to her alcoholic mother and their tiny town in the mountains of South Carolina. Living with a woman who dresses like Judy Garland and brings home a different man each night is not a pretty existence, and Zora is ready for life to be beautiful.

With the help of a beloved teacher, she moves to a coastal town and enrolls in the Davenport School of Beauty. Under the tutelage of Mrs. Cathcart, she learns the art of fixing hair, and becomes fast friends with the lively Sara Jane Farquhar, a natural hair stylist. She also falls hard for handsome young widower Winston Sawyer, who is drowning his grief in bourbon. She couldn’t save Mama, but maybe she can save him.

As Zora practices finger waves, updos, and spit curls, she also comes to learn that few things are permanent in this life—except real love, lasting friendship, and, ultimately… forgiveness.


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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Release Day! The Golden Doves Martha Hall Kelly ~ My Thoughts #TheGoldenDoves @marthahallkelly

Happy Release Day!

Congrats Martha
on the release today of
The Golden Doves!

The Golden Doves by Martha Hall Kelly
Historical Fiction, 528 pages
Published April 18, 2023 by Ballantine Books

Two former female spies, bound together by their past, risk everything to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor in the aftermath of World War II—an extraordinary novel inspired by true events from the New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls.

American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue are thrilled to be working in the French resistance, stealing so many Nazi secrets that they become known as the Golden Doves, renowned across France and hunted by the Gestapo. Their courage will cost them everything. When they are finally arrested and taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, along with their loved ones, a reclusive Nazi doctor does unspeakable things to Josie’s mother, a celebrated Jewish singer who joined her daughter in Paris when the world seemed bright. And Arlette’s son is stolen from her, never to be seen again.

A decade later the Doves fall headlong into a dangerous dual mission: Josie is working for U.S. Army intelligence and accepts an assignment to hunt down the infamous doctor, while a mysterious man tells Arlette he may have found her son. The Golden Doves embark on a quest across Europe and ultimately to French Guiana, discovering a web of terrible secrets, and must put themselves in grave danger to finally secure justice and protect the ones they love.

Martha Hall Kelly has garnered acclaim for her stunning combination of empathy and research into the stories of women throughout history and for exploring the terrors of Ravensbrück. With The Golden Doves, she has crafted an unforgettable story about the fates of Nazi fugitives in the wake of World War II—and the unsung females spies who risked it all to bring them to justice.

My thoughts about The Golden Doves ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First lines—"I wake at dawn, facedown on the sofa, thinking I'm back in Block Ten."

Okay, I'll have to admit that I was a little intimidated by this book. Just the number of pages, 500+, had me cringe a bit. Before I started it, I didn't realize what that page count was So, that being said, it was the storyline that drew me to read The Golden Doves. Once I got into the story, the pages flew and I devoured it!

The Golden Doves is told in dual points of view and dual timelines. We get to know Josie and Arlette as they struggled and survived the war and then again 10 years later as they are dealing with the aftermath of what they went though. This made for an exciting and intriguing story that drew me in and kept my attention to the very end. 

Martha Hall Kelly has written several other historical fiction novels, which are very popular. The Golden Doves is the first book of hers that I have read but it won't be the last. I highly recommend this one for all historical fiction lovers. 

I received a copy of The Golden Doves from SparkPoint via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

Martha is still pinching herself after her debut novel Lilac Girls, about socialite Caroline Ferriday and her fight to help a group of concentration camp survivors, became an Instant NY Times bestseller in 2016 and went on to sell over two million copies. Once the paperback stayed on the NYT list for 54 weeks, and became published in fifty countries she wrote two more novels: Lost Roses about Caroline's mother, and Sunflower Sisters about her great grandmother, which also became Instant NY Times bestsellers. 

Her latest novel, The Golden Doves, which returns to WWII, arrives in bookstores April 18th, 2023. 

Martha grew up in Massachusetts and now splits her time between Connecticut and New York City. You'll find more info about the incredible, true stories behind all of her books at her website:, on Instagram: @marthahakkkelly,, Twitter: @marthahallkelly and on her ever-changing Pinterest page. ~ Goodreads 

Connect with Martha


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Release Day! Twelve Hours in Manhattan by Maan Gabriel ~ My Thoughts #TwelveHoursInManhattan @MaanGabriel @GoSparkPoint

Happy Release Day!

Congrats Maan
on the release today of
Twelve Hours in Manhattan!

Twelve Hours in Manhattan by Maan Gabriel
Romance, Fiction, 312 pages
Published April 18, 2023 by She Writes Press

Two worlds. One heart. Twelve hours.

Bianca Maria Curtis is at the brink of losing it all when she meets Eric at a bar in Manhattan. Eric, as it turns out, is the famous Korean drama celebrity Park Hyun Min, and he’s in town for one night to escape the pressures of fame. From walking along Fifth Avenue to eating ice cream at Serendipity to sharing tender moments on top of the Empire State building, sparks fly as Bianca and Eric spend twelve magical hours far away from their respective lives. In that time, they talk about the big stuff: love, life, and happiness, and the freedom they both seek to fully exist and not merely survive.

But real life is more than just a few exhilarating stolen moments in time.

As the clock strikes the twelfth hour, Bianca returns back to the life she detests to face a tragedy that will test her strength and resolve—and the only thing she has to keep going is the memory of a man she loves in secret from a world away.

My thoughts about Twelve Hours in Manhattan ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First lines—"I grit my teeth together, trying with all my might not to lose it because I'm close. I'm darn close."

Maan Gabriel is a new-to-me author but when a chance to read her novel, Twelve Hours in Manhattan dropped in my inbox, I was intrigued. It sounded like a fun, light readjust what I needed after some of the heavier stories I've read lately. Well, it was fun and light as well as so, so good. Such a great story and such amazing characters. 

Bianca and Eric meet just by chance and end up spending twelve hours together, getting to know each other and supporting each other in ways no one else had before. Sometimes it's easier to open up to strangers than to someone you are supposed to know very well. And then they go on their merry, or not-so-merry, way. No regrets, well maybe just a little regret, and no looking back. 

But can they forget about those twelve hours? When and if they are thrown back together, will the chemistry they had be the same? 

I totally loved the twelve hours that I spent with Bianca and Eric and was heartbroken when they went their separate ways. And then Bianca's life spins out of control. The author did a fantastic job of making me feel all of the feels and I was on an emotional roller-coaster ride right along with Bianca. I thoroughly enjoyed Twelve Hours in Manhattan and look forward to more stories by this author.

I received a copy of Twelve Hours in Manhattan from SparkPoint via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

Maan Gabriel is a mom, wife, dreamer, writer, and advocate for women’s stories in literature. She earned her BA in communications from St. Scholastica’s College in Manila and MPS in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University. She has lived in Manila, Brussels, Dakar, and Mexico City. During the day, she works in strategic communications. Gabriel, along with her husband and son, currently calls suburban Washington DC home. After Perfect is her first novel.

"I dream of a world full of hope, where believing is as important as life itself, and where love can move mountains. This is in the very core of my stories, and I wish in more ways than one that I can inspire you to see the world as I see it... a fairy tale." - Maan ~ Amazon

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