The Dessert Studio

It was my daughter’s birthday this week. She loves to cook and wanted to bake her own cake. She loves that show on BYU TV, Best Cake Wins. And she wanted to create her own Cookies and Cream cake.

The Dessert Studio

Enter Karey and her daughter, Savannah at The Dessert Studio. The had her come to their bakery and make her very own cake in a private class. She loved every minute of it. She got to pick what flavor she was having. They had the cake baked so that she wouldn’t have to wait for it to cool. But she got to put it together and make the filling.

The Dessert Studio

I loved watching her get to create something so beautiful. This was one of those experiences for her that will probably shape who she becomes. She loves to cook and experiment. And she’s also really creative. Making cakes is something I could see her doing to combine the loves of both of those things. But she’s still in Jr. High, so it will be a while before she decides for sure what she wants to be.

The Dessert Studio

I highly recommend The Dessert Studio. Both for their classes and for their yummy cakes and treats. That cake didn’t last very long at our house, it was gobbled up so fast!

You can check out The Dessert Studio online and also their Instagram page for more information on their products and classes.

I was gifted a cake by The Dessert Studio. All opinions are my own.

About Risking it All

risking it all

A world-renowned extreme athlete. A motivational speaker and philanthropist. He thinks they’re a match destined for heaven. She’s convinced they’re polar opposites.


Bridger Hawk has been in love with Avalyn Shaman since childhood. He knows he’ll never be worthy of her charitable heart so he throws himself into a life-threatening extreme sports career. When they reconnect at his brother’s wedding, he can’t resist kissing her at every opportunity. She demands he stay away from her and her heart. After multiple rejections, he gathers what’s left of his pride and leaves.


Avalyn has always loved Bridger but he shredded her heart in high school and she knows given a chance, he’ll do it again. When she’s kidnapped and forced to be the pawn and prize in dangerous events that risk her life and her virtue, Bridger is forced to compete in the deranged challenges and is the only hope she has to survive. Can Bridger win and prove to her that his love isn’t just a show for his fans?


Bridger knows he has to save Avalyn at all costs … even if it means he can’t have her.

My review

I needed a quick escape the other day. So I opened Risking it All by Cami Checketts on my Kindle. I know that her books will take me somewhere else quickly. And they’re usually quick reads for me as well. I was able to escape and return all in one afternoon. And that makes me happy!

This one features Avalyn and Bridger. I liked Avalyn. She’s worked to protect her heart from Bridger for as long as she can remember. He kissed her one day, the most amazing kiss ever. And the next day he kissed another girl in front of the whole school. Avalyn gets pulled into something she never wanted to be pulled into. A contest of craziness between two insane extreme sports enthusiasts. I loved that she keeps her composure, even when she’s the prize for the two of them.

Bridger seems to be a good guy. He doesn’t come up with the contest. In fact, he’s just as confused as Avalyn as to what’s going on. He works as hard as he can to keep Avalyn safe. And the one time he feels like he failed, he kept fighting as hard as he could to get her protected, even when it seemed pointless.

The plot of this one is fast paced. I loved the way I could never tell what was going to happen next. It definitely kept me on my toes. It was a perfect escape! I loved every bit of it.

I borrowed Risking it All from Kindle Unlimited

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What to read after Risking it All

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  Love Match by Jo Noelle Can two people learn to trust again to make their marriage of convenience into a love match? With university behind him, Lord Gerard Morrow the Earl of Norham, is preparing for a grand tour to the future with a fellow time traveler. His first night home, he receives a summons from his father the Duke of Kyloe to come to Scotland or their family will be ruined. Lady Layla Colvin was roused from her sleep to marry the duke’s son as part of settling a gambling debt. Everything she looked forward to vanished with the words “I will.” She will never have a come-out, or a suitor, or a wedding dress—and apparently not a husband either. Two years later when Gerard walks back into her life, she runs the other way. How can she trust a man who abandoned her immediately after the vows were said?     Gerard Morrow No good news ever comes after midnight nor in a torrential rainstorm. Yet there Gerard Morrow, Earl Norham, stood in his long shirt and his mother in her wrapper, looking anything but a duchess, as their butler, Davies, accepted two letters from a rider. He waved the rider on to the kitchen door to get a hot cup of tea and await the family’s reply. Davies’ candle guttered from the breeze of closing the door, and the small group moved farther into the Great House. The butler lit two more candles and turned with the letters in hand, extending one to the Duchess Kyloe and the other to Gerard. “For you, Your Grace. And My Lord.” The notes were damp from the rain and Gerard’s mother held it with shaking hands before handing it to her son. “You read it.” She shoved the letter to Gerard and waited, muttering, “That man. Love him. I do, but he better not have gotten himself into trouble. Or worse. What’s worse though? Dead—that’s what. Oh, Gerard tell me he’s not dead.” His mother’s French accent deepened when she was anxious, and at this moment it was thick as clafoutis. There was no signature, but the stamp of the Duke of Kyloe in the wax from his father’s signet ring told him who it was from. Gerard read the note aloud to her, “Do not worry, my dearest Shamay. I’ll be home in a few days. It will all be settled then.” Gerard handed her the letter though she’d never learned to read—English or her native French. He knew things must be was bad. His father had only penned three sentences to try to reassure her. His mother stood beside him, her hands clutched to her chest. “What of the other letter?” she asked. Earl Norham separated the seal and unfolded the letter. His eyes scanned it quickly, without reading it aloud to his mother. Gerard, Do not read this to your mother. It is for your eyes—your ears only. Come to Scotland, now. Your future, your very life and mine depend upon your speed. Directions to Colvin Keep just over the border past Coldstream were included at the bottom of the letter. The Duchess’s hands grasped Gerard’s forearm, and her eyes pleaded to know what it said. “Father wants me to come where he is.” Gerard hoped that his voice sounded nonchalant. But something must have tipped off his mother. “Your Father needs you. Hurry. Change.” She pushed him toward the staircase. He had been home less than six hours and three of those had been in sleep, having traveled home today from university. His mind whirled, half irritation and half disbelief before he turned up the stairs. His father should have been here to welcome him instead of stirring up some kind of trouble for himself across the border. “Davies, send word to the stables to ready a good horse.” Within minutes, Gerard was dressed, draped in an oil coat, and on his horse, riding through November rain toward Scotland. Wind blew against his cheek and rain pelted his back. At least he wasn’t facing into the storm. What in the devil’s name is Father up to now?Gerard had been worried for a year now, too much gambling and drinking in public rooms. Mother tried to keep Father at home to lessen the whispers that inevitably started. Northumberland didsn’t have real society, but his reputation was tarnishing nevertheless. Gossip traveled even to him at Cambridge though London was several day’s travel. His horse trotted along the dark road, and his mind whirled about his future. Gerard just hoped that he could have a grand tour before everything fell completely apart—a year. He’d even be satisfied with six months before he had to come back to take over the responsibilities his father should be shouldering. From what he’d seen of the house in the short while he’d been there, it needed care. Upkeep and repairs lagged behind need. It seemed as if there were fewer servants than before, and the road was sorely unkempt. How much had his father lost? He sucked in a cold breath. Apparently, enough to cripple the estate. Four months then, if he couldn’t have a year. He could visit France and Spain. He’d save Italy for a trip in the future. It took several hours to get to Colvin Keep. Gerard’s eyes burned for want of sleep, and his legs were strained and weak from several days in the saddle prior to this fast flight over the border when he left his horse with the groom. The sun was turning the cloud-covered eastern sky a milky gray. Before Gerard could mount the stairs, the Duke of Kyloe burst through the front door. Relief tempered the worries Gerard had ridden with the last twenty miles. He looked over his father from head to toe. His health seemed good, no injuries, no illness. He didn’t even appear to be in his cups. He must have been sitting near a window, watching for his son’s arrival and quickly ushered him to the house. “Well done. The note arrived in good time, as did you,” his father said, pulling him out of his coat as the butler began to remove it. There was a cry upstairs before it was muffled behind a slammed door. It surprised Gerard more than startling him. The sound was more one of excitement than fear or pain. He supposed it could be insanity, but he hoped not. “Come now, I’ve a brandy for you and someone important to introduce you to.” His father lead him away. The house was quite awake as he walked through to a back parlor. Several maids rushed past with arms full, and there were candles burning all along the way. His father’s host must take country hours to the extreme for there to be so much commotion before sun up. When they entered the room a large man was sitting in a chair near the fire, otherwise, they were alone. His father cleared his voice loudly and said, “Charles, please allow me to introduce my son and heir, Lord Norham, Gerard Morrow. Gerard, this is the Marquess of Roxburgh.” The men exchanged greetings, then Gerard’s father commented to their host, “I haven’t spoken to him about our agreement yet, so if we could have a minute before meeting you in the chapel.” His voice trailed off with obvious expectation. “Good then, I’ll leave you to it.” Charles nodded, downed his drink, and left, leaving Gerard alone with his father. He stopped at the doorway, pulling a watch from his pocket. “This business must be concluded within the hour, or honoring our original arrangement will be expected.” Then he closed the door behind him. “The chapel?” Gerard looked toward his father. “And what agreement? Your letter made it sound like life and death. What have you done?” A scowl pulled on his lips. “You’ll want this,” he said, handing Gerard a glass of brandy. Gerard set the glass aside without taking a taste. “Out with it.” “I attended a card party of sorts at the seat of Lord Hume of Berwick. I was doing well, so I didn’t see trouble in allowing the stakes to rise.” “How much?” Gerard interrupted. He didn’t need to hear the details just the total of their losses. “Well, there’s an easy solution to it all.” “How much did you wager? Or should I say lose?” Gerard folded his arms. His father gazed out the window as his hand resting on the back of a chair trembled. Without looking at his son, he replied, “All of it. And more.” Several long moments passed before he turned toward his son and said, “We are ruined.” Gerard picked up the glass of brandy, downing it in one gulp. “Tell me I heard you wrong.” He slumped into the nearest seat. “You will still own the family seat at Norham Castle, pile of rocks that it be, and the land when it is passed to you, but you will likely still be paying off my debt into your own old age. I have lost more than I have or can even reasonably get if I were I to sell everything of value and double rents on the land for decades to come. Upon my death, I will leave you the title, the responsibilities, and abject poverty to go with it.” Gerard was silent for a long moment trying to calm down. He had to breathe slowly through his nose to maintain his composure. “Father, do I even want to know why we are meeting the marquess in the chapel?” Duke Kyloe sat heavily on a couch, dropping his head into his hands. “It’s the only way out. You’ve not heard him wrong. The marquess has made a generous offer—if you marry his daughter tonight, in moments really, the debt is dissolved.” Gerard shot to his feet as a cold flame passed through him. He backed away from his father. “I will not. I do no consent. I’m but twenty-three. Why would you tell a man I would marry his daughter in the middle of the night?” His father had truly wagered beyond all reason and sold Gerard’s life for the flip of a few cards. He wanted to run. To leave and never look back. Father had clearly lost his mind. He paced around, back and forth, trying to sort it out in his mind. “I leave in two days for my tour, it’s planned and arranged. James Cottrell is coming—he’s meeting me tomorrow at home.” “There’s plenty of time for all that, you’ll see.” The old duke shook his head. “It’s not up to you. I’m afraid, the bargain has been struck and accep—.” Gerard cut him off, “Father, no. You realize that we are already spread too thin as it is, since last time. What will you tell Mother?” He stepped closer to Gerard. “I’ll tell her nothing of this. You’ll marry this night and free me of all my debt to Charles, and by extension you too, or we will never recover.” If he gambled away what Gerard suspected he had, then it was true that Gerard would be heir of nothing but debt. Everything was lost. He raked his hands through his hair and continued his path, pacing the floor. Gerard owned nothing outside of the estate and only then upon inheritance. If it were only him, Gerard might allow his father to crumble beneath debt in his old age. But it would affect his mother greatly. I can’t put Maman though that.His shoulders slumped. Annoyance and sorrow twined together in his gut. He was defeated before this conversation began. “There really is no choice then. I’ll agree.” “Of course you will. There is a dowry, but it will not be transferred until you two are living agreeably together.” “Good. Then you can’t gamble away anything further while I’m gone. And I’m still going on my grand tour.” Not as grand as he’d hoped. Already he was calculating how long he could really be gone before his father was back up to no good at some Lord’s card table. “You’ll be a married man now, so behave yourself.” “Are you serious? I’m the only person in this conversation right now with integrity. I don’t think you need lecture me. A there are no worries there. I’m going with James.” “He hardly removes my worry,” his father replied. “You’ve known each other since you were on leading strings. And his reputation is worse than mine.” “Ha!” Gerard doubted that. “Nonetheless, he’s coming, and he’ll keep me straight.” “See that he does. We’ve never had a Duke of Kyloe that wasn’t madly in love with his wife.” “Please, you’ve already ensured that I’ll fail on that account. I’m marrying someone I’ve don’t know—never even seen.” “Marriage is easy. Apply yourself to her happiness, and you’ll both have it.” Marriage was easy? He wondered how easy all of this was for his mother. He wouldn’t have to worry about making this sham of a marriage work at the moment—that can come later—much, much later. Gerard wasn’t even going to be home. “I’m leaving after the ceremony and going on my tour the next day.” Gerard knew he had to travel from London on the full moon. “There was no other agreement beyond the marriage contract and settlement. You’re free to do so, and she will live at home with her parents for a time.” His father turned to leave the room, but Gerard caught his arm. “What’s her name?” “I hadn’t asked. We’ll hear it at the ceremony. At any rate, it will be Lady Morrow moments from now.” He drank the last of his cup and walked Gerard to the chapel to await his bride.         Author Jo Noelle Jo Noelle is a Colorado native but lived in several mountain states–Idaho, Utah, and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking (especially desserts,) builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people–a mother/daughter writing team. We write dessert romances–satisfyingly sweet, and you’ll want more.  
          Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 2/7/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guess what?! Simply Starstruck by Aspen Hadley is on a great sale on Kindle for the next few days. It’s $.99 from now until Friday. I loved this book. You can read my review.

About Simply Starstruck

It’s been two years since Kate Evans unexpectedly lost her husband and one year since her aunt Cassandra stepped in and moved Kate and her son back to Colorado to start a new life. 

Just when Kate is starting to get comfortable in her new reality, three very different men enter her life. Alec is young, easygoing, and up for anything. Nate is a divorced dad who is steady, reliable, and everything Kate should want. Jess is quite literally the boy next door, not to mention a real-life movie star straight from every girl’s dreams. 

Is she really ready to jump into the dating scene again? Or does she stay in the same safe place free from heartache? In between braving water slides to cheating at croquet, Kate is forced to confront things she’d rather leave buried, along with the possibility of a new love that is exactly what she needs.

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The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife by Crissy Sharp Lotty Brooks’ days consist of avoiding thoughts of her failing marriage, changing diapers, and trying not to eat chocolate brioche for breakfast and lunch. However, everything changes when her perfect, lakeside Montana neighborhood begins bustling with crime and she seems to be the target. Jason Brooks wants to know what happened to the woman he married. Lotty’s a mere shell of her former self. When she becomes the focal point of neighborhood threats, and the town seems to question her innocence, he must decide how well he knows his wife. As Jason and Lotty try to get to the bottom of the threats and find those responsible, they’ll need to remember what they once loved about each other. Otherwise, they may lose everything and everyone they care about.       It was his hideous cheval mirror that provoked Lotty. The pompous owls carved into the edges sneered at the bedroom as if they knew her and Jason’s marriage was falling apart. The crack in the top corner reminded her of everything that had gone wrong between them. She normally steered clear of the monstrosity, but today it caught her eye and she stopped right in front of it. Smack dab in the middle where she could see every stupid owl. Somehow Jason’s mirror highlighted all her imperfections. Maybe it was the way he saw her now. She closed her eyes so she couldn’t see the stranger with slumped shoulders and tired eyes. She tried to think of herself as the confident, young mother she’d been, but the image dissolved before it ever came into view. Gone were the skinny jeans and heels. Now it was yoga pants and a muffin top. The bright-eyed Lotty Brooks was a distant memory. She missed the excited version of herself, the one who loved her husband and felt loved in return. The woman she’d become was a sad shell of her former self. Lotty turned away with a sigh and shoved the last bite of her breakfast pastry into her mouth, letting the gooey deliciousness numb her sadness. Who needed skinny jeans and heels in a world where chocolate brioche masqueraded as breakfast? Maybe she should resign herself to a life in pants with stretchy waistbands. She picked up Jason’s jacket from where he’d left it on the floor. Jason. Maybe what she needed to resign herself to was a life without him, but the thought tore at her heart.     “Had me caught up in the story and mystery of it very quickly. It’s been a long time since I found a book that was hard to put down, but this one was that way!”–Laura L. “Fabulous, funny! Emotions and suspense abound!” –Julie C “This book kept me on the edge of my seat! I did not want to put it down and snuck in a few pages while at work (shhh don’t tell my boss!). This mystery/suspense novel has everything you could want – intrigue, a mystery to solve, romance, and even a scheming mother.” –StoreyBook Reviews         Author Crissy Sharp Crissy Sharp has a special knack for avoiding cooking and cleaning so she can focus the hobbies she truly enjoys, like writing and running. Though she’ll always be a Montana girl at heart, she also loves Tennessee, where she currently lives with her husband and three children.      
   
      Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 2/6/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway
  The Sweetest Spark by Liwen Y. Ho He’s a fun-loving ice cream shop owner looking for more than a fling. She’s a straight-laced food critic too scared for love. Little did they know how much a foolish kiss would trigger an avalanche of emotions too great to contain. Colin Spark may not have the best track record when it comes to his career choices, but he’s loved the same woman since he was thirteen. His only obstacle to winning her heart is proving he’s ready to settle down—an impossible task now that his store is going out of business. Since her sister’s passing, Candy Connelly has survived by being in control and protecting her heart. There’s only one man she’s let her guard down with, but his unreliable past shakes her confidence in his future. Colin won’t give up pursuing his passion; Candy won’t give in to her attraction. That is until an accident brings all their unspoken issues to the surface and forces them to listen to their hearts. Will this incident be the spark that drives them apart for good or gives them their sweetest taste of romance yet?       Candy followed Abby as they headed back to their table, her heels clicking against the wooden floor, until a tall figure stepped in front of her. One whiff of the man’s musky cologne confirmed Colin’s presence, as did the warmth radiating from his body. Candy would’ve liked to wrap herself up in it, especially in this cold winter weather. Instead, she stepped back, careful not to make contact with the man who had a way of worming his way into her heart. “Excuse me,” she stated, trying to side step her way around him. “Candy, can we talk?” Colin stood firmly, crossing his arms as if he meant business. “Please?” “Colin, that’s not a good idea.” Candy peered around him to look for Abby and see if she’d help her out of this situation. No luck though; her friend was long gone. So much for counting on her friend’s nosiness. She crossed her arms and peered up into Colin’s pleading eyes, then immediately dropped her gaze. It was best not to look directly into his eyes. That’s how she’d found herself letting down her guard around him. “I thought I made it clear; there’s no future for us. We’re too different. It would never work.” He stepped close, leaning his head down next to hers. His voice was husky when he spoke. “If that’s the case, I want you to tell it to me straight. Look me in the eyes and say there’s no future for us. Then I’ll let you go on your way and never bother you again.” “What? What difference does it make how I say it?” Candy turned her head to the side, away from his face. She stared at the intricate pattern of the tiles on the wall, anywhere but his eyes. For some people, sugar was their weakness; for her, it was Colin.     “I loved the chemistry and banter between Candy and Collin. Their escapades and experiences drew me into the story and their love and forgiveness stayed with me long after the last page.” “Colin really is the sweetest Spark! He and Candy had such beautiful character arcs as they grew to trust God and each other more. The romance was tender and the Christian elements gentle and poignant. I found I could actually identify with parts of both of their personalities, and that make me cheer for each of them even more. The push-and-pull of their relationship was the richest of any Liwen Ho book I’ve read yet, and I’m already a fan. She just keeps getting better!” “The Sweetest Spark is a book where the characters just walk right into your heart-well, by book 3 of the Spark Brothers, you are invested in these lovable and fun people – uh… CHARACTERS (Characters in a book, NOT real people-yes, I know! Really!) Colin and Candy are wonderful characters BECAUSE of their issues that they work through… and discover that everything works when they work together. Isn’t that something that we would all benefit from learning!!! I am looking forward to the rest of the series!”         Author Liwen Y. Ho Liwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA being a stay at home mom) and an author by night. She writes sweet and inspirational contemporary romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots). In her pre-author life, she received a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and she loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children.
   
      Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 2/5/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.     a Rafflecopter giveaway
  A Friend in Paris by Jennie Goutet Friendship between a talented young artist and her handsome French neighbor is a promising start—until it’s not enough. April promised her dying father she would study painting in Paris, but friends are few, her budget is tight, and her landlord increasingly won’t take “no” for an answer. Then she meets Victor. Victor is as chivalrous as he is wealthy, and if it weren’t for him, April would have already left the City of Light behind. Too bad Victor still has eyes for his ex-girlfriend, who is now back on the scene and wants to get married. Although April and Victor swore to remain just friends, magical Paris seems to weave a different spell. The more their connection deepens, the more it becomes difficult to keep a proper distance. Or to remember why they should.         Penelope peeked into the hallway. “We’re about to play poker. Who wants in?” “Me,” April said. “But I need a refresher for the rules. It’s not for money, right?” “Nope, just for chips. Hey, Victor,” Penelope said, “Are you able to take April back to your grandmother’s apartment tonight after you bring Margaux home? She probably won’t ask for help, but we’re afraid Lucas is following her, and we want to make sure she doesn’t get stalked.” “Sure.” Victor turned to her in consternation. “Another thing you’re not telling me, April. Please tell me these things.” A flash of anger came over April, and she replied without thinking. “Don’t expect me to tell you everything. It’s not like I’m your girlfriend. I don’t owe you explanations, or details, or anything.” “Er…let me see how the game is going.” Penelope turned, whisking away a smile. “What are you talking about, April. We’re friends. Friends talk.” “Victor,” April hissed. “It’s like you expect things from me you don’t even expect of your own fiancée. You want me to come to you for help and tell you everything. But you don’t even know what Margaux was doing that whole year in Monaco. You don’t know what brought her back or…or whether the baby is even yours.” There. I said it. April’s pulse pounded in her temple. “Victor doesn’t ask me these things, because he already knows the answer.” Margaux’s cool voice came from where the living room joined the hallway. “And, since he is satisfied, I don’t see what business it is of yours.” Margaux managed to communicate all her disdain in two sentences. April’s face was crimson. She could feel the heat of shame emanating from her. She’d let everyone know how she felt about Victor as plain as if she’d announced she was in love with him at the dinner table. It’s not like I’m your girlfriend. And what was even worse was that she was completely in the wrong attempting to sow seeds of doubt. She was not the type of person to try to break people up. She was not “the other woman”. It was not her style. If a man wasn’t free to love her, she had absolutely no interest in him. So what had happened? How had she gone so wrong? Victor’s eyes were fixed on hers. He hadn’t answered, but now he looked toward Margaux and the crowd that was gathering behind her. “Hey guys, could you give us a minute? Margaux, I’ll be right there to take you home. I imagine the baby needs you.” Margaux folded her arms and planted her feet. So Victor took April’s arm and pulled her into the first room he saw. It was the toilet, and they had only enough room to stand face to face. He fumbled for the light, and when it went on, April wouldn’t look at him. He grabbed her by the arms. “April, I need to say this fast so no one gets the wrong idea about us being in here together.” They were standing in a tiny cubicle, nose to nose, and his words brought on an insane desire to laugh. She needed to get a hold of her emotions. He’s not available. “I think one of the biggest regrets of my life,” Victor said, “will end up being that I wasn’t free to follow my feelings in this instance. But I’m not. I’m a father, and that comes first.” I am a great fool, April thought, and any wisp of humor over the situation fled. To complete her shame, her eyes filled with tears. “If I could’ve followed my feelings…” He stopped short, looking at her eyes, her lips…They heard only the sound of their breath. Then Victor dropped his arms, turned in the tight space, and opened the bathroom door. “Margaux and I need to get going. Penelope, do you think one of you could see April home safely?” “Sure,” Penelope said. She handed the pack of cards to Auriane and slid past Victor to where April was. “You guys go ahead and play.”         Once I began to read I couldn’t put it down until I finished. The characters are well developed and I easily identified with their struggles and triumphs. A wonderful story you will want to read again   A Friend in Paris is rich with everything a romance needs and more – drama, plot twists, characters you’ll fall in love with…and some you’ll love to despise. The setting of Paris and the wonderful descriptions are added bonuses! I devoured this book in two sittings.   Really enjoyed this read! I was completely absorbed into the Paris setting. Felt like I was there! The hero and heroine are interesting, believable, and their chemistry was natural and lifelike. Nothing felt contrived. The supporting characters were intriguing too. Highly recommended.     Author Jennie Goutet Jennie Goutet is an American-born Anglophile, who lives with her French husband and their three children in a small town outside Paris. Her imagination resides in Regency England, where her upcoming romance, A Regrettable Proposal, is set. Jennie is the author of the sweet, contemporary romances, A Friend in Paris and A Noble Affair, as well as the award-winning memoir, Stars Upside Down. A Christian, a cook, and an inveterate klutz, Jennie writes about faith, food, and life—even the clumsy moments—on her blog, aladyinfrance.com.  
      Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 2/4/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.     a Rafflecopter giveaway

About The House of Stone and Ivy

The House of Stone and Ivy

Orphaned as children, Hennie and Lottie share an unbreakable friendship. Together, they suffered the horrors of orphanages and the workhouse, and now grown, they continue to rely on each other. When Lottie approaches Hennie about a possible position at a manor house, Hennie is eager to work alongside her dear friend. However, to secure the positions as stable hands, they will have to undergo a bold act of deception: the women must disguise themselves as men.

Upon arriving at the manor, Hennie is stunned. Her new position is at Ivy Manor—the beautiful estate where her mother was employed long ago and where Hennie was raised until her mother’s death. Hennie has wonderful memories of her friendship with the son of the house, Jack, and is shocked and dismayed to learn he has vanished. Living in disguise at the manor allows her to gradually uncover the truth of Jack’s disappearance and eventually find him. Both Hennie and Jack are thrilled to be reunited, and their friendship is renewed. Soon, their relationship blossoms . . . and threatens their determination to remain concealed. With so much at stake, will they be prepared to risk everything for love?

My review

I can’t tell you just how much I LOVED this new one by Anita Stansfield! The characters are great, the setting is too, but my favorite thing about it was probably the plot. I loved the way it’s not a plot like I’ve ever seen in a Regency romance book.

This book opens with Hennie. Hennie is a young girl who serves in an inn. She doesn’t love her job, but she does have somewhere to live and food to eat. And she doesn’t have to sell herself to any man. But she’s not overly happy.

One day, a gentleman comes into the inn Hennie works in. He doesn’t seem like any other gentleman she’s ever met. Hennie is kind and serves him as she would any other man. But she’s in for a big surprise when she takes him to his room to rest. The “man” is none other than her missing best friend, Lottie. I loved that Lottie had come up with a respectable way to support herself. And then she went looking for Hennie to offer her the same.

Having these two women pose as men is way different than any plot of a Regency romance I’ve ever seen. I wondered how a romance would play into it, because the women weren’t telling anyone they weren’t men. The romance happened in a way I never would have expected. And I loved that.

This one had tons of twists and turns in the plot. I had no idea how things were going to work out, or at some points even if they would.

This one is such a fun regency romance! Make sure to read it!

I was sent a copy of The House of Stone and Ivy as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

AmazonDeseret Book

About the author

Anita Stansfield began writing at the age of sixteen, and her first novel was published sixteen years later. Her novels range from historical to contemporary and cover a wide gamut of social and emotional issues that explore the human experience through memorable characters and unpredictable plots. She has received many awards, including a special award for pioneering new ground in LDS fiction, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whitney Academy for LDS Literature. Anita is the mother of five, and has two adorable grandsons. Her husband, Vince, is her greatest hero.

Giveaway

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What to read after The House of Stone and Ivy

Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Jan. 14thhttp://mybookaday.com/https://www.rockinbookreviews.com/,

Jan. 15thhttp://empowermoms.net/http://bonnieharris.blogspot.com/,

Jan. 16thhttps://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/http://fireandicereads.com/,

Jan. 17thhttps://www.lovebugsandpostcards.com/https://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/

Jan. 18thhttp://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/https://thekeeledeal.com/

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Forever Yours Clean Romance Event!

January 2019

During the month of January, we will be featuring 12 fabulous Authors who write clean romance! There will be $400 worth of Giveaways plus great deals on books! You are invited to join the fun, learn about these great authors & find your next favorite book! There will be FREE ebooks, awesome sales & great giveaways! Check out this great list of featured authors who are sponsoring this event!

Jennie Goutet Liwen Y. Ho Crissy Sharp Jo Noelle Laurie Winter Sophia Summers Stephanie Fowers Lorin Grace Ranee S. Clark Rebecca Connolly Reina M. Williams Jess Heileman

  Never miss a giveaway, freebie or sale by signing up for Clean Wholesome Romance’s Reader Newsletter! Are you a blogger or reader who would be willing to post about this event on your blog or social media? Sign up here. Are you an author who writes clean romance? Learn more about CWR upcoming events here, or Sign up for my Author Newsletter.  

To start things off we have a $100 Giveaway!

Giveaway Details $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/3/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Finding Jack

Finding Jack

When smart, practical Emily finds herself in the crosshairs of an Internet prankster, her orderly world goes topsy-turvy. And instead of getting mad at the handsome stranger behind the joke, she finds herself drawn to him instead. But Jack Dobson, though hilarious and thoughtful, has a lot of secrets. Despite her growing feelings for her new and unexpected long-distance friend, his biggest secret of all might be the one that breaks the spell they’ve been weaving around each other.

My review

This book started out as a serial book on Melanie Jacobson’s Facebook page. She posted a chapter every Friday. It was my favorite thing to look forward too every week. Melanie Jacobson is my favorite contemporary romance author. It’s really fun that she released it as a kindle book before it actually finished on Facebook! I had so much fun re-reading the whole book and reading the ending to this one before it posted.

This one features Emily. Emily is a great character! But my favorite thing about her is the way she changes by the end of the book. Emily was great at the beginning, but just like all of us, she was able to become an even better person by the ending of this one. I love that she learns so much about herself.

The reader sees this whole book through Emily’s eyes. But I can’t not mention Jack. Wow, I loved him as well! I really wish we had seen at least some of the story through his eyes. He’s such a caring guy. And he changes a lot as well.

I can’t not mention Ranee and her brother Sean. I loved both of their characters. Ranee’s on the side romance made me so happy. I really hope that both Ranee and Sean get their own stories as well.

The plot of this one is amazing. You’ll laugh, and cry as you read this one. The ending of this one is perfect. Such a satisfying ending. Make sure to grab your own copy!

I borrowed Finding Jack from Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited library.

Purchase link

Amazon

What to read after Finding Jack

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