Tagged: Contemporary Romance

TRB Interviews Leslie Scott – September 2020

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twitter graphic for 2020 Interview with Leslie Scott
Jenn sits down once again with Leslie Scott to talk about the release of Full Tilt Boogie

Back in March 2019, Jenn sat down with Leslie Scott, to talk about book two in her Arkadia Fast, Contemporary Romance series: Hot Lap. A third book was just released in that series, and Jenn and Leslie sat down to chat about Full Tilt Boogie and more!

Jenn: It’s been a year and a half since the last time we sat down to talk, and you just released another book in August. Tell us what’s been happening in the interim.

Leslie: Oh my goodness, so much.
I revamped my brand and my website, so that it encompassed me as a writer, not just a romance writer.
I won an award for my soon to be released Urban Fantasy novel.

Jenn: Congratulations on the award!

Leslie: Thanks! I am going indie, with Black Water Magic (the UF novel I just mentioned), as you said Full Tilt Boogie FINALLY came out… And I’ve got three other novels in the works, right now. So, yeah, the writing cave has been a madhouse

Leslie: That’s about it. lol
My son is thirteen and in middle school, so he’s mostly doing everything himself. Which gives me more time to write. 
I’m also doing more writing workshops and the like.
Stepping into the Indie Publishing world has been really time consuming and stressful for me. And there were some hiccups and roadblocks earlier this year that sort of ground everything to a halt.

Jenn: I hear that a lot from authors moving to Indie Publishing – it’s stressful and time consuming.

Leslie: I had to take a bit of a step back, play some video games, go camping with the family (we love our RV), but pretty much I’m a writer and a mother, those are the two biggest things in my life.

And it really is. I’ve heard large house traditional publishing is, too. But I come from a laid back, small press, where the stress level is low. At The Wild Rose Press, I’m responsible for marketing my finished product and writing it. Everything else, they handle. Formatting, Editing, Cover Design, Distribution, payment, etc.

Jenn: So, the transition to Indie – at least, the marketing part – is already there in your toolbelt?

Leslie: Yes. Thankfully.
Though, book marketing is ever changing. So, I’m constantly learning and trying new things. I’m looking forward to running Amazon Ads with Black Water Magic. I can’t do that with my current books, because the publisher uploads them not me.

Jenn: Have you always wanted to write and publish your work?

Leslie: Since third grade.
I actually never thought I’d self publish, but the trend of authors who make money seem to be a hybrid published deal (so self and trad published). I figured, this is a career so why not try.

Jenn: Who are the major influencers in your life and philosophy?

Leslie: Oh wow.
My mom and my son are big influences for me to write. The kid gets more excited when I get good reviews than I do. And he loves to tell everyone I write. Mom is constantly wanting to read what I write.

Jenn: That’s awesome that you have so much support close to home!

Leslie: In the industry itself, I have this web of writer friends–some best sellers, some pre-published that really keep me going.
For instance: Melissa Sercia and I switched to each other’s published genre and decided to self publish AT THE SAME TIME. So I wrote an Urban Fantasy and she wrote a Romance. And we are taking this journey sort of together, which has been super cool. But that family feel of my writing tribe is an influence. But there really isn’t one author or authors where I was like “I want to be like them.”

Jenn: Talk about fun!

Leslie: I guess,because I was always a writer. Nobody I’m trying to emulate, just getting my stories on paper.

Jenn: Whatever works to beat that procrastination habit, right?

Leslie: And my philosophy, according to my kid, would be “Get to Work!” which is true. Like you said, to beat that procrastination habit. Which he has inherited. So I say those three words, a lot.

Jenn: The mantra of every school-at-home mom?

Leslie: Indeed. But, I apply it to writing. I’ve met so many pre-published writers who I constantly tell, “If you don’t finish the book, it’s never going to be published.” No matter how many conferences you go to, classes you take, books you read, if you don’t “Get to Work” it’s not going to happen.
It took me a decade to figure that out.

Jenn: Indeed.

Leslie: Once I did, the ideas and the stories keep going. Since 2017 (When The Finish Line was released, my first novel) I’ve finished 10 books.

Jenn: Awesome. That’s a LOT of books in 3 years.

Leslie: Now, not all of them are published (or worth being published), obviously, but getting to work gets that first draft finished.

Heh, you should see my outline notebooks. I outline ideas/novels in spiral notebooks (I’m addicted to sparkly school supplies). I have, right now, two filing cabinet drawers full.

Jenn: So you’re both a planner AND a back-to-school junkie?

Leslie: Yes!!!!!
OMG, yes.
I love my planner, I Love my pens, I love my notebooks, I color code my book notes, I’m addicted to post it notes

Jenn: *cough cough* We won’t talk about post-it notes… I have stacks and stacks and stacks of notebooks, post-it’s, moveable flags…

Leslie: Yup. We should start a support group.
Oh! They brought back Lisa Frank stuff this year. Eight year old me lost her mind at Walmart. Mr. Scott was like, “Save some for the kids, okay?”

Jenn: That hasn’t quite made it this far west yet. Thankfully. The 15 year old would go nuts. As it is, I buy about 4 times as many school supplies as she does.

Leslie: lol… The 13 yo is male and only has one school supply request: mechanical pencils.
I have ten different types of Sharpies. So, yeah, I have way more supplies.

Jenn: What other books or authors have influenced your writing? Especially the Arkadia Fast series?

Leslie: Hrm … Abbi Glines and her way of encompassing the way it feels to be that college, young person was a big deal.
But my biggest influence for the Arkadia Fast series were street racing Youtube videos.
(and Mr. Scott watching them)

Jenn: Mr. Scott is a huge racing fan, as I recall.

Leslie: And he is a car nut and races and we’ve been to street races. Yup.
He just got a new toy (a 69 Ford Truck) that he’s dropping a new motor in.

Jenn: Their toys only get more expensive, the older they get, right?

Leslie: Truth. A fact I point out to him when he tells me I need to slow down buying highlighters on Amazon.

Jenn: Harsh!

Leslie: LOL

Jenn: Since we’re talking Arkadia Fast and your most recent release, If you had to explain this series in one sentence, what would it be?

Leslie: Fast paced, energetic romance.
A reviewer for InD’Tale Magazine used that line to describe it once and was so perfect, I kept it.
I wanted energy and emotion at a high rate of speed for the reader. I didn’t want to give them a chance to put any of the books down.
That’s way more than one sentence, oops.

Jenn: You definitely accomplish that.
For our readers who are unfamiliar with your work, could you give us a quick elevator pitch for each book in the series?

Leslie: OMG, I hate pitches
lol

Jenn: Heh

LeslieThe Finish Line is about love and family, and how a young woman navigates all those things under the shadow of tragedy and loss.

Hot Lap is about finding your family, even if it’s in an un-traditional manner. And that we create our own families out of those we love.

TRB Pinnable graphic for 2020 interview with contemporary romance author Leslie Scott
Full Tilt Boogie is book 3 in the Arkadia Fast series – Contemporary Romance by Leslie Scott

Full Tilt Boogie is finding home, when it’s always been there. And that sometimes your dreams are different than you imagine and come in a snarky, surly package.

Jenn: I think Noah is, by far, my favorite of the Arkadia boys.

Leslie: ❤ That was my favorite book to write of any I’ve written.
Mainly because Breanna is not your traditional romance heroine.

Jenn: She isn’t. Not by a long shot.

Leslie: And I almost made that elevator pitch for you just two words: “Crotch Fruit.”

Jenn: *snicker* That epithet is going to stay with me for a long, long time.

Leslie: Hahaha me too! Someone told me to take it out and I was like, “No, because the reaction is totally natural for her.”
Breanna is definitely nonconforming and does her own thing. Which makes her the exact opposite of her sister Raelynn (from The Finish Line) and in truth, Full Tilt Boogie is Breanna’s redemption. Because she’s sort of a jerk in TFL.

Jenn: How challenging was it to create a likeable heroine that has been so disagreeable in previous books?

Leslie: Very. But that’s why it was so much fun. I can’t write hollow characters. I want them to be beautifully flawed and Breanna is a perfect example of that.

In Full Tilt Boogie I got to examine her actions from The Finish Line, find where they came from, and realize they came from a place of love. She’s young, hot headed, and makes a lot of mistakes, but she loves her family and wants them ALL to be happy. But she’s selfish.

Noah teaches her how to be less selfish. Which is part of growing up and one of the most challenging parts of writing New Adult books.
At that age, we are all a good deal selfish and immature. Throw in love, sex, hormones, and life challenges and its like a ticking emotion bomb.

Jenn: And Noah delivers those lessons beautifully.

Leslie: Awe thanks.
Also, I really wanted to twist the trope that I wrote book one with.
Raelynn was pining away from Jordan from the jump. It was cool to show the readers that Noah had been doing the same thing, even in Hot Lap — when he was a pain in Breanna’s ass (as she says).

Jenn: Truth.
You write romance, (and really awesome romance, at that!) and Arkadia Fast isn’t all you have in your backlist. You mentioned that you’ve written 10 books since The Finish Line was released in 2017. What other books or stories can we find with your name on them?

Leslie: Right, now, other than Arkadia Fast, I have the novella Two Hearts, One Stone.

Jenn: I think Two Hearts was the first of your books that I got to read.

Leslie: And the Urban Fantasy, Black Water Magic, to be released sometime this year (soon, I say, soon!)
Readers LOVE Stone.

Jenn: Because he’s awesome.

Leslie: And because of that love, my current Work In Progress is another cowboy novel. This time, a series.
Well, one reader did not like him.
If you go look at the reviews, she minces no words when she calls him a man whore. (I still laugh about this)

Jenn: Meh…. I can’t think of anyone (real or fictional) that is loved by EVERYONE that meets them.

Leslie: Indeed not, but it’s still funny. I think if I elicit some sort of reaction (good or bad) in a reader … I’ve done my job.

Jenn: What are some of the major ideas that you incorporate into your books, and your life, in general?

Leslie: Family.
That’s the core of all my books. It doesn’t matter what genre, what style, family is important. And family is what you make it. You don’t have to be born into it.

And that’s my real life. My closest family member outside my household is my ex-stepsister. Our parents (her mom, my dad) were divorced two decades ago. But, we’re still family.

Jenn: You’ve mentioned your Urban Fantasy, but will we be hearing more from the Casey family?

Leslie: I don’t know.
I had planned on staying with just the Casey Siblings. Then I had an editor want three more. But, then that editor left the publisher. (a look behind the curtain here) … When she left, that put things up in the air and they’re still there. I have ideas/outlines for three more Arkadia Fast novels. But, I’m really not sure if they’ll get written anytime soon. As I’m working on three other series (including the UF) right now.

Jenn: You’ve mentioned this Urban Fantasy coming soon. Tell us a bit about Black Water Magic.

Leslie: Black Water Magic is the story of Teagan Blackwater. It’s magic, murder, mayhem, cursed witches, and demi-demon bikers. A sexy look at the supernatural community of Firewater Springs, Florida.

Jenn: That sounds like fun!

Leslie: Teagan’s grandmother Nola, is the Swamp Witch of Florida. But, Teagan comes home one night to find Nola murdered. Digging into the whys and the hows, she opens up a world of secrets and the like she never expected. Basically, she has to navigate her messed up love life, the death of her only family, and newfound powers.

Jenn: Growing up on a whole other level?

Leslie: Yup.
LOL but I took the ensemble cast of characters that is my style and applied it to the paranormal universe. I envision spinoffs galore.

Jenn: Sounds like a fertile garden for more stories.

Leslie: Book two is already in the works, and the first spinoff series is already outlined, and I’m thinking of doing a YA Spinoff via my website and NL. Just off this series, lol.

Jenn: In our last talk, you mentioned getting into the Radish fiction app. Did that take off?

Leslie: Okay so, that’s where BWM came from.

Jenn: Gotcha. So was BWM initially released as a serialized novel?

Leslie: Never released, actually. As I was writing it took on a life of its own and became a novel, not a serial.
Actually came two novels, lol.

Jenn: Awesome.

Is there anything else that readers should know, or that you’d like them to know, before delving into your books?

Leslie: Hrm. I tend to write on the steamy side, but also I’m big on feeling and emotion. And I don’t always make things pretty. I’ve tackled PTSD, alcoholism, drug addiction, and sexual abuse in some degree in my books.
So while some may automatically think romance is fluff, mine isn’t.

Jenn: I think there’s a lot more to romance than fluff, but I’m biased.

Leslie: Same, lol.

Jenn: How can readers find you? 

Leslie: Readers can find me one my website (which is new and pretty, yay)… http://lesliescottwrites.com, where they can also subscribe to my newsletter. My blog and Newsletter are why you can get all the current details of what I have going on. On social media I am most active on Twitter (@leslieSwrites), but also on facebook.com/lesliescottwrites.com

Jenn: Thank you so much for joining us today, Leslie. It has been, as always, a pleasure talking to you!

Leslie: Thank you for having me, I love chatting with you. It’s always a good time.

Also by Leslie Scott:

Two Hearts, One Stone
The Finish Line (Book 1 – Arkadia Fast)
Hot Lap (Book 2 – Arkadia Fast)
Full Tilt Boogie (Book 3 – Arkadia Fast)

Full Tilt Boogie

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twit Full Tilt Boogie Review
TRB reviews Leslie Scott’s Full Tilt Boogie

About the Book

Full Tilt Boogie; Leslie Scott
New Adult; Romance; 262 Pages

Publisher – Date published

Breanna Casey has only ever wanted two things in life: to race and to get the hell out of Arkadia, Texas. Stifled beneath her family’s turbo-charged reputation, she’s got her thumb firmly on the self-destruct button. A night of hyper-driven racing and rebellion leads to a one night stand with the one guy who knows how to press all her buttons: Noah McKay.

Torn apart by the toll of his high-intensity enlistment in the Marines and guilt-ridden by what he’s seen, Noah McKay left the military to find peace. A chance encounter sends him working for the parents of a raven-haired Amazon goddess with a tongue that cuts sharper than any knife. Quiet is the last thing he’ll get.

Finally, she gets her chance. Calloway Racing wants her to drive for them. But that’s not all they want. A good friend of her father’s, Calloway insists she take Noah along for the ride. Suddenly, her dreams are feeling more like a nightmare. Will they be able to help each other, maybe even find love, when living life full tilt boogie?

About the Author

Award winning author of Two Hearts, One Stone and the Arkadia Fast Series, Leslie Scott has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. The happier the ending, the better. Currently, she lives and writes amidst her own happily ever after with her soul mate, son, and domestic zoo. http://www.lesliescottwrites.com

Reviewer’s Review

The good folks at Casey Performance are back in the third installment of Leslie Scott’s Arkadia Fast series. Strap in and hang on for the wild ride that is the love story between Breanna Casey and Noah McKay.

Breanna’s the baby of a family that revolves around racing. Her big sister’s getting married. Her brother’s getting married. It seems that everyone she loves is changing and moving on – leaving her behind. What’s worse, her father refuses to let her do what she truly desires: racing.

Noah wants peace. Quiet. A refuge from the dark memories playing havoc in his brain after the violence of an Army deployment. He seems to have found a home with the Casey family business, and he’d rather not lose what little peace he’s found.

Except that Breanna’s on a path to self-destruction. When Noah steps up to stop a drunken assault on Breanna, things between the two heat up. And like the street and drag race cars they work on,  their relationship goes from zero to too-fast… overnight. Too bad the two get along like cats and dogs.

Fast paced and well-executed as the first two books in the series, Full Tilt Boogie will pull you along (yeah, it was another late night as I read this one in a single sitting). Breanna’s fate has been three books in the making, and Noah is entirely lovable for all his quiet calm and broodiness. This novel can be read as a standalone, but some events will be more relatable if you read the previous two novels.

TRB Pins for Full Tilt Boogie Review
TRB reviews Leslie Scott’s Full Tilt Boogie

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

Also by Leslie Scott

Two Hearts, One Stone (Standalone Cowboy Romance Novella)
The Finish Line (Book 1, Arkadia Fast)
Hot Lap (Book 2, Arkadia Fast)
Interview with Leslie Scott, 2019
Updated Interview with Leslie Scott, 2020

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

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The Lieutenants’ Online Love

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews Caro Carson’s The Lieuntenants’ Online Love

About the Book

The Lieutenants’ Online Love; Caro Carson
Adult; Contemporary Romance; 224 Pages

Harlequin Special Edition; Original edition (May 1, 2018)

What happens when your internet crush…

Shows up in real life?

First Lieutenant Thane Carter has experienced great success as the senior platoon leader of a military police company at Fort Hood. But tbh, his love life stinks. Thane wishes his maddening—and off-limits—new coworker, Lieutenant Chloe Michaels, could be more like his online friend “BallerinaBaby.” It’s complicated, all right—especially when Thane learns that his workplace nemesis and his internet crush are one and the same!

About the Author

Despite a no-nonsense background as a West Point graduate and U.S. Army officer, Caro Carson has always treasured the happily-ever-after of a good romance novel. After her military service, she worked in the healthcare industry with a Fortune 100 company, talking science with doctors who were rarely handsome bachelor Texans like the doctors in her books. Now a USA Today bestselling author and RITA™award winner, Caro is delighted to be living her own happily-ever-after with her husband (who actually is a handsome Texan) and their two children. They live in the great state of Florida, a location which has saved the coaster-loving theme park fanatics a fortune on plane tickets.

Jenn’s Review

Typically, I’m on the fence about military romance, as a former Army wife and Army civilian. I love the love stories, but frequently, the [military] lifestyle is romanticized and my enjoyment is killed by the “I’m pretty sure someone’s going to at least get a counseling statement off that…” reality-check in the back of my head. So when I met Ms. Carson at a romance lit convention and had the opportunity to talk to her about The Lieutenants’ Online Love, her personal experience with military law and her attention to detail just on the cover sold me on giving this one a try.

Thane Carter would love to have a life outside his career as a military police officer. Sadly, his only success so far has been with a whimsical online relationship with a woman he knows only as “BallerinaBaby”. His dreams take a downhill slide when the gorgeous woman he meets at an apartment complex barbeque turns out to be the new coworker in his company on Fort Hood. 

Chloe Michaels is fresh out of West Point and already tired of the attitude she gets as a new lieutenant in Fort Hood’s military police force. She’s a woman. She’s a West Point grad. And the guys, especially Lieutenant Carter, all expect nothing but failure and weakness as she works her way into her new position. Only her online friend, “DifferentDrummer”, seems to have any faith in her ability to do her job and do it well. And while he’s there to listen when she needs an understanding shoulder to lean on, she has to be careful about the details of her life. They had an agreement, after all.

Carter and Michaels clash in the office and on patrol, delicately dancing around military regulations as they each struggle with their love-hate relationship. And when Carter discovers that BallerinaBaby is closer than he realizes, the tensions ratchet up several notches.

I blew threw this book in one sitting, then picked it up and read it again the next day. I appreciate Ms. Carson’s respect of military law (and not bending around it to make things simpler), and her attention to the little details. With a background in military law running through my own marriage, I didn’t find myself sitting back and asking Hubby (a former Army JAG paralegal) if something sounded off to him. At. All. 

I’m impressed and working my way through my TBR pile to make room for some more Caro Carson.

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Jenn reviews Caro Carson’s The Lieuntenants’ Online Love

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

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Braking Hard

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Twitter for Divine Challenges review
Jenn reviews Gloria Joynt-Lang’s Braking Hard

About the Book

Braking Hard; Gloria Joynt-Lang
Adult; Romance; 204 pages

The Wild Rose Press, Inc; 1 edition (February 12, 2020)

Gage O’Neill is an all-around nice guy and an Adonis in coveralls. With a thriving automotive business, a gorgeous girlfriend, and his ADHD under control, life is pretty incredible. But when he loses a loved one, Gage’s perfect world unravels. Prone to bad choices, he’s desperate to quell his rash behavior. Thankfully, hiring a curvy mechanic is the one impulsive decision he’s gotten right.

Eden Sampario is destitute as a result of a confrontation turned violent with her former employer. When Gage mistakenly offers her a job, she readily accepts. But soon she wonders if she made the right decision. Resisting her sexy boss proves more challenging than an engine rebuild. Her only other option? Give in to temptation and risk not only her career but also her heart.

Welcome to Big C’s automotive shop, a place where more than cars overheat.

About the Author

Gloria Joynt-Lang was born in France and raised in various locales throughout Canada. Before she started writing contemporary romance, she worked in the criminal justice system—technically spending time behind bars.

As a Canadian, she’s fanatic about hockey, poutine, and apologizing.

She currently resides in rural Alberta with her husband and their two dogs.

Jenn’s Review

Gloria Joynt-Lang is earning her chops as a sensitive author of neurodiverse characters in romance fiction, with her second book, Braking Hard, which features a strong female lead in a nontraditional career and a male protagonist coping with adult ADHD.

Gage is nothing short of determined. The owner of an auto repair shop in a small Oregon coastal town, each day is a struggle to stay focused on the things he needs to accomplish while managing his employees and a failing relationship. His mentor passes away suddenly, and Gage is sent adrift, trying to find his feet on his own. When he’s forced to fire one of his mechanics, he faces further challenges finding someone qualified. Until he stumbles upon “Ed’s” resume. 

Eden’s life was turned upside down in a moment of violence when her boss makes inappropriate sexual advances and threatens her. She’s lost her job and she’s on the edge of losing everything else. While she’s a good mechanic and technician, finding another job in the career she loves is challenging – men either don’t believe she can do the work, or she’s subjected to demeaning and dehumanizing work conditions as a woman. When she learns that a former teacher has passed away, she makes an effort to attend his wake and runs into Gage.

Ms. Joynt-Lang treats her characters’ challenges with tenderness and honesty in this story that might just have been written about the little coastal town I live in. She nails the quirky nature of the town’s inhabitants and weaves together all the little ways that people intersect in a tiny town. Gage’s struggle with his ADHD is real and honest. Eden’s challenges as a woman in a male-dominated career field are honest. 

Quirky, funny, and touching, I would recommend Braking Hard to fans of contemporary romance. It’s the first in a new series, and I eagerly look forward to the next installment.

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Jenn reviews Gloria Joynt-Lang’s Braking Hard

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback here.

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

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Also by Gloria Joynt-Lang

Beyond Circumstances

Author Interview with Gloria Joynt-Lang for Braking Hard

Gloria Joynt-Lang Interview – Braking Hard

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn interviews contemporary romance author Gloria Joynt-Lang for the release of her newest novel, Braking Hard
Jenn interviews contemporary romance author Gloria Joynt-Lang for the release of her newest novel, Braking Hard

A few years back, Thrice Read Books had the privilege of sitting down with debut author Gloria Joynt-Lang to talk about her first novel, Beyond Circumstances. Unfortunately, a few months after the release, the publishing house had to close its doors, and Ms. Joynt-Lang’s book was off the market. We’re very excited to welcome her back to our bookshelves with her release of Braking Hard.

Jenn: Could you tell our readers a little about your new novel, Braking Hard?

Gloria: Braking Hard is a contemporary romance novel set in a fictional coastal town in Oregon. It follows Gage O’Neill a mechanic with ADHD who happens to be the co-owner of Big C’s Automotive. When his business partner passes away, Gage’s life unravels. Navigating through his own grief leads to a series of mishaps. In an effort to stop Big C’s from tanking, Gage hires Eden Sampario, a woman who’s had her own struggles. Working in a male-dominated profession has taken a toll on her. The last thing she needs is to complicate her life by dating the boss. Braking Hard is a friends-to-lovers romance with a unique neurodiversity twist.

Jenn: How long has Braking Hard been in the making?

Gloria: I started writing Braking Hard two years ago. I had a few obstacles along the way including searching for a new publisher. I also went through a bit of health issue which derailed me from writing. I ended up with daily headaches and light sensitivity issues. For several months I couldn’t even check my emails let alone open my laptop. Blue light from electronic devices is the worst. Fortunately, it turned out to be a pinched nerve and thus treatable. Numerous trips to the chiropractor and yoga sessions helped me to realign my body. I was so thankful when the problem went away as I feared my writing days were over. I’m pretty much back to where I was before.

Jenn: I imagine there was considerable research with Braking Hard? How did you approach the research?

Gloria: I love doing research as it’s an opportunity to experience new things.  For Braking Hard I convinced my husband we needed to take a road trip to the Oregon coast. We still talk about how much fun we had. It was quite an adventure. We booked this old Airstream trailer in a farmer’s field one night. The on-line pictures seemed rather quaint. Other than the small mattress, it was kind of romantic. The only problem was that by the time we arrived down a very narrow road late at night, we were exhausted. Thankfully, our hosts had pancake mix, s’mores and a bottle of wine for us. Who would have thought red wine pairs so nicely with flapjacks? We took our two small dogs with us. A lot of places ban pets on the beach but not Oregon. I would go back in a second.

Other parts of the research dealt with talking to people with ADHD and hours reading about the disorder.  This was more difficult. Peoples’ experiences differ and there’s some contradictory information. I tried to focus on the commonalities of people with ADHD while being respectful of how different people handle the challenges. In Braking Hard there’s a scene where Gage opens up to Eden about his struggles and what works and doesn’t work for him. I believe it’s done in a respectful manner and doesn’t discount the variety of therapies and medication available to help people manage.

Jenn: What inspired Gage and Eden’s story?

Gloria: There’s a fair amount of information and dialogue on kids with ADHD, but we often forget about the adults. There’s a percentage of kids with ADHD who symptoms lessen as they get older, but for some, it’s a lifelong battle. I wanted to show not only the struggles but also a man who‘s successful. There are positive aspects of ADHD and these traits help Gage when it comes to being a mechanic and also a friend.

When it came to Eden, my goal was to create a feminine character who’s independent and tough with a degree of vulnerability. She’s in a male-dominated profession and had some horrible experiences with men. Her family situation is so different than Gage. He comes from a large family. They’re boisterous and meddlesome but love him with great intensity. With Eden there’s just her and her mom. They have a strained relationship because of her mother’s choices. Eden’s vulnerability comes from wanting to fit in both at work and in the community but also afraid of getting too close to others. People have this annoying tendency to disappoint.

Jenn: Is this your first published novel?

Gloria: No, this is the second one. My first novel was published in 2018. Unfortunately, a few months after Beyond Circumstances’ release, the publisher ended up closing shop. At the time I was devasted, but I learned a lot from that experience. The rights were returned to me, so I plan to relaunch it. I have two other novels as part of that series which I’m polishing up and hoping to get published.

Braking Hard is published through The Wild Rose Press and is the first in the Storm Harbor series. I already started on the next book and I’ve got some great ideas for the third.

Jenn: What advice would you give to aspiring authors looking to get published?

Gloria: Rejection is part of the process. It’s extremely rare for an author to be offered a contract on their first query. Most of us get turned down numerous times, especially on the first book. If you find you’re getting rejected a crazy amount of times, look at what you can do differently. Is it your story, your writing style, poor grammar? Some agents and publishers tell you what you’re doing wrong. Beta readers and critique partners also help to point you in the right direction.

Jenn: Are you are a pantser or a planner when it comes to your writing style?

Gloria: I’m more of a pantser.  I do jot a few ideas as they come to me and try to organize them into a scene, but normally I just type as it flows from my brain. Perhaps that’s why I spend a considerable amount of time doing self-edits and chopping out the excessive wordage.

Jenn: So, Braking Hard hits the shelves February 12, but you mentioned that you have more in the works for this series. Care to elaborate.

Gloria: The second novel in the Storm Harbor Series follows Gage’s cousin Cole. There are a few signs in Braking Hard that Cole is ready to settle down. Cole’s a bit of wild one so he needs a woman who will challenge him. Expect some fireworks in this enemies-to-lovers story. And there’s going to be a cat in it. I’m a dog lover so felines are foreign territory to me. I doubt I’ll be able to convince my husband we need to adopt a cat—in the name of research—so I’ll be turning to readers to educate me on all things feline.

Jenn: On behalf of Thrice Read Books, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk today.

Jenn interviews contemporary romance author Gloria Joynt-Lang for the release of her newest novel, Braking Hard
Jenn interviews contemporary romance author Gloria Joynt-Lang for the release of her newest novel, Braking Hard

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Also by Gloria Joynt-Lang

Braking Hard (coming soon)

Beyond Circumstances

Buy Braking Hard

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The Finish Line

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews book 1 in Leslie Scott’s Arkadia Fast series, The Finish Line

About the Book

The Finish Line; Leslie Scott
Adult; Contemporary Romance; 368 Pages

The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (Champagne Rose) (December 11, 2017)

Another night at the races is more than burnt rubber with a hit of nitrous. For one young woman, it’s navigating trauma, love, and loss in the stifling Texas heat under the watchful gaze of her brother’s best friend and reigning King of the Streets, Jordan Slater. Home in Arkadia again, Raelynn Casey starts to heal from a terrible incident at college. She finds love in Jordan, a member of her brother’s circle of racing buddies. When another in the racing circle, the guy who took her to her high school prom, exposes his feelings for Raelynn, tragedy erupts like a tank of race fuel. Guilt, remorse, and pain must be overcome before Raelynn and Jordan can race to The Finish Line.

About the Author

Award-nominated author of Two Hearts, One Stone and the Arkadia Fast Series, Leslie Scott has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. The happier the ending, the better. Currently, she lives and writes amidst her own happily ever after with her soul mate, son, and a domestic zoo. http://lesliescottromance.com/

Jenn’s Review

Leslie Scott brings the high-octane, sizzling romance to her readers in book 1 of the Arkadia Fast series, The Finish Line.

Raelynn Casey comes from a family steeped in street racing, and she’s just returned home from a disastrous attempt at running away from everything she’s known. What else can a girl do when the man she’s loved all her life tells her he doesn’t want her? Problem is, running away only created more problems, and Raelynn isn’t about to tell her family, let alone her adrenaline junkie friends, any of whom would happily rearrange the face of the man who hurt her.

Jordan Slater? He tried his best to pretend he doesn’t want Raelynn, because one of his best friends would be crushed. But he can see the shadows lurking in Rae’s eyes, and with his own past haunting him, he finagles his way past her defenses to get to the painful truth.

As Jordan and Raelynn grow closer, will their love and friendship last when disaster claims the life of someone they both love?

Leslie Scott drives this story forward with emotional and sexual tension that pulls out all the stops. I’d already read book 2 in this series, and I was still swept away with every twist and turn in this plot. Hot contemporary romance at high speed.

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Jenn reviews book 1 in Leslie Scott’s Arkadia Fast series, The Finish Line

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, Audiobook and Paperback here.


Also by Leslie Scott

Two Hearts, One Stone (Stand-Alone Novella)
Hot Lap (Book 2 Arkadia Fast)
Full Tilt Boogie (Book 3, Arkadia Fast)
Author Interview, 2019
Updated Interview, 2020


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Chasing Lightning Bugs

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews JL Keathley’s Chasing Lightning Bugs

About the Book

Chasing Lightning Bugs; JL Keathley
Teen/Young Adult; Romance; 138 Pages

Merfire Publishing (August 15, 2019)

Angel is a surfer from California. He has money and an ego to go with it. Before his grand college adventure, he gets booted off to Arkansas for the summer to visit his dad. He believes it’s a cruel, unusual punishment and that this will be the worst time of his life, but he couldn’t be more wrong…

Faith is a waitress at the local diner in a small town in southern Arkansas. Happy and not expecting life to change much, her only goal was to support her family. She never thought everything could change so much in one summer, some for the better and some for the worst.

Faith and Angel are from completely different worlds, but it doesn’t matter. Sometimes fate has a plan for you, even if you don’t have one for yourself…

About the Author

。☆✼★J.L. Keathley is a self-published author who focuses on YA Fantasy. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and two daughters. She loves animals and has a variety of pets. She has always loved to read and decided to write what she wants to read about. She likes to travel with her family and find adventures.★✼☆。

Distant Memories (The Shadow Realm, Book 1) Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/t6-d3zWgFk8

。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆
Amazon Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2GYGKT

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17740041.J_L_Keathley

GoodReads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38743860-distant-memories

J.L. Keathley Blog:
https://jlkeathleyyaauthor.wordpress.com/

J.L. Keathley Facebook:
https://facebook.com/J.L.Keathley/

J.L. Keathley Twitter:
https://twitter.com/jlk_ya_author

J.L. Keathley Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/j.l.keathley/
。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

Jenn’s Review

Young adult author, JL Keathley, branches out into Contemporary YA Romance in her new release, Chasing Lightning Bugs. California bad boy meets Sweet Southern girl in this inspirational, happily ever after perfect for young teens.

Angel is a California city-boy who loves to surf, hang out with pretty girls, and generally postpone the doom and gloom of college and adult-hood. So when his mom tells him it’s time to catch the plane that will take him to the tiny town of Fouke, Arkansas for a visit with his dad, he did what teens do best – he procrastinated and complained. He doesn’t want to spend his summer in a little hick-town with nothing to do.

Faith just wants to live her quiet little life in Fouke. The people there are friendly, she loves her church, her sister, and her mom, and she sees no reason to even look twice at the pretty city boy. He’ll just leave at the end of summer, and she’s got her priorities straight.

So when Angel proves there’s more than what she can see on the surface, she does her best to hold him at bay. Until her life starts to fall apart, and he offers her a shoulder to lean on and blows all her preconceived notions out the window.

Ms. Keathley presents a sweet little love story with a true happy-ever-after in this little volume. Its simple voice and diminutive length will have you adding her other work to your to-be-read pile.

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Jenn reviews JL Keathley’s Chasing Lightning Bugs

Buy the Book

This book is available on Kindle here.


Also by JL Keathley

Distant Memories (Shadow Realms book 1)


Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

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Also by JL Keathley

Distant Memories (Book 1, The Shadow Realm series)

Tell Me What You Want

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews Susan Sheehey’s contemporary romance novella Tell Me What You Want

About the Book

Tell Me What You Want;
Susan Sheehey
Adult; Romance; 153 Pages

Susan Sheehey (January 4, 2018)

The Cardinal rule for Knights is never fall for a client.
But in a business where rules are meant to be broken, how can he resist…

Book One – Renner
Showing a woman her worth is his specialty.

Renner Shaw’s priority as a Knight—a luxury escort with Knights of Texas—is making clients feel safe and secure. Intimacy is a perk, and one of his fortes. A position he was surprised to be well suited for with his charm and unrivaled focus. But he never expected the likes of Cassie Summer to come calling.

Cassie never expected to call an escort for the sole purpose of helping her sleep after a sudden tragedy. She certainly never anticipated the sizzling Renner Shaw would be the light that helps guide her out of grief. Only, it may be too late to salvage her splintered heart.

Making his client feel safe and secure is harder than Renner ever imagined, but he’s determined to fulfill his role to perfection. To change her gray and dreary world into one of colorful pleasure.

Knights of Texas novella series

Now accepting clients.
Noble pleasure seekers bring their expertise to showing a woman her true worth. 
Revealing a woman’s value is their devoted mission. These southern charmers can all but guarantee kindling a woman’s heart.

About the Author

Susan writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Water plays a crucial element in all of her novels, and she’s a strong advocate for Autism Awareness. She tried to give up Diet Coke, and it didn’t take. Susan lives and laughs in Texas with her husband and two sons. 
Follow her at www.SusanSheehey.com or on Facebook and Twitter. Join her monthly newsletter for goodies and sneak peeks.
https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/p5b0i9

If you have a kind heart, send Diet Coke so I can keep writing more books!
~Escape in romance and suspense!

Jenn’s Review:

I found a novella that was both sweet and steamy, with a satisfying ending in Susan Sheehey’s Tell Me What You Want. Who knew being a male escort could lead a man to the woman of his dreams?

Renner’s a man with a history – and not the warm fuzzy kind of history. So when his friends dupe him into his first gig as a gigolo, he’s surprised to find that his skills as a lover can, in fact, go hand in hand with his skills as a bodyguard. He’s charming and focused, and very good at giving women what they’re looking for as a high-end escort.

Cassie just wants a full night’s sleep, which she hasn’t had since the tragedy that ripped her husband out of her life. Now, she’s juggling life without a partner and a traumatized son, nightmares and loneliness. Who knew an escort would not only help her get a good night’s sleep but would also start piecing her broken heart back together?

Tell Me What You Want is, for the most part, a sweet romance, with a few sensual scenes that follow the midpoint. Ms. Sheehey builds the suspense and character development subtly, rocketing her readers through a beautifully developed story, drops readers off a cliff in the Black Moment, and then ties it all up in a neat bow for a satisfying conclusion.

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Jenn reviews Susan Sheehey’s contemporary romance novella Tell Me What You Want

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at books@thricereadbooks.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

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The Greatest Risk

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews her first Kristen Ashely book, The Greatest Risk - contemporary romance, BDSM, Erotica Romance
Jenn reviews her first Kristen Ashely book, The Greatest Risk

About the Book

The Greatest Risk; Kristen Ashley
Adult; Erotica; 592 Pages

St. Martin’s Griffin (May 1, 2018)

A woman, unable to connect, struggling to hide another part of her. A man burning to learn her truth, and make her whole. Through explosive passion and deep exploration, they are about to take the greatest risk of all. But will they be able to take that leap, and come out on the other side together? In this next passionate novel in the Honey series, New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley delivers a stunningly romantic and intensely sexy novel that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

About the Author

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Heroes, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation and Honey series along with several standalone novels.

She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books. 

In January, Kristen released FREE, the finale to her much-loved Chaos series. Upcoming from Kristen will be THE SLOW BURN, the final book in her Moonlight and Motor Oil series, out April 30, 2019, and QUIET MAN, a Dream Man novella coming 1,001 Dark Nights coming August 13, 2019.

Kristen, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, was a fourth generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and she now resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She now writes full-time.

Although romance is her genre, the prevailing themes running through all of Kristen’s novels are friendship, family and a strong sisterhood. To this end, and as a way to thank her readers for their support, Kristen has created the Rock Chick Nation, a series of programs that are designed to give back to her readers and promote a strong female community.

You can learn more about Kristen and the Rock Chick Nation on her website: www.KristenAshley.net

Jenn’s Review

Disclaimer: this book is intended for mature audiences only. It’s recurring themes of sexuality, BDSM, domination, and sexual slavery are not appropriate for minors.

Steamy sex, domination, bondage, control, and persistent love lay between the pages of this sizable novel by Kristen Ashley. Despite its thick and intimating size, I read through it in just a few days, totally engaged in the plot.

Sixx and Stellan come from backgrounds as opposite as they come. Sixx was intrigued by Stellan’s detached air from the moment she set eyes on him in the upscale BDSM club run by her good friend and mentor, Aryas. Stellan is par excellence when he works with submissives in the club, and Sixx has her own following as one of the club’s most sought after dominatrices.

Her biggest problem? Stellan is totally out of her reach, whether he’s attracted to someone else, or just seems to not notice her at all.

And then there’s her career choice, looming in the background. If she gets involved with anyone, it could end badly for them both.

So, when Stellan challenges Sixx’s preconceived notions about herself and him, the stakes are higher than ever. Can they both move beyond the traumas in their pasts to find love stronger than any bondage they’ve ever explored?

And when Sixx takes on a job that has her exploring another BDSM club, will the danger cost her the best thing she’s ever had?

This is my first Kristen Ashley, and it is definitely NOT your momma’s Fifty Shades of Gray. Deeply empathetic characters and rich settings set the stage for steamy romance and rough sex of all kinds.

Jenn reviews her first Kristen Ashely book, The Greatest Risk - contemporary romance, BDSM, Erotica Romance
Jenn reviews her first Kristen Ashely book, The Greatest Risk

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audio book, paperback, and MP3 CD here.

Forbidden by Destiny

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny - contemporary romance, interracial romance, Iranian-American fiction, OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction

Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny

About the Book

Forbidden by Destiny, Negeen Paphen

Adult, Multicultural Romance , 282 Pages

Publisher City Owl Press (February 19, 2019)

Leyla had never known what it felt like to fall in love. Not until her best friend Sara broke Ben’s heart. 

After the devastating break up, Leyla reluctantly agreed to pick up Sara’s things from Ben’s home. Leyla thought she was being a good friend, but when she finds Ben completely shattered, her loyalties are tested. He had been her friend too. An afternoon of an innocent lunch and a walk on the beach to cheer him up turns into fireworks when Leyla can’t get Ben out of her head. 

Pushed to her limits, fighting for a love she’s always dreamed of, and against a demon she never knew existed, Leyla must ultimately make a choice. Her decision will come down to loyalty to her best friend, the expectations of her family, or the desires of her wanting heart. Is love worth taking the risk? 

About the Author

Negeen Papehn was born and raised in southern California, where she currently lives with her husband and two rambunctious boys. She wasn’t always a writer. A graduate of USC dental school, Negeen spends half of her week with patients and the other half in front of her laptop. In the little time she finds in between, she loves to play with her boys, go wine tasting with her friends, throw parties, and relax with her family.

Jenn’s Review

Negeen Papehn brings back the fantastic cast of her first book, Forbidden by Faith, to continue the story of Ben (the almost-hero of book 1) and Leyla, best friend of Sara, the heroine of book 1, in her second release, Forbidden by Destiny.

After Sara and Ben end their relationship for good, best friend Leyla is tasked with collecting Sara’s things from the apartment the couple was moving into. Leyla liked Ben – they were friends while he and Sara were dating, but she’s been friends with Sara since they were in diapers. So when Leyla realizes she’s attracted to her best friend’s ex, and that she’s deeply bothered by how Sara ended the relationship, Leyla finds herself in the worst possible situation – she’s in love with her best friend’s ex.

Ben understands Leyla’s predicament, but after two years of experience with Sara’s Iranian family, their culture, and their judgment based on his heritage, he’s not up for a repeat – and he pushes Leyla to stop hiding their love.

Turns out that doing so creates an avalanche of events that threaten to tear Leyla’s world apart, distancing her from friends, family, and ultimately, Ben himself. And just as she’s finding her feet again, her world is turned upside down by a single trauma that will alter her life forever.

I enjoyed book 1, and I was just tickled pink to see how much Ms. Papehn has grown as an author in book 2. The writing and plot are tighter. The narrative doesn’t ramble at all. The emotional impact of this second book is so much deeper, that I found myself crying on more than one occasion, and I hadn’t even gotten to the black moment!

Forbidden by Destiny can be read as a standalone, easily. Any necessary backstory is handled efficiently and doesn’t leave the reader lost. With that said, however, reading book 1, Forbidden by Faith, will deepen the emotional impact of Layla and Ben’s story. And… Spoiler alert: I am so happy that Ben got his happy ending – he’s the kind of guy that mother’s hope their daughters (and maybe sons) find to spend their lives with.

A full, easy four-star romance worth sitting down to.

Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny - contemporary romance, interracial romance, Iranian-American fiction, OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction
Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle format here:

Other Books in the series:

Forbidden by Faith (Book 1 – Sara and Maziar’s story)

Forbidden by Time (Book 3 – Bita & Ramtin’s story)