Tagged: Contemporary Romance

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 – coming soon)

Hot Lap (Arkadia Fast ) – Review

**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 Leslie Scott's new action-adventure romance HOT LAP - adult romance, contemporary romance, race cars, street racing, single dad

Jenn reviews Hot Lap by Leslie Scott – Adult Contemporary Romance

About the Book


Hot Lap (Arkadia Fast ); Leslie Scott
Adult; Romance; 249 Pages

The Wild Rose Press, Inc (March 6, 2019)

Starting a new life isn’t easy when the skeletons locked in her closet are the notorious town drunk for a father and a haunted past. But, Hadley Morgan isn’t one to shy away from second chances or giving them either.

When a young, single father wrapped up in an octane fueled package takes particular interest in her, she begins to dream. But well-known drag racer Aiden Casey is also her boss, making her hesitate to grab at her chance at happiness. 

Will her secrets shatter their chance at love or will his past come back to destroy both of them?

About the Author

Leslie Scott has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Currently, she lives and writes amidst her own happily ever after with her soul mate, son, and domestic zoo. http://lesliescottromance.com/

Excerpt (With permission of the Author)

“Wow.” The word tumbled from my lips before my body had time to register how damn good he looked.

Aiden wore his dark hair tied at the base of his neck. His sharp cheekbones were model perfect. The dimple in his cheek when wide, sculpted lips curved in a smile, sent me into a spiral of va-va-voom.

I stood there, dumbstruck.

“I thought since I’d asked you to wear a dress, I should return the favor.” He wore a crisp white shirt, unbuttoned at the collar with the sleeves rolled up on his forearms, and clean, faded jeans with a pair of black Vans. So handsome, he took my breath away.

“I never pegged you for a skater.” I stepped out of the door, my strappy sandals clicking with each footfall.

His laugh came as easy as the fingers that wrapped around my hand. “A guy can’t give away all his secrets.”

“Really? You can skateboard?” I’d never seen him do anything other than drive.

“Yeah. Vic, too.” Pleasant surprise was becoming an old friend where Aiden was concerned. He fell with ease into the rhythm of conversation. With Aiden, things that should have been awkward—weren’t.

“We didn’t always drive. Except for maybe Jordan. Old Man always let him drive around in that old truck.”

They all referred to Jordan’s grandfather as “Old Man,” even Aiden’s sisters. Jordan had restored the old Chevy truck and made it like new again.

“You loved him.” The affection for Jordan’s grandfather written plainly on Aiden’s face.

“Jordan or his grandfather?” He lifted a shoulder. “Both, I guess. Jordan is my brother, from different parents. The Old Man was just…awesome.”

“I think it’s nice.” If I searched the recesses of my mind, I could almost grasp the familial bond. Then poof, another light in my life snuffed out far too soon. Each time I was with Aiden, I trudged up things long since buried.

Yet, being with him made me happier than I could ever remember.

“Now, close your eyes.” The rumbling timbre of his voice lulled me into doing just that.

Jenn’s Review

Leslie Scott is back with another sweet and spicy romance in her latest release, Hot Lap.

Hadley’s life is falling apart in a small town. She’s spent most of her life hiding who she is, but her drunken father has a knack for outing her in the worst ways. This time, she’s lost her apartment because of his antics, and she’s tired of cleaning up after him. Her best friends know she needs a place (though they don’t know why), and they throw her on the mercy of their brother, Aiden – who also happens to be Hadley’s boss at the auto shop.

Aiden’s moved back in with his folks since his divorce left him with two small children and his little trailer is available. He’s more than happy to rent it to Hadley, dirt cheap. Having a woman he’s attracted to, so close by, is a welcome distraction for one of the biggest names in street racing, and both have wounds that seem to close the closer they get.

Platonic friendship? It’s not on either of their minds as things heat up, but for wildly different reasons. But just when things seem to be going well, forces outside the pair crop up to tear them apart.

This is a fast-paced read, filled with fast cars, hunky drivers, and strong-willed women. I couldn’t put it down for long. Well-written, and I’m already looking forward to the next installment!

Jenn reviews Leslie Scott's new action-adventure romance HOT LAP - adult romance, contemporary romance, race cars, street racing, single dad
Jenn reviews Hot Lap by Leslie Scott – Adult Contemporary Romance

Buy the Book

This book is available on Amazon Kindle here.

Leslie Scott – Author Interview

**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 Leslie Scott, contemporary romance author and creator of the Arkadia Fast series
Jenn interviews Leslie Scott, contemporary romance author and creator of the Arkadia Fast series

Jenn sat down with Leslie Scott, an author we’ve featured before here on Thrice Read Books, to talk about life, romance, and her new release, Hot Lap. (You can find links to her reviews for Leslie’s books at the bottom of this post.)

Jenn: I’ve had the privilege of reading two of your books so far, and I’m in love with your style and characters, but before we get to them… Could you tell us a bit about you?

Leslie: Thank you, by the way. Especially the part about the characters. That always makes me smile.

I live in North Alabama. So think more rockets and engineers and fewer cotton fields and rednecks.

Jenn: Right on…

Leslie: I’ve been a stay at home, homeschool mom since this writing journey started. I have an eleven-year-old gifted son and a school setting was difficult for him. So if I’m not writing, often I’m teaching. It’s been a learning experience for both of us.

Or playing Mom-Taxi, there’s a lot of that.

Jenn: Homeschooling is a huge challenge that requires flexibility and constant adaptation. I remember those days well.

Leslie: It’s really a mess, a lot of times. My mom lives with us (and has for years), the other day she asked me if I was ever planning on cleaning the books off the kitchen table.

To which my son piped up “That’s the math lesson right now, we can’t.”

Jenn: Right! When Sam decided she wanted to do public school last year, I think I had a mini-celebration for all the new shelf space I’d acquired.

Leslie: Right? LoL. But we do that, we rescue and foster cats and dogs. I currently have eight (4 of each) right now and none are fosters. Well, one is a foster fail.

When this writing gig got busy, I had to enlist the aid of an online curriculum. So, while I supplement heavily, it’s not all on my shoulders anymore. And he’s doing well with that.

Jenn: So, you write romance, teach middle school, foster kitties and doggos…plus entertain rocket-men and engineers?

Leslie: LOL, mostly yeah. And Mr. Scott does cars. Always cars. Buying, selling, fixing, restoring, playing… cars. Which is where the idea for Arkadia Fast came from, lol.

Jenn: Hehe… I’ve known a few of those. I noticed a distinct flair for classic muscle in Hot Lap. If you ever get out to the West Coast in the Summer, we have a couple of fantastic little car shows.

So, how did this writing gig get started? Have you always wanted to be a writer? Or was it more of a hobby/idea that came from extra homeschooling time?

Leslie: I’ve always been a writer. Since I was a little girl, I’ve told and wrote stories. Won writing competitions. And for years I wrote on writing sites on the internet… for fun. (back when that was a thing)

I’m actually jumping into the Radish App this spring, which will be like going back to those days for me. The homeschooling thing just allowed me time to really pursue this as a career.

Jenn: That’s one I haven’t heard of… What’s Radish?

Leslie: Radish Fiction is a mobile app for serialized fiction.

Jenn: That sounds like fun.

Leslie: Basically, you read a few episodes for free, then pay a small amount to open the rest. Yeah, the likes of Bev Jenkins and Kelly Armstrong have stuff on there.

Jenn: Oh… that does sound interesting.

Leslie: It’s a cool way too, for me to explore new genres

Granted, the app is romance heavy, I’ll be writing an Urban Fantasy (with romantic elements).

Jenn: I’m always curious about this when I get the answer “I’ve always been a writer.” Did you pursue writing/creative writing in college?

Leslie: In high school, yes.

I went to a technical college first, and they didn’t have creative writing. But after the plan was to go for an English degree (still on the agenda, but haven’t got around to it) with a focus in creative writing.

My 8th grade English teacher goes to church with us.

She told me back then I should be a writer, she’s thrilled now.

Jenn: Hehe… That’s awesome!

So, as we transition over to talking about your books, let’s dive into the source – Where do you get your ideas for stories?

Leslie: lol, is “the voices in my head” a good answer for that?

Jenn: As a writer… it works for me!

Leslie: In truth, some just come to me. Others I get a spark of inspiration from everyday things.

Jenn: Right.

Leslie: The Arkadia Fast series came from watching drag racing/street racing videos on youtube with Mr. Scott. And going to a few street races (and the drag strip).

BUT Two Hearts, One Stone I wrote specifically for a publisher’s open call

Jenn: I figured there was a personal experience there. The descriptions were too precise.

So, let’s talk about Two Hearts first… That was my introduction to your work, and I fell in love with your style in that story.

Leslie: Awe, thanks! I love my little cowboy novella.

Jenn: It’s a really sweet story.

Leslie: Thank you.

Jenn: You wrote it for an open call. For those who aren’t sure what that means, could you explain it a little?

Leslie: An open call is when a publisher wants a certain type of story. So they put it out there (both to their authors and often to the public) that hey we’re looking for this type of story written to a certain type of parameter.

For Stone, it was a novella about a cowboy and a baby.

Jenn: That sounds challenging. Do you write the story on a deadline? Or write the proposal and then do the story while you’re waiting on the response to your proposal

Leslie: Different for each story, truly.

For Stone, I wrote it on my own and submitted it when I finished (no real deadline).

Jenn: Okay. That makes sense.

Now, Arcadia Fast… that’s an entirely different thing, and I haven’t read book 1 yet (book 2 was awesome, and I didn’t feel like I was really missing out on anything by having not read #1). is that your only other series on the shelves so far?

Leslie: Right now, yes. I hope that changes by the end of the year. There are quite a few other things in the works. But, this business moves so slow. LoL.

And there are still four more Arkadia Fast novels to go.

Jenn: It does! Between the creative work and the product development (pretty much everything not writing and editing), it’s not an exact science.

Leslie: Indeed not. There are lots of things happening behind the scenes, though, and I can’t wait until I can share them with everyone.

Jenn: Yay! I’ll be looking forward to those.

Leslie: Let’s just say, my first true love… is romantic suspense. And at some point, more cowboys.

Jenn: Hot Lap comes out in just a little over a week, so let’s talk books! For those who haven’t gotten around to the review yet, what’s Hot Lap about? (Because it’s not about lap dances!)

😉

Leslie: Well, let’s start with what it means, first.

Jenn: Indeed!

Leslie: Hot Lap is a racing term for the turn around at the end of a track and running the race again without a cool down period for the car.

It’s dangerous, exciting, and well… yeah.

Jenn: More danger, more excitement.

Leslie: So, in Hot Lap, our hero is stepping back into the world of romantic relationships. Hadley, the heroine, is his Hot Lap.

The novel is about a young woman trying to find a place to belong and a young man trying to hold his little family together.

Jenn: He’s also a single father, with complications.

Leslie: Yes, indeed.

A young, single father, which really ads in another layer of problems

Meanwhile, the heroine is trying to hide a very large secret about herself.

Jenn: This is book 2 in the series, but I didn’t feel totally lost in reading it. Can you back up just a bit, and introduce book 1?

Leslie: There is a very major plot point in book one.*

The entire series follows a group of friends in the small town of Arkadia, Texas.

The Finish Line (book 1) is about Raelynn Casey and what it’s like to come home when it’s the last place in the world you want to be and the only place you need to be… All at the same time.

First loves, tragedies, and all of those things.

Jenn: I think I know which group of friends…Is this the race track/street racing bunch?

Leslie: Yes, it is. Most of the town is drag and/or street races. The prominent family in the first three novels (hint to book 3) own a Performance Speed Shop in town.

Jenn: Exactly. I caught a heavy hint of that tragedy in book 2.

Leslie: That tragedy, the loss of someone you love, haunts the entire series in its own way.

Jenn: It’s not something to just “get over”. That’s for sure.

Leslie: Indeed not. I think a lot of books do that, just skim past it as back story.

In truth, when something colors every decision you make, it becomes its own character in a way.

BUT, the books aren’t depressing. They are about finding the light and love despite such a thing.

Jenn: It does. And honestly, the way that you’ve portrayed the ongoing effects of such a loss, makes your characters come to life in a different way, which I love.

Leslie: Thank you, very much.

Jenn: I can’t speak for The Finish Line, but Hot Lap was definitely not depressing.

Leslie: The Finish Line is not either, it’s exciting and fast-paced and sexy.

Jenn: Two Hearts was, as well, so I have no doubt!

Leslie: I wish Book 3 was about to come out, as we could expand on this much more. We should revisit the topic when it does come out. lol

Jenn: Perhaps!

Leslie: Especially if you like big scary guys who turn into teddy bears.

Jenn: Hehe…

What one tidbit would you dangle in front of a prospective reader? What would you most like for a reader to know before diving into your books, or if they were considering reading one of your books?

Leslie: Oh wow. I don’t know!

I guess, that they may be romance novels (and romance gets a bad rap) but the characters come to life. Their stories, what happens to them, is more than just a romance. I like to write characters that become your friends, your family in their own right.

That’s why I said it means a lot when someone mentions them as you did at the beginning.

Jenn: You do that superbly, by the way.

❤

Leslie: Thank you.

Jenn: I hate when I hit the end of one of your stories, and dang it! The page won’t turn, because that’s the end!

Leslie: LOL. That’s a pretty awesome compliment.

I’m blushing.

🙂

Jenn: Aww

As we start to wrap up, what’s the best way for readers to follow you?

We have links at the end of the article, of course, but where are you most likely to be hanging out?

Leslie: I’m a Twitter-aholic.

Jenn: The writing community on Twitter is amazing, isn’t it?

Leslie: Yes, it really is. That’s the best way to interact with me as I’m constantly there and have Tweetdeck open all the time.

And sign up for my Newsletter. I don’t spam, but any updates and the like I get (giveaways, contests, cover reveals) all go through my mailing list first.

Jenn: Sweet. We’ll be sure to link to that, too.

Leslie: And if you really love the stories, I have an ARC  group on Facebook. So, a chance to read my stuff before anyone else. And a glimpse into all the stuff I’m doing I “can’t talk about.”

Jenn: For a quick recap, The Finish Line is already out, Hot Lap comes out soon… and book 3 is waiting in the wings. Any chance we could get ball-park release time for book 3?

Leslie: I’m hoping Book 3 (Full Tilt Boogie) will be out this winter.

Jenn: Very good!

Leslie: But, my serial, Black Water Magic will be out early May on the Radish Fiction app.

Jenn: Alrighty! I definitely have to add that to my tool kit.

And there goes my TBR pile… Again.

Leslie: LOL. Mine is RIDICULOUS, btw. I have an ad running on Bookbub so I log in daily to check it, and the first thing it shows me are the sale ebooks in my favorite genres.

So… yeah. LoL

Jenn: Hehe. I came home from RWA-2018 with over 100 books… And that’s just from RWA.

Leslie: Oh yeah, we did a small conference (you’d love it) in Atlanta called Moonlight and Magnolias

Jenn: Aww!

Leslie: And my CP had to check her suitcase on the flight home because she brought home so many.

Jenn: Oh, no! I know we had about $150 in shipping to get the books home because I couldn’t even fit them in my bags.

Leslie: Yeah, I can see that.

Jenn: But the one thing Hubby never hears is “I have nothing to read.”

Leslie: I drove, thankfully, and brought mine with me.

Jenn: Exactly! I’d like to thank you again, Leslie, for joining me today, and having such a fabulous little chat.

Leslie: This was fun, Jenn. Thanks for having me.

Jenn: I’ve been looking forward to getting to sit down with you since I read Two Hearts, so this was a HUGE treat for me.

Leslie: oh yay!

*Jenn has The Finish Line in her reading cue, so keep an eye open for the review!

Jenn interviews Leslie Scott, contemporary romance author and creator of the Arkadia Fast series

Jenn interviews Leslie Scott, contemporary romance author and creator of the Arkadia Fast series

Find Leslie on the Web!

Website Newsletter BookBub Facebook

Twitter Pinterest Youtube Playlists

ARC Review Group

Our Reviews of Leslie’s books:

Two Hearts, One Stone Hot Lap

The Finish Line (review coming soon)

Buy Leslie’s books here:

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Good Luck with That

**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 Kristin Higgins' GOOD LUCK WITH THAT - Contemporary Women's Fiction with a dash of romance
Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That

About the Book

Good Luck with That, Kristan Higgins
Adult, Humor, 480 Pages
Berkley (August 7, 2018)

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults. 

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her. 

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves. 

A novel of compassion and insight, Good Luck With That tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.

About the Author

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for Best Work of Fiction, and her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year of many prestigious journals and review sites. If you want to keep up with Kristan’s new releases and get a free short story, sign up for her mailing list at www.kristanhiggins.com.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two long-lashed children, a couple of frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.

Jenn’s Review

I had the good fortune of attending a writing class taught by Kristan Higgins over the summer, and when I had the opportunity to read one of her full novels, I jumped on it. Good Luck With That is warm, witty and honest women’s fiction with a hefty dose of romance in the second half.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley met at “fat camp” in their teens and became fast friends for life. Georgia and Marley share a house (kind of), but try to stay in touch with Emerson over the years. But the best of intentions go awry, and Georgia and Marley are called to Emerson’s hospital bedside just hours before their friend passes away. In their grief, they agree to follow the instructions in an envelope that they aren’t allowed to open until after Emerson’s funeral.

Good Luck With That is an honest and compassionate look at life with obesity and eating disorders, as well as a window into how society treats women based on their weight and size. As a woman who’s struggled with weight and eating disorders all my life, I found myself between the pages of this book. I’ve lived so many of the experiences that the protagonists endure, and their eventual triumph is heartening. The book also prompted some honest conversation at home with Hubby and Daughter (who is 13 and already struggling with society and her weight). These conversations will continue and battles will be won and lost, much like the trio in this book.

Have a hanky handy for this book, and be compassionate with yourself and others as you read. Five stars and highly recommended!

Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins' GOOD LUCK WITH THAT - Contemporary Women's Fiction with a dash of romance
Jenn reviews Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That

Buy the Book

 This book is available in Kindle, Library Edition, paperback,  and in audio book editions from Amazon  [affiliiate link}

Off the Map – Review

**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 Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

About the Book

Off the Map, Sierra Dean

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 220 Pages

Sierra Dean (October 2, 2018)

Her last job won’t be a day at the beach.

Harper Barton has one reason and one reason only to be in Colombia, and it isn’t for fun in the sun. As an expert in “acquiring” antiquities, she’s been tasked with collecting a valuable necklace from a gala. The problem? A drug kingpin wants the piece for himself, and won’t let a cat burglar get in his way.

Diego Morales is in Colombia doing research for his next book. The mild-mannered professor was expecting dusty books and boring lecture halls, not a beautiful woman sweeping him onto the dance floor and planting a kiss on him before being chased out of the building by armed guards.

Harper and Diego find themselves neck-deep in trouble when they’re kidnapped by the drug kingpin, but things go from bad to worse when they both go overboard and end up lost in the middle of the Colombian jungle. Can they stay alive long enough to get home? Can they stop fighting long enough to realize there’s more than just jungle heat simmering between them?

Off the Map is high-stakes adventure with spark, snark, and plenty of danger. 

About the Author


Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.

Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.

Jenn’s Review

Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider in Sierra Dean’s action romantic suspense Off the Map, complete with a snarky, dare-devil heroine and anthropology professor (albeit far less daring) hero.

Harper Barton’s career as a specialty cat burgler goes sideways as the intelligence reports for a quick grab-and-go job in Columbia turns out to be utterly wrong. In an effort to get out alive, she wrangles an unassuming man into a dance at the museum gala, plants her prize in his pocket, steals a hot kiss and attempts to make a getaway.

Diego can’t believe his luck. He’s in Columbia to study some artifacts that appear to be from a lost warrior culture, and has a speech to give at the museum gala. So far, his trip has been less than exciting, and his sister back home has pestered him for years to have an adventure. When the beautiful woman who invited him to dance kisses him so passionately that he can’t wait to see her again, he thinks he might finally accomplish his sister’s challenge.

Until the beautiful woman dashes away, with armed guards on her heels.

The pair alternate between attraction and bickering over the course of the ensuing days, trying to survive their explosive escape from captivity and certain death at the hands of Columbia’s most notorious and insane drug lord. Free of his clutches, can Harper and Diego survive the jungle to make it back to safety?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Dean’s world-building and character development are spot-on. The tension, both sexual and plot, kept me reading long past bedtime, and her twists in the plot kept me guessing what misfortune might befall the couple right up to the end.

This was a satisfying story, but I felt it ended very abruptly. Ms. Dean does suggest that this may have a sequel, but with so little space between the couple’s reunion and the end… The only other down-side of my review of the book is that the editing was incomplete, but not so much as to make the book unreadable.

Off the Map is an adult read, steamy, without edging off into erotica. Action-packed, thrilling, and immersive, this one gets a thumbs up.

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format here:

Swansong – Cover Reveal

**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.**

Thrice Read Books is pleased to present the new cover for Allie McCormack's SWANSONG, to be released March 15, 2019 - Multicultural Romance, Adult Contemporary Romance, OwnVoices, Diverse Books
Thrice Read Books is pleased to present the new cover for Allie McCormack’s Swansong, to be released March 4, 2019

About the Book

SwanSong, Allie McCormack (Sons of the Desert Book 1)

Adult, Multicultural Romance,

Release Date:  March 4, 2019

**Be sure to check out the whole post to see the gorgeous cover for this book!**

Sarah Pendleton was born into a life of wealth and
privilege, raised in the shadow of her famous soprano
mother and her father, an equally famous composer. Shy
and retiring, and treasuring her anonymity, Sarah has left
behind the world she grew up in to make her own life in
the coastal town of Santa Barbara, California.
A visiting University professor of Arabic literature from the
small oil-rich country of Taqara, Khalid Al Mansour is the
eldest son of an ambassador and an independent
American artist. He’s never settled down in one place, but
that’s because he’s never found what he wanted… until
one evening he sees the lovely bellydancer at a small,
smoky cafe downtown.

Thrice Read Books is pleased to present the new cover for Allie McCormack's SWANSONG, to be released March 4, 2019 - Multicultural Romance, Adult Contemporary Romance, OwnVoices, Diverse Books
Thrice Read Books is pleased to present the new cover for Allie McCormack’s SWANSONG, to be released March 4, 2019

About the Author

Allie McCormack
Author Allie McCormack

 A career medical transcriptionist, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. As a single mom, she raised a wonderful daughter who’s recently married and there are plans afoot for grandchildren. A disabled veteran, Allie now lives in the beautiful Sorona Desert in southern Arizona with her two rescue cats and writes full-time. 

Truck Stop is her first published novel. It’s being produced as an audiobook with an expected release around early January 2019. Her next romance novel, the first of a four-book paranormal romance series, is planned for release shortly after. 

Allie says: “A writer is who and what I am… a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of storylines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories.”

You can sign up for Allie’s monthly newsletter and find out about her other upcoming releases and current projects at her website www.alliemccormack.com.

Website: Allie McCormack’s Website 
Blog: Allie’s Blog 
Facebook: Allie on FB 
Twitter: Allie on Twitter 

Cover Reveal

Hey, hey! It’s that moment that this whole post is about! The almighty cover-reveal. We haven’t read the final copy, but Jenn has beta read portions of this book while it was in development. If you’re a romance fan, you’re going to want to get your hands on this book, and get it early! (It’s already available for pre-order, and we’ve got a link down below, so you can get first access). 

And… without further ado… Jenn went gaga over this cover.

Swansong is available for pre-order now. Be sure to get your copy! Multicultural Romance, Adult Romance, OwnVoices, Diverse Books
Swansong is available for pre-order now. Be sure to get your copy!

Buy the Book

Love on a Limb – Review

About the Book

Love on A Limb, Laurie Lewis (Great Expectations Love Stories: The Graykens Book 1)

Adult Religious Romance 344 Pages

Willowsport Press, November 26, 2017

Matthew Grayken is young, successful, and dying, which is why he’s about to propose to a total stranger. He isn’t interested in love. He needs a caregiver, a companion, and someone to be his legal voice when he can no longer speak for himself.

Lonely, compassionate nurse Mikaela Compton is intrigued by Matt Grayken’s tender request, but when their friendly marriage turns into love, she rejects the inevitability of Matt’s death and prays for a miracle instead.

Mikaela succeeds in reigniting Matt’s will to fight, but his body is losing the battle, and her determination to save him causes her to betray the fundamental promise she made him–to help him die peaceably. 

Their last hope at saving Matt’s life will require a sacrifice from each of them, and force them to decide how far out on a limb they’re willing to go for love.

About the Author

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis knows that wherever life takes her, she will always be a Marylander at heart—a weather-whining lover of crabs, American history, and the sea. She admits to being craft-challenged, particularly lethal with a glue gun, and a devotee of sappy movies. 

Therapists have been chasing her down to diagnose her multiple personality syndrome since she writes under three names–historical fiction as L.C. Lewis, romance and women’s fiction as Laurie Lewis, and general fiction as Laurie L.C. Lewis. 

Jenn’s Review

Cancer. It’s one of those words that make just about anyone cringe. But what happens when you’re fighting a losing battle? For your life, for your voice, for dying on your own terms?

That’s the question that bachelor Matt Grayken faces when he makes the choice to propose to Mikaela in the opening chapter of L.C. Lewis’s contemporary romance, Love on a Limb.

Matt has been battling cancer since childhood. He’s made a decent life for himself with the help of his adoptive, Irish immigrant parents, in the United States. This time, he’s chosen to withhold his renewed battle, to fight cancer his own way. 

He’s been observing gentle, compassionate Mikaela as she works with patients at the cancer treatment center when he’s in for chemotherapy. She’s exactly what he wants as an end-of-life partner, prompting his audacious proposal. They’ll be legally married, she’ll be his voice and nurse when he can no longer speak for himself, and she’ll inherit his home and a substantial endowment towards getting her medical degree. No one’s feelings get involved, no one gets hurt. 

Mikaela isn’t entirely on board with Matt’s plan, but she reluctantly agrees. It’s a break from trying to juggle everything in her life, but… 

Featured on the Thrice Read Books review blog: LOVE ON A LIMB by Laurie Lewis - Adult Contemporary/Inspirational Romance

The agreement works for both Matt and Mikaela, but a hitch develops in their tidy agreement. They’re falling for each other, fast. 

Ms. Lewis tenderly weaves the emotional turmoil of a life with cancer into a sweet romance. She tackles the billionaire rich boy stereotype and mixes it with a compassionate male character, whose purpose in life is to help others live their dreams. Mikaela is the compassionate nurse who strives to ease the emotional, physical and financial struggles that accompany the battle with cancer, and the two mesh beautifully. She refuses to give up hope and shows her backbone and stubborn will to beat Matt’s cancer right into their black moment, and against the odds. 

This is the first in a series, and my hope is that Matt and Mikaela win their battle against his cancer in the long run. Love on a Limb is for fans of sweet romance who don’t mind a tear jerker.

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Two Hearts, One Stone – Review

**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.**

Thrice Read Books helps contemporary romance author Leslie Scott celebrate her new release with a review of her new release: Two Hearts, One Stone

About the Book:

Two Hearts, One Stone by Leslie Scott

Contemporary Romance

The Wild Rose Press – September 26, 2018

Horse trainer Stone Dempsey’s life is all about the ride—with horses and women. He uses his equine talents to impress the country club set and earn money for Smoky Mountain Reining Horses. When his drug-addicted sister deposits her sick baby on his doorstep, he’s suddenly saddled with real responsibility.

Dr. Emmersyn Cole’s goal of starting a practice in her favorite place on earth is finally coming to fruition and she is not going to be sidetracked. Everything is going great until Stone swaggers into her life, half-dressed with a smile that could melt her insides. She’s determined to keep her distance…until he rushes into her grandfather’s home, clutching a feverish baby, terrified and vulnerable, and her heart’s hard shell begins to crack.

In only a few short weeks, Stone’s wayward heart suddenly relies on two women—one who needs him—and one that he might not be able to live without.

Excerpt (by permission of the author & publisher)

He was spinning and dizzy because of Emmy. He hadn’t expected her to throw him for a loop like she had, have him waiting on her after work, cleaning up his cabin, and all the other silly things he’d done in the past few weeks.

Yet there he was, with a shoulder against the stall door, watching the sparkles of faded sunlight dance in her reddish, curling hair.

He was a goner.

“I feel naked when you look at me like that.” Her fingers trembled as she tucked a lock behind her ear.

“That’s not the way I look at you when you’re naked.”

About the Author:

Leslie spends most days attempting to wrangle the voices in her head and often wishes she could clone herself so that their stories get told faster. She loves words, romance, and characters that feel like family and spends almost all of her free time with her own family; including a boisterous eleven-year-old that she homeschools and an assorted cast of rescue pets. She lives her own happily ever after with her soul mate and best friend in the northern part of Alabama and hopes you enjoy reading her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest    Youtube Playlists

Jenn’s Review:

Sexy cowboy Cassanova meets sweet pediatrician in Leslie Scott’s newest cowboy romance, Two Hearts One Stone.

Stone Dempsey is sexy, smooth, a fantastic horse trainer… And a shameless playboy who has more notches in his bedpost than any man has a right to. When his boss’s granddaughter, Emmersyn, moves back to town to start her pediatric practice, Stone is immediately attracted. Except she has a front row seat to a spectacular exit from his latest conquest, and his reputation precedes him.

Emmersyn doesn’t have time for a relationship. At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself. Stone makes it easy to resist, at first. But when he shows up at her grandfather’s house with a sick baby, she’s caught in a tornado of emotion. When she learns the baby isn’t his daughter, and a bit more of Stone’s story comes to light, she has an increasingly difficult time convincing herself to stay away.

Ms. Scott weaves steamy sexual chemistry with deep characters against a southern rural backdrop filled with tempting debutantes and high-value horses.

This is the kind of romance I love to read, and it kept me turning the pages to find out what happens next.

For fans of adult contemporary romance and sexy cowboy stories. Mature language and scenes, with a sweet story and subplot.

Jenn reviews Two Hearts, One Stone, a new Adult Contemporary Romance from Author Leslie Scott and The Wild Rose Press on the Thrice Read Books Blog

Where to Buy:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon: 

Beyond Circumstances – Revew

Jenn at Thrice Read Books reviews new release Adult Contemporary Romance by Gloria Joynt-Lang, Beyond Circumstances

About the book:

Beyond Circumstances     by Gloria Joynt-Lang

Series: Out of the Darkness     Contemporary Romance

Fiery Seas Everlasting     June 12, 2018

Dr. Lexie Draden didn’t want to leave her successful career as a surgeon in Chicago, but she didn’t have a choice. Her family needed to heal, and as long as she was around, it wasn’t going to happen. While adapting to her new community, she meets Zak Tifour, a man as intriguing as he is handsome.

Most of the small-town residents view Zak as a man who likes his privacy, but to a select few, something doesn’t seem right. Long-time resident Cicily McQuay believes she has the key to the man’s odd behavior – a link to terrorism. After all, he just isn’t the type of man who belongs in her community. But to belong, you need to be welcomed; something Cicily has never extended to Zak.

Zak knows plenty of terrorists and has even lived amongst them, but not like Cicily suspects. Escaping from a lifetime of bloodshed and regrets, he attempts to distance himself from the quirky townsfolk; people unable to comprehend boundaries. It appears to be working until he encounters the town’s new attractive doctor. Even though his secrets run deep, she ends up trusting him with her heart. But trust is fragile, and when Zak gets drawn back to his old life, Lexie must decide whether he’s a dangerous man or a broken hero.

Thrice Read Books is a stop on the Beyond Circumstances blog tour, hosted by Fiery Seas Publishing

 About the author:

Beyond Circumstances author Gloria Joynt-Lang

Gloria Joynt-Lang was born in Ars-Laquenexy, France and spent her childhood experiencing the vast landscapes of Canada. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a degree in Criminology, she devoted her career to working in the criminal justice system. She now splits her time living in rural Alberta, Canada as well as Southern California with her husband and their two dogs, a Maltese named YaHoo and Yorkie named Smookie Bijoux. Why the Yorkie has a stripper name shall remain a tight guarded secret. A lifelong nerd, she is most comfortable with a book or laptop close by except when she transforms to cool biker chick, hopping on her motorcycle for a speed limit abiding ride to the nearest bookstore.

Join Gloria on social media: Facebook     Twitter     Website

Jenn sat down for a chat with Gloria recently, to talk about her debut novel. You can read all about it here, in this edition of Between the Pages.

Jenn’s Review:

Holy wow! I had to read this book in about 3 sittings (darn you, Housework!), and had a hard time putting it down. Gloria Joynt-Lang knocked it out of the park in her debut novel, Beyond Circumstances.

When I say the characters of this book are well-developed, I mean that they could easily be the couple sitting next to you in the diner Friday evening. These aren’t “perfect” people. They are flawed, they struggle, they do their best, and they don’t always win. Even the secondary characters are developed and easy to picture (I actually spent time describing some of the characters, by giving them counterparts in our own small town).

Ms. Joynt-Lang lovingly, exquisitely crafts the inner and outer experiences of PTSD and bigotry. No subtle conflicts reside here. Nope. The reader is dropped deep into the mind of someone struggling with severe anxiety attacks and mental health problems. You walk right alongside the hero of the story as his past and present unfold and he fights to find something akin to peace.

The zinger, is in Lexie’s story. While you might think you understand what drove the heroine of this story to leave her big city life, the author waits…and waits…and waits…before she zaps you with the rest of the story.

This is the first book in a series, and I can promise that this reader will be eagerly awaiting the rest of the series. An easy 5 stars.

Book review of Gloria Joynt-Lang's debut adult contemporary romance novel, Beyond Circumstances, by Jenn of the Thrice Read Books staff.

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle format from Amazon here.

Spirit Fall – Review

Jenn reviews Tessa McFionn's Guardians series, starting with book 1, Spirit Fall - Adult Paranormal Romance review on the blog at Thrice Read Books

About the Book:

Spirit Fall  by Tessa McFionn

Paranormal Romance     The Guardians, book 1

Published by Etopia Press December 26, 2014

306 pages

The Guardians Book One

After a year-long depression following the murder of her fiancé, Siobhan Whelan stands on a bridge, tormented by unending nightmares, one step away from jumping. Only the kindness of a seductive stranger brings her back down to earth. But the handsome stranger is more than meets the eye, and soon Voni finds herself thrust into a strange new world.

For seven hundred years, Malakai Vadim has shouldered the mantle of Guardian Warrior. But a chance encounter with the tormented beauty brings him face to face with his destiny. His nemesis, Dmitrius Konstantin, has been feeding Voni’s grief through nightmares, wanting her and her untapped powers for his own. As Kai learns of his foe’s deadly interest, he must solve the riddle of Voni’s tortured dreams while holding his growing desire for her at bay. 

Too bad the enemy Rogue Warriors have other plans. Now, along with fellow Guardian Eamon McClearon, Kai must venture into the In-Between, the enemy’s powerbase, to save her soul as well as his own. But can his love be strong enough to save them both?

About the Author:

Tessa McFionn, author of Spirit Fall

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music, as well as the regular trip to The Happiest Place on Earth with friends and family.

Jenn’s Review:

Romance fans – grab a glass of ice water, some tissues and hold onto your seats for this one.

I’ve read Tessa McFionn’s science fiction Romance, To Discover a Divine, and when she asked me to read and review her paranormal romance series, I jumped on the chance. And I was definitely not disappointed.

From page one, Kai and Voni’s connections and conflicts pulled me in, and had me sing-songing, “Just one more chapter, honey,” at bedtime. You know I love a good romance – the hotter the better.

Sparks fly between these two characters almost from the beginning, and when they finally give in to the call of their wild natures, it’s hotter than hot. but there are mysteries and problems on the horizon, and the story keeps you turning pages right to the end before all is revealed. And the best part? This book isn’t the final chapter in their story.

In a style reminiscent of Sherrilyn Kenyon, Ms. McFionn spins a steamy-hot, action filled romance between an Otherworldly being and a seemingly normal human. 

Thrice Read Books review blog: Jenn reviews Spirit Fall, by Tessa McFionn. Guardians book 1 - Adult paranormal romance

Buy this book:

This book is available in Kindle and Paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other books in the series:

Spirit Bound (book 2)

Spirit Song (book 3)

Spirit Shattered (book 4)

Also by Tessa McFionn: 

To Discover A Divine (Rise of the Stria Book 1)

And finally:

You can read our interview with Ms. Fionn here.