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Mailbox Monday – 1/23

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Tell us about your new arrivals by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky at mailboxmonday.wordpress.com.

Ebooks

This week I only picked up one new book from NetGalley.

Mailbox Monday – 1/23The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle
Series: NOLA Nights #1
Published by Pocket Star on February 13, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 250
Format: eARC
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Hotel chain mogul Sol DuMont is about to learn that some of life’s biggest surprises come in deceptively small packages—namely a petite heiress named Rain who’s hell-bent on upsetting her family’s expectations—in this first book in the all new series by Thea de Salle, set against the sultry backdrop of New Orleans.

Thirty-seven-year-old Sol DuMont is a divorcee and the owner of a mid-sized hotel chain in New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina, his father’s death, and the decision that he and his ex-wife Maddy are far better off friends than lovers, he’s lost interest in almost everything he held dear—parties, people, and pushing limits.

All his limits.

Then Arianna Barrington checks into his hotel.

Twenty-four-year-old Arianna “Rain” Barrington could have been society’s sweetheart. Her family is moneyed, connected press darlings, and make sweeping headlines from coast to coast for reasons both good and bad. But when her mother shoves her at Charles Harwood—the obnoxious, entitled heir of Harwood Corp—to cement a billion-dollar business merger, Rain does the only thing she can think of to escape: she creates a scandal so big Harwood doesn’t want her anymore before fleeing to New Orleans for much-needed rest and relaxation.

All she wants is jazz piano, beignets, and to sail the Mississippi. What she gets is Sol DuMont, a whirlwind affair, and a hands-on education in sex, power play, and pushing limits.

All her limits.

Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey

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Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press on November 21, 2016
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Pages: 110
Format: eARC
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After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she'll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.

Leigh's best friend broke Croy Dawson's heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh's fault. They've never liked each other, but Croy isn't cruel: he'd never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn't expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn't expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.

Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can't escape the truth: he can't walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…

Holiday with a Twist is just a sweet, feel-good Christmas romance. It’s light and fun and a perfect seasonal read for me. Leigh keeping her breakup and quitting her job a secret from her family is silly, but in all honesty I like when the “issue” between the two main characters in a romance isn’t a big deal that takes a lot to overcome. Croy and Leigh were friends forever, even if they haven’t talked to each other in years, and I like how they settle back in to the friendship. They’re a good couple. They know each other well, good and bad, and still fall in love. This is a novella, so the attraction is almost instant and the relationship evolve quickly, but I bought it.

Holiday with a Twist is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Love that! I don’t have to worry if it’ll work out or not, they promise it will. When I need a light romance, I tend to turn toward Carina Press – maybe that’s why. I’ll probably be picking up more of Shannon Stacey’s books. That’s another reason I like novellas, they let you try new authors without a huge commitment.

About Shannon Stacey

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly

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Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly Love in a Nutshell by Dorien Kelly, Janet Evanovich
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Culhane Family #1
Published by Macmillan Audio on January 3, 2012
Source: Library
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hrs 37 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she's been fired from her position as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parents' summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene's Harbor, Michigan. Kate's plan is to turn The Nutshell into a Bed and Breakfast. Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory. Matt Culhane wants Kate to spy on his brewery employees. Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town that she can insert herself into Culhane's business and snoop around for him. If Kate finds the culprit, Matt will pay her a $20,000 bonus. Needless to say, Kate is highly motivated. But several problems present themselves. Kate despises beer. No one seems to trust her. And she is falling hard for her boss. Can these two smoke out a saboteur, save Kate's family home, and keep a killer from closing in...all while resisting their undeniable attraction to one another?

I’ve been having some good luck with light romances lately. Love in a Nutshell is just fun – and guess what, Kate and Matt are actually honest with each other, well more or less. They make a good couple – instant attraction but a few issues keeping them apart, like he’s her boss and owns the mortgage on her house, the one he had been planning to foreclose on. Matt is another almost -perfect guy, good business sense, sexy, protective of the people he cares about. Kate is a bit down on herself, but is making a go at starting a new life.

Love in a Nutshell has funny moments, a slow courtship between Matt and Kate as far as romances go, and some danger. It’s not a wonderful book, but it’s enjoyable. It’s definitely PG thanks to an overly possessive poodle, one of two dogs who are great characters in and of themselves.

The narrator does a good job differentiating the voices, although the voice she uses for one of Matt’s sisters just struck me as a little off, not enough to take me out of the story, just a bit jarring. Overall, though, her tone fits the story.

In addition to the romance, which works well, there’s the mystery of who’s sabotaging Matt’s business. That part was really just as good. There were some clues, but nothing the hit you over the head. The whodunit definitely made sense, as did the motive.

Romance, mystery, danger, cute dogs, a great small town. I think I’d like to visit Keene’s Harbor again. Actually I’ve realized I tend to like Evanovich’s books, except her Plum series, which just always annoys me.

About Dorien Kelly

New York Times Bestselling Author, recent empty nester, and general lover of any job that doesn’t require her to wear pantyhose…ever!

About Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

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