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Mailbox Monday – 9/25

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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.

I won a $15 gift card from Cecelia from her Instagram followers giveaway. Thanks, Cecelia! If you’re on Instagram, you should definitely check her out at @ceceliareads.

Three more ebooks this week. Pianos and Promises is a Kindle Freebie. I picked Midnight Exposure up a week or two ago but forgot to post it. I requestedChristmas Cowboy is from NetGalley.

EBooks

Mailbox Monday – 9/25Pianos and Promises by Jennifer Peel
Published by Snowy Peaks Media on October 14, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 364
Format: eBook
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From Best Selling and Award Winning Author, Jennifer Peel, comes a three-story collection of contemporary romances. Set in Nashville, the City of Music, Pianos and Promises follows the interwoven lives of three different couples.

Christopher and Jaime
Doesn't everyone say you should marry your best friend?
Jaime has two goals in life: marry her best friend, and buy her very own grand piano. Christopher never gets the memo and marries someone else. But when Christopher's wife dies, Jaime finds herself raising his young daughter and on the end of a very unlikely proposal.
Can their friendship endure a marriage of convenience?

Beck and Call
What happens when a dashing Englishman and an almost-famous country star collide? Sparks. And lots of them.
Call's life always seems to be on the cusp of working out, only to unravel at the last moment. For instance, when she finally meets the guy--the man she's been fantasizing about from afar--their first meeting is nothing like she hoped; in fact, she wishes she never met him.
But can the charming Englishman change her mind?

Cole and Jillian
Can a few hours really change your life?
Jillian knows a thing or two about the country music scene, and she wants no part of it after her country singer ex-husband. But as fate would have it, she's seated next to country legend Cole Pendleton on a red-eye flight home to Nashville from Las Vegas. Between her emotional state, her fear of flying, and maybe a little vodka, she finds herself taking comfort in Cole's arms and lips during their four-hour flight.
Cole is determined to prove to her that he's a man of his word, but can Jillian trust his midnight promises?

Mailbox Monday – 9/25Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh
Series: Midnight #1
Published by Montlake Romance on August 21, 2012
Source: Purchased
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 315
Format: eBook
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Point, click, die.
When two hikers disappear, their hometown in Maine blames the blinding storms. But the truth is far more sinister. Unaware of the danger, tabloid photographer Jayne Sullivan follows an anonymous tip to find the most reclusive sculptor in the art world. Instead, she finds sexy handyman Reed Kimball—and a small town full of fatal secrets.
Five years ago, Reed buried his homicide detective career along with his wife. But when a hiker is found dead, the local police chief asks Reed for help. Why was a Celtic coin found under the body? And where is the second hiker? Avoiding the media, Reed doesn’t need a murder, a missing person, or a nosey photographer. Then Jayne is attacked, and her courage is his undoing. Reed must risk everything to protect her and find a cunning killer.

Mailbox Monday – 9/25Christmastime Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Series: Copper Ridge #10
Published by Harlequin Books on October 24, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Christmas Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
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It's Christmas in Copper Ridge, and love is waiting to be unwrapped…
Falling for a bad boy once is forgivable. Twice would just be foolish. When Sabrina Leighton first offered her teenage innocence to gorgeous, tattooed Liam Donnelly, he humiliated her, then left town. The hurt still lingers. But so does that crazy spark. And if they have to work together to set up her family winery's new tasting room by Christmas, why not work him out of her system with a sizzling affair?
Thirteen years ago, Liam's boss at the winery offered him a bribe—leave his teenage daughter alone and get a full ride at college. Convinced he wasn't good enough for Sabrina, Liam took it. Now he's back, as wealthy as sin and with a heart as cold as the Oregon snow. Or so he keeps telling himself. Because the girl he vowed to stay away from has become the only woman he needs, and this Christmas could be just the beginning of a lifetime together…

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.

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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