Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Donnerstag, 31. August 2017

Blogtour: Maybe I Do (Whiskey and Weddings #1) by Nicole McLaughlin









 Blurb:

She doesn’t believe in fairy tales. He is married to his job. Maybe whiskey is the secret ingredient that will bring them together–and give true love a shot.
Wedding photographer Charlotte Linley loves her work –even though she hates weddings. Sure, she still holds a grudge after being left at the altar by her high-school sweetheart. But today Charlotte is just happy to have complete control over her career, which is flourishing. Especially since she joined forces with one of the three gorgeous owners of The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s hottest wedding venue.

Dean Troyer, bitter after the end of his own marriage, knows that Charlotte is the real deal–beautiful, talented, and successful. He may flirt with her every time she comes to The Stag, but Dean is determined to keep his professional distance…particularly now that she’s helping him with his own sister’s wedding. The only problem? The more time Dean spends with Charlotte, the deeper their connection grows. Is this a rom-com cliche’ or could it be that these two jaded souls in the wedding business have finally found their real-life happily ever after?
 



This is not the first book by Nicole McLaughlin that I've read and up to now, I've really enjoyed them all. "Maybe I do" is no exception. I seldom put the book down once I'd started reading it. It was sweet to see Dean and Charlotte finally, finally (and very slowly) succumb to the attraction between them. Their chemistry is amazing and every time they didn't end up together or at least talking about getting together I was a bit frustrated. And I would have loved to tell them a thing or two.

Two people whose track records are not that great when it comes to relationships, try to find their way to each other. One of them was left at the altar and the other one, well, let's just say that that marriage wasn't that great either.

Nevertheless, those two are simply drawn to each other and with the aid of a photo shoot or two, a wedding to plan and some exes to fend off, they finally, finally acknowledge their feelings. When things get really rough and my stack of hankies was much needed, everything threatens to fall apart.
Will those two be able to work through it?

I loved those really amazing, well-developed and complex characters as much as the wonderful story and the style.This book is easy to read and pulls you in right from the beginning. All in all another wonderful book by Nicole MacLaughlin that I can definitely recommend.


★★


Excerpt:


“One, two, three, go!” Charlotte called. The bouquet shot into the air as the front bridesmaid soared into a jump that would make a basketball star envious. All the while Charlotte’s shutter rapidly took frame after frame. As the bridesmaid landed, stems in hand, someone else’s arm flung into her face, effectively startling her and sending the flowers to the floor. A third woman—somewhat older—surprised all the bystanders by quickly swiping it off the floor.
Charlotte laughed as she took a shot with the bride and the gloating bouquet winner, and then immediately got back into position as the DJ started up “Another One Bites the Dust” for the garter removal. She inwardly groaned. This guy needed some new material.
When the groom was done sticking his head under the bride’s skirt and making a spectacle of himself, he lined up, ready to send the little scrap of lace and elastic into the—somewhat small—mass of young men.
“You ever notice how the guys always look as if they’re participating under duress?” a deep familiar voice said close to Charlotte’s ear. Goose bumps rose on her neck and arms.
She grinned but didn’t lower the camera from her eye. The music and conversation in the room were loud enough that she knew they wouldn’t be heard. “Can’t say that I blame them.”
The words had come out without any thought and Charlotte really wished she could see Dean’s reaction to them, but the groom released the garter right at that moment. The male recipients were nowhere as enthusiastic as the ladies had been, but one guy did reach out and snag it, almost as a reflexive action.
Yep, the shocked look on his face said that’s exactly what it had been, and he glanced around like he wanted someone to throw it at.
Charlotte laughed and looked at Dean. “He looks like he’s wishing he’d sat this one out right about now.”
“Yes he does.” Dean crossed his arms and smirked as Charlotte stepped forward to set up the customary shot of the groom and the reluctant garter catcher.
She was happy to find that Dean was still waiting for her on the edge of the dance floor when she was finished.
“I’ve missed talking to you tonight,” she said.
One corner of his lips quirked up. “You have?” His tone was all teasing, but she could have sworn there was a hint of uncertainty. Surely he knew she was into him.
“Of course. I would assume it was because you were busy, but you had time to talk with black dress lady for a long time.”
“Charlotte,” he whispered, shaking his head. One of his go-to body movements when they spoke. He huffed out an embarrassed laugh. “What am I gonna do with you?”
“Well, you can start by not making me so jealous.”
His eyes flicked to hers, his lips parting. She could tell he wanted to respond, that her words had taken him by surprise. She continued to watch him as the music filled in the silence between them. It was hard to believe she’d let the teasing between them just go where it had, but she didn’t really regret it. She liked this man, and she’d done everything she could to tell him that except physically coming on to him. Was that what she needed to do? Finally, he appeared to mentally shake off her comment, his lips pursing as he inhaled a deep breath. Damn.
“How much longer are you here?” he asked.
She pulled out her phone and grimaced at the time. “Over an hour.”
He nodded. “Can you spare me a minute? I wanted to talk to you about something.”
Oh God. He was going to finally make a move. She could feel it. Her brazen comment about jealousy had worked.
Or maybe he was going to finally let her down easy. Shit.
She swallowed. “Of course. I’d love that.”
Following him toward the bar, Charlotte caught Lauren’s attention and sent her an I’ll-be-right-back look. Lauren nodded but Charlotte could see the curiosity written all over her friend’s face.
Dean stepped behind the bar, grabbed a pint glass, and proceeded to fill it with ice, lemon-lime soda, and then the tiniest splash of grenadine. Her favorite, and she couldn’t help melting inside that he always remembered. She couldn’t decide if it was a good sign or not. He slid it across the bar to her and then angled his head toward the little break room. Suddenly panicked, Charlotte dug in the bottom of her bag for a piece of gum and stuffed it into her mouth.
Dean stepped into the room and held the door open for Charlotte. She followed and then turned to face him, her heart pounding in her chest.
But instead of walking toward her, he headed for the sofa. “Have a seat.”
“Oh, okay.” She did just that, and when she sat down, he took the sofa across from her.
Ouch. Definitely not a good sign. Was he … mad at her? First she’d embarrassed him with the sexy photos, and then she’d just now crossed the line with the jealousy comment. Oh shit. He was totally going to confront her about it.
“So, first I should apologize for what I said out there. That was so completely inappropriate and I should have known better,” she blurted.
Dean froze, his eyes meeting hers. “What are you talking about?”
“When I said you should stop making me jealous. I was out of line and I—”
Dean began to chuckle. “Did you think that’s what I brought you in here to say?”
Charlotte exhaled, relief washing over her. “Yes. I did.”
He grinned. “Charlotte, I’m going to be the one to cross the line here when I say … my … inappropriate conversations with you are my favorite thing about working weddings here.”
“They are?” she asked with a smile.
“They are. In fact, I probably like them a little too much.”
Okay. That wasn’t great. So, while it was a relief he hadn’t brought her to this room to confront her, it also sucked he hadn’t brought her here to make out. “Then what did you need to talk to me about?”
He reached up and scratched at the back of his neck before leaning his elbows on his knees. “It’s actually something I need to ask you.”
A wedding party of butterflies came to life in her stomach. “Oh? Okay, shoot.”
“You might recall last weekend I mentioned my sister was engaged.”
Charlotte’s happiness deflated a bit. If all he needed was to hire her for photos, such a production hadn’t really been necessary. It was what she did for a living, for goodness’ sake. “Of course. So do you need a photographer?”
“Well, yes. But I need more than that.”


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 Nicole MacLaughlin




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Montag, 28. August 2017

Release Day Blitz: WHEN THE SCOUNDREL SINS by Anna Harrington




And another very enjoyable book by Anna Harrington is live! 

Do you remember How I married a Marquess and If the Duke demands by the author?

When the Scoundrel Sins is just as good as those books were but I must admit that I was a bit upset how long it took our hero to own up to his deeds and do his best to atone for them. 
I mean, it's not that our heroine was awful or unlovable, on the contrary, she was pretty and those two got along really well so I never understood him and his hesitance to do the right thing. I know, I know, rogues and their likes but...actually - no, that's no excuse. At least not in my eyes. They knew each other all their lives and it was Quinton's fault that she was ruined, I would have expected him to be there for her, no matter how shocking the idea of marriage might be. Sooooo.... despite him being a wonderful character, it took me some time to really like Quinton. 

Reading about Annabelle and her desperate search for a husband made me mumble some choice words concerning the times, the society and the lack of rights and, well, you get my meaning, right? Reading books set in those times, makes me realize again and again how different our lives are now and how much we take for granted. 

Apart from that, the book has an interesting and well-developed plot, great characters (even if the one or the other needs a little kicking to become great and act according to it) and is a highly enjoyable read that I can recommend.
 ★★★★


Blurb: 

Six years ago, a childish prank perpetrated by the reckless Quinton Carlisle ruined Annabelle Greene's reputation and any chance she had at securing a successful marriage.  Incensed, she moved to her beloved estate on the Scottish border and has reveled in the solitude...until now when the contents of a family will are revealed.  Suddenly, Belle's single status may cost her the only home she's ever known.  Now, with her only marital prospect a horribly greedy and completely undesirable man, Belle knows just the person to rescue her-the one person who owes her for his bad behavior...

There's nothing Quinn Carlisle wants more than to get out from his older brother's shadow and make a name for himself abroad. So when a mysterious letter arrives, promising adventure, he rushes to the Scottish border...only to find that Belle laid a trap for him.  The awkward, shy bluestocking whom he so enjoyed tormenting is gone, replaced by a graceful, elegant woman who ignites a desire in him he can't resist.  Can Quinn help her save her home-and win her heart in the process? 



BUY THE BOOK


Excerpt:


“You look much more like your father now,” she commented, nervously licking her suddenly dry lips but only serving to draw his attention to her mouth. Which made her even more nervous, so nervous that she couldn’t stop the trembling of her fingertips as they wrapped into the skirt of her night rail. “But you’re still a troublemaker.”

A faint smile played at his mouth. “And you’re still a bluestocking,” he countered. Unintentionally simmering a slow heat low in her belly, he reached up to tuck a stray curl behind her ear. “Still retreating to the sanctuary of your library.”

“Because books are usually more pleasant than most people,” she answered, swallowing hard when he trailed his fingers down the side of her neck. She forced out, not at all as firmly as she’d hoped beneath the soft touch of his fingers,

“And more trustworthy.”

Ignoring that jab, he slid his hand lower to let his fingers play at the edge of her shawl. “Yet there are things that people can do that books can’t.” His fingers tugged gently at the shawl and pulled it down her shoulder to reveal the scooped neck of the nightdress beneath. His gaze flicked to the small patch of revealed skin at the base of her throat, then back to her eyes. “All kinds of interesting things.”

She should stop him, swat his hand away, shove him back—but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Just as she couldn’t hold back the hot shiver that swept through her or the gooseflesh that formed on her skin. His touch was proving to be as equally intoxicating now as that night six years ago.

“Then I have no interest in learning them,” she countered, although from the way her blood hummed, her body was very interested.

Madness—that after what he’d done to her, she could ever want to be in his arms again. Yet she desired just that, although that could never happen. Kissing him once had ruined her reputation. Kissing him again might destroy her entire future.

She thrust her chin into the air. “I know of your reputation.”

“Thank you,” he half purred.

His finger hooked beneath the wide shoulder strap of her sleeveless nightgown and slid it slowly down her arm. But this time, with a stretch of bare shoulder revealed to his eyes, he didn’t bother feigning propriety by looking away and instead flamed a prickling heat beneath her skin everywhere he gazed.

She pulled in a deep breath to steady herself. Oh, why did she always go light-headed when she was alone with him?

“That was not meant as a compliment.”

“Wasn’t it?”