Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Review Tuesday Moved to Thursday: Another Autumn by Cara Hartley -- #ReviewTuesday #Poetry #Emotion

Another Autumn cover

Another Autumn by Cara Hartley

Amazon KDP, 2020

In general, I find it difficult to review poetry. This may be due to the fact that I write poems myself. Poetry tends to be an intimate and emotional mode of expression – much more so than prose. It seems presumptuous to evaluate someone else’s bleeding heart. You can’t just focus on the craft and ignore the content. Yet at the same time, how can someone outside measure or judge a poet’s pain?

Despite these concerns, I downloaded Cara Hartley’s poetry collection Another Autumn with a promise to review it. As I feared, the poems contain a good deal of darkness.

I find myself standing

On the edge of another autumn

Wondering if this is the year

That the world disappears

And I slide into nothing

And I am devoured

By all the foolish dreams

That I abandoned by the roadside

As I run from my past

Into a fragile future

Each new year as harrowing as the one just passed

The title poem hardly brims with joy. Nevertheless, it’s eloquent and touching, with a slightly jaunty rhythm that leads one to think that the future, fragile as it may be, might offer some new hope.

Then, a few pages in, I encountered a marvelous surprise in “Tea with Howard”:

Dear Mr. Lovecraft,

Please will you join me for tea

Promptly at three

At the Mountains of Mystery

Though there may be madness in the air


I didn’t know Ms. Hartley was a Lovecraft fan (as am I), though in retrospect I’m not surprised. In any case, this light-hearted piece was a welcome change of mood.

Then there’s “Greetings from Earth”:

Dear Alien Overlords,

Greetings from Earth

Where we are all pretty screwed

It’s a bad time in history to visit

When everything’s going to hell in a handbasket

What with the climate change thing

And the egomaniacs who are in charge

Catching the innocent in the crossfire

Of their petty pissing contests


Pieces like this spotlight the author’s quirky sense of humor as well as her unvarnished opinions.

My favorite poems in this collection, though, were the haikus. The conversational tone of the longer pieces is replaced with a single, potent image. They are exquisite. I won’t quote any of them here; to do so would rob them of their impact if you buy the book.

And you may want to do just that, if you’re a poetry fan. From a technical perspective, some of these pieces have a few problems, but their honesty and imagination make them well worth reading.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Join us for Charity Sunday, 29 May 2022 -- #CharitySundaySignup #Altruism #Marketing

Lilies of the Valley

Image by suju-foto from Pixabay

I'm not sure where May disappeared to, but this Sunday, the 29th of May, is the last Sunday and thus, this month’s Charity Sunday blog hop!

Charity Sunday is a meme designed to give authors and bloggers a chance to give back to the world—as well as, hopefully, to attract new readers.

How does it work? Each participant selects a favorite charity. Before Charity Sunday, you should prepare a blog post that: 1) talks about the charity and why you support it; 2) provides a link to the charity; 3) includes an excerpt from one of your books; 4) includes the code to show links to other participating blogs.

It’s fun if you can make the excerpt relate somehow to your chosen charity, but this isn’t required.

For every comment left on your post, you commit to giving some amount to the relevant charity. The specific charity and the amount to donate are up to you. You can set an upper limit to your donation if you want.

If you’d like to participate in the next Charity Sunday
on April 24th (tomorrow!), just sign up using the Linky List below. Please be sure that the link you enter will lead directly to your Charity Sunday post, not just to the home page of your blog.

For more detailed instructions, go here:

You can get my
new 2022 Charity Sunday banner from here.

For an example
post, check out this link from my last Charity Sunday:

Monday, May 23, 2022

Sassy ladies and billionaire bad boys – #EnemiesToLovers #BillionaireRomance #Interview @robeccaaustin

Courted by the Billionaire banner

I recently made the acquaintance of romance author Robecca Austin. I invited her drop by Beyond Romance and talk about what makes her (and her books) tick.

Why does romance make your heart pump?

First, it’s the love story. The emotional journey of two characters falling in love. I want to cry when they cry, experience their pain, and be right there when they find their happy place. Sometimes, I want them to rip my heart out and put it back together.

Second is the plot. The thing that brings the characters together and sets them on their journey. The revenge trope is a great example, and why I enjoy reading billionaire and mafia romance. There are heart-pumping moments of drama, high stakes ultimatums, danger, and so much more that keep me glued to the pages.

Finally, there is that satisfying ending! What’s not to love about seeing two people get their happy ever after? That happy ever after ending is my promise to readers in each of my stories. The promise of love with your dream person, the chance to escape a mundane life for a few hours and let our imaginations free.

I love adding these elements to my stories. I love finding them in the books I read.

What do you write?

At this moment, I write both historical regency romance and contemporary billionaire romance. My billionaire romance is what we’ll be chatting about today.

What attracted you to billionaire romance?

Seeing these tough, dark, and handsome anti-heroes succumb to love is thrilling. We see their naughty side, but also the parts they keep hidden—kindness, loyalty, respect, and yes, their ability to love wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Once the lead gains the respect of their bad boys, the bonds of their relationship are almost unbreakable. Until something dramatic threatens to pull them apart. Heart pumping!

What is attractive about the anti-hero in billionaire romance?

There is something about an intriguing bad boy. From what makes them tick, to what caused their pain, and heartache. Let’s face it, we know the lead that breaks their outer shell is worthy to be in their circle.

Dark and dangerous are alluring. Mysterious.

Let’s not forget the attitude and snappy, sexy, or humorous banter that heightens the chemistry between the love interests. Oh, and the sex! Let’s not forget all that hot, steamy goodness under…or above the tangled sheets!

But none of this happens without a strong love interest. Someone willing to be fearless, warm, and courageous. A lead that embodies love through actions, one we can cheer for as we experience their love journey. The yin to the leads yang.


Family comes first.

The sentiment has been drilled into Latricia’s mind since birth.
When she’s forced to choose between self-respect or her family, what would she sacrifice?

The first time she saw Heath McCreath, he was out for blood. Her brother’s blood.

At their second meeting, he vowed to make her pay for her brother’s crimes.

As if his promise to destroy everything she loved isn’t bad enough, the threats come from the sexiest mouth she’s ever seen.

He’s her blackmailer and she shouldn’t feel anything for him, so why does her body betray her?

Now she has to decide, him or her?


This is my room,” he said, not opening the door.

She stared at the closed door, his shoulders bracing the frame. This was his territory. She became instantly aware that this wasn’t a tour, but an affirmation of boundaries.

At the end of the hall is your room.”

They walked down the short hall, but as he did before, Heath didn’t open the door to her room. Instead, he turned back towards the stairs, expecting her to follow. She supposed his lack of welcome was a good thing because she didn’t want to imagine him where she slept.

Are you hungry?” he asked without missing a tread. “I’ll show you where the menus are. You can order from anywhere you’d like. They’ll bill me directly.”

Her stomach rumbled at the mention of food. Her last meal should have been a turkey sandwich. Come to think of it, he had interrupted her lunch.

At the bottom of the stairs, he eased out of his jacket, folding it over the rail. She couldn’t help noticing the tight stretch of his shirt across his broad back. A lightning bolt of awareness made her knees weak. Latricia tore her eyes away. He was not hers to ogle. She had to find Chris, and pray her brother hadn’t spent this man’s money, or she’d find herself in far more trouble than simply locked in this house.

Opposite the entryway was a kitchen large enough to host a small ball. She ran her fingers along the island, knowing her grandmother would appreciate the spectacular layout. While she wasn’t a great cook, that didn’t stop her from envisioning using the stove.

She stopped an inch away from bumping into his back when he halted.

Seems my ever-efficient PA has food warming in the oven.”

Latricia scowled as he waved the note he retrieved from the counter over his shoulders. The food smelled too good, and she was too hungry to wait for him to move. Walking around him, she opened the oven as he braced his hip at the edge of the counter. He was right. Several trays were warming. She used the towel folded on the stovetop to place the food on the island before turning off the oven. Chinese rice, noodles, shrimp, and vegetables. Although Heath grumbled at the mention of his PA, the invisible but efficient assistant had provided them a feast.

Where are your plates?” She opened one of several cupboards, then stopped as she was about to open the next, feeling self-conscious at rifling through another person’s home.

He looked up from the note he was reading. Pushing away from the counter, he reached around her, stilling her indrawn breath as his chest brushed her back. She was aware of every inch of his six-foot frame, the warmth rolling off his body, invading hers. But he was oblivious to her locked muscles as he pulled open the cupboard above her head, retrieving two plates. It wasn’t until he stepped back, heard the clink of the plates hitting the counter that she relaxed a fraction. But the damage was done. Her earlier tension, the lightning shooting hot bolts to her core, rolling her stomach into knots, was nothing like feeling him pressed against her. This new heat was smoldering. She had no idea how to extinguish the fire he had set.

The fine hairs at her nape tingled, and she rubbed her neck to alleviate the growing tension. This was madness. He wasn’t courting her. This man was her warden.

Are you okay, Miss Slone?”

His use of her surname was the cooling balm she needed to cool the intimacy heating her skin. “Since I’m forced to be your roommate, you should call me by my first name.”

Let’s be clear,” he said, eyeing her with renewed attention. “We are not roommates.”

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About the Author

Robecca Austin is the author of happy ever after romance stories. She enjoys crafting tales of sassy heroines and alpha heroes that have a soft center.

She writes historical romance and billionaire romance stories.

You can find her outside enjoying nature and lots of sunshine when there are no bugs. When she's not writing her next novel, she's busy battling Cystic Fibrosis and hugging family. She lives and works in Canada.

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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Oddballs and Outcasts as Heroes and Heroines – #Outcasts #Romance #History @JArleneCuliner

A Room in Blake's Folly cover

By J. Arlene Culiner (Guest Blogger)

I love writing about people who are different. Some are forced to adapt to new circumstances in order to survive, others are originals, folks who have never really managed to fit into mainstream society. But no one is humdrum, and all have dreams.

I want to write—and read—about people who challenge the status quo. They are often opinionated, sometimes obnoxiously so, but they are also entertaining, and stimulating, and they do make us question our own values.

I also want to know that, once the first zing of romance is over, that heroes and heroines won’t end up sitting in front of the television, bored, eating fast food and being…well…dull. So here are my cranks and misfits, all gathered together in A Room in Blake’s Folly.

What do an embittered mail-order bride, an adventurer, a brothel madam, a silver baron/artist, a war refugee, a pacifist, a playboy veterinarian, and a woman who protects spiders all have in common? They get another chance to find love. And what better setting for romance than a semi-ghost town in Nevada?

A Room in Blake’s Folly begins in 1889 with the romance between Sookie Lacey, former prostitute now saloon dance girl, and Westley Cranston, adventurer. But love rarely follows a straight path. Times change, life goes on, new relationships form.

By 2022, Blake’s Folly, once notorious for its saloons, brothels, speak easies, and divorce ranches, has become a semi-ghost town of abandoned shacks and weedy dirt roads. But the old stories are still very present, and they have the power to influence the 53 remaining inhabitants.

A Room in Blake’s Folly

If only the walls could speak…

In one hundred and fifty years, Blake's Folly, a silver boom town notorious for its brothels,
scarlet ladies, silver barons, speakeasies, and divorce ranches, has become a semi-ghost town.
Although the old Mizpah Saloon is still in business, its upper floor is sheathed in dust. But in a 
room at a long corridor's end, an adventurer, a beautiful dance girl, and a rejected wife were once caught in a love triangle, and their secret has touched three generations.


You a widow?”

No.” She could hear the tightness in her voice and feel the tension in her shoulders.

His eyes glinted. “A runaway wife.”

Not that either.” Did she have to say more? She didn’t. But since people were bound to be asking that same question over and over, she might as well get used to it, even though the answer was only partially true. Even though it could never express what her life had been like up until now. “I left of my own accord, but with my husband’s full agreement. He’ll be looking into getting a divorce.”

And your children?”

Ah, there it was. The big question, the one thing everyone would be curious about. “No children. I’ve never had any.”

He said nothing. Had he heard the note of anger in her voice? She’d done her best to sound neutral, but neutrality wasn’t an easy note to hit. How vividly she remembered the first time she’d caught sight of her future husband, Sam Graham, waiting with a little knot of men by a shanty train station in the middle of nowhere. He and the others had been eager to grab a sight of their brides-to-be, women lured west by the promise of marriage, land, and a home. How had the other women fared? Had they been as discouraged as she at the sight of the vast lonely wasteland, the emptiness, the bleached-out colors, and the coarse men who would be their lifetime partners? Men honed by the elements, a hard life. And rough alcohol.

Westley Cranston stood, walked in her direction—no, walk wasn’t the word she could use. He sauntered, a slow, elegant saunter. A man sure of himself, of his power to seduce. Yes, that was why she’d felt so wary yesterday. He stopped when he was standing beside her. Smiled. No, there was nothing seductive in his smile. She’d been wrong. What had she been imagining? That she was still the young attractive woman she’d been years ago? What a fool she was.

He touched the top of the piano with a gesture that was almost a caress. “Don’t worry. You’ll do well. The boys you’ll be playing with are good musicians, nice guys, too. They play at all the dances in town, and they’ll teach you the sort of pieces folks out here are used to hearing.”

Thank you.”

His eyebrows rose. “For what?”

For being so kind.”

Kind?” He guffawed. “It’s not kindness. I’m fighting for survival. High time we got a good piano player in this place. Bob, before he let that stray bullet hit him, knew how to slap at the keys, all right, but he didn’t know the first thing about keeping time. I’ll bet pretty well all the customers were happy to see him taken out of the running.” Grinning, he moved away in that casual easy way of his, headed toward the front door. Then stopped, looked back, his eyes twinkling. “But they couldn’t do that, not legally, anyway. One of the rules here in town forbids shooting pistols in a barroom.”

She grinned back at him. “Sounds like a pretty good rule to me. And what are the other rules, if you don’t mind me asking. If there are any others, that is…”

Sure there are. Need plenty of rules in boom towns, especially after payday. The other ones are, you can’t insult a woman, you can’t ride a pony or horse on the wooden sidewalks, and you can’t ride them inside this establishment or any other business in town.” He was chuckling again when he turned the lock, stepped out into the street, and disappeared.

Hattie remained seated at the piano. Her anguish had totally vanished. Amazing, how he had put her at ease. He hadn’t judged her, hadn’t looked at her with disgust when she’d told him some of her story, hadn’t condemned her for feeling unsure about her piano playing. She wondered why she’d felt so mistrustful. He had behaved like a perfect gentleman—and a friend.

Then another thought struck her. What had he been doing here in the Mizpah so early in the morning? Had he slept here? Obviously he had. Hadn’t he just let himself out? And that meant he had probably spent the night with one of the ladies upstairs. That he was a client.

Disappointment washed over her. She couldn’t condemn him—men had needs, desires. Why was she so saddened by the thought?

Review of A Room in Blake’s Folly

Rich detail and scintillating dialogue transport the reader through the decades between 1889 and 2022 of this surprising saga. With flowing descriptive phrases (“… the walls had a yellowish hue that only time could bring,”) Culiner effectively intertwines the characters and descendants of Blake’s Folly. And although overhunting and pollution mean environmental change, the charm of this old world community remains intact. Cheers for this book!

~ Lisa McCombs for Readers’ Favorite

Purchase Links


About the Author

Writer, storyteller, photographer, and social critical artist, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.

Author Links

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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Sizzling Sunday: Sneak Peak! #CoverReveal #TabooRomance #SizzlingSunday

Sizzling Sunday banner

Happy Sunday!

It’s certainly happy for me... I’m off this morning for a week’s much-needed vacation!

However, I’ll continue to entertain you if I can. A week from Monday, the 30th of May, I’ll be releasing a new edition of my taboo erotic romance Incognito. I am too excited to wait until then, however, to share the cover. So I thought I’d do a cover reveal along with a Sizzling Sunday post, picking one of the many, many erotic scenes in the novel.

Actually, it’s difficult to choose what scene to share. There’s a lot going on in this book...and most of it sizzles!


Shy and serious by day—insatiable by night.

During the day, Miranda Cahill works diligently on her doctoral thesis. At night, she has sex with strangers.

Public coupling, multiple partners, age play, spankings, bondage, lesbian lust—each salacious adventure exposes new dimensions of her depravity. Her secret life explodes when she realizes her masked partner at a kink club and the charismatic colleague courting her are in fact the same man.

Dickens scholar Mark Anderson seems like an affable, uncomplicated Midwesterner, but he has hidden depths, myriad talents, and an unlimited appetite for erotic variety. With Mark as her guide, Miranda comes to accept the intricacy of her own desires, as well as to trust her heart.

Reader Advisory: This novel is an erotic romance featuring a committed relationship and culminating in a wedding. Nevertheless, the main characters participate in a wide range of taboo sexual activities, both together and separately.

Exclusive Excerpt

The disco music blared. She shook her head, sending her long hair flying, trying to rid herself of the painful memories. She didn’t want to think about it anymore. But her heart was pounding again, and her sex was swollen with remembered passion.

She felt damp and disheveled. She made her way through the dark corridor that led to the ladies room. There, the light was bright enough to make her blink. A bevy of young women sparkled around her in tight dresses and spike heels, preening and perfecting their beauty like exotic and colorful birds. Miranda gazed at herself in the mirror. A stranger gazed back, long limbs and ripe curves, creamy skin flushed with excitement.

I should go home, Miranda thought, as she reapplied her lipstick and adjusted her clinging garments. Enough is enough.

She stepped into the shadowed hallway, seeing nothing but the flash of the strobe at the opposite end. All at once, from behind her, she felt a hand firmly grasp her wrist. “What…?” she began, then there was a finger at her lips, urging her to silence. She was pulled backward, against someone’s body, a man’s body—the evidence bulged against her, pushing into the small of her back. The finger at her lips brushed her cheek then flicked at her right nipple.

I should scream. The thought was fleeting, abstract. Meanwhile there were hands in the dark, silent and skillful. There was no force here, only invitation, temptation. She did not resist as her unknown companion guided her through some curtains, into a place of deeper darkness where the beat of the rock and roll was muffled and distant. There was a metallic sound of coat hangers disturbed by their entrance.

He did not speak, but Miranda heard his rough breathing as he cradled her breasts in his palms. Was it her partner from the dance floor? she wondered. She sniffed for his cologne but caught only the scent of male sweat and her own arousal.

A wave of lust washed over her. Miranda groped behind her, seeking that hard ridge of flesh she knew she’d find there. Blind, she brushed against it. Then one of her breasts was released and she heard a zipper tearing open. Now his cock was naked in her hand, pulsing hot, steel encased in velvet. It was strange and thrilling to have him slide back and forth in her palm, to sense his excitement in the hardening, swelling bulk she fondled.

The hand on her breast tugged, pulling her top down to her waist. Then it resumed its bold caresses, tightening thumb and forefinger on her nipple until she almost cried out. Heat flowed through her. She felt herself melting from the inside out, dampening, softening, opening like some tropical flower.

The stranger used both hands to raise her skirt. She rested her palms against a wall and arched her back, presenting her bottom. He stroked and fondled her buttocks. Each touch made her hungrier, more greedy for the sensation of his huge, unseen cock inside her.

A soft moan escaped her as he reached between her legs to cup her pubis. “Shh,” he whispered. She did not recognize the voice. Impatient, unbearably eager for him, Miranda grabbed her brief bikini panties and pulled them down to her knees. They were soaked, she discovered, as she struggled to remove them entirely.

Unseen hands took hold of the garment. There was the sound of rending fabric as he tore them off her. Yes! thought Miranda, crazed with desire. Please... She spread her legs wide and rubbed her hind cheeks against the hardness springing from his groin.

She felt his fingers groping in the dark, seeking the entrance among the folds. They slipped into her. She pushed, trying to force them deeper. Now the head of his cock prodded her pussy, while his fingers still played there, opening, stretching, guiding. At last, the whole wonderful length of him slid into her.

She bit her lip, struggling to maintain their tacit vow of silence. He worked her, plunging deep and hard, sensing her needs without words. The shrouded beat of the music, the beat of her heart, the synchronized rhythm of their breathing—it was another dance, and Miranda poured herself into it.

The darkness was total. Still, Miranda, driven by instinct, closed her eyes. Other senses took over. The cloakroom was heavy with the animal smell of sex. Sound was muffled, subtle, no voices, nothing but the quickening rasp of air through open mouths. Wanting taste, Miranda burrowed her face into the crook of her arm, to find salt and a hint of musk. Touch, though, was the reigning sense, the glide of his cock in and out of her slick folds, the little twinge when he caught the edge of her womb. His coarse pubic hair like burlap against her thighs when he buried himself to the hilt. The sharp bite of his fingernails as he pried her cheeks apart, seeking deeper access, more complete possession.

Available for pre-order now! Release date is 30 May 2022.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

He wanted the dancing to never end – #EroticRomance #HistoricalRomance #MFRWHooks #Giveaway

Power and Persuasion cover

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to another edition of Marketing for Romance Authors Book Hooks – your weekly opportunity to find your next romantic read.

Today I’m highlighting my Gilded Age BDSM erotic romance Power and Persuasion. This is an emotional bit I’ve never posted before. Hope you like it.

If you do, leave me a comment. I’m giving away a free copy of the book to one person who does!


She’s his natural enemy – and the only woman who can satisfy his perverse sexual needs.

Andrew MacIntyre, heir to a vast empire of railroads, mines and mills, is by far the most eligible bachelor among the society folk summering in Newport, Rhode Island. His mother has filled their opulent mansion with the daughters of bankers and industrialists, but Andrew knows none of these callow young women would ever consent to being bound and beaten, to serving and obeying him the way he craves. His money gives him the freedom to purchase anything except his heart's desire: a submissive partner to share his life.

Labor activist Olivia Alcott is dedicated to helping the exploited factory workers responsible for Andrew’s wealth. The strike she organizes triggers a confrontation between her and the handsome billionaire. Although their disparate backgrounds and values make them natural foes, something stronger draws them to one another: his need to command and hers to surrender.


The Hook

Olivia, did you not agree to be my consort this weekend?”

Yes—yes, sir…”

And to obey me without question?”

And have I not done so?” Her eyes sparkled in her flushed face and he knew she was reviewing the same glorious recollections that had him half hard in his tailored tuxedo trousers.

Yes, yes, you’ve satisfied me in every way, my lovely slut. Tonight, though, I need you more than ever, here by my side. I must make it clear to my mother and to society at large that I am not in the market for a wife.”

So I’m to play the role of your mistress, then?” The sharpness in her voice surprised him. He brushed his lips across her ripe ones, savoring her sweet breath.

What do you care what those hypocrites think of you? You’ll never see them again.”

Olivia did not answer. She peered down the stairs, into the brightly lit hall—the lion’s den. “You’re right,” she answered at last, her voice low and resigned. “It doesn’t matter at all. Let us go.”

Andrew guided her down the carpeted steps, his hand upon her elbow. He’d planned to make an unobtrusive entrance. However, when they appeared in the arched entry, every single person in the room turned to survey the new arrivals.

Couples stood frozen on the dance floor. Wine glasses paused halfway to their owners’ lips. The orchestra continued to play, but the occupants of the room were as motionless as machinery without power.

His mother, in a cluster of gaily clad ladies near the windows, shot a pointed stare in his direction. He executed a gracious bow in her direction. As the musicians brought the current song to an end, he addressed the assembly as a whole.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to welcome you all to Wavecrest. Please enjoy yourselves—and if I can do anything to make your evening more pleasant, do not hesitate to ask.”

He nodded to the orchestra leader, who struck up a new waltz. As though waking from a dream, the guests resumed their drinking, dancing and conversation.

Miss Alcott, may I have the pleasure?” He held out his hand to his companion. In the brilliant light of the massive electric chandeliers, Olivia looked more enchanting than ever.

It would be an honor, sir.”

She was light as a breeze, sure-footed and graceful, following his lead without the slightest misstep. His hand settled on her waist, where he could feel her warm flesh shifting under the silk. Her fingers enlaced with his, she focused on his face as he swept her around the floor. In her eyes he read desire, need and a raw devotion that humbled even him. They were silent as they danced, but their eyes and their bodies spoke volumes.

The waltz ended. Another began, then another. Olivia’s lush form moved in perfect synchrony with his own, dipping and twirling, responding to his slightest cues. Andrew fell into a sort of lustful dream. He wanted the dancing to never end. He’d keep Olivia in his arms forever.


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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Can love conquer all in a town steeped in it? @jkentauthor #RomCom #EnemiesToLovers #SmallTownRomance

Love You Right banner

About the Book

A missed opportunity five years ago makes for an unexpected encounter now between two people meant for each other – but who square off in a very public battle of wills in the small town of Love You, Maine, where every day is Valentine's Day. Can love conquer all in a town steeped in it?

Kell Luview refuses to be a sucker at love again. Five years ago, he left D.C. with his tail between his legs and his heart broken. Fiercely protective of his small town in rural Maine, he's determined to save the family tree business and avoid his feelings at all costs, no matter how much he longs to solve the mystery of what happened in D.C.

L.A. native Rachel Hart hates being underestimated almost as much as she hates this small town. She has two goals on this trip: get out of the cheesy tourist trap of Love You, Maine with a completed business deal, and avoid running into Kell, her old friend from D.C. who never became an old flame because of a huge misunderstanding.

One that still aches.

When her rental car breaks down on a logging road and Kell comes to her rescue, it's clear he's a changed man – and not for the good. Grumpy and reserved, he pushes all her buttons, still stubbornly convinced she betrayed him all those years ago. He's never forgiven her, and she's never forgiven herself for carrying a torch for him.

An embarrassing incident gets the town gossip mill going when residents wrongly assume Kell and Rachel are the newest couple to find love in the most romantic place on Earth. But the townsfolk aren't wrong for long...

As Rachel breaks through his defenses and charms the town, he faces his biggest fear: all those pesky feelings he's been avoiding.

Because they're all about Rachel now.

And maybe they always were.

Can Kell and Rachel fight their growing attraction in the one place in the world where you can't avoid love?

If you're looking for a fun read about enemies to lovers, forced proximity, heroines who get their comeuppance and sworn bachelors felled by unexpected true love, featuring a hot bearded lumberjack impervious to poison ivy, and a city-slicker, jaded career woman with a penchant for great coffee, set in a small town in New England - then this is your book.

Grab a cup of (properly good) coffee, a can of hot cocoa mix, a jar of Fluff and maybe some calamine lotion (just in case), and get your happymeter ready as you read the very first book in New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Julia Kent's Love You, Maine series - where love isn't just a feeling - it's a way of life.


Enemies to Lovers

Small town romance

Lumberjack and city slicker outsider

... and a cat named Calamine

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My beard,” he murmured between kisses. “Sorry.”

What beard? You shaved it off.”

I meant this.” He rubbed his scruff. “It’s going to chafe.”

She laughed. “Of all the reasons for chafe marks, this one is the best. My face can handle it.”

I wasn’t talking about your face.”


I should have done this a long time ago.”

Slept with me?”

No,” he whispered, kissing her finger. “Believed in you.”


In the five years since Kell Luview left D.C., he’d done a lot of thinking.

More than a lot.

That thinking–and a heaping dose of emotion–came roaring back when he found himself stuck with Rachel Hart.


About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 21 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French, German, and Italian, with more titles releasing in the future.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

She loves to hear from her readers by email at, on Twitter @jkentauthor, on Facebook at @jkentauthor, and on Instagram @jkentauthor. Visit her at

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