Tag: Molly O’Keefe

Excerpts: You Had Me at Christmas Anthology

Posted October 21, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

you-had-me-at-christmas

You Had me at Christmas Anthology
Release Date: October 17, 2016

What’s better than a little romance at Christmas?

Five romances at Christmas!

Snowbound friends become lovers. Enemies discover they mean far more to each other than they ever dreamed. A marriage in trouble is saved, and strangers find connection in delicious encounters… It’s Christmas, and everything is possible.

A gift to you. Five beloved Contemporary Romance authors bring feel-good magic to the holidays in this specially-priced box set.

PLAY by Karina Bliss
a Rock Solid romance

Rock star Jared Walker is within reach of career glory…but his marriage is in the pits. Determined to save it, he talks his wife into holiday dates with only one rule: they must pretend they are strangers.
But when he discovers what Kayla really wants for Christmas, will he be able to give it to her?

ONE NAUGHTY LITTLE CHRISTMAS by Stephanie Doyle

Workaholic Kate never expected to find herself looking for love online on Christmas night. Then John appeared on her screen and her whim to escape loneliness turned into the hottest sex of her life – even if it was via text. John knew Kate was too classy for his ex-con ass, but he was about to learn that Kate knew how to fight for what she wanted. And she wanted more of him.

TWELVE KISSES UNTIL CHRISTMAS by Jennifer Lohmann

Escaping her abusive father and small hometown to follow her dreams takes money Selina Lumina doesn’t have. After a millionaire software developer offers her a ride out of town, she has to decide whether to follow her aspirations or take a chance at love. Could a snowbound night on the road turn into a Christmas miracle?

SNOW-KISSED by Laura Florand
(previously published as part of the Snow Queen Series)

After the utter destruction of her marriage and her happiness, Kai knew it was better to shut herself away from the world than to hurt and be hurt.

Holed up in her mountain cabin, Kai plans to spend her Christmas alone. Until her not-quite-ex-husband shows up as the first flakes start to fall. Now should she send him back out into the cold? Or can she be brave enough to let this winter snow bind them back together?

CHRISTMAS EVE: A LOVE STORY by Molly O’Keefe
(previously published in the Sweet Dreams Anthology benefiting Diabetes research)

Growing up in the mountains of Wyoming Trina and Dean had been childhood friends until the bitter feud between their families drove them apart. When the magic of Christmas Eve tips the star-crossed lovers together year after year, will they be able to make sure this holiday is not their last?

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpts

Play by Karina Bliss
A Rock Solid Romance

The cocktail waitress arrived, leggy and blond, with a professional smile that got real when she looked at Jared Walker. Her gaze darted to Kayla, assessing and then dismissive in an unconscious gesture that would have been insulting if Kayla hadn’t become so used to it.

A pretty woman carrying some baby weight was a six, at best, in Hollywood, where even the waitresses—many of them would-be models or actresses—were often eights.

“Welcome to Joy,” The blond angled her body toward Jared. “May I take your order?”

“Your call, Betty.” Jared used the psuedonom Kayla had suggested for their “meeting as strangers” date. Stay…or go?”

She shrugged off her coat. Her husband was good at buying clothes but the dress was tighter than she’d worn since having kids, with a deep cleavage she had to stop herself adjusting. “Let’s have a drink, and see what happens.”

His eyes were hot as he glanced down her dress, and a shiver of anticipation quickened Kayla’s blood. A heady sense of power.

She looked at the waitress, who was clearly revising her grade. “Mulled wine, please.”

“Sure. And for you, sir?”

“Another beer for me, thank you.” The slow curve of his smile was still there as he looked up. The blond sucked in a breath.

“I see you chose one of our craft beers, let me tell you about the others.” As the waitress launched into serious flirt mode, Kayla surreptitiously checked her cell in case the sitter was having trouble settling the kids.

A masculine hand covered the screen. “Remember the rules—cells only for emergencies.” Jared confiscated it. “And give me your wedding ring.”

The waitress blinked.

Kayla tugged it off. “I see you’ve already removed yours,” she commented. The wedding band of cheap, shiny gold—all they could afford then—gleamed as she dropped it into “Bob’s” outstretched palm.

“No ties, no responsibilities and no guilt,” he reminded her. “This evening we’re all about…pleasure.” His pause left no doubt as to what that pleasure entailed. Tangled sheets and tangled bodies.

“I’ll get your drinks,” the waitress murmured.

“Was that wise?” Kayla said, when she’d left. “Your face has been everywhere the past couple of months.”

“I could tell she didn’t recognize me. You look gorgeous,” he added. “I got the size perfectly.”
And wasn’t that like a man. Tight is good, tighter is better. God bless their sexual myopia. “So, Bob.” Channeling a throaty-voiced temptress, Kayla sat back. “Is this the part where you tell me your wife doesn’t understand you?”

“And you tell me your husband takes you for granted.” His tone was wry, and their eyes met in rueful acknowledgment of his earlier slip.

She took pity on him. “Or we can skip that part,” she suggested.

“Let’s skip that part.”

“You’re going to have your work cut out for you, persuading me into an affair, Bob.” She crossed one smooth leg over the other, watching him watch. The light caught the sparkle on her red stilettos—the shoes he’d bought for her when he’d been accepted into Rage. “I’m a happily married woman.”

“Yeah?” He caught the stiletto as it slipped off her dangling foot. “How’s the sex been lately?”


Christmas Eve: A Love Story by Molly O’Keefe

December 24, 2011
6:43 AM

For a minute, before opening her eyes, Trina Crawford allowed herself to believe she was in her own bed.
But there was someone else in this one.

And there had not been a someone else in her bed for a very long time.

Oh no, what have I done?

Trina turned her head on the pillow and nearly bumped noses with Dean.

Dean McKenzie. I did Dean McKenzie.

She clapped a hand over her mouth, squelching a delighted squeak.

Maybe this is a dream… just some strange stress-and-coming-back-to-Dusk-Falls-induced dream.
But when she squeezed her eyes shut and opened them again, Dean was still there. So was the headache pounding behind her eyeballs.

I slept with Dean.

His long, angular face was relaxed in sleep, his black hair like great sweeps of ink across the white pillowcase. His mouth, those wide lips—she curled her fingers against the urge to touch them, trace their edges—they’d been soft, softer even than she’d dreamt.

And she’d dreamt about Dean McKenzie’s lips a lot.

The second half of her senior year, after that night on her porch. Her first year of college. After breaking up with Trevor after the party, she’d spent several long months counting every opportunity she’d missed with her once-best friend.

That all ended last night.

Needing a shot of courage before facing her future—which, oddly enough, looked a lot like her past—she’d stopped at Holly’s on the edge of town, and there was Dean, sitting alone, nursing a beer. Blinking Christmas lights from the mirror over the bar had been reflected in his dark hair.

Like a Christmas sex fantasy come true.

After that, all of it—every moment, every breath and touch—had seemed inevitable.

As if, since their birth, they’d been working their way to this.

I blame Christmas. And our fathers. I blame Christmas and fathers for everything. Romeo and Juliet have nothing on us.

About the Authors

karina-bliss

Karina Bliss

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was twelve but then I forgot and did a lot of other things instead. These included getting an arts degree in English and Political Studies at Auckland University (New Zealand), a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism at the University of London, travelling, having my heart broken a couple of times, meeting the right guy, building a house, having a baby – the usual milestones.

Writing romance was a fantasy I started taking seriously when I turned forty, but then I was always a late developer. But I always loved the way romances took me on an emotional journey and I think that’s the strength of this genre over any other, the way romance makes readers feel. And I certainly went through the whole range of emotions in the five years it took to get published. Some career highlights have included being the first Australasian to win a Golden Heart from the Romance Writers of America. My debut, Mr Imperfect, won a Romantic Book of the Year Award in Australia, and my most recent release, A Prior Engagement, was a Desert Island Keeper at likesbooks.com. My first self-published title, RISE, released January 28, 2015 is a 100,000 word rock star romance. It continues the story of Zander Freedman who first appeared as a villain in What the Librarian Did – a book that made DearAuthor’s Best of the Year list in 2010. Two of my books have also featured in Sizzling Book Chats at SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.

I live with my husband and son north of Auckland, New Zealand.

Molly O’Keefe

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.

Dishing It Out, her last Harlequin Flipside won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for best Flipside in 2005.

Her Superromance Baby Makes Three won the RT Reviewer’s Choice for best Superromance in 2006. L-length Her novella, “The Christmas Eve Promise” in The Night Before Christmas won the RITA in 2009. And her full length contemporary romance CRAZY THING CALLED LOVE won the RITA in 2013.

Review: Never Been Kissed by Molly O’Keefe

Posted August 22, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Never Been Kissed (Boys of Bishop #2) by Molly O’Keefe.

Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, Molly O’Keefe’s second novel in her exciting new series—The Boys of Bishop—features an irresistible romance and unforgettable characters in a page-turning story that delivers equal parts emotion and humor . . . with a little edge to boot.

As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ashley Montgomery has had enough of her parents’ expectations for her future and is going her own way, volunteering to work at a refugee camp in Africa. But her act of charity turns dangerous when she takes a boat trip and is abducted by Somali pirates. Enter Brody Baxter, who was a bodyguard for the Montgomery family ten years ago and doesn’t think twice about coming to Ashley’s rescue. Handsome and tough, Brody has always done what needed to be done. So he swoops in, saves Ashley, and brings her to a place where she can rest and recuperate without the glare of the press and her demanding family: Brody’s small hometown of Bishop, Arkansas. But Ashley soon realizes that she’s not the only one in need of healing.

Holed up with Ashley in a tiny apartment over his brother’s bar in Bishop, Brody is tempted and torn in ways he never anticipated. Beautiful Ashley, vibrant despite her ordeal, fearless enough to love him beyond his wall of self-punishment, is now determined to save him. But with a little faith and a lot of love, they just may find happiness in each others’ arms…

Brody Baxter and Ashley Montgomery have history. Brody used to work for the Montgomery family back when Ashley was 17 and he stopped working for them, the night that Ashley made a move on him. Ten years later, Ashley’s brother Harrison tracks Brody (a Marine turned Bodyguard) down to bring Ashley home. Ashley had been kidnapped by Somali pirates and the Montgomery family paid her ransom so Brody accepts the job of bringing Ashley home safe and sound.

The Montgomery family is heavy into politics. Ashley’s father is the Governor or Senator of Georgia and her brother is on the campaign trail to win him a seat in the Senate or something like that so the news of Ashley being kidnapped by Somali pirates is bound to hit the news and it’s bound to be a big deal. Ashley is not ready to give a press conference to tell her story because she’s been beaten really bad and she doesn’t want to deal with the pressures her political family will put on her so she has Brody take her some place where she can heal and she can lay low until she was ready to come out and deal with her life again.

Brody takes her to the only home that he’s known in his life. He takes her home to Bishop, Arkansas. He takes her back to the town where he grew up after his parents died and he was adopted into a new family. Ever since his adopted Mom died, things with his father and his brother have been strained. He comes and goes but he never stays long enough to form attachments, even though he’s attached to both his adopted father Ed and his brother, Sean.

As long as Ashley is in Bishop, Brody is sticking close because she’s under his protection and because there’s a sizzle in the air when he’s near her and he can’t help himself. Ashley has never forgotten Brody but then, how can she forget the guy she got fired? The chemistry between the two of them is still there and she’s still just as hot for Brody now as she was back then.  And so is he.

I liked this book. It had solid characters, a great story line but it was really slow to pick up for me. That beginning hump took me a while to get through but once I was over it, the story kept me interested. Brody and Ashley were interesting characters. Brody was the alpha hero who has family issues and Ashley was the do gooder with the big heart. They were perfect for each other.

Usually in romance novels, I’m a lot harder on the heroines than I am on the heroes but in this book, Brody drove me nuts. His thought processes toward his family, toward Ashley made me want to smack him around some but in the end, I was glad that he didn’t fight his feelings for too long.

I really liked the secondary romance between Sean and Cora. They were too cute and had me laughing with their bickering than sexy times. I liked that Sean loved Brody and finally let him have it when he was through with Brody being a bonehead.

O’Keefe created a wonderful small town of people that were interesting enough to keep me invested in what was happening in this story though it took me a while to get there and even though Brody drove me up the wall, I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

Grade: 3 out of 5

Check out a preview of the book:

This book is available from Bantam. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O’Keefe

Posted January 29, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Crazy Thing Called Love (Crooked Creek Ranch #3) by Molly O’Keefe.

Hero: Billy Wilkins
Heroine: Maddy Cornish

In this poignant and deeply sensual new contemporary romance—perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson—Molly O’Keefe proves that lost loves don’t have to stay lost forever.

Dallas TV morning show host Madelyn Cornish is poised, perfect, and unflappable, from her glossy smile to her sleek professionalism. No one knows that her iron will guards a shattered heart and memories of a man she’s determined to lock out. Until that man shows up at a morning meeting like a bad dream: Billy Wilkins, sexy hockey superstar in a tailspin—still skating, still fighting, and still her ex-husband.

Now the producers want this poster child for bad behavior to undergo an on-air makeover, and Billy, who has nothing to lose, agrees to the project. It’s his only chance to get near Maddy again, and to fight for the right things this time around. He believes in the fire in Maddy’s whiskey eyes and the passion that ignites the air between them. This bad-boy heartbreaker wants a last shot to be redeemed by the only thing that matters: Maddy’s love.

This is the first book that I’ve read from this series and I really liked it.  There were times when I wanted to strangle the heroine and the beginning dragged but once it took off, I came to really like the story and the characters that were introduced.

Billy Wilkins and Maddy Baumgarten were married when they were too young to know any better.  They were married when they thought love alone could save anything they get themselves into but they learned the hard way that a marriage can’t survive on love alone.  Fourteen years later, they’re thrown into each others lives again and the chemistry that’s been between them since they were kids is still as strong as ever.

Billy’s NHL career is nearing its end and his grumpy attitude isn’t helping matters so when he gets a shot to clean up his act by appearing on a makeover show that just so happens to be hosted by his ex-wife, the one that got away, Billy jumps at the chance.  The whole thing started as a way for Billy to make amends for the way that their marriage ended but what he got was so much more.

Maddy Baumgarten is now Madelyn Cornish and there isn’t an ounce of the young girl she’d been when she was married to Billy left in her.  She’s a successful morning show host in Dallas and has moved on from the life she had with Billy.  She’d like to keep it that way.  She doesn’t talk about her marriage with Billy and she doesn’t like to think about it either but when Billy comes storming back into her life, everything that she’s feared would happen…happens.  When she married to Billy, her entire life was filled with Billy that there was no more room for her.  Everything she did was for Billy and his hockey stuff that there wasn’t any time left for her dreams.  She lost herself when she was with Billy and she’d do anything to keep that from happening again.

So of course she pushes Billy away.  Again, and again and again.

My issues with this story stemmed from Maddy and the way that she didn’t trust herself and made Billy pay for it.  She knew deep down that Billy wasn’t the same guy that he was when they were married.  She knew that he knew where they went wrong and was sorry for it, hell he was even trying to make things up to her but she kept going hot and cold on him and the more she did that, the more she got on my nerves.

When Becky and Charlie come into the picture, my heart melted…a lot.  Their story, how old Becky felt for being such a young girl made my heart hurt and I really, really enjoyed seeing what their addition did to help Billy realize what’s important in life.  I really liked Billy in this book.  His family is what I really connected with and when he finally steps up and does the right thing for Becky and Charlie, he totally won me over.

Maddy took some getting used to because she’s built this ice queen demeanor and it was hard to get passed that but when she finally realizes what she really wants and goes after it, I threw my hands in the air and was like, “FINALLY!”  So alls well that ends well and I closed this book with a goofy grin on my face so I think O’Keefe did a great job of entertaining and though it wasn’t a perfect story, it was still enjoyable.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Bantam. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.