Tag: Contemporary Romance

Review: Desolation Road by Christine Feehan

Posted July 6, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Desolation Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Desolation Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #4
Also in this series: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1), Judgment Road, Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2), Vendetta Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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two-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Take the ride of your life with the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club in this thrilling romance novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.    Torpedo Ink is Aleksei “Absinthe” Solokov’s whole life. They’re his brothers, his family—his everything. But that doesn't stop him from wanting something that only belongs to him. That’s why the tough biker has spent the last six weeks at the library, reading every book he can get his hands on and watching the prim and proper librarian who makes his blood rush.    For the past six weeks, Scarlet Foley has been fantasizing about the handsome, tattooed man whose eyes follow her every move. She senses he's dangerous. She wants him to get close enough to touch. She wishes she could let him know the real woman, not the one she pretends to be. But Scarlet has a plan to carry out, and she can’t afford any distractions.   Absinthe is well aware that Scarlet is hiding something. She’s a puzzle he intends to solve, piece by intoxicating piece….

Aleksei “Absinthe” Solokov lives and breathes Torpedo Ink. He, along with his brothers and sisters, survived hell on earth to get where they are today. Absinthe thinks he only needs his family, but that changes when he decides to head to the library for some quiet time. It’s at the library that he lays eyes on her. The Librarian. For six weeks he travels between Caspar and the library, all to spend time in the same building as the woman that suddenly and irrevocably caught his eye. Absinthe knows he’s not a good man. Not even that is going to keep him away from the woman that brings his body to life, for the first time in his entire life.

Scarlet Foley has noticed Absinthe in her library. How can she not notice the gorgeous, tattooed stranger that has been coming in for six weeks. Scarlet never thought she would find a man that would intrigue her like Absinthe has. Her feelings about him are irrelevant because Scarlet has someone after her. She promised herself years ago that she would never be put in a position again where someone she loved would get hurt. Scarlet has a past that she’s hiding and she won’t let anyone get close enough to find out her secrets. Until Absinthe.

Their attraction is mutual and fiery. Scarlet never thought that she would find a man that would be her equal in all aspects of life, but that’s exactly what she’s found with Absinthe. What she doesn’t expect is the demons that he has in his past and still carries with him in the present. Absinthe doesn’t want to burden Scarlet with his past and so it seems that the relationship will not work after all. Scarlet wants an equal partner and Absinthe is apparently not going to be that person. Then he tells her everything. Well, almost everything.

As they’re getting to know each other, Absinthe knows that Scarlet isn’t as she seems. She’s not just the sexy librarian that he was first attracted to. She never lets her back face the door, she carries weapons, and she’s more than cautious about her surroundings. Of course, Torpedo Ink being who and what they are, they find out her secrets. Absinthe is appalled when he learns about her past. He would have preferred to learn it from Scarlet herself, but they can’t afford to wait to find out in their line of business. Armed with all the information he has on her, Absinthe can now protect her. And protect her he will.

This was my least favorite book of the series. To say that I hated it would be harsh, but it was so freaking close to hate. Each member of Torpedo Ink have their own horror stories about what they had to go through growing up in Russia. Absinthe had a fetish that carried over from those days. View Spoiler » Like WTAF. This book made me realize that Feehan’s writing has been subtly changing over the last few books. There are some things she won’t touch and sometimes she goes way overboard. Will the real Christine Feehan please stand up?

I always enjoy going back to the Torpedo Ink world, I just didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was expecting to. I really liked Absinthe in the previous books. He was incredibly intriguing and I couldn’t wait to read his book. Now I wish I hadn’t.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Torpedo Ink

two-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: The Dare by Elle Kennedy

Posted July 5, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I haven’t been reading as much New Adult lately, but Elle Kennedy is one of the few authors I still auto-buy in that genre. The Dare is the latest novel in her Briar U series. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Sunday Spotlight: The Dare by Elle KennedyThe Dare by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #4
Also in this series: The Chase (Briar U, #1), The Risk (Briar U #2), The Play
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 354
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Series Rating: four-stars

College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.
But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.
And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.

Excerpt

“Tell me something…why aren’t you already here with someone?”

“What do you mean?”

“There isn’t a guy in the picture somewhere?”

It’s my turn to shrink away from the topic. I’d probably have more to say with regards to thirteenth-century textiles than dating. And since I’ve embarrassed myself enough for one evening, I’d rather not compound my humiliation by sharing the details of my non-existent love life.

“So there is a story there,” Conor says, misreading my hesitation for coyness. “Let’s hear it.”

“What about you?” I volley back. “Haven’t settled on that one special groupie yet?”

He shrugs, unbothered by my teasing jab. “Don’t really do girlfriends.”

“Ugh, that sounds slimy.”

“No, I just mean I’ve never dated anyone for more than a few weeks. If it’s not there, it’s not there, you know?”

Oh, I know the type. Bores easy. Constantly looking over his shoulder at the next thing passing by. A walking meme in the flesh.

Figures. The pretty ones are always aching for their freedom.

“Don’t think you’ve distracted me,” he says, giving me a knowing smile. “Answer the question.”

“Sorry to disappoint. No guys. No story.” One unremarkable entanglement sophomore year that hardly fulfilled the definition of a relationship is too pathetic to warrant mention.

“Come on. I’m not as dumb as I look. What, did you break his heart? He spend six months sleeping on the sidewalk outside the sorority house?”

“Why do you assume I’m the kind of girl a guy would pine over in the rain and sleet?”

“You kidding?” His silvery eyes sweep over me, lingering on various parts of my body before returning to meet my gaze. Everywhere he looked is now tingling like crazy. “Babe, you’ve got the kind of body that boys build in their heads under the sheets after dark.”

“Don’t do that,” I tell him, all humor draining from my voice as I start to turn away. “Don’t mock me. That’s not nice.”

“Taylor.”

I jerk when he takes my hand, keeping me in place so that we’re still facing each other. As my pulse kicks into overdrive, he presses my shaky hand against his chest. His body is warm, solid. His heart beats a quick, steady rhythm beneath my palm.

I’m touching Conor Edwards’ chest.

What the hell is happening right now? Never in my wildest dreams did I envision the Kappa Chi Spring Break Hangover party ending this way.

“I mean it.” His voice thickens. “I’ve been sitting here having filthy thoughts about you all night. Don’t mistake my manners for indifference.”

Briar U

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: July 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!


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Sunday Spotlight: The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

Posted June 14, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 1 Comment

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: The Marriage Game by Sara DesaiThe Marriage Game by Sara Desai
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 9, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
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A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.

After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…

As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he's forced to share his space with the owner's beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.

As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.

Exclusive Excerpt

Sam walked quickly up the stairs to his new office suite, a box of office supplies under one arm. The scents of curry, coriander, and mild incense permeated the air, making his stomach rumble. An accident on the I 280 meant the one-hour journey had taken an extra forty-five minutes, and he would have to hustle if he wanted to get in a workout before the gym closed.

He reached the second floor and walked down the hallway, his footsteps muffled by the mint green carpet that matched the patterned wallpaper on the walls. The frosted glass door to the office was slightly ajar.

Puzzled, Sam pushed it open and walked into the small reception area. Twilight streamed through the large windows on the far side of the modern, open-plan office, spreading lazy orange fingers over the polished wood floor. A stack of boxes tottered inelegantly on the maple reception desk, and a ghastly purple couch had been placed against the wall beside a glass table with a sequined ceramic elephant base. Sam had little interest in interior decor, but the combination offended even his unschooled aesthetic sensibilities.

Crossing the floor past the reception desk, he entered the office proper. Recently renovated and boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, polished wood floors, and exposed brick walls, the spacious office also had a private boardroom and small kitchenette. Nasir had furnished the office with a large cherry boardroom table and two desks, one multicolored and made of metal rods and glass by an obscure interior designer named Eagerson, and the other a traditional two-pillar desk made of rosewood and nickel-plated brass. Sam had mentally claimed the traditional desk; the Eagerson was more Royce’s style.

And then he saw her, shuffling through a massive pile of papers on his rosewood desk.

She was in her mid to late twenties, her long dark hair streaked electric blue and tied up in a ponytail that brushed the graceful curve of her slender neck. Long, thick lashes brushed over soft bronze cheeks, and her plump lips glistened.

He coughed.

She screamed.

He retreated a few steps, but not quickly enough to evade the barrage of office supplies flung in his direction. Small erasers bounced off his chest, and a sharpened pencil almost took out his eye. When she lifted a stapler, he held up his free hand, palm forward in a gesture of surrender. “Do you really want to compound your crimes by adding assault, or even murder, to the break-and-enter charge?” he asked, unable to hold back his irritation.

“Who are you? What are you doing here?” She grabbed her cell phone off the desk, brandishing it like a weapon. “Answer, or I’m calling the police.”

“Please do. Then you can explain to them what you’re doing in my office.”

“This is my office.” She thumped the stapler on the desk. “My father leases this space as well as the restaurant downstairs.”

“And you are . . . ?” Beautiful. Stacked. Frightened. Furious. A number of adjectives came to mind, not the least of which described her generous breasts and lush curves. Too bad she had such terrible taste in music. Had she picked up that unfortunate Nickelback T shirt at a thrift store? Or was she really a fan?

“Layla Patel. Nasir Patel is my father.”

“I’ll need to see some ID.” He held out his hand, gesturing impatiently.

“Seriously?” Her eyes widened and her nostrils flared. “Is this the new way of breaking and entering? You ask for ID so you can make sure you’re robbing the right place? How about you give me your ID so I can tell the police who to arrest?”

Sam added a few more adjectives to his list: snarky, sarcastic, sassy. He almost couldn’t believe this was the daughter of the famous Indian restaurateur who had turned his ethnicity into a brand.

“Well . . . ?”

He tried to think of something intelligent to say. Anything. He was used to being in control of every situation and handling dilemmas quickly and decisively, but the longer he looked at her, the less able he was to command his power of speech. Everything about her was so vivid, so vibrant, from the shine of her knee-high boots to the fire blazing in her eyes.

“Sam.” For a second, he forgot his last name. “Sam . . .”

Her lips quirked at the corners. “Samsam? That’s your name?”

“Sam Mehta.”

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: June 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Sara Desai

Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos.


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Sunday Spotlight: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Posted May 10, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope all of you moms (whether biological or otherwise) are relaxing and reading today.

I haven’t read Alexis Daria before, but the cover of You Had Me at Hola caught my eye and I’m totally intrigued by the blurb.

Sunday Spotlight: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis DariaYou Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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RITA
® Award Winning author Alexis Daria brings readers an unforgettable, hilarious rom-com set in the drama-filled world of telenovelas—perfect for fans of

Jane the Virgin

and The Kiss Quotient.

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers. 
After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez. 
Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy
After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had. 
Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars. 
With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

 

Excerpt

“Let’s take it through with the lines,” the intimacy coordinator told Ashton, and he took his spot at the counter.

When Vera gave the signal, Ashton slid closer to Jasmine. With his arms crossed over his chest, he tapped into Victor’s easy charm—something he wished he could employ more in his real life—and grinned. “Do you think I have a chance at winning?”

Jasmine looked up at him from under long lashes. She pursed her lips before she answered, like she was thinking about what he’d said.

“I think so. If you remember every step of the recipe, execute it all perfectly, and finish on time.”

He raised his eyebrows. “No pressure.”

She softened then. Nothing obvious, but still, a noticeable easing of her stance, her tone, her expression. Her words were serious, not sarcastic, as she repeated, “No pressure.”

This was it. Time for him—Victor—to make his move. Uncrossing his arms in a slow movement, Ashton raised his hand.

Suddenly, Vera was there, close to them.

“Stay in the moment,” she said in a hushed voice. She took Ashton’s hand and gently brought it to Jasmine’s cheek.

Ashton positioned his hand on the side of Jasmine’s face the way Vera directed it. His fingers slid over Jasmine’s jaw to curl around the side of her neck, under her ear. Her skin was so warm. He had a flash of pressing his mouth there. How would she feel against his lips?

“Say your line.” Vera’s words were faint, barely interrupting the tension spinning out between the three of them.

Ashton dropped his voice. “You have something here.” With Vera’s hand over his, Ashton’s thumb came to rest on the curve of Jasmine’s cheekbone. Vera gave the digit a little nudge, and Ashton stroked Jasmine’s cheek in a soft, gentle glide. Then Vera shifted, resting her hands on Jasmine’s upper arms. Slowly, Jasmine rose up from her elbows. Her dark eyes stayed locked on Ashton’s, even as Vera moved her like a doll, or a puppet. But Vera wasn’t controlling them—no, she was guiding. They’d given her permission, given each other permission. They’d consented to this, and there was power in that. Vera was part of this.

And damn if it wasn’t incredibly intimate.

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: May 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Alexis Daria

Alexis Daria is a native New Yorker and award-winning author writing romance and mystery stories about successful Latinx characters and their (occasionally messy) familias. Her debut Take the Lead won the 2018 RITA® Award for “Best First Book” and was one of the “Best Romance Novels of 2017” in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. Her next release, You Had Me at Hola, will be out July 7, 2020. Alexis has a BFA in Computer Arts, and her super powers include spotting celebrities in NYC, winning Broadway ticket lotteries, and live-tweeting from @alexisdaria.


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Sunday Spotlight: Getting Schooled by Emma Chase

Posted April 12, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

This week’s Sunday Spotlight is another comfort read. Sometimes a girl just wants to read about two adults. Getting Schooled by Emma Chase is that book. There isn’t a lot of angst or drama here, just two people reconnecting with each other and learning each other as adults.

Sunday Spotlight: Getting Schooled by Emma ChaseGetting Schooled by Emma Chase
Series: Getting Some #1
Also in this series: Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1), Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1), Getting Played , Getting Played
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 300
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

Head of the class...

Garrett Daniels has this whole life thing figured out.

The cocky, charismatic former high school star quarterback is an idolized football coach and "cool" teacher in the hometown where he's not just a golden boy—he's platinum. He has good friends, a great house on the lake, and the best damn sidekick a man could ask for: Snoopy, the albino beagle.

Then...Callie Carpenter comes home.

And knocks him right on his tight end zone.

Back to school...

Callie has a pretty sweet life herself...on the other side of the country. But circumstances—that she'd prefer to never speak of again—have brought her back home, helping out her parents and substitute teaching at her old high school.

Now she's facing bickering, raging hormones, constant gossip, awkward weirdness, and drama galore...and that's just the teachers.

Just like old times...

When Garrett offers to show his former high school sweetheart the secrets of his winning teacher ways, Callie jumps at the chance—and then has to stop herself from jumping him.

Good friends are all they can ever be.

Or...these teachers just might end up getting schooled—hard—by love.

Favorite Quotes

Garett and Callie were high school sweethearts who broke up in college and ended up on opposite sides of the country from each other. When Callie ends up back home for an extended period of time, they reconnect.

I like Tara — but even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t bullshit her. A man gets to a point in his life when he realizes that honesty —even if it’s not what someone wants to hear — is just simpler.

I love how honest Garrett is. With himself and everyone else. He doesn’t play games or try to b.s. anyone.

You never forget your first. Isn’t that what they say? Callie was my first and for a long time, I thought she’d be my only.

He and Callie both have to deal with some residual feelings….

It’s a strange sensation standing in front of someone you’ve loved deeply—someone who, once upon a time, you couldn’t imagine not seeing, not talking to every day. Someone who used to be the center of your whole world . . . that you just don’t know anymore.

..but honestly this book is more about them getting to know each other now.

I want to know him, inside and out, all over again. And he feels the same way. Garrett wants this version of me as much as he always did—maybe even more. I heard it in his whispered words and felt it in his kiss.

The hi-jinx that happen because of their students are hilarious.

DJ adds, “I can sprint home in ten, do the deed, and be back here in fifteen.”

Apparently, DJ shits as fast as he runs – there’s something I could’ve gone my whole damn life without knowing.

I squeeze the bridge of my nose. “And why are you telling me this?”

“We wanted to make sure you were good with it,” Wilson says. “In case things go south and we get pinched. We didn’t want you to be pissed.”

Now that’s respect. Yes, technically they should be able to take a shit without my blessing, but still, as a coach — I’m touched.

There are also some touching moments throughout. I like how both Garrett and Callie connect with their students.

I lean forward and lower my voice. “The truth is, when it comes to guys and girls, men and women? We need them, more than they will ever, ever, need us.” I’ve passed on a lot of life lessons to these boys, but this may be the most important of them all.

In short, there’s a lot of humor here, but also a really sweet romance.

“You were always my girl, Callie, even after you weren’t anymore. Do you know what I mean?” I nod. “Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.”

I love this book.

“As for what I want . . . I want you, Callie. For as long as you’re here, for as long as you’ll let me have you. I want all of you.”

Getting Some

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: April 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Emma Chase

New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase writes contemporary romance novels known for their clever banter, emotion, and sexy, swoon-worthy moments. Her books have been translated in over twenty languages around the world.

Emma lives in New Jersey with her amazing husband, two spirited children, and two adorable but badly behaved dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.


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