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Posts Tagged ‘contemporary romance’

I began reading The Black Sheep, by Patricia Ryan, because I am unabashedly drawn to the bad boys (a fact that landed me in some trouble when I was young). And honestly, the model’s arresting gaze on the cover whispered to my curiosity. Oh yeah, plus the author is a USA Today bestselling author.

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Plus the nearly 400 Amazon reviews helped cement the decision.

This is the story of Harley and Tucker.  Harley is the house-sitter in charge. Tucker has a 20 year estrangement from his dad.  He arrives home to find the pretty new house-sitter. Now they have a few weeks to spend getting to know one another till  Tucker’s dad arrives.

Harley is organized and a wee bit of a control freak and perfectionist. She is regimental in her duties and habits. For her, it’s rooted in a rough past and how she keeps balance in her life now. Tucker is a true black sheep, in that he’d would rather bolt from any sort of conflict, and well intended truths, then deal with reality. He is also casual and lax in all matters of everyday. Clearly, Harley and Tucker are personality opposites.

Technical stuff, some errors that were not caught in editing that distracted from the reading flow and a few places where the tension sagged, but picked back up again in a page or two. It was not enough to keep me from reading on.

For all of Tuckers obvious flaws, he does have a tender and caring streak a mile wide. The time with Harley gives him chances to show those character traits. Haley, for all her prim and proper, can also harbor a careless streak of her own, taking the reader, certainly Tucker, and perhaps herself, by surprise.

Tucker’s friend adds a comic relief that is needed when sexual interest and tensions rise a little to high. A good dose suspense of wondering what Tucker will do next. Will he and dad reconcile or not? Can he win Haley’s heart?  A good blend of poignant and sass, fun and sexy. I liked the scene where Harley challenges him to catch her in the swimming pool. His prize if he succeeds—her.  That’s some serious stakes.

This is book 1 of the North Moon Bay Book series, by Patricia Ryan.
North Moon Bay Books

The Black Sheep

The Marriage Arrangement

My Best Friend’s Girl

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Today Stacy Hoff is stopping by, talking about her new release, Jockeying for You. This is a fast paced, Thoroughbred racing romance.  Honestly, what can be more exciting than sexy hunks, Thoroughbreds, and racing hearts? Welcome, Stacy!

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Jockeying for You – Book Blurb
Jake Carter is on a mission—to prove his family wrong. He may have bought a troubled horse, but he’s hired Ryder Hannon, a “horse whisperer,” to get his horse back on track. She’s more than just a trainer to him, she’s the woman he’s been looking for.
Ryder Hannon, a thoroughbred horse trainer, has a big problem—fighting her fear of racing again. Her emotional scars run deeper than her physical ones. But her romantic feelings towards handsome, uber-rich, stable owner Jake Carter is a bigger problem. Is Jake truly in love with her or is he using her to get back at his smug family? ­
When Jake’s jockey gets injured, he wants Ryder to race. He knows deep down she wants to live up to her family’s legacy. So why does she keep fighting him—and her destiny—so hard?

Ok, Stacy, let’s start with some questions about the book before we move on to the nosy, pushy kind. 

What is this book about in a nutshell? Ryder Hannon is through being a jockey. Racing has left her emotionally & physically scarred. Uber-rich stable owner Jake Carter wants the impossible—getting her back in the saddle, and into his heart.

How long did it take to write? Writing JOCKEYING FOR YOU took a while. The research alone took several months, and that was before I typed my first word. After I felt knowledgeable enough about the basics of the sport, and horse racing industry as a whole, drafting the story took me about three months.

Where do you write? Photos optional— My little cave of a home-office. The room is barely bigger than an over-sized closet. The diminutive size has a positive effect—there’s not much to distract me.

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Any special reason why you chose the character names and location that you did? The character name that gave me the most difficulty was for the horse in the story, Handsome Dancer. This is because racehorse names are often a blending of a horse’s parents’ names, so I had to work out a fictitious equestrian lineage.

As for location, I chose New York’s horse-racing scene because it had tracks I could (and did) travel to—Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

belmont-racetrackBelmont Park, Queens NY

Describe the path to publication?

In 2013 I attended my RWA chapter’s annual writing conference. I pitched my first book, DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES, to the founder and senior editor of Soul Mate Publishing, Inc., Deborah Gilbert. Fortunately, Debby liked my pitch and I received my contract. Soul Mate has been great to work with. I’ve been sending them my manuscripts ever since. JOCKEYING FOR YOU will be my fourth novel published by SMP.

Are you working on anything else right now?

I’m working on a new contemporary romance series, BUILDING LOVE, which is set in the construction industry. Each book is steeped in family power, drama and secrets. My heroes and heroines will face a lot of challenges in order reach their “happily ever after.” Book 1, BUILDING LOVE IN VEGAS, and book 2, BUILDING LOVE IN THE CARIBBEAN, are both already drafted, with book 1 to be released within the next several months. I’m currently sketching out the plot points for book 3, although I may decide to stop planning and just start typing because I’m a “pantser” (someone who writes by the seat of their pants).

Awesome, I love the idea of the locations. Now, how about some ice breaking questions, all the better for getting to know you:

Your favorite town/ city in the world? Why?

New York City. I may not live there now, but it will always be my home.

How did you meet your spouse/ significant other?

We were college sweethearts. We met by living in the same dorm.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Would you keep your day job (if you have one?)

It’d have to be a pretty big lottery win for me to quit my day job; I’ve got two kids who will be going to college in a few years. Paying for their education won’t be pretty.

What is your favorite past time?

Drawing classes at a local art gallery. When I focus on art, my mind is free from everything else. I find it a similar creative outlet as fiction writing.

Would you rather have the ability to be invisible or have x-ray vision?

Invisible. Imagine all the conversations I could eavesdrop! It’d give me great fodder for my stories.

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

Writing. I’m always grateful for the rain. I don’t feel tortured that I’m missing time outdoors with my family.

What one item would you grab if the house was on fire? (assume no living beings are  inside)

My Mac laptop and flash drives. I never trust the cloud.

What’s one favorite thing you do by yourself?

Beside writing and my art classes, I like to cook.

Growing up, what did you want to be?

A writer. I knew myself well. Being practical, however, I became an attorney. Now I balance both jobs.

Some quickies:

Favorite food to cook?

Bolognese sauce, which is fun to make from scratch when I have the time.

Favorite animal?

Horses (perhaps not a surprise, given my new book).

Favorite color?

Blue. I find it peaceful.

Favorite book?

Oooh, too many, but I’ll go with Diane Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series.

Favorite sport or physical activity?

Pilates. Though I exercise out of necessity, not love.

Favorite kind of music?

Anything from the eighties.

Favorite place to visit?

Venice, Italy. My husband and I visited during our honeymoon, twenty years ago. We vowed we will go back one day.

Favorite season?

Fall. The inner artist in me can’t resist the foliage.

Can you dance? Sing?

Not a whit, although I am a half-way decent artist. Still, I doubt anyone cares to watch me paint.

Which do you prefer for a second home? Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo?

Although I’m originally from New York City, I am drawn to the idea of mountain cabins over condos. The second book in my DESIRE series (DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC) takes place in a mountain range in Alaska’s Yukon.

What dessert do you order most often?

Carrot cake.

What kind of car do you drive? Color?

A red Toyota Rav 4. (New England requires All Wheel Drive.)

What is your favorite type of art?

I love oil paintings, although I only have time to sketch nowadays.

 What three items would you take if you knew you were going to be stranded on a tropical island for a year? (enough suntan lotion is a freebie)

This is a good question for me to muse if I want to write a third book in my survival-based DESIRE series. For now, I’ll choose a fishing pole, a strong knife, and lots of canvass to make a tent and clothing.

One quote you love, that keeps you going in life?

“It is what it is.” I like the Zen spirit of this, since I’m a Type A personality.

Describe a real-life situation in which you stood up for someone/ something.

Standing up on behalf of my younger son. I constantly battle the local school board for learning accommodations due to his severe dyslexia. Getting the help my boy needs has been one of my biggest—and most important—challenges in life.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Yes. And I’ve been married to my husband ever since.

Stacy, I love your answers, especially your challenge to be your son’s school advocate. Not easy. Horses, blue, fall foliage, all things that speak to me as well. I cannot wait to read “Jockeying for You”.

Want to know more about Stacy Hoff?

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Stacy Hoff is a contemporary romance author, as well as an attorney. She has practiced law for two decades, primarily handling contracts. Romance novels have always been her secret passion. She writes her romantic stories until the wee hours of the night. Stacy lives in New England with her husband and two boys.

JOCKEYING FOR YOU will be her fourth novel. Her other novels are: DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES (DESIRE series, book 1), DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC (DESIRE series book 2), and LAWFULLY YOURS . Her upcoming series, BUILDING LOVE, will have book 1, BUILDING LOVE IN VEGAS, out soon.

LINKS
Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2clOJK3
Amazon author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/Stacy-Hoff/e/B00NN0HCW8
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorStacyHoff
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff

EXCERPT To Jockeying for You:

“You sure you can control a horse with a soft voice like that?” Jake asked, half-teasing.

He could tell she was sizing up his comment, whether it was a joke or an admonishment. Rather than help her out, he decided to see what she’d make of it.

“They don’t call me the horse whisperer for nothing,” she finally let out with an accompanying shrug.

He smiled. Good. She can hold her own. With Handsome Dancer, she’ll need to. He won’t explain himself, either.

“Glad you brought that up. Tell me a little about your philosophy.”

“All right. I imagine you’ve already heard a bit about how I train or we wouldn’t be talking. My approach is simple, I help the horse train himself.”

Jake felt his eyebrows furrow. “Excuse me? What?”

Ryder frowned.

One of his regular waiters approached, pen and paper already out. “Give us a minute, Robert?” Turning his attention back to her, he asked, “I’m sorry, you were explaining your philosophy. It sounded very . . . unorthodox.”

“I’m guessing you’ve seen my track record, so I’m confident unorthodox works. I don’t treat a horse like it’s some kind of four-footed magical carpet, ready to take off at our command. Horses are live creatures. They let us command them when they want to. And if they don’t, no amount of breaking them is going to win a race.”

She paused, cleared her throat, then picked up the glass of ice water in front of her and took a sip. She was peering at him thoughtfully over the rim of the glass. “It’s not as crazy as it sounds. I simply believe a horse that wants to win will do its best to do so. A horse that doesn’t, won’t.”

Click to get your own copy: http://amzn.to/2clOJK3

Stacy, thank  you for joining us, answering my pushy questions, and I wish you the best of luck with your latest endeavor.

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The trouble with twins. I just love twin stories and was expecting a lot from Darcy Flynn’s “Double Trouble”. As the tagline reads: “All’s fair in love and getting even”.

double-trouble-darcy-flynn

What intrigued me the most was the witty dialogue, especially between the main characters, Clare Sullivan and Will Carrington. The story’s premise is built around a case of mistaken identity (with twins? Really?) and plots of getting even, all told in a fresh manner with two sets of identical twins.  Double the trouble and double the possibilities.

“Double Trouble” is a clean, contemporary, romantic comedy that will keep you laughing one page and shaking your head on another page. The interaction between the well-developed characters is genuine and believable.

I would recommend “Double Trouble” to readers looking for a humorous, fast read.  It took me around three hours one evening to read and enjoy this story. My only complaint was I wish the author had described setting in a little more detail. I’m not familiar with areas Flynn used, and sometimes I was left with a gap due to not fully picturing the setting where it was integral to a given scene. I will still look for more works from Darcy Flynn.

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