Friday, 13 July 2018

Review: Amy Harmon's "The Smallest part."
Amazon UK:


It was a big lie. The biggest lie she’d ever told. It reverberated through her head as she said it, ringing eerily, and the girl behind her eyes—the girl who knew the truth—screamed, and her scream echoed along with the lie. 
“Are you in love with Noah, Mercedes?” Cora asked. “I mean . . . I know you love him. You’ve been friends forever. We all have. But are you in love with him?” 
If it had been anyone else—anyone—Mercedes would have stuck out her chest, folded her skinny arms, and let her feelings be known. She would have claimed him. But it was Cora. Brave, beautiful, broken Cora, and Cora loved Noah too. 
So Mercedes lied. 
And with that lie, she lost him. With that lie, she sealed her fate.
She was the best friend, the bridesmaid, the godmother, the glue. She was there for the good times and the bad, the ups and the downs, the biggest moments and the smallest parts. And she was there when it all came crashing down. 
This is the tale of the girl who didn’t get the guy.

Review: Surj 

Peeps, Amy Harmon's "The Smallest Part" was such a wonderful surprise for me. I had no idea that the story was linked to two of my favourite reads of all time. I loved "The Law of Moses" and "The Song of David" and imagine my surprise when I started joining up the dots and suddenly Mose'  name popped up and then Tag too!!! If you could have seen the smile that spread on my face? It really was priceless. Don't worry though lovelies, despite the obvious link for people who have read the other two books, Amy Harmon has worked her magic to ensure that this can be read as a complete standalone without fear of feeling like you're missing parts of the puzzle. I promise you, in fact I implore you to pick "The smallest part" up because this story will just steal your breath away. 

”In the end, only three things matter: 
How much you loved, how gently you loved, 
and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

Mercedes, Cora and Noah's story was one that was multi layered and complex yet it was completely riveting and unputdownable. There was pain, sorrow and heart ache that ran quite central to the theme of the story but there was equally something rather uplifting about the characters journeys too. Told in third person and from the past and the present, I was given a tale about friendship and forgiveness, about  sacrifice, love and loss, each characters story's affecting me deeply. 

Just because something is meant to be, doesn’t mean it’s meant to be right now.

Amy Harmon has a real knack for giving us characters that are not your run of the mill heroes or heroines but in the same breath she writes them in such a way that we can't help but take to them, giving them a little piece of our hearts so easily. Mercedes was such a beautiful leading lady. This was a woman who (even as a child) had time and time again sacrificed so much in the name of friendship and never (not once) had regrets about it. She had always been so thoughtful and giving, always putting the needs and wants of others before her own. She really was selfless to a fault. Noah's character broke my heart. From his childhood to his adult life, to the challenges that presented themselves to him when he least expected them, this was a man who never faltered when it came to responsibility. This was a man who never faltered when it came to his unconditional, unwavering love. I was completely in awe of this brave, strong man who had a vulnerable side that just made him all the more relatable and all the more likeable. Now Cora, what can I say about her? I'll admit she wasn't the most likeable character (in my eyes anyway) but the more I got to know her, the more I understood the reasons for why she was the way she was. Tragedy had marred her life and it was something I doubt she ever got over. That doesn't mean I forgave her actions, just that I understood her better. 

Life wasn’t about getting what you deserved. 
It was about enduring what you didn’t and not letting it destroy you.

Despite being told in third person, this author's way with words ensured that I FELT the story that was being told. She ensured that I experienced all the emotions the characters went through and that I lived their journey right alongside them whether that was the good, the bad or even the ugly and that takes some doing to be honest because books written in third person aren't always my cup of tea. 

"I’m not going to let you go. I’m going to follow you over the edge."

So that's it from me. Kinda short and sweet because I'm not sure what else to say other than this author really does write some amazing books. The three that are mentioned in this review (including "The Smallest part") are definite must reads. If you like different. If you like heart felt, beautiful stories. If you like unconventional characters that may not be six foot tall with abs like slabs but will worm their way into your hearts and minds regardless, I implore you to pick these books up. 

“Sometimes it’s the smallest part that steals the show.”

"The Smallest Part" gets 4❤️'s from me. 

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Review:Helen Hoang's "The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1)."


It's high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband - or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger's. Analyzing data is easy; handling the awkwardness of one-on-one dates is hard. To overcome her lack of dating experience, Stella decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend.

Faced with mounting bills, Michael decides to use his good looks and charm to make extra cash on the side. He has a very firm no repeat customer policy, but he's tempted to bend that rule when Stella approaches him with an unconventional proposal.

The more time they spend together, the harder Michael falls for this disarming woman with a beautiful mind, and Stella discovers that love defies logic.

Review: Jo 

It's not often that I read a romance that centres around an escort and his client. The only other book in this genre that stands out for me was Jane Harvey-Berrick’s “At Your Beck and Call" which I absolutely loved. So discovering that this novel had a similar kind of premise made me eager to read more and then throw in the refreshing twist and I was beyond intrigued to see this story play out. The book continued with a story that made me smile, swoon and fall in love. The hero and heroine of this novel were both brilliant characters and easy to root for. Stella was an intelligent and interesting kinda girl who had so many good things going for her. I loved Stella and when she started her relationship with sexy male escort, Michael, my interest piqued and I adored what I was reading. 

“When you love someone, Michael, you fight for them in every way you know how.” 

Michael was the kind of book boyfriend that we all fall head-over-heels for. Caring, understanding and patient. He was the perfect match for Stella. They shared many of the same interests and got along so well. I enjoyed their banter and the development of their relationship made me blissfully happy. The couple also had a ton of heat between them. The sex scenes were insanely hot! I had emoji heart eyes throughout the majority of this book. 

“I’m obsessed with you, Michael, I don’t just want a night or a week or a month with you. 
I want you all the time. I like you better than calculus...” 

This story was a sweet slow burn romance filled with gorgeous heart-melting moments. It was a story about embracing and accepting the differences between us and not having to change ourselves to find love. It was well worth the read. 

“She tightened her grip, and he squeezed her back. 
Palm to palm, two lonely halves found comfort together.”

"The Kiss Quotient" gets 4.5 ❤️'s from me

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Duet Review: Emma Scott's "Full Tilt."
Amazon UK:


Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge--impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch... 

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he's vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch. 

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

Review: Surj 

In real life, I’m not a cryer. In fact my close friends go as far as to say I’m somewhat emotionally stunted. So why oh why are there a handful of books that have the ability to reduce me to a blubbering mess? Seriously, how do they do it???? 

“We may not have months or years, but we have moments. 
Thousands upon thousands of them. Let’s take each moment, 
seize it and wring it dry. Okay?”

Emma Scott is a new to me author and "Full Tilt" was the first series of hers I've read. The end result? Absolute devastation. There were tears. There was sobbing and there were all kinds of snot bubbles going on!!! I was inconsolable!!! Was it the story? The writing? The characters? I’d say it was all of those things to be honest. The story for sure was one that was thought provoking and poignant. It was a story that held so much beauty yet so much pain, anguish and heart ache. One minute my heart was full to bursting from joy and happiness, the next I felt like the author had smashed it into smithereens. The angst was like no other. 

"You can find beauty anywhere, even in the things that scare you the most."

What I will say is, a good story is nothing without impeccable writing and this author has got that  down to a fine art. Her words really helped bring this story to life in such a vivid and powerful way that it was impossible not to be affected by each and every character. Each page was filled with emotion, every chapter so moving.

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for treasure.”

Jonah, Kacey and Theo's story really did a number on me that's for sure and I think it's also in part because I fell in love with each and every one of these characters so very easily. It was difficult not to.  I laughed with them and cried for them. Through the course of the duet, I really felt like I had become a part of their close group of friends, their story affecting me so deeply. 

I'm not sure what else to say other than try and go into the duet blind. Don't read the synopsis for either book and DO NOT be tempted to skip to the end!!! You will only ruin it for yourselves. This was such an easy 5 ❤️'s. I can only apologise to my book buddies (who have been willing me to pick up this author) for leaving it sooooo long!!! It won't happen again. Lesson learned!!!

"..... Instead of feeling bad that it ended, I'm just happy it happened. "

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Release Blitz & Review: Pam Godwin's "Buckled (Trails of Sin #2)."

The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be part of the Release Blitz & Review for Pam Godwin's "Buckled (Trails of Sin #2)." 


I protect what’s mine.
The ranch, my family, our buried secrets.

Nothing will stop me from reassembling the life that went terribly wrong.
Not the law.
Not our enemies.
Not even Maybe Quinn.

The gorgeous, quarrelsome journalist shouldn’t have meddled.
I shouldn’t have let her stay.
But she’s hiding something in those deceptive blue eyes.
Something deeper than her thirst for a news story.

I make a deal with her to buy time.
To unravel her lies. To play with her. To satisfy my darker appetites.
When she buckles beneath my belt, I’ll send her away.
Unless I buckle first.

Review: Jo 

"We don't just love. We love hard, with every bone, sinew, and breath in our bodies." 

Wow!! This cowboy romance was insanely hot!! Sexy, steamy and full of secrets. "Buckled" contained all of the ingredients to keep me reading. There wasn't one thing that I didn't love about Maybe and Jarret's story. It had everything that I love from a good book. 

"You're it for me. Today, tomorrow and all the tomorrows after." 

I absolutely loved the two main characters from this novel. Jarret was so damn alpha and smokin' hot. He made this story into one that was hotter than hell. Reading it in the middle of a UK heatwave made me just about ready to dive into a freezing cold swimming pool, if only I had one available. Lol. Maybe was the cute and fiery character that stole Jarret's heart. Their romance was full of heat and also a ton of drama. The pair were on fire and I loved every minute of their relationship. They shared so much passion and the love that grew between them was the intense and forever kind of love.. I believed in that love. It didn't matter what obstacles Jarret and Maybe came across, I was sure that they would work things out. 

"You belong to me. I'll piss a circle around you if I have to.
 I'll move mountains and rearrange my entire existence.
 I'm not giving you up." 

This second instalment did not disappoint. Pam Godwin has delivered another fantastically written cowboy story that made this British girl want to listen to country music, put on a stetson and buy some cowboy boots. I was more than ready to climb on a horse and ride off to find my own alpha cowboy (Just don't tell my husband). 

"The whole damn world should stop on it's axis and take note, 
because no man alive knows how to love a woman like he does." 

If a cowboy series mixed with a some kinky BDSM sounds like your kind of read add this one to your kindle. Bring on the next book in the series, I can't wait for more.

"She's my serenity and my fire, my first and my last breath. 
Lying beside her is my favourite place, 
and for the rest of my life and into the next, she's all mine."

"Buckled" gets 4.5 ❤️'s from me. 

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.

Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

Author links:

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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Blog Tour: Kerry Heavens "Lucky Scars."

The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be part of the Blog Tour for Kerry Heavens "Lucky Scars."


Not every love story begins with a fiery explosion of lust.
Some are tiny embers of hope that smoulder slowly until the stars align…

I’d been living in a bubble.
It was meant to protect me from the things in life that hurt. 
I could live, I could laugh, but at least I didn’t have to love.
Loving was dangerous and I would never do it again.

It was working just fine, until the bubble burst.
It let in danger.
It let in light.
It let in…him.

Unknowingly I’d been living in the dark, feeling my way. 
He filled my world with starlight. 
He showed me how to move on to the next level.
He made me feel again.

I thought the wounds from the past would never fully heal,
But perhaps they only heal when the time is right.

Sometimes you just have to thank your lucky scars. 

Review: Jo

Lucky Scars was a touching story about loss, love and healing. It was also a story that kept me on all ten of my toes until the final few chapters. This friends-to-lovers love triangle kind of romance was another novel by Kerry Heavens that I enjoyed. 

"This feeling wasn't sexual, or practical; it was much worse.
 It was a spark in the frozen depths of my heart." 

Beatrix was an easy to love heroine who had a back story that made my heart hurt. She had spent a decade of her life grieving and heartbroken, but in this novel I saw her begin to live her life again and open her heart to love. The story that followed was one that kept me turning the pages, wondering how things would play out for Beatrix. 

" his lips pressed to mine, I thanked my lucky scars." 

I loved the premise of this book and how it held my attention throughout. I loved the characters and I also loved the opportunity to catch up with Danny, Olivia, Max and Charlie. Being reunited with these familiar characters from the "Human" series was an added bonus that I adored. "Lucky Scars" turned out to be an emotional read with a brilliant heroine and a gorgeous epilogue. I'm always a sucker for a heart-melting epilogue and this one was just about perfect. I rated this book ❤️❤️❤️❤️. 


With trembling fingers, I tapped at my phone screen, sobbing because I connected the call and then cut it off in my haste. I couldn’t handle technology; I just needed him. I was about to throw in the towel and just sit on the curb and cry when it rang. His stupid face appeared on the screen, and my heart leapt. He knew. He knew I needed him.

Choking at the urgency to hear his voice, I tried again to get my fingers to cooperate, and, finally, they did.

“Hello?” There was pleading in my tone. “Ziggy?

There was a short stretch of silence, and I thought maybe I’d fucked up the call again when suddenly he spoke. “Bea? What’s wrong?”

“Zig—” A sob cut me off. 

“Bea, where are you? What’s going on?”

“I need you,” I whispered. 

“Tell me where?” he said with a steady determination that filled me with exactly the comfort I needed right then. He was coming. It was going to be ok. I looked up helplessly at my surroundings for a road name I could tell him. 

“Um,” I faltered. “I don’t know, I—” Fresh tears ran down my face, and I wiped at them with the back of my hand, only then noticing the blood. “Oh God,” I gasped.

“Bea, please. You’re scaring me. Are you hurt?”

“No,” I assured him quickly. “I just…” I didn’t even know where to start.

“I need to know where you are. Calm down. I’m here. Take a deep breath and try to tell me where I need to go to find you. I’m coming. Okay? Now just tell me where.” 

I turned in place, looking for something I knew. I walked these streets every day, and they’d never felt so alien to me. He was the only thing that felt safe right then, but guilt swept over me, and I tried to pull myself together. I must have been freaking him out, and that wasn’t fair. Nothing around me seemed familiar, even though I knew it was; I was so disorientated. I needed to do what he told me and take a breath. 

He was coming to get me.

It was ok.

“Dean Street,” I told him as soon as I laid eyes on the street sign, relieved to be tuning back in but feeling so stupid that I was so close to home and couldn’t even focus enough to realise it. “At the Shaftsbury Avenue end, on the corner.”

“I’m coming. Please just tell me you’re okay,” he said desperately into the phone.


London born indie author, iPhone addict & general ray of sunshine! Kerry writes: sometimes sweet, sometimes not, often funny, always hot, real romance, dirty romcoms and other such smut.


Monday, 2 July 2018

Blog Tour: Brittainy C Cherry's "Disgrace."

The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour for Brittainy C Cherry's "Disgrace."

Add to GoodReads:


Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again.

After fifteen years together, he walked away from me, and into the arms of another.

I didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t know my worth. I didn’t know how to exist without him by my side.

All I wanted was for him to come back to me.

Then, Jackson Emery appeared.

He was supposed to be a distraction for my mind. A summer fling. A confidence boost to my bruised heart.

We were perfect for one another, because we both knew we wouldn’t last. Jackson didn’t believe in commitment, and I no longer believed in love. He was too closed-off for me, and I was too damaged for him.

Everything was fine, until one night my heart skipped a beat.

I didn’t expect him to make me laugh. To make me think. To make my sadness somewhat disappear.

When our time was up, my heart didn’t know how to walk away.

Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again, yet slowly my prayers began to shift toward the man who wasn’t right for me. 

I prayed for one more smile, one more kiss, one more laugh, one more touch… 

I prayed for him to be mine.

Even though I knew his heart wasn’t destined to love.

Review: Jo

He felt like my favourite blanket and I wanted 
to stay wrapped in him as long as I could.

This was the most swoonworthy story that I have read in a while. I lost count of how many times I swooned over Jackson and Grace's story. "Disgrace" was another beautiful romance from this author that swept me off my feet. A novel that captivated me from the word go. 

“If you ever fall in love again, please let it be me.” 

Grace was a person that would do anything for everyone else. A girl that had spent her life pleasing others, without ever truly knowing what made her happy. A selfless woman that deserved so much more than the life she was getting. But then a string of disappointments and heartbreak led her back to her hometown and into the arms of the mean and moody town bad boy, Jackson and everything changed for Grace. 

In front of the world, she held my hand. 

The story that unfolded from then on was a story that I loved. A story about finding yourself and putting yourself first as well as discovering real, life changing, epic love. That was the kind of love that Grace and Jackson shared and it made my heart sigh over and over. I just loved the way in which love changed everything for both Grace and Jackson. I adored the development of both Grace and Jackson's relationship and how it affected them both individually and as a couple. They had both finally found what each other truly deserved. It was everything that any romance lovers heart would want from a book. 

Our souls intermixed and our flames were infinite. 

As always, Brittainy Cherry's writing was exquisite, beautiful words that I could read over and over again and they would still make me melt. I'm going to have an almost impossible task to choose my favourite quotes to put in this review. I also loved the characters in this story, not just Grace and Jackson but also the secondary characters too. I loved the development of these characters and the dynamics of how each person I met along the way contributed to the story and how it played out. I even loved Tucker the dog. There were a few characters that made me angry and there was also one character who's actions shocked me, but I loved how everything came together for these same characters as I read the final chapters. Brittainy gave me a dreamy ending with yet more reasons to swoon. There was just one teeny tiny thing that could have happened to make it even more perfect. 

With him, I was complete. With him, I found forever.

"Disgrace" was a story of how true love could change everything. About finding that big real love and not letting go. It was a novel that I highly recommend. Grace and Jackson's epic love story gets 4.5 ️’s from me.

Excerpt:  Jackson

“I’ve read about boys like you in books, ya know,” she whispered, her fingers slowly spinning spirals on my chest. 

“Oh, yeah? What did those books teach you about boys like me?”

“Well…” She bit her bottom lip, and with a small inhalation, she whispered, “They taught me to stay away.”

“Then why are you so close?”

She tilted her head up, looking me straight in the eyes. “Because in those stories, the heroine never ever listens.”

“And then there’s trouble?” I asked. 

“Yes, and then there’s trouble.”

From the way she said those words, I knew trouble was exactly what she was in search of. We were the classic cliché. She was the good girl next door, I the monster from around the block. We were perfect opposites for the perfect storm, and she was asking me to be her next flaw, her greatest mistake.

And, well, who was I not to live up to her request?

“I could destroy you,” I warned. 

“Or save me.”

“Is it worth the risk?”

“Isn’t it always worth the risk?”

The more she touched me, the more I wanted to touch her back. I wrapped my hands around her wrists flipping us around so she was now against the wall with her hands above her head. “I have rules.” I leaned in closer, lightly brushing my lips against her neck. God, she smelled good, like peaches and my next sin. “You can’t break these rules, either.” My tongue rolled from my mouth and circled against her neck before I gently sucked her skin. 

She shivered at my touch. “What are they?”

“Rule one,” I whispered, my mouth moving across her collarbone. “You never stay the night.” 


“Rule number two,” I said, dropping her left arm to the side. Taking my hand to the bottom of her blouse, I slowly raised it up and massaged her skin. “You never develop feelings.”

“That’s easy enough,” she replied, her breaths uneven as I teased at the top button on her jeans. “I don’t believe in feelings anymore.”

I didn’t know why, but that made me sad for her. I, too, didn’t believe in falling for people, but that was my norm. Grace seemed the type to believe in something bigger than love, so the fact that her belief was completely gone was a bit surprising.

Maybe we had more in common than I thought.

“Rule number three…we don’t talk about my life.” 

“Like ever?”



“And lastly, rule number four…” My mouth brushed against hers, and I slid my tongue slowly across her bottom lip. “If your favorite pair of panties get ripped, don’t expect me to replace them.” 

About the Author: 

Hi! I'm Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I'm learning, things I'm re-learning, things I'm forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.

Twitter: @BrittainyCherry

Stay up to date with Brittainy by signing up for her newsletter: 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Release Blitz & Review: Adriane Leigh's "Whiskey Girl."

The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be a part of the Release Blitz & Review for Adriane Leigh's "Whiskey Girl."


She was the one thing holding him together. Until she was gone.

And then there was whiskey.

Fallon Gentry has spent the last decade reliving one dark night in his head. The moment he lost the woman he loved when a single blink cascaded into a series of events that stole both of their lives. Now his nights are spent playing music in southern honky-tonks and nursing the memory of her the only way he knows how–at the bottom of a whiskey bottle. 

A brief stint in Nashville, a hit song, and a brush with Hollywood couldn’t bring him closer to God, but when the ghost of Augusta Belle Branson appears in his corner of another lonely dive bar late after dark, he’s forced to confront everything he thought he knew about that fateful night, and a few things he didn’t.

He’s her contradiction, she’s his salvation. 

A firestorm of emotion consumes them when they come together after ten lost years, every moment more revealing, more unpredictable, more intoxicating than the next until the only reckoning left for Fallon is the one he must make with himself. But this time, fate may have left an after-burn too bitter to swallow. This time, he may lose his whiskey girl for good. 

Review: Jo 

"You may be a lady now, Augusta Belle, but you'll always be my whiskey girl." 

As soon as I read the synopsis to this book, I was immediately intrigued and was looking forward to reading more. Once upon a time Fallon and Augusta Belle were madly in love and their future looked bright. But then it all went tragically wrong for the pair. After years of hurt and pain, the couple were reunited and given a second chance to start their relationship over. But first Fallon and Augusta had a whole lot of talking and sharing to do before the pair could move on. The couple had to deal with the scars of their past before they could think about their future together. 

"She'd left her mark, inked deeper than any tattoo on my fucking soul. 
The only woman's love I wanted, hell, needed..." 

For most of the first half I wasn't quite sure where this story was heading, however I was enjoying getting to know the characters and the thought of discovering more about Fallon and Augusta Belle and what went wrong first time around kept me turning those pages. And then as I continued, I uncovered more and after a few unexpected twists were thrown in, everything began to make sense and I began rooting for this couple. 

"Soft and Slow, reflective and redemptive, 
our touch healed what our words couldn't." 

I absolutely loved the style of writing, highlighting and highlighting so many gorgeous quotes. I also loved having the opportunity to revisit Fallon and Augusta Belle's past as the chapters were written from both the past and present. I also loved watching the couple developing their relationship and falling in love all over again. They shared such a beautiful love for each other and it made my heart happy to see Fallon and Augusta Belle get the happy ever after that they both truly deserved more than anything. 

"I'll be at your side till the day I take my last breath, Augusta Belle. 
Whether you're ready for it or not." 

I loved "Whisky Girl." This second chance love story stole my heart and with a cute epilogue to finish the story off, it was well worth the read. This beautiful romance gets 4.5 ❤️'s from me.

Chapter One: Fallon

The first time I met Augusta Belle Branson, she was fixin’ on killin’ herself.

Said the minute I’d walked up, she was tryin’ to decide if jumpin’ off the bridge in the center—where the water was deep and the current stronger—would be a swifter end, or if she should jump near the edge, where jagged limestone slabs anchored the slow-moving current.

Certain death for sure.

I replayed the split second when the Indian summer sun burst through the orange oak leaves, a halo of warmth enveloping her.

Like an angel. Stardust sparkling straight from heaven, ploppin’ her in my path.

And then she turned, the most startling shade of liquid amber eyes breathing something real and alive, like fire, into my soul.

That same something I’d been runnin’ from—or chasin’, dependin’ on how you looked at it—just about every day since.

I settled myself on the lone wooden stool that awaited at center stage, my thoughts drawing back to the present. My head swam, but the old familiar chords floated on through the current of whiskey in my blood, and I strummed the first few notes of a song I wrote a lot of nights ago by an act of sheer muscle memory.

Old acoustic guitar resting on my knee, my first and third fingers in position on the strings, the opening chords of “Whiskey Girl” bled from my fingers.

Every chord, another dagger.

Every whispered lyric, my undoing.

I still ’didn’t know what the fuck had overtaken me the night I’d written this song in a fevered rush.

Well, the booze might have played a part, but I happened to think my best shit came out of uninhibited states.

I’d just had a fuckton of uninhibited states recently.

And the harder the liquor, the more she haunted me.

Whiskey Girl.

My poisoned lullaby.

The crowd of a few hundred erupted into a standing ovation when I ended with the final, emotion-charged words.

The irony of this song was it was the one that’d launched my career. The first single to hit radio waves and then the top spot on the Billboard charts, and brought reporters, music executives, long-lost family members I wasn’t even really sure I was related to, and too much other scum with an end game that carried dollar signs to my front doorstep.

I’d moved to Nashville a rising star and left two years later, middle finger in the air as I tossed my once-promising music career out with last night’s liquor bottles in favor of the open road.

Chasing something.

Not finding the one thing I needed.

Playing local honky-tonks for a fraction of the money I could have made.

But the truth was, the road was the only place I could find my happy.

A familiar ball of pain formed in my throat as I stood, pushing my guitar over one shoulder and bowing deeply. I couldn’t see a single face behind the glaring stage lights, but still, some part of me pretended she could be out there, that I was singing to her.

That she would hear her song and find her way back to me.

After hundreds of faceless crowds and too many bottles of Tennessee whiskey to bother counting, I still felt the pull inside me to travel to every town in America if that’s what it took to find her.

Hell, maybe she was happily married with a few kids, a dog, and a fucking minivan by now.

I nodded my head, giving one last wave to the crowd in the dark beyond, then left the stage, taking the steps two at a time and angling past the curtains to head for the tiny-ass dressing room this dive bar provided. Heading for another chug of amber gold before packing my shit into my truck and hitting the road.

I pushed a hand through my hair, thinking maybe a shower would be in order before I bailed, when a curvy little thing backed right up into me.

My palms landed on her shoulders, warm blond waves falling in a cascade over one side. The heady scent of peaches and honey filled my nostrils. My eyes slammed closed and brought me back to summer nights under a giant oak, fireflies melding together with the stars above like a painting.

“Sorry, I just dropped my phone.” The sweet-scented creature spun, brilliant smile falling from her face when our eyes made contact for the first time.

Every coldhearted memory slammed into my chest like a pallet of bricks.

I narrowed my eyes, gaze tracing the familiar yet unfamiliar angles of her porcelain face.

She was thinner now, cheeks sharp slashes of bone that highlighted her always-devastating round eyes and full lips. It was her, all right. I’d know this woman anywhere.

“Hi, Fallon.” I’d been dreamin’ of this moment for the better part of a decade, and still, my heart wasn’t prepared for those two words. My name on her lips left me with a toxic reaction.

My whiskey girl.

My damnation and my salvation.

“I need a fucking minute.” I dropped my hands from her shoulders, her skin still haunting my fingertips, and walked straight down the narrow hallway, pushing the rusted back door open so hard the hinges protested.

Warm night air filled my lungs, replacing the empty feeling seeing her again had left.

“Fallon…” Hell, she’d followed me out.

And hell if wanted her to, but I didn’t notwant her to either.

The emotions bombarding my mind were just a-fucking-bout unbearable.

“I said I needa fucking minute.” The sentence came out as more of a growl than I intended. Before she could reply, I stomped across the potholed parking lot, aiming for my heavy-duty Ford.

I yanked the door open, digging behind the driver’s seat for a fresh bottle of my favorite recipe.

I couldn’t be bothered to retrieve the half-full bottle I’d left in my dressing room. I had to get as far the fuck away from her just to clear my head and process what her being here even meant.

My hands circled the neck of the bottle, and I opened it in a flash, chugging back the first warm bite of pleasure I’d been craving.

I tossed the cap on my dash and fished the keys out of my pocket, about to climb into the cab and make hay, when fingertips painted a dark navy filtered into my vision and back out again, my goddamn truck keys hanging from one finger.

“Fuck,” I bit out, crawling out of the cab and swiping for the keys.

My reactions were a helluva lot slower than I thought they were. How much of that bottle had I drunk before the show?I shook the thought from my head, realizing this was probably about close to my average state of play on any given day. Runnin’ away from the life Augusta Belle and I’d had took something out of me. Something only whiskey could fill.

“I don’t care what your stupid ass does on your own time, but you’re not dying on mine, Fallon Gentry.”

My head pounded then. A whole fucking sentence out of her pretty pink lips, and my body’s old dependable reaction to her infuriating every cell of me.

I’d never been in control when it came to Augusta. Shouldn’t have been surprised it was no different now.

“As irritating as ever, I see,” I said, swiping for my keys one more time and missing before I stumbled off around her, whiskey bottle clutched in my hand and hell on my mind.

Augusta was back, and there wasn’t enough whiskey in the state of Tennessee to help me deal.

Author Bio:

Adriane Leigh is an Amazon Top 25 and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and erotic romance. 

Raised in a snowbank in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she was born with a book in her hand and won her first Young Authors award by the age of ten. She finished her first romance novel at 14, and hasn’t stopped playing with words since. She earned a literature degree, co-founded and organized international book conventions with RARE: Romance Author & Reader Events, and has written more than 45 independent titles. 

Married to her own Prince Charming, she now lives among the sand dunes of Lake Michigan, and plays mama to two sweet baby girls. She’s a romantic rebel and word junkie that believes wanderlust is life, strives to be a part of the #goodvibetribe, and wishes she had more time to read and knit scarves to keep her cozy during the arctic Michigan winters. Yoga pants, puppies, and mac and cheese also help.