Holding Out For Paris by Gabrielle Ashton

 

Title: Holding Out For Paris
Series: Holding Out #1
Author: Gabrielle Ashton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 13, 2019
Blurb
Picture this: You pack your bags. Move to Paris. Fall in love.
A dream, right?
Wrong.
Especially when you find out your Mr. Right is actually married. With kids. Don’t even
mention the white picket fence.
Heartbroken in the City of Love, the last person Elizabeth Hastings expects to lend her a shoulder to cry on is her brother’s best friend…Spencer Tate is opening up his first gym in London when a frantic call from his best friend sends him to Paris to check on Sebastian’s baby sister.

If he’s lucky he can stop in for a minute and be back in London the next day. Easy
peasy.
Except the dorky bookworm he remembers is now all grown up, with dangerous curves, lips just made for kissing and eyes he could get lost in…
Spencer. Is. Screwed.

My review:

This is the typical brother’s best friend/best friend’s sister book. Guy doesn’t want to break Bro Code. Girl doesn’t want her brother mad. So they don’t tell him. Brilliant plan *eyeroll*.

Honestly, most of the book is actually pretty good, if a little dependent on romance novel cliches. But here is one scene in the last half where Lizzie really loses me. Luckily she realizes what she is potentially doing and doesn’t do the thing (so vague, I know, but more info would be spoilery). And this is the only thing I didn’t like about the book.

What did I like? I liked how Spencer jumped right in and took care of Lizzie when she needed it -even when she didn’t realize she needed it. I loved that he called his sister for advice on what to do for Lizzie. I liked that they really “got” each other. Their chemistry was off the charts. And I loved Lizzie’s friend Sophia.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Excerpt
Chapter One
Lizzie
Elizabeth Hastings was wearing a trench coat,
black pumps, and nothing else.
She’d never done this before. She wasn’t
usually the sort of girl to go out of her way to impress a guy—she’d never had
anyone worth the effort before. But boy, was Amaury worth the effort. At least
that’s what she told herself every single, terrifying moment there was a bump
or quick turn on the metro that threatened to send her toppling forward, giving
her fellow passengers a more intimate glimpse than any stranger on public transport
should ever see.
When you don’t have a car, Versailles is
actually quite difficult to get to from Paris. For Lizzie, at least. She’d
never had to worry too much about public transport where she grew up, and to be
honest, thanks to her generous trust fund, shouldn’t really have to bother with
it here. But when she’d moved to Paris, she had wanted the starving-artist
experience. There was no way she could write a masterpiece of the likes of
Hemingway or Fitzgerald if she was living it up like some sort of luxury travel
blogger. She needed to live a Paris city life in all its glory, inconveniences
included.
That is how she found herself on a one-hour,
two-train journey from central Paris to a quiet street on the outskirts of
Versailles, praying that an errant wind didn’t put her ass on display to Metro
Line 4.
She took a deep, nervous breath as she exited
the train, holding a little box with his favorite pastries from that shop he
loved in Montparnasse. She turned her mind to Amaury to ease her nerves during
the walk from the station. It was six months since their first date, six months
since he’d swept her off her feet and made her move to Paris unforgettable.
With olive skin that made him look permanently
sun-kissed and those striking gray eyes, he was one of the most gorgeous men
she had ever seen, with a French accent thrown in for good measure.
She sighed and couldn’t help but smile to
herself when she eventually reached his street. Whenever she thought of him,
she felt a rush of pure warmth flood her system. He was exactly what she’d
fantasized about when she dreamed of finding love in Paris… Older, commanding,
mysterious. And so sexy. So unapologetically French.
She glanced up and fidgeted with the belt on
her jacket when she reached the picket fence outside his house. They didn’t
usually meet up here. Amaury was a successful lawyer and based in Paris, so
he’d bought a little apartment there for when he didn’t feel like commuting,
which was most of the time. He preferred the city; he thought it was so
romantic. Lizzie agreed. That’s why they always spent the night there when they
saw each other. The only time she’d been to his house in Versailles was once,
after a spontaneous message, instructing her to pack a bag and set aside a
weekend… But even then he’d only popped into the house to grab a few things for
himself and then they drove off toward the wineries in the south.
He didn’t know she was coming here today, of
course. That was the point of a surprise. But she knew he was here this
morning; he always was on Sundays. Anyway, she didn’t think he’d mind; she was
doing something special for him and it was their anniversary, for crying out
loud.
Well, their six-month anniversary. And the
anniversary of their first date, not the moment they’d decided to commit to one
another. Not that there had actually been
a moment like that; they’d never had “the talk”—they didn’t need to. It was
obvious from the moment he told her he loved her, and that he’d never met a
woman as captivating, as magnifique,
as her. Lizzie wasn’t exactly lacking in self-confidence; she didn’t need the
poor man to spell out the words be my
girlfriend
for her to validate their relationship. She could be mature
about it all.
“Enough stalling,” she berated herself in a half-whisper,
strutting forward through the gate. “Just do it.”
She shook her head, fluffed out her thick, dark
hair a bit, then walked up to the door and pressed the bell. Lizzie fidgeted
and rocked on her heels; she must have switched positions five times in an
attempt to somehow land on one that was casual yet sexy. She would be content
to find a position that halfway achieved that.
“Delivery for Ama—” she began but abruptly
stopped as the door swung fully open.
Voulez-vous
parler avec Papa?”
a small, pajama-clad boy piped up, standing at the
threshold. He looked about six years old, with a tuft of dark brown hair and
piercing gray eyes that looked just Amaury’s.
“Hello? Can I help you?” a blonde with features
so flawless, her face looked like it had been sculpted by freaking angels,
asked in heavily accented English as she joined the boy.
“I…Um…” Lizzie could barely speak, could barely
see. “I think I have the wrong—”
Qui-est-ce?
She knew the voice that asked, “Who is it?” in French. It was Amaury’s. But
that couldn’t be right. He lived alone. This couldn’t be his house. She must
have confused it with a neighbor. Lizzie took a step back and glanced toward
the house next door. It didn’t look like Amaury’s. Maybe his neighbors were
just visiting his place?
“She looks like a lost tourist looking for the
palace. I’ll help her out. Why don’t you go put Nicolas to bed?” Amaury’s voice
rapidly fired off in French, cutting through Lizzie’s haze. He deftly stepped
in front of the woman and child then closed the door behind him.
His hand was still on the handle. On his ring
finger was a gold band she’d never seen before.
She blinked a few times, but it didn’t move.
“What are you doing here?” Amaury demanded.
She’d never heard his voice so hard.
“It’s our anniversary,” she said, still not
quite believing this was really happening. She hoped he didn’t hear the tremble
in her voice.
“Anniversary? What?” Amaury stepped forward and
his long, elegant hands grabbed onto her shoulders. “What were you thinking,
showing up here? If my wife found out—”
That snapped her out of it. She gasped as she
pushed him away. “Your wife? Your
wife! You didn’t think that was an important thing to mention to your girlfriend?”
Amaury laughed. It wasn’t a nice sound.
“Girlfriend? You think you’re my girlfriend, cherie?” He laughed harder. “Oh, Americans.”
Her eyes stung, and Amaury’s beautiful face
blurred. She felt sick. Ruined. He had a family? What the fuck? She was a mistress? The other woman? Lizzie gulped
down the acid that rose in her throat. This couldn’t be happening.
“You said you loved me. You said I captivated
you.”
Amaury cut her off. “A man will say a lot of
things to get a woman in bed.” He laughed some more. “Did you think you were
the only one I fucked in that apartment?”
She didn’t respond. She couldn’t get the words
out. They stuck in her throat, choking her.
Amaury turned back to the door. Apparently, he
was finished with her. With his hand still on the brass handle, he glanced back
over his shoulder at her.
“Come here again and I will have a restraining
order filed against you.”
Well, then. That relationship was well and
truly over.
Author Bio

 

Gabrielle
Ashton is a contemporary romance author, and self-confessed book addict. She
loves to read anything from contemporary, to paranormal, to historical: you
publish it, Gabrielle will read it!
When she’s
not writing about her favorite romance tropes in gorgeously exotic locations,
Gabrielle studies law and also works as a television producer. On any given day
she wakes up at three in the morning for work, fits in a few classes at
university then comes home and writes.
Gabrielle
grew up in Australia, has lived in Paris, and now resides in Sydney with her
boyfriend, two dogs and cat. Although, said boyfriend is making a strong case
for a pet bird.
 
Author Links

 

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Dirty Irish by Magan Vernon

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My life has revolved around the two things I’ve always loved: whiskey and rugby. Now the marriage clause in my Da’s will has me putting both on the back burner if I want to save the Murphy’s Pub empire and find a wife.

As the last brother to get married, I need a little help, and that’s where my sister-in-law’s American best friend, Leah, comes into the picture. She could use a little Irish luck after the deceitful things her ex did to her that brought her to Ireland. With her take-no-shite-attitude, she’s just the type of girl to help me find a wife.

That is, if I can remember she’s the matchmaker and not the match.

Each book in the Murphy Brothers series is STANDALONE:
* Straight Up Irish
* Irish on the Rocks
* Dirty Irish

My review:

All Sean wants to do is play rugby. His two brothers are in charge of the family business and love it, but business just isn’t his thing. Unfortunately, their father’s will states that all three of them must be married or none of them will inherit the business. Sean needs to find a wife ASAP. He hires Leah, best friend of his sister in law that he’s been friendly with since her at his brother’s wedding, to be his assistant and matchmaker.

These two made me laugh so much. Leah is a strong, independent woman getting over the loss of her boyfriend and dream business. She doesn’t put up with any of Sean’s nonsense. They balance each other so well. I really enjoyed this book.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YCgAcb
Barnes and Noble: bit.ly/2w1qgAy
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2JFxmTn
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2WKZfgu
iBooks: https://apple.co/2YAhmq5
http://bit.ly/2JMNTFf

About the author:

41Y6B5Gu4wL._SY200_Magan Vernon has been living off of reader tears since she wrote her first short story in 2004. She now spends her time killing off fictional characters, pretending to plot while she really just watches Netflix, and she tries to do this all while her two young children run amok around her Texas ranch.

Connect With Her:

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Preorder Alert: Then There Was You Anthology

 

 

Title: Then There Was You:

A Single Parent Collection

Authors: Various

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 13, 2019
Blurb
Sexy Single Dads. Strong Single Moms. 
With
stories from 14 unbelievably talented authors:
Alex
Grayson
Angel Devlin
Anna Brooks
Dani René
Esther E.
Schmidt 
Evan Grace
Freya
Barker
Gianna
Gabriela
HL Nighbor
Heather Lyn
Kally Ash
Kathy
Coopmans
L.A. Cotton
Lauren
Dawes

 

Read on for a taste of the stories you’ll find within!

Back to Life by Dani René
Both having been heartbroken in very different ways, Kayla and Caleb find themselves in a very unlikely situation where they can’t deny the electricity coursing between them. Can love really bring them back to life?

Boss of Me by Angel Devlin

Single dad Jude’s icy exterior keeps women at a safe distance; but fiery Pippa could be about to start a thaw…
Chester by Esther E. Schmidt
Some issues cut deep; they are hard to face and even harder to find a solution for.
Fighting For Us by Heather Lyn
She rescued me when I didn’t even know I needed saving. But now lives are on the line, and we might lose our forever, before we even get the chance to start.
Heartbreaker by Anna Brooks
She was never supposed to happen, and her baby girl sure as hell wasn’t part of my
plans.

Hunter by Lauren Dawes

A mate’s death. A rogue wolf. A new life.
Just Because of You by Gianna Gabriela
He broke me. I left. He stayed. Now I’m back.  
Resisting Rayne by HL Nighbor
Their worlds collide and an unlikely friendship forms, but will they continue to
fight the pull for something more or give into the pull and take a chance at
love?  
Riddick by Kathy Coopmans
Do you believe in heaven on earth? I did until one day, she vanished.
Ripple Effect by Evan Grace
One night changed everything. 
Tempt Me by Kally Ash
Temptation comes in many forms. Can Gianna or Max resist?
When Hope Ends (Life Begins) by Freya Barker
It’s the best day of his life–the worst of hers–when one moment in time leaves their
paths unavoidably connected by the single heart beating between them. 
Whispered Prayers of a Girl by Alex Grayson
A lonely man, a widowed woman, a carefree boy, and a broken girl… Can the four come together and help heal each other?
Wicked Truths by L. A. Cotton
The truth won’t fix anything… it’ll only hurt more. Won’t it?
THEN THERE WAS YOU features single parents who weren’t looking–didn’t need anyone–until the right someone came along. Experience the highs and lows of parenthood, love lost and gained, and new beginnings with this collection of stories. They’re sure to leave you with a full heart and a smile on your face. 
AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME 
Proceeds will be donated to a non-profit organization which addresses family
homelessness.

 

 

Pre-order Links
99c for a limited time!!

 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

 

Contributing Authors

 

 

Parental Guidance by Avery Flynn

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“A fantastically fun, HOT love story.” – Kendall Ryan, New York Times bestselling author

Parental Guidance, an all-new, sexy and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Avery Flynn, is available now!

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All I want is to play hockey on the Ice Knights, instead, I’m in a viral video for all the wrong reasons and my mom—yes, my mom—has taken over my dating apps. Then, when I think it can’t get any worse, the fates deliver Zara Ambrose, a five-feet-nothing redhead with more freckles than inches and who’d rather be anywhere other than on a date with me.

Now a bet with her friends and my PR nightmare have us both stuck in this go-on-five-dates-with-the-same-person hell situation. But if we band together, we can get the whole thing over with and go on with our lives. It’s perfect! No feelings. No future. No fuc— *ahem* fun. No naked fun.

What could go wrong? Nothing—as long as I remember the rules. Don’t notice the way she looks in a dress. Don’t react when she does that little shivery sigh thing whenever we touch. Don’t think about the fact that she’s never had a toe-curling orgasm that wasn’t self-delivered and just how badly I want to change that.

Five dates—that’s it—and then we go our separate ways. At least, that was the plan.

My review:

This was such a fun book to read! A giant dog always makes things better, so this book gets brownie points immediately for Anchovy, the Great Dane. Zara is a workaholic who plans every detail. Caleb is a hockey player embroiled in a PR  nightmare. On paper, they shouldn’t work. And yet they work so well. They seem like opposites but have more in common than they expected. There is just one thing that bothered me as I was reading this book: why was Caleb the only player under fire? The “you were the senior player, you should have shut it down” argument works to an extent, but as it’s written the rookies make the mistakes and the senior players get punished while the rookies face no consequences.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There is a small appearance of Fallon from Tomboy  which was fun. Caleb and Zara’s support of each other personally and in their careers was amazing. And both of them have invaluable friendships. And like I said, Anchovy makes everything better.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VGNZ41

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2Lc2R9Y

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ParentalGuidance

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About Avery

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USA Today bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee 

IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staff knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Connect with Avery

Instagram: @AveryFlynn https://www.instagram.com/averyflynn/

Website: http://averyflynn.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/avery-flynn

Mailing List: http://averyflynn.com/newsletter/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AveryFlynnAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/averyflynn

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Join the Flynnbots: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Flynnbots/

 

Blog Tour: Take Me Down by Carly Phillips

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Opposites don’t merely attract. . .they combust.

Take Me Down, an all-new, sexy contemporary standalone from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips, is available now!

Read my review here

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Parker Knight was going through the motions… and then he met her.

Parker Knight lived and lost his dream. Now he works for his family’s business, wearing a suit and pretending to be happy. A weekend away to plan a corporate retreat turns into a revelation when he lays eyes on Emily Stevens, the sexy owner of a small inn that’s seen better days. One look at Emily and the run down bed and breakfast and suddenly Parker has a purpose. He turns his short stay into a longer one, intending to act on the intense chemistry and desire that runs hot between them. While there, he plans to give Emily and her father’s inn a much needed infusion of cash and manpower.

Coming off an emotionally abusive marriage, Emily has an immediate bias against suave, city guys … But despite the slick exterior, Emily discovers Parker is sweet, charming and eager to help. And when she caves to their incredible passion, she discovers he makes her feel just as good in bed as out. Yet no matter how hot they burn or how well they mesh, Parker’s time with her has an expiration date. And Emily has an ex who refuses to accept that their relationship is over.

Parker isn’t a man who gives up. Sweet, sexy Emily Stevens is his chance to reclaim his life. He wants to take care of this woman who makes him feel … everything. If only he could figure out how to merge his two lives, everything would be perfect. But when her ex makes his move, Parker realizes what’s important. He only hopes he isn’t too late.

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2X3rHK5

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2Ub7vEc

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TakeMeDown

Nook: http://bit.ly/2Ggut9B

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Google Play: http://bit.ly/2VBtuG8

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2IojuvY

Audible: https://amzn.to/2IsEwrL

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2X3tX45

Excerpt:

“I like the dreamy look on your face.”

“It isn’t often I’m thrown into a good memory of my mom,” he admitted.

More often than not he thought about the bitter ones of his dad and his lack of attention, his many wives, and losing the one parent who loved him unconditionally.

“Do you know the key ingredient that differentiates a Snickerdoodle from a sugar cookie?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Can’t say that I do.” That memory escaped him.

“Cream of Tartar. It’s a leavening agent that gives the cookie its signature tangy flavor and chewy texture.”

“She made them every Christmas,” he said, hearing his own wistful tone. “We left them out for Santa.”

Emily smiled at his memory. “I’ll make them for you one day if –“ She shook her head.

If you’re still here went unsaid.

“Can I take this to mean you’re not mad at me anymore?” he asked, leaning in on one arm.

She poured the brownie mix into the pan and sighed. “I was never mad at you. At first I was just scared to death. Then I was frustrated with dad and the situation. You being here, supporting his dream doesn’t help. But I’m not angry at you.”

The heaviness in his chest eased. But he was going to throw her an even more difficult question. He wasn’t sure if he expected an answer and given he didn’t know if he could answer in return, it wasn’t exactly fair.

“Okay then, good. What about before we came back? Are you still running from what we felt?”

She’d stuck a chocolate covered finger into her mouth and at the question, her eyes opened wide. The question had been bad timing on his part because his dick hardened at the sight of that finger in her mouth. He wanted her lips wrapped around his cock.

But, they had important things to discuss. “Running?” she asked on a squeak.

He pushed himself to standing and strode around the island, coming up to her and pushing her back against the counter. “Running,” he confirmed. “Not physically but emotionally.”

“I can’t let myself get too attached to you, Parker. You’re leaving. Sooner not later. Just because we don’t discuss it doesn’t make it not true. I need to protect myself.”

Her words sliced through him because they were true. Because he hated them. Because she was right and he didn’t want her to be. So he did the only thing he could do in the moment.

“But we have now.”

Meet Carly Phillips:

Hi Res IMG_9487.jpgCarly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire, and she loves everything about writing romance . She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. She has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a romance author. Carly is the author of over fifty romances, and is a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. She loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter and receive TWO FREE books at www.carlyphillips.com.

 

Connect with Carly:

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Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QyGiLl

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Stay up to date with Carly by joining her mailing list: http://www.carlyphillips.com/newsletter-sign-up/
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Join Carly’s Addicts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarlysAddicts/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips
Website: www.carlyphillips.com

Blog: http://www.carlyphillips.com/blog