Guarding Her Heart is here!

My newest novel, Guarding Her Heart, has been released!

Guarding Her Heart on Amazon

Guarding Her Heart on Amazon UK

Guarding Her Heart final

Ash Harker is skilled at her job as a professional bodyguard. She’s former military, but she also has a secret romantic streak a mile wide. She’s just always known that true love is for other people—people with fewer scars than she has.

Serena Davenport has clawed her way to the top of the business world, and with a successful company to run, she has no time for love. But when Serena finds herself the target of a stalker and needs someone to keep her safe, the bodyguard who shows up at her door looks startlingly familiar…

One terrible date a few weeks ago was something both Ash and Serena swore to put behind them. But now, unexpectedly, they’re forced back into each other’s lives. The date may have been a disaster, but the scorching hot attraction between them is undeniable.

With a murderous criminal on their trail, they can’t afford any distractions—and what’s more distracting than love?

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Falling For You

One of the things I like the most about writing novels is that I’m always learning things about the craft. With every book I write, I get closer to portraying women and their love stories the way I hope I can. In talking to my publisher at Rose and Star Press, we came to the conclusion that The Makeover Challenge wasn’t a fitting title for the novel. It tells readers that the most important thing about the book is the reality TV series the characters participate in; but that’s not even close to the truth. The most important thing is how Charlie and Francesca fall in love and, together, overcome the things holding them back.

So it’s with pleasure that I introduce the re-release: Falling For You.

fallingforyou

Who expects to fall in love on reality TV?

Certainly not Miss Charlie Vega, a burnt-out designer in desperate need of inspiration. Neither does Francesca Davies, a rock-climbing internet celebrity with an overbearing family. The two of them audition to compete on a hit reality TV series for very different reasons, but when they get paired up as a team, the road to victory gets a lot more complicated.

They have almost zero in common, but their fiery chemistry is immediate and intense. With their complicated baggage, neither is exactly ready for love, but they’re certainly not averse to some steamy encounters…that are bound to get them into hot water.

Could they even make a real relationship work on a show that’s actually nothing like reality?

A teaser from Saving Serena

Hi everyone! The book I’m currently working on has the tentative title Saving Serena, and it’s the story of a corporate celebrity and the woman hired to protect her from a stalker.

As a rising star in the design business, Serena is used to having her own way…but Ash, the ex-military bodyguard assigned to her, refuses to let her go on walking blithely into unsafe situations. They clash constantly. Serena can’t stand that Ash’s strong beauty drive her nuts, and Ash refuses to believe that she’s starting to have feelings for a client. Things with Serena’s stalker are getting worse and worse, though. That’s where this part comes in.

“This can’t be happening,” Serena said roughly. “We were all… I was so sure we were all overreacting. All these precautions were ‘just to be safe.’ And he was some loser with nothing better to do than send hate-mail to a celebrity. But seeing all this, it just becomes clear. He’s—” She kept walking in circles, holding her arms closer and closer to her chest like she could draw inside herself. “He’s crazy. He might do…anything.”

I intercepted her path and she stopped short, looking up at me. Panic was tugging at the edges of her expression, trying to take over. I put my hands on her shoulders and gripped them gently.

“I promise,” I said, looking into her eyes and speaking with slow, firm certainty. “I promise I won’t let anything happen to you.” I was silent for a moment as I held her gaze, and I hoped with my entire being that she believed me. It was a truth I felt deep in my bones, so deep that it was intrinsic, irrefutable, like saying that water is wet or that the sun is hot.

And then, like a broken marionette, she melted into me.

 

Look for Saving Serena in February! It’s been really exciting to write, and I think it’s my most romantic yet ❤

Marian Reviews Stuff – Wind and Sea by C.L. Ryder

I just finished Wind and Sea by C.L. Ryder, and it was a very sweet beach romance. Here’s my review! There are spoilers in the second half, so I’ll put a couple of lines in case you want to avoid that.

Wind and SeaWind and Sea by C.L. Ryder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were a lot of good things about this book! I really liked the setting and how the writing made me feel immersed in the beach culture of Orange County. The characters were fun, particularly Cammy’s little sister Abby. There was a sweet theme of destiny that ran through the story: Cammy’s dream led her to Lei and little details were woven together to show that Cammy and Lei were meant for each other. I thought that was pretty romantic. There were also some parts where I really couldn’t put the book down, which is unusual for me.

**Spoilers Below**

The only thing I didn’t like was the whole concussion/coma thing. Lei told Cammy she was absolutely straight, and then Lei hits her head on a rock while scuba diving, has to be put into an artificial coma, and when she wakes up…she tells Cammy she’s now attracted to women.

If Lei had woken up from her coma and the accident made her realize that she’d fallen in love with Cammy, that would’ve been fine and totally understandable. But it was treated like fact that a concussion and coma could change someone so that they were no longer straight. Especially since Lei’s parents, who were very conservative, immediately asked the doctor to “turn her back.” It made it sound like being queer is something you can change by surgery or injury, and it scares me that people might think that.

Over all, though, I enjoyed Wind and Sea. It was sweet and I liked being immersed in the beachy setting.

View all my reviews

Marian Reviews Stuff

Hello friends! I’ve started to be more active on my Goodreads account, and I thought I’d repost my reviews of books I’ve read lately here. So here are the most recent three I’ve done!

Galaxies and OceansGalaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was honestly one of the best romances I’ve ever read. It was full of high emotion, compelling and well-rounded characters, beautiful scenery… Everything I want in a novel. I have a special place in my heart for seaside communities, having grown up in one (although in Maine in the U.S. and not in Australia) and I loved the attention N.R. Walker gave to the setting. Also, Aubrey and Patrick’s relationship was so warm and soft and safe, and it constantly had me going “Augh, they are so CUTE together!”

I’m not sure it’s worth mentioning, but one of the characters has panic attacks, and they’re very skillfully described. So if you’re like me and essentially watching someone have a panic attack makes you start to have one, just know this in advance. Utterly worth it, at any rate.

The Haunting of Hill HouseThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of the weirdest, most interesting books I’ve ever read. I started out skeptical, because through the first chapters I felt like it was putting the establishment of the characters’ personalities over the plot. But as it went on, I was caught up in the bizarre and pretty horrifying atmosphere of Hill House. It wasn’t that I was looking for answers about what was going on in the house–I didn’t expect to get any–but I DID always want to know what would happen next. I guess that means I was more interested in the writing and action than in any explanation or resolution? Either way, it was definitely an experience.

Sunscreen & CoconutsSunscreen & Coconuts by Eliza Lentzski

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’d give this a 3.5. The writing was good and the tropical atmosphere was really evocative, but I just couldn’t get myself to sympathize with the main character. I did really appreciate the way the narration was so immersed in Mercy’s super-cautious outlook, though. It took good advantage of first person in doing that, but at the same time it put me off because I just wasn’t very interested in Mercy herself. I honestly didn’t find the arc of the romance very romantic. In the end, I think this was a well-written and well-constructed novel about characters and a relationship who just weren’t my type.

The Makeover Challenge has been getting some really great reviews! I’m super happy, because it’s one of my all-time favorite novels I’ve written ❤ If you’ve read it, would you consider leaving an honest review on Amazon (linked above)? It doesn’t have to be long or anything. All reviews support authors and help us reach our audiences!

I’m hard at work on my next book, which is tentatively titled Saving Serena. It’s going to be action-packed 🙂 I’ve written a couple of mystery-themed romances before, specifically my paranormal romance Hereafter and my very first novel, Heart of Glasswhich reached the #1 spot on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Lesbian Romance. I’m super excited about adding another to my list!

Winters tend to be kind of hard for me, so I’m working on learning to love the snow and coziness that we can find when the earth starts to hibernate. I hope you’ll all have a peaceful, love-filled holiday season ❤

The Makeover Challenge – Released Today!

AAAHHH, IT’S HERE! I’m super psyched to share my newest novel, The Makeover Challenge! You can get it on Amazon, or read it for FREE with Kindle Unlimited! I’ll be releasing the paperback version soon.

All of my books are really important to me, but this one… This might be one of my VERY favorites, up there with THE ACTRESS and PRAIRIE HEART and HEREAFTER. It was such a joy to write, and I hope so much that you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it  ❤

The Makeover Challenge on Amazon

Synopsis:

Who expects to fall in love on reality TV?

Certainly not Charlie Vega, a burnt-out fashionista in desperate need of inspiration. Neither does Francesca Davies, a rock-climbing internet celebrity with a family who thinks a woman’s worth is measured by her husband. The two of them are competing on the hit reality series “The Makeover Challenge” for very different reasons, but when they get paired up as a team, the road to victory gets a lot more complicated.

With so little in common, it’s surprising that their chemistry is immediate, but it isn’t long before each woman finds herself intensely attracted to the other. With their complicated baggage, neither is exactly ready for love, but they’re certainly not averse to some steamy encounters…that are bound to get them into hot water.

Could they even make a real relationship work on a show that’s actually nothing like reality?

The Makeover Challenge cover