Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Miranda Owen | Fake Relationship Recommendations like BRIDGERTON
Author Guest / December 31, 2020

by Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer Miranda Owen Although THE DUKE AND I is all anybody can talk about right now, and the first in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, it is not my favorite of the series or book by Julia Quinn. Instead, THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND, part of the Rokesby series, is my favorite “fake relationship” story by Julia Quinn. Years ago, when I was just a teenager, I remember being thoroughly annoyed by Cathy in Emily Bronte’s classic novel WUTHERING HEIGHTS. I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t wait for Heathcliff to return instead of marrying someone else. At the time, my older and much wiser aunt laid out some of the realities women at that time faced. It may not have been as romantic that Cathy didn’t wait forever, but it was ultimately and more pragmatic. However, in THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND, Cecilia Harcourt makes some questionable choices but for good reasons. She’s alone in the world except for her brother Thomas. When Thomas is injured in battle, she bravely travels to be by his side. Instead of her brother, she finds Edward Rokesby, a wounded officer and a gentleman in much need of some TLC….

Fresh Fiction Reviewer Spotlight: Danielle Dresser
Author Guest , Author Spotlight / December 30, 2020

2020 is almost at an end, but our Reviewer Spotlights will continue into January! We hope you’re enjoying getting to know our reviewers and columnists better. Cheers to 2021!!  Your Name  Danielle Dresser How long have you been a Fresh Fiction reviewer? 3 years as a reviewer and about a year and a half as Editorial Manager What are your favorite genres to read and review? I love contemporary romance, historical romance, graphic novels, women’s fiction, and historical fiction. What are your TOP 3-5 Books of 2020? The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole Confessions in B-Flat by Donna Hill What do you like to do outside of reading?  I’m currently writing my own contemporary romance series! I also love to bake, cross-stitch, and watch TV… and by watch TV, I definitely mean watching and re-watching the Great British Bake Off and Schitt’s Creek almost exclusively. What are some of your holiday traditions? Christmas lasts about a full week in our house. We make individual visits to my family and to my in-laws, and usually have at…

Jane Ashford | EARL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL + Ginger Snaps Recipe
Author Guest / December 30, 2020

Strange Holidays This is an unprecedented year, isn’t it? Here in London, we are in a newly declared complete shutdown. The streets have gone silent under the strings of Christmas lights.  We had tickets for a Pantomime performance, which is a big English thing that I do not understand and so thought we would explore. But, cancelled. We were going to take a drive in the country around Christmas and enjoy the traditional landscape. But we’re not supposed to leave the area. No farflung trips either, obviously. So it’s really home for the holidays this year! Our neighborhood is fairly empty and feels safe. Also we have food and warmth and lots of stuff to watch on various streaming platforms. Thank you, Roku! I’ve had Zoom visits with friends. Ebooks are a blessing. A few keystrokes, and there’s a new story ready to carry me away. What would we do without those? (I really don’t know!) We feel healthy and are grateful. Still, it seems like time to consider all the ways to be cozy and festive while staying in. The Spanish heroine of my new book EARL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL is comforted and reminded of her lost homeland by familiar…

Eliza Knight | Title Challenge: TRULY MADLY PLAID
Author Guest / December 30, 2020

Hi all! I’m Eliza Knight and I’m so thrilled to be here with you all sharing a wee bit about my new book TRULY MADLY PLAID with the Title Challenge. When Annie is tasked with healing her brother’s best friend of his wounds, she knows it’s a forbidden love she should not want… Yet she cannot stop the deep yearning for the man she knows she could never have… T is for true love of course <3 What romance is complete without it? But also, for temptation for Annie is the forbidden fruit Craig cannot want to have… R is for romance, sigh… And the happily ever after that comes from it. U is for Up-all-night, which is what every writer secretly hopes their books keep you, lol L is for loyalty, which Annie and Craig hold to a high standard. They are in this fight for their country and intend to win. Y is for YES, as in Craig knowing he shouldn’t want his best friend’s sister, but oh yes does he want her… * M is for MacLean, as in Craig MacLean, Highland hottie and hero of this book! A is for Annie, our badass heroine who is…

Isabel Cooper | 20 Questions: THE STORMBRINGER
Author Guest / December 30, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  THE STORMBRINGER What is it about? A fantasy world that’s rebuilt after an apocalypse and is now in danger again, three people trying to reconcile the past with their current situation, and the value of standing together against oncoming threats. What word best describes your heroine?  Pragmatic. What makes your hero irresistible?  Amris combines a slightly old-fashioned formality with the ability to accept people for who they are–and blends a sense of honor with a sense of humor. Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? That’s a good question! Both Darya and Amris are fairly isolated: Darya by her role as a Sentinel, Amris by not being in his own time any longer. Darya has Emeth and Katrine, as well as other Sentinels that she’s friends with, but they aren’t in the same place most of the time. She and Amris both are generally closest to Gerant, which makes their relationship very awkward.  What do you love about the setting of your book?  The mythology is near and dear to my heart: a good spider goddess, a good goddess of death and vengeance as well as love…

A.M. Arthur | Title Challenge: RIGHT MOVE
Author Guest / December 29, 2020

RIGHT MOVE is a slow-burn, friends-to-lovers gay romance about George Thompson, a former figure skater and shut-in who is slowly trying to have a life again, and Levi Peletier, a trick rider at a ghost town near Clean Slate Ranch. An unexpected vacation together at the working dude ranch draws the pair closer together, but both men have secrets, and opening up isn’t easy for either man. They both have demons to face and futures to decide on if they’re going to make their fragile relationship work. Clean Slate Ranch is a special place where broken men who’ve used up their first chance at life are able to start over—and maybe even find their happily-ever-afters. Opposites attract, second-chance romance, BDSM, friends-to-lovers, slow-burn, fake boyfriend are all things you can find in this series about friends, found family, and acceptance. *** R is for Ranch, of course. George and Levi spend quite a lot of time there. I is for Independent. Levi doesn’t like to stay in one place too long, and he owns a tiny home he can travel around in with his three cats. G is for George Thompson, our shy but determined hero. H is for Hero, because…

Author Guest / December 29, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release? Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love 2–What is it about? Teddy thinks he can’t stand his coworker, Romeo. But they get stuck together on a business trip that involves some ridiculous ordeals, and Teddy learns that Romeo’s very different than he’d assumed. And, of course, there’s only one bed. 3–What word best describes Teddy? Creative 4–What makes Romeo irresistible? He doesn’t quite realize how charming and irresistible he is. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? Family! Teddy’s grandmother lives far away but gives good advice via phone calls. Romeo has a big, close family that sometimes “helps” more than he might like, but he loves them anyway. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book? It’s set in two of my favorite cities, Seattle and Chicago, both of which have lots of fun, quirky things to do. I also intentionally set it in February, which feels pretty bleak in both cities. Who wouldn’t want some love amid the cold and gray? (Well, Teddy wouldn’t—or so he tells himself.) 7–Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your…

Erin Bartels | Exclusive Excerpt: ALL THAT WE CARRIED
Author Guest / December 29, 2020

Melanie’s heart quickened when the first tower of the Mackinac Bridge came into view. This would be her seventh time over the bridge, a significant number. Seven days of the week. Seven notes in the diatonic scale. Seven letters in the Roman numeral system. The seven in the Tarot deck was the card of the chariot—the symbol of overcoming conflict and moving forward in a positive direction. Lucky number seven. She’d need luck on this trip if she hoped to move forward in a positive direction with Olivia. She hit her sister’s upper arm with the back of her hand. “There’s the bridge!” To her surprise, Olivia smiled. A good sign. Maybe it would all work out. It had to. Because they couldn’t go on as they had for the past ten years. Something had to change. Only time together would do it. Time with no distractions. Time in the forest. Time for Melanie to explain herself. She had seven days to make it work. Seven days was enough. Her seven-day spiritual detox program was her most popular offering on Meditations with Melanie. And nothing needed detoxing like her relationship with her sister. “I know a bailiff who refuses to…

Kat Martin | Exclusive Excerpt: THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL
Author Guest / December 28, 2020

Bran’s mood fluctuated between concern for Jessie and what she had suffered, and fury that he was helpless to do anything about it. Lowlife Ray Cummings was in prison, exactly where he belonged.  He was being punished–not enough as far as Bran was concerned–but punished nonetheless. And now, knowing the extent of what she had been through put Jessie even further out of his reach.  She didn’t need more heartache and having sex with him was exactly where that would lead.  She wasn’t a one-night hook-up kind of girl and he wasn’t a relationship kind of guy. Jessie deserved a man who was gentle and caring, a guy who would help her deal with the trauma she had suffered.  Bran was a rough-and-tumble lover.  He demanded a lot from a woman, and the women he took to bed liked it exactly that way. He sighed as he lay on the lumpy sofa in the living room staring up at the ceiling.  If only he could get the look on Jessie’s face out of his head, the heat in her big green eyes when she’d told him she was thinking about having sex with him. Sweet Jesus.  He ached with every…

Fresh Fiction Reviewer Spotlight: Kym Roberts
Author Guest / December 28, 2020

Today we are joined by another one of our regular author columnists, Kym Roberts! She writes a monthly Cozy Corner column where she gives book recs and interviews mystery authors.  Your Name Kym Roberts How long have you been a Fresh Fiction reviewer?  Six years What are your favorite genres to read and review?  Mysteries and romantic suspense What are your TOP 3-5 Books of 2020? LOL, join me at the end of December at the Cozy Corner and I’ll share my favorite cozy mysteries for 2020! What do you like to do outside of reading? Write, swim, hike and take pictures of my little dog, Shiloh. (Mom stuff tends to dominate my time) What are some of your holiday traditions?  Peppermint milkshakes–it’s a holiday treat my hubby has mastered! Yum! What are your reading resolutions/intentions/goals for 2021?  Stay healthy and stick to my daily writing goals! What do you love about being a Fresh Fiction Book Reviewer?  I get an inside peek at mysteries by new and oldies-but-goodies authors. I love the different backgrounds and how they chose the genre. If you’re comfortable, please share a photo so our readers can see your faces! Where else can readers find…