Bittersweet, by Lyz Kelley: A Beautiful Addition to the Elkridge Series (Book Review)

Introducing Bittersweet

an Elkridge Novel

by Lyz Kelley

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Single Parent Romance

Series: The Elkridge Series

Release Date:  August 27, 2018

Tour Hosts: Bare Naked Words

Synopsis

Cover of Bittersweet, an Elkridge NovelStarting over is never easy, but in Elkridge, Colorado, where newcomers are welcome, and friends become family, it’s possible to find yourself again.

Leza promised to return to Elkridge after she finished her FBI undercover assignment. Only the local sheriff didn’t keep his promise to be there when she returned. Now she’s searching for a way to rebuild her life.

Heath applied for the deputy position because he wanted to raise his newly-adopted niece in a small town. He’s not interested in more complications—until he meets the town’s newest resident.

Heartbroken, Leza is unable to risk having her hopes shattered again. He’s sworn to protect and serve, but Leza doesn’t want that either.

Can Heath’s single-dad charm and captivating openness heal Leza’s heart?

Click on the link below to add Bittersweet to your TBR on Goodreads!

My Review of Bittersweet

BittersweetBittersweet by Lyz Kelley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bittersweet is a beautiful story of two “lost” souls who find each other and, in doing so, begin the process of healing and becoming whole again. The theme is familiar, similar to others in the Elkridge series, and for continuity’s sake, the storylines overlap to some extent, but each book is unique, featuring interesting, well-developed characters that stay in your heart long after you’ve read the last page. And while I think Bittersweet could be read as a standalone novel, I recommend reading the series in order to fully appreciate the impact of this story and the contributions of its secondary characters to the reading experience.

Bittersweet is what I like to call a “cozy romance.” It’s warm and inviting, immersive yet easy to read. Lyz Kelly has a unique voice that infuses just the right amount of humor, heat, suspense, angst, and action to hold your interest. The reading experience itself is cozy, but the sometimes raw but always powerful emotions, plot twists, and edge-of-your-seat subplots keep you just enough on edge to keep you guessing until the end.

The Characters

Leza is a tough-as-nails former FBI agent, a survivor with a scarred body and a broken heart, looking to heal and make a home in the small town of Elkridge, Colorado – the same small town where her former lover Sam, the town’s sheriff, lost his life while investigating the same drug and sex trafficking operation she infiltrated and helped to bring down before turning in her badge for the final time.

Heath is a former Marine, scarred by the horrors of war in Afghanistan, who gave up his military career to raise his young niece, Ellie, following the tragic death of his sister. Overwhelmed by the changes in his life, struggling to make ends meet while parenting a grieving child, and studying for his new career as an Elkridge deputy, he is often exhausted, lonely, and more than a little bit lost.

Until he meets Leza, who piques his curiosity and almost immediately captures his heart.

The Conflict

Leza doesn’t want a relationship, especially with a man in uniform who could lose his life in the line of duty and force her to re-live the trauma of Sam’s death. Headstrong and stubborn, Leza is determined to make it on her own without letting anyone get too close – no matter how handsome and irresistible he is. Heath is ready to settle down and take a chance on loving Leza, and if he only had himself to worry about, he would happily do so. But he also knows he can’t risk bringing Leza fully into Ellie’s life – no matter how much he wants and needs her -until she is willing and able to stay.

Recommendation

Four Gold Stars

Bittersweet is a perfect title for this story. It is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking. Lyz delicately balances the hope and despair experienced by all three of its main characters. She captures and beautifully portrays the excitement of new love, and lovingly conveys the humor and tenderness of a tough Marine who is fumbling–and sometimes stumbling–as an exhausted, well-intentioned, but inexperienced single parent. She also accurately and relatably depicts the devastating emotional consequences of trauma and loss, coupled with the overwhelming fear of losing again.

If you are a fan of Emily March and Debbie Macomber, you will especially enjoy the approachable, relatable novels of the Elkridge and the Lonely Ridge series – and I highly recommend you read them all. With fall on the horizon, these are perfect stories to warm you on the inside and out.

View all my reviews

Teaser photo from Bittersweet by Lyz Kelley

Buy Bittersweet

on Amazon US

Discover the Elkridge Series

This series beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any community. I hope you laugh and reach for a few tissues as the characters discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most.

Available as a 6-book series or as individual titles on Amazon.com

Meet Lyz Kelley

Award-winning author Lyz Kelley resides in a small community in Colorado with her husband and several four-legged family members. She’s a disaster in the kitchen, a compulsive neat freak, and tea snob, a lover of board games, gardening, and painting.  She loves writing about strong women who have endured challenges and the men who enrich their lives.

A healing love is at the heart of her book series. Creating wounded yet amazing characters—discovering what drives them, frightens them, heals them, makes them laugh—is what gives her joy. Lyz is pleased to share that joy with her masterfully written stories.

To keep tabs on her newest releases, connect with Lyz by signing up for her newsletter at LyzKelley.com. Members receive a copy of Unmistaken and learn about thoughtful giveaways, Members may even get the opportunity to receive advanced reader copies. Check out LyzKelley.com for more information.

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Website: https://www.lyzkelley.com/index.html

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Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lyz-Kelley/e/B01N4AYJUL/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lyz-kelley

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The Irish Prince, a Billionaire Romance by Virginia Nelson: Book Tour!

The Irish Prince

by Virginia Nelson
Billionaire Dynasties #2
Publication Date: May 15, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Indulgence, Contemporary, Romance

BUY THE IRISH PRINCE:

MEET THE IRISH PRINCE…

CEO Aiden Kelley’s life of billionaire extravagance is flipped upside down when his ex shows up with a ten-year-old she claims is his. Totally out of his element and losing the control so integral to his success, he needs help. To top it all off, the only constant woman in his life, his executive assistant, has given notice just when he needs her help to survive his newfound fatherhood.

Chelsea Houston is an executive assistant, not a nanny. The only person more clueless about kids is her boss. Helping him on a daddy-daughter road trip is her last task before he’ll accept her two weeks’ notice and she can be free of the infuriating man she’s had a crush on for longer than she’d admit.

Aiden’s carefully ordered life has never been so disorganized, and he’s suddenly tempted by the things he thought he could never have. Things like love and family. Who knew chaos could be so damn fun?

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EXCERPT

“Did you ever play in the street? Like, where traffic was? You know, like kickball or whatever and, when cars came, you yelled ‘Pause!’ and got everyone off the street. When it wasn’t clear, you called ‘game on’?” Another crash of thunder shook the windows, and she wondered how the kid could sleep through it. She closed her eyes, hoping for strength but only finding more fear. She really just needed to get her mind off it…

“Sure,” he said. “We called ‘pause’ when there were cars until we could play again. Still not following you, though. Do you have a point?”

“You know how I work for you and all that?”

He sighed, and she was close enough to him that his breath ruffled her hair. “Of course.”

“Pause,” she said. Before she could talk herself out of it, she went up on tiptoes and touched her lips to his.

He didn’t move, and she didn’t have the bravery to go further with it. They stood there, frozen, his breath whispering across her cheeks and her lips just barely touching his. Between the heat of his body and that coursing through her veins from her impetuous drinking, some warmth managed to seep back into her, and she felt almost safe for a second.

Then another crash from outside and she shuddered, pinching her eyes closed. He must’ve felt it or taken pity on her, or who knew what his motives were, but his arms closed around her and his lips slanted across hers. If she’d thought he would bury her fears and distract her, she was right. Nothing mattered outside that moment.

Lazy hunger curled through the kiss, his experience clear in the slow burn of his mouth dragging across hers. His tongue slipped into her mouth, and she twined her arms around his neck to better brace for the sexy torture of his embrace.

She felt the impact of the wall behind her and wasn’t sure if the crash she heard was her system going into overdrive or the sound of the storm. He tasted like sin, and she was starved for more. His hands gripped her hips and she pressed into his body, thrilling at the sexual tension skating across her flesh like fire.

“Chels,” he whispered, his mouth tracing a path down her neck.

“Game on,” she gasped.

He stilled, backing away to meet her eyes. Another flash illuminated his face. He looked hungry, like he could eat her up in one big bite.

The sight of that look, on his face, made her shiver with want. But he wasn’t for her and this was a ridiculous idea. She couldn’t play on his level, knew it on a bone-deep level.

Not that she’d been able to resist a taste.

God. At least in two weeks she would tell him goodbye. Then she wouldn’t have to look at his face and be reminded of her moment of weakness. Or how wonderful his mouth had felt against hers.

She ducked under his arm and fled as fast as her legs could carry her, only stopping once her bedroom door separated them. Leaning on it, she bit her lip. Everything in her, down to the last cell, wanted to go back out there, climb him like a tree, and let him take her in whatever depraved fashion he might want to try.

Tomorrow, she’d probably be full of regrets. She’d crossed a line, stupidly. He was her boss.

Somehow, she half wished she could quit now, so she could—

What? Go back to her world while he lived in his, high atop the world in a glass tower of money and power? No, she’d be better off as far away from him as possible, since pursuing anything was an act of masochistic idiocy.

Photo teaser from The Irish Prince

MEET VIRGINIA NELSON

USA Today Bestselling author of The Penthouse Prince

Virginia Nelson likes knights in rusted and dinged up armor, heroes that snarl instead of croon, and heroines who can’t remember to say the right thing even with an author writing their dialogue. Her books are full of snark, sex, and random acts of ineptitude – not always in that order.

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The House Mate: A New Standalone from the Roommates Series by Kendall Ryan

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THE HOUSE MATE

A Standalone from the Roommates Series

by Kendall Ryan

Release Day: April 18th

About The House Mate 

What’s sexier than a bad boy? A bad ass man who’s got his shit together.

Max Alexander is nearing thirty-five. He’s built a successful company, and he’s conquered the professional world, but he’s never been lucky in love. Focusing so much time on his business and raising his daughter, adulting has come at the expense of his personal life.

His social skills are shit, his patience is shot, and at times, his temper runs hot.

The last thing he has time for is the recently single, too gorgeous for her own good young woman he hires to take care of his little girl. She’s a distraction he doesn’t need, and besides, there’s no way she’d be interested. But you know what they say about assumptions?

This is book 3 in the Roommates series, but each book can be read as a complete standalone as they all feature new couples to fall in love with.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lbYyhx
Amazon UK: goo.gl/Ep4l9f
iBooks: goo.gl/IbEiAt
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Goodreads: goo.gl/80zXqg

Meet Kendall Ryan

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 2 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine. She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.

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