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Title: He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not
Author: Renee Dyer
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2016


“If you are looking for a book with substance, I highly recommend this.” – Cranky – The Book Curmudgeon
A story of strength, Love and bravery. A story that will make you think and bring you to tears but most of all a story that will fill your heart.” – The Book Fairy Reviews
“Renee Dyer has poured her heart and soul into the pages of the novel, and could be felt more with each word read.” – Prisoners of Print



It’s a strange little word about to change Nick and Brenna St. James’ world forever.

Brenna was raised to believe love conquers all. Losing piece after piece of herself causes her to waver in her beliefs. Insecurities abound and she can’t stop wondering if Nick can love the person she is now. Is it fair to ask him to?

Nick wants a do over. To go back to a time before Brenna was sick, before everything changed. But genies don’t exist, life doesn’t grant wishes, and time machines haven’t been invented. All he can do is follow his heart…and his heart wants Brenna.
Together, they have to face a battle they never imagined. 
When fighting is all you have left… 

When love can’t heal everything… 
When life rests in the balance of the unknown…
When their vows, “…in sickness and in health”, are put to the test… 
Will Nick and Brenna be able to fight through the odds stacked against them, or will everything come crumbling down?
From a young age Renee Dyer had a love of writing, starting with a doodle pad at age four that soon turned into journals and later computer documents. Poetry became short stories and short stories became a novel. Although she’s surrounded by males all day having three sons, a husband and a hyperactive chocolate lab, she still finds time to be all woman when she escapes into the fantasy of reading and writing romance. That is, until she needs male perspective and garners eye rolling from her husband. She’s a true New Englander. You’ll find her screaming profanity at her TV while the Pats play and cuddling under blankets during the cold seasons (which is most of them) reading a good book. To her snow is not a reason to shut things down, only a reason to slow down and admire the beauty. Ask her questions and she’ll answer them. She’s an open book, pun fully intended.


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Author Q&A: The Tempting of Thomas Carrick by Stephani Laurens


TTOTC cover


Thomas Carrick is determined to make his own life in the bustling port city of Glasgow, far from the demands of the Carrick clan, eventually with an appropriate wife on his arm. But disturbing events on his family’s estate force Thomas to return to the Scottish countryside—where he is forced to ask for help from the last woman he wants to face. Thomas has never forgotten Lucilla Cynster and the connection that seethes between them, but to marry Lucilla would mean embracing a life he’s adamant is not for him.

Strong-willed and passionate, Lucilla knows Thomas is hers—her fated lover, husband, protector, mate. He is the only man for her, just as she is his one true love. How can he ignore a bond stronger than reason and choose a different path? She’s determined to fight for their future, and while she cannot command him, she has enticements of her own to wield when it comes to tempting Thomas Carrick.







Thomas and Lucilla are both especially strong and stubborn characters, as so many of your heroes and heroines are. Is there a particular reason for this a) in general, and b) in this particular case?

In the general sense, I’ve always used strong characters because the scale and intensity of emotional clashes between such characters is more powerful, has the potential to be more wide-ranging, and is also likely to strike brighter sparks. A strong character doesn’t give way when someone opposes them or gets in the way of their will and drive—they immediately push back, and that refusal to back away is one of the key elements that leads such a pair of characters deeper and deeper into Cupid’s snare as they are forced to adjust and adapt to each other–a critical element of establishing an emotional partnership.
There’s a general assumption that strong and confident characters will have an easier time dealing with love, however, in reality I think it’s the opposite, and such characters find the existence of an emotion strong enough to make them change difficult to accept.
Which brings me rather neatly to Thomas and Lucilla. He is the ultimate strong character with a very powerful, emotional, and deeply personal reason to shut himself off from love. Against that, Lucilla, an equally strong character, is unswervingly convinced that they are fated to love and marry—but she, too, has a few lessons to learn in what love—even a fated love—will demand.
In short, my motivation for using strong characters can be summed up as: the stronger they are, the more they resist and, ultimately, the harder they fall.


Is there a heroine you’ve ever written that is most like you?
Not really. I think it’s pretty easy to see the individual traits that are common to all my heroines, and I would never try to write a weak-willed milquetoast heroine, but that’s largely because I have no patience with reading about such women. So my heroines’ personalities are more a reflection of the sort of heroines I like to read about than a reflection of me personally.
Readers first met Thomas Carrick in the Cynster holiday special By Winter’s Light. Did his earlier meeting with Lucilla described in that book affect the pair’s actions in this book?
That earlier meeting in By Winter’s Light sets the stage for Thomas and Lucilla’s romance. Both of them leave that first encounter with the knowledge that the other could be their future spouse. Lucilla is ready to accept that Thomas is her fated future husband, lover, and consort, but Thomas, having experienced a complementary visceral connection to Lucilla, concludes that, as he wishes to avoid love, then she is someone he would be wise to avoid.
So from the instant they part after that first encounter, they are set on opposing tracks—Lucilla expecting and waiting for Thomas to return to her side and claim her hand, and Thomas doing his level best to stay far away.
It’s a standoff, until the actions at the start of The Tempting of Thomas Carrick force—literally force—them together again.

Deerhounds feature in By Winter’s Light and also in The Tempting of Thomas Carrick. Why deerhounds?

I needed a large dog to accompany Thomas through the snowstorm in By Winter’s Light, a dog big enough to physically assist, and also the sort of dog that might have been in such a community—a gentry family in the Scottish uplands of the period. So I went searching for breeds of dogs, and stumbled upon Scottish deerhounds. The more I read about them, the more perfect they seemed, and so Hesta padded onto my stage, and from there, the addition of Artemis and Apollo was an obvious extrapolation.
The dogs are fascinating—a shaggy, curly-coated, quite large breed built for speed and with superb eyesight. They are sight-hounds, and also track on the ground by scent, and as their name suggests, were specifically bred to hunt deer in the rugged terrain.
However, the real impact of the deerhounds, story-wise, doesn’t occur until the next book, A Match for Marcus Cynster, in which the packs we learn about through The Tempting of Thomas Carrick, come into their own and play an active role in Marcus and his lady’s adventures.

Both By Winter’s Light and The Tempting of Thomas Carrick are set in Scotland, in the south western uplands. Were there any particular challenges in using such a setting?

By Winter’s Light and The Tempting of Thomas Carrick are both centered on the Vale of Casphairn, which was a setting first introduced in Scandal’s Bride, the story of Richard and Catriona, Lucilla and Marcus’s parents (more on that below). Thus the settings for the recent books were not a matter of choice, but rather mandated, a necessary return to a previous place.
Such a wild country setting is very useful on the one hand, and a drawback on the other. The rugged beauty and landscape is a plus, while the isolation and the distance from any larger town or place of social congregation severely limits the opportunities for social events, even country house dinners. Consequently, the action in the story remains at all times strongly focused on the interaction between the two principal characters, with little to no distraction from external events. That puts a heavier burden on the romance plot than would be the case in a more urban setting, but that does mean the romance dominates and is always front and center. So there’s positives and negatives in using such a setting, but, overall, such settings definitely have their place when writing romances.

In this book, you also take readers to Glasgow—you paint quite a cosmopolitan picture of the town. How true to life is that depiction?

I admit that my first mental vision of Glasgow was as a heavily industrialized town, centered on shipping on the Clyde. While the importance of shipping on the Clyde was correct, in the mid-1800s, Glasgow was a thriving merchant center with distinct aspirations toward the sophistication, polish, and civilized amenity we might associate with a seaport like Boston. In this period, Glasgow was a major merchant hub, and it was therefore highly prosperous, and the resulting wealth found expression in the houses and squares, the well-appointed offices and genteel clubs and in the evolving social scene.

Readers are familiar with Casphairn Manor, and the Vale of Casphairn, but the nearby village is Carsphairn. Was there a reason for the difference?

This is one of those tales of things that “would not happen now.” I wrote the first novel featuring the Vale of Casphairn and Casphairn Manor back in the days before Google Maps. Or any sort of satellite imagery, or even ready access to detailed maps via the internet. At the time, I had several detailed maps of England, but as the village of Carsphairn is a very small settlement, it was shown in small—not to say tiny and non-expandable—font. So I read the name as Casphairn, not the correct Carsphairn.
Years later, when I was writing Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue, where the characters spend time in the Vale and at the manor, I was using Google Maps to study the areas to the east of where I had positioned the Vale, and when I zoomed in…I saw that the village name was really Carsphairn! Horrors! Luckily, I don’t think I’ve ever actually said the village itself was called Casphairn, only the Vale and the manor, but it was too late to change those—they’d already been written into history. So the Vale and the manor, both of which are fictitious, remain as Casphairn, while the village is correctly named Carsphairn.
Out of curiosity, I did go back to the original map. To the naked eye, it still looks like Casphairn—only with the help of a strong magnifying glass can you see that extra r.

Lucilla’s position as healer to the Vale community, and, indeed, all people under The Lady’s protection, features strongly in this book. How common were such healers?

Despite the rise of more formal medicine and the doctors who practiced it, traditional folk healers—those we might now term homeopathic healers or herbalists—were not uncommon into the late 1800s in England. In country areas, they would almost always be the first consulted, even by those living in the larger, wealthier houses. The history of herbal remedies is very deep and broad throughout the British Isles, and the more isolated the community, the greater the distance from a major town, the more likely that the people would turn first to the local “healer.” Midwifery and the treatment of common ailments remained largely the province of such healers even into the 1900s.
That said, as mentioned in this book and the next, in this period, when it came to interacting with the apparatus of law and order, for instance in formally reporting a death, the “doctor”—meaning a man formally trained in the western medical tradition—would be the one sent for.

This book is the first of the Cynster Next Generation Novels, and will be followed by Lucilla’s twin brother, Marcus’s story in June. Are there more Cynster Next Generation Novels to come?

Yes, indeed! As By Winter’s Light was in essence a pivotal volume, shifting focus from the original Bar Cynster generation to the lives of their near-adult children, and within the tale of By Winter’s Light were the seeds of Lucilla’s romance, then her book had to come first, in The Tempting of Thomas Carrick. And within Lucilla’s story lie the seeds of Marcus’s story, and as he is her twin, his book, A Match for Marcus Cynster, had to come next. It will be released on May 26, 2015.
But at the end of The Tempting of Thomas Carrick, and even more definitely at the end of A Match for Marcus Cynster, we catch up with the other Cynsters now facing up to the challenge of marriage and finding a suitable spouse. We see and appreciate that all is not going to be smooth sailing for such very robust individuals, neither the males nor the females. There are at least 6 more Cynster Next Generation novels to come—the romances of Devil’s three children, Sebastian, Michael, and Louisa, and those of the remaining “older group”—Prudence, Christopher, and Antonia Rawlings. After that…well, I’m sure that by the time I finish Louisa’s tale, we’ll know a lot more about Annabelle, Juliet, and Therese. And I already know what Calvin and Carter get up to, which should prove a lot of fun. Lots more to enjoy!



Stephanie Laurens

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens began writing romances as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career when her first novel was accepted for publication, and with entirely becoming alacrity, she gave up writing about facts in favor of writing fiction.

Laurens’s novels are set in the time period of the British Regency, and her settings range from Scotland to India. Laurens has published fifty works of historical romance, including 29 New York Times bestsellers. All her works are continuously available in print and digital formats in English worldwide, and have been translated into many other languages. An international bestseller, among other Stephanie’s email contactsaccolades Laurens has received the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA Award for Best Romance Novella 2008, for The Fall of Rogue Gerrard.

Her continuing novels featuring the Cynster family are widely regarded as classics of the genre. Other series include the Bastion Club Novels and the Black Cobra Quartet. For information on upcoming releases and updates on novels yet to come, visit Stephanie’s website.





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DARE TO SURRENDER (Dare To Love #3) by Carly Phillips

dare to surrender

After ending a relationship to a cheating, domineering man, Isabelle Masters takes off in her leased Mercedes, only to be arrested for grand theft and hauled to a local police station. To her surprise, she is rescued by the most unlikely person possible, Gabriel Dare, a man she’s been attracted to for far too long. Gabe offers Isabelle freedom along with an invitation to Eden, an exclusive island resort where everything and anything is possible.

Although Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle, he knows all too well he must fight his primitive need to bind her to him, and instead help bring out the independent woman she yearns to become – or risk losing her for good.

A woman who needs to run her own life. A man who needs to exert control. Can she surrender to his erotic demands without losing her sense of self once more?

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Pre Order Links:
Amazon // iTunes


The elevator doors opened, and I was stunned to find him waiting in the darkened, moody hallway, arm braced on the doorframe. He wore dark jeans and a long-sleeved, collared shirt, white, unbuttoned enough to tempt yet still give him that in-control, dangerously sexy air. His dark brown hair was tousled, as if he’d run his fingers through it in frustration more than a few times.

His eyes lit on me, and in that instant, longing caught in my throat, along with a healthy dose of wariness. Because no matter what I felt when I laid eyes on him, this morning’s hard truths hadn’t changed. And though I’d returned, I needed to understand what was going on between us before I could stay.

I stepped out and paused in front of him.

“You’re okay.” The words came out a mix of anger and relief.

I swallowed hard. “Yes.”

“And how should I have known? You’ve been gone since early this morning.” He stepped forward then stopped himself, visibly holding himself back from me.

I winced. “I suppose I should have left you a note, but—”

“Yes, you should have.”

I looked down, chastened, hating it and yet … oddly affected by his mix of emotions. Because that meant he still cared? Desired me?

Was that what I wanted?

I thrust my fingers into my tangled hair. “I’m sorry if you thought—”

“You have no idea what I was thinking.” He gestured inside his apartment with a flick of his wrist.

Even as a part of me rebelled at his command, I strode past him, head high, acknowledging the part of me that was pleased he’d been concerned. When was the last time anyone had thought about my welfare?

He slammed the door shut behind him before turning back to face me. “Do you want to know what went through my mind?”

I swallowed hard. “Of course.”

“Let’s see. First, I thought Daltry had come by. I wondered if you’d changed your mind and left with him,” Gabe bit out.

Oh, Gabe. “I wouldn’t just pick up and leave after you’ve been so kind.”

“I thought we’d gone over this. I’m not kind,” he said in a tone meant to convince me.

He failed.

“Well, to me you are.” And suddenly it didn’t matter what he’d done to Naomi; I was different. He treated me better. Or was I deluding myself as I’d done with Lance? My stomach tumbled at the thought. “Do you want to know where I’ve been?” I asked.

“Go on.”

I breathed out, elaborating on my day. “First I went to the public library so I could look through job listings and newspapers. I made lists and planned calls for Monday. Then I spent the day in the park. Reading. And thinking.”

“By any chance, did that thinking include whether or not you should stay with me?”

I nodded.

He reached out and nabbed my hand, linking his big fingers through mine, tightening incrementally. His closeness eased some of the lingering tension, and my shoulders lowered as I allowed myself to relax beneath his touch. With a tug, he pulled me closer, invading my personal space, nuzzling his chin in my hair.

I closed my eyes and sighed, and when I breathed in, the expensive cologne I’d come to associate with him wrapped around me and lit me up from the inside out, like a firecracker with an ever-shortening fuse. I squeezed my thighs together to alleviate the ache that both excited and unnerved me at the same time.

“Don’t leave.” He turned me to face him.

My heart sped up in my chest. I should want to run, not wrap myself around him and never let go.

“I need you to say it.” His grip on me tightened.

With his jaw clenched and his eyes imploring, I answered from the heart. “I won’t.” I tried not to panic at the commitment that statement implied and reassured myself that I’d find a job and make this new situation work. Whatever it meant for us, that would have to play itself out.

When stark relief etched his handsome face, I knew I’d pleased him, and a corresponding sense of peace settled inside of me, making me wonder — what was this unspoken thing between us? I didn’t understand it.

I wanted more even as I fought against the sensations because they threatened me — more accurately, they threatened the sense of independence I’d told myself I needed.

Gabe slid his hand through my hair, tugging until I responded with a whimper. Okay, I clearly liked that dominating side of him. It was something I’d never experienced before but obviously responded to. Something else to think about later, I thought. Another facet of myself to explore when the opportunity arose.

“I’m going to kiss you now,” he informed me. “And this has nothing to do with gratitude,” he muttered and sealed his mouth over mine.

Holding me firmly, he slid his tongue over my lips once, twice, demanding entry. As if I’d deny him. Just the touch of his tongue set off fireworks inside me, and I responded to everything about the man. Everything he took, I wanted to give. Everything he provided, I craved more of. He must have understood because his tongue tangled with mine, tasting the far reaches of my mouth, sucking, pulling, learning every part of me, while I turned to liquid at each slip and glide, every thrust and parry.

This was being kissed. It was being told that I mattered. Even the way he sank his hand into my hair and held on let me know that, as much as he was dominating me, he yearned for me too. He needed the connection between us as badly as I did. The intensity was furious, fast and sudden, but I needed it, and somehow he sensed as much. My nipples puckered tight, beading until they were begging for Gabe’s touch. His kiss held a direct line to my sex. But physical responses aside, the emotional yielding inside me explained so much more, screaming for me to believe that I could trust this man. A virtual stranger in so many ways, yet my body knew him already. Why else would worry flee from my mind, a foggy, blessed euphoria taking its place?

He broke the kiss but didn’t release me, instead dragged his lips over my jaw and down to where my shoulder met my neck and slid his tongue over my skin. I trembled as he found an erogenous zone I hadn’t realized I possessed. Cream coated my panties. Though I should be embarrassed at my easy acquiescence, it felt too good, desire melding into a whirlpool of burning need. A hard nip of my skin startled me into awareness, the sting of pain taking me by surprise, and I yelped out loud. Before I could struggle against him, a shock of ecstasy pulled me back into the vortex, reaching downward to my full, damp pussy.

Shaking, I crawled closer, finding his rock-hard erection behind a denim barrier, awaiting me. I needed him so badly. Could come so easily. I trembled and moaned. “Oh God.”

“No, Iz. Just me.” His breath was hot in my ear, and even his deep chuckle sent shooting sparks of awareness through me.


About Carly:

Carly Headshot small

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 28 romance novels with contemporary characters and plotlines that today’s readers identify with and enjoy. She sold her first novel to Harlequin Temptation in 1998 and hasn’t slowed down since. Carly’s life is filled with a devoted energy and passion to romance, family and career. Carly lives in Purchase, New York, with her husband, two daughters and two soft-coated wheaten terriers.




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