Blog Tour with Excerpt!
July 23, 2019
Happily single, Harper Bishop trusts in only one passion—her rescue farm and healing her thoroughbred, Phoenix. Her dream is to lead him to the Triple Crown. But how unreachable is it without experience or help? A handsome new guest at her family’s B&B has what it takes to make it come true. And with his irresistible brogue, warm smile, and soothing touch, he’s a major distraction.
After a bitter betrayal, horse trainer Aidan O’Connor has fled Ireland for a vacation in New York’s Hudson Valley. When he sees the horse with the fighting spirit, he’s inspired with a new goal: to train Phoenix to win. He’s also facing an unexpected new challenge: his feelings for Harper.
How can she dare to open her heart to a man who’ll be there only long enough to break it?
So Harper and Aidan agree: try to keep it professional, and focus only on Phoenix and the finish line. But along the way, they could also learn a few lessons in love, trust, and taking chances. And, as painful as it promises to be, saying goodbye.
Every once in a while, a novel comes along at just the right time to hit all of the right notes for its reader. It just so happens that the week when I am reminded of just how important animal rescue groups are, I read a lovely, heart-felt, sometimes funny romance that involves a family doing rescue work.
All Roads Lead to You by Jennifer Probst is the third novel in her Stay series. While I could tell immediately that it was part of a series (the new loving couples are a dead giveaway) and I hadn’t read the previous two, I didn’t feel letdown at all. The characters mingling in each other’s lives was definitely a thing, especially because of their physical proximity.
The main character is Harper Bishop who is one of my favorite female romance characters in a very long time. She is who she is, take it or leave it. She isn’t asking for anyone’s approval.
“She was thirty-three years old and hadn’t experienced even a twinge of a ticking biological clock. No desire to try on white wedding dresses, or pick out baby names, or dream of a man who could complete her.
She was complete all by herself.”
And she’s mature. She deals maturely in relationships and doesn’t have tantrums, although she’s blunt.
Harper is all about the animals she rescues, firmly believing that all creatures deserve a chance.
Aidan O’Connor is very much her equal. In Ireland, he grew up from nothing to make a name for himself almost to have it taken away by someone he considered a friend. Now, in the States he’s looking for another chance and finds it in the temperamental thoroughbred Phoenix and maybe even in Harper.
The romance between Harper and Aidan is a slow burn, which I enjoyed. The chemistry, however, is rippling from the beginning.
And, speaking of beginnings, I loved how Harper and Aidan both had what were almost premonitions about something coming into their lives and then there they were, meeting each other. It felt of something bigger, which I adored.
The farm is filled with rescue animals from a grumpy cat, sweet horses, a bevy of dogs, alpha horses, a Polish chicken named Hei Hei who is almost worth the price of admission for his diva antics, and then there is Captain Hoof, an abandoned, abused goat kid who will steel your heart away.
Besides the romance, there is enough other plot with Phoenix’ racing to keep the reader swiftly turning pages.
I loved it. This is a book very much for you animal lovers and rescue supporters.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies
Ignoring her tingling nipples and flip-flopping belly, she threw back her shoulders and rose to full height. “I clearly remember having this same conversation a few weeks ago,” she said, trying not to let her voice wobble. “We agreed to keep it strictly business.”
“We did. But it’s getting harder for me not to touch you.”
Her heart galloped in her chest. Sweat pricked her skin. She remained silent, tangled between her head and her heart.
A rough laugh escaped his lips. “This would be easier on my ego if you’d admit you’re having the same problem.”
She shook her head and pressed her fisted hands against her eyes. “You sure don’t know the art of subtlety, do you?”
He shrugged. “No time for that shit. Well?”
She let out a half laugh, half groan. “I think this is the strangest conversation I’ve had with a man.”
“Are you hot for me, Harper?” His voice was all grit and gravel and sexy as hell.
Lust speared through her, raw and hungry and demanding. “Yeah.”
“Good. I’m obsessed with kissing you. So I have a proposal.”
“Of course you do.”
“One kiss. Let’s try it out. Maybe it’ll bomb once we give ourselves permission,” he said.
“I’m swooning from your romantic intentions.”
His lips kicked up in a grin. She wanted to trace her finger over his mouth to see if it was as soft as it looked. “Sorry. What do you think?”
“I think I’ve stepped into a new dimension. Tell me this, Irish. Do we want the kiss to bomb?”
He nodded. Eased closer. “I think it would be for the best. Neither of us wants a complication in our solid business partnership. We have a long road ahead of us. Sex makes things messy.”
Her brow shot up. Oh, he was good. Pretending to be all rational and cool while he stalked her like a graceful panther. Her blood grew thick and heavy, and the throbbing between her thighs raged. The real problem revolved around one simple, plain fact.
She was dying to kiss Aidan O’Connor.
The tiny voice inside her flared to life and whispered a warning.: One kiss will never be enough. Not from this man. Not with the way you already feel about him.
God, she didn’t want to listen to reason right now.
Harper tilted her head. “True. If the kiss fails, we can get back to work without all this bullshit. Move on and focus on the real relationship here.”
“Phoenix,” he said.
“Exactly. Can you promise one thing?”
He took a few more steps. His scent wrapped around her like a silken cloud, spicy and clean and addicting. The leashed heat from his body practically ripped a purr from her throat. She curled her fingers, digging her nails into her palms to try and hold back from jumping into his arms.
“What do you need me to promise, love?”
A shiver worked down her spine. She imagined that lilting brogue whispering dirty commands in her ear while he thrust deep inside her. “If the kiss sucks, no hurt feelings. We move on and don’t talk about it. I can’t take any weirdness between us.”
“Agreed. I hate weird.”
He was right there, face close, inches from her body. The last time he was this close, he was angry. This time, his eyes crackled with hunger. His powerful thighs braced hers, and when he leaned in, his hard erection pressed against the seam of his jeans so she felt every glorious inch of promise. She licked her lips in anticipation, and slowly raised her arms to hook around his shoulders.
“Just once,” she whispered in warning.
He cupped her cheeks with rough, calloused palms. His amber gaze locked on hers. “Yes.”
“We’ll get it out of our system and move on.”
His mouth closed over hers.
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She holds a masters in English Literature and lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Her family keeps her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. Her passions include horse racing, Scrabble, rescue dogs, Italian food, and wine—not necessarily in that order.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, spent 26 weeks on the New York Times. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries, sold over a million copies, and was dubbed a “romance phenom” by Kirkus Reviews. She is also a proud three-time RITA finalist.
She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.
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