Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Title: La Vie en Rose (Life in Pink)

Author: Lydia Michaels
Genre: Women's Fiction/Romance
Format: Print/eBook/Audio Book
Date of Publication: April 12, 2016
Book Length: 398 pages


Emma Sanders has always dreamt of being a bride, wearing fancy gowns, pretty pearls, and—of course—falling madly in love. Then life happened. Finding herself one fiancé short of her happily ever after, she leaves the fairytales behind. Some days are simply too perilous for pink gowns and pearls.
Riley Lockhart is the sort of man who can make a woman lower her gaze with only a smile. That he doesn’t realize his charm makes him all the more enchanting. Determined to save Emma the pain of her breakup, he steps in as a friend, but soon finds himself wanting more.
She was just a girl, but she somehow winds up being the strongest woman he’s ever known. Losing her is not an option and when life can’t be tied neatly in a pretty little bow, he holds tight to all that he loves—his Emma. His hero.
Sometimes the greatest scars are worn on the inside.

Book Review

I love it when a book takes me on an unexpected journey. Where you think you know where you're going and --WHAM -- the author throws you a doozy of a curve ball and leaves you breathless. And the end result is something you never saw coming, but you are so damn glad you experienced the ride.

La Vie en Rose is that unexpected journey. At least for me, it was. I went in totally blind. I had no clue what to expect. So, writing this review is difficult. I'd hate to ruin the reader's own journey when they decide to pick up this book and delve into the unknown.

By definition, La Vie en Rose is NOT your typical hearts and flowers romance. It isn't painted with pretty images of perfection. It is ugly, rough, and honest, which gives it its own flavor of perfection. It is the definition of what it truly means to love someone. It is about the sacrifices we make for those who matter to us. It is the pain and struggles, the sorrow and the joy, the little things that make a difference, and the fact that no matter what happens---your partner stays by your side. Your family, whether by blood or not, will always have your back.

I went through a gamut of emotions while reading this book.I laughed and cried and thought about how I live me own life--the decisions I make--and experienced some much needed self-awareness.  

Thank you, Lydia Michaels, for showing me the not so pretty picture of what true love is and writing such a thought provoking book. You never cease to amaze me with your courageous stories and beautiful words. 


L Y D I A   M I C H A E L S

Lydia Michaels is the award winning author of 23 romance novels. Her novels from the darkly compelling Surrender Trilogy were iBooks Bestsellers and her work has been featured in USA Today. In 2015 she was the winner of The Best of Bucks Award and she has been nominated as Best Author in the Happenings Magazine two years running [2015 & 2016]. She is a four time nominee for the prestigious RONE Award. Her books are intellectual, emotional, haunting, always centered around love. Lydia Michaels loves to hear from readers! 

She can be contacted by email at Lydia@LydiaMichaelsBooks.com

Webpage: www.LydiaMichaelsBooks.com


It was amusing how the girls on the subway watched Riley. Emma supposed he was above-average handsome, but since he was Rarity’s older brother she never looked too hard.
Now, seeing him in his element, riding the subway in a Pet Shop Boys T-shirt, jeans, and battered chucks, she recognized what the other women on the train were seeing. Riley was hot.
His brown eyes were so clear they shined as though they were blue. Sloppy chestnut waves curled in perfect careless disarray, complimenting his naturally tanned olive skin. He even had the five o’clock shadow down to an art.
Scanning the surrounding female passengers, she counted six of them gawking at him, begging with their eyes for him to glance their way. Amazing. The pheromones could choke a prostitute.
Skimming the male passengers, she frowned. Not a single one was looking at her.
What if she was Riley’s girlfriend? They were standing close enough, but the other girls didn’t seem to notice her at all.
She rolled her eyes. Invisible. Meanwhile, Riley scratched his nose with his thumbnail—it was practically a casual pick—and three of the six leering women sighed as if he read a verse of poetry. So unfair.
“Wait until you taste some of the food there,” he whispered in her ear.
Her chest filled with warmth as his voice sent a thrill of excitement tearing through her belly. It wasn’t sexual. It was what being feminine was all about. Who cared what he said? He was talking to her; the guy every other girl was drooling over was talking to her. And in that moment, the other women finally registered her presence. Every stink eye she got was so totally worth the thrill of attention.
Ha! Not only does he talk to me, he lives with me. I’ve seen him in his skivvies. Take that, ladies.
As the ride continued, her pride mended with each spiteful glance tallied in her favor. Not used to this catty need for attention, she chalked it up to recently being dumped. It was against her nature to behave like a clingy girlfriend, but with Riley it was all make believe, a temporary tonic for her battered ego.
Sometimes it was nice to be seen, though a great deal of her life had been conducted as a wallflower. Perhaps her affability gave her fiancé the impression that she wouldn’t mind him delving into another woman’s panties. Or maybe he’d already lost interest…maybe she wasn’t good at sex. Oh dear God, was she vanilla? A wallflower in bed?
Again, the emphasis she placed on other people’s perception concerned her. Riley didn’t care what anyone thought and people loved him. Even when they were in school, he was always a popular guy. Teachers loved him, jocks loved him, and, of course, women adored him.
Rarity was popular by default, because she was Riley’s sister. Publicly kissing girls promoted her to a novel level of cool only genuine lesbians could achieve in high school, but she’d always been cool by proximity first.
Emma was drawn to their energy like planets to the sun. No one was immune. They were simply attractive people. And as the permanent sidekick that existed in the cool guy’s sister’s shadow, it felt nice to have a bit of Riley’s innate popularity rub off on her as they stood together on the subway.
You’re pathetic. Those girls only know you exist because you’re pretending to be something you’re not. Oh, well! Self-esteem is in the gutter and pretending is helping.
She arched a brow at one of the gawkers.
“What are you grinning about?” he whispered.
Her attention jerked to his smiling russet eyes. He was almost a foot taller than her. Should she tell him? Would he laugh at her? Deciding she didn’t care, she whispered, “You’re inadvertently inflating my ego.”
Confusion tightened his brow so she tipped her head at the other passengers. Shockingly, it seemed the first time he noticed the other women.
“They all assume I’m with you. They hate me.”
He glanced at the other woman, each glare transforming to a seductive pout the moment his attention fell upon them. With his hand gripping the rail above her head, he leaned close. “And them hating you is a good thing?”
Didn’t he get it? “They’re jealous of me. Not many people are.”
The train rattled and slowed. People got off as new passengers climbed on and settled into seats as it whistled back up to speed.
His scrutiny heated her cheeks as he unabashedly studied her. “I can play that game,” he whispered.
“What game?”
Rather than answer, his mouth hooked in a half smile and he winked. She flinched as he dragged his curved knuckle down her bare arm, making the fine hairs rise in its wake. His fingers laced with hers and she watched, amazed, as every female followed the motion.
Her belly tightened with the thrill of exhibitionism. Her feet pointed toward the aisle. His pointed to her, his hip angled at their audience. Shifting a step closer, still holding on to the bar above, he spoke loud enough for the others to hear. “I caught you.”
Her eyes traveled past his lips, no longer shaped in a smile, and landed on those dark eyes. Her brow knit in confusion, unsure what he was doing.
“Looking at me,” he clarified. “You know how that makes me crazy.”
Oh, my God. She should have never told—
“It’s like this morning, when we were spooning in bed, my body pressed tight against yours, flesh to flesh, belly to back, nook to cranny. Everything was fine until I pressed that one kiss on the back of your neck right here.”
Her body tensed with awareness as his finger touched an extremely sensitive spot behind her ear. She couldn’t remember anyone ever touching her there.
“The second I kiss that spot you turn to liquid in my arms, soft and wet, and I can’t help but drink you up, taste every square inch of you on my tongue. My lips. Everywhere. When I catch you looking at me like that, it’s my kryptonite, my secret neck kiss.”
She swallowed and glanced at the women watching them. They were literally gaping, some even appeared to be quietly panting. Holy crap he was slick. “Um…”
Thank God he didn’t let her say anything. She didn’t have his skill. “Next time you look at me like that…” He tucked a curl behind her ear as chills raced over her shoulders. “I can’t be held responsible for what happens.” His fingers squeezed hers tightly and the train hissed and whined to a stop. He winked. “Let’s go. I’m suddenly ravenous.”
He tugged her off the train and into the loud subway. Musicians played for coin and people bustled through the underground world, racing to get where they needed to go. She saw it a thousand times before, but now it was brand new, her senses overstimulated and raw.
As they climbed the stairs to the street her heart pounded wildly. Wafts of traffic, people, and city food greeted them under the August heat. Voices and motion mingled into a cacophony of commotion until she was standing above sea level, fighting to catch her breath. What the hell had he done to her?
Laughing, he released her hand and turned—a totally unaffected grin on his charming face. “That was fun.”
“Y—yeah.” It wasn’t fun, it was thrilling and telling, and in some secret way, quite embarrassing. He’d been toying with those women, putting on a show, yet in those few seconds of phony attention, his artificial reverie trumped every real experience she had. She needed to get a grip.
Demanding her emotions go back into the shadows, she focused on their purpose. “So where’s this Smorgasburg?”
“Can’t you smell it?” He breathed deeply and grinned as his chest expanded, raising his broad shoulders. Weird. She didn’t want to keep cataloguing his every masculine trait, yet she couldn’t stop. “Ah, it’s just past the bridge. Let’s move.”
The snap of her flip-flops put a melody to their strides. As the impressive Brooklyn Bridge stretched before her, she had one of those out of body moments that reminded her she lived in one of the coolest cities on earth. “I don’t appreciate New York the way I should.”
Walking beside her, a pleasant set to his mouth, he sent her a sidelong glance—not bothering to disagree.
“Becket and I never walked around like this. Once he took me to Tiffany’s, but we were in and out. I’m not even sure what he was picking up.” Probably something for his mistress. “He never stopped for street meats or pretzels. We only dined at restaurants that held reservations.”
“You can’t plan New York through a concierge. It’s meant to be experienced. It’s alive, pulsing, like an animal. We can only observe it and let ourselves be led by its verve. The minute we try to control it we miss something spectacular, like with nature. It really is the world’s largest organism. There are so many people setting its rhythm, better to experience it organically.”
“I never thought of it that way.” The scent of ethnic faire grew thick in the air; tempting her appetite out of hiding and drawing her steps toward the mouth-watering aroma of succulent meats grilled over open flames.
Voices traveled, rising in volume as they stepped into a mass of people patronizing what appeared to be a market of New York’s cleverest food venders. How had she not known about this event?
Riley rotated, a phenomenal grin on his face as though he’d entered man heaven. “Where should we begin?”
“You’re my captain. I trust your instincts.”
Canopies and makeshift booths formed long aisles for people to wander. Steam clouded the various sites, eliciting attention with each peculiarly pleasant aroma.
Chefs acted as street performers, enchanting patrons, drawing them near with careful explanations for pairing fermented spices and specialized condiments with seared meats. It was a sort of live gallery, showcasing the artistry of New York cuisine.
Servings were sometimes dainty, offering a sampling of what could be the world’s most eclectic menu. The selection was endless, filet mignon sliders, fresh pecan bread sold by the slice, doughnuts the size of grapefruits, and even specialty booths for vegans and other diets she’d never heard of before.
“Oh, we have to start here,” he veered to the right and she followed. When the walkways became clogged with people, he reached through the crowd and pulled her to his side. “Watch this, Em. This is how meat should be treated.”
It was indeed a performance. The vendor tossed a steaming brisket onto the wood surface and unwrapped the charred foil covering. Juicy morsels of fat were trimmed away to unveil perfectly cooked, tender, pink beef. As the peddler made a show of slicing the meat in precise portions, it fell apart and her mouth watered.
Riley’s voice turned gravely. “Oh my God, we are so eating that.”
She grinned at him, loving the glazed lust in his eyes. Only men got that way with meat. She supposed beef and pork were to a guy what shoes and purses were to most women.
As the chef prepared their sandwich, Riley asked questions about the smoking process. The vendor was very friendly and informative. “You want everything on it?”
“What’s everything?” Riley asked.
“Cheese, pickles, hot peppers, sweet sauce.”
He glanced at her. “You afraid of hot?”
“No.” She wanted to taste the sandwich the way the creator intended it.
Riley grinned. “Give us the works.”
The man dressed the small sandwich until it was bursting with meat and dripping with sauce. Riley paid and she followed him to the side of the booth where coolers held the vendors’ supplies.
“Are you ready for this?” he asked, eyes set with excitement.
“You taste it first.” She wasn’t sure what would be more enjoyable, watching his exhilaration or actually tasting it for herself.
“You sure?”
She nodded as he carefully held the messy sandwich and took a bite, bits of cheese and meat falling from his fingers. “Oh my God,” he moaned over a mouthful. “You have to try this.” She reached out, but he shook his head, still chewing. “Just open. It’s too messy.”
Opening wide like a ridiculous baby bird, she let him shove the corner of the sandwich in her mouth and bit down. “Oh my God!” she echoed.
“I know, right?”
An exquisite blend of flavors burst over her tongue. “It’s amazing,” she mumbled, holding her fingers over her lips so food didn’t fall out.
“I could eat twenty of these.” He took another bite.
“We so should.” She opened as he held the rapidly shrinking sandwich out for her again.
They didn’t waste time talking for the next few minutes as they devoured the most delicious sandwich she’d ever tasted. When they finished, Riley snagged some napkins and passed her several to wipe her mouth.
As they journeyed onward they sampled maple bacon cupcakes, Bangladeshi street cuisine, and even shared a pumpkin spiced S’more cooked under the flame of a blowtorch. It was an incredible festival of food.
“Do you like oysters?” he asked as they approached a merchant standing before a bowl of crushed ice.
“I don’t know.” She’d never tried an oyster before.
“Wanna try one?”
As the chef sliced open the rocklike case and revealed an opalescent inner shell, she tried not to be revolted by the goopy booger looking mollusk inside. He shucked the blob loose, leaving it resting on half a shell, and placed it in a bed of crushed ice.
“What do they taste like?” she asked.
The chef continued to shuck. “Briny, like the ocean. If you’re virgins I can dress them in a mignonette sauce to soften the taste. I have a nice ginger cucumber one.”
“What do you suggest?” Riley asked.
“I’m a purist, sir. I like them with a bit of pepper and lemon and that’s it.”
Riley glanced at her.
“I think I should try it with the sauce.” The more she stared at the little glob the more unappealing it became. These were considered delicacies? If she was remembering correctly, they were also aphrodisiacs. She didn’t see anything sexy about them.
“Ready?” Riley asked, holding his lemon oyster while offering her the one dressed in the ginger sauce.
Timidly, she reached for the shell.
Their eyes met and he counted off. “One… two…three.” His head tipped back and her mouth filled with—
Oh my God. What the fuck is in my mouth?
“Not bad.” Riley grinned then started laughing. “Are you okay?”
She shook her head, booger mollusk sliding around her tongue, and desperately searched the table for a napkin. You gag and it’s all over.
“Swallow it!” he shouted, laughing at her.
The vender passed her a napkin.
“No, don’t spit. Swallow!”
Oh my God, she was going to kick him if he didn’t shut up. People stared as they walked by and she spit the disgusting thing into the napkin and balled it up.
Riley shook his head. “Oh, Emma, I’m disappointed. Good girls swallow.”
“Shut up,” she snapped, her face burning.
He laughed and nudged her, tossing a few dollars on the table and directing her into the crowd.
“That was disgusting. Now I can’t get the taste out of my mouth.”
He stopped and ordered a cup of cranberry Brooklyn soda. “Here, you big tissue.”
“I’m not a tissue. I tried it.”
“Let’s sit for a while.” He led her to a stout cement barricade along the jetties and they sat facing the East River.
They’d walked miles in a matter of hours so she was grateful for the respite. The short wall was warm from the afternoon sun. “Today was really fun, Riley. Thanks for bringing me here.”
“I had fun too. It’s nice to waste a day taking advantage of everything the city has to offer. We can get immune from living here.”
She smiled, her cheeks tingling under the moist wind off the river. “There’s so much I’ve never experienced. I’ve never even been to the Empire State Building.”
She laughed at his shock. “I know. I’m the worst New Yorker in the world.”
“You gotta get out more, Em.”
“I want to.” Letting out a deep breath, she relaxed. “I’m so sick of being me. It’s so tedious, always doing what everyone else thinks I should do.”
He frowned. “What do you mean?”
“I think you were right. I don’t think I loved Becket.”
“Was it that obvious? Because if I’m being honest, I’m still getting over the shock.”
“Don’t hate me, but Becket was a prick. He didn’t bring anything to the table. You guys were always running off to meet his friends or attend functions at his father’s law firm.”
“Well, I do work there.”
“Exactly. You work for his family. When was it about Emma Sanders?”
There wasn’t an excuse at the ready. “I guess it never was.”
“Yeah, that’s not love. So when you say you don’t think you were in love with him, I can believe it.”
“You’re a pretty deep guy, Riley. Not a lot of men are like that.”
He shrugged. “I’m comfortable with you. I can just say what I feel.”
“Yeah,” she agreed, her mind drifting back to Riley as a tousled child in grass stained corduroys and wild curls. Although they knew each other since braces and bike rides, this was the first time they actually hung out alone. It was strange they never talked about personal things before, because she really was extremely comfortable around him.
“What do you say we head back and go get that mani-pedi?” he asked.
Her feet were killing her and the idea of a pedicure sounded divine. “Okay.”
He glanced down at her flip-flops and tsked. “I’m not sure they can help those stank walkers.”
She gaped at him. “There is nothing wrong with my feet!”
“Whatever. Where’s your baby toe?”
“It’s right here!” She lifted up her foot.
He leaned forward and squinted. “You can’t call that Darwin freak show a toe.”
“If it’s not then what the hell is it?” Her toes were perfectly normal!
“That’s a nubbin.”
“Whatever.” She stood.
He rose as well. “You think you can manage on you’re deformed hobbit hooves? We got a hike back to the subway.”
She stomped away. “Jerk.” And just when she was starting to think he was nice!
“Wait up,” he called. “Don’t be like that. We don’t have to wee-wee-wee all the way home. It was a good day at the market, piggy.”
She held up her middle finger and prodded on—laughing under her breath.


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Tuesday, December 8, 2015



Lydia Michaels

New Adult
Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: Romance
Book Length: 263 pages

Date of Publication: 
September 7, 2015 (2nd edition)

Formats Available: 
eBook, Print, & Audio

Best New Adult 
InD’tale Magazine 
RONE Award Finalist

Secret Cravings Bestseller List


Behind every simple man is an unsung hero waiting for love... 

Months after Shane Martin’s sister vanishes, life crashes down and he finds himself the guardian of a nephew he never knew existed. Blissfully ignorant, Shane trades in his musician status, full of late nights and fast women, for midnight feedings and lullabies. But when Kate McAlister, his prissy, stuck up caseworker, arrives unexpectedly, he realizes he could lose everything. 

Kate isn’t impressed by Shane’s messy bachelor pad, rocker image, or sexy tattoos. As a matter of fact she finds it all very sophomoric. The sooner she’s off the case the better. Everything from his long hair to his sarcastic attitude threatens her professionalism. But when he lowers his guard and asks for help, she discovers a side to this tattooed musician she can’t resist.

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Simple Man touched a special place in my heart and I loved every minute of Shane's heart wrenching story. It is one of strength and loss. Love and personal growth. It made me laugh. It made me cry.

Shane Martin starts out as an unlikely hero. On the surface, he is seemingly nothing special. Definitely NOT worth a second glance. Living in a trailer and only looking for the next high, Shane doesn't have much to offer anyone. 

But when life throws a shit load of crap in his lap, he has no one to turn to and its up to him--sink or swim--to make a difference. 

Michaels is brilliant and her writing is fresh as well as honest. She has a talent for creating characters that speak to your heart and make you get a serious case of the feels. 

Simple Man is simply wonderful! 


Award winning and bestselling author, Lydia Michaels, writes all forms of hot romance. She presses the bounds of love and surprises readers just when they assume they have her stories figured out. From Amish vampyres, to wild Irishmen, to broken heroes, and heroines no man can match, Lydia takes readers on an emotional journey of the heart, mind, and soul with every story she pens. Her books are intellectual, erotic, haunting, always centered on love.

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Lydia Michaels loves to hear from readers! 


The trailer existed under a thick smog of dirty air. Everyone was laughing. He tried to smile at all the appropriate times, but felt nothing inside. The music, which was blaring suddenly cut off and everyone got quiet.
Shane opened his eyes and saw why. Kate stood at the stereo, scowling. Oh, pretty Kate. She was so good.
“Shane, what the hell’s going on?” she hissed.
She wore a shirt that said Save Ferris. “I like your shirt,” he slurred.
She shook her head. She wasn’t amused.
“Hey,” he yelled, trying to hoist himself off his couch. “Do you guys know that Kate has a tattoo of a gremlin?” The others acted interested, but Kate eyes widened with fury.
“Can I talk to you? Outside?”
God. Déjà vu. Noel, standing in that very spot, saying those very words, shimmered in his memory. He laughed, even though it wasn’t funny. “What’s up?”
“Outside. Now.”
She turned and marched through the door, which slammed behind her. She had a great ass. “Hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave,” he grumbled as he stumbled to his feet.
He tripped out the front door and saw her standing by his car. Kate did nice things, like bring his car back when he left it places. He clumsily walked up to her and hugged her.
She stiffened and pushed him away. He pulled her back and kissed her, jamming his tongue in her mouth until she shoved his face hard.
“What is wrong with you?”
He glowered at her, disliking the sharp sting of her open rejection. “Nothing. What’s wrong with you?”
“You stink.”
“Gee, thanks.”
“Shane, what are you doing? Do you think acting like this is solving anything?”
Anger made him turn away. What could he say? His head wasn’t thinking clearly. She was smarter than him and he had nothing intelligent to bring to the table. He walked to the trailer and pushed against the siding. “Why are you here?”
“Because I’m worried about you?”
“Because I care about you?”
He laughed and spit in the sand. “You’re supposed to be smart, Kate. When are you going to get it? I. Am. A. Loser.
“You’re sure acting like one now.”
He pivoted and nearly fell. Catching his balance, he scowled at her. “Don’t be like that. You’re not a bitch.”
“And you’re not a loser so stop acting like you are.”
“Really? I don’t have a job. I live in a trailer. I’m on fucking food stamps. And I just lost the only person, aside from you, that I care about in the whole world. It won’t be long before you wise up and leave me too. Yeah, I sure sound like a winner.”
She marched up to him and jerked a fistful of his shirt. He looked down at her. It was like being attacked by an elf, which was kind of funny.
“You listen to me, Shane Martin, the only way I’m leaving you is if you push me away. Now stop acting like an idiot and grow up!”
“I am grown up!” He’d been a grown up since he was seventeen fucking years old!
“No, you’re being a child right now! If you’re unhappy with your life, do something about it. Don’t sit here and drink your liver away, waiting for situations to fix themselves, because it’s not going to happen.”
“What do you know? You have everything!”
She got in his face. “Do you think those things were just given to me? I worked my ass off for everything I have—”
“And I didn’t? I sweat my ass off pouring concrete in a hundred degree weather. I bust my balls trying to make extra money playing guitar when I can. I’ve been struggling to make ends meet since I was seventeen fucking years old and God decided to pull the rug out from under me! I follow the rules. I play the game, but no matter what I end up getting fucked! I didn’t have the opportunities in front of me that you did, so excuse me if I don’t see us as equals.”
She shook her head. “You may not have had the same opportunities as me, but don’t act like this is your only option. You have yourself so pegged as this lower class bum, because you’re afraid if you try to be anything more, you’ll fail. It’s a shitty self-fulfilling prophecy and if you think that way, you’ve already lost.”
His jaw locked as he breathed rapidly through his nose. “You don’t know what it feels like to be me.”
“You’re right. I don’t. But I could say the same thing about you.” She put her hands on her hips and looked down, taking a deep breath, as if collecting her thoughts.
“I’ve watched you, for months, go against all odds and do something most men could never do. You sit here and claim to be this simple man. Well, I don’t see a simple thing about you. As a matter of fact, you’re so complicated, I was afraid of getting too close to you. I knew, the minute I let you in, I’d fall for you. Shane, I love you, but this,” she waved her hand in front of him. “This is not the man I love.”
He looked down. Everything he loved, everyone that ever loved him was always taken away. “Don’t love me, Kate.”
Her hands cupped his jaw. He fought her hold, too ashamed to meet her gaze. She turned his face until he finally looked at her. “Too late.”
It was too much. Everything finally collapsed inside of him and he broke. Shutting his eyes tight, he fought the tears, but it was a losing battle. His face twisted as a sob broke painfully from his chest. “I’m dying inside.”
She wrapped her arms around him. “I know.”
He hugged her tight, probably tighter than she could take, but she let him.

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Other Titles by LYDIA MICHAELS

Falling In
Breaking Out
Coming Home
Sacred Waters
Faking It
Forsaking Truth
As Tears Go By
Hold Me Fast
Simple Man
Breaking Perfect
First Comes Love
If I Fall
Something Borrowed
Remember Me
Called to Order
Calling for a Miracle
Destiny Calls
Call Her Mine
Why We Go
La Vie en Rose

Monday, August 10, 2015


Title:  Hold Me Fast {McCullough Mountain 7}

Author: Lydia Michaels

Genre: Romance

Heat Level: Romance (graphic)

Book Length: 258 pages

Date of Publication: August 10, 2015


It’s more than a mountain. It’s a love story generations long.

Maureen O’Leahey has always hoped for a family to love, but with so many men returning from a lost war, she finds life to be a bit less romantic than expected—until she stares in to the blue eyes of Frank McCullough. Though the odds are against them, Frank and Maureen can’t seem to keep their distance. Against her father’s wishes, Maureen falls for the boy trying so hard to make it as a man and Frank fights to keep every promise made to the fiery red head that’s captured his heart.

During difficult times, they find solace in each other. As Frank struggles to do right by his young bride and Maureen aches to be a good wife, they are taught the true value of patience and shown the strength of unconditional love in this memorable story of a devoted Irishman and an untamable woman with a remarkable spirit.

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Book Review

There are not that many series that make me wish they were real and I could travel to for a visit . . . maybe stay for a week . . . or forever.

And one of my favorite series on that list is Lydia Michael's McCullough Mountain. Seven swoon worthy romances that have put me through the emotional wringer . . . and I have enjoyed every gut-wrenching moment. Every audible and slightly inappropriate snort of laughter. Every sob-fest as I lost it and could no longer see the words in front of my face.

I have fallen hard for this family. They have found a special place in my heart and burrowed deep. Hold Me Fast is the last book of this series and even though I am sad to see the end, I am very well satisfied how Michaels concluded their journey.

Throughout the series, Maureen and Frank McCullough have been the backbone of this Pennsylvania Irish family. Their roots are deep, their loyalty unshakable, and their love for one another unending. They have struggled to get to where they are and faced hardships. To finally get to see how Maureen and Frank get together is the supreme icing on such a delicious and spicy cake.

I have always loved Maureen. She has been my favorite secondary character throughout the series. Her sass and strength had me laughing one minute and crying the next. And I have to say, her style of swearing is epic. I have a highlighted several sections on my kindle for Maureen's colorful and witty retorts.

Frank, although quiet, has had me charmed from the get go, as well. He's a lumberjack . . . logger. Not sure what the politically correct term is, but I envision nicely corded muscles. Thick arms. Tanned skin from hours out in the sun. Firm tush. Strong, capable thighs. Flannel.  (Sigh)
He is such a virile hero--hard working, devoted, and . . . Irish. Yes, I admit I have a weakness for such things. But I guarantee it would be hard for any warm blooded woman NOT to fall for this man.

The first half of the book is how Frank and Maureen meet and their rocky beginning. They endure ups and downs, heartaches, and the struggles of discovering exactly who they truly are as individuals and what they want from their marriage.

The second half was especially awesome--as the reader gets to revisit with the rest of the clan. Kate, Colin, Luke, Finn, Kelly, Sheilagh, etc . . . have had some very interesting developments and it was great to catch up on their lives. Although . . . as a side note here . . . and in no way negative . . . I could have had more Kelly time. AHEM. But that's just my obsessive streak showing. There is NEVER enough Kelly time.

Lydia Michaels has done a fantastic job creating a series worth reading . . . and rereading . . . and falling in love all over again. I have no doubt I will be visiting McCullough mountain whenever I need a good laugh or an emotional cry.

Come to the mountain. It will be a journey well worth taking--you won't want to leave.

Connect with Lydia Michaels:


“When’s that birthday of yours, love?”
She frowned. “July twenty-fifth. Why?” Was he planning on getting her a present?
He nodded, making a masculine sound in his throat. “I’d like to get my lips on you before then, lassie.”
Appalled, she turned and scowled at him. “And that is how you ask? I’d like a lot of things, Frank, mostly, to meet a man who knows how to ask a woman for favors. And if that is why you’re waitin’ for my birthday you can just forget it. I’m saving myself for marriage.”
Every trace of cockiness fled his face as her words sank in. Oh Christ. She wasn’t necessarily saving shit, but it pissed her off that he’d assume the calendar was all that was holding him up from gettin’ into her knickers.
“I wasn’t… I hadn’t meant to insinuate—”
“Don’t try backtracking now. I know what you meant.” It was like her mouth had disconnected from her brain and there was no stopping her words.
Like a runaway train, she’d unleashed on him. “You think I have nothin’ better to do than wait around so you can legally take my virginity? You can think again, Mr. McCullough. I have standards and they aren’t the sort that crumble for some blue eyed, silver-tongued Irishman wantin’ to put his lips on me. I’ll be expectin’ a gentleman, next time I see you, if your lips will be getting’ anywhere near me—”
His mouth was suddenly crushing hers as he pulled her halfway across the seat and cut off her words. She’d never been kissed before, at least not like that. His hand cupped the back of her head as his mouth slanted and his tongue pressed deep, teasing and awakening parts of her she’d rather ignore. Her eyes held wide as his other hand fit around her thigh and massaged through the fabric of her skirt.
“You talk entirely too much, Maureen O’Leahey,” he whispered against her lips. “I’m thinkin’ it’s high time a man shut you up in a way you found acceptable.”
He kissed her again and her chest lifted, her nipples tightening as heat pulled in her stomach and a strange pressure set her insides on fire.
“No,” she mumbled as his hand slowly rubbed higher on her thigh. Pulling back as that hand steadily crept to a place she strongly considered off limits to others, she did the first thing she could manage and smacked him across the jaw.
The sharp slap left the car in dark silence. Quietly, he chuckled. “You really are something.”
“I told you,” she said, out of breath. “You’ll need to be a gentleman to get your lips on me. Buyin’ me dinner doesn’t prove shit.”
The side of his mouth kicked up in a half-smirk. “You sure got a mouth on you, woman.”
She liked being called woman, considering she was only seventeen. “And wouldn’t you like to see all the things it can do.”
His half-smirk turned into a full smile as he laughed. “Well, look at you. You’re tongues as sharp as mine is silver. You better be gettin’ home before real trouble finds you. Tomorrow’s a big day.”
That was right. Tomorrow she was graduating. Funny how such a monumental achievement paled in comparison to being kissed by Frank McCullough.
“Good night, love,” he said, cracking open the door.
“Frank?” He stilled and she took a second to process her sudden insecurities.
He paused, still facing the door. “Yes, Maureen?”
“The kiss… did I do it okay?”
His head tilted as he again faced her. “Have you not been kissed before?”
“Never like that,” she whispered, her fingers tracing where his mouth had been.
He slid back inside the car and turned to the windshield, pulling his lower lip in for a taste. A quiet chuckle escaped, but he didn’t seem amused. “You’re that innocent then?”
“Never mind,” she immediately said, wishing she’d never opened her mouth—for anything.
“No, it’s fine. I shouldn’t have assumed…” he shook his head. “A gentleman indeed.” He laughed. “I’m sorry I came on so strong, love, but when I’m around you, I lose sight of right and wrong and all I can tell is that I want you.”
Her eyes widened as she choked on her words. “Me?” That couldn’t be right.
His gaze turned on her, his eyes appearing almost pained. “Aye, you. I think you’re bonny, smart, funny, and I think about you naked every day.”
“Sorry, but it’s true. Your curves enchant me.”
Was that how men and women spoke to one another? “I’ve never been naked in front of anyone but my mum and my sisters.”
A smirk pulled the corner of his mouth tight. “We could remedy that.”
She smacked his arm. “Don’t be a pig.”
“I have a healthy appetite for beautiful women, love. There’s nothin’ wrong with that.”
“Aye, well if your wantin’ this woman you’ll lose your taste for all others, do you understand?”
They were silent for several minutes. She fidgeted as she waited for him to say more, but he didn’t. Finally, she broke the silence. “What does this mean, Frank? People will talk if they see us together.”
“It means I like you.”
“Like me? Why?”
He shrugged and pointed to his chest. “It’s here, in the way my chest gets tight at just the sight of you and I want to hold you fast, but never feel like we have enough time.”
“Oh.” That was rather sweet and more poetic than she’d expected. “Are you saying we’re…”
“I want you to be mine for more than a minute.”
Lots of things were longer than minutes but still quite short. “Are you askin’ to date me? I’m not trying to be thick headed, but I’ve never much dated and…”
“Aye. I’m wantin’ you to be mine, Maureen O’Leahy. Mine and only mine.”
Liquid heat swirled in her belly as her veins pulsed with excitement. “I can’t let my parents know.”
“It’s no one’s business.”
Insecurity made it difficult to look in his direction. She didn’t want to say the wrong thing and sound foolish. “I…I never much dated,” she repeated.
“Me neither.”
She laughed, still finding that hard to believe. A thought occurred to her and she frowned. “I’ll not have you hitting on other girls if you want to be with me.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
His gentle tone retrieved a bit of her courage. “And I’m not easy. I’m not promising you a thing, if you get what I mean.”
“Aye. It’ll keep.”
Shooting him a sidelong glance, she snickered. “You seem certain I’m keepin’ it for you.”
“You are,” he said with palpable cockiness.
Her mouth gaped at his surety. “There’s something wrong with you.”
“To be sure, but I speak the truth. I’ll have you, Maureen O’Leahey, make no mistake of that. I’ll be a gentleman for you, as you’re deserving of such, but make no mistake, I’m a man and I will not deny what I want no matter how long you deny me from gettin’ it.”

Author Bio:

Award winning author, Lydia Michaels, writes all forms of hot romance. She presses the bounds of love and surprises readers just when they assume they have her stories figured out. From Amish vampyres, to wild Irishmen, to broken heroes, and heroines no man can match, Lydia takes readers on an emotional journey of the heart, mind, and soul with every story she pens. Her books are intellectual, erotic, haunting, always centered on love.

Lydia Michaels loves to hear from readers! She can be contacted by email at Lydia@LydiaMichaelsBooks.com

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Other Titles by Lydia Michaels:

Falling In
Breaking Out
Coming Home
Sacred Waters
Faking It
Forsaking Truth
As Tears Go By
Hold Me Fast
Simple Man
Breaking Perfect
White Chocolate
All 4 You
To Catch a Wolfe
Chasing Feathers
Called to Order
Calling for a Miracle
Destiny Calls
Call Her Mine
Blind (Coming October 2015)

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