A Taste of Sugar by Marina Adair ~ Top 5, ARC Review + Giveaway

Welcome to My Book Snack's stop for the A Taste of Sugar blog tour.
Today I'm featuring a Top 5 guest post, my ARC review, an excerpt and tour giveaway.

Marina Adair's
Top 5 favorite reasons I love writing small town romances

1.     The Cheers Affect: I love writing small towns for the same reason as I love the show, Cheers. Everybody knows your name—and they’re always glad you came. But in small towns like Sugar, Georgia everybody also knows your mamma, your history, your cat’s name, and that you had your first kiss on the back of Bubba White’s wagon at the annual Christmas hayride. The bets part is that no matter what you done or where you’ve been, they are always glad when you come home.

2.     Old Biddies: Maybe it’s because I grew up with a live-in grandma or that I used to work at a Alzheimer’s center in college, but I love old ladies with their big bonnets and even bigger opinions. And in small towns, the biggest personalities are always little old biddies who spend their time matchmaking, playing coupon bingo, and raising cane J

3.     History & Charm: Romance is all about escaping into another world, and there is something so charming and welcoming about small towns. Just like everybody’s got a history, so does the town, and that history bring people together. With it’s gas-lamp and maple tree lined sidewalks, Main Street always hosts an array of specialty shops with striped awnings and handmade welcome mats that make it feel as if love is waiting just around the corner.

4.     Pie & Biscuits: Small towns and bake-offs go hand and hand. As an author, it is my duty to do proper research for my books. Researching pie and biscuits is a hard job, but for my readers, I go deep—deep-dish cobbler that is.

5.     The Three S’s: Sexy Southern Swagger. Small town men wear it like other guys wear cologne. They have rough and tumble jobs, generous and soft hearts, and know how to treat a lady. And when they say “Yes, ma’am,” in that deep, southern drawl, it is powerful enough to melt panties—and hearts.

I love the description of food in your books. Makes me hungry every time! You also write sexy Southern men so well. The McGraw brothers are swoon-worthy! Thanks for a fun guest post, Marina! ~Grace

A Taste of Sugar
Marina Adair
Series: Sugar, Georgia #3
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Forever Mass Market

A blast from her past
Charlotte Holden, Sugar’s favorite pediatrician, knows better than anyone that love only leads to heartbreak. Instead, she’s focused on creating the Grow Clinic, an outpatient center for children. All she has to do now is to host the best Founder’s Day Parade in the history of Sugar, Georgia, to win over a big-city donor. Easy as peach pie. Then sexy Jace McGraw blows back into town and utters those three words every woman dreads: we’re still married.

…leads to tantalizing trouble
Jace McGraw was making an offer on his dream business in Atlanta when he was told that his wife had some credit issues. Wait, his wife? The annulment went through years ago—or so he thought.  He’d walked away only to keep his troublemaker reputation from ruining her dreams. But now that they have a second chance, Jace offers Charlotte a deal: he’ll grant a discreet divorce in exchange for 30 days and nights of marriage. Because this time he isn’t going to let her go without a fight.

Source: Publisher
This is my honest review
Rating: 5 Stars ~ Excellent

Jace’s story was worth the wait!!!

Being a huge fan of this series from the beginning, Jace was the McGraw brother I couldn’t wait to learn more about. He was mentioned in the first two books, but he mainly stayed out of town and remained very mysterious, until now. Jace McGraw’s story was worth the wait!

Charlotte Holden and Jace McGraw married a few years back and kept it a secret. Weeks later Jace walked away and left huge wounds in Charlotte’s heart. Now it seems the annulment fell through the cracks, and Jace returns to Sugar (and into Charlotte’s life) to take care of business. Charlotte is, of course, reluctant to give Jace a second chance, especially since his return seems to be temporary.

I adore the characters Marina Adair writes! Charlotte is both strong and stubborn. A medical director for Sugar Medical Center, Charlotte is working hard to get her Grow Clinic outpatient center up and running. Over the years she’s learned to gradually heal and cope since Jace walked out on their marriage. The McGraw brothers lost their parents when Jace was young, and he placed a lot of blame on himself. Being back home with his family brings back so many memories, and now he must deal with all the issues and emotions that made him leave Sugar in the first place. One of the things that I loved about this story is that Ms. Adair found a way for Jace to return home and be part of the family and community again in a way that works for him, which is through his love for cars. She fleshes out Jace’s healing as much as Charlotte’s. It was nice seeing him reconnect and bond with his family.

“He got her in a way that no one in her life ever had, and he gave her the courage to live life without apology.”

Not only do Charlotte and Jace have delicious physical chemistry together, but their emotional relationship is carved out as well. Jace gets Charlotte on so many levels, and that is one of the reasons why I find his character irresistible! Plus, the guy gives great hugs, according to Charlotte!

“He had to do whatever it took to prove that what they had was worth fighting for. More importantly, let Charlotte know that she was worth fighting for.”

These two deal with so much upon Jace’s return to town. There are a lot of fun times and drama as well in the storyline. In the classic way Marina Adair writes small town romance, she always includes animals and annual events in her stories. There’s this heart-broken sheep that will make you giggle and win your heart over! I also loved how the townspeople of Sugar rally together to pull off a memorable Founder’s Day celebration.

Overall, I found A Taste of Sugar to be a lovely read with good pacing and entertaining characters. Those who like small town, second chance romances will likely enjoy this story, which can be read as a standalone. You will swoon and snicker at certain parts, but most of all, your heart will be filled with warmth in the end.

My Book and Snack:
Drink actually...vanilla matcha green tea latte with A Taste of Sugar!

Book Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1VbM8hP
B&N: http://bit.ly/1ML5rgj
iBooks: http://apple.co/1OOICpm
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/1K7vRTg
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1PaWtr0
BAM: http://bit.ly/1Jk6TQX

A Taste of Sugar
“Morning, Dr. Holden,” he said, unfolding himself from the car.
“You’re late.” Charlotte stood and swished her way down the steps toward him. No good morning, no thanks for coming, just a you’re late as though they had plans, as though he’d disappointed her again.
“Sorry,” he said coolly, tapping the face of his watch. “Forgot to set it to Charlotte Standard Time.”
She stopped a few feet from him, and he could see the hesitation in her expression. Hesitation and something else. Something that looked an awful lot like vulnerability. Oh, there was a good portion of irritation and hostility glaring at him through those baby blues, but behind it all was definitely vulnerability. Interesting.
“You’re the one who said we had to go to Atlanta today.”
“I believe you told me you were too busy to make the time,” he said, not sure how he was going to handle six hours in an enclosed space with her. Just standing downwind taking in her floral scent was making him hard.
“I changed my mind.”
Jace looked at her for a long moment, then laughed. She was serious.
“Darling, you don’t change your mind. Ever.” Charlotte Holden might be a Southern belle, but her Kevlar wall of stubbornness could rival a Southern granny’s—and having been raised by the most mule-headed granny in the world, that was saying a lot. Oh, he believed that Charlotte had changed her mind, he just didn’t know why. “So what happened with your debutante sisters yesterday that has you desperate enough to call me?”
“Sugar Peaches,” she corrected. “And since when do you keep up on Sugar gossip?”
“Since you started calling yourself a Sugar Peach. I mean, weren’t the Peaches your mom’s thing?”
Charlotte had once confided in him that she moved to Atlanta to escape the pressure of following in her mother’s footsteps. The pageants and parties and social ladder climbing were Babette’s dream for Charlotte. Charlotte’s dream was to save lives—and she was a master at it.
“Well, it’s my thing now,” she said, and he couldn’t help but notice the resignation in her voice. He wanted to know what else had changed, then realized it didn’t matter anymore. “And that means I have to be back as soon as possible. Founder’s Day is only three weeks off, and I have a lot to do.”
“Yeah, me too.” He had to get an annulment, convince his buddy to fix Hattie’s car, and secure that loan before Dale pulled his offer.
“Good, because as the current regent of the Sugar Peaches it falls to me to plan the Founder’s Day Fair, so this trip needs to be a quickie,” she said, her bossy, take-charge tone making him smile.
“Quickies aren’t really my specialty,” he said. “But who am I to argue with a lady?”
“Easy and discreet, Jace. The last thing I need right now is to explain this to my parents,” she clarified as though he was slow, as though he didn’t know just how anxious she was to put the past behind them. Which shouldn’t have pissed him off, because that was what he wanted, too. But it did.
“Easy and discreet? Kind of like our marriage?” he mused.
She looked at him for a long moment and then slowly shook her head. “Nothing about our marriage was easy, Jace,” she said, and the absolute certainty in her voice made him want to prove her wrong.
“There was one easy thing between us,” Jace said, stepping into her and closing the distance, trapping her between the car and his body. He reached behind her neck, crushed his mouth to hers, and kissed the hell out of her.
Only one touch, and she was kissing him back. No hesitation, no second-guessing, just—pow —debutante to seductress. Not interested to tongue down his throat in two seconds flat.
And holy fucking God, it was perfect. The way she felt, the way she tasted, the way she crawled up his body and demanded more...How had he forgotten this side of her?
That insane pull between them, which he’d convinced himself didn’t exist, wasn’t only burning a hole through his clothes—and his mission—it also wasn’t one-sided. Which told him that he should a) back the hell up, and b) immediately cancel this field trip they had planned. Before things got crazy.
But then she made this sexy little sound in the back of her throat—the one that used to drive him batshit crazy, that still drove him batshit crazy—and he was a goner.
So he deepened the kiss, because why the hell not? Charlotte had her prim and proper hands all over him, and he was certain that this was the best kiss he’d ever had. Hot and needy and raw and so damn desperate it was like driving down the track at three hundred miles per hour with no breaks.
Then he realized that this was not only the best kiss ever, but probably also their last kiss ever, and he slowly pulled back, tugging her lower lip between his teeth as long as he could until the connection finally broke. And damn, he wished he hadn’t stopped.
That one second of uncharged air was all Charlotte needed. Sure, she was breathing heavily, and her gaze was dazed and confused. A mirror image of his own. But within a split second her eyes frosted over and that unflinching fortitude was back.
Not that he was fooled. Jace knew that they had chemistry, remembered how electric they were together, but what had arched between them just now floored him. And it had floored her, too.
Charlotte cleared her throat. “This changes nothing.”
Jace lowered his gaze to her hands, which were resting on the buckle of his belt. “Oh, it changes something.”

Sugar, Georgia series

Marina Adair
(November 25, 2014; Forever Mass Market; Sugar, Georgia Book #1)
He’s trouble she doesn’t need
Thanks to a cheating fiance, Josephina Harrington’s perfect life just crashed and burned. Moving in with her overbearing parents is definitely not an option. No, she needs to prove she can make it on her own. And she will—by turning her great-aunt’s old plantation house into a destination getaway. She’s just not expecting her contractor to be so hands-on—and so totally irresistible.
…but everything she wants
Bad-boy golf champion Brett McGraw figured his hometown of Sugar, Georgia, was the perfect place to lay low and get his life back up to par. The leggy blonde with a pint-sized pup is the kind of sweet ’n’ sassy trouble he never saw coming. She doesn’t know a nut from a bolt and before long, he’s renovating her house…as she steals his heart. Can he convince Josephina that his womanizing ways are in the past and he’s ready for forever?
Buy the book!

Marina Adair
(April 28, 2015; Forever Mass Market; Sugar, Georgia Book #2)
She's sassy and sweet
The last thing Glory Mann wants is to become chairman of the Miss Peach Pageant in Sugar, Georgia. Spending months hearing nothing but the clinking of pearls and judgment? No thank you! But when Glory is forced to take the rap for a scandal she didn't commit, the judge sentences her to head the committee. Even worse, her co-chairman is rugged, ripped . . . and barely knows she's alive.
He's ready and willing

Single dad Cal McGraw can't take any more drama in his life. After a difficult divorce, his little girl became a boy-crazy teenager and his hands are full. The last thing he needs is to spend his down time with the town bad girl. Glory is pure trouble-tempting and tantalizing trouble. But he can't deny the strong chemistry between them-or how her touch turns him inside out. Now as squabbles threaten to blow up the contest and the town of Sugar itself, Cal must risk everything on the sexy wild card to get a second chance at love . . .
Buy the book!

Marina Adair is a lifelong fan of romance novels. Along with the Sugar series, she is also the author of the St. Helena Vineyard series and the upcoming Shelter Cove series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter. As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive. She also loves to interact with readers and you can catch her on Twitter at @MarinaEAdair or visit her at www.MarinaAdair.com.
Connect with the author!



New Release ~ Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves

My Book Snack is pleased to help celebrate the release of
Heart-Shaped Hack!

Tracey Garvis Graves
Release Date: August 25, 2015

When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.

Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.

But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart. 

Book Links

READ the first 5 chapters here:  http://bit.ly/1EaUP25

“Oh, hi,” she said.
“Imagine running into you here.”
“This is quite a coincidence.”
“It’s not a coincidence at all. I knew you were following me.”
“You did not.”
“I spotted you hiding behind the plant when I walked into the bank. Plus I could smell your perfume as soon as I stepped out here.”
“Did you”—she used her fingers to make little air quotes—“appropriate money from this bank?” she whispered.
“Of course not. I do all my work from the Batcave. Believe it or not, I actually bank here. I was just signing some papers.”
Kate had never seen a man look so utterly scrumptious while wearing glasses. There was something about the combination of his hair, his scruff, and the semi-rimless designer frames that made him irresistible. “Are the glasses a disguise? Because I totally knew it was you.”
“The glasses are real. I often suffer from eyestrain since I spend so much time on the computer, and I was up late last night, working.”
“They make you look very smart.” She took a moment to imagine how his scruff would feel rubbing against her skin if he were to kiss her.
“I am smart, but I think you mean devastatingly handsome. More so than normal, that is.”
“You’re so humble.”
“Ready?” He walked to the door and held it open for her.
“Follow me.” He looked at her and laughed. “That shouldn’t be a problem for you.”
They took the elevator to the basement, and when the doors opened to the parking garage, Kate followed Ian to a row of cars. He stopped beside one and pulled a set of keys from his pocket.
She gasped.
Ian smiled. “It’s a—”
“1964 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe.”
“’65. But color me impressed.”
“My brother Chad was obsessed with this car. He used to have a poster of it on his bedroom wall. There were only six built between 1964 and 1965.”
“A bit rare indeed.”
The last authentic Shelby had sold at auction for around seven million. Ian’s was obviously a replica, of which there were quite a few, but it was still a very notable vehicle with a price tag that started in the low six figures. “Helena called it an old blue car.”
He grinned, looking contemplative. “Technically, that is correct.”
Kate could not resist running her hand lightly over the Guardsman Blue paint and the white racing stripes on the hood. The Shelby was unmistakably race-car-like in appearance with its aerodynamic design and unique body style. Chad was going to be so jealous. “For someone who values his privacy, isn’t this a bit ostentatious?”
“How so?”
“Rakishly handsome playboy who makes grand philanthropic gestures and drives a flashy car. Any of this ringing a bell?”
“Rakishly handsome playboy?”
“Well, if the Prada loafer fits. Wouldn’t you fly under the radar more easily in, say, a Ford Focus?” she asked.
“A Ford Focus? You want me to tool around town in a Ford Focus? Jesus, would I still have my balls?”
“No, they cut them off when they hand you the keys. Of course you’d still have your balls. What kind of question is that? This conversation has gotten way off track.”
“You mean because we started out talking about my car and now we’re talking about my balls?”
“Are we?”
“I believe so.”
“Maybe we should go back to talking about your car.”
“You want to drive it, don’t you?”
“Why would I want to drive your car?”
“Why wouldn’t you want to drive my car? Can you handle a stick shift?”
“Yes, and rather competently I might add.”
“That’s an enormous turn-on. Truly.”
She pretended not to hear him. “This is not a good car for Minnesota winters.”
“Horrible, I agree. My other car has four-wheel drive, but it’s not nearly as fun to operate as this one.” Ian dangled the keys in front of her.
He was right. Kate was dying to drive his car and couldn’t wait to see how it handled. She took the keys, opened the door, and reached over to unlock the passenger side for Ian. They belted up, and she started the car.
“Please note that I’m already making good on my promise, Katie. Because I assure you, driving this car will be the opposite of boring.”

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish
Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Release Week GIVEAWAY
(Two signed Heart-Shaped Hack paperbacks and two $25 giftcards)