NEW RELEASE REVIEW – Falling with Style by CM Foss

Falling With Style RDB

Title – Falling With Style
Author – CM Foss
Publication Date – March 29, 2016
Companion Novella to Swoon

Falling-with-Style-2500x1563-Amazon-Smashwords-Kobo-Apple

Synopsis

Lawrence and Steph Brooks spent years fighting their love, and then they fought their way back to each other. After earning their happy, swoon-worthy ending, they were intent on keeping it.

But a few years, a fledgling business, and a couple of kids later, Steph and Lawrence learn that falling in love was the easy part and happily ever after isn’t for sissies. With life bearing down on them, they can’t always escape the fall, but they can do it with style.

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Review

Every so often, I’ll have a book sitting in my queue, and for one reason another, I just can’t get to it yet. No matter how badly I want to dive in, I’m in the middle of other obligations so starting it continues to be put off. However, when I finally do get that chance to sit and devour it, I become utterly lost in the pages. I start to believe in fate because the words that swallow me whole contain message after message that scream to the depths of my soul. They come at exactly the moment that I needed to hear them. Falling with Style by CM Foss was undoubtedly one of these books for me.

“I could have stayed there forever, the woman I’d fought for behind me and the lives we’d created in front of me.”

We’re pulled back into the lives of Steph and Lawrence, who we met and watched fall in love in Swoon. We’re way down the road after the wedding, after life sets in, and it felt so good to see that glimpse! I was reacquainted with characters I had missed, while also being introduced to an entirely new dynamic to their relationship. What surprised me the most, yet also what I appreciated deepest, was Foss’ depiction of happily ever after. So often we get tied up in this notion that the prince comes, kisses his heroine, and whisks her off to live in a castle where they never see any tumult or problems arise. Foss slams that theory and gives us a dose of what a real happily ever looks like; one where you have to fight for your marriage, and push through the downs to appreciate the ups. A happily ever after where people are constantly battling to maintain balance and not lose themselves. This is what I truly adore about Foss’ writing though. She’s humorous in her presentation, but she can also draw out these emotions in readers in a way that is so difficult to describe.

“It’s an easy downward spiral. The world is just aching to drag us down. We are all that couple – I can promise you that. We are all at risk of drowning. But we all have the chance to claw our way back if we want to.”

Falling With Style may be a novella, but the profoundness of it feels like a full-length novel. I’m sure that every reader will take away something different and relate to a different aspect – maybe some comedy, maybe a stubborn horse, maybe a wounded person searching for how to be whole again. But what I’m certain of is that everyone will come away from this book taking a big sigh of relief that they aren’t alone; that the problems we may face have been seen by others. I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of Foss’ writing, but I sure hope she never stops delivering!

Rating
5.png

Falling With Style1

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Author Bio

CM Foss

I live in beautiful Northern Virginia with my incredible husband, two awesome kids, three dogs, and two budgies. My husband and I both grew up riding and competing horses and have our own equestrian operation that we run together. In my spare time, I read through the hundreds of stories awaiting me on my e-reader.

My love of books started early, and my mom used to ration my reading time so I didn’t go through them too quickly. I love all things romantic, whether it’s dark or light or silly or dirty, but I really love a happy ending!

In my small moments of quiet time, you’ll find me sipping on wine and reading while any movie where people randomly burst into song or dance plays in the background.

Author Links

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REVIEW TOUR – Jock by CM Foss

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Title – Jock
Author – CM Foss
Publication Date – November 2, 2015

Jock Cover

Synopsis

CLICHES
She can’t stand them.
Hates them.
Refuses to be one.
But..

Tessa Brooks is strong-willed, sassy, and determined, on the brink of dominating in the testosterone-fueled sport of horse racing. She’s spent her life avoiding the norm, staying true to herself to achieve her ultimate goals.

Her relationship with Jace Hitchen, her brother’s best friend, just might be the biggest cliche of all. Over the years, he’s been her protector, her annoyance, her confidante, her crush. But giving in to what she’s really wanted for the last ten years could be the very thing that destroys everything she’s worked for and wanted. Can Tessa achieve her dreams for the future, but still hold on to the past?

Review

CM Foss has a way with her writing that pulls you so far into the depths of her world that readers can’t help but get lost. She has a knack for making readers fall in love with one of the passions that she holds most dear to her heart. I know this because her enthusiasm bleeds onto the pages of her novels. Jock takes a spin on her previous “horse” novels and gives readers a whole new insight into the world of jockeying. I absolutely loved seeing passion for a career and passion for a romance interlaced so closely together.

“Always at war with each other, my mind raced as my body melted in his embrace.”

As someone who has never watched the races or paid much attention to the life of a jockey, I found myself incredibly enthralled with Tessa and her choices. On the one hand, I couldn’t understand how she would make the choices she did based on something she thought her brother wanted for her. It seemed like the sacrifices were not worth the reward. However, as the book progressed, it started to make more sense. Her fire shone through and it made me love her all the more. As for the hero of the story, I instantly fell in love with him, especially because of how Foss introduced him. While the majority of the book is written in Tessa’s point of view, the first few chapters of Jock are written through previous events, all seen through Jace’s eyes. I thought this was so genius of Foss because it showed their connection, their history, and once you read it, you’ll understand why it was so easy to fall in love with Jace. He was so protective and fluid, yet determined. If I could throw in ingredients for my perfect book boyfriend, Jace would surely be the perfect recipe!

“We’ve gone at this, whatever this is, all wrong. All kinds of backward. And it’s a train I’m not sure how to stop. I figure it’s time to jump tracks and start fresh. So you can see how serious I am, how honest I am. I don’t want you to question us, yourself, or me. And because…you deserve it. You deserve to be earned.”

Even though I’m not familiar with the environment Foss based her book around, I found myself drawn into it. I was curious and enjoyed learning the little bits that I did. However, I should also say that it never took away from the romance for me. They were so beautifully woven together in my opinion. I also really freaking loved the sibling fun that was highlighted throughout Jock. The author creates a fine balance of fun family times, but also Tessa being a fierce, independent heroine. Foss’ writing continues to grow and become more finessed, while also staying true to her personality. When I pick up one of her novels, I can always guarantee that I’ll swoon, that I’ll laugh, and most definitely fall in love. I’m already anxious to see what she delivers to her readers next!

Rating
5.png

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Author Bio

CM Foss

CM Foss is a hopeless romantic with a love for the written word. When she was little, her mom would ration her books so she wouldn’t go through them too quickly. It didn’t matter, she would just re-read. She’s always been an avid equestrian, competing in the top levels of Three Day Eventing by age seventeen. CM now resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and kids where they own and operate their own equestrian business, as well as raising grass-fed, sustainable meats. She doesn’t have this thing people call “free time”, but she does spend a weird amount of time writing, reading, playing with her kids, milking goats, and drinking wine, while avoiding bananas at all costs. Other books by CM Foss include Shiver, Swoon, and City Beautiful.

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REVIEW TOUR – City Beautiful by C.M. Foss

City Beautiful by CM Foss_ReviewTourBanner

Title – City Beautiful
Author – C.M. Foss
Publication Date – June 29, 2015
Standalone Novel

City Beautiful Cover

Synopsis

Patrick Thompson is all city, all the time. A young doctor, once full of passion, now disillusioned by the practice, he sets off across the country, intent on a small breather before a fresh start.

Ivy Lang loves the country way. So much so that she’s created a place where others can experience her ideas of the fundamentals for both mind and body. The life is perfect for her, carefully cultivated by her own hands.

He’s waiting for something to inspire him.

She finds inspiration all around her.

But when a chance meeting turns their worlds upside down, can they come together to create something beautiful?

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Review

So I kind of went into this book a little blind. I previously fell in love with the writing of CM Foss and just assumed that I would be in good hands. Needless to say, my gut once again proved to be right. I was absolutely blown away by what I found in the pages of City Beautiful…so much so, that a part of me wanted to go back and re-rate Shiver and Swoon because of how elevated this book was.

“I wasn’t a city girl anymore, but city had his ways.”

Her characters are opposite in so many ways that they truly did complement each other, even from the very beginning. I think that I loved Ivy so much, almost instantly, because she reminded me of my grandmother. She was this old soul living in a young body. She never took more than she needed, but was always willing to give everything she could. Ivy was fiercely independent and confident. Her character screamed everything I wish I could be, mixed with mirrors of what I see in myself already. The hero of the story definitely stole my heart. He thought that he knew everything he wanted until his entire world was jolted. Watching his transformation from start to finish was something so special for a reader to experience. I fell in love with these two, both individually as well as together.

“Life always has its ups and downs. Sometimes it seems like there are more downs. The truth is, we do it better when we allow others to help.”

The storyline is one that flowed so effortlessly. Foss took her readers on a journey and left them feeling every ounce of emotion she poured into the book. When the characters felt grief or sadness, I wanted to cry with them. When they were joyful and playful, I laughed right alongside with them. It takes a skilled author to reach her readers on that deep of a level, but Foss is one of those talented gems. She will take you for an emotional ride filled with ups and downs, but ultimately one that you will not want to miss.

“It was a step toward moving forward, not lingering on the pain of the past.”

While I absolutely adored CM Foss’s first two novels, there was something immensely better about City Beautiful. Her writing has matured, her characters have more depth, and the emotional complexity is so much stronger. City Beautiful is a romance that will stay with me for quite some time, as the characters burrowed deeply into my heart. If you’re looking for a novel that will cause you to take a journey and fall in love due to impeccable writing, look no further and jump into this novel. I can’t sing its praise enough!

Rating
5.png
(I want more freaking stars!!!)

City Beautiful 2

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City Beautiful by CM Foss – Book Preview from Amy Donnelly on Vimeo

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Author Bio

CM Foss is a hopeless romantic with a love for the written word. When she was little, her mom would ration her books so she wouldn’t go through them too quickly. It didn’t matter, she would just re-read. She’s always been an avid equestrian, competing in the top levels of Three Day Eventing by age seventeen. CM now resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and kids where they own and operate their own equestrian business, as well as raising grass-fed, sustainable meats. She doesn’t have this thing people call “free time”, but she does spent a weird amount of time writing, reading, playing with her kids, milking goats, and drinking wine, while avoiding bananas at all costs. Other books by CM Foss include Shiver and Swoon.

Author Links

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City Beautiful 4

BLOG TOUR – Swoon by C.M. Foss

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TitleSwoon
AuthorCM Foss
Publication DateApril 2, 2015
Spin-off Companion Novel to Shiver

Swoon

Synopsis

Steph

I’ve never been your typical girl. I didn’t grow up in a warm fuzzy family, and emotions weren’t something I needed now. Love has never been something I could wrap my mind around, so why bother? I know what I’m good at. I’m a great friend, have a passion for healing others, and a way with horses. I can be all those things at the same time without ever discussing my own feelings.
Until him.

Lawrence

I’ve always been told I have a way with words. It’s one reason I manage the family business so well. I can wine and dine with the best of them, selling bloodlines and high-priced stallion services over a five-course dinner. I’m able to talk myself into or out of just about anything and anyone.
Until her.

****

Young and carefree, living worlds apart, they indulged in what seemed like the perfect fling.

Until Lawrence decided he wanted more.

Until Steph’s careful world fell apart.

Until they had to decide if love was worth the fight.

Review

Swoon is a standalone romance with spinoff characters from CM Foss’s previous work, Shiver. I was incredibly grateful to get the best friend’s story, especially considering how much potential I felt when I came across her in Shiver. Swoon is a ride filled with ups and downs of angst and laughs, but one that left me feeling love and hope above everything else.

“Love is simple. Life interferes and makes it seem complicated. But it’s one of the clearest emotions to have.”

We were introduced to Steph and Lawrence in the first book, and Swoon is readers finally getting their connection explained. What I appreciated the most about this book was how opposite the roles seemed to be from what I normally come across. Rather than having the stereotypical girl being so sure of her relationship, Steph ran from anything that came remotely close to feelings for someone else. She was fiercely independent and I felt like she often took on the weight of the world without any desire to ask for help. On the other side of the token, Lawrence was so sure of what he wanted and beyond intuitive. Where he so easily could have run or pushed, his motives were always in the right place. He wanted to give Steph time to figure things out for herself and in many ways to mature. When these two were together, the push and pull of their relationship just worked for me. I loved that it took them so long to get on the same page, but in a realistic nature. Their chemistry was amazing and could be felt with every sizzle and pop!

“I breathed into her soul and she breathed into mine because that was the only way we could be. The way she made me feel alive was measured by more than the beating of my heart.”

The equine theme and setting isn’t one that I come across all that often in the romance novels I read. The passion and dedication in the lifestyle shines through the pages and I honestly think it could make anyone love and believe in its teachings. The things that these characters are doing with the therapy and the lessons, and using horses to do them, is incredibly inspiring. I love that reading their actions inspires me and makes me want to actually be a better person.

“I was always amazed at how differently people handle what they perceive as tragedy.”

I took a gamble when I stumbled upon the writing of CM Foss. However, I’m considering it an ultimate win. I found an author who pours her heart and soul into her writing and it’s hard not to become passionate and engrossed. I discovered characters that burrowed their way so deeply into my heart and inspired me to want to do more. I found a book that I was able to escape into for a little while and never want to leave. Swoon had me shivering and swooning and falling utterly in love with these circumstances. I’m incredibly excited to see what this author comes up with in her next book!

Rating
5.png

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Excerpt

Ten minutes later, I had to walk back through the kitchen to get some laundry from the dryer in the mudroom. I had a towel wrapped around my waist and that was it. Steph’s eyes followed me, her eyebrows raised as she sipped on a glass of wine and lazily stirred whatever was in the pan. I winked as I passed by.

I returned a minute later dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt.

She was still in the same position. “That was indecent.”

“What? The towel?”

She pursed her lips and nodded.

“Sweetheart, you’ve seen me in less. And what we’ve done together could never be considered decent. You’re lucky I was covered at all.”

She laughed loudly, taking another long sip from her glass and turning back to the stove.

I reached into the fridge for a beer and popped it open. “Sure you don’t need me to help?”

She responded without turning around. “Nope. Why don’t you find something on TV to watch and I’ll bring dinner in just a sec.”

I nodded as I walked to the living room, really just to myself since she wouldn’t look at me. Sighing heavily, I sank down on the couch and closed my eyes for a moment. I’d lied earlier. I was tired. Not only was I pulling long hours in the saddle, but I’d been spending most of my free time on the phone with clients from home. A couple of them were causing problems, and my dad needed me to talk them off the ledge. It’s what I excelled at.

I was startled awake by the sound of a plate being set on the table in front of me and the feel of the couch dipping as Steph sat down, smirking.

“Gosh, you need to get in better shape.”

“Shut up,” I muttered as I sat up, rubbing my hands over my face. At least now she seemed infinitely more comfortable in her own skin since she had something to tease me about. “I was just resting my eyes.”

“You were snoring.”

“I was not.” I started to laugh.

“Totally snoring.”

“I don’t snore,” I insisted.

“How would you know? You’re sleeping.”

“Someone would have told me.”

“No girlfriend would ever mention it,” she pointed out.

I shook my head. “I wasn’t talking about a girlfriend.”

“No one-night stand would ever mention it.”

“You just did!”

There was a moment of silence after I blurted that out. Steph’s eyes were wide, but when they met mine, we both erupted into laughter, doubling over, shoulders shaking. My stomach actually hurt by the time we were finished. Steph wiped under her eyes and I took a deep breath, relaxing back into the couch with a sigh.

“Let’s face it,” she said. “I’m more than just a one-night stand.”

Swoon 2

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Author Bio

CM Foss

I live in beautiful Northern Virginia with my incredible husband, two awesome kids, three dogs, and two budgies. My husband and I both grew up riding and competing horses and have our own equestrian operation that we run together. In my spare time, I read through the hundreds of stories awaiting me on my e-reader.

My love of books started early, and my mom used to ration my reading time so I didn’t go through them too quickly. I love all things romantic, whether it’s dark or light or silly or dirty, but I really love a happy ending!

In my small moments of quiet time, you’ll find me sipping on wine and reading while any movie where people randomly burst into song or dance plays in the background.

Author Links

Facebook | Website | Pinterest | Goodreads

Swoon 1

REVIEW – Shiver by CM Foss

Shiver

Title – Shiver
Author – C.M. Foss
Publication Date – November 19, 2014

Shiver

Synopsis

This is a love story.

This is a romantic story.

Except bananas. Bananas are never romantic.

Lissa was a twenty-year-old girl trying to make it in the equestrian world. She was sassy and smart, strong and a little weird. And she had no idea what she was doing.

Ethan was twenty-seven, tattooed, tall, dark, and hot. And lugging some baggage. He’d already made it in the business and brought Lissa on to help get her on her feet. And it turned out, he liked a little weird.

Ethan made it clear that he wasn’t in the market for a relationship. Lissa was happy to learn the ropes and push her attraction aside.

But how do you draw the line when every touch makes you…shiver?

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Review

I decided to embark on a reader challenge this year and one of my tasks was to read a novel by an author with your same initials. I had heard a lot about Shiver, and absolutely adored the idea of a horse theme, as I don’t come across it often, so I figured this book would be perfect. Not only did I accomplish crossing off an item of my list, but I fell utterly in love with the storyline and these characters. I could feel Foss’ heartfelt, genuineness shine through the words making the story feel like a deeply personal one.

“This is the most real thing in my life. You fascinate me. You consume me. You challenge me. This is real, and we owe it to ourselves to see what we can make of it.”

When we first meet Lissa, she is just beginning on her journey of adulthood. Through a series of events, she ends up working for Ethan, an old friend, as an assistant horse trainer. These two characters had some seriously sizzling chemistry. Their scenes together were always hot, but also shone through with both love and friendship. Not once did I ever doubt how one felt about the other, even in times of trouble and uncertainty. There was something about them that had me rooting for them, knowing that they complemented each other in all the most perfect of ways. As individuals, I enjoyed them, but as a couple, I fell madly in love.

“At the first teasing touch of our lips, I felt her shiver and her breath hitch. I couldn’t help but smirk. I loved that shiver.”

Because the book spans such a large time period, readers are able to see complete character transformations from uncertain, lost young adults to discovering just what it is they want out of life. I only had one minor issue with the book, and that’s in some of the development of the secondary characters. At one point, Ethan is helping his mom and they both go out to visit her, but then we never hear about her again. Also, we heard a tad more about Lissa’s family, but nothing major. Based on the close proximity they had in the beginning, it seemed like a bit of a character disconnect for me to never see even just conversations with them again.

“I want you and only you. You’re my other half. My better half. The part I didn’t even realize was missing until I found you.”

I appreciated that there wasn’t drama and angst for the sake of a storyline. The issues that came up felt real and honest, and no matter what, these two stood by each other. While it’s a fictional story, it felt realistic in nature, especially considering not everything in a relationship is sunshine and rainbows. There were bits of humor sprinkled in and I absolutely LOVED the equestrian theme, seeing as how I’m slightly obsessed. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what else Foss has in store for us because Shiver left me with trembles in all the right ways!

Rating
4.png

Shiver 1

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Falling With Style (Companion Novella to Swoon)

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Author Bio

CM Foss

I live in beautiful Northern Virginia with my incredible husband, two awesome kids, three dogs, and two budgies. My husband and I both grew up riding and competing horses and have our own equestrian operation that we run together. In my spare time, I read through the hundreds of stories awaiting me on my e-reader.

My love of books started early, and my mom used to ration my reading time so I didn’t go through them too quickly. I love all things romantic, whether it’s dark or light or silly or dirty, but I really love a happy ending!

In my small moments of quiet time, you’ll find me sipping on wine and reading while any movie where people randomly burst into song or dance plays in the background.

Author Links

Facebook | Website | Pinterest | Goodreads

Shiver 3