Friday, February 5, 2021

BLOG TOUR and Series Review - The Cowgirl's Surprise Match

In today's Blog Post I am scheduled for the Blog Tour for The Cowgirl's Surprise Match. This book is the third book in the Tillbridge Stables series. I have always tried to read as many previous books when I have a title for a review. Fortunately, I was able to acquire the first two books, The Cowboy's Claim and Her Sweet Temptation, from my online library, so I have read both and will be reviewing them in this combined series review.

:   The Cowboy's Claim
Author:  Nina Crespo
Series:  Tillbridge Stables #1
Publisher:  Harlequin Special Edition
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   209
Date of Publication:  June 1, 2020 
My Rating:   4 Stars


He’s discovered his leading lady

The role of her dreams: in his arms.

Chloe Daniels is determined to land the role of a lifetime. Even if she’s terrified to get on a horse! And the last thing her reluctant teacher, Tristan Tillbridge, wants is to entertain a pampered actress. But the enigmatic cowboy soon discovers that Chloe is as genuine as she is gorgeous, and he’s determined to make her his. Will this unlikely pair discover that the sparks between them are anything but an act?


Chloe Daniels is a struggling actress with an opportunity to get a really good role. However, to ace the audition she must make herself look good on a horse. Thing is, she has a fear of horses, so her agent has given her the opportunity to spend time on a horse ranch so that she can overcome this fear and appear more comfortable in the role she is hoping to land. When she arrives at the ranch in Maryland, the owner, Zurie Tillbridge, informs her that she has been called away and that Chloe will be shadowing the ranch manager and co-owner instead. 

Tristan Tillbridge is part owner and Zurie's cousin and now he is being forced to show Chloe the ropes. Tristan has been struggling since he was disinherited from his father and has been working hard to get back ownership of the ranch. As a very busy man, the last thing he needs is to be dealing with a spoiled actress afraid of horses. Eager to pawn her off, Tristan does his best to ignore Chloe. However, Chloe fits right in amongst staff and guests, and Tristan begins to notice her more and more.

One of the people that Chloe hits it off with is Rina, Zurie's sister. Aside from the drama with Tristan's family and the fact that Chloe is desperate for the acting role, they both have strong chemistry that neither of them wants to admit. So. although Chloe is only supposed to be at the ranch for several weeks, the passion that flares between Chloe and Tristan becomes impossible to ignore. What begs of her role and any future the pair might have? In this delightful story you will be certain to find out.

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:   Her Sweet Temptation
Author:  Nina Crespo
Series:  Tillbridge Stables #2
Publisher:  Harlequin Special Edition
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   207
Date of Publication:   October 1, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars


When good things come in bad-boy packages.

She vows to find the right kind of guy

A tempting stranger challenges everything

“Bad Choices” should have been Rina Tillbridge’s middle name and it’s time to turn over a new leaf. But when stuntman Scott Halsey struts onto her property for his latest film, her impulsive alter ego threatens to make a comeback. The quintessential thrill-seeking stuntman has no designs on commitment. So why are all his red flags igniting white-hot passion…and inspiring dreams of a Hollywood ending.

The Tillbridge family ranch has become the location for a film. In the first book of this series, Chloe Daniels met and fell in love with co-owner Tristan Tillbridge. Tristan has two cousins, Rina and Zurie and this book is Rina's story. Part of the ranch has been allocated to film stars and crew and this includes stuntman Scott Halsey. Scott and Rina hit it off from the very start. 

Tristan and Zurie run the ranch and its associated businesses. Rina acts more as a silent partner, instead focusing on her growing bakery business. In the process of renovating her cafĂ©, Rina's maintenance man walks out. Rina soon learns that Scott is the ultimate handyman and he begins to help her with various projects. The more time that Scott and Rina spend together, the clearer it becomes that they share an undeniable attraction. Rina's future is in Maryland and Scott has far-reaching goals for his life, so no matter how far they go when it comes to acting on their attraction, there appears to be no hope for a long future together.

Just as the first book in this story was very touching, so is this one as well. This book held more of an emotional edge to me than the previous title and thus proved to be a quick and engaging read.

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**Featured Blog Tour Post**

:   The Cowgirl's Surprise Match
Author:  Nina Crespo
Series:  Tillbridge Stables #3
Publisher:  Harlequin Special Edition
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  197
Date of Publication:   February 1, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars


A sweet charade takes an unexpected turn!

Dearly beloved, we are (not) gathered together…

Maid of honor Zurie Tillbridge has been working secretly with best man Mace Calderone to plan her cousin Tristan’s wedding to a well-known actress. To keep their wedding plans from leaking to the press, Zurie and Mace must pretend they are the ones getting married. Cake tasting and flower arranging seem like harmless fun…until wary workaholic Zurie realizes she’s feeling something real for her fake fiancĂ©…


Chloe Daniels and Tristan Tillbridge have just become engaged. However, the paparazzi are always hot on Chloe's trail and if the press got wind of the engagement any plans for a quiet, family wedding would most definitely be ruined. Tristan's cousin Zurie and his best friend Mace have a plan. They will pretend to be engaged and all wedding preparation will point to them, allowing Chloe and Tristan as much privacy as their big day approaches.

Meanwhile, Zurie just got a not so favorable report from her doctor. Her stress levels are far too high and she has to make immediate changes. One of those changes includes a staycation. Giving up coffee is also a must. So, instead of working nonstop hours at the family ranch in Maryland, Zurie intends on helping out her cousin and his soon-to-be bride.

Can Zurie and Mace pretend a fake engagement, act as they are in love and follow all the actions necessary to prepare a really quick wedding on the ranch? Things might not be as difficult as they would imagine because the two are beginning to recognize strong feelings for one another. Zurie and Mace have known each other for years, but neither of them ever saw the other as a romantic interest. Things certainly have changed however, so perhaps there is not as much acting to be done.

I loved this book, just as I did the first two books in the series. Each book does fine as a standalone, but I love continuity, especially where family is concerned. I loved the serious nature of this book, especially as we could see the true effects stress could have on a person. I also enjoyed Zurie and Mace together. Factor in the other two couples, Chloe and Tristan and Rina and Scott, made this to be quite an enjoyable read. 

Many thanks to Harlequin Special Edition and InkSlinger PR for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy the following excerpts:
The Cowgirl’s Surprise Match by Nina Crespo

Short excerpt

Mace checked in on Zurie again. She was knocked out cold.

An hour later, he had showered, shaved, brushed his teeth and dressed in a casual long-sleeve black pullover, jeans and dark Lugz boots. If Zurie wasn’t alert enough to drive, he could take her home. After dropping her off, he’d still have time to get to the department and change into his uniform before the start of his shift at nine.

In the living room, Zurie snuggled into the pillow and mumbled in her sleep.

From the smile on her face, she was having a really good dream. Too bad he had to wake her. Crashing on his couch for the night while he was at work was an option, but knowing her, she’d refuse.

Mace leaned down and shook her gently by the shoulder, but she didn’t wake up. Not wanting to startle her, he spoke softly. “Hey, Zurie.”

Blinking sleepily up at him, she laid her palm to his chest, and her warmth seeped into him. Her full lips parted with a sigh. “Mace...” Zurie raised her head, curved her hand to his nape and kissed him.

Longer Excerpt 2

As he approached the far end of the parking lot, his headlights illuminated Zurie’s Mercedes in her reserved space. She was just getting out of her car.

Mace backed in beside her, turned off the engine and got out of the truck.

Lights from the porch of the guesthouse helped lessen the shadows.

Surprise and something he couldn’t place was on Zurie’s face. “Mace, what are you doing here?”

“You forgot something.”


“An explanation for why you kissed me.”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

Not in the mood to guess or try to figure her out, he got straight to the point. “No. It isn’t. You either liked kissing me or you didn’t. Which is it?”

“Does it matter? You said it was no big deal.” She gave a shrug of indifference, but the slight hitch in her voice indicated the opposite.

“I know I said that, but I was wrong.” Mace stepped closer to Zurie. “You kissing me, it matters.”

“That kiss. It can’t happen again.”

“If that’s what you want.”

“She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Why did you have to follow me?”

Chances. He’d taken more than his share in his life. But answering her question was one of the biggest ones yet. “I liked kissing you. And I wanted you to know that.”

Her long lashes raised from her cheeks, and what they revealed took his breath away. Before he could recover, she gripped his arms and sealed her mouth to his. As she parted her lips, he glided in, tasting the desire he’d witnessed a minute ago in her eyes.

His heart went haywire.

Mace curved his hands to her waist, bringing her closer, and need hummed through his veins as he explored the curves and hollows of her mouth.

If only he had more time.

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Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions — the beach, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing.

Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel.

Let Nina’s sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.

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