Sunday, May 22, 2022

Book Blitz and Giveaway: False Illusions (Honeysuckle Island #4) by Jennifer Youngblood

Title: False Illusions
Series: Honeysuckle Island #4
Author: Jennifer Youngblood
Publisher: Arbor House Books
Publication Date: May 10th 2022
Print Length: 300 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense

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Is he the answer to her troubles or an intoxicating illusion that could turn deadly?

Single mom Olivia Burkhart struggles to rebuild her life after the murder of her fiancé, Brent Allen, a deputy on Honeysuckle Island. She vows to never get involved with another cop, and then Flynn Yates enters her life with his playful smile and penetrating blue eyes.

As Olivia tries to come to terms with her feelings for Flynn, life delivers some hard blows that resurface her fears with a vengeance.

Then fate gives her the chance to work six weeks at an exclusive art gallery in charming and quaint Carmel, California by the sea.

When Olivia catches the eye of world-renown artist Xavier Kipling, a brooding and handsome widower, she finds herself drawn into a sophisticated world of wealth beyond anything she’d ever imagined.

A strange painting gives way to unsettling events, making Olivia question if her aching heart can discern between illusion and reality.

Is the Kipling mansion an idyllic haven, or a hiding place for deadly secrets?

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EXCERPT:
The rustle of her silk gown kept time with the frantic clicks of her heels as she hurried to the designated meeting place. Almost there! Bud, her driver, would be waiting at the edge of the circular driveway. Picking her way over the cobblestone and around the conglomerate of expensive cars, Jaclyn quickened her pace when she spotted the limo.

Her hand had just grasped the door handle when he called her name, the sound carrying eerily on the fluid hands of the wind.

“Jac—lyn!”

“No,” she whimpered, trying to open the car door, but it was locked.

“Jac—lyn.”

This time, the voice had a singsong quality that reminded her of a tiger toying with its prey.

Slowly, she turned.

“What’re you doing out here, darling?” Xavier asked as he came towards her. Dressed in a tuxedo, Xavier Kipling was by far the most handsome and elegant man Jaclyn had ever seen. In the pale light of the full moon, his high cheekbones had an ethereal quality that gave him a phantom-like appearance.

“Stop!” she shrieked. Holding out her hand, she shrank back against the limo.

He stopped in his tracks. “Darling, it’s me. No need to be afraid.”

“I can’t do this,” she cried. “You have to let me go.” A sob choked her throat. “Please.”

“I could never let you go,” he responded in a wounded tone. “I love you.”

Tears streamed down her cheeks as he stepped closer.

“It’s chilly out here,” he said pleasantly. “Let’s get you inside where you can get warm. It’s time to take your medicine.”

“No!” she barked, a suffocating panic engulfing her. “Bud was supposed to meet me out here. He’s taking me to the airport!”

He gave her a quizzical look. “The airport? Where are you going?”

“Back home to Florida,” she croaked. “To be with my mom.”

A soft chuckle of surprise sounded in his throat. “I’m afraid that’s not possible.”

She searched his chiseled face, which was infused with such nobility. No wonder she’d fallen so hard for him. She’d wanted to believe that he was good … that he truly loved her.

“Darling, you’re confused. Your mother passed away. Don’t you remember?”

“No!” she uttered as an invisible noose tightened around her neck. He was a monster! “Y—you killed her?” Her entire body was filled with loathing as she glared at him. “How could you?” Her mother was all she had left. Xavier had stripped away her spirit … her dignity … and now he’d taken her precious mother.

The tone of his voice remained calm, placating. “No, Jaclyn, she died of a heart attack. Surely you remember. I sent you the video link of the funeral while you were in the hospital.”

Her world began to spin. “No!” Was she confused? Everything was so muddled. She searched her brain. Memories of her stay at the hospital were fuzzy. She’d fought against the orderlies … ranted and raved about Xavier. But in the end, a curious blankness overshadowed all. It was the pills! It had to be. She wasn’t crazy … was she? “I have to go. Bud is waiting for me.”

“Who’s Bud?”

A silent scream started in her head, filling her entire body. Her words came out breathless. “My driver.” Her voice broke. “Please, Xavier. No more games.”

“We don’t have a driver named Bud. Stewart has been our driver for years.”

“No,” she screamed. “You’re a liar!” Bud was filling in for Stewart while he was looking after his ailing dad. She’d worked everything out with Bud. He purchased her airline ticket. He had her purse, which contained her driver’s license and what little cash she could squirrel away. Her throat closed, making it hard to breathe. She pressed her fingers against her temples, wishing she could make herself disappear into nothing. With her mother gone, she had nothing left to live for.

“What’s going on?” a female voice asked.

Xavier turned toward the woman. “Oh, Merla,” he said in relief. “I’m glad you’re here. Jaclyn has had a setback.”

“Of course she has,” Merla sneered. “Probably because tonight wasn’t all about her.”

“Enough!” Xavier commanded. He took in a deep breath, his voice resuming its civility. “Jaclyn is under the assumption that I have a driver named Bud.”

Merla grunted. “That’s a new one.”

“I’ve been trying to tell her that she’s mistaken.” A trace of impatience seeped into his tone. “Darling, let’s go back inside. I’ll call Doctor Stanton. He may need to increase your meds.” He spoke as though he were talking to a child who was slow to understand.

“My mother’s dead?” Jaclyn’s mind refused to accept the words. “How could she be dead? I just spoke to her a few days ago … right before she went on her cruise.” This was a nightmare. She’d entered a world where up was down and down was up. Granted, she’d experienced lapses in memory, but this was insane.

“She went on the cruise a couple of days before you went into the hospital,” Xavier said gently. “In fact, she was on the cruise when she had the heart attack.”

Xavier stepped forward and caught hold of Jaclyn’s arm. She made a feeble effort to pull away, but he gathered her in his arms.

“My mother’s dead?” she whimpered, searching his face.

“I’m afraid so,” he said sorrowfully. “I’m so sorry.” His voice grew throaty with emotion. “Darling, don’t ever try to leave me again. You know how much I love you. Remember what I told you on our wedding day? I’ll always take care of you. Always,” he said fiercely.

All hope of escape dissipated into the humid air as Jaclyn nodded numbly and allowed Xavier to lead her back to the house.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Youngblood is a USA Today Bestselling Author of clean romance, sweet romance, romantic comedy, and romantic suspense novels. For as long as she could remember, Jennifer has wanted to be an author. In those rare moments when she's not dreaming up another story, Jennifer loves cooking, spending time with family, and occasionally breaking away from her hectic life to take spontaneous trips to exotic and sometimes not so exotic locations. She couldn't survive in a world without chocolate, good books, family, and friends.

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GIVEAWAY:
Win a $25 Amazon gift card!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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16 comments:

  1. I love a good romance with lots of suspense. Good work.

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  2. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  3. I like the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  4. I loved the synopsis and excerpt

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  5. The book cover draws the reader in although the waters may be choppy. Illusions and artists go together.

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  6. David HollingsworthMay 22, 2022 at 6:36 PM

    The book sounds riveting.

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  7. My daughter would enjoy this book

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  8. Good luck with you new release.

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  9. How did you practice self care this Sunday?

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  10. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. sounds like a fun one

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  12. I love to read a good romance with a lot of suspense. This is on my must-read list for the summer. Thank you for the giveaway. Good Luck with your book!

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  13. I definitely want to read this

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