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Soft Lies & Hard Truths by Dalia Dupris is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums pick #romance #mustread #giveaway



Title: Soft Lies & Hard Truths

 

Author: Dalia Dupris

 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Book Blurb:

 

Heartbroken and mortified by mean-spirited taunts and social media pictures of her looking like a hot mess at her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, Leah James decides to accept her friend, Miguel Montoya’s, offer to take a road trip to their hometown of Santa Lorena.

 

Miguel, ex-Marine turned fitness trainer, is done pretending that he doesn’t have strong feelings for Leah. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he knew she was the one, and now this trip provides the perfect opportunity to take their relationship to the next level.

 

Will shocking lies, deceits, and half-truths dampen the fiery sparks of passion that ignite when Leah and Miguel are forced to share a cozy honeymoon cottage, or will they overcome their fears and build a brighter future based on honesty and love?

 

Excerpt:

 

“It was the whispering. Wherever I went, people would point at me and whisper. Sometimes, loud enough for me to hear.”

 

“The people in town mean well, but the truth is that they don’t have enough to occupy their thoughts. Especially now that the wedding of the previous prom king and queen is a done deal.”

 

“Uh huh,” Leah mumbles in response.

 

I wish I hadn’t mentioned the high school prom. Leah and her mom had already moved away from Sunnyville when she was a high school freshman.

 

I had secretly harbored feelings for her since middle school. Feelings I knew would subside, but no matter how many other women I’ve dated, my feelings for the woman sitting beside never faltered. As a matter of fact, with no encouragement from her, what I’d felt continued to flourish, even as the years had progressed and, now, here I am, like some kind of love-sick fool, soothing her because she didn’t choose me—has never even considered me as anything more than a damn buddy.

 

Maybe I am a fool.

 

What a fine pair Leah and I are, each stuck on the wrong person and not knowing how to move forward.

 

“Remember that day last week, when you came over and I was going to meet Jenny in town for breakfast?”

 

She rushes her words together as if she can’t wait to get the sentence out and over with. Maybe she’s eager to say what she has to say before we arrive at her father’s house, which is less than ten miles away. I’ve been driving for a couple of hours, but the time I spend with Leah always goes by too quickly. I don’t have the time to explain to her how I feel. Talk about pitiful excuses.

 

“Yes.” I never forget the time I spend with her or what we talk about. She may not see me as more than a friend, but I always see her not as a pal. “You two were going to get breakfast.”

 

“Well, people were looking at me with… pity.”

 

Her voice rises and I hear the underlying anger. “Can you believe it? I don’t want anyone’s pity. I’ll get through this. Good Lord, that’s the last thing I want or need.”

 

I like her like this, filled with resolve and determination.

 

“I figure, a few days away so when I come back, they’ll have someone else to talk about besides me.”

 

“Maybe someone stole a candy bar from the drug store or someone besides Jed Smith will run for mayor,” I chime in, relieved to see she’s ready to move forward, which means there’s hope for me yet. Hope for us both in the future. She’s not the only one who’s willing to go after what she wants.

 

“Exactly!” Her voice brims with excitement as she warms to the prospect of taking control of her life. “Honestly, when I saw myself in those pictures, I was disgusted… with me, not the person who took them. It’s time for me to get a grip and get over that man.” Her voice is stronger now, as if she’s come to a turning point. “My mother always said the right man for me will come along one day, and, when he does, he will love me just as I am.”

 

“I always liked your mother.” I’m grinning and feeling like we are turning a corner, away from the past and moving toward a better place. “Your mother was a very intelligent woman.”

 

“She was.” Leah’s eyes light up, as if the mere memory of her mother sparks joy. “That she was.” Pausing, she looks hesitantly, as if not sure if she should say more. “You aren’t going to believe this, but she once told me that she didn’t believe Raymond was the man for me. Said he was a nice guy, but not the right man for her daughter.”

 

“Really?” I turn left onto her father’s street and slow down almost to a stop because I don’t want the conversation to end.

 

“She saw something I didn’t, and she was right.” She grabs a bottle of water and twists the top off before taking a long sip. “I needed to see those pictures, even if it’s mortifying on some level. I needed to face how ridiculous I was being about the whole Raymond/Rebecca thing.” Leaning back so that her head falls against the headrest, she closes her eyes. “That’s why I’m here. I know I’m getting strong, but I figure I can still use my father’s support right about now as well as a break from Sunnyville.”

 

“You have support from more than your father.” Pulling up, I stop in front of a yellow house with neatly formed hedges and three rose bushes on either side of a small patch of green grass. Turning off the ignition, I unfasten my seatbelt, and shift position so that she’s looking at me when I say what I have to say next. “I’m always here for you.”

 

“I know, and I appreciate it—appreciate you as the best brother-friend a girl could have.” Leaning forward, she presses soft lips against my right cheek.

 

Crazy thing is, even though the contact is brief, maybe a nanosecond long, it sends a surge of adrenaline through my system, igniting my desire to have so much more. Some primal part of me wants to reach over and pull her into my arms, feel the softness of her lush body pressed against mine. Let her feel the pressure of my lips against hers and release the hunger for her that has consumed me for so many years… the hunger I haven’t been able to outgrow. Make it clear, in no uncertain terms that I am not a brother; I’m a man with wants and needs, and those needs include Leah.

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?

 

I shake off the winter doldrums by taking a long brisk walk to get my adrenaline and mood up. It works every time. Later, I can’t wait to get home and sip on a glass of chai tea.

 

Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?

 

It’s a family saga with a central, friends- to-lovers theme that warms the heart and reminds us that love can be found in unexpected places and when we least expect it.

 

Giveaway –

 

One lucky reader will win a $35 Amazon gift card

 

 

Open internationally.

 

Runs March 1 – 31, 2024

 

Drawing will be held on April 1, 2024. 

 


Author Biography:

 

Dalia Dupris has been a book lover as long as she can remember. Dalia’s BA in English Literature from UCLA and Master’s degree in Social Work, from the University of Southern California, in addition to years of experience as a licensed psychotherapist, contribute to her creation of relatable and complex


 In her spare time, she enjoys bike riding along the California coast with her husband, and hiking with her daughter. She loves hearing from her readers. Their words of encouragement inspire her to continue creating memorable characters, who will make you laugh and cry and keep rooting for them until the very last page. Subscribe to her website for a chance to learn more about Dalia and her books.

 

Social Media Links:

 

TikTok: daliadupris8

Twitter: dalia_dupris

2 Comments


andreadrake1
andreadrake1
Mar 31

I read a lot of holiday romances!

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Mar 27

Thank you, Dalia, for sharing your book in our Shake Off Winter Doldrums!

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