Tour: Slow Satisfaction (Struck by Lightning #3) by Cecilia Tan *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Slow Seduction (Struck by Lightning #3)
by Cecilia Tan

An Erotic Romance
From Hachette Book Group
Released August 26, 2014

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James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit–not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won’t give up on Karina and will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them?

James offers Karina not only the truth but a place at his side… onstage. He wants Karina to star in his final musical production and enter his life and his world fully and completely. As the two work together, they rekindle the trust and love they’d lost. But James’s world is full of deceit. When he is blackmailed by an unscrupulous music industry executive, James must give in to unreasonable demands or risk exposure of his and Karina’s secret sex life.

Will Karina and James’s love be strong enough to withstand the many obstacles being thrown their way?

 

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Review

4 stars

Slow Satisfaction picks up right where Slow Seduction left off. We find Karina returning home to her family to care for her mother where she spends quality time with her sister Jill and lets out some steam about her problems in her relationship with James.

James is back and more determined than ever to make things work with Karina once and for all. He’s vowed to reveal his secrets to her and prmises to let her in completely. Although it’s a slow process, he does his best to keep his promise.

I loved this story. It was so great to have James in the picture again. Karina and James are great together and they complement each other. I enjoyed experiencing their connection on the page and seeing them unleash the passion they held for one another. Their chemistry continued to be off-the-charts HOT, but it was those moments when their emotions got the better of them and they made themselves vulnerable that stuck with me through the end.

This time around Cecilia Tan didn’t pull any punches in bringing the emotions to the page. The range of emotions Karina and James experienced, both as individuals and as a couple, was what made this such an enticing read.

I loved the fact that I got to know James inside and out–the performer, the man, the lover. His every persona became an open book and I devoured it all. Karina did her share of growing up too. She found patience from within when it came time to listen to James’ secrets, courage to face those secrets and the threats to her relationship and strength to stand up for herself and for what she wanted out of a relationship.

All in all, a great conclusion to James and Karina’s journey that was at times emotional, intense and a whole lot of sexy.

*I received this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

“I have a proposal for you.”

“I’m all ears.”

“I don’t want to only tell you about my life, Karina. I want you to join it. Be a part of it. That means being a part of what’s happening in Las Vegas.”

“What do you mean by ‘be a part of it’?”

“Answer me a question first. What’s happening with your university now?”

“I have to speak to the dean. Best case scenario, they accept my thesis as is, rubber stamp me with a PhD, and tell me to get the hell out. Worst case scenario, they make me start over with a new advisor, writing a new thesis. Honestly, if that’s what they want . . . I don’t know if it’ll be worth jumping through those hoops. If other opportunities are beckoning me, I don’t have a lot of incentive to go back. Other than pride and not wanting to have wasted five years of my life.”

Not to mention the student loan money.

“I see. Well, I am hoping you might be able to defer whatever might occur there for another semester so you can join me in the performance.”

“You mean—”

“As a dancer.”

I shook my head instantly. “I can’t measure up to a troupe of professionals. I’ll look ridiculous.”

“I assure you you’re wrong about that. Well, if the performance were tomorrow, maybe. But we have a few months, Karina, and I’ll be expecting you to work with a trainer every day. I need to get back in shape myself.” He stretched one arm toward the far window and unfurled his hand elegantly, probably thinking about dance exercises. “I haven’t danced or sung since the night we met.”

“Have you missed it?”

“I have, a little. I don’t miss the grind, though. I don’t miss having to keep up the facade all the time. I never realized how exhausting it was until I stopped.” He leaned over to kiss me on the cheek. “I’m an incredibly lucky bastard.”

“Are you?”

“Yes, because if I had let my guard down for anyone but you, it would have ended in a ball of flames.”

“It nearly did anyway.”

“But it didn’t, because of you. Because of the wonderfulness of you. You’re special, Karina.” He offered me the bottle again and I took another sip. “How much longer do you think you’ll be in Ohio?”

“I’m not sure. My aunt Tera called today to announce she’s showing up tomorrow to stay for two weeks. If that’s true, I won’t have to stay.” I did have to get back to the city. To deal with my landlord and the university and who knew what else.

James was looking at me thoughtfully.

“What? What is it?”

He smiled. “I’m just noticing how many strong, independent women you seem to have in your life.”

“Well, I don’t know if I’d count my mother as strong . . . though it seems like she picked up a backbone in the hospital!”

“She raised you and your siblings on her own. I’d say she can probably lay claim to independence if she wants.”

“True. And her opinions are never weak. Those are always quite strong.” I glanced in the direction of the house. “I guess I should be getting back.”

“Well, if you think you’ll be staying more than a few days, I’ll contract a dance trainer for you here, to start getting ready for the performances.” He folded one of my hands into his. “That is, if you agree to my proposal. You still haven’t said yes.”

Of course he would notice that. “I think it’s questionable I’m good enough to get on stage with you. Maybe you ought to have someone besides yourself look at me. I don’t think you’re exactly an impartial judge.”

“And you’re far more talented than you think. How about this? We’ll hold an audition for

principal dancer. I won’t tell the judges who you are. We’ll let them give their opinions. The final decision will still be up to me, of course, but you can get an honest evaluation of where you stand in relation to others. If they think you look ridiculous, they’ll say so without hesitation.”

I slipped my shoes on. “All right. When?”

“Let’s say in a month. That’ll give you time to prepare.”

“Okay. I mean, yes. That sounds like a plan.” I slipped my arms around his neck and kissed him. “Now, are you and Stefan planning to sit out here all night?”

“I defer to Stefan on our security plans. If there is any hint of trouble, though, promise me, Karina, that you’ll contact us immediately.”

“Yes, of course.”

“Good. Then you should probably sneak back into the house.”

I kissed him on the forehead and grinned. “You know, I never did this when I was a teenager.”

“Did what?”

“Sneak out of the house after my mother was asleep to have sex in a guy’s car.” I kissed him on the mouth then. “Something tells me it was worth the wait.”

About the Author

TanSLOWSURRENDERCecelia

Cecilia Tan writes about her many passions, from erotic fantasy to baseball, from her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of many books, including The Siren and the Sword, The Tower and the Tears, The Incubus and the Angel, Black Feathers, Mind Games, White Flames,and The 50 Greatest Yankee Games. She has edited over 50 anthologies of erotica for Red Silk Editions, Thunder’s Mouth Press, Blue Moon Books, Masquerade Books, Ravenous Romance, and for the publishing house she founded, Circlet Press. Her short fiction has appeared in Ms. Magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, Best American Erotica, and many other places, and her nonfiction on baseball has been in Slow Trains, Baseball Ink, Gotham Baseball Magazine, Yankees Magazine, Yankees Annual, and elsewhere.

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Tour: Pieces of Autumn by Mara Black *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Pieces of Autumn
by Mara Black

A Dark Romance
From Indie Published
Released July 31, 2014

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I wish I could tell you that I was stolen.

Kidnapped off the street in some third-world country, sold against my will, while a desperate family back home waited and prayed and talked about me on the news.

I wish I could tell you that, because then you might understand.

What really happened? I walked to my fate with my eyes wide open. But before you say I deserved whatever happened to me, you should know. I was desperate. I was alone. I was afraid for my life. You would have done the same thing.

I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

But then, I woke up in darkness, unable to move. There was only one thing I was sure of: I wasn’t alone anymore.

And then I heard HIS voice…

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Review

3-stars

When Autumn decides to sell herself into slavery the last thing she is expecting is to find herself attracted to the very man who bought her. Although surprised and a little afraid, Autumn can’t resist but be drawn to Tate.

As the story began, I realized that this was not at all the story I expected. It takes place in the future where food and shelter are scarce and where women turning into slavery for survival was the norm.

I also found the pace to be too slow in the beginning. I was curious to see where Autumn would end up next and what was in store for her, but I found myself putting my tablet down for a break–something that I don’t usually do. Thankfully, once Autumn was sold off to Tate, the story started to move along nicely.

Those things aside, I do think that the concept behind the story had merit. I enjoyed the characters and their struggles. I liked watching how their connection grew, especially when they found pleasure in the same things. Tate was an interesting character to get to know. He fought with his ‘other side’ a lot, which gave me glimpses on how truly broken he was. And although Autumn was not as ‘broken’ as Tate she did have to struggle with her attraction/feelings towards Tate, which brought about her own struggles to the page.

All in all, an interesting story. Not as dark as some I have read, but neither simple or light.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

“Never say that word to me.”

I had never heard his voice like that. Not once. My blood chilled in my veins. If I thought I’d ever been afraid of Tate before, it was nothing. Absolutely nothing compared to this.

I’d wanted to unnerve him, but instead, I seemed to have unhinged him. Unleashed something I didn’t understand, and didn’t want to.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered.

“Too late,” he replied, his chest rising and falling rapidly with each breath. His tone was pure venom, pure sin, pure fucking evil. “Too late for apologies.”

In that moment, I had three choices.

I could fight him.

I could run.

Or, I could tie myself to the mast and meet him, measure for measure.

I chose the storm. With the hurricane himself standing there, his pulse pounding so loud I could almost hear it, I chose to stand tall.

What was happening? What was he about to do? I had no way of knowing, no way of guessing what he’d do. How he’d ruin me.

But I knew I could survive.

His hand lashed out and grabbed mine, lifting it to his face. Eyes half-lidded, he brought my fingers to his lips, my thumb pressing past them and up against his teeth. Finding resistance, for a moment, until he parted them and suckled it into the soft, wet heat of his mouth.

 

About the Author

Mara Black is a connoisseur of love that lurks in the shadows .

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Pre-Order Blitz: Wildcard: Volume One by Missy Johnson *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Wildcard: Volume One
by Missy Johnson

Expected for Release September 4, 2014
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246.

That’s the number of women I’ve shagged in the last twelve months.

I’m Ryder Stevens.

Don’t pretend you don’t know me. I’m a god.

I’m hot, I’m British and I take what I want. I’m also the number one ranked tennis player in the world. But it’s my off court antics that gain the most attention. I cruise through life, running from one scandal to the next. Hell I can’t even take a piss without the world knowing about it.

Rules? Who gives a shit?

Rules are there to be broken and I’m the king of breaking them.

But even the king can be bought to his knees. I’m sidelined with an injury that changes everything.

Maybe my life isn’t so perfect after all…

 

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Excerpt

“Ryder, you’re becoming more well-known for your behaviour off court than your actual career. Do you have anything to comment on that?”

I raise my eyebrows at the reporter. Flashes from cameras are going off everywhere, as you’d expect in a post-match press conference—especially for a game I’d been very lucky to win.

“Not sure what you mean there, Stan,” I say, reading his nametag. It’s been less than two minutes, and I’m already sick of where this is going. “I came here to play tennis—that’s it. It’s a damn shame that reporters like yourself having nothing better to do than focus on what I do in my private time.”

“But is it private time when you’re out until three a.m. the night before a big match?” he persists.

I shrug, and wipe my mouth in an attempt to hide my smirk. “Players prepare for matches in different ways. I’m sure for some a good night’s sleep does the trick, but for me, I’ll take an evening of rough and sweaty sex over a quiet night any day of the week.” I ignore the glare of my manager, Matt, and nod at the next reporter.

“Ryder, do you think your pre-match actions showed disrespect for your opponent today?”

“How?” I fire back. “I treated the build-up to this match just the same as I would if I were playing Nadal or Federer. You all seem to want to focus on my life outside of the court. Does anyone here have any questions about my actual tennis?”

I cross my arms over my chest as Matt bows his head and sighs. A murmur rises through the crowd before someone puts their hand up. I nod, my eyes locking onto hers. She’s a pretty little thing with long, dark hair and stunning blue eyes. I can tell she’s feisty, and I find myself wondering if that attitude carries over into the bedroom.

“You play the number two ranked player in the world tomorrow, and your fellow countryman, Jason Dillard. Will you be having an early night tonight?” she asks. Her full, red lips curve into a grin, and I can feel myself harden.

I shift in my seat and lean forward, resting my elbows on the table in front of me. “Well, that depends.” I smirk.

“On what?”

“On whether or not you’ll give me your phone number.”

 

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Author Bio

Missy lives in a small town in Central Victoria with her husband, and her confused pets (a dog who think she’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog…you get the picture).

When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.

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Series Review: Vasquez and James by Lou Sylvre *Giveaway*

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Vasquez and James
by Lou Sylvre

An M/M Contemporary Romance Series
From Dreamspinner Press

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Professional badass Luki Vasquez and weaver Sonny James meet for the first time in Loving Luki Vasquez, and they might make a sizzling couple if they can ever get past the impulse to run the other way every time romance comes into view. Then again, they have to stay alive if they’re ever to see their wedding day, and tribulation, cruelty, and greed has a way of demanding attention at all the worst moments. Together, they pack a lot of resources to fight for love. If they can hold out, they just might win the enduring love and family they were meant to share.

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Loving Luki Vasquez (Vasquez & James, #1)

LovingLukiVasquezLgReclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease.

While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.

4 stars

“Loving Luki Vasquez isn’t all that easy.”

Wow, what a roller coaster! Luki is a tough guy with many insecurities, quirks and a rough past. While Sonny, sweet on the outside but strong on the inside, likes control and keeps himself away from any form of emotional attachment, except when in regards to his nephew Delsyn.

These two are thrown together in the most unusual way. At first, the story was dragging and I could not connect to any of the characters. But as the story progressed I totally understood where they were coming from and that in a way, they were the perfect match.

“What are you looking at?”

I thoroughly enjoyed the dialog between these two. It was filled with humor, banter and deep emotion. Lou Sylvre managed to give a very deep insight into each character’s personalities and struggles. With each detail that was revealed I felt more connected to them and they became more real to me. Their insecurities were very easy to relate to, which in turn, made me more intrigued in their story.

“You’re crying most of the time, and everyone knows it but you.”

I liked that Sonny could ‘see’ Luki right away. That he could look beyond his scars and accept him and love him even when he usually kept himself closed off. Luki had this wall of ice so firmly in place that at times I thought it was a hopeless situation for Sonny. There was a point in the book that I just wanted to shake some sense into Luki (really, I wanted to smack some sense into him, but I’m trying to be all proper here!). I did understand his struggles but he broke my heart in that moment. But, I am a sucker for romance and this is fiction, so I forgave him and he made it up to me…err, Sonny along the way. So, all is good.

“You’re a jackass, Luki, not a monster.”

The writing was very good, although the pacing was a bit slow there in the beginning. However, I think it was more a personal thing than anything. I really just wanted to connect with Luki and Sonny and it took me a while. In the end, I am glad I took my time and waited out my impatience because it was worth it. Looking forward to the next installment. This was a great read!

***

Delsyn’s Blues (Vasquez & James, #2)

DelsynsBluesLGSonny James and Luki Vasquez are living proof that the course of love never runs smoothly. Ambushed by grief, Sonny listens to a voice singing the blues from beyond the grave. While revisiting the sorrows and failings of his past, in the here and now he puts up a wall against love. Just when Luki chips through that barricade, the couple becomes the target of a new threat from outside: an escalating and unexplainable rash of break-ins and assaults.

Thoughts of infidelity rise between them, a threat that may strain their newly mended love past its limits. To come through the trials alive and together, Luki and Sonny will have to unite against enemies who were once friends and overcome crippling hatred and overwhelming fear. If they succeed, maybe then they can rekindle the twin flames of passion and love.

4 stars

Unexpected Loss. Unbearable Pain.

I consider this more or less Sonny’s story. Within it we find out a lot of the sweet, caring man who has captured Luki’s heart. The same man who struggles with pain from both the present and the past. The one that loves Luki, but keeps him at a distance.

“If the heart can truly cry, Luki’s did. It hurt with overwhelming and bittersweet joy.”

When tragedy strikes, Luki returns to his Sonny. But the man standing in front of him is not the same one he left behind. Gone is the man who made Luki smile with a simple phrase. In his place is a man struggling with pain so deep that lashing out is the only way he knows to keep his composure.

Secrets revealed. Obstacles.

I love Sonny and Luki and to see them fighting for their love was heartbreaking at times. However, I loved every minute of that struggle.

Lou Sylvre did an amazing job of bringing forth the emotions Luki and Sonny struggled with–both as individuals and as a couple. As Sonny’s past revealed itself we see how far Sonny has come in life and how his past has shaped him.

We also see another side of Luki. He is more open about his emotions, more protective of Sonny and more emotionally invested in what their future holds.

Their connection, although somewhat threatened, continued to strengthened. Especially once they decided to give their relationship another try. There were times when I wanted to throttle them both for being too stubborn to realize their were being fools. Thankfully, their loved shined through with their every interaction, even during their arguments. It was a a treat to read Luki’s thoughts when he was mad at Sonny and vice versa. These two are so right for each other that I was grinning even when I was fuming.

Betrayal. Danger.

It wouldn’t be a Vasquez and James story without having Sonny and Luki facing some sort of danger. This time around it comes from an unexpected source, which added to the thrill of it. Especially when Lou Sylvre kept adding twist and turns to the story.

I admit, it was a bit overwhelming keeping track of the players. However, my curiosity won out and I stuck it out. I’m glad I did because that resolution was as intense and it was funny. Let it be known that Lou Sylvre writes a very entertaining villain, which paired with Luki’s sarcastic remarks make for some great reading.

All in all, an interesting adventure in Luki and Sonny’s journey to a happily ever after.

***

Finding Jackie (Vasquez & James, #3)

FindingJackieLGLuki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James finally have their Hawaiian wedding, and it’s perfect, almost. But their three-phase honeymoon is riddled with strife. Luki’s status as a working badass spells discord for the newlyweds. A former informant from Luki’s days with ATFE brings a troubling message (or is it a warning?) from a Mob hit man. When Luki’s sixteen-year-old nephew, Jackie, is lured into capture and torture by a sadistic killer, the honeymoon is well and truly over.

The couple put aside their differences and focus on the grueling hunt, which takes them from leather bars to dusty desert back roads, and calls on Sonny’s deep compassion as well as Luki’s sharpest skills. Their world threatens to fall apart if they fail, but their love may grow stronger than ever if they succeed in finding Jackie—before it’s too late.

4 stars

Luki and Sonny have finally tied the knot. It was such a treat to see these two finally reaching that point in their life, especially after having to struggle with so many things to get there. But of course, Sonny and Luki don’t ever have it easy. This time around, they are called in from their honeymoon to search for Jackie, the boy Luki saved in Loving Luki Vasquez.

This story was a mix of the sweet, the romantic and the heartbreaking.

As a married couple Sonny and Luki continued to shine. Their banter was superb, their sex a mix of sweet and intense and their sense of loyalty unwavering. Sonny and Luki were not perfect by any means, but their connection and commitment was ever present. And it only grew as they went in search of Jackie.

Although Jackie had made great strides since moving with Luki’s uncle, he still struggled with his past. And what a past it was! Lou Sylvre did an amazing job in bringing forth Jackie’s story. She managed to bring the range in emotions Jackie felt in a way that would impact the reader the most. My heart had gone out to Jackie when I first read about him, but after reading his full story I only wanted to take his pain away.

What I loved most about this story was the way the author went about strengthening Luki and Sonny’s relationship while still delivering Jackie’s story. I loved seeing Luki and Sonny together, watching them grow as a couple and struggling to adjust to the new status of their relationship while working together to find Jackie. I also enjoyed the emotional roller coaster Jackie’s story brought about.

I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Luki and Sonny.

***

Saving Sonny James (Vasquez & James #4)

SavingSonnyJamesLGLuki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.

Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.

5-stars

Ha! And here I thought Sonny and Luki might catch a break in their struggle to maintain their happily ever after. The joke’s on me!

In this installment in the adventures of Vasquez and James we find Luki struggling with the events that took place in the previous book. Plagued by depression and PTSD, Luki retreats into himself–leaving Sonny to figure out how to help heal his husband and failing miserably.

I don’t blame Sonny. It was hard for me to see Luki acting this way myself and I wasn’t at the receiving end of his behavior. So even though I was sad to see Sonny go, I was supportive of his decision. But in Lou Sylvre fashion, the story had only started.

From the way the author went about bringing the effects of suffering from PTSD to the way she never wavered in strengthening Sonny and Luki’s love for each other, Lou Sylvre did an amazing job in bringing forth another emotion-packed story where Sonny and Luki once again fight their way through in order to be together.

What I have come to love about these characters is the fact that they are flawed. They get mad at each other, push the other away, question and hesitate, but still their love is always present. As a follower of the series, I have enjoyed seeing them grow as individuals and as a couple. And it is in this installment that we get to truly see the strides they’ve made.

Lou Sylvre always manages to surprise me with the way she weaves the story to include the conflict, the emotions and the mystery without taking away from Sonny and Luki’s relationship. Through every twist and turn, the journey that is Sonny and Luki’s romance stays at the forefront–at times sweet, at times intense and always compelling.

***

Yes-A Vasquez and James Novella (Vasquez & James #4.5)

YesLGProfessional badass Luki Vasquez and textile artist Sonny James have been married for five years, and despite the sometimes volatile mix, they’re happy. From their first days together, they stood united against deadly enemies and prevailed. But now the deadly enemy they face is the cancer thriving inside Luki, consuming his lungs.

As Luki’s treatment proceeds, Sonny hovers near, determined to provide every care, control every thread of possibility just as he does when he weaves. But he can’t control the progress of the cancer or how Luki’s body reacts to the treatment regime. Sonny tries, but Luki dances with cancer alone—until he gets a startling reminder of the miracle of life. With renewed determination and mutual love, the two men emerge from their coldest winter into a new spring day.

5-stars

*sigh*

Sonny and Luki have gone through so much. And to have this thrown at them brought tears to my eyes. Sonny and Luki’s journey in this story was as heartbreaking as it was beautiful.

There’s not much I can say about this story. It’s just one of those stories that you just have to experience for yourself, especially if you have followed these two from the very beginning. Just trust me when I say that with only 60+ pages of content, this novella packed a hell of a punch.

*sniffle*

***

Because of Jade (Vasquez & James #5)

Because of Jade 400x600Luki Vasquez receives the news he’s still cancer free after five years, and he wants to celebrate with his whole family. He and his husband, Sonny James, take a road trip south, intending to gather at the home of his nephew Josh, Josh’s wife Ruthie, and Jade—a little girl who was still in the womb when she and her mother helped Luki beat lung cancer.

Halfway to their destination, Luki learns Josh and Ruthie have met a tragic death. The horrible news lays Luki low, but he pulls himself together in time to be the family’s rock and see to the dreaded business of tying up loose ends. The most important business is Jade, and when Luki and Sonny head home, they take Jade with them.

Luki and Sonny must combat self-doubt and fear and help each other learn to parent an unexpected child—and they must also nourish the love that has kept them whole for the past ten years. A relative’s spurious claim to Jade threatens the new family, and even if they prevail in court, they could lose their little girl unless they can rescue Jade from evil hands and true peril.

4 stars

After Jade’s parents died in a tragic accident, Sonny and Luki are left taking care of the little girl. Clueless as to how to go about it but determined to make their best effort, Sonny and Luki fight their way through self-doubt only to have danger thrown in their path–again.

Kudos to Lou Sylvre for this amazing story. Once again, she managed to bring about a heartfelt story where Sonny and Luki fight for what they love. This time around they are fighting to keep Jade.

I was such a treat to these men happy and thriving as a couple after Luki’s fight with cancer in Yes. They have gone through so much in their ten years together and now they come across another challenge. They know nothing about raising a little girl, but they do know what to avoid so that she has a better childhood that either of them had. It is this sentiment that drives them as they struggle to figure out their new status as parents.

I appreciated the fact that the author didn’t pull any punches in bringing all the complexities that this situation would bring. I loved watching the dynamic between Sonny, Luki and Jade. Each one making their way and trying to adjust to a life together. It was interesting to see how that dynamic shifted between them since Luki and Sonny had to find the way to relate to Jade not only as a couple but as individuals.

I also liked that Lou Sylvre maintained the character’s trademark humor and sarcasm. Mostly, I loved that Sonny and Luki’s relationship continued to grow. Their sex scenes were still as hot and passionate as they were in the beginning. And their love for each other even more intense.

Excerpt

Yes (A Vasquez and James Novella)

[Luki] woke up in profound darkness, aware of Sonny still beside him, but held rigid now while small, strangled noises escaped from deep in his throat. Even if it hadn’t been for the give-away sniffle, Luki would have known. Sonny was crying. Not that “I’m sad” kind of crying that was more a glorified pout. No. Sonny fought for all he was worth not to let a sob fly loose. His heart had a great big, hurting hole in the middle of it, and Luki had put it there, and still Sonny tried to protect him. If he couldn’t stop from crying, by God at least he’d do it quietly and let Luki sleep. But he and Luki had loved too long, too deep, too close for Luki not to hear it anyway, to register it even in his sleep, and understand. And feel it, too, like what Sonny felt.

Luki rolled over and put his arms around the man who, when all was said and done, he loved and would love forever.

About the Author

Lou Sylvre hails from southern California but now lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State. When she’s not writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s usually smiling and laughs too much, some say. She also loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, a Chihuahua named Joe, and (in random order) coffee, chocolate, sunshine, and wild roses.

Website | E-mail | Facebook Profile | Facebook Page

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Cover Reveal: Hot Ice (Hostile Operations Team #7) by Lynn Raye Harris *Giveaway*

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Hot Ice (Hostile Operations Team #7)
by Lynn Raye Harris

Expected for Release December 29, 2014

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When fire and ice collide, you get steam…

Grace Campbell leads a privileged life. The daughter of a United States senator, she moves within the social circles of the rich and famous. But Grace is also a scientist, and when someone learns she possesses the knowledge necessary to create a new super virus capable of destroying entire nations, she becomes a target for terror groups and foreign governments alike.

Garrett “Iceman” Spencer didn’t join the Army’s elite Hostile Operations Team to babysit a spoiled rich girl, but when his superiors insist on assigning him to a senator’s daughter as her security detail, he has no choice but to comply.

It’s a shock to find that beneath the glasses and serious scowl, Grace Campbell burns hot. And Garrett, who’s been burned before, suddenly wants to immerse himself in the flames.

Keeping Grace alive—and keeping his hands off her—is a full-time job for this HOT soldier. Failure is not an option…

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called “exceptional and emotional,” “intense,” and “sizzling.” To date, Lynn’s books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

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New Release: Ten Below Zero by Whitney Barbetti *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Ten Below Zero
by Whitney Barbetti

A New Adult Romance
Released August 28, 2014

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“In here,” he said, pushing on the skin above my heart, “you’re ten below zero. And you’re closer to death than I am.”

My name is Parker. My body is marked with scars from an attack I don’t remember. I don’t want to remember. I choose to live my life by observation, not through experience. While people are laughing and kissing and connecting, I’m in the corner. Watching them live. I’m indifferent to everything, everyone. The only emotion I feel with any kind of depth is annoyance, and I feel it often.

A text message sent to the wrong number proves to be my undoing.

His name is Everett, but I call him rude. He’s pushy, he’s arrogant, he crowds my personal space, and worst of all: he makes me feel.

He chooses to wear all black, all the time, as if he’s waiting to attend a funeral. Probably because he is.

Everett is dying. And he’s spending his final days living, truly living. In doing so, he’s forcing me to feel, to heal. To come face to face with the demons I suppressed in my memory.

He hurts me, he fulfills me, he completes me. And still, he’s dying.

ten below zero fb cover

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA |
Amazon AU | Kobo | iBooks | B&N

Excerpt

“Your roommates are nosey,” Everett commented, sitting back on the bed. He reached into the suitcase again.

“You would know,” I said, snatching a bra from his hands.

Everett shrugged. “It’s underwear. More specifically, it’s your underwear. I’m intrigued.”

“Yeah, well don’t get any ideas.”

Everett leaned back into the pillows, resting his hands behind his head again. “Oh, but I have a lot of ideas.” He winked at me.

I stalked away towards my dresser and began pulling things from drawers. When I turned back around, Everett was holding another bra.

“You don’t wear padding,” he commented, his fingers feeling along the lined cup.

“No.”

“I like that.”

My hands stilled. And then I moved them again. “Why?” I didn’t care. Really, I didn’t.

“Lies.”

I turned around. “Lies?”

“I like the truth. In every way.” He seemed lost in thought so I turned back around and packed my things.

“Am I really doing this?” I asked myself.

“Yes, you are.”

I turned around again. “Why?”

It wasn’t a question he should know the answer to. But he did. “Because you hate and you love the way I make you feel.”

I was naked under his gaze. Skin was just that: skin. But to see your soul stripped, laid bare for the eyes of someone you barely knew – that was terrifying. I’d walk down the street naked a hundred times before I would let someone see what lay underneath.

I’d spent my life alone. Bounced from foster home to foster home. When my tastes outgrew my age as a teenager, I traded boys for men and found myself still alone. I reveled in the loneliness. No one could hurt me but me, and did I really care if I hurt me? Did I care? If I found pleasure in anything, it was my lack of feeling.

And that’s how I knew, when Everett told me not to fall in love with him, that I wouldn’t. I didn’t love myself. And wasn’t loving someone also loving yourself, the parts that saw the beauty in other people? I didn’t have that part. And I didn’t want it.

“I don’t love anything,” I said.

“I know.” His eyes were unsmiling.

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About the Author

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I am the author of new adult romance novels. He Found Me (May 2014) is the first in a two-part series. Ten Below Zero (August 2014) is a standalone.

I am married with two boys. When I’m not changing diapers or cutting food into tiny bites, I escape to Starbucks for hours. I could drink my weight in their black iced tea.

I love music and have a playlist for everything.

I have about 20 bacon things in my fridge.

Facebook | Goodreads | email | Website | Twitter

 

Giveaway!

Signed copy of TEN BELOW ZERO and a $10 amazon gift card.

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Cover Reveal: Everything I Need (Nashville Nights, #3) by Stacey Mosteller

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Everything I Need (Nashville Nights, #3)
by Stacey Mosteller

Expected to be Released September 4. 2014

Cover Photography & Design by Sara Eirew Photographer & Designer

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SarahBeth Pearson has made mistakes, and I might just be the biggest one of them all. After spending months keeping secrets and lying to everyone close to us, it’s all fallen apart and we are each left alone to pick up the pieces.

I’ve loved SarahBeth in one form or another her entire life. The steps that brought us closer together weren’t easy for me to take. After letting her dictate our relationship, I’ve found myself practically homeless and estranged from my closest friends.

Now I’m left trying to move on, finding a new place to live and getting everything I need in order, while she’s trying to mend her broken heart. There’s just one problem…SarahBeth’s still keeping secrets – and her secret just might change everything.

 

Pre-Order

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Excerpt

“Isn’t that SarahBeth?” Melanie asks, looking over to where a small blonde and a brunette are running towards a hallway between stores that leads to restrooms. I jerk around in my seat, trying to look closer and when I see Tyler watching after them, holding a purse and a few shopping bags, I know for sure it’s them. At my nod, Mel touches my hand, bringing my gaze back to her earnest one. “Don’t you want to go check on her? Make sure she’s alright?”

Do I want to? Yes, absolutely. Should I? Well, that’s another matter entirely. I look back to the corridor they disappeared through, but don’t see them any longer. Just when I’m about to tell her no, I don’t want to check on her, Tyler’s eyes meet mine and the blatant worry in them has me nodding and heading in his direction. I don’t look back to see if Melanie followed me because honestly, all I can think about is what could possibly put that look in Tyler’s eyes.

“Is she okay?” It’s all I can do to keep my voice level when I reach him and ask the question I need the answer to the most.

Tyler’s looking everywhere but at me when he replies, “Yeah mate, she’s fine. You can go back to whatever you were doing now.” His voice is hard, it’s easy to tell he’s not happy at finding me with Mel, but his feelings aren’t what worry me now.

Before I can ask any more questions, Olivia and Sarah are walking back in our direction. They both stop in their tracks when they see me standing with Tyler. The moment she notices Melanie standing next to me her already pale skin loses all color and she begins backing up, away from our little group. The hurt in her eyes has me moving towards her before I can even process it. I want to explain myself. When what I’m doing registers, I stop, trying to keep myself in place, but when her eyes fill with tears and they overflow, rolling soundlessly down her cheeks, I melt.

Reaching her, I cup her face in my hands, brushing away the tears as she trembles beneath me. It’s the first time I’ve really touched her since everything went to shit and having my hands on her, having her this close to me, I feel like I’ve come home. Unable to hide the emotions racing across my face, I let her see just how much I’ve missed her as her breath catches in her throat. Her eyes are bouncing back and forth between mine in disbelief while the look on her face has me aching to touch my mouth to hers, to pull her into me so I can hold her.

I don’t get the chance to do any of that because at the same time a hand touches my back, SarahBeth sucks in a breath and steps back, her eyes brimming with tears even while she glares up at me, betrayal all over her face. I want to explain, to tell her what I’m doing here with Mel, to reassure her that it’s not what it seems, but in the back of my head I think this is a good thing. I want her to let go of me, to begin to move on, to find someone that deserves her. Letting her think I’ve replaced her, no matter how much it hurts us both, is probably for the best.

“Wait SarahBeth,” Melanie begins as I step away from her touch. Instead, I grab the hand that was on my back and link our fingers together, this draws both her eyes and SarahBeth’s. Mel’s looks confused, but SarahBeth’s guts me. She stares at our linked hands with an expression that’s a cross between fury and despair before swiping her hands across her cheeks to brush away the few falling tears, and meeting my gaze head on.

Her eyes are sparking with a fire I haven’t seen in so long that I’m almost relieved. As she straightens her spine and holds her head high. she turns to Mel and smiles. Just barely tipping the corners of her lips up her smile is clearly fake but there nonetheless, she says, “It’s fine really. I’m glad he has someone.” Mel starts to speak up, but SarahBeth keeps her eyes on me as Olivia walks up beside her, puts an arm around her shoulder and glares at me. If looks could kill…that girl hates me. She starts to say something in her ear, but Sarah shakes her head. “There’s nothing to say. I’m done with this,” with that said she scoots out from under Olivia’s arm and turns her back on me, this time I’m sure for good, and leaves me to watch her walk away from me this time.

Tyler hurries to walk after them, muttering, “You’re a bloody idiot mate,” as he passes me. He doesn’t get far before he stops, turns around and glares at me, much like Olivia did. “If you only knew…” he shakes his head, “Well, that would have gone a lot differently.” I don’t get the chance to ask him what he means before he heads after them, dropping an arm across each of their shoulders and handing the bags he was holding to Olivia.

 

The Nashville Nights Series

Never Wanted More (Nashville Nights #0.5)

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Save Me From Myself (Nashville Nights #1)

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Everything I Shouldn’t (Nashville Nights #2)

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 Author Bio

SMosteller
Stacey is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of Second Chances (co-authored with H.M. Ward) and the Nashville Nights series.

She is also a wife, mother, writer and self-professed bookwhore–not necessarily in that order! As the mother of three growing boys, her Kindle has become her temporary escape from the insanity of boys, dogs and her husband. Stacey can usually be found curled up with her iPad when she’s supposed to be writing or creating endless playlists on Spotify.

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Everything I Need_full

 

 

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New Release: Deconstructing Channing by BA Tortuga *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Deconstructing Channing
by BA Tortuga

A M/M/F Menage with BDSM elements
Released August 13th 2014
From Ellora’s Cave

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When they were young together back in their werecat pride, Bowie and Channing experimented with love and sex, as well as flirting with a threesome with their best friend, Emma. Channing and Emma both ran from their needs, leaving Bowie to break away and find his own life. Now a confident master dominant, Bowie discovers Channing again through a video of a consummate sub, one who Bowie knows he needs to find once more.

When Bowie shows up on his doorstep, Channing feels like a teenager again, all confusion and need. He doesn’t date his own kind, only humans, and he’s not in the market for a full time master. Bowie is impossible to deny, a force of nature, and while both men know they’ll have to think about Emma eventually, now is the time to see if they can get to know, and love each other, all over again.

 

Ellora’s Cave | Amazon | ARe

 

Excerpt

The trip was designed to give him time. Time to figure out what he was going to say to Channing Lanier when he saw the sorry son of a bitch again.

He could start with “Hey, you rat bastard. Amazing how you came out after you dropped me like a hot rock.” That would be fun. Or maybe, “I thought you weren’t into spanking and bondage, and your precious asshole was sacrosanct, but now you’re a bottom in the underground BDSM scene,” would work better.

Bowie wouldn’t even be going to see said bottoming asshole if it wasn’t for the flyer tucked neatly away in his briefcase.

Tawny Catnip.

Seriously?

Their Emma was a fucking stripper?

A Vegas stripper? The revue was touted as a classy burlesque show and topless nightclub called Catnip Crazy.

Hell, the crazy thing was that both of his ex-lovers had called him a goddamn perv.

Him. Because he’d wanted them both. Because he’d wanted Emma over his lap. Because he’d wanted to see Channing bound and on his knees between the both of them.

Fuckers.

 

Author Bio

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife (still amazing to say that), Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has gone to the high desert mountains and fallen in love. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

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Book Blast: Dangerous Wish (Uniform Encounters #6) by Morticia Knight *Scavenger Hunt, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Dangerous Wish (Uniform Encounters #6)
By Morticia Knight

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Total Bound
Released on August 8th 2014

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Love is a dangerous emotion that EMT Jared won’t risk. But it looks as though a sweet and sexy National Guardsman is about to make him wish for that and much more.

EMT Jared Li loves his job, his friends and clubbing. There’s nothing like a night of fun getting glammed up, throwing on some heels and shaking his ass to the latest Britney tune. Life is all about having a good time with as many hot guys as possible.

Dan Harrison has been in the National Guard for about six months and out for not much longer than that. At twenty-two, he’s somewhat innocent, a little shy and not interested in meaningless hook-ups. One night at a Karaoke bar changes everything for him when his fellow Guardsman, Joseph, introduces him to his friend Jared. Dan’s never met anyone like the luscious twink who’s filled with so much life and laughter.

A night of passion shakes them to their very core. Jared really likes Dan, but doesn’t want to get caught up in any type of exclusive thing. Dan wishes there could be more between them, but is willing to just be friends in order to remain near the androgynous stunner.

Hanging out strictly as friends proves to be almost impossible for them both. Not only does Jared continuously lust after the muscular soldier, but he’s also falling for the caring and compassionate man. Dan’s every sex fantasy stars Jared in one of his daring club outfits, but his heart is what really matters and it’s already been lost to Jared.

A traumatic event breaks down the barriers between them and gives them the chance to be together the way they both want. But after Dan is called up by the Guard to assist at a natural disaster, the same bravery that Jared admires in Dan may be the final thing that separates them forever.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of attempted rape.

Publisher’s Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a standalone.

 

Buy the Book

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Totally Bound | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Excerpt

Dan couldn’t stop fiddling with the straw in his drink. He couldn’t even remember what they’d ordered. It was difficult to tell exactly what color it was in the darkened club with its own swirling multi-colored lights. But since he remembered the word ‘raspberry’ involved in the name, he was pretty sure it was some type of pinkish red. Whatever it was, it tasted really fucking good, had a tiny umbrella piercing two maraschino cherries, and had made his toes go numb. He wasn’t entirely certain that the numbness was from the alcohol. It could’ve been from viewing Jared fellate the fruit of his own drink. He would never tire of watching him do that.

Jared leaned in until their shoulders touched.

“I’m still upset with you for buying my drink.”

He seemed anything but upset. More like flirty.

“I told you I was going to get the drink at the club, so take it like a man.”

Jared burst into laughter. “Oh really? So that’s how it is.”

Training a heated look on Jared, he stunned himself with the sultry tone of his voice. “I thought you already understood that.”

The laughter stopped and Jared’s eyes became larger—but he didn’t drop his gaze. Instead, he moved in closer, finally breaking his stare to speak into Dan’s ear as if he wanted to guarantee he could be heard over the pounding beat of the music.

“Oh yes, I understand.”

When Jared moved back, he turned away, sipping his drink and acting as though he were incredibly interested in what was happening around him in the club. A tiny burst of satisfaction coursed through Dan. Maybe Jared wasn’t as uninterested as he’d first assumed.

Maybe he only wants to get laid again.

He winced a little, not wanting to think badly of Jared. Obviously they were in mad lust with each other, but what did that mean in the long run?

Nothing.

He sighed, knowing he couldn’t possibly be heard above the din of the nightclub. It occurred to him that it would’ve been better if Jared’s other friends had been around as a buffer. It was incredibly dangerous for the two of them to be boozed up and alone.

“Ooh! I love this song.” Jared sprang to his feet, practically dropping his drink. “Come on Dan, let’s dance.”

He stared at Jared’s outstretched hand. The strains of the tune permeated his brain—he was pretty sure it was a Madonna song, something about a girl gone wild. Recalling their evening before with the liquor, the dancing, the playfulness—he knew it would be simple to get Jared to give it up for him again. He was simultaneously thrilled and concerned.

“You know I’m a terrible dancer, Jared.”

The expression on Jared’s face instantly made him feel terrible. It was also confusing. Wasn’t Jared the one who’d made it clear they were only friends out to have some fun, nothing more? He couldn’t figure out why Jared appeared as though he’d been slapped. Even in the relative darkness of the club, the hurt was evident.

“But I’d love to watch you dance, you’re so incredible at it. And you’ll look so hot in that outfit. Come on, dance for me?”

Jesus. You can’t shut up, can you?

 

Uniform Encounters series

Set Ablaze (Uniform Encounters, #1)Arresting Behaviour (Uniform Encounters, #2)Lust Emergency (Uniform Encounters, #3)

Guarded Desires (Uniform Encounters, #4)

Totally Bound | Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

About the Author

M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale – after all, who doesn’t? Since she loves several genres, you may find your heroes in a contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi setting. One of her passions is bringing people’s fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor.

When not indulging in her obsession for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. The Pacific Northwest is the ideal spot to enjoy both hiking and beachcombing. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She now resides on the northern coast of Oregon, where the constant rain and fog remind her of visits to family in England and Scotland when she was a child.

She is currently working on the Gin & Jazz series about the glitz and glamour of 1920’s Hollywood and additional installments of the Uniform Encounters series.

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Tour Dates/Stops:DangerousWishBadge
August 8: Kimi-Chan, Rainbow Gold Reviews
August 11: Hearts on Fire, MM Good Book Reviews
August 12: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Love Bytes
August 13: The Hat Party
August 14: Prism Book Alliance
August 15: Tara Lain
August 18: Parker Williams, The Blogger Girls
August 19: Emotion in Motion
August 20: My Fiction Nook
August 21: Decadent Delights, Lee Brazil
August 22: Smoocher’s Voice
August 25: Amanda C. Stone
August 26: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
August 27: LeAnn’s Book Reviews
August 28: Reviews and Ramblings
August 29: Nephylim

 

Contest

-Signed copy of Dangerous Wish.
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Please take note of the Dangerous Wish Fact below. You will need it in order to enter the Rafflecopter entry for the contest!

Fact #8 – EMT Jared Li’s sisters used to share their Barbie dolls with him when he was little.

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Series Review: Starstruck by Becky Wicks *Review and Giveaway*

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Starstruck Series
A New Adult Contemporary Series
by Becky Wicks

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Before He Was Gone (Starstruck #1)

One guy, one girl. One in the spotlight. One in the shadows.

Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton – the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?

The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?

A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong.

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4 stars

Chloe and Noah have been best friends for a long time, but ever since that night something shifted in their relationship. Noah is now pursuing his music career while Chloe lives with the choice she made.

But when Chloe and Noah reunite it becomes clear that their feelings for each other run deeper than either one wants to admit. And as Noah’s rise to fame puts him more and more in the spotlight it is up to Chloe and Noah to step up to the plate and fight for what they want–each other.

I liked this story very much. Initially, I thought I wouldn’t come to like Chloe because of the bad choices she made and the situation she dug herself into because of her reluctance to make a choice. Thankfully, Becky Wicks made it easy for me to understand where she was coming from. This help tremendously. Soon I found myself cheering her. Even when she made mistakes, I found that I understood her reasons behind them.

Noah I loved immediately. A sexy caring singer–what’s not to love?! He was loyal to friends and family and had a great head on his shoulders. I admired him for his dedication and his determination to go for what he wanted.

I found that the introduction of the secondary characters helped to move the story along. Family members, friends and industry people they all played a part in the story and made it more enjoyable.

Of course, there was the romance element which I loved. I find that friends to lovers stories present a challenge to the author because they need to show both their connection as friends and work in developing that connection into something more. In this story, Becky Wicks did both while still bringing to the page the struggle of celebrity life.

All in all, a wonderful story that set the stage for other books in the series.

BHWG

Before He Was Gone (Starstruck #2)

Sometimes, you have to get lost to find yourself…

When her rock star boyfriend breaks things off out of the blue, Alyssa applies to hit reality TV show Deserted and to her shock she gets through. Abandoned on a remote island with a bunch of strangers and none of the luxuries she’s become accustomed to, it’s not long before an undeniable attraction to the mysterious Joshua starts complicating things even further.

Joshua’s different to everyone she’s ever known – a traveller, a man with no plan, a world away from the celebrity life she’s left behind. As a series of challenges test their wits and weaknesses, things start heating up in paradise, but in a game designed to break people down, it soon becomes clear that Joshua is hiding a painful secret – one he won’t risk anyone finding out.

Struggling to know where she belongs, Alyssa will have to choose – a life she once loved that wants her back, or a brand new reality that heartbreakingly may just have its limits.

“Becky does it again, delivering a searingly hot, emotionally intense and brilliantly written book. I loved it.” – Sarah Alderson (author of Hunting Lila, Fated, The Sound)

***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and mature situations. Not intended for young adult readers.***

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5-stars

There is something about a brooding hero that I love. Be it that quiet way of communicating, the emotions hidden within or the fact that they all tend to carry themselves with an air of arrogance–I don’t know. All I know is that Joshua had it all.

Joshua is a loner. A drifter who spends his time from adventure to adventure, taking risks for Joshua is part of the norm. But behind all that bravado is a scared man who’s looking for an answer to his problems. He needs money–a lot of it. So when the opportunity to win big comes along, he jumps right in. What he wasn’t expecting was to find the one woman who would make him desire to tear down all the walls he has built around himself.

Alyssa is ready for a change–now more than ever. Having led a semi-public life in the arm of her celebrity boyfriend, Alyssa wants no part of that circus now that she’s been dumped. Her solution: to participate in a reality show where she will need to shed her celebrity status and survive by any means necessary. Finding herself in a different environment and surrounded by a diverse group of people, Alyssa’s comes to realize that she hasn’t been true to herself in a while.

With new-found determination she sets to win the show. She makes friends, some enemies and finds the one man who accepts her as she is but keeps her at a distance that she can’t help but want to erase.

What I loved about this story was how well the author mixed the romance with the rest of the story. I’ve read books about TV shows where a romance takes place but they were all lacking in one aspect or another–be it an underdeveloped connection between the main characters, the lack of a realistic set of events or an abundance of sex scenes that added nothing to the story. I can say with certainty that Before He Was Gone doesn’t suffer from the previously mentioned characteristics.

From the moment Joshua and Alyssa met you could feel the undercurrent effects of their attraction. And as the story progressed and their interactions became more frequent you could see their initial connection gaining strength. I admit that there were moments when I wished I would have been more showing than telling in regards to their interactions. But in the end I still got that sense that their connection had deepened into something more, which is what’s important to me in a romance.

Of course, it helped that they had great chemistry. And yes, as you probably guessed there were sex scenes. Hot, passionate ones. Quick, convenient ones. As well as intense and emotional ones. And I enjoyed them all! 😉

As for the secondary characters, I have to tell you there were great too. The nerd, the gay, the mole, the mother figure and the stud–they all added something to the story. They brought about funny moments, hysterical ones and emotional ones too. And all of them served to move the story along.

All in all, a fabulous romance with a bit of adventure, a bit humor and lots of emotions.

*I received these titles in exchange of my honest opinion.

About the Author

Becky Wicks lives in Bali and scribbles books, and she’s mostly powered by coffee. Her first book in the Starstruck Series, Before He Was Famous recently reached #1 in Amazon’s Coming of Age and New Adult & College categories, and her three travel books, published by HarperCollins are online to make feet nice and itchy. Mostly though, she loves to write love stories. She blogs most days at beckywicks.com and always welcomes distractions on Twitter @bex_wicks. Especially if you have photos of cats.

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