New Release! He Wants Me: A Dark Billionaire Romance by Julia Swift *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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He Wants Me: A Dark Billionaire Romance
by Julia Swift

A Contemporary Romance Serial
Released during August and September 2015

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He was supposed to be a one-night fling. Landon Blake: hot tech billionaire, and the wildest sex of my life. Until I find him standing over my boss’s dead body–with a bloody knife in his hand.They say he’s dangerous. He swears he’s not to blame. Somebody’s setting him up, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. I don’t know who I can trust. I should stay away.

But he wants me.

 

He Wants Me Series

Part One ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK
Part Two ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK
Part Three ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK
Part Four ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK
Part Five ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK
Part Six ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK
Part Seven ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK
Part Eight ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK

 

Review

4 stars

After a brief encounter, Megan Clark and Landon Blake are thrown together into a web of lies, deceit and danger. Deciding to try their chance at solving the mystery behind her boss’ murder, Megan and Landon must trust each other to be able to survive. Evading danger, investigating leads and ultimately giving in into what draws them together, Megan and Landon embark on the ride of their lives.

Here’s a brief rundown of the ‘episodes’ and my impressions as my reading progressed.

As expected, the first installment has us meeting Megan and Landon and witnessing their instant attraction to one another. Megan is stuck in a job that although pays well has her in a constant state of frustration in regards to her boss’ arrogance and sense of entitlement. She meets Landon on a rare girls’ night out and she’s instantly drawn to him. Although hesitant to give into the intense attraction, she agrees to have dinner with Landon the next night.

Even with her boss being his insufferable self all day at work, Megan found time to think about Logan from time to time. Even though she’s nervous about what he invokes in her, she’s looking forward to dinner with him. Unfortunately, he’s a no show. But work comes calling providing Megan the perfect distraction–or so she thought.

The second installment picks up right where the first one left off. Megan is in her dead boss’ office, but so is Logan. To say that Megan is confused would be a huge understatement. Suddenly she’s unemployed yet infatuated with a murder suspect and feeling more than a little lost in the clusterf@ck that has become her life.

It is in this installment that Megan’s starts to lose some of my affection. Some of her behavior, thoughts and actions were hard for me to comprehend. Fortunately, I was intrigued with the murder so I kept on reading hoping she gained some maturity as the story progressed.

So by the end of the second installment, we have two individuals with a massive case of insta-lust, a murder, and sh!tload of unanswered questions.

I would like to say that the third installment brings some clues as to what it’s happening, but I would be lying. Landon and Megan continue having contact, even though they’ve been advised to keep their distance from one another. Their attraction gets the better of them when Landon visits Megan in her room. Yes, sparks were flying in this installment, but it was Landon asking Megan to retrieve an item he hid on her purse the night of the murder that capture my whole attention. Is he the murderer? What is he hiding? Was their meeting intentional?

If asked, I would say that this is my favorite installment so far. I enjoyed the twist and turns the author brought to the page, especially when you consider the story’s length. With 35+ pages of content, Julia Swift managed to bring the suspense up a notch or two, leaving me anticipating what is going to be happening next.

Landon’s in hiding and like Megan continues to gather evidence to clear his name. But danger comes at them from all sides. When Megan’s apartment is trashed she doesn’t know who to trust so she calls Landon who keeps his distance but provides her with the support she’s come to expect from him. But even with Landon trying to access the file in the USB Megan retrieved, they need to find more clues. Their only option– to run away together.

As expected, being in the run brings Landon and Megan closer together. Their trust in each other increases, but so does their attraction. Poor Landon hasn’t been able to seal the deal (sort of speak!) with Megan and that’s was a treat to read itself. In addition to enjoying this aspect of the story, I also enjoyed the additional twist the author threw into the mix. Believe me, the story continued to surprise me on that front with every tap to my tablet’s screen.

And tap, tap, tap I continued to do! Especially while reading the sixth installment. Megan and Landon continue to be on the run and gathering clues as they go. Unfortunately, with every step forward they gain, something comes up to bring them a step backwards too. But with every hit, we get to see Megan and Landon coming closer together, which was great to see since it was just what I needed to fully invest myself in their romance. But of course, Julia Swift had to throw me the mother of all curveballs!

When I started writing this review, I had not received book seven or eight so you can imagine in what state of mind I was while waiting their arrival. So of course, as soon as I received the next two books I devoured them instantly. Believe me when I say that they were worth the wait. All my theories were thrown out the window with every discovery leaving me excited and anticipating a resolution. And Julia Swift delivered in all counts. By the end of the eighth book I was both satisfied that everything came to a close and happy that Megan and Landon had come out of all this stronger than where they had started.

As with most serialized novels I’ve read in the past, He Wants Me keeps you in a constant state of intrigue, anticipation and frustration. But in the end most of it is worth the ride.

Ahh, you caught the ‘most’ of it part of it, right? Well, my only problem with this serial, was Megan. I understood her fascination with Landon but I would have thought she had enough on her plate to be distracted by him. I agree, he had that air of mystery–the quintessential tall, dark and handsome. But I would have appreciated a bit more time spent on development the connection between Megan and Landon and less time spent reading her rambling thoughts. But still, I was intrigued enough to stick it out until the end and it paid off nicely too. A win-win for me!

All in all, an exciting and intriguing serial that had me at the edge of my seat and cheering Megan and Landon to get through it all unharmed and in love.

*I received copies of the titles in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

“Excuse me!” I wave a twenty-dollar bill in the air. I may be single and here with my drunk friend who is spewing ex-boyfriend-related vitriol, but at least I’ve got the money to do it. I work for one of the biggest biotech conglomerates in the world, although unfortunately, being the executive assistant of Harley Royce is basically being a glorified secretary to the world’s biggest douchebag. Let’s be honest—in the corporate world, “billionaire” equals “bastard.” The money’s great, but the work sucks. I’m surprised I’m not a bigger drinker after all.

“Hey!” I yell out again, but no dice. This is what I get for wearing work gear to the bar—what twenty-two-year-old do you know decides to rock a black blazer to happy hour? I feel like my mother. Or my grandmother. Or both.

“Let me see if I can help.”

I turn at the sound of the voice but, when our eyes meet, I’m rendered momentarily stunned. Like elephant-dart-to-the-brain stunned.

Hello, gorgeous.

The beefcake bartenders—sure, they’re hot in a conventional, Magic Mike sort of way. But this guy? He’s hot-hot. Universally hot. Ryan Gosling hot.

He’s wearing a dark suit—well-cut, grey wool, probably designer—and his dark-brown hair is neatly cropped, but he’s got a day or so of sexy scruff along his jawline. He looks like he just came in from a board meeting, but that he could have been rebuilding a carburetor yesterday. Put him in coveralls and he’d be your mechanic.

(Your sexy as hell mechanic who you’d want bending you over the hood of your car after he changed the oil…)

“Yo, Bradshaw!”

He calls out at one bartender who’s leaning halfway over the bar with his face an inch away from being buried in a blonde girl’s cleavage. Bradshaw’s head pops up, one eyebrow raised.

“Landon—dude. Sorry, I didn’t see you there.” He sidles down to our end of the bar. “What can I get you?”

Landon gestures to me. “Ladies first.”

I blink at him. The words won’t come. My mouth and lips feel parched and unable to ask for the one thing they want—a drink. Or Landon’s tongue in my mouth. Whichever comes first.

“Hmm.” He presses his index finger to his lips—his full, gorgeous, sensual lips. “You look like a martini drinker.”

Honestly, I’m not—martinis are more of my boss’s kind of cocktail—something with one hundred dollars’ worth of vodka and at least a dozen olives.

“Dirty?”

My eyes fly back up to his and his dark brow is cocked.

“Excuse me?” I manage to say. It’s more like a squeak.

“Dirty?” he repeats. “A dirty martini?”

Oh. Because that was totally what I was thinking when he said that word. Sure.“Um, yes. Please. Thank you.”

 

About the Author

Julia Swift Bio pic

Julia Swift is a New York native who loves sizzling, suspenseful stories and dangerously sexy men. She’s turned her love for reading into a new career as an author and insomniac. You can find her writing in her local Starbucks with an iced coffee and an ear for gossip!

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Forever’s Holiday Hookup Blitz with Jessica Lemmon, Katie Lane & Debbie Mason! *Excerpts, Review and Giveaway*

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Welcome to Forever’s Holiday Hookup Blitz. Below you will find three holiday theme books from Forever authors Jessica Lemmon, Katie Lane & Debbie Mason! Enjoy the excerpts provided and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post. Thank you for stopping by!

Lemmon_A Bad Boy for Christmas_MMA Bad Boy for Christmas (Second Chance #3) by Jessica Lemmon

‘Tis the Season to Be Naughty

Connor McClain knows what he wants. And after four harrowing years in Afghanistan, that’s a quiet life in the lakeside town of Evergreen Cove. But coming home has land mines of its own-the most dangerous of them being long-legged bombshell Faith Garrett. Now getting her into his arms this holiday is going to require more than mistletoe…

With a cheating ex behind her, all Faith wants is a relaxing holiday free from man drama. And even though every moment with gorgeous Connor is a sweet temptation, Faith is determined not to give in. But Jack Frost has other plans, and soon Faith and Connor are snowbound in a winter wonderland with only the sparks flying between them to keep them warm. As one hot kiss leads to another, they’ll have to decide if they’re ready to give each other the best gift of all-love.

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Review

5-stars

*sigh* A sweet protective bad boy…*deep sigh*

As a follower of this series, I thought that it could not get any better than Donovan’s story, I loved that from start to finish. But it seems that Jessica Lemmon’s writing it’s just that good!

We met Connor in the previous book when he was helping Donovan getting his mansion back into shape. A former soldier, Connor hasn’t settled into his ‘new’ life just yet even though it’s been over a year since his return back home. He spends his day working hard and his nights trying to find sleep. Some of that time is also spent flirting with Faith.

Faith believes she’s cursed when it comes to love and marriage, so she’s not looking for a relationship. Especially after her last one ended on such a sour note. But not wanting a relationship doesn’t mean she can’t entertain thoughts of a certain sexy landscaper. But when those ‘thoughts’ start turning into reality, is either one ready for what’s to come?

If you didn’t figure it out with all my sighing before–I loved this story! There’s something about a story that sticks to you from beginning to end. When you get to into the story you find yourself wanting to throttle the characters, laughing out loud and crying right along with the characters or for the characters. This was what it was like for me with Connor and Faith’s story.

From the beginning, I could see that Connor and Faith shared a great amount of chemistry, but as we know chemistry alone does not a great romance make. And Jessica Lemmon knows well since she made sure to bring not only that fantastic chemistry to the page every chance she got, but she made it even greater by building it along with Connor and Faith’s connection. Through every look, fleeting touch or unexpected kiss Connor and Faith’s chemistry shined through, but it was the connection that jumped off the page with their every flirty exchange that made this romance even more fabulous.

I loved Connor. He was a great mix of bad boy and sweet boy. He had a huge heart, loved deeply and was loyal to a fault. But he was also strong and capable and very protective of those he cared for. In a word–perfect. And he was especially perfect for Faith. Having grown up in a household with an overbearing mother, Faith longed to be a part of something more. Connor provided that. He was a friend she could talk to and be herself with, but he was also a lover she could let go with without judgement.

As I’ve come to expect from this author, the story flowed flawlessly from Connor and Faith being friends to them recognizing and admitting that what they shared was something more. Their journey from friends to friends with benefits was a treat to read. I enjoyed their flirty banter, their bickering and their explosive chemistry. That first kiss was EPIC!

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the Second Chance series it can be read as a stand alone. Personally, I loved the two previous books and would recommend them to anyone who enjoys fun, sweet yet hot contemporary romances. I am certainly looking forward for the next book in the series, it seems Gloria and Asher’s story is next and the sparks between those two have been going off since the very first book.

All in all, a fantastic friends to lovers story. Funny, sexy and so much more!

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

A Bad Boy for Christmas Excerpt

She came to a halt at the threshold of the kitchen, her breath clogging in her throat.

Part of it was shock over the fact that Connor was leaning over the countertop inhaling one of her cupcakes. The other part, and the part she was having trouble reconciling, was the fact that there was a tear beneath one of the pockets of his jeans, and the slash of skin she was currently staring at was his bare ass.

He stood, chewing and smiling with his lips closed. She knew because she hastily redirected her gaze to his face. The way he licked the frosting off the corner of his mouth and lifted his brow suggested he may have caught her eyeballing something she shouldn’t.

“Tore them on a nail on the fence this morning.” He turned to look over his shoulder, splitting the tear with his fingers to show her a faint red scratch on one chiseled butt cheek. “Hurt like a bitch.” His eyes found hers and he gave her a sly smile. “Don’t suppose you’d be willing to patch me up.”

She choked on her laughter, shaking her head for effect. “I don’t think so,” she said, trying to sound disgusted and not turned on.

His smile erased as his brow went down like she’d hurt his feelings. “You would deny me medical care in my moment of need?”

Flustered, she stepped past him and snatched the small white box off the counter, determined to change the subject. “I hope you know you owe me a cupcake.”

“Cupcake, I took that in payment for the kiss you never gave me.”

So he didn’t forget.

“You’d rather have a carrot cupcake than a kiss?” Her pulse pounded against her neck. She knew which one she would prefer, and hoped she was doing a good job hiding it.

“Hmm…” He made a show of craning his neck to look at the remaining cupcake in the bottom of the box. “It was a pretty good cupcake.”

Her mouth opened in argument, but the argument never came. And the reason it never came was because Connor covered her lips with his, launching his tongue into her mouth. She tasted sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg from the frosting, and his mouth, which tasted wonderful because it tasted like him. The smell of lavender filled her senses, that earthy, spicy smell mingling in her nostrils and making her lean into him. Cupping the back of his neck, she tilted her chin, continuing their sparring session with fervor.

Noses bumped, his unshaven chin scraped her jaw, and his hands—his big, manly, rough hands—grasped her at the waist and pulled her flush against him.

This went on until finally, she had to pull back to inhale or suffocate. Not a bad way to go, she’d admit. Now she was panting and trying to recalibrate her brain cells, which had apparently oozed right out of her ears since Connor put his mouth on hers.

He looked as dazed as she did for a second before his smile snapped into place. “Nope. That was much better than the cupcake.”

 

 

Lane_Unwrapped_MMUnwrapped (Hunk for the Holidays #3) by Katie Lane

Good things come in sexy packages…

Jacqueline Maguire has a problem tying the knot.After fleeing the altar (again), the runaway bride drives off with no particular destination in mind. Which is how Jac finds herself stranded in a snowstorm with a hot, hard-bodied stranger who treats her to the naughtiest night of her life . . . but come morning, he’s long gone.

Contractor Patrick McPherson is deeply committed to his bachelor lifestyle. No strings, no rings. As the Christmas season approaches, however, Patrick still can’t quite forget his curvalicious one-night stand. Then Jac shows up unexpectedly, and all holiday hell breaks loose. Because this year, Patrick is getting the biggest Christmas surprise of his life.

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Unwrapped Excerpt

“Am I a vampire?”

He chuckled at the joke and smoothed the damp hair off her forehead.  “No.  I don’t change my victims . . . I just snack on them.”  She didn’t crack a smile, but her shoulders relaxed, bringing his attention back to the welt.  “How badly are you hurt?”

Her hand went to the marks on her neck.  “Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.”

Patrick felt his face heat with embarrassment.  “I’m sorry.  I forgot about the fangs.”

Her gaze flickered to his mouth, and damned if he didn’t get hard again.  “Well, I guess since you didn’t . . . umm . . . overindulge, it’s not a big deal.”

Overindulge?  Oh, he wanted to overindulge.  Especially with those phenomenal breasts just a reach away.  But he wasn’t that big of a jerk.  “So can you tell me what happened?  Are there any other victims?”

“No.  No one else was in the car with me when Big Foot—I mean, a deer jumped out in front of the car.  I would’ve been okay if my brakes had worked properly.  It was almost like someone had tampered with—” She paused, and her eyes widened.  “Mr. Darby.”  She glanced at the door.  “And he’s probably the one who flattened your tire.”

Patrick started to wonder if she wasn’t suffering from a concussion.  She seemed to be talking in circles.  Of course, most women talked in circles.  “I thought you said no one was in the car with you.  Who is Mr. Darby?”

“No one was in the car with me.  Mr. Darby is the guy who’s trying to k—” She stopped and cleared her throat.  “Never mind.  It’s not important.  So you were saying?”

His brow knotted.  Why couldn’t women be as easy to read as a blueprint?  He released his breath in a sigh.  “I was wondering how badly you were injured.”

“I’m fine now.  I was just a little lightheaded before.”  She sat up to prove it, bringing her full pouting lips inches from his.  He might not be able to read her, but he sure as hell desired her.  He had never wanted to kiss a woman so badly in his life.  It was like her lips were magnetized and he was solid metal.  But before he could kiss her, she got to her feet and started picking up the items that had spilled out of her purse.  Since there was a lot of crap, he knelt down to help her.

“So what are you doing up here?” he asked as he lifted her wallet and handed it to her.  “I’m assuming by the costume that you were coming back from a party.”

There was a slight hesitation before she nodded.  “And I got lost.”  She leaned over to reach the tube of lipstick that had slid under the coffee table, and her breasts swelled forth in twin mounds of bodacious beauty.  “So if you can’t take me back to Denver, do you think you could get me to a working phone?”

It took her grabbing the lipstick and straightening before he could talk.  “I could if I didn’t have a flat tire.”  Now that his temper had cooled, he realized that she wouldn’t have had time to flatten his tire.  He probably ran over a nail at one of the jobsites, and it had been slowly leaking air all day.

“Don’t you know how to fix it?” she asked.

“Yes, but I’m not going to do it in a blizzard.”  He picked up her phone and tried it.  There was still no reception so he tapped the screen closed.  A screensaver picture of two people popped up.  Patrick didn’t know why he was more interested in the skinny guy than the pretty, dark-haired woman.  Or maybe he knew why, but just wasn’t willing to admit it.

“Are you married?” he asked.

“Not yet.  I’m still working on it.”  Before he could figure out what that meant, she got up and took the phone and her purse from him.  “So if you’re not going to fix the tire, just what am I supposed to do?”

In heels, or at least in one heel, she was only a few inches shorter than he was and sturdily built.  He realized that he liked that about her.  He was tired of petite women he had to worry about breaking.  This woman looked like she could handle a man who liked things a little rough.  And since she wasn’t married, was in no way connected to his aunt’s schemes, and was here . . .

Patrick smiled.  “You’re going to spend the night with me.”

“What?” she squeaked.  “I can’t spend the entire night with a . . .”

“Patrick.”  He held out his hand.  “And you are?”

She swallowed hard before answering.  “In big trouble.”

 

 

 

Mason_Snowbound at Christmas_MMSnowbound at Christmas (Christmas, Colorado #5) by Debbie Mason

Surviving the holidays will take a Christmas miracle…

Ex-cop Cat O’Connor is bored working for her sister, Chloe, as a personal assistant on the set of her soap opera. Until Chloe gets an opportunity to audition for the role of a lifetime and asks her identical twin to substitute for her on the soap with no one the wiser. It’s a perfect switch-until Cat attracts the attention of the mysterious Mr. Tall, Dark, and Way-too-handsome leading man.

Grayson Alexander never thought being snowbound in the charming town of Christmas, Colorado, for the holiday would get so hot. But between working with sexy, tough Cat on set and keeping his real reason for being there under wraps, he’s definitely feeling the heat. And if there’s one thing they’ll learn as they bring out the mistletoe, it’s that in this town, true love is always in season.

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Snowbound at Christmas Excerpt

“We don’t have time to talk about it,” the older woman said as she helped Cat out of the fur coat. “We have just been presented with the perfect opportunity to put our plan into action.”

Great, Estelle and Chloe had a plan. Cat tugged the sweater’s neckline higher. Her sister may like to show off her girls, but Cat’s were going undercover. And since she didn’t want Estelle to blow her cover, she hoped the older woman enlightened her about their plan.

They were a few feet from the table where Harry stood looking deliciously edible when Nell waved a gingerbread man in the air. “Get a kiss with your cookies, ladies. Two dollars for a kiss and a cookie.”

A horde of women stampeded in their direction.

“Make it count, my dear,” Estelle murmured, shoving Cat at the table.

The push caused Cat to wobble on her heels. If not for Harry reaching across the table, encircling her biceps with his strong hands, she would have fallen on her face. Something her sister would never do. So it was imperative that Cat put on a believable performance. She fluffed her hair, did a flirty head tilt, and batted her fake eyelashes.

“I’ll take two, Harry.” She puckered her lips.

His mouth flattened, a muscle ticking in his clenched jaw. Then he leaned toward her. It’s possible he said bloody hell under his breath as he lowered his head, but she couldn’t be sure because everything went a little fuzzy the moment his warm, firm lips touched hers. She tasted mint, smelled his expensive cologne, and drew closer, placing her hands on his shoulders to avoid toppling over. Okay, so it was an excuse, but she was sure her sister would have taken advantage of the situation in exactly the same way.

Her mouth softened, her fingers tightening on his broad shoulders as her lips parted. She was just getting into the kiss, and it was some kiss, when his mouth left hers. He took what appeared to be a startled step back. She understood the reaction—the kiss had rocked her world, too.

“Hang on, I need a picture for the Chronicle,” Nell said, putting down the cookie to pick up her cell phone. “Okay, go for it.”

In the background, she heard George saying something to Phil about breaking his promise. Harry looked over her head, then back at her. An emotion she couldn’t read darkened his blue eyes, then he brought his hands to the sides of her face and did as Nell suggested. He went for it.

Gently tilting her head so his lips slanted over hers at a precise angle, he gave her a deep, passionate kiss. It was long and lush, and breath-stealingly perfect. Her eyes were still closed, her head tipped up, when she realized she was kissing air. Blinking her eyes open, she stared at him. Acting as though he was completely unaffected, as if he hadn’t felt the same emotional rush of desire, he handed her two cookies.

If that was a kiss from an uninterested man, she’d eat . . .

“That will be four dollars, Chloe.” His words were cool and clipped, his back ramrod straight.

And her heart, that seconds ago had been dancing to a happy beat, froze. It wasn’t her he was kissing. It was her sister.

 

 

About the Authors

Jessica Lemmon has always been a dreamer. At some point, she decided head-in-the-clouds thinking was childish, went out, and got herself a job . . . and then she got another one because that one was lousy. And when that one stopped being fulfilling, she went out and got another . . . and another. Soon it became apparent she’d only be truly happy doing what she loved. And since “eating potato chips” isn’t a viable career, she opted to become a writer. With fire in her heart, she dusted off a book she’d started years prior, finished it, and submitted it. It may have been the worst book ever, but it didn’t stop her from writing another one. Now she has several books finished, several more started, and even more marinating in her brain (which currently resides in the clouds, thankyouverymuch), and she couldn’t be happier. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want. (While eating potato chips.)

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Katie Lane is the USA Today bestselling author of the Deep in the Heart of Texas and Hunk for the Holidays series. Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and when she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and cuddling with her high school sweetheart and cairn terrier Roo.

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Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

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Tour: Aim High Anthology from Pride Publishing *Guest Post, Review and Excerpt*

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Aim High Anthology
by T.A. Chase, Stephani Hecht, Morticia Knight, Jenna Byrnes, Sarah Masters, Megan Slayer

An M/M Romance Collection
From Pride Publishing
Released September 29th 2015

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‘Possibilities’ by T.A. Chase

When Dixon and Carson meet during a hurricane, neither imagined that moment would be the beginning of a new relationship.

After the hurricane blows through, both men meet again and the sparks fly. Possibilities open up for them to have a chance at finding love. They just have to be willing to try.

‘Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons’ by Stephani Hecht

Being apart from the one you love is the hardest thing to do, until you get them back to find they’ve changed…

Aden is excited to see Ross. But he can’t help but notice that his partner is having trouble adjusting back into the civilian world. Plus, there is the looming danger that Ross could be deployed again at any time. Will Ross have to leave to serve his county once more? And if so, can the pair survive the separation yet again?

‘Venetian Skies’ by Morticia Knight

No one wants to lose a love that’s meant to be. Air Force test pilot, Chris Pierce, returns to Italy to discover that second chances are the sweetest.

Second chances are the sweetest and love that’s meant to be doesn’t die. But when a MiG fighter jet gone rogue shoots Chris down, will their second chance be taken away forever?

‘Search and Rescue’ by Jenna Byrnes

Two parajumpers freefall into a stealthy relationship before considering how quickly it might come crashing to an end.

Airman First Class Matthew Billings has almost completed a grueling two year training program on his way to becoming a Pararescueman in the Air Force Special Operations Unit. On a mission to rescue a child lost in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico, he meets Master Sergeant Drake Bogart, a man who is as infuriating as he is handsome.

‘Live for the Day’ by Sarah Masters

Loving your best friend is easy. Telling him you do…well, that’s the hard part.

When the two men reunite, revelations are the name of the game. There is no question they’ve always loved each other, but now that they have the chance to express that love, will they?

Lifetime Hitch’ by Megan Slayer

Sometimes the best laid plans are meant to be thrown way off course.

Hunter planned his life very well. He’s got his position in the Air National Guard, the family he’s always wanted and a life most people would love to have. Except he’s not happy. His friends all know his truths, but them knowing about his sexuality and him admitting it are two different things. Thankfully Ryder—his best friend—has always got his back.

 

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Guest Post by Stephani Hecht

When I decided to become part of the Aim High anthology, at first I didn’t know what kind of story I was going to write. So, I went on a walk to think things through.

At the time, the US was in Afghanistan and they were still engaged in battle. I’d watched an in-depth documentary series about PJ’s who were deployed during this troubling time and—as a medic myself—it intrigued me. I’d already decided that I wanted one of the main characters to be in that branch of the military. I just hadn’t decided what to do about my second main character.

Then I saw them. As I walked down one particular street there was tree after tree which had yellow ribbons tied around them. For those of you who may not be aware of what this means, in the US it’s tradition to tie a yellow ribbon around a tree while a loved one is at war.

That got me thinking about the loved ones who were left behind. The ones who were afraid of receiving ­the dreaded news, be it that their loved one was injured, captured or killed in combat. At that time one of my dearest friends had a son who was in the Army and he was out in Afghanistan. My friend has often shared with me her fears over her son, so it struck me hard. Then in that moment, I had my inspiration for my secondary character, the one who was waiting for his loved one to come home.

I knew it was going to be a hard book to write. For one thing, I was going to have to show combat scenes. They couldn’t be glossed over, either, because to do so would be to do a disservice to soldiers everywhere. Another reason that made the book difficult to write was that the US was still at war and I knew that my PJ would have to be re-deployed at the end.  PJ’s are a highly specialized group of soldiers and their skills are so valued, that their trips home were always brief.

In the end, I decided to show the sacrifices that both sides of military families or couples make, having to leave their loved ones behind, while said loved ones did their part at home. It’s the same story that has played out in every war in history and it will continue to be that way.

So, the next time you see a tree with a yellow ribbon tied around it, try to remember that in a true sense there is more than one soldier represented. The ones who bravely face combat and the ones who are waiting at home.

 

Review

4 stars

‘Possibilities’ by T.A. Chase — 5 stars

A sweet story that brings together two men that were not looking for a relationship, but were open to the possibility once it presented itself. Although short in length, the story had plenty of content. I found the characters intriguing and their initial connection present. The author did a great job of bringing those elements and much more to the page. I wouldn’t mind reading more about these guys in the future.

‘Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons’ by Stephani Hecht — 3 stars

This story drew me in from the very beginning. I especially enjoyed how the author allowed the reader to see how deeply connected Aden and Ross truly were. Both men were struggling with issues that in one way or another affected their relationship and the obstacles they were facing felt real, which I appreciated.

However, the story ended abruptly and without any clear resolution for the characters the story felt incomplete for me. I guess it served the title well though since Aden was left with a lonely heart and the yellow ribbons.

‘Venetian Skies’ by Morticia Knight — 2 stars

This was one of my least favorite stories in the collection due to too many details and descriptions and not enough of the romance between Chris and Brandon. As a second chance story it had the opportunity of being a sweet and romantic story, but for me the romance got lost among everything else.

‘Search and Rescue’ by Jenna Byrnes — 5 stars

I admit, I was about ready to move on from this story within the first few scenes. Drake was not an easy man to like and those first scenes with Matthew really did not win me over. But…*sigh* Matthew and Drake together? Explosive! I loved it. Especially when underneath all that arrogance, Drake was a passionate and considerate man who only wanted what was best for Matthew. I enjoyed Matthew and Drake’s conflicted emotions and how the author went about bringing it all together. I wouldn’t mind reading more about these two–a couple of love scenes or some heated arguments that ended with make up sex, I’m not picky.

‘Live for the Day’ by Sarah Masters — 5 stars

Michael and Steven have been friends since childhood. Both have been keeping their feelings for the other a secret, but after a near fatal accident Steven doesn’t want to hide his emotions. He only hopes Michael feels the same way.

I enjoyed this friends to lovers romance very much, especially since everything about Michael and Steven felt real. I got to see how deeply they cared for each other as friends and how much they longed to be more than that. Although short in length, the author allowed the reader to get to know Michael and Steven as friends while bringing to the page their connection and later on their chemistry. I loved it!

Lifetime Hitch’ by Megan Slayer–3 stars

Hmmm…I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I enjoyed the concept and the character development as the story progressed but on the other hand there was something there that didn’t work for me. Maybe it was the writing, the secondary characters or the pace–really I can’t pinpoint it. However, the story was good with Hunter and Ryder finally coming together.

All in all, a great collection of military themed stories.

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

 

Excerpt from Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons

PPJ Ross Ervin reached out and touched the screen of his computer, as if he could really touch his lover, Aden. But since they were on Skype and thousands of miles away from each other, that was impossible.

Even over the crappy computer reception, Aden looked as good as ever. With his dark floppy hair, deep dimples and sparkling blue eyes, he still managed to keep his boyish looks, despite the fact he was in his late twenties.

“I miss you so much,” Ross said for what had to be the tenth time.

“I miss you too, but you’ll be home soon,” Aden returned.

Ross was at the end of his deployment, and it couldn’t come fast enough for him. After spending eight months apart from Aden, he couldn’t wait to have his lover back in his arms again. It seemed like forever since they had last held each other.

McCully, one of the men in Ross’ unit, snorted and rolled his eyes. For the most part, most of the guys in Ross’ group were understanding of him being gay, but there were still a few jerks. Unfortunately, McCully was one of them. Guess he hadn’t paid attention during the sensitivity training they’d all gone through after DADT had ended. Either that, or he just didn’t give a damn. Ross was betting on the latter.

But since McCully was his superior, Ross didn’t say anything. He just ignored him and continued to talk with Aden. Their talks were few and far between, and he’d be damned if he was going to let a jerk like McCully ruin it for him.

“How is Dowser doing?” Ross asked, referring to his big mutt of a dog.

“He’s moping around. I think he’s missing you too,” Aden said.

“Well, tell him I’ll be home soon and we can start going on our runs again. That should make him happy.”

Aden smiled. “Yeah, I think he yearns for your daily jogs. I tried taking him out with me, but I don’t think I’m fast enough for him.”

Ross started to say something else, but the siren sounded overhead, followed by the words “Scramble! Scramble!” letting them know that they had a call.

“Sorry, babe, I have to go. Love you,” Ross said.

“Love you too.”

Ross quickly disconnected the call, hating that his time with Aden had been cut short, then jumped to his feet and got into combat mode.

As a PJ for the Air Force, he was part of an elite unit. Only the best of the best made it into the program. They had to pass a rigorous test, plus grueling training. Not only were they the best medics, but they were the ones that would go behind enemy lines to rescue the wounded. Many times, they would go in under fire to take out the hurt and dying. They were willing to put their own lives on the line so others might live.

 

About Stephani Hecht

Stephani Hecht is a happily married mother of two. Born and raised in Michigan, she loves all things about the state, from the frigid winters to the Detroit Red Wings hockey team. You can usually find her snuggled up to her laptop, creating her next book.

 

Competition

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Enter Pride Publishing’s September blog tour competition for the chance to win an eBook of your choice, not including boxsets or anthologies.

N.B. This competition has been extended to the 4th of October to allow for entrants for this blog tour.

 

Direct link: https://www.pride-publishing.com/pride-september-competition

 

 

Tour: Unbreak Broken (Coming About, #3) by J.K. Hogan *Author Q&A, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Unbreak Broken (Coming About, #3)
by J.K. Hogan

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Wilde City Press
Expected for Release September 16th 2015

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Rory Donovan’s life is a hot mess. His marriage is failing and he’s in intensive psychotherapy, working through the unfortunate side effects of memories from a childhood trauma. The only thing good in his life right now is his job—teaching photography to gifted high school students.

Harbor Patrol officer Bennett Foster is co-parenting his teenage daughter with his high school best friend Jessie. When he meets Addison’s teacher and realizes they’ve met before, he can’t get the sexy stranger out of his head.

Striking up a sexual-tension-filled friendship, together they must help an angsty teenager deal with a dying friend. Bennett must keep his little family from falling apart while Rory struggles to come to terms with his new reality. Somewhere along the way, most unexpectedly…love happens.

 

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Author Q&A

Hi J.K, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hey, there! IRL I’m a pretty normal gal, wife and mother and fur-mommy. I stay at home with my son and alternate between writing and graphic design. I’m also currently carrying my second son.

I started out writing m/f paranormal romance—I have a series of three books if anyone is so inclined—but I started writing exclusively m/m in the last couple of years. I just have more fun doing it.

My new release, Unbreak Broken, is (probably) the conclusion to my Coming About series. It features Rory, everybody’s favorite cuddly straight guy, who ends up being not-so-straight, but not without a lot of heartache and…well, therapy. He gets paired with a sexy cop with a teenage daughter, and much drama ensues. Hope you enjoy!

1) What genres do you enjoy writing in?

I’m a die-hard romance girl, so there will probably always be romance in my books. I’ve written m/m and m/f, contemporary, paranormal, suspense… I’m not sure I could pick a favorite either. I’d love to try my hand at sci-fi someday, but I’m not sure I have the world-building chops for it yet. I’ll challenge myself one of these days!

2) What was the hardest part about writing this book?

The hardest part was not making it an insta-love-y, surprise-I’m-gay kind of story. Rory was really messed up and confused, and he really didn’t know what was wrong with him. I wanted it to be a journey of discovery that felt like it could actually happen.

3) What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

The chemistry between Rory and Bennett. I love a good slow burn story, and with this kind of set up, it had to be slow. But man, they were hot when they got going.

4) What cultural value do you see in writing?

This may be broader than the question was really intended as, but I think the most important cultural value of writing is exercising free speech. It’s up to the readers what they enjoy and buy, but it’s up to us as writers to choose what we write. The fact that we have that choice is amazing, and something we should never forget. We write about two men falling in love or whatever else pops up, because we can.

5) What is your favorite positive saying?

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” ~Jalal ad-Din Rumi

 

Excerpt

Dr. Conlan treated me to a rare fond smile, almost motherly in its warmth. “I’m pleased to see you happier than you have been.”

I grinned back, but then my brow furrowed. “Does this make me gay?”

“Does that matter?”

“I don’t know. Should it?”

“I’ll never understand the fascination with labeling things that our society seems to have. To me, sexuality is as intangible as the universe. There’s no way to truly know what’s out there, and how it all relates to everything else.

“As humans, we seek to know, to understand, and somehow we feel that putting things in boxes and labeling helps us do that. But some things are fluid, changing and developing with the tide of the evolution of life. Do me a favor, Rory. Don’t put yourself in a box.”

I was dumbfounded, stunned speechless. I knew I’d remember Dr. Conlan’s words for the rest of my life, and I would try to stay as true to them as I could. “I won’t,” I whispered.

 

About the Author

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.

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New Release! Wilde at Heart (Wilde Security #3) by Tonya Burrows *Review*

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Wilde at Heart (Wilde Security #3)
by Tonya Burrows

A Suspenseful Romance
From Entangled Ignite
September 7th 2015

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He has everything under control. Except her.

Reece Wilde put everything in his life on the backburner to protect his brothers and their struggling company, Wilde Security. With a major contract on the line, Reece can’t afford any mistakes…like getting caught in a red-hot, X-rated moment with wild child Shelby Bremer, who’s more trouble than he can handle. Now he’s being blackmailed.

Shelby’s mile-long impulsive streak gets her in more trouble than she’d like to admit. Between her sister’s wedding, her coffee shop set on fire, and getting down and dirty with the groom’s brother, things are definitely coming off the rails. With both their careers and their safety on the line, Reece is determined to keep them both safe…even if it means a Vegas-style shotgun wedding.

But gambling on a wild card—and a wild soul—is risky…and sometimes, it can get a guy killed.

 

 

Wilde at Heart

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Review

4 stars

Reece Wilde is one sexy nerd. Worried over the state of Wilde Security, Reece decides to pursue the backing of a conservative man whose pleasure stems from watching men squirm to get at his money. So being caught in a compromising position with wild child Shelby Bremer is not in his or the company’s best interest.

Shelby hasn’t had much luck in life, but she has recently made some strides in getting her life back on track. But when her past comes back to wanting her to tie loose ends, she finds herself in a difficult situation. Thinking they could help each other, Reece and Shelby decide to get ‘married’, neither one anticipating how hard they were going to fall for each other the more time they spent together.

What initially drew me to this was the opposites attract concept. I admit it loved getting to know Reece and Shelby. I enjoyed watching how their differences clashed and complemented each other as the story progressed. And I guess that it’s why I found it disappointed that their ‘romance’ took a back seat to everything else that was happening in the story.

That’s not to say that the other elements brought to the story were’t interesting or intriguing in their own right, I just think that it took away from what could have been a great romance. Thankfully, Tonya Burrows managed to bring Reece and Shelby’s connection to the page. Maybe it wasn’t developed up to my standards, but it was there nonetheless. I enjoyed their flirty banter, their bickering and those intimate honest moments when they finally let the other in. Both Reece and Shelby were hardened by their past so watching them losing some of their walls was a treat for me to read.

As with other books in the series, we get to spend some time with the Wilde brothers and the women they love. In this installment we get to see a bit more of Vaughn and a lot less of Greer. Yep, curioser and curioser!

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the Wilde Security series, it can be read as a stand alone. Although, in my opinion, reading book two would provide greater insight into Shelby, it’s not a necessity since the author does a great job of giving laying out her story.

All in all, a fun and sexy opposite attract story. Loved the characters and liked the story, but for me the romance fell away somewhere between all the happenings in the story.

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

 

About the Author

Tonya Burrows
Tonya Burrows wrote her first romance in 8th grade and hasn’t put down her pen since. Originally from a small town in Western New York, she’s currently soaking up the sun as a Florida girl. She suffers from a bad case of wanderlust and usually ends up moving someplace new every few years. Luckily, her two dogs and ginormous cat are excellent travel buddies.

When she’s not writing about hunky military heroes, Tonya can be found at a bookstore or the dog park. She also enjoys painting, watching movies, and her daily barre workouts. A geek at heart, she pledges her TV fandom to Supernatural and Dr. Who.

For More Information visit Tonya’s website.

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Review: Too Hot to Handle (The Boys of Summer #2) by Katie Rose

Too Hot to Handle Book Cover Too Hot to Handle
The Boys of Summer #2
Katie Rose
Sports Romance
Loveswept
January 27th 2015
eGalley
NetGalley

 

Katie Rose’s Boys of Summer series returns for a delicious double-header—with the story of total opposites who are drawn to each other like moths to a flame.

Nikki Case is no fan of baseball. Her ex gambled away a fortune on the sport, and now her PR firm has tasked her with cleaning up the league’s most notorious bad boys. The New Jersey Sonics are known for wild womanizing and booze-fueled brawls, so Nikki expects the worst. Her first stop in the battle to win hearts and minds is star hitter Jake Baldwin—a legendary ladies man so smokin’ he threatens to melt her tough-girl armor.

Although his teammates prank her without mercy, Jake admires the way Nikki gives as good as she gets. She may be the queen of frost, but there’s kindling beneath those sultry curves—and he’s just the man to ignite it. But when a PR nightmare lands the Sonics in headlines across the country, Nikki is ready to walk. Only then does Jake realize how important she is to the Sonics’ success—and that winning the love of a good woman is no game.

Review

Much better!!!

In my review of Bring on the Heat, I mentioned that I was looking forward to reading more about The Boys of Summer. And I’m glad I did! This story was fun, sexy and romantic with a bit of emotions thrown into the mix to round it all up!

Nikki Case has just been assigned with the task to clean up the image of the New Jersey Sonics, a tough task to accomplish but one she’s determined to complete. What she was not expecting was to find herself intensely attracted to Jake Baldwin. She’s not in the lookout for a relationship, but the more time she spends with the sexy star player, the less she can’t seem to help herself.

Jake Baldwin is always up for a challenge. So when his teammates challenge him to win Nikki Case’s heart, he’s up to the task. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the woman is gorgeous and fierce. But soon is not only her fiery personality and good looks that twist him up. The woman is his perfect match and he will not give up until he has her for real.

I enjoyed this story very much! I especially enjoyed the characters and how well they complemented each other. This time around, Katie Rose didn’t miss a beat in bringing forth Jake and Nikki’s connection to the page. They bickered, flirted and got on each other’s nerves and through it all their connection kept on growing. Of course, it helped tremendously that they also shared a great amount of chemistry. The more time these two spent together the more I became convinced that they were right for each other.

What further convinced me (aside from those sizzling moments when they gave into their attraction) were the moments when we got glimpses into who their vulnerable sides. Although known as a ladies man, Jake was not uncaring or heartless. He was sweet, considerate and had a heart of gold. Which complemented the more sensitive side of Nikki. Although she gave as good as she got and appeared to be unreachable, she was only protecting herself from further heartbreak.

Although this is the second book in The Boys of Summer series, it can be read as a stand alone. As with the first book in the series, I enjoyed the participation of the secondary characters and what they brought to the story. This group of guys were a bunch of fun and I can’t wait to know more about them.

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

View all my reviews

Review: Bring on the Heat (The Boys of Summer #1) by Katie Rose

Bring on the Heat Book Cover Bring on the Heat
The Boys of Summer #1
Katie Rose
Sports Romance
Loveswept
August 26th 2014
eGalley
NetGalley

 

In Katie Rose’s irresistible battle of wits, a case of mistaken identity lands a female fan in bed with a sexy superstar—and in major-league trouble.

House-sitting for a rich and famous friend has its perks, and Darcy Hamel isn’t shy about enjoying them. Especially when it means scoring a ticket to an exclusive fashion show hosted by the New Jersey Sonics. An avid baseball fan, Darcy has always dreamed of meeting the team—especially the starting pitcher whose body is as hot as his fastball. But there’s a catch. The gala is by invitation only. To get behind the velvet rope, mild-mannered Darcy will have to pose as party girl Lydia Logan.

Schmoozing is one of the downsides of fame, but Chase Westbrook knows how to liven up even the dullest event. And nothing spices a night up more than a beautiful socialite with a naughty reputation. What Chase doesn’t expect is a hint of sweetness beneath her sultry façade. Flirtation turns to seduction and leaves him aching for more. Chase just doesn’t know who the real Lydia is: the spoiled tease crying foul over some missing diamonds or the alluring woman making a play for his heart

Review

3-stars2.5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand, I enjoyed the characters and the premise on which they ‘met’ was brought well onto the page. But on the other hand, I couldn’t really understand some of the character’s behavior/actions and found that their connection got lost among the other elements in the story.

I enjoyed Darcy’s character. She bit more than she could chew and found herself between a rock and a hard place when it came to confess her feelings for Chase. I liked that she didn’t try to convince herself she was doing the right thing and that she still felt bad for how everything played out in the end. In that regards, I admit I admired her strength at a time when most would have likely retreated and/or blame others for her situation.

Chase, on the other hand, well he disappointed me in parts. During the first part of the book, I found him to be charming and sexy (as expected). He was sweet and soon came to care for ‘Darcy’. I loved that side of him. But once the truth came out. Well, let’s just say that I moved on from Chase and lost all interest in the story.

However, as the first book in the series Bring on the Heat served its purpose. I enjoyed the addition of the secondary characters and what they added to the story. It was a treat to see the camaraderie between the teammates and getting to know a bit more about the future ‘main players’.

This story might not have been my cup of tea, but I’m looking forward to read more about The Boys of Summer.

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

View all my reviews

New Release Tour! The Heat of the Moment (The Boys of Summer, #3) by Katie Rose *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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The Heat of the Moment (The Boys of Summer, #3)
by Katie Rose

A Sports Contemporary Romance
From Loveswept
Released September 22nd 2015

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The Boys of Summer are back! In Katie Rose’s sweet, sparkling novel, the newest New Jersey Sonic falls for the woman who’s trying desperately to save his career.

Physical therapist Jessica Hart has learned her lesson: Never date professional athletes. She’s been down that road, and barely recovered after the relationship crashed and burned. Then Jessica meets Gavin King. An All-Star slugger with chiseled good looks, Gavin was traded to the Sonics because he hurt his knee sliding into second, and now his future is in her hands. Gavin’s no bad boy—but he’s tempting enough to make Jessica think twice about all her rules.

Gavin is trying to find a comfortable routine. If he wants his old life back, he must take it easy, stay out of the limelight, and keep his distance from gorgeous redheaded physical therapists. The thing is, Gavin isn’t the kind of guy to sit on his ass and let other people pull his weight. And when he sees something he wants, he can’t help but fight for it, even if it means risking everything, even if it only lasts a single moment: like one kiss from Jessica.

 

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Review

5-stars

A thoroughly enjoyable read! I’ve read my fair share of sports romances, but there have only been a few I’ve enjoyed from start to finish. The Heat of the Moment has been one of them. From that first meeting between Gavin and Jessica, I knew that their story was going to be one I would enjoy.

Gavin King has been traded to the New Jersey Sonics after a near career-ending injury. His main focus is to work on his recovery so he could get back to the game he loves. Adjusting to a new team and a new city has not been easy, but having Jessica as his therapist and friend has made the transition bearable.

As soon as Jessica Hart met Gavin she knew she would have to try her best to keep her distance. Gavin has everything she usually goes for–good looks, a charming personality and a kind heart. She’s been burned before and has no desire for a repeat heart brake.

I loved this story! What’s not to love? You have Gavin–a sexy baseball player with a heart of gold. He was funny, smart and considerate, an exceptional baseball player who took his career seriously, a loyal friend and teammate, a sweet supportive friend and a passionate lover–I loved all facets of the guy, especially when he went all alpha-male on Jessica.

Then there was Jessica who I thought was the perfect partner for Gavin. I admired her loyalty to her patients and her determination to give them the best care she could provide. I also enjoyed her sense of humor and her fierceness. She loved deeply and even when she had her doubts she never wavered in her feelings for Gavin or his treatment.

So as you can imagine, Gavin and Jessica together an even more enjoyable treat. With flirty banter, good-natured bickering and honest interactions, Katie Rose made sure that Gavin and Jessica’s connection made it to the page and stayed in the forefront throughout. It was a slow journey to romance, but seeing their transition from friends to lovers was well worth the wait. Of course, it didn’t hurt that they had great chemistry. Those first few encounters were…er, let me just say that I enjoyed being caught in the heat of the moment each and every time. 😉

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in The Boys of Summer series it can be read as a stand alone.

All in all, a fun, sweet and thoroughly enjoyable read with plenty of heat to keep you interested throughout.

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

Excerpt

Pete walked into the PT room a moment later, popping his gum with a grin.

“I want you to meet our new player, Gavin King. Gavin, this is Jessica Hart. She is the best sports therapist in the business, and a hell of a trainer. Jess, Gavin just joined the team, but he’s on the DL.”

Jessica turned to the coach, saw the ballplayer beside him, and her heart stopped.

He was exactly her type. Or her former type. As she took in his magnificent physique, black eyes, and Colgate smile, she felt an instant attraction.

Gavin was the kind of guy she used to dream about, drool over, and date. She’d met enough of them growing up, friends of her brothers who started out as decent guys but got caught up in the hype and eventually stomped all over some poor girl silly enough to give up her heart. Unfortunately, she’d had to walk that path herself. She’d made the fatal mistake of falling for an outfielder who played for Cleveland, and eventually played her. Zach had the same dark hair, heart-stopping smile, and killer body.

He’d taught her what the word devastation meant.

“Good to meet you.” She extended her hand, reminding herself to think of him in clinical terms: he was a pro baseball player, a young athlete, and he was hurt. “So what seems to be the problem?”

“I had surgery for a meniscus tear,” he said, lifting his left pant leg and indicating a bandage. “It’s pretty much healed, but the surgeon wants me in physical therapy for a few months to build back up. I think they sent my test results, the MRI, and a script.”

She nodded, squatting before him and removing the bandage to examine the pink half-inch line on his knee. “I’ll take a look at the films. Red zone?” she asked, referring to the location of his tear.

“Yeah, I think so. But they said it spread into the white zone.”

Her eyes shot to Pete’s, and he gave a slight negative shake of his head. This news wasn’t good, and neither one of them wanted to share their misgivings. A tear that went into the white zone could mean big trouble for a ballplayer, or it could heal well and the limb would fully recover. It would take weeks before they’d know, and she understood now how the Sonics had acquired this magnificent specimen of a man:

His previous team didn’t want the risk.

So New Jersey had rolled the dice, gambling on his recovery. She could only hope they’d beat the odds.

“Okay, let’s get started. Have you done any therapeutic exercise up until now?”

“Yes, for a couple of weeks,” he said, flexing the knee to demonstrate. “They had me doing leg raises until they took the brace off.”

“That makes sense. We won’t do much today; we’ll do an evaluation, take a look at your records, and then we will put together a program.”

“How long?”

Her eyes met his and she saw the pain and frustration there. No player ever wanted to be on the disabled list, especially for any period of time. She didn’t want to raise false hopes, but she also didn’t want to discourage him. She took a deep breath, carefully choosing her words.

“It’s different with everyone. Some people recover much more quickly than others. A lot depends on how well you heal, how much you can tolerate, and if you’re willing to do the exercises at home. That will give us the quickest turnaround.”

“I’ll do whatever it takes,” he said fervently. “I just want to get back in the game.”

Jessica nodded as she wrapped the limb with the heating pad. No way in hell would she tell him the truth:

He might never be back.

 

About the Author

Katie-Rose
Award-winning historical author Katie Rose makes her contemporary debut with the Boys of Summer novels, Bring on the Heat and Too Hot to Handle, which combine Katie’s true loves: baseball and romance! When not watching baseball, Katie is at her lake house in New Jersey, hard at work on her next book.

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New Release: Lost in the Fire (Firehouse Six, #5) by Draven St. James *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Lost in the Fire (Firehouse Six, #5)
by Draven St. James

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From LooseId
Released September 22, 2015

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Aaron Evans embodies every complication Wren Tucker knows he doesn’t need. The tempting go-go dancer refuses to leave him alone and his attempts to get into Wren’s bunker pants don’t stop at the club, even the walls of the Firehouse aren’t safe. Wren’s control is only so strong, and his desire for Aaron is turning into a clawing need that’s digging through the many reasons keeping Aaron at bay.

Aaron is two cold showers away from hypothermia if the hot fireman of his dreams won’t give in to the lust Aaron sees blazing in Wren’s eyes. The only issue is, Wren is a forever man, and Aaron doesn’t have that in him to give, not with so many secrets locked behind the glitter and gold of his beautiful world.

As Wren begins to cave to Aaron’s delicious demands, he gets a deeper view of the tarnished landscape Aaron exists in. A murky pit of drug addiction that’s slowly dragging Aaron under, and Wren is going to have to fight like hell to save Aaron from it, to even have a chance at a new beginning with the man who has brought him out of the shadows.

 

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Excerpt

“One of these days, Wren Tucker…” Aaron turned to his side, pillowing his head with his bent arm. His eyes slid closed, and he murmured, “I’m going to get to you.”

You already do. Wren crouched beside the bed. The first time Wren had seen him, Aaron had been dancing. The light from the club had touched on every toned dip and groove of Aaron’s body as it swiveled on the raised stage, his tight ass shaking with the beat of the music. All of that had been amazing, but it had been Aaron’s face that had captivated him—the free expression, like he was in another world. His full lips mouthing the lyrics, his head thrown back, and the locks of his black hair waving around his flushed face.

In that moment of abandon, Aaron had met Wren’s gaze, a smile tugging at the corner of his sensual mouth. Aaron had continued the dance, but he hadn’t stopped focusing on Wren.

 

Firehouse Six series

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Grey’s Hidden Fire (Firehouse Six, #1)
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Fire and Mistletoe (Firehouse Six, #2)
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Fused by Fire (Firehouse Six #3)
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Driven by Fire (Firehouse Six, #4)
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About the Author

Draven St. James is a born and raised Oregonian. She has traveled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill her books. Her ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of stories. Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where she finds her peace.

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HOT New Release! Ryker (Cold Fury Hockey #4) by Sawyer Bennett *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Ryker (Cold Fury Hockey #4)
by Sawyer Bennett

A Contemporary Romance
From Loveswept
Released September 8th 2015

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The rugged men of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team are winning hearts once again in another scorching novel from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett.

The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.

As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure’s on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.

 

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Review

5-stars

*sigh* I have loved each and every Cold Fury team member but I have to say that now that I discovered Ryker Evans I have a favorite.

This is Ryker Evans year to prove himself. With his contract up for negotiation and adjusting to being a full time parent, Ryker has his hands full and has no time for a relationship. But staying away from Gray Brannon proves to be more difficult than he anticipated. He is drawn to her fierceness, her smarts and her body. He wants her on his side and on his bed.

Gray Brannon has just been appointed GM of the Carolina Cold Fury team. She’s determined to make it on her own, so it’s a no-brainer that she should NOT get involved with one of her players. But Ryker’s charm, loyalty and sinful body has her in a constant state of doubt–career or romance. Which one should she pursue?

I have to say that this series continues to get better and better with every new book that comes out. With her flawless mix of humor, emotions and panty-melting goodness, Sawyer Bennett’s writing never fails to draw me in until I’m fully immerse in the story and its characters.

This time around we have a charming, funny and considerate sexy man paired up with a strong headed, independent woman. Ryker and Gray push each others buttons, make each other laugh and make a room sizzle whenever they’re together. I enjoyed watching them fight their attraction and ultimately giving into its power. They pondered, questioned and went to great lengths to ignore the attraction that existed between them. But it was futile. Their connection proved to be stronger than either one anticipated and their attraction to each other didn’t help one bit!

I admit I was surprised by Gray. At first glance, she appears cold and unyielding but once you get to know her you discover she’s easy going, unpretentious and funny–characteristics that complemented Ryker in every way. I loved her and I’m not so easily won over.

Ryker I loved from the very beginning. He was an awesome dad, a loyal teammate and sexy as hell. How can you not love him? I enjoyed his sense of humor, the moments spent with his daughters and his dirty talk. Yep, the perfect man all around!

As with other books by this author, I came to enjoyed the romance element the best. Although Ryker and Gray’s chemistry was instant, their romance was slow in coming. Ryker and Gray started as acquaintances and soon found themselves being drawn to each other. Small talks, some flirty banter and various heated exchanges soon had them both imagining something more and reconsidering their career goals.

Keep in mind that although this is the fourth book in the Cold Fury series it can be read as a stand alone. Although the story continues dealing with the goings-on of the Carolina Cold Fury, it centers on Ryker and Gray’s relationship. Of course, getting to see the other characters and getting to know some new ones was a treat for me too.

All in all, a fun and sexy romance and a great addition to the series. Hawke’s story is next and I can’t wait to see this party boy reigned in.

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

 

Excerpt

“D-a-a-a-d,” Ruby shrieks from upstairs.

It’s a sound that once used to cause all the hair to stand up on my arms and on more than one occasion caused me to go tearing after the call of my youngest daughter thinking she was being murdered by an intruder. I’ve since come to recognize that particular shrill cry as one of excitement and wonder, and I can’t help but grin over what Ruby is possibly into now. At almost five years old, she refuses to accept the concept of a well-mannered, indoor voice and goes balls to the wall in everything she does.

“Is the house on fire, Rubes?” I call out.

Her little voice shouts back to me in a squawk. “No.”

“Have aliens landed?” I keep my voice just loud enough to carry up the stairs but still
decibels below her own.

“No,” she yells, and there . . . right there . . . that’s a little giggle from her.

“Did Timmy fall down the well?”

“No, Dad . . . but you have to come here,” she yells, and, to give her credit, it’s toned down just a bit. When I don’t answer her right away, she calls down in a sweet voice that makes my heart pitter-patter. “Please, Dad.”

Brilliant, little brat. Throwing in some manners to throw me off my game.

“I’ll be right there,” I tell her as I finish the last of Violet’s braid and manage to efficiently bind it with a hair elastic. Leaning over, I place a kiss on her head. “All done, dreamy dwarf.”

Violet leans her head back and gives me an upside-down grin. I love the sprinkle of freckles on her nose and it compels me to kiss her again.

“Do me a favor,” I tell her as I turn toward the living room. “Get the cereal and milk out for me while I go see what your sister needs?”

I don’t bother waiting to see what she does, because Violet has become my metaphorical right hand over the last few months. While she still loves for me to braid her hair and help with her homework, she’s also relished taking on a bit of a caretaker role since the girls moved in with me permanently this past summer.

They’ve been here almost six months and I actually feel like I know what the hell I’m doing now. It wasn’t always like that, and thank God for Kate’s help or I would have gone insane in those first few months of becoming a single parent of two little girls. Kate patiently helped me establish a routine and taught me how to braid hair, distinguish excited shrieks from cries of pain, and most important . . . how to conduct the perfect princess tea party.

I skirt my way through the living room, bending over to pick up one of Ruby’s dolls from the floor, and bound up the stairs taking two at a time. I find Ruby in the bathroom that she and Violet share, bent over the toilet and peering at something.

She shares the same dark hair and gray eyes as Violet, except her locks spring out everywhere in a mass of tiny curls. I have no idea where that came from, but assume it’s a rogue strand of ancestral DNA from either me or my soon-to-be ex-wife, Hensley. Both of us, as well as Violet, have fairly straight hair, so Ruby is definitely dipping into the family gene pool with her wild curls, but damn . . . they totally fit with her personality.

“What’s up?” I ask as I walk over to the toilet.

She straightens up, shoots me a grin, and points. “Look . . . a spider.”

I cautiously take a step forward and lean over, grimacing as I look into the bowl.

And holy shit . . . a spider the size of a T rex is floating on the surface, all eight legs spread out, bent and poised to look as if it’s ready to leap out and attach itself to my face. I suppress a full spinal shudder and reach a tentative hand toward the handle to flush it.

Two things happen almost simultaneously that take at least three years off my life.

The spider somehow manages to skitter across the water, the beast so large it actually creates waves, and Ruby shrieks at me, “No! Don’t kill it, Dad!”

It is with a major blow to my pride—as a man, as a dad, as a six-foot, six-inch professional hockey player nicknamed the Brick because I’m as big and tough as a brick wall—that I jump backward at least two feet from the monster-infested toilet and banshee-crying sprite, causing my hip to slam into the corner of the sink.

“Shit,” I curse loudly, and Ruby’s eyes go round, followed by her lips.

“Oh, Dad . . . that’s a bad word.”

No shit.

I smile at her as I rub my hip. That’s definitely going to leave a bruise. “Sorry, Rubes. I’ll put a dollar in the swear jar.”

She merely nods her acceptance of my apology and turns worried eyes back to the toilet.

“You have to save it,” she implores.

Yeah . . . that’s not going to happen. Not now. Not ever.

“Sure, baby,” I tell her as I take her by the shoulder and turn her toward the bathroom door. I swear the spider glares at me with a million red, evil eyes. “Go on down and get breakfast. Violet’s fixing your cereal. I’ll get the spider out.”

“Okay,” Ruby says as she pulls away from me, but continues to give me instructions. “But let it out the front door and I’ll bring it some food later.”

“Sounds like a plan,” I assure her as she disappears down the stairs. When I hear her feet hit the bottom landing, I turn toward the toilet, intent on a quick flush to put me out of my misery.

Except when I look in the bowl, the fucking thing is gone.

I’ll just go ahead and admit it. Spiders scare the living hell out of me. I have no clue why, and while I would battle the biggest, baddest monster to the death for my daughters, I’d much rather flush a little spider down the toilet.

I immediately scramble backward out of the bathroom, grabbing the doorknob and shutting it quickly behind me. My heart is racing a million miles an hour, the thought of that furry hell beast now loose in my house.

Just one more thing on the list of things I still need to do today.

Get the girls dressed and ready for school.

Take the girls to school.

Clean up the spilled laundry detergent.

Finish the laundry.

Arm myself with a can of hairspray and a lighter to torch the rogue spider in the bathroom.

Pick up my dry cleaning.

Work out.

Team practice.

Pick up the girls from Kate and Zack’s house.

Dinner.

Baths.

Story time and cuddling.

Go to bed because I’ll be exhausted.

Easy as fucking pie, and I’ll get up and do it all over again the next day with a smile on my face. I’m finding life as a single parent isn’t as daunting as I thought it would be and I’ve finally found my groove.

 

Cold Fury Series

Alex Cover

Alex (Cold Fury Hockey, #1)
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Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey, #2)
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Zack (Cold Fury Hockey, #3)
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About the Author

Sawyer

USA Today and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her third book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, June 2015.

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