Sample Tour: Target Engaged (Delta Force #1) by M.L. Buchman *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

This December starts off with a bang as M.L. Buchman releases TARGET ENGAGED, the first in his brand new (and action-packed) Delta Force series! To celebrate his new release, Sourcebooks Casablanca is sharing the first six chapters of Target Engaged for FREE! Click here to download the first six chapters and check out a special note from M.L. Buchman below.

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Target Engaged (Delta Force #1)
by M.L. Buchman

A Suspenseful Romance
From Sourcebooks Casablanca
Releasing December 1st 2015

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Book 1 in M.L. Buchman’s thrilling NEW Delta Force series

Delta Force: The most dangerous elite counter-terrorism force on the planet

  • The deadliest shooters
  • The most out-of-the-box thinkers in any military
  • Will die to get the mission done

Sergeant Kyle Reeves: The premier soldier of the new recruits

Sergeant Carla Anderson: The first woman of Delta Force

If the training doesn’t kill them, their passion may—but Kyle Reeves and Carla Anderson blast right in. Show no fear. Have no fear. Then they get the call. The most powerful drug-smuggling ring in Venezuela needs a takedown, and Delta’s newest team leaps into the deep jungle to deliver. Giving their all? Not a problem. Giving their hearts? That takes a new level of courage.

Amazon | Apple | BAM | Barnes and Noble | Chapters | Indiebound | Kobo

 

A Note from M.L. Buchman

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my newest series: the first women of Delta Force. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun this was to write.

Most of us know little more about Delta Force than the Chuck Norris movies (which leave a lot to be desired) or perhaps we only know the name. In researching my Night Stalkers series, I kept running into these guys. They are the elite of Special Operations Forces. They are at a level of SEAL Team 6, and most would argue they were even beyond that. They are the ghost and shadow warriors who helped take down drug lord Pablo Escobar, capture Noriega, were undoubtedly behind the locating of Saddam Hussein, and are the main reason that Al-Qaeda abruptly stopped being a topic in the Iraq War when over three thousand of their leaders were swept off the board.

Yet the Pentagon states that they don’t exist. Fascinating.

And while they often work with undercover female operatives, no woman has yet managed to kick in the front door on one of the most arduous selection programs in the military.

I decided to change that.

Carla Anderson stepped forward to take the challenge. She is a not a woman out to prove she can match any man, she’s out to prove that she can beat them at their own game. And that was the first thing that I loved about writing this series.

In the Night Stalkers, the women were strong, excellent, and determined.

To be a Delta Force woman, Carla had to add enough attitude and drive to plow through all obstacles which just made her so much fun. Nothing was off the table when it came to her attitude or her actions.

And that was the second thing I came to love about this series launcher, Target Engaged. Being Delta Force, they really do operate outside so many bounds. They are sent to do the tasks that no one else can. To that I added the additional challenge that Robert Ludlum gave to Jason Bourne (though I’m quoting the movie): “I don’t send you to kill. I send you to be invisible. I send you because you don’t exist.” I’m pretty convinced that this is part of Delta’s mission.

It is occasionally said by retired Delta Force operators (as the on-duty ones never speak): “If we’d been sent in to take down bin Laden, you still wouldn’t know how it was done.” To bring that to life gave me a permission as a writer to run my characters into hard and strange places and be just a little gonzo doing it.

But writing is a give and take, and I can’t begin to tell you how much the characters I created shaped my telling of this story. I like to think that they had as much fun as I did bringing this story to life.

I hope that you enjoy the reading even half as much as I enjoyed the writing!

M.L. Buchman (the Oregon Coast, November 2015)

Get to know the Carla, and the entire Delta Force team by reading the first SIX chapters of TARGET ENGAGED for free! Just click here to download them! To get you started, we’ve included the first few pages below:

 

Review

5-stars

Carla Anderson is not only a woman, she’s a warrior. And one determined to make it as a Delta Force. Smart, strong-headed and confident in her abilities, Carla is not intimidated by the big alpha males she encounters during the elimination process. Not even Kyle Reeves, the man ahead of the herd at every turn.

Kyle Reeves has always trained to be the best. He has also worked alongside the best. But never has he been as intrigued by a fellow soldier as he has been about Carla. It’s no wonder he wants her–on his team and on his bed. It seems she has it all–fantastic looks, great stamina and a kick-ass attitude that has carried her to the top of the pack.

But with training over, they find themselves deeply immersed in their first mission. Soon Carla and Kyle will learn that none of the training they endured to become a Delta will come in handy when it comes to guarding their hearts.

I have to say, it’s been a while since I’ve read a book of this magnitude. As this was the first book I’ve read by this author, I didn’t know what to expect from the story. I’ve read my share of suspenseful romances, so I came into the story with some expectations and I am happy to say that this book surpassed them all.

Action-packed scenes, detailed training exercises and missions, intriguing characters and one hell of an intense romance has made Target Engaged one of my favorite read of the year.

As the first book in a series, Target Engaged served its purpose to the max. The author spared no expense in immersing the reader in what it takes to be a part of Delta Force. Although I found the book riveting through its entirety, I count the first half of the book as the most enjoyable, since it details the training exercises the candidates must complete to progress in the program. Not only did I get to know Kyle and Carla and what drove them, I got to see an exceptional group of individuals give their very best. So when they went into their first mission, I was already invested in these individuals. I wanted to see them in action, see what set them apart and revel in their success.

I also enjoyed how the author went about bringing the romance element to the page. Yes, the chemistry between Kyle and Carla was intense and jumped off the page, but to my surprise that wasn’t what kept me glued to my tablet. I was fascinated by the intricacies of the mission and the way the author went out of his way to make me a part of it. But although the romance took a back seat to the rest of the story, I appreciated the way Buchman presented Kyle and Carla’s struggles in coming to terms with their emotions as the mission ran its course.

All in all, a fantastic start to a series. I will definitely be looking for more from this author!

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

 

About the Author

Matt Buchman_3
M. L. Buchman has over 40 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the Year,” nominated for the Reviewer’s Choice Award for “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of 2014” by RT Book Reviews, and twice Booklist “Top 10 of the Year” placing two of his titles on their “The 101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” In addition to romance, he also writes thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction.

In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.

He is now making his living as a full-time writer on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing by subscribing to his newsletter at www.mlbuchman.com.

 

 

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New Release! Signs of Desire (Desires Entwined #4) by Tempeste O’Riley *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Signs of Desire (Desires Entwined #4)
by Tempeste O’Riley

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released November 30th 2015

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When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme, they thought communication would be their biggest challenge to their happily ever after…

Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends—though he’s not the target—Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it… until he meets the object of their efforts, Adrian, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.

Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date hearing men before, but being deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark—except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.

Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.

 

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Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK
| Barnes & Noble | ARe | Kobo Store

 

Review

4 stars
Simon Tyler has been used, discarded and cheated on. A romance author who has given up finding love himself, Simon hasn’t dated in over a year, but when he meets Adrian Keys he can’t help but be drawn to the man. Although he acknowledges that the interest is mutual with Adrian, Simon still has his doubts and lives with the fear of having his heart broken once again.

Adrian Keys is an IT professor who has made a great life for himself in a world where people often see him lacking. Being deaf hasn’t stopped him from living a full life, but although he has tried his hand at relationships love keeps eluding him every time. But he has a great supporting father and a wonderful group of friends at the ready. And that is how he finds himself meeting Simon.

Simon and Adrian are both friends with Chase and although they’ve heard about the other, they had yet to meet. But once they locked eyes on one another, neither could stand to look away.

What I enjoyed the most about this story was how Simon and Adrian’s relationship evolved as the story progressed. I enjoyed watching them start a tentative friendship while their attraction hovered in the background. It was great to see them getting to know each other because it allowed me the chance to see that their connection was more than an attraction to one another. With flirty banter, stolen kisses and honest exchanges about their doubts, Tempeste O’Riley reaffirmed that Simon and Adrian’s connection was worth exploring. So when the time came for them to come together fully, I was ecstatic for them and cheering them on.

Of course, it helped tremendously that I found both characters intriguing and perfect for one another. It was great to see how understanding and patient Adrian was in regards to Simon’s past experiences and his desire to take things slow. His reassurances and support, in turn, boosted Simon’s confidence in himself and what was developing with Adrian.

But as much as I enjoyed this story, I can’t help but feel like there was something missing from it. After spending a couple of days reading the previous books in the series, I found that Signs of Desire lacked that touch of intrigue and conflict the James and Chase’s books had. Although the author brought about the start of a conflict in the form of Simon’s family, I thought it was glossed over and wrapped too quickly for it to make any kind of impact. Nevertheless, Adrian and Simon’s story was an enjoyable read for me.

All in all, a sweet romantic read with a fantastic side of sizzling heat.

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

Excerpt

A tap to his shoulder pulled Adrian out of his musings. He turned and realized the server was back with their dinners and blushed at how entranced he’d been. He didn’t usually stare, hating when others did that to him. “Sorry.”

“No sorrys.” Chase hugged Adrian, then dug into his bowl of chicken and dumplings.

Simon waved to get Adrian’s attention and smiled when he looked up from his country-fried steak and mashed potatoes with white gravy. “Chase said you were his teacher before and are now a friend.” Adrian nodded. “How’d he convince you to go out with his skinny butt?”

Heat infused Adrian’s face as he laughed. “Chase was very sweet and asked nicely.”

“I love your laugh, by the way. It’s deep like your voice, kind of carefree.” Simon looked slightly sad. Adrian knew he’d had a hard time lately. Chase said he’d been cheated on a year ago and had refused to date since. Adrian knew the feeling, though he pushed the thought away, hoping not to dwell on why he was alone.

He ducked his head slightly. “Thanks? I don’t know how anyone sounds, even myself, so it’s always weird to get comments like that.”

“I said the same when we went out,” Chase commented. “But don’t let him fool you. He’s an excellent teacher and speaks in all his classes. He knows his voice is good.”

“No, I know it’s clear enough for you to understand. That’s something I work hard to make true, but I have never heard my voice, so I have no idea how I sound. And well…. Chase was the first person to ever say something like that.”

He worked regularly with various computer programs to improve and maintain his speech, knowing if he didn’t it could cost him his position at the college. He had always struggled to make sure he spoke well for Hearing people, considering his family’s opinion of his Deafness. His dad knew sign language, but his mom refused to learn, insisting he learn to be “normal.” Adrian had always thought that was extremely unfair, especially as a child. Considering his hatred of being dependent on others for his communication, he was thankful he could read lips and speak as well as he did.

“Then you know the wrong people, ’cause he’s right.” Simon nodded to emphasize his point, confusing Adrian more. Why would he be so determined with his compliments?

Shrugging off his curiosity, Adrian tried to push past the topic. “What do you do?”

Simon’s eyes tightened at the edges slightly, his shoulders drooping a little more. “I’m a writer.”

“He’s a romance author, and a damn good one,” Jamie, or James as he knew the guy’s actual name was, said. Chase talked about his best friend often, though this was the first they’d met. “Don’t let him talk down about what he does.”

“James, hush. He’s not interested in what kind of writing I do.”

“Yes, I am. I love to read. Would I know any of your work?” Adrian didn’t have a large collection of romances, but he had read some. He couldn’t think of any authors named Simon, though.

“You’re an author?” Grayson asked, turning to join their conversation.

The nod seemed reluctant, but the smile on Simon’s face, while small, looked genuine. “Yeah, I write under the name Tyler Jacobs, a pseudonym, but I have a few books out. But, um, I thought we were trying to get to know Adrian and Grayson, not more about boring ol’ me.”

Adrian looked to Grayson and back, then shrugged. “I thought it was so we could all get to know each other.”

“Actually, I think Chase was trying to play matchmaker,” Rhys said, shoving Chase playfully.

“Matchmaker?” Adrian asked. Whom was he trying to set up with whom? And why?

Chase scowled and swatted Rhys. “I was hoping to introduce a few new friends and hoped everyone got on well, brat.” Chase reached out and patted Adrian’s hand, confusing him further. “I swear, I’m not trying to push you if you don’t want to date anyone right now.”

“Just who were you hoping to match up?” Dale asked, smirking as he stared at Chase.

Honestly, Adrian wanted to know that as well. It was obvious Chase meant to fix him up with one of his other friends, but he couldn’t imagine which one. James was married, Chase was happily with Rhys, and he didn’t know Simon, Dale, or Grayson beyond what he’d learned of them since he’d arrived, really.

Only two of the people at the table even interested him, truth be told, but he couldn’t figure out why anyone would try to set him up with either man. In Adrian’s experience, most Hearing people didn’t overly like dealing with having a Deaf partner. His few exes certainly hadn’t, no matter what he did to seem more “normal.”

Chase shook his head, clamping his lips closed as he glared at Rhys.

“Chase?” Adrian said and signed. “Who were you hoping to set me up with and why?”

Their eyes locked for a few moments before Chase looked away, his shoulders drooping. After a moment, Chase turned back to face Adrian and replied, “Grayson. He’s in IT, like you and I are, he’s super loyal and really cute in that quiet reserved-guy kind of way.”

“Grayson?” Well, he was handsome and seemed nice, if a little stoic. Adrian didn’t know how to feel about Chase trying to set him up with one of his friends, though. “I can get my own dates, Chase.”

“I know that. It…. Grayson is really nice, and I’d love to see Rhys’s buddy happy. And I like you, but we’re not right for each other, either. I thought of you two, though. You’d make a beautiful couple. His Native American features and your slightly Asian ones….”

He couldn’t help it, Adrian chuckled, amused at Chase’s logic. The man was sweet and a total flirt, but it seemed he was a bit of a ditz when it came to understanding his friends. Chase frowned, folding his arms across his chest as he stared at Adrian—more a glare really. “Sorry, sorry.”

 

Desires Entwined series

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Designs of Desire (Desires Entwined, #1)
Bound by Desire (Desires Entwined #1.75)
Desires’ Guardian (Desires Entwined, #2)
Desires’ Pride (Desires Entwined, #2.5)
Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined, #3)
Truth in Lace (Desires Entwined #3.5)

Goodreads | DSP | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

About the Author

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Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.

WebsiteTempeste’s TemptationsTwitter | Facebook | Google+ | DSPBlog

 

 

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Naughty Or Nice Options For You this Holiday from St.Martin’s Press!

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Have you been naughty or nice this year?

St. Martin’s Press has put together a sexy collection of naughty and nice books for you to choose from. There is a little something for everyone here!

There’s an even number of books on each list…  but that doesn’t mean you can’t be more naughty than nice 😉 ! Mix and match, pick and choose books from other publishers—but don’t you think everyone should have a Naughty and Nice book list this year?! I do!

 

Naughty…

onthenaughtyOn the Naughty List
by Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Beth Ciotta, and Sugar Jamison

Four hot holiday stories, now in one great package, featuring two New York Times bestselling authors!
Lori Foster has two co-workers plan a Christmas party and discover a love worth celebrating in Christmas Bonus.

Carly Phillips explores a “mistletoe moment” when a lawyer intent on seducing her boss kisses his twin instead, in Naughty Under the Mistletoe.

In Sugar Jamison‘s Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas, wild child Dina Gregory returns home to find her young son’s father. Instead, she finds his stuffy brother, Ben. Ben admires her tenacity and bold beauty. Could it be that Dina has reignited his Christmas spirit?

Beth Ciotta brings two friends together at home for the holidays. They don’t have much in common anymore, but when they get stranded together during a blizzard, they might realize that true love was there all along, in Some Kind of Wonderful.

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dukeDuke and Miss Christmas
by Amelia Grey

A delightfully charming, wickedly sexy Regency-set Christmas romance novella from New York Times bestselling author, Amelia Grey!

Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, has never met a woman he couldn’t handle–until he’s hit over the head with a basketful of mistletoe by a young lady who mistakes his intentions. When he gets into a tussle with her–and she can hold her own–Crispin knows he has finally met his match. Miss Gwen Prim is mortified that she attacked a duke, but even more concerning is the way her resolve melts when she’s near him. She’s never felt this way about a London gentleman in her life. And with the magic of Christmas in the air, she may end up with a proposal she didn’t expect.

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xmasrancherChristmas with the Billionaire Rancher
by Mandy Baxter

A fabulously intense contemporary series, featuring sexy heroes and the sassy women they love in the Lone Star State.

There’s nothing Nate Christensen hates more than a golddigger. Nate wants to stay away from all the women who want his money. That is, until he meets the sexy, beautiful Chloe Benson, who lights a fire in his blood that only the most wildly passionate nights can ease… The only problem is, she needs Nate’s money. True, it’s for a very worthy charity, but is their passion enough to still Nate’s fears that she’s only wants him for the size of his bank account?

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hottoyHot Toy
by Jennifer Crusie

A fan favorite holiday novella, now available as a standalone e-book!

Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game and in the arms of a sexy secret agent…

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Nice…

homeholidayHome for Christmas
by Lily Everett

A heartwarming holiday romance about a wounded warrior who finds healing and love during Christmas on Sanctuary Island.

Magazine columnist Libby Leeds has made a name for herself sharing heartwarming stories from her perfect life on Sanctuary Island. There’s just one minor detail she’s left out: she hasn’t set foot on the island since her childhood. Now wounded war hero/single-father Owen Shepard is returning to Sanctuary Island, and Libby’s editor insists she cover the story. But the sweet, reclusive writer is more intriguing, and more tempting, than Owen could have imagined. Decorating trees, and warming up by the fire it’s the closest Libby has come to love and family since she was a child. Will the Christmas spirit enable them admit what they feel for one another?

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xmasevergreenChristmas at Evergreen Inn
by Donna Alward

Sparks fly in this fun, festive holiday novella when a small town cop gets snowed in with the proprietor of the local inn.

When a December Nor’easter roars up the eastern seaboard, Jewell Cove cop Todd Ricker spends his day off being a Good Samaritan to stranded holiday travelers. But when the roads close and Todd can’t make his way home, he discovers that the Evergreen Inn is full up. That is, until another Lainey Price opens her doors and offers him a place to stay in her tiny cottage. While the two are stormed in for a wintry evening by the fire can Todd convince Lainey to open her heart to Christmas?

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snoflakwishesSnowflake Wishes
by Maggie McGinnis

A magical and enchanting holiday romance from USA Today bestselling author Maggie McGinnis.

Noah Drake was that guy–the one always on the lookout for his next adrenaline high, so it was no surprise when he took off across the world, seeking adventure as a travel writer. But one thing he could never escape was Piper Bellini, the girl who got away–the girl he let get away, a fact he’s never let himself forget. When he returns to Echo Lake to see if there’s any chance the flame between them can be rekindled, he never expects to spend the night holed up with Piper in a roadside diner while a blizzard rages outside. Noah may have been handed a Christmas miracle, and he intends to make all Piper’s wishes come true…

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heartstringscottageHeartsong Cottage
by Emily March

Fall in love with this heartwarming new romance in the New York Times bestselling Eternity Springs series.

Haunted by the loss of his wife and son, Daniel Garrett left the police force to devote his life to finding missing children. But he still hasn’t found a way to mend the wounds of his past-until he attends a wedding in the small mountain town of Eternity Springs…and meets a beautiful, intriguing woman who offers a glimpse of something Daniel thought he’d never have again. She restores Victorian cottages for a living, but will the life she restores in Daniel’s heart be enough when danger comes knocking at her door?

“Emily March’s stories are heartwrenching and soul-satisfying. For a wonderful read, don’t miss a visit to Eternity Springs.”
Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author

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I hope you have a fantastic holiday season!
Stay warm. Stay safe. Read lots of book!

Happy Holidays from my little corner in sunny Puerto Rico!

Tour: The Last First Game (The Senior Semester #1) by Gina Azzi *Review and Giveaway*

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The Last First Game (The Senior Semester #1)
by Gina Azzi

A New Adult Romance
Released November 1, 2015

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When Lila Avers accepts a medical internship through Astor University in California for the fall semester of her senior year, she doesn’t expect much. In fact, she’d rather work on her tan and meet a surfer instead of logging long hours at the hospital and studying. But before she even boards her flight to LA, she meets Astor University wide receiver, Cade Wilkins. A football player. When Cade turns out to be so much more than just muscle, Lila is smitten. Maybe a semester away from her friends won’t be so bad after all.

Cade Wilkins is beyond ready for his last season at Astor. Already being scouted and projected as a NFL draft pick, he’s riding a natural high and all set to breeze through his senior year. To sweeten the start of the fall semester, he meets his dream girl at the airport on his way back to LA. Lila Avers, a blonde, blue-eyed angel. Could life get any better?

When Cade is sidelined by an unexpected injury, he’s devastated to learn of more serious health concerns. As his world implodes, Lila holds him together. But is she strong enough to see him through his recovery?

As their own insecurities and doubts emerge, their new, fragile relationship is tested. Can Cade and Lila handle the ugly truths of falling in love when tensions flare, boundaries are violated, and uncertainty looms over the future of their relationship?

 

The Last First Game

Amazon

 

Review

4 stars

To an outsider, Lila Avers seems to have her life on the right track. She has the support of an awesome group of friends and will be starting a new medical internship in LA. Still she struggles with family issues and her career choice, so she really doesn’t have time for a new relationship. But fate has other plans for her when she meets a handsome stranger in the airport while waiting for her plane to take her to LA.

Cade Wilkins has it all–a great family, a fantastic group of friends and a possible future as a professional football player. He’s not usually one for relationships, but when he meets Lila on his way back to school, he can’t believe his luck. It seems he has it all, until he finds himself facing an uncertain future.

This is one of those stories that stay with you after you’re done reading it. It was fun, sexy and romantic with enough emotional undertones to make you feel for the characters.

I liked Lila. She was smart and funny and a hell of a friend with her strong sense of loyalty and ability to offer support in any situation. I especially liked her with Cade. Cade was easy-going, affectionate and sweet. It was great to see how they got along initially. They were care-free and totally smitten with one another. I enjoyed their flirty banter and watching as they got to know one another better. Once emotions came into play and the situation turned complicated, it was their candid moments of honest interactions and their strong connection that sold me on their relationship.

Lila and Cade had issues they had to deal with and I thought Gina Azzi did a great job of bringing these to the page. I appreciated the way she did this without taking away from the developing romance and without making it overwhelming to the reader to follow along. The story had its emotional moments, but not once did these feel overbearing or out of place.

My only problem, which is more of a personal preference rather than something overtly wrong with the story, was that there were moments betwen Cade and Lila that were glossed over. In all truth, I would have preferred it if more of Cade and Lila’s initial interactions had made it to the page rather than have either character tell me about them. I could have done without so much interactions with friends and more interactions with Cade and Lila.

Having said that, I did come to understand that with this story being the first in the series, the author needed to set the stage and other characters for the rest of the books in the series. Once I reminded myself of that fact, I came to easily overcome my ‘show me’ rather than ‘tell me’ pet peeve and continued to enjoy the rest of the story. Especially since the author did bring Cade and Lila’s connection to the page regardless. That one element is a must for me. So in the end, all was good!

All in all, The Last First Game was at times fun, at times emotional and enjoyable throughout. I will certainly be on the lookout for the upcoming books in the series.

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

 

About the Author

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Gina Azzi loved every moment of college – especially her study abroad experiences, internships, and travel adventures! She drew on her college experiences to create the storylines for The Senior Semester Series.

Gina is a passionate reader, frequent globetrotter, and coffee enthusiast. She currently resides in Dubai with her husband Tony.

Gina loves meeting new people and would love to hear from you! Get in touch with her at:

Email | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

 

 

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New Release! Stranded by HelenKay Dimon *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Stranded
by HelenKay Dimon

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released November 21st 2015

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Cabe got out of the gun-for-hire business the hard way—by nearly dying. Except then his former boss calls in one last favor for one final job. The mission should be simple: get a message to a retired operative in Alaska. But it puts Cabe face-to-face with the one man he doesn’t want to see and can never forget. Not after all the secrets and lies. Not after Brax almost killed him.

Brax Hughes lived hard and retired young to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Well, that was the plan, but before he can hang up his sniper rifle, he has one last mission: win back Kyle Cabe. Brax wants another chance, wants to come clean, but after months of lying to Cabe, he knows he could face a bullet—or worse—when they meet again. And they will meet. Brax made sure of that.

With a storm moving in and someone lurking outside the cabin, time is running out. Brax needs to talk fast and keep his weapons ready. And his best weapon is the truth.

Stranded is one of Riptide’s 2015 charity titles.

 Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Founded in 1996, the GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of GLBT volunteers, they operate two national hotlines, the GLBT National Hotline and the GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that help both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: http://www.glbthotline.org/

 

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Excerpt

“You’re getting old or sloppy. Not sure which.” The deep voice rang out in the late quiet afternoon.

It can’t be. It absolutely can’t be.

The owner of that voice was very dead. He’d been taken out. One shot execution style, or that’s what the briefing Cabe had stolen said. He remembered the day, the very minute, he’d read the news. He’d wanted to celebrate and shout about how karma was a nasty fucking bitch, but he’d ended up looking into the bottom of more than one empty vodka bottle and not feeling anything but numb.

But that voice haunted him. Husky and so tempting as it licked against his balls. It had played in his head for months until his hatred finally squashed it out and forced his brain to forget. Or so he’d thought.

Certain he’d finally lost what little was left of his mind, Cabe turned around for a better view just as his attacker pulled up the ski mask covering every inch of his head. Cabe couldn’t deny the face in front of him after that. Same dirty-blond hair, cut military short. Those intense blue eyes, so bright and clear, telegraphed a certain genuineness that Cabe believed in. He’d never suspected he’d been set up a year ago until the shots had rung out and he’d dropped to the ground in a pool of blood. Even now Cabe had to fight the urge to rub the puckered scar on his chest, though for once he appreciated the reminder of his idiocy. Now he could prevent a repeat of that mistake.

“Braxton Hughes.” Cabe hated the kick to his chest that came with saying the guy’s name. “You’re supposed to be dead.”

Brax grinned. “Good to see you too, Kyle.”

 

About the Author

HelenKay Dimon is a former divorce attorney turned full-time romance author.  She has sold over thirty novels and novellas to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Kensington, Harlequin, Penguin, Carina Press and Riptide Publishing. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. You can find more about the author on her website.

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Stranded, HelenKay is giving away a $25 Amazon or B&N gift certificate (winners choice)! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 28, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries.

Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!

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Tour: Compromising Her Position by Samanthe Beck *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Compromising Her Position
by Samanthe Beck

A Contemporary Romance
From Entangled Publishing–Brazen
Released November 16th 2015

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He’s not who she expected, but he’s exactly the man she needs…

When Chelsea Wayne drags Santa into a supply closet for a little office party nookie, she assumes the man in the suit is her on-again/off-again coworker boyfriend. Instead, it’s Rafe St. Sebastian, a man known for his hard-driving ways in business as well as the bedroom–and, kill her now, the brand spanking new owner of Las Ventanas–who grants her naughtiest Christmas wishes.

So much for her reputation, not to mention her career.

Rafe needs to close three acquisitions to prove to his father he’s ready to take the helm of St. Sebastian Enterprises. A hot interlude in a supply closet after deal number two seems like the perfect illicit Christmas bonus. Unfortunately, when that “bonus” becomes the key to the final deal, he finds himself back in bed–so to speak–with Chelsea, and after their steamy tryst, he’s not interested in keeping things professional…

 

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Review

4 stars

I admit, I was a bit hesitant that this was going to be another ‘Billionaire Romance’ and although it was, I found it be fun and sexy and the perfect escape during this hectic holiday week. What I enjoyed the most was the fact that the story wasn’t weighted down with too much drama and angst, unlike other romances of this type.

The characters were both interesting and shared a great amount of chemistry. I enjoyed them together and in fact, wanted to see more of their interactions on the page. Although much of their time was spent together, I found that a lot of it was recounted. I prefer to be shown instead of told when it comes to these moments. Simply because I think it helps to cement the couple’s connection on the page, instead of having me assume they have one through the recounting of these moments. Nonetheless, I still think Samanthe Beck did a wonderful job in bringing Rafe and Chelsea’s chemistry and connection to the page such as it was, which I appreciated.

Thankfully Rafe and Chelsea were great characters to get to know. I enjoyed Rafe’s determination to pursue Chelsea. He was sexy, charming and relentless. I loved his confidence and his panty-melting ways. I also admired Chelsea’s determination to do things right in regards to her career. She was smart and independent even if she had a soft and caring heart. I enjoyed seeing how she let go with Rafe, which showed a whole other side to her personality. She gave in to Rafe and her attraction to him eventually, but she also stood her ground even when it cost her emotionally.

Like I said before, Rafe and Chelsea shared an amazing chemistry that jumped off the page. I enjoyed those first encounters where the sexual tension could be felt though the page. Their fist encounter was hot, but that first kiss? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I admit I truly enjoyed them together and wouldn’t have minded a bit more of those moments.

All in all, a fun and sexy romantic read. Now off I go in search of a closet and my very own Santa!

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

 

Excerpt

“There is nothing personal between us.”

“I beg to differ. In fact, I’m fairly certain I know your deepest, darkest secret.”

“I sincerely doubt that.”

He brought his mouth to her ear. “You knew I wasn’t Paul.”

“No.” The denial, though immediate, sounded slightly breathless, slightly desperate.

She had to have at least suspected, at some point. He refused to believe otherwise. “Not at first. But when I had you clinging to the tables, trembling so hard you could barely stand? You knew.”

“You-you’re delusional. If I’d realized you weren’t Paul, don’t you think I would have stopped you?”

“No. By the time you realized, you didn’t care.” The crowd around them erupted into a countdown.

Ten… He cupped her jaw in one hand…
Nine… and slid the other down her back. Then lower. Eight… “You didn’t care about anything except my tongue tracing the path of your thong”—he let his fingers do the honor now—“all the way down until I could taste your sweet, throbbing little—”

“I thought you were Paul!” Her wide eyes darted to his, pupils huge.

Five… “Remember how you used your body to beg for more? There’s no f-ing way you’ve ever begged like that for Paul Barrington. No f-ing way. I could have you begging again.”

Her breathing came in quick, shallow pants. The hands she’d rested lightly on his shoulders tightened, bunching his jacket in a white-knuckled grip. She shook her head. “Not going to happen.”

Three… He was risking getting his face slapped in the middle of a dance floor on New Year’s Eve, but he didn’t care. For some inexcusable reason, he needed to know she wanted him, not Barrington.

Two… He spread his palm over the perfect curve of her ass and hauled her against him, so she’d feel just how well he remembered every damn detail of their last meeting.

One

“It’s not?” he challenged, and then crushed her lips under his.

Cheers of “Happy New Year” echoed around them over the strains of “Auld Lang Syne.” A flotilla of black and silver balloons sailed down from the ceiling. Guests laughed, and sang, and jostled them while he kissed her. Sparkly, star- shaped confetti rained over everyone and everything, and he kept right on kissing her. Her arms twined around his neck. Her lips parted. She flattened one hand against the back of his head and held on. When he bent her over his arm and swept his tongue into her soft, yielding mouth, she wrapped her leg around his hip. The heat of her body practically seared his thigh through his tuxedo pants.

He trapped her lower lip between his teeth and nibbled. There went his no biting promise, but her shuddery moan told him she didn’t mind.

The song ended. The house lights came up a few notches. He slowly drew her upright, and even more slowly relinquished her mouth. She stared up at him, dazed, her lips plumped from their kiss.

“You’re a terrible liar, Miss Wayne.”

Giving her a grin he hoped didn’t reveal how much the move cost him, he walked away.

 

About the Author

Samanthe

Wine lover, sleep fanatic, and USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy contemporary romance novels, Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California, with her long-suffering but extremely adorable husband and their turbo-son, Hud. Throw in a furry ninja named Kitty and Bebe the trash talking Chihuahua and you get the whole, chaotic picture.

When not clinging to sanity by her fingernails or dreaming up fun, fan-your-cheeks sexy ways to get her characters to happily-ever-afters, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

 

 

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Tour: Nashville Nights Box Set by Stacey Mosteller *Review and Giveaway*

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Nashville Nights Boxed Set
by Stacey Mosteller

A New Adult Romance Collection
From Swoon Romance
Released November 27th 2015

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Save Me from Myself (Nashville Nights #1)

Tragedy and betrayal sent her running…
And now she’s starting over far away from the person she used to be.

Lyric Hayes tried to be the perfect daughter and the perfect girlfriend, but those days are over. She’s ready to begin again with a vow to herself: no relationships, no complications, and no turning back.

Easier said than done…

Confident, successful, and charming David Pearson makes her vow nearly impossible. He has it all, and David knows better than anyone not to judge someone by what’s on the surface. Wanting to own her heart, he’ll do anything to gain her trust and save her from herself. But David’s family could have secrets and baggage of their own, which could send Lyric packing and on the run once again. Is his past just another version of a song Lyric has heard before?

Never Wanted More (Nashville Nights, #1.5)

Peyton Williams is spoiled, entitled and a little too stuck up. The daughter of an influential Mayor and a socialite mother, she’s trying to get through college and make her own path. She’s perfectly happy being a loner until Spring semester when she gets not only a roommate, but a math tutor.

Wyatt Parker is the boy from the wrong side of town. Known as the son of the town tramp, he jumps at the scholarship to play basketball in Nashville where no one knows his roots. Spending this semester tutoring a friend’s snobby roommate wasn’t what he envisioned, but Peyton quickly gets under his skin.

Peyton never wanted more until she met Wyatt, but is she willing to be what he needs?

**Originally part of the Southern Seduction Box Set

Everything I Shouldn’t (Nashville Nights, #2)

It’s been eight days, sixteen hours and forty-seven minutes since life as I know it ended. I know, it sounds so melodramatic and teen-soap worthy, but it’s the truth. Eight days, sixteen hours and forty-seven minutes since David found out. Since he kicked Jeremy out, ended their friendship and told me I could never see him again.

I didn’t plan on David getting suspicious, and I definitely didn’t plan on getting caught. My selfishness has cost Jeremy everything, my brother won’t even look at me, Lyric must hate me for practically blackmailing her to keep silent and my best friend is barely speaking to me.

Now my life is full of secrets and lies. The people around me have been affected by the choices I’ve made and the lies I’ve told. But what will they do when they discover the biggest secret of them all?

Jeremy is everything I shouldn’t want, and the person I can’t live without.

Everything I Need (Nashville Nights, #3)

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.

Pretending He’s You (Nashville Nights, #4)

Part One of Two

Olivia Barrett’s always had a weakness for bad boys and Tyler Chamberlain is no exception. His tattoos, his piercings, and even the fact that he has a girlfriend doesn’t keep her away.

Interested in Tyler since she first saw him pick up a guitar, she’s been trying to find ways to be with him for years. He’s the one Livvie runs to when she needs a friend, the one who makes her laugh and holds her when she needs to cry. Unfortunately, they are never single at the same time and sneaking around is getting old.

Now, tired of making bad decisions, Livvie’s making changes. Her friends are all starting to grow up and she doesn’t want to be left behind. Terrified her friends are moving on without her, she’s determined to make things work with Emmett, her on-again off-again boyfriend since high school.

The only problem? Tyler isn’t ready to let her go. Despite her boyfriend and his girlfriend, these two are drawn together like magnets. When she’s with Emmett she wishes she was with Tyler and vice versa.

Will Livvie ever get tired of pretending and pick one guy? Or will she keep bouncing back and forth between the two of them indefinitely?

**Note: This book contains themes of infidelity which may be a trigger for some readers

 

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Review

4 stars
**It’s hard to review a collection such as this when you have varied opinions between the books, so I’ll try to do my best by you.

The Nashville Nights Collection include the first five books in the Nashville Nights series and revolves around the lives of a group of friends and family and their journey in finding that elusive HEA.

The first book in the collection is Save Me from Myself, which tells David and Lyric’s story. Unfortunately, this is one of my least favorite stories in the collection. I didn’t like Lyric and had a hard time connecting with her. I understood where she was coming from and I appreciated the author’s efforts in bringing forth her story, but she frustrated me to no end. Especially in the very beginning when not much was said about her past other than she was cheated on and moving to Nashville. Thankfully, once David made an appearance and they started getting to know one another, the story picked up speed and became more interesting. I did love David though, so that helped in keeping my interest throughout. Sadly, my mind was already made up about Lyric, so the romance wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be. In the end, I was more intrigue about SaraBeth (David’s sister) and Jeremy’s (David’s best friend) story which I’ll get to in a little while.

The second story, Never Wanted More, was a bit of a curveball and tells Payton and Wyatt’s story. Payton and Wyatt are not part of the group of family and friends as the other characters in the series were, so I don’t know where they fit in. I think this is a tie-in to the author’s other series Nashville U, but I don’t know for sure. Thankfully, this was a novella (meaning short and sweet!) and the characters were intriguing enough to capture my attention. At first glance, Payton appeared standoffish, but once I got to know her story I came to understand why she acted like she did. It helped that Wyatt was so charming and relentless in his pursuit of her. I loved his determination to win her over and in the end, I was cheering them on.

Everything I Shouldn’t, SaraBeth (SB) and Jeremy’s story, was my favorite of the bunch. Having met and SB and Jeremy in the first book, I was curious to see how their relationship played out. I was genuinely surprised and appreciative that the author made the effort to not only bring their present relationship and struggles to the page, but that she also gave me the chance to experience the beginning of their relationship and all that entailed. I already liked SB and Jeremey, but by the end of this story I loved them both. It was great to see how they struggled with the emotions they felt for one another in the beginning, so it was bittersweet to see them struggling towards the end. The only downfall to the story was the ending, but as SB and Jeremy’s story continued in the next book I was able to overlook it easily. 😉

In Everything I Need we finally gain some closure in regards to SB and Jeremy’s relationship but it didn’t come easily. What I enjoyed most about this story was the fact that Stacey Mosteller didn’t wrap up SB and Jeremy’s story with a pretty bow. We get to see how torn up both SB and Jeremy are after the fallout in the previous book. There were moments when I wanted to smack some sense into both of them and other moments when I just wanted to close them off in a room until they came clean and resolved their issues. Needless to say, this was a very trying read, but one I don’t regret. I loved SB and Jeremy and their story was worth all the heartache, frustration and pain they (and I!) endured. Another one of my favorites!

So on that happy note, I moved on to read the final book in this collection, Pretending He’s You. This is Olivia’s story. Olivia aka Lizzy is SB’s best friend and she’s in a relationship with Emmett. But their relationship has been off-and-on for years, so when a new guy catches Lizzy’s eye she must decide how to proceed. As you might have guessed, there is a love triangle in this story and one that’s not very pretty. I enjoyed the opportunity to see how Emmett and Lizzy started and how their relationship had evolved into something they had to work at to make it a success, but I also enjoyed having Tyler (the new guy) on hot pursuit of Lizzy and what that brought forth. Like I said, this love triangle wasn’t all prettied up for the reader, and as expected it all ends in a cliffhanger that hopefully will resolve itself in the next book in the series, Pretending She’s Mine, which tells Tyler’s side of the story.

As it happens with books in a series, some are fantastic, some are good and others are just okay. This was my experience with this collection. But one fact remained constant, Stacey Mosteller sure knows how to bring forth a compelling story. She’s a newly discovered author for me, but one I’ll be on the lookout from here on out.

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

 

About the Author

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Stacey is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of Second Chances and Shadows of the Past (co-authored with H.M. Ward), the Nashville Nights, Two Sisters and Nashville U series (coming late 2015 from Swoon Romance).

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 Spotify playlists!

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Tour: How to Lose a Bachelor by Anna Banks *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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How to Lose a Bachelor
by Anna Banks

A Contemporary Romance
From Entangled–Bliss
Released November 9th 2015

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When Rochelle Ransom auditioned for the dating show Luring Love, she had big plans for winning the prize money to help her favorite charity–and if she won the hot bachelor’s heart, even better. But at the last minute she finds out the hot bachelor is her ex-boyfriend, Grant Drake. Desperate to keep her distance from him, she’ll do anything–and everything–to get voted off.

Years ago, Rochelle broke Grant’s heart, and he’s out for revenge. There’s no way he’ll vote her off.

After all, vengeance is a dish best served red-hot…and on live television.

When her hilarious antics to get kicked off the show escalate, Grant’s reminded why he fell in love with her the first time. Now he isn’t sure which might be more fun… Seeing how far Rochelle is willing to go to get away or how far he will to keep her forever.

 

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Review

A light-hearted second chance romance with a ‘Bachelor’ twist!

Rochelle is a successful attorney who auditions for a reality dating show in order to win some money for a charity dear to her heart. She was determined to do anything necessary to win that money. She, however, was not expecting to have to compete for her ex’s attention in order to do it.

Grant’s friend convinced him to take part in the reality dating show Luring Love. He’s not necessarily in the lookout for a wife, but he figures he has nothing to lose. And once he discovers Rochelle is one of the contestants he’s determined to make her pay for the broken heart she left him with years ago.

As it often happens in second chance romances, Rochelle and Grant’s love story was cut short years ago by a misunderstanding. This didn’t surprise me in the least, but what did surprise me was how the author went about bringing these two together again. The whole reality show concept has been done before, but this time around I found it to be a fun experience simply because Rochelle was such a great character. Between Rochelle’s antics and misfortune’s throughout the show, I found myself laughing out loud more than once during the story.

It took a while for me to like Grant since he was set in seeking revenge on Rochelle without once questioning his role in their break-up. Fortunately, Anna Banks allowed me the opportunity to see different sides of him as the story progressed and I came to understand how hurt he truly was by Rochelle’s actions which in turn helped me understand his actions at the time of the break up.

My only problem with this story, which is more of a personal preference for me as a reader, was the fact that I didn’t feel like Grant and Rochelle truly had closure from what took place years before. I found that everything fell into place too nicely. One moment they were trying to make the other one pay for their heart break and with just one visit to her hometown, all’s forgiven. Again, it’s mostly a personal preference of mine to see the couple truly working to resolve their issues before having them coming together.

Having said that, I still think that the story, with its mix of humor, romance and emotions, made for an enjoyable read.

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

 

Excerpt

Grant crossed his arms. “Really? Because I asked around too, and several of our lovely contestants said the ‘wardrobe malfunction’ was that she refused to put on any dress chosen for her. You realize why she wore a FSU shirt, don’t you, Richie. I hate that team. And as for ratings, I don’t give a rat’s—”

“Please, lower your voice. This isn’t as bad as it seems.”

“What did you say to her to make her stay? Don’t give me anymore BS about loopholes in contracts, either.”

Richie pressed his fingertips together thoughtfully. “You say this woman was the love of your life, yet you don’t even realize what she’s doing. I find that difficult to believe.”

“You said she was the love of my life. I told you to let her go.”

“Not going to happen, Grant. Besides, I thought you’d be happy about this turn of events. About what it means for you.”

Grant scowled. “Are you incapable of being direct?”

“Isn’t it obvious, Grant? She’s making what I would call a tremendous effort for you to vote her off. Which means she still has feelings for you.”

“You have a warped sense of reasoning.” She might have feelings for him, but they sure as hell weren’t romantic in any way. What, she was trying to woo him with a sweatshirt that smelled like hot dumpster trash? Richie was crazy.

“She can’t stand to be around you because of all the feelings your presence dredges up. Is that so hard to understand?”

Grant blinked. It actually wasn’t; he could relate. He wished he could turn off the memories her presence provoked in him. “You can’t let her run wild on the set, Richie. She’s making a joke out of your show. Don’t you care about that?”

Richie laughed. “She’s doing exactly what I’d hoped she’d do. The question is, are you going to let her beat you at this game?”

Grant took the seat behind him and leaned on Richie’s desk with his forearms. Of course, she was trying to get voted off the show. She hated his guts, and had an entire decade to let this medley of hatred and anger simmer. This was her loophole. Her way of getting out of the contract.  “You don’t know Chelle. She won’t give up. These tantrums will only get worse.”

“Look,” Richie said with a sympathetic sigh that barely hid his delight. “There’s a fine line between love and hate. Haven’t you ever heard that? She obviously has strong feelings toward you. It’s up to you to change the nature of those feelings.”

Grant wiped a hand down his face. Changing Rochelle’s mind about anything had always been a challenge. But changing her heart? Was that even possible?

“You handled yourself quite well last night,” Richie continued. “Very composed for the situation.”

“Am I just supposed to ignore her behavior? That’s not fair to the other women.”

Richie smirked. “Do you even remember the names of any of the other women?”

Touché.

 

About The Author

Anna_Blast

Anna Banks, NYT Bestselling YA author of The Syrena Legacy series: OF POSEIDON (2012) OF TRITON (2013) OF NEPTUNE (2014). Repped by rockstar Lucy Carson of the Friedrich Agency. I live with my husband and daughter in the Florida Panhandle. I have a southern accent compared to New Yorkers, and I enjoy food cooked with real fat. I can’t walk in high heels, but I’m very good at holding still in them. If you put chocolate in front of me, you must not have wanted it in the first place.

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Intriguing New Release! Steal Me (New York’s Finest #2) by Lauren Layne *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Steal Me (New York’s Finest #2)
by Lauren Layne

A Contemporary Romance
From Forever
Released November 24th 2015

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Being a cop might be in Anthony Moretti’s blood, but protecting and serving the city of New York has always been more than just the family business. If that means his love life stays locked up, well then that’s just another sacrifice made in the line of duty. That is, until he sets eyes on the gorgeous new waitress at The Darby Diner and suddenly Anthony’s morning coffee is leaving him a whole lot more hot and bothered than usual.

Though waitressing at The Darby isn’t exactly Maggie Walker’s dream job, it pays the bills and gives her time to work on her novel. Now if only she could stop fantasizing about gorgeous Anthony Moretti every time he sits down at her table, she’d really be in great shape. But when he needs her help identifying a criminal threatening The Darby-and Maggie recognizes her ex-husband-she fears her fresh start might be a pipe dream. Faster than a New York minute, Maggie and Anthony find themselves in one perilous pursuit that only gets hotter with each and every rule-breaking kiss.

 

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Review

4 stars

Anthony Moretti is settling into his Captain position and is having difficulties closing a case. He has no time to waste, especially on the adorable but clumsy waitress that serves him and his family every Sunday morning. Having Maggie involved in his case it’s not helping his frustration nor is it decreasing her allure.

Maggie Walker is making a new life for herself in New York. She spends most of her days working as a waitress and all her spare time writing her book. The last thing on her mind is getting romantically involved, considering she got divorced not too long ago. But exploring the attraction between her and the Captain can’t be helped, especially since he makes it obvious that it won’t lead to any sort of relationship.

This story was such an unexpected surprise! Lauren Layne has been in my radar lately, especially because of her Redemption series which I’ve come to love. So of course, it came as no surprise that I would find this story so enjoyable.

I loved the many sides to Anthony–loving son, loyal cop and alpha male streak. He was tough and closed off emotionally, but there was a part of him that wanted what his parents had and what his brother recently found. He just didn’t believe it was in the cards for him. Maggie, on the other hand, wore her heart on her sleeve. Although she had given up on ever finding love, she yearned to find the type of romance she wrote about in her books. She was smart, strong-headed and the perfect match for Anthony.

Both Anthony and Maggie were great characters to get to know, especially since they tried so hard to fight their attraction for each other. The constant bickering, the stolen looks and heated exchanges all added to my enjoyment of these two getting together. I loved how the author made it a point to bring forth their connection while still delivering on the intrigue surrounding the case and the family drama these two dealt with.

Although this is the second book in the New York’s Finest series, it can be read as a stand alone. The story focuses on Anthony and Maggie’s relationship and the case they were involved in. I did enjoy meeting Anthony’s family and the couple from the previous book, so I’m hoping to start Frisk Me in the near future.

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

 

Excerpt

Something shifted then. The balance of power. And this time it was in Maggie’s favor.

For as long as she’d known Anthony Moretti, she’d been trying to measure up. Trying not to embarrass herself, trying not to spill on him, embarrassed by her small apartment, embarrassed by her family, even her dog …

But something was shifting

This time, Maggie understood that maybe his life wasn’t any easier than hers. That he had his own demons to fight.

Only … he wasn’t fighting. He was giving up.

She felt an unfamiliar spark of anger.

She could sympathize about what had happened with his ex-girlfriend certainly, but did that really excuse the fact that he was letting external circumstances to dictate his life?

The fact was, he was being a coward. By shutting himself off from risk, he was also shutting out the chance for something more.

“I can’t do complicated,” he said when the silence stretched on.

Maggie nodded. Pursed her lips. Picked up her beer and took one less sip before setting it back on the counter.

She started to move past him towards the front door. Stopped when their shoulders were even, although she didn’t glance at up at him. “That’s too bad. Because this is one time when ‘complicated’ would have been really good.”

Her hand was on the doorknob before he stopped her, pulling her around so hard she slammed up against his chest.

His fingers were rough as they plunged into her hair, but she welcomed the slight pull. Welcomed even more the possessive pull of his lips on her when he claimed her mouth, sinking his tongue into the depths of her mouth without preamble or apology.

Maggie’s fingers were equally greedy as she held onto his hair, her mouth moving restlessly against his. Anthony tilted his head to bring take the kiss even deeper and Maggie moaned.

This is what kissing was supposed to be like.

He pulled back, just slightly, his breath hot and heavy against her face. “Say you want this.”

Her own breath was ragged. “I already told you that.”

His lips found the underside of her jaw. “Say it again.”

Maggie closed her eyes. “I want this.”

I want you.

Anthony lifted her then, as though it were nothing. Just wrapped his arms around her, and swooped her up, southern belle style.

“A girl could swoon with moves like this,” she said, lifting her face up so her lips could nuzzle his neck.

He growled. “I hope a girl will do a lot more than that when I’m done with her.”

Anthony kicked open his bedroom door, and she had the vague sense of a Spartan room, a perfectly made bed, a small dresser, not the tiniest bit of clutter before he set her on the bed.

Maggie started to scoot back to make room from him, but his hand found her knee, stopping her. “I’m in charge.”

 

About Lauren Layne

A long-time romance reader, Lauren Layne thinks the only thing better than reading about happy endings is writing them. She now pursues a full-time career in Happily Ever After, a job she’s naturally suited for after marrying her high school sweetheart. A bit of a nomad, Lauren’s lived everywhere from Orange County to Manhattan, and currently lives in the Seattle-area. Her hobbies include coffee by day, wine by night, and lots of writing in between. She’s also a total website nerd and insists you check out laurenlayne.com!

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Hot New Series! Accelerate (Hotwired #1) by Tracy Wolff *Review*

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Accelerate (Hotwired #1)
by Tracy Wolff

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Loveswept
Released November 24th 2015

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A sexy carjacker takes a would-be starlet for the ride of her life as a pulse-pounding new series from New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff begins.

Once the brains behind a car-boosting ring, Nic Medina has spent the last three years playing it straight. Now drag racers flock to his L.A. auto shop, Hotwired, for a shot at going head-to-head with the man himself. But when a crooked cop gives Nic a treacherous ultimatum—steal ten high-end cars or watch his nephew disappear into the system—he makes the only choice he can, one that puts the life he’s worked so hard for at risk. No sooner does Nic agree than he spots some nasty competition—and a gorgeous bystander in harm’s way.

A small-town girl with Hollywood dreams, Jordan Bass never expected to be swept up in a real-life drama. But that’s exactly what happens when she witnesses a violent crime. And when a smoldering stranger takes the wheel and practically kidnaps her in a desperate bid to keep her safe, she’s not sure whether to scream . . . or kiss him. Nic’s bad news—but the real bad guys aren’t above silencing a witness. On a collision course with danger, Jordan finds herself falling for the man whose street smarts are keeping her alive . . . and whose touch puts her in high gear.

 

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Review

4 stars

Tracy Wolff has done it again!

In the last year or so, Tracy Wolff has become one of my favorite authors simply because her stories are compelling with complex characters, romance and that added touch of heat. This time around she brought those elements and much more. Intrigue, car chases and drama are some of the added elements that rounded up this first story in what appears to be another fantastic series.

Jordan Bass is finally settling in a new life, focusing on her studies and healing old wounds. None of her plans involve falling for a bad boy, but once she sets eyes on Nic Medina she’s a goner.

Nic Medina has not had an easy life, but he’s working on making it better for him and his family. He’s made a name for himself and his business, but people and mistakes from his past keep haunting him and soon he finds himself deeply involved with a ring of dirty cops. All this while he is fighting his attraction to Jordan, the woman he kidnapped and stole a car from.

What made this story so enjoyable to me was the way the author brought the romance and the conflict together without taking away from either of the elements.

Not a fan of insta-love scenarios, I was cautious about Nic and Jordan’s relationship in the beginning. But once introduced, I found I was curious to see how the author would bring them together in a viable way.

I loved Jordan and Nic together. Of course, their chemistry was instant but I loved that the author took the time to build upon that chemistry. Their connection was slow in coming, but soon it was evident that Jordan and Nic complemented each other in every way. I enjoyed the bickering, their flirty banter and their honest dialogue. I found myself enjoying their candid moments just as much as their heated ones and soon was cheering them on so they could be together.

I liked that once the story started, was unable to put it down. Having an intriguing plot that not only brought about uncertainty but also rampant emotions, increased my enjoyment of this story. It was a treat to see different sides to Jordan and Nic when they realized the situation they were facing. I also loved how, because of that situation, they grew closer together and allowed themselves the chance to explore their connection. Jordan became more confident in herself and lowered some of her walls, while Nic finally realized he deserved to have a life for himself even if he couldn’t save every one he loved.

As the first book in the series, Accelerate delivered in all fronts. Not only did it deliver a great romance between two intriguing individuals that never thought love was in the cards for them, it also set the stage for upcoming books while giving us a glimpse into the characters that most likely will be starring in those books.

All in all, a fantastic start to a series. I especially enjoyed getting to know the cast of characters–main and secondary–that were introduced and the conflict that surrounded them.

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

 

About the Author

Tracy Wolff Author Photo

Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she’d found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes romances that run the gamut from contemporary to paranormal to erotic suspense.

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