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New Release Tour! Hallowed Ground (Flight & Glory #4) by Rebecca Yarros *Review, Excerpt, Trailer and Giveaway*

HALLOWED GROUND BOOK TOUR

Hallowed Ground (Flight & Glory #4)
by Rebecca Yarros

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
Released January 25th 2016
From Entangled Publishing–Embrace

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There are some debts you can’t repay.

Josh Walker is loyal, reckless, and every girl’s dream. But he only has eyes for December Howard, the girl he’s craved since his high school hockey days. Together they have survived grief, the military, distance, and time as they’ve fought for stolen weekends between his post at Ft. Rucker and her college at Vanderbilt. Now that Josh is a medevac pilot and Ember is headed toward graduation, they’re moving on—and in—together.

Ember never wanted the Army life, but loving Josh means accepting whatever the army dictates—even when that means saying goodbye as Josh heads to Afghanistan, a country that nearly killed him once before and that took her father. But filling their last days together with love, passion, and plans for their future doesn’t temper Ember’s fear, and if there’s one thing she’s learned from her father’s death, it’s that there are some obstacles even love can’t conquer.

Flight school is over.
This is war.

 

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Review

4 stars

3.75 stars

Hallowed Ground, the last book in the Flight & Glory series, centers on Josh and Ember from Full Measures. As a follower of the series, I was ecstatic to learn that there was one more book and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. And while this story was a great follow-up book to Josh and Ember’s romance, it wasn’t everything I had expected.

Josh and Ember have gone through a lot in the past two years while Ember went to college and Josh went to flight school. They made every sacrifice and crossed every hurdle thrown their way and are now finally moved in together and looking forward to their new beginning. Of course, fate has other plans which will test the strength of their love and commitment to each other.

I’ve enjoyed my fair share of angsty reads and usually seek them out, but I will admit that this story had a lot more angst that I anticipated. Which was not an entirely bad thing, but for me it took away some of my enjoyment of the story. Mainly because it seemed to drag on quite a bit and I found myself skimming through those parts more often than not.

Other than that, I found that the overall story served as a great conclusion to the series. I enjoyed visiting with the other couples and seeing how they’ve grown. I laughed, I cried and I even cursed the characters a time or three. Hallowed Ground managed to bring out a varied set of emotions from me, which makes it a winner for me.

Keep in mind that this is the fourth book in the series. It is my recommendation that you read ALL previous books in the series before starting Hallowed Ground so you can get the full scope behind the series, these courageous men and the women who love them.

All in all, an emotional rollercoaster of a ride!

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

 

 

Excerpt

I pushed my chair out and reached for her, lifting her tiny, curved frame into my lap. Her head tucked beneath my chin, and she curled into me, fitting right where she was always meant to be. My arms closed around her. “We have a month.”

“It’s not long enough.” Her fingers gripped my shirt like she could keep me here if she just held on tight enough. God, what I wouldn’t have given to stay with her.

“Forever isn’t long enough for us, December, but that’s what we’re going to have. You and I have never chosen the easy path. This is just another hurdle.” I rubbed my chin over her soft hair and tried to soak in every detail of holding her—the sweet way she smelled, the smooth texture of her skin beneath my hands.

She leaned back in my arms and cupped my face. “I can’t lose you.” Her voice broke, and tears pooled in her eyes.

I’d never hated myself more than I did in that moment. She’d made it through a nightmare no one should have to face, and I was about to ask her to chance that fire again. My breath hitched, barely passing the lump in my throat. “You won’t. It would take something a hell of a lot stronger than a war to keep me from you.”

I sealed that promise with a kiss, tasting her fear and desperation as she responded. She opened underneath me, and I fused my mouth to hers, surrendering to the heat between us to pull us through this moment. There was nothing hotter or sweeter in this world than kissing December, feeling her go soft and pliant.

We’d fought so fucking hard to get here, to be together. This wasn’t fair, and we both knew it. But we also both knew it didn’t matter. Fair wasn’t exactly in the U.S. Army vocabulary.

I retreated just enough to whisper against her lips, “I’ll come home. I swear it.”

 

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Flight & Glory series

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Full Measures (Flight & Glory, #1)
Ember & Josh’s story
Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Eyes Turned Skyward (Flight & Glory, #2)
Jagger and Paisley’s story
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Beyond What is Given (Flight & Glory, #3)
Grayson and Samantha’s story
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

About the Author

rebecca yarros

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She’s a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores.

When she’s not writing, she’s tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they’re currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon Page

 

 

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New Release Tour! Earning a Ring (More Than A Game #4) by Kristina Mathews *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Earning a Ring (More Than A Game #4)
by Kristina Mathews

A Contemporary Sports Romance
From Lyrical Shine
Released January 19th 2016

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For Rachel Parker, covering the San Francisco Goliaths is the perfect opportunity to launch her career as a serious reporter. But she didn’t bargain on Bryce Baxter, the team’s star shortstop, tempting her more non-professional aspirations. After tearing up the base paths with him, she finds herself with a little problem, and Bryce might be the only man who can save the game.

Bryce Baxter should be living the dream. His team just won the World Series and he just signed the multi-year contract of his career. But his field of dreams has been overtaken by a fiery redheaded reporter, who’s bearing a news flash that will change both of their lives forever…

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Review

3-5 stars

Bryce Baxter has it all–a career as a professional baseball player, a new contract, endorsements, women at every corner. But after a terrible night when he cost his team the game, he can’t help but think everything is hanging in the balance. He needs to get his head on straight and finding out the news the woman he has been hooking up with throughout the year will not help matters none.

Rachel Parker is happy in her life with a career she loves and her dream job in the horizon. Finding out that she’s carrying last year’s MVP’s baby has her questioning everything. She knew what they had was casual, so she’s not certain how he will react and how this will affect her career.

I liked this story very much, especially since it delivered a common trope in a new and fresh way. I think it helped tremendously that Bryce was an overall good guy who stepped up to the plate immediately. I admit, Bryce struggled with some issues and kept himself closed off, but it ultimately helped to make his journey that much more enjoyable. He was funny, charming and caring and it showed throughout–especially when the author upped the drama and brought his past to the surface.

Rachel wasn’t my favorite simply because she had a tendency of assuming and coming to conclusions regarding Bryce without actually taking the time to find out the truth for herself. She complained Bryce was closed-off but she wasn’t any better either. Thankfully, the author did give me the opportunity to get to know her better and understand her struggles so I could understand where she was coming from.

As with other books on the series, the author made a great effort in bringing forth Bryce and Rachel’s connection and chemistry to the page. Although a bit tame in the heat department it was easy for me to see how attracted each was to the other. My only regret was that I didn’t get a chance to see more of their connection make it to the page. I would appreciated a hell of a lot less time inside their heads and a lot more time connecting as a couple.

All in all, a sweet little read and a great addition to the series.

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

 

Excerpt

Bryce Baxter sat alone in the San Francisco Goliaths’ clubhouse. He didn’t want to go home and watch the replays of tonight’s game. There was enough of that going on in his head. He’d blown the game. How many times had he made that play since he first picked up a baseball at the age of five? A thousand? Ten thousand? Probably more. Not tonight. Tonight it was as if he’d forgotten everything he knew about the game. What should have been an easy double play ended up being the game-winning run.

The loss put his team even farther behind in their division going into the second month of the season and had reporters questioning the Goliaths’ chances of repeating a World Series run. Some were even questioning the team’s decision to re-sign Baxter to the big contract extension. The biggest one he’d ever inked. So naturally, he was having his worst start to the season ever. He couldn’t hit. Couldn’t draw a walk to save his life. And when he struck out, he did it in spectacular fashion.

Last November he’d been king of the world. San Francisco’s biggest hero since Willie Mays. As World Series MVP, he’d been awarded a brand new Corvette. His face had been on the cover of magazines. He’d made the talk show rounds. Met the President. Women had lined up outside his door. And he’d had his choice of endorsement deals, including a line of men’s hair care products. Now, if his game didn’t improve, his agent would be lucky to get him a spot peddling adult diapers.

Reluctantly, he headed toward the parking lot.

“Hey, Bryce, you got a minute?” He recognized the voice of the woman standing beside his car. A month ago, he would have been happy to see her. Professionally, personally, a little bit of both. But not now.

“Look, Rachel, I’m not giving any more interviews tonight.” He was so down, all he wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed. Alone.

“I’m not here for an interview.” She would have waited in the clubhouse if she were. He knew that. Rachel Parker was a professional, the in-game reporter for Bay Area Sports Network. “Can we go somewhere? Somewhere private?”

“I’m not giving that tonight either.” He waited for his body to protest, recalling the dozen or so encounters with the sexy journalist. She’d been hot. Real hot. Hot enough for him to forget his rule of one and done. They’d been hooking up off the record since before spring training of last season.

“Look, I really do need to talk to you.” She seemed a little nervous, not her usual confident, perky, and always upbeat self who was part bubbly cheerleader, part hard-hitting reporter. She was still hot. But instead of smoking, she was…smoldering. His body stirred. Enough for him to think that maybe spending the next several hours in bed might not be such a bad idea.

But it probably wasn’t a good idea either.

The last time they’d hooked up had been intense. Almost too intense. Too real. But maybe he’d just been riding the high of signing his ridiculous contract. Or maybe he’d felt the pressure of the deal and had transferred it to his personal life. Something he could control.

“You know, I think maybe we should take a step back.” He raked a hand through his hair, still damp from his long shower after the game. “I’m not good for anyone right now.”

Rachel gave him a weird look, almost as if her eyes slipped out of focus. Her face drained of color. She turned and stumbled toward his car, bracing herself against the front fender. Then she threw up on the hood of his Corvette.

“Are you okay?” He took a step toward her.

“No, I’m not okay.” She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “I’m pregnant.”

 

About The Author

Kristina

Kristina Mathews doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing.
While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.

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New Release Tour! Kill Without Mercy (ARES Security #1) by Alexandra Ivy *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Kill Without Mercy (ARES Security #1)
by Alexandra Ivy

A Romantic Suspense Thriller
From Zebra
Released December 29, 2015

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From the hellhole of a Taliban prison to sweet freedom, five brave military heroes have made it home—and they’re ready to take on the civilian missions no one else can. Individually they’re intimidating. Together they’re invincible. They’re the men of ARES Security.

Rafe Vargas is only in Newton, Iowa, to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist for ARES Security, he’s eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet, he can’t just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…

There’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried.

 

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Review

4 stars

4.25

Rafe Vargas is getting ready to open ARES Security firm when he’s required to travel to Ohio to pack up his grandfather’s house now that it found a buyer. He’s not thrilled to take care of it, but the sooner he gets it done the sooner he’ll be back to Texas and his friends. What he wasn’t expecting was to be thrown into a missing person’s case and find love along the way.

Haunted by visions of women running for their lives, Annie White decides to return to the town she left behind as a child when her father was arrested and murdered in jail. Her foster parents have been wonderful in taking care of her and is torn between leaving them behind and finding the meaning behind the visions. But once she arrives in town, she’s surprised to find that the women are starting to go missing again which leads her to believe her visions and the missing women are somehow related to the past she left behind. Having Rafe determined to protect her and falling for him is not something she was counting on, but it’s also something she can’t help but be drawn to.

When I first read the blurb I was drawn to the characters. Both Rafe and Annie had a rough past they were coming to terms with and I wanted to see how the author would work around their issues to bring them together. Although I was a bit disappointed that this was more of an insta-love scenario, I have to hand it to the author because she managed to bring a viable romance to the page while still keeping the reader intrigued when it came to the conflict that arises when Annie arrives in Ohio.

This is my first book by this author and I’m glad I gave her a chance. The writing was precise and not over-embellished, with all the elements working together well. I enjoyed the intrigue, the action and the twists and turns as they appeared just as much as the range of emotions and the cast of characters. Criminal Minds in ebook form! I enjoyed it thoroughly.

While the chemistry between Rafe and Annie was slow in coming it was always present and ready to be brought to the surface. I wished I would have gotten more of a chance to see their connection grow. But taking into consideration the circumstances they found themselves in, I could understand how the emotional connection would develop but not be as fully explored until later in the story, which it was.

Thankfully, Alexandra Ivy delivered in other fronts, which kept my interest constant throughout. I enjoyed getting to know the men of ARES Security and find myself curious to find more about them. I enjoyed wondering who was behind the missing women and watching as the clues fell into place.

As the first in a series, Kill Without Mercy served its purpose well and left me wanting more. All in all, an intriguing romance that paved the way for more stories in the series.

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

 

Excerpt

Her thought was interrupted as she kicked a small object that had been left in the middle of the floor.

Automatically glancing down she came to a sharp halt, her breath locked in her chest as she leaned over to pick up the small doll with the mass of tangled blond hair.

Britney Spears.

It was covered in dust, and the clothes were rumpled, but Annie had a vivid memory of dancing through the house with the doll clutched in her hand.

The sun had been shining and her father was laughing as he watched her silly antics.

“Annie?”

The sound of Rafe’s deep voice broke her out of the past, although the precious feelings of childish joy refused to be completely dismissed.

“This house should be a place of horror, but I had such good memories,” she muttered, her attention locked on the doll that looked as lost and broken as she felt since returning to Newton.

He moved to stand next to her, his hands clenching as if he was battling the urge to reach out and touch her. “You loved your father?”

“Very much,” she admitted without hesitation, lifting her head to meet his searching gaze. “I know you must think it’s twisted, but he was always kind and patient and funny when we were together.”

“I don’t think it’s twisted at all,” he protested. “Tell me about him.” He held up a hand when she frowned. “I mean, tell me about him as your father.”

Expecting the usual condemnation, Annie was caught off guard by his gentle question.

No one had ever asked her about Don White as something other than the psycho serial killer.

Tentatively she allowed herself to return to the past, the doll unconsciously pressed to her chest. “He always had two Oreo cookies and a glass of milk waiting for me on that table when I came home from school.” She nodded toward the shrouded piece of furniture situated near the door. She hadn’t eaten an Oreo cookie since she’d left Newton. “And he went with me to the movies on Saturday afternoon just because I said I wanted to be an actress when I grew up. And every Sunday morning he took me to the restaurant for pancakes.” Bittersweet pain sliced through her heart. “I don’t understand how the same man could be so evil.”

“He was sick, Annie, not evil,” Rafe murmured.

She hunched a shoulder. “Is there a difference?”

“Yes. I’ve seen men in battle,” he said, a hard edge in his voice hinting at memories that were as dark and painful as her own. “Some are just naturally cruel. They enjoy causing pain because it’s a basic part of their nature.” His jaw clenched. “And there are others who’ve been ruined. By life. By war. By . . . fate. They do what they do because they can’t help themselves.”

Annie studied the lean, fiercely handsome face. How did he do it? How did he always know exactly what to say?

It was freaky.

“Thank you,” she breathed.

He cocked a brow. “For what?”

“Most people don’t want to think the Newton Slayer could have any redeeming qualities,” she said, having learned from the second she’d been rescued that her father was public enemy number one. “I usually feel guilty for not hating him.

He destroyed so many lives.”

He brushed a hand over her tangled curls, careful to keep

his touch light. “He was your father.”

“Yes.” He’d been more than that. He’d been her entire family. She gave another shiver. “We should go.” He dropped his hand and nodded, keeping a small distance between them as she headed out the door and across the

rickety porch.

“My truck is at the end of the drive,” he murmured as they reached the overgrown yard. “I’ll tell Teagan to join us at the motel.”

She had a vague impression of a large man who appeared from the shadows to speak with Rafe before he was jogging toward her Jeep, but her concentration centered on keeping her feet moving forward.

Christ, she was tired.

Rafe was back at her side by the time she reached the edge of the road, opening the door to his truck and helping her to climb into the seat before he was rounding the hood and taking his place behind the steering wheel.

In silence he started the engine, flipping the heater on high before performing a U-turn. There was a brief stop as he waited for his friend to approach the truck holding her purse that he’d obviously retrieved from her Jeep. Then, placing the bag in her lap, he shoved the truck in gear and headed back to town at a pace far slower than the one she’d used to get to the house.

Annie clutched her purse, only vaguely aware of her surroundings. She had the impression of genuine leather and a dashboard that had all the bells and whistles. The sort of truck that would be functional for work around a ranch but no doubt cost more than she made in a year. But her gaze remained glued to the dark, chiseled profile of her companion.

Safely tucked in his car with the warm air beginning to ease her shivers, there was nothing to distract her from Rafe’s sheer male beauty.

It was . . . nice.

Almost as if she was a normal girl being driven home by a man who she found intensely attractive.

A damned shame her brief daydream didn’t last for long.

All too soon they were back in town and he was turning into the drive of the motel. Rafe pulled to a halt in the center of the parking lot and glanced in her direction.

“Do you remember where you lived before coming to Newton?”

She froze at the abrupt question, too startled to tell him it was none of his damned business.

“Most of my memories from my early childhood are fuzzy. I think my dad said that we lived overseas, but it’s really just a blur,” she admitted.

It was weird. She had such a clear recollection of her time in Newton. Time with her father. Her friends at the school she’d attended. Climbing on top of the house so she could see her father in the distant fields.

But she never could capture any memories of her days before coming to Newton or the days after she’d been found tied and blindfolded in the bomb shelter.

“Why do you ask?”

“I thought you might have some family who could come to give you support,” he smoothly explained.

Her gaze narrowed. She sensed there was more to his question than he was admitting, but she was too tired to try and search for any hidden meanings.

“There are just my foster parents, and I don’t want to worry them,” she said.

He reached into his rear pocket, pulling out his wallet.

“Then I want your promise you’ll call me if you need anything,” he commanded, handing her a small business card.

She took the card with a frown, asking the question that had been bothering her from the moment their paths had crossed.

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why are you so determined to help me?” she demanded. “I’m a stranger.”

He held her wary gaze. “It’s what I do.”

“A hero?”

“Something like that.” He pointed toward the business card. “My private cell number is printed on the back. Call me . . . any time, for any reason.”

Tucking the card in her purse, she crawled out of the truck and hurried to her motel room.

 

About the Author

AlexandraIvy

Alexandra Ivy graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons. To stay updated on Alexandra’s Guardian series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at www.alexandraivy.com.

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New Release Tour! Part & Parcel (Sidewinder #3) by Abigail Roux *Review and Giveaway*

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Part & Parcel (Sidewinder #3)
by Abigail Roux

A M/M Contemporary Romance
Released December 19th 2015

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Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott had their happy ending in sight when a friend’s call for help almost ended with them losing it to the blade of a knife. Now, in the aftermath of near-disaster, both men are trying to heal and move on.

Moving on together, though, is harder than either of them realized it would be. Kelly struggles with simply being a lover instead of the Doc, while Nick is mired in his recovery. The distance between them inches along in stilted silence.

Desperately seeking solace, Nick finally gathers the courage to sort through the possessions his dear friend and fellow Sidewinder teammate Elias Sanchez left him when he died. Instead of comforting memories, Nick and Kelly find a stack of letters and strict instructions from Eli that prompt them to send out a call for assistance. With Eli’s letters in hand, Sidewinder sets out on one last mission together, seeking peace and absolution from beyond the grave—and from each other.

 

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Review

4 stars

The story picks up after the Miami mess that left Nick fighting for his life. The Sidewinder men have retreated to their respective lives and moving on–somewhat. While still recovering from his injuries, Nick decides to go through a box of stuff Elias Sanchez left him when he died only to discover several letters with specific instructions on where Sidewinder must travel to and what they must do once there.

I enjoyed this story very much. I loved having Sidewinder back together and I especially loved seeing them working towards strengthening the bond their shared. Of course, it was fantastic to have Ty and Zane back on the page, but I also enjoyed getting to know Elias Sanchez a little bit more. The road trip and subsequent letters and instructions revealed how deeply connected the guys were and how much Elias was missed by the men.

Of course, I can’t forget to mention Nick and Kelly’s relationship. On the surface, everything looks to be running smoothly between the two, but it’s clear there are underlying issues each man is dealing with that in one way or another has affected their relationship. Trust issues, insecurities, resentment, and anger are just some of them. Although I found some issues to be over the top and drawn out (especially for two men who knew one another for 20+ years!), I enjoyed the range in emotions these issues brought and how they were ultimately resolved.

Which leads me to sex! Oh yes, there was some of that and of course it was hot. But I admit, what did it for me were some of their more intimate conversations where they both lowered their guards. It was during these moments where they allowed the other to speak their mind without judgement that their connection as a couple shined through. I loved it!

All in all, a great addition to the series where friendship and loyalty took center stage–both for Sidewinder and Nick and Kelly as a couple.

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

 

Sidewinder series

Shock & Awe (Sidewinder, #1)

Shock & Awe (Sidewinder, #1)
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Part&Parcel_600x900Cross & Crown (Sidewinder, #2)
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About the Author

Abigail Roux was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in sarcasm and painful historical accuracy, she currently spends her time coaching high school volleyball and investigating the mysteries of single motherhood. Any spare time is spent living and dying with every Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers game of the year.

Abigail has a daughter, Little Roux, who is the light of her life, a boxer, four rescued cats who play an ongoing live-action variation of Call of Duty throughout the house, a certifiable extended family down the road, and a cast of thousands in her head.

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Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of Part & Parcel, we are selecting TWO giveaway winners! One will receive the last four Cut & Run books in audio, and the other will receive the full Sidewinder series in audio. Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 26, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway, and don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!

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New Release Tour! Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1) by Mila Gray *Review and Giveaway*

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Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1)
by Mila Gray

A New Adult Romance
From Simon Pulse
Released December 8th 2015

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In this heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, a young Marine and his best friend’s sister plunge into a forbidden love affair while he’s home on leave.

When a Marine Chaplain knocks on her door, Jessa’s heart breaks—someone she loves is dead. Killed in action, but is it Riley or Kit? Her brother or her boyfriend…

Three months earlier, Marine Kit Ryan finds himself back home on leave and dangerously drawn to his best friend Riley’s sister, Jessa—the one girl he can’t have. Exhausted from fighting his feelings, Kit finally gives in, and Jessa isn’t strong enough to resist diving headfirst into a passionate relationship.

But what was just supposed to be a summer romance develops into something far greater than either of them expected. Jessa’s finally found the man of her dreams and Kit’s finally discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.

When it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither one is ready to say goodbye. Jessa vows to wait for him and Kit promises to come home to her. No matter what.

But as Jessa stands waiting for the Marine Chaplain to break her heart, she can’t help but feel that Kit has broken his promise…

Riley or Kit? Kit or Riley? Her brother or her boyfriend? Who’s coming home to her?

 

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Review

4 stars

This book was an absolute surprise! Light-hearted moments that captured the beginnings of a romance, intense emotion-driven discussions and heated moments that intensified the connection between the characters are just a few of the elements that make Come Back to Me such a fantastic read.

I loved Kit’s struggle with coming to terms with the losses in his life. His journey felt real and served to burrow him deeper into my heart. He was sweet, candid and an overall great guy. He came out of his journey a little bit scarred but nonetheless determined to move on.

Jessa was also a great character to get to know. I admired the fact that she allowed herself the chance to live her life on her terms. I admired the growth she achieved. Her loss shaped her in some ways making her stronger and more matured in a way that she couldn’t have achieved otherwise. She was smart, tenacious and complemented Kit in every way.

What I enjoyed the most about this book were the characters and how the author gave me the opportunity to truly get to know them while witnessing their connection grow and strengthened as the story progressed. I appreciated the fact that the author pulled no punches in bringing the emotions to the page in a way that truly impacted the reader. But mostly, I loved how the emotions were intense but never overwhelming.

All in all, a sweet yet sexy and emotion driven romance.

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

 

About the Author

Mila

Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila, Losing Lila, The Sound, Fated and Out of Control.

Originally from London she has lived in Bali for the last four years with her husband and daughter.

As well as writing young adult fiction under the name Sarah Alderson and adult fiction under the name Mila Gray, she also writes screenplays.

You can find out more at www.milagray.com and on www.facebook.com/sarahjalderson.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

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New Release Tour! Game Winner (New York Kings #6) by Collette West *Review and Giveaway*

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Game Winner (New York Kings #6)
by Collette West

A Contemporary Romance
Released December 4th 2015

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Playing center field for the New York Kings, Jake Woodbury has one of the most prestigious jobs in all of sports. To the world, he’s the good-looking, soft-spoken minister’s son who’s survived celebrity without a hint of scandal. But, inside, he’s reeling from a secret that seems destined to haunt him forever.

Scarlett Moore is one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, famous for singing about her celebrity ex-boyfriends. The CEO of her record label has carefully honed her provocative image since she was fifteen. Sex sells, and Scarlett’s well aware that it takes more than talent to stay on top.

One thing is clear: She’s the last thing Jake needs. And he’s the do-gooder jock she should avoid at all costs. But when the game begins, all bets are off.

 

GW Amazon

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Smashwords

 

Review

4 stars

What I enjoyed the most about this story was how Colette West brought Scarlett and Jake together. At a glance these two are complete opposites–Scarlett’s wild child reputation vs. Scott’s well known clean-cut preacher’s son presence. This disparity is personalities was what made things so great between these two. Add to that the intense chemistry they shared and you’ve got yourself one intriguing story.

I found myself immediately invested in Scarlett and Scott’s relationship because I truly wanted to see how they would manage not only their celebrity statuses but also their different beliefs. I appreciated the fact that the author allowed me the chance to get to know Scarlett and Scott and what drove them in life. As I got to know them better I came to understand where they each were coming from which allowed me to see how well they complemented each other.

Scarlett and Scott shared some great candid moments as well as some tempestuos exchanges. But the moments that stood out for me the most were the honest interactions where they let their guards down. Of course, their intimate moments were enjoyable as well. I especially enjoyed seeing Scott let go of his control and seeing that passionate side of his. It sure made for some steamy reading!

Although this is the sixth book in the New York Kings series it can be read as a stand alone. I’ve yet to read the previous books in the series and I had no problem following the story along. In any case, I became intrigued by the other couples and have added their books to my TBR.

All in all, a very enjoyable read.

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

 

About the Author

collette_west
Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball’s biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette’s impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she’s not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at collette_west@yahoo.com.

She is the author of the New York Kings series which includes: NIGHT GAMES, GAME CHANGER, GAME ON, PERFECT GAME, INSIDE GAME and GAME WINNER.

 

 

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New Release! The Subs Club (The Subs Club #1) by J.A. Rock *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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The Subs Club (The Subs Club #1)
by J.A. Rock

An M/M BDSM Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released December 7th 2015

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A year ago, my best friend Hal died at the hands of an incompetent “dom.” So I started the Subs Club, a private blog where submissives can review doms and call out the douche bags.

A perfect example of the kind of arrogant asshole I mean? The Disciplinarian. He has a pornstache. He loves meat, stoicism, America, and real discipline. And he thinks subs exist to serve him.

But . . . not everything about him is awful. His Davy Crockett act just seems like a cover for his fear of intimacy, and part of me wants to show him it’s okay to get close to people. And, I mean, sue me, but I have fantasized about real discipline. Not role-play, but like, Dave, you’re gonna be thirty in four years and you still work in a mall; get your ass in gear or I’ll spank it.

Not that I’d ever trust anyone with that kind of control.

I’m gonna redefine “battle of wills” for the Disciplinarian. Or I’m gonna bone him. It’s hard to say.

—Dave

 

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Riptide | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release The Subs Club—Book 1 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win your choice of two backlist ebooks and a $10 Amazon gift card!
About The Subs Club Universe

After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.

From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.

Meet Miles

  • Age: 28
  • Occupation: shop owner
  • Orientation: queer
  • Boy Band Stereotype: “sort of a weird combination of the bad boy and the middle-aged, straitlaced accountant who got pulled up onstage to dance during a concert.” –Dave

Intellectual, uptight, and the owner of numerous Mr. Rogers-style cardigans, Miles sometimes takes a while to warm up to people, and vice versa. His friends appreciate his wealth of BDSM knowledge, but they all wish he’d loosen up. Like, just a little.

But Miles’s dirty little not-so-secret is that he’s a true masochist. His favorite activity is knife play, though he has trouble finding tops experienced enough with edge play to do the sort of scenes he’s interested in. Says Dave: “If someone asked him to try pulling a barge through the Erie Canal with a chain attached to his PA piercing, he’d probably do it. But you’d never know that about him, because he dressed like a minister’s daughter and behaved like the easily scandalized maiden aunt in a British drawing room play.”

While Miles initially opposes the founding of the Subs Club, offering a Shakespearean prophecy that rating local doms on a website will backfire, he’s soon seduced by the idea of having a platform through which to discuss the academic and theoretical aspects of kink. He even gets caught up in reviewing the doms.

Miles is conflicted about his feelings toward Hal. While he agrees that Bill Henson, the dom whose ignorance got Hal killed, was in the wrong, he has a hard time not judging Hal for his lack of caution and refusal to grow up. Miles likes for things to be perfect—for people to behave a certain way, and for things to go as planned.

Which is not how life—or humans—work. At all.

 

Review

5-stars

Ever since the death of his friend Hal, David’s been preoccupied about safety in the BDSM community. He feels even stronger about it after finding out that the man who hurt his friend has been accepted back in the dungeon he plays at.

After talking to the owners on the club, David is certain that something must be done, so The Subs Club idea takes form. The main idea is to provide an outlet where subs and bottoms can talk freely their concerns, experiences and/or grievances they’ve encountered in the community.

But David’s mind is also occupied with the man with The Disciplinarian. David gets it into his head to expose him as the type of Dom that represents everything he loathes about Doms–arrogant, inconsiderate, unsafe. But soon he recognizes that ‘D’ is more than what he appears to be and the very man who can provide what David needs.

I loved this story mainly because I loved David’s voice. He was adamant about his cause and hid a great deal of fear and uncertainty about his kinky needs. Especially after his friend’s death. But he was also funny, charming and trouble! I was completely smitten with him, especially after he started falling for ‘D’. His journey was a treat to read and I couldn’t get enough. Literally. I was so very disappointed when the story ended, since I enjoyed him so much.

There were other aspects of the story I enjoyed too. JA Rock went to great lengths to bring the kink while still focusing on the other issues surrounding this group of friends. So as expected, David’s ‘scenes’ with ‘D’ where intense yet very revealing in regards to both men. I loved how their relationship transitioned from casual play into something more.

As the first book in a series, The Subs Club worked in all aspects. The author brought to the page not only the romance, connection and chemistry between David and ‘D’, she also introduced an intriguing set of characters and set the stage for other upcoming books in the series.

All in all, a fantastic start to a series. I can’t wait to read Miles’ story, it promises to be even more interesting that David’s, I think.

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

 

Excerpt

I sat up suddenly. “Douche bag!”

Kamen and Gould both looked at me.

I stood and hurried to the kitchen to get my laptop. “That’s who was at the club.” I brought the computer over and set it on the coffee table.

“What?” Kamen asked.

“There was this mountain man guy there on Friday.” I fired up the laptop. “I, like, wanted to have his children and shave his face but also feel his mustache sanding my balls and have him teach me how to smoke venison. It was a bounty of contradictions.”

Kamen’s brow knit. “You want to have children?”

“No, not at all; I want to die alone and unloved. Anyway, I thought he looked familiar. It was the Disciplinarian.”

“Ohhh.” Kamen leaned forward as I brought up Fetmatch. “That guy’s legend.”

I logged onto Fet and found the Disciplinarian’s profile. Yep, the picture was Pornstache—rugged, virile, and glowering at the camera with his pale-blue eyes.

“He’s meant to be a total hard-ass, right?” Gould let his leg slide off the table. “You have to, like, bring him the head of a dragon to even be considered for a session.”

I cleared my throat and read the profile statement out loud while Kamen looked over my shoulder.

“‘Obediance,’” I read, “—spelled wrong—‘is what I expect. I see boys by appointment only, and I train them in the art of obedience. I use corporal punishment to do this. Under my tutelage, many boys are transformed. If I select you to do a scene with me, I will expect your absolute submission. I am experienced with a variety of whips, canes, paddles, etc. You will be subject to my rules and my decisions.

“‘I am dominant in all areas of my life, and I do not tolerate disobedience, rudeness, or negative attitude. You are unlikely to find anyone as skilled as I at administering the discipline you need. But know that my training will not be easy.

“‘You must be under 30, in good shape, and able to hold position through a long punishment. You must also be able to think creatively about the ways you will satisfy me.

“‘If you are interested in a session with the Disciplinarian, please fill out the attached questionnaire. Serious inquiries only.’”

Below the profile summary was a six-item questionnaire for potential applicants, as well as requirements for answer length—between three and five sentences—and formatting. Dear Sir was the required salutation, and boy the sign off.

Oh my God. To think I’d wanted this fucker to spank the seat of my fantasy bell-bottoms.

I brought up the questionnaire.

Why do you need to be punished? Were you physically disciplined as a child? How? Are you prepared to surrender complete control to me during a disciplinary session, and to allow me to determine the length and severity of a punishment? To submit to punishments that include: spanking, corner time, mouth soaping, enemas, body scrubbing, writing lines, housework, denial of bathroom privileges, figging, scolding, chastity, forced exercise, and rectal temperature-taking? Do you understand that “punishment” is intended to be unpleasant—no chickening out and safewording? What do you hope to get out of a session? What are your feelings on the outdoors?

“Dave, that totally sounds like your thing,” Kamen said. “All the punishment stuff.”

“Uh, yeah.” I scrolled through the questions again. “Except for the safeword-equals-chickening-out bullshit.”

“Oh, right.”

“What a dick. I can’t believe I wanted to feel his mustache in all my secret places.”

– See more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-subs-club#.dpuf

 

About the Author

J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. A lover of m/m BDSM romance, J.A. lives mostly in West Virginia, and always with a beloved dog, Professor Anne.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Subs Club, J.A. Rock is giving away two titles from her backlist and a $10 Amazon gift card! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 12, 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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New Release! With This Bling (Romano and Albright #3) by L.B. Gregg *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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With This Bling (Romano and Albright #3)
by L.B. Gregg

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released December 7th 2015

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Caesar Romano’s catering career is doing better than he’d ever dreamed. And so is his love life—even if his boyfriend’s house in Staten Island is way too far from civilization for his liking. But then in short order, Caesar is duped into helping his cousin propose, is tricked by his best friend and business partner into appearing on live television, and is harassed by a thug-like personal trainer and his far too beautiful wife. In fact, Caesar is almost too busy to notice that something is troubling his PI boyfriend, Dan Albright.

Almost.

Laid-back, open, charming—that’s the impression hunky former NYPD Detective Dan Albright gives everyone. Caesar can add sexually adventurous and a bit of an exhibitionist. But he also knows that Dan is hiding something—something dark and a little dangerous—and when Dan’s silence over his mysterious past threatens to harm them both, it’s Caesar’s turn to save the day.

But then again, a break-in, a gallery party, an heirloom ring, a new suit, and a stalker with bad BO are all just a typical week for Caesar Romano.

 

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Riptide | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

Review

4 stars

Caesar has the uncanny ability to put himself right smack in the middle of trouble, especially if it pertains to one of his lover’s cases. This time around it’s no different, only he’s also trying to help his cousin with a wedding proposal, making his debut on TV and realizing just how much Dan means to him.

LB Gregg’s ability to bring together a mix of different elements has to be my favorite aspect of this story. The humor, the heat, the intrigue and the romance are all present in this story and worked in together so that that they complement each other without dragging the story or making it feel overwhelming for the reader. There were even some subtle emotions there towards the end, which were an added bonus in my opinion. Yes, finally! 😉

The author did a wonderful job of keeping the reader intrigued and riveted to the story. This I attribute to Caesar’s voice. His ramblings were a thing of beauty and added to my enjoyment of the story. Add to that Dan’s participation and I could not help but love these two together. Their flirty banter, their bickering and those stolen moments when their attraction for one another took over were just the icing on the elaborate turn of events Caesar finds himself the center of.

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the Romano and Albright series, it can be read as a stand alone. the author does a fantastic job of bringing the reader up to date in regards to Caesar’s previous adventures while still bringing to the page a new case for Caesar to (unknowingly) be involved in.

All in all, an intriguing and enjoyable read!

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

 

Excerpt

As an ex–law enforcement officer, Dan took precautions. Locks secured every window and door, and he’d wired the place to the hilt. I’d worked in the gallery world for years, and I’d grown familiar with the ins and outs of various alarm keypads. My own family didn’t bother with fancy security companies. We relied on brute strength, intimidation, and the local neighborhood watch. More like a witch hunt than a watch, but effective nonetheless. And, when pressed, Romanos were swift to drive intruders away with the swing of a Louisville Slugger. There wasn’t a bat in Dan’s home, so I opted for his alarm.

I retrieved my cell from the dresser as the jerk on the roof did whatever asshole thing he was hell-bent on doing. I should have checked, but something—call it intuition—had me moving with haste to the stairs, phoning Dan as I descended. Having had my fair share of incidents in the past two months, I knew to call, but first I’d have to deal with Dan’s I don’t fucking believe this.

“Hey,” he panted, and he wasn’t the only one gasping. My lungs creaked from all the exertion.

“Question.” I swallowed. “Do you—”

“What’s wrong with your voice? Did you do something to your rib again? You’re making that kicked-puppy sound. The one you make when you’re in pain but you won’t tell me and I have to slip Vicodin into your milkshake. What are you doing?”

“What makes you think I’m doing anything? I’m doing nothing. I’m fine.” Just winded from the stairs. “Did you maybe schedule the cable company and forget?” I peered through the peephole again. Empty step, sprinkler sprinkling, birds slurping worms, kids on scooters, fishbowl suburbia. Check. Nothing had changed.

“Negative. I don’t have cable.”

“Huh. That’s unnerving, because there’s a guy on your roof.”

“What roof? Who’s on the roof? My roof?” A sharp inhale told me his jog had ratcheted to a flat run. “What do you mean?”

“I mean the cable guy climbed onto your house after I told him to leave. I’m just letting you know.” A thump from somewhere above and I flipped the plastic lid on the alarm panel, revealing the keypad. Pretty straightforward. P for police and the * sign together and I’d scare any prowler out of his pants and onto the lawn. “I have the situation under control.”

“The hell you do. Is he still there? You’re not kidding, right?”

“No. I am not kidding—you always ask me that. Why would I kid?” It was difficult keeping exasperation from my voice, but I managed valiantly. “How do I know what he’s doing? I’m not watching, although I can see his van from the window. It’s on the street. I’m hitting the alarm. Heads-up. Also chop-chop. I’m going to be late for work.”

“Yes. Hit the fucking alarm.”

An earsplitting eeeeeeee breached the peaceful splendor of Chez Albright.

I scurried to the kitchen as Dan yelled, “I’m two blocks from the house. You still there?”

“Yes, of course.”—eeeeeeee—“Where would I go? He’s out there. So I’m in here. Dial it down. I’m fine.”

“You need to leave the house.”

“That’s not going to happen.” I checked the window. “There are kids on the sidewalk. I don’t want a scene.”

“I think that train left the station—”

The cable guy fell from the roof in a flutter of green shirttails. He landed catlike in the grass directly in front of the kitchen window. “Holy crap.”

Dan panted, “What? Talk to me.”

The man popped effortlessly to his feet and hiked a rather utilitarian black backpack over his shoulder. Anyone else would have broken an arm or an ankle falling from that height, but no. The bastard didn’t even bother to check himself. Far less fatigued than he first appeared at Dan’s doorstep, he was nonetheless sopping in sweat. His gaze caught mine and he fucking bowed—the dick—then he flipped me off, mouthing, Fuck you, and darted under the clothesline. “I . . . don’t believe this guy.”

He vaulted the fence like a goddamn superhero. “My God. He’s like Batman.”

“What the— Did you say Batman?”

Eeeeeee!

I shouted over the alarm, “He looked right at me! That asshole, but holy crap, he’s totally parkour. I’ve never seen anything like him. I don’t think you can catch him.”

“Thank you for the vote of confidence.”

The guy cut through the neighbor’s backyard and disappeared around the corner of a garage as the house alarm clanged my head like a gong. I pressed a finger against my ear. “He’s gone. Wow. Where are you? If you come through the back—”

Any hope the intruder would run smack into Dan coming from the opposite direction was dashed as the front door burst open and my hero announced, “I’m here. Where is he?”

“Gone. I told you. Jesus, the guy could move.” I tossed my phone on the counter. I wasn’t sure what my next move should be, so I let Dan lead. He braced one hand against the wall, gasping for air—which didn’t seem entirely heroic—and stabbed at the keypad with his index finger. The alarm ceased and, thank God, I could hear myself think again. Summer heat met AC, and a wave of tepid air blew through the living room.

“FYI, I move too.” Dan sucked wind. “I sprinted up that fucking hill.”

He swiped his forehead and joined me in the kitchen, his Shakespeare in the Park T-shirt soaked to his skin. Unlike the intruder, he wore his perspiration very well. Face flushed, hale and hearty in loose-fitting black running shorts, he flipped the backdoor locks and disappeared down the steps.

I followed a few paces behind, watching as he scoped the backyard. “He’s not here.”

“I can see that.”

He glared at the kitchen roof where two stubby dormers were connected by a thin outcropping of architectural tiles. One dormer held the bath window, the other the guest room window. Bolted between the dormers? A long-nosed satellite dish.

Dan looked ready to scale the brick and poke around for clues, or climb for a better vantage point of the cable guy’s escape route, but his outdoor inspection lasted two seconds. He stared at me briefly, dark brows knitted together, before stomping back into the kitchen. He scrubbed at his damp hair, leaving finger-wide furrows. At least his breathing was somewhat under control.

His gaze raked me, head to toe, and he stalled for a second. “So, you look fine this morning.”

“Of course I do.” I answered stiffly because I was indeed fine. What had he expected? That I’d faint over a possible break-in? Please. “I’ve dealt with intruders before. I’m not a novice.”

“All right, Mr. Not A Novice.” I swear to God his eyes twinkled. His jaw definitely twitched. “Tell me exactly what happened, and don’t stop talking until you get to the part where you realize you’re still bare-ass naked.”

I glanced south and found an unencumbered view to my toes. Not a stitch covered me, not even my Hugo Boss underwear. I’d just exposed myself to his entire neighborhood and, while I’m sure they were impressed—because who wouldn’t be?—I was also mortified. I dashed through the kitchen, resisting the natural urge to clap both hands over my crotch. “That explains the breeze.”

“I’m not complaining.”

– See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/with-this-bling#sthash.oPUezXl7.dpuf

 

About the Author

When not working from her home in the rolling hills of Northwestern Connecticut, author L.B. Gregg can be spotted in coffee shops from Berlin to Singapore to Panama–sipping lattes and writing sweet, hot, often funny, stories about men who love men.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Email

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of With This Bling, L.B. Gregg is giving away a Romano and Albright mug with swag, and a $40 gift card to Amazon! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 12, 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!

Follow the Tour!

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Favorite New Release Tour ~ Status Update (#gaymers #1) by Annabeth Albert *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Status Update (#gaymers #1)
by Annabeth Albert

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Carina Press
Released December 7th 2015

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Adrian Gottlieb is winning at life. He’s a successful video game designer with everything a man could ask for, including a warm comfy ride to Denver and a date for his sister’s wedding. But he finds himself in need of a total reboot when he’s left stranded at a snowy campground in Utah. Holiday plans? Epic fail.

That is until Noah Walters offers him shelter for the night and a reluctant cross-country ride. Nothing about the ultraconservative geoarchaeologist should attract Adrian, but once he discovers Noah’s hidden love for video games, the two connect on a new level. Soon, a quiet but undeniable chemistry sparks.

Something doesn’t add up, though. As the miles accumulate and time runs out, Noah must face the most difficult choice of his life. Meanwhile, Adrian must decide whether he’s ready to level up. Is their relationship status worth fighting for, or has this game ended before it’s even begun?

 

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Review

4 stars
4.25 stars

You know you’ve found a winner when you’re dead tired the morning after reading an all-nighter, and you’re still remembering the story and its characters the next day with a huge grin on your face. What can I say? Annabeth Albert is fast becoming a must-read author of mine and with this latest story she just proved why she’s earned a place in that list.

What I enjoyed must about this story was the way Noah and Adrian were brought together. Their paths crossed in an unexpected way and a tentative friendship was formed where both men eventually gave in to the attraction that simmered between them. But what made this different from some of the stories I’ve read lately was the fact that although the attraction was palpable, it was slow burning with tentative touches and stolen looks to add to the allure of these two coming together.

Both Noah and Adrian were great characters and I appreciated the chance Annabeth Albert afforded me to get to know them. On the surface, Noah and Adrian appeared to be opposites, but ultimately they complemented each other perfectly well. Noah with his caring nature helped Adrian recognize that his previous relationship never allowed for something real where there was no distance and opportunity to put problems aside. Likewise, Adrian’s laid-back personality and honest acceptance allowed Noah to relax and eventually recognize what he was missing by keeping himself closed off.

Although emotions did play a major role in the story, the author made sure that the story never reach angsty levels. I thought Noah’s hesitancy was perfectly brought to the page. I understood where his doubts stemmed from and I loved seeing him exploring that side of him he kept to himself. It was fantastic to see how Adrian’s understanding and caring nature put Noah at ease and eventually brought him out of the ‘closet’ Noah had lived in for so long. Their happy moments were a treat to experience and their more candid and honest moments only served to prove how deeply the connection between Noah and Adrian ran.

I loved that the romance was slow in coming that the connection shared was firmly established and developed throughout. But that’s not to say that the chemistry was lacking. Like I said before, those tentative touches kept the tension alive and present which made for some tantalizing moments. And when they finally did come together? It was everything I was expecting and much more.

Even though I enjoyed this story from beginning to end, I couldn’t help but want to see more of Adrian and Noah as a couple after everything was said and done. The last chapter was great, but I feel like I missed on seeing them go through all the intricacies of establishing and maintaining a relationship, especially when it came to Noah. The last chapter was great, but I don’t know, I just wish I could have seen more of them as a couple.

All in all, a fantastic romantic read.

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

 

Excerpt

Noah knew the dog was trouble as soon as he and Ulysses entered the campground’s off-leash dog area. The little guy—some sort of Chihuahua/mini-pin mix in a yellow-and-green checked coat—stood in the center of the scrubby grass, barking his fool head off. The only human in the dog area sat at the picnic table on the far side, completely absorbed in his shiny phone, oblivious to his dog strutting around like all eight pounds of him would be enough to keep potential threats out.

Ulysses gave Noah a look, like “you really expect me to ignore that?” Noah tightened his hold on the tennis ball chucker. Ulysses never did well competing with smaller dogs for his toys. He unclipped Ulysses with a stern look.

“Be good.”

Still yapping, the little dog rushed over to inspect his new enemy. Predictably, Ulysses wandered away to do his business. He was too old for these sorts of games.

Noah gave a halfhearted wave in the direction of the owner, but the guy didn’t look up from his phone. The young guy was a typical hipster tourist—thick tortoise-framed glasses, artfully messed-up dark hair, with a thick purple streak, falling over his forehead. Slim build, but his wide shoulders stretched his too-thin jacket, making the shiny fabric ripple with his motions. He wasn’t any more prepared for November in Utah than his designer dog. Still, he was a cute guy, if one was the type to notice things like that, which Noah was not.

Noah looked away, studying the sheer cliffs that surrounded the Capitol Reef National Park. Didn’t matter how much time he spent in Southern Utah, he never got tired of the view. Phone guy was missing the light shifting into one of those perfect late fall sunsets that made the early dusk worth the loss of daylight. Pink streaks mingled with gray sky to cast a rosy glow over the scrubby grass and low fence of the dog area.

Rowwwr. Ulysses flopped at Noah’s feet, a deep beseeching whine rattling out of his barrel chest. He was eighty pounds of unhappy. He’d waited patiently all afternoon while Noah worked, and now he was missing out on his ball time thanks to the teacup gatekeeper.

“Okay, but play nice.” Noah threw the ball hard with the chucker toy, going for enough distance to outstrip the tiny dog’s ability to keep up with Ulysses. Not surprisingly, the little guy was tenacious, cutting off Ulysses’s path to the ball. Ulysses gave a warning woof, and Noah broke into a run, heading after the dogs.

“Down,” he called out. Ulysses wouldn’t attack the smaller dog, but he wasn’t above a major tantrum. And despite the smaller dog acting as instigator, people would see the huge black dog and toss out the “aggressor” label. Noah preferred to exercise him late in the day—Ulysses simply didn’t enjoy playing with other dogs, and Noah wasn’t one to force his dog into uncomfortable situations.

The little dog stood over the ball, yapping up a storm while Ulysses barked and growled, ignoring Noah’s command to sit.

Finally, the owner hefted himself off the picnic bench.

“Pixel, baby, what are you doing?” the owner called in a melodic voice that didn’t inspire Noah’s confidence in the man’s ability to control his dog. “Did the big doggie scare you?”

Hah. Typical. Noah snorted. “Can you grab the ball?” He didn’t trust those little dog breeds—too quick to snap. He’d nearly been bitten trying to retrieve a ball more than once.

“Oh sure.” The guy reached under Pixel—typical cutesy name for an annoying dog—and delicately plucked the ball free, but instead of handing it to Noah, he gave it a toss, sending both dogs running.

Oh great. Noah let out a slow breath, little puffs of vapor in the crisp evening air that did nothing to defuse his tension.

“It’ll be okay.” The way-too-handsy guy patted the sleeve of Noah’s parka. “They just need to work it out. Pixel loves to play.”

Noah took a step to the side. Who did that? Touched complete strangers? But the guy kept up his friendly grin, not unlike his dog, who kept gamely chasing Ulysses. Ulysses won the race to the ball this time and hightailed it back to Noah. Not releasing his prize, he whined softly.

“Hey, boy. You got a toy?” The guy knelt to dog level and extended a hand, but instead of sniffing, Ulysses shook his head.

“Sorry. He’s not much on new people.” Neither am I. Noah’s voice sounded rough to his own ears—too many days with only Ulysses to talk to.

“It’s okay.” The guy straightened, then extended a hand to Noah. “I’m Adrian Gottlieb. You been at Capitol Reef long?”

“Couple of weeks.” He returned Adrian’s handshake, hating it when a little buzz shot up his arm. Unlike his own gloved hand, Adrian’s hand was bare, a hint of a tattoo playing peekaboo with his cuff, his grip strong and firm. And Noah had absolutely no business noticing anything more than the guy’s relentless friendliness.

Adrian smiled expectantly as he released Noah’s hand.

“Oh, I’m Noah. And that’s Ulysses,” he added, because dog people always wanted to know all about the dog. No doubt the guy was bursting to tell Pixel’s life story.

“Add-dreeee-an,” a heavily accented voice called from the gate. A beefy guy close to Noah’s age leaned on the fence, bald head gleaming in the setting sun. “I’m lonely. When are you coming back?”

“Coming,” Adrian shouted, then gave Noah a shrug with a “what can you do?” expression on his face. He grabbed Pixel and jogged across the field.

Noah nodded like he knew anything about handling demanding friends. Adrian greeted the mammoth dude with a quick peck. Okay then. Not a friend. He should have guessed, but he was a bit slow about relationship stuff. The country was changing, even way out here, but no one would dare try even that much PDA in his tiny West Texas college town. His stomach gave a weird flip—not quite discomfort, but something else he refused to name. Time to return his attention to Ulysses. He hurled the tennis ball as hard as he could.

 

About the Author

Annabeth

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

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New Release! His to Take (Out of Uniform, #3.5) by Katee Robert *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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His to Take (Out of Uniform #3.5)
by Katee Robert

A Contemporary Romance
From Entangled–Brazen
Released December 7, 2015

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A game of truth or dare gets WAY out of hand in the sexiest way possible, in Katee Robert’s His to Take.

Fans of Samanthe Beck’s Private Practice or No Strings Attached by Nicolette Day, will devour the final installment of the Out of Uniform series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

Erin Robinson is having an epically bad year. Her blossoming career on Broadway tanked, forcing her to crawl back to home to Wellington. The icing on her failure cake? Her former on-again, off-again fling is in town, and the sexy Marine is taking up way too much space.

Warren Davis always knew Erin was special, which is exactly why he can’t have her. A girl like her deserves something permanent—something neither of them wants. But now that they’re both back in town and she’s right there in front of him, a challenge in her eyes he’s never been able to resist, he’s questioning everything.

That challenge quickly escalates into an epic game of Truth or Dare. Erin’s sure she’s got him on lock, but as the night progresses, Warren’s dares intensify, drowning her in lust. But with the past still breathing down their necks, there’s no way either of them can win…

See where it all began with book 1 of the Out of Uniform series, In Bed with Mr. Wrong.

 

His to Take

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Review

4 stars

Erin Robinson left her hometown to pursue her Broadway dream, but when her mouth get her fired she returns under the pretense of spending the holidays with her family. With no idea of what step to take next in her life, Erin feels a little bit lost and a lot apprehensive. Especially when she runs to the only man who has always managed to push all her bottoms and ignite all her passion.

Warren Davis is a Marine questioning his next step in life after being injured in action. He’s had an on again off again friends with benefits relationship with Erin, but now he wants more. And what better way to get the girl that has driven him crazy through the years than with an interesting game of Truth and Dare?

With both Erin and Warren thinking about their next step in life, will these too finally step in the right direction together?

This was a fun steamy read. As with other books by this author, Katee Robert didn’t miss a beat in bringing Erin and Warren’s chemistry to the page until their passion and need for each other took center stage. I liked the ‘game’ aspect of this story, even though I’m not usually a fan of the ‘Dare’ trope in my romance. However, Katee Robert worked it in a way that was both fun and revealing. As Erin and Warren handed out and completed their challenges, their personalities made themselves known as well as what they wanted/needed from the other.

Unlike other novellas in this series, this one didn’t delve too deeply into the characters instead focusing in bringing forth their connection and physical attraction to one another. It was obvious how much Erin and Warren desired one another as well as how deeply they cared for each other. The underlying emotions that had brought them together through the years were subtle yet easily identifiable to the reader, which ultimately led me to become invested in their story.

This is the last book in the Out of Uniform series and it can be read as a stand alone.

All in all, a fun and steamy quick read, just right to cuddled up with this holiday season.

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

 

Excerpt

“You haven’t even heard what I’m proposing.”

“I don’t have to. I know you. And as great as an hour of hot sweaty sex would be, I’m not in the mood.”

That, more than anything else, confirmed there was something wrong. He tamped down the urge to ask what it was. They weren’t that kind of friends. Not yet. They were two people who’d hooked up a handful of times in the last six years. That was it.

That was what he was trying to change.

So he nudged her shoulder, hating that the winter made so many layers necessary. It was only his imagination making him think he could feel the heat of her body through her coat from that tiny touch. “Truth or dare, Freckles?”

Her jaw dropped. “You’re joking.”

“We haven’t done it in years.” Not since the night they met.

“Right. Because we’re grown-ass adults, and truth or dare is for kids.”

He watched the memories reflected in her hazel eyes. Truth or dare was how they’d gotten started in the first place. They’d been with a group of friends down at Mill Creek and someone had suggested the game. It had been a wild night of the kind of trouble only teenagers could get into, and it had culminated out in the middle of the creek where another of their friends dared Erin to kiss Warren.

And, holy fuck, had she kissed him.

 

Out of Uniform Series

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In Bed with Mr. Wrong (Out of Uniform, #1)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

His to Keep (Out of Uniform, #1.5)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Falling for His Best Friend (Out of Uniform, #2)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

His Lover to Protect (Out of Uniform, #3)
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About the Author

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New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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