Category Archives: Read 2013

Tour~Dojo Boys: Dragon & Crow (Dojo Boys Vol 1 & 2) by Alex A. Akira *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Dragon & Crow (Dojo Boys Vol 1 & 2)
by Alex A. Akira

A Yaoi Action Adventure Romance
From Triple A Press
Deluxe 2 Volume Set
Released May 25th 2015

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Twenty-three-year-old, Native American, Michael Black’s well-ordered life is disrupted one evening when he is ambushed at the dojo he frequents by a mysterious Japanese youth who goes by the name of Kiyoshi.

Soon circumstances have the gorgeous teen staying with Michael at his apartment. The gifted nineteen-year-old is an intriguing mix of angst, innocence and crafty intelligence, but Michael is honor bound by a promise to his sensei to keep his distance. Michael tries to keep his desire in check, but what can he do if the exquisite teen keeps kissing him?

Volume two finds Michael in deep water when, in trying to help Kiyoshi, he is persuaded by his sensei to participate in a joint government undercover operation to bring down a Yakuza lord.

Before long Michael is immersed in beautiful men, martial arts and espionage all to gain the trust and love of Kiyoshi. Secrets, lies, sex and action combine in this racy, romantic, adventure of two men, Michael Black and his sensei, Ichiro Kimura, navigating a dangerous path for true love.

 

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Review

4 stars

Note: These reviews were of previous single volume editions.

Michael Black is looking forward to getting his brown belt, something he has worked hard to achieve. With a past filled with loss and pain and with no family of his own, he’s tired of playing the field and longs to find someone to love. Although he entertains thoughts of a relationship with his Sensei Ichiro, he believes that his crush is unrequited so he doesn’t pursuit it and only takes part in meaningless hook-ups.

Then one night while at the dojo he encounters the stranger that will change his life. The stranger turns out to be Ichiro’s cousin, Kiyoshi. Suddenly drawn to the lithe, handsome stranger Michael agrees to help out his sensei in keeping Kiyoshi safe while he is visiting. However, Michael can’t help but to act on his attraction and ends up not only opening his door to the stranger but also opening his heart.

I had met Michael and Kiyoshi previously when I read The Italian Connection 2 and I was looking forward to reading their story. This is the second set of stories I have read from Alex A. Akira and it was everything I’ve come to expect from him. The author has the ability to draw me into the story from the very beginning keeping me riveted throughout and then leaving me wanting more from these characters when the story has reached its end. I especially enjoy the complexity of his characters, the way he brings action-packed scenes to the page and the sizzling-hot sex scenes he infuses with emotions.

As for this set of characters, I have to say that I loved Kiyoshi’s vulnerability and admired how far he’d come in life. And Michael? Well he was adorable as he constantly fought his attraction to Kiyoshi.

The romance was another element I enjoyed. I loved how they got together and how their connection grew as the story progressed. Their doubts and hesitations felt real and even though I am not usually a fan of the whole insta-love scenario, I believe it fits this story well. For me, the best part of this story and its characters was how Michael and Kiyoshi both longed to be loved and how fiercely attracted to each other they were.

I could tell you more, but the fun was in discovering the details as they were revealed.

Dragon and Crow, Volume 2 picks up right where Dojo Boys: Dragon & Crow, Volume 1 left off. Michael finds himself immerse in his lover’s latest mission where he encounters a salacious guy, a high school girlfriend, a handsome operative from his lover’s organization and his lover’s ex. He is man-handled, beat up and injured. He is not having the best of days, but his spirits are kept high by thoughts of his lover and the connection they share. Then all hell breaks loose and Michael finds himself facing his biggest nightmare–losing the man he loves.

As with the previous installment, I enjoyed this story from beginning to end. I found myself gripping my tablet during the action packed scenes and biting my lip during the sizzling-hot sex scenes.

In this installment, we also get to see a more vulnerable side to Ichiro, Kiyoshi’s cousin, and a stronger cunning side to Kiyoshi. That right there is what reinforces my admiration for Alex A. Akira’s writing–his ability to bring to life the characters in his stories by peeling back layer after layer of the characters’ personality. That, combined with a riveting storyline and fast paced action scenes, is what truly kept me reading all through the night.

I enjoyed how Michael managed to hold his own under the circumstances that he was facing, his unending loyalty to Kiyoshi and how his emotions spilled out on the page. He felt real, much more than in the previous volume. Kiyoshi, on the other hand, was resilient in his determination to put this mission to rest. He was strong, hard edged and completely sexy in his pursuit of Michael. I loved this side of him. Yes, I liked his vulnerable, sweet side and his rougher side too, but this devil may care, seductive, controlling side gave him an air of unavailability that I enjoyed very much. Who knew?! 😀

Dojo Boys: Dragon & Crow Volume 2 is a great follow-up book that will leave you wanting more from Michael and his sexy operative.  There’s not much more I can say without giving the little treasures of the story away since I loved it all, so I’ll just shut up now and read some of the highlighted text on my Kindle. Yes, yes, I’m going back in there, you know, to refresh my memory and all that. 😉

All in all, a great action-packed romance with intriguing characters and a riveting storyline.

 

Excerpt

D-&-C-VOL-1-800X1200-COVERMichael groped for the light switch, a smile of triumph playing at his lips. Damn, I did it! I beat him! Flicking the switch, he turned, eager to view his skilled opponent and to bask in the accolades that he was sure to receive from Sensei Kimura.

His triumph descended to dismay in a flash. Who the hell is this?

A slight figure lay crumpled at the center of the practice room. Cautiously approaching the limp form, Michael’s heart sank even further. Lying unconscious on the gleaming bamboo floor was a Japanese boy. He looked to be about five-foot-seven, was very pale, and quite young.

“A kid? I beat up a kid?” Quickening his pace, Michael knelt beside the slim figure. Jesus, he’s like fourteen, fifteen? Beautiful. He looks like Ichiro. Better, actually, Michael admitted, surprised at his internal betrayal of his long-held crush on his sensei. He continued to stare down at the slight, fragile boy, eyeing the long blue-black hair that trailed sensuously around the figure’s unfamiliar gray karategi.

Who the hell is he? Why would they have me beat up a kid for my test? Puzzled, he glanced around the room, noting that he and the boy were alone. Ignoring his impending alarm, he gazed back to the unconscious figure.

D&C-VOL-2-800X1200-COVERThe youth’s face was truly beautiful. Michael’s inner artist drank in the smooth, pearly skin, the long, sooty lashes, and the pale apricot color blushed across the boy’s delicate cheekbones. God… An aching hunger preceded the lurch of Michael’s cock, which nudged his lower abdomen telegraphing its interest. Get it together. He’s like … twelve! Suddenly realizing that the boy showed no sign of regaining consciousness, Michael snapped from his trance and shook his opponent’s shoulder.

“Hey!” He leaned over the placid body, hand stretching toward the longish neck for a pulse. The telltale thump throbbed beneath his fingers, but his proximity to the boy’s face had him pausing to stare at the youth’s sculpted lips. Christ, get away from him before you do something you’ll regret. Frowning, he started to shift upright when a relentless grip clutched his hair.

Caught off guard, Michael fumbled helplessly as his head was tugged abruptly toward the face beneath him. The beautiful mouth claimed his lips, stealing his breath and muffling his gasp as a hot tongue invaded his mouth. The agile member eagerly caressed its counterpart, igniting Michael’s senses. The tantalizing scent of ripe apricots surrounded him, dizzying him with sensual promises, and urging him to surrender.

 

 

About the Author

Alex A. Akira is the author of the yaoi romance series Dojo Boys, racy tales of young, male martial artists navigating some unorthodox and adventurous paths to find love. The Deluxe two-volume box set of Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow are available at Amazon:

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Cover Re-reveal: Over the Edge by Suzanne Carroll *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Over the Edge
by Suzanne Carroll

A Contemporary Romance
From The Writer’s Coffee Shop (May 9th 2013)

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In six weeks, Zoe Harper will marry Dan Costi in an over-the-top Sydney society wedding, complete with fire-eaters and belly dancers. But when she receives an unexpected gift from her future mother-in-law, Zoe realises she’s making a huge mistake. In a blazing sidewalk argument, she breaks up with her fiancé—and his mother, who has joined the fight via conference call.

Following the advice of friends and co-workers, along with some inspiration from late-night-television self-help guru Dr. Pam, Zoe sets out to find the life she thinks she should be living. Always a planner, she makes a list of goals: travel, career, tattoos, and no romantic entanglements. It’s all carefully laid out, until she meets Angus Creed.

Angus is supposed to lead the opening waltz at a charity ball in New York City. Only problem is the handsome billionaire construction magnate with the tabloid past can’t dance. Not one step.

Tainted by gossip and with a well-publicised failed engagement behind him, Angus has become a master at keeping an emotional distance. Until he meets Zoe.

What starts as dancing lessons slowly becomes something more. Angus begins to let down his guard and open his heart, even when his past makes an unexpected and unwelcome return. As Zoe discovers the real man behind the headlines, she questions where her new choices are taking her. Her goals look good on paper, but are they what she really wants? And by the time she realizes where her heart lies, will it be too late?

 

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Review

5-stars

Zoe is stressed out about her wedding. She feels like she’s the star of a circus where her mother-in-law is the ringleader. Her wishes are ignored, her opinions not taken into account. It all comes to a halt when her in-laws go too far and shatter her vision of her dream home. She won’t take it anymore, she sees the light. In one sudden move, Zoe confronts her fiance and ends it all.

This was a wonderful story. It definitely was a surprise to find myself so drawn into the story that I read it all in one sitting – laughing, crying and yelling for the main characters to get things done. Especially since there wasn’t a sex scene in sight!

I loved Zoe. Funny, cautious but strong-headed as hell, she was an amazing character to get to know. It felt like we were friends while I was laughing at her antics, crying with her and celebrating her new-found independence. Angus was lovely too. Sexy, confident but with an air of vulnerability to him I couldn’t resist, I adored him. I liked that how he treated Zoe from the start, always like an equal and with great consideration. I understood where he was coming from and in the end, he had me hooked. I wanted them to work out, I needed to believe that they would get their happily ever after.

Suzanne Carroll did a wonderful job of bringing these two characters together in a way that felt believable to me. Although the professionalism between employer and employer was ever present there was always the sense that they were becoming friends – an easy camaraderie that helped the believability of the story. I enjoyed their interactions, their humor and how well they got along. But most of all I enjoyed the complexity of the characters and how their emotions were brought to the page. I could easily feel Angus frustrations over his past and Zoe’s hesitations about opening herself up to the possibility of something more with Angus.

All in all, Over the Edge was a funny, romantic story about letting go and starting anew.

*I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

Guitar music starts filtering through just as I’m drifting back to sleep. It’s a lovely sound, soft and gentle. It rises and falls so evenly, almost in time with my breathing, and I could listen to it forever. Except, I’m supposed to be alone in this cabin, so that means there shouldn’t be guitar music.

Shit.

My eyes snap open.

Did I leave a radio on? Is there even a radio here? What if it’s an axe murderer? Are they usually musical?

The music keeps playing as I climb slowly out of bed and, thankfully, the room doesn’t spin quite so much this time. The door is open a crack, and when I peek into the living room, my hangover evaporates and my heart starts crashing against my ribs.

There is a man sitting on the sofa.

Who the fuck is he? And what did I do last night? My stomach drops to my toes.

Whoever he is, he’s made himself at home. His bare feet are resting on the edge of the coffee table. There’s a blanket thrown over the arm of the sofa. Across his lap he holds a guitar. He’s frowning, lips pursed slightly, as he studies the movement of his long fingers over the strings. His body moves subtly in time with his music. The muscles in his forearm roll and flex as he plays.

Despite the shock of finding him here, I’m struck by the beauty of his pose. The way he holds the guitar is almost tender. His face is so intent, he’s so absorbed in what he’s doing. And what he’s doing is beautiful. The music is so rich and sweet.

His hair is dark and tousled, and it hangs over his forehead and into his eyes. I would guess he’s about my age, perhaps a little older.
He doesn’t look like an axe murderer. Maybe this is some ridiculous mix up with reservations. Should I confront him? Or climb out the bedroom window and run for help? As I’m considering my options, he looks up.

“Hello,” he says. “You’re awake.” He offers me a smile that’s warm and wary, but it’s his eyes that really have my attention. He has beautiful eyes. Long-lashed and dark brown. He blinks slowly, almost lazily. My unease begins to fade.

I find myself being drawn into the room – one tentative step, then another. Those eyes stay on me, gauging my reaction.

“I’m not sure how much you recall,” he says. His voice is warm and mellow. “Should I introduce myself again?”

“That would be a good idea, yes.” Despite a wildly beating heart, my voice is surprisingly calm. Calmer than the voice in my head, the one yelling at me to move away from the stranger who has appeared uninvited in my cabin. Away. Not closer.

Guitar Man unfolds himself from the sofa. He’s tall. Much taller than he appeared when he was sitting. He smiles and offers me his hand.

“Hello,” he says again. “I’m Angus Creed.”

It could be the shock of what Guitar Man has said, or it could be the hangover, but suddenly my head is spinning again and the floor is coming up to meet me.

“Hey…”

I’m suddenly weightless as he scoops me into his arms and eases me onto the sofa. He crouches on the floor in front of me as I sag into the corner cushions and I stare into those dark, guarded eyes with the long lashes. This is Angus Creed?

What the fuck is he doing here? I’m guessing the holiday brochure on Susan’s desk wasn’t for her, after all.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” I start to nod but stop quickly, wincing.

“Headache?”
“Um…a bit.” It’s an effort to think straight and I close my eyes, but when I feel his hand on my forehead they snap open again.

This is surreal. I should be asking him to leave, not gazing into his eyes as he strokes his fingers over my forehead.

There’s a roughness to his skin, no doubt from those years spent as a builder, not a businessman. But even so, his touch is gentle and soothing, like his music. A delicious sense of warmth flows through me.

The pounding in my head begins to ease. I sink deeper into the sofa and might never get up again. But my mouth is dry and I run my tongue over my lips.

“I’ll get you some water,” he says. Suddenly his hand is gone, but the warmth stays. There are sounds from the kitchen: the creak of a cupboard door and the splash of water into a glass.

I wrestle myself into a sitting position and catch my reflection in the glass doors. My hair is flat. That means I must have worn my beanie at some stage. But when? Not in front of him, I hope.

I turn my head and see he’s walking across the room to me, his bare feet moving silently over the timber floor. He holds out the glass and I nod at the blanket tossed over the armrest. “You were here all night?”

“You asked me to stay.”

Shit. Mr One Night Stand. What have I done? The horror must show on my face.

“No,” he shakes his head, “not like that.”

And of course his response means he knows exactly where my mind has gone. Quick. Backtrack.

“Oh. Good. I mean…not that I thought…you and me, that we…”

Oh, what am I saying? And why is he looking like that, listening so intently? Just shut up, Zoe. Shut up and drink the water.

But it’s too late. The image is in my head now. It’s probably in his head too. At least I look fabulous and acrobatic in my version of events. I wonder if I’m hungover with flat hair in his.

Guitar Man…Angus…Mr Creed…stays still by the fireplace. He watches me and I watch him. There’s the faint shadow of a bruise on the cheekbone under his left eye.

When I’ve had enough to drink, I set the glass on the coffee table. “Thank you,” I murmur.

“How are you feeling now?”

“Better after the water. I needed that.” It’s true, my head is a bit clearer but the events of last night still elude me. I need him to explain exactly what happened. I also need to find out what I’ve told him. Did I tell him my name? Does he know I work for his company? That I’m the Zoe Harper who sent his reports off yesterday morning? I don’t think so, because I’m quite certain he wouldn’t be here, like this.

My heart pounds. I’m not sure how to play this, but I find myself wishing he’d stroke my forehead again.

 

About the Author

suzanne carroll

Suzanne lives in Sydney with her husband and children. By day she works in an office where she sneakily scribbles plot ideas on yellow sticky notes and hopes they don’t accidentally end up on the departmental monthly report.

One such sticky note has turned into her first novel, Over the Edge.

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Now Available in Paperback! Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken #3) by Courtney Cole *Review and Excerpt*

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Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken #3)
by Courtney Cole

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Forever
Released in Paperback November 4th 2014

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Sometimes, one dark moment is all it takes to turn your world black…

For 24-year old Dominic Kinkaide, that moment took place on the night of his high school graduation. One dark incident changed him forever. He’s a hardened actor now, famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured in his own. He doesn’t care about much of anything, except for losing himself in the roles that he plays.

23-year old Jacey Vincent doesn’t realize how much her father’s indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn’t one specific moment that wrecks a person, but rather it’s an absence of moments. She’s like a bird with a broken wing-strong yet fragile, as she tries to float through life, finding acceptance in the arms of random guys, one after the other… to fill the void that her father left in her.

Until she meets Dominic.

After jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, his secret and her issues create a dark and damaged energy that will soon turn their attraction to each other into an explosive storm.

Even though when the clouds have cleared and the dust has settled, both of them are almost obliterated… they’ve learned a priceless lesson.

Sometimes, before we fall… we fly.

 

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Review

4 stars

Dominic is spending some time back at home with his family before he starts shooting his next movie. of course, he is getting off on his kinks while there. Then he meets Jacey. Although attracted to her, he is not going to waste his time with her because she’s the same as the others and his sick and tired of the same old game. Not that he’s going to change his ways, but on that particular night he doesn’t want to deal with it. Little does he know that the woman next to him in his precious Porsche is going to tilt his world on its axis, shattering his belief that he can’t ever feel again.

Jacey is trying to change her ways and lead a new life. She’s tired of falling for the wrong man and is determined to put herself first once and for all. Although she tries to ignore her growing attraction to Dominic, she can’t help but try to save him. Even when he’s being a jerk to her she’s still drawn to the man and his sexy ways. He intrigues her and she can’t stay away.

After reading the previous book, If You Leave, I was left wondering what Jacey’s story would be. I recall wondering that I was wondering if she would end up with Bran.  Courtney Cole definitely threw me a curve ball on this one.

I loved the way that Courtney Cole brought Jacey and Dom together. Their relationship was turbulent with conflicting emotions running rampant and sexual tension that could cut glass. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Especially since through it all I got to see both Jacey and Dominic grow into their characters.

Each of them had demons they had to deal with and I liked the way the author went about Jacey and Dom’s way of dealing with them. Or not dealing in Dom’s case. Hell, that man was so out of it, conflicted and confused that I just wanted to wrap him up and shelter him from it all. Jacey though, she dealt with her problems head on with her head held high and I admired the hell out of her for it.

I liked that their connection was developed throughout the story. Even if it was not immediate, you could glimpse something there beneath the surface of the walls they kept in place to keep their emotions in check. There was something they each needed from one another. In a weird way, they understood each other and through the ‘friendship’ they developed their connection deepened and led to something more.

Needless to say that their chemistry was off the charts HOT. I enjoyed whenever they got together even when they did nothing but kiss. And when they did have sex? I loved it! Not only because it was hot as hell, but emotions did come into play and made it more enjoyable for me.

My only complaint would bee that Dom’s secret, that dark, painful secret he kept wanting to forget, wasn’t as big a deal as I assumed it would be. Mind you, it’s probably my fault for thinking it was something much more dramatic. However, it was a doozy regardless of my assumptions.

All in all, an edgy, sexy read with complex characters that were drawn to each other even though they tried like hell to stay away from each other.

 

Excerpt

Jacey is standing still in the middle of the room, dressed in her uniform, letting a party guest lick salt off of her forearm for a tequila shot. She’s heavily made up tonight- thick mascara, red lipstick.  She smiles up at him with those red lips and a fake smile and as she does, she catches sight of me.

She freezes in shock, although what the fuck?  I’m the one living here temporarily.  I belong here, she doesn’t.

Suddenly, a guy comes rushing up to me, someone I don’t know.  A very drunk someone.

“Dude, can you sign my shirt for my girlfriend?  If I take home your autograph, I’ll get laid for a month.”

He grabs at my arm and I shake him off in annoyance.

Dude.  If you were lucky enough to get invited here, then you should know not to approach anyone for autographs.”

I’m not usually so rude to fans.  But my mood gets the better of me. The guy stares at me, stunned, and I continue on my way.  As I do, I feel Jacey’s gaze.

She pulls her arm away from the guy, sets down her tray of shots, and makes a beeline for me.

I turn my back on her, intent on continuing up the stairs without acknowledging her, but she won’t have it.  She grabs my arm, forcing me to look at her.

“ Are you all right?” she demands.  “That was pretty harsh.”

I glance down at her, into her brown eyes and find her to be sincerely concerned.  I must look seriously rattled if she noticed that something is wrong. She barely knows me.  Her fingers are warm on my arm and for a minute, I waver.

She’s warm and soft and concerned.  I know what that might turn into.

A wild night that will make me feel better.

Women are all the same, they want to fix what is broken and they’re willing to do anything to accomplish that.  I never talk about my past or anything at all about me, but women can still sense that I’m fucked up.  What they don’t understand… is that I’m unfixable.

I stare down at her again, shaking my head.

“I’m fine.  Don’t worry about it.”

But she looks at me again, really looks at me, her brown eyes probing mine.  “I don’t think you are.  What happened?”

“Why does it matter to you?” I ask, before I can stop myself.

Because something about her makes me think that it does somehow matter to her and not just because I’m Dominic Kinkaide.   Everything I’ve seen of Jacey is wild and untamed… she works for Saffron, pushes cops around, gets dressed in parking lots and lets men lick salt off her body for tequila shots.

Yet at the same time, she seems warm and real.  I haven’t forgotten how she shoved her way in between Cris and I and shielded my body with her own.  She’s a puzzle.

Jacey looks confused by my question.

“It matters because you’re not some stranger off the street. You look seriously upset.   Of course I’m going to ask you if you’re alright.  Who wouldn’t?”

Most of the people I know in Hollywood, I think.

But I don’t say it.  Instead, I turn my back and start up the stairs again.  I don’t fucking answer to her or anyone else.

“Do you need anything?” Jacey’s voice is hesitant behind me.  “An ice pack or anything? That bruise on your cheek looks like it still hurts.”

I pause, not looking at her.  Instead I remember her bare leg, stretching toward the sky while her tiny uniform shorts slide over it.  The mere memory of the way she’d undressed right out in the open sets my pulse to racing.

Yeah, there’s a bunch of things I need, but only one thing that will take my mind off the reason that I need them.

“Yeah, I need something.”

There is a moment of silence between us, then another.

Finally she asks, “And that is?”

I turn back around slowly, looking her up and down until my eyes freeze upon hers and stay there.  Hers are dark and sincere, waiting for me to say something. She has no idea what kind of person I am.  She has no idea that I’m just a shell, completely empty inside.

If she did, she would run far, far away.

I stare into her eyes as I move closer and she doesn’t look away.

I step back down until we’re on the same step and her back is against the wall.  I press against her, close enough that my rigid dick digs into her hip.

With my mouth mere centimeters from her ear, I say, “You.  Spread-eagled and tied up on my bed.   That would do for a start.”

 

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Blue Notes Series by Shira Anthony *Series Review, Q&A and Giveaway*

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Blue Notes Series
by Shira Anthony

An M/M Contemporary Romance Series
From Dreamspinner Press

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All books in the Blue Notes series can be read in any order. Each is a stand-alone story from the same classical music universe. Want to see the cool series trailer? You can find it here!

 

Chronological order:

1) Encore
2) Prelude
3) Blue Notes
4) Aria
5) The Melody Thief
6) Symphony in Blue
7) Dissonance

 

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Author Q&A

 

Tell us about your first book in the series. What would readers find different about the first one and your most recent published work?

The first book in the Blue Notes Series is Blue Notes, the story of Jason, an attorney who runs to Paris when his perfect life starts to crumble around him. There, Jason meets Jules, a struggling jazz musician, and for the first time in his life faces the fact that he’s bisexual. The story revolves around Jason’s search for happiness and his growing love for Jules. Blue Notes is probably the most overtly romantic book of the series, not only because it’s set in Paris, but because of the “finding-yourself-through-finding-love” theme.

After I wrote Blue Notes, I realized that the appeal for me and many readers was not only the musical element, but also the “realism” in the story. I don’t mean that to say that there wasn’t some fantasy in the book, because most romances have a fantasy element, but I realized I enjoyed writing real, human reactions to events—insecurities, poor communication, cultural differences and how Jules and Jason dealt with them. So when I began the next book in the series, The Melody Thief, I focused less on the external angst you might find in romance novels, and more on the internal. The books became even more heavily character driven. There is plot, of course, but it’s secondary to the growth of the characters that happens as a result of their falling in love.

Dissonance expands on the concept of internal angst and injects an external situation. There is far more plot in this story than in the original series book, including a few thriller-style scenes that take place in the New York City subway, and even a money-laundering scheme that threatens to land one of the main characters in jail. It still has the character growth and music focus readers of the series have come to expect, but there’s a lot more action and excitement.

How hard has it been for you, research-wise, to bring this series to life?

This series is based mostly on my personal experiences as a professional musician, so most of the research has been limited to double-checking my memory of places (some of the books are set in Europe). There are HUGE advantages to writing what you know! That said, Dissonance involved the most research of the series, since the plot revolves around a money-laundering scheme. I’m not a financial person, so I had to do quite a bit of research into how money-laundering works and how the authorities discover it. I relied on fellow writers with more experience in that area, and I read up about it. I learned a lot!

Did you always plan to write Cam’s story?

I knew at the end of Aria that I had to write his story. He wasn’t exactly the nicest guy in that book, but at the end he began to redeem himself. That act of redemption made me wonder why he acted the way he did. Why did he cheat on Aiden, when he truly loved him? Why did he seem so at a loss to understand what a committed relationship was about? And as I wrote that book, I began to see that, underneath it all, Cam had a good heart. By the time I finished Aria, I knew Cam’s story, and I wanted to tell it.

How would you describe this series to someone who has not read any of the books but is intrigued by the concept?

The Blue Notes Series books are contemporary, character driven, standalone novels that involve music and musicians (jazz, classical, and even rock). But you don’t have to be a musician to understand the stories or the music in them. The secondary characters in one story may get their own story later on, and you may get to revisit characters you already know. I always tell people interested in reading the series to jump by picking a book by choosing a blurb that appeals to them. They don’t need to be read in order!

What are your current projects?

I’m working on the third/last book in my Mermen of Ea Series, a high fantasy series about merfolk shifters and pirates. I’m also working on the second book in the Blood Series, a series about vampires that takes place in the present and in the late 1800s in France. The first book in that series, Blood and Rain, will be published in December, 2014 or January, 2015. Both series are with Dreamspinner Press. I’ve also got two contemporary stories in the works, as well as a pile of ideas my muse is just itching to write (Down, girl!).

 

Dissonance (Blue Notes, #6)

Dissonance (Blue Notes, #6)5 stars **NEW RELEASE**

British noble Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his fault for pushing Aiden away. As if that’s not enough, someone is trying to take away his family business, and the US authorities are pursuing him on charges of money laundering. Fearing for his safety and unable to return to London, Cam runs, but he’s too broke to find a place to stay, and his fugitive’s life doesn’t even remotely resemble a Hollywood thriller.

Desperate and betrayed by the people he thought cared about him, Cam takes refuge in the subway station where Galen Rusk plays his trumpet for tips. Though Cam hears the beauty in Galen’s music, it’s Galen’s firm hand on his shoulder that stops him from throwing everything away. Their unusual relationship takes a turn that surprises them both, and neither man is sure he wants the complication. Galen is fighting the ghosts of his past, and Cam has his own nightmares to face. When Cam’s troubles threaten to tear them apart, Cam figures he had it coming—that it’s all penance due for a life lived without honesty or love. But he never considered the possibility that he might not survive it.

***

Cameron Sherrington wins first prize as the character I most hated to love. I tell you, that man got on my every nerve! But somehow I couldn’t put his story down.

I found myself riveted in the story. Knowing that Cam had issues in desperate need of attention and no clue as to how go about it, let alone the reason’s behind them, my only option was to accompany him every step of his journey. I knew, KNEW, the ride was going to be so very worth it.

And it so was! As Shira Anthony leads us into Cam’s world, giving us insight into his thoughts and inner struggles, we finally see what Aidan must have seen in Cam all those years ago–a man starving for love and acceptance but reluctant to make his needs known.

Then there was Galen–such a mysterious and endearing character. I was intrigued by his story and starved for every little tid bit Shira threw at me. I loved the change he made in Cam’s life. I admired the fact that he was attentive without hovering over Cam and caring without judging his actions. His loyalty to Cam came to the surface with their every interaction, even in the moments when Cam didn’t deserve it.

Cam and Galen’s romance was slow in coming but solid connection wise. They shared more than physical attraction and I think that was what ultimately made this such an enjoyable story for me. From strangers to friends and then from friends to lovers, their journey was packed full of emotions, honest interactions and tender moments. I liked that their physical attraction was always a present entity, but I loved that it was their emotional connection that made them stronger.

All in all, a touching emotional story about acceptance, loyalty and love.

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

 

Excerpt–Dissonance

Cam climbed the stairs of the Spring Street station. The wind had picked up, causing one of his curls to tumble onto his forehead. He sighed as he pushed the hair from his eyes and cursed his mother for her genes. They were too much alike, and not just in appearance. They were both wanderers. Always seeking excitement. Prone to infidelity. But whereas she seemed to revel in her freedom, he’d always sought partners. Not that he’d had any success in keeping them.

He thought of the trumpet player in the subway station. For a moment he’d felt something. He played well. Surprisingly well, really. Had it been more than that? Something beyond the music?

Of course it was more than that. He was attractive. Cam laughed and shook his head to himself. What did it matter? There were plenty of men in New York, and the last thing he needed was a downtrodden fuck.

 

Series Review

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Blue Notes (Blue Notes, #1)4.5 stars

Blame it on jet lag. Jason Greene thought he had everything: a dream job as a partner in a large Philadelphia law firm, a beautiful fiancee, and more money than he could ever hope to spend. Then he finds his future wife in bed with another man, and he’s forced to rethink his life and his choices. On a moment’s notice, he runs away to Paris, hoping to make peace with his life.

But Jason’s leave of absence becomes a true journey of the heart when he meets Jules, a struggling jazz violinist with his own cross to bear. In the City of Love, it doesn’t take them long to fall into bed, but as they’re both about to learn, they can’t run from the past. Sooner or later, they’ll have to face the music.

***

Not much to say about this that hasn’t been said before. I loved it!

From the characters, the setting and the music references – I loved it from start to finish. The writing was very good. I enjoyed how the characters developed throughout the story and how the author managed to give insight into both characters to make me want to cheer them on. Jason was a great characters to get to know, but it was Jules who won my heart. He wore his heart on his sleeve and I just wanted to take him home with me. He was strong yet
vulnerable, lovable and sexy. I so enjoyed how he seduced Jason and I admired his loyalty to his friends, brother and his music.

What made this an even more enjoyable read were the music
references. I especially enjoyed how Shira Anthony made Paris and the music come alive throughout the story without making me feel overwhelmed.

I liked the romance aspect of the story. It felt believable and not too ‘out-there’. The secondary characters were a great addition too. I
especially enjoyed Jason’s sister and something about Sam intrigued me.

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The Melody Thief (Blue Notes, #2)5 stars

Cary Redding is a walking contradiction. On the surface he’s a renowned cellist, sought after by conductors the world over. Underneath, he’s a troubled man flirting with addictions to alcohol and anonymous sex. The reason for the discord? Cary knows he’s a liar, a cheat. He’s the melody thief.

Cary manages his double life just fine until he gets mugged on a deserted Milan street. Things look grim until handsome lawyer Antonio Bianchi steps in and saves his life. When Antonio offers something foreign to Cary—romance—Cary doesn’t know what to do. But then things get even more complicated. For one thing, Antonio has a six-year-old son. For another, Cary has to confess about his alter ego and hope Antonio forgives him.

Just when Cary thinks he’s figured it all out, past and present collide and he is forced to choose between the family he wanted as a boy and the one he has come to love as a man.

***

Awesome!!! I loved everything Shira Anthony brought to the story–the characters, the language, the music and the conflict. Every concept exceptionally written and enjoyable.

I loved Cary. He was so conflicted and in need of love that my heart went out to him immediately. I wanted to shake him, smack him
upside the head and hug him all at once. And Antonio? Well, er, I just wanted to take him and his son home with me. I know, I know! He’s gay! But he was adorable and honest and tortured in his own right. Add to that the sexual vibe he exuded and my imagining how he would sound speaking Italian, moaning and saying “cara” that I was melting and deluding myself.

I enjoyed how these two got together and how they developed throughout the story. Both of them had doubts and both of them had to fight their demons to be together. But they did and it was
beautiful!

Once again I enjoyed how Shira Anthony brought together the
music, the romance and the setting to tell the story of Antonio and Cary. I loved it. This is my favorite book of the series so far and I have the highlighted text to prove just how much I enjoyed this. There might even be a Facebook post or two.

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Aria (Blue Notes, #3)4 stars

Five years after a prestigious scholarship jumpstarted his opera career, Aiden Lind has it all: fame, choice roles, and Lord Cameron Sherrington to share his life with. Maintaining his façade takes effort, but under his poised, sophisticated mask, Aiden is still the insecure kid from rural Mississippi. Then he walks in on Cam with another man, and the illusion of perfection shatters.

Philadelphia attorney Sam Ryan never moved on after his partner died, though he tried. Instead of dating, he keeps himself busy with work—but when he unexpectedly runs into ex-lover Aiden while on a rare vacation in Paris, he’s inspired to give their love a second chance. First, though, he’ll have to get Aiden to forgive him. Because when Sam was still grieving five years ago, he broke Aiden’s heart.

When rekindled lust blossoms into a true romance, it seems like the start of something wonderful. But Aiden’s career has him on the road much of the time, and the physical distance between him and Sam starts translating into an emotional disconnect. If Aiden and Sam can’t learn to communicate, their separation may prove more than their love can bear.

***

Great story of second chances and moving on. I enjoyed it
thoroughly. Aiden and Sam were adorable, tortured souls and their story was a treat to read.

I was intrigued by Sam when he made an appearance on Blue Notes. I knew I wanted to know more about him and that his story would be an interesting one. I am glad to say that I was not disappointed. His story is sad which made my heart go out to him, even if I wanted to smack him upside the head a few times. Adrian was interesting to get to know and his story was just as sad ad Sam’s. I read about him on The Melody Thief, but I was too into that story to really pay
attention.

I liked how these two came together. Their chemistry was very hot, but it was the tender moments that I enjoyed the most. Adrien’s
vulnerability and Sam’s detachment at times were enough to bring me to tears. I think that’s why enjoyed their development so much. It felt real. Like they really made an effort to make it work and in the end I was as happy as they were.

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Prelude (Blue Notes, #4)5 stars

World-renowned conductor David Somers never wanted the investment firm he inherited from his domineering grandfather. He only wanted to be a composer. But no matter how he struggles, David can’t translate the music in his head into notes on paper.

When a guest violinist at the Chicago Symphony falls ill, David meets Alex Bishop, a last-minute substitute. Alex’s fame and outrageous tattoos fail to move David. Then Alex puts bow to string, and David hears the brilliance of Alex’s soul.

David has sworn off relationships, believing he will eventually drive away those he loves, or that he’ll lose them as he lost his wife and parents. But Alex is outgoing, relaxed, and congenial—everything David is not—and soon makes dents in the armor around David’s heart. David begins to dream of Alex, wonderful dreams full of music. Becoming a composer suddenly feels attainable.

David’s fragile ego, worn away by years of his grandfather’s disdain, makes losing control difficult. When David’s structured world comes crashing down, his fledgling relationship with Alex is the first casualty. Still, David hears Alex’s music, haunting and beautiful. David wants to love Alex, but first he must find the strength to acknowledge himself.

***

Wow! I loved this book! It’s been a couple of days since I read it and I still sigh at the ‘feels’.

One thing I love about a romance is to see the main characters get to know each other. The camaraderie, the banter, the honest
exchanges–it always gets to me. Thankfully, Shira did not disappoint!

Of course, it helped that I found the characters intriguing. Since I had read some of the books before this one, I had a vague idea of who David was. But to read his story and the way it was told was something else altogether. He was complex in the most unexpected of ways which only served to melt my heart and feel for him and his struggles.

That’s not to say that Alex’s story was in any way lacking. I loved reading his story as well, especially how it shaped him into the
person he was. He was funny and charming with a great heart and a deep sense of loyalty. I admired his tenacity, his humble ways and the way he felt so deeply.

So you can understand how thrilled I was to see them connect fully on the page. Their romance was slow in coming, but their time
together always brought a sense of rightness and left me grinning just imagining how great they would be. Their chemistry only added to the appeal because Shira did not pull any punches either in
bringing that aspect of their relationship to the page. Their physical
attraction was always present and palpable, even in the most emotional or funny of scenes.

This is the fourth book in the series, but it can be read as a stand alone. As part of the series, I recommend following the chronological order so you can get a sense of where things are moving. However, I don’t think it’s necessary for your enjoyment or understanding of the story.

All in all, a wonderful addition to the series. An emotional, heart-felt and romantic read overall.

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Symphony in Blue (Blue Notes, #4.5)4 stars

Are you a fan of the Blue Notes series? Would you like to know where the couples from the first four books are now? This is your chance to catch up! Aiden and Sam are finally getting married. But when Cary and Antonio’s baby daughter makes her appearance a bit earlier than planned, the big reception is put on hold. David Somers normally conducts orchestras, but this time he devotes his energy to “conducting” his friends so that everyone can join him at his Milan villa for a reunion at an intimate Thanksgiving dinner.

Sam and Aiden, Jules and Jason, David and Alex, and Cary and Antonio are soon assembled, and each couple shares something they are thankful for. Played out in four movements, this symphony is a celebration of friendship and love, orchestrated by David.

***

As the blurb indicates Symphony in Blue is a “celebration; of how far past couples have reached in their journey. They have not only grown as couples, but as individuals as well.

I enjoyed seeing all the couples again. I got to learn what new struggles they have come across since their story was told, what
milestones they have achieved and how close the friendship between the couples has grown.

In summary:

  • Sam and Aiden finally get their due.
  • Jules helps Jason achieve one of his dreams.
  • Cary and Antonio grow closer as a family.
  • David shows us how far he has come into himself since letting Alex into his life.

All in all, a wonderful addition to the series and one that should not be missed!

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

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Encore (Blue Notes, #5)5 stars

Cool kid violinist Roger Nelson doesn’t give a damn about anything. Wannabe conductor John Fuchs is awkward, effeminate, and just figuring out he’s gay. Despite their differences, they become friends—then lovers—and after college, they try to make it work. But it’s the 1970s, and Roger can’t bring himself to admit he’s gay. Worse, after his brother is killed in Vietnam, Roger tries to live up to his memory and be the perfect son. Then after suffering one tragedy too many, he makes the biggest mistake of his life: Roger pushes John away.

Through the years, they dance around the truth and in and out of each other’s lives, never quite able to let go. Twenty years later, Roger still carries the pain of losing his dream of a brilliant career with him, while John is a superstar conductor with a wild reputation. John’s off-stage antics get him plenty of attention, good and bad, though deep down, he wants only Roger. Finally determined to hold on to what really matters, Roger asks John for another chance, and when John panics and runs, Roger has to convince him to listen to his heart.

***

This was definitely not the story I was expecting when I picked up the book, but I admit that it blew me away nonetheless.

It’s not an easy feat to tell a couple’s story and maintain the readers’ interest throughout, especially with a timeline as broad as this one. However, Shira made it such that I couldn’t put the book down.

Roger and John were amazing characters to get to know. I loved that I got to see their growth both as individuals and a couple. Shira Anthony guided the reader through Roger and John’s journey from high school students to adulthood without wavering in her delivery. She continued to develop the characters while still bringing forth their connection and telling their story through the years. I appreciated having the chance to experience how they evolved from friends to lovers, the ups and downs of their relationship through the passage of time and ultimately how their love had evolved and matured with the years.

Roger and John’s truly was a love story. I loved it!

 

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About the Author

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “i Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | DSP

 

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The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken *Review and Excerpt*

 

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The Bet (The Bet #1)
By Rachel Van Dyken

Releasing on April 29, 2014 (Forever Trade Paperback)
A New Adult Contemportary Romance
Published by Forever 

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“I have a proposition for you.” Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus’s mouth. It’s been years since Kacey’s seen her childhood friend Jake, but the minute Jake mentions his ill grandmother, Kacey is ready to do anything for the sweet old woman. And if that means pretending they’re engaged for her sake-so be it.

But Kacey wasn’t counting on Jake’s older brother Travis still being there. She calls him “Satan” for a reason: she’s never forgotten the way he teased and taunted her. Yet when they meet again, Travis’s gorgeous smile is a direct hit to her heart . . . and Kacey’s more confused than ever. As the days pass, only one thing starts to become alarmingly clear-she never should have accepted Jake’s deal . . .

 

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Review

4 stars

Kacey has been staying away from the man who broke her heart years ago. Friends since childhood, Kacey and Jake tried to be more, but it failed horribly and it broke their friendship. Jake, a kind-of-celebrity with a reputation as a player, needs to clean up his act and put a stop to all the gossip. His grand idea – to pretend to be engaged to Kacey, which his family loves.

Since Kacey lost her family she has stayed away from the Titus family, but has kept in touch with Jake’s grandmother and cares for her deeply. So when Jake uses her as a front to visit the family and announce their engagement she agrees. She knows that it would be hard to pretend to be with Jake, since she believes she still has feelings for him, but she wants to see the grandmother and please her in any way possible. She just hopes that Travis is nowhere near.

Kacey was a fun character to get to know. She gave as good as she got. Although she always had a crush on Jake, she also knew that he broke her heart and she wasn’t going to give him a second chance to do so. She was funny, smart and loved the Titus family as her own.

Jake was a jerk. Handsome and charming, but a jerk nonetheless. He cared about himself and although he did regret the way things had ended with Kacey, he continued to put her through difficult moments. I did glimpse another side of him, but with what was presented in this story he’s still not my favorite person.

And Travis. Travis, Travis Travis. How adorable was he? He had such a huge crush on Kacey that he still behaved like a child. You know the ones. The kind that likes to makes life hell for the girl they like. Yes, adorable. He was sweet and understanding. Funny and sarcastic and he loved Kacey since they were kids. There were times when he showed his soft side and then there were times I wanted to smack him upside the head for being clueless. But he became a mess when Kacey was around, which showed how insecure he was with making a move. He was sexy and handsome and adorably sweet. I loved him!

Rachel Van Dyken did a great job of bringing together all the elements necessary to make this a great read for me. It had humor and emotions, a crazy grandmother that had me laughing out loud, a family dynamic that seemed normal and two great characters that complemented each other. It also had honest and flirtatious banter and sizzling-hot chemistry that added to my enjoyment of the story.

All in all, The Bet was a sweet, fun and hot little read. I enjoyed it from start to finish.

* I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

Travis sighed next to her. “You don’t need a man like Jake to give you what you want. Believe me. When you have the perfect house and tons of money, you still won’t be complete if the man you share it with is out paying whores to do things you would never do.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” Kacey joked.

“Kace! Jake isn’t worth it!”

“No.” She laughed. “I meant things that strippers do. Pretty sure I know how to please my man. I could drive circles around those girls. I just need the right guy.”

Travis tensed next to her. He cleared his throat and pushed away from the chair. He walked over to the counter and began cutting the pie.

What was his deal lately?

“Let me guess.” Kacey leaned over the counter. “Raspberry pie?”

“How’d you know?” He smirked. His voice was hoarse.

“It was the only pie your grandma taught you how to make, and if I remember correctly, you made it for your senior prom date.”

“Ugh.” Travis carefully cut it into eighths. “If I remember correctly, she spilled it on her dress and blamed me for making raspberries red.”

“She always was such a charmer. What was her name again?”

Travis chuckled. “Oh no you don’t. That’s just what I need. You digging up my past girlfriends and making fun of them. Besides, I don’t date girls anymore. I date women.” He eyed her up and down before slowly licking the fork.

Kacey averted her eyes, mainly because the picture of him licking that fork was so erotic she nearly jumped across the table and assaulted him. Apparently, this is what happens when you don’t have boyfriends and the closest relationship you’ve had in the past year has been with your e‑reader and a fictional duke named Henry.

“So . . .” Kacey nudged him a bit with her arm. “Women, hmm? What women are you dating? I don’t see any of them here for family dinner night.”

“There are no women.”

Kacey’s heart hammered in her chest.

“If you must know, there is one woman. One being the key word.”

She clenched her fist and cursed herself for bringing the subject up. “What’s her name?”

“Oh no you don’t!” Travis placed the knife on the plate and grabbed Kacey by the shoulders. “That’s just what I need, you stalking the one woman I’m interested in.”

Did he say he was interested in only one? Damn the man. Be unattractive! She wanted to yell. “C’mon, Trav, you know me. What harm could I possibly cause?”

“Junior year—” he began.

“Forget I asked.”

“Junior year.” He held his finger in the air as he was making his point. “Somehow you discovered I had a crush on Ashley Willis. I still don’t know how, considering I’m a guy and I don’t keep a diary.”

“No.” Kacey dipped a fork into the pie and licked the tangy berries off it. “But you did moan her name one time in your sleep. But carry on.”

He glared. “You told her.”

“Okay, Trav, come on. I did nothing of the sort. I merely hinted that you had a tiny bit of a crush on her.”

“Kace, making a poster with my face on it and heart stickers is a hell of a lot more than hinting. God, I don’t even think you know the meaning of the word discreet.”

“Do too!” she argued.

He walked around the table and pulled her into a tight headlock.

“Do not!” She fought against him but was helpless. “Do you give?” he whispered into her hair.

His hard-muscled chest was heaving behind her. Did she give? Oh God, what she

wouldn’t give for something, anything.

Ah! Red alert! What was she thinking? It’s Travis, Travis!

“Travis!” she screamed, totally unintentionally. He released her and winked.

“Come on. Let’s take the pie in before they think you stabbed me or something.”

“Close,” Kacey grumbled, though stabbing wasn’t necessarily what she had in mind. Rubbing his body down with berries and licking it off? Yes. Violence? Only that of a sexual nature.

She needed to trip and hit her head or something to shake Travis’s smile and scent out of it before she lost her mind.

“There you two are!” Grandma winked as they rejoined the family and began to enjoy the pie. “I thought maybe Travis was having an encounter in there with you, little girl.” Grandma winked again. Unfortunately, at that exact moment, Kacey, having taken a ginormous bite of pie, began to choke.

It worsened when Travis lifted his hands in the air and said, “I was trying to be discreet.”

Kacey glared.

His entire family laughed, and she kicked at him again under the table. He moved his foot in time and then stuck out his tongue like a two-year-old.

And really, maybe it was the sexual frustration, but she lunged for him, his chair tipped backward, and she straddled him, shoving pie into his beautiful face all the while screaming, “I’ll get you!”

In her mind, the family was cheering, when really everyone was completely silent.

Except Travis, who was yelling and cursing and spitting pie back out at her. Luckily, they had hardwood floors instead of carpeting.

Finally, when the pie was done, she wiped a berry off his face and licked her fingers. His eyes darkened, and for a minute it looked like he was going to kiss her.

He leaned forward and reached up behind her. And suddenly she had hot pie all over her face.

“I win, Kace,” he whispered huskily into her ear.

Yes, yes, you do.

 

About the Author

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.rachelvandykenauthor.com.

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non-friction by Morgan Parker

nonfriction

Title: Non Friction

Author: Morgan Parker

Release Date: December 31st, 2013

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Synopsis

After 12 years, 4 months and 1 and 1/2 weeks of marriage, his wife packs up and leaves with their daughter. So he writes an Indie novel. And it becomes a bestseller. Well, sort of.

His fame brings him the lifestyle of a rockstar, and he has the fan mail (i.e. female undergarments, probably clean) to prove it.

But seeing his fame, his wife suddenly believes in marriage counseling. Their homework: to create something beautiful for each other.

So he writes Our Story, his literary secret-weapon that will win his wife back. But in the process he discovers that true love is more than just ticking the right boxes on a checklist.

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Review

3-5 stars

Lately, I’ve been reading stories that fall out of my ‘normal’ territory and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by them. I’m glad to say that this was no exception.

Told from a man’s point of view, Non Friction tells the story of a man getting used to his single life and immersing himself into his new-found career as an author. With humor, sarcasm and intriguing events Morgan Parker did a great job of bringing the story to the page. From the start, I found the main character, Morgan, to be an interesting man. Suddenly single and starting a new career, Morgan goes about life without a care in the world. Or so he makes it out to be.

I liked that the author infused the story with humor, but brought Morgan’s conflicted emotions to the surface when the moment called for it. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the story as much if I couldn’t have caught a glimpse of that other layer beneath all that cocky and sarcastic attitude.

I enjoyed the interactions with the secondary characters even if I wanted to throttle Morgan’s potential romantic partner. And don’t get me started on his ex-wife! However, through each of his interactions with either woman, another layer of Morgan was peeled back – be it his resentful side over how his relationship with his ex-wife came to a halt or his need to connect to someone for real.

Although not a romance, Morgan’s story had emotional undertones. Mostly, I consider this to be a sort of ‘coming of age’ story about a man discovering who he is after years of pretending to be someone he wasn’t. I enjoyed the growth Morgan underwent as the story progressed, but in all honesty I could have done without all the writing references. I get that some elements needed to be a part of his story, but I didn’t need to know the details of the story he was writing. If I was supposed to take something from that, then I missed it completely.

Other than that hiccup, I have to say that this was a surprising enjoyable read.

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Meet the Author

Morgan Parker is the pen name for a shy and introverted former banker. Because he could never balance his cash at the end of the banking day, he made up stories in order to keep his job. None of those stories was Textual Encounters, which is great because readers will discover a truly unique and original romance that has never been told before.

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Other Book by Morgan Parker

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Forever’s ‘Between The Sheets’ Blog Tour *Reviews*

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Welcome to Forever’s Between the Sheets Blog Tour. Below you will find all relevant information for books by authors C.C. Gibbs, Cecilia Tan, Jodi Ellen Malpas and Kate McKinley.

You will also find my reviews for All He Wants, Slow Seduction and This Man Confessed along with a spotlight for A Countess by Chance.

But first, I hope you enjoy the guest post provided. Don’t forget to click on the giveaway link at the bottom of the post for a chance to win.

Happy reading, good luck and thank you for stopping by!

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What’s your hero’s idea of the perfect romantic evening?

Jodi Ellen Malpas: Jesse would bless Ava with the wide range of his degrees in fucking. Then he’d lick peanut butter off of her. Or make an Ava Éclair. Then they’d have a bath and tub-talk.

Cecilia Tan: James’s perfect romantic evening involves stimulation of the intellect, the senses, and the heart–possibly all at once. The thing he loves about BDSM is that it isn’t “mindless” sex. You don’t just hop in bed and “bang.” You have to be engaged in BDSM with your whole being, your emotions, your thoughts, and your physical self. When he puts someone in bondage he’s inviting them into a complex dance of power and aesthetics and sensuality that will bring both partners a deep sense of satisfaction. Of course, as anyone who has read Slow Surrender will tell you, he’s also very into delayed gratification, which leaves plenty of time for heart to heart talks.

C.C. Gibbs: With Dominic, the word “romantic” is a stretch. He’d have to process that through his pragmatic filter. But he knows how to please a woman. So specifically with Kate, he’d offer her what she liked. A quiet evening at home, chocolate truffles—hand fed between kisses, as many orgasms as she wanted and afterward, when she was sprawled atop him, warm and sated, he’d smile and say, “Now ask me anything,” because she liked when he talked about his life. And he was willing to do that for her.

Kate McKinley: A quiet evening at home, preferably between the sheets. He is a man, after all! lol

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Title: This Man Confessed (This Man #3)

Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas

Release Date: January 21, 2014 (Forever Trade Paperback)

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Synopsis

Ava and Jesse are getting married. The Manor is filled with guests as the couple weds in the very place where their passionate love affair began. While Ava understands she’ll never tame Jesse–and wouldn’t want to–she believes his troubles are now behind him. But on what should be the happiest day of her life, Ava is faced with new problems. Her brother, Dan, disapproves of her marriage and is determined to make her see that Jesse isn’t the man she thinks he is. Could there be truth to his words? Is Jesse hiding another dark secret? Ava loves Jesse deeply, but has she bound herself to a man who cherishes her and will take her to the edge of ecstasy–or to the brink of despair?

Review

5-stars

Very sad to say goodbye to Jesse, but what a way to go!

So I found myself at The Manor attending Jesse’s and Ava’s wedding. And what a spectacle that was! Typical Jesse and Ava. That’s all I will say.

And that was just the wedding. The honeymoon and everything that comes after it was even better.

Happiness. Anger. Sex. Surprises.

Tears. Sex. Betrayal. Secrets.

Sex. Confessions. Confrontations. Sex.

Love. One hell of perfect EPILOGUE.

I wish I could tell you more about what went on, but I wouldn’t have wanted to know before reading the book, so I won’t share.

*You can find my complete review here.

About the Author

Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, UK, where she lives with her family. Working for the family construction business fulltime and with the prospect of taking it over once her father retired, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing a novel until it became impossible. She finally found the time and courage to release her creative streak and in October 2012 self-published This Man as an e-book. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters, notably Mr. Jesse Ward, the Lord of the Manor, and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Two months later, Jodi made the decision to give up her day job to concentrate on her new and very unexpected career in writing.

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Title: All He Needs (All or Nothing #2)

Author: C.C. Gibbs

Release Date: December 17, 2013 (Forever Trade Paperback)

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Synopsis

Brilliant. Wealthy. Powerful. Dominic Knight is one of the hottest tech developers in the world–and the most demanding lover Kate Hart has ever known. Whether in the boardroom or the bedroom, he is always in charge. But there is one thing he cannot control: Kate’s fiery heart…

As a master in her field, talented Kate surpassed Dominic’s wildest expectations. As a woman of uncommon intelligence and beauty, she unlocked something deep within him. Yet since their professional relationship–and erotically charged affair–came to an end, the fire in him has only grown stronger.

Now, the man who has everything will do whatever it takes to reclaim the woman he lost. From Boston and Paris to Singapore and San Francisco, he will lure Kate back into his elite world of privilege and passion. Together, they will test the limits of desire and the boundaries of discipline. For both, this is uncharted territory–naked, reckless, and uninhibited. But when Dominic’s deadliest enemies target Kate, he must face his darkest fears…and admit to himself that she is all he needs.

Review

4 stars

Once again, C.C. Gibbs delivers another awesome chapter in Dominic and Kate’s tumultuous love affair.

The story picks up right where the previous installment ended and we find Dominic and Kate trying to move on with their lives after the events that took place in All He Wants .

Dominic is a mess but very much keeping an eye out for Kate. He doesn’t sleep nor eats and passes his nights drinking and staring at a photo of Kate for company. Women don’t interest him and his mood is driving everyone crazy.

Kate is trying to move on and when an offer for another job lands in her hands she appreciates the distraction it will bring from her days passing the time crying and cursing Dominic.

Each of them are going through the motions but not really living or moving on, until a threat to Kate’s safety puts Dominic in Kate’s path again. Although hesitant to start something again with Dominic, Kate is no fool. She knows that her suffering was endless when he wasn’t around and just his presence calms her, so she gives in and decides to try again.

All in all, All He Needs was a wonderful addition to the All or Nothing trilogy and was infused with emotions, sensuality and love abound. I loved it and can’t wait for the next installment to see if these two will actually have their happily after and what they must endure to get it.

*You can find my complete review here.

About the Author

C.C. Gibbs is the pen name of a New York Times bestselling author. She lives in the Midwest, at times in Northern California, is married with three children and considers the life of a writer the best of all possible worlds. Bringing characters to life allows her imagination full rein, while the creative process offers fascinating glimpses into the machinery of the mind. And last but not least, researching anything, but particularly a book like ALL HE DESIRES–thank you Google–is great fun!

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Title: Slow Seduction (Struck by Lightning #2)

Author: Cecilia Tan

Release Date: January 28, 2014 (Forever Trade Paperback)

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Synopsis

Unforgettable passion . . .

Two months have passed since Karina’s painful departure from James, the mysterious lover who awakened her darkest desires, and she’ll do anything-anything-to locate him and win him back. Her search takes her to London, where she finds herself immersed in the world of fine art and forbidden pleasures. And soon, Karina meets another enigmatic man who promises to help her find James . . . for a price.

Unexpected pleasure . . .

Damon George is rich, gorgeous, and a member of a secret society that caters to the sensual thrills of the wealthy and powerful. Though Karina insists her heart will always belong to James, Damon is determined to have her, body and soul. By the time she finds James, Karina has been “trained” to please another. Will James reject her again . . . or find her more irresistible than ever?

Review

3-5 stars3.5 stars

This installment picks up a couple of months after Slow Surrender left off with Karina moving to London not only to start a new job in a museum but also in search of James, who left her after Karina forced him to reveal his name.

This book was not what I expected at all, but still a great follow-up book nonetheless.

This story centers around Karina’s journey in finding James, the man who captured her heart and encouraged her to explore her sensual side. After all the experiences she shared with James, she can’t keep him out of her mind. She’s determined to find him and not even meeting Damon and his sexy ways detracts her from her mission. This story is all about her development as a characters where she explores her new-found kinks and lets herself accept herself for who she is.

She meets a lot of people along the way that enrich her experience one way or another and who get her closer to her goal of finding James.

I enjoyed how the story unfolded, the characters that were introduced and the growth Karina underwent in the process. There were some new discoveries and some interesting twists to the story that added to my interest in seeing this trilogy through to the end.

Of course, I can’t deny that I wished I could have experienced some more of James in this installment. I think that Karina and James are great together and they complement each other. Although he did make and appearance and some of the issues were dealt with, there were to many what-ifs and a whole new revelation was brought into play. I missed experiencing their connection on the page and seeing them unleash the passion they held for one another. That one scene was great, but it wasn’t enough for me after I had invested myself in their relationship in the previous installment.

However, I still believe that this was a great addition to the Struck by Lightning series. I’m looking forward to next installment to see if the author brings the range in emotions she brought forth in Slow Surrender and I’m expecting that the degree of anticipation and excitement that she left me with with Slow Seduction is worth the wait.

About the Author
Cecilia Tan writes about her many passions, from erotic fantasy to baseball, from her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of many books, including The Siren and the Sword, The Tower and the Tears, The Incubus and the Angel, Black Feathers, Mind Games, White Flames,and The 50 Greatest Yankee Games. She has edited over 50 anthologies of erotica for Red Silk Editions, Thunder’s Mouth Press, Blue Moon Books, Masquerade Books, Ravenous Romance, and for the publishing house she founded, Circlet Press. Her short fiction has appeared in Ms. Magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, Best American Erotica, and many other places, and her nonfiction on baseball has been in Slow Trains, Baseball Ink, Gotham Baseball Magazine, Yankees Magazine, Yankees Annual, and elsewhere.
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Title: A Countess by Chance (By Invitation Only #2)

Author: Kate McKinley

Release Date: January 7, 2014 (Forever E-Novella)

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Synopsis

A gambler’s daughter, Sophia Weatherby knows her way around a deck of cards. So when her family estate becomes threatened, she has no choice but to use her skills at the gaming tables to save herself from ruin. A lavish house party affords her the perfect opportunity-until the newly minted Earl of Huntington arrives. Adam Greyson has never forgotten the day Sophia rejected his proposal. Now to even the score, he challenges her to a shocking wager-his two thousand pounds against the one valuable commodity she has left: her virtue.

About the Author
KATE MCKINLEY writes Regency and Fantasy Romance. When she’s not staring at her screen, dreaming up delicious heroes, she’s a wife, mother and part-time assistant.
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The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski *Review*

He was taking the long road.  She was taking the road to nowhere. It just so happened that they led to the same place…

 

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Title: The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never #2)

Author: J.A. Redmerski

Publisher: Forever (November 5, 2013)

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Synopsis

Camryn Bennett has never been happier. Five months after meeting on a Greyhound bus, she and her soul mate Andrew Parrish are engaged—and a wedding isn’t the only special event in their future. Nervous but excited, Camryn can’t wait to begin the rest of her life with Andrew – a man she knows in her heart will love her always. They have so much to look forward to—until tragedy blindsides them.

Andrew doesn’t understand how this could happen to them. He’s trying to move on, and thought Camryn was doing the same. But when Andrew discovers Camryn is secretly harboring a mountain of pain and attempting to numb it in damaging ways, there is nothing he won’t do to bring her back to life. Determined to prove that their love can survive anything, Andrew decides to take Camryn on a new journey filled with hope and passion. If only he can convince her to come along for the ride…

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Review

4 stars

In this follow-up to The Edge of Never we find Camryn and Andrew living and enjoying the happily ever after they fought so hard to achieve, only to have tragedy burst their little bubble of happiness.

Camryn struggles with issues present and past only adding to her worry for her future with Andrew. She doubts, hesitates and loses herself for a while. But throughout Andrew stays by her side. Her rock throughout every moment, Andrew is determined to move on and make a life with Camryn, obstacles be dammed! He also deals with his issues, but his belief in the love they share is strong enough for him to take that step necessary to bring happiness once more into their life.

J.A. Redmerski did an amazing job of maintaining the story fresh and captivating. She kept me interested in most of the events that were taking place. So immerse was I in the story that several times I found myself laughing and crying along with Andrew and Camryn. Their heartache was palpable through the page, but their connection and chemistry shone the most.

“We took risks, we chose the unconventional route, we didn’t let what anyone thought about our choices get in the way of our dreams, and we refused to settle doing anything for too long that we didn’t enjoy.”

Through the use of honest, funny and often times emotional interactions, Andrew and Camryn’s journey to live their life on their terms was like nothing I expected.

I enjoyed their moments of reminiscing and their new adventures. I also enjoyed their interactions with the secondary characters. Through them I could glimpse how much they had both grown as individuals since the previous story. Camryn was more confident with a more positive outlook in life while Andrew continued to be his charming self but was more protective and responsible. I loved it!

So why only 4 stars?

Yes, well. Although I loved Andrew and Camryn’s journey and the events that took place throughout it, I found that it was a bit too much. Like they say ‘sometimes less is more’ and this is the case with this story. At least in my opinion. I would have been more than content if the last few chapters would never had made it as part of this story. Not because I wasn’t interested in knowing about it, but because I think that it took away from Camryn and Andrew’s story. I would have preferred for that part of the story to have been revealed later on, after I had reveled in the happiness they had found and was yearning to know how they were faring. This is the only reason I couldn’t award a 5 star rating.

“Our story is over, yes, but our journey isn’t, because we’ll always live on the edge until the day we die.”

All in all, The Edge of Always was a story of new adventures that led to new-found goals, heart-wrenching obstacles and living a life of your own making.

*I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

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Excerpt

I turn to Andrew again, waiting for him to spit it out. A cold breeze rushes through my knitted sweater, and I hide my hands inside the sleeves.

“You have five minutes to throw all of your stuff in your bag,” he says, and my heart is beating erratically before he finishes the sentence. He taps his wrist where there is no watch. “Not a second more.”

“Andrew—”

“This isn’t up for debate,” he says. “Go get your stuff.”

I just look at him, face blank.

My theory was right, but I didn’t want it to be. I don’t want to go on the road…I mean, I do…but it’s not right. It’s just not right.

“You have four minutes now.”

“But we can’t just leave like this,” I argue. “It would be rude.” I point at Asher. “And Asher just got here. Don’t you want to visit with—”

“I can visit my big brother anytime,” Asher counters. “Right now, I think you better do what he says or you might end up on the road wearing the same panties for a week.”

A few more seconds pass and I still haven’t moved. I’m in a state of mild shock, I guess.

“Three minutes, babe,” Andrew says and is looking at me with a serious face. “I’m not kidding. Get up there, throw our shit in our bags, and get in the damn car.”

Oh hell, he’s back to his old self again…

When I start to argue again, Andrew’s eyes get all feral-looking, and he says, “Hurry up. Time’s running out!” and he points to the house.

Finally, letting down my guard and going with the moment as much as I can allow myself, I glare at him and say, “Fine.” I’m only agreeing to it because I know he’s trying make things better. But I feel guilty as hell.

Disregarding his playful five-minute demand, I turn on my heels and walk very slowly back toward the house, purposely taking my time, partly my way of silently arguing the situation.

I push open the bedroom door, set my bag on the bed, and start stuffing everything inside of it. Then I go into the bathroom and grab our toothbrushes and various bathroom necessities. I yank our phone chargers from the wall and then my phone from the nightstand and chuck it all into my purse. I make my way around the room, hoping that I’m not missing anything.

Looks like Andrew already packed his stuff at some point and I never noticed.

Then I just stand here, scanning every inch of the place around me but not really seeing any of it. I don’t want to do this, but maybe it’s the right thing.

I hear the horn honk three times, and it snaps me out of my thoughts. Grabbing my bag, I swing it over my shoulder and grab my purse from the bed.

 

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About the Author

jredmerski12

J.A. Redmerski, New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children, two cats and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

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Book Tour: ‘A Perfect Secret’ Series by Zoe Dawson *Review*

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Welcome to the Book Blog Tour for A Perfect Mistake by Zoe Dawson

Below you will find all relevant information regarding Zoe Dawson’s latest release A Perfect Mistake.  You will also find my review for the first book in the series, A Perfect Mess. I hope you enjoy my reviews.

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Title: A Perfect Mess (A Perfect Secret #1)

Release Date: November 24, 2013

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

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Synopsis

I know what you did last summer.

Aubree Walker, the perfect girl most likely to succeed, is sure there’s only one person who knows what she did.

Booker Outlaw, one of the three Outlaw brothers—all identical, all gorgeous, all from the wrong side of the tracks, and all pure bad boys. He was always the unpredictable one, the one who would be brash enough to make it big self-publishing horror novels on the internet. He promised never to tell, but everyone knows you can never trust an Outlaw.

Then a year later, in the middle of the night, she receives a phone call at Tulane. Her aunt, who took her in after her mother’s death, is in a coma under suspicious circumstances. Now she has to face that one person who knows all about what she did that summer—sexy Booker.

Returning to Hope Parish to be with her aunt, stirs up all those ugly memories. When Aubree starts getting threats, she can’t help but wonder if what she did last summer was tied to her aunt’s “accident.” Afraid, she turns to the only person who knows the truth and Booker doesn’t hesitate to offer his broad shoulder for her to lean on. But Booker has a secret of his own that could crush their fledgling relationship.

As the hot, sultry summer days move on, she finds that even a perfectly smart girl can lose her heart to a perfectly bad boy. What is she going to do when someone starts asking questions Aubree doesn’t want to answer? She’s knee deep into a terribly dangerous, wholly life changing, who-can-she-really-depend-on perfect mess.

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Review

4 stars

Now that Aubrey has returned home she finds that the connection she once shared with Booker is still there. Coming to terms with what kept her from returning home in addition to the secret she’s been keeping from Booker is taking its toll on Aubrey, so she just prefers to stay clear from his path.

Booker understands Aubrey’s reasons for staying away from home and although he’s had feelings for her for a while he doesn’t believe he deserves her.

What ensues is a story where danger, suspicion, secrets, confessions, betrayal and loyalty come into play.

I loved how Zoe Dawson brought Aubrey and Booker’s story to the page. Their connection jumped off the page the moment they first appeared together and it only strengthened as the story progressed. I appreciated the fact that it wasn’t easy or wrapped up with a pretty bow. Both Aubrey and Booker had to deal with their past, secrets shared and their own insecurities. Most of all, I appreciated that the author gave me insight into Booker’s life. Knowing his story, past and present, helped me connect to him and see how he had grown into a man worthy of something good.

Of course, their chemistry was very good and I got to finally see them together, the author made my day by letting me experience it through Booker’s eyes. L-O-V-E-D! I enjoyed their honest interactions and tender moments , but their banter they shared was my favorite thing in the story. I loved how they related to each other. It felt ‘real’, which I always enjoy in a story.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters that were introduced, especially the Outlaw brothers. I loved seeing their closeness and complete loyalty to each other. I also liked Aubrey’s best friends, Verity and River Pearl (but really? those names?!). I’m looking forward to reading more about them.

My only negative would be that, in regards to Aubrey’s past, some details were left in the air. I wanted to know more about why she ‘had’ to be perfect, what affected her enough to put herself under all that pressure. There were some details, but not enough to satisfy my curiosity and even the big reveal towards the end of the story didn’t explain much. I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t see its necessity either.

Other than that, I found Aubrey and Booker’s story to be engaging and sweet with a nice mix of mystery, angst and romance.

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Title: A Perfect Mistake (A Perfect Secret #2)

Release Date: December 16, 2013

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

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Buy Links
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Synopsis

How can they have a future when their past is based on a lie?

The perfect preacher’s daughter, Verity Fairchild, has something that only she and God know about and she wants to keep it that way. Her mistake was easy to keep secret when she was out of town, but now that she’s come back to Hope Parish for the summer, she comes face-to-face with the guy responsible for it all. Boone Outlaw nearly ruined everything for her and despite the fact that he’s now working at her father’s church, she’s determined to stay as far away from him as possible.

Boone Outlaw doesn’t understand Verity’s anger towards him. He barely knows her. In high school she was Holy Mary Verity and she was off limits – except in his dreams where Verity seems way too real. Most of the time he was wasted in high school, not the type of boy Verity would ever look at twice, but he can’t shake the feeling that something might have happened between them. He’s going to break his own rules to get the answers he needs straight from Verity.

What will Verity do when she finds something in Boone that she never knew existed and her perfect mistake is the only thing that could stand between them and their happiness? Will she sacrifice Boone to keep her secret?

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Review

5-stars

ver·i·ty

noun ˈver-ə-tē

: something that is regarded as true

Trying to live up to her parents and a whole town’s expectations, Verity Fairchild’s life has not been easy, especially for the past year. When she finally returns home to take charge of her life and stand up to her parents she had not planned on ever running into Boone Outlaw. Fate had other plans though and she finds herself in his presence most of the summer.

Boone has always had a crush on Verity, but he knows that with his reputation and his past he is no match for her perfection. That doesn’t lessen his attraction to her in the least though. So when Verity’s walls start to crumble and her true self comes through he can’t help but fall even more for her.

This was such an awesome story!

Once again, Zoe Dawson delivers an amazing story, but this time around the emotions are even more intense, the secrets are more personal and the humor is laughing-out-loud great! I loved it.

From the moment Boone comes into the story I fell in love with him. He had such a sweet, vulnerable side to him with a great sense of humor. He also had a great deal of regret carried with a dose of confusion over the actions that made Verity dismiss him on sight. Watching him struggle with that endeared him to me even more.

Verity was okay. There were moments when I wanted to trample her and shake some sense into her, but other moments when I admire her strength and her giving nature. She wasn’t a bad person, she just made bad decisions, which made her feel ‘real’ to me.

I loved the way the author brought Verity and Boone together. Their banter was entertaining and their interactions revealing of their emotions and their troubles. I enjoyed getting to know them and seeing as their connection settled and grew as the story progressed.

Although there were some heavy, emotional moments the author managed to squeeze in there enough light and fun moments. This in turn brought the lighter, softer side of the characters, which I ultimately loved. I think that it was after reading that one epic scene that was both funny and sweet and packed full of revelations that I really settled into this story and became emotionally invested in Verity and Boone’s story.

Needless to say that their chemistry was great, but for me the tender moments were the best. I loved how each character brought their emotions to the surface and made themselves vulnerable to the other.

Although A Perfect Mistake is the second book in A Perfect Secret series, it can be read as a stand alone too. Some characters from the previous book make an appearance in this story but its main focus is the development of Boone and Verity as individuals and as a couple.

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About the Author

Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

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Seven Sons (Gypsy Brothers #1) by Lili St. Germain *Review and Excerpt*

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Title: Seven Sons

Author: Lili St. Germain

Genre: MC Romance/Erotica

Release Date: January 5th 2014

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Synopsis

My father was most certainly NOT an innocent man. As the President of the Gypsy Brothers MC, he was guilty of many things. But he died for a crime that he didn’t commit, framed by an enemy within who then stole his club and everything he had ever worked to protect.

Including my innocence.

When Dornan Ross framed my father, he set into motion a series of events that could never be undone. My father was murdered by Dornan Ross and his sons when I was fifteen years old.

Before my father died, Dornan and his sons stole my innocence and branded my skin, and in doing so, ensured that their lives would be prematurely cut short. That they would suffer.

I’ve just turned twenty-one, and I’m out for blood. I’m out for revenge.

But I didn’t expect to fall for Jase, the youngest brother in the club.

I didn’t expect that he would turn my world upside down, yank my heart out of my chest and ride away into the sunset with it.

Now, I’m faced with an impossible choice – Jase, or avenging my fathers death?

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Review

4 stars

3.75 stars

Juliette wants revenge. That is all that’s on her mind. Now that she has the means and the opportunity she is not letting anything get in her way. But can she ignore the feelings that are growing in her heart? Is she strong enough for what’s to come?

Wow, I have to say that this first installment of the serial packed a punch!

  • Dark, edgy, emotional – CHECK!
  • Intriguing characters – CHECK!
  • Hotness factor – CHECK!
  • Riveting storyline – CHECK!

Now, you must be thinking that if it had all those elements why the 3.75 stars rating. Well, I do have to say that there were some aspects to the story that just threw me off a bit. Nothing horrendous or anything. I just felt that Dornan’s reaction to ‘Sammi’ was a bit over the top. Which, granted, I understand to a certain point. He’s crazy loco and his behavior and his world are just THAT kind of crazy. It just didn’t seem plausible to me, being that he leads a life so full of secrets. In truth, I thought it would be harder for her to gain entrance into his world.

That said, I have to give props to author Lili St Germain because she did manage to bring a lot into this story. Not only did she capture my attention from the moment the story began, she kept me riveted throughout. I wanted Sammi to succeed, but I also wanted her to give up on her plan and move on. What she went through was bad enough and there were moments when I didn’t believe she had the courage to pull this off. But as the story progressed she showed her strength and determination even if at times her vulnerable side made an appearance.

Of course, I loved Jace. I’m curious about how his presence is going to affect Sammi’s plans. They seemed to have a good rapport and I can’t wait to see how the author plays it out.

All in all, a great start to the Gypsy Brothers serial with a strong-minded heroine who’s not to be deterred and a storyline that leaves the reader to wonder what the hell is going to happen next, especially in the romance department. I will definitely be picking up the next installment!

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

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smallrevenge

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Excerpt

Tears form at the corner of my eyes as the full brunt of Dornan’s obsession with me becomes apparent. He left me here for this. He asked me who my ex-boyfriend was, and then proceeded to travel across the country to kidnap an innocent boy from his house. A boy who has never laid eyes on me, a boy who I found online and added to Sammi’s backstory for credibility.

A boy who kneels in front of me with a gun pointed at his head.

I struggle against Chad’s stronghold, but it is useless. The guy is built, and he’s probably been snorting the white powder with daddy all the way home.

I bite down on Chad’s hand and he pulls it away, yelling at me.

“He’s not my ex!” I scream, fighting against Chad’s rigid embrace.

Dornan looks at me like a man possessed. A man on a mission.

“I lied,” I gasp, still struggling. “I’ve never met him before. Please, just let him go.”

Dornan lowers his gun and looks me up and down. “You don’t have to be scared of him anymore,” he says. He lifts the gun, his finger putting pressure on the trigger.

“Please!” I scream.

My pleas go unheeded.

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About the Author

LSG Author Avitar

Lili writes dark erotica and NA. Her debut serial novel, Seven Sons, is due to be released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband, good coffee, hanging at the beach and running. She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

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