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New Release! Never Too Late (Home in the Heartland #1) by Sloan Johnson *Review and Giveaway*

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Never Too Late (Home in the Heartland #1)
by Sloan Johnson

An M/M Romance
Released March 14th 2016

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Dax: My life ended six years ago. No, really. I was dead on the side of the road following a gruesome motorcycle accident. From what I’ve been told, it’s only because of one stubborn man that I have another chance to make something of my life. I no longer hate him for screwing up what I thought I wanted. I want to thank him. NEED to tell him what his actions mean to me.

Now, I’m headed back to the town I’ve never set foot in even though it’s a huge part of my life. I’m not thrilled about that, but the job offers haven’t exactly been flowing in. They’ll probably think I’m crazy, because there’s no way I won’t be able to look at every guy I walk past, wondering if he’s the one who saved me.

Michael: My entire life, I wanted to save lives. I’d earned a full-ride scholarship and had been accepted to med schools across the country. I was so close to making those dreams a reality until the night held a dying man in my arms. I’ve never been able to get the images of his lifeless body caked in mud out of my head. Even when the paramedics tried to take over trying to save him, I couldn’t let go. I never let go. Eventually, my guilt over not doing more cost me everything but my son. And now, I worry I’ll lose him if I don’t get it together.

I’ve often thought that if I could find him, maybe I could get some closure and finally get my life back on track. Now he’s here and I’m more of a mess than ever. Once the truth comes out, will he keep trying to save me or will he realize that it’s too late?

 

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Review

3-stars

I love M/M Romance. I love the different concepts and elements that make up the romance between the men–the dialogue, the connection, the sex. I especially love when two men allow themselves the chance for more. The rampant emotions, the stolen touches, the intricacies of coming to terms with allowing someone else into their hearts. Never Too Late had many of these, but unfortunately, it also included one major pet peeve of mine–a lot of telling and not as much showing.

Both characters in the story were intriguing and interesting to get to know but most of the first half of the book was spent in their heads. Not that it was entirely a bad thing, since I got to see where their heads were at and what each was dealing with individually. I just wish I would have gotten a chance to see them truly interact in a more personal level.

Dax and Michael shared this ‘life altering’ moment, so I of course I was expectant to see how that coupled with their immense attraction to one another would all work out in the end. Thankfully, once the ‘big secret’ was out, I got to see more of a connection between them.

I enjoyed Dex’s journey. I was cheering him on from the very beginning and seeing him get a grip on his life–adjusting to a new town, a new career and establishing some roots–was a treat to read. Michael’s journey, although different, was also a joy to read. It was fantastic to see him become a better parent and more accepting of himself. Although scared of his attraction to Dex and what it would mean for his and his son’s future, Michael didn’t step back. He was inexperienced and conflicted, but also determined to see it through. And with Dex patiently offering his support and understanding, their journey as a couple began to flourish.

Never Too Late might no have been everything I look for in an M/M romance, but it certainly was worthwhile. Sloan Johnson delivered a heart-warming story of love and new beginnings where two individuals got a second chance at love at a time when neither one expected to find it.

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

 

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About the Author

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.

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New Release Tour! Life on the Level (On the Verge #3) by Zoraida Córdova *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Life on the Level (On the Verge #3)
by Zoraida Córdova

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Diversion Books
Released February 23rd 2016

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Never gamble more than you can afford to lose.

River Thomas was born a wild card. Her father took one look at her and decided that his daughter would have the best poker face in the city.

But when he dies unexpectedly, River’s already dangerous life is spiraling out of control. After six months without gambling—staying away from the tables where she makes and loses her fortune—she relapses, and soon must go on the run from a guy looking to settle a score.

She wants to be better, needs to be better, before she ends up like her dad. The road leads her to rehab in Sun Valley, Montana. But first, one last hurrah, and the beautiful stranger at the bar is just what the doctor ordered. She leaves before sunrise still thinking of his face. But her last hurrah with the guy of her dreams is also her counselor for the next ninety days…

Attraction, however, is too strong a lure to ignore, and soon River finds herself gambling with the one thing she never thought she would—her heart.

 

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Review

4 stars

River is heading off to rehab in the morning so she plans to have one last wild night before checking in. Alcohol and sex with a handsome stranger is all she bargained for. Regret, hesitation and longing–not so much.

What I enjoyed the most about this story was River’s voice. It’s rare for me to connect to a heroine as easily as I did with River. She was hard edged, sarcastic and painfully honest, but underneath that tough exterior she was loyal, protective and hiding a great amount of hurt. I appreciated Zoraida Cordova’s efforts to allow me to get to know River well for it helped draw me in deeper into the story.

It also helped that I was eager to see Hutch and River together. Having them being apart initially as well as seeing River adapting to sober life, served to up my interest as well. The author did a fantastic job of making the reader feel River’s frustrations, fears and insecurities while also letting us experience the growth she was undergoing while at rehab.

Of course, Hutch and River had great chemistry and a wonderful connection which the author highlighted and brought to the surface as the story progressed. Both of these elements are essential for me in a romance and I appreciated the way the author brought them forth while still adding the conflict and emotions that rounded up the story.

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. I enjoyed Leti and Sky’s visit, but was glad to see the story focused solely on River and her journey. All in all, a fantastic read.

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

Excerpt
From Chapter 5

“I have to go,” I say.

I start to turn the doorknob. He practically jumps over his desk.

“Wait.”

“What?” I snap.

He shuts the door, then takes several steps away, drawing a line between our personal spaces.

“River, please, just hear me out.”

“Stop saying my name!” Why am I angry? Why is he here?

“I don’t know what else to call you.”

Flashback: him, grabbing my face with his strong hands. You are so beautiful.

I brush my hair out of my face, wishing I could do something about the heat on my skin. “I don’t know. This is—this is not okay.”

He looks at me for a bit. Now that I’m getting over the shock of our reunion, I can get a better look at him with a sober brain. If beer goggles make uggos more attractive, then imagine what it’s done to someone like him. In my mind, I take into account that I lost the bet with myself. He’s not a cowboy. He’s a counselor.

He’s my counselor.

He messes up his hair, making him look all the more adorably rumpled.

“I’m just as shocked as you, River.”

“I’m just going to go.” I feel like a trapped mouse. “This is just too weird. I can’t be here.”

He nods, then after another painful pause goes, “You’re right.”

“Okay.” I dump my coffee in the trashcan and turn around.

He starts to reach for me. I can feel his fingers graze my elbow. He thinks better of it. Then his touch is gone.

“I shouldn’t be your counselor. That doesn’t mean you should leave. You came here to get help. I should’ve seen it when we met.”

“Why?” I ask angrily. “Because I was a drunken mess throwing herself at you? You didn’t seem to mind.”

“That’s not fair.”

“Welcome to this funny little thing called life.”

“I should’ve seen it because you looked so sad. I could see myself—I mean, I should’ve seen there was more to you. I don’t mean it in a bad way. I mean that part of me didn’t want to ask because I just needed—“

“Needed what?”

He shoves his hands into his pockets.

Don’t look at his jeans.

“I just needed to have you. I don’t do things like that normally.”

“And I do? Because I’m some raging slut.” Well, I do do things like that normally. They just never blow up so spectacularly in my face.

“Stop deflecting.”

“Don’t Psych 101 me.”

He smirks.

“And stop smirking.”

He licks his lips, and that just makes everything so much worse. He crosses his arms over his chest, leans against his desk. What a lucky fucking desk.

“Don’t leave because of me, please. I’ll stay out of your way. I can be professional, even if what happened between us isn’t a testament to that.”

I’m suddenly cold. I rub the goose bumps from my arms.

“This is like the let’s-be-friends speech,” I say.

He pushes his tongue against his cheek, and I can tell he wants to say something inappropriate. Maybe flirty.

“Not used to that?”

I shrug. “Won’t people ask questions about me switching counselors? Word on the street is people are clamoring to be yours. I mean—your patients.”

He smiles, and when he smiles I realize we can never be friends. Not if he keeps looking at me that way.

“Are the gossip mills getting to you already?”

“Something like that.”

“Just—be careful who you share things with here. Sometimes information is more valuable than money or cigarettes.”

“I don’t want to get kicked out. And I don’t want either of us to get in trouble. Besides, we didn’t do anything wrong. We are two consenting adults. We met before I checked in, and we’re not pursuing anything.”

“Right.”

“Exactly.”

“I know.”

“Me too.”

He sighs. “I’ll speak to Helen this afternoon. Tell her you’d be better suited to someone else.”

“Okay.” Part of me, the part that’s committed to doing this, is congratulating herself. This is so grown up. This is mature and reasonable. I don’t really need to be here, do I?

The other part—the girl who lost the bet on the man who was supposed to be a rough-and-tumble cowboy—is itching for another shot. God, I wish I had that flask right about now.

“This is the best thing to do,” he says.

“For you or for me?”

“For both, I hope.”

“Are you sure this is okay?”

“You’re the first patient to get transferred out of my sessions.” He walks around his desk and sits again. “Don’t worry, I can take a hint.”

“What do you mean?”

“You walked out on me, remember?”

I nod, and let myself out. I walk away from him for the second time in two days.

 

About the Author

Zoraida Cordova

Zoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens. She is the author of The Vicious Deep Trilogy. She studied English Lit at Hunter College, and The University of Montana before finding a home for herself in the (kinda) glittering world of New York City’s nightlife. She prefers her cocktails shaken, her bacon crispy, and her men with a side of chivalry.

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Author Giveaway!

http://www.zoraidacordova.com/2016/01/when-did-you-fall-in-love-life-on-the-level-pre-order-gift-giveaway/

 

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New Release Tour! A Friendly Flirtation (Friends First #3) by Christine Warner *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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A Friendly Flirtation (Friends First #3)
by Christine Warner

A Contemporary Romance
From Entangled Publishing
Released February 15th 2016

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One kiss can change your life…

Allison Hall is fed up with being a social outcast. Even at the tech company where she works for her brother and his best friend, Jared, she’s the invisible nerdy girl. What she needs is confidence-and that requires a makeover and dating tips. And she knows just the man to help…

Jared Esterly is shocked when Allison asks for his assistance and turns her down, knowing that her brother-his business partner and best friend, Nick-would kill him if he dated her, even if it is just for practice. But when Al’s attempt to make changes on her own fails spectacularly, Jared reluctantly steps in. Things heat up quickly, and soon lessons move from the salon to the bedroom.

When overprotective big-brother Nick discovers Jared is dating Allison, their friendship and business partnership sour. Allison, consumed by guilt, must make a choice: stay with Jared, even though that means ruining his friendship with Nick and possibly his career, or leave the one man who sets her on fire.

 

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Review

3-stars

3.25 stars

Allison is ready for a change and is hoping that her brother’s best friend helps her in her transition. But when he refuses, she decides to to do it on her own. Failing spectacularly doesn’t necessarily deter her from continuing her quest, but now that Jared is willing to help she feels confident in her decision.

Jared didn’t always notice Allison, but he’s always admired her smarts and her quirkiness. So when she comes at him with the plan a plan to help her get her foot in the dating world, he is tempted but refuses to jeopardize his friendship with his best friend. But Allison brings out all his protective instincts to the surface and when he notices how determined she is to go ahead with her plan, he decides to help her along.

Soon sparks are flying, emotions start running rampant and what started as a way to get Allison into the dating world soon turns into both of them developing feelings for each other.

Although I’ve read plenty of stories with this premise, I was intrigued on how the author was going to bring it all together. Especially since I thought Allison would be a great character to get to know. Thankfully, I was not disappointed in that regards.

Allison and Jared were both great characters. They had their flaws and yearned to find that someone to spend the rest of their lives with but both were stuck in their own issues to make an attempt into love. I enjoyed how the author went about bringing Jared and Allison’s connection to the page. Their interactions were entertaining and ranged from flirty and fun to honest and emotion-driven. I especially liked how Christine Warner built up their chemistry from a tiny spark to smoldering as the story progressed. Especially since I got to experience the emotions each struggled with when they realized there was something more than friendship between them.

My only complaint would have to be Allison’s brother and the conflict that added to the story. Nick’s overreaction to Allison and Jared’s involvement only managed to irritate me, especially when it only served to highlight Jared and Allison’s inability to stand up for what they wanted. Thankfully, both of them grew a backbone and fought for their relationship. But my attention had already drifted and my interest had waned.

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the Friends First series it can be read as a stand alone.

All in all, a fun flirty romance with some emotions added into the mix to round it up.

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

 

Excerpt

She leaned her forehead against his chin, then tilted her head back, parting her lips and inviting him in for another kiss.

And he wanted seconds. More than he’d ever imagined. The soft blush creeping over her face, the way her breasts strained against her blouse as she tried to regain her breathing only encouraged him. Holy. Fuck. With her it’d be too easy to forget where the hell they were. And he didn’t like an audience. Not now. With Allison, not ever.

But that didn’t stop him from running his thumb over her bottom lip. For a second he lost sense of where they were when her eyes grew dark and her lashes fluttered gently over her skin. She looked so beautiful, and that protective urge— or maybe he should just call it what is is…lust—overtook him. He couldn’t picture her with anyone but him. Fuck. He didn’t want her with anyone else. Screw Nick. He’d deal with him later.

If anyone would teach Allison how to please a man, let a real man do the job.

Him.

She was ready, so was he. He was willing, and so was she. And they were both adults. “Al, I don’t want you with any of these men.”

She sighed, sagging against him. “Are we really going to have this conversation again? I—”

He took her mouth in a hard kiss, parting the seam of her lips with his tongue and thrusting inside, swallowing her gasp. She melted against him. He slid his hands down her throat, past her shoulders, and lower still until he curved his arm around her back and squeezed her rear. She smiled into their kiss, and this time he melted. “Do I need to rephrase?” he whispered against her mouth.

She shook her head, their mouths still touching. “I really only wanted one man in this room, but I didn’t think he wanted—”

“You better be talking about me.” He leaned back just far enough so he could watch the way her emotions flickered across her eyes. Excitement. Uncertainty. Acceptance. She nodded, her lips parted and moist.

“Are you telling me—?”

“I’m telling you I’ve come to my senses. Or lost them completely.”

 

About the Author

christine

Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her family, one laptop, and a much loved assortment of furry friends.

Besides laughing and a good dose of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing, but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes, and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines.

A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on facebook, twitter and her website at christine-warner.com.

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New Release! Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill *Review*

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Call Me, Maybe
by Ellie Cahill

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Loveswept
Released February 9th 2016

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Ellie Cahill is definitely one to watch!” raves bestselling author Cora Carmack, and this steamy, upbeat modern romance about connecting in all the best ways proves it once again.

Clementine Daly knows she’s the black sheep. Her wealthy, powerful family has watched her very closely since she almost got caught in an embarrassing scandal a few years ago. So when Clementine’s sent on a mission to live up to the Daly name, politely declining isn’t an option. Of course, the last thing she does before boarding the plane is to grab a stranger’s phone by mistake—leaving the hunky journalist with her phone. Soon his sexy voice is on the line, but he doesn’t know her real name, or her famous pedigree—which is just the way Clementine likes it.

Despite all the hassles, Justin Mueller is intrigued to realize that the beautiful brown-eyed girl he met at the airport is suddenly at his fingertips. They agree to exchange phones when they’re both back in town, but after a week of flirty texts and wonderfully intimate conversations, Justin doesn’t want to let her go. The only problem? It turns out that Clemetine has been lying to him about, well, everything. Except for the one thing two people can’t fake, the only thing that matters: The heat between them is for real.

 

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Review

This was a fun, flirty read with an understated yet impressionable range of emotions that rounded up the story nicely.

I thought the author did a fantastic job in bringing forth Clementine and Justin’s connection to the page, even though their romance came about abruptly. I appreciated this immensely, especially since they met in such an unconventional way.

It helped tremendously that their chemistry jumped off the page and that their connection continued to grow and strengthen with their every encounter.

If you enjoy a sweet yet hot romance between interesting characters that are down to earth and fun to get to know, then like me, you’ll come to enjoy this story from beginning to end.

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

About the Author

ellie

Ellie Cahill is a freelance writer and also writes books for young adults under the name Liz Czukas. She lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her husband, son, and the world’s loudest cat.

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New Release Tour! I Won’t Break (A Broken Love Story #2) by E. Mellyberry *Review and Giveaway*

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I Won’t Break (A Broken Love Story #2)
by E. Mellyberry

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
Released February 2nd 2016

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Lea and Andrew’s story continues in this sequel to My Lea. From the city of San Francisco, the tale journeys on to the other part of the world: Jakarta, Bali, and Tokyo.

It’s been five years since Andrew walked out of his apartment and left Lea in America. Five long years without any single contact.

Andrew is now a twenty-eight-year-old man who just inherited his father’s business empire and is about to marry the granddaughter of the wealthiest man in Singapore.

At twenty-four, Lea is in the early process of sorting out her life and career back in her home country.

When Andrew’s father passed away, they are reunited again for the first time since America.

Like it or not, they are forced to revisit their past and deal with their unfinished business. For most people, love is the answer to everything. But Lea and Andrew’s love is far from ordinary. Theirs is tainted by sin and guilt. And anger. Lots of anger.

What happened five years ago that made Andrew leave?
What happened after Twin Peaks?
What happened to their baby?

Told in both past and present events, I Won’t Break tests the limit oflove when faced with grief and heartbreak, discovers the true power offorgiveness, and explores the meaning of second chances.

I Won’t Break is the sequel to My Lea (A Broken Love Story series) and cannot be read as a standalone.

 
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Review

Gah!!! These two! It’s not often that I find myself torn between wanting a couple to work things out or to give up altogether, but Lea and Andrew sure had me struggling. Thankfully, the author did a fantastic job of reminding me why I loved this couple so much in the first place.

Like the blurb states, this story cannot be read as a stand alone. The reader needs to understand and be a witness to all that transpired in the first book in order to fully understand the magnitude of Lea and Andrew’s connection and the struggles they faced.

Once again, E. Mellyberry allowed the reader an unobstructed view of Lea and Andrew’s journey at a second chance at love. I appreciated the fact that she didn’t pull any punches when it came to revisiting the events that brought Lea and Andrew’s relationship to a halt. These characters were flawed and I was grateful of the reminder.

Through their years apart, both Lea and Andrew struggled with their demons and managed to make some strides in healing their wounds. But it wasn’t until they met again that they came to realize the extent of unfinished business that existed between them.

Regret. Love. Heartache. Shame. Loss.

Five years later, Lea and Andrew still share an undoubted connection that made itself known the more time they spent together as “friends”. As the story progressed and as more details were revealed, I couldn’t help but become invested once again in their relationship. I vacillated between the urge to throttle both them and an overwhelming need to coddle them. I was that affected by these two!

In the end, I can only say that this story was the perfect follow up to Lea and Andrew’s story. It was heart warming, frustrating, funny, sad and everything I wanted but didn’t dare hope to expect.

If you enjoy reading stories were the characters are flawed, where the obstacles thrown upon their path are not conventional and their connection is inexplicably obvious, then I urge you to read Lea and Andrew’s story.

All in all, a fantastic roller coaster ride of a story.

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

 

A Broken Love Story Series

Lea
My Lea (A Broken Love Story, #1)
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About the Author

Melly-author-profile
Melly is a full-time mom, wife, and fangirl. She used to work in a school and she’s very passionate about education.

Melly has been writing children’s books since 2011 under the name mellyberry. She loves reading all kinds of books in her spare time, mostly MG, YA, NA, contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. She avoids horror and sci-fi as much as she can.

Melly was born in Indonesia and grew up in a multi-language environment. When she talks to people, she could accidentally string words from different languages into one sentence. When she does that, simply reminds her to speak properly.

Her ideal vacation always involves a beach; usually it’s the Nusa Dua beach, Bali. She spent a few years in USA to complete her Master degree. It was during that time that she’d fallen madly in love with San Francisco and the Bay Area. According to her, San Francisco is no doubt the most romantic city in the world.

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Into The Fire (Gorgeous Entourage #1) by E.L. Todd

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Into The Fire (Gorgeous Entourage #1)
by E.L. Todd

A Contemporary Romance
Released January 30th 2016

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Ash
Despite everything I’ve done for my parents, I’ll never be good enough for them. Instead of seeing a man to be proud of, they just see an embarrassment. I served four tours in Afghanistan but that doesn’t mean anything to them. They only see the ink, the party life, and my short stint in jail.

And nothing else.

When they were in trouble, I handed over my life savings. I didn’t think twice about it because they’re my family, my blood. They raised me to be my own man and gave me everything I needed. It didn’t matter that it was every penny I had. It didn’t matter that the money was set aside for my future. My dreams.

Because they needed me.

But now they refuse to pay me back until I become the man they think I should be.

Alessandra
I have an unusual professional.

I escort men, acting as their date to family functions or work parties. It’s my job to act deeply in love with my client. And I always nail it.

But it’s not what you think.

I’m not a prostitute.
I’m not a call girl.
I’m an actress.
Get it right.

There are strict rules when it comes to my profession. There is no touching, kissing, or anything but hand-holding. Those who choose not to comply will get a swift kick in the nuts.

But all this goes to hell when Ash walks into my life.

 

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Excerpt

“I guess I’m not that experienced or adventurous when it comes to sex.”
He listened without reacting.

“My ex…he wasn’t amazing in bed. But then again, I’ve never had an amazing partner.”

“Did he make you come every time?”

“Maybe once in a while…”

He shook his head. “What a loser.”

“I hear people talk about how amazing sex is, but honestly, I haven’t had that kind of experience that makes my toes curl. The times I do orgasm, I almost can’t believe it happened at all.”

He covered his face and groaned. “I’d shoot myself if I were a girl. If someone expected me to have sex with them over and over, they better make me come. And women should hold themselves to the same standard.”

“But I think it’s just me—”

“No. The guy is just lazy and doesn’t want to take the time to figure out how to make you come. Lame shit.”

I sipped my wine because I didn’t know what else to do. My thighs were pressed hard together.

“Let me be of service to you.”

I almost choked on my wine and spit it back out. “What?”

“Let me pierce it for you. You’ll come a lot more often.”

“Oh…” I relaxed when I understood his meaning.

“What did you think I meant?”

“Nothing.” I tried to shake it off.

Suspicion came into his eyes then realization set in. “I wouldn’t mind pleasing you for the night. I can show you what sex is supposed to feel like. I’ll make you scream so loud a notice of eviction will be on your door the next morning.”

He was killing me. “Thanks for the offer but I don’t need your charity.”

“Charity?” he asked. “I just told you I think about nailing you every time I say your name. You don’t even need a clit piercing with me—or a vibrator, for that matter.”

My face was so warm I was about to sweat. My thighs were pressed so tightly together I thought I would cut off my circulation. I wanted to fidget but I didn’t want to give away my vulnerability.

The offer was so tempting. If any other guy said something like that, I’d think he was a weird pervert who needed to get the hell away from me. But with Ash, it was all I wanted.

He tilted his head slightly. “Come on, you know you want it.”

“Arrogance isn’t attractive to me.”

“But confidence is.” He leaned further over the table. “Come on, I want it and so do you.”

“This relationship is strictly professional.”

“Yeah?” he asked sarcastically. “Why did you invite me over for dinner then?”

I didn’t even know. “We’re friends, aren’t we?”

“Maybe we can be friends with benefits.”

I needed to get a grip. “I have a contract I have to abide by.”

“Fuck the contract,” he snapped. “You think I give a damn about a thin piece of paper? We’ll keep it between us.”

“It’ll make everything weird later on.”

“Why?” he asked. “We both know what this is. You know it’s meaningless and I don’t do the girlfriend thing. And I know you think I’m an arrogant jackass that doesn’t understand boundaries. Why can’t two adults just have a passionate night with no strings attached? It’s a beautiful thing.”

 

About the Author

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Amazon Bestselling author, E. L. Todd, was raised in sunny California where she still lives today, claiming it’s the best place in the country. Easily hypothermic and hateful of the cold, she prefers to be warm all year round. She attended California State University, Stanislaus and received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, but still pursued her dream to be a writer. She’s written several novels and many series’, and her imagination can’t seem to stop. She tries to find the good in people and she exploits that in her writing, proving that people can make mistakes and rise above their past.

Her hobbies include sunbathing, swimming, eating at Surf Taco in San Diego, reading, and learning everything she can about hippopotamuses’, her favorite creature. Her greatest dream is to make people forget about the harshness of reality and dive into a good story with lovable people. When fans tell her they love her work, it gives her the greatest sense of accomplishment.

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HOT New Release! Pain Slut (The Subs Club #2) by J.A. Rock *Review and Giveaway*

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Pain Slut (The Subs Club #2)
by J.A. Rock

An M/M Erotic Gay Romance–BDSM
From Riptide
Released January 30th 2016

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Honestly, I’m ready to take a step back from the Subs Club. Making the kink world a safer place for subs is the sort of bandwagon I’d have boarded as an idealist in my early twenties, but now I’m a pragmatist in my late twenties. I prefer to focus on adopting and raising a child.

But unexpected factors inevitably derail my plans. Like Drix Seger—attractive and the first genuine sadist I’ve encountered. If I were not in the process of renouncing my masochistic ways and becoming the normal, responsible potential father the adoption agency wants to see, Drix and I might do well together.

But he has a foolish name and belongs to a cult of vampyres, and I am quitting kink. So why does Drix’s infatuation with blood and biting make me so hot I can’t think straight? And why, when he looks at me, does he seem to see something beyond a basket case with a stick up my ass?

Can I start a new phase in my life without leaving part of myself behind? Please send help.

—Miles

 

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Review

5-stars

I was lucky to be able to read Miles’s story right after finishing The Subs Club. I was intrigued by his ways–especially his declaration that he would be stepping away from the lifestyle. And also, he was a hell of a pain slut according to the little I learned about him, so I anticipated his story would be epic.

I’m glad to say that it was I was expecting and so much more! A lot more!

Miles is at a stage in life where he feels he needs to finally put down some roots and has decided to adopt. Miles is smart, practical, but he can’t reconcile the thought that he can be a masochist and a father both. He believes himself to be an arrogant jerk who enjoys pain, but doesn’t necessarily see himself as worthy of having it all. It takes meeting Drix, a sadist, for him to accept himself and try his hand at having it all–a successful business, a son, his kink and a partner.

I have to say, this was not exactly an easy read for me. I’m not one for pain and some of the scenes were more ‘out there’ than I am used to reading. However, what made this such an amazing read for me was Miles and the way the author went about telling his story–some humor, range in emotion, banter and kink, kink, kink!

Kudos to JA Rock for not pulling any punches when it came to allowing the reader to see deep into the nitty gritty of Miles’ kink without taking away from his journey–personally and romantically.

I loved that I got to see what drove Miles and what encumbered him too. It made him feel so much more real and his journey all that much more intriguing. I enjoyed watching the complexities of his character and how everything unraveled as the story progressed.

Of course, much of Miles’ growth was aided by Drix’s presence in his life. He brought peace, understanding and a thrill that had gone missing in Miles’ life. Plus, Drix had some intriguing characteristics himself. I enjoyed his easy acceptance of Miles’ kink, doubts and determination to be a father. I also admired his determination to adjust to Miles’ needs and his ability to recognize what Miles needed and when he needed it.

As this is the second book in The Subs Club series, we get to see more of the characters that starred in the first book. We also get to learn the way David plans to move the club in another direction while still getting some insight into the other characters as well.

All in all, an intense amazing read.. I can’t wait to see whose story is next!

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

 

The Subs Club series

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About the Author

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

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

 

Giveaway!

Leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of two backlist titles from J.A. Rock and a $10 Amazon gift card. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 6, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

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New Release! Against the Wall by Jill Sorenson *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Against the Wall
by Jill Sorenson

A Contemporary Romantic Suspense
From Loveswept
Released February 2nd 2016

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Fans of Katie McGarry, Simone Elkeles, and Tammara Webber will love Against the Wall! As teenagers, they fell for each other despite the odds. But now that Eric and Meghan are all grown up, they’re reunited by fierce passion and dangerous secrets.
 
Eric Hernandez is the bad boy of every schoolgirl’s fantasies—and every mother’s nightmares. But after serving time for manslaughter, he’s ready to turn his life around. He just needs a chance to prove himself as a professional tattoo artist. The one thing that keeps him going is the memory of the innocent beauty he loved and left behind.

Meghan Young’s world isn’t as perfect as it looks. The preacher’s daughter is living a lie, especially now that Eric is back. Tougher, harder, and sexier than ever, he might be the only person she can trust. But there’s no telling what he’ll do to protect her if he learns the truth, and that’s a risk Meghan won’t let him take. And yet, back in the arms of the troubled boy with the artist’s soul, Meghan can’t help surrendering to the man he’s become.

 

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Excerpt

Noah exchanges a glance with April and takes Jenny into the kitchen. It’s awkward, being on his turf. I don’t belong here. I belong in Castle Park, the down-and-out neighborhood where I used to live with my grandma. Now she’s in Mexico with the rest of my family, and I have nowhere else to go. Nowhere safe, that is. I’m supposed to stay in a stable environment, and I can’t leave San Diego. It’s one of the conditions of my parole.

“Let’s get you settled,” April says brightly.

I grab my backpack and follow her. On the phone she told me I could sleep in the den. It looks sort of like an office with a small bed in the corner. I spot a vintage desk and an old-school record player I recognize as Meghan’s.

I’m struck by memories of the last day I spent with her. She had a room upstairs back then. When we first met, it was just Meghan and Noah living here. She put on some music and I laid her down on her bed. I took everything she had to offer and then some. I can’t even bring myself to regret it. That memory, more than any other, has sustained me on lonely nights in my cell. I’ve jerked off to a thousand variations of it.

I know that Meghan moved out a few months ago, but I imagine her lingering presence. The smell of her hair on the pillows.

“This was Meghan’s room?” I say, my voice hoarse.

April opens the closet, which is half-full of girl clothes. “I can ask her to move her stuff.”

“No,” I say. I don’t need the space; everything I own fits inside a backpack.

“Are you sure?”

I sit on the bed, nodding. This arrangement is temporary, anyway. “Which room are you going to use for the nursery?”

April waves her hand in the air. “I want the crib in my room. You can stay here as long as you like.”

I wonder if Noah is on board with this. He can’t be thrilled about having an ex-con under the same roof with his pregnant wife and stepdaughter. He got promoted to the homicide division, but money might be tight. I should cut out as soon as possible. I’m not a charity case, and even though Meghan’s not here, it doesn’t feel right to inhabit her space.

It feels . . . dangerous. Tempting.

I’ll never forget the look on her face when I told her I didn’t want her. She stared at me with soft blue eyes and trembling lips, pale from shock. Hardest fucking lie I ever told—and I’m an accomplished liar. But I couldn’t let her waste three years on me. I couldn’t let myself wish for something that far beyond my reach. I had to be cruel to be kind.

At least, that was how I justified my actions three years ago. Looking back, maybe I just wanted to be a dick. Getting locked up has that effect. It touches every raw nerve and stirs every violent tendency. It stokes prejudices and festers resentments. The only acceptable outlet for male prisoners is rage.

“When you’re ready, come out to the backyard. Noah’s grilling some carne asada.”

My stomach rumbles loud enough for her to hear. Smiling, she slips out the door and down the hall. She looks happy. That’s the difference in her, along with her rounded belly and fuller curves. She’s not exhausted anymore. Noah takes care of her. Or she takes care of him.

They take care of each other.

April hooked up with Noah around the same time I started seeing Meghan. He interviewed her about the murder of one of her coworkers, a waitress at Club Suave. Cops aren’t supposed to date anyone involved in their investigations, but apparently he couldn’t resist. They fell in love before I went to prison and got married shortly after.

Noah has been good to April and Jenny. Much better than Raul was. Even so, my urge to leave grows stronger. I don’t want to cause problems or be a burden to anyone. I’ve never been part of a nice family. I don’t know how to act civilized anymore.

This isn’t my scene.

I glance around, wiping my sweaty palms on my jeans. There’s a nightstand by the bed. I open the first drawer and peer inside. Unlike the closet, it’s empty. I close it in mild disappointment. I’m not sure what I expected to find in there. Some random girl stuff, like makeup and perfume.

I remove the clothes from my backpack and toss them into the empty drawer. I have three shirts, an extra pair of pants, and some basketball shorts. Then I bring out my prized possession: my portfolio.

I like art. I can draw almost anything from memory. My favorite medium is spray paint on a fresh concrete wall, but in prison the materials are limited. Most of my drawings are ink on lined paper.

I also do ink on skin. It’s how I survived in the joint.

I was only twenty when I went in. I’m about five foot ten, not the biggest guy on the block. I’ve got muscles and I’m strong, but I’ll never be huge. I have a lean build and features they call handsome. To say that I needed protection is an understatement. Despite my unlucky size and face, I had three things going for me when I went in. First, I was down for CVL, my local clique. The Chula Vista Locos pay dues to the Mexican Mafia, also known as La Eme. So I was already connected to a powerful prison gang.

The second advantage I had was my best friend, Junior. We both got locked up at the same time and sent to the same prison. It’s not unusual for San Diego criminals to do sentences in Chino or San Quentin—they’re the two largest correctional facilities in the state. Junior wasn’t in my cellblock, but we saw each other in the yard. He became a captain for La Eme. If anyone fucked with me, Junior made them pay.

The third advantage was my talent for art. I can hold my own in a fight, but I didn’t want to earn my keep that way. I didn’t want to be anyone’s bitch, either. Instead of offering those services, I sold drawings and tattoos. I was the best in my block.

Tattooing has been the only bright spot in my life. Without my art, and my best friend, I’d probably be dead.

 

About the Author

jillsorenson

Jill Sorenson is the RITA-nominated author of more than a dozen romantic-suspense novels. She has a degree in literature and writing from California State University. Her books have been selected as Red-Hot Reads byCosmopolitan magazine, and have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. Sorenson currently lives in the San Diego area with her family. She’s a soccer mom who loves nature, coffee, reading, Twitter, and reality TV.

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Tour! Extreme Honor (True Heroes #1) by Piper J. Drake *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Extreme Honor (True Heroes #1)
by Piper J. Drake

A Suspenseful Romance
From Forever
Released January 26th 2016

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Hot military heroes, the women who love them, and the dogs that always have their backs. EXTREME HONOR is the first book in a high adrenaline contemporary suspense series from Piper J. Drake.

HONOR, LOYALTY, LOVE

David Cruz is good at two things: war and training dogs. The ex-soldier’s toughest case is Atlas, a Belgian Malinois whose handler died in combat. Nobody at Hope’s Crossing kennel can break through the animal’s grief. That is, until dog whisperer Evelyn Jones walks into the facility… and into Atlas’s heart. David hates to admit that the curvy blonde’s mesmerizing effect isn’t limited to canines. But when Lyn’s work with Atlas puts her in danger, David will do anything to protect her.

Lyn realizes that David’s own battle scars make him uniquely qualified for his job as a trainer. Tough as nails yet gentle when it counts, he’s gotten closer to Atlas than anyone else-and he’s willing to put his hard-wired suspicion aside to let her do the same. But someone desperate enough to kill doesn’t want Lyn working with Atlas. Now only teamwork, trust, and courage can save two troubled hearts and the dog who loves them both…

 

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Review

3-stars

Evelyn Jones arrives at Hope’s Crossing Kennel to assist in the rehabilitation of a military dog who’s having trouble adjusting after his handler’s death. She’s an experienced trainer whose focus is more on the psychological aspects of the dog’s behavior rather than the physical or tactical. She’s excited with the prospect of working with a dog of this type and hopes the success of the case helps to further her career.

David Cruz works as a dog trainer along with his former-military buddies at Hope Crossing’s Kennel. He is Atlas’s primary trainer. He is determined to help Atlas through his funk and get to the bottom of his buddy’s death and doesn’t appreciate having another trainer in the case. Especially a civilian who has never worked with military dogs. However, after witnessing Atlas’ reaction to Lyn he decides to give her a chance to work with the dog. It doesn’t help the case that he’s insanely attracted to the woman or that her presence awakens his every protective instinct.

The very first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover and my anticipation only grew as I read the blurb. The concept of ‘Hot military heroes, the women who love them, and the dogs that always have their backs” sold me on the story and I couldn’t wait to get started. Sadly, the book didn’t fully live up to my expectations.

Don’t get me wrong, the concept was interesting and the author went to great lengths to bring that to the page. I enjoyed Atlas and everything that pertained to him and/or his rehabilitation. I just believe that the romance got lost among the other elements that were introduced.

The premise was intriguing and kept my interest throughout. I enjoyed the added mystery of who was after Lyn and the truth surrounding the death of Atlas’ handler. I admit, I got somewhat lost among the twists and turns the author brought forth, but I enjoyed the process and the added suspense it brought to the page.

Unfortunately, the romance left me wanting and not in a good way. Lyn and David shared an instant attraction, but their chemistry lacked in intensity and their connection never made it fully into the page. I felt like I was just riding along without any chance of investing myself in these characters’ lives. Mainly, I didn’t get a a full picture of who Lyn and David were as individuals. In truth, we mostly got to know Lyn and how her relationship with her stepfather has impacted her life and not much more. And sadly, we got to learn even less about David. This is turn prevented me from connecting with the character’s on a deeper level. It didn’t help that I couldn’t see more than a thread of a connection between them. I would have preferred less self-analysis on Lyn’s side and more personal interaction between Lyn and David.

As the first book in a series, Extreme Honor worked well. The author did a good job of introducing the main players in the series while giving the readers an inside look into Hope Crossing’s Kennel. It also delivered a bit of intrigued and gave the reader an idea of what to expect in books to come.

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

 

Excerpt

Her heart rate had picked up, fluttering at the pulse point under his touch.

“Yeah?” The urge to slide has hands over more delicate areas grew and he couldn’t help running his thumb along the inside of her arm.

Awareness grew in her gaze and she bit her lip as she nodded.

He leaned toward her, focused on her plump lip caught under her teeth.

“What else do you like?”

She opened her mouth to answer but he didn’t plan to let her get a word out. Maybe later. He bent his head to capture her lips.

And seventy five pounds of fur jumped up on his side.

“The hell?”

Lyn gasped. “Atlas!”

Af.” Mindful of the dog’s injury, Cruz gave Atlas a gentle shove.

The dog dropped back to all fours, his tongue lolling. Looking from him to Lyn and back again, Atlas lay back down on his belly.

Jealous. Damn dog was jealous.

***

Be real. Every dog recognizes a fake. And good men can see through it too.

“I’d really like to help.” Honest. Simple. All the other reasons paled in comparison to this.

“Whatever is going on, you know more about it than I do.” She licked her lips, her mouth gone dry.

His gaze dipped, focusing on her mouth. “I might. I know something. I’m not sure it’s related. But this next question is important.”

Can I kiss you?

Doubtful that was the question he was going to ask. But the moment was drawing out and she very much wanted for him to ask it. “Okay.”

“Do you think I would hurt you?”

“No!” It popped out before she had time to think about it. Anger burned up from her chest and spread outward. She scowled. “Of course n—”

He kissed her.

 

7

 

Coming Soon!

Book_2_UltimateCourage
Available July 26, 2016
Ultimate Courage (True Heroes, #2)
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About the Author

Piper_TH
Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) began her writing career as “PJ Schnyder” writing sci-fi & paranormal  romance and steampunk. She has recently received the FF&P PRISM award for her work as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award.

Now, PJ is exploring the complexity of romantic suspense, incorporating her interests in mixed martial arts and the military into her writing.

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Tour: No Promises by N. Raines *Review and Giveaway*

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No Promises
by N. Raines

A New Adult Romance
Released January 2016

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In high school, Sam Pennywell had a massive crush on Rick Russo. But he was her cousin’s boyfriend and strictly off-limits. Meeting Rick again years, later she can hardly recognize the man he’s become.

As a paramedic, Rick’s career is all about helping others. But in the line of duty, he’s become one of the injured. He’s caught in a dark place he can’t escape on his own. He can’t make Sam any promises of love. Promises are too easily broken.

Sam spends her life taking care of sick and homeless animals. She’s never met a stray she didn’t love, and Rick is the most important rescue she’ll ever make.

 

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Review

4 stars

No Promises was a pretty straight-forward romance that was fun and sweet with enough emotions to add to depth but not overwhelm.

Sam has put her life on hold in order to take care of her father after he suffered a number of heart attacks. She has done so willingly, but she can’t help but think that she’s missing out on living her life to the fullest. Thankfully, her father is appreciative and she has her cousin to lean on. It is while at a party at her cousin’s that she runs into Rick.

Events in recent months have left Rick in a dark place, so he decides to go back to a place where everything made sense. But to his surprise, nothing is quite as it once was. His girlfriend is not who he thought she was and he ends up befriending Sam. Rick is not in a good place and can’t afford to get involved with anyone. But his attraction to Sam doesn’t let up and soon enough emotions come into play.

I liked the concept behind this story and found it was well executed. Both Rick and Sam wee interesting characters to get to know, which made it a treat to see them connect on the page as the story moved along. I enjoyed their bickering and honest interactions and appreciated the effort the author made in making sure I was a witness to their connection growing as the story progressed.

Rick and Sam both had issues they needed to deal with and I found that their grow throughout the story matched accordingly. I enjoyed how Rick opened up to Sam. At first he was closed off and emotionally unavailable due to the circumstances of his return, which I came to understand easily. Sam helped to draw him out of his mind set offering her friendship, giving as good as she got and ultimately sharing her heart with him. Sam’s main issue was more of her own doing. She was a caretaker at heart and taking care of her father was something she took upon herself without regards to her own life. But when Rick came along, she realized there could be more to life than how she was living. Rick also helped her realize that she was worth more than she thought had given herself credit for. I loved that I got to witness their growth as individuals on the page.

All in all, a fresh sweet romance without the angst I’ve come to expect in the genre.

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

About the Author

N.-Raines-Romance

N. Raines (who also writes as Nona Raines) is a former librarian who lives in upstate New York with her many pets. She’s currently working on her next novel between walking the dog and shooing the cats off the laptop. Her erotic romances are published with The Wild Rose Press and Loose Id. Her transgender romance His Kind of Woman was nominated for the 2014 DABWAHA sponsored by the Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books review blogs. Her most recent work is the romance novella Write to Me and the transgender romance Her Kind of Man.

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