Tag Archives: Forever Imprint

New Release! Kiss Me in Christmas (Christmas, Colorado #6) by Debbie Mason *Giveaway*

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Kiss Me in Christmas (Christmas, Colorado #6)
by Debbie Mason

A Contemporary Romance
From Forever
Released February 23rd 2015

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It’s always been you…

Actress Chloe O’Connor has become America’s sweetheart, but back in little Christmas, Colorado, she’s still remembered as a shy, awkward schoolgirl. And there’s no one she dreads (and secretly wants) to see more than her high school crush, Easton McBride. Just one look from the former star quarterback and it’s like she’s instantly transformed from daytime drama queen to tongue-tied teenager. She’s kissed Hollywood actors and famous cover models, so she can certainly play it cool while turning up the heat, right?

After an injury ended his military career, Easton McBride built a good life in the rugged countryside of his hometown. And the last thing he needs is his quiet solitude shattered by a high-maintenance temptress who isn’t anything like the sweet Chloe he misses. While he enjoys the flirtation with this new bold and beautiful woman, he can’t help but wonder whether a kiss could have the power to bring back the small-town girl he’s grown to love.

 

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Read Chapter 1 here!

 

About the Author

Debbie Mason

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

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New Release! Necessary Risk (Bodyguard #1) by Tara Wyatt *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Necessary Risk (Bodyguard #1)
by Tara Wyatt

A Suspenseful Romance
From Forever
Released February 23rd 2016

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Trained to protect against all danger, a professional bodyguard can provide all the muscle a woman needs. But when their hearts are on the line, love is the riskiest business…

SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME
Former child star Sierra Blake is making a stunning Hollywood comeback—and attracting a scary amount of attention. When her home is vandalized and her safety threatened, she knows it’s time to bring in the professionals. But from the moment she sets eyes on her indecently sexy new bodyguard, Sean Owens, Sierra’s thoughts are anything but professional…

Few things in this world scare Sean—until he realizes he’s in serious danger of losing his heart to his new client. No matter how much he wants to, Sean won’t let his feelings for the smart and gorgeous Sierra get in the way of doing his job. Because as the attacks against her escalate, crossing the line between business and pleasure could get them both killed.

 

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Excerpt

“Do you want to know what I’d planned for later tonight?”

She looked up at him, her eyes bright. “God, yes. Tell me.”

He stroked a hand up and down her back, letting his hand dip a bit lower on each trip down. As his fingers grazed the top of her ass, her eyes fluttered closed for a second, her fingers digging into him.

He lowered his head, his lips brushing the shell of her ear. “I’d planned on giving Ian the rest of the night off so we could have the house to ourselves. So many possibilities with an empty house,” he said, trailing his fingers over her exposed nape.

“Mmm,” she sighed. “And then what?”

“I’d pull this zipper down,” he said, tracing his fingers over the zipper along the back of her dress, “and watch your dress fall to the floor. And then I would spend the next several hours exploring your beautiful body. I wonder how many times I could make you come? Three? Four?”

She trembled in his arms, and he smiled.

“I’d planned on making you mine tonight. On burying myself inside you as many times as you’ll let me.”

“Oh, sweet hell,” she half whispered, half gasped. “But you’re not still planning all of that? You keep saying had, as though it’s not going to happen.”

“Oh, it’s going to happen. But I don’t think I can wait until after the gala. Do you have any idea what you do to me?” He pressed his hips against her, his cock rubbing against her hip. “I am fucking desperate to get inside you, sweetheart.”

She let out a soft moan. “Then let’s go find somewhere to get desperate together. Please.”

He smiled and stroked her back again. “That’s my girl. I like the way you say please.” He tipped her chin up to him. “Tell me what you want.”

She licked her lips as her eyes met his. “You. Now. Please.”

 

Praise for Necessary Risk

​”If you love tough guys with a side of sweet, strong heroines with a hint of wild, and suspense with a spark of humor, this is definitely the book for you. Every woman should be lucky enough to have a man like Sean Owens guarding her body. Tara Wyatt has created a swoonworthy bodyguard series with primal passion, unexpected twists, and surprising laughs!”―New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti

“Necessary Risk is a winner!”–RT Book Reviews Magazine, 4 star review

​”A compelling read.”–​Publishers Weekly (full review here)

​”A remarkable debut…Endlessly swoony.”–Brenna Mills, author of ​Last Chance Season

​”A tour de force of emotional complexity and striking depth.” ​–Bitten By Love

“A fun and sexy read.”​–Smexy Books

 

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About the Author

WyattNECESSARYRISKTara
Tara Wyatt is a contemporary romance author who’s been making up love stories ever since she fell head over heels for the Backstreet Boys almost twenty years ago. Not content with merely daydreaming about Nick Carter, she grabbed a notebook and wrote what she now realizes was Backstreet Boy fan fiction.

After outgrowing her boy band obsession and obtaining an Honours B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy from McMaster University, her love of books and reading led her to pursue a Masters’ degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Western Ontario. Currently, she works for a large public library system, where she has the arduous task of selecting books for children and young adults for the library’s collection.

Winner of the Unpublished Winter Rose Award, Linda Howard Award of Excellence and the Heart of the West Award, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the cutest dog in the world and a husband that makes all of her heroes look like chumps.

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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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Sweet New Release! With Every Breath by Lia Riley *Review and Excerpt*

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With Every Breath
by Lia Riley

A New Adult Romance
Released December 29th 2015
From Forever

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BREATHE DEEP … AND JUMP IN

At the ends of the earth, Patagonia is a land where ambition trumps reason and the savage summit of La Aguja lures the most determined climbers. It’s also the last spot a “play-it-safe girl” like Auden Woods expects to find herself. But she’ll lace up her brand-new hiking boots and do whatever it takes to secure a dream job at an adventure magazine . . . even if it kills her. And it just might. When disaster strikes, her only chance at survival comes in the form of the surliest, sexiest mountaineer ever to come out of Scotland.

After a climbing accident cost him his brother, professional mountaineer Rhys MacAskill is at the end of his rope. Redemption is not in his future. That is, until a terrifying storm blows a budding journalist into his tent and it’s up to him to make sure they both survive until morning. Despite the demons weighing on him, Rhys can’t resist the temptation of the charming American and one wild night just isn’t enough.

Auden and Rhys soon learn there are no shortcuts as they navigate their way between life, death, and atonement, and discover something they never expectedlove.

 

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Review

5-stars

Whenever I start a new book expect her unique style of story-telling, her feisty heroines and her moody yet sexy heroes. And With Every Breath she does it once again!

With witty dialogue, a heavy dose of sizzling chemistry and a vast range in emotions, Lia Riley managed to draw me into the Auden and Rhys’ journey. I admit, I loved every single element she brought to the page. From the flirty banter through the stolen moments along their adventure and even the rampant emotions both Auden and Rhys were dealing. Everything worked together well bringing forth a sweet yet sexy and emotion-driven story.

Of course, it helped tremendously that the story was infused with Lia Riley’s understated humor which helped to move the story along and showcase the unique personality of the characters. While Rhys was appeared carefree and unbothered, he carried a great amount of guilt that weighted him down every day. And while Auden didn’t have major issues to deal with she did come into herself and came out a more confident and assured woman ready to tackle the world.

Auden and Rhys complemented each other in the most basic of ways. They had a great amount of chemistry that jumped off the page, but it was the moments when they found solace in each other when neither expected to find it in the other that truly sold me on the romance. I enjoyed their bickering and easy rapport, but it was the candid moments that showcased how deeply connected they were.

Although I’ve come to enjoy Lia Riley’s more angsty stories, I appreciated the fact that she balanced the emotions brought to the page with humor and camaraderie. The emotions were apparent, yet subtle enough that they didn’t weight down the story. And let me tell you, there were some mighty emotional moments in there!

All in all, a fantastic story. I loved watching Auden and Rhys, two complete strangers, find themselves and love along the way.

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

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Excerpt

Even in my sleeping bag and dry shirt, her teeth chatter. If she balked at my request to undress, she’s going to go ape over this. Fuck it. There isn’t a choice.

“Auden.”

A thin furrow appears between her brows. “Yeah?”

My stomach tightens. “I’m going to warm you.”

“How?” Her eyes widen.

I can’t hold her gaze and say what I must. “Body‑to‑body contact.”

The world outside rips apart, but in the tent, a heavy silence reigns. She shifts to a half sit. “Oh, no, it’s OK. Look, I’ll be better in a few minutes.”

“You said yourself the cold makes your asthma worse.”

“Yes, but—”

“I know you don’t have a reason to trust me. In fact, if this were normal circumstances, I’d no’ recommend it. But here we are.”

“Nothing about today is normal.” She slowly reclines to the mat, folding her arms across her chest like a mummy, eyes screwed shut.

“No harm’s going to come to you.” It sounds like I’m making a solemn oath.

She opens one eye, gives me an unfathomable look, before closing it again. I’m not used to a woman regarding me like something to endure. Uncertainty weaves through me.

I ease beside her. “This’ll go easier if you turn to the side.” Away from me.

“Good idea.” She rolls to face the tent wall. Her features are hidden, but I can hear each uneven breath, the slightly shuddering inhalation followed by a pause before giving way to a raspy exhalation.

She remains still when I reach, warily securing a handhold on her ribs, their sudden rise and fall the only sign of her silent gasp. “This all right?”

She utters no reply only a brief nod and grips the sleeping bag tighter.

“Everything will be fine, I promise you.” I keep my voice cool, aloof. Give no sign that my chest aches, as if instead of a heart, a great wallowing drunk stumbles about. I never cuddle. Prior to my last girlfriend, Sadie, my dealings with the opposite sex were kept to simple and straightforward shags. Occasionally girls tried to compete with the mountains, but they never stood a chance.

Auden gives another tentative nod, and her scent invades my senses, simple and straightforward, a hint of sweat from exertion, combined with the fresh fragrance of rain. She begins to settle, her violent shiver attacks growing fewer and further between, same with her coughing fits. I keep my pose rigid, controlled, resisting the mad urge to relax into her body as blood pounds thickly in my ears. I can’t do this, be with another person, be human. I need to be a machine. A robot with one goal and one goal alone. To conquer a mountain like La Aguja there can be no room left inside me for any other desire.

When my mind quiets and other wants are eliminated, my attention naturally focuses on visualizing the climb. Once on the rock, this single-​minded concentration will translate effortlessly into correct hand- and footholds or gear placements. In order to climb like you are the only person in the world, you can’t care about anything other than living in the moment. There can be no significant other in the mind’s periphery wielding the power to distract.

Outside the wind shakes the nylon, redoubling its assault. Zipped tight, shut away from the world, we could be anywhere. I’d always appreciated that about tents, how once inside, you became the ruler of your own cramped kingdom of cast-​off socks, sleeping bags, and carefully chosen gear. This time in Valle del Frances, away from the scene at the main climbing camp, is meant to be a chance to establish a cease-​fire in the battle with myself. Being in a tent, in the wilderness, far from a world I don’t understand and that sure as hell doesn’t understand me, is calming.

Now Auden Woods has come along and triggered a whole new conflict with her icy blue eyes.

Icy blue eyes? Looks like prolonged abstinence brings out a lad’s poetic side. If she looks back, she’ll see my mouth twisted in a humorless smile.

She doesn’t, though. She’s too busy trembling, and so I gather her closer, an unfamiliar protective sensation welling inside me. “Better?” I whisper, more a hoarse croak than anything gallant.

“Yes,” she says, turning, her full lips slightly parting to offer the word.

We’re two strangers, haven’t even shaken hands, and yet our bodies press flush. Despite every intention, mine starts to react, and Christ, quick, what are unsexy topics to ponder? When in doubt, go for geology. The Andes are the result of which type of plate boundary?

Conquering La Aguja is going to take all my mental resources. The next few days are needed for getting focused, concentrated, and prepared for the challenge ahead. Auden shifts, drawing closer, and my next breath is almost as ragged as hers.

Aye, this girl is just the sort of distraction that could ruin everything.

 

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About the Author

Lia Riley_Photo Credit Kitti Homme

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments. A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn’t mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

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New Release in the Ink & Chrome Series by Lauren Dane *Guest Post, Series Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

Welcome to Twisted Steel–Seattle’s premiere custom hot rod and motorcycle shop where the men are covered in ink, pierced in all the right places and are very, very good with their hands.

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Ink & Chrome Series
by Lauren Dane

An Erotic Romance Series
From Forever

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openingupOpening Up (Ink &
Chrome, #1)

The men of the Twisted Steel custom motorcycle shop are great with their hands… and they’re not afraid to get dirty.

PJ is exactly the kind of woman Twisted Steel owner Asa Barrons doesn’t need. The last thing he wants to do is mix business with pleasure, and PJ has some of the best custom detailing he’s ever seen. But the chemistry between them won’t be denied, and soon he’s introducing her to a whole new world in the bedroom, pushing her far beyond anything she’s ever experienced. PJ finds she can’t get enough, but how far is too far before he consumes her completely?

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fallingunderFalling Under (Ink &
Chrome, #2)

Duke Bradshaw, co-owner of the custom motorcycle shop Twisted Steel, is great with his hands and not afraid to get dirty . . . especially in his fantasies about his redheaded neighbor Carmella Rossi.

Carmella has been secretly lusting after her hot, tattooed neighbor for the last three years. His gravelly voice combined with the throaty purr of his custom bike never fails to send thrills down her spine. When Duke asks her to join him at the shop, she can’t say no. Soon their days together spill over into nights that bring her pleasure beyond anything she imagined. But Carmella grew up with bikers, and knows how bad a bad boy can be. Can she put herself at risk for someone who has heart-breaker written all over him?

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comingbackComing Back (Ink &
Chrome, #3)

Arriving back in Seattle after five years, Jessilyn Franklin is done pretending she didn’t want two men. She’s done letting anything stop her from being with Adam and Mick, now back from the war and working at Twisted Steel, a custom hot rod and motorcycle shop. One night changes everything, but their relationship must strengthen to weather the storms they’ll face as they make their way back to one another.

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Top 5 ‘Challenges when Writing a Menage’
  1. Pronouns! An extra person in a scene—especially a sex scene—means you have to be creative to identify that extra he or she without using their names over and over.
  2. Body Parts! Like those extra hes or shes, a ménage sex scene involves extra hands, legs, lips—not to mention all the goodies! Choreographing those extra pieces means sometimes I have to bring out the action figures on my desk to be sure there are enough and not too many of anything. (Amy Pond, Michonne and King Leonidas, FYI)
  3. Making sure each character is unique and three dimensional. Sometimes in ménages one of the characters seems less developed than the other two. It’s important to breathe life into all the heroes and heroines in a romance!
  4. Writing a romance that fits three instead of two. By that I mean, I want readers to see not only why all three are together but to believe their happily ever after. I tend to write ménages where all three characters are in love and sexually attracted to and involved with. Any sexual/romantic relationship is in a very real way, a character in and of itself. So I want the reader to see that spark and connection all the way through.
  5. Realism. This is related to many of the things I name above. In a contemporary ménage there are realities I can’t ignore. It may not be central to the storyline, but not everyone would react in a positive way to a family member in any sort of unconventional relationship.
Series Review

The first book in the series is Coming Up and tells Asa and PJ’s story and I loved it from start to finish.

Asa Barron is not exactly Mr. Relationship. He doesn’t want one, he doesn’t have time for one. But that doesn’t mean that when his libido doesn’t perk up at meeting Penelope Jane Colman (PJ). A man who usually doesn’t let an opportunity pass him by, Asa suddenly finds himself conflicted as to how to proceed. Give into his attraction to PJ or keep her at arms length? Soon his attraction to PJ proves to be too much. He wants to make her his, but at what price?

PJ is not one to play by the rules. Considered the black sheep of the family because she didn’t follow the path set out for her, PJ struggles with family relations. She loves her family, but they refuse to ‘see’ her. Dismissing her ideas while they try to pigeon-hole her within the family business. But she’s determined to make a name for herself and the perfect chance for that is to work on the cars at Twisted Steel. But meeting Asa Barron has her struggling to keep her priorities in check. Asa is the type of man she should stay away from, but the very one who ignites all her desires.

As a fan of Lauren Dane, I could NOT pass up on reading Opening Up. How could I when it had the potential to deliver on all fronts?

  • Sexy, alpha-male hero–check!
  • Feisty, strong-headed heroine–check!
  • HOT New series from Lauren Dane–I was sold!

What I enjoyed the most about this title was how both characters struggled with their attraction for the other. It was wonderful to see these two trying not to give in to their desires. Seeing how they hesitated, analyzed and ultimately gave in to what was brewing between them made for a fantastic read for me.

Of course, it helped tremendously that Lauren Dare infused that sexual tension with some humor and honest interactions. I found PJ and Asa’s stories, the secondary characters and the men camaraderie to be the perfect complements to the romance that was blossoming.

I came to admire Asa’s loyalty and his caring side. It showed whenever he interacted with his family and eventually it transitioned to include PJ too. Likewise, I admired PJ’s independent and care-free heart. She was talented and friendly. I enjoyed watching her come into herself and stand up for what she wanted, not only from her family but from Asa too.

The secondary characters played an integral part of the story. I enjoyed how PJ and Asa’s interaction with other characters showcased the different sides to their personalities that otherwise would have been kept hidden. I especially loved Duke Bradshaw and I’m curious to read his story, which comes in the next book in the series.

As I’ve come to expect from Lauren Dane, ASa and PJ’s chemistry was off the charts hot and completely tantalizing. I loved it whenever these two came together intimately, just as much as I enjoyed their bickering and flirty banter.

As the first in the Ink & Chrome series, Opening Up served its purpose and more. It not only brought forth a fantastic erotic romance but it also set the stage for upcoming books. All in all, an awesome start to a series.

Next we move up to Falling Under, which is Duke Bradshaw’s book. I didn’t know what to expect of the woman who would snag Duke’s attention but it was not Carmella. So you could say I was surprised to see these two together. Of course, Lauren Dane also made theirs a fantastic story and my favorite in the series so far.

Duke is part-owner of Twisted Steel and with the office administrator quitting, he’s in dire need of help. He believes his next door neighbor is the perfect candidate, he’s not expecting however, to find his match in her.

Having worked in his uncle’s shop before and currently unemployed, Carmella Rossi jumps at the opportunity Duke is offering. She’s been lusting for her neighbor from afar, but her focus must stay on her job responsibilities. However, spending her days and even some nights with Duke at the shop has her struggling to keep her attraction for him at bay.

OMG! This story was such a surprising little gem. Especially since I had my doubts about Carmella stepping up to the plate when it came to sexy-as-hell Duke’s way of playing. Not only was I proven wrong, I enjoyed the hell out of it too!

I loved the way Duke and Carmella were brought together and it’s because of this that I consider this my favorite in the series so far. Usually there’s an initial obvious connection to build upon, then the chemistry takes over while that connection is developed. In this story, the chemistry takes center stage from the very beginning and the connection is slow in coming–it is present, but subtle and questionable.

Duke and Carmella had admired one another from afar and their attraction to one another only seemed to increase the more time they spent together. Since Carmella had experienced a bad relationship already, her trust was not easily won. This made it that much harder for their connection to take root. Although it wasn’t an easy feat to accomplish, Duke and Carmella’s connection did grow as the story progressed. I appreciated the author’s efforts to build upon that initial connection by having them share some fantastic candid moments along with honest dialogue about their pasts. It helped that Duke was relentless in his pursuit of Carmella and that they shared a great deal of chemistry. I especially enjoyed the undercurrent of sexual tension that existed between Duke and Carmella–in and out of the shop. Heated looks, whispered dirty words and flirty banter were only some of the elements that helped to showcase Duke and Carmella’s chemistry.

I appreciated the way the author wove Carmella’s story without it taking away from the romance that was building between Carmella and Duke. Especially since I enjoyed watching how their flirty banter and intimate encounters transitioned into something more meaningful but equally intense. The process was slow in coming, but very enjoyable since it provided many amusing moments and showcased how fantastic these two could be.

Which leaves me with the latest release in the series Coming Back, which is Mick’s story. As a fan of the series I couldn’t help but be intrigue by Mick. He had a tendency to keep to himself and whenever prompted to talk about his past relationships he would close off, which of course did nothing to soothe my rising curiosity. But now here’s his story and it was everything I was expecting and more!

Mick and Jess were childhood friends who already shared a deep connection when Adam came into the picture. But Mick’s family and his upbringing made him doubt his place in the relationship and he ultimately ran away and left Jess and Adam to reenlist in the military. Feeling out of control with Mick leaving and with continuing his relationship with Jess, Adam retreated to himself and broke away from Jess leaving her heartbroken and determined to move on.

Mick meets Asa and Duke while serving and eventually moves back home to work in Twisted Steel. He exchanges text and emails with Adam, who’s become a successful architect and has finally found a way to harness his need for control, but Mick hasn’t allowed himself to pursue more with him. All the while, Jess focuses on her work and becomes a successful costume designer and seamstress. Hell, she even attempts to have a relationship with another man. But it’s no use. Mick, Adam and Jess might be living full lives, but there’s an empty place that can only be filled by being together again.

Mick, Adam and Jess have a shared history that left them all with heartache and regrets. Coming together again to celebrate Mick’s success allows them the chance to rebuild bridges and try their hand at a relationship again. Although their love for one another has remained constant, they are not the same people they were back then.

These three are committed to not make the same mistakes that tore them apart, but that’s not to say that their journey is without obstacles, mistakes nor regrets.

What I enjoyed the most about this story was the way Lauren Dare allowed the reader to get to know each character as an individual while still giving them the opportunity to see them relate to one another as part of a triad relationship. I appreciated her effort in bringing forth their past connection while she strengthened and showcased how deeply connected they currently were. Of course, the fact that they shared an amazing chemistry added to my enjoyment, but if I’m being honest it was those candid moments spent talking about their past, their needs and their doubts that ultimately sold me on their relationship.

All in all, an amazing steamy yet romantic series. I’ve come to love the characters and have enjoyed seeing each of the men of Twisted Steel find their happily ever after. Lauren Dane has done a fantastic job with this series and I can’t wait to see what she has in store next for her readers.

*I received a copy of Falling Under and Coming Back in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt–Coming Back

“Shirt off, Jess,” Adam whispered in her ear like a fallen angel luring her to temptation.

“Just because it’s off doesn’t mean it has left my custody,” she told Mick as she whipped her shirt up and over her head. If she was expected to give back all the clothing she pilfered, she’d be naked a third of the time. She stole them, they were hers. That was the rule.

Mick’s grin made her tingly and swoony. Honestly, how could she ever have thought happiness was possible without these two people in her life?

“I’d never think to steal my shirts back once you have them.” Mick stepped close enough to slide his upper body against hers.

“Oh!”

Laughing, Mick reached around her to get Adam’s shirt free as well. “You too.”

Jessi turned in their arms so she could get a look at Adam, and holy cow was she glad she had. Tawny skin played over his upper body. No ink but on his inner forearm at his elbow. Jessilyn. In her handwriting. He’d shown it to her the last time she’d seen him.

“I never told you why I put your name there,” Adam said as she slid her fingertips over his skin.

She waited for the telling and when she did, he smiled, grinding his cock into her.

“You’re my addiction. The thing I need more than anything.”

Always so tough. So taciturn and grumpy. And yet, so very tender it broke her heart sometimes. Hell, he’d broken her heart more than once too. It came with loving him, she’d finally accepted.

“Is that why you denied yourself?” She gave in and combed her fingers through his hair. “And denied me too, I might add.”

“I had to work through a lot of shit, and I couldn’t do it with anyone else. I had to do it alone.” His voice was rough, full of guilt and anguish.

“I hear the guilt in your voice. Let it go.” Selfishly, she wanted him to be unfettered when he came to her at long last. So she’d know he was there for good.

“So you don’t hate me?” he asked.

Startled, her eyes widened and she tugged on his hair to get his attention. “I could never hate you, Adam, and if I did, I wouldn’t be here. I’m here because I’ve always been here, just waiting for you to remember that.”

He pressed into her body as Mick gave no quarter at her back. Being squeezed that way kept her immobile.

And it was delicious.

He said nothing else before he bent to kiss her. At first slow, teasing, sexy kisses that heated her belly and made her knees feel like noodles. He licked at her lips, teasing her mouth open until she sighed happily.

Mick played his fingertips up her sides, brushing over the curve of her breasts. “When I saw these tonight I knew you’d worn that dress for me.”

“I admit that when I tried it on and it had all that tasteful side boob I knew you’d appreciate it,” Jessi said as Adam moved away from her mouth.

“Who doesn’t appreciate it?” Adam asked as he stepped back enough to grab the waistband of her pajama bottoms and shove them down her legs, along with her panties. “As far as side boob goes, yours is aces.”

Jessi laughed and then got nervous because they both still had pants on and there she was naked as a jaybird.

“Mick, why don’t you lead our angel to the bed?” Like a switch had been thrown, Adam took charge. He drew authority around himself like a cloak.

Mick backed her up slowly, caressing her shoulder before pressing kisses across her skin.

It was really happening. After years of going through the motions, here it was, the moment she’d been waiting for since she’d woken up to find out Mick had reenlisted.

Desire made her limbs heavy, left her movements languid as Mick shifted to lay her back on Adam’s big bed.

“I’m naked and neither of you are,” she said, proud she’d remembered all her words. She got snagged up in the details. The muscles and ink. Both men’s gazes roamed her face and her body and there was no mistaking just how happy they were to be right there.

The inner walls of her pussy contracted on nothing, sharpening the ache.

“Patience,” Adam said.

She raised a brow his way. “Are you new here?”

Mick, laughing, bent to kiss her.

A crack sounded and Mick groaned into her mouth as he moved forward. Did Adam just spank Mick? Jeez, they had to hold some of this super hot stuff back or she’d burn to cinder.

She opened her eyes to watch Mick straighten, a flush on his neck. Adam liked it too, getting caught up for a few moments before turning back to Jessi.

“I’m not new here, no. I know you’re impatient and greedy when it comes to orgasms.”

Jessi grinned at Adam, knowing there was a but coming along soon.

“But I’m in charge. You’ll get what you’re begging for. When I’m ready to give it to you.”

One of those sort‑of orgasms, the kind you had in dreams, stole through her as she squeezed her thighs together. He was going to kill her from desire. Or something. She really couldn’t wait.

 

 

About the Author

Lauren Dane

The story goes like this: While on pregnancy bed rest, Lauren Dane had plenty of down time, so her husband took her comments about “giving that writing thing a serious go” to heart and brought home a secondhand laptop. She wrote her first book on it. Today, Lauren is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 60 novels and novellas across several genres.

 

 

 

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Hot New Release! Seduction and Surrender (Reckless #2) by C.C. Gibbs *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Seduction and Surrender
by C.C. Gibbs

An Erotic Romance
From Forever
Released December 1st 2015

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From the peaks of erotic ecstacy—to the point of no return . . .

Power. Passion. Pleasure beyond imagining. Billionaire playboy Rafe Contini offers all this—and more—to the beautiful Nicole Parrish, a young American traveler with a taste for adventure that matches his own. From the private yachts of Monte Carlo to the palatial estates of Geneva to the glittering penthouses of Bangkok, Rafe has shown her a world of unimaginable sensual delights. Now, he is ready to take her to the next daring level. Of danger. Of desire. Of deliciously erotic self-discovery . . .

Nicole has never known a man as sexy, as strong—or as commanding—as Rafe Contini. Night after steamy night, he turns up the heat, tests her boundaries, and pushes the limits of her body and soul to the point of sweetest agony. But when this masterful lover sweeps her away to a secluded island getaway—where anything can and will happen—Nicole must decide just how far she wants to take this game. And just how much she can bend Rafe’s rules . . .

 

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Review

3-5 stars

After events in the previous book, Rafe and Nicole relocate to gather their resources and continue their two week arrangement. Although burdened to fight the threat and surrounded by his men, Rafe’s determined to make the most of his time with Nicole. It seems he can’t get enough of her and Nicole appears to feel the same way. But as the danger moves in closer and their time comes to a close, can Rafe and Nicole make something more of their time together?

After reading Power and Possession I was looking forward to seeing how these two would fare in their ‘arrangement’.

Rafe and Nicole continue to have an intense chemistry that jumps of the page every moment they spent together. Rafe was trying to keep Nicole at bay of the threat against his business, which in turn had him pulled in two different directions–work and pleasure. This added to the tension between them, which made for a great read.

I did find that the longer it took Rafe to fight the threat against him, the more distracted he became. This had its advantages and disadvantages too. Like I said, he made every effort to keep Nicole distracted so he upped the ante and their sexual encounters increased in heat. Phew! Those two surely sizzled together. I did miss their candid moments, but the author more than made it up by bringing more emotion to their encounters. So a win-win there for me. 😉

In regards to the threat, I think the author made a great effort of keeping the reader intrigued while still not complicating the plot and overwhelming the reader. I found myself wondering what the hell was happening next and where the hell Zhou and his mistress/child were. I was eager for the threat to be eliminated so that I could finally know where Rafe and Nicole stood in their relationship, but I appreciated that the author didn’t skim on bringing forth the conflict.

As a follow-up book in the Reckless series, Seduction and Surrender, worked very well. Not only does the reader get a continuation on the arrangement started in the previous book, it also gave them an intriguing storyline and a set of fantastic characters that added something to the overall story.

Although I was satisfied by the story the author brought about, the story lost a bit of it luster. I attribute this to my difficulty to follow the multiple third person POV used, however, I can understand why the author felt the need to go this route. Nonetheless, it took me away from the story several times, which resulted in my interest waning from time to time.

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

 

Excerpt

Twenty minutes later, the helicopter banked steeply to the right, the pilot pointed, and Rafe’s private island rose out of the Adriatic Sea, spreading slowly across the horizon—a sizable expanse of mountainous landscape visible through the shimmering mist, a faint silhouette of a distant castle materializing out of the haze.

Nicole’s brows shot up in surprise. “A castle?” Leaning in close to Rafe so he could hear her over the rhythmic thump, thump, thump of the rotors, she felt a shiver run up her spine. “You didn’t mention a castle.” Castles had dungeons! Kink and dungeons were practically a stereotype, her overactive imagination pointed out, even as a flashback of images from way too many horror films suddenly had her heart tripping. Jesus, get a grip! She was on holiday with the most ridiculously beautiful, shamelessly lovable, wet dream of a man; life couldn’t be better. Okay?

“It’s not exactly a castle yet.” Rafe smiled. “It’s closer to a rock pile that’s burning through money. I call it my hobby. My accountant calls it a nightmare. ”

“Speaking of nightmares,” Nicole said, her apprehensions flaring again at the reference to things that go bump in the night. “Reassure me about dungeons. Don’t ask. It’s stupid, I know, but…”

Taking note of Nicole’s trepidation, Rafe chose a marginal lie rather than argue reality versus her wild imagination. “No dungeons. Don’t worry. And you’ll love the room that’s been restored in the tower,” he offered, avoiding further discussion of dungeons. “You can pretend you’re a twelfth-century demoiselle. I’ll pretend I’m the crusader who never reached the Holy Land, built this castle instead, and chose the lucrative life of a pirate.” He grinned. “So wanna play? I’ll make it worth your while.”

A small frown mirrored her lurking anxiety. “I don’t know—maybe, probably, let me think.” Rafe’s unencumbered views on wealth always gave her pause to consider—how he could buy anything and anyone, pleasure and perversion alike, no hassle, no questions. And the words pirate and play weren’t particularly reassuring on this remote island with its spectacular limestone cliffs, wind-swept twisted pines, and medieval ruins.

“Maybe?” A teasing query. “Look, if you must know—and don’t you dare laugh—your castle ruin is kinda creepy. It reminds me of Frankenstein’s monster.”

Rafe’s brows rose. “Seriously? You believe in that shit?”

“I’m trying not to— oh God, is that the tower?” As the distance to the island narrowed, the castle tower loomed, half derelict, dark and gloomy against the blue sky. She squinted, took a small breath, and muttered, “That’s scary.”

He stared at her. “You’re kidding.”

“Okay, how about it makes me a little unsettled?”

“Good.”

His smile was so wide, his goddamned dimples showed. “Meaning?” she said, half guarded, wishing she hadn’t watched so many spooky movies.

“Come on, pussycat, relax,” he said pleasantly. “I promise you’ll have fun.”

Nicole gave him a hard, steady look. “No offense, but I’m in the middle of fucking nowhere. I’m allowed to wuss out.”

He flicked a glance at the passengers behind them. “You’re in the middle of nowhere with beaucoup bodyguards. You’re safe as hell.” A small smile. “If that’s what you want.”

“They’re your bodyguards.” Her eyes grew wide. “Jesus, don’t look at me like that.”

His smile was pure, bad-boy brilliance. “Like what?”

“Like you’re going to eat me alive.”

“As I recall, you like—”

She put her hand over his mouth because the pilot was grinning and she wasn’t anywhere near as blasé as he was.

He licked her palm and she jerked her hand back and tried to glare at him, but he was smiling at her now like she was the best thing that had ever happened to him and her frustration fell away before the flat-out beauty of his smile.

Recognizing her capitulation, he leaned in, tucked a dark curl behind her ear, and kissed her cheek softly. “Consider me your guardian angel,” he murmured, and at her skeptical look, amended it to “Personal guardian—how about that? And we’ll have privacy once we land.” He flicked a glance toward the pilot. “Just you and me. No one else.”

“Except for those people down there.” She pointed at a small village of whitewashed, blue-roofed houses spilling down the hillside from the castle gates. “And the staff required for that.” A sprawling peach-colored Venetian palazzo surrounded by gardens came into view beyond the castle walls.

Rafe touched her ear with his lips. “Everyone will keep their distance. I’ve given orders. So you’re free to scream as loud as you like, wherever and whenever you like.”

She turned, grinning. “Appreciate your foresight and planning.”

“I’m here to make you happy, Tiger.”

 

 

Reckless series

See how Rafe and Nicole’s story begins in book one in the Reckless series, POWER AND POSSESSION

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

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

A Contemporary Romance
From Forever
Released November 24th 2015

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

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

 

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Review

4 stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Excerpt

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

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

But something was shifting

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

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

She felt an unfamiliar spark of anger.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what kissing was supposed to be like.

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

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

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

Maggie closed her eyes. “I want this.”

I want you.

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Lauren Layne

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

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New Release! Where the Heart Leads (What the Heart Wants, #2) by Jeanell Bolton *Excerpt*

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Where the Heart Leads (What the Heart Wants, #2)
by Jeanell Bolton

A Contemporary Romance
From Forever Yours
Released November 17th 2015

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A woman’s past…

A new beginning. It’s the only thing former child star Moira Farrar wants. Putting her painful Hollywood memories in the rearview mirror, she’s headed to Texas and to an exciting new job directing a small-town theater group. But it’s the sinfully sexy smile of red-headed rancher Rafe McAllister that makes Moira really dream of starting over-even though she knows that anything more than a fling would set the stage for heartbreak.

A cowboy’s future…

When Rafe buried his wife three years ago, he buried his heart along with her. Now, the only woman in his life is his daughter . . . and all of the women in Bosque Bend know that. But from the moment he lays eyes on Moira, he feels alive again. Maybe it’s her quick wit and clear-eyed compassion. Whatever it is, Rafe wants Moira, body and soul. So why is she so skittish? Rafe aims to find out-before his second chance at happiness rides off into the sunset…

 

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Excerpt

Moira followed Sarge through the barn door.  No rain had fallen yet, but navy blue clouds had gathered at the edge of the sky and the air smelled of ozone  She looked around the barnRocky was nowhere in sight, but Astrid was leaning against Dakota’s stall, waiting for them.

She pushed off the stall and walked over to them.  “Rocky had to take care of her car so I rubbed down both horses and put them in their stalls.  Rafe, that Bella horse tried to bite me.  I’ve never had a horse do that before.”

Rafe shook his head.  “Bella’s vicious—bad to the bone.  I’m surprised you could handle

her at all.”

He swung off his horse and reached up for Delilah. As he lowered her to the ground, a

thunderclap shook the barn, and she buried her face against his leg.

Astrid stepped forward.   “Rafe, how about I run Delilah into the house right quick before the rain starts while you take care of Star?” 

“Good idea.”  Rafe knelt down to his daughter’s level.  “Miss Astrid is going to get your to the house before the rain starts, sugar.  She’ll take care of you till the pretty lady and I come in.”

As Astrid and Delilah started up the road, Moira swung her leg over Star’s back, but before she could reach the ground, Rafe’s arms were at her waist and he was turning her to face him.

Her heart pounded, and she grasped his shoulders.  She wasn’t expecting this.  And she didnt want it—or maybe she did.

He slid her slowly down his body, tight against his hardness, and she felt the heat rise in her cheeks.  Her breathing turned to a soft pant and the barn was suddenly much too warm.

Oh God, she did want it. 

He kissed her—softly, gently, lingeringly.

She felt faint.  She felt happy.  Her ears rang.  She could live in this moment forever.

His voice was a whisper in her ear.  “Have lunch with me tomorrow in town.”

Moira nodded, so full of wonder she could hardly speak.  One syllable was all she could get out, but it was enough.

“Yes.”

*

The rain came in spits and spatters, first a polite pitter-pat, and the next minute, a windshield-blinding maelstrom, then back to the droplets again.  Moira gazed out the window of the car at the sodden landscape, but didn’t really see a thing.

Good thing Astrid had volunteered to drive.  She’d have run them off into a ditch.

What had Rafe McAllister done to her?   Her pulse was thumping and her nerves humming and she felt like she was floating on air.  God help her, that was exactly what it had been like when Colin kissed her the first time.

Remember that, Moira, and dont let yourself get caught in another spider web. Forget about love.  The windshield wipers backed her up with each swish–sex only, sex only, sex only.

Astrid shot her a quick look.  “Okay—spill.  What happened with you and the cowboy?  You’ve been in another universe ever since I left you two alone in the barn.”

 

 

About Jeanell Bolton

Award-winning author Jeanell Bolton is an active member of the Austin chapter of Romance Writers of America. She has three children, one husband, and one dog. She lives on five glorious wooded acres in the boondocks of Georgetown, Texas. In past lives, she has been a teacher, an activist, an artist, a journalist, and a chorus director, but she is now settled into writing about deep, dark romances which end up happily ever after, which is how it always should be.

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New Release! Last True Hero (Battle Scars #1) by Diana Gardin *Review and Excerpt*

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Last True Hero (Battle Scars #1)
by Diana Gardin

A Contemporary Romance
From Forever Yours
Released November 10th 2015

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Army Ranger Dare Conners has been through hell. He’s left combat behind, yet the memories that refuse to fade are proving just as dangerous. Ordered to take R&R, he joins his buddy for beaches, beers, and babes-if that can’t cure him, nothing will. But when he meets Berkeley, a woman who affects him like no one else, a new kind of battle begins . . .

An Admiral’s daughter, Berkeley knows her life has been planned since birth. The right school, the right boyfriend-and now that she’s graduated-the right marriage. But after years of being right, Berkeley is ready to be a little wrong. And Dare Conners has wrong written all over him. The sexy soldier has a body built for sin and secrets he won’t share. What starts as a fling quickly grows into something more. But summer can’t last forever, and when the truth comes out, both Berkeley and Dare could be in for quite a fall.

 

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Review

4 stars

Dare Conners is looking for a place to settle down after years in the military so he decides to take his friend’s offer to spend time at his place in Lone Sands. As soon as he arrives, he feels like he made the right decision. Especially after he meets Berkeley.

Berkeley knows all too well what being a military wife is all about and she wants nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, her father has other plans–he already has her marrying her best friend Grisham, an officer in the Navy. Determined to keep her independence, Berkeley keeps working as a waitress at a restaurant where soon she will meet Dare, the very man that will turn her life upside down.

I was drawn into the story from the very beginning. I loved Dare and enjoyed his voice. He was driven and smart with a no nonsense attitude. He was also loyal and protective of his loved ones and determined to fight for what he wanted.

I didn’t care much for Berkeley at the beginning. She complained about her family situation, but I didn’t see her actively working to distance herself from them or their plans for her. It wasn’t until almost the end of the story that she grew some backbone and stood up for herself and what she wanted. Too little too late if you ask me.

In any case, I liked Berkeley with Dare. He had a way of bringing the softer, flirty side of her that complemented his easy going personality. I enjoyed their interactions and the way the author brought their connection to the page. Their chemistry was instant and easily palpable from the moment they met, but it was their connection and how I watched it grow and strengthen throughout that made the difference for me.

This is my first book by this author, but it certainly won’t be the last. Diana Gardin’s writing was precise and her use of emotions spot-on. I enjoyed the conflict and its resolution and the way she brought it all together without taking away from the romance.

As the first book in the series, Last True Hero served its purpose and more. Not only did we get Berkeley and Dare’s story, we also got to meet some intriguing key characters and a pretty good idea of what to expect from upcoming books.

All in all, a great start to a series.

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

 

Excerpt

I had wondered myself why someone like her would be working as a waitress. Hell, I would never knock someone’s job options or choices, and I don’t look down on any profession. Everyone has to make ends meet. But for Berkeley to be waiting tables when she drives an Escalade, I had to wonder. Now, seeing how put-together and affluent her parents look, I’m wondering even harder.

What makes this girl do the things she does?

And that question sets off a spark of intense interest in my brain. My brain is interested in Berkeley now, not just my body.

The tigress sends her parents packing, and by the time she makes it back to my booth, I’m chuckling. I rub a hand over the stubble on my chin and meet her eyes.

“That was interesting,” I remark, giving nothing away.

“Trust me, Dare. You want no part of my parents right now. I don’t introduce them to guys I date.”

“No? Never?”

“Never. They’re more trouble than they’re worth.” She blows out a frustrated breath, which sends that cute stray strand of hair hanging over her eye flying skyward.

“I’m going to want to know more about that at some point. But what do you want to do tonight?”

“Honestly?” She puts out a hand and pulls me to my feet.

I reach out and brush the stray strand behind her ear. Just the small amount of contact sends heat coursing through my body, landing with an aching twitch in my groin. “I always want honesty from you, Berkeley.”

I’ve been preparing myself for this all day. I’m ready to take her to see a movie, or to some swanky-ass wine bar on the oceanfront.

“Okay.” A mischievous gleam enters her eyes. “I worked a double today, and my feet kind of hurt. All I really want to do tonight is kick off my shoes and drink a beer. And look at the stars.”

I reach up and pull on my earlobe a few times, wanting to make sure my ears are functioning properly. She wants to…what the fuck? Finally, I speak. “For real?”

She nods firmly. “Absolutely.”

I grab her hand and begin pulling her quickly out the door.

“What are you doing?” Her question is blurred by giggles and squeals. All of which I like.

“I’m getting you out of here fast, before you change your mind and tell me that what you actually want to do is go wine tasting or see a chick flick.”

I stop in my tracks as I survey the tiny gravel lot. Cars are spilling out onto the street beyond. “Where’s your car?”

When I look at her, she’s smiling a coy smile that lets me know my guess earlier about her being an evil vixen siren was correct. “I had my friend Mea drop me off. I’m with you tonight, soldier.”

It’s way too soon for a first kiss. It’s way too soon for a first kiss. This is my mantra as I stare at her, my eyes wandering from her eyes, to her amazingly sexy hair, to her lips, to her cute button nose, back to her lips…

When she pulls the bottom one into her mouth, my gaze is stuck to that spot. I’m telling myself that if I kiss her right now, I’ll scare her away and ruin everything I suddenly want to build. I manage to tear my eyes away from the succulent lip and take her hand again.

“My truck is this way.”

I’m not a small guy, around six feet, three inches. Berkeley is about a foot shorter than I am. Rather than watch her struggle to simply make it up the step rail, I grip her around the waist and lift her up into her seat. Her eyes meet mine as she settles into the leather, and we remain locked as I pull her seat belt and cross it over her torso, sliding it into the buckle on the other side of her. When I pull back, I swear I see a trail of sparks that follow. Heat explodes in my gut, and I can’t remember the last time a woman made me feel like I needed to douse myself with cold water from a mere graze of skin. I close her door and take a deep breath as I walk around to my side of the truck.

When I’m seated with the engine running, I ask her where I should go. “To the 7-Eleven for our beer, and then…where do you live? Is it on the beach, by any chance?”

I smile and pull out of the lot. “It’s pretty damn close.”

“Perfect. Let’s go to your place.”

I drive. As I pull into the 7-Eleven parking lot, I glance at her. She’s lounging in her seat, perfectly at home in my truck. I swallow thickly, trying to dispel the ball of instant attraction still stuck somewhere between my chest and my dick.

This girl might be the slow, epically painful death of me. But damn, what a way to go.

 

About Diana Gardin

Diana Gardin is a wife of one and a mom of two. Writing is her second full time job to that, and she loves it! Diana writes contemporary romance in the Young Adult and New Adult categories. She’s also a former Elementary school teacher. She loves steak, sugar cookies, and Coke and hates working out.

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Tour: Blowback (Alpha Ops, #4) by Emmy Curtis *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Blowback (Alpha Ops, #4)
by Emmy Curtis

A Contemporary Romantic Suspense Novel
From Forever Yours
Releasing November 10th 2015

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One year ago, David Church kissed a beautiful, brilliant woman on an airfield in Iraq—and hasn’t stopped thinking about her ever since. Now, the military veteran gets a chance to rekindle that fire when he sees his lost love again—looking sexier than ever—at an international conference in Athens. David yearns to take her in his arms, to hold her close and never let go. But when the bullets begin to fly, it’s not just his heart on the line. It’s his life.

When Molly Solent agreed to deliver intelligence for the U.S. government, she didn’t realize she’d be caught in the crossfire of a surprise ambush—and underneath the hard-muscled body of David Church. Shielding her from harm and swearing to protect her, the elite bodyguard reignites a searing passion that Molly can’t resist. But with unforeseen danger around every corner—and unquenchable desire in every embrace—falling in love could be the greatest risk of all…

 

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Review

4 stars

Molly Solent, an archaeologist, is getting ready for her trip to Athens where she will be serving as a guest speaker at a convention when she’s contacted to deliver a message to a Russian colleague. She’s not a spy and has never done this kind of thing before, but how hard can it be to pass a piece of paper to an acquaintance? Molly soon finds out that losing her luggage is not her biggest problem when shots start firing and she comes face to face with the man she hasn’t stopped thinking about in the past year.

The events that took place a year ago, served as a wake-up call for David Church. Ever since, he’s been trying to get his life back together, not once forgetting the woman he made a promise to and failed to keep. Although he only met her briefly, David can’t seem to get Molly out of his mind. He regrets not fulfilling his promise and knows that he probably lost his chance with her, but he must focus on the mission at hand and leave his past behind if he wants to continue moving forward in his life. So of course, seeing Molly in Athens and having her in harm’s way puts him off kilter. Now he must try to keep her safe while dealing with all the emotions he has kept contained for the past year.

I admit, I didn’t remember much of David or Molly from the previous book so I had to go back and re-read to refresh my memory and quite frankly I can’t believe how I managed to forget those two. It was apparent there was something there for me to latch on, but I guess my focus was elsewhere in the story. However, as soon as I started Blowback I was all in.

Danger. Sexual tension. Intrigue. Uncertainty. Emmy Curtis certainly has a knack for bringing the right mixture of elements to capture a reader’s attention. These elements and more were present and brought to the page to impact the reader and entice them to keep on reading. I was curious to see what the hell was going to happen and how David and Molly were going to get out of the mess alive so they could finally get the chance to be together.

I loved David. He was strong and protective and yet still had a vulnerable air to him because of his past. He kept his emotions tightly reined in, so it was a treat to see how much Molly’s presence affected him. I admired his determination to keep her safe, but wanted to throttle him so hard when his insecurities made him keep his distance from her.

I truly didn’t think much of Molly initially, but as the story progressed I admired the way she stepped up to the plate. I enjoyed watching her confidence grow and admired her determination to go after David once and for all–regardless of what would or wouldn’t happen in the future. In end, I thought she complemented David very well.

Although I re-read Pushing the Limit before starting, Blowback can be read as a stand alone. The author does a great job in setting up David and Molly’s story so the reader won’t have a problem following along.

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

 

Excerpt

“You promised to come find me, but it felt like you were promising more.” Her voice wavered as she attempted to cross her arms over her breasts. He tried to keep his eyes on her face.

There was no way he could lie to her, not with her standing there, naked and vulnerable.

“I did promise”—he paused—“but I probably was in no shape to promise anything.” And now he wanted to promise her everything, but still wasn’t sure if he should. “I’m sorry. I should have called. Written. But it never felt like the right time…” I didn’t want to hurt you. I never deserved you.

“Did you think about me?” she asked softly.

His dick was heavy and hot in his pants. He didn’t answer her immediately, wondering if he should admit to his weakness. He was trying control this dynamite, trying to get some control over the room again, when every part of his brain wanted to lose itself in her.

“Every day. I…”—He stopped himself going too far. Past the point of no return—“Every day.”

Her crossed arms dropped, as well as her gaze. His body started working without permission.

He couldn’t even put up a token resistance. An honorable one. Honor was already in his rearview mirror.

He tugged his T-shirt over his head and slowly went to her. Slowly so he could marvel at her, the sudden light in her eyes.

He was far from certain. About what he wanted from her, about the wisdom of getting entangled—because he had no doubt that is exactly what he was doing. With every step he was getting irrevocably entangled in Molly.

 

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Alpha Ops series

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Dangerous Territory (Alpha Ops, #1)
Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Over the Line (Alpha Ops, #2)
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Pushing the Limit (Alpha Ops, #3)
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About Emmy Curtis

Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She’s lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference…well, she already considers you kin.

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