New Release Review and Spotlight: DECONSTRUCTING LILA by Shannon Leigh

Shirtless cowboys…can’t go wrong, am I right?

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Deconstructing Lila
Shannon Leigh

She’ll bring him to his knees…

Preservationist Lila Gentry returns to her small Texas hometown to restore the famous Chisholm Trail whorehouse where her great-great-grandmother was a madam in the 1880s. On her agenda is winning back Jake, the one that got away. But how do you rope a man who doesn’t want to be wrangled?

Jake lives by one creed: Keep it simple. His ex showing up in town complicates his life and makes him think about things he’d rather forget.

When Lila’s restoration project is threatened before it even begins, she turns to Jake for help. Working together stirs up old feelings, but while Lila and Jake always sizzle between the sheets—or wherever the moment takes them—it will involve some sweet-talking and finesse to bring these two together.

 

Review:

Deconstructing Lila has an interesting structure–Lila and Jake’s modern second-chance romance, told in the narrative, parallels that of Lila’s ancestress Prudence MacIntyre and her rancher significant other, Luke Gentry, revealed through journal entries and Pru’s relationship “lessons”. I enjoyed the dual stories–a bonus historical romance within a contemporary–though I would have liked to have gotten a lot more detail about Pru’s life than we actually do. I suppose, though, that Lila got more page time since technically it’s her (and Luke’s) story–but still. The life of an 19th century madam would be pretty fascinating to read about.

There’s a touch of mystery in the novel–just who sent Lila the journal? She also has some fairly major family surprises along the way. Jake, on top of dealing with the fact the girl he drove away is back once more, is also due for his yearly doctor’s visit–is the reason that he sent Lila packing also back? Oh, and did I mention that Lila’s trying to buy and restore Pru’s former “house of ill repute”, which was slated for the wrecking ball, and Jake’s crew is the only one in town qualified to do the work?

There’s a whole lot of drama going on in those 300+ pages.

But…it was pretty slow moving drama. I liked the characters–Granny in particular was a hoot–but on the whole neither Lila nor Jake ever seemed to really get invested in their problems, which made it hard for me to get overly emotional about them either. In the end, both the contemporary and the historical plots are resolved fairly abruptly, with their individual crises ending so easily it’s almost as if the obstacles were never even there at all.

This was my first book by Shannon Leigh. Though it didn’t quitework for me, there is definite promise here–I’d be more than willing to give another of her books a try in the future.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Excerpt:

Jake saw Lila the minute she pulled onto the site. His heart completed a painful three-sixty in his chest as he watched her long legs appear from underneath the car door, followed by her torso encased in a clinging white cotton tank.

She was a fragrant tropical breeze blowing through the desert. And he was a man in need of relief.

He watched her climb the steps to the pad, her light- colored trousers hugging the rounded shape of her bottom.

He felt an immediate response from below, a tightening of his balls inside his jeans, a pulsing he didn’t need at the moment.

Turning his back on his her, Jake studied the plans of the house under construction. The dimensions for the garage swam before his eyes as he listened to Otis greet Lila.

He couldn’t make out their conversation, but the soft melody of her voice comforted him, reassured him in a way he hadn’t felt in some time. She had the ability to do that, put him at ease with the simple sound of her voice. To Jake, Lila represented home. No matter where they were, what they were doing, as long as she was there, he was home.

 

 

 

 

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Author Bio:

Growing up in Hell’s Back Forty, Shannon Leigh developed a fierce loyalty to all things Texas and pledged to share the romance of small town dance halls and the flavor of brisket BBQ with readers.  Currently, she lives in Fort Worth with an extensive cowboy boot collection, a red and white, ’67 Chevy pickup and a mission to find the best taco stands in the city.

She’s been writing since Jesus was a small boy, but recently found a home with the uber wonderful folks at Entangled Publishing.

When she’s not writing fiction, she writes features for local magazines, sells real estate, and runs around with a particular 11 year old known as “The Boy.”

Website  * Twitter  * Facebook  * Goodreads

YOU OWN ME by Shiloh Walker is a Kindle Daily Deal!

YOU OWN ME by Shiloh Walker is one of today’s Kindle Daily Deals! YOU OWN ME is a stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novella and is 99 cents today only, so go grab this hot little read  :)

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Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** Kobo ** iTunes ** ARe

About YOU OWN ME:

It had always been her…

Ten years had passed since the doors slammed shut behind Decker Calhoun, taking away his freedom, but more importantly, locking him away from Elizabeth Waters, the only woman he’d ever loved—the woman he’d given up everything for.

The day he was sentenced, he’d looked at her and said, No regrets, Lizzie. But he lied, because he did have one. Although he’s been out of jail for three years now, he was a year too late. Lizzie never knew how he felt and just months before he was released, she found somebody else and it’s too late.

Or maybe not. It seems that Lizzie’s boyfriend wants an open relationship and two can play at that game. Now all Decker has to do is convince Lizzie that he’s the better man…and has been all along.

Excerpt:

Snarling, he tore his mouth from hers and jerked away, sitting at the far end of the futon. With hands that shook, he rubbed at his face.

Son of a bitch.

“Lizzie…fuck. I’m sorry.”

A harsh intake of breath reached his ears and the last thing he wanted to do was face her, but that was what he made himself do.

The minute he turned his head to look at her, she surged up off the futon, moving across the small office to stand by her desk, head bowed, arms wrapped around herself. “Get out,” she said, her voice quiet.

Too quiet.

“Lizzie?” Wincing, he climbed off the couch. “Look, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have—”

“Don’t.” The word was pure steel and it caught him off-guard, for a second.

But just a second. Because while Lizzie was soft and sweet, under all of that, she was steel. She always had been—he’d figured that out when he hadn’t chased her off within the first few hours of meeting her. Now, as she turned and looked at him, tears glinted in her wide, dark brown eyes, but nothing could hide the fury, and the hurt, in those eyes.

Fuck, he thought miserably. Rising from the couch, he lifted a hand only to let it fall uselessly to his side. “Lizzie, I’m sorry. I didn’t—”

“I don’t want to hear it!” she shouted, cutting him off.

He had to duck to avoid the little potted orchid she sent flying his way. And damn, she still had a good throwing arm.

“Do you hear me?” she said, her voice starting to shake. “I don’t want to hear. I get it, okay? Nobody wants me. No fucking body. I’m fine as a doormat for Noel as long as I let him treat me like shit, but he doesn’t want me. Neither do you. I get it. Okay?”

Stunned shock rippled through him as she shoved her tumbled hair back from her flushed face. Her eyes shot sparks as their gazes clashed. “I get the point. You’re a fucking hound dog and I know that. But I’m not good en—”

He caught the rest of her words with his mouth and when she went to shove him back, he caught her wrists, too. Sinking his teeth into her lower lip, he backed her up against her desk. “Not want you?” he muttered against her mouth. “Are you blind?”

She tried to turn her head and he tangled a hand in her hair, yanked it back. Her pupils flared, her mouth falling open on a startled moan. “Give me your mouth, Lizzie,” he said and then, without waiting, he took it, thrusting his tongue deep.

She bit him and he responded by letting her wrists go and catching her hips, boosting her up with one arm while he used the other to swipe out against her desk, clearing it with one careless gesture. Lizzie worked her hands between them and although he didn’t break away from her mouth, part of him held his breath—waited.

When she reached up and tangled her hands in his hair, he snarled in savage satisfaction.

Lying her down on her desk, he broke away. Her hands clutched at him and he caught them, shifted her wrists to one hand and pushed them up over her head. Then, as he held her gaze, he reached down and freed the top button of the top she wore. With each successive button, he bared more and more skin, pale, pretty skin, lush curves, her breasts cupped by silk and lace and his brain almost exploded as he flicked a look from her face downward to study those ripe curves.

“My hands are shaking,” he said, struggling to keep his voice from doing the same as he trailed his fingers along the delicate lace design of her bra, watching as a soft blush pinked her flesh and started to climb upward. “I’ve dreamed about touching you a thousand times and now I am and my hands are shaking…”

Now he looked at her, watched her throat work as she swallowed.

“And you think I don’t want you.”

You own me

Author PhotoAbout Shiloh Walker:

Shiloh Walker is an award-winning writer…yes, really! She’s also a mom, a wife, a reader and she pretends to be an amateur photographer. She published her first book in 2003. Her newest series, Secrets and Shadows, launched in April 2014. Look for the newest book Deeper than Need, to be followed by Sweeter than Sin and Darker than Desire.

She writes romantic suspense, contemporary and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy under the name J.C. Daniels.

 

 

 

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Cover Reveal: HUNDRED TO ONE by Freya Barker (A Cedar Tree Novel)

Today, we have the cover reveal for Freya Baker’s Hundred to One.
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Title: Hundred To One (Cedar Tree #2)
Author: Freya Barker
Release date: December 29, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Model: Steve Gehrke
Photographer: Ivan Avila
Cover Design: Rebel Edit & Design
One Hundred to One Goodreads

 

About Hundred to One:

Arlene Bowers is as tough as nails. She has survived a less than perfect marriage, managing to move past it to run her own diner. Her abrasive exterior has always been a way for her to hide behind the darkness and pain that she has endured, but a recent, violent attack and several disturbing phone calls have that tight hold on her emotions wavering.

Seb Griffin showed up in Cedar Tree eight months ago and was hired on at Arlene’s Diner as a cook. An ex-con with secrets of his own, Seb walks a fine line. Since he began working at the diner, he’s developed feelings for his fierce, stubborn boss, and the need to keep his distance from her, to protect her, is a daily struggle.

When it appears that Arlene’s past has come back, rearing its ugly head while her defenses are low, Seb steps up and claims responsibility for Arlene, praying that he can keep her safe from whatever is coming her way.

**Due to content of a sexually explicit nature, this book is recommended for a mature audience only.**

 

 

Excerpt:

Seb hasn’t moved from his spot and is still looking at me.

“What?” My hands are on my hips and if my chin was sticking up any higher my head would roll off my back.

“You were nice.” He says with an eyebrow raised.

“So? I can be nice. Just cause I haven’t had a reason to before doesn’t mean I don’t know how.” And I immediately busy myself wiping down the counters… again.

“Uh huh…” Comes from right behind me before I feel arms sliding around my waist.

“I like you nice.” He mumbles with his face buried in my neck, which has my body on high alert and aching.

“Don’t get used to it.” I manage, but I can’t resist leaning back a little, feeling his hard chest behind me. One big hand slides up under my work shirt and his rough fingers skim my stomach. My instant reaction is to suck that baby right in, but he catches me.

“So soft. It’s nice.”

Just the feeling of a man’s hands on me; this man’s hands on me, causes me to moan. It’s been so long since I have felt anything other than anger from a man’s hand. There is no anger in Seb’s touch, just a teasing gentleness that makes my wild side flare up and take notice.

When I feel his callused fingertips brush the underside of my breast, then slip under my bra, my breath hitches in anticipation. Damn I want his hands on me, his mouth on me. My nipples are so tight, they are almost painful, and when his touch finally finds them I can’t hold back anymore.

“Seb…” Reaching behind me I pull his head down and attack his mouth. My tongue eagerly finding entrance and tasting his. Hands tangling in his hair. I can feel his resistance waning and a greedy whimper escapes me.

He breaks the kiss, looks at me with eyes that are almost as black as midnight. Turns and lifts me up on the counter, initiating himself between my legs. Pulling at my knees so that my wet and aching centre is lined up with what is a mouthwatering erection. Instinctively I wrap my legs around him, pressing him closer to my core. His hands now both under my shirt and working at releasing my bra. He shoves it out of the way along with my shirt and latches on to my breast while plumping the other with his hand. And I have lost all reason.

“So fucking tasty.” Is all I can hear before he switches to the other side.

Eager to touch him, my hands trace his arms, shoulders and with my fingers I start pulling up his shirt, needing to touch his skin.

The phone rings.

“Fuck!” Seb swears as he leans his head to my sternum, all movements stilled by the insistent ringing. He pulls my shirt down and half in a daze I reach over to grab the receiver off the hook.

“A- … Arlene’s Diner.” I manage to get out.

“You think you can get away with that? You fucking whore! I’ll teach you…”

 

 

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Author Bio:

Freya Barker has always been creative. Involved in music and dance when she was younger, she followed it up with cake design, quilting, and has most recently added cover design, the Dutch-born Canadian mother of two now has found her voice – writing.

Freya Barker is the pen name for a well-respected reviewer/blogger, who has a strong following on her blog, Facebook and Goodreads. As an avid reader, the next step to pen a book of her own seemed natural.

Driven to make her story about ‘real’ people, Freya writes about people who are perhaps less than perfect, but just as deserving of romance, hot monkey sex and some thrills and chills in their lives!

 

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Lily Maxton’s (Author of THE LOVE MATCH) Top Five Must-Read Historical Romance Novels

Author Lily Maxton is here today, offering her expert advice on what we must add to our TBRs ASAP.

In case you missed it, I reviewed her latest novella, THE LOVE MATCH, here!  love-words red

Top Five Must-Read Historical Romance Novels (according to Lily Maxton)

  1. As You Desire by Connie Brockway

Oh my God. This. Book. I’m probably going to turn you off with how much I love it, but love it I do. Late Victorian era, set in Egypt. It’s exotic. It’s lush. It’s romantic. It has one of my favorite romance heroes of all time, Harry Braxton, a rogue who loves his Desdemona (or Dizzy) with all his wounded little heart. And it contains the famous Egypt speech. You might not think being compared to a country would be insanely romantic, but it is. Trust me. Or trust this little snippet instead:

“You are my country, Desdemona…My Egypt. My hot, harrowing desert and my cool, verdant Nile, infinitely lovely and unfathomable and sustaining.”

  1. Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

McNaught is one of the queens of historical romance, hands down. But sometimes her heroes are complete assholes. This one has all the trappings of a McNaught—great writing, turbulent, angsty emotions, a lot of misunderstandings—without the abusive hero.  Ian Thornton is awesome, Scottish (mmm), and so romantic. He’s definitely my favorite Judith McNaught hero.

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  1. What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long

The thing that pulls me in the most with Julie Anne Long is her lyricism. She writes beautifully, and here her writing is paired with a couple that I absolutely love—quiet Genevieve and the intimidating Duke of Falconbridge (Alex) who also happens to be almost twenty years older than her. I have to say that Long has made this couple so quirky and lovable that the age difference doesn’t even register after awhile, and that’s quite a feat.

  1. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

I think I read a review somewhere that called Julia Quinn the modern day Jane Austen, and I’d have to say I agree with that. When you pick up a book by Julia Quinn you know it’s going to be witty and insightful. I love reading about the Bridgerton family, but this is probably my favorite book in the series. The Pall Mall game with the Mallet of Death is just too funny.

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  1. Lisa Kleypas

But Lisa Kleypas isn’t a book, you say. No, she’s a goddess, but I digress…  I’m assuming a lot of people would put Dreaming of You here, which is an awesome book, but I don’t love it as much as some of her other ones. Anything from the Hathaway and Wallflower series is great, too, but if I had to pick just one Lisa Kleypas book to take with me on a desert island, it would be Where Dreams Begin. Zachary Bronson is one of Kleypas’s self-made men, uncouth and rakish, and Lady Holly is a proper, gentle widow. He wants her, so he hires her as an etiquette instructor for his family and she moves into his home. Once they’re in close proximity, physical attraction gradually changes to love, mutual respect, and a surprisingly sweet romance (plus even hotter physical attraction!) This is opposites attract in the best kind of way.

 

Thanks so much for being here today, Lily! I have to say I agree with you 100% on As You Desire and The Viscount Who Loved Me–definitely two of my all-time favorites! (The Mallet of Death–OMG, one of my favorite scenes ever!) Adding the rest to my TBR as soon as I’m done here… ;)

 

About the Author:

Lily Maxton grew up in the Midwest, reading, writing, and daydreaming amidst cornfields. After graduating with a degree in English, she decided to put her natural inclinations to good use and embark on a career as a writer.

When she’s not working on a new story, she likes to tour old houses, add to her tea stash, and think of reasons to avoid housework.

 

About The Love Match:

Hampshire, 1818

To her family, Olivia Middleton is a problem of the most vexing sort. With her older two sisters married off, Olivia is now the target of her mother’s matrimonial scheming. Shy and somewhat plain, Olivia prefers the thrill of a gothic novel to the hunt for a husband. And as far as her family is concerned, something must be done. But Olivia has no interest in the men paraded before her-except, perhaps, the sought-after bachelor William Cross. But she’s not about to inflate his already oversized ego by telling him so.

William has sworn never to wed, but that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy women. What he excels at most is flirtation… unless the woman is question is Olivia Middleton. She barely bats an eyelash at his most creative compliments. She laughs at his attempts to flatter her when other ladies would swoon. William is reluctantly intrigued by Olivia, particularly when he discovers the passion simmering beneath her wallflower facade. A passion that should be to his benefit…

Because he’s determined to impress her, by fair means or foul…

New Release Review: THE LOVE MATCH by Lily Maxton (Sisters of Scandal #3)

Lily’s on the blog today, talking about must-read historical romances. Catch her list here.

The Love Match
by Lily Maxton
Sisters of Scandal #3
Historical Romance novella

About the book:

Hampshire, 1818

To her family, Olivia Middleton is a problem of the most vexing sort. With her older two sisters married off, Olivia is now the target of her mother’s matrimonial scheming. Shy and somewhat plain, Olivia prefers the thrill of a gothic novel to the hunt for a husband. And as far as her family is concerned, something must be done. But Olivia has no interest in the men paraded before her-except, perhaps, the sought-after bachelor William Cross. But she’s not about to inflate his already oversized ego by telling him so.

William has sworn never to wed, but that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy women. What he excels at most is flirtation… unless the woman is question is Olivia Middleton. She barely bats an eyelash at his most creative compliments. She laughs at his attempts to flatter her when other ladies would swoon. William is reluctantly intrigued by Olivia, particularly when he discovers the passion simmering beneath her wallflower facade. A passion that should be to his benefit…

Because he’s determined to impress her, by fair means or foul…

 

Review:

A bookworm and a writer? A match made in heaven–with an absolutely sigh-worthy proposal. Why don’t more proposals involve books? An oversight, surely…

Olivia’s the last remaining Middleton sister–we saw her two elder siblings marry in The Affair and The Wager , and though she’s happy for them both, Olivia’s not sure she’ll ever have what they do. She is sure, though, that she doesn’t want to settle for less.

William, who saw his father ruined by love, suspects that he might take after his mother instead–a woman who had no qualms about leaving her husband and young son behind forever to move to a foreign country with another man. He doesn’t intend to marry, but an ill-advised slip (he told one matron he would only marry for a “love match”, fully suspecting that it would never actually happen) has made him the target for countless determined females. But the socially-awkward Olivia Middleton is the only one who’s actually caught his interest…

I loved Olivia’s tendency to blurt out patently false things when she was nervous (not on purpose, exactly–she just was usually desperate for something, anything to say and would say the first thing that came to mind, even if her next statement would be a bald contradiction of it) and how many times, even in such a short novella, those statements came back to haunt her. It definitely makes her a highly sympathetic character to shy bookworms everywhere.

Their romance is quick–most of it takes place at a house party–but sweet and believable. I loved that she stood up for herself until the end–especially since it results in the aforementioned book-themed proposal scene.

Once again, this story could definitely have been expanded into a full-length novel–I’d love to have seen more of them together, both before and after–but there is definitely something to be said for a short, sweet, sexy read that can be completed in a single morning.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About the author:

Lily Maxton grew up in the Midwest, reading, writing, and daydreaming amidst cornfields. After graduating with a degree in English, she decided to put her natural inclinations to good use and embark on a career as a writer.

When she’s not working on a new story, she likes to tour old houses, add to her tea stash, and think of reasons to avoid housework.

 

Reviewer’s note: Reading is an EXCELLENT way to avoid housework. Just saying. ;)

THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel: Book Trailer Reveal and Goodreads Giveaway!

I am so looking forward to reading this!

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Book synopsis:

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and return the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

 

Buy links:

Amazon
B&N
iTunes
Kobo

 

Goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20640755-the-book-of-ivy?ac=1

 

 About Amy Engel:

 

Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas, California, Missouri, Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Before devoting herself full time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV.  When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.

 

Find Amy online:

Website: http://amyengel.net

Twitter: http://twitter.com/aengelwrites

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy

by Amy Engel

Giveaway ends November 04, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Release Day and Giveaway: ROWDY by Jay Crownover (Marked Men #5)

Today is the Release Day Launch for ROWDY by Jay Crownover! ROWDY is the fifth novel in her Marked Men Series published by William Morrow, and imprint of HarperCollins and you do NOT want to miss it!

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About ROWDY:

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with this sizzling, sexy story of love, heartbreak, fate, and second chances.

After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.

Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.

 

Rowdy

Amazon US ** iBooks ** Barnes and Noble ** Kobo ** IndieBound

 

Rowdy Teaser 2

 

EXCERPT:

WHEN I PUT THE key he had given me in the door to his apartment it felt like the end of a long journey. Really it was only a little over twelve hours and I had stopped to nap once along the way, but it still felt like too long since I had seen his face or been able to touch all that toned and tattooed skin. Jimbo greeted me at the door when I pushed it open. His tongue lolled out of his mouth and he jumped up and put his paws on my legs. He was going to be huge when he finally grew into his fuzzy body and I was overwhelmed at how happy I was to see him. I dropped to my knees and rubbed my face in his neck as he licked me all over my face. I was obviously missed and I had to say it was just one more reason I knew I was finally where I was supposed to be. It was late, so the apartment was dark.

I checked the dog’s food and water, trying to be quiet in case Rowdy was already asleep. I was winding my way toward his bedroom when a haphazardly discarded sketch pad lying on the couch caught my eye in the dim light. I paused for a minute to pick it up and felt my heart stop and then start to race as I flipped through the first few pages. There were a couple of drawings that were obviously for clients, tattoos that hadn’t made it from paper to skin yet, but most of the pristine white pages were covered with images wearing my face. There was mermaid me, and naughty- sailor- girl me. There was sassy Indian girl me with long Pocahontas braids and there was sexy devil me standing next to angelic me. There were dozens of them all in different shapes and sizes, but every single image was undoubtedly modeled after my distinct look. I wasn’t sure if he had drawn them all over this last week while I had been gone or over the months we had been chasing each other in circles.

Either way it made my heart swell and the full certainty that I was it for him settle deep inside my bones. I set the pad down and tiptoed through the hall. Jimbo took one look at where I was going and huffed out a disgusted- sounding snort. The poor guy had learned early on that he wanted no part of what happened between his humans when they were together in the bedroom. The light was off and Rowdy was sprawled on his stomach across the covers. His blond hair was sticking up every- where and he hand one arm bent up under his head. The only thing that could have made the sight better would have been if he hadn’t bothered with the black boxers before crashing out.

Even with them obscuring the view, I couldn’t complain. I let out a breathless sigh and crept closer so that I could lean over and touch my lips to that anchor on the side of his neck. I felt his pulse leap and tasted the salt on his skin as he murmured sleepily and rolled over onto his back. Those infinitely blue eyes glowed at me in the dark as a grin pulled up the corner of his mouth.

“Hey.”

Sensual portrait of beautiful girl with tattoo lying on bed.

Jay CrownoverAbout Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this last summer starting with BETTER WHEN HE’S BAD. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

 

 

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

ROWDY Goodreads ** Jay Crownover Goodreads

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Release Day and Giveaway! A BEAUTIFUL PURPOSE by Alicia Rae (The Beautiful Series #6)

Today we have the release day launch of Alicia Rae’s new romance, A Beautiful Purpose. I am so excited for this book and can’t wait to share it with you! Be sure to check out the excerpt and enter Alicia’s giveaway!

ABP RDL Banner

 

A Beautiful Purpose Synopsis:

~Book 6 in The Beautiful Series, but can be read as a standalone~

All Blake Johnson knows is the life of a Marine. After serving his country for eight years, he returns to his family for some rest and rehabilitation. Fighting an internal war, he battles sleepless nights as images of his former military days haunt him.

From the moment Audrey Hampton walks into his life, he is drawn to her. Her beauty leaves him breathless and weak in the knees. She kindles a spark of hope deep within his soul, igniting a part of himself he feared was missing. Her never-ending compassion for others opens his heart in a way he never dreamed.

But Audrey is hiding wounds of her own. Returning to Lake Tahoe to care for her ill mother triggers painful childhood memories of her parents’ loveless marriage, reminding her there is no such thing as true love.

Will Blake’s resolve be powerful enough to open Audrey’s sealed heart? Or will Audrey fear the past and risk losing the man who could give her life a newfound purpose?

Can two wounded souls become one?

 

Excerpt:

I let Blake lead the rest of the distance to the dance floor as I regarded each of my friends wrapped in her man’s arms. Before I could process the way that made me feel, Blake suddenly twirled me under his arm and spun me in a small circle. A smile filled my face as he caught my lower back and pulled me into him, maintaining direct eye contact the whole time.

Blake held my frame with a blend of strength and softness that left my mind reeling. From the very first step, he astounded me. He took control and stepped into me, which forced me to take a backward one. Then, he sidestepped to my left, shifting our weight before moving us again. Each step took a full beat of the lovely music filling the room.

His stride never hesitated or faltered. They were all taken with confidence and consistency. I picked up his rhythm, and my steps were gracefully flowing with him.

He repositioned himself slightly, dropped his right hand to my lower back, stepped outward, and effortlessly guided me into a spin. By the time I returned his hold, his face was alight and focused solely on me.

Determination filled his features. “Have dinner with me tomorrow night, Audrey,” he said softly so that only I could hear, still keeping his steps in rhythm.

My steps hesitated, but Blake caught me, and we continued to move.

“I can’t,” I responded, shaking my head adamantly.

He led me into an unfamiliar step and tipped me back. His hands supported my back as it arched. He slightly bent toward me as the song neared its end.

His unbelievably blue eyes were inquisitive. “Can’t or won’t?”

“Both,” I rasped unevenly, praying for strength to resist this kindhearted man who deserved so much more than what I had to offer him.

He leaned in further, close enough to where I thought he was going to kiss me. My breathing deepened as my body became achingly aware of him. My subconscious begged for him to close that tiny gap between us, so I could know what his lips felt like.

It was his turn to shake his head. “So, you’re telling me that if I kissed you right now…”

He paused as though letting my anticipation heighten or giving me a chance to tell him no. It was a nerve-racking mere seconds as my mind and body went to war. He gracefully slid one hand up to the middle of my back, resting it in between my shoulder blades to support my upper body.

“It wouldn’t feel the same to you as it would to me?” He brushed his lips over my own. “And you wouldn’t kiss me back?”

The connection between us fogged my mind and judgment. I was not sure if what he’d asked was really a question or a challenge, but my lips longed for him, and they won the heady battle, sealing themselves over his.

Bystanders be damned, I kissed him. The first few seconds, he let me explore his mouth tentatively. His full lips were exquisitely soft, curving and molding around mine. Then, as though his resolve broke free, he took over our embrace, controlling it and kissing me ardently, like he needed me to breathe. His hands kept hold of me, supporting my weight, while his mouth captured and tasted, as if he could not stand any space between us, until he and I were gasping for air.

Somewhere along the way, the previous song had ended, and a new one was already in full swing. As Blake righted our position, I noticed that Gail, Abbey, and Lily were all watching us with astonished yet dreamy wide eyes.

“Now, that was a kiss!” Gail whooped out loud with a smirk, throwing her fist in the air.

 

ABP AmazonGRSW

 

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Alicia Rae Bio:5889106

Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.

Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing in my mind. I am forever grateful. Xo

Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.

Believe in yourself and follow your dreams…

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Release Day and Giveaway: TEN CHRISTMAS BRIDES (Ten Christmas Romances from Ten Authors–Plus, a Free Gift!)

It’s getting cooler where I live, and that means Christmas is just around the corner! Put yourself in a holiday mood with this collection…

Ten Christmas Brides

by:
Ruth Cardello, Nina Bruhns, Donna Fasano, Rebecca York, Helen Scott Taylor, Patrice Wilton, Mona Risk, Annie Jones, Alicia Street, and Mimi Barbour

Genre: Holiday Romance
Release Date: October 21, 2014

 

 

 

Join ten New York Times, USA Today and National best-selling authors to celebrate the holiday season with a boxed set of stories brimming with emotion, holiday spirit and happy ever afters. From sweet to sexy, suspense to small town drama, travel from Belarus to Africa to the snowy Highlands of Scotland as Santa delivers our gift to you–love, laughter and happiness this Christmas!

 

Recipe for Love

by Ruth Cardello, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

All Madison Andrade wants for Christmas is a place to hide and she finds it in the home of a lusty French chef. Richard D’Argenson’s recipes are famous, but they lack one necessary ingredient–love.

Must Love Santa

by Nina Bruhns, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

Detective Nick Palladin just needs to close one last case in Vice–going undercover as Santa–before getting his Christmas transfer to the K-9 Unit. But when a cute little fluffball and the knockout holding her leash stumble into the op and are attacked, Santa and his faithful dog come running to the rescue!

An Almost Perfect Christmas

by Donna Fasano, USA Today bestselling author

Aaron Chase is desperate to give his daughter a perfect Christmas and elicits the help of Pediatric Nurse Christy Cooper to do it. When Aaron’s impish eight-year-old talks them into a make-believe wedding, can the magic of Christmas make the vows stick?

Christmas Captive (The Decorah Security Series)

by Rebecca York, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author

How did hard-driving businessman Jordan Campbell end up in a coma? And can nurse Hannah Andrews use her psychic talent to connect with him and trap his would-be killer? As she and Jordan work together, she knows she’s putting her own life–and her heart–at risk.

The Army Doctor’s Honeymoon Baby (The Army Doctor’s Series)

by Helen Scott Taylor, Award-winning and National bestselling author

Army doctor, Blair Mackenzie, secretly loves his childhood friend, Lorna, and protects her in the African refugee camp where they work. Lorna depends on Blair–he’s her best friend, the only man she’s ever loved. She longs to admit her feelings but a family secret from their past prevents her.

Kiss Me Santa

by Patrice Wilton, National bestselling author

Widowed schoolteacher, Cindy Harris meets Brad Williams–posing as Santa–when she takes her young son to the mall. Imagine her surprise when he shows up as the hot-shot realtor selling her family home. Sparks fly between them. Can the magic of Christmas give them the best gift of all — love?

An Unusual Christmas

by Mona Risk, Award-winning and National bestselling author

Running away from Christmas celebrations and the demons of her past, Dr. Jillian has dedicated her life to saving third-world children. In Belarus, a baby girl, four little boys, and a handsome doctor may teach her the true meaning of Christmas.

A Cowboy for Christmas

by Annie Jones, Award-winning and National bestselling author

A single mom who has pinned all her hopes on reviving a popular tourist dude ranch gets a Christmas surprise that may change everything when her son asks Santa for a new dad. And that very night a Christmas-skipping cowboy shows up at their door.

The Christmas Honeymoon

by Alicia Street, Award-winning and National bestselling author

Quiet librarian Serena always loved Christmas, until she was jilted before her December wedding. A year later, while trying to rekindle her tarnished holiday spirit, she meets Damien, handsome daredevil–and a total Scrooge. Their unlikely mutual attraction brings on a challenge that leads to one very romantic Christmas.

She’s Not You

by Mimi Barbour, National bestselling author

Sick and widowed, running scared from a man who insists she belongs to him, Belle is forced to let the charmer down the hall help out. Not just for her sake, but it’s Christmas, she’s in trouble and her little girl has decided their sympathetic neighbor is her special hero.

 

 

 

A Special Gift From the Ten Brides Authors!
A book full of delicious cookie recipes to share with the family this Christmas!
In this book you’ll find favorite cookies of the heroes and heroines in the Ten Christmas Brides romance-novel boxed set. Some are the treats our characters remember fondly from their childhoods. Others are the ones they enjoy today—or make to give as gifts. Here you’ll find everything from Almond Crescents, Coffee Pecan Delights, and Swedish Teacake Cookies to Rocks, Butterscotch Brownies and Scottish Shortbread. And each recipe comes with a note explaining how it fits into the author’s story, so you’ll have a little more insight into her characters and plot.
The recipes are the authors’ gifts to you this holiday season. Enjoy these special goodies and have a wonderful Christmas. Best wishes from the authors of Ten Christmas Brides!

 

(Note: Favorite Christmas Cookies should be free on all platforms, but please check the price before purchasing since Amazon and Barnes & Noble sometimes do not update their pricing on a timely basis.)

 

Ruth Cardello

Ruth Cardello is a New York Times bestselling author.  She writes fast-paced, fun, sexy romances with hot alpha heroes and the strong women who tame them.  She writes about Billionaires, Cowboys, and she is also getting into some spicier story lines.  She likes to consider what she writes as bathtub reads.  Sheer escapism.

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Nina Bruhns

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nina Bruhns decided it was time to change careers and pursue her longtime dream of writing when fieldwork in Egyptology became too dangerous. Since then, Nina has achieved international bestsellerdom writing for Berkley, Harlequin and Silhouette, various epublishers, and now as an indie author with Cajun Hot Press. Nina has earned numerous awards for her thirty-plus books to date, including three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Best Overall Mystery-Suspense Book of the Year, three Rita nominations, four RT Bookclub Reviewers Choice Awards, a National Readers Choice Award, five Dorothy Parker Awards of Excellence, and two Golden Hearts.

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Donna Fasano

USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano is the author of over 30 romance and women’s fiction titles. Her award-winning books have been described as “emotional,” “heartwarming,” and “simply wonderful!” Over the course of her 25 year career, she has sold 4 million books worldwide. BigAl from BooksAndPals.com says, “Donna Fasano is a keen observer of human nature and creates characters that ring true to life.”

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Rebecca York

New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly best-selling and award-winning author, Rebecca has written over 145 books and novellas. In 2011 she became the dozenth author to receive the Romance Writers of America Centennial Award for having written 100 romantic novels. Her Killing Moon was a launch title for Berkley’s Sensation imprint in June 2003. Five more books in the series have followed.

Rebecca has authored or co-authored over 65 romantic thrillers, many for Harlequin Intrigue’s very popular 43 Light Street series, set in Baltimore, and many with paranormal elements.

Her many awards include two Rita finalist books. She has two Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times: for Series Romantic Suspense and for Series Romantic Mystery. And her Peregrine Connection series won a Lifetime Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense Series.

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Helen Scott Taylor

Award-winning author, Helen Scott Taylor is an award-winne, writes sweet contemporary romance set in the UK and Europe. Her contribution to Ten Christmas Brides is The Army Doctor’s Honeymoon Baby, part of her Army Doctor series.

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Patrice Wilton

Patrice Wilton is a National best selling author of more than 20 books. Her best known series include The Candy Bar Series, Serendipity Falls series, and her returning war hero series, A HERO LIES WITHIN, HANDLE WITH CARE and AT FIRST SIGHT.

She lives in West Palm Beach with her retired PGA golf pro husband, and plays tennis and golf when she’s not writing fun, sexy romance stories. She loves emails and will answer everyone the same day.

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Mona Risk

From Best Romance Novel of the Year at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll, to Best Contemporary Romance of the Year at READERS FAVORITE with two Gold Medals, and EPPIE award finalist, Mona Risk’s name was posted on Amazon.com in the 100 most Popular Authors in Romance list for several months and she recently received an OUTSTANDING ACHIEVER Award at Affaire de Coeur Magazine.

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Annie Jones

Award winning author Annie Jones loves Romance, Christmas and Route 66 so it seemed natural to combine them in A Cowboy for Christmas. The author of 40 books including romance and women’s fiction, she lives in Kentucky with a houseful of family and a head full of ideas for more books.

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Alicia Street

Alicia Street is an award-winning author who often writes in collaboration with her husband, Roy. Her years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher are the inspiration behind her Dance ‘n’ Luv contemporary romance series. Many of her characters from this series cross over into her Holiday Luv series, which includes her sweet romance novella featured in Ten Christmas Brides.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Newsletter

Mimi Barbour

Mimi Barbour is an Amazon best-selling author who’s sold over 500,000 copies of her books world-wide. Her five romance series: The Vicarage Bench/ time travel at it’s best, Angels with Attitudes / angels love romance, Vegas / fast-paced plotting, Elvis / make a song a book and her newest, Undercover FBI / with sizzling conflicts and lots of humor.

Mimi’s been heard to say: “I’m an author who loves to read uplifting stories about romance. Add in some time travel, or maybe an angel, or even a little romantic suspense and it makes the story more fascinating because of the incredible possibilities.”

 

 

Special Giveaway!

 

Come Join the Ten Christmas Brides Facebook Party and Help Spread the Word!

 

 

 

Release Day! STONE COLD TOUCH by Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Dark Elements #2)

We are thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s STONE COLD TOUCH! STONE COLD TOUCH is the second full-length novel in Jennifer’s The Dark Elements Series, a young adult paranormal romance being published by Harlequin Teen!

SCT RDL Banner Final

 

STONE COLD TOUCH Synopsis:

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

Cold Stone Touch

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EXCERPT:

I’d remained in bed after that, trying to sort through the odd tingling in my chest. There was a slight smile on my lips, because Zayne…well, he’d made my day, but then I’d remember what Roth had said to me the night before and the smile would wash away as if it had never been there.

I probably needed to get used to the whiplash mood swings.

It wasn’t until after dinner that I decided to scrub a day’s worth of gunk off myself. Gingerly, I peeled the bandage off, happy to find that the cut in my arm was healing as expected. I didn’t need to cover it anymore. The arm was still tender, but the Warden blood in me was quickly undoing the damage from the iron.

After changing into fresh pj’s, like a total hermit, I padded over to my desk, where I’d left my cell phone. It had been on silent all day and when I tapped the screen, I wasn’t surprised to see a slew of texts from Stacey.

Where r u?

R u skipping, u ho?

A minute later: Your locker misses u. Guess u sick with the herp?

Oh my God. I laughed out loud, grinning as I thumbed through her texts. Our bio sub is still hot. U r missing this.

Bio is lonely.

My boobs miss u. How weird is that?

That was notably weird and yet not surprising.

If I get my cell taken from me, it’s ur fault.

Holy shit, Layla, where r u?!?

Air punched out of my lungs as I read the next text and the several following them.

U have no idea who just walked into bio!!!

Roth is here!

Holy Canola oil, why aren’t u here to witness this?

Ok. He says he had mono. Srlsy? Do people still get mono? And who in the duck was he kissing? A second later—Duck? I didn’t mean duck. That’s SO not what I meant, autocorrect.

Another text had come in about fifteen minutes after the last one. He asked where u were. I told him u joined a cult. I laughed. He didn’t.

Finally, the last text was to call her if I wasn’t dead.

“What in the Hell?” I tossed my cell onto the bed, mouth hanging open.

StoneColdTouch-YouDecideSharable

And don’t forget! The choice is yours…

Beginning today you’ll have 3 weeks to visit the series website, www.thedarkelementsseries.com, to take a poll and decide which guy Layla should ultimately choose in the final book in the trilogy, Every Last Breath.

At the end of 3 weeks, we will tally all the votes, and that’s when Jennifer L. Armentrout will start writing Every Last Breath. The guy who gets the most votes is the one Layla will pick.

To prevent early spoilers, we’re not going to reveal who won the poll in advance…you’ll have to wait until Every Last Breath goes on sale on July 28th, 2015 to find out whether Zayne or Roth wins Layla in the end. We promise the book will be epic and definitely worth the wait!

Who do you want Layla to end up with? Go to www.thedarkelementsseries.com and vote for your choice!

SCT available now

Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

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