New Release Review and Giveaway! CHANCE AT REDEMPTION by Samantha Harris (Madison Square #3)

Chance at Redemption (Madison Square #3)
by Samatha Harris
Publication Date:  May 23, 2017
Publisher:  Limitless Publishing

 

Synopsis:

Gwen Stevens had a privileged life until her father spoke three little words that turned her world upside down. “You’re cut off.”

Broke and desperate, Gwen is forced to accept a waitressing job, but this glimmer of hope has a price. As if being a cocktail waitress isn’t bad enough, she has to do it in a dive bar called The Den, and her bad luck doesn’t stop there. She also needs to deal with the new owner, a blue-eyed, self-righteous ass determined to make her life miserable.

Liam Sinclair walked away from the entitlement and obligation his family planned for him, vowing to make his own way in the world…

Adjusting to life as a new business owner, Liam has experienced more than his fair share of setbacks. When his only waitress breaks her leg, his sister takes it upon herself to hire a replacement—a spoiled, self-indulgent hothead with too much makeup and more than enough attitude. Gwen represents the world he’s trying to escape, a world of excess and greed that he was never cut out for.

Appearances can be deceiving, and first impressions aren’t always right…

Despite their apparent differences, the tension between them turns to a fiery passion that neither of them can resist. Together they find balance and learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. But Gwen soon discovers that old habits die hard, and one mistake is all it takes to ruin everything.

Forgiveness must be earned, but even a villain deserves a chance at redemption…

Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:
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Link to Tour Schedule

 

Excerpt:

“Anything you want to tell me, little brother?” she asked as she folded her arms across her chest and watched me closely to gauge my reaction.

I frowned. “Um, No.”

“Really? Nothing new at all in your life?” She was baiting me into something I was sure was not going to be good.

“I bought a new toaster the other day.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“You should see it, it’s pretty sweet. Its toasts Darth Vader’s face into the bread.”

Madison growled in frustration and tossed a breadstick at me.

“Whoa chill cougar,” I laughed.

“Don’t start that.” She pointed her finger at me. “I get enough of that crap from Margot.”

“Okay,” I said as my laughter died down.

“So you really have nothing to share?”

“Like what?”

“Like what’s going on with you and Gwen.” She smiled, her eyebrows disappeared beneath her bangs.

“Oh that.” I ducked my head to hide my smile.

“Yes that.”

“Who told you?”

“Sean.”

“What? Who told him?”

“I don’t know, someone at the bar I guess,” she said with a dismissive wave.

“The bar?” Madison shrugged. Then it hit me. “Sam,” I sighed. “Great now everybody knows.”

“Were you hiding it?”

“No. Not really. We just didn’t want things to be weird at work.”

“Well, here’s a tip, if you don’t want the people you work with to know. Don’t have sex in your office.”

I cringed. Hearing my older sister discuss my sex life was disturbing on a lot of levels.

“So?” she asked.

“So what?”

Madison let out a frustrated groan and rolled her eyes. “So what’s going on between you and Gwen?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer her. Hell I wasn’t even one hundred percent sure I even knew how. I sat back in my chair and played with the edge of my napkin. I was stalling and the look on my sister’s face said she knew it too.

“I’m not exactly sure,” I said.

She raised an eyebrow and tilted her head. “Aren’t you living together?” she asked.

“Kind of,” I said.

“Kind of?” she scoffed. “Her clothes are there, she sleeps in your bed, eats your food, uses your shower.” I nodded and she sat back in her chair, folded her arms across her chest. “Sounds like living together to me.”

“It’s not like we’d been dating for a while and I asked her to move in. She needed a place to crash. Everything else came later.”

“Everything else?”

I shrugged. “You know what I mean we were spending a lot of time together and it just happened.”

“What happened?”

“Sex Madison. We had sex.” I leaned back in my seat and relived some of our more creative positions in my head as a grin crept across my face. “Lots and lots of sex.”

Review:

Chance at Redemption is a great example of an opposites attract story, paired with a really dramatic second chance (at life, not love) plot–because the Gwen who starts this book is worlds away from the Gwen who finishes it. And thank goodness, because for the first 20% or so of the book to say I was not a fan of hers would have been a massive understatement! Suddenly the book’s tagline made all too much sense… Ms. Harris did a fantastic job, though, of giving her the opportunity to grow up…and helping her to find love along the way.

I almost feel sorry for Liam, because unlike Gwen he was fabulous from page one… 😉

…though come to think of it, their relationship black moment is due in large part to his pig-headedness, so maybe the two balance each other out there?

Either way, this was a fun read from an author I’ll definitely be reading more of. This book is the third in the Madison Square series and worked okay as a standalone (though in my case at least, it’s acting more like a gateway drug for the rest of the series, since I’d already added them to my TBR before I was more than 50% finished with this one…)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the author:

Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.

Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.

 

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Alim Kader grew up knowing his family’s expectations and is required to fall in line. Life, however, threw him a massive surprise in the body of the most fascinating woman he has ever known. Now if he could only convince her that his sole desire is to stand beside her, not rescue her.
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When a group of lonely shifters came together during their service with the Royal marines, they never imagined the strong pack that would develop between them. Channeling their special operative training, they built a security firm with two alpha wolves at the head of a motley crew of shifters not known for playing well-together.
They’ve lived their lives as outcasts from their own individual species of shifters choosing to form a family with each other instead. Until Now. Follow the Blackbird pack as they fall victim to love one by one.
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New Release Review! THE LAST IN LOVE by Terri Osborn (Ardent Springs #5)

The Last in Love
by Terri Osburn

Synopsis:

Abby Williams lost her husband—and the future she envisioned—to a roadside bomb in a foreign land, so a kitchen fire is no big deal. When the local firemen show up to put out the blaze, the army widow finds herself attracted to one hot volunteer firefighter…until she realizes it’s Justin Donovan, a man five years her junior.

Justin has long carried a torch for Abby. But after she got married ten years ago, he put her out of his mind, left Ardent Springs for Chicago, and got a job as a real estate developer. Now he’s back—for reasons he’d rather not share—and he wants to prove to Abby that age is nothing but a number. Will Abby’s reluctance and Justin’s secrets extinguish any attempts at romance? Or will the sparks between them ignite a second chance at love?

 

Review:

I really enjoyed reading Terri Osburn’s The Last in Love–my first book in this series (Ardent Springs) and from this author, but definitely not my last on either count!

Abby and Justin were an adorable couple–I liked the older woman/younger man twist (only 5 years, though–definitely not insurmountable when the couple in question is late 20s/early 30s) and the fact that he had a major crush on her while in his late teens–too sweet! The fact that he’s a volunteer firefighter now definitely doesn’t hurt, either (and OMG, the description of the firefighter bachelor auction at the beginning? Fabulous!) I really loved that Abby was able to (eventually, of course, after the appropriate amount of relationship angst and a suitable black moment) move on to a second relationship after losing her solider husband without diminishing her first marriage. (If you follow my reviews at all, you’ll know that having to demonize the first–dead–spouse or make their relationship somehow less-than in order for a hero/heroine to commit to a new one is a huuuuuge pet peeve. Okay, yes, sometimes that will be the case. But all too often in romance it’s a crutch, a convenient way to get the surviving spouse to more easily put their first marriage in the rear view mirror and get on with the second, clearly superior, one. C’mon, people. We can do better.)

Though there were times that things happened abruptly–Abby changing her mind about the age difference after being so resistant was pretty sudden, as was when she decided that Justin had been less than honest about breaking up with his fiancee–overall there was a lot more to like here than to criticize. And even though Abby’s “the last in love” of her friends in Ardent Springs, her story worked just fine as a standalone.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go add books #1-4 to my TBR…

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

 

New Release Review: THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict


The Other Einstein

by Marie Benedict

Synopsis:

A vivid and mesmerizing novel about the extraordinary woman who married and worked with one of the greatest scientists in history.

What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century.

In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever.

A literary historical in the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.

Review:

Marie Benedict’s The Other Einstein was a fascinating read, and one that is significantly adding to my TBR pile–with nonfiction, for a change! (Lots of great suggestions in the author’s note at the end–thanks, Ms. Benedict!)

The author freely admits that her book is a fictionalization of Mileva Maric Einstein’s life and that she makes use of much speculation (especially with regards to exactly how much of a contribution the first Mrs. Einstein made to her husband’s famous Theory of Relativity–I’d love to think that her version is the truth, but it’s probably a bit of a stretch and I doubt it could ever be proved), and as such I kind of hoped that Albert wasn’t as much of a, well, b@stard as he seems to be in the book. Though I can still hope that at least one pretty jarring scene is completely fictional, Princeton University has been kind enough to publish volumes of Einstein’s writings and correspondence and their English translations online, and I’ve now read the memorandum myself that made me gasp out loud when I read that part of the book (18 July 1014, Memorandum to Mileva Einstein-Maric, with comments in Volume 8–but don’t read it until after you’ve read the book!) and then the next few letters after that one, and…just whoa. I’m not sure I’ll ever hear the name “Albert Einstein” again and be able to think purely happy thoughts about him. How can a man be so scientifically brilliant and so spectacularly not brilliant in his personal life?

(Interesting side note from the letters, not the book, since Mileva wouldn’t have known this: Albert wouldn’t let his second wife/cousin(!) Elsa be there when he spent time with his sons from his first marriage, because “it is not right to have the children see their father with a woman other than their own mother” yet he had no such scruples about divorcee Elsa’s children from her first marriage spending time with their mother and a man who wasn’t their own father…double-standard much? Oh, and just to really make it next to impossible to look up to him as a father figure and husband–he apparently briefly considered proposing to Elsa’s 20-year-old daughter Ilsa instead… Yeah. He’s a prince among men. But a brilliant scientist.)

Anyway.

Though the story was a bit slow in parts, overall I quite enjoyed it. I look forward to both reading more about Mileva (and her children!) and more from Ms. Benedict in the future.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


View all my reviews

New Release and Giveaway! PERFECT STORM by Cheryl Douglas

Blurb:

Mace

Dark. Dangerous. Messed up. Yeah, I may be all of those things, but with her I’m not. She taught me how to love, how to be a one woman man. Except now my woman wants to leave me, ‘cause I can’t promise her forever. I know I’d never want anyone else but she wants the ring to prove it. Not to mention the baby. But if she knew about my past she’d run far and fast. Then I’d have no choice but to chase her, ‘cause I can’t let her get away.

Cory

I hate him. I love him. I want him. I need him. I hate myself for being weak and caving every every time he touches me. But I can’t help myself. He’s just that good. I can’t get over him if I’m always under him, but he’s not letting me go without a fight and you’d have to have an iron will to resist this man.

Excerpt:

Mace

She was killing me and she knew it. My ex-girlfriend and business partner made it her daily mission to torture me. She flirted with the customers, agreed to dates with a few regulars, I’d even caught her kissing one in the dark hallway leading to our office. My reaction? I put my fist through the wall, scaring the shit out of her boy-toy and earning a stern lecture from her.

Cory claimed I had no right to tell her what to do or who to do it with. She’d given me an ultimatum. Marriage. Babies. Or she was done with me. When push came to shove I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t put that ring on her finger. I watched what my old man went through when my mom left us. I couldn’t let Cory put me through that shit. So I let her go.

Only we had to work together. Every. Goddamn. Day. And I was slowly losing my mind.

“Cory get a new tat, boss?” our bartender asked, looking at the perfect swell of my lady’s ass as she bent over to take a customer’s order.

Not your lady anymore, a little voice reminded me. Bullshit. She’ll always be mine.

“Yeah, I think so.” I wiped down the bar, trying not to notice the way she filled out those tight black jeans.

Memories came flooding back. My lips on her. Hers on me. Her riding me. Taking her up against the wall. Going hard all night… into the morning.

“Gimme a Jack, man.” I’d been drinking too much since she dumped me, but I couldn’t seem to help myself. My mom left my old man because of the bottle. Now it seemed like I was destined to follow in his footsteps.

Johnnie raised an eyebrow, but didn’t question me. He just did as he was told, poured, and sild it across the slick surface.

“Why don’t you just buy her out?” he asked, obviously reading my thoughts.

I tipped my glass back, my back to her. “She won’t let me.” I’d offered half a dozen times. Just like she’d offered to buy me out. But we both loved this bar. And we were stubborn. We wanted to make the other one suffer.

“You two are gonna wind up killing each other.” He gestured to the glass in my hand. “I’ve been working here five years and ain’t never seen you drink like this.”

Johnnie was my right hand man and I loved him like a brother, but I didn’t need to hear him telling me shit I already knew. I was self-destructing and I didn’t know how the hell to put the brakes on.

“Shit,” Johnnie whispered, his dark eyes travelling to the door.

I curled my hand into a fist when I spotted the punk who’d had his tongue down my woman’s throat last week. The reason I’d had to patch the drywall to repair the damage I’d caused. “What’s he doing here?” I asked, standing. “I told him not to show his face in here again.”

Before I could kick his scrawny ass out Cory approached him, slaying me with her dimples, just like she did every time I saw her smile.

She was a tiny little thing with a huge rack. That was the first thing most guys noticed about her, but four years of being mine meant it had been a long time since another man had been stupid enough to put his hands on her. Seeing that same dumbass who hadn’t heeded my last warning wrap his arms around her had me seeing red.

“That’s it. I’m gonna mess him up.”

“Mace, don’t man,” Johnnie said, trying to grab my shoulder. “It’s not worth it.”

I shook him off and stalked across the bar, going toe-to-toe with my least favorite customer. “What’re doin’ back here, asshole? Didn’t I make it clear I don’t wanna see your face in my bar again?”

“Excuse me,” Cory said, grabbing my arm. “It’s my bar too. And I told him he could come in anytime he wanted.”

I knew I’d regret the day I let her invest in my dream. She’d been a real estate agent at the time and she was making big bucks. I was a bartender who used to serve her at a club she and her girlfriends frequented. She convinced me I was wasting my time working behind someone else’s bar when I should be lining my own pockets. She was the first person to ever believe in me and since my old man had left me a little coin when he died, I had some cash to burn. The rest, as they say, is history.

“Why are you doing this?” I narrowed my eyes at her. “You wanna watch me bleed?” I said, only loud enough for her to hear. I turned my forearm over to reveal the colorful tattoo snaking over my wrist and up my arm. The one bearing her name. “You want to destroy me? ‘Cause you’re doin’ a hell of a job of it.”

“Excuse me, Eddy,” she said to the guitar playing asshat watching our exchange. “I need to have a word with my partner.”

She grabbed my hand and hauled me through the crowd and down the narrow hallway to our shared office and just that brief physical exchange tore me up. I wanted her hands on me again. Up my shirt. Unbuckling my pants. Wrapped around my shaft.

“Why do you keep doing this?” she asked, slamming the door and throwing her hands up in the air. “It’s like you’re trying to prevent me from getting on with my life.”

I sat on the edge of the desk sulking. Because I knew she was right. I couldn’t give her what she needed but I was trying to prevent her from finding a man who could. It was messed up. I knew that. I just couldn’t help it. I loved her. I loved her so goddamn much that living without her was destroying me.

“I just don’t want to see you with a jackass like that.” I curled my hands around the edge of the desk as I watched her. Her long, blond, wavy hair was sweeping down her back as her high heels clicked across the worn wood floor as she paced the small, cluttered room. “He probably wouldn’t even know how to please you.”

And if that visual didn’t make my blood boil. The thought of another man pleasing her hit me like a wrecking ball, knocking the wind out of me. My girl loved oral. And before too long it was going to be some other’s dude’s shoulders spreading her legs, taking what was mine.

“How do you know that?” she demanded, planting her hands on her curvy hips. “You don’t know what he’s like in bed. Unless you and he have-”

“Don’t even.” She liked messing with me and after so many years together she knew exactly how to rattle my chain.

Her full lips turned up in a half-smile. “You don’t get to tell me who to sleep with, Mace. Just like I don’t get to tell you.”

What a joke that was. I didn’t even think I could get it up for another woman. Her ass wouldn’t be as round as Cory’s. Her tits wouldn’t be as big. Her lips wouldn’t be as lush. Her eyes wouldn’t be as blue. I’d find something wrong with her. ‘Cause she wasn’t Cory. It was as simple and as screwed up as that.

“I don’t see why you’d want anyone else.” I rubbed the bulge in my pants, the one I got every time I looked at her. “You’ve had me. You know what it feels like to have the best.” Was I arrogant? Yeah, sure. But I knew she hadn’t even gotten off with a man in the room until she met me. I made it a point to give her so many orgasms in a night she was literally pleading with me to stop ‘cause she couldn’t take anymore.

“Is that all you ever think about?” she asked, rolling her baby blues at me. “Sex?”

“With you?” I grinned. “Pretty much.”

But that was a lie. I missed everything about her, from the way she smelled to the way she felt curled against my chest when she fell asleep. I even missed those gay-ass antique marts she used to drag me to and the girly movies she’d force me to watch. I missed the massages she’d give me after a hard workout or the way she’d model new lingerie for me. I missed it all.

“I need you to just back off,” she said, gently. “Please, Mace. I want us to keep working together. I think we’re a really good team. But I need some space.”

I didn’t want to give her space. I wanted to crowd her against the wall and kiss her until she remembered how much she loved me. How much she needed me.

“You can’t date customers,” I said, biting the inside of my lip. “It’s not fair, Cor. I can’t deal with that shit.”

She threw her hands up in the air. “Where do you expect me to meet guys? I’m here all the time or at the gym.” She glared at me. “And you’ve scared off all the guys there too. You know my personal trainer told me last week that he wanted to ask me out but he was afraid you’d kick the shit out of him.”

I got into mixed martial arts when I was twelve. I would kick the shit out of him. “That’s not my problem,” I said, shrugging. “Guess you’ll have to find somewhere else to pick up.”

“Don’t you want me to be happy?” Her tone was soft, almost pleading. “I want you to be happy. Why can’t you want the same for me?”

“Sorry if my idea of a good time isn’t watching some asshole stick his tongue down your throat.”

“He could be a great guy,” she said, stepping into my personal space. “The best thing that ever happened to me. He could be madly in love with me, treat me like a queen, want to marry me and have half a dozen babies with me and you still couldn’t be happy for me, could you?”

I knew those were all the things she wanted and deserved, but she was right. I couldn’t be happy for her if she found them and that made me a grade-A asshole, because even though I claimed to love her I was too selfish to put her first.

No one had ever taught me to love selflessly. My old man was a selfish drunk who made it impossible for my mom to stick it out. She didn’t love me enough to take me and my brother with her. Women had only ever used me for the pleasure I could give them. Cory was the only one who’d ever given a shit about me. And I didn’t want to lose that. I couldn’t lost that. Not to some other guy.

“No, I couldn’t.”

She shook her head, looking sad. “You used to be my best friend. The one person I could count on. I miss that guy so much.”

I missed him too. I hated the bitter, resentful asshole I was becoming, but I didn’t know what to do about it.

 

Author Bio:

Cheryl Douglas is a USA Today bestselling author who lives and breathes her writing: when she’s sleeping, watching TV, driving, reading, it’s always in the periphery of her mind. Her imagination rarely takes a holiday, even when she escapes to a sandy beach with her husband and son, she’s planning, plotting, outlining, and daydreaming.

Author Web & Social Media links:

www.cheryldouglasbooks.com

www.facebook.com/cheryldouglasbooks

@CherylDouglasNN

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New Release and Giveaway! WITHOUT WORDS by Delancy Stewart

Sometimes love speaks for itself…

WITHOUT WORDS
Delancey Stewart
Releasing May 22, 2017
Entangled Select

Sometimes love speaks for itself…
 
After an accident in the line of duty, firefighter Roberto DeRosa’s life is turned upside down. His career fighting fires is over, and he’s left with an uncertain future and an injury that makes communicating difficult for him. The only time words flow easily is when they’re lyrics and he has a guitar in his hands. Talking to women is definitely out, especially if they have bright blue eyes that seem to see right into his soul.
 
Dani Hodge is on the brink of realizing her dream of opening a small combination wine and book store in San Diego’s funky Ocean Beach neighborhood. But before she can open the doors, there’s work to be done, more work than she can do herself.
When the tattooed guy who completely ignored her at a bar walks by and offers her a hand wrangling a tile saw, Dani can’t afford to say no—and why would she say no to Mr. Strong and Silent when his stare conveys more than words could?

 

I caught Trent’s attention at the bar, putting my back to the girl and focusing on getting my heart to slow down, letting my blood cool.

And just when I’d gotten control of myself again, she was right fucking next to me, and my mind went blank.

Or most parts of my mind, at least. The parts in charge of caveman stuff—the parts that screamed at me to pick her up, throw her over my shoulder, and find a wall to fuck her against—those parts were working fine. Unfortunately.

“Hi,” she said.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit.

I stared at her. I was blank. I reached for a word to give her and my mind was empty. Even the one word she’d said would have been fine. I could have parroted it back to her. But it had fluttered up into the noise and light inside the bar and evaporated. Even that one simple word was out of my reach.

I watched her expression change. She’d said “hi” like she was extending a bridge, a thin filament I might just be able to risk stepping onto. But as she waited for me to return her greeting, to say fucking anything at all, the bridge dissolved.

And her face closed up. The sparkle in her bright eyes faded, and her energy pulled back inside her, leaving me cold again. A mixture of fear and surprise replaced the glow on her face, and I felt both guilty and monstrous as I watched what it did to her. She let other words fall between us. Nonsense, really. I’d made her uncomfortable, unhappy. And I already knew she was a girl I never wanted to see unhappy.

Finally, she turned around and went back to her table, pulled the other girl toward the door, and disappeared into the night beyond. And the strange light that had filled the club was extinguished.

Delancey Stewart writes contemporary romance from her home outside Washington D.C. In a house populated by two tiny pirates and one full-sized Marine aviator, inspiration for her heroes is never hard to find—though quiet time to write often is!

New Release Review! KNOCKED UP by Christine Bell


Knocked Up

by Christine Bell

Synopsis:

Luke Anderson had exactly two things on his mind: Getting the f&%k out of Alhouette, Louisiana, and opening his own bike shop. But when he meets sweet little Tawny Mitchell at a bonfire by the lake, things get so hot, he’s almost tempted to stay in town a while longer.

Almost.

Tawny Mitchell has her life perfectly planned now that she’s graduated college. Become a school nurse, form some roots in a small town and, eventually, find a kind, hard-working man to start a family with. The type of loving, close-knit family she never had growing up. But when her best friend convinces her to go to a party and let her hair down, just this once, she never dreams that the consequences of that steamy summer night will change everything…

 

Review:

Cute story! Likable characters and a feel-good HEA make this quick read an enjoyable one.

The first 25% or so seemed a bit extraneous, though, given the title–we all knew what was coming, and were just waiting for the characters to get caught up. Once they did–well, Tawny did anyway; we had to wade through a period of non-communication on her part, a trend she continued for much of the book–things picked up fast. Luke, for all of his I-gotta-get-out-of-this-town-ASAP, was a really stand up guy, and easy to root for. Tawny had a few more issues, which were fairly understandable even if her tendency to OTT react on her own was the main cause of their conflict.

She came around when it counted, though, which made their ending all the much sweeter.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


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New Release Review and Giveaway! VIABLE THREAT by Julie Rowe (Outbreak Task Force #1)

About the Book:

Special Forces soldier and medic Walter River would give anything to snatch more than a few seconds of down time to see if he can rattle the no-nonsense and incredibly hot Dr. Lloyd he’s protecting, but dodging explosions, snipers, and student radicals who’ve unleashed a lethal bio-engineered microorganism have made that almost impossible. Maybe he’ll get a chance—if he can figure out how to keep them both alive.

CDC microbiologist Ava Lloyd races to find a cure for a bio-terrorism organism sweeping El Paso. The few stolen moments with her very hunky bodyguard River have been explosive, but no matter how alluring he is, she can’t afford to get distracted. The clock is ticking, people are dying by the hundreds, and once this crisis is solved, they’ll both be off on their next assignment, thousands of miles apart.

Purchase:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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Excerpt:

She rested her head against the back of the seat and gave him a strange sort of sad smile. “You know what I’d like to do right now?”

He grunted and wagged his index finger. “That is a trick question.”

She laughed. “Yeah, I guess it is.”

He liked seeing the smile on her face. He liked seeing her face, period. “Tell me, Mouse, what would you like to do right now?”

She waved him closer, and he leaned toward her. She did it again, then put a hand on his shoulder and pulled herself up so she could whisper in his ear, “I’d like to take that respirator off you and kiss you, silly.”

She let go of him and resumed her previous position on the seat. He sat perfectly still. It took just about everything in him to not rip the mask off and grant her wish.

“I’m sorry,” she said, with as close to soundless as a voice could get. “I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.”

He looked at her and realized she thought he was embarrassed or some shit like that.

“I’m uncomfortable,” he murmured. “Because I’ve had a damned hard-on since I bandaged you up.” Her pupils widened, and her mouth dropped open. “When this is over, you can kiss any part of me you want for as long as you like, just as long as I can return the favor.”

“Oh,” she breathed out. When her tongue licked over her lips, he had to chain his hands to his sides to keep from grabbing her.

Though a blush heated her cheeks, tears filled her eyes until they spilled over and tracked down her face. “Chances are, that’s just a dream.”

It just about killed him to see her so sad. “Hey.” He couldn’t keep the growl out of his voice. “No Negative Nancys allowed on this trip.”

“I’ve got a headache, River. A fever can’t be far behind.”

“That happy bastard Henry is going to come up with some kind of magic potion that will kick this bug’s ass.”

“If that were possible, we’d know.”

“We’ve been so busy blowing shit up, we might not have been told.”

She slanted a disbelieving glance at him. “You just spoke with our boss. I think she would have mentioned any magic potions, if they’d been available.”

He ran his hands through his hair. “Could you work with me, Mouse? We’ve got a mass murderer to catch, and I need you ready and able to help reel in the son-of-a-bitch.”

“Ah, I see what you’re doing. Trying to put me in a good mood.”

“Jesus fuck, woman, you think I’d tell you how much I want you just to put you in a good mood?” He leaned down, grabbing the top of the seat on either side of her head. “Do I look like a motivational speaker?”

She studied him, her gaze flicking across his face and uniform. Covered in dirt, debris, and blood, he looked like a walking nightmare. “You look like a soldier on a mission.”

“That’s true, but not all of it.” He whispered, “I’ve got another mission. A personal one. You.”

Review:
Whoa–open up this book and hold on tight, because it’ll take you on one heck of a ride!

Seriously, Viable Threat is pretty much a disaster movie in book form–non-stop action. And the back-and-forth between Ava and River really added to the action-movie feel–their relationship was a whole lot of fun.

“Any idiot can go through life without making enemies,” River said cheerfully. “Congratulations. It takes character and intelligence to make people want to kill you.”

Truer words were never spoken, unless you count these:

“Just because a girl has an ugly cry doesn’t mean she isn’t busy plotting to kill you. In fact, if you’re the cause of the ugky cry, she probably is plotting to kill you.”

Okay, so that last one wasn’t actually directed at River, but at several points in the book, it certainly could have been!

I had so much fun reading this book–the characters, the non-stop action, the fact that I absolutely did not know who was behind it all until the characters figured it out–all good things. I can’t wait to see what the next book in the series brings!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Meet the Author:

Full-time author, freelance writer and workshop facilitator, Julie Rowe’s debut novel, Icebound, was released by Carina Press on Nov 14, 2011. Ten novels and eight anthologies have followed. Her most recent titles are the MEN OF ACTION boxed set and VIRAL JUSTICE book #3 of the Biological Response Team series. Julie’s articles and short stories have appeared in numerous magazines, such as Romantic Times Magazine, Today’s Parent magazine and Canadian Living. Julie facilitates business writing and communication workshops at Keyano College in her home city, and has presented writing workshops at conferences in the United States and Canada. She’s also a strong supporter of life long learning and moderates a free announcement loop for the promotion of online classes, workshops and webinars

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Giveaway:

  • $20 Amazon Gift Card

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Pre-Order Blast and Giveaway! FORBIDDEN PROMISES by Katee Robert (The O’Malleys #4)

Title: Forbidden Promises
Author: Katee Robert
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central/Forever
Series: The O’Malleys
Page Count: 336 pages
Format: Digitial and Print
ASIN: B01KT7YSJM
ISBN-13: 9781455597031

 

Synopsis:

Some lines should never be crossed . . . not even for love.

Sloan O’Malley just left her entire world behind-her family, her wealth, and even her real name. For the first time in her life, she’s free. She can live the “normal” life she’s always wanted. A life without fear. But there’s nothing safe about her intensely sexy next-door neighbor.

Jude MacNamara has no room for innocence in his life. Only revenge. Still, he’s never been able to walk away from the forbidden, and Sloan-who is every inch of pure, mouthwatering temptation-has forbidden written all over her. Only after it’s way too late does he discover the real danger: claiming Sloan as his puts a target on her back. To protect her, Jude is willing risk everything . . . and to hell with the consequences.

Pre-order at:  

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Excerpt:

Up until this point, Sloan O’Malley has been kind of lost in a sea of the strong personalities in her family. She’s the quiet one. The wallflower. The obedient one. But now she’s out of Boston and out of that life behind, and she’s stepping out to stand on her own for the first time in her life. She wants her freedom, but more than that, she wants to live. What better way to do that than to give into the desire that sparks an inferno between her and the gorgeous guy next door?

*****

All her hard-won calm disappeared when she saw Jude lounging in the corner booth. Lounging wasn’t the right word. He looked like a big cat who was as likely to tear out her throat as purr and rub against her.

Rub against…

She tried and failed to shut the thought down. From there, it was a slippery slope to thinking about what she’d done last night while picturing him.

It was almost enough to make her flee into the kitchen again. Or it would have been if not for the knowledge that Marge had given her a chance, and the woman wouldn’t take kindly to her hiding in the back when there were customers to be served.

Sloan took a careful breath and approached Jude. “What can I get you?”

“I feel like I’m perpetually apologizing to you, but I left abruptly last night and I’m sorry.” He didn’t wait for her to respond. “Come out with me after your shift.”

She blinked. Did he just…“I’m sorry, what?”

“I’m going to take you out. Tonight.” His intense dark eyes never wavered, though she was wondering how she ever labeled them cold. Right now, they were so hot, they were liable to turn her into a pillar of flame.

The only question was if she’d perish in the fire or emerge as something altogether different.

That thought should have scared her, but she’d been afraid for so long. Maybe it was time to do more than think about taking the first step into the future. Maybe she needed to actually put herself into motion. Sloan licked her lips, aware of the way he tracked the move. Everything about Jude was intense. He’d toned it down for her last night, but he wasn’t even trying right now. She shifted her stance, still torn. “I’m not exactly in a good place to date right now.”

He considered her, and she suddenly got the impression that he was choosing his words with care so as not to spook her. “What is it, exactly, that you think I’m asking?”

“I, ah…” She clutched her little notebook to her chest, painfully aware that the handful of diners in the place were blatantly eavesdropping. “I don’t know.”

He lowered his voice to the point where she had to inch closer to hear him clearly. “Let me show you.”

And, suddenly, she wanted to do exactly that. Sloan found herself nodding even though every instinct she had said that Jude was trouble in the worst way. But, whatever he was, he was vitally different from her brothers and father back home. He might seem brutal and dangerous and intense to a criminal degree, but this wasn’t Boston. This was Callaway Rock. No matter how dangerous he seemed, odds were that he wasn’t a man who had skeletons in his closet—literal or otherwise.

That made him safe in a way none of the men she’d ever known were.

Jude’s gaze sharpened. “That’s a yes.”

“That’s a yes.” Her voice was too breathy, too irregular to pass for anything other than nerves, but she didn’t care. If she fell flat on her face, at least she was living.

Copyright © 2017 Katee Robert

 

Other Books in The O’Malleys Series:

THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT
THE WEDDING PACT
AN INDECENT PROPOSAL
UNDERCOVER ATTRACTION (Coming soon!)

 

About Katee Robert:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.”  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| Goodreads | Instagram

 

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