Release Day Review: MELTING POINT by Kate Meader (Hot in Chicago #1.5)

To help tide you over until Alex’s book comes out… 😉

Melting Point
by Kate Meader

Things are heating up at Engine Co. 6 in this original e-novella from Kate Meader’s sizzling Hot in Chicago series! Superhot playboy firefighter Gage Simpson has one particular man on his mind: Brady Smith, a recalcitrant, moody chef who makes Gage melt from the inside out. Features a sexy sneak preview of Playing with Fire!

Firefighter Gage Simpson has it all: the job of his dreams, the family of his heart, and no shortage of hot guys lining up to share his bed. “Fun and easy” is his motto—and it’s kept him sunny through a painful upbringing and steered him away from trouble. But when trouble comes knocking in the form of a sexy, scarred, tattooed chef with a harrowing past and zero communication skills, Gage can’t help but be drawn to the flame.

Brady Smith isn’t fun. And easy isn’t in his vocabulary. When cocky Gage swaggers into his restaurant kitchen, the former Marine-turned-five-star-chef is blindsided by the firefighter’s beauty. Then confused that this golden guy with the sparkling blue eyes and the body of a god might be interested in him. As desire flares and temperatures rise, Gage and Brady will have to figure out if the heat between them is just a temporary flash—or the beginning of something real.

 

Review:

At last, Baby Thor gets a book!

Gage and Brady met in book one,  Flirting with Fire when Mayor Eli Cooper, Brady’s former second-in-command in the Marines, casually (or is it?) introduces the two during a trip to Brady’s kitchen in Chicago’s hottest new restaurant. The two both felt an attraction–one which Gage was more than happy to act upon–but the chef’s relationship issues have brick walls around them that are approximately a mile high.

And topped with razor-sharp barbed wire.

So…the scarred, brooding, and near-silent loner chef and the golden and vivacious, uber-confident and loquacious fireman–can you say opposites attract? Poor Gage had to wait for his own novella to find out how and why Brady managed to be so resistant to his charms (…or is he?), but Ms. Meader made it so worth the wait.

I loved seeing beyond Gage’s public persona to the guy underneath–how he manages to stay so upbeat and positive on the outside when so much of his childhood was a real and total nightmare is amazing. He oozes self-confidence (his t-shirt in the first scene reads Firefighter. Because BADASS isn’t a proper job title) and draws people to him like a moth to flame, but inside he’s got just as many insecurities as the next person, if not more.

He made me–like Brady–positively melt.

But Brady wasn’t going to make starting a relationship between the two easy–of course not–note the aforementioned issues.

Brady brought back more than scars from the Afghan prison where he and Eli were held captive. He’s closed off, antisocial, has major control issues, and doesn’t like to be touched.

But there’s Gage. All wanting to be close and up in his space. Not to mention shirtless and sweaty up on that billboard Brady accidentally on purpose drives past every chance he gets. (And that billboard gets Brady into big trouble–and leads to a super-hot scene. LOL–I loved that part!)

Can Brady let down his walls and let Gage in? And will Gage be brave enough to share his own dark secrets with him?

And the big question: just who is going to “Han-Fucking-Solo-in Empire” whom in the end?

You’ll have to read Melting Point to find out…and you’ll be very glad you did!

Melting Point would probably work fine as a standalone, but reading Flirting first definitely gives you a more complete picture. Heck, since Beck and Darcy are finally back from their extended trip, why not start right from the beginning with Rekindle the Flame? 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

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

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Nina Croft, Author of BLOOD AND METAL, Talks About Space Operas, Vampires, and Living Forever (with a giveaway!)

Help me welcome Nina to the blog today! Chat with her in the comments and enter to win 🙂

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Space Operas, Vampires and Living Forever

I first came across the term, space opera, a few years ago when I saw a publisher’s submission call. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and here’s what it says:

Space opera is a subgenre of speculative fiction that emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, generally involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced technologies and abilities…. Perhaps the most significant trait of space opera is that settings, characters, battles, powers, and themes tend to be very large-scale.

Well known film and TV examples are: Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica, and my all time favorite, Firefly. And I realized that I’ve actually been a huge fan of space operas for most of my life.

My Dark Desires series is primarily a space opera. The books follow the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of the crew of the space ship, the Blood Hunter. The series has romance, adventure, it’s set in outer space, and it involves opponents with advanced abilities. But it also has something not included in the Wikipedia definition—vampires.

Book 1 in the series, BREAK OUT, introduced us to the pilot of the Blood Hunter, Ricardo Sanchez. Rico is a vampire and he’s been around for a long time. He was born in the Middle Ages on Earth and he’s seen a lot of changes. Like me, he’s also a big Star Wars fan, which is probably why he’s ended up as the pilot of a space ship. He sees himself as a sort of Han Solo with fangs—he’s living a dream.

And, because I love vampires, in my latest release, BLOOD AND METAL, book 5 in the series, we have another. Daisy is the co-pilot of the Blood Hunter and a plant/human hybrid. She’s also a newly turned vampire, struggling to come to terms with the changes.

As vampires, Rico and Daisy are immortal and that’s one of the reasons I was happy to include them in my space opera. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of immortality—what people would do to gain it, what price would they pay, how they would cope if they did somehow find a way to live forever—and this is the main theme running through the Dark Desires series. It’s set in a future where man has fled to the stars. There they have discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, it’s exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few, and a new ruling class has evolved—the Collective.

Daisy never really wanted immortality, she had it thrust on her when she was dying and Rico changed her to save her life (In book 4, Temporal Shift.) But everything has a price. The price Daisy is paying is that she lives with a darkness within her. A darkness that craves blood and death. She doesn’t want to lose herself totally and is fighting to maintain at least some of the person she was before. Rico has told her the best way to control the darkness is sex.  Not much help when she’s liable to drain anyone dry, or rip out their throats, if they get too close. Then an old lover, Fergal, comes along. Fergal has found his own route to immortality—he’s a cyborg and his blood tastes—yuk—so Daisy is unlikely to drain him dry.  He seems like the perfect match except… Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out what can go wrong.

So what do you think—would you like to live forever? Let me know for a chance to win an ecopy of Break Out.

 

Author bio:

Portrait of writer Nicola Cleasby

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

 

Social Media links:

Website: http://www.ninacroft.com/

Email: ninacroft@hotmail.co.uk

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nina.Croft.author

https://www.facebook.com/NinaCroft.Writer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nina_Croft

Amazon Author Page:   http://www.amazon.com/Nina-Croft/e/B004V2EML6/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3378320.Nina_Croft

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Blood and Metal Blurb:

She’s his last chance for redemption…if she doesn’t kill him first.

Copilot of the Blood Hunter, Daisy is a newly-turned vampire, and she’s hungry. Really hungry and it’s interfering with her plans for revenge. Unfortunately, the only thing that can distract her from said hunger is sex…which is a problem when she can barely refrain from draining any man dry within moments. But old flame Fergal Cain might just be the sexy-assed solution to her problem.

Part human, part cyborg, and with a poison coursing through his system, Fergal’s running out of time to find the scientist who has the cure. Unfortunately for him, the misfit crew of the Blood Hunter put a serious kink in his plans. And if the poison doesn’t kill him, the hot little vamp he can’t resist might do the honors herself…

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New Release Spotlight! HIS WICKED DESIRE by Dawn Chartier (Vieux Carré Witch Sisters #2)

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Blurb:

He’s found himself a wicked witch…

Brye Morgeaux is a half-witch, half-warlock who always relied on her beauty-especially when it came to men. After a run-in with a particularly vicious warlock, Brye’s face is left scarred, forcing her to look to who she is on the inside. And what Brye finds is darker than anything she’d imagined…

Then she’s handed a terrible ultimatum-join the warlock clan, or watch her family die.

Josh Copeland has known the Morgeaux family for years, and has been waiting for the time when Brye would see him as something-anything-more than a friend. As she battles darkness from within and without, he realizes the woman he loves might just be her own worst, wicked enemy. Now Josh must find a way to show Brye who she really is…before she kills him.

 

Excerpt:

An ache, so strong, tugged at his heart. People used to stare at this beautiful woman whenever she went out, but now she had to deal with kids pointing at her, laughing. If only she could see that her face wasn’t who she really was. She was still beautiful to him, but not just beautiful. She was so much more. If only she’d stop with the charades.

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Buy Links:

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About this author:Dawn Chartier
Dawn might occasionally have a gator parked in her front yard there on the bayou, but it’s the snakes that really scare the bejeezus out of her. So instead, she tends to hole herself up with a good romance book, chocolate by the pound, or marathon tv viewing of Game of Thrones, Being Human, Hell On Wheels, Arrow, various home renovation shows and Supernatural—oh Dean. *swoons*

New Release Review and Excerpt: DRAGON KING by Donna Grant (A Dark Kings/1001 Dark Nights novella)

 We are thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Donna Grant’s DRAGON KING! DRAGON KING is a novella in Donna’s Dark Kings Series brought to you by the team at 1001 Dark Nights! Grab your copy today!

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About DRAGON KING: A Dark Kings Novella:

A Woman on a Mission

Grace Clark has always done things safe. She’s never colored outside of the law, but she has a book due and has found the perfect spot to break through her writer’s block. Or so she thinks. Right up until Arian suddenly appears and tries to force her away from the mountain. Unaware of the war she just stumbled into, Grace doesn’t just discover the perfect place to write, she finds Arian—the most gorgeous, enticing, mysterious man she’s ever met.

A King with a Purpose

Arian is a Dragon King who has slept away centuries in his cave. Recently woken, he’s about to leave his mountain to join his brethren in a war when he’s alerted that someone has crossed onto Dreagan. He’s ready to fight . . . until he sees the woman. She’s innocent and mortal—and she sets his blood aflame. He recognizes the danger approaching her just as the dragon within him demands he claim her for his own…

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Excerpt:

Arian paced the cavern in his mountain in agitation and a wee bit of anxiety. He was shaking off the dragon sleep from the past six hundred years. Not only had it been six centuries since he had been in human form, but there was a war the Dragon Kings were involved in.

Con and the others were waiting for him to join in the war. Every King had been woken to take part. After all the wars they had been involved in, Arian wasn’t happy to be woken to join another.

Because of Ulrik. The banished and disgraced Dragon King hadn’t just made a nuisance of himself, but he somehow managed to get his magic returned.

Which meant the Kings needed to put extra magic into keeping the four silver dragons sleeping undisturbed deep within the mountain. They were Ulrik’s dragons, and he would want to wake them soon.

But it wasn’t just Ulrik that was causing mischief. The Dark Fae were as well. It infuriated Arian that they were once more fighting the Dark. Hadn’t the Fae Wars killed enough Fae and dragons?

Then again, as a Dragon King as old as time itself, they were targets for others who wanted to defeat them.

For Ulrik, he just wanted revenge. Arian hated him for it, but he could understand. Mostly because Arian had briefly joined Ulrik in his quest to rid the realm of humans.

Thoughts of Ulrik were pushed aside as Arian found himself thinking about why he had taken to his mountain. When he came here six hundred years earlier, it was to remain there for many thousands of years.

The Dragon Kings sought their mountains for many reasons. Some were just tired of dealing with mortals, but others had something they wished to forget for a while. Arian was one of the latter.

There were many things he did in his past when the King of Kings, Constantine, asked. Not all of them Arian was proud of. The one that sent him to his mountain still preyed upon him.

He didn’t remember her name, but he remembered her tears. Because of the spell to prevent any of the Dragon Kings from falling in love with mortals, Arian had easily walked away from the female.

Six centuries later, he could still hear her begging him to stay with her, still see the tears coursing down her face. Though he hadn’t felt anything, it bothered him that he had so easily walked away. Because Con had demanded it.

Loyalty—above all else.

The Dragon Kings were his family, and Dreagan his home. There was never any question if he were needed that Arian would do whatever it took to help his brethren in any capacity asked of him.

Review:

“All I know is that I like how I feel when I’m with you. I love how protective you are and that you aren’t afraid to say you’re sorry. I like how you touch me and kiss me. I like how you hold me, but more than anything, I like the possibilities that are before us.”

“We’re in the middle of a war,” he warned.

She shrugged and ran her hands up his chest and over his shoulders to clasp around his neck. “Every couple has their own issues to get through.”

Funny. All those articles I’ve read on getting over writer’s block, not a single one mentioned finding your very own dragon shifter and his mountain to be cured…

The dragon king and the novelist–I like the combination here, though a longer format would have allowed us to get to know them better. The shortness of the novella made everything more rushed than I normally like, but it did give you a taste of the series and Ms. Grant’s writing.

This was my first Donna Grant/Dark Kings story, and it worked fine as a standalone. There is a greater plotline going on in the series as a whole which this story gives you the bare bones of, but really this novella is mainly concerned with its two main characters, one of whom just woke up from a 600-year sleep, so it’s as good a place as any to start. If you just want to get a taste of the author’s writing to see if you want to tackle the series, it’s a great place to start–like many of the 1001 Dark Nights novellas.

Rating: 3 stars / C

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

DRAGON KING
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donna_grant_newAbout Donna Grant:

Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, four cats, and one long haired Chihuahua.

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** DRAGON KING Goodreads

DRAGON KING – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

August 26th

Penny for My Thoughts – Review

JB’s Book Obsession – Excerpt

She Hearts Books – Review

Pages Abound – Excerpt

August 27th

Read Your Writes – Excerpt

Reads All the Books – Review & Excerpt

Booklover4lifeblog – Excerpt

21st Century Once Upon A Times – Review & Excerpt

August 28th

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

Oh My Shelves – Excerpt

I can’t help where my mind goes – Review

My Golden Reads – Review & Excerpt

August 29th

Ali’s Reviews and Morr – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Oh My Growing TBR – Excerpt

August 30th

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt

Books That Hook – Review

Jen’s Reading Obsession – Excerpt

August 31st

Romancing the Readers – Review

SofiaLovesReading – Review

Home Is Where the Wine Is Book Blog – Review

September 1st

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Romance Bytes – Excerpt

Literary Misfit – Review & Excerpt

Books and Warpaint – Review & Excerpt

September 2nd

Boundless Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Love Affair With Fiction – Excerpt

Kelsey’s Corner Time – Review

The Book Disciple – Excerpt

September 3rd

Revenge of the Feels – Review & Excerpt

Roxy’s Reviews – Excerpt

Reading in Pajamas – Review & Excerpt

My World of Books – Review

September 4th

Once Upon An Alpha – Review

Confessions of a Bookfreak – Review

Sultry, Steamy Reading – Review

Amour’s Books – Review & Excerpt

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New Release Spotlight and Giveaway: LOCKET FULL OF SECRETS by Dana Burkey

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Book Description:

After over 4 years, Olena comes rocketing back into Claire’s life, changing everything for the worse. Picking up the shattered pieces, Claire is not sure who to believe. Is Olena who she says she is, or is she a killer to stay away from? Leaning on her new boyfriend Steven for support, Claire is faced with the choice on who to trust: a friend she barley knows, or a history lesson she barely remembers. Together, the three will begin a journey that will take Claire from the safety of her home to the last place she thought she would ever be: The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. With the wreckage of rector four looming behind her, Claire will have to see Olena’s plan through until the end if she wants any chance of making it out alive.

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Locket Full of Secrets Excerpt (End of Chapter 5)

“Night, sweetheart,” dad added before giving me a kiss on the forehead.

As they turned out the light and left my room I found myself suddenly more awake. The dark reminded me of the bathroom just before I saw the body, and that thought got my heart racing once again.

Walking to the window I opened it to allow for some of the spring air to fill my room. It was cold out, but it felt good after being inside for so long. Hearing a metal scraping sound behind me I turned to face my vanity. Moving closer, it became clear what was making the noise. The necklace Olena had given me was swinging where it hung, tapping into the mirror.

It had been a full year since I last saw Olena. My birthday had come and gone, followed by summer and even Christmas. I knew it was time I accepted the fact that I would probably never see her again.

Pulling the wrapped gift box from the top drawer of my dresser I could feel tears pricking my eyes. Despite my promise to open it when I saw her again, I had waited enough.

Ripping the paper off, I tossed it onto the ground, revealing a flat square box. As I took off the lid, a handwritten card from Olena greeted me instantly.

“In case I do not see you again, I wanted you to have this. You are my true best friend, and you will be missed. Do svidanija, Olena.”

Wiping my face with the back of my hand I pulled the card aside to reveal a necklace I knew well. Nestled in the small box was the silver pendant Olena always wore. It was a gift from her aunt and uncle; a locket that never opened. That did not matter though, as the design on its front more than made up for it.

I ran my thumb over the intricate tree design with light pink amethyst stones making up its delicate leaves. Since we shared the same birthday, February 23rd, it was not just my birthstone but Olena’s as well. With shaking hands I undid the clasp and put it around my neck, then looked at my reflection in the mirror.

Staring at the necklace resting atop my sweater I suddenly felt certain I would see Olena again soon. This necklace was too important for her to give me and then disappear from my life forever. Picking up the wrapper and reading the Russian birthday greeting once again, I felt a smile pull at my lips. This present gave me hope. This small amount of silver and stone was a sign from Olena she would always be my friend, no matter what. It was a sign of hope she would come back one day, and proof that our friendship meant something to her.

Pulling the necklace from its perch I held it in my hand, my thumb rubbing over the tree design the same way I had done so many times before. Tears sprang up in my eyes as I turned and threw the necklace at the wall. As it tumbled to the ground I heard it making contact with the floor grate, before falling into the heating duct. It would likely be stuck there, out of reach, until I unscrewed the grate to find it. My tears blurred my vision as I stumbled back to bed, unable to stop their flow. Crawling under my covers I hugged my new teddy bear tight as my body was wracked with sobs. Pressing my face into my pillow to mask the sounds, I cried until my body was too exhausted to do anything but sleep.

 

About Dana Burkey:
dana burkey
I graduated college from Youngstown State University in 2009 with a degree in theater and a minor in creative writing. I am currently living in Washington State in a little cabin in the woods with my cat Cato. I work full time at a kids camp, and spend my free time doing community theater and adventuring in nature! I am an avid geocacher, and love watching reality TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, and Big Brother! I am currently working on my next project that includes a few YA romances and a YA dystopian series!

 

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! SCOTSMAN OF MY DREAMS by Karen Ranney (MacIain #2)

Looking for a historical romance? Look no further!

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Scotsman of My Dreams
MacIain #2
By: Karen Ranney
Releasing August 25, 2015
Avon

Blurb:

In USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney’s second novel in her breathtaking series, an unconventional woman and a former scoundrel embark on a daring mission of desire. 

Once the ton’s most notorious rake, Dalton MacIain has returned from his expedition to America during the Civil War-wounded and a changed man. Instead of attending soirees, he now spends his time as a recluse. But Dalton’s peace is disturbed when Minerva Todd barges into his London townhouse, insisting he help search for her missing brother Neville. Though Dalton would love to spend more time with the bewitching beauty, he has no interest in finding Neville-for he blames him for his injury.

Minerva has never met a more infuriating man than the Earl of Rathsmere yet she is intrigued by the torrid rumors she has heard about him…and the fierce attraction pulling her toward him.

Dalton does not count on Minerva’s persistence-or the desire she awakens in him, compelling him to discover her brother’s fate. But when danger surrounds them, Dalton fears he will lose the tantalizing, thoroughly unpredictable woman he has come to love.

 

Excerpt:

“Are you afraid?” he asked.

“Of course not. I just don’t want to kiss you.”

“Not at all?”

“Not one little bit. Not an iota.”

“No curiosity about what it might be like to kiss the man Queen Victoria said was most certainly the worst rake in all of London?”

“No.”

“You’re fibbing, Minerva.”

“I’m not.”

He lowered his head, brushed his lips over her heated cheek. To his surprise, she didn’t move away. Slowly, he traced a path to her lips, breathing against them before placing his mouth on hers.

A kiss should be an appetizer. A kiss was a prelude, strings being tuned in an orchestra pit, dawn on an important day.

A kiss was not a feast. A kiss was not an explosion of the senses. But this one was.

He could smell her, that hint of earthiness mixed with her new perfume. Her skin was warm against his fingertips, her cheek heating as he inclined his head slightly to deepen the kiss.

Her mouth opened slightly on a gasp.

He wanted to banish her sorrow, the pain Neville had caused her. He wanted to change the tenor of her thoughts, give her something to replace her dread.

He could give Minerva passion. That’s the gift he could give her.

Review:

How have I never read anything by Karen Ranney before? I have no idea. It’s an oversight I plan on fixing…soon.

I adored both Minerva (such an awesome name!) and Dalton. I suspect I wouldn’t have been too crazy about the “before” Dalton–a man who is so bored with his life of debauchery he runs off to join a war, a war he actually tosses a coin to decide for which side he’s going to fight?? Who does that? (well, obviously someone, since it’s based on a real event, but honestly)–but the Dalton we meet in this book is wonderful.

Or at least he works his way over to wonderful, slowly but surely.

And Minerva? I’ll let Dalton speak for her here:

She was too opinionated, too stubborn, too much an individual. She pushed against the mold of society, bent its restraints, and was in the process of making herself a source of endless gossip.

His need to protect her startled him. She was, on the face of it, not the type of woman who engendered protective impulses. But that was the problem, wasn’t it? People didn’t see the true Minerva. They didn’t realize her loneliness or that she was easily wounded despite her crusty exterior. They didn’t know her capacity for affection or her sense of loyalty and duty.

She wasn’t plain; she was beautiful in a way that was completely Minerva’s.

All that, and she’s an amateur archaeologist. She’s definitely up there as one of my favorite heroines, and together she and Dalton are absolutely among my favorite couples.

They definitely don’t start out that way–this is a classic enemies-to-lovers story.

“You can be the most arrogant, autocratic, rude creature it has ever been my experience to meet.”

“While you, on the other hand, are impulsive, rash, and given to outlandish behavior with no thought to the consequences.”

“You drove me to it.”

Minerva Todd was making him insane.

And that conversation was after they fell in love. 😉

Two thumbs way, way up on this one! A slow build to romance, a hint of mystery and danger, and two fascinating main characters who it’s so easy to fall for make this one a definite must-read. It’s second in the series but works just fine as a standalone–Glynis, Dalton’s cousin and the heroine of book one ( In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams ) plays a very small but important role, but you don’t need to know more of her story than is given here for this book to work.

Anxiously awaiting book three, An American in Scotland !

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

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

SomD

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Goodreads Link

Goodreads Series Link

 Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo  

 

Author Info:Karen_Ranney

Karen Ranney began writing when she was five. Her first published work was The Maple Leaf, read over the school intercom when she was in the first grade. In addition to wanting to be a violinist (her parents had a special violin crafted for her when she was seven), she wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher, and, most of all, a writer. Though the violin was discarded early, she still admits to a fascination with the law, and she volunteers as a teacher whenever needed. Writing, however, has remained the overwhelming love of her life.

 

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Lisa Nicolas, Author of AS LOST AS I GET, Talks About Her Writing Inspiration (with a giveaway!)

Lisa Nicholas gets inspired by a classic!

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“I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I even read one of your books.”

It’s funny the things that stick with us and influence us years later. In 1984, a movie came out called Romancing the Stone, staring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. You’re probably familiar with it: Joan Wilder is a reclusive but wildly popular romance novelist, and when her sister gets kidnapped in Colombia, Joan has to face everything she fears about the outside world (which is pretty much everything) to go save her. Along the way, she meets the dashing (if somewhat crude) Jack Colton and they wind up having adventures and eventually falling in love.

Little did I realize I’d be writing a bit of an homage to it thirty years later, with my new book, As Lost as I Get.

Make no mistake: Zoe, my heroine, isn’t a romance novelist, and she’s much tougher than Joan Wilder. Zoe’s hero Lee isn’t nearly as uncouth as Jack Colton. (His mother would never tolerate such behavior!) But one of the first things I knew about As Lost as I Get was that I wanted my hero and heroine to wind up lost together in the jungle. That’s when I remembered Joan and Jack, and knew I had to write my own version of the infamous mud slide scene:

They were pushing their way up a particularly steep slope, the water running down her face and turning the ground beneath her feet to treacherous black mud. Her feet started to slip in slow motion. Her first instinct was to push forward harder, to try and get past the slippery spot. It just succeeded in making her fall faster, and the world sped up when she landed face first and started to slide down the slope. “Lee!” was all she managed before she had to close her mouth to avoid a mouthful of mud.

It was like sledding, if snow were black instead of white, and warm instead of cold. She tried to turn over, tried to grab at roots and tree saplings to stop her fall, but she was moving too fast. Mud filled her shoes and pushed up her pant legs, soaked through her shirt. When she finally slid to a stop—at the bottom of the slope she’d just climbed—it felt like the entire fall had taken an hour. Despair pushed her down into the mud like a bully’s hand, and she didn’t try to get up at first.

Unfortunately, Lee doesn’t wind up following her down the hill (or landing with his face in an intimate spot–that happens later ;)), but I was able to use the moment to make the two of them stop and consider their feelings for each other, and it’s a major turning point in their relationship.

That moment was, I swear, the only intentional reference to the movie. It wasn’t until after the book was finished that I spotted other similarities too, like the setting, Colombia. I also had the awkward realization that, like Joan, I’m a single romance writer who’s much more interested in writing about dangerous adventures than having them–and is pretty attached to her cat (cats, in my case, and a dog). Like I said, it’s funny what sticks with you.

Thankfully (?) I don’t have a sister. And if my Jack or Lee want to find me, they’re going to have to look, not in the wilds of Colombia, but in the neighborhood coffee shop where I’ll be working on my next book.

 

About Lisa Nicholas: P12-8013f

Lisa Nicholas is the author of The Farther I Fall. If she’s not writing, she’s feeding her story addiction any way she can: raiding Netflix, pillaging her local bookstore and library, and (most recently) tearing her way through the comics archive at Marvel.

Connect with Lisa at her website | blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

AS LOST AS I GET by Lisa Nicholas is the perfect mix of hot romance and thrilling adventure. A doctor working in rural Colombia is shocked to run into the CIA agent who saved her life two years before. After an impetuous night of passion, she vows to stay away from him. But when her job takes her deeper into the jungle, he may be the only one who can save her from a new threat… If readers liked STRIKING DISTANCE by Pamela Clare they’ll be thrilled by this romantic suspense.

AsLostasIGet

Title: As Lost as I Get
Author: LisaNicholas
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Berkley Intermix
Print Length: 72k
Format: Digital ONLY
Digital ISBN: 9780698191464

Synopsis: 

From the author of The Farther I Fall comes an action-filled romance in which two lovers discover that the best thing about being lost is having someone find you…

CIA operative Lee Wheeler is glad to be back in the field, even if the assignment is at a backwater station in Colombia—what he considers punishment for crossing lines in an attempt to save his brother’s life. Either way, he’s ready for action. But he never could have predicted the action he’s about to get…

Doctor Zoe Rodriguez is in charge of a clinic in a tiny town on the edge of the rain forest. She’s still dealing with a traumatic experience she had in Mexico—a trauma she wouldn’t have survived if it weren’t for Lee. So when they unexpectedly cross paths again, unresolved wounds rise to the surface, and their mutual passion flares to life.

But when a new threat reveals itself, Lee and Zoe’s reunion takes on echoes of the past that may ruin their chance for a future.

 

Find out more at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Books-a-Million

 

 

Other Books from Lisa Nicholas:

THE FARTHER I FALL

Sometimes when you fall, you land just where you need to be…

Gwen Tennison got out of Afghanistan alive but scarred–and then got stuck on her sister’s couch. When she’s offered a job managing the U.S. tour for rock music’s hottest, most troubled star, it seems like just the thing to snap her out of her post-injury funk. Her instructions are simple: start the shows on time, and keep him clean.

But Lucas Wheeler may be more than she can handle. Though he’s drug-free, he still feels the need, and his gorgeous, capable new tour manager is a challenge he can’t ignore. Fame and infamy have forced Lucas to protect his heart, but soon he finds himself craving Gwen’s touch, and yearning to give her control. And Gwen might feel the same way.

But it’s not just the mutual heat between them that is keeping Gwen on her toes. Someone is following Lucas from city to city. With more than just her job on the line Gwen must decide how much she’s willing to risk to keep Lucas safe.

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Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Books-a-Million

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New Release and Giveaway! DRIVING HER CRAZY by Kira Archer

Out now!

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Book Title: Driving Her Crazy

Author: Kira Archer

Release Date: Aug 17, 2015

Genre: romantic comedy

Book Synopsis:

Cher Debusshere hates being the black sheep of her posh, well-to-do family almost as much as she hates driving—which is exactly what she’s forced to do when her flight home for her perfect sister’s wedding is grounded. Fan-freakin’-tastic. Then a hot guy offers to share both the car rental and the driving duties…only to drive her crazy by assuming she’s just some spoiled little rich girl.

Mechanic Nathaniel “Oz” Oserkowski is about as blue-collar as they come. There’s never been a time he hasn’t worked his ass off, and he’s determined to prove it to the gorgeous princess in the passenger seat. As the miles pass, they bait and needle each other…until their lust and longing gets so hot it nearly overheats the engine.

They have nothing in common. Hell, they can barely stand each other. But sometimes it takes a journey to change the destination…

 

Excerpt:

Cher smiled, refusing to think of anything else but that moment. The rest of the world could come crashing in later. Oz…settled back against the seat, pulling her into his lap. He kissed her, his lips gently caressing her forehead, her cheeks, her jaw, her neck. He nuzzled against her, breathing her in. Her heart skipped at the painfully sweet tenderness of his actions.

She didn’t say a word, just curled into him and he held her. For just a brief moment, she considered the possibility that Oz could be the one for her. That maybe they could make it work. She could go live with him, open her shop near him. Have dinner on the table every night when he got home and send him off to work every morning with a cup of coffee and a kiss. They could have babies and maybe get a cat. Or a dog. Or both. They could have it all. Have their dreams and each other.

It was a nice thought.

But that’s all it was.

Part of her would love nothing more than to walk right up to her parents and announce that instead of reapplying for medical school or marrying whatever suitable man they’d dug up, she was going to open her own extension of DressHer and ride off into the sunset with Oz. The other part of her knew she’d never do it. They’d disown her on the spot. And as much as they drove her nuts and sometimes made her downright miserable, she loved them. They were her parents.

And the longer she sat there, curled on Oz’s lap like they had some kind of future together, the harder it was going to be to leave him and go back to her real life.

Time to end the fantasy and get back to reality.

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Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Entangled

Kira ArcherAuthor Bio:

Kira Archer resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kiddos, and far too many animals in the house. She tends to laugh at inappropriate moments, break all the rules she gives her kids (but only when they aren’t looking), and would rather be reading a book than doing almost anything else. She has odd, eclectic tastes in just about everything and often lets her imagination run away with her. She loves a variety of genres and along with contemporary romances, she writes historicals as Michelle McLean.

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Giveaway Info: $25 Amazon gift card International entrants welcome.

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway! THE MISFIT BRIDES SERIES by Jamie Farrell (BLISSED, MATCHED, and SMITTENED)

Three cover reveals in one!
The Misfit Brides Series
by Jamie Farrell
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blissed
(previously published as The Husband Games)
Book 1: The Misfit Brides Series
Release Date: August 7, 2014
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Buy the Book:

Welcome To Bliss, the Bridal Capitol of the Midwest!

Natalie Castellano practically has it all—beauty, brains, and a stellar reputation. Because childbearing hips and exhaustion lines are totally sexy. And knowing when to let go of her family’s failing bridal boutique is smart…right? Plus, who doesn’t want to be that divorced mother in Bliss?

With all she has going for her, it would be selfish to secretly wish for love too. Who needs it? Definitely not Nat. But perhaps she does need to take her wedding dress-obsessed little boy somewhere else for a fresh start.

CJ Blue is on top of the world. At least, he was last week when he stood on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Now, he’s in an empty confessional, hiding from the hullabaloo of a family wedding. Aka the depths of hell.

His meddling relatives want to poke at the deep psychological wounds he supposedly bears from being a twenty-something widower. But he doesn’t want to talk, he doesn’t want to be fussed over, and he certainly doesn’t want another chance to fail at love. He just wants to get through this wedding and back to his adventurous life.

But when a dark-haired, wounded-eye beauty invades his sanctuary and whispers a secret he was never supposed to know, he gets swept up in her life. Is he brave enough to tackle the adventure of life in Bliss, or will he walk away from the only woman in the world who could offer him love, forgiveness, and a second chance?

Matched
Book 2: The Misfit Brides Series
Release Date: October 20, 2015
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Pre-Order Now:

Welcome Back to Bliss, The Land of Happily Ever Afters!

Lindsey Castellano couldn’t ask for more. She’s the most successful divorce lawyer ever raised in Bliss. (Never mind that she’s the only one.) She’s her nephew’s favorite aunt. (For the moment, anyway.) And thanks to a little gift (or curse) from the universe, she’s an expert at avoiding love, commitment, and inevitable heartbreak. Or so she thought until the night of her sister’s wedding.

Will Truitt might’ve grown up living a country song—his momma died, his daddy went to prison, and his dog ran away—but as an adult, he’s been blessed by the country rock gods. Being Billy Brenton on stage isn’t an honor he takes lightly. He likes to give back what fame has given him, which is how he finds himself happily crashing a wedding in this quirky little bridal-obsessed town. The one thing he isn’t counting on, though, is colliding with the only girl he ever let himself love.

It’s been fifteen years since Lindsey shattered his heart. Then, she’d been a sorority girl on her way to the top, and he’d been a lowly janitor with a little bit of a dream. Now he’s on top of the world, and she’s the last person he should need or want.

But she’s the only person who has ever inspired his music. And he’s the only man she’s never been able to forget. Have the years made them wiser, stronger, and better able to love, or this time, will they simply crash and burn harder?

Smittened
Book 3: The Misfit Brides Series
Release Date: March 1, 2015
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Buy the Book:

A Bad Boy, a Good Girl, and Ice Cream Collide in the Best Little Wedding Town in America!

Dahlia Mallard has finally found her destiny—running an ice cream shop in the happiest bridal town in the Midwest. Problem is, her heart is bigger than her bank account, and she needs a serious influx of cash to get through the winter. Her last-ditch effort? Getting country music superstar Billy Brenton to commit to attending her risqué flavor-tasting event to boost ticket sales. But the closest she can get to Billy is his drummer, the womanizing Mikey Diamond.

Mikey loves the ladies, and he makes no secret of it. But he’s not such a fan of this town devoted to weddings, love, and marriage. And he’s even less of a fan of people using him to get to Billy. When circumstances land Mikey in Dahlia’s house, though, all his caution—and all his interest in any other single ladies—flies out the window. Dahlia’s quirky and funny and, unlike all the other women he’s ever known, she doesn’t tolerate any of his baloney. But when Mikey discovers that Dahlia, too, is using him to get close to Billy, will he take the chance to be her hero instead, or will he revert to his manwhore ways?

 

MATCHED (Misfit Brides #2) Playlist

 

 

Jamie Farrell writes fun contemporary romances with quirky characters and lots of heart. She believes love, laughter, and bacon are the most powerful forces in the universe. Her debut novel, Southern Fried Blues, was a finalist for the 2013 National Readers’ Choice Awards and the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards.

A native Midwesterner, Jamie has lived in the South the majority of her adult life. When she’s not writing, she and her military hero husband are busy raising three hilariously unpredictable children.

 

 

Join Jamie’s Feisty Belles! The Feisty Belles is a fan group with open membership. Members get exclusive content and other fun stuff. 🙂