Sale Blitz and Giveaway! ALEXA LOVED by T.R. Cupak (Alexa #2)

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Alexa Loved
by T.R. Cupak
(Alexa #2)
Publication date: October 6th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult,Romance
Synopsis:

After her parents died during her senior year of high school, Alexa Morgan is completely alone in the world—except for her best-friend-turned-boyfriend Devin, identical twins Becca and Jessa, and Sebastian, a mysterious associate of her father’s.

Upon graduation, Alexa wants nothing more than to move on with her life, go to college, and forget all the hard and hurtful things from her tragic past. But when her first love, Ethan, shows up at her graduation—it kicks off a whirlwind of events that threatens the good and stable things she’s worked so hard to achieve.

Ethan and Alexa shared one night of passion before he disappeared, leaving her bewildered and confused. But now he’s back, declaring that he loves her and that the only reason he left was to protect her from his malicious stepmother, Olivia.

In her heart, Alexa knows she loves Devin, but her attraction to Ethan is so strong she can’t help but be drawn in by their shared chemistry. Meanwhile, the threat of Olivia lurks around the edges, casting a menacing shadow over everything and everyone Alexa loves.

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AUTHOR BIO:TR

T. R. Cupak was born and raised in the California Bay Area. She now lives in a quiet town south of where she grew up with her husband and their shih tzu Harley. She is obsessed with cars, especially fast ones, and enjoys her music louder than anyone should. When she’s not at work or busy writing, you can find her curled up, reading and enjoying a fabulous glass of wine or a Dirty Shirley.

Despite her lifelong love of literature, Cupak lost touch with her creative side in her early twenties. Her passion for reading was rekindled six years ago, however, and in 2013 she started journaling. This practice helped Cupak hone her creative aspirations, and soon she saw her characters come to life. She has rediscovered her passion for storytelling and wants to share her words with everyone who wants to read them.

Author links:

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! ANATOMY OF A PLAYER by Cindi Madsen (Taking Shots #2)

Make sure you check out Cindi’s guest post (all about kissing scenes!) here–and two awesome kissing scenes on the Saturday morning video post here.

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Title: Anatomy of a Player
Author: Cindi Madsen
Age: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled

Synopsis:

This bad boy is about to get played…

After getting her heart broken by a player again, Whitney Porter is done with men. She’s focusing on her future career and her first assignment at the college newspaper: Posing as a sports writer for an exposé on the extra perks jocks receive. But Hudson Decker, the bad boy of the hockey team, is about to test her resolve. To keep herself from breaking her no-sex rule with the temptingly tattooed athlete, she decides to use him for a side project: Anatomy of a Player, to help Whitney—and women everywhere—spot a player, learn what makes him tick, and how to avoid falling for one.

With his life spiraling out of control, Hudson Decker’s looking for a distraction. When his teammates bet him that he can’t land the gorgeous but prickly new reporter, he accepts the challenge, boasting he’ll have her in bed by the end of the semester. But Whitney is so much more than Hudson expected, and soon enough, he’s in too deep. The last thing he needs is another complication, but staying away isn’t an option. One thing’s for certain: this girl totally throws him off his game.

AddtoGoodreadsReview:

It’s official–I love this series. I didn’t honestly thinkAnatomy of a Player was going to be quite as good as book one in the series, Getting Lucky Number Seven –in fact, I read this one with a great deal of trepidation for much of the book, so afraid that things were going to spiral right out of control toward the end–but Ms. Madsen proved me wrong. Things could have gone so, so badly with Hudson and Whitney–they did get pretty grim, in fact, and rightly so, since both characters made some pretty iffy choices early on that just couldn’t possibly have ended well–but fortunately, what Whitney and Hudson did in the end that showed they were better people than that, and they saved their HEA.

Thank goodness. Because it might have killed me if they didn’t. If anyone deserved an HEA, it’s these two. They have great chemistry, and even though on the surface they seem to be completely different, they actually have a lot in common. Even where they are dissimilar, they each have what the other needs in order to be stronger. I adored how supportive they were of each other, even when they weren’t together during the book’s darkest moments. I also loved that Beck and Lyla (from book one) were in here as well, and helped the two of them to pull it together in the end.

Speaking of endings–be prepared for a fantastic finish, because Ms. Madsen knows how to write some pretty kick-butt grand gestures 🙂 Hudson’s is a doozy–hockey players for the win!

Though it is book two in the series, Anatomy should work fine as a standalone…but do yourself a favor and read them both; you won’t be sorry!

Now–can I put in my vote for Dane’s book next? 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

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

 

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About the author:Cindi Madsen

USA Today Bestselling author Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

Visit her at www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter and learn about upcoming releases.

Cindi is the author of YA books All the Broken Pieces, Cipher, Rift, Resolution, and Demons of the Sun, and adult romances Falling for Her Fiancé, Act Like You Love Me, Resisting the Hero, Cinderella Screwed Me Over and Ready to Wed.

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Cindi Madsen, Author of ANATOMY OF A PLAYER, Talks About Kissing Scenes

Don’t miss my review of ANATOMY OF A PLAYER here–with a giveaway! 🙂

Image courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

I’m such a sucker for a fabulous kiss scene. When people ask what to do when they get stuck while writing, I tell them to add a kissing scene. They’re always my favorite scenes, especially when I’ve been waiting & hoping the characters will kiss. It’s one thing that keeps me flipping the pages.

I thought I’d share a snippet from one of Anatomy of a Player’s kissing scenes & then talk some of my favorite onscreen kissing scenes.

I dragged my fingers over the spot where material met skin, her sharp intake of breath spurring me on. I leaned closer, leaving that last inch between our lips open for a moment so she could pull away if she wanted. Instead she closed the gap, her soft lips igniting a fire within me when they touched mine.

I slid my hand behind her neck and drew her to me. Another wave of heat rolled through my veins as I parted her lips with my tongue, taking my first full taste. She moaned into my mouth, and then every thought I’d ever had flew out of my head and my baser instincts took over. I looped my arm around her waist and pulled her onto my lap, never breaking the kiss.

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My five favorite kissing scenes:

  1. Crazy Stupid Love – When Emma Stone goes charging into the bar, hair wet from the rain, and kisses Ryan Gosling, I get butterflies! I love how he goes from shocked & hands off to very hands on, mid-kiss. When I need kissing scene inspiration, I go to Youtube & watch it again and again.
  2. North & South – Once Richard Armitage stepped onto the scene, I’d be a goner. Not to mention that delicious accent. But I love the push and pull, and how the romantic tension just builds & builds, until you’re screaming at the characters to kiss already! It makes the payoff that much more satisfying, and that kissing scene definitely stands out in my mind when I think about amazing cinematic kisses.
  3. The Notebook – Rain, check. Scruffy Ryan Gosling, check. Crazy romantic tension & the declaration that “It still isn’t over!”, double check!
  4. Veronica Mars – Until Veronica kissed Logan, I didn’t even know I wanted it to happen. But after that first amazing kiss, I found myself cheering for team LoVe, and hoping it’d happen more & more.
  5. New Girl – As a sucker for friends to lovers, I could see the romantic tension building between Nick and Jess. I love that the writers took their time with it, and when they finally kissed, it was so swoony & satisfying.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be watching kissing scenes on Youtube.

Me too, Cindi! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

 

About the author:Cindi Madsen

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

 

About ANATOMY OF A PLAYER:

This bad boy is about to get played…

After getting her heart broken by a player again, Whitney Porter is done with men. She’s focusing on her future career and her first assignment at the college newspaper: Posing as a sports writer for an exposé on the extra perks jocks receive. But Hudson Decker, the bad boy of the hockey team, is about to test her resolve. To keep herself from breaking her no-sex rule with the temptingly tattooed athlete, she decides to use him for a side project: Anatomy of a Player, to help Whitney—and women everywhere—spot a player, learn what makes him tick, and how to avoid falling for one.

With his life spiraling out of control, Hudson Decker’s looking for a distraction. When his teammates bet him that he can’t land the gorgeous but prickly new reporter, he accepts the challenge, boasting he’ll have her in bed by the end of the semester. But Whitney is so much more than Hudson expected, and soon enough, he’s in too deep. The last thing he needs is another complication, but staying away isn’t an option. One thing’s for certain: this girl totally throws him off his game.

 

 

Saturday Morning Video: NEVER BEEN KISSED Kissing Scene (AKA Finally Kissed!)

In honor of Cindi Madsen’s guest post later on this morning, here’s another awesome kissing scene:

I found this one all by myself…though it does feature one of Mini Moe #2’s favorite actresses 🙂

Annnd–spoiler alert–here’s Cindi’s #1 favorite movie kiss:

Now I’ll leave you to your own YouTubing 😉

New Release Review and Giveaway! RECKLESS by Kimberly Kincaid (Rescue Squad #1)

Enter to Win a  Print Copy of RECKLESS

RECKLESS
Rescue Squad #1
Kimberly Kincaid
Releasing on January 26, 2016
Zebra
Someone’s Bound To Get Burned…
 
Zoe Westin may be a fire captain’s daughter, but feeding the people in her hometown of Fairview is her number one priority. Running a soup kitchen is also the perfect way to prove to her dad that helping people doesn’t always mean risking life and limb. But when she’s saddled with a gorgeous firefighter doing community service after yet another daredevil stunt, the kitchen has never been so hot.
 
Alex Donovan thrives on adrenaline, and stirring a pot of soup doesn’t exactly qualify. He’s not an expert at following the rules either,
not even when they come from the stubborn, sexy daughter of the man who’s not only his boss, but his mentor. Determined to show Zoe that not every risk ends in catastrophe, Alex challenges her both in the kitchen and out. One reckless step leads to another, but will falling for each other be a risk worth taking, or will it just get them burned?
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Recalibrating her thoughts back to the task at hand, she pushed past the twin swinging doors leading from the back of the kitchen into the bare-bones dining room. Pale, earlymorning daylight filtered in through the oversized windows at the front of the long, rectangular space, offering just enough visibility for her to make her way behind the dinged up cafeteria-style counter set up along the rear wall. Not wanting to add injury to the insult she’d already racked up this morning, Zoe hit the panel of light switches by the commercial grade coffeemaker. She turned to grab the filters from the adjacent storage drawer and let the rhythm and the smells and the simplicity of the food soothe her like they always did.

But she wasn’t alone in the dining room.

Zoe’s heartbeat locked in her throat as she registered the man sitting at one of the tables closest to the counter, although sitting was actually pretty generous. His long, jeans-clad legs were kicked out in front of him, crossed one over the other at the ankles of his heavy-soled brown leather work boots. His chin lay tucked against the chest of his navy blue jacket, just enough for his fashionably tousled blond hair to obscure his face, and the soft sound rising up from his chest doubled the shock pumping through her veins.

Her party crasher was snoring.

“Okay, Sleeping Beauty. Time to rise and shine.” Zoe barked the words in her best drill-sergeant voice, although she kept her Danskos planted firmly on the business side of the counter. This guy was pretty horizontal for someone with bad intentions—not to mention far more well-kept than their average residents—but she was still on this side of the shelter all by herself. Looks could be deceptive as hell, and despite the security measures she and Tina had been scraping to put into place, Hope House wasn’t exactly in a pristine neighborhood. No way was she taking any chances by sounding too mousy or getting too close. “I don’t know how you got in here, but breakfast doesn’t start until seven. You’ll have to wait back in the residence until then.”

He woke up all at once, perfectly upright and focused with just two blinks, and holy cheese on a cracker, he was gorgeous. “I’m not here for breakfast. I’m—”

“Alex?” Recognition slammed into her senses, working on a five-second delay with her mouth. But this had to be a mistake. No way could Alex Donovan, the cockiest and most reckless firefighter in her father’s entire house, be standing here in front of her with shoulders twice as broad as the last time she’d seen him and a smile so sexy, the damn thing should come with a sternly worded warning label.

“I’m sorry,” he said, his Caribbean blue eyes tapering in confusion as they took a slow trip from her face to her feet and then back up again. “Do I know you?”

Zoe’s cheeks went hot, although whether it was from the way Alex was focused on her so intently or the fact that she was forgettable enough to go unrecognized, she couldn’t be sure.

“Zoe.” She paused, waiting out his continued lack of a light bulb moment for another few seconds before adding, “Westin.”

Alex’s eyes went as round and dark as ripe blueberries in August, and ding, ding, ding. They had a winner. “Holy shit. I mean—” He straightened, tugging a hand through his sun-kissed hair as his grin turned decidedly sheepish. “Your father mentioned you’d moved back to town, but I didn’t realize you were . . . jeez, didn’t you just graduate from college?”

Zoe’s defenses prickled to life. “Five years ago.” Two months before the last time she’d seen him, to be exact. Come to think of it, Alex had treated her like a little girl that day, too.

Right. Because just what her blush needed was more fuel.

“Oh. I guess time really flies, huh?” He tried on another smile, this one all sweet talk, and God, some things never changed. “Anyway, you might be able to help me out. I guess I’m looking for your boss.”

“My who?”

Alex pointed toward the painted cinder block wall that the soup kitchen shared with the shelter. “The only door that was open when I got here was the one to the shelter. The lady behind the desk walked me through the security doors and told me to wait here for the director of the soup kitchen. It’s kind of a long story, but I got stuck with this stupid community service assignment because of an even

more stupid work thing, and this was the first available placement. To be honest, I just want to get it over with.” He tipped his head at her, sliding his hands into the pockets of his jeans like no great shakes. “What’d you do to land here, anyway?”

Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Of all the possible community service assignments in the galaxy, this one took the freaking crown. She might not have clapped eyes on Alex Donovan since she’d made a colossal idiot out of herself in front of him at the Fairview Fire Department annual barbecue five years ago, but clearly, he hadn’t broken the firefighter mold, and she’d been around Station Eight enough to know his reputation by heart. Alex flew by the seat of his bunker pants twenty-four/seven, taking unnecessary risks the way most people took Motrin.

Not happening in her soup kitchen. She might be understaffed, but she wasn’t overstupid.

“The way I landed here was simple, actually,” Zoe said, knotting her arms over her chest tight enough to test the seams of her T-shirt. “I interviewed for the position as director and I got the job.”

The silence extended between them for a beat, then two, before . . . “Wait. You’re the director of the soup kitchen? As in, you run the whole program? I thought you went to some five-star culinary school.” Alex stared at her over the glass and stainless steel food service counter, and at least she’d found the antidote to his smirk.

“Surprise. But don’t worry. You won’t be stuck with this stupid community service assignment for long.”

Her pulse kicked into motion along with her feet, and she angled herself toward the darkly shadowed hallway leading to the pass-through to the shelter. With any luck, Tina would get to work early and could send his arrogant ass packing before Zoe served her first cup of coffee.

“Zoe, wait.” Alex’s long legs ate up the space between them before she could even make it halfway to the dining room door. “I think we got off on the wrong foot here.”

She gave him a tight smile without breaking stride. “At least being a firefighter has kept your observational skills sharp.”

His shoulders snapped into an unyielding knot, his stare flashing cool blue as he kept up with her, step for step. “You want to know what else I picked up with my keen observational skills? You’re in here by yourself, Gorgeous. And that tells me that like it or not, you need all the help you can get to run this place.”

Zoe’s gut took a downhill slide toward her hips, and she froze mid-pace on the threshold of the shadow-lined hallway. “Help from someone who isn’t serious about being here isn’t going to help at all.”

“Oh, I’m absolutely serious,” Alex said, triggering a borderline unladylike snort from her lips.

“You fell asleep on the job before you even started, then you called your assignment in the program I started from scratch ‘stupid.’ As far as I’m concerned, that makes you about as serious as a tabloid headline, no matter how shortstaffed I happen to be.”

One corner of his mouth lifted upward, disappearing briefly beneath his golden brown stubble before he folded his lips back to neutral-expression territory. “Look, you and I might not see eye to eye on the value of community service, but I can promise you this. I’m as determined to do my job as you are to do yours. The city sent me here for a reason. I can’t go back to Station Eight until I do my time, and you need a volunteer. So are we going to help each other out here, or what?”

Zoe opened her mouth, her own personal version of or what preloaded and ready to launch from her tongue. But if there was one rule she lived by above everything else, it was not putting what mattered most at risk, and what mattered most was feeding the residents at Hope House. As much as she knew firefighters—especially ones like Alex Donovan—were nothing but a great, big recipe for disaster, Zoe needed him.

And that meant she had no choice but to spend the next four weeks with the arrogant, impulsive firefighter in her kitchen and under her skin.

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A great series start!

Reckless is a lovers with a past story–kind of–Zoe’s known Alex for ages as a member of her father’s fire station, and she’s had a crush on him almost as long; before going off to college several years ago, she shored up with some liquid courage at a barbecue and tried to convince Alex to kiss her.

He said no–she’s the captain’s daughter–and she’s figured ever since that he wasn’t interested and tried to put him out of her mind. Then he gets assigned to her soup kitchen for his community service…and, well, you see where this is going.

I really liked Alex and Zoe together–they have real chemistry, and Alex did a great job of opening Zoe up to taking risks with her life. What she didn’t realize, however, is that she already was a risk taker–what other kind of person would leave a prestigious position at a fancy restaurant in D.C. to start a soup kitchen in her hometown practically on a shoestring budget? She also equated Alex with reckless risk-taking, when for the most part (initial firefighting scene that got him the community service aside) he took far more precautions than she gave him credit for. Having lost his parents early on, his big focus was living life to the fullest, something he tried to get Zoe to embrace.

Reckless lost at least a part of a star toward the end, when Zoe went a bit off the rails–up until that point, it was going to get at least a four and a half. It also seemed a bit unrealistic that Zoe would have met with her dad weekly for breakfast but never once discussed exactly how he felt about her taking the new job until the end of the book. Fortunately, Zoe finally has the needed conversation with her dad, and he helps her to get her head out of her butt so she can go get her HEA.

Reckless introduces a whole cast of characters at Station Eight; I can’t wait to see them all in future books!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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


Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting crosslegged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber,” she can be
found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.

Kerry Adrienne, Author of STORM DAMAGED, Chats with her Character Mari (with a giveaway)

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Interview with Mari, from Storm Damaged:

Q: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Can you give us a little bio about yourself? I mean, what would you like people to know about you?

Mari:  Well, I’m a terrible singer. I can’t carry a tune at all. So, though I love music, you’re more likely to hear me whistling a song or sometimes even humming instead of singing.

 

Q: What’s your favorite food? What about favorite color?

Mari: I think everyone who knows me knows my favorite color is pink. If I could have everything in my apartment pink, I would. It’s such a happy color. As for my favorite food, hmm. That is harder. I love French Fries. And pickles. And cheese. Pretty much anything you’d find in a diner—I’d eat.

 

Q: What drew you to Chase?

Mari: The first thing that drew me to him was his flailing about in the water, you know, drowning. (laughs). I saved him. He was all covered up in a diving suit, so I didn’t really get a good look at him though. Later, when I got a good look at him—well, what is not to love? He’s a very handsome man. I love his broad shoulders and narrow hips—he’s made to swim.

 

Q: But he’s afraid of the water.

Mari: Yes, he has suffered from PTSD since the diving accident. His brother died and it was a scary night. So he went from being a skilled and proficient diver to being very nervous around the ocean. I hate it for him. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t get in the water to swim.

 

Q: Speaking of swimming and mermaids, are you able to leave the ocean for long? Or are you stuck being stranded nearby?

Mari:  I can live on land. That’s what my plan is, in fact. But I do have to be near the ocean—I can’t move to Kansas or anything like that. And why would I want to? I love the water.

 

Q: Thanks so much for stopping to chat. Is there anything else you want to share?

Mari: Just that if you want to hear mine and Chase’s story, pick up Storm Damaged and see how we handle my betrothed, and a hurricane. I’m honestly not sure which is worse!

 

About Kerry Adrienne:MCP-Kerry-Vail-2-small-large

Repped by the fabulous Marisa Corvisiero with the Corvisiero Literary Agency. http://www.corvisieroagency.com/, Kerry loves history and spends large amounts of time wondering about people who lived and walked on Earth in the past. She’s a mom to three daughters, six cats, and various small animals. Her husband says she’s a marketer’s dream, as she often believes everything she hears—at least initially. Her shoe horde will attest to her fine shopping skills.

In addition to writing, Kerry loves to sew (costumes and cosplay, especially), draw, paint, make chainmail, and play guitar.

Her new love is her Mini Cooper Convertible, Sheldon, and they have already gone on many adventures. They travel to as many concerts as they can–especially Green Day and Marilyn Manson.

You can visit her much-neglected costuming blog here: http://cloakandcostume.blogspot.com/ Maybe she’ll have time to update it soon.


Connect with Kerry: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Title: Storm Damaged
Author: Kerry Adrienne
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Loose Id
Print Length: 231 pages
Format: Digital
Digital ISBN: 978-1-68252-044-4

Synopsis:

In a world where humans don’t know mermaids exist, Mari leaves her home in the ocean to escape her mother, her betrothed, and her tribe’s expectations in order to make a go of independence on land. Chase, former Navy diver and self-appointed curmudgeon-who-isn’t-worthy-of-love, lost his brother in a freak diving accident and now fears the ocean he once loved.

When a hurricane threatens, they have to work together to save everything they’ve worked so hard to build. With Mari’s betrothed on the rampage over a centuries-old vendetta, the storm isn’t the worst thing they’ll have to face.

Purchase: Amazon | Kobo | ARe

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January 25th

Rolo Polo Book Blog Spotlight + Excerpt

Author Lia Davis Interview + Spotlight + Excerpt

Rolo Polo Book Blog Spotlight + Excerpt

Loving Books Review + Spotlight + Excerpt

Corazones Review + Spotlight + Excerpt

Coffee Books and Art Spotlight + Excerpt

Booking with Lana Review + Spotlight + Excerpt

January 26th

T&L Book Reviews Review + Guest Post + Spotlight + Excerpt

Preternatura Guest Post + Spotlight + Excerpt

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!  Spotlight + Excerpt

January 27th

Tantos Livros Tao Pouco Tempo  Spotlight + Excerpt

Room with Books  Spotlight + Excerpt

Reviews by Crystal  Interview + Spotlight + Excerpt

January 28th

Lisa’s Louisiana Home Guest Post + Spotlight + Excerpt

Deal Sharing Aunt  Interview + Spotlight + Excerpt

Let’s Talk About Books Spotlight + Excerpt

January 29th

Becky on Books Guest Post + Spotlight + Excerpt

Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama Spotlight + Excerpt

Kitty’s Book Spot  Guest Post + Spotlight + Excerpt

Raamaturiiulike Review

My Reading Reality Spotlight + Excerpt

Alpha Book Club  Spotlight + Excerpt

A Q&A with Beverly Jenkins, Author of FORBIDDEN (with a review and giveaway!)

 Enter to Win a  $25.00 eGift Card to Your Choice Book Seller

Beverly, please tell us a bit about the new book and series.

The book is titled: Forbidden and is set in 1875 Virginia City Nevada. Our hero, Rhine Fontaine is a saloon owner and a pillar of the community. Our heroine Eddy Carmichael is a cook from Denver and is traveling to California to fulfill a dream of opening her own restaurant when things go awry. She is robbed by a man impersonating a priest and left to die in the desert. Rhine finds her. Books 2 and 3 will focus on Eddy’s nieces Portia and Regan.

 

Did you do anything different with your research this time around?

I didn’t do anything out of the norm for me.  A recently conducted archeological dig in Virginia City unearthed the remains of a high end 1870s saloon founded by a man of color. It, like many of the city’s other business establishments  was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1875. I based Rhine’s saloon on that real saloon.

 

What about the Wild West called you?

Who doesn’t like the scope and sweep of the Wild West? I’ve written quite a few westerns. That I get to add to the standard lore stories about men and women who looked like me along with the Buffalo Soldiers, the all Black townships of Kansas and the black and the brown outlaws and lawmen of Indian Territory makes it even more of a blast.

 

Who did you have more of a connection with while writing, the hero or the heroine?

It depends on the story. Sometimes the story belongs to the hero and at other times the heroines. It can also belong to both. I let the characters decide.

 

Can you share a small teaser from your favorite scene of the book, or describe your favorite scene?

Eddy awakened in a four-poster in a large room barely lit by a turned down lamp. Having no idea where she was or how she came to be there, she shook the cobwebs dulling her thinking and noticed she was wearing a man’s shirt! Perplexed, her eyes moved around the room to a well-appointed sitting area and then to the face of a White man watching her from one of the chairs. Panic flared. She snatched the blanket to her neck and she drew back fearfully.

     “Don’t be afraid. You’re safe. I’m Rhine Fontaine. My friend Jim and I found you in the desert.”

Confused, she tried to force herself to calm down so she could make some sense of this, but she couldn’t. Watching him warily, she asked, “Where am I?” Her throat was dry as sand. She wanted water badly, but needed to solve the mystery of this first.

“Virginia City.”

“And this place is?”

“My bedroom.”

Her eyes went wide. “I need to go, I can’t stay here.”

“Maybe in a few days, but right now—”

Alarmed, she didn’t let him finish. She swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her mind was so foggy she wasn’t sure what was happening, but she knew she had to get away.

He stood and said urgently, “No! You’ll fall!”

He was right. The moment she stood, she was hit by a wave of weakness so strong her legs folded as if they were made of cards. She cried out involuntarily as she hit the floor.

He walked over to her. “As I said, maybe in a few days. Are you okay?”

Drawing away again, she looked up and recognized the face of the man from her dream. She stilled. Had it been a dream? “I’ll scream!”

He sighed. “If you feel that’s necessary, go right ahead, but I’m not going to hurt you—in any way. When you’re done, I can help you back into bed, or carry you to the facilities, whichever you’d prefer.”

Heated embarrassment burned her cheeks. Her needs were not something she talked about to a stranger, and especially not a White man stranger. “I can walk.”

“No, you can’t, but if you want to try, I’ll wait.”

At that moment she saw her bare legs sticking out from beneath the long-tailed shirt, and also realized she had on no underthings! Not drawers. No shift. As quickly as her weakened state allowed, she reached up and pulled the blanket down. Ignoring him as best she could, she covered her bare legs. This was getting worse and worse.

“As I said, my name’s Rhine. And yours?”

“Eddy. Eddy Carmichael.”

“Pleased to meet you, Miss Carmichael. You gave my partner Jim and me quite a scare out there in the desert, but I’m pleased to see you are recovering.”

Then her muddled brain remembered Jack Nash’s perfidy and her walk across the desert, but nothing else. “How long have I been here?”

“Four or five hours.”

Lord, she was thirsty. “May I have some water please?” she croaked. She felt so weak. It was not a state she was accustomed to.

He poured her a glass from a pitcher on the nightstand and handed it to her. “Slowly,” he advised softly. “Just a little for now.”

She nodded and took a few short swallows. The water tasted so good and she was so thirsty she wanted to down the entire offering, but heeding his advice, she took only a few more slow pulls. Done, she handed the glass back and her parched throat savored the relief. “Why am I so weak?”

“Walking the Forty Mile Desert under a full sun takes its toll. So, Miss Eddy—facilities or back to bed?”

She hated to admit it but she really needed choice number one. Thoroughly scandalized, she confessed softly, “The facilities, but I can walk. Just point me in the right direction.” Looking around, she didn’t see a screen of any kind.

“It’s at the end of the hallway.”

“Oh,” she said disappointedly. Still bent on getting there under her own power, though, she wrestled with the blanket in an attempt to fashion it around her waist. Trying to get it out from under her hips and secured without treating him to another show of her legs was a struggle, however. He’d seen more of them than any man ever before.

“Do you want to go today?” he asked in a tone of muted amusement.

She shot him a glare. Reasonably certain the blanket was secured, she said, “Yes.” Now she just had to get up. No small task. The fullness of the blanket made it difficult to get her feet planted so she could stand. She decided she’d use the side of the bed to give her the leverage she needed. She scooted closer.

“You always this stubborn, Miss Carmichael?”

“It’s called determination, Mr. Fontaine.”

“I stand corrected.”

Giving him another withering glare, she grabbed hold of the bed’s wooden side panel and began working herself to her knees. She made a bit of progress, but her weakened state conspired against her efforts. Refusing to surrender and breathing harshly, she slowly inched herself to a standing position, careful not to get her feet fouled by the swath of blanket, and promptly keeled face forward onto the mattress.

Chuckling softly, he picked her up from behind and placed her gently into the cradle of his strong arms. He smiled softly. “It’s called stubbornness.”

Rolling her eyes, she allowed herself to be carried from the room.

 

What is next for you?  What are you working on now?

Next up for me is the June debut of the 7th book in my Blessings series which is women’s fiction. The title: Stepping To A New Day. I’m presently working on Portia’s story which I hope will be out in the fall.

 

Thank you for taking the time to talk about FORBIDDEN.

Thanks so much for this opportunity to meet you and your readers.

 

Ms. Jenkins is the nation’s premier writer of African American historical romance fiction and specializes in 19th century African American life. She has over thirty published novels to date.                                                                                                                                                                                                      She has received numerous awards, including: five Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards; two Career Achievement Awards and a Pioneer Award from Romantic Times Magazine; a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writer’s Guild, and in 1999 was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th Century by AABLC, the nation’s largest on-line African-American book club.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      She has also been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Dallas Morning News and Vibe Magazine. She has lectured and given talks at such prestigious universities as Oberlin University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton. She speaks widely on both romance and 19th century African-American history and was the 2014 featured speaker for the W.W. Law Lecture Series sponsored by the Savannah Black Heritage Festival.

 

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FORBIDDEN
Beverly Jenkins
Releasing on January 26, 2016
Avon 

 USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns with the first book in a breathtaking new series set in the Old West

Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he’s always dreamed of—one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything . . . and the price seems worth paying.

Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won’t risk her heart for him. As soon as she’s saved enough money from her cooking, she’ll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. Giving in for just one night might quench this longing. Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden . . .

 

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Rhine Fontaine, the hero of Forbidden, the light-skinned and green-eyed son of a slave and her master, made the decision to pass as white when he moved west after serving in the Civil War. He’s carved out a very successful life for himself in Virginia City, Nevada, and is making a real difference for the people there–especially the people of color–as a white person. Only his business partner at his saloon (the only one in town that allows African American patrons–which essentially means no whites spend time there) knows the truth of his heritage. He’s content with his life and planning on marrying the only daughter of a prominent family–he doesn’t love her, but then he’s had very little experience with romantic love–until he finds and rescues Eddy Carmichael out in the desert.

Eddy’s a strong heroine–she’s determined to make it to California, where she’s planning on working hard until she can eventually afford to buy her own restaurant. She’s already had her hard-earned train ticket from Denver to San Francisco stolen, but managed to make her way to Utah working as a mule team driver. When she trusts the wrong person to get her as far as Nevada, though, she ends up robbed and left for dead out in the middle of nowhere. Rescued by Rhine and Jim, his partner, she feels an almost immediate pull to Rhine but resists, knowing a relationship between them is forbidden. The chances that a white man would want a respectable relationship with her are pretty much nil anyway; and she has too much respect for herself to settle for anything less. Besides, Eddy’s focused on earning enough money to make it the rest of the way to California.

Though I understand why Rhine kept his secret for so long–before Eddy burst onto the scene he never intended to reveal the truth, and really, once he’d made the decision going back on it would completely change his life so I don’t blame him for that–it did bother me that he let things go so far with Eddy without at least telling her the truth first. That he let her be so conflicted about their relationship for so long just rubbed me the wrong way–he knew she wouldn’t be his mistress, and she came right out and told him on multiple occasions that if she let herself fall for him he’d break her heart when he moved on to someone “suitable”. I had a tremendous amount of respect for her standing up to him like that, over and over. He was the one with all the power–even more so than in a typical 1870s male/female relationship that didn’t deal with (perceived) race differences–and he came on pretty strong, both in private and in public, which put her in a very difficult position.

All’s well that ends well, though–Eddy and Rhine get their HEA, and the book’s setting and characters make for entertaining reading. I’m definitely interested in seeing where this series is going in the future.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

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

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New Release and Giveaway! WHATEVER IT TAKES by Lindsey Pogue (Nothing But Trouble #1)

Whatever It Takes
Lindsey Pogue
(Nothing But Trouble, #1)
Publication date: January 22nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Four years ago, I thought my life was pretty normal for a teenager. Three years ago, my world was shattered, and now I’m just trying to hold the pieces together. But regret and anger aren’t so easy to ignore.

I just need to catch my breath … for it all to go away …

I thought I might finally be ready to move on from that horrible night, but then he decided to come back.

He can’t come back … he’ll ruin me completely.

One horror-filled night changes the course of Samantha’s seemingly normal life. She’s ruined everything. Despite her determination to keep the family ranch up and running, her guilt makes it impossible to completely move on or forget.

Sam takes comfort in her quirky, endearing friends as she tries to balance between the girl she was and the woman she wants to become. Just when she thinks she’s finally making amends with her past, someone she never thought she’d see again returns, and Sam’s life is once again turned upside down. Both her head and her heart want different things, so she’s lost when, once again, she’s forced to make a decision that will inevitably change her life.

 

Excerpt:

I lose myself to the sound of zipping harmonicas and anthems about bayous, outlaws, and rambling men. The wistful sound reminds me of happier times, despite the pang of sadness it elicits from nudging, less-welcome memories, too. There’s something about classic rock ’n’ roll that makes me feel at home.

I let the music and the amber liquid that once again flows through me dull the pain. It makes me feel lighter as I dance and sing around the fire with Mac and Savannah. And it just so happens that Mac had been right, hair of the dog—a lot of it—was just what I’d needed to perk my wilting mood right back up again. I’m unable to remember the last time I felt this good.

“So is this like a Native American beer dance or something?” Nick asks, and Reilly barks a laugh, clearly amused.

“You’re just jealous you’re not having as much fun,” Savannah drawls.

“Yeah, that’s exactly what it is.” Nick smirks and pulls away from Savannah as she tries tugging him up from his camping chair.

“Come dance with us.” Her voice sounds more like a whine, and I can’t help but laugh at how drunk she is.

“No, no, no,” he says. “I don’t dance, especially not like that.”

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Author Bio:

Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, wrote her first YA manuscript in high school, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her—whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey’s wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man.

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Cover Reveal! P.S. …YOU’RE MINE by Alexa Riley

Ardent PR CR

 

PS You're Mine

About the book:

Katie Lovely signs up her class for a project, writing letters to Marines serving overseas, but a calculation error means she has to participate along with the class.

She isn’t prepared for what happens after she gets the first letter.

Sergeant Major Mark Gunner is serving his last tour and looking forward to getting out of the Marines. When he gets a letter that captures his heart, everything suddenly changes.

Their worlds connect and letters flow, creating a love unlike any other.

But when their time is up and the letters stop, will his claim remain?

Warning: This is a super quick, sweet, and dirty read with a small Valentine twist. *whispers* Don’t worry, it’s a happily ever after!

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About the Author:alexa riley

Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.

They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!

Author Links

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New Release Review and Giveaway! FATAL TRUTH by Misty Evans (Shadow Force International #1)

FatalTruths600x900 (1)

Title: Fatal Truth
Series: Shadow Force International, #1
Author: Misty Evans
Release Date: July 13, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Summary:

She’s an investigative reporter who lives to uncover the truth.

Feisty television host Savanna Bunkett exposes government coverups on her award-winning show, The Bunk Stops Here. When she digs into a rumor about a top secret government project that’s producing “super soldiers” for the president, she suddenly finds herself on an assassin’s hit list.

He’s the man who knows the truth.

Navy SEAL Lieutenant Trace Hunter is the only soldier to survive Project 24. After refusing a direct order from the president, he was branded a traitor, and his career imploded after the sexy reporter turned him into a national headline. He now works undercover for Shadow Force International, a secret group of former SEALs helping those who have no where else to turn, using his enhanced skills to fight for justice and protect the innocent. His first assignment? Protect Savanna from the one man who wants them both dead—the president.

One wrong move and they’ll be silenced forever.

Helping Savanna is the last thing Trace wants to do, but her unwavering determination to expose the president’s dark truth matches his own. She’s his one chance to set the record straight and he’s her only chance at survival. When their mutual enemy closes in, can they put the past behind them and trust each other? Even if it means losing their hearts in the process? Or will secrets, lies, and forbidden passions cost them everything?

 

Excerpt:

Trace climbed the stairs two at a time, the stairwell of the fancy apartment building empty at the dinner hour. Or maybe the rich snobs who lived here were too good to take the stairs.

He was two hours late. Not the best way to start his first assignment for Shadow Force International. Then again, he hadn’t planned to be working for Rock Star Security and shoved out the door and into the world of protection services so fast it had made his head spin.

The past couple of days had been a whirlwind. He’d struck out on his own, surviving the first Virginia night in an empty fishing shack with no heat or running water. Reese’s cheeseburger didn’t last long, and while the lake wasn’t frozen over and the owner had left some gear behind, Trace hadn’t been able to catch a damn thing.

The next morning, he’d stumbled through a snowstorm into Murder Creek, found the lone greasy spoon in town and ordered breakfast. The coffee was mud and the eggs were runny. He didn’t care. It was better than prison food any day.

The small 1980s TV in the corner was turned up, a weatherman dressed in a fancy suit waving at various colored blobs on the map and declaring the storm would intensify throughout the day and continue overnight. By the next morning, they were expected to have six feet of snow.

As Trace had finished his toast, a sheriff’s car had driven up. The two men who got out walked like military men, not cops. Before the bell over the door rang, he’d left the waitress a generous tip and disappeared out the back and into the woods.

His mother had always said he was as stubborn as the day was long, but he wasn’t an idiot. While there’d been nothing on the news about his escape from Witcher, he’d known the men in that car were looking for him. A storm was moving in that would lock down the area. He had no vehicle to get out and no supplies to hunker down and ride it out.

He needed help.

Admitting that fact had taken every last ounce of his common sense, but now he was here. Beatrice had cleaned him up, made him shave his beard and cut his hair.

Because of his specialized work for Command & Control, the agency had scrubbed his past years ago. Few pictures existed of him before his time in Iraq with SEAL Team 3, when he’d first grown his hair long and sported a thick beard to blend in with the locals. SEALs often needed out-of-the-Navy-box appearances on their assignments, and that was the picture Ms. Bunkett had spread all over America.

He was a squeaky-clean Boy Scout now, with colored contacts and new clothes—nice threads, not the usual camo gear he was used to. The only thing he hated was the fancy dress shoes.

Petit and Reese had put him through their version of basic protection service training, and Reese’s wife had explained all the ins and outs of his new job.

Beatrice. He was pretty sure that hadn’t been her name when she was in Command & Control, but it didn’t matter. She’d confirmed that she had played a part in getting him out of Witcher and that there were men looking for him. Nothing official on the news yet, the government wanting to keep his “escape” a secret and hoping they could find him and put him back before the public caught wind of the situation.

Petit and Reese hadn’t been happy when Beatrice insisted Trace take this assignment. They’d wanted more time to work on him, and they’d planned to send him out of the country on a Shadow Force assignment. Beatrice had other ideas, and neither man seemed eager to argue with her.

So here he was, playing bodyguard. A test run, Beatrice had called it. He’d kept himself in good shape inside Witcher, had kept his skills sharp. His enhancements from Project 24 had never faded.

Still, with a secret manhunt on for him, he had to stay in the shadows as much as possible. Beatrice had given him a set of rules to follow, briefed him on the client. Single female, twenty-eight, with a potential stalker. He was to keep an eye on her but not be obvious about it.

The stalker is high-profile, Beatrice had said. Has possibly harmed the client’s sister, but there’s no proof and the client can’t make public claims without evidence. We’d like you to investigate, see if you can incapacitate the stalker and discover the sister’s whereabouts.

The woman lived in the penthouse on the top floor. He climbed the last set of stairs and went through the fire door.

It was Beatrice’s fault he was late and she’d supposedly called ahead to let the client know. Still, Trace felt a shot of nervous adrenaline firing below his breastbone as he rang the doorbell. There was a marble-topped table near the elevator with an elaborate floral arrangement. A ficus tree sat in the corner under a skylight, and a large painting of the sun rising over a mountain range hung on the wall left of the door.

Seconds ticked by. He straightened his tie, smoothed the lapels of his suit coat, fiddled with the brim of his baseball hat.

The hat didn’t go with his outfit. He’d picked it up on his way over, feeling too exposed otherwise. Even with his change in appearance, he feared being recognized after Savanna Bunkett had done such a fine job of splashing his face all over the news a year and a half ago.

On the other side of the door, he heard a muffled voice, “Coming!”

A second later, the door swung open. The woman was out of breath, her hair swept up in a high ponytail. She was dressed in workout attire and a fine coating of sweat glistened on her ample cleavage as she wiped her face with a towel. The rhythmic beat of a drum, tambourine, and finger cymbals of Middle Eastern music echoed in the background.

From behind the towel, she said, “You must be…”

And then she moved the towel to her neck and met his gaze.

Oh, shit.

The towel stilled and the woman studied his face. “Coldplay?”

Trace felt frozen in place. In the briefing with Beatrice, she’d referred to the client only as Ms. Jeffries.

Ms. Jeffries, my ass.

His heart stuttered in his chest for a second. Even without makeup and her signature red power suit, she stood out like a diamond among glass. She was striking, her dark hair offsetting her pale skin, all of it softened by a delicate nose and high cheekbones. Workout clothes did nothing to dampen her natural, elegant demeanor.

Before him stood the woman who had ruined his life.

Trace took a step back. Waited…

She didn’t seem to recognize him.

One hand went to her hip. “Are you the strong, silent type or is this one of the rules, that you can’t speak to me? I must have missed that one in the contract.”

Why would she recognize me? She had one grainy photograph of me from six years ago, and I was nothing but a story to her.

Trace forced his mouth to work, struggled to get sound out. He tipped the brim of his hat down a little farther. “Sorry, I’m late.”

“Randy didn’t buzz me. How did you get in?”

Randy, the doorman. What a joke.

Trace shifted gears, forcing the anger boiling in his gut aside. As soon as he could get hold of Beatrice, all bets were off. “Security check of the building showed me some weak spots. I got in through a service door entrance on the first floor. I’ll speak to the manager tomorrow about beefing things up.”

She stepped back, using the towel on her arms. Long, slender arms with small wrists and finely-boned hands. “Come in. I’ll grab a shower and then we can talk about…my problem.”

Talk. Right. “I’ll stay out here at the door until you’re ready.”

“Um, okay. Sure.” She gave him another once over. “Have we met? You seem familiar.”

Met? Jesus God. “No, we’ve never met.” Not in person. If we had, I would have wrung your neck.

She gave him a small smile. “Even if we had, we have to pretend otherwise, right? Sorry, this is all new to me.”

He nodded and stepped back, grinding his teeth. She closed the door, leaving him alone in the penthouse hallway.

Counting to a hundred to give her time to get in the shower, he paced to the elevator doors, locked the thing down, then locked the door to the stairwell. He withdrew the cell phone Beatrice had provided and punched in her number.

She picked up on the first ring. “Yes?”

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Sorry?”

He forced himself to lower his voice. “Ms. Jeffries? Her name isn’t Jeffries and you know exactly who she is and what she did to me. If this is some kind of joke, I swear I’ll…I’ll…”

“Yes?”

What would he do? The woman was smarter than smart and she was, well, a pregnant female.

A man, he would beat the shit out of for tricking him like this. But he would never hit a woman. “…I’ll beat up your husband.”

“You can try,” Beatrice said without concern. “What’s the problem?”

Trace nearly crushed the phone. “You know exactly what the problem is. You lied and set me up with the woman who crucified me.”

“I didn’t lie. Her real name is Savanna Jeffries-Bunkett, but she only goes by Savanna Bunkett for her show. Her mother, Doris Jeffries, is from the New Hampshire Jeffries, a Daughter of the Revolution, and a top-notch lawyer. Her father, Shawn Bunkett, is the president of a private Catholic college. Her sister Parker works for National Intelligence as a glorified profiler, you might say. Her job is rather vague and ill-defined. She has a degree in cognitive therapy and a knack for understanding how criminals work, which National Intelligence has found helpful. For reasons I haven’t quite figured out yet, Parker pulls together the president’s daily briefing and presents it to him. I doubt that has anything to do with her brain research, other than to profile a terrorist here and there. A month ago, she went missing. All I can get out of my sources is that she’s on assignment.” Her voice emphasized assignment. “Odds are there was something…personal…going on between her and the president, or he gave her a black op job and she got caught.”

Linc Norman. The president sure liked to spread himself around.

The sound of a fridge door opening came from Beatrice’s end. “Who do you think passed your file—the bogus one—to Savanna?”

Trace took off his hat and scratched his hairline. “The sister?”

“If my guess is accurate, and I am correct ninety-nine percent of the time, Parker received the file outlining your rogue activities from the president.”

A patient silence descended, as if she were waiting for him to connect the dots. A possible scenario spilled out without too much brainpower. “Linc Norman told Parker to make sure Savanna broke the story.”

“Parker is missing. The president is stalking Savanna. It adds up, only we don’t know exactly why. Norman is now keeping tabs on Savanna, no doubt fearing she’ll reveal her suspicions to the world that he’s made Parker disappear. She doesn’t have any facts—yet—and President Norman hopes to keep it that way.”

“What am I supposed to do about it?”

“I don’t suppose you want to tell me why the president had you branded a traitor on national television?”

When he didn’t respond, she went on. “Well, consider this your chance to prove to Savanna that you’re not a traitor and that her intel from President Norman was bogus.”

“How am I supposed to do that?”

“Find her sister. And if the president is the one who threw your ass in prison, who better to have on your side than an investigative reporter with a fan base of six million viewers? She can clear your name, Coldplay. Think about it.”

He was thinking all right. Thinking his former job as a cleaner for the president might put Savanna Jeffries Bunkett in more danger than she was already in.

“She can also help you dig up dirt to blackmail Linc Norman,” Beatrice went on. He heard the clink of silverware against a bowl. “So he stops trying to kill you.”

Trace returned the hat to his head and pinched the bridge of his nose. “You set me up.”

“I did,” Beatrice admitted freely. “In so doing, I also gave you a way out of the mess you’re in. I don’t care about your past and the things you’ve done, but it would solidify your job with Shadow Force International if you’re not a hunted felon.”

His past was not something to be proud of, Navy SEAL or not. He’d killed for his country, sure, but his job as a cleaner went beyond that. While once he’d believed he was doing the morally right thing, helping the president wipe out threats to America, he was no longer sure there was such a thing as morally right. “Savanna is already suspicious. Even with the change in my appearance, she suspects we’ve met.”

“So come clean. Tell her the truth. She needs you and you need her. Besides, she signed a contract.”

So did I. Every employee of Shadow Force International, whether they worked as bodyguards for Rock Star Security, performed search and rescue missions, or assisted on kidnapping cases, were required to sign one. If he breached his agreement, he was out in the cold again.

Petit planned to put Trace in charge of a team. If things worked out. Even if they didn’t hold him to his contract, bailing on his first assignment would hardly help his cause. He’d never make team leader if they couldn’t depend on him.

Did he even care? He wasn’t a team player anymore. Couldn’t endanger anyone else.

“Follow the procedure I gave you and think about it overnight,” Beatrice said. “If you wish to terminate the assignment in the morning, I’ll find someone else to guard Ms. Bunkett.”

A growl formed in his throat. Beatrice’s logic was so…so…logical. Be the hero again. Keep someone safe. Solve all your problems.

If only it were that easy.

Didn’t matter. He couldn’t complete this assignment without risking his freedom. Morning was nearly twelve hours away. Could he keep Savanna Bunkett from figuring out who he was in the meantime?

The woman was a bloodhound when she picked up the scent of a story. Sure, it had been eighteen months since she’d run his, and she’d had plenty of stories since then, but she wasn’t one to forget a name or a face for long, he bet. “She’ll terminate the assignment before morning.”

“You can’t hide forever,” Beatrice said. “And there’s only so much I can do to keep you off the grid. This is your chance to clear your name. Don’t blow it.”

The line went dead.

Trace braced one hand against the wall and sighed. Twelve hours. He had twelve fucking hours to keep up this charade, and then what? Bail?

He’d never quit a job in his life—except the last order from the president—and he wasn’t about to do so now. If Savanna figured out who he was and called the police, he’d have to, but until then, he’d lay low and plan for the worst case scenario.

clear your name.

Pocketing the phone, he shook the ridiculous idea from his brain and walked back down the hall to wait.

He’d follow procedure like Beatrice had instructed him to when she gave him the assignment. Scan Savanna’s apartment for bugs, make sure her windows and doors were all secure. Check her personal security system. Then he’d stand guard for the night.

By morning—if he made it that long—he’d have a plan of escape.

Or one that would take down the president of the United States.

 

Review:

Fatal Truth is the first book in the spin-off series to Ms. Evans’ Deadly SCVC Taskforce series, and it’s a doozy! Savanna and Trace share a common enemy–and unfortunately for them, it just happens to be a guy with seemingly unlimited resources–the most powerful man in the world, the president of the United States.

I loved watching Savanna and Trace grow closer (totally against Trace’s will–the poor guy was so determined to hate her for being the reason he’d been languishing in prison yet was totallt committed to fulfilling his duties to Rock Star Security, which meant keeping Van safe) all the while they were desperately trying to find Van’s sister and find a way to bring the president down. Ms. Evans kept the tension taut throughout the book; the parts where Van and Trace just missed connecting with Van’s sister Parker were particularly stressful!

Throughout the book I was anxious for Trace to finally come clean and reveal to Van who he really was, but at the same time I totally understood why he was so hesitant to. Naturally you know it’s all going to bite him in the butt at some point, and you’re just keeping your fingers crossed that he’ll be able to emerge from the fallout on the other side and somehow convince Van to not hate him forever. (Warning: when he finally does manage to work up to an apology, it’s a doozy! 😉 )

It was darn near impossibly to put down Fatal Truth once the story really got started. I can’t wait to read more from this series–bring it on, Ms. Evans! 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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

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Buy Links: Amazon / Amazon UK / iBooks / Kobo / Barnes & Noble

About the Author: Misty Evans Photo

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

 

Connect with Misty:  Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter / Pinterest

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