New Release Review and Giveaway! HOT PURSUIT by Julie Ann Walker (Black Knights, Inc. #11)

Synopsis:

He puts the hot…
Christian Watson, a former SAS officer and current BKI operator, never thought he would return to England after a terrible turn of events forced him to abandon his homeland. But now he’s back on British soil where old enemies are determined to do him in. Fighting for his life is pretty much SOP for Christian. Doing it with the beautiful, bossy Emily Scott in tow is another matter entirely.

In hot pursuit.
Emily lost her coveted job at the CIA because of a colleague turned rogue, and now she has just one rule when it comes to men: they’re for recreational purposes only. But when she and Christian are thrust into very close quarters while evading two mysterious men who want Christian dead, she can’t help but question all her ideas about love and life lived on the edge. Battling the bad guys is hard enough, battling her feelings for Christian just might prove impossible.

 

Excerpt:

What was he doing?

What the bloody hell was he doing?

Emily didn’t realize it, but all her acts of caring, her selfless moments of kindness—from waking him from his nightmare to pulling him into the cab of the pickup truck—had torn open his chest, ripped out his heart, and served it up on a platter.

Then, when she had stepped in front of him, ready to take a bullet that was bloody well meant for him, he had stopped pretending that what he felt for her was lust mixed with a heavy dose of vexation. Stopped pretending that he wasn’t completely arse over teakettle about everything she did, everything she said. Each smile. Each laugh. Each witty quip.

In that moment, he had known. Heart. On. A. Platter.

All she had to do was take it.

Unfortunately, he was the one taking.

Taking a kiss she hadn’t granted. Taking a taste she didn’t return. Taking advantage of a beastly situation.

Had he lost his mind? Had he forgotten the unwritten rule? The one that was bold, underlined, and all in caps?

Not to mention, he’d lost control of himself, of the moment. He blamed it on the memory of Emily in that bastard’s grip. The sight of her there—a pistol to her head, her eyes wide with fear, but her jaw gritted tight because she refused to give in to it—was forever tattooed onto the backs of his eyelids. He knew he’d see it when he closed his eyes at night.

It took effort, but he ripped his mouth away from Emily’s and dropped his hands. Curling his fingers into fists, he locked his jaw until his molars begged for mercy.

“Whaaa?” She blinked up at him through the rain in confusion.

“Sorry.” He ground out. The word was guttural. Hard. “I shouldn’t have…” He shook his head, water flying from the ends of his hair. “Just…sorry, okay?”

Her mouth opened in a bewildered little O. That mouth that tasted like mint toothpaste with a lingering hint of buttered toast. His favorite flavor used to be Welsh cakes, but now it was Emily. Emily and her mint toothpaste with lingering hints of buttered toast.

“That won’t happen again,” he assured her before grabbing her hand and towing her toward the others.

He had thought for sure the man in the black pants and the white shirt was dead. Ben’s shot looked as if it had drilled the bloke directly in the heart. Which meant Christian felt like a total prat for stopping to ask Emily why she had stepped in front of him—for stopping to kiss her—when they arrived in time to hear the decidedly alive man whisper his name. “Philippe Dubois.”

“You’re Boss’s friend,” Ace said, applying pressure to Philippe’s wound. “You’re the former Armée de L’Air commandant.”

“Oui. C’est moi,” Philippe managed, water dripping from his chin and earlobes. He wasn’t wheezing. That was good. Meant the bullet hadn’t collapsed his lung.

“Don’t try to talk, Philippe,” Ace told him. “Rusty, call airport security.”

Christian was already pulling his mobile from his soaking hip pocket. The rain had let up. No longer a deluge, it was now more of a steady drip. “We don’t need security. We need an ambulance. This man needs to go to hospital.”

He dialed 999 without hesitation and waited for his call to connect. Dropping his free hand back to his side, he was startled when Emily grabbed it, threading her fingers through his. They felt dainty, delicate. And freezing wet. He desperately wanted to kiss them warmer, kiss them dry.

Glancing at her, he blinked the water from his lashes but couldn’t stop the questions in his eyes. So you forgive me? For taking without asking? For kissing you when you’ve given me no indication you were interested?

Before she could answer, an operator’s voice sounded in his ear, all efficient and bored. After explaining the nature of Philippe’s wound and what had happened in the vaguest of terms, he gave the operator their location. When she asked for his name, he growled, “That’s not what’s bloody important. What’s bloody important is a man’s been shot and needs help. Hurry!” He abruptly hung up. “Help is on the way,” he announced.

Philippe’s white shirt was soaked with blood despite the pressure Ace applied.

“Damnit,” Christian growled, looking around for something to stanch the bleeding. Nothing else for it, he decided, dropping Emily’s hand—he really, truly hated doing that—and shrugging out of his coat. Next came his sweater. He tossed both pieces of clothing to her.

His white cotton undershirt was wet and sticking to his skin, but it would have to do.

Review:

Worth the wait!

If you’ve read book 10 in the series ( Fuel for Fire ), then you had more than an inkling that Christian and Emily’s story was going to be something else. Their constant bickering with and “annoying” each other made it clear to everyone but them (or was it?) that these two had chemistry to spare. You just knew their book was gonna be good–and it didn’t disappoint!

Hot Pursuit begins where the last book left off, with four BKI employees still stuck in England, trying to get back to Chicago. The infamous and elusive Spider’s still at large, but now another, more immediate enemy is at hand, and Christian, Emily, and the rest of the gang spend most of the book dealing with danger from that front.

But those gosh-darn hormones, they keep getting in the way…

I loved watching Christian win Emily over to his way of thinking (the car wash scene–whew, that one give you some niiiiiice imagery to ponder!) and am really looking forward to seeing them be all couple-y like in the next book ( Built to Last –Angel’s book, woot!) but please, please tell me that Ace and Rusty are at least getting a novella (I’d settle for that, though really, they deserve their own full-length book!)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the author:

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of award-winning romantic suspense. She has won the Book Buyers Best Award, been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award. Her latest release was named a Top Ten Romance of 2014 by Booklist. Her books have been described as “alpha, edgy, and downright hot.” Most days you can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

Be sure to sign up for Julie’s occasional newsletter at: http://julieannwalker.com

To learn more about Julie, follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor and/or Twitter: @JAWalkerAuthor.

 

Giveaway!

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New Release Review! SOMEONE TO HOLD by Mary Balogh (Westcotts #2)


Someone to Hold

by Mary Balogh

Synopsis:

Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune and a scandalous secret that will forever alter the lives of his family—sending one daughter on a journey of self-discovery…

With her parents’ marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve.

An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough storm that lies ahead…

 

Review:

Ms. Balogh has pulled off a miracle–not only did she have me feeling empathy for Camille, but by the book’s end I actually liked her! (She was pretty prickly, to put it nicely, in book 1–Someone to Love and even in the early parts of this one I had a hard time not rolling my eyes at her…)

What helped early on was seeing her take over her half-sister’s (her emphasis) job as teacher at the orphanage and trying so hard and being so sure that she was failing at it. (She wasn’t; she was brilliant, but boy can I sympathize with that “I don’t have a clue what I’m doing; what if I scar these kids for life?” feeling that she had.) At the beginning I was in total sympathy with Joel, who saw Camille as an unfeeling drill sergeant who was trying to usurp her half-sister’s former position–watching her with her pupils, though, that began to change for both of us. I loved watching both of them come to respect and like each other as the story progressed; their transition from two people who wanted nothing to do with each other to friends to lovers was nicely paced and believable.

And that ending…it tugged on my heartstrings big time! I cannot wait for the rest of the Westcotts to get their stories!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

New Release Review and Giveaway! THE DUKE OF DANGER by Darcy Burke (The Untouchables #6)

 

 

About the Book: 

After killing his opponent in a duel, Lionel Maitland, Marquess of Axbridge, is known as the Duke of Danger. Tortured by guilt, he shields himself with a devil-may-care attitude. However, when he kills another man in another duel, he’s beyond redemption, even though it wasn’t his fault. He refuses to smear a dead man’s name, especially when he’s left behind a blameless widow who doesn’t deserve an even bigger scandal.
Widowed and destitute, Lady Emmaline Townsend must marry the man of her parents’ choosing or beg unsympathetic relatives for support. The only way out is to ask for help from the one man she’s sworn to hate, the man who owes her anything she asks, the man who killed her husband. They strike a devil’s bargain in which passion simmers just beneath the surface. But her dead husband’s transgressions come back to haunt them and threaten their chance at love.
 
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Excerpt:

“Good afternoon, Lady Townsend. May I offer my deepest condolences?”

She turned on the chair, barely curious as to who might be visiting and eager to send him on his way. But as soon as she pivoted, it was as if a dam inside her split in two and a cascade of emotion tumbled forth.

Bolting from the chair, she took two long steps toward him. “You.”

“Yes, me.” The Marquess of Axbridge didn’t flinch. Indeed, he stared into her, his blue eyes clear and piercing.

“You’ve a singular audacity to come here.”

The marquess bowed deeply. “I beg your pardon.” He looked at her once more. “And your forgiveness.”

Rage spiraled through her, and it was glorious to feel. “You’ll never have either.”

“That is completely understandable.” His tone was tight, measured. His cool reserve antagonized her.

She narrowed her eyes at him. “I’m so glad I have your approval.”

“I wouldn’t ever ask for, nor expect that.”

“And yet you ask for my forgiveness. It hardly seems to matter—I’ll give you nothing save my undying hatred.”

“Which I deserve. Nevertheless, I would apologize for what happened.”

“Apologize? You didn’t step on my foot during a dance. Nor did you spill a glass of ratafia on my gown. You killed my husband.”

Now he flinched. His eye twitched, and his lips pressed together so hard, they turned white. And yet he was still incredibly handsome. That hardly seemed fair.

He took a step toward her. She didn’t retreat, but her body tensed. She clenched her hands into tight fists. Her spine was so straight and stiff that she could have flown a flag from her shoulder.

“I didn’t come to make excuses, but please know I had good reason to demand satisfaction. I’d hoped he would settle the matter before moving to weapons, but he refused.”

She gaped at him. “Are you somehow trying to blame my husband for your actions?”

His jaw tightened, and he blew out a breath. “No. I came to offer my condolences, beg your forgiveness, apologize, and offer any assistance you may need—ever.”

He wanted to help her? She stared at him, the anger inside her curdling. “I would never want anything from you, nor would I ask.”

“I certainly understand you not wanting anything from me; however, if a need should ever arise, I would very much like to help you.”

“I think you’ve done quite enough.” Fury churned through every part of her, and she wanted to lash out. Needed to. “Actually, I can think of one thing I would like from you.” She took a step toward him, her lip curling. “I should appreciate it if you would be miserable for the rest of your life. I would take great joy in knowing that you will wallow in guilt and anguish for all your days.” She glared at him, long and hard.

“I can do that,” he said softly, without a shred of irony. “You may be pleased to know that I am already well on my way. And I shan’t trouble you with my presence. I’m leaving England today.”

“Good.”

“My offer will always stand, whether you choose to take advantage of it or not. Should you require anything at all, please contact my man of affairs.” He held out a card.

She didn’t want to take anything from him. “Choke on it,” she spat.

He withdrew his hand to his side. “Again, my deepest apologies, Lady Townsend.” He turned and strode from the room, his broad shoulders straight, his gait sure.

Damn him.

Damn him.

Review:

I feel like I say this after finishing every book in this series, but this book’s couple is my absolute favorite of all of them. Somehow it’s true every time, and even more so with Emmaline and Lionel. They start as enemies–at least Emmaline believes Lionel is her enemy, and she gets through months of her life by plotting how she’ll get even with him–but end up as the best of friends and lovers, as the family that both of them have longed for for so long. How Ms. Burke gets us (and them, of course!) from enemies to lovers makes for an absolutely delicious story that I didn’t want to put down for even a second.

I was so afraid that this would be the last book in the series–silly, I know, since she has other books, many of which I’ve read (and the remainder are waiting in my TBR) but they’re not this series. Because, this series…. No worries, though, because her note at the end tells us that The Duke of Ice is coming next, though not when

Patience, I know. But it’s hard. Did I mention how much I love this series?

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Check out the other books in  The Untouchables series:
 

 

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.
Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Giveaway:

  • Kindle Fire HD8 with a $25 Amazon Gift Card – US shipping ONLY
 

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Ode to Audio Week with a LIVE WIRE (Titan #6.5 by Cristin Harber) Audiobook Review!

Love audiobooks? Us too! Six incredible authors have come together to celebrate audiobooks with an Ode to Audio week – and there’s a chance to win every day! There’s so many prizes – a chance to win one of the six audiobooks, plus a month membership from audiobooks.com, and a three month audible.com subscription! Find out more about the six audiobooks and enter to win below!

Enter to win the Ode to Audio giveaways here: http://smarturl.it/OdeToAudio

 


ABOUT LIVE WIRE by Cristin Harber:

Titan Group is expanding. New recruits mean Jared Westin has potential new hires to scrutinize. What he didn’t expect was his very pregnant wife Sugar to finagle her way onto the surveillance team as the prospects were assessed.

Her involvement in the simple observation goes dangerously wrong. She and best friend Lexi Black stumble into a problem with Russian mobsters. Sugar is forced to draw on her old ATF tricks, but weeks from her due date, she has no choice but to team up with Bishop O’Kane, a potential-new recruit and Parker Black, Lexi’s hacker husband, who must go undercover.

This is special ops novella is packed with high-stakes crime and intrigue, a baby story for Boss Man, and two steamy romances for two of Titan’s favorite couples.

 

Review:

This audiobook is so. Much. Fun!

Whether you’ve read all, some, or even none of the other books in this series, you’ll enjoy the heck out of this one–it really does have something for everyone. If you’ve read other series books, especially and , you’ll love seeing Sugar (heroine of Westin’s Chase ) and Lexi (heroine of Black Dawn ) up to check out a possible new recruit for team Titan. Naturally things are going to take a wrong turn as they do, which will give established series fans and new fans alike a chance to see the men and women of Titan at their best, as they unite to take down the bad guys. You’ll meet the potential new recruit who’s sure to star in his own series book as well (spoiler alert: it’s Bishop’s Queen ) and as a bonus, you’ll witness a life-changing event for one of the two main couples in this book.

If that all sounds like a lot for a novella, you’re not wrong–yet somehow none of the plot lines feel short changed, and we get to see plenty of tender (and a few steamy!) moments for the couples involved. Plus, the narrator does a fantastic job and has a truly kick-a$$ voice to boot. He does a great alpha male, yet still voices the female POVs convincingly. A must-listen!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Listen to an audio sample or pick up your copy of the LIVE WIRE audiobook here!

Connect with Cristin Harber:

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Team Titan Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

About HOT PURSUIT by Lynn Raye Harris:

He was the last man in the world she wanted to see. But he might be the only one who could save her.

Ten years ago, Matt Girard did something he shouldn’t have. When sweet Evangeline Baker offered him her virginity, he took it. Then he left town and he’s never looked back.

Until now. His future as a black ops soldier with the Hostile Operations Team is in jeopardy, and he’s come home for a few days before going back to face the consequences of a mission gone wrong.

Matt still makes Evie’s heart pound, but she wants nothing to do with him. She’s had enough of men who lie and promise things they don’t deliver. But when her sister goes missing and her ex-boyfriend turns up dead, she’s in need of Matt’s special military skills.

With time running out, Matt will put everything on the line to protect Evie and find her sister. Even if it means sacrificing all he’s worked for with HOT. Sometimes, the reward is worth the price. Especially when it’s the one woman he can’t forget.

Listen to an audio sample or pick up your copy of the HOT PURSUIT audiobook here!

Connect with Lynn Raye Harris:

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About GONE TO DUST by Liliana Hart:

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces – and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their countries, their militaries, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise….

Miller Darling is one of the most popular romance novelists of her time. Not bad for a woman who doesn’t believe in romance. She’s as logical as they come, and she doesn’t believe in happily ever afters. What she does believe in is family, so when her brother disappears, she doesn’t think twice about packing her bag and her laptop and heading out to find him.

Elias Cole lived and breathed the life of a Navy SEAL. Now he’s “dead” and his hero’s honor tarnished. The only thing keeping him sane are the men who are like him – The Gravediggers – and the woman who makes his head spin. He’s never met anyone like Miller Darling. Her smart mouth and quick wit keep him on his toes, and damned if he doesn’t find that appealing.

When Miller receives a package from the brother who abandoned her asking for help, it’s clear she’s in over her head with the mess he’s gotten himself into. She needs a professional, and Elias is just the man for the job. Only her brother is a former SEAL – the man who left his team to die – and Elias is more interested in vengeance than saving his life.

Listen to an audio sample or pick up your copy of the GONE TO DUST audiobook here!

Connect with Liliana Hart:

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About ENEMY MINE by Megan Mitcham:

Born in the blood of Sierra Leone’s Civil War, enslaved, then sold to the US as an orphan, Base Branch operative Sloan Harris is emotionally dead and driven by vengeance. With no soul to give, her body becomes the bargaining chip to infiltrate a warlord’s inner circle. The man called the Devil killed her family and helped destroy a region.

As son of the warlord, Baine Kendrick will happily use Sloan’s body if it expedites his father’s demise. Yet, he is wholly unprepared for the possessive and protective emotions she provokes. Maybe it’s the flashes of memory…two forgotten children drawing in the dirt beneath the boabab tree…but he fears there is more at stake than his life.

In the Devil’s den with Baine by her side, Sloan braves certain death and discovers a spirit for living.

Listen to an audio sample or pick up your copy of the ENEMY MINE audiobook here!

Connect with Megan Mitcham:

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About INKED EXPRESSIONS by Carrie Ann Ryan

The Montgomery Ink Series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continues with the brother who keeps his secret and the one woman he shouldn’t want.

Everly Law married the love of her life and on the eve of giving birth to their twins, lost him in a tragic accident. Now she’s a single mother working overtime at her bookstore trying to make sure her boys have the life they deserve. Her life is busy enough without her adding dating a Montgomery. As past secrets come to light, she’ll need Storm more than ever—even if she doesn’t realize it.

Storm Montgomery has spent his life atoning for sins that only few know he’s committed. When he lost his best friend, he promised his widow that he’d always be there for her—even when she wanted nothing to do with him. But when a single touch ignites passions they’ve both buried deep inside, he’ll have to remember exactly who is in his arms and that taking chances might be far more dangerous than they bargained for.

Listen to an audio sample or pick up your copy of the INKED EXPRESSIONS audiobook here!

Connect with Carrie Ann Ryan:

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About A SEAL’S OATH by Cora Seton:

Navy SEAL Boone Rudman and his friends want to create a sustainable community that can be replicated anywhere in the world. But they need land, so when Martin Fulsom, leader of the Fulsom Foundation, offers them Westfield, a ranch in Montana, they agree to Fulsom’s condition that they document their progress on a reality television show.

Building the community will be hard enough, but Boone’s got another problem. Fulsom expects families to make up the population of the new town. Now Boone’s got to find a wife fast, before he loses his funding and his dream. So when he arrives at Westfield to find it already occupied by the startlingly beautiful, strangely attired Riley Eaton, he wonders if fate itself has provided him with an answer.

Riley Eaton is done with traffic jams and 24/7 workweeks. She loves Jane Austen’s novels, and she knows she’s not the only woman longing for a simpler, more beautiful life. When she discovers her friends are in the same frame of mind, she throws caution to the wind and invites them to Westfield, the ranch her uncle inherited long ago but has never lived in. Equipped with a key and a standing invitation to stay there whenever she likes, she gathers her friends, drives to Chance Creek, and gives up all things 21st century in order to open a Jane Austen-style bed-and-breakfast. She knows her absentee uncle will be thrilled with a new stream of income, and Westfield is perfect for Regency living, with its wide lawns, extensive gardens, and large ballroom. But when sexy, stubborn Boone shows up with plans to build a hyper-modern sustainable community on the ranch, it’s clear her Regency paradise is over before it even began.

Now Boone has 30 days to marry Riley or lose the ranch to developers, and Riley has three weeks to prepare for the bed-and-breakfast’s first guests or face bankruptcy. Can they overcome their prejudices to help each other? Or will their pride destroy both their futures?

Listen to an audio sample or pick up your copy of the A SEAL’S OATH audiobook here!

Connect with Cora Seton:

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New Release Review and Giveaway! ON THE CHASE by Katie Ruggle (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #2)

On the Chase
by Katie Ruggle

Synopsis:

After witnessing a horrifying crime, Kaylee is forced to flee to a small Colorado mountain town and take on a new identity. There she becomes Grace, a dog kennel worker trying to avoid the dangerously attractive K-9 Officer Hugh Murdoch.

When an accident leaves Hugh and his K-9 partner, Lexi, on desk duty, both are anxious for Hugh to heal. Until then, the highlight of his day is teasing the beautiful but mysterious new kennel employee. Their simmering attraction fuels a passionate kiss—interrupted by a sniper’s bullet. With targets on both of their backs, Grace and Hugh will do whatever it takes to stay alive…not realizing the most dangerous threat of all is hiding right in front of their noses.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2x4prpW
B&N: http://bit.ly/2x3SbPL
iBooks: http://apple.co/2x3SWbi

Rocky Mountain K9 Unit Series: 
Run to Ground (Book 1)
On the Chase (Book 2)

Excerpt:

Grace crossed her arms over her chest in an attempt to create a barrier between them. It didn’t help; Hugh was still much too close for comfort. She scrambled to catch the thread of their conversation. “Well, stop being informed.”

Even before he grinned, she knew that hadn’t made any sense.

“About me. Stop informing yourself about me.” That was even worse. Struggling to find her usual composure, Grace shifted back a step. That gave him the advantage, but she couldn’t think with him so near. Stupid Hugh with his stupid, muscly body was distracting her.

“Sorry, Grace.” His grin took on a shark-like cast. “I’m not planning on stopping. You’re a puzzle, and I don’t like things to go…unsolved.”

The last of her equanimity disappeared, evaporated with the knowledge that he wasn’t going to quit investigating her. Beneath her anger and the anxiety about what he’d discover, there was a hard kernel of disappointment. She didn’t want to be interesting to Hugh because she was some sort of unsolved puzzle. Despite herself, she wanted him to be interested because she was fascinating to him.

A tiny, dumb part of her wished that he was as attracted to her as she was to him.

When she realized she was just staring at him, thinking silly, useless thoughts, Grace abruptly turned and walked—well, stomped—toward her car. She was parked on the other side of the building, and she cursed herself for not picking one of the front spots instead. If she had, she’d already be inside, away from Hugh’s looming presence. Having her car sitting exposed, for anyone to see if they drove past, bothered her, though, so she tended to pick the most hidden spots she could find. It didn’t matter that the car wasn’t registered to her real name. Maybe she was being paranoid, but she just didn’t want to take any chances. One screwup, and she would be dead.

She turned the corner. Although she couldn’t hear footsteps behind her, she knew he was there, and close. Shooting him a narrowed-eyed look over her shoulder, she snapped, “Don’t you have something better to do than follow me?”

“Not really.” Although his words were light, the usual humor wasn’t there. Instead, he met her gaze with an intensity that made her whip her head around so she was facing forward again. Jokey Hugh was one thing, but smoldering Hugh could be a serious problem.

“Grace.” He caught her hand, bringing her to a halt. Although her feet stopped moving, almost of their own accord, she kept her gaze focused on her car. “Grace, look at me.”

She couldn’t do it. If she looked at him, she wouldn’t be able to think. It wasn’t good that the man who had the drive to discover her secret made her incapable of rational thought. A tug at her hand made her realize that she was stuck. Until she met his eyes, Hugh was going to stay there.

I can do this. She’d faced worse than Hugh over the past two weeks.

Setting her jaw, she turned around. Her gaze traveled up his solid chest, over his serious face, and locked on to his gaze.

“Why are you running away from me?” he asked, sounding completely sincere. “You can trust me.”

Unable to look away, she just pressed her lips together. She couldn’t trust anyone. Martin Jovanovic’s reach was too extensive. She’d made that mistake already, and it had left her hunted and crouching by a dumpster.

“I can help you.” He tugged her closer, and her traitor body gave in to his pull. His head tipped down, and air from his words brushed her cheek. Her breath left her in a shuddering rush as her eyes closed. He felt so safe, so solid, so strong…

“What’s your name?” he asked softly, directly in her ear. “Your real name?”

With a frustrated sound, she jerked her hand away. He was playing her, using her attraction to him to get the information he wanted. “You are such an ass!” She started to stomp away, but Hugh caught her again, around the waist that time. He pulled her tightly against him, her back pressing against his front.

“It would make things a lot easier for both of us if you’d just tell me the truth.” The rasp in his voice and the way his breath brushed her ear distracted her, tempting her to sink into the heat and strength of him—but then the meaning of his words hit her.

Clenching her teeth to hold back a frustrated scream, she yanked out of his grip and spun around. “I am not your puzzle to solve,” she gritted out, poking him in the chest with each word. “I’m not one of your suspects. You do not get to interrogate me.”

He caught her jabbing finger in a firm but gentle grip. Their eyes met, and his were hot and shockingly hungry. “You’re so beautiful when you’re yelling at me.”

Her mouth fell open, but she couldn’t say anything else. Was he serious this time, or had that just been another way to distract her, to disarm her? “Quit trying to butter me up. It’s not going to make me tell you anything.”

“I mean it.” His expression was completely earnest. There wasn’t a hint of laughter to be seen.

She stared at him, fury and anxiety and desire all swirling together in a molten mixture that burned her from the inside. This man was going to be the death of her. “You are so…”

“I’m so…what?” His gaze dropped to her mouth. “Hot?” The lilt of humor had returned to his voice.

“Arrrgh!” She started to turn away, fully prepared to stomp to her car, after which she would perhaps run him over several times, but his fingers closed around her arm, tugging her back around. Grace opened her mouth, ready to tell him off, but then her gaze collided with his. All amusement had been erased from his expression. The heat, the hunger burning in his eyes erased all thoughts of their latest argument and lit an answering inferno inside her.

Then his lips were on hers, and Grace was lost.

Review:

“I’m glad you’ll be there. I wish you were there when I called him. You make me brave.”

His face softened. “You’re already brave. I just remind you of that fact.”

Le sigh…

I am loving this series!

Okay, so I’m not yet finished with book one (Run to Ground)–but I’m loving it so far, and this one? OMG awesomeness. Hugh is obnoxiously adorable (and no, prior to this I wouldn’t have thought that was a “thing” either, but trust me, it is) and Kaylee/Grace is the perfect heroine for him. Really, that quote up there sums it up for both of them–they are great on their own, but together they make each other even better.

Jules, her siblings, Theo, and Otto (plus various animals) all play pretty big roles here, and the last page leaves us with a pretty big teaser for the next book (Survive the Night–Otto’s book; woot!) Can’t wait!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

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New Release Review and Giveaway! WILD RIDE COWBOY by Maisey Yates (Copper Ridge #9)

Title: Wild Ride Cowboy
Author: Maisey Yates
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Series: Copper Ridge #9
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780373803644

 

He’s come back to Copper Ridge, Oregon, to keep a promise—even if it means losing his heart…

Putting down roots in Copper Ridge was never Alex Donnelly’s intention. But if there’s one thing the ex-military man knows, it’s that life rarely unfolds as expected. If it did, his best friend and brother-in-arms would still be alive. And Alex wouldn’t have inherited a ranch or responsibility for his late comrade’s sister—a woman who, despite her inexperience, can bring tough-as-iron Alex to his knees.

Clara Campbell didn’t ask for a hero to ride in and fix her ranch and her life. All she wants is the one thing stubborn, honorable Alex is reluctant to give: a chance to explore their intense chemistry. But Clara has a few lessons to teach him, too…about trusting his heart and his instincts, and letting love take him on the wildest adventure of all.

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

Excerpt:

Reluctantly, she covered the coffee with a white to-go lid then turned to walk out the door. She didn’t make it very far, though, because she ran right into a brick wall.

Well, it wasn’t really a brick wall. It just felt like one. Large, hard and uncompromising. But breathing. Which brick walls definitely didn’t do.

“Clara Campbell. Fancy meeting you here.”

Clara blinked and stared up into Alex Donnelly’s forest-green eyes and felt a strange response that seemed to originate in her stomach and travel upward to her chest, where it twisted, hard and sharp.

After looking at Asher, his understated physique and much softer brown gaze, the sight of Alex was jarring. Too intense. Too masculine. Too a lot of things.

His dark hair wasn’t military short anymore. It was long enough to hang into his face. He pushed it back off his forehead and again, something twisted, low and deep inside of her.

And then it wasn’t only his features that seemed too sharp. It was seeing him at all. She had been studiously avoiding him ever since he had moved back to Copper Ridge. If ever she’d caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye, she’d gone the other way.

The last time she’d seen him up close had been at Jason’s funeral.

Pain washed through her, canceling out all of the good Asher feelings from only a moment before.

No wonder she’d had such a strong, immediate response to the sight of Alex. The man was dragging a bunch of her baggage in with him. Another thing she liked about Asher. He was separate from her life. From her pain.

Alex was all wound up in it.

“Hi, Alex,” she said, clutching her coffee cup tight, the warmth bleeding through to her palms. Which she was grateful for at the moment since her stomach had gone ice-cold at the sight of him.

“I’ve been meaning to stop by,” he said.

“That’s really okay,” she said, and she meant it. More than okay. Jason’s death meant that she was alone. Both of her parents were already gone. They’d had children later in life, and when her mother had gotten sick, her father had done everything he could to make his wife comfortable as her health declined. She’d died when Clara was twelve. And there had been no amount of preparation that could soften the blow. No amount of expectedness that could have made it feel less like a giant, ugly hand had reached into their life and wrenched the beauty out of it, leaving nothing but a dark abyss.

 

Review:

I’m behind in this series–the last book I read was Last Chance Rebel , which coincidentally had an overly prickly heroine (Rebecca Bear) who reminded me so much of Wild Ride‘s heroine, Clara Campbell. (So, yeah. I still need to read the first two Donnelly brothers’ stories–and I even have them already! No. Excuse.) Clara and Rebecca had vastly different reasons behind their antisocial-ish tendencies, and in both instances Ms. Yates took me from thinking OMG, what is up with this chick? to OMG, you poor thing! Come over here and let me give you a hug. Oh, no? Okay…how about you let Gage/Alex give you a hug instead? Or…something else? 😉

Oh, this book. It made me laugh one minute (so many highlighted passages!) and darn near weepy the next. And their big grand gesture moment? Sigh worthy. You’d better believe I’m going to read Finn and Cain’s books as soon as I get the chance ( Slow Burn Cowboy and Down Home Cowboy ), and am soooo reading Liam and Sabrina’s story (Christmastime Cowboy ) as soon as humanly possible, because this series.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from Clara. I don’t share her unholy love of Spaghetti-Os, but these words spoke to me:

“Life is too upsetting to try to force yourself to eat kale on top of everything else.”

Preach it, sister.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About the author:

 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit. In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book.

Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard.

She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

 

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Release Day Review and Giveaway! IRRESISTIBLE YOU by Kate Meader (The Chicago Rebels #1)

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise 

and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, 

and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

 

IRRESISTIBLE YOU

Chicago Rebels #1

Kate Meader

Releasing Aug 14, 2017

PocketStar

Hot in Chicago series author Kate Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series, featuring her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times).

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to
lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

**Special release week price of just $1.99 **

He looked uncomfortable standing there, balancing on his skates, ready to spring for the door. But she knew he wouldn’t sit while she stood because his mother had raised him to respect women. Something fluttered in her chest at that notion. DuPre might be a lot of things—ladies’ man, good ol’ boy, thorn in her side—but she suspected he would never hurt someone weaker than himself.

“You’ve got three minutes, Harper.”

“Do you remember what I told you in Boston, DuPre?”

“Somethin’ about needin’ me to instill leadership and help these boys get to the playoffs.” Warm honey flowed through her veins at the timbre of his voice. She could have sworn her panties slipped an inch.

“I did say that. I meant it. And I thought you understood.”

He rubbed his chin, the scrape against stubble delicious to her ears. All he was missing was a Stetson, a blade of grass, and some flighty piece in a cropped tank and Daisy Dukes. “I understood the words because you’d put them together in a highly entertainin’ way, and to certain ears, they might make sense. Then I told you what needed to happen to ensure my cooperation.”

This nonsense stopped here. “Is that why you’re playing like you can barely walk, much less skate? What’s wrong, old man? Feeling a touch of arthritis in your joints?”

For a brief moment, she thought she might have found his weakness: vanity. But no. He merely threaded his arms over his chest—over the Rebels logo of a big C with a hockey stick and a cutlass crossed behind it—and cocked his head.

“You’re gonna have to use a little more finesse, Harper.”

More surprising than the fact Remy had used the word finesse correctly in a sentence was that he didn’t seem annoyed with her. He seemed . . . amused. As if she were a toy he could happily bat around like a kitten would a semiconscious mouse.

Applause sounded, signifying the beginning of the final period. Neither of them moved, hands metaphorically hovering at their hips like Old West gunfighters.

“The trade deadline,” she said, feeling livid and helpless. “Give me that.”

“The all-star game.”

Three months. The all-star game, held in late January, was traditionally viewed as the halfway point of the season. On the cusp of the busy trade period, it led into a month of bartering and haggling as everyone lined up their teams for the big push to the playoffs.

At her hesitation, he leaned in, those cobalt blues flashing. It wasn’t enough to unholster her gun; she should have already taken her shot, and that delay was her undoing.

“Would you rather three months of my full effort or a whole season of my skatin’ like I’m playin’ squirt hockey?”

“You can’t seriously be reducing this to a game of ‘would you rather’?”

His voice dropped to an intimate tone, her panties another inch with it. “If you shake on it now, I’ll begin that full effort tonight.”

The siren blared in the distance, followed by the home crowd’s roar. Five zip. Harper didn’t enjoy being blackmailed, but she enjoyed losing even less.

She thrust her hand forward impatiently. He took it in his firm grasp. That electricity setting her skin aflame was her body telling her she’d made the right decision. Nothing else.

“You have a game to finish.”

He held on, and now he inclined his head so close she could count each and every one of those pretty-boy eyelashes. Her pulse rate spiked, and she was certain he could sense it. Sense her heart thumping rabbit kicks, her vein pulsing in her throat.

“We’ve shaken on it now, minou, so don’t you dare think about welshing. I might sound like I spend my spare time spitballin’ from the rockin’ chair on my porch, but don’t let my accent fool you none. I’m not the kind of man you want for an enemy. We clear?”

She might have rolled her eyes if she wasn’t just a wee bit impressed by his chutzpah. Still, he needed to be informed that while he might have won this battle, the war was far from over.

“Try not to trip on your way to the rink, DuPre.”

He laughed, deep and robust, clearly delighted with himself. Idiot. His thumb pressed against her inner wrist, and a crackle of energy leeched from him into her body.

“You feel that, Harper?”

She snatched back her hand. “If you mean my goodwill evaporating with every second you’re standing here, then, yeah, I feel it.”

“I think we’re havin’ a thing.”

They were. Oh, God, they were. “Why are you still here again?”

His mouth curved. “Lady, I got the distinct feelin’ these next few months are gonna be fun.”

He picked up his stick and, with more grace than a six-foot-two brute wearing skates on dry land should possess, he left the locker room.

OMG, this book!

I loved Kate Meader’s Hot in Chicago series and really liked her prequel novella for this one ( In Skates Trouble ) and was looking forward to seeing what Remy and Harper’s story would bring, but the story itself? Blew my expectations right out of the water!

I absolutely loved both Harper and Remy. Ms. Meader did a great job of showing their POVs and giving very realistic reasons why they shouldn’t be together, all while proving that staying apart shouldn’t even be an option. When it looks like they really won’t be able to have a life together, when Harper takes Remy’s words and says they’re not enough? I swear I stopped breathing, it was so hard to read. Even knowing there HAD to be an HEA in the end didn’t make it any less devastating to get through…how would she ever manage to make things okay again?

Of course she did, and did so brilliantly, I’m happy to report. And now we have middle sister Isobel’s book to look forward to next…can’t wait!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. 

Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

 

New Release Review and Giveaway! HOLIDAY IN THE HAMPTONS by Sarah Morgan (From Manhattan with Love #5)

Title: HOLIDAY IN THE HAMPTONS
Author: Sarah Morgan
Pub. Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Pages: 384
Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook

 

The perfect summer escape? 

Professional dog-walker Felicity Knight loves everything about New York…until her ex-husband starts working at her local vet clinic. She hasn’t seen Seth Carlyle in ten years, but one glimpse of him–too gorgeous, and still too good for her–and Fliss’s heart hurts like their whirlwind marriage ended yesterday. So when her grandmother in the Hamptons needs help for the summer, it seems the ideal way to escape her past.

Their relationship might have lasted only a few scorching months, but vet Seth knows Fliss–if she’s run away to the Hamptons, it’s because she still feels their connection and it terrifies her. He let her go once before, when he didn’t know any better, but not this summer! With the help of his adorable dog, Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see that he’s never stopped loving her…

Sarah Morgan delights with more love and laughter in her acclaimed series From Manhattan with Love, which Publishers Weekly calls “engaging…a classic sweep-you-off-your-feet romantic experience.”

Find it: AmazonAudibleBarnes&NobleiBooksTBDGoodreads

Review:

Loved!

Okay, so Fliss did get on my nerves a bit–her inability to see herself and her relationships as they truly were was aggravating. Her reasons for this were absolutely understandable, which is why I stuck with her, but still…aggravating. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hug her or shake her more. Her HEA, though? Totally earned.

And Seth…Seth. He cooks. He’s good with animals. And especially once the fear of (not going to say who here, that would give it away) someone is put into him, he absolutely sees Fliss for who she is and gives her that one last chance that they both need.

Le sigh. Pretty sure this is my favorite of the series so far…although I somehow missed Daniel’s book, something I plan to remedy ASAP 😉

Harriet’s next–can’t wait!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About Sarah:

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as ‘a magician with words’ by RT Book Reviews, she has sold over 15 million copies of her books. She has been nominated five times for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times; in 2012 for her book ‘Doukakis’s Apprentice’, 2013 for ‘A Night of No Return’, and 2017 for ‘Miracle on 5th Avenue’. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their ‘Top Pick’ slot.

As a child Sarah dreamed of being a writer and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream.

Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a Kate Spade Beach Themed Prize Pack, US/Canada Only.
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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

8/7/2017- YA Book Nerd– Review

8/8/2017- Romantic Reviews– Excerpt

8/9/2017- Kati’s Bookaholic Rambling Reviews– Review

8/10/2017- Becky on Books– Review

8/11/2017- Bookish in Texas– Review

 

Week Two:

8/14/2017– Books and Readers– Review

8/15/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

8/16/2017- Vox Libris– Review

8/17/2017- Savings in Seconds– Review

8/18/2017- ChickLit Club– Review

 

Week Three:

8/21/2017- Lattes & Paperbacks– Review

8/22/2017- Fire and Ice– Review

8/23/2017- Celluloid Diaries– Excerpt

8/24/2017- Bibliobakes– Review

8/25/2017- Eli to the nth– Review

 

 

New Release Review! SCANDALOUS EVER AFTER by Theresa Romain (Romance of the Turf #2)

Did you see my guest post from Theresa Romain here? She talks about her favorite summer activities–and Scandalous Ever After!

Scandalous Ever After
by Theresa Romain

Does love really heal all wounds?

After being widowed by a steeplechase accident in Ireland, Lady Kate Whelan abandons the turf. But once her mourning is complete, her late husband’s debts drive her to seek help in Newmarket amidst the whirl of a race meet. There she encounters antiquities expert Evan Rhys, her late husband’s roguish friend―whom she hasn’t seen since the day of his lordship’s mysterious death.

Now that fate has reunited them, Evan seizes the chance to win over the woman he’s always loved. But once back within the old stone walls of Whelan House, long-held secrets come to light that shake up everything Kate thought she knew about her marriage. Now she wonders who she can trust with her heart―and Evan must decide between love and a truth that will separate him from all his heart desires.

 

Romance of the Turf Series:
The Sport of Baronets (Book .5)
A Gentleman’s Game (Book 1)
Scandalous Ever After (Book 2)

 

Review:

This one took a while to get into–I couldn’t quite grasp what was up with Kate’s ‘tude, and since I was a member of Team Evan pretty much since page 1, her back-and-forth where he was considered was aggravating. I kept shaking my head–what was her deal? The story gradually drew me in, though, and somewhere around the 50% mark I found myself pretty much unable to put the book down until I got to the end. And Kate? Totally redeemed herself in the end 🙂

I really need to read more of Ms. Romain’s books, because each time I do they’re rife with highlighted bits by the time I’m done–romantic bits, funny bits, ways with words that I wish I had–so many highlights. This time they’re almost all Evan’s, and they run the gamut from LOL:

For God’s sake. Sometimes a man just wanted to dig up an ancient cock sculpture and show it about. Was that too much to ask from life?

(For the record, no, I don’t think it is.)

to OMG, yes:

What was there to want in life for than someone who said I miss you when you’re across a room?

to HOW? HOW CAN SHE RESIST HIM?

“I want more than a half measure of you. And I deserve someone who wants more than a half measure of me.”

Sigh. Seriously, how???

Fortunately, she manages to see the light before the final pages. And the path they take to get there? Makes this book one heck of a read.

(Second in the Romance of the Turf series, but worked just fine as a standalone. Though you’d better believe book 1 and book .5 were on my TBR pile by the time I was about 51% of the way into this one.)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

New Release Review! DELTA: REDEMPTION by Cristin Harber

ABOUT DELTA: REDEMPTION

“My name’s Victoria–No last name. Don’t ask.”

That was all that the woman would share when Delta team’s expert trigger man, an Australian named Ryder, pulled her from the pits of a human trafficking nightmare and took the gun from her hand.

He didn’t mean to steal her revenge but survival was the priority. Now that Victoria’s home? She had a past he was trying to understand while keeping a secret from her that might tear her apart.

But he’s not the only one. When she goes missing, Delta team discovers that Victoria No Name was a one-woman vigilante force, taking on whoever crossed her path, from gun runners to a drug pushing motorcycle club.

She was exactly who Ryder thought she might be, and now he was coming in to help–whether she wanted backup or not.

 

Get your hands on DELTA: REDEMPTION now:

Amazon / iBooks / B&N / Kobo

Add DELTA: REDEMPTION to Goodreads!

Review:

Every time I read a Cristin Harber book, I wonder why don’t I read more Cristin Harber books? because…day-um, they’re good!

I absolutely loved Victoria and Ryder, and didn’t want their story to end…all while frantically trying to get them to their HEA ASAP! It’s a conundrum, I know, but jeesh, it’s just that good. (His Aussie accent, her kick-butt heroine-ery, their chemistry, the romance, the suspense–it’s all here…) Now I really need to go back and read the two books that are apparently loosely connected to this one–Locke and Key and Delta: Rescue–A Mackenzie Family novellaheck, I probably should read all the rest of the Titan and Delta series while I’m at it and shorten up by TBR considerably! 😉

Victoria’s BFF Seven’s getting a story in there somewhere too, yes? Just sayin’…

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

 

 

ABOUT CRISTIN HARBER:

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

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