New Release Review and Giveaway! BEFORE THE DAWN by Cynthia Eden (Killer Instict #2)

The Killer Instinct series from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden continues as an FBI profiler tracks a case that resurrects ghosts from his past…

Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost knows that the world is full of evil. He saw it in the face of his own brother, Jason Frost, a cold, methodical, sadistic killer. A killer Tucker put down with his own hands in order to save Jason’s final victim–Dawn Alexander, the only girl who got away from the infamous “Iceman.”

It’s Tucker’s up close and personal experience with evil that’s made him perfect for Samantha Dark’s experimental profiling division in the FBI. And when women start turning up murdered with the same MO used by the Iceman, Tucker is sent back to Louisiana to investigate.

Seven years have passed since the night that Tucker faced down his brother…and since he last saw Dawn, his one-time lover. But as Tucker and Dawn grapple with a desire that never died, they must also face the shared shadow from their pasts. Both have the same question–has Jason Frost come back from the dead to hunt again? And this time, will he succeed in killing the victim who got away?

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Review:

OMG, this book. The very first page grabbed me and just wouldn’t let go–I can’t tell you how many times I gasped out loud and/or winced while reading! The last 20% it was virtually nonstop…good thing Mini Moe #1 has become used to my gasps that come seemingly out of nowhere while he’s driving…

Before the Dawn is a romantic thriller/second chance romance story with the twist that the hero was the brother of the guy who tortured and nearly killed the heroine several years earlier. Tucker had to choose between his brother (dubbed “The Iceman”) and the woman he loved back then, and has been haunted by the words of his brother, “Blood comes first,” ever since. Their father had been a horrible person, his brother was even worse–would Tucker truly be able to avoid their legacy? Could Dawn ever look at him and not see the man who literally made her life a living hell? Add in the fact that it looks like there’s an Iceman copycat killer running around in the city which Dawn has moved to and Tucker’s FBI team is on the case, and yeah. Pretty freaking intense.

Before the Dawn is the second book in the series, but worked pretty well as a standalone. Based on this one, though, I’m definitely going to back up and read the prequel and book one ( The Gathering Dusk and After the Dark ) to get ready for book three ( Into the Night ) when it comes out, because I. Must. Read.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the author:

Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over eighty novels and novellas.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate. Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

Author’s website:  http://www.cynthiaeden.com/

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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! ROYAL CRUSH by Meg Cabot (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess #3)

Title: ROYAL CRUSH
Author: Meg Cabot
Pub. Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 192
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

 

Being the newest princess of Genovia is WAY more complicated than she expected, but Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison is getting used to it. She gets to live in an actual palace with two fabulous poodles, a pet iguana, her very own pony, and, best of all, a loving family to help her figure things out!

And right now Olivia, having finally admitted that she likes Prince Khalil as more than just a friend, could REALLY use some advice. What is a princess supposed to do once she’s found a prince she likes? With her half-sister Mia busy enjoying her honeymoon, Olivia turns to Grandmere for help.

The third book in the middle-grade Princess Diaries spin-off series, written and illustrated by New York Times-bestselling author Meg Cabot.

Find it: AmazonBarnes&NobleiBooksTBDGoodreads

 

Review:

So adorable!

As much as I loved Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries series, I just might like her From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess ones even more. We still have many of the characters we love from the YA books (Mia! Michael! Grandmere! An older version of Rocky!) but now we’re seeing them through the eyes of Mia’s half-sister, a current seventh grader and future wildlife artist. Add in middle school drama (which yes, is significant when you’re in–or even just work with or live with those who are in–middle school, but let’s face it, is waaaay less angsty than high school drama) and a main character who’s not only dealing with being a newly discovered princess but also has had to move to a different country–her family’s country–and you’ve got a great basis for a series.

In book three, Royal Crush, Olivia’s got a lot going on, as usual. Mia’s about ready to have her twins (and yes, she has them–and no, I’m not telling their gender or names; read it yourself!), there’s a nasty strain of virus ravishing Genovia, her school is all set to compete in the Royal School Winter Games (she wants to stay home and let her new niece and nephew imprint on her like baby ducks, but her plans here might be foiled by factors beyond her control), and she’s not sure why Prince Khalil doesn’t seem quite as friendly as he had over the summer. And isn’t sure if she cares. Because they’re just friends. Or, maybe they’re not. But maybe they are…

Ah, middle school.

Throughout it all, Olivia brings a fresh voice to the world of the Genovian royals and keeps us up to date with what’s going on with the Renaldos. Though this book would work pretty well as a standalone–Olivia keeps us current on most of what we need to know going in to the story–it really will have the most impact if you’ve read the other two. Plus, the characters and writing are so much fun you’re going to want to know the whole story–so go ahead and put them all on your TBR ASAP!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About Meg:

Meg Cabot is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for both adults and tweens/teens. There have been over 25 million copies of Meg’s nearly 80 published books sold in 38 countries. Her last name rhymes with habit, as in “her books can be habit forming.” She currently lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and various cats.
Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of ROYAL CRUSH, US Only.

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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.

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

New Release Review and Giveaway! WILDFIRE by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #3)

In the thrilling conclusion to the Hidden Legacy series, Nevada and Rogan 
grapple with a power beyond even their imagination…

WILDFIRE
Hidden Legacy #3
Ilona Andrews
Releasing July 25, 2017
Avon Books
From Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, the thrilling conclusion to her Hidden Legacy series, as Nevada and Rogan grapple with a power beyond even their imagination…
 
Nevada Baylor can’t decide which is more frustrating — harnessing her truthseeker abilities or dealing with Connor “Mad” Rogan and their evolving relationship. Yes, the billionaire Prime is helping her navigate the complex magical world in which she’s become a crucial player—and sometimes a pawn—but she also has to deal with his ex-fiancée, whose husband has disappeared, and whose damsel-in-distress act is wearing very, very thin.
Rogan faces his own challenges, too, as Nevada’s magical rank has made her a desirable match for other Primes. Controlling his immense powers is child’s play next to controlling his conflicting emotions. And now he and Nevada are confronted by a new threat within her own family. Can they face this together? Or is their world about to go up in smoke?

I opened my mouth. Nothing came out.

Mom made big eyes at me and nodded toward the table. I dropped my bag on the floor and sat.

“Drink your tea.” Grandma Frida pushed a steaming mug toward Rynda.

Rynda picked up and drank it, but her gaze was fixed on me. Desperation in her eyes turned to near panic. Right.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath from the stomach all the way up, held it, and let it out slowly. One . . . two . . . Calm . . . calm . . .

“Nevada?” Grandma Frida asked.

“She’s an empath Prime,” I said. “I’m upset, so it’s affecting her.”

Rynda gave a short laugh, and I heard Olivia Charles in her voice. “Oh, that’s rich.”

Five . . . six . . . Breathe in, breathe out . . . Ten. Good enough.

I opened my eyes and looked at Rynda. I had to keep my voice and my emotions under control. “Your mother killed an entire crew of Rogan’s soldiers and four lawyers, including two women your age. It was an unprovoked slaughter. Their husbands are now widowers and their children are motherless because of her.”

“A person is never just one thing,” Rynda said, putting the mug down. “To you she might have been a monster, but to me she was my mother. She was a wonderful grandmother to my children. She loved them so much. My mother-in- law doesn’t care for them. They have no grandparents now.”

“I’m sorry for your and their loss. I regret that things went the way they did. But it was a justified kill.” Dear God, I sounded like my mother.

“I don’t even know how she died.” Rynda clenched her hands into a single fist. “They only gave me back her bones. How did my mother die, Nevada?”

I took a deep breath. “It wasn’t an easy or a quick death.”

“I deserve to know.” There was steel in her voice. “Tell me.”

“No. You said you needed my help. Something terrible must’ve happened. Let’s talk about that.”

Her hand shook, and the mug danced a little as she brought it to her lips. She took another swallow of her tea. “My husband is missing.”

Okay. Missing husband. Familiar territory. “When was the last time you saw . . .” Rogan had said his name one time, what was it? “. . . Brian?”

“Three days ago. He went to work on Thursday and didn’t come back. He doesn’t answer his phone. Brian likes his routine. He’s always home by dinner. It’s almost Christmas. He wouldn’t miss it.” A note of hysteria crept into her voice. “I know what you’ll ask: does he have a mistress, did we have a good marriage, does he disappear on drunken binges? No. No, he doesn’t. He takes care of me and the kids. He comes home!”

She must’ve spoken to the Houston PD. “Did you fill out a missing person report?”

“Yes. They’re not going to look for him.” Her voice turned bitter. She was getting more agitated by the minute. “He’s a Prime. It’s House business. Except House Sherwood is convinced that Brian is okay and

he’s just taking a break. Nobody is looking for him, except me. Nobody is returning my calls. Even Rogan refuses to see me.”

That didn’t sound right. Rogan would never turn her away, even if I pitched a huge fit about it. I’d watched the two of them talking before. He liked her and he cared about her. “What did Rogan say exactly?”

“I came to him on Friday. His people told me he was out. He was out on Saturday. I asked to wait, and they told me it was a waste of time. They didn’t know when he would be back. I may be naive, but I’m not an idiot. I know what that means. Two weeks ago, I had friends. I had my mother’s friends, powerful, respected, and always so eager to do Olivia Charles a favor. Two weeks ago, one phone call and half of the city would be out looking for Brian. They would be putting pressure on the police, on the mayor, on the Texas Rangers. But now, everyone is out. Everyone is too busy to see me. There is an invisible wall around me. No matter how loud I scream, nobody can hear me. People just nod and offer platitudes.”

“He didn’t stonewall you,” I said. “He was out of state. With me.

She stopped. “You’re together?”

There was no point in lying. “Yes.”

“The thing with my mother, it wasn’t just a job for you?”

“No. She killed the wife of a man I consider a friend. He works here now.”

Rynda put her hand over her mouth. Silence fell, heavy and tense.

“I shouldn’t have come here,” she said. “I’ll get the children and go.”

“That’s right,” Grandma Frida said.

“No,” Mom said. I knew that voice. That was Sergeant Mom voice. Rynda knew that voice too, because she sat up straighter. Olivia Charles was never in the military, but three minutes of talking to her had told me that she had ruled her household with an iron fist and had very low tolerance for nonsense.

“You’re here now,” Mom said. “You came to us for help, because you had nowhere to turn and because you’re scared for your husband and your children. You came to the right place. Nevada is very good at tracking missing people. Either she’ll help you, or she will recommend someone who will.”

Grandma Frida turned and looked at Mom as if she had sprouted a pineapple on her head.

“Right,” I said. I may not have personally murdered Rynda’s mother, but I made that death possible. And now she was a pariah, alone and scared. She had lost her mother, her husband, and all of the people she thought were her friends. I had to help her. I had to at least get her started in the right direction.

Wow! The ride that began with the first book in the series (Burn for Me) continues here…and then some! Though there is some explanation given in books 2 and 3 of things that happened before that you should know/remember, you’re really better off reading the entire series in order. Now that all 3 books have been released, I am planning on reading the series back-to-back on audio, just to get the complete experience. I definitely recommend! 😉
There is just so much to like with this series–the world is imaginative, the story is a great blend of mystery and action, and the characters are awesome. The relationships are great–not only Nevada and Ronan, but also Nevada and her whole family, Nevada and Cornelius–I could go on and on. The threads of humor that hold it all together (I love, love, love the giant, especially bred-for-war, pacifist bear Sgt. Teddy!) make this one series I’m going to go back to read again and again.
Wildfire has been touted as the final book in the trilogy, but there’s definitely room for continuation with that ending. Fingers crossed that there is more to come, because I still have questions (and want to see more of…well, pretty much everyone!)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Start the Trilogy at the beginning!
“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Times and USA Today bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge—and are working on the next volumes for both. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

 

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New Release Review! ON SECOND THOUGHT by Kristan Higgins


On Second Thought

by Kristan Higgins

Synopsis:

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

Kate’s always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed—and a widow—in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.

Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that’s always separated them, Ainsley’s and Kate’s heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.

 

Review:

So, so good!

I was slightly worried, for about a milisecond, that Kristan Higgins was going to use my widow plot point pet peeve, but I should have known better. This is Kristan Higgins. It’s her second widow story (sorry, Leo, I’m not counting you here since we didn’t hear your story from your POV) and yep, she knows her stuff and how to do widows right.

So, so good. Wait, did I say that already? 😉

Like her previous book (), On Second Thought is the story of two sisters, and the audiobook version once again uses two different narrators to tell their story–I love this trend! (Though when listening in the car, Kate’s parts had to be turned way, way up. With headphones, however, everything was fine at the same volume. Weird.) Mini Moe #2 and I started listening to this one in the car, driving to and from our family vacation, and had so much fun while not listening speculating about what was coming for the characters. I totally called both the HEAs for Kate and Ainsley–go, me!–but couldn’t have even began to guess how much awesomeness (a impossible yet probable mixture of crises, awkwardness, embarrassment, sadness, and joy) Ms. Higgins was going to bring to the two of them while on their journey.

So. Much. Awesomeness.

We’re back in Cambry-on-Hudson again, and it was nice to see glimpses of Jenny and Leo from time to time here. There was a mention of Rachel, but we don’t actually get to see her. You definitely don’t need to have read If You Only Knew to enjoy On Second Thought, though if you have, you’ll especially appreciate seeing Leo at Kate’s grief group. (And yeah, you’ll probably want to find out the rest of his story as well; consider yourself warned!)

As always, relationships are the focus here, and nobody does them like Kristan Higgins–those of family and friends as well as romantic ones. Kate and Ainsley’s relationship is even more of a focus of the book than their romances, actually. Don’t worry, though–the romances are plenty swoony too. And that epilogue? OMG, I was all but sobbing as I read. So, so good.

Write faster, Kristan! I need more of your books, pronto 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2…

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New Release Review! EYES ON YOU by Laura Kaye (A Blasphemy and 1001 Dark Nights novella)

From New York Times Bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes EYES ON YOU, a new novella in her Blasphemy Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

About EYES ON YOU (Blasphemy #3):
She wants to explore her true desires, and he wants to watch…

When a sexy stranger asks Wolf Henrikson to rescue her from a bad date, he never expected to want the woman for himself. But their playful conversation turns into a scorching one-night stand that reveals the shy beauty gets off on the idea of being seen, even if she’s a little scared of it, too. And Wolf loves to watch.
In the wake of discovering her fiancé’s infidelity, florist Olivia Foster never expected to find someone who not only understood her wildest, darkest fantasies, but would bring them to life. As Wolf introduces her to his world at the play club, Blasphemy, Liv finds herself tempted to explore submission and exhibitionism with the hard-bodied Dom even as she’s scared to trust again.
But Wolf is a master of getting what he wants—and he’s got his eyes set on her…

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Excerpt:

Wolf Henrikson watched the sexy stranger flee her table like it was the Titanic and the bathroom was the last available lifeboat. And he couldn’t say that he blamed her. He hadn’t been trying to eavesdrop on the couple’s conversation; it was only that every time the man spoke to anyone from the restaurant’s staff, he shouted like he wanted to make the scene he was in fact making.

What the hell was the cute brunette doing with such an a**hole anyway? The few times he’d looked around to see if his dinner companion had arrived, he’d noticed the woman sitting not too far away—and she’d made him do a double take every time. Between her glossy chocolate waves, the bright red paint on her bow-tie lips, and the vintage-style red dress with the plunging neckline and the full knee-length skirt, she had the sex appeal of a pinup girl. He couldn’t help wondering if she wore garters and thigh-highs beneath that skirt.

Wolf almost regretted that he no longer had any reason to stay at the bar because the scene playing out at the nearby table was like a train wreck he couldn’t stop watching. And, oh, he did enjoy watching. People were just so fucking interesting, even when they were off their damn rockers.

But the prospective submissive he’d been planning to meet—in public, at her request—had just called to let him know she’d gotten cold feet. He respected the honesty. The BDSM lifestyle wasn’t for everyone, and it wasn’t something he recommended anyone explore frivolously. But the change in plans left him at loose ends.

Actually, that feeling was a constant presence in his blood these days. Restlessness. Boredom.

Dissatisfaction without really being able to pinpoint why.

In anticipation of the meeting, he’d only had water, but he dropped a few dollars on the bar anyway, then pushed off the stool and made for the restrooms at the back. Blasphemy would be hopping soon, and even though he wasn’t scheduled to work a shift, he could no doubt find a willing partner to play with there. Though he was one of the twelve Master Dominants and a one-twelfth owner of the city’s most exclusive BDSM club, Wolf’s particular kink didn’t require all the equipment and special rooms that some did. Really, voyeurism and exhibitionism could be enjoyed anywhere. Which was kinda the point.

As long as he could watch, or knew others were watching, or was with someone who got off on being watched, he was all kinds of good.

Or, at least, he used to be.

 

 

Review:

yes on You is a quick, hot, sexy and surprisingly sweet read, though I almost wish that Wolf and Liv had a full-length book because I really liked their characters. I loved their meet-cute (Olivia’s bad date is truly of epic proportions) and though things moved fairly quick for them, their relationship somehow didn’t feel rushed. Like the other books in the series, this one works just fine as a standalone–though if you have read some (or all) of the other books, the little glimpses you see of prior books’ MCs adds to the fun.

There’s still quite a few Masters left in what is shaping up to be quite the series…book 3 looks to be particularly fun… 😉

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

 

About Laura Kaye:

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers, and she is past president of the RWA-Contemporary Romance Writers.

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New Release Review! SOME KIND OF HERO by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters #17)

Some Kind of Hero
by Suzanne Brockmann

Synopsis:

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.

 

Review:

The Troubleshooters are back!

Oh, I loved this one so much–there were actual tears during the epilogue! It had everything that is so awesome about the Troubleshooters series: fantastic main characters (both single parents! Of teens! Older woman/romantic suspense author + SEAL!), great camaraderie between them and the secondary characters (many of them a fun selection of previous Troubleshooter series MCs), edge-of-your-seat suspense, and smoking hot romance 🙂

I loved how Shay’s profession (romantic suspense author) was such a part of her life (occasionally talking to her own fictional character out loud, LOL! Does she ever explain those random comments to Peter, I wonder?) and how her particular skill set helped her to help Peter defeat the bad guys in the end. Although I loved this one cover to cover, the last 25% was truly unputdownable.

Please tell me that there’s going to be more to this series! I need me some more Shay and Peter…

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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Audiobook Review and Giveaway! GOLD RUSH by Jennifer Comeaux

Gold Rush
by Jennifer Comeaux
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: January 9th 2017

Summary:

Liza Petrov’s entire life has been about skating and winning her sport’s top prize – Olympic gold. She’s stayed sheltered inside her bubble, not daring to stray from her destined path.

Until she meets Braden Patrick.

He makes her heart flutter with possibility, and for the first time she gets a taste of a normal teenage life. She longs to have both the boy and the gold, but stepping outside her bubble comes with a price. As Liza begins to question both her future and her past, can she stay focused on the present and realize her ultimate dream?

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Excerpt:

“Hey, Liza.”

I looked up directly into the smiling face of Braden. He was holding the raffle bucket, and a Sox player stood beside him. I was so unprepared to see him that I couldn’t even get a “hello” to come out of my mouth.

“Would you like to buy a raffle ticket?” he asked.

I felt weird having him talk down to me while I sat, so I sprang to my feet. “Hi. Umm… yeah, I’ll take a couple.”

“Cool. How many?”

I bent to get my wallet and pulled out a five dollar bill. “As many as this will get me?”

The player tore a strip of tickets from the big roll and gave them to Braden before moving on to solicit Em and Dad, who were watching Braden and me with rapt attention. Braden set the bucket down and slowly separated my part of the tickets. Now that there wasn’t a counter between us, I could see his full physique better. The top of my head only reached his chin, so he had to be more than half a foot taller than me. He had a slender build, but he wasn’t scrawny. The short sleeves of his polo showed nicely-defined biceps.

“I remember you,” Quinn said.

Braden laughed. “I remember you, too.”

Quinn might also remember Holly and me discussing Braden’s date potential. I quickly stepped between them so Quinn couldn’t see him.

“I thought you worked concessions,” I said.

“I’m an intern, so I go wherever they tell me. I like doing the raffle better because I get to see more people.”

His eyes held steady on mine in the I’m-only-looking-at-you way they’d done at the concession stand. How was I supposed to come up with witty conversation when my heart was pitter-pattering so loudly I couldn’t even think?

“Were you going to visit me at the concession stand? I’m still waiting for my autograph.” He cocked his head with a sly grin.

“Oh… yeah. I’m sorry. I wasn’t sure if you were really serious.”

“I definitely was. I’ve never met anyone as talented as you. I watched a video of you at the world championships, and you were incredible.”

“You Googled me?”

“What kind of twenty-first century guy would I be if I didn’t?”

I had to break away from his gaze because I felt redness taking over my face. If only I could be incredible and confident right now.

Review:

Such a fun and sweet story!

Even though I can barely stop on skates without an assist from the wall around the rink (this is normal, yes?), for as long as I can remember (every 4 years during the Olympics, at a minimum ;)) I’ ve dreamed of being an ice skater. (Also normal, yes? Everyone plans out skating routines while listening to instrumental music, right? Right??)

So the chance to read a book from the POV of a slightly socially-awkward ice skating Olympic (hopefully) superstar? Sign me up!

I loved both Liza and Braden. Whether it was the beginning, when she practically ran from his flirtiness at the baseball game, when they were going on their first dates, or when they were trying to be just friends (because of her parents and her need to give everything to her skating during the Olympic season), they were just great together. Plus, how many guys will back off immediately when the girl they like tells them they have to devote themselves to their sport instead of dating and be willing to hang out indefinitely in the friend zone in the hopes of someday? (I’m hoping that there are actual guys who will fit that description out there, and not just (darn–is he really just) fictional Braden…)

It was fun seeing the behind-the-scenes life of a top level figure skater–their day-to-day life, training, and competitions–and the fact that Liza reads and writes romantic fiction in her spare time just made me love her even more 🙂

I know I’ll definitely have this book and its characters on my mind the next Winter Olympics…and not just those of The Cutting Edge as per usual… 😉

The audiobook version was nicely done–the narrator has a pleasant voice, and does a great job narrating the story. I’d definitely listen to something else performed by her in the future, even if no figure skating is involved.

Though, hopefully, figure skating will be involved…

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the Author:

Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is travelling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. Jennifer loves to hear from readers! Visit jennifercomeaux.blogspot.com for contact information and to learn more about her books.

 

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