New Release Review! TALK BRITISH TO ME by Robin Bielman (Wherever You Go #1)

Talk British to Me, an all-new sexy STANDALONE romance from Robin Bielman is available now!!

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Talk British to Me
by Robin Bielman
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

As the Dating Guy on L.A.’s top morning show, I give the single guy’s perspective on dating, love, and sex—and I give great advice. Everyone’s hooking up…well, except for me. Sure, I can get any woman I want, but I’ve got a “no relationship” clause in my contract and the only woman I want has “relationship” written all over her. Probably stamped on her ass, too. And wouldn’t I like to confirm that.

Unfortunately, she wants nothing to do with me. At all. Something about the next Ice Age might have even come up in her rebuttal. Adorable. Because she’s determined to ignore what one simple kiss proved: she wants me as badly as I want her.

Everything in me is screaming to go after her, but I’ve got a secret that I’m fairly certain will end up with her roasting my nuts over an open fire. So, job on the line? Check. Nuts on the line? Check. Can’t get her out of my head? Nail…meet coffin. But what a way to go…

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Excerpt:

I lean down to whisper in her ear. I can’t help it. I can tell from her body language that I make her nervous, and right now I’m a total cad, but I’m curious to see her reaction to my words. She did walk right into them. “Are you saying I make you wet, Teague?”

The trunk pops open, almost hitting her in the forehead when she balks at my question. She’s blushing, but her warm blue eyes hook me with sparks of anger. Several charged seconds pass before she speaks.

“Does it hurt? Being so full of yourself?” She turns to rummage

through a small pile of clothes in her trunk. “News flash, stuck-up”—she glances at my attire, I’m guessing—“jock, you don’t make me feel anything. I’m sure there are plenty of girls in this town you can charm the panties off of with your attitude and voice, but I’m not one of them. So please do me a favor and keep your unsavory thoughts to yourself.”

Several things about what she just said hit me like a ton of goddamn bricks. That she called me a jock makes me grin. I’m wearing long athletic shorts with my collared shirt and running shoes.

She’s right about girls’ panties, but she’s the only girl to mention my voice. What would she think if I used my British accent on her? The station manager says she gets more calls about my accent than anything else.

And this bolder, more assertive, yet wholesome Teague is hot.
Don’t even get me started on her use of the word “unsavory.”

I am so fucked.

This isn’t a random chick anymore. She works for my mom. This sweet, beautiful, genuine, fascinating girl has a last name and knows my mother.

 

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Review:

Loved!

I absolutely adored Mateo’s voice–his cocky confidence in himself and his abilities was so much fun to read! (And made it all that much more meaningful when he started to question things he’d never questioned before!) Teague wasn’t too bad herself–plus, she was so easy to identify with–really, I just had so much fun with this one. There are many, many highlighted passages in my digital version, and there may have been a few instances of snort-laughing. Though I’ll never tell. 😉

The secondary characters here are a lot of fun too–Teague’s BFF Harper and Mateo’s roommate Levi are clearly being set up for a future series book (yay!), plus they have a third roommate (double yay!), and don’t even get me started on Zoe, their six-year-old next door neighbor and the cutest kid (sadly only fictionally) alive–Ms. Bielman made them all come alive on the page, and made you want to become besties with every single one of them.

The first in a new series, Talk British to Me (and OMG, that title leads me to one of my favorite bits, at the very end) is also being referred to as a standalone, but if you really want more of these characters and don’t feel like waiting for book two, Teague’s the younger sister of Luke from Kissing the Maid of Honor and Erin from Wild About Her Wingman in the Secret Wishes series.

You’re welcome 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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About Robin: Robin2-287x3001
When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author and RITA Finalist, Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts most of her story ideas.

She loves to go on adventures, and has skydived, scuba dived, parasailed, gotten lost in the wilderness (and only suffered a gazillion bug bites for it) hiked to waterfalls, and swam with dolphins. In her spare time she also likes to put her treadmill to good use while watching her favorite TV shows, take hikes with her hubby, indulge her sweet tooth, and play sock tug of war with her cute, but sometimes naughty dog, Harry.

She dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers. Keep in touch at all of her social media spots!

Connect With Robin:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobinBielmanWriter

Twitter: @RobinBielman

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/robin-bielman

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5825070.Robin_Bielman

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http://robinbielman.com

Pre-Release Review and Bonus Offer! LOST AND FOUND SISTERS by Jill Shalvis (Wildstone #1)

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins. Order your copy today!

 

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earth shattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google | iBooks | Books-A-Million | IndieBound

Excerpt:

To say that Tilly had had a bad day, a bad week, a bad month was an understatement. But as she stared down from the tree house, looking into a face that so resembled her own, somehow, in spite of not being able to breathe, she managed to find her voice. “I don’t need you,” she said, hating that she sounded thin and quivery, like she’d been crying.

She had not been crying.

At least not that she would admit to.

She hadn’t been in the tree house in a while. Not since she’d gone through a rough patch at school when the girls had been bitches and the teachers jerks, and her mom had been on her about her grades, and all she’d wanted to do was make herself invisible. But no matter how much she’d wished for superpowers, including invisibility, they’d never come.

So she came here to vanish. The tree itself was tall and stable, and it always protected her. She’d named it Kevin.

Kevin had come through for her more than anyone else, with the exception of her mom.

The first time she’d sat up here, her mom had freaked out and called the cops to report her missing. When they’d found her, her mom had gotten a ladder and climbed up to the tree house, and with tears in her eyes she’d said, “Don’t fly away from me yet, darling, I’m not ready.”

After that, Tilly always had told her mom whenever she’d needed to be invisible and her mom had understood.

But now she was gone. There’d been no one left to give a shit if she disappeared or not. Especially not Quinn, a mysterious sister she hadn’t even known about. “I don’t need you,” she repeated.

“Well, that’s fair,” Quinn said. “I don’t like to need anyone either. You going to come down so we can talk?”

“No.”

“Is there a ladder?”

“It rotted.”

“Okay then.” And to Tilly’s shock, Quinn inhaled deeply and then began to climb the tree herself. “Yikes, they’re some seriously gigantor ants.”

“And killer squirrels,” Tilly said.

Maybe two whole feet off the ground, Quinn froze, looking terrified. “Killer squirrels?”

“They throw acorns with deadly accuracy,” Tilly said. “And the kamikaze blue jays are vicious, so watch out.”

Quinn searched the tree with concern, making Tilly laugh for the first time in a long time. “Are you afraid of squirrels and blue jays?”

“Of course not,” Quinn said. “I’m afraid of killer squirrels and kamikaze blue jays. In fact, there’s a squirrel starting at me right now with beady, shifty little eyes.”

“City girl.”

Review:

Loved this one!

Lost and Found Sisters is chock-full of wonderful characters–even if at first glance they don’t seem all that wonderful 😉 Ms. Shalvis does a fantastic job (as usual) of giving us flawed characters and making us love them, warts and all.

Quinn’s had her life thrown for a loop–she still is very clearly not remotely close to being over her younger sister’s death two years earlier, when she finds out that 1) she was adopted 2) her birth mother has just died and 3) she has a younger sister, who up to this point was raised by the mother who gave Quinn away. As much as I loved Quinn’s inner (and outer!) snark–Tilly, Mick, and Lena were especially adept at bringing her skills to the fore–I’ll admit I wanted her to get over her resentment at her birth mother much quicker than she does, but her inability to do so gave her yet another way that she had to grow, to get over herself and her fears and preconceived ideas so she could get to her own HEA.

Tilly, Tilly, Tilly–where do I start with Tilly? I love her and feel Quinn’s frustration with her, all at the same time. Oh, that girl–both wise beyond her years, and as young and uncertain as every other fifteen-year-old girl out there. Even though she would have hated it, I just wanted to hug that girl every time she showed up on the page. Well, maybe 50-75% of those times I might have wanted to give her a good shake first…but then a hug, definitely. A good 90% of my highlights in this book–and there are a good many highlights in my digital copy–are from the excerpts of Tilly’s journal that start each chapter. OMG, that girl.

Mick is a fantastic character, with a scary bug removing prowess that is so important to any true hero. He’s almost too perfect here–denying that he feels any pull at all to the hometown he’s left in the dust is pretty much his only flaw–but still, I loved him and all the support he gave Quinn along the way.

Lena starts the story off as the worst kind of you-know-what, but by the end of the story I was praying that she’d get her own book. Surely she will, yes? And Boomer? Skye? Even Cliff, the HP lookalike lawyer? All worthy of their own books 🙂

The animals in this book, of course, were also all stars in their own way–Coop, Tink, those chickens, heck, even those scary bugs–the story wouldn’t be the same without them! Two thumbs way, way, up!

In short, I loved my first visit to Wildstone, and absolutely cannot wait until Ms. Shalvis takes me back for another visit. Fingers crossed that it will be soon… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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About Jill Shalvis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Jill Shalvis’s LOST AND FOUND SISTERS – Review & Excerpt Schedule:

June 12th

East Coast Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

Lucky 13 book reviews and news – Excerpt

June 13th

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt

Melena’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

June 14th

Aly’s Miscellany – Excerpt

Books,Dreams,Life – Excerpt

Coffee Books Life – Excerpt

She Reads too Much Romance – Review

The Readdicts – Review & Excerpt

June 15th

Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions – Excerpt

Debbie’s World of Books – Review & Excerpt

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

Shannon’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

June 16th

A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

I Smell Sheep – Review & Excerpt

Reads & Reviews – Excerpt

June 17th

Bookishly Yours – Review & Excerpt

Lover of Big Books Cannot Lie – Review & Excerpt

Romantic Reads and Such – Excerpt

Two Girls with Books – Review

June 18th

A geordielass honest blog on reviews – Review

Nicole’s Book Musings – Excerpt

Robinson Reviews – Review

Those Crazy Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt

With Love for Books – Review

June 19th

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

BooksPieAndCoffee – Review

IrishdaisylovesRomance – Review & Excerpt

JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC – Review & Excerpt

Writing My Own Fairy Tale – Review & Excerpt

June 20th

Marieke’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Reviews from the Heart – Review & Excerpt

Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Review & Excerpt

Thoughts of a Blonde – Review & Excerpt

Two Book Pushers – Review & Excerpt

June 21st

AC Squared Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Babbling about books and more – Excerpt

Literary Gossip – Excerpt

Love’s A State Of Mind – Review

June 22nd

Books 2 Blog – Review & Excerpt

Cara’s Book Boudoir – Review & Excerpt

I’m A Book Shark – Review & Excerpt

Love Affair With Fiction – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

June 23rd

Book and Tequila – Review & Excerpt

Once Upon A Page – Review & Excerpt

Reading To Unwind – Review & Excerpt

Sweet Red Reads – Review & Excerpt

Talking Books Blog – Excerpt

June 24th

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Red’s Romance Review’s – Review & Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt

TjLovesToRead – Review

New Release Review! LOST WITHOUT YOU by M. O’Keefe (The Debt #1)

Lost Without You
by Molly O’Keefe

Synopsis:

ALL DEBTS MUST BE PAID

Tommy

Seven years ago, I thought I could save Beth, the girl I loved from the monster who was supposed to take care of us. I thought I could keep Beth and all the other kids at St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles safe.

I failed. Badly. Now we all have blood on our hands and owe a dangerous man a very dangerous debt. We don’t know when he’ll come calling for payment, but when he does – we pay, or we suffer.

When my turn comes, I’m ready for anything.

Except seeing Beth again.

LOVE IS NEVER FREE

Beth

No one ever tells you that the cost of having your dreams come true is literally every single other part of your life. Yes, I’m a huge pop star these days, but I’m pretty much a mess, too.

I’ve spent my life hiding behind disguises, make-up and costumes, all to protect myself from the kind of pain that comes from revealing your true self to someone.

I did that once. With Tommy. The only person I ever loved. It didn’t turn out so well.

And now, with everything else falling apart around me, I’m suddenly in the backseat of his car.

Being kidnapped.

And the past we’ve both tried to run from is catching up with us.

Contains The Debt: A Prologue and 50,000 more words in the continuation of Tommy and Beth’s story.

Review:

I should have been prepared after her Everything I Left Unsaid series… Once again Ms. O’Keefe has left us at a major OMG moment at the end of the first full novel in her The Debt series, and I’m dying to get my hands on the next book! (Where I Belong, not out until June 26…sigh.)

Like the prequel novella (The Debt), Lost Without You draws you right in to the world of (now-seven-years-older) Tommy and Beth from the very beginning, not letting you go until the very last page–where the before-mentioned OMG moment ensures that the “letting go” involves some kicking and screaming on the part of the reader. (Wait, what? What do you mean, I have to wait to find out what happens???) Also like her Everything I Left Behind series, this one is pretty dark in tone and brings on the angst–these young adults seem to have been living the life every parent hopes their children never will. (Well, except for maybe Beth’s mother–what is up with her? Hopefully we’ll find out in the next book, because that whole situation seems worth another OMG or two. Or possibly a dozen.)

Life has been better since they left St. Jude’s–sort of. However, Tommy’s mostly alone, except for Simon, who is gone more than he’s around, and Pest, Tommy’s squirrel/dog. Beth is…well, I’m not going to give it away ahead of time, but Beth’s pretty much alone too, even though she spends her days literally surrounded by people. She’s still having trouble sleeping, so much so that her daily life involves a pretty scary cocktail of possibly not-quite-legal drugs from morning to night. Neither of them has managed to get over each other, and neither has been able to truly put the events at St. Jude’s in the past–Tommy even more so than Beth, since he has the complication of the “debt.”

The debt comes due early on, and it brings Beth and Tommy back together, though from the start you know it’s not going to be a sunshine and roses kind of reunion. But GAH, these two are so good together…and then she leaves us hanging. Hopefully I can find something to do to keep me occupied until June 26 and not obsessing over what’s happening with Tommy and Beth…

Darn you, M. O’Keefe! 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

New Release Review! THE DEBT by M. O’Keefe (The Debt #.5)


The Debt

by Molly O’Keefe

 

Synopsis:

LOVE AND SECOND CHANCES ARE NOT FREE

For the five kids who live at St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles, life is a nightmare.

Carissa, the youngest, has been there the longest. And barely speaks. Rosa is sixteen and pregnant.

Simon keeps his head down and studies, hoping to get back the life he lost.

Beth and Tommy, in the middle of the darkness, have found each other, and all they want is to be together. But when they get caught making out at school, it puts everyone in danger. Tommy is used to the beatings from their foster father, but when Beth is singled out for punishment, Tommy can’t sit back and let it happen.

AND ALL DEBTS MUST BE PAID

What happens that night rips apart the lives of the five teenagers forever.

After the blood has been spilled, a bargain is made. A deal with the devil that should have solved things. It should have fixed everything.

But nothing is free – not love, not innocence, and certainly not freedom. And sooner or later, all debts must be paid…

 

Review:

The Debt does exactly what it needs to–introduces readers to the five teens who survived the horrific St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles, vividly shows what happened on their last night there, and sets up the concept of “the debt” that will be a major plot factor in the next two series books.

In short–it gives you just enough to make you want more, sand want it now! Fortunately for me, my copy of book #1 (Lost Without You) included this prequel novella, so I didn’t have to wait!

Though book #2 is another story…how soon is its release???

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

New Release Review! DOG COLLAR CHAOS by Adrienne Giordano (Lucie Rizzo Mystery #4)

Synopsis:

Lucie Rizzo–Mafia princess-turned-dog accessory entrepreneur—is riding high after scoring a partnership with Buzzy Sneider, America’s leading craft and interior decorating mogul. A collaboration that is sure to move Lucie’s fledgling business into the next tax bracket.

When Buzzy turns up dead and Lucie’s BFF and business partner, Roseanne, is accused of the murder, Lucie will stop at nothing to prove Ro’s innocence. Even if it means keeping secrets from her new squeeze, sexy detective Tim O’Brien, who’s determined to keep Lucie from running one of her screwball investigations.

With Ro behind bars and Tim hot under the collar over Lucie’s meddling, Lucie is forced to accept her father’s help to clear Ro’s name and save their business. But will doing so put a killer hot on her heels?

 

Review:

Another fun entry in the Lucie Rizzo series!

Somehow Ms. Giordano keeps coming up with the most hilariously implausible yet somehow possible crimes for Lucie et al to get swept up in (murder by atomic wedgie? Only in this series!) and all we can do is sit back and go along for the ride–with a great big smile on our faces. The quirky characters, offbeat crimes, and laugh out loud humor of this series reminds me of the Stephanie Plum books, but better–no PITA love triangle, because Lucie’s definitely picked her man (and the right one, as she should…though it’s easy to see why Frankie would be tempting too, but not. Because, Tim.)

This time Ro’s in the big house, at least partly because of trouble she got into via Twitter(!) and Lucie’s not only trying to solve a crime–again!–she has to do it without her bestie at her side…and while giving her boyfriend a heart attack, of course. Another over-the-top funny animal gets added into the mix (not a dog this time–though the dogs are pretty funny too) and Lucie ends up figuring it all out because of information from perhaps the last place she thought she would.

I can’t wait to see what’s up next for the gang! Dog Collar Chaos would work okay as a standalone, but it’s even more fun when you already consider the series characters to be besties 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

New Release Review and Giveaway! WHITE HOT by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #2)

The Hidden Legacy series continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate  a world where magic is the norm . . . and their relationship burns hot.

 

WHITE HOT
Hidden Legacy #2
Ilona Andrews
Releasing May 30, 2017
Avon Books

 

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm . . . and their relationship burns hot.
 
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice.

“My wife is dead.” His voice shook with barely controlled emotion. His eyes glistened. “She’s my light. She found me in the darkest time of my life and she saw something in me . . . She believed I could be a better man. I didn’t deserve her or the happiness we had. She loved me, Nevada. She loved me so much, in spite of my faults, and I was the luckiest man alive because when I opened my eyes in the morning, I saw her next to me. She had integrity. She was kind and intelligent, and she tried her hardest to do the right thing so this world would be a better place for our child to grow up in. She didn’t deserve this. She deserved to be happy. She deserved a full and long life. Nobody had the right to rob her of it.”

His face contorted with raw pain and grief. I was trying so hard not to cry. “I love her determination. I love her spirit. I’m proud to have been her husband. And now she’s dead. Someone took this wonderful—this truly beautiful—human being and turned her into a corpse. I saw her on the morgue table. She’s just . . . cold and lifeless as if she never was. Everything is gone except for our daughter and my memories. I have to strive to be the man she thought I was. When my daughter grows up, she’ll ask me why her mother was murdered and I’ll have to answer her. I have to account for my actions. I want to tell her that I found those responsible and I made sure they wouldn’t hurt anyone else.”

He brushed moisture from his eyes with a furious swipe of his hand. “Nobody else will do this. Her family doesn’t have the means, my family doesn’t care, and her employer might have murdered her. There is only me. Will you help me? Please.”

He fell silent. He was sitting here asking for my help and I couldn’t throw him out of my office. I just couldn’t. I remembered when Mom sold our house to pay for Dad’s bills. I remembered when we mortgaged the business and kept it from him, because it would’ve killed him faster than any disease. If someone I loved was murdered, I would do the same thing Cornelius did. He had nowhere to turn. If I slammed the door in his face now, I wouldn’t be able to look my reflection in the eye.

I reached into the top drawer of my desk and took out the blue new-client folder. I opened it so it faced him, placed it on the table, and wrote $50,000 in the margins on the front. “This is my retainer. This stays with the agency no matter what happens. It’s nonnegotiable.”

I used my pen to circle the bottom number on the right side. “These are our rates. This job is likely to be high-risk, so the top rate right here will apply. As you can see, it’s a daily and not hourly rate. Depending on the situation, I may have to charge you hazard pay or additional expenses. The retainer acts like a deductible. Once the amount billed to you exceeds it, you will make additional payments in installments of $10,000. After we’re done here, you may want to go to the bank and withdraw at least $20,000 in cash. We may have to bribe people . . .”

“Thank you.”

“This is a bad idea. Please reconsider.”

He shook his head. “No.”

I walked him through the privacy policy and had him sign all of the waivers. “What happens once we find whoever is responsible?”

“I’ll take care of things from there.”

“Meaning you’ll kill your wife’s murderer.”

“It’s the way Houses handle things,” Cornelius said.

“Well, I’m not a House. I’m a person with a family, and I respect and try to obey the laws of this country. I won’t hesitate to defend you or myself, but I won’t condone murder.”

“Understood,” Cornelius said. “How do we start?”

“I need to be able to speak to Matthias Forsberg. I need face-to-face time so I can ask him some questions. I can make the necessary calls tomorrow, but he’ll refuse to see me.”

“You don’t have the social status and you work for his competitor.” Cornelius nodded. “Matthias is an active participant in the Assembly. He never misses a session. Tomorrow happens to be December 15th. The session starts at 9:00 a.m.”

“I don’t have admission to the Assembly.” The Assembly was an unofficial executive body that governed the magic users at state and national levels. The Texas State Assembly met in Houston. A family had to have at least two Prime-caliber magic users in three generations to be considered a House and each House had a single seat. Technically the Assembly had no power within the US government, but, practically, when the Houses spoke in one collective voice, both Congress and the White House listened.

“A family name has to be good for something, right?”

Cornelius smiled. It never reached his eyes. They stayed bitter and haunted. “As a Significant and a scion of a House, I’m free to attend the Assembly and bring a companion of my choice. I intend to be an active participant in this investigation, Ms. Baylor.”

“Call me Nevada,” I told him. “Good. Then we’ll meet here tomorrow at seven.”

 

Wow. This book.
White Hot is the first book I’ve read by Ilona Andrews, but it definitely won’t be my last! I loved Nevada’s snarkiness and her relationship with her family, and don’t even get me started on Connor…whoa. This book’s writing makes a world full of fantastic (and quite frankly, scary as heck) stuff seem perfectly normal. I do wish I’d had time to read the first book in the trilogy first (Burn for Me)–you do get some background here, but I still felt behind times a bit. And of course, I absolutely need to see Nevada and  Connor from the very beginning.
No worries. It’ll give me something to do while I wait for book three…
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 and Giveaway! THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND by Julia Quinn (Rokesbys #2)

When the truth comes out, Edward may have a few  surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND
Rokesbys #2
Julia Quinn
Releasing May 30, 2017
Avon Books
While you were sleeping…
With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He’s unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier’s life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie…
 
I told everyone I was your wife…
When Edward comes to, he’s more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he’d always assumed he’d marry his neighbor back in England.
 
If only it were true…
Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

Manhattan Island

July 1779

 

His head hurt.

Correction, his head really hurt.

It was hard to tell, though, just what sort of pain it was. He might have been shot through the head with a musket ball. That seemed plausible, given his current location in New York (or was it Connecticut?) and his current occupation as a captain in His Majesty’s army.

There was a war going on, in case one hadn’t noticed.

But this particular pounding—the one that felt more like someone was bashing his skull with a cannon (not a cannonball, mind you, but an actual cannon) seemed to indicate that he had been attacked with a blunter instrument than a bullet.

An anvil, perhaps. Dropped from a second-story window.

But if one cared to look on the bright side, a pain such as this did seem to indicate that he wasn’t dead, which was also a plausible fate, given all the same facts that had led him to believe he might have been shot.

That war he’d mentioned… people did die.

With alarming regularity.

So he wasn’t dead. That was good. But he also wasn’t sure where he was, precisely. The obvious next step would be to open his eyes, but his eyelids were translucent enough for him to realize that it was the middle of the day, and while he did like to look on the metaphorical bright side, he was fairly certain that the literal one would prove blinding.

So he kept his eyes closed.

But he listened.

He wasn’t alone. He couldn’t make out any actual conversation, but a low buzz of words and activity filtered through the air. People were moving about, setting objects on tables, maybe pulling a chair across the floor.

Someone was moaning in pain.

Most of the voices were male, but there was at least one lady nearby. She was close enough that he could hear her breathing. She made little noises as she went about her business, which he soon realized included tucking blankets around him and touching his forehead with the back of her hand.

He liked these little noises, the tiny little mmms and sighs she probably had no idea she was making. And she smelled nice, a bit like lemons, a bit like soap.

And a bit like hard work.

He knew that smell. He’d worn it himself, albeit usually only briefly until it turned into a full-fledged stink.

On her, though, it was more than pleasant. Perhaps a little earthy. And he wondered who she was, to be tending to him so diligently.

“How is he today?”

Edward held himself still. This male voice was new, and he wasn’t sure he wanted anyone to know he was awake yet.

Although he wasn’t sure why he felt this hesitancy.

“The same,” came the woman’s reply.

“I am concerned. If he doesn’t wake up soon…”

“I know,” the woman said. There was a touch of irritation in her voice, which Edward found curious.

“Have you been able to get him to take broth?”

“Just a few spoonfuls. I was afraid he would choke if I attempted any more than that.”

The man made a vague noise of approval. “Remind me how long he has been like this?”

“A week, sir. Four days before I arrived, and three since.”

A week. Edward thought about this. A week meant it must be… March? April?

No, maybe it was only February. And this was probably New York, not Connecticut.

But that still didn’t explain why his head hurt so bloody much. Clearly he’d been in some sort of an accident. Or had he been attacked?

“There has been no change at all?” the man asked, even though the lady had just said as much.

But she must have had far more patience than Edward, because she replied in a quiet, clear voice, “No, sir. None.”

The man made a noise that wasn’t quite a grunt. Edward found it impossible to interpret.

“Er…” The woman cleared her throat. “Have you any news of my brother?”

Her brother? Who was her brother?

“I am afraid not, Mrs. Rokesby.”

Mrs. Rokesby?

“It has been nearly two months,” she said quietly.

Mrs. Rokesby? Edward really wanted them to get back to that point. There was only one Rokesby in North America as far as he knew, and that was him. So if she was Mrs. Rokesby…

“I think,” the male voice said, “that your energies would be better spent tending to your husband.”

Husband?

“I assure you,” she said, and there was that touch of irritation again, “that I have been caring for him most faithfully.”

Husband? They were calling him her husband? Was he married? He couldn’t be married. How could he be married and not remember it?

Who was this woman?

Edward’s heart began to pound. What the devil was happening to him?

“Did he just make a noise?” the man asked.

“I… I don’t think so.”

She moved then, quickly. Hands touched him, his cheek, then his chest, and even through her obvious concern, there was something soothing in her motions, something undeniably right.

“Edward?” she asked, taking his hand. She stroked it several times, her fingers brushing lightly over his skin. “Can you hear me?”

He ought to respond. She was worried. What kind of gentleman did not act to relieve a lady’s distress?

“I fear he may be lost to us,” the man said, with far less gentleness than Edward thought appropriate.

“He still breathes,” the woman said in a steely voice.

The man said nothing, but his expression must have been one of pity, because she said it again, more loudly this time.

He still breathes.”

“Mrs. Rokesby…”

Edward felt her hand tighten around his. Then she placed her other on top, her fingers resting lightly on his knuckles. It was the smallest sort of embrace, but Edward felt it down to his soul.

“He still breathes, Colonel,” she said with quiet resolve. “And while he does, I will be here. I may not be able to help Thomas, but—”

Thomas. Thomas Harcourt. That was the connection. This must be his sister. Cecilia. He knew her well.

Or not. He’d never actually met the lady, he felt like he knew her. She wrote to her brother with a diligence that was unmatched in the regiment. Thomas received twice as much mail as Edward, and Edward had four siblings to Thomas’s one.

Cecilia Harcourt. What on earth was she doing in North America? She was supposed to be in Derbyshire, in that little town Thomas had been so eager to leave. The one with the hot springs. Matlock. No, Matlock Bath.

Edward had never been, but he thought it sounded charming. Not the way Thomas described it, of course; he liked the bustle of city life and couldn’t wait to take a commission and depart his village. But Cecilia was different. In her letters, the small Derbyshire town came alive, and Edward almost felt that he would recognize her neighbors if he ever went to visit.

She was witty. Lord, she was witty. Thomas used to laugh so much at her missives that Edward finally made him read them out loud.

Then one day, when Thomas was penning his response, Edward interrupted so many times that Thomas finally shoved out his chair and held forth his quill.

“You write to her,” he’d said.

So he did.

Not on his own, of course. Edward could never have written to her directly. It would have been the worst sort of impropriety, and he would not have insulted her in such a manner. But he took to scribbling a few lines at the end of Thomas’s letters, and whenever she replied, she had a few lines for him.

Thomas carried a miniature of her, and even though he said it was several years old, Edward had found himself staring at it, studying the small portrait of the young woman, wondering if her hair really was that remarkable golden color, or if she really did smile that way, lips closed and mysterious.

Somehow he thought not. She did not strike him as a woman with secrets. Her smile would be sunny and free. Edward had even thought he’d like to meet her once this godforsaken war was over. He’d never said anything to Thomas, though.

That would have been strange.

Now Cecilia was here. In the colonies. Which made absolutely no sense, but then again, what did? Edward’s head was injured, and Thomas seemed to be missing, and…

Edward thought hard.

…and he seemed to have married Cecilia Harcourt.

He opened his eyes and tried to focus on the green-eyed woman peering down at him.

“Cecilia?”

I’ll admit I was probably predestined to love this book, just because it’s 1) loosely based on While You Were Sleeping and 2) written by Julia Quinn. I am happy to report that even though 1) the story ends up very different from WYWS in a significant way and 2) some of Ms. Quinn’s recent efforts haven’t been my favorites (blasphemy, I know) I absolutely loved Cecelia and Edward’s story.

Having the story take place in the colonies during the Revolutionary War was an interesting decision. I wasn’t sure at first, what to make of a book in the Bridgerton universe that doesn’t take place in England, but I can honestly say that once the story got going, I didn’t miss London or the ton at all. Since Edward wasn’t fit to fight for the bulk of the story and New York Town was under British control at the time, there wasn’t a lot of war drama going on, but that’s fine, because Cecelia and Edward brought their own drama to the table.

I loved the way Ms. Quinn used letters in this book–how Cecelia and Edward fell in love through them, and the way she used snippets of those to start each chapter. The ones that weren’t received or weren’t sent practically slayed me, and the two toward the end that were in there in full? Oh. My. Gosh. Reduced me to tears. In fact, the whole end of the novel was fantastic, full stop. I wanted to stop time right there and then and just bask in the perfectness of the moment as I got to the end.

(Except for the bit where she teases us about Andrew’s story. Seriously, Ms. Quinn, are you trying to kill me here? How am I supposed to be able to wait patiently after that?)

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband (phew, that title’s a mouthful) can absolutely work as a standalone, since its events occur concurrently with the first book in the series (Because of Miss Bridgerton ) and Cecelia and Edward have no idea what’s going on back home until the very end either. In some ways, it might even be better that readers don’t realize a certain plot point that concerns book one until the end anyway 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book


Julia Quinn 
is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels for Avon Books, and one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.


 

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New Release Review! SOMEHOW, SOME WAY by Jennifer Probst (Billionaire Builders #2.5)

SOMEHOW, SOME WAY by Jennifer Probst is now live! This is a 1001 Dark Nights novella in the Billionaire Builders series.

SOMEHOW, SOME WAY
by Jennifer Probst

Billionaire Builders, #2.5

BLURB:

Bolivar Randy Heart (aka Brady) knows exactly what he wants next in life: the perfect wife. Raised in a strict traditional family household, he seeks a woman who is sweet, conservative, and eager to settle down. With his well-known protective and dominant streak, he needs a woman to offer him balance in a world where he relishes control.

Too bad the newly hired, gorgeous, rehab addict is blasting through all his preconceptions and wrecking his ideals…one nail at a time…

Charlotte Grayson knows who she is and refuses to apologize. Growing up poor made her appreciate the simple things in life, and her new job at Pierce Brothers Construction is perfect to help her carve out a career in renovating houses. When an opportunity to transform a dilapidated house in a dangerous neighborhood pops up, she goes in full throttle. Unfortunately, she’s forced to work with the firm’s sexy architect who’s driving her crazy with his archaic views on women.

Too bad he’s beginning to tempt her to take a chance on more than just work…one stroke at a time…

Somehow, some way, they need to work together to renovate a house without killing each other…or surrendering to the white-hot chemistry knocking at the front door.

 

PURCHASE IT NOW
AMAZON

Review:

So much fun–loving this series! Brady and Charlie absolutely did not disappoint–they were just amazing together. Watching them go from can-barely-tolerate to can’t-stay-away was soooo much fun. Their relationship conflict was believable, and nicely resolved. (Brady’s sit-down with his parents was looooong overdue, though. How did he get to be his age and still not truly understand his parents’ relationship? Poor, deluded man…) I can’t wait to catch glimpses of Charlie and Brady being all couple-y in book 3 ( Any Time, Any Place ) 🙂

If you haven’t read the other books in the series yet, this one would be a fine way to start–a great intro to the series, without being too spoiler-y for the others. As a novella, it really focuses on the main couple over the previous two. If you have read the others, though, you’ve been looking forward to seeing what would happen when Brady and Charlie were forced to spend time in close proximity–so settle in and wait to be entertained!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

PURCHASE THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

Everywhere and Every Way
PURCHASE EVERYWHERE AND EVERY WAY (Billionaire Builders, #1) NOW
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PURCHASE ANY TIME, ANY PLACE (Billionaire Builders, #2) NOW
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PRE-ORDER ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL (Billionaire Builders, #3) NOW

Coming July 25th

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:
Jennifer Probst
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs.

Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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New Release Review and Giveaway! FROM DUKE TILL DAWN by Eva Leigh (The London Underground #1)

A seductive new series that sizzles with  the dark secrets of London’s underworld…
FROM DUKE TILL DAWN
The London Underground #1
Eva Leigh
Releasing May 30, 2017
Avon Books
Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld…
 
Years ago, the Duke of Greyland gave his heart—and a princely sum of money—to a charming, destitute widow with unparalleled beauty. But after one passionate night, she slipped from his bed and vanished without a trace. And just when he’s given up hope of ever seeing her again, Greyland finds her managing a gaming hell. He’s desperate to have her… until he discovers everything about his long-lost lover was a lie.
 
In truth, Cassandra Blake grew up on the streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a mark—to be fleeced and forgotten—but her feelings for the duke became all too real. Once he learns of her deception, however, the heat in his eyes turns to ice. When her business partner absconds with the gaming hell proceeds—leaving unsavory investors out for blood—Cassandra must beg the man she betrayed for help.
Greyland wants compensation, too, and he’ll assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid. But it’s not long before the real
Cassandra—the smart, streetwise criminal—is stealing his heart all over
again.  

London, England

1817

 

A woman laughed, and Alexander Lewis, Duke of Greyland felt the sound like a gunshot to his chest.

It was a very pleasant laugh, low and musical rather than shrill and forced, yet it sounded like The Lost Queen’s laugh. Alex could not resist the urge to glance over his shoulder as he left the Eagle chophouse. He’d fancifully taken to calling her The Lost Queen, though she was most assuredly a mortal woman. Had she somehow appeared on a busy London street at dusk? The last time he’d seen her had been two years ago, in the spa town of Cheltenham, in his bed, asleep and naked.

The owner of the laugh turned out to be a completely different woman—brunette rather than blonde, petite and round rather than lithe and willowy. She caught Alex staring and raised her eyebrows. He bowed gravely in response, then continued toward the curb.

Night came on in indigo waves, but the shops spilled golden light in radiant patches onto the street.

The hardworking citizens of London continued to toil as the upper echelons began their evening revelries. Crowds thronged the sidewalk, while wagons, carriages, and people on horseback crammed the streets. A handful of pedestrians recognized Alex and politely curtsied or tipped their hats, murmuring, “Good evening, Your Grace.” Though he was in no mood for politeness, responsibility and virtue were his constant companions—had been his whole life—and so rather than snapping, “Go to the devil, damn you!” he merely nodded in greeting.

He’d done his duty. He’d been seen in public, rather than disappearing into the cavernous chambers of his Mayfair mansion, where he could lick his wounds in peace.

The trouble with being a duke was that he always had to do his duty. “You are the pinnacle of British Society,” his father had often said to him. “The world looks to you for guidance. So you must lead by example. Be their True North.”

This evening, before dining, Alex had taken a very conspicuous turn up and down Bond Street, making certain that he was seen by many consequential—and loose-lipped— figures in the ton. Word would soon spread that the Duke of Greyland was not holed up, sulking in seclusion. His honor as one of Society’s bulwarks would not be felled by something as insignificant as his failed marriage suit to Lady Emmeline Birks. The Dukes of Greyland had stood strong against Roundheads, Jacobites, and countless other threats against Britain. One girl barely out of the schoolroom could hardly damage Alex’s ducal armor.

But that armor had been dented by The Lost Queen. Far deeper than he would have expected.

Standing on the curb, he signaled for his carriage, which pulled out of the mews. He tugged on his spotless gloves as he waited and adjusted the brim of his black beaver hat to make certain it sat properly on his head. “Always maintain a faultless appearance,” his father had reminded him again and again. “The slightest bit of disorder in your dress can lead to rampant speculation about the stability of your affairs. This, we cannot tolerate. The nation demands nothing less than perfection.”

Alex’s father had been dead for ten years, but that didn’t keep the serious, sober man’s voice from his mind. It was part of him now—his role as one of the most powerful men in England and the responsibilities that role carried with it. Not once did he ever let frivolities distract him from his duties.

Except for one time . . .

Forcing the thought from his mind, Alex looked impatiently for his carriage. Just as the vehicle pulled up, however, two men appeared and grabbed his arms on each side.

Alex stiffened—he did not care for being touched without giving someone express permission to do so. People on the street also did not normally seize each other. Was it a robbery? A kidnapping attempt? His hands curled instinctively into fists, ready to give his accosters a beating.

“What’s this?” one of the younger men exclaimed with mock horror. “Have I grabbed hold of a thundercloud?”

“Don’t know about you,” the other man said drily, “but I seem to have attached myself to an enormous bar of iron. How else to explain its inflexibility?” He tried to shake Alex, to little avail. When he wanted to be, Alex was absolutely immovable.

Alex’s fingers loosened. He tugged his arms free and growled, “That’s enough, you donkeys.”

Thomas Powell, the Earl of Langdon and heir to the Duke of Northfield, grinned, a flash of white in his slightly unshaven face. “Come now, Greyland,” he chided. A hint of an Irish accent made his voice musical, evidence of Langdon’s early years spent in his mother’s native County Kerry. “Is that any way to speak to your oldest and dearest friends?”

“I’ll let you know when they get here.” Alex scowled at Langdon, then at Christopher Ellingsworth, who only smirked in response.

Alex took a step toward his carriage, but Ellingsworth deftly moved to block his path, displaying the speed and skill that had served him well when he’d fought on the Peninsula.

“Where are you running off to with such indecorous haste?” Ellingsworth pressed. He held up a finger. “Ah, never tell me. You’re running back to the shelter of your Mayfair cave, to growl and brood like some big black bear in a cravat.”

“You know nothing,” Alex returned, despite the fact that Ellingsworth had outlined his exact plans for the rest of the night.

Ellingsworth looked at Langdon with exaggerated pity. “Poor chap. The young Lady Emmeline has utterly shattered his heart.”

Alex shouldered past Ellingsworth, only to have Langdon move to stand in his way.

“My heart is not shattered because of Lady Emmeline,” Alex snapped. At least that much was the truth.

“But why shouldn’t your heart be strewn in pieces throughout Regent’s Park?” Langdon mused. “You courted the young lady for several months, and you told Ellingsworth and I that you’d already received her father’s grateful acceptance of a marriage offer.”

“She never agreed to anything,” Alex said flatly.

“A modest girl, that Lady Emmeline.” Ellingsworth nodded with approval. “She wouldn’t have said yes right away. They never do. Nothing to be alarmed by.”

“How would you know?” Alex’s voice was edged. Ellingsworth had little experience with offering for ladies’ hands, committed as he was to a life of reckless pleasure.

Langdon added, “It’d be unseemly for an earl’s daughter to eagerly snap up a marriage proposal the moment it was offered.”

Alex scowled. Despite the fact that, at thirty-eight, he was sixteen years her senior, they would suit well as a wedded couple. Lady Emmeline had been perfectly trained in the responsibilities of an aristocratic wife. Though he wished she stated her own opinion rather than constantly agreeing with him, there were worse faults one could find in a prospective bride.

They could marry at Christmas, eight months from now. It would be a small but elegant wedding, followed by a lavish breakfast and a wedding journey in the Lake District. And then, if everything went well, in less than a year, Alex and Lady Emmeline might welcome their first child—hopefully a boy so the line would be secure. It would’ve been precisely the sort of match Alex’s

father would have approved, considering Lady Emmeline’s faultless background and her spotless reputation.

“Look at him now, mooning away,” Langdon sighed, smugly thwarting Alex’s attempts to step around him. “He looks poorly.”

It would be bad form to knock his friend to the ground. Damn the social niceties that dictated a man couldn’t punch another without repercussions.

“Perhaps he should be bled,” Ellingsworth suggested with his habitual smirk. It was his constant companion since returning from the War, as if he refused to take anything seriously.

“I am perfectly well.” Alex looked back and forth between these two rogues whom he called friends. “No need to call for a quack.”

“He’s already had an amputation,” Langdon noted, raising a brow as he always did. “One prospective bride—gone.” He made a sawing motion at his ankle, as if cutting the shackles of matrimony.

Alex glanced down at his own lower leg, as if he could see the invisible links that might have bound him to Lady Emmeline. He’d come so close to becoming a married man and sharing the rest of his life with one woman—the faultless duke his father had bred him to be. It hardly mattered that Alex felt nothing for the gel other than a sense of distant respect. She would have made a fine duchess.

“We were at White’s yesterday when we heard about what happened,” Langdon said with disapproval. “Didn’t even tell your two closest friends that Lady Emmeline had run off with a cavalry officer. No, we had to hear it from Lord Ruthven, of all people.”

 

Absolutely loved!

From Duke Till Dawn had a slow start, but once Alex and Cassandra finally revealed themselves to each other–and the reader–I just couldn’t put the book down! Those two were just magic together, and the fact that neither one of them believed that they were lovable…and that they couldn’t be together…ack, it just slayed me. I was fairly certain they had to work it out somehow (isn’t being able to do whatever the heck you want supposed to be one of the perks of dukedom???) but geesh, Ms. Leigh took us right up to the very end wondering about their HEA.

Totally worth it, though. And if Alex’s friends Langdon and Ellingsworth are going to have their own books too?

I. Am. So. There.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Eva Leigh is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Southern California.


 

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A Quick Conversation with Katee Robert, Author of FORBIDDEN PROMISES (The O’Malleys #4–with a release day review and giveaway!)

Welcome, Katee! We’re so glad you’re with us today to answer some quick questions about Forbidden Promises and The O’Malleys series!

How much of each of the O’Malleys’ stories did you know when you started the series?

Not much! Haha. I knew every bit of Teague and Callie’s story, and a dose of Carrigan and James, but the rest of the series was really up in the air. I knew the order of the books beyond the second one, but that was it. I even had Keira paired with Liam originally.

Hmmm…yeah, I could totally ‘ship them 🙂 I AM a fan of Liam.

 

How much of the series has developed as you continue writing?

The biggest change that altered the series was Dmitri. He didn’t exist before I started drafting the second book, and then he just sort of become this huge presence that slowly took hold within the series as the opponent the O’Malleys had to come against again and again. Once he showed up in book two, I realized that Cillian’s heroine was Dmitri’s half-sister, and so on. I also didn’t reckon on Jude MacNamara. He was 100% a surprise at the start of Forbidden Promises.

Ahhh…but he’s definitely the BEST kind of surprise! Man bun and all 😉

 

But…if you’re coming up with their stories as you go along, isn’t that kind of risky? What if you write yourself into a corner…or two…or three? (This is a worry that would keep me up at night…though of course, I’m not Katee Robert!)

The biggest corner I painted myself into was actually in Forbidden Promises. I knew Sloan left Boston behind, and I knew she found her guy in the new place, but I couldn’t figure out how that would work out and keep the tone of the series. It was far too large of a coincidence to have a random hit man occupying the house next door, so I started toying with ideas of who he could be. In the end, it hit me right between the eyes—what if the MacNamara family we keep hearing reference to didn’t actually die out? And what if the last surviving son had made it his life’s work to eliminate the Sheridans the same way his family was eliminated? Talk about kismet! I even foreshadowed it in the earlier books on accident. It’s kind of funny how the mind works sometimes. My writer brain knew how Jude would tie in before I did.

That’s awesome! I love how that ended up working out so well…though you could have told me that it was all planned from the beginning and I totally would have believed you!

 

 

About Katee Robert:

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

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

 

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

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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Excerpt:

“I won’t hurt you, Sloan. I promise.”

There was no logical reason for her to trust him, but he’d been careful with her up to this point. Perhaps he’d be careful with her with what came next. She nodded mutely, watching as he rolled on a condom that he’d retrieved from his pocket. Her body hummed in anticipation and trepidation, but she didn’t let it show as he moved back to join her on the bed.

Jude palmed her between her legs, his big fingers exploring her. It didn’t seem possible that he could spark pleasure with a few specific touches, but it didn’t take much to have her relaxing, letting him once again take the lead. He kissed her neck. “Feels good, huh?”

“Well, I—oh.” Her eyes went wide when he pushed a second finger into her. It stretched her, the feeling not entirely pleasant at first, but he merely waited, pulsing the slightest bit, until pleasure took hold once more. She clutched his shoulders. “Kiss me again. Please.”

“You don’t have to ask twice.” He took her mouth like he owned it—like he owned every part of her. Jude slid between her legs, his body rubbing deliciously against hers. His hard length slid through her wetness, creating a friction that sparked a tide of desire deep inside her. Again? I couldn’t possibly…

He nipped her bottom lip and then soothed the slight ache with his tongue. “Ready?”

There was no mistaking his meaning. She nodded. Despite the earlier orgasm and how good it felt to have him moving against her, she was so incredibly empty. Instinct had her hooking a leg around his hips and arching up to meet him, needing more, so much more.

Jude reached between them, and then he was at her entrance. He kissed her, tongue twining with hers as he pushed into her, just a single inch. It was too much and not enough and she couldn’t help but thrash, pinned in place by his big body, overwhelmed by her helplessness and what he was doing to her. “Jude, I—”

“Shh. I’ve got you.” He rolled, taking her with him. One second she was on her back, finding it hard to breathe, and the next she was straddling him where he sat with his back against the headboard.

Sloan looked down, daunted by the sheer size of him. “I don’t know if this is going to work. You’re too big.”

He laughed, deep and full-throated, the sound rolling through her like the tide. “You can take every inch of me, sunshine. I promise you that.”

 

Review:

Oh, this series.

Ms. Robert gives us the most impossible scenarios–makes us want to see couple together that are made up of the last two people on earth who should ever be together, makes us think that an HEA is going to be impossible, and then somehow still manages to deliver one. I have no clue how she does it, but OMG, does she ever have me hooked.

Jude and Sloan’s story is no exception. These two are all wrong for each other–never should work–but yep, they totally do. I mean, I knew she’d get them together somehow in the end, but even at 85% still wasn’t sure how she’d ever manage it…which is exactly how she keeps me turning the pages like an addict.

I see what you did there, Ms. Roberts. And yes, your not-so-subtle hints about who the last two single O’Malleys are going to be hooking up with is going to have me hitting that “to-read” button oh-so-fast…

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Other Books in The O’Malleys Series”

THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

THE WEDDING PACT

AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

UNDERCOVER ATTRACTION (Coming soon!)

 
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