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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New Release Review! THE SOLDIER’S SEDUCTION by Jane Godman

Title: THE SOLDIER’S SEDUCTION
Author: Jane Godman
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 288
Genre: Romantic Suspense
From the front lines to unexpected romance—and danger—in small-town Wyoming
After a war zone bomb nearly destroyed Bryce Delaney, he’s worked hard to hide his scars. Back in his Wyoming hometown, he can pretend the nightmares don’t exist. But when a secretive, beautiful new woman in town disappears, Bryce’s protective instincts put him on the front lines again.
Wanted for murder and on the run under an alias, former A-list actress Steffi Grantham can’t return to her life until she clears her name. It’s her boss, Bryce, to the rescue, but desire ties them together, and she’s forced to make a choice that could cost them both. Trusting the wrong man once before almost stole her freedom. Now it might take her life.

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Bryce’s laugh vibrated through her body. “Has anyone ever told you that you are the most stubborn person in the whole world?”
“Apart from you?”
“Apart from me.”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Your family? I’d like to meet them.”
You never will. The thought jerked her back into reality. “I’ll be fine now, Bryce. You can go. Thanks for your help.”
“Yeah, like that’s going to happen.” The sarcasm in his voice was withering. “I’m just going to walk out of here and leave you when you can’t even crawl to your own bed.”
“You don’t have any choice. I don’t want you here.” With a determined effort, Steffi pushed herself away from him and tried to sit up straight. It was a mistake.
Behind the tinted lenses, the edges of her vision went black. Everything swam out of focus. She heard Bryce call her name in alarm, and the last thing she felt was his strong arms catching her as she fell back onto the pillows.

Review:

The Solider’s Seduction was my first book by Jane Godman, and the second book in the Sons of Stillwater series. It worked okay as a standalone–the main characters of book one (Covert Kisses) play a role here, but the details you might need to know about that story are briefly told here so you’re not at a loss.

I liked the characters here: Bryce and Steffi are interesting, and easy to root for. Their story is full of action and virtually non-stop twists and turns. Their romance feels a bit rushed, however–even though they’ve known each other for a while, their relationship has been boss/employee and rather antagonistic, and I didn’t quite feel the sparks here that I wanted to. The antagonist is sufficiently evil and his actions plenty dire, but overall the suspense plot required some suspension of belief to go along with it.

Overall, though, this was an enjoyable read, and enough clues are given about Vincente’s (the oldest brother of the trio) story to make me keep an eye out for it.

Rating: 3 stars / C

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 
Jane Godman writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne and SMP Romance, thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and steamy historical and gothic romance. 
Jane also writes erotic romance as Amanda Stewart.
Her latest book is the romantic suspense, The Soldier’s Seduction.

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Pre-Release Review! TRUST by Kylie Scott


Synopsis:

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen year old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John.

The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

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TRUST by Kylie Scott (Official Book Trailer) from FILM 14 on Vimeo.

Excerpt:

“You were going to give it up to Duncan Dickerson?” he sneered. “Are you serious?”

I halted, staring at him. This was not good. “How do you know about that?”

“Anders overheard you and Hang talking.”

“Bastard.”

“Well?” he demanded, acting all authoritarian. Idiot.

“To be fair, I didn’t know his last name was Dickerson,” I said. “That’s unfortunate. Though, I wasn’t actually planning on marrying him, so . . .”

“Not funny.”

I shrugged.

“You barely know the guy.”

“Um, yeah. None of your concern. We’re not talking about this.” How mortifying! My face burned bright. People should just gather around and cook s’mores. “I appreciate that we’re friends. You mean a lot to me. But this is going to have to fall under definitely none of your damn business, so go away please.”

“We’re talking about it.” He advanced a step.

“No we are not.” And I retreated.

“You were going to let a complete stranger touch you.” Advance.

Retreat. “People do it all the time. You do it all the time.”

“But you don’t,” he said, taking the final step, backing me up against the side of his car and getting all in my face. “Edie, this is your first time we’re talking about. Isn’t it?”

“Yes, and it’s going to be messy and painful and probably horribly embarrassing and I just want it over and done with.” I tried to meet his eyes but failed, settling for a spot on his right shoulder. “You’re not a girl; you wouldn’t understand. Also, last time I checked, you’re not the gatekeeper of my hymen, John Cole. So back the fuck off.”

He said nothing.

Deep, calming breaths. “Look, someday I’ll meet someone I really like and we’ll have a deep and meaningful relationship and go at it like bunnies. But I don’t want to be the dumb virgin in that scenario.”

He slowly shook his head.

“Also, I do not want to die a virgin.”

“What? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Hey, you and I both know death can occur at any time.”

“This is crazy.”

“I’m seeing a therapist!” I told his shoulder. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little bit messed up these days. It’s hard for me to trust people. That’s not going to change anytime soon.”

He screwed up his face at me. “Wha—”

“I’m just trying to be practical.”

“Well, you’re being ridiculous. None of this makes sense.”

“It does to me.”

Again, he said nothing.

In fact, he said nothing for so long that I finally looked him in the eye. The anger had left him, replaced by an emotion I didn’t recognize. Worst of all, he still smelled like summer. A little sweat and the open night air, everything I loved. Liked. I meant liked.

“What?” I said, finally.

He let loose a breath. “I’ll do it.”

Review:

Oh, I really liked this one!

Trust started out with the drama right away, throwing us into the convenience store hold up that will affect Edie and John’s lives for years to come. Ms. Scott made me feel like I was right there with them, and phew, that scene was intense. It wasn’t hard to see why a previously good student like Edie would go off the rails afterwards, at least a little bit. I loved that she stood up for what she thought was right throughout the entire book, whether it resulted in her rethinking lifelong friendships, standing up to policemen and her own mother, or confronting a teacher, this girl has reserves of strength that made me want to stand up and cheer. Or give her a hug. Or both, depending on the specific situation.

And can I just say–a character who thinks of herself as plus-sized, and really is (unlike some heroines, who are like 5 pounds over their ideal weight, cry me a river, ladies) and though she’s often self-conscious about it, still manages to own it at the same time? Three cheers! (And yes, Cool Whip does have magical healing powers. It’s like she read my mind there.)

John is a great character too–first for what he does in that convenience store, and then for the changes he’s determined to make in his life and the way he goes through with them, despite the pushback he gets from several quarters. I loved that he wouldn’t let Edie put herself down, and that he put so much effort into their relationship, both when it was just friendship and later when it was more. Loved.

Ms. Scott does a great job of dealing with some pretty big issues here–the terror of the hold-up, survivor guilt, the disastrous effects of drug abuse–they were handled realistically and not at all glamorized. There is underage drinking and teenage sex as well–I would definitely classify it as a upper-YA novel, best for high school aged readers and up.

(And can I just say, Edie’s mom with the condoms? Cracked. Me. Up. OMG.)

I will definitely sign up for this author’s next YA effort, no question!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the author:

kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

 

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New Release Review! JILTED by Sawyer Bennett (Love Hurts #2)

Hollywood hath no fury like a woman scorned. In this fun, flirty second-chance romance from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett, an aspiring starlet reconnects with her first love.

“Sawyer Bennett never fails to deliver heroes I fall hard for and heroines I adore.”—Violet Duke

Eden Goodnight went to Los Angeles to make it big, not to be publicly humiliated by her cheating fiancé at a red-carpet premiere. But when Eden returns to her hometown to put the scandal behind her, she can barely find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Turns out the locals are worse than the paparazzi, and they all think she’s turned into a spoiled brat. But in a strange twist of fate, the one person who seems to understand what Eden’s going through is Cooper Mayfield . . . the boy she left behind.

Small-town charm is no match for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. At least that’s what Coop’s been telling himself all these years. As Eden’s old flame—and the landscaper for her family’s historic home—Coop feels some responsibility for getting her out of her funk. But as soon as he sees that million-dollar smile, he’s a goner. Soon they’re making out like teenagers again. But when a life-changing role falls into Eden’s lap, Coop just hopes she doesn’t give up on a love that’s meant to be.

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Review:

Loved!

Whether we were glimpsing the Eden and Coop of 14 years earlier, seeing their feud at the beginning of the present portion of the book, or enjoying their “friendship” and “rebound sex” later on (ha! as if it was ever just either of those things), Eden and Coop are absolutely magic together. There wasn’t a single time when I would have entertained the possibility of them not having an HEA, no matter where their lives and careers wanted to take them.

Though I know this series (Love Hurts) is a series of standalone books, I absolutely would not complain if we went back for a second visit to Newberry–Missy could use an HEA, after all (sure, she was with a hot fireman when her lousy ex returned that one time, but no mention of him was made other than that, so…) and I’d really, really, REALLY like to see someone give Ashley a much deserved b!tch slap.

Just sayin’.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

 

 

Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.

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New Release Review! WICKED INTENTIONS by J.T. Geissinger (Wicked Games #3)

wickedintentions About WICKED INTENTIONS:

In the Caribbean for his best friend’s wedding, ex special-ops officer and security expert Ryan McLean meets a beautiful woman in the hotel bar. Their connection is immediate and intense, and they spend a passionate night together with pleasure as their only goal.

But when Ryan wakes the following morning to discover the beautiful woman has vanished, along with millions worth of jewels from the safe of the Saudi prince staying in the suite next door, he realizes their meeting wasn’t accidental and becomes determined to find her.

A notorious thief known to authorities only as the Dragonfly, Mariana Lora has one final job to complete before she’s free from the oath that bound her to a life of crime, but the sexy-as-hell Marine she spent one explosive tropical night with is hot on her heels at every turn. She has to outwit him to stay out of jail, but fighting their magnetic attraction soon becomes a game neither one of them can resist.

When Mariana’s last job goes dangerously wrong and she needs Ryan’s help to survive, he has to decide if their game of cat and mouse is only a game, or if he can trust this beautiful thief with something no woman has ever stolen: his heart.

 

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Review:

Gah, this book! It gave me all the feels. Snarky banter between a cocky but sWicked Sexyweet hero and a resourceful heroine used to going it alone–plus, a heartbreaking backstory, moments of intense drama and danger, and a reunion that practically had me in tears–yeah, this one had it all. I love, love, loved Ryan and Mariana and both needed to get to the end ASAP to get them to their HEA and never wanted this book to end!

Favorite lines:

“That’s what heroes do, baby. We save the motherf-ing day.”

“Basically, this plan should be called If Anything Goes Wrong, Everyone Dies.”

“This sh!t is so much easier in the movies.”

“I discovered love is nothing like a fairy tale. It was more like a bad poem written in indecipherable meter by a drunken poet who couldn’t keep a job, so he lived with his mother his whole life while writing the most outrageous roadblocks and outcomes, based on nothing but the whims of his own inebriated brain. It had an awkward beginning, a wildly improbable middle, and an awful, painful end. And nothing rhymed. Love was the worst. Inconveniently, it was also the best.”

and, best for last:

“Whether you believe in love or not, it believes in you.”

Truth.

Wicked Intentions is the third book in the Wicked Gamesseries, but worked just fine as a standalone (though now I absolutely have to go back and read Connor and Tabby’s story in Wicked Sexy , and it only makes sense go ahead and read Wicked Beautiful too…;)) If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, I definitely recommend J.T. Geissinger–this was my first book from her, but absolutely won’t be my last!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Want to read the other standalones in the Wicked Games series? Find out more about WICKED BEAUTIFUL and WICKED SEXY below!

WickedBeautiful.Ebook.v4.AmazonAbout WICKED BEAUTIFUL:

Life coach and best-selling author Victoria Price has it all: a successful career, fabulous friends, a fantastic penthouse in Manhattan. What she doesn’t have—and doesn’t want—is a husband. Fifteen years ago her high school flame broke her heart so badly she swore she’d never love again. Now she makes millions teaching other women how to be just like her: a ruthless bitch.

Drop-dead sexy restauranteur and infamous playboy Parker Maxwell has only three rules for the women he dates: no questions about his past, no expectations for the future, and no spending the night. When he meets Victoria, however, he’s willing to break his own rules if it means sating the explosive desire she arouses in him. What he doesn’t know is that the alluring Victoria Price used to be the mousy Isabel Diaz, the girl he deflowered and dumped long ago.

Presented with a perfect opportunity for revenge, Victoria decides the game is on. But when her connection with Parker proves more than just skin deep, she has to make a choice: continue with her plan for payback, or risk her career, her reputation, and her heart by taking a second chance on love?

Get your hands on WICKED BEAUTIFUL:

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About WICKED SEXY:

A badass ex-Special Ops officer and a smartass hacker fight a dangerous enemy…and a blistering attraction to each other.

Connor Hughes is an ex-special ops officer, CEO of Metrix Security, and bonafide badass. His private security firm is renowned for its effectiveness. He’s renowned for his lethal precision and iron self-control. But when the former Marine meets a gorgeous young hacker with a mouth as smart as her brain, his control unravels in ways he never could have predicted.

Tabitha West is a genius MIT dropout with a bad attitude, an obsession with Hello Kitty and piercings in unmentionable places. Tabby amuses herself by outwitting the most secure technology systems on the planet. Known in hacker circles as Polaroid due to her photographic memory, she’s as secretive as she is accustomed to working alone. So when Connor decides she’s the only one who can help him catch a cyber criminal intent on taking down one of his clients, she tells him exactly where he can stick it.

But when the cyber criminal turns out to be the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime—and a dark presence from Tabby’s past—Tabby and Connor are drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. They quickly find themselves fighting not only their common enemy, but also an explosive desire that threatens to consume them.

When the stakes are this high and the game this deadly, will falling in love be the most dangerous move of all?

Get your hands on WICKED SEXY:

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About J.T. Geissinger:

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

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Release Day Review and Giveaway! RESURRECTION by Katie Reus (Redemption Harbor #1)

Today we have the release day blitz of Resurrection by Katie Reus! We’re so excited to share this fantastic new release with you—check out the festivities and grab your copy today!!

About Resurrection:

From USA Today bestselling author Katie Reus comes the ALL NEW Redemption Harbor series where sparks fly and so do bullets…

She faked her own death…

Skye Arévalo left the CIA and faked her death to protect Colt Stuart, the only man she ever loved. Months later, a brutal kidnapping draws her to quietly infiltrate a dangerous cartel. Just when she thinks she’s home free, things go horribly wrong and she escapes with bloodthirsty enemies on her heels…only to find herself face to face with a bewildered and angry Colt.

He’ll cross every line to save her…

When Colt, a former Marine, finds out the woman he loved betrayed him, he’s shocked and hurt, but it doesn’t stop him from breaking every law on the books to keep her alive. Unfortunately, it might not be enough to stop a powerful enemy who will do anything to see the world burn and Skye dead.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Colt banged his fist against the door, fear and the smallest bit of hope punching through him. “Answer the fucking door,” he snarled. “Open, or I kick it in.”

“Maybe you should take it down a notch.” Next to him, Brooks shoved an agitated hand through his hair, his Stetson held loosely at his side.

“And maybe you should be freaking out more.” One of their best friends had been holed up in his home for weeks, refusing to talk to anyone, to see anyone. Colt didn’t know exactly what his friend was going through, but he’d lost a lot of damn friends in the sandbox and the only woman he’d ever loved had died too. Something he couldn’t think about right now. He couldn’t focus on his own pain when he could help his friend, when he had a damn purpose.

Mercer had recently lost his wife, and the man wasn’t handling it. The guy had been in love with Mary Grace since he was fifteen. They’d been each other’s world. And two months ago she’d been killed in Mexico, a victim of cartel violence. Allegedly.

Colt hadn’t been in love with Skye since he was a kid, but eight months with her sure felt like a lifetime. Hell, when she died it felt like he’d lost part of himself. The only part that mattered. He had to force himself out of bed every day, to shove back the emptiness. So on one level, he understood how Mercer felt. He shoved that thought right back inside where it belonged and ignored it. He couldn’t fix his own problem, but he could help out Mercer.

Panic swelled through Colt as the seconds ticked by without any response from inside—until he heard cursing on the other side of the door. Good. If his friend was cursing, he was alive. A solid minute later the lock snicked loudly as it twisted open.

Colt grabbed the handle and shoved it open, pushing past his best friend in case he tried to slam the door closed in his face.

Mercer, wearing boxers and nothing else, had grown a full black beard and his dark eyes were glassy. “What the hell are you doing here this early?”

“First, it’s two o’clock in the afternoon. Second…” Colt hauled off and punched him right in the nose. He needed to wake Mercer the hell up. Violence was pretty much the only way to do that now.

“Ah, hell,” Brooks muttered as Mercer flew back and fell on his ass with a grunt.

He held a hand to his nose, looking more alert than he had in two months as he glared up at Colt and Brooks. “What the hell, man?” His voice was muffled as he tried to stop the bleeding.

“I believe this is called an intervention,” Colt said, stepping into the foyer, cringing at the stench. “God, it smells like old pizza and cow crap in here. Mary Grace would kick your ass if she saw you living like this.”

“Don’t say her name!” Mercer shoved to his feet, letting his hand drop. Blood dripped down his face as he snarled at Colt. His teeth were toothpaste commercial white against his dark brown skin. Right now he looked like a rabid wolf baring his teeth at them.

“I’ll say her name if I want.” Yeah, he knew he was being harsh, but this was what Mercer needed. He needed to feel something, to wake the hell up. And making Mercer angry was the only way Colt knew how. Because the guy sure wasn’t going to talk about his fucking feelings. He needed to get out of this rabbit hole he’d let himself fall into. “We all lost her. Every single one of us.”

Most days Colt couldn’t believe she was gone. They’d all grown up together, and in his case, he’d been friends with Mary Grace since they were five years old. She was like a sister to Colt. Hell, he was still holding on to the hope that she wasn’t actually gone. It was why he was about to get on a plane in two hours and see if the tip he’d received was right. But first he had to make sure one of his best friends didn’t do something stupid while he was gone.

“Mary Grace.”

“Ah, hell,” Brooks said again, clearly not going to intervene. Just muttering his standard curse.

“Fuck you,” Mercer snapped, taking a step toward Colt.

That was it. Get angry, he silently willed his childhood friend. Mercer needed anger to replace the grief. God, or at least mute it. Just for a week. That was all Colt needed. Because if Mary Grace was alive, he was bringing her home to his best friend. He just couldn’t give Mercer the hope she was alive. Because if he did and it turned out she wasn’t… It would destroy him. “Mary. Grace.”

Mercer rushed at him like a bull.

 

Review:

Oh, I really enjoyed this one!

Katie Reus is a new author to me–I’ve been meaning to read her for a while, and figured a brand new series (Redemption Harbor) would be a great place to start 🙂

It did not disappoint!

Resurrection introduces us to Colt, a CIA agent who has been somewhat estranged from his father but has made his own family by choice from a group of close friends, many of whom he’s known since childhood. He’s so tight with them all that Skye, his last partner who also became much more to him than a coworker, knew all of them by name even though she had to fake her own death before ever meeting them in person…and then risked it all to save one of them, for him.

Okay, I know that all sounds kind of complicated. But I promise it all makes sense the way Ms. Reus writes it–and is a heck of a lot of fun to read, too!

Colt and Skye have great chemistry together, and the back and forth between these two is fantastic as well. We meet all of the group members here–some of them more than others–but it’s enough to see that this is going to be a great series. We’re left with some really strong indicators about what’s coming for book two, and I for one can’t wait for its release!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About Katie Reus:

Katie Reus is the New York Times, USA Today, and IndieReader bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense. Her book Avenger’s Heat recently won the Georgia RWA Maggie Award for Excellence in the fantasy/paranormal category.

Connect with Katie:
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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE RUIN OF A RAKE by Cat Sebastian

Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love. 
 
 
THE RUIN OF A RAKE
Cat Sebastian
Releasing July 4, 2017
Avon Impulse

Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.


London, 1817

Julian pursed his lips as he gazed at the symmetrical brick façade of his sister’s house. It was every bit as bad as he had feared. He could hear the racket from the street, for God’s sake. He pulled the brim of his hat lower on his forehead, as if concealing his face would go any distance toward mitigating the damage done by his sister having turned her house into a veritable brothel. Right in the middle of Mayfair, and at eleven in the morning, when the entire ton was on hand to bear witness to her degradation, no less. Say what one wanted about Eleanor—and at this moment Julian could only imagine what was being said—but she did not do things by halves.

As he climbed the steps to her door, the low rumble of masculine voices drifted from an open second story window. Somebody was playing a pianoforte—badly—and a lady was singing out of key.

No, not a lady. Julian suppressed a sigh. Whoever these women were in his sister’s house, they were not ladies. No lady in her right mind would consort with the sort of men Eleanor had been entertaining lately. Every young buck with a taste for vice had made his way to her house over these last weeks, along with their mistresses or courtesans or whatever one was meant to call them. And the worst of them, the blackguard who had started Eleanor on her path to becoming a byword for scandal, was Lord Courtenay.

A shiver trickled down Julian’s spine at the thought of encountering the man, and he could not decide whether it was from simple, honest loathing or something much, much worse.

The door swung open before Julian had raised his hand to the knocker.

“Mr. Medlock, thank goodness.” The look of abject relief on the face of Eleanor’s butler might have struck Julian as vaguely inappropriate under any other circumstance. But considering the tableau that presented itself in Eleanor’s vestibule, the butler’s informality hardly registered.

Propped against the elegantly papered wall, a man in full evening dress snored peacefully, a bottle of brandy cradled in his arms and a swath of bright crimson silk draped across his leg. A lady’s gown, Julian gathered. The original wearer of the garment was, mercifully, not present.

“I came as soon as I received your message.” Julian had not been best pleased to receive a letter from his sister’s butler, of all people, begging that he return to London ahead of schedule. Having secured a coveted invitation to a very promising house party, he was loath to leave early in order to evict a set of bohemians and reprobates from his sister’s house.

“The cook is threatening to quit, sir,” said the butler. Tilbury, a man of over fifty who had been with Eleanor since she and Julian had arrived in England, had gray circles under his eyes. No doubt the revels had interrupted his sleep. “And I’ve already sent all but the—ah—hardiest of the housemaids to the country. It wouldn’t do for them to be imposed upon. I’d never forgive myself.”

Julian nodded. “You were quite right to send for me. Where is my sister?” Several unmatched slippers were scattered along the stairs that led toward the drawing room and bedchambers. He gritted his teeth.

“Lady Standish is in her study, sir.”

Julian’s eyebrows shot up. “Her study,” he repeated. Eleanor was hosting an orgy—really, there was no use in pretending it was anything else—but ducked out to conduct an experiment. Truly, the experiments were bad enough, but Julian had always managed to conceal their existence. But to combine scientific pursuits with actual orgies struck Julian as excessive in all directions.

“You,” he said, nudging the sleeping man with the toe of his boot. He was not climbing over drunken bodies, not today, not any day. “Wake up.” The man opened his eyes with what seemed a great deal of effort. “Who are you? No, never mind, I can’t be bothered to care.” The man wasn’t any older than Julian himself, certainly not yet five and twenty, but Julian felt as old as time and as irritable as a school mistress compared to this specimen of self-indulgence. “Get up, restore that gown to its owner, and be gone before I decide to let your father know what you’ve been up to.” As so often happened when Julian ordered people about, this fellow complied.

Julian made his way to Eleanor’s study, and found her furiously scribbling at her writing table, a mass of wires and tubes arranged before her. She didn’t look up at the sound of the door opening, nor when he pointedly closed it behind him. Eleanor, once she was busy working, was utterly unreachable. She had been like this since they were children. He felt a rush of affection for her despite how much trouble she was causing him.

“Eleanor?” Nothing. He stooped to gather an empty wine bottle and a few abandoned goblets, letting them clink noisily together as he deposited them onto a table. Still no response. “Nora?” It almost physically hurt to say his childhood name for her when things felt so awkward and strained between them.

“It won’t work,” came a low drawl. “I’ve been sitting here these past two hours and I haven’t gotten a response.”

Banishing any evidence of surprise from his countenance, Julian turned to see Lord Courtenay himself sprawled in a low chair in a shadowy corner. There oughtn’t to have been any shadows in the middle of the day in a bright room, but trust Lord Courtenay to find one to lurk in.

Julian quickly schooled his face into some semblance of indifference. No, that was a reach; his face was simply not going to let him pretend indifference to Courtenay. He doubted whether anyone had ever shared space with Lord Courtenay without being very much aware of that fact. And it wasn’t only his preposterous good looks that made him so . . . noticeable. The man served as a sort of magnet for other people’s attention, and Julian hated himself for being one of those people. As far as he could tell, the man’s entire problem was that people paid a good deal too much attention to him. But one could hardly help it, not when he looked like that.

 

OMG, this series. (As an aside, it really needs to be classified as a series, Ms. Sebastian–it’ll be much easier to say, “You really need to read that ___ series by Cat Sebastian” instead of “You really need to read those interconnected m/m Regency romance books by Cat Sebastian…they’re called The Soldier’s Scoundrel , The Lawrence Browne Affair , and The Ruin of a Rake.” Because OMG I want to tell everyone to read them ASAP.)

(Just sayin’.)

I have no idea how she does it, but Ms. Sebastian once again gave us a group of characters here that I absolutely dare you not to fall hard and fast for. Admittedly, at first I wasn’t too sure about these two–the labels “prickly and difficult” doesn’t even begin to describe, well, both of them, to an extent and at various times–and I honestly don’t even know when it is that I went from thinking, Ugh, these two… to thinking, Oh! These two… 🙂 but at some point I just knew they had to find a way to be together or….I don’t know what. It wasn’t going to be pretty, though. Fortunately, both Ms. Sebastian and her heroes came through for us on that one, and she did it with style.

Favorite line:

“Missing you is profoundly inconvenient, I’ll have you know. I have things to do and places to be, and all the while I feel like I’ve mislaid a piece of my soul and I won’t get it back until I see you again. That can’t be normal.”

See? Sigh…

So now I’m left anxiously awaiting whatever Ms. Sebastian writes next, and seriously contemplating a binge-reading of all three books, just so I can enjoy the interconnected awesomeness of these characters and their stories.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.


Pre-Release Review and Giveaway! MISTER HOCKEY by Lia Riley (Hellion’s Angels #1)

Her biggest fantasy is about to become a reality. . .

MISTER HOCKEY
Hellion’s Angels #1
Lia Riley
Releasing July 11, 2017
Avon Impulse
Jed West is Mr. Hockey. The captain of the NHL’s latest winning team, the Denver Hellions—and the hottest player on the ice—at least according to every magazine. . .and Breezy Angel. Breezy has been drooling over Jed at games for years, and he plays a starring role in her most toe-curling fantasies. But dirty dreams don’t come true, right?
 
Then Jed saunters through the doors of her library, a last minute special guest for a summer reading event, and not only is he drop dead gorgeous up close, his personality is straight up swoon-worthy. He even comes to the rescue when she has an R-rated “Super Book Worm” costume malfunction. But when he mistakenly assumes she’s more into books than pucks, she’s too flustered to correct his mistake. And then comes a big kiss, followed by a teensy-tiny problem. Jed’s dating policy is simple: Never date a fan.
So what’s a fangirl going to have to do to convince her ultimate crush that he’s become less of a perfect fantasy, and more like the perfect man. . .for her?

Jed West’s stomach curdled faster than overheated hollandaise sauce as he squinted at the menu for Zachary’s, Denver’s most popular all-day breakfast hangout. Ghost-like shadows haunted the specials list, blurring the descriptions for peanut butter French toast, country fried steak benedict and sweet potato pancakes.  Ah, shit. Not fucking now. There went the prices too–the dollar signs and numbers blurring until barely legible.

No point blinking. He knew the drill. Jaw tight, he reached for his orange juice, took a swig and waited. Short bouts of double vision had dogged him ever since Game Seven, the pattern the same. After a minute or two, his focus would snap back to normal as if nothing had happened. Until then, he needed to follow one of coach’s favorite axioms: “Suck it up, Buttercup.”

Who cared about the damn menu anyway? He pushed it to one side, having already ordered the “Manwich”, chorizo and eggs smashed between a jalapeno cheddar biscuit–the kind of breakfast that wanted to kill you in the best kind of ways–and crunched ice. Too bad the cubes didn’t pass on their chill, because this. . .situation for lack of a better word, was getting under his skin and it shouldn’t.

No–Scratch that. It couldn’t.

Unexplained double vision wasn’t a walk in the park, but facts were facts. And the ugly truth was that if he didn’t quit batting his lashes like Scarlett O’Hara with a fly in her skirt, The Post’s toughest sports columnist would glance up from across the table, mistake his tic for a cheesedick wink, and go Lord of the Flies on his nut sack.

At least for the moment, Neve Angel was occupied. She hunched over her digital voice recorder, dark bangs obscuring her sharp gaze as she fiddled with the control settings. Her lips moved to the upbeat Buddy Holly song piping over the sound system while she plucked a mic from her messenger bag. His vision came back online in time for him to read the orange button pinned to the front.

Had a Ball at The Rock Creek Testicle Festival.

Christ, looked to be an authentic souvenir too.

Slamming his knees together, he forced a grin, the one that had potential endorsements lined up around the block, eager for him to shill everything from vitamin infused coconut water to shaving cream. He unwrapped the paper napkin from around the fork and knife, and began tearing the corner into neat strips.

No doubt the eye thing was fatigue-related, an inevitable toll from the grueling NHL season and subsequent hard-fought playoffs. Everything would be all right in the end. If it wasn’t all right, it wasn’t the end.

“You plan on telling me what’s up with Mount Napkin Shreds?” Neve leaned her elbows on the recycled wood tabletop, a signal they were shifting into interview mode. Her brows arched beneath her thick-cut bangs. “Nervous about being in the hot seat, princess?”

“Yeah, terrified,” he answered laconically, not missing a beat. Hiding his true feelings behind a mask of confidence was a reflex; it came with the territory of having the “C” stitched on the front of his jersey. A good captain never showed fear to an opponent. “A jackal’s bark is worse then it’s bite.”

“Jackal? Don’t tell me you’re using Gunnarisms now.” She rolled her eyes. “And I’d so wanted to enjoy my bagel without gagging.”

The Hellions Head Coach, Tor Gunnar, had a reputation for dismissing the press as “jackals.” He fostered a tense relationship with journalists, in particular, the tiny woman sitting opposite. Neve had run a piece on his divorce a few years ago. He retaliated by refusing to call on her during press conferences. Neve hit back with increasingly critical op-eds. Their mutual enmity had devolved to the stuff of local legend.

A librarian meets–and dates–her hockey crush? Yes, please! 🙂

This book was so much fun to read. I absolutely loved the beginning, when Breezy first meets Jed and can barely string two words together…and then, OMG, her costume malfunction. Absolutely too funny! Their relationship progresses along nicely, if a bit quickly, though the specter of her stalker-like “Jed closet” is always hovering in the background (and yikes, it’s more than a little scary how closely I resemble Breezy’s fan persona…funny, but scary. And when she’s talking about where she is in her Goodreads challenge for the year? I’m pretty sure we were separated at birth). Still, they’re really adorable together. Not to mention H-O-T…

Certain parts of the story (Breezy’s mom’s turnaround, for one) seem a little bit too easy, but overall I enjoyed this story too much to really mind. I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s going to happen with Breezy’s sister Neve and Coach Tor in the next book, especially if Jed and Breezy are going to be hanging around… 😉

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands
in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

 

New Release Review! FUEL FOR FIRE by Julie Ann Walker (Black Knights, Inc. #10)

Fuel for Fire
by Julie Ann Walker

 

Synopsis:

A brooding covert operative and a spunky CIA agent discover a burning passion in the next installment of Julie Ann Walker’s red-hot BKI series

Dagan Zoelner has made three huge mistakes
The first two left blood on his hands.
The third left him wondering…what if? What if he had told the woman of his dreams how he felt before his world fell apart?

Spitfire CIA agent Chelsea Duvall has always had a thing for bossy, brooding Dagan. It’s just as well that he’s never given her a second look, since she carries a combustible secret about his past that threatens to torch their lives…

 

“The heat between the hero and heroine is hotter than a firecracker lit on both ends… Readers are in for one hell of ride!” —RT Book Reviews for Hell for Leather 4½ Stars

 

Review:

I’ve had this series on my TBR for a while now–I loved Ms. Walker’s Deep Six series–and was beyond excited when I got a chance to read Fuel for Fire! I am happy to report that it definitely did not disappoint, and that even though this one’s pretty far into the series (#10! Whoa :)) I had no problem jumping right into the action with this one. There is previously-known bad guy at play here, but you are given enough information to understand the seriousness of the situation without going into info dump territory.

(And can I just say–that antagonist?–gives me chills.)

Chelsea and Dagan grabbed me from the very first page–I absolutely loved their back and forth when they were at odds…and their explosive chemistry when they weren’t as well. The danger they find themselves in, combined with the camaraderie they share with their fellow teammates and the others they bring in to help them get out of their current situation, make this one heck of a fun read. The story ends a bit in the air as far as Black Knights, Inc. are concerned–the president who commissioned them is leaving office, and his predecessor doesn’t have any interest in keeping them around–but I sincerely that Ms. Walker has plans for them anyway, because there’s at least two couples here who really, really deserve their own books 😉

Oh yeah, and a bad guy who may still be at large…

At least I’ve got a nine-book backlist to keep me busy while I wait!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

 

New Release Review and Giveaway! A TASTE OF YOU by Teri Anne Stanley (Bourbon Brothers #3)

Her bourbon-flavored kisses threaten his carefully constructed boundaries. 
A TASTE OF YOU
Bourbon Brothers #3
Teri Anne Stanley
Releasing July 3, 2017
Entangled Lovestruck

Office supply addict Eve McGrath’s meticulously organized life is on the verge of crashing at her feet. Blue Mountain distillery’s new tasting and visitor center has to be finished pronto or her mother will lose her mind. Good thing Eve likes a challenge—which is exactly what she’ll face trying to convince the flaky contractor’s hot son to finish the job.

Nick Baker is back in Kentucky just long enough to get his wayward dad back on his feet. Then he’s gone. Unfortunately, he can’t resist helping Eve, the sexy distiller-in-distress, whose addictive, bourbon-flavored kisses threaten his carefully constructed boundaries. And if he can’t rein himself in, the uncomfortable secrets of past will nail him to the wall…


They were alone. Eve was suddenly nervous. What was the deal? She wanted to ask Nick if the incident in the truck last weekend was a one-shot deal, if he’d decided he really wasn’t that into her, or if there was going to be more, but reminded herself that she was taking things as they came.

Not stressing over the future. The bag with her planner inside banged against her hip as she led Nick down the hall to a door at the end. “Well, this is it,” she told him.

“Your mecca.”

“No. The Office Superstore out on 62 is my mecca. This is just a temple.”

“You really like office supplies, huh?”

“Oh yeah,” she told him. “Those times I get to take the company credit card and go to the office store? All that potential for organization and efficiency? It’s like Christmas and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one.”

“Copy paper.” He said it in a deep, growly voice that could have come from a 1970’s R&B singer. “Thumb tacks.” He waggled his eyebrows at her, and she giggled.

She turned away to grab the door handle, and he stepped closer, so she could feel him almost but not quite touching her from shoulder to butt. No, it wasn’t the thought of file folders that had her nipples tightening and heat pooling low in her belly. She stepped back, bumping into him as she pulled the door open, revealing her stash of office supplies.

“Paper clips.” This was more of a husky whisper. Which did actually send a shiver down her spine, but not because of the words themselves, more about the way he said it. Right into the place where her shoulder met her neck. His hands were on her hips now, and with just a tiny bit of effort, he could have her fully back against him. “Ball point pens.”

Her entire body flushed, and she took a chance asking the question, because leaving this up to fate was no longer an option. “Are you trying to seduce me with sexy language?”

“Is it working?”

“I think it is,” she told him and turned to face him.

 
Such a fun read!

Eve and Nick make one heck of a couple, and an even better team as they worked together to get Eve’s family’s tasting center up and ready to go for her mother’s big charity event. And okay, there were some pretty serious issues being dealt with here too–alcoholism, both from the personal POV and that of their family’s, guilt and abandonment–but even though their treatment was well done and realistic, they didn’t bog the story down. Throughout it all, Ms. Stanley’s writing had me giggling out loud–a lot–and even tearing up at the end. Because, dang. Good ending.

A Taste of You is the third book in the series, but should work fine as a standalone; even though the MCs from books one and two ( Drunk on You and A Shot with You ) make frequent appearances, you don’t have to have read their books to enjoy them here. But given what happens at the end, you’re probably going to want to.

Just sayin’.

Also just sayin’–an office supplies addiction is only a problem if you let it be one. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy appreciation for post-it notes, composition books, and exactly the right size tabs for every project. Nothing. At. All. Plus, everybody counts down the days until the back to school sales start at office supply stores, don’t they? I know Eve has my back here… 😉

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Teri Anne Stanley has been writing since she could hold a crayon–though learning to read was a huge turning point in her growth as a writer. Teri’s first stories involved her favorite Saturday morning cartoon characters, followed by her favorite teen idols. She has also authored a recipe column (The Three Ingredient Gourmet), and scientific articles (Guess which was more interesting!). Now she writes fun, sexy romance populated by strong, smart women and hunky heroes.

Teri currently supplements her writing income as a neuroscience research assistant. In her nearly non-existent spare time, she is the human half of a therapy dog team, an amateur genealogist, and a compulsive crafter (if there are directions on the internet, she can probably make it). Along with a variety of offspring and dogs, she and Mr. Stanley enjoy boating and relaxing at their weekend estate, located in the thriving metropolis of Sugartit, between Beaverlick and Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.

 

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