Excerpt Tour! SIGHT UNSEEN Anthology, Week 4

Have you picked up the SIGHT UNSEEN anthology? It features five intriguing, sexy, and surprising stories from five incredible authors – but you don’t know who wrote which story – YET. The reveal is coming soon, but in the mean time, we’re sharing the opening of each of the five stories, one per week! Check it out below and pick up your copy now!

About SIGHT UNSEEN:

What stories would you tell if you could? Where would your mind take you, if you let it? Five of the top voices in romance dare you to explore the most distant corners of their imaginations as they test the limits of storytelling and break the boundaries of what even they thought possible, teasing and tormenting you shamelessly as they go.

But there’s a twist—the author of each story is a secret at the time of release. They’re each plumbing the depths of the human heart and mind in ways they’ve never attempted before. Taking you high, bringing you low, until you will be hardpressed to guess who wrote what. Can you tell? Want us to?

Too bad our lips are sealed . . . for now.

 

Lost That Feeling

Alma knew who she was, once—that is, before she erased her memory with a spell. Some, like the guards at the prison in which she’s held, say that she was a thief, a murderer.

Others say she was a hero. Like Driss, the man who rescues her. He claims to be a friend. He’s certainly handsome. And charming. And brave. In a word: perfect.

That’s the problem. If he’s perfect and she’s a hero, how did she end up in prison with a seven-year hole in her memory to begin with?

 

A Clear View of You

As a child, Kate had one dream: to escape her mother’s deluded hippie commune and live in the real world, where mature adults know that magic isn’t real. But the real world also has its downsides—like rent, student loans, and a cutthroat job market.

Happily, Kate is uniquely qualified for one in-demand position: psychic. Of course, she’s as fake as the rest of them, but nobody plays a fortune-teller as convincingly as a girl raised by a would-be witch. If only Kate’s newest client weren’t so perceptive . . . and attractive. If only crystal balls didn’t have the habit of lighting up in his presence.

Magic isn’t real, right? Kate is about to find out otherwise . . .

 

Free

Brad White would be an ordinary accountant with an unrequited crush except for two things: he works for a criminal motorcycle club, and he’s in love with the club president’s daughter. When she discovers the truth about the family business, Brad has to move beyond ordinary and put his life on the line to keep her safe.

Wren Masters, unlike everyone else in her graduating class, chose to stay in Fallow, Montana because, also unlike everyone else, she loves it. But when she finds out her father’s club is running drugs, her family and world crumble. She and Brad risk everything to uncover the truth . . . and begin a scorching affair.

As the conspiracy—and their feelings—deepen, Brad and Wren must choose between family and justice. And neither seems to include a future for them.

 

Chariot of Desire

CJ Crespo, drummer for the once wildly popular rock band Donjon, has always had a thing for frontman Donny Times. They spent the seventies getting high together, making music together, self-destructing together. But her qualms about ruining a creative partnership with sex kept them from ever hooking up. Now, Donny’s conversion to a bizarre fringe religion that won’t allow him to engage in—or even sing about—sex, drugs, or other “sins” threatens to tear Donjon apart.

As the band struggles to embrace a new decade and a new Donny, CJ must decide where she belongs: by Donny’s side, even if he can’t ever love her? Or out there making her own music, away from a man who gives and takes in equal measures?

 

The Heart is a Universe

On the remote planet of Pax Cara lies the greatest secret of the universe. Once every generation, the inhabitants must offer up an exceptional young person—the Chosen One—who sacrifices his or her own life for the sake of that secret, and the planet itself.

However, Vitalis, the current Chosen One, is desperate to free herself from the yoke of destiny. An unexpected invitation to an aristocratic summit seems to be the perfect opportunity for escape. But almost as soon as she arrives, the most eligible prince in existence proposes marriage.

Sparks fly, but Vitalis is wary. Eleian of Terra Illustrata can have any woman he wants. Why has he set his sight on Vitalis, who, unless she manages to flee, will die in sixteen days? Is he hiding an ulterior motive, one that could put everything in jeopardy—her plans, her life, and her heart?

 

Get your hands on SIGHT UNSEEN:

Open Ink Press | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

Read the opening of CHARIOT OF DESIRE: August 17th, 1983

Donny Times threw up before he went onstage, spattering the lighting technician’s new Converse. There was only one way to handle this sort of lapse in indestructibility with grace. He grinned at the techie and said, “Twelve thousand people would kill to be in your shoes right now.” The grin did little to staunch the sudden flow of misery, his sense of being something small and ugly. It was as though the scrambled eggs and Captain Morgan in his stomach were all that had been keeping him inflated tonight, and now he shriveled like a burnt tick. He gagged again, but nothing else came up. He put out an arm to ward off assistance, if assistance was forthcoming. His eyes clouded and he staggered forward, muttering, “Not tonight. I’m not going out there tonight. I’m not.”

CJ Crespo caught him by the arm and pulled him aside. Put her forehead to Donny’s and said, “Pull it together, shithead.” Her short blonde hair fell over her eyes—a little greasy looking, the way she liked it. She smelled like chicken wings and cigarettes. Her grip on his arm was rough, fingertips digging into his biceps with a rhythm that reminded him of a creature throbbing inside an egg, pressing against membrane and shell until that first delirious split. Everything CJ did had a pulse, felt like something ancient being born. His hand fumbled to find her arm, to return the odd embrace, but CJ pushed him away. Shook her hair from her eyes and rounded her broad shoulders. Almost grinned. “Get your ass out there.”

 

About the Authors:

Emma Barry

Emma Barry is a novelist, full-time mama, and recovering academic. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves hugs from her twins, her husband’s cooking, her cat’s whiskers, her dog’s tail, and Earl Grey tea. You can find her on the web at www.authoremmabarry.com.

 

Meredith Duran

Meredith Duran is the author of eleven novels, all published by Pocket Books. Her debut, The Duke of Shadows, has been translated into thirteen languages and together with her sophomore book, Bound by Your Touch, was ranked among the top 100 romances of all time in the 2010 All About Romance poll. Her other books include RITA award winner Fool Me Twice; Wicked Becomes You, which was included on Woman’s World list of Best Beach Reads for Summer 2010; and her February 2017 release, A Lady’s Code of Misconduct, which both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly called “flawlessly executed” in their starred reviews.

Meredith blames Anne Boleyn for sparking her lifelong obsession with British history, and for convincing her that princely love is no prize if it doesn’t come with a happily-ever-after. When not writing, Meredith enjoys collecting old etiquette manuals, guidebooks to nineteenth century London, and travelogues by intrepid Victorian women.

Connect with Meredith at MeredithDuran.com.

 

J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website: www.jarockauthor.com

Blog: http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarockauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39

 

Erin Satie

Erin Satie is the author of the dark and elegant No Better Angels series, historical romances set in the early Victorian period. She’s currently hard at work on her upcoming series, Sweetness & Light, which should be just as elegant but not quite so dark.

Erin is a California native who’s lived on the coasts and in the heartland, in tiny city apartments and on a working farm. She studied art history in both college and graduate school—research is always her favorite part of starting a new book.

Her favorite part of finishing a book, whether reading or writing, is the happily ever after.

Website: www.erinsatie.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erinsatie/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/erinsatie

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/2DiAf

 

Sherry Thomas

USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas loves intricate plots, explosive action, and combustible love stories. She has written romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

And by the way, English is her second language.

You can find out more about Sherry’s books at SherryThomas.com.

Release Day! SIMON SAYS by Victoria Danann (Department of Interdimensional Tresspass #1)

Happy Release Day!

Simon Says by Victoria Danann

Department of Interdimensional Trespass, Book 1. SIMON SAYS.


 Director Simon Tvelgar is haunted by a lost love.

Annnnnnnd Rosie is about to get the chance to head up a new Black Swan unit, D.I.T., The Department of Interdimensional Trespass.

Twenty years ago Sir Simon was a vampire hunter. He took three month’s bereavement leave to go wild camping in the far north of Scotland following the death of his team leader. He expected solitude and fresh air to clear his mind and heart. He did not expect to fall in love. While picnicking on the stark landscape of the Orkney Islands, she disappeared into the standing stones. He turned just in time to see her fading into nothingness, a look of panic frozen on her face. As she reached out and silently called his name, he lunged to grab her an instant too late.

She was gone. But her memory has haunted him every hour since.

Simon channeled his sorrow and loneliness into work until he eventually rose to the most powerful position ever held by an ex Black Swan knight. With tireless dedication, he built a congregation of talented misfits, watching and waiting for the one who could find Sorcha.


EXCERPT…

“You’re a very good cook, Simon. Some woman is goin’ to be lucky to have you for a mate.”

“I don’t know. I think perhaps on balance my less desirable qualities might outweigh my cooking skills.”

“What are your less desirable qualities?” Simon opened his mouth to answer, but she changed her mind. “Ne’er mind. I do no’ want to know. For tonight I want to believe that you’re perfect. A god fallen to Earth from that star,” she looked up in the sky and pointed, “right there.”

“Suit yourself,” he smiled.

“How old are you?”

“Twenty three. How old are you?”

“Twenty nine. You seem much older. I would’ve guessed that you’re closer to my age.”

He smirked. “Vampire hunting ages a person.”

“You’re stickin’ with that vampire huntin’ business, are you?”

“That’s my story.” His casual nonchalance would never be taken as cover for the truth about his occupation.

She rolled her eyes. “How long are you on holiday?”

“I’m not exactly on holiday. A friend died. He was a close friend, more like family really. So I’m out here to…”

Watching him struggle to find the right words, she offered, “Clear your head and free your heart?”

If Simon had spent a year contemplating how best to answer why he was there, he would not have been able to come up with a more perfect and concise description of his reasons. He didn’t answer, just reached over and pulled Sorcha close enough to him so that he could kiss her the way he’d been thinking all through dinner. With the firelight reflecting on her face, she had him believing that she was the goddess who likely fell to Earth from the brightest star in the heavens above.

It took little urging to get her to scoot closer a look of sensual anticipation on her face.

“You done this before, human?”

Simon smiled sardonically. “Couple of times,” he said just before pressing a soft kiss to her mouth. When she deepened the kiss, with an unmistakable flavor of demand and insistence, he chuckled. He’d been thinking sweet and slow. She was apparently thinking eager and faster. He was just as cool with eager and faster. So he let her set the pace.

Flanked by the Atlantic to the west and North Sea to the east, the Orkneys enjoyed a surprisingly mild climate. At least that’s what the travel brochures say. But forties didn’t feel mild if a wet wind whipped up after the sun finally set and sleeping arrangements are outdoors on the ground.

It took a few minutes to figure out how to reconfigure the sleeping bag zippers so that they could take advantage of the combination of modern fiber technology and body heat.

“How can it be so hard?” She laughed.

“It’s like a puzzle,” he replied. “We’re both reasonably bright, well educated persons. We’ll figure it out. Just be patient.”

She growled. “I’m no’ feelin’ patient. I’m feelin’ eager.”


 

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author.

Her Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES THREE YEARS IN A ROW.

Victoria’s paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on “imaginary” creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists, or financial analysts from Dallas. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners – usually – whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.

FACEBOOK | FACEBOOK FAN GROUP | GOODREADS FAN GROUP | TWITTER: @vdanann

New Release Review! CHECK MY HEART by Christi Barth


Check My Heart

by Christi Barth

Synopsis:

The death of his little brother turned Kurt Lundquist’s world upside down. He channeled his grief into skating his heart out–and ultimately leading his hockey team to win the championship. Now, all he wants to do is throw a party with the Cup in his brother’s honor. He’s got no clue where to start…until he runs into the gorgeous hospice nurse who took such great care of Jasper. She’s waaay off limits, but he’s desperate, and hires her to help him.

Lisette Broussard’s heart broke a little more every time a patient died. Losing the brave brother of a hockey star was the last straw. Learning a new specialty was supposed to change her life for the better, but it used up her savings. Then the slam dunk job with the New Orleans championship hockey team mysteriously disappears. So she jumps at Kurt’s offer of a job, no matter how temporary. No matter how…dangerous, given how much she’s always crushed on him. No matter how risky it is to fall for Kurt, since he’ll always associate her with the grief of losing his brother.

But the more time they spend together, the deeper they both fall. Kurt’s heart begins to thaw…and then heat. Lisette can’t resist him, and throws caution to the wind. She’ll take whatever time he gives her. Can they move beyond the pain of the past and focus on a future together?

Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon
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Excerpt:

God. Why would Lisette want to keep touching such a wallowing, messed-up son of a bitch? The words, the truth that kept him immobilized on this decision ripped from his throat like gravel spraying from his Harley tires. “Tell me how I can turn my back on my team and my friends and still be able to look myself in the mirror.”

She pressed up against his back, arms circling his waist like a life preserver. “How do you do it now? How do you look past your grief to see what’s truly in your reflection?”

“I don’t.”

Her fingers curved into his stomach. “You don’t look in mirrors?”

“Not for a while now.” Trying to make light of it, Kurt rasped a hand across his two-day-old stubble. “I’ve got an electric razor. Makes it so easy I can do it with my eyes shut. I was tired of seeing nothing but a scowl.”

“Oh, I get it, believe me. But feeling good, being happy? It takes practice every bit as much as skating.” Going up on her tiptoes, Lisette murmured into his ear, “I declare that smile practice is now in session.”

Then her fingers splayed, arrowing down to just below the waist of his shorts. Just enough to make him wish they’d damn well keep going. She scraped her teeth along the cords of his neck, then licked a path down to where Kurt knew she could feel his pulse jackrabbiting through the skin. Lisette sucked. Sucked and swirled her tongue. That was all it took to bring his dick into a full-out lunge, trying to meet her fingertips.

Kurt reached back and around to pull her closer. He got two handfuls of the sweetest ass he’d ever touched and squeezed. Kneaded. His hands almost completely covered those taut globes. He couldn’t wait to see how they’d look doing exactly that on her naked skin.

He didn’t care if she gave him a hickey. Didn’t care that the guys would give him a mountain of shit if he walked into the locker room with a love bite like a teenager. The only thing Kurt cared about was the way her tongue lapped at him, sending shivers of sensation straight down to his dick.

They weren’t really kissing. They were fully clothed, in a fucking warehouse. They weren’t even face-to-face. But her assault on his neck was so damn hot, Kurt was ready to shove up her skirt and take her on the floor, with the goddamned goldfish watching.

Whispering, breath feathering against his ear, Lisette ordered, “Look at your reflection in the bowl, Kurt. What do you see?”

He turned his head to catch a smug, satisfied grin curling up the edges of his mouth. Huh. Kurt twisted to see her wet lips and flushed cheeks. Guess she’d enjoyed giving as well as getting. Which turned him on even more. “You think I’m good in a practice session? You should catch me in the real deal.”

 

Review:

Start with an absolutely heartwrenching beginning (have tissues handy!) and an intriguing premise (older brother of cancer patient falls for hospice nurse)–throw in a hockey hero (aforementioned older brother) and you should have a hat trick, right? That was my hope when I started reading Check My Heart, a hope which was only partially fulfilled.

I liked both Kurt and Lisette, the hero and heroine (AKA brother and nurse). Buying into their relationship push-pull was a bit trickier, though–maybe if we’d seen them in the beginning, instead of finding out about it later on? (Especially since their individual accounts of that time don’t quite seem to jive–both claim to be drawn to the other, but neither seems to think that the other is even remotely interested (I get it; the younger brother is dying, etc., but still…)) They also seem to go pretty quickly from Jasper will always come between us to getting over that obstacle (I don’t actually think there was a moment of them getting over it–though maybe I just missed it, somehow? Or promptly forgot all about it?) My biggest issue, though, was with

Spoiler Inside SelectShow
 Even when it was admitted to and moved on from, it still rubbed me wrong.

Altogether this wasn’t a bad way to spend a few hours, though. I mean, there is a hot hockey hero who has the bonus of being a great older brother and a very sympathetic nurse who knows how to plan kick-butt parties, plus the resolution is sweet and fairly believable. It’s not my favorite from Ms Barth, but I’m not sorry I read it, either.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

About the author:

USA Today bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

For information on books, new releases and more, visit her Website

 

Author Links:   Website | Twitter | Facebook   | Goodreads

FREE Book Blitz and Giveaway! ONLY FOR YOU by Beverley Kendall (Unforgettable You #1)

Only for You
Beverley Kendall
(Unforgettable You #1)
Publication date: December 9th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

They say there is a thin line between love and hate.

This is what happens when that line is crossed.

College freshman Olivia Montgomery is thrilled at the chance to start over, escape the rumors that plagued her in high school. And she can finally put her juvenile crush, Zachary Pearson, where he belongs—in her past. Then her unrequited love strolls into her French class, shattering Olivia’s newfound peace, and the feelings she’d thought buried for good come rushing back. Now she can’t shake her unwanted attraction to the one guy who can twist her stomach into knots with just a smile…but has never given her the time of day.

Zach’s good looks may have always gotten him his pick of girls, but it’s the star quarterback’s skill on the football field that gives him his pick of the Big Ten colleges. To escape the crushing demands of his win-at-all-costs father, Zach opts for a private university in upstate New York where…his present and past collide. And the one girl he’s always wanted but can’t have—and a class trip to Paris—turn out to be the ultimate game changer that has him breaking every one of his rules.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Grab your copy today for FREE!!

EXCERPT:

Seconds after Rebecca disappears around the corner, I feel a presence behind me.

Like right behind me. I turn, expecting to see Scott, who I’m sure is eager to offer an explanation to what I’d just witnessed. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The guy hovering behind me is none other than Zach, his expression just as grim as when I saw him minutes ago. Scratch that, grimmer.

I actually take a step back, I’m so shocked to see him this close, and bump into the wall behind me. Zach takes a step closer and braces his forearm, exactly the way Scott had done, on the wall at the side of my head. He bends his head so his mouth is near my ear. I drag in a breath of air and with it the subtlety of his cologne and warm male skin. Being this close to him after so many weeks is like a kick of excelsior.

“Who’s the guy?” he asks, his voice a low rumble in my ear. It takes everything in me not to shiver as the sound vibrates down my spine.

“A friend.”

His mouth kicks up at the corner into a smirk.

“Right.”

His tone is so obviously disbelieving, now it requires Herculean self-control not to smack him even though I miss him so much my heart hurts.

“Anyway,” he continues, his eyes narrowing and growing hard as flint as he stares down at me. “Here’s the thing. If you’re trying to make me jealous, you’re wasting your time. I wouldn’t want you to put yourself out too much tonight, so remember that and go easy on the guy, ‘kay?”

Raising his head, he flashes me a tight, icy smile and pushes off the wall as he continues to hold my gaze. In his final gesture of arrogance, he runs the back of his index finger gently down my cheek while his jaw ticks. “Have a nice evening, Liv.” With that, he turns and saunters back down the hall.

 

Author Bio:

Beverley discovered her love of books while growing up in Ontario, Canada. With her love of books and romance, she always wished that everyone would find their happily ever after. She currently writes sexy historical, new adult and contemporary romances.

As the mother of one too bright and mischievous young boy, she pulls full-time duty on all fronts. When she’s not writing full-time or mothering, she’s probably reading or knitting and dreaming of a time when she’ll have time for her favorite hobbies: crocheting and sewing.

Beverley has lived on two continents, in three countries, two provinces, and four states. She stopped her nomadic existence and settled in the southeast. All things artistic feed her creative passion, but none more than writing. Readers can visit her at: beverleykendall.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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New Release and Giveaway! HANDBOOK FOR MORTALS by Lani Sarem (Handbook for Mortals #1)

Handbook for Mortals
Lani Sarem
(Handbook for Mortals, #1)
Publication date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Zade Holder has always been a free-spirited young woman, from a long dynasty of tarot-card readers, fortunetellers, and practitioners of magick. Growing up in a small town and never quite fitting in, Zade is determined to forge her own path. She leaves her home in Tennessee to break free from her overprotective mother Dela, the local resident spellcaster and fortuneteller.

Zade travels to Las Vegas and uses supernatural powers to become part of a premiere magic show led by the infamous magician Charles Spellman. Zade fits right in with his troupe of artists and misfits. After all, when everyone is slightly eccentric, appearing ”normal” is much less important.

Behind the scenes of this multimillion-dollar production, Zade finds herself caught in a love triangle with Mac, the show’s good-looking but rough-around-the-edges technical director and Jackson, the tall, dark, handsome and charming bandleader.

Zade’s secrets and the struggle to choose between Mac or Jackson creates reckless tension during the grand finale of the show. Using Chaos magick, which is known for being unpredictable, she tests her abilities as a spellcaster farther than she’s ever tried and finds herself at death’s door. Her fate is left in the hands of a mortal who does not believe in a world of real magick, a fortuneteller who knew one day Zade would put herself in danger and a dagger with mystical powers…

Handbook for Mortals is the first book in the series of this urban fantasy, paranormal romance series by author Lani Sarem.

Following Zade through the trials–and romance–of finding her own place in the world, readers will identify with their own struggles to fit in, reflected in the fantastic, yet mundane world of Zade’s life.

Handbook for Mortals is in development as a motion picture set to debut in 2018

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

“Hopefully I wasn’t interrupting something important,” Mac said, with no attempt at feigning actual sincerity. I could tell he didn’t care that he had interrupted, or that he had been rude.

“Just kindness.” I responded. I don’t think he expected my answer to be truthful, and he looked taken aback. He had probably expected me to say “Oh, no worries! Nothing important.” He made no comment, but backed off a little. When he continued talking, he had a bit less snap in his voice.

“I’d like to schedule a crew call for you once your contract has been signed. You, me, and all of our techs, so we can go over your trick and map out how it will be safely implemented into the show.” He knew that calling what I had done a “trick” instead of an illusion I would take as a slight. It’s sort of like telling someone who had just won an Olympic gold medal and was proudly wearing it around their neck, that their necklace was cute. Mac kept incessantly tapping his Sharpie on the side of his clipboard and shifting his weight between his feet.

I stood up slowly and calculated, looking him square in the eye, which probably surprised him a bit, since he was at least six feet tall. I’ve always enjoyed the luxury of being a tall girl. I’m five foot nine inches and so while I don’t usually tower above any guys I know, I can definitely look them directly in the eye. Most girls who at five feet five inches (which, I believe, is an average height for a woman) have to look up. My height was an advantage that I never took for granted and here, again, I was happy that I didn’t have to look up to him—figuratively or literally. In heels I could even be as tall or taller than him and I’ve always loved that part about being the height I am. I half smiled and slowly spoke, “Maybe you misunderstood. I don’t show anyone how it’s done. That wasn’t just for the audition. I handle this illusion on my own.”

Mac held still for a moment, and then glanced up from his clipboard, looking irritated. He pursed his lips and flared his nostrils. The tapping stopped. He dropped the clipboard from his stomach and held it in his hand while pointing his finger directly in my face. “Listen, lady, I don’t know who else you worked for, but we don’t do that Lone Ranger stuff around here. I’m the technical director and in charge of everyone’s safety, no matter how stupid you want to be. You do what I say, and I keep your pretty self from getting hurt. Got it?” I’m fairly certain he growled at me as he spoke.

Myriad thoughts ran through my head and I’m pretty sure several seconds passed in silence as we stared each other down. I could feel my hands tightening into fists. I really did want to punch him. I could see it happening. I’m not strong by any means but I’m also not a wimp. I wouldn’t have broken anything, but he would have been bruised and sore. I quickly ran through the possible outcomes of punching the technical director on my first day of work. It didn’t really seem to be the best idea.

I leaned into him so closely that it might have looked like to an outsider that I was about to kiss him. I huffed a little and my words were slow and deliberate. “I understand this is your job and all, but I don’t think you’re listening to me,” I hissed. I tapped his chest with my finger and he jolted a bit at my touch. He looked at me like I was speaking some kind of foreign language.

I’m not listening? Lady, you need your ears cleaned,” he snarled back. He turned around to walk away, as if that was the end of our conversation. If he was trying to piss me off more, it was working.

I grabbed him by the shoulder, stopping him in his tracks and swinging him around to face me. My face had flushed and I’d raised my voice to a full yell. “And you need to get some manners. I’m not showing you how it’s done, okay? If we have a problem I can go to another show where the technical director doesn’t have a God complex. I’m not a girl who needs a knight in shining armor.” I was practically snarling at him.

Mac gritted his teeth and looked like he might hit me, but I knew that wasn’t really an option for him. Guys like him didn’t hit women, no matter how mad we made them. He laughed loudly. “Ha! Good luck finding a Technical Director who will treat you like the princess you clearly think you are. If I found you locked in a tower, I promise I’d leave you there.” Mac whipped around again and this time saw Riley, who had been standing just a few feet away from us the whole time. Riley was pretending not to be paying too much attention, but you could tell that was all he had been doing. I couldn’t blame him. Mac glowered at Riley and barked, “Where’s C.S.? Riley, go find Charles. Now!”

“On the move,” Riley replied with a nervous, almost panicked look on his face as he ran off to the side and disappeared.

 

Author Bio:

Lani Sarem basically grew up in the entertainment industry. She began acting at age three and continued to act and perform through her early years. Lani began writing scripts when she was eleven. Over the years she has become a jack-of-all-trades in the entertainment business. She became a rock n’ rolly gypsy at fifteen and started touring with bands and working on festivals. She’s toured with everyone from Ryan Adams to Gnarls Barkley. She also became one of the youngest female managers in the business and managed bands like the Plain White T’s, 100 Monkeys and Blues Traveler. Lani has appeared in films like Mall Cop 2, Jason Bourne, and Trailer Park Shark. Handbook for Mortals is a debut novel of a series of books, which are also being made into feature films. You can follow Lani on her social networks to keep up with her many adventures and look out for her at a Wizard World Comic Con near you.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook (book) / Facebook (author) / Twitter

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! DISCIPLINED BY THE DUKE by Alyson Chase (Lords of Discipline #1)

Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? 
 
DISCIPLINED BY THE DUKE
Lords of Discipline #1
Alyson Chase
Releasing Aug 15, 2017
Swerve
The day her sister murdered their abusive father, Elizabeth Wilcox stopped being a gentleman’s daughter. Willing to do anything to save her sister from the hangman’s noose, now she is a spy… A servant. A liar. A thief. A submissive.
Masquerading as a parlor maid and entrenched in the Duke of Montague’s estate, Liz is willing to risk all to uncover the secrets that would save her sister. But submitting to the duke’s peculiar brand of discipline surprises her with a heady mixture of pleasure and pain. Eager to relinquish control of her messy life, Liz soon craves the rough hands of Montague and his powerful, passionate attentions. Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? And what punishment will she face when he realizes her betrayal?

“Look at me.” His voice was quiet. Kind. But no less commanding than when he gave orders to his steward. Or his dogs.

Her gaze rose over hard thighs, the fall of his trousers, the flat expanse of his stomach, and the wider expanse of his chest. She looked up until his eyes captured hers and held on. Her breath caught in her throat. His eyes weren’t the gray of unyielding stone anymore, but rather the shifting silvers and subdued greens of an ocean tossing in a storm.

“I don’t make a habit out of breaking anyone’s, anything’s, spirit.” Dropping to a squat, Montague ran his fingers under Reggie’s jaw.

The heat from his body, his sudden nearness, curled around Liz. She took a deep breath to calm her racing heart. But she was swamped with his scent, and her pulse ratcheted up even higher.

“Sometimes animals need to be molded so they can become their best selves. Guidance, a firm hand, training.” His breath bloomed across her cheek with every word. “My horse, Darkwing, has as much spirit as he did as a foal. I merely redirected it to productive channels. Now, he and I have a partnership. We each trust the other.” His lips quirked. “More so than I do most men.”

Digging his fingers into the soft fur at the back of Reggie’s neck, Montague gently lifted the pup. “Now if this fellow doesn’t wish to be molded that is his prerogative. He might not make the grade for a work dog at my estate, but he will make someone a lovely pet.”

Reggie yipped, and the duke lowered him to the ground. The puppy coiled around himself like a snake, obviously exhausted from his day. Montague kept his hand on the dog, his palm almost large enough to span Reggie’s entire back. He ran his long, tapered fingers slowly through the puppy’s coat, and Reggie gave one more sleepy yip before tucking his nose under his tail.

“You seem to have an affinity for the scamp.” Montague gently rubbed the tip of Reggie’s ear between his thumb and forefinger. Liz’s own earlobe tingled. “Perhaps you’d want him as a pet.”

Her heart twisted. She’d love to spoil a dog. But it wasn’t to be. And the duke should have known that.

“Where would I keep him?” She hated to do it. It would ruin the moment, these amazing few minutes when the duke spoke to her like she was a real person, an equal, not the hired help. She’d forgotten what it felt like to be able to sit without fear of violence or discovery. To not have every moment revolve around a job for Westmore, scraping together enough money for food for her and Amanda, finding enough coal to keep her warm at night.

This was like an afternoon of days past, when gentlemen treated her with respect and she wanted for nothing. She felt like her old self, if only for a moment. The decadence of it almost made her dizzy.

But being the old Miss Elizabeth Wilcox was a luxury she could no longer afford.

So she twisted the blade, just a little. Just enough to sting. “Mr. Todd doesn’t allow servants to have pets. And if Reggie followed me around on my duties I think he’d probably make more of a jumble than I could clean in a day.” Taking a deep breath, she clenched her stomach. “It doesn’t make sense for a chambermaid to have a puppy.”

And there it was. That small flicker. The stormy sea hardening back into granite. Montague had forgotten himself. Or, more accurately, forgotten her. Forgotten how low she was in relation to him.

Her lungs burned with the effort to keep her breathing steady. The reminder stung more than she’d expected. The duke would probably forget his momentary lapse in the time it took him to return to his house.

It would take her longer.

And she couldn’t keep forgetting who she was, why she was here. It hurt too much when reality crashed back in. So she dug the knife a little deeper into her side.

Picking up the sleeping puppy from her lap, she laid him next to Reggie. Standing, she brushed at her skirts, plucking an errant strand of fur from her apron. “Now if you will excuse me, Your Grace, I have some chamber pots I need to empty.”

Without looking to see whether she had shocked him, Liz turned on her heel and made her way back to the side door of Hartsworth. The servants’ entrance.

It wasn’t until she’d refilled Molly’s bucket and lugged it halfway up the stairs that she realized she’d forgotten to curtsy before leaving the duke. She could only hope her disgraceful chamber pot reference had distracted the man too much for him to notice.

Confession time–I didn’t examine the blurb for this one all too well before signing up to read it (the title and series name got me, I admit it), so the part of the plot that dealt with Liz determined to do pretty much anything to save her sister from prison and Marcus’s side business of espionage came as a bit of a surprise. A pleasant surprise, though, because let’s face it, when you’re reading BDSM with your teenage kids just feet away from you, it sometimes feels a bit awkward. The other plot elements, therefore, were a nice distraction, and made both Liz and Marcus more sympathetic and relatable than they might have seemed otherwise.

Disciplined by the Duke is a decent debut that combines historical romance, intrigue (spies have been my weakness since pretty much forever…), and light BDSM–though there were a few things here that gave me pause, Ms. Chase definitely has my attention for the next book in the series, which will feature Liz’s sister and another of Marcus’s friends and fellow spies.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Alyson 
Chase writes historical romances that are just a bit…naughty. She is a former attorney, and thought that her flair for dramatic and sexy writing was seriously undervalued in her legal career. She also writes under the name Allyson Charles. 
 
She lives in Northern California where the incredible weather and natural beauty so far outweigh the overcrowding and congested freeways. Also, the food in the Bay Area rocks. 
If you want to know when the next book is coming out, visit her at website and sign up for her newsletter.

 

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Excerpt Tour! SIGHT UNSEEN Anthology, Week 3

Have you picked up the SIGHT UNSEEN anthology? It features five intriguing, sexy, and surprising stories from five incredible authors – but you don’t know who wrote which story – YET. The reveal is coming soon, but in the mean time, we’re sharing the opening of each of the five stories, one per week! Check it out below and pick up your copy now!

About SIGHT UNSEEN:

What stories would you tell if you could? Where would your mind take you, if you let it? Five of the top voices in romance dare you to explore the most distant corners of their imaginations as they test the limits of storytelling and break the boundaries of what even they thought possible, teasing and tormenting you shamelessly as they go.

But there’s a twist—the author of each story is a secret at the time of release. They’re each plumbing the depths of the human heart and mind in ways they’ve never attempted before. Taking you high, bringing you low, until you will be hardpressed to guess who wrote what. Can you tell? Want us to?

Too bad our lips are sealed . . . for now.

 

Lost That Feeling

Alma knew who she was, once—that is, before she erased her memory with a spell. Some, like the guards at the prison in which she’s held, say that she was a thief, a murderer.

Others say she was a hero. Like Driss, the man who rescues her. He claims to be a friend. He’s certainly handsome. And charming. And brave. In a word: perfect.

That’s the problem. If he’s perfect and she’s a hero, how did she end up in prison with a seven-year hole in her memory to begin with?

 

A Clear View of You

As a child, Kate had one dream: to escape her mother’s deluded hippie commune and live in the real world, where mature adults know that magic isn’t real. But the real world also has its downsides—like rent, student loans, and a cutthroat job market.

Happily, Kate is uniquely qualified for one in-demand position: psychic. Of course, she’s as fake as the rest of them, but nobody plays a fortune-teller as convincingly as a girl raised by a would-be witch. If only Kate’s newest client weren’t so perceptive . . . and attractive. If only crystal balls didn’t have the habit of lighting up in his presence.

Magic isn’t real, right? Kate is about to find out otherwise . . .

 

Free

Brad White would be an ordinary accountant with an unrequited crush except for two things: he works for a criminal motorcycle club, and he’s in love with the club president’s daughter. When she discovers the truth about the family business, Brad has to move beyond ordinary and put his life on the line to keep her safe.

Wren Masters, unlike everyone else in her graduating class, chose to stay in Fallow, Montana because, also unlike everyone else, she loves it. But when she finds out her father’s club is running drugs, her family and world crumble. She and Brad risk everything to uncover the truth . . . and begin a scorching affair.

As the conspiracy—and their feelings—deepen, Brad and Wren must choose between family and justice. And neither seems to include a future for them.

 

Chariot of Desire

CJ Crespo, drummer for the once wildly popular rock band Donjon, has always had a thing for frontman Donny Times. They spent the seventies getting high together, making music together, self-destructing together. But her qualms about ruining a creative partnership with sex kept them from ever hooking up. Now, Donny’s conversion to a bizarre fringe religion that won’t allow him to engage in—or even sing about—sex, drugs, or other “sins” threatens to tear Donjon apart.

As the band struggles to embrace a new decade and a new Donny, CJ must decide where she belongs: by Donny’s side, even if he can’t ever love her? Or out there making her own music, away from a man who gives and takes in equal measures?

 

The Heart is a Universe

On the remote planet of Pax Cara lies the greatest secret of the universe. Once every generation, the inhabitants must offer up an exceptional young person—the Chosen One—who sacrifices his or her own life for the sake of that secret, and the planet itself.

However, Vitalis, the current Chosen One, is desperate to free herself from the yoke of destiny. An unexpected invitation to an aristocratic summit seems to be the perfect opportunity for escape. But almost as soon as she arrives, the most eligible prince in existence proposes marriage.

Sparks fly, but Vitalis is wary. Eleian of Terra Illustrata can have any woman he wants. Why has he set his sight on Vitalis, who, unless she manages to flee, will die in sixteen days? Is he hiding an ulterior motiv

e, one that could put everything in jeopardy—her plans, her life, and her heart?

Get your hands on SIGHT UNSEEN:

Open Ink Press | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Read the opening of FREE:
Brad

Ethics were funny things. I liked to think mine were intractable, that the line between what I would and wouldn’t do was so bright they could see it from space. Then Wren Masters would stroll into our office, and I’d have to face the truth—I was a liar.

I flipped the coffee maker switch back and forth a few times. Several seconds passed before the light sputtered on. It was a crummy machine in a crummy town, so the hesitation was honest enough.

No, my lying had nothing to do with the town or even the office itself, a prefab from the seventies standing in front of a used car lot and garage. It was more about who owned this shitty establishment and what they used it for: the Lone Gun Motorcycle Club, and drugs.

To the rest of the world I was an accountant. I didn’t wear a pocket protector, but it didn’t matter; I was the moral, boring type. Except I knew I was aiding and abetting felons.

Take this morning. I had more than enough evidence that my ethics were worth jack even before I watched Wren stroll toward the building, her brown-blonde hair streaking out behind her like a sail, before I scrutinized the roll of her hips and the cling of her blouse—could something that tiny be called a blouse?—before I could see how the anemic October sun lit her face. Because while I might be a good accountant in the absolute barest sense, what I did for Lone Gun wasn’t good.

When Wren propped the door open, said, “Morning, hot stuff,” and my stomach flip-flopped like a pancake, I knew my motives—lifelong unresolved lust—made what I did even worse.

 

About the Authors:

Emma Barry:

Emma Barry is a novelist, full-time mama, and recovering academic. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves hugs from her twins, her husband’s cooking, her cat’s whiskers, her dog’s tail, and Earl Grey tea. You can find her on the web at www.authoremmabarry.com.

 

Meredith Duran:

Meredith Duran is the author of eleven novels, all published by Pocket Books. Her debut, The Duke of Shadows, has been translated into thirteen languages and together with her sophomore book, Bound by Your Touch, was ranked among the top 100 romances of all time in the 2010 All About Romance poll. Her other books include RITA award winner Fool Me Twice; Wicked Becomes You, which was included on Woman’s World list of Best Beach Reads for Summer 2010; and her February 2017 release, A Lady’s Code of Misconduct, which both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly called “flawlessly executed” in their starred reviews.

Meredith blames Anne Boleyn for sparking her lifelong obsession with British history, and for convincing her that princely love is no prize if it doesn’t come with a happily-ever-after. When not writing, Meredith enjoys collecting old etiquette manuals, guidebooks to nineteenth century London, and travelogues by intrepid Victorian women.

Connect with Meredith at MeredithDuran.com.

 

J.A. Rock:

J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website: www.jarockauthor.com

Blog: http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarockauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39

 

Erin Satie:

Erin Satie is the author of the dark and elegant No Better Angels series, historical romances set in the early Victorian period. She’s currently hard at work on her upcoming series, Sweetness & Light, which should be just as elegant but not quite so dark.

Erin is a California native who’s lived on the coasts and in the heartland, in tiny city apartments and on a working farm. She studied art history in both college and graduate school—research is always her favorite part of starting a new book.

Her favorite part of finishing a book, whether reading or writing, is the happily ever after.

Website: www.erinsatie.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erinsatie/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/erinsatie

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/2DiAf

 

Sherry Thomas:

USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas loves intricate plots, explosive action, and combustible love stories. She has written romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

And by the way, English is her second language.

You can find out more about Sherry’s books at SherryThomas.com.

New Release and Giveaway! A FINAL DEAL by Nadia Lee

A Final Deal
Nadia Lee
Publication date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

One thing I’ve never lacked in life is money. I was born to it. I’ve made it hand over fist. I have more than I know what to do with.

But all that money couldn’t give me Faith Mortimer, a damaged heiress with secrets of her own. I found her irresistible two years ago, and would’ve laid my empire at her feet…until she betrayed me.

Now she barges into my office, offering marriage, ostensibly to help me fulfill the conditions of my father’s hateful deal. Although I toss her out, I’m curious. Once I realize how desperate she is, I make a counteroffer that leaves her vulnerable and defenseless.

However, I never counted on my own machinations leaving me exposed in return…and both our hearts are going to break before this is over…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

A small lamp in the living room’s on, and I frown. Did Blake forget to turn it off? I take a bottle of water and walk over, then stop.

He’s stretched out on the couch, tablet in hand, a finger of scotch on the table in front of him. All he’s got on are the loose black pants from earlier and a pair of glasses. The effect is devastating, all the more because he doesn’t mean it to be—a perfect combination of lickable body and amazing brain. His torso is totally bare, his shoulders broad, chest thick. His abs are ridged with clear definition even in repose, and his arms are lean and muscled and eminently nibbleable. The dusting of dark hair below the navel disappears underneath the waistband of his pants, and I pull my lips in, wishing I could do more than just look.

He glances up from his tablet.

I flush, embarrassed at being caught staring. “I wanted to get something to drink.” I gesture at the kitchen. “Why are you still up?”

“Couldn’t sleep, so I was reviewing a few proposals.”

“I see.” I clear my throat. “Well…think I’ll go back to sleep now,” I say, then stop. He knows I wasn’t sleeping.

He sits up and places his tablet on the coffee table. “Before you go… About what you said during dinner—”

I raise a hand. “Don’t.”

“Faith—”

“It’s in the past, and I don’t want to talk about it again, Blake.”

His eyes get that stubborn look I’m all too familiar with. He had the same expression when he asked me out that first time and I declined. I had an early shift the next day and I didn’t want to waste my time with a guy who was in Vegas for a couple of days on business.

I put the bottle of water next to his tablet. “I mean it. You got all your questions answered.” My heart thuds. This is my chance. I place my palm against his chest, then push him against the back of the sofa. His skin’s hot underneath mine, and I lick my lips. “The only thing I want out of your mouth is something filthy. Otherwise…”

He drops his gaze to my lips, his throat working. But the words out of his mouth are anything but filthy. “I meant what I said in New York.”

This man is slaying me, little by little. “I know.” I place my left knee by his right hip. “That’s why I’m taking advantage of you late at night—to use you for sex.” I swing my right knee over to where it’s flush against his left hip.

One dark eyebrow quirks up. “Is that so?”

“Uh-huh. You’re going to be my boy toy and you don’t owe me anything for what I’m about to do to you.”

 

Author Bio:

NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

Currently, she shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading books by her favorite authors or planning another trip.

Stay in touch with her via her website http://www.nadialee.net/ or her blog http://www.nadialee.net/blog/

Website / Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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

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

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

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

 

IRRESISTIBLE YOU

Chicago Rebels #1

Kate Meader

Releasing Aug 14, 2017

PocketStar

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You’ve got three minutes, Harper.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The all-star game.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You have a game to finish.”

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

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

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

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

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

“You feel that, Harper?”

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

“I think we’re havin’ a thing.”

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

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

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

OMG, this book!

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

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

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

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. 

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

 

Release Day and Giveaway! HER SEXY CHALLENGE by Sarah Ballance (Firefighters of Station 1 #1)


Her Sexy Challenge
by Sarah Ballance
Firefighters of Station 1, #1
Publication Date: August 14, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Lovestruck, Contemporary, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

She might be the one fire he can’t put out…

Caitlin Tyler doesn’t do bridges—she just doesn’t know it until she lands her dream job and freezes halfway across her new town’s towering death span. Cue the cocky, infuriating fireman who goads her off the bridge. He’s hot, but he’s also exactly the kind of guy she wants to avoid…which she manages to do for a whole four hours.

Lt. Shane Hendricks is only two weeks away from leaving Dry Rock. He sure as hell doesn’t need to get involved with a woman he has to rescue twice in one day. The fact that she’s clearly annoyed by him doesn’t deter him from throwing down a challenge—one that proves hard to resist for all the wrong reasons.

They’re moving in different directions. Leaving should be easy, but falling for Caitlin might be the one fire he can’t put out…

BUY:

Kindle AUS ➝ http://amzn.to/2uQW205
Excerpt:

On her porch, Caitlin fumbled with the key but managed to get the door unlocked. “Thanks for the ride,” she said. “It didn’t suck.”

“Good,” Shane said. “Because I don’t think it sucked, either.”

His agreement caught her off guard, and she looked at him in surprise. She’d known how close he stood, so she shouldn’t have been startled to find his face inches away. He’d done that in the parking lot, completely out of nowhere, his lips grazing her ear. It still burned from his touch, and if that crackling of lust didn’t calm itself, she’d willingly become the next Van Gogh in her effort to escape it. Tangling anything of hers with anything of his was on her nope list, so for her gaze to once again drift to his mouth meant nothing.

Until his lips touched hers.

Honest-to-God sparks lit the sky. She went numb, all except the party happening on her lips. Every bit of her hard won resistance shattered, and the stark reality that her bed was the only thing she’d wholly unpacked went screaming through her head. It was the longest brushing-of-lips in the history of human copulation, and she’d have wallowed naked in it if she could.

Walking away would have been a much better idea, but she hadn’t exactly batted a thousand on those lately. The only thing she’d managed consistently since she arrived in Dry Rock was to stumble into one awkward moment after the next, each and every one witnessed by the fire lieutenant. And now here she stood, wanting him, and there was no way it wasn’t obvious. Seriously, what the hell?

It had just been a simple kiss.

They parted by millimeters, and she whimpered, the moment hanging heavily between them for a split, indecisive moment.

Then it exploded.

With a groan, he grabbed the back of her head and captured her, pulling her mouth to his, tasting and teasing, driving a spike of need through her that left her falling deeper, drowning in something that made paddling a class five rapid seem sane. She clung to him as he pulled her close, voicing a quiet verse of profanity that made her want to beg him to come inside.

Again and again he drove the kiss while she clutched uselessly at his shirt, drawing him deeper, burning for more.

Wanting everything.

He tasted amazing. He moved like a god.

He…let her go.

ABOUT SARAH BALLANCE:

SARAH BALLANCE is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense. She’s been married to her own romantic hero for what he calls a “long, long time” (and no, he’ll never hear the end of saying that). Together they have six children … and clearly too much time on their hands. She currently writes for Entangled Publishing.

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