New Release Review! TAKE ON ME by Gwen Hayes (Silver Pines #4)

Take On Me
by Gwen Hayes

Synopsis:

Online dating columnist Dane Martin (www.virile.com) has no plans to give up his reign as bachelor extraordinaire. He has a reputation to uphold, especially with the upcoming release of his book Coming on Strong.

Holly Winters, everyone’s favorite girl next door thanks to her blog of the same name, gives dating advice to women struggling to find commitment among the Virile sycophants. Dane is exactly the kind of guy she cautions her readers away from.

When a publicity stunt goes awry and the opposites must pretend to be dating, all bets are off. Has the Girl Next Door tamed the most Virile man alive, or is she just another notch on the bedpost?

Previously published as Mr. Virile and the Girl Next Door. Now with bonus epilogue!

 

Review:

This novella was so, so much fun! Well-written banter, a side romance to root for, an awkward rescue mutt, and an enemies-to-lovers romance with a he said/she said rivalry going on–very reminiscent of every rom-com movie I’ve ever watched and loved 🙂

(And I’ve watched more than my fair share, so I would know.)

Holly and Dane’s progression from friends to lovers to something more was nicely done, and realistic. Even though it’s a novella, the time frame was not at all rushed. The excerpts from their individual blog posts were a nice touch, and revealed much about their characters and mindsets.

The new epilogue (not originally included with Mr. Virile and the Girl Next Door) cranks up the adorableness about a thousandfold, and has me totally ready for my next visit to Silver Pines!

I only have one complaint here:

“Tell me a little bit about the man of your dreams.”

She sent him a startled look. “Well, he’s…nice.”

A huff of incredulity escaped Dane’s lungs. “Nice? The man of your dreams is nice? Try again, this time give me some of that honesty you were talking about the other night.”

“Oh, all right. But he is nice. It’s not a crime, you know. I happen to like nice men.”

Something pulled in his gut. “I’m a nice man.”

Holly laughed. “No you’re not. You’re…”

“A scoundrel?” he offered.

“I was always more of a Luke Skywalker fan than Han Solo anyway.”

You see my problem here, right? As if any sane person would pick Luke over Han… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

Re-Release Review! THE DO-GOODER by Jessie L. Star

The Do-Gooder
by Jessie L. Star

Synopsis:

A college girl tries to make up for her bad karma by doing one good deed for anyone willing to ask—a witty, sweet romance perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Abbi Glines.

Lara Montgomery is no good. Having been scorned by her classmates since high school, she’s used to it. From where she’s sitting, the one with more notches on the bedpost has more fun anyway. At least, that’s what she tells herself.

Really, a small part of her hopes that her massive amounts of bad karma can be neutralized by wearing her Do-Gooder hat—that thing she does where she’ll complete one good deed for anyone who asks. And she does an amazing job at it, if she does say so herself. Still, there’s one thing she knows she can’t make better, no matter how many problems she solves for other people: on the night her brother died, she was off hooking up with his not-so-single best friend, Fletch.

It’s been three years since that night, and Fletch just wants her to let it go. To him, her persistence with the good deeds only serves to remind everyone in their small university town about what they did. As it is, they can’t help but get into a heated argument every time they run into each other on campus. And yet, neither of them can seem to stop that pesky electricity that runs between them whenever they get too close….

 

Review:

 

Originally I thought the premise of this story sounded pretty good–could be cute, definitely showed promise. I started the book, and initially wasn’t terribly crazy about Lara’s character. She’s just so darn prickly and jaded, it felt like an effort to get to know her. Fletch showed some promise, though, so I kept reading.

I’m not even sure what point I was at–30%? 40%?–when I suddenly realized that I really did care an awful lot about both Fletch and Lara. The more she revealed herself to the reader, the more sympathetic Lara became, and soon it started to feel like my life was going to be negatively affected if those two crazy kids couldn’t manage to end up together in the end. Seriously, there were multiple parts in that last 20% that nearly had me in tears.

I’m not sure how much of that all was in the original version, but I can absolutely say that I recommend the rewrite! I’m putting Ms. Star on my list of authors to watch 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


View all my reviews

 

Re-Release PreOrder! SILICON VALLEY BILLIONAIRES: LAUREN by Leigh James

Title: Silicon Valley Billionaires: LAUREN
Series: Silicon Valley Billionaires, Book 1
By: Leigh James
Release Date: Feb. 21, 2017
eBook Price: $3.99
Print Price: $9.99
Ebook ISBN: 978-1945340086
Print ISBN: 978-1945340093
Categories: Romantic suspense and contemporary romance

 

Description:

Two Headstrong, Driven CEOs. One Undeniable, Scorching Attraction.

Being a scientist gives Lauren Taylor a purpose in life. At twenty-five, she’s the CEO of a billion-dollar biomedical company, Paragon Laboratories. On the brink of a major discovery, Lauren lets nothing interfere with her work. Until she meets Gabriel Betts, the gorgeous and brilliant CEO of another Silicon Valley startup, and is forced to face her inconvenient and overwhelming attraction to him.

Billionaire Gabriel Betts is a successful scientist in his own right. He’s made his way in the world by being an early adapter and never losing focus. Captivated by Lauren’s brilliance and unselfconscious beauty, he’s determined to win the reclusive female CEO over at any cost.

But what neither Gabe nor Lauren are prepared for is the white-collar danger that’s lurking in Silicon Valley… The danger that threatens not only their companies, but their very existence.

This is an update to the previously released High Interest and contains significant edits.

Ebook:
Kindle US: http://geni.us/svbamz
iBooks: http://geni.us/svbibooks
Nook: http://geni.us/svblbn
Kobo: http://geni.us/svblkobo
Google: http://geni.us/svblggl
Kindle CA: http://geni.us/svbamzca
Kindle UK: http://geni.us/svbamzuk
Kindle AU: http://geni.us/svbamzau

 

Print:
Amazon: http://geni.us/svbprint
More print links coming soon…

 

Re-Release Review and Giveaway! FIRE BRAND by Diana Palmer

Fire Brand
by Diana Palmer

Synopsis:

He’ll risk his whole heart to save her from the past 

Gaby Cane was always a bit afraid of her attraction to Bowie McCayde. Even when she was fifteen and Bowie’s family took her in, she had sensed his simmering resentment. Now ten years later, she’s an aspiring journalist who can hold her own with any man professionally, the dark shadows of years gone by far behind her. Then Bowie strides back into her life—only this time, he needs her, and the pull of loyalty to his family is too strong to ignore.

When Bowie asked Gaby to help save his family’s Arizona ranch, he never expected the girl he once knew to return transformed into a stunning, successful woman. As they work together, Bowie is shocked to find that her innocence and beauty stir a hunger he can’t deny. But the rogue rancher can sense something holding her back, and he’s determined to uncover the terrible secret Gaby is fighting to keep hidden…

AddtoGoodreads

Review:

I had mixed feelings about this one.

I didn’t realize until I read the author’s note that it was a reprint of a previously (1989!) published novel. Diana Palmer (pseudonym od Susan Kyle–originally published under her real name) explained that she kept the hero’s smoking habit in the book (and yep, that’s a blast from the past–my kids have a hard time believing me when I tell them that people used to smoke in public all the time, especially restaurants) and noted that the way in which Gaby and the other reporters worked was true to the time period, because that used to be her job. It was definitely interesting to watch reporters work before they had the Internet to help with research! Since it was all taking place in the year in which I graduated high school, I like to think it’s not that long ago, but boy have some things really changed. It was fun to get a glimpse back to a sort-of-distant time.

As a library and information studies student, it was really interesting to observe hands-on research when there was so much actual work (travel to read documents, phone calls, etc.) involved. I also enjoyed seeing all the different hats everyone in the small town paper had to wear on a daily basis. It definitely felt authentic, and really added to the overall atmosphere of the book.

I have to admit I had a difficult time connecting with the main characters. Gaby’s rabid virginity and complete innocence/ignorance about sex (explained by a traumatic event as a young adult) seemed totally at odds with her go-anywhere-heedless-of-danger reporter persona. At times she was worldly and knowledgeable, and then at other times totally clueless. She would waffle back and forth a lot–she trusted Bowie, but no, he scares her; she’s noticed some major red flags about the new group that wants to develop the McCayde land, oh, but they say they’re going to bring lots of jobs to the area, so let’s support them!–definite lack of consistency.

Bowie as a hero felt a bit dated. He was very alpha I-am-man-and-in-charge and not always very nice to Gaby, his mother, or his mother’s new boyfriend. He was big on making “this is how it’s going to be” pronouncements instead of talking things through with the women in his life, and it got to be aggravating. He ended up much more likable than he started, so that was something.

At times I had a hard time believing that Aggie, Bowie’s mother, and Ned Cartwright, her new boyfriend, were mature, grown adults. Not only did they get engaged really, really quickly (without really knowing each other, as becomes clear toward the end) they also broke up for a fairly ridiculous reason. And then we find out what he’s been hiding all along. I kind of wanted to smack him upside the head at that point. They did have a cute HEA, though, so that helped to make up for a lot.

I did like the bits of southwestern history that were sprinkled throughout, and digging into the mystery behind the new agricultural venture (positive forward progress, or environmental disaster in the making?) made for some interesting reading. This was my first book by the author; I’d definitely give some of her more recent titles a try though I don’t know that I’d read too many more of her ones that are 20+ years old. If you read similar books “back in the day” it will probably make you nostalgic, but if you’ve become accustomed to the more modern offerings it might take some adjustment.

Rating: 3 stars / C

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About the author:diana palmer

Susan Eloise Spaeth was born on 11 December 1946 in Cuthbert, Georgia, USA. She was the eldest daughter of Maggie Eloise Cliatt, a nurse and also journalist, and William Olin Spaeth, a college professor. Her mother was part of the women’s liberation movement many years before it became fashionable. Susan grew up reading Zane Grey and fell in love with cowboys. Susan is a former newspaper reporter, with sixteen years experience on both daily and weekly newspapers. Since 1972, she has been married to James Kyle and have since settled down in Cornelia, Georgia, where she started to write romance novels.

She began selling romances in 1979 as Diana Palmer. She also used the pseudonyms Diana Blayne and Katy Currie, and her married name: Susan Kyle. Now, she has over 40 million copies of her books in print, which have been translated and published around the world. She is listed in numerous publications, including Contemporary Authors by Gale Research, Inc., Twentieth Century Romance and Historical Writers by St. James Press, The Writers Directory by St. James Press, the International Who’s Who of Authors and Writers by Meirose Press, Ltd., and Love’s Leading Ladies by Kathryn Falk. Her awards include seven Waldenbooks national sales awards, four B. Dalton national sales awards, two Bookrak national sales awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award for series storytelling from Romantic Times, several Affaire de Coeur awards, and two regional RWA awards.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Diana Palmer’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, August 8th: From the TBR Pile – excerpt
Tuesday, August 9th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, August 10th: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, August 11th: A Holland Reads – excerpt
Friday, August 12th: A Splendid Messy Life
Monday, August 15th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt
Tuesday, August 16th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, August 17th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, August 18th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Friday, August 19th: A Bookaholic Swede – excerpt
Monday, August 22nd: Moonlight Rendezvous
Tuesday, August 23rd: Mignon Mykel Reviews
Wednesday, August 24th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, August 25th: Dog-Eared Daydreams
Monday, August 29th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Tuesday, August 30th: Becky on Books
Wednesday, August 31st: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, September 1st: Buried Under Romance
Friday, September 2nd: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

 

Series New Cover Reveal and Giveaway! J.L. Berg’s READY series

J.L. Berg’s stunning READY series has a sexy new look – and they’re all available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited! Check out the gorgeous covers below and enter to win a $25 Amazon giftcard!
Ready Series Covers

WYR NEW Amazon

About WHEN YOU’RE READY:

Years after suffering the tragic loss of her husband, Ethan, which left her alone to raise their young daughter, Clare Murray still holds the last letter he wrote with the words “When You’re Ready” written in his familiar messy handwriting, unable to break its weathered seal. Ready for what? He was her entire world, and Clare had accepted a life without him, without love. Until years later, fate brings her to an emergency room, and face to face with a stormy-eyed doctor intent on changing her mind. 

Son of a billionaire, Logan Matthews has spent his life trying to make his absentee father proud. Without a family to depend on, all he’s ever wanted is a place to call home. After a failed marriage, Logan believes he’s unworthy of love…until he meets a woman who awakens his spirit and transforms his entire life in an instant. 

But how far are Clare and Logan willing to go for love? Can his love mend the pieces of her grieving heart? 

When their love is tested, is Clare ready to put her whole heart on the line again? Can Logan learn the true meaning of love, even if it means sacrificing his own happiness? When a second chance at love is given, Clare and Logan learn you are never truly ready until you’re ready to risk it all. 

The first novel in the Ready series. Each novel can be read as a standalone. 

Amazon


NBR NEW AmazonAbout NEVER BEEN READY:

Leah Morgan was done with men. After barely surviving a horrendous childhood, and a boyfriend who bailed when things got rough, Leah had given up on love. Then she met him, Hollywood’s new golden boy who suddenly had eyes only for her. She tried to convince herself that one night couldn’t hurt, but after six months, the memories of his mesmerizing gaze and searing touch still invaded her every thought. 

Declan James had just one rule when it came to women. Keep it simple, and never linger. That all changed the moment he met Leah. Even across a crowded bar, he could tell she was different. Sweet, with just the right amount of sass, she made him break his golden rule and now he couldn’t walk away. 

When casual becomes anything but, and emotions run deep, will Leah and Declan fight their fears, or let old insecurities tear them apart? When Declan’s past comes roaring back in a way neither of them could have expected, will they stand united or be torn apart by the challenges that lie ahead? 

It was only supposed to be one night, but only forever will do. 

The second novel in the Ready series. Each novel can be read as a standalone.

Amazon


RFY NEW AmazonAbout READY FOR YOU:

A second chance at first love. 

Eight years ago, Garrett Finnegan’s world shattered the day Mia vanished from his life. He’s been struggling to pick up the pieces ever since. Haunted by memories and ghosts of the past, he chooses a solitary existence rather than risk his heart again. 

Mia Emerson has made one wrong decision after another but none worse than walking away from the boy who stole her heart so long ago. When her new life is turned upside down, she finds herself returning to her roots and the hometown she left behind. Maybe now she can find a way to heal from the devastating mistakes of her past. 

When a chance encounter brings these former lovers together, passion reignites in a way neither is prepared for. Can Garrett move beyond his anger and find a way to forgive? Will Mia’s insecurities and fears cause her to once again flee the life she’s destined to live? 

Garrett and Mia will soon discover that they must journey into the past to find their way home. 

The third novel in the Ready series. Each novel can be read as a standalone. 

Amazon


RoN NEW AmazonAbout READY OR NOT:

When love comes knocking, will they be ready, or not?

Born into wealth and privilege, free-spirited Liv Prescott left it all behind when she realized there was more to life than living off of trust funds and barely skating by. Since then, she’s worked and fought for everything she’s earned and never looked back at the world or the family she left behind.

Jackson Reid is starting over with a new job in a brand new city. A single father to his son Noah, he hopes the change will help strengthen the bond that has seemed to suffer since puberty reared its ugly head. What he hadn’t planned on was Liv–his exotic next-door neighbor who drives him insane with her wild, new age lifestyle, but still manages to leave him aching for more.

 As challenges arise and feelings intensify, will these neighbors be able to look past their differences and find a middle ground?

The fourth book in the Ready Series. Each novel can be read as a standalone. 

Amazon

RTW NEW Amazon

About READY TO WED:

A Ready Series novella, set after WHEN YOU’RE READY.

Move on.

Move forward.

With the wedding on the horizon and their future uncertain, Clare and Logan must keep their eyes on the prize–a lifetime together. That’s the goal. They both know that there are no guarantees in life. But after a long road filled with trials and tears, they’re finally on the other side–a sandy white beach where beginnings are made. As Clare Murray becomes Mrs. Logan Matthews, they both learn what the fight really means: family, future, forever.

Includes bonus short story, Never Been More Ready.

Amazon

About J.L. Berg
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series, The Walls Duet, and the Lost & Found Duet. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter


Enter to Win
Want to win a $25 Amazon giftcard? Simply enter via the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Cover Reveal! UNDECIDED by Julianna Keyes (A Burnham College novel)

A new cover! I reviewed this one (with the old cover–LOL) here.

 

Undecided
Julianna Keyes
Publication date: April 4th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Nora Kincaid has one goal for her second year of college: be invisible. Last year’s all-party-no-study strategy resulted in three failed classes and two criminal charges, and if she messes up again she’ll lose her scholarship. But there’s one problem with her plan for invisibility, and his name is Crosbie Lucas: infamous party king, general hellraiser…and her new roommate’s best friend.

Crosbie’s reckless reputation and well-known sexcapades aren’t part of Nora’s studious new strategy, but as she’s quickly learning, her new plan is also really boring. When Crosbie’s unexpected gestures of friendship pull her head out of her books long enough to see past his cocky veneer, she’s surprised to find a flawed and funny guy beneath it all. The muscles don’t hurt, either.

But as Nora starts to fall for Crosbie, the weight of one of last year’s bad decisions grows even heavier. Because three failing grades and two misdemeanors are nothing compared to the one big secret she’s hiding…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

*On SALE for $2.99 for a limited time!*

 

 

Author Bio:

Julianna Keyes is a Canadian writer who has lived on both coasts and several places in between. She’s been skydiving, bungee jumping and white water rafting, but nothing thrills – or terrifies – her as much as the blank page. She loves Chinese food, foreign languages, baseball and television, not necessarily in that order, and will go to her grave swearing that “ain’t” is not a word. She has volunteered in Zambia, taught English in China, and dreams of seeing pink dolphins in the Amazon. It’ll happen.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

XBTBanner1

A Conversation with Jennifer Shirk, Author of FROM FAKE TO FOREVER (with a giveaway!)

Enter to Win a Kindle Fire (US) or $100 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)

What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I’m a foodie! I love to cook and try all kinds of different recipes.
  2. My favorite color is purple yet I don’t have any purple clothing- weird
  3. As much as I love food, I could totally live on bread and coffee
  4. I’m hosting a French exchange student for 6 weeks this summer
  5. I’m addicted to shopping at White House Black Market

Hmmm…I really like pink, and I just realized the other day I don’t have much pink clothing either—very odd!

 

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I got the inspiration for this book while at the playground with my toddler. She wouldn’t go down the slide and my friend was trying to show her and almost got stuck. That became my opening scene!

I like it! 🙂

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I’ve been writing for about 10 years. I started when I had my first child and was at home. I was reading so much, I finally decided to try my hand at writing.

Kudos for being able to write with small children at home! I’ll admit—I napped a lot back then. And read, of course…

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m working on #3 in my Anyone But You Bliss series called Perfect on Paper. I’m hoping it will be released before Christmas.

Great! Can’t wait…

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

For the first time in his star-studded life, he was in love—no acting necessary


Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC’s Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME. Recently, her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the
2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance.

Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

FROM FAKE TO FOREVER
Jennifer Shirk
Released June 6th, 2016
Entangled Bliss
Sandra Moyer’s preschool is struggling, so when her sister suggests allowing a super-famous actor to research his latest role there, she reluctantly agrees.
Except the actor turns out to be Ben Capshaw—a playboy who’s never serious, always joking around, and who knows zero about kids or being a parent. Case in
point: his involvement in the untimely death of the preschool’s class pet…
 
Ben is enjoying teaching more than he thought he would, but that doesn’t mean he’s looking for a permanent position. Sure, he’s ready for more serious movie roles and less goofing off, but the buttoned-up, beautiful Sandra and her young daughter are more than he bargained for. Plus, Sandra still won’t trust him—what if it’s all an act, research for the role? As the lines between make-believe and reality blur, Ben will have to decide if love is worth casting aside the role of his life for a new role…that could last a lifetime.
Previously released as The Role of a Lifetime – (May 2008) and has been enhanced with new material.
 BUY NOW
 Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

Excerpt-Banner

“I’d love to come,” he answered.

What?

“Hip, hip, hooray!” Hannah shouted as she galloped around the office.

Sandra gritted her teeth. Ben wasn’t helping the situation, standing there, laughing as her daughter jumped her little heart out. Frustration constricted in her chest, since she was left with no choice but to be the bad guy. No matter. She was used to it. The way she always made up excuses for her ex-husband, she had the bad guy routine down to an art form by now.

“Sweetie,” she said, taking her daughter by the shoulders, “Big Bens is a very busy”

“Sandra, I said I’d love to come.”

She looked up and saw he was serious. He really didn’t want her getting him out of lunch on the boardwalk. Huh. That was a new one to her. But out of habit, she tried one more time. “Aren’t you worried about being recognized?”

He flashed her a confident grin, reaching deep into his pocket, whipping out what looked like a black necklace and twirling it around his index finger.

“What’s that?” she asked.

Hannah’s little hands went for the object, but Ben yanked it out of her reach just in time. “Nice try.” He looked at Sandra, his grin widening. “It’s my eye patch.”

“Your eye patch,” she repeated dully. “Has this role you’re after changed to a pirates-of-the-Jersey-shore movie?”

“No,” he said with a chuckle. “Since you had me shave, it’s my new disguise. I stopped at a convenience store the other day and got accosted by two teenage girls who recognized me as soon as I reached for a gallon of milk. One of them even pinched my—”

“I get it,” Sandra said, holding up a hand.

“I’m just saying. Fame isn’t easy.”

Poor baby. “So now you honestly walk around wearing that thing?”

He answered her question by putting it on.

Oh, dear. She hated to admit it, but the eye patch looked good on him. Why was she even surprised? Of course it did. He was a handsome man, and now he made one heck of a handsome pirate. To her disgust, her heart even did a somersault.

That settled it. Ben coming with them to lunch had bad idea written all over it. She looked to Hannah, hoping for an ally, or at the very least, some kind of sign. “What do you think, sweetie? Do you want to go to lunch with a scary pirate?”

Pi-rate, pi-rate, pi-rate,” her little traitor began to chant, giggling and dancing around some more.

Not the sign she’d hoped for.

Sandra shrugged at Ben. “I guess you can come with us.”

“Arr, shiver me timbers,” he said in an exaggerated pirate twang. He winked his uncovered eye at Hannah and hooked his thumbs in his pants. “This is the nicest your mom’s been to a poor old bloke like meself in days.”

Sandra poked a finger in his chest but grinned. “Don’t make me regret this, or you’ll walk the plank.”

He grinned back and, with that eye patch, turned kneemeltingly rakish in under ten seconds flat. “Aye, I won’t be asking you to make me Roger jolly, if that’s what has you worrying.”

She laughed. Then he surprised her by taking her hand in his and raising it up to his lips. “I’ve already given you me word,” he said huskily, still in his pirate character.

“Friendship and perhaps a kind word here and there ’tis all I’m after.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paperback Release and Giveaway! POWERLESS by Tara Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs (The Hero Agenda #1)

NOW IN TRADE PAPER!

Powerless

By Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs

May 3, 2016; Tradepaper; ISBN 9781492616603

9781492616603-PR

Book Info:
Title: Powerless
Series: The Hero Agenda
Authors: Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

 

Summary:

Kenna is tired of being “normal.”

The only thing special about her is that she isn’t special at all. Which is frustrating when you’re constantly surrounded by superheroes. Her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, practically everyone she knows has some talent or power. Sure, Kenna’s smart and independent, but as an ordinary girl in an extraordinary world, it’s hard not to feel inferior.

So when three villains break into the lab where she interns, Kenna refuses to be a victim. She’s not about to let criminals steal the research that will make her extraordinary too.

But in the heat of battle, secrets are spilled and one of the villains saves her life. Twice. Suddenly, everything Kenna thought she knew about good and evil, heroes and villains is upended. And to protect her life and those she loves, she must team up with her sworn enemies on a mission that will redefine what it means to be powerful and powerless…

 

Excerpt from Powerless:

If I could have any superpower, right now, I’d choose the ability to reach through glass. One thin, little pane is all that separates me from bliss…of the midnight-snack variety, to be exact. The chocolate bar hangs halfway to freedom but refuses to take the plunge, as if the vending machine is mocking me, taunting me.

As if it knows I’m powerless.

Annoyed, I slam my palms against the glass. Everything inside shudders. My chocolate bar—pure Swiss milk chocolate dotted with toasted hazelnuts—doesn’t budge.

“Come on,” I beg as if the candy can hear me. “Just a little farther.”

No such luck.

Then again, when have I ever been lucky? I’m just glad no heroes are around to see me lose a battle with a vending machine. I would be the punch line to every joke for a year.

Thankfully, the lab is pretty much empty at this time of night. Even Mom went home two hours ago, leaving me to transcribe the notes from today’s sessions. I prefer to work when no one is around. My experiments fall into a gray area in the Superhero Code of Conduct, and even though I’m not technically a superhero—yet—I try not to piss off the powers-that-be. The last thing I need is to lose my lab privileges before I’ve perfected my formula.

Copying down Mom’s scribblings is like deciphering some previously unknown ancient language. It isn’t exactly the most glamorous summer job ever, but it pays okay and gives me access to the facility.

I’m almost done with tonight’s transcription from the digital white board Mom and her team spent all day filling with chemical equations for her newest power-enhancing formula. Maybe twenty more minutes, and then I can get back to my test samples.

My stomach rumbles in protest, reminding me that I skipped dinner. I really want that stupid chocolate bar. But since I just used my last quarters, my only hope is that one of the security guards upstairs has change for a ten.

I turn away from the vending machine alcove and start back around the corner to grab my wallet from the lab.

Right before I make the turn, I hear hurried footsteps. Not wanting a repeat of last week’s collision with Dr. Harwood—my favorite jeans still smell like sulfur—I hang back a step.

But the boy who rushes around the corner looks nothing like the balding, old scientist who works nearly as many late nights as I do.

No, this guy is tall and lean, but not too skinny. He’s got major biceps and I can see the outline of some pretty impressive muscles beneath his shirt. Yum. He’s probably about my age or a little older, eighteen or nineteen maybe. And everything about him is shrouded in black—his tee and jeans, his heavy-duty boots, his shoulder-length hair—everything but his eyes.

If we weren’t in superhero central, I’d say he looks like a stereotypical villain.

You’d think with all that darkness, he’d be nothing more than shadow. But he’s all angles: his cheekbones, his jaw, even the collarbones I can see peeking out from the low neckline of his tee. Light seems to reflect off him like moon glow at midnight. Surrounded by all that sculpted darkness, his icy blue irises burn like the hottest flames.

Our gazes collide, and though I know it’s vain, I instantly wish my hair wasn’t pulled back in a messy braid and that I was wearing something—anything—more appealing than my dad’s ratty old 1996 Stanley Cup Champions tee.

Hot guys in the underground lab are few and far between—Who am I kidding? Hot guys in my life are few and far between—so most of my wardrobe choices involve comfort and whether I mind if the garment gets ruined by acid, dye, or any of a million other compounds we work with every day.

If my best friend, Rebel, were here, she’d be doing an I-told-you-so dance because she’s been wanting to give me a makeover forever. That, and she’d already have his number and email address, and they’d be making plans for their date this weekend. Me, I can’t even manage a simple “hello.”

The fact that he’s scowling at me, those dark brows slashing low over those bright eyes, isn’t helping anything.

“The lab is supposed to be empty,” he says.

His voice is flat, but his comment almost feels like an accusation.

“I’m working late,” I answer, trying not to sound defensive. “What are you doing here?”

He lifts an eyebrow. “You’re working in the hall?”

“I needed a break to come get chocolate,” I say, gesturing at the vending machine behind me.

He nods down at my empty hands. “You don’t have any chocolate.”

“That thing hates me. Took my money and kept the candy bar.”

In a graceful movement that looks almost choreographed, Dark-and-Scowly steps around me and up to the greedy machine. He presses his palms to the glass, just like I did. Hey, maybe he has the power to reach through glass. After all, around here pretty much everyone but me has some kind of super ability.

When his hands don’t immediately sink through the surface, I say, “I tried smacking it already. Didn’t work.”

Moving his hands closer to the edge, he curls his fingers around the frame. Then, with his boots braced on the floor, he gives the whole machine a solid shove. The heavy hunk of metal rocks back once, then comes forward, its front legs hitting the tile floor with a sharp thud. On impact, the chocolate bar sails against the glass before falling into the trough below.

He turns to face me, a cocky smile twisting one side of his mouth. “Takes a special touch.”

I duck down and reach through the hinged door to grab the candy bar.

“You’re my hero,” I joke.

He snorts. “Right.”

 

Goodreads Link

Buy Links:

Amazon  │  Apple   │  Barnes&Noble   │  BooksAMillion   │  !ndigo   │  Indiebound 

 

About the Authors:Tera Lynn Childs_17Mar15 Tracy Deebs_17Mar15

Tracy Deebs is a national bestselling and criticially-acclaimed author who writes under many different pseudonyms. Tera Lynn Childs is the RITA-award-winning author of two mythology-based novels (Dutton’s Children’s), and a kick-butt trilogy about monster-hunting descendants of Medusa (Katherine Tegen).

Social Networking Links:

Powerless Website: http://heroagenda.com/

Tera Lynn Child’s Website: http://teralynnchilds.com/

Tera Lynn Child’s Twitter: @teralynnchilds

 

 

COMING SOON:

Relentless

By Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs

June 7, 2016; Hardcover; ISBN 9781492616610

 9781492616610-PR

Summary:

Revenge is easy, but justice is worth fighting for…

Kenna is tired of being lied to—and hunted by the very allies she once trusted. Unearthing the dark secrets of the superhero world has not only endangered her life, now her boyfriend faces execution for crimes he didn’t commit and her mother is being held captive in a secret governmental prison.

Kenna is determined to stand up for what’s right and save those she loves from unspeakable fates. It’s time for the betrayal to end. It’s time for the real criminals to face justice.

But the truth is even more terrifying than Kenna could imagine. A conspiracy threatens the fate of heroes, villains, and all of humanity. If Kenna’s going to survive, she must draw on her deepest strength: her resilience. Because when Kenna’s pushed to the limit, she doesn’t break down. She fights back.

 

Goodreads Link

Pre-Order Links:

Amazon  │  Apple  │  Barnes&Noble  │  BooksAMillion  │  !ndigo │  Indiebound 

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway link for two paperback copies of Powerless (Runs May 1-May 31st; U.S. & Canada only):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Review: LOVE ME NEVER by Sara Wolf (Lovely Vicious #1)

Love Me Never
by Sara Wolf

AddtoGoodreads

Synopsis:

Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.
The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected.
 

Previously published as Lovely Vicious, this fully revised and updated edition is full of romance, intrigue, and laugh-out-loud moments.

Review:

I read the “fully revised and updated” version of this book, and am anxiously waiting the re-release of book 2,  Forget Me Always (previously Savage Delight)! Is it November yet???

No? Okay.

Sigh.

Where to start…

This book is like a literary version of a massive car wreck, but in a good way. For about 95% of it, I didn’t really like the two main characters all that much, and wasn’t terribly crazy about the choices they were making and what they were doing, but darned if I could put the book down. For the week I spent reading it (during down time at work), I rushed through the reading that I had to get done for my classes just so I’d have a few minutes at least each day to pick this up and see what Isis and Jack were going to do next. The fact that Ms. Wolf only gives us vague clues for much of the book about what happened in the past with Jack, Wren, Avery, and the mysterious Sophia really kept me turning the pages as well.

I needed to know. Immediately, if not sooner.

And that ending? Gah! Warning: it’s pretty cliffhanger-ish. Jack’s firmly entrenched in his Ice Prince shell, Isis is…well, I can’t say, that would be a major spoiler–but there’s something big going on with her and she’s just met someone even bigger, so…yeah. I need the next book. Like, yesterday.

Sigh. But I’ll wait until November. Because honestly, I probably wouldn’t be able to take that much Isis (and Jack, but mostly Isis) craziness in such close proximity to the last dose. They/she can be a little tough to take at times.

But still. I MUST KNOW. And so I will read book 2 as soon as it is re-released.

(But please don’t delay it, Sara Wolf and Entangled Publishing!)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews