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

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

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

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

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

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

No–Scratch that. It couldn’t.

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

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

Had a Ball at The Rock Creek Testicle Festival.

Christ, looked to be an authentic souvenir too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


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

 

Q&A with Jennifer Ryan, Lia Riley, and Maisey Yates, Authors of the SNOWBOUND AT CHRISTMAS Anthology (with a giveaway!)

When a snowstorm pummels the western half of the country, 
three couples find once off-limits love just in time for Christmas.

Jennifer Ryan

Describe yourself in five words or less.
Smart, spunky, giggly, fun-size, chocoholic.

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?
The first kiss. I love the buildup to that moment, the anticipation, and the spark that finally ignites when two people give in to the connection that draws them together.

What are you favorite types of stories to read?
I write suspenseful contemporary romance, and I love to read suspense, but when I need a break from that, I escape into historical romance. I love a roguish Viscount or sexy Scottish Laird.

What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan

Troublemaker by Linda Howard

Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown

What comes next?
Why, another Montana Men novel, of course.

Ford Kendrick gave up his one true love ten years ago to save the legacy his parents left behind for him and his brothers and get Jamie away from her abusive mother. He thought he sent Jamie away for her own good, but when she returns from the military broken in body, heart, and soul, he’ll do everything in his power to make his Firefly happy and shine again. When a friend from her past shows up and a secret revealed puts Jamie’s life at risk, Ford will put HIS COWBOY HEART on the line to protect Jamie.

 

Lia Riley

A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.
Wise-cracking ex marine gets stranded in blizzard with the ex-girlfriend who never forgave him for breaking her heart

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?
I love me a good kissing scene

What gave you the most trouble with this story?
Keeping it short, novellas are such fun to write, but a little challenging because there is always a little more you wish you could include.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?
Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.
My baby

Maisey Yates

Can you tell us a little about your book?
Mia is visiting her friend’s family for Christmas in Copper Ridge, and she and her friend’s older brother, Devlin, are the first to arrive at the lodge. Mia has always had a crush on Devlin, but she’s never had the courage to make a move. But then a storm whips up and leaves the two of them stranded overnight…and Mia figures it might be about time to make her some Christmas magic with the man she’s always fantasized about.

How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
Well, I love a cheerful heroine and a grumpy hero, especially for a holiday story. And I also love a good girl and a bad boy (with tattoos no less). Adding that forbidden element of her being his younger sister’s BFF, and a snowstorm, just seemed logical. 😉

Name three things on your desk right now.
A Diet Coke can (don’t judge me) my RITA (yay!) and a little iron mouse my husband gave me for Christmas.

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?
I love banter. I love writing fights, I love any back and forth between the hero and heroine. And I love it most of all when a scene of banter takes a nosedive into double entendre and suddenly what started out light gets really tense and sexy.

What 5 things should readers know about you? I don’t take myself very seriously. I really do love sweet potato fries (which is why they’re mentioned in a lot of my books). I LOVE writing, I really do. I’m left handed. I can sing a mean country song.

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve always fiddled around with stories, but I first finished a book in 2007. I was inspired by reading the Harlequin Presents line, and then by a contest Harlequin ran. I thought: Well, I should write something and enter the contest! That won’t feel like real rejection! I didn’t place in the contest, but at that point I’d written so much of the book I knew I had to finish. I did, and I sent it in, and eventually sold that book.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
They say writers should write every day, and I think that’s great advice to build good habits. But I would also add: finish the book. Don’t just write beginnings over and over. You need to practice seeing a project through to completion. No excuses. The biggest trap I see people falling into is being eternal starters, or eternal polishers or editors. Nope. Write the book, finish the book. Let it go. Do it all over again.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thanks for all the support. Readers are so important, and I’m so, so grateful for mine!

 

Jennifer Ryan
 is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to
the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.


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

 Website | Facebook | Twitter |GoodReads


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author MAISEY YATES lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

 

SNOWBOUND AT CHRISTMAS
Holiday Anthology
Jennifer Ryan, Lia Riley & Maisey Yates
Releasing Nov 15th, 2016

When a snowstorm pummels the western half of the country, three couples find once off-limits love just in time for Christmas. An unforgettable holiday anthology from bestselling authors Jennifer Ryan, Maisey Yates, and Lia Riley.

Close to Perfect: A Montana Men
Novella by Jennifer Ryan

At sixteen, Abigail gave Dex the gift of a lifetime, but the cost of it was more than he ever knew. Now she’s back in town with a secret that has been ten years in the making and this time it’s Dex’s turn to make the ultimate sacrifice or risk losing her forever.

 

Snowed in at Copper Ridge: A Copper
Ridge Novella by Maisey Yates

Mia Landry has always had it bad for brooding cowboy Devlin Grayson. Too bad he’s her best friend’s older brother. But when they find themselves snowed in at Copper Ridge Lodge, Mia finally has the chance to tell the man of her dreams exactly what she wants… him.

 

Hot Winter’s Night: A Brightwater
Novella by Lia Riley

While Brightwater is being covered in snow, Goldie Flint is stuck in her flower shop. She never expected her hero to be Kit Kane, the former love of her life. Kit knows that what he had with Goldie isn’t just in the past and with the help of a little bet, an ornery grandmother, and a lot of snow, he’s ready to show her that what he really wants for Christmas is a second chance.

tastytoursexcerpt

From Jennifer Ryan Close to Perfect

Ten years ago…

Dex sat on the hard bench outside the Sheriff’s office knowing he hadn’t done anything wrong, but shaking in his Converse just the same after a deputy showed up at the high school batting cage, cuffed him, and brought him down to the station. They charged him with stealing a car, drinking and driving, and in a drunken stupor, ditching the car in Crawford Pond.

The car had been pulled out of the murky water, a case of beer in the back seat—mostly empty cans—along with his baseball cap with the MVP pin the team awarded him last season.

How the hell did it get there?

Laurie walked out of her father’s office and turned the butterflies in his stomach into hummingbirds.

Oh God. I’m in deep shit.

He’d thought landing Laurie as his girlfriend made him big shit. Hell, he was seventeen and she had a hot body he wanted to get his hands on, even if she never let him past second base.

Then he met someone…different. Interesting. Nice.

Abigail Swain was barely sixteen and in the senior class. She was that smart. Really smart.

Paired together for a science class project, he’d gotten to know her and wondered why he’d never really noticed her. Small town, small school, still, she kept under the radar. Her parents believed school was more important than friends. Instead of spending her free time playing sports or hanging out at the diner downtown with other girls, she spent every spare minute at church or studying.

Abigail might come off weird and brainy, but really she was shy…quiet. And genuinely nice. A perfect target for Laurie, who made it known she didn’t like him spending time with Abigail, even for a class project.

Five days into working with Abigail something inside him shifted while she explained the intricacies of photosynthesis right off the top of her head. The way her eyes lit up. She planted her chin in her palm and looked right at him. Open and filled with kindness, she did something to his insides. He moved without thinking about it, leaned across the coffee table in his living room, and tentatively pressed his lips to hers in a soft kiss. He didn’t know why he had to do it until their lips touched and the wonder and softening in her eyes undid him. To his surprise, she kissed him back, and if he hadn’t been sitting on the floor already, he’d have hit his knees.

That kiss changed everything and put a lot of things into perspective. Like he’d rather be with someone he liked and enjoyed spending time with. He and Laurie had more fights than good times and it wore thin. Quick. Despite Laurie’s many protests, he ended things with her with a promise that he wouldn’t back out of taking her to the dance so she wouldn’t be humiliated and have to go alone.

From that moment on, he secretly spent more and more time with Abigail, though they kept their relationship hidden. Something about the way her overprotective father hovered nearby when they worked on their project at her house warned him that she’d get into deep trouble if her parents knew about them. Abby never said so, but he got the sense she feared her own dad.

As the mayor of their town, he had a reputation for advocating strict morals. A lot of people outside their church congregation found him judgmental. Including Dex.

He might not be valedictorian material, but he made better than good grades, was the best pitcher and hitter Crystal Creek High ever had, and he planned to take his team to the championships this spring. He had baseball and college to look forward to over the next couple of years and still Mayor Swain looked at him like he was nothing but a thing.

His dad sat beside him, ready to do battle, and nudged him with an elbow in his side. “Laurie’s here. She probably told her father the two of you were at the dance all night, and you couldn’t have stolen that car.” The hope in his father’s voice destroyed Dex.

I am so screwed.

Laurie walked right past him, smiling that sweet smile he and the other guys she’d caught in her web knew hid her devious side. She was out for blood. Since her dad was the sheriff, he had a feeling she was going to get it. Every last drop she thought she deserved because he’d had the audacity to dump her and ruined her plan to get back together at the dance.

The sheriff waved them into his office. “Let’s go, Dex. You’ve got some explaining to do.”

“Listen, Sheriff, Dex had nothing to do with the theft of that car, or how it ended up in the pond. Dex was at the dance with Laurie last night.”

Dex wished he deserved his father’s devotion and unwavering confidence. He wasn’t guilty of the charges, but he wasn’t innocent either.

“Step into my office, Steve. We’ll just see what Dex has to say about what really happened last night.”

His father turned and gave him one of those dad looks, telling him without words that Dex had better have a good explanation for not telling the whole truth this morning over breakfast about how great the dance was last night.

Dex took a seat in front of the Sheriff’s desk and refused to say anything. Not until the Sheriff gave up whatever he thought he knew. Or rather, what Laurie wanted her father to believe.

Dex stared up at his father, standing with anger flashing in his eyes after the sheriff laid out the evidence against Dex.

“Why didn’t you take Laurie home?” his father asked.

“She didn’t want to leave with me, said she’d get a friend to take her home, so I left.”

“And you can’t account for your time after leaving the dance,” the sheriff pointed out, an angry I’ve-got-you gleam in his eyes.

“I drove around in my truck for a while to cool down after the fight with Laurie.”

The sheriff snorted and rolled his eyes. “I suggest you call a lawyer and come up with a better defense than the bullshit you’re feeding your father.” The sheriff stood and waved them out of the office.

Dex walked out behind his dad in a daze. Even his father seemed at a loss for words. Dex wanted to explain what really happened, but couldn’t give them the whole truth. If Abigail’s strict parents found out he was seeing her behind their backs, she’d be in deep shit.

His father pulled out his cell and dialed.

“Who are you calling?”

“A lawyer,” he snapped, then moved a few steps away.

The sheriff stepped out of his office ready to process Dex and lock him up.

His dad glared and bit out, “Sheriff, you don’t have any proof he was in that car. I could drive a truck through the holes in that story. It’s Dex’s word against Laurie’s.”

“His hat was found in the vehicle. He claims he’s never been in the vehicle, nor does he know or associate with Mr. Fowler. Laurie, along with her friend, saw him on their way home.” The sheriff turned on Dex. “We’ll book you for DUI, grand theft auto, and destruction of property. You’re looking at three years minimum.”

Abigail stepped through the door and stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes wide with shock as the sheriff’s last words sank into Dex’s head. He’d spend the next three years in jail. No scholarship. No college education. No life as he’d planned it. This charge would follow him the rest of his life.

He’d lost everything.

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New Release Spotlight with Giveaway: Upside Down by Lia Riley (Off the Map #1)

Out this summer–read an excerpt, and enter to win some fun swag!

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Upside Down by Lia Riley
(Off the Map #1)
Published by: Grand Central
Publication date: August 5th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:
If You Never Get Lost, You’ll Never Be FoundTwenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying goodbye to painful memories—and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she’ll pretend to be a carefree exchange student. Everything is going to plan until she meets a surly surfer with hypnotic green eyes, and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he slunk back to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He’s never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. A single semester abroad won’t  cover something this serious. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once-in-a-lifetime . . . or if there’s a plane to California with her name on it.

EXCERPT:

“You’re doing fine, Talia,” Bran says. “Now, I’m going to need you to release your left hand, reach a few inches and grab the next hold.”

I grit my teeth. The way he talks, you’d think I’m scaling Everest or at least Mount Kilamanjaro. Instead—

“Excuse us, we’ll be by in a tic. That’s the way, Andy, right around the lady.”

I’m the lady. Andy, a kid who doesn’t look a day over seven, scrambles past in a flurry of Spiderman shoes and gap-toothed smiles. His parents bring up the rear, beaming at their agile little monkey with obvious pride.

And they aren’t the first group to go by.

Five Swedish women, another young couple and a guy in his mid-seventies shot past me during the last quarter hour.

The top is so close I can taste it. Bran is everything encouraging, but below is a twenty-foot drop. Not enough to kill, unless I fall with some sort of suicidal intent, still, what if–

“Take my hand.” Bran eases toward me.

“Nope.”

“Talia.”

“I’m serious. No.”

This is it. I can’t do it. I can’t let go.

He won’t admit the truth while I verge on full-scale panic attack mode, but there’s no doubt I’m giving him cause to lose interest. I’m spelling out the reasons I suck in bold, capital letters.

“Take a deep breath,” he orders.

“Breath taken.”

“Another one.”

“Okay.”

“I want your hand in mine, no bullshit. You’ll be safe. I’m going to keep you safe. Trust me.”

Somehow I do it. I lace my fingers with his and he helps me gain a few more feet. My head clears the boulder and there’s the steel marker identifying the summit. Holy shit, I’m going to get there.

A last step and we’re at the top. The kid in the Spiderman shoes munches a vegemite sandwich. I want to scoop him into a big fat squeeze except his parents would likely object. Instead, I tackle hug Bran.

“I knew you’d do it.” He buries his face in my hair.

“I didn’t.”

He turns me around to see the view and hugs my waist. “Your place is here, Captain, in the sun,” he whispers. “Don’t ever forget it.”

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AUTHOR BIO:Lia
Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn’t mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.

She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

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