New Release and Giveaway! YOUR RHYTHM by Katia Rose (Sherbrooke Station #1)

Your Rhythm
Katia Rose
(Sherbrooke Station #1)
Publication date: May 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

You know what they say: save a snare, bang a drummer.

Kay Fischer is well aware of what they say, and she intends to ignore it completely.

After her first step into the world of music journalism ended with a screw-up so royal it deserved a crown, Kay’s been struggling to re-stack the building blocks of her career. Salvation comes in the form of Sherbrooke Station, the latest alt-rock craze to grace Montreal’s legendary music scene.

A front page feature on the band everyone’s talking about seems like a foolproof shot at success, even after Kay meets their drummer. Matt Pearson might have a smile sexy enough to be the eighth deadly sin and a passion for music so powerful it makes her heart ache, but Kay’s got things under control.

She’s a professional, goddammit, and a professional would not get tongue-tied over a source, even a source who’s a six-foot, tattooed rock god with an affinity for tight jeans.

A professional would not find herself opening her door at an hour long past midnight to pull said source inside and lead him to her bed.

No, that’s not at all what a professional would do.

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EXCERPT:

Matt’s still propped against the edge of the bar when I reach him. The crowd is thinner over here and I get a good look at him from a few feet away: sandy undercut hair and an angular face, softened by full lips and just the right amount of stubble. He’s got the perfect features to pull off his eyebrow piercing, and while they’re currently covered by a navy blue coat, all my internet stalking has proved he’s got the perfect arms to pull off the collection of tattoos on both.

Eric the Surfer might have been hot in a general sense, but Matt Pearson is one hundred percent my type.

Did I just admit someone in Sherbrooke Station is my type?

“Hey,” I call sharply, hoping I can help myself deny that little revelation by acting annoyed with him. “Giving up that easy?”

He gives me a cautious glance and then shifts his eyes from side to side, like he’s making sure I’m really talking to him.

“On looking for me,” I elaborate. “I’m Kay Fischer.”

Now his dark eyes travel up and down the length of me in a completely unapologetic stare. He smirks when they reach mine again.

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Author Bio:

Katia Rose is not much of a Pina Colada person, but she does like getting caught in the rain. She prefers her romance served steamy with a side of smart, and is a sucker for quirky characters. A habit of jetting off to distant countries means she’s rarely in one place for very long, but she calls the frigid northland that is Canada home.

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New Release Review! RISK by Misty Evans (SEALs of Shadow Force #7)

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Risk
by Misty Evans

Synopsis:

Danger stalks Jena… Past mistakes haunt Noah. When a stalker comes after her, will Noah be able to put the past behind him and keep her safe?

Princess of pop Jenavieve DuMont knows better than to get close to a fan, but when she needs help protecting a prized show horse for her grandfather—as well as tracking down a missing portfolio of her latest songs—there’s only one man she can call on…her biggest fan ever.

Former SEAL Noah Pierce has been in love with his best friend’s little sister since Jena stole his heart when they were just kids. He thought the two of them had it all until she refused to marry him once she hit the big time. All these years later, his heart is still a wreck, but Jena needs him. He can’t say no.

Once he lands in Tennessee, Noah realizes the horse isn’t the only one in need of protection. When a stalker draws near, Jena loses more than her songs. A killer goes after those closest to her and will stop at nothing in order to ruin her life.

Review:

While I liked Jena and Noah (second chance romance FTW!), loved watching Queen B in action as always, and the “whodunit” aspect of the story kept me guessing, Risk isn’t going to be my hands-down favorite of the series. There was a bit more waffling than felt necessary throughout–are they back together, or aren’t they? Will Jena and Noah continue on their current career paths, or choose a path that will allow them to go forward together more easily? Just when I thought they’d decided, it became clear that these questions were up in the air again, and it was frustrating at times.

Still, there were more individual bits here that I liked than ones than I didn’t. Jena and Noah were good together, and I enjoyed their interactions with many of the secondary characters as well. (Ash and Kaitlyn? There must be a book there, surely! ;)) The HEA felt well-earned, and though I was sure that things weren’t exactly as they seemed throughout the suspense plot, I didn’t have it all figured out before the truth was revealed. Better yet, Ms. Evans appears to be setting us up for yet another spin-off series–with spies, nonetheless!–which will definitely have me haunting her website to see when the first book will be released. (Not until 2019, according to the back of this book. Here’s to hoping the time will fly between now and then!)

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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About the series:

Shadow Force International: A group of former SEALs, abandoned by the United States and labeled as rogue operatives, who now work as a black ops team performing private intelligence, security, and paramilitary missions for those who have nowhere else to turn.

Books in the SEALs of Shadow Force Series:

Fatal Truth – Trace and Savanna
Fatal Honor – Miles and Charlotte
Fatal Courage – Jax and Ruby
Fatal Love – Cal and Beatrice; Connor and Sabrina
Fatal Vision – Colton and Shelby; Connor and Sabrina
Fatal Thrill – Jon and Jaya
Risk – Noah and Jena

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New Release and Giveaway! FURYBORN by Claire Legrand

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Title: Furyborn
Author: Claire Legrand
ISBN: 9781492656623, Hardcover
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable—until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world—and of each other.

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Excerpt:

1

RIELLE

“Lord Commander Dardenne came to me in the middle of the night, his daughter in his arms. They smelled of fire; their clothes were singed. He could hardly speak. I had never seen the man afraid before. He thrust Rielle into my arms and said, ‘Help us. Help her. Don’t let them take her from me.’”

—Testimony of Grand Magister Taliesin Belounnon, on Lady Rielle Dardenne’s involvement in the Boon Chase massacreApril 29, Year 998 of the Second Age

TWO YEARS EARLIER

Rielle Dardenne hurried into Tal’s office and dropped the sparrow’s message onto his desk.

“Princess Runa is dead,” she announced.

She wouldn’t describe her mood as excited exactly, but her own kingdom, Celdaria, and their northeastern neighbor, Borsvall, had lived in a state of tension for so many decades that it was hardly noteworthy when, say, a Celdarian merchant ship sank off Borsvall’s coast or patrols came to blows near the border.

But a murdered Borsvall princess? That was news. And Rielle wanted to dissect every piece of it.

Tal let out a sigh, set down his pen, and dragged his ink-smudged hands through his messy blond hair. The polished golden flame pinned to his lapel winked in the sunlight.

“Perhaps,” Tal suggested, turning a look on Rielle that was not quite disapproval and not quite amusement, “you should consider looking less thrilled about a princess’s murder?”

She slid into the chair across from him. “I’m not happy about it or anything. I’m simply intrigued.” Rielle pulled the slip of paper back across the desk and read over the inked words once more. “So you do think it was assassination? Audric thinks so.”

“Promise me you won’t do anything stupid today, Rielle.”

She smiled sweetly at him. “When have I ever done anything stupid?”

He quirked an eyebrow. “The city guard is on high alert. I want you here, safe in the temple, in case anything happens.” He took the message from her, scanning its contents. “How did you get this, anyway? No, wait. I know. Audric gave it to you.”

Rielle stiffened. “Audric keeps me informed. He’s a good friend. Where’s the harm in that?”

Tal didn’t answer, but he didn’t have to.

“If you have something to say to me,” she snapped, color climbing up her cheeks, “then just say it. Or else let’s begin our lesson.”

Tal watched her a moment longer, then turned to pick up four enormous books sitting on the shelf behind him.

“Here,” he said, ignoring the mutinous expression on her face. “I’ve marked some passages for you to read. Today will be devoted to quiet study. And I’ll test you later, so don’t even think about skimming.”

Rielle narrowed her eyes at the book on the top of the stack. “A Concise History of the Second Age, Volume I: The Aftermath of the Angelic Wars.” She made a face. “This hardly looks concise.”

“It’s all a matter of perspective,” he said, returning to the papers on his desk.

Rielle’s favorite place in Tal’s office was the window seat overlooking the main temple courtyard. It was piled high with scarlet cushions lined in gold piping, and when she sat there, dangling her legs out into the sun, she could almost forget that there was an enormous world beyond the temple and her city—a world she would never see.

She settled by the window, kicked off her boots, hiked up her heavy lace-trimmed skirts, and rested her bare feet on the sill. The spring sunlight washed her legs in warmth, and soon she was thinking of how Audric blossomed on bright, sun-filled days like this one. How his skin seemed to glow and crackle, begging to be touched.

Tal cleared his throat, breaking her focus.

Tal knew her far too well.

She cracked open A Concise History, took one look at the tiny, faded text, and imagined tossing the book out the window and into the temple courtyard, where citizens were filing in for morning prayers—to pray that the riders they had wagered upon in today’s race would win, no doubt. Every temple in the capital would be full of such eager souls, not just there in the Pyre—Tal’s temple, where citizens worshipped Saint Marzana the firebrand—but in the House of Light and the House of Night as well and the Baths and the Firmament, the Forge and the Holdfast. Whispered prayers in all seven temples, to all seven saints and their elements.

Wasted prayers, thought Rielle with a slight, sharp thrill. The other racers will look like children on ponies compared to me.

She flipped through a few pages, biting the inside of her lip until she felt calm enough to speak. “I’ve heard many in the Borsvall court are blaming Celdaria for Runa’s death. We wouldn’t do such a thing, would we?”

Tal’s pen scratched across his paper. “Certainly not.”

“But it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, does it? If King Hallvard’s councils convince him that we killed his daughter, he will declare war at last.”

Tal dropped his pen with a huff of annoyance. “I’m not going to get any work done today, am I?”

Rielle swallowed her grin. If only you knew how true that is, dearest Tal.

“I’m sorry if I have questions about the political climate of our country,” she said. “Does that fall under the category of things we’re not allowed to discuss, lest my poor vulnerable brain shatter from the stress?”

A smile twitched at the corner of Tal’s mouth. “Borsvall might declare war, yes.”

“You don’t seem concerned about this possibility.”

“I find it unlikely. We’ve been on the edge of war with Borsvall for decades, and yet it has never happened. And it will never happen, because the Borsvall people may be warmongers, but King Hallvard is neither healthy nor stupid. We would flatten his army. He can’t afford a war with anyone, much less with Celdaria.”

“Audric said…” Rielle hesitated. A twist of unease slipped down her throat. “Audric said he thinks Princess Runa’s death, and the slave rebellion in Kirvaya, means it’s time. That the Queens are coming.”

Silence fell over the room like a shroud.

“Audric has always been fascinated with the prophecy,” Tal said, his voice deceptively calm. “He’s been looking for signs of the Queens’ coming for years.”

“He sounds rather convinced this time.”

“A slave rebellion and a dead princess are hardly enough to—”

“But I heard Grand Magister Duval talking about how there have been storms across the ocean in Meridian,” she pressed on, searching his face. “Even as far as Ventera and Astavar. Strange storms, out of season.”

Tal blinked. Ah, thought Rielle. You didn’t know that, did you?

“Storms do occur out of season from time to time,” Tal said. “The empirium works in mysterious ways.”

Rielle curled her fingers in her skirts, taking comfort in the fact that soon she would be in her riding trousers and boots, her collar open to the breeze.

She would be on the starting line.

“The report I read,” she continued, “said that a dust storm in southern Meridian had shut down the entire port of Morsia for days.”

“Audric needs to stop showing you every report that comes across his desk.”

“Audric didn’t show me anything. I found this one myself.”

Tal raised an eyebrow. “You mean you snuck into his office when he wasn’t there and went through his papers.”

Rielle’s cheeks grew hot. “I was looking for a book I’d left behind.”

“Indeed. And what would Audric say if he knew you’d been in his office without his permission?”

“He wouldn’t care. I’m free to come and go as I please.”

Tal closed his eyes. “Lady Rielle, you can’t just visit the crown prince’s private rooms day and night as though it’s nothing. You’re not children anymore. And you are not his fiancée.”

Rielle lost her breath for an instant. “I’m well aware of that.”

Tal waved a hand and rose from his chair, effectively ending all talk of the prophecy and its Queens.

“The city is crowded today—and unpredictable,” he said, walking across the room to pour himself another cup of tea. “Word is spreading about Princess Runa’s death. In such a climate, the empirium can behave in similarly unpredictable ways. Perhaps we should begin a round of prayers to steady our minds. Amid the chaos of the world, the burning flame serves as an anchor, binding us in peace to the empirium and to God.”

Rielle glared at him. “Don’t use your magister voice, Tal. It makes you sound old.”

He sighed, took a sip of his tea. “I am old. And grumpy, thanks to you.”

“Thirty-two is hardly old, especially to already be Grand Magister of the Pyre.” She paused. She would need to proceed carefully. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you were appointed as the next Archon. Surely, with someone as talented as you beside me, I could safely watch the Chase from your box—”

“Don’t try to flatter me, Lady Rielle.” His eyes sparked at her. There was the Tal she liked—the ferocious firebrand, not the pious teacher. “It isn’t safe for you out there right now, not to mention dangerous for everyone else if something set you off and you lost control.”

Rielle slammed shut A Concise History and rose from the window seat. “Damn you, Tal.”

“Not in the temple, please,” Tal admonished over the rim of his cup.

“I’m not a child. Do you really think I don’t know better by now?” Her voice turned mocking. “‘Rielle, let’s say a prayer together to calm you.’ ‘Rielle, let’s sing a song about Saint Katell the Magnificent to take your mind off things.’ ‘No, Rielle, you can’t go to the masque. You might forget yourself. You might have fun, God forbid.’ If Father had his way, I’d stay locked up for the rest of my life with my nose buried in a book or on my knees in prayer, whipping myself every time I had a stray angry thought. Is that the kind of life you would like for me too?”

Tal watched her, unmoved. “If it meant you were safe and that others were safe as well? Yes, I would.”

“Kept under lock and key like some criminal.” A familiar, frustrated feeling rose within her; she pushed it back down with a vengeance. She would not lose control, not today of all days.

“Do you know,” she said, her voice falsely bright, “that when it storms, Father takes me down to the servants’ quarters and gives me dumbwort? It puts me to sleep, and he locks me up and leaves me there.”

After a pause, Tal answered, “Yes.”

“I used to fight him. He would hold me down and slap me, pinch my nose shut until I couldn’t breathe and had to open my mouth. Then he would shove the vial between my lips and make me drink, and I would spit it up, but he would keep forcing me to drink, whispering to me everything I’d ever done wrong, and right in the middle of yelling how much I hated him, I would fall asleep. And when I would wake up, the storm would be over.”

A longer pause. “Yes,” Tal answered softly. “I know.”

“He thinks storms are too provocative for me. They give me ideas, he says.”

Tal cleared his throat. “That was my fault.”

“I know.”

“But the medicine, that was his suggestion.”

She gave him a withering look. “And did you try to talk him out of it?”

He did not answer, and the patience on his face left her seething.

“I don’t fight him anymore,” she said. “I hear a crack of thunder and go below without him even asking me to. How pathetic I’ve become.”

“Rielle…” Tal sighed, shook his head. “Everything I could say to you, I’ve said before.”

She approached him, letting the loneliness she typically hid from him—from everyone—soften her face. Come, good Magister Belounnon. Pity your sweet Rielle. He broke first, looking away from her. Something like sorrow shifted across his face, and his jaw tightened.

Good.

“He’d let me sleep through life if he could,” she said.

“He loves you, Rielle. He worries for you.”

Heat snapped at Rielle’s fingertips, growing along with her anger. With a stubborn stab of fury, she let it come. She knew she shouldn’t, that an outburst would only make it more difficult to sneak away, but suddenly she could not bring herself to care.

He loves you, Rielle.

A father who loved his daughter would not make her his prisoner.

She seized one of the candles from Tal’s desk and watched with grim satisfaction as the wick burst into a spitting, unruly flame. As she stared at it, she imagined her fury as a flooding river, steadily spilling over its banks and feeding the flame in her hands.

The flame grew—the size of a pen, a dagger, a sword. Then every candle followed suit, a forest of fiery blades.

Tal rose from his desk and picked up the handsome polished shield from its stand in the corner of the room. Every elemental who had ever lived—every waterworker and windsinger, every shadowcaster and every firebrand like Tal—had to use a casting, a physical object uniquely forged by their own hands, to access their power. Their singular power, the one element they could control.

But not Rielle.

She needed no casting, and fire was not the only element that obeyed her.

All of them did.

Tal stood behind her, one hand holding his shield, the other hand resting gently on her own. As a child, back when she had still thought she loved Tal, such touches had thrilled her.

Now she seriously considered punching him.

“In the name of Saint Marzana the Brilliant,” Tal murmured, “we offer this prayer to the flames, that the empirium might hear our plea and grant us strength: Fleet-footed fire, blaze not with fury or abandon. Burn steady and true, burn clean and burn bright.”

Rielle bit down on harsh words. How she hated praying. Every familiar word felt like a new bar being added to the cage her father and Tal had crafted for her.

The room began to shake—the inkwell on Tal’s desk, the panes of glass in the open window, Tal’s half-finished cup of tea.

“Rielle?” Tal prompted, shifting his shield. In his body behind her, she felt a rising hot tension as he prepared to douse her fire with his own power. Despite her best efforts, the concern in his voice caused her a twinge of remorse. He meant well, she knew. He wanted, desperately, for her to be happy.

Unlike her father.

So Rielle bowed her head and swallowed her anger. After all, what she was about to do might turn Tal against her forever. She could allow him this small victory.

“Blaze not with fury or abandon,” she repeated, closing her eyes. She imagined setting aside every scrap of emotion, every sound, every thought, until her mind was a vast field of darkness—except for the tiny spot of light that was the flame in her hands.

Then she allowed the darkness to seep across the flame as well and was left alone in the cool, still void of her mind.

The room calmed.

Tal’s hand fell away.

Rielle listened as he returned his shield to its stand. The prayer had scraped her clean, and in the wake of her anger she felt…nothing. A hollow heart and an empty head.

When she opened her eyes, they were dry and tired. She wondered bitterly what it would be like to live without a constant refrain of prayers in her thoughts, warning her against her own feelings.

The temple bells chimed eleven times; Rielle’s pulse jumped. Any moment now, she would hear Ludivine’s signal.

She turned toward the window. No more prayers, no more reading. Every muscle in her body surged with energy. She wanted to ride.

“I’d rather be dead than live as my father’s prisoner,” she said at last, unable to resist that last petulant stab.

“Dead like your mother?”

Rielle froze. When she faced Tal, he did not look away. She had not expected that cruelty. From her father, yes, but never from Tal.

The memory of long-ago flames blazed across her vision.

“Did Father instruct you to bring that up if I got out of hand?” she asked, keeping her voice flat and cool. “What with the Chase and all.”

“Yes,” Tal answered, unflinching.

“Well, I’m happy to tell you I’ve only killed the one time. You needn’t worry yourself.”

After a moment, Tal turned to straighten the books on his desk. “This is as much for your safety as it is for everyone else’s. If the king discovered we’d been hiding the truth of your power all these years…You know what could happen. Especially to your father. And yet he does it because he loves you more than you’ll ever understand.”

Rielle laughed sharply. “That isn’t reason enough to treat me like this. I’ll never forgive him for it. Someday, I’ll stop forgiving you too.”

“I know,” Tal said, and at the sadness in his voice, Rielle nearly took pity on him.

Nearly.

But then a great crash sounded from downstairs, and an unmistakable cry of alarm.

Ludivine.

Tal gave Rielle that familiar look he so often had—when she had, at seven, overflowed their pool at the Baths; when he had found her, at fifteen, the first time she snuck out to Odo’s tavern. That look of What did I do to deserve such trials?

Rielle gazed innocently back at him.

“Stay here,” he ordered. “I mean it, Rielle. I appreciate your frustration—truly, I do—but this is about more than the injustice of you feeling bored.”

Rielle returned to the window seat, hoping her expression appeared suitably abashed.

“I love you, Tal,” she said, and the truth of that was enough to make her hate herself a little.

“I know,” he replied. Then he threw on his magisterial robe and swept out the door.

“Magister, it’s Lady Ludivine,” came a panicked voice from the hallway—one of Tal’s young acolytes. “She’d only just arrived in the chapel, my lord, when she turned pale and collapsed. I don’t know what happened!”

“Summon my healer,” Tal instructed, “and send a message to the queen. She’ll be in her box at the starting line. Tell her that her niece has taken ill and will not be joining her there.”

Once they had gone, Rielle smiled and yanked on her boots.

Stay here?

Not a chance.

She hurried through the sitting room outside Tal’s office and into the temple’s red-veined marble hallways, where embroidered flourishes of shimmering flames lined the plush carpets. The temple entryway, its parquet floor polished to a sheen of gold, was a flurry of activity as worshippers, acolytes, and servants hurried across to the peaked chapel doors.

“It’s Lady Ludivine,” a young acolyte whispered to her companion as Rielle passed. “Apparently she’s taken ill.”

Rielle grinned, imagining everyone fussing over poor Ludivine, tragically lovely and faint on the temple floor. Ludivine would enjoy the attention—and the reminder that she had the entire capital held like a puppet on its master’s strings.

Even so, Rielle would owe her a tremendous favor after this.

Whatever it was, it would be more than worth it.

Ludivine’s horse stood next to her own just outside the temple, held by a young stable hand who seemed on the verge of panic. He recognized Rielle and sagged with relief.

“Pardon me, Lady Rielle, but is Lady Ludivine all right?” he asked.

“Haven’t the faintest,” Rielle replied, swinging up into the saddle. Then she snapped the reins, and her mare bolted down the main road that led from the Pyre into the heart of the city, hooves clattering against the cobblestones. A tumbled array of apartments and temple buildings rose around them—gray stone walls engraved with scenes of the capital city’s creation, rounded roofs of burnished copper, slender columns wrapped in flowering ivy, white fountains crowned with likenesses of the seven saints in prayer. So many visitors had come from all over the world to Âme de la Terre for the Chase that the cool spring air now pressed thick and close. The city smelled of sweat and spices, hot horse and hot coin.

As Rielle tore down the road, the crowd parted in alarm on either side of her, shouting angry curses until they realized who she was and fell silent. She guided her mare through the twisting streets and made for the main city gates, her body pulled tight with nerves.

But she would not give in to her power today.

She would compete in the Boon Chase, as any citizen was free to do, and prove to her father that she could control herself, even when her life was in danger and the eyes of the entire city were upon her.

She would prove to him, and to Tal, that she deserved to live a normal life.

 

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Furyborn Video Trailers Link:

Blood Queen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTe7AZmSHh4

Sun Queen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-f2jvmmyok

 

About the Author:Claire Legrand cover

Claire Legrand is the author of several novels for children and young adults, most notably The Cavendish Home for Boys and GirlsSome Kind of Happiness, and Winterspell. Claire lives in Princeton, New Jersey. Visit claire-legrand.com.

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Sale Blitz! COLD IN THE SHADOWS by Toni Anderson (Cold Justice #5) is FREE!

COLD IN THE SHADOWS by Toni Anderson is available now for free! Both incredibly sexy and suspenseful, this book is a must-read. Find out more about COLD IN THE SHADOWS below and grab your copy while it’s free!

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About COLD IN THE SHADOWS

Spine-tingling suspense and dangerously seductive romance!!“- Ripe For Reader

Attacked and fleeing for her life, biologist Audrey Lockhart is forced to put her trust in an enigmatic stranger who saves her from certain death.

Working in the shadows, CIA Officer Patrick Killion needs to figure out if the feisty frog biologist is a deadly assassin or an innocent scapegoat. And the only way to do that, is to gain her trust.

Audrey discovers her rescue was actually an abduction and the man she thought was her savior is her captor. And in the world of covert ops she’s terrified she’s nothing more than a pawn in the game she doesn’t understand.

But Killion is falling hard and fast for his target and suddenly he has his hands full, dealing with a smart, beautiful woman who is furious at his deception. Betrayal is everywhere and Killion doesn’t know who to trust. The organization he works for? Or the woman he’s falling in love with?

Booksellers’ Best Awards Finalist in Romantic Suspense, 2016. COLD IN THE SHADOWS is a 100K-word Romantic Suspense that can be read as a STANDALONE novel. It is the fifth book in the award-winning and bestselling Cold Justice Series.

Add COLD IN THE SHADOWS to your Goodreads list here!

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Available for Preorder – COLD BLOODED

The next book in Toni Anderson’s COLD JUSTICE series releases June 12th – find out more about it below and preorder your copy now!

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About COLD BLOODED:

Available June 12th

Searching for the truth…

Disgraced investigative journalist Pip West is devastated when she discovers her best friend’s body face-down in a tranquil lake. When cops and federal agents determine that her friend overdosed then drowned, Pip knows they’re mistaken and intends to prove it.

Special Agent Hunt Kincaid doesn’t trust journalists and has no patience for Pip’s

delusions, especially since her meddling could reveal why the FBI is interested in her friend’s last days. The dead scientist worked at the cutting edge of vaccine research and might have a connection to a new, weaponized, vaccine-resistant anthrax strain that just hit the black market.

…just turned deadly.

Pip is thrown off her game by grief and her unexpected attraction to the handsome federal agent. Hunt battles the same unwelcome pull, determined to resist the heat that threatens to consume them both. But the more Pip digs, the closer she gets to both the sexy FBI agent, and to a bioweapons terrorist who’s more than capable of cold-bloodedly sacrificing anyone who gets in his way.

Add COLD BLOODED to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2IIJoYs

COLD BLOODED releases June 12th – preorder your copy of COLD BLOODED now!

 

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Did you know the first book in the Cold Justice series is available for free? Get your hands on A COLD DARK PLACE!

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About Toni Anderson:

New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.

Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.

If you want to know when Toni’s next book will be out, visit her website (http://www.toniandersonauthor.com) and sign up for her newsletter. If you want to read other fascinating stories about life in a city that, during winter, is sometimes colder than Mars, friend her on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson).

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Pre-Order Blitz! PLAYING DIRTY by Lauren Hawkeye

We’re ONE WEEK away from the release of PLAYING DIRTY by Lauren Hawkeye – read an excerpt below and preorder your copy now!

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About PLAYING DIRTY:

His guiltiest pleasure

She’s wild, wicked…and pure, sexy trouble

It takes a nanosecond for Beth Marchande to see that Ford Lassiter worships rules and order. Yet behind his leonine eyes this gorgeous but tightly wound man is hiding something much deeper than lust. He’s hiding a deliciously raw, hungry need to take control while Beth relinquishes hers. But for this wild, fierce woman there’ll be no holding back his heart…no matter the cost.

“Dare is Harlequin’s hottest line yet. Every book should come with a free fan. I dare you to try them!”

—Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author

PLAYING DIRTY releases June 1st – Preorder Now!

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Excerpt:

Damn.

As if he’d spoken out loud, Beth’s eyes fluttered open. Lifting her head, she looked across the bar, over to where he sat, aching…and right into his eyes.

Earlier today her eyes had been the color of the afternoon sky, but now they were sapphire fire, the flames licking along his skin. His gut tightened as she smiled lazily, then slowly, sensually disengaged herself from the tangle of limbs. Behind her, the couple continued their dance, but Ford didn’t care—his eyes were on the woman who was crossing the room toward him with slow, deliberate undulations of her hips.

“Fancy meeting you here, Sir Lassiter.” She stopped well into his personal space, and that vanilla perfume made his mouth water and his jaw clench.

Sir?” He arched an eyebrow and tried really hard not to do what he wanted, which was to reach out and place his hands at her waist, to slide her shirt up and feel the warmth of her skin beneath.

“Mmm, you seem like a sir.” Beth smiled and inched closer, stepping right between his spread thighs. He felt his expression darken—she knew exactly what she was doing, what she was asking for.

“What makes you say that?” His instincts told him to tug her flush against his body, to press her to him so she could feel exactly what she was doing to him.

He did not.

“You seem all proper and noble…like an aristocrat. A knight. Sir Lassiter.” Beth nudged forward just a whisper, and he felt the curve of her hip press into his inner thigh.

His mouth went dry.

“Like you’re trying so hard to do what you think is right. But tell me something.” Tilting her head back, she looked up into his eyes, searching. “Why is denying yourself something that you want, that we both want, the right thing? I know you feel it, too.”

Her open question gutted him. He’d been in the boardroom with billionaires, with sheikhs, with sharks, and he’d bested them all.

The little woman who smelled like cupcakes? She was bringing him to his knees.

“I—” He started to explain, but she cut him off, stepping back, her sudden frown breaking the spell.

“I see.” Her lips pinched together in a mockery of a smile. “I’m not the kind of woman you want to get involved with, right? Not even for a night. Let me assure you, that’s your loss.”

Wait…what? “Wait just a damn minute.” When Beth would have turned, Ford did as he’d imagined, catching her by the waist and hauling her back into the vee of his legs. This time her pelvis connected with the steel length of his erection, and he savored her sharp little intake of breath. “What do you mean?”

“I think it’s pretty self-explanatory.” Beth regarded him coldly, though she didn’t back down. “My hair, my tattoos… I’m far too wild for you.”

“Oh, do you think so?” The way she was looking up at him, so certain she was right, was a challenge, and he felt something inside him roaring to life to meet it.

She thought he was turned off because she wasn’t his usual type? Well, he couldn’t deny that she was not at all the kind of woman he was usually drawn to, and his instant attraction to her puzzled him more than a bit.

But that wasn’t the problem. The problem was what she made him feel.

“I don’t give a damn about the color of your hair or the ink on your skin. Got it?” The need to prove that she wasn’t the problem was quickly overriding his sense of restraint, the only other thing that had held him back from accepting her sweet offer that afternoon.

“I don’t know you, yet you make me want things I’m not comfortable wanting. Make me feel things I shouldn’t.” His hands at her waist squeezed, hard, to emphasize his point, and he savored her resultant shudder, which ratcheted up his own excitement.

“Why would you be uncomfortable wanting something if it doesn’t hurt anyone else?” She was watching him again, lids heavy over those big eyes. “Or maybe you think that it is hurting someone?”

He kept his stare on her face, absorbing every nuance of her expression, which was open, honest.

Something told him that Beth Marchande wasn’t going to be disgusted with the demands he might make of her.

“Sometimes a little bit of hurt is good, Sir Lassiter…especially when I’m begging you for it.”

“Fuck.” Dragging his hands up her sides, over her rib cage and the swell of her breasts, Ford clasped Beth by the shoulders and tugged her forward, crushing her smirking lips to his own.

Rather than offering him a kiss as sweet as the vanilla she smelled of, she moaned beneath the pressure and opened, her tongue surging out to tangle with his.

One hand slid behind her head and fisted in the long mane of raven and amethyst hair, just as his fingers had itched to. He tugged her head to the side roughly and then dragged his lips down the column of her throat, settling over her pulse and sinking his teeth in to claim.

“Well, what’s it going to be, Sir Lassiter?” Beth’s breathy question rasped in his ear, and she shuddered when his teeth marked her skin. “Are you going to be good? Or are you going to be bad? What do you think?”

Shoving his glass aside—he felt intoxicated just from being near her—Ford stood, making sure that every plane of his body glided against hers as he did.

Her eyes glittered with the same need that he felt as he quickly pulled a fifty from his wallet and tossed it onto the surface of the bar.

“I think…” Ford deliberately wrapped his fingers around her own, drawing them up to his lips to nip. “I think that we’re going to go back to my room right now. And I’m going to find something better for that smart mouth to do.”

 

About Lauren Hawkeye:

Lauren Hawkeye/ Lauren Jameson never imagined that she’d wind up telling stories for a living… though when she looks back, it’s easy to see that she’s the only one who is surprised. Always “the kid who read all the time”, Lauren made up stories about her favorite characters once she’d finished a book… and once spent an entire year narrating her own life internally. No, really. But where she was just plain odd before publication, now she can at least claim to have an artistic temperament.

Lauren lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her husband, toddler, pit bull and idiot cat, though they do not live in an igloo, nor do they drive a dogsled. In her nonexistent spare time Lauren can be found knitting (her husband claims that her snobby yarn collection is exorbitant), reading anything she can get her hands on, or sweating her way through spin class. She loves to hear from her readers!

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A Conversation with Tiffany Brooks, Author of REALITY GOLD (with a giveaway!)

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Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Tiffany!

THANK YOU for having me!

What 5 things should readers know about you?

  • I live in California and I take pride I’m usually the first one in my family to yell “who felt that” after an earthquake.
  • I think of myself a reader first, writer second.
  • I can read really fast—usually I can read nearly any book in an hour, although I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older it’s closer to two hours, which is worse sign of aging than finding a bunch of new wrinkles.
  • When I was in middle school, I used to scour books for mistakes and then mail a list of corrections to publishers.
  • I always imagined my dream job would be reading books at a publishing house or a movie studio—I’d read manuscripts at home, summarize the plot and send the write-ups to someone who would make a yes or no decision, and I’m embarrassed to say I only somewhat recently learned that job actually exists. I thought it was just an imaginary perfect job.

LOL to #1 🙂 and yes, #3 is distressing! #5 really DOES seem like an ideal job…which is probably why it doesn’t show up in any of the job listings we’ve looked at 🙁

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

My husband watches a lot of reality shows—gold mining shows, fishing shows, shows that follow park rangers around—and they aren’t really my thing, so sometimes when I’m watching them I’ll space out and start imagining “what if” the show was like this or that instead. He was watching a treasure show where they always found great clues but none of them really went anywhere, so I started thinking “what if…”

I like it! Great inspiration…

 

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

I feel like I’ve been writing forever, although this is my first published novel. I used to carry around a notebook and I’d write down character names and story ideas. It’s funny though, because everyone always asks what the best advice I’ve ever gotten as a writer is, and its “make sure you actually write.” And I thought I was doing that with my notebook. Ha! Now I understand—that’s idea catching, and it’s great, but it’s not writing. Sometimes I’ll be sitting at my computer staring at a blank screen and I’ll have to repeat “put words on the page” to remind myself it doesn’t have to be (and won’t be) perfect the first time, but the first step is to get words on the page.

That is EXCELLENT advice. Even though it’s so much easier to just catch ideas… 😉

 

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

I’m working on two different series, both of which are connected to Reality Gold. One of them is a series that follows other characters from Reality Gold as they go off on new adventures. The other one is a series that plays with the idea of characters challenging their reality.

Sounds great! And fun to write…

 

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

I’m reading a middle grade book called the Parker Inheritance, and so far I love it. Someone pitched it to me as The Westing Game meets Holes with a lens on civil rights. I love puzzle books and treasure hunt books so I was excited to hear about it. I’ll read any genre for any age group if it’s a great story.

Sounds intriguing! I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

 

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

Come for the characters, stay for the adventure! Teen girl comes of age and finds herself while filming a reality tv show on a deserted, cursed treasure island.

Perfect! Thanks so much, Tiffany!

 

Author Bio:

Tiffany Brooks author photo

Tiffany Brooks lives in San Francisco with her family and a bunch of pets, who luckily don’t object to being featured on her Instagram. The best thing about living on the west coast is she can find out what happens on Game of Thrones three hours ahead of air time. That, plus not having winter weather, means she’ll never move back east, although that doesn’t stop her New England family from asking when she’ll be moving “back home” to NYC or Connecticut. Reality Gold, her debut novel, kicks off the Shifting Reality Collection, a YA trilogy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook

Reality Gold cover

Reality Gold
Tiffany Brooks
Published by: Dunemere Books
Publication date: May 22nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

“There are only two ways to survive Internet infamy: drop offline and play dead or give everyone something bigger and better to talk about. I’ve tried the first strategy. Now it’s time to try the second…”

A year and a lifetime ago, Riley Ozaki was just an ordinary high school junior in San Francisco, stressing over boys and grades. But an ill-conceived editorial in her school paper brought her an internet avalanche of public-shaming and ruined her life.

Now Riley’s on a helicopter dropping into a deserted island with nineteen other teens, to star in a reality show that will be her redemption. She has no other choice. National attention was what got her into this mess, and only the same level of exposure can get her out. Besides, Riley has a few tricks up her sleeve.

With a cast of vivid characters who will stop at nothing to win the show, a cursed island setting, and a priceless treasure waiting to be discovered, Reality Gold will drop readers right into a scheming web of lies, love, and betrayal.

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New Release Review! TAMING HIS HELLION COUNTESS by Sorcha Mowbray (Lustful Lords #2)

Today we are celebrating the release of TAMING HIS HELLION COUNTESS, the second book in the Lustful Lords series by Sorcha Mowbray. This book is a historical romance title from Jack’s House Publishing. Check out the buy links and teasers for the book below.

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Taming His Hellion Countess (Lustful Lords #2) by Sorcha Mowbray


Book Blurb:

A duty bound earl and a jewel thief might find forever if he can steal her heart…

Robert Cooper, the Earl of Brougham must marry in order to fulfill his duty to the title. He’s decided on a rather mild mannered, biddable woman who most considered firmly on the shelf. But, her family is on solid financial ground and has no scandals attached to their name.

Lady Emily Winterburn, sister of the Earl of Dunmere, is not what she seems. With a heart as big as her wild streak she finds herself prepared to protect her brother from his bad choices, even if it means stealing from the Ton. But marrying their way out of trouble is simply out of the question. What woman in her right mind would shackle herself to a man, let alone one of the notorious Lustful Lords?

Cooper’s carefully laid plans are ruined once he must decide between courting his unwilling bride-to-be and taming the wild woman he caught stealing–until he discovers they are one and the same. And when love sinks it’s relentless talons into his heart? He’ll do anything to possess the wanton who fires his blood and touches his soul.

Taming His Hellion Countess cover

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Review:

The second book in Ms. Mowbray’s Lustful Lords series once again gives us erotic romance in a historical (Victorian) setting, and OMG, have a fan handy for the many, many steamy scenes between Cooper and Emily! The jewel thief/wallflower who Cooper has inadvertently selected for his “safe” society wife completely throws a wrench into his future plans when he learns what she really does at the many society balls she attends. Of course, by that time he’s already in too deep and there’s pretty much only one outcome for him–to fall in love with his future wife.

Though it was obvious that both Emily and Cooper had major trust issues to deal with before they could truly have the kind of relationship they soon decided they wanted, it did seem as if they spent a bit too much time covering the same “I’m not sure I can trust you” ground together. I spent a lot of time urging the two of them to just talk to each other, already! Emily’s brother’s gambling “cure” also seemed to be awfully quick and painless–I’m hoping he’ll get a book of his own at some point so we can see the actual struggle he must have gone through in order for things to have gotten so bad in the first place, and how difficult turning things around was for him. He’s not my favorite character, but I am interested to see how Ms. Mowbray could go about turning him into a hero.

Taming His Hellion Countess works as a standalone, if you haven’t yet read the first book in the series ( His Hand-Me-Down Countess ) you should do just fine–if you have, though, Stone and Theo play a fun role here and it was fun to see them again, now settled and comfortable in their relationship.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

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His Hand-Me-Down Countess (Lustful Lords #1)

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——————————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Sorcha Mowbray author photi

Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.

She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!

For more information about Sorcha, please visit her website, “Like” Sorcha on Facebook and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads. Join Sorcha’s newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming releases. She loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at sorcha@sorchamowbray.com.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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First Look and Giveaway! IN MY SKIN by Shannon McKenna (The Obsidian Files #3)

Here’s your FIRST LOOK at NYTimes and USA Today bestselling author Shannon McKenna’s upcoming romantic suspense novel, IN MY SKIN! Join us as we get our first peek at this thrilling tale of deadly danger and burning desire. Don’t miss out on information about an Obsidian Files novella, an excerpt, plus TEN people will win an eBook copy of RIGHT THROUGH ME or MY NEXT BREATH, the first two books in the series.

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Title: In My Skin
Author: Shannon McKenna
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Self-published
Series: The Obsidian Files #3
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Format: Print & Digital

Synopsis:

Come back to me …

Luke remembers a few things. Just not his last name, or anyone he ever knew. He knows that he’s a supersoldier, genetically enhanced and loaded up with brain implants. He just escaped from a year-long hell of captivity, and to protect his family and friends from his tormentors, he blocked his memories. Now he needs those memories back, fast … or he and those he loves will die agonizing deaths.

Luke’s dangerous plan to reconnect with his past—and stay alive in the present—has drawn his enemies’ attention to the tough and sexy Dani LaSalle. He’s duty bound to protect the luscious beauty from the evil pursuing them, but he can’t control the scorching desire she awakens in him.

Dani’s strict routine has been trashed by Luke’s explosive arrival. This rock-hard slab of valiant, smoldering manhood appears out of nowhere, saves her life, spirits her away to his mountain lair and bewilders her with tales of sadistic researchers, enhanced assassins. Is this gorgeous, problematic sex god just plain crazy—or is she? But Luke can do things with his mind that are just as wild as what he can do with that body … and she can’t say no.

And there’s no time to wonder. As their passion burns hotter, Obsidian moves closer … and Luke and Dani must place their lives and their hearts on the line just to survive …

 In My Skin cover

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BONUS!
Get a special look at the upcoming novella in The Obsidian Files!

To celebrate twenty years as a published author, Shannon wrote LIGHT ME UP as a gift to her loyal group of readers! The release date is still TBA, but please enjoy the cover and blurb!

Light Me Up cover

All night long …

Tycoon and secret supersoldier Noah Gallagher never expected to beat the Obsidian Group at their evil game—genetically altering runaway kids—but he did, with the help of the brave and beautiful Caro Bishop, the love of his life. The two of them survived that wild adventure, but only just. Noah is crazy for his new bride, knowing all the while that being with him puts her at constant risk. Their love, their closeness, and the intense passion they share are shadowed by fear. Obsidian’s relentless hunt to recapture its rebels will never stop.  Noah would die to save her—but now is not the time to tell her that.

Caro’s relaxing on their deluxe honeymoon in Italy, rediscovering treasures of Renaissance art, when they’re invited to the public unveiling of the latest secret sensation in the art world, the newly excavated Cross of Orazio. Caro is beyond thrilled. Noah is not. The guest list is packed with politicians, corporate moguls, celebrities, and entourages. Social media coverage will follow them everywhere.

Caro’s wild to go and Noah can’t deny her pleasure of any kind. They’ll stay off the red carpet. Admire the cross and leave for an erotic rendezvous he’s planned in advance, right down to the rose petals and silken cords. What could go wrong?

Everything. The fabled Cross of Orazio is more than it seems, and now he and Caro are right in the line of fire … 

Enter to win a digital copy of RIGHT THROUGH ME or MY NEXT BREATH at the end of this post!

Excerpt from IN MY SKIN:

Dani stepped through the passageway—and started backwards, with a stifled shriek.

An enormous dark man loomed in the shadows. Huge. Buzzed dark hair, vast shoulders, all bulked up with black body armor like a commando.

His eyes gleamed in the darkness with terrifying intensity. “Don’t scream.” His voice was deep, hoarse and scratchy. “I won’t hurt you.” He made a shushing gesture with his hands.

“Who the fuck are you?” Dani’s back thudded against the wall. “What are you doing here in my house?”

“We need to talk.” His voice was very calm. “Quietly.”

“About what?” Her voice shook.

“Shhh. Keep it down. About Naldo.”

She went nuts, writhing in his grip.  “It was you!” she hissed. “You hurt Naldo!”

“No!” He whispered the words urgently into her ear. “No, no, no. That wasn’t me.”

She fought him, but there was an uncanny quality to his implacable grip. A sinking-into-quicksand feeling, as if he was using her own energy and the harder she fought, the tighter he held her.

He wound her into a shaking. Her legs were trapped between his rock-solid thighs. She strained against him, fear rising to a screaming pitch. “What the fuck do you want from me?”

“For you to listen.” The vibration of his deep, quiet voice against her ear sent racking shivers through her.

She swallowed to calm the shaking. “Fine,” she said. “Talk. Make it snappy.”

“Don’t be afraid,” he urged.

Dani let out a bark of incredulous laughter. “Hah! For real?”

“I won’t hurt you, Dani. I swear it.”

She squeezed her eyes shut and just tried not to hyperventilate. “Then why not come to the goddamned door like a normal person if all you want to do is to talk?”

“It hasn’t been a normal day. You never would’ve let me in.”

“Right! Let go of me! Asshole!”

“Shhh,” he whispered again. “I came in to warn you that you’re in danger.”

She twisted in his grip, just enough to catch the flash of his dark gaze.

“Oh really.” Her voice dripped sarcasm. “Am I. Now there’s a news flash.”

“Not from me,” he said impatiently. “From the people who hurt Naldo.”

“What do you know about Naldo? Who hurt him?” She turned to study his face again. “Wait. I saw you earlier,” she said slowly. “You were in the ER. Wearing a lab coat.”

“Yeah, that was me,” he admitted.

“I thought you were a new resident, maybe starting an ER rotation.”

“Nope, not a doctor. I was there to protect you,” he told her. “I’m here now for the same reason.”

“I didn’t ask for your protection,” she replied savagely. “Whoever the hell you are!”

“Getting around to that. Now listen. Naldo had a—” His body went still. “Shhhhh.”

She froze too, waiting. Listening. “What in the hell is going on?”

“They’re moving in on us.” He breathed the words out almost soundlessly. “Don’t make a sound.”

It was too damn much. She yanked one of her arms almost free. “The only problem I have right now is you! Let … me … go!

His hand clamped over her mouth. She pulled back and bit his hand, hard. He pulled his hand free with a hiss of pain, and she started to screech.

In a blinding instant, she was clamped against his body so tight she could hardly breathe.

He hoisted her off her feet. Kicked open the door to the laundry closet. Hauled her inside.

And there she was, in the darkness in her clutter of brooms, buckets and mops, jammed in between her ironing board and her washing machine with a huge, mysterious, terrifying man.

So close, he was practically plastered to her body.

Copyright © 2018 Shannon McKenna

 

 

About Shannon McKenna:Shannon McKenna author photo

Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of seventeen action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series and the brand new romantic suspense series, The Obsidian Files. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she’d ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments. She loves to hear from her readers.

Follow:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads | Reader Group | Newsletter | Amazon

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Pre-Order Blast and Giveaway! THE SURVIVING GIRLS by Katee Robert (Hidden Sins #3)

Have you Pre-ordered THE SURVIVING GIRLS by Katee Robert yet?

Pre-order THE SURVIVING GIRLS and add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get a sneak peek and your chance to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card or books from Katee Robert!

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Title: The Surviving Girls
Author: Katee Robert
Series: Hidden Sins #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Print Length:  282 pages
Format: Digital and Paperback
ISBN: 978-1503902442

 

Synopsis:

A fierce survivor and a fearless FBI agent battle a copycat serial killer in a gripping thriller from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert.

Twelve years ago, Lei Zhang and her friend Emma Nilsson miraculously lived through the notorious Sorority Row Murders that left twenty-one of their sisters dead. Still wrestling with the trauma but finally out of the limelight, Lei and Emma are now devoted to helping other victims find closure. But most disturbing for Lei—beyond the gut-wrenching survivor guilt—is that the killer was her boyfriend. He’s behind bars, but she’ll never lower her guard again.

When a copycat killer targets Lei and Emma, FBI Agent Dante Young is put in charge of anticipating the sociopath’s every move. But what he doesn’t expect is his immediate and overpowering attraction to Lei. The closer they get to each other, the more desperate and terrifying the questions become: Who wants to finish what the killer started—and why?

Now Agent Young vows to protect Lei at all costs. If they have any chance of a future together, first they have to stay alive…

On sale May 29th!
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Excerpt:

Watching the women interact was fascinating on a level Dante wasn’t prepared for. He’d known Lei and Emma lived together, but he hadn’t had the opportunity to take a step back and consider the implications of that arrangement. Emma teetered on the edge of a breakdown and used Lei to pull herself back from the ledge . . . everything made a lot more sense.

They’d formed a symbiotic relationship, of sorts.

There wasn’t much data concerning situations like this one, mostly because they rarely arose, and each case was too individual to tie together in nice, easy studies. It stood to reason, though, that coming out of that sorority house as the only two survivors would send these women into one of two futures. In one, they never saw each other and pretended the other didn’t exist rather than be faced with the perpetual reminder of what they’d gone through.

In the other, they realized that no one would ever know what they went through as intimately as the other person who survived—and leaned on each other as result.

Lei was the one who finally met his gaze, and hell if her inky-dark eyes didn’t take his breath away despite the circumstances. Clarke had pulled both women’s photos on the way over there, but they were old—from their sorority days. Both beautiful in their own way, though they were a study in opposites. Emma had the sweet southern thing going for her, all blonde hair, big innocent blue eyes, and curves that suggested southern cooking. He couldn’t tell if her soft tone was practiced or natural, but it pricked at him every time she spoke.

Lei . . . She was something else altogether. She was petite in a way that should have read frail but reminded him of a blade waiting to be unsheathed. There were muscles beneath her light-brown skin, and he guessed that she’d have no problem keeping up with the monster dog at her feet during a search. Her straight black hair was pulled back into a no-nonsense ponytail, which left her features in stark relief. Beautiful, but doesn’t like to draw attention to it. Might as well have tried to hide the sky.

Fuck, get it together. You’re here to interview them, not to lose your damn mind over Lei Zhang.

Yes, she was beautiful, but he’d dealt with beautiful women before without jeopardizing his professional persona. Dante didn’t know what it was about this woman that called to something in him, but he had to shelve it.

He couldn’t afford to be distracted.

She clasped Emma’s hand but turned her body to face him more fully. “The night of the murders, I let Travis Berkley into the Omega Delta Lambda house. We’d been dating four months and he told me he had a surprise.” Her lips twisted. “It was against the rules, but girls broke the rules all the time.”

He noted her knuckles whitening where she held Emma’s hand, but her voice maintained its steady tone. “We had sex. Approximately an hour later, something changed. I still have problems putting it into words. Travis just . . . shifted. It was like he’d taken off a mask and I didn’t recognize the man beneath. He hit me. A few times.” She absentmindedly touched the little hooked scar on her cheekbone. From Travis’s ring. “I passed out. When I woke up, he’d barricaded my door shut and I could hear their screams.”

Lei’s breath hitched, and it was almost as if she inhaled and Emma exhaled. The blonde lifted her chin. “I was in the basement studying when it started. Finals were coming up, and I was struggling in history and needed the extra study time. The first sign of something wrong was Travis hauling Sarah—” She cut herself off and flinched. “I’m sorry. It’s hard to say their names, even now.”

Clarke huffed out a breath. “You don’t have to name every single girl he killed. We know their names. We know their stories. We just want to hear how it all went down from your perspective.”

They wouldn’t find anything new here. Dante knew it, and he suspected Clarke knew it, too. These two women had told their stories countless times over the years, and if there was information they hadn’t shared before now, he highly doubted this would be the time it’d magically come out.

Hearing the story through their own voices was a whole hell of a lot more jarring than reading it in the file, however.

Emma took them through it. How Travis Berkley brought the entire house of girls into that basement, how he was charming and terrifying and told them that he’d let them go one by one . . . if they did exactly as he asked. It wasn’t until the night was over and no one had come to save them that the remaining girls realized what was happening, and even then, they were too afraid to try to overpower him.

Herd mentality. Travis had to have known he could manipulate the whole group as long as he got them scared and in a single place. They believed the pretty lie because the truth was impossible to wrap their minds around.

Emma’s voice shook. “There were still . . . ten of us left when I realized I wasn’t getting out of that house alive—that none of the girls had gotten out alive like he’d promised. When he took the next girl, I hid under the couch.”

“None of those girls saw you hide?” Clarke frowned. “I find that hard to believe.”

“I don’t know. I don’t . . .” She dropped her gaze as if she couldn’t bear to hold her head up any longer. “We were in shock at that point—just sitting there, lost in ourselves. We didn’t talk. We didn’t even look at each other. We just sat there and . . . contemplated the fact we were going to die. I don’t know if they even noticed I was gone. I hid until every single one of them was gone. And he just . . . walked out.”

“He came for me. I guess it was then.” Lei didn’t shrink in on herself. She seemed to grow taller, sit straighter. “I heard him removing the barricade and I panicked. After listening to that all night . . .” She shook her head. “I knew what would happen if he got back into my room, so I climbed out the window.”

Clarke went still. “I saw the list of your injuries. You had a broken arm, your knee was so fucking swollen you shouldn’t have been able to walk, and you had several head wounds and a handful of broken ribs on top of that. How the hell did you climb out a window?”

Lei shrugged on shoulder. “He would kill me if I didn’t. I figured falling to my death was preferable to letting Travis have me, so I took my chances.”

It was only sheer dumb luck that it was late enough in the morning that a student jogging past saw Lei. By the time he’d come back with help, Lei was unconscious in the flower bed and Travis was gone.

Dante sat back, going over the story again in his head. As he suspected, there was no new information, but they’d have been remiss if they didn’t go over it one more time. He exchanged a look with Clarke. The killings in Seattle held some key differences. He didn’t think any of the girls had willingly let the unsub in, and he had carved his message into their bodies when he was through.

A message that might or might not have been meant for Travis Berkley. Hard to believe that someone who’d gone through the trouble of researching the murders would get the killer’s name wrong, but the alternative was that the girls’ deaths were meant as tribute to someone else. Both possibilities stretched the realm of belief and didn’t make a damn bit of sense.

The tension in the room grew like it was a living thing, coiling and snapping between the four of them. Once Dante and Clarke left, things would move quickly. They had to talk to Berkley. They had to head back to Seattle to go over things again with Detective Smith and the ME. They had to track down this bastard before he continued with whatever plan he’d begun with those girls’ deaths.

Dante, at least, would have the comfort of motion to keep him distracted from the scenes that he’d witnessed. Lei and Emma wouldn’t have even that. He leaned forward, catching Lei’s attention. “We can assign a protection detail. I don’t think you’re in any immediate danger, but if it would help ease your mind, I’ll make some calls.”

Lei’s lips quirked up at the edges, but the smile never came close to reaching her eyes. “Dante—Agent Young—we were in immediate danger the second that asshole singled Travis out as someone he wanted to emulate. We’re more than capable of taking care of ourselves.”

Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

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Praise for The Hidden Sins Series:

“…a captivating read, made all the more rewarding when good triumphs.” —Washington Post on The Devil’s Daughter

“Robert shows off her impressive versatility in this fast-paced and inventive new Hidden Sins series. The small-town setting is a masterful blend of quaint and oppressive, which ratchets the menace and thrill factor. The protagonists carry the full weight of their pasts with them, making their growing relationship as compelling as the mystery element in The Devil’s Daughter. With plenty of twists and betrayals, this is a book that is sure to earn Robert a wealth of new fans.” RT Book Reviews on The Devil’s Daughter

“Katee Robert has definitely picked up the romantic suspense genre and made it her bitch. I can’t wait to see what we get next. Given some of the books I see she’s been using for research, I know it’s going to be frightening and amazing at the same time.” —Goodreads Review

“Every bit as complex as book one but with a totally different storyline, The Hunting Grounds once again proved Katee Robert is more than capable of spinning a thrilling romantic suspense tale that will keep readers on their toes.” Harlequin Junkie on The Hunting Grounds (recommended read)

“Filled with suspense and lot of unpredictable twists and turns…Gripping.” Life at 17 on The Hunting Grounds

 

Other Books in the Hidden Sin Series: 

THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER
Get more information at:  Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

THE HUNTING GROUNDS:
Get more information at: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

About Katee Robert:Katee Robert author picture

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

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

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Release Day and Giveaway! ACE OF HEARTS by J.C. Valentine (Blind Jacks MC #3)

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ACE OF HEARTS

by J.C. Valentine
Blind Jacks MC #3
Publication Date: May 24, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, MC Romance, Biker, Standalone

 

SYNOPSIS:

Being granted a second chance at life and a first time at love was every man’s dream, but for Ace it came with a price.

Ace
By all rights, he should be dead. Serving ten years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit had affected him in ways he couldn’t begin to understand. He’d rolled out of the slammer and into a revenge plot that almost got him killed. By the grace of God, when he’d hit rock bottom, one person reached out a helping hand.

A beautiful redhead with a penchant for mischief took a shine to him and then disappeared, leaving behind only her number scribbled recklessly on his arm. Assuming he can make out all the numbers, he just might have a chance at something amazing.

Barbara
Finally divorcing her narcissistic husband was the best choice Barbara ever made. After living under his control for seven long years, she might have gone a little wild for a minute, what with jumping the hot biker and all. None of that mattered, though, because today was the day she got herself back on track.

After being given the opportunity to excavate a small cache of fossils in a remote area, Barbara is horrified to discover she’s inadvertently led a small team of her archeology students into danger. When they stumble on a secret dumping site of a vicious serial killer, Ace, the big, handsome biker takes charge. But she may have gotten herself and her students into more danger than even he can handle.

*NOTE* Although a part of the Blind Jacks MC series, ACE OF HEARTS can be read as a STANDALONE and features a new couple!

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EXCERPT:

Climbing into bed behind his lovely professor seemed different. At the clubhouse, neither of them felt particularly at home. It was clear that Barbara felt totally comfortable in her own home, though. The strange part was that Ace felt very much at home there, too.

“This is all kinds of weird for me.”

“My house must seem like a tiny doll house to you.”

“It feels more like a warm, safe nest that’s been made enticing by the addition of a beautiful and accommodating woman. I’m feeling a bit like the world’s last dodo bird or something.”

“In that case, we had better start making babies before you go extinct.”

“The last time you said something like that it triggered a little episode of self-loathing.” Pulling the blanket up around them, he murmured reassuringly, “Don’t worry, this time I have my head screwed on straight. I’m intentionally not using a condom and will be trying my best to make ugly little dodo babies with you.”

“You’re so funny.”

Ace frowned. “Why do you want to get pregnant?”

“Fertility stays relatively stable until around age thirty in women. After that, it begins to drop off slightly. Since I gave my marriage a dirt nap, I suppose I’ve been worried about missing my window.” Eyeing him with heated admiration, she continued, “You’re a big, strapping biker. You look like you could get the job done with some swimmers to spare.”

Moving closer, he grinned. “This is like a whole new side of your personality that I’ve never seen.”

Running her hand over his chest, she laughed. “It’s the neurotic and slightly panicking side.”

Jerking his chin for her to give him a kiss, he murmured, “It looks good on you.”

Rather than following his nonverbal communication, she asked softly, “So do you have baby-related secrets to share?”

Reaching out, he wrapped one arm around her and dragged her close. “Sure, but I don’t think you wanna hear them.”

“I do, so cough it up.”

Spanning her stomach with his hand, he said, “I’ve thought about how nice it would be to see my child growing inside you. You’d look really sexy with a baby bump. I’d be one of those obsessed dads who listened to your stomach and told our little princess stories so she’d get used to my voice. Since I don’t know any stories fit to tell a baby, we’d have to go to one of those fancy bookstores and buy some. Maybe we’d get one of those fancy coffees you like so much.”

Her eyes damn near sparkled. “That’s about the sweetest baby secret I ever heard.”

Looking down at his hand on her stomach, he whispered, “I’d have to be really careful, ‘cause I wouldn’t want her to be scared when she saw me for the first time.”

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE:

J C Valentine author photo

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

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