New Release Review and Giveaway! PLAY FOR KEEPS by Maggie Wells (Love Games #2)

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Title: Play for Keeps
Author: Maggie Wells
Series: Love Games, #2
Pub Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: Contemporary

Mixing business and pleasure is a dangerous game…

Tyrell Ransom, the new men’s basketball coach, is ready to whip his team into shape and start winning some games. But when compromising photos of his soon-to-be-ex-wife with one of his players go viral, everything comes crashing down. With reporters thick on the ground, Ty and his team need some serious damage control—now.

When public relations guru Millie Jenkins arrives in her leopard-print cape to save the day, things really heat up… Soon they’re going to have to work double time to keep their white-hot chemistry out of the headlines.

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Excerpt:

“I didn’t plan this, and I certainly didn’t want it to happen like this. I mean, you’re right about the timing…but as Millie pointed out, this might be the only chance I get to have a kid. She can’t have any, and I…” He trailed off, using only a helpless shrug as punctuation.

Danny nodded. “You don’t want to be with anyone else.”

“Right.”

“Does she know? About the test, I mean.”

Ty shook his head, incapable of voicing any more denial.

“When are you going to tell her?”

Again, Ty had no words.

“You can’t wait, man. The longer you wait, the worse it’ll be. She’s been on pins and needles too,” Danny reminded him.

“I know.” Ty wrung his hands, then chanced a look at the man beside him. “But how? How do I do this? How can I have a relationship with Millie and be a good father to my kid? Will she still even want a relationship with me? She didn’t sign on for dealing with a kid…and Mari. Hell, she’s hardly signed on for anything.”

“It’s a lot to think about, but you’ll figure it out,” Danny assured him.

“Do you really think so?” he asked bluntly.

Danny clapped him hard on the shoulder, then rose, grunting a bit as his knee popped audibly. “I think you’re a good guy who tries to live a good life.” He surveyed the band members scurrying around in what looked to be complete disarray. “You know, it’s always like this.” He waved a hand in the direction of the field. “On Wednesday, they look like a pack of blind ants scrambling around for the last crumb. By Saturday evening, that mess will be a tribute to David Bowie complete with rocket ship and guitar formations.”

Ty raised his eyebrows, surprised the football coach paid any attention at all to the band director’s plans. “Will it?”

Danny nodded. “I started having a couple of film and television students video band practice and the halftime shows. I make the team watch them every Monday before we review game film.”

“You do?”

Stepping down a row, Danny chuckled. “They hate being compared to the band kids, but I think they’re starting to see the point.”

Ty blinked up at him. “Which is?”

Danny gestured to the field, where chaos seemed to reign. “If they can play ‘Heroes,’ then the sad, sorry bunch of misfit jocks I inherited can try to be heroes.”

“Just for one day?” Ty challenged.

Danny laughed and shook his head as he proceeded to step from bleacher to bleacher. “Hell no. I need five more Saturdays out of them.”

“Don’t forget the bowl game,” Ty called out to him.

Raising both hands over his head, Danny held up six fingers. At the bottom, he squinted up at Ty, shielding his eyes from the lowering sun with one hand. “Hey, Ty?”

“Yeah?”

“Congratulations, man.”

And the fist in his chest was back. Resisting the urge to cover the sore spot with his hand, he waved and called down a gruff, “Thanks.”

 

Review:

There was a lot to like in Play for Keeps, my first–but definitely not my last!–book from Ms. Wells.

I loved the fact that Millie, the heroine, is over 40 and in shape but not tiny and waif-like. I liked her take-charge attitude, and adored her relationship with her two BFFs, Kate and Avery. I loved, loved, loved Ty as a hero, and applaud his determination not to start anything with Millie until things were legally and finally ended with his ex. Together the two of them have great chemistry, and there were a whole lot of quotes–between Ty and Millie as well as secondary characters–that I highlighted just because. Book one in the series (Love Game) went on my TBR before I was halfway done with this one, and I’ll be stalking the series page regularly to find out when (surely it’s not if…?) Avery’s getting a book.

But…

Millie’s attitude about relationships Drove. Me. Crazy. We do get an explanation for it–eventually–and it did become somewhat more understandable from that point on, but still. I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted Ty to keep holding on at that point, especially with what happened next with his situation. The book ended well and I was happy for how it ended (though can you say abrupt? There had better be a whole lot of Ty and Millie showing up in the next series book, or I’m going to feel cheated) but I’m still not entirely convinced that events up to that point had really given Millie enough to work through her issues and hangups to really allow her to achieve an HEA with Ty.

Still, there was more to like than not with this one…let the stalking of the series page begin!

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
By day, Maggie Wells is buried in spreadsheets. At night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide. She has a passion for college football, processed cheese foods, and happy endings. Not necessarily in that order. She lives in Arkansas.

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Pre-Order Blitz! SECRETS IN THE SHADOWS (Summer of Supernaturals Anthology #1)

SECRETS IN THE SHADOWS, the first action-packed anthology in the Summer of Supernaturals series featuring fur, claws, and fangs from eight of today’s best urban fantasy and paranormal romance authors. Coming May 1st to Kindle & Kindle Unlimited! Preorder your copy now!  Just $0.99 for a limited time!

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Immerse yourself in the dark side of the supernatural world with this collection of paranormal short stories dedicated to the shapeshifting creatures we love. Experience the majesty and fury of a fire breathing dragon, stalk the city streets at midnight with panthers, or run wild with magic under the full moon with werewolves.

Featured Authors: Brandy Dorsch, Jena Gregoire, Gina Wynn, Kat Parrish, Liz Gavin, Madeline Sheehan, Nicole Zoltack, & Victoria DeLuis

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Grand Finale Blitz and Giveaway! THE SOLDIER’S HOMECOMING by Patricia Potter (Home to Covenant Falls #5)

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Soldier’s Homecoming
By Patricia Potter

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch – Note from the Author

Welcome to the world of Covenant Falls. I’m so pleased you’re visiting us. I’m excited to introduce you to the newest residents: Army Major Travis Hammond and War Correspondent Jenny Talbot.

Come take a tour through the southwest with them as they joust and fall in love.

— Patricia

It’s All About the Romance – Guest Post

When I start a book, I spend weeks thinking about the hero and heroine before even considering a plot. When they become real to me, they write the book themselves. They do things I never considered.

Although I love strong heroines, the hero is usually the catalyst in my stories, especially in a series like Covenant Falls which is based on the return of veterans to civilian life in a small welcoming town in Colorado. But Jenny would have none of that. She truly marches to her own drummer and has since she was a child.

Simply Kelina – Review

“I have been loving stories around our military, so this caught my interest right away. I love how this deals with both Travis and Jenny being in the military. I loved hearing about the town who helps the returning veterans. I really enjoyed the writing style and how easily the story flowed… if you love military romances, I recommend going and checking out this series.”

underneath the covers – Excerpt

Jenny Talbot knew she was in trouble the moment she heard the sound of approaching aircraft.

The sound grew thunderous as four planes appeared in the sky over Aleppo, leaving a trail of explosions in their wake. They were heading straight at her.

A cease-fire was supposed to have been declared while volunteer medical personnel tended the wounded in one of the few remaining make-shift hospitals in the doomed Syrian city.

The volunteer doctors and nurses, who had just arrived in a marked medical convoy, scattered, seeking cover…

Colorimetry – Guest Post

The magic of Covenant Falls continues to fascinate me. I created the small Colorado town for one book, but loved the town and its citizens it so much I couldn’t help lingering. I have since sent five veterans — four men and one woman — to the town and plan to send two more there.

Its creation took weeks and I loved every minute. I couldn’t use a real town for fear of insulting someone. Instead, I called small towns all over the west to gather information on their governing body, size of population, police and fire departments, variety of businesses and services. I searched maps as to the best location to place it, then double checked to insure the name was not used anywhere else…

Deal Sharing Aunt – Review

“This is a great story about how you can come home again. However home is where the heart is… This was a great read and I enjoyed finding out where these characters ended up. I am giving this book a 5/5.”

Locks, Hooks and Books – Excerpt

Walter Reed Hospital Rehabilitation Unit

Life will never by the same.

Major Travis Hammond leaned on his crutches and watched a young corporal take halting steps on a new prosthesis that substituted for a right leg. Danny Ware’s face was contorted with determination as he tried to walk without hanging onto the bars.

In the months they’d shared these rehab facilities, along with other wounded soldiers, Travis had grown fond of Danny. Maybe because of the kid’s unfailing optimism despite getting a really bad deal. He reminded Travis of his brother.

Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang! – Guest Post

Nothing had turn out as Major Travis Hammond expected.

The son of a small barely-surviving Midwest farmer, he rebelled from day one against his father’s plan that he stay on the farm and take it over some day.

He hates farming and what it had done to his mother. He blames his father for her premature death, and has no intention of staying one minute more than necessary. He knows his one way out is sports and does his chores before dawn in order to play baseball and earn a sports scholarship to college.

He does exactly that, leaving the farm, his father and his younger brother behind.

Nicole’s Book Musings – Excerpt

A little girl running. Blood everywhere. Spreading like a river. Edging nearer and nearer.

Panicked, Jenny woke, soaked in her own sweat. The jerk in her body as she woke renewed intense pain in her shoulder. Disoriented, she looked around, trying to control the trembling. The night-light, now necessary for sleep, was just strong enough to reveal the shadowed bedroom rather than the rubble of a once prosperous city.

Had she screamed again? She hoped not.

Her brief prayer was not answered. She heard a tentative knock on the door, and her mother inched the door open and entered the room. Her hair was in disarray, her robe partly open, her face slathered with some kind of dream.

“Jennifer?” Her mother’s voice was loud, and jenny smelled alcohol on her breath as she leaned over. “Another nightmare?”

Jenny struggled to sit upright. Even after four months, the pain in her shoulder could stop her cold.

Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader – Review

“I enjoyed the story. It helps me feel that it is okay to go home again. You know when you get so far gone you wonder if you are ever welcome to go back.”

E-Romance News – Excerpt

“You have to be kidding?” Travis exclaimed.

“Afraid not,” Josh Manning said over the phone.

Three weeks after Travis’s first trip to Covenant Falls, he’d moved into Josh’s cabin.

“A reporter called my wife, as well as the manager of the inn,” she’d heard about Covenant Falls and the veterans here. Even that there might be a horse therapy program. She wants to do a story.”

“A reporter?”

Wishful Endings – Guest Post

Readers often ask where I get the ideas for stories.

Mine have usually developed from something I read in the newspapers. The Covenant Falls series developed from an article in the New York Times about military canines developing Post Traumatic Stress System just as soldiers do.

All the creative bells in me started ringing madly as I read. There was a story in there. I knew it immediately…

Two Points of Interest – Review

“The characters were refreshing and nor were they portrayed as perfect people but as people who are trying to make the most of their circumstances. I like that the story focuses on a therapy that is both beneficial for the animals and humans and they can work together in harmony to help and rely on each other… It was a good read and I would definitely read other books by the author.”

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt

Jenny turned to him and put her hand on his arm. “I’ve seen larger falls, far more powerful ones, but this is so . . . untouched. And the rainbow – is it always there?

“Josh says it is, as long as the sun is shining.”

“I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it before since I live in Denver. It’s almost . . . mystic.”

Mystic? He didn’t believe in that stuff, and yet it’d helped change the lives of three hardened warriors and one war experienced army nurse.

SilverWoodSketches – Guest Post

When I started my first Covenants Falls book, I envisioned two books. I had no idea it would grow into a third, then a fourth, and a fifth, “The Soldier’s Homecoming,” now available in both e-book and large print paperbacks. The fifth and sixth are on the schedule in a special Summer Harlequin western series rather than SuperRomance. I hope you will look for it.

My heart just couldn’t let the town and characters go. Apparently readers couldn’t either, because they’ve stayed with the series and I’m ever so grateful. They have grown to know the town and its incoming veterans as well as I do…

Thoughts of a Blonde – Review

“An emotionally riveting read! Two lost souls find a friend to believe in as they each recover from their own traumas and find their way into each other’s hearts. The story was very easy to get hooked into and the characters felt real… Great series!”

Teatime and Books – Excerpt

His chest, upper arms and left leg were riddled with scars. But what she really saw was the pain he must have endured.

She looked up at him and smiled. “You’re beautiful,” she said.

The words escaped her before she could reclaim them. But, to her, he was. The scars on the lean, muscular body were hard earned. Badges of honor and courage.

And he really was a fine specimen of manhood.

Travis stared at her in astonishment.

The towel started to fall. He grabbed it around his middle. Heat clawed up his neck.

To his surprise, Jenny grinned, her eyes full of mischief. “I haven’t seen you speechless before,” she said, then added politely. “May I come in?”‘

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

The Soldier's Homecoming by Patricia Potter cover

The Soldier’s Homecoming
(Home to Covenant Falls #5)
by Patricia Potter
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
April 1st 2018 by Harlequin Superromance

He’s looking for roots. She won’t be tied down.

Army ranger Travis Hammond needs to heal physical and emotional wounds. A job in Covenant Falls checking out equine therapy programs for veterans is a start, but it’s only temporary. And he doesn’t need a partner, especially some reporter with the persistence of a terrier and irresistible green eyes. Like Travis, Jenny Talbot’s just passing through town. Unlike Travis, Jenny knows exactly where she’s going next—back to the Middle East, as soon as she recovers from her own war injury. But there’s a bend in the road for both of them.

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Other Books in the Series:

The Soldier's Promise coverTempted by the Solider cover
A Soldier's Journey coverThe SEAL's Return cover

About the Author:

Patricia Potter author photo

Patricia Potter is the USA Today Bestselling Author of more than fifty books. She has received numerous writing awards, including RT Storyteller of the Year, its Career Achievement Award for Western Historical Romance and its Best Hero of the Year Award. She is a seven-time RITA finalist and three-time Maggie Award winner. She has served as president of Romance Writers of America.The Soldier’s Homecoming is her fifteenth book for Harlequin.

Prior to writing fiction, she was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal and president of a public relations firm.

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Tour Giveaway!

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– 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally
– 1 winner will receive signed print copies of of THE SOLDIER’S PROMISE, TEMPTED BY THE SOLDIER, A SOLDIER’S JOURNEY, and THE SEAL’S RETURN (US only)
– Ends April 18th

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Saturday Morning Video! SOLO Official Trailer

Just a month and a half until my BF’s origin story!

 

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New Release! JUST ONE SPARK by Jenna Bayley-Burke

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About the Book:

Hannah Daniels reads steamy romance novels to forget her last trip on the love roller coaster shredded her heart and tossed it like confetti. Her instincts about men stink, but at work they’re on point. Only her busy schedule means she reads whenever she can make time. Like at the laundromat while sitting on top of a washing machine. Don’t judge.

Firefighter Mason McNally has searched his whole life for a woman who stirs his soul. When he finds her, she’s nose-deep in a racy paperback atop a vibrating washer. Her beauty, boldness, and raw sensuality ignite his interest. But there’s a problem. He’s forgotten he’s wearing a wedding ring.

No amount of hasty explanations that it’s for his brother’s psychology experiment convinces her to give him a chance. But he’s rushed into fiery situations before, and this woman is totally worth the risk. He’ll just have to prove to her that first impressions can be wrong and their spark of attraction is oh so right.

Just a Spark by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Purchase Link

Goodreads Link

Excerpt:

Wide-eyed, Hannah looked up at him. He reached out as if in a dream, tucked his fingers underneath her chin, and angled her mouth up to accept his. He brushed his lips softly against hers, wondering if she’d resist him. Her eyelids drifted closed, and he let himself taste her. Gently, he kissed her, fighting the urge to push and plunder. She crept her hands up his body and flattened her palms against his chest, resting them there for a second before she firmly pushed him away.

As her heavily fringed lids fluttered open, she said, “I don’t know you. You have no right to kiss me.”

Cocking his head to the side, he wondered if she was more upset that he’d kissed her, or that he’d stopped. From the way her chest hitched with every breath, he’d bet his paycheck on the latter. Still, she denied the attraction.

“That was not a kiss.”

“Excuse me? I know when I’ve been kissed,” she said breathily.

This is a kiss.” Mason reached for her and molded his hands on either side of her creamy oval face. Energy pulsed through him as he pressed his lips to hers. He had one chance to assault her senses the way she did to him with just her presence. A physical expression of just how she made him feel. No softness this time, no holding back.

He pressed his body against hers, his lips firm where hers were pliant. He swallowed her moan as she parted her lips, allowing him inside. His head rushed with the refreshing minty taste of her. He seduced her with the kiss. Caressing. Nipping. Inviting. Taking.

When she ran her fingers through his hair, he relaxed his grip. Reluctantly, he pulled away and gazed at her expression, eyes closed, lips still parted. He grinned down at her as her eyes flickered open, the dichotomy of a single blue and a single green eye studying him intently. Derek was an idiot with his ideas about symmetry. The play of the two colors against each other was amazingly sexy.

“That was a kiss,” she whispered, licking her lips.

 

About Jenna Bayley-Burke:

Jenna Bayley-Burke is known for her fun, sexy romance novels, baking banana bread and over volunteering. She thinks she has the best jobs in the world: mother, wife, and author. When she’s not lost in her latest story, she can be found pursuing whatever hobby her characters are enamored with: photography, yoga, planning, traveling, crafts and cooking up a storm.

Keep up with Jenna online: Newsletter  • WebsiteFacebookTwitter  • Pinterest  • Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Release Day and Giveaway! TOO HOT TO HANDLE by Jennifer Bernard (Jupiter Point #8)

Today we have the release blitz for TOO HOT TO HANDLE by Jennifer Bernard. Check it out and grab your copy today!

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Title: TOO HOT TOO HANDLE
Author: Jennifer Bernard
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release: April 13th

About TOO HOT TO HANDLE:

Single father Kevin O’Donnell would do anything to give his daughter Holly a stable life-including leave the Air Force and take a job working at Knight and Day Flight Tours in charming Jupiter Point, California. After his wild daredevil past, he’s sworn off relationships until Holly turns eighteen. Just three more years. No problem; he’s got this under control. Until a chance encounter with a smart, sassy bombshell-who just happens to be his new boss’s sister.

Since her father’s unsolved murder, Cassie Knight has spent over a decade on the road with her mother, memories chasing the fragile woman from town to town…or so Cassie thought. Only after returning to Jupiter Point does she learn something-or someone-all too real triggered their life on the run. Now, with her brother closing in on their father’s killer, Cassie’s free to pursue her own happiness for the first time. Enter smart, sexy, funny Kevin O’Donnell.

Of course they’ll have to keep it light. There’s a big off-limits sign on Kevin’s heart, and Cassie’s ready to hit the road the minute her father’s killer is found. She can do light-no problem. But she didn’t count on their sizzling chemistry…Holly’s suddenly odd behavior…and a killer who’s more cunning than the Knight family ever suspected. Too hot to handle? There’s only one way to find out.

 

Too Hot to Handle by Jennifer Bernard cover

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Excerpt:

Deirdre’s gaze traveled past Cassie to Kevin—who Cassie had forgotten about in the shock of seeing the worst of all the ghosts from her past. “Well, even so, welcome back. Looks like things are going great for you.”

Cassie gritted her teeth. Going great? She’d spent the past twelve years babysitting her mother, and now was back to help her brothers find the man who had killed their father. By what crazy definition did that count as “going great”?

Then she realized what Deirdre must be talking about.

Kevin. The handsome stranger. Who’d just moved to town and therefore was unfamiliar to Deirdre.

Cassie leaned back until she made contact with Kevin, his hard chest warm against her shoulder blades. “Oh yes, things have been amazing. Really incredible. This is Kevin, by the way. Kevin, darling, this is Deirdre.”

She was putting complete faith in Kevin’s quick-wittedness. Would he come through? Would he want to come through? Just to emphasize the point, she put a hand on his knee. The feel of hard muscles under denim sent a thrill through her.

“Nice to meet you, Deirdre.” Kevin offered her a handshake, which meant he had to lean past Cassie in the process. The little hairs on Cassie’s skin rose up in response. He smelled really, really good. There was a clean, spicy aftershave involved, and then a hint of motor oil, which happened to be one of Cassie’s favorite smells. “Cassie’s told me so much about—” She twitched a little, enough to let him know he was on the wrong track, that she and Deirdre were not friends. Seamlessly, he switched gears. “Jupiter Point. It’s a pleasure to finally see it.”

“It’s a nice little town, great place to grow up, right Cassie?” Deirdre smiled at her a little ruefully.

Cassie stared in disbelief. Didn’t Deirdre remember all the crap she’d pulled, how she’d tormented her?

“That’s, uh…one way to put it,” she muttered.

Deirdre pulled a little face. Apology? Regret? None of the above? “Things changed a lot after you left. Maybe we can have lunch sometime and catch up.”

What the heck was Deirdre up to? Based on their past history, Cassie didn’t trust her for a second. Hell would freeze over and she’d be ice skating with the devil before she shared a meal with Deirdre.  “Oh, well, I’m going to be pretty busy, but we’ll see.”

Deirdre actually looked disappointed. “Working with your brothers?”

“They want me to, but I’ll probably pass on that. I’m used to fending for myself.”

“You always were a tough cookie. You got lucky, Kevin…” She drew it out as a question.

“Kevin O’Donnell.”

He put a warm hand on the curve of Cassie’s neck, where it met her shoulder. It rested lightly there, as if sending her a message. Relax. We got this. You’re all right. Normally, she wouldn’t be too crazy about a strange man putting his hand on her neck. But this felt good. Comforting.

“And are you two—” Deirdre glanced from one to the other of them.

“Absolutely,” Kevin said before she could finish the sentence.

“Oh yes.” Cassie nodded. “Definitely.”

Deirdre looked confused, probably because she hadn’t actually asked a question. “That’s cool. Honestly, you look really happy together. That’s great. It’s kind of a load off my mind, Cassie.”

What Cassie wouldn’t give to throat punch her right now. Why was it her job to relieve Deirdre’s guilty conscience? But now that she’d started down this path, she had to play it to the hilt. “Yup, it’s amazing how great sex can completely transform your life.” She reached up and touched Kevin’s jaw, her fingers passing lightly across the grain of his scruff.

On the back of her neck, his thumb made a slow, leisurely circle. “Oh come on, Cassie,” he murmured. “Sure, sex is important, but don’t forget the romance. That’s the real key,” he told Deirdre. “Those romantic gestures, mutual respect and adoration, always having each other’s backs, that’s what makes it work, you know?”

Deirdre sighed, as if his words had completely hypnotized her. “Wow. Where did you find him, Cassie?”

On a barstool at Barstow’s about ten minutes ago… “I guess I was just in the right place at the right time.”

 

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All other books in the Jupiter Point Series can be found here.

About Jennifer Bernard:

Jennifer Bernard author photoJennifer Bernard is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books have been called “an irresistible reading experience” full of “quick wit and sizzling love scenes.” A graduate of Harvard and former news promo producer, she left big city life in Los Angeles for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She still hasn’t adjusted to the cold, so most often she can be found cuddling with her laptop and a cup of tea. No stranger to book success, she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name that she’s happy to share with the curious.

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New Release Review and Giveaway! UNMASKED BY THE MARQUESS by Cat Sebastian (Regency Imposters #1)

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Unmasked By The Marquess
by Cat Sebastian
Series: The Regency Impostors #1
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 17, 2018

The one you love…

Robert Selby is determined to see his sister make an advantageous match. But he has two problems: the Selbys have no connections or money and Robert is really a housemaid named Charity Church. She’s enjoyed every minute of her masquerade over the past six years, but she knows her pretense is nearing an end. Charity needs to see her beloved friend married well and then Robert Selby will disappear…forever.

May not be who you think…

Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, has spent years repairing the estate ruined by his wastrel father, and nothing is more important than protecting his fortune and name. He shouldn’t be so beguiled by the charming young man who shows up on his doorstep asking for favors. And he certainly shouldn’t be thinking of all the disreputable things he’d like to do to the impertinent scamp.

But is who you need…

When Charity’s true nature is revealed, Alistair knows he can’t marry a scandalous woman in breeches, and Charity isn’t about to lace herself into a corset and play a respectable miss. Can these stubborn souls learn to sacrifice what they’ve always wanted for a love that is more than they could have imagined?

Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian cover

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Excerpt:

“Regardless,” Charity said, “it would be odd if I refused his invitation to join his club. I didn’t drink all that much, and I didn’t lose any money at the tables. I promise that there’s nothing for you to worry about.” At least, nothing more than the usual. “Besides, since when do you object to a gentleman having a bit of harmless fun?”

Louisa stared at her, mouth hanging open. “Charity, you are not a gentleman,” she whispered.

Charity felt herself blush. It wasn’t as if she could protest, but the fact of the matter was that she felt more like a gentleman than she did anything else. Cheeks hot, she said, “You know what I meant.”

They stood there for a moment, regarding one another—Louisa in her white dressing gown and hair in curling papers, Charity in rumpled evening clothes, cravat rakishly askew.

“What are you going to do after I marry, Charity?” Louisa asked, breaking the silence.

“I don’t know.” Charity glanced away from Louisa’s face, taking in the peeling paint on the door frame. “There’s the gamekeeper’s cottage at Fenshawe. I could stay there,” she said, knowing it for a lie.

Louisa wrapped her dressing gown tightly around her. “But we won’t own Fenshawe after Cousin Clifton inherits.”

The “we” was generous. Charity had never owned anything, least of all the estate of Fenshawe. Robbie had owned it. And since it had been entailed, it ought to have passed to his cousin. But when Robbie died, Charity had already been attending Cambridge under his name. Her thoughts muddled by grief and confusion, it didn’t seem so terrible to keep quiet about Robbie’s death and step into his shoes at home as well. The cousin, living in Dorset, could be kept in ignorance.

Sometimes when Charity was having a hard time falling asleep, she tried to think of exactly how many laws she had broken, how many ways she ought to have been hanged or transported. But Robbie had scarcely any property that wasn’t entailed. Louisa, not yet sixteen, would have been destitute and homeless. For the two years since Robbie’s death, they had stinted and scraped together enough money out of the estate’s income to fund this season in London and put together a modest dowry for Louisa. The plan was for Louisa to marry and then they would figure out a way to set things right, to let the cousin inherit and to allow Charity to go back to being herself.

Whoever that was.

“I could live with you, after your marriage,” Charity countered, already knowing that it could never happen.

“You know I’d love nothing more,” Louisa said, and Charity believed it. “But I just realized that whoever I marry will recognize you as my brother. You can’t very well put on a gown and hope nobody notices the resemblance.”

Charity had known that from the beginning. There could be no happy ending to this deception. Even when Robbie was alive and healthy and brash and persuasive, she had understood that if she went to Cambridge in his stead there would be no going back to being plain Charity.

Even if there were, she didn’t want any part of it. There would be no more gowns, no more floors to scrub.

Neither could she continue as Robert Selby one minute longer than strictly necessary. Charity didn’t have the stomach for it.

She would be alone, adrift, with no name and no friends. She would, in fact, be in much the same situation she had been in before arriving at Fenshawe over fifteen years ago. The only difference was that this time her aloneness would be the result of her own choice, a sacrifice she had made to protect the one person who was left to her. She looked fondly at Louisa.

“Charity, where will you go?” Louisa asked with her eyes wide. “What will we do?”

She leaned forward and kissed Louisa on the cheek. “Never mind that, my girl. I have it all in hand,” she lied.

 

Review:

 I’ve loved all the books so far in Ms. Sebastian’s Seducing the Sedgwicks and The Turner series, and was actually a bit bummed when I saw from the cover and the description of this one that Charity was a woman (and further that Alistair was quite obviously a man) but knew that I enjoyed her writing anyway, so I was sure to like this book too… (not to mention I obviously read M/F Regencies all the time, so…)

But then I heard Ms. Sebastian on an episode of the podcast The Wicked Wallflowers Club and learned that Charity was actually nonbinary and Alistair was bi, and knew that all was right again with the world. Honestly, I would have read it anyway, because I have loved all her books so far, but I really do look forward to seeing how her characters will navigate the situations that their orientation and the time period will throw their way…plus, I just love her writing. Have I mentioned this? 😉

Alistair and Charity/Robin’s romance is absolutely delightful. I was (pleasantly) surprised when Alistair found out rather earlier than I’d expected about the whole Robin-impersonating-Robbie bit, but of course it ended up being at exactly the right time because there were so many other aspects of the story that needed to be worked out before they could reach their HEA. Watching Alistair go from a rather stuffy prig to the much looser, much happier man he is at the end thanks to Robin’s influence was absolutely delightful. (I wasn’t his biggest fan in the beginning, but by the end was starting to think of him with lots of exclamation points: The kitten! A goose! His spectacles! etc.) I did love from the start, though, that even though he seemed to have a stick up his posterior about so many things that his own bisexuality wasn’t something that bothered him at all.

Plus, he did get over himself eventually and came to realize what Robin needed without being hit over the head with it, so…

And I loved, loved, loved that Robin stuck to her guns and refused to be less than she was, even if it meant that she might not (gasp!) end up with Alistair in the end. I loved even more how Ms. Sebastian did get them to their HEA eventually, and can’t wait to see where else this series is going to take us.

(And don’t skip the author’s note at the end–I need to get my hands on some of the history she researched for this one. Sounds fascinating!)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About Cat Sebastian:

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

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Tour Wide Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of UNMASKED BY THE MARQUESS, we’re giving away one paperback copy of THE RUIN OF A RAKE by Cat Sebastian!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 4/22/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.

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New Release and Giveaway! THE EARL IN MY BED by Stacy Reid (Rebellious Desires #2)

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Synopsis:

For years, Daphne Wentworth, Countess Carrington has loved her powerful, enigmatic husband, despite the fact that they married under less than ideal circumstances. But no more. Finally at her breaking point, Daphne intends to create a scandal so big, her austere husband will have no choice but to divorce her. Except everything goes awry when he surprises her with the last thing she expected.

Sylvester Wentworth, Earl of Carrington, has returned to London for one reason—to seduce his wife. After a near-death experience, he is in need of an heir and means to make his marriage a real one. To his shock, though, his wicked, beautiful countess wants the exact opposite, and he must now do everything possible to entice his countess to stay forever.

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Excerpt:

Sylvester prowled over to her until she had to tilt her head back to meet his gaze. She blinked when he took the glass and set it on his desk and then returned to her. He cupped her cheek with one of his palms.

“My lord?” Daphne stared at him, alarm coursing through her veins. He’d never held her with such intimacy before.

She was unnerved by the rather intense look in his eyes. Anger warred with fascination, and she shot a glare at her glass on the desk. Was she already tipsy? That could be the only excuse to even be slightly captivated. What was happening?

He dragged her up against him, one hand curving to the swell of her hips. Her skin prickled with a depth of awareness that shocked her into rigidity. He smoothed a thumb along the curve of her lower lip. She let out a gasp when he pulled her hair pins out and the weight of her tresses tumbled to her shoulders.

“What are you doing?” she asked shakily.

He made no reply. Instead, the wretched man pressed his mouth to hers. They stilled, and her lips trembled against his. He had never kissed her before. They stood like that for what felt like forever, and she slowly became aware that his heart was pounding beneath the palm she had placed on his chest in denial. Her eyes that had instinctively closed flew open.

Oh! He was staring at her, and in the depth of his gaze, she spied surprise and desire so powerful her entire body quaked.

His lips moved, the stroke of his tongue against the closed seam of her lips tender, persuasive, arousing. Somewhere in the hazy back recesses of her mind, she hated her weakness for his touch. He coaxed her lips apart, and with a muffled gasp she submitted, her eyes fluttering closed. Sylvester grew more demanding, and she parted her lips farther, allowing him greater exploration. She made another incoherent sound. His tongue stroked against hers, and she jolted at the shocking and delightful intimacy. Daphne had not known a kiss could be like this, as if they were consuming the essence of each other.

Her husband was unyielding in his advances, and he kissed her over and over with devastating expertise. Something unknown was happening, and she felt panicked. An unbearable heat was twisting through her, and the sensations were too wonderful. She attempted gathering her senses, but his sensual assault did not abate, drowning away the protest before it fully formed.

Meet the Author:

Stacy Reid author photoStacy is an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. She especially loves romance and adores writing about people falling in love. Stacy lives a lot in the worlds she creates and actively speaks to her characters (out loud). She has a warrior way, never give up on her dreams. When Stacy is not writing, she spends a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese anime and playing video games with her love.

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New Release and Giveaway! A SKIN OF A DRAGON by Frances Jones

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Synopsis:

After a chance find in a smugglers’ cave, Tom Wild is kidnapped by a stranger and whisked away to London to face a secretive and ancient group of magicians. He is presented with an agonising choice: join them and forsake his old life and family forever or face a grisly death. Tom quickly realises that all is not as it seems and that the group’s leader is engaged in a dangerous game of magic, power and war. At stake is the future of England, her King, and the very existence of magic.

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Excerpt:

Chapter 1

My mother believed I possessed the gift of foresight. I was born at the stroke of midnight under a full moon, a curious time bestowing special abilities upon newborns, or so the midwife assured my parents. Yet, despite my mother’s belief, I had no sense of the shift my life was poised to take one rainy day in mid-September 1648 as I peered into a rock pool in search of crabs.

I wrinkled my nose and dangled my line into the water. The grey sea sloshed around the rock on which I stood, met by the rainwater that trickled down in rivulets from the cliffs above. Summer wasn’t yet a distant memory, but the storm of the previous day had been a sharp reminder that autumn had arrived. Peggy, my wiry-haired mongrel, watched the gulls scavenging amongst the rocks but had yet to summon the energy to chase them. Beside me my sister, Lizzie, shivered and looked forlornly back to the beach.

‘To think the fields were ploughed but a fortnight ago,’ she muttered.

I felt a tug on my line and lifted an enormous crab out of the rock pool, but Lizzie was distracted. She glanced up at the sky as a finger of sunlight broke through the clouds overhead.

‘Zooks! Look at the sun, Tom! Mother will be starting supper.’ She grabbed her bucket of crabs and scrambled back across the rocks. ‘Don’t forget the tobacco for Father,’ she called over her shoulder as she crossed the beach towards the lights that were beginning to twinkle in the windows of the cottages that made up the tiny hamlet of Osmington Mills.

I replied with a wave as I set my bucket on a ledge out of the wind and began the slippery climb to the smugglers’ cave. It was a precarious route in wet weather, with fissures into which one could quite easily slip and become stuck, but in an hour’s time the tide would be in, cutting the cave off from the beach entirely.

The rocks were slick beneath my feet, and the drizzling rain soaked right through to my skin as I clambered from one to the next. This exposure to every extreme of weather that the Dorset coast endured had weathered my complexion into a freckled ruddiness. My usual mop of sandy curls now lay plastered against my forehead, and my eyes squinted against the rainwater that dripped from my brow.

As I set my feet on sand once more, I stooped to pick up a small wooden box nestled between two rocks at the mouth of the cave. It was perfectly plain, cylindrical in shape, with an elaborate lock formed of tiny brass cogs, dials and pulleys, some of which were clearly missing or broken. I looked back to the beach. Only the smugglers ever came here. Perhaps it belonged to one of them- except that all the smugglers in Osmington Mills were far too careful to leave anything out in the open. There were crevices and tunnels that wound right into the heart of the cliffs where contraband was cleverly concealed from the prying eyes of the customs men. There was no need to leave anything in plain sight. Besides, the little drift of sand piled up against the box seemed to indicate it had been deposited there by the sea.

‘I bet it’s from that shipwreck yesterday,’ I muttered to Peggy as I tucked it under my arm and ducked into the cave. The entrance was just a few feet in height and submerged at high tide, but inside it widened and rose steadily above the tide’s reach, opening out into several passageways and crevices scooped out by the sea in ancient times. It was a perfect smugglers’ cave.

I selected one pack of tobacco from a pile of goods stuffed into a cleft in the wall and tucked it into my belt. With the crabbing line, I lashed the box to my back. I would need both hands to scale the rocks back to the beach.

Outside, the wind had picked up, and the drizzle was replaced with great spots of rain. Across the beach, a flicker of firelight glowed in the mouth of another smaller cave beyond a rocky outcrop.

”Tis a fool who ventures out with a storm about to break,’ I thought to myself.

Thunder rumbled overhead, and the foamy white tips of the waves collapsed against the rocks with an intensity that had become a familiar sight over the past week. The few fishing boats that had braved the rain were now gone, safely moored in the harbour. Everyone was braced for another mighty storm.

About the Author:

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Frances lives in Shropshire, England with her husband and two pet rabbits.

She started writing to fill her evenings while her husband, a former Grenadier Guard in the British Army, was away. A Skin of a Dragon was inspired by the Tower of London ravens which her husband told her about after one of his guard duties at the Tower. Folklore and the history of magic are also a continual source of inspiration.

Aside from writing, Frances’ other passion is rabbits, and she spends far too much time watching videos of the furry critters online!

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Cover Reveal! JOCK ROW by Sara Ney (Jock Hard #1)

We are very excited to bring you the first standalone in a brand new series from USA TODAY bestseller Sara Ney!

JOCK ROW hits e-readers on MAY 3rd!

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Scarlett is always the sensible one: The sober driver. The planner. The one holding your hair back while you’re worshiping the porcelain gods.

Week-after-week, she visits Jock Row with her friends—the universities hottest party scene and breeding ground for student athletes. And if keeping her friends out of trouble, and guys out of their pants, was a sport, she’d be the star athlete.

Being a well known jock-blocker gets her noticed for all the wrong reasons; just like that, she’s banned from Jock Row. NO GUY WANTS A GIRL AROUND WHO KEEPS THEIR JOCK FRIENDS FROM GETTING LAID.

“Rowdy” Wade is the hot shot short-stop for the university’s baseball team—and the unlucky bastard who drew the short straw: keep little Miss Goody Two-Shoes out of the Baseball House.

But week-after-week Scarlett returns, determined to get inside.

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Sara Ney author photoSara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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