Love, Tussles, And Takedowns by Violet Duke (Release Media Blast, Giveaway)

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Title: Love, Tussles, And Takedowns (Cactus Creek #3)

Author: Violet Duke

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 27th, 2014



About Love, Tussles, And Takedowns (Cactus Creek #3):
love, tussles, and takedownsHe’s a better fighter

Hudson Reyes has been a fighter for longer than he cares to remember, with enough scars to last several lifetimes. After his combat injuries retire him from the life he wasn’t ready to give up yet, Hudson forces himself back on his feet, building a new post-military career as a fight scene and weapons specialist in the film industry, spending his carbon copy days doing what he knows best: surviving. Until he meets her. The one woman that makes him want to live again. The one woman with hidden wounds as deep as his…and a wicked roundhouse kick that almost knocks him out the day he finally learns her name.

 

…but she has all the weapons.

 

An antique arms authenticator by day and a self-defense instructor by night, Liana Lin has made a living turning the unthinkable demons of her past into the passions that fuel, and fill, her life. So when the unjustly handsome man she’s been unable to get out of her head literally takes her to the mat with fighting styles unlike anything she’s ever seen—all while pinning her with a molten hot stare that promises things she won’t even let herself imagine, Lia makes damn sure the barbed wire fence around her heart is closed up tight. Because if one man could find a way to disarm her carefully-built defenses, it’d be him.

 

Now if only they could stop sparring long enough to find out…

 

Available For Purchase (for 99c on release day only!):

Amazon US // Amazon UK // iBooks // B&N

 

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The Cactus Creek Series by Violet Duke:

A Little Combustible Chemistry (Cactus Creek #1) – FREE prequel novella

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

 

Love, Chocolate, And Beer (Cactus Creek #2)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo


Coming soon:Cactus Creek #4: Love, Exes, and Ohs [Isaac & Xoey] — July 2014

Cactus Creek #5: Love, Sidelines, and Endzones [Grady & Sienna] — Sept 2014

Cactus Creek #6: A Little Holiday Meddling [Holiday Novella — Noah & Katelyn] — Nov 2014

Excerpt

“Used to be, I could handle a combat weapon with the kind of speed and precision that guys in my unit were gladly willing to trade their left nut for.” A hard edge darkened his expression for a brief moment before fading, softening when his gaze fell on her face again. “After the explosion, discovering that I wouldn’t ever have that level of fine motor control in my trigger hand again, or that I wouldn’t ever be able to fully process the feel of a weapon because of the nerve damage in my other hand…that just about destroyed me.”

He slid his hand over her skin gently. “But this—ˮ

She gasped, gripped the sheets to keep herself grounded mentally, emotionally. To keep her silly heart from acknowledging the fact that he was shattering her defenses with that one simple touch, owning her with the intense, single-minded focus his eyes held as they followed the path his fingers were tracing across her belly. Hungrily. Reverently.

“I thought that was the hardest thing I’d have to get over because of my injuries. But this right here,” he whispered, leaning down to wreck even more havoc on her senses by shadowing his touch with his words, his evil, evil lips only just barely skimming her flesh. “Not being able to do all the things I want to do to you with the pace and precision I want to with this hand…” She stopped breathing when she felt his other palm smooth up the back of her thigh. “And worse, not being able feel you fully with this one…”

“Hell, Lia. That’s killing me more than you can imagine.”

 

About Violet Duke:

 

violet dukeNEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education who is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance novels. Her books have been Top 10 bestsellers on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble, and have been featured on IndieReader and GalleyCat as breakout hits. When she’s not writing or feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, Violet enjoys tackling reno projects with her power tools, trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first, and cooking ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. She lives in Hawai’i with her two cute kids (daughter Violet & son Duke) and similarly adorable husband.

 

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Amazon Author Page // Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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$.99 Sale Alert! Love Chocolate and Beer AND Love Tussles and Takedowns by Violet Duke (Media Blast)

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Ready for some Violet Duke?

For a limited time Love, Chocolate and Beer is on sale for $0.99! Grab your copy before the sale is gone! (Sale ends this week!)

Amazon | BN | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play

 

Also, get ready for the next Cactus Creek book – Love, Tussles and Takedowns releasing on June 13th, 2014.

Special limited time fan appreciation pricing of $0.99! Pre-order your copy today:

Amazon | iTunes

 

About Love, Chocolate and Beer by Violet Duke:

pLove, Chocolate and Beer“A new must-read series from Violet Duke.” –NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Kathleen Brooks

Romance has met its most unlikely match-up…

Luke Bradford is a chocolatier on a mission. After moving his chocolate shop, and newly single life, to the quirky town of Cactus Creek, Luke wants nothing more than to devote all his energy into making his business a success–by taking the romance market by storm. But his grand plans get thrown for a loop when he locks horns with the feisty beer-brewing beauty next door who calls his ‘romantic idealism’ a load of fairytale bull. Soon, driving the woman sparking nuts becomes another wickedly fun priority he simply can’t get enough of.

In his defense, she’s addictively easy to incite…and plain impossible to resist.

Beloved local brewmaster Dani Dobson is beyond riled up. It’s bad enough the new shop owner in town comes locked and loaded with both a distractingly rugged charm and sexy flashing dimples, but the whole only-in-the-movies variety of romance he’s selling–the kind her world has been crushed by before–is really doing a number on her allergy to unrealistic clichés. What’s worse, he’s created an annoyingly clever ad campaign that dubs ‘beer joints’ like hers as the “cave where romance goes to hibernate.” The nerve of that man.

Combustible chemistry or not, damn it, this means war. The stakes…very likely, her heart.

About Love, Tussles and Takedowns

LoveTusslesTakedowns_Final5-14_EBOOKeditHe’s a better fighter

A fighter to the core, Hudson Reyes has collected enough battle scars now to last several lifetimes. But after his combat injuries retire him from the life he wasn’t ready to give up, Hudson finds himself spending the carbon copy days of his new career as a Hollywood fight scene and weapons specialist just doing what he knows best: surviving. Until he meets her. The one woman who makes him want to live again. With wounds as deep as his own, she’s a scrappy little thing–an angel-faced paradox that comes as a package deal with an offbeat town of admirably protective, but downright nosy folks.

And a wicked roundhouse kick that’s become intimately familiar with his head.

…but she has all the weapons.

An antique arms authenticator by day and a self-defense instructor by night, Liana Lin has made a living turning the unthinkable demons of her past into the passions that fuel, and fill, her life. So when the unjustly handsome man she’s been unable to stop thinking about literally takes her to the mat with martial arts styles unlike anything she’s ever seen–pinning her with a molten hot stare that melts her like a marshmallow trapped between a graham cracker and a chocolate square–Lia flips into no-holds-barred fight mode. Because if one man could find a way to disarm her carefully-built defenses, it’d be him.

Now if only they could stop sparring long enough to find out…

 

About Violet Duke

Violet DukeNEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education who is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance novels. Her NYT and USA Today bestselling books have been Top 10 bestsellers on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble, and featured on IndieReader, GalleyCat, and USA Today as breakout hits. When she’s not writing or feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, Violet enjoys tackling reno projects with her power tools, trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first, and cooking ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. She lives in Hawai’i with her two cute kids (daughter Violet & son Duke) and similarly adorable husband.

Find the latest on her books and fan giveaways at http://www.facebook.com/VioletDukeBooks

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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Jolie Blonde by Brooklyn James (New Release)

Brooklyn James is an author/singer/songwriter inspired by life in the Live Music Capital of Austin, Texas. Her first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, has an original music soundtrack and was chosen as a Quarter Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. This book has ranked in Kindle’s Top 100 Coming of Age and Women’s Fiction. Her supernatural thriller trilogy, Vigilare, is an adaptation from a short narrative film, inspired by vigilante movies, such as The Punisher and Boondock Saints. Brooklyn’s nonfiction release, Get This Body In A Barn: The Milkmaid‘s Guide To Fitness, is available exclusively as an ebook. Inspired by her childhood growing up on a dairy farm, she offers basic and practical fitness and nutrition regimens in getting in shape.

The novel Jolie Blonde (Prequel to Vigilare trilogy & stand-alone romantic suspense) releases November 2013. Jolie Blonde will have an accompanying original music soundtrack as well, produced and recorded at Wonderland Studios, Austin. All songs from the soundtracks are written/co-written and performed by the author.

Listen free at http://www.brooklyn-james.com or http://www.facebook.com/BrooklynJamesAuthor. Brooklyn’s music can be found on Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, Pandora and Jango online Radio. Her song Can’t Get It Right was chosen for MEOW’s (Musicians for Equal Opportunity for Women) 2012 Discoveries Jukebox, naming Brooklyn among the top 15 female singer/songwriters on the rise. Jango Radio named her song Moving On to their Top 10 Songs of Summer.

Brooklyn holds an M.A. in Communication, and a B.S. in both Nursing and Animal Science. Her nursing career has seen specialties in the areas of Intensive Care and Labor & Delivery/Postpartum. She performs as part of an acoustic duo in the local live music scene in Austin. Brooklyn also serves as Guest Speaker from time to time with a focus on awareness and prevention of Domestic Violence and Suicide.

The Boots My Mother Gave Me
Vigilare: A Trilogy
Get This Body In A Barn: The Milkmaid’s Guide To Fitness

Purchase Jolie Blonde (Vigilare)on Amazon.

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Utilizing the Key Ring App on Technology Thursday

It is a foregone conclusion that way too many people out there are running out to purchase iPhones and then not utilizing them! It seems that everywhere I go, I end up teaching someone about an app.

 

If you follow my blog, you have already been witness to some of my screwups – like tripling my contacts, etc. You can take it from me – on good authority – that there is simply no reason not to play around with apps and your phone. If you mess something up, you simply head on over to iTunes and begin searching, because I promise you – there is an app to fix it because someone else has already beat you to the screwup.

 

We all have those pesky store discount cards dangling from our already full key rings – well, not me. But, they were corralled in my wallet, taking up valuable real estate. 

 

I was doing one of my favorite pass time hobbies – surfing iTunes. Does anyone else do this? I came across an app that was named quite appropriately –  Key Ring App

 

No longer do you have to shove an actual key ring full of store discount cards in your purse, or heaven forbid, your pocket.

 

You simply scan all of your cards (library, store, hotel, etc.) into the app using your phone camera. When you check out at a store that you have a card for, simple open up your app and the cashier will scan the bar code from your phone. The app can also be shared with another person.

 

You can have all of the individual store apps on your phone, but I have had others tell me that they sometimes have trouble while attempting to scan at the stores. This app has never given me any problems, AND the bonus is that they are all located in one app, not scattered around my phone.

 

This app also sports additional features are just plain wonderful! Using your GPS, it will find store promotions in your area. 


The ‘Offers’ icon finds and shows me the coupons available through the stored cards I entered. 


Under the ‘Sales‘ icon, I can view the sale papers of the stores where I have loyalty cards. No more searching high and low for the sale papers when I’m ready to shop!

 

Did I mention that it is also FREE! How great is that!

 

I would love to hear from you. Do you use Key Ring or another similar app?

 

Be sure to follow my blog and tune in next Thursday for another episode of ‘Technology Thursday’.    

 

 

 

keyring app

 

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Technology Thursday: Learning to use the Key Ring App

It is a foregone conclusion that way too many people out there are running out to purchase iPhones and then not utilizing them! It seems that everywhere I go, I end up teaching someone about an app.

If you follow my blog, you have already been witness to some of my screwups – like tripling my contacts, etc. You can take it from me – on good authority – that there is simply no reason not to play around with apps and your phone. If you mess something up, you simply head on over to iTunes and begin searching, because I promise you – there is an app to fix it because someone else has already beat you to the screwup.

We all have those pesky store discount cards dangling from our already full key rings – well, not me. But, they were corralled in my wallet, taking up valuable real estate.

I was doing one of my favorite pass time hobbies – surfing iTunes. Does anyone else do this? I came across an app that was named quite appropriately –  Key Ring App.

No longer do you have to shove an actual key ring full of store discount cards in your purse, or heaven forbid, your pocket.

You simply scan all of your cards (library, store, hotel, etc.) into the app using your phone camera. When you check out at a store that you have a card for, simple open up your app and the cashier will scan the bar code from your phone. The app can also be shared with another person.

You can have all of the individual store apps on your phone, but I have had others tell me that they sometimes have trouble while attempting to scan at the stores. This app has never given me any problems, AND the bonus is that they are all located in one app, not scattered around my phone.

This app also sports additional features are just plain wonderful! Using your GPS, it will find store promotions in your area.

The ‘Offers’ icon finds and shows me the coupons available through the stored cards I entered.

Under the ‘Sales’ icon, I can view the sale papers of the stores where I have loyalty cards. No more searching high and low for the sale papers when I’m ready to shop!

Did I mention that it is also FREE! How great is that!

I want to hear from you. Do you use Key Ring or another similar app?

Be sure to follow my blog and tune in next Thursday for another episode of ‘Technology Thursday’.

keyring app

Let Me Be The One, The Sullivans Book 6 by Bella Andre

When Vicki Bennett saved Ryan Sullivan’s life as a teenager, 

it was the beginning of a close friendship that never wavered despite her failed marriage to someone else and Ryan’s well-earned reputation as a ladies man. So when she suddenly needs a pretend boyfriend to 

 protect herself and 

her career from a powerful man’s advances, he is the only person she can imagine asking.

 

Ryan will do anything to protect Vicki from harm, but when their “fake” kisses and caresses lead to an incredibly sensual night that neither of them can resist, will he have made the biggest mistake of all by irreparably jeopardizing their friendship? Or is it possible that what they’ve both been looking for has been right there the whole time…and the perfect combination of wicked and sweet, friendship and love, is finally within reach?

Enjoy an excerpt from Let Me Be The One:

Fifteen years ago, Palo Alto High School

 Victoria Bennett couldn’t take her eyes off Ryan Sullivan, who was laughing with some of the guys on his baseball team, as she headed through the high school parking lot toward the art store on University Avenue.

None of the other girls in her tenth-grade class could take their eyes off him, either, so at least she didn’t stick out. Not for that reason, anyway. Her clay-stained fingers and clothes—along with the “new girl” sign she felt like she was wearing during her first few weeks at every new school—did that with no help whatsoever from Ryan…or his ridiculously good looks.

Normally, she could have gotten over his pretty face without much trouble. As an artist, she always worked to look beneath the surface of things, to try to find out what was really at the heart of a painting or sculpture or song. That went for people, too. Especially boys who, as far as she could tell, only ever told a girl what they wanted to hear for one reason.

No, what had her stuck on Ryan Sullivan was the fact that he was always laughing. Somehow, without being the class clown, he had a gift for putting people at ease and making them feel good.

Before she could catch herself, she put her fingers to her lips…and wondered what it would feel like if he kissed her.

She yanked her hand away from her mouth. Not just because dreaming of his kisses was borderline pathetic given the utter unlikelihood of that scenario, but because she needed to stay focused on her art.

She wasn’t just another tenth grader mooning over the hottest boy in school.

She was studying her muse.

Vicki had never been much interested in sculpting formal busts before. Old, dead, overly serious guys in gray didn’t really do it for her. But it had only taken a few minutes near Ryan at lunch her first day on campus to be inspired to capture his laughter in clay. She wished she could get closer to all that easy joy—if only to figure out how to translate it from her mind’s eye to the clay beneath her fingers.

Yes, she thought with a small smile, she was perfectly willing to suffer for her art. Especially if it meant staring at Ryan Sullivan.

The light turned from red to green and she could have picked up her pace and made it across the street. Only, she’d been having such trouble getting the corners of the eyes and mouth just right on her Laughing Boy sculpture. Knowing there wasn’t a chance that Ryan or his friends would notice her, rather than leaving the school grounds, she closed the distance between them in as nonchalant a manner as she could, while surreptitiously watching him from beneath the veil of the bangs that had grown too long over her eyes during the summer.

A few seconds later, his friends high-fived him and walked away. Ryan bent down to finish packing up a long, narrow black bag at his feet, which she guessed held his baseball stuff.

What, she wondered on an appreciative sigh at the way the muscles on his forearms and shoulders flexed as he picked up the bag, would happen if she talked to him? And what would he say if she outright asked him to pose for her?

She was on the verge of laughing out loud at her crazy thoughts when she heard a squeal coming from the parking lot. In a split second she realized an out-of-control car was whipping straight toward Ryan.

There wasn’t time to plan, or to think. Vicki sprinted across the several feet between them and threw herself at him.

“Car!”

Fortunately, Ryan’s natural athleticism kicked in right away. Even though she was the one trying to pull him out of the way, less than a heartbeat later he was lifting her and practically throwing her across the grass before leaping to cover her body with his.

She scrunched her eyes tightly shut as the car careened past, so close that she could feel the hairs on her arms lifting in its wake. Breathing hard, Vicki clung to Ryan. Wetness moved across her cheeks and she belatedly realized tears must have sprung up from landing so hard on the grass.

The seconds ticked by as if in slow motion, one hard, thudding heartbeat after another from Ryan’s chest to hers and then back again from hers to his. He was so strong, so warm, so beautifully real. She wanted to lie like this with him forever, more intimately, closer than she’d ever been with another boy.

Only, voices were rising in pitch all around her, and suddenly, the reality of what had just happened hit.

Oh my God, they’d both almost died!

She was starting to feel faint when he lifted his head and smiled down at her.

“Hi, I’m Ryan.”

The way he said it, as if she didn’t already know who he was, pierced through her shock. He acted like it was normal to be sprawled over a girl. Which, she suddenly realized, it probably was. For him.

Definitely not for her, though.

Her lips were dry and she had to lick them once, twice, before saying, “I’m Victoria.” The words, “But my friends call me Vicki,” slipped out before she could pull them back in.

His smile widened and her heart started beating even faster. Not from shock this time, but from pure, unfettered teenage hormones kicked into overdrive by his beautiful smile.

“Thank you for saving my life, Vicki.” A moment later, his smile disappeared as he took in her tear-streaked cheeks. The eyes that she’d seen filled with laughter so many times during the first two weeks of school grew serious. “I hurt you.”

She would have told him no, and that she was fine, but all breath and words were stolen from her the instant he brushed his fingertips over her cheeks to wipe away her tears.

Somehow, she managed to shake her head, and to get her lips to form the word no, even though no sound followed.

His laughing eyes were dark now, and more intense than she’d ever seen them. “Are you sure? I didn’t mean to land so hard on you.”

“I’m—”

How was she supposed to keep her brain working when he’d begun the slow, shockingly sweet process of running his hands over the back of her skull, and then down to her shoulders and upper arms?

One more word. That was all she needed to get out to answer his question.

“—fine.”

“Good.” His voice was deeper, richer, than any of the other fifteen-year-old boys. “I’m glad.”

But as he stared down at her, his expression continued to grow even more intense and she found herself holding her breath.

Was he going to kiss her now? Had her life just turned into the quintessential after-school-special fantasy, the one where the artsy girl caught the eye of the jock and the whole school was turned upside down by their unlikely but ultimately perfect and inevitable pairing?

“One day, when you need me most, I promise I’ll be there for you, Vicki.”

Oh. She swallowed hard. Oh my.

He hadn’t given her a kiss…but his promise felt more important than a mere kiss would have been.

Before she realized it, he was standing up again and holding out a hand to help her up, too. Instantly missing his heat, the hard muscles pressing into her softer ones, all the lies she’d been trying to tell herself about Ryan simply being a muse scattered out of reach.

“Can I walk you home?”

Surprised that he wanted to spend more time with her, she quickly shook her head.

He looked equally surprised by her response, likely because no girl on earth had ever turned him down.

“No, I can’t walk you home?”

She fumbled to explain. “I’m not going home. I was actually heading over to the art store to pick up some supplies for a new sculpt—”

She barely stopped herself from rambling on about her latest project. Why would Ryan Sullivan care? Besides, she reminded her racing heart with brutal honesty, he probably had some pretty cheerleaders waiting on him. And they wouldn’t need an out-of-control car to get him to lie down on top of them.

Because no matter how tempting it was to believe that she had suddenly been cast in a happy-ever-after fairytale romance, the truth was that getting that close to Ryan had been nothing more than a fluke of fate.

And Vicki remained the star of her artsy, and often lonely, move-to-a-new-town-every-year-with-her-military-family teenage life.

Only, for some strange reason she couldn’t understand, Ryan wasn’t running in the opposite direction yet. Probably because he felt like he owed her after she’d saved his life. After all, hadn’t he just told her that he would be there for her one day when she really needed him?

“What are you getting supplies for?” He asked the question as though he were truly interested, not just acting like it because he felt he should.

“I’m making a—” Wait, she couldn’t tell him what she was making. Because she was sculpting him. “I work with clay. Lately, I’ve been trying to capture specific facial expressions.”

“Which ones?”

Never in a million years did she think she’d ever speak to him, let alone have this long a conversation. But, what shocked her most of all was just how comfortable she felt with him. Even with all of her teenage hormones on high alert, Ryan was, simply, the easiest person she’d ever been around.

And she wanted more time with him than just five stolen minutes on the high school lawn.

Her nerves were starting to back off a bit by the time she told him, “I started with all the usual expressions every artist knows best.” She played it up for him. “Tears. Pain. Suffering. Existential nothingness.”

His laughter made her feel like she could float all the way to the art store and back.

“Sounds fun.”

“Oh yeah,” she joked back, “it’s a riot. Which is why I’m trying something different now.” She took a breath before admitting, “I’m working on laughter.”

“Laughter, huh?” He grinned at her. “I like it. How’s it going?”

Being so close to the full wattage of his smile made her breath catch in her throat. In an effort to cover her all-too-obvious reaction to him, she scrunched up her face. “Put it this way, I think I’ve started to resemble all those other expressions.”

“Even the existential nothingness one?”

As if she were watching the two of them from a distance, Vicki knew she’d always look back to that moment as the one that mattered most. The one where she fell head over heels in love with Ryan Sullivan. And not because of his beautiful outside.

But because he’d listened.

And, even better, because he’d appreciated.

“Especially that one,” she replied.

He picked up her bag from the grass. “Sounds awesome. Mind if I tag along?”

Okay, so maybe the two of them didn’t add up on paper, but Vicki couldn’t deny that they had clicked.

“Sure,” she said, “if you don’t have anywhere else you have to be.”

He slung his equipment bag over his other shoulder and walked beside her. “Nothing more important than hanging out with a new friend.”

This time, she was the one grinning at him. In the two weeks since she’d moved to Palo Alto with her family, she hadn’t done a very good job of making friends at the high school. As an Army brat who moved more years than not, she’d stopped making the effort a long time ago when she realized how hard it was to not only break into fully formed cliques, but also to maintain long-distance friendships once she inevitably left town.

Ryan made everything seem so easy, though, as if the only thing that wouldn’t make sense was their not hanging out.

By the end of their trip to the art store and back, she knew all about his seven siblings, he knew she had two annoying little brothers, he’d told her what he liked about baseball, she’d told him what she loved about sculpting, and she’d been invited to dinner at the Sullivan house.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The best one she’d ever had.

 

* * *

 

Present day, San Francisco

 

Ryan Sullivan threw his car keys to the valet as he shot past him. The young man’s eyes widened as he realized that he was not only about to drive a Ferrari into the underground parking lot, but that it belonged to one of his sports idols.

“Mr. Sullivan, sir, don’t you need your valet tag?”

Ryan took his responsibilities to the fans seriously and made it a point never to let them down. But tonight the only thing that mattered was Vicki. Even though a half-dozen missed connections over the years had kept them from meeting up again in person after high school, they’d kept in touch through email and phone calls.

Vicki was his friend.

And he wouldn’t let anyone hurt one of his friends.

Ryan pushed through the dark glass doors to the exclusive hotel foyer and made himself stop long enough to do a quick scan of the glittering room. The Pacific Union Club wasn’t his kind of place—it was pretentious as all hell—and he hadn’t thought it would be Vicki’s usual stomping grounds, either.

So why was she here? And why hadn’t she told him she was finally coming back to Northern California after so many years in Europe?

He’d been hanging at his brother Chase’s new baby celebration when her texts had come in.

 

I need your help. Come quick.

 

Ryan had cursed every one of the thirty-five miles into the city from his mother’s house on the Peninsula. He’d texted Vicki again and again to get more information, and to make sure that she was okay, but she hadn’t replied.

He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so worried about anyone…or so ready to do battle. Vicki wasn’t the kind of woman who cried wolf. She wouldn’t have sent him those texts just to try to get his attention. She was the only woman he’d ever known apart from his sisters and mother who had ever been completely real with him, and who didn’t want anything from him besides his friendship.

His large hands were tight fists as he surveyed the cocktail lounge, his jaw clenched tight.

Damn it, where was she?

If anyone had touched Vicki the wrong way, or hurt her even the slightest bit, Ryan would make them pay.

He was famous for being not only the winningest pitcher in the National Baseball League, but also one of the most laid-back. Very few people had a clue about Ryan’s hidden edges, but it wouldn’t take much more to set him off tonight.

He grabbed the first person in uniform, his grip hard enough on the young man’s upper arm that he winced. “Is there a private meeting room?”

The young man stuttered, “Y-yes, sir.”

“Where is it?”

His hand shook as he pointed. “On the back side of the bar, but it’s already reserved toni—”

Ryan hightailed it through the lounge and it shouldn’t have been that hard to get through the crowd, but it seemed that every single person in the room either got up to buy another drink or was trying to get his attention.

When he found a subtly hidden door just to the side of the bar, he nearly knocked it off its hinges in his hurry to open it.

Ryan saw the flash of Vicki’s long blond hair first, her killer curves second.

Thank God, she was here, and in one piece.

But his relief was short-lived when he realized he’d interrupted her and her cocktail companion just as the man’s hand was sliding onto her thigh.

Vicki jumped off her seat as Ryan strode into the room. The terror that had been on her face when the other man touched her leg slowly morphed into relief at his arrival.

Her companion, on the other hand, was clearly surprised to see Ryan…and he wasn’t happy about it, either. The man was probably in his fifties and was obviously loaded. Or at least wanted people to think he was, holding meetings in a place like this, wearing a handmade suit.

Quickly conjuring up an expression of surprise, Vicki said, “What are you doing here so early, honey?”

 

…Excerpt from LET ME BE THE ONE by Bella Andre ©2012.

 

My Review:

 

What are the chances of having eight exceptionally good looking siblings in one family? And, what are the chances that they all find perfectly beautiful mates and live happily ever after? Probably next to none, but then that’s why we read fantasy. And, oh what a wonderful fantasy world Bella Andre has created for us in The Sullivan’s Series. 

There are some books you read, some you find yourself skimming through, and then there are the books you realize that you are hanging onto every word and sometimes find yourself re-reading words and forget you are reading about the character in the book. These books fall into the latter category. 

A Knight in Shining Armor to the rescue. It just makes my heart pitter patter. Book 6 introduces us to pro baseball player Ryan Sullivan and Victoria Bennett, his best friend from high school. Ryan has been waiting for the chance to pay Vicki back for saving his life all those years ago, but by pretending he’s in love with her? Or is it real? You’ll have to read the book, because I’m not telling!

Technically speaking, I thought the book was very easy going and creatively written. The book also had a complete story line that could end with the last page of the book, if that were the only one the reader chose to read. I did like the way the author set up the next sibling’s story at the end of each book, and although they do not need to be read in order, I personally would recommend that this be done. 

 

Fall in Love with the Sullivan’s – One by one!

Click the link to the Rafflecopter to win prizes!

 

 

I Only Have Eyes For You, The Sullivans Book 4 by Bella Andre

Sophie Sullivan, a librarian in San Francisco, was five years old when she fell head over heels in love with Jake McCann. Twenty years later, she’s convinced the notorious bad boy still sees her as the “nice” Sullivan twin. That is, when he bothers to look at her at all. But when they both get caught up in the magic of the first Sullivan wedding, she knows it’s long past time to do whatever it takes to make him see her for who she truly is…the woman who will love him forever.
Jake has always been a magnet for women, especially since his Irish pubs made him extremely wealthy. But the only woman he really wants is the one he can never have. Not only is Sophie his best friend’s off-limits younger sister…he can’t risk letting her get close enough to discover his deeply hidden secret.
Only, when Sophie appears on his doorstep as Jake’s every fantasy come to life—smart, beautiful, and shockingly sexy—he doesn’t have a prayer of taking his eyes, or his hands, off her. And he can’t stop craving more of her sweet smiles and sinful kisses. Because even though Jake knows loving Sophie isn’t the right thing to do…how can he possibly resist?
 Enjoy an Excerpt from Book 4
Jake decided to steer completely clear of Sophie for the rest of the wedding. A little distance from all those soft curves and plump red lips would help him get his head back on straight.
“I’ve got this,” he told Sammy, one of his best bartenders at the original McCann’s in the city. “You can circulate with the trays.”
Fortunately, the wedding guests were thirsty, clearly needing some vino or hops to wash the taste of the syrupy vows from their tongues. Pouring drinks for strangers was as natural to Jake as breathing, and he immediately got into a rhythm in the middle of the vineyard as the meal was served and people kept a running line behind the bar between courses. He couldn’t remember a time he hadn’t been drying clean glasses, rearranging bottles. As a kid, when his dad had been the one running the taps, Jake had been in the back loading and unloading the dishwasher for a few extra bucks while the cooks at whatever pub they were at slung together plates of fish and chips and colcannon.
When the female guests flirted with him at the bar, he flirted back. So what if none of them were even half as pretty as Sophie? The Sullivans might be pairing up one after the other like they’d been infected by the same virus, but Jake had had his shots.
Love wasn’t going to take him down.
He knew better than to think that love meant a damn thing when the going got rough and it was easier to split. No wife, no kids, plenty of pretty women, but no rings, was what Jake’s future held. He’d play with all the kids the Sullivan clan was bound to pump out, would enjoy being Uncle Jake, but he wouldn’t make the mistake of thinking he’d ever be a good husband or father.
McCanns didn’t come with those genes.
“You haven’t had anything to eat yet.”
The slightly husky female voice reached in and grabbed him a split second before he looked straight into Sophie’s eyes. Her soft sensuality in that pink dress, the sweet smell of her perfume, were a one-two punch straight to a gut that hadn’t yet recovered from watching those tears slip down her cheeks, or the radiant smile that had followed.
Without waiting for an invitation, she put a full plate on the back table for him and moved around the bar to stand next to him. “Scoot over. I’ll help out while you eat.” She bumped her hip into his, his body not giving a damn that she was OFF LIMITS.
How could her brothers have let her out looking like this? What were they thinking? Didn’t they care even a little bit about their sister’s welfare?
While he was standing there losing his mind, Sophie took drink orders and deftly poured glasses of wine and mixed drinks for the wedding guests. She was a librarian, not a bartender. She shouldn’t be so good at serving drinks. And no librarian should ever be this hot, either, Jake thought as he clamped his jaw so tight his temple started throbbing. He’d let her help for five minutes, and then he’d send her back to her table to celebrate with the rest of her family and make sure she stayed there for the rest of the reception.
Even if he had to tie her to her seat.
A beer bottle nearly slipped from his grip as Jake was hit with a crystal-clear vision of Sophie in his bed, begging for him to—
“I hear you’re a librarian. Read any good books lately?”
Jake surfaced from his triple-X daydream just in time to notice a male guest leaning on the bar and looking down the top of Sophie’s dress.
She didn’t seem to notice any of that as she smiled back at the guy. She was too innocent to realize when a guy like this was aiming for one thing, and one thing only.
“Mmm,” she said in that seductive voice, still slightly hoarse from her tears. “I’m always reading great books. What do you like to read?”
The guy shrugged, not seeming to care that there was a huge backup of thirsty people bottlenecking behind him. “I’m a doct—”
“What are you drinking?” Jake broke in.
The guy shot him a look that said, Can’t you see I’m about to score here?
“Corona,” he said to Jake before turning back to Sophie. “As I was saying, I’m a doctor, so I don’t have too much time to read. But when I do, I usually read medical thrillers.”
Jake couldn’t believe it when Sophie leaned over the bar and said, “Oooh, how exciting. Medical thrillers always leave me breathless.”
Didn’t she get that this loser was way beneath her? She should be throwing a drink in his face, not giving him a better view of her body as she leaned down to grab a bottle of beer. Dr. Dickwad looked like he’d hit a home run, was counting the minutes until he could strip that dress from her tanned skin and find out if she tasted as good as she smelled.
Like hell. Jake would kill him first.
Jake snatched the bottle from her hand. “Here’s your beer. Time to let everyone else get a drink.”
He could feel Sophie frowning at him as he pinned the guy with his hardest look. If she couldn’t pick good from bad, he was going to have to save her. Whether she wanted him to or not was irrelevant.
Although the guy flinched at Jake’s silent promise of violence, it didn’t stop him from saying, “Be sure to save a dance for me, gorgeous,” before he walked away.
Jake held on to his control by a very thin thread. Nothing would feel better than to jump over the bar and tackle the guy to teach him what happened when he flirted with the wrong girl. A girl who was too sweet, too pretty, too damn perfect for him to ever even think of touching one hair on her head.
“You’re not dancing with him,” he growled. “Not tonight. Not ever.”
“I’m a big girl, Jake. I’ll dance with whomever I want.”
Serving the customer always took priority. But not this time. “Sammy,” he called out across the reception area, motioning for his employee to take over the bar again. He didn’t wait for Sam to make it to the bar before wrapping his hand around Sophie’s wrist and pulling her out from behind the bar. He didn’t stop walking until they were hidden behind a large storage shed, just on the edge of the reception area.
“You are not getting within a hundred feet of that guy again.”
Anger flared in her eyes. Eyes that had been full of happy tears, full of pure joy, just a short while ago. “You can’t tell me what to do.”
“Like hell I can’t.”
She yanked her arm from his and started to walk away, but he couldn’t let her go. Not when she was bound to do something stupid, like kiss a smarmy doctor. Furious at the picture of anyone else touching Sophie, instead of just grabbing her wrist or her shoulders, this time Jake wrapped his arms all the way around her and pulled her into him. He held her tight, her chest pushing into his forearms, her height matching his so that her hips fit perfectly between his open legs, her soft hips pressing into his groin.
“Let go of me.”
“No.”
The word was muffled by her hair, so soft, so silky against his chin and lips. And the truth was, he couldn’t have let go of her for the world. Not just because he didn’t want that other guy touching her…but because he’d never wanted to hold anyone more than he did Sophie.
How long had he dreamed of holding her? Too many years to keep count. And yet, he’d never had a clue just how incredibly good she would feel in his arms, her dangerous curves pressed into him, her chest rising and falling against his arms.
“I’m not going to let you go until you promise me you’ll stay away from him.”
Now it was her turn to say, “No.”
He shifted his hand enough to slip a finger beneath her chin and turn her face so that he could look into her eyes. “Promise me, Sophie. It’s for your own good.”
Sophie yanked her face away from his hand, then her whole body, and when she turned to face him head-on, her eyes were flashing. “I can’t believe you just said that! Especially since you of all people have no idea whatsoever what’s good for me.”
“Wanna bet?”
His mouth was on hers before he could put the brakes on his desire.
…Excerpt from I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU by Bella Andre ©2012
Fall in Love with the Sullivan’s – One by one!
Click the link to the Rafflecopter to win prizes!
 
My Review:
Book 4 introduces us to sweet Sophie “Nice” Sullivan and the man she has loved since childhood, Jake McCann. Read along as we see Sophie take charge and go after what her heart has always wanted. Will she win over Jake or will the Sullivan brothers step in?

Like the previous Sullivan books, this one takes love to a whole new level. I especially enjoyed this book. Doesn’t every librarian wish for a bad boy?  

All the Sullivan books stand alone, but I personally recommend reading them in order as the author does a wonderful job of setting up the next book with a new sibling. 

 

No Time for Love by JB Miller

No Time for Love banner
Join JB Miller, author of the chick lit novel, No Time for Love, as she tours the blogosphere November 15 ‘12 – January 25 ‘13 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your BookThe No Time for Love Virtual Book Publicity Tour is part of a Godiva Chocolates/Book  Giveaway. See details further down on how you can win!

ABOUT JB MILLER

J.B. Miller is a published author of fiction, non-fiction, award-winning poetry, music, and numerous articles and blogs. No Time For Love is her first novel. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children.
Purchase No Time for Love: Amazon | iTunes

No Time for Love

ABOUT NO TIME FOR LOVE

Chatham Ross has no time – for anything, least of all love. She manages her three kid’s demanding schedules, exercises at crazy hours to preserve her less than perfect figure and writes catchy advertising jingles to pay for the mortgage. To the outside world, she seems to have it all – except for a husband. Who has time for that? Besides, hers died unexpectedly five years ago and she’s still not over it. A chance occurrence with a particular jingle finds Chatham on a bi-coastal roller coaster that she can’t seem to put the breaks on. Will the man who has always secretly loved her finally have his chance to ride along? Or will the very handsome foreigner on the other side of the country claim her wounded heart? At some point she has to choose which path is for her – or has it been there all along?

My Review
       I absolutely loved this book. It was full of quirky, relate-able characters with fun names. It was fast-paced with a little mystery thrown in. It had loads of humorous situations that made me laugh at loud. No Time for Love had friendship, loyalty, and what else but love. It was a book that kept you turning the pages when you needed to set it down. If you love a good romance, you will definitely love this book. 
 
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If you found my review helpful, please consider voting for my review on Amazon by following the link below. Thanks!!
 
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The giveaway is located at

 

Fall in love with Sullivan’s!

I will be featuring each one of the Sullivan books on my blog, one each day beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, January 8th, 2013. I hope you’ll visit each day to read an excerpt from the book and my review. In the meantime, enjoy the interview with the author, Bella Andre and play the Rafflecopter for the chance at some fabulous prizes!
You can find the Rafflecopter by clicking on this link that will lead you to my other blog.
All Sullivan Covers 

The Sullivan’s

The Sullivans are on tour with Novel Publicity. Follow along for your chance to win amazing prizes. We’ve got special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards. WOW!
You’ll also get introduced to this amazing contemporary romance series via excerpts as well as interviews with and guest posts from New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre. You’ll definitely want to learn more about the family that has captured the world’s heart.
All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To Win the Prizes:
  1. Purchase any of the Sullivan ebooks by Bella Andre for just $4.99 (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)
About The Sullivans:
In this sexy, emotional and funny contemporary romance series, each member of the Sullivan family will eventually find true love…usually where he or she least expects it.
Audiobooks are also available for the first five in the series (with more coming soon). Plus, keep an eye out for paperback editions coming from Harlequin Romance starting Summer 2013.

All Sullivan Covers

An Interview with the author, Bella Andre
1. You create characters beautifully and are an absolute master of plot twists. It seems like you could write in almost any genre and do a bang-up job of it. What made you decide to devote your efforts to the romance genre in particular?
Thank you so much for the compliments! I’ve always been a huge romance fan – I’ve been reading nearly a book a day since I was a teenager – so it was a natural fit for me when the characters starting appearing in my head one day.
2. How did the idea for this interconnected contemporary romance series first come to you? What was your inspiration?
I love the family series that have always been popular in historical romance – like Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series and Nora Robert’s MacGregors – and I was also inspired by my husband’s large family. It seemed like a natural fit to combine the funny and sweet family dynamics into an overarching series of sexy contemporary romances with the alpha heroes that I love so much.
3. Everyone seems to have a favorite Sullivan. Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but who is your favorite? And who’s most like you?
I’ll have to plead the fifth and pick Mary Sullivan – the family matriarch – as my favorite Sullivan. She’s the heart that keeps the family together and I get emotional whenever I write a scene with her. In fact, in COME A LITTLE BIT CLOSER (Smith Sullivan’s story), the scene where he calls his mother to ask for love advice is one that so many readers have told me is their absolute favorite scene in any Sullivan book.
As for who is most like me – maybe Sophie Sullivan from I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU. She loves to read (and is a librarian) and when she wants something (in her case: bad boy Jake McCann), she goes for it! Of course, I’m also a lot like Lori Sullivan (aka “Naughty”) with her big mouth and constant laughter.
4. In your opinion, what ingredients are needed to make up a good love story? Is life the same as fiction in this respect? Why or why not?
I love to love my characters and when I write a story I need two heroic, nice, good people (and why not gorgeous, too?!) who deserve love and have a lot of love to offer in return, but who are flawed partially because they haven’t found that perfect someone who complements them like no other. I like my fiction to be a little bigger than life – the Sullivans are extraordinarily hot, sensitive and attentive – but at their heart, they’re all very real.
5. How has your own love story with your husband informed the Sullivan series? Are there any scenes that are directly taken from your own life?
I have the best husband in the entire world. Sweet, loving, sensitive…and super hot! He’s always supported me in everything I’ve ever done and I think his strength and capability to love is at the core of every hero I write.
With that said, none of the scenes are ever taken directly from my own life. I have a very active imagination.
6. Let’s pretend for a second that you are a single woman living in the world of the Sullivans, which of the six brothers would you be most likely to fall in love with and why?
Ohhhh, now THAT is a fun fantasy! I would fall in love with each and every single one of them – and do, while I’m writing each of their stories! If I had to pick one, I might have my eye on Marcus (FROM THIS MOMENT ON) – because while all of my Sullivans are sweet, sexy and sensitive – Marcus is the only one with his own endless supply of wine from his winery. And there’s just something about the oldest brother…. Then again, Zach Sullivan is such a great combination of cocky and sweet. And Ryan Sullivan has all those muscles. And Gabe is such a hero as a firefighter (and I love his dirty talking between the sheets). And Chase is so sexy and protective. And then there’s Jake McCann (who falls in love with Sophie Sullivan) with his tattoos and big muscles. Not to mention Lori’s hero in the upcoming ALWAYS ON MY MIND which will be out this spring. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Lori’s hero just might be the hottest hero I’ve ever written.
See, what did I tell you earlier? I’m no good at picking just one. So let’s just say, yet again, ALL OF THEM!
7. The Sullivans and their beaux have some pretty interesting careers. From photographers and sculptors to professional actors, musicians and ball players all the way to firefighters, librarians and business owners, they lead very exciting lives! What type of research did you have to do to capture these jobs so well? Do you have any interesting research anecdotes to share?
I’ve written firefighters and athletes in previous series which helped with my firefighter, Gabe (CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE) and my baseball player, Ryan (LET ME BE THE ONE). I also live in Sonoma and have a lot of experience with wine and wineries which was ideal for winery owner Marcus (FROM THIS MOMENT ON) and as a writer I’ve been blessed to work with many librarians who served as information points for Sophie (I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU.)
For books where I need inspiration, the internet has been amazing and when needed, I also call on the help of professionals. Even though I’d written firefighters before, I still sent all my firefighting scenes to a professional and for Smith’s book (COME A LITTLE BIT CLOSER) I sent all the acting-set sequences to a local film producer.
8. I was very touched by the inclusion of Yorkie puppy, Cuddles, and Great Dane rescue, Atlas, in book five, If You Were Mine. Are you a dog person yourself? If you have pets, I’d love to know more about them!
I *love* animals. I had the best time writing the two dogs in IF YOU WERE MINE. They had their own little love story in that book, which pleased me to no end. There’s a cat that plays a very important role in ALWAYS ON MY MIND (Lori Sullivan’s story, coming Spring 2013). My whole family loves animals, and we’ve recently adopted a beautiful cat. Or more accurately, the cat has adopted us, smart little minx.
9. The Sullivan series is currently seven volumes long. How many more books do you have planned, and which other family members will get the spotlight in their own books?
Lori’s book (ALWAYS ON MY MIND) is up next, and there are 5 Seattle Sullivans who are ready for love – I will start with Rafe Sullivan’s book this summer! Plus, I have something *very* special planned for Mary Sullivan, their mother, planned to release for the holidays in 2013.
10. And lastly (for a bit of random fun), what has been the most amazing/ touching/ validating interaction you’ve had with a fan of your books?
Everyone who has ever written to me on Facebook or Twitter or Goodreads or via email to tell me how much they love my books and that the Sullivans have moved them in some way has touched me. I love my fans, so, so much! I have the very best time in the world writing about my Sullivans… and knowing that I have so many absolutely wonderful people waiting to read them as soon as they’re released is a total thrill every single day.
Bella AndreBella Andre_1: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started writing her first romance novel, she knew she’d found her perfect career. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they’ll love forever, nearly all of her novels have appeared on Top 10 lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo.
Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books.
If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.