Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt (Chapter 1, Giveaway)

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Cheryl Holt celebrates her years as “The Queen of Erotic Romance” with this sexy, yummy, and fun tale of a bride’s seductive antics on her wedding night…

Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, is in a bind. His father has cut off his allowance, so he’s had to rein in his decadent habits and split with his beautiful, spoiled mistress whom he can no longer afford. When an American heiress comes to London and dangles her fortune in Stephen’s direction, he sees it as the answer to his prayers. He’ll wed the pretty, delectable heiress, but he won’t let her interfere with his decadent lifestyle. He’s a confirmed bachelor and determined to have a marriage of convenience.

Ellen Foster has traveled to London for the express purpose of buying a titled husband. She’s been husband shopping for months and can’t make up her mind. All the available candidates seem tepid and boring. But when she lays eyes on handsome, dashing Stephen St. John, she knows he’s the one, and with her large fortune as bait, he’s easily snared in her web.

When he suggests a marriage of convenience, she pretends to agree. But she has no intention of living separate lives. She plans to enjoy every delightful, wicked minute that marriage to a rake can provide. With Stephen determined to avoid her, seduction seems the only choice.

Though Stephen doesn’t realize it, Ellen always gets her way, and as she turns their bedchamber into a den of erotic pleasure, poor Stephen doesn’t stand a chance…

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CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author of over thirty-five novels.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance” as well as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. Visit her website at http://www.cherylholt.com.

Purchase on Amazon: I will be posting the link soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the excerpt below.

 Cheryl Holt is giving away a set of The Lord Trent trilogy to one

lucky winner. 

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CHAPTER ONE

London, 1815…

“Well, good night then, Lord Banbury.”

“Good night.”

Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, eventually to be Earl of Stafford if his recalcitrant, impossible father ever dropped dead, glared at the interloper who’d now been his wife for all of ten hours.  The silence extended; the farewell grew awkward.

What repartee, precisely, was a man supposed to express at a time such as this?  Sleep well?  Pleasant dreams?  See you in the morning?  Or how about more aptly, What was I thinking, marrying a woman I don’t know?  Have I gone mad?

Nothing seemed appropriate.  Astoundingly, he blushed, his cheeks heating with an embarrassing dose of discomfort.

The wedding guests were gone, the house had been tidied by what was left of his domestic staff, and he’d been about to leave too, when he’d stumbled upon her floating down the stairs.  She was scarcely dressed, clad in a diaphanous green negligee and robe that hardly covered anything that ought to be covered.  Apparently, as she’d concluded that he was already off to his merrymaking, she’d believed herself to be alone in the massive, drafty domicile.  Unable to sleep, she’d descended to fetch a relaxing refreshment.

Her hair was blond, the shade of ripened wheat.  It was unbound and hanging down her back to brush her bottom, and he was gravely troubled by the display.  She was much too forward and assured, prancing about in her nightwear before an unfamiliar man, yet she didn’t appear perturbed.

Yes, he was her husband, but nevertheless, they were strangers.

Even though he hadn’t meant to, he evaluated her graceful figure.  He was only human!  He couldn’t be expected to avoid looking at what was flaunted in plain sight.

She was much too shapely, and he squirmed uneasily and inspected the floor, only to be confronted by her feet.

Her toenails were painted red!  The splash of bright crimson in the dull salon seemed immoderately sexy, out of place, incongruous and irreconcilable with the individual he pictured her to be. Continue reading

The Homecoming: Book 6 of Thunder Point series by Robyn Carr (Excerpt, Review, Giveaway, Tour)

In a small town, reputation is everything. In her latest novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr explores the burden placed on a young man returning home to face his mistakes—the first step in claiming the life he was meant to live  

At the age of nineteen, Seth Sileski had everything. A superb athlete and scholar, handsome and popular, he was the pride of Thunder Point. Destined for greatness, he lost it all in a terrible accident that put an end to his professional football career when it had barely begun. The people in his hometown have never forgotten what might have been.

Seth has come to terms with the turns his life has taken. But now he’s been presented with an opportunity to return home and show his father—and the people of Thunder Point—he’s become a better, humbler version of his former self.

Winning over his father isn’t the only challenge. Seth must also find a way to convince his childhood neighbor and best friend, Iris McKinley, to forgive him for breaking her heart. With his homecoming, will Seth be able to convince the town, his family and especially Iris that he’s finally ready to be the man who will make them all proud?

Purchase The Homecoming in these formats (click one):

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THE HOMECOMING BY ROBYN CARR 
Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost fifty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Her highly anticipated new series, Thunder Point, will be released March 2013. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at http://www.RobynCarr.com.

My thoughts on the book:

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Chapter One EXCERPT

            When Seth Sileski was a kid, Thunder Point had been his playground. From the time he’d been a freckle-faced, toe-headed little kid he’d held this town in the palm of his hand. He could run the fastest, hit the hardest, throw the farthest and charm the most cantankerous teachers. His two older brothers, Nick and Norm Junior, affectionately known as Boomer, had also had great childhoods in this little town, but almost nothing compared to Seth’s notoriety. He went from beautiful kid to adored adolescent to most popular and accomplished teenager – great grades, superb athlete, handsome and a good and loyal friend. And then, at the age of twenty, his life took a dramatic turn and all that great luck and good fortune seemed to blow away.

Or, if you listened to his father, Norm Sileski, he threw it away.

So now he was back in Thunder Point, a little scarred and damaged but whole. And definitely humbled. He’d traveled a long way since leaving at the age of eighteen and if you’d told him five or ten years ago that he’d come home he’d have called you a lunatic. Yet here he was, and by choice. This time he was wearing a deputy’s uniform. Thirty-four years old, his battle to regain a sense of pride and accomplishment had been mighty and difficult. Seth was taking over the Sheriff’s Department Thunder Point substation from Mac McCain. He’d be the officer in charge while Mac moved to a lieutenant’s position at the headquarters in Coquille.

Seth had been back to town fairly often over the last fifteen years. He visited his mother and at least tried to check in with his father. Every time he drove into this small coastal town he was surprised by how little the place had changed. People changed, the economy changed, the world changed and yet Thunder Point seemed to remain the same. The linoleum in the diner had been old and cracked when he was a boy, all the same fast food establishments were present, Wayland’s Bar was still the only real dive in town and it looked no better. In fact, Wayland still held the door open with a paint can, as if he intended to paint the place. It hadn’t happened yet.

It was the second week in September and school had resumed just a couple of weeks ago, so there was still a lot of optimism and excitement winding up the kids. Those on bikes weren’t staying out of the middle of the road very well, but little whoop-whoop from the police SUV moved ‘em over quick, followed by yelps of laughter and shenanigans.

He caught sight of Iris, his next door neighbor and childhood friend when he was growing up. She was still riding her bike to school, but now she wore a skirt with a briefcase in the basket. When the wind took her skirt it revealed tight, black bike shorts underneath. The kids raced her. The school buses passed her, tooted their horns and kids leaned out their windows to wave. She jingled the bell mounted on her handlebars and waved in response. She threw back her head and laughed as a bus driver laid on her horn for a long blast. She still had that wild, unrestrained laughter he remembered. Before she noticed him, he slowed down and turned off the main street, heading back to the substation to park.

The Sheriff’s Department substation was fairly new. The department had always had a strong presence here as there was no local law enforcement, but the substation office was only about ten years old. The clinic next door was new so he made that one of his first stops. He walked into the clinic to face a beautiful woman standing in the reception area. She could be mistaken for Catherine Zeta Jones with her dark straight hair and black eyes.

“Hi,” he said, smiling, putting out his hand. “I’m Seth Sileski and I’ll be your new neighbor. Mac starts working in Coquille in about a week.”

“Well, it’s a pleasure,” she said. “Peyton Lacoumette. And this is Devon Lawson, our office manager. Scott?” she yelled. “Do you have a minute?”

The doctor came to the front of the clinic wearing the native dress – blue jeans and denim shirt. “So, you’re the new guy,” he said with a smile.

Seth laughed and stuck out his hand. “I’m not exactly new. I grew up here. Norm Sileski is my dad.”

“No kidding. Which one are you? He said he had three sons and none of them lived in town.”

“I’m the youngest. I’ve only been back to visit since leaving for college.”

“Then welcome back,” Scott said. “We’ll be glad to have you. And we’re darn proud of Mac – moving up in the world.”

“Those are going to be hard shoes to fill.”

“Did you know Mac before now?” Peyton asked.

“Sure, from the department. I think I’ve known him eight years or so, though we worked in different parts of the county. He has a very good reputation. Before it’s down to me – are there any needs you have or issues you’re concerned about? Anything you want me to know?” He grinned. “As your neighbor and your cop?”

Scott chuckled. “Trash pick-up is Wednesday in the alley behind the stores. I’ll have to think about anything else.”

“Trash,” Seth said. “Good to know. Let me ask you this – how do you get along with the youth in town? Any problems I should be aware of?”

Scott shook his head. “I had to stitch up some wild ones in at the ER in North Bend – a fight at an unsupervised party. I haven’t dealt with any injuries caused by bad behavior around Thunder Point in the past year. Mac had some bullying issues before I opened up the clinic but I’m not sure of the details. I’ve just had the usual stuff and the kids around here are better than most.”

“Strict parents, for the most part,” Seth said.   “And a nosy town in general.”

“Do you have teenagers, Deputy?” Peyton asked.

He shook his head. “I’m not married and don’t have kids, ma’am. Asking about the teenagers is just something I do when trying to get a profile on a new town. The town isn’t new to me but the people are – the faces have changed after fifteen years. Right now I’m in orientation with Mac as my supervisor and part of the process is to introduce myself to the businesses. The stores haven’t changed much but the owners, managers and employees have.” He looked over his shoulder at the diner. “We used to go there after school and I hear Stu is still the owner and cook but now Gina is the head waitress. Gina’s mom was the waitress in charge when I was a kid.”

“And now Carrie has the deli next door and some of the best sandwiches and take-out dinners you’ll find around here,” Peyton said. “I haven’t cooked in a long time.”

“I’ll stop in and say hello to both of them.”

“What about Cliffhanger’s?” Peyton asked. “Was Cliff the owner when you were growing up?”

Seth shook his head. “His dad built that place about twenty-five years ago. I’m not sure when Cliff took over. Sometime after I left. Cliff’s family owns a lot of property around the marina. My dad used to say that place would never work here – too fancy for this town.”

“It’s full almost every night,” Scott said. “It’s where people around here go when they want a tablecloth.”

“I’ve been in there once or twice,” Seth said. “Good food, nice atmosphere. Listen, it’s nice meeting all of you.” He pulled out a business card. “I’m going to continue my rounds, but here’s the office number and my personal cell. Feel free.”

Peyton laughed and took the card. “It really kills me the way everyone gives out their cell numbers! Everyone knows Scott’s and Mac’s and now yours. I’m used to the city where you never do that.”

The doctor put his arm around the PA’s shoulders, gave a squeeze and said, “I have her cell number and with the right incentive, I can be talked into giving it to you. Until then, just call me if you need me. And I’ll call you.”

“Hey, if this is my town, I want to be called if there’s a problem. There are three ways to reach me – the office, the cell or 911 in emergencies. If you call 911 you’ll never get voicemail and whatever deputy is on duty will respond immediately. Don’t hesitate.” He smiled and gave them a little salute. “See you later.”

Seth made his way to the diner to say hello to Gina. They’d known each other growing up, but they hadn’t been in the same class or part of the same crowd. It was safe to say that he knew Carrie better; Carrie and his mother, Gwen, had been friends for years. He even went into Waylan’s. Damn if it didn’t look like the same crowd of old boys who had been in there the last time he stopped by at least ten years ago. Continue reading

Ethan Frost returns in the breathtaking conclusion to New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s seductive novel Ruined

Addicted_new cvr (1)Ethan Frost returns in the breathtaking conclusion to New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s seductive novel Ruined—perfect for fans of Release Me and Bared to You.

About ADDICTED:

As Chloe Girard discovers, there’s love . . . and then there’s addiction.

Ethan Frost is everything a woman could want in a man. He’s rich, gorgeous, powerful, one of the most eligible bachelors in the world.

But that’s not why I’m with him.

I love Ethan for all the things no one else gets to see: his innate kindness, his reckless spontaneity, his unwavering determination to use his brilliance for good. I love the way he looks at me, the way he touches me. The way he makes me forget the wreckage of my past and the twisted fear that still lives inside me.

But sometimes it terrifies me how much I crave him, how much I need him just to breathe. I always thought it would be my past that ruined us, but there’s a darkness in Ethan I never dreamed existed. Can we survive as his secrets surface—threatening to unravel us both?

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Tracy_blue_highresTracy is giving away a $50 gift card to http://www.spafinder.com to celebrate the release of ADDICTED! Enter below:
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Also in the Ethan Frost series: RUINED by Tracy Wolff, currently on sale at just $1.99 across online retailers!

Praise for RUINED:
“Tracy Wolff knows how to steam up the pages, and she proves it again in Ruined. If you’re looking for a hot read, curl up with Ethan Frost.” —New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner
“Fans of Fifty Shades of Grey will love Tracy Wolff’s Ruined! Heat sizzles off the page and the oh-so-sexy Ethan Frost will make you swoon!”—USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy

About Tracy Wolff:
Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she’d found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes romances that run the gamut from contemporary to paranormal to erotic suspense.

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Excerpt 5: Broken

 

“There is no way to fix this, Ethan!” I bring my hands up and shove at his chest, hard.This time, he stumbles back, though I know it’s more from the emotional impact of the blow than it is from the blow itself. “There is no way to rewrite the past.

“I told you when we met that I was broken. I told you that you weren’t going to be able to fix me.”

“You’re not broken, baby.You’re not.” There are tears in his eyes, tears in his too-thick voice, and it hurts. Oh God, it hurts so badly to see him like this. To know that I’ve caused it, that I’ve reduced this strong, beautiful man to this when all he’s ever been is kind to me. It’s a blade deep inside me, an open, aching wound that can’t close because the knife keeps twisting, twisting, twisting.

“I am.”

“You’re not. Maybe you were, but you aren’t anymore.I wish you could see yourself the way that I see you.You’re strong, baby, so strong that some days it’s all I can do to believe that you’re mine. That I’m the one who gets to touch and kiss and hold you.”

He shakes his head, the look on his face saying that even now he can’t believe his luck.I know the look, because I wore the same one every day we were together when I thought about the fact that this as-gorgeous-on-the-inside-as-he-is-on-the-outside man was really mine.

“How you could have gone through everything you have and come out the other side this beautiful, brilliant woman . . .” He shakes his head. “It overwhelms me. You’re so smart and so talented and so sure of what you want, sure of how you’re going to get it. Don’t you see, sweetheart? That’s about as unbroken as you can get.”

“I’m not—”

“Yes! You are. I wish you could see yourself the way that I see you.Wish that you could understand. I’m in awe of you, Chloe.You’ve been to hell and back and you’re still here, still fighting to make a life for yourself. Still fighting to make the world a better place. None of that has anything to do with me. That’s all you, baby. It’s you, not me. You’ve healed yourself. Don’t let my bastard of a brother change that. Don’t let him ruin what you’ve built. Don’t let him ruin us.”

Now I’m the one crying. Again.I swipe at my cheeks, trying in vain to stem the flood of tears.

“Fuck.” Ethan breathes the word out and this time when he pulls me into his arms, I don’t fight him. I can’t, not when I crave his touch like a junkie craves a fix.I’m addicted to him, to his strength and his kindness, to the way he holds me and the way he makes my body burn with just a touch.

 

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)

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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

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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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Relunctant Brides – When love is the key… by Cheryl Holt (Trilogy, Giveaway)

RELUCTANT BRIDES…When love is the key and dowry the bait, who can predict what a woman might do?

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cheryl-portraitCheryl Holt is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty-nine novels. She’s also an Amazon “Top 100″ author.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age 40, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance, where she was stunned to discover that she has an incredible knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year,” by the trade magazine, Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

Her hot, sexy, dramatic stories of passion and illicit love have captivated fans around the world, and she’s celebrated as the Queen of Erotic Romance, which is currently the fastest selling subgenre of women’s fiction. Due to the ferociousness of some of her characters, she’s also known as the International Queen of Villains.

She received degrees in music, languages, and education, from South Dakota State University, and her juris doctorate was obtained at the University of Wyoming. Her colorful and chaotic employment history includes such variety as public school teacher, cook, bartender, lobbyist, and political activist. She also did brief stints in metro-Denver as a deputy district attorney and administrative law judge.

Cheryl lives and writes in Hollywood, California.

 

DAY SEVEN

Mr. Oswald studied her face and grimaced.  “I’ve upset you.”

“I wasn’t aware that you’d been married so many times,” Rose said.  “It’s a shock to me.”

“If I’d told you the truth, I wasn’t sure you’d have come.”

“What became of all your wives?”

“They died.  What would you suppose?”

“Well, of course, they died.”  She was struggling for calm, for levity.  “How silly of me to wonder.”

“I’ve been blessed with longevity, Miss Ralston, and I’ve been cursed with brides who had frail constitutions.  I outlived them all, so on this occasion, I’m determined to settle on someone who is healthy and strong.  Miss Peabody swore you had the stamina of a plow horse.”

“How flattering.”  There was more aggravation in her tone than she’d intended.

“Don’t mock your youth or vigor.  They are precisely why I selected you.  It’s too late for me to fool with weaklings or ninnies.  Miss Peabody promised you would surprise me on both counts.”

“I hope I can live up to her high opinion.”

“I hope you can too.”  He clasped her hand and patted it.  “In all my marriages, I’ve only ever sired one child, and he passed away years ago.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“So that is why you’ve been summoned.  I have no time to waste and need an heir—as quickly as it can be managed.  In exchange, I will give you all this.”  He gestured at the manicured grounds, the grand manor.  “It’s a fair bargain, don’t you think?”

“Yes,” she hesitantly concurred, not knowing what else to say.

“Heed me, Miss Ralston.  I’m older than you and more experienced in these sorts of affairs.  This is the best conclusion for you.  After you’ve reflected on it, you’ll see that I’m right.”

“I’m sure I will.”

They’d arrived at the house, at the steps that led up onto the rear verandah.  It was a beautiful day in early summer, and the drawing room windows were open.  Male laughter drifted out, and a merry tune was being played on the pianoforte.

Mr. Oswald frowned and muttered, “Those scalawags.  They’re home from the army and at loose ends.  No doubt they’re drinking all my liquor and smoking all my cigars.”

“Who is visiting?”

“Two of the most disreputable scapegraces who were ever born.  You’ll meet them soon enough.  Unfortunately.”  He guided her up the stairs.  “If you’ll excuse me, I’d better chase them off.”

Just that abruptly, he walked away, leaving her alone.

He stomped inside.  She wanted to tag along, wanted to ascertain who was home from the army, but she’d definitely been dismissed, so she didn’t dare follow.

Yet she was dreadfully curious.

She’d spent an hour with Mr. Oswald and hadn’t gleaned any information of value.  If she’d been a weepy type, tears might have flowed.  But she wasn’t weepy.  Nor was she prone to melancholy.

When she’d agreed to Miss Peabody’s scheme, there had been no guarantees of love or affection.  There had only been the prospect of marriage and fiscal security, and they were boons that couldn’t be discounted.

Eager to wash and rest a bit, she started across the verandah, but she couldn’t resist peeking in the window to the drawing room as she passed.  There were two men present.  Why was she not surprised to discover that one of them was James Talbot?

He slouched on a sofa, drinking hard spirits.  A handsome blond man who was probably his same age was seated at the pianoforte.  They looked lazy and bored.

Since his unexpected appearance in her bedchamber the prior evening, she’d tried to pretend he hadn’t been there.  She’d been dying to ask someone about him, but couldn’t figure out how to innocently inquire.

He’d studied her as if he knew things about her she didn’t know.  He’d alluded to Mr. Oswald with a derogatory comment about his being a seducing libertine.  Yet she couldn’t envision Mr. Oswald as a roué.  He hadn’t seemed flirtatious in the least, and Rose had no idea how to find out the truth of the matter.

Was it any of her business?  She was quite sure a husband could act however he liked, and she didn’t see how she—who was just beginning her official position as fiancée—had any standing to question him as to his personal habits or to complain over conduct of which she didn’t approve.

She heard Mr. Oswald inside.  “Why are you wastrels in my parlor?  Didn’t I tell you to keep yourselves busy this afternoon?”

“We are busy,” Mr. Talbot replied.

“Doing what?” Mr. Oswald barked.  “You’ve helped yourself to the liquor, and I’ve learned from past experience that—with Lucas in residence—you’ll consume it all before you depart for London.”

The blond man’s grin was as devilish as Mr. Talbot’s.  “You’re completely right, Mr. Oswald.  I’d offer to pay you for it, but you’ve always been so generous.  I wouldn’t want to insult you.”

“Don’t be smart,” Mr. Oswald snapped at him.

“I wouldn’t dream of it, sir.”

Mr. Talbot and the blond man, Lucas, shared a mocking toast, and Mr. Talbot said to Mr. Oswald, “Are you pleased with your bride?”

“She’ll do.”

“High praise indeed,” Mr. Talbot retorted.

He was sitting near the window, and he glanced out to the verandah to the exact spot where Rose was loitering and eavesdropping.  He stared directly at her, as if he’d known she was there the entire time.

She blanched and fled.

 

reluctant

 


Be My Bard – April 21st
Manic Readers – April 22nd
Night Owl Reviews – April 23rd
Susana’s Parlour – April 24th
Stuck in Books – April 25th
Romancing the Book – April 28th
My Life, One Story at a Time – April 29th
Reader’s Entertainment – April 30th
Novels Alive TV – May 1st

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Double Take by Leslie Kelly (Review)

Getting under her skin…

When her research about orgasms goes viral, sex therapist Lindsey Smith needs a place to lie low. Substitute teaching on Wild Boar Island, Michigan, promises not only privacy, but an opportunity to not think about sex. Which, thanks to the town’s too-tasty police chief, lasts exactly one second.

After the dangerous streets of Chicago, Mike Santori figured the island was a safe, sane place to settle down. Getting hot for the new teacher wasn’t in the plan. Especially when he discovers that Lindsey is more than she claims to be. Mike decides to use every sexy trick in the book to strip Lindsey of her defenses and reveal all of her secrets. It’s a wickedly sensuous journey, one that pushes both of them beyond their limits…to the heart of their desires.

Pub Date   Apr 15 2014

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Leslie Kelly is a four-time RWA RITA Award nominee, nine-time Romantic Times Award nominee and 2010 Romantic Times Career Achievement Award winner, Leslie is known for her delightful characters, sparkling dialogue, and outrageous humor. Since the publication of her first book in 1999, Leslie has gone on to pen dozens of sassy, sexy romances for Harlequin Temptation, Blaze, and HQN.

When she’s not writing light, sexy contemporary romances for Harlequin, Leslie flips to the dark side and creates dangerous, thrilling romantic suspense novels as Leslie A. Kelly. Be sure to visit her alter-ego’s website for more details. www.leslieakelly.com

Leslie lives in Maryland with her hubby Bruce–her real-life romance hero–their three daughters and two spoiled-rotten dogs. If you’d like to talk to her about her books, visit her on www.facebook.com/authorlesliekelly, http://www.twitter.com/lesliekelly, or email her atlkellyauthormail@gmail.com

My Review:

Staying true to Harlequin’s reputation, DOUBLE TAKE was an outstanding read. Sparks were flying as the writer threw you into the story from the very beginning, literally, as in tossed due to rough seas right into the arms of the most gorgeous man.

I enjoyed the storyline and along with love, there is a little suspense thrown in as the author weaves the story between the two protagonists, all while bringing in a number of additional family members to give you hope of hearing more about Nick and Lindsey long after you’ve closed the book on this one.

The book had humor. Imagine a sex therapist who is hiding out from the media running into the Chief of Police and falling for him. That’s not too bad, but imagine he’s helping you move boxes and a box full of “toys” falls open spilling its contents everywhere. Add in an obnoxious deputy who uses his siren to pull over the pretty girls to check them out and an horrible old bitty who’s head of the town council, and you have the makings of Mayberry RFD? Hold on to your hat folks ’cause the ride is about to get bumpy.

I was intrigued by the book’s setting – a small island community accessible only by ferry. And, as in all little communities, there are colorful people and this island is no exception. The book was well written. It had fun dialogue and a wonderful setting. I’m giving DOUBLE TAKE a five-star rating. Harlequin books rarely ever disappoint and all you romantics will definitely want to pick this one up.

Taken from the author’s information, “Leslie Kelly is known for her sparkling dialogue, fun characters and steamy sensuality…” This describes the book perfectly.

Quotes:

“It’s not that serious,” she argued, but in her head she was screaming, This is so serious, your reputation is crap! “It will die down.” “So you’ve been saying, Dr. Smith. But that was before you  became the subject of a Jeopardy! question.” Well, in her opinion, being on Jeopardy! had been kind of awesome, though she wasn’t going to tell her employer that.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson (Media Blitz)

Idea of HimPublisher: William Morrow  (April 1, 2014)
Category: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction
ISBN: 978-0062283108
Tour Date: April/May, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 384 Pages

In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of THE MANNY, THE IDEA OF HIM explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be. For anyone who’s let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, THE IDEA OF HIM is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Allie Crawford has the life she always dreamed of—she’s number two at a high-profile P.R. firm; she has two kids she adores; and her husband is a blend of handsome and heroic. Wade is everything she thought a man was supposed to be—he’s running a successful newsmagazine and, best of all, he provides the stable yet exciting New York City life Allie believes she needs in order to feel secure and happy.

But when Allie finds Wade locked in their laundry room with a stunning blonde in snakeskin sandals, a scandal ensues that flips her life on its head. And when the woman wants to befriend Allie, an old flame calls, and a new guy gets a little too close for comfort, she starts to think her marriage is more of a facade than something real. Maybe she’s fallen in love not with Wade—but with the idea of him.

Captivating and seductive, told in the whip-smart voice of a woman who is working hard to keep her parenting and career on track, The Idea of Him is a novel of conspiracy, intrigue, and intense passion—and discovering your greatest strength through your deepest fears.

Praise for The Manny:

“This is bestsellerland – the manny isn’t one of the popolo minuto. Nope, he’s an about-to-be-millionaire software developer from a neocon background with hot buns and fab abs. Three guesses?


A diverting spell in the world of the greedy, The Manny is a genre-bender, sex and shopping and ambition and even a tinge of socialism, and brilliant fun.”-Heatseeker Reviews

“Peterson offers an amusing take on the mating habits of the Manhattan elite. And while the story holds few surprises, it benefits greatly from an attractive pair of would-be lovers.”Kirkus Review

“Phillip’s temper tantrums…are surprisingly funny, and a subplot where Jamie chases a trashy but potentially career-making story is strong.” – Publishers Weekly

“I leapt on The Manny and devoured it in one sitting. It’s a riveting portrait of millionaires’ life on ‘The Grid’, full of eye-watering details. And it made me instantly want to hire a male nanny…… for me!—Sophie Kinsella, author of Shopaholic & Baby

“Holly Peterson writes about the rich with acute understanding and a drop-dead eye for detail. The funniest, sexiest ride in the limo lane since The Bonfire of the Vanities.” —Tina Brown, author of The Diana Chronicles

Holly PetersonAbout Holly Peterson:

Holly Peterson is the author of the New York Times and international best seller, The Manny. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek and editor-at-large for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. She was also an Emmy Award–winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade, where she cov­ered global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Talk, the Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other publications.

Website: www.HollyPeterson.com
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/HollyPetersonny?id=275564372549939&_rdr
Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/hollypetersonny
Instagram-http://instagram.com/hollypetersonny
Pinterest-http://www.pinterest.com/hollypetersonny/pins/

Buy The Idea of Him:

Buy on Amazon: Kindleor Book

Barnes and Noble
Book Depository

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The Chance by Robyn Carr (Thunder Point Series) Review

With its breathtaking vistas and down-to-earth people, Thunder Point is the perfect place for FBI agent Laine Carrington to recuperate from a gunshot wound and contemplate her future. The locals embraced Laine as one of their own after she risked her life to save a young girl from a dangerous cult. Knowing her wounds go beyond the physical, Laine hopes she’ll fit in for a while and find her true self in a town that feels safe. She may even learn to open her heart to others, something an undercover agent has little time to indulge.

Eric Gentry is also new to Thunder Point. Although he’s a man with a dark past, he’s determined to put down roots and get to know the daughter he only recently discovered. When Laine and Eric meet, their attraction is obvious to everyone. But while the law enforcement agent and the reformed criminal want to make things work, their differences may run too deep…unless they take a chance on each other and find that deep and mysterious bond that belongs to those who choose love over fear.

From the author’s website:

Now that Robyn Carr has earned the #1 slot on the New York Timeslist many times, the creator of the wildly popular Virgin River and Thunder Point series laughs when someone refers to her as an overnight success.

“The truth is, I was first published in 1978, and it took me thirty years to make it to The New York Times bestseller List,” she pointed out, referring to 2007’s A Virgin River Christmas.

But once Robyn became that popular, she stayed that popular. WhenBring Me Home for Christmas, the 16th Virgin River novel, was released in November 2011, it debuted in the #1 slot not just on theNew York Times roster, but also on the Barnes & Noble andPublishers Weekly lists as well. Her last seven books, including her three 2013 Thunder Point novels, have all earned the coveted #1 New York Times slot the first week on sale. Her newest milestone: The Hero, her September 2013 Thunder Point novel, debuted in the #1 position on seven national bestseller lists: USA TodayPublishers WeeklyNew York Times Mass-market Fiction, New York TimeseBook Fiction, New York Times Combined Print/eBook Fiction, theWall Street Journal, and Bookscan.

After thirty-plus years of hard work, life is very, very good for the Las Vegas author who began writing when her two children were babies.

Those who try to explain Robyn’s “sudden” success might say it was because she was on the leading edge of a trend toward small-town romances. The truth is, Robyn’s Virgin River and Thunder Point series, like her earlier Grace Valley books, are a blend of romance and women’s fiction—books that not only entertain but also address sensitive issues, such as domestic violence, health risks and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anything that can compromise a woman’s happiness because she’s female. And there’s no denying that Robyn has a way with words. Her voice is unique and takes her readers into the hearts and minds of the brave men and women who have served in the military, into the families left behind, and into those who confront challenges head-in in their search for love and fulfillment.

Surprisingly, Robyn didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. She had planned to become a nurse. She married her high school sweetheart four weeks before he left for Air Force Officer’s Training School at the peak of the Vietnam War. Because she found herself following Jim from base to base, Robyn never had a chance to pursue nursing. Her husband worked long hours and often traveled. To pass the time Robyn read. When doctors instructed her to stay down and keep her feet up during a complicated pregnancy, her neighbor began bringing her ten paperbacks a week.

“I was reading more than one a day. Nothing short of labor pains could snap me out of it,” Robyn said.

Since the books she’d been devouring were by Anya Seton, Kathleen Woodiweiss and Rosemary Hawley Jarmen, Robyn says it only made sense that her first efforts to write were in the historical romance genre as well.

There was no training program available at the time for writing romance. At the first writers’ conference Robyn attended—back in 1976—a novelist who wrote in a different genre critiqued Robyn’s third manuscript and suggested she go home and find something to do for which she had talent.

That same manuscript was published in hardcover two years later as Chelynne, a novel which Robyn has reissued as an e-book. Her second manuscript was eventually published as well. But Robyn says her first was simply a tool for learning and will remain buried and “never seen by human eyes.”

Robyn has always written about strong women, no matter the period in which they live. For the first fifteen years of her career she wrote romance, the early books of which were all historical, but later included contemporaries. Needing a change, she branched out and wrote a thriller, which she said she’ll never do again because, for her, it was too creepy. She also tried her hand at non-fiction and what she smilingly describes as “several brilliant but as yet unsold screenplays,” in addition to articles and short stories.

“I jumped all over the place, not really aware that I was working on reinventing myself and redesigning my craft,” she says. “I began to develop my own brand of women’s fiction, a style that most closely resembles my take on life. I want to laugh through a book, but I don’t want a book that’s a big laugh. As a reader I want to have a genuinely good time, but I don’t want the book to be a joke. I want real women’s issues, real humor and teeth in the story.”

She says that reading is important because people need a safe place to deal with the emotions they’re stuck with, and a book is a safe place to do that. She believes there’s great value in her novels dealing with real issues in a realistic manner.

Robyn’s settings are so richly drawn they function like characters. Virgin River—a fictional town in the rugged, remote Humboldt County of northern California—is a location that Robyn describes as a brave and adventurous spot.

“It’s not a cute and easy place to live,” Robyn explained. “It calls on my characters’ deepest sense of adventure to live there.”

Asked if she’d enjoy living in Virgin River, Robyn’s quick to say that even if it were a real spot, she’d never move there.

“I have an overwhelming need to live in a place where I can get my eyebrows waxed,” she explains.

After writing twenty Virgin River stories, Robyn is now taking her readers into another fictional community, a picturesque coastal town on the Oregon coast she calls Thunder Point. Like her Virgin River novels, the Thunder Point books will make readers laugh, sigh, and fall in love: with a small town filled with people they’ll never forget. In addition to 2013’s The WandererThe Newcomer and The Hero, Thunder Point novels on Robyn’s schedule are three 2014 titles, The Chance (March), The Promise (July), and The Homecoming(September).

Robyn and her husband enjoy traveling, often taking research trips together. Their son and daughter are grown. Robyn says that, in addition to reading her novels and making snide remarks about how she’s used family scenarios to her advantage, they have made her a happy grandmother.

http://www.robyncarr.com/biography.html

My Review:

As with the entire Thunder Point series, THE CHANCE is every much as entertaining as the first books. The thing about a series is that you meet the characters and begin an ever-growing curiosity about them, and each subsequent book answers a little more about each one. It is fun to watch and read as the characters evolve and transition.

In THE CHANCE, it is the woman’s turn to take charge and it really is a fun book. We follow along as Laine doesn’t pull any punches about calling Eric down on his interest in her and asking him out on a first date, and then a second.

There’s also a tough fellow with a huge heart as we follow the story of a drifter as he settles down. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of his story as time goes on.

If you follow my reviews, you’ll know that I’m not one to regurgitate the book blurb or give away the story line. I like to let the reader find those things out for themselves. That’s the fun of reading. But, if you like a light-hearted romance series where you live and grow along with the characters, you’ll enjoy the Thunder Point series. The writing is outstanding and I think worth five stars.

Purchase THE CHANCE on Amazon in KindleHardcoveror Paperback

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Romance through the Ages (Cover Reveals & Giveaways)

Romance Through the Ages

Coming February 1, 2014

Romance through the Ages brings you SEVEN NOVELS from 7 bestselling authors (including New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers). Join us for a fabulous collection.

*7 Romance Novels, 7 Bestselling Authors, 1 Amazing Price*

99 cent Romance Boxed Set for a limited time only!

Running Barefoot by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Amy Harmon!— Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings.

Masquerade by Janette Rallison, who has sold more than 1 million books!— It’s hard for a woman to keep up the masquerade when her boss is as handsome as Slade Jacobson and the job takes her to Hawaii with him. In between handling his whirlwind four-year-old daughter and dealing with a whole cast of Hollywood personalities, Clarissa has to keep a tight hold on her heart.

The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson, Amazon Bestseller!—Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town’s charity event, Shelter’s Bachelorette, Taycee Emerson is in for the ride of her life. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it’s up to the viewers—not her—to decide which bachelors stay or go.

Pride and Precipitation by Heather Horrocks, Amazon Bestseller!— Breezy Jones is crazy about the weather, rain or shine, which makes her job as the local television station’s meteorologist perfect. That’s before she meets the attractive new general manager, Noah Drake, who is determined to repackage everything—including Breezy’s down-home delivery.

My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White, Amazon Bestseller!— Lizzie falls hard for Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy character and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. When she meets two men, Chad—a science teacher, and Matt Dawson—who looks and acts like Mr. Darcy, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

She Owns the Knight by Diane Darcy, Amazon Bestseller!— Why does Gillian Corbett have to travel seven hundred years through time to find a decent guy?… Why can’t Sir Kellen Marshall find a lady who is obedient, submissive… or at least not trying to kill him?

Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore, Amazon Bestseller!— A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost . . . a handsome stranger . . . What more could Eliza Robinson want? Except for maybe her life. When Eliza discovers that Jonathan Porter’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/1/14

Bloggers who put up a spotlight post about these books on their blog can enter to win an additional $25 gift card or paypal cash. See details in the Rafflecopter.

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Media Blitz: I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Jessica Scott

November 5, 2013; Forever Yours/E-Novella; $0.99; 978-1-4555-5424-9

There’s nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke . . . except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war . . . and from his own darkest fears.

As a career army wife, Nicole Carponti knows just what to expect from her husband’s tour of duty: loneliness, relentless worry, and a seemingly endless countdown until the moment Vic walks through the door again. But when the unthinkable happens, Nicole and Vic’s bond is tested like never before and changes everything they believe to be true about the power of love and the simple beauty of being home for the holidays.

JessicaScottBlitzGraphic

Jessica ScottAuthor Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well-adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.
She’s pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine‘s Americans of the Year for 2012. 

Buy links: Amazon B&N Bookish iTunes

 Author Social Media links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Excerpt from I’ll Be Home for Christmas:

“You’re not serious.”

Carponti turned around, his shoulders covered in flecks of red hair. “What?”

Nicole grinned as she leaned against the door. “Garrison is going to kill you.”

“Garrison is going to love my new hair cut. It looks just like his.”

Nicole arched one blond eyebrow. “Except for the bright red fuzzy patch in the center of your head.”

Carponti shrugged and rubbed his hands over his freshly shorn scalp. “I can’t wait to see what the sergeant major says.”

“Isn’t he going to be mad?”

Carponti brushed the hair off his neck. “We’re going to war. My hair isn’t on the list of things he’s going to worry about.”

Nicole looked down at the pile of hair on the floor and sighed. “Then why do it?”

Carponti smirked. “Because it’ll get a rise out of him and I live to make his blood pressure go up.”

She laughed. “You need a hobby. Other than blowing things up.”

He sidled across the room and hooked his thumb into the waist of her jeans and tugged her close until their hips met. “I have a hobby. Keeping you well satisfied.”

She sniffed but her lips curled at the edges. “You’re going to be derelict in your duties for a while.”

“But I’ll be home soon enough and then I’ll make up for it.”

“I think I’m going to need a deployment boyfriend.”

He grinned wickedly. “Did you already get one?” He backed her up against the wall, his body hard against hers. God but she loved this man. “Can I see it?”

A slow flush crept over her face and she tried to look away. He threaded his fingers with hers and lifted her arms over her head. Her back arched with the movement.

“Please?” he whispered against her lips. “That would be an awesome memory to take with me downrange. Just think of me, alone in the middle of the desert. One visual of you with your deployment boyfriend and it could make a lonely night go by so much faster.”

Nicole giggled until the laugh overwhelmed her and she was gasping for air. He released her hands and she threaded them around his neck. She buried her face against his throat and laughed.

“There’s something really wrong with you,” she said when she could breathe again. “I’ll send you a video.”

He brightened instantly. “Really?”

“Yes. And dirty letters.”

“Promise?” He nibbled along the edge of her jaw, guiding her slowly backward toward their bed, stacked high with his two duffle bags and all the crap he still hadn’t packed.

But he didn’t care.

“I promise. And you’re going to be late.” Her voice caught in her throat.

“Screw it,” he whispered. “This is the last chance to make love to my beautiful wife before I have to go traipsing across the desert like Lawrence of Arabia.” He nibbled at her earlobe while his hand slipped down her belly to the moist head between her thighs. “Tell you what. You send me a picture of yours and I’ll send you a picture of mine. Maybe I can get him a little horse and saddle and send you a picture. Maybe a Barbie camel. I can put him in a little man dress.”

She laughed and Carponti’s heart swelled in his chest at the sound of it.

“I’m going to hold you to that.” She traced her fingers over his scalp, her body soft and warm against his erection. “I want a picture of him in a man dress in exchange for a video of the deployment boyfriend.”

Her legs bumped into the back of the bed and he followed her down. Tangled between the duffle bags and his uniforms, he made love to her one last time before he got on a plane and headed to war.

 

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!
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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. 

 

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.