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1. Review: A Wife in Wyoming by Lynnette Kent

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Wow! Some times you strike gold when randomly checking books out of the library.  I didn’t even read the blurb for A Wife in Wyoming.  I just saw the cover, which I find very appealing, and clicked Borrow.  Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.  I’ve been reading Harlequin American Romances forever, and I’ve never noticed Lynnette Kent before, but I enjoyed this so much that I immediately glommed onto her expansive backlist.  Thank goodness for Scribd!

Caroline Donnelly wants to start a program for troubled teens at Circle M Ranch.  Home to the Marshall brothers, Ford Marshall is visiting the ranch for the summer to help with the day to day operations after his oldest brother is injured in a fall from a horse.  What he doesn’t need is a bunch of delinquents running around his property.  He’s outvoted, though, and Caroline moves into the outbuildings with her charges, surly kids who don’t want to work and who have more attitude than is good for them.  Caroline, a social worker, refuses to give up on them, and she insists that with the help of Ford and his brothers, they can provide positive role models for them and set them back on the right track. 

Things don’t go smoothly, and Ford is more certain than ever that they are making a huge mistake.  A high-power attorney from San Francisco, he’s worried about the liability of having the kids underfoot.  What if one of them gets hurt and the parents sue them?  They could lose the family home.  With all of these worries clouding his mind, he’s also attracted to Caroline.  She’s the daughter of a wealthy rancher, and she has always been off limits for Ford.  In high school, she was pretty and popular, at the center of attention.  She rode for the rodeo team, was a gifted barrel racer, as well as a straight A student.  Fifteen years later, he still thinks she’s out of reach, despite his own personal and financial success.

I just loved this story.  The kids added tension to the plot, and they kept Ford and Caroline hopping to ensure they stayed out of trouble.  The teens are on the ranch to learn ranching skills, but none of them knows the first thing about it.  They can’t ride, they  resent their chores, and they constantly grumble about what they’re expected to do.  I enjoyed their introduction to horsemanship, as well as all the page time the horses were allotted.  Yup, once again my personal bias is showing.  Throw a few horses in there, and I am one happy camper.

Caroline and Ford have a lot of issues to work through.  Growing up poor, he pursued his high paying job to help out his brothers.  He sends money home, and he doesn’t feel that he can just give up his position in San Francisco.  Caroline is emotionally invested in her job and her charges, so relocating isn’t an option for her, either.  Their romance seems hopeless, because neither will budge on this.  Even with Ford’s brothers letting him know that they want him home and that they don’t need his money, he still feels obligated to return to a job he doesn’t have a real passion for.

A Wife in Wyoming pushed all the right buttons for me.  It has horses, the rodeo, families in turmoil, and a feel great ending.  I am certain that Ford and Caroline are going to enjoy their HEA, and I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the Marshalls find theirs.

Grade:  B+ / A-

Review copy borrowed from my local library

From Amazon:

RANCH RESCUE 

Ford Marshall returns to Wyoming temporarily to help his brothers run the Circle M. He’s looking forward to some hard work, but also peace and quiet—until Caroline Donnelly hijacks his ranch for her program to help troubled teens. 

Now he’s got unruly kids to deal with, a thousand chores and a growing attraction to Caroline that he isn’t sure he wants to deny. But Ford has nothing to offer a hometown girl. He has to return to his job in the city at some point soon—his brothers depend on that outside income to keep the ranch afloat. So why can’t Ford get the idea of a Wyoming wife, and coming home for good, off his mind?

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2. Spotlight and Giveaway: Heart’s Desire by TJ Kline

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for TJ Kline’s Heart’s Desire.  Check it out!

Heart’s Desire
Healing Harts # 1

By: T.J. Kline

Releasing April 28th, 2015

Avon Impulse

Blurb

TJ KLINE’s brand new Healing Hart’s series kicks off with HEART’S DESIRE

If you could have anything, do anything… what would it be?

Jessie Hart has a soft spot for healing the broken, especially horses and children, but her business is failing and bankruptcy is looming. The one man who can save Heart Fire Ranch is the last man she wants to take advice from – financial expert Nathan Kerrington – the same man who broke her heart eight years ago.

Nathan Kerrington has it all, except the one thing he’d wanted most – Jessie. Now that he’s finally freed himself from his corrupt family, he wants to make amends. When he’s called in to save Jessie’s ranch, he sees his chance to win her back – if only he can prove to her that she can trust him with her heart…

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/03/hearts-desire-healing-harts-1-by-tj.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23285837-heart-s-desire?from_search=true
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/146550-healing-harts

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

Author Info

T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and rodeo queen competitions since the age of 14, She has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She has had several articles about rodeo published in the past in small periodicals as well as a more recent how-to article for RevWriter. She is also an avid reader and book reviewer for both Tyndale and Multnomah.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Excerpt:

Nathan pushed open the door to his cabin and carried Jessie into the kitchen, turning backward to slide her rear onto the tile counter. He turned around and moved between her thighs, grasping her buttocks and pulling her against him, leaning down until his lips were only inches from hers. Her eyes flutter closed, her dark lashes laying against her cheeks, waiting for his kiss.

“I need a drink. You want something?” He dropped a quick kiss on her full lips and went to the refrigerator. Grasping the neck of two beer bottles, he held one out for her.

Slightly confused, she blinked her eyes a few times. “What?”

“A drink.” He popped the top from his with an opener and took a long swallow of the beer as if demonstrating. “Yes? No?”

She looked almost irate before she quickly masked it, narrowing her eyes before smiling at him. He could see she was trying to get a read on his sudden change of mood. “Sure.”

Jessie hopped down from the counter and took the second bottle from his hand. Sliding her hand over his, she slipped the opener from his fingers before popping the cap and flipping it onto the counter. She tipped her head back and took a long draw from the bottle as he watched. Hunger curled through him, tightening his need into a throbbing ache centered under the ridiculous belt buckle he’d purchased.

With nearly a third of the bottle gone, she tipped it upright and licked the amber liquid from her lips. “Oops, look at that. I spilled.” She brushed a hand over the front of her shirt and he almost groaned out loud. Sure enough, there was a small wet spot just over her right breast.

His mouth went dry when he realized what she was doing. Damn woman is playing with fire.

She set the bottle on the counter and, before he could stop her, she yanked her shirt over her head, tossing it at his face. He caught it with one hand and was hit with the sweet scent that was uniquely hers—hay and horses mixed with sunshine and vanilla. Nathan followed her into the sitting area where she sat on the arm of the couch, waiting for him with a half-smile curving her lips. He refused to let her see how she was affecting him, not until she lowered the barrier she’d erected around herself.

He made his way to the other end of the couch and flopped onto the soft leather sofa, his eyes never leaving hers. Nathan wasn’t sure how long he could hide this overwhelming desire. His jeans were already painfully uncomfortable, and his fingers itched to touch her.

“You in a hurry?” He saw her smile falter again. It happened every time he didn’t react the way she expected him to. He was finding that the trick to getting Jessie to let down her guard was to keep her guessing. “You promised me in the shower we could take it slow, remember? We never did.”

“This isn’t slow, Wall Street. This is a crawl.”

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Digital Download Bundle of the RODEO Series by T.J. Kline, Including: RODEO QUEEN, THE COWOY AND THE ANGEL and LEARNING THE ROPES)

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3. Interview and Giveaway: Fringe Benefits by Sandy James!

Sandy James dropped by to answer a few questions, and she brought along a copy of her latest, Fringe Benefits, for you to win! 

What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

My iPhone! I seriously think I’ll have to go through some kind of rehab to break myself of the habit of constantly checking things on my phone! Email. Facebook. Twitter. It’s really getting to be a problem. But don’t try to take it away from me, or you’ll be pulling back a blood stump instead of a hand. (Teasing!)

Name three things on your desk right now.

A glass of raspberry tea. A picture of my grandson and granddog. Blistex.

What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

Peel-N-Pull Twizzlers. Love to tie them into knots!

If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

That is one tough question! So many people come to mind, but when I’m forced to choose just one, I’d have to go with Taylor Swift. She gets to travel everywhere, and it seems as though almost everyone adores her. She spends her time entertaining people and making them happy. What a great job!

You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

I’d want to be able to heal people. My husband is fighting colon cancer, and I’d give just about anything to be able to make him well again!

FRINGE BENEFITS by Sandy James (April 21, 2015; Forever Yours E-Book; The Ladies Who Lunch Book #4)

When life gets tough and love is hard to find, four friends take their troubles to lunch. High school teacher Danielle Bradshaw deserves a happily ever after, and the Ladies Who Lunch are determined to deliver Mr. Right.
HOT FOR TEACHER
As the new head of the English department, Dani doesn’t have much time for anything but lesson planning and literature. Romance–or even sex? Forget about it. But then the principal introduces her to last-minute hire Nate Ryan. Finding time to mentor a new teacher won’t be easy, especially when his incredible body and equally disarming charisma are enough to make her heart skip a beat . . .
Nate may be fresh out of school, but he’s confident in his teaching skills–and in his feelings for Dani. But while she’s everything he’s ever wanted, he knows his place on her staff–and his age–may be problematic for his sexy boss. How can he convince her to ignore the gossip mill currently in full swing in the teacher’s lounge and surrender to what’s meant to be?

Buy Links:

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About the author:

Sandy James lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis with her husband. She’s a high school social studies teacher who especially loves psychology and United States history. Since she and her husband own a small stable of harness racehorses, they often spend time together at the two Indiana racetracks.


Social Media Links:

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Excerpt:

They stood facing each other, and she thought she should turn and walk away. There were things she needed to do, and staring at Nate Ryan too awfully long was playing with fire.

Dani wanted him. She was honest enough with herself to admit it. The way he’d made her feel when he’d kissed her haunted her each time she saw him, and it was getting harder and harder to keep from reaching for him.

Nate eased closer, and she mimicked his action until they were nearly toe to toe. He leaned in, his eyes searching hers.

He was going to kiss her, but he was giving her a chance to back away.

She wasn’t going to. It was so easy to let him take the lead. Then she didn’t have to feel bad about throwing herself at the man. No, he was the one in control; she was merely the target of his attention.

His face hovered over hers, making her catch and hold her breath. With a smile on her lips, she closed her eyes and waited for his kiss.

When his lips brushed her cheek, Dani opened her eyes, surprised and confused. He hadn’t given her a real kiss since he moved in. Just chaste pecks on the cheek, and he was starting to frustrate the hell out of her.

Nate gave her a lopsided grin as he took a step back. “Not this time, Dani.”

Embarrassment made heat bathe her face, and she found herself too flustered to say anything to his rather terse statement.

“You were waiting for me to kiss you. That’s not how it’s gonna be.”

She found her voice. “What do you mean?”

After releasing a hefty sigh, he folded his arms over his chest. “I’ve made it pretty clear I’d like to get to know you better.”

“Which is why I was going to let you kiss me again.”

“I’m not going to lead this little dance anymore, not when I’m the only one with his feelings involved.” He shook his head and headed to the basement door. “The next time we share a real kiss, you’re going to have to be the one giving it.”

The man had her too confused to do more than sputter.

“From the moment I met you, I’ve wanted to get to know you better,” he said. “And not as a colleague. Not as a friend. As a man captivated by a woman who’s not only beautiful but also funny and intelligent.” When she tried to speak, Nate held up a hand. “But she’s got it in her mind that he’s too young for her and that she’s his ‘boss.’ ” He punctuated the last word with air quotes. “Silly notions, but until she gets past those and wants the same things he wants, the only kiss she’s gonna get is on the cheek.”

“But—”

“I’m here when you’re ready, Dani. But only when you’re really ready.”

The door closed softly behind him.

THE BOTTOM LINE by Sandy James (May 6, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; The Ladies Who Lunch Book #1)

When life gets tough and love is hard to find, four friends take their troubles to lunch. Surviving a failed marriage and an illness that almost takes her life, high school teacher Mallory Hamilton needs the Ladies Who Lunch more than ever . . .
After a year of upheaval, Mallory has had her fill of change-with one exception. Her house is a disaster, and she wants it fixed. Hiring a contractor to finish the projects her ex-husband started will help her banish the past so she can return to the life she had before everything went awry. But her contractor is sexy, sweet, and single, which threatens the peaceful, solitary life Mallory has planned for herself.
Ben Carpenter has had a hard time raising his daughter without his ex-wife’s help. His new client’s projects will give him the extra income he needs, not to mention afternoons alone with a gorgeous woman. Though their attraction is  undeniable, Ben sees the fear and pain hiding in Mallory’s beautiful eyes. But how can he help her if she won’t let him in? Ben can fix just about anything-but can he fix Mallory’s broken heart?


Buy Links:

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SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED by Sandy James (July 1, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; The Ladies Who Lunch Book #2)

When life gets tough and love is hard to find, four friends take their troubles to lunch. High school teacher Juliana Kelley tells the Ladies Who Lunch that her life needs an overhaul . . . and gets a whole lot more than she wished for.
Juliana has spent thirteen years in the same teaching job. She’s ready to dive into a new career with both feet . . . when a run-in with the hottest man she’s ever seen knocks her head over heels. But with her failed marriage to a fellow teacher fresh on her mind, Jules can’t afford to lose herself in a relationship-no matter how perfect it may seem.
Connor Wilson has hit rock bottom when he loses his career as a top-notch Realtor because of a large gambling debt. Now, in a small town he finds a fresh start-and a gorgeous redhead who sparks new life into him. Together they start a successful real estate company, but when pleasure sneaks into the business, they’ll have to decide what they can let go . . . and what they can’t live without.


Buy Links:

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SEALING THE DEAL by Sandy James (November 4, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; The Ladies Who Lunch Book #3)

After losing her sister, Bethany Rogers needs a shoulder to lean on more than ever-though she never expects that shoulder to belong to her new boss . . .
Bethany has been in love with Robert Ashford since they were teachers at the same high school. After Robert leaves to start his own construction company, Beth puts her feelings aside to focus on her goals. When she finally lands a gig as a part-time designer, she is shocked to find her new boss is none other than Robert . . . and he’s hotter than ever. But Bethany’s happiness is short-lived when she receives word that her sister has been killed in combat.
With the success of building homes for one happy family after another, Robert is finally ready to settle down. When Beth is left to care for her nine-month-old niece, Robert can’t help but step in. And before long, the trio are inseparable. Yet convincing the cautious, bereaved Beth of letting him in proves difficult-but Robert will give everything he’s got for the chance at his own happily ever after.

Buy Links:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4. Manga Review: A Mediterranean Marriage by Graham and Hashimoto

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Harlequin manga is my crack!  I purchased A Mediterranean Marriage when it was on sale for .99, and I decided to read it last night because, after a stressful week, I had the attention span of a small bug.  This was perfect for  my mood.  It’s fast paced, the art is lovely, and the exotic locale was painstakingly rendered for my reading enjoyment.  The biggest disappointment for me was Rauf, the incredibly jerky hero, who has a grudge against Lilly and treats her terribly, all because she turned him down three years ago and his delicate ego still hasn’t recovered.

Lilly’s family owns a travel agency that Rauf has invested in.  Three years after being rejected by Lilly, he’s still smarting from the perceived slight.  When her company fails to pay contractual dividends for two years, he thinks he’ll finally get his revenge.  Lilly comes to his office in Istanbul to explain, as well as to sell some property in Turkey,  and Rauf is prepared to make his displeasure with her family and their lack of payments well known.  Lilly, however, has documents and bank statements showing that the dividends were, indeed paid, but the money wasn’t going into Rauf’s coffers.  Instead, it was going to a company impersonating his, and Lilly’s family has been scammed for the last two years.

Rauf agrees to give Lilly’s family more time to come up with the money they owe him if she’ll accompany him in Turkey for a week.  During that time, she’s to help go over all of the documentation she’s brought so Rauf’s legal team can go after the scam company.  Because Lilly’s company is almost bankrupt, she has no other options, so she reluctantly agrees to go along with his request.  All the while she has to hide the fact that she’s in love with Rauf.

Rauf, having been burned by beautiful women in the past, instantly suspects Lilly of lying to him.  He doesn’t believe anything she’s told him, and he believes that she’s trying to cheat him out of the money her company owes him.  What’s really sticking in his craw, though, is the constant memory of her rejection.  How dare she?!  How could she possibly be indifferent to his charms?  I thought he was a complete butthead, and if that’s how he treated women, no wonder they only hooked up with him for his money.  He remains unrepentantly petulant until the last two pages.  If the pacing and the illustrations hadn’t been so skillful, I wouldn’t have enjoyed A Mediterranean Marriage as much, because it was so hard to like Rauf.  Lilly is a star, though, forgiving and honest, and Rauf, darn the man, was lucky she forgave him.

Grade:  B / B-

Review copy purchased from Amazon

From Amazon:

Lilly flies to Istanbul to appeal to Rauf Kasabian in person, an investor in her family’s travel company. He is suing the company for allegedly failing to pay its dividends, but she is unaware of any fraud. Rauf, who has gorgeous hazel eyes, coldly abandons her right after taking her virginity because he sees her as a wicked, calculating woman. Unbeknownst to Lilly, he plans to manipulate her for his own desires, thinking she is a fraud and a crook…!

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5. Cover Reveal: One More Shot by Victoria Denault

I have a Top 5 list and a cover reveal this morning for Victoria Denault’s NA hockey romance, One More Shot.  This is the first book in Victoria’s Hometown Players series.

Top 5 Fun Facts about Victoria Denault

1. I’ve run the bulls in Pamplona, Spain – twice.

2. The title One More Shot was inspired by a song by a band named Kane.

3. The characters are from the fictitious town of Silver Bay, Maine. It’s roughly based on Old Orchard Beach, Maine, but I swapped the ocean for a lake.

4. The relationship between the Caplan sisters (Jessie, Rose, Callie) is inspired by the relationship I had with my best friends growing up.

5. I LOVE hockey and was lucky enough to be at a Stanley Cup winning game. Total bucket list item.

ONE MORE SHOT by Victoria Denault (June 2, 2015; Forever Yours E-Book; $3.99; Hometown Players Book #1)

They say you only get one shot at making your dreams come true. Jordan is determined to take two.
Drafted by the NHL at eighteen, Jordan Garrison was headed for fame, and there was only one person he wanted to share it with-Jessie Caplan. He was crazy in love with her, and had finally told her so. They shared an amazing night . . . and then everything fell apart.
Jessie tries not to think about the night she gave herself to Jordan-or how he broke her heart. She tries not to think about it, but she does. Especially now, when she’s staring into his sky-blue eyes for the first time in six years. After so much time and torment, she can’t tell if she loves him or hates him. But Jordan has learned enough to know a connection like theirs is rare. He was lucky to find Jessie once. No way will he lose her again.

Pre-Order Links:

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About the author:

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.

Social Media Links:

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6. I'm an Into the Dark Ambassador!!

Hello fellow bloggers, Anna here! I was chosen to be one of Bree Despain's Into the Dark Ambassador! I'm super excited to be doing this. Bree is one of my top 5 favorite authors. Her first series; The Dark Divine is one of my favorites and forever will be. Bree is an amazing author and I am proud to announce that she has come out with a new series! Its called The Shadow Prince series and

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7. Review: In the Brazilian’s Debt by Susan Stephens

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

So I couldn’t resist the polo.  Where there is polo, there are polo ponies, or so my thought processes would like to think.  And yes, there were horses in Susan Stephens’ In the Brazilian’s Debt, but alas, not enough to keep me happy.  The biggest disappointment, however, was Chico, because he treated Lizzie so terribly after having sex with her.  He went from being Mr Hottie Sex God to Biggest Jerk on the Planet in 0 to 60, and I was like, “What?”

To say that Lizzie comes from a messed up family is the understatement of the year.  When she was 15, Chico and his mentor, Eduardo, visited her family’s stud farm in Scotland, and Lizzie and Chico formed a fast friendship.  Or so she thought.  She confided in him how awfully her parents treated her, and the terrible things that went on in her house, and she begged to go back to Brazil with him and Eduardo.  Chico promised to help her, but he suddenly left without a word to her.  Heartbroken, she watched as her parents brought ruin to the family legacy with their greed and depravity.  Only Lizzie’s grandmother’s intervention saved them from losing the land and farm that had been in the family for generations.

Years later, Lizzie’s the last hope for saving the family farm.  She’s won a scholarship to Chico’s polo training program.  In the intervening years, Chico has become a polo legend, and he’s worked hard to establish a multi-million dollar empire.  Chico came from the slums, and only Eduardo saved him from a life of poverty.  Now he gives back, by mentoring poor youths, and by teaching his equine skills to a select few.  He’s surprised to see Lizzie among the latest group of students; she left him high and dry after her mother accused him of raping her.  He’s still angry that she didn’t take his side, or that she ignored the letters that he wrote to her afterwards. 

There’s a lot of hurt feelings and misunderstandings for Chico and Lizzie to work through, but they both feel the same attraction for each other.  Though Lizzie tries to avoid Chico, it’s nearly impossible.  Still, she resists her feelings for him because finishing the training program means so much to her, and as the instructor, Chico is off-limits.  Until a sultry night, when she throws her inhibitions away. And then he treats her like a Class A Jerk, and my affections for him withered and died like my neglected house planets.

He did manage to get back into my good graces, at least a little bit, after a family tragedy forces Lizzie back home to Scotland. He’s very supportive, and sends her parents packing when they appear on the scene like so many vultures.  They are so awful they’re actually entertaining.  They both deserved an extended vacation at the local penitentiary.

I didn’t like Chico when he was in Brazil.  Chico in Scotland was more tolerable.  Given their history, he knew how poorly Lizzie had been treated by her parents, and that her grandmother was the only family member she could trust.  His casual treatment of her during the party was just…there are no words. He knew what her parents were like, and that at 15, she had no control over their actions (not like she had any control over them as an adult!). She deserved better, and I thought she forgave him far to easily.

Grade:  C

Review copy borrowed from my local library

From Amazon:

Paying for the past…

Lady Elizabeth Fane has two choices: lose her family’s Scottish stud farm or swallow her pride and beg Chico Fernandez for help. She’s never forgiven the arrogant Brazilian polo star for abandoning her years before, so instead she will collect on the debt he owes her. 

Yet in the sultry Brazilian heat passions flare, revealing feelings Lizzie thought she had long conquered. That is until Chico finally reveals the truth behind his desertion and Lizzie realizes that he not only has power over her body but it’s she who is in the Brazilian’s debt!

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8. IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT by Jen Brooks

Review by Leydy IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT by Jen Brooks Age Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and up Hardcover: 432 pages Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 28, 2015) Goodreads | Amazon Imagination takes on new meaning for a uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of contemporary, fantasy, and romance. Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he

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9. Interview and Giveaway: Vonnie Davis, Author of A Highlander’s Passion

 

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Good morning, Vonnie!   Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Vonnie Davis]  Affectionate, Humorous, Curious and Zany.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about A Highlander’s Passion?

[Vonnie Davis]  This is a book of secrets, witchcraft, bear-shifters, family and forgiveness. Kenzie and Bryce have been best friends since early childhood. Then, in their teenage years, a new girl moves into their area and Bryce falls in love with her. They marry at a very early age and she dies in childbirth. Although Bryce enters a very dark period of mourning, he dotes on his baby girl Colleen. When he starts dating again, he looks toward Kenzie, but as their relationship grows closer, he feels he’s being unfaithful to his deceased wife. This sets us up for my favorite scene, the opening of the book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Vonnie Davis]  Kenzie Denune pedaled the bicycle harder, her thighs burning from the exertion. Thanks to a car that refused to start, she was going to be late fer her job interview at Iverson Loch Manor. Grunting and pounding from the shrubs ahead, near the road’s edge, snagged her attention. Naked shoulders glistened in the afternoon sun. Back muscles bulged and undulated with every thrust. “Bloody hell. Come fer me. Come.”

In all of Mathe Bay in the Scottish Highlands, only one deep masculine voice had the power to raise the hair on her arms like this. A man with braided russet-colored hair that brushed broad shoulders inked with a bear’s claw marks, woven into an intricate tribal design—Bryce Matheson. Damn him to hell. Who’s he shagging out in the open in broad daylight? Has he no shame?

Not that she cared one Scottish whit, fer she dinna. Not after he’d cast her aside over a year ago to wallow in the memories of the wife he’d lost years earlier from complications in childbirth. Oh, the man could romance a woman fer some physical release, he just couldna move forward and commit.

Kenzie snapped her eyes from the randy spectacle and forced them straight ahead. She struggled to keep control of her bike’s handlebars on the pitted rocky lane. With every meter gained on the decline, the old bike bounced along faster and her arse was airborne more often than on the narrow seat. Her jaws jarred together and she bit her tongue fer the second time.

“I canna keep pounding at ye like this all bloody day. Me back is about to give out.”

Bryce moaned and groaned again as if he were in the throes of ecstasy. The bear-shifting bastard. She eased up on the brakes to whiz past his love nest of bushes and brambles.

“I’ll not give up until I get ye wild cherry. Let me push both me thumbs and most of me fingers in here and…” My God, what’s he doing to her?

Kenzie couldn’t resist one fleeting glance over her shoulder. Her front wheel plunged into a pothole and the bike pitched to the side before the back wheel skidded across loose gravel. Despite her frantic efforts to keep control, she lost her leverage. Her hip smacked the dirt, and air whooshed from her lungs on a groan. Stones scraped her legs and arms as she toppled across the grit. The force of the impact, combined with the slant of the narrow road, caused her to roll toward Bryce and his current conquest. No! No, God, no! The last thing she wanted was to interrupt Bryce’s deflowering of some virginal maiden. With his excess dose of arrogance, he’d claim she’d done it on purpose.

The broken branch of a tree tore the short sleeve of her white blouse. Something sharp caught her favorite purple gauzy skirt and ripped it just as she collided with a solid warm body. Oomph!

They rolled downhill fer a couple of revolutions, a flurry of arms and legs. Bryce landed on top and yanked out his earbuds, his chocolate eyes wide in shock. “Kenzie? What the bloody hell?” He pushed up on his forearms, his hands beside her shoulders.

She swiped her hair out of her eyes and presented him with a scowl. “I fell off me bike.” As if she needed to give him any kind of explanation. To keep from saying anything else equally as stupid, she bit her lower lip.

He glanced over his shoulder and then aimed dark eyes on her. “Yer bike? Where’s yer car?”

“It wouldna start. I have a job interview with the American this afternoon.” She closed her eyes in resignation. “I’ll be late. She willna hire me now.” Damn, she wanted to cry. She bit her lower lip again and blinked to force back the tears. The job as Effie Munro’s personal assistant came with a suite of rooms as part of the package. Kenzie wanted, needed to move out of the apartment she’d shared with her late-husband, Duncan. Was a fresh start too much to expect?

Bryce leaned in and pressed a gentle kiss to her cheek, as if he had the right. “Effie has it in her head to hire ye. She willna care ye are late. Why do ye think I’m out here working to clear the road?”

“Working?” Since when was shagging some poor girl by the roadside considered working? She glanced around. Just where was his momentary love interest?

“Aye. The old Wild Cherry tree was zapped by lightning in that big storm yesterday and fell across the road.”

The storm yesterday, heralding the month of June, had been a temper tantrum of the forces of nature, raging fer hours. Had he been talking to a Wild Cherry and not some girl about her cherry?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Vonnie Davis]  As a grandmother, I would have to say it was little Colleen. Somehow, she turned out to be a delightful blend of my two granddaughters.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Vonnie Davis]  My laptop. I write everywhere.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Vonnie Davis]  Coffee cup, Synonym Finder book and box of tissues for when I get to laughing or crying over what I’m writing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Vonnie Davis]  My husband makes me cappuccinos and grates cinnamon over the stiffly frothed milk. And cookies…always cookies.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Vonnie Davis]  Effie the pink-haired grandma in this series of books. She’s comical, gutsy, and full of spirit. Plus, she’s skinny.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Vonnie Davis]  The power of healing. I’m a soft-hearted person and can’t stand seeing people suffering from cancer, asthma, kidney disease and so on.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Vonnie Davis]  Oh wow, so many to list. Once a year I skim over Shakespeare’s plays to brush up on his comedic timing. AJ Nuest has a fantasy series, The Golden Key Legacy, and writes using her extensive vocabulary that creates great visuals. Sarah Grimm’s Midnight Heat because she can write deep, tissue grabbing emotion. Anything by Laura Kaye because she’s so versatile in her writing and she keeps me glued to the page.

A Highlander’s Passion
Highlander’s Beloved # 2

By: Vonnie Davis

Releasing April 7th, 2015

Loveswept

Blurb

Two of the wildest hearts in Scotland fight for their destiny in this searing-hot romance, sure to be devoured by fans of Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series and Shelly Laurenston’s Pride Stories.

As a bear-shifter in a pack roaming the Scottish countryside, Bryce Matheson embodies brute force and untamed abandon. As a widower, he’s running scared. When Bryce attempted to open his scarred heart to another, she grew tired of waiting for him to state his intentions, and the unearthly beauty spurned him for someone who wasn’t worthy. But now that fate has conspired to set Kenzie Denune free once again, Bryce vows to finally win her love.

Kenzie is a witch who summons her powers to protect those too weak to care for themselves. After surviving an abusive husband, she swears off men—even men like Bryce, whose iron muscles make her knees weak, and who’s piercing eyes fill her with longing. Her life’s purpose is to help others. However, dark forces have different plans for her gifts. To save herself, Kenzie must team up with the shifter who has always stirred her soul—and trust in a passion powerful enough to set her blood aflame.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/01/a-highlanders-passion-highlanders.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22890393-a-highlander-s-passion?from_search=true
Goodreads Series Link:
https://www.goodreads.com/series/134541-highlander-s-beloved

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

 

Author Info

Vonnie Davis, who studied English at Penn State, likens herself to a croissant: crusty, wrinkled, flaky—and best served with strong coffee. After a career as a technical writer, she’s spending her retirement playing fairy godmother to her characters, giving them their happily-ever-afters. Six fantastic, talented kids call her “Grandma” and brighten her world in so many ways. She lives in Southern Virginia with her husband, author Calvin Davis.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller, Loveswept Mug and Nail Polish)

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10. Review and Giveaway: Four Nights with the Duke by Eloisa James

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed Four Nights with the Duke.  The setup is fantastic; 15 year-old Emilia is at a recital, and after retreating to the library, she’s forced to hide from a group of boys who noisily approach the room.  Among them is Evander Septimus Brody, the handsome lad she’s fallen in love with.  Vander’s mother and Mia’s father are in the midst of a scandalous, not  so secret affair, and one of their parents has given Vander The Love Song of E. Septimus Brody, the poem Mia wrote to immortalize her feelings for Vander.  Mia is embarrassed and infuriated over the boys’ callous jokes about her poem, and she angrily storms from her hiding place, gives them a set-down, and declares that she would never marry any of them, even if they were the last boys in England.

Oh, how times change.  Thirteen years later, Mia is desperate.  Both her father and her brother have been killed in an unfortunate accident, and if she doesn’t marry soon, her beloved nephew will become the ward of his villainous uncle.  Mia was jilted at the altar not a month before, and with no other options, she blackmails Vander into marrying her.  She has in her possession a treasonous letter written by his father.  If anyone else learns of it, he will lose his title, lands, and beloved stables.  So now it’s Mia’s turn to flaunt a letter in Vander’s face, and he has no choice but to comply with her schemes. 

However, he burns her letter outlining the conditions of their marriage before reading it, and comes up with conditions of his own.  Vander thinks that Mia is still in love with him, and so he scornfully declares that he’ll not  bed her unless she begs for it, and then, he’ll only pleasure her four nights a year.  Since Mia was planning on an annulment, she fiercely insists that she will never beg him to bed her.  So, yeah, both of them are so wrong it’s laughable.

I enjoyed Four Nights with a Duke so much because I liked all of the characters.  Mia has body image issues that challenge her self-worth, and at first, Vander takes advantage of this to wound her emotionally.  I was starting to think that he couldn’t redeem himself for this behavior, but Mia doesn’t always play fair, either.  For her nephew Charlie’s sake, she chained herself to a man who can’t forgive her for being her father’s daughter.  Vander struggles with the shame caused by his mother’s affair.  His father spent his adult life in and out of an asylum, and he blamed his mother and Mia’s father for all of the family’s troubles.  It isn’t until he learns the other side of the story that he can finally begin to heal from this childhood hurt.

This is a fast read with cleaver dialog, two wounded people trying to heal, and lots of smexy times.  I was entertained from the first page to the last, and found Mia and Vander’s courtship both amusing and touching.

 

 

Four Nights with the Duke
Desperate Duchesses # 8

By: Eloisa James

Releasing March 31st, 2015

Avon

Blurb

As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him-so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia’s audacious proposal, but there’s one thing he won’t give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil’s bargain… he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart-and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can’t afford to lose.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/12/four-nights-with-duke-desperate.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21331590-four-nights-with-the-duke?from_search=true

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/43059-desperate-duchesses


Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo

Author Info

A New York Times bestselling author, Eloisa James is a professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but who can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is an honest to goodness Italian knight!) Eloisa’s website offers short stories, extra chapters, and even a guide to shopping in Florence. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.

Author Links Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Excerpt

Prologue

Spring, 1787

~ A Music Recital ~

The Duke of Villiers’s townhouse

At fifteen, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington already had a pretty good idea of what hell was like. Mia’s governess had taught her all about Dante’s nine infernal circles.

Mia’s first circle had required her to make her debut at fifteen, under the aegis of a hired chaperone, because her mother was dead. Her second circle had added a far worse indignity: her charming, widowed father was conducting a flagrant affaire with a married duchess that everyone in the fashionable world knew about.

She had entered the third circle over the last year or so, when against all reason, she had fallen desperately in love with the same duchess’ son, Vander. He was the most sensitive, intelligent boy in the world (or so Mia thought). And he was beautiful too, with a face that resembled the stone angels that guarded baby’s graves.

The remaining circles of hell? All six?

They were revealing themselves in rapid succession. Mia had begged her father to attend the Villiers musicale on the chance that the object of her adoration, Evander Septimus Brody, future Duke of Pindar, would be present. It seemed probable since the Duke of Villiers’s eldest son, Tobias, was best mates with Vander.

As it turned out, the house was indeed overrun with boys on holiday from Eton and among the horde was Vander, who roundly ignored her. Mia didn’t mind that: she was happy worshipping him from afar. He was too godlike for someone like her.

Besides, it wasn’t as if he danced attendance on any other girl. He and the other Etonians spent their time swigging brandy although it was not yet noon, cursing loudly, and generally pretending to be far older than their fifteen years. Mia finally retreated to the library, a tranquil room with book-lined walls.

She was searching the shelves for anything resembling her favorite novel, Eliza Heywood’s Love in Excess, when she heard, to her horror, the sound of boys approaching. Even worse, she quickly recognized the voices as those of Vander and his friend Tobias, who seemed to be calling himself Thorn these days.

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Print Bundle of the entire backlist of the Desperate Duchesses series, books 1 – 7, Including, Book 1: Desperate Duchesses; Book 2: An Affair Before Christmas; Book 3: Duchess By Night; Book 4: When the Duke Returns; Book 5: This Duchess of Mine; Book 6: A Duke of Her Own; Book 7: Three Weeks With Lady X)

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11. THE SECRETS OF ATTRACTION by Robin Constantine

Review by Bri The Secrets of Attraction Robin ConstantineReleasing: 28th April, 2015Balzer + BrayGenre: Contemporary, RomanceAge: Young Adult Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah

0 Comments on THE SECRETS OF ATTRACTION by Robin Constantine as of 4/9/2015 12:50:00 AM
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12. Guest Post and Giveaway: Angela Addams, Author of The Order of the Wolf Series

Angela Addams is celebrating the release of Spell Weaver, the latest in the Order of the Wolf series. I’ve read the first two books and enjoyed them quite a bit.  Now’s your chance to learn about the series, as well as enter for a chance to win a copy of Wolves’ Bane.

Welcome to The Order of the Wolf series: where a battle rages and you must choose which side you’re on. Like the fated Huntresses, each book demands that you pick a side, werewolf or Hunter and determine the fate of man and beast. Lines are blurred and depending on what book you’re in, you just never know who a Huntress will choose.

5 things you should know about The Order of the Wolf series by Angela Addams

5. Pass the knife.

The heroines in my series are all Huntresses, the only living being on Earth who can mortally wound a werewolf. An injury from a Huntress, even a scratch, sends a deadly poison into the bloodstream of a beast. Unless they are dispatched quickly by a well-placed stab to the muscle encased heart or decapitation, a wound from a Huntress leads to a long drawn out and agonizing death. The hero of Spell Weaver, Dyami, is suffering in exactly this way when we meet up with him again at the start of his story.

4. That guy has a nice wolf tattoo.

You know who has the special wolf tattoos? Hunters. Hunters, the men chosen to fight along side the Huntresses, have only that purpose in mind when they search for their destined mate. Their goal is to bond with the Huntress, thereby igniting the woman’s dormant powers and make her the ultimate warrior against the beasts. The only problem is that for every Huntress there are two possible mates, a Hunter and a werewolf, and she must choose which one to give her heart to. Unbeknownst to Spell Weaver’s heroine, Summer, her boyfriend of a few months is a Hunter in disguise and he’s not too happy to find a werewolf in her tattoo shop.

3. What a pretty dog.

The boys in Riot aren’t the typical werewolves in appearance. They’re too young and without proper mentoring, they have no idea that they have the ability to transform into something other than a large wolf. Unlike the beasts encountered in Wolves’ Bane, Dyami and the rest of the band haven’t been tainted by the surge of power that comes with transforming into the monstrous shape of the beast. Although they are all powerful entities in their own right, what they don’t know about their legacy handicaps them in a huge way. Wait and see what happens in Mayhem due out in August. ;-)

2. It’s all fun and games until some gets her powers.

Each Huntress has innate magical powers which are shared by her Hunter. The powers can be ignited by her werewolf’s bite or by bonding with her Hunter. A Huntress’s powers can vary in intensity, sometimes even coming out from childhood on. So far in the series, we have a spell caster (Darcy), a healer (Aubrey) and a magic etcher (Morgan). It shouldn’t be hard to figure out what Summer’s magical abilities will be…hint, hint (Spell Weaver).

1. Eat me.

A Huntress claimed by a Hunter is instantly bonded to the Order of the Wolf and through that bond gains valuable knowledge about the inner workings of the Order. She is not only gifted by amplified strength but each time she and her Hunter touch, she gains more information about the legacy of her ancestors the Amazons, as well as all insight into her Hunter’s training with weapons, battle techniques and the time he’s spent honing their special powers. She becomes the perfect werewolf-killing machine and is definitely on the wrong side as far as the wolves are concerned. Losing a Huntress to the Order instantly transforms her into the enemy and a foe to the beasts must be neutralized.

I’ve shared a little excerpt with you so you can see both sides of the battle.

Copyright © 2015 Angela Addams

All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Another wash of dizziness rolled through him and he stumbled back, letting out a hiss of pain as his newly inked flesh rubbed against the wall. His wolf growled, snapping his attention to focus. “Danger. There is danger.” Dy needed to get out of there. He wasn’t sure what the hell was up, but he felt a kind of rage building, like he was going to lose his shit at any moment. His wolf so agitated that he was lunging at the surface of control.

Time to go.

He pulled out a wad of cash and peeled off ten bills. Too much for sure, but he wanted to give Summer something that would make her smile. He dropped the money on the table, and snatched up his shirt. He was pulling it on as he exited the room and almost barreled over Summer in his haste.

“Hey, where are you going? I need to bandage you up.” Her hands were on his chest, and his instinctively came around her waist so he didn’t knock her over.

She felt so good up against him like that. Too good. His wolf growled again.

“Yeah, I gotta go.” He pushed himself back, the loss of her warmth like a gap opening in his heart. “I left some money for ya on the table. Thanks for doing this for me.”

Summer frowned. “You okay? You don’t look so hot right now. Maybe you should sit down.”

He shook his head and pushed past her, images of her kissing her boyfriend flashing in his mind. His brain was fuzzy, his wolf demanding attention.

Not now. Not now.

She trailed behind him as he thundered down the hall. Panic seized his gut, his wolf punching through.

“Dy, don’t go.”

He barely heard her as he entered the front reception area of the shop. Her guy was still there, seated on one of the couches. He glanced up from the magazine he was reading, an eyebrow cocked, smile turning into a frown as he glanced from Dy to his own arm where the tattooed image of a wolf seemed to be almost pulsing, his skin undulating.?As their eyes locked, Dy’s wolf roared.?“Hunter.” Dy’s fangs pushed through his gums. His claws burst at his fingertips. His wolf fighting for control over his body, the poison keeping his transformation from taking hold.

“What the fuck are you doing here, beast?” The man stood, reaching behind him and retrieving a blade—one he immediately threw.

Bio

Every day is Halloween for author Angela Addams. Enthralled by the paranormal at an early age, Angela spends most of her time thinking up new story ideas that involve supernatural creatures in everyday situations. She believes that the written word is an amazing tool for crafting the most erotic of scenarios.

She is an avid tattoo collector, a total book hoarder and loves anything covered in chocolate…except for bugs.

She lives in Ontario, Canada in an old, creaky house, with her husband and children.

Website: www.angelaaddams.com

Twitter: @angelaaddams

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/angelaaddams/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.Angela.Addams

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4801196.Angela_Addams

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5390/spell-weaver

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Spell-Weaver-Order-Wolf-Angela-Addams-ebook/dp/B00PDJV2C8

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/spell-weaver

BN

http://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/spell-weaver-angela-addams/1120724215?ean=9781619224476

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/spell-weaver/id939148403?mt=11

Coloring outside the lines can sting like hell…

The Order of the Wolf, Book 4

Shot by a Huntress, his wolf trapped within him, Dyami Storm is battling a poison that is eating him alive. His only hope is finding his mate, but without his wolf to guide him, he doesn’t know where to look.

The second the sexy bad boy stumbles into her tattoo shop, smelling of booze and oozing attitude, Summer Sinclair knows he’s trouble. She should turn him away, but a strange magnetic pull compels her to help him out with a little ink.

When Summer’s boyfriend walks through the door, Dyami senses he’s in the presence of a Hunter, and the Hunter recognizes him as a wolf. With hackles raised, a weapon coming at him, Dyami’s only choice snaps into place. Bite Summer, marking her as his—and unleashing her powers as a Spell Weaver.

On the run from Hunters and losing his fight against the poison, Dyami is in a race against time to convince Summer her power could change the course of the war…and that his fate is in her hands.

Warning: Sexually explicit. Tattooed, rock star drummer with a tender heart seeking his one true mate. Tough little tattoo artist with a special talent for spells. Lots of hot and heavy, wet and sweaty.

Spell Weaver Tour Info

Tour Schedule:

April 7th: Paranormal Haven

Thoughts of a Scot

April 8th: Manga Maniac Cafe

April 9th: Rabid Reads

April 10th: Carol Kittie Reviews

Musings and Ramblings

Aprl 12th: Musings of An Independent Artist

April 13th: I Smell Sheep

April 14th: Bea’s Book Nook

Giveaway Info:

Angie is giving away a signed copy of Wolves’ Bane, limited edition Order of the Wolf keychain and a signed Cursed bookmark! Giveaway is only open to Canadian and U.S. addresses.

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13. Guest Post and Giveaway: What a Lady Requires by Ashlyn Macnamara

Please give a warm welcome to Ashlyn Macnamara!  She’s here to celebrate the release of What a Lady Requires.  Be sure to enter the giveaway below!

Top Five Ways a Couple Might Get Off on the Wrong Foot by Ashlyn Macnamara

 

  1. Show up at the first meeting a bit tipsy—Yes, you might have a good reason for drinking, and yes, you might not even be aware that the summons you’ve received is an introduction to your future spouse, but a little too much brandy may just result in you being overly obvious in your appreciation for your intended’s form.

  2. Carry on a secret correspondence with another man—Again, you have reasons. Don’t you always? But once your husband finds out, you may have a little explaining to do. Especially when it turns out he has issues with fidelity.

  3. Send flowers—Under normal circumstances, a lady would find this charming. But when you have a history of spending more than you earn, and your intended is there to help you get back on your financial feet, you might want to avoid extravagances.

  4. Exhibit problems understanding basic math—When your intended is a whiz at the books, when she can do them in her head, perhaps it’s not the best time to admit all those columns of numbers make no sense to you. But that’s possibly better than making it worse and playing the idiot on purpose, especially when you derive a certain pleasure out of winding your wife up.

  5. Have annoying relatives—Just when things are starting to go, shall we say, swimmingly, the relatives decide to pay a surprise call. Could they possibly have worse timing?

In my March 31 release, What a Lady Requires, Emma and Rowan manage all this and more. How do they overcome these obstacles? Being locked in a cold wine cellar might teach them a thing or two.

 

What a Lady Requires
The Eton Boys Trilogy # 3

By: Ashlyn Macnamara

Releasing March 31st, 2015

Loveswept

Blurb

Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries, Ashlyn Macnamara’s blazing hot novel tells the story of mismatched newlyweds who discover a simmering connection.

Unlike every other proper young lady, Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Such a merger would provide her industrious father with social credibility, and Emma with a chunk of her vast inheritance. Emma’s practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight—from the smile that promises all manner of wickedness to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes.

Deep in debt, especially to his wine merchant, Rowan figures the sooner he gets his finances in order, the sooner he can go back to doing what he does best: burning through ridiculous sums of cash. Which is why Rowan agrees to marry the merchant’s daughter, a prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox—and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/02/what-lady-requires-eton-boys-trilogy-3.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23167197-what-a-lady-requires?from_search=true

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/128184-the-eton-boys-trilogy

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo

Author Info

Ashlyn lives in the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband and two teenaged daughters. When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller, Loveswept Mug and Nail Polish)

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14. THE QUEEN OF BRIGHT AND SHINY THINGS by Ann Aguirre

Review by Bri The Queen of Bright and Shiny ThingsAnn AguirrePublished: 7th April, 2015Feiwel & FriendsGenre: Contemporary, RomanceAge: Young AdultFrom: Publisher ARC Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine…

0 Comments on THE QUEEN OF BRIGHT AND SHINY THINGS by Ann Aguirre as of 4/7/2015 2:36:00 AM
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15. Manga Review: Undone by His Touch by Shinano Omi and Annie West

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I saw this at the library and had to check it out.  Why? Because they don’t have many Harlequin Comics and they are like my crack.  They’ve also greatly improved from the first ones I read, where the words didn’t even stay inside the word balloons.  Why even have word balloons, if the text is going to drift lazily beyond their borders?  It used to drive me crazy, so I’m happy to report that that particular issue is now a non-issue.

Chloe is a housekeeper for the wealthy Carstairs family, and one day, while doing her thing, she’s startled by a handsome man swimming in the pool.  His face and leg are marred by terrible scars, and Chloe learns that he’s Declan, the eldest Carstairs son, and that he survived a horrible mountain climbing accident that took the life of his brother. 

Chloe also discovers that he’s blind, and that he’s irritated with people mollycoddling him.  He’s frustrated that he needs assistance, so Chloe does her best to help him without robbing him of his pride.  She’s confused when Declan demands to know who was visiting with his brother, Adrian, before he died.  Adrian, she insisted, kept to himself.  She doesn’t share that he also stalked her and intimidated her, making her feel threatened whenever he stayed at the mansion.

Declan is still reeling from Adrian’s death.  The last thing he said before he fell off the mountain was that he couldn’t go on with his broken heart.  He then showed Declan a photo on his cell phone, the photo of a beautiful woman who took advantage of his little brother and then spurned him.  Declan vows that he will find her and extract his revenge upon her.

Declan and Chloe begin to grow close, and after a night of unbridled passion, Declan regains his sight.  But wait!  Now that he can see Chloe, he recognizes her as the woman on Adrian’s phone.  Shocked, he flees from the mansion without a word to Chloe.  Chloe is understandably hurt when she doesn’t hear from him in months, and then is suddenly called to work at a party he is hosting.  Once there, he springs his attack, accusing her of using and abusing his brother, and blaming her for Adrian’s death.  These two have quite an obstacle to overcome!

First off, the art is lovely.  The characters are long and lean, and everyone has hair that seems to take on a life of its own.  Facial expressions are easy to decipher, and the action flows seamlessly from panel to panel. 

The story, however, felt too abbreviated.  The introduction is well done, with Chloe helping the stubborn Declan with the things he can no longer do without his sight, but the conclusion was rushed and unconvincing.  Since these Harlequin Comics are only about 150 pages, there is a lot of story to fit into a short amount of space.  Declan treated Chloe horribly and completely misjudged her, and I didn’t think he groveled enough for her forgiveness. 

This is a common complaint I have with the manga based on Harlequin novels, but that being said, I still managed to purchase a bunch of them on Amazon over the weekend because they were priced at .99.  Who could possibly resist that?  If you’re curious about these comics, there are several titles available on Scribd, and you can check your local library too.

From Amazon:

One day, Chloe, the housekeeper of the wealthy Carstairs family’s villa, meets a mysterious man by the mansion’s pool. He has a strong, sun-kissed body with a long scar running down his thigh and a deep scar carved into his cheek. Learning that Declan is the owner of the house, Chloe tries to hide that she was gawking at her boss by greeting him. It is then that she realizes that he is practically blind. It is the beginning of their dangerous relationship, and Declan is on a mission to find the woman who jilted his deceased little brother.

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16. Review: One True Heart by Jodi Thomas

 

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win One True Heart here

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

This is the first Harmony novel that I’ve read, and while I was a little worried about jumping on board so late in the series, I had absolutely no difficulty getting up to speed with the small Texas town.  For a small place, a lot goes on in Harmony!  There’s a mugging, sleuthing, a kidnapping, a rumored murder, and even a threat to national security!  One True Heart was pure popcorn, and I enjoyed my visit.  It was easy to get caught up in all of the activity, and the characters were a varied and likeable bunch.

The story starts from Millanie McAllen’s POV.  She’s a wounded warrior returning to the States.  Having been wounded in the line of duty, she’s now laid up with a cast on her leg and the fear that she’ll never walk without a limp.  She knows her service days are over, and now she’s listlessly approaching her future.  Once she had her career path carefully mapped out, but one heroic act drastically changed the course of her life.  Returning to Harmony, Texas, the rural town she lived in until she was nine, and the place where many of her relatives still reside, she’s just looking for a place to heal and the quiet to figure out what to do next.

She meets Drew Cunningham, and the two are inexplicably drawn to each other.  Drew is a victim of violence, too, and it’s rebooted his life as well.  After surviving a horrific episode five years ago in Chicago, he’s withdrawn into himself.  He is no longer comfortable in crowds, and the idea of putting himself out there fills him with anxiety.  Teaching part time a local college, he spends most of his time writing and wallowing in his own company.  He hasn’t been on a date in five years, but something about Millanie makes him want to come out of his shell.

Drew and Millanie are the main couple.  Their relationship is constantly challenged by Drew’s PTSD and Millanie’s suspicions of  him.  She has one more task to perform for the government before her service days are over.  She’s been asked to search Harmony for a suspected terrorist, and Drew fits every point on the profile list.  Add in his reluctance to discuss himself or his past and you have one very torn Millanie.  Her gut tells her that Drew is exactly what he appears to be; a kind, gentle professor, but his silence when she asks him even the most innocent of questions point to a man with something to hide. 

I had my doubts about the longevity of Millanie and Drew’s HEA, mainly because of their inability to communicate during most of the story.  My biggest disappointment was that he never did confide in her about his past and the reason he’s living in Harmony.  Millanie discovers the circumstances behind his silence by utilizing her Google-fu, and I just wish that they had discussed it with each other instead.

There are three other characters who round out the cast.  Johnny Wheeler is a salt of the earth farmer, that is until he’s accused of murdering his wife.  Then he’s thrown in jail, and it doesn’t seem that he’ll ever get out.  Circumstantial evidence implicating him in another crime makes him look guilty as sin, and he despairs at ever being released. 

While he’s in the slammer, there is one bright spot during his incarceration.  Fortune-teller Kare Cunningham knows he’s innocent (she saw it in his palm after all!), and she’s made it a one woman campaign to prove his innocence.  Kare comes across as a total ditz, but she’s really a genius.  I liked her the best, because she’s funny, compassionate, and quirky.  She doesn’t see Johnny as a romantic interest, much to his dismay, so he has a lot of work to do to convince her that they should be together.  Their courtship is very cute.

Beau Yates is a up and coming country star, back in Harmony after his father has a heart attack.  Beau’s father rejected him and was enraged with his music.  Beau is hoping for a reconciliation, but not really expecting one.  While he’s in town, he runs into Trouble, the girl who made his youth bearable.  They would race down the back roads of  Harmony in her convertible, wild and free from their worries.  The adult Trouble, or Lark, has matured into a somber banker.  While their past meant a lot to Beau, he’s starting to doubt that it meant anything to Lark, and now all he wants is to leave town and get back into his life, and far away from his disappointment.

Beau and Lark’s relationship didn’t work as well for me because we never get Lark’s POV.  If we had been able to peek inside her head, I might have understood some of her behavior better.  She’s like a yo-yo with her feelings for Beau, and I didn’t know why she wasn’t just melting all over this handsome, successful guy.  Then, after he practically manhandles her, he did earn himself some wariness from her, but I would have really liked to get her side of things.

One True Heart packs a lot in to one book.  There’s something for everyone here.  You have a mystery, some suspense, three couples to fall in love with, and a whole bunch of meddling townspeople.  I found the ending jarringly abrupt, but otherwise, I enjoyed my visit to Harmony, Texas.

If you are reading the series, which is your favorite book so far?

 

Release Date: April 7  You can pre-order a copy at www.jodithomas.com

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas takes us back to Harmony, Texas—a small town where love blooms and secrets of the past threaten to alter the future…

Millanie McAllen is always logical. But after returning to her childhood home, she learns that some things are beyond explanation—like her undeniable passion for Drew Cunningham…

After finding success as a singer on the road, Beau Yates returns to Harmony to make peace with his dying father—only to find the woman he’s been dreaming of for years. But the secrets they discover might be too much for him to bear…

When Johnny Wheeler is charged with his wife’s murder, he turns to the only person who believes he’s innocent. Fortune teller Kare Cunningham’s life has always danced around reality—but Johnny is able to ground her like no other…

As their paths cross in new, captivating directions, the townspeople of Harmony need to learn to love and let go in order to live together in their little slice of heaven.

About the Author:

Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 41 novels and 13 short story collections. A five-time RITA winner, Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

Author Links:

www.jodithomas.com

www.facebook.com/JodiThomasAuthor

www.twitter.com/jodithomas

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17. Giveaway: One True Heart by Jodi Thomas

This morning I have a note from Jodi Thomas, as well as a giveaway for her latest release, One True Heart.  This is Book 8 in the Harmony series, and I’ll have a review later this morning.

From Jodi Thomas:

Welcome to ONE TRUE HEART. Like waiting for fine chocolate, this book is one you will not want to miss.  For me the story is always about the people and I loved writing this story.  This one started at a real place I know well, the Amarillo airport where one night a man and a woman meet by accident.  She’s exhausted and on crutches.  He offers her a ride to Harmony.  She’s a trained soldier and sees this professor type in glasses as no threat.  Only, while she sleeps, he steals a kiss.

When he drops her off at Winter’s Inn, the bed and breakfast, the inn keeper thinks he’s staying the night.  For the first time in years, Drew is tempted to get involved.

When you step into ONE TRUE HEART you’ll step into Harmony where the lives of the people in the town blend together.  You’ll meet Millanie McAllen and Drew Cunningham.  Both hiding out from life for different reasons.  In their love story the gentle, loving man wins out.  As they face the truth about real love they also must both face their fears.

Drew, who is always organized and calm has, what he believes, is the craziest sister on the planet.  She dances in the moonlight and tells fortunes.  In her first session with Johnny Wheeler, he’s arrested for killing his ex-wife.  Kare knows Johnny didn’t do it.  She didn’t see murder in his lifeline.  Johnny thinks she’s nuts, but she’s determined to help him even if she has to draft her big brother to help.

Another story threads its way through the book.  Beau Yates comes back to town for a few days.  He’s a successful singer in Nashville, but deep down knows that all his love songs are about one girl.  He doesn’t even know her name, he simply calls her Trouble.  She used to pick him up after work.  She’d every dream he’s ever had about love.

I love it when new readers find me for the first time.  It’s like I’m brand new, and they just discovered a Jodi Thomas book.  Then after they read one, they check my website or Amazon and discover they have many more to read.  I get a real shot of sunshine when they write or call.  It is kind of like the feeling you get when an old friend from the past calls.  For a moment, you’re sixteen again and giggling.

So, whether you’re a first time reader of a Jodi Thomas book or you’ve been with me through them all, I want you to know that you are the reason I write.

With love,

Jodi Thomas

www.jodithomas.com

www.facebook.com/JodiThomasAuthor

www.twitter.com/jodithomas

US addresses only, please

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18. Spotlight and Giveaway: A Hope Remembered by Stacy Henrie

This morning I have a guest post from Stacy Henrie, as well as a giveaway for A Hope Remembered.  Fill out the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

Most interesting facts you learned while conducting research for A Hope Remembered by Stacy Henrie

1. Most WWI pilots didn’t survive longer than two weeks at the beginning of the war.

2. WWI planes didn’t have parachutes—there wasn’t room for them and they were thought to encourage a pilot to ditch the plane. 

3. The Lake District, or Cumbria, has its own language. For example, the mountains there are known as fells and streams are becks. 

4. While we most often think of the English upper class as living in or around London or in the surrounding countryside, there were plenty of wealthy families who made their home in the Lake District and had been there for several hundreds of years by 1920. Unlike other countries during the “Roaring Twenties,” Britain experienced tough post-WWI economic conditions. However, this actually ended up helping them later on to weather the effects of the Great Depression better than others.

 

About A HOPE REMEMBERED:

The final book in Stacy Henrie’s sweeping Of Love and War trilogy brings to life the drama of battle torn Europe with emotion, faith, and of course, romance. 

As the war ends, love begins . . .

Nora Lewis just wants an escape after losing her fiancé in the Great War. When she inherits property in England, she boldly packs up and leaves America for a fresh start. But if not for her dashing new neighbor, Colin Ashby, she’d be lost. Even as their friendship deepens, Nora knows a British aristocrat would never be free to love an American orphan, no matter how much the war has changed the world . . . After his brother’s death in the war and his own experiences as a pilot at the front, Colin returns home broken, only to discover his family’s estate is also in ruin. The pressure is now on him to save his home and the Ashbys’ place in society with a well-bred match to a wealthy heiress. Too bad he finds more of a kindred spirit in Nora, the beautiful American next door. She, too, has faced the rigors of war and survived. Now the ex-soldier will have one more battle to fight-this time for love.


About Stacy Henrie:

Stacy Henrie has always had an avid appetite for history, fiction and chocolate. She earned her B.A. in public relations and worked in communications before turning her attentions to raising a family and writing inspirational historical romances. Wife of an entrepreneur husband and a stay-at-home mom to three, Stacy loves the chance to live out history through her fictional characters, while enjoying the modern conveniences of life in the 21st century. In addition to author, she is a reader, a road trip enthusiast and a novice interior decorator. Her first novel, Lady Outlaw, released from Harlequin Love Inspired Historical in 2012. 

Stacy’s SM:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5778153.Stacy_Henrie

http://facebook.com/Stacy-Henrie-author

https://www.pinterest.com/stacyhenrie/

www.stacyhenrie.com

@StacyHenrie

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1GQCqtm

BAM – http://bit.ly/1Cn3vVc

B&N – http://bit.ly/1xvDW4z

IndieBound – http://bit.ly/1Hy9JBC

GooglePlay – http://bit.ly/1CVLvnc

iTunes – http://apple.co/1y1C8Lf

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1BhSsc6

Excerpt:

With a glare at both of them, Jack smashed his cap on his head and stalked from the room. He proceeded to slam the door behind him, but it hit the doorframe and bounced open instead.

Nora pushed out a sigh. “You didn’t have to be rude. Jack’s been very helpful to me this past week.” Maybe a bit too much. But she didn’t voice that thought. Colin needed no further ammunition against Jack.

“I’m sure he has,” Colin muttered, his expression as dark as his eyes.

Nora pinned him with a piercing look.

“You’re right.” He finished buttoning his cuffs and slipped on his vest. “That was ungentlemanly of me.”

She ignored his reference to her joke at their first meeting as she put away the corn starch and closed the cupboard. It was easier to keep her heart firmly locked if she held onto her disapproval of Colin’s behavior. Plus it would also stop her from wondering what he’d been about to say before Jack’s arrival.

“How may I redeem myself?” he asked as he pulled on his jacket. The amusement tugging at his mouth contradicted his contrite tone.

Nora folded her arms, contemplating a suitable penance. “I think your punishment needs to be two-fold.”

“Very well.” He nodded. “What is your sentence?”

“First, you must join me for choir rehearsal at the church tomorrow morning.”

The mirth drained from his face. “Nora.” His voice held a note of warning. “That is entirely—”

“Second, you and Perseus can give me a tour around the lake. I’ve already been here a week and haven’t even seen all of it.”

Colin scowled. “A walk around the lake would be acceptable. But the choir rehearsal . . .”

“Please, Colin.” She hazarded a step toward him, hoping he’d relent. “I sang with them last Sunday and they need more male voices.”

She had another reason for wanting him there. Everyone had been kind at rehearsal and at church the following day, but Nora still felt uncomfortable with the continued references to her likeness to Eleanor. Apparently their similarities also included their singing voices. With Colin at the rehearsals, she wouldn’t feel as awkward. She was beginning to think he was the only person in Larksbeck who hadn’t known Eleanor.

Colin’s brow knit in obvious annoyance, while Nora held her breath. Would he accept her proposal? Finally resignation settled over his countenance. “I’ll go, but only once.” He held up a single finger. “Once,” he repeated. “I make no promises after that.”

Grateful, she breached the remaining space between them and put her hand on his sleeve. “I agree to those terms.” She couldn’t hide her smile as she added, “Be careful, though, we might make a regular choir member out of you yet.”

Instead of the light laugh she expected, Colin solemnly watched her. Though he didn’t touch her, she felt as powerless to release his sleeve as if he’d detained her hand. She couldn’t step away—his nearness drew her in like the promising warmth of a fire after being out in a storm.

“You know,” he murmured, his voice low, “you are rather charming when you jest like that.”

Nora’s pulse stuttered to a stop, then sped up again like a train gaining speed. She tried to remember why she’d been angry with him, tried to remember why she couldn’t allow anything more than friendship to blossom between them. But she couldn’t concentrate on any one thought, except for the growing desire to touch the hint of dark bristles covering his jaw.

Colin studied her lips as Jack had done last week, but this moment couldn’t be more different. A part of her, one growing more insistent by the second, actually wanted Colin to kiss her. How long had it been since she’d last felt the press of masculine lips against hers?

Not since before Tom left.

The memory crashed over her with all the effect of an ocean wave. She felt suddenly ill and cold. Releasing Colin’s sleeve, she stepped back, crossing her arms over her chest for warmth.

Forgive me, Tom.

She’d done nothing wrong, but even entertaining the idea of Colin kissing her felt like a betrayal. Her heart could never belong to anyone else. And yet, in this moment, the past felt more like a burden than a boon.

“I’ll . . . uh . . . just get my sweater, then we can go on that walk.” Nora went to pull the garment off its usual peg. Her hands shook slightly as she slipped the sweater on over her blouse. “Ready?”

A flicker of emotion gleamed in Colin’s dark eyes. Was it disappointment? Frustration? Would he forgive her abruptness or understand the source of her pain? As quickly as it had come, though, the sentiment faded and Colin shot her a carefree grin. “After you, fair lady.”

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19. Guest Post and Giveaway: Sebastian’s Lady Spy by Sharon Cullen

 

  Please give a warm welcome to Sharon Cullen!  She’s here to chat about spies. 

Top Five Female Spies by Sharon Cullen

First of all I want to thank you for hosting me today. I’m so excited about the release of Sebastian’s Lady Spy. This was a fun book to write because these two characters were so suited for each other but too hard-headed to realize it until it was almost too late.

Usually when we hear about spies, we hear about male spies but there were plenty of female spies throughout the ages that had an impact on history.

Here are five of the more interesting ones:

  1. Belle Boyd was a female spy during the Civil War who ran a hotel and ferried information from union soldiers to confederate soldiers using her maid.

  2. Josephine Baker was a renowned beauty and musician who was cleared to play in France during WWII. She worked for the French resistance passing secret information in her sheet music.

  3. Nancy Wake (my personal favorite) worked for the French resistance during WWII. She cycled more than 500 miles to replace destroyed codes and she killed an SS sentry with her bare hands.

  4. Sarah Emma Edmonds was a master of disguise and actually served in the Union Army during the Civil Was as a man named Frank Thompson.

  5. Mata Hari is an interesting study and probably one of the best known of female spies. She was a courtesan and an exotic dancer from India as well as a spy in WWII. She was shot and killed by the French.

Sebastian’s Lady Spy
Secrets & Seduction # 5

By: Sharon Cullen

Releasing March 31st, 2015

Loveswept

Blurb

Seduction abounds in Sharon Cullen’s steamy historical romance! For the Crown’s top agents, love is a hazard best avoided—until an unforgettable affair exposes their undercover hearts.

Sebastian Addison has a powerful secret. To society he is the Earl of Claybrook, the patriarch who raised his siblings after the death of their parents. But to the king, Sebastian is Britain’s top spy—a position that has taken an emotional toll on him. Contessa Gabrielle Marciano has also been living a lie, her title a cover devised by the Office of Intelligence. The femme fatale was plucked from a life of crime and prostitution and trained to restrain her passionate nature. Until she meets the earl.

For three deeply sensual days and nights, Sebastian and Gabrielle drop their masks, indulging in pleasures that seem too good to be true. Then the lovers go their separate ways. Seven months later they reunite when inside sources report that an English aristocrat has been aiding France in a plot to topple the Crown. Their objective: to find the turncoat. Their greatest challenge: to keep their wild, wounded hearts from derailing a mission of life and death.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/01/sebastians-lady-spy-secrets-seduction-5.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23167091-sebastian-s-lady-spy?ac=1

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/137236-secrets-seduction

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo

 

Author Info

Sharon Cullen is the author of the historical romances The Notorious Lady Anne, Loving the Earl, and Pleasing the Pirate, as well as many novels of romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. If you’d like to find out more about the author and her books, you can visit her blog or her website. She is addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion: books.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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20. Review: What a Bachelor Needs by Kelly Hunter

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I was kind of avoiding the Bachelor Auction books because, at first, they didn’t interest me.  I just read a book where the hero was auctioned off, so the premise wasn’t even catchy.  But then.  But THEN!  I saw that Kelly Hunter wrote What a Bachelor Needs and I was so on board I forgot my life vest.

I have read and enjoyed many of Kelly Hunter’s works.  I love her dialog and how the protagonists interact, and the secondary characters are always fun to meet, too.   All of that is true here. There is so much humor in WaBN that I actually laughed out a loud a few times, startling the puppers.  It’s okay, though, they have already realized that mom is kinda weird, but her love is genuine, so they didn’t scurry off to locate a hiding place.

Single mom Mardie is struggling to provide a safe, secure home for her young daughter Claire.  The victim of domestic abuse, she was in one horrific marriage and she’s not going to make that mistake again.  On the lowest night of her life, Jett Casey, the guy she’d been crushing on since high school, saves her after she’s taken a beating in an alley.  Mardie is mortified that Jett is her rescuer, and despite her objections, she allows him to call emergency services so she receive the medical attention is obviously needs. 

This meeting changed both of the their lives.  It made Mardie realize that she deserved better and that she was worth something.  It overwhelmed Jett with guilt because he didn’t think he did enough for Mardie.  He just let her go, back into whatever hellish situation he’s momentarily saved her from.  When he has a chance to do something about it a few years later, he takes the opportunity to assuage his guilt very seriously.

Mardie doesn’t have two nickels to rub together, and she’s too proud to ask for help from anyone.  When her friend buys Jett for her, she’s not happy.  But Jett, a competitive skier, is sidelined with an injury, so he’s offered to be the winner’s handyman.  Mardie’s house needs a lot of TLC, so she’s finally convinced that letting Jett fix a few things will make it a safer environment for Claire.  She also learns that occasionally asking for help isn’t a bad thing, a hard lesson for her to learn.

I loved Jett.  He is such a kind, giving guy, and he only wants to help Mardie.  He’s a ski god, enjoys having a good time, and has women throwing themselves at him.  But once he starts tinkering around Mardie’s house, he only has eyes for her.  She fights the attraction she feels for him, but their chemistry shines on every page.  Mardie’s reservations are completely believable, too.  Once the week is over, he’s just going to go off on his merry way, traveling the world and winning more titles.  Mardie doesn’t think she has anything to offer him, despite his protestations to the contrary.  She’s still fighting the demons from her past, and she doesn’t think she can ever trust again.

What a Bachelor Needs is a fast, fun read with snappy dialog and a kind, compassionate hero who is very heroic, and, hey, he does home improvements!  If that doesn’t make Jett Mr. Perfect, I don’t know what would.  If you have a couple hours to fill this weekend, I highly recommend getting cozy with this book.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Your date with ski champ Jett Casey is an either/or deal. He’ll take you off-piste for the ultimate Montana ski adventure or he’ll put his handyman skills at your disposal for a week. Which one would you choose?

Single mom Mardie Griffin has a run-down old house in need of fixing and a memory of Jett Casey as her savior in a time of great need. So when her friends acquire Jett’s services at a bachelor auction and send him to fix up her house, she sets aside her mistrust of men and lets him in.

Elite athlete Jett Casey has the world at his feet and no desire for stability. But there’s one woman he’s never forgotten and if he can help make her safe this time, maybe she’ll stop haunting him.

No strings, no sex, no commitment. Just fix things. Surely it can’t be that difficult…

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21. Interview and Giveaway: Kim Amos, Author of A Kiss to Build a Dream On

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Kim!  What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

{Kim Amos] Toast the ghost! He’s a stuffed ghost I found at Target one year on the Halloween clearance rack. He looked so lonely, so I took him home, and now I sleep with him even though I’m probably well past the age when I should be sleeping with stuffed anything but, hey, he’s super snuggly! When I travel, he always comes with me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

{Kim Amos] Post-Its (I’m forever making lists, hoo boy do I love a good list), Tana French’s novel THE SECRET PLACE (it’s amazing, everyone should read it, especially mystery lovers), and an antique pen that’s gilded and lovely, which my wonderful sister-in-law bought me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

{Kim Amos] CARBS OMG ALL THE CARBS NOW OM NOM NOM. Just kidding. Sort of. Not really. I’m a carb-o-holic, which I’m trying to change and be better about. It’s tough! So these days, I’ll probably snack on some air-popped popcorn (instead of, say, all the Doritos in a two-mile radius), or even an apple and peanut butter. Around this time of year, though, the Cadbury mini-eggs are definitely calling to me!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

{Kim Amos] Amelia Earhart, I think. She was gutsy and brave in so many admirable ways during a time when not much was expected of women. I would love to hear her internal thoughts and learn how she shut out the haters. Her spirit of adventure awes me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

{Kim Amos] I would have the power to help every animal that needed a home, love, and care. I would be a voice for animals that had no voice. I’d help them in any way I could, and hopefully ensure they all had wonderful lives. *tries to hug all the animals*

About A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON

Twelve years ago, beautiful, blond, wealthy Willa Masterson left White Pine, tires squealing, for New York City, without looking back.  Since then, she’s enjoyed everything New York has to offer a girl with unlimited resources. But the recent discovery that her boyfriend has squandered her inheritance in a Ponzi scheme sends Willa back to White Pine, to the only asset she has left: her childhood home, which she plans to turn into a high-end B&B. 
Enter Burk Olmstead, the best contractor in town-and Willa’s high school boyfriend, whom she left high and dry when she moved away.  Hard-working, hard-bodied Burk, who has been taking care of Willa’s childhood home for years, also has plans for the beautiful old house-plans that conflict with Willa’s B&B.  When these two argue, sparks fly and reignite the fire that’s always been between them…but it may take the whole town of White Pine to get these two lovers back together for good. 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1xfmEZm
B&N: http://bit.ly/1ErH3HJ
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1AxKQ4M
BAM!: http://bit.ly/1F4vQC8
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1I04MCu

About Kim Amos

A Midwesterner whose roots run deep, Kim Amos is a writer living in Michigan with her husband and three furry animals. 

Website: http://www.kimamoswrites.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimAmosWrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimamoswrites

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimamoswrites/

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22. Review: One Night with Her Bachelor by Kat Latham

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

After the smashing success of What a Bachelor Needs, I decided to give One Night with Her Bachelor a spin.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work as well for me, because I didn’t find the hero very appealing.  Yes, Gabriel is going through a rough patch, but, still, Dude, you have to bathe regularly.  He lives in his grandfather’s cabin in the middle of woods, a good hike from civilization, and the thought of living without electricity does absolutely nothing for me.  My idea of camping is checking into a Fairfield Inn, and that’s roughing it.  So a guy without a job, the internet, furniture, or a way to charge a Kindle – yeah, that’s not happening.

We meet Molly Dekker, a single mother working hard to provide a happy home for her exuberant son Josh.  On the weekend Josh is off on a camping trip, Molly decides she’s going to do something for herself.  She’s going to hike into the woods, find Gabriel’s cabin, and proposition the man she’s had the hots for since she was a girl.  Gabriel was her brother’s best friend, and when he was injured in the line of duty, he lost everything after the tragic accident. 

Gabriel is a former Air Force pararescueman, and when he’s sent to rescue the crew of a downed helicopter, he arrives too late to save Molly’s brother.  Worse, he’s terribly wounded, and his injures rob him of his job.  Unable to  remain in the service, he’s now at lose ends.  Suffering from PTSD, he retreats from his family and settles into the cabin in the woods, living like a hermit.  He only goes to town when he needs supplies, and when Molly shows up on his doorstep, he isn’t amused.  He’s not even sure what to think after she makes him an offer she thought he’d be delighted to accept.  All Gabriel wants is to be left alone.

While she’s trying to talk Gabriel into bed, she discovers her son has gone missing from his campsite.  Fearing the worst, she and Gabriel rush off in search of him.  When they find him, he’s been seriously injured, and Gabriel quickly takes matters into his own hands.  He rescues Josh, saving his life, but the boy is left paralyzed.

With Josh’s medical bills, Molly is now struggling to make ends meet.  She blames herself for Josh’s condition, and regrets ever going to Gabriel’s cabin.  She’s afraid to leave her son alone now, stifling his efforts at independence.  When her friend discovers how poorly she’s doing financially, she organizes a charity auction to help her raise money, despite Molly’s protests. 

As you have probably already guessed, Molly ends up with Gabriel as her bachelor.  While there were sparks between them and some of the dialog was very fun, I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in their HEA.  They struggled to communicate, and their conflict resolution skills left a lot to be desired.  They are both still so emotionally raw from the enormous potholes in their lives that it was hard for me to believe they were up to the complications that go hand in hand with a relationship.  Gabriel can’t even confide to Molly about his accident, because he still hasn’t come to terms with it himself.  When he finally does, Molly was justifiably irked at his lack of trust in her.

So, bottom line –  while I liked getting the scoop on the backstory for the series, aspects of One Night with Her Bachelor just did not work for me.  The hero wasn’t my cuppa, and the couple’s inability to communicate didn’t give me a sense that they’ll enjoy their HEA.

Grade:  C

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Bid on a date with this wounded warrior for an unforgettable night of adventure. Aim high—and bid higher!—because no one comes close to local hero Gabriel Morales.

Molly Dekker hates being the town charity case, but when her son Josh is seriously injured she has no choice. She lets her best friend organize a bachelor auction to help pay her massive bills and make Josh’s life more comfortable. She can’t bid on any of the men, but a surprise bidder gives her a gift she never expected: a date with the man who saved her son’s life—the only one she’s in danger of losing her heart to.

Former Air Force pararescueman Gabriel Morales made a career of flying to the rescue, until a tragic helicopter crash stole more than his livelihood. Being auctioned off like a slab of beef isn’t in his recovery plan. But one look, one touch and one night unlocking Molly’s pent-up passion make him realize how badly he needs to be rescued…and how badly he wants to rescue Molly right back.

Will Molly and Gabriel’s never-quit attitude have them rushing head-first into love? Or will Gabriel’s secret pain stall their relationship before it can get off the ground?

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23. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor by Paula Quinn

This morning I have a guest post and giveaway for Paula Quinn’s latest, The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor.

Top 5 distractions while working on a deadline by Paula Quinn

Everything is a distraction when I’m working on a deadline. The worst are:

1. Shopping

2. Arrow (The T.V. show. Have you seen it? Have you seen Stephen Amell?)

3. My dogs. The seem to know when I’m on a deadline and want all my attention.

4. Journaling—I love to write!

5. Reading

About THE SCANDALOUS SECRET OF ABIGAIL MACGREGOR:

A LADY’S MISSION . . . 

Known for her beauty and boldness, Abigail MacGregor must preserve her clan’s dangerous secret: that her mother is the true heir to the English Crown. If the wrong people find out, it will mean war for her beloved Scotland. To keep peace, she embarks for London, unprepared for the treachery that awaits-especially from her wickedly handsome escort. He is the enemy, but his slow, sensuous kisses entice her beyond reason . . . 

A WARRIOR’S TEMPTATION

General Daniel Marlow, loyal knight and the kingdom’s most desirable hero, would rather be on the battlefield than transporting a spoiled Highland lass. But Abby MacGregor is unlike any woman he’s ever met, in a ballroom or in his bedroom. Captivated by her daring spirit and seduced by her lovely innocence, Daniel must choose between betraying his queen or giving up the woman who would steal his country-and his traitorous heart.


About Paula Quinn:

New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven.  She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.


Paula’s SM:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/253272.Paula_Quinn?from_search=true

http://facebook.com/pages/Fans-of-Paula-Quinn/336691429368

https://www.pinterest.com/quinnsromance/

http://www.paulaquinn.com/

@Paula_Quinn

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1IrFQEb

BAM – http://bit.ly/1FTJxCB

B&N – http://bit.ly/1u6Wkgl

IndieBound – http://bit.ly/1sFMkb3

GooglePlay – http://bit.ly/1CnmAXk

iTunes – http://apple.co/1AHmJGd

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1FBNoWy

Excerpt:

“Aye, ye did say that,” she murmured. “Well, since we’re both awake, we might as well spend the night together again.”

The innocence in her voice struck him in the guts. She wanted nothing more from him than someone to be with outside in the night.

He, on the other hand, was not innocent at all. Her choice of words sent a little spark of heat to his groin. The way she turned on the pads of her feet and ended up pressed against his side and tucked neatly under his shoulder tilted him on his axis a little.

“I’m cold,” she whispered, her teeth chattering.

He put up no fight when she lifted his arm around her shoulder, then covered them both with her plaid. The desire to protect her overwhelmed him and sent tremors through his muscles. He knew little of her. Was she an innocent daughter of a Jacobite chief, or part of some secret scheme Anne was devising.

Hell. Anne didn’t devise schemes.

“I wasn’t certain if you were ever going to speak to me again,” he said, when what he should have said was, You should go sleep somewhere, lady, and not on me.

“I was verra’ angry with ye. But I’ve forgiven ye.” He heard the smile in her voice and made a mental note of how well it pleased him that she was no longer angry. He would decide what to do about his unwanted concerns for her tomorrow. Right now, he only wanted to sit with her just like this, with her beneath his arm and pressed snuggly into his side. Warmth swept over him like fine wine until he felt drunk on it.

How was it that she fit so neatly into him, now and earlier when she slept in his lap, like she belonged there, close to him?

Close to his heart.

Hell, it scared him, and after fighting for over a decade, not much scared him anymore.

“D’ye have a wife, General Marlow?” Came her sweet voice against his chest.

“No, lady.”

“Are ye betrothed?”

“I am not.”

“Is there a lass somewhere who has yer heart?”

“No.”

“Well,” she laughed softly, “are all the ladies in England fools?”

“They’re the opposite,” he told her. “They’re wise to set their interests in another direction.”

She shook her head then tilted her face up to his. In the filtered light of the moon, he could make her out enough to fall victim to the alluring curves of her mouth, her soft, sweet breath against his chin. “Nae, they are fools not to try to win yer affections.”

He knew every reason there was to stop what he was thinking, what he was feeling, and what he was about to do. But reason was a puny opponent compared to desire.

Slipping one hand behind her nape and the other to her throat, he tilted her chin another half-inch then covered her mouth with his. The instant after he did it, he regretted it, but then she coiled her arms around his neck and drew him closer, and he couldn’t stop. He never wanted to. She didn’t resist him, in fact, she melted in his arms. She groaned softly when he drew his tongue across the seam of her mouth. She bit his lip and ignited his blood to liquid fire. He swept his tongue in and out of her, holding her close to him while they kissed, wanting nothing more from her than what she gave him now. Making love to her could be dangerous if Charlotte found out. He’d have to make sure she didn’t find out, at least until he had proof of other crimes and could arrest her. If she hurt Abigail before that he’d hang her himself.

He wondered, as he held her in his arms and kissed her long into the night, how he could be so content with one he was supposed to hate.

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24. Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Rachel’s Deception by Karen Ann Hopkins

This morning I have a cover reveal and giveaway for Rachel’s Deception by Karen Ann Hopkins.  I enjoyed the Temptation series, and I’m looking forward to reading the continuation.  Noah’s sister Rachel and Rose’s younger brother take center stage, and I can’t wait to find out what happens.  Check out the cover, revealed below, and then enter the giveaway!

 

Growing up Amish is difficult…but leaving it behind is even harder.

Noah was Amish…Rose wasn’t. Being together should have been impossible. But somehow they found a way to make it work. They are finally a family, but their happily-ever-after is still a long off. Will Rose and her friends be able to force real change?

Karen Ann Hopkins returns with a gripping new book in the YA Temptation series. The powerful family saga continues with Rachel’s Deception, as events spiral out of control in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview. And Rachel Miller has her own secrets to hide. Noah’s younger sister has been living a double life. That is, until Justin Cameron, Rose’s little brother, catches her in the act. Rachel is not the obedient Amish girl that her sister was, and her rebelliousness takes her to a very dangerous world. A world that only her true friends can help her escape from.

As Rachel questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment, Rose discovers what it really means to be shunned. And an evil shadow looms on the horizon, threatening not only Rose, but everyone she holds dear.

The Temptation Series:

Temptation (Book 1)   onGoodreads |Get a Copy  Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Belonging (Book 2)  on Goodreads | Get a Copy Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Forever  (Book 3)  on Goodreads | Get a Copy Amazon |B&N |Indiebound

The Temptation Series is now on Audible!


Here is some exciting news for all those audiobook lovers out there: The Temptation Series will be available April 21st and you can Pre-Oder your copy right now! Listen to a sample on audible.

 

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

Karen is generously offering up a $25 gift card (Amazon or B&N) as well as a copy of TEMPTATION (book 1) to one lucky winner! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form

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25. Spotlight and Giveaway: Devil’s Moon by Amanda Scott

This morning I have Top 5 from Amanda Scott, as well as a giveaway her latest release, Devil’s Moon! 

Top 5 Items in your deadline survival kit by Amanda Scott:

1. a good outline

2. detailed character sketches

3. exhaustively researched historical backgrounds

4. detailed setting notes

5. major scenes drafted, outlined, and finished long before the deadline approaches.  

[Thing is, I’ve written and had more than 60 books published, so I don’t think in terms of deadline survival. That is not to say that I’ve never missed a deadline, although I’ve never missed one by much. Careful preparation and disciplined writing take most of the angst out of meeting deadlines.]

About DEVIL’S MOON:

A WARRIOR’S PROMISE

The last place Sir David “Devil” Ormiston expected his moonlight chase of a horse thief to end was in a lady’s bedchamber. He is shocked to find that the raider he has pursued is no man, but a defiant beauty in disguise-and the woman he’s vowed to protect at all costs. Face to face with a girl Dev thought he knew, the ever confident, marriage-resistant knight may learn that he is defenseless against the desirable woman she has become.

A LADY’S SECRET

Lady Robina Gledstanes will do anything to keep her family’s land out of the hands of her greedy kinsmen-except willingly submit to the handsome, cocksure Devil Ormiston. Dev’s help may be just as dangerous as the threats lurking outside her castle. But when enemies scheme to steal the castle’s treasure, Robina must risk losing something even more precious-her heart.


About Amanda Scott:

Amanda Scott is the author of over 62 romance novels and the recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award.  She lives in Folsom, California, outside of Sacramento.  She is a fourth-generation Californian. 


Amanda’s SM:

http://www.amandascottauthor.com

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003632657908

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/19MSGkI

BAM – http://bit.ly/1ENtCnX

B&N – http://bit.ly/1zGCZXm

IndieBound – http://bit.ly/1wJa8Kq

GooglePlay – http://bit.ly/1Df9nh1

iTunes – http://apple.co/19MSNNr

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1bqndWe

Excerpt:

Watching Dev, Robina was grateful for his restraint. They reached the graveyard soon afterward and dismounted to look at the grave. She sensed Rab’s presence strongly as they stood there, but he kept silent, too.

“What is it, Robby? Art sad again?”

Startled, she said, “Not sad, just pensive.”

“I think you have been pensive since I arrived, or longer,” he said. “Keeping secrets, or thinking about Rab?”

Uncertain how to reply, since the truth was unacceptable, she realized that silence was just as bad. Dev would surely suspect that she was keeping something from him.

She would have liked to tell him about the jar of coins, but Rab’s warning was sensible. And, in truth, whether Dev was currently master of Coklaw or not, the money belonged to Benjy, not to Dev.

The thought was disheartening, and she wished Rab would recall that he had trusted Dev. Confiding in him should be not only safe but sensible.

Rab, however, remained as silent as his grave.

“We should head back down,” she said with a sigh.

“Keeping secrets then,” Dev said grimly. “Don’t you trust me?”

“Oh, Dev, no, don’t think that,” she said, putting a hand to his arm, shocked that he had so nearly guessed her thoughts. “I know I’ve been a bit difficult, but—” Breaking off when he grinned, she said bluntly, “Do you think that was funny?”

He shook his head and bit his lower lip.

“Damnation, David Ormiston, do you dare to laugh at me now?”

“Nay, nay, I’m striving mightily not to laugh or to say what I’m thinking.”

“Just what were you thinking?”

“That when you refuse to tell me what you are thinking and then say that I’m mistaken to suspect a lack of trust, you make me want to kiss you one minute and put you over my knee the next. But, by heaven, if you swear at me again, I’ll—”

“I won’t swear,” she said hastily. “But neither will I tell you all I think. Some things are still private, sir, one’s thoughts especially so. But if you want to kiss me again,” she added, feeling suddenly and strangely shy but determined, “you may.”

“May I?” He raised his eyebrows. “I will admit that I enjoyed your kiss when we were here before. But others would say that I’d taken advantage of you.”

“They would be wrong,” Robina said. “I kissed you first. I wanted to know how it would feel, and now I want to know if it feels the same way whenever one kisses a man. I do trust you with my virtue, Dev.”

“Do you, Robby? You should not be so trusting. Sithee, I’m not certain I can trust myself. You’re a mighty tempting wench. But there are rules.”

“Bother the rules,” she said. “Do you not want to kiss me?”

“Aye, sure, I do,” he responded, pulling her roughly into his arms.

Uncertain now, but curious, she looked up and tried to gauge his mood. But he allowed her no time for that before his lips claimed hers, hot and demanding.

As he held her close, she heard him moan quietly in his throat.

***

Dev heard his moan, too, and realized that she had bewitched him. He wanted her in every way—other than marriage, of course, he reminded himself brutally. He suspected, though, that her invitation had just been an attempt to avoid answering his question about the secrets she was keeping from him.

The pliskie lass needed a lesson, and he needed release for his own emotions or whatever it was that enflamed his body, if only to show her the dangers of tormenting men … one man, at least.

Thrusting his tongue into her mouth and finding it hot inside and yet softly yielding, he pressed his lower body tightly against hers, letting her feel his desire.

She was too short, but a flat-topped boulder sat nearby. Without warning or sign, he lifted her to stand on it and did so without releasing her mouth.

For once in her life, she did not fight him but wrapped her arms around him and held him as tightly as he held her.

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