What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'romance')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<August 2015>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
      01
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: romance, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 2,257
26. Spotlight and Giveaway: Falling for the P.I. by Victoria James

 
Enter to Win a
$25.00 Amazon eGift Card

 
FALLING FOR THE P.I.
Still Harbor #1
Victoria James
Releasing Aug 10th, 2015
Entangled: Bliss
 
 
Teacher Kate Abbott’s fresh start in Still Harbor was the beginning of the life that she and her two best friends always imagined for themselves. Still, being a working single parent of a special needs daughter hasn’t exactly improved Kate’s love life. But Kate’s preference for nachos over men quickly disappears when she meets the oh-so-sexy Matt Lane.
Until she finds out he’s a cop.
 
Matt is a former cop-turned-private investigator, and he knows fear when he sees it. A cop clearly spooked Kate…or hurt her. Still, something about the gorgeous professor catches his attention, and despite his “no settling down” policy, he can’t resist her. But all of the attraction in the world won’t be enough to overcome Kate’s past…

BUY NOW

Excerpt:

She turned her face up to his, her lips reaching for him. He cupped her face gently with his hands and proceeded to kiss her thoroughly, deeply, until neither of them had the desire to speak. The emotions she evoked in him were like nothing he’d ever experienced. The first night he’d met her at the bar he’d wanted to go to bed with her. He’d had an insane attraction to her, found her gorgeous and drop-dead sexy, and now he wanted her even more, was even more

attracted. Except now he also wanted to wake up with her, wanted to know every part of her.

Matt kissed her until she couldn’t stand on her own. Her knees wobbled. He picked her up, sat her on the counter, and stood between her legs. Everything became hotter, fast.

Their hands bumped into each other, competing for access, and he let her win as she pulled his shirt off. He lifted her and walked with her legs wrapped around his waist into his bedroom.

“You’re not carrying me.” He didn’t feel like pointing out that she made no attempt to disengage herself.

“I am, because I don’t want you to let go.”

“Well, it’s not very smart, because of your leg injury.”

“Sex rule number one? Don’t remind a guy about any inadequacies.”

She laughed softly and leaned forward to kiss his neck. “We both know your ego isn’t that fragile. Maybe you should use a cane.”

He dropped her on the bed, both of them laughing. He followed her down only to have her wrestle him underneath her. She straddled him, out of breath. When he made eye contact with her, the humor was gone, something changing in her expression. His room was dark, but the faint glow of light from the hallway streamed through, enough that he could make out every expression, every flicker in her eyes. She leaned down, took his hands off her waist, and placed them beside his head. She didn’t break his stare.

There was a look in her eyes, something other than desire. The room was quiet except for the sound of their breathing. He waited, knowing she needed to make the next move, knowing this wasn’t going to be like anything he’d ever experienced. God, he’d wait forever, even if it killed him. She sat there, on top of him, and he sensed he was being evaluated, tried for some crime he had or hadn’t committed.

He tried to figure her out, as he’d done countless times before, studying her unreadable expression. After another minute he slowly lowered his hands to grasp her thighs, feeling the heat through the soft denim. He didn’t say a word as he grasped the edge of her sweater and she lowered her head as he lifted it off and tossed it to the floor. His gaze roamed over her bared torso appreciatively, taking in the full breasts, the black lace bra.

With self-control he hadn’t known he possessed, he kept his hands on her waist, her soft, pale skin a contrast to his. Her eyes were still on him, like she was expecting something. He knew her guard hadn’t come down yet. He didn’t have her trust yet. And he knew she wasn’t waiting for words. Whatever darkness Kate had, whatever wounds, he knew they wouldn’t be healed by some compliments. He knew that what she needed from him wasn’t words.



a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.

In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.

Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.

Sign up for Victoria’s Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and exclusive giveaways, follow her blog for daily antics and insight into her daily life, and get to know her on twitter and Facebook. She loves hearing from readers!
 


Add a Comment
27. Spotlight and Giveaway: Playing For Her Heart by Megan Erickson

 
Enter to Win a
Signed Print Copy of
PLAYING FOR HER HEART
(US ONLY)

 
PLAYING FOR HER HEART
Gamers Series #2
Megan Erickson
Releasing Aug 11th, 2015
Entangled: Brazen

 
Grant Osprey just had the hottest sex of his life. Sure, they were both in costume, and yes, it was anonymous, but he never expected her to bolt in the middle of the night without so much as a good bye, let alone exchanging numbers. Or names. All he’s left with are her panties and some seriously X-rated memories…until he meets his business partner’s little sister.
 
Only Chloe Talley isn’t the bold, sexy vixen he remembers. And she wants nothing to do with him.
 
Cosplay is Chloe’s only chance to leave her boring, socially awkward world behind. To forget that she’s failing at life and can’t be with anyone, let alone a single-father like Grant. But the raw hunger between them is undeniable. With him, she can be a misbehaving maid. A sexy call girl for hire. Each scene pushes Chloe beyond her strict boundaries, until Grant demands the one character she can’t play.
 
Herself.


BUY NOW


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
Megan worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she’s probably listening to the characters in her head who won’t stop talking.

 
EXCERPT:

Chloe craned her neck and moved to go around the man, but the he sidestepped, right into her path. She glared at him. Or rather, she glared at…Doc Ock.

A Doc Ock who was leering at her.

For God’s sake.

He twisted at the waist, so his metal octopus arms clanged together. Leaning into her, he pulled a string near his head so a claw snapped in her face. “Need a hand untying that corset, baby?” He held out his hands so that all four of his metal arms lifted. “Because I got six.”

This was what was keeping her from Breck? A Spider-Man villain? She raised her eyebrows, emboldened by her costume so she could say what she never could without it.

“Seriously? That’s your come on?”

He blinked at her. “Uh, yeah I guess so.”

“That’s the best you could come up with?”

His lips twisted to the side. “Well, uh, how about, are you afraid of spiders? Because I can protect you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Spiderman already beat you once and—”

And then her world tilted as someone gripped her waist and slung her over a hard shoulder. Then she was moving as the body who held her began walking. She protested with an umph and raised her head, watching Doc Ock stare after them with wide eyes, his metal arms clanking.

Chloe tried to get her wits together, remembering this was cosplay and she was Sari and how dare this guy pick her up? She turned her attention to her kidnapper. Or rather, his back. His blue-shirt-clad back. “Hey, put me down.”

He did with a thunk, and once she righted her skirt and brushed her hair out of her face, she got a good look at Breck. Her Breck.

Her incredibly hot rescuer.

She placed her hand on her hips and tried to keep the breathiness out of her voice, because damn. “I was doing just fine back there.”

“I know you were,” he said in a deep voice that skittered down her spine like fingers. “But I wasn’t. Had enough of watching that guy trying to hit on you.” Those full lips, so full they were almost feminine, twisted into a smile. “I wanted your attention. Because you’re the best Sari I’ve seen today.”

Chloe sucked in a breath. Oh yes, he’d do.


Looking for More of the Gamers Series?

 


Add a Comment
28. Guest Post and Giveaway: Falling Under by Lauren Dane

Lauren Dane dropped by this morning to share the most essential items in her deadline survival kit. Check it out!

Top 5 Items in My Deadline Survival Kit

1.  Pizza delivery. Two meals in one move! My kids can’t complain all they’re eating is sandwiches and cereal. Sometimes I order salad to keep them guessing.

2.  Pony tail holders – because showers are a rarity as you stare the deadline in the face!

3.  Chocolate – I use it for bribes for myself to get my words done.

4.  Music – my book playlist helps keep me on track and in the right mindset.

5.  Water – It’s so easy to drink too much coffee but I need the water so I make myself carry around a giant container of it.

 

FALLING UNDER by Lauren Dane (August 4, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Ink & Chrome #2)

Duke Bradshaw, co-owner of the Twisted Steel custom motorcycle and hot rod shop, may devote his days to chrome and leather, but his nights belong to Carmella. His sultry redheaded neighbor has a smile like an angel and a body built for sin, and for the past year both have dominated Duke’s dreams. When a problem at Twisted Steel requires a fast fix, Duke sees his chance to finally make his fantasy a reality.
Ever since she first heard the low rumble of his engine, Carmella Rossi has wondered if Duke Bradshaw handles his women as expertly as he handles his bike. When he shows up at her door offering her a much-needed job at his shop, she gets her chance to find out. Beneath Duke’s masterful touch, Carmella soon submits to a world of unimaginable pleasure.
But history has taught Carmella how bad a boy boy can be. If she doesn’t put on the brakes fast, her hard-bodied heartbreaker could drive her right over the edge . . .


Buy the book!

Amazon

B&N

iBooks

GooglePlay

Kobo

BAM

About the author:

The story goes like this: While on pregnancy bed rest, Lauren Dane had plenty of down time, so her husband took her comments about “giving that writing thing a serious go” to heart and brought home a secondhand laptop. She wrote her first book on it. Today, Lauren is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 60 novels and novellas across several genres.

Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Excerpt:

Carmella answered her door to find Duke standing on her porch with a six-?pack

and some chips.

He held them aloft. “I was thinking we could hang out and have a beer and some snacks.”

She smiled, even as she looked down at herself. “Uh. I’m sort of messy. I was cleaning the kitchen.”

He walked in without saying anything else, but once he got to her kitchen, he turned back. “You look fantastic.”

Ginger had already abandoned her nap at the sound of Duke’s voice and deposited herself at his feet.

“So easy,” she murmured to the dog as she joined them in the kitchen.

“Glasses or the bottle okay?” He indicated the beer with a tip of his chin.

“Bottle is fine. There’s an opener in that drawer there.” She pointed. “If you’re hungrier than just chips and dip, there’s leftover baked ziti. I was just thinking about some dinner.”

“Leftover ziti? How is that even possible? Was everyone sick? I promise if you made me baked ziti, I’d eat every last bit.” He cocked his head and looked extra hot.

She put a hand on her hip. He was so totally full of it. “Actually, I made a smaller one for myself and took two to a big family dinner. It’s my uncle’s favorite. But I brought home coconut cake and some other stuff.”

Carmella bent to look in her fridge because he was standing so very close and she was getting giddy. Giddy was bad. Giddy ended up being the last time she slept with her ex. Though to be fair, it had been fantastic.

This man was a giddy nuclear reactor and it made her girl parts want to be so stupid.

And then he bent to peer into the fridge at her side. “Jesus Christ. Carmella. Baby, this is the most organized refrigerator I’ve seen in my entire life. I’m in awe.”

She was so surprised and weirdly flattered, Carmella turned to look at him and ended up whacking her forehead to his so hard she saw stars against her closed eyes.

Firm hands took her by the upper arms and helped her stand though she wobbled a little. “Honey, are you all right?”

“Ouch,” Carmella managed. “Sorry. I got you pretty hard.”

Duke laughed as he moved the hand she’d had over her forehead and replaced it with a bag of frozen berries. “My go to is corn usually, but you don’t have any. That should help. I’m okay. I have a very hard head. That’s totally true so stop it with that look of yours.”

“You have a go to remedy for head bumping?” Carmella sat at one of the stools at the island. “And what look do you mean?”

“Works for busted knuckles, black eyes, the usual sort of lifestyle-related injuries.”

Carmella winced when she raised her brow at him. “Lifestyle-?related?”

Duke shrugged. “What can I say? Ass kicking and fisticuffs seem to be a regular part of my life. And the look I meant is the one you’re wearing right now. The one you give that makes everyone feel like a wayward boy who craves your approval.”

“I have that look? Really?” How awesome! She clearly needed to use it more.

“You do. Why do you think we’re all so obedient to your paperwork rules?”

“Because it’s efficient and makes money move back into the shop more quickly?”

He laughed again and then moved the bag of fruit to kiss the sore spot.

They both went very still.

His muscles tightened, the tension radiating from him made her dizzy. And probably crazy, but needing to soothe. So she slid her hands up the wall of his chest, not to restrain or hold back, no matter how much she told herself that lie.

Once she touched him, she knew it to her toes that everything had changed.

“Damn it,” he snarled and then kissed her. Only, no. He took her mouth, owned it, and had his wicked way with it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment
29. RWA response to That Book

In my post on Wednesday I wrote I haven't had to explain to her (yet) why our Temple has a perimeter of ugly concrete planters, because if you put flowers in it, maybe we can glide over the fact that our house of worship needs protection against car bombs.

She asked this morning when I was dropping her off at school (her preschool meets at our Temple.) And yes, because we put flowers in them, I could glide over the fact they're there to protect against car bombs. I told her they were planters for flowers, for decoration, to make things pretty. I dodged the question. Maybe I shouldn't have, maybe I should have tried to put a positive spin on them and said they're REALLY COOL because we can put flowers in them AND they protect us. They're pretty AND strong! And put it in a way she could understand, but after this week and the conversations online about this book and all the greater issues it raises and brings up, I'm just tired and sad and hurt. So I told her they were planters for flowers, for decoration, to make things pretty.

And when I got home, I saw that RWA put out an official response. I'm going to quote the entire thing here:

The Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) has received a great deal of heartfelt and moving feedback about some of the finalists in this year's RITA contest. We want the membership to know we have heard your concerns and have spent days discussing them.

The question that we must answer is what RWA as a writers' organization should do when issues arise regarding the content of books entered in the RITA contest. Discussions about content restrictions inevitably lead to concerns about censorship. Censoring entry content is not something the Board supports. If a book is banned from the contest because of its content, there will be a move for more content to be banned. This is true, even especially true, when a book addresses subjects that are difficult, complex, or offensive.

There were 2,000 entries in the RITA contest this year. The RITA is a peer-reviewed award. There is no vetting of content before a book may be entered. Books are entered, not nominated, and those books are judged by fellow romance authors. The Board believes this is how the contest should be run. RWA does not endorse the content of any book entered in the contest. We do believe, however, that education and conversation are important in dealing with the concerns expressed. To that end, we will open an online forum on the RWA website for members to discuss their concerns. This is not a perfect solution, but we believe open dialogue, not the censorship of content, is the right way to handle the issues expressed.

They missed the point entirely.

Because here's the thing: there are already a lot of guidelines and content restrictions surrounding what is eligible to be entered. For instance, the book has to be a romance, and they define what that is. (And let's not forget, the set-up of this book is not a romance. The set-up of this book is a major imbalance in power dynamic [honestly, I can't think of a larger one right now] leading to Stockholm Syndrome disguised as a romance. If they had sexual contact, it would be straight-up rape.)

Guidelines aren't censorship. (And let's be really careful using the word censorship when we're talking about the Holocaust, ok?)

Mostly, this statement utterly fails to address the fundamental problem. RWA does not endorse the content of any book entered in the contest. The problem wasn't that the book was entered. I've been on several award committees--bad stuff gets nominated and entered all the time. That's why there's a process between entry and winner. The board believes in the process, but that process completely failed this time. Because the problem was never that the book was entered. The problem is that it was a FINALIST. Being a finalist is a big deal. "RITA FINALIST" becomes part of an author bio and book marketing. It's a big deal. RWA endorses its finalists. If it didn't, the RITA would become a meaningless award.

But we should all feel great, because RWA is going to have a new forum on its (member-only) website where the echo chamber that created this debacle can talk about it. I'm sure the people who were betrayed and now feel unsafe by this book being a finalist and this non-response will feel super-duper comfortable participating in this forum.

I've gotten a lot of support these past few days. So many people have shared my post and reached out to me. I haven't heard anything from Bethany House, but four members of the RWA board wrote back in a personal capacity, and at least one more shared my post on Twitter. I've dodged a lot of the hate that others have gotten. There was deafening silence from some quarters, but it's the same places that are usually quiet when Jewish issues come up, until they're called out on it. I had hoped they wouldn't ignore something this egregious, but wasn't surprised when they did. But I also found some really strong allies, and greatly expanded my "Jewish twitter" circle.

In response to Wednesday's post, many Jews nodded and said "yep" and many non-Jews went "wait, what? really?" at my experiences. It's one of the reasons I shared, because I think it's often hidden. As Katherine Locke said in her post,
It is not easy to be Jewish in America. Many think it is because of stereotypes, but when push comes to shove, especially online, we turn toward our own and huddle close. It’s a collective memory safety measure.

It's also one of the reasons why I've started Instagramming our Shabbat candles.

I'm Jewish by Choice, which means I converted 4 years ago, after going before the Bet Din, after years of studying and classes, after a decade of soul searching. I made a conscious decision to be Jewish and I love it.

This morning, after I dodged the planter question, before I saw the RWA response, I celebrated Shabbat with my daughter's preschool. We said our blessings and thanked G-d for all we have. We sang joyful songs. It was adorable (because, preschool) and wonderful.

Shabbat Shalom.


Bim bom, bim bim bim bom, bim bim bim bim bim bom.

0 Comments on RWA response to That Book as of 8/8/2015 6:07:00 PM
Add a Comment
30. TURNING PAGES: INHERIT THE STARS by TESSA ELWOOD

I don't often like to review a book waaaaay before it comes out, so this is less of a review, and more of a squee with a few salient details you could find on the back of the novel. I really enjoyed this book; it was unashamedly a love story -- but... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on TURNING PAGES: INHERIT THE STARS by TESSA ELWOOD as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
31. Spotlight and Giveaway: Right Wrong Guy by Lia Riley

 
Enter to Win a
Digital Bluefire Download Copy of
LAST FIRST KISS

 
RIGHT WRONG GUY
Brightwater #2
Lia Riley
Releasing Aug 4th, 2015
Avon Romance
 
 
The fun and flirty second installment in Lia Riley’s fantastic Brightwater series.
 
Sometimes two wrongs can make a right…
 
Bad boy wrangler, Archer Kane, lives fast and loose. Words like responsibility and commitment send him running in the opposite direction. Until a wild Vegas weekend puts him on a collision course with Eden Bankcroft-Kew, a New York heiress running away from her blackmailing fiancé…the morning of her wedding.
Eden has never understood the big attraction to cowboys. Give her a guy in a tailored suit any day of the week. But now all she can think about is Mr. Rugged Handsome, six-feet of sinfully sexy country charm with a pair of green eyes that keeps her tossing and turning all night long.
 
Archer might be the wrong guy for a woman like her, but she’s not right in thinking he’ll walk away without fighting for her heart. And maybe, just maybe, two wrongs can make a right.

BUY NOW


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult and Contemporary Adult romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn’t mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about future books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.


 

Add a Comment
32. Interview and Giveaway: A Wish on Gardenia Street by Shelley Shepard Gray

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

[Shelley Shepard Gray] A shy but friendly hardworker

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

[Shelley Shepard Gray] My Kindle.

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

[Shelley Shepard Gray]  Coffee cup, Calendar, Sharpie Markers

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

[Shelley Shepard Gray] Wheat Thins!

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

[Shelley Shepard Gray] A librarian. I would love to spend the day surrounded by books

[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?

[Shelley Shepard Gray] If I could fly, I’d go see my sister who lives in Greece. I only get to see her every couple of years.

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

[Shelley Shepard Gray] Kristen Ashley’s Chaos books, Anne Perry’s latest mystery, Tamera Alexander’s latest historical romance. Hmm. I’m currently reading Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson. I read a lot. : )

 
Enter to Win A
Digital Download Copy of
A WISH ON GARDENIA STREET

 
A WISH ON GARDENIA STREET
An Amish Brides of Pinecraft Novella
Shelley Shepard Gray
Released July 28th, 2015
Avon Inspire
 
 
Bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray continues her Amish Brides of Pinecraft series with a special addition—a tale of wishing and wanting…and what the heart really needs.

Good things may come to those who wait, but Mattie Miller is confident that great things come to those who go after what they want…and Mattie wants Danny Brenneman. Danny is the reason she’s returned to the sunny Amish community of Pinecraft, Florida—well, that and to see her best friend Leona get married.

Mattie’s met Danny only once before but she knows the spark between them is sure to lead to something special. Despite a missing cat, wedding day chaos, and Danny himself, she’s confident this vacation can only end one way: in an engagement of her very own!

BUY NOW


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Hold Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.


 
 

Add a Comment
33. Spotlight and Giveaway: Lawyer Up by Kate Allure

Bachelors of Lawyer Up

Kate Allure’s deliciously sexy LAWYER UP is an erotic anthology featuring three stories, each with a drop dead gorgeous hero. Get to know Hawk, Jon, and Emmit (aka the “Playboy Judge of Orleans”) as each of these heroes answer some personal questions below. You are guaranteed to find your next book boyfriend…or three!

Hero from OF “UNSOUND MIND AND BODY”

Full name: Franklin Lucky Hawk Ross, Jr.

Nickname: Hawk

Occupation: Successful lawyer in a big city law firm in Omaha, NE

Height: Tall…dark and handsome

Hair color: Jet-black

Eye color: Dark brown, almost black

Age: Late thirty-something

Originally from: The slowly dying town of Willow Pond, Nebraska

Describe yourself in 100 words or less:

I’m Omaha Indian and proud of my ancestry after having spent summers on the reservation with my mother. While I grew up in a tiny town, I love the energy of big cities. I work extremely hard and often travel internationally, but when I’m alone with a woman, then I’m totally focused on her…and some of that focus can take on a decidedly kinky flair. It’s not that I don’t like romance—you know, the hearts and flowers stuff—but the raw energy of two people exploring each other’s bodies and pushing the limits stirs that wild native blood in me.

What is the hardest part of your job? What is the most rewarding?

The hardest thing about being a lawyer is when I don’t win and let down my client. That doesn’t happen often but in those rare times it does, it rips me up inside. I hate it. As for rewarding, I’ve enjoyed handling the few remaining elderly clients from my father’s small town practice now that he’s retired…that’s very personal work, directly helping people. But, I truly come alive when I’m winning a major case…the Omaha in me loves a good battle and the strategy of “counting coups” on an unsuspecting opponent, which in modern times is less an act of bravery as it is displaying cunning against a foe.

When not working, how do you spend your time?

I pretty much work all the time, between winding down my father’s Willow Pond practice and the big city lawsuits that take me around the country or beyond. I think if I had someone in my life, I would find a way to slow down a bit…No I know that I’d make time, so that I could enjoy the companionship of a special woman.

If money was no object and you had 3 weeks of vacation what would you do with your time?

I’m single and successful, so money really isn’t an issue for me, although my time is limited. But if I had the time, I would love to whisk a lover away to a private tropical island for long session of playing Tarzan and Jane. I just need to find the right person.

***

Hero from “ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILGES”

Full Name: Jon Bateman

Occupation: Hot-shot L.A. lawyer in a major firm

Height: Medium height and build

Hair color: An unruly mop of sun-bleached sandy hair, sort of California surfer-dude

Eye color: Deep green

Age: 35

Originally from: Nowhere special, but he calls L.A. home

Describe yourself in 100 words or less:

I feel like I’m on the Bachelorette, but here goes…I’m driven to succeed, which has made me the top performer in my firm. I don’t like being bothered with minutia, such as taking on useless pro bono work just because of a firm policy that we contribute back to the community. Some say it’s because I’m wounded after my cheating wife’s betrayal, but, if anything, all the free time that I have now has made me more successful. I give one hundred and ten percent to my career. Who needs a woman? Well except for that one thing, of course.

What is the hardest part of your job? What is the most rewarding?

None of it’s that hard, if my boss will just ease up on the pro bono thing. As for rewarding, did I mention I had the most billable hours of my entire firm last year…by a wide margin. I do high-end, high profile criminal cases mostly, and when they’re actually innocent it is the most rewarding. But whether they’re innocent or not, my role in the U.S. legal system is to do my best to get them acquitted—and my best is quite good based on my record of wins.

When not working, how do you spend your time?

Umm. I work a lot, even the weekends. I used to like to surf. Maybe I should take that up again. Oh, and I enjoy a good book now and then.

If money was no object and you had 3 weeks of vacation what would you do with your time?

My ex-wife got half of my assets, so money is an object, although I do have way more than 3 weeks of vacation stored up. In the spirit of make-believe…if my bank account was overflowing I would… Hmm, not sure what I’d do. I guess going to Hawaii and trying my hand at surfing would be nice, although it would be far better if I had someone to do it with.

***

Hero from “OF WRITS AND WITHING”

Full Name: Judge Emmit Stockard

Nickname: Playboy Judge of Orleans

Occupation: Chief Judge in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court

Height: 6 feet

Hair color: Salt and Pepper, lusciously thick and slightly curled

Eye color: Chocolaty-brown

Age: mid-50’s

Personality: Radiates a bad-boy masculinity, think Richard Gere in his fifties

Originally from: born in Massachusetts but family moved to NoLa when he was a child

Describe yourself in 100 words or less:

I like to think I’m a fair and honest judge, at least I strive to be. Sometimes, however, I can’t help teasing the attorneys performing in my court, especially the lady lawyers, which might have contributed to my playboy reputation. But inside I’m not like that. I’m not saying I don’t have a wicked streak when it comes to women and sex, but now that my very-public divorce is a thing of the past, I’m ready to find someone to share my life with, a woman that can handle the bad-boy in me. So, where are you, I wonder?

What is the hardest part of your job? What is the most rewarding?

As a judge I must follow the law at all times and, sometimes that forces me to rule against people who truly need help. It’s really the only part of my profession that I dislike. So the most rewarding aspect is the opposite—making things right for people that have been hurt by some injustice. Then there are the perks of being chief judge—I love the perks. Top among those is wielding power in and out of the court…well out of court I’m mostly talking about power in the bedroom…if you get my drift.

When not working, how do you spend your time?

Back to the perks. I get invited to a lot of parties and events because of my position. I used to love going to them with a different beautiful woman on my arm every night, but now I find it all just tiring. It will feel different, I think, when it’s someone that I admire, someone I’m proud to have on my arm for more than her good looks. And, I’ll enjoy introducing her to my favorite hobby—racing my motorcycle down rural roads that twist and turn. And food, I’m a bit of a foodies and love NoLa’s best restaurants.

If money was no object and you had 3 weeks of vacation what would you do with your time?

I’d head out on my motorcycle and just see where it takes me. Explore every hidden byway in the great state of Louisiana and then maybe head west for a bit. It’s on my bucket list but I’ve been holding out until I can find someone to share this experience with. Again I ask, where are you? Sometimes I get this feeling that this person might be right in front of me and I just have to open my eyes to see her.

Book Information

Title: Lawyer Up

Author: Kate Allure

Series: Meeting Men, Book 2

ISBN: 978-1492602354

Pubdate: August 4, 2015

Genre: Erotic Romance

Summary

All rise…

Three sizzling-hot, deliciously taboo erotic romances to stoke your mood.

Wrongly accused in Attorney-Client Privileges, sexy but innocent Beth has nowhere to turn but straight into the arms of hotshot L.A. lawyer, Jon. Can this attorney manage to get her off in time?

Liza reaches a meeting of the minds—and more—when she unleashes her inhibitions and gives herself over to the primal allure of Main Street lawyer Hawk in Of Unsound Mind and Body.

In Of Writs and Writhing, fearless defense attorney Pat gets more than she bargained for when she goes toe-to-toe with New Orleans’ infamous Playboy Judge. When things get heated both in and out of the courtroom, more than temperatures rise.

Buy Links

Amazon: amzn.to/1KY8VIp

Barnes and Noble: bit.ly/1zTLQWh

iBooks: apple.co/1EudWnM

Biography

Kate Allure is the creator of the Meeting Men series. She has been a storyteller her entire life, writing plays, short stories, and dance librettos throughout her childhood and later for semi-professional theater and dance companies. Her non-fiction writing included working for American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet and authoring a weekly arts column for local papers. Beyond writing, Kate’s passions include traveling and exploring all things sensual with her loving husband. Follow Kate at on Facebook and at www.KateAllure.com.

Social Networking Links

Website: http://www.kateallure.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateAllure.Sizzling.Romance?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kateallure

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8172727.Kate_Allure

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment
34. Review: The Year We Fell Down

The Year We Fell Down: A Hockey Romance (The Ivy Years Book 1) by Sarina Bowen. Rennie Road Books. 2014. Personal copy.

The Plot: Corey Callahan is excited to be starting her freshman year at college. Just like her brother, she is going to Harkness College.

Corey's also supposed to be playing ice hockey. But because of an accident her senior year, she's in a wheelchair. So Corey's not playing the sport that defined her. She's also not in a dorm with the others in her incoming class; instead, she's in the school's handicap accessible dorm.

Determination, and refusal to be babied by her parents, drove Corey to start her freshman year. Some things may be more of a challenge for her than others: Harkness is an old campus, and even when buildings are accessible it's not easy or simple.

But other things are great. She has a terrific roommate, and then there is the very cute guy across the hallway: Adam Hartley, a ice hockey player who took a fall over the summer and broke his leg in two places, which is why he's in the handicap accessible dorm. They become friends as together they figure their way around campus, and classes, when their are too many stairs and not enough elevators and ramps.

Corey finds herself falling for Hartley. But he is popular, and a jock, with a hot girlfriend. And he plays the sport she can never play again. Is he only thinking of her as the girl across the hall, a friend to play videogames with? Or could he fall for her?

The Good: I loved this book so, so much. When I, along with Sophie Brookover and Kelly Jensen, was preparing for the New Adult Genre webinar for the Massachusetts Library System, I asked for recommendations for books and Gail from Ticket To Anywhere recommended Sarina Bowen. A huge thanks for the suggestion.

The Year We Fell Down works for so many reasons: it's a college story where being at college, the setting, really matters. I don't say that lightly; some books with a college setting use the college as a simple backdrop, a device (much like dead parents) to give the older teen independence. In The Year We Fell Down, Harkness College matters. What Corey does at Harkness matters. She attends classes, goes to parties, makes friends. It's familiar to anyone who has been at college, but also provides a true portrait of what college is like. The Year We Fell Down is also about how college provides a place for older teens to become independent, to make choices, to succeed, to fail.

It's also a love story, with Corey and Hartley becoming friends and that becoming something more. (Heck, that's hardly a spoiler! It's a New Adult book. It's a romance. It's not about whether the couple gets together, but how and why.) It's real and believable. And as someone who doesn't like stories about cheaters, I'll add that "Hartley has a girlfriend" is handled very well. This is not a book about cheating; but it is a book about people in college sorting out their feelings and figuring out when and how to act out on those feelings.

It's also about a young woman recreating her life. Corey had been a jock: it's who she was, it's what took up her time, it was her identity. Her accident didn't just change her, physically; it also means that she has to recreate herself. Who is she, now? What does she like? It's not a quick process. And part of it is Corey adjusting to her new body. There is never a moment of info-dumping or "as you know" happening; information provided to the reader about Corey is organic and part of the story, while addressing everything from how using the bathroom, catheters, parties up stairs, and sex. (Again, not a spoiler -- it's a New Adult romance so of course there are sexytimes.)

The Year We Fell Down is first of a series, one of those series that isn't about a sequential story but rather interconnected stories, with overlapping characters. I'm looking forward to reading the other books.

And so yes: it's a Favorite Book Read in 2015.











Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

0 Comments on Review: The Year We Fell Down as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
35. Spotlight and Giveaway: Lady Emily’s Exotic Journey by Lillian Marek

This morning I have an excerpt for Lady Emily’s Exotic Journey and a giveaway for Lady Elinor’s Wicked Adventures, the first book in Lillian Marek’s Victorian Adventures series. Enjoy!

Title: Lady Emily’s Exotic Journey

Author: Lillian Marek

Series: Victorian Adventures, #2

Pubdate: August 4th, 2015

ISBN: 9781492602293

From sensible, sheltered girl

Safe in the embrace of her loving family, Lady Emily Tremaine longs to feel more intensely alive. Surely the magic and mystery of Assyria and the fabled ruins of Nineveh will bring about the transformation she seeks.

To the woman his heart desires

Scarred by his past and estranged from his noble grandfather, French adventurer Lucien Chambertin desires neither a home nor the chains of emotional attachment. He seeks only to explore the far reaches of the world. But he did not know the world contained the likes of Lady Emily—whose curiosity and sense of wonder match his own.

Lillian Marek was born and raised in New York City. At one time or another she has had most of the interesting but underpaid jobs available to English majors. After a few too many years in journalism, she decided she prefers fiction, where the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve.

***

This August marks the release of the second in Lillian Marek’s Victorian Adventures series, Lady Emily’s Exotic Journey! To celebrate her new release, Lillian’s here to share a fact about the Victorian era she discovered during her research:

The 1844 Derby race produced a major scandal when it turned out that the winning horse, Running Rein, was an entirely different horse in disguise, and the whole thing had been orchestrated by gamblers.

An Excerpt:

Emily had left the tent, and Lucien began to turn to her to share his thoughts on the scene when he saw a puff of smoke and a glint of metal by one of the boulders on the cliff. At that moment a bullet ploughed into the deck beside him, and he heard the shot.

He flew across the feet separating them to knock Emily to the ground, covering her with his body. “Keep down,” he ordered when she tried to raise her head. More bullets fell about them, most splashing into the river. He had his pistol in his hand, but he could not see a target on the cliff. The Turkish troopers on the next raft were firing away but not to any useful purpose that he could see.

Meanwhile, the oarsmen on their raft, who had first dropped their oars in a panic, were now working madly to keep them from being dashed against the rocks as the current swept them around a curve. The skipper joined them, shouting encouragement, until a bend in the river had them out of sight of their attackers. As the wild rocking of their craft ceased and they resumed their placid drift, Lucien became aware of his more immediate surroundings.

To be precise, he became aware of Emily lying beneath him. A warm, soft Emily lying beneath him, a situation his own body found most agreeable. Her breasts were pressed against his chest, and he was positioned between her thighs. She was so soft, such a perfect match for him. She did not appear to be distressed by their position, for she was making no effort to extricate herself. Did she understand what their position was? Could she tell just how agreeable his body found this position? Because his body was reacting most strongly to this juxtaposition.

She was looking up at him with an expression of dazed surprise. He wondered if he was looking at her with the same expression. Her hands were sitting on his shoulders, not pushing him away but not drawing him down. Just touching him. Her lips were parted ever so slightly. In surprise? In invitation? He was close enough to feel the damp warmth of her breath. He was overcome with longing and began to lower his mouth to hers.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1D3MDA6

Apple: http://apple.co/1CsnzYC

BAM: http://bit.ly/1JSm9cB

B&N: http://bit.ly/1D3N2m9

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1dOXreQ

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1D3Nh0x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment
36. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Great Estate by Sherri Browning

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for Sherri Browning’s The Great Estate.  I love the cover!

Title: The Great Estate

Author: Sherri Browning

Series: Thornbrook Park, #3

Pubdate: August 4th, 2015

ISBN: 9781402286858

Pulled apart by past mistakes. Driven by a passion neither could deny.

Sophia Thorne was young and inexperienced when she married the dashing Earl of Averford…and through dark and troubled times, their relationship nearly came to an end. Now she’s determined to transform herself into the fiery, ardent lover she always wanted to be, giving them a second chance at love… before they’re lost to each other forever.

It took nearly losing Sophia for Gabriel to realize he had allowed his love for his great estate to distract him from his beautiful wife. But that time is over. Despite all the obstacles standing in their way, Gabriel vows to teach Sophia what it is to truly love…and to be loved by a husband devoted heart and soul to her every desire.

Sherri Browning writes historical and contemporary romance fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist. She is the author of critically acclaimed classic mash-ups Jane Slayre and Grave Expectations. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Sherri has lived in western Massachusetts and Greater Detroit Michigan, but is now settled with her family in Simsbury, Connecticut. Find her online at www.sherribrowningerwin.com.

An Excerpt:

Agatha closed the distance between them, switching on lights as she approached. Even before Sophia’s eyes could adjust to the light, she had a clear image of Agatha in her fire-orange and aubergine ensemble. Her aunt settled on the sofa beside Sophia.

“I’ve had a letter from your mother.”

It wasn’t unusual for the sisters to be in communication, but something in her aunt’s tone told Sophia that unexpected information was to follow. She straightened up a bit. “Yes? And how is everyone at Delaney Square?”

“They’re all well. Even your father.” Agatha didn’t hide her disappointment with that bit of news. She’d never gotten on with Sophia’s father. Sophia had done her best to keep them apart at Alice’s wedding to avoid any unpleasantness. “It seems that she wrote with news that concerns you. She always was such a gossip, you know.”

Sophia waved her hand dismissively. “I know. Her intricate web of tittering busybodies could rival the king’s own network of spies.”

Brow furrowed, Agatha placed a hand on Sophia’s knee. “Gabriel’s back.”

Sophia looked left and right. Agatha considered herself in communication with the spirit world and liked to read fortunes, but she probably didn’t mean her comment in the literal sense. Sophia assumed she meant that Gabriel’s essence was in the air, or some such nonsense. “Where?”

“In London, dear.”

“At Averford House?” Sophia tried to contain her surprise. She hated London. Their house in town stood empty most of the time, unless Gabriel went to London to tend to parliamentary affairs. “In London? Now?”

Agatha nodded. “Lady Levesque told your mother that he has been there this past month. A fortnight at least. I’m not certain exactly when he arrived.”

“But he’s there. And he didn’t see fit to inform me that he’d returned to England?” Her heart dropped like a lead ball to the pit of her stomach. She rose and began to pace, no longer bothering to hide her distress at the news. “Not a word to me. Not a word to Mr. Kenner? Or do you think he knows? Kenner knows. And who else? Have they been instructed not to tell me? Or do they pity me too much to say a word?”

Agatha stood and came to her side. “Don’t become agitated. I don’t think anyone knows. Of course, the people in London know. Or so it seems. He has been carrying on as usual.”

“As usual?” Sophia cocked a brow. Only now did it occur to her to ask what her husband did in London when she did not go with him. “Carrying on?”

Dread cold as ice snaked up her spine.

Agatha shrugged. “Attending dinners. Musicales. Perhaps the theater? He’s a respected man, an earl. There are always invitations and the responsibility for a man to attend such things.”

“Of course.” Sophia gripped the back of a Chippendale chair. “Responsibilities. He must have come back for a vote. Parliament. How long could he stay away, after all? A man in his position.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LR3ai0

Apple: http://apple.co/1KQtgkA

BAM: http://bit.ly/1G5TPLW

B&N: http://bit.ly/1McxbHb

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1Co93S5

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1gmvOeQ

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment
37. Guest Post: A Lady’s Guide to Skirting Scandal by Kelly Bowen

Kelly Bowen dropped by this morning with a top 5 in celebration of the release of A Lady’s Guide to Skirting Scandal. 

Lady Viola’s Top 5 list of things to NOT DO while at sea by Kelly Bowen

This would have been her list at the beginning of the voyage.  By the end, however, it will be quite different!  Actually, I suspect she wouldn’t have a list at all..

1)do not fall in love with a surgeon

2)do not find yourself in dreadfully dull conversation with your chaperones anymore than required

3)do not hate your brother for banishing you to a place called New York

4)do not dwell on the fact that the duke you tried to catch had to extract you from a hedge after you tipped over a terrace at a ball

5)do not abandon hope that one day you will be a duchess

   5a) to ensure #5, do not fall in love with a surgeon

About Kelly Bowen

Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.  But it was Kelly’s infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance.  When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields. Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process.  Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.

http://www.kellybowen.net/

https://twitter.com/kellybowen09

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelly-Bowen/636626389706813


About A LADY’S GUIDE TO SKIRTING SCANDAL

Lady Viola Hextall is bored – of the sea, her chaperones, and the woeful lack of available dukes on the ocean voyage from London to New York. Scrambling for any diversion short of jumping overboard, Viola strikes up a conversation with the ship’s rough-hewn, blue-eyed surgeon – and discovers an immediate cure for what ails her…
To Nathaniel Shaw, Viola has the bearing of a lady and the spirit of an adventurer – an unlikely combination that he finds utterly irresistible. So he’s hoping to convince Viola to leave the stifling ballrooms of London high society behind because there is a big, wide world just waiting for them to explore – together.

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-lady-s-guide-to-skirting-scandal

http://www.amazon.com/Ladys-Guide-Skirting-Scandal-short-ebook/dp/B011J4H45Y

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-ladys-guide-to-skirting-scandal-kelly-bowen/1122292235?ean=9781455592630

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25873107-a-lady-s-guide-to-skirting-scandal

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ladys-guide-to-skirting-scandal/id1018886759?mt=11

EXCERPT:

“To make a good duchess. No matter what you think, Mr. Shaw, I will be a duchess one day. I deserve to be a duchess one day.”

Nate made a disparaging noise. “And is this how you’ve decided to measure your value – your worth in life, Lady Viola? By whether or not you become a duchess?”

“What else is there?” She put her hands on her hips.

Nate felt his own rush of resentment, along with another pang of scathing disappointment. “This is exactly why I am leaving England,” he said.

“What? Why?” Viola looked puzzled.

“This antiquated viewpoint that some of us are better than others based not on merit or intelligence or courage, but based only on an accident of birth.”

“But—”

“Do you know how they select officers for the army, Lady Viola?”

“I’m not sure if—”

“They are selected based on their titles and their purchase of a commission.”

“Well, of course—”

“Do you know what happens when officers are given command of men not because they are qualified in the art of war, but because their names were preceded by a title?”

She was looking up at him now, startled, no doubt, by the bitterness that even he could hear in his words.

“Surgeons like me deal with the casualties resulting from inexperience and incompetence.” He leaned forward. “And it is such a shameful waste.”

“Why are you telling me this?” she demanded a little defensively.

“What happens if the duke you choose is a simpleton?” he asked her. “Or perhaps he is given to sloth, or drink, or another vice that might make him cruel. To you or to others around him. Will you disregard this to attain the title that marriage to such a man will give you?”

Viola blinked at him.

“I would have thought that a woman such as you would want a husband who would admire her. Respect her. Maybe even love her.”

“I do,” she said, a little uncertain now.

“But yet those things do not count if they don’t come with a title?”

“You can’t have everything, Mr. Shaw.”

“So that is what you would choose? Title over happiness? Title over love?” He was provoking her deliberately.

She was twisting the ribbons of her bonnet in her fingers now. “You must choose what is more important, don’t you agree, Mr. Shaw? And in my world, it isn’t a choice.”

“Then I suggest you consider leaving your world behind.”

“One cannot simply leave a titled position, Mr. Shaw.”

Perhaps it was the powerlessness Nate had felt on the battlefield, his inability to challenge or change such thinking. Perhaps it was the catch of hesitation he heard in her answer. Either way, an edgy recklessness gripped him, and he found himself closing the distance between them, catching her chin in his fingers and tipping her head up to meet his gaze.

“And what would happen, Lady Viola, if you found a man who did not have a title, but a man who would worship the ground upon which you walked?” he asked, his voice barely a whisper. “A man who would trade his life for yours without a second’s thought. A man who would give anything he owned just for the opportunity to kiss you? Would you turn away from such a man and live the rest of your life wondering how things might have been if you had chosen happiness and love?”

“I don’t know.” Her breath was coming in shallow gasps, and her color was high.

He had proven his point, he knew. He had made her uncomfortable and had dared her to think. He should step away from her now and leave her to consider his words, if she was wont to do so. But he couldn’t.

Aside from the recklessness that had clouded his judgment, there was a woman he had glimpsed within her, one who sat cross-legged and spoke of frogs and muck. A woman who he feared he might like very much, should she ever be allowed to be completely free of the woman who spoke of dukes and parties.

His hand slid from her chin to the back of her neck, his fingers caressing the silk of her hair. She was watching him now, her beautiful blue eyes wide. But not afraid. As if she was challenging him to do his worst.

So he kissed her.

Add a Comment
38. Manga Review: The Secret Princess by Chikako Kawakami and Jessica Hart

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I checked out The Secret Princess on a lark.  I was pressed for time with review books, but I saw the cover while browsing the virtual shelves at the library and was hooked.  It’s very cute, and I like the art style.  So I clicked the Borrow button and sat down to read it right away.  The story is cute too, so I’m glad I had a case of ADD.

Lotty has always behaved as her grandmother wished, and never rebelled against her.  The princess of Montluce, she has a reputation and public image to uphold.  When a series of threats against the throne make her grandmother nervous about the succession, she arranges for Lotty to marry her cousin.  Even though Phillippe is her best friend, she just can’t see herself married to him.  Besides, he’s in love with her friend, Caro, and she doesn’t want to come between them.  Taking Phillippe’s advice, she runs away from home, determined to use this opportunity to kick up her heels and experience the freedom she’s been denied for so long.

She goes to Scotland because her mother loved the country.  Unfortunately, her wallet is stolen soon after she arrives.  Penniless, she’s desperate to get a job, and asks Corran McKenna to hire her, despite the locals warnings to stay far away from him.  The grumpy guy is quick to point out that she isn’t strong enough to help him work his land, and he has no use for a woman employee.  Undeterred and persistent, she pesters him to point that he offers her a position.  If she can get a cottage in desperate need of TLC cleaned up and painted by the end of the weekend, he’ll hire her.  Not one to turn down a challenge, Lotty proves that Corran has underestimated her, and he reluctantly offers her a job.

Once she starts working alongside Corran, Lotty feels guilty for lying to him about her true identity.  Corran knows that there’s something off about her, but he just thinks that she’s a spoiled rich kid who has run away from home over some petty argument with her family.  As the two get to know each other, Lotty learns that the villagers think Corran stole the land from his younger brother.  He doesn’t hesitate to tell her that there is no love lost between his step-mother and his half-brother, and that his father turned his back on him after leaving his mother.  Corran ended up with the land because his father knew that the upkeep would be a financial burden, and he didn’t want to pin that on his youngest son. Instead, in spite, he left the land to Corran, who loved it and wants to make improvements, but can’t because he can’t get a loan. 

I enjoyed The Secret Princess because of the pretty art, seamless translation, and engaging story.  Lotty really is a kind person, and she’s determined to make the villagers see that they are wrong where Corran is concerned.  Before she leaves, she wants to repay his kindness by setting the record straight with the people who have basically shunned Corran.  Despite their rocky start, Lotty has come to care for her gruff employer.  She also loves the land, and wants to see Corran’s dreams come true.  She knows that they have no future together, so she’s decided to live for the moment, for the first time in her life.

The pacing is spot on, and the HEA, though highly unbelievable in this age of heightened security, is satisfying.  I was completely sold on their joyous future together.

Grade:  B

Review copy borrowed from my local library

From Amazon:

Princess of Montluce, Lotty, is very introverted and has never been able to express herself. Her grandmother wants to arrange an engagement for her, and she ends up running away. She wants to see what she can do on her own, and possibly fall in love for the first time… However, she loses her wallet in some town since she’s not used to having one, and ends up working for a man named Corran as a maid. At first, she is angered by his rudeness, but she ends up smitten by the kindness behind his crude demeanor.

Add a Comment
39. Guest Post and Giveaway: Tremaine’s True Love by Grace Burrowes

This morning I have am excerpt and giveaway for Tremaine’s True Love by Grace Burrowes, as well as guest post from Grace!

Message From the Author

What makes a man a gentleman?

For a romance writer, this question has to be answered in every book, because implicit in the term “hero” is something of the gentleman. Heroes need not be charming, handsome or wealthy, and they might not even be obviously heroic, at least at the start of the book, but they have to be worthy of our loyalty for the duration of an entire book. 

In the True Gentlemen series, I took three men who’d wandered across my pages in previous stories—Tremaine St. Michael, Daniel Banks, and Willow Dorning—and found them each a happily ever after. Tremaine is a flinty business man, Daniel is poor and pious, Willow finds polite society an enormous trial and would far rather be with his dogs. These fellows were not obvious choices as romance heroes, but they each had something that tempted me to write stories for them.

When we met Tremaine in an earlier book (Gabriel: Lord of Regrets), Tremaine was convinced that he’d found a good candidate for the position of wife. He offered marriage, listing all the practical advantages to both parties, and he congratulated himself on how much sense his proposed union would make.

The lady turned him down flat, and as a gentleman is bound to do, he graciously ceded the field. He didn’t like it, he didn’t entirely understand how or what he’d lost, but he wished the happy couple well.

Daniel’s role in David: Lord of Honor was to charge to London with sermons at the ready in an attempt to restore his sister’s honor. The very man Daniel accused of wronging that sister had already set her back on the path to respectability.

Oops. But again, being a gentleman, Daniel wishes the couple every happiness, even if doing so costs him the future he’d envisioned for himself and his loved ones. Like Tremaine, he’s a gracious and even dignified loser.

Willow’s appearance in Worth: Lord of Reckoning is brief, but he too is determined to see a sister rescued from a possibly compromising position, and again, rescue is simply not on the heroine’s agenda.

In all three cases, the true gentleman acts in the best interests of those he loves and is responsible for, regardless of the inconvenience or cost to himself. Because Tremaine, Daniel, and Willow were honorable, I liked them. I trusted them, I wanted them to have the happiness they clearly already deserved.

In the Nicholas Haddonfield’s sisters—Nita, Kirsten, and Susannah—I found ladies willing to oblige my ambitions for these men. In each case, our hero has lessons yet to learn, and in each case, his inherent honor wins the day. He might not be handsome, wealthy, or charming in the eyes of the world, but because he’s a true gentleman in the eyes of his lady, he wins her true love.

I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Excerpt – Tremaine’s True Love

Wealthy businessman Tremaine St. Michael has concluded that marriage to Lady Nita Haddonfield would be a prudent merger of complimentary interests for the mutual benefit and enjoyment of both parties… or some such blather.

Tremaine rapped on Lady Nita’s door, quietly, despite a light shining from beneath it. Somebody murmured something which he took for permission to enter.

“Mr. St. Michael?”

Tremaine stepped into her ladyship’s room, closed the door behind him and locked it, which brought the total of his impossibly forward behaviors to several thousand.

“Your ladyship expected a sister, or a maid with a pail of coal?”

“I wasn’t expecting you.” Lady Nita sat near the hearth in a blue velvet dressing gown. The wool stockings on her feet were thick enough to make a drover covetous. “Are you unwell, Mr. St. Michael?”

“You are not pleased to see me.” Did she think illness the only reason somebody would seek her out?

She set aside some pamphlet, a medical treatise, no doubt. No vapid novels for Lady Nita.

“I was not expecting you, sir.”

“You were not expecting me to discuss marriage with you earlier. I wasn’t expecting the topic to come up in a casual fashion either. May I sit?”

She waved an elegant hand at the other chair flanking the hearth. Tremaine settled in, trying to gather his thoughts while the firelight turned Lady Nita’s braid into a rope of burnished gold.

“You are pretty.” Brilliant place to start. The words had come out, heavily burred, something of an ongoing revelation.

“I am tall and blond,” she retorted, twitching the folds her of her robe. “I have the usual assortment of parts. What did you come here to discuss?”

Lady Nita was right, in a sense. Her beauty was not of the ballroom variety, but rather, an illumination of her features by characteristics unseen. She fretted over new babies, cut up potatoes like any crofter’s wife, and worried for her sisters. These attributes interested Tremaine. Her madonna-with-a-secret smile, keen intellect, and longing for laughter attracted him.

Even her medical pre-occupation, in its place, had some utility as well.

“Will you marry me, my lady?”

More brilliance. Where had his wits gone? George Haddonfield had graciously pointed out that Nita needed repose and laughter, and Tremaine was offering her the hand of the most restless and un-silly man in the realm.

The lady somehow contained her incredulity, staring at her hands. “You want to discuss marriage?”

“I believe I did just open that topic. Allow me to elaborate on my thesis: Lady Bernita Haddonfield, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife? I think we would suit, and I can promise you would know no want in my care.”

A proper swain would have been on his damn bended knee, the lady’s hand in his. Lady Nita would probably laugh herself to tears if Tremaine attempted that nonsense. Lady Nita picked up her pamphlet, which Tremaine could now see was written in German.

“Why, Mr. St. Michael?”

“I beg your pardon?” Tremaine was about to pitch the damned pamphlet in the fire, until he recalled that Nita Haddonfield excelled at obscuring her stronger emotions.

“Why should you marry me, Tremaine St. Michael? Why should I marry you? I’ve had other offers, you’ve made other offers. You haven’t known me long enough to form an opinion of my character beyond the superficial.”

This ability to take a situation apart, into causes, effects, symptoms, and prognosis was part of the reason she was successful as a healer. Tremaine applied the same tendencies to commercial situations, so he didn’t dismiss her questions as coyness or manipulation.

She wasn’t rejecting him either. She most assuredly was not rejecting him.

***

Book Information

Title: Tremaine’s True Love

Author: Grace Burrowes

Release Date: August 4, 2015

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Genre: Historical Romance

Summary

He’s had everything he could ever want…until now

Wealthy wool magnate Tremaine St. Michael is half French, half Scottish, and all business. He prowls the world in search of more profits, rarely settling in one place for long. When he meets practical, reserved Lady Nita Haddonfield, he sees an opportunity to mix business with pleasure by making the lady his own.

Nita Haddonfield has a meaningful life tending to others, though nobody is dedicated to caring for Nita. She insists the limitations of marriage aren’t for her, then Tremaine St. Michael arrives-protective, passionate, and very, very determined to win Nita’s heart.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonBurrowesTremaine

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BNBurrowesTremaine

iBooks: http://bit.ly/AppleBurrowesTremaine

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/IndieBurrowesTremaine

Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

Social Media Links

Website: http://graceburrowes.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Burrowes/115039058572197

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraceBurrowes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4152482.Grace_Burrowes

Rafflecopter Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment
40. Micro Reviews: Demons, Race Horses, Assassins and Majors

And here’s another catch up post of long overdue mini reviews.

The Shadow Ellysium by Django Wexler

B / B+

This short novella served its purpose as a teaser to generate interest in the Shadow Campaigns series. I loaded The Thousand Names on my Kindle – now I just need time to read it!

 

To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

B / B+

This inspirational romance caught my eye because of the horse on the cover.  Maggie is dismayed when her father arranges her marriage to Cullen, an Irish immigrant.  She’s reluctant to marry a complete stranger, and an Irishman at that.  She’s also fearful that he’ll object to her training her mare to run in an upcoming race. 

I enjoyed the development of the romance, as well as the details of daily life on a farm in post Civil War Tennessee.  The author doesn’t shy away from describing the prejudices and terrible treatment of the Irish and African Americans.  At first I had a hard time with Maggie because her thoughts and views mirrored those of her neighbors, but as she got to know Cullen and the farm hands working for them, she began to finally see them as individuals deserving respect.  And the horsey bits were entertaining. 

 

 

Hit! by Deliah S Dawson

C-

This just did not work for me. I can’t help but think that a huge banking conglomerate would have a better solution for deadweight borrowers than having them assassinated, or forcing them to be assassins. Meh, I didn’t care for HIT.

Mad About the Major by Elizabeth Boyle

B

Fun read with a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off vibe. Lady Arabella escapes the suffocating confines of her father’s estate to grab a small taste of freedom before she’s forced to marry a stodgy old bachelor. Her father is furious with her because a handsome stranger made a spectacle of her at a ball, and now he’s adamant that she marry before she’s completely ruined. She runs into the rakish Kingsley, the stranger from the ball, after he almost runs her down with his carriage. Arabella convinces him to accompany her on her day of freedom, arguing that he owes her three favors for his behavior at the ball. What follows is an enjoyable romp through London, as Arabella and Kingsley fall for each other during their unusual adventures. I really enjoyed this.

Add a Comment
41. Micro Reviews: Pop Stars, Cowgirls, Zombies, and Beasties!

 

I have been reading up a storm, but I’ve been lax on writing reviews.  Here’s a quick catch up post with short reviews.

Hello, I Love You by Katie M Stout

C-

This dragged for me, and I didn’t think there was any chemistry between Grace and Jason. I read this mainly for the setting, but the school might as well have been anywhere, which was a big disappointment. Cultural details were sparse and shallow.  I didn’t get a feeling that Grace was in a foreign country, and the fact that everyone she interacted with spoke English didn’t help make this unique or different. It also bugged me that Jason and his sister were the only Koreans to use Korean names.

 

The Surgeon and the Cowgirl by Heidi Hormel

C / C+

Both protagonists were all about “Me, me, me!” and it felt like it took forever for them to mature. I’m not completely convinced that they will ever effectively communicate, which made the ending rushed and not completely believable.

What Once We Feared by Carrie Ryan

Not enough here to even call this a short story. Lots of potential, but it fell flat because it felt so incomplete. This should have been called a teaser, not a short story.

 

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire

B/ B-

Fun, quirky read that somehow combines ballroom dance with mythological critters.

Verity comes from a long line of cryptozoologists, but her true passion is for competitive dance. She’s spending a year in Manhattan to pursue her dance career, as well as to keep an eye on the beasties living in the big city. When Dominic, a member of Covenant, arrives in town, his kill all non-humans before even asking them how their day is going attitude gets on Very’s nerves. Both Dominic and the sudden appearance of a snake cult in the sewers under the city have made her life extremely complicated.

Though it got a little draggy in places, and was over the top in others, overall Discount Armageddon was a fun adventure.

Add a Comment
42. Spotlight and Giveaway: Wolf Trouble by Paige Tyler

I have a spotlight and giveaway to celebrate the release of Wolf Trouble by Paige Tyler.  You can win a complete set of her SWAT series!

Title: Wolf Trouble

Author: Paige Tyler

Series: SWAT, #2

Pubdate: August 4th, 2015

ISBN: 9781492608509

He’s in trouble with a capital T

There’s never been a female on the Dallas SWAT team and Senior Corporal Xander Riggs prefers it that way. The elite pack of alpha male wolfshifters is no place for a woman. But Khaki Blake is no ordinary woman.

When Khaki walks through the door attractive as hell and smelling like heaven, Xander doesn’t know what the heck to do. Worse, she’s put under his command and Xander’s protective instincts go on high alert. When things start heating up both on and off the clock, it’s almost impossible to keep their heads in the game and their hands off each other…

Paige Tyler is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them. Visit www.paigetylertheauthor.com.

***

Paige Tyler’s sexy, action-packed SWAT series is back this August with the release of Wolf Trouble! To celebrate this latest release, Corporal Xander Riggs has agreed to sit down for a Q&A with us:

What was the biggest difference between Kansas City and Dallas?

The people I work with. Back in KC they weren’t a team and that cost them. Here we’re a Pack. We don’t do anything without thinking how it’s going to affect the other members.

An Excerpt:

Xander had to pick his jaw up off the floor of the training room when Gage introduced the newest member of the SWAT team. He didn’t know what to expect, but it sure as hell wasn’t Officer Khaki Blake. Tall with an athletic build and just enough curves to fill out the SWAT T-shirt, she had the biggest brown eyes and softest looking lips he’d ever seen. She had her dark hair back in a bun, so he couldn’t tell how long it was, but he’d bet money it fell past her shoulders. She smelled way too good to be believed, too—like a slice of frosted spice cake in a uniform.

Shit. He was practically panting. If he didn’t get a grip soon, he was going to start drooling.

He gave the other guys a covert glance to see how they were dealing with her scent and was stunned to see that none of them reacted at all. Why not? His nose wasn’t that much better than theirs. He knew for a fact that several of the other guys—Cooper Landry and Jayden Brooks specifically—could smell a hell of a lot better than he could.

Maybe everyone was so mesmerized by finally getting to see a female version of their kind that the rest of their senses had stopped working.

Gage had left it up to Xander to fill the guys in on what had gone down at the meeting with Deputy Chief Mason while he’d headed home to get ready for his trip to Washington State. While the guys had been pissed that the top brass was playing politics with the team, they’d been intrigued at the idea of adding a female werewolf to the Pack.

They’d bombarded him with dozens of questions, none of which he could answer. Was she as fast and strong as they were? Did her abilities manifest themselves in completely different ways? Would she be as aggressive as they were and able to handle herself in a fight? Were there more like her out there, or was she the only one?

Not all the questions were so general. Brooks wondered what she would look like, Max Lowry wanted to know if she would smell like them, and Eric Becker… Well, Becker just wanted to know if she liked to wear yoga pants. God, that kid had an obsession with those things.

Xander had told them what he knew—that no one except Gage knew a damn thing about female werewolves. And Xander wasn’t so sure how much their commander knew, either.

While Xander was lost in thought, Gage turned the floor over to Khaki, who was currently explaining how much she appreciated the opportunity to be in SWAT.

“I know I won’t be handed anything, but I look forward to proving to every one of you that I belong in the Pack and on the team.” She spoke in a light, lilting voice that surprisingly filled the large classroom. Xander could definitely pick up the Midwest accent, so she probably wasn’t originally from the Pacific Northwest. “I’m not asking for anything from you but a chance to do prove myself.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1EnYbgA

Apple: http://apple.co/1EnZg8a

BAM: http://bit.ly/1JHEAiD

B&N: http://bit.ly/1PBe0MW

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1F1zirI

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1SoHn3R

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment
43. Saint Anything, by Sarah Dessen | Book Review

Fans of Sarah Dessen will not be disappointed by this expertly-written and perfectly paced summer read.

Add a Comment
44. Review: The Trouble With Harry

The Trouble With Harryby Katie MacAlister. Sourcebooks Casablanca. 2014. Library copy.


The Plot: Regency England. Lord Harry Rosse thought he'd faced danger as a spy. But that he could handle... what he can't handle is life, now, raising five children alone. What he needs, what he wants, is a wife: someone to love his children, with all their antics and high spirits. Such high spirits he sometimes hides from them...

A wife for company and companionship. Not one of those pretty young things only interested in his title and status, eager for children of her own.

So he places an ad for a wife, leaving out a few details. Like the children. And the title. Or his past as a spy.

Plum sees the advertisement for a wife and thinks its the answer. All she wants is a decent man; the chance to have a child of her own; someone who will be kind to her the niece she's raised; and someone she can respect. She doesn't deliberately leave out details -- like her disastrous elopement twenty years ago, to a man who already had a wife. (She didn't know!! He lied!) Or that book she wrote under an assumed name, the book that helped support her when her family and friends and society shunned her for her involvement with a married man.

The Good: The Trouble with Harry was a lot of fun: it's like a sexytimes Nanny McPhee. The children are terrible, and cause so much problems. I kept giggling as I read it.

This is one of the titles recommended back when I asked about books featuring those 40 and over: Plum is 40, Harry is 45. Each are hiding secrets, and those secrets come create problems for them. But what I liked is that despite those secrets they are keeping from each other, they are honest with each other in what matters: their emotions and their feelings. Both are also frank about their attraction and physical needs and desire for each other. Perhaps more than frank -- let's just say that the book Plum wrote isn't some Jane Austen or Bronte inspired work of art.

Because both are older, Harry and Plum are for the most part secure in who they are. They don't have unrealistic expectations of each other; Harry particularly doesn't want some young wife full of romantic dreams. But that earned dose of reality is what makes their relationship and growing love so romantic and meaningful.

So, thank you very much for the recommendation, and I look forward to reading the others in this series!




Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

0 Comments on Review: The Trouble With Harry as of 7/27/2015 5:04:00 AM
Add a Comment
45. Spotlight and Giveaway: Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister

This morning I have a spotlight and giveaway for Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister.

About DRAGON FALL

For Aoife Dakar, seeing is believing-and she’s seen some extraordinary things. It’s too bad no one else believes that she witnessed a supernatural murder at an outdoor fair. Returning to the scene for proof, Aoife encounters a wise-cracking demon dog-and a gloriously naked man who can shift into a dragon and kiss like a god. Now thrust into a fantastical world that’s both exhilarating and terrifying, Aoife is about to learn just how hot a dragon’s fire burns.

Kostya has no time for a human woman with endless questions, no matter how gorgeous or tempting she is. He must break the curse that has splintered the dragon clans before more of his kind die. But his powerful attraction to Aoife runs much deeper than the physical-and there may be more to her than even his sharp dragon eyes can see. To survive the coming battle for the fate of his race, he needs a mate of true heart and soul.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1gDE624
B&N: http://bit.ly/1gDE6iR
iTunes: http://apple.co/1HwU07n
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1HwTTZz
BAM!: http://bit.ly/1V7fn6l
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1OgIlfg


About Katie MacAlister

For as long as she can remember Katie MacAlister has loved reading, and grew up with her nose buried in a book. It wasn’t until many years later that she thought about writing her own books, but once she had a taste of the fun to be had building worlds, tormenting characters, and falling madly in love with all her heroes, she was hooked.
With more than fifty books under her belt, Katie’s novels have been translated into numerous languages, been recorded as audiobooks, received several awards, and are regulars on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. A self-proclaimed gamer girl, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her dogs, and frequently can be found hanging around online.

http://katiemacalister.com/

https://www.facebook.com/katie.mac.minions

https://twitter.com/katiemacalister

Excerpt:

“I don’t know whether to be more disturbed by the fact that you think a dog can talk, or that you can stand there, stark naked, without so much as a stapler as a weapon, and hold me prisoner.” I adopted a quite reasonable, conversational tone, the sort intended to calm deranged people and keep them from committing acts of violence. I tried very hard not to notice just how nice the naked Kostya felt against me, the unyielding planes of his body being softened by my curves. It was a wonderful demonstration of how men and women fit together, but now was not the time to dwell on that subject.

His eyes were black, I noticed as he scowled down at me. Not dark brown but black, as black as his pupils, but a shiny black, one that glittered with little specks of silver. Unfortunately, at that moment, the glitter took the form of ire. “What the hell are you talking about?” he demanded to know. “What stapler?”

“There’s no stapler,” I said, finding myself suddenly blighted with several conflicting desires ranging from the urge to grab his head and kiss him, to laughing at the crazy situation, stomping on his toes, kneeing him in the naked noogies, and running away.

He looked even more irritated. I tried to ignore the heat of his body pressed against mine. “Then why did you bring it up?”

“I was using it as an example of just how vulnerable you are,” I said, deciding to go with amusement. Dr. Barlind was big on the subject of using humor as a coping mechanism for trying situations. “You know, if you need someone to talk to about things, I know of a top-notch therapist. She really helped me when I was super confused.”

My brain made a comment about denial, and what happened to people who refused to admit the truth just because that ended up in shock therapy, but as usual, I paid it no attention.

“I have no need of therapy,” he scoffed, then must have realized just how hard he was pushing me into the wall, because he glanced downward. My breasts were smooshed up against his chest, making them bulge upwards in a way that I would have found annoying in any other situation, but at that moment, they were deliriously happy with the situation, and that disturbed me more than anything.

“Stop ogling my boobs,” my mouth said before I could approve such a thing.

His gaze snapped up to mine. “You ogled me earlier.”

“You were naked. And you’re not at all bad looking, despite those scars. I would have had to be inhuman to not ogle you at least a tiny bit, and I want full marks for handing you that towel without once looking down. It wasn’t easy, but I managed it, and I think credit should be given where credit is due.”

“Then you cannot damn me for looking at your breasts when they are flaunted in front of me,” he countered.

“That’s because you have me pinned to the door.” I waited for the count of five for him to step back. He didn’t. “You’re still doing that, by the way. Pinning me to the door, that is.”

“You are my prisoner,” he repeated.

That was the point where I noticed the fact that he smelled like the spicy mead that is sometimes served during regional festivals—the warm, summery hint of honey overlayed with a sharper note that seemed to sizzle along my skin. Despite the knowledge that I should be getting away from him as expeditiously as possible, I had the worst urge to tilt my head back and brush my mouth against his.

That was a crazy thought, and I didn’t have any more of those. So without disputing the fact that he had me prisoner, let alone that idea that he needed any such thing, I did the one thing that I knew would cause him to back off…I reached around him with both hands, and squeezed cheek.

He leaped backwards just at the same moment that Dr. Ek opened the door, sending me stumbling forward straight into Kostya’s arms again.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment
46. Frisk Me by Lauren Layne Release Blast


Enter to Win a 
$50.00 Amazon eGift Card


FRISK ME
New York’s Finest #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing July 28th,2015
Forever Romance


After a photograph of Luc Moretti saving a tourist hits social media, he instantly becomes New York’s most famous and beloved cop. When a major network decides to run a special on the “American Hero,” Luc’s boss gives him no choice but to cooperate in the name of good exposure for the department. Luc doesn’t mind the celebrity status-what he does mind is the gorgeous brunette journalist who’s been assigned to follow his every move. Especially since she also happens to be the same knockout that rejected him rather publicly the week before.

Ava Sims is a woman who gets what she wants. And what she wants is to be CBC’s lead anchor-but to get there, she’ll need to nail the fluff piece on the playboy cop. Luc Moretti is everything Ava knows to stay away from: a stubborn charmer with a hero-complex. But the more Ava gets to know Luc and his oddball family, the more she realizes that beneath the swagger and the blue uniform is a complex man who makes her heart beat too fast. Soon, Ava’s doing the unthinkable, and falling for the best of New York’s finest …


BUY NOW
Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo 



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.
Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.



Add a Comment
47. Spotlight and Giveaway: And Then He Kissed Me by Kim Amos

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for And Then He Kissed Me by Kim Amos!

About AND THEN HE KISSED ME

Five years ago, Audrey Tanner flung caution to the wind and herself into the arms of an emerald-eyed bad boy biker she met at the White Pine Asparagus Festival. Two blissful weeks together convinced her that Kieran Callaghan was The One-until The One blew town without a word, leaving her brokenhearted. Now, starting a new job at the new Harley Davidson showroom, Audrey is floored to meet her new boss: Kieran. He’s still hot as hell, but she won’t fall for his sexy smile again. This time, she’s calling the shots.

Kieran never thought he’d return to White Pine, Minnesota, much less see Audrey again. Gorgeous and smart as ever, she’s just as irresistible as he remembered. She still doesn’t know why he had to leave-or that he’s missed her every day since. But he can’t deny he wants more than the no-strings fling Audrey proposes. As things between them heat up, Kieran must choose between the secret he’s sworn to keep and the woman he never stopped loving.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LbHPNI
B&N: http://bit.ly/1LaPHCq
iTunes: http://apple.co/1HwZYVV
BAM!: http://bit.ly/1KSZsUL
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1V7mgEL

About Kim Amos

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

http://www.kimamoswrites.com/

https://twitter.com/@KimAmosWrites

https://www.facebook.com/KimAmosWrites

EXCERPT:

In one smooth motion, he scooped her off the Harley and into his arms. He shook his head when he saw her getting ready to protest. “You yell or whine, and I’ll carry you outside and lock the doors on you. You stay quiet, we can talk in the back room. Agreed?” He saw an angry muscle working in her jaw, but she nodded nevertheless.

And then, just like that, Audrey Tanner was back in his arms.

He’d been so sure that he’d be able to return to White Pine and avoid his past altogether. So how he came to be carrying part of it in the form of Audrey Tanner, how her arms came to be looped around his neck, how her smell was everywhere, intoxicating him as he stormed toward the back room, was a turn of events he could never have predicted. It was also a dangerous set of circumstances, and he never should have let it get this far.

He had a job to do, dammit. He was here to build on his future—not relive the past

When he reached one of the back offices, he kneed the door open, then placed her roughly on the floor. She stumbled a little in the heels, but righted herself, glaring at him. He was about to tell her to change clothes and get out of the dealership, when he heard a pop. Something on the bustier came loose—he wasn’t sure what—and before Audrey could stop it, the front panel covering her chest slid downward. Her mouth made a horrified little O as her breasts sprang from their constrictive covering. Her nipples pebbled at the sudden exposure to cool air. Kieran got a hungry eyeful before Audrey scrambled to cover herself with a mortified, “Oh!”

Instinctively, he reached forward to help her. “I’m so sorr—” he started before she swatted his hand away.

“Stop it!” she cried. “Get back!”

Just then, Fletch Knutson walked through the office door, and pulled up short. His neat moustache twitched. His ice blue eyes flicked back and forth between them. “What in holy hell is going on here?”

“It’s nothing,” Kieran said, stepping away from Audrey.

Fletch’s face was bunched with concentration, trying to make sense of what he was seeing. His gaze settled on Audrey.

“Did he hurt you?”

Audrey clutched the broken bustier to her chest. “No, of course not,” he interjected. “It was just an accident.”

“I’m waiting for her to answer,” Fletch said.

Audrey’s knuckles whitened around her handful of clothing. He realized right then that she held all the cards. Her hand trumped his.

She could take him down with a smattering of words, could pretend like this had been more than it was and put his job at risk. Kieran forced his breathing to be steady—in and out, calm like it wasn’t the last play of the game—and tried to remember that the woman he’d lost his heart to five years ago had a blazing white soul, the stark opposite of his black one. She wasn’t like him, she wasn’t always calculating how to turn the odds in her favor.

Audrey had been so kind, so willing to trust him and believe the best. But even her shining golden goodness—her love for her friends and family and her hometown, her faith in the people around her—couldn’t lighten the darkness inside him, even though five years ago he’d wanted it to.

Underneath the makeup, Audrey’s face was pale. “No,” she said, “he didn’t hurt me. It’s just a misunderstanding.”

Kieran let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

“But I’d appreciate it if you’d tell him that he can’t fire me. I need this job.”

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment
48. Lucky’s Choice by Jamie Begley Release Blast

 
Enter to Win A
Custom LAST RIDERS T-Shirt & Mug,
$25.00 Amazon eGift Card and Signed Copy of SHADE’S FALL
 
 
LUCKY’S CHOICE
The Last Riders #7
Jamie Begley
Releasing July 29th, 2015
Young Ink Press
 
 
Life dealt him a dead man’s hand.

Lucky had always led a life of service, always putting his life on the line for someone else, managing to survive by pure luck and skill. After bringing an end to a multi-state drug ring, he was finally able to live the life he had wanted as a Last Rider.

A good man would walk away and not touch the curvy woman who had been tugging on his heartstrings. Lucky wasn’t a good man. Therefore, the bad-ass biker in him had a choice: once again become the man he had pretended to be and stake his claim or take the devil’s highway.

Some girls had all the luck.

Willa wasn’t one of them. All she wanted to do was give a home to the children she had made orphans. Instead, she found herself needing help from the man who had left the pulpit behind to embrace a life of sin.

Painfully shy and withdrawn, she wanted a quiet life, a simple man, and well-behaved children. The last thing she had ever expected was for Lucky to want her size twenty body and show her a passion that would lead her straight to hell.


BUY NOW

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
“I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.
Taking after my mother, I’ve always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.
For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.
Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.
All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

HTML Copy/Paste for Virtual Tour: July 30th – Aug 14th
 
Enter to Win A
Custom LAST RIDERS T-Shirt & Mug,
$25.00 Amazon eGift Card and Signed Copy of SHADE’S FALL
 
 
LUCKY’S CHOICE
The Last Riders #7
Jamie Begley
Releasing July 29th, 2015
Young Ink Press
 
 
Life dealt him a dead man’s hand.

Lucky had always led a life of service, always putting his life on the line for someone else, managing to survive by pure luck and skill. After bringing an end to a multi-state drug ring, he was finally able to live the life he had wanted as a Last Rider.

A good man would walk away and not touch the curvy woman who had been tugging on his heartstrings. Lucky wasn’t a good man. Therefore, the bad-ass biker in him had a choice: once again become the man he had pretended to be and stake his claim or take the devil’s highway.

Some girls had all the luck.

Willa wasn’t one of them. All she wanted to do was give a home to the children she had made orphans. Instead, she found herself needing help from the man who had left the pulpit behind to embrace a life of sin.

Painfully shy and withdrawn, she wanted a quiet life, a simple man, and well-behaved children. The last thing she had ever expected was for Lucky to want her size twenty body and show her a passion that would lead her straight to hell.


BUY NOW

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
“I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.
Taking after my mother, I’ve always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.
For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.
Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.
All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

Add a Comment
49. Review: The Texas Wildcatter’s Baby by Cathy Gillen Thacker

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Continuing my Harlequin marathon, I discovered that the library has Harlequin bundles in their collection.  BUNDLES! Of HARLEQUINS!  It’s like being a kid in a candy store after hours, with no supervision and nobody to tell you to STOP gorging yourself with all of that yummy candy!  This discovery is the equivalent of finding King Tut’s tomb, so forgive me as I gleefully consume as many Harlequins as I can. Every day I read until my EYES BLEED!

Getting back to the topic at hand:  I borrowed the March 2014 American Romance bundle because it was actually available for check out.  These bundles are very popular, and I am on wait lists for about 4 others.  I love the opportunity to read new to me authors, because when I pick single issue titles, I go by authors I have already read, or a brief perusal of the blurb.  I don’t even look at that with the bundles.  I just start at the beginning and work my way to the end.  I have yet to encounter a title I disliked so much that I didn’t want to finish it, and it’s been fun just reading for the sake reading. 

As it turns out, I have read Cathy Gillen Thacker a few times before.  Each title has been a solid read.  The Texas Wildcatter’s Baby featured a great hero, but I had some trouble with Ginger, the heroine.  She is fearful of being betrayed after an unhappy marriage, so she has become super independent.  When she learns that she’s pregnant after a night with her serial hook-up Rand, she’s momentarily panic-stricken.  She is bidding on the biggest oil drilling project of her career, and she only has one shot to get it right.  This is a make it or break it moment for her fledging business.  Now that she’s pregnant, she’s afraid of how it will impact her career.  The oil business is dominated by men, and after her husband’s company humored her ambitions to build a career for herself, she’s afraid of anything that will make her look weak before the competition.

With a plan in mind, she confronts Rand with the news.  Then she proposes a temporary marriage to him, just until the baby is born.  It will be better for her business if she’s married when the pregnancy is common knowledge.  She also wants Rand to be a part of their baby’s life.  They agree to a quickie wedding at the county courthouse, but things don’t go exactly as they had planned.  Instead, they show up at Rand’s family home, where his family has already learned about the marriage and throws them a surprise wedding party.  It’s also a chance to catch up with a few of Rand’s brothers, who have been featured in other books.

Once they’re married, it’s all about work for Ginger.  She has to nail down her proposal for the oil drilling project, and work comes first for Ginger.  She now has a little one to worry about.  Forget about Rand!  He’ll be fine one his own.  That’s what drove me bonkers about Ginger.  Rand is one of the most perfect romance heroes that I’ve come across, and Ginger is too busy maintaining her independence to figure that out.  He’s kind, protective, and helpful.  What woman wouldn’t give her eyeteeth for a guy who FOLDS laundry??  Or lets her sleep in and catch up on her rest?  The list of his positive qualities is endless, but Ginger turns a blind eye to all of them.

To stir up trouble with the couple, they also have to deal with Ginger’s clingy mother and her devious ex.  Through it all, Rand has her back, and eventually, even Ginger begins to appreciate his presence in her life.  She’s just too afraid of losing her independence to admit it to him, let alone herself, so the grade took a knock because I was so frustrated with her.  It’s not until 4 or 5 pages until the end that she gives in to her feelings and confesses her love, and that was cutting it far too close for me.  Otherwise, this was an enjoyable read.

Grade:  C+

Review copy borrowed from my local library

Love Isn’t Part of the Deal

Ginger Rollins can’t believe she gave in to temptation—again! It’s time for her and Rand McCabe to face the consequences. Never mind that the geological engineer and sexy environmental cowboy are on opposite sides when it comes to the Texas land they both love. Now that she’s pregnant, they have one option.

Rand isn’t used to being proposed to by a woman—especially one as gorgeous as Ginger—but he’s all for getting married. Too bad the independent wildcatter sees their union as a nonnegotiable deal. Doesn’t she know they share more than hot chemistry? How long can he keep his feelings—and their baby—a secret? Rand vowed to love and honor Ginger forever. And it’s a promise he intends to keep….

Add a Comment
50. Spotlight and Giveaway: Frisk Me by Lauren Layne

 

About FRISK ME

After a photograph of Luc Moretti saving a tourist hits social media, he instantly becomes New York’s most famous and beloved cop. When a major network decides to run a special on the “American Hero,” Luc’s boss gives him no choice but to cooperate in the name of good exposure for the department. Luc doesn’t mind the celebrity status-what he does mind is the gorgeous brunette journalist who’s been assigned to follow his every move. Especially since she also happens to be the same knockout that rejected him rather publicly the week before.

Ava Sims is a woman who gets what she wants. And what she wants is to be CBC’s lead anchor-but to get there, she’ll need to nail the fluff piece on the playboy cop. Luc Moretti is everything Ava knows to stay away from: a stubborn charmer with a hero-complex. But the more Ava gets to know Luc and his oddball family, the more she realizes that beneath the swagger and the blue uniform is a complex man who makes her heart beat too fast. Soon, Ava’s doing the unthinkable, and falling for the best of New York’s finest …

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Ce7CW8
B&N: http://bit.ly/1Iwgtn8
iTunes: http://apple.co/1ISpNxr
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1ISpMJG
BAM!: http://bit.ly/1IwgyqY
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1NzOxxV

About Lauren Layne

A long-time romance reader, Lauren Layne thinks the only thing better than reading about happy endings is writing them. She now pursues a full-time career in Happily Ever After, a job she’s naturally suited for after marrying her high school sweetheart. A bit of a nomad, Lauren’s lived everywhere from Orange County to Manhattan, and currently lives in the Seattle-area. Her hobbies include coffee by day, wine by night, and lots of writing in between. She’s also a total website nerd and insists you check out laurenlayne.com!

http://laurenlayne.com/

https://twitter.com/_LaurenLayne

https://www.facebook.com/LaurenLayneAuthor?fref=ts

Excerpt:

Ava Sims reached out and gave his arm a smug little pat, either oblivious or indifferent to Luc’s inner turmoil.

“We start Monday. What time do you get to work?”

“Sorry?” he said.

“Your work day. When do you start?”

He shook his head. “Why does it matter? Don’t you just tell me what day and time to show up at your studio?

She rolled her eyes. “We can’t just have three hours worth of face-to-face interviews in cushy chairs. This is an inside look at America’s Hero.”

“Hold on now,” Luc said, his irritation escalating to panic. “Three hours? And America’s what?”

“America’s Hero. It’ll be the name of the series.”

Oh sweet Jesus.

“Now hold the hell on,” he said. “There’s not going to be a series. Just ask me a few questions and be done with it.”

Her grin had gone beyond smug to full out gloating. “It’s already approved. It’ll be a three-hour special, divided up over three nights. Pretty standard.”

“Standard, my ass,” Luc snapped. “How the hell are you going to stretch four minutes of amateur video into three hours?”

Ava gave an expectant look at the captain who cleared his throat nervously before explaining. “Ms. Sims and her team will be shadowing you for a while, Moretti. A day in the life of a New York’s Finest, and all that.”

“Just think, two whole months together!” she said, with a mockingly bright smile meant to annoy him. “Won’t that be fun? You can show me all the lives you’ve saved with those parking tickets.”

Luc was too busy grinding his teeth to reply. Ava dug something out of her purse, slapping it against his chest before sweeping towards the door in her sexy high heels.

“See you on Monday, Officer.”

Luc swallowed against the surge of panic. He couldn’t do this. He wouldn’t do this. It was one thing to be a local hero. Another thing entirely to become a “household names” as Ava had indicated. The last thing Luc needed was an even brighter spotlight on him, shining in places that should remain in the dark forever.

“I don’t like it either,” Brinker said gruffly, displaying a rare perceptiveness. “But I can tell you right now, there’s no point in fighting it. Your father’s replacement made it clear that this was an order. Not a request.”

Fuck. Fuck. If he were Anthony, or even Vincent, he would have pushed back. Would have shoved his principles down Brinker’s throat, superior or not.

But Luc wasn’t his brothers. Luc wasn’t a hotheaded hotshot. And he had far too much respect for the NYPD to pull a tantrum. 

He would do his duty. He always did his duty. With pride.

Still, he couldn’t stop the groan of dread in anticipation of what lay ahead , Luc glanced down at the crumpled piece of paper that Ava had thrust at him. There was a coffee stain in one corner, and something that looked like lipstick smeared across the front, but there was no mistaking what he was looking at.

It was a three-year-old parking ticket. 

She’d never paid it. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts