Thursday, November 28, 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hi everyone!

Just a quick note here...

There's so many great books out there and I've found that posting three days a week just isn't going to work out for now. So far, I'm booked for a solid two weeks (10 days) in December! Isn't that exciting?! Reviews and promos coming your way!!!

If you're still an active follower, please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know. I'd really appreciate knowing who is still reading this blog.

Let me know if there's something specific you'd like to see added to this blog and I'll see what I can do!

Thanks for reading and I'll talk to you soon!

-Arianne

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: Hard As It Gets



Title: Hard As It Gets
Series: Hard Ink, #1
Author: Laura Kaye
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Pages: 368
Buy LinksAmazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback)

Blurb:

Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...


Review

My first Laura Kaye book and I'm blown away!!!

Where do I even start gushing about this book? Do you know that feeling when you're itching to stop whatever it is you're doing - working, studying, eating, even breathing - and just go back to reading the book you're currently into? Well, that's how it was for me with this book.

The first chapter was where the sexy characters were introduced. The first description was of an emo-looking guy. I read the description three times to engrave him to memory...until I found out that he was the wrong brother. Becca met Jeremy first, but she actually needed to meet Nick. Oh my.

Lethal is the new sexy.

Before we get into Nick's sexiness, let's gush about Jeremy. He was flirtatious and had the best T-shirt collection. He was absolutely adorable, but he could also be very serious when it came to his business and the well-being of his brother. I've already put in a request for a novella to be made for him. Let's hope it will happen!

Now, let's talk about Nick. What's more sexy than being lethal? A man that can cook. Nick's specialty was sloppy joes. I personally had never had sloppy joes (gasp!), but I wouldn't mind trying his ;) When he made it for Becca, it was the first sign. What I enjoyed the most, however, was Jeremy's reaction. As younger brothers go, he caught on the sweet gesture of his brother cooking for a lady, and he tried to embarrass his big brother...

Jeremy: "What are you doing, man? You can't...that's sloppy joe!"
Becca glanced between them, a confused smile on her face. Nick winked at her, then arched a brow at Jeremy.
Jeremy: All right, all right. Just step away from the trash. Slowly."

Another thing I loved about Nick was his ninja skills. The guy seriously was a phantom as he was described in the book! He would appear out of nowhere - old habit, as he claimed it. It was absolutely amusing and got me laughing out loud - of course, late at night in my bedroom. Yet of course, the best thing about it was Jeremy's reaction when Nick and Becca were in the same space.

Nick's gaze went molten and he leaned in, just the smallest bit, his line of sight zeroing in on her lips. Oh, God, he's going to kiss me. She swallowed hard, her mouth going dry.

"Hey, is everything okay--oh. Oh, shit. Sorry. Carry on." Jeremy's voice retreated as quickly as it had appeared. Down the hall, his door clicked shut.

Becca, on the other hand, was very strong. I love it when the heroine is strong and brave. She was a nurse which meant she was able to keep calm under pressure. Despite everything that's happened to her, she was able to keep her head and still act protective towards Nick. I especially admired the way she commanded Beckett after he was separated from beating the crap out of Nick. The authority in Becca's voice probably melted every organ in Nick's body at the time. Totally sexy move.

As for the rest of the Special Forces team, they were great! Shane was my favorite! He was also a flirt and just absolutely entertaining most of the time! I'm so glad his story is next in the series!

Shane: "You seriously do ink?"
Nick: "Yeah, I seriously do. Occasionally."
Shane: "You any good?"
Nick: "Bare some skin and find out."
Shane: "If you wanna get me out of my clothes, lovah boy, you gotta wine and dine me first."
Nick: "Asshole."
Shane: "That's southern fried asshole to you."

Marz was the computer genius. I love nerds!

Beckett: "I knew you'd appreciate it."
Marz: "I want to procreate with it." He winked at Becca. "Sorry, I get a little overexcited."

Beckett was the giant who was scary as hell, but was really just protective. Easy was the hardest to remember. I don't know how to describe him.

Marz: "I'm easy."
Easy: "Hey, that's my line."
Shane: "Heard that about both of you."
Marz: "Fucker." His head whipped toward Becca. "Oh, shit, sorry."
Becca: "I'm pretty sure I can handle some 'fucks.'"
Marz: "Well, fuck, then."

Last, but not least, I enjoyed the action in this story. Who doesn't want to read about how badass these men could be on a mission? Totally sexy and lethal. If you don't go and buy this book, you need to see a psychologist and get some serious help.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Promo: Asking For Trouble

The Queen of Dirty Talking is back! Whether this is your first experience with Tessa Bailey’s dirty talking heroes or you’ve been following her all along, you don’t want to miss out on meeting Brent and Hayden. Their banter is witty, filled with sexual tension, and the sex itself is “fan-your-face” hot, according to an early review from USA Today Happily Ever After.

Here’s a dirty talking snippet just for you guys:

He leaned forward and spoke right against her ear. “Come for me right now and I’ll let you ride me as hard as you want later. I know what gets you off. I saw it in your eyes last night. You want to throw me down and fuck me, duchess? Good. I’m in the mood to let you.”

Now you see why she’s been dubbed the Queen of Dirty Talking!

Asking for Trouble

Brent Mason and Hayden Winstead can't stand each other. She plans exclusive parties for her rich family’s charities. He’s a rough and tumble cop who rigs explosives for a living. Could two people be any less suited for conversation? They think not and prefer to keep it that way.

Unfortunately, their two best friends are deeply, disgustingly in love. Forced together, the mutual attraction simmering beneath the surface of Brent and Hayden’s non-relationship grows with every argument until it explodes into a scintillating night of mind-blowing sex. And it won’t be the last, as far as Brent’s concerned.

Hayden has a secret, though. Her father’s company is relying on a merger to save them from financial ruin, and only Hayden’s marriage to the CEO’s wealthy son can secure the deal. If she’s to protect her family, she’ll have to forget Brent. And he has no intention of being forgotten.

In celebration of her new release, Tessa Bailey’s first book Protecting What’s His is on sale for only ¢99 for two full weeks! (11/24 - 12/7) Just in time to gift it to everyone who appreciates a dirty talker.


Protecting What’s His

She’s running from the law, and the law wants her bad.

The opportunity was just too damn delicious for Ginger Peet to pass up. The purse full of money she finds—$50,000 to be exact—could give her and her teen sister the new start they need. So she grabs the cash, her gothy sibling, and their life-sized statue of Dolly Parton, and blows outta Nashville in a cloud of dust. Chicago, here we come...

Turns out, Chicago has some pretty hot cops. Hot, intense, naughty-lookin’ cops like Derek Tyler, who looks like he could eat a girl up and leave her begging for more. And more. Tempting as he is, getting involved with the sexy homicide lieutenant next door poses a teensy problem for a gal who’s on the lam. But one thing is certain—Derek’s onto her, and he wants more than just a taste.

And as far as he’s concerned, possession is nine-tenths of the law.




Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review: The Billionaire's Matchmaker



Title: The Billionaire's Matchmaker
Authors: Shirley Jump, Susan Meier, Jackie Braun, Barbara Wallace
Publisher: Entangled: Indulgence
Release Date: October 14, 2013
Pages: 272
Buy LinkAmazon

Blurb:

Can a feisty four-legged matchmaker help four best friends find the romance of their dreams?

Driving Mr. Wrong Home by Shirley Jump
When a handsome man from Gabby’s past agrees to a cross-country road trip, her master plan to re-launch her art career quickly morphs into an unexpected, romantic reunion.

The Sheriff's Secret by Susan Meier
Marney’s 9-1-1 emergency help arrives in the form of a rugged, blue-eyed cop. Now she has the perfect bodyguard to keep her safe during those dark, steamy nights…

Love Unleashed by Jackie Braun
The last thing Mia wants is a relationship…yet the headstrong florist can’t keep her hands off her sexy-as-sin ex-boyfriend.  Will she open her heart before he leaves town for good?

Love in the Shadows by Barbara Wallace
Jenny is a woman on a mission – she’ll even resort to dognapping to make her point! But can she teach a reclusive, emotionally-wounded tycoon that love heals all things?


Review

Driving Mr. Wrong Home
This story was great, but it didn't leave a lasting impression. I enjoyed the transformation that TJ had and Gabby's reaction to it. I even enjoyed the "big gesture" he did. Something about it just wasn't incredibly special. However, this story was when the "matchmaker" was introduced. He had quite a long name: St. Clair Charles Osgood Bonaparte - isn't that adorable?

"Life's a journey, TJ. Some of us just take the long road."

The Sheriff's Secret
I definitely enjoyed Dell's confidence in the beginning. It was quite endearing, especially the way Marney reacted to him.

"...he grinned his infuriating 'I-know-your're-attracted-to-me' grin."

One scene in this story reminded me of a personal experience I had, except it didn't end the same way as the characters... I love it, in a weird way, when a book reminds me of a personal experience, even though it seems they're always the unhappy memories.

"I didn't threaten you! I was teasing you. But now that I know you have no sense of humor I'll stop. You don't have to worry. I can be trusted."

I also enjoyed the liberty that the author took in writing the steamy scenes. I enjoyed the "soup" scenes ;) I also liked that this book had a clear conflict. It broke my heart when Dell reminded Marney of it.

Love Unleashed
Second time is definitely sweeter. I loved that Gideon, even after having his heart broken, was still brave enough to try again. He kept on pushing because what he felt was love. This story taught me that you don't give up on the person you love. You also make the necessary sacrifices for them. Mia had trust issues, but Gideon worked through it, no matter how hard it was at times.

Gideon: "I don't suppose I left any boxers behind?"
Mia: "Not that either I or Charlie has found."
Gideon: "Guess I'll go commando."

Something about going commando sounds sexy ;)

Love in the Shadows
Jenny was the lucky woman who inspired the recluse to come out of the cave.

I love reading about characters who are not shallow. Characters who can see the beauty behind an obvious flaw. Jenny was that person. She saw the beauty behind the injury, behind the scars, behind the shadows. Even when it was incredibly uncomfortable for her, she told the truth to make sure that Nick didn't get the wrong idea and beat himself up for it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: Santa To The Rescue




Title: Santa to the Rescue
Author: Adele Downs
Publisher: Entangled: Flirt
Release Date: November 11, 2013
Pages: 39
Buy LinkAmazon

Blurb:

Firefighter Jamey Tucker knows three things in life to be true: an honorable man doesn't go back on his word; never hurts a woman; and lasting love isn't a myth. But with his recent move to a new job at Appleton Fire Station, the long hours don't offer hope of finding the love he’s looking for.

When Jamey meets beautiful pediatric nurse Heather Longhurst after hearing her sing "Santa Baby" in a supermarket aisle, he offers her a promise he discovers he can't keep. Heather has been betrayed by men in the past, making it hard for Jamey to gain her trust. Determined to find a way to win her heart, Jamey uses firefighter engine-uity and Heather's favorite song to prove he's got Christmas spirit she can believe in all year.


Review

This is such a feel-good book!!

"She bent her knees, did a little dip, and then wiggled her butt, which, even beneath the blue scrubs and a short winter jacket, looked incredible.

Jamey halted, dead in his tracks, hoping the gorgeous blonde wouldn't see him and become embarrassed. Or stop."

I'm not crazy about the cover of this book, but the story is so sweet! I understand Jamey when he wonders why Heather couldn't just take his word for it when he has to cancel their meeting. I appreciate it, as I know Heather does, when Jamey surprises her. I love men who make big gestures. It's a good reminder that not all men are the same. Some are still genuine and knows how to keep their word. It's definitely a lovely Christmas :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Promo: Naughty in Norway



Title: Naughty in Norway
Author: Christine Edwards
Publisher: Fanny Press
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Pages: 178
Buy LinkAmazon

Blurb:

Vail Fillion has left her home in Huntington Beach, California, to study Scandinavian Culture in Oslo, Norway. But she gets her first real taste of culture shock when she goes along with her friend Lisetta to a wild party at her cousin's biker bar. Vail is surprised to find such a large group of motorcycle enthusiasts in this often snow-bound country. She is even more stunned to discover that the bikers are normal guys, if perhaps even more physically imposing than your average Viking. Alreck Falstad--a 6'6" blond, tattooed stand-in for a Norse god--catches her eye but also scares her to death.

Just as Vail is starting to enjoy herself at the party, something truly frightening occurs. The evening is abruptly cut short by a brutal crime, and she is the lone witness. Before she can make it to the cops, Vail is drugged, loaded into Alreck's truck, and transported to his remote cabin in the Lofoten Islands.

Why has Alreck kidnapped her, and what are his plans for her in his snowy haven? Is he her savior, her nemesis, or both? Even if she could escape, would she truly want to?


Excerpt

Alreck hovers just outside the bathroom as I pull the door open, his legs spread wide and his arms crossed in front of him in a dominant stance. He watches me warily.

“Choose a drink,” he says before stepping out of the doorframe.

“Go find my wallet and I will,” I sass back at him with hands on my hips.

He leans down within inches of my face and says in a harsh whisper, “Enough, woman. We’re not stopping again until the fuel runs out, so pick something to drink or you’ll go without.”

Okay, what’s with the excessive alpha-ness?

“Whatever.” I mumble to myself as I trudge past him and grab a giant bottle of Voss water.

He slips the bottle from my fingers and stalks up to the register to pay. I see that he’s also purchasing a coffee along with another bottle of water. The forty-something female attendant bats her eyelashes at him and giggles as she gives him the total. If he notices at all then he’s not letting on. With his looks, women most likely hijack his cell on a regular basis to program their digits into it for him. Ugh!

He takes my hand once again while carrying the bagged drinks in the other. We rush through the bitter cold toward his truck and this time he doesn’t attempt to help me get in.

It is a struggle to climb into the cab, but once I’m seated I reach out and slam the door in his face, making certain that it’s left unlocked.

Please let this plan work.

My breathing is out of control as the adrenaline begins to course through my veins.

I watch cautiously as he hauls his big frame up into the cab, and just as he reaches into the bag of drinks I lurch my door back open and jump down, falling hard onto my knees in the snow. It stings like a beast and I bite back a groan as I lurch to my feet and begin to run back, hell bent, toward the tiny store.

I ran track throughout college and know that I’m quick, but my knees are killing me from the impact and the snowy ground is a far cry from a proper track. When I’m halfway across the parking lot, someone passes me in a sprint. Alreck?

Before my brain can register how to evade him, he turns around and faces me with rage in his eyes before charging at me. He hauls me up and over his giant shoulder before I can so much as pivot away from him.
Speechless, I look up in terror at the attendant who’s watching us from inside the window in stunned surprise.

Like a complete Neanderthal, he locks a hold across my suspended legs and prowls right back to the station. He says something to her in Norwegian that, to my complete dismay, makes her laugh and wave to me as I’m carried away.

“Call the …!” I wail, yet before I can complete the sentence a hard slap lands without mercy right on my ass cheek, effectively silencing me after I let out a startled, “Ooh!” as the burn spreads across my rear.
The attendant gives me cheeky smile. What did he say? She seems to have zero clue what I’m desperately trying to convey to her.

I’m doomed.

Too frightened to struggle, I let my body go slack as I’m carried to the truck.

About the Author: 

Christine Edwards grew up in the Deep South on Hilton Head Island, SC. At an early age she developed a passion for the arts that led her to earn a bachelor's degree in Art History from the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Christine has a special place in her heart for reading and writing erotic tales. She continues to publish stories that immerse readers in exotic and realistic geographic settings amid interesting subcultures of adult life. Within the vein of BDSM romance, her main focus is on loving, multi-faceted relationships involving intense alpha males and feisty heroines.

She adores snow skiing, traveling the world, and spending time with her amazing family. Christine currently resides in the sleepy coastal town of Beaufort, SC.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Her Dakota Man



Title: Her Dakota Man
Series: Dakota Hearts
Author: Lisa Mondello
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: October 28, 2013
Pages: 188
Buy LinksAmazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback)

Blurb:

Everyone knows that the Dakotas didn’t get the name Badlands for nothing.  Harsh weather and rough living are a way of life.  But single dad, Logan McKinnon, had seen more than his share of bad times after the death of his wife a year ago.  The last thing he needs is Poppy Erickson, an old flame and his late wife’s best friend, showing up unannounced to help after devastating floods nearly washed away their hometown.  With no place to stay in town, he has no choice but to offer her a bed at his house.  But can he live under the same roof with a woman he’d once loved passionately without feeling he’s betraying his late wife?

Poppy Erickson had spent the year wondering how all their lives might have been different after hearing the death bed confession of her childhood friend.  She’d left South Dakota years ago because she couldn’t bear to watch the man she loved loving another woman.  But now she knows the truth.  She’ll keep the promise she made to a friend, but will Logan understand when he learns the truth?  More important, can they again recapture the passion that had been between them all those years ago?

Review

An enjoyable story of truths and lies, love and duty, and a little boy who was just too sweet.

Poppy arrived in South Dakota after being gone for many years, dressed in designer clothes. Logan wasn't happy to see her, but really, his unhappiness was more because of his reaction. I enjoyed the tension between the two. Most importantly, I loved Keith. He was Logan's son and he's the sweetest little thing. If a book could be written for him, I'd totally read it, all things considering.

The secret that Poppy learned was now a burden on her to make sure that Logan knew the truth. Was it worth it? Since this was a short book, there wasn't much conflict besides the already existing tension between Poppy and Logan. When they found out the truth about their best friend, they were naturally heartbroken. I did, however, admired that Logan finally learned his lesson, even if it was still after his mother pointed it out to him ;)

Constructive criticism inside the "Beware" button. Don't read if you're faint of heart.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Promo: In Love With A Wicked Man


Title: In Love With A Wicked Man
Author: Liz Carlyle
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Pages: 384
Buy LinksAmazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle)

Blurb:

What does it matter if Kate, Lady d'Allenay, has absolutely no marriage prospects?

She has a castle to tend, an estate to run, and a sister to watch over, which means she is never, ever reckless. Until an accident brings a handsome, virile stranger to Bellecombe Castle, and Kate finds herself tempted to surrender to her houseguest's wicked kisses.

Disowned by his aristocratic family, Lord Edward Quartermaine has turned his gifted mind to ruthless survival. Feared and vilified as proprietor of London's most notorious gaming salon, he now struggles to regain his memory, certain of only one thing: he wants all Kate is offering—and more.

But when Edward's memory returns, he and Kate realize how much they have wagered on a scandalous passion that could be her ruin, but perhaps his salvation.


CHAPTER 1

In Which Lady d’Allenay Plans a House Party
1850, Somerset

Family lore had long held that when the ancient Barons d’Allenay were no more, the Kingdom of Great Britain would crumble. For better than five hundred years, an unbroken if often tangled line of these noble gentlemen had held control of the vast Somerset estates collectively known as Bellecombe, which had been the seat of the Barons d’Allenay since the time of Henry V.

But at long last, after the fortunes of the barony had waxed and waned a dozen times, there finally came the day when there was no Lord d’Allenay.

No one was less pleased by this unfortunate turn than Kate, Lady d’Allenay. But the kingdom did not, after all, crumble.

And the fortune? Regrettably, that was definitely on the wane—and all of Bellecombe with it. But Lady d’Allenay had never been without pragmatism. Indeed, from the earliest years of her girlhood, her grandfather, the thirteenth Baron d’Allenay, had been wont to pat her on the head and declare her the sensible one.

Indeed, she could hardly have been the beautiful one. That honorific had fallen to her late brother, Stephen. Certainly she was not the charming one, for her little sister, Nancy, had half the county’s male population eating from the palm of her hand. So all that was left to Lady d’Allenay, it seemed, was pragmatism. And from the age of eight, when she had realized that her frivolous parents were not to be relied upon, she’d striven to cultivate that dull virtue.

“—and do it pillowslip by bloody damned pillowslip!” she added through clenched teeth.

“Beg pardon, m’lady?” enquired a voice behind her.

“Never mind, Peppie,” Lady d’Allenay called back to her housekeeper. Then, with a clever twist, the baroness extracted herself from the depths of a massive linen press and presented Mrs. Peppin with a stack of fresh pillowslips. “New!” she declared triumphantly.

“Why, so they are!” Mrs. Peppin’s eyes widened.

“I had a dozen put back,” Lady d’Allenay confessed, “in anticipation of just such an emergency. The old ones we’ll mend. Remind the maids to set them darning side down when they make up all the guest rooms.”

“You always were such a sensible girl, miss,” said Mrs. Peppin, gazing lovingly upon the crisp fabric.

“And full of pragmatism,” added Lady d’Allenay rather too cheerfully.

But not beauty. Or wit. Or red-gold ringlets. Her housekeeper, however, had not seen new linen in a decade, and was awed into silence by its magnificence.

“Well, that’s sorted.” With a businesslike flip of her chatelaine, Lady d’Allenay checked the time on her watch. “I’m off to the new rectory shortly to inspect the construction.”

But Mrs. Peppin pointed through a nearby window. “There be a gurt black sky out, my lady.”

“Well, drat.” Kate glanced at the gathering storm. “Nancy’s taking tea at the rectory. Which means we can expect Mr. Burnham and his mother for dinner. He’ll doubtless drive Nancy home.”

“Oh, aye,” Mrs. Peppin said dryly. “An act of pure Christian charity, that.”

“Just warn Cook.” Kate turned to lock the press. “I’ll get busy mending for Mother’s visit. Oh, and do remind Fendershot to inventory the cellars. Aurélie’s friends do drink quite a shocking amount of wine.”

“A body can scarce count the bottles flying,” muttered the housekeeper.

“I do hope we don’t have to order more champagne,” Kate fretted, setting off down the passageway. “It’s so frightfully expensive—but Aurélie declares she cannot abide Italian vintages.”

“Oh, la, la, her delicate French blood!” Mrs. Peppin was not a devotee of Lady d’Allenay’s mother—or her friends.

“Per’aps you ought to tell Mrs. Wentworth we can ill afford to have them?”

“I did do last year, you’ll recall,” said Kate as they started down the sweeping staircase, “but this year . . . well, the thing is, Peppie, she’s found out about the glebe land.”

“My word! How?”

“Nancy probably wrote.” Kate shrugged. “And I’m sure Aurélie has concluded that if we’re building a new rectory and giving the Church acreage, Bellecombe must be a little flush.”

“I wish, miss, you didn’t have to call your own mother by her Christian name.”

Kate sighed. “But Mamma makes her feel old, Peppie. You know Aurélie requires pampering. It seems a small indulgence.”

Mrs. Peppin sighed. “How many is Mrs. Wentworth bringing for shooting season?”

 “Just her usual.” Kate mentally counted. “There will be the Comte de Macey again, I daresay—”

“—if the French pox hasn’t carried him off,” muttered the housekeeper.

“Really, Peppie, you’re uncharitable,” said Kate smoothly. “Besides, the two of them are just old friends now. Aurélie’s current lover is a merchant banker, I believe.”

“And a rich one, too, I don’t doubt.”

Kate paused on the landing. “Yes, but if one must love, is it not better to love someone rich? That’s what I keep telling Nancy.”

“Little good that’s done,” said Mrs. Peppin. “Who else, then?”

“Her bosom beau Lady Julia. And—oh, yes!—a young gentleman. Sir Francis something-or-
other. I collect she thought he might flirt and sigh over Nancy, and thereby distract her.”

“Your mother’s wicked gentlemen friends generally expect a bit more of a lady than flirting and sighing.”

“Mrs. Peppin, you quite shock my virginal sensibilities.” Kate turned the next landing, and set off in a different direction from the housekeeper. “Well, I’m off to the parlor with this pile of tatty linen.”

“Hmm,” said the housekeeper. “Perhaps you ought to be off to tea with a handsome young man like your sister?”

But Kate marched on down the passageway, and pretended she didn’t hear.


About the Author:

A lifelong Anglophile, Liz Carlyle started reading Gothic novels under the bed covers by flashlight. She is the author of sixteen historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting for her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina.




Twitter: @lizcarlyle

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: Baiting the Boss



Title: Baiting the Boss
Author: Coleen Kwan
Publisher: Entangled: Indulgence
Release Date: October 14, 2013
Pages: 137
Buy LinkAmazon

Blurb:

For years Grace Owens harbored a secret crush on her boss, Jack Macintyre, the heir to the Macintyre Corporation. But Jack relocates to a remote tropical island after tragedy upends his life, cutting off all contact. Now Grace’s new boss issues an ultimatum: return Jack to the family fold or pack her briefcase and move on.

When she turns up at Jack's bungalow, he can’t deny his attraction to the fiery woman determined to lure him out of his tropical paradise. Little does she know that returning is the last thing he wants—he’s nobody’s boss, and he likes it that way.

If he stays, she'll lose her job. If he goes, she'll lose her heart.


Review

Loved this book! Both character were both indecisive!

Grace was a city girl who was tasked in convincing Jack to come back to Sydney and take over the Macintyre Corporation. Little did she know that it was her charm that would entice Jack to consider her mission.

"Come on, Grace. Just admit you enjoyed the hot animal sex we had last night."

When Jack first met Grace, she was a freshly graduated assistant who was very eager and shy. She was efficient and determined to succeed. There was a fire in her that Jack noticed early on. They spent lunch together at Chang's where they seemed to have bonded more than they realized.

Jack had lived in an island for three years after he "ran away." I loved Grace's fierceness when she came to see Jack and he was a jerk to her. Her fire was very appealing to Jack. Because of Jack's rudeness toward her, she decided to prove him wrong. She volunteered to help him out with his construction work. Jack purposely gave her the toughest job, and then felt guilty afterwards when he saw her blisters. Confused much?

Jack: "I shouldn't have done that."
Grace: "Didn't you enjoy it?"
Jack: "Of course I bloody well enjoyed it. That's the problem."

I liked the little banter between Jack and Grace. I thought they were very clever and I usually got a chuckle out of them. Their flirty banter was what won me over.

Grace: "I don't know whether to believe you or not."
Jack: "Would I lie to you?"
Grace: "Probably. You're a man, aren't you?"
Jack: "Glad you noticed."

Finally, I enjoyed the vulnerability and resolve of the characters, especially Grace. She was a smart woman and she knew that Jack didn't want a serious relationship. She didn't pressure him for anything, even though her heart was breaking. She was noble and admirable.

"I'm determined to make you say yes. What if I become your sex slave for a week. Will that convince you?"

Check out this hot, teasing little excerpt!



"You like that?" he murmured.

She nodded, pulses hammering.

"Say it, then, Grace."

"Yes...I like that." The naked hunger in her voice made her gulp. She kept her eyes shut, hardly daring to breathe as she wondered what he would do next, where he would caress her.

The tip of his hot tongue whisked across one sensitized nipple.

She gasped, arching her back, desperate.

"Do you want more?" His velvet-gravel voice wrapped itself around her spine.

Damn, he was making her pay for running away from him.

And she would pay if only he would touch her, take her. Quickly.

Hard. Now. "Yes, I want more."

"How much more?"

The last vestiges of her pride evaporated. "Everything." She heard him inhale.

"Okay then." The mattress bounced as his weight suddenly lifted off the bed. "You know where to find me." The air around her felt horribly cold. She blinked her eyes to see Jack backing away, a triumphant curl to his lips.

"What?" she stammered, thoroughly confused.

"You heard me. If you want me, I'll be in the bedroom across the hall." He opened the door.

Monday, November 11, 2013

ARC Review: Poisoned Web



Title: Poisoned Web
Series: The Deizian Empire, #2
Author: Crista McHugh
Self-PublishedRelease Date: November 11, 2013
Pages: 278
Buy LinkAmazon

Blurb:

The fate of the empire hangs on one slave breaking her silence…

As the Deizian Empire prepares for the upcoming wedding of Emperor Titus Sergius Flavus and Azruha, one mystery remains unsolved—the sudden and unexplained death of the former emperor. And as her wedding gift to Titus, Azurha wants to give him answers. She suspects an unknown poison was involved, and her search for the truth enlists two unlikely allies.

Modius Varro’s thirst for knowledge caused an uproar in Emona three years ago and exiled him to the border town of Madrena. But when Titus falls victim to the same poison, his expertise in medicine becomes essential in solving both the riddle of the former emperor’s death and finding a cure to save the current one. His search leads him to far reaches of the Alpirion realm, to an ancient culture shrouded in secrets, and into the arms of one slave who must break her silence to save the empire.


Review

Out of this world greatness!

Crista McHugh strikes again with another masterpiece! I enjoyed this book very much - it was sexy and intriguing!

I loved that Izana was brave and courageous, even when there were times her life was put in danger. She was a very loyal slave to her mistress and she would do anything to do her duty regardless of the consequences.

I also liked Modius's strong presence. He affected Izana by inspiring her to pursue him based simply on natural attraction. This time, Izana wasn't forced to keep him company. I also enjoyed reading the exchange between him and his father. The awkwardness in the beginning gave way to camaraderie, trust, and pride. Scenes between him and his father put tears in my eyes!

Modius: "I won't let you down, Father."
Varro: "You never have."

Just as in the first book, Marcus was once again the comic relief of this book. I just could not wait for his own story! Alas, some things are worth the wait, and I also have no choice. Hopefully, his own story will create itself soon.

Modius: "By the way, I noticed some of the glances your men were giving her."
Marcus: "I've already spoken to them about it. They're to keep their hands off of her or answer to Lady Azurha. It's amazing how just mentioning punishment from the Rabbit will keep a crew in line."
Modius: "The Rabbit? Is she really the Rabbit?"
Marcus: "Want to piss her off and find out?"
Modius: "Not really."

"You two lovebirds are almost as nauseatingly cute as Titus and Azurha. It makes me want to drink until I'm numb."

Speaking of the Rabbit, I absolutely enjoyed the power the name possessed. Knowing that the Rabbit was a woman was even better. I just love badass women ;)

Another thing I loved about this book was the real emotions it evoked. Being a slave did not produce happy memories. There were times when Izana would talk about herself and my heart would just break into pieces. I couldn't imagine how Modius must have felt. (Yes, I'm acting like they're real people!)

"I'm nothing more than a stupid slave whose only talent lies in making men come. And when I was faced with a life or death situation, I fell back on what I do best."

I also enjoyed the medical knowledge that Modius possessed. The way he attacked the enemy and the way he saved a life were both so inspiring. He was incredibly smart and was not afraid to take a risk, if it meant saving a life.

Modius: "I need a drill."
Varro: "What are you talking about?"
Modius: "I need to drill a hole in her skull to relieve the pressure."
Varro: "Are you mad?"
Modius: "No, I'm a healer, Father, and I know what I need to do. Now get me that drill."

Finally, the honorableness of Azurha and Titus put tears in my eyes, too. They were such just leaders, they did what they thought was best for their people, without overstepping their bounds. I especially enjoyed the part when Azurha said she could not give her slave to Modius as compensation. I couldn't help myself; I choked. It was such a beautiful scene!

Want to find out more? Check out my interview with the author below!

Interview

1. Where did you get the idea for the Deizian Empire series?

I came up with the idea while changing the channel from Stargate to a documentary on Caligula. It made be wonder if I could create an alien world based on Ancient Rome (rather than Ancient Egypt). I loved the intrigue of the period, and it was an environment ripe for a fantasy world.

2. What kind of research did you do to write the book?

I did lots of research into Ancient Rome to write Tangled Web, but as I expanded the empire, I also included some research into Roman Egypt. The great thing about writing fantasy (as opposed to historicals) is that I didn't have to get all the details perfect, but I still wanted to include enough to create an general atmosphere.

3. Did you make up the word "Deizian", "Alpirion", and "Elymanian", or were they based on something from history?

I created the word Deizian from the word deity, since that race was seen as godlike in their ability to use magic. I created the names of the other two races from small Roman cities I'd stumbled across in my research. I wanted to capture some of the environment without it being so well known that people would come into the world with preconceived notions. 

4. How did you choose the names for your characters?

For the Deizian and Elymanian characters, I prowled Nova Roma's website for Roman names. The Alpirion names were derived from Arabic and Egyptian words

5. Do you have a specific way of choosing your book titles?

For this series, I wanted all the books to have one word in common, so I stuck with Web. Thankfully, I was able to come up with titles that reflected the plot, too. Usually, though, I stress over titles - sometimes choosing a title is harder than writing the book.

6. Anything else you want to ask our readers? Any other news we should know about?

The next book in the series, Deception's Web, comes out in December. Then, in 2014, I'm launching a sexy contemporary romance series that's my twist on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Adam's book, The Sweetest Seduction, comes out in January and will be followed by Ben's book in February and Caleb's book in March. I'm also going to be releasing the next installment of my fantasy series, The Elgean Chronicles, this summer. 

Make sure to check out this series! You won't be disappointed!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Promo: All Shook Up






Title: All Shook Up
Series: It Happened In Vegas, #1
Author: Jacy Oliver
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: October 17, 2013
Pages: 288
Buy LinksAmazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback)

Blurb:

Kate Cook thinks she got a steal on a cheap dependable car. The only catch, she has to fly down to Las Vegas to pick it up. When she arrives at the dealership, she runs into a problem, the kind that threatens to ruin more than just her day.

Fortunately, she is rescued by Coulter Holt, a businessman with problems of his own. Namely, a vindictive step-mother who will do anything to get Coulter to see things her way. Which includes destroying his relationship with his father, jeopardizing Coulter's million-dollar conglomerate.

Feeling she needs to repay him for rescuing her, Kate agrees to help him thwart his step-mother by pretending to be Coulter's fiancée. But under the dazzling lights of Las Vegas where anything is possible, Kate feels the sparks began to fly between her and Coulter, and she realizes this favor might wind up costing her more than just time, it might just steal her heart.


Excerpt


“Hey,” I hear a male voice say. But I’m sure he isn’t talking to me so I ignore him.

“Hey you!”

Hearing the clear irritation in his voice. I look up and without thinking, I snap back “What?”

The guy behind the wheel of a bright red convertible sports car—wait—the super good looking guy behind the wheel, smiles at me and says, “are you Katie?”

I blanch. I have to think—is my name Katie? Duh Katie, yes it is. But only my family calls me Katie. To friends and everyone else, I’m Kate or Katherine. I look behind me to make sure he isn’t talking to someone else. Nope there’s no one behind me.

“What?” I say again just to make sure that the stress from today’s events haven’t made me delusional.

The guy behind the wheel shakes his head “You’re Katie Cook?”

Oh he is talking to me? Was that a question or a statement? I’m not sure.

He gets out of his car and comes around to me. I stare opened mouthed. He is drop dead gorgeous. His hair is dark brown and curly, slightly tousled from the wind. He is clean shaven; his jaw is strong and square. His lips are perfectly carved, they look soft and subtle, completely kissable. He starts walking toward me with broad shoulders and slender hips. He is wearing dark, blue jeans, a collared white and blue, striped shirt with a dark, blue V-neck sweater that is rolled and scrunched at his elbows. He looks like an ad for sex, the hot steamy, never get— enough kind.

He stands in front of me, giving me a million dollar smile. His perfect white teeth gleam in the sun. It looks like he’s just gotten done shooting a tooth-paste ad. I have to crank my head all the way back to look at him.

“You want a ride? He asks and cocks his head to the side, still smiling.

I raise my eyebrows. Do I want a ride? My thoughts go south, to some very naughty places. I say the words in my head again, do I want a ride? Katherine Cook, I scold myself. My eyebrows scrunch, and I can feel my cheeks flush. That’s it! Its official! I have lost my mind. This is not real. I press my fingers into my forehead, relieving the ache that has formed. I’m going to open my eyes and Mr.—only in my dreams—will be gone. I open my eyes to a pair of large round, blue-black eyes covered with thick dark lashes, staring at me. I’m dumbfounded. My fantasy is still here. The synapses between my brain and mouth are misfiring, and I’m unable to find the words to speak. He smiles at me, oh those lips, then stands. He picks up my small, carry- on suitcase, and I watch him take it and stow it behind the driver’s seat of his car.

“Are you going to get in?” He asks, and he gets back into the car. I blink, and take a breath, trying to regain my senses. “How do you know my name?” I stammer, finally managing words.

“I owe a favor to Aaron, and he’s cashing it in.”

“Aaron who?” Even though I know, okay, I hope he is talking about Aaron Reed, the guy who tried to help me buy a car, I still have to ask.

He tucks his chin down, giving me the eye, silently saying— you know who I’m talking about.

Okay, so I’m going to hope it’s my Aaron as I look down at my phone— still no call from my dad.

“Get in the car Katie,” annoyance in his voice.

I sigh. “My parents told me never to get in cars with strangers, what’s your name?” I smile at him and give him the same head cock. He shoves his aviator sunglasses on, and gives me that megawatt smile again. “Get in the car, and I will tell you.”

Oh, he wants to play a game. I’m in no mood for games. I cross my arms in defiance. Could this day get any worse?

“Tell me first, and then I will get in your car,” I push my sunglasses down on my face and smile, showing my teeth.

“Get in the car Katie. I have your suitcase,” he says in a playful tone, but I can tell he’s serious. Oh shoot, why did I let him take it? I feel my insides tighten, and my stomach is doing a continuous somersault in my belly. My knees feel weak, and my body buzzes with a hyper-awareness. My gaze flits from the car to him and back again. I’m too nervous to keep looking at him, but too scared he’ll disappear if I don’t look back. I’m completely and so utterly turned on. I pick up my bag and take a step toward him. Am I really going to get into the car with this guy, he could be a serial killer for all I know. He could have gotten my name from somewhere— I don’t know where—Facebook? I feel my phone buzz in my hand which pulls me from my silent babble. I look down at the caller ID, it’s my dad.

“Hello…okay…yes...” I look up at the gorgeous stranger in the car, I can feel his eyes on me, “okay…all right...” I feel a bit brave behind my sunglasses, so I give a wry smile and arch my eyebrow at him… “Sound goods…okay…I will…you too…bye.”

I shoulder my bag and step up to the car. Mr. Tooth-paste ad leans over, opens the door for me, and I slide into the seat, sitting my bag on the floor between my legs. We sit for a minute until I look over to him confused. “I’m in the car, you can go now.”








About the Author:

Jacy Oliver, has always had a thing about writing. She is a graduate of Idaho State University and when she’s not writing she spends most of her days working the family business and even then sometimes she writes. She is highly sarcastic and loves to laugh and have a good time. ‘All Shook Up’ is her debut novel.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: I'll Be Home For Christmas

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Title: I'll Be Home For Christmas
Series: Coming Home, #2.5
Author: Jessica Scott
Publisher: Forever Yours
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Pages: 126
Buy LinkAmazon

Blurb:

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

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


Review

It's finally here! I've waited for Carponti's story for so long! :)

I definitely enjoyed this book because of the humor that is unique of Vic Carponti. He always joked around and never took anything seriously, or at least that's what it looked like. He put on a show for everyone because he knew it was what they needed. A little laugh here and there got them through the hardest of times, including his wife.

"Bad things happen when I'm not making jokes. It upsets the cosmic order of the universe or something."

He kept saying in the book that his biggest skill was making his wife laugh. I absolutely loved his easy-going demeanor, especially when he knew the people he was dealing with, whether it was Randall or Iaconelli, was about to pop a coronary or have a heart attack. 

Iaconelli: "You'll do things that way I say we'll do things. This is the army, not a democracy."
Carponti: "Were you potty trained at gunpoint? Come here, big guy, let me give you a hug."

Nicole was the perfect wife. There were times when she was afraid, but she stayed strong for Vic. She was there with him through thick and thin, and she never left his side nor lessen her support. Vic was so lucky to have her. Spending time together on Christmas despite the circumstances were a beautiful scene.

One thing I did wish that was in this story was how Nicole reacted when Vic accidentally overdosed. I remember reading it in Sgt. Garrison's book. Anyway, I probably shouldn't ask for too much. Having a book for Carponti is enough :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Interview: How to Handle a Highlander

Title: How to Handle a Highlander
Author: Mary Wine
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Pages: 320
Buy LinksAmazon (Paperback) Amazon (Kindle)

Blurb:

In a Land of Warriors Playing a Deadly Game...

Moira Fraser has been given an ultimatum—marry the elderly Laird Achaius Morris, or risk another deadly clan war. She vows to do the right thing, as long as she can steer clear of the devilish charms of one stubborn Highlander...

How Do You Avoid Becoming a Pawn?

Gahn Sutherland knows there's a dangerous plot behind Moira Fraser's wedding, and will stop at nothing to foil it. But where a hot-headed, fiery Highland lass is involved, trust and honor clash with forbidden attraction, threatening to blow the Highland's sky-high.

Author Interview

1. Which countries/states have you traveled to do research?

I love to travel. My husband is forever making fun of me because he’ll look over at me on a family vacation and say…”You’ve got that look in your eye, you’re plotting a book!”. It’s usually true.

2. How did you choose your character names?

I love my characters to have names from their world. Many of my Highlanders have Gaelic names. I search through old church registries and do research into the time. When you’re talking about some of these early eras, some of the best resources are tax records. But it’s also important to know what the name means. In these eras, people did name their children for what they felt they looked like, or the circumstances that they were born into. An example of that might be the name ‘Regan’, it means ‘noble born’ and was often used for girls who were fathered by noble men on mothers of lower station. It was actually a bit of privilege to have the name because it meant your blood was better than those around you.

3. Do you keep journals of your research for reference?

Yes, yes and yes! I’d be lost without my note books. I like to put twists and turns in my books, so it important to keep all the details straight.

4. Is there a specific time of day that you write?

I feel very strongly about being disciplined. I get up with my boys and drop them at school. Then it’s to the writing cave. One of my greatest challenges is many of my friends who get it into their heads that ‘I just work at home’, so that means I can just get up and take care of other things. No. It’s my work and I’m doing it, while the rest of the family is doing their work. But it is a smashing good fun sort of work!

5. Do you have an outline of your story or do you write as you go?
I always make an outline. However, I often turn in a book that needs a new outline because the story just went in a different direction. But if I don’t have that outline, I tend to sit there looking at the blank page.

Excerpt



“Inspecting yer new possession?”

She recognized Gahan’s voice instantly. It was slightly unnerving how swiftly she identified him.

“Yer sister would have found it beneath her,” he added.

Gahan parted from the shadow of a doorway. The hall was farther behind her than she’d realized; the setting of the supper table was now only a dim buzz. A strange twist of excitement went through her belly, startling her. But it also left a bitter taste in her mouth, because she realized she preferred Gahan to her groom.

It was knowledge she could have done well without.

“Nae that I’d expect any less of any woman wedding such an old man,” Gahan informed her.

His tone was condescending at best, and it irritated her. He was her better. The fine weave of his kilt and the silver buttons running up the sides of his knee-high boots showed off just how much his father gave him. She should have kept her mouth shut, but her pride flared up and she propped her hand onto her hip.

“And will yer father give ye any choice when he contracts a bride for ye?” She questioned boldly “Or will ye turn yer nose up no matter who is depending upon ye to do yer duty? Like a spoiled child who knows naught of the way alliances keep a clan safe?”

His eyes narrowed. For a moment, it looked like he was considering what she said, almost as if she’d surprised him somehow.

“Nae if me duty includes making sure me kin can start a feud.”

“I have no such desire.” She shouldn’t snap at him but just couldn’t squelch the urge. “A contented man”—she had to stop to swallow the lump lodged in her throat—“is happy to stay at home.”

He studied her for a long moment, one that felt far longer than it really could have been. She felt like he was looking at her thoughts, his gaze cutting past her realistic reasons, to see her true feelings.

“So what is it that draws ye to a man old enough to be yer grandfather? The title? I suppose I can believe that. Yer sister was certainly enchanted by titles.”

“Half sister.” She paused, realizing that what Bari had so often used to insult her was something she prided herself on.

“And I’m bastard-born,” he replied softly. “Which changes nothing when it comes to me loyalties. Or, I doubt, yers.”

He was trying to intimidate her, but instead, his words somehow impressed her. There was something in his dark eyes that intrigued her, and she stared into the dark orbs, trying to decipher it.

He snorted at her. “Do nae try it.”

“Try what?”

He crossed his arms over his chest, and she suddenly realized just how close he was. There was no more than a pace between them now, and she jumped back, colliding with the hard stone of the wall. His lips twitched.

“I admit, ye play the innocent better then Sandra ever did, but ye’ll nae find it simple to seduce me.”

She straightened up, stepping away from the wall as her temper simmered. “Ye have no right to accuse me of nae being innocent. Or of trying to act like a harlot. Ye were the one waiting in the shadows.”

His lips parted to flash his teeth at her. “I knew ye had claws. Ye are a Fraser after all.”

There was a ring of triumph in his tone, which irritated her beyond every bit of self-discipline she had.

“What I have is the sense to know when I’m hearing naught but dribble. Son of an earl or nae, ye do nae have the right to insult me for obeying me laird. I do nae need the Matheson thinking I turned up me nose at their laird. Marriage is for forming alliances. I’m nae so selfish as to think an insult to a laird, like refusing his offer, will nae become a festering point of contention.”

But her voice lowered as she finished, and she had to push the last sentence past her lips because she just didn’t want to believe she was one day away from having to wed Achaius Matheson.

“And I was nae trying to seduce ye,” she added.

His grin remained arrogant and large, but he opened his arms, offering her a view of just how wide his chest was. “Ye were looking into me eyes.”

“And ye were looking into mine,” she countered. He was suddenly too large and the hallway far too compact to suit her. “Enough arrogance. Perhaps ye are accustomed to only the sort of women who like to seduce, but I am nae of that sort. I’m set to wed, and I do nae think it wise to be standing here acting like—”

“Like lovers flirting in the night shadows?” His voice dipped low and sent a tingle along her limbs. There was a gleam of mischief in his dark eyes.

She shook her head, her tongue feeling frozen with shock.

“Nay, we are nae acting like lovers, or are ye arguing that we are nae lovers—yet?” He pressed forward another few inches.

Something snapped inside her. She gasped and went to shove him away from her.

“Ye obnoxious urchin!”

She flattened her hands against his chest, but he didn’t budge. She’d used a fair amount of strength, but Gahan Sutherland only chuckled at her attempt to move him.

“Ye have no right to accuse me of such indecent things. Maybe there are plenty who would remind me that ye’re me better and can say what ye will, but I will do me duty.”

He closed his hands around hers, but he didn’t remove them from his chest. Instead, he trapped her there with her hands upon him.

“What if I told ye I would nae be opposed to becoming yer lover? I promise ye will find me bed more to yer liking.”

Her mouth dropped open, and her temper exploded. She never really thought about what she was doing; her body simply refused to remain still. With a snarl, she sent her knee toward his unprotected groin. One moment he was chuckling at her, and the next, she felt her blow connecting.