THE MOON SHINES RED by Pamela Sparkman

Paranormal Romance Standalone

GRIN AND BEARD IT by Penny Reid

Winston Brothers Series #2

HARD RULES by Lisa Renee Jones

Dirty Money Series #1

THE HARD COUNT by Ginger Scott

In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.

WILDER by Rebecca Yarros

The Renegades Series #1

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Release Blitz: Privileged by Carrie Aarons




Title: Privileged
Author: Carrie Aarons
Genre: New Adult Romance
Cover Design: Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations
Release Date: July 23, 2017



Blurb

In a world of wealth and power, the rules of love and war are nothing as they seem.

Nora Randolph never wanted a life of luxury. But when her mother falls in love with the heir to the British throne, their small-town lives are uprooted and every little girl’s fantasy becomes her reality. All too quickly, she learns the dangers of running in circles with the world’s elite, especially when she attracts the attention of Winston Academy’s resident golden boy.

Asher Frederick has known nothing but favor and fortune. The son of London’s most influential family, his future has been written in stone since infancy. But a tragic childhood loss redirects his course, and revenge has been boiling in his blood for years. When innocent and unaware Nora lands in his path, it’s as if the universe hands him the ammunition to finally drag his enemy through the mud.

But as his plan for vengeance gets more twisted, so do his feelings for Nora. And as her immersion into the upper crust dives deeper, she struggles to keep the secret she’s been guarding for eighteen years.

Heavy lies the crown, and when the ultimate betrayal blindsides her, will either of them survive the consequences that come crashing down on their heads?


ADD TO GOODREADS





Purchase Links

99c for Release Day ONLY!!

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited






Author Bio

Author of romance novels such as Red Card and the Captive Heart Duet, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won't get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.

Carrie has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.

When she isn't in what her husband calls a "writing coma", Carrie is freeing up her jam-packed DVR, starting her latest DIY project, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, who is more than happy to watch sports while his wife plots love stories.



Author Links




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: Exploited by A. Meredith Walters



Title: Exploited
Series: Zero Day #1
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Release date: July 25, 2017
Cliffhanger: Yes
Rating: 1 Star

SYNOPSIS

At first glance, I’m nothing out of the ordinary. I am a daughter. A sister. A friend. When you look at me you won’t see anything that warrants suspicion. I don’t look like a criminal.

My name is Hannah Whalen, but most people know me as freed0mov3rdr1v3, or “Freedom Overdrive”—one of the world’s most prolific and notorious hacktivists. My goal—my purpose—is to shed light on the evil that lurks behind the corporate and government lies we have been force-fed for too long.

My story begins with the best possible intention. Devoting my life to exposing the corrupt. The dishonest. The unethical. For that, they label me a cyber-terrorist. Wanted by the FBI, I’ve always been one step ahead.

Until I fell in love.

Because I’m sleeping with the man who’s hunting me. And he has no idea that I am his prey. Now I have to decide what’s more important: my freedom or my heart.

Purchase: 

REVIEW

To say I'm disappointed in this is a massive understatement. I know I'm being really blunt here, but I'm still riding the wave of rage that flooded me at 2 AM when I finished this book. Pounding my pillow, tossing and turning and unable to sleep. My mind turning over the many reasons in which I could not stand this heroine.

It's one thing for a character to be flawed, then learn and experience growth into a better human being. That's expected. WELCOME! But no, she pulled off the exact opposite in my opinion. I wasn't her biggest fan from the beginning, she was cold and very abrasive. But rather than redeeming herself, she destroyed any hope of me ever liking her.

Freedom Overdrive is her hacktivist alter ego. She's an untouchable code cracker. Invulnerable to the authorities because of her genius. Willing to crush lesser mortals and destroy an innocent man to make the world a better place. I'm all about revenge plots, but hers was misguided and self-serving. A boost to her ego in order to enforce how powerful she was. From minute one, when she sidled up to Mason and sank her claws into him, not one word or action towards him was genuine. And with every bit of poison she injected into the trust he gave her, she never had more than a moment's hesitation before she continued her assault.

None of it, not their first date, first kiss, first time in bed, bringing him with her to visit her sister was real. How are you forgiven for deceiving someone, ruining their career and shattering their heart with your lies? You can long for real all you want, but there's no coming back from what you did.

The hero was a really good guy. If you could put aside the fact that he's an FBI agent with ten years of experience, and didn't have the faintest inkling that Freedom Overdrive was his girlfriend. After not just one, not two, but countless times he was handed clues that pointed to her. Everything but a neon sign was shoved in his face and yet he never connected the dots. Never. Mason's character was not believable, not as a skilled and perceptive agent.

The romance was non-existent and I couldn't care less about their "HEA". The repetitious internal dialogue, two main characters who fell flat, and a plot that had me pulling my hair were just pieces of the larger scale of my frustration. I honestly had no love for either one of them. I felt a shade sorry for the hero and how easily susceptible he was to her deceit. But that's as far as it went. As for being interested in continuing with the next book to find out who her mysterious partner was, and how she would get Mason to forgive her? Sorry. That DAY has a ZERO percent chance of happening with me.



Friday, July 21, 2017

Excerpt Reveal: The Beauty of Us by Kristen Proby

   

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes a sexy, new standalone contemporary romance in her Fusion Series, THE BEAUTY OF US, releasing August 22, 2017! Check out the chapter below and get to know Trevor and Riley!

   

About THE BEAUTY OF US:

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby delivers another sizzling novel in her delectable and sexy Fusion series.

Riley Gibson is over the moon at the prospect of having her restaurant, Seduction, on the Best Bites TV network. This could be the big break she’s been waiting for. But the idea of having an in-house show on a regular basis is a whole other matter. Their lives would be turned upside down, and convincing Mia, her best friend and head chef of Seduction, that having cameras in her kitchen every day is a good idea is daunting. Still, Riley knows it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to pass on. And when she meets Trevor Cooper, the show’s executive producer, she’s stunned by their intense chemistry.

Trevor’s sole intention is to persuade Riley to allow Best Bites TV to do a show on her restaurant. But when he walks into Riley’s office, he stops dead in his tracks. The professional, aloof woman on the phone is incredibly beautiful and funny. But can he convince her that he’s interested in Riley for himself? Or is he using the undeniable pull between them to persuade her to agree to his offer?

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo


Add to your Goodreads


And Don’t Miss the First Three Novels in the Fusion Series, LISTEN TO ME, CLOSE TO YOU, and BLUSH FOR ME!

       

 

Chapter 2

~Trevor~


I didn’t sleep worth shit last night. I waited for a response to my e-mail from Riley for a while; I’m not exactly sure why. I just don’t like the thought of her being embarrassed.

Because she has no reason to be. She didn’t know who I was, and it was closing time. She was venting to her friends.

It’s really no big deal.

But I could see the mortification in her big blue eyes when she realized who I was, and that doesn’t sit well with me.

When no response came, and for all I know she hasn’t even read the e-mail yet, I sat down for a game on the PS4. I don’t travel anywhere without it. Some people read to unwind. Some go to the gym, and there are times I do the same. But to truly relax, I enjoy gaming. I have since I was a kid.

So I settled in the apartment the network has rented for me this month and played online with my friends, talking about our days and shooting the enemy.

We played well past midnight, and I usually would have gone right to bed afterward, but my mind was still turning, making falling asleep impossible. The restaurant is better than I imagined through my research on their website and customer reviews. It’s visually stunning, the food is fantastic, and they’ve hit the mark on the sexy factor.

But added to that, the five women who own the place are all beautiful, smart, and will make for great TV. Viewers will eat this show up, pun intended.

I lean over the sink and wash my face, not bothering to shave today, and as I dry off, I reach for my phone.

I have several new e-mails.

The most recent is from Riley Gibson.

Trevor,

Thank you for your kind email. I apologize again for the conversation last night. I would like to promise that we don’t always talk like that at work, but that would be a lie. At least we keep it to closing time over a glass of wine.

Enjoy Portland,

Riley

I grin and sling the towel over my bare shoulders. Riley isn’t what I had pictured in my head before I got here. I knew that she was pretty because their photos are on their website, but she’s much prettier in person.

And animated.

Working with her will be fun.

And a test to my libido. Because Riley is fucking sexy. I’ve never mixed business and sex before, and I don’t plan to start now, but keeping my hands off her will be a test of wills.

And that too should be fun.

After my run this morning, I stopped by a bagel place to eat and read a newspaper, came back to the apartment for a shower, and I think I’ll go to Seduction for lunch. I hadn’t planned to go back there until my meeting with Riley tomorrow, but I also haven’t had lunch there yet.

I dress quickly in jeans and a red T-shirt and walk the six or so blocks to the restaurant.

They’ve just opened, so they’re not busy yet. The atmosphere is calm, the lighting a bit brighter than last night, making it a fun spot to meet with colleagues or friends for lunch.

I’m seated on the far side of the restaurant, where it meets the bar, and I can see Riley and the other women sitting around a high table, talking.

Loud enough for me to hear.

“So, he’ll be here tomorrow. Filming doesn’t start for another week, unless the timetable has been moved up,” Riley says, studying her iPad and checking things off a list. “It would be great if we could watch our language.”

“Right,” Mia says, rolling her eyes. “Because that’s gonna happen.”

“Just watch the F-bombs then,” Riley says with a grin. “And I’ll do my best not to vent to him about my horrible dating experiences. Not that I’ll be having any more of those.”

“I wish I’d been here for that,” Addie says with a smile. “It’s hilarious.”

“No, it’s not,” Riley says, but smiles and covers her lips with her fingers. “Okay, it’s a little funny. I’ll be working from home today.”

“Why?” The blonde speaking, I presume Cami, asks.

“Because I have a roofer coming today,” Riley says. “But if you need me, just call. I can come back after he leaves.”

“Go.” Mia waves her off. “We’ve got this.”

The girls all stand, about to go their own ways to get their day started. They’re clearly good friends, which will come across well on film.

Riley walks out of the bar and glances up, spotting me.

“Hi.” I offer her a smile and motion for her to join me. She sits, sets her iPad aside, and squares her shoulders.

I love a woman with grit.

“Why are you here?” she asks.

“I’m having lunch,” I reply, and gesture to the salad sitting in front of me. “It’s delicious. Adding the brussels sprouts is smart.”

“I’ll pass that along to Mia,” she says, and then laughs. “I guess you heard the part where I asked the girls to not swear.”

“I did,” I reply, and patiently butter a piece of warm bread. “Don’t worry about that stuff. They’re adults.”

“With potty mouths,” she says.

“And we can bleep stuff out, or ask them to rephrase. You’ve already got the gig, Riley. I wouldn’t be here otherwise. This isn’t an audition.”

“I know.” She sighs and reaches over to take a piece of my bread, surprising and delighting me. “I just want things to go smoothly.”

“Perhaps you should order lunch too.”

“I don’t have time,” she says, and then her blue eyes widen as she realizes what she just did. “I’m so sorry. I eat when I’m stressed out, and I didn’t—”

“No.” I hold my hand up to stop her. “It’s fine. I like that you’re relaxed with me. I think you need to relax more often.”

“What are you, my life coach now?”

“If you like. Did you cancel those dating sites like I suggested?”

She bites her lip and looks to the side, then nods. “I did.”

“Good.” I take a bite of salad and nod. “Are you sure you don’t want some food?”

“I rarely have time to eat,” Riley says, and checks the time on her phone. “In fact, I should go. I have to meet the roofer at my house.”

“What’s wrong with your roof?”

“It’s old,” she says with a shrug. “That’s what happens when you buy an old house. I’m fixing it up a little at a time.”

I nod, and find that I don’t want her to go quite yet. I want to talk more, to learn more about her.

“Why don’t you come to my apartment tonight and I’ll cook you dinner?”

She pauses and stares at me for a moment. “Why?”

I laugh and set my fork down. “Because I asked you to. We’re going to be working closely over the next few weeks, we might as well get to know each other a little better. Also, we can discuss my new duties as your life coach.”

“Well.” Her lips twitch as she thinks it over for a moment, a myriad of emotions moving across her beautiful face, and finally she says, “Okay. Do you mind texting me the address and the time?”

“Not at all,” I reply, and immediately pass her my phone. “Plug in your number and I’ll text you this afternoon.”

She complies, passes it back, and smiles. “Okay, see you later.”

And with that, she’s off. Her ass swaying enticingly in her tight skirt, calves flexing from the height of her heels, and the food I’m currently chewing immediately tastes like cardboard.

Jesus.

And I just voluntarily offered to spend time with her. Alone.

I’m a fucking glutton for punishment.

[no ornament]

“I’m starving,” Riley immediately says as I open the door. She’s in jeans and a well-loved University of Oregon sweatshirt, her hair is pulled up in a ponytail, and she looks like she could be a co-ed herself. “I forgot to eat today.”

“Does that happen every day?” I ask as I gesture for her to come inside and close the door behind her.

“Most days,” she admits. “Is this one of those bad choices that you’re gonna coach me through?”

“Yes,” I reply, and lead her into the kitchen. “You have to eat.”

“I know, I just get focused on other things, and the next thing I know, the day is gone and I’m starving.” She passes me two bottles of wine. “I didn’t know what we were having, so I brought red and white.”

“Thanks.” I grin and set them both on the counter. “I made salmon and asparagus with baby red potatoes. What goes best with that?”

Her eyes light up. “The white. Holy shit, are you a chef yourself?”

“I went to culinary school,” I reply, and squeeze some lemon on the salmon before plating it. “But I discovered I was better at a desk job.”

“That’s unusual,” she says, her head tilted to the side as she listens. “Most people fight to get out of a desk job.”

“Not me. I have a ton of respect for Mia, because being a chef isn’t easy, and pleasing people sucks.”

“True.” Riley nods. “She doesn’t get many plates sent back to her, but there are a few. Can I pour you a glass?”

“No thanks,” I reply, and reach in the fridge for a bottle of water. “I don’t drink alcohol.”

“Oh.” She frowns. “I’m sorry. I can drink water too.”

“It’s fine,” I reply, and pat her shoulder. “I don’t mind if you drink. I just don’t.”

“But last night, you were drinking Jack and Coke.”

“Nope, just Coke.”

She sits at the table, still frowning. “I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” I set our plates down. “I’ve been sober for ten years. I’m not the kind of alcoholic who can’t be around others having a drink. It was never that bad for me. I’m just a better person if I don’t drink.”

“Good for you for knowing that,” she says, holding her glass out to clink against my water. “This looks delicious.”

“You sound surprised.”

“I expected pizza or Chinese takeout,” she says. “Honestly, that’s probably what you would have gotten from me. I’m also surprised that you’re not staying in a hotel.”

“I’m here long enough that the network sprung for the apartment. They usually do when I’m somewhere longer than a week or so.”

“You must travel a lot for this job,” she says, eating her food like a starving child. I don’t know if she even tastes it, she’s eating so fast.

“I travel often,” I reply, and grin when she takes the last bite. “Are you going to lick the plate?”

“Maybe,” she says with a grin. “I’m not even embarrassed that I ate that so fast. It was delicious.”

“I’m glad you liked it. There’s more.”

“No, I’m good,” she says, and reaches in her bag, pulling out a pad of paper and a pen. “You can eat while I interview you.”

“For what?”

“For the position of life coach,” she says with a sassy grin. I want to kiss that grin right off her face, but instead I take a bite of potato and gesture for her to begin.

“Okay, first question: What qualifications do you have that make you a good fit for this position?”

“Well, I have a few years on you, so I would say wisdom with age.”

She tilts her head to the side, the way she does when she’s turning something over in her head. “You can’t be that much older than me.”

“I’m thirty-seven.”

“Seven years,” she says, rolling her eyes.

“A lot can happen in seven years,” I reply, and sip my water.

“Okay, I’ll give you that.” She checks something off on her paper.

“Did you really write down questions?”

“Of course. I’m the queen of lists and the roofer was at my house forever.” She bites her lip as she looks at her list. “How many women have you life-coached in the past?”

“Well, I didn’t have an official job title, but I have two younger sisters, and an ex-wife, so I would say three.”

“But the wife is an ex, so maybe that did go well?” Riley asks. “And are your sisters productive members of society?”

“As opposed to being in jail?” I ask, laughing. “You’re hilarious, Riley.”

“You didn’t answer the question.”

“My sisters are great. The older one is married, a stay-at-home mom with two kids, and the younger one is a waitress.”

“But the ex-wife thing didn’t work out.”

“She’s not a mess, we just both decided that she shouldn’t be my wife anymore.”

“Why?”

I sit back in my chair and wipe my mouth on my napkin. “Because she thought it was a good idea to have sex with other men.”

Her eyebrows climb on her forehead and she blinks twice. “That’s a good reason.”

“I thought so.”

“Okay, next question.” She checks something on her paper and looks up at me with a smile. “How do you intend to be compensated for your work?”

“I’m working pro bono,” I reply with a wink.

“Why?”

“Because I’m going to be here anyway, and why not.” I shrug and finish the food on my plate. “What else do you want to know?”

“Is my coming to a virtual stranger’s apartment by myself one of the bad decisions you should have coached me on?”

I smile and set my plate aside so I can lean on the table. “Did the girls tell you that coming here by yourself was a bad idea?”

“I only talked to Cami and she thought I should come. Plus, I have a concealed carry, so I feel pretty confident that I’m safe.”

I raise a brow and cross my arms over my chest. “You carry a gun with you?”

“Hell to the yes,” she replies, and offers me a sweet smile. “I’ve been meeting strange men on the Internet. You bet your ass I’ve been armed.”

“Good idea,” I reply with a nod. “There are a lot of crazies out there.”

“Yes. But I think that if you’re gonna meet a crazy, it could be anywhere. Online, in a bar, at the gas station. They’re everywhere.”

“That’s true too,” I reply, and nod. “Well, I’m glad you’re being cautious.”

“I’m nobody’s victim,” she says, as casually as if she’s telling me her shoe size.

That’s fucking sexy.

“Do you have any other questions?”

“Not really,” she says, and shrugs. “I didn’t really write anything down. But it was fun to interrogate you a bit.”

“Now I have questions,” I reply, and smile when she cocks her head and purses her lips. “Do you really think you need a life coach?”

“No, I have my shit together,” she says with a grin.

“Why were you really on all of those sites?”

She shrugs. “Because it’s not easy meeting people. And sometimes a girl wants to go out on a date.”

“You don’t need me,” I reply, and smile. “But I’ll be around for a while, just in case.”

“Just in case I slip and fall back into the online dating?”

“That, or if you just want to have dinner, or chat. And I think we should watch a marathon of Star Wars. Your lack of knowledge is cause for concern.”

“It’s kind of a guy thing,” she says.

“I know many women who like Star Wars.”

“Well, I would watch one or two.”

“You need to see them all to understand what’s happening.”

“That’s a lot of hours of my life that I’ll never get back,” she says with a frown. “Aren’t there CliffsNotes somewhere? A speedy way to get caught up?”

“No,” I reply, and fist my hands in my lap so I don’t reach out and tuck her hair behind her ear.

Or yank her against me so I can kiss the fuck out of her.

“Are you okay?” she asks.

“Are you always this observant?”

“I’m an overthinker,” she says. “So yeah, I’m an observer.”

“I’ve been labeled an overthinker too,” I say with a grin.

“Would you say it’s an accurate assessment?”

“Oh yeah,” I say with a nod, and stand to clear our plates away. She stands to help. “I’ve got this.”

“No way, you cooked, so I’ll help clean.”

She walks ahead of me, her empty glass in one hand and her plate in the other. “Do you use the dishwasher, or do you wash by hand?”

“There are people who still wash by hand?”

“I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never seen them in the wild,” she says, and smiles up at me when I join her. “So I guess that means we use the dishwasher?”

“Yes.” She rinses and I load, and a few short minutes later, we’re done.

“Well, I suppose I should go,” she says, and checks the time on her phone. “Oh, Cami texted. I guess I should reply so she doesn’t think you killed me after the entrée.”

She smirks and types on her phone, then turns it off and looks up at me.

“Thanks for dinner.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

Unfortunately, it won’t be in my bed.

“You will.”

“Okay.” She gathers her bag, notepad and pen, and walks to the door. “Sleep well tonight.”

I grin and congratulate myself for not dragging my fingertips down her cheek.

“You sleep well tonight, Riley.”

“Okay. Bye.”

She leaves and I close the door, letting out a slow breath. Jesus, she’s sexy and funny and smart as fuck.

And I’m not going to touch her while I’m here.

How the fuck am I going to do that?

Don’t miss the first chapter of THE BEAUTY OF US! You can read it here!

    About Kristen Proby: New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.   Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.    

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter** Newsletter Sign Up

THE BEAUTY OF US Goodreads ** Kristen Proby Goodreads

   

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Blog Tour with Review: Trust by Kylie Scott


Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen year old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

 

Amazon US | Amazon Aus | Amazon UK | iBooks US | iBooks Aus | Kobo | Nook

     
TRUST by Kylie Scott (Official Book Trailer) from FILM 14 on Vimeo.


EXCERPT

“You were going to give it up to Duncan Dickerson?” he sneered. “Are you serious?”


I halted, staring at him. This was not good. “How do you know about that?”


“Anders overheard you and Hang talking.”


“Bastard.”


“Well?” he demanded, acting all authoritarian. Idiot.


“To be fair, I didn’t know his last name was Dickerson,” I said. “That’s unfortunate. Though, I wasn’t actually planning on marrying him, so . . .”


“Not funny.”


I shrugged.


“You barely know the guy.”


“Um, yeah. None of your concern. We’re not talking about this.” How mortifying! My face burned bright. People should just gather around and cook s’mores. “I appreciate that we’re friends. You mean a lot to me. But this is going to have to fall under definitely none of your damn business, so go away please.”


“We’re talking about it.” He advanced a step.


“No we are not.” And I retreated.


“You were going to let a complete stranger touch you.” Advance.


Retreat. “People do it all the time. You do it all the time.”


“But you don’t,” he said, taking the final step, backing me up against the side of his car and getting all in my face. “Edie, this is your first time we’re talking about. Isn’t it?”


“Yes, and it’s going to be messy and painful and probably horribly embarrassing and I just want it over and done with.” I tried to meet his eyes but failed, settling for a spot on his right shoulder. “You’re not a girl; you wouldn’t understand. Also, last time I checked, you’re not the gatekeeper of my hymen, John Cole. So back the fuck off.”


He said nothing.


Deep, calming breaths. “Look, someday I’ll meet someone I really like and we’ll have a deep and meaningful relationship and go at it like bunnies. But I don’t want to be the dumb virgin in that scenario.”


He slowly shook his head.


“Also, I do not want to die a virgin.”


“What? What the hell are you talking about?”


“Hey, you and I both know death can occur at any time.”


“This is crazy.”


“I’m seeing a therapist!” I told his shoulder. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little bit messed up these days. It’s hard for me to trust people. That’s not going to change anytime soon.”


He screwed up his face at me. “Wha—”


“I’m just trying to be practical.”


“Well, you’re being ridiculous. None of this makes sense.”


“It does to me.”


Again, he said nothing.


In fact, he said nothing for so long that I finally looked him in the eye. The anger had left him, replaced by an emotion I didn’t recognize. Worst of all, he still smelled like summer. A little sweat and the open night air, everything I loved. Liked. I meant liked.


“What?” I said, finally.


He let loose a breath. “I’ll do it.”


                  kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/   FACEBOOK | TWITTER | FACEBOOK FAN GROUP | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | NEWSLETTER  


REVIEW

I'm one of those odd, rare creatures who hasn't devoured Kylie Scott's entire backlist. I had only read one book by her, but when I saw that she was experimenting in the YA genre, my curiosity was piqued. And that synopsis? Forget about it, I was sold at the get go.

What do you do when your life abruptly narrows down to a moment, when your next breath could be your last? A simple late night convenience store run for junk food turns into a life altering, senseless tragedy. In those terror filled moments, she discovered with crystal clarity how fragile life could be.

Death was a stone, dragging me deep. Life had been so much simpler and easier before all of this . I’d been immortal, but tomorrow didn’t exist. It was all now, here, today. Until Chris and his gun destroyed everything.

How do you come back from the trauma of seeing innocent people die right before your eyes at seventeen years old? How do you go back to the person whose biggest problem was dealing with bullying by mean girls for your weight? The answer? You can't. Returning to her private school after summer ended, she realized that she wouldn't sit back quietly and allow the daily abuse that was served to her. Their opinions suddenly seemed inconsequential and she wasn't affording them any more headspace. In fact, she was done with the snobby, privileged kids at her school so she insisted on moving to the public school.

She thought she wouldn't know a soul there, but to her shock, one of her new classmates was none other than John Cole. The boy who risked his life to save hers. Edie had nothing in common with him, and didn't expect him to acknowledge her presence despite their violent meeting. He was at the top of the school popularity stratum, and a bad boy who could get any girl he crooked his finger at.

All we had in common was a night of blood and violence. End of story.

But she underestimated the bond that was forged that night at the Drop Shop. He did seek her out, because she was the only one who could understand what he had been going through. And while John was inspired to give up selling drugs and try to improve himself, Edie was becoming the rule breaker.

As much as I enjoyed these two, I think having John's POV would have been a huge help in feeling more invested in their romance. I liked them together enough, I just didn't love them. I felt like there was something missing for me. The beginning of the book drew me in with that very intense scene, and then the middle seemed to to drag more than I would have liked. I needed more push to keep the momentum of the story moving forward faster. The last scene had another exciting climactic moment that I really loved, but unfortunately it ended in an abrupt manner followed by a bland epilogue. The entire conclusion seemed more like an afterthought rather than a significant conclusion to their conflicts.

Based on everyone else's excitement, this is most likely entirely a me thing. Don't let my personal issues prevent you from giving this one a go. Trust was an original story about two teens trying to make sense of their lives after surviving a life or death situation together. I'd recommend this to not just YA lovers, but those looking for something much different than what's out there.

FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:



TwitterGoogle PlusBlogEmailGoodreadsPinteresttsūFacebook



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: Wrecked by JB Salsbury





Title: Wrecked
Series: Standalone
Author: JB Salsbury
Release date: July 18, 2017
Cliffhanger: No
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis

When you can’t trust yourself, how can you ask anyone else to?

It’s been months since Aden Colt left the Army, and still the memories haunt him. When he moved into a boat off the California coast, he thought he’d found the perfect place to escape life. 

Then Sawyer shows up, and turns his simple life upside down. 

Beautiful and sophisticated, she seems out of place in this laidback beach town. Something is pushing her to experience everything she can—including Aden. But as much as he wants her, starting a relationship with Sawyer puts them both at risk. 

For Aden, the past doesn’t stay there; it shows up unexpectedly, uncontrollably, and doesn’t care whose life it wrecks.


Purchase:
Amazon | B&N


REVIEW

Wrecked begins with a flashback in Aden's POV, three months prior to the present time. Those first few pages will immediately draw you in with a heart pounding scene that helps you to understand the severe PTSD that he's struggling with. While on tour in the Special Forces, his job was to train Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers. After his last mission went horribly wrong, he's left completely shattered and unable to pick up the pieces. Flashbacks and anger consume him, so he prefers to isolate himself to his own brooding company. He lives a simple life managing his uncle Cal's rental property in California, and living on his small houseboat. The string of willing women distract him from his inner turmoil, but it's only a temporary fix, like putting a band-aid on a bullet hole.


I know what it feels like to have something living inside that eats away at your sanity. They call it trauma, a deeply distressing experience, but God… it’s so much more. It’s alive and breathing, it eats and rarely sleeps, it’s a monster that demands attention and never ever gives in.


Aden was a likable hero, I sympathized with him right from the start and rooted for him to overcome his demons. He had a really great sense of humor that lent some necessary lightness into the story. I went into the book thinking that this would be a darker type of book, but it actually didn't feel that way at all despite the serious topics that were addressed. I was pleasantly surprised by the entertaining dialogue that propelled the plot forward at a fast pace.

My first impression of Sawyer was that she was uptight, filled with anxiety over a variety of things like germs, cleanliness, and organization. She pushed her fears deep down, and boxed them up, cushioning them with order and predictability. These things made sense, made her feel safe after her grandmother passed away and she spent years taking the blame on herself.

Sawyer's identical twin sister Celia may be her mirror image on the surface, but they couldn't be more different in every aspect of their personalities. Celia has always been the free spirited and outgoing one, looking at life as one grand adventure ready to be seized.

In a world where I live in black-and-white and absolutes, my sister lives in tie-dye and liberation. All answers are right answers and even negative consequences serve a bigger purpose. It’s insane. Anarchy. Chaos.

But after contracting a rare form of cancer, her time is drawing close to an end. She wants to leave knowing that Sawyer will put herself outside of her comfort zone and find the ability to live free and just be.

So she pushes her to go to her apartment in California and walk in her footsteps for a couple of short weeks. To pack her things of for her, and convince her friends that she IS Celia, just moving on to her next exciting city. So they remember her as the strong and vital woman they all love her as. Playing her part was impossible enough, but learning to let go was her most challenging test of all. What she really needed was to have her tidy little life shaken and turned upside down, and Aden was the one to show her how it's done.

Aden and Sawyer have an immediate disarming attraction, and even when they were butting heads, they still found a way to charm each other. He was hopelessly confused over his mixed feelings and growing attachment for this woman.

I want to fall into her arms and never come up for air, absorbing the sweet medication of her touch.

She was one big mass of contradictions, a constant surprise to be around, and she made him smile more than he could remember in a long time. But how would she react if she knew how volatile his moods were, and how deep his emotional scars went? How would he feel knowing that the woman he was falling for wasn't everything she seemed?

I loved seeing Sawyer break out of her shell and really embrace all the joys life had to offer. Aden wasn't magically healed, but with her support was able to seek out the help he needed and become a source of inspiration for others. I appreciated the originality of the circumstances of how they met a lot. I do think that two weeks was a narrow amount of time for them to meet and fall head over heels, especially since they weren't open and honest about who they were. That didn't affect my enjoyment very much though, because overall I loved the message and the end leaves you on a satisfyingly high note.

“Life is beautiful and terrifying … And we deserve to feel it down to our bones.”


FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON: 


TwitterGoogle PlusBlogEmailGoodreadsPinteresttsūFacebook


Monday, July 17, 2017

Cover Reveal: Twisted Twosome by Meghan Quinn

Check out the amazing cover for TWISTED TWOSOME by Meghan Quinn!


TWISTED TWOSOME
NA Romantic Comedy

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2uarCWF


Racer McKay is a broody bastard.

From the moment I met him, he’s been rude, irritable, and unbearable. 

A contractor working to remodel my parents pool house for extra cash, he stomps around in those clunky construction boots with his tool belt wrapped around his narrow waist, and a chip on his shoulder.

Racer McKay is also infuriatingly . . . sexy as hell. I want to take that pencil tucked behind his ear, and draw lazy lines slowly up and down his body all the while wanting to strangle him at the same time.

We try to stay out of each other’s way . . . that is until I have no other option but to ask for his help.

But what I don’t realize is he needs me just as much as I need him. I have money he’s desperate for, and he holds the key to making my dreams come true.

Our pranks turn from sarcastic banter, to sexual tension and lust-filled glances. Bickering matches quickly morph into slow burn moments. We’re hot, we’re cold. We push and pull. I need him, I don’t want him. We’re on the verge of combusting with an agreement dangling dangerously between us. Neither one of us can afford to lose one another and yet, we’re finding it quite hard to decipher the line that rests between love and hate.

*Twisted Twosome is a stand alone romantic comedy.





About the Author:



Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if "It's Raining Men" starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing... enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor

Find me on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360513.Meghan_Quinn

Visit my website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas



The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Release date: August 8, 2017 
Pages: 368 
Also by this author: All I Am



A new story of dangerous temptations from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man trilogy.

Annie has never experienced the 'spark' with a guy-that instant chemistry that renders you weak in the knees. That is, until a night out brings her face to face with the dangerously sexy and mysterious Jack. It's not just a spark that ignites between them. It's an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who's had such a powerful impact on her must be dangerous. She has no idea that he belongs to another. That he's forbidden.


Excerpt



Keeping his eyes on mine, he calls to the barman. “Two tequilas, please.”

“Tequila,” I muse, looking over my shoulder when the salt and lemon land behind me. “Is that my challenge?”

“Crying off?” he goads, reaching into his pocket and pulling out some notes.

“Never,” I scoff, turning into the bar. I don’t know what his game is, but I want to play. With him. “You’re asking me to prove I’m sober by doing a shot?” I narrow my eyes on him, teasing. “Or is your plan to get me drunk and take advantage of me?”

He smiles to himself as he pays the barman. “You don’t look like the kind of woman who could be taken advantage of.”

“What kind of woman do I look like, then?” I challenge quietly.

He turns into me, watching me for a few moments. “I don’t know, but I think I’d like to find out.”

I hold his gaze for a few seconds, no retort coming to me. I think I want him to find out, too, just as much as I want to find out what kind of man he is. My eyes drop from his sparkling greys, down his tall, lean frame to his feet.

Oh…fuck…

“Let’s play,” he says, moving in closer and pulling one of the glasses forward. I don’t mean to, but I yank my arm away abruptly when he brushes against me, startled by the tiny stabs of pleasure that pitter-patter all over my skin. The fleeting touch tells me he would feel as good as he looks, and—give me strength—he smells divine, all manly and earthy and fucking edible.

The sudden lapse in movement and talking from both of us becomes slightly awkward. I can feel him looking down at me.

“What do I have to do?” I ask again quietly, almost on a breathy gasp.

He clears his throat. “You’re not drunk?”

“Not even the slightest bit.” I raise my nose in the air.

“Good. Then you’ll smash this challenge first time.” He places a finger on the brim of one of the shot glasses. “Brace your palms on the edge of the bar,” he orders, firm but softly. I look at him, finding a serious face. “Go on.”

Frowning, I place my hands on the edge of the bar. “Okay?”

He takes my hips. He takes my fucking hips! I freeze from top to toe and swallow hard, waiting. My insides are quickly furling, my mind in chaos. “Move back a bit,” he says, pulling at them a little until I step back.

Oh, Jesus. I’m on fire. I have a strange man bending me over a bar in public, and me, Annie I’m-immune-to-men Ryan, isn’t fighting him off. It’s like he has me under a spell. What gives? I dare not look behind me. I’m not stupid enough to think Lizzy isn’t currently watching a man manipulate my body to where he wants it.

“You feel tense,” he observes, releasing me and moving back to my side.

I don’t deny it; neither do I confirm it. His big hands felt so good resting on my hips, so much so I have to resist not claiming them and putting them back where they were. “What now?” I ask, evidently struggling for air, damn me.

“Now.” He picks up his beer and grins. “I get to gloat that I had you bent over a bar within five minutes of meeting you.” He takes a swig, still grinning, and I hear the roar of a man down the bar laughing his head off.

Oh, the fucker! Part of me has admiration. Another part of me wants to slap him stupid; I don’t care how beautiful he is. And another part of me wants to rip his clothes from his body and ravish the sly bastard.

I cannot believe I fell for it! How many women has he played like a fiddle? I drop my head, shaking it to myself.

I knew that smile was dangerous. A man who can bend a woman to his will so easily and so soon couldn’t be anything less than lethal. And the fact that he got me with his wicked game means hats off to him. I can’t possibly take that away from him, and since I’m lacking in the dignity department right now, I decide not to slap him. Nor will I chuck a drink over his head, or fire a load of verbal abuse at him.

I’ll do what he least expects.

I push myself up and turn to face him, unable to stop myself from smiling at his half-grin. Holding his gaze, I slowly lick the back of my hand, blindly take the salt off the bar, sprinkle a bit, and take one of the shots of tequila. But as I’m taking my hand to my mouth to lick the salt up, he seizes my wrist and takes the shot from my other hand. My heartbeat accelerates, our eyes glued to each other as he moves into me and slowly brings my hand to his mouth. I watch, gripped, as he lazily licks up the salt from the back of my hand, eyes on mine, and then knocks the tequila back. Kill me now, for I will certainly die a happy woman. His tongue on my skin. His eyes boring into mine. His hold of my wrist. I must look like a statue—unable to talk, move, or think clearly.

“There’s one more tequila,” he says, cocking his head toward the bar but keeping me in his sights. “And it’s yours.”

Oh good lord. My heart is speeding up by the second as I watch him lick the back of his hand and sprinkle some salt. Then he offers it to me. I stare at his hand, and then slowly look up at him. I could get lost in those grey glittery eyes.

“I taste good,” he whispers.



About Jodi Ellen Malpas



British talent Jodi Ellen Malpas sold hundreds of thousands of e-books of her passionately erotic trilogy This Man before landing a major US publishing deal and sailing straight to the top of the New York Times bestsellers chart in a few short months. Success quickly followed in the UK, with thousands of readers falling head-over-heels for the devastatingly handsome Lord of the Manor Jesse Ward and his feisty counterpart, Ava O’Shea, as all three books became major Sunday Times bestsellers. This was followed by further success with her second series One Night, which introduced the irresistibly enigmatic M.
Jodi was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys and a beagle. She is a self-professed daydreamer, a Converse and, mojito addict, and has a terrible weak spot for Alpha Males. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn




Title: The Alice Network
Series: Standalone
Author: Kate Quinn
Release date: June 6, 2017
Cliffhanger: No
Rating:  5 stars
SYNOPSIS
Join Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network, for a special Goodreads chat on June 20th! Just visit Kate’s author page on Goodreads and submit a question for her to answer.

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth ...no matter where it leads.




REVIEW




The Alice Network is one of the most brilliant and inspired books I have ever read. Yes, those are some tall words, but I say that with no hesitation or second thought. I feel like it's an impossible feat to sit here and adequately explain all of the reasons why you should NEED TO READ THIS.

Let's get this straight right from the start. This is not for the faint of heart. It's a labyrinth of raw, all-consuming emotion that will cut your nerves down to the quick. If you don't want to be up late at night, frantic and edgily consuming this story, do not open this one up. Do I regret reading this? Not for a second. I guarantee it will take you on the most unhinged ride of your life. Inside the excruciating suspense soaked pages, you're given an inspirational story about a group of cunning women fighting impossible odds. An uplifting affirmation of the power of friendship, love, and sacrifice. Seamlessly told in a wonderfully humorous narrative that will make you fall in love with these beautifully flawed characters.

In 1947, present time, we're introduced to an American student named Charlie St. Clair. Her gift for mathematics and quick wit were frowned on by her parents rather than encouraged. She's never quite fit in, or cared about the marriage race that every "good girl" aspires to win. When she falls pregnant at college, her already limited choices dwindle down to none.

I was just numb. I couldn’t believe in this baby, because it had changed nothing. Only my whole life.

Her brother's suicide after WII left an indelible mark on her, and the disappearance of her beloved cousin Rose had led her down a path of self-destruction that she couldn't seem to recover from. So when her mother pressures her on a trip to Europe to get rid of the "Little Problem" she seizes the opportunity to escape and hunt down the one woman who may be able to help her. The profanity spitting, gun wielding, crass and bitter alcoholic who wants nothing to do with her. Eve Gardiner.

They were far from instant best friends, in fact, I'd go so far as to say that they could barely tolerate each other's presence. But by the end, they became more than friends, they became family in the truest sense of the word. Both learning from one another, and experiencing tremendous growth in character.

This book is composed of alternate past and present stories of these two exceptional women. One who has faced unimaginable devastation, and lived to harbor the pain with liquor and a viciously sharp tongue. The other who has experienced her own tragedies and is trying valiantly to surface through the numbness. If she could just find her cousin, maybe hope could be restored. Maybe her failures won't be as insurmountable as they seem. Charlie isn't to be swayed, and the three of them barrel towards an uncertain resolution in ravaged, post war France.

“I want to hear the rest of your story."
"It’s not a pretty story," she said. “And it lacks an ending.”
“So write the ending now.”


In 1915, during a time when every woman was overlooked, underestimated, and stuffed into a tiny box of limitations, Eve wanted more out of life than societal precepts allowed. Desperate to make a difference in the war, and earn the respect that she had always been denied, she jumped at the rare chance that fell into her lap.

Eve joined the Alice Network and became a spy and her life would never be the same again. As her mysterious history unravels, the knot in your chest will helplessly tighten. The evil that she faces with nothing more than wits and bravado was chilling. Lili and Violette played pivotal roles in Eve's history and were riveting to read about.

Lili in particular as the head of the Alice Network was a central character, and based on the real life French spy Louise de Bettignies. Many scenes from the book were pulled from real recorded historical incidents, yet it wasn't glorified in typical Hollywood fashion through a rose colored lens. We saw the gritty realities as they would have experienced them. These women should be remembered for their bravery and contribution, and after reading The Alice Network, I think I can safely say that the author shed the illuminating light on them that they deserve.

"There are two kinds of flowers when it comes to women,” Eve said. “The kind that sit safe in a beautiful vase, or the kind that survive in any conditions…even in evil.”

The two alternating timelines run parallel to one another, until they reach the end of their search for Rose. As they head to their final climactic resolution, I guarantee, you will not be able to set this book down. Kate Quinn is nothing short of a master storyteller. She illustrated so vividly how damaging war is, not only for those who fight in the thick of it, but for their families and generations to follow. Psychologically, physically, and financially. Historical fact and fiction were merged so flawlessly with precise attention to detail, it was as if I had been swept right inside this book. Experiencing every tragedy and victory as it occurred.

For you romance lovers out there, there IS romance involved and it made this reader more than satisfied. It wasn't the main focus of the story, but significant enough to stand out and I wouldn't change a thing. Even if you don't typically read this genre, like me, I urge you to take a leap of faith and give it a chance. This is landing not only on my 2017 favorites, but my all time favorites shelf.
Enough said.


FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON: 


TwitterGoogle PlusBlogEmailGoodreadsPinteresttsūFacebook