Review: Wild Horses (Sierra Legacy #1) – Claire McEwen

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This wild stallion can’t be tamed

Todd Williams is still the naive idealist he was in college. Only now he’s endangering lives—Nora Hoffman’s to be exact. Nora hasn’t seen Todd since he decided that saving the rain forest was more important than their relationship. Until the night she’s nearly crushed by the stampede he causes. Now Todd is determined to make amends, for everything.

She may not agree with his methods, but even Nora can’t deny the importance of his fight to save the wild horses. With the attraction between them still sizzling and the fate of the horses in the balance, Nora must decide just how much she’s willing to risk.

Angie’s Review: I have long loved Harlequin novels and when the opportunity arose for me to review a book set in the West about a couple that had broken up ten years previous and were renewing their relationship, well, I jumped at the chance.

However, I dislike reading a book in the middle of a series, so I grabbed this and the secondary book to get to know the characters and what the series is about.

McEwen tells a great story of a man who is passionate about his causes, one of them being the plight of America’s wild horses that are being rounded up, treated horribly, and driven away from land that rightfully belongs to them. I adore Todd, character flaws and all, but did find his stubbornness when it came to projecting his views and moral code onto others, especially Nora, to be a bit tedious at times.

Unfortunately, I could not really connect with Nora as I found her too unyielding and the chip on her shoulder to be mountainous. She was so rigid and unable to give the town she grew up in a chance to get to know the adult Nora that it became monotonous at times. I did sympathize with her for trying to overcome her past – an absentee mother who abandoned her family to move to Europe and away from her criminal husband and oldest children – but she just refused to see the forest for the trees until Todd helped her see reason.

Somewhat.

I do wish the author had expounded upon Nora’s profession; the most rudimentary of details are given. Nora is a plant biologist in charge of researching the impact of wild horses on native plants in the Sierra mountains. I would have liked to know exactly what the native plants are that she was studying, to be honest.

I can’t wait to get to know Wade, Nora’s former Marine brother that she had done her best to protect nearly all of his life. He has taken charge of their dilapidated family ranch and trying to keep busy after the effects of the war and trying to right the sins of his father and brothers.

Angie’s Rating: ***

Please note: This book contains strong language and sexual situations. Not appropriate for readers under the age of 18.

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Claire McEwen lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. When not dreaming up new stories, she can be found digging in her garden with a lot of enthusiasm but, unfortunately, no green thumb. She loves discovering flea-market treasures, walking on the beach, dancing, traveling and reading, of course!

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Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: I See You – Molly McAdams

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Futures are uncertain, unpredictable—like ink spilled across the purest surface. Nearly imperceptible ripples move and flow until a unique stain is formed. The ink is permanently imbedded in the surface…

During one wild night in college, Jentry Michaels is a tidal wave of ink that brands Aurora Wilde’s soul. An unparalleled stain she can’t forget despite the many months that have passed—and despite the distraction she’d hoped she would find in her new relationship with Declan, the charmer who captured her heart soon after. Jentry has irrevocably touched her soul, and he is intertwined in her present and future in ways she never fathomed. Now Aurora is faced with keeping that night hidden though it feels as if the ink has indelibly etched their story across her skin.

When Declan is confronted with his own personal demons, Aurora must decide if she will continue to hold tight to their relationship and a safe, reliable future with him, or if she will turn to Jentry—the guy she can’t forget no matter how hard she tries…

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EXCERPT: He reached for me, but I shot my hand out in a silent plea for him not to. I was already shaking from keeping myself from him. I didn’t want to think about what I would do if he touched me now.

The past was standing right in front of me, begging to be seen. As if I had ever stopped seeing him. As if I had ever pulled myself from the embers of that night. That night was a dance of flames that had no ending, only respites. One touch from him and those embers would roar to life again, burning hotter and higher.

I wanted it.

I couldn’t allow it. Not now, not with everything going on.

I dropped my head and took quick steps to leave the closet, but Jentry’s arm shot out to stop me, his hand curled against my waist possessively.

“Aurora—”

“Don’t. Please don’t.”

He ignored me and pulled me against him so my side was pressed to his chest. My body trembled as those flames got higher. But with the flames that guilt grew and grew, threatening to cripple me.

“You hurt, I hurt,” he reminded me. “And, Aurora, seeing you like this and not being able to fix it is killing me. I’m sorry for what happened. I’m so damn sorry, and I’m sorry I wasn’t here sooner.” Each word was laced with pain, echoing the aches in my heart and my soul. “But you are out of your mind if you think it was easy for me not being here. I have regretted letting you go, every minute of every fucking day. If I could do that first night all over again I would, and I would’ve been there for you. I would have been here.”

The tears that had filled my eyes finally slipped free at his words and the memory of that night. “But you did let me go, and no matter how much we beg time to reverse, it won’t.”

His body deflated against mine as regret leaked from him. “No, it won’t. But I’m here now. I’m here, and we’re going to get through this.”

So much indecision and confusion wove through me. Wants and needs at war with one another as they had already been for an agonizing amount of time.

My heart had bled out through each battle until I’d made a life-changing decision, a decision that Declan and I didn’t speak of, and one that Jentry still didn’t know. Now any move I could make from here on out would be the wrong one. I was sitting in a minefield, waiting.

Just waiting.

“I tried to forget that night,” I whispered before I could stop myself. “I tried to forget you, but somehow you embedded yourself so deeply into my soul in just one night, that forgetting you—forgetting that night—was impossible. I don’t need a lifetime with you to know that no one and nothing will ever compare to what’s between us. But it’s too late for anything involving us even if it’s just us getting through this, because that night and you are now some of my biggest regrets.”

ANGIE’S REVIEW: Actual rating is 3.5 stars.

I’ve always heard good things about Molly McAdams and have wanted to read one of her series for awhile now, but have never had the time to fit one into my schedule until I got an email about this one. I have always liked love triangles since I read the Twilight series (Team Edward!!), so I was really excited to be able to fit I See You into my schedule.

I was confused by the time jumps and wish that the story was told in chronological order. Halfway through it started to stick with mostly present day, though it flip flopped to a year before at least once, but by then I understood what was happening.

McAdams’ characters are well developed, well thought out, and easy to get to know. However, I found it hard to connect with Rorie most of the time because she refused to stand up for herself. At nearly the end of the book she finally found her backbone and it made a huge difference in her relationship with secondary characters.

Linda, Jentry and Declan’s mother, is a despicable woman whom I hated throughout the entirety of the book until the very end. As a mother (of two boys), I completely understand that she doesn’t feel that Rorie is good enough for either of her sons, but as a woman I found it revolting how she treated Rorie. Does she redeem herself? Yes, and that’s something I love; when a hateful character comes full circle and deserves grace and understanding.

Maybe “deserves” is a strong word for the hell that Linda put Rorie through. Rorie took it repeatedly and was Linda’s favorite punching bag. Odd as it may sound, I do have to applaud Rorie for not caving and giving Linda the fight the woman was itching for.

I couldn’t really connect with Declan, but that’s mostly because he isn’t really a main character in my opinion. I See You is centered around Rorie and Jentry’s feelings for each other, even if their relationships with Declan are pivotal to the storyline. Did I feel sorry for Declan? At times.

Jentry is the one who tugs at heartstrings and makes you keep turning the page. He wars with his feelings for Rorie (whom he calls Aurora as that’s Rorie’s full name and the name she gave them when they first met), his relationship with Declan, and his learning that his mother has a very nasty side to her.

Is I See You an emotional read? Yes, but I didn’t find myself as emotionally invested as I tend to be. Is it worth reading? YES! Stick with it no matter how confusing the time jumps can be.

PLEASE NOTE: This book contains strong language and sexual content. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

Disclaimer: I requested a review copy of I See You from the publisher so that I could take part in the review tour. All thoughts are my own.

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Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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Review & Giveaway: The Earl (Devil’s Duke #2) – Katharine Ashe

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THE EARL

by Katharine Ashe
Devil’s Duke #2
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Avon, Harper Collins

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Synopsis: How does a bookish lady bring an arrogant lord to his knees? Entice him to Scotland, strip him of titles and riches, and make him prove what sort of man he truly is.

Opposites…

Handsome, wealthy, and sublimely confident, Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor, has vowed to unmask the rabble-rousing pamphleteer, Lady Justice, the thorn in England’s paw. And he’ll stop at nothing.

Attract.

Smart, big-hearted, and passionately dedicated to her work, Lady Justice longs to teach her nemesis a lesson in humility. But her sister is missing, and a perilous journey with her archrival into unknown territory just might turn fierce enemies into lovers.

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DON’T MISS THE ROGUE, BOOK #1 IN THE DEVIL’S DUKE SERIES BY USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR KATHARINE ASHE!

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Synopsis: Lady Constance Read is independent, beautiful, and in need of a husband—now. The last man on earth she wants is the rogue who broke her heart six years ago, never mind that his kisses are scorching hot…

Evan Saint-André Sterling is rich, scarred, and finished with women—forever. He’s not about to lose his head over the bewitching beauty who once turned his life upside down.

But Constance needs a warrior, and Saint is the perfect man for the job. Only as a married woman can she penetrate Scotland’s most notorious secret society and bring a diabolical duke to justice. When Constance and Saint become allies—and passionate lovers—he’ll risk everything to protect the only woman he has ever loved.

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ABOUT USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR KATHARINE ASHE

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Katharine Ashe is the award-winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including How to Be a Proper Lady, an Amazon Editors’ Choice for the 10 Best Books of the Year in Romance, and My Lady, My Lord and How to Marry a Highlander, 2015 and 2014 finalists for the prestigious RITA® Award of the Romance Writers of America. Her books are recommended by Publishers Weekly, Women’s World Magazine, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble, and many others, and translated into languages across the world.

Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European History, she writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about Katharine’s books, please visit www.KatharineAshe.com or write to her at PO Box 51702, Durham, NC 27717.

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Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Mistletoe Cottage (Harmony Harbor #1) – Debbie Mason

‘Tis the season for love . . .

MISTLETOE COTTAGE
Harmony Harbor #1
Debbie Mason
Releasing Oct 25th, 2016
Forever

‘Tis the season for love …

Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she’s forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter’s blue eyes-and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.
Sophie’s return is a shock for everyone . . . especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they’ve concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic . . .

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Angie’s Review: I really enjoyed Debbie Mason’s Christmas, Colorado series and was eager to start her new Harmony Harbor series.

Spoiler Alert: Christmas has got to be Mason’s absolute favorite holiday as she’s now centered two series around it.

Mistletoe Cottage is centered around the return of Sophie DiRossi, who fled Harmony Harbor when she found herself pregnant. She left with her flighty mother who thought nothing of leaving her husband and son behind. Tina makes appearances here and there and is a rather unlikable character. Whenever she was mentioned I wanted to punch her in the face and ask her what was wrong with her.

Liam has ghosts to put to rest, but is a very likable male character that I cheered on from the beginning. I really connected with him and felt sorry for him at times.

Sophie? I found her rather distasteful at times. It’s clear she loves her daughter, but they have a very tempestuous relationship and Sophie is good at keeping secrets. When her walls come crumbling down around her and her secrets are revealed, she fluctuates between being angry and defensive, or whiny and despondent. There were times when I really connected with her, but there were times I wanted to slap her.

The best part of this book? Mia, Sophie’s strong willed daughter. She provided comic relief and is simply adorable. Her inability to speak and mostly communicating with facial expressions had me giggling quite a few times

Also an enjoyable secondary plot is the ghost that meddles in everyone’s life. I ADORED her and hope she is in the next book.

I can’t wait to read the next installment in this promising series. Mason always delivers well thought out characters, even if they are unlikable, and her writing flows neatly. There is just a right amount of comic relief and confronting the past and righting wrongs.

Disclaimer: I requested a review copy so that I could participate in the blog tour. All opinions are my own.

Angie’s Rating: ****

Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series and Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their three wonderful children, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

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Excerpt:
The paramedic removed the tube from Mia’s mouth and smiled. “All good. In the normal range.” Sophie’s daughter jumped off the back of the ambulance, and Liam went to stand up. “Oh no you don’t,” the thirtysomething brunette said to Liam. “Lift your shirt, hot stuff, and let me have a look.”
Liam laughed. “Yeah, not happening. I’m good, Kris.”
“So I’ve heard.” She gave him a flirty wink. Then, with gloved fingers, motioned for him to lift his T-shirt. “Your dad asked me to check you out. Don’t be embarrassed if you got a little flabby while you were convalescing. We won’t tell anyone, will we, Daff?” she said to the other paramedic who approached the ambulance.
“My lips are sealed. But just hang on a sec, and I’ll give you a hand.” The woman grinned as she started to unload her supplies in the ambulance.
Sophie’s irritation with Liam for Mia’s reproachful look faded at the reminder he’d been shot.
“You two so hard up you’re getting unsuspecting men to strip for you now? You know, there’s a club—” He winced as though remembering Mia was there and hanging on his every word.
Sophie needed to know he was okay and intervened. “Liam, maybe you should let them check you over. You were carrying Mia, and with all your equipment . . .”
“Soph, Mia probably weighs—” Giving his head a slight, frustrated shake, he tugged up his T-shirt. “Happy now?”
Sophie hoped his question wasn’t directed at her. She doubted she could respond even if she wanted to. And it wasn’t because of the small, puckered pink scar on the left side of his stomach. The ridges of taut muscle and a tantalizing, narrow trail of dark hair that disappeared beneath his turnout pants were messing with her head . . . and other parts of her anatomy. Parts that hadn’t been messed with in a long time.
The paramedics moved in, spoiling the sigh-inducing view. Sophie leaned to the left.
Kris glanced over her shoulder with a knowing grin. “Looks pretty good, don’t you think?” the paramedic asked Sophie.
“Yes.” The word came out as an embarrassing croak, and she cleared her throat. “Really, really good.”

Excerpt, Giveaway, & Q&A: The Billionaire Next Door (Billionaire Bad Boys #2) – Jessica Lemmon

Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like Tag-
until suddenly the one man who can’t be caught is the one flirting with forever . . .

THE BILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR
Billionaire Bad Boys #2
Jessica Lemmon
Releasing Oct 25th, 2016
Forever
Can’t
Buy Me Love

It’s Tag Crane’s job to be the life of the party. Traveling from one exotic locale to another is just part of running the luxurious Crane Hotel empire. But even paradise isn’t perfect.

Devising a new business strategy is keeping Tag up at night-and so is the Great Dane barking at all hours in the apartment below his. To muzzle the problem, Tag charges downstairs . . . right into the most beautiful, blond distraction he’s ever seen.

Dog-sitting by day, bartending by night. It’s not exactly the life Rachel Foster dreamed of. But when Tag Crane rushes in, all mountain-man shoulders and obscenely sexy smile, needing her help for the Crane Hotels, it’s a fantasy come true. What’s the harm in a fun no-strings fling? Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like Tag-until suddenly the one man who can’t be caught is the one flirting with forever . . 

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A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Q&A with Jessica Lemmon:

1. A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.
An alpha billionaire playboy becomes hopelessly intrigued by his downstairs neighbor… but none of his typical moves are working.

2. Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
Tag Crane was directly inspired by Brock O’Hurn. When I stumbled upon his Instagram feed, I was hopelessly intrigued. I knew I had to come up with a story about a long-haired, hulk-like, bearded, kind, and fun man. The Brock of my imagination was my muse. He even earned an acknowledgement mention! If you’d like to browse my Pinterest board for this book, you can find it here.

3. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I love my billionaires, but I’d absolutely love to go back to Evergreen Cove and write some more bad boy books. I receive questions about Evan and Charlie, Sofie’s sisters, Officer Brady Hutchins, and Asher’s ragtag misfit band all the time. I miss the whole gang!

4. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write and keep writing. It’s generic, but nonetheless true. I dedicate a portion of my website to a section I call “So You Wanna Write” and keep it stocked with tips, links to the blog I wrote while working toward becoming published, videos, and craft book recommendations. If you’d like to stop by and see it, you can click here to visit.

5. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
THANK YOU. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Because of you, I get to do what I love, which is let my imagination run wild. You allow me to entertain you and be funny, but also pull your heartstrings and make you cry. You gift me your time, and on this earth—in this life, there is nothing more precious than that commodity.

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Excerpt:
When she reached the door, she pulled her fingers through her blond hair, and decided her visitor had earned the penalty of seeing her sloppy hair, leftover makeup, and pale blue flannel pajamas with a polar bear and snowflake design.
She turned the knob and blinked, stunned.
Holy crap, there is a mountain man at my door.
She was faced with wide, round shoulders. A waterfall of caramel-brown, slightly wavy hair cascaded down his arms. He wore a closely trimmed beard, his mouth flat beneath it. One eyebrow was arched over the bluest eyes she’d ever seen.
“Hello,” she managed, before jerking her gaze from his assaulting blues to take in the fitted cream-colored sweater, a pair of gray cargo pants, and laced leather boots.
He was like a sexy city lumberjack.
“Hi.”
Oh. That voice. Deep, rich, and low enough that it registered in her belly.
When his eyes dashed away from her face and he smiled, her brain turned to mush. She couldn’t think of a thing to say. Not a single thing.
“There he is. Hey, buddy.” The giant knelt as Adonis meandered through the living room, pausing to do a downward-dog stretch in front of the man’s feet. The dog received a scrub on the head, and she was rewarded with more of her guest’s low voice. “You’re better today, yeah? Sleep okay?”
Meanwhile, Rachel gawked at the two of them. Her appearance was probably less put-together than the dog’s. She ran her fingers through her hair again, making it worse at this point, and straightened her pajama top futilely. There was no escaping that she looked as if she’d crawled out of bed after a late, late night.
The man stood. “Typically, Adonis has had his walk by now, but I didn’t see you at the elevator, so…”
She squinted one eye and finally her brain chugged into gear.
Oh. Oh.
Oliver had mentioned a dog walker, but Rachel had sworn he said he’d postponed the walks while she was staying here. But since he was here, he may as well take Adonis. She wasn’t anywhere near ready to go for a stroll in the snow.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” She went to where the leash was hanging—on a hook inside the pantry—retrieved it, and chased Adonis for a few irritating seconds while he turned in circles in excitement. “I took him out at three in the morning, so I’m not sure if he’ll have to…you know.” Dog clipped, she handed the leash to the ridiculously good-looking man at her door. “Do you bring your own poop bags? Or do you…” The man was looking at her like she’d sprouted a third eye, so she swept the topic away with one hand. “You know what? I’ll just grab one.”
She shot him a tight smile, went back to the pantry, and returned with a bag made for Adonis’s business. She offered it to the guy, who was holding tight to Adonis’s leash while the pooch lunged for the elevator. The man didn’t budge, despite the dog’s strength.
“Where’s Oliver?” he asked.
She frowned as she crinkled the plastic bag against her body. “You mean he didn’t tell you? He’s on a business trip. I’m housesitting.”
“You his niece?” he asked after running a long gaze down then up to her face again.
She laughed. “No, not at all. He’s one of my regulars. Odd, right? But we hit it off and he likes me, so…”
The man’s frown deepened, those gorgeous eyes darkening to stormy blue. “I’m not the dog walker.” He offered the leash but Adonis stayed in the hallway rather than coming back inside. “I’m an upstairs neighbor.”
“Oh. Oh my God! I’m so sorry!” Rachel took the leash and wrestled with Adonis, who was much, much stronger than she. He knew it. The dog spread his feet wide and stood his ground on the carpeted floor.
“I suggest you find a way to keep him quiet at night while you’re out. I work from home and I can’t listen to him bark for hours.”
Hours?
“If I were anyone else, a noise complaint would be in your future. Oliver follows the rules. He wouldn’t like knowing you’re breaking a big one.” That low voice had dropped lower, the reprimand having the dual result of both pissing her off and making her feel a little tingly.
God. I need more sleep.
“No need to be rude,” she snapped. He blinked, surprised. Probably not used to being put in his place.
Look at him. He’s a wall. Who would stand up to him?
Then she remembered his kind smile, the way his hands rubbed Adonis’s flank with rugged gentleness. A shiver climbed her spine at the same time Adonis jerked hard on the leash.
She expelled a dainty “oh!” and lunged forward at the same time the man in the doorway caught the leash in one hand and her against him. Rachel found every part of her from thighs to breasts plastered to the giant’s body. Her palms flattened over two hard pectoral muscles hidden beneath the sweater, her legs bumping his legs, which felt as solid as two marble columns. She tilted her head, met those aqua blue eyes and…and…remembered she hadn’t brushed her teeth yet.
She shoved off his rock-hard stomach, slapping a palm over her mouth. Then she gave a hard tug to Adonis’s leash, who turned with a sigh and paced back inside. Once he was clear of the door, she sent the hard-bodied hunk at the threshold a glare and slammed the door in his face.
Adonis yipped his disappointment at losing the chance to go outside.
“You’ll have to take him out now!” came a shout through the door. “Don’t blue-ball the poor guy after taking him halfway.”
Adonis wagged his tail so hard, he nearly took out a lamp. The hulk at the door was right. There was no way she could turn down the Dane’s pale eyes and smiling pink mouth, perked pointy ears, and lolling tongue.
“Fine,” she growled and stomped for the bedroom. She snatched up her boots and hastily picked out her clothes, feeling both tired and cranky. Yet as she tugged on her coat, she found her mouth curving into a half-smile.
Blue balls.
Who was that guy?

Top 5 Ways To Frustrate An Alpha Billionaire Bad Boy

In my new release The Billionaire Bachelor, our hero Tag Crane is having one heck of a time getting heroine Rachel Foster to comply. His tried-and-true tricks simply don’t *quite* break down this particular woman’s defenses. Which means Tag shrugs and wanders off to find a new woman to tempt, right…?

WRONG!

You know when an alpha guy finds The One, even if he doesn’t know she’s it for him yet, he digs in and tries, tries, and tries again. Which brings me to the Top 5 ways to frustrate an alpha!

Many of these Rachel does without even trying…

.5. Don’t let him pay your way. Alphas, especially rich ones, love to lavish gifts upon the object of their affection. If you want to frustrate him right down to his expensive shoes, insist on buying your own dinner. In Tag’s case, he won this battle, but it didn’t stop Rachel from arguing. Points: 1

.4. Insist on working. Tag invites Rachel to Hawaii under the guise of consulting on his latest bar upgrade for a Crane hotel on Oahu. But when he gets her there he decides he’d rather play than work… Rachel makes sure she puts in her hours whether he likes it or not. Points: 2… but -1 because she definitely makes time for play!

.3. Resist his advances. Playboy Tag Crane knows his way around a woman—and how to woo one. But whenever his cocky charm makes itself known, Rachel is sure to laugh it off. At one point, she lies and blurts, “I’m not the least bit attracted to… what you have going on.” Points: 3. Well played!

.2. Don’t react the way he expects. When Rachel opens her front door one evening to find Tag standing outside of it, he lays a long, delicious kiss on her lips. When she doesn’t respond by climbing him like a cat on a curtain, Tag is completely confused. He even thinks to himself “SURELY, she liked it?” Throwing him off-kilter comes naturally to our wily heroine. Points: 5

.1. Don’t spell things out for him. Alphas think simply. In The Billionaire Next Door, Rachel uses the phrase “Me-Tarzan, You-Jane” to describe his techniques. The best way to frustrate an alpha? Keep him guessing… You won’t only frustrate him, you’ll fascinate him. And once he’s fallen head over money clip, he’ll come running and fight to win you. Points: 10.

Book Sale: Tempting the Wrong Man (Wrong Man #2) – Kerri Carpenter


 
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TEMPTING MR. WRONG
Wrong Man #2
Kerri Carpenter
Entangled Lovestruck


A little temptation never hurt anyone…
Lance Townsend craves freedom after years living a structured existence in the Army.
But just as he’s about to start on his bucket list, Lance receives an unexpected request: check in on his goddaughter. The problem? The adorable little girl’s aunt is the one woman he’s never been able to forget.
Carly Quigley can’t believe her brother’s best friend, the man who jilted her years ago, is at her door. He claims her brother asked him to check in on her niece and their fixer-upper, but all either of them can focus on is their undeniable attraction. Carly knows Lance is counting down the hours to leave, which makes him the wrong man for her. Unfortunately, the wrong man has become oh-so-tempting.
Each book in the Wrong Man series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.


Kerri Carpenter began writing in her grandmother’s kitchen at the age of seven in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA. A life-long fan of reading, she got lost in the worlds of The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley High. She also assumed that everyone had characters and plots forming in their heads at all times.

Once she turned to romance novels, she couldn’t get enough of books with happy endings, so she started writing her own. Now, Kerri writes contemporary romances, usually set in small towns. She enjoys reading, cooking, watching movies, taking Zumba classes, rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams, and anything sparkly. Kerri lives in Northern Virginia with her adorable (and mischievous) poodle mix, Harry.

Book Sale: Driven to Temptation (Driven to Love #1) – Melia Alexander


 
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DRIVEN TO TEMPTATION
Driven to Love #1
Melia Alexander
Entangled Lovestruck

She’s a gorgeous distraction he can’t afford…or ignore.

Aidan Ross might be an engineering genius, but people skills? Not this soldier’s forte.
Thankfully, a trusted friend is accompanying him to a make-or-break trade show…but then a bubbly redhead hops into his truck, claiming to be his new road trip buddy. She’s a gorgeous distraction he can’t afford. Or ignore.

Delaney Harper comes from a family of engineers—male engineers. With several impressive
projects under her belt, she’s on a mission to prove she can hang with the big boys, too. But cracking the sexy, closed-off CEO is tougher than she expects…and hotter than she could have imagined.

With the tempting woman disrupting his carefully planned schedule, Aidan can’t focus on the road, much less their upcoming presentation. The future of his company is riding on this trip, and if they’re to land a huge account, he has to keep his head—and his heart—in the game…

Excerpt Tempting Mr. Wrong

Excerpt for Driven To Temptation

Melia Alexander is the author of sassy, sexy, fun contemporary romances, but is also fortunate to spend her week days at The Male Observation Lab (a.k.a. her job at a construction company) where she gets to observe guys in their natural habitat. Though they often behave like typical alpha males, in many instances she’s seen through their personas to the heart of who they really are – the heroes of their own stories.

A native of Guam, Melia traded in warm, tropical breezes for the rainy Pacific Northwest. She’s an avid reader who also loves romantic comedies – preferably with a glass of CabSauv and a box of chocolates nearby. In her free time, she’s busy conquering her CrossFit fears: ring dips, muscle snatches, and the dreaded 800 meter run. Her family appreciates her attempts at cooking and cleaning, although she spends it mostly daydreaming about her characters, which sometimes results in a burnt meal and a half-cleaned house.


Preorder & Giveaway: Someone like You (Oxford #3) – Lauren Layne

A man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
Oxford #3
Lauren Layne
Releasing Dec 6th, 2016
Loveswept

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
 
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.
 
After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.


Advance praise for Someone Like You

“Fun and flirty, sassy and steamy, with a deep emotional pull that will keep you turning the pages.”—Kelly Jamieson, author of Top Shelf

“An unsung hero with a story that touched my heart. Emotional and gripping. A top favorite of 2016 for me.”New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland



Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling
author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!


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New Release Giveaway: I See You – Molly McAdams

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Title: I See You
Author: Molly McAdams
Genre: New Adult

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synopsis

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ powerful new novel offers one of the most memorable love triangles in fiction since Twilight—perfect for fans of New Adult fiction like Jamie McGuire, Abbi Glines, and Tamarra Webber.

What if…
Aurora Wilde’s life feels like a series of what ifs, forks in the road, and doors unopened. What if she hadn’t gone to the party that night? What if Jentry Michaels hadn’t captured her interest, or disappeared the next day? What if Declan Veil hadn’t been there to sweep her off her feet?

And as she goes down the list to make her perfect forever, Aurora is happy with her life and a future that seems completely secure. Until, one day, suddenly it’s not. Now she’s stuck between the man who has been there for her and the one she never stopped thinking about.

As the consequences of each of her choices comes to a head, Aurora begins to realize that, sometimes, one tiny decision can ripple through a life and change everything. But when what once felt like a safe and reliable future becomes something else, will Aurora have the courage to make a final decision that could alter the course of her entire life?

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praise

“I’m in awe. This is writing. This is romance.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken.

 

“A powerful, unforgettable romance from the brilliant mind of Molly McAdams. I loved every second of this equally sexy and emotional story. This is one you do not want to miss!” – A.L. Jackson, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author.

 

“Best-selling McAdams (To the Stars, 2016) delivers another devastatingly satisfying page-turner with a love triangle that is sure to please her fans and all devotees of searing contemporary romances.” — Patricia Smith (Booklist)

 

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molly-mcadams

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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Help Molly McAdams celebrate the release of her newest novel, I SEE YOU, as well as her 28th birthday on Tuesday, November 1st! (Okay, okay, fine. Her birthday is technically the next day, but pfft. Details, shmetails. #BirthdayWeek)

List of the amazing authors joining this super fun day
(clearly some will be around for 30 minutes, others for an hour. Times are EST):

12:00p Emma Hart
12:30p Fisher Amelie
1:00p Kelly Elliott
2:00p Nichole Chase
2:30p Courtney Cole
3:00p Molly McAdams
4:00p Jillian Dodd
5:00p Molly E. Lee
5:30p M.E. Carter
6:00p A.L. Jackson
7:00p Tiffany Snow
7:30p Rebecca Shea
8:00p Rachel Van Dyken
8:30p M. Leighton
9:00p Addison Moore
9:30p Erin Noelle

Join the Party

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Enter to win 1 of 3 Paperbacks of I See You

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Excerpt & Giveaway: Tempting Tristan (Harborside Nights Series #3) – Melissa Foster

Looking for your next sexy M/M romance?

TEMPTING TRISTAN
A M/M Contemporary Romance
Harborside Nights #3
Melissa Foster
Releasing Oct 19th, 2016
World Literary Press

Fresh off the heels of yet another bad relationship, Tristan Brewer is taking a break from men to try and figure out where he keeps going wrong. He knows his biggest fault—he leads with his heart, not his head—and that’s never going to change. But after several introspective weeks, he’s beginning to get a handle on things. That is, until badass heartthrob Alex Wells walks into his bar…
Alex has spent eight years in the Army, months in a hospital bed, and far too long hiding his sexual identity. He’s guilt-ridden, damaged, pissed off, and up for a Silver Star—for the incident that nearly cost him his life, and kept him from his grandmother’s funeral. But all he wants to do is forget his stint with the institution that allows but doesn’t necessarily accept, and live the life he’s always dreamed of.

The chemistry between Tristan and Alex ignites from the moment they meet, and the more time they spend together the hotter the flames become. But the closer Tristan gets, the more Alex’s walls go up, and when the two walk onto a military base, Tristan finds out Alex’s physical scars aren’t the ones that run the deepest.
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Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented. 

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Excerpt:

“Can I ask you something? You don’t have to answer.”

Tristan shrugs. “Have at it.”

“Why were you taking a break? I get that your ex was a prick, but is there more to it?”

He looks down the street, across the street, and then his hand cruises through his hair as it has so often that I’ve already come to expect it when he’s nervous.

“Ian was a prick, but the rest is going to make me sound like a pussy,” he admits.

“I’ve only known you a day, and I already know nothing can make you sound like a pussy.”

He meets my gaze, and his jaw tightens. He lifts his chin and I recognize the struggle between feeling proud and worrying about looking weak. I fight that battle on a daily basis.

“I give away my heart too easily, and I end up getting hurt.”

His eyes never leave mine, and that trust, that confidence, is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.

“I was right. Nothing can make you sound like a pussy.” I slide my hand to the hard ridge of his jaw and lean in closer. “I’ve never given my heart away. That makes you braver than me.”

New Release, Excerpt, & Giveaway: To Love and To Cherish (The Wedding Belles #3) – Lauren Layne


After 8 years of waiting…he’s got 1 month to make her his.

TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH

The Wedding Belles #3

Lauren Layne

Releasing Oct 18th, 2016

Pocket Books

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.
Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable…until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

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Don’t Miss Any of the Wedding Belles Novels

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian. In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Excerpt:
“Hello.”
The sexy British accented startled Alexis out of her thoughts, and she glanced up, both alarmed and intrigued to find that the face that awaited her was every bit as appealing as the voice.
The man was about her age—early, maybe mid-twenties—and ridiculously cute. His hair was dark and maybe just a touch too long, as though he intended to get a haircut but kept forgetting. The eyes were brown and friendly, accented by trendy black-framed glasses.
The chunky cable-knit sweater with elbow patches—for real—bordered on dorky, but then, Alexis had always had a soft spot for dorky. He had a bit of the Clark Kent thing going on, which had always been far more her type than the overrated Superman.
“Hi,” she replied quickly, realizing that she’d been staring.
His smile grew wider as he extended a hand. “Logan Harris.”
Darn. Even the name was good.
“Alexis,” she said.
“Does that come with a last name?” he teased, lowering himself to the vacant barstool beside her.
“Not to strange men,” she retorted.
“I could buy you a drink. Get rid of the ‘strange’ part.”
Alexis’s smile slipped as she remembered that romance, even flirting, wasn’t part of her plan. She’d learned the hard way that she could have one or the other—her own business or a boyfriend—not both. And even if she wanted the latter, the latter didn’t want her back.
“No thanks; I’m fine,” she said, letting the slightest amount of chill enter her voice. The ice-princess treatment, Roxanne called it.
Logan shrugged, undeterred. “All right then. May I borrow your menu?”
She nodded, and he picked it up, perusing it for several moments and paying her no attention.
It was both a relief and also a bit of an insult, if she was being entirely honest, to be given up on so easily.
Alexis tried to turn her attention back to her laptop but watched out of the corner of her eye as he finally shut the menu, waiting patiently to catch the bartender’s eye.
“Hi there,” he said, when the bartender ambled back over. “I’d like a Stella, and a maybe bite to eat?”
Alexis didn’t miss the once-over that the bartender gave Logan before the curvy redhead leaned over the bar, displaying perky boobs as she clicked her pen and pulled a notepad out of her back pocket.
“Shoot,” the bartender said flirtatiously, looking a good deal friendlier than she had when she’d spoken to Alexis.
Not that Alexis blamed her. A cute Brit could do that to a girl.
“All right then,” Logan said. “I’d like the burger, medium, with Swiss. Fish and chips, extra tartar, and . . . how’s your chicken club?”
The bartender blinked. “It’s good. But you want all that?”
“I do. Thank you.”
“Suit yourself,” she said, scribbling Logan’s order on the pad.
“Hungry?” Alexis couldn’t resist asking after the bartender moved away.
Logan gave a sheepish smile. “I’m a recovering student. I sometimes get so wrapped up in my day that I forget to eat.”
“A recovering student. What does that mean?”
He turned slightly toward her. “Someone’s showing plenty of interest in a strange man.”
She bit her lip. “I’m sorry if I was rude before. I’m just not really in the market for . . . you know.”
He gave her an easy smile. “Everyone’s in the market for a friend, Alexis.”
She opened her mouth and then shut it as she realized he was right. She could use a friend. She’d spent her entire life in Boston and knew almost nobody in New York. This guy seemed nice and nonthreatening enough—what would be the harm in a little conversation over dinner? It had been too long since she’d had somebody to share a meal with.
Logan seemed to know the moment she capitulated, because he turned more fully toward her. “A recovering student, Alexis, is a recent graduate. One who hasn’t quite absorbed that there will be no more finals, no more requisite all-nighters, and no more dorm sex.”
Alexis laughed. “Undergrad, then?”
He gave her a wry look. “How young do I look, darling? MBA from Columbia. Just finished up end of last year.”
She felt a little stab of relief that he wasn’t twenty-two.
He leaned toward her slightly. “Twenty-five next month, just in case you were wondering. As a friend.”
She tried to hide her smile and failed. “Columbia, huh? You’re a long way from home.”
“Noticed that, did ya?” He winked. “I came out here for undergrad, also Columbia. Always figured I’d go back to London and maybe someday I will, but . . .” He shrugged. “Seems I have stuff to do here first.”
“Such as?” She took a sip of her wine, dismayed to see that it was half-empty.
“Well, this will probably shock you, given my vast amount of brawn, but I’m an accountant. Or at least I will be, once I get my business up and running.”
Alexis was impressed. “Your own business?”
Most twentysomethings, even those with an entrepreneurial bent, opted to get a few years of work under their belts for someone else before branching out on their own.
He nodded. “I’m working out of my flat for now, but I’m hoping to lease some office space soon, get some legitimacy. If nothing else to get my father off my back.”
“He’s not a fan of your plan?” Alexis asked.
Logan’s shoulder lifted, and for the first time he seemed a little sad. “Both parents have had it in their head that I’d come home. Run the family business in London.”
“Which is . . . ?”
He spun his beer glass idly. “Financial consulting firm. My father’s the CEO, Mum’s the COO.”
“Wow, that’s . . .”
“Scary?” Logan supplied.
“I was going to say impressive. That they work together—without killing each other, I mean.”
“They’re in love. It’s atrocious,” he said with a wink. “What about your folks?”
Alexis laughed. “Not in love. They divorced when I was in high school. Dad’s remarried and happy now, I think. Mom not so much.”
“And you?” he said. “Are you happy, Alexis?”
She pursed her lips, surprised and yet not entirely unsettled by the personal question. “It’s been a while since anyone asked me that. Since I even thought about it, really.”
“Think it out. I’ll wait,” he said with a wink.
She didn’t have to think that long. “I’m almost happy.”
“You sound quite confident on that.”
She shrugged. “Let’s just say that I need a few things to fall into place in my professional life, but once that happens . . . yeah. I’ll be happy.”
She’d make sure of it.

New Release Excerpt & Giveaway: Sweetly, Deeply, Absolutely (Sweet Love #3) – Kira Archer

Their fun and games just got extremely complicated.

Title: SWEETLY, DEEPLY, ABSOLUTELY
Series: Sweet Love #3
Author: Kira Archer
Publisher: Entangled Lovestruck

Hello, Mr. Right…for Now.

With a month off from culinary school, Jenny Boyd has some serious party plans. Especially when the hottest guy in the club literally lands in her lap. He’s 6’2” of cocky, sexy, man-candy, and just as commitment-phobic as she is.

She’s definitely off limits…

Graphic designer Jared Crew is shocked when his best friend’s sister-in-law doesn’t remember him right away. Luckily, she is more than willing to let him jog her memory, no complications required.

It’s all fun and games…until the condom breaks.

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Kira Archer resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kiddos, and far too many animals in the house. She tends to laugh at inappropriate moments, break all the rules she gives her kids (but only when they aren’t looking), and would rather be reading a book than doing almost anything else.

She has odd, eclectic tastes in just about everything and often lets her imagination run away with her. She loves her romances a little playful, a lot sexy, and always with a happily ever after.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Excerpt:
Gretchen snorted and looked back at His Royal Gorgeousness. “What is he doing?”
“Juggling?”
Jenny watched, mouth open, as Man-Candy juggled three limes in the air while bending backward, tilting his head enough so that the laughing female bartender could pour a shot directly into his mouth. The crowd gathered around him cheered and he popped back up, still juggling.
“Lime!” he shouted.
The bartender tossed a lime slice into the air and he tried to snatch it with his mouth. And missed. To the disappointment of his groupies.
“Again!” he said.
The bartender grabbed another slice, aimed it carefully, and tossed it in an arc. He staggered backward, keeping the limes in his hands going while he focused on the one falling through the air.
“Incoming,” Gretchen said, getting out of the way of certain disaster as he stumbled toward them, his attention intent on the lime slice.
He caught it in his mouth right as the back of his foot connected with their bench. His limes went flying. And so did he. His butt hit the floor. And his head landed face-up squarely in Jenny’s lap.
She yelped and pressed back against the bench. Little good that did her. She couldn’t really go anywhere with him half-laying on her. Didn’t really want to, if she was honest. He was even hotter closer up. Who was she to turn away a gorgeous man who introduced himself with his face in her lap? That would be rude.
He glanced up, opened his mouth, and smiled, the lime slice wedged firmly between his teeth. His friends cheered again and he held the lime up like a trophy. Then he turned his attention to Jenny.
“Hey, there.” He beamed up at her like she was his new best friend. “Sorry about that. I’m usually a bit more graceful with the party tricks.” He slid off her lap and stood, before holding out a hand to help her up.
“Not a problem,” she said. She glanced at the lime he’d dropped on the table. “That was impressive.”
“Thank you.” He looked her up and down and she shivered as if he’d run his hands over her body. And then she returned the favor, biting her lip as she feasted on the incredible specimen of manhood before her.
He gave her a slow, sensual grin that had her sucking in her breath.
“Interested?” he asked.
Nice line. Short, sexy, and to the point. She approved .“Very. You?”
His eyebrows raised in surprise. Maybe he wasn’t used to women who didn’t play hard to get. Judging by the sudden heat in his eyes, he didn’t mind at all.
“Extremely,” he said. “My place?”
She shook her head. “Dance floor.”
He playfully pouted and it was all she could do to keep from sucking his bottom lip into her mouth.
She laughed. “Sorry. Only dancing tonight.” For now. “Still interested?”
“Definitely,” he said.
He walked backward, keeping his gaze glued to hers while he made his way out to the floor. The crowd parted for him like he was Moses parting the Red Sea.
Jenny took a deep breath to try and calm her frantically pounding heart and leaned over to Gretchen, while still keeping her focus on him.
“Don’t wait up for me.”
Gretchen laughed. “Sorry. If things look like they are getting out of hand, I’m going to come drag you away. If you don’t come home tonight, Rick is going to have a total shit fit. He’ll have half the Hoboken PD out looking for you.”
Jenny’s sigh was full of fondness mixed in with exasperation. She loved Rick, but having a big brother who was a cop took the protective thing to a whole new level.
“You’ve got a point. I’ll try and rein it in, but you might seriously have to come pull me off the dance floor.”
“You really think your self control is that bad?”
“I know it is.” Jenny set her drink down. “He’s hot and I’m bothered and that’s a recipe for disaster. Well, it’s actually a recipe for some insanely hot sex. But I guess having my big brother come kick down the door would sort of put a damper on the mood. And Rick was very specific about me making it back home tonight. Ugh. Fine. I’ll try and keep it in my pants, if I must.”
“You must,” Gretchen said with a wink, heading off to do a little dancing of her own.

Review: Magnate (The Knickerbocker Club #1) – Joanna Shupe

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New York City’s Gilded Age shimmers with unimaginable wealth and glittering power. The men of the Knickerbocker Club know this more than anyone else. But for one millionaire, the business of love is not what he expected…

Born in the slums of Five Points, Emmett Cavanaugh climbed his way to the top of a booming steel empire and now holds court in an opulent Fifth Avenue mansion. His rise in stations, however, has done little to elevate his taste in women. He loathes the city’s “high society” types, but a rebellious and beautiful blue-blood just might change all that.

Elizabeth Sloane’s mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York’s most accomplished brokers—but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they’ll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor…

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Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.

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ANGIE’S REVIEW: Though each book can be read as a stand-alone, I encourage readers to read them in order (starting with the prequel first) so that they can understand the male leads in each book.

I love Ms. Shupe’s female leads as they’re strong, independent women. Elizabeth knows what she wants and will do anything she can in her power to obtain her goal: to run her own investment firm in an era where well-bred ladies didn’t do more than look pretty, marry well, and attend all the right parties to be seen with all the right people.

How boring.

Emmett Cavanaugh is probably my absolute favorite male lead characters in this series so far. He is strong, determined, caring, protective of his siblings, and is ruthless. Sometimes brutally so. He takes a chance on Lizzie’s venture when no one else will, her brother and pedigree be damned.

If there is something negative I could say about this book, it’s that the trust issues, misconstrued situations, and over the top stubbornness started to get repetitive and somewhat boring. I can understand some of them, but overall, they were not all necessary and made the last 20% of the book kind of dull for me as I skimmed the pages before swiping them across my kindle.

Ms. Shupe’s characters are well developed, the theme believable, and the writing flows seamlessly. I look forward to reading more of her books.

Please note: This book contains strong language and graphic love scenes. I didn’t find swiping past them to take away from the novel at all.

Recommended for ages 21+

RATING: ***

New Release: Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway – Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) – Joanna Shupe


One pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune . . .
 

 

New York City’s Gilded Age shines as bright as the power-wielding men of the Knickerbocker Club. And one pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune . . .

Born into one of New York’s most respected families, William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city’s highest echelons of society, he’s now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract him from his next pursuit—except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never saw coming . . .

Ava Jones has eked out a living the only way she knows how. As “Madame Zolikoff,” she hoodwinks gullible audiences into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life—and lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce thevhandsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his campaign—unless he’s the one who’s already put a spell on her . . .

 

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EXCERPT:

William Sloane did not believe in the ability to commune with the spirit world. Hell, he didn’t even believe there was a spirit world.

Yet here he sat, inside a ramshackle theater in the Tenderloin district, watching this audacious spectacle. Madam Zolikoff, she called herself. The mystifying medium who could commune with spirits and perform extraordinary feats. The woman was the worst actress he’d ever seen—and Will had seen plenty.

Eyes closed, she swayed and waved her hands, all while chanting. The man across from her, one she’d pulled up onstage, stared, enthralled, as Madam attempted to speak to his dead mother. The electric lights overhead flickered, and the audience tittered.

“Ah! I think we are close!” she announced loudly in an appalling Russian accent.
Will nearly rolled his eyes. Was anyone really buying this charade?

Shifting in his uncomfortable seat, he took in the meager audience. About twenty men and women, all average-looking, a far cry from the extravagant crowd he usually associated with. No diamond tiaras or ostrich feathers here, just derby hats and plain bonnets. But every pair of eyes was trained on the young woman working the stage.

She was attractive, he supposed, if one preferred liars and cheats, which he most definitely did not. Still, her pale blond hair showed off her striking light brown eyes. Straight, delicate nose. High cheekbones. Arching brows. Full lips painted a scandalous red.

He liked those lips. Quite a lot, in fact. If he were dead, those lips alone might bring him back.

“I hear her!” A steady rapping reverberated around the room. An accomplice, no doubt, yet the audience gasped.

“Mr. Fox, your mother is here with us now. What would you like to ask her?”

The man onstage asked simple questions for the next fifteen minutes, with Madam Zolikoff “interpreting” the dead mother’s answers. Will absently rubbed his stomach, anger burning over this performance, that she would take advantage of someone’s grief in such a profoundly fraudulent way. When Will’s own mother had died, he’d fervently wished for something—anything—to bring her back. Nothing had, however, and he’d been left in a cold house with an even colder man.

Madam Zolikoff prattled on, regaining his attention. Had this woman no shame? No empathy for the heartbreak that went along with losing a loved one? For the first time since he sat down, he looked forward to the confrontation with her.

He planned to shut the medium down. Run her out of Manhattan, if necessary, because she was standing in the way of something greater, a different sort of power than he possessed now, but one of greater import. A power he would not fall short of achieving.

John Bennett, a former New York State senator and current gubernatorial candidate, had asked Will to partner on the ticket as lieutenant governor. It was something Will’s father had always wanted, to wield political influence, yet he’d died before his political career could take wing. Now Will would be the Sloane achieving that goal—and dancing on his father’s grave after he and Bennett won.

But John Bennett had a weakness, one by the name of Madam Zolikoff. Seemed the madam had dug her hooks into Bennett, and the candidate would not listen to reason regarding the dangers this presented. But Will wasn’t about to allow her to jeopardize Bennett’s political career—or his own. They could not afford a scandal six months before the election.
When the performance finally ended, Will didn’t bother clapping or stamping his feet like the other patrons. He rose, turned on his heel, and headed straight for the door he’d learned would take him backstage.

No one stopped him. More than a few curious glances were thrown his way and he tugged his derby lower to obscure his face. He’d run Northeast Railroad for the last thirteen years and came from one of the most prominent families in New York. The name Sloane was as well known as Astor, Stuyvesant, and Van Rensselaer. Consequently, Will had never shied from public attention, but he’d rather not be recognized here.

For several minutes, he cut through the long hallways in the bowels of the theater. Now at the door to her dressing room, he knocked. A slide of a lock and then the door opened to reveal a brunette woman in a black shirtwaist and skirt, the same costume she’d worn on stage. Her lips were still painted a deep red. He inclined his head ever so slightly. “Madam Zolikoff.”
“Come in, please.” Her voice was deep and husky, a sultry tone more suited to a bedroom than a stage. Thankfully, there was no trace of that ludicrous Russian accent she’d used in front of the crowd. Perhaps this conversation would not be as difficult as he’d feared.
She stepped aside. “I’ve been expecting you, Mr. Sloane.”

No surprise she knew his face, but had she noticed him in the audience? Three steps brought him inside her dressing room, if one could call a space no bigger than a cupboard a “room.” Not enough square footage existed here to allow for more than the small table and chair already in place. A mirror hung on the wall above the table, and a blond wig rested on a stand atop said table. With nowhere to go, he folded his hands behind his back.

She glided around him and lowered into the sole chair, facing away from him, and reached for a cloth. He watched in the mirror as she slowly swiped the cloth over her mouth to remove the lip color. She didn’t rush and Will had plenty of time to study her mouth. He highly suspected the display another type of performance, one designed to throw him off balance.

“Is there another name I may call you, other than your stage name?”

“No.”

“I feel ridiculous calling you Madam Zolikoff.”

“That is your problem, not mine.” Finished with her cloth, she dropped the scrap to the table and caught his gaze in the mirror. “We are not friends, Mr. Sloane, so let’s not pretend otherwise. I know why you are here.”

“Is that so?” He hadn’t expected her to be so forthright. In his mind, she’d been meek and frightened, concerned over the unpleasantness a man in his position could bring down on a woman in her position. But this woman seemed neither meek nor frightened. “And why am I here?”
“You want to scare me away from John. Get him away from my evil clutches.” She wriggled her fingers menacingly on this last sentence. “How’s that?”

“Good. This saves us both time. Now you may agree to never see Bennett again, stop bilking him out of hundreds of dollars, and stay out of his life forever.”

“Bilking him?” Her lip curled, drawing Will’s attention back to her mouth, damn it. “I’ve got news for you, mugwump, I’ve earned every dollar providing services to your friend—and not those kind of services, either. John and I are strictly business.”

Will smirked. He’d never met an unmarried man and woman who spent hours together with money exchanged who were “strictly business.” “Miss whomever you are, I don’t care what kind of lies you’re shoveling out there to audiences, but I’m not some rube fresh off the farm. I know what you’re about, and all of it stinks.”

“Oh, indeed? So what am I about, then?”

“Blackmail. And if he doesn’t pay, you’ll take whatever personal details you’ve learned about him to the papers and turn him into a laughingstock. I will not let that happen.”

She rose, and, because of the tight space, this put her close enough to where he could see the hazel flecks in her brown eyes. Were those freckles on her nose? “I don’t care who you are or what you think of me. If you think I’m going to let some stuffed, pompous railroad man scare me away from my best client, you are dead wrong.”

Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.

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ANGIE’S REVIEW: It is my suggestion that readers should begin with the novella, Tycoon, followed by Magnate, before reading Baron.

Having met William Sloane in Magnate, I find him a pompous jackass in need of a serious attitude adjustment. He has lied to his sister nearly all of her life in regards to their parents and has to micromanage EVERYTHING.

EVERY.THING.

I despised him for 98% of the book as he just…he clung to the past and focused almost solely on trying to prove a dead man wrong. He cared too much about societal properties and what would keep him “pure” in the public’s eye.

Yet, it was clear nearly from the beginning that he liked Ava, no matter that he found her a con woman. And I have to say that I did admire that he stood by his principles no matter how skewed and old-fashioned I (and his brother in law) think they are.

I absolutely adore Ava. She was left to raise her three siblings alone and desperately wanted to get them out of NYC and move them Upstate so that they could have a better life, farm, and breathe fresh air. She often went without so that they could have clothes, food, and a nice three room apartment in a boardinghouse in a nicer section of the City. She saved every penny she could to make her dream come true, even if the oldest of her siblings didn’t share the same goal as her.

The attraction between Ava and William was fascinating as they both tried to fight it, but eventually gave in. The supporting cast of characters were a mix of likable characters from the first two books, and some rather nasty thugs who showed up at random times trying to intimidate Ava.

Typically I do not read steamy novels, but I was drawn to the description and had to know how the story unfolded. I found myself unable to put my kindle down and read it all hours of the day and night to see how things would play out.

I especially loved the inclusion of cities such as Albany, NY and Saratoga, NY as I just moved from that region after 40.5 years to live in Pennsylvania to be near family.

Again, I highly recommend reading the novella and first book before reading this as you’ll need to be able to follow the powerful men that meet in secret at the Club.

DISCLAIMER: I requested a review copy from the author in exchange for my participation in a review tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

PLEASE NOTE: There is strong language and several sexual situations in this novel. While I was comfortable swiping past them, others may not want to. Skipping the love scenes does not detract from the story at all in my opinion.

ANGIE’S RATING: ****

New Release: Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway – Of Flame & Light (A Weird Girls Novel) – Cecy Robson


 


 


 
Taran Wird holds the unique ability to conjure fire and lightening. She is mated to Gemini, Second in Command to the Squaw Valley Pack of the Lake Tahoe Region, and the sole werewolf to possess the ability to split into two wolves. And although they are mates, Taran’s insecurities have driven them apart.

Devastated by an injury that left her with a zombie-like limb, Taran struggles to regain command over her magic. But when her arm and her power turn against her, lashing out on those she most loves, she knows she can no longer carry this burden alone. Not that she likes the alternative.

The only way to regain control of her magic is to align and learn from the local coven of witches―the very ones who sought to banish her when she and her three unique sisters first moved to the mystical region. But although Taran is trying, the teachings don’t come easy, and the tasks leave her weak and emotionally shattered.

Yet Taran must learn and learn fast.

Time is running out. The fire she once mastered so easily has become her greatest adversary and is now slowly burning her alive …
 
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Excerpt:
My focus drifts to my sisters. “Do what you have to and stay safe. Don’t worry about me.”
It’s a stupid thing to say. Of course they’ll worry. For once in our lives I’m the one who needs coddling. Not that I don’t absolutely hate it.

My hiking boots press into the ground as we move away from the road. They’re not what I count as cute shoes. But since my cute clothes tend to end up covered with blood and smelly supernatural fluids, here I am in jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and vest, and yeah, the hiking boots.

Bren leaps over a thick section of brush, landing smoothly as I try to figure out the closest way in. “It’s clear,” he says. “Come on.”

He means the first few feet are clear. I can’t see jack over these thick brambles. I look hopelessly to Emme, wishing I didn’t have to. She regards me almost apologetically, realizing what I’m asking her to do.

Emme is good at a lot of things: baking, scrapbooking, and keeping up on all our collective bills. But her aim sucks. So when she throws me over the brush with her force, it takes all I have not to scream. Thankfully Bren is good at catching, no matter how bad the throw.

“Christ,” I mutter as he eases me down.

Shayna inherited a bit of were from Koda’s essence. And while she’ll never heal or run as fast as a were, he gave her enough agility to clear the thick brambles without Emme’s help.

Poor Emme. Her aim isn’t any better on herself. Bren has to “go long” to keep her from slamming into a tree when she launches herself forward.

Shayna and I jog ahead to where Bren is lowering Emme to the ground. He kisses her cheek, a show of affection he often demonstrates to us, but this time she doesn’t welcome it like she once did. She meets his eyes, backing away slowly, as if she’s afraid to step too close. Bren frowns, speaking low. Emme answers with a nod, but again steps further away from him.

Shayna doesn’t seem to notice, skipping across the rugged terrain as if we’re out for a stroll and not walking into some evil crap we may have to kill before it rips us apart. But I notice. Something is definitely up with Emme. I stiffen when he strokes her cheek. And son of a bitch, it may have to do with Bren!

Cecy Robson is an award-winning author of magical realms, to-die-for Alpha heroes, and young adult adventure. A double RITA® 2016 finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, and published author of more than fifteen titles, you can typically find her on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

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AMANDA’S REVIEW:Of Flame and Light” is the seventh novel in Cecy Robson’s series The Weird Girls. The book focuses on one of the sisters, Taran, who has the ability to conjure fire and lightning; however, she has the small issue of a zombie-like arm that’s unpredictable and well, her power is trying to eat her alive.

I will admit that I was a bit lost when I first started reading this book as I hadn’t read the other six books before starting this one; however, it didn’t take me long to catch up with who was who.

Taran is a unique character. She’s headstrong and stubborn. She has a mouth on her. She’s struggling. And yet you feel sorry for her, you sympathize with her as she swallows her pride to ask for help from a coven of witches who tried to banish her and her sisters when they first arrived. She’s angry, she’s bitter, she’s hurting. And you feel all of these things with her as you follow along with her story.

It was easy to connect with Taran, easy to watch her grow as her story unfolds.

The storyline flowed well and drew me in so much that I had trouble putting the book down. The journey had it’s ups and downs, there was action, emotion, laughter and tears.

I’ll definitely be checking out the other books as I’m curious about the other characters.

DISCLAIMER: I requested an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Of Flame & Light so that I could participate in the review tour through Tasty Book Tours. All opinions are my own.

AMANDA’S RATING: ****

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New Release: Review | Excerpt | Giveaway – The Right Kind of Guy (What Happens In Vegas) – Kerri-Leigh Grady

Love is a Gamble…
 


 
Romance novelist Kelsey Spencer doesn’t believe in love, and she’s tired of faking her way through happily ever afters. Determined to change things up, she heads to the Las Vegas Romance Lovers Convention. But somewhere between half-naked cover models and hot Navy SEALs, Kelsey’s plans derail…

Especially once she meets über-fan Jasmine Grant…and Jasmine’s über-hot alphahole brother, Aaron.

Buttoned-up Aaron Grant never thought he’d find himself at a romance convention, but here he is, trying to convince his impulsive sister not to marry a beefcake cover model. His only hope is to enlist the aid of the cynical (and sexy) romance writer his sister worships.

After a sweltering jaunt around Vegas, some strange conference hijinks, and one outrageous proposal, Kelsey and Aaron are left questioning everything they know
about romance and love…and if falling in love might just be worth the gamble.

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Excerpt:

“You’re right,” she said, and a weight lifted off her shoulders. “You’re right. So…are you going to her wedding?”

He nodded and gave her a half-smile. “Would you like to be my date?”

She laughed. “I don’t know. I might not be here for the festivities.”

He nodded and pulled his arm away, but for a second, she thought she saw disappointment flicker over his features, and she shivered.

When the bartender delivered the fresh beer, Kelsey slid off the stool with her half-finished mojito and lifted her chin toward the casino. “Sir, would you like an escort to the ball?” She offered her elbow, and he took it.

He deepened his voice to a bass. “I’d be much obliged, miss.”

They walked through the casino and took the escalator to the ballroom level. And when she turned to look at him, she warmed to find him staring at her.

“That dress is a pleasant surprise,” he said. They made way for two drunk women, their arms intertwined, to dash past, giggling and failing miserably to hide a bottle of vodka in their skirts.

“How so?” She fingered the expensive fabric—Deena’s consignment shopping was apparently a little more highbrow in New York than what Kelsey had found in San Antonio— and wondered if it looked too expensive for a nobody author like her.

“The color is perfect, but I like how it fits.” He smiled. “You don’t look like an author tonight. You look like royalty.”

She warmed and turned her head, thrilled by his words. But they were a reminder, too. Tonight, she was playing a part, wearing a dress that looked nicer than anything she could afford, and at midnight, she’d have to pick up her pumpkin and mice and find her way back to her desk to whip out more books. And Aaron would return home to rule his father’s kingdom.


 

 

Kerri-Leigh Grady firmly believes every solid relationship is built on laughter. And sometimes vodka. She holds an MFA from Seton Hill University and a BS in computer science, so she’s a kind of half-artsy, half-nerdy ball of nervous twitching. She has an unnatural love of dark humor, gadgets, chickpeas, BJJ, terrible acrylic landscape painting, half-assed jewelry design, Perl programming (get off her lawn, haters), Red Sonja (done Gail Simone-style), and planners. This week, she lives in Hawaii. Go ahead–cry tears of pity for her. She’ll wait.

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Angie’s Review:

CONS: Right off the bat I’m going to say that if you are easily offended by profanity you will not want to read this book. If you are a person of faith, you’re not going to want to read this book. Within the first several pages one particular word was used multiple times when other words could have been used.

Kelsey? What a cynical spitfire she is. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, unless it comes to her books. She lets her agent push her around and is commandeered by an overly exuberant fangirl whose brother is kind of a jackass.

And by kind of I mean he is seriously a jackass.

Jasmine will leave you breathless, but also wonder if she has magical powers and can turn up anywhere without anyone noticing and start conversing as if she’d been there all along.

I found the writing to be juvenile at times, but Ms. Grady does build a credible story wrapped around a chaotic setting. As someone who has attended a romance convention in Las Vegas (as both an author assistant and reviewer), what happens in this book is something that definitely can and has happened. There’s a reason why they say that whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

If you’ve ever wanted to attend a romance convention and see what the hype is about from both an author’s point of view and through a fan’s, you’re going to love this book. In fact, The Right Kind of Guy is unique as far as settings go because I’ve never read one that centers around an important event in any author’s career; being surrounded by adoring readers (who sometimes are a bit too excited and may lead an author to wonder if she needs to call security), other authors to converse and discuss the ever changing market with, and sell a lot of books.

Rating: ***

Disclaimer: I requested an advanced reader copy for review & blog tour purposes. All opinions are my own.

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