Meant to be Mine ( Guilty Pleasures #1) by Lisa Marie Perry-Review & Book Tour

Meant to be Mine (Guilty Pleasures #1) by Lisa Perry-Review & Book Tour

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MEANT TO BE MINE
Guilty Pleasures #1
by Lisa Marie Perry
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance

Meant to be Mine

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About the book: August 30, 2016

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Sofia Mercer may have been sick as a teen, but she’s no delicate flower. And she’s proven it by making it on her own and starting a new life away from the town that turned against her, away from the boy who broke her already fragile heart. But when her aunt Luz dies unexpectedly, leaving Sofia with a mountain of regrets and the keys to a quirky boutique, Sofia has no choice but to return to Cape Cod. Only, this new life in her old town comes with complications.

Burke Wolf was Sofia’s first love—a relationship that burned bright and went up in flames. Seeing him again, Sofia can’t help but get caught up in that all-too-familiar tornado of passion and pain. He’s battled his own demons—that much is clear. But Sofia can’t afford to be careless with her heart . . . and loving Burke again might just break it completely.

Review:

Meant to be Mine begins with Sofia attending her Aunt Luz’s funeral. It had been years since Sofia had ventured back to Eaves, a place that she’d once called home until a scandal involving her father had broken which lead to her leaving the small town. She never thought she’d look back, until her aunt’s funeral. Once she and her best friend, Joss, arrived for the funeral, old feelings cropped up. Not only had she left Eaves and her aunt behind, she’d also left Burke Wolf behind….resident bad boy and breaker of her heart. A heart that had been fragile at best and, ultimately, landed her on a transplant list. Sofia received her new heart several years ago, but still has a few issues that she’s dealing with.

Once the funeral is over, she and Joss try to make their way back to the cottage they’d rented for their short stay, only to be approached by a stranger. A stranger who just happens to be her aunt’s attorney and her lover. He unceremoniously tells her that she’s inherited everything, including Tish, her aunt’s beloved Siberian Husky, which he hands to her and tells her to come by his office so they can go over the details. Floored, Sofia and Joss head out and stop by a convenience store, only to run into none other than Burke Wolf. Neither is prepared for the feelings that assail each of them, so things get off to a rocky start to say the least. What transpires is a story that will touch you in more ways than one……

Meant to be Mine has all of the earmarks of a good romance: A lead couple that have faced down their demons, a supporting cast of characters that make you want to hit someone and laugh out loud all at the same time and secrets, BIG SECRETS, coming out that make you say………what?!?! I liked Sofia. She has made a life for herself, despite having loser parents and despite having to have had a heart transplant. She never felt sorry for herself and is fiercely loyal. I liked Burke as well, although he took a little bit to warm up to. He had demons abound that he’s fought all of his life, one of which was completely unknown to anyone but him. He is loyal to his friends and is always the first to help out, even though he grumbles about it. The supporting characters were intriguing, maybe even more so that Sofia and Burke. There is A LOT happening in this book, as is usually the case for a first in a series, but the writing felt stilted at times. Some things felt like they came out of left field, especially after seeing an excerpt from the next book in the series. I’m hoping I misunderstood and am intending to go back and read it again, just to make sure. However, let me say this: I liked this book and I feel that the series has a lot of potential. As I said earlier, the supporting characters are intriguing and I am all in for the next installment.

Copy supplied by the publisher

Reviewed by Vickie M

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Excerpt

Excerpted from MEANT TO BE MINE by Lisa Marie Perry. Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marie Perry. Used with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

She hid her scar behind her clothes, hid her sexual hunger behind mannequins in a window, but eventually, he would bring Sofia Mercer out of hiding.
Their lips parted and he traced a finger between her breasts, up the jagged trail of thick, knotted scar tissue. He wanted to see it, assure her it wasn’t ugly, but he’d given his word that he wouldn’t look, and he would kick his own ass before he violated that trust.
“It doesn’t feel ugly,” he said plainly. “I’ve got scars, too.”
“From fighting. This is different.”
What had she been imagining, all these years? Schoolyard brawls? A teenage fight club? Did she define him as someone so out of control that he’d gone searching for split lips, black eyes, and fractured ribs?
Yeah, it was different. Her scar was a result of a lifesaving medical procedure . . . not violence.
Laying his hand flat, he felt her heart pound quick and strong. Caught up in the moment, caught up in her, he whispered, “Losing you would’ve killed me.”
He felt her slip away from him before she moved a single muscle. When she did retreat, sliding off his lap, fixing her clothes, and raking an arm across her mouth, she said, “I told Abram we weren’t together. Was that a lie? Can we be together, Burke?”
“Casually, yeah. As friends, of course. But don’t rope me into more. It wouldn’t be good for you.”
“That’s not your call.”
“It is, though. Tell me something and be truthful about it. How many panic attacks have you had since coming back to town?”
“A few.”
“Uh-huh. And how many came on when I wasn’t near you?”
“Uh . . .”
“Sofia.”
“None.”
“That’s my point. Think it’s a coincidence that your health teeters when I’m around? I’m harmful to you. I’ve known for a long time that I’m no good.” She didn’t know all the hell he carried. He’d do anything to spare her heart the burden of his skeletons.
“Stop it,” she whispered, getting to her feet. “You’d never hurt me.”
“Not intentionally, but the fact is I trigger something in you that you can’t physically handle. I meant what I said earlier—it would kill me to lose you. As much as I want you, and damn it, you know I do, I can’t keep putting you at risk.”
“Are you sure my health isn’t your excuse to justify walking away?” she challenged. “Hold me off, resist what’s good and real and permanent, then take off on your boat. That’s your plan, right?”
“It’s worked out nicely for years. You wouldn’t be the first woman to step back because she can’t handle my career. It’s dangerous, the hours can be shitty, and sometimes I can be on the water for weeks. I’d never ask you or anyone else to shut up and like it. If you want to bail now, I won’t hold it against you.”
“That does terrify me, but I’m not bailing. A career is one thing. Escape is something else altogether. I don’t think I can love you halfway—either I’m all in or I fold.”

 

 

about the author

Lisa Marie PerryLisa Marie Perry encounters difficult fictional men and women on a daily basis. She writes sizzling, deep fiction featuring flawed heroes brought to their knees by the love of complicated women. She has received high praise from USA Today and has been nominated for an RT Book Reviews literary award. She lives in America’s heartland, drives a truck, enjoys indie rock, collects Medieval literature, watches too many comedies, has a not-so-secret love for lace and adores rugged men with a little bit of nerd.
For laughs, randomness and occasional inappropriateness, visit LMP at www.perrytalebooks.com.

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With Every Breath (Slow Burn #4) by Maya Banks-Review and Giveaway

With Every Breath (Slow Burn #4) by Maya Banks-Review and Giveaway

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WITH EVERY BREATH
Slow Burn #4
by Maya Banks
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance

With Every Breath

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About the book: Release Date August 23, 2016

Eliza Cummings fought free of a monster who terrorized her when she was an innocent teenager and helped put him away for good. She took a job with Devereaux Security Services and devoted every hour to taking down the very thing she’d nearly become. No one, not even those closest to her, know her darkest, shameful secrets. But now the killer has been set free on a legal loophole and it’s only a matter of time before he comes for her. Eliza’s only choice is to run and lead the monster away from the people she loves.

Wade Sterling has always lived by his own rules, a law unto himself who answers to no one. He’s never professed to be a good man, and he’s definitely not hero material. Wade never allows anyone close enough to see the man behind the impenetrable mask—but one woman threatens his carefully leashed control. He took a bullet for her and the result was more than a piece of metal entrenched in his skin. She was under his skin and nothing he did rid himself of the woman with the courage of a warrior and who thinks nothing of putting her life before others.

But when Wade sees a panicked and haunted Eliza he knows something is very wrong, because the fool woman has never had been afraid of anything. And when she tries to run, the primal beast barely lurking beneath his deceptively polished façade erupts in a rage. She may not know it, but she belongs to him. This time, Eliza isn’t going to play the protector. She was damn well going to be the protected. And as long as Wade breathes, no one will ever hurt what is his.

Review:

With Every Breath begins with Eliza learning her worst nightmare was coming true…. The man whom she had trusted like no other, only to find out he was the devil incarnate, was being released from prison in just three short weeks. She immediately began planning how she would end him once and for all, seeking vengeance for of his victims. One thing she was sure of: she had to lead him away from those she now considered family and loved with all of her heart. Because, once he was released from prison, he would come for her. Obsession was a fickle thing……

Over the next several days, as her plan started coming together, she dreaded telling her DSS boss, Dane, that she was taking some vacation. Dane was not only her boss, but her best friend, and she knew she had to be spot on to convince him she just needed some down time to recuperate after being almost killed a couple of months before (in a previous book). What she didn’t tell Dane was that she wasn’t intending on coming back, that she intended to die right along with the devil himself. As Dane sat there listening to Eliza’s story, he told her she could take all of the time she needed and to please check in. However, as she leaves the building to set her plan in motion, Dane immediately calls the one person who seemed to care for Eliza almost much as him: Wade Sterling. Sure, Eliza acted as if she couldn’t stand Sterling, but Dane knew that Sterling would move heaven and earth to keep her safe, because, oh yeah, he’d taken a bullet for her. Eliza would be dead today if he hadn’t. Turns out that Dane didn’t believe a word she said about needing to recuperate. Thank goodness!

When Sterling approaches Eliza as she’s loading her car to leave town, she’s stunned to see him there. And, even more stunned when he acts as if he actually cares. Determined not to get distracted from her mission, she tells him to get a life and leaves. What she doesn’t know about Wade Sterling is that he’s not about to let harm come to her again. He has far reaching resources and will use everything at his disposal to ensure that she’s okay. Once he tracks her down and learns exactly what she’s running from, his feelings for her deepen even more as do hers for him. What transpires is a story that will leave you turning the pages faster and faster…..

With Every Breath is a wonderfully written addition to the Slow Burn series. I knew these two would have a scorching chemistry and Banks did not disappoint. Eliza was a great character: strong, independent, but most of all, loyal. Even though her view on her being responsible for the torture and murder of those women was skewed, I had to remember that she was 16 when it happened and it just continued to haunt her for ten long years. I’m sure I’d be a little skewed as well. Wade Sterling was even better than I thought he would be. Even though he had the same attributes as Eliza, it was his vulnerability that shone through for me. There was just something about him that grabbed my heart. The two of them together was spectacular. I’ve been a fan of Maya Banks for years, and have read everything she’s ever written. Even though this isn’t my favorite series by her, this is one of my favorite books. This is a story ultimately about finally standing up to your past so that you can face your future. If you’re looking for a romance that steams up the pages and has lots of awesome characters, along with some paranormal aspects, you will never go wrong with this series. Well done, Maya Banks! Very, very well done!

Copy supplied by the publisher through Edelweiss

Reviewed by Vickie M

About The Author

Follow Maya: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Maya BanksMy name is Maya Banks and I live in Texas with my husband and three children and our assortment of pets.

When I’m not writing, I love to hunt and fish with my family. We all love the outdoors and go on family hunting trips every year. We also love to travel. One of our more recent trips was to Scotland, which was every bit as comical as National Lampoon’s European Vacation. You know the part about “Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament” as they went round and round the roundabouts? Yeah, that was us, only we couldn’t even get out of the airport in Glasgow without hitting three of those suckers.

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of a writing career is getting to meet so many wonderful readers. There’s nothing better than dishing books with someone who loves the romance genre as much as I do. Romance readers are passionate and vocal. We love our books, love our happily ever afters, and we love to spend time talking to others about our favorites. THIS is why I love my job so much, and I’m so grateful to readers who gave ME a chance when I began my career. So thank you.

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Maya Banks’s publisher is offering an ecopy of WITH VERY BREATH to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne – Review & Giveaway

For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne – Review & Giveaway

 

 

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For Better or WorseAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

 

 

Review:

For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne is the 2nd  book in her wonderful Wedding Belles series.  I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and couldn’t wait to read this one.  Lauren Layne has proved herself to be a wonderful fun storyteller, creating another fabulous story; I loved For Better or Worse.

Heather Fowler, our heroine, loves her job as an assistant wedding planner.  Her dream is to be promoted to a wedding planner for the Wedding Belles firm, which she was determined to prove herself.  Though Brooke joined the firm as a wedding planner not too long ago, Heather wasn’t worried, as she knew Brook was great, and a new friend.  Then the chance she has been waiting for falls into her lap.  Both Alexis, the boss, and Brooke convinced Heather that this new job was perfect for her.  But the famous and wealthy bride, makes matters difficult putting pressure on Heather to create this wedding in 3 months time, an impossible task, especially with no help from the bride on decision matters.

Heather just recently moved to a luxury condo and after a few nights of not being able to sleep due to the neighbor’s late night music.  Finally, she knocks on the neighbor’s door to complain, and to her surprise she finds a hot sexy musician smiling at her.  Once Heather has control of her lust for this stranger, she yells at him to keep the music down in the middle of the night.  Turns out he practices with his band.   The fun part begins, as Josh, her neighbor and our hero, constantly flirts with her and the banter between her sarcasm and his sexual comments were pretty funny.   What follows is a friendship that at times borders on dislike and annoyance, especially on Heather side when Josh continues his sexual bantering.  While both begin to enjoy each other’s company, the heat rises between them, even when they are fighting amongst each other.  Finally, after both agree that nothing serious will come of this relationship; they succumb to their lustful feelings.

I really loved Josh and Heather together, as they were one hot steamy couple.   In the midst of their affair, Heather goes all out to try to bring this wedding to perfection.  But slowly trouble arises in paradise, as Heather knows Josh is holding some kind of secret, which he refuses to discuss.  He is also not happy with his band, and yearns to do something else, but again he will not talk about it.  They both know that their relationship is turning to love, and Heather will not push Josh; as she is content for now to be with him. 

Just when the wedding planning is going well, everything will blow up; and at the same time Josh will be forced to tell Heather the truth about the issues of his past that he refuses to discuss. Will Josh stay with Heather or will he push her away?   Will Heather forgive Josh once all is known?

The final few chapters were very emotional for both Heather and Josh.  All of the family and friends were there for each of them in what was a trying time, that kept us glued to our seat.  So very well written by Layne.

This was a fun enjoyable sexy story that I refused to put down.  Both Heather and Josh were a great fun couple.  Brooke and Alexis were terrific friends and coworkers, and I love the Wedding Belles firm. I thought Lauren Layne couldn’t do better than the first book, To Have and To Hold: but For Better or Worse was equally good or even better.  If you enjoy romance, fun sexy couple, friendship, family, and laugh out loud moments, then you need to be reading this series. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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Lauren Layne
Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sex, Love, and Stiletto contemporary romances and the all-new Pocket Books series The Wedding Belles. She lives in New York with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. Visit laurenlayne.com, meet the author on Facebook at LaurenLayneAuthor, or follow her on Twitter @_LaurenLayne.

 

 

 

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BOUQUET GIVEAWAY:

We are excited to do a Wedding Belles Bouquet Giveaway to celebrate the publication of the second in the series, For Better or Worse.
The Wedding Belles Bouquet will include To Have and to Hold (7/26), For Better or Worse (8/30), and To Love and to Cherish (10/18). You can visit all sites on the Bouquet Giveaway Tour to enter to win the Wedding Belles Bouquets “but keep in mind you can only win once! U.S. only. Each winner will receive one copy of each book during the week of its publication date.

1. If you have not previously registered, please register using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging in, please refresh the page at the top of your computer.

2. If you are using a social log-in such as Twitter or Facebook, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE Lauren Layne  on Facebook

4. Giveaway open US only

5. Giveaway runs from August 29 to September 3, 2016

 

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Sunday, August 28th

 

Monday, August 29th

 

Tuesday, August 30th

 

Wednesday, August 31st

 

Thursday, September 1st

 

Friday, September 2nd

 

Saturday, September 3rd

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Unraveled by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

Unraveled by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

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Unraveled
Elemental Assassin series – Book #15
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: August 30, 2016

UnraveledAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
After the shocking revelations of the previous book, Bitter Bite, the world of Ashland’s become even more sinister, and Gin Blanco (aka Ashland’s most fearsome assassin, the Spider) no longer knows who—or what—she can count on. Only one thing is for certain: danger and new enemies await Gin in Unraveled, Book 15 in the New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series that RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”

What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?

As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.

So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.

Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

Barb’s Review:
Unraveled by Jennifer Estep is the 15th book in her fantastic Elemental Assassin series.  This series is one of my top favorites, as I always wait impatiently for the next book. Jennifer Estep, also one of my top favorites, continues to bring us wonderful exciting stories that flow very well, and one of the best kick-ass heroines in Gin Blanco (Spider).  Unraveled continues this trend with another wonderful exciting action packed story. 

Gin recently discovered that another powerful enemy has been secretly been running things for years in Ashland, and her mother may have been part of the Circle. Unraveled starts with Gin trying to find information that will tell her who and what is the Circle?  Unable to find any information, a frustrated Gin decides to take a needed break and go with Fin to a wild west theme park, which he recently inherited from his deceased mother.  When Gin, Fin, Bria and Owen arrive at the park, it doesn’t take long to see something is amiss, and perhaps they have walked into a trap. When she sees Tucker, the current villain and part of the Circle, Gin knows their lives are in danger.

What follows is an exciting adventure, where there are giants and sharpshooters that are part of the west theme park, and their enemies.   In the middle of this is the mystery of the million dollar missing gems that Fin’s mother hid somewhere in the park.  The villains are hoping to get Gin to find the gems, and then kill the four of them. Will Gin and the gang be able to escape the heavily guarded park?  Will Gin find out who are the members of the Circle?

During her stay at the park, Gin does have flashbacks to when she was a child, and she remembers when she first saw Tucker and many of the evil villains that Gin has faced over the years.  Gin learns more about her mother, and the Circle.  Nice touch by Estep, giving us a look at the early years.  I also enjoyed the part when they ate at the barbeque restaurant in the theme park, which paled in comparison to Gin’s Pork Pit.   I would like to visit her place.  🙂

In true Gin Blanco fashion, never ever underestimate the Spider, as she faces insurmountable odds to save herself and her friends.  As always, it is so awesome to watch the Spider in action.  As we race to finish, the action is mind blowing, filled with action,danger , magic, and almost impossible feats.  Once again, Fletcher leaves a clue that Gin finally figures out, that will give them more information on the Circle, which will continue into the next book..Snared.

Jennifer Estep once again gives us a wonderful exciting action filled story. If you have not started this series, you are missing out on a wonderful author and a fantastic heroine.  I suggest you start Elemental Assassin now. 

 

Sandy’s Review:

UNRAVELED is the fifteenth installment in Jennifer Estep’s adult, contemporary ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN paranormal, urban fantasy series focusing on Gin Blanco aka The Spider –the reigning Queen of the paranormal Underworld of Ashland. UNRAVELED picks up immediately after the events of Bitter Bite and Finn’s novella Unwanted.

NOTE: If you have NOT read BITTER BITE or UNWANTED there may be some spoilers in my review

Told from first person point of view (Gin Blanco) UNRAVELED follows Gin and her intrepid group of crime fighting family and friends –Gin’s significant other Owen Grayson; her sister Bria Coolidge; and Gin’s foster brother and Bria’s boyfriend Finnegan Lane- as they embark on a well deserved vacation that Gin suspects will be more dangerous than fun.

Upon the recent death of Deidre Shaw (Bitter Bite), Finnegan Lane learned he had inherited a ‘Western’ theme park and resort known as Bullet Pointe, and with it the potential for millions of dollar in missing gems. What ensues is the search for the ‘fabled’ diamonds, and the numerous attempts against our heroine’s life. Gin has been targeted by the secret society of assassins known as the Circle, and Bullet Pointe is the perfect location for the Circle to trap The Spider and her closest friends. As Finn and the others try to locate the missing gemstones, Gin finds herself on the run when the others are taken hostage and Gin is targeted for assassination.

Throughout the story, there are a number of dreams and flashbacks focusing on Gin’s mother Eira Snow. New details are emerging about Gin’s younger years, and her mother’s possible association with the Circle assassins. Fletcher Lane’s cryptic message left behind in the bank’s safety-deposit box has Finn and Gin scratching their heads hoping for some other type of clue.

There is a large ensemble cast of characters including Owen, Bria, and Finn, as well as Gin’s assistant Silvio Sanchez, ice elemental Lorelei Parker, and Owen’s best friend Phillip Kincaid. The requisite evil has many faces including vampire Hugh Tucker, and fire elemental Roxy Wyatt. Lawyer Jonah McAllister makes a cameo appearance as he prepares for his upcoming hearing, and he himself becomes the target of the infamous Circle.

UNRAVELED and Bitter Bite mark the beginning of a new story line arc in Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. Unlike a number of the other story lines in the series, the action is limited, and the violence is not as graphic or one-sided. The premise is entertaining, while the author focused on the past and the cycle of events that comes full circle to present day. The characters are colorful and eclectic although Finn, Bria and Owen’s roles are more subdued than in the past couple of stories. And as with most Urban Fantasy story lines and series, the romance is secondary to the main premise although we do get some limited Gin and Owen time allowing for a glimpse into their revitalized relationship. UNRAVELED is a delightful and imaginative read.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

 

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Jennifer is graciously offering FOUR giveaways to FOUR (4) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe: 

* A paper copy of UNRAVELED & the first 3 books of her Black Blade series to one lucky commenter.

* A paper copy of UNRAVELED to Three (3) lucky commenters.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

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7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from August 29 – September 2, 2016

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Dare You to Run (Unbroken Heroes #2) by Dawn Ryder-a review

DARE YOU TO RUN (Unbroken Heroes #2) by Dawn Ryder-a review

Dare You to Run

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 30, 2016

Serve and protect

For Vitus Hale, only one mission has ever gone wrong. All he had to do was rescue a beautiful woman from her kidnappers. But falling hard into bed—and into love—with the stunning innocent was not part of the game plan, and when she leaves him in the dust, Vitus has nothing but a blemished record and a hardened heart. Now, after three long years, his beauty has finally come back into his life—and this time, failure is not an option…

Seduce and destroy

Damascus Ryland knew from their first steamy embrace that stoic warrior Vitus Hale is the only man for her, but when her power-hungry Congressman father offered her an ultimatum—sever ties with Vitus, or he dies—Damascus knew she had to walk away to save the man she loved. But now, three years later, a new threat is closing in on her—and tossing Vitus right back into her life. Damascus needs to keep her love for him locked in her heart if she is to keep him safe, but the old flame that burned between them is still as vibrant and hot as ever. Now, Damascus and Vitus must risk it all to find their freedom…and embrace their love

••••

REVIEW: DARE YOU TO RUN is the second installment in Dawn Ryder’s contemporary, adult UNBROKEN HEROES erotic, military romantic suspense series focusing on an elite Special Ops team. This is Navy SEAL Vitus Hale, and infectious disease researcher Damascus Ryland’s story line. DARE YOU TO RUN can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although I recommend reading the series in order for cohesion and backstory, and the introduction of future story line characters.

Told from several third person points of view DARE YOU TO RUN looks at the rekindling of the relationship between Navy SEAL Vitus Hale, and Damascus Ryland. Three years earlier our heroine fell in love with the man who rescued her from uncertain danger; a politician’s daughter who had been targeted for abduction on one too many occasions finds our heroine bound and trapped with no means of escape. Enter Vitus Hale and his Elite Special Ops team, and the man with whom Damascus would fall in love. But her father’s powerful affiliations and political aspirations and threaten the only man she would ever love forcing Damascus to walk away breaking the heart of Vitus Hale. Fast forward three years, and our heroine is once again a target of the political elite but this time Vitus has promised not to lose his soul to the woman who has already destroyed his heart.

DARE YOU TO RUN is a story of political intrigue and corruption; a tale about the power and control of those attempting to run for political office. DARE YOU TO RUN focuses on dysfunction family dynamics, and the lengths some people will go to to ensure winning at all costs-family and friendships become collateral damage in the process. There are some scenes of violence and physical abuse that may be triggers for some sensitive readers.

The relationship between Damascus and Vitus begins as a case of insta-lust and love but heartbreak and betrayal find our hero angry and in pain from a perceived betrayal by the woman that he loves. Three years would pass and Vitus has never forgotten what could have been. Damascus has never stopped loving Vitus Hale, and she is determined to protect that only man that she loves even if she has to walk away-once again. Damascus is a strong heroine who is mistaken for daddy’s little princess but in this she is a force to be reckoned. The $ex scenes are intimate, provocative and intense.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters that play intricate roles throughout the story. We are introduced to Vitus’s brother Saxon Hale, and several members of their Elite Ops team. Damascus’s long-suffering mother will finally grow a backbone where her daughter is concerned; and Jeb Ryland learns the truth about a woman scorned. The requisite evil comes in many faces and politically connected people-all of whom believe that the White House is the ultimate prize- the character building is strong within the supporting cast of characters. And there are still those whose role is shadowed by the choices that have to be made.

DARE YOU TO RUN is an intriguing story line; an engaging and enthralling tale of corruption, power and greed; a romance between two people whose lives were torn apart by political aspirations and ultimate betrayals. The premise is captivating and compelling; the characters are inspiring and sensational; the romance is emotional and dramatic. DARE YOU TO RUN is a passionate and impressive addition to Dawn Ryder’s UNBROKEN HEROES; a must-read for fans of romantic suspense and military heroes.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of book 1-Dangerous To Know

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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When a Lady Deceives by Tara Kingston – a Review

When a Lady Deceives by Tara Kingston – a Review

 

When a Lady DeceivesAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM

Description:
A woman with a secret and a dangerous man forge an undeniable passion.

In Victorian London, reporter Jennie Quinn employs deception as a weapon. Going undercover to seek justice for a murdered informant, she’s drawn into a powerful criminal’s seductive game of cat and mouse. Enigmatic former lawman Matthew Colton is as dangerous as he is clever, but the passion in his kiss is too tempting to resist. She aches to trust him, but she will not abandon her quest for the truth.

Colton is a man with secrets of his own. Thirsting for vengeance, the disgraced Scotland Yard detective has infiltrated the criminal world he’s vowed to destroy. Jennie intrigues him, even as she breaks down the barriers around his heart. He yearns to uncover her secrets—in and out of his bed. Driven to shield her, he’ll risk everything to protect the woman who heals his soul.

 

Review:

When a Lady Deceives by Tara Kingston is a Victorian romance with a headstrong leading lady, which made for a nice afternoon read.

Jennie is an reporter who goes undercover in search of a story and hopefully to avenge one of her informants. She seems pretty able to handle herself, and can maneuver herself out of most situations, but when a drunken brawl turns nasty, a unlikely champion steps in to lend her a hand.

Matthew Colton is a former detective turned criminal, after losing his friend and partner in an arrest gone bad, Matthew turns to crime, but has he?

The characters are all well written, and the descriptions of Victorian London had me there in the thick of all the action, and not too much romance either.  It was nice just to concentrate on the story and the characters, rather than page after page of bedroom gymnastics.

Does Matthew get to destroy the gang that killed his partner ?
Is Matthew as black as he likes to portray himself ?
Will he be able to protect the woman who slowly wins his heart ?
And will Jennie get the story and justice she is after ?

You will need to read this book to find out the answers.  This could be a good start to a series where the two combine their skills and work together.

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy provided by Publisher.

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Wrong Question, Right Answer (The Bourbon Street Boys 3) by Elle Casey-a review

WRONG QUESTION, RIGHT ANSWER (The Bourbon Street Boys #3) by Elle Casey-a review

Wrong Question, Right Answer

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 23, 2016

As a member of the Bourbon Street Boys private security firm, Antoinette “Toni” Delacourte is one strong woman, but despite her reputation for being tough as nails, she is haunted by her past mistakes. Now they’re catching up to her, and throwing her for a loop.
Ten years ago, Toni kissed Lucky, her brother’s best friend. Worried it would break apart the group she’d come to see as family, she walked away—straight into the arms of Charlie, and an abusive relationship.

For the past decade she’s tried to keep her feelings for Lucky platonic—he’s her friend, her colleague, and he’s got his own past to deal with. Free of Charlie but unable to shake his memory, Toni finds herself feeling vulnerable and unable to deny her attraction to Lucky any longer.

She’s always thought that kiss was her first mistake, but now she’s wondering whether the real mistake was running away.

••••••••

REVIEW: WRONG QUESTIONS, RIGHT ANSWER is the third installment in Elle Casey’s contemporary, adult THE BOURBON STREET BOYS romantic, suspense series focusing on the New Orleans private investigation firm of the same name. This is team members Antoinette ‘Toni’ Delacourte, and Chance ‘Lucky’ Larieux’s story line. WRONG QUESTION, RIGHT ANSWER can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty but I recommend reading the series in order for back story and history.

Told from first person point of view (Toni) WRONG QUESTION, RIGHT ANSWER is a story of second chances/friends to lover romance between co-workers and friends Toni and Lucky. Toni and Lucky shared a fated kiss close to fifteen years earlier, and in the ensuing time Toni has never forgotten the man with whom she fell in love. Trying desperately to separate herself from Lucky our heroine ran headfirst into a ten year, abusive relationship that ended with Toni making the biggest mistake of her life. Fast forward to present day wherein Lucky and Toni both work for The Bourbon Street Boys, and one drunken night of sex will change their lives forever. While the team continues to investigate the latest criminal gang activity in the Sixth Ward, Toni and Lucky struggle with their renewed friendship and relationship.

Toni is a strong-willed, physically aggressive and bitterly angry female heroine. She is a woman whose attitude and cold emotional persona is difficult to accept under any circumstance but she is also a woman embroiled in so much crippling guilt it eats away at her heart and soul. Toni’s self-deprecating attitude, and TSTL (too stupid to live) immature actions make for some troublesome and stressful issues throughout the story. Lucky is a man whose past haunts him on a daily basis, and one final straw finally pushes our hero over the edge. The relationship between Toni and Lucky is one of mutual and unrequited love; it will take a major shift in priorities and Toni’s inability to leave the past alone to make our couple understand that what it is lies before them is the most important issue in their life. The $ex sense are limited; seductive and intense.

All of the previous story line couples and characters play secondary and supporting roles. Boss man Ozzie and his girlfriend May (Wrong Number, Right Guy 1) take their relationship up a couple of levels while the team prepares for their upcoming nuptials.

The world building continues to focus on the private investigations and friendship dynamics of the Bourbon Street Boys team. The camaraderie and interactions are reminiscent of family and love. But I did question the direction of the current investigation as the conflict was over rather quickly and in the end the reader is never truly aware of the meatier investigation details or the who, what and why.

WRONG QUESTION, RIGHT ANSWER has moments of romance, humor, action and suspense. The premise is entertaining; the main characters are broken and somewhat tragic; the romance struggles with surprises and revelations, and ghosts from the past.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Wrong Number, Right Guy
Wrong Place, Right Time
Wrong Question, Right Answer

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Dirty Little Lies (Men of Summer #3) by Lora Leigh-a review

DIRTY LITTLE LIES (Men of Summer #3) by Lora Leigh-a review

Dirty LIttle Lies

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 30, 3016

THE HEART HAS ITS SECRETS.
Zack Richards knows he’s asking for trouble. Trying to protect a member of the notorious Maddox family could get a man killed—even a battle-scarred, muscle-ripped alpha like Zack. But the woman who has captured his wildest fantasies is nothing like the rest of her power-hungry clan. She’s innocent, beautiful, and has quickly become the one shining light in his dark, desperate world. The only woman worth fighting for…and dying for…

BUT PASSION NEVER LIES.
Her name is Grace Maddox—and everybody knows that she is a marked woman. Targeted for her family’s sins and hunted like a wild animal, Grace has no choice but to accept Zack’s protection. In his arms, she finally feels safe. In his eyes, she sees an insatiable desire that mirrors her own. But the truth is dangerous—and could end up tearing them apart. Will surrendering to Zack end up being the biggest mistake of Grace’s life?

•••••••••••••

REVIEW: DIRTY LITTLE LIES is the third installment in Lora Leigh’s contemporary, adult MEN OF SUMMER erotic, romantic suspense series. This is Zack Richards and Grace Maddox’s story line. DIRTY LITTLE LIES can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

Told from dual third person points of view DIRTY LITTLE LIES focuses on the hunt for the truth. Someone has targeted Grace Maddox and our heroine is but a small diversion in a larger plot conspiring against two families, power and control. Enter Zack Richards, the man who has loved Grace Maddox for a number of years, and the man who is willing to place himself in danger to protect Grace from the person(s) intent on destroying her life. What ensues is the search for the truth; the uncovering of years of lies and deceit; and the heartbreak of betrayal and loss.

The relationship between Grace and Zack is one of unrequited love. Grace has loved Zack since she was a young child but has never felt Zack’s love and acceptance in return. Zack is a man determined to keep his distance; his secrets could destroy Grace, and with it any love the couple would have shared if given the chance. The $ex scenes are intense and erotic.

DIRTY LITTLE LIES is a detailed story line with an infinitely large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters, and herein lies a bit of a problem: too many characters, too many potential sub plots and ongoing issues, and too many marriages, affairs, half-siblings, and extended family members requiring an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the connections and relations. DIRTY LITTLE LIES is a story of romance and suspense but I found myself lost too many times trying to keep straight the relationships, the names and the affiliations thusly forgetting there was a building story behind the numerous characters.

DIRTY LITTLE LIES is an exciting and sexy story of betrayal, deceit and lies; of family and deception; of forgiveness and love. The premise is intriguing and imaginative; the romance is emotional and intense; the characters are spirited, tenacious and impassioned. Lora Leigh’s DIRTY LITTLE LIES is a provocative tale about greed, tragedy and ultimately, revenge.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Loving Lies
Wicked Lies
Dirty Little Lies

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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