The Collar (The Submissive #5) by Tara Sue Me-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

THE COLLAR (The Submissive #5) by Tara Sue Me-Review , Book Tour and Giveaway

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The Collar
The Submissive Series #5
by Tara Sue Me
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic romance, BDSM,
Release Date: July 7, 2015

The Collar / / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 7, 2015

Nathaniel and Abby are struggling to navigate the challenging waters of their own relationship, when they get a surprising phone call from their partners in play, Dena and Jeff, who are in need of a helping hand…

Seven years ago, blonde, beautiful lawyer Dena Jenkins was tired of her carefully controlled life. Desperate for something exhilarating to help her escape the pressures of her demanding job and her senator father, she joined a steamy, local BDSM club as a submissive. There she met brooding Dominant, Jeff. The attraction between them was undeniable, and, despite Dena’s doubts, they couldn’t stay away from each other.

Except, as the years have passed, their blazing connection has proven difficult to maintain. Dena and Jeff have a history they’d rather forget, but Dena can’t let go of the past, and Jeff is ready to move across the country to give her space. Now, to save their passion, they’ll have to rediscover what it means to trust each other—and give themselves to each other completely…


REVIEW: THE COLLAR is the fifth installment in Tara Sue Me’s adult, contemporary The Submissive BDSM, erotic, romance series. This is attorney and submissive Dena Jenkins, and Dominant Jeff Parks’ storyline-a second chance at love for two people whose relationship was destroyed by a mutual loss. There is a cross over with Tara Sue Me’s PARTNERS IN PLAY spin off series but I am under the impression, in the future, the two series will be combined as most of the characters play an active role in both.

Told from third person perspective alternating between the past and present (with a couple of chapters told from Abby and Nathaniel’s POV) THE COLLAR focuses on the rekindling Dom/sub relationship between Jeff and Dena, as well as their second chance at love and a happily ever after. When Jeff is asked to participate in a demonstration at the local BDSM club, he is surprised to discover that his former submissive will be his partner for the night. What ensues is an awkward situation when Dena is late for the appointment and Jeff needs to administer a punishment, as is his right, as the Dominant in charge. When Dena’s reasons for her tardiness are revealed, Jeff goes into alpha, protective mode but he is still unwilling to give Dena what it is she wants from the man with whom she is still in love.

The history between Jeff and Dena is slowly revealed from their first meeting seven years earlier, to their D/s relationship and Dena’s subsequent collaring; to falling in love, and the events that lead up to Jeff removing the collar and sending Dena on her way. Their mutual history is emotional and heartbreaking; their individual backstories are as different as night and day. Dena is a well to do attorney with the potential for a brilliant career; Jeff ran away from home when he was sixteen years old. It is Jeff’s male ego that often comes into play when he believes he is not worthy of a woman like Dena Jenkins. When a threat against Dena forces our heroine back into Jeff’s life, our couple are unable to forget about the past heartbreaks in order to move on with their lives. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative: the BDSM scenes are erotic and intense. Jeff is a true Dominant who enjoys bondage scenes, and punishes Dena for every act of disobedience; Dena is a submissive who is willing to accept Jeff’s orders and commands.

The secondary and supporting characters include Abby and Nathaniel West (The Submissive Series 1-4) whose story continues to build throughout the events of THE COLLAR; Dominant Daniel Covington, and his submissive Julie Masterson whom we have met through the spin off series PARTNERS IN PLAY are present and participating in the local demonstrations and Club scenes. We are introduced to a couple of new characters at the BDSM Club, as well as Dena’s father whose dislike of Jeff Parks is all too readily apparent. The requisite evil comes from an unknown source when personal threats are made against Dena in the form of harassing phone calls and cryptic letters.

Addressing the threats against the heroine, the storyline did not focus on the search or investigation but rather pushed the issue to the background or most of the story. In the end, the reveal and take down was quick, and the punishment is an unknown entity. I am not sure if this is an acceptable conclusion, but it is the route the author chose to go. The threat is still a viable possibility for a future storyline.

THE COLLAR is first and foremost a story about second chances; for love, for partnership, and for a new beginning. But it is also a story about misunderstandings and forgiveness between two people who have loved one another for many years but were unable to get past their heartbreak and grief. The characters are colorful, charismatic and strong; the premise is dramatic and emotional; the romance is sensual and passionate. If you are a fan of Tara Sue Me’s THE SUBMISSIVE series, THE COLLAR is a fantastic addition to your library collection.

Copy supplied by the publisher.

Reviewed by Sandy

Series Spotlight Black and White

The SubmissiveThe Submissive
The Submissive #1
by Tara Sue Me
Release Date: November 2012
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, BDSM, romance

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of THE SUBMISSIVE

Amazon/ KOBO / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release November 2012

One word and she’ll never see him again.

The city of New York knows Nathaniel West as CEO of a powerful corporation, but Abby knows he’s more. Nathaniel lives by a set of exacting rules. From the boardroom to his bedroom, he must be obeyed—and any woman wanting to be part of his life must submit to his will. When Abby finally meets Nathaniel and agrees to wear his collar, she has everything she’s ever wanted—or so she thinks.

Nathaniel drives her to new heights of pleasure and introduces her to a glamorous world of power and privilege she knows only through the social pages. Heeding Nathaniel’s commands is never hard—but before long Abby wants more. Her master’s rules don’t allow for negotiation—but the heart never plays by the rules and love is the most extreme fantasy of all


The DominantThe Dominant
The Submissive #2
by Tara Sue Me
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, BDSM, romance

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of THE DOMINANT / / Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

Nathaniel West doesn’t lose control.

As the playboy CEO of West Industries, he governs the boardroom during the day; as a strict dominant with exacting rules, he commands the bedroom at night. He never takes on inexperienced submissives, but when Abigail King’s application comes across his desk, he breaks his own restrictions and decides to test her limits.

Abby’s combination of innocence and willingness is intoxicating, and Nathaniel is soon determined to collar her as his own. As long as she follows his orders and surrenders herself fully to him, no one will get hurt.

But when Nathaniel begins falling for Abby on a deeper level, he realizes that the trust must go both ways—and he has secrets which could bring the foundations of their entire relationship crashing down…


The TrainingThe Training
The Submissive #3
by Tara Sue Me
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: Erotic, Adult, Romance

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of THE TRAINING / / Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 1, 2013

It started with a hidden desire.

Millionaire CEO Nathaniel West has always played by his own strict set of rules, ones he expects everyone to follow—especially the women he’s dominated in his bedroom. But his newest lover is breaking down all his boundaries and rewriting his rule book.

Abby King never imagined that she would capture the heart of Nathaniel West, one of New York City’s most eligible bachelors—and its most desirable dominant. What began as a weekend arrangement of pleasure has become a passionate romance with a man who knows every inch of her body and her soul – yet remains an enigmatic lover. Though he is tender and caring, his painful past remains a wall between them.

Abby knows the only way to truly earn his trust is to submit to him fully and let go of all of her lingering inhibitions. Because to lead Nathaniel on a path to greater intimacy, she must first let him deeper into her world than anyone has ever gone before…


The ChaletThe Chalet
The Submissive 3.5
by Tara Sue Me
Release Date October 21, 2014
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, BDSM, romance

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of THE CHALET / / Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 21, 2014

New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me’s Submissive series is an international sensation. Now, Abby and Nathaniel’s story continues with their romantic wedding and a honeymoon too hot to believe…

Submitting her body was only the beginning.

Abby King didn’t know true passion until she gave herself to Nathaniel West, one of New York City’s most eligible bachelors and desired Dominants. Now, on the eve of her marriage, she realizes all her dreams are coming true. And with a romantic honeymoon getaway planned at a secluded Swiss chalet, she’s sure Nathaniel will find even more fantasies to fulfill…

Nathaniel never thought he’d settle down until Abby broke down his barriers and changed his plans. With their wedding only weeks away, he can barely wait to possess her completely—heart, body, and soul—and show her the true meaning of being both a wife and a submissive.

Only Abby has one more challenge in store before she becomes his: no sex and no collar for one month before the wedding. Nathaniel is willing to give it a shot but he has one scandalous stipulation—once that month is up, anything goes…


Seduced by FireSeduced by Fire
Partners in Play #1
by Tara Sue Me
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, BDSM, romance

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of SEDUCED BY FIRE / / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository

About the book: Release Date March 4, 2014

Julie Masterson craves a taste of danger.

Despite being familiar with the different games people play in the bedroom, she’s never given in to her curiosity about putting her body in someone else’s power—until a chance meeting with Daniel Covington, the seductive Senior VP of Weston Bank, draws her into a titillating new world of sexual experience, one that she never knew she desperately needed.

Daniel is highly respected within his community, but he hasn’t had an exclusive relationship for over two years. Yet Julie’s eager innocence is driving him to the brink of ecstasy, making him rethink his feelings about commitment.

As their sizzling connection heats up, Daniel is ready to take Julie fully under his command. But when the dangerous side of their play rears its ugly head, Julie will have to decide if she trusts him enough to surrender completely—or if she should escape before she gets burned…

The EnticementThe Enticement
The Submissive Series #4
by Tara Sue Me
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, BDSM, romance
Release Date: April 7, 2015

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of THE ENTICEMENT / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 7, 2015

Limits were made to be pushed.

Abby West has everything she wanted: a family, a skyrocketing new career, and a sexy, Dominant husband who fulfills her every need. Only, as her life outside the bedroom becomes hectic, her Master’s sexual requirements inside become more extreme. Abby doesn’t understand Nathaniel’s increased need for control, but she can’t deny the delicious way her body reacts to his tantalizing demands…

Between Abby’s reluctance and Nathaniel’s unyielding commands, the delicate balance of power between the Dominant and his submissive threatens to shift. And as the underlying tension and desire between them heats up, so does the struggle to keep everything they value from falling apart …

About The Author Black and White

FOLLOW: Website / Facebook / Twitter


Tara Sue Me is the New York Times bestselling author of the Submissive series, including The Enticement, The Training, The Dominant, and The Submissive. She lives in the southeastern United States with her family, two dogs, and a cat.


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There are TWO (2) ways to WIN

The Reading Cafe and Tara Sue Me’s publisher are offering a paper copy of THE COLLAR to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Tara Sue Me on Facebook

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

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Please FOLLOW us on TSU for an additional entry.

8. Giveaway is open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from July 4-8, 2015

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NOTE: The Reading Cafe is NOT responsible for the rafflecopter giveaway. If you have any questions, please contact the publisher

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WIN an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of THE ART OF SINNING by Sabrina Jeffries

Win an Advance Reader’s Copy of Sabrina Jeffries’ THE ART OF SINNING

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Sinful Suitors Series Launch Book—THE ART OF SINNING!

Is it hot in here, or is it just us? Sabrina Jeffries has a sizzling summer in store for readers to celebrate the July 21 release of The Art of Sinning, the launch book for her new series, The Sinful Suitors. One lucky reader will have the opportunity to preview The Art of Sinning before it goes on sale by commenting below to enter to win an advance reader’s copy of the book.

The Sinful Suitors Series

Meet the members of St. George’s Club, a group of well-meaning gentlemen who work together to find respectable suitors for their sisters and charges.

The Art of Sinning

In the Queen of Sexy Regency Romance’s series launch book, American artist Jeremy Keane finds inspiration for his next masterpiece when he meets Lady Yvette Barlow at a London wedding. The rebellious young heiress agrees to be his subject—but only if he grants her a potentially scandalous favor. As their practical partnership leads to lessons in the art of sinning, can they find a bold and lasting love?

The fun continues all summer long as Sabrina Jeffries—the Queen of the Sexy Regency Romance—offers creative memes, sneak previews, giveaways and more on Facebook and Twitter as part of Sabrina’s Summer of Sinning. She’s also treating readers to a wonderful Regency-era experience on her newly designed website—

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A Sizzling Summer Deal so Hot It’s Sinful!

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Now you can stock up on PRINT reissues of four Sabrina Jeffries series launch books at a bargain price of just $5.99—the Royal Brotherhood’s In the Prince’s Bed and the School for Heiresses’s Never Seduce a Scoundrel, both with new covers, plus The Hellions of Halstead Hall’s The Truth About Lord Stoneville and the Duke’s Men’s What the Duke Desires. Check with your favorite online or bricks and mortar book retailers to take advantage of these great deals.

Here’s to a summer of sinfully great reads!

In The Prince’s Bed: / B&N /

Never Seduce a Scoundrel: / / B&N /

The Truth About Lord Stoneville: / B&N /

About the Author Black and rose

FOLLOW Sabrina at : Website / Goodreads / Twitter/ Facebook / Pinterest

Sabrina JeffriesRaised amidst the rubber plantations in Thailand by missionary parents, Sabrina Jeffries has earned numerous placements on the New York Times and USA Today lists with Regency historicals that readers savor for her trademark sexy blend of witty dialogue and enterprising characters. It’s no accident she has been dubbed “The Queen of the Sexy Regency Romance.”

About that plantation business—living in the boonies of Thailand afforded Sabrina endless hours to read Jane Austen novels and other classics voraciously. Not surprisingly, back in the States, she went on to earn a doctorate in English literature from Tulane University—and a craving for Cajun food.

While Sabrina is at ease with refined academia types, she enjoys using her literary skills to pen novels of romantic fiction. She sold her first book in 1991 and has 38 published novels to her credit. Whenever she struggles with a plot point, she shuts off the computer and tackles a jigsaw puzzle, and before long, bingo! Problem solved. Another stress-reliever for the inventive author: creating her popular Will and Jane’s Excellent Adventure comics. Displaying Sabrina’s fine-tuned sense of humor, the comics feature a William Shakespeare caricature figure and a Jane Austen action figure.

Caffeine addict, Third Culture Kid, chocoholic, and popular novelist with more than eight million books in print, Jeffries defies labels. Her biting humor and simultaneous warmth endear her to her 25,000+ Facebook fans and Twitter and Pinterest followers. At home in front of a crowd—any crowd (no really, just hand over the microphone and get ready for some fun)—Jeffries is a sought-after speaker, as evidenced by her 2010 gig as emcee for the National Romance Writers of America’s 30th Anniversary Awards Ceremony.
While Sabrina treks through remote locales in the name of research and rubs elbows in the big cities with other industry professionals, she says her favorite destination is home. She lives in Cary, North Carolina, with her two best guys—husband, Rene, and adult son, Nick, who has inspired her to actively champion the cause of autistic children.


Sabrina Jeffries’ publicist is offering a paper ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of THE ART OF SINNING to ONE(1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Sabrina Jeffries on Facebook

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

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Please FOLLOW us on TSU for an additional entry.

8. Giveaway is open to USA and CANADA only

9. Giveaway runs from July 4-6, 2015


Sworn to Protect (Red Stone Security #11) by Katie Reus-a review

SWORN TO PROTECT (Red Stone Security #11) by Katie Reus-a review

Sworn to Protect / / B&N / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 7, 2015

His worst mistake was walking away from her…

Quinn Brody ended things with sweet, sexy Athena when he learned she was a virgin. Their relationship was getting too serious and walking away seemed like the best plan. But Quinn has never been able to forget Athena. And when she gets a marketing job at Red Stone Security, it becomes impossible. Quinn wants a second chance, but Athena’s not interested—even if the chemistry between them is off the charts.

Now his past has come back to haunt him…

The man Quinn put behind bars has been released from prison and is out for blood. Quinn took years of the man’s life and helped his abused wife flee so now the ex-con is hell bent on using Athena to make Quinn pay.

He’ll do anything to protect her…

When Athena is sent to Vegas for a tradeshow Quinn volunteers to accompany her—to watch her back. But professional quickly turns personal when the threat to Athena escalates. Refusing to lose her again, Quinn will do anything to save her. Even if it means risking both his life and his heart.


REVIEW: SWORN TO PROTECT is the 11th installment in Katie Reus’s adult, contemporary Red Stone Security romantic suspense series focusing on the men and women who work for RSS. This is Red Stone Security’s Quinn Brody, and their newest employee Athena Manikas storyline. All of Katie’s Red Stone Security installments can be read as stand alones without any difficulty. Some of the previous storyline characters appear in secondary and supporting roles: there is also a cross over with Katie’s Serafina: Sin City series- a spin off from her RSS series.

Told from several third person perspectives SWORN TO PROTECT follows the rekindling of a relationship between Athena and Quinn. Two months earlier, Quinn ended his romance with Athena following her declaration that she was a virgin and in the ensuing time Quinn has been unable to forget the woman who stole his heart. Discovering Athena was now working for Red Stone Security as their director of marketing, Quinn begins a slow seduction of the woman he pushed away. A threat directed at both Quinn and Athena finds our hero as both protector and would be lover, when someone from Quinn’s past intends to destroy everyone that he loves. A business trip to Vegas allows Quinn the opportunity to get up close and personal under the pretense of protecting the woman with whom he is falling in love.

The relationship between Quinn and Athena is one of second chances but Athena is afraid to have her heart broken –again. What ensues is the rebuilding of trust before Athena allows Quinn to claim her as his own. The $ex scenes are seductive and a little bit steamy.

Several of the Red Stone Security agents and their significant others play a supporting role throughout the storyline, as well as the Serafina’s security specialist Iris Christiansen. We are introduced to Athena’s assistant Raegan, with a possible romance blossoming with one of two potential suitors. The requisite evil comes in the form of an ex con with a grudge against Quinn Brody.

SWORN TO PROTECT is a quick read; a fast paced, second chance romance with a little bit of suspense. There is an insta-love quality to the storyline but our couple has a previous history so the fast build up is to be expected. Katie Reus’s Red Stone Security series is always a ‘go to’ read every time. I have never been disappointed with Katie’s storylines-there is always something that draws me in like a moth to a flame. Her characters are charismatic and colorful; the storylines engaging and enjoyable; the love and happily ever afters fated.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy


Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams – Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Shades of Treason
Anomaly #1
by Sandy Williams
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Genre: adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy


Shades of TreasonAmazon / Kobo

Lieutenant Ramie Ashdyn is an anomaly, a person whose genetic makeup makes her stronger and smarter than the average human. She’s pledged her life to protect the Coalition, an alliance of thirteen planetary systems, but when a top secret operation turns bloody, she’s charged with treason and the brutal executions of her teammates.

The Coalition needs the information Ash’s team stole on their last mission, so they send in Commander Rhys “Rest in Peace” Rykus to get it. He’s the man who’s responsible for turning Ash into an elite soldier… and he’s a man who isn’t, never was, and never will be in love with the woman he trained. Or so he tells himself.

Ash wants nothing more than to clear her name and be the woman her former instructor wants her to be, but the enemy who killed her teammates did more than frame her for treason and murder: they telepathically silenced her mind, preventing her from saying anything that might point to the truth about what happened.

Now Ash is trapped and set to be executed, the truth dying with her. Unless she can prove her innocence. But taking that path could destroy the Coalition she’s sworn to preserve and protect…



Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams is the 1st book in her new Anomaly series.  Our heroine is Ramie Ashdyn (Ash), and she is an anomaly, who is much smarter and stronger than the normal person. Anomaly’s are usually trained soldiers who will do every to protect the Coalition, which is an alliance of 13 planetary systems.

In her last mission, which ended badly, Ash’s team was all murdered. She is charged with treason, suspected of executing her team. This mission involved stealing some top secret information, and Ash has coded the information, which no one can decipher. Ash remembers what truly happened that day, but she is unable to tell anyone. Because of a revolution in the making, her supervisor, who was also killed, told her to code the information and not tell anyone in order to save the Coalition.

Commander Rhys Rykus, our hero, has been called in to break Ash into telling them the code that she hides. No matter what he does, he cannot get her to reveal the code. Those determined to get the information any way they can, will think nothing of killing her. But Rykus knows Ash, as he trained her and feels something isn’t right. She was too loyal to do what they suspected.

What follows is an exciting adventure that will find Ash escaping, with Rykus in charge of finding her, and discovering the truth behind why Ash cannot explain what happened that day. The truth will reveal powerful enemies bent on destroying the Coalition, with the betrayers controlling many of the political members. Rykus does not know who to trust, but he learns that Ash is a victim and together they will work to find the leader and try to stop the revolution.

Rykus also discovers his hidden feelings for his former student, and in difficult and trying times, those feelings come forth. I really liked Ash and Rykus together, though it seemed that this relationship was impossible, since Rykus was too centered on his job, not allowing himself to show those feelings to Ash.

The last third of the book was very exciting, as it seemed their chances to prove Ash’s innocence, as well as save the Coalition was slim. The forces against them were too strong; especially with the powers they had that allowed them to control certain people and situations.

Shades of Treason is a very good start to the Anomaly series. Sandy Williams has given us another wonderful heroine in Ash, and a romance that we hope will continue to grow. Though this is not a cliffhanger, it is left open ended for us to wait impatiently for the next book. I fully recommend you to start this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Author



Hi, Sandy. Thank you for taking the time to visit us again at The Reading Cafe, to discuss your upcoming new release “Shades of Treason”, as well as to give an update as to what you have upcoming in 2015/2016.

Sandy:  Thank you for having me! I love my visits to The Reading Café.

TRC:  You have just released your first book in your new Anomaly series, Shades of Treason. Can you please give us a brief description of your new series?

Sandy:  Sure! Shades of Treason is about Ramie Ashdyn, an elite soldier who’s been charged with treason and the brutal murder of her teammates. The only way she can clear her name is to destroy the Coalition she’s sworn to preserve and protect. Ash also happens to be an anomaly, a human whose mental and physical scans come back a hundred points higher than a normal person’s. She’s a bit faster, quicker, and smarter than most people, which is how I justify her having the strength and endurance to be an elite soldier. :)  I’m a fan of Star Wars and Firefly, and this series will fit into that genre, and it comes with a good shot of romance.

TRC:  How did you come up with the idea of the Anomaly series? Also, how many books do you anticipate for this series?

Sandy:  I’ve been a fan of science fiction for years, and the majority of my previous, unpublished manuscripts had spaceships in them. In fact, the idea for The Shadow Reader was originally set in space. I can’t remember why I decided to turn it into an urban fantasy, but it worked for that series. All the time I was writing it, though, I was missing writing sci-fi, and the idea for Shades of Treason crept into my mind during a really long, boring meeting at work. I’m planning on at least three books starring Ash and Rykus, her former instructor and love interest. But I also intend to write standalones in this universe. They’ll lean more toward romance than the main storyline, and either the hero or the heroine (maybe both!) will be an anomaly. I love the anomaly concept, and coming up with their quirks and abilities, and finding the perfect man or woman to make them better people, is so much fun. 

TRC:  What was your biggest challenge in starting this new series?

Sandy:  Prepare for the understatement of the century: the situation I created for Ash was challenging to write.  Extremely challenging. Early in the book, Ash is telepathically straightjacketed. She can’t say or do anything that gives any indication of her innocence. She’s not able to tell the Coalition the truth about what happened on her last mission, and why her teammates are now all dead. The Coalition believes she’s a traitor, and the only way she can prove her innocence is to escape, which means she has to get rid of Rykus, her former instructor who is the biggest obstacle preventing her from escaping and clearing her name. Trying to summarize the situation in a way that makes sense is hard, too! I had to be really aware of writing inconsistencies, but I think the struggles and the end product were totally worth it. I love how this story turned out! And the tension between Ash and Rykus was my favorite part to write.

TRC:  In your last book, The Sharpest Blade, which was the final book in your Shadow Reader series, what was the overall reaction to the one McKenzie chose at the end. Of course, I was very happy. :)

Sandy:  Nearly everyone was happy with how it ended. Hurray! It really couldn’t have ended any other way, but like me, there were a good number of people who wished things had ended a little differently. I’ve mentioned it before elsewhere, but if I was McKenzie, I would have made a different choice. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not her! :)

TRC:  Would you like to share with us what you are currently working on, and what you have in store for us in 2015/16?

Sandy:  I’m working on more books set in the Shades of Treason universe. I’m hoping to have two more books out by the end of 2016, a continuation of Ash and Rykus’s story, and a standalone that deals with another anomaly and a very disciplined warship captain. I’d also like to find time to sneak in a few short stories and novellas set in the Shadow Reader worlds, including more Aren POVs. I already have a few on my website (link:, and more will be sent directly to readers as I write them (to receive these and more behind-the-scenes info, just sign up here And if I learn the art of writing fast, there’s a new urban fantasy series I’m dying to write. I have lots of plans! It’s just finding time to get to them. :)

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Sandy:  If you don’t usually read science fiction, I hope you’ll give Shades of Treason a try. I’ve written it as an urban fantasy set in space (space-UF). It’s character and plot driven, with “science” that works like magic because I’m so not a science person. I’m intrigued by science, but can’t wrap my mind around it, so I promise not to bog readers down with details of how the universe works. :) I slip in the worldbuilding, much as I slipped it in during the Shadow Reader books. If you end up enjoying Shades, please ask me for more space-UF recommendations. I love to rec books!

TRC:   Thank you, Sandy for giving us an update on Shades of Treason, as well as what we can look forward to in the future. It was a pleasure talking with you again. We wish you good luck with the Shades of Treason, and hope to catch up with you again in 2016.

Sandy:  Thanks for inviting me back! And happy reading!


About the author

Sandy graduated from Texas A&M University with a double major in political science and history. She thought about attending law school. Fortunately, before handing over her life’s savings, she realized case studies weren’t nearly as interesting as novels and decided to get an MA in Library Science instead. She worked as a librarian until her husband whisked her off to London on an extended business trip. She’s now back home in Texas, writing full-time, raising twin boys, and squeezing in time to play geeky board and card games like Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Runebound.

She loves hanging out with other readers and talking about books. For recommendations, check out her Goodreads account. And if you have a favorite book or author, she’d love to hear from you on   Facebook Twitter or via email.



Sandy is offering a paper copy (USA only) or an e-copy (internationally) of SHADES OF TREASON to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.


4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

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7. Follow Sandy Williams  on Facebook.

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9. Giveaway runs from July 3 to 7, 2015


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The Detective by Adrienne Giordano-Review and Book Tour

The Detective by Adrienne Giordano-Review and Book Tour

The Detective / / B&N / KOBO  / iBooks / BAM / Google Play /

About the book: Release Date June 16, 2015

She’s captured his heart…and the attention of a murderer.

Injured homicide detective Brodey Hayward needs a distraction, and he finds it as a consultant on a cold case murder. When Brodey’s investigation delays plans to remodel the former crime scene, he uncovers another kind of distraction: spirited Lexi Vanderbilt. Despite her distrust of men, Brodey charms the alluring interior designer into helping him examine the case facts.

Working closely with the ultrasexy detective helps Lexi lower her guard, igniting a passion that even Chicago’s winter can’t cool. As they close in on the killer, Lexi becomes his new target. To save her, Brodey must either betray her trust—or risk losing Lexi forever.


Lexi Vanderbilt is an up and coming interior designer, so when she is approached by a grieving widow to stage her former home in order to get it sold quickly, Lexi jumps at the opportunity. It’s in an exclusive neighbor in the North Side area of Chicago and she knows if she can pull that off, her stock will rise. The downside? The widow’s husband was murdered in the house. However, if Lexi can pull this off and get it sold within 45 days, the only direction for her career is up.

As Lexi and her contractor are going through the house making a list of what has to be done, they enter the laundry room where the murder occurred. They start to remove the tile when someone enters the house unexpectedly. Enter Brodey Hayward. His sister, Jenna, who is a private investigator, had been asked to investigate the murder and had asked her brother to look at the case to see if he could find something that perhaps the other investigators missed. Brodey is on sick leave from the police department and has a little time on his hands, and Jenna is swamped at work. Of course, the first thing that Brodey does is tell Lexi that they cannot do anything to the laundry room until after he completes his own investigation which does NOT sit well with Lexi. She has a deadline to meet and, as they say, time is money.

Lexi and Brodey end up being in the house together several times, each doing their own thing and eventually get over their initial aggravation at each other’s presence. When Brodey’s investigation piques Lexi’s interest, she becomes involved while trying to help him figure out just what happened. And, when Lexi has a chance encounter with a mysterious man outside the house, Brodey has an inkling that he is more than he appears. As the investigation heats up, so do Brodey and Lexi’s attraction to each other. Even though Lexi has plenty of reasons not to trust Brodey, she slowly lets her guard down to see just where this may lead. But when the investigation gets in the way and Lexi feels betrayed, she inadvertently places herself in danger. Brodey has feelings for Lexi that he never thought he was capable of having and when he realizes the danger Lexi is in, he moves heaven and earth to get to her. Does he get to her in time? And, will Lexi let herself truly fall for the detective after feeling so betrayed? Well my friends, you will have to read to find out……..

I’ve not read anything by Adrienne Giordano before, but am glad I got to read this one. The Detective is a wonderfully written story that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Lexi and Brodey are characters that you will immediately feel connected to and are totally relatable. Lexi is independent and determined to make her own way in the world. Brodey is protective and has a huge heart and their chemistry is great. I loved the buildup in their relationship and there was no “instalove”, which is refreshing. I also loved the twist in the mystery as all is revealed about the murder. If you’re looking for a quick read that has mystery and a beautifully developed romance and awesome characters, this one is for you. This may have been my first by Ms. Giordano, but it will not be my last. Well done, Adrienne Giordano, very well done!

Copy supplied by the tour promoter

Reviewed by Vickie M


Lexi Vanderbilt’s mother taught her two very important lessons. One, always wear coordinating lipstick, and two, recognize an opportunity when it presented itself.
Standing in the ballroom of the newly renovated Gold Coast Country Club, Lexi planned on employing those lessons.
All around her workers prepared for the throng of club members who would descend in—she checked her watch—ninety-three minutes. As the interior designer about to unveil her latest masterpiece, she would spend those ninety-three minutes tending to everything from flowers to linens to centerpieces. A waiter toting a tray of sparkling champagne glasses cruised by. She took in the not-so-perfect cut of his tux and groaned. The staff’s attire wasn’t her jurisdiction. Still, small details never escaped her. At times, like now, it was maddening.
Oh, and just wait one second. “Excuse me,” she said to a woman carrying a stack of tablecloths. “The sailboat ice sculpture belongs on the dessert table by the window. The Willis Tower goes by the champagne fountain.”
The woman hefted the pile of linens, a not-so-subtle hint that the sculptures weren’t her problem. “Does it matter?”
If it didn’t, I wouldn’t ask. Lexi sighed. “It matters. Unless you’d like to tell your boss, who specifically requested the placement of the sculptures, that it doesn’t.”
For added effect, Lexi grinned and the woman rolled her eyes. “I’ll get the busboys to move it.”
“Thank you.”
One minicrisis averted. And maybe she could have let that one slide given that the club’s manager had to be 110 years old and most likely wouldn’t remember which sculpture went where, but why take a chance on something easily fixed?
Besides, tonight everything had to be perfect.
Functions attended by the richest of the rich were a breeding ground for opportunities. Opportunities Lexi craved for her fledgling design company. At twenty-nine, she’d already been profiled by the Banner-Herald and all the major broadcast stations in the city. She was quickly gaining ground on becoming Chicago’s “it” designer, and that meant dethroning Jerome Laddis, the current “it” designer. He may have had more experience, but Lexi had youth, energy and fresh ideas on her side. A few more insanely wealthy clients touting Lexi’s work and look out, Jerome.
Then she’d hire an assistant, rehab her disaster of a garage into an office and get some sleep.
Lots of it.
Right now, as she glanced around, took in the exquisite silk drapes, the hundred-thousand-dollar chandelier and hand-scraped floor she’d had flown in from Brazil, no questions on the tiny details would haunt her. She’d make sure of it. Even if stress-induced hospitalization loomed in her near future.
The upshot? She’d lost five pounds in the past two weeks. Always a silver lining.
Lexi turned, her long gown swishing against the floor and snagging on her shoe. She smiled at Pamela Hennings while casually adjusting her dress. Darned floor-length gowns. “Mrs. Hennings, how nice to see you.”
Mrs. Hennings air-kissed and stepped back. On her petite frame she wore a fitted gown in her signature sky blue that matched her eyes. The gown draped softly at the neckline, displaying minimal cleavage. As usual, a perfect choice.
“I love what you’ve done in here,” Mrs. Hennings said. “Amazing job.”
Being a club board member, she had no doubt shown up early to make sure the unveiling of the new room would be nothing short of remarkable. “Thank you. I enjoyed it. Just a few last-minute details and we’ll be ready.”
“Everything is lovely. Even the damned ice sculptures Raymond couldn’t live without. Waste of money if you ask me, but some battles aren’t worth fighting.”
So true.
A loud bang from the corner of the room assaulted Lexi’s ears. Please let that be silverware. She shifted her gaze left and spotted the waiter who’d passed her earlier scooping utensils onto a tray. Thank you.
Mrs. Hennings touched Lexi’s arm. “By the bye, I think I have Gerald convinced his study needs an update. All that dark wood is depressing.”
Now, that would be a thrill. If Lexi landed the job and nailed it, the top 10 percent of Chicago’s executives would know it. And competition ran hot with this social set. Before long, they’d be lined up outside her office for a crack at outdoing Pamela and Gerald Hennings.
“I think,” Lexi said, “for him we could leave touches of the dark woods. Macassar ebony would be fabulous on the floor.”
“Ooh, yes. Do you have time this week? Maybe you could come by and work up some sketches?”
“Of course.” Lexi whipped her phone from her purse and scrolled to her calendar. “How about early next week? Tomorrow I’m starting a new project that might eat up the rest of my week.”
“I’ll make sure I’m available. What’s this new project? Can you share?”
Rich folks. Always wanting the inside scoop. “Actually, it’s quite fascinating. Remember the murdered broker?”
“The one from Cartright? How could I not? The entire neighborhood went into a panic.”
The residents of Cartright, the North Side’s closest thing to a gated community without the gates, employed private security to help patrol the six city blocks that made up their self-titled haven. That extra money spent on security kept the crime rate nearly nonexistent in those six city blocks.
Except for the offing of one crooked stockbroker.
“That’s the one,” Lexi said. “I’ve been hired to stage the house. The real estate agent suggested it to the broker’s widow and she hired me.”
“I heard they couldn’t sell. The market is destroying her. That poor woman. He left her with a mountain of trouble. He paid top dollar and if she lowers the price again, she won’t make enough to clear his debts. Add to that any retribution owed to the clients he borrowed funds from without their knowledge.”
As expected, Pamela Hennings was up to speed on the latest gossip. Gossip that Lexi would not share. Being told this information about a client was one thing. Sharing it? Not happening. “I’m looking forward to the project. It’s an incredible house.”
Being an interior designer didn’t always give Lexi the chance to change someone’s life. Her work allowed people to see the beauty in color and texture and shape and made their homes more than just a place to live, but she didn’t often get the opportunity to alter an emotionally devastating situation. Now she had the chance. Getting this house sold would free the broker’s widow from debt and give her children a comfortable life.
And Lexi wanted to see that happen.
Plus, if she got the thing sold in forty-five days, she’d make a whopping 20 percent bonus. The bonus alone would pay for an assistant and give her a life back.
Nap, here I come.
Mrs. Hennings made a tsk-tsk noise. “They never did find the murderer, did they?”
“No. Which I think is part of the problem. I may do a little of my feng shui magic in there. Clear all the negativity out. When I’m finished, that house will be beautiful and bright and homey.”
“The debt, the children and now the police can’t find the murderer. And it’s been what, two years? No woman deserves to be left with that.”
Again, Lexi remained quiet. Don’t get sucked in. But, yes, it had been two years, and from what Lexi knew, the police were no closer to finding the man’s killer. Such a tragedy. “The case has gone cold.”
Sucked in. She smacked her lips together.
“You know,” Mrs. Hennings said, “my husband’s firm recently did some work with a pro bono cold case. I wonder if the investigator who worked on that wouldn’t mind taking a look at this. I’d love to see the man’s family given some relief. And, let’s face it, it would certainly be good PR for the firm.”
It certainly would.
Investigative help wouldn’t hurt the real estate agent’s chances—or Lexi’s—of getting the house sold in forty-five days. “Do you think they’d be interested?”
“Oh, I’m sure it can be arranged.”
Gerald Hennings, a.k.a. the Dapper Defense Lawyer, pushed through the oversize ballroom doors, spotted the two women and unleashed a smile. Even in his sixties, he had charm to spare. Salt-and-pepper hair and the carved cheekbones of a man who’d once been devastatingly handsome—all combined with his intelligence—added up to someone who ruled a courtroom.
“Gerald,” Mrs. Hennings said, “perfect timing. The board meeting will be upstairs. Believe it or not, we’re the first ones here.”
The Dapper DL eyed his wife with a hint of mischief, smiling in a rueful way that probably slayed jurors. “Shocking.” Then he turned his charm loose on Lexi. “Alexis Vanderbilt, how are you?”
“I’m fine, Mr. Hennings. Thank you. And yourself?”
“I was quite well until fifteen seconds ago when my wife announced my timing was perfect. That means I’ll either be writing you a healthy check or she’s volunteered me for something. Either way, I’m sure it will be painful.”


About The Author

Adrienne GiordanoUSA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. 

Connect with Adrienne: Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team



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Hard to Let Go (Hard Ink #4) by Laura Kaye-Review and Book Tour

Hard to Let Go (Hard Ink #4) by Laura Kaye-Review and Book Tour

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Hard To Let Go
Hard Ink #4
by Laura Kaye
Genre: adult, contemporary, military, romantic suspense
Release Date: June 30, 2015

Hard to Let Go / / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository

HARD TO LET GO (Hard Ink #4) by Laura Kaye

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 30, 2015

Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Beckett Murda hates to dwell on the past. But his investigation into the ambush that killed half his Special Forces team and ended his Army career gives him little choice. Just when his team learns how powerful their enemies are, hard-ass Beckett encounters the biggest complication yet—seductive, feisty Katherine Rixey.

A tough, stubborn prosecutor, Kat visits her brothers’ Hard Ink Tattoo following a bad break-up—and finds herself staring down the barrel of a stranger’s gun. Beckett is hard-bodied and sexy as hell, but he’s also the most infuriating man ever. Worse, Kat’s brothers are at war with criminals her office is investigating. When Kat joins the fight, she lands straight in Beckett’s sights—and his arms. Not to mention their enemies’ crosshairs.

Now Beckett and Kat must set aside their differences to work together, because the only thing sweeter than justice is finding love and never letting go.


REVIEW: HARD TO LET GO is the fourth full length and final installment in Laura Kaye’s adult, contemporary HARD INK military romance series focusing group of ex Special Forces soldiers trying to prove their innocence in an Afghanistan military operation that went horribly wrong. This is Beckett Murda and Kat Rixey’s storyline.

Told from dual third person perspectives HARD TO LET GO is the culmination of weeks of investigations searching for the truth behind the disastrous Afghanistan mission that left six soldiers and their commanding officer dead, and five others caught in a military conspiracy that reached close to the top. Each of the previous installments brought out heroes one step closer to finding the truth.

Beckett Murda stands alone. He is a man who is numb to his surroundings but determined to keep his distance until the time comes to take down the people responsible for the destruction of their lives. Enter Kat Rixey- a government attorney and Nick Rixey’s sister- and the woman who will keep Beckett from further destroying his life. But Kat is hiding a secret that if revealed will aid in the focus off of her brother’s search for the truth. When Kat reveals the information the team needs to finalize their investigation, everything will come full circle.

The relationship between Beckett and Kat is initially strained as Beckett tries to distance himself from forming new friendships or getting involved with the Team leader’s sister. But like all romance storylines, the sexual attraction is strong and there is no denying that Kat and Beckett are destined for their own happily ever after-if only Beckett can let go of his past. The $ex scenes are intimate, sensual, and hot.

HARD TO LET GO is an ensemble storyline. All of the previous couples, as well as the members of the Raven MC play a secondary and supporting role throughout the storyline. We are witness to the building relationships between the Special Forcers soldiers, and the women and men that they love. Each of our series heroes has found his happily ever and with it comes the realization that life will continue but for the lives that were lost.

Laura Kaye’s HARD INK is an exceptional character driven series where the focus is not only on the couple in question but on the group of heroes as a whole. The friendships formed between brothers (both blood and of the heart) are heartwarming, riveting and inspiring; they support and nurture one another the way family should support the people that they love. Laura’s storylines are seductive; she will pull you into the depths of heartbreaking struggles, and intoxicating romance arousing your curiosity about the ‘what ifs’ and the future for five soldiers and the women they love. The intense pain and sorrow of the past will never be forgotten but finding the one person that calls to your heart puts everything into perspective. Congratulations Laura Kaye for the inspiring and provocative world of the men of Hard Ink.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Edelweiss

Reviewed By Sandy



Beckett was a wrung-out mess.
He’d just spent the past hour talking to Emilie, and it was maybe more than
he’d talked at one time in his whole life. He couldn’t exactly say he felt
good, and maybe not even better, but he could say that he was a little proud of
himself for facing his past. Didn’t matter that dealing with that shit was as
comfortable as swallowing crushed glass, because choking it down was the only
way he’d have a chance at a future.
At least, a future that he really, truly wanted.
One where he wasn’t alone. One where he wasn’t angry. One
where he wasn’t wasting the time he might have left on this earth—time his
seven fallen teammates no longer had.
Jogging down the stairs from the third-floor apartment,
Beckett headed to the gym. No matter how trashed he felt, he had one more
conversation that absolutely had to happen tonight.
Nick. About Kat.
had seen the all-knowing looks on Marz’s and Jeremy’s faces when he and Kat
joined the all-hands’ meeting earlier in the evening. If he didn’t go to Nick
soon, the guy was going to learn about them some other way. And then the hell
was going to be even worse to pay. And Beckett didn’t want that to happen. Not
just because he didn’t want the hassle. But because he owed it to Nick—as his
friend and his brother—to come clean.
Didn’t mean that his gut wasn’t all twisted up about
whether Nick would think him good enough for his baby sister, though.
He reached the gym door, took a deep breath, and punched
in the pass code. Man up, Murda.
Inside, things were hopping, despite the fact that it was
pushing eleven o’clock. Some Ravens were lifting weights. Others were shooting
the shit around the table. And two guys were tossing a ball back and forth,
driving Eileen crazy by bouncing it over her head. Easy was pounding out a fast
pace on the treadmill. And, in the back corner, Nick, Marz, and Shane were
poring over something on Marz’s desk
Beckett had faced down terrorists who wanted nothing more
than to take his life with their very hands, and he’d probably never been as
nervous as he was right now. For fuck’s sake
He moved into the room. About midway across he spied Cy
peeking out from behind a weight machine. “You and me are gonna have a talk soon,
too,” he said, pointing at the cat. A one-eyed blink was his only answer
And then he was standing on the far side of Marz’s desk
next to Shane, peering down at what the three men were examining.
Marz gave him a smile and tapped his finger against the
pages. “Just going over all these instances when Merritt noted Kaine as having
changed orders regarding counternarcotics missions.
“Marz was right,” Nick said, looking up at him. “Some of
these gave me a bad feeling in my gut at the time, because they seemed out of
character for Merritt. He was never a last minute kinda guy. Every damn time
he’s marked those changes as having been ordered by Kaine.”
Beckett nodded. And then his mouth acted without his
brain’s permission. “I’d like to date your sister.”


series spotlight

Hard As It Gets  Hard As It Gets
Hard Ink #1
by Laura Kaye
Genre: contemporary, suspense, action, romance, adult
Release Date: November 2013

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of HARD AS IT GETS / / Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

Tall, dark, and lethal…

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

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

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

Hard As You Can
Hard Ink #2
by Laura Kaye
Genre: contemporary, suspense, action, romance, adult
Release Date: February 25, 2014

Click HERE to read Sandy’s review of HARD AS YOU CAN / / Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

Hard as You CanAbout the book: Release Date February 25, 2014

Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he’s shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister’s sake, Crystal can’t get too close. Until her job and Shane’s mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn’t want him to uncover. Too bad. He’s exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can—and never let go.


Hard to Hold On To
Hard Ink 2.5
by Laura Kaye
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance, suspense
Release Date: August 19, 2014

Click HERE to read Sandy’s review of HARD TO HOLD ON TO / / Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 19, 2014

Hard To Hold On ToEdward “Easy” Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves–which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight. He may have just met her, but Jenna’s the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can’t describe how he makes her feel–and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to.

Hard to Come ByHard to Come By
Hard Ink 3
by Laura Kaye
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic suspense
Release Date: November 25, 2014

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of Hard To Come By / / Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 25, 2014

Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he’s become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.

As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away.

Hard To Be GoodHard To Be Good
Hard Ink 3.5
by Laura Kaye
Genre: adult, contemporary, M/M, romance

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of Hard to Be Good / / B&N / KOBO / iTunes

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 7, 2015

Hard Ink Tattoo owner Jeremy Rixey has taken on his brother’s stateside fight against the forces that nearly killed Nick and his Special Forces team a year before. Now, Jeremy’s whole world has been turned upside down—not the least of which by a brilliant, quiet blond man who tempts Jeremy to settle down for the first time ever.

Recent kidnapping victim Charlie Merritt has always been better with computers than people, so when he’s drawn into the SF team’s investigation of his army colonel father’s corruption, he’s surprised to find acceptance and friendship—especially since his father never accepted who Charlie was. Even more surprising is the heated tension Charlie feels with sexy, tattooed Jeremy, Charlie’s opposite in almost every way.

With tragedy and chaos all around them, temptation flashes hot, and Jeremy and Charlie can’t help but wonder why they’re trying so hard to be good.

About the author

Laura Kaye NewLaura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Website | Facebook |Twitter | Newsletter

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Ink Slinger


Possessed by the Fallen by Sharon Ashwood – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Possessed by the Fallen by Sharon Ashwood – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Possessed by the Fallen
Horsemen #4
by Sharon Ashwood
Release Date:July 1, 2015


Possessed by the FallenAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book DepositoryHarlequin

When his lover learned his darkest secret, she betrayed the elite vampire agent… 

Now the beautiful fey Jessica Lark is back in Jack Anderson’s life. With the fate of a royal wedding and a high-stakes mission depending on his complete attention, Jack has no room for distraction. Especially the sort this temptress poses. A fey spy who also seems to be guarding dangerous secrets that aren’t her own. 

The two agents don’t know if they can trust one another. But if they hope to unravel a dark plot and fight an evil queen, they’ll have to try. Their undeniable attraction might just save them…but first they’ll have to travel through a portal to a hidden, treacherous fairy-tale kingdom.



Possessed by the Fallen is the conclusion of the terrific Four Horsemen series by Sharon Ashwood. Can you hear me weeping? It’s been a wonderful ride; each installment delving deeper into the massive rift between the Marcari and Vidon kingdoms. But more importantly, each Horseman lovingly featured. We met, and lost, vampire Jack Anderson, aka Death, the lynchpin of Les Compagnie des Morts in the introductory novel (all previous reviews available here). Jessica Lark, the brilliant dress designer, suffered the same fate, but like Jack – “The agents of the Company seem to have a phoenix-like talent for resurrection” – they painstakingly went underground. Separately. Ready to love Jack and Lark? You most certainly will!

So…hugs all around at the reunion? Not.even.close. Going undercover does wonders for the mind…it hones your memories…keeps revenge alive and hot if you were stabbed…by your lover! How does one even get over that?! Betrayal is unforgivable, and Jack’s got an infinite amount of time to seethe, but his heart is ever traitorous where Lark is concerned; she was, after all, the one who made his “still heart” beat again.

His entire being was flooded with desire and rage, and she was at the core of it all.

With the upcoming royal nuptials two weeks away, there’s little time to focus on love affairs gone horribly wrong. “Bridal apocalypse” is to be prevented by all means necessary and “this marriage had the power to seal the gates to the Dark Queen’s prison forever.”

In spite of Lark’s offense, she stole Jack’s dark secret to dissect and exploit for her own Light fey kind, Jack needs all the allies he can muster against Selena, the evil Dark Fey Queen.In my previous review (Faran’s book), I alluded to discoveries and nefarious action. The deadline is fast approaching and Jack must resurface, more powerful than ever, to gather up his troops and ensure the portal is sealed permanently. Uncertainty with Lark aside (reduced to spy vs. spy for the time being), will those closest to Jack welcome him back without pause? I would, he’s a hot ass vampire, but those trust issues Jack is holding against Lark could be the same accusations being flung at him by his own Horsemen.

Jessica Lark. I shouldn’t like her, but Ms. Ashwood makes her forgivably flawed and vulnerable. Yes, she did the unthinkable against the man she loved, but it wasn’t without personal cost. The aftermath of suffering, physically and emotionally, led Lark to visit the dark side, and sadly, this is no Star Wars reference.

Ms. Ashwood is tying loose ends, coming full circle, but she does it intriguingly, writes it decadently, every bump of the way. The subplots held their own glamour; inching their way toward final connections that achieve vision/purpose. But instead of being formulaic, Ms. Ashwood introduces new magical elements for good and complicates Jack’s already shaky comeback a la Me, Myself and Irene, only this time deadly. You’ll understand my meaning when you read the book.  

Forgiveness isn’t shameful and we witness its healing effects on those who need it the most. Ms. Ashwood described spectacular action, you’ll practically lift up your own hand to guard against the flames of battle, but she’s created, more significantly, memorable characters with stunning counterparts who envelope you in swoon-worthy romance. Possessed by the Fallen is a perfect finale for an incredible series. Sharon Ashwood deserves high praise for maintaining such exuberance throughout four books.

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Author


Guest Post-White and Purple

Who Doesn’t Love a Wicked Fairy Queen?

Well, my characters don’t, but I hope readers find her entertaining! In Possessed by the Fallen, the conclusion of my paranormal romance series, the action moves into the realm of the exiled Queen of the Dark Fey. Our hero, Jack, was one of those responsible for putting her there and, needless to say, the queen wants revenge almost as much as she wants to escape. Fortunately, Jack is accompanied by the heroine, Lark, who is one of the Light Fey and who knows how to navigate the twisting snares of the Fey Court.

Cultures across the world have legends of fairies, and I had opportunity to use a few of the common ideas about these hidden creatures. One is that the fairy realms are divided into Dark and Light. That doesn’t quite equate with “good” and “evil” but more like “will agree to a conversation” and “run the other way immediately.” At best, the fairies have their own concerns and see no reason to deal with humans unless there is a benefit to themselves. At worst, they’re the monster under the bed.

Fairies are also very literal. This means you have to be extremely careful when making a bargain with them, because they will take advantage of the smallest loophole. This is where Jack is very lucky to have Lark on board—she’s better than a team of lawyers when it comes to deciphering fey trickery. Also, don’t try the local cuisine. Fairy tales are filled with the adventures of unwary travellers who sample fairy food and fall under their power. The unwary might be trapped, driven mad, or waste away. In other words, fairies represent the ultimate “stranger danger.”

The peril represented by the fey says a lot about the cultures that created them. Scholars of the Victorian era spend a great deal of time exploring fairy tales as expressions of sexual desire—that gives a whole new meaning to goblin fruit—where others interpret the fairy world as a representation of raw nature. Fairies are wild, capricious, and indifferent to human suffering. They are tricksters who, like Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, love to cause chaos for its own sake.

In my story the fey are certainly dangerous (and lusty) but more easily understood. They have their own agenda, but they feel as we do—especially Lark of the Light Fey, who yearns desperately for a reunion with her lost love, Jack.

As for that wicked queen, she is well and truly a stinker. But what is a good fairytale without a villain—one with consummate style and all the best lines? No self-respecting fairy would be disappointed with a role like that. I invite you to come visit her realm in company with my hero and heroine. The queen has granted safe passage to readers, but don’t strike any bargains with the locals!


about the author

Sharon AshwoodSharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.

Sharon is the winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.

To learn more about Sharon Ashwood, you can find her at the following links:

Website /   FacebookTwitter  / Pinterest / Goodreads



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The Lives Between Us by Theresa Rizzo – Review & Giveaway

The Lives Between Us by Theresa Rizzo – Review & Giveaway

The Lives Between Us Banner

The Lives Between Us
by Theresa Rizzo
Genre: July 1, 2015
Release Date: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspense

The Lives Between UsAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords  /iBookstore

How far would you go to save the one you love?

Reporter Skylar Kendall has run from commitment all her life, pushing people away before they leave her, until her niece worms her way into Skye’s heart and settles in tight. Skye relaxes into a career she enjoys and relishes being a doting aunt.

Then her niece becomes gravely ill. Unable to bear yet another loss, Skye is determined to find a cure, but the girl’s only hope lies in the embryonic stem cell therapy Michigan Senator Edward Hastings repeatedly opposes. When Skye fails to find alternative treatment in time, she vows to end the senator’s political career.

Curious about the woman behind the scathing articles on his best friend, Mark Dutton pursues Skye. Dating Mark gives her access to Hastings’s life and secrets that would launch Skye’s career and satisfy her need for retribution… Only she hadn’t counted on falling in love.

Can she avenge the lives lost to politics at the expense of her new love and friends?


5 out of 5 for this reader folks!
I have come to realize that when I am about to indulge in a Theresa Rizzo novel, I had better make sure that I have a kleenex box and a block of selfish “don’t bug me I am reading” time.  I am always left with some kind of imprint that allows me remember her stories months after I have read them.  Well “The Lives Between Us” is no exception.
Skylar Kendal is a journalist by trade and an aunt who fights tooth and nail for a niece that is in dire need of some stem cell therapy.  When emergency hits and there is a solution at their fingertips, Skylar is naturally upset when her niece’s life hangs in the hands of politicians.  So upset that she vows to make the life of Senator Edward Hastings a living hell.
Mark Dutton is the best friend of Senator Hastings and decides to get to know this reporter who is trying to ruin his best friends career.  Skye is turn, believes that she can hasten the Senators downfall by getting close to his best friend.  What Mark and Skye don’t count on is truely falling in love with the other.
Yes so much more depth to this story than what I just wrote, but I hate writing what the story is about (you get all that info in the description) and would rather review how this story made me FEEL.  No doubt I am an emotional reader so I really appreciate a book where I am taken on a roller coaster ride of emotion.  Yup .. Theresa Rizzo certainly has a talent for that!  
Stem Cell research is a touchy topic that debates law, life and tons of emotion.  You feel the pain in the struggle of having a solution to help a dying relative and yet, not being able to access this solution.  I felt a keen hatred for politics while reading this book.  The romance here is sweet and angsty at times, and to be truthful took a back burner to the politics (at least for me as I was more interested in the stem cell topic that in the romance).
You can tell that Theresa Rizzo did a bunch of research on this topic and she complimented this research by providing the reader with believable multi-layered characters.  There is no true solution of what is right or wrong here, as this is a personal opinion (and your opinion may be the deciding factor of whether you will like this story or not).  What she did do was give many different ways to debate and look upon this topic giving it the respect it deserved.  I do think the Skye goes a little too far at times in trying to destroy the Senator, but when I sat back and thought it out, she is acting as a desperate family member could act (notice I didn’t say would or should WINK).
An delicious exhausting read, and another score for this wonderful author!

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy provided by Author

About The author

Theresa_2013_0353 Theresa Rizzo is a bestselling, award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. 
Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty-two years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.

Theresa’s debut book, He Belongs to Me, won the 2014 National Indie Excellence Award for romance and the 2014 Readers Crown Award for Mainstream Women’s Fiction and was a finalist in the General Fiction Category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards.  

Find Theresa on the web at, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or and Goodreads.



Theresa has graciously offered to give one member of The Reading Café a chance to win an e-copy of her new release, The Lives Between Us.

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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8. Giveaway open to international readers.

9. Giveaway runs from July 01 to July 05, 2015