The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart – Review & Giveaway

The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart – Review & Giveaway

 

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The Darkest Corner
Gravediggers series – Book #1
by Liliana Hart
Release Date: May 23, 2017

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Description:
The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise…

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.

 

Review:

The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart is the first book in her new Gravediggers series.   This is romance suspense with some humor that takes place in a small town and revolves around a group of elite former military men that are presumed dead, and must stay that way with no contact to anyone from their previous lives.  These men are called Gravediggers, and work for an undercover government agency that even the President knows nothing about.   They take on suicidal missions to help save the world. 

Tess Sherman, is our heroine, who runs the local funeral home in Last Stop, Texas.  Though Tess is the director of the home, it is Eve Winter who owns it.  But Eve rarely visits the place, as unbeknownst to Tess, she is the leader of the Gravediggers , and the men who work with Tess, are actually undercover agents that are sent on secret missions by Eve.  Tess and her friend Miller love ogling the men as they work outside the home.  The town, made up of weird funny people, can’t understand why these men are working in their small town.  But even the older women love ogling the men.  J

Deacon Tucker, our hero, is the original gravedigger and former black ops agent.  He leads the 4 other men that work around the funeral home, while secretly waiting assignments.  He has also been attracted to Tess for a long time, and despite the rules not allowing them to ever be serious, the romance between Deacon and Tess will heat up and become hotter than hell.  But Deacon knows they have a difficult assignment ahead of them, with a terrorist group from Russia attempting a major chemical attack on US soil that is called The Day of Destiny. 

As Deacon and Tess’s romance escalates, he begins to worry about Tess; especially since Eve thinks Tess will be an asset to the team, with her ability to understand Russian and other languages.  At this point is when the story line becomes very exciting and suspenseful.  Tess will become part of the team, working with them on the start of this mission.  There are some terrifying situations, but the 5 guys and Tess are up to the challenge. 

Though there is much as the humor within the town and Tess’s relatives, it is the romance suspense aspect that drew me to the story.  This was exciting, action packed and thrilling. I enjoyed this very much, though I could have done without some of the craziness in the town part, which I thought was a bit too long.

The Darkest Corner was very well written by Liliana Hart, as she gives us a great sexy romance, wonderful couple, and awesome Gravediggers team. I look forward to the next book in this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

About the author

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SaveLiliana Hart is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than forty titles, including the Addison Holmes Whiskey and J.J. Graves Mystery series. Since self-publishing in June 2011, Liliana has sold more than four million ebooks. She’s hit the #1 spot on lists all over the world, and all three of her series have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Liliana is a sought-after speaker who’s given keynote speeches and self-publishing workshops to standing-room-only crowds from California to New York to London. Please visit her at lilianahart.com, facebook.com/lilianahart, and twitter.com/liliana_hart.

Look for Gone to Dust (Book 2) June 20th!

giveaway

Liliana’s Publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of the first book in this series, THE DARKEST CORNER 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.

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4. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

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

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7. Giveaway is open to USA only

8. Giveaway runs from May 24-29, 2017

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The End of Magic by Amber Benson – Review, Spotlight & Giveaway

The End of Magic by Amber Benson – Review, Spotlight & Giveaway

 

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The End of Magic
Echo Park Coven series – Book #3
by Amber Benson
Release Date: May 16, 2017

The End of MagicAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
Lyse MacAllister used to be like everyone else blissfully ignorant of magic, of the dire battles being fought in shadows and secrecy. But that was before her Aunt Eleanora died, leaving her in control of the Echo Park coven; before she found herself in the middle of the witches clash with the anti-magic zealots known as the Flood; before her blood sisters turned against her…

As the Flood begins turning humans across the globe against the witches, Lyse must find a way to regain the trust of her former magical family and once again unify them. Because the final battle between good and evil is looming and if the witches don t stand against it together, all of humankind could be lost…”

 

Review:

The End of Magic by Amber Benson is the 3rd and final book in her Witches of Echo Park series.  The Witches of Echo Park series is urban fantasy revolving around witches and an evil group trying to destroy all witches and magic.  In the last book, Lizbeth, the last dream keeper was able to restore magic, but the end result is The Flood, an evil group that has successfully turned humans against the witches. 

The End of Magic picks up soon after the last book, with Lyse, who is now the leader of the Echo Park Coven.  Many of the members are hurt, missing, in the dreamlands; with the police and The Flood collecting and killing witches all over the world, Lyse must find a way to get her coven together and stop The Flood.  

As I had noted in the previous book, this series shows the POV of the various members of the coven.  Lyse  is the leader, who has various powers, since she has the ability to harness other peoples powers at touch. Arrabelle (Bell), Devandra (Dev), Daniela (empath) and Lizbeth also have their POV’s during the story line.   Eleanora makes an appearance helping them in the dreamlands.

With all the witches separated, Lyse will use her new found powers to move the group to various places to bring all of them together again to fight and stop the evil Flood. What follows is an exciting, at times dark adventure that puts them all in danger, especially in the last 1/3 of the book.   Despite mistakes they have all made along the way, their closeness will keep them together determined to stop evil at all costs. At the last stand, Lyse is sent back in time to find a way to stop The Flood before it all began. 

Switching to various times, Lyse sees no changes and upon returning to the present, she sees a horrifying sight.  Will she be able to go back again to find the right time frame in the past to stop the evil?

Rather than give spoilers, the ending was very exciting, but I would have liked more about what truly happens to our coven, not having to use our imagination.  I enjoyed The End of Magic and if you like Urban Fantasy, with witches and magic, I suggest to read the first book in this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

About the Author

 

Amber-Benson
AMBER BENSON is the author of the Echo Park Coven Novels, including The Last Dream Keeper and The Witches of Echo Park, and the Calliope Reaper-Jones Novels, including The Golden Age of Death and How To Be Death. She cocreated, cowrote, and directed the animated supernatural Web series Ghosts of Albion with Christopher Golden, which they followed with a series of novels, including Witchery and Accursed, and the novella Astray. Benson and Golden also coauthored the novella The Seven Whistlers. As an actress, she has appeared in dozens of roles in feature films, TV movies, and television series, including the fan-favorite role of Tara Maclay on three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Benson wrote, produced, and directed the feature films Chance and Lovers, Liars and Lunatics.

 

giveaway

Amber’s Publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of the first book in this series, THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK 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.

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3. Follow Amber Benson on Facebook.

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

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

7. Giveaway is open to USA/CANADA only

8. Giveaway runs from May 17-21, 2017

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The Bridal Squad (Enchanted Bridal #2) by Samantha Chase-Review, Interview & Giveaway

THE BRIDAL SQUAD (Enchanted Bridal #2) by Samantha Chase-Review, Interview & Giveaway

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THE BRIDAL SQUAD
Enchanted Bridal #2
by Samantha Chase
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance
Release Date: May 10, 2017

The Bridal Squad

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

About the book: Release Date May 10, 2017

Click HERE for more details about Samantha Chase and the Enchanted Bridal series

The Friday Night Brides are back! And this time, it’s their first season running the business! It was one thing to just model in a weekly fashion show, it’s quite another to be the ones calling the shots and making future brides’ dreams come true. Their first client has them wondering if they’re really prepared for their new roles!

The Bride: Julianne is big on fitness, small on patience. And planning her wedding is grating on her every last nerve. As a Zumba instructor, she loves the freedom to create and choreograph her routines and help others achieve their goals, but having to stand back and let others choreograph her big day has her wanting to hip-hop toward eloping!

The Matron of Honor: As the only married member of the bridal party, Natalie considers herself the aficionado on all-things weddings. And even though her time in the spotlight is over, that doesn’t mean she isn’t full of ideas on how her best friend’s wedding should look and feel and be! And it doesn’t take long for her to realize that maybe it’s not so much that she’s wanting to help as it is that she’s afraid of her own honeymoon ending.

The Bride’s Sister: Nothing screams unwanted relationship advice than when your younger sister gets married before you. It’s not that Harper doesn’t want to get married, after three failed engagements she really does! But finding the right man to walk down the aisle with is proving harder than she thought. And it gets even harder when constantly being compared to the perfect couple!

The Reluctant Bridesmaid: There is nothing Kayla wants more than to see one of her best friend’s get married…if only the whole process wasn’t so exhausting! Travel and adventure and being on the go fuels her. Having to stay in one place for an extended period of time while wearing taffeta? Not so much. Her job tends to take her away on a moment’s notice and this is one time she may have to pass up the trip of a lifetime in the name of friendship.

•••••••••

REVIEW:  THE BRIDAL SQUAD is the second installment in Samantha Chase’s contemporary, adult ENCHANTED BRIDAL romance series. Like the first book Friday Night Brides, THE BRIDAL SQUAD focuses on four women-Julianne, Natalie, Harper and Kayla-four friends whose personal lives implode as they make preparations for Julianne’s wedding.

Told from several third person points of view THE BRIDAL SQUAD follows the four friends as they traverse a minefield of relationship hiccups and disasters-misunderstandings, new love, fear of commitment, meddling mothers, and being taken for granted. While Julianne makes plans for her upcoming nuptials, everyone’s life begins to spiral out of control until the bride-to-be announces she was done with it all.

THE BRIDAL SQUAD looks at four women whose personal struggles are not unlike the reality of relationships and love but for each their battles loom larger through a lack of communication, issues of trust, secrets and the sheer exhaustion of their friend’s impending wedding.

Samantha Chase writes a heartwarming, realistic and poignant story of romance, and love, heartbreak and pain, perception and emotional withdrawal for four women who love hard, and work hard for love. Julianne battles for control of her wedding; Harper can never measure up to her mother’s ideals; Kayla receives an ultimatum; and Natalie realizes she may had made the biggest mistake of her life. THE BRIDAL SQUAD is an enjoyable, animated and lighthearted look at life. The premise is playful and energetic, and the characters are vivacious and passionate.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of book 1-FRIDAY NIGHT BRIDES

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview

CATCHING UP with Samantha Chase

TRC: Hi Samantha and welcome back to The Reading Café.

Congratulations on the release of THE BRIDAL SQUAD-the second installment in your Enchanted Bridal Series.SamanthaChase

For anyone new to Samantha Chase, please tell us something about yourself?

Follow: Goodreads / Twitter / Website / Facebook

Samantha: Thanks for having me back! I write contemporary romance – some call it sweet, but I like to just mention that most of the sexy stuff happens behind closed doors!

 

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Samantha: I started reading romances in the 7th grade when my science lab partner introduced me to Harlequin romances. I was instantly hooked. I always knew that I loved writing stories, but it wasn’t until I got serious about reading romances that I knew that’s what I wanted to write. Sandra Brown was a huge influence on me wanting to do it.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties have you encountered writing and publishing your stories?

Samantha: There are so many amazing authors out there that it’s hard to stand out and find readers! I am fortunate in that I am a full-time writer so I can set my own schedule and really write the books that I want to, but finding and keeping an audience is a constant challenge.

The Bridal SquadTRC: Would you please tell us something about THE BRIDAL SQUAD and Enchanted Bridal Series?

Samantha: There was never really going to be a series! Whew…it’s good to finally admit that! I had originally published THE WEDDING SEASON as a standalone. FRIDAY NIGHT BRIDES was a story that I always wanted to write because growing up, I knew a family who owned a bridal shop and they did those fashion shows and I was always intrigued by them. As I started to plan it, I was talking to a friend about it and she mentioned using some of the characters from WEDDING SEASON and I thought “Why not?” So we sort of considered that the prequel. Readers seemed to really enjoy FRIDAY NIGHT BRIDES and I knew I could totally do more with the girls from that story but bring them back in supporting roles.

I wrote THE BRIDAL SQUAD in a very short amount of time. I won’t say how short, but trust me, it was! And the interesting thing was that I didn’t really know what I wanted these girls to be dealing with. I knew the dynamic that I wanted but this story was truly a by-the-seat-of-my-pants event. As the story progressed, I have to admit that even I was surprised at where some of the stories went but in the end, I felt like these were women who I would want to be friends with and the response from readers has confirmed that they would as well!

TRC: Are any of the characters based in reality?

Samantha: The character of Angie is based on a friend of mine. I mean like solidly based on her personality, not the life situation that the character in the book finds herself in. But most of my characters end up being a combination of people that I’ve known in my life.

TRC: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, does the style of music influence the story line direction? Characters?

Friday Night BridesSamantha: While I’m physically writing, the only sound I usually hear is my dog snoring or I put on a Sounds of the Ocean CD. However, almost all of my books have at least one song that has either inspired a particular scene or even the entire book. I tend to turn to music when I have writers block and that’s how I’ll find that perfect song to help me out.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception people have about authors?

Samantha: That writing is easy. I get so upset when people get flippant about what I do and then say “Oh maybe I’ll write a book!” It’s not easy. And it doesn’t get any easier. Each book takes more hours that I think it will and it means that I sit at my desk for fourteen hours a day or I don’t go out of my house for days on end.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Samantha: I’m actually kind of an introvert. Online I don’t seem that way, but most times if given the choice, I will gladly stay home with my husband and son and just hang out and watch TV.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Samantha: I am currently working on two books. The first is a new book in my Montgomery Brothers series. No title yet and I’m about 40K into it. And the other is book three in the Preston’s Mill series that I am co-writing with Noelle Adams called Complicating.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food – Steak

Favorite Dessert – chocolate milkshake

Favorite TV Show – Modern Family

Last Movie You Saw – Beauty and the Beast

Dark or Milk Chocolate – Dark

Secret Celebrity Crush – Jeffery Dean Morgan

Last Vacation Destination – San Diego

Do you have any pets? – Yes! My sassy pug Maylene

Last book you read – An ARC of GOING IN DEEP by Carly Phillips. And I LOVED it!!

TRC: Thank you Samantha for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on your new release

Giveaway

Samantha and her publicist are offering an ecopy of THE BRIDAL SQUAD to THREE (3) commenters 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.

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

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

3. Please follow Samantha Chase on Facebook.

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

5. LIKE The Reading Cafe on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

7. Giveaway is open to  international entries.

8. Giveaway runs from May 12-16, 2017

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Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons – Review, Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway

Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons – Review, Spotlight, & Giveaway

 

Dating the Undead
Undead Dating Service series – Book #1
by Juliet Lyons
Release Date: May 2, 2017

Dating the UndeadAmazon / B&N / Kobo  / BAM / Book Depository

Dating the Undead Promo

Description:
It’s Bridget Jones with vampires in this fresh and funny paranormal romance from debut author Juliet Lyons

When Silver Harris kisses sexy Irish vampire Logan Byrne on New Year’s Eve, she knows other humans just won’t suffice. Convinced she’ll never see him again, she joins the uber-popular vampire dating site, V-Date.com.

What Silver doesn’t know is that the site is more dangerous than she could ever imagined, and soon she’s in over her head. When Logan returns, sparks fly and attraction sizzles, but they’ll have to escape some very real demons if they have any chance of lasting forever.

 

Review:

Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons is the 1st book in her Undead Dating Service series.  This was a different type of paranormal story line revolving around vampires and humans.   Silver Harris, our heroine, is a beautiful feisty sexy young girl, who secretly is trying to find the person responsible for killing her mother.  Silver starts dating vampires, which in this book, seems the norm for human girls who find them sexy and attractive.  Silver has agreed to go undercover using the V-Date.com site to help the police learn more information about how vampires live and how to stop them. 

Logan Byrne is close to 200 years old, and is a gorgeous vampire with sexy green eyes.  He saves Silver from a bad vampire, and in no time their attraction for each other is hotter than hell. Logan works for Ronin, the ancient vampire who he is blood bound to; Little does Logan know that the assignment he is given, will bring him to Silver.   Their relationship was great, as Silver was a piece of work, with her off the cuff sassy comments, and  I loved them together.  They were so much fun, not to mention totally steamy. 

Logan realizes he is falling in love with Silver, having feelings he has not had for so long. Because he knows his boss will not approve, and his fear of his old dangerous sire coming back to haunt him, Logan will decide to break up with Silver to keep her safe.   Once he finds out that Silver is working for the police, Logan knows he has to protect her, and also knows he can’t live without her.  At this point, all hell is about to break loose, with Logan’s sire returning putting both of their lives together.   During this time, Silver will also find out who was responsible for her mother’s murder.

I enjoyed Dating the Undead, mainly because the main characters were lots of fun, likeable and their chemistry was off the wall.   After the exciting & surprise climax twist, there was an epilogue that moved forward three years in time, which was a nice touch.  Wonderful start of this new series by Juliet Lyons.  I recommend Dating the Undead to read if you enjoy paranormal romances with vampires.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

Guest post-White and Red

10 ways to tell if your date is actually a vampire by Juliet Lyons

  1. They only want to meet at night, using the excuse that they’re not ‘a morning person’
  1. On a date to the beach, you catch them harassing the lady in the mini mart to check the stock room for Hawaiian Tropics factor 500.
  1. When you get a paper cut, they’re oddly excited.
  1. They’re still not over their ex. Even though the latter has been dead for two hundred years.
  1. Every time you mention a church wedding they recoil in horror*.
  1. They often refer to Eric from True Blood as someone who ‘has their shit together.’
  1. They drink a lot of red wine, but never seem drunk. Wait — is that actually wine?
  1. They have pale, flawless skin despite the fact you’ve never once seen them cleanse and/or moisturize.
  1. When watching any kind of sporting event, they constantly scoff and sneer at the athletes.‘Please! Is that the best they can do?’
  1. They are particularly keen to remind you that the neck is a top five erogenous zone…

*Does not necessarily mean they are a vampire. Mortals — particularly males—are also prone to behaving in this way.

Clichéd lines from dating profile

Want to grab a bite?

I’d love to take you to dinner…If you’re okay with being the main course…
Male Vampire seeking a special someone to share his life—or death depending on how you look at it.
I can’t offer you sunshine, but I can offer you eternity.



excerpt

I freeze in terror. What a waste of Dad’s money those self-defense classes turned out to be.
“Silver, it’s just me,” a lilting Irish voice says at my ear, the hand dropping from my shoulder.
I turn around to find myself nose to nose with my vampire from New Year’s Eve, his bright green eyes piercing mine.
I’m struck by several conflicting emotions all at once—anger, relief, and in a tiny measure—happiness. Anger wins out. On impulse, I slap him hard across the face, pointing with a white, clenched hand to the garden I’ve just sprinted across.
“I thought I was about to be murdered, asshole,” I hiss through my teeth. “I ripped my coat. My heels are ruined. All because you thought it might be fun to follow me home.”
He smirks, nonplussed, sliding his hands into the deep pockets of his navy pea coat. “I wasn’t following you,” he says, eyes twinkling.
“Oh, that’s right,” I say, voice dripping with sarcasm. “You were just walking me home again. Except this time from fifty yards behind and without me knowing.”
Before he has a chance to reply, the front door flies open and my landlady Vera emerges in a long, silky, oriental dressing gown. She is wigless for once, a Pucci scarf twisted into a makeshift turban covering her head. In her right hand, she holds a meat cleaver.
“Step away, you rapist bastard!” she yells, holding the large knife shakily aloft.
I glare at the vampire, expecting him to either throw his hands in the air or take a step backwards. Instead his brows knit together and his mouth drops open. “Etta Marlow?” he asks, staring at her as if she just walked on water.
The meat cleaver lowers a fraction. “What’s it to you?” Vera demands, her voice losing some of its previous menace.
I roll my eyes. Of course he remembers her. He’s probably seen all her films.
“It is you!” he erupts, wagging a finger in her direction. “You’re Etta Marlow! You played Susie De Sousa in Girl Uptown with Gregor Lane. I love that movie.”
The meat cleaver drops, forgotten, to her side as she pats her turban, eyelashes fluttering. “Fancy you recognizing me,” she mutters happily.
“Excuse me, Vera,” I interject, “but there’s still a potential rapist on your doorstep here.”
Vera looks back to the vampire, who shakes his head, smiling. “A misunderstanding, Etta. I was making sure Silver here made it home safely. She got the wrong end of the stick.”
Vera, or Etta as she was once known, glances over at me. “Do you know this charming fellow, dear?”
I scowl at them both. “Well, yes, but— “
“Well then, you must come in, dear boy. I could show you my Oscar, if you like?”
The Vampire looks as if he’s about to pee himself with excitement. “You mean the one you got for Days Like These with Vic Stevens?”
She holds out a thin hand towards him, gold bangles jangling on her wrist. “The very one, dear. Come, come in.”
I watch, stunned, as he takes her hand, green eyes lit up in excitement.
Before stepping through the door, he hangs back. “Ms. Marlow, I’m afraid it’s only courteous to let you know before I enter that I’m not human. I’m a vampire.”
Vera’s tinkly laugh echoes around the street like a bicycle bell. “Oh, you’re so sweet. Didn’t you know I’ve met dozens of vampires? They’re two a penny in Hollywood, darling.”
Following her across the threshold, he flashes the cockiest of grins. “Coming, Silver?”
My jaw drops in disgust. I’m tempted to sulk off to my basement flat, but instead, I trail after them and slam the door.
We follow Vera along an elegant gold and cream hallway into her immaculate, monochrome front room. Even though I’ve been here on numerous occasions, I’m always mesmerized by the sheer extravagance of the place—buttery white leather sofas, cream fur rugs, one wall is painted black and white to resemble piano keys. It should look tacky, but somehow, it works.
“You two make yourselves at home whilst I go and make myself presentable.” Vera says. “Then I’ll dig out that old Oscar of mine.”
I know, of course, the Oscar will not have to be ‘dug’ out of anywhere. It’s always on display in the den, alongside her film stills and other memorabilia.
“I didn’t catch your name,” she croons to the vampire before she leaves.
He puts a hand on his chest. “Forgive me, I should have introduced myself. Between the meat cleaver threat and getting slapped by Silver here, I seem to have forgotten my manners. I’m Logan. Logan Byrne.”
For strange and unfathomable reasons, my stomach flips. Logan. It suits him.
“Charming,” Vera says. “Don’t you go anywhere, Mr. Byrne.”
As soon as Vera disappears from the room, Logan collapses into one of the white leather arm chairs and puts his crossed feet onto the cut glass coffee table.
I’m still standing, one brow arched, arms folded across my chest. “So, Logan,” I hiss. “What the hell is this?”
He grins, dimples putting in their first appearance of the night as he gazes up at me. “Did anyone ever tell you, you’re particularly beautiful when you’re angry?”
“Oh, cut the crap,” I say, ignoring the hot flush climbing my neck. “Why did you follow me?”
“Like I told Etta, I wanted to make sure you got home safely, that’s all. Though I’m a little confused as to why you have three houses.” He holds up fingers to count. “The one I left you at on New Year’s, the one Nathaniel dropped you at, and now this—cohabiting with an aged 1940’s screen siren.”
“It’s none of your business,” I say, chin in the air. “And anyway, how do you know Nathaniel?”
He shrugs. “I know most of the vampires in London.”
I humpth. “I bet you do.”
In the blink of an eye, he is towering over me, face inches from mine. I inhale his clean, masculine scent like a drowning person coming up for air, and as he leans closer, I find myself gravitating towards him—a flower reaching for sunlight.
He pulls the collar of my coat aside and peers into the gap. As his fingers brush my jaw, an uncontrollable shiver zings through me. I disguise it by stepping out of reach and batting his hand away.
“He did a messy job on your neck,” he says, in a low voice.
“What’s it to you?” I snap.
Before I realize what’s happening, he closes the gap between us. One hand cupping my cheek, he bends over, lips brushing the place Nathaniel bit me, tongue gently swiping the puncture holes.
“That should stop the bleeding,” he says, pulling away. “But you’ll still have a bruise in the morning.”
I rub my neck and look at my fingers. No blood. “So, you can heal wounds? Just another of your unique skills along with beating up drunk men and following young women home for kicks?”
He sinks back into the armchair. “You’re a sexy girl, Silver. I’m glad we’ve met again.”
I snort incredulously, trying, without success, to forget the warmth of his hand on my face. “Well, you certainly made sure we did.”
“And of course,” he continues, pretending to examine a photo on the coffee table. “I’m hugely flattered I’ve managed to turn your head towards my kind.”
“You didn’t turn anything,” I say tartly.
He cocks a brow, gaze burning through my clothes like a laser. I feel a sharp twitch between my legs, as though he’s controlling my private areas by some invisible string. “Are you sure about that?”


 

About The Author

Juliet Lyons
JULIET LYONSis a paranormal romance author from the UK. She holds a degree in Spanish and
Latin American studies and works part-time in a local primary school where she spends far too much time
discussing Harry Potter. Since joining global storytelling site Wattpad in 2014, her work has receivedmillions of hits online and gained a legion of fans from all over theworld. When she is not writing, Juliet enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

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Intercession by M.A. Abraham – Review & Giveaway

Intercession by M.A. Abraham – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
In the history of the Tantalarian people, The Tribunal Elder is the only one who ever stood up to the Tribunal. He did that when he was a Tribune, and managed to live to eventually lead it. He had disagreed with a decision the counsel made and acted on it. In protest; he cut off his ceremonial braid and threw the discarded plait onto the floor at The Elder’s feet, and refused to ever wear a braid again. His action was considered an insult, to the Elder of that time, as well as the Tribunal. The spirit of the man, who was, still lives in the ruler who is now.

The Tribunal Elder has lived through more millennium than he cares to think about. He is not the type to shirk his duties. He is a force to recon with; yet he is known to be a kind man. To settle a dispute between the Martians and the Human settlers, he is being forced to take the mother ship that they had arrived on Tantalus with many eons before back into space. This, he is not happy about.

The message from the Martians is clear, remove the settlers from the surface of their planet, or they will die. The Tribunal Elder soon discovers there is more to this than those who are command know about, for the act that precipitated this action had multiple events. Someone is working in the background, manipulating forces, to create a power struggle between the two species.

Will he allow the Tantalarians to be pulled into a conflict that they have and want nothing to do with?

 

 

Review:

Intercession by M.A. Abraham is the 4th book in her Tantalus series.   M. A. Abraham once again gives us an exciting and tense story as we return to the world of Tantalus.  Intercession picks up shortly after the last book ended. A brief refresher of the premise of Tantalus: This is a Sci-Fi story about two species (Humans & Tantalarians) that are forced to work together on the planet Tantalus.

The Tribunal Elder has been requested to go to Mars and remove the human settlers who live there or all humans will be killed.  He gathers a team made up of Tantalarians and human leaders who have migrated nicely in Tantalus.   The purpose is to find out the what and why causing this issue.  The Elder wants only mated men, as the Sirens from Mars are known to use their ability to get what they want by using alluring spells; and the mated men are immune to those spells.  He also wants Terec & Adele (our previous book heroes) to come, especially since Adele has the ability to read people and able to see if they are lying.

When they arrive in Mars, they are greeted by the Siren leader, as well as one of the woman warriors, who threaten them.  They are told that a few of the women are missing, and blame the human residents.   The Elder senses there is more to the story, and with his team they meet with the resident human leaders of various ships to discover what is happening.  Adele will make friends with Glynnis, one of the Siren females, who helps heal those who have been affected by sickness from contaminated water.   Adele and Gynnis will play a big part in helping fix the water, and learn the truth about what is happening.

What follows is a well written and excellent story line that will have the Elder, and the Tantalarians discover the issues, as well as stopping a dangerous revolt.  I loved meeting Echoes, a Siren princess, who was able to stop the revolution, and dictate punishment to those involved.  I loved Adele and Terec. I also enjoyed the surprise twist was also very nice. 

M.A. Abraham once again gives us an interesting, fun and different story line of the Tantalarians and Humans working together, as they try to diffuse the situation in Mars.  If you enjoy fantasy, aliens,  world building, then I suggest you start this series with the first book.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

 

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The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick – Review & Giveaway

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago.

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

 

 

Review:

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick is a mystery romantic thriller that takes place during the 1930’s in old glamorous Hollywood.  The story starts off with a bang, as we meet Anna Harris, who has discovered the dead body of her employer, with a message about a notebook and to “run”.  She manages to flee from the scene in New York to Hollywood, with a new identity.  Months later, we meet Irene Glasson, who is now a columnist for a Hollywood gossip paper. 

Murder seems to follow Irene, as the actress she was meeting at the Burning Cove Hotel was found dead.  Because she heard the footsteps of the possible killer, Irene jumps into the pool to escape.  It is here she meets our hero, Oliver Ward.  Oliver is the owner of the hotel, and a former famous magician, who due to an injury gave up that career and went into the hotel business.  Oliver takes an interest in Irene, and they will join hands to try to solve the murder.  When their relationship becomes a bit more than partners, Irene will eventually confide her past, running from someone who wants her dead.  Oliver is determined to keep a close eye on Irene, as he wants to protect her, as well as his hotel.

While interviewing actor, Nick Tremayne, Irene gets a scoop to enhance her career, only to have the powerful Hollywood conglomerates use everything in their power to cause her to lose her job, even to the extent of hiring people to stop her anyway necessary.   Those who have been looking for Anna Harris, will discover her new identity, which will double up on the threats to her. 

This was an exciting and fun mystery thriller, with a number of twists, and many dangerous situations that both Oliver and Irene are in the middle of.  The slow build romance between Irene and Oliver was nice, as I did like them together.  The nice thing about their romance was it as part of the story line, not taking away from the real story….the murder investigation.  I also liked some of the secondary characters in the book, especially Luther Pell.   The last third of the book was filled with action and excitement, and held my attention throughout.  The Girl Who Knew Too Much was another great story by Amanda Quick.  If you enjoy mysteries taking place in the 1930’s; in old time glamorous Hollywood, and excellent characters, then you should read The Girl Who Knew Too Much.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

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The Dangerous Billionaire ( Tate Brothers #1) by Jackie Ashenden-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

THE DANGEROUS BILLIONAIRE (Tate Brothers #1) by Jackie Ashenden-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

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THE DANGEROUS BILLIONAIRE
Tate Brothers #1
by Jackie Ashenden
Release Date: Ma 2, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romantic, suspense

The Dangerous Billionaire

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 2, 2017

Money doesn’t always change the man in this new standalone romance from Jackie Ashenden.

Navy SEAL Sullivan “Van” Tate has been called home to reluctantly inherit an empire and finds himself facing the most difficult mission of all: love.

Nothing about Sullivan “Van” Tate is what it seems. A Navy SEAL raised among the New York City elite, Van prefers heart-pounding action over a Wall Street corner office. But when his adoptive father dies and his business rivals move in to overtake his empire, Van must suit up to save the company and protect the one woman most forbidden to him…and the object of Van’s most dangerous desires.

Chloe Tate is as ambitious as she is gorgeous. With a newfound independence, Chloe is no longer a prisoner on her father’s ranch. But everything changes when losing her father may also mean losing her life. Even with her survival on the line, Chloe can’t deny the burning attraction she feels the moment she locks eyes with Van, her rich, rough and ready, foster brother and the new head of her father’s company. Tall, dark, and muscled, he’s the one man who she has no business being with. But how can she resist a Navy Seal Warrior when he’ll do anything to protect her?

•••••••••

REVIEW: THE DANGEROUS BILLIONAIRE is the first installment in Jackie Ashenden’s contemporary, adult TATE BROTHERS erotic, romantic suspense series focusing on three foster brothers-Sullivan (Van), Wolf and Lucas Tate-as well as their foster sister Chloe Tate. This is Navy SEAL Sullivan (Van) Tate, and Chloe Tate’s story line.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Chloe and Van) THE DANGEROUS BILLIONAIRE follows the Tate siblings in the aftermath of their father Noah Tate’s death. Called home from active duty, all three brothers find themselves the recipients of a letter outlining what the future has in store. Enter Chloe Tate, Van ‘s foster sister, and the woman that calls to his heart. What ensues is the protection and lock down of Chloe Tate in the face of a series of threats against our story line heroine. Van Tate is tasked with protecting his younger ‘sister’, a woman he hasn’t seen in close to eight years but a woman that means more to him than he had ever anticipated.

Chloe Tate has been in love with her ‘foster brother’ most of her life. Dejected and alone, our heroine spent most of her life on her father’s ranch, and with his death Chloe has hoped to take over the business she had come to love. But things don’t go according to plans when threats against her life come from an unlikely source-a source that is all to familiar to our story line heroine.

Sullivan (Van) Tate is a Navy SEAL; a career military man who spends his life in service to atone for sins of the past. Unable to move beyond what was and what should have been, Van struggles with his latest assignment ‘from the grave’-to protect the woman he sees as his little sister, and prevent the take over of his father’s company.

The relationship between Van and Chloe is one of mutual attraction but eight years have passed since they were last together. Van has always had a protective nature as it pertained to Chloe Tate, and with the latest threats against her life, Van goes alpha bear to protect the woman he loves. The $ex scenes are intimate, intense and seductive.

We are introduced to Van’s brothers, and Navy SEALS-Wolf and Lucas Tate. Wolf and Lucas also received a letter with orders from beyond the grave-orders that send each man in a different direction. Lucas’s story line is next in THE WICKED BILLIONAIRE.

THE DANGEROUS BILLIONAIRE is a story of family, betrayal, secrets and lies. The presentation suffers with too many repetitive reminders about the past, internal dialogues (Chloe and Van) laced with self-pity and a defeatist mindset; and the believability factor is questionable. Van’s emotional self-depracating attitude and guilt override his personal well being, as well as a heroine who is TSTL (too stupid to live) as she continuously places herself in the line of fire believing she is impervious to the threats against her life. Chloe’s apparent rejection by the father she loved is another constant throughout the story-there is plenty of whining and self pity from both of our leading characters. There is very little in the way of conflict resolution so I am going to presume more is to come in the next installment(s).

THE DANGEROUS BILLIONAIRE introduces the players and background to the Tate family history- a history marred by secrets and lies, and a father ill-equipped to look after the family he chose to raise. There are moments of heartbreak, sorrow and revelation; acceptance and moving on from the past. The premise is challenging; the romance struggles in the face of guilt; the characters are tragic and lost. Sadly, I struggled with some aspects of this introductory story but overall I am looking forward to see how it all plays out.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

excerpt

He didn’t look at her. Instead he shifted his weight onto one elbow and lifted his hand, cupping one breast in his palm. The breath hissed in her throat, the shocking heat of his touch reverberating through her like a scream echoing through a deserted house. He brushed his thumb over her aching nipple and she gasped, all the desperation she’d felt earlier rushing back.
He lowered his head, putting his mouth against the pulse at the base of her throat, the feel of his lips so hot she began to shiver almost uncontrollably. His tongue pressed lightly, his thumb brushing back and forth over her nipple, teasing her. She groaned, her spine bowing, pleasure like a live thing twisting inside her.
“Beautiful,” he whispered roughly against her skin, giving her the reassurance she needed without her even having to ask. “You’re just so fucking beautiful.”
He didn’t speak after that, too busy trailing kisses down over her skin, making goose bumps rise everywhere, the brush of his thumb maddening. Then he took his hand away as his mouth closed over the hard point of her nipple, hot and wet, an intense pressure building as he began to suck.
She groaned again, the pleasure bright and electric, her hands closing into fists beside her head. It felt so good she could hardly stand it. She whispered his name yet again, the sound raw as he teased her nipple with his tongue, then bit gently on it, making a sob catch in her throat.
He shifted his attention to her other breast, sucking that into his mouth as well as he slid one hand down the quivering plane of her stomach, to the fastening of her jeans. She lifted her hips urgently, unable to keep still, wanting to pull away from the maddening torture of his mouth and yet wanting him to suck harder, deeper at the same time.
“Hush.” His breath was hot against her sensitized nipple. “I told you to keep still. It’ll happen, don’t worry.”
She tried to do as she was told as he casually flicked open the button on her jeans and grabbed the tab of her zipper, tugging it down. Then his fingers were feathering light touches across her stomach, moving lower, sliding beneath the waistband of her panties. The breath sobbed in her throat as she felt those teasing fingers tangle in the soft, damp curls between her thighs, pulling lightly, sending tiny pinpricks of sensation racing over her skin.
She said something, she didn’t know what, maybe it was his name again or maybe it was a curse, and then she forgot it entirely as his fingers slid lower, stroking the soft, slick folds of her pussy.
Her hips bucked against his hand, her head going back on the pillow. He circled her clit with one finger, teasing her. Inching her closer toward the edge of the cliff but not pushing her off.
His mouth was so hot on her nipple, licking and sucking, torturing her as his fingers stroked unhurriedly around and around her clit, then sliding down to circle the entrance of her body, almost pushing inside but not quite.
He was playing with her, making her moan and move restlessly beneath him, blind now to anything but the feel of his hands on her body and the relentless pressure that was slowly building higher and higher.
Then quite suddenly he took his hands away and she nearly burst into tears at the loss, reaching for him as she felt his weight shift up and back.
“Lie still.” The rough sound of his voice rolled over her, full of command. “I’m not going anywhere.”
So she did as she was told, lying back against the pillows, blinking away the stupid rush of salty tears from her eyes and watching him slide off the bed. He straightened and pulled his shirt off, then got rid of his shoes. He un­ did his pants, pushed them down his hips along with his briefs, and stepped out of them magnificently, gloriously naked, but for his dog tags.
She couldn’t stop staring at him, following the carved lines of muscle and sinew, a work of perfect, masculine art, the eagle and trident inked across his chest making it very clear—as if his body hadn’t already—exactly what he was.
Dangerous, lethal. A weapon in human form.
He bent and got his wallet out of his pants, every movement fluid, purposeful as he extracted a foil packet from it. Then he ripped the open the foil, taking out the latex inside. And as she watched, completely fascinated, he reached down and gripped his cock in one hand, rolling down the condom with the other.
Big. He was really big. And beautiful too.
Her hands itched, wanting to touch him, to stroke down the long, smooth length of his rigid flesh, feel exactly how hard he was. But then he was moving, the bed dipping as he got back onto it. And her breath caught as he reached for the waistband of her jeans, pulling the denim down her legs in short, hard jerks, taking her panties along with them, and finally slipping them both off. Then he put his hands on her bare thighs and with ruthless insistence, spread them wide apart.
Another rush of vulnerability swept over her and she half sat up, breathing fast. “Van, I . . .” she began, before stopping short, not knowing what she wanted to say.
But he was moving forward, putting his hands on her shoulders and easing her back. “Let me look.” His voice had gentled again. “I only want to look at you.”
She tried to relax against the pillows, letting him hold her thighs apart, his gaze returning between them. The look on his face was so hungry, making her feel less ex­ posed and more . . . powerful almost. She liked doing that to him. She liked making him look at her as if he was starving.
He moved forward quite suddenly, coming over her, surrounding her with all that bare, tanned skin and strong muscle, his dog tags brushing against her sensitized breasts. The scent of him was everywhere, fresh, with that spicy, earthy undertone, and she was abruptly trembling so hard she didn’t think she’d ever stop.
He said nothing, looking at down at her, and this time his expression was fierce with something she didn’t under­ stand. She wanted to ask him what it was, but then he slid one hand beneath her hips, lifting them, and she felt the head of his cock slide through her folds, nudging against her clit. And she forgot what she was going to ask. In fact, she lost the power of speech entirely.
All she could do was lie there, shaking and desperate as he teased her, and when she didn’t think she could bear it anymore, he began to push his cock inside her, the intense stretch and burn of her pussy around him tearing a gasp from her throat.
She sobbed, because he didn’t rush. He went slowly. Inch by inch. Murmuring encouragement, telling her what a good girl she was, how tight and wet and hot her pussy was, and how good she felt around his cock. The dirty talk made her break out into a sweat, the climax so near she could almost taste it, making her want to shove herself up onto him or do something—anything—to push herself over the edge. But he didn’t let her, pinning one of her hips to the mattress with one hand as he lifted her leg up and around his waist with the other, tilting her pelvis so he could slide in deeper.
She stopped pleading, her throat too dry, her voice too hoarse. Besides, it was clear he wasn’t going to do anything until he was good and ready. She could only breathe through the pleasure that was wrapping itself around her throat and squeezing tight, making her gasp, making lights burst behind her eyes.
Then he was seated deep inside her, and she found herself pressed to the mattress, pinned beneath the hot, heavy weight of him. But strangely, looking up into his beautiful face, she didn’t feel crushed. She felt anchored. As if for the first time since she’d left Wyoming she’d come home in some way.
She didn’t speak as his arms came around her, cradling her, holding her close against him like she was a secret he wanted to keep safe. Then he drew back his hips and thrust deep inside her.
Chloe came apart then, sobbing against his shoulder, shattering as easily and as lightly as a sphere of blown glass, the pieces of her held together only by the strength of his arms.

Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

About The Author

Jackie AshendenFOLLOW: Goodreads /Website / Twitter / Facebook

Jackie Ashenden lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr. Jax, and their two kids and two cats. When she’s not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.

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Jackie Ashenden’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of THE DANGEROUS BILLIONAIRE 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.

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8. Giveaway runs from May6-10, 2017

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Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen-Review, Interview & Giveaway

PIPE DREAMS (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen-Review, Interview and Giveaway

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PIPE DREAMS
Brooklyn Bruisers #3
by Sarina Bowen
Release Date : May 2, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, hockey, romance

Pipe Dreams

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About the book: Release Date May 2, 2017

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

••••••••

REVIEW: PIPE DREAMS is the third installment in Sarina Bowen’s contemporary, adult BROOKLYN BRUISERS erotic, romance series focusing on the men and women of the Brooklyn Bruisers professional hockey team. This is Bruisers’ goalie Mike Beacon, and the team’s temporary office manager Lauren Williams second chance story line. PIPE DREAMS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information is revealed where necessary.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Lauren and Mike) PIPE DREAMS focuses on the rekindling romance between Brooklyn Bruisers’ goalie and single father Mike Beacon, and office manager Lauren Williams, and the Bruisers run for the Stanley Cup. With the office manager Rebecca Rowley on sick leave, team owner Nate Kattenberger brought his former office manager, and current corporate employee Lauren Williams to fill in for the remainder of the season knowing Lauren’s history with team goalie Mike Beacon was icy and cool. Two years earlier Lauren and Mike were lovers; making plans for something more permanent when demons from the past forced Mike to walk away from the woman he loved. Fast forward to present day and Mike Beacon wants a second chance with Lauren Williams-a woman struggling with her attraction to the man that broke her heart. What ensues is the rekindling love between two people whose relationship was destroyed by secrets, miscommunication and Mike’s overwhelming need to care for someone from his past.

The relationship between Mike and Lauren is one of second chances. Lauren’s need to run from the man that she loves finds our hero begging for another chance to prove he is worthy of Lauren’s love. Lauren’s struggles with a broken heart that has to be mended; her trust in Mike Beacon is tempered when the truth is revealed. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive.

Most of the previous story line couples and characters play secondary and supporting roles including team owner Nate Kattenberger, and the woman he secretly loves Rebecca Rowley. I am hoping for Nate and Becca’s story line next. We are also introduced to Mike’s teenage daughter Elsa who struggles with the loss of her mother, and her father’s relationship with a woman she blames for her parent’s marriage demise.

The world building follows the Brooklyn Bruisers’ as they make a run for the Stanley Cup; a championship season that takes the team to the final round.

PIPE DREAMS is a story of second chances, forgiveness, falling in love and moving on from the past. There are moments of heartbreak, betrayal, romance and love. The conflict between our leading couple is easily resolved with little to no drama or anxious moments. The premise is engaging and realistic; the romance is sexy, seductive and spicy; the characters are spirited and passionate. PIPE DREAMS is a heartwarming and moving story about family, love, and second chances.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Rookie Move
Hard Hitter
Pipe Dreams

Copy supplied the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview beige

TRC:  Hi Sarina and welcome to The Reading Café.

Congratulations on the release of PIPE DREAMS, the third book in your Brooklyn Bruisers series.

We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Sarina BowenSarina: Sure! I live in northern New England and I love hockey. And coffee. And wine with bubbles.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties have you encountered writing and publishing your stories?

Sarina:Every new book is a challenge. With the Brooklyn Bruisers I wanted to make my new hockey series have a terrific sense of place, using Brooklyn as a rich setting. Penguin loved the idea so the Brooklyn Bruisers was born!

Pipe DreamsTRC: Would you please tell us something about PIPE DREAMS and the Brooklyn Bruisers series?

Sarina:Pipe Dreams is a unique second chance love story. Lauren isn’t very nice in the first two novels in this series, but she has a terrific reason. It was really fun to unspool her back story and turn her into an empathetic character. And Mike Beacon is a swoony single dad. I’ve always wanted to write one of those.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?

Sarina:I’m really not sure, but each book stands alone on its own. No cliffhangers in sight.

TRC: How do you keep the plot(s) unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

Sarina:I don’t find that a problem because hockey is unpredictable! And the men and women who live the pro hockey lifestyle experience some pretty wild circumstances. There is a fun plot twist in this book provided by the hero’s teenage daughter.

TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Sarina:Probably! We take many cues from book covers. But that doesn’t mean a reader rejects a book just because she doesn’t love the image. She might, however, reject a book if its cover design doesn’t accurately depict the book’s contents.

TRC: Do you have any say in the cover selection?

Sarina:Sure. My editor at Penguin and I discussed the covers right away, before the first book was even finished. At that point my publisher went into a photo studio and shot unique images for all the books, so that they wouldn’t overlap imagery on other books in the market.

TRC: You have co-written several books with author Elle Kennedy. How do you determine the break down of the writing/ story line process?

Sarina:We brainstorm the story together ahead of time. And then we take shifts, trading off every half chapter or so. It’s a really fun way to write a book!

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?

Sarina:The trick is to never cheat your story’s emotional touch point moments. When something big is happening emotionally, the scene should linger and take it all in. If a big moment feels rushed, that’s when the reader feels cheated.

TRC: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, does the style of music influence the story line direction? Characters?

Sarina: Nope. I write in silence. Music sounds fun but I can never make it work for me.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Sarina:You mentioned co-writing before. The bouncing of ideas is what makes that so great. When I’m working alone I don’t really have anyone to help me. Actually, sometimes I call up Elle Kennedy and make her listen to my plot woes. She usually points out something incredibly obvious and then I slap myself on the head.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception people have about authors?

Sarina:I’m not sure there are any misconceptions left. Facebook has made all of us terribly accessible.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Sarina:For twelve years I traded derivatives on Wall Street. It was stressful but fun.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: tacos

Favorite Dessert: cherry pie

Favorite TV Show: I don’t have a TV!

Last Movie You Saw: Hidden Figures

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark, with nuts

Secret Celebrity Crush: Anna Kendrick

Last Vacation Destination: What is a vacation?

Do you have any pets? We have 11 chickens. I’m not sure that counts.

Last book you read: Outlander

TRC:  Thank you Sarina for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on your PIPE DREAMS.

Giveaway beige

The Reading Cafe and SArina Bowen’s publisher are offering a finished copy of PIPE DREAMS 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.

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

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

3. Follow Sarina Bowen 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 The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway is open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from May 5-10, 2017

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