Stripped Bare (Vegas Billionaire #1) by Heidi McLaughlin-Review & Book Tour

STRIPPED BARE (Vegas Billionaire #1) by Heidi McLaughlin-a review

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STRIPPED BARE
Vegas Billionaire #1
by Heidi McLaughlin
Release Date: March 28,2017
Genre: adult,contemporary,erotic, romance

Stripped Bare

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Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kT3aZC

About the book: Release Date March 28,2017

They don’t call it the Strip for nothing. . . .

In this sinfully sexy Las Vegas romance from bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, a man who has it all reunites with a woman who takes it all off.

Living in Sin City, Finn McCormick is no stranger to one-night stands, but the last person he expects to find losing big on the casino floor is a former high school fling. Even though Macey Webster’s clearly down on her luck, she’s still a knockout, and she’s dressed like a stripper—because she is one. Drunk off an unfamiliar cocktail of lust, pity, and compassion, Finn offers to pay Macey’s debts if she cuddles up to him around town . . . and does whatever he wants between the sheets.

Macey came to Vegas for one reason only: money. She’s got a young daughter to support, and the tips really are bigger in Vegas. But when she blows her earnings on blackjack, her guardian angel is the rich boy who once stole her heart and never called her back. Although Macey would love to turn the tables on Finn, she can’t afford to refuse his proposition—and soon she’s enjoying herself much more than she cares to admit. Macey’s used to baring her flesh, but baring her soul will take far more courage.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: STRIPPED BARE is the first installment in Heidi McLaughlin’s contemporary, adult VEGAS BILLIONAIRE erotic, romance series. This is Vegas billionaire/hotel owner Finn McCormick, and exotic dancer/ single mother Macey Webster’s story line.

Told from dual first person points of view (Finn and Macey) STRIPPED BARE is a second chance romance between former high school class-mates Finn McCormick, and Macey Webster. Finn and Macey hooked up back in high school but college was just around the corner and Finn never looked back. Fast forward to present day wherein Finn finds Macey down on her luck, losing big in his casino, and makes her an offer she cannot refuse-one week at his beck and call, and he would pay her three times what she lost. What ensues is a familiar story line ala Pretty Woman in that Macey will fall in love with a man who demands everything but offers only money in return.

Macey is a struggling single mom; a young woman who has resorted to stripping in Vegas to pay the bills but Macey only intended to stay in Vegas for a limited amount of time. Losing all of her money meant Macey was going home broke without the satisfaction of money in her pocket. Finn McCormick is about to open his third casino and hotel but coming face to face with his high school fling, a woman whose name he doesn’t remember, stirs a possessiveness in Finn from deep within. But Finn’s arrangement and contract with Macey is a one week, all inclusive for anything our hero wants making Macey feel more like a well paid whore than a woman down on her luck.

The relationship between Macey and Finn is one of an arranged business contract. Macey and Finn’s past relationship never enters into the story until Finn discovers the secret that Macey was desperate to hide. While Finn struggles to gain financial backing for his latest venture, a threat of another sort takes our hero by surprise. The $ex scenes are aggressive and intense. Finn’s treatment of Macey is questionable at times especially when her emotional frailty and financial circumstance forces a choice she is reluctant to commit making our heroine see herself as nothing more than a well paid whore.

We are introduced to Finn’s PA Hannah and right hand man Lamar, as well as Finn’s friend Brady, and his sister Brandy who is trying to force Finn into a permanent relationship. Macey’s ten year old daughter Morgan is a breath of fresh air.

STRIPPED BARE has many similarities to Pretty Woman including a man who refuses to kiss; shopping for respectable clothes; the friends whose treatment of our heroine is questionable; and in the end treating our heroine like a whore for his taking. Macey’s point of view is heartbreaking knowing that her time with Finn is strictly a business arrangement but she is a mother desperate to make a life for her daughter as they struggle to pay the bills. The premise is familiar; the characters are controversial but colorful; the romance struggles with the hero’s treatment of the woman with whom he will fall in love. I had a difficult time with the romance aspect of the story line. Although the heroine fell in love I didn’t feel the connection from the hero’s point of view.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Dramatic portrait of a girl theme: portrait of a beautiful lonely girl with flying hair in the wind isolated on dark background

Excerpt

Macey
The stench of deep fry emanates from my clothes. I hate the smell and I know the other girls can smell it, but I ignore the looks they’re giving me and hustle through the dressing room to my locker. The older women and the ones that have been stripping here longer always look down on the younger girls and the newbies. I’m somewhere in the middle. I stripped here when I was younger, during my first trimester with my daughter, and then again after she was born when I had my figure back. Actually, stripping helped me tone as a result of all the pole work that I had to do. I took some time off after that, but I always come back because the money is fast and somewhat decent. Each time I leave, though, I say that it’s for good and that was the last time and yet a few months later, I always find myself back again, knocking on Lew’s door, and asking for my spot in the rotation back. Girls come and go around here and in this business you can’t expect to make a lasting connection with anyone.

I strip down and throw my dress, apron and nylons into my bag as quickly as possible before the stench of grease becomes any more noticeable. I change into a thong and bootie shorts, add tassels to my nipples and cover them with a bra before slipping a tank top over my head and stepping into an old pair of cowboy boots that I picked up

at the secondhand store. I have an array of costumes meant to hit the mark on every fantasy a man can have. Cowboys, librarian, naughty schoolgirl . . . you name it I’m doing it. I need the money. More so now than ever. My kid is getting older and she’s seeing things she shouldn’t, like her grandmother being so drunk that she can’t get up to answer the door, or strange men in the house. She’s ten and shouldn’t have to babysit an adult. Nor should she

have to live in the slums, but that’s on me.

Seventeen and pregnant isn’t how I saw my life. I had had enough of living with barely any food, no new clothes and the strange looks, so I swore that I was getting out. I was smart, got good grades in high school, but none of that mattered once I found out I was knocked up and the baby daddy had already left town. I tried to tell his mother, but she took one look at me and shut the door. Back then I didn’t, but I do now. I’d take that money and run right across the tracks, under the bridge and through the fucking blueberry bushes if it meant my kid wasn’t going to be a victim of a drug deal gone wrong or end up with a drinking problem by the time she’s a teen.
Morgan though, she’s a good kid who loves to read and is a whiz at math. She’s all I have in this world and I’ll do anything I have to, to make sure she has food and clothes.

So I strip at night and wait tables during the day. Depending on the day or night, one pays better than the other, but they’re jobs that I need. I have a goal. I want to move Morgan and I into a better neighborhood. One where kids want to play and not sell drugs. I want her to live in a place where she feels safe and doesn’t need to hide in the closet of our bedroom because my mother invited one of her friends over.

My dreams for Morgan are unreachable, I know this, but I try every day to make them happen. I want such a different life for her that sometimes when I look out the window of the city bus I’m on and I see other kids her age walking along the street without a care in the world, I imagine her being one of those kids. If only . . .
Stripped Bare is a work of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

About The author

Heidi McLaughlin: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter

Heidi McLaughlinHeidi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup, two Parakeets, Gonzo & Hedwig, and their newest addition of a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, Jill.

During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she’s writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.

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Kiss Marry Kill (Iron Clad Security #) by Sidney Halston-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

KISS MARRY KILL (Iron Clad Security #1) by Sidney Halston-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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KISS MARRY KILL
Iron Clad Security #1
by Sidney Halston
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspense
Release Date: March 28, 2017

Kiss Marry Kill

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 28, 2017

Five years ago they fell in love after one whirlwind summer. Now she’s an internationally famous musician and he’s officially out of the military, but when their worlds collide, can they keep things strictly professional? Sweet, thrilling, emotional, and sexy, fall in love with Megan and Jax in USA Today bestseller Sidney Halston’s Kiss Marry Kill.

He’s been chasing a memory . . .

It was just supposed to be a regular Thursday afternoon…and then he saw her. Sitting in seat L214, one seat over from his at the baseball game, right next to her douche of a soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. An impromptu kiss for the kiss cam, and Jax knew his life would never be the same. Five years and a tour in Afghanistan later, Jax is back stateside running his own private security firm, Iron-Clad, with his best friend. He isn’t the man he used to be… but Megan isn’t the sexy and sweet, though sheltered, twenty-two-year-old he left behind, either. And she’s in trouble.

…but now they’re on the run.

Megan Cruz has made something of herself. She’s turned her dreams of pop stardom into a reality. But when a deadly stalker breaks into her home claiming to be her number-one fan, the only person she can turn to is the boy who got away. But Jax isn’t the same carefree charmer who stole her heart, then broke it when he joined the military. This man is seductive, hard, guarded. And he’ll do anything to protect what’s his.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: KISS MARRY KILL is the first installment in Sidney Halston’s contemporary, adult IRON CLAD SECURITY romantic, suspense series focusing on the men and women of Iron Clad Security. This is former Marine and owner of ICS Jackson ‘Jax’ Irons, and Grammy award winning singer Megan Cruz’s story line.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Megan and Jax) KISS MARRY KILL focuses on the rekindling relationship between singer Megan Cruz, and security specialist Jax Irons. Five years earlier Megan and Jax spent four days together that would change their lives: Jax headed off to his second tour of Iraq, and Megan walked away from a potential law career and into the spotlight of stardom and fame. Fast forward to present day wherein Megan Cruz finds herself the victim of a stalker, and Jax Irons offers up himself as her personal bodyguard and protector. What ensues is the rekindling romance between Megan and Jax, and the hunt for a potential killer whose threats against Megan are becoming more dangerous and personal.

Jax has struggled with pain and PTSD since the attack on his team left our hero fighting for his life. Losing 7 of his men meant Jax took it personally that not everyone came home alive and well. For five years Jax has never forgotten about the woman that called to his heart but reconnecting with Megan would mean facing the truth about what he left behind. Megan Cruz is a world famous star; an award winning singer whose star rose to fame shortly after meeting the man who pushed her to go after what it was she wanted. Four days together changed the direction of her life, and she has never looked back.

The relationship between Jax and Megan is one of second chances. Five years since they last spoke their reconnection is powerful and strong but Jax knows that to protect the woman he loves he must remain professional until her stalker is caught. The $ex scenes are intimate, intense and seductive without the over the top sexually graphic language and text.

We are introduced to Jax’s former Marine buddy Joey and his sister Annie as well as security agents Jason and Ben-all of whom are employees of Iron Clad Security; Megan’s fellow band mates Taylor and Nelly; former band mate Tamara, as well as Megan’s mother attorney Rose Cruz. Annie’s story is next in Last First Kiss-August 2017.

KISS MARRY KILL is a story of romance and suspense; betrayal and revenge; second chances and falling in love. The premise is intoxicating; the characters are spirited and energetic; the romance is passionate, spicy and provocative. KISS MARRY KILL is an exciting and inspiring look at second chances and a happily ever after.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Kiss Marry Kill teaser

Excerpt Black and Hot Pink

“Promise me, you’ll be happy,” he sang from the other side of the door. “Promise me, you’ll always sing. Promise me you’ll never settle . . .” He jiggled the door handle. “Meggy? Where are you, my little mouse?” he said in a sing-song voice, sounding nice enough. Soft enough.
Safe enough. But Megan Cruz knew better. The man trying to lure her out of her enormous walk-in closet was deranged. Megan huddled in a corner behind all of her cocktail dresses, her knees pushed up and a butcher knife in one of her trembling hands. Just waiting. Waiting for the cops to show up, or for Ryan to finally find her. If she could stop breathing, she would. Trying to stay perfectly still and utterly quiet was an impossible feat with her hands shaking so violently. Surely he could hear her fear from where he stood on the other side of the door. If he walked deep enough into the closet, the dresses that served as a barrier between them would not be sufficient to shield her. And the fact that he’d broken into her house in the middle of the night was a good indication that he did want to hurt her.
Twenty minutes earlier she had been sitting on her bed, completely immersed in writing some lyrics in her notebook, when she heard the sound of a window shattering downstairs. Her house may have been huge, but it wouldn’t take long for whoever had broken in to find her, especially since her room was the first one up the grand staircase, even more obvious because of its huge double doors. Not about to sit and wait to find out if it was her stalker or a robber who had broken in, she immediately sent a text to her parents who lived close by, praying they’d understand the message: Break in. 911. Help! Then she silenced her phone and tucked it into her bra. She had also grabbed the enormous butcher knife she’d hid under mattress six months ago when Ryan had started sending her disturbing emails and letters.
At that time she’d thought he was just an overzealous fan and had worried she was being overly cautious, but now, as she cowered in fear, she realized how wrong she’d been. Megan actually held her breath when she heard the squeaky noise of the hinges of her closet door. He was inside now. Sweat dripped down her back and her heart pounded so loudly it seemed he had to have heard it. It felt as if it was going to physically come out of her chest, together with the sandwich she’d eaten a few hours ago. Peering under the hanging clothes she could see green
Converse sneakers moving closer to where she sat curled into a small ball, her arms around her knees.
“Oh Meggy, where are you? Sing for me, my naughty little mouse. Just one song. Just ‘Promise Me,’ that’s my favorite.”As he stepped closer, she tightened her grip on the knife.
“You’re supposed to make your fans happy.” His voice was louder and more agitated this time.
She could hear the fabric running through his fingers as he caressed her clothes, shifting the fragile curtain of dresses and shirts she was hiding behind.
“Oh, this is what you wore to the Grammys last month!” He pulled the dress out, and Megan tensed when a sliver of light cut through her hiding place. The small gap where the dress had hung made her more visible, and if he happened to look down he’d undoubtedly see her on the floor behind the rest of the clothes. She shut her eyes. “This is perfect. You can wear this when you sing for me at my house. Does anyone else know how much you love the chase, Meggy? Am I the only one that knows your secret? I have your new room all ready for you. We can play and sing all the time…It’ll be so fun, Meggy.”
His feet were moving slowly, as if he had all the time in the world. She could tell he was directly in front of her now by how close the sound of his heavy breathing was and by the way the rubber soles of his sneakers skidded against the wood floor. She shut her eyes harder and braced herself. She didn’t need her eyes open to see him—the memory was burned into her brain. His face was unassuming and his body unimposing. White skin, rounded cheeks, kind-looking face, maybe even cute, if he wasn’t a complete sociopath. He wasn’t too thin or too large, not too tall, not too short. Just an ordinary-looking guy. One you would smile at in line for coffee or at the grocery store. The non-threatening Good Samaritan who helped you with your flat tire. Completely harmless, completely average, except for his eyes, gray eyes that were a bit too large and had a slight tilt upward, reminding her of a cat. Gray eyes that could be considered attractive if it weren’t for the coldness behind them.
Megan didn’t want to die looking into that coldness. She didn’t want to die hiding in her closet, with the creepy man asking her to sing the song that was about the best four days of her entire life. The four days that also changed the course of her life. Ironic, she would potentially die thinking of those memories.

About the Author Black and rose

Sidney_HalstonSidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “Just do it.” And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.

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More Than a Feeling (Rock Star Romance #4) by Erika Kelly-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

MORE THAN A FEELING (Rock Star Romance #4) by Erika Kelly-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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MORE THAN A FEELING
Rock Star Romance #4
by Erika Kelly
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, rock star, romance

More Than A Feeling

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About the book: Release Date April 4, 2017

From the award-winning author of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT comes the final story in her red-hot Rock Star Romance series, about a loner rocker finding his perfect duet.

When Cooper Hood left Snowberry, Montana ten years ago, he swore he’d never go back to the town that painted him with the same brush as his addict mother. But right in the middle of his band’s national tour he gets a call to come home: his mom’s got a whopper of a secret to reveal.

Daisy Charbonneau’s in trouble. The talent she hired for her resort’s annual Huckleberry Festival’s just bailed on her, and she’s desperate to find a replacement act. Luck turns her way when she discovers her high school crush is back in town—and he happens to be a rock star.

As they work together, a crush deepens into so much more—but who falls in love in two weeks?

Especially when Cooper’s never coming back to town, and Daisy’s never going to leave it.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: MORE THAN A FEELING is the fourth and final installment in Erika Kelly’s contemporary, adult ROCK STAR ROMANCE series focusing on the members of the rock band Blue Fire. This is rock star Cooper Hood, and singer/coordinator Daisy Charbonneau’s story line. MORE THAN A FEELING can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story line is revealed where necessary.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Daisy and Cooper) MORE THAN A FEELING is a second chance romance between rock star Cooper Hood, and Daisy Charbonneau. Ten years earlier Cooper Hood left his hometown of Snowberry, Montana and never looked back but to think about the girl he left behind. A childhood rocked by a drug addicted mother, never knowing the true identity of his father, Cooper had always felt abandoned, alone and one step behind the rest of his peers except for the life-long friendship between himself and Daisy Charbonneau. An urgent message from his mother brings Cooper Hood back to Snowberry, Montana and into the path of the woman that has always called to his heart. Enter Daisy Charbonneau, a woman on a mission seeking musicians for the town’s annual Huckleberry Festival when their biggest draw pulls out but a woman who loses her heart to a man who’s only in town for a couple of days. What ensues is the rekindling friendship and romance between Daisy and Cooper, and the fall out when issues of trust keep Daisy and Cooper from going after the one that they love.

Daisy and Cooper both have issues of trust. Cooper never knew who was his father, and Daisy’s father was in and out of her life for as long as she could remember. Cooper’s return to Snowberry brings too many bad memories, and it takes everything within him to stay behind to help the woman that he loves. Daisy refuses to acknowledge her love for a man who will never be ready to settle down thus forcing Daisy to push Cooper out of her life when he offers her so much more. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

We are introduced to a cast of great secondary characters including Daisy’s mother Hannah Charbonneau, Snowberry’s mayor Stuart Goff, the Blackstock family including Hunter and Crystal, Remi, Ethan and Nash, Cooper’s mother Ronnie Hood, and several townsfolk as well as the cameo appearances of the members of Blue Fire.

The world building focuses on betrayal and trust; Daisy’s need to rebuild the town in which she grew up; Cooper facing the family he knew nothing about, and his love for a woman who isn’t ready for life on the road.

MORE THAN A FEELING focuses on family and love; betrayal, lies and the truth; finding love and never letting go. The premise is heartbreaking and emotional; the characters are animated and colorful; the romance struggles with a lack of communication, preconceived notions, and the fall out of one woman’s need to remain in the small town in which she grew up.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
You Really Got Me
I Want You To Want Me
Take Me Home Tonight
More Than A Feeling

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

More than A Feeling teaser

Excerpt beige

 

Closing her eyes, Daisy bit into the crunchy drizzle, her teeth sinking through the buttery rich goodness of the bread. Oh, dear God. Her mom made the world’s best cinnamon rolls. With a sigh, she looked up to find someone heading toward her on the path.
Of course her childhood crush would show up the moment she’d stuffed her mouth full of pastry. Leaning against the hood of her car, Daisy chewed quickly—which sucked because, basically, time should stand still while savoring her mom’s desserts.
But Cooper wasn’t looking at her. Scowling at his phone, he stopped on the path, fingers furiously typing. Was he dealing with his mom?
Or maybe a girlfriend. Instantly her skin tightened, and her heart thudded. If Cooper had a girlfriend…God. Last night she’d gone on and on about how much he’d meant to her.
She looked away, mortification crashing through her system.
First, she’d bumped into him wearing waders and a fishing hat, and then she’d forced him to go out with her. Awesome.
He couldn’t have been clearer that he didn’t want to spend the day with her, but she’d gone and made an offer she knew he couldn’t turn down. Not if he wanted to get his mom’s house built and get himself back on tour.
Feeling a little sick to her stomach, she licked the sticky drizzle off her fingers and shoved the treat back into the bag.
As he paused on the path, thumbs working over the phone’s keypad, she took in his powerful physique. A white T-shirt strained across broad shoulders, hugging his thickly rounded biceps, and worn blue jeans cupped his hard, muscular thighs.
The colorful ink covering his body made him look like a total badass. She’d noticed a strange symbol on his inner wrist and a cartoon image on his forearm of a pin-up girl holding a barbell, a sexy slash of red for her lips.
The man he’d grown into made her soul wake up, and God, she couldn’t even remember the last time she’d felt this kind of fluttery attraction for a guy.
As if he felt someone watching him, he looked up sharply and found her. The worry lines eased. But he didn’t smile. “Hey.”
She pushed off her car. “You ready?” Forced or not, her plan was good for both of them. She was sticking to it.

 

 

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About The Author beige

Erika KellyI’ve been spinning romantic tales all my life–I just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, I didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, I’ve been devouring the genre and have found my true voice as an author. Over three decades I’ve written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of my life and raising four children, I’ve lived in two countries and seven states but give me pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and I can make my home anywhere.

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The Black Lily (Tales of the Black Lily # 1) by Juliette Cross-Dual Review and Book Tour

THE BLACK LILY (Tales of the Black Lily #1) by Juliette Cross-dual review and book tour

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THE BLACK LILY
Tales of the Black Lily #1
by Juliette Cross
Genre: adult, paranormal, romance
Release Date: March 27, 2017

The Black Lily

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ABOUT THE BOOK: RELEASE DATE March 27, 2017

Cinderella like you’ve never seen before…

With the threat of the vampire monarchy becoming stronger every day, the Black Lily must take drastic measures. As the leader of the underground resistance, Arabelle concocts the perfect idea to gain the attention of the Glass Tower. Her plan? Attend the vampire prince’s blood ball and kill him. Fortunately for Prince Marius, her assassination goes awry, and Arabelle flees, leaving behind only her dagger.

Marius is desperate to find the woman whose kiss turned into attempted murder, hunting for the mysterious assassin he can’t push out of his mind. But what he uncovers could change the course of his life forever…

••••••

SANDY’s REVIEW: THE BLACK LILY is the first installment in Juliette Cross’s TALES OF THE BLACK LILY adult, paranormal/fantasy series. This is one hundred year old vampire Prince Marius, and peasant girl Arabelle’s story line.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Arabelle and Marius) THE BLACK LILY follows the struggles of the human population; the underground movement setting up a coup to take down the royal vampire family-vampires who now threaten the lives of everyone they love. Enter peasant girl Arabelle, a young woman, head of a group known as The Black Lily, and a woman determined to rid the world of bloodsuckers-one vampire at a time starting with the youngest royal heir-Prince Marius. The time has come to select a new concubine for the royal Prince, and Arabelle is determined to seduce the Prince to his death. What ensues is the building romance between Arabelle and Prince Marius, and the search for the vampires responsible for taking too many lives.

THE BLACK LILY is the retelling of Cinderella only Cinderella’s happily ever after comes with a caveat-the Prince is a vampire, and a man who is desperate to make Arabelle his own. While Arabelle struggles with her attraction to a man she believes is killing her people, Marius searches for the truth and doesn’t like what he is about to find.

We are introduced to a large number of secondary and supporting characters including Marius’s best friend and vampire Nikolai; Marius’s parents the King and Queen of the vampires; Arabelle’s friends Deek and Mary, as well as our heroine’s evil ’step mother’ and two wicked ‘step sisters’. On the run Arabelle befriends a woman known as Sienna, whose connection to the wolves is magical and mysterious.

The world building looks at the prejudice between human and vampire; the potential eradication of the species; and a romance between a human and a vampire that pushes all of the boundaries for our leading couple.

THE BLACK LILY is an engaging, lively and spirited retelling of Cinderella. The premise is creative and electrifying; the characters are animated, colorful and passionate; the romance is fated and uplifting. THE BLACK LILY is a wondrous start to a new series that will leave you breathless and wanting more.

Reviewed by Sandy

____________

Barb’s Review:
The Black Lily by Juliette Cross is the first book in her new Tales of the Black Lily series.  I have been a big fan of Juliette Cross, since I started reading her Nightwing series; her stories are always captivating, exciting, adventurous, sexy and pure fun to read.  The Black Lily is no different and after I finished this book, Juliette Cross once again rises up on my list of books and authors I MUST read.  I loved loved The Black Lily; it was a fantastic ride from start to finish, with a couple that blew us away with so much chemistry.  Now for my review.  🙂

The Black Lily has a slight take on the Cinderella fairytale, but it is nothing like it.   Arabelle, our heroine, lives as a peasant, with a woman and two daughters, who treat her miserably.  But Arabelle is the leader of The Black Lily underground resistance that is trying to rebel against the vampire kingdom that rules the Glass Tower.  Humans are dying, having been found murdered and drained blood dry. Arabelle devises a plan to kill the Prince, at the upcoming ball, in order to make the King and Queen listen to their grievances. 

Prince Marius, our hero, dreads going to the ball, but he needs to pick a woman who will become his next blood concubine; especially in a matter of days he will be getting married to a princess he has never met.  At the ball, he becomes mesmerized by a beautiful young woman dressed in Gold, and after a dance, he whisks her away for a tour of the Glass Tower.  He finds her irresistible, and when he makes advances on her, which she encourages,  Marious is shocked when she plunges a knife to his chest. 

Arrabelle, thinking she killed her target, manages to escape, but leaving behind a gold pointed knife (no there is no slipper here).  Marius, after he drinks blood and is healed, goes with his best friend, Nikolai to search for the woman who has a tattoo on her shoulder. During the search, he will notice the fear in the folks in town, as well as those working at the Tower.  Marius will also discover that the missing servant in the house is the one he is looking for, but sees the condition of how she lives.  This will open his eyes as to the conditions that surround the lands his family runs, which was not as he was led to believe.  After a few times of catching up with Arrabelle, Marius knows she is a handful, but she is a handful he cannot resist.  Arrabelle, despite thinking Marius as the enemy is also unable to resist his charms.  Arrabelle will begin to trust Marius, and tell him about the murders, forcing him to investigate with Nicolai to find out what is happening behind the scenes. Marius knows he loves Arrabelle, and knows he must do everything in his power to protect her against his mother and father’s determination to have her killed. 

What follows is a fantastic exciting story that will have you either on the edge of your seat or swooning over their hot sexy romance.  Arrabelle was such a wonderful heroine, strong, beautiful, and determined to fight for her friends.  Marius was not only a great hero, but also very charming and sexy; and they were so good together.  The wildly exciting climax was so tense, suspenseful, with non-stop action, that we were left breathless.  I also want to point out that I loved two of the secondary characters; Sienna and her wolves; as well as Nicolai. The Black Lily was such an amazing book, as well as steamy, and  very well written by Cross.  Bravo to Juliette Cross for giving another sensational new series.  I cannot wait for the next book.

Reviewed by Barb

 

Copy supplied for review.

The Black Lily Teaser 2

 

Excerpt

 

Standing, he summoned her with a hand.
“Come. Get out of the pool.”
Her mouth dropped. “I’m not getting out of here with you standing there. I’m…I’m naked.”
“Of which I’m well aware.” His voice dropped low and deep. “Come out.”
“No!”
“Then I’ll come in after you.”
He took one step. She splashed backward.
“All right!” She huffed. “Turn around.”
He shook his head, unable to keep a smile from his face. “Not on your life. I’m not letting you out of my sight.”
“You expect me to—”
“Yes. I do. Now, come out.”
She snapped her mouth shut. Flustered, her pale cheeks flushed pink. Marius was thankful for his vampire eyesight to see the pretty blush crawl up her neck. What he wouldn’t do to chase that path with his mouth.
Arabelle’s expression shifted, her brow smoothing, eyes narrowing, lips parting. She slowed her breathing and uncrossed her arms, standing with poise from the water, revealing the sensual gifts nature had given her. Marius swallowed hard, but his mouth had gone dry. Thirsty. He was so thirsty.
She moved unhurriedly through the water into the shallows, emerging like a goddess who knew her power. Marius actually stepped backward as she stood on the ledge in front of him—completely bare and utterly beautiful.
“I’m here now, Your Highness. What will you do with me?”


 

About The Author

Juliette Cross Juliette calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance–brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

Juliette is a multi-published author, including her Nightwing series with Kensington Publishing and The Vessel Trilogy with Samhain Publishing.

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Deceive Me by Ella Sheridan – a Review

Deceive Me by Ella Sheridan – a Review

 

Deceive MeAmazon / B&N / Kobo

Description:
Elliot Smith has trained hard to live alone and work alone, even when it comes to her job as a security specialist for JCL Security. No relationships, no ties, except the one to the man who kidnapped and murdered her mother. She’ll do anything to kill Martin Diako, the untouchable South African pirate king. When Deacon Walsh walks into her office, she finally sees a chance to do just that.

Deacon went from soldier to mercenary warrior to stay-at-home dad, and now his past is back to haunt him. Martin Diako, the father of the terrorist Deacon killed two years ago, is coming for revenge, and he has his sight set on Deacon’s daughter. An heir for an heir. Deacon will do anything to protect her, even if it means asking for help. But the security team he’s hired comes with an added complication: the only woman to interest him since his wife died.

Deacon always leads his team, and Elliot protects hers. They might have one chance at their enemy—if they can work together. Will their hunger for each other pull them together, or push them apart?

Review:

Deceive Me by Ella Sheridan is the 4th book in her Southern Nights series.  I’ve read a few of these books from the series already, and they don’t need to be read in order, but a little background on the secondary characters is always a plus.

Elliot Smith is part of an elite team of soldiers, she had to work hard to get where she is and she loves it, her team are her family, but she hides a dark and shameful secret, and only Dain (her leader) knows the full extent.

Deacon leads a different team, and we start his story two years previous; it’s a routine mission at first, but then descends into chaos, as his mission goes from retrieval to kill. He loses one member of his own team, an innocent, and for a little while he goes home to care for his wife and daughter and to mourn one of his close friends and team mate.

Jumping to the present we find out that Deacon has lost his wife to cancer and is being stalked by the dead man’s father. The pirate king wants revenge and only the death of Deacons daughter will satisfy him.
So Deacon calls for back up in the form of a security firm that Dain and his team work for. (This security firm was featured in previous books).  As soon as Deacon and Elliot meet …… the sparks fly, and she puts him on his butt literally.

Deacon thinks Elliot is a weakness, that the team baby and protect her. She soon puts him in his place, to the amusement of her team and Deacon’s best friend. But she earns his begrudging respect, is assigned a place on the team; her job will be to look after his daughter (Elliot is horrified at the idea, she doesn’t relate to young kids)

The sparks between them are almost instant, but Elliot doesn’t know how to act on them, the last time she slept with someone, they “disappeared” from the camp she was trained in. She’s a social misfit, she doesn’t know how to interact with outsiders, her family is the team of soldiers.

All the characters are well written, and the story is full of action and suspense, and throw in a few betrayals and you have a well written and exciting read.

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy supplied for review

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Code of Honor (Knights of Honor #3) by Alexa Aston-Review & Guest Post

Code of Honor (Knights of Honor #3) by Alexa Aston-Review & Guest Post

Code of Honor

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon. uk /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 27,2 017

365 A.D. – After the Earl of Sandbourne banishes his supposedly unfaithful wife to a convent, his young son Michael swears never to set foot on the family’s estate until after his father’s death. Michael will then claim his title as the new earl and restore his beloved mother to a place of honor.

Fifteen years pass, and the now-knighted Sir Michael Devereux serves Lord Geoffrey de Montfort at Kinwick Castle. He accompanies the nobleman and his family to a wedding, where Michael unknowingly falls in love with the bride before he even knows her identity.

Lady Elysande Le Cler is angry that her usually indulgent father went against her wishes and betrothed her to a stranger prior to his death. Now as her wedding day approaches, dread fills her—until she meets a dashing stranger who helps her deliver a foal. Elysande loses her heart to this knight, frustrated that they can never be together.

Join Michael and Elysande as they find fate has other plans in store for them.

••••••••••

REVIEW: Code of Honor is book three in the fabulous Knights of Honor series. This romantic highland story is the tale of Michael Devereux and Lady Elysande. There are appearances of familiar characters of the de Montforts (Geoffrey and Merryn) from previous books.

This is a very well written story about highland knights and the time period is 1365 A.D. Many issues are brought to the surface that women had at that time (being property with no rights…). Marriage was mostly arranged and not a matter of love or choice for the female and sometimes not for the male either.

This wonderfully romantic story is, however, a tale of true love winning over all odds. Sir Michael meets and falls in love with Elysande (name unknown to him at the time) as he helps her birth a foal in the stable at his liege lord’s sister’s estate. Complications arise when he finds she’s the bride-to-be that they’ve come to see married. And there the story begins and takes off with many twists and turns. Just when you think love wins…it turns again. I spent several hair pulling moments thinking…”what now!”

Alexa Aston is the pen name of one of my favorite authors, whose stories are well and truly woven with adventure, history and romance. She has never written one that has disappointed me and this story is no exception to that. If you have followed this marvelous series, you’ll enjoy this romantic adventure as it winds its way into your imagination and heart.
Grab a copy and sit back for a wonderful time!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

guest post

I wake up some days and have to think who I am. Most people don’t have that problem. They are who they are.

But I’m three people . . .

This all began when I started my writing journey. I sold Music For My Soul, a medieval romance, to Soul Mate Publishing October 2012. Immediately, my publisher told me I needed to create an author website, Facebook page, and begin tweeting. My last name is difficult to pronounce. I already had a FB page–and didn’t want to confuse my family and friends. So I decided I would go with a pen name. I could keep the Real Me and the Writer Me somewhat separated. Different emails would keep the personal and business sides organized. I was ready to select a new name!

I chose Lauren Linwood. I liked how it looked on the page. I love alliteration. And when I Googled the name, the only thing coming up was Linwood, NJ. This was opposed to the first name I came up with—already a NY jazz singer—and the second name I tried out—a porn star! After several attempts at selecting a pen name, I because Lauren—Identity #1.

Fast forward a few years. I recently signed on with Dragonblade Publishing, founded by the Queen of Medieval Romance, Kathryn Le Veque. Kathryn loved my writing but said I was all over the map, having writing four western historicals, three medieval romances, and two romantic suspense novels as Lauren. Kathryn emphasized branding and sticking with a single sub-genre of romance for at least ten novels in order to gain a reader base before I branched out. She also felt since Lauren had written in three different types of romance that I needed a new pen name for my Dragonblade books and a fresh start.

Thus, I became Alexa Aston—who will stick with writing historicals—while Lauren will keep with contemporary romance. I began again, creating for Alexa her own author website, personal and business FB pages, and opened a new Twitter account and email address. As Alexa, I’m the author of the Knights of Honor series. The series will run ten books long, but each one can be read as a standalone.

I’m ecstatic to be with a quality press such as Dragonblade Publishing, and I am having the time of my life writing my first romance series. I hope you will give the Knights of Honor a whirl. You can start Book 1, Word of Honor, for only 99 cents. It’s an Amazon exclusive, so if you’re in KU, you can begin reading the series for free! Word of Honor introduces Geoffrey and Merryn de Montfort, my anchor couple. They will appear in the remaining nine books, sometimes in a small role and at other times a larger one.

In the meantime, read Georgie’s review of Code of Honor—Book 3. Michael Devereux and Elysande Le Cler meet under unusual circumstances. Happy reading!

 

About the Author Black and Orange

Alexa Aston’s is the author of The Knights of Honor, a medieval romance series that takes place in 14th century England and centers on the de Montfort family. Each romance focuses on the code of chivalry that bound knights of this era.

A native Texan, Alexa lives with her husband in a Dallas suburb, where she eats her fair share of dark chocolate and plots out stories while she walks every morning. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and can’t get enough of Fixer Upper or Game of Thrones. Alexa also writes romantic suspense novels as Lauren Linwood.

Contact Info:

Website: https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

Newsletter Sign-Up: http://madmimi.com/signups/422152/join

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralexaaston/

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexaAston

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Alpha by Madisyn Ashmore-a review

ALPHA by Madisyn Ashmore-a review

Alpha

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: RELEASE DATE February 19, 2017

He’ll melt you from the inside out…

Aidan Channing is an alpha wolf shifter. He’s a ripped and protective male who knows exactly what he wants. And what he wants is the sexy young lawyer, Olivia Ryan, who just showed up in his small Alaskan town.

When a young woman winds up murdered in the ice, Olivia must defend the innocent shifter who’s been framed for murder. Olivia enlists Aidan, the pack’s alpha, to find the real killer. With explosive chemistry, their passion is unbound.

But Olivia is in danger. Not all shifters approve of humans, and some are out for blood. Will Aidan be able to protect his new mate before she ends up dead…or worse?

•••••

REVIEW: ALPHA by Madisyn Ashmore is a contemporary adult, paranormal romance story line focusing on Bond, Alaska alpha wolf shifter Aidan Channing, and human, female attorney Olivia Ryan.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Olivia and Aidan) ALPHA follows human attorney Olivia Ryan as she struggles with her first legal defense case for Alaskan wolf shifter Chase Reynolds. Chase has been charged with the murder of his human girlfriend Charlotte Smith, and Olivia will be Chase’s attorney for the upcoming trial. Enter Aidan Channing, the Bond Wolf Pack Alpha, and the man with whom Olivia would fall in love. What ensues is the quick building but forbidden relationship between Aidan and Olivia, the struggle for Olivia to be accepted by the Pack, and the search for the truth when as someone tries to prevent Olivia from defending Chase Reynolds.

Aidan Channing is the Bond Pack Alpha but battles the shifter hierarchy at every turn. Aidan does not have a mate and finding his forever in a human female does nothing to ingratiate the Alpha with the members of his Pack. Olivia’s presence in Bond, Alaska has awakened Aidan’s need to mate but the old laws are meant to prevent the mixing of shifters and humans much to the chagrin of our leading couple. The $ex scenes are seductive and intense.

We are introduced to a large number of secondary and supporting characters including Aidan’s brother Jameson Channing ; polar bear shifter and head of the shifter council Dominic Holmes; as well as several local shifters and their families.

ALPHA is an entertaining story line about the prejudice between human and shifters, specieism, and the love between two people that breaks through boundaries and walls. The premise is imaginative; the characters are colorful and animated; the romance is fated and passionate. ALPHA is an energetic tale with a lively cast of characters and a happily ever after.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

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Legacy Lost by Jillian David – a Review

Legacy Lost by Jillian David – a Review

 

Legacy LostAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
he melding of the contemporary western with paranormal elements—think Big Valley meets Alphas—makes for a compelling, fresh mix for Jillian David’s sophomore series.

Growing up as an honorary Taggart, Eric Patterson found the family he’d always wanted. Almost. He couldn’t ever manage to see the clan’s youngest and only daughter, stubborn spitfire Shelby, quite like a little sister. Suddenly, his long-suppressed feelings are determined to come to light.

Too bad Shelby’s cursed. Her double whammy psychic powers to read emotions and locate anyone anywhere have always made relationships impossible—and now they’ve begun to endanger her life. If she uses her echolocation skills again, it just might kill her.

But when a malevolent supernatural force invades the valley, threatening the Taggarts and their neighbors, the Brands, Eric and Shelby must contend with both their blossoming feelings and the increasing danger. Does Shelby dare risk using her powers one more time, sacrificing her own life to save Eric?

 

 

Review: 

Legacy Lost by Jillian David is the 2nd book in her Hell’s Valley series.  This can be read without reading the first book ( Legacy of Lies), but as there are characters from the first book, and an underline story going on, I would recommend you read the first book first. 

Legacy Lost is set a few weeks after the last book. I won’t give any details away, but it does explain a few things in this book. 

Shelby has a gift, she calls it a curse, she has the ability to “find” people, she is able to locate anyone, so it’s a great help in her second job, a search and rescue member. But this “gift” has a price, with it comes terrible headaches and more recently temporary blindness! But it doesn’t stop Shelby from using it. And in addition she has the ability to feel people’s emotions ! So Shelby tends to keep to herself, relationships for her are too painful, to feel her partners feelings, their regrets and heaven forbid, if it was a horrible experience for him, she would get all those feelings. 

All Eric has wanted since his family left him, was for somebody to love, and finding and making friends with Shelby’s brother gave him that family to care for, the only blip on his horizon …… Shelby. Eric has loved her for ages, but he can’t get past his letting go of his rigid control to tell her how he feels, and past the “friend” label Shelby has saddled him with. 

Eric has no knowledge of Shelby’s gift until it was revealed in book one. And when he does, he’s angry and hurt, he always thought he was family, but family doesn’t keep secrets from each other. 

Things take a passionate turn when Shelby almost dies; this spurs Eric’s feelings into action. And from there they struggle with their feelings. Will Eric let go of his rigid control and let Shelby set the pace for their relationship? Will Shelby let all her guards down and truly let someone in? 

Things keep happening to the Taggart family,and the Brand family are a big part of the problem. And I have a feeling it’s only going to escalate. 

There is a connection to the last book, and it just adds more questions to my list. But it’s a good read, the mystery surrounding the family, and if you’ve read some of  David’s other books, you’ll notice a few old characters. That was a lovely surprise. 

I’m loving this series and can’t wait to read more about the scary force trying to kill the Taggart family, and the rest of the Taggart men finding their women 😉

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy supplied for review

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