Saved by Darkness (Darkness #6) by Katie Reus-a review

SAVED BY DARKNESS (Darkness #6) by Katie Reus-a review

Saved by Darkness

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 21, 2017

He thought he lost her decades ago.

Half-demon, half-dragon shifter Ian McCabe is hellbent on getting back the only woman he’s ever loved. When Fiona O’Riley kicked him out of her life decades ago, he thought she was gone for good. Now that she’s back, nothing will stop him from claiming her. But she wants nothing to do with him—or his family.

She’ll do anything to save him.

Fiona knows that Ian is the only male for her. The only way to keep him alive is to stay away from him. But when tragedy strikes and they discover a wicked agenda for the mass murder of humans, they must work together to take down the enemies that threaten everyone. But there’s so much more on the line. As their undeniable desire intensifies, they’re faced with an unbearable choice. If Fiona and Ian succumb to their temptation, mating could be the last thing they ever do.

Length: NOVEL
Author note: Saved by Darkness can be read as a stand-alone novel with an HEA and no cliffhangers.

•••••••••••••

REVIEW: SAVED BY DARKNESS is the sixth installment in Katie Reus’s contemporary, adult DARKNESS paranormal, fantasy series. This is half-demon, half dragon shifter Ian McCabe, and dragon shifter Fiona O’Riley’s story line. SAVED BY DARKNESS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story lines is revealed where necessary.

Told from several third person perspectives including Ian and Fiona using present day and the past, SAVED BY DARKNESS is a second chance story line for Ian and Fiona. Fifty two years earlier Ian knew that Fiona was the one-his mate- and the woman that called to his heart. But Fiona’s sudden rejection and subsequent mating to another dragon caught our hero off guard never completely understanding what happened or why. Fast forward to present day New Orleans where Fiona is now the director of a shelter for abused and battered supernatural women. The shelter sits on the periphery of the Stavros Estate, run by the shifter Alpha Finn Stavros, and Finn wants an introduction to the woman who has helped rescue a number of abused shifter females. Enter Ian McCabe, half-demon/half-dragon shifter whose history with Fiona is heartbreaking and sad. Ian wants a second chance with the woman he has never stopped loving but the disappearance of Fiona’s co-worker Ava has the supernatural beings working together to uncover the threats against one of their own. The Hell-realm calls, and half-demon Ian knows his true nature will be revealed when Fiona’s life hangs in the balance and time is in limited supply. What ensues is the rekindling romance between Fiona and Ian, and the couple’s struggle to find the source of a magical poison that is killing the human population en masse.

The relationship between Fiona and Ian is one of second chances. Fifty two years earlier Fiona walked away in order to protect the only man she would ever love. Present day finds her love for Ian has never waivered but the threats against his life still linger in the present. Ian McCabe’s life was destroyed the day Fiona disappeared, and he has never stopped loving the woman that called to his heart. Finding his half-siblings allowed Ian to become part of the family but he will never truly be a part of the pack. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive.

We are reintroduced to Ian’s half-brothers: club-owner Bo Broussard and his mate Nyx (Hunted by Darkness), Rory and his mate Liberty (Into the Darkness), and half-sister Cynara-all half-demons with a father in common; as well as a large number of the Stavros pack including the alpha wolf Finn, his vampire mate Lyra (Darkness Awakened), and their daughter Vega; and supernatural healer Ophelia, and wolf shifter Gray –who may or may not have found his mate in Ophelia. The Hell realm reveals a troubling trend when another one of Ian’s half-siblings is caught up in the drama. The requisite evil has many faces that are familiar to our story line couple.

SAVED BY DARKNESS is a complex and detailed story line focusing on family, betrayal, power and control. The premise is unique and intense; the characters are animated, spirited and energetic; the romance is passionate and intense. Katie Reus’s addicting world of the supernatural brings together dragons, and shifters, and demons-oh my !

Previous reviews and reading order

Book 1-DARKNESS AWAKENED is available for ONLY 99¢ at Amazon.com / Amazon.ca

Darkness Awakened
Taste of Darkness
Beyond the Darkness
Hunted by Darkness
Into The Darkness
Saved by Darkness

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

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Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward-Review and Release Tour

MACK DADDY by Penelope Ward-Review and Release Tour

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MACK DADDY
by Penelope Ward
Release Date: February 32, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance

Mack Daddy

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 13, 2017

From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a sexy, STANDALONE second-chance romance.

They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie.

Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?
So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.

At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.
Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy. I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.
They didn’t know about our past.
He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.

I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.
Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: MACK DADDY by Penelope Ward is a stand alone, contemporary, adult, romantic story line. This is businessman Mackenzie ‘Mack’ Morrison, and elementary school teacher Francesca O’Hara’s second chance story.

Told from alternating first person points of view (Mack and Francesca) including memories from the past, MACK DADDY focuses on the rekindling relationship between one time best friends Mack Morrison and Francesca O’Hara. Francesca is an elementary school teacher and the new term begins with a familiar face-a face that destroyed our heroine’s heart. Enter Mack Morrison, and his six year old son Jonah-a young man with issues of separations and anxiety. What ensues is the rebuilding friendship and romance between our leading couple as they consider their future together and alone.

Francesca aka Frankie O’Hara loves her current boyfriend Victor-an older lover who offers Frankie the world- but the reappearance of the one that walked away begins to break down all of Frankie’s resistance. Victor offers Frankie a choice, then quietly walks away without a fight to the finish. Mack Morrison shares custody of his son with his ex Torrie-the woman for whom he sacrificed his friendship with Frankie, and the woman who will continue to destroy our hero’s heart. But with war comes the battles, and Mack and Frankie will choose their battles one step at a time.

The relationship between Mack and Frankie is one of second chances; a rekindling romance that sizzled with palpable sexual attraction but a romance that was never to be. Mack was in a relationship that his father approved, and Frankie was a friend who got caught in the crossfire. The $ex scenes are intimate and intense without the use of sexually graphic, over the top language and text.

We are introduced to Frankie’s co-worker Lorelai, a woman who pushes all of Frankie’s buttons; Mack’s ex Torrie Hightower; his neighbor Mrs. Migillicutty; his mother and sister, as well as his politically prominent father.

The world building looks at second chances, and hard choices, and in this some readers may take offense or have difficulty with some of the story line content-Frankie straddles a line of infidelity where Mack and her current relationship are concerned.

MACK DADDY is a story of second chances; of a friendship that was broken; of a heart that was unable to move on from the past. The premise is engaging; the romance is passionate and emotional; the characters are colorful and energetic. MACK DADDY is a sexy and sensitive story line from the mind of Penelope Ward.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Mack Daddy Teaser

About The Author Black and Blue

Penelope WardPenelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 11-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

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So Right (Ribbon Ridge: Love on the Vine #2) by Darcy Burke-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

SO RIGHT (Ribbon Ridge: Love on the Vine #2) by Darcy Burke-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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SO RIGHT
Ribbon Ridge: Love on the Vine #2
by Darcy Burke
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Genre: adult,contemporary, romance

So Right

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 14, 2017

Kelsey McDade realizes that her love life is one and done. Her last—and only—relationship left her broken and afraid and more than ready to be alone for the long haul. But sexy-charming vineyard manager Luke Westcott pushes all of her buttons in the right way and makes her wonder if she ought to try again.

In nearly twenty-eight years, Luke’s most successful romance has been with the outdoors. Currently single, he’s happy to pour all of his energy into his new winery until Kelsey provokes feelings he didn’t know he was capable of. He can envision their future together—if she’ll let down her guard.

When the ghost of Kelsey’s past causes her to slam on the brakes, Luke is ready to fight for her, even if it means sacrificing himself in the process. Convinced she’s only made wrong choices in the past, Kelsey must decide if Luke—and their love—is worth the greatest risk of all.

••••••

REVIEW: SO RIGHT is the second installment in Darcy Burke’s contemporary, adult LOVE ON THE VINE romance series focusing on the Westcott brothers of Ribbon Ridge. This is vintner and winery co-owner Luke Westcott, and librarian/bar waitress Kelsey McDade’s story line. LOVE ON THE VINE is a spin off from Burke’s Ribbon Ridge series. We were first introduced to Luke and his brothers (Cameron and Jamie) in You’re Still the One (Ribbon Ridge #6). You do not have to read the original series to follow the premise of SO RIGHT but I recommend reading You’re Still the One for some backstory about the brothers and their new winery business.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Luke and Kelsey) SO RIGHT follows the building relationship between vintner Luke Westcott, and librarian Kelsey McDade- a relationship that struggles with demons from the past. Kelsey McDade is a broken woman whose past controls the present, and with it, Kelsey’s inability to move forward in life. A self-proclaimed workaholic, Kelsey’s lifestyle leaves no time for rest or relaxation but winery owner Luke Westcott slowly begins to worm his way into our heroine’s heart. What ensues is the building but struggling relationship between Kelsey and Luke, and the continuing research into the historical significance of Ribbon Ridge.

Both Kelsey and Luke are workaholics; individuals who prefer to be left alone but the loneliness comes with too many ghosts and demons in the dark. Kelsey’s one and only relationship left our heroine broken and destroyed; Luke’s past relationship fizzled out but comes looking for another chance.

The relationship between Luke and Kelsey is fraught the back and forth of one woman’s reluctance to give love a second chance. Frustrating in its presentation Kelsey’s ‘yes, no, maybe’ ongoing indecisiveness, although understandable under the circumstances, made for some discouraging reading and I had a difficult time accepting the heroine as a love interest for Luke. The $ex scenes are intimate and romantic without the use of over the top sexually graphic language and test.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Luke’s brothers Jamie, and Cameron and his wife Brooke ( So Good ), as well as a large number of the Archer clan from the original Ribbon Ridge Series. Arch and Vine bar tender George Wilson, a regular in both of the series, finds love with the introduction of Kelsey’s grandma Ruby Atwood.

SO RIGHT is a sweet romance with a little bit of spice, angst, and romance. The premise is engaging and heartwarming; the romance is emotional; the characters are spirited and passionate although Kelsey’s flip-flopping was annoying-sometimes you gotta pull up your big girl panties and take a chance. SO RIGHT will captivate your imagination.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

So Right Teaser

excerpt

“I was thinking I might want to go to Oktoberfest after all. I’ll tag along with you, if you don’t mind.”
Luke didn’t immediately answer, and Kelsey held her breath. His brow furrowed slightly and he stared at her a moment. “Okay, that’s twice now I’ve asked you out and you’ve declined only to change your mind. Is this how you do things? Because it’s a bit demoralizing.”
Ouch. She deserved that. “No, it’s not how I do things. Honestly, I’m terribly out of practice. Forget I said anything. You should probably run in the other direction.”
He lightly touched her forearm and guided her toward the building. She realized someone needed to walk by, and they were sort of hogging the sidewalk.
His gaze was steady and warm as he looked at her. “I don’t want to run the other way. I want to take you to Oktoberfest. On a date. Just so we’re clear.”
A date. That sensation of wanting to fall into his eyes stole over her again. This time, she didn’t shrink away. “Okay.”
His lips curved into a handsome smile. “Okay. I’ll pick you up at six, if that works.”
“Yep, that’s great. See you then.” Neither one of them moved for a moment. “I need to get back to work. My lunch is over.”
“Oh. Well, I’ll walk with you since I’d planned to pick up lunch anyway.”
They crossed the street, and when they reached the other side, she turned to look at him. “You can meet my grandmother. She’s inside flirting with George.”
He grinned. “That sounds fantastic. I can’t wait to give George a hard time.”
She elbowed him as they approached the door. “Be nice. They’re very cute.”
“I bet. I was only teasing. I’m happy for them both.”
“He’s taking her to Oktoberfest on Saturday too.”
He opened the door for her. “Should we double date?”
“God, no.” She slapped her hand over her mouth. “Well, that sounded terrible.” She laughed. “I only meant that I don’t want to intrude on them. But it was nice of you to offer.”
“In all honesty, now that I finally get to take you on a date, I don’t really want to share you either.”

About the Author pink

Darcy BurkeDarcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Connect:

 

Site: www.darcyburke.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans
Twitter: twitter.com/darcyburke
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823441.Darcy_Burke

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Tempt Me (A Stark International Novella) by J. Kenner-Review and Excerpt Tour

TEMPT ME: A Stark International Novella by J. Kenner-Review and Excerpt Tour

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TEMPT ME
Stark International Novella
by J. Kenner
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance
Release Date: February 14, 2017

Tempt Me

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 14, 2017

Sometimes passion has a price …

When sexy Stark Security Chief Ryan Hunter whisks his girlfriend Jamie Archer away for a passionate, romance-filled weekend so he can finally pop the question, he’s certain that the answer will be an enthusiastic yes. So when Jamie tries to avoid the conversation, hiding her fears of commitment and change under a blanket of wild sensuality and decadent playtime in bed, Ryan is more determined than ever to convince Jamie that they belong together.

Knowing there’s no halfway with this woman, Ryan gives her an ultimatum – marry him or walk away. Now Jamie is forced to face her deepest insecurities or risk destroying the best thing in her life. And it will take all of her strength, and all of Ryan’s love, to keep her right where she belongs…

•••••••

REVIEW: TEMPT ME by J. Kenner is a novella that revisits Stark Security Chief Ryan Hunter, and Nikki Fairchild-Stark’s best friend / actress Jamie Archer. A couple of years have passed since Ryan and Jamie first fell in love and Ryan Hunter is hoping to make their relationship more permanent but our heroine Jamie struggles with the idea of marriage and a happily ever after so much so that when Ryan, once again, asks Jamie to marry him, Jamie is blindsided when her own parent’s marriage begins to implode.

TEMPT ME is an erotic story of romance; of one couple’s struggle to take the next step in their relationship. As per J. Kenner’s style of writing, the author’s use of some sexually graphic language is less than desirable and cringe worthy for this reader-I have a difficult time with a certain four letter word no matter the circumstance or usage.

TEMPT ME is a passionate and emotional story line. The premise is provocative; the romance is sexy and hot; the characters are familiar and engaging.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Tempt Me Teaser

excerpt

 

“I adore all of the women in my life,” he says. “I’d do anything for them.” He’s looking at me as he says it, and my heart flutters in my chest. But I’m not sure if he’s including me in that group, or if the hint of meaning I hear in his voice is nothing more than my imagination.
I shake my head as I frown, trying to clear my thoughts.
“You okay?”
“Fine,” I say, though it’s not true. Our rhythm is off, and it’s scaring me. We’ve always been in sync, even before we were dating. And now—well, now it almost feels like he’s deliberately keeping me off balance.
I want to get back to normal, and I don’t know the path, and my lack of confidence is frustrating me.
“Are you heading home?” Ryan asks.
I shake my head. “Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t decided. You?”
“Moira and I are taking Mom back to the hotel.”
I wait for him to invite me along, and when he doesn’t, I say, “It’ll be nice for you guys to have time to chat in the car. But she usually crashes early, doesn’t she?”
“Usually. Why?”
“Oh. Um.” I lick my lips. “Because I was wondering if you wanted to meet me somewhere. We could get a drink. We could talk.”
“Talk,” he repeats. He meets my eyes, and I see the question in them—have I changed my mind? Am I going to say yes?
I glance down at the floor.
“Talk,” he repeats. “No, I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”
I look up, frustrated. “But, Ryan, I just—”
“I have plans. I’m going to Westerfield’s.”
“Oh.” Westerfield’s is one of the hottest clubs in town. It’s also a Stark property, which means when Ryan goes he gets the full VIP treatment. Something that never fails to snag the attention of the female patrons. Most of whom are usually drunk. And wearing outfits that are barely big enough to keep a Barbie doll modest.
“Oh,” I repeat.
I wait for him to suggest I join him there, but all he says is, “It really was great that you came.” Then the bastard leans in and kisses my cheek. He kisses my f*cking cheek.

 

 

about the author

J.KennerJ.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy,  and paranormal mommy lit.

JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck.

Her books have sold over three million  copies and are published in over twenty languages.

In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas.  She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.

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Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) by Lauren Layne-Release Day Review and Tour

LOVE STORY (Love Unexpectedly #3) by Lauren Layne-Release Day Review and Tour

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LOVE STORY
Love Unexpectedly #3
by Lauren Layne
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance
Release Date: February 14, 2017

Love Story

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 14, 2017

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

••••••••••

REVIEW: LOVE STORY is the third installment in Lauren Layne’s contemporary LOVE UNEXPECTEDLY romance series. This is Lucy Hawkins and Reece Sullivan’s story line. LOVE STORY can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Each installment does not interconnect with the other stories.

Told from dual first person points of view (Lucy and Reece) using present day and memories from the past, LOVE STORY focuses on the second chance romance between life long friends Lucy Hawkins and Reece Sullivan. Lucy has loved her brother’s best friend since they were barely old enough to walk but falling in love with a man who wants someone else finds our heroine heartbroken and in pain the morning after he takes everything she has to offer. Fast forward several years and Lucy is now a business graduate focusing on the wine making industry, and Reece will be working for a competing winery. As Lucy prepares to embark on a cross-country journey towards her destination in the wine country of California, she discovers that Reece Sullivan will be going along for the ride. What ensues is a tempestuous adventure for two people who love one another but are afraid to admit the truth.

Reece Sullivan lost everyone he loved at an early age. With the recent death of his emotionally absent father Reece knew that it was time to go forth and discover his future. With her degree in hand, Lucy Hawkins sets out to start anew in the vineyards of California not realizing that the man who destroyed her heart will be going along for the ride.

The relationship between Lucy and Reece is one of second chances; a rekindling romance between one-time best friends-a friendship that was destroyed when Reece walked away from the woman he has always loved. Several years would pass before Lucy and Reece would come face to face forcing the couple to look for the truth behind their animosity, anger and pain. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of over the top sexually graphic language or text.

LOVE STORY is frenemies to lovers adventure; a new adult story line; a rekindling romance between two people who have never stopped loving one another but two people who got caught up in appearances, egos, and a lack of communication. There is plenty of angst, palpable sexual energy, unresolved hurt, and conflicted emotions that roller coaster throughout the story. The back and forth bickering is juvenile and immature as though neither one was able to move on from the past. The premise is engaging; the characters are passionate; the romance struggles with issues of trust and memories of the past.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

_________________

Good GirlGOOD GIRL
(Love Unexpectedly #2)
by Lauren Layne
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 17, 2016

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: GOOD GIRL is the second installment in Lauren Layne’s contemporary, adult LOVE UNEXPECTEDLY erotic, romance series. This is country star Jenny Dawson, and Preston ‘Noah’ Maxwell Walcott’s story line. GOOD GIRL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Jenny and Noah) GOOD GIRL looks at the fall out of lies, secret, fame and betrayal. Jenny Dawson is a country music phenom whose star status implodes when an innocent picture of her surfaces with a married man. Labeled a whore and homewrecker our heroine seeks solace in the back woods of Louisiana where she will meet Noah Maxwell, a man she presumes to be the caretaker at the Walcott estates. What ensues is the building relationship and romance between Noah and Jenny, and Jenny’s spiral into heartbreak when Noah’s true identity is finally revealed.

GOOD GIRL is a slow building story of romance; a second chance at love for a man whose prior relationship ended with his fiancés affair-an affair that has hardened Noah’s heart. Jenny Dawson is innocent of the charges against her, and falling in love with Noah Maxwell was never in the cards. Noah’s past will come screaming into the present leaving a heartbroken Jenny to move on with her life. The $ex scenes are intimate and explorative.

We are introduced to Noah’s best friends: Finn Reed and Vaughn; Noah’s ex fiancé Yvonne Damascus; and Jenny’s bestie Amber Fuller. Most of the story line premise takes place on the grounds of the Walcott estate with very little outside interference from paparazzi or interfering friends. It would be nice to see a couple of story line for Finn and Vaughn but that doesn’t appear to be the direction the author is taking as each of the books in the series is a complete stand alone and not interconnected with any of the other stories.

GOOD GIRL is a story of rebuilding for one woman whose life is destroyed by secrets and lies; and by one man who perpetuates more lies to keep his own identity secret. The premise is hopeful and romantic; the characters are passionate in their beliefs; the romance is heartbreaking knowing that there is a time-limit that is about to expire.

Reviewed by Sandy

Excerpt

“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.
Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.
Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.
“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.
“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.
“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.
Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .
Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.
I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.
But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and I spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.
“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.
“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”
“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.
“Like, as in he actually starts?”
“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”
I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.
“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.
“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.
“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.
“Reece agreed to fix him up.”
I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”
“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”
“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”
And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.
I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.
“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.
They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.
Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”
Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.
He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .
I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.
And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.

Love Story Teaser

About the Author

Lauren LayneFollow: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / GOODREADS

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

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A Millionaire at Midnight (Bachelor Auction #4) by Naima Simone-a review

A MILLIONAIRE AT MIDNIGHT (Bachelor Auction #4) by Naima Simone-a review

A Millionaire at Midnight

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

RELEASE DATE: February 13, 2017

Boston socialite Morgan Lett is having a run of bad luck. Her fiancé just dumped her for her stepsister, the charity foundation she’s given her life to is in danger of folding, and now, the gorgeous man she bid on and won at a masquerade bachelor auction turns out to be a cold-hearted jerk…and her new employer.

Millionaire Alexander Bishop needs the best wife money can buy. In order to inherit his family business, he must get engaged—fast. And Morgan, with her beauty and pedigree, is the perfect candidate. Her sharp tongue may drive him crazy, but she needs money to save the foundation she loves, and he needs a fiancée. It’s a flawless arrangement—no strings, no love. But soon she has him craving more, and cursing the platonic terms of their agreement.

Still, he won’t allow need—no matter how hot it burns—to threaten everything he’s built.

••••••••••••

REVIEW: A MILLIONAIRE AT MIDNIGHT is the fourth installment in Naima Simone’s contemporary, adult BACHELOR AUCTION erotic, romance series. This is Boston socialite and PA Morgan Lett, and millionaire businessman Alexander Bishop’s story line. A MILLIONAIRE AT MIDNIGHT can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Morgan and Alexander) A MILLIONAIRE AT MIDNIGHT follows a fake fiancé trope that finds millionaire Alexander Bishop in desperate need of a wife-to-be. Alexander has only weeks to announce his engagement in order to take over as CEO of Bishop Enterprises-a business he saved from the proverbial toilet. Enter Morgan Lett, a socialite and former PA who also is desperate for a helping hand. But Morgan and Alexander’s first meeting is met with preconceived notions and a quick call to judgment by the man desperate enough to push aside all of his rules to keep control of the company. What ensues is the building relationship between two people whose relationship experience has been less than stellar. Morgan recently discovered her fiancée was in love with her step-sister; and Alexander’s marriage ended because he wife was unable to honor her vows. With Morgan’s return to work she will soon discover that Alexander Bishop is now the man in charge but a man who wants nothing to do with a gold-digging attitude.

The relationship between Alexander and Morgan begins acrimoniously after Alex overhears Morgan spouting about finding a rich man to support the life in which she has grown accustomed but unbeknownst to Alex, Morgan’s proclamations came at a time when her emotions and feelings were destroyed following several accusations by women she cares not to have known. When Morgan offers up a plan that will satisfy them both, Alex will lose his heart to a woman whose own earlier years were fraught with rejection and hurt. The $ex scenes are intimate, intense and seductive.

We are introduced to Alexander’s half- sister Kim, as well as his father Malcolm Bishop ; Morgan’s former fiancée Troy, and her half-sister Cynthia, as well as Morgan’s sister Merri. I am hoping for a happily ever after for Kim as she struggles to regain control of her life.

The world building reveals a little bit of the past; of the pain Alexander and Morgan experience throughout their lives; of Alex’s need to get lost in the books of his childhood fantasies.

A MILLIONAIRE AT MIDNIGHT is a story of romance; a fake fiancée tale that finds two people opposed to another happily ever after but find themselves falling in love against the odds. The premise is energetic; the characters are heartbreaking and passionate; the romance is sensual and sexy. A MILLIONAIRE AT MIDNIGHT will captivate your imagination.

Reading Order and previous reviews
Beauty and the Bachelor
The Millionaire Makeover
The Bachelor’s Promise
A Millionaire at Midnight

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Going for the Goal (The Perfect Play #3) by Sara Rider-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

GOING FOR THE GOAL (The Perfect Play #3) by Sara Rider-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Going for the Goal Banner

GOING FOR THE GOAL
Perfect Play #3
by Sara Rider
Release Date: February 13, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance, hockey

going for the Goal

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 13, 2017

Sara Rider returns with the third book in the Perfect Play series—a fast-paced, icy hot romance featuring a sports agent fighting an attraction to the NHL’s bad boy…and his ability to melt her heart.

In this perfect book for romance and sports fans, professional sports agent Jillian Nichols knows how to play the game to get what she wants. But admitting to what she needs has always been a challenge. Will she ever let her guard down long enough to let someone in? Or will the bad boy hockey player Nick “the Punisher” Salinger have to fight harder than ever for a chance to win her heart?

••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: GOING FOR THE GOAL is the third installment in Sara Rider’s adult, contemporary THE PERFECT PLAY erotic, romance series. This is professional hockey play/enforcer Nick ‘The Punisher’ Salinger, and sports agent Jillian Nichols’s story line. GOING FOR THE GOAL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story line is revealed where necessary. The reader was first introduced to our heroine in book two-Keeping Score.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Jillian and Nick) GOING FOR THE GOAL follows the personal and professional relationship between NHL enforcer Nick Salinger, and sports agent Jillian Nichols. Eight year earlier both Nick and Jillian were newbies in the world of sports: she an intern with an agent whose reputation as a misogynistic pig pushed Jillian to hand in her resignation; and he a rookie hockey player who spoke more with his fists than anything else. Fast forward to present day wherein Nick Salinger needs a new agent but Jillian Nichols refuses to accept any clients whose attitudes match the infamous Nick Salinger. When a disastrous fight with a teammate almost destroys Nick’s career, Jillian remains steadfast in her refusal to accept Nick as a client until the truth about what happened is finally revealed. What ensues is a campaign to rival all others as Jillian struggles to clean up Nick’s reputation while her own slowly begins to unravel and fall apart.

The relationship between our couple begins acrimoniously. Nick’s reputation as a fighter pushes all of Jillian’s buttons but neither Jillian or Nick has ever forgotten about their first meeting and the possibility of what never was. Jillian struggles to be accepted into a career dominated by the male of the species and with it comes the sexist attitudes of those who think themselves better than everyone else. The sex scenes are seductive, intimate and intense.

We are introduced to several members of the NHL’s New York Vipers including rookie Sebastian Liakos and his fiancée Alexa Whittaker , captain and goalie Mike Lambert, left wing Luke Anderson, and an assortment of coaches, trainers and team owner John Whittaker ; Nick’s younger brother Ben-a high school teacher and struggling actor; as well as Jillian’s former mentor Lou Parsons who sets out to destroy Jillian’s career. Soccer player Jaime Chen (Keeping Score) has a couple of cameo appearances throughout the story.

GOING FOR THE GOAL is a story of betrayal and revenge; romance and love; second chances and happily ever afters. The premise is lively and inspiring; the characters are dynamic and heartwarming; the romance is captivating and passionate. GOING FOR THE GOAL is a fascinating story line with a few twists and turns to the conflict resolution.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post-Black and Blue

Researching and developing the story line content —Sara Rider

When I first started writing the Perfect Play series, I didn’t intend to write about Jillian Nichols, the heroine of Going for the Goal. But after she made her appearance in Keeping Score as the agent fighting tirelessly for her underdog client Jaime Chen, it became clear to me that she had her own story to tell. I just wasn’t entirely sure what that story was.

To date, Going for the Goal is the book that required by far the most research. For the other novels in the series, I was able to draw on a lot of different real-life inspirations for storylines and character development. Writing about a female sports agent, however, didn’t come with a clear set of instructions. With the exception of Amelia Slater on the TV show Pitch, which didn’t air until after I’d written the book, there hasn’t been a lot of female sports agents featured in the media. For most people, Jerry Maguire remains the quintessential, and likely only, touchstone of sports agents. But Jerry Maguire’s brash personality and riches-to-rags story didn’t resonate with Jillian’s ambitious but earnest character.

Instead of starting with a plot idea like I usually do, I started with a fundamental piece of characterization. When Jillian first popped into my head, she came with a very clear and strict set of rules for herself, much like many other women who’ve had to work twice as hard to prove themselves in male-dominated industries:
1. Never work with arrogant jerks; 2. Never work with people you don’t trust; and, 3. Never, ever work with someone you’ve pictured naked. So naturally, when I was coming up with a love interest, it had to be someone who broke every single one of these rules. That’s where Nick Salinger comes in. The bad boy enforcer of the New York Vipers walks into her office on the heels of a scandal and demands she take him on as a client. The big question, of course, was why. Any agent could negotiate a trade deal or a salary increase, so why did this big, troublesome star want an agent with an unconventional practice to represent him?

The answer is that he wanted someone who could pull off the impossible: negotiate a deal to stay with a team who desperately wants him gone. Unfortunately, this meant I needed a crash course in NHL trade regulations and negotiation tactics. I’ve always been a casual hockey fan, but this required a heck of a lot more effort than putting on my Jets jersey and cheering on my team from my living room couch. I ended up spending endless hours talking to family and friends who self-identify as hockey fanatics, and scouring the Internet for resources. Anonymous agent blogs detailing the dark underside of the profession, profiles of the difficulties faced by female agents, and course listings for sports management programs were invaluable in developing the story and the various sub-plots in the book.

Ultimately, it was the forceful personalities of Jillian and Nick that helped me piece together the plot. Both are intensely stubborn people who are so used to taking care of others that they struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone equally bull-headed and devoted. In the end, flipping from a plot-first to a character-first approach to writing was a fun challenge that still allowed me explore a unique storyline. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

~~Sara~~

About The Author Black and Blue

Sara RiderYou can follow Sara at : Website / Goodreads/ Twitter/

Sara Rider writes contemporary romances full of heart and heat about strong heroines and the men who can’t resist them. Growing up, Sara dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. When that dream was squashed by her extreme dislike of running, she decided to do the next best thing: write about professional soccer players. By day, Sara spends her time working in the field of research ethics and daydreams about plotlines and character arcs. She spends far too much time at public libraries and never leaves the house without a paperback or an e-reader stuffed into her purse.

Giveaway-Black and Deep Blue

Sara’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of GOING FOR THE GOAL 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).

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9. Giveaway runs from February 12-15, 2017

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Hooked (Viking Bastards #1) by Christina Phillips-a review

HOOKED (Viking Bastards #1) by Christina Phillips-a review

Hooked

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 6, 2017

Zach…



I like my sex dirty and disposable. I’m not into commitment or chicks who want more than one night. My brothers and club come first, second and last.

Until she walks into my life. Classy, rich and so out of my league it’s crazy. A week together should get her out of my system, but this good girl is so bad when we’re all alone and I can’t get enough of her.

I don’t do forever, but she’s hooked me so bad I don’t ever want to let her go. Except there’s no way a princess can live in my world and I sure as hell won’t live in hers..

•••••

REVIEW: HOOKED is the first installment in Christina Phillips’s contemporary, adult VIKING BASTARDS erotic, romance series focusing on the members of the Viking Bastards MC. This is MC member Zach Reynolds, and HR specialist Grace Mulholland’s story line.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Zach and Grace) HOOKED focuses on the unlikely relationship between mechanic Zach Reynolds- a member of the Vikings Bastards MC, and HR specialist Grace Mulholland. Grace finds herself in a predicament when her car breaks down and her cell phone is dead. Walking into Odin’s – a seedy, rundown biker bar- finds our heroine going outside of her comfort zone and offering whatever it takes to the man in charge. Enter third generation MC member Zach Reynolds-a tattooed biker who demands everything from Grace and more. What ensues is the quick building relationship between two people from opposite sides of the track.

HOOKED is a story of erotica; a sexually, uninhibited look at one woman’s journey into the dark and dangerous world of the MC, and one man’s struggle to keep from falling for the ‘princess’ that calls to his heart. Like most MC story lines there is plenty of $ex and sexual situations but there is very little known about the Club and its members- the Club and everything it represents is secondary to the story line premise.

We are introduced to Zach’s sister Kat, and their brother Gage; tattooist and MC member Cade, as well as Grace’s sister Charity. The premise is entertaining and intoxicating; the characters are spirited and dynamic; the romance is passionate and erotic. The conflict is limited to Zach’s inability to accept anything beyond a one-night stand; any angst is brought about by demons from Zach’s past. I was hoping for a little more grit , danger and conflict but as an introductory story line HOOKED had me hooked from the very start.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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