Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York-Review, Interview & Giveaway

Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York (presented by James Patterson)-Review, Interview, and Giveaway

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BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER
by Sabrina York
BookShots Flames presented by James Patterson
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highlander, romance

Bedding the Highlander

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 7, 2017

Only a Scot can steal her heart.
There’s nothing ladylike about Katherine Killin. She’s a spitfire who cannot be tamed. To rid himself of her, and to honor a truce set by the Duke of Glencoe, her father agrees to wed her to his clan’s mortal enemy, Ben Rannoch. But when Katherine meets the enticingly masculine Kirk Rannoch, brother of her betrothed, she suddenly craves domination.
BookShots Flames

Original romances presented by JAMES PATTERSON
Novels you can devour in a few hours
Impossible to stop reading

•••••••••••

REVIEW: Bedding the Highlander is a Book Shots Flames brand. This is a selection of stories that are well written with a sizzling romantic theme to their genre; today’s review is BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER by Sabrina York, presented by James Patterson. The books are priced at under $5.00 US and have approximately only 150 pages. Designed to be read in an evening or at work on lunch hours, etc. Interesting idea, but I, personally, love a good long well written story. But then, I’m retired and have lots of time to read.

Now to this captivating story.

The story is about rival clans in Glencoe, Scotland in 1603. The Duke of Glencoe, in order to try to make an alliance for peace, has ordered the marriage of Katherine Killin to the rival clan laird Ben Rannoch.

Kirk Rannoch, brother of Ben, and his friend Brodie have been assigned to bring Katherine from the Killin stronghold to the Rannoch keep to be wed to Ben. They are, understandably, reluctant to enter the Killin keep, as many don’t return. Unfortunately, when they do, they find the wrong Catherine…no misspelling, it seems many of the Killian Laird’s daughters, mostly illegitimate, are named a form of Catherine. However, they notice the one presented does not have the signature red hair of the real Katherine Killin. They are told the real Katherine has run off rather than be wed to their enemy and they don’t know where she is. Reluctantly, they leave.
During the trip back, while camping at night, two thieves try to take the men’s horses. They capture them only to find that they are females and both have a form of red hair. A romance between “Ann” (aka Katherine) and Kirk is immediate and sizzling.

Okay, that’s the set up and the rest must be read to be enjoyed. It’s only 150 pages and doesn’t take long. I found it to be incredibly entertaining and very well written. I loved her solution for not having to marry the laird…possibly brave, possibly foolish but very interesting! Sabrina York is a fine author and writes a very inventive period novel.

Give it a shot!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

Interview

TRC: Hi Sabrina. Welcome to The Reading Cafe.

Sabrina YorkSabrina: Thank you so much for having me! I am excited to be here!

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

Sabrina: Absolutely! My name is Sabrina York and I LOVE writing steamy, snarky romances…but I have ADD and enjoy writing in all sub genres (historical, contemporary, SEALs, Dukes, Highlanders and so on!).

Though I am predominantly published in romance, I also love writing in other genres like women’s fiction, fantasy, sci fi and more.

I think trying new things is important for working the writing muscles and keeps my writing fresh and fun.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Sabrina: My greatest influence was my mother, who refused to let me use my dyslexia as an excuse for not being an overachiever. She convinced me at an early age that this difficulty was actually a gift, because it allowed me to see things in ways other people might miss.

Indeed, it has been a gift, and so was having a mother so determined to help me succeed.

Although, I must say, I am also thankful for spellcheck and editors!

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

Sabrina: Dyslexia aside, I worked for years writing and polishing my work. I submitted to hundreds of editors and agents and received an encyclopedia full of rejections. Though my work won many awards, I just couldn’t seem to sell.

And then, just when I was about to give up (for a career of sitting on the sofa, eating bon bons and watching Toddlers in Tiaras) I miraculously sold my first book.

My advice to writers who are struggling is: Don’t give up. Keep trying.

Now that I am published (in traditional and indie worlds) my challenges are balancing projects with the business side of things. There are so many things I have to do that I never imagined.

It would be wonderful if being an author meant sitting back and writing books, but there is so much more to it, including accounting (ick), marketing, social media, events, conferences and more (especially for Indie writers!)

Bedding the HighlanderTRC: Would you please tell us something about BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER?

Sabrina: I am so excited about this story! It has been a glorious experience working with James Patterson, Laura Fazio and the team at Hachette!

The core story is that with the death of the queen and the ascension of James VI—and the union of the crowns between Scotland and England—the world has turned on its ear. The new king is determined to make the transition a peaceful one. He is adamant that Scotland not be seen as a land of savages, but loyal, peaceful subjects of the crown. He has commanded his dukes to maintain peace and squash unrest at all costs.

In light of the rising turmoil and increased hostilities amongst his highland clans, Nicholas Lennox, the Duke of Glencoe—acting on explicit orders from the newly ascended King James VI—has issued an ultimatum to his unmarried lairds, demanding they unite with their rival clans…through marriage.

As logical as this plan is, nothing seems to go right.

His first declaration is that Ben Rannoch, Laird of Rannoch should marry Katherine Killin, daughter of Cuithbeart Killin (The Rannoch’s mortal enemy).

In Bedding the Highlander, Kirk Rannoch is sent to collect his brother’s intended. He has no idea that Katherine is far from a biddable wench. The plucky redhead has decided to seduce Kirk in hopes of scuttling a wedding to his brother, the Beast of Rannoch.

Imagine Kirk’s chagrin when he realizes the woman he had bedded is not the maid he thought her to be, but his brother’s bride!

I came up with this idea when my husband and I were visiting Scotland last September. I’d never been there before and it was a wonderful time. One of the villages we visited was Kinloch Rannoch, the town my mother’s people came from. I decided that my next Highland romp had to take place there!

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

Sabrina: I live by a maxim that an author can do whatever she wants, as long as she does it well. So no matter the twists and turns I fold into the plot, they have to be masterfully executed.

You get a feeling in your gut, a little niggle, when things aren’t right. I’ve learned you cannot ignore that, no matter how much work it is to rewrite. I’ve also learned I am always so much happier when I get it right!

One of my favorite things to do is lead the reader down the garden path, make her expect that something typical will happen, and then flip the script! The secret here is having fully-formed characters who behave in genuine and authentic ways. Needless to say, I lean toward strong, determined and sometimes stubborn heroines.

TRC: Have you ever had the opportunity to visit the Highlands of Scotland, and if so, how much of an influence or impact did the visit have on your stories?

Sabrina: I most certainly did, but sadly, only one time. I would love to go back.

Laird of her HeartIt was fascinating visiting historical sites like Urquhart Castle (which featured in my Highland Time Travel, Laird of her Heart) and the battlefield at Culloden, thinking of all the lives that had been lived and lost in these places. We took a tour of the north coast where my Untamed Highlander Series took place.

Standing on the cliffs at Duncansby Head Lighthouse and staring out over the cold grey waters of the North Sea gave me a new appreciation for the strength and stamina of the Scottish people.

I took hundreds of pictures so I would remember the feelings, the sights and the faces. Some things change with the times, but others don’t. I often felt I had stepped back in time.

Mostly, I was suffused with this amazing feeling of coming home, which makes sense, because my mother’s people are Stewarts.

TRC: You write several different genres. Which do you prefer? Which do you find the most difficult?

Sabrina: I love writing them all, because when I switch, it’s almost like taking a break. It makes work feel less like work. J

The genre I find most difficult is the one I am working on at any given time.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. But it ain’t easy!

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

Sabrina: I believe the cover is the most important element these days because a good 90% of readers are buying books online. The cover is the first thing they notice, there in a sea of covers.

It has to be stellar, and it has to reflect the story accurately.

In polls I’ve done with my lovely street team, the cover is always the top ranking decision factor, with “An Author I Know and Love” as number two. That’s why it is also critical to write consistently excellent books and give the reader what they want.

From a personal perspective, I also believe that relationships are super important in this business, whether it is with publishers, other authors, industry professionals and, of course, readers. I offer lots of ways to connect with my readers from my VIP Facebook room, to my Street Team and a newsletter that offers exclusive contests and content.

Yes, it takes time away from writing to foster and maintain these relationships, but it think it is important to know for whom I am writing. Plus, they are damn wonderful people!

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Sabrina: I have a trick. I start out with a fairly well developed outline, but then, when I get going, yes, the characters start talking to me. I have to listen. It is their story after all!

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

Sabrina: Absolutely. My job is to let the reader FEEL the story. To evoke and exploit emotion. My tactic is to write in what is called deep POV (Point of View). I only write one character per scene and everything from the language to the tone to the simmering emotions MUST be genuine and true to that character.

Another trick I learned is to keep the story moving. Focusing on the action and evolution of the story, I fold tidbits of information into dialog, reactions and internalizations rather than providing it in huge choking chunks. This is essential to KEEP THE READER IN THE STORY. I do not want you to put the book down! Long dull chunks of exposition are the perfect excuse to close the book and go have a root canal or something.

No! This cannot be allowed!!!!

As for writers who fail in invoking emotion, I’d like to say (and to be honest) we all have failed at one point or another. If we are lucky and/or smart, we have learned from it.

In my opinion, this failure (for wont of a better word) occurs when writers try to rush through scenes and assume the words they are putting on paper are having the effect they desire. I call this lazy writing and I am an expert at it. But the trick is in the editing. It is in the second, third or fourth pass when we flesh out the scene, maximize opportunities to stir emotions and cut out anything that gums up the works.

This last bit is where many writers struggle, because they are not inclined to murder their darlings. You know, that perfectly wicked turn of phrase, or the description of the train station we are in love with but goes on waaaaay too long for the reader to tolerate… That stuff needs to go, but writers in love with their own words don’t want to cut it.

Ask yourself is the story truly better or worse with this and then become a slasher.

In my humble opinion, writers only truly fail when they let their ego get in the way.

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

Sabrina: I love listening to music, but words distract me (muddles up the flow in my head) so the only music I listen to is classical. Fortunately, I love classical. It is supremely evocative.

Beethoven is a personal favorite (Appassionata and other such concertos), as well as Mozart and anything with the cello and oboe.

When I am in the “flow” the music does indeed influence me.

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

Sabrina: Believe it or not, no one in my family reads. Most of my friends are authors, but when we chat it is usually about other things (because we are all involved in our local chapter and conference). So no one, I suppose! Though I do occasionally talk to my agent about story ideas she would like to see.

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

Sabrina: I think they believe we live glamorous lives, which makes me giggle because I work from home, rarely leave the house and might have a conversation with one person other than my husband (or the dog). On a good day, I might actually get out of my PJs!

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

Sabrina: I’m an Army Brat, so I grew up traveling the world (though I don’t travel much anymore unless it is for work because I am so busy). Because we lived overseas when I was in college, I took a course in Ancient Egyptian History…in Egypt. I’ve actually been inside the Great Pyramid. Which was awesome…until I remembered I’m claustrophobic.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Sabrina: I am thrilled that St. Martin’s asked me to continue my Untamed Highlander Series. I am now plotting out Hamish’s story!

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Sabrina: I love to connect with readers. Here are my links! I also have a tiara fetish, so be sure to enter my giveaways!

Giveaways: http://sabrinayork.com/current-giveaways/

Get two free books when you sign up for my Newsletter: http://sabrinayork.com/gift/

Join my Street Team: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12s46UGgNUze1c3o3L8jIlXiLuhR5cFZjR83SCMElfw8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link

Facebook VIP chat room: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SabrinaYorkChatAndContests/

CONNECT

Follow my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sabrinayork

Friend my Facebook Profile Page https://www.facebook.com/sabrina.york.14

Like my Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/SabrinaYorkBooks

Follow me on Twitter @sabrina_york https://twitter.com/sabrina_york

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5817917.Sabrina_York

Check out my Pinterest boards: http://www.pinterest.com/sabrinayork/boards/

Sign up for Amazon alerts: http://www.amazon.com/author/sabrinayork

Sign up for alerts on new releases with other vendors: https://books2read.com/author/sabrina-york/subscribe/1/28367/

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Bacon

Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake

Favorite TV Show: Below Deck

Last Movie You Saw: Shawshank Redemption

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark

Secret Celebrity Crush: George Clooney (and it’s not so secret)

Last Vacation Destination: Los Angeles

Do you have any pets? A rottie mix named Lola

Last book you read: Tina Fey’s Bossypants

TRC: Thank you Sabrina for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of Bedding the Highlander

Sabrina: Thanks for letting me play!

 

Giveaway

Sabrina’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of
BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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

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

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

3. Please like and follow Sabrina York’s Author Page on Facebook.

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

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8. Giveaway is open internationally

9. Giveaway runs from March 17-21, 2017

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How To Tame a Beast in Seven Day (The Embraced #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks-a review

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced Series – #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks-a review

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days

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

Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, paranormal, romance

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy—and her father’s life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?

Review:
How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days begins at the Convent of the Two Moons, on the Isle of Moon, with five girls playing a game they had made up using “telling stones”. Luciana excelled at the game and her “sisters” loved having her tell them their futures. When Luciana picked the stones for herself: red as blood, black as death. Little did she know how profound those stones would be. As a storm nears the isle, the girls rush to secure their windows, only to be interrupted by a Sister from the convent telling Luciana that she is to come with her to meet someone who has just arrived. When Luciana presses the Sister as to whom she’s meeting, she is more than surprised to find out that it is her father. Luciana and her sisters had been raised at the convent since birth as orphans, never knowing that she or any of the others had any family left.

As Luciana enters to meet her father, she can’t help but wonder why she’d been raised as an orphan and why her family had sent her away. Torn between hurt and curiosity, she steels herself to face the man who, after nineteen years, has decided to visit. Once she realizes the truth of the danger her father is in and why she had been sent away, she makes a vow to help him in any way she can….even if it means they could both be killed. Her home is ruled by a greedy, power-hungry king, who informed her father that his daughter is to marry the king’s nephew, The Beast of Benwick. Rumors of the Beast and his power to harness lightning scare everyone, including Luciana. To save their legacy, and her father, Luciana embarks on a quest that will be life-changing for everyone. But, none more than she and the Beast.

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days is the first in a new series by Kerrelyn Sparks, whom I have adored for years. She’s created a new world which includes magic, shifters and great characters. Luciana, having been raised in a convent, is naïve about a lot of things, but it is her sense of loyalty, kindness and integrity that reaches out and grabs the reader. It doesn’t take her long to see that their situation is dire and she does everything in her power to ensure the safety of everyone in their keep. Leo, the Beast, is fierce, loyal and very smart. His uncle, the king, has tried more than once to have him killed, but, as Leo says, he’s hard to kill. When Luciana and Leo, along with their close inner circle of friends, soldiers and ghosts decide to take things into their own hands, they all fight tooth and nail to not only keep themselves alive, but everyone in their duchy. The secondary characters are AWESOME. I cannot wait to read more about them to find out how they ended up in their current situations. Sparks style of writing enraptured me the very first time I read one of her books. She writes with humor, which is always a plus, but it is her way of reaching into your heart that gets you every time. Her characters are relatable, the romances sweet and her world building is awe inspiring. If you’ve never read a Kerrelyn Sparks story, this would be a great place to start. Well done, Kerrelyn Sparks! Very well done!

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M

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Brighter Than the Sun (KGI #11) by Maya Banks-a review

Brighter Than the Sun (KGI #11) by Maya Banks-a review

Brighter Than the Sun

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

About the book: Release Date March 7, 2017

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering.
Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

As the last unattached member of the Kelly clan, Joe is more than ready to risk life and limb on any mission he’s assigned to, but when it comes to love, he’ll keep his distance. He’s content to watch his brothers become thoroughly domesticated.

Zoe’s had nothing but heartbreak in her life, and she’s determined to start over with a completely new identity, thanks to her college friend, Rusty Kelly. But it’s the gorgeous smile and tender words of Joe Kelly that begin to weaken her resolve to never risk her heart again. And Joe will have to put everything on the line to save Zoe, when secrets of her past resurface—and threaten to tear them apart…

Review:
Brighter than the Sun begins with the KGI team having some actual down time. The entire Kelly clan is home and things are quiet. It still amazes Joe that all of his brothers have settled down and the number of babies around is truly astonishing. He does know one thing though: he’s not ready to settle down and have a woman be his reason for being. Nope, not him…..

Rusty Kelly, Joe’s adopted sister, is contacted by her best friend from college, Zoe, who is on the run and needs Rusty’s help. That’s all it took for Rusty to set into motion a life changing series of events in order to keep Zoe safe and bring her to the Kelly home. Little did either of them know how truly life changing it would be.

Joe knows that Zoe is scared of something or someone. Even though she tries to present herself as self confident, he knows that she’s hiding something. He decides then and there to make it his mission to see if he can not only find out what’s going on, but to help her as well. As he gets to know Zoe, Rusty warns Joe not to hurt her. Joe tells Rusty that he knows Zoe is hiding something, but Rusty tells him it’s Zoe’s story to tell. Everyone in the family and KGI sees that Joe has claimed Zoe as his own, even if Zoe doesn’t know it yet. What follows is a heart wrenching story that will leave you turning the pages faster and faster.

I LOVED BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN!!!! I’m so glad we finally got Joe’s story. He is a straight up Kelly with his protective instinct when he finds the “one”. In my humble opinion, he fell harder than the others. There was just something about his thoughts that we were privy to that truly endeared him to me. Zoe is perfect for him. She’s kind and loving and just wants to “be”. Her childhood and background story will endear her to everyone who reads this story. The bonus with this story is we get to see a lot of Rusty and Sean. And, it’s not good. I can’t say too much as I don’t want to give anything away, but it had my heart breaking. HOLY HELL! If you’re a fan of Maya Banks and her KGI series, this one will not disappoint. As always, I want to be a member of the Kelly clan! Well done, Maya Banks! Very well done!

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M

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Souljacker (Lily Bound #1) by Yasmine Galenorn-a review

Souljacker (Lily Bound #1) by Yasmine Galenorn-a review

Souljacker

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

About the book:Release Date March 7, 2017

Lily O’Connell, a succubus, has put her unique talents to work. She owns Lily Bound, an elite sex salon in the Blood Night District of Seattle. When a client turns up dead in her club, and she hears the news that the Souljacker–an old tattoo-artist friend-turned-vampire, who was institutionalized years before–has escaped to reclaim his “artwork,” Lily knows she’s next on his list. With one of his tattoos on her thigh and nowhere else to turn, Lily hires Archer Desmond, a chaos demon and PI, to track the vampire down before he tracks her. But she didn’t expect to fall for Archer-and they say a succubus who falls in love will destroy the heart of the one she seeks to claim…

Review:
Souljacker begins with Lily finding a client dead in her salon and seeing a vampire misting towards her, only to stop and exit her home. (For clarity, she runs her salon in part of her home.) She calls the police and once they arrive, she’s told that it’s another vamp kill and that they’ll do what they can. The cop is a friend of Lily’s and tells her that these things aren’t high on their priority list and gives her the name of a private investigator that may be able to help. It doesn’t take long for another murder to occur and they soon discover that there is a common link: the killer is taking tattoos from the bodies of those he kills. They also discover that the tattoos were done by a former friend known as the Souljacker. Unfortunately said friend was attacked and turned by a vampire and instead of being staked, he was institutionalized at the behest of his father who is a very well connected businessman in town. The father also has ties to the leader of the vampires who is a money-hungry, power seeking vampire referred to as the Deadfather.

Once they realize that the Souljacker has escaped, Lily and her friends know that they are being targeted, as they have tattoos themselves that were done by the Souljacker himself. On top of that, the client who died in Lily’s salon was a Were and to say his wife is none too happy is a huge understatement. Lily finds herself on the receiving end of retaliation from the Were community more than once. Lily is also a member of Wynter’s court and seeks an audience with the Queen to let her know what has happened. Once there, Wynter tells her that she is to close her salon and is to enter into her service. Talk about a bad and life changing couple of days….

Yasmine Galenorn is known for the worlds she builds. I think this one will actually surprise some folks. The government is corrupt and seemingly in cahoots with the vampires. The vampires are thug-like in that they are almost like a mafia type organization and kill often and seem to feed on the fear as well as blood. I liked Lily. She is not a warrior-like character like most of the main female leads that Galenorn writes, but she is smart and cares about her friends deeply. I also liked Desmond Archer, the chaos demon PI. We don’t find out a lot about him, but I think he will have a back story that will be intriguing. The secondary characters are intriguing as well. As with any first story in a series, we don’t find out a lot about these characters, but I have a feeling they’ll play a huge part in the books to come. If you’re a fan of Galenorn and the worlds that she creates, you’ll definitely want to give this one a go. It did seem to drag a bit in places, but as I said, it is the first in the series, so I have high hopes for the next one. Well done, Yasmine Galenorn!

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M

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Stormchaser / Hurricane (Cutter Cay #4 & #5) by Cherry Adair-Reviews, Excerpt & Giveaway

Stormchaser / Hurricane (Cutter Cay #4 & #5) by Cherry Adair-Reviews, Excerpt & Giveaway

Storm Chaser Banner

STORMCHASER
Cutter Cay #4
by Cherry Adair
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary,romance, action

Stormchaser

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 7, 2017

In the darkest storm…

Nick, Logan, and Zane Cutter are a tightknit, unstoppable force in the family treasure-hunting business. Now that half-brother Jonah has arrived at the scene, he’s got a lot to prove—and a powerful enemy who wants to stop him dead in his tracks.

Love will find a way….

A perilous sea journey. A bitter nemesis. A woman whose spectacular beauty and talents are to die for…Over and over, Jonah will be tested. Is he worthy of carrying the Cutter name? With his eyes on the prize, Jonah will fight with all his heart. But desire often comes with a price.

••••••••••

REVIEW: Stormchaser is book four of Cherry Adair’s Cutter Cay series. This is a wonderful five book series. I’ve started with Stormchaser and loved every second of it. It can definitely stand alone.

This is an adventure/romance series with all the trimmings and more. The plot is fast paced and well thought out. The characters are realistic and well developed. The romance sizzles and the intrigue and adventure never end.

This is the story of Jonah Cutter and Dr. Calista West (Rydell). An imaginative story about finding the lost city of Atlantis! Yes, it is! As well as other treasure. Adair pulls off an intriguing plot and wraps it in and exciting package of true love. She does it with such zest for life and yet manages to remain true to the exciting premise of otherworldly science, not to mention good old-fashioned human greed.

Jonah is one of the Cutter brothers (from another mother, but accepted by the brothers) and wants to prove himself to his successful brothers and show them how dedicated he and brilliant he is.

Dr. Calista West (a.k.a. Callie) is/was married to Adam Case, brother of the Cutter rival, Rydell Case. She uses her professional name, not her married one. There’s a lot of bad business and blood between these families. She actually had ulterior motives for taking this job, besides being paid four time her usual rate. Rydell wants her to spy on Cutter and let him know what treasure he’s after.

The attraction between the two main characters is immediate and very hot. Both fight the attraction with all they have. Callie uses her wedding ring (her husband died four years earlier due to illness) to keep single males at bay. Jonah, coming from a father that was unfaithful to both wives…doesn’t believe in poaching. The angst is sizzling as they fight the attraction. Callie is just as attracted to Jonah, but conflicted out of loyalty for Rydell. Ah, the tangled webs Adair weaves…

I don’t do spoilers, so I’ll just say that the plot weaving these two together through attraction, adventure, danger and more is one whale of a ride. It’s more than entertaining, it’s enthralling. This story and series is a keeper!

Reviewed by Georgianna

Copy supplied for review

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HurricaneHURRICANE
Cutter Cay #5
by Cherry Adair
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, action

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 4, 2017

Rydell Case’s ship is his home, his heart, and his reason for being. After his ex-wife left him—taking his brand-new megayacht, Tesoro Mio with her—she sailed off with a royal billionaire and out of his life forever. Now Ry spends his days searching for treasure—until his ship is hijacked. With the prospect of his salvage business tanking, he needs both the ship and his ex back—if only she didn’t despise him more than any man on earth. . .

When Addison D’Marco boards Tesoro Mio to find her ex-husband in her cabin, she’s furious. Ry is more handsome, more annoying, and more determined than ever. Addy can’t believe he has the nerve to demand the ship back after the way he broke her heart. With her fiancé about to board, she doesn’t want Ry back in her life to ignite painful memories and never- forgotten desires. But could it be that, amid troubled waters, Addy and Ry can salvage what they once had and have a second chance at love. . .or does fate have something else in store?

••••••••••••

REVIEW: Hurricane is the fifth novel in the Cutter Cay series. The fifth and probably final story in this marvelous series is truly top notch entertainment.

This is the incredible story of Rydell Case, his wife/ex-wife Addison (Addy). The plot in this is mind-boggling. To have so much happen to such wonderful people and yet they still can breathe and live…amazing, simply amazing.

I won’t do spoilers, this is a story you have to read and enjoy yourself. To say it has heartache is such an understatement. But there is more, there’s attraction and sizzling sex, adventure and treasure, crime and danger. There is so much happening that at first you don’t realize all the ramifications of how things got this bad.

Rydell is an amazing and determined man, and it certainly helps that he’s a man of honor. Addison, while more than a little naive, is a loving and wonderful woman who a terrible thing has happened to. That these two loved each other is obvious from the start. I found myself waiting breathlessly for the author to tell me the story behind it all. And what a story it is!

As with this whole series, the love story is but one part. The other parts are twists and mysteries, plots within plots. There is certainly the magical adventure of treasure, but beyond even that there is crime and betrayal almost unimaginable. Leave it to Cherry Adair to imagine the unimaginable.

Ms. Adair’s work is impeccable. Her plots are most excellent, the characters have flaws, but more than that they rise above any flaws to be truly heroic. The whole story line is believable and exciting.

I’d love to have a few days to curl up by myself and dive in with the characters, coming up only when absolutely necessary. My fondest dream would be to have another series as a spinoff to this one with some of the same characters, at least in cameo…oh well. I’m sure this author has many more planned.

Do yourself a favor and don’t pass on this series, it’s amazing!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

excerpt

 

The day didn’t look like second hand revenge. Instead of ominous dark clouds hanging low over apewter sea, the hot Greek sun reflected glittering sapphires off the Mediterranean. The wake of the

motor launch frothed blindingly white as it carried marine archaeologist Dr. Calista West to the

megayacht Stormchaser, anchored in open waters south of Crete.

Salt spray cooled her bare arms and legs as the Riva Iseo cut through the dark water. The

sleek, twenty- seven foot Italian work of art, with yards of glossy mahogany, soft leather, and sleek

lines, looked like something straight out of a James Bond movie. Expensive and ostentatious.

Draco Thanos, the short, wiry forty- something chief engineer of Stormchaser sent to collect Callie

from Heraklion, controlled the fast tender with all the deference of a guy handling a sleek sports car.

Callie wasn’t even sure what day it was anymore. A short flight in yet another ostentatious,

expensive toy, a private plane from Athens. A twelve- hour flight from Miami, an hour flight from

Athens to Crete, and another two hours by luxury tender. She was hardly at her best to deal with

Jonah Cutter. Tuning out Thanos, who’d kept up a steady conversation in broken English for the

duration, she spread her feet, bracing her hands on the rail as they hit some chop. Her stomach did

a somersault that had nothing to do with the waves. The closer the motor launch carried her to

Stormchaser, the harder Callie’s heart pounded.

Anticipation. Fear. Excitement.

Thanos pointed unnecessarily. The massive ship was freaking impossible to miss. “There

she is.” Callie’s fingers tightened on the rail as the ship loomed large against a sparkling backdrop of

calm azure water and robin’s- egg- blue sky. Brilliant sun bounced off acres of white paint and

gleaming brass. Twenty, thirty mil? Callie guesstimated, put off by the unnecessary fl aunting of the

Cutters’ wealth.

“Spectacular, isn’t she?” Thanos said proudly as he slowed the tender, angling it sideways to

dock aft next to the wide dive platform where a guy sat reading. He got to his feet as they

approached, lifting a hand in greeting. Callie waved back.

She used both hands to tuck any loose hair back into the neatly tucked French braid on the

back of her head, even though she knew there were none. She was too controlled to have flyaway

hair. Her penchants for order and organization were perfect for her chosen career. She’d come by

them the hard way. By now the traits were ingrained and comfortable.

Without the fi ne cooling misted spray of the water, and wind generated by the fast

movement over the sea, the sun beat down unrelentingly, drying her damp clothes in minutes.

“She’s something, all right.” Too big, and far too fancy for a dive boat, but wasn’t that the Cutters all

over? A family of modern- day treasure hunters, they flaunted their wealth like robber barons or

nouveau riche Internet millionaires, with total disregard for anyone daring their ownership of the

seas.

For a moment Callie had a niggle of misgiving for what she was about to do. Jonah Cutter

hadn’t done anything to her personally; she’d never even met the man. Never met any of the

Cutters. But they adversely impacted people she loved.

She was uniquely qualified to balance the scales.

Straightening her shoulders, Callie grabbed her duffel before Thanos could reach for it.

Ingrained and as sure as her dark hair and green eyes was her in de pendence. Drawing in a salt-

laden deep breath, Callie let it out slowly as the tender bumped the edge of the wide dive platform

where the older man, dressed in cargo shorts and a yellow polo shirt, waited to grab the rope.

And the game begins, she thought, braced to disembark, her fingers tightened on the bag’s handles.

Lying was against everything she believed in. Been there, spent a lifetime perfecting the skill.

Just because she was good at it didn’t mean she liked doing it. But not only did she have to lie

through her teeth for the duration, she had to be convincing as well.

She reminded herself that these people were not her friends. She could not soften and bond with

them. Growing to like anyone on board Stormchaser would make what she was going to do harder.

She’d known going in that she’d have to keep to herself as much as possible. She was here to do a

job. Making friends would muddy the waters and certainly complicate things. And, she admitted,

make her second guess herself— which she unfortunately usually did. She tended to overanalyze

things before jumping in. Indecision was, she knew, her worst characteristic. Still, once she’d made a

determination, after weighing it from a hundred different angles, she tended to be like a dog with a

bone defending the decision.

Her friends tried to get her to be more spontaneous. But it was hard for her. Every decision

had consequences, and those had to be weighed and calculated and looked at from every angle.

What wouldn’t be hard? Pretending. That she was damn good at. If anyone knew how to

pretend, it was her. She’d done it from kindergarten on. When she’d learned to lie for her parents.

Why they’d forgotten to sign her up for school programs? Why they weren’t there to pick her up after

school? Why she rarely had a lunch packed, or money to buy lunch? She’d known instinctively that

to say her mama was passed out from Jack Daniel’s would be bad, and mentioning that sometimes

her dad didn’t come home would be worse.

These circumstances weren’t the same, but she figured she’d honed her acting chops. She

could do this by mentally tarring everyone on board with the sins of the Cutters. Which were too

numerous to count.

And by keeping as low a profile as possible.

The gray- haired man held out his hand, helping her from the boat to the diving platform.

“Saul Pinter.” His full, mostly gray beard was neatly trimmed. Fit and athletic, he had a nice smile

and firm handshake. “Welcome aboard, Dr. West.”

“Thanks, call me Callie.” A cursory glance revealed the dive platform geared with the usual

dive equipment and a row of wet suits ready and waiting. At least she’d get to do what she loved.

Dive. Discover. “Is Mr. Cutter diving?”

Saul shook his head, jerking his thumb toward the ladder leading to the deck above where they

stood. “Jonah will have seen you, and be on his way down. Heads up, he’ll meet you halfway.”

Oh, Callie doubted that very much, but she merely smiled as her heart thumped.

Anticipation—no, dread? After all the planning, things were finally happening. “I’m looking forward to

seeing our wreck.”

“You haven’t missed anything. We only arrived late last night ourselves,” Saul told her,

returning to his chair and the book he’d been reading. “We’re all eager to get started.”

Was that a jibe because she hadn’t joined them two weeks ago? Callie mentally shrugged.

Climbing the ladder, she observed in a quick sweep the spotless decks, the gleaming bright work

and shiny brass. Stormchaser was spit- polished. She’d heard Zane Cutter’s ship was a piece of

crap, but so far she couldn’t fault his half-brother on the maintenance of his ship.

Several men, in the whites of crew members, leaned on the rail on an upper deck watching

her curiously. Callie lifted a hand in greeting and kept going. It was a perfect afternoon to dive, the

ocean smooth with just a slight chop. A light breeze loosened strands of hair off her face and neck

and brought with it the faint smells of fresh paint and yeasty baking bread.

Water slapped the hull, and the sound of voices died as the men dis appeared from view. A

gull cried as it wheeled in a perfect circle overhead, then dived like a jet, skimming the water after

some hapless fish.

There wasn’t anyone else around, and she walked toward a set of sliding doors just as a

man stepped out onto the deck ahead of her. His face lit up as he came toward her.

Jonah Cutter. Callie stopped to wait for him, the sun hot on her scalp, the glare off the water bright

despite her dark glasses. The opinion formed before the man even opened his mouth. Her

assessment was quick and unflattering. But then she was predisposed to disliking him.

Cocky. Self- assured. Entitled.

Exactly what she expected. Her shoulders relaxed. Handing Cutter his ass wasn’t going to

be difficult at all.

The Matthew McConaughey look- alike wore blue, flower- printed Hawaiian board shorts, a

too- tight red T-shirt stretched over sculpted muscles as if it had been painted on. She’d heard that

youngest brother Zane was the vain one, but clearly his half-brother gave him a run for his money.

Under six feet tall, sun- bleached shoulder- length hair, movie- star good looks, and boy,

didn’t he know it. Cutter was like a peacock spreading his tail as he removed his shades to eye her

up and down.

Shorter, less attractive, and more smarmy than she’d been led to believe. And she’d been

led to believe the worst.

Maintaining a friendly smile, she extended her hand when he got close enough. He was

about the same height, so they were eye- to- lecherous- eye. “I’m Calista West, thanks for

including—”

“Now, aren’t you just the prettiest addition to the team, darlin’?” he cut in with a southern

drawl and a heated look from unremarkable blue eyes. His lingering handshake was the opposite of

firm. Callie disengaged and resisted wiping her hand on her shorts as he looked at her like a dog

staring at a juicy bone. Raking his fingers through his sunbleached brown hair, the better to show off

his physique, he gave her a wide, white smile. “Welcome aboard.”

Never had two words sounded so suggestive. Smoothing a hand over her tightly constrained

hair, Callie made sure the sun glinted off the plain gold band on her left hand. Although she

suspected a guy like this wouldn’t be deterred by a wedding ring, she had other methods to repulse

if the ring didn’t work.

Copyright © 2017 by Cherry Adair and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

 

About The Author

Cherry Adair

Cherry Adair has garnered numerous awards for her innovative action-adventure novels, which include White Heat, Hot Ice, On Thin Ice, Out of Sight, In Too Deep, Hide and Seek, and Kiss and Tell, as well as her thrilling Cutter Cay series for St. Martin’s Press. A favorite of reviewers and fans alike, she lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Giveaway

Cherry’s publisher is graciously offering a paper/print copy of STORMCHASER to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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

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

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

3. Please follow Cherry Adair on FACEBOOK.

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

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

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

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8. Giveaway open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from March 4-8, 2017

SMP St. Martins

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From A Distance by L.M. Carr-Review & Book Tour

From a Distance by L.M. Carr-Review and Book tour

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FROM A DISTANCE
by L.M. Carr
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Genre:adult, contemporary, romance

From a Distance

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date: February 27 , 2017

ADD TO GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/2joY03x

After an intense whirlwind romance, Karrie Parker thought she had it all: a sexy husband, a loving family, a great career and a beautiful home.

Together they lived a life fit for royalty.

But when tragedy strikes, Karrie is devastated and left to face the consequences of her husband’s deepest, darkest secrets. Discovering the strength to carry on while making important, life-changing decisions, she finds herself desperate for answers. And holding the key to the puzzle is the one man she loathes immensely.

For up and coming motorcycle drag racer Tyler Strong, keeping painful secrets was never part of the plan. Racing motorcycles and winning was all he ever wanted to do, but when his best friend’s lies begin to unravel, Tyler is sent into a tailspin when he’s forced to come face to face with the one woman he vowed to stay away from. The woman he refuses to speak to, the woman he avoids, the woman he watches…from a distance.

As the truth becomes clear, will destiny bring these two unlikely souls together or tear them apart forever?

••••••

REVIEW:

From a Distance begins with Karrie and her husband, Alex, navigating their daily life. Alex has been being away more and more, drag racing with his best friend, Tyler Strong. Karrie has grown to despise Tyler. He’s never been friendly towards her and Alex is always telling her about Tyler’s exploits with the women at the track. When Karrie finds she is going to be by herself on their anniversary, things get a little sticky between her and her husband.

While at work as a nurse, Karrie is called down to help with the victims of a horrific accident that has come in through the ER. Through the chaos, Karrie is finally told who the victims are: her husband and his best friend, Tyler. While Karrie tries to make sense of her life, or what she thought was her life, the one person she despises most is the one with all of the pieces to the puzzle. She soon discovers that not only was her husband not whom she thought, but that Tyler Strong was nowhere close to what she thought either. What follows is a heart breaking story full of secrets, lies and soul deep revelations as she and Tyler try to put their lives back together.

From a Distance is the first story I’ve read by L.M. Carr. Karrie’s situation will certainly pull at your heartstrings, but I found her to be a bit of a spoiled brat in the way that she handled most curves life threw at her. When tragedy struck, she did seem to put her best foot forward and handle things like an adult. Tyler is an awesome character. His caring nature will endear him to all who read his story. I will warn you that there is another horrific incident that tests their bond, but in true romance fashion, they weather the storm and come out on the other side more in love than ever. This one did cause me to shed a tear, or a hundred. Well done, L.M. Carr.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Vickie M

From A Distance Teaser

 

About the Author

LM CarrL.M. Carr, author of the Giving Trilogy, the Stones Duet and a new stand alone novel, is a wife, a mom, an educator, a reader and a writer who lives in central Connecticut with her family. When she’s not sitting at her computer writing, she loves to read or spend time with family and friends.

After self-publishing the trilogy in 2015, a suspenseful romance tale about Mia Delaney and the sexy, arrogant Adam Lawson, LM penned the Stones Duet. This story is a spin-off from the trilogy in which Shane Davis moves to Boston for work. Jaded and cynical after his time in the Army, he meets a girl who changes his perception on the world around him.

Set to release on February 27, 2017, is a hot, new sexy romance about a motorcycle drag racer and his quest to hide secrets from a woman while the truth unravels before his eyes.

Looking to expand past the Contemporary Romance genre, L.M. is considering co-writing a Young Adult novel. Also in the works are several New Adult titles.

L.M. Carr is a lover of “Happily Ever Afters” because the world is filled with enough sadness. Reading is an escape in which anything is possible. But like in reality, stories sometimes take you on a journey through Hell before you can reach Heaven.

Follow along as we begin this journey together.

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His Highland Heart (His Highland Heart #1) by Willa Blair-a review

His Highland Heart (His Highland Heart #1) by Willa Blair-a review

His Highland Heart

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 1,2017

Shipwrecked in enemy territory, Euan Brodie fears the rest of his crew are at the bottom of the Moray Firth. While he searches for his crew, the youngest barely fifteen years old, he must evade Clan Ross warriors. Yet when he sees a lass about to drown in the incoming tide, he risks capture to save her.

Along with two other Munro lasses, Muireall Munro was taken by Clan Ross raiders nearly a month ago. She’s yet to be claimed as a Ross bride. Still, after two failed escape attempts, her hope is waning of ever seeing her home and the younger brother she was raising. But the stranger who pulls her from the surf will change her life forever.

If Muireall reveals who she really is, the delicious man who just saved her life will want nothing further to do with her—yet she needs him if she is ever to escape her Ross captors. If Euan reveals who he really is to the woman he saved, he risks not only his life, but his clan. Left with no choice, can they save each other while they fall in love?

•••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: His Highland Heart is a romantic adventure novel by Willa Blair. This this book one of His Highland Heart Series. It’s a very interesting start to a strong new series.

This is a period type novel, set in the Scottish Highlands in 1410. Much of this novel involves the period customs of the day and clans.

Euan Brodie is fishing in a large sailboat, a birlinn size. A sudden storm flounders the ship and everyone aboard must jump into the sea and try to get away from the ship to keep from being dragged under. It’s winter and the water is cold. Euan manages to get the ship at least closer to the next shore but they are in dire peril.

We next meet Muireall Munro as she wakes in the Ross village. She and two of her friends are captives. They were captured near the village of their clan in Munro. They were told the raiding party killed all in the village and there would be no one to rescue them.
While being made to comb the beach for items from the ship wrecked in the fierce storm the night before, Muireall becomes trapped in a cove. The cove flood with the incoming tide and she fears death. Trying to get back to the far shore, she’s caught by waves and is being drawn into the water. She’s rescued by strong hands that she fears are her captors, but when she gets a look at her savior, his red hair sand green eyes are unknown to her.

Okay, that’s the setup. I don’t do spoilers in my reviews, but it’s an interesting beginning.

Author Willa Blair has written a lovely and adventurous tale of Highland love, danger, possible clan wars, and so much more. The characters are well developed and interesting. The scenes are set in the period and are well done. I loved the people, the hardships, the way they looked at their situations and the marvelous solutions to their issues the author provided. I found it well written, reasonably conflicted (given the age and way the girls were raised).

I’m looking forward to the next in this series. I do love a Highland romance and this is such an interesting time in history. I hope you give this story a try, it’s so well worth a read!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

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Highland Vixen (Highland Weddings #2) by Mary Wine-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Highland Vixen (Highland Weddings #2) by Mary Wine-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

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HIGHLAND VIXEN
Highland Weddings #2
by Mary Wine
Release Date:February 7, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highland, romance

Highland Vixen

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Books-A-Million / Barnes & Noble / Chapters /Indiebound

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 7 , 2017

Fierce Highland war chief seeks comely lass for fun, frolic, and marriage

Marcus MacPherson is every inch the fearsome Highlander. He’s used to men averting their eyes and women cowering before him. He thinks he’ll eventually settle down with a nice, obedient bride. Instead, he gets Helen Grant… Stubborn as the day is long, fearless and dedicated to raising as much hell as possible, Helen is definitely going to challenge Marcus. And challenge him some more. And then some.

It’s anyone’s guess who’ll win this battle of the heart..

••••••••••••

REVIEW: 5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Another fantastic Highland read by Mary Wine! LOVE LOVE LOVE! 🙂

Highland Vixen by Mary Wine is the second book in her “Highland Weddings” series and it sure lives up to its name. Vixen indeed! We met our leading characters in the previous book of this series called “Highland Spitfire” and while I suppose it is not necessary to read the first book you would miss out on so much back story, which in my opinion makes this book so good as the story continues on! Besides, there are returning characters in Highland Vixen, and I love reading how characters progress in a series after they get their HEA! 🙂

Marcus MacPherson is one studly, “don’t mess with me!”, fierce, scary , hot badass Highlander. He is the war chief of the MacPherson clan, second to his half brother (who happens to be the lead in the first book). He doesn’t mess around, and icky love stuff is the furthest from his mind .. despite the little vixen lass that resides as a “protected prisoner” of sorts in his castle.

Helen Grant is our vixen. She is fierce and bold, smart and very angry at her current living situation. While she has shared a steamy moment with Marcus, Marcus won’t claim her as his, but won’t allow another to step forward safely either. She is at her wits end and only wants to return to her home (which Marcus has threatened to burn if she leave MacPherson land).

Circumstance allows Helen to sneak away, but not without Marcus hot on her trail. When trouble comes about for Marcus, Helen agrees to marry Marcus, but NOT consummate the marriage so she can get an annulment once danger passes. Well Marcus is having none of that and despite the danger that comes knocking and threatens to take all he stands for, he has decided he is keeping Helen married to him at all costs! He is going to consummate this marriage one way or another and keep her forever.

YES, this is as steamy, perfectly angsty with a side of sass as it sounds! I love my Highland men all fierce and demanding, but deeply kind and protective, like Marcus … and my Highland woman full of attitude and courage, yet seriously lovely underneath like Helen. They are a perfect compliment to the other. Mary Wine really weaves some serious SOB villains as well! Ones that give you the creeps deep to your soul. You can almost smell their evil.

This is a perfect love story that carries an adventure that one would expect to find in a really fantastic Highlander story. If you love a good back and forth match between two well written characters then I highly recommend this book. The story line and side characters are a very decadent cherry on this perfect Highland sundae! LOL

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy supplied by the publisher

 

excerpt

 

“I did nae have me hands on ye at all, lass,” he responded arrogantly. “And I owe me sire a wee bit of an apology for me thinking last evening because his advice is sound.”
She rolled over and over and right off the edge of the huge bed, but her knees were shaky, so she stumbled, grasping one of the posts that held the bed curtains. Marcus was watching her, his grin widening as he took in his effect on her. He was wearing nothing but his shirt, and his member was sticking out in the front of it.
He’d lulled her into a false sense of ease. She realized he was every bit as menacing as ever and had simply waited for his moment to pounce on her.
“Do nae look at me like that, Helen.” Marcus sat up on the side of the bed and watched her move away. “Ye told me yer maidenhead was the only thing ye have left that is yer own, so I pleasured ye without taking it. Is it so hard to think of me as a man who does nae want to act the brute to ye?” He patted the surface of the bed. “I want ye to choose me.”
Did she dare?
Dare was certainly the correct word. He was looking at her, every inch the hardened man she’d faced time and again, and yet there was much more to him now. He was attempting to push inside her, to that place where no one had ever been, to her deepest feelings. However, he was offering her a glimpse at his own in return.
Such a tangle of possibilities.
She looked at the pile of clothing that she’d left on the bench, caught between the need to maintain her pride and the desire to simply let it go in favor of… Well, she wasn’t sure what exactly she’d find in his bed. She ended up looking back toward him, seeking the answer in his eyes.
“Naught to say?” he asked. “There is a first.”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake,” she exclaimed with her hip roll half laced. “There was a time when I knew how to speak kindly. Why do ye needle me until I can nae hold me tongue?”
He flashed her an arrogant grin. “Because I like ye the way ye are, no’ disguising yer nature to appease everyone about ye. Do ye have any idea how long it has been since a lass was honest with me? Since one came to me seeking me, and no’ me position? Ye are not the only one who feels isolated. As War Chief, I must be hard on the young lads, lest they fail to build up enough strength to survive. Smiling at them would be a disservice.”
Sometime during the night, he’d taken the time to pleat his kilt on a table that ran along the side of the bedchamber. His wide belt was already under it. It took only a moment for him to lean back, grasp the sides of the belt, and pull it all around himself. Most men used the floor, but clearly Marcus wanted to be ready, should there be a need to dress in a hurry during the night.
“It fell to me to either take ye or know without a doubt that I’d be sending me own men up against yer brothers because they refused to admit the cattle were ours.” He was buckling a second belt in place to make sure his kilt was secure. “Ye think I enjoyed it?”
“Yes, ye did,” she answered him. “Somewhat, anyhow. Admit it. Yer nature is suited to yer position.”
He offered her a cocky grin. “If ye’ll match me by admitting ye did nae think to notice I do nae always care for what me duty demands of me. That’s the thing about duty. Ye do it because it needs doing and others depend on ye seeing things through.”
“Fairly spoken,” she said softly while pulling her skirts over her head. The waistband caught on her hip roll, and she began to lace the waistband closed. “Ye are no’ a brute.” His smile was widening with victory. “But swine fits well, for ye knew well ye were twisting words last evening to get me into yer bed.”
He chuckled and opened his arms wide. “Taming a vixen requires cunning.”
Helen felt her temper stir at the use of the word taming.


 

 

Guest Post=Black and Red

For me, research is a two part thing. First off is doing the ‘foot work’ so to speak. That’s the researching. You either know that Elizabeth the first was born in 1533 or you don’t. If you intend to set your story in that era, this is information you need to know. Her mother was beheaded and if you want to go deeper, you learn things such as she was given the mercy of a French swordsman for her execution because the ax was often clumsy. Deeper still and you discover that some of the dates she was accused of having adultery were during her lying in, so completely false as her ladies would have been with her.

That’s part one. The dates, the circumstances. I actually love this stuff because for me, after I absorb the dry facts, I start to think about things like…okay, if there was a young daughter attending court, and in service to queen Elizabeth, what would her duties have been? What exactly was a lady in waiting. I would then learn that Elizabeth had ladies of the Bed chamber, of the presence chamber, and one the list goes. The duchess of Norfolk slept on a trundle bed that came out from beneath Elizabeth’s because that’s how close together they lived.

I like to take it all in and craft a book set in the era. Yes, it’s a fantasy story but I want my characters to be people of the time.

A second part of this is something I have done my entire life and that is historical re-enactment. I make the clothing and wear it. I take sword class. Dances that would have been done in Elizabeth’s court? Yes, I know a few. It’s also the little things, like turning bread on a table and trying….grrr….to bake it in an oven that you have to heat up with coals and no yeast during Elizabeth’s era. You learn to hum a tune because there is no music or make sure you are by the fire at night when someone pulls out an instrument.

I love to find little ways to fold all these details into my stories while still letting my charaters fall in love. It’s a challenge and a fun one.

Cheers!
Mary Wine

About The Author Black and Red

Mary WineAcclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons. Website | Goodreads | Facebook

 

Giveaway-redandblack_zps8ff4dc4b

Mary’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of HIGHLAND VIXEN to ONE (1) lucky commenter  at The Reading Cafe

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

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

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

3. LIKE Mary Wine on Facebook.

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

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

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

7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway is open to USA only.

9.. Giveaway runs from February 7-11, 2017

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