Midnight Target (Killer Instincts #8) by Elle Kennedy-Review and Giveaway

MIDNIGHT TARGET (Killer Instincts #8) by Elle Kennedy-Review and Giveaway

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Killer Instincts #8
by Elle Kennedy
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Genre: adult ,contemporary, erotic, romantic, suspense

Midnight Target

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 25, 2017

Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a super soldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.

When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.

As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.

Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach…but first they have to make it home alive.


REVIEW: MIDNIGHT TARGET is the eighth (and final?) instalment in Elle Kennedy’s contemporary, adult KILLER INSTINCTS romantic, suspense series focusing on an elite group of highly trained men and women-mercenaries for hire. The focus is on the search for a notorious drug lord, once thought to be dead, who has threatened Cate’s life, and on two on-going relationships: Cate Morgan and David ‘Ash’ Ashton, and Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port-both relationships struggling with unrequited feelings and emotions. MIDNIGHT TARGET can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story lines is revealed where necessary.

WARNING: If you have never read Elle Kennedy’s Killer Instinct series be forewarned, MIDNIGHT TARGET contains graphic scenes of violence, death and blood shed, and may not be suitable for all readers. The mercenaries and assassins are hired to do a job and cannot let emotions and personal feelings get in the way. These men and women do NOT kill the innocent –they are hired to take down the evil within our societies and sometimes the evil may be family, friend or someone caught up in a bad situation.

NOTE: MIDNIGHT TARGET contains graphic scenes of M/M sexual situations, language and text.

Told from several third person points of view including memories from the past, MIDNIGHT TARGET follows Jim Morgan’s elite team of mercenaries as they set out to rescue his daughter Cate, a woman caught in a South American country on the verge of civil war. As a photographer Cate follows the stories including the very real possibility that the notorious leader of a vicious drug cartel is alive and well in Guatana City, Guatana. Capturing the evidence that she needs, Cate finds herself targeted by the very man she was hoping to find, and is in desperate need of a rescue on the run. Enter David ‘Ash’ Ashton, the man that Cate has always loved but the man that broke her heart one too many time. What ensues is the search for the man in question, and the rebuilding of a friendship and romance between Cate and Ash.

Most of Jim Morgan’s mercenaries play secondary and supporting roles including several soldiers who are battling with personal issues of pain and loss. Liam and Sully’s bromance struggles with misperceptions, and the possibility of preconceived notions. Sully and Liam’s return to the team is a welcome reception but the couple in question continue to struggle with the rift in their one-time friendship.

MIDNIGHT TARGET is a story of second-chances, of sorts, for two couples pulled apart by unrequited love. Ash tries to keep his distance from the woman he loves-a woman who happens to be the boss’s daughter and off limits in the eyes of her father. Cate is a strong, independent young woman whose over protective father has pushed our heroine too fast, and too far but her need to be included yet independent is the catalyst to much of the story line premise. Sully and Liam’s relationship struggles with their bi-sexuality, past indiscretions, Sully’s months in captivity and abuse at the hands of his captors, and the fear of rejection and judgment by family and friends. Jim Morgan’s mercenaries are willing to risk everything for the people they love but sometimes risking it all means not succeeding to survive.

Elle Kennedy is never afraid to step over the line as it pertains to the violence and blood shed that surround the former Special Ops, Marines and warriors. Some readers may have difficulty with the gruesome ‘images’ including a perceived lack of conscious in some ‘do or die’ situations. The requisite evil has many faces.

MIDNIGHT TARGET is a detailed and complex story line that follows several paths to fruition-two struggling relationships, the loss of family and friends, a hero’s battle for his life, and the take down of evil incarnate. The premise is intriguing, engaging and fascinating; the characters are colorful, animated, passionate and tormented; the romances are seductive and fated.

Killer Instincts

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Midnight Rescue
Midnight Alias
Midnight Games
Midnight Pursuits
4.5 After Midnight
Midnight Action
Midnight Captive
Midnight Revenge
Midnight Target

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Young sexual couple of handsome serious man with bare muscular chest standing undressing pretty blonde woman standing and touching breast in studio, square picture


The Reading Cafe and Elle Kennedy’s publisher are offering a finished copy of MIDNIGHT TARGET to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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The Thing About Love by Julie James – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Thing About Love by Julie James – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


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FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .




The Thing About Love by Julie James is another one of her wonderful adult romancesJulie James is one of my favorite romance authors, who always gives us a wonderful story, great couples that are successful in their careers, with a perfect blend of sassiness and hot sexual chemistry.

Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd, met each other 6 years ago, during their FBI training at Quantico. The competition was fierce, and snarky; when the training was over, they both walked away not caring if they would ever meet again.  In present time, Jessica returns to her home town of Chicago, after a broken marriage.  John is coming off of an undercover job, only to find his girlfriend in bed with his best friend.  When Jessica is given an assignment in an undercover sting,  involving a corrupt mayor of Jacksonville, she is shocked and not too happy to see her new partner in this case is John.  Needless to say, John, who is already in a bad frame of mind, isn’t too keen on seeing Jessica again.  Their old hostilities resurface, but they are now seasoned professionals and determined to work together in the sting operation.

In a short time, both Jessica and John will reveal things from their training time that causes them to realize that their perceptions were off base.  The attraction for each other begins to heat up, and their chemistry together was super hot.   They also made a great team, setting up the mayor for the fall.  I loved watching both of them fall in love with each other, and at the same time become impressed with their partner’s skills.

The story was very well done by James, as she is an expert in FBI suspense types of stories, with a wonderful romance filled with fun banter, sassiness and a sexy couple.  With our couple both coming off of their own heartaches, it helped add to the story, especially when John tries out for the elite counterterrorism Hostage Rescue Team.  Jessica was our perfect heroine, who being a woman, had it harder to prove her worth as a smart savvy kick-ass agent.  John, having been an army ranger before signing up for the FBI, was not only tough, but was also a hot hunk.  I loved everything about them both, as they were super great characters that Julie James always seems to give us.

From the moment I started to read this book, I could feel my happiness, as I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book.  So many romances are about those in their twenties; when it comes to reading about two people successful in their lives, and in their thirties, beyond the angst of those just starting out…no one does it better then Julie James.  I love her stories; her awesome couples; the fun & sexy romances, which you just can’t get enough of.  I strongly suggest you read The Thing about Love, and if you have not read Julie James, what are you waiting for?

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher




Steeling himself, John turned around and smiled as Jessica approached. “Yes, Agent Harlow. How can I be of service?”
In response to his dry tone, she threw him a glare so cold it could’ve frozen all nine circles of Dante’s Hell. Fittingly, just nine of the many places he would rather be than stuck working with her on this investigation.
“Look, I’m not thrilled about this, either.” Keeping her voice low, she came to a stop next to him at the elevator bank. “I thought you were supposed to be on the Hostage Rescue Team already.”
“And I thought you were supposed to be in L.A.”
There was a quick flash in her eyes before she shrugged off his question. “Change of plans.”
The elevator arrived at their floor, and they both stepped inside. She hit the button for the seventh floor, where the public corruption squad was located. Standing on the opposite side, he pressed the button for floor five.
They faced off as the doors shut. She folded her arms across her chest and studied him with those crystalline blue eyes that could so cleverly mask her emotions.
As he knew well.
“We’re going to have to figure this out,” she said. “We’re supposed to be business partners in this.”
Thank you, yes, being a professional, he was aware of that. He took a step closer. “It’s called “undercover” work, Harlow. If I can pretend to be a gun-buying, murder-for-hire thug, I think I can handle playing some rich investor-type who wants to skirt a few measly zoning laws.” Even a rich investor-type who was apparently masochistic enough to get in bed with the likes of her.
“Measly zoning laws?” she repeated.
Ooh, now he’d gone and pissed her off. How nice it was, really, that they could pick up like this, right where they’d left off.
She drew in closer, tilting her head back to meet his gaze. He was over a foot taller than her, although he noticed that she was heightening a bit with those expensive-looking three-inch heels she wore.
“Our target in this investigation is the mayor of the thirteenth largest city in the United States. That’s a pretty big deal in my book.” She gestured to his facial scruff and hair. “And while I appreciate that this . . . Sons of Anarchy motif you’ve got going might ingratiate yourself with the gun-buying, murder-for-hire, organized-crime thugs of the world, that’s not quite going to fly with this sting operation.”
“’Thirteenth largest city in the United States?’” he scoffed. “Just how many hours did you spend reviewing the case files last night?”
She smiled sweetly as the elevator arrived at her floor. “Enough to get the jump on you.”
Then the doors sprang open, and she gave him a friendly wave, once again stepping into the role of Ms. Congeniality. “So glad we got to catch up like this, Agent Shepherd. We’ll talk again soon.”
He watched her stride confidently down the hallway as the elevator doors closed between them.
Enough to get the jump on you.
Not for long, sweetheart.
Time for him to get cracking on that case file.


About The Author
Julie JamesAfter graduating from law school, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie James clerked for the United States Court of Appeals. She then practiced law with one of the nation’s largest firms for several years until she began writing screenplays. After Hollywood producers optioned two of her scripts, she decided to leave the practice of law to write full-time.

Julie’s books have been listed on Amazon’s Best Books of the Year, the American Library Association’s Reading List for Top Genre Novels, Booklist‘s Top 10 Romances of the Year, and have been featured as a Cosmopolitan magazine Red Hot Read. Her books have been translated into nineteen languages and Julie’s ninth novel, The Thing About Love, hits bookstores everywhere on April 18.

Julie James lives with her husband and two children in Chicago, where she is currently working on her next book.

To learn more about Julie James, you can check out the following links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads


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Julie’s publisher is offering a paper copy of THE THING ABOUT LOVE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer-Review and Giveaway

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer-Review and Giveaway

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by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: YA, dark romance

Letters to the Lost

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 4, 2017

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.


REVIEW: Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-renowned photojournalist. When her mom was away on assignment they would always write to each other.
So even in her mothers death she has continued to write to her. Leaving her handwritten letters to her mother at the cemetery. They are private and personal and just between
her and her mother. Its her way of staying connected to her mother. That is until someone reads one – and has the audacity to respond.

Declan Murphy is full on juvenile delinquent – at least that’s what everyone thinks of him. While doing his court appointed community service, he spends his time mowing the lawn
at the local cemetery. Part of the job he must do is pick up everyone’s personal belongings from the graves before he mows the lawn. There he finds a letter that
so entirely speaks to him, he has no choice but to respond. How could another person feel exactly the way he does. How can they know what it feels like to be him.
But, when Juliet realizes that someone has read her personal letter to her mother, and not only that but responded to it, to say she was quite upset is an understatement. When she writes back to let the person know that she feels that they have violated her privacy she has no idea what this will begin. And so begins a series of letters that help to heal both Juliet and Declan. But nothing comes easy. To find their way they must first find themselves.

Juliet is undoubtedly broken – she has been since the death of her mother. She has no one she can turn to or even begin to explain how she feels responsible for her mothers death.

She is the one that begged her mother to come home early from her trip. She is the one responsible for her being in the cab when she was. She knows had she not begged her mother to come home she would be here today. Declan has had a life just a rough. His father killed his sister and he too feels that he bears the blame of that. If he had just driven them that evening instead of telling his dad to drive himself. His sister would still be alive. He lives with that burden every day. He hasn’t dealt with any of this the way he should have. Instead he has broken the law and further feeds into what everyone thinks of him. His pain was absolutely real and my heart broke for him. Several times I was brought to tears with his words and how broken he was.

What an amazing, turbulent, truthful and powerful story. This story follows two teenagers through some stuff that no teenager should ever have to face. But through their letters – they realize that they are not alone in this. That someone is willing to listen and perhaps see beyond what’s masked on the outside. I enjoyed both characters of Juliet and Declan. Both tormented and tragic in their own lives. But when they begin to open up to one another – something magical happens. And it happens without judgment. When we can truly see the person for who they are not what their outward appearance seems to say. I loved how they interacted with each other at school – not knowing who the other was. Not knowing that they have a connection with each other and just don’t know it yet.

I loved the secondary character of Rev, Declan’s best friend. His story was just a complicated and complex as any I have ever read. I want to know so much more though. His ending in this book was perfect and left me teary eyed and smiling. I can’t wait to share this story with my teen daughter – she is going to absolutely love it as much as I did. Highly recommend.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Erin


About The Author

Brigid KemmererFollow: Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

BRIGID KEMMERER is author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas. She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.


Brigid Kemmer’s publiscist is offering a finished copy of LETTERS TO THE LOST to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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Saving Mercy (Fatal Truth #1) by Abbie Roads-Review,Guest Post & Giveaway

SAVING MERCY (Fatal Truth #1) by Abbie Roads-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Fatal Truth #1
by Abbie Roads
Genre: adult, contemporary, psychological, thriller, romantic suspense
Release Date: April 4, 2017

Saving Mercy

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 4, 2017

First in a chilling new paranormal romantic suspense series from award-winning author Abbie Roads

He’s found her at last
Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man, his only saving grace the extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch murderers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his own horrific past-and only one woman could know what it means.

Only to lose her to a nightmare
Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful-and in terrible danger. The moment he sees Mercy, Cain knows he’s the one who can save her. He also knows he’s beyond redemption. But the lines between good and evil blur and the only thing clear to Cain and Mercy is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood-but is their bond strong enough to overcome the evil that stalks them?


REVIEW: SAVING MERCY is the first instalment in Abbie Roads’s contemporary, adult FATAL TRUTH paranormal, romantic suspense series. This is FBI profiler Cain Killion, and Mercy Ledger’s story line.

NOTE: SAVING MERCY contains scenes of graphic violence, blood shed and murder, and may not be appropriate for all readers.

Told from several third person points of view including Cain and Mercy SAVING MERCY focuses on Cain Killion, the son of a serial killer, and Mercy Ledger-one of Cain’s father’s victims -a woman who survived but finds herself victimized over and over again. Twenty years earlier Mercy’s entire family was brutally slaughtered by Adam Killion and in the ensuing years, Mercy has struggled to find her place in society until the day she found herself locked in a mental institution against her will. Enter Cain Killion, Adam Killion’s son, and the man who will fall in love with one of his father’s victims. What ensues are Cain’s attempts to save Mercy from a potential copy –cat killer; a stalker who uses Mercy for his own perverted pleasure; and the fall out from a killer’s need for power and control.

Cain Killion has the ability to ‘read’ blood-a killer’s thought and ideas whenever he touches the blood of one of the victims. His psychic abilities leave our hero in a world of hurt and pain, and not without some difficult side effects he’d rather not endure but as an FBI profiler Cain’s ‘powers’ can be used as a positive when on the hunt for the criminally responsible, making amends for his father’s past. His connection to Mercy Ledger comes on the twentieth anniversary of her family’s murders, and a string of killings linking directly back to Mercy and Cain find our couple on the run, not knowing whom to trust or where next to turn. The overwhelming darkness and demons continue to ride Cain Killion-a man whose own father destroyed everything he touched. Mercy is not without some psychic abilities of her own, and together they will form a powerful team but not before Mercy is targeted by someone from her past.

SAVING MERCY is an intense, tragic and alarming look at one man’s ability to destroy everything in his path. There are moments of passion and romance, atrocious violence and abhorrent acts, betrayal, redemption and vindication. The premise is suspenseful and disturbing; the characters are broken, destructive and tormented; the romance is fated, profound and heartbreaking. SAVING MERCY is a dark, deadly, fiery and tense story; a well written psychological thriller about a tortured hero, and the woman with whom he will fall in love.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post=Black and Red

Developing the hero/heroine with Abbie Roads

I’m a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants author. That means I don’t plot out my books and I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen from one scene to the next. I’ve tried plotting and planning and the thing I’ve discovered… If I know what’s going to happen, then I don’t want to write it. I get a weird writer’s high from all the unexpected things that happen on the page.

And I’m the same way with developing my heroes and heroines. I’ve sat down and filled out complicated character development forms. I’ve spent weeks exploring every single facet of a character and you know what happened when I tried to write that character? I couldn’t write him. I couldn’t force that character to be the things I said he was going to be.

I wish I could plot a story. I wish I could plan out my characters. But it’s just not how my process works.

Here’s how I develop my characters:

I write. And write. And write. I keep writing until I feel that spark that interests me. Then I delete all the crap I wrote before. I follow that spark and let it guide me. It doesn’t always lead me in a good direction, so I delete a lot.

The first one hundred pages of my books are always the hardest for me. It takes me a long time to find my characters in writing and re-writing—usually six to eight months to get those pages right. The rest of the book comes easier after that. Thank God.

A weird thing I’ve noticed about my heroes and heroines is that they all tend to be introverted and crave to live isolated lives. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but those are purely Abbie Roads traits. I’m a super-deep introvert, but I can become extroverted sounding when I’m excited about something—it just exhausts me. I yearn to live in isolation from other people. I want my home to be in a place where I can walk outside naked and there’s no one around for miles to see. Not that I’m a nudist or anything. It’s just the idea of being able to do that that appeals to me! Lol.


I have a question for the readers: What kinds of heroes/heroines do you like best? Are they a reflection of your own personality?


Fatal Dreams giveaway

Abbie’s publisher is graciously offering a two-book bundle of Race the Darkness and Hunt the Dawn (Fatal Dreams 1 & 2) to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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9. Giveaway runs from April 10-14, 2017

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Sabotage (Under Covers #2) by Jessica Linden-Review, Interview & Giveaway

Sabotage (Under Covers #2) James Patterson’s Bookshots Flames by Jessica Linden-Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Under Covers #2
by Jessica Linden / James Patterson
Release Date: April 20 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspense


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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 20, 2017

The Most Dangerous Kind of Love

Secret Agent Abbie Whitmore is used to putting her life on the line, but she’s never endangered someone she loves. And now, Congressman Jonathan Lassiter is embroiled in a political scandal–and it could be all her fault.

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


REVIEW:  If I have to describe this book in one word it would be the word: Like. There was just a lot to like about the book, the big things and little things about the book. I mean where do I begin on what I liked about this book?

One thing I really appreciated about Sabotage was how both Abbie and Jonathan are able to keep their professional identities but still maintain their relationship. Being a secret agent and congressman can no doubt be time consuming careers but it endears me to the couple that they can make time for each other. Let’s just be honest here but in this time and age often times it feels we are unable to have both a romantic relationship along with the winning career. Often times we feel we can have one but not both. So in all honesty I feel when couples split due to one or both are concentrating on their careers is utter BS. Their downtime together whether they are having lunch at a restaurant or lounging around watching a Star Wars marathon at home was all the more endearing.

Another element I really enjoyed about the book was how the story just kept you on your toes about who the bad guy or girl is and why they are bent on revenge on Abbie. You also get glimpses of what’s going on in the head of the villain as they are implementing their actions in their ultimate plan. Sometimes it’s interesting to get in the minds on the villain to see them mentally justify the evil actions they are doing. It really was a fun journey following the mind of the villain but also Abbie following close on the villains heels to put a stop to the evil plan to screw over her love, Jonathan.

The thing is considering that the book was not very long, the character development and growth was satisfactory as well. Abbie is able to hand over the reins and control to others trusting them. While I can understand Jonathan’s feelings about being the man wanting to protect his woman even though she is very capable, he respects her fighting abilities.

A story that keeps you engaged and on your toes, positive career and relationship aspects, great character development, soft romantic scenes and the very best good triumphing over evil; for such a shorter book this book packs an awesome punch. Highly recommend and highly enjoyed.

Copy supplied by the publisher for review

Reviewed by Xtina

Interview-Black and Deep Rose

TRC: Hi Jessica and welcome to The Reading Café.

Congratulations on the release of SABOTAGE

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

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JESSICA LINDENJESSICA: I live in Virginia with my husband, two sons, two rescue dogs, and various other pets. I was a high school and college English teacher for thirteen years, but I gave that up nearly two years ago to focus on my writing. I don’t necessarily miss the teaching, but I definitely miss the students. Spending my days with teenagers was a lot of fun.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

JESSICA: I’ve had a lifelong love of books, so I can’t point to one specific influence. Mostly, I think it’s the pure joy I feel when I’m lost in a great book. I want to create that joy for my readers.

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

JESSICA: The publishing business is full of rejection, which sometimes makes it difficult to keep a positive outlook. Also, it’s tough when a reader leaves a negative review. Sometimes the bad stuff is easier to believe, you know?

SabotageTRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of SABOTAGE and the UNDER COVERS series?

JESSICA: I got the idea for Abbie’s character when I was driving to pick up my sons from TaeKwonDo. I thought it would be cool to have an agency similar to Angelina Jolie’s character’s agency in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Women tend to be underrepresented in law enforcement type jobs, but sometimes you need a woman to get the job done. Thus, the Cartwright Agency was born.

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

JESSICA: This is a tough one and something that all authors face. I play the “what if” game when I’m writing to try to put my characters in unusual situations. Often I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen until the words land on the page.

TRC: There is a fine line between romance, erotic, and erotica in many of today’s popular contemporary fiction. What do you believe accounts for the differences between the sub-genres in today’s romantic stories?

JESSICA: I don’t write erotic romance or erotica, but this is how I understand it. The focus of romance is the developing romantic relationship between a couple. Sex may or may not be part of that. In erotic romance, sex is an integral part of the relationship development and if it were taken out, there would be a huge hole in the story. However, there is still a developing romantic relationship. Erotica is more about the sex than the relationship.

TRC: Where should authors draw the line when writing romance vs erotic vs erotica story lines?

JESSICA: I don’t think there necessarily needs to be any line drawn, as long as it is communicated to the readers what they’re getting with a particular book.

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?

JESSICA: Yes. The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” is totally bogus. No matter how excellent a book is, readers won’t pick it up if it has a horrible cover.

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

JESSICA: The characters direct the writing for me. I usually have a general idea where I want the story to go, but I don’t always know exactly how the story is going to get there until I get to know the characters in the first few chapters.

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

JESSICA: I think this comes from making the characters relatable. Often in fiction, things happen that 99% of us will never experience in real life, but emotions are universal. So if the character is relatable and believable, then his/her emotions should translate. I think writers sometimes fail in this endeavor by not fully developing characters.

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

JESSICA: I actually don’t listen to music while writing because I find myself singing along instead of writing. It’s quite the show. LOL.

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

JESSICA: It depends on the situation. My husband is helpful, especially when it comes to technical or “manly” things, like the different kinds of guns and ammo. My author friend Marnee Blake is usually my go to for overarching plot and character issues. I’ll also turn to my agent and editor. I’m lucky to have a plethora of people I can call on.

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

JESSICA: Most authors can’t support themselves on their writing alone. I think a lot of people assume that if someone has a book published, they are rolling in money. That’s simply not the case.

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

JESSICA: I actually have a section like this on my website, so it’s hard to come up with another random obscure fact. I’ve recently become obsessed with my Happy Planner, and I even make my own stickers for it.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

JESSICA: I’m currently in the final stretch of writing the third book in my Fight for Me series.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

JESSICA: Nope! This interview was pretty thorough.


Favorite Food

Favorite Dessert
Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate

Favorite TV Show
I don’t watch TV. I seriously can’t remember the last time I turned it on.

Last Movie You Saw
The Lego Batman Movie

Dark or Milk Chocolate

Secret Celebrity Crush
Theo James

Last Vacation Destination

Do you have any pets?
Two dogs. My sons have guppies and a hamster.

Last book you read
It’s top secret—it was a book I judged for the RWA RITA contest.

TRC: Thank You Jessica for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulation on the release of Sabotage. We wish you all the best


Jessica’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of
SABOTAGE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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Wanted & Wired by Vivien Jackson – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Wanted & Wired by Vivien Jackson – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Wanted and WiredAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Wanted and Wired Quote

A rip-roarin’ new snarky, sexy sci-fi paranormal romance series with the perfect balance of humor, heat, and heart. Now that Texas has seceded and the world is spiraling into chaos, good guys come in unlikely packages and love sprouts in the most inconvenient places…

Rogue scientist • technologically enhanced • deliciously attractive
Heron Farad should be dead. But technology has made him the man he is today. Now he heads a crew of uniquely skilled outsiders who fight to salvage what’s left of humanity: art, artifacts, books, ideas-sometimes even people. People like Mari Vallejo.

Gun for hire • Texan rebel • always hits her mark
Mari has been lusting after her mysterious handler for months. But when a by-the-book hit goes horribly sideways, she and Heron land on the universal most wanted list. Someone set them up. Desperate and on the run, they must trust each other to survive, while hiding devastating secrets. As their explosive chemistry heats up, it’s the perfect storm…


Wanted & Wired by Vivien Jackson is the first book in her new sci-Fi Tether series.   I enjoy reading some sci-fi with a fantasy element, but I do tend to enjoy straight fantasy more.  I had mixed feelings about Wanted & Wired.   This had a lot of possibilities, a good story line, and some really interesting and likeable characters.   I also thought Jackson’s writing was very good.

Mari is a tough heroine, who is also a crack shot who never misses.  She partners with our hero, Heron, who is human and part droid (technically advanced).  When things go wrong on an assignment, Heron uses his technical ability to be one step ahead of those trying to catch them. During this adventure, we meet many people who are technically enhanced or complete droids. The key to the story is to find out who betrayed them in the assignment, as well as to keep Mari safe from those who want her killed. 

My mixed feelings:  The story was very technical, which was either a bit redundant or confusing for me.  Though I like my fantasy and sci-fi, I do not like too much technical terms which takes me out of the story.   I also thought the constant sexual innuendos, and situations seemed to be constant. Wherever, whenever, whoever was around, it was all about their lust for each other.  I like my books to be story oriented, with the sexual chemistry and situations part of the story.

I did think that Heron and Mari were very  good heroes, if we had the time to learn about them; as well as  some of the secondary characters that were well done, such as Chloe, Kellen, Adele, just to name a few.  If you enjoy Sci-Fi with advanced humans or droids, and a heavily sexual story then Wanted & Wired would be a good read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher



She popped her bubble gum and leaned against a Plexiglas route map. Cool as a daiquiri was Mari.

He waited for the bus to pull away from the stop and then rolled his car to the curb, about a meter from her mud-caked wellies. Green ones, with tiny sunflowers on the pull loops. He moved one hand off the steering wheel, signed a command, and her door shished open.

She leaned in, twirling the parasol, flinging errant raindrops all over his contrast-piped leather interior. Cool sprinkles, like cupcake dusting. A dimple tucked itself next to her flirty smile. “Hey, stranger. Goin’ my way?”

Heron pressed his lips into a line. “No funning, please. Get in. Quickly.”

“No kiddin’ no fun,” she muttered under her breath, probably forgetting that her com was subvocal. Although she was sharp as a shiv when her hands were on a gun, she could forget crucial things on planning and extraction. Or she deliberately relied on him to keep all that sorted.

Either way, Heron didn’t mind. He reached through the wireless and shut down her com.

She closed the umbrella, tossed it to the floorboard, and folded herself into the passenger seat. Heron had the door down as soon as her skirt was clear of the seals.

He’d examined this sector extensively in planning and had every escape route timed down to the second. He hadn’t counted on the law enforcement response being so fast, though, almost instantaneous. Road blocks and drones were popping up like dandelions every time he polled the mirror, and he had no defenses set up to counter them.

He knew precisely the speed at which information flowed, and there was no way within normal parameters the authorities could know her identity and location this quickly. Clearly, Mari had been set up. He even had a good idea who’d done it. The cloud, with its delicious glut of information, hovered just beyond his vision, tempting. He could see her doom erupting, 33.3 milliseconds behind real time, and he couldn’t do a damn thing to stop it.

No, that wasn’t true. He had a range of options, but the only one he allowed himself, the only one that made sense, was to get her away from here. Get her somewhere safe. Hide her.

Traffic became a torment, not just because his escape was slowed or capture crept closer with each passing second, but also because…she was here. Close. Too close. Within touching distance close. He could practically feel her vibrating with postjob adrenaline. Just eight blocks to the expressway entrance ramp. He endured them. Every bloody inch. Every stroke of her naked hands on the cushion. Every drip of skin-warmed rainwater from her ponytail, teasing its way down between her shoulder blades and along the seatback. Every push of her breath against damp synthetic cashmere. Every distant siren, every rolling update from his mirror… Interpol had her bios now, but he suspected the UNAN agents would find her first.

No. Over his goddamned corpse they would.
He hit the entrance ramp at 120 and blew into the cruise lane. The wireless exchange with the bus earlier had reminded him of another closed system, off-cloud. A bigger one. Private. Safe.

“Thought our exit vector was south. Cabana down in Cabo San Lucas and an endless tab of mojitos? This ringing a bell, partner?” Mari craned to see a road sign too blurry to read with naked eyes.

Heron cataloged the sign, crossed three lanes, and slung the car onto a flyover, taking them decidedly not south.
“I told you our plans had changed. No cabana this time, but don’t worry. I’m taking you someplace safe.”

“What place? Your place?” She waggled her eyebrows.
He inhaled deliberately. She doesn’t mean it the way it sounds. It is not an invitation. You know how she is. Bald come-hithers and poor timing were typical of her postjob process. Everybody had a different way of ramping up and down for jobs like this, and hers was invariable. A peek at her biometrics showed elevated hormone levels in her blood. Flight or fight or fuck, and Mari had an unnatural ability to suppress the first.

Any other job, he’d have her on a plane by now and off to the hired harem of cabana boys she needed to seduce to prove she was still alive. But this wasn’t any other job. This was a botch. On a contract held by Texas. She was in danger, and he didn’t have time to wrestle with her attempts to make him into another of her temporary playthings.

Temporary, because the only time she’d be able to stomach fucking a post-human would be right after a job. And then she’d hate herself after. He knew what she thought about people with implanted tech. Cyborgs. No better than machines.

And he sported a metric shitload of implanted tech.
So he’d kept their relationship purely professional, and there had never been a reason to alter that structure. Until today. Now, to keep her safe, he was willing to suffer a lot more than her derision. He was willing to lay bare his most deeply held secrets and hope she didn’t heckle. Or worse, send him away.

He accelerated through fourth gear, and the car lowered, uncomplaining, hugging the asphalt.

Fuck it all—he was taking her home.




About the author




VIVIEN JACKSON is still waiting for her Hogwarts letter. In the meantime, she writes, mostly fantastical or futuristic or kissing-related stories. When she isn’t writing, she’s performing a sacred duty nurturing the next generation of Whovian Browncoat Sindarin Jedi gamers, and their little dogs too. With her similarly geeky partner, she lives in Austin, Texas, and watches a lot of football.


Social Networking Links

Website: http://www.vivienjackson.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VivienJacksonWriter/
Twitter: @Vivien_Jackson
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6517244.Vivien_Jackson

To Buy:


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Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell – Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell – Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway


Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
by Jill Mansell
Release Date: May 2, 2017

Meet Me At Beachcomer Bay Amazon | | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound


Beachcomber Bay graphic

  1. A brief encounter that could have become so much more…if only everything were different
  2. Step-sisters, bitter rivals in every area except one—by unbreakable pact neither will ever steal a man from the other
  3. A love triangle that starts out as a mess of secrets and mix-ups, and only gets worse from there


Friendship, family ties, crossed wires and self-discovery, second chances and first impressions

Welcome to Jill Mansell’s blustery seaside world. Once you step inside, you’ll never want to leave!




By two o’clock, they’d arrived in St. Carys, where the third of the shortlisted properties was situated.
“Here we are then.” Jumping out of the rental car and shielding her eyes from the sun as she peered up at the third-floor apartment, Belle said, “It’s like ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears,’ isn’t it? The first place was too boring, and the second place was too interesting. Let’s hope this one is going to be just right.”
Obviously Belle wanted it to be the one Sam chose. Then he’d be right here in her own home town. Clemency, who wasn’t so sure how she felt about it, was torn. It went against the grain to not want to sell a property, but just seeing Sam again today had been unsettling. Did she really want him to buy a place in St. Carys? Yet the apartment was stunning. Once he clapped eyes on it, was there the remotest chance he’d say no?
Five minutes later, she discovered the answer to that question. The views were fantastic. Everything about the place was about as perfect as any potential owner could want. The wraparound balcony was big enough to throw a party on…
Which was apparently what was happening right now, in the penthouse apartment directly above their heads.
In fact, it was sounding like quite an intimate party. Oh God.
“Listen to them,” Belle exclaimed, slow on the uptake. “What is going on up there?”
Sam, who wasn’t slow on the uptake, said wryly, “I think it might be some kind of exercise class.”
As a real estate agent, it wasn’t the first time Clemency had overheard something she’d have preferred not to overhear during the course of a viewing, but this was without a doubt the loudest.
And appeared to involve the largest number of…well, participants.
OK, this was officially awkward.
“Oh!” The penny finally dropped and Belle clapped her hands over her mouth. “Oh my God.”
Overhead, the gasps and shrieks appeared to be escalating. Belle said, “I don’t believe it! Clem, make it stop.”
“Seriously?” Clemency looked at her. “How do I go about doing that?”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Marching out on to the balcony, Belle bellowed, “Hey you! Up there! We can all hear you, you know…You have to stop making that noise this minute!”
They heard laughter amid the other sounds, followed by the pop of a champagne cork, which sailed over the edge of the balcony. A male voice called out, “We like it best when we know people are listening.”
“Well, you’re disgusting,” Belle yelled back, “and you should all be ashamed of yourselves.”
“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it,” a female voice shouted down to them. “Come up and join us if you want. Don’t be shy! The more the merrier!”
As they were leaving, they encountered the occupier of the flat below the one they’d just viewed. Clemency stopped the middle-aged woman. “Hi, excuse me…do you happen to know if the people in the penthouse apartment are the owners? Or is it rented out to vacationers?” Because if they were only going to be staying for a week or two, it wouldn’t be a problem after all.
“You mean the Carters?” The middle-aged woman rolled her eyes. “You’re from the real estate agency, aren’t you? And this is the first time you’ve heard them having an orgy? Well, all I can say is, lucky you. They bought the place in January and they’ve been inviting their so-called friends around most afternoons ever since.”
“Oh.” Clemency’s heart sank.
“The Jeffersons didn’t happen to mention that to you, I’m guessing? Thought they wouldn’t. Why else do you suppose they’re so desperate to move out? God only knows how you’re ever going to sell that place. Those new people are a living nightmare.”
Oh dear. The Jeffersons should have told them. Not only had Clemency failed to find Sam a suitable property to buy, they were going to have to drop the price of this one.
“Maybe you could offer any buyers a lifetime’s supply of industrial earplugs,” said Sam.



Jill Mansell


With over 10 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny, poignant and romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Jojo Moyes. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.




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Between A Wolf and a Hard Place (Heart of the Wolf #21) by Terry Spear-Review, Book tour & Giveaway

BETWEEN A WOLF AND A HARD PLACE ( Heart of the Wolf #21) by Terry Spear-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

Between A Wolf and a Hard Place Banner

Heart of the Wolf #21
by Terry Spear
Genre: adult, contemporary, paranormal, romance
Release Date: April 4, 2017

Between a Wolf and a Hard Place

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

About the book: Release Date April 4, 2017

In Silver Town, the secrets run deep…

Alpha werewolf Brett Silver has an ulterior motive when he donates a prized family heirloom to the Silver Town hotel. Ellie MacTire owns the place with her sisters, and he’s out to get her attention.

Ellie is even more special than Brett knows. She’s a wolf-shifter with a unique ability to commune with the dead. Ellie has been ostracized, so she protects herself and those she loves by revealing nothing-not even when strange and dangerous things begin to happen in Silver Town. And especially not to the devastatingly handsome and generous wolf who’s determined to win her over.


REVIEW: BETWEEN A WOLF AND A HARD PLACE is the twenty first installment in Terry Spear’s contemporary, adult HEART OF THE WOLF paranormal, romance series focusing on the shifter wolves of Silver Town. This is Alpha werewolf Brett Silver, and Silver Town hotel co-owner Ellie MacTire’s story line. BETWEEN A WOLF AND A HARD PLACE 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 Brett and Ellie BETWEEN A WOLF AND A HARD PLACE is a ghost-story mystery. When the MacTire sister’s bought and renovated the old Silver Town hotel they didn’t expect unwanted guests including a couple of ghosts who took up residence in the old hotel. Enter Chrissy, a former maid and current spirit that haunts the Silver Town hotel, and Brett’s late, great aunt Matilda who couldn’t leave behind the family piano hitching a ride to the hotel when the Silver brother’s donated the musical instrument to the MacTire’s renovation project. What ensues is the building relationship between Ellie and Brett, and the search for the truth as to why neither spirit can move on from the past.

The MacTire sisters see and hear ghosts, and renovating the old Silver Town hotel has kept the sisters busy as it pertains to the history and the ghosts haunting the hotel. While Ellie’s relationship with Brett continues to grow our heroine is perplexed when the usual ‘dream walking’ mate doesn’t enter into her fantasies or dreams and is determined to date as many wolves in order to find her Mr. Right. The $ex scenes are limited, mostly implied, or fade to black.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including the MacTire sisters Laurel and Meghan, Brett’s brothers CJ, Eric and Sarandon, as well as most of the Silver Town wolves. Ellie’s ghost hunting uncles, Stanton, Yolan and Vernon, return to cause a little mischief and mayhem.

BETWEEN A WOLF AND A HARD PLACE is a sweet and simple paranormal romance about two wolves looking into the death’s of two permanent guests at the Silver Town hotel. The premise is spirited; the characters are playful; the romance is a slow build to a happily ever after.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy


At the tavern, Ellie couldn’t stop thinking about the woman who had appeared near the piano. She listened to Brett talk about some of the stories he’d researched and written recently for the newspaper. She usually found these behind-the-scenes reports fascinating, but this time she was having a devil of a time concentrating.

The tavern was filled with wolves having a meal in the wolf-members-only establishment. No one had to have a membership card to join; they just had to be a lupus garou.

“Do you have a photo of your great-aunt Matilda?” Ellie suddenly asked, and Brett set his glass of wine down on the table. Her question had come totally out of the blue, and she wished she’d done a better job of leading into it. “I was thinking it would be nice to dedicate the piano to her and have a little memorial plaque with her picture on it on the wall behind the piano.”

How was that for thinking quickly on her feet? Though she knew it was also the best way to commemorate the gift. She would have thought of doing it eventually.

“I’m sure I can find a family photo of her. I’ll check. That would be nice.”

Brett seemed to buy her story and appeared pleased. She sighed. Had their kissing brought the ghost to life? Disturbed her? Ever since Ellie had seen the woman, she’d wanted to call her sisters and warn them of the new ghostly trouble they might have. Unless the new ghost didn’t bother making any more appearances. How likely was that? From Ellie’s past experiences with ghosts attached to people or an object, not very likely.

“How did you say she died?” Ellie realized she’d completely changed the subject again. Brett had said something about the weather and snow, and she had barely heard his comments until he frowned at her.

He sat back a little in his chair this time and studied her. She really had to concentrate better on what he was saying. Brett would think she wasn’t interested in being with him. Which wasn’t the case at all. She just couldn’t stop thinking about the new ghost.

“Sorry.” She took an oversize swig from her glass and nearly choked on the wine.

“What’s wrong?” He reached across the table, taking hold of her hand and stroking it, which only fed into the way she would view him in tonight’s dream fantasy.

Nothing was wrong, except that the piano had stirred up two ghosts in the inn. Ellie hoped the women didn’t get into a fight over territory. She’d never seen it happen before, but anything was possible when paranormal stuff was involved.

“I was just thinking that we could mention a few details…for the memorial. The date of death and so on.”

Brett released her hand and took another sip of his wine. “She was seventy-five in human years, and the doc we had at the time said she died of pneumonia. It simulates drowning; her lungs were filled with fluid.”

What if Matilda had really drowned? What if she was staying around because she had been murdered?

Then again, ghosts of people who had died of natural causes could still attach themselves to prized possessions or people. Any number of things could be ghost magnets, depending on the individual spirit. In one case in the nineteenth century, a man had built a home for his beloved wife, but when she died of sickness and his daughter died a couple of years later, he continued to live there. Upon his death, he remained there as if tied to his wife and daughter and that home. Forever. The historical home was a museum in Texas now, and many visitors had seen the man in his ghostly form.

Ellie took a deep breath. Okay, no more thinking about ghosts. “So about the weather…” What had Brett said? “You said it’s going to snow?” She usually checked the weather every once in a while, but she’d been busy and hadn’t for a few days, though she had smelled snow in the air.

He smiled and reached across the table, taking hold of her hand and squeezing. “I can’t tell you how much I enjoy being with you, Ellie. You’re just fun to be around. I’ve been really wrapped up in work lately, but I wanted you to know it’s not always like this. I know you’ve been really busy lately too. I hope you enjoy being with me as much as I enjoy being with you.”

She smiled. If he only knew what she had been thinking about him in the privacy of her bedroom at night! “I love going out with you. I just…” The last time she’d told a guy she was dating that she was a ghost whisperer, he had stranded her at a hotel restaurant. He’d told her he had to go to the men’s room but skipped out on her instead, leaving the bill for her to pay! What an ass. Then she’d had to call a taxi to get home.

Of course karma can be a bitch. When she remembered he was staying that night at the hotel where the restaurant was—figuring he’d get lucky, she suspected—she’d given his room number to the waiter, paid him a really generous tip, bought a round of drinks for everyone at the bar, and gotten the most expensive bottle of champagne she could to share with her sisters and celebrate. She smiled at the satisfaction she’d gotten from that.

Considering how much she cared for Brett, she really wanted to deal with her current situation in the best way possible, not wanting to upset what she and he had for now.

“Brett, do you believe in ghosts?”

About The Author

Terry Spear Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

Love, love, love romance, the paranormal, hunky Highlanders with their delicious brogue and hot kilts, so Terry Spear writes about those hunky Highlanders both in medieval times and as wolves in contemporary times. Jaguar shifters too! And young adult urban fantasy. And romantic suspense. She grew up reading mystery, adventure, mythologies from around the world, ghost stories, the paranormal, fell in love with Dracula and Wolfman, and felt they needed loving too. Everyone should have someone to love. Which means her stories always have a HEA. USA Today Bestseller residing in Central Texas from Sacramento, California who creates award-winning teddy bears too!


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Terry Spear’s publisher is offering a paper copy of BETWEEN WOLF AND A HARD PLACE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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