Hot Pursuit (Black Knights Inc) by Julie Ann Walker- Excerpt & Giveaway Promotion

Hot Pursuit (Black Knights Inc) by Julie Ann Walker-Excerpt and Giveaway Promotion

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Release Date: October 3, 2017

Amazon / Amazon.ca / Barnes & Noble / iBooks

He puts the hot…
Christian Watson, a former SAS officer and current BKI operator, never thought he would return to England after a terrible turn of events forced him to abandon his homeland. But now he’s back on British soil where old enemies are determmeland. But now he’s back on British soil where old enemies are determined to do him in. Fighting for his life is pretty much SOP for Christian. Doing it with the beautiful, bossy Emily Scott in tow is another matter entirely.

In hot pursuit.

Emily lost her coveted job at the CIA because of a colleague turned rogue, and now she has just one rule when it comes to men: they’re for recreational purposes only. But when she and Christian are thrust into very close quarters while evading two mysterious men who want Christian dead, she can’t help but question all her ideas about love and life lived on the edge. Battling the bad guys is hard enough, battling her feelings for Christian just might prove impossible.

excerpt

 

So many questions buzzed through Emily’s brain that she felt like she’d shoved her head in a beehive. She had to grit her teeth to keep from asking them.And why the hell wouldn’t he stop rubbing her hip? Warmth had spread from the skin beneath his hand, and now her whole body was suffused with it.

“Is she the reason you stayed in England after Boss invited you to join him at Black Knights Inc.?” she asked.

The look he shot her had her lifting a brow. “What?”

“That’s the second time today I’ve thought you were either a mind reader or else practicing witchcraft.”

“Really?” The thought delighted her. “When was the first time?” Then reality sank in. Shit, that was question number three. “Never mind!” She slapped a hand over his mouth. “Don’t answer that.”

His eyes sparkled mischievously. He’d tried using her own technique against her, piquing her interest so she’d use up her truths.

“I’m not the only one who fights dirty,” she accused.

“And don’t you forget it,” he parroted her words back to her. Then he placed a hot kiss in the center of her palm.

She snatched her hand away, dropping it into her lap. If he noticed that she curled her fingers, trying to hold on to the heat of his kiss, he gave no indication.

“So out with it,” she demanded. “Is your mother the reason you stayed in England after Boss invited you to join him at BKI?”

“Yes.” His nod was perfunctory. “After I was let go from the SAS, when I was trying to make my way as a civilian, I moved back in with Mum. After Dad died, she didn’t only get soused on the weekends. She did it all day every day. Held on to the bottle like a lifeline. She was self-medicating, of course. When she was pissed, she could forget she’d been the one behind the wheel that night. But miracle of miracles, with me back home looking after her, suddenly it seemed like she was trying to pull her shite together. She stopped spending all her government support checks at the pub and instead started buying decent food for the flat. She even went ’round to the local Jobcentre offices and applied to be placed in a position.”

From the tender age of six, he’d lived with a drunk mother and a dead father.

Snap. Crackle. Pop.

That wasn’t Rice Krispies. That was the foundations of Emily’s walls. Because she got it.

Her parents might not be drunks, but she knew all about addiction. Her mother and father were both addicted to love, addicted to the high it brought them. They’d sought it with single-minded determination, and their searches had, more often than not, left Emily all alone.

“Then one night, about three months after I got back, I found her in an alley,” Christian continued. “She was half frozen, half dressed, and totally piss drunk. And that’s when I knew.”

He stopped there. Didn’t say another word for a full minute, simply stared into space.

Even though she’d used up her three truths, Emily posed a question anyway. “What did you know?”

Christian turned to look at her. There was so much sadness in his eyes that her heart lurched toward him, and her arms were around his neck before she could stop them.

“That I couldn’t change her,” he said, his voice deep and husky. “That I couldn’t help her, couldn’t save her. And she was too far gone to have any hope of saving herself. So, I trundled her off to the best rehab facility in the country the next morning. It cost all my savings to get her in a six-month program. Then I bought a one-way ticket to America. Got on that plane with nothing but a change of clothes in my rucksack and a paltry roll of pounds secured by an elastic band.”

Emily desperately wanted to know what had become of his mother, if she had ever sobered up, how she’d died. But she’d already pushed her luck and gotten one more truth than he’d agreed to give her. So she bit back the questions poised on the tip of her tongue and said simply, “I’m so sorry, Christian.”

Although sorry didn’t come close to describing what she was feeling for him in that moment. She wasn’t sure there were words in the English language that could do her emotions justice.

Then, because he had given her one more truth than he’d agreed to, and because her emotions were running high and she felt she should do something, she decided to answer the last question he had posed. After all, turnabout was fair play. She prided herself on being an equitable woman.

“I can’t imagine what it was like to lose a father so early in life,” she said, playing with the ends of his hair where it brushed the back of his warm neck. “Or to know what it was to grow up with an alcoholic mother. But like you, I’m sort of the collateral damage of my childhood.”

His dark eyebrows slashed into a vee. “What do you mean?”

“You asked me to explain to you what I couldn’t explain to Richard. Why I couldn’t fall in love with him.” Part of her mind was on the ugly truth she was about to reveal; the other part was distracted by the feel of his hair between her fingertips. It was so soft. Strange for a man who in all other respects was the epitome of hardness. Hard body. Hard head. Hard…ahem. “I’m willing to give it a try.”

The look he sent her was guarded.

“But I want to make another deal with you,” she said.

“I’m listening.”

“I want you to let me go back over to the sofa.” His pretty green eyes narrowed. “What I’m about to tell you is important, and I need to be able to concentrate to get it right. To explain it right. I can’t concentrate when we’re like”—she motioned between them—“this.”

One corner of his mouth twitched. “Why not?”

Her pursed lips told him you know why without having to say the words.

Indulge me, his twinkling eyes answered.

She blew out a windy breath. “You’re distracting, okay? You’re all…” She waved a hand to indicate his entire form. “And it’s distracting.”

Not to mention destructive. As in, sitting on his lap, his arms around her, her arms around him—when had that last thing happened exactly?—was destroying her emotional fortifications, ripping them apart brick by brick until it was hard to remember why she was so determined to keep him at arm’s length.

“You do want me.” A satisfied grin kicked up the corners of his mouth. That mouth that she now knew from experience was magic. If she was a witch, then he was definitely a warlock. A sexy, tattooed English warlock.

She clucked her tongue. “Ah, ah, ah. Your arrogance is showing again.”

“Admit it,” he demanded.

“Okay, I admit it. You, sir, are arrogant.” Devilment had her fighting a grin.

“Admit that you want me, woman. I’m not letting you go until you do.”

“Fine.” Her frustration had her raising her hands and letting them fall back into her lap. “I want you. What red-blooded heterosexual woman wouldn’t? You’ve got that whole unholy trifecta thing going for you.”

“Unholy trifecta?” He looked genuinely confused.

“Tall, dark, and handsome,” she explained, touching his chin dimple. She couldn’t get enough of it. “Plus, there’s the accent.”

“I’m not the one with an accent, darling. You’re the one with an accent.”

“Whatever. The point is that it doesn’t matter that I want you; I can’t have you. And I’ll try to explain why if you’ll let me go back over to the damned sofa!”

She clamped her mouth shut, heat flooding her cheeks when she realized he’d gotten under her skin and made her lose her shit. Again. He had an unnatural knack for it.

“Fine.” He opened his arms, letting them come to rest on the arms of the chair. “You win. Your freedom for an explanation. Although, in truth, I’m hardly sure this is a better deal than the last one.”

That Emily should feel so bereft without his strong arms around her, without that thumb drawing maddening circles on her hip, was completely absurd. Which was why she scrambled off his lap and flounced over to the sofa. She didn’t want him to see the truth of her feelings on her face.

Only after she had settled into the corner, drawing her feet up onto the cushion and hugging her knees to her chest, did she dare look at him. “Like I said earlier,” she grumbled. “You wouldn’t know a good deal if it—”

“I’m warning you, Emily.” His expression was so fierce, so focused that she found herself fighting for breath. “If you mention the words bite and pecker in the same sentence again, I can’t be held responsible for what I’ll do. Likely bite you and then try to use my p—”

“Okay!” She screwed her eyes shut and covered her ears. It felt as if someone had tossed a bucket of scalding water over her head. “I get it!”

When she blinked open her eyes, it was to find him reclined back in the chair, a smug half-smile plastered over his irritatingly attractive face.

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Click HERE to preorder your copy of HOT PURSUIT by Julie Ann Walker and receive another BLACK KNIGHTS INC novel of your choice

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Julie Ann Walker’s publisher-SOURCEBOOKS- is graciously offering a paper copy of HOT PURSUIT to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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9. Giveaway runs from September 13 to 17, 2017, 2017

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The Reading Cafe 5th Anniversary Giveaway Celebration-Today’s Prize Package

The Reading Cafe 5th Anniversary Giveaway Celebration-Today’s Prize Package

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The Reading Cafe is offering a 3 paper book prize package for today’s giveaway

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5th Anniversary Giveaway Feb 7

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The Reading Cafe 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway with Mallory Crowe

The Reading Cafe 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway with Mallory Crowe

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Mallory Crowe is graciously offering a paper copy of THE COCKY THIEF to ONE (1) lucky commenter

ONE (1) commenter will receive a paper copy of THE COCKY THIEF

Cocky Thief

Click HERE for more information about Mallory Crowe and THE COCKY THIEF.

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The Reading Cafe 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway-Today’s Prize Package

The Reading Cafe 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway-Today’s Prize Package

5th Anniversary today's prize package

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The Reading Cafe is offering a 2 paper book prize package for today’s giveaway

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5th Anniversary Giveaway Feb 3

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Zero to Sixty (Body Shop Bad Boys #3) by Marie Harte-Review and Book Tour

ZERO TO SIXTY (Body Shop Bad Boys #3) by Marie Harte-Review and Book Tour

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ZERO TO SIXTY
Body Shop Bad Boys 33
by Marie Harte
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary,erotic,romance

Zero to Sixty

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 7,2017

Bad boy Sam + Good girl Ivy + Stray puppy = Damaged hearts learning to love again

After her last relationship bombed, Ivy Stephens is doing her best to put her life back together. She’s enjoying her job, her apartment-and the cute little puppy she’s seen hanging around. When she goes looking for him, she finds the stray in the arms of a big, burly, devastatingly handsome man.

Sam Hamilton is lonelier than he’s ever been after his best friend’s engagement. To give himself a sense of purpose, he takes in a puppy that keeps showing up around the garage where he works. The puppy has another suitor though-one who happens to be blond and beautiful.

••••••••••

REVIEW: ZERO TO SIXTY is the third installment in Marie Harte’s contemporary, adult BODY SHOP BAD BOYS erotic, romance series focusing on the men and woman who work at Webster’s Garage. This is mechanic Sam Hamilton, and massage therapist Ivy Stephens’s story line. ZERO TO SIXTY can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. BODY SHOP BAD BOYS is a spin off from Harte’s McCauley Brothers series but you do not have to have read the original series to follow the current time line. A number of the characters cross-over between the two series.

Told from several third person perspectives including Sam and Ivy, ZERO TO SIXTY follows the building relationship between bad boy mechanic Sam Hamilton and massage therapist Ivy Stephens. Sam has a bit of a soft spot where orphaned animals are involved but the disappearance of a stray puppy finds our hero face to face with Ivy Stephens, a woman who hopes to keep the puppy for her own. What ensues is the slow building relationship between Sam and Ivy, and Sam’s struggle to keep secret his past.

Sam Hamilton grew up in an abusive home to a single mother who all but ignored the son she should have loved but Sam found love and acceptance with his best friend Foley and his mother Eileen Sanders- a woman who took in the broken Sam as though he were one of her own. But Sam’s life has never been easy and when the demons begin to push, he is a man looking to fight his way out of the abyss. Ivy is an independent woman whose own family history is heartbreaking and emotional. She is a woman determined to show Sam that he is worthy of love including the love she offers.

The relationship between Sam and Ivy is slow to develop. Sam is afraid to overwhelm Ivy if he moves too fast. Throughout most of the storyline our couple ‘play’ around one another without taking the next step in their growing love. The $ex scenes are intimate and intense.

There are a large number of secondary and supporting characters including several from Harte’s McCauley Brothers series. Foley and Cyn (Roadside Assistance #2) Johnny and Lara ( Test Drive #1) as well as Mike and Delilah (What To Do With a Bad Boy) whose own relationship enters the next phase. There are plenty of lighthearted moments when the friends get together to tease one another about the lives and their loves.

The world building continues to look at family and friendship, betrayal, romance and love. The strength of the friendships throughout both of the series is emotional and tight. Everyone protects one another’s backs; no one is left alone.

ZERO TO SIXTY is an emotional story line about one man’s struggle to climb out of the depths of poverty and abuse; and one woman’s battle to prove that he is worthy of affection and love. The premise is realistic and moving; the characters are spirited and inspiring; the romance is seduction and emotional.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
The Reading Cafe
Roadside Assistance
Zero to Sixty

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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GUEST POST: researching the story line: developing the hero/heroine

Writing ZERO TO SIXTY, the third book in the Body Shop Bad Boys series, was a challenge, but one I very much looked forward to. The book had to stand alone but also be rewarding to continuing readers of the series. Sam, the hero, had already been introduced in book one and made more central to the story in book two, where he’s best friends with the hero.

Sam has issues. Oh, so many.

SamHe’s a mechanic working in a garage with other guys (and one gal) who feel like family. And that’s a good thing, because Sam comes from an abusive background. His mother would never win mother of the year, but she’s not a horrible person for no reason. (I think her history makes for a much more interesting read than just having a “bad guy” be bad for no reason.)

Sam deals with his aggression with underground—illegal—fighting. He wants and needs to be loved but doesn’t feel worthy of it, and so he holds onto his best friend too tightly when he needs to let go. It’s while learning to stand on his own that he meets the heroine, Ivy.

IvyIvy is a massage therapist and current rescuer of a loveable little puppy—who ran away. She meets Sam by accident, when he spotted the dog in the back of her shop. Ivy’s intimidated by the huge, hulking, tattooed Sam. But when she gets to know him, she finds they have similar stories.

She too comes from a sorry background. While her parents weren’t verbally or physically abusive, they just didn’t care. Like Sam, she wants love but wonders what’s so wrong with her that no one, not even her family, loved her.

CookieAnd then you have Cookie. The puppy who brings the two together. Cookie is a stray—like Sam—who just needs to find the right person to love him. Enter Sam and Ivy, who both see something in the tiny puppy, and in each other, to fill that void inside them needing a connection.

Writing perfect characters is boring. Writing stereotypes gets old. So though Sam is a “tortured hero,” he’s not too dark. He has a sense of humor and an ability to love. Ivy isn’t weak or pitiful. She’s strong, but she becomes stronger knowing and loving Sam (and Cookie).

~~Marie~~

 

About the author

Follow: Goodreads / Twitter /Website/ Facebook

Marie HarteCaffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte has over 100 books published with more constantly on the way. She’s a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit http://marieharte.com and fall in love.

Giveaway

Marie’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of TEST DRIVE (book 1) and ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE (book 2) to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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9. Giveaway runs from February 2-6, 2017

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Trouble Walks In by Sara Humphreys-Promotion and Giveaway

Trouble Walks In by Sara Humphreys-Promotion and Giveaway

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TROUBLE WALKS IN
The McGuire Brothers #2
by Sara Humphreys
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance

Trouble Walks In

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

Big city K-9 cop Ronan McGuire loves women, loves his dog, loves his job – but when old flame Maddy Morgan moves into his jurisdiction, he can’t think about anyone else.
Ronan knows she’s way out of his league, but he’s determined to help Maddy live life to the fullest.

Maddy has immersed herself in work and swiftly made a name for herself in the hot New York City real estate market. She’s looking for safety, not love, but Ronan McGuire is as persistent as he is sexy, and his crooked smile is hard to resist. But all other concerns are wiped away when Maddy goes missing and Ronan and his bloodhound K-9 partner are tasked with finding her and bringing her home.

Trouble Walks In trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUZVuXZovYQ&feature=youtu.be

Excerpt

 

“I told you that I’d be there and I meant it.” Maddy Morgan pressed the iPhone harder against her ear. She attempted to block out the sounds outside her office door while her best friend pestered her to within an inch of her life. “I’m your maid of honor, for heaven’s sake. What? You think I’m gonna bail after everything you and Gavin have been through? Hell, no!”
“Okay, well you can’t blame me for double checking, can you?” Jordan hesitated, her voice on the other end of the line with concern. “We’ve hardly spoken and, I mean, you haven’t been home since…It’s been over a year and…”
Maddy stared out the window that overlooked the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and sucked in a deep breath, her friend’s unfinished thought hanging in the air. She nibbled her lower lip and fought the sudden unexpected swell of emotion. It had been fifteen months since Rick died, and a full year since she had been back to the town she had always called home.
At least she had until recently.
“I know,” Maddy said quietly.
She swallowed the lump in her throat and refused to cry. She’d cried enough at Rick’s funeral and the weeks following. No more tears. If Rick were here, he would tell her to put on her big girl panties and get on with life.
“I’m not missing your wedding,” she said firmly. “Jeez, Jordan. You and Gavin have waited sixteen years to finally get hitched. Hell, you two would have gotten married last Christmas if it weren’t for me.”
“That’s not true,” Jordan said firmly.
“Bull,” Maddy laughed.
“Okay, well it wasn’t the only reason,” Jordan laughed. “Gavin’s parents wanted to throw us a huge Christmas wedding and four months wouldn’t have been enough time to pull it all together. Deciding to wait a year has been a win-win. My future mother in law had plenty of time to do her thing and we all had time to properly grieve for Rick. But I’m still worried about you…”
“I’m fine, Jordan and I promise—I’m gonna be there to witness your dream coming true.”
“Okay, but—”
“No buts.”
“Yo, Maddy.” The increasingly irritating voice of Chris Drummond shot into the room as he barged in. “That blonde, the Brenda chick—are you gonna to take her out to an Open House this weekend or should I? And what about those newlyweds? I know you’ve been slammed. I could take them out to see the new listings if you want.”
“Hang on, Jordan,” Maddy said tightly.
She covered the phone with her hand and leveled an irritated gaze at her colleague. She knew that Terrence, the owner of the realty house, had hired Drummond because he had an amazing reputation for selling and one of the best portfolios in the business, but he was a letch. A letch that thought anyone with boobs wanted him. Maddy had learned a long time ago that big talent usually meant even bigger egos.
Unfortunately, this talent was also turning out to be an asshole. She had already reported him once to Terrence for inappropriate advances on the young women in the office. Big talent or not, she was getting tired of him and his misogynistic bullshit. And lately there had been attempts to steal her clients.
“Did you happen to notice that my door was closed?”
“Yeah.”
He leaned in the doorway with his casual arrogance. Tall, slim, well dressed, and always perfectly coiffed, he was considered good looking by most. But the air of entitlement he wore like a cloak was a turn-off as far as Maddy was concerned. Besides, she would never date a colleague.
“I’m on a call.”
“Right.” He jutted his thumb over his shoulder. “Anyway, should I take that Brenda chick out and uh…show her the ropes? We could take the newlyweds, the uh…”
“The Bartholemews,” Maddy finished for him. “No. I can handle my client list. Thank you.”
“Fine, then let me take Brenda out.”
The smarmy smile on his face gave Maddy pause. He’d been hitting on the assistants, who were savvy New Yorkers and more than capable of handling themselves, but now he was moving on to the young realtor. Brenda was a recent college grad from the mid-west. She was pretty, smart, and naive.
A prime target for a guy like Drummond.
“No,” Maddy said firmly. “Terrence asked me to handle her training. Thank you and please close the door on your way out.”
His smile faded and a hard cold look settled in his eyes. Maddy had moved up the ranks quickly since joining Cosmopolitan Realty House and her rise didn’t go unnoticed by Drummond. He hated not being number one but she suspected that being second to a woman was a bigger insult.
“Sure thing,” he murmured.
Drummond left but neglected to shut the door. Maddy crossed the room, pausing only to tell Sharon, her assistant, to hold her other calls before she closed her door once more.
“Sorry about that, Jordan.” She caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window and grimaced before running one hand through her unruly brown curls. “I’m coming into town a week before the wedding so I can help you with whatever you need. Y’know…all that bridesmaidy kind of stuff. I mean, I’m not a real girly girl, but it’ll be fun to hang out. And tell Gavin he better not try to horn in on our girl’s night out. It might only be the two of us, but there’s a no-boys-allowed rule in effect for that event.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Jordan said through a chuckle. “All four of his brothers are coming in early as well. From what I hear, Ronan has quite the bachelor party planned. Speaking of Ronan, why don’t you two ride back to Old Brookfield together? I mean, you’re both in the city and he is the best man.”
“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. I’ll take my own car, thank you very much. I’m staying at the Old Brookfield Inn and Ronan will be at his parents’ house, obviously.” Maddy’s eyes narrowed and the smile on her face grew. “Your matchmaking scheme hasn’t worked, Jordan. But I’ll give you and Gavin an ‘A’ for effort.”
“What are you talking about?” Jordan asked with feigned innocence. “When you moved to the city last year, Gavin merely suggested that Ronan should look out for you. He’s been a cop there for over a decade. Besides. I heard through the McGuire brother grapevine that you two have been going running on the weekends, so Ronan can’t be all bad.”
Nope. That was half the problem. He was exactly the right kind of bad.
They had been going jogging in Central Park almost every weekend for the past several months but Maddy had made it clear from the start: she wasn’t interested in dating. Not him, nor anyone else. Friends? Sure? Romance? No way.
Her heart couldn’t take another turn through the shredder. Dating a cop, just because he also happened to be one of the sexiest men God ever put on this earth, would not be a smart move.
Besides, Ronan had a reputation as a total ladies’ man.
Not that she could blame any woman for taking a ride on that handsome train. When he flashed that lopsided grin and his bluish-green eyes crinkled at the corners, it took superwoman strength for Maddy to not drop her panties. He was a combination of mischievous little boy and irresistible alpha male—a deadly pairing.
Ronan McGuire was wickedly sexy. The worst part was, he knew it.
“Well, yeah,” Maddy said quickly. She sat at her desk and spun the chair so she could see the rest of the world. Living and working in this city made her feel like a rat in a cage sometimes. “Running around, getting sweaty and panting in the cold is not exactly dating, Jordan.”
“Sweaty and panting sounds promising,” Jordan teased.
Maddy’s face flushed. “That’s not what I meant.” She quickly added, “I was talking about Bowser.”
“Sure,” her friend said slowly. “Sure you were.”
“You know Ronan doesn’t go anywhere without that dog. Speaking of which, are you prepared to have a drooling animal at your wedding?”
“Oh fine, change the subject,” Jordan sighed. “Any chance I can talk you into coming for Thanksgiving?”
“Sorry, babe. I’m slammed.”
“Then how about staying for Christmas? The wedding is on the 23rd. Come on. Please? The girls would love it,” she said, referring to her two adorable daughters. “You’re going to be here for a week, so what’s a couple more days? You said they were closing your office between Christmas and New Year’s anyway.”
Maddy had never been part of big family holidays and that had been fine by her, but the pleading tone in Jordan’s voice was starting to make her rethink her decision.
“You know the holidays were never a big deal for me, Jordan. My mom hated celebrating it after my dad died and then once she was gone, I didn’t really want to. And besides,” she added quickly, “Rick and I never even got a tree or anything. He was always working and so was I.”
“I know but I hate to think of you alone in that big city on Christmas. Again. It’s bad enough you wouldn’t come last year. Please think about it?”
“I’m hosting a huge New Year’s Eve party for my clients—it’s at my apartment.”
“You could leave on the twenty sixth and still be back in plenty of time to be party ready,” Jordan persisted. “I’m sorry but I’ll have to call bullshit on that reason. You and I both know your assistant has got the whole shindig already tied up and ready to go.”
Jordan was right. The party was a lame excuse not to spend the holiday with them. Besides, it was all being catered and the invitations had been sent. What did Maddy really have to do other than show up and schmooze? And what was here for her on Christmas? She didn’t even have a cat or a fish to feed.
Ugh. She felt more pathetic by the second.
“Okay,” she said with a dramatic sigh. “I’ll think about it. Jeez. When did you become such a nudge?”
“Since I had two children and learned that being a nudge can sometimes be quite effective.”
A knock on Maddy’s door sent a flicker of irritation up her back. But when she spun around, Sharon’s tear-stained face stopped her cold.
“Girl, I have to go.” A knot of dread curled in her gut. “I’ll see you in a few weeks. Give Gracie and Lilly a kiss from Aunt Maddy.”
Maddy hit end and set the phone on her desk. Her legs felt like Jell-O as she rose to her feet. Sharon was still weeping while she closed the door behind her, and before it shut Maddy saw two of the other agents in the office crying.
“Sharon, what is it?”
“Th-they found her.”
“Who?” Maddy asked shakily, her fingertips pressing into the mahogany desk. But she knew the answer before Sharon said it.
“Lucille Bowman.” The young woman swiped at her eyes and let out a shuddering sob. “She’s dead.”

 

 

About the Author

FOLLOW: Website /Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads/ TSU

Sara HumphreysSara Humphreys is the award-winning author of the Amoveo Legend series. The third book in the series, Untamed, won two PRISM awards: Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. The first two novels from her Dead in the City series have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award. Sara was also a professional actress. Some of her television credits include A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me. She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie, but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook. For a full list of Sara’s books and reading order, please visit her Website.

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Sara’s publisher is offering a paper copy of BRAVE THE HEAT book one in her McGuire Brothers series to ONE(1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

Brave the Heat

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Devil and the Deep (Deep Six #2) by Julie Ann Walker-Promotion and Giveaway

Devil and The Deep (Deep Six #2) by Julie Ann Walker-Promotion and Giveaway

Julie Ann Walker Giveaway

In anticipation of the July 5, 2016 release of DEVIL AND THE DEEP (Deep Six #2) by Julie Ann Walker,  Julie Ann’s publisher is offering a paper copy of HELL OR HIGH WATER and DEVIL AND THE DEEP exclusively to ONE (1) member at The Reading Cafe.

Devil and the Deep

DEVIL AND THE DEEP
Deep Six #2
by Julie Ann Walker
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, military, romance

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

The former SEALs of The Deep Six return in a sizzling series from New York Times and
USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker.

A COVERT MISSION
Maddy Powers’s life revolves around cocktail parties, political fundraisers, and charity events – but she can’t forget the daring former SEAL who appropriated her father’s yacht a few months ago … or the scorching kiss they shared before he disappeared into the deep blue sea.

SPARKS A FLAMING DESIRE
Bran Pallidino carries a dark secret behind his lady-killer eyes – one that keeps him from pursuing a serious relationship with Maddy. But when she’s taken hostage during a trip to the Dry Tortugas, the men of Deep Six Salvage drop their treasure hunt for a sunken galleon and embark on a dangerous mission to save Maddy.

WITH EARTH-SHATTERING REPERCUSSIONS
As they fight her merciless kidnappers, they discover this isn’t a simple hostage situation, but something far more sinister. Passion boils between Bran and Maddy, but what good is putting their hearts on the line if they don’t survive the dawn?

________________

Hell or High WaterHELL OR HIGH WATER
Deep Six #1
by Julie Ann Walker
Release Date:
Genre: adult, contemporary, military, romance

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository

In a world on the brink…

Six men. One sunken Spanish galleon. Millions in gold and silver coins lying on the ocean floor. And a past that refuses to let the guys of Deep Six Salvage forget the Navy SEAL motto: the only easy day was yesterday…

There’s more than one kind of treasure…

The nation’s security has always been CIA agent Olivia Mortier’s top priority. But a mission-gone-wrong has begun to make her wonder if there’s more to life than risking hers.

And more than one secret at the bottom of the sea…

Only two things could make Leo Anderson abandon his hunt for the legendary lost ship, La Santa Christina, and return to the world of weapons and warfare he swore to leave behind: a capsule of enriched uranium, lost on the ocean floor, and a plea for assistance from the one woman he can’t seem to forget..

about the author

Julie Ann WalkerFOLLOW Julie: Facebook / Goodreads / Website / Twitter

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of award-winning romantic suspense. She has won the Book Buyers Best Award, been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award. Her latest release was named a Top Ten Romance of 2014 by Booklist. Her books have been described as “alpha, edgy, and downright hot.” Most days you can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

Be sure to sign up for Julie’s occasional newsletter at: http://julieannwalker.com

Giveaway Black and Orange

Julie Ann Walker and her Publisher are offering a paper copy of HELL OR HIGH WATER and DEVIL AND THE DEEP to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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8. Giveaway runs from May 28 to June 2, 2016

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Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10) by Maya Banks-Review & Giveaway

Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10) by Maya Banks-Review & Giveaway

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DARKEST BEFORE DAWN
KGI #10
by Maya Banks
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic suspense

Darkest Before Dawn

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository / BAM

About the book: Release Date October 27, 2015

The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they’ve known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock’s true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he’s been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She’s the only woman who’s ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he’s spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

Review:

Honor Cambridge has dedicated her life to helping in war torn areas of the Middle East. When the camp she’s been volunteering at is bombed, she is the only one who survives. As the attackers are searching to make sure there are no survivors, she gets lucky in that they don’t discover that she’s alive. Even though she’s injured, she knows that she has to put as much distance between her and the camp as she can. She travels by night and finds hidey holes to rest in during the day, until she runs across a female in a village who is willing to help her, even though she knows that she herself could be killed for aiding Honor. There is a price on Honor’s head…………

Hancock has been trying to take out an enemy who is the epitome of evil. When his “boss” informs him that his next mission is to find the American woman who has outsmarted the very faction that he’s been trying to infiltrate for years, he can feel in his bones that he’s close to attaining his goal. As he and his team head out to track down the woman who has managed to stay two steps ahead of those searching for her, he has no idea how much everything is about to change.

It doesn’t take too long for Hancock and his team to locate Honor in the very village where she has found somewhat of a champion. When Hancock convinces Honor that they are her only option, she reluctantly goes with them. He’s promised to keep her safe and deliver her. Unfortunately for Honor, she thinks that she’s going to be going home. Once she figures out that she is no more than a pawn to be sacrificed for the greater good, she has never felt more betrayed. Neither has Hancock. He let his target slip away a couple of times before by helping KGI, but has vowed that he will not do so again. What follows is a series of highs and lows that will change everything.

I’ve been waiting for Hancock’s story for a long time now. I think most fans of KGI have been as well. Hancock has walked the line between good and bad for a long time. There have been times in previous books where you wanted to strangle him and times where you were cheering for him. His back story lets you in on why he has such a hard time letting down his guard. He’s had a hard life full of betrayal and heartbreak. But, when he meets Honor we see that guard slipping. He is so torn between saving one or letting down possibly thousands. Honor perplexed me. One minute she’s very understanding of being “sacrificed” and the next she is mad, albeit deservedly so. She is attracted to Hancock and his sense of honor, and then turned off by the same sense of honor. And, bless her bones, she’s so torn about what’s going on between her and Hancock, that she doesn’t know which end is up. She’s just not what I imagined Hancock’s woman would be.

There is a lot of action in this story, which I love. I just didn’t think that the romance was prevalent until the very last part of the book. We get to see pretty much all of the KGI folks in this one, so that’s always a big plus. If I were to pick one thing to be critical of, it would be the repetitiveness. The same thing gets said a lot. (I think I’ve said in other reviews that that seems to be a trend with a lot of authors lately.) The book was very long, and usually that’s a good thing for me, but not with this one. I did like the fact that there was a political undertone in this one that is current. With all of that said, I really liked the book. I just didn’t love it and I usually love anything in the KGI series. Fans of this series will like the fact that Hancock finally got his story. I look forward to the next installment. Well done, Maya Banks!

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M.

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Maya’s publisher and The Reading Cafe are offering a paper copy of DARKEST BEFORE DAWN to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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10. Giveaway runs from October 29-November 2, 2015

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