All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

ALL I WANT FOR HALLOWEEN by Marie Harte-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

All I Want For Halloween

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 26, 2017

When Sadie Liberato is cajoled by her brother to attend a costume party a month before Halloween, she had no idea she’d fall for a handsome devil in a mask. Or that she’d have one hellishly fine encounter in the dark. But when her masked devil turns out to be Gear Blackstone, fallen TV reality star of the super popular show, Motorcycle Madnezz, she wonders if this is a match made in heaven or hell.

••••••••••••

REVIEW: ALL I WANT FOR HALLOWEEN by Marie Harte is a stand alone, contemporary adult, erotic romance story line set in the world of the author’s McCauley Brothers, The Donnigans, and the Body Shop Bad Boys series. This is reality star and mechanic Harrison ‘Gear’ Blackstone, and bakery shop chef Sadie Liberato’s story line. ALL I WANT FOR HALLOWEEN can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Sadie and Gear) ALL I WANT FOR HALLOWEEN follows the building relationship between reality star and mechanic Gear Blackstone, and pastry chef Sadie Liberato. A month before Halloween Sadie found herself up against the wall, in the throws of passion, with a man she knew only as the tall, dark and brooding Satan. Enter Harrison ‘Gear’ Blackstone, a man whose entire life had been exposed on reality TV, as his best friend and fiancé, took their secret relationship into the public eye. Tired of the bullsh*t, fame and constant paparazzi, Gear walked away without a backwards glance. Meeting Sadie Liberato, the feisty pastry chef, and ardent protector of everything Gear Blackstone, started our couple towards a happily ever after that could have ended before it all began.

Sadie Liberato has been burned in the past; her former lover cheated on her with a friend, and now trusting any other man brings back too many bad memories for our heroine to let loose and fall in love. Sadie is a strong willed, hold nothing back kind of woman who is willing to protect the people in her life including the man with whom she is falling in love. Gear Blackstone had enough of the fake ‘reality’ of Motorcycle Madnezz, but finding Sadie brought everything into perspective including the desire to step away from the fame and fortune of his own television show, and back into the quiet solitude of owning his own garage. Battered and bruised by the cheating scandal between his co-stars Gear walked away without looking back if only the paparazzi and his former co-stars would leave him alone.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Gear’s parents Otis and Orchid Blackstone, his sister Iris, and his brother Thorvold aka Thor; as well as Gear’s ex-fiance Sahara, and best friend Brian ‘B-Man’ Gandanna, and fellow bike mechanics Smoke and Chains. We are introduced to Sadie’s father Tony Liberato, her brother and owner of Sofa’s Bakery Elliott, and their sister Rose and her husband Joe. There is plenty of back and forth, quick witted banter between siblings, parents and friends.

The world building focuses on the behind the scenes turmoil of a reality television series, the fall out of infidelity, secrets and lies, and the potential life altering changes when two people find one another in a darkened corner, as they hide away from the real world.

ALL I WANT FOR HALLOWEEN is a fun and sexy read. The premise is engaging; the characters are colorful and animated; the romance is seductive and energetic, without the over the top, sexually graphic language and text. I am looking forward to future story lines focusing on the Liberato and Blackstone siblings.

Copy supplied for review by the publisher

Reviewed by Sandy

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excerpt

 

The music’s tempo jolted the partyers to new heights of enthusiasm.
“Great DJ,” Devil said, his foot tapping to the beat.
She found herself doing the same. “No kidding.” She eyed the tiny corn dogs on his plate. He had half a dozen. She wondered if he’d miss one… “Hey, is that B-Man over there?” she asked.
When he turned his head, she stole an appetizer off his plate and shoved it in her mouth. Oh yeah, Elliot would be thrilled to see her display her “house manners” in public.
The devil turned back to her. “Not him.” He frowned at his plate, then at her full mouth. “Did you just steal my food?”
“Nope,” she answered around a mouthful.
He stared at her for a moment, then burst into laughter. It was a full-bodied laugh, holding nothing back. Charming and real. She put Devil at the top of her list.
She swallowed, wishing she had something more to drink. As he finished off his plate, he glanced at her clean one, then at her. When he sighed and handed her his beer, she took it gratefully.
“No backwash, I promise.” She opened her mouth to show him hers was clean, then downed half the bottle. “Damn, that was good.”
He blinked. “Ah, you want more?”
“No, no. You drink that. I’ll go get some.”
She moved to go, but he grabbed her arm. They both paused. Together, they glanced down at his large hand on her wrist, and he dropped her arm. “Ah, that’s okay. You stay here. I’ll get you something. Beer? More chow?”
She nodded. “Um, both, thanks. I’ll save your place.”
He left, and she watched his progress as he cut a swath through the crowd. Yes, the devil made his own path. This time, no one bothered him as he returned posthaste. To her surprise, she was glad. The guy smelled good, a hint of subtle cologne that went straight to her head. He had a kickin’ body and a great smile. But that air of Don’t fuck with me really turned her on—ah, made her amenable to his presence.
Talk about a wordy mouthful. At the thought, she found herself glancing down his body to see what else might be a mouthful.
Jesus, Sadie. Get your head out of the gutter, girl.
“You okay?” Temptation leaned closer. “You look a little flushed.”
“You can tell in this lighting?” she teased, trying to get it together.
“Good point.” He handed her a beer, placed his own down on the table, and then put a plate overloaded with goodies on top of their empties. “This is to share. To share,” he said slowly.
“Yeah, yeah. Man, I’m starved.” She fell on the plate as if the Russians were coming.
To her amusement, he fought with her for the cheese curls as much as for the mini egg rolls, and they devoured the snacks in good company.
They talked with their mouths full, making fun of the drunken genie as well as several unsuccessful hookups on the dance floor.
“Oh, now that had to hurt,” the devil said. “Rejected by a zombie and her warty witch friend.”
“Yeah, but he’s not taking it personally.” Sadie took another sip of beer, loving the fact he hadn’t gotten her a sissy glass to drink from. “See? He’s turning from the undead to slutty doctor chick.”
“Slutty? Isn’t that non-PC?” he sneered, and she thought he sounded familiar, but the loud music made it difficult to tell. “Because I say the wrong thing about a woman, not a ‘chick,’ and I’m a caveman asshole setting women’s rights back twenty years.”
“Well, I can say slutty. You have to say sexually adventurous.” Sadie grinned. “Kind of like telling a gay guy he’s a raging homo. Now I can say that, because my brother earned the title. But you try telling him that, and he’ll knock your head off. And call him anything else, and I’ll knock your head off.” She hefted her fake sword before leaning it against the wall. “Don’t try me.”
He shrugged. “You have a sword. I have a pitchfork…somewhere. I think I left it by the bar.” He glanced across the room. “But hey, I have no plans to tangle with your brother. I’m here to sin until this thing is over. Nothing else, and no fights.” He paused, and she swore he added something else under his breath.
At that moment, her brother appeared in the crowd, his gaze searching.
“Shit.”
“What?”
She took Devil by the waist and turned him, noticing how he tensed but ignoring it. “Sorry. I’m having fun not mingling, and my brother is right over there looking for me.”
He relaxed and glanced over his shoulder. “Which one?”
“See the Phantom? He’s a pain in my ass, much as I love him. I didn’t want to come to this tonight, you know.”
“Yeah? Me neither.” He stayed where he was, still watching the dance floor. “Uh-oh. He’s looking over here.”
“Crap, crap, crap. This is a primo spot!” She did what any smart woman in her situation would do. She turned Devil so he completely blocked her from Elliot. “I need to blend in. Work with me, would you?”
“Sure, what—?”
She wrapped her arms around his thick neck and dragged him down for a kiss.
At the taste of his lips against hers, she shuddered, not having expected he’d taste better than his beer, or that up close and personal he’d smell like man and sex and chocolate. Chocolate?
Jesus, she must have had too much to drink.
Then he dragged her closer and deepened the angle of their kiss.
Sadie forgot about her brother, about the last crab cake on the plate, about how much she didn’t want to be at the party.
And fell into the arms of a man who kissed like the devil himself.


 

 

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.

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Just The Thing (The Donnigans #2) by Marie Harte-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

JUST THE THING (The Donnigans #2) by Marie Harte-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Just The Thing

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About the book: Release Date July 4, 2017

A FLING MIGHT BE JUST THE THING…
Gavin Donnigan left the Marine Corps a shell of a man, hounded by guilt for deaths he couldn’t prevent. But teaching a self-defense class at the local gym brings some stability to his life–along with a gorgeous leggy, black haired woman who won’t give him the time of day.

Zoe York lost her twin sister to a freak car accident a few months ago. She’s been struggling to bury her grief, but it isn’t until she signs up for a self-defense class with its distractingly hot instructor that she begins to come out of her shell again. With the memory of her sister telling her to live a little, Zoe decides a fling with buns-of-steel Gavin Donnigan might be just the thing.

Soon they’re sparring both in and out of the gym. And for the first time in a long time, each is looking forward to tomorrow.

•••••••

REVIEW: JUST THE THING is the second installment in Marie Harte’s contemporary, adult THE DONNIGANS erotic, romance series focusing on the Donnigan family. This is Marine Gavin Donnigan, and medical IT programmer Zoe York’s story line. JUST THE THING can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. THE DONNIGANS is a spin off from Marie Harte’s THE MCCAULEY BROTHERS and BODY SHOP BAD BOYS series. You do not have to have read the previous series to follow the spin off. The Donnigan and The McCauley siblings are cousins.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Gavin and Zoe) JUST THE THING follows the building romance between Marine Gavin Donnigan, and medical IT programmer Zoe York. Working as a trainer at the local gym since returning stateside and medically discharged from active duty Gavin has had his eye on Zoe York for several months. But all attempts at flirtation and fun have been pushed aside by the black-haired beauty and no matter what he does, Zoe continues to play hard to get until one day Gavin is surprised that Zoe is willing to give him a chance. What ensues is the building relationship between Zoe and Gavin, and the fall out when Gavin’s past continues to destroy his peace of mind.

Gavin Donnigan was released from active duty following a mission that went horribly wrong. Not only did Gavin survive a gunshot wound weeks before, but several of his fellow Marines didn’t make it home alive, and our hero now has issues with survivors guilt and PTSD. Throughout the story line we are up close and personal with Gavin’s struggle to move on with his life including the ability to fall in love with the woman that calls to his heart. Zoe York lost her twin sister to a car accident months before and she battles the what-ifs and whys at different times during the day. Moving forward has been a struggle, but each day makes it easier to remember the good time with the sister that she lost. Falling in love with Gavin Donnigan found our heroine looking forward to the future, a future that is in jeopardy with Gavin’s inability to accept the loss of his fellow Marines.

The relationship between Gavin and Zoe is one of immediate attraction but both agree that a permanent relationship at this time in their lives may not be forthcoming. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic, and intense. Gavin is willing to submit to the woman he jokingly calls his Mistress.

We are reintroduced to Gavin’s brother Landon and his fiancé Ava Rosenthal, youngest brother Theo and sister Hope, as well as their parents Linda and Van. The Donnigan siblings, as well as newcomers Ava and Zoe, and the Donnigan parental units, continue to play pranks on one another that can get carried away rather quickly. Gavin’s counselor /therapist Lee must remained focused on the man who is slowly succumbing to guilt and remorse; Mac Jameson-the owner of Jameson’s Gym who keeps a steady work environment for our leading hero, and several family members of the men Gavin lost to the war who are desperate to learn anything they can about what happened to the men that they lost. Zoe’s aunt Piper is a firecracker and says it like it is; and Zoe’s co-workers at the SMP Medical Group Mark Swanson and Cleo Brewer butt heads at every turn. There are also several characters who cross over from the author’s Body Shop Bad Boys and The McCauley Brothers series for familiarity and cohesion.

JUST THE THING is a story with moments of laughter and fun; heartbreak and sorrow; emotional breakdowns and too many tears. The premise is engaging, entertaining, dramatic and sorrowful; the characters are colorful, dynamic and real; the romance is spicy, seductive and passionate. JUST THE THING is the story of one man’s struggle to move forward with his life, and the woman who accepts the man that he has become.

Click HERE for Sandy’s Review of book 1-A SURE THING

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

excerpt

 

Thursday evening, Zoe gaped at the address Gavin had sent her to. She’d been lucky enough to dodge her mother’s phone calls, had missed Cleo stopping by earlier this evening, and had ignored Piper’s texts. Otherwise, she would have shared news of a date she wanted to keep to herself.
Now she had to get through said date without jumping the poor man. Every time she thought about how long she’d sat on him in the gym—knowing exactly what he felt like in those thin shorts, every inch of him excited to be with her—her world turned upside down. Not a prude by any means, she’d still never ground over an aroused man in a public place when she barely knew more than his name.
Well, she’d wanted to do a one-eighty from her normal routine. Cleo and Piper would be pleased. Or at least, they might be if Zoe decided to confide details about this date. Then again, depending on how tonight went, she might never speak to Gavin again. She sure the hell wouldn’t be sleeping with him on their first night out together.
So sad she had to keep reminding herself of that. No one-night stands.
Ever?
Ignoring temptation, she shut her fantasies down tight. No, never.
After parking in the stone driveway of a huge old Victorian house on a nice piece of property in Magnolia,—a pricey area of Seattle that boasted quiet streets, lots of greenery, and amazing views of Puget Sound,—she cautiously left the car. She stared at the house with suspicion, wondering just what Gavin had in store.
He opened the door to greet her. Wearing a pair of well-worn jeans and a faded blue sweatshirt, he looked at home and way too handsome for her peace of mind.
She’d dressed down in jeans and a sweater over a thin T-shirt. With the cool spring evenings, she normally dressed heavier for comfort. A smart idea, considering she had no idea if they’d be indoors or outside tonight.
“This is your place?” she asked, not believing for a second he lived in such a grand, landscaped home. It just seemed all wrong for him.
He chuckled. “Nah. It belongs to a friend of my sister’s. Hope’s house-sitting, but she’s letting me borrow it tonight.”
Zoe followed him into the huge house. It had rich mahogany furnishings, a few sculptures that looked like they cost in the thousands, and the feel of a professional interior designer. No dust, no mess, and everything had its place.
Following him through the entrance and down the hallway, past the stairs to the kitchen, she stopped and gawked. The kitchen had to be as large as her living room, dining room, and pantry combined. It had an island, marble countertops, two sinks, stainless-steel appliances, and a Viking stove—the same high-end one Piper had in her kitchen. A large vase of flowers sat on the island, while the glossy oak table off to the back looked over an expansive patio, which in turn overlooked the ocean.
“Holy crap. This is amazing.”
“I know, right?” Gavin nodded. “Go on, check it out. But keep your sweater on. The fun’s outside.”
“Not sure what that means, but give me a minute. I need some time to take this in.” She walked around the kitchen some more, while he went out to the patio and down some steps to the backyard.
After sadly affirming that she’d never have a kitchen this grand, she made mental notes to share with Cleo, a fellow HGTV addict who would go gaga over this house.
A few moments later, Zoe stepped outside on the patio, looking for Gavin. She still had no idea why he’d brought her to someone else’s home, but it had been worth the drive just to see that kitchen.
“Gavin?” The stone deck ran the entire length of the back of the house and had plenty of room for a table and chair, potted flowers and plants, and a snazzy fire pit embedded in the ground. It was surrounded by rock that had been built up, no doubt to provide a measure of safety.
A glance beyond the deck showed the Sound in all its glory. The sun was setting, and an indigo sky surrounded a blanket of clouds trying to block out the rising moon—and failing. The wind picked up, bringing a chill to the air. But the crisp scent of salt water cleaned everything around her.
Zoe breathed in and out, knowing a sense of serenity she’d been missing of late.
“Over here,” Gavin called.
She gave up her view of the water and found him on the side of house, in a corner of the lot with trees on one side and the patio on the other. Talk about a nice amount of privacy. The clearing had several boxes filled with green and growing things. And there, in the distance, a small greenhouse.
She blinked, feeling as if she’d stepped into her version of heaven.
“Well? Don’t just stand there.” Gavin nodded at a small assortment of gardening tools on the ground beside him. A trowel, a weeder, a spade, and a shovel. “The gloves are for you.”
They looked brand new. She picked up the pink set, tugged off the tags, and put them on. “Pink?”
He smiled. “You like ’em? Maybe you can wear them with your yoga pants at the gym sometime.”
“You’re obsessed with those pants, aren’t you?”
He chuckled. “Come on. We need to weed.” He crouched down and reached a hand out to some overflowing green. “But I’m not sure if that’s a plant or—”
“Stop. That’s not a weed.” She gently nudged him out of the way before he could kill the coreopsis and garden phlox around some limp tulips. He handed her the snips, and she clipped the spent tulip blooms, then did a bit more pruning and pulled a few real weeds. She showed him the difference, then answered his questions about what to plant when and how to separate a few daylily bulbs that really should have been split before now. So lost in the gardening, it took Zoe a good half an hour before she realized this was to be the extent of her date.
Peering over her shoulder, she frowned at Gavin and turned to face him, standing so that they could look eye to eye. Or rather, eye to throat. She had to glance up to see his gaze. “This is our date?” Gardening?
The pleasure seemed to leach out of him as he looked down at her. “Uh, yeah. Why? You don’t like it? We don’t have to play around all night in the dirt or anything.”
“You thought I’d like weeding someone else’s garden for hours?”
He sighed. “Stupid idea, right?”
“No, not at all.” She stared at him. “How did you know I’m into plants?” Fascinating. He’d chosen one of her favorite things to do, and he seemed to be interested in her explanations about planting and zones and soil type.
“I overheard you at the gym. You and Loretta talk about gardens as if they’re the second coming. I wanted to do something different with you, and I thought you might like this.” He smiled. “You did say sex was off the table.”
She nodded absently, disconcerted that he’d read her so well. “I like this. Do you?”
He flexed his dirty fingers, because he apparently hadn’t bought himself any gloves. “Surprisingly, yeah. It feels…good.” He looked bewildered. “It’s just dirt and flowers. But I like putting it all together, maybe seeing it grow.” He stared at her as if she had the answers.
“That’s what I like about it too. I have a small garden in my backyard. I spend a lot of time caring for my flowers and veggies. It’s fun for me, and I like knowing my hard work will pay off in tomatoes or green beans, maybe even cucumbers.”
“Fresh is best,” he agreed.
She smiled with him. The moon darted behind clouds, then broke out over them both once more. She shivered when the wind made another pass.
“Wait here,” Gavin ordered. “I mean, don’t stop digging and stuff. I’ll be back.”
He left, and she assumed a new spot by another bed, where lilies and clusters of out-of-control lavender congregated. He returned with a tray of cocoa and marshmallows, all served on some fancy-looking crockery. “Wasn’t sure if you liked coffee or tea, but thought I couldn’t go wrong with cocoa.”
“Yes.” Chocolate, one of her major weaknesses. She tried to eat healthy, but the heaven known as liquid milk chocolate constantly called to her. As did those mini marshmallows.
He handed her a mug and watched her with intense eyes.
After a few decadent sips, she frowned. “Do I have marshmallow on my lip or something?” Then she licked her lips just to be sure they were clean.
“Did you have to do that? I’ve been so good, behaving myself.” He took the mug from her and set it on the wooden border of the flowerbed, then moved into her personal space.
She refused to back up, so they stood so close that she nearly bumped his chin when she tilted her face up to see him better.
“You’re so pretty. Even when you’re not wearing pink,” he teased, his voice soft on the cool wind.
The moment seemed like a freeze frame from the most romantic scene ever. She still tasted chocolate. The moon overhead lit everything with a preternatural glow. The scents of earth and lavender and Gavin filled her head, until she could focus on nothing but him.
“Gavin?” She didn’t know what she was asking him for, but the promise of safety in his eyes drew her closer.
“I’m gonna kiss you now,” he said, his voice low, warm.
She nodded.
He leaned closer at the same time she did.
Their coming together felt amazing. Perfect. Right. The kiss shook her. Deep, sensual, yet not as close as she wanted. His tongue swept her mouth, caressing while he took charge of the embrace. But not once did he overwhelm her. Instead, she followed him, sip for sip, and let the rush of her heartbeat pull her into a tide of longing she couldn’t suppress. Not now, surrounded by all her favorite things.
“Gavin,” she murmured when he kissed his way from her mouth down her cheek to her throat.
He pulled her to him, but their clothes kept them too far apart. Gentle bites down her throat ended in a soft kiss that caused a full-body shiver.
“Cold?” he whispered as he straightened.
She shook her head, unable to speak, and blinked into his shuttered gaze. Then he made everything worse. He tucked her head under his chin and hugged her with affection. No way she could chalk this up as a gambit to get her to bed, not when he had the gall to make her feel.
With a sigh, he ended the embrace and pulled back. “Now show me which ones I can pull and which ones I can’t.” He nodded at the third flower bed they hadn’t gotten to yet, not winded or affected by their kiss, apparently. Hell. Zoe couldn’t feel his heartbeat through their clothes, but hers raced like a thoroughbred intent on taking the Triple Crown.
The bastard had the nerve to wipe a clean thumb over her lower lip, causing that thoroughbred to run past the finish line with no signs of stopping.
“I have the urge to flip you again, right here,” she rasped. For starting something he wouldn’t finish. And for making her want to finish it, regardless of their newness.
He smirked, as if reading her mind. “I know. I can’t stop thinking about us in the gym either.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
He wiggled his brows. “I think it is. Next time I’m flat on my back, I’ll be thinking only of you, Mistress.”
“You’re such a pain.”
“I know. It’s a gift.”
She wanted to smack him, so she did. When his laughter ended, she pulled him close and planted a kiss on him that had him panting and grabbing for her—but this time she had the presence of mind to disentangle herself. “Now,” she said, her voice hoarse, “grab that trowel and let’s get back to work.”
He kept staring at her mouth. “Trowel?”
She groaned, because she wanted to get back to that kiss as well. “Why me?”

 

 

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.

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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

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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.

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

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

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

3. Please follow Marie Harte on FACEBOOK.

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

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

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

7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from February 2-6, 2017

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Contract Signed (Triggerman, Inc #1) by Marie Harte-Review and Excerpt tour

CONTRACT SIGNED (Triggerman,Inc #1) by Marie Harte-Review and Excerpt tour

Contract Signed

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Google Play  / ibooks /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 17, 2017

Three assassins and a… baby?

Triggerman, Inc., Book 1

Noel “Ice” Cavanaugh’s method is foolproof. Get in, do the job, get out, melt away without a trace. Chill out until his next mark is assigned. Neat. Tidy. No mistakes.

This time, though, something isn’t right. Two somethings. First a random attack that feels not-so-random. Then he discovers someone’s left a baby on his doorstep with a note claiming it’s his. And the sexy neighbor who found the boy first has too many questions in her eyes to ignore.

When her handsome, mysterious neighbor suddenly asks her out on a date, Adeline Rose has suspicions he’s fishing for “help” with his bundle of…joy? By date’s end, she’s convinced Nick’s just as distant as he seems—until a scorching goodnight kiss ends with sex against the nearest wall, the heat between them burning away all thoughts of careful.

Now Noel has more than one problem on his hands. Splitting baby duty between three badass assassins, figuring out how to fit more time with Addy into his no-room-for-error schedule…and keeping both of them safe from the danger he’s increasingly sure has followed him home.

Product Warnings
Beware a killer with a heart of gold, a baby who needs constant changing, and unrequited love that’s actually quite…requited.

••••••••••

REVIEW: CONTRACT SIGNED is the first installment in Marie Harte’s contemporary adult TRIGGERMAN, INC romantic suspense series. This is hired assassin/secret government agent Noel ‘Ice’ Cavanaugh, and elementary school teacher Adeline ‘Addy’ Rose’s story line.

Told from several third person perspectives including Addy and Noel, CONTRACT SIGNED follows the building relationship between thirty year old government agent/ assassin Noel ‘Ice’ Cavanaugh, and twenty six year old elementary school teacher Adeline ‘Addy’ Rose, and Noel’s desperate need to protect the woman with whom he is falling in love. Noel is a contractor for the ‘Business’, a secret government organization that ‘takes care’ of the filth and political low lifes destroying people’s lives. But a number of recent attempts on Noel’s life, seemingly unconnected to his current contract finds Noel calling in a couple of other agents whose own connections to Noel grow over night. A four month old baby boy is left with Noel’s neighbor Addy Rose along with a note proclaiming Noel is the father. What ensues is the search for the truth about the abandoned baby boy; the building romance between Addy and Noel; and Noel’s attempts to stay one step ahead of whomever is out to destroy his life.

Addy Rose has lusted after her quiet, withdrawn neighbor for close to two years; a man so distant that Addy struggles to see past the cold and darkened façade but a man who tugs at Addy’s heart. Noel is an agent; raised on the streets of hard life and trained to be a killer by the man in charge.

The relationship between Addy and Noel begins as neighbors then friends leading to lovers and more. Noel has secretly coveted his sexy neighbor but his lifestyle is not conducive to relationships or love. With both of their lives threatened by an unknown source Noel reluctantly brings Addy into his life risking the truth about his present and the past. The $ex scenes are intimate, provocative and intense.

We are introduced to Noel’s fellow agents: Deacon, a thief known as the Shadow, and Hammer aka the Destroyer, as well as their handler, a man known only to the reader as Big Joe but a man who remains in the background giving out assignments and cleaning up when a job is done. Addy’s best friend Solene Hansen is a former model, and day care manager who may or may not have an attraction to Deacon, and Vi, a nurse working for the Business has caught the eye of the Hammer.

The world building looks at the dangerous life of a secret agent; an assassin who has been targeted in a game of betrayal and revenge. We also get a glimpse into the softer side of three assassins for hire when a four month old baby literally falls into their lives.

CONTRACT SIGNED has moments of humor and fun; secrets and lies; romance and love. The premise is intriguing and dramatic; the characters are energetic and inspiring; the romance is passionate and intense. CONTRACT SIGNED is a moving and thrilling start to a new series.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

excerpt

 

Jesus. Not only did the woman turn him on just by breathing, she could bake too. The cookies Hammer and Deacon were wolfing down smelled delicious. But not as good as her.
“Save me a few,” he ordered, unable to look away from a blushing Addy.
“You can let me go now, Noel. I’m not going to fall.”
Deacon snickered. Hammer cleared his throat.
Much as he didn’t want to, Noel released his hold on her narrow waist. “Sure.” He didn’t step back, though.
She did. “Ah, I should go.”
“Not yet.” Noel felt frustrated. He’d been doing his best to get along with Thing 1 and Thing 2, but the idiots weren’t helping. Neither guy would admit to being the baby’s father, though they acknowledged what a great time they’d had in Mexico. The DNA results they’d sent in would take a few weeks. Until then, he refused to let the guys go home.
The baby was not his problem alone. The dirty diapers, the feedings, the constant crying—they were annoying but bearable. The kid’s adorable smiles and laughter, admittedly, warmed that coldness inside him without even trying.
The two assassins crowding his private space, invading the schedules and normalcy of his home, however, gave him constant headaches. He’d ached to shoot at least one of them ten times a day, and they’d only arrived forty-eight hours ago.
He wouldn’t have minded Addy dropping by before now, and that surprised him. He’d actually wanted to go next door several times over the past few days, to see her pretty eyes and watch her smile. Silly, but the baby was making him feel more human than he liked to admit.
At least with Hammer and Deacon in residence, he wouldn’t be stuck playing babysitter forever. No matter how cute the kid was, a baby wouldn’t fit Noel’s lifestyle. Nor would a sexy, innocent neighbor who was looking way too good in that sweater and jeans.
Remember, Noel, she’s too good for you. Way out of your league.
“Hey, Addy, how’d you like to grab some dinner sometime?” Deacon asked out of the blue.
Noel should have poisoned the playboy years ago. He glared, his control once again shot to hell. “She can’t.”
“I can’t?” Addy sounded confused.
“She’s got a date with me later.”
“I do?”
He nodded and guided her toward the front office, where he pulled them both inside then closed the door. Now standing with her in a smaller space, just the two of them, alone, he felt himself relax.
“Um, Noel? What’s going on?”
She didn’t appear pleased. Crap. Probably should have asked her out instead of ordering her.

 

 

About The Author

Marie HarteAward-winning author Marie Harte has been writing professionally since 2005. She’s both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and character. She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks and Samhain. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense.

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A Sure Thing (The Donnigans #1) by Marie Harte-Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

A Sure Thing (The Donnigans #1) by Marie Harte-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

A Sure Thing

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: RELEASE DATE November 1, 2016

Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone’s mind…

Can this Bossy Badass Marine…
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life…until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.

Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: A SURE THING is the first installment in Marie Harte’s contemporary, adult THE DONNIGANS erotic, romance series focusing the Donnigan family of Seattle. This is former Marine, and business manager Landon Donnigan, and psychologist Ava Rosenthal’s story line. THE DONNIGANS is a spin off from Marie Harte’s THE MCCAULEY BROTHERS and BODY SHOP BAD BOYS series. You do not have to have read the previous series to follow the spin off-The Donnigan and The McCauley siblings are cousins. There is a slight cross over with some of the characters.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Landon and Ava) A SURE THING follows the building relationship between businessman Landon Donnigan, and clincal psychologist Ava Rosenthal. Ava and Landon both like to work out, and first meet at a local gym where they are both members but the meeting is anything but positive as Landon tries to give, a less than receptive but independent Ava, some pointers. What ensues is Landon’s pursuit of the feisty and somewhat uptight Ava-a woman who has a five year plan and a check list of requirements about men that she dates-a list where Landon doesn’t check any of our heroine’s boxes.

Landon is a reluctant civilian-a gunshot wound ended his career in the Marines, and he is struggling to get his life on track. Our hero has a take-charge attitude, and he is trying to take charge of a woman who refuses to lose her independence. Ava is a psychologist who tends to ‘analyze’ things and the people around her, and Landon is a man who refuses to be analyzed. Ava likes order in her life, has had a number of failed online dating fiascos, and Landon pushes our heroine out of her comfort zone to try something new. The $ex scenes are erotic and provocative. Landon likes to talk dirty in the bedroom.

We are introduced to Landon’s siblings: Gavin Donnigan-a fellow, former US Marine who suffers with some PTSD; youngest brother, twenty year old Theo who has yet to find his path in life; and sister Hope whose dating history is tempestuous at best. The Donnigan siblings like to prank one another, and the results are giggle worthy throughout. The Donnigan parental units Van and Linda butt proverbial heads with Theo and Hope as the younger siblings struggle with their current paths in life. Ava’s over the top cousins Elliott, and Sadie add some comic relief and insight into Ava’s background and history. There is plenty of back and forth banter between all of the story line characters. Some of the McCauley siblings have cameo roles throughout the story.

A SURE THING is a sweet story line; a sexy but predictable romance with moments of humor and fun. The premise is engaging; the characters are dynamic and spirited; the romance is a slow build to a happily ever after.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Excerpt Black and Hot Pink

 

All in all, a perfect late evening companion. Or he would have been, if the blond giant hadn’t been making odd gestures behind Charles’s back, causing her to wonder if she should look deeper into her date than the surface perfection he’d presented.
“I hate to leave, but work tomorrow, you know.” Charles shrugged.
“I know what you mean.” She smiled. “I had a wonderful time, Charles.”
He brightened. “Me too. Would you consider dinner some evening when you’re free?” He handed her a business card. “You have my email, but here’s my number.” He gave a sheepish grin. “I confess I wrote my cell on the back earlier, hoping you’d be as lovely in person as you are online. You totally are.”
“How sweet.” She was touched.
Blond guy sounded like he was choking on something. If only.
“Dinner sounds great.” She pumped enthusiasm into her tone, because she meant it. Charles had fit all her criteria. No reason for her to feel let down by her night with him. She inwardly gave blond giant a scowl while still smiling at Charles. No, no reason at all.
“Can I kiss you good night?” Charles asked. A gentleman to his bones.
“Please.” She met his kiss on her cheek and blushed. “I look forward to our dinner.”
“Me too.” He looked flushed and brushed back a strand of hair that slipped over his forehead. “Can I walk you to your car?”
“I’m parked right next to yours.” Which sat directly out front thanks to the timely departure of two couples earlier. “But I need to use the facilities before I leave. Go on without me. I’ll call you later in the week.”
He nodded. “Sounds great. Have a good day tomorrow, Ava.”
“You too.” She watched him leave, ignored blond guy staring at her with what seemed to be a smirk, then searched for the ladies’ room. Once finished, she had every intention of leaving and not looking back.
But she paused next to blond guy and, noting the still-open seat, she sat.
“You.” She glared at him.
“Ava, huh? Pretty name.” He turned in his seat and grinned down at her while guzzling a beer.
“And you are?”
“Landon.” His grin nearly did her in, because his whole face lit up with joy, making it seem as if he’d brought the sun into the darkened restaurant. “But I’m sure there are a few other names you’d like to call me.”
“What is your problem?”
“Me? I’m good.” Before she could lay into him, he added, “But you’re not.”
She blinked. “What’s my problem, besides you?”
“You and boring guy.”
She frowned. “That’s not a nice thing to say.”
“Yeah, I’m not known for nice. But I’m honest. Honey, Charles is not the guy for you.”
“Excuse me, but Charles was a perfect gentleman.”
A jazz band started playing in the corner, making it harder to hear, so he leaned closer. Unfortunately, she got a good whiff of his cologne, and it went straight to her head. Just her luck Landon smelled like a dream.
She cleared her throat. “And my name is not ‘honey.’ It’s Ava.” She would have added Dr. Ava Rosenthal in a haughty tone, except Landon’s breath brushed her ear, and her entire body locked up. Tight.
“Ava, you need someone who makes you hot. Boring is no good. Not for someone like you.”
She’d swear his lips touched her, and her system seemed to go haywire. Her breasts tightened, she got a funny feeling in the pit of her stomach, and she clenched her thighs together, feeling a lower torso shiver from out of nowhere.
“Like me?” She felt weak and slowly pulled back.
Except that put her at eye level with the man a breath away. He was so close she saw gold flecks in the irises surrounding pinpoints of focus, directed at her. His cheekbones were high, his nose straight, arrogant, his chin square. Manly. His firm lips parted when he inhaled, as if breathing her in.

 

 

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.

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Roadside Assistance (Body Shop Bad Boys #2) by Marie Harte-Review,Interview and Giveaway

ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE (Body Shop Bad Boys #2) by Marie Harte-Review, Interview and Giveaway

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ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE
Body Shop Bad Boys #2
by Marie Harte
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance

Roadside Assistance

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

About the book: Release Date September 6, 2016

Underneath the axle grease and tats he’s a gentleman.
Foley Sanders figured he’ll always be content with a life of cars and casual hookups. Until a run-in with Cyn, a statuesque firecracker with a hate-on for men, leaves him bewitched and intrigued-much to her annoyance.

Maybe Cynthia Nichols was a little hard on Foley, that muscular, tattooed, super-hot mechanic next door. But she’s tired of feeling defensive about her size and has sworn off men. She’s got a new job, new life, perfect plan. Foley has trouble written all over him-no way is she going to fall for his charms.

Foley might look like a bad idea, but underneath, he’s all gentleman. Too bad Cyn’s not buying it. What’s a bad boy to do when the goddess of his dreams won’t give him the time of day?

••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE is the second installment in Marie Harte’s contemporary, adult BODY SHOP BAD BOYS erotic, romance series focusing on the mechanic’s at Webster’s Garage. This is mechanic Foley Sanders, and café owner Cynthia Nichols’s story line. ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 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 ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE follows the building relationship between Foley and Cyn, and the fractured family dynamics for the Nichols and Sanders’s families. Foley is a tattooed, bad boy, and a man with a past. Cynthia is a plus size, independent business woman whose self-esteem and body image have been destroyed by her toxic mother leaving our heroine with a less than idealistic view of herself and the world. When her most recent relationship failed Cyn pledged to remain celibate for the rest of her life but a mechanic with a soft spot for Cyn, and a loving relationship with his own mother has pushed Cyn’s promise of celibacy to the side. What ensues is a relationship that quickly builds into something more that may be destroyed when Cyn is unable to overcome the emotional and psychological abuse, inflicted by her mother, that continues to the present day.

The sexual attraction between Cyn and Foley is immediate but our heroine is reluctant to believe that Foley is interested in a plus size woman. Her self-esteem has been so badly damaged, that compliments and attention become fodder for arguments and fights. Foley has a protective streak when it comes to his family, and Cyn’s self-abasing attitude is difficult to overcome even for our story line hero. The $ex scenes are erotic, seductive and intense.

ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE has a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Foley’s best friend, roommate, fellow mechanic and ‘brother from another mother’ Sam whose life begins to spiral out of control when Foley becomes preoccupied with the new woman in his life. All of the mechanics at Webster’s Garage play an active role throughout the story. We are introduced to Foley’s mother Eileen, and her beau Jacob, as well as Cyn’s brother Matt and his wife Nina; Cyn’s long suffering father Vincent, and her mother Ella. The poisonous barbs and toxic relationship between Cyn and Ella make for plenty of uncomfortable moments.

The world building continues to focus on the men and women at Webster’s Garage-their friendships, the camaraderie, relationships and love-there is plenty of humor and fun when the mechanics get together for a game of darts and a couple of beers. Cynthia Nichols’ low self esteem and negative body image is a constant theme running throughout the story, and for some readers the issues may hit too close to home but in the end our heroine finds the strength to take the first steps towards recovery and finding self worth.

ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE is a story about romance and love; family and friendships; letting go of the past and moving forward with your own life. The premise is emotional and impassioned but slow to build in the early stages of the book; the characters are colorful, animated and flawed; the romance is intimate and provocative. Marie Harte’s ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE is a welcome addition to her BODY SHOP BAD BOYS erotic, romance series.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of Book 1-TEST DRIVE.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview

TRC:  Hi Marie and welcome to The Reading Cafe.

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

My name is Marie Harte, and I’m a romance writer. I’ve written over a hundred books, have hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and continue to write. I’m a mother of two boys who never seem to stop eating. I have a cat that likes to sneak attack, and I’m addicted to coffee. My family and I live in Central Oregon, and I’m in love with the mountains.

TRC:  Who or what influenced your career in writing?

My love of reading was my biggest influence. I’ve always loved to read, and I spent the majority of my younger years making up stories when I couldn’t find anything to read. Same with romance as I got older. I wrote the stories I wanted to read but couldn’t find on the shelves.

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

Ten years ago when I started writing, it was still tough to get a publishing contract with the Big 6, but it seemed like it was easier to find a connection with readers. Now, there’s so much material to wade through when it comes to romance that it’s hard to get a leg up, I think. It’s more about marketing than I’m used to or even comfortable with, and I think I sometimes am not as effective as I should be. I just want to write, but it’s so much more these days.

TRC:  Would you please tell us something about the premise of ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE?

Roadside Assistance is the story of a hard-working, sexy, rough-around-the-edges guy finding love when he’s not looking for it with a woman learning to love herself–flaws and all. Because only when she feels right about herself can she love her perfect man. Note—her perfect man. Foley has flaws, but for Cyn, he’s Mr. Right. Also, the heroine in this story deals with body issues that a lot of us struggle with, I think.

TRC:  How many books do you have planned for the BODY SHOP BAD BOYS series?

Four have been contracted, with a fifth hanging out there. The fifth book centers around characters introduced in a previous series (The McCauley Brothers) as well as Body Shop Bad Boys, so though it’s not technically a BSBB book, it kind of feels like it to me.

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

This series is about real men and women. My heroes tend to be blue-collar, rough and ready, and my heroines have real issues and real looks. They’re not all gorgeous and lily white, but characters with personality. Those characteristics drive the plots. No one’s flying to Paris for a spy chase. The men and women fight, fall in love, fight falling in love, and deal with life as it comes to them in their city of Seattle. It’s challenging to keep it real but also fun to think that hey, this could really happen to someone like me! And let’s face it, truth is often stranger than fiction. Finding unpredictable plots is as easy as sitting in a coffee shop and listening to people talk about their lives.

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?

I do. I’m a big reader, and I know that the first thing about a book I notice is the cover, then the blurb. After that, I’ll open the book to take a peek. But without a striking cover, I’m bypassing it to another book. Fortunately, I’ve been really lucky with Sourcebooks creating amazing covers for me. I mean, look at Roadside Assistance. Just…wow.

TRC:  On what are you currently working?

I’m working on the fourth Body Shop Bad Boy book, about Lou. My last wisecracking mechanic is about to meet his match in a woman who won’t give him the time of day. I LOVE stories like that!

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Thanks so much for having me. I can’t wait to share Roadside Assistance with everyone! You can find me at http://marieharte.com .

TRC: Thank you Marie for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE

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) to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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

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

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

3. Please follow Marie Harte on FACEBOOK.

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

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

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

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8. Giveaway open to USA and Canada only

9. Giveaway runs from September 5-9, 2016

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Test Drive ( Body Shop Bad Boys #1) by Marie Harte-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

TEST DRIVE (Body Shop Bad Boys #1) by Marie Harte-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

Test Drive Banner

TEST DRIVE
Body Shop Bad Boys #1
by Marie Harte
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance

Test Drive

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

About the book: Release Date June 7,2016

GET TO KNOW THE BODY SHOP BAD BOYS
Johnny, Foley, Sam, and Lou are the rough and tumble mechanics of Webster’s Garage. These reformed bad boys are used to living fast, but it’s the women in their lives who take them from zero to sixty in a heartbeat.

JOHNNY
Johnny Devlin’s a charmer with a checkered past. He has had his eye on scorching-hot bartender Lara Valley for ages, but she’s rejected him more than once. That doesn’t mean he won’t come to her aid when some dirtbag mauls her. When she asks him on a date as a no-strings-attached thank you, he can’t say no. And then he’s saying nothing but hell, yes.

•••••••

REVIEW: TEST DRIVE is the first installment in Marie Harte’s contemporary, adult BODY SHOP BAD BOYS romance series focusing on the mechanics of Webster’s Garage. 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. This is mechanic and bad boy Johnny Devlin, and bartender Lara Valley’s story line. Some of the characters from the previous series cross over including Delilah Webster, co-owner of Webster’s Garage.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Johnny and Lara) TEST DRIVE follows the building romance between auto mechanic Johnny Devlin-a man with a bad boy reputation and a string of broken hearts to prove it; and bartender/nursing student Lara Valley-a woman who is quick to judge Johnny based on his previous relationships and reputation as a player. When Lara finally consents to a ‘no strings attached’ evening out, nothing will ever be the same for our leading couple.

TEST DRIVE is a story line that is slow to build. The majority of the premise focuses on the even slower building relationship between Johnny and Lara, and Lara’s struggle to accept her sister’s personal choices including her latest divorce battle from an over controlling ex-husband. The character building is quite detailed throughout the story-TEST DRIVE has a large ensemble cast of characters-you may need a spreadsheet to keep track.

Johnny Devlin’s fellow mechanics at Webster’s Garage play a large secondary and supporting role in our hero’s life, including several good natured ribbings about their sexual prowess and success, or lack thereof, in the relationship department.

TEST DRIVE is a story about friendships and family. The romance is a slow burn; a tepid romance where Johnny must tread carefully as it concerns his relationship with Lara Valley. The push and pull of the romance is hampered by Lara’s need to keep Johnny from getting too close-she doesn’t want a repeat of any of her sister’s relationships. The premise is enjoyable; the characters are animated and many; the romance is pleasant and hopeful.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

excerpt

He grinned and waited while she opened her door. He noticed she locked it behind them, and he approved. A woman couldn’t be too careful, especially after dealing with assholes like Ron. And speaking of which…
“So have you heard from Ron since?”
“Nope, and I like it that way just fine.” She dropped her purse and hung up her jacket in the closet. Then she motioned for his, so he took it off and handed it to her. “You want something to drink?”
“What do you have?”
“Beer and water. I ran out of milk this morning.”
Another thing they had in common. A tendency to put off grocery shopping. “How about a beer?”
“Good choice.” He watched her putter in the kitchen, giving new testament to the term domestic goddess. That shoulder-baring sweater was driving him crazy with the need to pull the rest of it down. Anything to expose the creamy wealth of her breasts.
She handed him a beer and had one for herself, which he liked. She must trust him a little if she finally didn’t mind drinking with him. “Wait here.” She returned with a ratty deck of cards. “I deal.”
“I’m a guest. Shouldn’t I get to choose?” he asked as they settled at the kitchen table.
She shuffled the deck. “You’re shifty. I’ve seen you at darts.”
“That was sheer skill.”
“According to Foley, you must have stepped over the line a few times to get closer.”
He snorted. “Please. Foley’s muscles get in the way of his aim. And his brain.”
She snickered.
“I’m a precision kind of guy.” He let her ponder that one while he studied her face and, a bit more subtly, her breasts.
She glanced up but only saw him gazing innocently at her face. “Precision guy. Uh-huh. You’re shifty. I’m dealing.” She focused on the cards again.
Man, she was clever. Saw right through him. Brains always impressed the hell out of him, but wrapped in a package like hers, he had a hard time thinking about anything but making sweet love to Lara.
She kept her eyes on the cards. “And quit staring at me like I’m a lame bunny and you’re a big bad wolf.”
“I’m not—”
“Please. I can feel your pretty eyeballs all over me, Prince Charming. Drink your beer and be good, or your ass is out of here early.”
She sounded as if she meant it. The fact she’d make him work to earn her, perversely made him want to try harder. It’s like she’s playing me, and I’m letting her.
He frowned. Was she? Was this all a game to her? Had she sensed the depth of his attraction and meant to use herself as bait? The way Amber had always been able to get what she wanted out of his father? Like dancing on a pole for money, she’d danced around Jack Devlin for affection. Then once she’d gotten it, she’d walked away without a backward glance, uncaring that she’d left more than one broken heart behind.
The sad thing was that his father continued to repeat the pattern. At least Johnny knew better.
Lara set down the cards. “I was kidding, Johnny. I mean, I don’t think you’re looking at me like that. It was a joke.”
The vulnerability in her eyes touched him. No, Lara wasn’t into games. Not like that. And man, did that make him want her more—and not just for sex.
Emotional asswipe. Grow a pair, Devlin. He could almost hear Lou mocking him. He cleared his throat and felt his cheeks heat. “If you can’t feel me looking at you like that, I must be doing it wrong.”
She gave a relieved laugh and finished dealing the cards.
He spent the next forty-five minutes playing a kid’s game, when he could have been maneuvering his way into her bedroom. That he hadn’t tried to, that he’d enjoyed himself with her, trading barbs and just soaking up her company, told him more than anything that his interest in her meant something.
At first, all he’d wanted was to do her, to conquer the unattainable female. And sure, that was immature and beneath him, but he’d been a few years younger. Before he’d recognized that dimple she wore when she was happy. Or how her eyes turned a shade darker before she’d lay into a guy with a smart-ass remark, then laugh with rich enjoyment. Before he’d known she’d taste like heaven and addict him from one simple kiss. Now he wanted—he didn’t know what he wanted, but it wasn’t just sex. When was the last time he’d hung out with a woman for fun, no expectation of a fuck afterward?
Sure he wanted one. But tonight felt magical. He had no intention of ruining it. The only matter on his mind was how to get a second date with the sexy woman.
“War,” he said, pleased when two jacks popped up.
“Oh man.” She glanced from her pathetic card to his pile. “I have just enough. One card left…” She waited for him, and they turned their last cards over together.
His ace to her two of spades.
“That’s just sad.” He shook his head, flipped over her cards, and saw he’d won a face card and a few number cards. “I won the queen.” If only.
She frowned. “You must have cheated.”
“For almost an hour? If I’d wanted to win that bad, I wouldn’t have stretched this out for so long.” He stood and stretched. “Ah, that feels good. Bathroom?”
She nodded to the hall and warned, “You’d better put the seat down when you’re done, or I’ll tell everyone you made a move on me and I laughed at your tiny pride and joy.”
“Now we both know that’s a lie. Tiny. Right.” Johnny had no problem when it came to confidence in his body. He laughed his way into the bathroom and came back to see her sitting on the couch, nursing a second beer. He’d already had two and had stopped himself from having any more. He did have to drive tonight. Unfortunately.
He joined her on the couch and turned to face her instead of dragging her into his lap. “There’s something we need to get clear.”
“Oh?”
He fucking loved that challenging light in her eyes. Antagonizing yet playful. “Yeah, oh. That comment you made about me enjoying the stripper lifestyle.”
“Do tell.” She set her beer down.
“It’s more a lifestyle proclivity than a fetish for strippers.”
“You are just whipping out the big words right and left,” she teased. “But color me intrigued. How is it a ‘lifestyle proclivity’?”
“Simple. My dad has always had a thing for strippers. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good athlete.”
“I’ll bet you do.”
“But I grew up around ‘Daddy’s friends’ and saw most of them as mother figures.” Before they’d inevitably take off. “What can I say? My dad is fascinated with ti—ah, with breasts.”
Her lips quirked.
“Trust me when I say the glamour of naked breasts lost its luster years ago. Strippers are just hard-working women who happen to take their clothes off for a living. Pretty, sure. But a naked woman is just a naked woman.”
“Um, yeah, that’s the point.”
“No, it’s not.” He started to get annoyed. “I’m trying to tell you that I can look at a woman and see more than her body. I’m not all about tits and ass and nothing else,” he growled, disappointed Lara didn’t seem to understand him. “Knowing what they go through just to make a living has shown me they’re more than—”
She cut him off by knocking him flat back against the couch.
“Lara?”
Her eyes narrowed, and she maneuvered him so he lay under her. Shocked, he let her move him around like a puppet, wondering what came next. A punch? A kiss? Praying for the latter, he lay still. Then she kissed the breath out of him.
And his entire world spun out of control.

About The Author Black and Red

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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.

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The Dragon King (The Ethereal Foes #4) by Marie Harte-a review

THE DRAGON KING (Ethereal Foes #4) by Marie Harte-a review

The Dragon King

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date December 22, 2015

What good is being king if you can’t burn your own rules?

Ethereal Foes, Book 4

In the two years since Jentaron hatched, he’s grown into an adult blue dragon full of the knowledge of his royal predecessors. He’s a true king, even if the other denizens of the Ethereal, those demons, havoc, angels and the like, continue to test him.

But he’s got heavier worries. Namely, an unspeakable danger that threatens all life as the planet knows it. He can feel it, can sense that he’s got a bigger role to play than just pissing off the Ethereal.

With the blood elves and havoc making more trouble than usual, magic no longer flowing freely in the Abyss, and angels massacring everything demonic they can get their holy hands on, the Balance has reached a tipping point. Time to take charge before the rules change.

What’s a dragon to do but create his own chaos? He’ll take a mate or two, instill fear where needed, and finally return dragonkind to the Ordinary—the human lands—where a dragon will decide the fate of the worlds.

Because he’s king, and he says so.

Warning: Contains a dragon king challenged by a devious demon and an alluring, not-so-human human. Expect carnal hunger only a king can satisfy, and heat only a dragon can generate.

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: THE DRAGON KING is the fourth installment in Marie Harte’s contemporary, adult Ethereal Foes fantasy romance series. This is Dragon King Jentaron, demon Zelec, and human female Ella Nelson’s story line. THE DRAGON KING can be read as a standalone without too much difficulty; the author reveals some background information and history where necessary for cohesion and fluidity .

NOTE: THE DRAGON KING contains M/M/F, M/F/M, M/M and M/F sexual situations.

Told from several third person perspectives including Jentaron, Zelec and Ella, THE DRAGON KING focuses on an upcoming war between the supernatural powers and the enemy known as the Hunger. Ella is a human whose own ‘hidden powers and psychic gift’ begin to manifest as the impending war draws near, and with it the draw of not one but two potential supernatural mates who both claim Ella as their own. When several strange incidences and supernatural attacks begin to surface upon the different realms of heaven, the Ordinary, and the lower realm, Jentaron calls the leaders of the supernatural powers together to prepare for the possible ‘end of the world’. What ensues is a mating between our three leading characters that strengthens the power within the Dragon King. We will learn that Ella and Zelec are more than what they present to be, and it is their combined powers that will help the Dragon King survive the upcoming battle.

The relationship between our leading characters is quick to build as Zelec and Jentaron realize that Ella is not only their mutual mate, but they too, are one another’s mates as well. Ella is not surprised by the world of the supernatural, and she immediately accepts what it is she needs to do. . Jentaron is a young dragon; a blue dragon-the only one of his kind in over 10,000 years-and a dragon who has found not one, but two mates to call his own. The $ex scenes are intimate, seductive, graphically erotic with same sex, multiple partners and M/F sexual situations.

The DRAGON KING has a large ensemble cast of characters. All of the previous story line couples play secondary and supporting roles: Eve and Jentaron’s brother and Guardian Ranton (The Dragon’s Demon #1); Duncan and Sapphira (Duncan’s Descent #2); James, havoc creature from the lower realm Kihra and Dragon prince Teban (Havoc and Hell #3). Marie Harte adds demons and angels, the Fallen and Nephilim (children of angels and humans), humans and dragons to her list of cast and characters. Books one and two were rereleased in 2015, while books three and four are new releases in the same year.

THE DRAGON KING is a passionate story line that, at times, got lost in the numerous cast of characters and their connections to once another- some of these connections are revealed within the story line while others have been revealed earlier in the series. There are moments of heartbreak and sorrow; humor and fun; romance, love and sexual exploration. The premise is entertaining; the characters are colorful, larger than life, and charismatic; the romance is a fantasy come true.

Copy supplied by the author

Reviewed by Sandy

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