Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review

Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review

 

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Description:
A fate worse than death . . .

Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.

Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him.

Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her sister-team were left on an outpost to die under the barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But the one thing she wants more than anything is revenge on the tyrant who murdered her parents and forced her and her sisters into exile. Carrying a secret she knows Bastien will annihilate her over, she must find some way to trust her former wingman before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn’t come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms, especially when Bastien is much more to her than just a former wingman.

Yet as she tries to do right for her family, she learns that Bastien doesn’t just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to The Tavali. If she doesn’t ensure he survives this mission, three nations fall, and time for all of them is quickly running out.

 

 

Review;

I’m going to start off by saying that Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my all time favourite authors and I have enjoyed all her stories to date. However, I seem to have mixed feelings over Born of Vengeance.  After reading Born of Legend I was hyped and ready for the next installment as I become quite intrigued by Bastien, and the position we found him in, in previous books.  Now after reading Bastien’s story I can’t help but feel a little cheated.  I was expecting more present day situation/events surrounding Bastien and Ember, but I felt like we got more back tracking and repetitive scenes/history from Hauk and Jullien(Dagger)’s books.  When we do finally get up to speed and join the present everything happens so fast that before I knew it I had the book read.  I was like, ‘that’s it, it can’t be, I want more, there needs to be more’.  Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the book, just wish there was more present day events.

Bastien is everything I hoped he would be and then some.  He’s a warrior who’s been to hell and back but somehow managed to hold onto his soul and humanity thanks to the love he still holds for Ember.  It’s that love that sustains him through his years as a Ravin, a criminal placed on the run by the League to be hunted and killed.  Bastien winds up seeking refuge on the planet Oksana where it plays havoc with communication and transmission devices.  He’s planned to hide out and wait out his Ravin sentence so that he can return to his planet Kirovar and seek revenge on Uncle Barnie as he likes to call him, and ex-wife Alura(Ember’s sister) over everything that’s happened to him.  Mind you, through all the back tracking/history of Bastien’s time on Oksana we do learn more about him; how he becomes friendly with the Sentella and is offered a position with them should he ever want one, we see more of his relationship with Jullien and his family, as well as how he becomes friends with Thraix and Trejan.  In hindsight I guess you can say the back tracking wasn’t all that bad, and did serve a purpose for when we reach present day.

Once we do reach present day and Bastien is gunning for revenge, events from here on in do move fast.  Bastien and Ember are reunited and have a common goal, Bastien learns he has a son with Ember, Florian, whom he loves instantly upon meeting the boy.  Absolutely loved this scene, it was perfectly written and the interaction between Bastien and his son is priceless.  In this scene we see the true Bastien come to the forefront, the man with a heart of gold, who will die before he sees any harm done to those he loves and holds dear. He may be a warrior honed in the fires of hell, but underneath it all, he’s just a cuddly teddy bear.  We also see this side of Bastien whenever he’s with Ember.  He loves her so deeply that there is no Bastien without Ember.  His love for her, and Ember’s love for Bastien flows off the pages and makes you root for them to finally get their HEA.  Bastien and Ember are solid characters who match each other in everyway which makes them perfect for one another.  Even her sisters adore him and welcome him back with open arms, which was another cute scene that makes you want Bastien to succeed all the more.  Another fun scene is when Bastien meets Trajen once he’s finally rid of his Ravin tracking device. Upon introduction via  Jullien he uses Bastien’s royal title, to which Bastien quickly lets him know ‘it’s just Bastien, or Bas, asshole if you must’.  Trajen’s response is priceless; “Aw god, there are two of you in this universe.” As he shakes his head and walks away muttering under his breath.  I was LOL, at poor Trajen at this point. 

Of course it wouldn’t be a Kenyon book without her rag tag band of unique characters.  It was nice to see many of our old and current favourites return, along with some newbies to help Bastien, Ember and her sisters out.  The interactions between these characters is ROTFL’ing moments where you can’t help but think ‘my goodness how have they survived this long’.  Their antics and actions are off the wall and completely insane at the best of times.  It’s no wonder they all get along and have formed friendships, they’re all a little kooky.  It’s one of the reasons I love Kenyon’s books, her characters crack me up. 

Another highlight of the book was the little bonus story/chapter after Born of Vengeance.  It centers on Nyk and Jullien so we get to see how they’ve may in roads to being more brotherly with each other.  Nyk is entrusting his eldest daughter to Jullien to be trained in the Tavali ways.  Loved the interactions between these two and then watching Jullien with Nyk’s kids is simply adorable.  It’s a lovely written chapter, one that leaves you wanting more from these two brothers.  Here’s hoping we get more of these bonus chapters, or maybe, hopefully Thia’s story being told in the near future, with more brotherly interactions. 

After writing up this review I’ve come to the conclusion that yes I did indeed enjoy Born of Vengeance, even though I had some issues with the back tracking/history lessons.  It was full of the ingredients I’ve come to find in a Kenyon book and has me wanting more as I wait for the next installment.  Guess that’s why she’s the author and not me 😉  For any Kenyon fan this is a good addition to the series, now bring  on Mack and Ryn!!

Until next time my fellow Menyons, happy reading!! 

Reviewed by Marcie

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Silver Edge by Ciara Knight – a Review

Silver Edge by Ciara Knight – a Review

 

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Description:
All I’ve ever wanted is to fit in.

But no one can ever see past how weird I am. Bright lights? Can’t stand them. Loud noises? Definitely sends me over the edge. And touching? Forget about it.

At least, until I met Drake.

From the moment I walked into that nightclub, I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. And when Drake touched me, it didn’t send me into a tailspin of sensations that I couldn’t stand. It actually felt…nice. Like something I could get used to. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s probably the hottest guy I’ve ever seen.

But now someone wants to close the club down. And since I promised Drake that I’d help him keep it open, I’m going to have to find a way to tap into whatever that inner strength thing is that everyone always talks about. And fast. But what happens if I can’t? 

Review:

Silver Edge by Ciara Knight is the start of her new Straight Edge series.

Scarlet hates to be touched, can’t look at anyone in the eye for too long, finds comfort in music and maths. After the death of her mother, she lived in foster homes, but none could see past her problems. 

Her drug and sex addiction makes her a prime candidate for an early death, but someone sees past that and throws her a lifeline in the shape of “the community” the guy (called Ton) who runs the community has a job for Scarlet, but she doesn’t last long, and she feels that she has let Ton down, so she runs away and looks for her own job and life.

Drake owns a nightclub, he didn’t want to run one, but it seems he owes his brother a wish. But It’s not doing very well and Drake is on the verge of closing it down. Scarlet points out a few things, the bouncer not doing his job properly, the barman skimming off the profits, and the math mistakes he made in the books. 

They decide to work on saving the bar, by promoting a “battle of the bands ” style competition. Their attraction to each other is hindered by Scarlett’s aversion to touch and her past, but she really likes him, and although she made a promise to herself not to sleep around, she’s finding it harder to listen to that inner voice. 

The other characters in the book bring it all together, some you like and some you’ll loath. It was interesting reading about people who don’t fit into “normal society” How scarlet uses her music to ground herself, and how she tries to live a normal a life as possible. 

I’m hoping that we get to read more about the characters, and maybe visit with Drake and Scarlet again. 

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy provided by Publisher

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Kings of the Empire by M.A. Abraham – Review, Giveaway and Exclusive Cover Reveal

Kings of the Empire by M.A. Abraham – Review, Giveaway and Cover Reveal

 

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Kings of the Empire

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Description:
The Empire is rising to face the enemy. They are not alone, for their allies and neighbors have come to help; some have even come to fight despite the judgment of their own rulers. No one knows the extent of what they will be facing.

The Drazon is free, the Demon Hordes are on the march, and their numbers are staggering. Will the Empire survive this challenge? Or will their enemies prevail? The stakes are high, for in failing to win the upcoming battles, the lives of every Elf in the Empire are in jeopardy.

As the Elves prepare for the fight, the Drazon attacks at will. He challenges the might of the Dragons. He feels invincible. Omnipotent. Immortal. He will show the world who is in charge and the meaning of fear. His hatred knows no boundary.

While King Lothrariel fights to hold his Empire and, the lives of his people together, he is besieged by problems. He turns to Gabriel, to handle the greatest tasks, and to resume his place as Commander in Chief of the Combined Elven Armies of the Empire. Lothrariel answers his Life Mate’s call, and soon finds there is more to her summons than their bond. As an Oracle, she holds the answers in the back of her mind, although she cannot speak them, she can only guide

 

 

Review:

Kings of the Empire by M.A. Abraham is the final book in her wonderful Elven Chronicles series.  I have followed this series and M.A. Abraham from the very beginning, where it all began.   After reading Kings of the Empire, I was sad that this was the end, and at the same time happy with the wonderful conclusion to this series.  M.A. Abraham blows us away with a wild, non-stop, thrilling, exciting finale that wows us with her seamless flow, especially with the many characters, both new and those who have been with us from the start.  This will be a difficult review, as so much happens throughout the book that cannot be described unless you read it.  I will give a brief synopsis and tell you my over all thoughts. 

Almost everyone who has been part of this series makes an appearance.  When we last left off in the last book, we knew war was upon us.   The Drazon is now free to wreak havoc on the Elven empire, and the number of demon hordes is astronomical.  All the Kings come together to fight the Demons, but things are not looking good, as they are sorely outnumbered.   But never underestimate our elves, who have much magical power behind them to fight for their lives, but it will be at cost.  Constantly, throughout the book, and this is a big book, the battles rage all across the kingdoms.  Gabriel, Lothariel, Daroth, the other Kings, all our heroines,  and warriors, both and men and woman; new and old; come together to fight the odds.  The powerful Dragons will also come to try to stop the Drazon. As the casualties build up, on both sides, we are on the edge of our seats worrying who we will lose.

I loved seeing all of our favorites and there was sadness on those we lost. I was totally blown away on how M.A. Abraham was able to continue the flow of the battles, with so many characters.  An amazing feat.   I will say that all those characters, especially some new ones I hardly remember (that is me, not M.A.), became somewhat confusing.  But it did not stop me from understanding and knowing what was happening.  Nearer to the end of the book, I did become nervous about losing one of my favorites. I will not tell too much more, other than to say if you have read this series, you are in for fantastic adventure that had a great conclusion to a wonderful series.   We will miss our Elves.  Thank you M.A. Abraham for bringing us into your world of Elves, and your wonderful characters we have come to love.  Bravo!   Once again, if you have not read the Elven Chronicles series, I suggest you do so.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

cover reveal

To celebrate our Anniversary, M.A. Abraham has given us an EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL for her new series. Coming in February, 2018,  The Goddess – Book 1 of The Guardians of the Empire Series.

The Goddess

Chania is an Elven Princess in hiding, and content to stay that way.  She has lived most of her life in seclusion. She was placed amongst the humans that had once come to the aid of her ancestors, many millenniums before. She kept secreted by the head priestess, and revered as a Goddess by the people. She knows she is not what they think she is.  She also knows there is war looming in the future for these people, and it is time for her people to return, so they can keep their word.

Daeron is an Elven/Dragon shapeshifter, who has served as second in command of the Guardians of the Elven Empire for a long time. He comes from a long line of Kings, and has proven himself worthy of his position of life. He is a proud, noble, Golden Dragon, when he is not an Elf. He is not so pleased with the sudden match making ambitions of his leader, he is not about to give in without a fight. He will not be used in this manner, not by anyone.

Captured by her father’s guardians and forced to his side, Chania, is no happier about her father’s idea than Daeron. They recognize the Life Bond they share, but under the circumstances, they refuse to allow it to dictate their future. Can they fight an attraction that no Elf has ever been able to deny?

 

 

giveaway

In celebrating the end of the Elven Chronicles series,  M.A. is graciuosly offering a paper copy of First Contact, Integration, and Hunter’s Challenge to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe, plus a paper copy of Kings of the Empire to Two (2) lucky commenters.

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Kings of the Empire

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8. Giveaway open US & Canada only

9. Giveaway runs February 17 – 20, 2017

 

 

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Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward-Review and Release Tour

MACK DADDY by Penelope Ward-Review and Release Tour

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

Mack Daddy

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

•••••••••••

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Mack Daddy Teaser

About The Author Black and Blue

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

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

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

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

So Right

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 14, 2017

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

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

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

••••••

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

So Right Teaser

excerpt

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

About the Author pink

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

Connect:

 

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

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

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

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

Tempt Me

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 14, 2017

Sometimes passion has a price …

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

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

•••••••

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

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

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

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Tempt Me Teaser

excerpt

 

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

 

 

about the author

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

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

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

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

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

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The Rakehell Seduction by Lauren Smith – Review & Giveaway

The Rakehell Seduction by Lauren Smith – Review & Giveaway

 

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The Rakehell Seduction
Seduction series – Book #2
by Lauren Smith
Release Date: February 6, 2017

The Rakehell SeductionAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

DESCRIPTION
HE’S MADE A DANGEROUS WAGER

Ambrose Worthing is no gentleman. He’s a proud cold-hearted rake who’s determined to stay a bachelor forever. He enjoys bedding a different woman every night without the risk of falling in love. When he hears about a wager over the seduction and ruination of the daughter of his father’s best friend, he knows he must intervene. Committing himself to the bet, he agrees to seduce Lady Alexandra Rockford—for her own good. He never expected the lady in question to be a beautiful, fiery creature who has passions of her own that call to his guarded heart.

SHE’S VOWED NEVER TO FALL IN LOVE AGAIN

Alexandra Rockford has sworn off men, her heart still broken from the false promises of a childhood sweetheart who left her to marry an heiress. When she stumbles into Ambrose outside of a country ball, she knows the rake his trouble. His smile, his touch, his forbidden kiss are all too tempting but being with him would ruin her. Determined to enjoy herself without falling in love, Alex can’t help but let her defenses down with the too charming rake. But when she discovers Ambrose is seducing her to win a bet, it will take everything Ambrose has to prove to her that he is worthy to love her.
 

 

REVIEW

 
4.5 out of 5 for this reader folks!
 
Nothing like a good read about a bad boy doing the right thing for the right reason and coming out on top.  Predictable maybe, but there is something insanely satisfying about a rake getting his heart handed to him on a platter of “I didn’t see that coming for me”!  LOL
 
The Rakehell’s Seduction by Lauren Smith is her second book in her historical romance “Seduction” series.  You do not have to read the first one to appreciate this book, but as I always state in my reviews on series, why not go back and read the first one so that you get that little extra something in the book when you revisit characters you have already gotten to know.  One of the best things to experience in a series as far as I am concerned!
 
Ambrose is a straight up rake.  He is one of the guys who goes about life basking in nothing but pleasure, bets and ruination of young ladies.  He is selfish but believes that task he is about to under take is noble.  His father’s friend has a daughter that is named as a lady to pursue amongst his rake friends.  There is a plan to seduce and ruin her.  While Ambrose recently has already met such a striking lady (rarely does a lady turn his head), what an annoyance to have to be the hero and seduce his father’s friend’s daughter first.  I mean, better him than one of his friends.  At least this way there is some control right?  Ambrose then realizes that the lady who recently intrigued him just so happens to be the lady he is here to “save”!  Game ON! 🙂
 
Alexandra “Alex” is still nursing somewhat of a broken heart.  She is strong and intelligent and has made a pact to never let a man in again.  Until she meets a man at her father’s home who is staying for a while and who is charming, sincere, kind .. YA RIGHT!  She is having none of that.  Until her defences come down bit by bit and Ambrose manages to sneak into her heart.  The thing is, Alex has snuck into Ambrose’s heart as well.  How could a relationship possibly exist when it began on nothing but lies?  Do these two even have a fighting chance when all the cards are laid out on the table?
 
I love Lauren Smith‘s writing style.  If I had any complaint it would be that the story to a little slow to get going, but once it got going I was all in and completely invested.  She truely has a gift for writing a visual, and emotional scene.  The love she gave these two was genuine and so endearing.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not all sunshine and rainbows, as the bad was bad.  The push and pull we got from Ambrose and Alex made me really root for them in the end.
 
If you are a historical romance lover than I highly recommend this book/series.  You will be transported back to a whole different time where cat and mouse games are played .. but you never really who know who is playing who!  LOL
 
HAPPY READING! 🙂
 
Reviewed by Rachel
 
Copy supplied for review

 

About The author
Lauren_Smith_2014

Born and raised in Tulsa, I spent the first twenty-two years of my life in Oklahoma, bridging the worlds between urban girl and cowgirl. After high school I attended Oklahoma State University where I earned Bachelor of Art degrees in history and political science. Drawn to paintings in museums and obsessed with antiques, I satisfied my fascination with history by writing and exploring exotic, ancient lands.

Over the years, my studies have opened doors throughout the world. From spending two summers at Cambridge to attending classes at such divergent places as Ireland and Chengdu, China, I have discovered fascinating opportunities for enrichment wherever I go. After completing college, I moved to Michigan to attend law school at the University of Detroit-Mercy and University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.  Armed with two Juris Doctorate degrees from both countries, I returned to Tulsa and became an intellectual property attorney.

Since third grade when my English teacher proposed that all students should craft a story for a young writers’ conference, I have been hooked on writing. My first self-illustrated manuscript described the mysterious disappearance of rare brown bats that were being captured by scientists bent on using them as carriers for an incurable disease. The immense sense of joy in sharing that story with others, and discussing plots and characters, made it clear to me that writing was my true passion.

Learn more about Lauren at the following links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

 

 giveaway

Lauren is graciously offering a $25.00 Gift Card 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.

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

3. Please LIKE and Follow Lauren Smith 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. Giveaway open Internationally

8. Giveaway runs from February 14 – 17, 2017

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

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

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

Love Story

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM / GOOGLE | ITUNES 

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 14, 2017

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

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

••••••••••

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

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

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

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

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

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

_________________

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

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 17, 2016

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

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

•••••••••••

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Sandy

Excerpt

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

Love Story Teaser

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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