Claiming Bailey (ACE Security #3) by Susan Stoker-Review & Giveaway

CLAIMING BAILEY (Ace Security #3) by Susan Stoker-Review and Giveaway

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CLAIMING BAILEY
ACE Security #3
by Susan Stoker
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic suspense

Claiming Bailey

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About the book: Release Date December 5, 2017

Bailey Hampton will do whatever it takes to keep both herself and her little brother safe from the vicious Inca Boyz gang. Hiding out in Castle Rock, Colorado, is only a temporary solution until she can earn enough money to get out of the state altogether. But when she meets handsome security nerd Nathan Anderson, she discovers a reason to stay and fight for what she wants.

Ace Security’s Nathan Anderson has always been the “numbers guy,” not the man any of the firm’s clients look to when their safety is threatened. But from the first time he ran into Bailey, she never made him feel like less of a protector than his brothers. Nathan was attracted to the petite, black-haired pixie with wild tattoos from the start, and by some miracle, she seems to return his interest.

But danger stalks Bailey and her brother, so it’s up to Nathan to channel his inner alpha and find a way to end the threat to their lives once and for all—and he’s not giving up Bailey without a fight.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: CLAIMING BAILEY is the third instalment in Susan Stoker’s contemporary, adult ACE SECURITY romantic suspense series focusing on the Anderson triplets (Blake, Logan and Nathan) and the family owned Ace Security. This is Ace Security co-owner and self-proclaimed numbers geek Nathan Anderson, and mechanic Bailey Hampton’s story line. CLAIMING BAILEY can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. There is an ongoing premise throughout the series that focuses on the take down of the vicious gang known as the Inca Boyz.

NOTE: Due to the content of the story line, there may be some triggers for more sensitive readers.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Bailey and Nathan) CLAIMING BAILEY follows the building relationship between twenty four year old mechanic Bailey Hampton, and Ace Security numbers geek Nathan Anderson. As the team at Ace Security continues their hunt for the mysterious Bailey and her little brother Joel, little did they know that the woman in question was living right under their nose. When Nathan’s beloved ‘Marilyn’ broke down in the parking lot, our heroine stepped up to help Nathan get back on the road only to be blindsided when Nathan’s offer for dinner comes with some disturbing news.
Nathan knows Bailey is on the run from the Inca Boyz gang, forcing our heroine to reveal her questionable past- a past that places everyone in danger including our story line couple. What ensues is the building relationship between Nathan and Bailey, and the potential fall out when Bailey’s whereabouts are discovered.

Bailey Hampton’s earlier years were spent living under the ‘protection’ of the Inca Boyz gang. Since the age of fourteen Bailey’s life became a cycle of sex, drugs and drinking only to come to a head when she realized that her little brother was being coerced into something she didn’t like. Hiding in Castle Rock was a little too close to the man in charge but securing a job and a home for her brother had been our heroine’s first order of priority. Nathan Anderson considers himself the nerd; the non-violent, ‘weaker’ sibling to his ex-military brothers who adore and protect the people they love. Always feeling like an outsider Nathan struggles with his place in the family-a family destroyed by their mother’s abuse and neglect. Knowing the Inca Boyz will be coming for Bailey Hampton, the Ace Security Team set up a plan that includes Bailey’s brother Joel-a ten year old whose earlier experiences have changed him into a hardened young boy.

The relationship between Nathan and Bailey is slow to build as Bailey battles her attraction to a man who may be willing to sacrifice our heroine in the hunt for the Inca Boyz gang. Bailey’s dark and dangerous past has left both physical and emotional scars including an unwanted and forced tattoo that screams louder than any words spoken aloud. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Logan and Grace (Claiming Grace #1), Blake and Alexis (Claiming Alexis), Ace Security employee Felicity Jones, Bailey’s ten year old brother Joel, her boss at Clayson Auto Boy Clayson Davis, as well as several other mechanics (Henry, Ozzie) who look after our story line heroine. The requisite evil is the Inca Boyz crew and their current leader Donovan.

CLAIMING BAILEY looks at one woman’s struggle to move on from her past. Bailey’s need to hide is predicated on the decisions she made at an early age that have affected her life and the life of her younger brother. Nathan Anderson struggles battles his attraction to a woman who is looking to run, and his ongoing inability to be accepted for who he is. The premise is entertaining but I questioned a couple of the plotline scenarios including the use of a ten year old in the take down of a murdering gang member, as well as the set up in which all three in question risk their lives in more way than one. The romance is passionate and provocative; the characters are broken and immature-struggling with their place in the here and now.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Claiming Grace
Claiming Alexis
Claiming Bailey

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

About the Author Black and Orange

Susan StokerNew York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all-American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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Susan Stoker is offering an e-copy of CLAIMING BAILEY to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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9.. Giveaway runs from December 10-14, 2017

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Justice For Erin (Badge of Honour: Texas Heroes #9) by Susan Stoker-Review Tour

JUSTICE FOR ERIN (Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes #9) by Susan Stoker-Review Tour

Justice for Erin

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 14, 2017

Part-time bartender Erin Gardner is friendly to everyone who bellies up to her bar, including the local law enforcement and firefighters who keep her city safe. That’s where she meets game warden Conor Paxton, a regular who she asks to join a canoeing trip she’s leading for her university day job. When the trip leads to something more, Erin couldn’t be happier.

Conor adores Erin, more than enough to help her continue to get over lingering self-esteem issues from her childhood. He’s thrilled he’s found someone who enjoys spending time in nature as much as he does.

Just when the couple thinks they’re on their way to a happily ever after, Erin finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. But there’s no way she’ll just lay down and die. She’s woman enough to save herself—and lead her man to her when she’s done.

** Justice for Erin is the 9th book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliff-hanger endings.

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: JUSTICE FOR ERIN is the ninth instalment in Susan Stoker’s contemporary, adult BADGE OF HONOR: TEXAS HEROES romantic suspense series. This is thirty five year old Texas game warden Conor Paxton, and university kinesiology professor/part time bar tender Erin Gardner’s story line. JUSTICE FOR ERIN can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Conor and Erin) JUSTICE FOR ERIN focuses on the slow building relationship between Texas game warden Conor Paxton, and university professor Erin Gardner. Conor couldn’t believe it when the woman who has starred in all of his fantasies extends an invitation for a weekend canoe trip-a trip our heroine is leading as part of her university day job. Impressed with Erin’s knowledge of canoeing, camping and white water rafting Conor believes he has found the woman that calls to his heart but a woman who also has issues of low self esteem including those of abandonment and negative physical appearance. What ensues is the building romance and love between Conor and Erin, and the potential fall out when our heroine is targeted, on a camping trip, by an unknown source.

Erin Gardner is a thirty five year old virgin who has struggled with weight problems most of her life. Abandoned by her father, and emotionally abused by her mother, Erin’s lack of confidence and problems with body dysmorphia is the major theme running throughout the current story line. Conor Paxton is the personification of perfection and patience as it pertains to his growing love and relationship with our story line heroine- a patience that is required to break down the walls of innocence and self-deprecation that Erin uses to protect her mind and her heart from further breakdown and damage.

The relationship between Conor and Erin is very slow to build as Conor takes his time with the seduction of our story line heroine. Having met Erin at The Sloppy Cow where she works part time as a bartender, Conor’s immediate attraction is visceral and intense. Knowing the demons from her past are in a constant state of flux and revelation, Conor refuses to push Erin beyond that which he believes she is capable of doing. The $ex scenes are intimate, educational and passionate (without the use of sexually graphic language and text) as Conor ‘guides’ Erin towards their happily ever after.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including several of the previous story line couples, Conor’s parents Pauline and John Paxton, his sisters Karen and Mary, and their significant others, as well as a number of university students and bar patrons who come in and out of our couple’s lives. The requisite evil is sick and twisted but in the end gets what he so righteously deserves.

JUSTICE FOR ERIN is an emotional story of romance, friendship and love. As I have said before, all of Susan Stoker’s heroines have some issues that prevent the character from grabbing life by the horns and enjoying the ride, and Erin Gardner is no different, in fact, many readers will see themselves in our story line heroine-a woman who struggles with her weight and food, deep emotional and physical scars, and a lack of confidence in both her appearance and ability to love and be loved. The premise is captivating; the romance is sweet but I did struggled with our hero’s ‘good guy persona’ – everything was about pleasing Erin and taking his time with no regard for his own personal satisfaction-ever –the believability factor was questionable but sweet.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

About the author

Susan StokerNew York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all-American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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The Negotiator (Games People Play 2.5) by HelenKay Dimon-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway Tour

THE NEGOTIATOR (Games People Play 2.5) by HelenKay Dimon-Review ,Excerpt and Giveaway Tour

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THE NEGOTIATOR
Games People Play 2.5
by HelenKay Dimon
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Genre: adult,contemporary, romantic, suspense

The Negotiator

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 14, 2017

Lauren Gallagher’s life changed almost three years ago. After her husband disappeared at sea, she was left with a failing pleasure boat company and more than a few secrets. Now, after years spent rebuilding the business and paying off the pile of debts, she finally feels in control. But when she finds her husband, actually dead, on the floor, she becomes the leading suspect in his murder investigation.

Garrett McGrath wants Lauren in his bed, not his heart. He doesn’t do emotions, but every time he sees her, holding himself back gets harder and harder. When Lauren comes under suspicion for killing her previously presumed-dead husband, he knows he has to help her, any way he can.

But as the danger becomes more intense and Garret and Lauren grow closer than either planned, they’re in danger of losing everything…including their hearts.

••••••

REVIEW: THE NEGOTIATOR is instalment 2.5 in HelenKay Dimon’s contemporary, adult GAMES PEOPLE PLAY romantic, suspense series. This is former government Black Ops and professional negotiator Garrett McGrath, and pleasure boat operator Lauren Gallagher’s story line. THE NEGOTIATOR can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Lauren and Garrett) THE NEGOTIATOR follows in the aftermath of Lauren’s discovery that her husband Carl, a man declared missing and dead, has returned to the living claiming he wants a second chance with our story line heroine. Knowing that the man before has never been capable of telling the truth Lauren contacts the only person she knows who might be able to get the answers she so desperately needs. Enter professional negotiator and investigator Garrett McGrath, and the man with whom Lauren will fall in love. What ensues is the building relationship between our leading couple, and the fall out when Carl is found dead in our heroine’s home, and she becomes the prime suspect in her ex-husband’s murder.

For close to six months Garrett McGrath has desperately tried to convince Lauren to go with him but our heroine has steadfastly denied any attraction or feelings for the man in question preferring to rebuild the business that her husband’s disappearance singlehandedly destroyed. Garrett and Lauren’s attraction to one another is palpable; their sexual energy is seductive and provocative. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

Wren and Emery (The Fixer #1), and Matthias and Kayla (The Enforcer #2) return for some familiarity and cohesion. We are introduced to Carl’s brother Jake; his business partner Bob, and his latest girlfriend Maryanne

THE NEGOTIATOR is a quick read; a sexy friends to lovers romance that focuses on the search for the truth when a man once thought lost at sea, dies not once but twice with a long line of questionable business decisions, as well as series of long running affairs. The premise is edgy and energetic; the romance is spirited and captivating; the characters are animated and passionate.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
The Fixer
The Enforcer
The Negotiator
The Pretender (December 2017)

Copy supplied by Edelweiss

Reviewed by Sandy

Games People Play series

The Fixer

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The Enforcer

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The Pretender

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excerpt

He rose from the dead.
Lauren Gallagher couldn’t come up with any other explanation. Her once-dead husband was very much alive and standing on the other side of her front door…and she felt nothing but numbness spreading inside her.
For a man who supposedly washed overboard in the middle of a violent storm, he looked pretty healthy. Big smile. Bright white teeth. Khaki pants and deck shoes. She forgot how much she hated the deck shoes.
The wattage on his super smile dimmed a bit as he shifted his weight from foot-to-foot and rubbed his hands up and down his arms. “Aren’t you going to let me in?”
Her mind went blank. The world literally flipped sideways on her and her stomach rolled. The whole time she could hear him talking but the words didn’t make sense. None of this made sense. She opened her mouth but nothing came out but a tiny whirling gasping sound. That’s all she could muster as she blinked, trying to process what she was seeing.
“Lauren? Why are you just standing there? Open this door.”
An order. The sharp smack in his voice sounded far too familiar. That fast it brought her crashing back to reality.
She really wanted to say no to his command. Not that she hadn’t mourned him. Even with the dysfunctional state of their faltering marriage at the time he disappeared, she had. She’d grieved for what could have been and dreams that fizzled out early in their time together. She grieved for his loss as she would an old friend, not as a person she viewed as her soulmate, if there even was such a thing.
That was less than three years ago. The police arrived and she dropped to her knees feeling sick and hollow at the idea of Carl gasping for breath as the water he loved so much overtook him.
Months had passed slowly after that. She’d been locked in a perpetual state of shock, topped off with a wallop of guilt because she’d visited a divorce attorney for the first time just before he disappeared. With him gone she’d found about the lies. His hidden debts and how he’d taken their business to the brink of bankruptcy, all while showing her fake bank statements he’d manufactured. He’d gone to a lot of trouble to carry on the ruse of pretending their finances were fine.
And then things had gotten even worse. All those whispers about Maryanne, the girlfriend who seemed to be an open secret to everyone except Lauren. The one who, unlike Lauren, did not have any debts or an unpaid mortgage or a business and house on the verge of bankruptcy. Maryanne Lightwood, the same woman who mysteriously walked out on her rent and left town right as Carl’s boat disappeared.
Lauren prided herself on being practical. She was skeptical of coincidences and not stupid, so confusion had turned to fury in record time. As the cool December wind blew in the front door of the small cottage now she realized the fury still simmered inside her.
She lived far enough from the water that the breeze wasn’t frigid, but it carried a bite. For the past few years early winter in Annapolis, Maryland meant an unwelcome amount of snow. This year had been mild. As someone who ran a pleasure boat and fishing tour business and depended on tourists, she thought she might get lucky this year and only have to survive a short off-season.
Apparently her luck had just run out.
“Lauren, honey?” Carl pulled on the handle of the screen door. When it didn’t immediately open, he shook it, rattling it on the doorframe. Still, it didn’t move.
She’d never been so grateful for her lock-the-door paranoia. He should be happy, too, because the thin screen might be all that was saving his sorry lying ass right now.
Under the numbness and shock lurked a layer of bubbling resentment and rage. She’d kept up the outward farce of being fine for so long that she’d started to believe it. Now the mask slipped. She wanted to throw open the door and pound on his chest and make him apologize for every wrong.
But Carl had never taken responsibility for anything in his life. Even now he had the nerve to stand there with a stupid look on his stupid face, as if she were the unreasonable one in not welcoming him home with a big hug. So, yeah, the door stayed closed for his protection because she knew once she unleashed she would not stop.
“Hey, what is this?” Carl’s hand dropped to his side as he frowned at her through the mesh screen. “Honey, I’m back.”
Honey? What kind of man checked out of his life for almost three years and expected to step right back in it, no questions asked? It’s as if he were empty inside, without a conscience. And he was so close to getting a kick in his junk.
“Yeah, I can see that.” She tried to swallow but couldn’t choke down the lump of anger racing up her throat. “Tell me where have you’ve been.”
“Lauren, Jesus. It’s freezing out here. Let me in.” He pulled on the handle again as if he expected a different result than last time. The door made a thumping sound as it hit against the frame. “What’s wrong with you? Snap out of it.”
He kept up that tone. Short, dismissive, demanding. The only time he hadn’t been obnoxious was during the years when she thought he was dead. Even then…
That’s all it took. Something inside her snapped and wave after wave of uncontrolled, boiling hot rage raced through her. He wasn’t the only one filled with attitude who possessed an I’m-done tone. “Where the hell have you been, Carl? You don’t contact me at all and then you just stroll up to my door. You rip my life, my work – my everything – apart and now act as if you’ve only been gone for an afternoon. What is wrong with you? What happened?”
“I was left for dead.” His surfer boy good looks faded a bit as his eyes narrowed. “Thanks in part to you.” Wherever he was he must have forgotten how locks worked because he rattled the door one more time. “Now open this.”
He was blaming her. Of course he was. She likely was as fault for the fact his hair wasn’t the same sunny blond it once was and he now had a few wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. He was forty-one, having celebrated two birthdays while he was gone. She doubted he was taking the transition out of his thirties all that well.
She’d been thirty-three and inching very close to thirty-four when he went missing and already back then he’d mentioned “hip spread” to her more than once. Hers, of course. Not his. She’d expected him to battle aging as fiercely as he’d fought to be the only one in charge of handling the bills. Now she knew why…because he hadn’t bothered to actually pay any debt with her name on it.
“You disappeared.” Right there, in that moment, she kind of wished he’d do it again and had to push back a wave of guilt that came with that realization. She’d had no idea how much hate festered inside her until he popped up again. The frowning, his ridiculous summer shoes in winter, that voice – it all worked on her nerves and it had been less than ten minutes.
“A wave hit the boat. It tipped and I went overboard.” He shrugged. “Are you satisfied now?”
Not even close. A hundred questions filled her head. “Who could be satisfied with that? What’s the rest of the story?”
His body language and easy dismissal of how his terrible choices impacted her life only made her more determined to understand what his days looked like during the last few years. Then maybe she’d let him in, but probably no.
He waved her off. “None of that matters now.”
“It does to me.” His short non-answers ticked her off even more, and she wouldn’t have said that was possible. “I deserve an explanation. A real one. All of the facts, not just pieces.”
He leaned in closer as his jaw tightened. “I said later.”
Wariness surged through her. She wasn’t afraid. No, scared wasn’t the right word. Carl had never been violent, never raised a hand or threatened her. But near the end he’d been distant and that had turned into flashes of meanness. Snide comments about how he’d married a woman but got stuck with a fisherman. Sneak attacks of blaming her that they didn’t make more money in the boating business.
So much confusion swirled around him and his stories and all that deception. She’d convinced herself he ran off with his girlfriend. Not that she ever admitted that to anyone or said the words out loud. No, there had been too much at risk.
To save her house and business she’d needed the insurance and a final judgment from the court about Carl’s fate. A confirmation that he was legally dead. She had to pretend to believe it. It had taken her almost two years to persuade the court and wrestle the business and house away from the legal No Man’s Land it landed in when he disappeared. The insurance company still had refused to pay on the claim. That meant she’d had to salvage what she could with him gone.
Now he was back, and as much as she hated it, they needed to talk. She tried even though as her brain screamed for her to slam the door. “I think we should–”
“I can’t believe you’re being a pain in the ass.”
Her head snapped back at the fury lacing through his voice. “Me?”
“Jake warned me you’d gone from grieving to stone cold in a matter of months.” Carl shook his head. “I didn’t believe it. Not after everything we’d been through.”
She lost the thread of the conversation as soon as Carl mentioned his brother. “Jake?”
“That’s where I’ll be. At his house.” Carl started to shift away from the door. “But get your act together and do it fast, Lauren. I plan on being in this house and back at work by Christmas.”
“That’s two weeks away.”
“I’ll be back tomorrow.” He made a face that suggested he was sick of her again already. “Be over your shock and ready to talk by then.”
Lauren watched Carl walk back down the path to the car parked on the street. She recognized the dark sedan. It belonged to Carl’s brother, which meant Carl went there first.
Her mind spun with questions about where he’d been and why he was back. She had no idea how he planned to explain and argue his way out of this…or why he thought he could walk back into her life now without any real explanation or sign of remorse.
A gust of cold air got her moving. She slammed the front door closed and rested her palm on it. Tried to breathe in, to think.
Her usual calm detachment abandoned her. Jumbled thoughts crashed into her brain. Panic rose in her chest, threatening to swamp her. Finding a lost husband should be a good thing. For her, it amounted to a nightmare. Her world tilted and all she wanted was to tip it right again.
Help. She never asked anyone for help. Not ever. She’d learned long ago that needing someone, depending on them, lead to heartache and disappointment. But Garrett McGrath’s face kept flashing in her mind. Sarcastic, charming, sinfully handsome Garrett. They’d met in the summer and he’d been asking her out for two months. Hanging around, texting, insisting he’d wait for her to be ready to date again.
The guy honed his Tall, Dark and Smoldering look and for some reason he’d decided to aim it full force at her. Probably had something to do with the thrill of the chase. That was the only answer she could come up with. Because once he knew her, really knew her, he’d back off. Any sane person would.
But right now, as the walls closed in and she struggled to hold onto a coherent thought, all she could do was think of his face. The dark brown hair and those big green eyes. That firm chin…and his uncanny ability to solve complex problems while making a joke and without breaking a sweat.
She glanced around her cottage. It had a beachy vibe with weathered white beadboard walls overstuffed blue furniture. It consisted of two small bedrooms, a bathroom and a joint living and eating area. Her refuge. The place she rented when she lost everything else. The same place Carl for some reason thought he had a right to live in.
She grabbed her cell off the couch and dialed the number Garrett had put in there when they first met. The phone rang and his deep voice came on the line. Voicemail.
She waited a few minutes. Gave herself a bit of a pep talk and mentally insisted she could handle this, just like she handled everything else.
Instead of leaving a message she texted him. She tried to think of the right thing to say. She went with the only words that made sense to her… You were right. Carl is not dead.

About The Author

HelenKay DimonGoodreads /Website /Twitter /Facebook /

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HelenKay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a…divorce attorney. Not the usual transition, she knows. Good news is she now writes full time and is much happier. She has sold over forty novels and novellas to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Kensington, Harlequin, Penguin Random House, Riptide and Carina Press. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. She is on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America and teaches fiction writing at UC San Diego and MiraCosta College. You can learn more at her website: www.HelenKaydimon.com

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Rescuing Bryn (Delta Force Heroes #6) by Susan Stoker-Review and Excerpt Tour

RESCUING BRYN (Delta Force Heroes #6) by Susan Stoker-Review and Excerpt Tour

Rescuing Bryn

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 10,2017

When you’re a Delta Force soldier, you see a lot. Often too much. But nothing can ever prepare you to see your entire team die before your eyes…

The loss of his Delta brothers—and his arm—has Dane “Fish” Munroe still struggling months later. He’s moved to Idaho, where an isolated lifestyle is making things worse, not better. Not that there’s anyone left to care.

Actually, Bryn Hartwell cares. In fact, she tries to surreptitiously make life just a little easier for the mysterious man who comes into the grocery where she works late at night, only to get a tongue lashing for her trouble. Still, he’s obviously hurting; someone has to worry about him, spurring Bryn to nurse Dane when he hits a particularly low point.

Intrigued by the quirky, kind, socially awkward woman, Dane allows himself to get close to someone for the first time in ages. A potentially epic mistake—because when her interest in the prepper lifestyle puts Bryn in the hands of a homegrown terrorist, losing her could put Dane’s mental recovery permanently out of reach.

But once a Delta, always a Delta. And there’s a team in Texas who are ready to have Dane’s back at a moment’s notice.

**Rescuing Bryn is the 6th book in the Delta Force Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

••••••••••••

REVIEW: RESCUING BRYN is the sixth installment in Susan Stoker’s contemporary, adult DELTA FORCE HEROES military, romantic, suspense series. This is Delta Force veteran Dane ‘Fish’ Munroe, and Bryn Hartwell’s story line. RESCUING BRYN can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Many of the previous story line couples and characters cross-over for cohesion and familiarity.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Bryn and Dane) RESCUING BRYN follows the building relationship between Bryn Hartwell, and Dane Munroe. Like most of Susan’s heroines, Bryn Hartwell has issues that prevent her from moving forward. Bryn has Asperger’s Syndrome- a subtype of Autism-and in this our heroine struggles with societal norms including the propensity to blurt out UBIs (useless bits of information) and ramble incessantly in both normal and awkward situations. Working the night shift at the local grocery store, Bryn discovers a man she believes is a kindred spirit in Dane Munroe, a wounded war veteran whose late night excursions find our heroine ‘keeping watch’ over the man that seemingly calls to her heart until the night Dane lets loose on an unsuspecting Bryn. Several days will pass before Bryn will, once again, cross paths with Dane Munroe-a drunk Dane who does not recognize our story line heroine. What ensues is the building relationship between our leading couple, and a potentially threatening situation when Bryn’s curiosity pulls her in a dangerous direction.

Bryn Hartwell is a genius with Asperger’s tendencies. By the time she was sixteen years old, she had earned two undergraduate degrees, a graduate degree in physics, and had started on her PhD but our heroine’s lack of common sense is oft times a threat to her own safety. Dane Munroe not only lost his arm during his last mission in the Middle East to an IED but lost his entire team in the blink of an eye. Dane struggles with symptoms of PTSD and Bryn’s idiosyncrasies, like her curiosity with Dane, had our hero battling between his heart and his mind.

The relationship between Bryn and Dane begins acrimoniously. Dane believes our heroine is a threat to his safety but it is Bryn’s own curiosity and need to help that will force a face-to-face confrontation between our leading couple. The sexual situations are passionate; the $ex scenes are limited and intense.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including many of the previous story line characters and couples, as well as Dane’s rescuers Truck, Ghost, Fletch, Beatle, Blade and Hollywood.

The world building focuses on Bryn’s Aspergers’ syndrome. The author has done an outstanding job of not only researching the symptoms of Bryn’s disorder but there is also a vast amount of additional information revealed about the numerous subjects that our heroine finds intriguing. Bryn’s curiosity will take our heroine into territory where she does not belong.

RESCUING BRYN is a story of love and loss; friendship and healing; threats to the American way of life. The premise is sweet, seductive and sexy-Dane takes his time exploring his options with the woman that calls to his heart; the characters are charismatic, broken and colorful; the romance is endearing and seductive.

Copy supplied for review.

Reviewed by Sandy

excerpt

THE RESTAURANT WAS FAIRLY busy for a weekday night, and after Dane asked what Bryn wanted to eat, he sent her to find a table.
Eyeing Dane as she went into the dining room, she realized that he seemed ill at ease. Of course he was. It was dinnertime and Dairy Queen was quite crowded. Making a split-second decision, Bryn walked back to where Dane was standing in line and placed herself at his left side. So close her armbrushed his.
“You all right?” Dane asked in concern, looking down at her.
“Yeah.” She didn’t elaborate.
“Can’t find a place to sit?”
“I’d rather go on a picnic.”
“A picnic?”
“Uh huh.” Bryn held her breath, hoping he would go for it.
“This wouldn’t have anything to do with what happened in the grocery store, would it?”
Bryn looked up at Dane. She noticed once again how tall he really was. He was wearing his ever-present leather jacket. When he moved, she could smell the slight scent of the leather waft in her direction. She thought about how to answer him, and decided to simply tell the truth.
“It’s crowded. You don’t like crowds. There are some booths so you could see the restaurant, but your back would be to a window, which I don’t think would make you comfortable. There’s a small roadside picnic area about a mile south of the city. We could go there and you wouldn’t have to worry about other people, and maybe could enjoy your meal.”
He didn’t say anything for a long moment. Long enough that Bryn thought she’d gone too far. She’d dropped her eyes and pressed her lips together in mortification, figuring he’d finally realized she was as weird as he’d claimed and would leave her standing alone in the restaurant, when she felt pressure under her chin. She obediently raised her head, loving the warmth of his finger on her skin, and met his eyes as bravely as she could.
“That sounds perfect. Thank you.”

About the author

Susan StokerNew York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all-American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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Promise to Defend (Rescue Ops #2) by Diana Gardin-a review

PROMISE TO DEFEND (Rescue Ops #2) by Diana Gardin-a review

Promise to Defend

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 12, 2017

By saving her, he might just save himself…

I’m broken. I have been for seven years. Ever since my wife was murdered while I was deployed overseas. I was protecting our country, but I should have been protecting her. I haven’t looked at another woman since–but then Olive Alexander crossed my path. She stirs up feelings I thought were long dead. So when her house is ransacked after she receives a threatening message, I know I have to step in and keep her safe. I failed my wife, but I won’t fail Olive. Unfortunately, Olive isn’t exactly ready to accept my help…

With her sexy-as-sin pencil skirts and sleek ponytails, Olive clearly doesn’t let anything–or anyone–mess up her perfectly ordered life. But years spent working as a special ops soldier has taught me how to read people… and I know Olive is hiding something. When my covert mission for Night Eagle Security collides with Olive’s past, I’ll have to get her to open up-or risk losing her. And losing Olive is not an option. If she’s in danger, I’ll defend her…even if it costs me my life.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: PROMISE TO DEFEND is the second installment in Diana Gardin’s contemporary, adult RESCUE OPS romantic, suspense series focusing on the men and women who work for Night Eagle Security. The Rescue Ops series is a spin-off from the author’s Battle Scars series and several characters cross over for cohesion and familiarity. This is former US Army Ranger Ronin ‘Swagger’ Shaw, and interior designer Olive Alexander’s story line. PROMISE TO DEFEND can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line or series is revealed where necessary. Olive Alexander is best friends and business partner with Berkley Connors (Last True Hero-Battle Scars #1).

Told from dual first person points of view (Olive and Ronin) PROMISE TO DEFEND follows the building relationship between security specialist Ronin Shaw, and interior designer Olive Alexander. Having met months earlier, Ronin and Olive have circled one another for weeks until the fateful day Olive calls Ronin for help. Someone from Olive’s past is demanding a second chance using threatening texts and physical violence. When the threats become personal and familiar, Ronin becomes guardian and protector for our story line heroine. What ensue is the building relationship between Ronin and Olive, as the search for a killer comes full circle threatening the woman that Ronin loves.

Ronin Shaw is a broken man; a widower whose wife was murdered while our hero was serving his country over seas. For seven years Ronin has struggled to move on with his life including the mind numbing guilt that haunts him day and night. Meeting Olive places temptation at arm’s length but the death of his wife keeps Ronin battling between his heart and his mind. The relationship between Ronin and Olive is one of immediate attraction although Olive keeps secret a tempestuous past. The $ex scenes are intimate and intense.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Berkley and Dare Conners (Last True Hero), Grisham Abbot (Saved by the Seal), and Drake Sullivan (Man of Honor)-all leading characters from the author’s Battle Scars series. The requisite evil has many faces including a major connection to the Margiano mob.

PROMISE TO DEFEND is a fast paced, action packed story of intrigue and romance. The premise is engaging; the romance is passionate and seductive; the characters are colorful and dynamic but saying that, in true romantic suspense fashion, I have to question the heroine’s constant disregard for her own safety including the distinct lack of sense as she willingly offers herself up to the mob…..*sigh*.

Click HERE to read Sandy’s review of book one

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Pretend You’re Safe (The Agency #1) by Alexandra Ivy-a review

PRETEND YOU’RE SAFE (The Agency #1) by Alexandra Ivy-a review

Pretend You're Safe

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About the book: Release Date August 29 , 2017

HE SEES YOU
First came the floods. Then came the bodies. The victims—strangled, then buried along the shores of the Mississippi—have finally been unearthed, years after they disappeared. He remembers every satisfying kill . . . each woman’s terror and agony. But there’s only one he truly wanted. And fate has brought her within reach again . . .

HE KNOWS YOU
Jaci Patterson was sixteen when she found the first golden locket on her porch. Inside were a few strands of hair wrapped around a scrap of bloodstained ribbon. Though the “gifts” kept arriving, no one believed her hunch that a serial killer was at work. Now Jaci has returned home . . . and the nightmare is starting once more.

AND HE’LL NEVER LET YOU GO
Back then, Rylan Cooper was an arrogant deputy sheriff convinced that Jaci was just an attention—seeking teen. It was a fatal mistake. There’s a murderer in their midst, someone determined to settle old scores and keep playing a twisted game. And it won’t end until Jaci is his forever .

•••••••••

REVIEW: PRETEND YOUR SAFE is the first installment in Alexandra Ivy’s contemporary, adult THE AGENCY romantic, suspense series. This is security and IT specialist Rylan Cooper, and twenty seven year old pastry chef Jaci Patterson’s story line.

Told from several third person perspectives including Rylan and Jaci PRETEND YOU’RE SAFE follows the hunt for a serial killer. With the recent deluge of rain, the rapidly rising waters of the Mississippi gave up her secrets with the missing and the dead. When a bloated body and a severed skull are discovered floating in a farmer’s flooded field Jaci Patterson’s mind begins to wander to the past to a time when s number of local women went missing, and several golden lockets with a few strands of hair would appear on her door step. Fast forward to present day, and the terror begins anew when her estranged mother’s housekeeper goes missing, and a new locket appears from out of the blue. Enter Rylan Cooper- back home from sunny California, visiting his aging father- and the man with whom Jaci will fall in love. What ensues is the rekindling friendship and relationship between Rylan and Jaci, and the search for a killer as Jaci is once again targeted by a unknown man.

PRETEND YOU’RE SAFE is a slow building story of intrigue, romance and suspense. Rylan is a protector; a man who is desperate to protect the woman he loves but also a man who knows he must atone for sins of the past. Years earlier, a then arrogant deputy sheriff, Rylan ignored the panic and emotional fall out of the innocuous threats against Jaci’s life but with the uptick and resurgence of a similar MO, Rylan knows that to ignore Jaci could be fatal in more ways than one. The $ex scenes are limited but seductive although the attraction between our leading couple is low key and felt somewhat awkward. Jaci struggles with her attraction to the man who ignored her earlier fears and warnings.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Sheriff Mike O’Brien, his office assistant Carol, local artist Nelson Bradley; Jaci’s estranged family including half-sister Payton, half-brother Christopher, step-father Blake Hamilton, and mother Loreen Hamilton. We are also introduced to Rylan’s father Elmer Cooper , as well as a number of townsfolk, neighbors and nosy busybodies.

PRETEND YOU’RE SAFE is a thrilling and passionate story line. The premise is intriguing and keeps you guessing until the very end.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Last First Kiss (Iron Clad Security 2) by Sidney Halston-a review

LAST FIRST KISS (Iron Clad Security #2) by Sidney Halston-a review

Last First Kiss

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 29 , 2017

He’s an A-list Hollywood heartthrob.

She’s trying to prove herself in a man’s world.

For this female bodyguard, protecting her client is simply business, but what happens when sparks fly and the danger heats up?
After a series of box office flops, Rocco Monroe needs a hit. Bad press, shit talking, rumors, lies…it all goes with the territory after almost two decades in the spotlight, but when he lands the role of his career in a controversial biopic, the part of a lifetime comes with a catch: a hired bodyguard.

Annabelle Clad is so bored she wants to scream. Her life is coding and algorithms and binary codes…rinse and repeat. To her Rocco Monroe means freedom, a chance to show her overprotective brother and business partner that she can contribute to Iron Clad Securities. And no arrogant playboy will f*ck up her concentration by batting his lashes at her. She would never jeopardize her reputation by swooning over any man.

That had happened once, and she wouldn’t bear that loss or humiliation ever again. Even if Rocco looks like a walking fantasy…

•••••

REVIEW: LAST FIRST KISS is the second instalment in Sidney Halston’s contemporary, adult IRON CLAD SECURITY romantic, suspense series focusing on the men and women who work for Iron Clad Security. This is Hollywood actor Rocco Monroe, and former US soldier/IT specialist Annabelle Clad’s story line. LAST FIRST KISS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Annabelle and Rocco) LAST FIRST KISS follows the forbidden relationship between former American solider and IT specialist Annabelle Clad, and Hollywood actor Rocco Monroe. Rocco Monroe’s star has started for fizzle but a role in an upcoming controversial bio-pic finds our hero on the receiving end of a series of threats both personal and professionally including the potential fall-out of filming on location in the jungles of South America. When the production company forces Rocco to accept tightened security measures he will come face to face with a smart-mouthed, prickly, and over the top, alpha female Annabelle Clad-a former US soldier who served two tours in Afghanistan, and a woman who is desperate to prove she is just as capable as the men with whom she works. What ensues is the building relationship between Annabelle and Rocco as Annabelle is hired to play Rocco’s newest love, and the fall out as Annabelle continues to put her life in danger to protect the man with whom she is falling in love.

Annabelle Clad is just trying to do her job but it is in Rocco’s instinctive nature to protect the woman hired to protect himself. Our heroine has proven she can survive the mean streets of Afghanistan but surviving the over protective nature of Rocco and her brothers is less than conducive to our heroine’s independent charm. Rocco’s life hangs in the balance when the threats become physical, and Annabelle will become collateral damage for someone elses sins of the past.

The relationship between Annabelle and Rocco begins as a mutual attraction but Anna knows to get involved with a client would be a distraction when lives have been threatened by an unknown source. The allure of a female bodyguard has Rocco reconsidering his need for protection replacing it with the possibility of a romantic happily ever after. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

From the outset I had issues with the heroine’s immature attitude and her ongoing childish interplay and emotional behavior as it pertained to her brothers and their need to protect and control. Wanting to be accepted as an equal Annabelle’s temper tantrums and the sibling’s adolescent conduct diminished my enjoyment of the overall story as each encounter with her brother resulted in juvenile name-calling, screaming matches and rude finger gestures. This does not scream responsible adult but spoiled child. The men in her life, including Rocco Monroe, were constantly second guessing Anna’s ability to do the job-surviving two tours of duty made little difference in the grand scheme of security and personal independence but her immaturity could have played a role in her brother’s unwillingness to hand over complete control.

LAST FIRST KISS is an energetic and lively story line. The premise is entertaining; the characters are somewhat infuriating; the romance is tender and optimistic.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of book one KISS MARRY KILL

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Dirty Deeds (The Dirty Series #1) by HelenKay Dimon-Review & Giveaway

DIRTY DEEDS (The Dirty #1) by HelenKay Dimon-Review and Giveaway

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DIRTY DEEDS
The Dirty Series #1
by HelenKay Dimon
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Genre: adult,contemporary, M/M, erotic, romantic suspense

Dirty Deeds

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 8, 2017

No dirty deed goes unnoticed in a seductive game of cat and mouse. But for Alec and Gaige, the wrong move could get them killed.

Alec Drummond didn’t make his billions by playing nice—or by playing much at all. When it comes to pleasure, Alec only has time for whatever’s quick and easy, which is exactly what he gets from his company’s hot new computer genius. But Gaige Owens isn’t some pushover. He pushes back, and it’s giving Alec a rush. The question is, could Gaige be the one who’s leaking trade secrets? Just to be safe, Alec keeps him close at hand . . . night and day.

Gaige never thought he’d roll over for a man like Alec again, but who could resist sex this mind-blowing? Then there’s the draw of Alec’s mysterious side: his cutthroat ambition, his covert CIA connections, and the murder in his past. For Gaige, a deeper look proves an irresistible temptation. But when Gaige and Alec are stripped of their defenses by an unseen danger, everything they don’t know could bring them closer together—or tear them apart. Only one thing is certain: Before it’s all over, someone’s going down.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: DIRTY DEEDS is the first installment in HelenKay Dimon’s contemporary, adult THE DIRTY erotic, M/M romantic suspense series-a spin off from her TOUGH LOVE series. This is former CIA operative Gaige Owens, and billionaire businessman Alex Drummond’s story line. DIRTY DEEDS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty-any important information from the previous series is revealed where necessary. Alec is first introduced in Guarding Mr. Fine (Tough Love #3)

NOTE: DIRTY DEEDS contains graphic scenes of M/M sexual situations, intended for mature readers only.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Gaige and Alec) DIRTY DEEDS follows the search for the truth. Gaige Owens finds himself ‘tied’ to the CIA, and repaying his debt comes with a dangerous mission to Germany, and the man with whom he would fall in love. Enter Alec Drummond, billionaire businessman and civilian security specialist with high ranking government contacts, whose off hour business shipments to Svalbard, the ‘Doomsday Vault’ in Norway, have caught the attention of the CIA. What ensues is the building relationship between Gaige and Alec, and the struggle to uncover the who, what and why behind the ‘mysterious’ cargo entering the secret vaults meant to preserve the world’s food supplies.

Gaige Owens is an IT specialist but his latest ‘assignment’ has him coming face to face with a man who wants nothing to do with Gaige or the reasons behind the CIA’s involvement. Gaige is working undercover at Drummond Industries, and Alec has a difficult time trusting the man with whom he will fall in love. Both burned in the past by people they once loved Gaige and Alec’s attraction to one another is both palpable and immediate. But someone is desperate to keep both Gaige and Alec from uncovering the truth-our couple are targeted at home and at work. The $ex scenes are numerous, intimate and erotic. Alec battles both his heart and his head knowing there is an end date when the mission is complete.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Alec’s second in command Tony, as well as Tony’s girlfriend, former military personnel Caroline; Alex’s PA Pam Masters (Caroline’s sister); CIA Special Activities Division Agent (SAD) Seth Lang (Guarding Mr. Fine#3); Doomsday vault head of security Daniel Berg, and supervisor Astrid Larsen.

The world building continues to focus on the secret military operations, and Black Ops missions; the people, the places, and the threats to world safety and security, and the men whose mission it is to go undercover-in more ways than one.

DIRTY DEEDS is an intriguing and suspense filled story line focusing on the potential destruction of the world’s food supply. The premise is original, engaging and entertaining; the characters are colorful, edgy and animated; the romance is seductive and intense. DIRTY DEEDS is a sensual and passionate story of two men thrown together in the face of impending disaster.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Dirty Deeds Teaser

 

About the author

HelenKay DimonGoodreads /Website/ Twitter/ Facebook

Helenkay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a . . . divorce attorney. Not the usual transition, she knows. Good news is she now writes full time and is much happier. She has sold over thirty novels, novellas and shorts to numerous publishers. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. But if you ask her, she’ll tell you the best part of the job is never having to wear pantyhose again.

giveaway

HelenKay Dimon’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of DIRTY DEEDS 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).

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

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8. Giveaway is open internationally

9. Giveaway runs from August 8-11, 2017

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