The Hunting Grounds (Hidden Sins #2) by Katee Robert-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

THE HUNTING GROUNDS (Hidden Sins#2) by Katee Robert-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

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THE HUNTING GROUNDS
Hidden Sins #2
by Katee Robert
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, murder mystery, romantic suspense

The Hunting Grounds

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 25, 2017

For two FBI agents with a past, love becomes a matter of life and death in the new Hidden Sins novel from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert.

Maggie Gaines used to be an FBI agent—top of her class and one of the bright, up-and-coming stars—until she spectacularly fell apart during her first high-profile case. That was eight years ago. Now she’s a ranger at Glacier National Park, and she’s found some measure of peace. But when the body of a murdered woman is discovered, she must finally put the past behind her and work with the one man she thought she’d never see again.

For months, Vic Sutherland has been hunting a killer who’s been targeting unsuspecting hikers in national parks—and now the predator has come to Glacier. Vic knows the case will bring him face-to-face with his former partner, yet nothing can prepare him for seeing Maggie again after all these years, or for the memories of passion it stirs in both of them.

As the investigation brings them closer together—and closer to the killer—Maggie and Vic fear they have only each other to trust. But even that might not be enough to make it out of Glacier alive.

••••••••••

REVIEW: THE HUNTING GROUNDS is the second installment in Katee Robert’s contemporary, adult HIDDEN SINS murder/mystery, romantic suspense series. This is FBI agent Vic Sutherland, and former FBI agent and park ranger Maggie Gaines’s story line. THE HUNTING GROUNDS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. Vic Sutherland, and his boss at the FBI Britton Washburne were first introduced in book one THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER.

Told from several third person points of view including Maggie and Vic, with flashbacks to the past THE HUNTING GROUNDS focuses on the search for a killer who is targeting hikers at various National Parks. When the most recent victim(s) is discovered in Glacier National Park park ranger Maggie Gaines comes face to face with her past-FBI BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) specialist Vic Sutherland-her former partner and the man with whom she had fallen in love. What ensues is the search for a killer, as Maggie and Vic analyze the path of jealousy and revenge.

THE HUNTING GROUNDS is a story of mystery, murder, suspense and retribution. As the number of victims grows, Vic and Maggie begin to break down the potential who and why of the killer’s murder spree.

The relationship between Maggie and Vic is one of mutual attraction but seven years earlier Vic Sutherland was a married man, and our heroine walked away from a career in the BAU when her first case went all to h*ll. Their attraction for one another has never waivered, and Maggie and Vic are wiling to reclaim what was lost years before.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including the head of the BAU Britton Washburne, Vic’s FBI partner Tucker Kendrick, park ranger Ava Boyle, seasonal ranger David Downey, coroner Dr. Katherine Huxley, and Maggie’s current boss Wyatt Thornton. There are also a large number of hikers who become targets for a psychopath h*ll bent for fury in the name of betrayal and revenge.

The superb and detailed world building focuses on the sights and sounds of life on the trails; the geography of Glacier National Park; and the search for a killer who will not stop until everyone is gone.

THE HUNTING GROUNDS does not focus so much on the romance aspect of the leading couple but focuses more on the hunt for a killer so I hazard to label THE HUNTING GROUNDS a true romantic suspense. The relationship between Maggie and Vic is a little more than a bi-product of working together but a relationship that has the potential to resume when all is said and done. The premise is intriguing but predictable although the killer’s motivation needed a more thorough explanation; the romance is limited and secondary to the overall story line; the leading characters are reserved and fell a little flat. THE HUNTING GROUNDS by Katee Robert is an imaginative tale of murder, suspense and revenge.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of book one- THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

 

The Hunting Grounds Teaser

excerpt

NOTE: The excerpt is intended for mature readers due to strong language and text

The Hunting Grounds Excerpt

Copyright © 2017 Katee Robert

 

Vic’s gaze fell on his phone. Maggie’s number was now in the contacts folder. It would be easy to dial it, just to check on her.
Except it was late, and she hadn’t asked for him to babysit her.
He’d gone years without seeing her, and now that they were in the same general area, it was like they were two magnets that could barely resist the pull. He wanted to hear her voice, to sit her down and share a meal that wasn’t military issue, to actually talk.
His phone rang, which startled him so much he almost dropped it. Vic stared at the screen for several precious seconds, wondering if he was more tired than he’d thought, because it sure as fuck looked like Maggie was calling him. “Sutherland.”
“It’s me.”
He sat on the edge of the bed, suddenly painfully aware that he wore only a towel. It shouldn’t matter. She couldn’t see him, didn’t know what he was or wasn’t wearing, but it did matter. “Hey, Maggie.”
“I have to apologize.” He could almost feel her soft sigh. “You were right, and I was acting like a stubborn kid. This whole thing—the murders in the park and having to deal with my past and you—has got me all twisted up.”
Maybe it was the events of the last two days, but he was so goddamn tired of doing the noble thing. He never put himself or his personal shit before a case. Not once.
He’d never wanted to before.
“I twist you up?”
“As if you didn’t know. I had something of a crush on you when we were partners—which I’m sure you knew after I threw myself at you—and apparently I didn’t outgrow it as much as I thought.”
The dimness of the room evoked an intimacy he didn’t deserve. Was Maggie sitting in her bedroom in low light, too? He liked the picture that made. “You have nothing to apologize for.”
“I’ve been making an ass of myself since you stepped off that helicopter.” She shifted, the sound painfully loud in the near silence. “And I’m doing it again, apparently. My whole point was that I’m sorry and I’ll be professional from now on. You don’t have to worry about any breakdowns or hissy fits.”
If he was smart, he’d take her apology for what it was and allow it to move them back to solid ground. There were lives on the line and a condensed timeline that was only going to get more condensed with each body that popped up.
But when Vic spoke, he didn’t move them back to firm ground. He threw them right over the edge of the cliff. “Fuck being professional. I want you, Maggie. Not the former FBI agent. Not the park ranger. I want you.”


 

About The Author

Katee RobertsNew York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.” When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Connect with Katee at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram |

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Sworn to Protect /No Good Deed by Susanne Matthews-reviews

Sworn to Protect / No Good Deed by Susanne Matthews -reviews

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SWORN TO PROTECT
by Susanne Matthews
Release Date: June 10, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspsense

Sworn to Protect

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 10, 2017

Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.

The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.

When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.

Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.

As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?

•••••••••••

REVIEW: Sworn to Protect is a Romance/Suspense novel. If you like romance and suspense with a good bit of danger in your stories…this one’s for you. It’s well paced, action and emotion packed drama.

Nancy Frost (Copeland)is a tax specialist and incredibly good at her job. However, she inadvertently opens the wrong file and life goes downhill really fast from there. Nancy is beginning divorce procedures after a bad car accident and she loses both her mother and her unborn son. It’s been four years and she just can’t get past it. Her best friend and divorce lawyer, Meredith, tries to talk her out of filing, but she seems decided. Meredith also asks for a tax review for a client, complicating the plot further.

Neil Copeland and his partner Todd Higgins are U.S. Marshalls whose job it is to protect and hide witnesses until they can testify for the Justice Department, then put them into the program with a whole new identity and life. Neil was on assignment four years earlier when his wife had a bad car accident. Unfortunately, his boss didn’t reach him for five days after the accident to let him know.

That’s the basic set up. This is a marvelously and cleverly twisted story of broken love, dangerous people, and second chances. It’s full of danger, great secondary characters, and of course more than a few scumbags. Domestic terrorism and betrayal of country are also featured.

I loved the couple. I loved the stoic man who loves his wife with all his heart. Many regrets and what he considers failures are his devils, but his love is always strong and unshakable. His wife only blames him for not being there for her…that his job came first. Her father put job before family and for her it’s a deal breaker, but did he?

When Nancy is attacked and almost killed because of her job, he’s assigned to take care of her and protect her. Like he wouldn’t have on his own…but his boss knows he owes him.

I’m not going to do any spoiling of this incredible story. You really have to read it for yourself. It should be a movie. If it was, it’s one of those I’d watch again and again. Author Susanne Matthews has put together a believable and complicated story with so much heart as well as real danger. It’s woven with realism and heartbreak that needs healing. If romantic suspense is a theme you like, do yourself a favor and don’t miss this one.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna S.

_________________

NO GOOD DEED
by Susanne Matthews

Release Date: July 31, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, mystery, romantic suspense

No Good Deed

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 31, 2017

Psychological chills and thrills are woven around a heartwarming love story in this action-packed romantic suspense novel.

Escaping from her abusive fiancé, Alexa O’Brien pulls into a gas station only to walk in on an execution. She’s in protective custody until she can identify Nicoli Zabat, Montreal’s mob boss, at his trial. But her safe house has been compromised, setting in motion a dangerous cat-and-mouse game.

Lieutenant Mike Delorme on the Sûreté Du Québec has spent the last eighteen months undercover in narcotics to take down Zabat, the man he blames for the death of his wife and unborn child. He doesn’t have the interest or patience to babysit a woman whose memory isn’t clear—but he’ll carry out his assignment to show the brass he’s a team player.

As Mike and Alexa dodge danger, it appears she’s in deeper than merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the mafia hit she witnessed is revealed to be just the tip of an international terrorist’s plot, they must rely on each other to survive—but only if they can learn to trust their instincts and let love map out their next move.

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: No Good Deed is a Romance/Mystery/Suspense novel. This exciting story is fast-paced, twisty, and features a feisty romance. Author Susanne Matthews is excellent at twisting plots and adding surprises, this one exceeds the rules.

The main characters are believable and damaged but lovable, both of them. The secondary characters are both interesting and unique. The bad guys are malevolent, greedy, and generally evil. However, the main bad guy is exceptional. He’s intelligent and talented and gives Hannibal Lechter a run for his money.

The plot is simple but with all the twists and turns I expect from this author. I was not disappointed in the least. I swear I could watch this one on the movie screen in my mind.

Okay, here’s the set-up.

Alexa O’Brien is escaping. She’s planned well…she thinks. She’s going to make it this time…she thinks. When she tries do one good deed on her way, all hell breaks loose and she’s going to die…she thinks. But fate intervenes and she’s put in protective custody…she thinks.

Mike Delorme is a lieutenant, a member of the Sûreté du Québec, the province’s provincial police force for the last fifteen years. He’s not quite recovered from a beating while on assignment, but is reassigned to a joint task force to protect a woman…he thinks. Her safe house and protection are a botched job…he thinks. He’ll protect her and keep her alive like he failed to do for his wife…he thinks. He doesn’t need romance or a family anymore…he thinks. The task force has his back…he thinks.

Okay, that’s the set-up. You can find the answers to these little teasers and more by reading this marvelous adventure for yourself. It’s a great story with lots of excitement and adventure and you’ll find yourself falling in love with these two…I don’t think it…I know it!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna S.

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Claiming Alexis (Ace Security #2) by Susan Stoker-Review and Book Tour

CLAIMING ALEXIS (Ace Security #2) by Susan Stoker-Review and Book Tour

Claiming Alexis

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 4, 2017

Add to your GOODREADS shelf

Nothing is more important to Blake Anderson than the work he does with his brothers at Ace Security. At least that’s what he thinks until he meets the fiercely independent Alexis Grant. The security firm’s new intern pushes all his buttons—and makes his temperature rise. But giving in to temptation might be risky business.
Alexis can tell that Blake has his doubts about her ability to commit. But while most people look at her and see only a flighty rich girl, she knows he sees much more. Determined to prove herself to Blake, Alexis jumps at the chance to work undercover. And when her case takes a dangerous turn, she puts her trust—and her heart—in his hands.
Now, as Alexis digs into the deadly secrets of a local gang, Blake will lay everything on the line to protect the woman he’s come to love.

••••••••••••

REVIEWCLAIMING ALEXIS is the second installment in Susan Stoker’s contemporary, adult ACE SECURITY erotic, 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 security specialist Blake Anderson, and new Ace Security intern and heiress Alexis Grant’s story line. CLAIMING ALEXIS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty but I recommend reading book one CLAIMING GRACE as much of the current story line premise is a direct result of the events in book one.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Blake and Alexis) CLAIMING ALEXIS follows Alexis Grant as she goes undercover to ferret our information about the Inca Boyz gang, their involvement in the recent attempts to destroy Grace’s (Claiming Grace) life, and her brother Bradford’s entanglement in the blackmail scheme between Inca Boyz and Grace’s parents. While Alexis volunteers to go undercover, Blake struggles with his growing love for the woman that calls to his heart. What ensues are Alexis’s struggle and pursuit to be accepted by the Inca Boyz gang, and the fall out when the ruse is uncovered by someone from Alexis’s past.

CLAIMING ALEXIS is a friend to lovers romance that focuses on the quick building relationship between Alexis and Blake. Alexis has some issues of self esteem that center on what she believes are her less than exemplary physical attributes, and the uncomfortable circumstances that her parent’s money has placed upon her personal and emotional inability to trust. Blake has been attracted to Alexis from the very
start, and his proclamation of need and love is quickly replaced by fear when Alexis volunteers to go undercover with the Inca Boyz gang. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate; Alexis is a virgin whose lack of experience is quickly replaced by exploration and a man who is willing to take his time with the woman he loves. A drunk Alexis tells it like it is; and Blake likes to talk dirty in the bedroom.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Logan and Grace (Claiming Grace #1), Nathan Anderson, as well as several members of the Inca Boyz gang.

Alexis’s lack of experience as it pertained to the undercover operation is disturbing especially when everything begins to fall apart. The circumstances were dangerous and life threatening even though Blake and the others claimed to be a heartbeat away. I question the believability of such actions and placing a civilian in the direct line of fire but such is the world of fictional story lines and sometimes, in the end, believability is to be suspended.

CLAIMING ALEXIS is a spirited story line. The premise is energetic; the characters are enthusiastic; the romance is provocative and intense-Alexis’s lack of experience and inability to hold her booze leads to some rather unorthodox comments and actions. The reality of the undercover operation is questionable.

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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Wicked Intentions (Wicked Games #3) by J.T. Geissinger-Review and Book Tour

WICKED INTENTIONS (Wicked Games #3) by JT Geissinger-Review and Book Tour

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WICKED INTENTIONS

Wicked Games #3

by J.T. Geissinger

Genre: adult, contemporary,erotic, romance

Release Date: July 11, 2017

Wicked Intentions

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 11, 2017

Ex special-ops officer and security expert Ryan McLean is getting a much-needed vacation. In the Caribbean for his best friend’s wedding, his plans include nothing more strenuous than working on his tan. But when he meets a beautiful woman in the hotel bar, their connection is immediate and intense, and they spend a passionate night together with pleasure as their only goal.

Until Ryan wakes the following morning to discover the beautiful woman has vanished, along with millions worth of jewels from the safe of the Saudi prince staying in the suite next door. Realizing he was duped, Ryan becomes determined to find the mystery woman and bring her to justice. If only he could forget how explosive their chemistry was, how her kisses drove him wild like no other woman before.

A notorious thief known to authorities only as the Dragonfly, Mariana Lora only has one more score to settle until she can retire, but the sexy-as-hell Marine she spent one explosive tropical night with is hot on her heels at every turn. She has to outwit him to stay out of jail, but fighting their magnetic attraction soon becomes a game neither one of them can resist.

When Mariana’s last job goes dangerously wrong and she needs Connor’s help to survive, he has to decide if their game of cat and mouse is only a game, or if he can trust this beautiful thief with something no woman has ever stolen: his heart.

•••••••

REVIEW: WICKED INTENTIONS is the third installment in JT Geissinger’s contemporary, adult WICKED GAMES erotic, romance series. This is security expert, mercenary, and ex special-ops officer Ryan McLean, and thief Mariana Lora’s story line. WICKED INTENTIONS 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 first person points of view (Ryan and Mariana) WICKED INTENTIONS follows Mariana Lora-a world renowned, international thief known as the Dragonfly-as she endeavors to complete her latest assignment. Falling for Ryan McLean was never in the cards-Ryan is Mariana’s ticket to access millions of dollars in royal jewels-jewels that are going to pay off a debt and protect someone our heroine loves. But little does Mariana know that the man she has marked to gain access to the jewels, is a former special-ops officer who specializes in security and is all too aware that Mariana is hiding the truth about the who and what of her Caribbean vacation. What ensues is Ryan’s hunt for the truth, and Mariana’s struggle to break free of a debt that will never be paid.

Mariana is desperate to protect someone she loves but a debt owed finds our heroine risking not only her life but also the life of someone back home. Trying to keep her true identity a secret is next to impossible when the former special ops agent suspects not all is right in her world. Mariana’s backstory is heartbreaking and dark.

Ryan McLean’s Caribbean vacation just got a whole lot more interesting meeting the sultry and sexy woman whose secrets and lies push all of his over protective and alpha buttons. Ryan isn’t going to let go of the woman that calls to his heart but searching for Mariana becomes a little more complicated when the truth is revealed. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense. Mariana has but one rule-never to sleep with a mark- and Ryan’s presence will obliterate all sense for our story line heroine.

The secondary and supporting characters include Metrix Security staff Connor and Tabitha (Wicked Sexy #2), Darcy and Kai, and fifteen year old genius Juanita, as well as Mariana’s friend and father figure Reynard, and crime boss Vincent Moreno. There is plenty of back and forth friendly banter between the Metrix group members.

WICKED INTENTIONS has moments of humor and fun, danger, action and suspense, romance and love. The premise is intriguing and entertaining; the romance is seductive and passionate; the characters are colorful, dynamic and realistic-the friendships are fun and loving.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Wicked Beautiful
Wicked Sexy
Wicked Intentions

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Wicked Intentions Teaser

About the Author

JT Geissinger PIc

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

To receive notification of new releases, sign up for her newsletter at
www.jtgeissinger.com

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Killing June (Saved by Sin #1) by May B. Bridges-Review and Guest Post

Killing June (Saved by Sin #1) by May B. Bridges-Review and Guest Post

Killing June

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 4, 2017

SEDUCED BY PAIN
At night I’m June, dominating with the whip, even as I crave the hot, searing blow of the cane, myself. I loathe this side of who I am, but I can’t deny it or escape it. And as my clients cry out for me, begging for mercy, I can’t help but want June dead.

By day, I’m Alex Ryan, the good, successful Southern woman everyone thinks I am. I’ve compartmentalized my life to make it bearable, and to get what I want most: revenge. I can have a future with June dead, as soon as I confront the man that terrorized my past.

SAVED BY SIN
Cade Brannon is the local gun for hire, part of the seedy underworld of Dallas, but he may also be my savior. I want his help and he wants me. But Cade refuses to play by my rules and is forcing his way into every one of those compartments that I want to lock away. Now the parts of my life I’ve fought so hard to keep separate are bleeding together and it’s tearing me apart.

I just want to go back to being Alex Ryan. But at what cost am I willing to kill June?

••••••••••••••

REVIEW

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Dark, deep, roller coaster emotion riding, naughty, angst filling … just a few words to describe this book. I LOVED IT! 🙂 This is the kind of book that sits with you long after you finish the last sentence. Gave me shivers. I will say, if you are not a fan of the dark romance, BDSM genre then skip this read. It could also be triggers for some who have personal issues with this kind of story. If you are okay with it all, then by all means jump in, full on, you will be taken for one amazing ride!

Killing June by May B. Bridges is the first book of her “Saved By Sin” series. How appropriate is “Saved By Sin”! Brilliant really. As I mentioned above, it’s a dark romance with BDSM elements, hot and very steamy, descriptive with a good dash of suspense. Not for a light afternoon over tea kind of read, but for a glass of red wine and a dark chocolate eclair. DECADENT!

Alexandria “Alex” is also known as “June” by a few chosen people. By day, she is Alex. A well put together lady who seems to have it all together. By night she is June, a highly complex, dark, tortured soul who indulges in BDSM lifestyle that she is NOT happy with. Events in her life have placed her on this unwanted path that she detests so much, but secretly craves. These events have been responsible for her being deceived and manipulated and now she wants answers and revenge.

Cade is the perfect man for Alex AND June. He is what June craves but what Alex needs. He is a healthy balance. He is dominant, self assured, caring, protective and loving but can bark and bite when the circumstance arises. Once he discovers Alex/Junes secrets, he is all in to heal and win this woman who fulfills all he needs in his own life. Alex/June want to fight him off however, but Cade is having none of it.

These two are very much a give and take couple, and May got the balance absolutely spot on. I loved the twists and turns, the suspense of the story and I found my heart racing a time or two when I really had no clue where we were going. BDSM can be a very tough genre to write as in truth, BDSM is not just physical. There is such an overwhelming emotional side to a BDSM relationship and convincing the reader that a couple will make it can be a hard task to accomplish. May you accomplished this perfectly. I am an emotional reader, and you pulled my heart strings as I flipped through the pages. I feel like a blabbering fool going on about it and not getting my words right here, but that is proof that you did your job as an awesome author in this genre. THANK YOU!

I never give storyline away on my reviews, you will have to take the ride alone. Just know you are in for an intense story, some incredible steamy scenes, a couple you can’t help but love, and a suspense where by the end you’ll be thinking “Oh freaking YES!”

So looking forward to more from this author! LOVED!

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Rachel T.

Guest Post

Some Like it Hot! Navigating Romance.

I remember the first time I read a sex scene in a book. Wow, I was seriously unprepared. Being used to YA fantasy and a softer kind of romance, I wasn’t expecting it, at all. I was sure the scene would fade to black any moment. There I was, sitting at my daughter’s gymnastics practice, hordes of other parents around, and all of a sudden, I’m reading about penetration and hard coc… ‘Oh Jesus, did she just stay that?’ I snapped the book shut, face turning red, certain every other parent in the room somehow knew I was reading a dirty book in the presence of their precious children. The book was quickly shoved in my bag, not to make a reappearance at gymnastics. It was a surprise, to say the least. And though I enjoyed my first erotic romance read thoroughly, I’d have appreciated knowing what I was in for when I chose that as my casual daytime reader.

Romance, erotic romance, erotica, it can get confusing. So how is one to know what they’re in for when they pick up a romance book? And is the book you’re picking up a romance at all? Let’s see if we can’t sort it out.

Romance is a broad genre. That’s probably why it has so many sub-genres. If you’re searching Amazon for a romance book, you’ll have over 25 categories to browse. If Barnes and Noble is more your style, you can search over 40 romance categories. That’s a whole lot of books! And seeing that some of those categories are as opposite as night and day, romance runs the gamut of topics, themes, and plot lines.

So if there are so many sub-genres, so many ways to write these books, what makes them all romance? To be a romance, a book needs two things: A central love story, and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending—Also known as a happily ever after or happy for now. No, I didn’t come up with those from my own writerly genius. I stole them from Romance Writers of America. Pretty basic, right? Once you have a story with a conflict and climax that focuses on developing a romantic relationship, and a happy ending, pretty much anything goes. It’s all of the other elements and subplots that define your sub-genre.

The jump from romance to erotic romance is an easy one. It’s romance because we have our two central elements in place. It’s erotic because we’ve taken the sex from PG 13 to NC-17. The sex almost never fades to black, and authors tend to be less coy in their descriptions of the body.

Erotic romance is almost as wide of a descriptions as romance itself. These novels can be anything from cowboy romance, historical, supernatural, contemporary, to suspense. Erotic romance spans the full range of romance sub-genres, with spiritual romance possibly being the only exception. Many book sellers don’t even list erotic romance as a romance sub-genre at all. That very well could be because there are erotic novels in every sub-genre romance.

If you like your romance with a lot of heat, I’m sure you can find one that lights your fire. If you’re an easy blusher, you might want to think that through before bring these books with you to the kid’s practices. Public or private, erotic romance are some of my favorite reads

You might think erotica is simply the next progression. Isn’t it just erotic romance on another level? Or even simply another word for erotic romance? Actually, no. The two have some big differences and aren’t technically interchangeable. In fact, an erotica story may not even be a romance at all. It doesn’t have to deal with love or relationships, and might not have a happy ending. To put it plainly, these are stories about sex. They focus on the act of sex, and not always as a byproduct of a romantic relationship.

When I was younger porn came in movies, not clips. I know, that makes me ancient. The point is, these movies always had a plot line. A group of girls would be home, bored, and hungry. They’d start talking about all of the sex acts they hadn’t tried while waiting for the pizza they ordered. The pizza guy would show up, one thing would lead to another, and suddenly you have an orgy. The plot line was never important. It was the catalyst to get these people in a room together so sex could be the focus. Without sex you really had no story. Erotica can be similar in many ways. If you pull out the sex acts, you usually don’t have enough content left for a book.

In theory, you could write an erotica about almost anything. As I’m writing this, I’m watching my boyfriend play the new Friday the 13th video game. It’s gruesome and not my thing at all, but we could turn it into an erotic novel. If Jason had graphic, hot sex with the camp counselors before killing them, and we focused the story more on his sex drive and a bit less on the hacking and slashing, we’d have an erotic horror novel. Not one I’d be reading, but a novel that fit the bill, nonetheless.

Erotica novels can be fun and exciting reads. Many of my favorite erotica writers find a way to inject a bit of humor. And what is better than a book with hot sex and a good laugh? But know that when you are searching for an erotica title, all bets are off and you could end up with anything from something resembling a romance, to bored girls and a pizza guy, to Jason in a hockey mask getting busy before hacking off some heads. Anything is possible as long as sex is the star.

It’s possible that the misconception that erotica and erotica romance are one in the same comes from book sellers. As we mentioned above, a lot of them don’t list erotic romance as a genre. That leaves authors and publishers with a few options to let readers know that their book is erotic in nature. An obvious one is to list it under erotica. So before you jump up and down, yelling that you’ve found some of your favorite erotic romances listed as erotica, yep, I know.

Truth is, if it’s a book you love, a book that sweeps you away from reality for a few hours, then it doesn’t matter how a seller labels it. Trying to sort through it all is only to help you find the book of your dreams a little bit faster. For all of their differences and similarities, the greatest thing romance, erotic romance, and erotica have in common is how diverse they are. With books from one end of the spectrum to the other, whether you want something sweet and light, a love story that’s dark and steamy, or a book about a good roll in the sheets, one of these three genres are sure to have what you need.

Happy reading!

May B. Bridges

@MaybBridges

http://www.maybbooks.com

About the author

May Bridges

I write dark, gritty contemporary romance.  I am a Southerner in the Northwest by way of Colorado. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates, bookish and writing thoughts, and general life shenanigans.

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Fuel for Fire (Black Knights Inc #10) by Julie Ann Walker-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

FUEL FOR FIRE (Black Knights Inc #10 ) by Julie Ann Walker-Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

Fuel For Fire

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo / BAM / Indiebound / ibooks

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 4, 2017

A brooding covert operative and a spunky CIA agent discover a burning passion in the next installment of Julie Ann Walker’s red-hot BKI series

Dagan Zoelner has made three huge mistakes
The first two left blood on his hands.
The third left him wondering…what if? What if he had told the woman of his dreams how he felt before his world fell apart?

Spitfire CIA agent Chelsea Duvall has always had a thing for bossy, brooding Dagan. It’s just as well that he’s never given her a second look, since she carries a combustible secret about his past that threatens to torch their lives…

••••••••••

REVIEW: FUEL FOR FIRE is the tenth installment in Julie Ann Walker’s contemporary, adult BLACK KNIGHTS INC romantic suspense /military, action series focusing on an elite group of ex Navy SEALS, FBI, CIA and military heroes headquartered at a custom motorcycle shop known as Black Knights Inc. The men and women of Black Knights Inc are so far under the radar that they are blacker than Black Ops. This is former CIA agent Dagan Zoelner, and current CIA counterterrorism analyst (on loan to BKI) Chelsea Duvall’s story line. FUEL FOR FIRE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Dagan and Chelsea’s relationship begins in TOO HARD TO HANDLE #8.

Told from several third person perspectives including Dagan and Chelsea FUEL FOR FIRE takes the BKI team to Europe as they search for the mysterious person known as the ‘Spider’. Along with former British SAS agent Christian Watson, and one time CIA operative Emily Scott, former Navy pilot Colby Ace Ventura, Dagan Zoelner and Chelsea Duvall embark on a mission to ferret out the true identity of a man whose illegal and business ties reach around the world. But when their plan begins to crumble, and Chelsea is identified as the source of stolen computer information, the group find themselves on the run from the SAS, Scotland Yard, and numerous ‘men in black’. What ensues is the building romance, between Chelsea and Dagan, and the fall out when Chelsea reveals the truth about a former mission that went horribly wrong.

FUEL FOR FIRE is a friends to lovers story line that sees Chelsea and Dagan’s worlds implode when Chelsea confesses to sins of the past. As former colleagues in the CIA Chelsea has access to information that if revealed may have saved Dagan years of guilt and shame. With Chelsea’s revelations Dagan’s reaction to the woman he thought he loved is heartbreaking and sad. The $ex scenes are limited, seductive and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. The palpable sexual energy does not go unnoticed by the other members of the group including Emily and Christian, whose own back and forth verbal bickering is fraught with angry sexual tension.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including the previously mentioned BKI agents as well as the addition of another potential member of the Black Ops team- Rusty Parker-another former member of the CIA currently running a fishing trawler in the English Channel. The requisite evil has many faces including British businessman Roper Morrison, and Morrison’s head of security Steven Surry whose love for his mother proves desperation comes at a cost.

The world building takes the BKI team through Britain, France and back to the USA but their search for the elusive person known only as the ‘Spider’ is fraught with too many dead ends and bodies.

FUEL FOR FIRE is a fast paced story of action, suspense, romance and heartbreak. The premise is engaging and energetic; the romance is provocative; the characters are lively, spirited and emotional. The majority of the story line covers less than 24 hours in the life but there is plenty of activity to push the team forward towards the next installment. My only issue, once again, are the inner monologues and thoughts filled with euphemisms, colloquialisms and figures of speech meant to add humor but I found myself cringing one too many times.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Excerpt 2

 

Tell us!” Surry demanded again, giving her head a hard shake. Her brain banged around inside her skull, making her see stars. Since she was tied with a length of electrical cord to one of the chairs in front of Morrison’s desk, her hands duct-taped behind her back, there was little she could do to defend herself.
Then again, she still had her smart mouth. “Screw you, buddy,” she snarled. Those three words were all she allowed herself before she clenched her teeth and sealed her lips shut.
The violence that clouded Surry’s face and glinted in his hell-black eyes made her want to curl into a protective ball. He leaned down so that his nose was an inch from hers. His hot breath smelled of coffee and buttered croissants, and the thought of him actually eating struck her as weird. She had assumed he sustained himself by devouring the souls of Morrison’s enemies.
“You will bloody well tell us what we want to know, Miss Duvall.” When he spoke all low and menacing in that thick English accent, she got the unsettling feeling that something dark moved in the shadows just out of sight. “Or I will jab this letter opener into your carotid.” He pulled back to wield the weapon he had taken from Morrison’s desktop. The sterling-silver letter opener glinted in the golden glow cast by the overhead chandelier.
Releasing her face, Surry cocked his head. “So, what shall it be? The truth? Or the knife? The choice is yours.” There was an emptiness in his voice when he asked the questions. Like he didn’t really care what the answers would be. Like he was tired or bored or maybe…resigned?
Oh, that doesn’t bode well.
Of course, the truth was out of the question. She would never rat on the Black Knights. No telling what Morrison, a.k.a Spider, with all his power and connections, could do with that information. So that left…the knife.
But there’s still so much I want to do!
She had never learned to make her mother’s she-crab soup. She had never tried her hand at writing fiction like that of Tolkien or Rowling or Martin. She had never married the love of her life and given him two bouncing, chubby-cheeked babies.
A cold finger of terror dragged up her spine, and for a second she considered spilling her guts and saving her hide. But then, from somewhere deep inside, a well of strength erupted, filling her with determination and the will to do what must be done.
Her mind briefly touched on her mother, and a great sadness weighed down her heart. Grace Duvall would be devastated by the death of her only child. But Chelsea took comfort—cold comfort, but comfort all the same—in knowing that her life insurance policy would be enough to pay her mother’s debts. That was something. Something to hold on to.
“Well?” Surry demanded. “What will it be?”
Chelsea licked her lips. Fear was a living thing inside her, crawling through her chest like a centipede on prickly legs. She squashed it and sealed her own fate. “Do your worst, you sorry, low-life sonofagun!”
Surry’s beard-stubbled chin jerked back as if he couldn’t believe the choice she’d made. Then his eyes narrowed, and grim determination transformed his face.
Closing her eyes, Chelsea waited on the inevitable. That centipede was going crazy inside her, making her chest ache and raising the hair on her head. She braced herself for the deathblow as a million regrets, a million joys, a million memories flittered through her brain.
Funny how many of those regrets and joys and memories feature Dagan.
She held her breath, savoring it, knowing it was her last and—
“Drop. The. Knife.”
With a cry, she blinked open her eyes and craned her head around to see three figures dressed from head to toe in black. Each of them wielded a weapon as if it were an extension of himself.
The Black Knights…
Even had Dagan not spoken the three most beautiful words she’d ever heard in that smooth moonshine voice, she would have known the trio anywhere. There was no mistaking those broad shoulders or those defiant, cocksure stances.
Her eyes homed in on Dagan. He was in the middle and slightly forward of the other two. It wasn’t his height or carriage that gave him away. It was his stillness. Ace and Christian seemed to vibrate with barely leashed power. But Dagan was a statue. Not a muscle quivered. Not a tendon or ligament cracked. Chelsea was reminded of a pair of tectonic plates under intense pressure. She knew what came next. The earth would rip open, and hell would spew forth.
Surry must have felt the doom behind Dagan’s stillness, because his voice sounded wheezy when he demanded, “And who the fuck are you?”
“Worry less about who we are,” Dagan snarled, “and more about what we’ll do if you don’t drop the knife.”
Proving he had more balls than brains, Surry spun Chelsea’s chair around and palmed her forehead to wrench her head back. The sharp tip of the letter opener nicked at the skin pulsing over the large vein in her neck. She hadn’t had time to scream, and now she didn’t dare breathe.
“Ring up the police, sir,” Surry said. From the corner of her eye, Chelsea saw Morrison/Spider make a move toward the desk.
“Take one step in the direction of that phone, and you’ll be eating a bullet for breakfast.” There was no mistaking Dagan’s words or his tone. He meant what he said.
Morrison must have come to the same realization. The old man stopped in his tracks.
“Good man,” Dagan acknowledged. “Now, there’s one thing you both need to understand. We’re leaving here with Chelsea. That can be over your dead bodies or your live ones.” Even though his words were calm and his body as motionless as a mountain, rage burned inside him. It was there in his eyes, glowing red like the fires of Mordor. “So what will it be? The choice is yours.”
It was the same option Surry had given her, spoken in the same words. How long had the three of them been outside listening?
“You have no bloody idea who you’re fucking with,” Morrison snarled, his chest heaving with every furious breath. “I have—”
That’s all he managed. In a flash, the statue, a.k.a. Dagan Zoelner, came to life. He moved faster than the human eye could follow, certainly faster than Chelsea could track with her head angled back in Surry’s grip. One second he was staring at her and Surry, and the next he aimed at Morrison and pulled his trigger.
The gunshot was oddly muffled and Morrison stumbled back, hitting his hip on the edge of the desk. Surry bellowed his outrage and released her head. Free from his brutal grip, she turned to Morrison and understood the strangeness of the weapon’s sound.
It wasn’t a bullet that had exploded from the end of Dagan’s gun. It was a dart. She had just enough time to catch a glimpse of the fuzzy yellow end protruding from the center of Morrison’s chest before Dagan fired again. This time the dart whizzed over her head. Surry made an awful gurgling noise. When she pulled her chin back, she saw the projectile sticking from his neck.
He reached for the dart, stumbling into her chair. His hand hit the back of her head, looking for leverage and forcing her chin into her chest as every vertebra in her neck threatened to crack under the pressure. She couldn’t see what happened next. But she heard it. Heard the boots that pounded against the tiles as the Black Knights raced into the room.
Surry released her head when Christian tackled him. From the corner of her eye, she watched Ace catch Morrison right before the old man toppled face-first onto the floor. And Dagan? Well, Dagan knelt in front of her.
She gasped when his big, warm hands cupped her cheeks, gently lifting her head. Her neck ached, but it wasn’t broken. All her fingers and toes still worked when she gave them an experimental wiggle.
“Chels… Christ. Are you okay?” His stormy eyes searched her face.
She nodded her head. That’s all she could manage because a giant lump was centered in her throat. She had put on a brave face throughout the entire ordeal, but now that it looked like she was saved, all her shock and terror rose to the surface, crumbling her mask of courage.
“Thank God.” He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close.
It was the first time he had hugged her. The first time she had been in his arms. Oh, how she wanted to hold him tight in return. But with her hands still trapped behind her back, the only thing she could do was turn her face into his warm neck and breathe him in.
She had always loved the way he smelled. A mixture of worn leather, dryer sheets, and shampoo. All clean and healthy and…male.
“I was afraid m-maybe I didn’t press the button long enough to send out the Mayday,” she said in a rush, her lips moving against the rough fabric of his ski mask. “And th-then they found the thumb drive. But they were so quick to stop questioning me and…and…” She had to stop. “Thank you. Thank you for coming for me.”
His wide palm cupped the back of her head, holding her close. Was it trembling? “Always, Chels. Never doubt it.”
Oh great. Now the lump in her throat had grown to the size of a Carolina pine.
She wanted the moment to last forever, to stay just like this, safe in his arms. But all too soon, he pulled back. “What were you thinking, telling them to do their worst? You were baiting them, egging them on. You stupid, stubborn, self-sacrificing fool.”
And just like that, happiness and relief morphed into incredulity that slid quick as a whistle into anger. Seriously? He was going to stand there—er, squat there—and call her names?
He may be hotter than the door handles of hell, but when he gets all Me Tarzan, You Jane, I want to dump his limp body in the River Thames and feed him to the fishes. After she’d killed him with mind-blowing sex and multiple orgasms, natch. And she could probably cop to his last two accusations. She was stubborn, and in that instant she had been willing to sacrifice herself. But the first one?
“S-stupid?” she sputtered. And good news! The lump in her throat vanished. “Screw you, Dagan! In case you’ve forgotten, I pulled off this op w-with…”
She stumbled to a stop because he’d ripped off his mask. And there it was. The Beard.
Looking at him dressed all in black, shoulders as broad as the Lowcountry, she couldn’t help but think he resembled a god. One of the mythical beings she read about in her fantasy novels. Formidable. Powerful. Gorgeous.
And here I am, a mere mortal.
The look he pinned on her was one she recognized. She liked to call it his Clint Eastwood gunfighter squint. He tended to whip it out right before he laid into her for something. She braced herself, mentally running through her standard list of comebacks. But he didn’t give her a tongue-lashing. At least not a verbal one. Instead, he took her face in his hands and sealed his lips to hers.
She was so surprised that her mouth formed a startled O. Dagan took advantage, his tongue surging between her teeth. His lips were firm yet amazingly soft, and his beard abraded the tender flesh of her cheeks.
Holy mother! Dagan Zoelner was…kissing her!
Oh. My!


 

 

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Complete Your BKI Bookshelf Preorder Promotion (graphic attached):

Pre-order Fuel for Fire or Hot Pursuit and receive another Black Knights Inc. novel of your choice!

–> HERE <--

About the Author yellow

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

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

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

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The Legend (Sons of Texas #3) by Donna Grant-Review tour

THE LEGEND (Sons of Texas #3) by Donna Grant-Review tour

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THE LEGEND
Sons of Texas #3
by Donna Grant
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic,suspense

The Legend

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo / Google Play / ibooks

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Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/a2hsQ7

Check out the Playlist Here:

https://open.spotify.com/user/donnagrant_author/playlist/3IfjBNNtPShmDYPzQc08Nm

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 27, 2017

A LONE STAR LOVER

Callie Reed doesn’t need a man to protect her. An expert sharpshooter and renegade hacker, this Texas-born spitfire’s got the skills and the courage to stand up to any danger―no matter how deadly. But when she becomes the target of a shadowy organization known as the Saints, Callie is forced to team up with the one man she can’t outshoot: the gorgeous, and infuriating, Lone Star legend named Wyatt Loughman…

A Delta Force Colonel with a rock-hard body and stone-cold heart, Wyatt has been teasing and tormenting Callie since they were playmates on his family’s ranch. Of course, he’s wildly attracted to the fiery, strong-willed Callie. But he’s always hidden his feelings behind a wall of Texas tough and military cool, even as he’s burning up with desire. Can Wyatt save Callie’s life―without putting her love in the line of fire?

•••••••••••

REVIEW: THE LEGEND is the third installment in Donna Grant’s contemporary, adult SONS OF TEXAS romantic, military suspense series focusing on focusing on the Loughman brothers-Navy SEAL Owen; eldest brother Delta Force Colonel Wyatt, and youngest brother/Marine Force Recon Captain Cullen- and their Navy SEAL / Black Ops father Orrin Loughman. This is eldest brother Delta Force Colonel Wyatt Loughman, and computer hacker Callie Reed’s story line. THE PROTECTOR can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order as each installment continues upon the events of the previous story line as the brothers search for their missing father.

NOTE: If you have not read the previous installments, there may be some spoiler in my review.

SOME BACKGROUND: While on assignment overseas, all three Loughman brothers are called home to Texas to discover that their beloved Aunt and Uncle have been murdered, and their Navy SEAL father Orrin is missing. The US government (or someone claiming to be) has tasked the brothers in locating their Black Ops agent father; and the retrieval of a biological weapon known as Ragnarok.

Told from several third person points of view including Wyatt and Callie THE LEGEND continues to follow the search for Orrin Loughman, and the people responsible for the death of the Loughman’s aunt and uncle. With the revelation that Orrin Loughman is alive, eldest son Wyatt Loughman begins to focus on flushing out the people h*ll bent on destroying so many lives but Wyatt suspects that that the family has been betrayed by more than one source. His continued hatred of the man he believes responsible for his mother’s death, Wyatt has a difficult time forgiving his father for sins of the past. Returning home to find the one woman that could break through his hardened heart Wyatt continues to push away Callie Reed in an effort to keep focused on the coming war. What ensues is the rekindling romance between Callie and Wyatt, and their battle to stay one step ahead of three different outside factions intent on taking down the Loughman clan.

THE LEGEND is an intense, revealing and detailed story about family, betrayal, revenge and trust. There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Owen and Natalie (The Hero), and Cullen and Mia (The Protector), and an assortment of former Black Ops undercover operators. The requisite evil has many faces-some familiar to our story line couple.

Donna Grant pulls the reader into an energetic, passionate and tragic story of greed and power, and the ultimate battle for control. The premise is engaging, startling and dramatic; the characters are colorful, passionate and inspiring; the romance is seductive and fated. THE LEGEND looks at one man’s struggle to move on from the past, and one woman’s need to save the man that calls to her heart.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
The Hero
The Protector
The Legend

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

About The Author beige

donna_grant_newDonna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, four cats, and one long haired Chihuahua.

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Shattered King (Lawless Kings #1) by Sherilee Gray-Review, Excerpt & Interview

SHATTERED KING (Lawless Kings #1) by Sherilee Gray-Review, Excerpt & Interview

Shattered King

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

About the book: Release Date June 27, 2017

What if the man you love hated you more with every breath he took?

SHATTERED KING is an intense, ultra-sexy standalone novel set in the world of the Lawless Kings. Sherilee Gray’s raw, hard, beautiful, deeply-emotional voice will leave readers breathless.

He’s out to get revenge for a crime he didn’t commit…

Hunter King just got out of prison. Incarcerated for three years though an innocent man, his rage against the people who put him there knows no bounds. First up on his list for vengeance: the woman who betrayed him years ago. The woman he loved fiercely, the one bright light in his otherwise hard, ruthless life. She has information he needs. And he’s going to kidnap her, hold her hostage, in order to get it. But one look into Lulu’s eyes unleashes the true beast within. Hunter’s never hated anyone this deeply, or wanted any woman this badly.

Lulu had no choice: Either help send Hunter to prison, or see him destroyed. She couldn’t do that to the man she loved. Couldn’t do it to the father of her child. But Hunter was locked away before he had a chance to learn about his son—and a hard layer of despair has formed around his heart that she’s desperate to crack. And if Hunter is to give himself and Lulu a second chance at love, he needs to find a way past his darkest demons.

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: SHATTERED KING is the first installment in Sherilee Gray’s contemporary, adult LAWLESS KINGS erotic, romantic suspense series focusing on the men and women who work for the King Agency doing personal protection and security, private investigation (corporate and domestic) and high-risk fugitive recovery and missing persons and kidnapping investigations. This is Hunter King, and Lucinda (Lulu) Frost’s story line.

NOTE: SHATTERED KING contains graphic scenarios that may be triggers for some readers including attempted rape, abuse and questionable consent.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Lulu and Hunter) SHATTERED KING is a story of second chances. Three years and four months earlier Hunter King found himself charged for a crime he did not commit. The one person who would have been able to clear his name refused to testify for the man that she loved. Enter Lulu Frost, the woman who destroyed Hunter King’s heart. What ensues is the rekindling relationship between Hunter and Lucinda, and the struggle to stay one step ahead of the man hoping to destroy them all.

Lulu Frost has been on the run since the day she walked out of Hunter King’s life. With her past hunting her whereabouts, Lulu must return to the town where everything went wrong but finds herself imprisoned by the very man she betrayed-at a cost. But Lulu keeps secret the truth from all those years ago and once revealed will place her on a path towards a future-with or without the man that she has always loved.

Hunter King is a changed man since the day he was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Angry, determined and in desperate need of revenge, Hunter will make Lulu’ s life a living h*ll but for all intents and purposes, Hunter is a man still in love with the woman who betrayed his heart and soul. It is only when Lulu reveals the truth will Hunter’s change his path towards a happily ever after with the woman he loves

The relationship between Lulu and Hunter is one of second chances. There is a palpable sexual energy that is both heightened and damaged by Hunter’s behavior and actions towards our story line heroine. In the early stages of the book Hunter’s actions are reprehensible; his behavior and treatment of Lulu Frost is abusive, damaging and not without some questionable consent. The $ex scenes are angry, intense, seductive and promising.

We are introduced to Hunter’s older brother Van King, their guardian Raul Esposito, King Agency employees: former police officer Jude Wayland, PA Ruby Styles, ex-navy SEAL sniper Zeke Stanton, and tracker Neco Malik; Lulu’s ailing mother Elizabeth, and step-father Pierce, as well as Lulu’s Aunt Sara. Neco and Ruby’s story line is next in BROKEN REBEL.

The world building focuses on the rekindling romance between Lulu and Hunter, and the lengths Hunter will go to to protect the woman he has always loved. At times, Lulu Frost, is determined to push all of Hunter’s buttons, including placing herself in direct conflict to everything meant to protect her life.

SHATTERED KING is a dark, sexy, heartbreaking and emotional story of revenge, betrayal, and second chances. The premise is dramatic and intense; the characters are passionate, colorful and energetic; the romance is edgy and powerful. SHATTERED KING is an excellent start to a new series.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

excerpt

Excerpt provider by St. Martin’s Press

I blinked several times, working the heaviness from my eyes. Somehow I’d fallen asleep, locked in this room, surrounded by people that thought I was lower than dirt. God knows how I managed that, especially after what happened in that bathroom. I shivered. Every time I thought about it, my body heated. I was more screwed up than I thought.
The light in the room was diluted, gray. I guessed sometime late in the afternoon.
I froze. I wasn’t alone.
Hunter. His volatile energy filled the room, saturated it. My skin prickled and I sucked in a sharp breath. I didn’t move, stayed right where I was. I had no desire to find out what came next. I was still here for a reason. I didn’t know what that reason was, but considering the way he felt about me, things were not looking great.
“I know you’re awake.”
His voice was rough, low, but not angry for once. Something else, something I couldn’t name, set off little zaps of electricity in my lower belly. I’d decided before I fell asleep that I was done talking. Every time I opened my mouth, I pissed him off. And since he didn’t believe a word that came out of it, I was going to save my energy. With that in mind, I sat up, shoved my hair back from my face, and waited.
He was standing at the foot of the bed, arms crossed over his wide chest, chin dipped, head tilted, eyes locked on me. I couldn’t read his expression. But he was studying me in a way that made me want to squirm.
His jaw tightened, not much, but enough that I saw it. That gaze got more intense, so intense I couldn’t hold it any longer. I picked at the hem of my T-shirt, fidgeting.
“Why?” he said into the quiet room.
That’s it. That one word. I knew what he was asking. I’d heard that one word, Hunter’s voice, echoing in my head, for three years. The pain and anger distorting it as he was dragged away by prison guards.
I had nothing.
Nothing I was prepared to give, anyway. I made myself meet his gaze. It wasn’t easy. God, how I wanted to tell him everything, but I couldn’t and clamped my mouth shut instead. I refused to put Josh at risk just to appease my guilt. No good would come from telling him what happened, not now. Nothing would change. Nothing would make any of this all right. If I knew without doubt that Josh was Hunter’s, maybe I’d open my mouth. But I didn’t know that. Telling Hunter would only turn a spotlight on my little boy. It would make him a target, if he weren’t already. I’d die before I did that.
Hunter’s expression hardened. “You fucking owe me an explanation.”
I didn’t move, didn’t blink, just kept my eyes locked on his and my mouth shut.
He shook his head. “What did I ever do to you, Lulu? To make you hate me so damn much?”
I jolted, a full body spasm. Oh God. It was him. There he was. My Hunter. Just a glimpse of the man I loved beyond reason. It hurt to see him again. I wasn’t prepared for it. I looked down at my hands, tears stinging my nose, the back of my eyes. I swallowed down the lump threatening to choke me. My tattered heart couldn’t take much more of this.
I felt his gaze hot on me, waiting. Hoping I’d give him what he needed, give him the answers he wanted. I couldn’t do it.
Finally, after what felt like forever, he hissed through his teeth.
I looked up, couldn’t help it. His eyes were back to that cold, dead stare. He was gone again.
He tilted his head toward the door. “Time to go.”
I wanted to ask where, but since I’d just made a point of not talking, I had no choice but to keep my mouth shut. I stood as he opened the door and followed him back upstairs.

 

 

Interview seafoam:black

TRC: Hi Sherilee and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of SHATTERED KING

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

Sherilee GrayFollow: Website / Goodreads / Twitter /

Sherilee:  Thanks so much for having me here! Well, I live in a small town in rural New Zealand with my husband and two kids. I’ve had quite a few jobs over the years, office manager, bank teller, sales assistant, and after I had my children, I painted and sold my artwork. I even fancied myself a chief for a while and did some training before working in a restaurant. But nothing was ever the right fit, not until I started writing about eight years ago. I haven’t looked back since!

TRC:Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Sherilee: So many romance authors. So many amazing books! After years of devouring romance novels, I knew I wanted to try writing myself. I had all these ideas, all these stories in my head. One night I just sat down and started.

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

Sherilee: I struggled a lot in school, and when I started writing I had to go right back to basics. It was hard going, but writing and being published was what I wanted so I persevered. And of course, there are the rejections. Most of us them, and no matter what stage you are at in your writing journey, they never get any easier.

TRC: You write novels in several different genres. Which do you prefer? Which do you find more difficult?

Sherilee: I don’t really find one more difficult than the other, just different. I don’t think I can pick one I prefer! I love them all 🙂

Shattered KingTRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of SHATTERED KING and the LAWLESS KINGS series?

Sherilee: I love an alpha hero. I also love anti-heroes, and both describe the men in this series. These guys may be P.I’s, but let’s just say they’re not exactly law-abiding citizens. They’re hard, and rough around the edges, products of the crap they’ve been through in their lives. They’re also loyal to a fault, and extremely protective. And the women that crash into their lives shove these big, bad, emotionally stunted alpha guys right out of their comfort zones. With Shattered King, I used two of my favorite tropes, second chances, and enemies to lovers, the result was some serious fireworks. I loved every moment of writing it.

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

Sherilee: Honestly? My plots can be a little wacky, and I tend to just go with it. As far as believability goes? I can believe almost anything if it’s executed well, and that’s what I try very hard to do. It’s the characters that make each story unique or unpredictable no matter what trope/setting etc you use in your story.

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

Sherilee: Romance and erotic romance are all about the Happily Ever After, or at least a Happy For Now. In erotic romance, the developing sexual relationship between the H\h is hugely important for character growth and getting to that all important HEA/HFN. In erotica, Happily Ever Afters aren’t necessary.

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

Sherilee: I think it’s up to the author.

TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Sherilee: I think a great cover definitely helps!

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

Sherilee: I direct my characters…though, I do often end up where I hadn’t anticipated going. I’d love to be one of those authors that wake up to a story fully formed in their minds and characters yanking it up. Alas, that has never happened.

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

Sherilee: I don’t know about other writers, but there are several things I do. If I can, I draw from my own experiences, research if I can’t, and I also work really hard at putting myself in my character’s shoes while I’m writing. I want their reactions to be as believable as possible. Which is why writing those emotional scenes can be extremely draining.

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

Sherilee: I listen to music while I draft a book. The music doesn’t really influence the direction of a story, but it can inspire me. I always try and choose songs that fit the mood of the book I’m writing.

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

Sherilee: My author friends. I have a small group of amazing ladies that are not only talented and knowledgeable, but extremely supportive as well. I couldn’t be without them. Also, my sister! I talk her ear off and she makes all the right noises when I’m freaking out about something.

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

Sherilee: That writing is easy because we’re doing what we love.

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

Sherilee: If I could, I’d live somewhere remote, like an island with a tiny population. I’m a total introvert (Then again, maybe that’s not so secret!)

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Sherilee: A proposal for a new series 🙂

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Cheese

Favorite Dessert
Apple crumble

Favorite TV Show
Too hard to pick!

Last Movie You Saw
Can’t remember!

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Milk

Secret Celebrity Crush
Tom Hardy (also not so secret!)

Last Vacation Destination
The beach

Do you have any pets?
Two cats

Last book you read

Blood Vow by JR Ward

TRC:Thank you Sherilee for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on your new release.

Sherilee:  Thank you!

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