NEW RELEASE & REVIEW w. GIVEAWAY: Animal by Marni Mann

Spinoff from Prisoned; Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

I captured the guilty.
Locked them inside our prison.
Tortured their bodies and abused their minds.
I had murdered hundreds.
Never recognized one.
Until her face.
Until that scream.
I was hired to take her life.
But first, I had to figure out how she ruined mine.

 

♦REVIEW♦

I closed this book a few days ago and I’m still swirling in it. I’m not even sure if I can rate it because it was such an intensely crazy, but odd story. Dark, immersive, wild, raw…a twisty-turny mindfuck. Animal was written very well, that part I can tell you. Mann went into the dark in order to lure us in and she pulled that off incredibly well. I couldn’t bring myself to stop even if at times I wanted to look away. This is unlike any book I’ve ever read–in every shape and form. It’s meant to be sexy, but not in the typical way. Because, you see, this has two intersecting storylines that lead up to one event. Past and present swirl opposite one another until they come crashing in as one. But the fun lies in the journey to get there.

Mann captured the animal-like quality of Beard in a poignant way. He gives no excuses for his abnormal lifestyle and he couldn’t care less about it. The secretive, dark double life crosses into his sexual nature, and the wildness to his life never ends. But then we get Tyler, the unassuming and innocent young woman whose naivety makes her ripe for darkness to leach the innocence from. The way in which it was so easy for her to be drawn into it was fascinating to read, frustrations aside.

I’m still blown away by it. The story was crazy, the characters were palpable, and the fact that nothing is confirmed until the end made this book the kind that you can’t stop until you have answers. Because I still don’t know what to feel about it all, the rating floats between a 4, 4.5, and a 5. I’m literally torn. Did I enjoy it? Oddly, yes. Did I love the characters? Even though I never came to understand them, I found myself both liking and disliking them depending on the location in the story, so maybe love came into play at times. Did I love the crazy, twisty story? Yes. Did I enjoy the dark parts? No. Hello, conflicted is thy name.

It was erotic, but not sexy. It was dark, but had light. It was a mindfuck, but it was clear. Animal is the kind of story that must be experienced to be understood, and even then, maybe you won’t. The blurb is a bit misleading in some ways, but the overall gist remains the same. If you love how stories can fuck with you, this is the book for you. And even if you don’t read a lot of those kinds of stories, join me in taking a walk on the wild side.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Bestselling author Marni Mann knew she was going to be a writer since middle school. While other girls her age were daydreaming about teenage pop stars, Marni was fantasizing about penning her first novel. She crafts sexy, titillating stories that weave together her love of darkness, mystery, passion, and human emotions. A New Englander at heart, she now lives in Sarasota, Florida, with her husband and their two dogs, who have been characters in her books. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, working on her next novel, she’s scouring for chocolate, sipping wine, traveling, or devouring fabulous books.

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BLOG TOUR w/ EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: The Coppersmith Farmhouse by Devney Perry

Jamison Valley Book One

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♦BLURB♦

One old farmhouse brought them together. It could also tear them apart.

Gigi has just uprooted her whole world to start a new life. The unexpected gift of a farmhouse in small-town Montana is just what she and her daughter need to escape big-city loneliness. The last thing she needs is attitude from the town’s sheriff, the most perfectly attractive and ruggedly handsome man she’s ever laid eyes on—and a complete jerk.

Jess knows all about women like Gigi. Beautiful. Sexy. Scheming. She’s stolen his sanctuary, the farmhouse that should have been his. But along with a face full of freckles, she’s got a sharp wit and a backbone of steel—something he doesn’t discover until after making a complete fool of himself. If he can earn back her trust and win her heart, he might just find the home he’s always needed.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

“Jess, these are too much,” I said.

“Not too much at all.”

“These were not cheap. Plus everything you bought for Roe . . .” I trailed off, mentally tallying up the sum he had spent on us for Christmas.

“I’ve been waiting thirty-four years to find the right woman. Finally did. Now I get to spoil her, so just get used to it.”

“Why?” I whispered.

“Why, what?”

“Why me? Why’d you pick me as your girl? I mean, I’m just me and you’re . . . well . . . you. Perfect.”

He took in a deep breath and closed his eyes for a few moments. When he opened them, his eyes had changed. They were no longer soft and gentle. They were firm and determined.

“I’m not sure where you got it in that head of yours that I’m too good for you. Because the way I see it, it’s the other way around. And it stops today. No more.”

Jess’s hands framed my face, his thumbs stroking my jaw gently.

“Baby, you’ve got the biggest heart of any person I’ve ever met. I’ve never known a soul who would have taken on an old man just so he wouldn’t be alone. Someone needs help, the first thing you think about is how you can do it. Christ, you offered to move a stranger in with you so he’d have a place to live after his house burned down. And you’ve raised the most precious little girl on the planet. When you look at her, you see beauty, don’t you?”

“Well . . . of course. She’s my daughter.”

He shook his head a couple of times. “She’s you,” he said. “In every way, she’s you. When you look at her and get that feeling of pride in your chest? When you look at her face and into her eyes and it makes your heart hurt she’s so beautiful? Georgia, that’s how I feel when I look at you.”

His words, describing exactly how I felt about my daughter, moved me so deeply that I started crying again, completely unable to stop the emotion.

Swiping the tears as they fell, he whispered, “I love you. Everything. How you don’t back down during an argument. How you take care of Rowen. Take care of me. That you don’t mind including my mother. How you invite my sister over for Christmas minutes after she treats you badly. So let me buy you whatever the fuck I feel like for Christmas, birthdays or just whenever. Okay?”

I nodded and sniffled.

“Okay.”

Jess’s words penetrated deep into my heart.

We’d been together for months and I had always doubted us. But we made sense. I thought he was perfect. He was. But what his words finally made me realize was that he thought I was perfect too. We were perfect together.

Perfect sense.

I sniffled one last time and twisted my head out of his hands to get my necklace. After I put it on, I screwed on my earrings.

He lifted a finger to the jewel at my throat and muttered, “True beauty.”

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Author Picture

Devney lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories.

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BLOG TOUR w/ REVIEW, EXCERPT, and GIVEAWAY: Home At Last by Lily Everett

Sanctuary Island Book Six; Interconnected standalone

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♦BLURB♦

Home is where the heart is…

Marcus Beckett left Sanctuary Island after his mother’s funeral, and he hasn’t been back since. Until now. Needing a change from the high-risk, high-stakes life of a bodyguard, Marcus makes a solitary life for himself running the neighborhood bar in his hometown. His only mistake? Seducing and then dumping the town’s sweetheart, Quinn Harper. Marcus knows he did the right thing—a good girl like Quinn has no business with a broken man like him. But now no one will come to his bar, and he’s watching his last chance at a peaceful life go up in smoke. So when Quinn proposes a fake four-week courtship, he can’t refuse…even though he knows it’s a bad idea.

It’s a romantic charade that will buy Quinn time to distract her mother and father from their own martial problems—and will help Marcus welcome back some paying customers besides. But what begins as an engagement of convenience slowly transforms into a deeper connection, one that heals both of their hearts…and ignites the simmering passion between them. Could it be that pretending to be together is just what Quinn and Marcus needed to give their real love a second chance?

 

♦3.5-STAR REVIEW♦

Home at Last is a second-chance romance that features a woman who grew up infatuated by the neighbor’s older son. The small town they live in has subsequently thrown backlash at him after their quick romance ended, leaving his bar hurting for business. So goes her plan…a business proposal that relies on their fake romantic reunion.

I love fake relationships and how they slowly bloom into something real, and I enjoyed seeing Marcus and Quinn’s relationship blossom with a nice, slow burn. I hadn’t read any of the prior books in this series, though I’ve heard their ‘relationship’ is featured a bit in the most recent book, but I can’t speak to how that would’ve helped their story; I didn’t really feel like I was missing anything, or enough of something to make it hard to connect. Marcus’ broody nature mixed well with Quinn’s sweet, helpfulness, and their constant butting of heads kept the pages turning.

I will say, however, that the side story featuring Quinn’s parents was featured too heavily in my opinion. It really detracted from the potency of Quinn and Marcus’ effect on the reader. I found myself skipping those POVs so that I could get back to the real story. I’m sort of impatient that way, so I’m sure not every reader will feel as I did.

Home at Last was a fun story with sexy characters and the right amount of angst-y romance. It was sweet and romantic, and had the kind of second-chance romance readers love to read about. Small towns and their gossiping ways brought back together a couple that were meant for one another, and I enjoyed experiencing it.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

Quinn had taken the floor for exactly the reasons she’d said, in addition to the knowledge that however little she liked to think it mattered, Marcus was ten years older than she was. And he was a secret stress case who carried all his tension in his back and shoul- ders. She should know, since she’d nearly sprained her thumbs trying to dig the knots out during a massage that had started out sexy and turned into a to-the-death battle between Quinn and the long muscles lining Marcus’s spine.

Marcus didn’t need to screw up his back by lying on the floor for eight hours, was her point. Not that she would ever say that to him. She didn’t have a death wish.

But as it turned out, the floor was more uncomfort- able than Quinn had anticipated. And as the hours wore down, so did her resistance to the temptation of the warm, soft bed mere inches from her stiff, aching body.

She stared at Marcus’s sleeping form and wondered if she dared.

Then she wondered what the hell was the matter with her. It was a bed. They were adults. Sleeping next to each other didn’t mean they were automatically going to cross some invisible, arbitrary line. She wasn’t going to roll over in her sleep and accidentally impale herself on his penis. They’d be fine.

This is fine, she told herself, getting up off her shaky knees and creeping around to the other side of the bed. The way her knees popped when she stood up was a deciding factor. Quinn carefully peeled back the cov- ers and slid into the bed beside Marcus.

Quinn held her breath, but he didn’t move. His broad chest rose and fell with his deep, even breaths. He threw off heat like a roaring bonfire; Quinn went from chilled to toasty in seconds.

Letting her body relax into the softness of the mat- tress, she drifted peacefully into sleep.

Quinn’s dreams were chaotic, flashes of memories mixed with totally random people from her past and present. She was aware they were dreams, in that vague way that happens sometimes, even when the dreamer is deeply asleep.

In the dream, she and Marcus were walking through the woods behind her parents’ house, holding hands. Even Dream Quinn couldn’t suspend disbelief quite enough for that. Marcus wasn’t a hand-holding kind of guy. So she knew it was a dream, even as he led her deeper into the pine copse, their footfalls muffled by layers and layers of dried pine needles that released their evergreen scent as they were crushed.

Come here, said Dream Marcus, giving Quinn the smile she’d only glimpsed once or twice—the small, private, completely unguarded smile that made Marcus look like the carefree boy Quinn had first fallen for.

She could never resist that particular smile. Not that she wanted to resist. This was only a dream. She could have whatever she wanted, with no consequences.

Emboldened by her freedom, Quinn followed Marcus down to lie on a bed of springy green moss. He lay back, arms crossed behind his head and more re- laxed than she’d ever seen him in real life. Sunlight dappled his handsome face, patterns of light and shadow that shivered over his cheekbones when wind fluttered through the branches overhead.

Her heart swelled with all the feelings she’d been stuffing down and denying since the day Marcus un- ceremoniously ended their relationship. It wasn’t smart to care about him. She knew that, and Quinn wanted to be smart, she really did.

The trouble was that she’d never learned how to stop caring about someone. Her poor, bruised heart was as optimistic and stubborn as her hungry body was when it came to Marcus Beckett.

Despair teased at Quinn’s mind, but she pushed it away. This is a dream, she said aloud to remind them both. Only a dream.

Beneath her, Marcus smiled again, the smile that promised things like love and forever and the kind of pleasure she could live on. Thighs tensing with need where she was suddenly straddling his hips, Quinn felt the low-down clench of her body around the emptiness only Marcus could fill.

A shudder racked her, sweeping up her frame in a rush that tightened the peaks of her breasts and forced her mouth open on a gasp.

Yes, like that, Marcus murmured, his eyes going hot and feral the way she remembered from their first nights of passion. The grip of his hands at her hips ex- cited Quinn. She squirmed a little, wanting to feel it, hoping it bruised so she could look in the mirror later and see the evidence of Marcus’s desire for her.

With a smooth twist of his massive torso, he flipped them so that Quinn’s back was arching off the cool moss and Marcus was covering her with his body. Her legs fell open, wanton and wanting, and she relished the stretch of her thighs as he fit himself into the cra- dle of her hips.

His hardness slotted against her softness with a series of rhythmic nudges that stoked the fire inside Quinn higher and higher. In the dream, her panties melted away like fog, and he was naked too, and they were pressed together so intimately and perfectly and yet, somehow, there was still something in the way, a barrier to Quinn getting what she really wanted. Frus- tration mounting, she reached down between their hot, straining bodies and felt . . . cotton?

Quinn blinked and suddenly, instead of staring up at the waving pine needles of the Lantern Point woods, she was looking at the familiar starburst pattern of the plaster ceiling in her girlhood bedroom.

Her immediate thought was a dismayed No, let me go back to the dream! But in the next instant, she realized Marcus was still on top of her, his hard chest and strong arms caging her in. Their legs were tangled hopelessly in the sheets and they were both still wear- ing what they’d gone to bed in, but other than that?

The dream was real.

Eyes still closed, Marcus twisted his hips, grinding wickedly against Quinn’s most sensitive spot and scat- tering her thoughts like dried pine needles before she could figure out what to do. She reacted mindlessly, her body taking over and bowing up hard, her arms going around Marcus’s neck.

Through her haze of heated lust, Quinn saw the exact moment Marcus woke up.

Copyright © 2017 by Lily Everett and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

 

♦SERIES♦

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

LILY EVERETT is the author of the Sanctuary Island series for St. Martin’s Press. She grew up in a small town in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and now resides in Austin, Texas, where she writes full-time.

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NEW RELEASE w/ EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: The Coppersmith Farmhouse by Devney Perry

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Jamison Valley Book One

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♦BLURB♦

One old farmhouse brought them together. It could also tear them apart.

Gigi has just uprooted her whole world to start a new life. The unexpected gift of a farmhouse in small-town Montana is just what she and her daughter need to escape big-city loneliness. The last thing she needs is attitude from the town’s sheriff, the most perfectly attractive and ruggedly handsome man she’s ever laid eyes on—and a complete jerk.

Jess knows all about women like Gigi. Beautiful. Sexy. Scheming. She’s stolen his sanctuary, the farmhouse that should have been his. But along with a face full of freckles, she’s got a sharp wit and a backbone of steel—something he doesn’t discover until after making a complete fool of himself. If he can earn back her trust and win her heart, he might just find the home he’s always needed.

♦EXCERPT♦

“You see him again, you head the other direction. He’s into some bad shit. I don’t want you around him.”

“Uh . . . okay.”

What in the hell had I just stumbled into?

Jess sensed my unease. “Don’t stress about it. Just want you to be careful, okay? Word gets around town that we’re dating, he’ll know folks will be looking out for you and he’ll back off. It’s not about you. He’s just trying to get to me.”

I was more than a little nervous that someone into “bad shit” was interested in using me to piss off Jess. But on top of that, I was now freaked that Jess thought we were dating. Even though we’d had a nice dinner, I hadn’t decided if I even liked him yet.

“Okay. I’ll avoid Wes. No problem. But one thing . . . I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t tell people we’re an item. It was nice of you to take me to dinner and I had a good time, but I don’t think we’ll be dating.”

“Do you find me attractive?”

“Uh . . .”

“I thought so,” he said. “Already told you tonight you were beautiful. So since we’ve got some major fucking chemistry and we get along, how about we cut the bullshit and see where this goes?”

I took a moment to collect my thoughts and formulate a response. “Physical attraction is not a great foundation for a relationship. Again, thank you for dinner. But with the exception of tonight, so far you have spent more time insulting me than treating me nicely. Surely you can understand why I don’t think we’d be a good pair. Let’s call it quits after you drop me off.”

“I apologized and I meant it. I was an asshole this week. Now fucking get over it.”

“Are you trying to piss me off, Sheriff?” I said. “I don’t like your tone. You don’t get to order me around and make the decision we’re dating without my agreement. That’s absurd. It doesn’t work like that.”

“It does. And we are. Exclusively, Georgia,” he said, glancing over at me as he stressed his last point.

“Wait a minute. Let me get this straight,” I said, the hold on my temper loosening. “Not only did you just ignore me but you also felt the need to emphasize that our nonexistent relationship is exclusive. Something that if you knew me at all, you would never have had to emphasize because in any relationship, I have never been nor will ever be a cheater.”

Jess pulled in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Not saying you’re a cheater. Jesus, Georgia, relax. Just saying we’re exclusively together. Don’t want people around town thinking we’re just friends or we’re just fooling around. We’re gonna see where this goes.”

“We’ve had one kind-of date, Jess. And I wouldn’t call us friends.”

“Because we’re not just friends.”

“I’m not dating you. I don’t even like you. Find someone else to keep you company at the café.”

“You like me. Can see it in your eyes when you look at me.”

“Physically, yes. But personally, you’re a jackass.”

He yanked the truck to the side of the road.

“What are you—” I started but Jess reached across the cab, grabbed me at the back of the neck and slammed his mouth down on mine.

I wanted to protest, I really did. To push him away and assert myself so he knew that he couldn’t just dazzle me with his looks and muddle me with his kisses.

But he totally could.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Author Picture

Devney lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories.

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BLOG TOUR w/ REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A Boy Like You by Ginger Scott

Like Us Book One; Contemporary Young Adult Romance

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Tour courtesy of Wordsmith Publicity

 

♦BLURB♦

They say everyone’s a superhero to someone. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to save, but I know who saved me.

We were kids. His name was Christopher. And up until the day he pulled me from death’s grip, he was nothing more than a boy I felt sorry for. In a blink of an eye, he became the only person who made me feel safe.

And then he disappeared.

Now I’m seventeen. I’m not a kid anymore. I haven’t been for years. While death didn’t take me that day, the things that happened left me with scars—the kind that robbed me of everything I once loved and drove me into darkness. But more than anything else, that day—and every day since—has taken away my desire to dream.

I wasn’t going to have hope. I wouldn’t let myself wish. Those things—they weren’t for girls like me. That’s what I believed…until the new boy.

He’s nothing like the old boy. He’s taller and older. His hair is longer, and his body is lean—strong and ready for anything. I don’t feel sorry for him. And sometimes, I hate him. He challenges me. From the moment I first saw him standing there on the baseball field, he pushed me—his eyes constantly questioning, doubting…daring. Still, something about him—it feels…familiar.

He says his name is Wes. But I can’t help but feel like he’s someone else. Someone from my past. Someone who’s come back to save me.

This time, though, he’s too late. Josselyn Winters, the girl he once knew, is gone. I am the threat; I am my worst enemy. And he can’t save me from myself.

Shot of young woman being carried by her boyfriend in grass field. Couple having fun on their summer holiday.

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

A Boy Like You was a wonderfully written novel that captured the angst and romance of a coming-of-age story beautifully. I didn’t expect it to be as angst-y of a read as it was, not just romantically but emotionally as well. The story is about a boy saving a girl, who then disappears, to then possibly reappear years later. But is it him? Scott weaves that mystery throughout, building it with a quiet-like mysteriousness, just as mysterious and brooding as our hero.

There was such beauty and pain in Joss. Her reckless nature that is tied so closely to her sense of abandonment is vivid and palpable at all times. That sort of hurt that she carried throughout pulled at me and ripped apart my insides with each page. With the introduction of her quiet savior, Wes, she finally has arms to fall back on again. But it doesn’t mean she will. Their slow burn romance lit the pages of the story, carrying them through the tango they danced, advancing and then losing ground. It’s the kind of romance that inspires the reader and is absolutely decadent to consume.

One thing I love about Scott is how she can write the subtle nuances of things so very well. She romanticized baseball and its connection to the both of them, making it a great secondary character. How Wes pitched, how he gazed at her, how his sinewy forearms reacted to his hold on the ball…Every word pulls you in and shows you the connection that is floating in the air, something that isn’t read but felt. Something that makes this story great.

A Boy Like You is gut-clenching, heart-wrenching, and amazing love story. Scott plays this tune well–forcing the quick turn of the pages and the angst-driven emotion until the very end. I don’t feel like any of my words speak to the true greatness of this novel, but I hope that you give it a try even if you don’t typically read YA. It’s a book that everyone should experience and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The beauty of it truly speaks for itself. I cannot wait for more.

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

littlemisswrite-5

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, and Hold My Breath.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns.

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BLOG TOUR w/ REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Blackbird by Molly McAdams

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28 - Blackbird

Dark Romantic Suspense

Redemption Book One

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♦BLURB♦

From New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams comes a powerhouse romantic suspense that will have you questioning your morals and second guessing your view on love.

I live in a world few know exist. I’ve trained for this. I know what to say, what to do, and how to act. I’ve perfected the lethal calm required for this life.
Now it’s time to buy my first girl. But all it takes is one look at the brave girl who starts singing mid-auction for that calm to slip.
Briar Chapman is going to be the death of me, and I don’t care. I’ll take every day with her until that death comes, and I’ll welcome it when it does.

On the outside, Lucas Holt is what nightmares are made of. A man cloaked in darkness, with sin-filled eyes and an enticing grin. A devil so devastatingly beautiful and cruel that his very presence instills fear.
But beneath his terrifying, ever-calm exterior is an affectionate man haunted by a past that refuses to stay buried. And Lucas looks at me as though he’s finally found the only person who can make it all go away.
We’re a battle of the brightest day and the darkest night–and I want to lie in the wake of our war.

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

Soooo…how do I even review this book? I’m honestly speechless and a bit…unsettled?…blown away? This is a completely dark romance that has elements that will cause you to hem and haw and oddly feel things for people (well, one in particular) that you really shouldn’t feel, things that you can’t help but feel. It’s reminiscent of the kind of situation or feelings that Tears of Tess or Captive in the Dark provoke, but it’s completely its own devil.

With a heroine sold into sex trafficking and a hero as her new master, things aren’t peaches and rainbows. Our little blackbird isn’t one to acquiesce to any man, certainly not him. His need for control and her unwillingness to relinquish control created a wild electricity between them both that continued to grow and grow to a fever pitch. I know this is a Molly McAdams we’re not used to seeing, but I love that she went for it. It was gripping and twisty and a bit crazy and, yeah, I can’t say much else without giving anything away. Blackbird was a wild, racy ride on the dark side and it was handled with the best of intentions for these characters. It’s one that will surprise you to the very end.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

She closed the distance between us, each step slow and calculated. Once she was close enough, I slid one hand around her waist and the other around the back of her neck, using her hair to tilt her head back so I could study those eyes that captivated me.

“I hate that you have so much money that you buy women. I hate that you bought me at all, but mostly that you bought me because I started singing. I hate the circumstances that brought me to you, but I love you and am thankful I’m here with you all the same.”

My chest ached and filled with warmth. I wanted to kiss her and thank her for trusting me with her past. I wanted to erase every bad memory and replace them with ones of us now, but she didn’t realize what she’d just said . . .

As much as I wanted what she was saying to be true, it wasn’t, and it never would be. It couldn’t.

“You don’t,” I said thickly, forcing the words out through the tightness in my throat.

Confusion covered her face and her brows drew together. “I don’t what?”

“You don’t love me.”

I felt the shock that went through her body, but she didn’t try to pull away from me. Instead, she gripped my shirt in her hands like she was pleading with me in her touch alone.

“Lucas . . .”

My eyes slid shut, and I released a slow, weighted breath. “You don’t, Briar.”

“I know you think you don’t know how to love someone, but you do, you have been. You know what love is, and I have never been more aware of how loved I am by someone than I am by you.”

I ground my jaw and finally looked at her again. Instead of disagreeing with her, I said, “You can’t love me, because you don’t know me.”

I hated the hurt in her eyes. I hated that I was putting it there. I hated everything I was, hated that I would never be enough for the girl I didn’t know how to let go of. Couldn’t let go of.

“Yes, I do,” she choked out. “I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it, I’ve experienced your darkness and your monsters, and I’m still here. Haven’t I proven myself yet? Haven’t I proven I am not going anywhere? That you can’t make me run?” Her gripping hands flattened and moved up to curve around my neck. “I knew to fall in love with you I had to fall in love with the devil, too. I am not as naïve as you think I am.”

“But you have no idea exactly how heartless your devil is,” I said darkly.

“Then let me see—”

“I won’t let you into that part of my world,” I said on a growl. Just the thought of her being in a situation to see me like that—to see that part of my world—chilled me in a way that made me feel sick. “All of thiswill change the minute you see it. Trust me when I say you’ll never be able to look at me the same, and I won’t be able to live with myself if that day ever comes.”

“You can’t know that,” she argued, her words still sounding like a plea.

“Think of your worst memories with me, Blackbird,” I ordered gently. “Think of what I told you about the shootout with my brothers. Think about what William did to you. Now try to grasp that all of that is nothing compared to what I have done, and what I do, without feeling a thing.”

I waited for it to sink in, and after a few moments, it did. And there was that look in her eyes I’d come to dread and hate—fear and uncertainty. But I could still see her love for me.

Unfailing and undeserving.

“Didn’t you hear me the first time?” she finally asked as tears filled her eyes. “The darkest part of your soul terrifies me, but, Lucas, I’m not going anywhere.”

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

MOLLY MCADAMS

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Come be my friend!

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BLOG TOUR w/ REVIEW: Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye

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Blasphemy Book Two; Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

12 Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy…

He wants to dominate her senses—and her heart…

Quinton Ross has always been a thrill-seeker—so it’s no surprise that he’s drawn to extremes in the bedroom and at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, where he creates sense-depriving scenarios that blow submissives’ minds. Now if he could just find one who needs the rush as much as him…

When an accident leaves Cassia Locke with a paralyzing fear of the dark, she’ll try anything to get help. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help—the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on—and once stood up.

Quinton is shocked and a little leery to see Cassia, but he can’t pass up the chance to dominate the alluring little sub this time. Introducing her to sensory deprivation becomes his new favorite obsession, and watching her fight fear is its own thrill. But when doubt threatens to send her running again, Quinton must find a way to master her senses—and her heart.

 

♦3.5-STAR REVIEW♦

Mastering Her Senses further opens the world of Blasphemy to readers. There’s a sort of inspiring feel to this series mainly because, so far, each novel has focused on helping a heroine overcome something either traumatic or dire and provides her with the tools to see her own strength. This is no different in this second installment.

Cassia and Quinton have a beneficial dynamic with he the thrill seeker and she the one confined by senses. What I enjoy most of Kaye’s portrayal of the Dom/sub relationship is that while Quinton may be the Dom in the relationship, he gains his satisfaction from when she’s empowered and only then. I may not live in the lifestyle, but from what I’ve read and learned, that point hits true in comparison. He’s selfless and serving, regardless of being in a scene or not. They way he cared will pull in any reader.

My one concession is that I never really felt their spark. I couldn’t dive beneath the surface and feel them and their flame. Because of that, the belly tingles weren’t unleashed and that was truly sad for me. I think I’ll be in the minority in this and I figure it was just my headspace during the time of reading–but please experience it for yourself.

It’s truly a beautiful story about overcoming obstacles and the ultimate bond between two people in the BDSM world. It was hot, sensual, and erotic; built on trust and self discovery. I’m greatly looking forward to the next installment of this enticing series and what further there is to explore.

 

♦SERIES♦

28 - Hard to Serve

Blasphemy #0.5; Standalone

Purchase: Kindle | My Review

 

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Blasphemy Book One

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Blasphemy #2.5

Release Date: July 11, 2017

PreOrder: Kindle

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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NEW RELEASE w/ GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT: Blackbird by Molly McAdams

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Redemption Book One

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♦BLURB♦

From New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams comes a powerhouse romantic suspense that will have you questioning your morals and second guessing your view on love.

I live in a world few know exist. I’ve trained for this. I know what to say, what to do, and how to act. I’ve perfected the lethal calm required for this life.
Now it’s time to buy my first girl. But all it takes is one look at the brave girl who starts singing mid-auction for that calm to slip.
Briar Chapman is going to be the death of me, and I don’t care. I’ll take every day with her until that death comes, and I’ll welcome it when it does.

On the outside, Lucas Holt is what nightmares are made of. A man cloaked in darkness, with sin-filled eyes and an enticing grin. A devil so devastatingly beautiful and cruel that his very presence instills fear.
But beneath his terrifying, ever-calm exterior is an affectionate man haunted by a past that refuses to stay buried. And Lucas looks at me as though he’s finally found the only person who can make it all go away.
We’re a battle of the brightest day and the darkest night–and I want to lie in the wake of our war.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

My head shook absentmindedly as I tried to comprehend all that he had told me.

Knowing the man Lucas was behind the darkness, I couldn’t grasp why he had ever fought to get into this life at all.

“I’d been wondering what had happened in your life to make you into the devil I saw so often at the beginning,” I began, my voice soft . . . almost hesitant. “But now I wonder how you were able to remain you, instead of letting the devil completely consume you.”

“Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that that part of me isn’t there.”

“I couldn’t,” I said honestly and huffed a small laugh. “He’s always there . . . I see you fighting him all the time. Now, more than I have in a long time.”

He held my stare, and his dark eyes burned with something I couldn’t define. “You’re afraid of me.”

I wished in that moment for my room so I could have something to hide behind, at least for a minute, because I knew I couldn’t hide any of the emotions coursing through me, and I couldn’t lie to him. “Yes,” I whispered and hated that he seemed to not only expect my answer but accept it. Reaching out, I traced around the outer edge of his eye, thankful I wasn’t shaking. “I’m afraid of the eyes I’m looking into right now. I’ve been afraid of them for a long time. I’m afraid of what I know about you now, but I wonder if I haven’t always known. If you haven’t hinted at it before . . .”

“Briar—”

“But the things you see in your mind that force me to see these eyes? They’ve been there this whole time. They were there when I fell in love with you, and I knew when I fell that they would always be there.” I watched as he fought with whatever haunted him and lowered myself back onto the bed and curled against his side. “The darkest part of your soul can terrify me, but it won’t cause me to leave.”

He gripped my hand in his, and mumbled, “Sometimes I wish it would.” Before I could react or respond, he continued. “If you think I’m dangerous, maybe you understand what my life is like, and maybe you can grasp the danger in throwing out the rules for you. Eventually someone other than William will see what you mean to me. And with who we are and what we do, we all have so many enemies who’ve been waiting for a chance to get back at us—to hurt us.” He raised our joined hands to kiss my wrist and let his lips linger on the skin there. “We don’t have weaknesses, Briar, but you are mine. They’ve been waiting for you.”

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

MOLLY MCADAMS

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Come be my friend!

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BLOG TOUR w/ REVIEW, EXCERPT, & GIVEAWAY: Love Story by Lauren Layne

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Love Unexpectedly Book Three; Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

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

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

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

LOVE STORY has that really great war between two characters who both equally love and hate the other. Second chance romances, at their best, carry a constant burn of pain versus lust and when these two are forced to be in a very confined space for a long amount of time, it brought out the best of it. LL, as always, brings forth the witty characters we love with sassy Lucy and the testy Reece who, while they share a mutual love of wine, have virtually nothing else in common.

With flashbacks peppered throughout, to both show and give us their history in perfect timing, this story manages to show us their tumultuous bond from the moment they enter shared airspace. Each continuing chapter, both present and past, only builds on that, creating this almost-two-decade long love story in the making. Hate-love romances can be incredibly powerful emotionally when done correctly and this story was; it had this beautiful (sounds slightly morbid) pain between the two that made your chest hurt, but then had your stomach dipping the next moment when their lust came to the forefront.

The pleasure of this story was in the burn. LOVE STORY was a fantastic second-chance romance that put these two ex-lovers into a fishbowl and told them to dance. LL’s writing is fun and vivid, bringing us into Lucy and Reece with ease, and effortlessly forming a connection that was instant and believable. I loved this third standalone in this series, and cannot wait to get my hands on the next one.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.

Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.

“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.

“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.

“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.

Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .

Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.

I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.

But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and I spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.

“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.

“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”

“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.

“Like, as in he actually starts?”

“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”

I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.

“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.

“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.

“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.

“Reece agreed to fix him up.”

I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”

“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”

And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.

I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.

“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.

They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.

Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”

Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.

He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .

I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.

And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.

 

♦SERIES♦

The Blurred Lines

Love Unexpectedly Book One; Standalone

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Love Unexpectedly Book Two; Standalone

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to Manhattan to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).

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REVIEW: Nine Kinds of Naughty by Jeanette Grey

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Art of Passion Book Three; Interconnected standalone

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♦BLURB♦

NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK

Lexie Bellamy can handle a boardroom. Relationships, however, are a minefield that always blow up. When a business trip takes her to Spain, Lexie knows she’ll have no problem closing the deal. But spending uninterrupted one-on-one time with her crazy-hot coworker might be more than she can take.

At the office, Lexie gets to call the shots. But this trip is the perfect opportunity for Dane Huntley to show his gorgeous boss how good it can feel when someone else takes charge…

Miles away from home, giving in to Dane’s naughty commands feels so easy. But when the trip is over, Lexie’s determined to go back to their professional relationship. Dane, though, has other ideas. He’ll have to prove that what they’ve found together is real… and he has no intention of letting go.

 

♦4.5-STAR REVIEW♦

Jeanette Grey’s skilled writing and prose make NINE KINDS OF NAUGHTY what it is. And what it is, is an erotic story woven around two vivid characters who are magnetized to one another. Erotic because the emotions crawled out of the pages and gave substance to each scene–and it was about so much more than falling between the sheets.

The dynamic of a female boss and her male assistant at work, and the sub to her Dom outside of the office made this story fiery hot and irresistible. Dane and Lexie’s relationship spun in many different ways, had to take the form of many different things, but underneath it all was their soul-deep connection. With each character inhabiting two different sides of themselves, one for work and one for home, Grey perfectly created the dance between Lexie and Dane, and the dance between each side of their own selves. In-office romances are great, but I loved the added dimension of who they were outside of the workplace and how it added another layer to them as a couple.

I haven’t read the rest of the series, as this book stands on its own, but am very interested in backtracking in order to do so. Grey has a great storytelling style and characters that are poignant and real. NINE KINDS OF NAUGHTY explores the dynamics of control and carries us into a great love story at the same time–one that enraptures and gets your heart racing.

 

♦SERIES♦

Art of Passion

Seven Nights to Surrender: Kindle | Paperback

Eight Ways  to Ecstasy: Kindle | Paperback

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Jeanette Grey

Jeanette Grey started out with degrees in physics and painting, which she dutifully applied to stunted careers in teaching, technical support, and advertising. When she isn’t writing, Jeanette enjoys making pottery, playing board games, and spending time with her husband and her pet frog. She lives, loves, and writes in upstate New York.

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