NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

Jennifer L. Armentrout takes a wild turn in Till Death, a thrilling and chilling romantic suspense novel. I loved where JLA took this novel. It was bold and an edge-of-your-seat experience that carried throughout the entire novel. But don’t fear, there is a second-chance romance that is woven within the story that fills that requirement right up, and it only adds to the intense nature of the story.

Still affected by her past trauma, Sasha has returned to her hometown. While she certainly isn’t the woman she used to be, she has still managed to maintain that deep inner strength and hard-headed nature–both qualities that I loved that JLA gave her. She’s a survivor but not a backseat one. The alpha nature of her once-lover Cole fueled her, both with his protective nature and in how he doesn’t hold her back. I loved their dynamic and how they found their way back to one another amid the chaos. My only ask is that I wish there was more of them in flashbacks in order to see their connection prior to everything; that would’ve added a really nice element to their reunion for us as readers.

I love romantic suspense and the visceral reactions they can provoke. Till Death was a story I never expected from this author, but one that I’m glad she wrote. It’s morbid of me to say that I found it fun, but I really did. The past and the present mixed so well and created a really enjoyable story. I loved the twists and turns and being taken along for the ride. I hope JLA takes us on another dark adventure soon.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

jla

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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

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Redemption Book One

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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: At Close Range by Laura Griffin

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Tracers Book Eleven; Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin “delivers the goods” (Publishers Weekly) again with the eleventh title in the gritty, heart-pounding Tracers series.

When a lakeside tryst ends in a double murder, police detective Daniele Harper arrives on the scene determined to get answers. Clues are everywhere, but nothing adds up. Dani turns to the Delphi Center crime lab for help, but soon regrets it when her secret attraction to their chief firearms examiner threatens to distract her from the most important case of her career.

As a ballistics expert and former Navy SEAL, Scott Black knows firearms, and he knows he can help Dani unravel her case. Scott has managed to hide his interest in his best friend’s younger sister for years, but when her investigation brings them together, the sparks between them quickly get out of control. Scott resolves to keep his hands off Dani and his eyes on the goal—identifying a killer. But when that killer zeroes in on Dani, all bets are off. There isn’t a line Scott won’t cross to convince Dani to trust him so that he can help her take down a ruthless murderer who has her in his sights.

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

Laura Griffin absolutely shines with her masterful writing in AT CLOSE RANGE. I’ll be honest and say that this is my first Griffin book even though I’ve been eyeing the series for quite some time; I was reassured that each book stands on its own so I felt it safe to jump right in. I’ll tell ya right now, I am incredibly glad I did. This book absolutely wowed me in every sense. The suspense never once dipped, instead building higher and higher which made it an unputdownable and fast page-turner of a story. And this story will keep gripping you until the very last moment.

Griffin managed to capture each character and their profession so skillfully that I could believe she actually works in the field in real life. But what I found most wonderful was how the romance between Scott and Dani was continually gripping, never once overshadowing the main mystery storyline but instead enhancing it. Their affection grew organically and easily which allowed me to feel that connection as they did. And with a strong woman, a detective at that, as our heroine, there was a perpetual sense of normalcy and give in her which kept her relatable and a good adversary for an ex-SEAL like Scott. They matched really well and had a combustible sexual tension between them at all times.

I had so much fun reading this book. The twists and turns kept it fresh and the guessing game of mine for who the culprit was, was never once correct—I was stumped! But in the best way. I love romantic suspense and I think Laura Griffin does an amazing job at it. AT CLOSE RANGE was an amazing story that was written with such care and passion for not only the two characters but for the work that goes into solving crimes. I’m excited to go read each book in the series, and I highly recommend that if you haven’t read her before, start here. This sexy, well-written book hooked me from the beginning and it will to you, too.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

Dani watched him. Scott stood beside the car, his back to the victim as he skimmed his flashlight over the ground. The firearms expert was tall and broad-shouldered, with the super-ripped body of a former Navy SEAL. Instead of his usual tactical pants and combat boots, he wore jeans and a leather jacket tonight, so maybe he’d been out when he’d gotten the call. Dani knew from experience that his jacket had nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with the Sig Sauer he carried concealed at his hip.

Something glinted in the grass, and Scott crouched down to tag it with a numbered marker. Two minutes on the scene and already he’d discovered a piece of evidence. He stood and squared his shoulders, and Dani felt a pang deep inside her as he approached.

He stopped and towered over her, and for a moment they just stared at each other.

“Was the passenger door closed when you got here?” he asked.

“That’s right.”

“Where’s the girl?”

“No sign of her.” She nodded at the woods. “One of our officers is searching near the lake with Travis.”

He watched her for a moment with those cool blue eyes. His gaze shifted to the woods. “You need a K-9 team.”

She bristled. “I know.”

He strode over to his truck and opened the toolbox again. He took out a metal detector, which would help him locate shell casings or bullets, and maybe even the second victim if she was wearing jewelry or a belt.

Then again, the killer might have taken her somewhere else. Dani glanced back at the road and got a queasy feeling in her stomach. Where was she? She turned her attention to the lake, visible just beyond the trees. It was a scenic spot, usually–a tranquil little oasis for couples. But not tonight.

She glanced at Scott again, and he was watching her closely–so closely it made her wonder what he was thinking.

“You coming?” he asked.

She nodded at the body. “I’ll stay with him until the ME shows.”

Scott walked off, and Dani let her gaze follow him until he disappeared into the woods.

The medical examiner’s van rolled up, followed closely by Ric, and Dani’s stomach tightened as she thought of everything she didn’t like about this case. And it wasn’t even an hour old yet.

Ric walked over, his expression grim as he took in the scene. “The media has it.”

“That didn’t take long.”

“It was all over the scanner,” he told her. “I give us ten minutes, tops, before they roll in here with their cameras. We need to barricade the road.”

“Daniele.”

She turned toward the sound of Scott’s deep voice calling her from the woods. He was a tall silhouette at the edge of the trees, and from his tone Dani knew it was bad.

“What is it?” she yelled back.

“I found her.”

##

Copyright 2017 by Laura Griffin

 

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin where she is working on her next book.

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW w/ GIVEAWAY: Absolute Trust by Piper J. Drake

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True Heroes #3; Standalone

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Hot military heroes, the women who love them, and the dogs who always have their backs. ABSOLUTE TRUST is the third book in a high-adrenaline romantic suspense series from Piper J. Drake.

LOVE IS THE GREATEST RISK OF ALL

After multiple tours of duty, Brandon Forte returns to his hometown on a personal mission: to open a facility for military service dogs like Haydn, a German shepherd who’s seen his share of combat and loss. It also brings him back to Sophie Kim, a beacon of light in his life . . . and the one woman he can’t have. But Forte’s success means he’s made enemies in high places. Enemies who are now after Sophie . . .

When Forte enlisted and left without saying goodbye, Sophie did her best to move on. But with her first love back in town, looking sexier than ever, she’s constantly reminded of what they could have had. Then after he risks himself for her, Sophie realizes she’ll have to put her life in the hands of the man who broke her heart, knowing the danger -and the sparks between them- could consume them both.

♦3.5/4-STAR REVIEW♦

ABSOLUTE TRUST starts off explosive from the get-go, and it keeps on running from there. Not only is the story suspenseful, but the romance is as well. Brandon and Sophie have had years of a slow burn build-up that has only gotten worse (or harder to handle) since Brandon returned to town after leaving her all those years ago. Their connection was palpable and filled with the kind of intense pain that had built over time. The suspense does a bang-up job of bringing them together and giving readers a sexy battle of hearts versus minds. Drake’s in-depth characterization really pulled off their connection, especially for a reader like me who hadn’t read the prior two books.

I’m waffling on the star rating only because the ending didn’t exactly quench my thirst. It felt like there was more that needed to be said or done, or that there needed to be more of a concrete or absolute end to their particular story. With how passionate and intense the entire book was, the conclusion felt a bit lackluster in comparison. But overall I really enjoyed this romantic suspense story and the connection between Brandon and Sophie, and having met the couples from the prior books throughout this novel, it makes me even more excited to go to their books and to continue on in the series for the next book.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

Sophie Kim must’ve come directly from work because, under her very sleek, black trench coat, she wore a matching pencil skirt. Three-inch red heels popped in contrast to the severe black of the rest of her outfit. Which did all sorts of things to him. Naughty things. The kind of things that were so good that they were really bad. Especially when a woman was off limits.

“Hey! Is that the new guy?” Sophie slowed her approach, keeping her gaze locked on Forte’s face.

She’d been around tiny dogs all her life, but she’d spent enough time at Hope’s Crossing Kennels over the last couple of years to have learned how to meet the much bigger dogs in Forte’s care. Training working dogs was his thing. Or in Haydn’s case, retraining.

Always a work in progress.

Sophie had been here when Forte had come back from active duty, too battle weary to continue deploying. She’d helped him with the accounting when he’d established Hope’s Crossing Kennels and had generally integrated herself into the private world he’d created for himself, Rojas, and Cruz while they all rebuilt lives for themselves.

Sophie’s bright smile faded as she waited for him to answer. She always sensed when he got too caught up inside his own head.

“Yeah.” Forte came to a halt and murmured the command for Haydn to sit.

Instant obedience. Despite his injury, surgery, and current need for recovery, the dog was as sharp as he’d been on active duty. The mind was eager, ready to work. The body, not so much.

Sophie’s smile renewed, the brilliant expression stopping his heart, the way it had every time he’d seen her since they’d first met way back in high school. She came to a stop in front of them, barely within arm’s reach. “He must be doing well if you’ve got him out here for some field work.”

While they spoke, Haydn watched them both. Then he sniffed the back of Sophie’s hand, which she’d been holding conveniently within reach.

Usually, he preferred if a person asked to be introduced, but this was Sophie. If she’d approached anyone else, she’d have requested permission to say “Hi” to the dog. But between the two of them, everything was an exception.

It showed how well she’d come to know the way he worked in the last few years. He’d changed with every deployment. It happened. And she’d adjusted and accepted those changes in him without a word when he came back. She was the steadfast, forever friend.

He’d never told her why he’d left in the first place or why he’d come back. She was so good at just accepting him that she might never know. And he was a coward for not telling her.

“What’s your plan for him?” Sophie glanced down at the dog, now that he’d sniffed her hand. “Haydn, right?”

“Yeah.” Forte cleared his throat. “He’s got a couple of weeks of physical therapy first. Then we need to coordinate with the Air Force on his adoption.”

“Ah.” Understanding in one syllable. She had the kind of caring heart to fill in the gaps when something went unsaid. “His handler didn’t make it.”

Part of why Sophie was one of the only people Forte felt easy around was because she got it. Only needed to explain once. And she listened the first time. Sometimes no explanation was required at all.

“Where’s your car? We’ll walk you.”

“Right across the street.” Sophie jerked her head in the direction of the small parking lot.

They headed over, Sophie falling into step next to Forte. She didn’t try to take his hand or tuck her own around his arm. They weren’t like that. Besides, she knew he didn’t like to be all wound up with a person when walking out in the open.

As they approached her car, Sophie juggled her shopping bag to pull her keys out of her purse and triggered the trunk.

“Need help?” Forte came up alongside the car, scanning the area around the parking lot out of habit.

“No worries.” Sophie lifted the trunk door and carefully placed her shopping bag inside the deep space, leaning in to move things around to where she wanted. “I need to make sure this is arranged so stuff doesn’t shift. It’s delicate!”

He was not going to admit to anyone, ever, how much he was willing to stretch his neck to catch sight of her backside while she was leaning over.

Haydn sniffed the side of the car. The big dog was very engaged, his relaxed attitude changing to a sharper set of movements. Forte tore his attention from Sophie.

Haydn had detected something out of place. Something wrong. Forte’s stomach tightened into a hard knot. Nothing wrong should be anywhere near his Sophie. It didn’t matter that they were in a sleepy town on the edge of a river in the middle of a peaceful country. It didn’t matter that there shouldn’t be any real danger here.

Haydn deliberately sat and looked up at Forte. It was a clear signal. One Haydn had been specifically trained to give as a military explosives detection dog.

Shit.

“Sophie. Step away from your car.” He’d explain later. Be afraid later. Rage. Worry.

Later.

She popped up from the trunk. “Huh?”

“Do it.”

They had to move now.

She complied, thank god. He gave Haydn a terse command, circled around to grab Sophie and get more distance. He steered her across the parking lot toward a big dumpster. It’d serve as good cover. Then he reached for his smart phone.

They got a couple of yards away, and Sophie craned her neck to look back at her car, even as she kept moving with him. She always did as he asked immediately, but she had a brain, and she insisted on explanations after she complied. “What—?”

Behind them, the trunk hatch came down with a solid thunk.

Forte let out a curse and grabbed her, pulling them down to the ground and rolling for the cover of other cars as an explosion lifted the entire driver’s side of her car.

 

♦SERIES♦

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Book One | Book Two

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

drake_authorphoto_j-r-blackwell

Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) spent her childhood pretending to study for the SATs by reading every interesting novel she could find at the library. After being introduced to the wonderful world of romance by her best friend, she dove into the genre.

PJ began her writing career as PJ Schnyder, writing sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk, for which she won the FF&P PRISM award as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award.

PJ’s romantic suspense novels incorporate her interests in mixed martial arts and the military. The True Heroes series is inspired by her experience rescuing, owning and training a variety of retired working dogs, including Kaiser, a former guard dog, and Mozart, who was trained to detect explosives.

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