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

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28 - Blackbird

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

 

♦SERIES♦

Click on the cover to buy; each book stands alone.

 

♦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♦

true-heroes-series

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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BLOG TOUR w/ REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Taken by Cynthia Eden

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LOST #5; Interconnected standalone

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In New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s latest novel, the Last Option Search Team (LOST) returns— and for one agent, the hunt for a serial killer just got very personal . . . 

HE SWORE TO PROTECT HER . . .

Bailey Jones somehow survived her harrowing abduction by the infamous Death Angel. But while her physical scars have healed, she can’t stop wondering about a woman she helped to escape, who simply disappeared. When LOST agent Asher Young is assigned to her case, Bailey instantly feels an attraction to the intense ex-SEAL who seems to be carrying dark secrets of his own.

BUT KEEPING HIS PROMISE . . .

Asher can’t afford to let his growing feelings for Bailey distract him from his job. Only she can soothe his horrific nightmares, but the last thing he wants is for the demons from his past to ever hurt her. Bailey has gotten past his guard, and the emotions he feels for her—they’re as dark and dangerous as the past he doesn’t want to face.

COULD COST BOTH THEIR LIVES

When corpses begin surfacing—all marked with the same tattoo depicting the Death Angel’s calling card—Asher must race to stop a twisted killer who wants nothing more than to claim his next prize: Bailey . . .

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

TAKEN is one of Eden’s most suspenseful books yet. I don’t normally try very hard to find out the killer beforehand (instead letting it be given to me as the story allows), but I was nowhere close to guessing correctly. Eden takes a town and completely obliterates it. Death and tragedy and hidden agendas and revenge…TAKEN is in the thick of it all and I couldn’t stop once I opened this book. It was a wild, wild ride; one that I really enjoyed.

Bailey’s the only known survivor of the Death Angel and she’s scarred both mentally and physically from it. But her inner fighter won’t let go of the fact that she knows another woman was out there with her, and connecting with LOST is the only option she has left to find that missing woman once and for all. Because while Bailey barely survived, her inner fighter won’t stop fighting for others and she’s stuck in the loop of knowing what she saw with no evidence to prove it. And when she’s paired with LOST’s new agent, Asher, her heart can no longer fight that it can feel something again. Something other than constant danger and fear. The secretive and intense nature of Asher calls to her, but it’s more his big, protective body that makes her feel safe and the protectiveness he exudes that really draws her in.

I absolutely loved the storyline for this novel. There was so much death and destruction with unlimited twists and turns that there was no way to tell up from down. It was exciting and altogether thrilling. The addictive nature of it made it completely unputdownable. The only thing that took my rating down was the romance between Bailey and Asher. I wanted to feel their connection, but it didn’t catch me or dig its claws deep into me like I wanted. Even with that connection issue for me, it didn’t detract from the story or my enjoyment of it. Eden masterfully wrote a heroine who consistently struggles with fear and post traumatic stress issues, but she balanced it in such a way that she was still a very strong and resilient character. TAKEN is amazing suspenseful storywriting and I’m always amazed at how great Eden’s stories are. And after each novel of this series I finish, I am always looking ahead to when the next one will be out. Cannot wait!

 

♦EXCERPT♦

“Bailey Jones . . .” Asher said her name softly, as if tasting it on his tongue. “There are a few things you should know about me before we begin.”

There are things you should know about me, too. But I’m not going to tell you . . . or you won’t help me.

“First, you don’t have to fear me. Part of my job at LOST—well, let’s just say Gabe hired me on because he wanted a bit more muscle. Protection is my role. I’ll keep you safe and track down any clues about that missing woman. On my watch, nothing will happen to you.”

She nodded even though—

I don’t believe you. There is no safety. I learned that.

“And second . . . you don’t have to bullshit me.”

Now she blinked in surprise.

He laughed, a deep, rough rumble of sound that Bailey found she liked to hear.

“You think I can’t tell when you’re wearing a mask? You’ve got yourself locked down tight, under careful control, don’t you? But you don’t have to do that with me. I’m not one of the North Carolina deputies. I’m not going to judge you. And I’m not some lame-ass reporter who wants to splash your story all over the world.”

I wear a mask all the time now because something is wrong inside of me. It has been, ever since that fire. That hole. That hell.

“So let’s put a no-bullshit rule in effect,” he murmured.

Her hands curled around the steering wheel. “Liking rules, is that more of a military thing again?”

“Wanting to break rules . . . that’s why I left the SEALs.”

He’d been a SEAL? She turned to look up at him. “Is there a rule number three?”

“We’ll get to that rule later . . .”

She started the vehicle. “I’ll follow you to your place.”

“Do you have any rules for me?”

Don’t hurt me. Don’t judge me. Don’t pity me. Bailey cleared her throat. “I’m sure we can get to those rules later, too.”

He slammed her door shut. Through the window, Bailey watched as he strode away—not to another car, but to a shiny, big monster of a motorcycle. He climbed on, revved the engine moments later, and that rumbling growl filled the parking garage.

Asher slid the helmet over his head—a black helmet with a dark visor that completely obscured his face. Her heart beat faster as she stared at him.

Dangerous.

That had been her first thought when she’d seen him in the conference room.

But he was on her side. Not a threat to her. He’d help her.

At least, that was what she hoped. Because if something didn’t change soon, Bailey was afraid that the deputies would be right about her. Her shrink would be right.

I may go crazy.

 

♦SERIES♦

All books are interconnected standalones

Broken

LOST Book One

Purchase:  Amazon | My 5-star Review

 

Twisted LOST #2 Cynthia Eden

LOST Book Two

Purchase:  Amazon

 

27 - Shattered

LOST Book Three

Purchase:  Amazon | My 5-star Review

31 - Torn

LOST Book Four

Purchase:  Amazon | B&N | iBooks | HarperCollins  |  My 5-Star Review

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Cynthia Eden

Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a two-time finalist for the RITA® award (she was a finalist both in the romantic suspense category and in the paranormal romance category). Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate. Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

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