NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy

Young Adult

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♦BLURB♦

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

 

♦3.5-STAR REVIEW

In a Mean Girls-like fashion, Pretty Dead Girls amplified teenage life and the pitfalls of high school with mystery and murder. Told from the perspective of a girl in the clique, Penelope, with her ever-decreasing squad, the reader cannot help but wonder exactly how reliable of a narrator she is. And while it falls on some overly used tropes of the genre, it was a fast-paced and interesting read until the end.

Most readers will find issue with Penelope and her lack of a concrete conscience, but take into consideration that she’s supposed to be a flawed character both in age and label. I wasn’t too fond of the romance included in the book, but there was value to furthering the story with it included. With that said, there was still a need to know how it ended, who the killer was, if they would be caught in time. A novel that still manages to grip you in that way regardless of a few literary flaws means it still has good backbones to lay the story on. If you love suspense sprinkled with some romance that’s centered around flawed teenagers, Pretty Dead Girls is the novel for you.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

MonicaMurphy

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

The Ones Who Got Away Book One; Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

In a sweepingly romantic tale of two people joined by trauma and loss, The Ones Who Got Away told a beautiful love story filled with deep emotions, uncontrollable sexual tensions, and the turbulent journey to finding inner peace. With the limited blurb, I went into this story not knowing what to expect and came out of it absolutely floored by how deeply poignant and influential these characters were as individuals and as products of their unique situation, along with how beautifully romantic their love story ending up being.

One of the most crucial aspects this story nails is the reverberations of trauma, and how drastically it can change the course of your life. A person who has survived trauma cannot go back to who they once were, no matter how hard they may try, and for both Liv and Finn, they are this exact representation. But because they knew each other prior, there’s this rare idolization of emotion that connects them, both their past and present selves, and makes their attraction and eventual romance even more effective. With the story centering on only the present time, you’ll not only fall for that part of them they’ll always be rather than who they once were, but you’ll still manage to see the raw beauty of their young innocence. All of that groundwork produced an insane amount of emotional and sexual tension, making this a powerful read.

Both surprising and addictive, this story has staying power and will stick with you long after it ends. Loren’s writing is stark and pensive, capturing every naunced thought and emotion in every scene. Its backbones, in centering around the survivors of a school shooting, are strong and will absolutely hold up the entire series, one that I cannot wait to get more of. The Ones Who Got Away was a compelling and provocative read, and an absolute must-read.

 

♦SERIES♦

The Ones Who Got Away Book Two; Standalone

Release Date: June 5, 2018

PreOrder: Kindle | Mass Market

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Into the Night by Cynthia Eden

Killer Instinct Book Three; Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

Two FBI agents are caught in a merciless vigilante’s crosshairs in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s electric Killer Instinct series

Sheltered in the shadows of the Smoky Mountains is the suspect who’s summoned FBI agent Macey Night’s fears to the surface. Every day that the “Profiler,” a vigilante serial killer, escapes justice is another day she’s reminded of what it is to be a ruthless predator’s prey. Capturing him is a craving deeper than anything she’s felt in a long time. But Agent Bowen Murphy, equal parts sexy and volatile, seems hell-bent on changing that. Working together—needing, living and breathing each other—they’re entwined to distraction.

Bowen’s used to operating on impulse: act, don’t feel. Now Macey and the controlled terror behind her beautiful eyes have him rethinking everything, including his rule to never get close to a colleague. He’s willing to fight for a future with Macey, but the consequences of love could be deadly.

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

Suspenseful and riveting, Into the Night was a thrilling romantic suspense story filled with many twists and turns. With Eden’s signature mind for twisted characters and their reigns of terror, readers will not only fall in love with Bowen and Macey’s fierce connection with one another, but also their fast-paced fall into a serial killer’s trap that is seemingly both personal and highly skilled.

In a series where each novel can stand completely on its own, there’s nothing repetitive about the characters or the motives behind their actions, leaving readers to be completely captivated with something new and fresh with each one. And somehow Eden keeps finding new ways to bring about death, danger, and design, thrusting her characters into untried depths of both hot romance and deadly situations. The strength and warrior spirit of Macey, a survivor of a horrible ordeal, was always present, and her sharp mind was clear, but conscious of what was at stake. She was the heart to Bowen’s protective capabilities, but his ability to love was just as fierce. Both characters meshed so well in both personal and professional endeavors that it was seamless to believe their fall.

Into the Night was an edge-of-your-seat read, one that kept me guessing until the very end. It was one thing after another–turning the preformed ideas I cultivated with the evidence given and twisted everything on its head–leaving me to throw away all of my predictions to guess again, and that’s the marker of a great suspense novel. The romance was just an extra topping that rounded out the story. I’m already looking forward to what’s next in this series, hoping there will be more to come.

 

♦SERIES♦

The Gathering Dusk

Killer Instinct Book #0.5; A prequel to After the Dark

Purchase: Kindle

Killer Instinct Book One; Standalone | Review

Purchase: Kindle | Mass Market

Killer Instinct Book Two; Standalone | Review

Kindle | Mass Market | Audio

♦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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NEW RELEASE w/ EXCERPT: The Hookup by Kristen Ashley

Moonlight & Motor Oil Book One

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♦BLURB♦

When the new girl in town, Eliza “Izzy” Forrester decides to hit the local drinking hole, she’s not ready to meet the town’s good, solid guy. She’s definitely not prepared to engage in her very first hookup with him.

Then Izzy wakes up the next morning in Johnny Gamble’s bed and good girl Izzy finds she likes being bad for Johnny.

Even so, Izzy feels Johnny holding her at arm’s length. But Johnny makes it clear he wants more and Izzy already knows she wants as much of hot-in-bed, sweet-out-of-it Johnny Gamble.

Floating on air thinking this is going somewhere, Izzy quickly learns why Johnny holds distant.

He’s in love with someone else. Someone who left him and did it leaving him broken. Whoever was up next would be runner up, second best. Knowing the stakes, Izzy will take what she can get from the gentleman that’s Johnny Gamble. And even knowing his heart might never mend, Johnny can’t seem to stay away from Izzy.

Until out of nowhere, his lost love comes back to town. He’s not going back, but Johnny still knows the right thing to do is let Izzy go.

And Izzy knew the stakes, so she makes it easy and slips though his fingers.

But that’s before Johnny realizes Eliza moved to town to escape danger that’s been swirling around her.

And that’s why Johnny decides to wade in.

That and the fact Eliza Forrester makes breakfast with a canary singing on her shoulder and fills out tight dresses in a way Johnny Gamble cannot get out of his head.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

“Izzy?” she answered.

“Hey, I’m home,” I told her.

“Okay, well…how are you?”

How was I?

Johnny’s behavior explained by the sad fact it was the anniversary of his father’s death, but still explained, and he was coming over for dinner the next night, not to mention, after not being affectionate (at all, unless you counted sitting me on the countertop, which I kind of did) after the last time we’d had sex, he made out with me at the door of my car for a good, long, happy while—I was great.

“I’m great,” I told her, opening Serengeti’s stall and moving in, lifting a hand to pat her jaw while she moved her nose to snuffle my neck and blow at my hair.

“Damn,” Deanna muttered.

My hand arrested on Serengeti and I focused on Deanna.

“What?” I asked.

“Damn,” she repeated.

“Damn what?” I asked.

“Well, just to say Johnny Gamble is Johnny Gamble.”

A specific area in my chest squeezed at the way she imparted that obvious but still confusing information.

“What’s that mean?” I asked.

“He’s Johnny Gamble of Gamble Garages. Did he tell you that?”

No he didn’t tell me that.

And suddenly I was embarrassed about something that I hadn’t liked all along.

But it was worse since Deanna knew more about a man I’d slept with than I did.

Serengeti was getting fidgety, so I used my hand on her to lead her out of her stall, and once in the corridor, she trotted out the open bay at the back, directly into her pasture.

I moved to Amaretto as I shared with Deanna, “No, he didn’t tell me that. I mean, we talked but we were also doing other things.” I let that lie. It did, weighty between us on the phone, before I went on, “I don’t know what that means.”

Even though it seemed like I did. Something seemed familiar about that.

“You haven’t lived here long enough,” she murmured while I opened Amaretto’s stall and moved in for some quick pats before I let him loose. Louder, Deanna said, “You know the gas station in town?”

Oh yes.

That was where I’d seen it.

“He owns that?”

“That and seven more of them across three counties. None in the city, just in the counties. Some of them are like mini-mart stores. All of them sell gas and do work on cars.”

Wow.

That was impressive.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

kristen-ashley-headshot

Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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