NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Cover of Night by Laura Griffin

Alpha Crew Book Three; Standalone Novella

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♦BLURB♦

Sparks fly when a journalist and a Navy SEAL cross paths in Thailand in this third entry in the thrilling and sexy Alpha Crew series from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.

Journalist Karly Bonham is on her first overseas mission, covering the new United States ambassador to Thailand, when she is taken hostage by terrorists, with only her wits and courage to keep her alive–until help arrives in the form of Navy SEAL Ethan Dunn.

As part of an elite SEAL team called Alpha Crew, Ethan has been on countless harrowing missions, but he knows this one is different the instant he meets Karly—the sexy young reporter who somehow managed to escape the terrorists’ clutches. Ethan is impressed by her, especially when he learns she has intel that could be the key to a successful rescue op. Ethan knows working with a civilian raises the stakes on an already dangerous mission. But with the clock ticking down, he enlists Karly’s help to thwart a vicious plot and bring a terrorist mastermind to justice.

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

Fast-paced and thrilling, Cover of Night quickly jumped into its suspense with fully formed characters and brought the intensity from the get-go. Even as a novella, both Ethan and Karly were strong, present characters that felt fleshed out even without any back story or build-up, and then Griffin brought the two together in a live-or-die situation and allowed them the space to catch a foothold with one another.

Outside of the action, Griffin didn’t shy away from the effects of a traumatic situation, allowing Karly to experience the consequences of how a deadly experience such as that can affect her mental health. And still, her character was incredibly brave and resilient, both during and after, which was admirable, but it didn’t act as if the issues had a quick fix either–something of which I loved. The romantic connection between the two was fast but potent–and shone some truth to how an experience can tie two people together in the most instinctive of ways.

Cover of Night was a great love story with the perfect blend of romance and suspense. Each character felt real and there was a wonderfully organic connection between them that grew into a believable romance. The ending felt a bit rushed, not as expertly paced as the rest of the book, but aside from that, I fell in love with it from the beginning. If you’re looking for an exciting novel to devour in one sitting, this is it.

 

♦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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MASS MARKET RELEASE & REVIEW w/ GIVEAWAY: The Playboy Bachelor by Rachel Van Dyken

Bachelors of Arizona Book Two; Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

She’s no Sleeping Beauty. And he’s definitely no prince . . .

Margot McCleery could have lived her whole life without seeing Bentley Wellington again-her ex-best friend and the poster boy for Hot, Rich Man-Whores everywhere. But Margot’s whiskey-augmented grandmother “buys” Bentley at a charity bachelor auction, and now suddenly he’s at her door. Impossibly charming. Impossibly sexy. And still a complete and utter jackass.

Bentley’s just been coerced by his grandfather to spend the next thirty days charming and romancing the reclusive red-haired beauty who hates him. The woman he abandoned when she needed him the most. Bentley knows just as much about romance as he knows about love-nothing. But the more time he spends with Margot, the more he realizes that “just friends” will never be enough. Now all he has to do is convince her to trust him with her heart . . .

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

In a twist on the typical shut-in story, The Playboy Bachelor takes two former best friends, one who now refuses to enter the outside world and one who is both a playboy and the one who abandoned her, and pushes them together against their wills. Forced to be in each other’s company for an extended period of time, secrets surface and long buried sexual tension reaches a high point.

RVD always writes contemporary romance well, playing with humor and sweetness, but she isn’t afraid of delving into more deep-seated issues that add conflict and tension in her characters and her stories. Having a female character barricaded in due to a horrific accident allowed there to be a nice change in the dynamic of how it affects a woman differently and how that plays into a male character pushing past it. Add to it the history between the two, the past feelings and connection, and it pushes all of that into a sharper point of contention. Margot and Bentley were two very different characters and I enjoyed the contrast and how it affected them both individually and as a potential couple through friendship to not friends and finally to when the playing fields change.

The Playboy Bachelor played with secrets and twists and humor and hotness. The Wellington family is as meddlesome as ever and it was enjoyable to see them again. It’s a perfectly sexy and light read that settles nicely on enemies-to-lovers and a constant building of sexual tension, and I’m looking forward to the next brother we get to see find love.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

“I’m writing a kissing scene!” she blurted, mentally kicking herself for screaming it in his face. “And the guy’s a complete jackass. Since my only experience with jackasses is you…” Her voice was shaky, just like her body. Could he tell how much she wanted him? How much she hated that her response was this—raw. “I-I figured you were the only one who could show me what it’s like.” Good one, Margot. Do you really have to sound so…desperate?

“What what’s like?”

“A kiss. From a jackass.”

“Got the jackass part.” He treaded water and then grabbed her by the arm and pulled her deeper into the pool until they were on the opposite end, his body pressed against hers. At least his eyes were still locked on her face. “And you’ve never been kissed?”

She rolled her eyes. “Not by someone like—”

“If you keep insulting me, this kiss won’t ever happen, Red.”

“Don’t call me that,” Margot whispered. Was she so weak that she’d forgive his abandonment for one kiss? “Please?”

“This kiss.” His calculated gaze didn’t make her feel any better about the situation. “How long does it need to be? How deep? Where do you want my hands?”

Margot’s mouth dropped open. “That’s not how kisses work! You can’t just map out the kiss. That takes all the romance out of it!”

“Oh, so you want romance?”

“Yes! No! I mean. I didn’t say that!” Her face flamed, and she sagged in defeat. Admitting she wanted romance kind of felt like she was on the losing end of the little battles they’d been having, like she was giving him an in. And if he got in, he’d only hurt her again.

“I was joking,” he said, just before his lips brushed hers. His tongue slid across her bottom lip and then sucked it for a few seconds before he slid it into her mouth and deepened the kiss.

Her lips softened beneath his gentle coaxing, and his hard thighs pressed against hers as a deep hunger awakened within her.

Oh, this was bad.

So bad.

And very, very good at the same time.

 

♦SERIES♦

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Bachelors of Arizona #1; Standalone

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

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♦GIVEAWAY♦

Enter to win 1 of 10 copies of the paperback of The Playboy Bachelor!

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TOP REC & BOOK REVIEW: Disorderly Conduct by Tessa Bailey

29 - Disorderly Conduct

The Academy Book One

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♦BLURB♦

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…

Police academy cadet Charlie Burns can’t believe his luck when the gorgeous blonde he meets in a bar murmurs those magic words: “Nothing serious, ’kay?” Mind-blowing, no-strings sex with Ever Carmichael—it’s the holy grail of hookups for a guy who’s too busy following in his law enforcement family’s footsteps to think about getting serious. Charlie’s all about casual…that is, until Ever calls it quits and his world tilts on its axis.

Ever knows that when you control the relationship game, you can’t get played. But for the first time, she wants more than short-term satisfaction. Step one: end her fling with commitment-phobic Charlie. Step two: sacrifice herself to the ruthless NYC dating scene. Yet everywhere she turns, there’s Charlie, being his ridiculously charming self. No online match or blind date compares to the criminally hot cop-in-training, but they’re over. Aren’t they?

If love is a four-letter-word, why does the idea of Ever seeing someone else tie Charlie up in knots?  Now he’s desperate to win her back…and a little date sabotage never hurt anyone, right?

 

♦6 STAR REVIEW♦

With the rare ability to create novels with both scorching hotness and incredible emotion, Disorderly Conduct further proved that Tessa Bailey can find that perfect balance. The ease with which it was to fall into these characters, be enthralled by their mannerisms, and what made them tick, was made possible only because of how vivid and stark they each were written.

Charlie and Ever were palpable and evocative, freshly painted and formed with each turn of the page. Their wild chemistry was fiery and combustible, leaving me with a constant state of swarming butterflies running rampant in my belly as the sexual tension escalated, further proving my long-ago thought that Bailey can take sex and dirty words farther than any would ever expect it to go. Words and characters can be sexy, but what makes hers so effective and moving is the sheer amount of deep-rooted emotions that go into every thought and action and characterization. The gutted feeling of need that sprang up between the two was so beyond tangible that there aren’t words to describe it.

While these two characters navigated the unease of feelings and unbroken ground, there was a slow introduction into the psyche and hang-ups to both Charlie, his devotion to the force, and Ever, her deceptive upbringing, allowing us to see into them as the story progressed rather than showing all of the cards upfront–and that, to me, is the brilliance of a Bailey novel. Each multi-faceted character of hers continues to surprise and affect the reader as the layers of the story peel back and unfold. And the unexpected humor that was splashed into this story gave such humility and depth to every aspect, making it oh-so-fun.

Disorderly Conduct was a fantastic, sexually-charged love story that captured an electric connection between two unique characters with ease. In exploring the true wants and needs of each character, leaving behind the projections of others or what’s expected, Bailey perfectly brought to life two characters that leapt from the pages from the very beginning. The reread-ability and the joy felt while reading this novel made this a must-read story and the new, hands-down, favorite novel of this author. (Also, probably the best meet-cute in the history of meet-cutes). This series started with a bang and I’m beyond anxious to experience the rest of it.

 

♦SERIES♦

The Academy Book Two

Release Date: January 30, 2018

PreOrder: Kindle | Mass Market | B&N | Google

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

tessa bailey bio

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

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NEW RELEASE w/ EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: The Time in Between by Kristen Ashley

The third and final book in the Magdalene series is now live! And 5% of the proceeds from the first week of sales of THE TIME IN BETWEEN release will be given to HALO Animal Rescue in Phoenix, a no-kill shelter. HALO stands for “helping animals live on” and is a shelter started by a mother/daughter team of committed animal advocates who have done a huge duty for animals in this area, and continue to do so with unwavering love, support and energy.For more information on HALO or to donate to the work they do, go to www.halorescue.org.

Magdalene Series Book Three; Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

After a painful loss, Cady Moreland is coming to Magdalene to start the next chapter of her life. A chapter that began eighteen years ago but had a heartbreaking ending. The time in between was full of family and friendship, but Cady could never get the man she fell in love with all those years ago out of her heart.

Coert Yeager has learned to live without the girl who entered his life right when she shouldn’t and exited delivering a crippling blow he never would have suspected. The time in between was full of failing to find what he was missing…and life-altering betrayal.

But when that girl shows up in Magdalene and buys the town’s beloved lighthouse, even if Coert wants to avoid her, he can’t. A fire in town sparks a different kind of flame that won’t be ignored.

As Cady and Coert question the actions of the two young adults they once were thrown into earth-shattering circumstances, can they learn from what came in between and find each other again?

 

♦EXCERPT♦

Present day…

I took in the mess of the large, circular room we were in and at first saw nothing but the mess—decaying furniture, a soot-covered stone fireplace, a kitchen that might have been put in in the forties but had not only not been touched the last nine years, it perhaps had not been touched the last nineteen (or more).

Then I saw more.

The extraordinarily carved railing to the sweeping wood staircase that ran the curved side of the house. The red brick walls. The plank wood floors.

“Once upon a time, long ago,” the realtor was suddenly talking wistfully, “someone loved this place. Put that love into building it. Put that love into keeping it. Nine years and more when no one really gave a whit, and still you can see it once had a lot of love.”

Oh yes.

You could see that.

“It’s got a basement, more like a big crawl space,” the agent declared, surprising me with his quick change in tone back to businesslike and informative. “The furnace is down there. You can get down there through a door in the floor. The furnace was put in a while back, and full disclosure, though an inspection will catch it, it probably needs to be replaced.”

Through his words I stared at the fireplace, which scoured would be magnificent, and I noticed it didn’t have a chimney as such, but the smoke probably went out a vent in the wall.

“This floor has a powder room under the stairs,” the realtor kept on. “You can look at it if you want, but if you wanna save yourself that, I’ll just tell you straight, it needs to be gutted.”

I decided to take his word for it and told him that.

He looked relieved when I did before he stated, “Place has a garage, two car. Not in good condition, but think you saw that. Still, it’s close to the house and there’s a covered walkway to that door over there.” He pointed at a door that was across from the door we’d walked in. “Means you might feel a chill but you won’t get wet, unless it’s raining sideways, which happens.”

With a breeze that plastered my jacket to me on a sunny, early spring day, I did not doubt that.

“Garage has a loft space above it, which could be renovated as a studio rental if you’ve a mind to do that sort of thing. As for the property itself, it also has a building where the generators are stowed,” the realtor carried on. “Hook up for a washer and dryer and good space in there. Lots of it for storage. Which is good because there’s not a lot of storage in here for tools and Christmas decorations and whatnot.”

I glanced around seeing he was right. There wasn’t even enough cabinetry to house the things a decent cook would need in her kitchen. Though there was room for them. In fact, if you fought back the gloom, there was quite a bit of room.

“And there’s a place outside, could call it a studio, could call it a mother-in-law house,” he shared. “Whatever, it’s got goodly space, two bedrooms, big kitchen. Could be renovated to be a guest house. Or like I said, a studio if you’re artsy. Or you could rent it out like a B and B. I’ll show you all of that after we have a look at the lighthouse.”

“Thanks,” I replied.

“Now, since I mentioned full disclosure, you have to know it all,” the realtor continued.

Slowly, my eyes went to him.

When they did, he launched in. “Like I said, it’s automated. And like I said, you won’t really have to concern yourself with the functionality of that unless the electricity goes out, but then the generators automatically kick in. There are two. But you’ll need to keep fuel on hand to keep them going in case a blackout lasts awhile. And just to say, this is coastal Maine. We get weather. Blackouts can last awhile.”

When I nodded to share I took that in, he kept going.

“And if you’re, say, away on vacation, you need to make sure someone is playing backup in such a case.”

“Okay,” I replied when he stopped talking, thinking this probably wasn’t a good thing since I knew no one in Maine (or not anyone who wanted to know me) and thus couldn’t call on anyone to do something like that.

I also didn’t hold high hopes I’d make friends and win people. I hadn’t had a lot of success in that in my life.

And last, although Patrick believed it completely, I held no hope that the reason I was out there was going to come to fruition.

That being me having a happy ending.

That being what Patrick thought would be my happy ending.

Which might mean I’d have someone, a certain someone, or actually two (at least), even though I knew I never would.

 

♦SERIES♦

♦TRAILER♦

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♦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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