Refuge Cove, Alaska, stays true to its name when a woman who has lost hope and a man in need of healing come to each other’s rescue . . .
She came to Alaska on the promise of marriage, only to find herself on the run from her would-be husband. Lost and alone in the wilderness, Emily Hunter nearly weeps with relief at the sight of a small plane in the distance—until the rugged bush pilot makes his way through the brush to help her. Can she trust this stranger any more than the menacing predator on her trail? But there’s something in John Wolf’s dark eyes that wills her to believe in him, something about his gentle nature that allows her to accept his offer of protection . . .
He’d let her into his life because he knew she was in trouble. The last thing John Wolf expects is to feel so much so quickly for the vulnerable woman in his care. For sharing his lonely wilderness home with Emily means allowing her to see his sorrow—the son he longs to reconnect with, the loss of the family he once dreamed possible. Sharing his heart with Emily means being willing to risk everything to keep her safe . . .
From fake marriage to family drama and trouble to intense suspense and murder investigation to a sweet and rather adorable love story, the Refuge Cove was entertaining, had some unique aspects, and definitely an alluring set with Alaskan wilderness surrounding them with its challenges.
Emily Hunter is a school teacher who was lured into a dangerous fake marriage that left her running for her life while losing every single possession she had, including the shoes from her feet. She was hungry for love and family of her own, a bit naive but definitely sincere, honest, kind, and a good person. Her need to be loved was greater than her sense in a moment of weakness with a seemingly charming man, and lead her to run for her life through the Alaskan backcountry. Yet there was a blessing in disguise in the threat to her life as she meets John Wolf.
John had faced his own challenges in life. He was a surviving alcoholic, but before getting sober he lost his young shot-gun wife and the rights to see his son. He enjoys his quiet life and the last thing he needs is a woman in distress, who has connections to his former in-laws. John is such a solid, good, and honest man. He is helpful, sincere, kind, and protective. An easy man to like.
And I liked the story as well and enjoyed the interactions between Emily and John. There was a touch of innocence that was endearing, deep emotions churning, yet a rather rational way of thinking and existing.
John's family life and their history were touching and an important part of John being the good man he is today.
The suspense was rather brutal at times, and the intensity crept up high in several moments through the tale.
The eARC I received could have used little polishing edits with the timeline at some points yet the story itself didn't suffer from that and my enjoyment of the tale was not affected.
With delightfully original themes, intriguing family connections, intensifying suspense and most of all ardent, sweet, and captivating romance the Refuge Cove was a splendid tale easy to enjoy
~ Four Spoons
Date Published: January 31, 2018
Pittsburgh Privateers third baseman Gavin Sullivan is home on Anna Maria Island with a lot on his mind: his mother’s recent battle with breast cancer and, now, the surprising news his oldest brother, Colby, is a twin. Gavin has a sister he’s never met, and worse, he’s sworn to secrecy while his parents try to find her. Is it any wonder he shows up to Spring Training thirty pounds heavier than last season? Armed with a complicated diet and a warning from Coach Zee, Gavin feels wrecked, until he finds a half-naked goddess on his parent’s stretch of beach. Funny how the body that has been making him feel so miserable lately suddenly has him flying high.
Curve model Emerson Raye wants to prove the naysayers back home in West Virginia wrong. Big is beautiful, too. All she has to do is land a spot in the Sports Unlimited Swimsuit Edition by convincing America to vote for her. When pro athlete Gavin Sullivan stumbles onto her oceanfront photo shoot and asks her out for drinks, Emerson and her assistant concoct a plan to leak photos of the date to the media and create the vote-getting buzz Emerson needs. Soon, Emerson realizes there’s more to Gavin than meets the eye, and their temporary, no-strings relationship heats up. But can something lasting survive under harsh media scrutiny when secrets threaten to sabotage everything?
Emerson had been kissed before. She had a modelling career full of air kisses, double-cheek kisses, and the occasional, friendly smooch on the mouth. She also had a personal life spattered with overeager, often rushed kisses that were nothing more than prerequisites for the main event.
Gavin Sullivan’s kisses weren’t like anything she’d ever encountered.
He took his time, eliciting pleasure with more than his mouth. His hands grazed her neck, his thumbs stroked her jaw. His fingers threaded through the fine hairs at her nape. And all along, his mouth explored her mouth. Lips to lips. Tongue to tongue.
He tasted like butter and sweet champagne. He smelled like citrus fruit and sandalwood.
She leaned into him and whimpered. Her hands gripping the collar of his linen shirt. Her body burned. Her brain urged her to crawl into his lap and settle in for a long, slow, mind-blowing ride. And she was seconds away from obeying when above them, someone cleared his throat.
“Sorry for the interruption.”
Emerson jerked back.
“Dessert?” the man asked as he set shell-shaped bowls of sorbet in front of them.
Gavin didn’t move. He didn’t take his hungry eyes off Emerson. “Thank you,” he said to the man. “That’ll be all for tonight.”
Looking into Gavin’s eyes, Emerson’s heartrate tripled. She wanted him. Even if it made her vulnerable. She wanted this. Even if it was a fantasy.
When the man left, Gavin grinned and reached for the silver spoon beside her bowl. “Dessert?” He dipped the spoon into the single scoop of light-colored sorbet and lifted it like he might feed her, but then, with an even brighter grin, he brought the spoon to his own beautiful mouth and licked it clean. “Lemon,” he said, his voice warm and deep.
She opened her mouth, and, for a split second, was afraid her throat was too dry to speak. “I like lemon,” she said, watching him help himself to another bite.
This time, he set the spoon down, and inched closer, so close, she could feel the cold on his tongue and smell the lemon on his lips.
“Want a taste?” he whispered.
She wrapped her arms around his powerful shoulders and pulled him in. Their lips locked. Their tongues tangled. He shoved his hands beneath her thighs and guided her onto his lap. Skirt riding high. Heart beating fast. She settled over his erection, biting back a moan as he nipped at her jaw and rubbed erotic patterns up and down her back. And then, he was licking her ear, tugging her lobe, sliding his hands along the silk of her dress to her stomach and the underside of her breasts.
Emerson tipped back her head, and her eyes fluttered open to the starry sky. Was it awful to pray during something like this? Because she wanted to. She wanted to pray for this to be real.
Cottonbloom. A beautiful, faraway place where a woman can escape her past—and find reason to stay forever. . .
Willa Brown never planned to stay in Cottonbloom. She was on the way to somewhere else when she landed there and found work at the Abbot brothers’ garage. . .and a sense of comfort and safety that she had never known. The same holds true for Jackson Abbott himself. With one glance in her direction, he can make Willa’s heart melt. But what begins as an unrequited crush turns into something far more powerful than Willa could have ever imagined. . .
Jackson’s most meaningful relationship has always been with his car—and he’s not afraid to admit it. Still, he can’t help but become emotionally entangled with his new star mechanic Willa, who is definitely hiding some dark secrets of her own beneath the hood. Jackson desperately wants Willa to trust him, and to seek protection in his arms. But even as the two slowly surrender to their shared attraction, the danger lurking in Willa’s past remains a stubborn obstacle. Can she open up enough to give them both a chance at having real and lasting love?
Willa and Jackson took my breath away, broke my heart a bit, and gave hope for the better days to come. This story literally left me gasping for a breath with the heart-wrenching realities of how tough life can truly be, how sometimes we just have to survive, and if we stick it out life can spur a surprise that can change our destinies.
Jackson Abbott is a hardworking man who is trying to get a grasp of life after his father past away and one of his brothers got in trouble. The last thing that could tip the boat he is desperately trying to balance would be Willa leaving them and moving on. I loved Jackson. His honesty, his dignity, his kindness, tenderness, and protectiveness towards Willa made me admire him even more. He is just what Willa needs, they are so perfectly balanced with each other with their characteristics, talents, and imperfections, reading about them was like watching harmony in motion.
Willa, oh my gosh, her spunk, her ability to survive, to take care of herself, to find the little things that made her smile and happy when life was kicking her to the curve again and again - I admire her immensely and wanted to hug her tight like she was my sister. Her skittish heart and untrusting mind had developed naturally after being on her own and on the road for so long. With the Abbott's she felt like she belonged, she fit in and was safe, she was truly an equal even though an employee. I loved her confidence in her skills with the cars, wished she learned to appreciate her other attributes as well.
The story took a little time to set the stage, I haven't read the book one in the series, yet when the tale starting rolling, I could not put the book down. When the issues with the Abbott family is added to the troubles Willa has faced, to the secrets that needed to be unraveled, it all created drama and turbulence that rocked the foundation of all of their lives. There are heartbreak and sadness, yet there's optimism, there's hope for the silver lining, there's a heartfelt wish for normalcy in a life that could be filled with love, acceptance, and feeling safe and secure.
An absolutely beautiful, touching story that woke my interest to the rest of the series, a desire to know more and keep living in the moment and find out how things will shape up to the Abbott clan.
~ Five Spoons
Tempest by Beverly Jenkins
Series Old West #3
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date January 30, 2018
From USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins comes a new novel in a mesmerizing series set in the Old West, where an arranged marriage becomes a grand passion . . .
What kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.
Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.
“Being shot tends to make a man short-tempered. . .”
She held his gaze unflinchingly. Despite his doubts concerning her suitability, Colt found himself drawn to the determination she radiated.
“I can cook, set a proper table, and have impeccable manners. I speak English and Spanish. I hunt, fish, swim, and ride. I’d hoped to find a husband who’d view these qualities as assets, but if you’re seeking what society considers a proper wife who’ll defer to you in all things, and spend time sitting in a rocker with an embroidery hoop in her hand, you should say so and I’ll return to Arizona.”
Colt blinked. He didn’t know any woman with the pluck to toss down a gauntlet so effortlessly. Life with her would be neither easy nor boring.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of TEMPEST, we’re giving away two paperback sets of FORBIDDEN and BREATHLESS by Beverly Jenkins!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback set of Forbidden and Breathless by Beverly Jenkins. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 2/9/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured in both the documentary Love Between the Covers and on CBS Sunday Morning. Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, and NPR. To read more about Beverly, visit her at http://www.BeverlyJenkins.net.
Blake Porter was one of the lucky ones. She’d met the man she was going to marry while she was in high school. She thought she was living a fairytale; the nerdy wannabe journalist dating the gorgeous star quarterback. One wrong move proved to irrevocably alter the course of their lives.
Betrayed by the girl he loved, Levi McCoy left for the Army and never looked back. Blake’s deception pierced his soul and shattered his heart. He used the pain to his advantage and became cold and calculating - the perfect Black Ops soldier.
Over a decade later, the 707 has been called in to rescue a reporter embedded in a deadly terrorist cell, and Levi’s shocked to learn it’s the one woman who’d once owned his heart. But Blake is no longer the naive teenager she’d once pretended to be. She’s something far more dangerous.
With bombs exploding, blood being spilled, and the terrorists closing in, they both battle the memories of their beautiful beginnings and shared history. Levi and Blake face off in a showdown of wills. In one corner, Levi is determined not to fall for the woman he’s never stopped loving. In the other, Blake tries to hold on to her self-respect and not beg Levi to hear the truth.
When the lies and deception are revealed will they survive with their hearts and lives intact?
Finally Free (Levi): A Black Ops Romance (The 707 Freedom Series Book 3)
by Riley Edwards
Midsummer Delights by Eloisa James
Series A Short Story Collection
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Impulse
Publication Date February 6, 2018
Who Writes Cinderella Stories Better than Eloisa James?
No Eloisa James fan should miss these enchanting short stories!
A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace!
After Miss Cecilia Bellingworth has endured two Seasons, she decides that she would rather ruin her reputation than endure further speculation about whether her children will be “silly,” like her brother, Billy. She puts on a gorgeous gown and decides to flirt outrageously with the first handsome servant she sees! Luckily, a gorgeous musician at the Duke of Ormond’s ball seems the perfect candidate to create a scandal… Don’t miss this charming version of Cinderella, previously published in the Essex Sisters Companion Guide.
Elias Hempleworth-Gray has only one thing only of value—his title, Earl of Leyton. Determined to leave England and the scandal of his gambler father behind, Elias hopes to turn around his fortunes and come back to claim the lady he loves, Miss Penelope White. But Penny has other plans for the man she has loved all her life...plans that include a masquerade, a stolen kiss and a lost shoe.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of MIDSUMMER DELIGHTS, we're giving away two paperback copies of A KISS AT MIDNIGHT by Eloisa James!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback copy of A Kiss At Midnight by Eloisa James. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 2/10/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Eloisa James
ELOISA JAMES is a New York Times best-selling author and professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at http://www.eloisajames.com.
Constance Owens has a gift for finding unique items in the most unlikely places, which comes in handy since she buys and sells artifacts and antiques for a living. When she purchases a set of four dragon statues, she has no idea just how unique they are, or that finding them will thrust her into a world of secret societies, men who think nothing of kidnapping and murder to get what they want, and dragon shifters.
Nic hasn’t survived for four thousand years by letting his guard down, and he doesn’t trust anyone except his drakon brothers. The loneliness haunting him has been getting worse since all his brothers have found their mates. And when he finds the woman his drakon recognizes instantly as his fated mate, he doubts he’ll ever have what his brothers have, because it seems she’s involved with the secret society of hunters who have been hunting and capturing his kind for hundreds of years.
Nic didn’t want to frighten Constance any more than she already was, but she deserved the truth. Jeremiah Dent was on the list of current members of the Knights that Tarrant was compiling. His brother would lose his mind if he knew what Nic was telling her. Too damn bad. He could no more lie to her than he could harm her.
Constance Owens was special.
There was something about her that made all his senses sing. He wanted about a month with her in his bed to sate his desires. Because he wanted her. More than he’d wanted a woman in a very long time.
That made her dangerous. It also made her irresistible. But first they had to deal with the Knights and rescue her sister. He only hoped they were able to do both without the Knights learning about him and without either of the women being harmed. It made him sick to his stomach how easily the Knights involved innocent people in their quest for power.
Of course, Tarrant would tell him no one was innocent. Or he would have before he met his Valeriya. His brother had mellowed. Nic almost laughed and shook his head. No, Tarrant hadn’t mellowed in the least. If anything, he was more cynical than ever.
“Constance?” He was getting worried about her. She was staring up at him, a blank expression on her face.
“A secret society that believes dragons are real?” When he nodded, she started to laugh. There was a slight hysterical edge to it that concerned him. Apparently, this last revelation was the final straw for her.
“Why don’t we sit down?”
She shook her head. “What’s next? Dancing frogs? A wizard? This is crazy. All I did was buy a few things at an estate sale. Now I’m in the middle of a bad B movie.” Each word she spoke got louder, until she was practically shouting.
Nic did the only thing he could think of to quiet her. He kissed her.
She made a small sound of distress in the back of her throat. He knew he should stop, should take a step back.
He slid his tongue into her open mouth and tasted her. He caught a slight hint of peppermint, either from a candy or toothpaste. He couldn’t be sure. Underneath it all was the sweet, sultry taste of woman.
She put her hands against his chest. Instead of pushing him away, she fisted her fingers in his shirt and clung to him. Constance was much shorter than him, so he slid his arms around her and lifted her right off her feet. He loved having her in his arms, loved the press of her body against his.
He angled his head and plunged back into her mouth, devouring her. He couldn’t get enough. She was like all his favorite foods all rolled into one, and as a drakon, he had a voracious appetite.
Once upon a time N.J. had the idea that she would like to quit her job at the bookstore, sell everything she owned, leave her hometown, and write romance novels in a place where no one knew her. And she did. Two years later, she went back to the bookstore and her hometown and settled in for another seven years.
One day she gave notice at her job on a Friday morning. On Sunday afternoon, she received a tentative acceptance for her first erotic romance novel and life would never be the same.
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
The Morgan men thought they left their troubled pasts in the dust. But one by one, they find themselves returning to the northern California ranch where the bad times began. Together, they have a chance to forge a new future based on brotherhood, hope, and love . . .
Professional rodeo cowboy “HW” Morgan has finally achieved his dream of competing in the national rodeo finals—but his career has come at a price. His twin brother wants nothing to do with him and a string of hookups haven’t warmed his bed. He’s got to get his head on straight—and the only place to do that is at home, if his family will have him.
Samantha Kelly isn’t sure what she’s doing at a new dude ranch. The army veteran is barely back on her feet again, still struggling to rehab an injury. But she’s willing to give equine therapy a try, even though her riding instructor is bold, brash, and distractingly easy on the eyes. As she and HW warily try to work each other out, slowly and surely an unbreakable trust is built—one on which dreams can be built . . .
I am very conflicted with this book and have considered skipping writing this review altogether. First, it took me for the longest time to finish reading the book, I would put it away and then pick it up again. I had waited to hear the story of Ry's twin HW, I had looked forward to this story. I felt like he really deserved a good woman as his partner, and I was excited to read this story, I really wanted to not only like it but love it. But this book turned out to be a bit of a mess, in my opinion.
Samantha Kelly is a good woman, she is a wounded veteran, she is strong and independent but she is also stubborn, has no idea what she wants or how to go about figuring life out. She is lost with survivor's guilt, with a broken heart by an ex who cheated on her, with the adjustment of her new life after losing her leg.
HW is ready to leave the rodeo world and retire while he still can. He wants to leave behind the snake of an agent who wants to take advantage of him and the clingy ex who loves to party while intoxicated and high and do it all by using HW's money. But coming home is not so easy when HW feels that the whole family resents him because of their mother who loved him the best. The family drama and trouble seems to come to heads everytime HW is around and he is not completely confident there is a welcome mat for him or a place to him in the new operation at the home ranch.
When you take two people who both have more issues than most, who are at the crossroads on their lives and have no idea how to communicate, are stubborn, argumentative, and tenacious you bet you get some sparks flying. HW and Sam fight, argue, banter, clash, have confrontations, walk away from each other and come back together again for a tryst. Because they are physically as combustible as they are mentally and emotionally. Yes, there is a connection between them but it is not working out because of their hard-headed behavior. Sam is so prickly, I am not sure she knew half a time herself why she was fighting with HW.
The past drama with the family brings to light more secrets from the past, HW's burden as the favorite child of their unstable mother was not an easy to task to live with, nor are the memories or actions of a little child that changed lives and destinies.
The biggest problem I have with the story was that after all the exhausting arguments and fights, the ending was left wide open with no solutions to anything. HW's professional life was not resolved, the rodeo past is still open-ended, there are money issues that are not solved, there was a maybe with his future at the ranch, and his personal life got more of an HFN ending and even that was part of an argument... I am aware that some people do get energy out of constant fighting but I just felt drained and disappointed when I finished the book.
~ Two Spoons
The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter by Mimi Matthews
Adult Historical Romance
Perfectly Proper Press
Publication Date January 23, 2018
England, 1861. A world-weary rake and a prim vicar's daughter are thrown together during a holiday house party. Will they discover there's more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?
A WORLD-WEARY RAKE
After years of unbridled debauchery, Tristan Sinclair, Viscount St. Ashton has hit proverbial rock bottom. Seeking to escape his melancholy, he takes refuge at one of Victorian society’s most notorious house parties. As the Christmas season approaches, he prepares to settle in for a month of heavy drinking…until an unexpected encounter changes his plans—and threatens his heart.
A PRIM VICAR'S DAUGHTER
Valentine March is not the drab little spinster she appears to be. When her new job as a lady’s companion lands her smack in the middle of Yorkshire with England’s most infamous rake, she resolves to keep her head down and her eyes fixed firmly on her future—a future which most definitely does not include a sinfully handsome viscount.
A MATCH MADE IN SCANDAL
A friendship is impossible. An affair out of the question. But when one reckless act binds them together, will two star-crossed souls discover there’s more to each other than meets the eye? Or will revelations from the past end their fragile romance before it begins?
The Viscount and the Vicar's Daughter is a sweet (i.e. clean) standalone Victorian romance of approximately 50,000 words.
“You’re trembling,” Tristan interrupted. His expression grew dark. “And no wonder. Out of doors in November without a bonnet, gloves or cloak. Have you no respect for the Yorkshire weather?” He began to remove his greatcoat. “Just because this estate is sheltered from the worst of it doesn’t mean you still won’t catch your death of cold. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been raining for three days straight.”
Miss March watched him, wide-eyed, as he divested himself of his greatcoat. “I ran out of the house in rather a hurry. There was no time to find gloves or a bonnet or— Oh!” She drew back from him. “What are you doing?”
Tristan paused, his greatcoat held open in his hands, poised to drape around her. “Lending you my coat, you little fool.”
Her bosom rose and fell on an unsteady breath, but she made no further objection as he settled it around her shoulders. “Thank you,” she said. “It’s quite warm.”
Tristan moved away from her. “I should think so. I’ve been wearing it the better part of the morning.”
His words brought a fierce blush to her cheeks.
At another time, in another place, he might have laughed. A woman so innocent that the very thought of a man’s body heat put her to the blush? A fine joke, to be sure. But as he looked at Valentine March, swallowed up in the folds of his caped greatcoat, he did not feel very much like laughing. Instead, he felt an aching swell of tenderness. It was so disconcerting that he almost swore aloud.
“What difference does it make if Miss Brightwell is married?” she asked.
Tristan rubbed the side of his face in an effort to collect his scattered thoughts. The scratch of uneven stubble abraded his palm. He had sent his valet, Higgins, ahead with the carriage. As a result, this morning at the inn he had been obliged to shave himself. And done a damned poor job of it, too. “When she marries, she’ll go to her husband’s house. Then you’ll see her but rarely, I imagine.”
“She is looking for a husband,” Miss March conceded. “It’s why we’ve come to this house party.”
Tristan’s mouth curved in a sardonic smile. “If that’s so, Lady Brightwell isn’t half the matchmaker I thought her to be.”
“Why do you say so?”
“There are no gentlemen at Lord and Lady Fairford’s house parties who are suitable for marriage. They invite only those of their same ilk. Inveterate gamblers, rakes, reprobates. The dissolute dregs of polite society.”
“That can’t be true, for Lady Brightwell said specifically that she brought Miss Brightwell here to further her interests with a particular gentleman. I believe he’s considered to be a great matrimonial prize.”
Tristan’s eyes were already upon her, but at her words his gaze sharpened. “And who might this unfortunate soul be? Did Lady Brightwell name him?”
“Viscount St. Ashton.” She looked up at him. “He’s not one of those bad sorts of gentlemen you mentioned, is he? The rakes and the reprobates?”
Tristan gave a humorless laugh. It was a hoarse and bitter sound, edged with something very like anger. “My dear, Miss March,” he said. “The Viscount St. Ashton is the biggest rake and reprobate of them all.”
About Mimi Matthews
Mimi Matthews is the author of The Pug Who Bit Napoleon: Animal Tales of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Pen & Sword Books, November 2017) and A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty (Pen & Sword Books, July 2018). Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. When not writing historical non-fiction, Mimi authors exquisitely proper Victorian romance novels with dark, brooding heroes and intelligent, pragmatic heroines. Her debut Victorian romance The Lost Letter was released in September 2017.
A local girl comes home to face the cowboy from her past—and finally claim her future…
Lawson Granger loved Eve Cooper once, but her dreams were grander than anything his Texas-cowboy destiny could provide. Letting her walk out of his life and into television stardom was a mistake he made eighteen years ago. Now everything’s changed. Eve is back—pregnant and desperate for someplace to hide. And their desire is just as stubborn as they are.
Escaping to the comforts of home is Eve’s one shot at giving her baby a safe life. Earning Lawson’s trust is her one chance at making amends for the past. But the long-buried secrets and unintentional damage she fled from aren’t far behind. When the truth finds her, she stands to lose the man she loves and the only place she’s ever called home…this time forever.
Wrangler's Creek is one of the series that I am collecting in paperback as well, even though I have the digital copies because these stories are the ones you want to keep re-reading, definite keepsake material. So it is no wonder that Lawson Granger and Eve Cooper's story captured my heart. The emotions are so deep and profound, so real and troubled, so passionate and fierce, I inhaled the story at one sitting and wanted to start reading it all over again as I was finished with it.
The history between Lawson and Eve is already
a jumbled mess and when you add to it the secrets they keep, the rumors the town and paparazzi create, and the lies Eve's former co-star tells it is no wonder their life is turned into a tumultuous chaos where no one is in control and the truth is evasive.
Lawson is the middle child, the one who slips the attention and gets away with the most because no one was paying attention to him. The turmoils of his childhood were compensated with the love and devotion his young heart had for Eve. The passion was burning hot, the need for each other was intense, and every single sports arena in town brought bitter-sweet memories from their youth. Lawson had grown up to be a good, solid man. He worked on his cousin's ranch, he dated but avoided commitment and kids, marriage was just not for him or in his plans for the future.
Eve's life was build upon lies and deceit from the very young age and now her house of cards was truly fumbling down in one hurricane style sweep. Everything she has done, every secret she has kept, was done with good intentions, she is not a bad person and has no harmful purposes for her actions. Life just happened to deal her a bad hand and she did the best she could with it. But now she was in desperate need of straightening the mess, for forgiveness, and for understanding.
I loved the connection between Eve and Lawson because it was so real. The fracas in their lives was natural results for life lived with human errors and good intentions.
The story brings up an important issue of underage drinking and the dangerous consequences of it. It is taken very seriously and dealt with in honest and raw, deadly facts. There is no preaching or finger pointing just an important issue that needs to be talked about set into the tale in a way information is easily shared and understood.
An emotional addition to one of my favorite series. I laughed and smiled with antics of the folks, sighed and swooned with the hot cowboys. My heart melted with the ardent, delightful romance, it ached with all the family drama and trouble and rejoiced in the abundance of love that was found in the forgiveness and new chances.
~ Five Spoons!
Surrender to the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
Series The Highlander Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date January 30, 2018
In New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ captivating romance, a lass targeted by an unknown foe is saved—and seduced—by a bold Highlander.
Edith Drummond owes her life to Niels Buchanan and his brothers. Waking after an illness to a castle overrun by rugged Highlanders is disconcerting, but so is learning that she’s slowly being poisoned. Niels insists on staying by her side, and Edith soon discovers that even more dangerous is her wild attraction to the fierce warrior.
Niels has never met a more courageous—or enticing—woman than Lady Edith. The idea of such a bonny lass being forced to enter a nunnery is more than any red-blooded Scotsman could bear. He’ll gladly marry her himself. But while sweeping her off her feet is easy, it’ll take all his skill to defeat her family’s relentless enemies, and convince her to surrender to his sweet embrace. . . .
He would kiss her now…
It was why she had brought him here, to get that kiss he was about to give her before they had been interrupted.
Niels lowered his head until his mouth covered hers. His lips lightly brushed over hers. But when Edith raised her hands to slide them up his arms, his tongue traced the crease between her lips.
Edith instinctively opened to him on a little sigh and he caught her lower lip between his, and drew on it teasingly. Then he tilted his head as his tongue swept to ﬁll her mouth and the sweet tempo suddenly changed.
She clutched his shoulders tightly as his mouth ravished hers. It was as if the passion they had shared by the loch had been merely restrained when they’d been interrupted, and now he had unleashed it.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER, we’re giving away two paperback sets of FALLING FOR THE HIGHLANDER and THE HIGHLANDER TAKES A BRIDE by Lynsay Sands!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback set of Falling for the Highlander and The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 2/3/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Lynsay Sands
LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at http://www.lynsaysands.net.
Protecting Olivia - Special Forces: Operation Alpha.
Susan Stoker's hot SEALs and the RED TEAM.
Susan Stoker's Operation Alpha meets Riley Edwards' Red Team in
an EPIC crossover.
When the daughter of a White House aide goes missing, the President calls in Zane Lewis and his team of former special forces soldiers to find the missing girl. The Red Team, having a well-earned reputation for being the best, discovers the true motive behind the kidnapping, and all hell breaks loose.
All Olivia Cox wants to do is escape her life. The harder she tries to break free from the pressure and obligations of her stifling family, the faster she sinks into a nightmare of her own making. This latest decision may be the last one she ever makes. Finding herself in a dingy room handcuffed and held prisoner, Olivia becomes an unsuspecting pawn in a game she didn’t know was being played.
Just when she’s made peace she’s going to die alone in the dark, Olivia's given a second chance. She knows she should be terrified of her tall and imposing rescuer, but when his piercing green eyes lock with hers and his deep rumbling voice tells her she’s safe, all rational thoughts fall away - she's mesmerized.
Leo “Panther” Gillonardo is a former SEAL who thought he knew the game better than most. He's a professional, a tier one contractor. She’s the mission. Protecting Olivia should be his only objective. So why does he keep finding himself in her bed? Even if she's fully clothed and terrorized by memories of her kidnapping, he knows better and is desperate to keep Olivia at arm's length. As the days pass it becomes nearly impossible to keep his growing attraction under wraps. The stakes are high, and his heart is on the line.
With a drug cartel in hot pursuit, Panther and the Red Team have no choice but to take Olivia on the run. With time running out, Wolf and Abe offer them protection from the deadly warlord Gomez. Alone in Abe's mountain cabin, sparks fly. Giving in seems inevitable, and Olivia must decide if she’s all in or if she’ll fold as Panther plays a no-holds-barred game of the heart.
From the political corruption of Washington, DC to the sunny shores of California, follow Susan Stoker’s Navy SEALs, John “Tex” Keegan, Matthew “Wolf” Steel, and Christopher “Abe” Powers, on a thrill ride when they join the RED TEAM on an epic mission.
Riley Edwards is a bestselling multi-genre author, wife, and military mom. Riley was born and raised in Los Angeles but now resides on the east coast with her fantastic husband and children. Her two eldest children have flown the coop and are now serving in the US military. Riley also has a teenage daughter that is the source of laughter and wit around her house. Her youngest son is a "bad-ass" in training and is very much a mini version of his Alpha father.
Riley writes heart-stopping romance with sexy alpha heroes and even stronger heroines. Riley's favorite genres to write are romantic suspense and military romance. (Those are also her favorites to read.) She's known for her jaw-dropping plot twists. You know the ones? Those pivotal scenes in a story that when executed so flawlessly it leaves you breathless and begging for more? Yeah, those! She's mastered the art of blending suspense, romance, and smoldering sexy times. It's like Criminal Minds, and the Spice Channel mated, and a perfect love child was born.
To learn more about Riley's books, please visit, www.RileyEdwardsRomance.com. And don't forget to sign up for the Riley's Rebel's Newsletter.
by Lilly Cain
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Rom-Com
All I ever wanted is happening this weekend.
Or at least it might happen. If I don't screw it up. A lot can go wrong when you are sneaking around a Las Vegas hotel between a poker tournament and a romance writer's convention. And secretly attending both. More can go wrong when the one man you ever really wanted is there too, and he's watching. He's like a spy on a mission, always trying to keep me out of trouble.
He saved me once from drowning. He's my brother's best friend and I've wanted him since I was old enough to know what that means. But for him I've been off limits, the stakes were too high.
How could I resist making him the hero of my book? How will he react when he finds out?
Warning: This book contains awkward situations, fan-girling, laughter, heat, and love!
Jenn didn’t get lost. She never had in all the time he’d known her. Despite the number of times he and Connor had gone to rescue her, none of them had been because she couldn’t find her way. She’d changed her clothes. And she was toting around that ridiculous bag again. The weight of it pulled her top tight, and he visually traced the curve of her bra before he caught himself. “Don’t you think you should have left this in the room? Security will have a fit if you try to get to the tables with a suitcase on your back.” He gave her a grin.
Her eyes lit up like he’d given her the best present ever, and he shivered. A look like that could mean a lot of trouble. The girl had an idea. And that usually meant something scary. Not to mention that it sent his blood rushing southward. Lord help him, he loved that look.
“Yeah, you’re right. I better go take it back to the room. I’ll meet you at the registration table in a few minutes.”
“I’ll walk with you. What have you got in there, anyway?”
She frowned. “You should never ask what’s in someone’s bag. A girl doesn’t just give her secrets away. And I can walk by myself. You’d better go tell Connor I’ll be a few minutes.”
“Go on. I’m going to stop at the hotel desk to ask for more towels anyway.” She started to walk away.
“The main desk is the other way.”
She glared at him. That was even cuter than her here-comes-trouble look. “I can find my way just fine. Now you better go tell my brother I’ll be along in a bit.”
She wasn’t going to let anything happen other than what she’d decided to do. He knew her well enough to understand that, just as well as he knew she’d probably decided on some mischief. He sighed. “Fine.”
“Fine.” She stared at him a minute longer.
She’d obviously taken a minute to blow dry her hair when she’d changed. Static had caught it, and she looked the tiniest bit possessed. He pressed his lips together and did his best to hide his amusement. She might kill him where he stood if she thought he was laughing at her. When she turned, his laughter died a quick death anyway—the curve of her ass in the deceptively plain skirt nearly brought him to his knees.
She walked away, and he leaned against the wall. This was never going to work. He wanted her; she’d always wanted him, even if she was pushing him away this weekend. If he broke down and let her know what she did to him, would she stop pushing and ask him in? The way she’d looked when she asked for mouth-to-mouth said something a lot different than the brush-off she’d just handed him. But he couldn’t do the whole love ’em and leave ’em with her. Not Jenn. He’d never had a long-lasting relationship. His father had left his mother, and his father’s father had left his grandmother. What chance did he have with Jenn, when he was made with the kind of DNA that pushed men to wander?
Lilly Cain is a wild woman with a deep throaty laugh, plunging necklines and a great lover of all things sensual - perfume, chocolate, silk! She never has to worry about finding a date or keeping a man in line. She keeps her blond hair long and curly, wears beautiful clothes and loves loud music. Lilly lives her private life in the pages of her books.
All of the above is a bit of silliness. When not living up to her pen name, Lilly lives in Atlantic Canada, although she spent eight years in Bermuda, enjoying the heat and the pink sands. She returned to her homeland so she could see the changing of the seasons once again. When not writing she paints, swills coffee and vodka (but not together), and fights her writing pals for chocolate (true story).
Lilly is a single mom who loves reading and writing, dabbling in art and loving and caring for her two daughters. She loves romance and the freedom erotic fantasy provides her imagination. She loves the chilling moments in her novels as much as the steaming hot interludes. Her stories are an escape and a release, and she hopes that they can give you that power, too.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.
Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There's only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn't necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.
With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter--a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was--Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.
But as some relationships crumble around her, others unexpectedly strengthen. Balancing loss and opportunity, a dark event from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise...and the chance to begin again.
A beautifully written story, filled with drama, life lessons, and deep emotions. It has such a naturally continuing flow that it pulled me right into Nora Stuart's mind and life and held me there until the end. This story is one of those all-nighters, unputdownable until the very end.
I loved Nora and admired her. I looked up to her, though she was inspirational, such a beautiful person, tough, resilient, capable and fierce. But it was a long journey she had to go through to get to this point in her life.
All the adversity Nora has faced during her 35 years of life, and especially in the past year, left me gasping for air. How could one person attract that much drama and trouble? Why did all the people surrounding her turn out to be nasty? Why her own family turned their backs on her?
The story touches different social, criminal, and medical issues abundantly. From eating disorders to mental disabilities to physical attacks against women to attempted rape, murder, stalker, serious life-altering car accidents, bullying, repressing a young girl by the actions of the whole town, including her family, and so forth.
I felt for Nora, there were several times when I was in tears, cheering her on, wishing I could stand up for her and protect her during those brutal high school days.
Her journey to find her true self, to be comfortable with the person she is, to accept herself, and to be proud of the person she is deep inside without any pretention or pleasing anyone else is filled with challenges and diversity, tragedy and disloyalty.
I'm little uncomfortable with the solution to happiness, success, and finding meaningful relationships equaling to losing weight, this is brought up with two characters in the tale. That's one of the points in the story that I am still processing, trying to balance its importance to the characters and their lives.
Reading this book was a very personal experience to me. There are several matters in the story that I noticed I had a very private reaction to, things that Nora went through that echoed in my mind and heart. For me, this book is one of those that after reading it you have that famous book hangover because the events and issues of the story keep playing in your mind. I loved the story yet I struggled with some events in the tale. I connected with the strong heroine on an emotional level. I adored the relationship Nora developed with Sullivan over time, and the honesty, tenderness, and sincerity that was in that relationship that had been missing in the other interactions Nora had with the people surrounding her.
While showing the beauty that is found in the world, from the joy of love, loyalty, peace of mind, and feeling secure with true friends and people who love you, the author shows the other side of the coin as well with the ugliness of jealousy, mobbing, threats, and feeling superior, putting others down to make yourself feel assured. The honest look of the human condition in today's world might not have been what I expected from the novel, but it was clearly drawn with definite lines, both the light and the shadows evident in the tale.
Some books are entertainment, some books are a pure escape. Then there are the ones, like this one, that touch your heart, makes you ponder, and stop for a minute and think a little deeper. Books that give you an a-ha moment, that encourage and inspire you. Reading that kind of book is more of an experience than escape, they can be entertaining yet they leave a mark on your mind. 'If you can be anything, be kind' is echoing in my mind as I think about Now That You Mention It
~ Five Spoons
Expected publication: February 13th 2018 by Mira Books
Louisville, Kentucky, 2015
All Allison wanted was for this conversation to be over. That and she hoped the heavy gray clouds would part and the sun would appear. It could go either way today—sun or rain. She stood at the kitchen window, peeling old white paint off the sill as she waited for the Kentucky sky to make up its mind. Meanwhile, sitting behind her at the table, her lover, Cooper McQueen, gently ruined her life.
Then, a small mercy—the clouds split wide open. The sun shone bright enough to momentarily blind her. She exhaled in her relief. Allison had always loved the rain. She could forgive McQueen for leaving. She would never forgive him if he’d ruined the rain for her.
“She’s pregnant,” McQueen said. “She’s due in April.”
“You’re happy about it,” Allison said, working another strip of paint off the edge of the frame. She felt a silly sort of triumph when it came off in one long white ribbon.
“Cricket,” he said softly, apologetically. “Look at me.”
Allison wanted to walk out right then, walk out and look back. She should have, she knew. Instead, she turned around and faced him. He’d just ended it and here she was, still obeying his every command.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“It’s all right, McQueen,” she said, shrugging. “We knew this would happen eventually. Not you getting some strange woman you picked up in a bar pregnant, I mean. But…”
“But…” He sat back in the chair.
“You are happy about it, though, aren’t you?” she asked. “You can be honest with me. I’d appreciate it.”
She was lying. She was lying through her teeth. She didn’t want him to be honest with her. She wanted him to lie to her, lie as hard as she was lying to him. She wanted him to tell her he wasn’t happy about it at all, that he didn’t want to end it, that his hand had been forced, that if given the choice he’d throw caution to the wind and marry Allison tomorrow, even if it did cause a scandal, even if it meant his kids might never speak to him again…
“Yes,” he said. “I’m happy about it.”
“I’m happy for you, too, then.”
Allison had sensed that morning that today was going to be the day. Instead of calling her to let her know when he’d drop by—for sex, of course, there was no other reason he ever called her—he’d called instead to tell her he had some mail of hers he was bringing over and a pair of earrings he’d found in his bathroom drawer.
“She has her own money. She’s thirty-seven. A little bit more age-appropriate than you,” he said. A joke. He was trying to make her laugh and, damn him, it worked. But it was a very small laugh. Her lover—or, she supposed, ex-lover—was Cooper McQueen, who was very possibly a billionaire if one got creative enough with the accounting. He was also forty-five to her twenty-five. She’d been his mistress for six years, although she’d known him for seven. The worst part of it all was what a cliché the whole tawdry thing was. At eighteen she’d gotten a job working for McQueen as his daughter Emmy’s weekend babysitter.
“Congratulations,” Allison said. He was trying to spare her pain by not admitting how thrilled he was to have child number three on the way. He and his wife had divorced after two kids, and he’d confessed to her a long time ago that he always felt someone was missing from the family. Not her. She wasn’t family. She was an employee.
“It’s going to be an adventure,” he said, his voice neutral.
Going to be… He was already seeing the future with this child, with this woman. There was no talking him out of ending things. It was already done and over. Now if she could only get through the rest of this conversation without falling apart. She’d gone six years as the secret mistress of a very wealthy man without falling apart once in his presence. She hated to ruin her streak.
“Does she know about me?” Allison asked. An important question.
“I told her,” McQueen said. “After she told me.”
“She asked you to get rid of me, didn’t she?”
“No, in fact. She said I could be in the baby’s life if I wanted to keep you, but I couldn’t be in hers if you were still in the picture. For the kid’s sake, I thought we should try to make it work.”
“You should, yes,” Allison said. Even she couldn’t deny he was doing the right thing—finally.
“She told me to tell you she was very sorry,” McQueen said. “And she means it. She didn’t know about you. This isn’t personal.”
“No, of course it isn’t,” Allison said. “What’s her name?”
McQueen paused before answering as if weighing Allison’s motives in asking. “Paris. Paris Shelby.”
“Tell Ms. Shelby I appreciate that. And I understand.” Allison paused. “Must be special. You kept me through three girlfriends.”
“I’m crazy about her,” McQueen finally admitted. It was a knife in her heart. A small knife, but serrated. It did damage.
“And you’re sane about me,” she said.