Claimed by Alexa Riley
Series For Her #3
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Carina Press
Publication Date March 27, 2018
From New York Times bestselling author Alexa Riley, a friends-to-lovers romance that will bring you the happily-ever-after you’ve been waiting for.
Jordan Chen is the man behind the screen. As part of the elite security team for Osbourne Corporation, he has an iron grip on protection, all without having to make close connections with people. Until he meets the beautiful Jay, and suddenly his quiet life doesn’t seem so perfect anymore. He needs more. He needs her.
A workaholic to her core, Jay Rose doesn’t have a lot of men in her life. Smiling in the face of her enemies gets her the results she wants at work, but doesn’t exactly project a warm, welcoming vibe. So she’s surprised when the enigmatic security expert strikes up a friendship with her—surprised but flattered, and maybe a little bit turned on.
A company as powerful as Osbourne Corporation has powerful enemies, and when Jay becomes a target, Jordan realizes there’s nothing he won’t do to bring her home safe.
“There you are. Where’s my scratch-off?”
My dad smiles, and the lines around his eyes crinkle. He’s sitting on the back deck with the newspaper and a cup of coffee, his standard spot for Sunday afternoon. I finished up sparring with the guys and Paige, and headed out to spend the rest of my day relaxing with Dad like we do every Sunday.
I hand him his ticket, and he pulls a coin out of his pocket, kissing it before he starts scratching the ticket. I smile at him and shake my head. I guess we’ve both got our superstitions.
He doesn’t buy the scratch-off tickets himself, so I have to do it for him. I think it’s his own way of restraining himself, and this way he’s not responsible if he loses, I am. I come out to see him every Sunday, and this is always our routine. Sometimes I come home in the middle of the week, but he’s so busy that most of the time he’s not even home.
I’m lucky that my dad is still healthy and has a solid group of friends who keep him on the go. He’s got more going on his social calendar in one week than I do in a month. It’s nice not having to worry so much and to know that at least part of him is happy. I know he’ll never get over losing Mom, just like I won’t, but he’s been able to live his life, and that’s what she would’ve wanted.
When he’s finished scratching, he’s got a winner and slides it back to me. Then he puts the coin away and winks at me. “Press it for next week.”
I put the winner in my pocket and nod, knowing he’ll probably hit another then, too. The old man has more luck than anybody I’ve ever met.
Pop leans forward and looks over the top of his bifocals. “How’s our girl?”
I glance down at my watch and then roll my eyes. “That only took about five minutes this time.”
His smile widens as he waits for me to answer him. I ignore him and try to change the subject. He’s been on me about her for a while, knowing that I’m already in love with her. If it was up to him, we’d be married with grandbabies on the way.
“Your tomatoes are coming in.”
“Oh, she’s got you all twisted up today.”
I grip the edges of the chair and try not to let him bait me. Pop can be like a dog with a bone when he wants.
“Already got her eyes on someone else?”
“No,” I snap, and then realize I walked right into his trap. I let out a sigh and drop my head in my hands. “She’s fine. Still the same.”
“Ahh. You know, Jordan, I remember the first time I saw your mother.”
“I know, Pop. You were at the middle school dance and spotted her on the other side of the room. She was the new girl in town, and you wanted to go over and introduce yourself. The rest was history.”
He nods, then smiles and looks away, reliving the memory in his mind. There were times when he couldn’t recall it without tears, but the older he gets, the more the memories stay happy ones. I wonder if it’s because he thinks he’s getting closer to the time when he can see her again.
Once he comes back from the stroll down memory lane, he shrugs one shoulder. “There’s nothing wrong with being friends first. It just means the first steps will be the strongest. Take your time. But don’t take too long.”
Pop picks up his crossword and goes back to it while I sit there, silently brooding. He’s right, but he doesn’t know the whole story. Or who I’m even hung up on.
I love my dad, but I don’t tell him everything. He knows me well enough to know I’ve got my eye on someone. But I haven’t told him her name. He also knows me well enough to know that I haven’t made a move yet. But I haven’t told him why.
How can I explain it? I guess I could come out and say that I work with a woman so beautiful I can hardly look her in the eyes. That before she spoke a word to me, every cell in my body ached to reach for her. That she’s so utterly perfect, I’m not sure she even notices me like that.
I rub my temples and think about how I’ve been locked in the friend zone, with no means of escape. Jay is the administrative assistant to Miles Osbourne, so essentially, she’s the gatekeeper for the entire company. If you need Miles, you go through her, but as the old saying goes: though she be little, she is mighty.
She’s small and perky, friendly to everyone she meets. But there’s a pit bull inside of her, and I’ve seen her take a grown man down a few pegs on several occasions.
The first time I saw her, I’d had to run up to the top floor to deliver some intel to Miles. Ryan, my boss, had asked me to run some documents upstairs because he was on his way out. It wasn’t anything above my security clearance, not that there wasn’t something I couldn’t find if I wanted to, so it was an easy drop.
When I stepped off the elevator, I saw her. And that was that.
One look at her and I heard the voice of my father echoing in the back of my mind. When you know, you know. That first glance at Jay, and boy, did I know.
It was all a blur, but I’ll never forget her chestnut-colored hair in a knot at the nape of her neck. The way her glasses slipped down her nose to reveal big, round, chocolate eyes looking at me expectantly. The way her top lip was fuller than the bottom, and how her fingers held her pen. All of that is burned into my brain, yet it feels like a dream.
Without realizing it, one second I was dropping off papers, and the next she was asking me if I wanted to eat in the cafeteria with her. I don’t even think I answered her, I just followed along and got a tray of food. She was friendly and talked nonstop, but nothing beyond that. She kept her distance, and I’m pretty sure I only said about three words the whole time, but it was nice. The nicest meal I’d ever had.
“You’re overthinking,” my pop tuts, and I ignore him.
He’s right, but it’s complicated. Isn’t it? I don’t want to mess things up. I’d rather be in the friend zone with her than be nothing at all.
“I’m going to take a look at your computer and make sure you haven’t turned that virus software off yet,” I say, pushing away from the patio table and going in the house.
“The damn thing slows down my solitaire game,” Pop yells from the porch, and I shake my head. That’s all he thinks a computer is good for.
I spend the afternoon cleaning up his software and then walking with him to the market and helping him bring groceries back home. We cook Sunday dinner, and some of his friends come over to eat and give me a hard time about not being married or having any kids yet.
Old men are almost as bad as the ladies. But these widowers are old softies to the core, and they all want grandkids. Some of them have their own, but apparently a lot is never enough.
When they break out the cards, I call it a night and head back into the city. I’ve got a place on the Upper East Side that I got for a deal when I was twenty-five. I’ve fixed it up, and though it’s simple, it’s palatial by New York standards, and it’s all mine.
I take the subway back home and think about Jay the entire ride back. I always think about her this time of night. I wonder what she’s doing, who she’s with, and if she’s thinking of me.
It’s the worst part of the weekend, being away from her. And the reason why I love Mondays so much. Another chance to see her, another chance to be near her. It’s the day I look forward to the most.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of CLAIMED by Alexa Riley, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR. Giveaway ends 4/2/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per person. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Alexa Riley
Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, doughnuts, and obsessed book heroes. They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something safe, short, and always with a happily-ever-after, then Alexa Riley is for you.
Right Text, Wrong Number
Offsides Book 1
by Natalie Decker
Genre: YA Sports Contemporary Romance
Cheerleader Layla and football player Tyler are complete opposites. She thinks he’s the biggest jerk in school and he thinks she's too high on her horse to even be worth a second glance. When the two of them are near one another, sparks fly in all the wrong directions. They can hardly endure speaking, let alone dating.
But when Layla unknowingly sends Tyler a smack-down text meant for the girl sending naked photos to her then-boyfriend, Adam, Tyler has no idea it’s Layla and decides to play along. After all, Tyler cannot resist messing with the pissed off girl firing off texts about junk pictures, cheating, and girl code.
As the fallout from Adam’s scandalous texts plays out in front of the entire school, Tyler and Layla secretly continue to text each other using fake names. But as days and weeks pass, things take a turn for the serious between them, and suddenly, their texts mean more. Maybe it's time to come clean about who they are and risk taking the relationship from texts to dates, then kissing, and maybe more.
They say there's a thin line between love and hate. Can reality live up to the fantasy, or will Layla and Tyler be forever offsides?
Right Kiss, Wrong Guy
Offsides Book 2
You'd think a girl with the most romantic name in the world would have her pick of boyfriends.
But Valentine's Day sucks when you're single. Just ask Juliet Valentine, whose last name happens to also be the name of the most dreaded made-up holiday ever.
A romantic at heart, this year is especially hard on Juliet. Her sister, Layla, is in a new relationship, her mom's match-making business is doing great, and her school's new fundraiser is "Love-Grams."
Juliet's miserable, a little jealous, and lonely.
Quarterback Jared Black is the most popular guy in school. A star athlete, Jared tops the most-eligible bachelor list year after year. But to Juliet Valentine, he's all but invisible. She isn't impressed.
Jared's never had to work hard to get the attention of a girl before. Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and he's determined to ask Juliet out. After all, if Tyler can win over Layla, Jared ought to have a shot with Layla's sister.
Unlike Tyler and Layla, charm, flattery and good looks won't work on Juliet. So with the V-Day dance coming up, Jared uses the school’s Love-Grams to let Juliet know how he feels. Should be simple enough, right?
Wrong. Each attempt ends up either in the trash or thrown in someone's face. Juliet won't play his game.
Now, without a date to the dance Jared realizes it’s going to take a Hail Mary to win the girl of his dreams.
Natalie Decker is the author of the bestselling YA series Rival Love, YA series Offsides, and NA series Scandalous Boys. She loves her family, her awesome dog, friends, carefree days, football, fuzzy blankets, traveling, reading, cooking, writing, and is a huge Denver Broncos fan. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. An avid reader of everything. If she's not at a Target or Starbucks because those are her favs, she might be typing away on her laptop, reading a book, hanging out with her amazing family, or she's off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!
She loves interacting with fans. Feel free to follow her on any of her social media accounts.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive teasers, guest posts and a giveaway!
Counting on a Countess by Eva Leigh
Series The London Underground #2
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date March 27, 2018
For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy . . .
Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers . . . until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one monthto inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.
Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.
But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time.
I’m going to be married to this man? Mercy.
They pulled back in unison and her eyes flew open. His gaze was clouded with dazed pleasure and astonishment.
It seemed he’d also been shocked by the heat of their kiss and the speed of its intensity. He, a known rake and libertine, looked aroused by what surely had to be one of the chastest kisses he’d experienced in a long while.
Except it hadn’t been chaste. It had been brief, but their tongues lightly touching had been profoundly erotic, hinting at greater pleasure to come.
He cleared his throat. “That was . . . a welcome revelation.”
Her thoughts whirled while her body clamored for more. Hellfire—if this quick kiss had affected her so much, what would happen when they went to bed together? What if she liked it? What if she loved it, and her heart followed her body’s devotion?
Tamsyn was about to join with this man for the rest of her life. Aside from a few facts, she knew almost nothing about him. He was basically a stranger. Yet in three days, they would share a bed. They would share everything. According to the law, she would belong to him, and her own identity would dissolve.
Was this the right choice? She’d gotten what she wanted, but she couldn’t help the fear that poked its sharp fangs into her heart.
I have no idea what I’m getting myself into.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of COUNTING ON A COUNTESS, we’re giving away three paperback copies of FROM DUKE TILL DAWN by Eva Leigh!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Three winners will each receive a paperback copy of From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 4/6/2018 @ 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 Eva Leigh
EVA LEIGH is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ‘80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.
Team Cerberus Book 2
by Melissa Kay Clarke
Genre: Military Romantic Suspense
The biggest book exposition of the year is just around the corner and literary agent Annabeth Switcher is feeling the pressure. Between babysitting her newest client hell-bent on making her miserable and taking care of the thousands of little things that require her attention, she doesn't have time for a personal life. No matter how much a certain Navy SEAL enters her thoughts.
Levi "Hick" Salter spotted the curvy redhead beauty at a friend's wedding. She is vivacious, brassy and so full of life, he's drawn to her like a moth to a flame. Even though they live on opposite sides of the country, their mutual attraction is too much to resist. Thus begins a long distance relationship for these "friends with benefits." They can't be more - he's committed to his duty and she's got her own life. Phone calls and the occasional meet up is the best they can hope for.
The Navy combines Hick's team with the one headed by Matthew "Wolf" Steel to hunt down a terrorist cell intent on bring down Western culture. While Hick is out trying to save the world from fanatics, Annabeth's concentrating on insuring her clients have a smooth convention. Neither knew their two worlds would collide so violently.
When the cell sets their sights on the literary exposition, Hick must rally the SEALs to save the day and his curvy bombshell. Nothing else matters but Rescuing Annabeth.
This is a full length novel and incorporates the entire SEAL team from Susan Stoker's Seal Of Protection series.
TEAM CERBERUS (Each story is complete with its own HEA)
With renewed vigor, she dug into the hot pancakes, stopping only long enough to swallow some coffee or to moan appreciatively. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched as she enjoyed her meal, finally pushing back the plate with a satisfied burp. Hick scooted his chair back and pulled her to him. Settling her into his lap, he wrapped his arms around her. She squealed and tried to get up. "Hick! I'm too heavy. I'll break your legs or at least a chair."
He snorted. "Woman, I've had to carry full-grown men for miles before. You in my lap won't hurt me. Besides, I like you where I can have my wicked way with you. Easy access and all that stuff."
She settled into his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Have your wicked way, huh? What does that entail exactly?"
Hick's hand slid up from where it rested against her hip. Slipping it into the opening where her robe closed, he splayed his hand across her warm skin as he pressed nips and kisses along her collarbone. "A little of this," he whispered huskily.
He loved how her forest green eyes darkened to jade with the desire rising in her. She was so responsive to his every touch, letting him know in no uncertain terms how he affected her.
"A little of that."
"Hick," she whispered as her head fell back and he resumed nibbling at her neck.
Fire licked his blood when she clung to him with trembling fingers. She wanted him as badly as he did her. Well, who was he to deny them both what they needed? His fingers found the knot of her robe and deftly untied it with one hand. Slowly, he pulled the thick terry cloth material off her shoulder, peppering the creamy, speckled expanse with tender kisses. Nipping her playfully, he smoothed away the sting with more kisses until her fingers dug into his arm and she squirmed in his lap. He dipped his finger into the sticky remnants of his homemade caramel sauce and painted a line from her collarbone over the plump swell of her left breast. He felt her inflamed gaze as he licked the finger clean then dove in, tracing the path with his lips. As before, Annabeth squirmed and whimpered, arching against him and pressing her heated flesh to his lips.
"Please," she whispered, her voice going low and sultry.
Hick couldn't keep the smugness from his voice. "Please drive you insane? Yes, I believe I will."
Team Cerberus Book 1
Two million people disappear into human trafficking every year. Olivia Parker would never have believed she could be one of them. Born to a barely functional mother and caring for her dependent brother, Olivia was determined to make their future better than their troubled past. Instead, she finds herself thrown into a nightmare from which she cannot awaken
Navy Seal, Grayson "Bruiser" Titus, abandoned as a baby, creates a family with his SEAL team. He would do anything for them and knows they would do the same. However, something is missing - could he find it with the intriguing beautiful sister of Jayden Parker? Meeting Olivia feels like looking at his future wrapped in a pair of deep hazel eyes.
Bruiser's team would follow him into the pits of hell. It only stands to reason when Olivia disappears they rally around him. Being SEALs meant they often battled the worse dregs of humanity for God and Country.
However, this is personal.
Saving her is a one-in-a-million long shot, but they will do whatever it takes to bring her home. The only question is: will it be in time to save both body and mind or will her new reality finally break her spirit?
** Warning - Contains adult subject matter **
The expression on her face made his gut clench. She didn't want him to go. He didn't want to go, either, but he knew he needed to. It made him feel good that she wasn't ready to say goodnight yet. He cupped her cheek with his hand and watched the play of emotions on her face. In this light, with the way her eyes shone, she was so beautiful and vulnerable. He groaned. "Honey, please?" he pleaded. He wouldn't be able to leave her like this.
She closed her eyes and looked away. "Okay," she agreed and turned toward the door.
He pulled her back and curled his arms around her, pulling her protectively into his embrace. Looking down at her, he sighed. "You're getting under my skin, Olivia."
She giggled. "My plan is working."
He raised an eyebrow and chuckled. "So it is."
They stared at each other a moment longer before Bruiser lowered his face to hers. He hesitated, watching the way her thick, dark lashes brushed against her cheeks. She rose up on her toes, breaching the minuscule distance until they shared a breath. His eyes swept over her face, drinking in the exquisite beauty that was his Olivia. He wondered, Was she his? Not yet, but she would be. With his mind made up, he brushed her lips tenderly. With the first electric touch, she pressed herself against his body, winding her arms around his waist. Sliding his hand around until he cupped her neck, his thumb swept circles against her throat as his tongue mimicked the gesture against her plush lips. With a soft sigh of surrender, she granted him access, and he slipped inside easily. The taste of her was ambrosia mixed with sweet sunshine and the promise of a thousand moments of pure bliss. He was lost in her. Breathless, it deepened until they were both panting. As the kiss broke, she gave a soft whimper of hunger. The sound twisted him inside. With a groan, he recaptured her mouth in a harder kiss, taking her flavors as he nipped and sucked on her tender bottom lip. Reluctantly, he released her mouth. She laid her head against his shoulder, and he curled his fingers into her hair, tenderly stroking. He could hear her heart racing in time with his. Cripes, what this woman did to him!
Team Cerberus Book 0
For three terrifying years, Joselyn Kendrik lived a half-life in Witness Protection hiding from a serial murderer and rapist nicknamed 'The Gardener'. After he was killed while placing a slashed teddy bear dressed as her on her father's grave, she could finally look forward to some normalcy in her life. Her newfound peace is shattered a year later when she receives a sinister gift eerily similar to others sent by The Gardener. Although assured by the police it is a copycat, she isn't as confident. Regardless of his identity, her stalker has made one thing perfectly clear; he's set his sights on her and nothing will stop him.
Maddox "River" Benson is looking in the rear-view mirror at a twenty-year career with the Navy SEALs. Contemplating an uncertain future, River jumps at the chance to assist an old friend in the New Orleans Police Department. There is an unknown stalker zeroing in on an innocent young woman. Although there is only so much the police can do officially, River isn't as restricted. Protecting Joselyn is his only priority.
Joselyn's schedule is a bane to River's security strategy. The feisty beauty is intent on pursuing her budding career regardless of her sexy bodyguard's advice. Although their opinions clash in the beginning, the escalating threats force them to come to a compromise. He must trust her with freedom and she must trust him with her life. Meanwhile, the growing attraction between them creates an entirely different set of issues.
How can he concentrate on protecting Joselyn when thoughts of claiming her for his own continually distract him?
When her stalker draws closer, will one ex-SEAL have what it takes to ensure her survival?
Will River be able to Protect Joselyn?
No frills? Yeah, it sounded about right. Joselyn was not one to call attention to herself. Maybe it had something to do with all those years she spent in hiding but he felt it probably was also her beautiful character shining through. He remembered how she had been with Sasha in the store. Joselyn had been caring, understanding, and giving. Yes, those three words all described this woman. He flinched when he thought about his little faux pas. His woman. He hadn't meant to say it out loud. He hoped she had forgotten about it but something told him she never forgot anything. There was going to be one extremely uncomfortable talk later. He glanced at her as she gnawed on her lip. Reaching over, he gently brushed his thumb over it, nudging it from the grip of her teeth. It was swollen and pink. Fire shot through his body as he imagined taking it into his mouth to taste. He wanted to suck and tease, run his tongue over and between until neither of them had breath left. So beautiful. So amazing. He groaned as she licked it and raised her eyes to him. His heart lurched and raced. So much faith with a touch of fear swam in the caramel colored depths. No matter how afraid she was, she trusted him to keep her safe. He wanted to puff out his chest in pride. He was taking care of her, keeping her safe and she knew without a doubt she was secure.
The moment was lost as they were jostled again. He bit back a growl and pulled her tightly against his side. This was insane! The push of the crowd reminded River how unprotected Joselyn was and his patience was running out. When he had enough and was about to grab his charge and march out of the store, a young woman dressed in the store's distinctive gear approached them. Touching the tablet in her hands, she flashed them a smile.
"Hi. I'm Clarisse. How may I help you today."
Immediately, Joselyn warmed to the woman and explained her old telephone had been lost and she needed a new one. Flashing her a million watt smile, Clarisse motioned for them to follow her to one of the quieter kiosks in the back where additional sales people were helping other customers. "We can get you all set, no problem," she assured them before launching into a spiel about the different models of cell phones and features of each. River listened half-heartedly to the two discuss things as he continued to scan the area. He was being paranoid. Joselyn was safe. Nobody would dare to make an attempt on her with a hundred people nearby. He felt a little of the tension drain away.
"And what do you think, Mr. Kendrik?"
River's attention drew back to Clarisse and he frowned. "I'm sorry what?"
Joselyn gave out a half laugh as her cheeks flushed. "Oh, he's not my husband," she assured the woman. "He's... ah..."
River chuckled at Joselyn's stammering. She looked so cute and he couldn't help himself from teasing her. "I'm her boy toy," he whispered with a wink and laughed softly as Joselyn's blush deepened to a dark red. "You know she's got all kinds of money." He shrugged. "She supports me in a life in which I have become accustomed."
Clarisse looked from one to the other, her jaw dropped open and eyes round.
"You are not!" Joselyn squeaked and smacked his arm. "Cheebus, River, don't say things like that. People will believe it." Turning her attention back to the woman, she winced. "He's really not my boy toy. He's my... my friend." She turned her gaze to him and smiled. "He's my good friend."
River tasted the word and found it wasn't quite right. Okay, yes, he was her friend but there was more to it besides the whole bodyguard thing. The revelation he had this morning said it all. She was more than a client, more than an acquaintance. She was slowly becoming everything and it brought forth an unfamiliar feeling. In the twenty years he had served his country, he had known fear on several different levels. Only a fool would not feel anxiety after some of the situations he had found himself. Tracking down terrorists, defusing hostile situations and generally taking care of whatever business his country demanded had given him a healthy respect for fear. But what he was feeling toward the petite author scared him more than all the Taliban in the world. She had wiggled past the walls he had erected until she was bigger than anything else in his universe. If anything happened to her... He slammed a door on the thought. No. Nothing would happen because he wouldn't allow it. He would keep her safe, regardless the consequences.
Melissa was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and raised in Houlka, a small rural town forty-five minutes southwest down the famous Natchez Trace. She found a love of reading very early and quickly devoured everything she could. Told repeatedly that she had a wonderful imagination, she turned to scribbling her musings and wrote her first novel while in college. It was never published and has since vanished. The death of a close friend who aspired to become an author reawakened her own desire resulting in penning her first book, Shattered Dreams, published in 2013.
Melissa now resides in Meridian, Mississippi with her supportive family – husband, Robert and daughter Rebecca, two cats, and two dogs. When she isn't writing, she spends way too much time with her online friends and feeding her ravenous appetite for the written word.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, teasers and a giveaway!
Cinderella is about to get wicked…
But can a naughty fantasy have a happily-ever-after?
Lainey Kline has one goal before she leaves Melbourne forever: transform herself into a sexy siren, sneak into the season’s most glamorous masquerade ball and seduce Damian McKnight. Only there’s a teeny little problem—one deliciously hot night isn’t nearly enough.
Now Lainey wants more.
But while getting naked is one thing, taking off their masks is quite another…
Y'all, this is a must-read book. I have read several Stefanie London's books and enjoyed each one of them, but I think this is the best one yet! It is sensual and steamy, yet it has heart and deep emotions with captivating characters, and it is written in such a smoothly flowing way, it is addictive, truly an unputdownable book.
Despite the known fairytale type of theme in the story, it is a fresh and original tale. It is sinfully seductive and it is daring, indeed. It is pushing the lines between romance and erotica with its bold sex scenes but done so tastefully, the scenes embedded into the plot so well, they have an essential role in the development of the storyline, and definitely have their place in the story.
The bond, the friendship developed over the years, and the sizzling attraction, natural connection between Lainey Kline and Damian McKnight and the history they share was intruding, bringing sweetness, adoration, and a touch of angst into the sexy tale. I loved how well the characters were developed, how detailed their personifications were. I felt like I got to know them well, their dreams, wishes, their disappointments, and even their faults.
A lush and richly enticing tale that captured my mind with the devoted, ardent, even adorable passion, with compassionate, well-developed, engrossing characters in an exciting, gripping, addictively mesmerizing storyline.
~ Five Spoons!
Hotter Than Hell #6
by Holly S. Roberts
Genre: Steamy Romantic Suspense
Southern California is in the middle of a heatwave but that doesn’t hold a candle to Arizona in the middle of the summer.
Austin Miller, the enforcer for Southern California’s crime boss, takes over after his boss and mentor dies. He’s set on revenge against the people responsible for Victor’s death and he’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants.
Melina Fernandez has never wanted anything to do with her brother’s criminal organization and has nothing to do with the hit he ordered on Southern California’s leader. She’s caught in the middle of a deadly game and her brother plans to sell her to the highest bidder as soon as possible.
When Melina is kidnapped by Austin, her worst nightmares are realized. It’s not her body he wants, it’s her flesh and her sanity. Trapped in a dark basement for days she decides to unravel her life story while Austin works on mutilating her skin with a tattoo machine.
When Moon, the crime lord of Arizona steps into help, Melina might find her salvation. The clock is ticking and her brother now wants her dead. Austin isn’t a man for games but he does want Melina at any cost, even his life.
Are you ready to COMBUST?
**easily read as a standalone!**
He’s gorgeous in an underwear model sort of way. At least until you reach his eyes. When the light reflected off them, I almost stepped back. They’re pale green, almost startling if you don’t look into their cold, lifeless depths. Pools of darkness lurked in the round orbs, so strong, it scared the fucking shit out of me. I’ve grown up around deadly men, but none left me trembling and wanting to escape the intensity of just a gaze.
I make a frustrated sound deep in my throat. I need to escape so I never have to look into his eyes again. Pounding the metal loop in the floor with my foot only adds to the raw flesh already there. He’s going to kill me for something my brother did. The worthless, evil, blood kin I’ve dreamed of killing for years. If only I were stronger emotionally and physically. Or maybe not. Given the chance, I’ll kill the man holding me.
I’ve thought about my own death so many times through the years I lost track. I shouldn’t be resisting the inevitable end to my life. My brother’s plans for me would pale in comparison. He’s told me often enough that I’m nothing more than a breeding machine to form better alliances.
Being given to one of the men my brother makes alliances with would be a nightmare worse than death and it’s all I’ve had to look forward to since my sixteenth birthday. That’s when the earnest threats began. To die for my brother’s sins is an ironic twist to a fucked up life I wish I couldn’t claim.
Holly S. Roberts is a retired homicide and sex crimes detective who loves long walks on the beach and sweet music. NOT... she hikes mountains with her Rottweiler and listens to hard rock with heavy bass and bad words. She's the USA TODAY Best-Selling author of the Completion, Club El Diablo, and Hotter Than Hell series. If a book doesn't have enticing romance, steamy sex, and hot alpha men she doesn't read or write it. Oh and coffee. She must have coffee!
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Secrets and Second Chances Book 1
by Donna M. Zadunajsky
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Alexis has had big dreams all her life, and she’s worked hard to make them happen! After college, she married and had a beautiful baby boy, living her dream as “Mommy” until Colton was safely entrenched in grade school. She lands her dream job at NASA, and her supportive husband, Jay, takes the lead on raising their son. The perfect family, right?
Twelve years later with no warning and no reason, Jay commits suicide. Colton goes into denial and blames his mother; Alexis buries herself in her work.
Seven months later, Alexis’s biggest dream comes true. She’s going to be on the next space shuttle! Her victory is short-lived when she finds out she has breast cancer. As her health declines, Colton delves into the dangerous circumstances of his father’s death.
“Family Secrets” crept into Alexis’s life when she wasn’t paying attention. Will she and her son ever find out the truth? Or is it too late?
Was life fair? Not in the least. Not when you worked your ass off for everything you’ve ever dreamed of and poof, in an instant, with one sentence…it was gone!
Life doesn’t always work out the way we want. No matter what you’ve done or how you’ve done it, something without a doubt gets in the way. You could spend days, weeks, months, even years working for the things you want out of life, only for it to be taken from you as if your dreams and schemes never existed. As if you had never tried at all…
It’s funny how life seems to work out the opposite of what we want. Why bother to dream at all if they never come to fruition? But, if we don’t have our dreams and goals to motivate and guide us, where would we be in this world? Lost, stumbling aimlessly, and not driven by desire, blood, sweat, and tears!
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Life isn’t fair,” so why are we so defeated when things don’t turn out our way? When everything seems to fall apart? Shouldn’t we just keep trying? “If you fall down, get back up, dust yourself off, and try again.”
But what if…just to be fair in this unfair world…what if we weren’t meant to have those dreams at all? What if they were only to teach us something we didn’t see in ourselves? What if there was something better than our dreams waiting for us on the path of life?
Ever since Alexis Finley had been a young girl, she’d dreamed of becoming an astronaut. She’d wanted to explore the universe—do something meaningful with her life. She was mere inches from making her dreams come true. The grueling hours she’d spent at work; she’d practically lived there. All for this one unexpected moment in her life that destroyed everything. It was so unfair!
Time seemed to stand still in her heart. The seconds ticked away as she sat in the expensive brown leather chair, staring speechless at the woman in front of her. Suddenly, life as she’d known it came to a screeching halt!
It didn’t matter how many times she blinked, she was still sitting in the same chair in front of the same doctor she had known for years. They’d taken a class together in college, for heaven sakes.
Alexis tried to let the words spoken to her sink in, but it just wasn’t registering completely. She prayed a silent prayer deep inside herself that perhaps she had heard it all wrong. By chance, the test results were someone else’s, not hers. Doctors were known to make mistakes, sometimes picking up the wrong report or reading the wrong patient’s file. Had the lab made an error? That happened sometimes, too, a false positive. So why couldn’t this one time be just that?
Alexis would get a second opinion, that’s what she’d do! She’d say, “Thank you,” and get up and walk out the door. Yet, she couldn’t move, her body numb and her mind in denial from what the doctor had just said.
“Alexis, we have to start treatment immediately. It’s extremely important before your condition gets worse. Time and early discovery is your ally, but we won’t know about that until after the biopsy,” said Dr. Sarah Ramsey.
“Are you sure it’s breast cancer?” Alexis asked anxiously. Her mind was whirling. This made no sense at all! She’d been checking herself off-and-on for years, and she’d never found a single lump, not even suspected one. Had she examined herself wrong? Maybe she didn’t realize something might have been a lump; maybe she’d thought it was something else, but never cancer!
Alexis had turned forty just last month, and now she’d have to have a mammogram every year for the rest of her life. “My life,” her mind repeated. How much time did she really have left? Panic was starting to set in.
“Yes, Alexis, I’m sure. I’ve checked your mammogram films and the ultrasound several times. I’m sorry, but the density of the images shows you definitely have breast cancer. There’s no mistake,” Sarah Ramsey stated firmly, yet warmly.
“I guess…” Alexis’s throat tightened and she swallowed. “This being my first mammogram and the additional ultrasound was just…just an initial precaution, ya’ know? ‘Cause it was my first…” she stammered. “I thought you wanted to see me about the results in-person as a courtesy and a baseline test for the future? It didn’t occur to me that anything was wrong.” The room was suddenly too warm, much too warm for her liking. Sweat rolled down the back of her neck, wetting the collar of her blouse. She twisted her long, wavy, brunette hair and clipped it into place on the back of her head, hoping it would cool her down.
“I wish I was wrong, Alexis, I truly do, but I’m afraid the results show you have cancer. I’ll call Dr. Brownski, an Oncology Surgeon at the Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, to schedule a lumpectomy and a biopsy. He’s one of the best, Alexis. We’ll go from there,” Sarah Ramsey offered with an encouraging smile.
“Is there any other alternative?”
“I’m not sure what you’re asking, Alexis,” Dr. Ramsey frowned. “Until we have the biopsy—”
“Is there an option for a full double mastectomy?” Alexis interrupted. She watched as the doctor’s right eyebrow shot up. She had caught her off-guard, maybe even surprising her.
“Well, I wouldn’t suggest a mastectomy until after we have the results of the biopsy from the lumpectomy. I’m not even sure why you’d consider such evasive, extensive surgery without knowing what we’re up against. Most women don’t want their breasts removed because it takes away from their need to feel like a woman. As you know, a double mastectomy is done to remove both breasts. What I have seen from the images, the cancer is confined in the right breast. Most doctors won't consider a double mastectomy unless there is substantial evidence to do so. It’s also a very dangerous surgery with a long recuperation, therapy, and reconstruction. ”
“You know I work for NASA, right?” Alexis blurted out.
Dr. Ramsey nodded, placing a lock of her reddish brown hair behind her right ear. Her intelligent green eyes searched Alexis’s face as she waited for her to state her point, which the doctor couldn’t quite grasp at that moment.
“Well, NASA has been considering me for the next space shuttle launch. If they knew about the cancer, there would be no way in hell they’d let me go!”
“I see,” Sarah said, as she shifted in her chair.
“Do you?” Alexis’s voice rose, which caught the doctor extremely off-guard. “Because I have worked my ass off for this opportunity!” The anger stage was taking over much sooner than expected, but Dr. Sarah Ramsey had seen it all before.
“I can’t just sit and watch it pass me by!” Alexis shouted. She didn’t know where the anger came from. It wasn’t like her to jump down someone’s throat for no apparent reason. Although there was a reason, wasn’t there? Her dream was coming to a dead end. Thrown in the trash to be recycled. Never to be lived.
Dr. Ramsey cleared her throat. “Alexis, I know it’s a great deal to take in, but this is your health we’re talking about. I can’t lie to NASA or keep your records confidential from them in this type of instance. Besides, NASA will have their own doctors check you out before any such mission. There could even be legal repercussions for both of us by hiding this diagnosis. I understand being an astronaut is an incredible opportunity for you, but your health is more important than flying to outer space.”
Alexis grabbed her purse from beside the chair and stood up. She didn’t want to sit here any longer and listen to this doctor tell her she couldn’t live her dreams.
“Alexis, wait! Where are you going? We need to discuss, albeit prematurely, your options and schedule the lumpectomy!”
“I need some air.” Alexis turned and opened the door, then slammed it shut behind her. She knew she was being selfish, and that her health was important, but so was everything else she’d worked so hard to accomplish. Or maybe she was just in denial about the whole thing. She was only forty years old and had her whole life in front of her. Why did this have to happen to her? Why and how did she end up with cancer? She worked out and ate the right foods. All her physical exams had come back excellent until this one. So, why her, why now?
Alexis rushed down the hall and stood in front of the elevator. She poked the arrow down button with her index finger. A bell dinged, and the doors opened. She dashed in—took a quick peek behind her to see if Dr. Ramsey had followed her—then hit the L for the lobby. She was so thankful there was no one else in the elevator. She needed to calm down and think about what Dr. Ramsey had told her.
She took deep, easy breathes, in through her nose and out through her mouth. As the elevator doors slid open; bright light blinded her. She raised her left hand and rubbed her eyes, feeling a headache starting to surface. She walked out of the elevator and through the lobby of the medical center.
The future woman astronaut of the United States of America left without giving her doctor the chance to change her destiny and her dream. “Just who am I trying to kid?” Alexis screamed silently to herself.
Sarah Ramsey—she was practically a friend because they’d known each other so long—Sarah wanted to help, but Alexis just wasn’t ready yet.
By the time she reached her car and sat inside, all the anger she’d taken out on her friend just minutes before came pouring out. Alexis Finley had always considered herself a strong person and didn’t let anything get in her way, but the cancer was beyond her control. She needed to sit and think about what the doctor had said and make some decisions, even if it meant postponing her dreams. How could she give up her dreams when she was almost there?
Alexis pounded the steering wheel with her right palm, accidently hitting the horn. It blared, abrupt and loud. She didn’t even glance around to see if anyone was looking at her. She didn’t care if they were. She finally realized she could either sit here and feel sorry for herself, dwelling over how life wasn’t fair, or she could do something about it. But what could she do?
Her dream had always been to explore outer space, and she was determined not to let anything stop her. She had to come up with a plan. There had to be something she could do and still live all her dreams, but she wasn’t sure what that plan was yet.
Searching for the keys in her lap, she found them and started the car, Alexis knew she didn’t want to go home, nor did she want to be around other people. She just wanted to be alone and think. It was time to come up with a new, temporary plan. After all, she wasn’t dying…yet…or was she?
Secrets and Second Chances Book 2
... Hidden Secrets will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew...
Carla Michaels’s life isn't what she thought it was. She met her loving husband in college. She had a career as a teacher. All she ever wanted to complete her life was a baby. After five miscarriages, Carla had almost given up hope of ever becoming a mother.
Then a devastating tragedy strikes and everything she had ever loved is gone—now she’s left torn and shattered, wondering if she can go on with life.
Unexpectedly, she receives an envelope full of books. Journals that were kept hidden from her. A mystery starts to play out as secrets are revealed.
Will she get a second chance at life? Will the hidden secrets destroy her? Or will she find the strength to survive once she knows the truth?
“Hidden Secrets” will pull at your heartstrings until the very last page. Some secrets are not meant to be hidden…
What would you do if you found a book, a journal hidden away, filled with secrets—things you weren’t meant to know; things you should’ve known from the beginning?
So the question remains, how well does anyone really know his or her own spouse, sister, brother, mother, or father?
You could be living under the same roof for five, ten, even twenty years, and not really know one another. Even before they became your significant other, did their parents or siblings know them better than anyone else did? Did your family keep things hidden?
Siblings don’t always share their secrets with each other. They are not close. They most likely won’t get along with one another until they become adults, and still maybe even then, not see eye to eye!
What if you’re an only child, no one with which to share anything? What if one day you’re all alone? Your parents or spouse dies, goes to heaven, and you one-day stumble across a secret that your so-called loved ones have been hiding from you. What would you do? Of course, you would read it. You wouldn’t be able to help yourself. You would be too curious the moment you opened the book and read the first line. Especially, if you saw your name written as one of the words.
What if everything you thought you knew about your family, your spouse, your lover were all lies? Something they thought was better kept hidden from the one person they supposedly loved the most.
Even then, no one really knows anyone, do they?
Secrets and Second Chances Book 3
Craven Falls, Ohio, is a small town with twenty-eight hundred residents—a town where everyone knows almost everyone else and where nothing ever happens, until one day two children disappear.
Ashley Teodora spends her days juggling work, school, and her five-year-old daughter, Lily. She receives a phone call from her best friend, Carla Michaels, needing her to go to Illinois to help Carla who is going through a tough time in her life. When Ashley returns home, she receives horrifying news that turns her world upside down; her precious Lily has been abducted!
Reece Garran is released from prison after a five-year sentence. His primary goal is to find the woman whose memory kept him alive all those years while behind bars. This woman had captured his heart and wouldn’t let go. When the transport bus pulls into the town of Craven Falls, Reece thinks it’s just another small ordinary town until he finds a reason to stay.
Catherine Teodora, Ashley’s mother, loves crocheting, baking, gardening, and spending time with her granddaughter, Lily. On a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, Catherine’s world is torn to pieces. All she did was look away for a split-second, and Lily was gone!
A family pulls together in a time of need, but what happens when those that are close to you are hiding behind twisted secrets? Will they stand by one another and find Lily? Or will the secrets tear this family apart?
For months, Tate had done nothing but watch, plan, and learn everything about Ashley. She was beautiful, but that didn’t do a woman justice, not in the world we lived in today. Beauty was just the half of it.
He watched Ashley wake in the morning. She didn’t know that he could see everything she did. Like when she made her coffee, adding cream and two sugars; then stirred, and tapping the spoon twice before setting it down on the red ceramic spoon-holder next to the coffeepot.
The way she gathered her blonde hair and twisted it into a bun on the top of her head before she crawled under the covers at night to read for exactly one-half-hour before placing the book down on the nightstand and clicking off the light.
Ashley repeated this routine every day—from the moment she woke in the morning to the time she picked up her daughter Lily from her mother’s place three miles down the road every evening. Although, on occasion, there were nights she didn’t come home. That was when she’d sleep over at her boyfriend’s house and her sweet little daughter stayed with her grandma.
Tate had on several occasions camped out and watched the grandmother who lived by herself in a two-story house surrounded by woods. Those woods made it an easy place to hide and watch the grandmother.
The grandma’s house was much easier than Ashley’s place to watch because Ashley lived in an apartment. There was no place to really hide so that was when he rented the apartment across the parking lot from her. It gave him a direct view into her home.
The grandma had been a grieving widow for some time. At least that’s what he’d gathered since Tate had never seen a man at her place. He watched her from time to time, but not as often as he followed Ashley around because she was who intrigued him the most.
The child, Lily, was almost a spitting image of Ashley, except for one thing; her long-wavy black hair, which Tate assumed, came from her father’s side of the family. He’d never seen the little girl’s father to know if she looked anything like him. The little girl’s father wasn’t in the picture. He hadn’t been for as long as Tate had been watching them. Tate hadn’t any clue where the sperm donor went or what happened to him—to them. Did they have a fight? Or did he just ditch her the moment he found out Ashley was pregnant with his baby? That would be something only God knew.
It was sad to see Ashley raise this child alone, but that would change in time. She would come to see that Tate was good for her. It would only take a little push in the right direction, and Tate knew just what to do to get her to see what love was. Show Ashley how wonderful and true it could be.
Ashley’s so-called boyfriend wasn’t who she thought he was. He wasn’t true to her. He didn’t love her the way a man should love a woman, especially someone as beautiful and smart as her—like Ashley. Her name sounded so sweet rolling off his tongue every time he said it.
As for the little girl, Lily, she would learn to love him and worship him. She would never be without a father again. A man who would give her everything she would ever need—want, but that would all come soon enough. Soon they would know all about him. Soon Ashley would be with him.
Because after today the cat would come out to play…
Donna M. Zadunajsky started out writing children’s books before she accomplished and published her first novel, Broken Promises, in June 2012. She then has written several more novels and her first novella, HELP ME!, which is a subject about suicide and bullying.
Her third novel Family Secrets, “Secrets and Second Chances”, which is first in a series she is writing, was given a publishing contract through California Times Publishing.
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He's a single father. She's a former ballerina. Can they risk getting involved when a little girl's heart is involved?
Isabella Harper lived in the bright-lights of New York, a performer at the top of her field until a career-ending injury drove her home to find a new dream. If she can’t dance anymore, at least she can open a studio and help other dancers find their own dreams.
Tanner Ross has been burned before, left to raise his daughter alone. He won’t consider a relationship with anyone who has their eyes on the horizon, unwilling to risk his or his daughter’s heart by falling in love with someone destined to leave again. He had no plans to get involved… and then he met Izzy.
A few stolen moments turn serious quickly, and neither of them knows how to react.
Just when she thought she’d built a new life for herself, Izzy receives an offer she cannot refuse. Tanner's hopes of building a future with someone are dashed. Will she stick around or will the draw of the spotlight be too much to resist?
The well-written, ardent, and passionate stories from the Oak Grove introduced the author Nancy Stopper to me, and the first installment of the Harper Family series is delivered with the same smooth and fluent way that pulls you into the life of The Harper's and their friends while telling an entertaining and enjoyable story.
Isabella Harper and Tanner Ross's story is a steamy, erotic, passion-filled tale of falling in love and learning to trust again despite the past hurt. There is a lot of intriguing drama happening in the background of Isabella and Tanner's lives, yet most of the focus of the story is in the instant, strong, even at times overpowering physical attraction between Tanner and Izzy.
Izzy's eating disorder, challenging dancing career, issues with abusive relationships, her father's infidelity and alcoholism, her ex's verbal abuse, the way she had to retire from the stage, have all shaped her mind to be careful who she trusts. Some of those issues that were introduced were not dealt with, mostly regarding the family, and I am assuming they will be handled in the future installments of the series.
Tanner is a hero easy to admire because of his dedication and loyalty to everything he holds dear. There is nothing he wouldn't do for his daughter and the center for the youth and the well-being of the young people participating there are close to his heart. His attraction to Izzy is detailed and overwhelming at times. This story is much steamier than I remember the Oak Grove series being, and I felt that I really didn't need to know each and every hard-on he got while being enamored with Izzy. [Of course, that is a personal preference, and the whole issue, if too many sex scenes are even a possibility, will be debated as long as romance novels will be written. As long as the sex scenes contribute to the plot and show the growing emotions and commitment between the couple, I am all for them, just for the sake of having them is not necessary, in my opinion.]
The fluid flow of the tale was inviting, enticing the mind and engaging it in the story. With just enough drama and trouble, ardent attraction, and cute as can be puppy moments the story was well balanced, seductive, and charming. Can't wait for the continues of the series and to find the destinies of Izzy's siblings.
~ Four Spoons
MURDER IN THISTLECROSS
by Amy M. Reade
The emerald hills and violet valleys of Wales seem the ideal place to start over after murder—and divorce—shattered Eilidh’s life in the Scottish Highlands. But within the stone walls of an ancient castle, a family’s dark, violent past threatens much more than her newfound tranquility . . .
For the past two years, Eilidh has called the quaint Welsh village of Thistlecross home, embracing her new life as estate manager of a restored fifteenth-century castle. But the long-anticipated arrival of her employer’s three estranged sons and their wives transforms Gylfinog Castell from a welcoming haven to a place seething with dangerous secrets. When the escalating tensions culminate in murder, Eilidh must sift through a castle full of suspects both upstairs and downstairs. She can trust no one as she follows a twisting maze of greed and malice to ferret out a killer who’s breaching every defense, preparing to make Eilidh the next to die.
I snuggled down under the covers again and was soon dozing, but through the fog in my sleep-addled brain I was sure I heard faint crying. I sat up again. The room was deliciously warm from the fire that still burned low in the grate, but I still hated to get out from under the comfort of the blankets. Reluctantly I tucked my feet into the slippers I kept at the side of the bed and went to the door. After opening it cautiously, I peered into the long hallway. The gas-lit sconces provided quivering candlelight at regular intervals, making the spaces between them eerily dark.
Even in the dim light, though, there was no mistaking the shadow that flitted across the hall down toward the main door to the castle. I hesitated, not knowing who the shadow belonged to or whether I should try to figure it out. The crying continued, now a little louder because my door was open. My mind told me to shut the door, get back into bed, and ignore the nighttime goings-on. My heart told me to find out who was crying and whose shadow I had seen from the safety of my bedroom doorway.
I followed my heart, as usual.
It was very cold in the hallway, so I ducked back into my room for my thick robe. Then, pulling the sash tight around my waist, I slipped into the hallway and closed the bedroom door behind me.
I instinctively stayed close to the wall as I followed the flickering sconces to the castle’s great hall. In daylight, this entrance to the home was a magnificent gallery of antique furniture, a polished stone floor, stained glass windows, an enormous, colorfully-painted wooden coat of arms, and even an ancient suit of armor, posed with a lance. In the dim light of night, however, the main hall was a frightening place. The furniture gave way to dark, shapeless forms, the suit of armor took on a more sinister stance, and the stained glass, which depicted pastoral scenes in daylight, seemed to glow with an evil darkness.
When I reached the huge front door, the iron bolt that kept the door locked from the inside had been slid to one side. Someone had left the castle. That must have been the bang I heard. The person I had seen stealing along the corridor was nowhere to be found. Maybe the bang was a person coming in, not going out. Perhaps the person I had seen had just come in from outdoors. I hadn’t heard anyone as I made my way to the great hall, and I didn’t see or hear anyone now that I was standing by the front door.
I was perplexed. I hadn’t dreamed it. There had been a person in the hallway and I had come quickly to the main entrance to the castle. How could I have missed him—or her? But I had gone back into my room to pull on my robe. Had the person disappeared in such a short time? Had he or she gone upstairs? Downstairs? Had the person perhaps ducked into one of the rooms on the main floor and was waiting, listening, until I left to return to my bedroom? The thought sent chills up to the nape of my neck.
Was I just being silly? Maybe Hugh had gone out for Cadi’s toiletries, though it was quite late for that. Maybe someone had gone down to the kitchen to get a snack. That was a far more likely explanation. There were a million reasons someone in the castle might be about during the night, so stop making up sinister reasons, I told myself with a grimace.
But that didn’t explain the crying I had heard so plainly. Was the person in the hallway the one who had been crying? And what had he—or more likely, she—been crying about? I didn’t know Andreas or Hugh or Rhisiart very well, but none of them seemed to be the emotional type.
I was spooking myself and it was getting very cold standing still in the great hall, so I turned on the lights and peeked into the sitting room and the dining room. I didn’t see anyone in either room so I hurried back to the safety and warmth of my own room and my own bed.
USA Today bestselling author Amy M. Reade is also the author of Secrets of Hallstead House and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor. She grew up in northern New York, just south of the Canadian border, and spent her weekends and summers on the St. Lawrence River. She graduated from Cornell University and then went on to law school at Indiana University in Bloomington. She practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where, in addition to writing, she is a wife, a full-time mom and a volunteer in school, church and community groups. She lives just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean with her husband and three children as well as a dog and two cats. She loves cooking and all things Hawaii and is currently at work on her next novel.
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She’s a beauty, but he’s just a geek.
The world might think billionaire Xavier Gaines has it all, but he’s got a big problem. His successful software company is about to sign a government contract that’ll land him smack in the glare of the public limelight, and his lifelong battle with social anxiety has marked him as a cold, uncaring bastard in the eyes of the press. To dispel the unflattering image, he needs help, and there’s only one person he trusts with the job—Peyton Smoke. Gorgeous, kind, and funny, she agrees to be his media relations director and soon imbeds herself so deeply in his life, his world will crumble if anything upsets the balance. He cannot screw up their solid unit. No matter how achingly he desires her. Yet, how is he supposed to resist when she tugs emotions from him he didn’t think he was capable of experiencing? Especially since it appears he’s not the only one fighting their undeniable attraction.
Ever-after just might be possible...if he can convince her to believe in love again.
Peyton Smoke is looking for a change, and working at Gaines Industries has given her the boost she needs to fill the empty void in her life. Xavier is the perfect boss. Under his seemingly callous, frigid demeanor lies a compassionate man who cares about causes and those precious few he lets into his inner circle. What she wasn’t prepared for is the smoldering passion suddenly flaring between them, nor the hot-as-sin alpha side beneath the layer of sexy nerd. Getting involved with him puts more than her job at risk. She’s been trampled one too many times, and she vowed never to leave herself vulnerable again. But the heart wants what the heart wants. If only she can figure out whether his feelings are genuine or if this is a mistaken case of gratitude wrapped in lust, then their shot at forever may not seem like such a fruitless hope.
I had the privilege to win an audiobook version of this title on the author page for Kelly Moran, and I was super excited to try the audiobook experience itself, as well. I was nervous about it, mainly that I would focus on the voice of the reader, and their performance, instead of the story. But Counterbalance drew me in so that I soon forgot someone was reading it to me, instead, I was completely absorbed in the life of Xavier Gaines and Peyton Smoke.
There's so much to love about this story, mainly because it breaks all the normal patterns of romance novels, it goes outside the box, yet is lovely, steaming hot, adorable, and attractive tale of friendship and love. The relationship between Peyton and Xavier is growing over time, really over the years, and they have a unique and true trust between them. The complete honesty they share is refreshing, how they deal with conflict is mature and an example most of could learn from.
Xavier is a self-made successful businessman, yet he has humbleness, dignity, honor, and loyalty that I admired.
Peyton gets Xavier like no one else does. She understands him and his social anxiety. She is a key player in the continuing success of Xavier's business yet she wants to make sure that the blooming relationship is not connected to their work relationship. Because of his economic status, she feels like she is not enough for him and his family, because of his geekiness and socially awkward behavior, Xavier feels that he is not good enough for her.
I loved, treasured each moment of the story, the fragile balance that X and Peyton were building on their romantic relationship, the adoration they had for each other, the passion and deeply rooted feelings they had for each other, the friendship they had formed in high school and were able to expand from, each element making the tale more enjoyable, the romance more believable, and the story more captivating and delightful. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the author's work, and Counterbalance delivers a heartfelt, ardent tale that I adored.
~ Five Spoons
Lady In Waiting by Marie Tremayne
Series The Reluctant Brides
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Impulse
Publication Date March 13, 2018
She wants to escape her present . . .
When Clara Mayfield helps her sister elope, she’s prepared for the scandal to seal her fate as a spinster. What she doesn't expect is to find herself engaged to the vile Baron Rutherford as a means of salvaging her family's reputation. Determined not to be chained to a man she loathes, Clara slips out of Essex and sheds her identity: she becomes Helen, maid at the Earl of Ashworth’s country estate. After all, below stairs is the last place anyone would think to look for an heiress . . .
He wants to forget his past . . .
William, Lord Ashworth, is attempting to rebuild his life after the devastating accident that claimed the lives of his entire family, save his beloved sister and niece. Haunted by memories of what was and determined to live up to the title he never expected to inherit, William doesn’t have time for love. What he needs is a noble and accomplished wife, one who can further the Ashworth line and keep the family name untarnished . . .
Together, can they find the perfect future?
From their first encounter, the attraction between them is undeniable. But Clara knows William is falling for Helen, a woman who doesn’t even exist. The question is, if she reveals the truth about her identity, can she trust the broken William to forgive her lie and stand by her side when scandal—and the baron—inevitably follow her to his door?
“My lord, are you well?”
Ashworth’s hand slowly dropped from the doorknob and he stared openly at her, his expression unreadable. Clara guessed it could have been weeks or months since he’d had a loved one or a friend ask him that question.
He cocked his head to the side, eyeing her curiously. “Do I appear to be unwell?”
Clara bit her lip. Of course, he appeared very well indeed. She couldn’t stop her eyes from scanning over him and felt herself flush hotly in response.
“Yes…no…that is, you look distressed. As if something is wrong.”
Ashworth stepped forward. “I am in charge of an earldom. There could be many things wrong.” He paused. “And this concerns you because…?”
“Well, I am aware it shouldn’t concern me,” she answered nervously. “But—I find it does.”
He mulled this over in silence as his restless gaze roamed over her, starting at her cap, alighting on her face, moving down the dark rose-colored fabric of her morning dress, skimming over her apron, and landing on her sturdy black shoes. His eyes snapped back up to hold hers in their sway.
“I appreciate your concern, but rest assured, it is misplaced.” The earl took another step in her direction. “However, since we’re on the subject of appearances, I would tell you that you seem tired today.” The corner of his mouth lifted in the barest hint of a smile. “Is there something amiss?”
Clara’s lips parted in surprise. “That was neatly done, my lord. You managed to avoid answering my question while directing one at me instead.” She hesitated. “Well if you must know, I am tired. My room is like an icebox at night.”
He blinked. This time he really did look concerned. “Is it?”
“Yes,” she replied. “But that’s really beside the point. You are under no obligation to confide in me, I only thought perhaps—”
“And I told you,” he said, cutting her off, “that I appreciate the concern. But you and I both know it’s against all proprieties to discuss personal matters—”
“Have you always been so set on adhering to the proprieties, my lord?”
The earl straightened, eyes widening in disbelief, and she immediately knew the conversation had been taken too far.
Clara lowered her head and tried to avoid him, skirting around the edge of the room toward the door. “Forgive my intrusion. It was wrong of me to insert myself where I do not belong.”
She passed Ashworth and his hand shot out, securing her wrist in his hold before she could flee.
“Was that an insult? Or simply an observation?” he inquired.
She swallowed, weighing her response with caution. “No, my lord. On the contrary, I think it an admirable quality in a peer to be willing to break with tradition.” Ashworth’s gaze drifted from her face to the place where his fingers were wrapped around her arm. After a moment, he gently released her. Disappointment flooded through her as the heat of his hand evaporated off her skin.
Stepping backward, he spread his arms wide in mock invitation.
“Since we are ignoring decorum, is there anything else you wish to ask?” Then he added wisely, “I may or may not choose to answer.”
She considered this in silence, her hand moving to cover the wrist that still tingled from his touch. This game had already started. Why stop now?
“Yes, my lord. There is one thing.” Clara took a deep breath. “Has your steward much experience with flooded farmlands?”
“Pardon me?” His voice was low. Possibly annoyed.
“My lord, your land steward is another servant, regardless of his accomplishments. I’d wager your tenants would value a visit from you, the Earl of Ashworth, along with the opportunity to discuss their thoughts on resolving the flooding.”
She had managed to say the words, but she had also begun to tremble uncontrollably. She clenched her hands into fists and held them tightly at her sides to conceal her shaking.
Lord Ashworth stood stock still. He simply stared at her as if she had spontaneously recited the Russian alphabet. When he did speak, he sounded calm, but his voice was hoarse.
“What do you know of flooded farmlands, Helen?”
A trickle of sweat raced down her back.
Ashworth stepped closer to her, his face expectant. Clara’s breath came in gulps as she attempted to maintain her composure. “I–my father had experience in such matters.”
“Your father?” he asked, intrigued.
“Yes, my lord,” she responded hastily, hoping to change the subject. “I’ve no wish to interfere, but I was thinking a meeting might help connect you more closely to your townsfolk.”
The earl’s eyebrows arched. “Why do you take such an interest in my affairs?”
“I’m not. I don’t,” she stammered. “I’m only thinking as a commoner. Speaking as a commoner…”
“Speaking as a commoner,” he interrupted thoughtfully, taking another step forward. “A commoner would know when to hold her tongue, and yet you, somehow, do not.” Another step. The alarm bells she had chosen to ignore earlier were now clanging again, more insistently.
His words were true. She was being Clara Mayfield right now, and she needed to correct her course immediately. Before he was close enough to touch her.
“Of course, you are right, my lord,” she forced out, hoping to put an end to the conversation. “I only meant to help. I can see now that I’ve overstepped my bounds.”
A huff of amusement escaped him. “A habit of yours.” Then softly, “And how can you possibly help me?”
The earl took one last step in her direction, and it wasn’t until Clara felt her back collide with the far wall that she realized she had also been retreating. He was only inches away, so close she could feel the heat radiating off his body. Being at eye level with his broad chest, he suddenly seemed far too large, far too close.
Ashworth had an incomparable sensual grace, unmatched by any man she’d ever seen. Without thinking, Clara reached out and placed her fingertips on his chest—whether a defensive reflex or an invitation, she couldn’t be sure. At her touch, he tensed and closed his eyes, a small gasp hissing through his teeth.
Any lingering doubts melted away as she witnessed his reaction. He wanted her hands on him. She flattened her palms across the lawn of his shirt, feeling the contrast of hard muscle to soft fabric.
Clara had always believed her inexperience had caused her to be shy with men, but now it was apparent part of the problem had been that she had not yet been with the right man. Here, with Ashworth, fire flowed through her veins as she allowed her hands to roam. His clenched jaw and fists were an indication of resistance, but his refusal to halt her caresses challenged her to continue.
What could she possibly do to help him?
He had asked, and now she burned to find out.
Her fingers traced along the length of his blue satin cravat, and he made a sound low in his throat.
The sound raced through Clara like wildfire. Disregarding everything…the woman she was, and the woman she was pretending to be…she rose high up on her tiptoes and brushed her lips against his.
TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY DETAILSLINK: https://goo.gl/FmbzxD
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a package containing apron, feather duster, and a copy of MRS BEETON’S BOOK OF HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT from Oxford World’s Classics. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 3/23/2018 @ 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.
About Marie Tremayne
MARIE TREMAYNE graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in English Language and Literature. While there, a copy of Pride and Prejudice ended up changing her life. She decided to study the great books of the Regency and Victorian eras, and now enjoys writing her own tales set in the historical period she loves. Marie lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Murder in the Painted Lady
A Peyton Brooks' Mystery Novella Prequel
by M.L. Hamilton
Please note: This is a novella, not a full length work.
Peyton and Marco have solved more cases than many senior members of the San Francisco PD, but this case (the death of a high end real estate agent) is proving more difficult than the others.
With no evidence, no suspects, and no motive, Peyton fears they won't get a break in the case before the killer strikes again.
In the multi-million dollar San Francisco real estate market, realtors are literally dying for a sale.
ML Hamilton has been teaching high school English and journalism in Central California for the last 25 years. Teaching students to appreciate literature has made her career rewarding; however, she always dreamed of publishing her own novel.
That dream came true. Her first novel, Emerald, was published by Wild Wolf Publishing in 2010. In the summer of 2011, she published her first contemporary fiction, Ravensong, and six months later, launched the Peyton Brooks' series. The Avery Nolan Adventures and Peyton Brooks, FBI launched in 2014. In 2016, she ventured into the cozy mystery craze with her cozy mystery series, Zion Sawyer Cozy Mysteries.
Between teaching and writing, she spends her free time walking her two Golden Retrievers and reading.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Trouble always finds her…
Wrapping up a normal day at the office, criminal psychologist Kieran Finnegan is accosted by a desperate woman who shoves an infant into her arms and then flees, only to be murdered minutes later on a busy Manhattan street.
Who was the woman? Where did the baby come from? Kieran can’t stop thinking about the child and the victim, so her boyfriend, Craig Frasier, does what any good special agent boyfriend would do — he gets the FBI involved. And asks Kieran to keep out of it.
But the Finnegans have a knack for getting into trouble, and Kieran won’t sit idle when a lead surfaces through her family’s pub. Investigating on her own, she uncovers a dangerous group that plays fast and loose with human lives and will stop at nothing to keep their secrets — and they plan to silence Kieran before she can expose them.
The newest installment to the series of adventurous and dangerous life Kieran Finnegan and Craig Frasier live is an intense investigation of the human trafficking amongst the vulnerable illegal immigrates.
The case itself is troubling and heartbreaking, bringing light to the many difficult aspects of immigration to the States. The social issues are well embedded into the tale, yet are educational and enlightening.
The many clues, some that seem insignificant, all are part of the bigger picture, and once again Kieran is in the middle of a deadly, dangerous, and even cruel crime spree, with culprits who have no respect to human life or rights. The culprits that seem to have connections everywhere, being able to stay just one step ahead of the investigation no matter where and how the task force is receiving information. The many twists in the plot and the hints of the outcome kept my interest high, and my eyes glued to the pages. To find the culprits was a run against the clock, and I got invested in the outcome, felt for the victims, and cheered for the good guys to find the criminals, to find the King and Queen, to find the connections they had to the law enforcement that fed them information.
I think this might have been my favorite book in the series when it comes to Kieran and Craig's relationship developing. The bond between them has always been tight, the attraction and the feelings they have for each other are a strong force in the stories. But in this story, their vulnerability is highlighted in several different situations, giving the tale another level of depth.
I usually do prefer the excitement of a new couple finding love in a middle of the drama and danger in my romantic suspense, but there are spark and energy in the stories written by Heather Graham that keep me coming back for more no matter in what form the story and series are written.
Vigorous and intense investigation of fatal and sinister crimes amongst the most vulnerable people that once again put Kieran and Craig in the middle of dire situations, making them evaluate their own lives and their future. From tedious combing of clues to aggressive action the story kept me on my toes until the volatile and violent conclusion.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
“We looked down at the cliff jutting into the sea, a rubber boat full of kids going under the arch, and then you started running and jumping through the grass, dodging the rabbit holes, shouting at the top of your voice, so I started chasing you, trying to catch you, and we were laughing so hard as we ran and ran, kicking up rainbow showers in the leaves.”
Rob Coates feels like he’s won the lottery of life. There is Anna, his incredible wife, their London town house and, most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. But when a devastating illness befalls his family, Rob’s world begins to unravel. Suddenly finding himself alone, Rob seeks solace in photographing the skyscrapers and clifftops he and his son Jack used to visit. And just when it seems that all hope is lost, Rob embarks on the most unforgettable of journeys to find his way back to life, and forgiveness.
We Own the Sky is a tender, heartrending, but ultimately life-affirming novel that will resonate deeply with anyone who has suffered loss or experienced great love. With stunning eloquence and acumen, Luke Allnutt has penned a soaring debut and a true testament to the power of love, showing how even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.
I looked at Anna as she took a sip of her drink. She really was beautiful, her mouth always on the cusp of a smile, her eyes sparkling like a promise. She was too good for me. She would go to London and end up with the type of guy who was invited to her high-school dances.
“And what about you, where do your parents live?” Anna said, and I realized I was staring at her.
“My dad still lives in Romford.”
Anna hesitated, took a sip of her drink. “Are your parents divorced?”
“My mom died. When I was fifteen.”
“Oh,” Anna said. “I’m very sorry.”
“It’s okay,” I said, “it’s not your fault.” It took her a moment to get my little joke, and I grinned and she smiled back, a little more at ease.
I didn’t like talking about that morning, when Dad was waiting for me outside the school gate. For some reason, he was wearing his best suit. He didn’t say much. He didn’t have to. Mom had collapsed at work, he said, a massive stroke. They had always joked that he would be the one to go first.
“So where’s home?” I asked Anna.
“Oh, the main house is in Suffolk, but we’ve not really been there enough for it to feel like home.”
“Ah, the hard life, so many houses…” I didn’t know why I said it. It was meant to be flippant, a quip, but it just sounded petty and unkind.
Anna scowled at me and took a hurried sip of her drink as if she had to leave. “Actually, Rob, if you must know, I was on scholarship at Roedean, and my parents don’t have two pennies to rub together.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean…” I stammered. She was frowning, and I could see she found it hard to disguise her annoyance.
“And before you try to out-poor me, Rob, my parents were missionaries and I spent most of my childhood living in Kenyan slums that would make your public housing complex look like Cheam.”
She angled her body away from me, and we both silently sipped our drinks.
“Sorry again. I didn’t mean it like that, I really didn’t,” I said.
Anna sighed and nervously fiddled with the menu. Then she smiled and looked at me again. “Sorry, I probably overreacted a little. Evidently you’re not the only one to have a chip on your shoulder.”
That night we kissed as soon as we closed the bedroom door. After a few breathless minutes, Anna stopped and I thought she was having second thoughts. But then she started to undress, as if she was alone in her own room, and I watched her and I didn’t think she minded me watching her: the angular bones of her hips, her neat little breasts, her pale, delicate arms. When she was naked, she folded her clothes and left them in a tidy pile on my desk.
Since I had been a teenager, sex had always been an exercise in caution. A gradual testing of the waters, a constant expectation that my probing hands would be quickly brushed away. Anna was nothing like that. She was hungry and uninhibited, so unlike the prim and proper way she carried herself. Her desire was single-minded—a quality then, not really knowing women, I found curiously masculine. We stayed awake until the early hours, shuttered behind hastily drawn curtains, our bodies wet with each other, until finally we slept.
I waited for her out on the court, feeling a little uncomfortable in my West Ham United football shirt and Umbro shorts. The court smelled of rubber and fresh sweat. I wanted to impress on her that I was sporty, that I didn’t just spend my time in front of my computer. So we agreed to a game of squash, which Anna said she had played once or twice at school.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she came out onto the court. In her flappy men’s shorts and regular blouse, she looked like a 1920s tennis star.
“What?” she said.
“What, what?” I said, stifling a laugh.
“Well, your clothes aren’t exactly regulation either. With your football jersey.”
“I didn’t say anything,” I protested, smirking and looking away from her.
“Right. Shall we play then?” she said, awkwardly holding her racket with two hands.
We started warming up, slowly hitting the ball back and forth. Except Anna wasn’t really hitting the ball, but flailing, struggling to connect even when she was serving.
“I’m not so good without my glasses,” Anna said, as she scooped the ball up toward the ceiling.
We carried on like that for a while, not having anything that would resemble a game.
“Okay, I admit it. I lied,” Anna said, after she missed the ball yet again while attempting to serve.
“I’ve actually never played squash.”
“Oh,” I said, once again stifling a laugh.
“I asked Lola and she said it was easy. She said that anyone could do it. Apparently not.”
I wished, then, I could have taken a picture of her on that squash court. She looked so beautiful, her dark flannel shorts accentuating her pale legs, her dimpled cheeks flushed with exercise.
“Have you really only played a few times?” Anna asked.
“I don’t know, four or five. At school.”
Anna was quiet, bit her lip. “Well, the truth is, I hate sports.”
“I thought you wanted to play?” I said, putting my arm around her cold shoulders.
“Not really. I thought you wanted to,” she said, gently tapping her racket against her leg. “I only did it because, well, I didn’t want you to think that I was sedentary.”
I smiled when she said that. Sedentary. It was a very Anna word. After another five minutes of pretending, we gave up and went outside.
It was sweltering in the sun. We sat on a small wall that overlooked an enclosed field hockey turf. Children, mostly infants and a few older teenagers, were running around at some kind of sports camp.
We had both decided that we would stay the summer in Cambridge, living off the rest of our student loans. Anna said she wanted to do all the touristy Cambridge things she had never done because she had been working so hard to get her first-class honors. So we went punting and walked around some of the colleges and spent an afternoon in the Fitzwilliam Museum and a morning in the botanical gardens. Much of the time, we just spent in bed.
She'd fought for her life but the terror continues.
For five years FBI agent Blake Garrett has fixated on a serial-killer case. Now the madman has attacked Marissa Lane.
She escaped with her life...and some clues that could help Blake.
Yet she is still the object of the killer's obsession. And Blake is torn between the unquenching need to catch his prey and a deep desire to protect the woman he can't possibly keep.
I love it when a new author to me turns out to be a hit. Julie Anne's debut Intrigue book proved she has earned her place in the lineup of great authors writing the intense romantic suspense for Intrigue. Her style to tell the story is mesmerizing, it has wit and humor, depth and fervor, with her words she draws clear, vivid images of the vigorous hunt for the serial killer. The Garrett family and the brothers, in particular, are solid characters with depth and strength that raise my interest and I am already looking forward to learning more about them and their destinies in the future installments of the series.
The FBI agent Blake Garrett is the oldest of the brothers. He is dedicated, energetic, loyal, and focused. His career is important to him but family is everything. His solid characteristics made him stand out, he is kind, sweet, considerate man under the shield of a warrior.
Marissa Lane is a strong and smart heroine whose toughness was impossible not to admire. She is an adrenaline junkie, with a successful career, yet her greatest wish is to be a mom.
The connection between Blake and Marissa was a tangible force in the story. It was natural, real, and tight. It was filled with passion and earnestness, yet the focus on their minds was on the case, proving them to be smart and capable, yet able to fall in love and show their feelings. The attraction was endearing, the passion unquestionable, the conclusion not rushed yet played out just perfectly.
The chase over the mountains and difficult terrain for the serial killer, the sociopath who enjoyed the attention of the law enforcement, who loved to play and torture his victims, whose brutal crimes had caused too many lives was fierce and dangerous. The built up of the case is subtle yet powerful, taking it to a crescendo that left had me gasping.
Absolutely marvelously intense beginning to a suspense series and introduction to an author, that I will be keeping an eye on and can easily recommend for everyone to follow up on.
Entertaining, sharp, and vigorous romantic suspense
~ Five Spoons