Love comes along when it's least wanted
Jason Guthrie has no time for entanglements—between helping out his widowed brother and teenage nephew and getting his hometown back on its feet, his days are spoken for. But his nights are another story… And when his lovely new neighbor, Honor Brown, reluctantly accepts his help in remodeling her house, Jason finds himself wishing his handyman skills could knock down the defenses she keeps building around herself.
Martial arts teacher Sullivan Dean knows real danger when he sees it—even when it takes the form of the gorgeous blonde helping her friend move in across the street. After putting his wayward past behind him to focus on teaching control to troubled kids, Sullivan has learned to avoid party girls like Lexie Perkins. But Sullivan can't seem to keep his hands off the real woman behind that flirty charm—or keep his heart from landing at her feet…
In this delightful, joy-filled story you get to know the neighborhood hotties and the best friends Honor and Lexie. I enjoyed both of the couples, all the characters were presented in depth and were the kind of people you would love to spend time with.
I wish Lexie and Sullivan could have gotten a little bit more screen time. A lot of their relationship was developed outside the pages, and I would have loved to hear more of Sullivan's change of heart.
Honor is such a complex person. Her life got a rotten start, but how she has overcome it all, and built her her own destiny, was nothing but admirable.
Jason is dreamy, he is patience, caring, protective, helpful, gives Honor space and independence she graves, yet is supportive and accommodating when that is needed.
I loved these two together, the sweetness, tenderness, sexiness, all just pouring out of the pages, the humor, fun, and the tragedy and drama that is Honor's family, they were able to face it all together as a team.
This is a captivating and charming story, I could feel the lightness and rightness of life as Honor and Jason are together. The loss and drama balance the tale nicely, giving it more juicy bits, as well as the danger that is lurking in the neighborhood. The friends and neighbors stole my heart, this is definitely a series I want to keep an eye on
~ Four Spoons and teaspoon on the side
The rich and powerful Josephine Lazarow, matriarch of Fairham Island, is dead. The police say it's suicide, but Keith, her estranged son, doesn't believe it.
Keith bears scars—both physical and emotional—from his childhood, but he's worked hard to overcome the past. After walking away from his mother and her controlling ways five years ago, he's built a new life in LA. He's also accumulated a fortune of his own. But as soon as he learns of his mother's death, he returns to Fairham. He feels he owes it to his grandfather to put the family empire together again—and he's determined to find his mother's killer.
Problem is…coming home to Fairham puts him back in contact with Nancy Dellinger, the woman he hurt so badly when he left before. And digging that deep into his mother's final days and hours entails a very real risk.
Because the person who killed her could be someone he loves…
Truly a story filled with secrets, family drama, and a murder mystery that has everyone looking at each other with questions in their eyes. Josephine Lazarow wasn't the nicest of people, and now it's possible she was murdered.
Five years has gone, and Keith, the former cocaine user, has completely, surprisingly, turned his life around. Not only he isn't taking drugs anymore, he has gained back his good looks, is physically fit again, and built a multi-million dollar company from nothing. Looking at his background, it's a miracle he is where he is today, and not receiving heavy duty professional help, only the abuse in his childhood would have required that one could think. But he managed a turn around in his life.
And now he is back at the island and facing his old demons again.
I know this book is sold as romantic suspense, but in my opinion, it is more of an old fashion family saga, with hideous and hurtful secrets being revealed, mistakes are being made, and forgiveness is asked, and even granted, on some occasions.
The murder mystery brings people together, as much as it is pulling others apart. The mystery of Josephine's death is driving force for Keith, something he is determined to solve, and make the culprit pay. There's no intensity, danger, or action, just looking for clues, and dealing with the aftermath the reveal of the truth leaves behind.
When Keith was still living on the island and using drugs, Nancy was his escape. He isn't capable of deep feelings, commitments, and relationships, but with Nancy, he at times found a moment of peace. As soon as he has to face his demons at the island, he finds himself on Nancy's doorsteps. Like before, the codependent relationship takes fire again. Keith needs Nancy to distract him from the reality, from the cravings for drugs, for slipping back to the old life. Nancy has desperately been in love with Keith for years, never thought of herself as worthy of him, and now has one last chance to be with him again. Is there a physical attraction? Absolutely, but deeper feelings, connection, or something to built a future on? Not in my opinion. I would have needed so much more work in the relationship, much more depth, actual feelings of love and adoration, to believe they had a real thing going, with possibilities of future. I felt the relationship, as well as the characters, were left rather superficial and shallow.
As the romance and the suspense left me wanting, considering the story a family saga, where twists in the plot are as surprising as the secrets revealed, the behind the closed door relationships as tainted, as the off history of the family, and everything is unfolding while the core family does they best to hold on, I found it intriguing, like watching a train wreck, and couldn't look away. From the sort of a cliffhanger ending, I am assuming there's more to the saga to come
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Oblivion on Tour #3
By: Tania Sparks
Releasing July 29, 2016
We’re all sitting around, drinking our beers. I’m slouched down on one of the armchairs that I’ve claimed as my own. I’m still twirling my drumsticks and tapping away on my legs and the surrounding furniture. I’m a couple or three beers in when I hear the door to the suite open. I glance across to see Nikki, our rhythm guitarist and his girl Trixie strolling in jovially, Nikki’s arm is draped over her shoulder and she’s securely tucked into his side.
I lift my head and somberly greet them, “Hey.”
Nikki bobs his head in acknowledgement and Trixie waves her hand to say hi. I expect them to close the door but instead the most stunning girl on the fucking planet glides in behind them. She has smooth jet black hair that flows down her back and it’s so long it reaches her ass. She’s tall, probably almost as tall as me and her body rocks. She’s slim, but has nicely rounded hips and amazing tits. Her emerald green eyes are sparkling boldly as she scans the room confidently. I immediately jump up from my chair, drop my drumsticks to the floor and feel an undeniable rousing in my pants. Hell, maybe my day won’t be so bad after all. I feel better already!
The other guys all stand up too. Fuck off cock-suckers, she’s mine.
I take a step forward as the raven haired beauty suddenly shrieks in an oddly familiar voice, “Oh my god, hi guys, I’ve missed y’all so much!”
Fuck, fuck, fuck! My muddled brain suddenly clicks and makes the connection as I realize that the hottie that has my body vibrating like a god-damned amplifier is Kitty, Nikki’s little sister. Holy Crap! Somebody turns the music down and everyone starts walking towards Kitty. My heart is beating so damned loud that I’m sure the whole room can hear it.
What the hell happened to Nikki’s little sister? I remember her as being a sweet little girl that we used to tease and let hang around the band. She’d bring us beers and dote over all of us, but especially me. Sure, she’s always been pretty and downright cute, but I’ve never thought of her
as the unmistakable sex kitten she is now. She’s definitely grown up and she’s a complete and utter babe. She’s the perfect embodiment of everything I find totally irresistible in a chick. I want!
Shit, maybe I’ve had more to drink than I thought, but I definitely shouldn’t be thinking this way about Nikki’s little sister and I don’t know how to handle these sudden irrefutable cravings. My hand twitches and strums anxiously on my leg as the adrenaline courses through me and makes me want to jump around like a fuckin’ crazy person.
Tania Sparks is a romantic at heart who genuinely believes in true love and soul mates. She met her husband while still at school, she was sixteen, he was seventeen. They are high school sweethearts who more than twenty five years later are still very much in love and are happily married with two beautiful daughters.
Tania does have a full time job, but in her spare minutes enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and reading. She's an avid reader who tends to chomp through a large volume of books, mainly in the romance genre. Her other major 'hobby' is writing steamy rock star erotic romances!
In 2014, after finding herself constantly being inspired by numerous romance novels, she decided to try her hand at writing. After penning her first scene she discovered that she enjoyed it immensely and so resolved to continue with the rest of the story that was swirling in her imagination. That story resulted in her first novel, Heaven Sent which is the first book in her Oblivion on Tour Series. This was soon followed by Bolt From The Blue and Pure Torture. Each book in the series is a stand-alone story which follows a different band member from a hard rock group called Oblivion - and of course the feisty ladies that steal their hearts! The other books in the series are at various stages of completion.
Now-a-days Tania finds it very difficult to control her imagination and swears that her rock stars are constantly chanting their stories in her head. She can't wait to share them with you..
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Portrait of Rage
The Marcel Experience #1
By: Cynthia H. Wise
Released October 31, 2015
“The air became frigid and the lights flickered as they both watched a shimmering veil of mist rise from the hardwood floor. As it floated toward Kelly, the dim shape of an adolescent came to life in its veiling center. The little girl’s body grew more defined in its advance, until every detail of the portrait at Kelly’s back focused and came alive before them.”
Soon after Thomas Shear buys a house for his art gallery, the spirits of a killer’s child victims haunt his dreams. Believing they were conjured by stress and a vivid imagination, Tom hopes to vanquish the nightmares that leave him shaking and sweat soaked by creating a series of life-sized portraits portraying the suffering of each little girl.
When news of his portrait series spreads, Tom is confronted by the lead investigator for the missing children, Detective Mark Winward. Realizing he has become involved in something more sinister than he could ever have imagined, and becoming the detective’s number one suspect, Tom races to find the real killer before he is framed and someone Tom loves becomes the killer’s next victim.
Portrait of Rage sets the stage for The Marcel Experience, giving readers a glimpse into what is to come. Both horror and romance, real and fantastic, Portrait of Rage introduces real-world horrors into the universe of the supernatural.
Kelly’s breath caught as she watched him. He really was the most gorgeous, sexiest man she’d ever met. “I’ve heard that over-stimulating the senses can be deadly.”
“There’s only one way to find out.”
Kelly smiled as the kitchen door swung shut behind him. She could still feel the touch of his kiss and hands on her body and she felt a soft blush warm her cheeks. She shook her head in awe of her own unhindered response and turned to the task of preparing the table.
The china sparkled as she lit the candles, watching each wick ignite into a glowing flame. Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay” drifted to her ears as she dimmed the lights.
“Perfect,” she whispered, surveying the scene. She raised her wine glass in a silent salute. A caress from eyes behind her softened her smile as she turned.
Kelly’s smile wilted as the delicate crystal she held in her hand slipped to the floor with a splintering crash. She shook her head in denial at the little girl standing a few feet away and cringed beneath the haunted, forlorn light-blue eyes that pleaded for help. They seemed to bore into the very depths of Kelly’s soul, and she shuddered as the little girl lifted her hand, beckoning her to follow.
“Please, help us.”
Cynthia H. Wise lives with her husband in Marietta, Georgia, where her series, The Marcel Experience, is centered. When she is not writing novels about the supernatural and the fantastic, Cynthia can be found with her husband, Cliff, their two dogs, Jake and Sadie, and their cockatiel, Sam.
In Cynthia H. Wise’s paranormal mystery series, The Marcel Experience, readers will find themselves thrown into haunted houses, avenging ghosts and wandering spirits, and even, possibly, falling in love with a handsome shapeshifter. In the next novel in the series, Eyes of Autumn, releasing this October, a dangerous enemy from Marcus’s past is threatening to destroy everything he holds sacred, including the only woman he’s ever loved—a woman who doesn’t remember him.
For more information and updates on new books, giveaways, and other news, visit her website or follow her on twitter.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Alaska—the final frontier?
When Clara Avery, an entertainer working on the Fate, an Alaskan cruise ship, goes to nearby Bear Island, she comes across a scene of bloody mayhem. She also comes across Thor Erikson, who will soon be a member of the FBI's elite paranormal unit, the Krewe of Hunters.
Thor's been sent from the Alaska field office to investigate several grotesque killings, with the dead posed to resemble the victims of notorious murderers. The prime suspect is a serial killer Thor once put behind bars. The man escaped from a prison in the Midwest, and all the evidence says he was headed to Alaska…
Thor and Clara share an unusual skill: the ability to communicate with the dead. Their growing love—and their contact with the ghosts of the victims—brings them together to solve the case…and prevent a deadly fate of their own!
A gloomy, lethal, and gory tale on the hunt for a mass murderer in the wild Alaskan primeval forests. I love Heather Graham's style to built the momentum until I am holding my breath, just anxiously waiting for the moment to explode, so wrapped up in the story, that you feel like you are right there, like in the ghost form, looking at the scene to unfold.
This is a great new story for the Krewe of Hunters series. Yet another closed location, an island this time, and mostly the same cast as in the last book, and the danger and trouble they get is fast paced action, non-stop danger, swoon-worthy attraction.
The lack of clues, the puzzle seems to be impossible to solve. How many killers, and who is involved keeps the agents on the go and the danger constantly intensifying. I absolutely enjoyed the suspense, the guessing game of possible culprits, and wondering of the next plot twist to come because you knew it was coming, as you can sense the danger creeping closer.
The attraction between Thor and Clara was clear from the first moment they met, even though it wasn't that pleasant meeting. They are curious about each other, the pull to be together potent. They have bold passion in-between them, a fascination they are not shy to explore. But the desire is not the only driving force in-between them, they also are fond of each other, genuinely like each other, and enjoy their company, like they were meant to be together.
I enjoyed the thrill of the tale, the affection, and ardor between Thor and Clara. The sinister, vile crimes and mystery of the fugitive all taking the story into a deep, dark waters, where survival is bleak. Yet another eerily entertaining and chillingly horrifying murder mystery from Heather Graham
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
You Before Anyone Else
By: Julie Cross and Mark Perini
Releasing August 2nd, 2016
Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with international model Mark Perini to create You Before Anyone Else, a poignant and authentic contemporary YA novel and companion to Halfway Perfect
The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high-paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.
Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once in a while?
Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else…
Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).
She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!
Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.
She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.
Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Mark Perini is a New York City based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect. Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.
Mark began his career as an international fashion model when he was 18 years old, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University.
He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven ancient wonders of the world before he’s thirty. Four down three to go.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Julie Cross and Mark Perini, along with Tasty Book Tours, are celebrating those who have taken the steps to Break the Mold on society’s expectations, like Finley, the heroine from YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE! We are looking for anyone who would like to share their story and be entered to win a 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner!
Head over to fb.me/TastyBookTours and leave a comment with your story. Feel free to share picture of your journey and use #breakingthemold at the end of your comment!
Entries must be in by 11:59pm, Aug 15th, 2016. No purchase necessary to enter. If under 12 years old, you must have approval by a guardian to enter.
Her choice. His consequences.
Nurse Sophie Mattuchi has seen a lot of angry patients in the ER, but no one's ever rattled her like Jack Carter. He has no right to blame her for his friend's death. Sophie did everything she could. Didn't she?
Yet his accusations sting, and that sets off all kinds of internal alarms. She's never cared this much about any man's opinion of her. But Jack is different. He stirs up feelings. Strong feelings. Guilt. Anger. Attraction. Curiosity. Sympathy.
Sophie's definitely not interested in Jack, but even if she was, he'd never forgive her for the decision she made that night in the hospital.
Sophie's Path is a lovely tale of small town living, forming friendships, finding your place, and meaning and purpose for your life. It is a process of healing, letting go, and finding peace after a tragedy.
Sophie seems to have a saviour complex, she is very involved, wants to fix, help, and heal everyone around her. She is not afraid to get involved, restore and revamp what she sees is needing it.
The tale is part of the series, filled with characters who have found their way to the small town. At times I felt I could have used more information about the people around Sophie, but was able to connect the dots after awhile.
Sophie is trying to change herself, her behaviour, her diet, her habits, create a new her. She used to be 'flirt', and never formed any friendships with females, or deeper friendships with the men she flirted with. But she doesn't stop on changing herself, she meddles with everything she can. I didn't really get the flirting part, what was so bad about her behaviour, that other would have kept away from her, was she sleeping with the men, where the men in a relationship as she flirted with them, or what was the issue there, but it seemed to have a huge impact on her life and on her relationships.
Jack was going through some changes in his life as well. The stages of his grief and overcoming the accident were clear, and heartfelt. I liked both of the characters, they had their faults, but they were trying to work on their issues, and better themselves.
The romance was a bit surprise since there's no romantic involvement between Sophie and Jack, just a couple of conversations and kisses does not a relationship make, but they still found a way to each other, despite all the animosity between them previously.
A charming and engaging slice of small town living, from the active nurse's point of view. The dangers and tragedies of life, the grief and joy, the love and loss, all have their place, as Sophie and Jack are building a new life, with meaning and purpose.
~ Four Spoons
Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of over thirty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart”, Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit”. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available on audio-cassette, CD and on electronic format. A prolific writer, she is always writing wonderful stories. She has several titles only available in ebook format on Amazon.com Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine for December, 2002, and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference. In March, 2006 Divine Nudges: Tales of Angelic Intervention and the second in Lanigan’s Angel Watch series of books, was published by HCI, the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher.
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest Harlequin Heartwarming blog | Twitter
To Have and to Hold
The Wedding Belles #1
By: Lauren Layne
Releasing July 26, 2016
Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true…but their own.
Discovering her fiancé is an international conman just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Burke’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet, if slightly spoiled, hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse springs.
Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning…is theirs?
Hold on. Back up. Back all the way up. What do you mean you’re getting married?”
It was eleven p.m. on a Wednesday, and Seth Tyler was exactly where he always was these days: behind his expansive mahogany desk at the Tyler Hotel Group, suit jacket slung over the back of his ergonomic chair, tie begging to be undone, impeccably pressed white shirt cuffed at the wrists.
He raked a hand through his thick light brown hair in frustration and fixed his younger sister with his best no-nonsense glare, an approximation—like everything else he seemed to do lately—of his deceased father.
When Seth's father dropped dead of a heart attack eight months ago, Seth had thought the hardest part about his father’s passing—other than the mourning, of course—would be taking over the family company.
Sure, Seth had been groomed for the role. He’d wanted the president and CEO title. He’d always wanted it.
But not yet, for God’s sake.
Seth had no problem admitting that he was a perfectionist, and he’d been bound and determined to take over the family company his way. The right way.
And the right way, as Seth had determined it, was spending at least a year shadowing each of the senior-level Tyler Hotel Group executives. Seth had wanted to learn every possible detail, every in and out of the business, before even thinking about taking over the reins of the Fortune 500 company.
But his father’s heart had had other plans. Mainly, up and quitting during a routine round of golf. And so, quietly, per his father’s wishes, Seth had become CEO two years ahead of schedule.
Not a day passed that Seth didn’t wish his father was still with him, but in truth, taking his place at the head of the boardroom table had been easier than Seth had anticipated. The investors hadn’t freaked out. The executive team hadn’t left in mass exodus. Even Hank’s longtime assistant, Etta, had stuck around, seemingly content to call Seth boss even as she busted his balls about not eating enough vegetables, getting enough sleep, or getting his hair cut.
But if taking over the family company was easier than Seth had expected, there was one ramification of Hank Tyler’s death that Seth hadn’t been in the least prepared for:
Maya Tyler inhaled a long, patient breath, as though preparing to deal with a difficult child. “Well see, marriage, Seth, is when two people fall in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives—”
“Yes, I’m aware of how marriage works,” Seth interrupted. Although, not as aware as well as he’d like, as it turned out. He wouldn’t be getting any firsthand knowledge of how marriage worked any time soon.
Maya bit her lip. “I’m sorry. I didn't mean to remind you of Nadia.”
Seth glanced down at his desk to avoid his sister’s too-perceptive gaze. She wasn’t wrong. He’d gotten to the point where he could go most days without thinking of his ex, but he hadn’t yet figured out how to think about marriage without hearing the incredulous laugh she’d let out when he’d gone on one knee and showed her the ring he’d spent months picking out.
“Can we not?” he said curtly.
“Don’t get pissed. It’s a wedding. You’re supposed to be happy.”
“I’m not pissed; I’m just surprised.”
That was an understatement. Seth had not seen this coming, and for a man who exercised precision in all things, he couldn’t say he was enjoying the shock value of Maya’s announcement. Especially not on the heels of his father’s death. A death that everyone but Seth had seen coming, because Seth had been the lone outsider on the knowledge that was his father’s longtime heart condition.
Apparently, Hank had considered his only son a control freak—had known that Seth would have stopped at nothing to try to halt death in its tracks.
His father had been, well, right. It was hard to admit, but if Seth had known about his father’s condition, he’d have devoted every waking hour to researching experimental treatment and the best doctors.
Hank Tyler hadn’t wanted that for his final months. Not for himself or for Seth.
Still, Seth resented not having the choice. Resented his father nearly as much as he missed him.
But he’d put that behind him. Mostly.
Hank was gone, and Maya was still here. Maya was all he had.
He had known she was dating a new guy—Neil something or other. But Seth hadn’t thought a thing about it. Maya had whipped through a constant string of casual boyfriends since high school, and other than a two-year relationship in college, they had never been serious.
And it certainly hadn’t gotten close to marriage.
What’s worse, Seth hadn’t even met this man that was apparently to be his brother-in-law.
But none of this would have mattered, not really, if Seth’s instincts hadn’t been buzzing that something was amiss with the way this was all going down. Something was off. He knew it down to his gut.
“How long have you been seeing this guy?” he asked.
Maya slumped back in the plush chair facing Seth’s desk with a groan. “Don’t do this. I knew you were going to do this.”
He frowned. “Do what?”
“The big brother thing,” she said.
“Hard not to, what with me being six years older and all,” Seth said.
He didn’t add that he was doubly obligated to be protective given Hank’s death just months earlier. Maya had definitely been Daddy’s Little Princess. She still got tears in her eyes every time their father’s name was mentioned.
Maya leaned forward, her pale blue eyes much like his own, although her blond hair was lighter than his, thanks to her frequent trips to the salon.
“I love him, Seth. I know you’re jaded these days, but Neil is exactly the type of guy we women spend our entire lives dreaming about.”
Seth bit his tongue to stop from saying that he bet Maya was exactly the type of girl that guys like Neil dreamed about, too. Young, pretty . . . and filthy rich.
Or so Neil likely thought.
Lauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.
Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan.
She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram
Former SEAL sniper Cody Roberts has returned from Afghanistan with too many demons and a simple wish: to be left alone. Working for K2 Special Services, caring for the war dogs he rescued, playing his guitar—that’s all he wants to do.
But Cody is as protective as his nickname, “Dog,” suggests. A man like that can’t sit back when he realizes the beautiful veterinarian next door is being targeted by an unknown enemy.
Riley Austin is desperate to find out who’s poisoning her animal patients, and she’s stunned by her mysterious neighbor’s suggestion that it’s personal. But Cody makes her feel something else, too: a powerful attraction. He insists he’s no good for her, but those haunted eyes and that chiseled body tell Riley that surrendering to their mutual lust is worth the risk. And despite his conditions—no falling for each other, no regrets once it’s over—she’ll fight to love him just as fiercely as he’ll fight to save her.
First I would like to point out a side note, that it was unbeknownst to me, that I had scheduled to read two stories of SEAL snipers right after each other. Each very different in style yet made a quite an impact.
This poignant, heartbreaking, touching story took my breath away. It was so beautifully written, the story so enticing, I couldn't put it away, until the end. I don't know how this series got past me, and I didn't find out about it until the last book came out, but the fact that it was the series finale, and I hadn't read any of the stories published before, didn't make a difference to how I enjoyed the tale.
Cody and Riley stole my heart. Their brokenness, the shattered souls they both had, the overwhelming sadness from their past experiences could have made them be a completely different kind of people. Yet they thrived to do their best, to hold on to life, to keep on trying, to be honest, loyal, and open, and to try so hard to find peace, happiness, and balance in their lives. Their love for their furry friends was endearing, the way they cared for each other, stood up for each other and were willing to go great lengths to help each other touched my heart. It felt like I was holding my breath through half of the story, just hoping that they could make it, cheering them on, and wishing the best for them.
Because it is not an easy road they are on, the obstacles are humongous, the only way to remove them takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. And if it were just the inner demons they are fighting against for, but the outside forces seem to be against them as well, and aiming for a kill.
The effects of a war on a human soul are expressed vividly. The brotherhood of the team, always there for each other, taking care of their own, was like a beam of light through the tale.
And it wasn't all sadness and inner turmoil, that fueled the story, there was humor, laughs, loving and passion as well. There were moments of bliss and glee, tenderness and joy, fear and danger, utter devastation and silver light of hope.
The character development in the story is so well done, the steps they have to take, the goals they need to achieve, reached with utter determination. I fell for Cody and Riley as they were introduced and just kept falling for them even deeper, as their story advanced. I felt the hope they had for their future and the depth of their feelings for each other.
This is one of those stories that will stay with you for a very long time. I cherished every moment as I was reading it, I adored the characters and felt their anguish and elation, the story flew out of the pages so smoothly, and I didn't want it to end. What an amazing, touching story this is. Highly recommended!
~ Five Spoons!
By: Lindsay McKenna
Releasing July 25, 2016
Blue Turtle Publishing
Ex-Navy SEAL Cav Jordan faces danger daily in his job as a security expert. He even faced down a gang of South American drug dealers to protect his fiancée, Lia Cassidy. So why is he terrified of meeting her parents? Having lived through his own horrible childhood Cav can’t understand the situation is he is walking into. Lia just wants him to meet her parents. Why does this feel like the fight of his life?
Novella: The continued story of Cav and Lia from Nowhere to Hide, book 1 of the Delos Series.
“Steve Cassidy. Welcome, Mr. Jordan., We owe you a lot.” He gripped Cav’s hand, and choked out, “You saved Lia’s life. Thank you…”
For a moment, Cav was stunned by the sudden kindness emanating from the farmer’s expression who was thin, wiry, sunburned and physically sinewy from the daily work he did. Gripping the farmer’s calloused roughened hand, he said, “Nice to meet you, sir. And I was just doing my job. Call me Cav?”
“Call me Steve.” He clapped him heartily on the back, still clasping his other hand. “And you’re a hero to us, son. Nothing less.” Steve released him, keeping his hand on Cav’s broad shoulder, watching Lia clinging to he mother, both of them in a tight, loving embrace with one another.
Embarrassed by such a show of emotions, Cav murmured, “Thank you, sir.”
Steve gave him an assessing look. “Just Steve will do.”
“Yes, sir….I mean, okay,” Cav stumbled. It was very different meeting people who were strangers, but this was Lia’s parents and he didn’t want to fuck this up for her. Awkwardly, he stood there, watching tears roll down Susan’s face. He wasn’t sure that Lia wasn’t crying too, such was the tight bond they shared. Obliquely, his mind leaped backward. Cav remembered the times his mother had cried. But they were tears of pain. Tears mingled with blood from her nose, a split lip or both after his father got done beating her up. How many times had Cav cried alone in his room wishing she would run away with him from his monster father?
Steve clapped him on the shoulder. “Let’s us guys go find your luggage, huh?” and he smiled a little.
Good idea! “Yes, sir—“
Steve laughed and patted him warmly on the back. “You’re staying a week with us, Cav. I’ll work that military side you out of you by then. Come on, let’s hunt up that luggage for our you and our Lia, eh?”
There was a male gruffness mingled with warmth to Steve that made Cav want to open up to the man. He had a deeply weathered face, his blue eyes the same color as Lia’s. The woman he loved had her mother’s same color of hair, her father’s sparkling, mischievous looking eyes and her smile. There was benevolence to Steve Cassidy and Cav automatically found himself wanting to be close to this man who exuded a male gentleness he rarely found in any man. “Thanks for coming to pick us up,” Cav said, noting that the baggage from their flight would be spit out by Carousel Two.
“We’ve been looking forward to seeing you two,” Steve said, standing with his hands on his hips, watching the luggage starting to be dropped off the conveyor belt. “Did you have a good flight?”
“Yes. It was quiet. That’s all I ask.”
“We don’t travel much,” he said. “With a farm, you can’t walk away from it, so I’m glad you came for a visit.”
Cav felt Steve’s genuine sincerity. He hooked a look over his shoulder, seeing Lia and her mother talking animatedly with one another as they walked toward them. Susan had given Lia her smile and her beauty, no question. He liked that the mother had hooked her arm around Lia’s waist and they walked closely, their affection for everyone to see. He knew Lia’s affection himself and already, he could see how happy she was at being home with her parents once more. They breathed even more life into her, if that was possible. Compared to the ghost of a person she was in Costa Rica months earlier, Cav was stunned at Lia’s natural radiance. She was sunshine to his darkened soul who craved her.
“Uh oh,” Steve murmured, grinning as he turned. “I’m about to get attacked.”
For a moment, the word put Cav on instant guard. But as he turned, he saw Steve opening his arms as Lia flew into them, her arms wide open, joy radiant on her face as she clung to her father. A lump formed in his throat as he watched Lia being swallowed up by the big man who kissed her hair, kissed that cheek that had that deep scar on it, his eyes only for his beaming daughter in his arms. His gaze flicked to Susan, who stood a few feet away, teary eyed, smiling, her lower lip trembling as she watched Lia with her doting father. It hurt to swallow and Cav turned away, remembering too much of the twisted and distorted family he’d somehow managed to survive. He’d never known a moment of affection from his father. Only his fist. His hatred. His anger always aimed at him.
Lindsay McKenna lives her life as a risk taker, and it shines through the books she loves to write: romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance novel in 1981. The rest is history.
Because she went into the military, this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing the first military romance novel (Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre within the romance field! As a New York Times Best Selling author, she has sold 23 million books and in 32 foreign languages in her career thus far. Her many experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette to this day! Forty-five books strong!
Lindsay has gone Indie in 2015 and has created a new family saga on par with Morgan’s Mercenaries It is known as the DELOS SERIES. There will be paperback and eBooks created under Blue Turtle Publishing, her company for her fans. Readers who love Morgan and his family are bound to fall in love with the Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense, which Lindsay is well known for. It took her five years to create and bring DELOS to her readers. It was worth the wait, but we’ll let you decide that.
Lindsay loves to hear from her readers and loves to know what they’d like to see her write next. Stay up with the latest on the Delos Series here. Please visit her Web site at www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus, giveaways and other surprises, to her loyal and faithful subscribers!
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Welcome Home, Cowboy
A Hero’s Welcome #2
By: Annie Rains
Released April 26, 2016
With its thriving military base, Seaside, North Carolina, is teeming with heroes of all stripes. But, as the Hero’s Welcome series from Annie Rains continues, it takes a cowboy to rescue the town’s newest resident from heartache.
After a bad breakup leaves Julie Chandler completely devastated, she comes to Seaside seeking a fresh start. A talented, compassionate yoga teacher, she has developed a program to help alleviate the effects of PTSD, but getting a bunch of bullheaded Marines into downward facing dog might be impossible. So Julie’s shocked when one of her first students dives in headfirst—and almost tempts her to take down her walls with his easy smile and electrifying touch.
Ever since Texas cowboy turned Marine pilot Lawson Phillips lost a crew member in a helicopter accident, he hasn’t been able to fly. When a psychologist orders him to attend, of all things, a yoga class, Lawson’s outraged—until he finds out Julie is the instructor. She’s beautiful, graceful, and completely guarded when it comes to his advances, but he’s determined to find out what makes her tick. Because underneath Julie’s hard shell is a woman Lawson knows he could fall for—and he’s not ready for the ride to end.
A story that made me smile, laugh out loud, shed a tear, and sigh so deeply, while telling a tale of love, and loss, and the aftermath of war, and the mark it leaves on the military personnel.
One thing I didn't expect from the story, was to learn so much about yoga, as an exercise, as stress relief, as a way to cope with life, and as in Lawson and Julie's case, even as flirting.
I really enjoyed Lawson and Julie together. They were making an effort, an effort to get to know each other better, and effort to ease and help each other in everyday life, as well as they could, an effort to make the relationship work and develop. They are both the kind of characters that are easy to like, and relate to. They didn't let their troubles to define them, but fought to get over the fumbles life gave them. The passion, adoration, and attraction they had for each other is not only sizzling, but charming, gentle and lovable as well.
The stress and impact of a war zone on the soldiers, the cold sweats, nightmares, fears, and angst were dealt with respect, honoring the military in their difficult task.
The supporting characters fit well into the tale, contributing more insight to the lives and history of Lawson and Julie.
A well thought out plot, with multiple layers of interests, in a story that flows off the pages, and touches the heart and mind of the reader, with characters that will linger in the thoughts long after, while being as entertaining as poignant deserves nothing less than
~ Five Spoons!
“Come ride with me anytime,” he said, helping her dismount from the horse when they were back at the barn. He didn’t place his hands on her ass this time, which was both regrettable and a relief. Instead, he steadied her waist with his hands. She turned to face him after he helped her to the ground, and was surprised to find how close they were standing. Close enough that the brim of his hat on her head nearly touched his chin. “This belongs to you.” She took off the hat and went up on her tiptoes to put it back where it belonged. Their eyes locked as the movement brought them even closer together. Her heart bucked again, like a wild horse ready to bolt. Returning to flat feet, she started to step away. Needed to step away. Too bad Bon-Bon was still behind her, blocking her escape.
“Julie?” he said, making her feet pause and her heart stutter. She liked the sound of her name on his lips. Low, deep. “Yes?” she asked breathlessly. He reached out his hand to tame a strand of her hair brushing against her cheek. “You have what I call hat-hair.” He took his time smoothing the hair around her ear, awakening every nerve in her body. Then he slowly dipped, keeping his blue-as-the-ocean eyes on hers, and kissed her. She melted into him instead of stepping away. The side of his cheek on hers was warm and inviting, intoxicating. His tongue tapped softly against hers, just once, as he swept his hand behind her neck, pulling her gently toward him. A soft moan escaped her throat, betraying her. She parted her lips for him, inviting him in, begging him to stay, which he did for just a moment longer. Then he broke it off, keeping it sweet. The kiss had threatened to be more, though. It had threatened to take her inside that barn, lay her down on a blanket of hay, and be a whole hell of a lot more. “See you later, Lawson,” she said, forcing herself to step away from him, away from the horse and the barn. She turned toward her car and didn’t look back. Otherwise, her hormones were going to win and drag this cowboy into the barn and slam the stall doors behind them. “See you later, Julie,” he called after her.
Annie Rains is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.
Author Links: Website | FB | Twitter | GR
Navy SEAL Dustin Frank can handle physical pain; it's his soul that needs mending. After losing part of his leg in an explosion, the panic triggered by his PTSD nearly drives him over the edge. So Dustin retreats to the Eagle Ridge Ranch, a charming hideaway tucked into the Hill Country of Texas. There he finds solace in the arms of a shy beauty who reawakens desires he thought he'd lost forever—and who makes him want to lose control, just when he needs it most.
Kelcee Todd sees beyond Dustin's scars to the real man beneath: fiercely protective, strong yet tender. She wants nothing more than to feel his battle-hardened hands on her body. However, Kelcee is not the ordinary small-town girl she appears to be. Her brother is a killer with ties to the Russian mob, and after her testimony put him in prison, he's out and eager for revenge. Now Dustin is her best defense, even if it could cost him everything. Kelcee could never ask him to make that sacrifice . . . but she can't stop him, either.
I got a huge kick out of this story, it was just the kind I wanted to read right then and there, the wacky whimsical humor, the characters that cracked me up with their crazy sayings, little bit danger, and lot of loving made one entertaining package I enjoyed.
I haven't read this author before, to my recollection, and her writing style took me by delightful surprise. It's peculiar with lots of made up sayings, pet names, and overdramatic behavior. But put it all together, and it oddly fits, and made me laugh out loud several times while reading the book. I don't know if you have to be in the mood for it, and would it work in another mindset, but I truly did enjoy it.
The small Texas town vibes were palpable, the protective nature of the inhabitants, all taking care of each other, looking after each other when needed.
Kelcee and Dustin had a connection, they had a unique understanding between them, they were scorching hot and sexy together, yet sweet, tender and loving, and so adorable. No, neither one of them were perfect, they both had habits and characteristics that needed ironing out, but that is what made them likable, lovable, and human.
But it is not only fun and games, the PTSD suffered by the characters is dealt in knowledgeable, respectful manner, giving the story depth and acumen that I admired. The symptoms, the triggers, and the guilt that followed, all spoke volumes of the serious illness, and I was glad to see them getting professional help to deal with it.
This story has a lot going on for it, as the book one in series it is setting the scene, introducing the history of the main characters, and is packed with events, incidents, and crisis. The suspense and action at the end were a bit over the top at times, but still fitting to the overall tone of the tale.
With a unique and fun writing style, the author pulled me into the story that was filled with comical situations, caring friends, loving moments, and some deadly danger to top it off. A very entertaining tale
~ Four Spoons
I adored the artistic spirit of the story, and how inspiring it was, just reading it.
The characters are another note that I loved about the story. Every single one of Rosie and Herbs boys has proven to be stellar men, and Grady doesn't disappoint in that department either, or in any other for that matter. His determination, will, and perseverance to make a future with Sapphire is admirable, him knowing exactly what he wants, and goes after it, honestly, openly, and with hope in his heart.
Sapphire has her doubts, not about Grady so much, but her own ability to pick a good man, and mostly, not trusting another male artist in relationship matter ever again was her vow.
They are steaming hot together, the sexy times are frequent and blazing hot, each and every one of them. But there's also heart, caring, deep feelings involved, making it beautiful, delightful, and luscious as well, even lovingly tender at times.
I liked the humor, the lightness of the tale at times, I enjoyed Grady and Sapphire together, the connection between them was more than just physical, even though that side of them was blistering hot. But they also got each other in a deeper, meaningful level as an artist gets another, as a person can understand and accept the other, as they are, with faults and all. And in this nurturing, giving, accepting environment, it is easier to learn to trust again, to learn to hope again, and to learn to take a leap of faith again, to feel the lightness of love and life again
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
A beautiful, poignant tale of grief, letting go, accepting life as it is with the limits it comes with yet living to your fullest no matter the circumstances.
I liked how accepting and open-minded Marisa is. She has a lot on her plate, yet she is reasonable and understanding towards others.
The story is so tender, sweet and adorable in a way, yet passionate, ardent and intense at times. It is painful, with sorrow deeper than I can imagine, yet so well described that I could nearly feel the ripples of it myself.
The characters are fantastic, likable, well developed, with complexity and depth, yet potential to growth, which they did. They learn to accept new truths, nuances, and layers about each other, about themselves, and about life and the situation they are in.
I liked how the friends cheered them on, helped them out, and were there for them when needed. A true community spirit in that small town, that was admirable.
The way both Marisa and Ryker deal with secrets, how they learn to accept them as part of life in a way, was another thing to admire. How they accept the fact that some questions will never be answered, and not to let the secrecy destroy you and the basic trust on others.
A Breathtaking tale altogether. One of those that makes you want to hug the world around you, and appreciate everything you have, because you never know when it is all taken away from you.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
A sharp and energetic story filled with fast action, mysteries, attacks, and a new chance on making a future together, if they just stay alive long enough to consider it.
The atmosphere of the story is intense from the start, not only the threats and attacks are making the situation tense, but the return of Paige from death, the anger, disappointment, fear, and resentment, all mix with the relief and joy of seeing her again.
The romance stays more on the back burner on this novel, even though when giving it a chance it boils rabidly and passionately. Paige and Jax have enough on their hands, just trying to survive, to spent much time on talking about relationships, past and present. But the connection between them is obvious, the old feelings flaming again palpable, and the attraction between them is unavoidable.
The action is vivid, violent and vicious. The constant attacks, the life and death situations, all the possible culprits, the lack of clues, and danger to the whole family all makes the suspense poignant and fierce.
This story and the series has captured my mind, and the family has won me over in every story. They hold together, support each other, and don't fold when the world around them starts to crumble, but fight to make it right. I'm enthralled!
~ Four Spoons and a teaspoon on the side