I am a big fan of Love Inspired romantic suspense books, I love the three dimensions of the stories, the romance, the suspense, and the faith in God.
The Lone Witness has an arresting storyline. The whole set up of the story is intriguing, I was fascinated by the heroine and the fact that she was smudging the fine lines of law and order.
Tessa Carlson turns out to be an interesting heroine, she is smart, strong-minded yet resilient, kind, caring person, who has survived the unimaginable and did what she had to to survive. I liked her, I admired her spunk, and her determination to do the right thing while hiding in the shadows. Yes, a complex character, indeed.
Henry Miller is a grieving widow, father of twin girls, and as dedicated to his job as he is to his girls. He is determined to keep the twins and Tessa safe and sound while solving the crimes.
The danger seems to follow Tessa, yet Henry is not sure why she is so prone to the attacks, as Tessa is determined to keep her secrets.
The suspense is building up, it is intense and dangerous, and it takes both the local law enforcement as well as the FBI to solve the puzzling net of crimes.
I liked the suspense in the story, as well as the whole concept of the books. I wish Tessa and Henry wouldn't have gotten to know each other off the pages, it seemed that the whole romance and character development happen during the off time.
The other point that lowered the score in the story for me was the lack of showing the faith in God in the characters lives. Just going to church on Sundays does not make the case for me...
Despite the conflicted mind towards some of the aspects of the story, I read it at one sitting and found the tale to have a good ploy of tense suspense and action.
~ Three Spoons
New York Times best-selling author Shirlee McCoy loves books. She loves reading them. She loves writing them. She loves sharing them with family, friends, and total strangers on airplanes and in doctors' offices. It's no surprise that she loves being an author. Her first book was published in 2004. Since then, she's written more than 55 novels. Her books have appeared on the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, and USA Today bestsellers lists. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and volunteering as a member of Chesapeake Search Dogs - a non-profit organization dedicated to finding the lost and missing and bringing closure to their families. A former teacher, she takes pleasure in helping others pursue their writing goals and enjoys sharing her knowledge with aspiring authors.
Running for her life...
When a typical day at her cafe in Eagle Rock was interrupted by a young woman desperate to escape her captors, Marnie Kemper gladly intervened. She also gladly agreed to testify against the men involved. Now, days before the start of the trial, her security detail is killed and she's alone, terrified, and unsure who to trust.
A stunning stranger is her only hope.
Dallas Winston's Army career ended abruptly when he and his K9 partner were shot during a drug bust. Thankfully, the Guardian Agency gave him a second chance at a meaningful career. When he gets the order to rescue a witness and salvage a high-profile case, he follows procedure and rushes in.
Soon it's clear that standard tactics won't be enough to keep Marnie alive. Forced to get creative, Dallas must lower his defenses to earn Marnie's trust as they navigate a deadly web of corruption.
What a fantastic, breathtaking romantic suspense tale, a story that keeps on your toes from the first page to the last!
I have enjoyed the Brotherhood Protectors series from Ms. Black, each their own story based on the world of the protectors. Yet Dallas is my favorite of them all, with the tight plot, tense suspense, and tender romance it just hit the home run on all aspects.
I applaud that the author brought up the alarming crimes against the Native American women and girls that have been happening in the resent times.
Marnie Kemper is a woman easy to admire. She is strong both physically and mentally, she looks out for those who need it, she is talented, smart, capable, she is able to defend herself, and she knows her own limits and respects them. Ah, I love her and her spunk so much.
And Dallas Winston is the perfect match for her, since they compliment each other so well, in every aspect. He is a broken warrior, yet capable and apt for his job. He is strong, smart and kind, and his tactical thinking was on point, he is a true protector, it wasn't something he could turn on and off, it was who he is.
I loved the chemistry between them, how they connected, how Dallas had to figure out fast how to gain her trust, and how Marnie was able to understand that Dallas was someone worth trusting with her life. The passion between them was ardent yet tender, sweet yet fervent, it was flammable and believable, I simply loved them as individuals and together as a couple.
The threat is real, it is deadly, and the danger is intense. It is constantly present, harsh, and at times violent.
There is so much story fit into the shorter length of a book. It is thrilling, action-packed, gripping, and marvelous, and I loved every moment and aspect of it just as it is. A must-read!
~ Five Spoons
Braving the Heat Book 3
by Leora Gonzales
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Firefighter romances were my thing when I first started to read e-books, I loved them, I devoured them, the more the heat and angst from the dangers of the job, the better. And Leora Gonzales' books have reignited that fire for these stories in me. I can't get enough of them!
Ms. Gonzales has such an enjoyable way to tell a story, the humor and laugh-out-loud moments balance the deep sorrow, angst, and despair. The banter is spirited, the flirting is filled with titillating innuendoes, the love scenes are filled with deep emotions, tenderness, adoration, and hot-hot-hot sexual tension.
In Still Burning, the accidental roommates + second chance romance + brother's best friend romance, Sasha Kendall and Jack Turner have all the feels, connection, chemistry - everything that one could think that a relationship requires, yet they have to dig deep to find the courage to trust life to deliver moments meaningful enough to balance the danger of losing each other one day.
Add to that mix the serial arsonist keeping all the fire station personnel on their toes, and Jack's mentally unstable ex-girlfriend who comforted him after Sasha walked away -- you got all the feels, heat, humor, threat and danger in a well-twined tale that entertained.
Even though I am not a fan of the third person drama in my romance, here it worked, and towards the end made an excellent plot twist.
For those sunny, summer beach days, binge reading in the garden, or however you want to do it, Braving the Heat series entertain your romantic mind while providing the best of friends, tight brotherhood, humor, heart, laughter, danger, and swoon-worthy moments in ardent, entertaining romance tales...
~ Four Spoons
Yoga instructor Louise Pine is the ultimate caretaker. Everyone around her seems to have an emergency, but Lou hasn’t met a fire she couldn’t put out—until she’s faced with the hunky, bossy firefighter who crashes into her own backyard—and her life. No one tells Lou what to do, yet somehow the guy’s take-charge style makes her tingle . . .
Phoenix “Nix” Jones is used to calling the shots, whether he’s dealing with his younger siblings or taking on a dangerous blaze. Luckily, the fire at Lou’s is a false alarm. But the heat the fit and feisty woman ignites is far from dying out . . .
As the sparks turn into 5-alarm passion, can two strong-willed people end up engulfed by love—or will they crash and burn?
A sizzling hot, fun, and quick read with plenty of intriguing points brought up, from charming characters and their dysfunctional families to the stress of loving a firefighter, and the dangers that lay within the job.
Louise Pine is a loyal, caring, kind, and hardworking woman. She has a big heart, dirty mouth, and a family that drives her mad. She is no prude, by any means, but she is not looking for a relationship at the moment, yet one has landed into her life and is not thinking about moving out.
Phoenix “Nix” Jones is a man who needs to be in control and in charge of everything affecting his life. He used to sleep around more than most, yet lately, he has felt the desire for settling down, finding the one, falling in love. He grew up as an only child for a single mom (despite what the blurb informs) and he is not used to sharing his life, the challenges of his job, or his home with anyone.
The chemistry between Nix and Louise is tangible, the detailed sex scenes proving the connection between them to be true. Nix's interest and need of being in control, a little spanking, some toys, and ropes come clear yet it is done tastefully and the story doesn't go too deep into the world of S/M.
I truly enjoyed the story, the characters easily won me over with their wit and charm. It is a delightfully sexy tale yet it has some serious points in the backstory that brought some 'meat' into the pages.
There's absolutely nothing I didn't like about the book, but all the possibilities to dig even deeper with the dysfunctional family issues, dangers to the firefighter's job, Nix's need for control, or even the conflict arising between Nix and Louise, were not taken advantage of and thus the scoring of four Spoons.
But it is great as it is; an entertaining, tantalizing, and engaging tale!
~ Four Spoons
Where there’s smoke . . .
Growing up as the privileged daughter of two doctors, Jasmine Kingford always thought the housekeeper’s son was hot—and the feeling was mutual. But back then there were lines they couldn’t cross. Good thing they’re all grown up now—and in the same wedding party . . .
As best man for a fellow firefighter, Leo Trask is floored to discover the maid-of-honor is a blast from his past. One that ignites fireworks that have been brewing for years. Soon enough, he and Jasmine are having a very private, all-night-long celebration of their own—and it’s clear neither wants it to end there . . .
Jasmine’s all too happy to finally shed her pampered princess demeanor with Leo. What she finds is a connection—and a complication—she didn’t expect. Leo’s the opposite of the nine-to-five guy she planned on. She wants a nursing career, kids, and a man who’s home by dinnertime. Leo’s an irresistible bad boy with a dangerous, unpredictable job. And he’s everything she never knew she wanted, and more . . .
Oh my word, I loved this story!
I absolutely adored every moment and word of this hilarious, emotional, sweet, steamy - oh so so steamy - inspiring, love filled, poignant tale. The author is new to me, and I am immensely glad that I found this title on NetGalley and requested to read it for a review. What an interesting, fun, realistic, and intriguing world she has created!
Leo Trask with the rest of the firefighters creates a group of men who are just lovable. They are rowdy, they are lively, they are sexy, caring, wild, and daring, they love to serve the community, and they are dedicated to their careers.
And Leo... I am in love. His honesty, his straightforwardness, his caring, loving, stubborn, sexy self just won me over with the first scene. He knows what he wants, he is willing to fight for it, and he is not ashamed to announce his feelings and intentions to the whole world if that's what it takes. He faces the challenges with no fear, he is bold, daring, and tough, but also sweet, tender, thoughtful, generous, loyal, and faithful...
Jasmine Kingford might have grown with privileges, yet she is down to earth, kind, cordial, generous person who loves to take care of people around her. Her parents have neglected her, made demands towards her, have ruled her life as much as she has allowed. Yet she does know what she wants, she does go after her own dreams, and she does finally stand up for herself when her back is against the wall. I love that she was no 'model type of a perfect women', but a woman with curves and owning it.
I enjoyed the banter and bond between the friends. Jazz has a heart of gold, and it shows in all her relations. With Jazz and Leo, the bond comes from their childhood, the attraction from their teenage years, so it is no wonder that when they meet again, it is like a divine intervention and lightning hitting at the same time. The heat is immediate, sizzling hot, so sensual and dirty and rough and delightful it took my breath away.
But as scorching hot the chemistry is between Leo and Jazz, the emotions are as deep, profound, and meaningful. I laughed out loud, I swooned and sighed, I was even in tears, the emotional connection that I had with these characters was marvelous.
If you enjoy ardent, humorous, passionate romance with deep emotions, inspiring characters with incredible chemistry between them, family drama, and danger at the job site, check out Simmering Heat cause I am sure you are going to fall in love with it as much as I did...
~ Five Spoons!
Broke college student Winter Snow wants Christmas to be over. Thanks to her annoying name, this time of year always leaves her feeling Scrooged. The only cheer she wants is cold hard cash from her mall cleaning job—until a surprise offer from a hunky firefighter sparks one sizzling midnight temptation . . .
William Holiday needs a replacement elf for his fire station’s fund-raiser. Convincing Winter she's perfect for the part—and giving her some one-on-one training—is a task he’s happy to take on. Because her irrepressible smarts and luscious curves are making this seductive Saint Nick want to deliver all night long . . .
Winter isn't betting on more than an X-rated Xmas fling. But Will plans to show her they have more in common than their quirky last names—enough to keep their wildest holiday wishes coming true . . .
How to Best the Marquess by Tina Gabrielle
Series Raven Club
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Entangled Scandalous
Publication Date June 10, 2019
Lady Ellie Swift learned at an early age that men were more trouble than they’re worth. Now she’s all grown up and is the toast of society. Only she has secret ambitions to run her brother’s infamous gambling establishment—the Raven Club. Everything is progressing as planned until the man who broke her heart, Hugh Vere, the Marquess of Deveril, wants to take over the club. Dark, dominant, and strikingly handsome, Hugh’s reputation for sin precedes him, and suddenly, her dreams—and her heart—are in jeopardy.
As rakish as Hugh appears, he has a sharp mind for business. No one stands in the way of what he wants, not even the fiery-haired beauty from his past. From the moment he sees her again sparks fly, but he knows better than to fall for the lady. According to Ellie, the battle lines have been drawn and Hugh doesn’t stand a chance. But the nearly combustible chemistry between them is hard to ignore, and soon the club is not the only prize he wants…
The Raven Club
An Undisclosed Location in London
Grunts echoed off the paneled walls.
The sickening sounds of flesh hitting flesh.
Ellie Swift’s breath stalled in her throat. From the look of things, the boxing match would soon be over. In the center of the large room was a square ring roped off with stakes anchored to the hardwood floor at each corner. In the ring, the two opponents circled each other, rocking back and forth with nimble footwork. Both men were bare-chested and bare-fisted. One fighter was huge, a towering hulk of a man—a well-known pugilist aptly called Bear. The other’s back was to her, smooth muscle and bronzed skin glistening beneath the blazing candlelight of the chandeliers. He was tall, just over six feet, but standing in the same ring with Bear seemed to diminish his size.
The crowd cheered, and one could feel the vibrant energy among the gathered spectators as wagers were swiftly made and money exchanged hands. As far as Ellie could discern, most of the wagers were in favor of Bear.
“Who is he?” Ellie strained to see the mysterious fighter’s face from her vantage in the crowd. Her fingers itched to remove her feathered mask to get a better look. But her mask shielded her identity. All the women who attended the Raven Club wore them, especially the wives of wealthy aristocrats who frequented the casino or had a preference for the boxing matches in the back room adjoining the gaming floor. She was drawn to the fights even though her brother, the owner of the club, did not always approve.
She watched, enthralled, as sweat glistened on their brows and backs and ran into the band of their trousers. She’d observed matches before and had seen men’s naked chests. She’d roamed the gambling floor and seen her fair share of the pugilists in the boxing room. At twenty-three, she was five years past her first Season, and she’d heard many whispers that she was on her way to becoming a spinster. The whispers hadn’t bothered her. She’d much rather spend time in her brother’s club than at a ball. Still, despite attending more matches than any young lady should have, she found herself studying the unknown fighter.
“He’s a blue blood,” a man with a gold front tooth, standing to her right, said.
Nobility? Ellie shifted, but she still couldn’t make out his face through the throng of people. Something was familiar about the way he moved—powerful, purposeful…elegant, but she couldn’t place him. He had dark hair and broad shoulders. Not uncommon.
“A marquess who likes adventure. Bad that he chose Bear to challenge,” a bearded man to her left said.
Yet, as she watched, the man’s footwork was as swift as his fists. He ducked and wove and avoided blows that would surely have felled any man if Bear’s fists had made contact.
The nagging in the back of her mind continued. What was it about him?
Determined to find out, Ellie wove through the crowd to get closer to the ring. Just as she reached the front, a gasp and shout arose among the crowd. Bear’s uppercut connected with his opponent’s chin. The dark-haired man’s head whipped back, and he staggered, then stumbled forward to catch himself on the ropes.
For a heart-stopping moment, he was inches from her face.
Recognition jolted through her.
Along with a deep-seated dread and a maddening pounding of her heart. The vibrant green of his eyes, the divot in his chin, the full lips, and--
“A kiss from a lovely lady for luck,” he said, breathing heavily.
Before she could blink, those perfect lips pressed against hers. Hot. Swift. Over in seconds, he turned to face his opponent.
Ellie, on the other hand, was not as quick to recover.
Oh my God.
It was the devil returned.
Her only consolation was that he didn’t recognize her with her mask.
She turned and fled into the refuge of the casino.
There was something about her.
Hugh Vere, the Marquess of Deveril, did not consider himself a superstitious man. But the lady’s kiss had surely turned luck in his favor.
He’d defeated the monster of a man named Bear soon after he’d kissed the lady. Landing a blow to Bear’s right temple, his opponent had dropped like a stone.
Hugh wiped his brow with a towel and dipped a dented metal cup in a bucket of water. The cool drink eased his parched throat. He hadn’t been in the best position to study the woman closely. His teeth had rattled in his skull after Bear’s fist had made jarring contact with his jaw. She’d worn a peacock-feathered mask, and he hadn’t made out the color of her eyes. But he had glimpsed her hair. Had it been as vivid a red as he’d thought?
Could it be her?
He’d only known one female who’d had that hair color. The young girl from his past would be a woman now. His brow creased as he tried to recall the details of the masked female he’d kissed moments ago.
He remembered her lips. Soft and inviting. His daring kiss had paid off in a win. Had she stayed to watch?
He tossed the towel to a boy, one of many he’d noticed working at the Raven Club. “The lady with the peacock mask. Who is she?”
The lad shrugged slender shoulders. “No one asks at the Raven, me lord. The ladies wear masks to gamble and watch the fights.”
Hugh knew secrecy was prized at the club. It was one of the numerous reasons the place took in a fortune in coin every evening.
“Where did she go?”
The boy pointed to a set of doors at the far end of the cavernous room. “Back to the casino floor.”
Hugh had business to conduct at the casino. If he was lucky, he’d spot her on the way and offer his thanks.
The doors led from the boxing room to the main casino floor. It was an ingenious design, in Hugh’s opinion. Every vice resided beneath one roof. Almost every vice. From what he’d been told, the Raven Club did not offer demimondes. Only bored widows looking to gamble and some seeking to engage in a night of physical pleasure.
Not much difference in Hugh’s estimation. He’d enjoyed the attentions of willing widows and actresses since his return from war months ago.
The casino was busy tonight. Every table on the floor was filled with gamblers hoping to win at a game of chance. The crack of the dice across the green baize of the hazard table drew his eye. The sound of the roulette wheel as the little white ball spun and spun combined with the excited shouts of the players and the call of the croupiers. Men and women gazed at their cards in avaricious intensity at the whist, faro, and vingt-et-un tables. Liveried servers with an embroidered R on their waistcoats delivered tumblers of amber-colored alcohol on trays to the gamblers. The scent of cigar smoke wafted to him.
He recognized many of the spectators from the boxing match, now eager to spend their winnings on games of chance. Most would lose. Another efficiency of the club he admired. Have them wager on the fights, then pass through the doors and turn around and give their money back to the club at the tables.
“Lord Castleton is waiting for you upstairs,” a tall, broad-shouldered man with a brick-like chin said. Hugh had learned his name was Brooks and he was the head guard on the casino floor.
Hugh scanned the room for the red-haired woman in the peacock mask, but she was nowhere to be found. He followed Brooks up a winding staircase to a second floor. The man opened the first door on the right.
It was a spacious room with an oak desk, matching leather chairs, and a thick Oriental carpet. Papers beneath polished stone paperweights and leather-bound ledgers were piled upon the desk. A globe rested on an end table in the corner.
Hugh turned at the sound of a throat clearing to find the earl and his countess standing at the sideboard in the corner of the room.
“Welcome, Lord Deveril. It is a pleasure to see you again.” Lady Castleton came forward and curtsied. She was an attractive woman with dark hair and blue eyes. She was also large with child. Her husband, Ian Swift, the Earl of Castleton and the owner of the Raven Club, stood beside his wife.
Hugh hadn’t expected the countess to be present. He’d just stepped out of the ring, so he hadn’t bothered with a waistcoat and cravat. He wasn’t properly attired to meet her.
Hugh bowed. “Thank you, my lady.”
“Congratulations on defeating Bear,” Lord Castleton said.
Hugh didn’t try to hide his surprise. “News travels that quickly?”
“I know everything that happens in the Raven soon after it occurs.” Lord Castleton waved toward a window overlooking the casino floor. “I may not be able to see the boxing room, but my workers below deliver messages with simple hand motions. See for yourself.”
Hugh walked to a window in the paneled wall that overlooked the casino floor. He could see everything clearly from this vantage point—the flurry of the dealer’s hands, the slight sheen of sweat on the gamblers’ faces as they placed their wagers, the painted lips of the masked women as they coyly smiled and flirted, and even the satisfied expression of a waiter who received a gold coin after delivering a whisky to a lucky winner.
He was fascinated. It was like a play, the most absorbing performance of human behavior and emotion he’d ever witnessed. It was intoxicating to gaze down and simply watch. No wonder Castleton was considered one of the most powerful men in all of London before he’d inherited the earldom.
Hugh coveted the man’s good fortune. As well as his dark reputation. Hugh had forsaken his own reputation years ago. After learning of his father and brother’s deaths from pneumonia, he’d resigned his army commission and returned to town. He may have taken his place as the Marquess of Deveril, but he no longer cared what others thought, including his miserable mother who currently resided in the country and whom he’d long ago dismissed from his life. When he’d heard rumors that the Raven Club was for sale, he’d reached out to Castleton straightaway.
The door opened, and Hugh turned away from the window.
He froze as the lady with the peacock mask entered. He was able to study her in detail now. Her eyes were a piercing blue from behind the mask. His initial guess had been correct.
Ellie Swift was here. And her ringside kiss had given him the luck he’d needed to defeat Bear.
“Ellie,” he said aloud before he could stop himself. He experienced a tumult of emotions—joy to see her again, an ache of desire that had never dulled, even through the years, and a heaviness in his chest for all that was lost between them.
Her reaction wasn’t as pleasant. She stiffened and shot him a hostile glare. “Good God! What is he doing here?”
“Ellie,” Lady Castleton said, in an admonishing tone. “Is that a proper way to greet the marquess?”
Hugh was quick to intervene, and he stepped forward and bowed. “Please, do not make amends. It’s lovely to see you again, my lady.”
He hadn’t been a marquess when they’d first met five years ago. He’d been a second son, untitled and without a shilling to his name. The irony was not lost on him that he’d had to give her up because of his lack of fortune, only to unexpectedly inherit the title and the wealth that accompanied it years later.
Ellie glared at him, then reached up to remove her mask. It was like a punch to the gut. She had changed, grown even more beautiful. Porcelain complexion, red hair the color of a bright sunset, and blue eyes that could devastate a man. The sprinkling of freckles on the bridge of her nose remained. She’d hated them; he’d thought they only added to her perfection.
The last time he’d seen her they had both been eighteen. He’d broken her heart, and she’d fled the gardens of Lady Something-or-other’s home with tears in her eyes.
It was a moment he’d relived for years.
“We’ve asked Lord Deveril here to discuss the future of the Raven Club,” Lady Castleton said.
“The future of the club?” From the confused look on Ellie’s face, it was clear she had no idea. Why should she? She’d seen him in a boxing ring minutes before and now he was in her brother’s private office.
“Lord Deveril seeks to buy the Raven,” Castleton said without preamble.
A gasp escaped Ellie, and she pressed a hand to her chest. “You cannot be serious!”
“Ellie,” Lord Castleton said, his tone harsh.
She appeared panicked now, and Hugh could not grasp why she had such a strong physical reaction to the news. He knew she hated him, and for good reason, but the Raven Club was business, surely nothing that she should be concerned with.
Ellie’s gaze homed in on her brother. “You know I want a chance to take over the Raven. You promised.”
The Earl of Castleton raised a hand. “I made no such promise.”
Lady Castleton touched her husband’s hand. “We said we’d consider it. We know you are more than capable, and with Brooks’s continued help to oversee the casino floor, we know the Raven Club would succeed.”
Hugh’s brow furrowed, and he looked from Ellie to Castleton, then back to Ellie. He was shocked by this turn of events. The earl and countess couldn’t possibly consider allowing a young woman to manage London’s most notorious gambling club. “You cannot be serious,” he said, repeating her phrase. “Ellie is a…is a…”
“A what?” Ellie snapped.
“A lady.” The thought of her running the place was ludicrous. How long before someone recognized her behind the frivolous mask? It would be the scandal of the year. Her future would be ruined.
“Our first child is expected in a little over a month’s time. Once, we never thought to sell the Raven Club, but the years have changed our opinion. I wish to spend time with my wife and child, not a casino,” Castleton said.
“I understand,” Hugh said.
He didn’t. Not really. His parents had been distant to their children and cold toward each other. They had never shared a bedchamber. As far as Hugh knew, the old marquess had visited his wife twice, to have two sons, and never again.
“Whoever takes over must continue the charitable works from the profits,” Castleton said.
Hugh knew about the anonymous donations. At first, the earl didn’t seem charitable, but as Hugh became better acquainted with the man, he’d realized there was much more to Ian Swift than met the eye. The earl had secrets—deep-seated ones—but what was clear was the fact that he adored his wife.
Hugh had assured the earl and the countess that he had no qualms about continuing to set aside a portion of the profits for the orphanages and asylums for women as had been established. His reasons for wanting to purchase the Raven Club were twofold: he had a strong interest in boxing, and he had a sharp business mind and knew he could successfully manage the establishment. He valued control, to be in charge. His years as an officer in the military had been regimented, and he’d discovered he was a natural leader.
It hadn’t always been this way for him. As a young man, his disciplinarian father had rigidly dictated his future. As a result, Hugh had left for the army, swearing never to allow another to control him. Since inheriting the title and returning from war, he had little patience for high society and had taken on a devil-may-care attitude when it came to the ridiculous rules of the beau monde. He wanted more out of life than to simply be a marquess and was determined to choose his own path.
“As I’ve assured you, I have no protest to donating to the charities. I still want to purchase the establishment.”
“No!” Ellie said.
To Hugh’s surprise, it was the countess who spoke. “We have considered both of you and have decided to see who would prove the ‘best man’ for the club. For one month, you will both run the Raven Club. Whoever is most successful will have the establishment. If Ellie wins, she will have the freedom to manage it with Brooks’s aid. If Lord Deveril wins, then our solicitors will draw up purchase papers. Your endeavors will be recorded in separate ledgers.”
“You think to hold a competition?” Ellie asked in surprise. “That’s ludicrous!”
For the first time, Hugh was in agreement with Ellie Swift. He found it hard to believe the earl and countess would even consider such an idea. One look at Castleton’s tense expression and Hugh knew it was the countess who had convinced the man to agree to a competition.
Fine. Hugh’s gut tightened with a conviction. He’d always been soft where Ellie was concerned. But not in this. It was for her own good.
He would win.
“I accept,” Hugh said.
As soon as Hugh left, Ellie faced Ian with fists clenched at her sides.
“How could you do this?” she demanded as indignation swamped her. “You are my brother.”
“I wanted to say no. I still do. Grace convinced me otherwise,” Ian said.
Again, Grace placed a hand on her husband’s sleeve. The effect was remarkable. Ian calmed and smiled down at his pregnant wife.
A knot twisted inside Ellie. Once, she thought she’d found a man who had adored her as much as her brother loved her sister-in-law.
That man had been Hugh Vere, now known as the Marquess of Deveril. She’d dubbed him the devil marquess, for certainly that was an apt name.
What a fool she’d been. Only eighteen, she’d just had her debut into Society and attended her first ball. She’d met an equally young and handsome Hugh, second son to the Marquess of Deveril. He hadn’t minded her red hair, freckles, or her love of books. They’d been drawn to each other and had quickly fallen in love.
Or rather, she’d fallen madly in love with him.
“You know about our past,” Ellie said.
Her brother and sister-in-law knew most, not all. She could never confess every humiliating moment. She’d cried in private for over a year. Her younger sister, Olivia, had attempted to comfort her during many dark and lonely nights, but Ellie had wept until she’d been exhausted and fallen into a restless sleep. Even Ian and Grace had tried to cheer her on more than one trip to Gunter’s for ices but had been unable to pull Ellie out of her melancholy.
It had taken years to harden her heart.
“You are no longer eighteen. You’ve rejected suitor after suitor ever since,” Ian said.
“I will only marry for love. Just like you with Grace.”
It was an excuse. She didn’t want to marry. She wanted to run the Raven Club and become an independent woman. Only then could she continue to use her good fortune to help others—women who were at the mercy of men who were sworn to protect and cherish them, not hurt them. If she ever chose a husband, then she preferred one who could be easily managed and fooled, who would never be a risk to her heart.
“I support your decision to choose your own husband, but not in this.” Her brother waved his hand to the window overlooking the casino floor. “This is no life for a young lady.”
Grace cleared her throat. “Contrary to my husband’s opinion, I do believe a woman has what it takes to run the Raven Club.”
“I knew you would take my side,” Ellie said, hope lifting her spirits.
Grace was talented with figures and took over the bookkeeping soon after she’d wed Ian. She’d also been teaching Ellie, who much preferred numbers and books over balls and dandies.
And rogues like Hugh.
She’d heard rumors of him in the ladies’ retiring room since his return from the army and his ascension to the title. He rarely attended the same events she did, so she hadn’t seen him. But his reputation for scandal preceded him. Widows. Actresses. Dancers. The salacious rumors had confirmed everything he’d done to her.
Grace shook her head. “I haven’t taken anyone’s side yet. But Ian and I have reached a compromise. A test, if you prefer. Whoever is most successful in one month’s time shall have the Raven.”
“You would choose Deveril over your own flesh and blood?”
Ian let out a puff of air. “Cease the dramatics, Ellie. This is business. If not for my wife’s urging, I would have had my solicitor draw up the papers a week ago. Now do you accept or not?”
“Fine,” Ellie snapped. “I accept.”
Copyright © 2019 by Tina Gabrielle. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of HOW TO BEST A MARQUESS by Tina Gabrielle, we're giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Entangled Publishing. Giveaway ends 6/14/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Tina Gabrielle
TINA GABRIELLE, an Amazon best-selling author, is an attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She's the author of adventurous Regency romances In The Barrister's Bed, In The Barrister's Chambers, Lady Of Scandal, and A Perfect Scandal from Kensington Books. ""A Spy Unmasked"" is the first book in her new Regency romance series, ""In The Crown's Secret Service,"" from Entangled Publishing. ""At The Spy's Pleasure"" will be available in May 2015. Tina's books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and her first book, Lady Of Scandal, was nominated as best first historical by RomanticTimes Book Reviews.
A powerful start to a new mini-series, I admit I am hooked. There was a lot to like and enjoy in this book, a story that covers more than just the suspense and newly rekindled romance, it also gives glimpses to the thoughts of the secondary characters by switching the point of view a few times.
Lauren Jameson is a high school counselor who is dedicated to her students and making an effort to help them to map the best possible future for themselves. She takes her job seriously, and she genuinely cares for the students. While she herself was in high school she had a crush on the 'bad boy' of the school. The innocent and sweet friendship with him was just getting a chance to be something more when he was transferred.
Sheriff’s Deputy DJ Harris has turned his life around. The bad boy image he got as a kid is long gone, his focus is now on holding the law and keeping the citizens of Callahan County Colorado safe. DJ had wanted to get in touch with his high school crush, Lauren since he arrived back in their hometown, but not by telling her the remains of her long ago disappeared sister were found.
I liked the chemistry between DJ and Lauren. It was somehow so effortlessly natural for them to connect, for them to care for each other, for the passion to ignite, and the old feelings and emotions to light up again and deepen to be something more, something to build upon. They both grew up in challenging situations and learned to fend for themselves, this common ground giving them a solid foundation to understand each other, sympathize and get where the other was coming from.
The kids at the high school and their point of view to the events gave the story another dimension to enjoy. The county and its folks are an important part of the tale as well as setting up the series, and I found them intriguing.
The suspense was rather intense. The attacks towards Lauren are personal and threatening. DJ and the whole law enforcement are doing their best to solve the old murder mystery while keeping Lauren safe and alive despite many attempts to mess with her mind and the open threats to her wellbeing.
An engaging and pulsating story. A very promising start to the series with compelling characters, thrilling suspense, and adorable, ardent romance. The best part for binge readers: the books are published just a week apart from each other!
~ Four Spoons!
Cindi Myers worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager before turning to writing full time. She's written both historical and contemporary romance, as well as dozens of short stories and nonfiction articles. Cindi thinks writers have the best job in the world.
Former president of San Antonio Romance Authors, Cindi is a member of Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc., and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
She and her husband and their two dogs live in the mountains Southwest of Denver. When she's not caught up in creating new characters and stories, Cindi enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, skiing and hiking. She's also in demand as a speaker, teaching workshops and making presentations to both local and national writing groups.
Detective Caleb Nash’s childhood kidnapper has never been caught, and not even reuniting with his family has healed the scars.
Then he meets guarded, beautiful Nina Drake.
Damaged by her own past and living in self-imposed isolation, Nina tries to keep her distance from the cowboy lawman.
But when she’s the target of mysterious attacks, only Caleb can keep her safe. Will his vow to protect resurrect his own childhood torments?
I am thrilled about this new series by Ms. Snell and Reining In Trouble sets the stage for the upcoming stories well, whetting the appetite for more to come.
The Nash family with their tight bond is just in my alley, and the triples, their past drama, and their triplet connection is something I am intrigued about.
Nina Drake is a survivor. The childhood turmoil she went through, losing her mother, and the aftermath, has shaped her as a woman. A new start, with a low profile, at the Nash resort is what she was looking. But that does not seem to be her destiny.
Nina was not an easy heroine - for me - to connect with at first, but once she comes out of her shell, she shines brightly. She is brave, she is kind, she is not afraid to run towards the fire when others are looking for shelter. She has the inner strength to survive the unimaginable, she just has to be willing to connect with it.
Caleb Nash seems to be an easygoing cowboy detective, yet there are more layers to him than meets the first glance. The past drama he and his siblings experienced has left a mark in him. I wanted to know more about the triplets connection to each other, about their survival and healing from kidnapping, yet what left me wanting here might be more in-depth in the upcoming books of the series.
The meet-cute between Caleb and Nina has equal doses of heat, humor, and awkwardness.
The focus of the story is mostly in the investigation until the desire overwhelms, takes over, and WOW, I felt it to my toes as I was reading about the deepening feelings and passion between Nina and Caleb.
The past trauma and the current trouble twine together in Nina's mind and subconscious causing her nightmares. There is a dream scene in the book that had me taking notice - it is so vivid, so dreamlike, and without pointing it out specifically being a dream at first, the author does such a superb job writing about the dream, there is no question in the reader's mind of what is going on. I absolutely loved it!
Smalltown vibes and tight family energy - people who stick together during the good times as well as the times of trouble - a town that is facing unexpected arson cases and personal attacks that have the law enforcement on their toes and the Nash family on point.
Great summer reading for all who enjoy stories with potent suspense, ardent yet cute romance with delightful characters, in a small-town, cowboy-type world.
~ Four Spoons
Feel Good Day is an immersive one-day event and celebration focused on feeling and being our best selves, complete with bestselling authors and inspiring creative activities.
It will be held in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Tickets are available now at CelebrateFeelGood.com .
Feel Good Day is part of the Harlequin Feel Good Project,
designed to explore the power of positive experiences that fans expect from their stories.
Visit FeelGood.Harlequin.com for more information.
Become part of Harlequin’s Feel Good Movement by joining the one-day immersive celebration of what makes you feel our best, do your best and be your best.
Join Harlequin in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Harlequin is also bringing three romance writing greats to the very first Feel Good Day!
Join New York Times bestselling authors Robyn Carr, Brenda Jackson and Susan Mallery for a panel discussion and have the opportunity to be guided by them in a reflective workshop
that will leave you inspired with ideas on how to invest in your passions.
The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe
Series Uptown Girls
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date May 28, 2019
Keeper of secrets.
Breaker of hearts.
He can solve any problem…
In serving the wealthy power brokers of New York society, Frank Tripp has finally gained the respectability and security his own upbringing lacked. There’s no issue he cannot fix…except for one: the beautiful and reckless daughter of an important client who doesn’t seem to understand the word danger.
She’s not looking for a hero…
Excitement lies just below Forty-Second Street and Mamie Greene is determined to explore all of it—while playing a modern-day Robin Hood along the way. What she doesn’t need is her father’s lawyer dogging her every step and threatening her efforts to help struggling families in the tenements.
However, she doesn’t count on Frank’s persistence…or the sparks that fly between them. When fate upends all her plans, Mamie must decide if she’s willing to risk it all on a rogue…
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of THE ROGUE OF FIFTH AVENUE by Joanna Shupe, we’re giving away one paperback set of the entire Four Hundred series!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Giveaway open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of the Four Hundred series by Joanna Shupe. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books. Giveaway ends 6/10/2019 @ 1159pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copy out to the winner directly. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Joanna Shupe
JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. In 2013, she won Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband. To connect with Joanna, visit JoannaShupe.com.
Author: Katie Reus
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 4, 2019
When a bringer of death…
Awakened after millennia, dragon warrior Reaper is ready to fulfill his destiny…until he sees Greer. With one glimpse, everything Reaper has ever known throughout his very long life is irrevocably changed. Greer’s his mate, he feels it in his blood, in his soul—but convincing her is another matter. The dragon clan healer finds him obnoxious and annoying, but he knows a woman’s interest when he smells it. And Greer smells like one word: mine.
Meets a giver of life…
Greer has spent hundreds of years using her healing abilities for the good of others, making her the polar opposite of Reaper. The ferocious war general may be an ancient, but his arrogance proves he hasn’t spent any of that time learning about women. Greer is displeased when her Alpha sends her to New Orleans with the insufferable warrior—then she sees him in action against a menace threatening to tear the city apart. Fierce, protective, magnificent…mate-worthy. Except he’s hiding something from her. Something dark and devastating that could destroy their newly forged bond. Maybe opposites do attract, but if they want to live long enough to find out, they’ll first have to save the world teetering on the brink of obliteration.
Without thinking, she stalked toward him and smacked him on the nose. “I can’t believe you shot fire at me!” she snapped.
That was just bad dragon etiquette. Yet now that she’d had time to think about it, she realized he hadn’t been attacking her, because the fire had gone so wildly off course. And considering the strength she could feel rolling off this stranger, she didn’t think that was accidental. If he’d wanted to hit her, he would have. She was immune to dragon fire—as were all dragons—for as long as their bodies could withstand it anyway. But he shouldn’t have been immune to her healer’s fire. That was something she was going to worry about later.
In response, the male shifted to his human form in such a fluid, quick transformation it took her breath away. She’d only seen a few ancient dragons change forms like that.
Now the male stood in front of her, staring at her with electric, mesmerizing amber eyes. In that moment she froze, trying to decide if she should run or stay.
Then he tilted his head to the side ever so slightly and she forced her eyes to remain on his. This male was a predator, likely a warrior, that much she could sense. It wouldn’t do her any good to turn her back on him.
Finally he spoke, but in a language she didn’t understand—which made her pause.
She was part of the Petronilla clan, and one of their gifts was understanding every spoken language. It was one of those biological survival things woven into their DNA. It was simply part of who they were as a clan.
“I don’t understand you,” she said to the male.
His hair was long, the soft dark waves falling right to his broad shoulders. From what she could see, his chest was incredibly built and muscular. She wasn’t going to look any lower—that was bad manners. She couldn’t help staring into his eyes, however. He had the kind of face that would make angels cry.
And he was on her clan’s territory. Which was the real issue right now.
Though to be fair, he must have been sleeping far beneath the surface so he would have no clue he was on her Alpha’s territory. She turned slightly and pointed back to where her four-wheeler was. She often came out here with it, then stripped and shifted and took to the skies. She just hadn’t gotten around to the shifting or flying part today. She’d been enjoying basking in the sun. Now it looked as if flying was going to wait.
He reached up as if to touch her face but she gently caught his wrists and pushed them back down.
They didn’t know each other and she hadn’t given him any privileges yet.
He said something again, growling low in his throat as he leaned forward and sniffed her. Actually sniffed her.
Okay, then. This dragon must have been asleep for a long time because that was very bad manners. She just hoped he wasn’t as ancient as Mira and Prima, because while she loved the “twisted sisters,” they were like feral animals half the time. Every time Greer looked into their eyes, there was no civilization. They were simply putting on a veneer for everybody. She loved them, yes, but they were far more in touch with their dragon side than she was. Sighing, she turned and headed back to her four-wheeler, looking over her shoulder at him.
The male paused, watching her curiously, but ended up stalking after her, his bare feet quiet against the snow. He didn’t seem bothered by the cold or his nudity, which for the most part was to be expected with dragon shifters. And males in general. They seemed to have no problem showing themselves off.
He stared at the four-wheeler, frowning as she slid into the front seat. She started the engine and then patted the seat behind her.
He simply lifted an eyebrow and shook his head, murmuring something in that language she didn’t understand.
Sighing, she gave it a little gas so he could see it move. Then she patted the seat again. She needed to get him back to her Alpha’s place, and arrangements would have to be made. They’d have to find his people, and more importantly, make sure this dragon understood that they were not out to humans. Not only that, for all she knew, he knew nothing of technology—and given the way he was looking at her four-wheeler with disdain, she figured that was a good bet.
He shook his head again.
“Seriously? It’s not like this thing is going to hurt you,” she muttered. “You’re a freaking dragon.” Sighing, she turned off the engine and got off the vehicle. And when she stripped off her jacket, his eyes lit up with interest.
Of course. God save her from all males.
Katie Reus is the New York Times, USA Today, and IndieReader bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.
However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense. Her book Avenger’s Heat recently won the Georgia RWA Maggie Award for Excellence in the fantasy/paranormal category.
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HOT UNDER THE COLLAR
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Series: The Dogmothers #1
Release Date: May 31, 2019
Firefighter Braden Mahoney is devastated when his beloved Weimaraner, Jelly Bean, fails the canine arson investigator test. Faced with the challenge of raising the money for advanced training, it’s Braden’s sweet grandmother and her best friend who suggest he use the services of the new event planner in town. Not that he needs a push in Cassie Santorini’s direction. Ever since she arrived, Braden has had his eye on the sassy Greek goddess…and can’t stop thinking about getting the rest of him on her, too.
Cassie has spent years putting family first, even moving to Bitter Bark when her mother falls in love with the local veterinarian. Having a huge new extended “family” is fun, especially when one smokeshow of a firefighter attends the gatherings, but Cassie has no plans to remain in this small town. She’s ready to pursue her big city dreams. But when Braden asks for an assist for his precious pup, Cassie agrees to help him set up a town-wide scavenger hunt. It isn’t exactly a hardship to be around those blue eyes and brawny shoulders, especially since they both agree everything – even the undeniable sparks that crackle between them – is temporary.
But when temporary gets complicated by feelings that might lead to forever, Braden and Cassie start to question the direction they're headed. Should they follow their dreams…or their hearts? It’ll take a dog with a bad nose and a sweet soul, two particularly meddlesome grandmas, and some help from the clan that loves them to make sure Cassie and Braden follow the clues and find their way to each other’s arms.
“And, Cassie, I’m going to be straight with you. I don’t believe in…permanent things.”
“Not when someone has a job like mine,” Braden admitted. “I don’t think it’s right or fair to be in a serious, long-term relationship. My work’s too dangerous, and I refuse to give someone a guarantee of a future. That—at my age of thirty-three?—usually sends women packing after a few dates.”
She considered that, studying him before asking, “So, what exactly are you proposing?”
“That we don’t fake a thing. We just give it an expiration date.”
“I don’t know,” she said. “Anything ‘real’ almost always comes with connections and plans and trust and intimacy that will lead to…side dishes and detoured dreams. And I won’t let you do that, Braden. I won’t.”
He heard the vehemence in her voice, and that just made him more certain this was a good idea. “Then we both agree it’s temporary. Nothing will be detoured, I promise. Go ahead…” He pressed her hand to the notebook. “Write that down and make it so.”
But she didn’t, still studying him. “And side dishes?”
“They can be on or off the table, Cass. You’re the one setting it.”
She shot up a dubious brow. “Do you seriously think we could date for real, spend any amount of time alone with each other, and not…” She swallowed. “Repeat that kiss?”
No. Not for a minute. “We could try.”
“Then what difference does it make if it’s real, fake, or temporary if there’s no sex?”
“Because I’m not a fan of lying, either,” he said. “So be my temporary girlfriend, and let’s just have a little fun before you blow out of Bitter Bark.”
“Could be.” So much fun.
Published since 2003, Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty romance and suspense novels. She has written several popular series, including The Dogfather, Barefoot Bay, the Guardian Angelinos, and the Bullet Catchers.
In addition to being an ten-time nominee and one-time winner of the prestigious RITA™ Award for the best in romance writing, Roxanne has won the National Reader’s Choice Award for best romantic suspense four times, as well as the Maggie, the Daphne du Maurier Award, the HOLT Medallion, Booksellers Best, Book Buyers Best, the Award of Excellence, and many others.
A mother of two but recent empty-nester, Roxanne lives in Florida with her husband. She loves dogs, books, chocolate, and wine, especially all at the same time.
Jenkins & Sons Construction Book 4
by Sharon C. Cooper
Publisher: Amaris Publishing LLC
Publication Date: May 24, 2019
A slow smile spread across Charlee’s mouth. Surely, he knew telling her to stop doing something was like telling her to go for it. Most people would be sympathetic to the apparent battle going on inside of him. She wasn’t most people. Happiness bubbled inside of her at the thought that she was making him crazy.
Served him right. The way she’d been missing him had been just as much torture, and she was glad he’d been experiencing it, too. Heck, she was so elated, a happy dance on top of the counter in only her underwear seemed in order. But she wouldn’t. At least not today.
“Okay, now that we got that out in the open, let’s talk.”
He whipped his head around so fast it was a wonder it didn’t roll off of his neck.
“Are you kidding me? We just talked. I just talked.”
Charlee burst out laughing. She laughed even harder when he rolled his eyes and poured himself another cup of coffee. If it was left up to Liam, he’d probably never talk.
“Okay, okay, I’ll do the talking and you’ll listen, something you’re really good at anyway. But there’s just one thing.”
Just as he brought the mug up to his lips, Charlee took it from him and set it on the counter next to the stove. She tugged on the front of his shirt, and Liam lifted a questioning brow but allowed her to pull him closer. His dark, piercing eyes met hers.
They wanted the same thing.
Her body hummed with need and her nipples tightened at the burning desire illuminating in his eyes. When his gaze volleyed from her eyes to her mouth, Charlee couldn’t resist any longer. She raised up on tiptoe and gently pressed her lips to his, anxious to see if that spark that they once shared was still there.
A jolt of electricity raced over her skin and excitement pulsed through her veins as her senses leaped to life.
Yep, that spark is still there.
She might’ve started the kiss, but Liam quickly took over. One of his strong arms encircled her waist and he pulled her tight against his body while his other hand gripped the back of her neck. His tongue swept into her mouth with a soul-reaching urgency that had Charlee gripping the back of his shirt, holding on for dear life.
She wasn’t surprised by her own eager response. Each time she’d seen him, she’d wanted to kiss him, taste him, be reminded of how perfect his mouth felt against hers. She wanted to be locked in his arms again and finally, finally she was right where she wanted to be if only for a minute.
When the kiss ended, a whoosh of air burst from her lungs and Charlee steadied herself, trying to exude some level of coolness. She didn’t want him to see how much the kiss affected her.
The left corner of his juicy lips quirked up. “I wondered if you’d taste the same,” he said huskily.
“Well, did I?” she asked, her voice shakier than she would’ve preferred.
His gaze lowered to her mouth and settled there for a while before reaching her eyes again. “I think I need another sample before I can form an official answer.
Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award - Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, www.sharoncooper.net
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★★ BRAND NEW RELEASE ★★
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carly Phillips comes a new story in her Knight Brothers series…
TAKE THE BRIDE by Carly Phillips is available now!
She used to be his. Now she’s about to marry another man.
Will he let her go … or will he stand up and take the bride?
Ryder Hammond and Sierra Knight were high school sweethearts. Despite him being her brother's best friend, their relationship burned hot and fast…and ended with heartbreak and regrets.
Years later, she’s at the altar, about to marry another man.
He’s only there for closure, to finally put the past behind him.
But when the preacher asks if anyone has a reason the couple shouldn’t wed, she turns around and her gaze locks on his.
Suddenly he’s out of his seat.
And ultimately stealing the very pissed off bride and taking her to a secluded cabin.
He wants one week to convince her they’re meant to be, to remind her of the fiery passion still burning between them.
When their time together is up, will she walk away and break his heart this time, or will he finally have the woman he's wanted all along?
Ryder Hammond stared into the eyes of his best friend, who appeared ready to murder him. Next to Sebastian were his two brothers, looking equally furious, and Ryder knew he was in deep shit.
Had he really just objected at Sierra’s wedding?
He began to sweat beneath his suit. But he’d done it, the words had spilled forth, and now he had to dissect why. Ignoring the swearing men beside him, Ryder thought about the moment the big wooden double doors had opened and he’d seen Sierra in her wedding gown.
Her long light brown hair tumbled over her shoulders in perfect curls, her curves showing in her fitted dress, her cleavage just appropriately peeking out from the dipped neckline. Her gorgeous face had glowed as she walked down the aisle to another man.
He’d come today because, as a close family friend, he’d been invited. Because he thought he’d made his peace with the way things had ended between them. And for closure. Once she was married, she’d be lost to him forever. And that was the thought that had run through his head at the moment the priest asked if anyone objected.
He hadn’t planned to open his mouth.
He hadn’t meant to ruin her wedding.
He had intended to watch her be given away to another man and, dammit, be okay with it.
But he wasn’t.
So here they were.
He glanced at her brothers, Sebastian, his closest friend, and Parker, because Ethan had gone after his sister. “I have to talk to her.”
“No f*cking way,” Sebastian said, one palm on his chest, blocking him from moving forward.
“If I knew you’d planned this sh*t, I never would have let you in the door,” said Parker.
Ryder held up both hands. “It wasn’t planned. The words just came out of my mouth. But now that I said them, I need to speak with your sister.” He shoved past the brothers and headed directly for Sierra, who stood talking to the man she was supposed to marry.
His gaze locked with hers but Jason wasn’t having it.
“It’s him.” He pointed, shoving his finger into Ryder’s chest. “It’s always been f*cking him. At every family function, always around.” Jason turned to Sierra. “You wanted him to interrupt the wedding.” He was clearly furious.
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Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire, and she loves everything about writing romance . She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. She has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a romance author. Carly is the author of over fifty romances, and is a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. She loves social media and interacting with her readers.
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From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a moving novel about two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear.
Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?
Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.
Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.
A beautifully written tale of life and friendship, a story that while entertained it taught life lessons and made me ponder current issues from racial profiling to gun violence and the importance of a community that will support each other.
I love how the author often in her stories matches two unlikely people who will find the common ground, while gently teaching the readers the important lesson of not looking at the surface, not judging by the appearance of people, but looking beyond the obvious and behind the walls and categories the society often likes to hide us.
There is so much heart in this story, in the friendship between Raymond Jaffe and Mildred Gutermann, in Raymond's search for the correct Luis Velez.
I loved how Raymond's encounters with the different Luis Velez named men affected the people he met and inspired them to do good, be better, spread the love. There is something special about Raymond, the way just his presence, and even more so his attitude and good heart made an impact on his environment. He himself might think he is invisible, unfitting to the norm, to his family, to his school, to his father's life, but most people he meets he makes a positive impression on.
I cherished the friendship forming between Raymond and Millie, despite their differences or maybe because of them, they have one of those rare yet so precious friendships where people grow and learn from each other in an atmosphere of respect and love. They both have equal value in the relationship, they both learn from each other, and they help the other to find the peace of mind that helps them accept life, themselves, their past, and the possibilities still a front of them.
Ms. Hyde has left me in awe yet another of her books. She has a true gift to take the most sensitive yet topical issues, twine them into a storyline, demonstrating two sides to each matter, making the readers to think, evaluating their own beliefs and habits and culture, while gaining some understanding to both sides of the matter, and maybe learn to make better judgement calls or to see a bit wider horizon.
This is a story for everyone, regardless of age or gender. It touches the hearts and minds of the readers, giving them a raw and real picture of today's society. It entertains, it teaches valuable lessons, it connects on an emotional and on an intellectual level, it challenges the values, ideas, and the culture we live in while telling a heartfelt tale two people supporting each other through some heartache and loneliness while helping each other to be the best possible version of themselves. Another home run from the author, whose books somehow manage to shatter my mind and heart yet leave me having a better, wider understanding of the world we live in.
A must read
~ Five Spoons!
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including THE WAKE UP, ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, and DON'T LET ME GO.
An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.
★★★ COMING JUNE 11 ★★★
THE DEFENDER by Donna Grant will be releasing in 1 more week!
The 4th book in the Sons of Texas Series.
Their love knows no borders.
A loner who exudes danger, Lev Ivanski has spent his life in service to one man, someone he loves and respects. But things are changing. Rapidly. Lev and his boss have allies and friends and a new mission more important their than business, all because of the Saints. This clandestine organization needs to be taken down, and Lev has the skills to help. What he doesn’t expect is to be at the mercy of a woman who makes him crave more than he ever thought possible.
Determined and dedicated, Reyna Harris is used to danger and living on the edge. An ex-CIA operative, she’s been embedded with the Saints for years, trying to take them down from the inside. When her cover is blown, she is forced to trust a man she just met, fighting their way out of one battle after another. But there’s something about Lev that Reyna knows she can trust. And love. She needs Lev – and not just to take a swipe at the Saints. Together they’re an unstoppable force. And with their friends, they just might succeed in their mission.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her "totally addictive" and "unique and sensual" stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas. Visit Donna at www.DonnaGrant.com
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Today we have the release day blitz of SOUR by Jennifer Woodhull!
Check it out and grab your copy now!
Author: Jennifer Woodhull
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Tall, handsome, and eternally optimistic Noah has dated a string of gorgeous women. His best friend Elle has outlasted them all. Of course, he has no idea she's been in love with him for years. Why would he? It's not like she's going to tell him. After all, she's short and awkward, and as he's fond of reminding her, has a sour disposition.
When Elle takes off on her annual ten-day vacation with her family, Noah comes to a startling realization. She's the woman who is by his side day in and day out, whose office is across the hall, and whose house is around the corner. She has called him on his shit when he gets too cocky, and he has held her in her arms when her heart was broken. Absence must make the heart grow fonder because while she's in Germany with her parents, he realizes that everything he has ever wanted was right there all along. Now he's on a mission to make her realize that romance won't ruin their friendship, but platonic friendship is ruining their relationship.
I’m beyond excited that this trip will be just me and Noah, instead of a lot of boring people there that we have to pay attention to instead of just hanging out with each other like we prefer.
I try to focus on the workflow I’m supposed to turn in this week for the marketing strategy for the last quarter of the year, but I’m having trouble focusing.
My instant messenger lights up.
Noah: we need things. let’s go shopping tonight.
Me: what sort of things
Noah: you need a new dress for the formal vendor night, and I need…things
Me: what sort of things?
Noah: it’s personal
I grab my phone and text him.
ME: WHAT SORT OF THINGS
NOAH: don’t yell its rude
ME: THEN TELL ME
NOAH: it’s PERSONAL
ME: tell me or I’ll throw away all the gummies u left at my place.
NOAH: u wouldn’t dare
ME: wouldn’t I though?
ME: I’m sorry?
NOAH: underwear. I washed my underwear with a red polo and they’re all pink. every pair.
ME: <tears of joy emoji>
I laugh out loud so hard I snort, and he looks up from his desk, craning his neck to look through my window at me. I stand and walk across the hall to his office, and flop down in the chair across from his desk.
“So, tiger, how pink are we talkin’, here?” I put a finger up to catch the tears under my eyes from laughing so hard, and hope I don’t have an unintentional smoky-eye look from my mascara.
“Pink. Like…pink.” He replies, shaking his head.
“That’s not like you, Noah. You’re the perfect housekeeper. You’re great at laundry. You did such a great job cleaning up my place that I can’t find anything.” I roll my eyes.
When I mention the cleaning job he did in my apartment, his cheeks turn pink. I can’t say I’ve ever seen that happen before. It’s weird. It’s intriguing.
“Oh, well…,” he rubs a broad palm up and down the back of his neck. “I’ve been kinda distracted lately. It was just a stupid mistake.”
“Well, we definitely don’t want you walking around Vegas in pink shorts. What if our rooms are on the same floor? If you pick up some girl, and bring her back, her laughter will probably wake me up.” I fan myself until my laughter subsides.
“I’m not picking up any girls in Vegas,” he says, putting his hands behind his head as he leans back in his chair.
“Oh? I thought you said you were cooling things off with…what was the last one’s name? Is that back on?” I ask, hoping my curiosity sounds light and friendly, though it is definitely neither.
“No, that’s been over for a while. I’m not picking up women in Vegas, though. I’m thinking of trying something different…,” he looks down, then casts his eyes up at me, the pale blue orbs turning dark as they peek up from under thick, dark brows.
“What?! Don’t tell me you’re batting for the other team now. I mean, I’ve had a few gay guys ask me about you, but I always thought for sure you preferred an innie to an outie,” I laugh.
“Um, no. Definitely one-hundred-percent straight, thanks,” then he looks at me and we say in unison, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Seinfeld. Our mutual love of 90s sitcoms is boundless. It is one of a thousand things that make him perfect.
“So, what then?” I ask, dipping my brows.
“I’m taking a little break from the usual, that’s all. I’m thinking maybe I want to try…I dunno. Something…more.” He shrugs and holds my gaze intensely.
“So…,” I swallow hard, the words catching in my throat. Please, dear God, tell me this isn’t the conversation I’ve dreaded for the past five years. Please, please, don’t let him have found someone he’s serious about.
About the Author:
We all need moments of escape. With all the demands on us day in and day out, we each need something just for ourselves. Perhaps nothing provides a private moment - a brief respite from every day - like escaping into a great story. When you pick up one of my books I hope you find that place that you can escape to. Explore the streets of Paris with new heroines or fly around the world to reclaim your lost love with a favorite hero. Whether it's the romance that takes your breath away or those climactic encounters that make your pulse race, I hope you find that solitary moment of enjoyment while lost in one of my stories.
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