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WEEKLY RECAP of NEW & UPCOMING RELEASES – 1 Sep 2015

holdon_ashley

TOP REC

 

Since she was young, Cher Rivers knew she was not the kind of girl who got what she wanted. A girl who could hope. A girl who could dream. She knew a happily ever after just wasn’t in the cards for her.

In love for years with the last bastion of the ‘burg’s eligible bachelors, Garrett Merrick, Cher worked hard at making him laugh. Being one of the guys. Having him in her life the only way she could. All this knowing he was in love with another woman.

The Merrick Family is known for loving deep. So when Cecelia Merrick was murdered, it marked the Merricks in a way none of them recovered. Both Cecelia’s children found love. Both turned their backs on it. But Garrett “Merry” Merrick knew in his soul the woman he divorced years ago was the one for him.

Until the night when Cher took Garrett’s back and things changed. The Merrick family loves deep. They also protect fiercely. And with his eyes finally open, Garrett sees the woman who truly is for him and he goes after her.

This is the sixth and final book in The ‘Burg series of standalone stories with interconnected characters. Reading at least Golden Trail before this novel is recommended.

Series recommended reading order: For You | At Peace | Golden Trail | Games of the Heart | The Promise | Hold On

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gamesoftheheart_new ThePromise_new holdon_ashley

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

Read my 5-star review ✦

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beggingforit

TOP REC

 

Some secrets should only be shared in the dark.

Jonah and Vivienne’s erotic bond—living out raw scenarios of captivity and force—began as no-strings sex between strangers who shared the same desires. Now the intimacy between them is turning into love, but it’s a love built on fantasies so extreme that exploring them makes guilt inescapable. But the risks they’re taking are far more dangerous than they’d imagined.

A stalker is terrorizing the city, and one of Jonah’s ex-lovers names him as a potential suspect to the police. Standing by a man under suspicion could cost Vivienne everything. But when Jonah’s stepfather takes advantage of the scandal to seize control of the Marks family fortune, Vivienne is drawn into her lover’s broken family and twisted past. Only then will she learn how dark the truth really is…

This is the second and final book in the Asking for It series and it not a standalone novel.

Series reading order: Asking for It | Begging for It

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

Read an excerpt | Read my 5-star review ✦

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ArchangelsEnigma

Naasir is the most feral of the powerful group of vampires and angels known as the Seven, his loyalty pledged to the Archangel Raphael. When rumors surface of a plot to murder the former Archangel of Persia, now lost in the Sleep of the Ancients, Naasir is dispatched to find him. For only he possesses the tracking skills required – those more common to predatory animals than to man.

Enlisted to accompany Naasir, Andromeda, a young angelic scholar with dangerous secrets is fascinated by his nature – at once playful and brilliant, sensual and brutal. As they race to find the Sleeping archangel before it’s too late, Naasir will force her to question all she knows…and tempt her to walk into the magnificent, feral darkness of his world. But first they must survive an enemy vicious enough to shatter the greatest taboo of the angelic race and plunge the world into a screaming nightmare…

This is the eight novel in the Guild Hunter series, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Series recommended reading order: Angels’ BloodArchangel’s KissArchangel’s ConsortArchangel’s BladeArchangel’s StormArchangel’s LegionArchangel’s ShadowsArchangel’s Enigma

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooksPaperback

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On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they’ll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this new irresistible novel from the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

This is a standalone novel.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooksHardcover

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Throttled2

Reid Travers knows how to win. Becoming Motocross royalty was always the plan, and he was willing to make sacrifices along the way to reach his goal. Sacrifices he thought he could live with until he returned to the small town where he grew up and learned to ride, and, more importantly, where he fell in love.

When fate sends Nora Bennett back into his life, he takes one look at her and realizes that he made a huge mistake breaking up with her five years ago. Now, he’ll do whatever it takes to win her back. As Reid sets out to earn her forgiveness and convince her that the guy she’s dating is not the one for her, Nora finds herself torn between what her head is telling her and what her heart wants.

It’s a race he never expected to be in, for a girl he can’t stand to lose again.

This is the first book in the Wild Riders series, but it can be read as a standalone novel. This is a second chance romance. 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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CrosstownCrush

When he’s working, Mike Heyer is all business—every inch the alpha male, with the hard, capable body to back up his persona. But at home he can be a different man entirely, harboring appetites only his wife gets to glimpse…

When Samira first learned of her husband’s fantasies, she was reluctant, even alarmed. But after witnessing the way they set him on fire, she yielded, and happily indulged. As their games have intensified, so has the rush. And now so has the risk—they’re poised to take Mike’s indecent desires to the next level, by opening their bed to a sexy, brazen stranger. A man seeming custom-made to grant every last one of Mike and Samira’s sinful wishes.

Welcoming someone new into their lives was always a dangerous proposition, but the couple imagined if anything was at stake, it was their privacy…not their hearts.

This is the first book in a new series exploring the fantasies of a daring married couple—and those of a stranger invited to play along in their scandalous little games…

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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BreakingRyann

He promised to leave me alone, but that was a lie. I should have known he’d have this pull on me—seeping through my skin and into my bones, burning me from the outside in. It’s just like when we were kids, and I can no longer avoid him. I’ve accepted it, but what will it take to convince him that I am no longer his? Is that really what I want?

I told her I’d leave her alone. But who was I kidding? I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge. He stole my girl—my future—from me. I’m coming back with a vengeance. I’m taking back what he took from me. After all the secrets and lies, can we come back from this? Even if it breaks me, I’ll stop at nothing to protect what’s always been mine.

This is the third and final book in the Bad Boy Reformed series. This series should be read in order.

Series reading order: Raising Ryann ($0.99) | Resisting Ryann ($0.99) | Breaking Ryann

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Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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theaffair

When unconventional hospice nurse Emma Shore secured a new position at the Breakers, the sprawling mansion of enigmatic and dangerously handsome racecar billionaire Michael Montand, she had no idea how soon she’d be drawn into his darker sexual games—or that it would be her own fantasies that would hold her captive.

Michael knew he shouldn’t have engaged such an innocent woman to share in his desires. But strong sexual appetites and selfishness run in his blood.

From Michael’s luxurious lakeside home to the sun-drenched, sensual shores of the French Riviera, Emma submits again and again to his intoxicating power. But she knows there is only one way to protect her heart.

The affair will continue, but under her conditions: Only she can end it, and when it’s over, they will part and never speak again of the things they dared to do behind locked doors.

Available for the first time as a complete novel—the serial that explores the dynamics of power and sex between two people who set the rules of desire…only to shatter them.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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Indecision

Jackie Davenport will try anything once, especially in the bedroom. Anything except falling in love. She lives a carefree existence packed full of fun, but free from emotional entanglements and that’s just how she wants to keep it. When she meets the new police officer in town, she’s unable to deny the connection between them. His over confidence and bullish ways grate on her…still she can’t help but find herself falling into his bed AND falling for him.

Jamie McTavish is man enough to admit that he probably didn’t make the best first impression when he met the 911 Operator. That doesn’t mean there isn’t still sizzling sexual tension between them. He’s a man of action and he’s not content to sit on the sidelines until Jackie works out her issues. But trying to tame this tiger might be too big of a challenge for even him.

This is a companion novella to Indiscretion, but it can be read as a standalone.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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What he wants he gets…

Knox Masters is a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Warrior. Champion. And…virgin. Knox knows what he wants–and he gets it. All American Football player? Check. NFL pros scouting him? Check. Now, he’s set his sight on two things. The national title. And Ellie Campbell. Sure, she’s the sister of his fellow teammate, but that’s not going to stop him. Especially not when he’s convinced Ellie is the one.

…but he’s never met her before.

But Ellie isn’t as sure. She’s trying to start a new life and she’s not interested in a relationship…with anyone. Beside it’s not just her cardinal rule of never dating her brother’s teammates that keeps her away, but Ellie has a dark secret that would jeopardize everything Knox is pursuing.

Knox has no intention of losing. Ellie has no intention of giving in.

This is the first book in the Gridiron series, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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watchoverme_landon

Gwen Day has never been lucky in love, but now she’s betting on one man ready to care for her like no one ever has…

Fresh off of the most humiliating romantic disaster of her life, Gwen sees no reason not to get tipsy and throw herself at her sexy bad boy neighbor. But she never expected their one night stand to have consequences that would keep them together…or for his concern to turn into something that feels like it could last.

Dominic Brady has always admired Gwen from afar, and now that she’s single, he has no reservations about saying yes to one wild night. Soon he’s interested in a real relationship. But when their future is uncertain, Dominic is determined to show her that he takes care of what’s his. And that no matter what happens, he’s one man she can’t lose.

This is the seventh full-length book in the Danvers series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: Weekends Required | Not Planning on You | Fall for Me | Fighting For You | Betting on You (novella) | No Denying You | Always Loving You | Watch Over Me | The One For Me (2 Feb 2016)

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bettingonyou nodenyingyou alwayslovingyou

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

✦ ✦ ✦

Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist return…

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo—a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit. He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker—a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it . . .

This is a Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series, penned by a different author.

The Millennium Series: The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl Who Played with FireThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

thegirl#1 thegirl#2 thegirl#3

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Hardcover

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burningember

The last thing she needs after running from one monster is to land in the lair of the Devil.

Twenty-one year old Ember flees her past with soot on her face, ash in her hair, and a promise. She’ll never let another man take away her freedom and treat her like she means nothing.

But that is exactly what Maverick Gunn, leader of the notorious Harbingers of Chaos motorcycle club seeks to do from the moment his lethal gaze locks on her. He burns her with every look. Every touch. Every word.

Ember’s only hope is to convince him she’s nothing like the woman who blackened his soul before he drags her down into the darkness with him.

This is the first book in the Harbingers of Chaos series, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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turnofthemoon

One girl.
Two wolves.
Promised to one.
Destined for the other.

To escape the cruel, overbearing, Kade, the Yukon Pack alpha she’s been promised to, Bailey Whitehill flees her home in search of a new life, one of freedom where she can make her own choices. However, Kade will stop at nothing to make her his and begins the hunt.

As Bailey starts her new life, everything she’s known to be true, is not. Time is of the essence and choices have to be made or consequences suffered. Not only does Bailey fear Kade, but another danger lurks deep in the recesses of the forest. Unbeknownst to her, that danger is what she’s been searching for all along. At the turn of the moon, her fate hangs in the balance . . . and it’s up to her to make the right choice.

This is the first book in the Royal Shifters series, but it can be read as a standalone novel. 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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sleepingwiththeenemy

Dot-com millionaire Jay McManus is discovering that owning a pro football team like the Baltimore Blaze isn’t easy. An anonymous blogger is out to destroy his reputation, and now his team is being sued by its own cheerleaders. If Jay’s not careful, he could lose big—and not just financially.

Bridgett Janik’s brother may play for the Baltimore Blaze, but she’s not thrilled to be defending Jay McManus, the man who broke her heart. It’s bad enough she has to mingle with Jay during games, but working beside her former lover may be too much for her body—and her heart—to resist.

Jay’s determined not to let Bridgett slip away from him a second time. But, as the two follow the mysterious blogger’s trail, secrets—both past and present—are revealed, and Jay and Bridgett must decide if their relationship can be something more than just sleeping with the enemy.

This is the fourth book in the Out of Bounds series, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Series recommended reading order: Game On | Foolish Games | Risky Game | Sleeping With the Enemy

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Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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thicklove

He doesn’t ask their names.

He doesn’t deserve to know them.

Ransom Riley Hale’s friends think his life is charmed: first string as a freshman on a championship-winning college football team. A father with two Super Bowl rings. A mother with platinum albums and multiple Grammies under her belt. But that brilliant shine on the surface hides the darkness beneath; it’s all Ransom has ever known.

Despite the shadows he walked in, once there was a blinding light fracturing the darkness. It brought the promise of hope and happiness. He’d been careless, filled with pride and stupidity and lost that light. Ripped it from the world.

Now, the shadows are dimming again. Aly King surges into his life threatening to pull him from the darkness. She is everything Ransom can never be again. Her light feels too warm, promises him that there is more waiting for him beyond the shadows.

But the shadows are relentless, resurfacing when he thinks he is safe, and Ransom knows he must keep Aly from them too before he pulls her down into the darkness with him.

This is the second book in Thin Love series, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Series recommended reading order: Thin Love ($0.99) | Thick Love

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Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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bonded

The Cavanaugh brothers left behind River Black, Texas, long ago. But after their father dies, bequeathing them the Triple C, a cattle ranch that sustains their small town, they return—and confront the painful memories of their childhood home and the truth about their sister’s murder…

For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls…

Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Refusing to allow her heard to led her to disaster, she chooses to focus solely on work. But after Sheridan is rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her vow to keep her heart penned wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed…

This is the fourth book in The Cavanaugh Brothers series of standalone stories with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: Branded | Broken | Brash | Bonded

branded_wright broken_wright brash_wright bonded

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire-for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

This is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass fantasy series.

Series reading order: Throne of Glass ($0.99) | Crown of Midnight ($2.99) | Heir of FireQueen of Shadows

Throne of Glass #1 Throne of Glass #2 Throne of Glass #3 Throne of Glass #4

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Hardcover

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MoondanceBeach

Duncan Flynn long ago said goodbye to his hometown of Bayberry Island, Massachusetts, where a mermaid statue allegedly grants true love to the pure at heart. So when the injured Navy SEAL gets sent home—just in time to help his family prepare for the annual Mermaid Festival—he’s not in the mood to celebrate. Nor fall in love. But during a night run on the beach, a magnificently naked woman emerges from the surf who bears an uncanny resemblance to the mermaid in Fountain Square.

Adelena Silva’s otherworldly mermaid paintings have made her famous and wealthy, but Lena herself is a recluse—at least until Duncan Flynn comes home. She’s secretly loved him her whole life, and is determined not to let him get away again. But will revealing her truth win his heart, or cause Lena to lose him?

This is standalone novel in the Bayberry Island series about a hard-headed Navy SEAL and the mysterious artist who’s loved him from afar…. 

Series recommended reading order: Sea of Love | The Sweetest SummerMoondance Beach

seaoflove thesweetestsummer MoondanceBeach

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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oneofthesenights

Moving to Harvest Cove has been like a dream come true for Zoe Watson, providing her with a job she loves and close friends she considers practically family. The only problem: a certain prickly—albeit handsome—park ranger who can’t seem to help tracking mud into her art gallery…or showing up in her dreams.

Jason Evans swore off relationships the day his ex-wife walked out the door, and the local gallery owner is no exception. But when an accident forces him to accept the one thing he hates most in the world—help—he discovers that with Zoe in his life, there are more highs than lows. Despite their long-simmering attraction, neither Jason nor Zoe thinks that two people with so little in common could possibly have a future together. But one of these nights, they may just discover how alike they are…

This is a standalone novel in the Harvest Cove series.

Series recommended reading order: For the Longest TimeEvery Little KissOne of These Nights

forthelongesttime everylittlekiss oneofthesenights

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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onlyakiss

The Survivors’ Club: Six men and one woman, injured in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendships forged in steel and loyalty. But for one, her trials are not over…

Since witnessing the death of her husband during the wars, Imogen, Lady Barclay, has secluded herself in the confines of Hardford Hall, their home in Cornwall. The new owner has failed to take up his inheritance, and Imogen desperately hopes he will never come to disturb her fragile peace.

Percival Hayes, Earl of Hardford, has no interest in the wilds of Cornwall, but when he impulsively decides to pay a visit to his estate there, he is shocked to discover that it is not the ruined heap he had expected. He is equally shocked to find the beautiful widow of his predecessor’s son living there.

Soon Imogen awakens in Percy a passion he has never thought himself capable of feeling. But can he save her from her misery and reawaken her soul? And what will it mean for him if he succeeds?

This is the sixth book in the Survivors’ Club historical romance series, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Series recommended reading order: The ProposalThe ArrangementThe EscapeOnly EnchantingOnly a PromiseOnly a Kiss | Only Beloved (3 May 2016)

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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allofme3

For ten months, bestselling novelist Alec Winston hasn’t been able to type a single word, and he’s coming dangerously close to breaching his publishing contract. An invitation from his brother to spend the summer in Wilmington Beach might be just the thing to blast through his writer’s block. Yet Alec discovers more than a spark of inspiration on the sunny sands. He meets an amber-eyed muse who makes him think about much more than books . . .

Faith Armstrong has finally gathered the courage to leave her past behind and accepted a job as a private tutor, hoping for a fresh start on the North Carolina coast. This is the home she’s always longed for—not just a place, but a state of mind. She’s felt invisible her whole life, so the host of new friends and the attention of a sexy author have her head spinning.

But Alec has a secret that could prove this isn’t the life Faith dreamed of after all . . .

This is the second book in the Covington Cove series, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Series recommended reading order: Return to MeAll of Me

returntome allofme3

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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undermyskin

He’s the only man I’ve ever loved, and the one man I can’t bear to lose.

Jackson Steele is my light in this world. Charismatic, bold, and always in control, he knows what he wants and how to get it—and absolutely nothing stands in his way. His hold on me is magnetic, his claim on me complete, his kiss my ultimate escape.

We both harbor dark secrets that could tear our lives apart. Though we’ve tried to bury our pasts, there are certain people who won’t let us forget. But the closer danger comes, the brighter the fire between us burns—our ecstasy consuming and soothing us both.

There’s no telling what lies ahead, but I know that Jackson never gives in without a fight. I’d do anything he wants to keep him safe, give him anything he needs. And now that we’re in deep, nothing can make me run.

This is the third and final book in the Stark International trilogy about Jackson Steele, a strong-willed man who goes after what he wants, and Sylvia Brooks, a disciplined woman who’s hard to get—and exactly who Jackson needs.

Series reading order: Say My Name ($2.99) | On My Knees | Under My Skin

saymyname onmyknees2

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

The story of Maddy, a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly, the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. This innovative and heartfelt standalone novel unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Hardcover

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Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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UPCOMING RELEASES AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER
(click on cover)

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3 Nov 2015 

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3 Nov 2015 

7 Sep 2015

7 Sep 2015

theendgame

8 Sep 2015

8 Sep 2015

8 Sep 2015

8 Sep 2015

9 Sep 2015

paperhearts

10 Sep 2015

10 Sep 2015

darkwildnight

15 Sep 2015

15 Sep 2015

dirtypromises

15 Sep 2015

15 Sep 2015

21 Sep 2015

22 Sep 2015

28 Sep 2015

afteryou

29 Sep 2015

ForeverwithYou

29 Sep 2015

5 Oct 2015

claimed2

6 Oct 2015

madamex

6 Oct 2015

dirtylies

12 Oct 2015

13 Oct 2015

survivingice

13 Oct 2015

20 Oct 2015

nuts

20 Oct 2015

therockerwhobetraysme

20 Oct 2015

27 Oct 2015

thehouse

27 Oct 2015

1 Nov 2015

onekingsway

3 Nov 2015

Untamed_stephens

3 Nov 2015

camgirl_new

3 Nov 2015

hardbeat

3 Nov 2015

toughenough

3 Nov 2015

november9

10 Nov 2015

10 Nov 2015

10 Nov 2015

reapersfall

10 Nov 2015

tryst

10 Nov 2015

10 Nov 2015

lonestar

24 Nov 2015

24 Nov 2015

misconduct

1 Dec 2015

1 Dec 2015

1 Dec 2015

HardtoForget

15 Dec 2015

22 Dec 2015

anounceofhope

5 Jan 2016

5 Jan 2016

11 Jan 2016

appealed

19 Jan 2016

dirtytricks

25 Jan 2016

2 Feb 2016

2 Feb 2016

midnightrevenge

2 Feb 2016

2 Feb 2016

2 Feb 2016

9 Feb 2016

23 Feb 2016

1 Mar 2016

thebeast

5 Apr 2016

5 Apr 2016

3 May 2016

Upcoming titles with no covers yet…

Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh - 6 Oct 2015
Sinful Longing by Lauren Blakely 
- 7 Nov 2015
Searching for You by Jennifer Probst
 – 30 Nov 2015
The Best Goodbye by Abbi Glines – 1 Dec 2015
Wicked Reunion by Michelle A. Valentine – 15 Dec 2015
Hard Ever After by Laura Kaye – 19 Jan 2016
He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker – 2 Feb 2016
The Consequence of Seduction by Rachel Van Dyken – 9 Feb 2016
Beautiful Boss by Christina Lauren – 29 Feb 2016
Up in Flames by Abbi Glines – 1 Mar 2016
Sinful Love by Lauren Blakely – 28 Mar 2016
Chandler by Laurelin Paige – 5 Apr 2016
Listen To Me by Kristen Proby – 12 Apr 2016
Wicked Heart by Leisa Rayven – 3 May 2016
Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G – 12 May 2016
Everywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst – 31 May 2016
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BOOK REVIEW: Begging for It by Lilah Pace

beggingforitSome secrets should only be shared in the dark.

Jonah and Vivienne’s erotic bond—living out raw scenarios of captivity and force—began as no-strings sex between strangers who shared the same desires. Now the intimacy between them is turning into love, but it’s a love built on fantasies so extreme that exploring them makes guilt inescapable. But the risks they’re taking are far more dangerous than they’d imagined.

A stalker is terrorizing the city, and one of Jonah’s ex-lovers names him as a potential suspect to the police. Standing by a man under suspicion could cost Vivienne everything. But when Jonah’s stepfather takes advantage of the scandal to seize control of the Marks family fortune, Vivienne is drawn into her lover’s broken family and twisted past. Only then will she learn how dark the truth really is…

review

“We’ve dealt with the dark desires spun from our worst secrets and found ultimate pleasure in them, together.”

One of the most fascinating, well-written, carefully thought-out stories I have ever come across, the Asking For It duet is nothing short of electrifying, and it owned my breath cover to cover. While its key theme might deter some readers from tipping their toes into this story, I remain in awe of the author’s ability to handle a rather problematic topic in such meticulous detail, intelligently and responsibly, never glorifying any vile acts, but rather giving her characters a chance to express themselves in all their damaged glory, free from judgment and condemnation, and even find some self-acceptance in the end. If you’re not afraid of the taboo, if you are able to perceive some themes in fiction as just that, without giving them the unnecessary dimension of reality, if you enjoy exploring on occasion a darker but not any less titillating brand of erotic romance, I urge you with all my heart to give this crazy-wonderful story a chance. You might find yourself loving it just as much as I did!

“The hands that caress me hold me down; the moan of satisfaction I imagine turns into screams for help, screams no one hears. As the fantasy becomes more savage, more brutal, I glory in it more and more.”

Vivienne and Jonah’s relationship had reached an impasse at the end of their first book, leaving us with the lingering question whether the darkness that brought them together and forever tied to one another—the fantasy that they both hate but cannot seem to escape—would ultimately tear them apart too. As we remain in the heroine’s head, we continue witnessing the inner struggle that has been Vivienne’s constant companion in her adult life. Even though she has slowly come to terms with her body’s response to her sexual fetish, to the violent aspect of it, and its intoxicating effect on her mind, she continues berating herself for needing that fantasy every single time in order to achieve sexual gratification. She struggles to reconcile her sexual desires with the kind of independent, emancipated woman she is outside the bedroom, that dichotomy tearing at her self-esteem and leaving her powerless.

“Jonah understood what I needed and how to give it to me. He let me become a victim; I let him become a monster.”

We also get to finally peel off more and more layers of Jonah’s complex personality, even glimpsing his greatest demons first hand and the source of all the relentless anger and pain churning inside him, but once we discover what hides within his darkness, that knowledge only serves to leave us even more uncertain of the fate of their relationship.

“Jonah is like one of the dormant volcanoes he studies—solid as stone, proud as a mountain, seemingly implacable but with a fire deep within that could erupt at any time.”

With each step they take forward as a couple, letting one another deeper and deeper into each other’s secrets, and loving each other unabashedly, it becomes clear that their connection goes far beyond their mutual desires and the ability to please and understand one another’s needs as no one else could. But they also become increasingly aware that while their sexual attraction and compatibility could never be questioned, the fire blazing between them could end up swallowing them whole.

“We are bound together and yet parted. Two halves that can’t be glued into a whole. Maybe that’s how it is when you find someone whose wounds are the same as your own.”

This is an outstandingly conceived story of self-acceptance, of embracing our own wounds, scars, flaws, and finding comfort in the knowledge that being damaged does not make any of us ‘abnormal’ or unworthy of love. No matter how deep their wounds are and how permanent their effect is on their psychological make-up, characters like these show us that they can become more than just the sum of their weaknesses, that their love can transcend it all, empowering them to become functional individuals in every sense of the word, rather than crippling them and pushing them even deeper into their demons’ arms. A daring tale that was truly impossible to put down, showcasing not only Ms Pace’s impressive storytelling skills, but also her ability to frame a person’s most startling shortcomings as sources of strength and power—I am afraid I could never fully express how much this story has amazed me with its honesty, fearlessness and insight into a dark theme I never expected to quite enjoy so much. Stories like these give us hope that no matter how much harm is inflicted upon us, we are never truly broken. And only we can put the pieces back together. Bravo!

“My power over him comes from my powerlessness in his arms. The paradox intoxicates us both.”

5stars

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

Read my favourite excerpt from this book ✦

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Series Reading Order and Purchase Links

Asking for It: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
Begging for It
: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Begging for It by Lilah Pace

BEGGING FOR IT_Banner

One of the most fascinating, well-written, carefully thought-out stories I have ever come across, the Asking For It duet is nothing short of electrifying, and it owned my breath cover to cover. While its key theme might deter some from tipping their toes into this story, I remain in awe of the author’s ability to handle a rather difficult topic in such meticulous detail, intelligently and responsibly, never glorifying any vile acts, but rather giving her characters a chance to express themselves in all their damaged glory, and even find some self-acceptance in the end. If you’re not afraid of the taboo, if you are able to perceive some themes in fiction as just that, without giving them the unnecessary dimension of reality, if you enjoy exploring on occasion a darker but not any less titillating brand of erotic romance, I urge you with all my heart to give this crazy-wonderful story a chance. You might find yourself loving it just as much as I did!

My review of Asking For It | My review of Begging For It ✦

And today, I got to pick one of my favourite scenes from the second and final book in the duet, a scene that spoke to me because it shows, without any spoilers, the heart-breaking vulnerability of these characters, the self-awareness, the hunger for one another, the hope, while knowing all too well that they might be too damaged to ever expect a happy ending in life. And because she is just too awesome for words, Lilah Pace also gave us her own thoughts on this scene, with a very precious insight into the heroine’s state of mind at this point. Enjoy! ♥

“One of the trickiest things about writing BEGGING FOR IT was the fact that it was a sequel. How do you create the necessary emotional and sexual tension between two characters who already had a big story arc in book one? And how do you work in a review of the plot elements readers need to remember while maintaining a sense of the erotic? (When playing a word-association game, few people would answer “exposition” with “sexy.”) However, this excerpt ended up balancing all of those needs. Vivienne is waiting for Jonah, on edge, yearning for him—but with that slight frisson of fear that so often accompanies their “games.” So it’s natural for her to review the limits they agreed to—the things Jonah will and won’t do to her–both to calm herself and to get even more turned on. Writers are always thrilled to discover they’ve found a way to marry the practical needs of the plot with the inner lives of the characters, so this scene made me very happy.

And also—I mean, waiting for Jonah Marks? Oh, my God. Just the thought turns me on. If you guys like that idea half as much as I do, you’ll understand my other reason for loving this scene!” —Lilah Pace

Some secrets should only be shared in the dark.

Jonah and Vivienne’s erotic bond—living out raw scenarios of captivity and force—began as no-strings sex between strangers who shared the same desires. Now the intimacy between them is turning into love, but it’s a love built on fantasies so extreme that exploring them makes guilt inescapable. But the risks they’re taking are far more dangerous than they’d imagined.

A stalker is terrorizing the city, and one of Jonah’s ex-lovers names him as a potential suspect to the police. Standing by a man under suspicion could cost Vivienne everything. But when Jonah’s stepfather takes advantage of the scandal to seize control of the Marks family fortune, Vivienne is drawn into her lover’s broken family and twisted past. Only then will she learn how dark the truth really is…

excerpt

I don’t know if Jonah will come to me tonight. I don’t know what he’ll do if he does; the nature of my ultimatum means he’ll have total control over the scenario, if we do return to our games.

However, I know some things he absolutely won’t do.

When Jonah and I first agreed to do this, before we knew anything about each other but our names and our desires, we laid down extremely clear boundaries:

  • He can never threaten me with a weapon.

  • He can slap me around, even hurt me, but not to the point of serious pain or injury.

  • He will not take photographs or video of his “attacks.”

  • He will not come on me.

That last one seems so mundane, I know—but Anthony did that when he raped me, and the horror of that moment has stayed with me always. Initially I had other boundaries for Jonah as well, but as our games continued and he earned my trust, I let those boundaries fall. He can tie me up now if he wants. He can even fuck me in the ass.

(Jonah’s the only man who’s ever done that to me, and we only got around to it once. I wonder if he’ll take my ass again tonight.)

I have to obey certain boundaries too:

  • I can fight back, but can’t leave marks or injuries he’d have to explain later.

  • If anyone ever sees part of what’s going on and misunderstands, I have to put aside my embarrassment and defend Jonah if necessary.

  • And I may not call him daddy—a rule I thought was funny when he first laid it down. Now that I know the truth about Carter Hale, Jonah’s need for that rule sickens me, makes me bleed for him inside.

Of course we have a safe word. Silver. I’ve had to use it with him twice so far. Tonight won’t be the third time, I feel sure. Tonight I think I could take anything, if only Jonah will come to me.

I know he might not. Yet I’m already aching for it, the heat between my legs as tight as a clenched fist. As I park my car in front of my little house, I think, Please, Jonah, don’t make me wait much longer.

Even though I know Jonah would never show up early for one of our games, my heart leaps into my throat the minute I walk inside my house. Every rustle of the wind through the trees outside makes me imagine him walking closer. Every creak of the wooden floorboards brings back the memory of him walking toward me in the night, dressed in black, ready to take me down.

Two and a half hours until I unlock my door.

I make myself a simple omelet for dinner, eat it at my tiny table. It occurs to me I’ve never cooked for Jonah. Not that I’m some sort of master chef—anything but. Still, we’ve skipped over so many of the usual, gentler milestones of intimacy. I’d like to make up for that, if I get the chance.

Just not tonight.

I wash the dishes. I take a shower, slathering myself with vanilla-scented body scrub so every inch of my skin will feel like silk. Every place my fingers touch, I imagine being touched by Jonah. He’s gripped me there, bruised me, kissed me.

Afterward I blow-dry my honey-brown hair, trouble I’d never take to just sit at the house alone. I’d usually change into a shapeless T-shirt and leggings after an evening shower; tonight, I slip into a silky white robe. Nothing else. It will be easy for Jonah to peel the robe off. Maybe he’ll use the sash to tie me up.

Assuming he comes here at all, I remind myself. I’m trying to brace myself in case he doesn’t come. Though losing Jonah would crush me no matter what, I want to at least be . . . prepared.

So I try to read, but while my eyes scan over the words, my brain refuses to make sense of them. I go over the same paragraph time and again, attempting to concentrate on the here and now. It never works. Netflix offers me a TV show I’ve been meaning to catch up on, but it’s just colors and light projected from a screen. Meaningless. All I can think about is my ever-quickening pulse, and the progression of the hands around the clock.

9:59. One whole minute early, I walk to my tiny kitchenette, take a deep breath, and unlock the door. Then I cut off all the lights in the house except for one small lamp in my bedroom—the one farthest from the bed. Now I can only lie down and wait.

Will he come in? Is he out there already?

It hits me then: Of course he is. Even if Jonah has no intention of having sex with me tonight, he’s still outside. Because I told him I’d leave the door unlocked for one hour. That means I’m a little bit less safe.

And Jonah—who has tied me, fought me, held me down, bruised me, had me at his mercy—would always want to protect me.

Our relationship is pure paradox.

Or it was. I’ll find out within the hour.

But down deep, I had hoped he would come through the door almost as soon as I’d slid back the bolt. He hasn’t. Jonah must be parked across the street even now, sitting behind the wheel of his car, listening to the radio and not coming in. On some level he wants to; I know that. Wanting isn’t enough.

In the darkness outside, Jonah is fighting a battle inside his own head.

Fifteen minutes go by. Twenty. Arousal begins to fade into sorrow.

I roll onto my belly in the bed, the pillow cool against my flushed face. Now I feel foolish, even manipulative. What do you mean, giving someone an order to fuck you or else? Jonah doesn’t want to hurt you—he’s uncomfortable with our rape fantasy. Shouldn’t he be? Aren’t you?

My ears prick up. My breath catches. You imagined that sound. Just like you’ve been doing all night. You only think that’s the sound of the door hinges—

Then I hear Jonah’s footstep on the floor.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

✦ ✦ ✦
Series Reading Order and Purchase Links

Asking for ItMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
Begging for It
My review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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To win 1 of 2 paperback sets of Asking For It and Begging For It (unsigned), please enter below. By entering this giveaway, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

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COVER REVEAL: Grayson’s Vow by Mia Sheridan

“I love you. I will always love you.”

A new Mia Sheridan book is coming. A NEW MIA SHERIDAN BOOK IS COMING!!!! Feast your eyes on the cover of Grayson’s Vow, the upcoming A Sign of Love novel, inspired by Libra… ♥

Expected release date: 10 September 2015

GraysonsVow

Kira Dallaire is desperate.

Some challenges in life seem too hard to overcome. With little money, and even fewer options, the quick-witted and vibrant twenty-two-year-old needs to reinvent herself. Known for her generous heart and impulsive personality, she devises a survival plan, possibly her most outrageous idea yet.

Grayson Hawthorn is losing hope.

Some obstacles in life seem too hard to overcome. Betrayal definitely being one of them. With limited capital, and dwindling resources, he is attempting to resurrect his failing family vineyard, a self-imposed vow seemingly destined to fail. That is until a young woman enters his office with an outlandish, unexpected proposition impossible to refuse.

What begins as a temporary business arrangement, soon evolves into more as vivacious, spirited Kira challenges detached, arrogant Grayson to want more from life. To want more for himself. But as their wills clash and fiery passion ignites, they’ll realize that sometimes the past creates walls too difficult to climb, and that lies and deception rarely precede a happily every after.

As Kira and Grayson race toward their destiny, they will discover that some vows are meant to be broken, and others are worth risking everything for . . . even your very own heart.

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A Sign of Love – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links

(LeoLeo’s Chance, and Becoming Calder + Finding Eden are stories that unfold over two books, while Stinger, Archer’s Voice and Kyland are standalone novels)

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stinger
archersvoice
BecomingCalder
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Kyland

LeoAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Leo’s ChanceAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
StingerAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Archer’s Voice: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Becoming CalderMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Finding EdenMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Kyland: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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BOOK REVIEW: Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves

HeartShapedHackWhen Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.

Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.

But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.

review

“Are there any more?”
“There’s a seven.”
“And?”
She smiled as if she were picturing it in her mind.
“Oh, Katie.” His voice sounded like a purr. “It must be really good.”
“The number seven is when you kiss me when you’re inside me. It feels incredible.”
“Do you know what sounds really good for dinner?” he asked, nibbling her ear.
“A number seven with a side of let’s order in?”
“You’re so quick,” he said, easing her off his lap and pulling her toward the bedroom. “I really like that about you.”

Shame on me for almost forgetting how much I loved this author’s writing style in On the Island, because she never stops surprising me with the freshness of her ever-evolving prose, the way her characters embed themselves into our hearts so effortlessly, and the uplifting quality of her stories that always make us wish they never ended. This story surprised me at every turn, and I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone looking for a beautifully written book to make their hearts smile. And skip a few beats on occasion too.

Kate Watts’ future might have been paved for her since she was a child, expected to follow her father’s footsteps all the way to the Supreme Court, but her thrill-seeking heart was never one to settle for a job that would not inspire her every single day of her life, so she leaves a promising career as a corporate attorney behind to open a food pantry for the underprivileged. However, hard work, dedication and personal sacrifices are not enough to keep this venture afloat and fulfil the needs of all those who’ve learned to rely on Kate’s organisation to keep their families fed and clothed, bringing the food pantry to the brink of having to turn people away. Until an anonymous donation saves the day. And then does it again the following month.

“Who are you?”
“Just a man with a mission.”
“Independently wealthy, or does the money grow on a tree in your backyard?”
“I steal from the rich to give to the poor.”

Determined to find out the identity of her mysterious benefactor, Kate sets to catch him in the act of dropping his next donation, only to find herself facing a man who knows a lot more about her than she would have ever expected him to. And resolved to know even more. Yet all she gets to know about him is his first name—Ian—and the fact that he is a computer hacker. As they spend more and more time in each other’s company, we get to witness a truly heartwarming romance slowly take shape, entirely driven forward by their witty dialogues, their undeniable chemistry, and the hero’s charming persistence that leaves us swooning at his every word.

“Get out of my computer immediately. I’m willing to move past the fact that you hacked me, but it ends now.”
“No more backdoor?”
“No more backdoor.”
He appeared crestfallen. “Ever?”
“Never,” Kate said firmly.
“Not even on my birthday or like a special occasion?”
“Are we still talking about my computer?” she asked.
“You probably are.”

But the more she falls for him, the more Kate remains aware of not knowing anything about her new boyfriend beyond his incorrigible charm, his playful and very demonstrative disposition, and his generosity of heart. His true identity and the nature of his work remain under a veil of secrecy at all times, making her question the longevity of their attachment. And whether she could ever truly trust a man whose life would forever be laced with mystery.

“Always chose love. Always choose the adventure. You’ll never regret it.”

As Kate and Ian’s budding romance becomes the most important relationship in both their lives, the reasons behind our hero’s insistence on secrecy become even more justified as his foes start closing in on his activities, putting everything they’ve built between them into jeopardy.

A truly beautiful, heartfelt story that left me once again smitten by this author’s brand of storytelling, this was one of the most delightful reads of the year for me, with also some of the wittiest and most engaging dialogues I’ve ever had a chance to enjoy. Ms Garvis Graves knows how to perfectly pace her stories, giving a romance time to grow organically before our eyes, never rushing them or cornering them into unrealistic scenarios. By the time she is finished, we believe in the characters’ unbreakable connection, we understand them, empathise with them, cheer for them no matter what happens. And the love she wove between Ian and Kate is entrenched in their every action. This is a story that shows the unwavering trust that is built between two people whose love rises above all, making them willing to pay any price for the happiness of the other. I was completely besotted by this story, my heart beaming from the very first page, and I found myself wanting to do a heel-click Mary-Poppins-style when I realized their tale would continue in White-Hot Hack (no release date yet), regardless of how satisfying the ending was.

“Someday you’ll sit beside me and know you can trust me no matter how fast we’re going.”

5stars

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Other Books by This Author
ontheisland2 uncharted2b covet4 Cherish ETITOY

On the IslandAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Uncharted (an On the Island novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
CovetAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Cherish (a Covet novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Every Time I Think of YouAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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BOOK REVIEW & EXCERPT: Hold On by Kristen Ashley

Since she was young, Cher Rivers knew she was not the kind of girl who got what she wanted. A girl who could hope. A girl who could dream. She knew a happily ever after just wasn’t in the cards for her.

In love for years with the last bastion of the ‘burg’s eligible bachelors, Garrett Merrick, Cher worked hard at making him laugh. Being one of the guys. Having him in her life the only way she could. All this knowing he was in love with another woman.

The Merrick Family is known for loving deep. So when Cecelia Merrick was murdered, it marked the Merricks in a way none of them recovered. Both Cecelia’s children found love. Both turned their backs on it. But Garrett “Merry” Merrick knew in his soul the woman he divorced years ago was the one for him.

Until the night when Cher took Garrett’s back and things changed. The Merrick family loves deep. They also protect fiercely. And with his eyes finally open, Garrett sees the woman who truly is for him and he goes after her.

review

“Hold on tight, Cherie… Don’t let go.”

When you open a new book and you find yourself gasping for air, your chest clenching only a few pages into the story, you know you’ve hit the mother lode of great reads. Once again, in true Kristen Ashley style, we are given a story that owns us from the start, our hearts fluttering to the rhythm of the powerful emotions driving every scene, every sentence, every word exemplifying this author’s distinctive and truly remarkable prose. I always take my time reading a KA book, but I gave myself even more time to savour this particular story, to absorb every hidden layer, to fully appreciate every facet of these two characters that are so unlike any of her others, because I knew she had saved some of her best work for last. A truly splendid conclusion to a phenomenal series, if you haven’t ventured into it yet, it is time you pay The ‘Burg a visit.

“I was the kind of girl who’d never dreamed because, even when I was little, I always knew I was the kind of girl who’d be stupid to dream.”

Cherie “Cher” Rivers stopped dreaming of a knight in shining armour a long time ago, learning very early in life that the only person she could ever truly depend on was herself. A single mum in her mid thirties, a hard worker, a loving parent, a woman confident in all that she is and all that she would ever be, she lives her life unapologetically and true to herself, knowing that all the sacrifices she has ever made were done in good conscience and for the good of one person and one person alone—her beloved ten-year-old son Ethan. Having pushed all her dreams of finding a good man and being loved by such a man aside, all Cherie now dreams of is giving her son a good life, teaching him how to be a decent man, and making him feel loved every single day of his life. But as closed off as Cherie’s heart might appear to be, it secretly pines for a man who’s only ever seen her as a friend—a good man, a loyal man, a trustworthy man, the kind of man she would fight with all her might to keep in her life. Just not a man who’s ever showed any signs of loving her back.

“A man who liked me. A man who laughed at my jokes. A man who smiled at me regularly. Who teased me often. Who shot the shit with me. A man who liked me a lot. A man who was my friend. A man who thought of me as a friend. The man I loved more than breath.”

Lieutenant Garrett “Merry” Merrick has only ever loved one woman in his life, but he’s never believed in happy endings. Losing their mother as young children has marked the Merrick siblings deeply, leaving them both terrified of loss, and thus prone to self-sabotaging their own happiness while in pursuit of emotional numbness. But while his sister conquered her demons and got her second chance at finding happiness, Merry’s hang-ups have led him to watching the love of his life getting engaged to another man and not wanting to do anything to stop it. Except drowning his sorrows in an expensive bottle of whisky with a friend, and opening his eyes to the possibility that the one who’s been in front of him all along might be exactly the kind of woman he didn’t even know he was looking for.

“You got good, you don’t let it go. It lets you go, you hold on. It slips through your fingers, you pull out all the stops to get it back. You got somethin’ worth fighting for, you fight for it. You do not sit on your ass waitin’ for it to come back to you. You show whoever that is they mean something and you go all out on that, and the only way you go down is doin’ that shit swinging.”

With their inhibitions lowered and their bodies aching to seek comfort in one another, Merry and Cherie share one night of unrivalled passion, a small taste of the bliss to be found in each other’s arms that neither of them can deny, but a new day brings them two very different outlooks on the night they’d shared—one of them daring to dream of more, and the other dismissing it as a one-night stand that should have never happened.

“It wasn’t walking out of a house into a taxi or your car in your clothes from the night before that was the walk of shame. You wanted what you wanted, you went after it, you got it, then you left it and went on with your life. There was no shame in that. None. The shame was lying naked in your own bed listening to a man be quiet while dressing because he woke up next to you not wanting one thing to do with you.”

Cherie’s pain from allowing herself for one fleeting moment to hope a man would want to look after her, share her load, love her and her son, and then seeing that dream vanish even before it took shape, leaves a deep scar in both her pride as well as her fragile heart, only strengthening her conviction that she is just one of those girls who would never find that kind of happiness in life, even though she would give anything to have it.

“… he’d never give me what I wanted. I forgot. I forgot I wasn’t the kind of girl who got what she wanted. Not once. Not in my whole f*cking life. Yeah, I’d forgotten that.”

But the moment Cherie’s heart closes off again, Merry’s suddenly becomes wide open to falling for a woman who now spends equal time fighting her attraction towards him and plotting his murder for making her feel everything she refuses to feel for him. And when a Kristen Ashley alpha male sets his eyes on a woman, get the popcorn ready and make yourself comfortable, because resistance is futile from the get-go and it’s going to be a ride like no other.

“What I want is more good times with you, Cher. I wanna f*ck wild and I wanna laugh hard, and while we’re doin’ that, I’m gonna look out for you. More, I can’t promise.”

A woman scared of any more heartbreak in her life, reluctant to let a man see her vulnerable side and trust him not to hurt her, and a man who didn’t even know that all he ever needed in life in order to let go of his past was a woman who would stick by him through thick and thin—Merry and Cherie are two damaged, lonely people who find everything they’ve ever dreamed of in each other, if only they can see past their fears and embrace the rare beauty they’ve uncovered in each other’s arms.

“That’s life. You have no clue what you’ll get along the journey. But you won’t get dick you stay in one place, spinning your wheels.”

I have loved all the stories in this epic series by an author who never fails to rock my world, and this was not just another great addition to the series—it was the perfect finale, the perfect conclusion, the perfect send-off to a remarkable group of characters whose stories have become some of my favourite re-reads. The epilogue alone acknowledging all the other couples in the series was far more than just the proverbial icing on the cake, the closure gained from seeing their lives fast-forwarded before our eyes leaving me in a happy daze of nostalgia laced with bittersweet tears. Each one of these stories touched me deeply in its own right and in its own way, and the beauty of Merry and Cherie’s story did not disappoint. Not by a long shot.

“God, did he know? Did he know that he was the dream come true a girl like me would never dare to dream?”

5stars

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excerpt

Through this, my leg hit an end table and I adjusted. We cleared the couch, I shifted again too soon, both my calves hit the coffee table, and my ass went down on it.

I looked up. Cell flat to the table, I braced my hands to push up, but Merry was there, chin in his throat, eyes on me, and when he spoke again, his mind was clearly on my location.

“Tried to get your mouth on me more than once when we tore at each other up last Friday, but I was in the mood to use mine. Lookin’ forward to learnin’ what you can do with yours, but like I said, baby, right now, don’t got the time.”

My only response that he couldn’t twist was to glare at him, which was what I did.

“But got time before I go for a kiss,” Merry informed me.

“Only kiss I’ll give you is tellin’ you to kiss off,” I informed him.

“Who knew warm brown eyes like the ones you got could spark that kind of fire,” he muttered as if he wasn’t even talking to me.

“Step back,” I demanded.

“No,” he denied.

I continued to glare up at him, then I realized I was not the kind of woman who sat on her ass, glaring up at a man towering over her and pinning her in. So I stood, which put me smack in Merry’s space, my breasts brushing against his abs and up his chest on my way.

They kept brushing when he didn’t move back, but I didn’t attempt escape, even to get away from the shafts of electricity this all caused at my nipples, shafts that headed south.

I glared at him from closer.

He stared into my eyes, his gaze moving down to my mouth then back up as one side of his lips curved.

He was getting off on this.

I didn’t get that and I didn’t want to get that.

I wanted this done.

“In the mood to play, Officer?” I whispered.

“Told you, sweetheart, don’t got the time.”

I shook my head but held his gaze. “Not what I mean. Single mom, all alone. Switch out her storms. Offer info to help her out of a jam. Been a while since I was in the know about these things, so tell me, what’s the price for all that? You mentioned a blowjob. You got stamina, but I got talent. Balance that out, I’m thinkin’ it’ll take more than the usual ten, fifteen minutes. We’ll give it twenty. So I can manage my time, is there more?”

I wasn’t even done talking before I learned his eyes could spark fire too.

I also learned he was in the mood to play, that being, playing me at my own game.

And doing it better.

He dipped his face close, his voice low. “Storms get me the blowjob, brown eyes. I get the intel you need, that buys me sinkin’ deep in wet pussy.”

I felt my nipples get harder at the same time something else happened to me that, if he was of a mind to take his payoff right then, he’d get what he wanted.

I hid this reaction and asked, “You want this all in one go, or you wanna spread payback out for a while?”

“Keep plenty of time open, Cher. I intend to earn a fuckuva lot more and draw it out collecting.”

I nodded, still keeping a lock on his eyes. “I get it. Girl like me, only payback expected for me to be able to give.”

That didn’t get me fire.

That got me ice.

“I hear you talk down about yourself one more time, Cher, shit will get extreme.”

That made me ice over.

“Do not hand me that crap, Merry. You come into my home and got no problem talkin’ about wet pussy right to my face tells me the woman you know me to be.”

He dipped his face even closer, to the point it felt like if I blinked, my lashes would sweep his in a butterfly kiss.

“Do not hand me your shit, Cher,” he growled. “That hang-up is yours, not mine. And how I know that is I made you come just finger fuckin’ you and talkin’ dirty in your ear, and it was the talk and not what my fingers were doin’ that took you there. I like that, a woman who can let go and let me give her that without gettin’ uptight and closin’ down on me. You liked it too, a fuckuva lot more than me. So don’t stand there handin’ me your shit when I know you’re wet for me now and I haven’t fuckin’ touched you.”

I refused to reply to that because he was right and I had no intention of confirming that information.

But it was then he hit me with a verbal blow, the intensity of which, not in my whole shitty-ass life I’d ever received.

“Christ, if I didn’t know you were worth it, I’d walk out the door and this would be done—all we got, over.”

I could stand.

I could stare.

But I couldn’t breathe.

Merry could.

He could also speak.

“Hope like fuck no one takes off with those storms while I’m gone. You think they will, move ’em into garage and leave the key under the mat. I’m switchin’ ’em out, Cher. I come back tonight and they’re done, I’ll find you, and I won’t be collectin’. I’ll be dishin’ it out, but you won’t get it until you beg for it and do that shit for a really long time.”

His words were lost on me.

I continued to stand.

I continued to stare.

But my lungs had started burning.

If I didn’t know you were worth it…

“When’s Ethan’s next sleepover?” Merry bit out.

“Friday,” I whispered. “But his friend’s comin’ here.”

“Fuck,” Merry clipped. “Find a time, babe. You don’t, payback’ll stack up and I’ll have to take personal days and hole up in a hotel with you for a week. And there’s not a doubt that stick-up-her-ass church lady your ex tied his shit to won’t appreciate you bein’ gone from your kid for a weeklong fuckathon.”

That was kind of funny as well as hot.

I still said nothing.

Merry fell silent and stared at me.

Then he dealt the second biggest verbal blow I’d ever received in my life.

“Christ, you’re pretty, even standin’ there plotting my murder.”

After that, he lifted a hand, grabbed me gentle but firm at my neck, yanked me up so my mouth hit his hard but brief, then he let me go.

“Later, babe,” he said, strolling to my door. He stopped in it, turned to me, and bid his farewell by saying, “You touch those storms only to put them in the garage.”

He closed the door on that.

I stood where he left me.

If I didn’t know you were worth it…

What was I worth?

What was I worth to Merry?

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Beyond What Is Given by Rebecca Yarros

“She frustrates the shit out of me, pushes me past my comfort zone. She breaks down every wall I have with no permission or apologies. She turns me into a lunatic just to get my hands on her, and when I do . . . she owns me.”

BEYOND WHAT IS GIVEN_Banner

Lt. Grayson Masters is focused on graduating the Apache helicopter course, and the last thing he needs is his gorgeous new roommate Samantha Fitzgerald distracting him. While her smart mouth and free spirit are irresistibly irritating, he can’t deny their off-the-charts chemistry, no matter how hard he tries.

Having just been expelled from college, Sam has no business digging for Grayson’s secrets while she’s hiding her own, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to tear down his walls. Each barrier she busts through drops one of her own, though, and she’s not prepared for the truth: another woman laid claim to Grayson’s heart long ago.

Falling in love is something neither Grayson nor Sam can afford, and when that line is crossed and secrets are exposed, they’ll learn that sometimes it’s the answered prayers that will put you through hell.

excerpt

My hand slipped and knocked the lever on the side of the mixer.

“Fuck!” I shrieked as the mixer whirred a shrill pitch and batter exploded, hitting the walls, the cabinets, my face…everything. I sputtered as some landed in my mouth, and slammed my hand against the lever to turn it off.

This was going to be a bitch to clean up.

“Are you okay?” Grayson ran in, hair damp from the shower. His eyes widened as he took in the state of his precious kitchen. “You weren’t kidding about the mess.”

“Oh this?” I smiled. “It’s a new aeration technique. I totally meant to do this.” My awesome excuse died as a glob of brownie mix fell off the tip of my nose.

“Is that so?” he asked, walking over to me slowly, consuming my vision. My breath hitched as he swiped his finger across my cheek, and then licked the brownie mix off the digit. Holy hot. “Hmm… I think there’s something to be said for this method. Maybe a little more air in the batter?”

My mouth popped open. “Are you making fun of me?”

He smirked, which must have had a direct link to my panties, because they unanimously voted to drop. Now. There was sexy, and there was Grayson’s tongue sweeping across his lower lip, which was a step beyond hedonistic. His eyes took on a mischievous glint but kept the same signature intensity that held me captive, unable to look anywhere else as he lowered his face toward mine. What…what was he doing?

Do you even care? Nope. Not one bit.

“Maybe another taste to be sure?” he asked, his voice low as his lips skimmed across my jawline. “Mmm. Definitely more.” Shivers coursed down my body. Holy shit. His mouth was actually on me, and I was awake.

He flipped the switch on the mixer and chocolate flew.

“You did not!” I let my knees buckle so I slipped to the floor, leaving Grayson to be splattered by the flying confection.

“I most certainly did!” He lifted me up like I weighed nothing, and batter smacked the back of my tank top. “Man, you’re slippery.” He mock-dropped me.

I yelped, locking my ankles around his waist and my hands around his neck. He turned off the mixer and chuckled low in his throat. “You can laugh?” I asked, yanking my head back to look at him.

“I have been known to on occasion,” he answered, that stupid, crazy-sexy smirk in play despite the chocolate on his cheeks and forehead. How the hell could someone look so hot while literally dripping brownie batter?

“I like it,” I admitted.

His smirk disappeared, and his grip tightened on my bare thighs as his gaze dropped to my lips. They parted as if he’d freaking asked them to. We weren’t just stepping out of the friend-zone here, we were on a damn missile into let-me-jump-you-ville.

“I do, too,” he whispered.

His lips moved toward mine, and I threw up my last defense, placing my finger over his lips before I was lost to all things Grayson. “Wait. Don’t you think—”

He supported all of my weight with one of his arms and gently pulled my fingers an inch away. “That’s the problem. When you’re near, I don’t think. I can’t.” He sucked my middle finger into his mouth and swirled his tongue around it, licking it clean. My entire body clenched, and my breath whooshed from my lungs as he did the same with my pointer finger, then let it slip free. “I’m so damn tired of trying to.”

He cupped the back of my neck with the hand that wasn’t cradling my ass, and brought my mouth to his in a consuming kiss. I responded instantly, opening to him as he swept inside with sure strokes of his tongue. He tasted like chocolate, and sin…and sex. Really good sex.

He growled, his hand fisting my hair to hold me to him. I sure as hell wasn’t going anywhere, not if I could get another sound like that out of him. Heat radiated from his skin to my fingers hands as I stroked his neck to wind my fingers around the back of his head. I arched into him, pressing my breasts into his chest as our tongues rubbed and danced, setting fire to every nerve ending in my body. There was nothing else in the world for me, just the feel of Grayson under my hands, the taste of him filling me. He eclipsed everything else until kissing him was my existence.

He moved backward, until he settled onto one of the tall dining room chairs and held me in his lap. My feet slipped from his waist to brace myself on the chair’s supports. I rolled my hips over him, and he hissed as I brushed against his erection.

Holy shit. He was hard. Already. For me.

I broke the kiss, pausing a breath away from his lips as we both took gasping breaths. “Grayson,” I whispered.

“More.” His eyes shone almost nearly silver and cut through any protest I might have managed, if I’d been thinking logically enough to even contemplate stopping.

His answer sent a spiral of pure lust streaking through my body, and I whimpered as he pulled me back to him, using his tongue and lips to caress every inch of my mouth, then biting my lower lip gently. I clung to whatever shred of sanity I had left, but it fled when he ran kisses down my neck, sucking at little patches of skin and then licking to soothe the burn. I shamelessly rocked against him, then ran my fingers down the carved muscles of his back. There wasn’t a spare ounce of fat on him. He was perfectly cut, honed, and strong enough to do whatever I asked him to.

The thought sent another surge of heat through my stomach, pooling lower.

A low rumble started in his chest as he gripped my ass, his hands squeezing and shaping me with the perfect amount of pressure. “Samantha.”

My name sounded like a prayer on his lips, like I was something worthy of worship. Worthy of him. “Say it again.”

His eyes turned hazy, and one hand drifted up my back to tighten in my hair. “Samantha.” He dragged out the syllables until it sounded like a personal request to climb him like a freaking tree and use him as my personal playground.

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