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WEEKLY RECAP of NEW & UPCOMING RELEASES – 30 September 2014

stepbrotherdearest

TOP REC

 

You’re not supposed to want the one who torments you.

When my stepbrother, Elec, came to live with us my senior year, I wasn’t prepared for how much of a jerk he’d be.

I hated that he took it out on me because he didn’t want to be here. I hated that he brought girls from our high school back to his room. But what I hated the most was the unwanted way my body reacted to him.

At first, I thought all he had going for him were his rock-hard tattooed abs and chiseled face. Then, things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night.

Just as quickly as he’d come into my life, he was gone back to California.

It had been years since I’d seen Elec.

When tragedy struck our family, I’d have to face him again.

And holy hell, the teenager who made me crazy was now a man that drove me insane.

I had a feeling my heart was about to get broken again.

This is a standalone novel and it was an addictive ‘angst-fest’ cover to cover, sexy and emotional all at the same time, and one I highly recommend.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUPaperback
Read my review
✤ ✤ ✤

chasingabby

TOP REC

 

Five years, six months, eight days…

It’s been eighteen years since Abigail was born with a hole in her heart. Five years since she collapsed on the soccer field. Five years, six months, eight days since she found out she was adopted.

Abby has spent five years wondering about the family she never knew and waiting for her eighteenth birthday.When Abby shows up on the doorstep of Chris and Claire Knight, her birth parents are overjoyed to see the little girl they lost eighteen years ago.

One summer is all they have to make up for the years they lost. But when opposing ideals collide, a summer of love soon turns into a summer of heartache.

This is the final book in the Shattered Hearts series and it is the most emotionally charged instalment in the whole series, in my opinion.

Series reading order: Forever Ours | Relentless | Pieces of You | Bring Me Home | Abandon (spin-off) | Chasing Abby

foreverours relentless2 piecesofyou_322x500
BringMeHome_322x500 abandon2 chasingabby
Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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torturetohersoul

Don’t say it unless you mean it…

It’s a simple concept, one I’ve said time and again, but something people don’t seem to comprehend. You should choose every syllable carefully, because you never know when somebody will hold you to your word.

Somebody like me.

I’m not a good man. I’m not. I know. I have enough darkness inside of me to rid the world of every stitch of light. But there’s one I could never harm, one light I couldn’t bring myself to snuff out.

Karissa.

She thinks I’m a monster, and maybe I am. I taunt her with my touch, get a thrill out of torturing her soul. But I’m not the only one. The world is full of monsters, and I’m not the most dangerous one out there.

Not even close…

God help me, I love her.

I do.

And God help anybody who tries to take her from me.

This is the second book in the series and it is not a standalone.

Series reading order: Monster in His Eyes ($0.99) | Torture to Her Soul

monsterinhiseyes torturetohersoul
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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theunderstatementoftheyear

What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexual orientation from everyone. Including himself.

So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.

This is the third book in the Ivy Years series, but it can be read as a standalone. This is an m/m romance.

Series recommended reading order: The Year We Fell DownThe Year We Hid Away | Blonde Date (novella) | The Understatement of the Year

theyearwefelldown theyearwehidaway blondedate theunderstatementoftheyear
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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theresolutionofcallieandkayden

Things are going good for Callie and Kayden. They’re still dealing with their past and the pain connected to it, but for the most part they’ve moved on. The biggest decision they have at the moment is what they want to do with their lives in the future.

Eventually, though, the past catches up with them and it leaves them with a choice no one wants to make.

But Callie and Kayden learn that as long as they have each other, they can make it through just about anything.

And in the end, they discover what they really want out of life.

This is the sixth book in The Coincidence series and it is the conclusion to Callie and Kayden’s storyline.

Series reading order: The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden | The Redemption of Callie & Kayden | The Destiny of Violet & Luke | The Probability of Violet & Luke | The Certainty of Violet & Luke | The Resolution of Callie & Kayden | Unbeautiful (23 Dec 2014) | Seth and Greyson (3 Apr 2015)

thecoincidenceofcallie&kayden theredemptionofcallieandkayden thedestinyofvioletandluke2 theprobabilityofvioletandluke2
TheCertaintyofViolet&Luke theresolutionofcallieandkayden unbeautiful seth&greyson
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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keepme_zaires

Abducted at eighteen. Held captive for 15 months.

It reads like one of those headlines. And yes, I did it. I stole her. Nora, with her long dark hair and silky skin. She’s my weakness, my obsession.

I’m not a good man. I never pretended to be one. She can love me, but she can’t change me.

I can, however, change her.

My name is Julian Esguerra, and Nora is mine to keep.

This is the sequel to Twist Me, told from Nora and Julian’s POV.

Series reading order: Twist Me ($0.99) | Keep Me

twistme keepme_zaires
Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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locke2

Darkness is the only thing I see. Ever since the day my life changed. The day that everything and everyone I held close to me ceased to exist. The day I lost it all and the demons of my past consumed my every waking moment.

I tried to keep others at arm’s length. Tried not to let my darkness taint them. Ruin them. Harm them. And whether I want to admit it or not, as much as I wish I could keep them locked out, they refuse to leave. Refuse to let me suffer alone.

If I hadn’t been so focused on keeping those demons from flying free, I wouldn’t have missed how one perfect angel was able to sneak her way under my skin—refusing to let go. Making me want things I don’t deserve.

She consumes me. Her beauty knows no end. The love she promises tempts me every time she’s near. But that pure heart that makes her MY Emmy is the one thing I’m convinced I’ll destroy if I ever let her close.

I’m a broken man. A broken man with too much darkness in his soul to ever let her light shine upon me. But even that doesn’t stop me from craving her with every single breath in my body.

This is the sixth and final book in the Corps Security series and although it can be read as a standalone, it is best to read these books in order.

Series recommended reading order: Axel | Cage | Beck | Uncaged | Cooper ($0.99) | Locke

axel3 cage_new beck_new
uncaged cooper3 locke2
Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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rockcourtship

What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn’t know is that David is a one-woman man…and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

This is a novella in the Rock Kiss series, but it can be read as a standalone story.

Series recommended reading order: Rock Addiction | Rock Courtship (novella)

RockAddiction rockcourtship
Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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savingtatum

Even tough girls need saving.

Jude Brooks is bad news. He’s the kind of guy that leaves behind a string of broken hearts and Tatum O’Connor is not about to be one of those girls, despite all of Jude’s advances. They have a past, and Tatum’s determined to make sure they don’t have a future.

Unfortunately for her, “no” isn’t a word in Jude’s vocabulary.

The more she backs away, the more he pushes.

But what if he pushes too far?

Tatum’s hiding a pain that no one sees and holding on to a hurt that may never heal. Letting Jude into her heart could shatter her completely—and what if she opens up to Jude and he can’t handle her baggage?

Love is never easy—especially when the person you’re falling for is the person you blame for the worst event in your life.

Love, heartache, and despair.

That’s the name of the game when you’re Saving Tatum.

This is the fourth book in the Trace + Olivia series, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Series recommended reading order: Finding Olivia | Chasing Olivia | Tempting Rowan | Saving Tatum

findingolivia2 chasingolivia temptingrowan savingtatum
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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temperforyou

Meg Adeio has led a life of isolation—not by choice but by necessity—until one act of heroism forces her out of seclusion. Despite a past shrouded in mystery, Meg is “adopted” by an eclectic group of friends that become the family she never had. Life was good for the first time in…ever.

Or it was until Westly Black reappeared on her doorstep. She knew he was the last man any woman should give her time to—only good for one thing—but he was a temptation no woman could deny. Wes may make her life messy, but Meg’s eyes were wide open and she had it under control.

But when past and present collide, loyalties are test, forcing Meg to sacrifice her future to protect those she loves.

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

Series recommended reading order: Only For You | Pieces For You | Temper For You

OnlyForYou2 piecesforyou temperforyou
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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resistingtemptation

Faith ~ Cade Walker is like no man I’ve ever met before. He’s cynical, brooding, mysterious and, most of all, damaged. He’s a man who declares he’s broken, and one who detests the two very things I live for most: God and love. Yet, I’ve still fallen completely in love with him because I also see the good, something that no one else ever has. I see a man who is strong, silent, honorable and beautiful. He’s a man who is now scarred just as badly on the outside of his body as he is on the inside, all because of me. One who endured severe torture in order to save me from what would be the worst thing I will ever experience in my entire life. He is a man I call my dark angel, one who will have my heart until the end of time, even if I can never have his.

Cade ~ At fifteen years old I lost the only person that ever mattered to me, and the day I lost my little sister in the most vile way was the exact moment I stopped living and only existed. That’s until ten years later, when I walked into an open field in Iraq to hear the most incredible voice I would ever hear in my life. One that rooted me to my spot, and ended up belonging to the most beautiful woman in the world. The only woman to ever make me feel something again, something that I thought was dead inside of me. And no matter how badly I wanted to keep her, I knew I couldn’t. Not with what I have lurking inside of me. It’s something I’ve always kept hidden. That is, until the day I unleashed it on the people who dared to hurt her. It was the one thing that gave me the strength to save us, but it was also the one thing that would remind me of why I could never have her.

Now two years later, the one girl I never thought I would see again, the one I have spent my days and nights craving like an addict, walks back into my life unexpectedly, giving us both the shock of our lives. And when the time comes that she needs me again, I no longer resist. Before I know it, I’m pulled into a life I thought I could never have, one that scares the shit out of me but it’s one I’m realizing I want. There is just one problem. One very big problem… She lives for the very thing I loathe, and the one thing that killed my sister… God.

This is the third book in the Men of Honor series, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Series recommended reading order: Fighting Temptation | Sweet Temptation | Resisting Temptation

fightingtemptation sweettemptation resistingtemptation
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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aslongasyouloveme

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He’s the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever—until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

This is the second book in the 2B Trilogy of standalone stories with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: I Want It That WayAs Long As You Love Me | The Shape of My Heart (25 Nov 2014)

9780373779833.indd aslongasyouloveme theshapeofmyheart
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback
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callingcard

Relationships are for the weak. Those individuals who have a problem being just that … individuals, people who can’t fathom standing on their own two feet and not being defined by another human being.

I’m not, nor have I ever been, one of those people.

I’m me. Nothing more, nothing less. You can take it or leave it, but usually, they take it. And I proudly give it. Every. Last. Inch.

Companionship only lasts as long as it takes me to leave my card on the counter as I’m leaving before she wakes up.

My name’s Dexter MacFadden. What’s your number?

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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wednesday2

He hates her. She loathes him. That’s why it just might work …
Twenty-one-year-old Aria Prince has just moved back to her hometown to start over after a painful divorce. She’s always prided herself on being an early bloomer, but had no idea she’d be married, divorced, and the mother of a toddler by twenty-one.

Unlike her friends who were at school, going to parties, and sowing their oats—wild and otherwise—Aria’s days were measured in the number of orders she took at her family’s restaurant, the chapters she read in her nursing text, the amount of Cheerios she cleaned up off the floor, and the wet kisses she received from her son.

And that was just fine with her.

But when she began running into her former best friend Tristan Green – who was home taking care of his sick father – she remembered what it felt like to be just Aria. Not a single mother, or sleep-deprived nursing student, or royal screw up. And though she didn’t even have time to shave her legs, let alone consider a sex life, Tristan makes an offer she’d be a fool to refuse.

Did she forget to mention that Tristan was gorgeous?

Or that they couldn’t stand each other?

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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ownedbyfate

Her mind rejects his world. But her body knows its master.

Journalist Caroline Preston arrives at Serve, New York City’s hottest BDSM club, with one goal—to hate it. If her brother wasn’t trying to turn the family’s respectable financial magazine into a publication that features “lifestyle” pieces for the wealthy and adventurous, she wouldn’t even be there, trying to write an article about a world she doesn’t understand.

But then she sees him.

Jonah Briggs doesn’t leave his post for just anyone. As the owner of the club, his sole purpose is to ensure that his clientele get everything they need, but when he sees Caroline, his only thought is what he wants—to dominate the sexy little reporter and give the most exquisite pleasure she’s ever experienced.

Caroline has no intention of entering that particular lion’s den—not with her family’s reputation at stake—no matter how dark, sexy, and complex the lion in question may be. But with every encounter, she craves more, and with every slide of his lips, she realizes Jonah might just be the man to break down all her defenses…if she’ll let him.

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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filthybeautifulfate

I never expected to watch Sophie walk away.

She was mine.

I would own her.

She just didn’t know it yet.

New goal: Seal the deal and rock her world so thoroughly she never wanted to leave again.

This is the second book in the Filthy Beautiful Lies series and it is the conclusion of the storyline that began in the first book. The third book will be a standalone story.

Series reading order: Filthy Beautiful Lies | Filthy Beautiful LoveFilthy Beautiful Lust (10 Nov 2014)

FilthyBeautifulLies filthybeautifulfate filthybeautifullust
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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slade_leigh

Always overlooked. Always just there. That’s what Dillon was to me.

Until one night.

In one night she flipped my world on its axis and there’s no going back. But she has secrets, and secrets fester like an open wound. They color the past and forecast the future, but I’m determined to open her up; free her from her memories so she can live in the light and have the life she deserves.

It’s just too bad that she wants nothing to do with me. But I’m nothing if not persistent and I’m not a man that gives up without a fight. I’ve had a taste and there’s no walking away.

I just have to convince her that I’m not what she fears, I’m what she wants.

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

Series recommended reading order: Wild ($0.99) | Ridge ($0.99) | Slade

wild ridge2 slade_leigh
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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LoveNouveau

The only thing inevitable in love is despair.

I knew from the start that he would wreck me.

Nothing could have prepared me for the day he walked into my life …

or the day he walked out of it.

I self-destructed.

All that remained was a shell of the girl I once was.

SHATTERED.

And I don’t know if I’ll ever recover.

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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theinvitation#2

Welcome to your wildest fantasy…

The invitation arrives out of nowhere. No name. No address. Just one simple challenge.

‘Play with me.’

The games are intoxicating, each one more thrilling than the last. And pleasure is the ultimate prize.

He knows my secrets. He sees my darkest desires. He can drive me to ecstasy — and I don’t even know his name.

This is your invitation. Now it’s your turn to decide.

Are you ready?

This is the second instalment in the three-part The Invitation serial.

Serial reading order: The Invitation (FREE) | The Invitation 2: Surrender | The Invitation 3: Release (27 Oct 2014)

theinvitation#1 theinvitation#2 theinvitation#3
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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beast#4

At twenty-one years old, third-generation movie star Cal Hammond was on top of the world. He had more money than God and more women than any man could need. But when a night of debauchery ends in tragedy, he forfeits a life of luxury for a ten-year prison sentence at La Rosa, California’s most violent prison.

Eight years later, a ruthless, cunning man runs La Rosa from the inside. He is known simply as Beast. All the wardens fear him. All the gangs obey him. He speaks to no one but his inner council. What he says is law.

Annabelle Mitchell’s stepfather is the warden at La Rosa. He deals as dirty as his trustees, and after years of smooth relations with Beast and the gangs he runs, Holt lands on the powerful prisoner’s hit list. That very afternoon, Annabelle pays a surprise visit to La Rosa, hoping to use her new counseling license at a place she thinks she could make a difference. When Beast sees her, he releases the warden and grabs the nameless girl who played a starring role in the worst night of his life. The price for the warden’s error is not death. It’s his precious Belle.

This is the fourth and final instalment in the Beast erotic serial.

Series reading order: Beast Part 1Beast Part 2Beast Part 3 | Beast Part 4

beast beast#2 beast#3 beast#4
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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austin dylan

Austin and Dylan: One woman. Two endings. You decide which book to read or read both.

Austin

Ever since that fateful day, I became an expert at avoidance.

Avoiding attachments. Avoiding relationships. Avoiding love.

My company became my constant, the only companion I needed… until a chance encounter with Jules Weston. I met her at a most vulnerable moment. Despite the tears that streaked her face, I fell in love the first time I ever laid eyes on her. I needed her in my life.

She was broken, but I knew I could heal her. I would wait until she let me into her heart, allowing me to love her. And maybe, just maybe, one day she could heal me too.

Dylan

Four years ago, I was tempted with money, prestige, and power by a woman who offered to give me the world. That lifestyle came with a price. I had to leave the love of my life–the one person who had already given me everything I would ever need.

Today I watch Jules Weston in another man’s arms. Wanting… needing her back in my life again. But there are obstacles that keep us apart. Her boyfriend. Her best friend. Her anger that has raged inside her over the years.

Despite those, I’ve returned to take back what’s mine. The one thing I regret leaving behind–her heart.

These are the final instalments in the Inside Out serial, but the reader chooses which ending they prefer. Which man does Jules choose? Up to you!

Serial reading order: Scorned (FREE) | Jealousy | Austin | Dylan

scorned#1 jealousy austin dylan
Austin: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Dylan: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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New limited edition bundle…

lilley_thefirsts

This is a limited edition boxed set of the first books in all of R.K. Lilley’s series, at the low price of $2.99 (almost $12 saving), but only available for one week only! A portion of the proceeds for this boxed set will benefit the Keith Milano Memorial Fund.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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New paperback release (click on cover)…

jagged

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Upcoming releases available for pre-order (click on cover)…
BecomingCalder

5 Oct 2014

echoesofscotlandstreet

7 Oct 2014

tied2

7 Oct 2014

immortal

7 Oct 2014

tied2

7 Oct 2014

reapersstand

7 Oct 2014

promisemethis

7 Oct 2014

OneToLove

9 Oct 2014

sublime

14 Oct 2014

ruin_reiss

14 Oct 2014

pitchimperfect

20 Oct 2014

rowdy

21 Oct 2014

wreckme_sorensen

22 Oct 2014

untiltheend

28 Oct 2014

lastlight

28 Oct 2014

lastlight

28 Oct 2014

fightingthefall

4 Nov 2014

dirtyrowdything

4 Nov 2014

filthybeautifullust

10 Nov 2014

aftertherain2

11 Nov 2014

LoveInSpanish

11 Nov 2014

captivatedbyyou

18 Nov 2014

ibelongtoyou2

18 Nov 2014

HardToComeBy

24 Nov 2014

theking_reisz

25 Nov 2014

TheUnimaginable

1 Dec 2014

youweremine

2 Dec 2014

maitaidup

2 Dec 2014

breakingtherules

8 Dec 2014

freeme

9 Dec 2014

RIPPED

9 Dec 2014

kirosemily

15 Dec 2014

fallingaway

6 Jan 2015

heldagainstyou

13 Jan 2015

TheRaven

3 Feb 2015

Deep

10 Mar 2015

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Black Lies_BANNER_final

Did you read and love Black Lies by Alessandra Torre as much as I did? Read an extended ending exclusively here on this Blog and enter to win one of two signed paperback copies. Click HERE

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free kindle app

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Summer Standalones 2014_Square Second Chance Love
Weekly Recap Time Sales
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kindle voyage

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EXCLUSIVE BONUS SCENE & GIVEAWAY: Black Lies by Alessandra Torre

BL_Alessandra Torre_Exc Bonus Scene

One of the most mind-blowing books I have ever read, a book that simply left me speechless and desperate to tell everyone about it all at the same time, is Black Lies by Alessandra Torre. Faultlessly written, impeccably mapped out, this extraordinary book shows us how far a person is prepared to go for true love, how many sacrifices they are willing to make, and how far they would derail from their own moral compass just to make sure they never lose that unique love. A story of pure genius, it is absolutely no wonder that it has made the New York Times Best Seller list three weeks in a row!! So, to celebrate this epic achievement, Alessandra Torre has graciously agreed to write us an extended ending, to thank her fans for loving Layana, Brant and Lee as much as she does! Enjoy!! ♥

My 6-star review
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback

Brant: Became a tech billionaire by his twentieth birthday. Has been in a relationship with me for three years. Has proposed four times. Been rejected four times.

Lee: Cuts grass when he’s not banging housewives. Good with his hands, his mouth, and his cock. Has been pursued relentlessly by me for almost two years, whether he knows it or not.

I love two men. I want two men.

If you think you’ve heard this story before, trust me – you haven’t.

bonus scene 3

Two Years Later

“Hannah!” I stood at the base of the stairs and yelled, my voice floating up into nothing, silence the only thing in response. It’s official. This house is too big. There’s no earthly way to fill it, only a hundred ways to hide in it. I listened hard, for steps, for giggles, but there was nothing.

I turned, jogging down the steps, my bare feet hitting the floor as I quickened my steps. We were going to be late. We were going to be late and this demon of a child was hiding. That’s fine. She could hide from me. Morton would find her. I moved to the master suite, pushing open the door and letting out a low whistle, the entire bed shaking until two giant paws peeked from underneath, the black and brown pads stretching and pulling until his nose, ears, then upper body wormed into view, a giant rawhide in his jaws. “Drop that,” I scolded, bringing my hand from a fist to open, the hand motion one he knew, the soggy bone dropping to the floor with a wet smack. The Rottweiler looked at me, his ears up. Waiting.

“Hannah. Seek.” I opened the door behind me and stepped back. “Go.” He didn’t hesitate, bounding through the doorway, the scrape of paws on stone making him easy to follow, his journey interrupted by occasional pauses and sniffs before leading me to the pantry door. He sat immediately outside it and stared, putting his front paws out, the signal one he had been taught. I left the pantry alone, opening up a cabinet and grabbing a glass jar of treats, his eyes following me, training ignored in the presence of bacon. “Morton…” I warned. He snapped his eyes back to the door, the only sign of breakage his tail nub, which beat out a happy rhythm on the floor. I bent down and fed him the treat.

“Hannah,” I called out. “You’re cornered. Either come out with your hands raised, or I’m sending in Mort.”

“Go ahead!” The defiant voice inside made me smile. “I’m not going to piano lessons. I hate them!”

“I’m warning you…” I said slowly and with a side of menace. “He’s extra drooly today. And just ate a squirrel from the yard. He’s got gut breath.”

Silence. Then a giggle. “He doesn’t eat squirrels. He—”

The remainder of her sentence was lost as I flung open the door and Morton jumped into action, launching himself into the deep space, her shrieks hitting my ears as he became a blur of licks, nuzzles and fur, his paws pining her down as he gave her his best version of a hug.

“Mercy!” she screamed! “Mercy! I’ll go!”

I smiled. “Morton. Return.”

He paused, turning his head back to me as he scowled, his tongue hanging out, the beg of one more lick in his eyes. “Go. Return.” He wheeled, his feet trotting back and I watched him return in the direction of the bedroom, my mind imagining the shake of the bedframe as he wiggled back into his favorite spot.

I turned back to the pantry to find Hannah standing, her hands making an elaborate show of wiping off her shirt. “Ready?”

“I guess,” she grumbled.

* * *

We weren’t going to piano lessons. Had Hannah been paying attention, she’d have realized that it was Tuesday, not Wednesday. But piano lessons were an easier distraction than the truth. Had I mentioned the doctor, she would have asked questions. Lots and lots of questions. The girl should write an encyclopedia one day with the answers of all of her questions.

I called Brant from the car, putting it on privacy mode and holding the phone to my ear.

“Where are you?” his greeting quick and to the point.

“Just left the house.”

“You’re going to be late.” I could picture him, calculating the time and distance in his head. “Don’t speed,” he added, as an afterthought. “Take your time. I’m already here.”

“Good. I was worried you’d get caught up at work.” I hadn’t been too worried. My absent man of before was gone. Brant didn’t miss appointments or disappear. His close team at BSX knew his condition, us all playing a constant game of watching, keeping an eye out for any signs of concern.

“I wouldn’t miss this. You know that.”

I smiled. I knew.

One month earlier. The push of his hands on my hips, forcing me back until I hit his office door, his hand reaching down, twisting the lock, his mouth hot on mine, need coursing through his kiss as his hands traveled back and dug into my ass. He pushed his hips forward and squeezed with his hands, tilting me up against his body as he groaned into my mouth like a horny teenager. “Right now,” he whispered, his fingers greedy as they moved up and yanked at the waist of my jeans.

“Shh,” I hushed, aware of the thud of us against the door, his body hard against mine, his need overriding any casual desire to keep our impending f*ck from his secretary.

“Get these off,” he growled, his hands frustrated with my shorts, his mouth moving to my neck as he worked at his own slacks.

“Brant – I can’t – I’m late…” I gasped, my hands misbehaving, twisting the button and shoving the silk shorts down, one foot stepping out of them, the second half of my sentence lost as his hand moved fast, pushing my free leg out, his fingers slipping down and into me, my eyes dropping closed as the press inside of me hit *there* – the spot that I couldn’t say no to.

“Just let me make you cum. Give me two minutes.” His plea made no sense, his cock already sticking out from the open fly of his pants, bare and ready. Bumping against my stomach as he moved his fingers and drove me crazy.

“Two minutes,” I gasped, gripping his shoulder, letting him pin me against the wall, my legs unhelpful in this moment in time. “Then I’ve got a meeting upstairs.”

“F*ck the meeting.” He curved his fingers inside of me and started to f*ck me with them, short hard thrusts that had my orgasm running full force to the edge of the cliff, ready to fly.

“Your cock. Now.” I gasped, wanting to come from more than his fingers, wanting the full connection. These intense f*cks, these moments when I feel Lee, can see him in Brant’s eyes, in the rough touch of a man who can’t control himself, of a man who takes rather than asks, and expects everything without argument… when I get this side of Brant I want as much as I can get, want to push the envelope of being used with being pleased. Want to let my husband f*ck me in his office with twenty people on the other side of the door. Want to let him take me, order me, make me beg.

“I don’t have a condom.” A Brant comment.

“I’m skipping the meeting, you can skip the condom.” I’m not gonna make it, can’t hold off this orgasm, his fingers getting stronger, harder, the darkening look in his eyes at my words pushing me ohmygodIcan’t….

I didn’t know when he shoved in, didn’t know when or how his fingers moved aside and the rhythm didn’t falter but suddenly I was full. Full of raw masculinity, thick and coarse and rough. Taking my orgasm and blowing it into pieces. His hand slamming against the door as his other pinned me into place and f*cked me senseless. My name, yelled from his lips as he pounded… pounded… pounded, each thrust fast and quick, as if he had lost all control, all sense, his mouth biting my neck for a brief moment before he swore out a string of words and came, his movements suddenly longer and deeper, burying fully before pulling slowly, my name a repeating crescendo on his lips before he finally stopped.

“You there?” The worry in his voice snapped me back to the present.

“Yeah. Sorry. I was just thinking about what got us into this mess.” I smiled.

Stop. You’re going to get me hard right here, in this waiting room.” The husk of his voice made me laugh.

“Then you stop. I’m about to pull in.” I ended the call, waiting for, and getting the question as soon as I turned into the office complex.

“This isn’t Mrs. Hobbins’ house. Where are we?” My little demanding child, her voice raised in indignation from the back seat.

“The doctor’s office.”

“I’m not sick.”

“It’s not for you.”

Silence. It was such an unusual response that I turned, glancing back as I unbuckled the seatbelt, surprise flooding me at the tears in her eyes, her small face scrunched up. Weakness on the child made of steel. “It’s okay, Hannah. Nothing’s wrong.”

I reached back, hitting the release on her booster seat, her small body moving through the SUV and colliding with my chest. I cursed myself. Hannah’s mother died of cancer. I should have thought, should have…. “It’s not a sick doctor, Hannah. Everything is fine.”

“Like Dr. Terra?” She sniffed, her hands quick to pull on my shirt, wipe her eyes.

“Well… not exactly. Dr. Terra is a psychologist. Be patient. Don’t cry. You’ll understand when we get inside.”

“I’m not crying,” she sniffed, her eyes glaring at me, telltale tears still wet where she missed them in cleanup.

“Okay.” I kissed her cheek and opened the door. “Child who does not cry, get off of my lap before you crush me to death.”

She wiggled off, launching herself towards the pavement, her feet hitting squarely and spinning her around to me. She held out a hand with importance, and I gripped it, shutting the door and walking towards the doctor’s office. Pushing open the door to Moran Family Planning & Pregnancy, I came face to face with Brant, his eyes on mine, his face dropping as he placed a quick kiss on Hannah’s head before leaning in to brush my lips.

“Ready?” he asked. I looked past him, at the nurse who stood behind him, waiting.

I nodded. “I’m ready. Let’s go confirm this.”

Then, each of my hands held with my family, we stepped towards the next piece of our future.

This is an extended ending to Black Lies, a New York Times Best Selling erotic romance. If you haven’t read this book, you can find out more information at www.BlackLiesBook.com.

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The Giveaway

To win one of two signed copies of Black Lies, compliments of a fellow book junkies who loved this book as much as I did (thank you, Trish!!), please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

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SIGNED GIVEAWAY: Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

“I’m fighting the urge to back you up against this wall and f*ck you so hard I’ll have to carry you back to your room.”

An addictive ‘angst-fest’ cover to cover, nothing about this story is what I expected to find, and everything about it has been a wonderful surprise—from the confident prose, to the dynamic characters, Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward is a love story that I immersed myself into fully and wholeheartedly, and loved every single minute of it. And today, to celebrate this wonderful book, I get to give away three signed copies, compliments of the author. ♥

✦ Read my review ✦
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You have 5 DAYS to play…

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* 3 SIGNED PAPERBACKS OF STEPBROTHER DEAREST *
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh

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A sexy a rockstar drummer madly in love with a woman who refuses to date him… From the best selling author Nalini Singh comes the second book in her new rock star series—Rock Courtship—and today I have a delicious except for you… ♥

What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn’t know is that David is a one-woman man…and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

excerpt

“Beer—whatever you have on tap,” David said to the grizzled bartender and grabbed a stool, his eye on the rugby game in progress on the TV screen bolted above the bar.

He’d hardly taken a sip of his beer, the dark liquid bitingly cold, when he felt a presence at his back. Instincts honed by a childhood in one of the toughest areas of New York had him focusing on the mirror behind the bar to check out the situation before he turned. A big, bald, and heavily muscled male with a spiderweb tattoo on his neck was standing behind and just to the side of David, a smirk on his pockmarked face.

Belly heating, David turned with a slight smile. “Problem?”

The bald man bared his teeth and, laughing, looked to a table to his right. “Hear that, boys?” he called out to his friends. “The pussy rock star here wants to know if there’s a problem.”

Laughter and shouts from that particular table, while the rest of the men in the bar went quiet. David didn’t move, taking a measure of the players without letting it show. “Always know your opponent” had been one of the first things his father had taught him—Vicente Rivera didn’t believe in turning the other cheek; he believed in teaching his sons how to put bullies on the ground and keep them there.

“Yeah, there’s a problem,” the bald guy said, shoving at David’s shoulder. “This is a real bar for real men. Not pussies.”

Like that, then. Good. He was in the mood to do some violence. Lifting his beer, David took a long drink, then slammed it down… and punched Bald Head in the jaw at the same time that he kicked out with his foot to connect with the other man’s knee. The jackass went down like a ton of bricks.

Roaring in rage, the man’s friends came at David.

He grinned and started to show them what this “pussy rock star” could do.

It wasn’t until they’d broken a table and several chairs, and the bartender had called the cops that David realized Thea would have to deal with the fallout from this. F*ck, f*ck, f*ck, he thought as he was shoved into a cell alone, his erstwhile opponents in the cell opposite. Sliding down the graffiti-marked wall to the floor, he thought about the phone call the desk sergeant had said he could make and decided against it.

Fox had Molly with him—the band’s lead singer had been waiting for his girl to arrive since the instant Schoolboy Choir set foot in the city. As for Noah and Abe, they both had their own plans. He knew any one of the three men would drop those plans in an instant to come to his aid, but since the cops had made it clear he’d be spending the night in a cell no matter what, why mess up their plans?

“You do or say anything that’ll hit the media, you call me. Day or night. I hate surprises—so don’t you dare surprise me.”

Thea had given that order to all four of them when she’d agreed to act as their publicist. Her up-front nature and dedication to her job was part of the reason they’d hired her; Thea was the best and she didn’t take any shit from her clients. He wasn’t doing himself any favors by not calling her.

Right then, David couldn’t find it in himself to care. It wasn’t as if she could hurt him any more than she already had. And Jesus, how long was he going to carry this torch that was burning him alive? “F*ck, f*ck, f*ck,” he said aloud, banging the back of his head against the wall.

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Rock Kiss – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links
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The Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series, Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a hot and wickedly tempting rock star. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Now that Rock Addiction is out, swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the book.

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BOOK REVIEW: Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

stepbrotherdearest

You’re not supposed to want the one who torments you.

When my stepbrother, Elec, came to live with us my senior year, I wasn’t prepared for how much of a jerk he’d be.

I hated that he took it out on me because he didn’t want to be here. I hated that he brought girls from our high school back to his room. But what I hated the most was the unwanted way my body reacted to him.

At first, I thought all he had going for him were his rock-hard tattooed abs and chiseled face. Then, things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night.

Just as quickly as he’d come into my life, he was gone back to California.

It had been years since I’d seen Elec.

When tragedy struck our family, I’d have to face him again.

And holy hell, the teenager who made me crazy was now a man that drove me insane.

I had a feeling my heart was about to get broken again.

review

“You were the best thing that ever happened to me. I hope someday I can say you were one of the best, but for now, it’s only you.”

You know those books that pull you in like a riptide, taking over all your senses and making you completely oblivious to the fact that there is a real life outside those pages waiting for you to live it? Well, this is one of those books. From the moment I read the title, something inside me started screaming, I want, the mere idea of a forbidden romance of this type making my skin tingle. However, nothing about this story is what I expected to find, and everything about it has been a wonderful surprise—from the confident prose, to the dynamic characters, this is a love story that I immersed myself into fully and wholeheartedly, and loved every single minute of it.

“Physically, he was my dream and in every other way, my nightmare.”

We meet Greta and Elec as teenagers on the very day they first meet, when Elec comes to live temporarily with his estranged dad and his new family. Even though they have technically been stepsiblings for a few years at that stage, they are complete strangers to one another, and while we see Greta looking forward to getting to know her new stepbrother, from the first moment Elec enters his new home, he does so with an air of disapproval and rebellion. And his main target seems to be the very person who is most enthusiastic about his arrival—Greta. The more young Greta tries to make him feel welcome in his new home, the more scorn and rejection she suffers at the hands of her new stepbrother. And yet, she never gives up, her innate kind-heartedness successfully bringing down Elec’s defensive walls, one brick at a time.

“The meaner he was to me, the more I wanted to make him like me.”

Elec is a contradiction at first. Smug, defiant, even apathetic at times, he is the kind of teenager you want to dislike. And yet his every cantankerous and hurtful action indicates a deeper, more serious cause at the root of it all. We see snippets of his problematic relationship with his father, leaving us suspecting that everything about Elec’s negative attitude is a protective shield, and nothing about him is as he wishes the world around him to think. He is complicated, difficult to warm up to, but his faults make him a truly three-dimensional character in our eyes.

“… nothing felt worse than when you stopped looking at me, Greta.”

Greta is his antithesis—innocent and somewhat naïve, she is the kind of girl who feels freely, openly, unreservedly because that is the way she has been loved all her life, and she is also the kind of heroine we cannot help but love from the start. As much as she fights it, her body’s reaction to Elec and his bad-boy appearance is something she is unable to hide, leaving her open to his mockery and fickle behaviour. He irks her, winds her up, embarrasses her, but she remains incapable of controlling his effect on her.

“Holy hell… his tip was pierced. What a way to be introduced to my first live one.”

As Greta’s quiet persistence eventually pays off and they start building a shaky friendship, her growing protectiveness and unwavering kindness towards him become the foundations of his first true human connection. But the closer they get, the harder it becomes to fight their mutual attraction, and they keep slipping, failing at every turn, their bodies desperately craving one another, while their hearts ache to connect on a deeper level. One night in each other’s arms, however, is all they get, one night of uninhibited passion, indulging their every secret fantasy and heart’s desire, and then it all suddenly ends. They part ways. And they don’t see each other again for seven long years during which Greta’s heartbreak never subsides.

“I’d rather have one night with you than nothing at all.”

When life finally forces their paths to cross again, they are no longer the same people they once were. Greta has grown into a confident, strong young woman whose heart might have never recovered from losing the only man she has ever truly loved, but she has moved on from her heartbreak, adjusted, learned to live with it. Seeing Elec after all those years, and given the tragic circumstances of their unexpected meeting, brings a lot of her childhood insecurities to the surface, one look at him alone reminding her of what they once shared and everything she has desperately tried to forget over the years. But she remains strong, bottling up her feelings the best she can.

“He was hers. I was his. It. Was. F*cked. Up.”

And this is where this story turns from heartbreakingly angsty to outright agonising. Greta’s silent pain from seeing that Elec has moved on with his life and perhaps never shared the same feelings as hers is as acute as it is compelling. Hearing her every thought, seeing her every vulnerability being tested, watching her heart break before our eyes all over again is something that made every protective bone in my body come to life. I was enraged, inconsolable, almost hysterical in my reactions to Greta’s inner turmoil, her every emotion becoming my own.

“The “one that got away” was supposed to stay away, not come back and leave you all over again.”

But, as it happens so often in life, there is another side to every story. And this story is no exception. Ms Ward stuns us into silence with a unique twist, a rare chance to hear what we were only left speculating about, and what we get to discover went beyond my wildest dreams. I adored that aspect of the story, even when I felt it was given in too much detail and could have been offered to the reader in broader strokes with fewer repetitions. It added so much colour to the story, so many extra layers for us to ponder upon, making Greta and Elec two well-rounded, almost real characters popping out from these pages. This is a story that made me feel beginning to end—from heartbroken to hot and bothered, from angry to utterly elated—and it was one of those reading experiences that only got better the more time I spent analysing the characters. I most certainly did not expect to find this many layers in a story of this type, but every last one of them has left me gobsmacked. This was an addictive ‘angst-fest’ cover to cover, sexy and emotional all at the same time, and one I highly recommend.

“We just have tonight. Please…don’t hold back.”

4halfstars

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GeminiAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
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The Author

Penelope Ward is a USA Today Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers. She spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family friendly career. Penelope lives for reading books in the new adult genre, coffee and hanging out with her friends and family on weekends. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 9-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 7-year-old boy, both of whom are the lights of her life. Penelope, her husband and kids reside in Rhode Island.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Chasing Abby by Cassia Leo

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Shattered Hearts by Cassia Leo is one of my favourite series out there, the heart-wrenching story of Chris and Claire forever occupying a special place in my heart. And while their love story might be complete, we are left with one unresolved part of their past—their first daughter Abigail. Today, we finally get to meet Abby as an eighteen-year-old girl in search of her origins, in Chasing Abby… ♥

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Five years, six months, eight days….

It’s been eighteen years since Abigail was born with a hole in her heart. Five years since she collapsed on the soccer field. Five years, six months, eight days since she found out she was adopted.

Abby has spent five years wondering about the family she never knew and waiting for her eighteenth birthday. When Abby shows up on the doorstep of Chris and Claire Knight, her birth parents are overjoyed to see the little girl they lost eighteen years ago.

One summer is all they have to make up for the years they lost. But a summer of love soon turns into a summer of heartache.

excerpt

Abby

Two months after

The hairs on my arms stand on end the moment I step inside Fidelity Bank in Raleigh. As if I can feel every time my parents walked through here over the past eighteen years. See the ghost of their footprints trailed across the speckled tile.

Caleb squeezes my hand as we head for the line of patrons queued up in front of the teller windows. I want to smile at him to show him that everything is okay, but I’m too nervous. My heart is pounding like a snare drum inside my chest. My fingers begin to tingle and I know I should stop and take a few deep breaths, but I can’t stop moving toward that line. I wriggle my fingers a little and Caleb tightens his grip, stopping in the middle of the floor as he recognizes the signs.

I look up into his green eyes and his eyebrows shoot up as he draws in a deep breath. I copy him, sucking in a large breath through my nostrils then letting it out slowly through my mouth. He does it a few more times and I follow along until the tingling in my fingers is gone. Then I blink my eyes to stanch the tears. It’s not fair to Caleb that he has a broken girlfriend. He deserves a girl with a healthy heart who can keep up with his lust for life.

“Better?” he asks, his voice soothing and hopeful.

I nod and he kisses my forehead. “Thank you.”

What is it like having a defective heart? Sort of like having a defective TV that only displays a few channels. You’re forced to listen to your friends talking about all the cool shows they’ve been watching. Shows you’ll never be able to watch. And you try to pretend you’re perfectly happy with your defective TV, but everyone knows you’re just trying to be a good sport.

Sports. That’s one thing you can’t watch on a defective TV. I learned that when I was thirteen. That also happens to be the age I learned about the safe-deposit box that brought me to Fidelity Bank today.

“I can help the next person in line.”

I look up and the woman behind the bulletproof glass is giving me that impatient, eyebrows-raised look. I step forward with Caleb and slip my driver’s license into the curved slot on the counter.

“I’m here to… to look at my safe-deposit box.” Look at? She must think I’m crazy.

She takes my driver’s license and swipes it through a machine. She types in a few commands, then she looks back and forth between the picture on my ID and my face.

“Do you have your key?”

“Yes,” I reply quickly as I begin digging in the front pocket of my jeans for the small silver key my father gave me two months ago.

I slide it into the slot and she smiles. “You can hold onto it.” She slides my ID back to me and I take both the card and the key back. “Just give me a moment. I have to go get my supervisor to help you.”

She disappears behind a curved wall and comes back with a man in a suit who’s sifting through a gaggle of keys on a chain as he walks. They arrive at the teller window and the man smiles at me.

He nods to his right. “This way, ma’am.”

Ma’am? I’ve never been called that before. I guess this is what it feels like to be an adult.

We reach an unmarked door that buzzes softly before it’s pulled inward. The man with the keys smiles as he waves us inside. He closes the door behind us, then he leads us to an enormous circular vault door. He slips a key into a lock, then he places his thumb on a print reader. A soft beep sounds and he enters a code on a touchpad. A heavy click sounds inside the door and he turns the wheel to open the door and pull it out.

The vault door opens onto a corridor, which runs perpendicular. Straight ahead of us is a room where another heavy, rectangular vault door stands open, revealing a narrow room lined from floor to ceiling with brass safe-deposit boxes. I look right and see more vault doors leading to other places. The man with the keys leads us forward to the room with the safe-deposit boxes. There aren’t any tables, just a single plastic chair with metal legs pushed up against the back wall of the narrow room. I may need that.

“Do you know which box is yours?” the man asks.

I look up into his dark eyes and my mind blanks, so Caleb speaks for me. “Fifteen-five-zero-eight.”

I nod in agreement and the man smiles as I hold up my key, still unable to speak.

He leads us to the middle of the room and taps a box on the left. “This is it.” He begins walking back toward the door. “Go ahead and take your time. When you’re ready, just press this button right here and someone will come back to let you out.”

I nod again. “Thank you.”

He nods as he closes the rectangular vault door, closing us into the room. My fingers are beginning to tingle again, but I don’t wriggle them. I don’t want to worry Caleb.

I hand him the key. “You open it.”

“Do you want me to look inside and tell you what I see?”

“Yes, please.”

He looks at me for a moment, then he heads for the back of the room. He carries the chair back to me and pats the seat. I sit down and try to resist the urge to wring my hands.

“Deep breaths, Abby,” he reminds me.

“Just open it. I need this over with.”

He quickly slides the key into the lock and turns. He pulls box 15508 out of the slot and I lean forward to put my head between my knees. I don’t want to see until I know what’s in there.

“It’s a memory card and… Holy shit.”

“What?” My head snaps up, but I can’t see inside the box from this angle. “What is it?”

His eyes are wide, but I can’t tell if he’s excited or terrified.

“Caleb! Answer me. What is it?”

“It’s… There are some pictures in here.”

“Pictures? So… what? Why is that shocking?”

His Adam’s apple bobs in his throat as he gulps. “It’s not the pictures that are shocking… It’s who’s in the pictures.”

“What? Let me see.” I stand up to get a look at the contents of the brass box, but Caleb quickly slides it back into the slot. “What are you doing?”

“You asked me to tell you what I saw before you see it.”

I slap his arm in frustration. “Then tell me, damn it!”

“Abby, calm down.”

He looks into my eyes with that stern look that only Caleb and my dad can pull off.

I take a deep breath and nod. “Okay, I’m calm. What’s in the box?”

“It looks like… your biological father is… Chris Knight.”

I narrow my eyes at him. “What? Is that supposed to be a joke? Because that is not funny at all. Just tell me what’s inside the box.”

He’s not smiling as his eyes lock on mine. “This is not a joke.”

The silence is so absolute, I can hear my feeble heart stuttering under the weight of this news.

“Sit down, baby,” he whispers and I gladly sit as he pulls the box out of the slot again. “Are you ready?”

I nod and he carefully sets the box in my lap. The first thing I see is the picture sitting on top of the stack. It’s clearly a professional family photo. Chris Knight, his wife, and their three kids are standing in front of a large elm tree. They look so happy and… perfect. I’ll bet all the TVs in their house work perfectly.

Caleb kneels in front of me and reaches forward to wipe a tear from my cheek. “Are you okay?”

I shake my head, shaking loose another tear. “No.”

I lift the photos out of the box and move the top picture to the bottom of the stack. The next one stops me cold. It’s a picture of Chris Knight looking quite a bit younger. He’s dressed in a suit and holding… me.

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Shattered Hearts – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Forever OursAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
RelentlessMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Pieces of YouMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Bring Me HomeMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Abandon (spin-off): My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Chasing AbbyAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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The Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo grew up in California and has lived in three different countries. She loves to travel and her dream is to one day score a record deal based on her awesome shower singing skills. She is the author of the Shattered Hearts series (Relentless, Pieces of You, Bring Me Home) and the Luke, Knox and Chase series.

Connect with Cassia: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Other books in the series or related posts:

COVER REVEAL: Poles Apart by Kirsty Moseley

From the author of one of my favourite books, the heartwarming The Boy Who Sneaks in my Bedroom Window, comes a New Adult standalone romance between a motorcycle racing hottie and a pole dancer, and today I have the very sexy cover for you!!! Feast your eyes on Poles Apart… ♥

Expected release date: 18 November 2014

PolesApart

He’s pole position…

Carson Matthews, the hottest driver ever to hit the MotoGP circuit, is living the carefree, celebrity lifestyle. With little to worry about, other than keeping himself top of the leader board, his favourite weekend pastime is visiting a certain blonde at Angels Gentlemen’s Club.

She’s a pole dancer…

Emma Bancroft, a part-time lap dancer, is just trying to make ends meet. Her responsibilities weigh heavily on her, as does the secret she’s kept from everyone for the last two and a half years.

The two of them are poles apart.

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WEEKLY RECAP of NEW & UPCOMING RELEASES – 23 September 2014

deacon

TOP REC

 

Deacon has an ugly history, a history that broke him, leaving him a ghost of a man. Out of necessity, he left the normal world to descend into the criminal world and found he fit. So he stayed. Cold as ice and living off the grid, Deacon has no intention to connect, not with anyone.

Then he returns to some remote cabins in the Colorado Mountains and finds they have new owners. One of them is Cassidy Swallow, a young woman willing to work hard to live her quiet dream in a house by a river surrounded by aspen and pine.

Suddenly, Deacon finds he’s at war. Cassidy’s pull for him to connect is strong. He fights it, but he loses, always coming back for more. But when he does, he gives her nothing.

From the first time she sees him, Cassidy knows Deacon is dead inside. She knows he’s the kind of man who could destroy a woman. But one night when Deacon’s control slips, Cassidy takes a chance.

He might break her. He also might be her dream come true.

This is the fourth book in the Unfinished Hero series of standalone stories with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: Knight ($0.99) | Creed ($0.99) | Raid ($0.99| Deacon

knight2 creed2 raid2 deacon
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sweetpossession

A sassy, in-your-face baker. A panty-stealing, dirty-talking accountant. And a bathroom quickie that changed their lives forever.

Wedding hookups never amount to anything.

Unless that hookup knocks you on your ass.

For Dylan Sparks and Reese Carroll, the big day can’t arrive soon enough. Dylan, stressed to the max from overbearing mothers and last minute preparations, struggles to keep her sanity. As for Reese, he’s fighting to not only keep his bride-to-be safe from creepy investors, but also to make it to the actual wedding day without losing his mind in the process.

Throw in a crazy group of friends, and a bachelor/bachelorette party weekend getaway, and you have a recipe for the sweetest wedding of the year.

Reese Carroll and Dylan Sparks cordially invite you to read Sweet Possession.

This is the second book in the Sweet Addiction series and Sweet Addiction should be read beforehand.

Series reading order: Sweet Addiction ($0.99) | Sweet Possession

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Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAAmazon AU | Paperback
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SummerofSeventeen2

It was supposed to be the endless summer of sand, sea, and surf.

Supposed to be.

But Nick Andrews life is crashing out of control. His girlfriend and his best friend have declared war, his sister’s constant interference in his life is driving him insane, and there are money problems that won’t go away.

Being seventeen isn’t supposed to be this hard.

When cool surfer Marcus arrives in town, Nick sees that there are easier ways to live. But with his life falling to pieces around him, it’s hard to know who to trust.

As the scorching heat of summer grows, events begin to unravel, reaching a shattering conclusion—and a summer he’ll never forget.

This is a standalone coming-of-age novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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closertotheedge

Cole Vargas has battled the demons that have plagued his nightmares, but winning the heart of the woman he destroyed is going to be the fight of his life.

When Cole returns home wounded from his latest mission, his only thoughts are of the woman who still owns his heart and getting strong enough to stand on his own two feet in front of her, to beg for her forgiveness.

Olivia Lafierre had her own nightmares to deal with since Cole said good-bye to her. Broken and alone, she lost everything the day Cole left and is still paying the price for loving him.

When the two are thrown together before either are ready, secrets will be revealed, friends will become enemies and past mistakes will push them…closer to the edge.

This is the fourth and final book in the Playing With Fire series of standalone stories with interconnected characters..

Series recommended reading order: A Beautiful Lie | Because of You | Worn Me Down | Closer to the Edge

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staywithme

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought shed left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from they moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

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

Series reading order: Wait for You | Trust in Me (companion novella to Wait for You) | Be With Me | Stay With Me

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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unforgiven

Lindsay Christianson seemingly has it all—the perfect career, the perfect boyfriend, and the best-laid plans for a perfect life—until one phone call changes everything.

With a moments notice, Lindsay must choose between her perfect life and her professional dreams. The choice momentarily seems clear when the opportunity to propel her career abruptly sends her across the country, leaving everything she loves behind in North Carolina.

Navigating a new city with a broken heart and a job where her colleagues will do anything to sabotage her success, the pressure quickly becomes too great. When old habits resurface, Lindsay finds herself chasing demons she thought were long since buried.

With pain and destruction left in her wake, will Lindsay find a way to erase the damage she’s done, or will her sins remain unforgiven?

This is a companion novel to Unbreakable and Undone and it is the final book in the Unbreakable series.

Series reading order: UnbreakableUndone | Unforgiven

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Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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withthefather

I had a choice, and I chose wrong.

I thought I lost everything. But when the smoke finally cleared, I discovered that I wasn’t alone.

Father Sullivan was a force – a living and breathing force, a forbidden desire I couldn’t resist. I didn’t want to resist. But I wasn’t the only one who wanted him, and by all accounts neither of us should have him.

I had decisions to make, secrets to uncover. Both would tear my heart, my life, and what was left of my family apart.

I wasn’t going to take any chances this time around. If I’d learned one thing during my life, it’s that death is the only certainty. It’s a matter of when, not if. For every action, there is a reaction. For every choice, a consequence.

If I hadn’t chosen to live again, I would have never known what life could be like …

With the Father.

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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thewrightbrother

From the moment I opened my eyes I could only see the world in shades of gray. There was no noise, no sound, nothing. Deaf and colorblind, I was a freak. My world was bleak, silent and empty, until her. Until I met my neighbor, Elisa Jane Adrian. I want her. I need her. The fractured part of me feels whole when she’s around. Like the world isn’t so dark, isn’t so bleak, and so still. I know it’s impossible, but when I look at Elisa I swear I can see color, can hear the gentle inhalations of her breath. I know she feels it too, this magic, this desperate desire…

I first saw him when I was three. Julian Wright was different than any other guy I’d ever known. He sees the world in a way I know I never will. But he intrigues me. The way he looks at me with his sea green eyes, how he hypnotizes me with his smile.

It’s dangerous these feelings I have for him. Reckless and stupid. I’m so much older than him, I know better. And I’ll fight these desires, no one will ever know how I feel. I’ll even pretend to myself that I’m not as hooked on him as he is on me.

I’ll move away to college, I’ll forget him, but that’s the thing about the Wright’s, they have a way of getting under your skin, into your soul, and no matter the time or distance, once a Wright sets their eyes on you, there’s no going back…ever.

This book can be read as a standalone novel.

Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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worththefall

They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.

They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.

But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.

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

Series recommended reading order: Worth the Fall | Worth the Risk (20 Jan 2015)

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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breakinghammer

He would search the ends of the earth to bring her home.

Betrayed by the MC he once loved, mourning the brutal murder of his wife, Joe “Hammer” Holder is just trying to hang on to the pieces of his life. He swore he would never fall in love again.

Until Meia.

But Meia belongs to another man – a human trafficker with unlimited political connections and power, who ensures her loyalty by holding someone she loves in his grasp.

Love is not part of Meia’s destiny.

Until Hammer.

Can love blossom in the midst of unspeakable pain and loss? And when Meia disappears without a trace, will Hammer’s love be enough to help her survive?

This is the third book in the Inferno Motorcycle Club series, but it can be read as a standalone novel. This series can be read in any order, although it is recommended to start with book one in order to better understand the club dynamics.

Series recommended reading order: Taming Blaze | Saving AxeBreaking Hammer

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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theexception

There are exceptions to every rule…

Jada Stanley is starting over–freeing herself from her past and all her mistakes. Following the rules she’s given herself is easy enough, until she meets HIM. He’s gorgeous, cocky, and everything she needs to avoid, but that’s easier said than done.

Cane Alexander has his own set of rules, a plan to keep his life simple and free of complications. But Jada is a temptation he can’t resist.

As their lives entwine, they realize one thing about rules… There is always an exception.

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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UnspeakableTruths

Everything I ever learned about fairy-tales was a fucking lie…

Four years ago, my life was everything I wanted it to be: I had everything I wanted, everything I needed, in my best friend and newly wedded husband—Tyler.

Yet, hours after we said “I do,” I lost him.

Forever…

The dreams we’d shared, the future we’d planned—all of our hopes and desires, were ripped away in mere seconds.

And now, four years later, my life still feels like a hopeless eternity.

So, I guess it’s quite fitting that the last person I want to hear from is currently standing at my front door.

He wants to tell me the truth about that night, he wants to be my new knight in shining armor, but the thing is…

He was the best man…

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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whenyouremine

For Barrett Shaw, there wasn’t much more to life than his career. Still climbing his way to the top, he could do without the distractions and complications of love. But the road to success is a lonely one, and Barrett was starting to think he would never meet a woman who could capture and keep his attention like a courtroom. That was before a chance meeting with a crazy twist brought him face to face with her.

Could she be the one he’s been hoping for?

The jury is still out.

For years, Tabitha Warren managed to keep men away from the mangled mess she once called her heart. Resigned to meaningless sex with random men, she was perfectly content to live a life without love.

Or was she?

The one man she should not want, just might be the only one she will ever need.

You never know when love will come along and change…everything.

This is the third book in the Mine series, but it can be read as a standalone.

Series recommended reading order: Because You’re Mine ($0.99) | Until You’re Mine ($0.99) | When You’re Mine

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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wherewebelong

Regret . . . she’s a snarky little bitch.

I’ve tried several times to regret the events that took place on June 5, 2008, but for the life of me, I can’t. I’d never regret the pain, the suffering, or the heartache because they ultimately led me to the place I am now. And I can’t regret the place I am now. What I still can’t figure out is this: how is it possible that the single worst day of my life inadvertently became the very best day?

Five years ago my life was irrevocably changed.

Seventeen minutes was all it took—
to lose my best friend…
to lose the love of my life…

Seventeen minutes was all it took for the seeds of hope—the seeds of my future—to be planted in the worst possible way.

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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hemy

My name is Hemy Knox and I’m a f*cking heartbreaker . . .

I’ve hurt the one person that means the most to me in life; the only woman I have ever f*cking loved. I let the drugs, alcohol and wild life take over; consume me. I got her where I wanted her and ripped her f*cking heart out.

Since then, I’ve spent countless nights having dirty, meaningless sex with a multitude of people; only leaving them wanting and begging for more with no regrets. Some may even call me the devil; soulless.

They look and judge, but there is one thing they don’t know; no one does. I want more than this life of stripping and sleeping around; the never ending party. I want love and everything that comes with it; that high that never ends. The problem is . . . I only want it with her.

Onyx.

She refuses to be mine . . . again. She’s smart and it’s a mother f*cking pain in my ass; guarding her heart while ripping mine right out of my chiseled chest. I can’t say that I blame her. I always was a dumb ass when it came to the emotions of a woman, especially her.

She wants to see me suffer as much as I made her; watch me wither and f*cking die at her feet. She wants to crush me until I’m no longer breathing and I will let her, because it hurts far less than not having her as mine.

I will stop at nothing to make her mine again. The pain only drives me harder; feeding my fury and giving me a reason to live . . . her.

This is the second book in the Walk Of Shame series of novellas that are all standalone reads.

Series recommended reading order: Slade | Hemy

slade hemy
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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Upcoming releases available for pre-order (click on cover)…
locke2

29 Sep 2014

torturetohersoul

29 Sep 2014

chasingabby

29 Sep 2014

theunderstatementoftheyear

29 Sep 2014

rockcourtship

30 Sep 2014

theresolutionofcallieandkayden

30 Sep 2014

BecomingCalder

5 Oct 2014

echoesofscotlandstreet

7 Oct 2014

tied2

7 Oct 2014

reapersstand

7 Oct 2014

promisemethis

7 Oct 2014

immortal

7 Oct 2014

tied2

7 Oct 2014

ruin_reiss

14 Oct 2014

sublime

14 Oct 2014

pitchimperfect

20 Oct 2014

rowdy

21 Oct 2014

wreckme_sorensen

22 Oct 2014

lastlight

28 Oct 2014

lastlight

28 Oct 2014

untiltheend

28 Oct 2014

dirtyrowdything

4 Nov 2014

fightingthefall

4 Nov 2014

ripped_leo

10 Nov 2014

LoveInSpanish

11 Nov 2014

captivatedbyyou

18 Nov 2014

ibelongtoyou2

18 Nov 2014

HardToComeBy

24 Nov 2014

theking_reisz

25 Nov 2014

TheUnimaginable

1 Dec 2014

youweremine

2 Dec 2014

maitaidup

2 Dec 2014

breakingtherules

8 Dec 2014

freeme

9 Dec 2014

RIPPED

9 Dec 2014

kirosemily

25 Dec 2014

fallingaway

6 Jan 2015

heldagainstyou

13 Jan 2015

TheRaven

3 Feb 2015

Deep

10 Mar 2015

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BOOK REVIEW: Deacon by Kristen Ashley

deacon

Deacon has an ugly history, a history that broke him, leaving him a ghost of a man. Out of necessity, he left the normal world to descend into the criminal world and found he fit. So he stayed. Cold as ice and living off the grid, Deacon has no intention to connect, not with anyone.

Then he returns to some remote cabins in the Colorado Mountains and finds they have new owners. One of them is Cassidy Swallow, a young woman willing to work hard to live her quiet dream in a house by a river surrounded by aspen and pine.

Suddenly, Deacon finds he’s at war. Cassidy’s pull for him to connect is strong. He fights it, but he loses, always coming back for more. But when he does, he gives her nothing.

From the first time she sees him, Cassidy knows Deacon is dead inside. She knows he’s the kind of man who could destroy a woman. But one night when Deacon’s control slips, Cassidy takes a chance.

He might break her. He also might be her dream come true.

review

“Not easy, fightin’ your pull. Wantin’ to be right here. Knowin’ I was no good for you. Prayin’ you’d get a man so when I’d come back I’d have a reason to stay away.”

Some fires don’t ignite at first contact, it might take some time and patience to get that first spark and see it turn into a bright flame, but once it starts burning, you feel its heat all the way down to your bones, seeping in, infusing you with its warmth, and making you wish it’d never lose its glow. That is the way I see the story of Cassidy and Deacon. A slow burning romance igniting over almost a decade in time, this is a love story that is not designed to set your pulse racing, or make you feel like your heart has gone through a spin cycle. This is a story to warm your heart, soothe it, give it hope, and it stands to show that the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is not always correct.

“… cabin eleven was home to me for a few days every year, the only home I had, ‘cause you were there.”

We meet Cassidy in her early twenties—a young woman fresh out of college whose dream of living a quiet life and running a small group of cabins for hire in the midst of the Colorado wilderness has taken her away from her family in Oklahoma and made her invest all of herself into making her vision a reality. The cabins are run down, her live-in boyfriend is no help at all and a constant financial liability, her daily life revolves entirely around fixing the cabins up, improving them, caring for them and her patrons, leaving little time to do much else, and yet Cassidy never loses motivation. Her little business remains a constant source of pride and fulfilment because in the middle of “rock, pine, aspen, columbine, fireweed, wild iris, and glacier lily” is exactly where she has dreamed of living ever since her parents took her there on a skiing trip when she was thirteen years old.

“I had a near-overwhelming urge to go to him and wrap my arms around him. Tight. And maybe never let go. For eternity.”

Shortly after buying the cabins, she meets John Priest, her first visitor—a man whose emotionless face and rugged looks scare her at first, but also seem to draw her inexplicably to him. Five months pass before she sees him again, and when he returns, Cassidy is single and living alone in the middle of the Colorado mountains, her heart a little bit more lonely than the last time they saw each other, but her dream still driving her forward and her business slowly thriving as a result. And so for the next four years they maintain a routine—John Priest always showing up unannounced, always renting the same cabin, and his sporadic visits never lasting more than a few days—but as much as Cassidy tries to get closer to him, to break though the ice with small acts of kindness and friendliness, he remains an impenetrable, unmovable mystery.

“We don’t change. You’re a good woman, Cassidy. But we don’t change.”

Until one night changes everything. Changes them both. And Cassidy finally meets Deacon, the man behind the ghost that is John Priest. They do not get to know one another by probing each other with endless questions, instead allowing their bodies and their hearts to lead the way. Cassidy still knows very little about the man now sharing her bed every night, or how long he would eventually stick around, but her every instinct tells her to trust him with her heart. To risk it all even for a fleeting chance of being happy in his arms.

“I knew down to my bones I couldn’t bear a life of longing for him, wondering how it could have been if he gave me what he was offering me right now at that moment. The chance to get in.”

And this is where this story becomes quite a departure from any previous Kristen Ashley romances. The slow pace, coupled with a very unique balance between the main characters, is what makes this story so realistic and relatable on so many levels. The physical aspect of their relationship is what moves the entire relationship forward, deepening their intimacy, strengthening the trust between them. Deacon’s job still frequently takes him away for prolonged periods of time, testing that trust, but he always returns to Cassidy, and she always welcomes him back.

“In this bed, out of it. Naked or not. No boundaries. All in. Nothin’ held back.”

As Deacon slowly disengages himself from his old life, there are demons from his past that he cannot let go of, thus risking everything he has built with Cassidy. This is a story about trust as much as it is about love—a man learning to trust himself with a woman again, a man needing time to become ready to accept what is right in front of him, and a woman who gave him just that—time—guiding him out of his own darkness simply by loving him no matter what and trusting her own heart with him. Cassidy’s patience and persistence made her one of the strongest heroines I have ever had the pleasure of finding, the true measure of her character being her ability to forgive, to risk her own heart time after time because she recognized something rare in Deacon, and she held onto that dream until the very end. I greedily wished we could have delved even more into her pain at times, as those moments of sorrow would have added a further facet onto a truly magnificent female lead.

“… there would always be a part of me that would long for him. There would always be thoughts in the back of my mind plaguing me, haunting me, making me wonder, if he let me in, even just a little, how it could have been.”

It seems that Kristen Ashley can do no wrong in my eyes because I keep falling in love with her stories book after book, connecting with the characters heart and soul. I love stories that focus on less-than-perfect heroes, good men who have made mistakes in their lives, who do not trust or give their hearts easily, and I especially love when these stories also explore the connection between love and trust in a relationship, specifically relating to the sexual aspect of that relationship. I read this book in one sitting, and it felt like I took one breath and didn’t exhale until the very last page.

And I probably should have mentioned that the characters are into bondage… Can these stories get any better?!

“Love is trust, Cassie, you taught me that.”

4halfstars

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Unfinished Hero – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links
(standalone stories with interconnected characters
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KnightAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Creed: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
RaidMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Deacon: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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The Author

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Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Connect with Kristen: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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BOOK REVIEW: Becoming Calder by Mia Sheridan

BecomingCalderThere is a place in modern day America with no electricity, no plumbing, and no modern conveniences. In this place, there is no room for dreams, no space for self-expression, and no tolerance for ambition.

In this place, there is a boy with the body of a God and the heart of a warrior. He is strong and faithful and serves his family honorably. But he dares to dream of more.

In this place, there is a girl with the face of an angel and a heart full of courage. To her family, she is the vision of obedient perfection. But she dares to want that which she has been told can never be hers.

Becoming Calder is the story of good versus evil, fear versus bravery, and the truth that the light of love has always found its way into even the darkest of places… From the beginning of time, to the end of the world.

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“Where do you find your strength, Morning Glory?”
“From you.”

I believe a small wonder is coming. A love story so epic and unique that will wreck us all and leave us in a blissful haze of ‘book hangovers’ for months to come. I believe I would have never read this book had it not been written by this particular author. Would have not even glimpsed at it twice. I believe Mia Sheridan has just written one of the most stunning, unpretentious romances of our age, and this book is going to change us all. I walked into this story completely blind, refusing even to read the blurb, confident in this author’s superb storytelling talents and in the unquestionable beauty of every single one of her previous works, but after only a few pages, I knew I had hit a hard limit with the setting of this book. My brain was screaming at me, telling me I couldn’t possibly enjoy anything of this sort, but my heart never even entertained the possibility of stopping because I knew that Ms Sheridan would blow my mind, as she always does, and that this was going to be one of those life-altering reading experiences that stays with you, changes you, makes you look at the world in a different way. I trusted my heart. And my heart was right.

“A storm is coming.”

This story is set in modern day America, but far away from the comforts of the society we know and live in. Acadia is a close-knit community of small families renouncing modern technology and living a sheltered life, an uncomplicated life, a focused life, in the middle of the Arizona desert. Except that every aspect of their way of life finds its source in the teachings of one man, a self-proclaimed Prophet, promising to lead his people to eternal life after a great flood erases life on Earth as we know it. We meet Calder as a ten-year-old boy living in Acadia with his family, on the very day he sees the “blessed one” for the very first time. An orphan and younger than Calder, Eden is brought into Acadia as the future bride of the Prophet who would stand by his side on doomsday. But at nine years of age, Eden is just an innocent little girl who is curious about the world around her and who dreams of a normal life where she is allowed to play with other kids, where she is loved, and where she is not one scary man’s object of affection.

“You’re mine, Eden. You always have been, from the very first second I saw you.”

From the moment Calder and Eden lay eyes on each other, their connection is immediate and irreversible. We watch them grow up, become young adults, but their mutual adoration never falters, never fades, and it only becomes stronger as they somehow manage to weave a secret friendship without ever even exchanging a word between them. And then one day everything changes when their one place of escape becomes the very place where they fall in love with one another.

“If I were just a boy, and you were just a girl, I wouldn’t kiss you once like you asked. Eden, I’d kiss you long, and I’d kiss you often.”

Everything they were taught to believe tells them that loving each other is wrong, sinful, forbidden, but the more stolen moments of pure joy they share in each other’s company, the more it becomes impossible to deny their hearts. And the more they are told they should not love each other, the more they start doubting the very beliefs that are meant to keep them apart.

How could this be a sin when my heart was bursting with love for this strong, kind, incredible boy—the one who had taught me all things brave and beautiful? How could this be a sin when it was the most joyful moment of my whole life? Could it be wrong to be so happy?

We watch them fall in love, hesitantly at first, discovering those emotions and each other’s bodies as any two teenagers would, and we feel it all with them—the exhilaration, the joy, the curiosity, the lack of control, the certainty that they were made to belong to one another. And our hearts grow tenfold. But as Eden’s eighteenth birthday draws near, the malice that tries to keep them apart only grows stronger and more determined, challenging everything they once believed to be true.

“All I know for sure is that you belong to me and I’m going to protect you. I’m going to make a life for us. Somehow.”

There is a stunning contrast between the world that Calder and Eden secretly build for themselves, between them, and the one they are told to live in. The beauty and purity of their bond throws an even darker shadow on the life they were taught to accept and never question, and each shift from one ‘reality’ to another only intensifies the angst we feel as readers. As much as I enjoyed every second of this truly extraordinary tale, I have to admit that my heart was in my throat from beginning to end, constantly on guard, fearful for the characters I loved from the get-go, and uncertain how it would all end. A beautiful story of human resilience and strength, a masterpiece in the making, a reading experience that has shattered me in the best possible way—this is a book none of us will ever forget.

And the story will continue and conclude in Finding Eden.

“As long as we’re under the same moon, we’ll always find a way to each other.”

5stars

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
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A Sign of Love – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links
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stinger
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BecomingCalder
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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 CalderAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Finding Eden: coming 5 Oct 2014…

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The Author

Mia is an avid reader, and now writer of romance and erotic novels. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband who is a police officer and her biggest fan (not necessarily in that order). They have four children here on earth and one in heaven. When she is not sitting on her couch with her head buried in her Kindle, Mia can be found writing or doing anything creative from building a patio, to sewing pillows.

Connect with Mia: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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