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WEEKLY RECAP of NEW & UPCOMING RELEASES – 28 Jul 2015

TOP REC

 

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

This is not a standalone novel. Even though one of the couples gets a resolution, the others do not. This kind of simultaneous-storylines-telling is impossible to wrap up in any other way but with cliffhangers. But in a way, this is Lane Bradford’s book and his love story gets a resolution. We are introduced to the other siblings, however, and their stories are far from over.

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Read my 6-star review ✦

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TOP REC

 

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

This is a ‪standalone‬ m/m novel.  

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

✦ Read my review + an excerpt ✦

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TOP REC

 

When I’m traveling, I feel like the secret to my life, to myself, to really becoming, is one step ahead. It’s in the next destination, the next town I get lost in, the next stranger I talk to. It’s always next but never here . . . 

After six months of backpacking and soul-searching across the world, Amber MacLean is flat broke. There are worse places for a twentysomething to be stuck than the Amalfi Coast, but the only way she can earn enough money for a plane ticket home to California is to teach English to two of the brattiest children she has ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, the young master of the crumbling villa tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

When her position turns into a full-time nanny gig, Amber grows dangerously closer to the enigmatic recluse. But can she give up the certainty of home for someone whose closely guarded heart feels a world apart from her own?

This is a ‪standalone‬ spin-off novel from Where Sea Meets Sky where we first met Amber.  

Series recommended reading order: Love, in English | Love, in Spanish | Where Sea Meets Sky | Racing the Sun

loveinenglish LoveInSpanish whereseameetssky_CR

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooksPaperback

✦ Read my review + an excerpt ✦

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ServicingtheTarget

A discharged Army Ranger, Ben considers his job as a BDSM club security guard to be an excellent hobby. He’s never been tempted to join in. But everything changes when the notorious Mistress Anne inadvertently reveals the caring heart concealed beneath her Domme armor.

Now, he’s set his sights on the beautiful Shadowlands Mistress. Maybe he’d considered himself vanilla, but she can put her stiletto on his chest any day, any time. He’ll trust her delicate hands to hold his heart. And if she wants to whip his ass on the way to an outstanding climax, he’s just fine with that too.

Sure, he knows she likes “pretty boy” slaves. And he’s older. Craggy and rough. And six-five. Minor hindrances. The mission is a go.

This is a novel in the Masters of the Shadowlands series of standalone novels with interconnected characters. Reading the series in order is advised.

Series recommended reading order: Club Shadowlands (FREE) | Dark Citadel | Breaking Free | Lean on Me | Make Me , Sir | To Command and Collar | This Is Who I Am | If Only | Show Me, Baby (novella) | Servicing the Target

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makemesir_new MOTS6-ToCommandAndCollar MOTS7-thisiswhoiam ifonly
showmebaby ServicingtheTarget

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

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everylastbreath

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath…

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

This is the third book in The Dark Elements paranormal series.

Series reading order:  Bitter Sweet Love (novella) | White Hot Kiss | Stone Cold Touch | Every Last Breath

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Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooksPaperback

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wickedfall

Never in your wildest dreams could you begin to imagine all the filthy and depraved things that go on inside The Wicked Horse. Step inside and Woolf Jennings will make every one of your dirty fantasies come true.

He’s covered in a facade of deception. An enticing blend of multi-millionaire and hot-as-hell Wyoming rancher, those that think they know Woolf Jennings admire his abilities to preside as CEO of his family’s cattle and oil empire. But only a privileged few truly understand what fuels the glitter of depravity in those gorgeous blue eyes. Only a few know he’s opened up a sinfully erotic and private sex club named The Wicked Horse right at the base of the beautiful Teton Mountain range.

Sweet Callie Hayes has returned home to Wyoming and is looking forward to starting her life over again. After a night of impetuosity, she’s managed to put herself right in Woolf’s line of sight… the man who she foolishly offered up her virginity to years ago and was flatly turned down.

Now Woolf is seeing that Callie is all grown up and has a kinky side to her that leaves him as confused as it does turned on. Worse yet, both Callie’s dirty desires and sweet heart are getting under his skin, and making Woolf question everything he’s ever believed about himself.

This is the first book in The Wicked Horse series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooksPaperback

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Carys Chase is accustomed to making her own rules and letting her heart lead the way—no matter what anyone else has to say about it. A rare Breed female and a daywalker as well, headstrong, beautiful Carys is one of the most powerful of her kind. She lives passionately and loves without limits, especially when it comes to the lethal cage-fighting Breed warrior called Rune.

Unbeatable in the ring, Rune exists in a brutal world of blood and bone and death. He’s made his share of enemies both in and out of the arena, and his secrets run as deep and turbulent as his past. A dangerous loner who has survived by his fists and fangs, Rune has never allowed anyone to get too close to him…until Carys. But when the bodies buried in his past rise up to threaten his present, Rune must choose between betraying Carys’s trust or putting her in the crosshairs of a battle neither of them can hope to win on their own.

This is a new pulse-pounding novel in the Midnight Breed series of standalone stories with interconnected characters, but it is recommended that these books are read in order as the background storyline continues from one instalment to another.

Series reading order: A Touch of Midnight (novella) | Kiss of Midnight | Kiss of Crimson | Midnight Awakening | Midnight Rising | Veil of Midnight | Ashes of Midnight | Shades of Midnight | Taken by Midnight | Deeper Than Midnight | A Taste of Midnight (novella) | Darker After Midnight | Edge of Dawn | Marked by Midnight (novella) | Crave The Night | Tempted by Midnight (novella) | Bound to DarknessStroke of Midnight (novella – 13 Oct 2015)

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

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thepledge

Taren needs a do-over. She’s decided the best way to put the high school bullies behind her is to pledge a Taylor-Swift-lip-syncing, beer-guzzling, sorority. Sisterhood helps Taren find the acceptance she’s always craved, but not the love she needs.

Alec wants freedom. To escape his father’s iron fist and unrealistic expectations, he pledges a campus acrobatics club where he finds that drugs and alcohol aren’t the only ways to get high. His addiction to danger helps him gain his independence, but it comes at a heavy price.

When the two cross paths, Alec fears his undeniable attraction to the party girl just might threaten everything he’s worked so hard to earn. Taren hasn’t forgotten that Alec humiliated her back in high school, but she also can’t deny the chemistry they share.

Alec and Taren have nothing in common, but fate is bound and determined to bring them together. They know falling in love is a risk, and yet it’s too hard to ignore. When their worlds clash and they both end up suffering, will they fight to stay together? Or are some pledges too hard to keep?

This is the first book in the College Bound series of ‪standalone‬ stories with interconnected characters.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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breaking

Keeping secrets is easy. Until love tempts him to break his cover…

Archer Hart, former SIS assassin, has just completed a freelance hit job when he finds himself in a sniper’s scope. The bullet whizzing past his ear is a clear message: someone wants him dead. Retirement will have to wait, as his only choice is to assume a new identity—and keep running.

Conrad Black is a broken man. The injured barrister has come to the beach to recover from a hit-and-run “accident”, with plenty of time to wonder who might be wishing he’d been left dead instead of partially paralyzed. When he spots a surfer in trouble, he throws his crutches aside to pull the man to safety.

One glance at Archer takes Conrad’s breath away. And Archer finds himself envying the hands Conrad is using to pet his dog. But as the net tightens, both men can feel the targets on their backs heating up. The only thing that will save them is the truth…before death snatches away their one chance at love.

This is the second book in the Fall or Break series of standalone m/m stories with interconnected characters. It contains “a mercenary who’s broken the law beyond all recognition, and an uptight barrister who is the law, as well as a whole lot of crossing lines drawn in the sand, and even more tussling to determine who gets on top.”

Series recommended reading order: Falling | Breaking

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

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PrettyBaby

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

This is a psychological thriller by the author of The Good Girl.

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

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HowToSaveALife

Life is not a love song …

I learnt the hard way that labels stick. Laura took “lovely”, and the teacher branded me “lady-like”.
It stuck with me, even through my high school years. It felt like that was all I’d ever be.

Until everything changed.

Lonely Lia.
Little Lia.
Lia the Liar.
Lia the Lost …

Now the choices are endless. But I don’t want to be any of those either.
My name is Lia Stanton. And this is my story.

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

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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TruthandTemptation

She’s a liar. He knows the truth.

Teagan Walker gets around. Ask anyone—hell, ask her. She’ll own it with a smile. But beneath that smile is a girl whose parents didn’t want her. Whose grandparents raised her without affection. Whose struggle with a burning anger threatens to consume her, though she’d rather punch someone in the face than talk about it. With a new job looming, she’s determined to work her way into a better life. When she meets the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, she decides to kick it off with a bang. And she makes her move.

But he’s got moves of his own, and before the night is out, he strips her of way more than she means to reveal—without removing of a single piece of clothing. That comes, too, of course. He’s gotten under her skin like nobody before him, and what’s the harm in one night with a sexy stranger? Exposed or not, she never has to see him again.

Except she does.

On Monday morning, they come face-to-face. He’s the son of her new CEO—and her boss for the summer—and he threatens to bring her entire world crashing down, making her face every lie she’s ever told.

This is the third standalone novel in the Summer Love series.

Series recommended reading order: Rock & Release ($0.99) | Surf & SurrenderTruth & Temptation

RockandRelease SurfandSurrender TruthandTemptation

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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FindingFlynn

Ashtyn Moretti is ready for the best summer of her life. But her parents have other plans when they drop the bomb that her perfect summer will be spent…

Away from home.

Away from friends.

Away from half her family.

Armed with her Summer from Hell playlist and a Kindle full of book boyfriends, Ashtyn prepares to face what she is sure will be the worst summer of her life. Or will it be?

Flynn James has one thing on his mind—the success of his band Marlowe. He’s focused and doesn’t have time for any distractions, and that includes facing his past. But then a petite brunette comes walking into the pub where he works.

Neither Ashtyn or Flynn were looking for love but they can’t deny their obvious attraction. Ashtyn’s summer has been full of lies. The last thing she expects is for Flynn to be one of the liars too. Can she forgive his lies and turn her summer around? Can Flynn keep his secrets without losing everything? Or will this really be the Summer from Hell?

This is the first book in the Marlowe series of standalone novels.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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AHeartsForgiveness

A heart is made to love, but can it truly forgive?

Filled with confidence, intellect, and beauty, Julie Michaels was comfortable navigating life on her own. But everything changed when she met Brett Chambers and he found a way into her heart.

He consumed it.
He owned it.
He broke it.

Brett knew Julie was his soul mate. She mirrored everything he desired until she wanted forever. Having been burned before, he had no intention of repeating those vows. His refusal cost him what he treasured most – Julie.

Letting go of Brett was the hardest thing Julie had ever done. It tore apart her soul and every fiber of her being. Shattered, she tried to move on, but life had a different plan.

Would Brett’s mistake mean losing her forever, or could Julie find it in her heart to forgive him?

This is a standalone novel.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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No kissing. No touching. And definitely no falling in love…

Armed with her besties, an embarrassing number of shots, and her list of 10 Wild Things To Do Before Adulthood, recent grad Cameron Lawson is partying it up before she starts her dream job at New York’s biggest ad agency. Her last task? Hook up with a random guy. And while it’s so not her style, the super-sexy guy sitting next to her is definitely game. No names. No details.

At least, that was the plan.

On her first day of work, Cameron discovers her hook-up is none other than Aidan Truitt-her new boss’s boss. Talk about failing the “no fraternizing with coworkers” policy on an epic level. Especially when Aidan makes it clear their one night was only the beginning. Falling for him could cost her everything, but sometimes the only way to get what you want is by breaking a few rules…

This is a standalone novel.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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Life dealt him a dead man’s hand.

Lucky had always led a life of service. Always put his life on the line for someone else, managing to survive by pure luck and skill. After bringing an end to a multi-state drug ring, he was finally able to live the life he had wanted as a Last Rider…

A good man would walk away and not touch the curvy woman who had been tugging on his heartstrings. Lucky wasn’t a good man. Therefore, the bad-ass biker in him had a choice: once again become the man he had pretended to be and stake his claim, or take the devil’s highway.

Some girls had all the luck.

Willa wasn’t one of them. All she wanted to do was give a home to the children she had made orphans. Instead, she found herself needing help from the man who had left the pulpit behind to embrace a life of sin.

Painfully shy and withdrawn she wanted a quiet life, a simple man, and well-behaved children. The last thing she had ever expected was for Lucky to want her size twenty body and show her a passion that would lead her straight to hell.

This is a novel in The Last Riders series of standalone stories with interconnected characters.

Recommended reading order: Razer’s RideViper’s Run | Knox’s Stand | Teased | Tainted | Shade’s Fall | King | Cash’s Fight | Fat Louise | Shade | Lucky’s Choice

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

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CaughtintheSurf

Lani woke up one morning hungover, heartbroken, and stranded in a tropical paradise. She missed her plane and ran out of luck… and then she met Casey. Who happened to be a pilot with an airplane…not to mention tall, handsome, and exactly what she needs. Even though the last thing she planned on was getting naked in the sand…

Warning: this is one seriously hot little novella previously published in the Summer on Seeker’s Island anthology. It contains super-steamy insta-love between a giant sexy island hero and a short and curvy Hawaiian surfer chick. This story contains scorching, sandy sexy times guaranteed to heat you up, even if you read it on the beach.

This is a steamy standalone novella.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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

3 Aug 2015

before we were strangers_cvr.indd

4 Aug 2015

TPS_HiRes

4 Aug 2015

4 Aug 2015

ThreeLittleMistakes

5 Aug 2015

thatbaby

10 Aug 2015

11 Aug 2015

themomentoflettinggo2

11 Aug 2015

17 Aug 2015

18 Aug 2015

21 Aug 2015

25 Aug 2015 

sustained

25 Aug 2015

HeartShapedHack

25 Aug 2015

rule_reiss

27 Aug 2015

1 Sep 2015 

beggingforit

1 Sep 2015

8 Sep 2015

8 Sep 2015

darkwildnight

15 Sep 2015

22 Sep 2015

afteryou

29 Sep 2015

ForeverwithYou

29 Sep 2015

29 Sep 2015

5 Oct 2015

survivingice

13 Oct 2015

nuts

20 Oct 2015

thehouse

27 Oct 2015

27 Oct 2015

1 Nov 2015

onekingsway

3 Nov 2015

3 Nov 2015

Untamed_stephens

3 Nov 2015

toughenough

3 Nov 2015

hardbeat

3 Nov 2015

10 Nov 2015

10 Nov 2015

reapersfall

10 Nov 2015

november9

10 Nov 2015

10 Nov 2015

appealed

17 Nov 2015

lonestar

24 Nov 2015

1 Dec 2015

misconduct

1 Dec 2015

1 Dec 2015

22 Dec 2015

anounceofhope

5 Jan 2016

2 Feb 2016

2 Feb 2016

9 Feb 2016

23 Feb 2016

thebeast

5 Apr 2016

Upcoming titles with no covers yet…

Searching for You by Jennifer Probst – 30 Nov 2015
The Best Goodbye by Abbi Glines – 1 Dec 2015
Wicked Reunion by Michelle A. Valentine – 15 Dec 2015
Hard Ever After by Laura Kaye – 19 Jan 2016
Beautiful Boss by Christina Lauren – 29 Feb 2016
Up in Flames by Abbi Glines – 1 Mar 2016
Cream by Alice Clayton – 1 Jul 2016

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BOOK REVIEW: The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

thebourbonkingsFor generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

review

“You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.”

I have the biggest book hangover ever. I am literally struggling to find things to occupy my mind with just so I wouldn’t go back to re-read this fabulous, oh-so addictive, sinfully moreish book, because at the end of the day, no matter how many times I flip those last few pages, no new ones are going to appear. The first instalment in The Bourbon Kings saga, this is the devastatingly compelling story of a very prestigious Southern family from Kentucky—the Bradfords—and it follows the four Bradford siblings and all the scandals and heartbreak entailed upon them by being born into such wealth and privilege. The best way I can describe the feeling of reading a book such as this would be to say that if Dynasty and Downton Abbey had a baby, this would be it! I am telling you, this book will ruin you, break you, steal your breath away so many times, you’ll be breathing into a paper bag by the end of it, and once you recover, you’ll be begging for more more more!!

“I was almost over you, Lane. I was getting my breath back, my life back.”

While the story as a whole is comprised of a number of intertwined subplots as we get to hear several distinct voices belonging to each Bradford son or daughter, as well as their romantic interests, this book in a way belongs to the youngest Bradford child—Jonathan “Lane” Tulane Baldwine—and the woman he lost two years before but never got over—Lizzie King. Lane has been wasting his life away for two long years, hiding from the world in New York City and spending his days either drinking or playing poker, but the ill health of the only quasi-parent he’s ever loved suddenly brings the prodigal son back home, to a house he never wanted to see again, forcing him to face the woman he cannot stop thinking about.

“The one man she never wanted to see again . . . was going to come home.”

Lizzie has been working at the Bradford Family Estate for ten years, working her way up to become one of their most valuable employees. Independent, diligent, proud of her hard work and determined to make it on her own in life—nothing prepares her for the return of the youngest Bradford son, her body betraying her from the moment they lay eyes on each other again, but two years of separation have not even dimmed her heartbreak or the sting of his betrayal. Lane, however, is a changed man, unwilling to let the love of his life slip through his fingers once again, and prepared to do whatever it takes to convince her to trust him again.

“I’m prepared to be a very patient man when it comes to you. I will seduce you for however long it takes—give you space if you need it or follow you tight as sunshine on your shoulder if you’ll let me. I lost my chance with you once, Lizzie King—that is not going to happen again.”

Lane is not the only Bradford we get to fall in love with in this book, his sister Gin’s and older brother Edward’s storylines being even more captivating and intense at times. Virginia “Gin” Baldwine, is a woman who lost her self-respect a long time ago, a woman who feels deeply and hates herself for all her downfalls, and yet for all those around her she maintains an air of pride, perfection, superiority, and complete emotional detachment. Spoiled by a lifetime of depraved luxury and blessed with good genes, Gin is used to getting her way in everything, especially the men she sleeps with, but ever since she was a teenager, she has loved one man and one man alone—the only man she can never have. For almost two decades, she has played a torturous and unhealthy cat-and-mouse game with Samuel Theodore Lodge III—Samuel T. to his friends—a successful attorney and old family friend, always one-upping each other with their sexual conquests while maintaining a very casual friends-with-benefits arrangement between them. But when two very headstrong people play a cruel game with each other for too long, they eventually end up forgetting why they started playing it in the first place, possibly losing the only chance they get at finding their happily-ever-after.

“To sacrifice her body at the altar of money? Fine. She would do what she had to.”

And then there is Edward Baldwine, the eldest son and heir apparent to the Bradford ‘throne’, a man whose broken body coupled with a lifetime of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father have forced him to leave his old life behind, and become a recluse who spends his days training horses and his nights drowning himself in self-pity and alcohol. But even as a shadow of his old self, his heart continues to ache for Sutton Smythe, the daughter of the Bradfords’ biggest competitor and Edward’s best friend since childhood, a woman he never claimed when he had a chance to but secretly loved all his life.

“You must know that I fell in love with you a long time ago. You must know it. How could you not? I’ve been following you around for years— is that why you hate me?”

While he fall head over heels with each Bradford sibling and the people they are destined to love forever, we also see them facing one common problem, a monumental setback that would change all their lives collectively and would require them to either join forces…or watch reality as they know it disappear in a puff of smoke.

A sinfully addictive telenovela-esque collection of jaw-dropping twists and turns, secrets and lies, set against a very enthralling backdrop of Southern wealth and privilege, I never wanted this book to end. Ever. I loved all the main characters, felt heartbroken over all their storylines, and cannot wait to see where the series takes us. In the meantime, I’ll be the one rocking in a corner, begging the universe to make the wait for the next book as short as possible.

“This is . . . your time, Lane. God has provided you with a sacred duty to keep this family together. You are the only one who can do it. This is all falling into place because it is your destiny to bind the blood once again. It happens every couple of generations. It’s happening now. This is your time.”

6stars

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BOOK REVIEW & EXCERPT: Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

review

“Jamie Canning was my first crush and my first love. But he was never mine to have.”

Be still, my beating heart… It doesn’t happen every day that two authors you love decide to write a book together, so this collaboration had me bouncing off the walls from the moment I got word of it, but this story, this sexy, fun, enchanting story was all I hoped it would be, and so much more. A wonderful testament of both these authors’ extraordinary talents, this is a story that pulled me in from the very first page, the flawless prose as captivating as the charismatic characters in it, but it was its heart-warming quality and the sheer emotion driving this love story forward, not to mention the blazing chemistry between the two leading men, that owned me cover to cover.

“I have the same damn weakness I’ve always had… My weakness is him.”

Former best friends, fellow hockey prodigies, Wes and Jamie used to spend every summer together at hockey camp, until a naughty little bet blurred the lines of their friendship, resulting in four years of silence between them. Now in their early twenties, both of them hockey stars in their own right, they unexpectedly find themselves in the same place at the same time, and memories of some of the happiest moments in their young lives start flooding back, every single one of them tied to those summer camps spent as best friends. But only one of them really knows why their friendship ended so suddenly.

“How do you apologize to someone for cutting them out of your life without so much as an explanation?”

As the star player of his college team and with an NHL contract already in the bag, Ryan “Wes” Wesley’s future could not be any brighter, his only regret in life being the loss of his best friend, the only man he’s ever loved, the very reason he was eventually forced to face the truth about his sexuality. His love life now being nothing more than a string of commitment-free hook-ups, Wes enjoys his freedom and ability to focus solely on his hockey career, but seeing his former best friend again stirs up in him feelings he thought were long gone, feelings he’s always known would forever remain unrequited. And memories of a time when those weeks spent together each summer were all he would look forward to all year long.

“My life has been chaotic for as long as I can remember, and I always dealt with it alone. My parents’ criticism, my confusion over my sexuality. But for six weeks every summer, I didn’t have to be alone. I had Jamie, my best friend, my rock.”

Jamie Canning never understood why he had lost his best friend from one day to another, always suspecting that their last wager might have affected them differently, but never accepting in his heart that one night of drunken stupidity could have ended a six-year friendship. So when Wes unexpectedly makes contact with him again, Jamie’s heart offers no resistance, eager to have his friend back and desperate for answers.

“Life is just a little brighter, a little louder wherever Wes is.”

One last summer before their professional careers take off, one last summer camp as roommates, six weeks to relive old memories and make new ones together—Wes and Jamie might be hoping to rekindle an old friendship, but they end up uncovering much deeper feelings for one another, feelings that would change the course of their futures forever. As they explore each other’s bodies and their own hearts in the process, we watch two young men come to terms with a reality that neither of them ever thought possible, their desire for each other only eclipsed by their unwavering determination to put their friendship first. We watch a young man being finally able to express all he’s ever felt for his best friend after a decade of secretly longing for him, and another young man facing a side of himself he never knew was there, a side that equally confuses and excites him, but also a side of himself he refuses to deny—both their journeys being equally compelling and believable.

“Was I hiding something from myself? Or was there nothing to suppress?”

A love story that hooks you in with its simplicity and honesty, I fell in love with every moment of it. It’s a story of two friends becoming lovers, of two men falling for one another and being willing to change their lives in order to put each other first. It is not a story about the struggles of being gay, about coming out to the world or one’s battle with their own sexuality—the focus of the story remains on the irrevocable bond and the sexual attraction between these two men, and the courage it takes to put love first. The perfect blend of sweet and sexy, this tender romance was such a delightful read!

“Loved you every summer since I was thirteen years old. Love you even more now.”

4halfstars

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excerpt

Boston’s skyline comes into view from my bus window well before I’m ready.

It’s a mere ninety minutes from Northern Mass to TD Garden. And I’m from Boston. The Frozen Four is always played at a neutral rink, but if anyone has a home ice advantage this year, it’s me. Playing in the Bruins’ arena is my childhood fantasy come to life.

Apparently it’s my jackwad of a father’s fantasy, too. Not only is he pumped up to invite all his asshole colleagues to my game, he can look like a hero on the cheap. He only has to spring for a limo, not a charter flight.

“You know what I like best about this plan?” Cassel asks from the seat next to me as he flips through the itinerary that our team manager passed out.

“That this event is like the puck bunny world headquarters?”

He snorts. “Okay, sure. But I was just going to say that they’re putting us up at a nice hotel, not some sleazepit off the interstate.”

“True.” Although the hotel, whatever it is, won’t be nearly as grand as my family’s Beacon Hill mansion a few miles away. I’d never say that, though. I’m not a snob, because I know that opulence doesn’t stamp out ignorance and unhappiness. Just ask my family.

We spend the next half hour snarled in traffic, because that’s just how it is in Boston. So it’s almost five o’clock by the time we’re finally unloading the bus.

“The gear stays!” our student manager shouts. “Take only your luggage!”

“We don’t have to schlep our gear?” Cassel yelps. “Baby, I’ve arrived. Get used to this treatment, Wes.” He elbows me. “Next year in Toronto, you’ll probably have a personal assistant to carry your stick around for you.”

It feels superstitious to talk about my NHL contract before the Frozen Four. So I change the subject. “That’s awesome, dude. I love it when another guy holds my stick.”

“Teed that one up for you, didn’t I?” he asks as we grab our duffels off the sidewalk where the red-faced driver has tossed them.

“Sure did.” I let Cassel enter the revolving door first just so I can grab the door by its handle, holding it with a tight lunge and trapping him inside.

Stuck now, Cassel twists around to give me the finger. When I don’t let go, he turns away and reaches for his belt buckle, setting up to moon me and whatever slice of Boston happens to be walking past the hotel on a windy April Friday.

I let up on the door and give it a shove, smacking him in the not-yet-bare ass.

Ah, hockey players. You really can’t take us anywhere.

Then we’re in the shiny lobby. “How does the bar look?” I ask.

“Open,” Cassel answers. “That’s really all that matters.”

“Truth.”

We find an out-of-the-way place to stand while we wait for the team manager to sort out the hotel rooms. But it’s going to be a while. The lobby is busy and getting busier. Our end of the room has a distinctly green-and-white color scheme, with our Northern Mass jackets everywhere.

But on the other end of the room another color catches my eye. It’s orange. Specifically the orange and black of another team’s jackets. They’re filing through the same doors we just entered, shoving each other and generally acting like testosterone hounds. It’s all very familiar.

And then the room tilts a little as my gaze locks onto a sandy blond head. I only need the oblique view I’ve got to recognize the shape of his smile.

F*ck me. Jamie Canning is staying at this hotel.

My entire body tenses as I wait for him to turn his head. To look right at me. But he doesn’t. He’s too engrossed in conversation with one of his teammates, laughing at something the guy has just said.

He used to laugh with me that way. I haven’t forgotten the sound of Jamie’s laughter. Deep and husky, melodic in a carefree kind of way. Nothing ever kept Jamie Canning down. He was the epitome of go-with-the-flow, probably because of his laidback California upbringing.

I hadn’t realized just how much I’ve missed him until this very moment.

Go talk to him.

The voice in my head is persistent, but I silence it by wrenching my gaze off Canning. With the colossal amount of guilt lodged in my chest, it’s now become even more evident that I need to apologize to my old friend.

But right this second I’m not ready.

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Other books by these authors…
theyearwefelldown
theyearwehidaway
blondedate_new
theunderstatementoftheyear
TheShamelessHour

The Year We Fell DownAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
The Year We Hid AwayAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Blonde Date (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
The Understatement of the YearAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
The Shameless HourAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with Sarina: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

The Deal: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
The Mistake
: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

midnightrescue midnightalias midnightgames midnightpursuits
aftermidnight midnightaction midnightcaptive midnightrevenge

Midnight RescueAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback
Midnight Alias
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback
Midnight GamesAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback
Midnight PursuitsAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback
After Midnight (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Midnight ActionAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback
Midnight CaptiveAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Midnight RevengeAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback

Connect with Elle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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BOOK REVIEW: King of Hearts by L.H. Cosway

Welcome to the City, London’s most prestigious square mile, where finance reigns and Oliver King is a rising prince.

I used to rule the world.

There might be wolves on Wall Street, but there were crocodiles in Canary Wharf. Some of us craved money. Some of us craved power.

I liked money, and power had its advantages, but what I really wanted was to excel, to surpass the men who came before me. I never cared much for love and romance until I met Alexis.

I could feel it the very moment she walked into the interview, with her outspoken charm and vivacious personality. She cast all the others in shadow, made me laugh when life held no humour. Our friendship should have remained professional, but it wasn’t long before the lines started to blur.

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, I never foresaw where my plans would lead, and only in my darkest hour did I finally see the light…

You can have all the money and prestige in the world and still be the poorest man alive. And love, well, I hate to use a tired old cliché, but love can be the thing that truly sets you free.

review

“I could lose the run of myself inside a woman like you, Alexis. And I fear if I made you my queen, I could no longer be a king.”

I’m going to be totally honest with you—I picked this book up on a whim based solely on its eye-catching cover. I had no idea nor did I wish to know what it was about as I was looking for a book to surprise me, to make me fall in love with its story and its characters, a story to woo me somehow after so many had left me unfulfilled and aching for a truly superb read. And after just one paragraph I was almost certain I had found a gem, but the more I read, the more I adored every single thing about this book—from its quirky and utterly addictive writing style, to two of the most loveable, compelling and downright delightful characters I had come across in a very long time, not to mention a storyline that I never saw coming, its twists and turns keeping me on the edge of my seat start to finish, and making me turn those pages faster than a speeding bullet. This is quite possibly one of the best books I have read in a while, so incredibly uplifting and engaging, a startling story that is nothing short of amazing in its uniqueness, and it made me want to read every single thing ever written by this terrific author.

“Sometimes we see someone and they just suit us. They’re beautiful to us in every way. You’re that person to me.”

Alexis Clark is a bright young woman in her late twenties who’s spent her life selling herself short despite her innate intelligence and ability to do whatever she sets her mind to, so when she applies for a job as executive assistant at one of the top investment banks in the country, she holds little hope of actually getting the job. But from the moment she opens her mouth, it becomes apparent to her soon-to-be new employer that she might be the perfect candidate for the position.

“You’ll have to get up a lot earlier in the morning to offend me, Mr King.”

Oliver King might be a self-made powerhouse in the banking world, a confident and successful executive in his early thirties, but he never expected someone like Alexis to walk into his office looking for a job, and even less to find himself giving it to her. Her directness and honesty feel like a breath of fresh air in an industry built on pretences and insincerity, and from their very first interaction she not only succeeds in demonstrating her quick wit and cleverness, but also in doing something very few people in his life ever could—to make him laugh. And so it takes no time for the lines of their professional relationship to start blurring more and more each day, a very unique camaraderie forming between them, and their daily interactions becoming something they both look forward to with anticipation.

“Having you around makes the day that little bit more interesting. I enjoy the spontaneity of never quite knowing what you’re going to come out with next.”

However, when an underlying attraction between them starts blurring those lines even further, putting into jeopardy both their working relationship as well as their friendship, Alexis blurts out the first thing that comes to her mind, hoping this would curtail any further inappropriateness from her new boss, thus convincing him that she bats for the other team. And while this little white lie buys their friendship the time it needs to grow without them succumbing to the raging sexual attraction between them, their feelings for one another grow too, so once the truth is uncovered, nothing can stop the bedroom fireworks from happening. Or for their hearts to become irrevocably entwined.

“I want to f*ck you so hard, Alexis, so hard you’re still feeling me inside you tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow….”
Okay, did he just hit me with a side of Shakespeare in his dirty talk?
I died.
I died dead.

But do not think for one second that this is just another predictable office romance scenario, because everything that happens up to this point only sets the stage for the ‘real’ story to take place. The plotline is divided into two distinct time frames and I cannot even hint at the events in the second one without giving too much away and depriving you of all the ‘feels’. The character evolution alone is fascinating in its extensiveness and complexity, both Oliver and Alexis having very trying journeys to travel emotionally, as individuals as well as a couple.

“Do you ever wish, Alexis, that your heart was just that little bit smaller, so that you didn’t have to care quite so much?”

This is so much more than just a love story—this is a story of the staying power of true love, a story of human endurance, of courage, or patience, and of love’s ability to survive a human spirit’s darkest hour. The connection between Alexis and Oliver is sheer magic, its strength palpable in the smallest details, and its beauty leaving us breathless even through occasional giggles and tears. I love a story that makes me genuinely invested in the wellbeing and happiness of the characters, and there is so much to love about Alexis and Oliver, so much to connect with and so much to be inspired by. From every angle, this was the perfect story for me, flawless in its delivery and impossible to put down. I was looking for a superb read, and somehow I stumbled across an epic one.

“I never stopped loving you, not even in my darkest hour.”

5stars

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Hearts – Reading Order and Purchase Links
heartsoffire

Six of Hearts: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Hearts of Fire: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
King of HeartsAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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WEEKLY RECAP of NEW & UPCOMING RELEASES – 21 Jul 2015

Sophie Swenda, a refugee aid expert, is accustomed to saving lives on a grand scale. It becomes more than a job when the person she needs to save is the man she loves.

Michael Nariovsky-Trent, a Baltic-born American doctor, vanished months ago after joining the resistance in the Soviet Republic. Sophie believes he’s trapped inside the fences and barbed wire of a sinister refugee camp, lost in a sea of freezing, starving prisoners of war.

Despite her long-ago failed romance with Michael, Sophie’s always believed their time would come – no matter how unlikely it seems to everyone around them. His blazing temper, her obstinacy, and their shared brilliance and competitiveness have made the road to love a rocky one. More than a decade after they separated, they’re too stubborn to forgive past mistakes … and still too in love to move on.

She embarks on a mission like no other before. Unless Sophie can find him, their long-delayed chance at love will be lost forever. With the world’s security forces deadlocked and the camp’s commander seeking vengeance, Sophie is on her own. She must bargain for the life of the man she loves – and everyone else in the camp – before the commander destroys them all.

This is a ‪standalone‬ novel, to fanfic fans known as Behind Enemy Lines.  

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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They thought with his execution it would all be over.
They were wrong.

The leader of one of South Florida’s most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs has been put to death by lethal injection. Days later, his family and friends should have been picking up the pieces, moving on. Instead, they’ve been catapulted into a world so twisted and dangerous even the most ruthless among them would be stunned to discover the tangled web of deception, not only on the dangerous streets of South Florida but all the way to the top.

In this gripping follow-up novel to Nine Minutes, Out of Time takes readers from the sun-drenched flatlands of 1950s Central Florida to the vivid tropical heat of Fort Lauderdale to the halls of Florida’s Death Row as we finally learn the gritty backstory of Jason “Grizz” Talbot and the secret he spent his life trying to conceal.

Not even Grizz’s inner circle knows his full story—the tragedy that enveloped his early life, the surprise discovery that made him the government’s most wanted and most feared, and the depths of his love for Ginny, the tenderhearted innocent he’d once abducted and later made his wife.

Once Grizz’s obsession and now the mother of his child, Ginny has spent years grieving the man she’d first resisted and then came to love. Now remarried to Tommy, a former member of the gang, the pair have spent more than a decade trying desperately to live a normal existence far from the violent, crime-ridden world they’d once carved out on the edge of the Florida Everglades. For Tommy, especially, the stakes are high. Desperately in love with Ginny for years, he’s finally living his dream: married to the woman he never thought he could have. But even with the façade of normalcy—thriving careers, two beautiful children, and a genuinely happy and loving marriage—they can’t seem to put the past behind them. Every time they turn around, another secret is revealed, unraveling the very bonds that hold them together.

And with Grizz finally put to death, now Ginny has learned secrets so dark, so evil she’s not even sure she can go on.

Will these secrets tear their love to pieces? And how far will Grizz go to protect what he still considers his, even from beyond the grave?

This is not a standalone novel and it is highly recommend that you read Nine Minutes beforehand in order to be able to understand the background stories of the main characters. There are many twists and turns in both books that can best be connected if read consecutively. There will be a third novel in 2016.

Series reading order: Nine Minutes | Out of Time

nineminutes outoftime

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The Reeducation of Savannah McGuire

Tyler King never forgot the blue-eyed, pig-tailed girl that lived on the ranch next door. So when he hears that she’s coming back for the summer, he can’t wait to reminisce about the good ole days. He soon finds out life in the Big City means a life with big ambitions and Tyler soon learns that Savannah has left the memories of small town living long behind her.

Savannah McGuire never thought she’d return to the ranch she once called home. Now she’s back and trying not to become attached to everything she’s missed by growing up in New York City. Determined to hate her surroundings, Tyler works to remind her of everything’s she’s missed. With her future planned out and a trip to Paris imminent, falling in love with Tyler King was the last thing she expected.

This is a standalone friends to lovers, second chance at love novel. It is currently priced at $0.99.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooksPaperback

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The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

This is a standalone novel which has been described as a “delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities”.

Amazon US | Amazon CA | iBooksPaperback

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DefendingPacer

Chelsea Tanner’s career as a defence lawyer is rapidly climbing. Her strong ethics and sharp wit in the courtroom has paved her way into becoming an associate of Sydney’s top law firm. She hasn’t lost a single case in her short but successful career. Law is her life, living and breathing it leaves little time for anything more. When a member from the infamous Legano Family is up on a murder charge, Chelsea finds more.

Pacer Fratelli is dark, hard and completely consumed by his new defence lawyer. Chelsea and Pacer’s worlds couldn’t be further apart but he wants more … and what Pacer wants, Pacer gets.

When bad love feels so good, just how far would you go to defend it?

This is a ‪standalone‬ novel.

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thetroublewith

I’ve always believed in what I can see, what I can hear and what I can touch. Surfing was my religion and destiny was just a fairy-tale. But one summer, over ten days during the hottest February on record, all that changed. I found hope – the kind of hope that sustains you, even when you don’t want to be sustained.

The night Emily disappeared, I was branded. She became the girl on the ‘missing’ posters, and I became the one trying to keep everyone from falling apart. I thought that somehow it would keep me from being devoured by the emptiness inside me. Five years later, I was beginning to appreciate how deluded I really was.

Then Maia showed up. New in town, with a past as mysterious as she was, she reminded me so much of Emily that I couldn’t stand to be anywhere near her. What I didn’t realise was that there were forces at play that neither of us could possibly understand.

It takes a determined soul to alter destiny. There is a loophole, a back door, and the events that unfolded during those ten days showed me how that loophole can change everything.

Do you believe in fate? If so, let me tell you my story. If not, what happened to me might change your mind.

This is a standalone novel.

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

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neverdidsay

“You are my happy ending. Everything else happening around us? It doesn’t mean shit.”

Life is made up of hills and valleys, but fate Never did say that I’d get stuck in a rut like this. It’s my turn now, mine, and I’m supposed to be happy. I’ve got Ty McCabe, my dark butterfly, my prince in a crown of thorns, so why is there all of this blood and this bullshit?

What ever happened to happily ever after?

But I’m different now. Stronger. I won’t sit back and watch everything fall away. This time, instead of running, I’m going to fight. I’m going to fight with everything and then some because I have my soul mate, my son, my sisters.

I finally have a life worth fighting for, and I won’t give it up.

Not even to fate.

“We’re worth more than just ourselves alone, Never; we’re the sum of each other.”

This is the sixth book in the Never series and it is not a ‪standalone‬ novel.

Series reading order: Tasting Never ($0.99) | Finding NeverKeeping NeverNever Can TellNever Let GoNever Did Say | Never Could Stop (TBA)

findingnever keepingnever nevercantell_322x500
neverletgo neverdidsay

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truthorbeard

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my! 

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

This is the first book in the Winston Brother’s series. Each book is a standalone, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers.

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chaos

From the moment she saw Shawn Scarlett perform at a school talent show, Kit Larson has loved two things: the guitar, and the gorgeous, green-eyed boy who inspired her to play. But one careless night in high school shatters her hope of ever being more than a notch in his bedpost.

Six years, two bands, and one mostly mended heart later, Kit’s about to make her rock star dreams a reality as the new guitarist for Shawn’s band, The Last Ones to Know. He may not remember their reckless night together, but Kit has never forgotten…and she’s determined to make him eat his heart out.

The release of their new album means a month cooped up on a tour bus, sleeping inches away from the ridiculously sexy musician she’s never quite gotten over. And as Kit gets to know the real Shawn—not Shawn Scarlett, the rock god, the player—their attraction becomes too hot to resist. But the past is paved with secrets, and when they finally surface, Kit could lose everything: the band, the music, her dreams…and Shawn.

This is the third book in the Mayhem series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: Mayhem | RiotChaos

chaos

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focusonme

Colin Hartman can now add college to his list of failures. On the coast-to-coast trek home from California, Colin stops at a gas station in the Nevada desert, and can’t help noticing the guy in tight jeans looking like he just stepped off a catwalk. When he realizes Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.

Riley only intended to take a short ride in Colin’s Jeep to the Grand Canyon. But one detour leads to another until they finally find themselves tumbling into bed together. However there are shadows in Riley’s eyes that hide a troubled past. And when those shadows threaten to bury the man whom Colin has fallen in love with, he vows to get Riley the help he needs. For once in his life, quitting isn’t an option…

This is the second book in the In Focus series of standalone m/m novels.

Series recommended reading order: Trust the Focus | Focus on Me

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lifebeforedamaged

Money. Power. Sex.

Even Pete Ferro, with that sinful body & beautiful blue gaze, can’t drag me from here. My life is finally mine. Things are finally going my way.

But as my life grows content, Pete’s eyes grow troubled.

There’s something there, something beneath the pointed words and charm–someone real–and it scares him.

The real Peter Ferro frightens me, too, but I won’t give up on him–even if everyone else has.

This is the seventh instalment in the Life Before Damaged serial.

Serial reading order: Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3Volume 4Volume 5Volume 6Volume 7

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offduty

As a member of the New York Fire Department, single father Tim Davis is about as tough as they come. But underneath the muscles and tattoos, he still nurses a bruised heart handed to him courtesy of his first love. While on vacation with his son in New Orleans, Tim runs into the very woman that taught him about love before pulling it all away.

Holly Reynolds is rebuilding her life as an orthopedic doctor, far away from her home in New York City and her controlling father… the man responsible for tearing her and Tim apart. While she knows the hurt she caused Tim could never be forgiven, she can’t help the overwhelming feelings she still has for her first and deepest love.

Truths are revealed as lies are exposed.

Two people come back together again to explore the fragile emotional bonds that still keep them tethered, even as their passion ignites hotter than any fire Tim has ever had to put out before.

This is the seventh book in the Off series, but it is a standalone novel.

Series recommended reading order: Off SidesOff LimitsOff The RecordOff CourseOff ChanceOff Season | Off Duty

offsides offlimits offrecord2 offcourse2
offchance offseason offduty

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theanchor

Parker Hayes has just graduated at the top of his class from law school. He has an amazing new job and a killer new bachelor pad. Life is good! It’s damn near perfect. But something is missing. No matter how hard he tries, he hasn’t been able to get Nikki Reese off his mind. The mind-blowing, sex-filled weekend they spent together was more incredible than anything he’s ever experienced. But the brief encounter wasn’t enough, and now Parker finds himself musing over if he’ll ever see Nikki again. Just one more touch…

Nikki Reese is Holly Spring’s beauty queen. She’s the kind of woman that can smile, taking a man’s breath away, all while flipping him the bird. Pageants are her life and she’s determined to make it to the Miss USA pageant no matter what. No. Matter. What.

But what was supposed to be a fun-filled—no strings attached—weekend together in New York changes all of that.

Months after their fling, Nikki discovers the incredible time they spent together will forever change her life. Two bold pink lines have written a fate she’s not sure how to deal with. When Parker discovers the news, to her surprise, he rushes to Nikki’s side, ready and willing to help in any way he can.

Seeing Nikki again sends Parker’s imagination running wild, but he keeps his cravings in check for the time being. The two agree to work together for the sake of their child, but neither can fight the intense, raw chemistry between them. But when Nikki’s abandonment issues threaten to divide them, brutally sending them drifting apart, Parker must become the one who keeps them grounded and intact.

He must be The Anchor.

She may feel like she’s shattered into a million little pieces, but he’s about to show her that letting him go again is not an option.

This is the second standalone book in the Holly Springs series, the sequel to The Suit.

Series recommended reading order: The Suit ($0.99) | The Anchor

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ReleaseMe2

Alessandra Sinclair knows that Hudson Chase is the last man she should want. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks has grown into a man who would do anything to get ahead, even if it means breaking Allie’s heart. But whenever she’s near him, the attraction between them is undeniable. And now that they’re working together, keeping her distance from Hudson is almost as impossible as keeping her feelings in check…

Hudson already lost Allie once and he refuses to lose her again. He’s determined to use their new business partnership to rekindle the spark he knows is still there. Only the closer he gets to winning her over, the clearer it becomes there are still secrets that could tear them apart for good…

This is the second book in the Chasing Fire trilogy.

Series reading order: Remind Me | Release Me | Reclaim Me (20 Oct 2015)

ReleaseMe2 reclaimme

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Upcoming titles with no covers yet…

Searching for You by Jennifer Probst – 30 Nov 2015
The Best Goodbye by Abbi Glines – 1 Dec 2015
Wicked Reunion by Michelle A. Valentine – 15 Dec 2015
Hard Ever After by Laura Kaye – 19 Jan 2016
Beautiful Boss by Christina Lauren – 29 Feb 2016
Up in Flames by Abbi Glines – 1 Mar 2016
Cream by Alice Clayton – 1 Jul 2016

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COVER REVEAL: The Darkest Flame by Christina Lee

From the author of There You Stand, comes a new m/m romance about an errant motorcycle recruit and the captivating bartender who sends his wheels spinning down an all too tempting road. Feast your eyes on the cover of The Darkest Flame…. ♥

Expected release date: 17 August 2015

Vaughn O’Keefe has been part owner of the Hog’s Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he’s never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named “Smoke” walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.

“Smoke” Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He’s on the right path and isn’t about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.

When the Hog’s Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can’t have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.

As Smoke’s past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it’s time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he’ll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe​

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BOOK REVIEW + EXCERPT: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

racingthesunWhen I’m traveling, I feel like the secret to my life, to myself, to really becoming, is one step ahead. It’s in the next destination, the next town I get lost in, the next stranger I talk to. It’s always next but never here…

After six months of backpacking and soul-searching across the world, Amber MacLean is flat broke. There are worse places for a twentysomething to be stuck than the Amalfi Coast, but the only way she can earn enough money for a plane ticket home to California is to teach English to two of the brattiest children she has ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, the young master of the crumbling villa tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

When her position turns into a full-time nanny gig, Amber grows dangerously closer to the enigmatic recluse. But can she give up the certainty of home for someone whose closely guarded heart feels a world apart from her own?

review

“I should have known from the start that this man was going to give me a reason to stay.”

Have you ever walked away from a book with the feeling you could still taste it, smell it, all your senses in withdrawal because for as long as it took you to read that book, you were there, in it—walking those cobblestoned streets, feeling the sunshine on your skin, hearing the chirpy song of the cicadas, lavender and lemons filling your nose with their tangy scent, while your eyes basked in the devastating beauty of the landscape before them? This story was that book for me, Karina Halle’s evocative prose transporting us to the south of Italy, on a journey of self-discovery and introspection, where a young woman travels the world to find herself and love ends up being her ultimate find. A delightful reading escape, I could not stop myself from devouring this story, loving every single word.

“I’m just this useless, helpless, average little human being who will never live up to her potential.”

Twenty-four-year-old Amber McLean has been backpacking around the world for the past six months, searching for a reason not to go back home to California, where she would be forced to become the ‘responsible adult’ her parents wish her to be, even though she knows that the happiness she is looking for in life can never be found there. But gallivanting across the globe has only depleted all of Amber’s savings, not bringing her any closer to finding herself, and only making her even more desperate to find a reason not to return home. With only enough money left to reach the Italian Amalfi Coast and live there for a week before going completely broke, she finds a job on her first day there—teaching English to two young children on the breathtaking island of Capri—but she soon discovers that her new job is a lot more complicated than she expected it to be.

“If you can handle that man, then you can handle the children. Then you can handle anything.”

With two badly behaved and grieving children, a run-down estate, and a moody twenty-nine-year-old ex-motorcycle racer for a boss, Amber is out of her depth from the get-go, but everything about the lonely Larosa family tugs at her heartstrings and makes her even more determined to stick by them and help them find peace and happiness again. Not to mention that each encounter with her boss leaves her hot and bothered, and more than a little curious about all the secrets behind his reclusive ways.

“This is starting to sound like Beauty and the Beast. Oh my God, am I Belle? Is he an Italian Beast? Did I just stumble into the best scenario ever?”

And so Amber’s true adventure starts, as she slowly shows the Larosas how to be a family again. But her greatest challenge proves to be the oldest member of the Larosa family, Desiderio, who’s own fears and broken heart have frozen him in time, unable to feel anything since the day he lost it all at once. By not running for the hills every time he shows her his darkest side and tries to push her away, she forces him to let his guard down, jump-starting his heart and life again, and so what begins as a vacation romance quickly becomes the greatest love story of her life.

“I hate to think that one day I’ll be back home, dreaming of the man who liked me just the way I am.”

However, while her lover’s life might be finally moving in the right direction, Amber finds herself at an ever greater crossroad than before, struggling with the knowledge that Desiderio’s happiness might eventually cost her her own. It’s a story about the time-old question of whether love alone is enough to make a person happy, our heroine having left one uncertainty behind for another, this time taking a leap into the unknown and taking a chance on love putting not only her future, but also her heart on the line. I loved the way Amber remains true to herself until the end, following her heart, but also listening to reason, her every decision being a perfect reflection of the person she truly is. Her struggle felt real to me, honest and relatable, making her a heroine that was incredibly easy to connect and sympathise with, as well as be inspired by. Her parents’ constant criticism is like a little voice in her head that keeps telling her that she’d never amount to anything, and forever remain a disappointment to them, and yet she keeps taking risks and seeking happiness at all costs. This story might not be as ‘edgy’ or as ‘daring’ as some of Halle’s earlier works, but it is no less unputdownable or compelling, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

“Life works out the way it wants to.”

4halfstars

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

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excerpt

“Let’s go for it,” I tell him.

He goes first, pulling himself along, and I have the plea­sure of watching his beautiful back and shoulders work above the water, mirrored by his ass and legs below the surface.

I am not as graceful. I hang there like a fat orangutan and shuffle myself along until we’re just inside the cave. Then I let go of the chain, falling into the water, but Derio’s arms are around me, keeping me afloat.

The cave seems so black and dark in front of us and behind us; the tiny opening only lets in so much light.

“I thought the cave would be blue,” I tell Derio. By now the water is a lot warmer and my body is getting used to treading water.

“Just wait a moment,” he says and swims farther in.

Now this is feeling a bit more like nightmare territory. I paddle after him and try not to think of what could be lurking beneath my feet.

“Did you know,” Derio says, his voice bouncing off the unseen walls of the cave, “that in ancient times, Tiberius, the emperor who built Villa Jovis, used this cave? They have found sculptures and artifacts from that time period at the bottom.”

“So there is a bottom,” I muse, spitting out some of the salty seawater.

“It is very far down,” he says, and I detect a slight tremor to his voice. He swims over to me, his features becoming lighter as he nears me and the entrance to the cave. “But I hear it is sandy, if that helps.”

Normally, a nice sandy ocean floor wouldn’t scare me as much as a nebulous rocky one, but in this cave everything is kind of scary.

“You know what else is special about this cave?” he asks, an arm circling my waist.

“What?”

“There were many ancient orgies in here,” he says with a wag of his brows.

I burst out laughing and the sound echoes around us. “You and your ancient orgies, my God.”

“It’s true,” he says, “they would swim in here and have sex with the witches and sea monsters.”

“Your imagination both frightens and intrigues me.”

He smirks and then looks between us at the water just below my chin. I swallow and follow his eyes. Our legs turn from white to black as the water around us slowly becomes a saturated blue, the color of sapphires, and we become floating silhouettes.

“The sun is hitting the water,” he says with a smile. “Out there somewhere. The light comes in through the entrance, as well as an opening farther below.”

It’s like magic. Slowly, the cave walls begin to lighten just a little and the water lights up as if lit by blue glow sticks. The water stretches far back and the cave ends up being a lot longer and higher than I imagined. In less than a minute, it goes from something unknown and scary to something spell­binding and surreal. Our bodies in the water are black, lit from below, while neon blue reflects off the bottom of Derio’s strong jaw and alights in his dark eyes.

He kisses me, his lips wet and salty. His hands slide up and down my sides as he swims forward and I glide backward until I’m pressed against the side of the cave.

Don’t forget to check out Vilma’s Book Blog tomorrow for the next episode in the RACING THE RELEASE excerpt chain, and follow along with all the other stops for the full Racing the Sun excerpt…

Day 1: Heroes and Heartbreakers
Day 2: Maryse’s Book Blog
Day 3: Natasha is a Book Junkie
Day 4: Vilma’s Book Blog
Day 5: Rock Stars of Romance

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

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Love in English – Reading Order and Purchase Links
loveinenglish
LoveInSpanish
whereseameetssky_CR

Love, in EnglishMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Love, in Spanish: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Where Sea Meets Sky (spin-off): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Racing the Sun (spin-off): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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