Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Insider★ by @oliviacunning

Title: Insider (Exodus End #1)
Author: Olivia Cunning
Release Date: June 30, 2015
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Toni wants to be an insider.
Logan just wants inside her.
 
She’s finally ready to rock…
Toni Nichols set aside her dreams to raise her little sister, but now she’s reaching for the stars as the creator of a revolutionary interactive biography about Exodus End. She’s on tour with the rock band to immerse herself in their world, but how will she ever gain the trust of four veteran superstars who’ve been burned by the media before? Nobody said this was going to be easy. Then again, good things can come in hard packages.
He’s always ready to roll…
Adrenaline junkie Logan Schmidt lives for the rush of playing his bass guitar before thousands of screaming fans. When he’s not performing onstage or in the bedroom, he’s looking for his next thrill in extreme sports. So why does a sweet, innocent journalist get his heart pumping and capture his full attention? Is Toni the real deal or just digging up dirt on his band? Logan’s eager to rock Toni’s world and roll her in the sack, but when she starts to get too close to his heart, she takes her insider look to a place he may never be willing to go.
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Excerpt

“Have a seat, Toni,” Dare offered. He stood and took a gym bag from her hand. He set it on the floor next to the spot he’d vacated, making it clear that Toni should sit next to Logan on the sofa. Logan loved the guy. Such a thoughtful son of a bitch. Toni’s dark eyes, hidden behind a pair of thick-rimmed glasses, scanned the interior of the bus as if searching for refuge. Apparently the seat next to Logan was not it. Dare plopped himself down in the only available recliner and extended the leg rest, as if he had no intention of moving for the night.“Th-thanks,” Toni said, pushing her glasses up her nose with one trembling hand.

Logan wasn’t sure what she was so nervous about all of a sudden. She’d seemed perfectly at ease when they’d been interacting with their fans. Perhaps she’d taken his comment about a lamb in a den of wolves to heart. He’d only been teasing, but he found her skittishness endearing in a world where most women threw all inhibitions to the wind when in the presence of any member of his band, much less all four of them.

The bus rumbled as it rolled forward. They were on the road again. Toni’s hands flew out as the unexpected movement threw her off balance.

She plopped down beside Logan, perching on the edge of a cushion as if the sofa’s back was made of shards of glass. Logan was pretty sure she was looking for the emergency exit. Her gaze settled on Butch, who was standing next to their driver and running over a strict schedule detailing how to get them to their next show in time while making a promotional stop between venues. Their schedule never had an inch of give. Their manager, Sam, was a genius when it came to getting the band the most exposure, but he had the tendency to believe that because they were a metal band, they were made of iron. They didn’t require useless things like down time and rest.

“So tell us more about this book,” Dare said, which was apparently the exact right thing to say to Toni, because her unease evaporated instantly.

“Have you seen the new interactive electronic textbooks?” she asked, her eager gaze moving from Dare to Max to Steve.

Logan was very conscious of the fact that she didn’t look at him once. He’d thought their attraction was mutual, but maybe not. He scooted several inches closer to her because he saw something he wanted and wasn’t one to sacrifice his personal needs for the greater good.

“Textbooks?” Steve asked. “Like for school and shit?”

“Yeah, that’s usually where textbooks are used,” she said, a teasing grin on her lush lips. When no one laughed, her face fell. Logan forced a guffaw about five seconds too late. That got his bandmates laughing. Not at Toni’s understated joke. They were laughing at his blatant stupidity. Nothing new there.

“I can’t say I’ve even seen a textbook since high school,” Steve said.

“These new interactive ones are amazing. Each topic has videos and pictures and links. It presents the information in a way that gets students who are used to constant entertainment excited about learning.”

“So you’re writing a textbook about us?” Dare asked, brows drawn together in a confused scowl.

“What kind of textbook would that be? A manual on mayhem and debauchery?” Toni cringed when no one laughed at that joke either.

Logan guffawed five seconds too late again. He was going to have to pay really close attention to what she said to figure out when she was joking. He didn’t think she lacked a sense of humor, she just looked serious. She’d definitely fit in better at a library than at standup-comedy night.

“The publishing company I work for designs and distributes these interactive textbooks,” she said. “Samuel Baily approached us to make an interactive book about the band, the first of its kind. He’s very forward thinking.”

That got the band laughing. “You might say that,” Max said. “Sometimes he’s a bit too forward thinking. He’s got every minute of our schedules booked for the next eighteen years. He thinks we’re robots or something.”

Toni’s eyes bulged. “Eighteen years?” she muttered under her breath.

Surely she knew Max was joking, so why did she look so unsettled? Wondering if he could make her blush again, Logan scooted a few more inches closer to her. His knee brushed her thigh, and she yanked on her skirt. Other than her hands and face, not an inch of bare flesh was showing. He wasn’t sure exactly what she was trying to conceal. Maybe she wasn’t open to his attempts to seduce her. Which made her a challenge. Which, like her tits, he couldn’t resist. Or maybe she had a nice boyfriend at home. His loss.

“Speaking of robots,” Steve said. “How are the prototypes of our androids coming?”

“Good until they tried to replicate my dick and ran out of materials,” Logan said.

Toni’s sudden intake of breath made him grin. That shocked her? Seriously? Too easy.

“If they ran out of materials, it had to be due to Max’s giant forehead,” Steve said.

“Or your enormous feet,” Max countered.

Toni grabbed a pad of paper out of her bag and started writing furiously. Logan leaned against her shoulder to read what had her so excited. She was writing down their conversation. In the margin, she wrote: Keep video camera close at hand when all band members are together. They’re hilarious.

He was close enough to feel her body heat and inhale the sweet fragrance of her fruity shampoo. He wondered if she tasted as sweet as she smelled.

“For the record,” Logan said in her ear as he pointed toward her notes, “I was the one with the big dick.”

Toni leaped from the sofa as if it were on fire. Her gaze darted from one guy to the next, and she pushed her glasses up her nose with the back of her wrist. God, he wanted to take those glasses off, take those clothes off, and do things to her. Naughty, devious, delicious things.

“Um . . .”

The twin bumps poking against her shapeless turtleneck drew Logan’s attention.

Hard nipples? Did his crassness turn her on? That was all the encouragement he needed to behave inappropriately. Visible nipples also meant that her bra was not padded. There was so much win in that, he should have her name engraved on a trophy.

“What’s wrong?” Logan asked. “I won’t bite. But I will nibble. And suck. And lick.”

She stared at him with her mouth agape and her eyes wide. Her nipples strained against her sweater, begging him to do all those things and more to the tips of those luscious melons.

She glanced down at her tits and immediately crossed her arms over her chest. “Is, um, there a bathroom I can use?”

“At the back of the bus,” Dare said, nodding his head toward the end of the corridor.

“Don’t take a dump in there,” Steve said. “We stop at rest areas to do that business.”

Face flaming, she sucked in a deep breath, turned, and sprinted to the back of the bus. She fumbled with the closet door and when it popped open, a stack of towels that had shifted during transit tumbled out and pummeled her in the face.

Logan climbed to his feet to rescue her. He decided to take it easy on her for the moment. He wouldn’t want to traumatize her so much she decided to leave. They both bent to pick up the same towel at the same time and bumped heads. They jerked apart and rubbed their heads in unison. Toni looked up at him, her brown, doe-like eyes watery with tears. He wasn’t sure if they were tears of pain or humiliation, but seeing them in her eyes did strange things to his chest. He wasn’t sure why it was suddenly tight.

“It’s okay,” he said, deciding that though it was fun to tease her, he’d better tone it down a bit. She obviously wasn’t used to it, and he didn’t want to harass a woman who wasn’t receptive to provocative flirting. He hadn’t intended to upset her, just wanted to have a little fun and get under that conservative skirt of hers. “I’ll get the towels, Toni. You go ahead and do your business.” He opened the bathroom door for her.

She lowered her hand from her forehead to reveal a large reddened bump.

Logan winced and leaned forward to press his lips to the lump. She sucked a startled breath into her chest. Shit. There he went crossing the line again.

“Sorry,” he murmured. “I always kiss boo-boos.”

“I have a pimple on my ass that needs kissing,” Steve called.

Logan closed his eyes and shook his head. “One of the things you should consider stressing in your book is how little fucking privacy a man has while on tour with his band.”

“I can include that,” she said, “but I think fans are more interested in the size of your dick.” She backed into the bathroom. “I know I am.” She bit her lip before closing the door in his face.

Review5 stars
Insider-DGR

What are you going to do to me?”
“Lamb, the question you should be asking is what aren’t you going to do to me?”

No one and I mean no one can write an erotic rockstar romance quite like Olivia Cunning. This book served as the perfect reminder of why I fell in love with her writing and characters in the first place when I first discovered her Sinners series years ago. But this book? This gloriously sexy and make you laugh out loud like a loon book? This is easily my favorite book by this author to date. Coming in at over 500 pages, I never wanted it to end. Yes, it’s long, but never once did it drag, never once did I want to skim, and never once was I bored. Never. I can safely tell you that Insider was very much worth the 2 year wait because it was just that good.
So what did I love about it? Everything. But I suppose I can give you a list since I’m generous like that.

First there was Toni Nichols, the adorably naive virgin with the heart of gold and a quirky habit of collecting mismatched socks. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved her character and I’m usually not a reader that enjoys reading about 25 year old virgins. But Olivia Cunning managed to create such an incredibly endearing heroine with her that you can’t help but love her right away. I could also understand how growing up the way she did with a mother that’s more wrapped up in her job, losing her father young, and caring for her special needs sister would explain her current hymen challenged issues. She was just adorably clueless about everything. And while normally that would annoy me, here I just couldn’t get enough of it.

With her mother owning the company she works in, she never quite felt like she belonged. But then she gets the job of a lifetime going on tour with Exodus End in order to create a revolutionary interactive biography about the famous rock band. This of course lands her right in the path of Logan Schmidt; adrenaline junky, manwhore, and the band’s super sexy bassist.
The chemistry between them is instant and absolutely sizzling. And soon Toni begins to get the lesson of a lifetime in more ways than one…

You’re sensitive,” he murmured to her belly button. “I can’t wait to latch on to your clit. I’m going to suck it until you come so hard you scream.”
Toni’s knees clamped shut again. he was going to do what to her whozit?

I loved how naive and clueless Toni was about most things and Logan’s ways of teaching her. I just loved these two together. They never failed to spice things up but with a signature humor to it all that made this book absolutely unputdownable.

I can’t wait to keep you in my hotel room for an entire day and show you all the dirty things I want to do to this body,” he whispered.
Eyes wide, Toni’s body stiffened. She wasn’t sure if she should be excited or nervous by the prospect.
“Your pussy tastes so sweet,” he said. “I’m going to start you off by licking it for hours.”
Okay, excited it was.

Logan was everything I love about rockstar manwhores. Seeing him slowly begin to realize that his relationship with Toni is much more than he had intended. What’s that they say? The bigger they are, the harder they fall. And when Logan falls, he definitely falls hard. It’s impossible not to fall for someone like Toni. While Logan introduces her to the dirty side of things, she never loose her sweet disposition that draws everyone to her like bees to honey.
I also loved that no matter how much sex this book had (and it had quite a bit), it was ALWAYS sizzling hot and I never got tired of it. Olivia Cunning is probably one of the very few authors I know that can actually pull off this much sex in a book without it taking away from the story. It just fit. I didn’t skim one scene in over 500 pages. And it never failed to make me uncomfortable aroused with how hot it all was.
The humor is really what took this book from a solid 4 stars straight to a glorious 5 stars for me. It was quirky, self depreciating, and so much fun. Logan is like a teenager with ADD most times, but it just worked. I just loved him to pieces.

So whose idea was the cleavage cam?” he asked.
“Mine. It’s impossible to get anyone’s attention when Max is around.”
“Tell me about it,” Logan grumbled.
“So I figured if they wouldn’t talk to me, maybe they’d talk to my boobs.
Okay, who’s next?” she called out.
Logan leaned toward her chest. “I’m Logan Schmidt, and I’ve been a fan of Toni’s boobs for almost a day now.”

I also fell hard for the rest of the members of Exodus End. Miss Cunning manages to give each of them a background full of depth that will captivate the reader from the very start and leave you panting for their story. And let me just tell you, if you’ve been impatient for Dare’s book before? This book will probably put you over the edge. Holy mother but do I need his book something fierce. We also get more peeks at the members of the Sinners, which was great; particularly my favorite threesome.

Insider is a quick paced, funny, and absolutely sizzling sexy read that I loved from beginning to finish. Logan and Toni together never failed to make me laugh, oddly enough mostly during their sexy times. Which really just added to their appeal for me.

Raw means without a condom.”
“It does?”
“What did you think it meant?”
“Well….I thought it mean you’d do it to me until my vagina got sore.”
“Do what to you?”
“Pound me.”

Seriously. I think I had practically the entire book highlighted with their banter.

Ouch! There’s a gearshift in my ass.”
“Oh, sure, you barely know this car, and yet you’re already giving it privileges you won’t give me.”
“Not inside my ass. It poked me in the hip.”
“You got me all excited for nothing. Back seat?”

I read the entire book with a huge goofy grin on my face, when I wasn’t fanning myself like a maniac, of course. This had to be have been one of my all time favorite rockstar romance books that I’ve read in a long while. Fans of Olivia Cunning will fall for Logan and Toni just as quick as I did. It’s impossible not to. I’m positively obsessed with this series already and I already know it’s just going to keep getting better and better. I’m so excited to be getting more Trey with the next book (because let’s be honest, you can never have enough Trey. But I also cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of the boys of Exodus end; Dare, Steve and Max all have such intriguing history that I already know their individual books will suck me right in.

In short, I fucking LOVED this book. HARD. If you’re a fan of super sexy rockstars, this is one book that you definitely don’t want to miss. Read it. Loved it. Thank me after. Trust me.
About the AuthorCombining her love for romantic fiction and rock ‘n roll, USA Today Best-Selling Author Olivia Cunning writes erotic romance centered around rock musicians.

Raised on hard rock music from the cradle, she attended her first Styx concert at age six and fell instantly in love with live music. She’s been known to travel over a thousand miles just to see a favorite band in concert. As a teen, she discovered her second love, romantic fiction — first, voraciously reading steamy romance novels and then penning her own.

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Review: ★On The Ropes★ by @cariquinn

OtR Review

Title: On The Ropes
Series: Tapped Out #3
Author: Cari Quinn
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2015
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He’s willing to die for vengeance, until she gives him a reason to live…The fighter…

Giovanni Costas is the newest hotshot fighter in New York City’s underground MMA scene. From the outside, he’s on top of the world. Winning all his matches, getting all the women he could ever want. The truth isn’t nearly so bright. Isolated and alone, far from his family in Vegas, he’s struggling with inner demons that threaten to swallow him whole.

The stakes…

The more Giovanni fights, the closer he gets to the people who ripped away the most precious thing in his life. Eradicating them is his only focus…until he meets his reason for turning his back on the seedy world that has consumed him for two years.

The biggest battle he’s ever faced…

Carly Anderson is living a double life. A culinary student by day and a dancer by dark, Carly spends her nights in a cage of her own choosing. Flirting with danger is the only thing that dulls the pain from her past. When she catches the eye of the wrong men, it’ll take the right one to save her. If Giovanni doesn’t break her—and himself—in the process…

Warning: please be advised this book contains content some may find triggering (sexual trauma) and also contains graphic sex, language and violence that may not be suitable for underage readers.

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Review 4.5 stars

On The Ropes-DGR

He’d have me on my back in a minute and be inside me in twice that. And I’d let him…hell, I’d beg him. Because he was the only one who’d ever made me feel this way, like my skin and bones weren’t strong enough to hold my heart inside. He was everything.
Too much.

It’s been one year, a month, 3 days, 2 hrs and 58 minutes since I read Shadowboxer and been hounding Cari for a book for Giovanni and Carly. But who’s counting, eh? Tapped Out is a series that reads like it was custom written just for me. It’s everything I love in romance; gritty, sexy, action-packed, with a dash of suspense, and fantastic characters. Now if you know me, then you know there’s nothing I love more than a good alphahole. When Gio was first introduced as a secondary character in Shadowboxer, between his bad boy vibes and the barely restrained violence about him drew me in like a moth to a flame. Add in him being a successful MMA fighter with manwhoring tendencies and I. Was. Sold. But there was also something incredibly broken about him too. It’s clear that Gio was hiding some dark secret and pain and I was practically salivating to finally find out what it was.

Now I wasn’t hiding from trouble. I was seeking it, eyes wide open.

UntitledCarly Anderson was first introduced as the younger sister of fighter, Mia Anderson. While on the surface she seems to be a good girl, underneath is a bad girl just itching to get out. Carly has also been crushing hard on Giovanni since she first bumped into him at the same gym where Mia trains. Even though Gio fairly successfully killed her school girl crush when he walked away with another woman in front of her, there’s still something there. But now, it’s not something that Carly is willing to chase anymore. She’s focusing on her school and training to be a chef, and leading her double life as a topless dancer at a high end club that no one knows she works at.

dancing fed something dark and depraved inside me, a beast that wouldn’t be tamed.

Carly may only be 18 years old, but this is no blushing ingenue. The girl is tough as nails and doesn’t exactly shy away from male attention. She craves the men’s lusty looks like a drug. But one night, she allows her flirtation to temp the wrong man and gets thrown head first into something she has no hope of escaping…not without Gio’s protection.
OtR-DGRGio has been making a diligent effort to stay away from the young beauty that tempts him like no other. She’s too young, too innocent, too good for the likes of him and the danger that constantly surrounds himself. He sold his soul to the devil for a chance at revenge, and there’s no turning back the hands of time now that it’s all been set in motion. He’s too deep in to see a way out. He may not be able to give Carly what she wants, but he can be her protector…and because he can no longer deny the pull between them, her lover.

I wanted her soaked, swollen. Open to me in a way she’d never been to another, and never would be again once I was gone.

Carly and Gio together were absolutely magnetic. But there’s so much more going on in this book than just the budding romance between them. There’s the mob, there’s Gio’s revenge for what he lost, there’s the lingering effects of what happened with Mia in Sneak Attack. All of it culminates together for one quick paced and entertaining as hell read.

OnTheRopes3-DGRGio is the son of one of the biggest mob families in the city and turning away from that to the side of the enemy has put a price on his head. Can he keep Carly safe long enough to exact his revenge without succumbing fully to the dark side himself? Guess you’ll just have to read to find out.

On The Ropes was everything I’ve come to love about Cari’s writing. It’s gritty, emotion, and lawd but the woman can write a sex scene like no one’s business. There’s plenty of secondary characters thrown in the mix that made the story unfold like a movie behind my eyes. As much as my interest is piqued by Slater, I’m absolutely dying for a book for Dante. Dante is Gio’s older brother that has been in the “family business” that Gio turned his back on. After the events that unfold in this book, I’m even more curious for his story. Hell, who am I kidding? I’ll be stalking Cari incessantly for it.

As much as I loved Fox and Mia from Shadowboxer, I think I liked Carly and Gio together even more. They were so different and yet together…they fit. Their chemistry was absolutely sizzling.

Underneath him, I felt full possessed for the first time in my life. I hadn’t been fucked. I’d been owned.

OnTheRopes4-DGRCarly was everything I love about a great heroine. She took no shit from anyone and gave as good as she got.

If this series hasn’t hit your radar yet, you may have been living under a rock. If you enjoy your romances with a dash of dark and grit, it’s a must read. Tapped Out is definitely in my top 5 list of favorite fighter series and you can be assured that each upcoming book will be going straight to my auto-buy list. I love the absolute fuck out of it. While each book may be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the series in order to truly enjoy it. You would have a much better understanding and appreciation for the characters having that backstory on them.

READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

Review: ★Ruin & Rule★ by @PepperWinters

ruin & rule book tour

Title: Ruin & Rule
Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2015
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“We met in a nightmare. The in-between world where time had no power over reason. We fell in love. We fell hard. But then we woke up. And it was over . . .”

RUIN & RULE

She is a woman divided. Her past, present, and future are as twisted as the lies she’s lived for the past eight years. Desperate to get the truth, she must turn to the one man who may also be her greatest enemy . . .

He is the president of Pure Corruption MC. A heartless biker and retribution-deliverer. He accepts no rules, obeys no one, and lives only to reap revenge on those who wronged him. And now he has stolen her, body and soul.

Can a woman plagued by mystery fall in love with the man who refuses to face the truth? And can a man drenched in darkness forgo his quest for vengeance-and finally find redemption?

“Ruin & Rule is a full-length book at 436 pages and ends on a cliffhanger. Cleo and Kill’s story continues in SIN & SUFFER.”

Buy Links

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Excerpt

Prologue
We met in a nightmare.The in-between world where time had no power over rhyme, reason, or connection. We met. We stared. We knew.There was no distortion from the outside world. No right or wrong. No confusion or battles from hearts and minds.Just us. In our silent dreamworld.That nightmare became our home. Planting ghosts, raising fantasies. Entwined together in our happily skewed reality.

We fell in love. We fell hard.

In those fleeting seconds of our nightmare, we lived an eternity.

But then we woke up.

And it was over.

Chapter One

I always believed life would grant rewards to those most worthy. I was fucking naïve. Life doesn’t reward—it ruins. It ruins those most deserving and takes everything. It takes everything all while watching any remaining goodness rot to hate.

—Kill

[ORN_SB]

Darkness.

That was my world now. Literally and physically.

The back of my skull hurt from being knocked unconscious. My wrists and shoulders ached from lying on my back with my hands tied behind me.

Nothing was broken—at least it didn’t feel that way—but everything was bruised. The fuzziness receded wisp by wisp, parting the clouds of sleep, trying to shed light on what’d happened. But there was no light. My eyes blinked at the endless darkness from the mask tied around my head. Anxiety twisted my stomach at having such a fundamental gift taken away.

I didn’t move, but mentally catalogued my body from the tips of my toes to the last strand of hair on my head. My jaw and tongue ached from the foul rag stuffed in my mouth and my nose permitted a shallow stream of oxygen to enter—just enough to keep me alive.

Fear tried to claw its way through my mind, but I shoved it away. I deliberately suppressed panic in order to assess my predicament rather than lose myself to terror.

Fear never helps, only hinders.

My senses came back, creeping tentatively, as if afraid whoever had stolen me would notice their return.

Sound: the squeak of brakes, the creak of a vehicle settling from motion to stopping.

Touch: the skin on my right forearm stung, throbbing with a mixture of soreness and sharpness. A burn perhaps?

Smell: dank rotting vegetables and the astringent, pungent scent of fear—but it wasn’t mine. It was theirs.

It wasn’t just me being kidnapped.

My heart flurried, drinking in their terror. It made my breath quicken and legs itch to run. Forcing myself to ignore the outside world, I focused inward. Clutching my inner strength where calmness was a need rather than a luxury.

I refused to lose myself in a fog of tears. Desperation was a curse and I wouldn’t succumb, because I had every intention of being prepared for what might happen next.

I hated the sniffles and stifled sobs of others around me. Their bleak sadness tugged at my heartstrings, making me fight with my own preservation, replacing it with concern for theirs.

Get through this, then worry about them.

I didn’t think this was a simple opportunistic snatch. Whoever had stolen me planned it. The hunch grew stronger as I searched inside for any liquor remnants or the smell of cigarettes.

Had I been at a party? Nightclub?

Nothing.

I hadn’t been stupid or reckless. I think…

No hint or clue as to where I’d been or what I’d been doing when they’d come for me.

I wriggled, trying to move away from the stench. My bound wrists protested, stinging as the rope around them gnawed into my flesh like twine-beasts. My ribs bellowed, along with my head. There was no give in my restraints. I stopped trying to move, preserving my energy.

I tried to swallow.

No saliva.

I tried to speak.

No voice.

I tried to remember what happened.

I tried to remember…

Panic.

Nothing.

I can’t remember.

“Get up, bitch,” a man said. Something jabbed me in the ribs. “Won’t tell you again. Get.”

I froze as my mind hurtled me from present to past.

I’ll miss you so much,” she wailed, hugging me tighter.

“I’m not dying, you know.” I tried to untangle myself, looking over my shoulder at the final call flashing for my flight. I hated being late for anything. Let alone my one chance at escaping and finding out the truth once and for all.

“Call me the moment you get there.”

“Promise.” I drew a cross over my heart—

The memory shattered as my horizontal body suddenly went vertical in one swoop.

Who was that girl? Why did I have no memory of it ever happening?

“I said get up, bitch.” The man breathed hard in my ear, sending a waft of reeking breath over me. The blindfold stole my sight, but it left my nose woefully unprotected.

Unfortunately.

My captor shoved me forward. The ground was steady beneath my feet. The sickness plaiting with my confusion faded, leaving me cold.

My legs stumbled in the direction he wanted me to go. I hated shuffling in the darkness, not knowing where I came from or where I was being herded. There were no sounds of comfort or smothered snickers. This wasn’t a masquerade.

This was real.

This is real.

My heart thudded harder, fear slipping through my defenses. But full-blown terror remained elusive. Slippery like a silver fish, darting on the outskirts of my mind. It was there but fleeting, keeping me clear-headed and strong.

I was grateful for that. Grateful that I maintained what dignity I had left—remaining strong even in the face of the unknown terrors lurking on the other side of my blindfold.

Moans and whimpers of other women grew in decibels as men ordered them to follow the same path I walked. Either death row or salvation, I had no choice but to inch my way forward, leaving my forgotten past behind.

I willed snippets to come back. I begged the puzzlement of my past to slot into place, so I could make sense of this horrible world I’d awoken in.

But my mind was locked to me. A fortress withholding everything I wished to know.

The pushing stopped. So did I.

Big mistake.

“Move.” A cuff to the back of my head sent me wheeling forward. I didn’t stop again. My bare feet traversed…wood?

Bare feet?

Where are my shoes?

The missing knowledge twisted my stomach.

Where did I come from?

How did I end up here?

What’s my name?

It wasn’t the terror of the unknown future that stole my false calmness. It was the fear of losing my very self. They’d stolen everything. My triumphs, my trespasses, my accomplishments and failures.

How could I deal with this new world if I didn’t know what skills I had to stay alive? How could I hope to defeat my enemy when my mind revolted and locked me out?

Who am I?

To have who I was deleted…It was unthinkable.

“Faster, bitch.” Something cold wedged against my spine, pushing me onward. With my hands behind my back, I shuffled faster, negotiating the ground as best I could for dips or trips.

“Step down.” The man grabbed my bound wrists, giving me something to lean against as my toes navigated the small steps before me.

“Again.”

I obeyed.

“Last one.”

I managed the small staircase without falling flat on my face.

My face.

What do I look like?

A loud scraping noise sounded before me. I shied back, bumping against a feminine form. The woman behind me cried out—the first verbal sound of another.

“Move.” The pressure on my lower back came again, and I obeyed. Inching forward until the stuffy air of old vegetables and must was replaced by…copper and metallic…blood?

Why…why is that so familiar?

I gasped as my mind free-fell into another memory.

“I don’t think I can do this.” I darted away, throwing up in the rubbish bin in the classroom. The unique stench of blood curdled my stomach.

“Don’t overthink it. It’s not what you’re doing to the animal to make it bleed. It’s what you’re doing to make it live.” My professor shook his head, waiting for me to swill out my mouth and return white-faced and queasy to the operation in progress.

My heart splintered like a broken piece of glass, reflecting the compassion and responsibility I felt for such an innocent creature. This little puppy that’d been dumped in a plastic bag to die after being shot with BB gun pellets. He’d survive only if I mastered the skills to stem his internal bleeding and embrace the vocation I was called to do.

Inhaling the scent of blood, I let it invade my nostrils, scald my throat, and impregnate my soul. I drank its coppery essence. I drenched myself in the smell of the creature’s life force until it no longer affected me.

Picking up a scalpel, I said, “I’m ready—”

“Holy fuck!” The man guiding me forward suddenly whacked the base of my spine. The hard pain shoved me forward and I tripped.

“Wire—get me fucking reinforcements. He’s started a motherfucking war!”

Wind and body motion swarmed me as men charged from behind. The darkness I lived in suddenly came alive with sound.

Bullets flew, impaling themselves into the metal sides of the vehicle I’d just stepped from. Pings and ricochets echoed in my ear. Curses bellowed; moans of pain threaded like a breeze.

Someone grabbed my arm, swinging me to the side. “Get down!” The inertia of his throw knocked me off balance. With my wrists bound together, I had nothing to grab with, no way to protect myself from falling.

I fell.

My stomach swooped as tumbled off a small platform and smashed against the ground.

Dirt, damp grass, and moldy leaves replaced the stench of blood, cutting through the cloying sharpness of spilled metallic. My mouth opened, gasping in pain. Blades of grass tickled my lips as my cheek stuck to wet mud.

My shoulder screamed with agony, but I ignored the new injury. My mind clung to the unlocked memory. The fleeting recollection of my profession.

I’m a vet.

The sense of homecoming and security that one little snippet brought was priceless. My soul snarled for more, suddenly ravenous for missing information.

I skipped straight from fumbling uncertainty into starvation for more.

Tell me! Show me. Who am I?

I searched inside for more clues. But it was like trying to grab on to an elusive dream, fading faster and faster the harder I chased.

I couldn’t remember anything about medicine or how to heal. All I knew was I’d been trained to embrace the scent of blood. I wasn’t afraid of it. I didn’t faint or suffer sickness at the sight of it pouring from an open wound.

That tiniest knowledge was enough to settle my prickling nerves and focus on the outside world again.

Battle cries. Men screaming. Men growling. The dense thuds of fists on flesh and the horrible deflection of gunshots.

I couldn’t understand. Had I fallen through time and entered an alternate dimension?

Another body landed on top of mine.

I cried out, winded from a sharp poke of an elbow to my ribs.

The figure rolled away, crying softly. Feminine.

Why aren’t I crying?

I once again searched for fear. It wasn’t natural not to be afraid. I’d woken up alone, stolen, and thrown into the middle of a war, yet I wasn’t hyperventilating or panicked.

My calmness was like a drug, oozing over me, muting the sharp starkness of my situation. It was bearable if I embraced courage and the knowledge that I was strong.

My hands balled, grateful for the thought. I didn’t know who I was, but it didn’t matter, because the person who I was in this moment mattered the most.

I had to remain segmented, so I could get through whatever was about to happen. All I had was gut instinct, quiet strength, and rationality. Everything else had been taken.

“Stop fighting, you fucking idiots!”

The loud growl rumbled like an earthquake, hushing the battle in one fell swoop. Whoever had spoken had power.

Immense power. Colossal power.

A shiver darted over my skin.

“What the fuck happened? Have you lost your goddamn lovin’ mind?” a man yelled.

A sound of a short scuffle, then the fresh whiff of tilled dirt graced my nose.

“It’s done. Throw down your weapons and bend a fucking knee.” The same earthquake rumbled. The weight of his command pushed me harder against the damp ground.

“I’m not bending nothing, you asshole. You aren’t my Prez!”

“I am. Have been for the past four years.”

“You’re not. You’re his bitch. Don’t think his power is yours.”

Another fight—muffled fists and kicks. It ended swiftly with a painful groan.

The earthquake voice came again. “Open your eyes and follow the red fucking river. Your chosen—the one you hand-picked to slaughter me and take over the Club—he’s dead. Did you ever stop to think Wallstreet made me Prez for a fucking reason?”

Another moan.

“I’m the chosen one. I’m the one who knows the family secrets, absorbed the legacy, and earned his way into power. You don’t know shit. Nobody does. So bend a fucking knee and respect.”

Another tremor ran down my back.

Silence for a time, apart from the squelch of boots and heavy breathing. Then a barely muttered curse. “You’ll die. One way or another, we won’t put up with a Dagger as a Prez. We’re the Corrupts, goddammit. Having a traitor rule us is a fucking joke.”

“I’m the traitor? The man who obeys your leader? Who guides in his stead? I’m the traitor when you try and rally my brothers in a war?” A heavy thud of a fist connected with flesh. “No…I’m not. You are.”

My mind raced, sucking up noises and forming wild conclusions of what happened before me. Was this World War Three? Was this the apocalypse of the life I couldn’t remember? No matter how I pieced it together, I couldn’t make sense of anything.

The air was thick with anticipation. I didn’t know how many men stood before me. I didn’t know how many corpses littered the ground, or how such violence could be permitted in the world I used to know. But I did know the cease-fire was fragile and any moment it would explode.

A single threat slithered through the grass like a snake. “I’ll kill you, motherfucker. Mark my words. The true Corrupts are just waiting to take you out.”

The gentle foot-thuds of someone large vibrated through the ground. “The Corrupts haven’t existed for four fucking years. The moment I took the seat, it’s been Pure Corruption all the way. And you’re not fucking pure enough for this Club. You’re done.”

I flinched as the sulfuric boom of a gun ripped through the stagnant air.

A crash as a body fell lifeless to the grass. A soft puff of a soul escaping.

Murder.

Murder was committed right before me.

The inherent need to nurture and heal—the part of me that was as steadfast as the beat of my heart—wept with regret.

Death was something I’d fought against on a daily basis, but now I was weaponless.

I hated that a life had been stolen right before me. That I hadn’t been able to stop it.

I’m a witness.

And yet, I’d witnessed nothing.

I’d been privy to a battle but seen nothing. Knew no one. I would never be able to tell who shot whom, or who was right and who was wrong.

My hands shook, even though I managed to stay eerily calm. Am I in shock? And if I was, how did I cure myself?

The woman beside me curled into a ball, her knees digging into my side. My first reaction was to repel away from the touch. I didn’t know who was friend or foe. But a second reaction came quickly; the urge to share my calmness—to let her know that no matter what happened, she wasn’t alone. We faced the same future—no matter how grim.

Voices cascaded over us, whispers mainly, quickly spoken orders. Every sound was heightened. Being robbed of sight made my body seek other ways in which to find clues.

“Get rid of the bodies before daybreak.”

“We’ll go back and make sure we’re still covered.”

“Send out the word. It’s over. The Prez won—no anarchy today.”

Each voice was distinct but my ears twitched only for one: the earthquake rumble that set my skin quivering like quicksand.

He hadn’t spoken since he’d condemned someone to death and pulled the trigger. Every second of not hearing him made my heart trip faster. I wasn’t afraid. I should be. I should be immobile with fear. But he invoked something in me—something primal. Just like I knew I was female and a vet, I knew his voice meant something. Every inch of me tensed, waiting for him to speak. It was wrong to crave the voice of a killer, but it was the only thing I wanted.

Needed.

I need to know who he is.

Wet mud sucked loudly against boots as they came closer.

The woman whimpered, but I angled my chin toward the sound, wishing my eyes were uncovered.

I wanted to see. I wanted to witness the carnage before me. Because it was carnage. The stench of death confirmed it. It was morbid to want to see such destruction, but without my sight all of this seemed like a terrible nightmare. Nothing was grounded—completely nonsensical and far too strange.

I needed proof that this was real.

I needed concrete evidence that I wasn’t mad. That my body was intact, even if my mind was not.

I sucked in a breath as warm fingers touched my cheek, angling my face upward and out of the mud. Strong hands caressed the back of my skull, fumbling with my blindfold.

The anticipation of finally getting my wish to see made me stay still and cooperative in his hold.

I didn’t say a word or move. I just waited. And breathed. And listened.

The man’s breath was heavy and low, interspersed with a quick catch of pain. His fingers were swift and sure, but unable to hide the small fumble of agony.

He’s hurt.

The pressure of the blindfold suddenly released, trading opaque darkness for a new kind of gloom.

Night sky. Moonshine. Stars above.

Anchors of a world I knew, but no recognition of the dark-shrouded industrial estate where blood gleamed silver-black and corpses dotted the field.

I’m alive.

I can see.

The joy at having my eyes freed came and went as blazing as a comet.

Then my life ended as our gazes connected.

Green to green.

I have green eyes.

Down and down I spiraled, deeper and deeper into his clutches.

My life—past, present, and future—lost all purpose the second I stared into his soul.

The fear I’d been missing slammed into my heart.

I quivered. I quaked.

Something howled deep inside with age-old knowledge.

Every part of me arched toward him, then shied away in terror.

Him.

A nightmare come to life.

A nightmare I wanted to live.

If life was a tapestry, already threaded and steadfast, then he was the scissors that cut me free. He tore me out, stole me away, changed the whole prophecy of who I was meant to be.

Jaw-length dark hair, tangled and sweaty, framed a square jaw, straight nose, and full lips. His five-o’clock stubble held remnants of war, streaked with dirt and blood. But it was his eyes that shot a quivering arrow into my heart, spreading his emerald anger.

He froze, his body curving toward mine. Blistering hope flickered across his features. His mouth fell open and love so achingly deep glowed in his gaze. “What—” A leg gave out, making him kneel beside me. His hands shook as he cupped my face, his fingers digging painfully into my cheekbones. “It’s not—”

My heart raced. Yes.

“You know me,” I breathed.

The moment my voice webbed around us, storm clouds rolled over the sunshine in his face, blackening the hope and replacing it with pure hatred.

He changed from watching me like I was his angel to glowering as if I were a despicable devil.

I shivered at the change—at the iciness and hardness. He breathed hard, his chest rising and falling. His lips parted, a rumbling command falling from his mouth to my ears. “Stand up. You’re mine now.”

When I didn’t move, his hand landed on my side. His touch was blocked by clothing but I felt it everywhere. He stroked my soul, tickled my heart, and caressed every cell with fingers that despised me.

I couldn’t suck in a proper breath.

With a vicious push, he rolled me over, and with a sharp blade sliced my bindings. With effortless power, so thrilling and terrifying, he hauled me to my feet.

I didn’t sway. I didn’t cry. Only pulled the disgusting gag from my mouth and stared in silence.

I stared up, up, up into his bright green eyes, understanding something I shouldn’t understand.

This was him.

My nightmare.

Review 5 starsRuin&Rule-DGR

We met in a nightmare, loved in a prayer. We gave everything until both were laid bare.

You know that moment when you pick up a book and you know, you just know that it’s going to be one of those books. A book that will keep you up until the crack of dawn reading. A book that you’d pass on food and sleep to read even if you’ll be a grumpy zombie the entire day. A book that will make your employees think you have a bladder infection because you take so many “bathroom breaks”. What? Too far. What I’m telling you is this was quite easily my favorite book by Pepper Winters, and this is coming from someone that’s read and loved her entire backlist. Yeah. It was that good.

I always believed life would grant rewards to those most worthy. I was fucking naive. Life doesn’t reward- it ruins. It ruins those most deserving and takes everything. It takes everything all while watching any remaining goodness rot to hate.

When Pepper first introduced Author “Kill” Killian in Third Debt I was absolutely hooked. I knew that I’d beg, cry, and/or sell an ovary for his story. There was just something so devastatingly broken about him and if anyone knows how to write the broken and broody heroes, it’s this author. Kill was such a multifaceted character, he practically leapt off the pages. There’s this barely restrained violence to him along with something so completely broken and painful that you can’t help but fall head over heels for him right way, right or wrong.
Ruin&Rule2-DGRYears ago a betrayal lead to a tragedy that irrevocably changed the path of Kill’s life forever. He lost something so dear to him, that the loss of it took his heart with it. Now all he craves is vengeance. He lives and breathes revenge. And he won’t stop until those responsible for his greatest loss pay in blood.
She wakes up after being kidnapped and held to be trafficked in the middle of war. With no memory of who she is, her name, or why she’s here she struggles for a tiny thread of memory. And then she comes face to face with a pair stunned and enraged green eyes. Eyes that she feels to her core she knows from somewhere and yet she can’t place them.

My life- past, present, and future- lost all purpose the second I stared into his soul.

He’s covered in blood, stinks of death and yet she’s not afraid of him. While she knows that there’s some sort of tethered connection between them she doesn’t know if that’s a figment of her imagination or the hint of a memory.

I’d woken up in hell with no reflex fear of the devil.

Kill doesn’t want or need women for anything more than an empty release. So why is it the gorgeous redhead with the green eyes effects him on such a visceral level? He has no problem using anyone for his end game, and she’s no exception. Even if he seems to crave her on a level that goes far beyond just carnal.
Ruin&Rule1-DGR

The heat.
The throb.
The need.
He was an addiction to my painfully deprived mind.

And you know what? That is all about the plot you’ll be getting from me. What I can tell you is that I absolutely devoured this book. It sucked me in like an angst filled gritty and dark vortex and didn’t let me out until the very end.

The mystery behind the extent of what Killian is hiding and the truth behind her memories almost drove me out of my ever loving mind. The writing was absolutely phenomenal. Each chapter begins with a snippet from Killian’s POV and continues in her POV. This really added to the overall feeling of the book and the story. It gives you just enough to keep you hooked and yet not quite enough to put your overworking brain to ease.

Sometimes lies are the only thing keeping us sane.

It was page-turner filled with so much emotion, it was almost overwhelming. It was erotic and angsty. It was absolute gritty perfection. If you haven’t read this phenomenal author yet, I guarantee that you will be hooked after this book. It does end on a cliffhanger, but somehow I was OK with it. It really felt like it should have ended where it did. It was long, but there was not one empty page. Basically, what I’m trying to tell you here is that I fucking LOVED this book. HARD. If you’re not reading it, I really don’t know what you’re doing with your life.

About the Author

image03

Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.

Her Dark Erotica books include:

Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1)

Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2)

Her Grey Romance books include:

Destroyed

STALK Pepper: Website | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Fighting Shadows★ by @AlyMartinezAuth

figthing shadows book tour

Title: Fighting Shadows
Series: On The Ropes #2
Author: Aly Martinez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2015
add-to-goodreads-button-2 fighting shadows cover

I come from a family of fighters. I always thought I’d follow in their shadows, becoming unstoppable in the ring. That changed the day I saved the life of a woman I loved, but could never have.My brother hailed me as a hero, and my reward was a wheelchair.

Paralyzed, my life became an inescapable nightmare.

Until I met her.

Ash Mabie had a heart-stopping smile and a laugh that numbed the rage and resentment brewing inside of me. She showed me that even the darkest night still had stars, and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.

I was a jaded asshole who fell for a girl with a knack for running away. I couldn’t even walk but I would have spent a lifetime chasing her.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting the shadows of our past.

Fighting to reclaim my future.

Fighting for her.

Buy Links

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

Excerpt

“Hey, Flint? What time is it?” Quarry asked.Ash’s smile actually slipped completely. For the briefest of seconds, she appeared almost ashamed.

I dragged my eyes away from her in order to answer his question, but as I looked at my wrist, I had no answer at all.

“Here,” she said as she pulled my watch from her pocket.

What. The. Fuck?

Quarry howled with laughter, and Ash chewed on her bottom lip.

“Explain,” I demanded, wrapping my watch back around my wrist and shoving my wallet in the front pocket of my hoodie.

Quarry filled in the blank. “She’s a pickpocket, dude. You should have seen her when she fell on your lap. It was so fucking fast. She straight-up stole that shit from you, and you had no fucking clue.”

“I didn’t steal it! I was gonna give it back,” she amended uncomfortably. “It was just a joke.”

A joke.

  1. Fucking. Joke.

And just like that, I remembered why I didn’t laugh anymore.

“Was it funny? Stealing from the cripple? You get a good laugh out of that?” I snapped, spinning and rolling myself away. “You know, maybe my judgment of you wasn’t all that off to begin with. Like father, like daughter, I guess.” It was a low blow, but I felt completely betrayed by a woman I didn’t even know.

“Flint, wait. I wasn’t picking on the cripple!”

I fully realized that I had just used the term, but it enraged me that she’d had the audacity to repeat it back to me. Who the hell was this chick? I pushed a hand into my pocket, searching for my keys. Fuck the food. I’d leave her ass there. Hell, Quarry too if he didn’t get his ass to the car.

“Get in the car, Q!” I yelled, only to close my eyes and drop my chin to my chest when my hand never made contact on the keys. “Son of a bitch,” I said as I spun back around.

Quarry was laughing next to her, but Ash’s cheeks were bright red.

“Keys.” I snapped my fingers and opened my hand, palm up.

“Stop being a dick,” Quarry said, casually tossing an arm around Ash’s shoulders.

She didn’t budge as she held my glare.

“Keys,” I repeated, but she remained still.

“It was a joke.” Her chin began to quiver.

For fuck’s sake, I wasn’t in any kind of mood to deal with bullshit from some girl I didn’t even know and was quickly discovering I didn’t care to know, either.

Quarry’s eyes grew wide as she turned to him and buried her cries in his chest.

What the fuck, asshole! Q signed before rubbing his hands over her back.

Her shoulders shook as she let out a loud sob that shocked us both.

“Come on. Let’s sit down.” Q tried to guide her over to an empty table.

Ash refused to look up and tripped over one of the chairs.

“Shit,” Q said, catching her around the waist.

I was just about to roll my eyes when she glanced my way. He was still trying to get her back on her feet and over to a table when her tear-free, bright-blue eyes pointedly glanced in my direction. My head snapped back in surprise, but a smile grew on her face.

Ash was about to put on a show, and with that one look, she had invited me to have a front-row seat.

As she floundered all over Quarry, her hands slid between his pockets and her own. Every noise she made and each time she flailed covered up a jarring movement. She was keeping his mind too busy for it to process all the places she was touching him. Hell, I was only watching her and I could barely keep up.

There was no denying that it was entertaining, but I wasn’t willing to show her that. However, as she accidentally lifted her knee, catching Q in the balls, a laugh erupted from my throat. He cupped his crotch while she apologized profusely and pushed him toward the same chair he’d been dragging her to only seconds before. Just before he sat, Ash swung her arm out, unwinding Q’s belt from around his body before tossing it at me.

“Oh God. I’m so sorry!” she said as Quarry held a finger up to ask for a second to recover. She didn’t wait at all though. Instead, she walked over in my direction; her prideful smile grew with every step.

She pulled my keys out of her pocket and dropped them into my lap. They were quickly followed by Quarry’s phone, wallet, and house keys. Then she snagged his belt off the floor and tossed it over her shoulder.

“It had absolutely nothing to do with you being in a wheelchair. It was a joke and it wasn’t supposed to piss you off.”

“Hey!” Quarry yelled. “That was messed up. You did not have to knee me in the balls to prove a point to him.”

“Oh, that wasn’t to prove a point. That was for bullshitting me. You knew good and damn well that he wouldn’t find it funny,” she said without ever tearing her gaze from mine. “Look, I’m sorry. I don’t have a lot of friends. And I’ve mentally noted that pickpocketing might not be the best way to make new ones.” She shrugged. “Consider it a lesson learned.”

“Three burgers all the way, onion rings, and a shake?” the guy at the counter called out.

Ash arched an eyebrow. “You want it to go, or are we good?”

I didn’t have to drop my attitude. Sure, she’d apologized, but while I might have had a short fuse, I also had a hell of a long burn. However, as she stood in front of me with her arms crossed over her chest and her blue eyes pleading for forgiveness, it magically fell away.

I swallowed hard. “No. We’re good.”

“You sure?” She leaned in, eyeing me warily, but her smile began to grow.

I swear to God it pulled at my lips as well. I fought it. But the harder I tried to keep it restrained, the bigger Ash’s grew. She was stealing my smile. The chick was good! Finally, with an eye roll, I let out a quiet chuckle, which seemed to appease her.

“Good. Now, help your brother get redressed and I’ll make the fancy sauce.” She waggled her eyebrows.

Review 4.5 stars

FS-DGR


I fell in love with a girl who changed my life by showing me that even the darkest nights still had stars and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.

Aly Martines has quickly become one of my go-to favorite authors to read. I stalk her new releases incessantly and would pre-order without even batting an eye lash. I love her books that much. She writes some of my favorite broken heroes and heroines that melt their hearts and mend their broken pieces. Fighting Silence was one of my favorite books and a huge 5 star read for me. The teaser at the end of it for Flint’s story almost drove me mad in my wait for it. While you may technically read this book as a standalone, I’d advise against it. The story is based on the 3 Page brothers, and while each book focuses on each individual brother, it helps to know the full backstory, and Flint’s began partly in Fighting Silence. I knew just from reading the prologue that this book will be a huge winner for me, and I was not even a little bit wrong.
Fighting Shadows2-DGRFlint Page is the middle brother. He idolized his brother, heavyweight champion of the world, Till “The Silencer” Page. But while Till’s successful career only made his brother proud, his wife caused their inevitable disconnect. Flint has been in love with Eliza for as long as he remember, and the more he sees her with his brother, the more he gets swallowed up by his jealousy and self hate.


Whoever said time heals all wounds was an ignorant asshole. In my experience, time made everything worse.

The end of Fighting Silence finds Flint jumping in front of a bullet for Eliza and losing his ability to walk after getting shot in his back. Angry at the world, resentful, and drowning in his jealousy of his brother’s woman that he knows will never be his is slowly chipping away at him. His answer is to leave it all behind and to move as far away from them as possible in order to start anew. This is when Ash Mabie walks into his life.


If he’d just smiled a little more he could have been attractive. Maybe. But what really boggled my mind was the fact that it seemed like he truly wanted to be a miserable asshole. And let me just tell you, he excelled at it. Luckily, my father was a dick. I knew exactly how to handle it.

I loved Ash from just the first few pages. Having her father married to Flint’s deadbeat mom is the connection that brings them together. This is not a girl that had an easy life. Forced to pick pockets for her father, moving numerous times in a year and unable to go to school because of their less than legal life, this is someone that by all intents and purposes should be just as jaded as Flint. But she has this hopeful and sunny outlook to life that you can’t help but love. She’s so open with her feelings and trusting, and it all just works so well for her character. Her ways of looking at the world and calling Flint on his bullshit soon begin to chip away at his grumpy ways too.

There was no pain.
No ache in my chest.
No pity.
No bitterness.
I was numb.
And it was incredible.
Ash Mabie was quickly becoming my own personal brand of lidocaine.

What first began as an unlikely friendship soon begins to turn into something so much more. But Ash is heartbroken to learn that while she’s been falling head over heels for Flint, his heart belongs to another woman. That doesn’t stop her from giving her heart to Flint unconditionally; that’s just the kind of person she is.
FightingShadows-DGR


Flint, don’t get so caught up on the shadow that you forget the man who casts it. You might not be able to walk, but that’s the extent of your disability.

Of course what would an Aly Martinez book be without the hero’s inevitable fuck up. And when Flint Page fucks up, he royally fucks up. But oh man the feels of this book and his road to redeeming himself was so worth that fuck up. As much as I loved the first half of this book, I loved the second half even more.


You can try to run and I may not be able to chase you physically, but we need to be clear on one thing, Ash. I will NOT let you go again.
You belong with me. And I will do whatever I have to do in order to keep you….
I will chase you for the rest of my life if that is what it takes to be with you.”

FS1-DGR

 

I read this book in one sitting, completely unable to put it down. I spent the first half waiting for the shoe to drop (because the prologue was the worst tease ever), and I spent the second half with butterflies in my stomach reading Flint work for his forgiveness. I simply adored these two together. While Till and Eliza are still my favorite book in this series, Fighting Shadows was fantastic as well. Then came the tease for Quarry’s book and OH MY FREAKINGGAWDAREYOUKIDDINGME?! If I thought the wait for Flint’s book was painful, the wait for his book just may kill me.

Fighting Shadows was a beautiful and emotional story about love and second chances, strength and perseverance. It was packed with feels, heartbreak, and heart melting moments. Aly Martinez simply gets better and better with each new book and I can’t wait to see what she has in store with the next one. If you haven’t read this amazing series yet, you need to! Trust me when I tell you that you’ll be kicking your own ass for not reading it sooner.

 

Haven’t read this series yet? Meet Flint Quarry, Till & Eliza in Fighting Silence

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Sa2iVr

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Lhhn62

B&N: http://bit.ly/FightingSilenceBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1A2cSnr

iBooks: http://apple.co/1KQ2gmC

 

About the Author

aly martinez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Call On Me★ by @roniloren

Call On Me Tour Banner Call On Me
Series: Loving On The Edge #8
Author: Roni Loren
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2015

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Oakley Easton wants two things: to be a good mom to her daughter and to ditch her less than ideal night job. Hooking up with bad boy drummer Pike Ryland? Not on the agenda. She needs a promotion. Not sex, tattoos and rock ’n’ roll.

Pike isn’t about to let Ms. Prim and Proper shut him down so easily, especially when he stumbles upon Oakley’s sexy night job. She’s only playing a role on those late night calls with strangers, but when he gets her on the line, all bets are off. He won’t stop until that sultry voice is calling his name for real.

But as they move from anonymous fantasies in the dark to the flesh-on-hot-flesh reality of the bedroom, the risk of falling in love becomes all too high. And the safe, quiet world that Oakley’s worked so hard to create is about to be exposed to the one person who could ruin it all.

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Excerpt

“Don’t tease me, mama. Tell me. In vivid detail preferably.”

She pressed her lips together, humor in her eyes, and looked toward the road. “You sound like one of my callers.”

“You’re dodging my question.”

She nodded. “A fair assessment.”

“How come?”

She glanced down, a self-deprecating smile tugging at her lips. “It’s silly, right? I talk sex for a living but when it comes to talking to you about it, I lock up like some awkward virgin. I had to fight it the first few times we talked on the phone. Now, in person, it’s coming back.”

He appreciated the honesty. “I get it. Everything’s easier when it’s a role. You talk sex as Sasha. But it’s just you here tonight. Same for me. It’s easier for me when I’m the drummer from Darkfall. But the only person you’ve got in this car with you is James Pike Ryland. So don’t feel awkward. We’re on even ground.”

She looked over at him. “Your name is James?”

“It was my father’s name. But my dad walked out when I was five and I started going by Pike since my mom said she couldn’t stand to hear his name in the house. I legally changed it when I joined the band to separate myself from my history, but for some reason, James still feels like my real name. It’s what my brother called me.”

She considered him. “So if I was in here with Pike Ryland, rockstar, how would it be different?”

He laughed. “We are not going to discuss that. You would hate him.”

She turned her body toward him, devious smile beaming. “Oh, no. We have to go there now. I think I got a glimpse of him the first time we met.”

He rubbed the back of his head. How had he gotten trapped in this corner? “Fuck, all right. I do what’s easy. I tell women what they want to hear. Most girls just want to know how hot they are, how great they look in whatever they’re wearing. It’s much more about them and the conquest of landing the band member than it is about me. I figured that out early on. Then it usually ends up with talk of who I know, where I’ve been, all that shit that makes me sound like a big deal.”

Oakley bit her lip like she was trying hard not to laugh.

“What?” he asked, grinning. “That shit totally works.”

“Oh, I have no doubt. I’m sure ten minutes of that and there’s no more talking because the girl’s head is bobbing in your lap. Frankly, I don’t know why you even bother talking. I mean, looking at you is enough. You probably could just unbutton your fly and point.”

His mouth kicked up at the corner. “Yeah? Would that have worked on you?”

“That would’ve gotten you a knee to the balls. And a thank you for showing me where to aim.”

He laughed.

She turned, peering out at the passing mileage signs. “Looking at you is no hardship. You know that. But talking to James Pike Ryland is what got me here. The other guy would’ve never had a chance.”

The gently spoken admission thumped him right in the chest. He focused on the road, trying not to show on his face how the words had affected him. “Thank you, Oakley.”

Review

4 stars

Call on Me-DGR

He would show the lovely Ms. Easton exactly why she wouldn’t be able to walk away from him after one night.
Because that was definitely not an option.
One taste was supposed to satisfy the craving. But Oakley was wasn’t cake, she was heroin. And he was fucking hooked.

Just a few short lines into this book and I was perfectly hooked and I knew I head another winner from Roni Loren on my hands. I’ve been a huge fan of this author since first discovering her Loving On The Edge series years ago. But I have to admit, not one of her other characters had intrigued me quite as much as Pike did when I first met him in Not Until You as the sexy drummer bad boy and Foster’s roommate (who also took part in a very scorching threesome until both Cala and Foster realized they’re meant for each other). I’ve been practically salivating for Pike’s book and HEA ever since. I mean, I ask you, who doesn’t love a tatted up rockstar drummer with a penchant for the kinky sex and dirty talk?
I knew his heroine will have to be something very special to catch his eye and boy was she. I knew I’d love Oakley from just the first chapter. Not often you meet a heroine that’s preparing cupcakes for her daughter while engaging in dirty talk as a sex line operator as her day job. I couldn’t help but giggle as she described the mundane experience of her “night job” while thinking about her chores. The woman had sass a mile long too.

Good news: Her libido was not dead after all.
Bad news: It still had destructive taste.
And like a recovering alcoholic, she knew to stay far, far away from that brand of temptation.

Oakley is a young single mom that’s focusing on making ends meet for her and her daughter. She works two jobs so that she can give her autistic daughter everything. Men are definitely not on her to-do list; especially too gorgeous for their own good rockstars.

How can you not like me already? Usually it takes women at least a time of two to give me that look. And usually they get something out of the deal first.”
“You really have to ask?”
“Yeah. I’m asking. What did I do to you? Well, besides make you think really impure thoughts at work. Because let’s face it, that totally happened. It may be happening right now. 

Oakley has a history with music and fame, one that burned her and she’s not looking for a trip down memory lane. When a special project at her job forces to her work with Pike, his incessant charm begins to slowly chip away at all her reserves until she finally finds herself giving in. But Oakley knows it can never be anything more than just sex….incredibly hot, possessive, make you scream because it’s so good sex.

Come for me, Oakley. Let me see how much you love being fucked against a wall, how bad you need my cock.”

Pike is a bad boy you’ll fall for right away. There’s always this undercurrent of vulnerability to him that flashes behind his devil-may-care attitude. When all the pieces of his past begin to click together, your heart will absolutely break for him and everything that he’s been through. While Pike thinks that all he wants is between Oakley’s thighs, he soon begins to realize that what he wants most of all is inside her heart. Oakley is not so easy with her turnaround, however. Her history with men and especially men in the music business is one that left some deep rooted scars. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t soon find herself falling deeper and deeper under Pike’s appeal.

All she could do was stare. Pike took command of the drums like he had a personal vendetta against them, banging hard and violent but with a sharp-edged grace that made it look like moving art.

This book was a little bit different from the rest of the series in where The Ranch wasn’t a large part of the sex, if at all. Pike may be a rockstar in bed and out, but he’s not a man that recognizes himself as a Dom or anything else. He likes what he likes and he doesn’t label it. He likes a bite of pain in his sex and he likes a little bondage, but he’s not above letting the woman take control either. While he’s definitely NOT vanilla, the romance between him and Oakley didn’t have a very big BDSM element. So if you’re a reader that doesn’t enjoy much BDSM, you’d definitely enjoy this book.

The most honest version of ourselves is the one behind closed doors.”

CoM1-DGRI absolutely adored Pike. He was a beast in the sack but an absolute sweetheart with Oakley and her daughter. He just had this perfect balance of sweet and badass. And of course I loved the way he gets Oakley out of her shell and straight to the dark and kinky side.

His girl wanted to be fucked hard. “I want to hurt you, mama. Break you in two and put you back together.

I don’t think there was anything I didn’t enjoy about this book. It was sizzling hot and with a fantastic story that was perfectly paced. The sex was scorching but it never took away from the romance, only added to it. It’s not often you find an author that finds that perfect balance of erotic but without overwhelming it with sex.

Fans of this series will absolutely love Pike and Oakley. And if you haven’t read this series, it’s one I highly recommend. You can easily read this as a standalone, though you’d enjoy it more if you read it in order. There’s some cameos here that I loved hearing more about. I can’t wait for more in this series. It seems like it only keeps getting better and better.

About the Author

RoniLorenAuthorHeadshot2

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that’s it. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat.

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Author Interview, Review & #Giveaway: ★Toxic★ by @authorkimkarr

Interview & Giveaway

Last week I read this book that made me want to rip my hair out and throw my kindle at the wall. If I could have done both at the same time, I’m pretty sure I would have. I was enraged…and I was entranced. Phoebe and Jeremy together was a train wreck that you just couldn’t tear your eyes away from. I loved each agonizing, made me want to curl into a ball of rage and scream to the ceiling second. I have the super fabulous Kim Karr on the blog today for an interview where I got to pick her brain about all things Toxic. Read on to read that along with my full review below. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a paperback of Toxic!
About The Book
TOXIC
Author: Kim Karr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2015
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The New York Times bestselling author of the Connections novels turns up the heat in a sexy new romance about money, power, danger, and passion…

Sometimes you have to wonder if your life is just too good to be true.
Is it real or just an illusion?
Does the man lying beside you really love you like he says he does?
If the answer is yes, you’re meant to live happily ever after.
If the answer is no, you’re living my life…
and nothing will ever be the same.

I know I should walk away, but I can’t.

I’ll take whatever I can get for as long as it lasts.
I know when it’s over…
I’ll never find another man like him.

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Author Interview

If you haven’t added this deliciously angsty book to your TBR yet, I’m pretty sure this interview just may convince you 😉

DGR: Can we start out with a quick introduction for any readers out there that haven’t heard of you yet (if those even exist?)

KK: I’ll be 49 soon and can’t believe I’m one year away from 50. I don’t feel old at all and I hope to stay that way. I grew up in Rochester, NY and now live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I have always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I write romance books because I love to watch love blossom.

DGR: I’m a HUGE fan of the second chance romance. Do you have a favorite trope to write? Or is it more about when inspiration strikes you?
KK: I love second chance romances as well. That feeling you get in your stomach when it flips the first time they see each other again—it’s priceless.

DGR: Did you have any inspiration behind the story and/or the characters of Toxic?

KK: I’d read an article about underground nightclubs and thought it was such a cool idea. People show up in the oddest of places to party and then move to another. That transformed into Jeremy’s business in a more legit way. As for Phoebe and friends, I wanted to create a group that was somewhat against the grain of how we think of socialites.

DGR: Jeremy McQueen. The blurb describes him as a sexy, intense, sometimes brooding entrepreneur that goes after what he wants. I have to admit I was sold on the book from that alone. What else can you tell us about the brooding Jeremy?

KK: He was always the hired help’s son. A guy from the wrong side of the tracks so to say that turned his life into something good. He, like everyone, has issues and his stem from his childhood, from believing he was a bastard and then learning that wasn’t the case. All he wants is for someone to believe in him. However, sometimes his darkside makes it hard to do that. I just love him. Can you tell?

DGR: If you had to describe Phoebe St. Claire in 6 words or less, what would they be?

KK: As bold and delicate as a rose. I think that’s 7, oops.

DGR: What was your favorite part about writing this book?

KK: The intensity these two characters felt for each other. I felt it on every page. They were meant to be together.

DGR: Now without giving away any spoilers, what was one of your favorite scenes from Toxic?

KK: When Phoebe sees Jeremy after 5 long years. Here’s a peek: “Someone stepped between us. The distressed leather was the first thing my eyes were focused on when my skin started to tingle with a sense of familiarity. The tingling quickly turned into trembling as my gaze lifted and I saw the bluest of blue eyes.”

DGR:  If you had to describe the book to us in a twitter size type sum-up, what would you say?

KK: #Toxiclove I’m so not good at twitter. Sorry.

DGR: Any little teasers or excerpts you can entice us with? Pretty please?

Phoebe St. Claire
————————
Feeling a bit drunk and overwhelmed with so many and so few choices at the same time, I needed some time alone and snuck off toward the beach path.
I ran toward the ocean and twirled in the sand as the wind blew around me. Once I started to feel dizzy from twirling, I still wasn’t ready to head back to the party, so I took the path that would lead me to the large Olympic-sized pool. I tugged my sandals off with thoughts of putting my feet in the water to rinse the mud and sand away. As I approached the pool, I noticed how it glowed like it was lit by small pale fires. Lost in the enchantment of it, the sudden movement beneath the surface startled me.
A fair-haired boy emerged from the water. He pulled himself up and out so quickly that I was momentarily stunned. And then when he drank me in with his eyes, I shuddered.
I couldn’t help it, the way he looked at me just made me shiver. No one had ever looked at me like that before and I found myself gazing back into his intense eyes.
He was utterly beautiful. His bare chest was sculpted but not overly bulky like Danny or Jamie. They worked out every day pumping obnoxious amounts of iron to look the way they did. In contrast, the boy standing before me had a swimmer’s build.
He stood stoic and a cautious look crossed his face. He was long and lean in a pair of bright green neon swim trunks.
Right away I could tell he didn’t care what anyone thought about him.
I loved the idea of that.
So I smiled at him.
He shook his head and his hair fell into his eyes.
I wanted to reach out and push it away. It wasn’t long, but it wasn’t short. It was perfect.
“Hey,” he said, grabbing a towel off the ground.
It didn’t belong to the club. It was small, beige, and a bit worn—not the large hunter-green fluffy ones monogrammed in white I’d always gotten when I used to come here to swim as a kid.
“Hey,” I said back, swinging my sandals nervously.
He grabbed a pair of jeans that lay next to where the towel had been and walked right by me.
I turned to watch him as he strode into one of the cabanas and dropped his trunks. I froze and squeezed my eyes shut, thinking I shouldn’t be watching him but then opened them quickly when I couldn’t resist maybe catching a glimpse.
“Didn’t your parents ever tell you it isn’t polite to stare?” His voice was low and sexy, and it tugged me out of my own head.
I put my hands on my hips. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you not to get dressed in mixed company?”
He pulled his jeans on and laughed. “My mother might have mentioned that once or twice but I’ve never been good at following the rules.”
And it didn’t escape my notice that he didn’t put any underwear on first.
Hot. Totally and completely hot.
I didn’t see anything I shouldn’t have seen, it was too dark, but something inside me electrified at the thought of seeing him naked and I stepped closer. That’s when I noticed the scuffed-up black work boots on one of the lounges with a T-shirt thrown next to them.
I raised a brow. “Is this your changing room?”
He laughed again but this time added a smile and put his hands up. “Okay you caught me. I better get out of here before anyone else does.”
He was adorable and charming and my heart skipped a beat or two.
Then I stepped even closer and entered the cabana entrance, effectively blocking his way. “Why? You’re not doing anything wrong.”
He shrugged but he didn’t try to move around me. “I usually swim in the ocean but when the water is too rough, like tonight, I come here.”
I bit my lip in contemplation before speaking. “Does it really matter if you get caught?”
He crossed his arms over his bare chest. “Let’s just say it’s not just the swimming. It’s more that I’ve been caught doing a few too many things that I shouldn’t have been doing in the past.”
A bad boy.
The thought made my pulse thunder. “So you’re not a member at this club?”
He cleared his throat and shifted from foot to foot. “No,” he laughed but his laugh was anything but genuine. “Are you?”
I hesitated as I considered my answer. “No, I was just walking the beach and wanted to rinse my feet. I’m Phoebe,” I said extending my hand. Technically, I wasn’t lying. I wasn’t a member, my parents were. I hadn’t even been here in years. And I was out for a walk.
Amusement danced in his blue eyes. “Jeremy,” he said back.
When I chewed on my lower lip, I noticed how his eyes focused on it.
Mine focused on the entirety of his mouth—his strong, firm jaw, his sensuous lips, and his tongue that had snuck out to lick his lips.
That mouth.
It was almost too much.
Almost.

DGR: Anything else you’d like to leave the readers with?

KK: I hope you read Toxic and fall in love with Jeremy and Phoebe’s world. Enjoy!

Review

4 stars

Toxic-DGR

Jeremy McQueen.
He wasn’t just any boy- he was “the boy”. The only one I never should have met, and the one I’d never trade meeting for the world.

It’s been over a week since I read Toxic and it’s taken me this long to be able to sum my feelings and clear my head enough to rate it. If I can describe this book for you in one word, it would be exhausting. I was absolutely emotionally spent when I finished it. I spent a good 40% of it feeling like I want to rip my hair out. And this is coming from a self-professed angst whore, mind you.
But then here’s the thing; I liked it. Even though the constant back and forth between Phoebe and Jeremy left me feeling like they’re going to give me whiplash, I still liked it and gobbled it up like the angst starved junky that I am. Was it delicious? Heck no! I thought I may choke on it. But god help me, I still liked it. My favorite trope is the second chance romance and Toxic delivers it in spades.

It was emotionally draining, erotic, touching, and rage inducing all at once. Yeah. Try wrapping your head around that.

I loved him once, even though I’d never told him I did. And as I looked at him, everything I’d ever felt for him came rushing back.

Toxic1-DGRPhoebe and Jeremy first met as teenagers years ago. Phoebe was the rich girl with the golden spoon in her mouth and Jeremy was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Their connection was instantaneous and burned hot and bright, but then lies tore them apart. While Phoebe never got over the boy that once made her entire body and heart burn, she moved on. Now years later fate brings them together again, but he’s no longer the boy she once knew. He’s successful and rich but still invites everything in her like they never spent any years apart.

He took all my air away. I didn’t care- I didn’t need to breathe.

While both Phoebe and Jeremy know they may be toxic together, they can’t stay away from each other. Their chemistry practically crackles in electricity. There’s one thing that’s certain, Kim Karr can write some scorching sex scenes. But the lies between them are like poison that won’t leave. Much as they try to purge it from their relationship it remains that one toxic factor that brews the way for mistrust and mistakes. I think it would be safe to say that neither of these characters are perfect, far from it in fact. These two fuck up so many times it made me want to throttle them and chuck my kindle at the wall. It was rage inducing.

That’s the thing with jealousy- it festers and builds until there is nothing left.

There’s a wealth of secondary characters that were introduced that added to the story in a very significant way. Maybe that’s what helped dilute the angst between Jeremy and Phoebe? It made the book evolve like a movie in front of my eyes and it made me really connect to the characters’ lives. I’m not sure I’d be able to say the same thing if this happened in any other book, but in this one it just worked.

The focus of the story of course are Jeremy and Phoebe and their romance and road to forgiveness and maturity.

We were frantic for each other- time hadn’t done anything to quash what we felt physically for each other. In fact, it only fanned the flames and the fire was bigger than ever.

Toxic2-DGRI think I felt every emotion along with them and that really helped connecting with them. Kim Karr did an amazing job creating two imperfect characters that were imperfectly perfect together. Does that even make sense? In my head it does, but then again I’m still getting over this book. As much as I wanted to rip my hair out for the last 40% of the book, I also secretly loved it. I guess I’m just a masochist that way.

With my eyes closed, I felt the earth move and the sky shift. In my own darkness, I felt a million different things but I didn’t feel lost in him. I knew then for certain, I wouldn’t get lost in him. There was no way I could. Not when I had found myself in him.

If you’re looking for a book that will enrage you and enrapture you all in one, Toxic is that. It’s a make you want to rip your hair out while still rooting for the characters kind of second chance romance. It was far from perfect, but yet it worked. It may not be for everyone, but if you’re a reader that enjoys your angst in rage inducing proportions while getting an unforgettable second chance romance, Toxic is definitely a must read.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Chasing River★ by K.A.Tucker

CR Review Tour Banner_edited-1 CHASING RIVER is a Suspenseful Romance novel, and the third novel in K.A. Tucker’s Burying Water Series, published by Atria books, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster. CHASING RIVER is set to be released July 7, 2015! If you haven’t already, be sure to grab BURYING WATER and BECOMING RAIN, the first two books in this thrilling series!!

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Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn’t let her die, but he also couldn’t risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.

Maybe it’s because he saved her life, or maybe it’s because he’s completely different from everything she’s left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn’t the kind of guy she’d want to catch.

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Review

3.5 stars

Chasing River-DGR


So…Where’d you meet this guy?”
“At the park one day. He kind of…ran into me.”
“Sounds romantic.”
“It was, in a way.” If pipe bombs could be called romantic.


I’m not sure why I didn’t realize from reading the synopsis that Amber Welles is the twin sister of Jesse Welles from Burying Water. Although I was hoping this book would have one of the 2 characters that were introduced in the previous one, I have to say I was excited when realized out who Amber was. Always the good girl to her troublemaking twin brother, I couldn’t wait to find out what her story will bring. I have to say,
while I enjoyed this book, comparing to the first two it was probably my least favorite in the series. That’s not to say it wasn’t good, because it really was. I adore KA Tucker’s writing style and her ability to bring her words to life. With the previous two books being in Oregon, it was a great change of pace to get the beauty of Ireland in this one.

Amber Welles is coming off a break up. She’s always been the good girl, the good daughter, popular girl and all around perfect. She has a great job as a nurse, she has great friends (or so she thinks), but she’s yearning for more. So she makes herself a bucket travel lists and sets off for sights unseen. But when she gets lost in Dublin, a run in with a guy with piercing green eyes leaves her rattled in more ways than one.

River Delaney has been on the wrong side of the law before, mostly thanks to his criminal older brother and his ties to the IRA. He’s not looking to be caught there again. When he follows his recently out of prison brother and catches him laying a pipe bomb in the middle of St. Stephen’s Green, he’s not exactly shocked. But when he sees a lost American tourist about to run right into the bomb’s path, he knows he has to do something. So he saves her and takes off before he can be tied to anything.

Amber can’t seem to get the man that saved her life out of her mind and when she’s able to track him down to his family’s pub, she knows that she needs to get to know him. He affects her like no other man has in her life. He’s also the exact opposite of any man she’s ever dated, and yet she’s inexplicably drawn to him.

Although I wasn’t sure what to expect from Amber with her good girl thought process, she really pleasantly surprised me. I really enjoyed her character and the way she chased River even though it wasn’t in her comfort zone. River was a hero that I liked straight away. He’s sweet and caring but with a little edge to him. I loved the relationship he had with his brother Rowen. Though I was shocked at the development between Ivy and Rowen. (Wonder if this book is the last we’ve seen of him?)

So why not more stars? I felt that for the type of reader I am there was a little too much concentration on history and suspense than the romance. While that may work very well for other readers, I found it added a certain disconnect for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting to read about but not something I would typically turn to, if that even makes sense. This series isn’t too heavy on the romance and it’s not the HEA endings I usually like. It’s suspenseful and gives the reader a very satisfying HFN. I just found the previous two books to be a little more enjoyable. The Burying Water series isn’t heavy on romance or steam. If I had to rate the steam on a scale of 1-10, I’d say it’s a 3. That’s not why I read this series, though. It offers something different from the usual mainstream romance you’d find. It has suspense and mystery with the added element of romance. I just felt a slight disconnect with this one for reason I can’t quite put my finger one. That being said, I’d definitely recommend this book for fans of the series.

I like that while the characters are interconnected, the books can easily be read as standalones. So if you haven’t read the previous two books, you wouldn’t be even a little lost jumping right into this one. I would recommend the other two books simply because they were fantastic and it does give the reader a better understanding of some of the secondary characters that make an appearance.

ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
47891_ChasingRiver_QuoteCards_3And don’t forget BURYING WATER and BECOMING RAIN, the first two books in this thrilling series…

Burying Water

BURYING WATER

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Becoming Rain

BECOMING RAIN

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About the Author

Author PhotoBorn in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

 

 

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Review: ★Priest★ by Sierra Simone

Priest
Author: Sierra Simone
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: June 29, 2015

There are many rules a priest can’t break. 
A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I’ve always been good at following rules. 
Until she came. 
My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I’m twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again. 
I am a priest and this is my confession.

*Priest is a standalone, full-length novel with an HEA. For mature audiences only.*

I stopped seeing a penitent.
I stopped seeing a child of God.
I stopped seeing a lost lamb in need of a shepherd.
I saw only a woman in need- ripe, delicious need.

Look, it’s no secret that I happen to have a soft spot for dirty kinky priests. I have been forever ruined by the Original Sinners series and haven’t looked back since. So when I saw the synopsis for this book, I didn’t even give it a second thought; I knew I had to read it and meet this Tyler Anselm Bell. I read this book in one sitting, and if there’s one thing I can tell you with utmost certainty it’s that Sierra Simone is an incredibly talented author. I absolutely LOVED her writing style. I also know that I would without a doubt read all of her future books. Did Priest live up to my expectations? Yes and no. It did in the sense that I got what I thought I would be getting; a dirty kinky priest. Lord, but he was dirty. Pun most definitely intended. (Amen) If I were to rate on the smut factor alone, this would be a 5 point punch straight to the ovaries. But I’ve evolved quite a bit from the reader that can enjoy mere smut. I know, I know, I’m shocked at this growth myself. And while Priest was a book that I enjoyed for the steam, the rest of the book wasn’t strong enough to bring it up from a “like” 3 star to a 4 or 5 star read.

Tyler is 29 years old and hasn’t exactly lived the life of a saint, especially in his carnal relations. He’s a man of peculiar tastes, and his tastes are certainly….intense. But three years ago, a tragic event changed his life irrevocably. And so he took a vow of celibacy to become a priest. You don’t know wha this “event” is right away, and the author reveals the details of it throughout the course of the book. However, this was the first thing that worked against it for me. When it was finally revealed, it still didn’t make me connect to Tyler’s reasons to do this. How something like this would make him turn toward the church is tough to explain, especially since it had the exact opposite effect on the rest of his family. And the mere fact how it hurt his mother played against it too. I just couldn’t justify it or make sense of it in my head to truly connect to it.

I was sorry that I hadn’t controlled my desire long enough to step into a cold shower or go for a run or any of the other tricks I’d learned over the past three years to stifle my urges.
Mostly…
Mostly, I’m sorry that I’m not sorry.
Dammit, I wasn’t sorry at all.

Then along came Poppy to tempt him down the path of sin…
What first began as a confession soon began to turn into an obsession. Tyler is inexplicably draw to Poppy. Something about her seems to tempt his inner sinner and makes him want to do bad, bad things.

Poppy was a heroine that I never connected with from the very beginning. She was such a two dimensional character. I found no depth to her whatsoever. Here you have this woman that had a wonderful childhood but with parents who wanted a lot from her. They didn’t encourage her dreams of going to Julliard, but instead pushed her to go down the same path that every female of the upper crust follows; get an education, marry an equally rich man, and do charity work. Wanting more from her life, Poppy leaves it all behind to become a stripper. (But a high end one) Yep, that made total sense…. Not really.

Throughout the book, I never could grow to like her. Perhaps it was because it was because the story is told only in Tyler’s POV. But really, she just struck me as a somewhat vapid character. There was nothing more to her besides the lust that she induces in Tyler. Or if there was, I never really found it.

….our eyes locked and we surged past every barrier- stranger and stranger, priest and penitent, Tyler and Poppy. We were simply male and female, as God had made us, Adam and Eve, in the most elemental and fundamental form. We were biology, we were creation incarnate…

The sex between them was absolutely scorchingly hot. And so dirty. Lord but when these two sin, they go all out. To be honest, it almost felt like the book was trying to be taboo too hard at certain scenes.

Sacred and profane were blending and blurring together, fusing and welding themselves into something new and whole and singular, and if this was what love was, then I didn’t know how anyone could bear the weight of it.

I found the connection between Tyler and Poppy to be a little hard to believe. Even though everything happens over a span of weeks, it read like hours. It was just way too fast. How a mere sight of a woman can lead someone like Tyler that made the choice to be what he is so quickly, I just don’t know. There was nothing more to it besides him being attracted to her and being turned on by her confessions. Tyler wasn’t exactly a saint before he became a priest. He was a man that liked his sex and more on the kinky side. It made sense I suppose, that it wouldn’t take much to tempt him back to the dark side, but I still needed a little more. Also, considering they have the fear of discovery, these two were completely thoughtless to that when it came down to business. They went at it everywhere without a second thought as to who may see them. I’ll even admit that certain scenes even made this seasoned pervert cringe (view spoiler). So…yeah.

Now all that aside, I still read this book in one sitting. I enjoyed the writing stile immensely and the book was highly entertaining. While it lacked a few things to make it a 4 or 5 star read for me, it was still a very solid 3 stars. I did like it, all quibbles aside. But would I read it again? Probably not.

Review: ★Piercing Ecstasy★ by Setta Jay

Piercing Ecstasy 
Author: Setta Jay
Genre: Erotic, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: January 31, 2015

After a hellish month of searching, Immortal warrior Jax and his brethren, the Guardians of the Realms, are nowhere near finding the sleeping God who was stolen by their enemy. As if that isn’t problem enough, after millennia, other Guardians are dropping like flies to the mating frenzy. Jax never dreamed he could be next. After all, he’s too flawed, his sexual appetite too insatiable to ever be completely fulfilled by one being. Could a lone female even handle his needs let alone quench his never ending desire?

Ileana lives a solitary life in the shadows, a ghost thirsting for vengeance. A warrior Ailouros, half cat, whose sheer existence has been kept secret by a special ability no one can know exists, she is closed off and trusts no one. After thousands of years spent in near isolation while hunting her prey, she has finally found a clue leading to the location of her enemy. Revenge is at hand.

When a fantastically hot Guardian unknowingly puts himself in the middle of a deadly intrigue, nearly ruining her careful plans, Ileana is forced to make a choice. Her one chance at finding vengeance will hinge on hurling them both into piercing ecstasy.

Warning: This book is intended for an adult audience. There are dirty talking Guardians with bad language, some violence, and explicit scenes hot enough to give you cat scratch fever

They may not know each other, but that would change. Soon. She was his. That may scare the shit out of her, but not him. The minute she touched him their fate was sealed.

Alright look, I want to tell you that what drew me to this series initially was the intricate world building and the fantastic characters, but I’d be flat out lying. Truthfully what did it was the super dirty, incredibly erotic, and always pant inducing sex. Yes. I’m deep like that (that’s what she said)

Being 5 books into this series though, I can tell you that it’s so much more than just super sexy. I’m addicted to the story and the characters. I’m practically salivating for the next book every time I finish a new one and I’ve become a huge fan of Setta Jay and this amazing world of The Guardians that she’s created.

She gives you those possessive uber alphas but then she pairs them with strong witted and sassy heroines that never fails to make for one entertaining and sizzling read. I can happily say that Piercing Ecstasy was no exception. Don’t let the sexy ass cover fool you. These books are a lot deeper (that’s what she said) than they imply. The characters and story are well developed and while the sex is super hot, it’s not what drives the story. While each book may technically be read as a standalone, I’d highly recommend reading this series in order to truly enjoy it as the story arc continues throughout the book and the characters get introduced early on before their own individual books. You would have a much better understanding and appreciation of them if you read the books in order. Setta likes to give a sneak peek into each character at the end of the previous book, and the first true peek we got of Jax was in Tempting Ecstasy

His dick had always ruled his life. He was used to that.

At the end of Tempting Ecstasy, Dacia’s sister, Mia is the confused she-wolf that thought that Jax was her mate. I wasn’t sure how to take Jax’s almost callous dismissal of her and his implication that he could never be faithful because one woman or man would never be enough for him. Luckily all it took was him finding his true mate for him to sing a whole different tune entirely.

Ileana is exactly the type of heroine I’ve come to expect from this author. Tough, take no prisoners attitude, but of course unable to fight the allure of her mate and alpha. For years Ileana has been a ghost. Bent on revenge against the beings that killed her parents and left her an orphan, she’s accustomed to hiding in the shadows. Not having a scent helps her immensely. And hardening her heart has helped her even more.

Her mind was her own. Her body, hers to give as she wanted. Her heart a hardened shell that allowed nothing in. She was a warrior.

While on an information gathering mission, she stumbles onto the intoxicating scent of her mate, she discovers that her heart may not be quite as hardened as she thought when it comes to one determined alpha. And soon their relationship begins to grow into something much more than just mating frenzy.

You’re really starting to piss me off with hat shit, and trust me, you don’t want that. You. Are. Mine. This is for fucking eternity, and I take that shit seriously.”

Piercing Ecstasy was a quick paced and action packed read. There’s quite a bit happening here, along with more development in Brianne and Vane’s situation. Then there’s crazy Elizabeth and her quest to release her even crazier lover, Apollo. And of course there’s that tantalizing little peak into Drake, the one guardian that I’m absolutely dying to find out more about. I always had a feeling that I knew who his mate was, but then Setta goes and throws that mother of a plot cliff here that my mind is still reeling from.

I can’t recommend this series enough to any lover of sizzling hot PNR. I love everything about it; the writing, the characters, the story….the sex. Ha! If you haven’t discovered this dirty little world of The Guardians, I suggest you get acquainted. Your ovaries will thank you. Trust me.

On a side note…

Dear cover,


That is all

Read the series in order!

Ecstasy Unbound: Guardians of the Realms #1
Ecstasy Claimed: Guardians of the Realms #2
Denying Ecstasy: Guardians of the Realms #3
Tempting Ecstasy: Guardians of the Realms #4

#NewRelease & Review: ★One To Chase★ by Tia Louise

One to Chase 
Author: Tia Louise 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 25, 2015

Paris fashions,
Chicago nightlife,
Secrets and lies…
Welcome to the North Side.

Marcus Merritt doesn’t chase women. He doesn’t have to. But when the spirited and sexy blonde who left him wanting more shows up in his office looking for work, little things like the rules seem ready to be rewritten.

Amy Knight is smart, ambitious, and back home in Chicago to care for her mother. A courtesy meeting with one of the top lawyers in the city should be a boost to her career…

Until the polished green-eyed player turns out to be the same irresistible “random” she hooked up with at a friend’s wedding in Wilmington. Bonus: He’s the brother of her older brother’s new wife. What the hell?!

Who’s chasing whom? It all depends on the day. Or the night.

Don’t miss the FREE prequel novella for Marcus and Amy in RUNAWAY

Women don’t run from me. Not when I want to catch them. She projects a hotshot image in her power suit and heels, but one thing I know about runaways. They’re afraid.

It seems that Tia Louise just keeps getting better and better. There’s one thing I’m guaranteed when I pick up one of her books, and that’s the fact that I’m going to be getting one hot alpha hero. Whether a marine, a cowboy, an underground fighter, she never fails to deliver and now she can add one sexy lawyer under her belt. As much as I enjoyed the previous books in this series, One To Chase is probably my favorite to date. It’s also the one book in the series that I would say truly may be enjoyed as a standalone as unlike the other books it doesn’t have additional POVs from previous characters. The focus is central on the main couple. Though having said all that, this series is definitely one that you would enjoy more reading in order.

Amy and Marcus first met in the end of One to Save where they shared one sizzling anonymous hookup, not knowing who the other is. Both thinking they’re indulging in a one night stand, neither of them expect that they have some very strong connections. Marcus Merritt is Elaine’s brother and Elaine is married to Patrick, who is also Amy’s sister. Still with me? Good.

I was wrong. You’re not wicked. You’re dangerous.”

Amy grew up in Chicago among the elite, but her life has been in Paris for the past few years. She never wanted to be back to Chicago or the memory it brings; but when the man she’s involved with in Paris tells her he wants more, she does what she does best and she runs. Coming back to Chicago to care for her mother, Amy doesn’t expect to run straight into one of the most unforgettable hookups of her life…or to realize that he’s actually more than that.

I don’t beg, Amy.” I don’t mean to growl, but it’s time to put it on the line. “I don’t chase. I don’t even really see the same women more than a few times. But I’m asking you to do this.

Marcus Merritt is one of the most eligible bachelors of Chicago. A successful lawyer, he’s not hurting for female attention. Yet something about the unattainable and gorgeous blonde draws him in and he knows that he’ll stop at nothing to get her.

Amy was probably one of my favorite heroines in the series so far. She’s strong witted and sassy. Plus it’s always great to read about a heroine that really makes a man work for it. The chemistry between her and Marcus is undeniable, and it’s not very long before they fall into bed together. But Amy fights the emotional connection between them with everything she’s got. It’s clear that she has some demons in her past and Marcus is determined to unearth every single one of them in order to have her.

One to Chase was incredibly sexy, quick paced and entertaining read. It had a little bit of everything. I loved that this book unlike the others was more focused on the couple. There were no additional POVs, which for me at least, took away from the main story in the past. This focuses only on the couple and truly allows the reader to form a connection to both the characters. I absolutely loved Marcus and Amy together. They were this perfect match of push and pull while burning up the sheets together. I’d highly recommend reading the free prequel before this book, Runaway to really understand the history between these two.

Baby, we’ve been flying since Day One.”

This was another fantastic addition to an addicting series that only continues to get better and better seven books in. If sexy, dirty talking lawyers and the strong witted, commitment-phoebic heroines that bring them to their knees is your thing, then this is a book you simply need to read.

Don’t Miss The Rest of The Series

One To Hold (One To Hold Book 1)
(Derek & Melissa)
One to Keep (One to Hold Book 2)
Patrick & Elaine
 One to Protect (One to Hold Book 3)
(Derek & Melissa)
 One to Love (One to Hold Book 4)
(Slayde & Kenny)

One to Leave (One to Hold Book 5)

(Stuart & Mariska)
One to Save (One to Hold #6)
(Derek & Melissa)
Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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