Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: Riske And Revenge by Natalie E. Wrye

Riske and Revenge
Series: The Revenge Series
Genre: 
Contemporary Romance
Author: Natalie E. Wrye
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Love is the strongest emotion in the world…next to hate.

I knew hate. Had known it since I was seventeen. For me, it was love turned on its head, a product of hurt and fear—twisted, tied up…and placed on the sculpted shoulders of Ethan Riske.

***

Dayton, Tennessee.

Home to the best cow-tipping in the world, the biggest hot dogs, and the lousiest sex.

Or so I’d heard…

They were right about the first two. Ethan Riske proved them wrong about the third and at seventeen, he and I spent a summer under the stars, squeezing our way out of trouble, sweating and panting among the haystacks.

 Until he left.

Nine years later, when a huge publishing house tries to buy my small press, I storm into the office of the CEO to find him.

Same cocky grin. Different name.

And suddenly all I can think about is exacting revenge on Ethan Riske for breaking his contract…and my heart.

But there’s someone who wants revenge even more than I do. As I begin to fall for the new Ethan, will the sins of the old one come back to haunt us?

$.99 for a limited time

AMAZON

Prologue

“I hope you taste as good as you smell.”The sound drifted through the air. A slow, sensuous melody floated with it, and as both made their way through the room, the beat of the song and the quiet statement I just heard rattled the bourbon in my hand, making the ice cubes shake.

Or maybe I was the one shaking.

I couldn’t help it.

Griff was poking a hole in my ribs with his elbow, and as the lips that had just whispered in my ear withdrew, I could see the look on my “best man’s” face. He was essentially salivating, his tongue practically swinging as he took in the vision of the woman who was speaking in my ear… and laying a seductive path in my open lap.

She stood, her long legs stretching, her bare torso twisting as she rolled the shape of an “S” in the air with her body, swaying seductively to the music. She was toned… that was obvious. A tight package with tits too big to be real, the buxom blonde in front of me was the object of every man’s wet-dream, star of every cock-swinger’s fantasy…

Except mine.

But she was doing her best. Clad in a piece of cloth that barely covered her clearly cleanly-waxed pussy, she ground her pretty ass two inches from my face while every other man in the room fought the urge to put their fingers all over her. My best friend, included. He nudged my side for the ninetieth time.

“Fuck me, man,” he slurred. “If she was doing that to me, I’d be two seconds from putting my finger in her ass.” He smirked widely and wildly.

“Good thing you aren’t me,” I shot back quietly, leaning over to look into his face. “That’d be a felony, you crazy ass.” I finally smiled. “And the last time I checked you didn’t fuck strippers because ‘and I quote…  ‘Who knows how many other items have been in those goddamned holes?'”

I threw Griff’s own words back at him with a silent grin.

“Doesn’t matter,” he declared, staring at the stripper in front of me for the thousandth time. “For her?” He swallowed another mouthful of scotch. “I’d make an exception.”

I glared at the beautiful blonde again. Because Griff was right. The exotic dancer… She might have been one of the best looking I’d ever seen. Maybe the best. She was tall, long-legged. Gorgeous… in the porn star sense, of course, with a wide, luscious mouth made for licking and sucking in only the most erotic of ways.

She licked her lips at me as if she wanted to make good on the promise she’d just whispered, and I had no doubt when she looked at me, her brown doe-like eyes wide, that—if she could, she would devour me until nothing was left. Until she drained every drop.

Unfortunately, for her, I wasn’t interested.

She tried to drag me to my feet, her tiny fingers wrapping around my own, pulling as she walked backwards in the direction of the edge of the room. The overhead maroon lights illuminating the space in our black-curtain closed boudoir made her look as naughty as every word dripping from her blood-red mouth, and Bambi the Bimbo was putting on her best pout to entice me into joining her towards whatever dirty fun lay in the dark room beyond this one.

All of the men—friend and foe—whooped as I slowly dragged myself to my feet, stumbling and fumbling over the discarded decorations that littered the floor. Streamers and “Congratulations” ribbons ran the length of the room, taking up space between the cloth-covered tables, and I staggered past them, barely holding onto my Bourbon as I followed stolidly behind the too-excited dancer who nearly bounced on her platform-covered toes.

With the push of another curtain, we fell into another room, and I let my body flounce on the dark-colored couches beyond it, slumping into the padded cushions. I took a healthy swig of my drink and sank my fingers into the seat beneath, wondering how many stains these comfortable sofas had really seen.

The drunker I got, the more it didn’t matter. Ignorance truly was bliss.

And so was the sensation making its way down my crotch—a gentle rubbing that circled the length of my cock through the fabric of my suit pants. From the tip to the very base. I groaned, closing my eyes as I saw a vision in my mind. A vision too good to be true.

A vision almost ten years old.

Waves of dark hair fell to a waist too tiny to be anything but touched. Shiny and soft, the beautiful brown mane swept across my chest, against my shirt, as two eyes, a crystal-clear blue, peeked from beneath the strands, as round and as large as saucers. In my mind, they met mine, saying things that couldn’t be vocalized, voicing words that need not be said.

They seduced in the most innocent of ways, waylaying me, pulling at a possessiveness in me I didn’t know existed. The blue eyes smiled. The smile beneath them was even better—wicked, as it dipped to my abdomen and pressed there, making me ache, causing my cock to strain against the inconvenient zipper located there.

How many times had I imagined those lips doing exactly that? That tongue licking out beneath those straight white teeth to lap at my skin, the edge of her mouth nipping at the most sensitive parts of me? It was torture—letting her tease me, taking me to the brink and back again as she swept that sheet of auburn locks over my body as she bent to her knees. I sucked in a breath soaked in desire as I waited for her to place her mouth where it mattered most.

And then it stopped. The teasing. She stopped.

And before I knew it, she was pulling—no, ripping—at my pants. The top button popped, and suddenly my cock was between her hands, her lips. She sank her mouth around it with a sigh, sucking with delight. The sexiest slurp ever made to man escaped from between her teeth, and I nearly lost it, grinding my own teeth as I gripped the back of her head, my eyelids squeezing tight enough to ache.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck…” I muttered. Over and over and over again.

It was fucking amazing. Something so simple—someone so simple, sweet and secretly naughty could bring a stubborn fucker like me—CEO and all—to his Giorgio Armani-covered knees.

I came… with my cock in her mouth and her name on my mind. I leaned back even further, letting my head fall into the cushions.

“Fuck, Kat…” I mumbled, feeling way too fucked up to move, the liquor coursing through my veins as I came down from my high, my fingers reaching out to touch her once more.

But she backed away.

“Kat?” she said, rising to her feet. “Who the fuck is Kat?”

I opened my eyes, staring at the figure fumbling around in front of me. It was the blonde vixen—the stripper. Standing on shaky legs, she wobbled between my legs, locking me with a stare, her eyes hard and unblinking. She placed her hands on her tiny hips.

“Who the hell is Kat?”

As if she was outraged. As if she had any right to question whatever the fuck I was doing anyway. I ignored her with a shrug, stowing my dick back in my pants with a loud zip! I finished my drink and sat it down.

“Ohhhh… I get it,” the blonde blower hissed. “She must be your fiancé. Well… I guarantee you that she’s never made you come like that. That was epic, baby,” she sighed, trying to straddle me. Her pussy was peeking completely out of her barely-there panties this time, and she tried to rub it across me, sliding her pink slit across the front of my pants with a slow grind.

I almost pushed her off. I stood.

“There is no fiancee,” I rumbled.

“But I thought…”

“My friends,” I interrupted, “thought it’d be funny to celebrate my new position. They said it was fitting… seeing as how I’m now married to my job. This isn’t a real bachelor party. And that wasn’t a real blow-job…”

She raised an eyebrow. “Certainly felt real to me.”

I pulled out my wallet, taking out a couple hundred dollar bills and putting them in the palm of her hand. I folded her fingers around them, looking into her eyes.

“Can’t be real… Not when you’re thinking about someone else the entire time.”

I turned just as the fair-haired, breathing blow-up doll gaped. I pulled the black curtain aside, exiting, attempting to avoid the curious gaze of every onlooking employee that came to the party to usher me into my new executive role.

My smile was weak, as I tried to shake off what just happened to me in the other room… and who I was imagining it happening with. Somehow, it was the brunette in my head, and not the blonde on my lap, that felt as if she were still on my skin.

I was in so much fucking trouble.

Natalie Wrye is a tequila connoisseur, Game of Thrones addict and author best known for writing page-turning Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense.

A fan of the beautifully polarizing anti-hero, she crafts sexy stories about hard-bodied, complex men and the strong-willed women who crave them.

She loves it when people get weird with her on Facebook, NatalieWrye.com or Natalie@NatalieWrye.com.

 

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New Release & Review: The Beautiful Now by M. Leighton

THE BEAUTIFUL NOW
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: M. Leighton
Release Date: September 26, 2017

Dane James worked my stepfather’s fields. He was the boy next door.

Strong.

Hardworking.

Forbidden.

From the moment we met, we were star-crossed lovers—always wanting, never having. We loved each other for most of our lives, but right from the beginning destiny had other plans. She knew we would fall in love. She knew we would fall apart. Over and over again, like the curse of a recurring nightmare. Or the hope of a familiar dream.

Our past was tumultuous. Our future was bleak. But the one thing we always had was the beautiful now.

Until that was taken from us, too.

AMAZON

Get it for the release price of $3.99 while it lasts, or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited! 

We didn’t have a future. We couldn’t possibly. We both knew it. But we had the now. The beautiful now. And that was better than nothing.

Oh my heart. My poor little heart. It’s absolute putty in the talented hands of M. Leighton. This woman knows how to write a book that tugs at absolutely every heart string. A book that equally breaks your heart and warms it at the same time. The Beautiful Now was a beautiful, gripping, and simply unforgettable second chance romance. It was unique and unlike anything I’ve read lately, and I loved every emotional page of it.

I knew people looked at him and just saw a poor worker’s boy, not of much importance. But deep down, where their eyes couldn’t see, he was a lot more. Something told me he was everything.

Sometimes social classes, the ignorance of parents, and the innocence of youth could cost you everything. That was exactly what Brinkley experienced as a teenager. At twelve years old she met a boy on the wrong side of her social class that made her question everything. At fifteen she realized that he meant everything to her but she could never have him. He worked her stepfather’s field, and her mother expected her to keep up appearance of a family of their class. But that didn’t stop feelings from forming. Nothing like her family, Brinkley fell hard and fast, even though she did everything to avoid the boy that she was continuously warned away from.

we were on two different sides of that fact. He was a rock and I was as fluid as the ocean. He knew exactly who he was and what he wanted, while I took on the form of whatever contained me, whoever I was around.

At seventeen the love bloomed into a one in a lifetime. The odds were always stacked against them, but no one expected for it all to fall apart in the way that it did.

Dane James. He was my relief. He was my exhale. He was my rock.

Now years later, Brinkley is back in a town she hated and couldn’t run further away from. Her reasons for coming back are as undeniable as her feelings for the boy that stole her heart all those years ago. She doesn’t expect to ever see him again. She doesn’t expect to fall for him all over again. And she definitely doesn’t expect the road that life has waiting for her.

The story is told in alternating parts of past to present. It’s flawlessly woven together to build a gripping and incredibly emotional story. You get to see the young and somewhat innocent Brinkley grow into a strong and incredible woman. Her dedication to those she cares about, her ability to finally stand up for what she believes, all of it shows a woman that had to grow up hard but learned from it.

As for Dane, I have no words. This is not your typical alpha overload hero. He’s definitely still an alpha, but in this endearing understated way. He made my swoons have swoons.

He felt necessary to my heart, to my head, to my very existence, and nothing in the world mattered except him. Being close to him. Having him against me, around me, inside me.

This was a slow paced and highly emotional romance that enjoyed from cover to cover. For those craving something a little different but packed full of feelings, this is a book you need to read.

#DGRFave Review: Ghosted by @JMDarhower

GHOSTED
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.M. Darhower
Release Date: August 24, 2017

He’s a troubled young actor, Hollywood’s newest heartthrob, struggling with fame as the star of the latest superhero franchise. Through scandal after scandal, addiction on top of addiction, a flurry of paparazzi hunt him as he fights to conquer his demons.

She’s a single mother, assistant manager at a grocery store, existing in monotony with her five-year-old daughter. Every day when she goes to work, lurid tabloids surround her, the face of a notorious bad boy haunting her from their covers.

A man and a woman, living vastly different lives, but that wasn’t always the case. Once, they were just a boy and a girl who bonded over comic books and fell in love unexpectedly.

When Kennedy Garfield met Jonathan Cunningham back in high school, she knew he had all the makings of a tragic hero. With stars in his eyes, and her heart on her sleeve, the pair ran away together to follow their dreams.

But dreams, sometimes, turn into nightmares.

Now, years later, the only thing they share is a daughter—one who has no idea her father plays her favorite superhero. But Jonathan is desperate to make amends, and at the top of his list is the woman who gave up everything for him and the little girl he hasn’t yet met.

AMAZON

Never make someone else the main character in your own story.”

EVERYTHING. This book was EVERYTHING. All of the things. Of the angsty, second chance romance feels variety.

You know when you see a book on your feed and find yourself wondering if it’s really worth all of the hype? I can tell you with total conviction, that this book is. It’s a huge step away from Darhower’s other books, pure contemporary, and downright magical.

He’s an actor. His talent comes natural. He’s never had to work very hard at it. He can switch moods in a moment, change scenes in an instant, flip the script without anybody even realizing it’s happening. It’s hard to tell if he’s just playing a character or if you can trust that he means things.

So what is it about this story that enraptured me so completely? Aside from the multi-layered characters that are full of depth and you can’t help but fall for immediately, it was the writing. The way that this second chance romance unravels and the way the author gives the reader the POV from the past? Pure literary magic.

You don’t know this, but that girl? As she stands there, staring at you, seeing the light in your eyes and feeling so much love in her heart, she would’ve done anything you asked. Anything. She would’ve climbed any mountain and dug any hole. She would’ve lied, cheated, and stolen. That girl would’ve promised you forever. As long as you love her, for as long as you care, she’s yours.

A troubled young actor, struggling with newfound sobriety and righting the wrongs of his past. A heart-broken, hardworking single mother with a spine of steel that was left in his rearview mirror as he chased his dream and got lost in a haze of alcohol and drugs. An adorable baby girl that brings the two of them a full circle. This was a powerful, incredibly realistic, and emotional story of second chances. Jonathan is not a perfect hero. He’s nowhere close to it. You want to hate him for his mistakes, but as you learn the story through the eyes of the woman that loved him and get his POV in the present, you get to see a man that’s determined to pay for his mistakes and make them right. He’s a man that never stopped loving the girl from his past and the woman that never truly left his present. He’s a man that knows that if she gives him just one more chance, though he doesn’t deserve it, he won’t squander it, and he’ll do anything to convince her that he’s worth the risk.

To me, she was the center of the universe, the sunlight that burned so bright, but she writes herself in the shadows, secondary in her own life. Instead, she made me the hero, the center of this alternate universe she invented around her.

Once burned, twice shy. Kennedy gave up everything once for the man she loved to chase his dreams, and now six years later, she’s still picking up the pieces that he left in his wake. It’s impossible not to immediately love this character. There’s this endearing vulnerability to go along with her spine of steel and determination to make a life for herself and her daughter that you have a tremendous amount of respect for. She struggles with trying to let go of her past and move on from the man that will always hold a piece of her heart.

I’m playing with fire, like I don’t remember how much it hurts to get burned, but from here, where I’m standing, all I can seem to feel is the warmth.

Ghosted is perfectly paced, phenomenally written, and completely enrapturing. It was full of emotion and a beautiful romance that’ll stay with me for a long, long time.

But love is only as strong as the people who fuel it. And you? You’re Superman, thinking Kryptonite makes you invincible. And the woman you love? She… can’t keep pretending any of this is normal. She can’t keep writing this as if somewhere along the way the plotline will fix itself. She can’t keep acting as if this isn’t her story.

 

#DGRFave & Review: HOT Valor by @LynnRayeHarris

HOT ADDICTION
Series: Hostile Operations Team #11
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Lynn Raye Harris
Release Date: July 18, 2017

A new standalone romance from New York Times Bestselling Author Lynn Raye Harris. Sexy, action-packed, and thrilling!

Colonel John “Viper” Mendez searches for a ghost from his past… and when he finds her, nothing will be the same!

They told him she was dead. They lied…

Colonel John “Viper” Mendez is having the second-worst day of his life. Accused of using the Hostile Operations Team to assassinate a foreign official, he’s gone from being a respected military black-ops commander to a fugitive in the space of an hour. On the run, hunted, and stripped of his honor, Mendez has nowhere to go–and few people he can trust.

Russian spy Ekaterina “Kat” Kasharin is a carbon copy of the woman Mendez once loved. Twenty-one years ago, Valentina vanished from his life. Kat claims to be her twin–but Kat’s lying. Ordered by her superiors in Russian Intelligence to abandon the man she loved–or watch him die–Kat had no choice but to obey.

But twenty-one years is a long time to love a man from afar, and Kat won’t stand by as a traitor plans his death–even if it means risking her heart and her life to save him. She can never reveal her true identity–or the secrets she keeps locked away. Secrets he would hate her for. Working with him is strictly business, and she won’t let emotions get in the way. But the attraction between them is smoking hot–and it’s not long before they’re burning up the sheets.

When the truth comes out, the mission implodes. Everything Mendez thought he knew was a lie. He’ll have to pull it together though before a deadly foe succeeds in taking away all he loves. By the time he realizes Kat might be most important of all? It could be too late to save her…

The Hostile Operations Team is a covert military Black Ops unit. Their motto is Where None Dare. H.O.T. operators come from all branches of the military. The only criteria for membership: they must be the best of the best!

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS | KOBO

She was an itch beneath his skin. A mosquito buzzing in his ear. A compulsion that threatened to tip across the line into addiction.

This. Book. GAH! It was worth every single second of the wait. Mendez was everything. EVERYTHING.
Harris can write a hot military hero like no one else. Is it any wonder why I’m addicted to this series. It’s become my crack. Pure and simple.

Lies, scandals, secrets, and espionage. All of it explodes in this incredibly powerful second chance romance. It was a heart pounding, action packed, sizzling story of love lost and found. I don’t even have words for how much I loved it, but I’m going to try.

Colonel John “Viper” Mendez has always been the man behind the scenes. The commander of HOT that always set their missions in motion and oversaw things from his desk. But his time in his position earned him a number of enemies and they’re ready to collect. When he gets set up to make it seem like he was using the Hostile Operations Team to assassinate a foreign official, all bets are off. Mendez is not a man that runs from his responsibilities, but he can’t catch the ones responsible from his jail cell. With the help of an slinkily ally, Ian Black, Mendez gets a blast from his past he never expected.

He was no longer commander of HOT. He was a fugitive with a price on his head. He was also a man with a past waiting for the answers to a mystery he’d never stopped thinking about.

Twenty one years ago he fell hard and fast for a beautiful Russian spy, only to lose her and never recover from her death. Valentina is the one woman that he will never forget or get over, so when he meets her carbon copy claiming to be her twin sister, Kat, sent to assist him on his mission, it’s like getting hit by a two by four of memories he can’t hide from.

Every time he looked at her, it was like being plowed into by a high-speed train. He was flattened, gutted, gasping for air.

Not all is as it seems with Kat. Twenty one years ago she was forced to give up the man she loved or watch him die, she made a choice that she never quite recovered from. She’s hardened, jaded, and even more deadly than the woman that Mendez knew as Valentina. Now she’s Kat and she’ll protect the man she never stopped loving even at the cost of her own life, but her identity is a secret that she’ll take with her to her grave.

You could run from your past. You could put years and distance between you and the things that haunted you. But you never got over them. You never got free.

I love a second chance romance. But when that second chance romance is between a special ops commander and a Russian spy he believed dead for 21 years? Holy mother of everything! It’s utterly delicious. Mendez struggles with his instant connection to Kat. He can’t understand if it’s something beyond her uncanny resemblance to the woman he loved, or Kat is keeping something from him. Theirs is a relationship that’s based on secrets and mistrust, and yet it crackles with enough chemistry to spark an explosion. I absolutely loved the two of them together. And as you get more and more of Kat’s past and the reasons why she did what she did along with what she’s been through for the past years, it becomes harder to stay angry at her. This is an incredibly strong woman that’s been through so much.

As for the story? HOT Valor was absolutely explosive! It was the perfect blend of action, suspense, and sizzling hot romance. It was delicious. Addicting. A non-stop action packed ride from beginning to finish. If you’ve been eager for more of Ian Black, you’ll be salivating with this book because the mystery finally gets revealed and it’s a doozy! I think I’ll go insane waiting for his book.

In the meantime, we get a sneak peek into the next couple and I’m already itching for their story.

If you’re a fan of this series, you simply cannot miss this book. It’s an absolute must read. Mendez lives up to every single promise and then some.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER


HOT PURSUIT
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

HOT MESS
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

HOT PACKAGE
AMAZON

DANGEROUSLY HOT
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

HOT SHOT
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

HOT REBEL
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

HOT ICE
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

HOT & BOTHERED
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

HOT PROTECTOR
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

HOT ADDICTION
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

Review: Shattered King by Sherilee Gray

SHATTERED KING
Series: Lawless Kings #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sherilee Gray
Release Date: June 27, 2017

What if the man you love hated you more with every breath he took?

He’s out to get revenge for a crime he didn’t commit…

Hunter King just got out of prison. Incarcerated for three years though an innocent man, his rage against the people who put him there knows no bounds. First up on his list for vengeance: the woman who betrayed him years ago. The woman he loved fiercely, the one bright light in his otherwise hard, ruthless life. She has information he needs. And he’s going to kidnap her, hold her hostage, in order to get it. But one look into Lulu’s eyes unleashes the true beast within. Hunter’s never hated anyone this deeply, or wanted any woman this badly.

Lulu had no choice: Either help send Hunter to prison, or see him destroyed. She couldn’t do that to the man she loved. Couldn’t do it to the father of her child. But Hunter was locked away before he had a chance to learn about his son—and a hard layer of despair has formed around his heart that she’s desperate to crack. And if Hunter is to give himself and Lulu a second chance at love, he needs to find a way past his darkest demons.

AMAZON

I’d always known he’d come for me. It was only a matter of time, and I’d known there sure as hell wouldn’t be a happy reunion.

First of all, don’t let my rating fool you, because I enjoyed this book. Quite a bit. And while there were a few things that happened that ultimately brought my rating down, I’m hooked on this series and have discovered a new to me author that I’m eager for more books from.

My prince certainly didn’t want to kiss me awake, rescuing me from three years of nightmares—no, he wanted to smother me in my sleep.

I love an angsty second chance romance, and Shattered King was one hell of a start to what looks to be a sexy and exciting series. I was immediately sucked into the story and spent the first half of the book glued to the pages.

A man sentenced to three years in prison for a crime he didn’t come in.
The woman that he loved beyond reason that he believes is responsible.
And a vendetta that continues to boil his blood to make those responsible for what happened to him pay.

Now out of prison, Hunter is working with his brother but his goal hasn’t changed. First on his list, the woman that betrayed him. Short after, her stepfather. He needs answers and he’s not above kidnapping Lulu, and holding her prisoner until she tells him exactly why she lied to him. But not all is as it seems. Lulu is holding some devastating secrets. Secrets that can change everything, but risk everything, including their lives.

I was riveted for the first half of the story. The animosity between Lulu and Hunter was palpable. She never stopped loving him, and he wants to stop wanting her. The years apart and the secrets and lies did nothing to diminish the chemistry between them. Admittedly, as much as I loved Hunter’s intensity, I also disliked how easy Lulu gave into him. At the same time, her love for him has never gone away and while the man today may hate her, she’s still devastatingly in love with him, so I also got it. As much as I wanted to judge her for her weaknesses, I understood why she did what she did.

As for Hunter? The man hit every single one of my alpha buttons. The man was pure sex on a stick.

You’re mine, Lulu. You’re not just inked on my skin, you’re under it, you’re twisted so deep inside me there’s no escaping it. I need to know you get that. Do you, baby?”

The second half is where the story began to fizzle a bit for me. While the sex was hot, it began to feel a bit more like filler. The story began to drag a bit and my interest began to wane. And while there is a lot that happens in the second half, I felt like most of it wasn’t really necessary to drive the plot forward.

The author did a great job introducing all of the secondary characters and setting up the next book. I’m already itching to get my grabby little hands on that spicy little number. I can tell you that I’m totally hooked on this series and can’t wait for more. This book may not have been a 5 star read for me, but it was a very solid 3.5 one. If angsty second chance romance is your catnip, I can’t recommend this one enough.

 

New Release Spotlight, Excerpt & Dream Cast: Sworn To Protect by Diana Gardin

SWORN TO PROTECT
Series: Rescue Ops #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Diana Gardin
Release Date: June 4, 2017

To keep her safe, he’ll have to uncover all her secrets…

Rayne Alexander. A face I never thought I’d see again, and one I never could forget. Nine years ago, she left town-and me–without a backward glance. But now she’s back, with a haunted look in her eyes and a feisty attitude that didn’t exist when we were teenagers. Seeing this grown-up–and sexy–Rayne is something I wasn’t prepared for… and it’s bringing up feelings I’d thought I’d buried years ago.

Although I want to demand answers from Rayne, working on black ops at Night Eagle Security has taught me that it’s sometimes better to keep my mouth shut. So when I catch her hiding a photo of a little boy, I’m curious. When I see her jump as her phone rings, I’m concerned. But the second I notice a car following her home, I know she’s hiding something. Something dangerous. And while I may not know why she left or why she’s back, if there’s someone out there Rayne is afraid of, I’ll make damn sure that threat is eliminated.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

The air between us suddenly crackles as the air around us pulls taut. It’s like Jeremy’s presence is sucking the air right out of the room.

He takes a step closer, crowding me. “You didn’t drag me into shit, Rayne. I’m where I want to be. And this is where I want you and Decker to be. You’re not leaving here tonight.”

I open my mouth to protest. “We can’t…I mean we’re not your responsibility—”

With another ferocious growl, he pulls me around the corner into a nook beside the entryway. Out of Decker’s sight, he presses me against the wall next to a locked cabinet. I don’t have time to think or react. Everything about Jeremy overpowers me, but it doesn’t elicit fear. Instead, my thighs clench together as my lips part with a rush of air. My breath comes in pants as his pupils widen.

Then he claims my lips.

And oh God, this isn’t the same boy I kissed so many times in high school.

This kiss is fierce; it’s relentless. One hand is braced against the wall, the other slides down my side and wraps tightly around me, pulling me against his hard, hard body. His mouth works against mine, insisting, his tongue darting out to lick the seam of my lips, coaxing me none-too-gently to open for him. With a needy moan, I do, because all of the blood in my body is leaving my head and rushing straight to my throbbing core. His tongue meets mine, tangling and dancing and twisting, and it’s so sensual, so erotic, that I can’t get enough.

My hands slide up his chest, under his shirt, and there’s a low rumble of sound deep in his throat that reverberates through my whole body. His muscles, so sinewy and strong, twitch beneath my fingers. It’s like my body is in tune with his, a perfect synchronization that promises utter and complete pleasure with our connection.

Tearing his lips away from mine only long enough to trail soft, fluttering kisses over my jaw, his voice is hungry. “Rayne.”

My name, from this man’s mouth? It’s soul shaking. And the way his lips are so reverent now against my skin…like he’s worshipping me. I shiver in his arms, at his complete mercy.

DREAM CAST

Diana Gardin shared her dream case for Sworn To Protect and I couldn’t agree with it more! I can’t picture anyone else for Rayne and Jeremy!

Jessica Szohr as Rayne Alexander

Chris Wood as Jeremy Teague

Owen Vaccaro as the adorable Decker Teague

Review: The Story of Us by Tara Sivec

THE STORY OF US
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tara Sivec
Release Date: June 13, 2017

From USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec comes an emotional, breathtakingly romantic new book about the power of first love and the promise of second chances.

How much can a man take before he breaks?

1,843 days. That’s how long I survived in that hellhole. They tried to break me, but I resisted. And I owe it all to the memory of warm summer nights, the scent of peaches, and the one woman who loved me more than I ever deserved to be loved. Now, I’ll do anything to get back to her.

Only Shelby Eubanks isn’t the girl I left behind all those years ago. She’s someone else, a stranger. My Shelby-my little green-eyed firecracker-would never give up her dreams, would never disappear into her mother’s ambitions. But I won’t give up on her. On us. I may be broken, and scarred, and not the man I used to be, but I will do whatever it takes to remind her of the story of us.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

I wonder if she still thinks of me as much as I do her. I wonder if she knows she’s the only reason I’m still breathing, still fighting, and still holding on.

It’s been a while since Tara Sivec wreaked havoc on my emotions with Fisher’s Light. Now she’s completely destroyed me with The Story of Us. And no, these stories are not connected by anything other then the fact that they both equally broke me. I mean, God. GOD! This story. This incredibly poignant and powerful story of love and second chances. This gripping, emotional, utterly heart wrenching story. My heart will never be the same. I was a complete and utter mess at the end. I love a good second chance romance, but when that also comes wrapped in a story that’s as powerful as it is emotional, I’m putty. Total putty.

How much can a man take before he breaks? When do the dreams stop giving him comfort and he has to accept that he’ll never see her again, touch her again or hear her say “I love you” again?

Eli has lived through hell for the past five years. The only thing that kept him going through the daily beating and torture as a POW are thoughts of his one true love. When he’s rescued and returns home where everyone mourned him and thought him long dead, the only thing on his agenda is to make things right with the woman that he walked away from due to circumstances out of his control.

I’m broken and scarred and half the man I used to be, but if she’ll let me explain, I hope to God she can put me back together again.

But the girl that he fell head over heels in love with before he left for his overseas tour, is not the woman he comes back to. Shelby is now completely under her mother’s thumb of political ambitions and image. She’s buried her dreams of dancing and moving away from this town to live in New York. She’s engaged to a man who has political ambitions that may be grander than her mother and someone she feels no passion towards. She’s a pawn in a game she wants nothing to do with, mourning a man that she believes dead, walking around a shell of the woman that she used to be.

Eli may be scarred as much inside as he is outside, but nothing will stop him from bringing back the sunny, beautiful girl that whose dancing stole his heart almost as much as her smile.

I hug him tighter, one last touch of his warm body against mine, one last second of feeling his heart beating with mine. I take it all in and shove it into the compartment in my brain reserved just for him, where I can take it out whenever I want and remember this moment. This one moment where I could pretend, for just a few seconds, that this could be my life. Wrapped up in this man who went through hell and found his way back to me.

There is a lot of things that happen in the story outside of this couple. THere’s so much going on that happened to set the gears in motion for a lot that happened to them. As they try to navigate to the truth, they also find peace again in each other’s arms.

He makes me feel whole, he closes up wounds while at the same time ripping them wide open…and I never want it to stop. 

I loved the letters that Eli wrote to Shelby and the way she experiences reading them. I love the way he fought for her and my heart absolutely broke for everything he’s been through.

I would do anything for Eli, anything he asks, and that includes breaking myself wide open and letting him see all of my scars, inside and out.

Nothing is as it appears and soon the puzzle pieces begin to click together. But can Eli and Shelby survive the truth when it finally reveals itself?

This was such an emotional and gripping story. The only reason that held it back from being a full 5 stars for me was the amount of almost soap opera like intrigue and drama at the end. It was one thing after another and while it all does come a full circle, I felt like it didn’t have to get that crazy to be just as powerful. That certainly didn’t diminish my enjoyment much, because I truly did love it. Tara Sivec is such a versatile author; she can write romcoms that make you cry laughing and then turn around and write something that will punch you right in the feels. If you’re looking for a powerful second chance romance with plenty of feeling and steam, you seriously can’t go wrong with this one.

#DGRFave & Review: Behind The Curtain by @BethKery

BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Beth Kery
Release Date: May 2, 2017

Cultures clash and passion ignites in the novel that will leave you begging for more—from the bestselling author of The Affair and Looking Inside.

There’s something about this woman…

On a break between overseas jobs, journalist Asher Gaites returns to his hometown of Chicago—and allows his friends to persuade him to check out a hot new singer. At a downtown jazz club, he’s soon transfixed by the lyrical voice and sensuous body of a woman who performs behind a thin, shimmering veil…

…That could bring a man to his knees.

The veil gives Moroccan American Laila Barek the anonymity she needs since she has never been able to reconcile her family’s values with her passion for music. But one man is inexplicably drawn to her. And when Asher confronts her on a subway platform after a gig, he’s shocked to recognize the woman who walked away from him nine years ago…

Laila has never been able to forget the touch, the feel, the taste of Asher. And despite the doubt and fear that wind their way into their lives, they must trust the heat of their desire to burn down the walls the world has placed between them…

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Part of you is always a bit of a mystery to me. Uncommitted. Unavailable. A little bit of you is always veiled.”

Shivers. I have honest to god shivers. This author is simply incomparable. She writes such raw, emotional, sensual stories that are unlike any I’ve ever read. What makes them so memorable is that they’re just so…real. They’re immeasurably satisfying but without having to be wrapped up in a perfect little bow at the end. I truly believe that Behind The Curtain is Kery’s best book to date and easily my favorite by her. It was such a beautiful and poignant second chance romance that was packed with as much heat as it had feeling. I love every page of it.

It was the sweetest kiss: questing and sun-warmed and gentle. Laila had never known there was a part of her that was frozen, deep down inside, until she felt it thaw beneath Asher’s mouth.

Eight years ago, behind the veil of youthful innocence and nativity, Asher Gaites and Laila Barek fell in love. It was was lovely, pure, and true. Asher was just out of university and about to take on his career outside of his parent’s influence and pull. Laila was a sheltered young woman just discovering the wonders of love and lust. They had all the odds stacked against them; Laila’s conservative Moroccan family, Asher’s upcoming move to a different state to begin his job, yet none of it could stop them from falling head over heels…only to be ripped apart.

Eight years has passed since that wondrous Michigan summer. Asher is now hardened and renowned journalist that’s traveled all over the world one war torn country at a time. Getting together with his two best friends for drinks, the last thing he expects is to see a performance that rocks him to his very core. He sees nothing but her shadowed figure behind a sheer veil and hears nothing but her haunting voice as she sings, but something about the woman strikes him as familiar. He can’t get her out of his head and he doesn’t know why. He has no idea that the woman behind the veil is the girl that got away. The girl that he never got over. The girl that he never forgot.

She saw it then for the first time: that hard glint of determination in his light eyes, the stubborn set to his jaw, the diamond-hard focus. It suddenly struck her that Asher Gaites-Granville wasn’t like anyone she’d ever met in her life. He was like a force of nature: powerful and undeniable.

I absolutely LOVED the way the story unfolded. The author did an incredible job with transitions of past to present. It was flawless. You start in the present, then get the entire flashback to the past, to then continue in the present. There’s no back and forth. It’s fluid and perfect and utterly spellbinding.

Asher only got more intense with the years while Laila really grew up into a strong young woman. I loved watching them discover each other again and experiencing everything right along with them. Did I mention that no one writes a sweat inducing love scene like Beth Kery? Because OMG!

Do you hear that? Do you hear how wet you are? I could die in this pussy,” he grated out darkly. He was right. She was soaking wet. She could hear him moving in her flesh. “You know I fantasize about it. About fucking you raw. You know it, but you wanted me to say it. Didn’t you?” She cried out in unbearable excitement as he stroked her harder

If you haven’t read a book by this author yet, you can’t start with a better book than this one. It was so much more than just a romance. I loved every page of it and simply can’t recommend it enough.

#DGRFave Review: Too Hard To Forget by Tessa Bailey

TOO HARD TO FORGET
Series: Romancing The Clarksons #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: April 25, 2017

This time, she’s calling the shots.

Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he’s been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy’s determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she’ll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.

 

AMAZON | iBOOKS

They called him the Kingmaker, because so many of his players had gone on to be first round NFL draft picks. That man. The one who visited her bed nightly. Well. In her dreams anyway.

Show of hands; who likes a good grovel?
How about an EPIC grovel?
How about a grovel that lasts for almost the entire half of a book?
How about when that grovel is wrapped into one of the sexiest and most delicious second chance romance stories?
And what if ALL THAT is written by the queen of dirty talk, Tessa Bailey?
Confession time, this was possibly my least anticipated book in the series. *cringes*
Don’t look at me like that! It just wasn’t, ok? Something about Peggy never really struck out at me, but boy am I eating my words right now because not only did I love her but this ended up being one of my top favorite Tessa Bailey books. Ever. True story.

Three years ago Peggy Clarkson fell for a man that was completely off limits. She was the popular and bubbly cheerleader, he was the closed off and brooding football coach. Their relationship was forbidden, their love was unexpected, and their end inevitable. Three years have passed and both their lives haven’t been the same. While Peggy has plowed her way through a string of failed engagements, Elliot has been married to his football coaching job. Now Peggy is back in town and she knows the one thing that may fix her broken self is to leave Elliot in her dust when she walks away from him this time around. But fate has other plans…

Man oh man did this book grab me from the very first. I love a good forbidden factor and Elliot and Peggy’s beginnings were certainly that. Peggy was always quick to smile and sunny and drew everyone into her orbit. Elliot is a man that only had two constants in his life; football and religion. Now I have to say, I was a little nervous about the religious element of the book. Tessa managed to take that fear and make into one of the hottest things I’ve ever read. Holy moly that one scene in the beginning that involved a certain Our Father prayer? *fans ovaries*

Every single detail of this book had a deeper reason. I loved the way that the author tied in Elliot’s self loathing, religion, and guilt into a particular kink that Peggy had developed. Both of these characters had such depth to them that you couldn’t help but fall for both of them. You want to be mad at Elliot for the way he treated Peggy but you just can’t. And then there’s the angst. Sweet mother, the angst! The first half of I want you but I can’t have you, I want you but I don’t forgive you push and pull? DE-LE-CIOUS. I was rooting so hard for both of them and I loved getting peeks into their past. The flashbacks were done so flawlessly that they seamlessly flowed into the story.

And then there’s the second half of the book that is one. long. delicious. grovel. Oh my god! It was so good. I don’t even have words. I cried, I swooned, I couldn’t stop reading.

This was easily one of my favorite Tessa Bailey books to date. It was EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. It was swoony and ridiculously sexy. It was addicting and unputdownable. It was one of the most satisfying second chance romances I’ve read in a long while and I simply can’t recommend it enough.


ROMANCING THE CLARKSONS SERIES

TOO HOT TO HANDLE | TOO WILD TO TAME |
TOO HARD TO FORGET | TOO CLOSE TO CALL | TOO BEAUTIFUL TO BREAK

Review: Black Sheep (Dark Desires book 2) by @ZCoxBooks

BLACK SHEEP
Series: Dark Desires #2
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Zara Cox
Release Date: March 14, 2017

In a family of cold-hearted black sheep, 
I, Axel Rutherford, am the blackest.

My father has hated me since the day I was born. The feeling was mutual. In the shady underworld that was my legacy, Cleo McCarthy became my light. She was beautiful, passionate, and my whole world. So naturally my father had to destroy us. First he sent me away. Next he claimed Cleo as his own. But now I’ve returned, and nothing will stop me from taking back everything that is rightfully mine.

He was the love of my life – when my life was still my own.

We were young enough to believe we would last forever, Axel and I. But neither of us realized how cruel life – and our families – could be. Now I’m trapped in a gilded cage: desired by Axel, who must never know the full truth, and controlled by his father, who would sooner see me dead than free. And I wouldn’t even care, except that it’s no longer only my life at stake

AMAZON | iBOOKS

In a family of cold-hearted black sheep, I, Axel Rutherford, am the blackest. Abundantly despised by my three brothers, actively hated by my father. She was the golden princess. Put on earth to test every single one of my hardened edges. And I happily burned away every last one for her.

If I said that I was an insta-fan of this author after I finished I, Porn Star, this book solidified it. Damn. Just damn. Zara Cox knows how to weave one complex and erotic tale that’s equally spine tingling and toe curling. It’s addicting and twisty and downright intense.

Her eyes tell me she hates me. Her body beckons me with the promise of transcendental lust.

If you like a good second chance romance with a healthy dose of hate lust mixed in to blur the edges, all wrapped in a story with dark undertones and enough twists and suspense to keep you glued to the pages from start to finish, you’ve found your next read.

Whatever twisted roles fate may have chosen to star us in, the savage power of our mutual feelings for each other will never diminish.

Being born to a cruel and abusive father intent on hardening his sons enough to help run his mafia empire has hardened Axel. He’s the black sheep of the family, the son that wants nothing of his father; not his name and not his infamy in the dark underbelly of organized crime. He dreams of escaping the life with the only person that makes his heart beat and gives him hope. But that hope gets ripped away from him with a jarring betrayal that now years later still continues to haunt him. Losing everything and the one person he always thought he could trust is enough to change a man and change the course of his life forever. Now Axel lives and breathes vengeance. His father will pay, and if the woman that’s now back in his life after costing him everything is the pawn that he’ll have to use in this brutal game, so be it.

Once upon a time, when my addled state didn’t know better, I stupidly believed the phenomenon of our gazes connecting had the power to stop the world from spinning. That view has altered significantly.

As a young girl, Cleo loved Axel with everything she was worth. He was her everything…until he wasn’t. Forced back into his orbit by an arrangement in which she’s nothing but a puppet on a string of a cruel master that dangles the one thing she wants in exchange for her cooperation isn’t what she wants, but she’ll do it. Even if it forces her to own up that while she hates the man he is now and doesn’t see a remainder of the boy she once loved in him, the carnal effect his mere presence has on her hasn’t changed even a little.

You may have condemned my decayed soul and closed your heart to me, but in some respects, nothing has changed. Your body will always sing the perfect tune for me.”

Black Sheep delivers on another twisty story full of betrayal and revenge. Zara Cox is truly a master of her craft and I’m absolutely captivated by her writing style and the characters she creates. I couldn’t put this book down for even a second. I walked the edge between hating and loving Axel. But between all the secrets and twists that kept unearthing, my mind was too busy spinning to focus on any singular emotion.

She never needed a gentle knight in shining armor. So I become her marauder.

Axel was perfection. He was a dirty talking, angsty, domineering and deliciously sexy perfection. My heart broke for him and what he’d been through. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for all the secrets to finally get revealed so the puzzle pieces can click together. And let me just tell you, when they did? Mind. Blowing. Yet another addicting installment in what’s now become a favorite series of mine. I absolutely can’t wait for more!

I want to roar with rage. I want to fuck until I explode into a million pieces. This is what she does to me. What she’s always done.

Each book in the Dark Desires series is a standalone in an interconnecting world. So if you’ve read the first book, you’ll appreciate Quinn’s cameo in this one 🙂


DON’T MISS THE FIST BOOK IN THIS SIZZLING SERIES!

BEAUTIFUL LIAR (Previously published as I, Porn Star)

I may be Quinn Blackwood, occasional user of prescribed meds to keep the demons in check, who moonlights as Q, porn star to an exclusive few who pay millions for my work. And I may be an unhinged asshole with serious daddy issues. But no one said I wasn’t a giver.

PURCHASE | READ MY REVIEW

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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