Review: Otherwise Occupied (Evan Arden Trilogy #2) by Shay Savage

Evan Arden is a hit man for a Chicago mob boss. He lives his life day to day with the company of his dog, Odin. He has to work hard to get back into his boss’s good graces, but the target proves to be difficult. As demons of his past begin to haunt him, he seeks the comfort of sleep from an unlikely candidate, but will confiding in her be his undoing?​

​He’s struggling to forget his past, and keep himself Otherwise Occupied.


4.5 Holy Shit Stars

Roses are red, Violets are blue. I’m just a fucked up hit man, and nothing rhymes with that.

This book gets a star just for having one of the best depictions of my home town I’ve read to date.

It gets another star for being entirely in Evan’s POV and being written in such a way that allows you inside his mind in such a flawless way, the story completely enthralls you. The rest of the stars? For an incredibly told story. Period.

The second book in the Evan Arden Trilogy gives us a deeper look at the man behind the job.

This is not a love story or a romance, so don’t be hoping to get that here. You won’t find it.

Months after leaving the desert of Arizona and a woman that captured his interest in a way that no other ever has, Evan is now back in Chicago and trying to get his way back into his boss’s good graces. But being the hit man for one of Chicago’s biggest mob bosses is no easy task, especially when the demons from his past begin to surface

Add into the mix recurring nightmares and lack of sleep, and you have yourself one volatile hit man. He may be good at what he does, but that doesn’t mean it’s not taking a toll on him


Tired of playing this role, tired of just moving through the city like I was some kind of god or demon here to bring Rinaldo Moretti’s version of justice to those who crossed my path.  None of it even mattered to me – all I got out of it was a wad of cash and a twisted idea of loyalty to someone who told me I did a good job and occasionally called me “son.”


Every day finds Evan with an even smaller grasp on his sanity.

So does he finally crack? Guess you’ll have to read to find out because I refuse to ruin this book for you by giving away any spoilers.
What I can tell you, is that it was a whole lot of

Followed by

With an ending that will leave you feeling a little like

I devoured this book. Shay Savage did such a fantastic job in her portrayal of Evan I kept forgetting I was reading a book by a female author. Flawlessly written, with a captivating and suspenseful plot, this story will grab hold of you and leave you at the edge of your seat to see what comes next. It’s no light and fluffy read. The author does not gloss over or sugar coat the dark details. But that just adds to the experience.

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Author Interview and Review: Winning the Boss’s Heart by Hayson Manning

Winning the Boss’s Heart by Hayson Manning

Mason Christian has twelve weeks to flip something old into something new for his Japanese client, and then he’s getting the hell out of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand. Not even his temporary cook and secretary—the feisty, luscious Billie McLeod—will deter him. There’s no denying she makes him feel alive. More alive than he’s felt in three years…

Billie has one dream: save enough money to go to college. That’s why she’s agreed to work for hard ass, all-business-no-pleasure Mason Christian—a man who has every intention of destroying through “modernization” the town’s most cherished historical home. But before she can say see ya, she realizes she’s signed the dotted line and is contractually bound for eighty-four days.  Working with male perfection every day is awesome with a capital A—as long as they can stick to a hands-off policy that gets harder every day…

Author Interview

It’s no secret that I absolutely adored this book. It was such a heartwarming love story with a quirky and sassy heroine and a broken hero that you can’t help but fall in love with. So I am so thrilled to have the fabulous author of the book here with us today!

Hi Hayson, thank you so much for stopping by Dirty Girl Romance Blog. I’m so excited to have you here! 

Hi, Lana. I am super excited to be here. Thanks so much for having me here today. I’ve brought margaritas, mojitos and Maltesers. (I’m thinking today is an M day.)

So after reading and absolutely LOVING Winning the Boss’s Heart I just have to know, what sparked your idea for this book?


I really love sassy women. A woman who knows what she wants and who isn’t afraid of going after it. I always had the idea of Billie in the back of my mind. I love small town settings with a Wuthering Heights broody male like Mason and it all just came together. I have to say this book was draft seven thousand four hundred and twelve. 

One of my many favorite parts of this book was your inclusion of one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride. Tell me some of your favorite movies?

Hear this now, I will come for you. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen The Princess Bride. We used to make Clueless Wonder 1 and Clueless Wonder 2 watch it. They’d groan and stomp out the room like we’d asked them to clean their rooms. Now they think it’s kind of cool. It is cool!

I’m a bit in love with Fast and Furious. All that man candy on the screen? Yum.
An oldie but a goodie I mentioned in Winning the Boss’s Heart and that was Truly, Madly, Deeply. I think I cried so much I dehydrated.
A little Irish movie called Once. Just crept up on me.
I sob through The Color Purple. I just love that film.
All the Harry Potter films.

I loved reading about the beautiful setting of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand and the amazing people that live there. What inspired you to use that particular location? 


Growing up, my parents loved a camper. Dad would hitch the camper to the car, stuff the family in, and we’d drive six torturous hours on gravel roads to this huge beach in New Zealand with a population of around one hundred. There were wild horses that roamed the sands. We’d dine out every night on precooked sausages that would survive into the next century. It was filled with small town New Zealanders. I had the chance to revisit not long ago and to my delight, the town is pretty much the same. Bless old New Zealand, I think we’ve just made four million. Party!

I adored Billie’s quirky personality; she is going on my list of favorite heroines. Was there an inspiration behind her character?


Hayson blushes and wipes a tear. Your words are lovely.
I read a lot. Every day. The Clueless Wonders know not to interrupt unless they have a bone sticking out, a severed artery or a strange man is asking them to come and look for his lost puppy. I’ve been reading a lot of angsty women. I’m not a fan of anyone filled with angst, possibly due to my ancientness. I grew up with a strong mother who told me to stop whining, find a way to get what I want, legally, and get it.

I don’t think I could write a woman who is a doormat either. I wanted to write a feisty, woman who has vulnerabilities but knows what she wants out of life and isn’t afraid to go for it. I try and write characters I could sit down and have a coffee and a laugh with. I hope I got that right with Billie.

What is your favorite part of this book?


I loved watching Mason crack when Billie became ill. He tried so hard to deny he had deep feelings for her, but when she became ill, he put his life on hold to care for her. I loved seeing his vulnerabilities rise to the surface and how much he did care for her. I’m a bit of a sucker for the ending and epilogue and any scene with Stanley the dog I was gone.

So what got you into writing in the first place?

I never really loved to read. Turns out because I was faking it. When I was young and came across a word I couldn’t pronounce – sapphire, vertical and don’t get me started on Europe, I substituted a word I could pronounce. Luckily I had a teacher who figured out what I was doing when I was young and I had some fairly intensive remedial reading sessions for about a year. I’m so glad I did. I love to read which turned into words I could write. Hazzah!

Being a huge Romance junky, I know my list for this is pretty big, but who are some of your favorite authors?

I’m in love with my fellow Entangled author Samanthe Beck. I love her mix of wit, sexy times and emotion in her books.
I think I’ve read every Kristen Ashley starting with Motorcycle Man which I adored. Oh, Tack.
I’ve read every Agatha Christie book ever published. I never guessed who did it. Not once.
I started reading John Green so Clueless Wonder 1 and I could have something to grunt about. I started with The Fault in our Stars and laughed and sobbed through the book. We still have differing opinions on the ending of Looking for Alaska which goes for healthy debate at Casa Manning over the dinner table.
Anything in the Beyond series by Kit Rocha. I cannot get enough of those books.

What about your favorite books?

Any book in the Beyond series by Kit Rocha. Them’s are sexy, sure-fire reads
Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley. Did I mention my love of Tack?
Easy by Tamara Webber. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Loved it.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I loved it and hated it in equal measure but is still debated here at Casa Manning.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A book narrated by Death? Awesome. I read in one sitting.
Falling for the Marine by Samanthe Beck.

What’s your writing process like?


To be honest there are days when I’d rather chisel the stalagmites off the oven, but I have to get my butt in the chair and get ideas flowing. I start the day with an enormous cup of joe, hit the emails, procrastinate, read what I wrote yesterday. Decide it’s rubbish and start again today. Some days the words flow like honey. Some day’s I’d rather enter a bikini contest after chowing down on a box of Krispy Kreme’s. Rather than supply the audience with Pepto Bismol after seeing me in a bikini (shudder) I plonk myself down and make myself write.

Where is your favorite place to write? At home? In your writing cave? Coffee Shop?


At home looking like I’m still wearing a failed Halloween costume where I can hide under the table when anyone approaches. Sad but true.

Any must haves you need during your writing? Coffee? Chocolate? Complete silence or music?


Silence. There are way too many folks talking in my head already. Diet coke or Diet Mountain Dew with enough caffeine to kick me to Mars works.

Any hints as to what you have planned and coming up next? 


I’m in the process of penning an Entangled Brazen (I hope) about a dirty-talking bounty hunter who teams up with a preacher’s daughter PI to catch a man who destroyed both their lives.
Well, that’s the plan. Some days I write slower than a sloth at a sleeping party. 
*Making mental note to stalk Hayson for more news about this* (Seriously though, can that sound any more like my kind of book? Gah!)
Thank you so much for stopping by again! Any words you’d love to leave your readers and fans with?

Thank you so much for letting me hang here with the cool kids. I love your blog and I’m honored to be here. 

Connect with the Author

Review

4.5 Healing Heart Stars
Yeah, he may be one hot tamale on the outside, but she bet old Satan himself was sitting in his heart playing Solitaire.

I fell in love with this book. Hard. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. Maybe another stereotypical romance where the rich and jaded boss seduces the naive assistant? Well, that’s not what I got. Not even close. Let me tell you, the synopsis of this book doesn’t even begin to give it justice. It was so much more. I adored everything about it; the hero and heroine, the gorgeous setting, the romance, the quirky humor, and the writing. I read it in one sitting, and that says a lot about it.

Meet Mason Christian:

He’s cold, jaded, rich, and efficiently to the point.

He watched her with those unblinking blue eyes. Didn’t look like the man smiled a whole lot. She resisted the urge to shift in her chair. She doubted his middle name was jocularity or could even form the word “fun” in an anagram.

But behind the unfeeling facade, is the broken soul of a man that’s experienced the worst sort of heartache. I knew I was going to fall in love with Mason, he pretty much had me at “42”

I need a cook and a secretary. If you get the job, I’ll be calling you Forty-Two, as none of my assistants stay. I work long hours and expect the same.”

Meet number 42, Billie McLeod

Billie is my favorite kind of heroine. She was endearingly quirky, funny, yet she also had this core of strength that I really admired about her.

The relationship development between these two characters was probably my favorite part of the story. There was no insta-love or lust. There was no over the top sexual “you’re mine” encounters. It was a beautiful and romantic story about love, forgiveness, healing old wounds, and learning to move on

I loved watching Billie slowly chipping away at Mason’s walls. She wasn’t whiny, intrusive, or naive about his pain. She recognized that his pain ran deep, yet she never let him hide behind it.

Jesus,” he said under his breath.
“Putting yourself out there for salvation?”
“I don’t have a soul,” he replied instantly.
“Yeah, you do,” she whispered. “You only wish you didn’t.”

The author did an amazing job with story telling, able to pain a beautiful picture in your mind of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand and it’s people. Plus this book gets an automatic 3 stars for featuring one of my all time favorite movies, The Princess Bride.

I devoured this story and didn’t want it to end. The last 5% made me tear up, it was just perfect.
Spoiler below, highlight to see

Hear this now. I will always come for you.
Me, you, and Stan. And jam. And all those goddamned pinecones. Stay with me, Billie. You have to. Because if you don’t, hear this now. I will always come for you. And that would make me a stalker. Don’t let me turn into a stalker, Billie.


And then the icing on the already perfect cake was that epilogue. The entire book was wonderful, lovely, romantic, just perfect. It was exactly what I needed. Miss Manning has now been added to my auto-buy authors. I’m really looking forward to all her future books.

**ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review**

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Release Event: Bad For You by Anna Antonia

Anna Antonia’s long-awaited sequel to Mad for You is now available!

Standing on a literal pedestal, with my arms securely bound in front of me with yards of red ribbons and my body draped in a short virgin-white Grecian gown, I experienced a twinge of divinity. I was his goddess for the moment—one to be admired yet possessed. I wondered what Gabriel’s expression held as he looked at me.

Pride? Lust? Yearning? Love?

I didn’t know because I was blindfolded.

Gabriel’s kiss ghosted on my upper thigh. Warmth settled low in my belly. I itched to run my fingers through his golden hair as my lips crashed into his. My captivity punished even as it heated my blood. Gabriel was right—this truly would be an exercise in patience and control. The ache for him already etched itself deep in my bones.

Denial and anticipation…it was the latest game I’d slowly learned to play with my devilish Gabriel Gordon…

Emma Adams and Gabriel Gordon were a match made in a strange and unconventional heaven. The brilliant billionaire and the ambitious girl from the wrong side of the tracks had a tumultuous history that spanned a decade. After seven years apart, they were finally ready to make a go of their passionate and near-obsessive love.

Together they had faced the revealing of his dark secret–Gabriel’s need to dominate in the bedroom. Together they had pledged to see their relationship through to the end. And together they would find love wasn’t enough when fear held the upper hand. Firmly used to being in total control of her life, Emma must face her doubts and insecurities if she was ever going to be able to accept the kind of dark love that led to Gabriel’s tormented heart.

Note: This is a novel, that while part of a series, does not contain any cliffhangers.

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Giveaway

Prizes up for grabs:

1 x $50 Victoria’s Secret Gift Card

5 x $10 Amazon Gift Card
10 x $5 Amazon Gift Card
5 x “”Mad for You”” & “”Bad for You”” eBook Set
1 x “”Mad for You”” & “”Bad for You”” Signed Paperback Set (U.S. & Canada only)

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Last Hit by Jen Frederick & Jessica Clare

Nikolai:

I have been a contract killer since I was a boy. For years I savored the fear caused by my name, the trembling at the sight of my tattoos. The stars on my knees, the marks on my fingers, the dagger in my neck, all bespoke of danger. If you saw my eyes, it was the last vision you’d have. I have ever been the hunter, never the prey. With her, I am the mark and I am ready to lie down and let her capture me. Opening my small scarred heart to her brings out my enemies. I will carry out one last hit, but if they hurt her, I will bring the world down around their ears.

Daisy:

I’ve been sheltered from the outside world all my life. Homeschooled and farm-raised, I’m so naive that my best friend calls me Pollyanna. I like to believe the best in people. Nikolai is part of this new life, and he’s terrifying to me. Not because his eyes are cold or my friend warns me away from him, but because he’s the only man that has ever seen the real me beneath the awkwardness. With him, my heart is at risk..and also, my life.

Mini Excerpt:

I watch her through my bathroom window. I’ve placed one of my four rented chairs in here for that express purpose. I tell myself it is not creepy, as the American girls would say, because I watch everyone. But really I watch only her.
I cannot see everything. I’ve never seen her nude. I’ve never seen inside her shower. Smartly there is no window there. But I can see her bedroom and her living room and beyond that, with my scope, her kitchen. I know her schedule. When she gets up in the morning, when she returns to her apartment. If she were a mark, I could’ve killed her a dozen times over by now and been in the wind. 
She throws her bag onto her bed and then lies down next to it. It takes many muscles to smile, more to frown but only a few to pull the trigger. I peer down the scope and place my crosshairs over her forehead. Puff, dead.

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About the Authors

Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog.  She’s been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at jensfrederick@gmail.com.     

                                                                                                Author’s Social Links                       Website I Facebook I Twitter I Goodreads
Author Jessica Claire
This is a pen name for Jill Myles. Jill Myles has been an incurable romantic since childhood. She reads all the ‘naughty parts’ of books first, looks for a dirty joke in just about everything, and thinks to this day that the Little House on the Prairie books should have been steamier.                                                             After devouring hundreds of paperback romances, mythology books, and archaeological tomes, she decided to write a few books of her own – stories with a wild adventure, sharp banter, and lots of super-sexy situations. She prefers her heroes alpha and half-dressed, her heroines witty, and she loves nothing more than watching them overcome adversity to fall into bed together.
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Dream Cast

Giveaway

$100 GC 
Signed set of Jessica Clare BlueBonnet series published by Berkley.
The Care and Feeding of the Alpha Male
The Girl’s Guide to Manhunting
The Expert’s Guide to Driving a Man Wild
Signed set of Woodlands books with dog tag set. 
Signed copy of last Hit.

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Cover Reveal: A Fighting Chance by A.J. Sand

New Adult/Adult Romantic Suspense
Releasing February 4, 2014
Cover designed by Cover It! Designs

Jesse Chance is a bastard.

And that’s all he heard his entire life growing up once news got out that he was the illegitimate child of womanizing ex-con, Henry Chance.

Stuck in Glory, Texas, a town too small to escape the sins of his parents, Jesse turned into exactly what everyone expected him to be: a lover of liquor and women, and so good with his fists, he became a teenage champion of the secret underground fighting rings that float around the South, while doubting the only people who ever believed he could be more, his ailing mother, and his girlfriend, Drew Hallisay.

But determined to make his mother’s dying wish come true, he enrolled in a college on the East Coast, far away from his past. Jesse Chance is reborn into a new life, and set on keeping Glory, Texas–and Henry Chance–in his rear view.

Until a visit from his father in the middle of the night changes everything.

Forced to return to Glory to prevent a tragedy, Jesse is soon back on the fighting circuit with Drew’s help and facing the history he was so desperate to escape, the part of him he would prefer to hide.

As he slips back into his old ways–Henry Chance’s ways–he finds himself torn between the guy he was and the one he’s been struggling to become. And in a world dead set on betting against you, can you ever really overcome your past… or your destiny?

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About the Author

A.J. Sand grew up an only child whose parents bought her many, many books to keep her busy, so it was only natural that she would start writing her own stories. She is the author of “Documentary,” “Remake” and “Recklessly.” She lives just outside of Washington, D.C.

Author’s Social Links
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Pre-Release Event & Giveaway: Tell me When by Stina Lindenblatt

TELL ME WHEN
By Stina Lindenblatt and Carina Press
Coming January 20, 2014
New Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Synopsis

Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.

She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again.

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her. And Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.

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Excerpt 

Amber (Chapter 1)


I’m inspecting a delicate fairy with wings like autumn leaves when the chimes above the store door ring. Two guys, maybe twenty-one or twenty-two, enter. Both are good-looking and have the tall muscular bodies of basketball players. That’s where the similarities between them end. 

The dark-haired guy has that bad-boy vibe some girls find appealing, with his military boots, jeans and black leather jacket. His blond-haired friend is the kind of guy most girls feel safe with. He’s wearing sneakers, jeans and a blood donor T-shirt. The clothes and his friendly expression make him look trustworthy. Like he won’t break your heart or your body or your soul.

But I’ve long since learned appearances are never what they seem. Either man could be sweet or he could be dangerous. The trick is to never let them get close enough for you to find out the truth the hard way.

Blond guy walks to the counter and chats with the storeowner, a man not much older than us, with tattoos covering his arms. Neither pays attention to me. I go back to studying the wall.

From the corner of my eye, I notice the black-haired guy walking toward me. Instead of checking out the designs on the wall, his gaze roams over my body, taking in the view. Jerk. 

A one-sided smile slides on to his face. He’s the kind of guy who uses his good looks to his advantage, the kind of guy whose sole mission in life is getting laid.

My hand tap-tap-taps against my right thigh, keeping pace with my heart, which has picked up speed as the jerk continues staring at me. I narrow my eyes at him, silently telling him to find another girl. He’s wasting his time with me.

The men at the counter laugh.

“Dude, that’s the first I’ve seen you get shot down by a female,” blond guy says, still chuckling.
Dark-haired guy flips him the finger and points to the fairy. “This would look hot on you right”—he strokes his finger against my lower back—“here.” His voice is low, the words slow and practiced.
I jerk away and stride to the back of the store. The other two men laugh even louder. 

“Give up, Marcus,” blond guy says. “She’s a lot smarter than your usual girls. I like her already.”

About the Author

Born in England, Stina loves to travel, and has lived in England, the US, Canada, and Finland. She spent a semester in graduate school living in central Finland, and a summer during her undergrad degree working in Helsinki. She has a Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiology and has worked with elite athletes. In her free time, Stina is a photographer, mother of three adorable kids, and devoted wife. She currently lives in Calgary, Canada.


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Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Take What You Want by Ann Lister

Book Synopsis


Mega rock star, Alex “Zander” Metcalf is burned out after nearly two years touring with his band, as well as emotionally drained after his sexual preferences were exposed by the media. He is ready for a long sabbatical – alone, and retreats to the east coast island of Martha’s Vineyard; leasing an oceanside estate.

Alex seeks the quiet lifestyle of a recluse to write new material for his band, only to meet the handsome estate manager, Chase, and his gorgeous fiancée, Danni, living in the guest house on his property. Alex’s hope of solitude is soon forgotten when he discovers Chase has a repressed bi-sexual side that is aching to surface and Alex is more than happy to help him explore it.

What neither Alex or Chase expects is the emotional power of their chemistry expanding to involve the three of them when Danni becomes entangled in their passion. Alex believes he has finally found his perfect menage relationship with Chase and Danni.

Sometimes two isn’t enough and it takes three to complete the union of a fulfilled love. But, will their new relationship be strong enough to survive when real life wants to punish them for their unconventional love? And, can they be confident in the strength of their love to take the ‘happily ever after’ they can only give each other?

About The Author

Ann Lister is a native New Englander currently living on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with her husband. She has pulled details from her years living in the New England area and uses many local settings and landmarks in her novels.
After graduating art school and raising two daughters, she established her own video production company. Her nearly two decades working in video production included work within the music industry and won her a coveted Telly Award. It was this ‘behind-the-scenes’ exposure to the music world that inspired many of her novels.
In 2013 she released Book One of her new rock star series: The Rock Gods. Book One is titled, Fall For Me. This novel is her first full-length gay, erotic romance and it is also a Finalist novel for the 2013 Rainbow Award.
Book Two in the Rock Gods series is titled, Take What You Want. This story is a m/m/f menage and released in early November 2013. Book Three, titled: Make You Mine, is expected to release in Spring of 2014.
When not writing, she enjoys reading, creating stained glass, and traveling. 4

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Blog Tour, Interview & Giveaway: Recipe for Attraction by Gina Gordon

Bad boy Neil Harrison may have sexy body and an even sexier smile, but there’s no way in hell architect Carson Kelly is falling for the elusive bachelor. For starters, he’s her boss, and getting intimately involved with the infuriating alpha male could be a career-killer. And secondly, he’s battling personal demons in one of the most dangerous ways possible: illegal street racing. After a friend’s tragic death years ago, Carson swore she’d never get involved in that life again.

Neil knows Carson’s keeping secrets and he’s determined to uncover all of them…even if he has to seduce them out of her. But as their antagonistic work relationship ignites a passionate affair, Carson must decide if protecting Neil from his need for speed is the perfect outlet for her own restless desire, or if they’re on a one-way path to destruction.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Today I am very excited to welcome author Gina Gordon to Dirty Girl Romance Blog. Gina is the author of the super steamy Recipe For Attraction, book 2 in the Madewood Brothers series. She’s here to tell us more about her book and of course answer some of our questions 🙂 Don’t forget to enter the contest at the end of this post for a chance to win some great prices. So let’s get to it!
DGR: Hi Gina, welcome to Dirty Girl Romance. I’m so excited to have you here 🙂

Gina: So happy to be here! Thanks for having me 🙂

DGR: Can you start by telling readers a little bit about yourself?

Gina: I am a cupcake-loving Canadian who also loves German Shepherds and happily ever afters. I’ve wanted to be a writer forever and I still find it hard to believe that I’m actually living the dream.
DGR: Recipe for Attraction was my first Madewood Brothers book, and definitely won’t be my last. I really need to go back and meet bad boy chef, Jack. What inspired the Madewood Brothers series?

Gina: The series was inspired by a real life hot chef sighting. A friend of mine was at a food event and one of the booths was for a catering company that was owned by two, very attractive, very tattooed chefs. My imagination immediately ran wild and so the brothers came to be.

DGR: So what is your writing process like? How do your steamy novels come to life? Is there a writer’s cave and lots of coffee involved?

Gina: There is always lots of coffee, good music, and my laptop. I have an office at home that I use as my cave but lately I’ve found the lazy boy in the den mighty comfy!

I try and write whenever I can, wherever I can. Since I do have a day job, I need to make the most of my time and sometimes that means writing the sexy times on a bus with someone beside me. Sometimes….it’s uncomfortable 🙂

DGR: Now one Starbucks addict to another, what’s your favorite drink? I’m a vanilla latte girl myself 😉 

Gina: Me too! Me too! I’m a grande, vanilla, extra-hot, no foam latte kind of girl 🙂

DGR: Could you introduce the hero and heroine of Recipe for Attraction for us?

Neil Harrison is the oldest Madewood brother and foster son of the late socialite Vivian Madewood. Neil battles feelings of unworthiness and is haunted by his past. To prove his worth he’s building the biggest culinary venture the family has ever taken on—the Madewood Farm. But Neil has found an outlet for keeping his demons at bay…..illegal street racing.

Enter Carson Kelly, his architect and former street racetress, who’s hoping her work on the Madewood Farm will finally garner the approval of her father and secure her the lead designer position at his firm. Carson has her own secrets and will do anything to keep Neil from the track. Even if it means she ends up in his bed. Not that it’s such a hardship 🙂

Their love/hate relationship fuels their sexual attraction and it’s only a matter of time before they realize they are meant for each other.
DGR: If Recipe for Attraction was made into a movie, who would be your dream cast?

I picture Neil as Garrett Hedlund and Carson Kelly as Kate Beckinsale.

DGR: I have to say, one of my favorite things about Recipe for Attraction was that Carson was a biker chick. What inspired you to write such a kick-ass heroine (By the way, I loved how she wasn’t shy about voicing what she wanted in bed.)

I love Carson too! She’s definitely my favorite heroine that I’ve written so far. I needed to write a heroine that could challenge Neil’s overwhelming alpha nature but I also needed to give her something in common—street racing—since Neil isn’t one to lower his guard to just anyone.
DGR: Can you give us three reasons why people should read Recipe for Attraction?

Gina:
1. Fast bikes

2. Hot sex

3. True love


DGR: Now Twitter style, can you describe your book in 140 characters or less?

Gina: After a stolen kiss at an illegal street race, Carson and Neil go full speed ahead… in and out of bed.

DGR: What is your favorite part of a romance novel to read or write?

Gina: Definitely the happily ever after. I always look forward to the contented sigh at the end of the book.

DGR: So what’s next? Any hints about which brother we can expect to read next?

Gina: The next book, Recipe for Seduction, is Finn’s book. And you’ve already met his heroine, Veronica Whitfield – long-time friend and Jack and Sterling’s wedding planner.

Thanks again for having me!! And thank you readers for visiting!! Make sure you enter my blog tour grand prize — a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card.


Find Gina here

 Review

4 Steamy Stars
“We’re the same. Both of us trying to outrun our past.”
Having never read a book by Gina Gordon before, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book. All I knew after reading that synopsis, was that I had to meet Neil. Illegal street racing? Hell yes! Count me in.
So color me thrilled when a few pages in I found out that this street racing is on motorcycles. Yes, I’m easy. Give me a bad boy, tattoos, and a motorcycle and I’ll be an orgasmic happily vibrating mess. I was even happier to find that it also had an engaging and steamy plot to go along with it.
Neil Harris seemingly has it all; good looks, women, money, and a carreer he’s always dreamed of. But he’s also a man that is battling some very dark demons and his form of therapy is with illegal street racing.

It wasn’t about the money. He had more than enough to last three lifetimes. It was the rush. The danger. The feeling of letting go of everything and everyone, even if for a brief moment.

Carson knows all about personal demons and the destruction they can bring. So when she finds out about Neil’s nighttime activities, she’s determined to do anything she can to keep him from a fate she knows all too well about.

She still didn’t have a clear answer as to why he raced last night but she recognized all too well the darkness that emanated from his eyes. She knew firsthand how easy it was to let the darkness take over, to let the speed of the road engulf you, suck you in until you’re so deep it’s impossible to climb back out.


One of my favorite parts about this book was Carson’s character. She was such a kick-ass heroine. I loved that she was a rider herself. It’s not very often you read about a female riding a motorcycle.

She battled demons from her own past, but she still had this core of strength that I really enjoyed about her. She wasn’t some meek, shy heroine. She really gives Neil a run for his money.

You can think I’m privileged, a daddy’s girl or whatever other colorful stereotypes you can think of, but we have a lot more in common that you think.
I know what it’s like to have that darkness manifest itself on the track.”


I also really liked that she wasn’t shy about saying what she wanted in the bedroom. Not every day you read about a dirty talking heroine.

This book was steamy. And I mean STEAMY. Neil was just the right amount of broody Alpha, and Carson was just the right amount of sassy.

I’m demanding,” he said, his lips hovering over hers.
“I know.”
His hips brushed her stomach. “I’m insatiable.”
“I have no doubt.”
He dropped his gloves onto the ledge then raised his hand and secured a strand of her soft hair behind her ear. “I think I could use some distracting right now.”
She blinked and looked up. “I think I could use some fun right now.”
“Then I think for the very first time we agree on something.”

I really enjoyed this story, though there was one thing that kept it from being a 5 star read for me. I’m not a big fan of  insta-love, insta-love, insta-anything really. I felt that Neil and Carson jumped into a sexual relationship too soon for my likes. I like to feel the sexual tension between the couple, it makes it that much more gratifying when they finally do the deed. So you can say that I’m a bit biased when I have these situations in a book.
I have to admit though, that Gina Gordon seemed to pull of the quick sexual relationship quite well. I thought I may lose interest in Neil and Carson as a couple, but that never happened. It was written in such a way that kept me engaged until the very end.
If you’re a fan of steamy contemporary romances, then definitely give this one a go. I’ll be looking forward to more Madewood brothers!

**ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review**

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Review: Sex.Love.Repeat. By Allesandra Torre

Sex. Love. Repeat. by Alessandra Torre

I love two men. I screw two men. I am in a relationship with them both, and they are both aware there is another. That is all they need to know, that is all I let them know. They don’t need to know a name; they don’t need to know anything, but that they are not alone in my heart.

They have accepted the situation. Stewart, because his life is too busy for the sort of obligations that are required in a relationship. Paul, because he loves me too much to tell me no. And because my sexual appetite is such that one man has trouble keeping up.

So we exist, two parallel relationships, each running their own course, with no need for intersection or conflict. It works for us, for them, and for me. I don’t expect it to be a long-term situation. I know there is an expiration date on the easy perfection of our lives.

I should have paid more attention, should have looked around and noticed the woman who watched it all. She sat in the background and waited, tried to figure me out. Saw my two relationships, the love between us, and the moment that it all fell apart.

She hates me.
I don’t even know she exists.
She loves them. I love them.
And they love me.

My Review

5 Unputdownable Stars
The heart is stubborn. It holds onto love despite what sense and emotion tells it. And it is often, in the battle of those three, the most brilliant of all.
So…this book…

Yea, I don’t even know how to do that without giving anything away. But I can tell you this. Think you know what you’re in for after reading that blurb? Well you’re wrong! Because it may be that, but it was also that much more.

I do NOT read love triangles. Like ever. Usually a book with love triangles sends me toward the nearest bottle of wine, wanting to rip my hair out and getting cold sweat flashbacks to Thoughtless. But then I read the blurb for this book, and I thought

Because I just had to read it. Think you’re getting a love triangle here? Well, you are…but you’re not. Confused? You should be! This book needs to be read without any preconceived notions. Do not read reviews or spoilers, it will absolutely ruin the experience.

Madison


She was a heroine you can’t help but like. In a long list of books with shy, mousy and virginal heroines, she was a refreshing breath of air. She was real. She was not shy about what she wanted, and made no excuses for herself. I knew from the very first chapter that she would be a heroine that I would absolutely love, and I was not wrong.
Paul
The easy-going surferboy. He is a character that you just can’t help but fall in love with. He was the lighter part of the equation.

Paul loves me with unconditional warmth, his affection public and obvious, his arms pulling me into him, his mouth littering my body with frequent kisses. 

Stewart

The rich workaholic. He was the enigmatic, slightly darker and intense one.

Stewart loves me with a tiger’s intensity, his need taking my breath away, his confidence in our relationship strong enough to not be bothered by the presence of another man. He stares into my soul as if he owns it, and shows his love with money, sex, and rare moments of time.

So what’s the story all about? I’m not going to tell you. This is a book that has to be experienced. And what an experience it is. You will be sucked in, captivated, and absolutely riveted by it. The writing is brilliant. It was intense, emotional, and erotic.
But be prepared to read it in one sitting, because you will be unable to put it down. The one thing I kept thinking through the book
I didn’t know which end was up. Who was I rooting for? What did I want to happen? Did I like what did happen? I don’t fucking know! There was just one twist after another. And then came everything after the 60% mark, and all I could think of then was
The story was NOTHING you would expect and EVERYTHING you would want in a book. Unputdownable.

Was I happy with the way it ended? I think so. It ended the way it should have, yet not in a way I suspected it would. It wasn’t wrapped up in a pretty little bow for you, but it was perfect for this story. I couldn’t imagine a different ending for this brilliant story.
A must read.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go compulsively one-click every other book this author has written. And I thank you

ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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ARC Review: Before We Fall by Courtney Cole

Sometimes, one dark moment is all it takes to turn your world black…
For 24-year old Dominic Kinkaide, that moment took place on the night of his high school graduation. One dark incident changed him forever. He’s a hardened actor now, famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured in his own. He doesn’t care about much of anything, except for losing himself in the roles that he plays.
23-year old Jacey Vincent doesn’t realize how much her father’s indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn’t one specific moment that wrecks a person, but rather it’s an absence of moments. She’s like a bird with a broken wing-strong yet fragile, as she tries to float through life, finding acceptance in the arms of random guys, one after the other… to fill the void that her father left in her.
Until she meets Dominic.
After jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, his secret and her issues create a dark and damaged energy that will soon turn their attraction to each other into an explosive storm.

Even though when the clouds have cleared and the dust has settled, both of them are almost obliterated… they’ve learned a priceless lesson.

Sometimes, before we fall… we fly.

4 Broken and Angsty Stars
Dominic is trouble. And I don’t need any more trouble in my life. I’m turning over a new leaf and I’m making good choices. Dominic Kinkaide is a bad, bad choice.
I know that whenever I pick up a book by Courtney Cole I am in for one dark and angsty emotional roller coaster ride. Book 2 in the series, If You Leave continues to be one of my favorite books this year. That being said, I was hesitant to pick this one since I wanted to throttle Jacey in that book. I’m not even exaggerating. I hated her. I was pretty sure that there would need to be a miracle for me to develop any semblance of like toward her. So why was I still anticipating this book? Because I couldn’t wait to see what kind of magic Courtney had in store to endear us to Jacey as the heroine.
So did I like it? Did Courtney Cole manage to do the impossible and actually get me to like Jacey? 
For those that have read this series before, you know exactly what you are in for. Though I felt that Dom was possibly the darkest and most intense of the previous two books.
For those that have never read this series, Beautifully Broken is a light, easy, and fluffy read with perfect heroes and sweet heroines…
HA!
Had you going there for a second though, didn’t I?
No, there is nothing light, fluffy, or easy about this book. This is a story about 2 flawed people that start of on a rocky relationship that will either put them back together again or shatter them once and for all. 
To say that Dominic was fucked up would probably be one hell of an understatement. You know the second you meet him that this is a man that is hiding some very dark demons beneath his sexy as sin exterior.
Dom learned early in life that the only thing that’s guaranteed in life is betrayal and pain. So he doesn’t let anyone in. He wears a facade that’s so well constructed even he has trouble recalling who he once was. 

My problem is that I’m stuck in limbo… I don’t want to remember and I don’t want to forget. If I remember, it hurts like hell. But if I forget, it might happen again.


He hides beneath meaningless hookups, nameless women, his work, and alcohol. I
n short? He’s a jaded asshole. But can you really blame the guy? He’s a famous actor that women pretty much throw themselves at.

Jacey struggles with demons of her own. After a stupid lack in judgement causes a devastating outcome she is determined to turn her life around and be a better, more responsible person. But then she crosses paths with Dominic fucking Kinkaide. She can’t help but feel attracted to the sexy movie star.

But before long the undeniable attraction between them leads to something much more. But can Jacey break through the impenetrable emotional armor that Dom hides behind, without getting broken in the process?

He’s dangerous to me. Because even though this is supposed to be fun, temporary, and lighthearted, I can feel myself getting pulled in. I feel myself getting getting attached and I can’t do that. That wasn’t supposed to be part of this.


But Dom knows that the secrets he has he will never be able to get over. They’ve broken him, and they can only hurt anyone that gets close enough to even attempt to reach them.

Jacey, I’m not good. I’m the opposite of good. Have you ever wondered if people are monsters inside, down where no one can see? Because I don’t have to wonder. I know that I am.


There was the intricate back and forth dance of ‘I want you’ but ‘I can’t’, followed by ‘I want you’ but ‘I shouldn’t’. Which after a little while left me feeling a little bit like

It got to be a bit much, even for an angst whore like me. I wanted Jacey to be a little more harder at times and say no to Dom and not give in as easily as she seemed to. But then little by little we began getting more intimate glimpses of the man that Dom tries so hard to keep hidden.

What are you afraid of, Dominic? Really? What are you afraid of?”
“Everything.”


I thought that I was heading toward a 3.5 star read in the first half of the book. But then BAM! At 75 percent all hell starts to break loose and I was glued to my kindle wanting to find out what happens. I was an emotional and ugly crying mess. Of all the things I thought that Dominic was living with, I didn’t see that one coming. But then as if that wasn’t enough, Courtney Cole went and threw in a mother of all twists…

It.was.gut.wrenching.

The last 25% brought the book up to a 4.5 star book for me. It was THAT good.

Dominic and Jacey relationship was filled with many bumps. It was emotional, it was devastating, it was also steamy as hell.

I was a little taken aback by a certain event in the epilogue, though. I’m not sure why, but it just seemed a little out of place in this series for me. I can’t say it was either bad or good, just weird…I guess?

If you like angtsy, steamy, and emotional NA romance books, definitely give this series a shot. Although each book can be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the entire series in order.

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