Review: Sweet Revenge by Rebecca Zanetti

The One Man She Can’t Have

Matt Dean was born to fight…and kill. A member of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be the perfect soldiers with an expiration date. Now, with time running out, he’s gone rogue in a relentless quest for the one person who can save them. His mission leads him to Charmed, Idaho…and to a beautiful woman with eyes like emeralds and a body made for pleasure.

The One Woman He Can’t Resist

Laney Jacobs knows the mysterious, handsome stranger is trouble from the moment he walks into her bar, looking for a job. She’s spent years running from her own past—the last thing she needs is a romantic entanglement. But Matt’s strong arms offer her protection, and his gentle touch promises passion unlike anything she’s ever known. As lethal forces surround them, revealing explosive secrets about Matt’s past and putting everything—and everyone—he holds dear in danger, can he save them all before time runs out?

Review-DGR5 stars

The man was as wounded as a man could be and as temporary as a storm. He wasn’t a guy that stuck around.

Well hot damn! How am I only discovering the awesome that is this author now? What a thrill ride. I’m a huge fan of a good romantic suspense, and this book had it all; action, suspense, and enough steam to set your ovaries on fire. Not to mention a captivating and enthralling story. I may have done things a bit backwards and read this without reading book 1 first, but it did not diminish my enjoyment of it even a little bit. But I do now plan to go back and read the first book and I’m sitting on pins and needles in anticipation of the 3rd book.

Matt Dean is a man on the run, he’s also a man on a mission. After escaping the facility where he and his brothers were genetically engineered and raised to be the perfect soldiers and killers, his mission brings him to Charmed, Idaho. Knowing that his time is running out with a deadly chip that was surgically implanted in his spine, he’s determined to find the doctor responsible and save himself and his brothers.

Arriving in Charmed he lands a job at a local bar. But the one thing he doesn’t expect is his fiery attraction to the bar’s owner, Laney Jacobs. Laney is running from her own past demons and the last thing she needs is the distraction of her attraction to the sexy soldier. As secrets become unraveled, can Laney and Matt survive long enough to save each other?

If you like super sexy commando alpha men, you need to read this book. Lord but Matt made me swoon. From the very first I knew he would be a hero that I’d be lusting after, and boy but he did not disappoint.


You don’t want to hit me.”
“Why not?”
For the first time, he let his mask slip so she could see the predator the government created. “The second you make contact, I’ll have you on that bar, held tight, my cock pressed between your legs, my lips on yours until you beg for more. Even fully clothed, I may make you come- and I won’t care who’s watching.

I ask you, what woman in her right mind can resist sweet talk like that? Not this one, that’s for damn sure. And Laney was no exception.
I loved Laney’s character. She was strong, yet in a somewhat understated way. She fought for what she thought was right, and I really enjoyed the way she cared for Matt.

This book was such a thrill ride, filled with twists and turns that I never saw coming. Throw in a crazy serial killer into the mix, and you have the recipe for one amazing action filled ride.

The romance between Laney and Matt went from a slow burn to an inferno in no time flat.

The one thing I really enjoyed was the the romance never overshadowed the story, but yet it was the perfect icing on the cake. And let me tell you IT.WAS.HOT. Steaming. Scorching. Wowza! Rebecca Zanetti can write one hell of a love scene. This girl was certainly not left disappointed, but begging for more of the Dean brothers.

Matt was protective, sexy, broody, everything I love in a hero. Laney was a fantastic heroine as well. There was not one part I didn’t like. My only complaint is that it was over and I wanted more. And that teaser into Nathan’s book, I CANNOT WAIT! It looks to be the best one yet.

If you love action packed and super steamy romantic suspense, do not pass this book up. This is definitely going on my auto-buy series list.

Blog Tour: Sempre: Redemption by J.M. Darhower

In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco have been through a lot. Haven was taken in by Carmine’s father, and with his family’s help, she escaped a gruesome fate. However, saving Haven from the dark intentions of a mafia family cost Carmine a steep price: he was forced to swear loyalty to them.

Now, still passionately in love, Carmine and Haven must face the fall-out of Carmine’s forced service, as Haven discovers terrifying secrets about the family that enslaved both her and her mother—and why she matters so much in this intricate web of lies.

Excerpt

Carmine sat in his usual chair in the library, casually strumming his guitar. A sliver of light filtered in from the large window, illuminating his somber expression in the darkness. She called his name but he remained still, continuing to pluck at the strings almost as if he hadn’t heard her. She took a step toward him and was about to say his name again when he let out a long, deep sigh. “I had a dream.”

“Another nightmare?” she asked, walking over to him. He glanced up at her as his fingers stilled, the music stopping, but Haven barely noticed. She couldn’t focus on anything but the green eyes boring into her. Once so alive with passion, she saw nothing but deep sadness marring the bright color.

Carmine set the guitar aside and moved his legs to make room, motioning for her to join him. She climbed into his lap and he wrapped his arms around her.

“Not a nightmare this time,” he said. “It was a good dream.”

“What was it about?”

“You,” he said quietly. “You made a painting—some abstract shit, I don’t know—but it was so good they hung it in a museum and raved about how talented you were. It was like you were the next fucking Picasso, tesoro.”

She laughed. “I don’t even know how to paint, Carmine.”

“You could learn,” he said. “Would you want to?”

“Maybe, but I don’t know how good I’d be.”

“Oh, you’d be good,” he said confidently. “You shouldn’t doubt yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to.”

“Except for play the piano,” she said playfully. “Or the guitar.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, for the sake of everyone’s ears, we ought to leave music to me, but the rest is all you. You can probably do all of that, you know. Draw, paint, sculpt shit into weird shapes and tell people it’s something it doesn’t look anything like. That takes talent.”

She smiled. “And you think I have that kind of talent?”

“Of course,” he said. “There’s gonna be no stopping you once you get started.”

“Thank you,” she whispered, a swell of emotion surging through her at his words. “It means a lot that you believe in me.”

“I’d be an idiot not to,” he said, kissing the top of her head.

Buy Links

S&S.com I Amazon  I iBookstore I Nook

About The Author

JM Darhower is the author of countless stories and poems,
most of which only she has ever read. She lives in a tiny town in rural North
Carolina, where she churns out more words than will ever see the light of day.
She has a deep passion for politics and speaking out against human trafficking,
and when she isn’t writing (or fangirling about books) she’s usually ranting
about those things.
Chronic crimper with a vulgar mouth, she admits to having a
Twitter addiction. You can usually always find her there.
Author’s Social Links

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Otherwise Unharmed by Shay Savage

Title: Otherwise Unharmed (Evan Arden Trilogy #3)
Author: Shay Savage
Genre: Romance/ Crime
Expected Release Date: 12/5/13

Book Synopsis

After Evan Arden was imprisoned by the enemy for a year and a half, he returned from the desert as a military hero. He’d suffered some minor injuries during his captivity, was discharged from the Marines with a touch of shellshock, but was considered otherwise unharmed. Now he wonders how he ended up where he is—incarcerated in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center for using his sharpshooting expertise to take out the neighborhood park with a high-powered sniper rifle and multiple rounds of ammunition.

Lia Antonio, the woman he rescued from the desert heat the previous year, is the only person who can bring him out of his sleep-deprived psychosis and mounting PTSD. When she does, Evan knows he can’t just let her go again. He’s never considered leaving the business before—who retires from the mafia?—but he’s determined to get both Lia and himself out of harm’s way.

Evan faces overwhelming forces from multiple directions as a deal to get him out of jail turns more dangerous than he imagined. With a mob war on the horizon and the feds holding evidence over his head, Evan has no choice but to throw himself into the middle of another warzone.

In his efforts to make things right, Evan crosses the wrong man and finds himself on the business end of the crosshairs. With his acute perception and intelligence, he tries to stay a step ahead of his former co-workers, but this time, it isn’t just his own life on the line—he’s got to protect Lia from the man who once called him son.

Otherwise Occupied Trailer

Review

5 Mind Blowing Stars
She would keep me sane, and I would keep her safe

One thing that’s running through my mind right now

After I finished this book. I’m ruined. Seriously ruined and feeling a hell of a book hangover coming on. Shay Savage is an incredible story teller, able to write a broken and damaged anti-hero that you can’t help but fall completely in love with. It’s not every day you find an author that is able to write a book entirely in the male POV and do such an amazing job of it. After the way book 2 ended, I couldn’t wait to dive into this one. I devoured it. After the 60% mark, I read it in one sitting.

Otherwise Unharmed was a suspenseful and erotic thriller that will keep you at the edge of your seat with a major case of blue ovary syndrome thrown into the mix. Wow. Just wow.

This book picks up right where Otherwise Occupied left off, with Evan in prison after a manic episode.

How did I get here? I wasn’t stupid. I also wasn’t so far gone to not remember the basics of what happened. After serving my tour of duty as a Marine sniper in the Middle East coupled with eighteen months as a prisoner of war, being exiled to Arizona for screwing up a hit for my mob-boss, spending too much time thinking about the girl I met there, and killing my favorite hooker for betraying me, I’d finally lost it and started shooting up the neighborhood.

Still suffering from nightmares and flashbacks to his time as a POW, his insomnia is at an all time worst. But this time he has something he didn’t before, Lia, the woman that he’s been unable to put out of his thoughts since his short time in Arizona.

Evan knows that he will not be able to walk away from her this time, and will do anything to keep her safe. But what happens when you put a shell-shocked hitman between a rock and a hard place, putting his loyalty to the test?

Miss Savage definitely saved the best for last with this book.
I fell in lust/love with Evan in book 1. This one just solidified exactly why he’s one of my favorite anti-heroes I’ve read to date.

Fucking you just makes me want more though. I’m trying to see if I can make it to round six before I pass out.”
“I’m going to be sore,” she said.
“Does that mean you’ll feel it all day tomorrow—feel it constantly, no matter what you’re doing, and think about my cock inside you every minute you’re awake?”
Lia’s breath quickened, and she stared up at me for a moment before she swallowed hard and nodded her head. “Probably.”
“Good.” I wrapped my hand around my shaft and drilled into her.

Evan had two sides with Lia. There was the erotic ass-man side. Then there was also the incredibly sweet side.

We also got to see the side that he hides beneath the deadly hit man.

There’s so much shit in my head—shit I can’t unsee or undo. Sometimes it feels like there’s something inside of me just…tearing me up inside and waiting to bust its way out. I think maybe…maybe if I could get that out, then maybe the person I was is still underneath.”


I went from having my heart break for him, to feeling like it was going to beat out of my chest with all the twists and turns that took place.

Lia was a great heroine as well. She was the perfect light to Evan’s dark. She had just the right amount of backbone to stand up to him, but also just enough vulnerability to endear you to her.

This book was one amazing and erotic thrill ride. Every time I thought I wrapped my mind around what was going, something else would happen that left me completely speechless. Well, speechless in between bousts of screaming “no no no” at my kindle and wanting to cry. Then there was an event at the end that left me devastated.

As for the ending? It was the perfect way to end the trilogy. It was so fitting, that it just made me love this book even more. I couldn’t see it being written any other way.

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

About the Author

Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, two children, and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, and loves soccer in any and all forms. During the fall, she coaches her daughter’s soccer team. Though she currently works in the technology field, her school background is in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.

Author’s Social Links
Website I Facebook I Goodreads I Twitter

Giveaway

Prize: 3 Ebook Sets of the Evan Arden series (4books) 
1 paperback of Otherwise Unharmed 
2 Ebook copies of Surviving Raine

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MaE Book Tours

Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne

The rules are clear—until they’re broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund… or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating “them.” And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

5 I found myself a new auto-buy author stars
Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?

That ridiculously happy person in the gif with the permanently goofy smile stuck on her face…that would be me the entire time I was reading this book. You’re probably sitting there thinking, it couldn’t have been that good, right? Well ye of little faith, it was.

Ok, well maybe not quite make me almost pee good. But it was adorable, funny, entertaining, and heart warming.
(See what I did with the gifs there? No?)

This was a fresh new take on Pygmalion, and I adored this book. I was hooked from the first few lines…


In real life? The meet-cute isn’t the least bit cute. It’s more like a meet-awkward. Sometimes even a meet-shoot-me-now.”

In this book you meet Stephanie; a withdrawn, snarky, goth clothes and dark makeup wearing twenty one year old college film student. Stephanie’s main goal right now is to ace her screenwriting class, and she doesn’t need any distractions. But then she literary bumps paths with the ridiculously good looking and preppy rich boy, Ethan. The sparks started flying right away. Nothing I love more than 2 characters that have hate at first sight with an underlying current of sexual tension.


“It’s just that I think you forgot to change out of your country club uniform.”
“Does the surly mood come with the goth outfit? Or do you have to buy it separately?”
“Could you please watch where you’re pointing your teeth? The glare from your caps is hurting my eyes.”


I was in snarky sarcasm heaven with these two.

Stuck working together for a class, can these two really tolerate each other long enough to survive their assignment?

When an opportunity presents itself that can help both Ethan and Stephanie, an ideal screenplay idea forms. Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. Stephanie needs a place to stay. So why not pretend to be together for the sake of a mutually beneficial set up? And the icing on the cake? The fake relationship is the perfect idea for their screenplay.

But what happens when pretend slowly begins to develop into real feelings?

I loved the depth the author managed to give these characters considering the somewhat fluffy story they were in. Stephanie and Ethan both captured my heart and I couldn’t help myself but completely fall for both them.

This book was like all my favorite movies got together. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me swoon. It was, and forgive the cheesiness factor here, lovely.

If you enjoy the NA genre, you really cannot go wrong with this book. It will put a smile on your face and keep it there the entire time you’re reading it. You will fall in love with both of these characters and the story. I know I did.

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

Buy Links

Review: Otherwise Alone (Evan Arden Trilogy #1) by Shay Savage

Lieutenant Evan Arden sits in a shack in the middle of nowhere, waiting for orders that will send him back home – if he ever gets them. Other than his loyal Great Pyrenees, there’s no one around to break up the monotony. The tedium is excruciating, but it is suddenly interrupted when a young woman stumbles up his path.
He has two choices – pick her off from a distance with his trusty sniper-rifle, or dare let her approach his cabin and enter his life.

Why not? It’s been ages, and he is otherwise alone…

4.5 Stars
The days are long and the nights are longer, until a young woman suddenly appears on my doorstep. I’m all for getting a little – it’s been ages – but she makes me long for more.

Can you get enough story in 56 pages to capture your interest and leave you begging for more? In the case of this book, abso-fucking-lutely. I was hooked line and sinker.

Evan is not a good guy. Currently in exile after a job gone bad, he’s just waiting until his boss gives him the order to go home…if that ever happens. With no one but the desert heat and his dog to keep him company, he waits. Until she suddenly stumbles unto his path.

Otherwise alone, with a stranded and beautiful woman, what’s a man to do?

The steam level in the short page count number was incredible. Shay Savage knows how to write one sexy ass hero


Go on,” I say with my eyes locked on hers. “You want to.”
“I do?”
“Yes.”
“And how do you know that?”  
“I’m a very good judge of character,” I inform her.


Seriously Evan

Then there were the steamy as hell sex scenes.


What the hell are you doing?” she cries.
“I’m going to tear your clothes off and fuck you so hard you won’t walk right for a week,” I respond. “You want me to stop?”


Stop?! Are you crazy?!!!

Did I happen to mention this is entirely in Evan’s POV? Loved that.

As for the ending?

Buy Links

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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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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