Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: As Dust Dances by Samantha Young

AS DUST DANCES
Series:
Play On #2
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Samantha Young
Release Date: August 7, 2018

Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.

Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.

Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…

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It was my turn to stare at him quizzically, but he didn’t acknowledge the look. He sipped his water and stared around the restaurant as if this weren’t awkward and weird. His nose had a slight bump in it, his cheekbones high, and his jaw chiseled and angular. Overall, he had a very hawklike profile, masculine, rugged, and intimidating. And at that moment I felt like prey, stupidly allowing myself to be caught.Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he genuinely didn’t want anything sexual from me.

I stared at him unabashedly, wanting answers.

He remained steadfast, ignoring me, until the waitress he’d called out to returned with a plastic carrier bag. “Will this do?”

“Aye.” He took it from her. “Thanks.” When I returned to the main restaurant, I put the folded-up wet clothes beside me on the bench, my underwear tucked out of sight.

I couldn’t meet the stranger’s eyes as I reached for the Diet Coke I’d asked for, savoring the taste. On tour, I’d needed lots of energy so I’d eaten well and drank plenty of water. Soda was a treat at the best of times. But I hadn’t had a Diet Coke in months, and it tasted great.

“Excuse me,” my companion’s voice jolted my gaze upward and I saw him wave down a passing waitress. “Do you have a bag?”

“A bag?”

“Carrier bag, paper bag. A bag.”

“Um … let me check.”

He held it out, staring at me with those eyes that would’ve been much more suited to a Lothario, to someone who knew how to be charming. “For your clothes.”

Oh.

It was a kind gesture, also at odds with his demeanor, and my suspicion increased. I took the bag, however, sliding my wet clothes into it and out of sight. Exasperated, I said, “What the hell do you want?”

“Food first.”

“So I’ll be well fed, satisfied, and more amenable to whatever the hell it is you want from me?”

He looked at me now, really looked at me, and the corner of his mouth curled up ever so slightly. “Exactly.”

“A good villain doesn’t admit to his plan, you know.”

“I’m not a villain.”

“What are you?”

“Fo—”

“Food first. Yeah, yeah.”

And so we sat in silence until the food arrived, and the smell of my sea bass made my stomach grumble loudly. Years ago, it would’ve embarrassed me. Now I couldn’t give a shit. All I cared about was that fish.

I dug in, closing my eyes in joy as I ate.

When I opened them to scoop up buttery mashed potatoes, I felt his gaze on me.

The furrowed brow, the glimmer of concern in his eyes, made me stiffen. But just like that, his expression cleared, blank, and he went back to eating his burger as if I didn’t exist.

I savored every morsel of that meal, including the Chocolate Fudge Fixation I ordered for dessert.

My belly felt full and satisfied, and exhaustion began to force my eyelids to droop.

And I knew it was time to pay the piper. “So …” I pushed away my empty dessert plate and slumped back against the booth, my expression baleful. “What the hell do you want from me?”

His answer was to reach into his wallet, pull out a business card, and hand it over.

I stared down at it, disbelief flooding me.

I was tethered to him somehow and I didn’t think I’d be able to cut myself loose so easily.

As Dust Dances was a gripping, beautiful and emotional romance. It was a story of pain and perseverance, of strength and second chances, and of love where you least expect it. It also had a delicious enemies to lovers vibe in a way that only Samantha Young could deliver.

I glared at him with my good eye. “Fine. Hospital. I’ll add it to the list to tell the doctor.”
“What?”
“Of injuries. Eye, ribs, wrist, and now this insistent, condescending pain in my ass.”

Once upon a time Skylar Finch had a taste of success when her band became famous. Skylar loved making music, but she was unprepared for what the fame will bring.
She tried to deal with the fact that what was once her dream was now making her miserable, but then a terrible tragedy broke her completely. Now Skylar is homeless and busking on the streets of Scotland. Having left everything behind, including her identity, she’s trying to move on while hiding in plain site. No one knows who she is here, and she’s happy that way. The last thing she expects is for her music to catch the eye of a music executive, or for him to stir something in her she long thought dead.

The kiss tasted of longing, frustration, desperation, and punishment. A punishment of each other for having feelings we knew we shouldn’t have.


The chemistry between Skylar and Killian is instant and fiery, though both of them try to deny it. Killian bullies her off of the streets and into a contract with the record label that his uncle owns. Still trying to prove himself to a man that barely tolerates him let alone respects him, Killian is determined to make Skylar a success. The attraction between them is one that they’re both attempting to deny. Their relationship begins as a deliciously angsty push and pull. Killian tries to keep it professional, and in doing so comes off as cold and calculating when he’s anything but.

Skylar was one of my favorite heroines. This woman is a survivor and music is truly a part of her. I loved the way that Samantha Young weaves the music into the story. It was effortless and the perfect icing on top of an already amazing story. Skylar has already survived so much pain in her young life; the more you learn about her, the more you connect to her and root for her.

The romance was perfectly paced and developed. It wasn’t instant and it wasn’t a super slow burn either. It developed in such a way that just felt real. You feel the connection between these two characters immediately, but it only burns hotter as the story develops. You get to see more of Killian’s softer side as he stops fighting the inevitable. Their romance is forbidden and they attempt to keep it a secret, you can’t help but read on as you sit on pins and and needles as you wait for that other shoe to drop.

This was a perfectly swoony and emotional story of love and sacrifice, and pain and perseverance. I adored it and only hope we’ll be getting more books in this series.

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

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Review: Richer Than Sin by Meghan March

RICHER THAN SIN
Series: 
Sin Trilogy #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Meghan March
Release Date: August 14, 2018

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a brand new saga of forbidden love and second chances.

A Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after. Our family feud is the stuff of legends.

Ten years ago, Whitney Gable caught me off guard with her long legs and grab-you-by-the-balls blue eyes.

I didn’t know or care what her name was.

Like any Riscoff worth the family name, I went after what I wanted. We burned like a flash fire until she married another man.

She hates me, and she should.

I objected on her wedding day.

Now she’s home, with those same long legs and man-eater stare, but there’s no ring on her finger.

They say a Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after . . . but I’m not done with Whitney Gable.

I’ll never be done with her.

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Sexy beauty couple

My need for her is still as strong as ever. She’ll never be out of my blood.

Let’s talk about addicting reads for a hot second here. Because this book? This is a second chance romance meet Romeo and Juliet vibes. It’s sizzling hot. It’s deliciously angsty. It’s a page turner from beginning to a jaw dropping end. This author knows how to deliver a cliffhanger that leaves her readers rocking in a corner, craving their next March Fix until the next book is out. And this reader? I’m officially hooked!

Kissing Lincoln Riscoff was like finding salvation when you’d thought all was lost. It didn’t feel like kissing the enemy.

Told in alternating parts of past and present, Richer Than Sin starts with a jaw dropping prologue that immediately sets the tone of this book. It’s a mystery wrapped in some angst, with Meghan’s signature sizzle sprinkled in. Lincoln Riscoff is the son of one of the most wealthiest and influential families. It’s also a family that has had a long standing feud with the Gables, and no matter how many years have passed, the hate and animosity these families have towards each other has only grown. When a beautiful girl catches his attention, it’s much too late by the time he realizes that she’s a Gable. Nor does he care.

She was fire and heat and spice. Tasted like trouble. And I wanted it all.

But the odds are stacked against them and you’re reading the story at the edge of your seat, just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because you know that when it finally does, it’ll be devastating.

Now ten years later, after their disastrous short lived relationship has blown apart and left them both shattered, Whitney is back. But Lincoln isn’t the man he was before, and this time he’s not letting her go.

I may not be able to change the past, but I can sure as hell make sure it doesn’t repeat itself.

For as many answers as we get in this book, we’re left with even more questions. This author really knows how to give just enough while leaving you absolutely ravenous for more.

Each look into their past, unravels more secrets. But it also lets you know that there’s much more than what originally meets the eye. I can’t wait to see what the next book brings!

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Guilty as Sin (September 18)

Guilty until proven innocent.

That’s the way the world works, right?

I’m tired of being convicted without evidence, all because my last name is Gable.

The Riscoffs might own this town, but I’m done following their rules.

If only I could forget just how easily Lincoln Riscoff can drag me under his spell.

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Reveling in Sin (October 23)

Whitney Gable is the kind of woman you fight to the death to protect.

To keep.

To cherish.

I’ve finally learned my lesson, and it’s time to prove I’m the man who’s worthy of her.

I don’t care what it takes, because failure is not an option.

No matter who or what stands in our way—this time, she’ll be mine forever

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A New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels, Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers: http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

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Review: One To Keep by Lexi Blake

ONE TO KEEP
Series: Nights In Bliss #3
Genre: BDSM Romance, Romantic Suspense
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: August 7, 2018

Re-released in a second edition with new content.

Stefan Talbot likes order and control. He approaches his life with the same meticulous precision that he uses to put paint on his canvas. Nothing good comes from chaos, and that is why he has refused to allow himself to get close to Jennifer Waters. They are like fire and ice. Though she is younger, her talent as an artist is unquestionable. But she lives her life like she paints—with wild, passionate abandon. It is intoxicating and terrifying, and he can’t get her out of his head.

Jennifer ran from Bliss to put Stef behind her. She had come to the mountain town seeking a mentor but found much more than she bargained for. Cool and distant, Stef was like a marble statue and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t break through his shell. She moved to Dallas to start over, but nothing is going as planned. When the art gallery where she works is robbed and a precious painting is stolen, Jen is accused of the theft. Jen is thrilled when her bail is met, until she realizes her savior is Stef and he has a few conditions. First and foremost, she has to return to Bliss.

Against the backdrop of the Winter Festival, Stef and Jen’s attraction catches fire. But the dark forces behind the robbery in Dallas have followed Jen home. A criminal syndicate believes she still has the stolen painting and they’ll kill to get their hands on it.

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Kiss me, love.”

After the delicious push and pull between Stefan and Jennifer in the last two books, I was absolutely dying to get my grabby little hands on their book. But I was also hoping for two things from this book; a grovel from Stefan, and for Jennifer to grow a little more. Jennifer has always been incredibly open in her desire for Stefan, that at times I almost felt like she made it too easy for him.

And while I did spend a large chunk of this book wanting to punch Stefan in the eye and shake him until he sees reason, I’m happy to report that I absolutely LOVED Jennifer.

These are both incredibly multi-layered characters. But while Jennifer doesn’t let her past dictate her future, Stefan uses his as a crutch and his answer of why he can never be with Jennifer. Considering he spends the entire book thinking that her age makes her not know her own mind because of the demons of his past, it was an exercise in frustration to say the least. And while a part of me gets it, another part of me wanted to slap him. Continuously.

There’s a suspense plot that runs parallel to the romance that adds a much needed edge and entertainment factor. With the Russian mafia after Jennifer for a painting that may be in her possession, there’s a character that’s introduced that I absolutely fell in love with. Alexei Markov, with his gentle soul, violent past and broken english absolutely stole my heart. I cannot wait for his book. The set up is AMAZING!

As for this book, while I did spend a good part of it frustrated with Stefan’s inability to see reason, I still enjoyed it. Admittedly, I was kind of expecting an uber Dom with him, but what I got was slightly different. I can’t say I’m complaining, though. This is a man that’s not perfect, has faults, and is not afraid to admit to them by the end. I did wish he groveled a bit more, but I was still satisfied with how things wrapped up. Jennifer was the perfect balance. I appreciated her strength and her will to fight for him even when he gave her every reason not to.

All in all, another wonderful addition to the series and as always, I can’t wait for more!

#DGRFave & Review: Pretty Venom by Ella Fields

PRETTY VENOM
Series: Gray Springs University #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Ella Fields
Release Date: August 3rd, 2018

Callum Welsh perfected the art of hating me when we were two kids who believed we’d be forced into marriage.

He thought I wanted it, but my only wish had been for him to leave me alone.

Then one afternoon, he stole my first kiss.

Despite all he’d done, everything changed after that.

As the years passed, our hearts thawed, and he no longer hated me.

In fact, he loved me enough to make me his wife.

Until I ruined everything with one stupid mistake.

That hatred returned in the form of cruel words and even crueler deeds.

But we weren’t kids anymore.

I could handle his brand of venom.

He would be mine again, even if it cost me the remains of my heart.

Warning: contains cheating and an anti-hero who might make you throw your kindle.

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If someone has control over your heart, the worst thing you could do was make an enemy out of them. And like a fool, I had.

OH MY GOD! THIS BOOK.
I.
Can’t.
DEAL.

First of all, that warning is no joke. I wanted to cry, yell, rip my hair out, and throw my kindle at the wall. This book wrung every emotion out of me, most of all all consuming rage. So much rage. Like ALL OF THE RAGE. But it was also all consuming. This book took over my entire existence for the hours that it took me to devour it, completely unable to put it down for even a second. I’m a sucker for some devastating angst, and if the blurb didn’t lure me into reading my first Ella Fields book, that warning ultimately did the job.

His brand of assholery had a ricochet effect. Affecting other things in my life, piece by little piece.

The story takes a delicious turn from enemies to lovers and back again in this ulcer inducing romance, and this reader couldn’t get enough of it. Heartburn and bald spots and all.

You smell like peaches.” “And you smell like an asshole.

Renee and Callum have history going back to their early teens. They first meet when they’re in high school and their back and forth antagonism starts. Callum resents the fact that their parents are essentially planning their marriage already. And he takes special exception to Renee, by serving her to a daily dose of his special brand of douchebaggery. Renee is no wallflower, and she’s not shy about giving as hard as she gets. Their connection is tumultuous and antagonistic, with a heavy undecurrent of chemistry that they’re both too young to fully grasp and understand when they first meet. But then as the years pass, and their push and pull continues, it eventually begins to morph into something else. When Callum stops hiding how he truly feels behind cruel words and deeds, he goes after Renee with a completely different motivation, and a relationship blooms.

Being kids when they first get together, life doesn’t really prepare them for the obstacles they’ll face when they go off to college together. Then one mistake driven by hurt and anger changes everything.


I couldn’t do this, yet, at the same time, I couldn’t see a way out of this. Falling in love changed you bit by bit in a way you didn’t realize until that love had left you suffocating in the remaining pieces of who you once were. If this was what I had to live with, what I had to endure … I was afraid it’d kill me slowly. 

And this is where the angst really starts. Callum’s brand of punishment and cruelty truly takes a turn from painful to downright eviscerating. The man puts Renee through hell. Every move, word, and look is calculated for maximum pain. That warning is no lie, because the things he does makes you want to peel your skin off and throw it at him. But at the same time, knowing what he’s going through in his head, you get where the anger is coming from. You hate him for what he does, but you understand why he’s doing it. It’s a special sort of hell, because as much as it hurts, it’s also absolutely riveting.

If you make someone your world, do not complain when the ground crumbles beneath your feet.

Pretty Venom was an all consuming sort of story. It’s the sort of book that takes over your entire world when you read it. It’s gut wrenching, emotionally annihilating, and rip your hair out sort of angsty. Ella Fields is clearly a master of her craft, because she delivers two characters that are far from perfect, yet somehow relatable. They both make mistakes, and as much as you want to judge them for it, you simply can’t. You’re much too wrapped up in their pain to do anything else. It’s no lie that there’s a thin love between love and hate, and this book takes you through both extremes and then back again.

My enemy, my ally, my best friend. She was love in its rawest form. Everything I needed wrapped in one multilayered bow. One that I refused to let unravel ever again.

It was utterly delicious and I binged on it like the angst addict that I am. Ella Fields just went straight to my auto-buy list, no blurb required. This is an author that’s not afraid to write about the ugly side of human emotion, and Pretty Venom was certainly that. This book owned me and I’m seriously kicking myself for only reading this author now. I plan on rectifying my mistake immediately by reading the rest of the series.

Ella Fields is a mother and wife who lives in the land Down Under. While her kids are in school, you might find her talking about her characters and books to her two cats. She’s a notorious chocolate and notebook hoarder who enjoys creating hard-won happily ever afters.

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Review & Giveaway: Cooper’s Charm by Lori Foster

COOPER’S CHARM
Series: Love at the Resort #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lori Foster
Release Date: July 31, 2018

One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…

Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.

Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…

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He’d started by wanting to help her, and instead, she’d helped him without even knowing it. She’d brought him back from the dead.

This was such a wonderfully charming, feel-good romance and quintessential beach read, Cooper’s Charm is a definite winner. You get two romances for the price of one here; with both Rose sisters finding their individual roads to a HEA.

Phoenix Rose has come to Cooper’s Charm a shell of a woman she once was. After an armed robbery and assault leaves her a shattered, she comes to this charming little lakeside resort to find herself again. The last thing she expects is to find herself falling for the resort’s broody owner. Cooper is reeling from a loss of his own. But the more he gets to know Phoenix, the more he realizes that he didn’t lose his heart.

Following her sister to make sure she’s ok, Ridley is dealing with issues of her own. After a bitter divorce leaves her cynical but filthy rich, she’s not looking to find a meaningful relationship, but she’s not opposed to some hot sex. Little does she know that she’ll find something much more with the local sexy Scuba Instructor.

The two relationships develop in interchanging POVs; you get Phoenix, Cooper, Ridley, and Baxter. There’s also a small suspense subplot that’s added in. This was a sweet contemporary romance that could have held quite strongly on its own. I really didn’t feel the suspense piece add much to the story, at least not for me. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, because I definitely did. It was a cute and steamy read that delivered on two highly satisfying HEAs. If you’re looking for a light-hearted and sweet romance that’s low on angst but with plenty of charm, you can’t go wrong with this one.

LORI FOSTER is a New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, and most recently Harlequin. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. For more about Lori, visit her website at www.lorifoster.com.

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Review: Protected by Lexi Blake

PROTECTED
Series: Masters and Mercenaries #16.5
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: July 31, 2018

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a new story in her Masters and Mercenaries series…

A second chance at first love

Years before Wade Rycroft fell in love with Geneva Harris, the smartest girl in his class. The rodeo star and the shy academic made for an odd pair but their chemistry was undeniable. They made plans to get married after high school but when Genny left him standing in the rain, he joined the Army and vowed to leave that life behind. Genny married the town’s golden boy, and Wade knew that he couldn’t go home again.

Could become the promise of a lifetime

Fifteen years later, Wade returns to Broken Bend, Texas for his brother’s wedding and walks into a storm of scandal. Genny’s marriage has dissolved and the town has turned against her. But when someone tries to kill his old love, Wade can’t refuse to help her. In his years after the Army, he’s found his place in the world. His job at McKay-Taggart keeps happy and busy but something is missing. When he takes the job watching over Genny, he realizes what it is.

As danger presses in, Wade must decide if he can forgive past sins or let the woman of his dreams walk into a nightmare….

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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My home, my heart, everything I have is yours. You only have to ask for it. You need someone to hold you, I’m here. You want kisses, these lips are yours. And I’ll be more patient than you can imagine because this is the most important fight of my life. 

I will never, ever get enough of Lexi Blake’s Masters and Mercenaries series. This novella may have been on the shorter side, but it was as satisfying as a full length novel. If you’ve never read a book in this series and you’re looking to dip your toes into the BDSM romance genre, this book is perfect! While it’s 16.5 in the series, you can easily jump in and not be lost. As a fan that has read the entire series, I greedily devoured the character cameos of some of my absolute favorites (*cough* Ian *cough*)

Protected is a highly emotional second chance romance with a delicious grovel and a romance that’s sure to tug at every heart string. I absolutely loved it!

Fifteen years ago, Genny was Wade’s entire world. Young, naive, and thinking they have the world in their hands, they looked forward to forever together…until it all came crashing down. Wade has hated Genny since and avoided his hometown because of her. Now he’s back for his brother’s wedding and forced to come face to face with the woman that broke his heart. Only everything he thought he knew about why she did what she did couldn’t be further from the truth. And now Wade will do anything to protect Genny from the threat against her and to try to work his way back into her heart again.

He wanted a woman who belonged to him, who he belonged to. He wanted disgusting, nasty, utterly committed sex.

I love a good grovel, and Wade didn’t disappoint. The man knows that he screwed up and he screwed up big. He’s not above begging for another chance and I absolutely loved the way he worked for Genny’s heart. Genny was a phenomenal heroine. She’s been through hell but she didn’t let it break her. She’s ferociously protective of the ones she loves and would do anything for them. I loved her core of strength even though she’s not afraid to own up to her fears and show her vulnerabilities. But what I loved even more is the way that Wade holds her hand through all of it.

This is a book you’ll devour in one sitting. It’s emotionally charged with a sexy romance and plenty of action thrown in to spice things up. Ian Taggard’s cameo and signature sarcasm thrown in a wonderful comedic touch that I couldn’t get enough of.

Taggart let go of her hand and held one out to his wife. “This one claims she’ll come back as a ghost if I murder her. She’s rude and called me a moron. She’s perfect. I also think she’s a little bloodthirsty. She’s going to fit in. Now, Harris, I’m going to need you to do that Valkyrie thing we were talking about.”

Another fantastic addition to one of my absolutely favorite series!

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

A DUKE BY DEFAULT
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Alyssa Cole
Release Date: July 31, 2018

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

AMAZON

“You’re my liege. You’re the person I’m fighting for.”

Alyssa Cole delivered another sweet and heartfelt romance with A Duke by Default! She continues to be one of my go-to contemporary romance authors these days. There’s just something about her stories and her characters that speaks to me as a reader. And this book, is a great example of what this talented author can do!

Portia Hobbs might be my favorite Alyssa Cole heroine to date. When she was introduced, she was a bit of a hot mess. She has a truckload of issues that made her an interesting character to me. I didn’t like her that much in A Princess in Theory but I was curious about her. And I knew that Alyssa Cole is going to do her story justice.

She was done with fuckboys, and fuckbosses for that matter, no matter how sexy their accents were.

I was so right. Alyssa Cole not only made me sympathize with Portia, she made me love her. I wasn’t even halfway in when I knew without a doubt that Portia would become one of my favorite contemporary romance heroines. No joke. Cole did a fantastic job exposing all of Portia’s wounds, her hopes and dreams, and things that make her what or who she is. And I loved everything I read about her.

But it wasn’t just Portia who made this book for me. The hero, Tavish MacKenzie was Portia’s boss, and he’s grumpy and hot as hell. And if you’ve been following me for long enough, you’d know that I have a weakness for hot, grumpy heroes. Tav is a world-class grump, and he is perfect for Portia. Oh, he did some knuckleheaded things and had put his foot in his mouth a couple of times but he is a great hero.

Her boss acted like a gruff, annoying jerk, but dammit there was something about a man who could casually mention Middle Cornish at dinner conversation without sounding pretentious that Portia found irresistible. It didn’t matter—she would resist.

I loved these two characters individually and as a couple. Their romance was emotionally rich and compelling. It tugged at my emotions without being manipulative. The interaction between Tav and Portia is taut with sexual tension and chemistry, I had to stop and fan myself a couple of times because their chemistry was off the freaking charts.

But it wasn’t just their chemistry that drew me in. It was also the fact that these two characters genuinely liked and respected each other. Their banter and how they related to each other was just as satisfying as their red-hot chemistry.

Not only that, I also loved the way Alyssa Cole wrote the secondary characters in this book. None of them felt like throwaways. Even that librarian who was in the book for like two pages, made me smile. Cole makes you notice them. She has a knack of elevating secondary characters that makes you genuinely interested in reading about them. I adored Jamie and Cheryl as well as Tavish’s parents. His interactions with them is probably my favorites, outside of his interactions with Portia, of course.

“We were attracted to each other, we kissed, you humped my leg a little, and everything’s fine now.”

We also get to know Portia’s accomplished twin, Reggie. Although, I wish there was more of her. Two other standout characters that I really liked was Nya and Johann. Eeep! Oh my gosh, there’s so much I want to learn about these two. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything but, you guys, I’m even more excited to read the third book in this series. I cannot wait!

My only gripe about this book was the lack of epilogue. I mean, it doesn’t even have to have an epilogue but I wish the ending was longer. It felt abrupt to me and there were some confrontations that I wanted to happen. I’m going to spoiler tag them, so enter at your own risk:

Spoiler

One, I wish Portia get to confront her parents! I was really upset about the things they said, albeit they don’t realize how hurtful they were. But still, they really did a number on Portia.

Two. I wish Portia had told Tavish and Reggie and her parents about her ADHD diagnosis. I understood why Portia might have reservations but still, I wish she had told someone.

However, those things did not detract from my enjoyment of the book. Overall, A Duke by Default was fabulously charming read. You really won’t want to miss this one. I know some readers are worried about Portia because of the things she did in the first book, but guys, trust. Alyssa Cole made me love this imperfect character and if she can do that to me, I reckon, she has a chance of making you love Portia as well.

“You can think what you want about yourself, but I’ve two eyes and a brain in my head and the view right now? It’s bloody brilliant.”

New Release & Review: Someone Else’s Ocean by Kate Stewart

SOMEONE ELSE’S OCEAN
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: July 31, 2018

The first time I met Ian Kemp in the sparkling blue waters of St. Thomas, I was six years old and we shared a summer beneath the stars.

The second time I met Ian Kemp, he was a shell of the boy I once knew.

Turbulent and infuriating, he refused my friendship at every turn.

Like me, he was a casualty of life’s cruelty, but we were planets apart.

We’d both sought refuge on the island, hoping to find our anchor.

Instead, we found each other and managed to reclaim our stars…until we both got swept away.

AMAZON

We’d become magnetic and inseparable and I let it happen in my selfish haze knowing it would rip us to shreds to lose it.

Someone Else’s Ocean will not be a book you read, it’ll be a book you experience. It’s a book that’ll take you on an emotional journey filled with heartbreak, hope, and second chances. It will tug at your every heart string, it’ll make you feel, it will break you, and it will put the broken pieces back together again. It was a beautiful romance that was brimming with emotion and I loved every heart wrenching page of it.

The man was pure venom and anger and he was dragging me down with him.

Koti moves to the beautiful island of St. Thomas to escape; escape a life she had but where she wasn’t really living. But even though she’s now in paradise, it doesn’t mean that she’s moved on.
Ian goes to St. Thomas for an escape of his own. Reeling from a devastating discovery, he’s full of rage and scorn. While Koti and Ian grew up together and were childhood friends, there’s nothing left of that connection now. Koti sees the heartbreak in his eyes and tries to soothe the pain he feels, while Ian pushes her away with hard words and cold stares at every chance he gets.

The somewhat enemies to lovers start that Ian and Koti have definitely whet the appetite for the slow burn romance that begins to form between them.

She was dangerous for me in every way. I was addicted to her warmth, her kiss, her body.

The pacing of the romance was absolute perfection! What starts as bitter neighbors, leads to an almost unwilling friendship, and soon to something so much bigger. The story is character driven and incredibly written. Set on the gorgeous backdrop of St Thomas, these two go through plenty of up and downs both together and individually. Ian and Koti are both fighting their own demons but in different ways. Their romance is doomed from the start. They live different lives and while St Thomas is an escape for Ian, it’s become Koti’s salinity. They know that they don’t have a future, but their connection is simply too fiery to resist.

I loved watching them heal each other’s wounds. I loved watching their romance blossom into something much more that the fling they thought they were having. I loved the emotionally charged story and the wonderful secondary characters. But what I loved even more is the INCREDIBLE epilogue. It was, hands down, one of my absolutely favorite epilogues I’ve read. Kate Stewart never disappoints, and she’s delivered once again with a gripping romance that was full of feels and plenty of sizzle.

Blog Tour: Dirty Sexy Player by Laurelin Paige

 

DIRTY SEXY PLAYER
Series: Dirty Games Duet #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Laurelin Paige
Cover Designer: Laurelin Paige & Tom Barnes
Release Date: July 23, 2018

A New Duet in the Dirty Filthy Universe from NYT Bestselling Author, Laurelin Paige.

Weston King knows how to play. But wild nights and owning an extensive collection of women’s panties don’t carry the thrill they once did, so when his business partner Donovan suggests an outrageous plan to allow them to take over their competition, Wes takes him up on the offer. The crazy idea? Marry the competitor.

Elizabeth Dyson, the bride-to-be in question, is on board with the plan. She wants access to her trust fund and can only get it once she marries. Each has something the other wants – all they have to do is pretend to like each other well enough to tie the knot.

Only trouble is, playing fiancé to Elizabeth isn’t quite that simple. Wes finds her sexy and brilliant…and soon wishes their engagement wasn’t fake at all. Not that he’d ever tell her that.

But a lover boy like Wes can only stand an empty bed for so long…and even the best of players has to put down his cards eventually.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | KOBO | B&N | GOOGLE PLAY | AUDIO

I looked at the windows past him, trying to distract myself. Lights flashed and swirled around the dance floor in time to the beat, the only part of the music which made it into the sanctuary of the bubble room. I could tell it was crowded, but I couldn’t make out faces the way they could probably make out ours. “I don’t know if anyone’s looking,” I said.

“Don’t worry about them. Just focus on what you’re doing.”

Easy for him to say. He wasn’t facing them. He was only looking at me.

Nope. I couldn’t think about that either. Just had to focus on the task at hand.

I closed my eyes. “So just pretend that I… That we are… That under my dress…” I couldn’t even say it.

Weston leaned forward and murmured near my ear. “Yes, pretend that under your dress you are not wearing any panties. I have my dick out. I’m working you, and you are showing me exactly how you like it. Now go.”

Just like that, my panties were damp.

I didn’t know if he was saying those things to loosen me up or to get a rise out of me, either was possible.

Whatever his intent, it did the trick. He set the scene. I felt my face flush like the women in the videos as I imagined him rubbing his crown against my slit before nudging his tip inside and then burying himself to the hilt.

I opened my mouth in a silent gasp, acting out how I was sure it would feel. Good. It would feel so good.

This was so…weird. So hot and sexy and arousing and weird.

I wondered if he was feeling it too, feeling turned on, or if it was just me. It wasn’t like I could ask though, and knowing probably wouldn’t help my performance anyway.

So I concentrated on me. Focused on the task.

“Do I move or something?” I bucked my hips forward and felt the friction against my crotch as it rubbed the fly of his pants.

Mmm.

“Yeah,” he said breathlessly. “That’s good. That motion. Just like that.”

“Okay. Okay.” I rocked against him again, and again, my hips tilting back and forth, my clit brushing against his fly. Every time, stroking and kindling a fire in a fireplace I hadn’t had cleaned for some time. I spread my thighs a little wider and braced my knees against the bench so I could swing my pelvis all the way forward, in and out, in and…

Oh.

I froze. “Is that—?” But I didn’t have to ask. There was most definitely a fat, thick ridge pressed against the crotch panel of my panties. I guess that answered the question of whether he was feeling it too.

My eyes flew open. “Oh my God!”

“Look,” he said, ready to defend himself. “There’s an extremely attractive woman sitting on my lap. I cannot help what happens to my cock. It has a mind of its own.”

A really big mind of its own.


READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

 

With over 1.5 million books sold world wide, Laurelin Paige is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author. She is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman.

 

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Review: Dirty Sexy Player by Laurelin Paige

DIRTY SEXY PLAYER
Series: Dirty Games Duet #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Laurelin Paige
Release Date: July 23, 2018

A New Duet in the Dirty Filthy Universe from NYT Bestselling Author, Laurelin Paige.

Weston King knows how to play. But wild nights and owning an extensive collection of women’s panties don’t carry the thrill they once did, so when his business partner Donovan suggests an outrageous plan to allow them to take over their competition, Wes takes him up on the offer. The crazy idea? Marry the competitor.

Elizabeth Dyson, the bride-to-be in question, is on board with the plan. She wants access to her trust fund and can only get it once she marries. Each has something the other wants – all they have to do is pretend to like each other well enough to tie the knot.

Only trouble is, playing fiancé to Elizabeth isn’t quite that simple. Wes finds her sexy and brilliant…and soon wishes their engagement wasn’t fake at all. Not that he’d ever tell her that.

But a lover boy like Wes can only stand an empty bed for so long…and even the best of players has to put down his cards eventually.

AMAZON

Something in that indifferent stare of hers made me want to eat her up. Tear her apart. Find her heart and see what made it beat faster.

Weston King initially got my attention in Dirty Filthy Rich Men, by the time I got to Dirty Filthy Rich Love I was desperate for his book. I’m a sucker for an enemies to lovers trope. Add a marriage of convenience into that mix and I’m putty in your hands. Putty, I tells ya!

Weston was my favorite sort of bad boy; irreverent, cocky, and sexier than sin. If you’ve read the Dirty Duet, then you already know a good chunk of this story. But what you don’t know, is the nitty gritty details of this deliciously sexy set up between Weston and Elizabeth.

He kissed the way he fought—mean and hot, bordering on explosive.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Elizabeth because I wasn’t a huge fan of her in the previous book. But getting to be inside her head in this one definitely helped to endear her to me. She’s still not my favorite heroine of this author, but she did manage to grow on me. She’s one tough broad, and even if I found her to be a touch abrasive at times, I appreciated her backbone and ambition.

The push and pull between her and Weston was like being on a rollercoaster. These two spend a good chunk of the book fighting with each other, then fighting to rip the clothes of each other, and then back to fighting. They were so hot and cold, it made me want to drink or rip my hair out. But I also gobbled it right up. I love me some battle of wills with a heavy undercurrent of sexual tension, and these two had it in spades.

To be quite honest, this book was a solid 4 stars, if not higher for me. But then I got to the end and one small plot device managed to kick me a bit off of my book high. Now this may work for a large chunk of readers, but for this reader? I didn’t care for it. But I do have faith that the amazing talent that is Laurelin Paige just may make me change my mind with book 2. Perhaps this will serve a bigger purpose or drive the plot forward. But as far as this book goes, it simply didn’t work for me. I was very bummed because I was enjoying it immensely up until that point and then it kind of hit a brick wall. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked the book, but I could have done without that one particular twist.

Will I read the next book? Abso-freaking-lutely! I’m beyond invested in this couple and can’t wait to see how it all concludes.


PRE-ORDER 

DIRTY SEXY GAMESRelease Date: November 12, 2018

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