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!

PRE-ORDER THE REST OF THE TRILOGY



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: 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.**

AMAZON

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.

New Release & Review: Siren Beloved by Lexi Blake

SIREN BELOVED
Series: Texas Sirens #4
Genre: Erotic Romance, Menage, MMF
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: July 17, 2018

Re-released in a second edition with new content.

Aidan O’Malley walked away from his fiancée, Lexi, and their best friend, Lucas, after a night of passion left him shaken to his core. When Aidan returns home from Iraq, he’s haunted by all he has lost. The enemy broke his body, destroying his dreams of a career in music. Worse still, he lost Lexi and Lucas. That damage he’d done all by himself. While he can’t restore what combat took from him, he’s determined to reclaim the two loves of his life.

Lucas Cameron is a changed man. After connecting with his brother, he found the discipline to get his life on track. His legal career is flourishing, but his love life is a train wreck. The woman he loves is spiraling out of control. After Aidan abandoned them, Lucas and Lexi clung together but no matter how hard he tries, Lucas can’t find a way to heal the wounds that Lexi carries.

Lexi Moore feels like a jigsaw puzzle with too many missing pieces. Losing Aidan was hard, but the true reason for her shattered spirit is a secret she only shares with her beloved Lucas. She knows she is drowning and the time has come to heal, but the holes in her heart hold her back from moving on. Shedding the burden she carries is her only hope for a happy future, but she fears she will never have the strength to reveal her secret.

When Aidan walks back into their lives, Lucas and Lexi know everything is about to change. But as they fight to reconcile their past and reclaim what they lost, a vicious predator stalks Lexi. In order to stop the killer, all three must confront the secrets they’ve carried…before they’re buried by them.

AMAZON

There would be a conqueror and a conquest. It was only a battle. Aidan knew Lexi had already won the war. He was her slave. He’d do anything for her, except let her go. 

My favorite installment so far in the Texas Sires series! This book had it all; an emotional and angsty second chance romance, a sizzling MMF menage, a delicious grovel, and three people with deep emotional scars from their past finding that love really can cure all wounds. I adored this book! Simply adored it! I devoured it in one sitting and it made me fall in love with Lexi Blake’s writing all over again. This author has this incredible ability to write the most emotional stories, wrap around them some incredibly hot romance, and then tie it all off with a dose of suspense. The result is a completely unputdownable book that only gets better with every page.

I highly recommend reading this series in order. Even though each book focuses on a different couple, there are story arcs that continue through the series, and would only make you appreciate the characters that much more.

If you’ve read the first three books in the series, you’ll remember Lexi is Abigail Moore’s daughter from Small Town Siren, and Lucas Cameron is Jack Barnes’s younger brother. Aidan is the man we heard about but now officially meet in this story, and boy did I fall hard for the man.

Years ago, Aidan and Lexi were engaged. An unexpected night between her, Lucas, and Aidan made him leave, also leaving Lexi with a broken heart that she’s never recovered from. Lucas has tried to put the pieces back together in the years since, but him being a switch and Lexi a submissive, they feel the missing piece of a Dom.

Now Adian is back and determined to right the wrongs of the past. He knows that he’s what Lucas and Lexi both need and he intends to stop at nothing to prove it to them.

I fell so hard for Aidan in this book. There was simply something so endearing about the broken pieces of this man and his enigmatic presence that I couldn’t get enough of. I loved the way he fought for both Lucas and Lexi. I loved how sweet he was out of the bedroom, and a hardcore Dominant inside it. And while this book has one spicy MMF menage, it’s so much more than that, too. It was incredibly emotional, particularly when Lexi finally deals with the demons of her past. There’s a suspense plot that runs seamlessly through the story, with the added element of danger that only serves to up the wattage. Lucas was another man that I fell hard for. Gone is the lost boy that we’re first introduced to in Small Town Siren. Lucas is all man. He’s no longer hiding his true self behind an illusion. This is a man that loves and loves hard, and will protect those he cares for with everything he’s got. The dynamic between the three of them was absolutely perfect. This is a menage that had incredible depth and plenty of emotion. All three characters are multi-layered and together they just balance each other out.

If you’ve enjoyed the first three books in this series, you’re going to absolutely love this one. I’m already itching for my next fix with this series.

New Release & Review: Because You’re Mine by Claire Contreras

BECAUSE YOU’RE MINE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Claire Contreras
Release Date: July 12, 2018

From New York Times best-seller Claire Contreras comes a new, sexy stand-alone novel . . .

When you grow up in the most feared mafia family, it’s easy to identify the kind of men that are bad news.

They’re the ones with experience.

The ones with secrets.

The ones that exude sex just by saying your name.

From the moment I laid eyes on Lorenzo, I knew he wasn’t just bad news.

He was the headline.
But my head and my heart are at war.
He’s too mysterious, too gorgeous, too wild, and now, he wants me.
I should run far away. So why am I racing toward him?
I’m totally going to get burned. I know it. A man like Lorenzo won’t leave me unscathed.
He’ll make ashes of me.

AMAZON

I stare at this infuriating, gorgeous man. This liar, thief of a man, because that’s what he’s done. He’s stolen my senses entirely. 

When I saw that one of my favorite authors will be writing a mafia romance, I was all over it like white on rice. I didn’t even bother reading the blurb before adding it. And then when I saw the cover? I was basically frothing at the mouth to get my grabby little hands on it. Admittedly, it’s not often where a book can live up to a ridiculously hot cover for me. But not only did this book do it, it exceeded them!

Some men pretend they want control. They play with handcuffs and floggers and remind you continuously that you’re theirs. Men like Loren don’t need to play games to remind you that you’re at their mercy.

Because You’re Mine was a page turner from beginning to finish. It was a sizzling, aciton-packed thrill ride full of twists and turns. I was immediately enraptured with these characters and their story.

Catalina grew up in the mafia world, but when tragedy struck, she ran from it. For ten years, she’s run as far as she can from everything to do with it and focused all her energy on her career as a ballerina. With her father still deep in the life, her sister and her brother are the only ones that she has any relationship with. But then a favor for her sister tilts her world on its axis.

He silences me with a kiss. It’s not a soft kiss that’s asking for anything, but a hard, demanding kiss. One that speaks of a loyalty I haven’t asked for, blood that hasn’t yet spilled. 

Lorenzo oozes danger from every pore and screams heartbreak waiting to happen. But there’s something about him that draws her like a moth to a flame, and it’s not long before the fiery passion between them begins to consume them both. But they each hide dangerous secrets from each other, and it doesn’t take long before Cat’s past catches up to her in the most deadly of ways.

To say that I devoured this book would be an understatement. Loren was a hero that I was starving for every morsel of information about. There was something just so darkly captivating about him that I couldn’t get enough of. He’s an enigma wrapped in danger and cloaked in erotic magnetism. In a word, he was utterly delicious.

Catalina was a heroine that I clicked with right away. While she has her vulnerabilities, she has a great core of steel to her as well. She has no problem giving as good as she gets, even if she is completely incapable of resisting Loren even when she should.

The romance is wrapped flawlessly around an action packed suspense. There’s secrets to be revealed, revenge, and blood feuds to be paid. I eagerly devoured every page. There’s also a slew of secondary characters that are introduced that were just as captivating; Catalina’s sister and brother being the front runners. And since this looks to be the start of a series, I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on their stories. The foundation for it was already set with this book, and damn does it sound to be a good one.

Excerpt & Review: The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter @HarlequinBooks @InkSlingerPR

 

The Queen of Paranormal Romance, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter, returns with THE DARKEST WARRIOR, a searing Lords of the Underworld tale featuring a beastly prince and the wife he will wage war to keep.


THE DARKEST WARRIOR
Series: Lords of the Underworld #14
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: June 26, 2018

He is ice…

Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her.

She is fire…

Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her…and become the warrior queen she was born to be.

Together they burn.

As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily-ever-after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?

Grab your copy of THE DARKEST WARRIOR here!

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Puck eased into the room, silent, and padded forward. Wait. Had he remembered to dress today? A quick glance down revealed his sheepskin pants had been torn so much they resembled a loincloth. No matter. Barbarian chic really made his horns pop and fit the whole romance-novel-hero mystique he’d hoped to convey. He might even pass for Prince Charming—well, a prince in need of true love’s kiss.

Puck’s pulse points spun into a wild rhythm when he reached the side of the bed and spied his future bride. He wasn’t the only fairy-tale character in the room. Sleeping beauty lies before me.

Dark ribbons of hair spilled over the pale pink of the pillow. Her eyes were closed, long black lashes throwing shadows over her cheeks. A rosy flush spread over her delicate features as she parted her lips.

Practically begging for my kiss.

Focus! Keep this short and sweet. No telling when William would return.

“Gillian,” he rasped, surprised by the husky tone of his voice.

A sweet fragrance wafted from her. Breathing in, he detected a note of poppiberries, and his head fogged. His blood heated. The butterfly tattoo sizzled on his torso, surely melting his skin.

Indifference snarled with more force and slashed at his mind. Trouble brewed.

Fortify ice. Regain control.

Gillian turned her head toward him and blinked rapidly before focusing on him. Panic filled her whiskey-colored eyes before she looked away—anywhere but Puck. Her mouth opened wide, as if she was trying to scream. Only a squeak escaped.

“There’ll be none of that now.” To prove himself harmless, he tucked the covers around her, as he’d seen William do. “I’m not here to hurt you.” Truth.

The movement caused the razors woven into his hair to clink together, drawing her attention. Her gaze darted to him and darkened with shock and dismay. He swallowed a curse. Romance novel heroes didn’t usually smuggle weapons in their hair.

Must proceed anyway. Puck wouldn’t part with his razors; they were his saving grace. Anytime he was challenged, and had no sword or dagger, he plucked a razor free and started slashing.

Tears rained down Gillian’s cheeks, and her chin trembled. So vulnerable. So broken. A pang of…something lanced his chest.

As gently as possible, he wiped her tears away. Skin as soft as silk and hotter than the sun.

The action helped relax her, even as it hardened muscle after muscle inside him. Her panic began to fade—until her gaze snagged on the loincloth. Or rather, the erection underneath the loincloth. With a whimper, she began to thrash atop the bed in a desperate bid to escape.

Thought he would take what she had not offered? Never. “Eyes up here, lass.”

Her gaze lifted up, up…she gasped, as if she’d noticed his face for the very first time. Confusion contorted her features before a deeper shade of rose spilled over her cheeks.

Did she like what she saw?

He hadn’t known it at the time, but he’d waited for her, had craved her. Only her. A woman strong enough to feel when he could not. A woman unwilling to let him shut down his own emotions, who knew the rarity of joy, who would settle for nothing less.

Before I get into my review, let’s address the pink elephant in the room, shall we? The pairing for Gillian in this book has been a polarizing one, to say the least. Many readers, myself included, were waiting for a Gillian and William book…finally…after so many books in this series that has been hinting at it. When I read the blurb for Darkest Warrior, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I mean, Gillian and Puck? What about all the relationship development that happened throughout the series that led us to believe it will be Gillian and William’s HEA. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but I decided to put my trust into Gena and reserve my ultimate judgement until I read the book. And after finishing? I’m one hundred percent #TeamPuck. Because when I thought about it, throughout the series that are hints of why William wasn’t the perfect match for her and after seeing her with Puck, I totally get why he’s a much better match for her.

Three things happened for me in this book:
1. I ended up loving Gillian even more
2. I’m completely re-hooked on this series
3. I fell head over hooves for Puck

Deep down, he had a secret, shameful desire to keep a woman all to himself, to learn every little detail about her past, all her hopes and dreams. He dreamed of spending weeks, months, years pampering her and her alone, branding himself in and on her. Being branded by her. He yearned to have a “mine.” Maybe one day he could.

I’ll admit, I struggled with the first 15% of the story. There’s a lot of inner monologue that happens and I found my interest waning in and out. Some of it may have been my own bias against anyone other than William taking up Gillian’s attention. But then somewhere around the 20% mark, something happened. Something just clicked for me and I began to fall more and more for Puck. The lethal warrior set on a quest to take back his kingdom and the host of the demon of Indifference. Let me tell you, it’s no small feat to pull off a connection like the one between Gilly and Puck with Indifference as your demon. But not only did that happen, but the chemistry between them was through the roof hot.

He kissed her as if his survival depended on it, demanding total surrender. Surrender she happily ceded.

Gillian has always been the wounded bird of the group. With her tender age and scars from her childhood, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about her as a heroine, especially compared to the typical Showalter sassy heroines. I’m happy to report that the development that happened with Gilly in this story turned her into one heck of a badass. And it felt so right. I loved and I mean loved the direction that the author took with her and I couldn’t get enough of it.

The chemistry between Gillian and Puck is instant and potent. As you read the development of their relationship, something clicks, and you just get it. You understand why Gilly couldn’t have ended up with William and why Puck is such a better match for her. Was it disappointing? Maybe in the beginning. But by the time I was finished, I totally got it, and I was wholeheartedly behind it.

He had an entire solar system in those irises, and she felt like she was the sun.

There’s a lot of story that happens here. Plenty of loose ends that get tied up and plenty of development that leave you with even more questions. A lot of the things that happened in the previous books all led to the events in this one. There’s plenty of Hades, Keely, and William developments that take place here that only serve to whet your appetite for more. And this reader couldn’t get enough of it.

The Darkest Warrior was a deliciously addicting read full of action, plot twits, and a sizzling romance. I loved every page of it. Fourteen books into this series and I’m still hooked and can’t wait for more. If you’re wondering about what happens to William, there’s a heck of a hook that we get in the development of his story by the end of this one. And I for one cannot wait to see how it all unfolds. As for this book, I’m completely satisfied with how everything resolved. While I wasn’t 100% behind this pairing at first, I simply can’t imagine Gillian with anyone other than Puck after I was done. So if you’re anything like me and find yourself unsure how you feel, I say take a chance and you just may end up loving it as much as I did!

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

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Review: Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

HOOKING UP
Series: Shacking Up #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception ― but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him. They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

AMAZON

He’s sweaty, I’m sweaty, we’re both glistening from the exertion. I glance down, checking out his abs as they ripple. His body is unreal. He should never wear clothes again. Ever.
“Hungry?” He’s grinning.
“That was my vagina asking for more orgasms. We need to know how long it’s going to be before ‘Oh God’ can provide more of those.”

It’s official: I’m obsessed with Helena Hunting’s words. This series has become my go-to when I need a sexy and feel good romance that’s full of laughs and sizzle. It just never disappoints and I will never get enough of it. Admittedly I did things a little backwards by reading I Flipping Love You before this book, but since these are all interconnecting standalones, I never felt like I lost anything in the story by doing that.

Hooking Up was a totally addicting read full of laughs and sizzle. The premise of the story was a delicious page turner. I was riveted to the pages from beginning to end with a goofy smile on my face the entire time. I simply couldn’t get enough of these characters.

What could be the worst thing to happen on your wedding day? For Amalie Whitfield, it’s hearing your brand new husband getting a bj from someone that’s not you over the reception loud speakers. Talk about your embarrassing disaster. So what’s a girl to do? Cut herself out of her dress with shears and proposition her soon to be ex-husband’s incredibly hot cousin in the bridal room, of course. What? A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Besides, she did Lex before her groom. It just happened to be that he looked like the epitome of bad boy and too good looking to be good for her. She’s not exactly known for her great choice in men. Her current predicament is a prime example. In an embarrassed and devastated fog, she decides to go on her honeymoon alone to recover…only for Lex to end up on the same tropical island to work a deal for his family’s hotel business. Suffice it to say, steamy moment ensue.

Can I just tell you all of the ways I adored Lex? God, this man was utter perfection. He’s sweet with a side of dirty talker, tatted, muscled, and totally gone for Amelie. They know that all the odds are stacked against them, but a tropical temporary fling can’t hurt, right? Until feelings get involved. And then things get a whole lot more complicated.

Amelie was a great heroine. I loved her sass and how she took no sh*t from her cheating “husband”. As for Armstrong, the douche? I have never wanted a character to be killed off more than I did him. I swear I spent half the book hoping he’d be hit by a bus. Talk about your king of douchebags. This man took the cake. I absolutely hated him.

The romance was fantastic! I loved Amelie and Lex together. I loved their chemistry, in and out of bed. I loved their banter and watching them fall hard for each other.

If you’re looking for a lighthearted, feel good romance that’s full of steam and humor, this series is an absolute must read. Hooking Up was another amazing addition to this addicting series, and I’m already itching for my next fix.

Review: I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting

I FLIPPING LOVE YOU
Series: Shacking Up #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: May 29, 2018

A new kind of love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready…

SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in The Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous, but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she inadvertently catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…

HE’S A FIXER UPPER

Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance — without burning down the house?

I FLIPPING LOVE YOU, set in the Shacking Up world, follows two people, both working in real estate, who find themselves vying for the same properties in the Hamptons, leading to a sometimes-not-so-friendly competition.

AMAZON

That is what wanting someone is. This is the pinnacle of desperate attraction. This is the chemical reaction that ignites and burns until there’s nothing left but ash.

*dreamy sigh and googly eyes*

This book was so flipping cute. I have an newly found obsession with all things Helena Hunting, but most especially her Shacking Up series. It’s the perfect blend of rom-com, steam, and feels. It’s just one of those easy, feel-good sort of romances that will leave you with a big ole’ goofy and satisfied grins on your face when you’re finished. And it had quite possibly one of the best meet-cutes I’ve read in quite a while. I mean, how funny when the gorgeous man staring at you in the grocery aisle is actually mistaken you for your fraternal twin sister that scratched his car and drove off? Well, Rian doesn’t find it very funny, but I did. And the sparks were immediate between her and Pierce!

We’re having a sleepover. We’re going to do this all night, and I’m going to cuddle you like a motherfucker after I finishing sexing every last orgasm out of you.”
“Okay.” I mean, what else can I really say to that?

I loved Pierce’s slow and thorough persistence in going after skittish Rian. Rian is done with gorgeous man and their defined bodies. She needs a 9/10 match, and that seems to set her up with boring but safe man that she has zero chemistry with. And of course it would figure that Pierce’s mere presence makes her entire body tingle. But he’s everything that shouldn’t give into. She’s focusing on getting her life back together, her real estate endeavors with her sister, and the gorgeous man that tempts her beyond reason doesn’t fit in that picture. Unfortunately for her, he refuses to take no for an answer.

Did you do that math in your head?”
“Yes.” He crowds me.
“You need to stop that.” I have to tip my head up so I can meet his serious gaze.
“I need to stop doing mental math?”
“In public places, yes.” I bite my cheek to keep my smile in check.
“Do I want to ask why?”
“Because I find it sexy, and it makes me want to do inappropriate things to you in this aisle.

Pierce was absolutely delicious. I loved his unrelenting pursuit of Rian almost as much as I loved to see her unsuccessfully fight the connection between them only to inevitably give in to the explosive fireworks. Pierce was the steady force to Rian’s somewhat indecisive and skittish nature, and it was the perfect balance.

Everything about this book worked for me; the chemistry, the pacing, the character development. It was funny and steamy and absolute romcom perfection. I enjoyed it thoroughly and cannot recommend it enough. I’m also hoping to get a bit of redemption for Lawson with the next book, because he drove me crazy with his mood swings in this one and I’m itching for the details of why.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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