Book Blitz: Dark One’s Bride (Dark One’s Trilogy: Book 2) by Aldrea Alien

Dark One’s Bride 
by Aldrea Alien 
(Dark One’s Trilogy #2) 
Publication date: October 31st 2019
Genres: Young Adult Gothic Romance

Goodreads


A royal wedding. A fiery heroine. And a brazen act of sabotage that could topple a kingdom.

It has been five months since Clarabelle Weaver saved the life of the infamous Great Lord and happily accepted his unexpected marriage proposal. With their wedding less than a week away, she is finally stepping into the unfamiliar world beyond her village to face nobility she never knew existed.

But it’s not only them who are interested in her presence.

The enemy is also stirring for this historic occasion. Their focus not on the man they see as their reviled “Dark Lord”, but on her as the young woman who supposedly carries his heir.

Clara must weave a path through attempted assassinations and poisonings whilst also proving to the court that she’s suitable to become their ruler’s Great Lady… all before taking their vows. But has her training prepared her for an attack that could send the kingdom into war?


Excerpt:

Clara hit the cobblestones and rolled until her back slammed up against something as equally unforgiving. Her breath rushed out her lips, leaving her chest burning. Through the ringing in her ears, she caught the muddied chatter of a gossiping crowd.

“My lady!”

Lucias? No, he wasn’t nearby and he’d only ever spoken her name with such concern.

She rolled her eyes, searching for the source of the sound. All she could see was the shimmering grey of the clouds and buildings. Moving anything else seemed impossible. Everything ached. Her mouth silently opened and closed, the fire in her chest desperate for air. Tears blurred her vision, their passage down her cheeks turning icy in the chill breeze.

Finally, in one massive gasp, she could breathe again. Clara raised an arm, stiff from the tumble, to dash her tears across her sleeve. More took their place. She sniffed in an effort to halt their flow to no avail. Sitting up proved a far harder task, her back stiff. Something wet hit her neck. She patted her hair, cringing as her fingers came into contact with something slimy.

People suddenly filled her vision. Concerned faces floating above the uniform of the Endlight guard. One helped her to her feet. “Are you badly injured, my lady?” he asked her before shouting over his shoulder. “Someone get a doctor!”

“No,” she croaked. The stiffness in her right hip suggested it had taken the majority of the impact, but she could deal with that later. She clutched at the man who still supported her. “The Great Lord!” she blurted, pointing the way Sable had come. There was no sign of the battle, hidden by the press of the crowd and the land. “Over the hill. Bandits. You’ve got to help him!”

“Easy, my lady,” the man said. “You hit the ground pretty hard. We can’t all just… leave our post at your word. Why don’t you rest and tell us what happened?”

Clara stared at the guard, her mouth dropping open. The bandits could have Lucias knocked to the ground by now, barely warding off blows and they wanted her to chat like she was describing some back-city thief? “A fine lot you are.” She shoved the man, although it was herself who took a few staggering paces back.

“My lady,” the man protested. “We can’t help if you don’t—”

“If you won’t help, then I’ll do it myself. Where’s my pony!” She searched the immediate area for the animal, finding him in the possession of another guard. Snatching up the reins, she attempted to mount him. Her skirts tugged at her legs, hindering any chance of lifting them high enough without exposing herself to all and sundry.

Clara dropped back to the cobblestones. There was only one thing for it. She whirled on the nearest guard. “You!” Her ankle twinged with each step and had her silently lamenting how the Citadel, with the training ground’s healing magic, was so far away. “Your dagger,” she demanded.

The guard objected in a stream of incoherent babbles.

Snarling, Clara plucked the dagger from his belt. She sawed through the hem of her dress. After that, tearing a long enough slit through the skirts was a swift matter. Unhindered, she clambered aboard the pony and aimed it the way she’d come. Her body protested. She wiggled, searching in vain for the same comfortable position she’d used for half the day. It only seemed to increase the ache in her legs.

Higher up, she spied the man Lucias had spoken to during their departure. “You there!” The crowd parted around the man as she singled him out with a wave of her hand. “Lieutenant…” Did Lucias ever mention the man’s name? “You! You saw me leave through this gate with the Great Lord, correct?”

The lieutenant nodded as he halted at Sable’s shoulder. “Yes, my lady.” He looked around them, puzzled at first, then panic took over his face as he seemed to realise Lucias was not with her. He twisted to eye the road leading to the Pillars with sick dismay. “Is he still—?”

“Out there.” She levelled her pilfered dagger at the road. “An ambush.” How many men had swarmed out of those carriages? Eight? Ten? Even with the destrier’s might at his control, she’d no idea how Lucias could fight off so many.

The man’s ruddy, olive face grew pale. “To arms, men!” the lieutenant bellowed. He scrambled towards a horse tied up at the guard post and leapt into the saddle.


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends November 14th.

The grand prize is:

  • Print copy of Dark One’s Mistress

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233379/


Purchase Links:

Amazon


Aldrea Alien lives in New Zealand with their family, including a menagerie of animals, most of which are convinced they’re just as human as the next person. Especially the cats! By day, they wrangle the family, often writing romantic fantasy by night.

Visit their website to sign up for their newsletter so you can stay informed about new releases.

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Book Blitz: Princes of the Lower East Side (A Scalisi Family Novel: Book 2) by Meredith Allison

Princes of the Lower East Side 
by Meredith Allison 
(A Scalisi Family Novel, #2) 
Publication date: October 28th 2019
Genres: Adult, Historical, Thriller

Goodreads


Book Synopsis:

Mia Scalisi returns in this highly anticipated follow-up to Blood & Whiskey!

Sicily is a paradise on earth Mia Angela Scalisi doesn’t want to leave, but after over a year of peace, obligations—like being Hyman Goldberg’s It Girl at his new nightclub—call her back to New York City.

But everything she’s known in New York has changed…and that might even include the men she once thought were her friends.

When a new, ambitious gangster threatens to take over the old neighborhood, bringing devastation to the poor families who live there, Mia can’t ignore the bonds that tie her to the underworld way of life that killed her brother and set her upon a merciless, bloody path of revenge.

With her brother’s widow, her niece, and a mysterious, devoted bodyguard at her side, Mia must reclaim her position as head of her dead brother’s business, establish herself as the reigning queen among the princes of the Lower East Side, and make the ultimate decision: who lives, and who must die.


Excerpt:

Gloria said, hands on her hips. “You promised my husband to watch out for me and Em, but he would want me to watch over you, too. You need someone to look after you, Mia. To care for you. Even if you don’t think you need anyone.”

“I have Paolo.” Mia had asked him once if he’d known what she’d done in America. He understood English, so she spoke both Sicilian and English to him. Paolo had responded with a single, firm nod. And that had been the only time they had discussed it—as much of a discussion as could be had with a mute man.

When she’d announced to her family two weeks ago that she was returning to New York, there seemed an unspoken understanding Paolo would also make that trip. Nevertheless, Don Catalano, who had made the arrangements for her, had told her in no uncertain terms the fierce Sicilian man would be accompanying her as her bodyguard and remaining by her side in New York.

She had come to appreciate his silent presence, his protective hovering. It was hard to understand why he had chosen her to devote himself to, but it wasn’t a gift she was interested in questioning.

“I don’t trust Paolo,” Gloria said. “How do you trust a man who can’t talk?”

“I find him the most trustworthy of men for that reason alone.”

“You can’t travel and live on your own with a man you’re not married to,” she insisted. “You’re still just a young girl, after all.”

“I’ll be twenty-three in September.”

“You are a child,” Gloria repeated softly.

Mia smiled, a little bitterly, down at her small case of cosmetics, dropping the envelope on top. When she was a child, she’d lost both of her parents—her father to a heart attack when she was just a toddler. Her mother had died in a terrible fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, leaping from the top of the building in order to avoid being burned by the flames. Mia and Nick had been forced to hustle the streets, begging for handouts, learning poker to swindle the gangsters, stealing food, freezing nearly to death in their filthy tenement. She’d become a vaudeville performer, because young girls telling raunchy jokes to older men made money. When Nick had been drafted to the war, she’d worked a dozen hours a day for an abusive woman in a dress factory, just to keep a little food in her stomach. She’d known more about being an adult at twelve than most women her age knew now. Once she might have been proud of that, but now, it only made her sad. 

Finally, she looked at Gloria. “I haven’t been a child for a very long time.”


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends November 7th.

The grand prize is:

  • $20 Amazon gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233365/

Purchase Links:

Amazon


Meredith Allison has embraced her nerdiness from youth, with minor jaunts of attempting to be “cool” during high school and college. Spoiler alert: she was unsuccessful at fooling anyone. After this dark period, she returned to the light, embracing her bookish nature and penchant for action and horror films, bloody survivalist video games (she’s looking at you, Resident Evil and Call of Duty) interspersed with the occasional sweeping fantasy adventure RPG (Final Fantasy, anyone?). Along the way, she developed her knack for storytelling, which began when she was a mere child-person many moons ago.

Meredith is a writer (and reader) of many kinds of fiction, but in particular spy thrillers, military-esque suspense, and historical crime. A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, she is by proxy a Huskers fan (GO BIG RED!), as UNL is her undergraduate alma mater, and moonlights as an obligatory Blue Jays fan due to completing her graduate MFA studies at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

When she emerges from her writing cave, blinking in dismay at having to be exposed to the cruel light of day yet again, she can be found romping with her two Pomeranians, serving her overlord cat, hanging with her husband, battling it out with the undead or practicing a new kind of magery on her PlayStation, or simply huddled in a dark corner somewhere with just enough light to read a favorite book. Other interests include baking, cooking, and blogging about new restaurants.

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Let It Be Me (Amarillo Sour: Book 2) by Laura Chapman

This is my stop during the book blitz for Let It Be Me by Laura Chapman. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 21 till 27 October. See the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/book-blitz-let-it-be-me-by-laura-chapman 

4 Stars

Let It Be Me (Amarillo Sour #2)

By Laura Chapman

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Age category: Adult

Release Date: September 30, 2019

Goodreads


Who says history is boring?

Professor James Mitchell has a rock star reputation. With a waitlist for all his classes, a best-selling book, and the requisite leather jacket, the university and publisher are eager to capitalize on this British sensation. But after his girlfriend leaves him for another man, James goes from rising scholar to spiraling bad boy. Forget contracts and tenure, James wants out—of his job, his book deal, and, better still, the country. He’s well on his way when his boss’s daughter walks into his favorite bar . . . 

Aspiring filmmaker Ali Ferguson-Day doesn’t scare easily. She’s been given the means to make a film of her own—on the condition she tames the professor. As the daughter of a famed documentarian and a renowned historian, she’s more than ready to step out of her parents’ shadows and shine on her own. She won’t let anyone—not even an unexpected charmer—get in her way.

James and Ali butt heads from the start, but it isn’t long before their sparring gives way to attraction. There’s the promise of even more, if they can get past the fear of history repeating itself to let love in . . . 


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends October 30th.

The grand prize is:

  • $20 Amazon gift card

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1000e4f1328/


Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Google Play

iTunes

BookBub


Check out book 1 in this series: Counting on You

Is love worth the risk?


Laura Chapman is the award-winning and Amazon best-selling author of sweet and sexy romantic comedies. A born and raised Nebraska girl, she loves watching football, traveling, crafting, and baking. When she isn’t writing her next story, she is probably working at a museum by day and binge-watching Netflix with her cats Jane and Bingley at night. So, basically, she’s living large.

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First Line

James Mitchell didn’t need a PhD to figure out why he’d been called into the department chair’s office.

Let It Be Me by Laura Chapman

My Review:

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Let It Be Me after reading the first few chapters. James was a hot mess. Ali wanted a docuseries so bad that she would do anything to finance it. It made for an awkward few first chapters. But once everything was ironed out, the book became enjoyable to read.

Let It Be Me’s plotline was medium paced. The characters were fleshed out and had a depth to them. I loved how relatable the characters were. Their issues were something that anyone could relate to. I also liked how the book flowed. There were no dropped plotlines or characters. There was no lag. All these made for a book that was easy to read.

Like I mentioned above, James was a hot mess. I didn’t blame him for being a hot mess. His ex-girlfriend had shattered his heart. All he wanted was to go back to England and lick his wounds. I did find his attempts to get fired funny. I also thought that the ways he was trying to get rid of Ali were funny. I did like his character growth throughout the book. I do contribute much of it to Ali. She helped him heal and realize what he was doing wasn’t exactly the best.

I loved Ali. She had her work cut out for her with James. But, she knew that going into it. I didn’t like that her mother had to bribe her to work with him. Want to do your series? Get that book written. She had a great sense of humor (which she needed, dealing with James). I love the inventive ways she used to get him to write. Before this book, I haven’t heard of an editing drinking game. Now I have, and I loved it!! I also LOVED how she handled Becca and her husband. Talk about putting someone in their place.

Ali and James’s romance was realistic. What I liked is that their feelings didn’t burn bright and fast. Instead, the author chose to build them up slowly. Don’t get me wrong; I love an Instalove romance as much as the next person. But I also like realistic romances.

Sex was not a massive factor in Let It Be Me. Yes, Ali and James end up having sex. But the author did not get into it. Other than that, sly thought James had when talking to Ali’s mother; it wasn’t there. I loved it.

Let It Be Me is the second book in the Amarillo Sour series. It can be read as a stand-alone book. Which further endeared the book to me. There was a mention of the first book’s couple, but that was it, a mention. The author kept the focus of Let It Be Me on Ali and James.

The end of Let It Be Me was sweet. I loved how everything ended up for everyone. And the epilogue was perfect!!! I am curious about who the next book is going to be about. I couldn’t tell you.


I would give Let It Be Me an Adult rating. There is mention of sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Let It Be Me. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Book Blitz: Things She’s Seen (Northern Circle Coven: Book 2) by Pay Esden

Things She’s Seen 
by Pat Esden 
(Northern Circle Coven #2) 
Published by: Lyrical Press
Publication date: October 22nd 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal

Goodreads


Book Synopsis:

The coven’s under investigation. Its future is in peril. And for one troubled young psychic, the coming battle will threaten her newfound freedom—and brings back a dangerous desire . . .

Exploited as a child medium, Emily Adams escaped to grow up on the streets—and hit rock-bottom. She took shelter with the prestigious Northern Circle, intent on staying only long enough to get back on her feet. But the Circle is still reeling from a devastating supernatural attack and betrayal. And vengeful High Council of Witches investigator Gar Remillard is determined to make Em surrender the truth—and disband the Circle forever.

When Em’s psychic ability allows her to see Gar is haunted by a formidable ghost, her attempts to free him challenge Gar’s rugged French Canadian heart and rancorous loup-garou instincts. But even as their new alliance and past connection kindles into raging desire, a malevolent force rises up to destroy them—the Circle and even the High Council.

With all she’s grown to love on the line, Em must draw on her darkest nightmares and alliances with the dead to outwit and out magic a force who can imprison souls with a flick of the fingers and command legions of wraiths with one word. . .


Excerpt:

Chapter 1

A ghost followed me home from the school bus stop.
We had a home back then, not an endless string of hotel rooms.

I can’t recall the ghost’s name. Mine was Kate,
back before I became Violet Grace.
Before the beginning. The middle. And the end

. —Journal of Emily Adams, age 22
Memory from second grade. Massachusetts.

Em lengthened her strides, hurrying to get ahead of the crowd leaving the A.A. meeting. The last thing she wanted was for someone to offer her a ride home. Not that she didn’t like the group. Since she’d left the halfway house in Upstate New York less than a month ago and moved to Vermont, they’d made her feel more than welcome. 

She picked up her pace, jogging through the slush, across a narrow street, and down the sidewalk. She totally got why the group didn’t like the idea of a woman walking home alone at night, especially someone as small and skinny as her. But she’d lived on the streets in much larger cities. She knew how to handle herself. She had a phone—and a knife, if worse came to worst. Besides, walking in the dark and slush was a good reminder of the night she’d bottomed out, of what life had been like before she chose to live sober, a choice that had led her to join the Northern Circle coven and live at their complex here in Burlington. On top of that, there was an even more vital reason for her to walk alone: During the A.A. meeting a spirit had reached out to her, begging for help. She needed to locate it and find out what was going on. 

Em stopped on a curb, shifting her weight from one foot to the other while she waited for the crossing signal to change. Damp leaves shone in the gutter, their bright autumn colors darkened to brown and black. Some people might have thought this time of year gloomy, but she found comfort in everything about it: the lengthening nights and leafless trees, the pumpkins and cornstalks on the front stoops of homes and shops, all the witch decorations. She smiled. If only those people knew that all the powers they imagined around Halloween were real, that witches and psychic mediums with powerful inborn gifts were right here in their midst. 

A lifted pickup truck with four doors and oversize tires rumbled up to the intersection. Country music thudded out from the open driver’s window. The driver glanced her way, camo cap pulled low over black curly hair. She couldn’t see his eyes, but she could feel the intensity of his stare, studying her as if she were someone he knew. But her gaze only stayed on him for a second before it flicked to the occupant of the passenger seat, an apparition so misty it was almost imperceptible, even to her. 

A haunting, her sixth sense murmured. 

Sadness gathered in Em’s chest. It was impossible to know in such a brief encounter why the ghost was haunting the guy, but she had no doubt the ghost was in turmoil over something it couldn’t resolve. That was the heart of all hauntings. In turn, the ghost’s unrest would reflect in every aspect of the man’s disposition—spikes of frustration, seething anger, restlessness…. It was a horrible situation, and the fact that hauntings weren’t common didn’t make that any less true. 

As the truck moved on, the ghostly outline swiveled to watch her out the back window. Em sighed heavily. If only she were in a position to help them. But the truck was already disappearing around a corner and she needed to focus on the troubled spirit who’d reached out to her at the meeting. She was certain they weren’t one and the same. The spirit at the meeting had felt small, young—and frantic. 

Traffic slowed to a stop and the crossing signal changed. Em dashed across to the other side, past a bookstore and a jewelry shop. She let her sixth sense draw her down Church Street, with its restaurants and boutiques. The tug grew more insistent, the small spirit’s pull becoming even more desperate with each passing moment. 

She headed into blocks of apartment houses, bars, vacant lots. The distance between streetlights lengthened. Her focus narrowed, her vision of the world constricting into a tunnel. As late as it was, she was grateful the tug was taking her closer to the coven’s complex, closer to home rather than farther away. But what if— 

She shuddered as she remembered last week, when she’d been at an A.A. meeting and felt a similar tug, only to discover the other coven members had been trapped in a fire at a nightclub. She should have left that meeting—and this one—sooner. 

Something low to the ground slapped her ankle, claws digging in.
She wheeled around, backing up and glancing down.
A kitten. A ghost kitten. The small spirit that had reached out to her, she was certain of it.


It vanished into the roadside darkness, a vacant lot of rain-soaked weeds and tall grass. She followed, the tangle of plants taller than she’d expected, the darkness more encompassing. Muck sucked at her feet. Her teeth chattered from a sudden drop in temperature. Her breath became white vapor. Something was wrong here. Very wrong. One small spirit couldn’t affect the temperature like that. 


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends October 31st.

The grand prize is:

  • $20 Amazon gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233353/


Playlist:

THINGS SHE’S SEEN: my playlist! 

This is a playlist of the songs I listened to while writing THINGS SHE’S SEEN. Some of them like Way Down We Go and Sober by Lorde helped me get into Em’s head. Others like Saturn Rising, Some Kind of Gypsy, and Sirens Crypt put me in the right place for writing specific scenes. I Am Here reminded me of Em’s determination. Life In Her Yet speaks to the horrific past that drives her. Sick of Losing Soulmates? Well, it was the lyrics that made me chose that song.  And Photograph and Lorraine are for Gar because sometimes doing the right thing hurts. 

Way Down We Go—KALOE

Sober—Lorde

Some Kind of Gypsy—Stu Larsen

Slow Dance In A Parking Lot—Jordan Davis

Saturn Rising—Veigar Margeirsson

Sober—Pink

Darkness—Leonard Cohen

Sirens Crypt—Freudenthal

I am Here—Pink

Life In Her Yet—Rag’n’Bone Man

Sick of Losing Soulmates—dodie

Photograph—Ed Sheeran

Lorraine—Peter Bradley Adams

Two High—Moon Taxi

Listen to the THINGS SHE’S SEEN playlist on Spotify https://spoti.fi/2OLmYNT


Character Interview:

Character Interview With Emily Adams from THING SHE’S SEEN

Em, how about you describe yourself for us?

Skinny and pale. Quiet. I’m not bouncy and outgoing like Chloe with her pixy haircut and designer clothes. I’m more of a Goodwill and blend into the background kind of person. I did just get my 6th month A.A. medallion, I’m super proud of that. 

What’s your profession?

Until recently, I’d been a professional psychic medium since I was a young child. I used to give readings in front of huge audiences, and help the police locate the bodies of murder victims. Once I even helped them solve a case involving children my own age who were murdered by a serial killer. Now I live at the Northern Circle Coven’s complex and make my living doing chores around the house, cleaning mostly. 

Do you have a special skill?

Beside seeing and talking to the dead? Um. . . Not really. I don’t even know much about witchcraft, like everyone else in the coven. As far as school goes, I only got my GED a few weeks ago. I know how to survive on the streets, if that counts. 

What is your biggest dream/wish/desire?

That’s easy. I want to be a poet and live in a cabin in the woods. Some place super quiet with the smell pine trees in the air and the sound of a river nearby. Serenity and sobriety, I want them. And a pet. I’ve never had one. 

What’s your darkest secret?

Sorry, but I never tell my real secrets. As far as dark thoughts go, I’d be more than happy if I found out my aunt was dead. 

What’s your favorite pastime/hobby?

Writing poetry in my journal. It keeps me sane and makes me feel good. 

Describe the craziest thing you have done.

It’s definitely the time when my lover, Alice, and I hung out in the Royal Palm Theater in Tampa. After the theater closed for the night and the actors went home, we’d sneak back in, put on costumes and act like we were royalty instead of homeless. 

Chunky peanut butter or smooth?

I really don’t care. I’m grateful to have either.  

Favorite fictional character?

How about a real person?  Emily Dickenson is one of my favorite people because she wrote amazing poetry and we were both born in Amherst, Massachusetts. I’d really like meet her spirit some time. 

 Thank you so much to Em for joining us and sharing a small peek into your character and life…


Purchase Links:

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Google Play


Pat Esden would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. 

She is the author of the contemporary fantasy Dark Heart series from Kensington Books, and the Northern Circle Coven series. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle, George Scither’s Cat Tales Anthology, and the Fragments of Darkness anthology.

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Mini-Reviews

Normally, I don’t do mini reviews. But I am super behind on my reviews (think 6 4 books…yikes!!) I need to catch up.

Since I am moving the end of November/beginning of December (cross country to Texas), I will be doing another round of mini-reviews after I get unpacked/kids enrolled in school/everything set up.

So, here goes nothing!!

Ice Hard

Ice Hard (New York Nighthawks, #2)
click on picture for Amazon link

Hockey’s resident bad boy is hell on skates. But when he falls in love, he falls hard.

“Tracy Goodwin is an author to watch.”—Kelly Jamieson, USA Today bestselling author of the Aces Hockey series

Nick: As one of the New York Nighthawks, I’ve got it all: fame, success, wealth, plus I’m handsome as hell.
As for my relationships? They could be better.
I know how to do one-night stands, but I’m starting to crave something more.
Then I meet Camille Benetti.
She’s sexy, smart, sarcastic—totally my kind of girl.
The only problem? Cami doesn’t date hockey players.
But she’s never met me. . . .


Cami: Nick George is impossible to resist. Not only is he scorching hot, he’s kind, he’s funny, and he wants me bad.
But I learned my lesson the hard way: no jocks.
So why do I agree to be Nick’s date to the wedding of the year?
One night . . . that’s our deal.
He is the best man, after all.
But Nick is crystal clear about his intentions. He wants a relationship.
And he’s tempting me to break all my rules. . . .

4 stars

I didn’t think I would like Ice Hard based on the synopsis. Honestly, I thought it was going to be all sex with a minimal plot. Yeah, I was more than surprised when I started to read the book. The plotline was amazing. As was Cami and Nick’s relationship. I will say that I thought that Beth, Cami’s sister, deserved a huge smack upside her head for the stunts she pulled in the book. I didn’t like her. The sex was graphic but didn’t overwhelm the book. The end gave me the warm fuzzies!!


Followers
click on picture for Amazon link

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.

Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

4 stars

I found Followers fascinating to read. Mainly because I can 100% picture what happened in the book happening in real life. I did wonder how Marlow, Orla, and Floss were all tied together. But I wasn’t expecting what was revealed. It shocked me. I did find parts of the book to be a little hard to believe (the whole scene with Marlow being tied up in the car was a big one) but over all, it was an interesting read. Scary but interesting.


Christmas Angels
Click on picture for Amazon link

3.5 stars

Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Angels Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.

When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.

While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Angels Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well? 

I wasn’t a huge fan of Christmas Angels. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the romance part of it. Thought that was well written and sweet. It was just that I couldn’t connect with Liz. I thought she was taking unnecessary risks on a place she hadn’t seen in decades. I also thought the town rallying behind her (like their livelihood depended on her reopening the inn) was a bit much. But, I did enjoy where the book was set (an hour from where I live) and I loved that it was set between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


My Best Friend's Sister: A Forbidden Romance (The Masons Book 1) by [Kelly, Hazel]
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I’m not an anxious person, but Quinn Draper has always made me nervous.

Okay, so that’s a lie. I am an anxious person. Always have been. And no one reminds me of that more than my brother’s best friend.

He’s the walking, talking opposite of my comfort zone, and he sees through my false bravado. Senses my insecurities. I think that’s why I feel so vulnerable when he’s around. So…under-clothed.

Which is ridiculous. He doesn’t even know me.

Still, every bone in my body senses danger when he’s around. Like he’s always about to push me under a spotlight I’m not ready to squint into, a spotlight that would expose me for the awkward introvert that I am.

Yet he never says more than two words to me. As if he knows that’s the surest way to drive me crazy.

And I hate him for it. Always have.

Always will.

Author’s Note: This standalone romantic comedy is the first book in a new series by best-selling author Hazel Kelly. If you like feisty women and funny men, you’ll love this forbidden romance about two unlikely roommates and the trouble they get into when big brother stops watching…

4 stars

My Best Friend’s Sister was a fantastic book to read. I will admit that I went into this book thinking that it was going to be sex, sex and more sex. And there was a lot of sex….once Maddie and Quinn got down to it. But, other than that, it was a sweet book about falling in love. I loved Quinn (he was in touch with his feelings about Maddie from the beginning) and I loved Maddie (she fought her feelings for Quinn and then fought for him). There were parts I cheered and parts I cried. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!!

Book Blitz: Let It Be Me (Amarillo Sour: Book 2) by Laura Chapman

This is my stop during the book blitz for Let It Be Me by Laura Chapman. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 21 till 27 October. See the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/book-blitz-let-it-be-me-by-laura-chapman


Let It Be Me (Amarillo Sour #2)

By Laura Chapman

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Age category: Adult

Release Date: September 30, 2019

Goodreads


Book Synopsis:

Who says history is boring?

Professor James Mitchell has a rock star reputation. With a waitlist for all his classes, a best-selling book, and the requisite leather jacket, the university and publisher are eager to capitalize on this British sensation. But after his girlfriend leaves him for another man, James goes from rising scholar to spiraling bad boy. Forget contracts and tenure, James wants out—of his job, his book deal, and, better still, the country. He’s well on his way when his boss’s daughter walks into his favorite bar . . . 

Aspiring filmmaker Ali Ferguson-Day doesn’t scare easily. She’s been given the means to make a film of her own—on the condition she tames the professor. As the daughter of a famed documentarian and a renowned historian, she’s more than ready to step out of her parents’ shadows and shine on her own. She won’t let anyone—not even an unexpected charmer—get in her way.

James and Ali butt heads from the start, but it isn’t long before their sparring gives way to attraction. There’s the promise of even more, if they can get past the fear of history repeating itself to let love in . . . 


Excerpt:

Ali swiveled in her seat, searching the faces of the dozens of men crowded in the bar. It wasn’t an easy task. Amarillo Sour catered to an eclectic mix. There was everyone from a group of barely legal college guys to a couple of white-haired men stooped over their pints.

“Okay, I give up.” She shook her head. “Which one is he?”

“Do you see the guy with the Link Digital shirt and the pretty blonde who are chatting up Ford?”

Nodding, Ali squinted her eyes in an attempt to get a better look. The guy was tall and lanky, and like Sidney said, wearing a royal blue T-shirt with the LD logo on it. Even though she’d been away for the better part of a decade, Ali had heard about the tech start-up that had become one of the city’s top employers during the past five years.

Not that he couldn’t wear whatever he liked, but why would the professor have one of those shirts?

Ali had been way off on her description of the professor. He looked more like a software developer than a historian. “You’re right. He’s not at all what I expected.”

“That’s not him either. That’s Ian.” 

Ali’s eye twitched. “Are you trying to drive me crazy, or are you just being cute?”

“See the guy in the leather jacket on Ian’s other side? That’s the professor.”

“The leather jack . . .” Ali trailed off as her eyes landed on the man Sidney claimed was James Mitchell. 

She’d still been wrong in her guess. 

Beyond the leather jacket, his thick brown hair was neatly cut but messily styled. She wondered if that came from running his fingers through it or careful minutes spent in front of the mirror. 

She had the same questions about the tattoos she saw scattered over the knuckles of his fingers.

If she had to guess, she wouldn’t put him over his early thirties. Not much older than her. 

He was . . . hot. There were better ways to describe him. As a storyteller, she should have found countless words, but she was drawing a blank. It was hard to believe the dangerous-looking young man was the historian behind the book tucked away in her purse. Then again, Ali hadn’t even looked him up online yet. 

“Who would have thought?” Ali murmured. “That’s James Mitchell.”

“Or so he tells us.” Sidney cocked her head to the side. “I actually read his book. It’s pretty good.” 

Ali had too many questions to dwell on his writing style. “What’s he like?”

“He’s . . . complicated. Honestly, I’m not sure this will be an easy assignment. He’s been through a lot.”

“Like what?”

Sidney shook her head. “You’ll have to get that out of him yourself. Doctor-patient confidentiality.”

“You’re not a doctor.”

“No, but I’m a bartender. That’s almost as good as being his therapist. But”—she lowered her voice—“anything he’s told me was off the record.”

That was a term Ali understood. That made it all the more intriguing. “You think I’m going to have a hard time cracking him?”

“You’re going to have your work cut out for you.” 

It was a good thing Ali didn’t mind getting her hands dirty. Especially when a project intrigued her. And James Mitchell definitely seemed intriguing.


Giveaway:

The grand prize is:

  • $20 Amazon gift card

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1000e4f1328/


Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Apple

Google Play


Check out book 1 in this series: Counting on You:

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iTunes


About the Author

Laura Chapman is the award-winning and Amazon best-selling author of sweet and sexy romantic comedies. A born and raised Nebraska girl, she loves watching football, traveling, crafting, and baking. When she isn’t writing her next story, she is probably working at a museum by day and binge-watching Netflix with her cats Jane and Bingley at night. So, basically, she’s living large.

You can find and contact Laura Chapman here:

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Book Blitz: The Living Canvas (Master of Trickery Duet: Book 2) by Pepper Winters

The Living Canvas 
by Pepper Winters 
(Master of Trickery Duet #2) 
Publication date: November 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Goodreads


Book Synopsis:

The second and final book in the Master of Trickery Duet!

“Must be brave, stubborn, and impervious to the tempers of loved ones.”
The first line hissed with history.

“Hours are endless, pay is non-existence, quitting absolutely forbidden.”
The second line ached with truth.

“Able to function on no sleep, refrain from running when times get hard, and be more than just a living canvas but a lover.”
The third thrummed with honesty.

“Other attributes required: forgiving, opinionated, and not afraid to tell me when I’m wrong. Must also enjoy being touched and kissed at any time of my choosing.”
The fourth glowed with promise.

“Call or email ‘YOUR HEART, HIS SOUL’ if interested in applying.”
The final made my future unfold.

The advert was so similar to one I should never have applied for.
A twist of fate that brought two destined people back together.
A job I would take in a heartbeat if the employer could offer such terms.
But I wasn’t free.
Neither was Gil.
Therefore, my interview could never happen.


Excerpt:

Tears beyond my control rained heavy and hard down my cheeks. I was allowed to hate him. I was meant to curse his very existence. I had no trust where he was concerned. No obligation in any form. 

Yet, I cried for him and for me.

I cried for both of us because it wasn’t fake breakups, molesting teachers, or blackmailing murderers who’d broken us. 

It’d been the lies. 

The tricks. 

The shadows that’d always surrounded Gilbert Clark and the ones he retreated to rather than staying in the light with me. 

No matter what happened. 

No matter if I died tonight, he died, we all died, this had died.

Us. 

There is no more us. 

His arms wrapped me in a cage, his love imprisoning me.

I tried to stop crying. To put aside my grief and wake up.

But slowly, stealthily, finality crept over me. 

My eyelids no longer opened. 

My brain no longer operated. 

My head lay on Gil’s shoulder, needing support. 

He clutched me closer as the final dregs of energy siphoned out of me. He stroked my hair and kissed my ear as I gave in to the cloud of unconsciousness. “Hopefully, by the time you wake up…this will all be over. You’ll be free. You’ll never have to see me again.” He angled my chin, his lips claiming mine. 

I tried to pull back, to stop the kiss, to study his godforsaken eyes, but he caged me closer. He pulled heat and hunger from deep within, sending me into lullabies with his taste on my lips and his grief on my tongue. “I’m so sorry, O. So sorry for ever thinking I could make you happy. You deserve so much more. I love you. I love you with every fucking part of me, but I can’t stop this. At least sleep is a gift I can give you. The only thing I can give you.” 

Voices were far away and not of my dream world as he lowered me down until I lay on the stage. My eyelids fluttered as he turned on the air compressor and the first lick of unwanted paint landed upon my skin. 

But I couldn’t move.

Couldn’t fight. 

Gil was an artist. 

Art was his drug. 

The creation of beauty helped him cope in the depths of his despair. He needed art to function, to survive.

And with his talent, he stole my function. 

Brush by brush, he destroyed me. 

Colour by colour, he sentenced me to die.

He snuffed out my survival.

He’d poisoned me so I’d sleep. 

So I wouldn’t be awake when my purpose as his masterpiece was over.


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends October 24.

The grand prize is:

  • Signed copy of The Living Canvas

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233342/


Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play


Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestseller

After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s an multiple #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. She’s also honoured to wear the IndieReader Badge for being a Top 10 Indie Bestseller.

Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work. Her Pure Corruption Series was released by Grand Central, Hachette.

Her books have garnered foreign interest and are currently being translated into numerous languages, including already released titles in Italian, French, German, Hebrew, and Turkish. 

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