Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Tour for Alex by Sawyer Bennett (Review & GIVEAWAY)


As a fan of sports-themed romances I'm thrilled to introduce you to the first installment in a new hockey-based series.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Alex by Sawyer Bennett, along with my impressions of it.  You can also learn about this book through Ms. Bennett's words and by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win an awesome prize of an Alex Crossman/Carolina Cold Fury Hockey Jersey too!

Five Things You Need To Know About This Book....Courtesy of Ms. Bennett.....
1. The story is set in Raleigh, North Carolina and focuses on professional athlete, Alex Crossman, who is the most valuable player (or prick according to some) on the Carolina Cold Fury Hockey team.
2. Alex is a damaged man. He can be an ass, but he does it to protect himself. His history is complicated and the man he is today has been twisted by it.
3. Ironically, the heroine, Sutton Price, has a very similar and tragic past to Alex’s. Yet how she handled it has shaped her into a very different person than Alex.
4. While this book has some lovely romance and really steamy, sexy times, there are also important issues that are addressed. Redemption and forgiveness tie it all together.
5. You may not want to read this book in public, especially when you get to those really steamy, sexy times I mentioned above.

Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.
As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy fa├žade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

FIND BOOK AT GOODREADS here.

FIND OUT ABOUT THE SERIES ON Goodreads.

BUY LINKS:  Amazon  |  BN  |  iBooks  |  Kobo

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

As a fan of sports-themed romances I gobbled this one up as it presented us with two very likable and compelling characters undertaking an intensely emotional journey to HEA full of internal strife.  With a storyline full of pain from past incidents that has molded each character differently, theirs is a journey both heartbreaking and heartwarming that kept me enthralled until the last page was turned.  Throw in the vividly depicted hockey scenes and this is a story, and a world, that I look forward to revisiting.

Alex Crossman is the bad boy of hockey who ignores the fans while devoting himself to casual hook-ups off the ice and being the best player on the ice.  He's coolly confident but also slightly detached when it comes to the game that's made him famous courtesy of a past that's made him the unrepentant jerk he is today.  With a father who's mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive has left Alex full of anger and self-hatred that comes out in his surly attitude.  It's left him alone with no one on his side, especially the father whose presence keeps haunting him.  To clean up his image he's forced into working with addiction counselor Sutton Price to help kids which is life-altering for Alex as Sutton is like no woman he's known before.  He's attracted to her but their relationship starts out as friends and slowly morphs into more as she digs deep into the man he really is and reminds him how to enjoy life.  Alex is someone you're rooting for even when he's being his worst.  He knows from the start that he has issues but it's not until he meets Sutton that he starts making changes.  She makes him feel worthwhile and gives him the support that's always been missing in his life.  Theirs is a love that's emotional as well as physical and made for an intensely emotional journey.

Sutton too came from a background of abuse.  After leaving an abusive husband her mother and her became homeless until a remarkable man changed their lives and made them into a family.  With a younger brother she dotes on she's learned about unconditional love and support.  From the moment she meets Alex she sees the lost little boy behind the angry man and sets out to peel away his layers of rage.  Along the way she falls for him completely and finally discovers the meaning of real love that has left her conflicted since being dumped a year ago.  Sutton is a strong-willed yet caring woman who takes her job home with her as she wears her heart on her sleeve.  She's an immensely likable heroine who never felt sorry for what befell her early in life and has become a stronger and more caring person because of it.

Her and Alex are delightful to watch as they each get the other to do things they never expected which forms the basis for their friendship.  When they're together their scenes crackle with sexual tension which ultimately evolved into steamy sexual interludes.  Their journey to HEA is one of internal struggles rather than from outside forces which made for a more impactful story and an ultimately richer conclusion.  The hockey scenes are vividly and accurately depicted which draws you into Alex's life and his struggles with what the sport means to him.  Amongst the action-packed sequences we get introduced to some of the players, especially the charming and sexy Garrett Samuelson, who was the only one brave enough to befriend Alex.  Garrett left a lasting impression on me and I look forward to his story being told in a future Cold Fury Hockey series installment.  Fans of sports-themed romances with find this a wonderful addition to the genre and Ms. Bennett a guiding force.

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from NatGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett is a snarky Southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Website: http://www.sawyerbennett.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bennettbooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bennettbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6950682.Sawyer_Bennett

**********GIVEAWAY**********

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Spotlight for Lessons Learned by Sydney Logan (GIVEAWAY)

Those looking for a book that deals with intense social issues along with a sweet and sensual romance will get just that with Lessons Learned by Sydney Logan.  Keep reading to get a compelling glimpse of this book as well as getting to know more about Ms. Logan through an interview.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 2 signed paperbacks and 2 swag packs too!

-How did you come up with the idea for this story?
They say to write what you know, so for Lessons Learned, I knew I wanted to write about teaching since that’s my “day job.” Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with the traumas my main character faces. I also knew I wanted to write a love story with a message, and bullying is such an epidemic in our society that I wanted to highlight that in this book.
-Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to! Here is the prologue of Lessons Learned:
Voices roar through the high school cafeteria while students navigate their way to the tables. The cliques are easily spotted: the jocks, the geeks, the beauty queens, theslackers . . .
Where will he sit today?
Despite the fact he’s a handsome and impeccably dressed young man, he fades into the background. Knowing it’s pointless, the girls don’t bother to look his way, and the guys deliberately avoid his eyes.
He grips his tray tightly and heads toward the corner table with the rest of the outcasts. They nod hello, but that’s the end of any real attempt at conversation. It’s an unspoken rule of sorts. This is their refuge—a tiny bit of sanctuary in the hell that is public high school—and they’re content to sit in peace.
He takes a seat, and I can see the exhaustion on his face. It’s not a weariness that comes from too many sleepless nights. This is a bone-tired fatigue no seventeen-year-old kid should ever feel.
He’s giving in.
Giving up.
In my peripheral vision, I see a senior stalk into the cafeteria. He’s tall, with deep brown eyes and jet-black hair that won’t stay in place. He’s good looking, popular, and a little conceited, thanks to his father’s wealth and status.
He has a reputation to uphold.
Rumors to squash.
A score to settle.
He pulls the silver gun out of his jacket pocket. Amid the chaos, no one notices.
I notice.
I try to run, but I’m frozen in place.
I try to scream, but there’s no sound.
The first shot rings out, and suddenly, everyone’s on the cold tile.
Tears, prayers, screams.
Another shot, and for some reason, I’m the only one who can’t move. Who can’t scream.Who can’t do anything but watch as the young man’s body slumps over his tray.
Finally, I find my voice and scream his name.
-What is for you the perfect book hero?
My perfect book hero is a man who adores the woman he loves. The “nice guy” is somewhat of a myth in contemporary romance. Most romantic heroes are alpha-males, but I want women (and teens) to know that there are nice guys out there. They really do exist!
-What are your current projects?
I’m getting ready to release a holiday collection of short stories titled Once Upon a December. It will include two previously published Kindle short stories along with a new short story. It will release on November 28. I’m also working on my fourth novel.

A young girl needs to spread her wings, but a young woman needs roots.
English teacher Sarah Bray never thought she’d return to Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event at her inner-city school leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of home. By returning to her roots, an older and wiser Sarah hopes to deal with the demons of her present and confront the ghosts of her past.
She discovers a kindred spirit in Lucas Miller, a teacher from New York with demons of his own. As the newest faculty members at Sycamore High School, they quickly become friends – bonding through Lucas’s culture shock and their mutual desire to build new lives. When they open their wounded hearts to each other, their friendship effortlessly evolves into romance.
Their love is put to the test when Matt, the quarterback of the football team, shares his deepest secret with Sarah. When the conservative community finds out, Sarah and Lucas – along with the town of Sycamore Falls – are schooled in the lessons of acceptance, tolerance, and love.

EXCERPT:

The piercing chime of my phone jerked me awake. Disoriented and shaking, I grabbed my cell and struggled to focus on the screen.
Congratulations, Sarah. You slept a whole three hours.
Falling asleep had been difficult. My restlessness could easily be blamed on yesterday’s long drive or spending the night in a new place, but I hadn’t slept well in months, so my fitful sleep wasn’t all that surprising.
However, I could do without the nightmares.
It was nearly three in the morning when I’d finally arrived in Sycamore Falls. Exhausted from the drive, I’d collapsed on the couch, but sleeping proved impossible. It was just too quiet. I’d grown accustomed to noisy neighbors and blasting car horns.
A change of scenery could be exactly what I need, my therapist had told me.
Sycamore Falls was definitely a change in scenery.
Stiff and sore from the uncomfortable couch, I groaned as I struggled to sit up. My body trembled when my bare feet hit the hardwood floor. I’d forgotten how cold this house could be, even in the summer, but anything with long sleeves would be in a box, and all the boxes were arranged in a chaotic mess in my living room.
Maybe some sunshine will warm me up.
I wrapped my blanket around me and circled the maze of boxes before shuffling toward the kitchen. It was neat and tidy as ever, with its faded yellow wallpaper. Grandma Grace had always loved wildflowers, and I smiled as I gazed at the collection of daisy canisters lining the wall next to the sink. Mom had been a terrible cook, so grandma had taken it upon herself to teach me. Baking was my favorite, and we’d spent countless nights in this kitchen with my apron covered in flour. Grandma had been fine with making a mess—as long as I cleaned it up—and that freedom had led to many honest discussions throughout the years.
“Sycamore Falls has its issues,” Grandma had told me one autumn day while teaching me how to make fried apple pies. “We’re too sheltered from the rest of the world. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes it isn’t. The world can be a scary place. It’s good to know you have a safe place to come home to when the world gets a little crazy. You’re one of the lucky ones, Sarah. You will always have a home here. Remember that.”
I remember.
I opened the front door and was instantly greeted with cool morning air. Eager to see the house in the daylight, I gingerly walked down the steps and onto the sidewalk. Thankfully, Mr. Johnson had hired someone to mow the grass before I arrived, which allowed me to mark one thing off my to-do list.
As I gazed up at the house, I could see my list would be long.
Growing up, I’d thought my grandmother’s home was the most beautiful in Sycamore Falls. Majestic and blue with its white shutters and wrap-around porch, it was the place I’d always felt the most comfortable and safe.
Time hadn’t been kind to the house, and that was my fault. Mr. Johnson had done his best, but a house needs tender loving care, and its last two years without an occupant had been rough on the place. The chipped siding needed a coat of paint, the flowerbeds resembled a jungle, and some of the shingles needed to be replaced, but none of that mattered.
I felt a small sense of satisfaction and breathed a sigh of relief.
I was safe.
I was home.
BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN

AUTHOR INFO:

Amazon bestselling author Sydney Logan holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of three novels - Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, and Soldier On. Sydney has also penned four short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

**********GIVEAWAY**********

a Rafflecopter giveaway
****Sydney will be donating 10% of all sales during the month of October to http://www.pacer.org/bullying/ in honor of October's Bullying Awareness month. In LESSONS LEARNED a secret of the quarterback of the football team sends a small conservative community reeling. Bullying can take on all forms and Sydney would like to give back to this worthy cause.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Tour for Two To Tango by Nicola Cameron (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Fans of sci-fi stories will find Two To Tango by Nicola Cameron a fun and sexy thrill ride!  Keep reading to get a tantalizing glimpse of this m/m story, along with my impressions of it.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $50 Amazon GC as well as 2-$25 Amazon GCs too!

One intergalactic art thief. One archaeologist on the run. Two times the trouble.
Rory MacLellan, AKA the Highlander, is the most successful interstellar art thief in the Known Worlds. Unfortunately for him, he also has a conscience. So when he runs into a suicidal museum worker during his latest job, he has no choice but to stun the man and rescue him from certain death.
Dr. Dmitri Grigoryev was an up-and-coming exoarchaeologist until a disastrous dig left his career in tatters. Hungry, broke, and desperate, the last thing he expected was a dashing thief to come along and ruin his suicide by saving his life.
With interstellar police on their tail, Rory and Dmitri reluctantly join forces for a major heist. But will their simmering attraction get in the way, or pull them even closer?


BUY LINKS:  EVERNIGHT PUBLISHING  |  AMAZON  |  BN  |  iTUNES  |  ARe  |  SMASHWORDS  |  BOOKSTRAND

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

As a fan of the sci-fi genre this story kept me fully engrossed in the action and romance of two men running from their pasts.  With steamy interludes, witty banter, fast-paced action, and a vividly depicted meshing of future technology and old world living I couldn't put this book down.  The characters, both main and secondary, won me over wholeheartedly and kept me rooting for their HEA.

Dmitri's life is on a downward spiral ever since he was made the scapegoat on an archaeological dig gone wrong.  He lost his career, his reputation, and while trying to clear his name he loses the only menial job he could find.  Not wanting to return home a failure he sees no other option but suicide.  Fate has other plans for him though when a self-professed criminal saves his life and gives him the chance to work in his field again.  Not only that but he offers him love and comfort that's been missing from his life since that fateful day.  Dmitri is untrusting when Rory first meets him.  He's been screwed over before and is leery of what Rory offers him.  It's not long before the charming Scotsman wins him over and they go forth on a mission to meet each other's families as well as going after yet another historical piece that leaves Rory in danger and Dmitri begging for help from the family he left behind.

Rory has a lot of emotional pain in his past courtesy of a domineering father who groomed him from birth to take over the family business.  Feeling stifled, and believing his father a true villain in ruining his happiness, he leaves his past behind and becomes a gentleman thief.  When an easy retrieval of an artifact goes wrong he ends up saving a man who he's immediately drawn to but senses is lost.  Their relationship teems with sexual tension as Rory tries to win Dmitri over with his immense charm.  They take their time getting comfortable with one another before giving a glimpse into their lives by returning home for visits.  Seeing their families you see how far they've both come in remaking themselves.  They're two opposites who are perfect together and willing to put their lives on the line for the other in a sweet yet highly sensual romance.  Rory is utterly delectable and confident in his charm and good looks.  He's sweet with a sense of honor that shows in his early dealings with Dmitri.  I felt sympathetic for his losses early in life and the feelings of never being good enough for his father that leave him snarky in his father's presence.  He's the highlight of the story for me and I enjoy his romantic chasing of Dmitri that put a smile on my face.

This was an immensely entertaining story that was sweet and sexy.  The romance between Rory and Dmitri was cute with witty banter and playful and erotic sexual interludes.  Rory is larger than life while Dmitri is quietly supportive but strong when he really needs to be.  They come from very different backgrounds that we get introduced to as the story progresses and which causes emotional turmoil for them as a couple with outside forces trying to pull them apart.  Along with a memorable main couple there's delightful support from Rory's AI Molly as well as his ship's engineer Phaalan.  Both are very human in their actions which endeared them to me but with looks that set them apart.  They're both loyal and add to the sci-fi nature of the story and lit up every scene they were in, offering a sense of family to both Rory and Dmitri.  From start to finish I thoroughly enjoyed this intensely emotional and action-packed story and am impressed by the talent on display in the telling of this tale and highly recommend this to other fans of sci-fi and the m/m genre!

My rating for this is an A.

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Nicola Cameron is an expatriate Chicagoan who has lived in England, Canada, Holland, and Sweden, and keeps a confusing amalgamation of languages in her head as a result. Currently located in the clavicle of Texas, she has finally mastered the proper use of "y'all," much to her Chicago family's dismay.
Despite a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn't until 2012 that Nicola decided to try writing about it. As it turned out, the skills she picked up during her SF writing career transferred rather nicely to erotic romance. When not writing, she wrangles cats, smooches her husband, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).

WEBSITE:  http://www.nicolacameronwrites.com
FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/nicolacameronwrites
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/YesItsNicolaC
GOODREADS:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6623791.Nicola_Cameron

**********GIVEAWAY**********

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Tour for Shifting Currents by Lissa Trevor (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Fans of the paranormal with find Shifting Currents by Lissa Trevor an entertaining and steamy look into a world in chaos.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of the story's unique premise along with my impressions of it.  Before leaving make sure to fill out the form for the chance to win a $25 Amazon GC!

After the meteorite wiped out civilization and most of the population, it took thirty years to scrabble together rudiments of society again. Sex is the main currency, for those who haven’t mutated special abilities.
Bethany, a Tech, is able to channel electricity through her body and charge up electronics. When she saves a Shifter girl about to be sold at auction, the girl’s brother, Lucas, offers to repay the debt with his body. While Bethany would love to have Lucas at her beck and call, she’d rather have sex with someone who wanted her as a partner instead of an obligation. But unable to resist the sexy Shifter, she agrees to his terms.
When an opportunity presents itself to travel cross the ravaged countryside to loot the remains of California, Bethany believes this is the best chance for her to find her own brother, a rogue Shifter on the run for a crime he didn’t commit. Lucas wants to go, too, to free his Shifter pack.
The caravan members are expected to provide sexual services to the owners in exchange for passage out and back. As the lines between pleasure and payment become blurred, Bethany struggles to remain human while the pull of the energy feels good enough to leave her meat sack body behind. Can Lucas learn to ground her against the shifting currents?

EXCERPT:

Bethany Macgregor searched the airwaves until she found a funeral dirge that was used hundreds of years before the meteorite hit. She let the heavy organ music wash over her through her tiny headphones. Keith was getting married today. Leaning against the wooden post, she felt the crisp air like a sympathetic caress on her face and neck. She focused on the livestock being sold in the pen across from her and let the smell of nature take her mind off her loneliness.
“Shouldn’t you be over at the looters’ tents?” Maya, her tribe’s chief, walked up to her and put a hand on her shoulder.
Bethany tried not to flinch, and Maya removed her hand. Bethany sighed, popped out an earbud for politeness’ sake. “I did a quick walk by. There’s nothing that can’t wait until the last day of conclave when the prices drop because the dealer doesn’t want to pack it up for the long schlep back home.” And because the silence was starting to get awkward, Bethany added, “Shouldn’t you be attending some back-slapping meeting in the main cabin?” Or having a “massage” in your cabin with someone who wanted a favor?
Maya snorted. “Backstabbing, you mean. No, we’re on our morning break. And I decided to breathe in the fresh smell of horse manure to clear my lungs.”
Bethany managed a wry smile. Maya was fifty years old and the oldest one in their tribe on the bluff. She had been twenty-one when the meteorite hit the world and knocked everyone back to the Jurassic period. Well, probably better than the Jurassic period. Then, all the dinosaurs had died whereas this time a few tough humans and animals survived. And of course the cockroaches, but Bethany hadn’t seen one of those since she left the part of Florida that was still above water to go up north where the Tech was strongest. Maya had gathered together the Bluff tribe with a shrewd sense of purpose and snapped Bethany up as soon as she entered the territory.
“Keith’s doing a good thing. We need another potter since we lost Angie to the Three Rivers tribe last year,” Maya said.
Bethany nodded. It was important to have the right mixture of artisans, farmers, and tradesmen to survive in today’s world.
“Lem has volunteered to share your bed, if you’re interested.”
Bethany’s stomach curled. Lem had already made that offer, and it was apparent he was only doing what Maya told him to do. Trying to keep the anger out of her voice, Bethany said, “I’m not going to switch tribes over Keith’s marriage. The Bluffs are my home. You can tell Lem he’s off the hook.”
“It’s not like that,” Maya said but cut off when Bethany turned away and put the earbud back in.
The wind picked up a bit, and stray bits of energy lit up the portable media player in her hand. Pain jabbed into her temple, like a screwdriver had been jammed into it. Bethany exhaled through the agony that turned her vision red, and pressed the center button on the device. Maya watched fascinated, as always, when the menu came up, and Bethany scrolled down to Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know.”
“Just don’t go flaunting that Tech. You don’t have to be willing if another tribe gets it in their mind to snatch you from us.”
Bethany just turned the music up loud to match the pounding in her head that channeling the energy to run the device gave her. Maya went away after one last longing look at the portable media player. Letting the angry song fill her, Bethany rolled her neck to get the kinks out of it and sat down with her eyes closed, helping her body deal with the intensity of pulling in the energy. If she had done it gradually, the pain wouldn’t have been that wretched, but she didn’t want easy or slow. The pain was cleansing, wiping away a little of the self-pity she was feeling. When the song was over, Bethany let the energy go with a sigh and a silent thanks. Getting up, she felt eyes on her, and she looked around. The tribes were socializing, chattering happily about the things they were going to trade.
She lovingly put the portable media player back into her pocket. She had traded a looter her ham radio setup for it. Bethany didn’t like hearing all the voices crying out in the darkness. Although on cold, lonely nights it was a comfort to realize the world was still going on and her tribe wasn’t the last people on Earth. Most of California and Florida had sunk into the oceans. Mount St. Helens and all of the Alaskan volcanoes had erupted, adding to the chaos. In a second after the meteor hit in Russia, worldwide communications dropped. If Europe was even still there, no one on this side of the Atlantic knew. There hadn’t been any contact outside the United States for the past thirty years. There were rumors, but nothing verified. And in the interim, strange and different creatures evolved. Bethany was one of them.
“You look lovely.”
Bethany glanced up at Keith’s voice, but he wasn’t talking to her. She watched her ex-lover, tall and handsome in a rough-and-ready sort of way, lean down and kiss his almost-bride on the cheek. They were strolling around the market, hand in hand, not a care in the world.
Darting into a tent, Bethany clenched her teeth as sharp jealousy drilled into her. It didn’t have the purity of the energy pull. It was aching like a bad tooth. She willed herself not to cry. It should have just been a marriage of convenience. A way to bring the River tribe and the Bluff tribe together. Keith had told her so. In bed. Several times. It didn’t look like it was convenient. In fact, it looked a lot like love. Bethany listened to the vendor’s spiel since he was kind enough not to notice her bright eyes or quivering lips. She was so grateful for the time it gave her to pull it together that she wound up trading a set of charged batteries for one of his canteens filled with a sweet honey mead before leaving his tent.
Blinking the tears away, she pretended they were from looking up at the sun that was muted from the ash still in the atmosphere. A flutter of wings caught her eye. A brown eagle perched on the tree next to her. It looked at her like she was a mouse. Intelligent yellow eyes regarded her intently. It was a magnificent bird, beautiful feathers and a regal look. Big too, she saw as it spread its wings and folded them back to preen. Bethany bowed her head, feeling ridiculous at her awe of the noble bird who continued to survive in such a desolate world. It would have been born amid the chaos, like she had been.
Today wasn’t the first time she had seen it. Or at least one that looked just like it. Up on the bluffs, she’d sensed eyes on her and looked around only to see an eagle observing silently. She had gotten used to it, tried to tempt it closer with bits of meat, but it disdained her attempts at domestication. Still, when she walked in the woods, the bird wasn’t ever far. Not for the first time, Bethany wondered if it was a Shifter. She had given it plenty of time to shift in front of her, often dillydallying in the brush far from camp, hoping the bird would transform.
The truth was she had been lonely even when she and Keith were together. The tribe needed her, wanted the Tech she could provide. But they never fully accepted her because she wasn’t normal. Dinners were a stilted affair, and social events strained, so Bethany learned just to avoid them. Walking alone in the woods, she pretended the animals in the woods were companions, like she had done when she was a little girl. It was a game her brother, Daniel, had taught her, before he went feral and killed all those people.
“I’ve got to stop this, or I’ll be a sniveling wreck,” she told the bird, but the eagle wasn’t looking at her. She followed its inscrutable golden eyes to the next animal up for auction.

BUY LINKS:  Loose ID  |  Amazon  |  BN  |  iTunes  |  Kobo

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

This is a book that is a hodgepodge of elements that are intriguing on their own but when combined become too much and make for a story that bounces in many different directions.  Set in a post-apocalyptic world paranormal abilities have created a hierarchy for some where their talents make them highly valued and seen as a commodity.  Bethany is just such an individual who can transfer electricity.  She's found a home but isn't completely happy as she feels lost.  Love is an illusion as sex too is a commodity and used to get what you need to survive.  All of this makes for a bleak existence with very little hope.

Bethany seeks to change her place in the world though by heading West and luckily has the sexy and powerful Lucas helping her as he too has a plan to save his people who are shifters.  After saving a female shifter from auction it's her brother Lucas who wants to repay Bethany in the only way he can...through sex.  While Bethany finds him attractive she longs for something more but his pull becomes too much which leads to lots of HOT sex during their journey West.  While Lucas feels that he owes Bethany he doesn't want to connect with her as he senses a mating bond forming between them which could complicate things even more.  With every step West things become more dangerous as Bethany's powers get stronger and could ultimately kill her if she gives in to the feelings of power.  Lucas will ultimately have to decide what's really worth fighting for if he hopes to save her.  Bethany is a strong-willed woman who understands how things work even if she doesn't like it.  Being with Lucas gives her a sense of family that she's wanted ever since her brother went on the run and I enjoy them together.  Lucas is a strong and loyal man very aware of how this new world works.  He's very family-oriented which drives his every action and has him drawn to Bethany.

The premise of this story is very intriguing but I wanted things dealt with more in-depth.  Things were brought up that were either quickly dealt with or forgotten about.  The story starts off a bit slow but concludes a bit too quickly leaving me frustrated.  What wasn't disappointing was the sexual interludes that were super steamy, varied in gender, and plentiful.  The entire trek West teemed with erotic encounters which almost became blase.  Overall this was an entertaining read that I wish had been more fully fleshed-out.  Fans of erotica though won't be disappointed as this story practically burned my fingers while turning the pages with its numerous scorching interludes.

My rating for this is a C+/B-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO

Lissa Trevor has her stilettos firmly entrenched in the romance community. Spank Me Mr. Darcy is her debut novel from Riverdale Avenue Books. She is a frequent reader at Manhattan's Between The Covers events, where her novellas Wild Oats and Timelash from Coliloquy's Entwined volumes 1 & 2 have been very popular. Lissa also created an erotic story template for Coliloquy's ValEntwined promotion that allowed readers to download a personalized ebook starring themselves and their significant other.


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TANGLED WEBS by Imogene Nix
In the course of a single day Gia Montgomery loses her job and discovers that her boyfriend—now ex-boyfriend—is a two-timing sleaze. After downing a bottle of wine, she catches sight of Cedun in her backyard. He’s the Ba’Tua heir who has been living on Earth for several years. Gia struggles to ignore the strong attraction between them, because she’s sure he’s seeing someone else. Someone very close to her, in fact.
When the situation with her ex turns nasty, Cedun finally has a chance to set things straight between himself and Gia, but nothing is as simple as it seems. Cedun must protect Gia and sort out an impossible love-life tangle before it’s too late.
EXCERPT:
Turning away from her position, Gia caught sight of movement from the corner of her eye. This time she looked out the window and in her garden was a Ba’Tua male.
“Holy hell, what’s he doing here?”
Gia headed for the door just as Cedun was removing his Montgomery Industries t-shirt by the side of the pool. Her mind was sluggish and her coordination impaired, and she slammed into the edge of the door as she scurried through it.
“Shit!” The curse escaped her mouth as she kept moving, her hand rubbing the injured section of her side. “Cedun, what the hell are you doing in my backyard?” In her haste, she didn’t see the hose on the deck and tripped.
She did notice the bright violet of his eyes—wide and startled—and the bronzed rippling muscles as she cartwheeled, flailing for something to grab onto, then she was falling backward. It’s all so slow! A thunk sound married with the explosion of pain in her head.
The water closed around her and invaded her mouth and lungs. Her chest burned as the water weighed her down. Just as it all seemed too much, strong, vise-like arms slid around her middle, hauling her up to the surface.
“Do not struggle, Gia. Let me help you.” He did, hauling her out of the pool and laying her flat on the concrete. 
Then he rolled her over as she hacked and coughed. Water gushed from her mouth and nose, and she moaned once the indignity was over.
“Now, De’ Gia, tell me why you ran out of the house and threw yourself into the pool. De’ Valerie told me that you had been removed from your post. It cannot be that which is distressing?”
“Job,” she corrected, quietly hoping to stop his liquid voice. Her head and chest ached viciously, and all she wanted was bed. “I want to go to bed.”
Cedun stilled. “Is that not precipitous?” A smiled crept over his face, and it turned her insides to molten lava.
Clarity speared her. Their grasp of the English language was literal. She said she wanted to go to bed and was speaking to him, ergo, he thought sex. Horror filled her. 
Cedun was probably the most relaxed and least repressed of all the Ba’Tua she’d met. Gia also suspected he’d been involved with Valerie for some time. After all, Valerie was still young at forty-two.
Gia groped for his t-shirt, meaning to push him away. The realization of being so close to Cedun’s muscular and unclothed chest flooded her as her hands made contact with hard and well-formed naked flesh. He’d removed that covering before her fall into the pool. Heat flared beneath her fingers as her heart rate sped up. “Cedun, I didn’t mean…”
He chuckled. “I laugh with you, De’ Gia.”
She struggled to free herself. “Go laugh with someone else.”
AUTHOR INFO:
Imogene is a mother of two, compulsive reader, and bookstore owner. She lives in regional Queensland, Australia with her husband, two daughters, dog, cats, guinea pigs, and chooks. She has a particular fondness for vampires, star ship captains, and things that go bump in the night (especially vampire types). 
Imogene has tried many varied roles in her working life including kindergarten assistant, teacher, principal, and kindergarten and child care director, but rates owning a bookstore and writing her own novels as the absolute highlight.
In her mother and wife alter ego, she has traveled widely and lived in some very unique places including Far Western Queensland, Cape York, and even Tasmania. She loves to travel and rates China and Hong Kong among her favorite destinations.
WEBSITE:  www.imogenenix.com
THE SPACESHIP CAPTAIN’S Wife by Ashlynn Monroe
Some treasures are the hardest to see.
On a dying planet, treasure waits for an honorable man to claim it. Captain Ric Julius believes the cargo of gems is what he’s come for, but there is one jewel he never expected. Her name is Kateri, and she changes everything.
Saving the woman’s life, and making a fortune in the process, requires only one thing of Ric—his freedom. In order to obtain the gems he has to agree to take Kateri to safety…and to make her his wife. Every man has a price, but is Ric willing to pay in full on a debt he owes to a dead man on a decomposing world?
EXCERPT:
Why am I doing this to myself? Damn, if I didn’t need the money… But he did.
As the girl came to kneel beside her father, Ric realized he’d rather face a laser pistol-wielding hijacker than this woman. The traditional charado robe that consisted of many layers of light, sheer fabric did nothing to hide the outline of her body. His mouth went dry and sweat stung his eyes.
The older woman offered him a light meal of native Darooian nuts and fruit. Ric shook his head. He didn’t want to risk polluting himself with radiated food. But this transaction was too important for him to offend them.
“Forgive me, I am far too full of…of joy to eat,” Ric said.
Marit’s woman gazed at him for a moment. Her shrewd eyes narrowed with doubt, but she nodded and pulled the offered tray away.
The kneeling girl was so still he couldn’t even tell if she was breathing. His host was watching the silent female with an unfathomable sorrow. Then he turned to study Ric without speaking for a drawn out length of anxiety-filled time. Ric fidgeted nervously.
Oh damn, I hope I haven’t blown this. I’ll lose the ship without this deal. Ric tried to hide his worry from the other man by keeping his face expressionless.
“We only eat food that arrives in bio locked containers. Our offering is safe. Kateri has not left this house since she was a girl of ten. She has spent half her life hiding from death, it’s long past time she was allowed to live,” said Marit in the gentle tone. There was no anger or censor on his face, just sadness.
The quiet girl flinched. The movement was subtle, but Ric was used to watching for the slightest tells during negotiations. The girl’s posture stiffened.
So she was twenty. He relaxed a bit. She was a decade younger than he was, but at least she wasn’t some underage child.
Embarrassed, Ric looked away. “Forgive me,” he said, unsure if he was apologizing for the planet’s destruction or his behavior.
“You have nothing to apologize for. Caution is an admirable trait. Integrity is another thing I respect. She will make a good wife…”
Marit paused as a string of quickly spoken Dar, their language, interrupted him. Her outraged voice drifted up from under the veils and proved she had a bit of spirit.
The older man’s fatherly tone ebbed between anger and softness. Ric only caught a few words, but he was almost positive the girl hadn’t known she was part of the conditions for this export.
When she was silent, Ric could see her shaking. The strangest urge to comfort her came over him, but he shoved it away. Perhaps it was the camaraderie of being tricked, but the protectiveness her reaction stirred in him didn’t go away.
She muttered something, and he fought to suppress his grin. He had the most inappropriate urge to peek under her veil and see her expression. Was she seething with rage, or was she pouting? He wanted to know. The veil tormented his naturally overactive Metrician curiosity.
“Kateri is a good girl, dutiful. She is…uncomfortable leaving her family behind,” said the anxious man democratically.
Ric cleared his throat awkwardly. He could respect the answer. If he truly cared about anyone, he wouldn’t want to leave them to die either. A planet hadn’t died since the days of old Earth. Pain squeezed his heart in a metaphoric vise. Guilt. His people treated their world like it was garbage, and yet Metricia would live on long after Daroo was space dust.
“Don’t look so dour, Captain Aydric Julius. We will die with our gods, but our daughter will live on for us and remember our names. Saving her life is worth risking my soul,” Marit said quietly. “She is the most precious gem in your cargo.”
Ric nodded. No one had ever loved him as this man loved his daughter. It was astounding and humbling to be entrusted with her life. He’d never wanted such a responsibility thrust on him, but now that it was, he couldn’t turn them down.
Is she willing to marry a stranger? What am I getting myself into?
Ric could tell the girl was looking at him. He wanted to talk to her and make sure she was willing. He didn’t believe in much, but his honor mattered to him.
AUTHOR INFO:
Ashlynn Monroe is a busy working mom. She loves her kids and family. Her greatest joy is creating stories to entertain others, and she hopes they bring a little more romance into the world. She’s been writing since her teens, for her own enjoyment, but decided in her thirties to share her imagination with readers. Ashlynn enjoys biking, camping, reading, video games, and filling her home and life with love. If she’s not working or chasing her children, you can find her daydreaming up her next tale of romance.
HIS HUMAN by Jaye Shields
Can a human clone trained to kill also learn to love?
Elara Roberts is the captain of a space shuttle sent to retrieve a group of cloned soldiers from the planet US-2. As soon as she lands, the shuttle is overtaken and all of her men killed.
Svarog aka Rogue, is the leader of a rebel group of clones who desire freedom. He’s been trained his entire life for one thing—to kill. But when he lays eyes on Elara, the only woman he’s ever seen, his first instinct is to love. Taking her for himself, his new mission becomes exploring the body of the creature, and punishing any other clone male who dares come close.
Elara witnessed how easily Rogue killed her men and fears she is next. But instead, the beast seems curious and more lustful than anything else. Her best survival strategy is to play along. But when she gets a chance to escape she realizes she may not be ready to leave Rogue behind.
EXCERPT:
“Why do you want to go to Earth so bad?” Elara asked.
Rogue didn’t answer readily, instead, he appraised her, his gaze lingering on her sweat-soaked blouse. “You haven’t been here long, woman, but surely long enough to see this planet rivals the hell that the humans make us read about. It’s dry here, hot enough to melt the skin right off your body during certain seasons. Those tunnels you saw dotting the landscape, those were burrowed by one of US-2’s many creatures. Leave my side, and they’ll snatch you up and swallow you whole. It’d probably be an easier death than you deserve.” 
“Excuse me?” Elara glared at him. “Did you keep me alive to insult me to death?”
“Why would you sign up to take men as slaves, take them to a war they can’t even understand?”
“I’m not the bad guy here!” Her voice echoed through the cave, the sound suddenly making her feel more brave.
“Neither am I. Unless I’m crossed.” He stood, still nude, his well-muscled body towering over her. “Now that you’re my captive, perhaps you can appreciate what we are fighting for. Freedom.” With that, the clone walked away from her. She glanced away, trying to avoid looking at the well-carved butt cheeks as the massive soldier walked away. He had a perfect body. The kind of body that was built to kill.
Elara’s mind spun. Not only had two clones tried to rape her, but her epic plan to seduce Rogue didn’t work. He’d never before had a woman, and she still couldn’t please him. Yet he’d protected her from those men.
As far as Rogue was concerned, she wasn’t sure what happened. He’d seemed so close to coming. He’d moaned, but then he’d been disgusted by her, shoving her away. She should have been happy that his cum didn’t fill her mouth, but it also meant her death.
But if he was going to kill her, why didn’t he just leave her to those men?
Finally alone, the terror of the day washed over her. She’d watched her peers murdered, she’d gone down on her captor, and she’d nearly been raped by two killers. Tears leaked down her cheeks, quickly dried by the intense heat on US-2. 
Just as soon as he’d left, Rogue returned. His strong hand pulled her out of the fetal position to face him. When he saw her tears, he sneered in disgust. “I’m leaving to retrieve rations. Don’t try to escape.”
Hope bloomed within her. Of course she’d try to escape. Was this clone daft? She just never thought she’d be left alone to try.
Elara thought back to the initial attack on the space shuttle. The interior had sustained damage, but clearly the clones had been careful, obviously planning to try to take it to Earth themselves.
Rogue pulled on his military cargo shorts, not bothering with a shirt. He pulled a sachet of lotion out of his pocket and slathered it over his hard chest and chiseled stomach. It was a body meant to punish. 
She barely heard Rogue’s final warning before he departed. Something about danger. Duh. Elara may have been surrounded by a planet of rebel clones, but she was a military captain, specially chosen for this very mission. Her femme fatale Plan A had failed, but now she had no other choice but to try to ass kick her way off this planet. She was sure as dead anyway, might as well die trying.
AUTHOR INFO:
Jaye Shields is a flight attendant by day and romance author by night. Her addictions include reading, travel, and other activities not even a romance writer will confess to. She’s in a committed love affair with her readers, so don’t be shy!
WEBSITE:  www.jayeshields.com
GRAVITATION by Beth D. Carter
Can Bree and Niah’s love overcome their species being at war with one another?
Bree has spent her whole life hiding from the aliens who destroyed what was once Earth. When she stumbles across a wounded alien, common sense tells her to kill him before he can kill her, but her compassionate side refuses to obey. Instead, she helps him. 
The two forge a temporary truce when they’re forced to band together for protection. But as the days slip by, the alien Niah won’t leave her, and as friendship gives way to something more, she can’t help but wonder when, or if, them being on opposite sides will break the fragile bonds of love forming between them.
EXCERPT:
Niah’s leg must be healing nicely if he was able to move around to her side of the cold fire pit. She should be feeling fear because now he could easily overpower her. Kill her. Only he did neither. He just laid there with his hand on her hip and his eyes staring deeply into her own.
This was wrong. So horribly wrong.
And yet…it didn’t feel wrong.
And that scared her more than anything.
“Shh,” he whispered, and his hand ran soothing circles across her hip bone.
Bree closed her eyes because she couldn’t stand looking at him anymore, couldn’t face the attraction she was developing. And somehow she must have fallen asleep because the next time she opened her eyes it was daylight.
She sat up quickly, looking around. Niah was gone. His leg splints were in a nice pile, the only testament that he’d been there. She ignored the stab of pain that pierced through her and told herself it was better this way. He had gone back to his people, to where he came from. It was time she went to where she belonged.
As she gathered her things and slipped her backpack over her shoulders, she thought about when she asked him to save one life as a thank you. Well, it seemed like he’d done just that.
He’d spared hers.
AUTHOR INFO:
Beth likes writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so her heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors, or corporate highrollers. She tries to write characters who aren’t cookie-cutter and pushes herself to write complicated situations that she has no idea how to resolve, forcing herself to think outside the box. She loves writing characters who are real, complex, and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love.
Beth has been pretty fortunate in life to experience some amazing things. She’s lived in France and traveled throughout Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. She’s a mom to an amazing little boy, and she’s surrounded by friends and family. She hates washing dishes but loves cooking, hates washing clothes but loves wearing them. Her favorite color is red, but she looks best in black (it’s slimming). She hates people who don’t pick up their dog’s crap in public places, people who don’t use turn signals, and people who are rude and condescending. She especially hates discrimination in all and every form. And although she loves holding a book in her hand, she absolutely adores her ereader, whom she’s named Ruby.
WEBSITE:  www.bethdcarter.com

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