Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Review of Hunter Betrayed by Nancy Corrigan

Tainted from birth, Harley lives a life cloaked in darkness and temptation. She resists the lure of her evil legacy by holding the memory of her ghostly savior close. Every night without him is agony. She fantasizes about him and yearns for his body, but he’s not the protector or lover she’s envisioned. He’s a Hunter bred to eliminate her kind. He’s also her only hope of salvation.
Calan, the leader of the Wild Hunt, was created to protect mankind from the Unseelie Court. For a millennium, he’s sacrificed to ensure the horrid creatures remain in the Underworld, but his strength wanes. He must rely on his enemy’s daughter to save him, but he doesn’t expect the intensity of their lust or love. Her touch calms his wild nature and ignites his carnal desires. He’ll risk all to save her, but doing so forces him to make the ultimate sacrifice, one that’ll damn him to suffer forever in his own living hell.


With this first book in her Wild Hunt series Ms. Corrigan has crafted a sensual and action-packed read with an intriguing mythos of good and evil.  In this world it's the Huntsmen, the Devil's offspring, who protect humanity from bloodthirsty fairies.  It's an exhilarating ride full of erotic encounters and unexpected heroes where all is not as it seems.  When these two worlds collide in the name of love great sacrifices will have to be made before the Huntsmen are driven insane and the barrier falls destroying all humanity.

Long ago the Huntsmen shouldered the unrelenting pain of a curse created by Daum, a powerful fairy, in order to save humanity.  Since then they're slowly going insane from the pain with their only hope of survival in the hands of a remaining fairy struggling against the darkness eating at her.  Harley was a very sheltered child, kept hidden from the world by a mother who was cold to her.  The only person to love and protect her is her human brother Ian who has tried to keep her safe since she went on the run the night the rest of their family was slaughtered.  Other than Ian, Harley has been a loner since that night with her only comfort coming from the memory of a sensual man who came to her the night she ran begging for her help and telling her how to survive.  It's been many years, with many people killed who she befriended, but she's finally back and in saving her mystery man her life will never be the same.  Calan is his name and he gives his love and support to help her fight the evil coursing through her.  She's immediately drawn to him and only in his presence does she feel safe and in control.  Their relationship quickly evolves in numerous hot and heavy interludes and both ultimately make the most heartbreaking decisions to save humanity and those they love.  Early on Harley appeared bratty but life on the run hardened her in some ways but she still refused to give in to her dark side.  Being with Calan saw a weight lifted off her and though sharing her feelings wasn't easy for her, especially with a crazed and obsessed fairy constantly wanting to claim her and killing those close to her, she made the effort for the strong and sturdy Calan.

Calan is the leader of the Huntsmen and feels guilty for what befell his siblings.  He's tried to carry most of their pain and the hope he placed in Harley is the only thing that's kept him going.  When she finally comes to him he's immediately drawn to her.  He's honest in what he wants from her but isn't shy in unleashing a sexual onslaught as he wants her for his mate not only to save her but because he's come to love her for her strength and caring nature.  He's a bit Alpha in his dealings with her but explains the reasoning behind everything he does so she feels a part of the action.  Calan is an honorable man who's also struggling to keep his darkness at bay, which is common for his kind, and needs Harley to keep him for giving into his rage too.  There's a romantic and sensual give and take between them that makes for a powerful pairing.  Seeing this made their sacrifices late in the story especially heartbreaking and showed the true power of love.

Along with these two larger than life main characters comes a slew of memorable secondary characters that helped propel the action and set up storylines for the future.  Along with Calan we got a glimpse of his brother Rhys with his tell it like it is nature and his sister Tegan who's been unlucky in love in the past but who's new love is now closer than ever.  Harley's devoted and noble brother Ian goes through big changes throughout this story in his battle against evil alongside Calan.  Ian's been having dreams of a woman in unrelenting pain who he's inexplicably drawn to and whose identity is hinted at if you put the clues together.  Ian's friend Trevor also has a part in this fight and though he seems a bit of a horndog he's good in a fight and seems willing to take the plunge fully into the dark and dangerous world of the Huntsmen.  The action scenes and romance are nicely balanced in this story with each being vividly detailed.  The story had a fast pace to it and had a good flow that kept me on the edge of my seat.  The look we get of the Devil turns preconceived notions upside down as he's actually a kind-hearted father and makes this story even more original.  Once the final page was turned this story was a delightful and exhilarating start to an exciting new paranormal series and I look forward to the next battle and the sacrifices yet to come!

My rating for this is an A+

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

Book Tour for Never Fall For a Warlock by Marilyn Vix (GIVEAWAY)

I was lucky to come across the fun and sexy paranormal read Never Marry a Warlock by Marilyn Vix last year and since then have been counting down until the second installment in the Beware of Warlocks series.  The wait is now over and today I'm giving you a glimpse of Never Fall for a Warlock.  You also have the opportunity to win a $10 Starbucks GC, a keychain, a bookmark, and ebooks too!

Never Marry A Warlock
Beware Of Warlocks Novelette, #1
Catherine walks in on her husband in bed with her best friend. What is a woman to do? It helps that she is a witch. Unfortunately, so is her husband. Before you can say spell battle, Catherine high tails it up the coast of California to clear her head. Lucky for her, she finds an Aussie hitchhiker. She's going to have to face her husband in the awaiting spell battle. Can she have a little fun with her new found boy toy, or will he get scorched in the foreplay?


Never Fall For A Warlock
Beware of Warlock Series, #2
Catherine has taken a chance on love. Another warlock has turned up in her life. Can she handle the new Aussie, Jeff? Or is there something better around the corner? Confused between her husband cheating and a new flavor of warlock, Catherine runs out to find other options in the town famous for luck, Las Vegas. She runs straight into an exotic dancer named Liam. Irish, gorgeous, and James Bond flavored, he might be the answer to her no warlock plan. But Liam might be the forbidden fruit that could lead Catherine down a dangerous path. Will she run back to Jeff before it’s too late?



Marilyn Vix is an Indie Romance novelist working on different romance novel projects. Having had experience with other Indie books, Marilyn is trying her hand at her secret passion, romance writing. It is a grand experiment, armed with editor and laptop, that will progress over the next few months. Dappling in Time Travel and Paranormal Romances, Marilyn is going to see where her passion takes her. Hopefully the Top Bestsellers lists.



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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book Review of Crave by Bonnie Bliss

A deal was made centuries ago.
The deal was for the first born in each generation. 
The soul of that woman was owned from birth by the ultimate beast. The Devil.
Elizabeth Cromwell knew growing up that she was different. The day her parents failing business suddenly took a turn for the better in an economy where it shouldn’t have. She was told of her fate. She was owned by the Devil. From the day of her birth she had no future. 
It was his.
Unwilling to give into the rough seductions of the ultimate evil—she ran. Living in a convent in the secluded town of Neive, Italy, with only the aid of faceless man over the computer—she hides. 
Until the day he finds her.
Sex. Lies. Betrayal. 
The fight for her Soul and future begins now. 


When you first look at the cover to Crave you assume you'll be getting a typical romance with a suave man going after the woman he wants, and to some extent that's exactly what you get.  As you keep turning the pages though you end up with a VERY DARK read full of one sexual encounter after the other.... almost too much at times.  Ms. Bliss immerses you in a dangerous world of unrelenting sexual tension and edge of your seat anticipation as the young but strong willed Elizabeth fights for her soul and her future as it was traded away centuries ago to gain wealth.  Generation after generation has seen the Devil, Asmodeus, claiming first born daughters as his sexual playthings.  Unlike others before her Elizabeth isn't willing to go to Hell easily and has been running and hiding since she came of age.  Unfortunately time has run out and Asmodeus unleashes a heady sexual arsenal to get her to become his.  As her family is enjoying their promised wealth she has no one to count on but a mysterious stranger she met online who is equally desperate to save her.  Elizabeth is fascinated by Jared and readers will be too as he's earnest and smart and appears to have her best interests at heart.  We, and Elizabeth, knows nothing about him but by the end of the story she's left with no options but to rely on him to keep her safe in a pulse-pounding conclusion that ends in a cliffhanger.

This is an intense read from start to finish and some readers may be offended by nuns and priests participating in orgies but as the Devil's puppets no one is as they seem which further isolates Elizabeth.  Elizabeth fights him as hard as she can but he uses her own body against her in sexual dreams both day and night that are wearing her down and have her questioning her sanity.  Asmodeus is a very sexy creature but his evil is palpable as he switches from charming to scary in the blink of an eye.  He enjoys and admires her fighting spirit and starts to see their connection as love which brought out an interesting side to him and will be intriguing to see evolve.  While reading this story I was reminded of Rosemary's Baby and the claustrophobic fears that movie engendered as Ms. Bliss has crafted a vividly detailed world full of intense emotions.  As the first installment in The Devil and the Diamond series readers are immediately dragged into a dark, gritty, and highly sexualized world that leaves you on the edge of your seat waiting for more.  Numerous questions remain and I'm greatly anticipating what comes next....

My rating for this is a B-

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

Book Tour for Brought to His Knees Box Set (GIVEAWAY)

Who doesn't love a strong and sexy hero?!?  With the Brought to His Knees box set you'll get a steamy collection of stories and a drool-worthy assortment of heroes that will give you all sorts of pleasant dreams!  Keep reading to get a glimpse of what this box set offers, and an especially in-depth look at A.M. Griffin's contribution, and the fill out the form below for the chance to win a $20 Amazon GC and lots of ebooks too!

The Alpha male. Strong. In control. Letting no one and nothing rule him…until he meets the one, and all bets are off. The world tilts, the bed rocks, and suddenly that tough guy finds himself Brought to His Knees—in more ways than one.
This collection of ten hot to erotic novellas and one short erotic novel will take you on journeys of lust, love, and adventure, leave you breathless and quite possibly in need of a cold shower.
Enter with anticipation. Finish satisfied…
Welcome to the world of men brought to their knees by love! This STEAMY collection by acclaimed erotic romance authors will test their heroes to their limits! Read on for more about this steamy set by A.M. GriffinAmy RuttanAnya RichardsCynthia D'AlbaDanicAvetFelice FoxJennifer KaceyLynne SilverSabrina YorkSayde Grace and Tina Donahue.
A.M. Griffin’s steamy edition to the multi-author box-set Brought To His Knees is titled Dark Wolf Enterprises. Dark Wolf Enterprises is not only the title of her novella, but also the name of a wolf-shifter finance company. Welcome to A.M. Griffin’s paranormal world, baby! This debut story takes you into a world of rich, hot and sexy wolf-shifters who need the help of a human accountant to find an embezzler in their mix. Where’s the intrigue you ask? Throw in murder, naked bodies and imprinting and we have ourselves a fast-paced story.
Here is a teaser featuring Kristof and Trudy’s first meet. Kristof wasn’t planning on imprinting on anyone, most of all a human. He plan’s on finishing his business with her and sending her on her merry way. LOL. Yeah right.
Dark Wolf Enterprises
A.M Griffin
Murder, mayhem and imprinting with a hot wolf shifter… And they say being an accountant is boring.
The big break Trudi Hollander’s small accounting firm needs has finally arrived, but unfortunately it comes with murder, mayhem and Kristof Farkas, a man she just can’t seem to resist. Even worse, Kristof is the CFO of Dark Wolf Enterprises—the one person who can pull the plug on the job that will take her company to the next level.
And then there are the assassins who can jump from three stories up and still be able to run away…
Kristof has no intention of giving in to his inner wolf and claiming Trudi. She’s human. Too fragile to withstand being a shifter’s mate. But the need to protect her is stronger than his resolve, and his desire is more powerful yet. He’ll fight with everything he has to keep her safe, both from those who would hurt her, and from himself.
Kristof’s knees buckled and his vision clouded. His head swam and his stomach lurched.
Lajos reached out to hold him upright, his grasp was the only thing keeping Kristof from falling flat on his face.
He shook his head, trying to regain focus. But nothing seemed to penetrate through to his thoughts except for her. He wanted her with every resolve in his body. Every nerve seemed to fire just for her. His heart beat just for her. His hands longed to hold her.
Oh, shit…did I just…imprint?
He looked up again. She stared at him with an open mouth—one he wanted to smother with kisses.
A wave of euphoria careened through him. His wolf sent him flashes of pictures of him and her together. If he was uncertain before, he’d just gotten his confirmation.
He had found his mate.
A human mate.
“Are you okay man?” Lajos asked, concern filling his voice. “Did what I think happen just happen?”
Kristof regained his footing and shook Lajos off. “I’m fine.”
Lajos raised his brow. “Wow. That was intense. I’ve never witnessed an imprint—”
“Lajos,” Kristof said, interrupting him.
Lajos snapped his mouth shut, but shook his head in disbelief.
“Were you hurt?” Gertrude looked Kristof up and down, as if inspecting him for obvious injuries.
“No harm done,” he said to her.
“So you recognize these men?” an officer asked.
She looked at Kristof and frowned. “Yes, well, no,” she struggled to say. She closed her eyes and shook her head. Kristof didn’t know what type of effect imprinting would have on a human—or if she’d feel anything at all. He’d never witnessed a human-shifter imprinting in his lifetime. For all he knew, she was genuinely a confused woman.
“I’ve never met them before, but we had a business meeting,” she said, her words slurring slightly.
Kristof and Lajos exchanged looks. If he wasn’t sure before, he definitely was now. She was experiencing the effects of an imprint.
“I guess you boys are okay for now. We’ll need to get a statement from everyone.”
Lajos growled at the term “boy”. Neither of them had been boys for quite some time now. When the officers had been boys, he and Lajos had been firmly in their adulthoods.
She opened her eyes and locked on to his. “I-I’m so sorry for kneeing you before. I thought you were one of them. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
His ego took a blow but his wolf didn’t seem to mind. He got the feeling his wolf would’ve liked for her to rub it and make him feel all better.
“I recovered.”

A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies. ARC for new books are here. Sign up for my newsletter to receive info and giveaways.
Building Bridges
Amy Ruttan
A vet tech and a lone wolf rancher ride out a sudden storm, but can they weather the emotions they stir up in each other...
Vet tech Molly has the hots for new rancher William, even though he’s ornery and a bit of a lone wolf. She’s willing to take a chance and enjoy a stolen moment of passion in his arms, but she’s having doubts about leaving everything she knows behind to follow her dream.
William has saved up for years to finally get his grandfather’s ranch up and running again. Escaping into the foothills of Alberta is a good place to hide from the ghosts of his past. All he wants is to be left alone, but that’s kind of hard when a sexy vet tech seems to be always around.
After a sudden storm during an Indian summer forces them indoors, the temperature inside the cabin begins to rise. William helps Molly see that her dream is worth pursuing while she shows him maybe he doesn’t have to be alone after all. As the temperature plummets William gives Molly one ride she’ll never forget.
Three Strikes
Anya Richards
Two lonely men. One secret affair. Irresistible passion that will push them both to the breaking point, and beyond.
A knife attack left ex-Jamaican Posse member Vincent Williams scarred and also made him re-evaluate his life. He’s out of the gang and also the closet but lonely, yet to meet a man who’s interested in more than a one-and-done, a brief sexual encounter.
Because of his career as a police officer, Sergeant Kyle Pictou is afraid of coming out. Normally he doesn’t get involved with anyone close to home, but something about Vincent compels him to take a chance. It’s just sex, after all. Yet, as desire evolves into friendship and seemingly boundless passion, it’s Kyle who’s left wanting more—though he knows he can’t have it.
A Cowboy’s Seduction
Cynthia D’Alba
One exhausted cowboy + One uptight account x A tropical resort = A hot seduction. But who is seducing whom?
Brock Wade has raised his brothers and sister since their parents’ deaths fourteen years ago. All work and no vacation can make a cowboy a tad grumpy, or at least that’s what his family and crew believe. Brock wants to spend the two weeks before Christmas working as usual. Instead he’s forced by his siblings to take a vacation to the Sand Castle Resort…a vacation he doesn’t want to a Caribbean resort he’s never heard of. He’s sure he’ll be miserable the whole time.
Natalie Diamond is dreaming of getting out of icy Memphis and down to her parents’ oceanfront condo for a couple of weeks of rest and warmth. When her parents accept an out-of-town invitation, she’s sure she’ll be stuck at home watching it sleet and snow. But instead of leaving Natalie shivering, her parents send her on an all-expense paid trip to the Sand Castle Resort.
A casual friendship over drinks rapidly evolves into a hot seduction, which is great until feelings get involved. When vacation is over, Brock and Natalie are forced to make the difficult decision to walk away or see where life might lead them.
But falling in love in two weeks isn’t possible. Right?
Born to Sin
Danica Avet
A tomboy in love makes a desperate attempt to seduce her best friend and succeeds beyond her wildest dreams. But this Alpha male isn’t easily tamed and has secrets that could very well tear them apart.
Just another one of the guys. That’s how Taylor Guillory has always been treated in her hometown of Grand Terre, Louisiana. And for the most part she never minded until Sinclair “Sin” Rivas opened up shop in town. With his dangerous eyes and legendary sex god status, Sin is so far out of her league, but that doesn’t stop Taylor from falling in love with the impossible man, or doing something so daring and unlike her for the chance to be with him.
Knowing he’s no good for her, Sin has stayed far away from Taylor since the day she walked into his shop, but when the little spitfire propositions him in the middle of the bar, there’s no way he’ll be able to walk away from the temptation. But his one-night only rule when it comes to women is challenged by the pleasure they experience, making him think that he might be a one-woman man after all.
But Sin has secrets that could very well destroy anything they forge together. Can a man born of sin find redemption in the arms of a woman just as tough as any man?
The Sound of Your Name
Felice Fox
Their silent erotic encounters change his luck and awaken his soul, but secrets and cowboy superstitions can only keep them apart.
Ellie Donovan couldn’t care less about pro bull riders, until she’s sent out on the circuit to do a story about them forModern Luxury magazine. She’d done many things to get a great story, but pimping herself out to a cowboy who thinks she’s the only thing keeping him on track for the gold buckle isn’t one of them. Being sexy Brody’s good luck charm isn’t exactly a hardship—until she discovers she doesn’t want it to end.
Brody Cameron can’t help bowing to cowboy superstition on the night he should have lost his spot on the pro circuit, when a secret tryst with a pretty stranger changed his luck, and his heart, forever. Caught between the love he wants and the money his family needs, Brody can’t share the truth with Ellie and risk losing his shot at the big money.
But when Cameron family secrets are exposed, and a jealous rival threatens to tear them apart, can Ellie and Brody break their silence without breaking each other’s hearts?
Beneath the Pages
Jennifer Kacey
One wicked night with her did nothing but whet his appetite. Now he’ll settle for nothing less than her complete submission.
Acacia owns and runs Fame, one of the hottest celebrity magazines in the country. She survives on convincing the rich and famous to reveal things they would normally do anything to keep hidden. She lives, eats and breathes the magazine. Day in and day out. She has no life, nothing to keep in the dark. Nothing but the night she gave herself over to the one man she never should have wanted.
Radigan, the most sought after actor in Hollywood, wants her again, and won’t take no for an answer. He had her for one night. Several hours of the best sex of his entire life, but she was gone the next morning before the sun had fully risen. His attempts to contact her have gone unanswered. Everything he’s tried so far has been a miserable failure. But he finally knows what to do to slip beneath the pages of her heart.
This time he’s playing for keeps and the exclusive rights to her body, heart and soul.
Cruising for Love
Lynne Silver
A vacation cruise comes with surprises—like the BDSM theme and her high school love, the one man she can’t resist.
When Andi Greene heads out on a cruise, she’s pumped for a fun week of sun bathing and chilling with her best friend. Little does she know her best friend has a number of surprises in store. The first is the cruise’s theme of bondage and domination. The other? Ship’s doctor Jonah Coleman, Andi’s first love, her high school boyfriend—the boy she thought she’d marry before he moved across the country and eventually dropped her cold. But there’s nothing cold about their reunion. Instead sparks fly, and Andi’s relaxing cruise seems set to turn into a week of hot loving.
Jonah can’t believe he’s getting a second chance with Andi—a grown-up Andi who might need more than he knows how to give. But he’s willing to put everything on the line to find out if the heat between them is just the remnants of teenage love or something more. And even though he has to let her go again, he’s determined this time she’ll never forget him.
Sabrina York
A scalding attraction. An irresistible passion. A pity she’s the one woman he can never have…
Dane Coulter is mourning the loss of his best friend, fellow Special Ops buddy, Cody. Oh, Cody didn’t die. It’s worse. He’s getting married. Cody is, in Dane’s opinion, whipped.
Dane swears he will never suffer the same fate. But when he meets a woman who can take all his dominant loving and beg for more, he realizes he may have met his match. It’s a damn shame she’s the one woman in the world hisman-code deems untouchable…his best friend’s sister.
Chief Sin
Sayde Grace
A taste of Sin isn’t enough. Instead she wants all of him, including the heart she once broke.
Mavis Tanem has the world at her feet. She’s young, wealthy, and independent, yet none of that means anything. All she cares about is vengeance. Destroying her father. There’s no place in her life for softness—for love. Yet one missing brother brings her back to where it all started, and back to Bowie Sinet, the man she broke.
The devil was back in Tanem, Texas and Bowie is ready for the smart-mouthed and sexy as hell woman who’d torn his heart to pieces. As sheriff he’s used his handcuffs for a lot, but what he wants to do with them and Mavis might just be against the law, in more ways than one.
A single night is too much and yet not enough for either of them. They both know it’s too late to change the past, but maybe together they can exorcise the ghosts that haunt them, and find some peace.
Make Me Surrender
Tina Donahue
When it comes to two of the hottest guys in town, she has a proposition…to win their attention, passion, hearts.
For over a year, Mercy’s had her eye on Travis and Dutch, two of the hottest guys on the Oregon coast. Dark and dangerously virile, Travis owns a saloon that caters to bikers. Dutch looks like one, right down to his impressive tats, and operates a motorcycle repair shop on the premises.
When a position opens in the saloon’s kitchen, Mercy sees a way to be near these sinfully sexy men, wanting the job and lodging, her cabin snuggled between theirs.
Travis isn’t so sure about having Mercy nearby. She’s deliciously curvy, but too nice. He’s into temporary fun. To Dutch, forever is a dirty word.
Imagine their surprise when sweet little Mercy encourages wild nights of carnal pleasure with a dash of bondage and spanking…followed by friendship and tenderness.
Before she’s through, these tough guys won’t know what hit them.

SEE THE BOOK TRAILERS:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4



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Book Spotlight for One Night With Her Boss by Noelle Adams

When it comes to erotic works Noelle Adams knows how to entertain. Keep reading for a glimpse of One Night With Her Boss, a steamy read of a boss and the woman who's been by his side for years and then add it to your bookshelf........

Anne has worked for her sexy, ex-surfer, businessman boss for seven years, and she’s been in love with him for two. Jake doesn’t think about her as anything but his ever-efficient assistant, though. She’s been trying to get over her feelings by dating other men and interviewing for other jobs—which doesn’t make Jake very happy. But Anne is determined not to put her life on hold for him.
When she gets a new job offer, Jake will do anything he can to keep her, but he still only seems to want her as an employee. Anne might find him irresistible, but she’s learned to resist. There are lines that he’ll just never cross.
But then everything changes in only one night....


BUY LINKS:  Amazon  /  BN  /  ARe  /  iBooks  /  Kobo


Noelle hand wrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

Goodreads  //  Website  //  Twitter  //  Facebook

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Tour for Double Up by Vanessa North (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of m/m-themed books I'm excited to bring you Double Up by Vanessa North which takes place amidst the pulse-pounding world of the extreme sport of wakeboarding.  Keep reading to get a taste of this book, along with my impressions of it, and make sure to leave a comment about why you like to read m/m-themed books for the chance to win a $15 Riptide Publishing GC.  And now, let's welcome Ms. North.........

Hi everyone! I’m Vanessa North, and I’m touring this week to talk about my new release, Double Up: how it got started, a scene that almost happened, and the sport of wakeboarding--how it influenced me, why I love it so much, and how it shaped the characters in the story.....

Knowing he’s loved can make any man fly.
Fifteen years ago, Ben Warren was a wakeboarding champion: king of big air, ballsy tricks, and boned grabs. Until a career-ending injury left him broken in ways he still has no hope of fixing. Now he takes his thrills where he can get them, and tries not to let life hurt too much.
Then Davis Fox arrives in Ben’s sporting goods store with a plan to get in touch with his estranged brother by competing in the annual wakeboarding double-up contest. The catch? He’s never ridden before. It’s crazy, but Ben’s a sucker for the guy’s sob story—and for his dimples, too—so he agrees to coach Davis.
Davis is everything Ben isn’t: successful, confident, and in love with life. And he wants Ben to love life—and him—too. But before Ben can embrace a future with Davis, he needs to remember how to hope.


Set amongst the exhilarating world of wakeboarding Double Up tells the story of two men at very different stages in their lives who make a connection neither of them expected.  Along with a realistic romance that is both sweet and sexy is the vivid depiction of the extreme sport of wakeboarding with scenes that put you in the middle of the action and helps you understand why these athletes become addicted to the adrenaline.

Ben was once the King of wakeboarding until a tragic accident left him with a future he hadn't foreseen.  He works at a shop owned by his off and on lover selling goods for the sport and giving lessons but he's a bit lost and fills the loneliness with meaningless sex until he meets the quick to blush Dave.  He can't picture himself in a relationship or with a HEA and struggles with what the sweet and younger Dave offers him but soon becomes accustomed to the comfort and happiness just one night with him brought.  Amidst their burgeoning relationship though are Ben's secrets, secrets about his past addictions and the need for a surgery to keep him walking that he refuses to deal with.  For a man used to being on his own will the jaded Ben ever be able to open up and grow up or will he continue to live in the past, lost and alone?  I liked Ben's carefree nature and infectious love of the sport.  He's not used to the intensity Dave brings to his love life and the closeness he desires but seeing him embrace a real relationship was heartwarming.  There were times Ben was like a big kid, especially with his love of energy drinks, which left me frustrated with his not dealing with a surgery that could make his life better, choosing to ignore big decisions.  He's a man who lives in the now but for the love of a good man must look to the future.

Dave comes from a family of money but because of his being gay he's banned from associating with them.  Wanting to be close to his brother has him learning how to wakeboard which puts him in close contact with the sexy and older Ben.  Dave seems to have his life in order with money and a home that Ben dreamed about.  He takes his relationships seriously and opens Ben's eyes to how perfect commitment can be.  As their relationship flourishes Ben's past and the threat to his future leave Dave questioning if Ben's capable of giving him what he longs for in an emotional battle that requires Ben to finally grow up.  I liked Dave immensely as he was sweet, charming, and not afraid to take charge in the bedroom....or in front of the fireplace, or over the phone.  He never held back in showing his kinky side and was honest in what he wanted from Ben and though he's younger he seemed more mature.  I could sense his loneliness and found him and Ben a great match as Ben's sassiness and carefree attitude was a nice balance with Dave's seriousness and forthright nature.

From start to finish this was an exhilarating read, both because of the vividly depicted wakeboarding to a romance that was sweet and super sexy.  The main characters were immensely likable with a relationship that moved quickly and had unrelenting sexual tension that was reflected in some down and dirty sexual interludes.  The secondary character of Eddie, the flamboyant friend and sometimes lover of Ben, was delightful and brought a breath of fresh air with his larger than life personality, tell it like it is nature, and unquestionable support of Ben.  The health issues surrounding Ben were addressed realistically and Ben's fears understandable but Eddie's pushing him to truly deal with reality was just what he needed.  By the final page I felt like I'd run a race with so much action, romance, and intense real life issues being dealt with and found a satisfying conclusion.  Those who enjoy m/m stories will find this a nice addition to the genre and I'm left wishing for more Eddie!

My rating for this is an A-

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


Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

TWITTER:  @VanessaNWrites


Prize is a $15 Riptide Gift Card!

-To be entered, LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT WHY YOU READ THE M/M GENRE, along with your email addy (NO EMAIL=NO ENTRY).
-Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 8/29 (TONIGHT)!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Tour for Broken by Lauren Layne (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Those looking for an intense read with lots of angst will find just that when Lauren Layne makes a return visit today with her upcoming release, Broken.  Keep reading to get my impressions of it and learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC and swag from Loveswept Publishing too!

Lauren Layne’s New Adult novel tells the story of a girl with secrets, a guy with scars, and a love that could save them both... or destroy them.
When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.
Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.
Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?




I've read and enjoyed Ms. Layne's previous books and with this upcoming release she has yet another winner.  With its modern-day take on the classic Beauty and the Beast story readers are introduced to two young adults from rich families who had it all and who are now left floundering in guilt and pain.  Together a friendship develops that morphs into more as their emotional barriers come down and they both start accepting each other and themselves unconditionally.  From desperation and loneliness to support and triumph, this book grabbed my attention from page one and never let go.

Olivia was first seen in Ms. Layne's Isn't She Lovely? as the girlfriend who cheated with the friend.  She's come a long way since then and Ms. Layne has done an admirable job is redeeming her.  Olivia has been wracked with guilt since hurting Ethan the way she did, she discovered a shallowness she never thought she possessed and wants to get away from her past to make herself into someone better.  She has no illusions about herself and the kind of people surrounding her but she is trying to reform and be less snobby, judgmental, and superior and with her self-deprecating humor I found her delightful.  Meeting the scarred and angry Paul gives her insight into true pain and suffering and instead of handling him with kid's gloves she treats him like a man which is what he's desperate for.  She's attracted to him from the get-go but it's a difficult journey to HEA as he's built some very tall emotional barriers, but she's a stronger person now and watching their battle of the sexes is both heartwarming and entertaining in its playfulness and sexual tension.

Paul was the handsome and popular quarterback who was on the road to success in the family business.  Tired of fitting into his father's mold he went off to war and came home completely transformed.  With facial scars, a damaged leg, and a lot of hidden emotional pain and guilt Paul is a true beast in attitude and demeanor and pushing everyone away.  He's struggling to live one day to the next and it's only his obligation to his dead friend's family that's keeping him going.  Meeting the strong-willed and sexy Olivia gives him yet another reason to live though as she challenges him and makes him feel alive again.  She sees past the scars to the man still residing inside no matter how hard he tries to push her away.  I love damaged heroes and watching them recover with the love of a good woman and Paul fits this description to a tee.  Paul's issues are believable and his actions understandable.  He's been on his own for so long, with a father who's clueless to his needs, that he's desperate for someone to truly see him and Olivia does just that which makes their coupling perfect as both of them need to be saved.

This story is ultimately about two imperfect people looking for acceptance and happiness.  The story is told in their alternating POVs which gives us great insight into each of their thoughts.  Ms. Layne depicts the horrors of war in a way that makes us feel empathy towards Paul and impressed by his survival no matter what the cost.  Olivia has earned her redemption through her strong will and unwavering acceptance of Paul and by story's end I'd completely forgotten about her past.  The connection between the two of them crackled with sexual tension and witty banter that quickly morphed into some steamy interludes.  From start to finish I found this story an engaging read with a compelling couple and highly recommend it to those looking for a story full of triumph and tears along the way!

My rating for this is an A.

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


Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-sizepomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Tour for Second Skin by Jesse Pearle (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of bad boys I found myself drawn to Second Skin by Jesse Pearle and the dark twists and turns of its characters.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of this compelling read through my review and by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour as well as hearing what Ms. Pearl has to say about making her bad girls likable.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 2 $25 Amazon GCs too!

There’s no denying that Motorcycle Club romance is a hot commodity lately, due to the popularity of the show Sons of Anarchy. The themes deal with independence, tragedy, intrigue, betrayal. All the good gritty elements involved with lawless bad boys. The men involved are rough, leather-clad anti-heroes. They’ve bucked the establishment, choosing to live on the edge, follow their own rules. The best ones will still follow a strict code that appeals to fans in the way the vigilante justice of a character like Batman appeals to us. They are rough and deadly and you probably wouldn’t want to meet them in a dark alley, but the most lovable characters are, above all, not without honor. 
So, you’re probably wondering, “wait, why does this blog title say bad girl not bad boy?” 
Because bad girls need love, too. I love a good bad-ass heroine as much as or even more than a good bad-boy hero. You have to admit, Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) is hot, a little bit tragic, and gets shit done (even if it’s not necessarily the most legal shit she’s doing). It is ultimately incredibly tricky to write a heroine like that and not have half your readers crying out that she’s a bitch, a whore, has a chip on her shoulders, or worse. It is an unfortunate double standard when our favorite bad boys can get away with being insensitive jerks who can’t get over their emotional baggage and use sex as an escape. We love them because we fancy ourselves their saviors (and no doubt we secretly want to share our beds with them). 
So how to make a biker bad girl with similar qualities a likable character? Perhaps it’s an insurmountable task when trying to combine not only the bad-ass, heroic, altruistic qualities of a character like Katniss with the slightly more chaotic persona of a character like Catwoman. I honestly love a character who is a little bit of a bitch, who is perhaps somewhat difficult for a more level-headed hero to get through to. Mostly I love the juxtaposition between a hard-to-love woman and the sexy, steadfast man who’s fallen for her. She can be just as dangerous and tragic than that biker bad boy, but she needs to have perhaps an even stronger ethic and sense of honor than the bad boy. We can forgive the biker bad boy for slipping once in awhile, simply because he’s hot, and he might be conflicted due to his sense of honor. 
His female counterpart will likely be held to a much higher standard. To make her a sympathetic character, readers should want to slip into her shoes, identify with her trials in some fashion, and gain a sense of justice through her efforts. Her sacrifices need to be meaningful because she doesn’t have the abs to entice us into forgetting she was a jerk, which is something that the Motorcycle Club heroes so popular lately seem to get away with. 
“Bad boy” doesn’t have to mean “a-hole”, but often the biker heroes will come off that way at first. Why do we still love them? My guess is it’s because they always seem to have a good excuse for it, not to mention a man gets a pass for being insensitive far more easily than a woman does. Women are expected to be more nurturing and caring. 
The guy should still have a solid reason readers can empathize with, so we understand why he’s retreated into his cave and is ignoring the love interest, or acting out in a perhaps destructive/self-destructive way.
I don’t think it’s any different for the bad girl. An effective and strongly written bad girl, by necessity has to have some unlikable elements the same as the bad boy—these are the qualities that define her. She’s perhaps a little too rigid in her beliefs, a little too prickly to be around due to past betrayals, as a result she finds it difficult to trust and therefore open up. Her soft, vulnerable core is closely guarded but it still exists and it’s up to the steadfast hero to uncover it. 
This will be his personal challenge and the more he uncovers as he peels away her layers, the more he falls for her, and through his gradual discovery, the readers will fall for her as well. If done right, you’ll feel like you were cutting onions by the end of the story because you realize she isnt just a bitch with a chip on her shoulders, but a multi-faceted character every bit as deserving of love and happiness as the more sensitive man who drew her out of her shell.

Obsession is never just skin deep.
Sam Blanco’s greatest desire is to escape his abusive father and violent neighborhood the only way he can—by earning money as a tattoo artist for a street gang. He’s befriended their leader, the deadly Leo Reyes, and gained a measure of safety under their protection. But just when things are going right for the first time in Sam’s life, Leo’s girlfriend, Pilar Flores, walks in and requests a tattoo in an unusual location. Sam obliges, but the experience leaves them both reeling. Unable to focus for days, Sam finds himself craving Pilar’s touch, but she’s exactly the kind of trouble he doesn’t need.
Pilar Flores is her father’s daughter. Being the daughter of a drug lord is not an easy role to fill, but she aspires to live up to the title and make her father proud. But her father has no plans to allow her into the business, and Pilar hates being sidelined. She hates that Leo is away for days on end, and she especially hates being treated like an incompetent female by every man she sees. Except for Sam. She decides to take control of her life the only way she knows how—through seduction. But she’s not prepared for how eager and passionate a lover Sam is, or how deeply she’s drawn to him. Even though she knows their ill-fated affair can’t possibly end well…


(Leo’s POV)
The small plane touched down on the runway of the airfield outside Los Angeles. After taxiing to the hangar, Leo powered down the engines and pulled off his headset. He felt like a weight had been lifted, but anxiety twisted in his gut as he worked through his explanation to the old man.
Gustavo had needed to be taken care of, that fact had been clear to him for months. The only reason he hadn’t gone to Arturo Flores about Gustavo’s consistent series of fuckups was because of his promise to Pilar to leave her father out of it.
The deed was done, the memory of the corpse he’d left behind in the little shack in the Sonoran desert still left him ice cold to his core. He’d had to ignore the spark of memory of another pair of eyes whose light the same gun had extinguished two years earlier. Two years to the day, he thought.
Leo no longer regretted any of those bullets, starting with the very first one from his brother’s gun that had pierced his own chest. Each had brought him closer to her. Now all he had to do was claim what was his.
The phone at his hip buzzed as he made his way across the tarmac to the parking lot. He settled in his car and started the engine, turning the AC on full blast while he checked his messages.
911! Call me when you land!
It was from Pilar. Goosebumps rose up on his arms in spite of the hot August air that baked the interior of his car.



Those looking for an intense read with soap opera elements will find just that with this first installment in the Second Skin series that takes us into an imperfect world where there's oppression and very few ways to make your life better.  This leads many to join gangs or gain strength to keep out of the gangs.  When worlds collide, people don't always make the best choices, which leads to a story full of danger, angst, and LOTS of steamy sexual interludes.

As the daughter of a drug lord Pilar is used to danger and power and hopes to take over the business one day.  She's young but strong-willed and by watching and learning she starts to manipulate events to get what she wants.  At first it's the business, then the sexy Leo who's an underling in the business catches her eye and a romance that starts off sweet quickly becomes combustible with growing BDSM elements.  Pilar wants to see him climb the ladder quickly so her father sees him as a worthy match for her and uses herself as enticement.  These events unsettled  me and showed a shrewd woman wise beyond her years willing to do anything to get her way as underneath it all she's a spoiled and pouty girl.  They say absolute power corrupts absolutely and that describes Pilar to a tee as she morphs from a seemingly sweet-natured and obedient girl to a manipulative sexually aggressive woman willing to rise to the top using any means necessary.  While I admired her in some ways I also found her immensely disagreeable, especially after witnessing her cheating in her relationship because she felt lonely and angered at not being told everything going on in the business.

Leo had a hand in his brother's death after he decided to take over the business and it haunts him throughout the story and is the catalyst to catching Pilar's eye.  While convalescing at her family's home from the gunfight that took his brother's life you can see Pilar gaining confidence in seducing him and pushing him to become her father's right hand man.  He's smart, assertive, loyal, and deeply attracted to Pilar and soon rises through the ranks which takes him away from home on business more often and requires more secrets between them considering the business he deals in which leads to problems with their relationship and him willing to do anything to keep her...even kill.  I liked Leo and saw a truly kind hearted person who wanted to make something of himself, wanted to give comfort to the woman who raised him, and who's obsessed with a woman willing to subtly use him for her own gains.  I believe he truly loves Pilar but I don't feel she loves him the same way.

Sam is also a part of this world, though more on the fringes as he doesn't want to join a gang.  He comes from a home where he has to walk on eggshells whenever his abusive father is home on leave.  He's a kind soul though who hates to fight, as he's seen the results, and loves drawing and longs to be a tattoo artist.  He loves his mother and sister and their interactions are realistic, cute, and heartwarming.  He's always tried to keep to himself at home and school until the day he stands up to one of the gang members and becomes a part of that world.  He's always had an attraction to Pilar and as the story progresses he finally gets to make his dreams come true but reality is never as good as dreams as their connection adds to the story's angst and disillusionment.  Sam ultimately becomes another casualty of Pilar's entitlement as she's gotten used to getting what she wants.  His dreams are secondary to her desires.  By the end of the story he's where I never thought he'd be and as his story feels unfinished I hope we see him again as he deserves a HEA of his own choosing.

This is a dark story at times full of twists and turns.  Secrets abound and there are many people who are not as they first appear.  At times this story felt like a telenovela and it was definitely never boring.  Both the main characters and the secondary ones are larger than life and easily keep you immersed in the story.  I might not have liked each and every character but I certainly can't forget them even now.  True love didn't seem possible in this world full of secrets and manipulations but there's plenty of scorching sexual interludes with BDSM elements.  With Pilar's questionable antics some readers might be turned off but they'd be missing out on an engaging read with compelling characters and with an ending that was a bit rushed, and with many threads left hanging, I'm hoping Ms. Pearle returns to this dark and gritty world soon.

My rating for this is a B.

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


Jesse Pearle grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina in a place where there was no danger in dancing naked in the moonlight at the top of a mountain. Always possessed of a creative mind, but never quite the right amount of focus, she wandered for decades. She received a degree in fine art which she put to poor use working an uneventful desk job for an engineering company when she started writing her first really ambitious piece of fiction. She lives in sunny Southern California with her ever supportive husband and four attention-whoring cats.



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