Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Tour for Where There's Smoke by Cari Z. (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Fans of superheroes and villains will be drawn to this series starter that introduces us to the city of Panopolis and its colorful inhabitants.  Keep reading to get a taste of Where There's Smoke by Cari Z., a fun and sensual m/m read, along with my impressions of it.  Learn even more about this book through the author's discussion of how her characters came to fruition and by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  Make sure to leave a comment below telling us who your favorite superhero or villain is for the chance to win a backlist title from this author too!

The Heroes and Villains of Where There’s Smoke are almost always made, not born. They’re not naturally good or bad people irrevocably set on their path from the womb. They go the way they’ve been encouraged to, the way that the powers that be in Panopolis have allowed them to. I’ve borrowed heavily from the realms of mad science and bad science to make the people who managed to survive whatever was done to them, whether it was accidental or done with malice of forethought.
It’s a bit of a crapshoot for my Supers: are you a former cop who got doused with the wrong type of chemical and are now trapped in a force field? Congratulations, you get to be Freight Train, hero extraordinaire! Don’t worry, we’ve worked out how to keep you fed and clothed, if not quite how to free you from your prison.
Or, are you a graduate student who fell into his professor’s poorly-secured experiment and came out coated in a thick layer of rubber that just won’t come off? You’re no longer very pretty, and also we don’t know how to treat your condition, so have fun reinventing yourself as Pinball, a villain who is so crazy and in pain he literally bounces off the walls.
The only villain in my story who I’d say was raised to be that way is Raul Tremblay, aka The Mad Bombardier. He was the son of revolutionaries who grew up running bombs and watching his parents make poor decisions in the name of liberty and love. Nothing was done to him, no one forced him to move to Panopolis and become a Villain, but with his background and education it felt like a natural step for him. He never intended to fall for Edward, whom he met while robbing the bank that Edward works at. He certainly never intended to endanger his lover, or put him in harm’s way.
Naturally, harm happens anyway. You know what they say about the road to Hell…

Panopolis is a rough place to be an average Joe. I came here looking for adventure and excitement, but nobody cares about one more normal guy in a city filled with super-powered heroes. The closest I’ve come to glory is working in a bank that villains often rob.
But then I maybe accidentally-on-purpose helped a villain escape the hero who was trying to save the day. Imagine my shock when, a week later, that villain asked me out for coffee. One date turned into more, and now I’m head over heels in love with Raul.
Falling in love with the guy dubbed the Mad Bombardier isn’t without its downsides, though. I’ve had to deal with near-death encounters with other villains, awkwardly flirtatious heroes who won’t take no for an answer, and a lover I’m not sure I can trust. It’s getting to the point where I know I’ll have to make a choice: side with the heroes, or stand fast by my villain.
Either way, I think my days as a normal guy are over.



With the growing popularity of superheroes in movies and tv I was immediately drawn to the unique premise of this thought-provoking and action-packed series starter.  With its larger than life characters and intriguing dichotomy of good versus evil readers will find themselves quickly immersed in this compelling world seen through the eyes of a naive man learning hard truths way too fast.

The city of Panopolis is the epicenter of a war between heroes and villains created through nefarious means enabled by pharmaceutical companies and condoned by the city's hierarchy.  The police force has become merely a figure head as the citizens place their faith wholeheartedly in the growing number of heroes against the increasingly dangerous society of villains.  Looking for adventure, and fascinated by stories of heroes and villains, the sweet and somewhat naive Edward has recently moved here and quickly finds himself caught up in the concept of good and evil from which he'll never be the same.  At first Edward saw the heroes as the good guys with no imperfections but interactions with Freight Train (aka Craig) show a hero with a bit of an ego.  Meeting the Mad Bombadier (aka Raul) as he's robbing the bank Edward works at shows a villain far more compelling and attractive than any hero inside and out.  In a relationship that starts out very slowly there's lots of conflict revolving around the acts of violence Raul commits but it's clear he has a conscience and does all he can to keep Edward safe from his deeds.  Edward's conflict is heartbreaking as their connection is deep and clear and it makes for a few rocky moments for the pair amidst some very sensual and steamy interactions.  Just when it looks as if they're heading towards HEA someone close to Edward sets off their own explosion that puts him in danger and irrevocably changes him and his relationship with Raul in a very intriguing way.

This story may have started out slow but quickly picked up its pace as readers discovered more about the creation of the heroes and villains and the unethical means by which it sometimes happens.  It engenders lots of sympathy towards the villains when you're picturing them as lab rats.  In comparison, the heroes take a backseat in this tale and seem bland when in the company of such colorful villains.  Edward started off a bit quiet and naive but through his discoveries grew stronger which he'll need after the dramatic change forced upon him by the supposed good guys.  Through it all Raul stayed by his side and in an heroic way saved him which further blurs the lines of good and evil repeatedly touched on throughout the story.  Their romance was slow to build but culminated in some very steamy encounters that were nicely balanced with the action and suspense showing them as a formidable duo who I look forward to seeing avenge what befell Edward.  This was an exciting start to a series that makes you question your beliefs and with its emotionally intense ending I'm excited to see where the story will go next and will be counting down the days until the next installment.

My rating for this is an B+

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


Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, "See ya!" She also started writing in earnest then, because when you have no television, no car and nothing to read other than a French translation of Twilight, you find ways of entertaining yourself. She’s been back in Colorado for a while now, but stuck with the writing.

TWITTER:  @author_cariz

***Cari posts a free weekly serial on her blog at


Prize is  a paperback copy of Rules To Live By

-To increase your chances of winning leave a comment at each stop on the tour.
-Giveaway is open to everyone.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Tour for Nice Girls Don't Ride by Roni Loren (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Ms. Loren became my go-to author with her Loving On the Edge series.  With Nice Girls Don't Ride she enthralled me even more with the sweet and sexy interactions between two people who don't let stereotypes rule their night of fun.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this novella, along with my impressions of it.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC too!

Natalie Bourne thinks she has the perfect night planned for her twenty-first birthday. But when her car breaks down and her boyfriend bails on her, she’s left stranded in an auto shop dealing with a way too cocky, way too hot mechanic, who seems to be intent on pushing every button she has.
Monroe Hawkins knows he shouldn’t be messing with a girl from the uppity private college. Especially when he can tell she sees him as the help. But he’s having trouble resisting the redhead with the smart mouth and the killer legs. So when Natalie’s night goes from bad to worse, there’s no way he’s letting her spend her birthday alone. He makes her a deal—he’ll take her home but not until the sun comes up.
Ten hours, one motorcycle, and the city of Austin at their fingertips…things are about to take a major detour. And soon, there may be no U-turn in sight.


Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday, dear . . .
I groan and lean back against the guardrail, shielding my eyes from the piercing sunlight. How exactly should I finish that?
Girl who currently smells like sweat and roadkill?
Girl about to go broke paying for this mess?
Girl whose boyfriend will not answer his goddamned phone?
My fingers move over the screen as I text Caleb again. Where r u???
I stare at my phone, willing a response out of it, but the screen goes black before there’s any answering ding. Caleb had warned me that he was going to be cutting it close for our date tonight. And I know his internship at the local campaign office sometimes runs late when they’re prepping for a rally, but he should be out by now.
My fingers move over the screen again. R U secretly Superman in ur off hours? Come on, u can tell me. If ur saving the world, I’ll understand.
Of course, there’s still no response. And now my neck is prickling with not just sweat but anxiety. What if something happened to him? What if he was in an accident? What if—?
I stop myself before the thoughts spiral, closing my eyes and taking a deep breath. Cool it, Nat. But that little exercise only gets me a lungful of the dead skunk that’s roasting in the heat a few yards away from me on the side of the highway. Blech. I press my fingers over my mouth, fighting a wave of nausea.
I check the clock on my phone for what seems like the hundredth time. The roadside-assistance lady said they would contact a local garage and get me a tow right away. But it’s been over an hour, and the only cars that have passed by have either ignored me or sent catcalls flying my way. Because, of course, my piece-of-crap car had to break down when I’m all dressed up in a low-cut dress and heels for my birthday dinner. Yay for timing.
One guy had at least offered to help and had seemed nice enough, but I’ve seen how those horror movies end. Girl on the side of the road accepts help from a seemingly harmless stranger, only to have her organs carved out later that night. No, thanks.
A grinding of tires on gravel draws my attention upward. A black tow truck rolls past me on the road and pulls to the side, sending a cloud of dust in its wake. I keep my phone clutched in my hand, quickly check the can of Mace in my purse, and then push off the guardrail. The side of the truck says Billy’s Custom Cycles and Auto Repair. There’s a tattoo-style logo of a motorcycle on fire, and I know that it’s definitely not the name of the repair shop the roadside assistance service gave me. It had been some big chain—AutoPlus or something like that. A little shimmer of nerves goes through me and I stop where I am, my heels sinking into the gravel.
The front door of the tow truck opens and a tattooed arm appears before anything else. For some reason, my eyes lock onto pieces of the man instead of the whole—like I can’t handle the entire view quite yet, only snapshots. That muscular arm as the driver slides out of the truck. The worn black motorcycle boots that hit the ground. I force myself to look up, tracking along the faded jeans and fitted black T-shirt, until I collide with a dark blue gaze.
“Looks like you need a ride.”
The deep voice startles me for a second and snaps me back into the moment like a slingshot. Ping! Pay attention, Nat. Now is not the time to let my guard down. “No, thank you, I don’t. I already have another shop on the way.”
His gaze tracks over my dusty dress, slow and lazy like, before he lifts a dark brow. “How long have you been waiting? It’s pretty hot out here.”
The once-over makes me more than a little self-conscious. He can’t be all that much older than me, early twenties for sure, but something about him is intimidating as hell. “I don’t know. Not long. I’m sure they’ll be here any second.”
He crosses his arms over his chest and eyes my car, which has chosen this moment to start smoking from under the hood—as if it senses help in its midst and is crying out for it. “What shop is coming?”
I brush at the skirt of my dress, trying to give my nervous hands something to do. I don’t want to look worried or scared or show him that I’m melting in this brutal Texas heat. “AutoPlusAutoMart . . .”
He scowls. “Autoland.”
“That’s it.”
“You might as well set up a tent then. They take forever to get to calls, and they’ll charge you twice as much as we would. Plus, they close at six. They’re just going to tow you in and then lock up for the night.”
“Says the guy who wants to make a buck on a girl stranded on the side of the road.”
The corner of his mouth lifts. “Hey, princess, I’m just trying to be a nice guy and get you to your”—he looks me up and down again—“sorority party on time. I get paid the same either way.”
Princess? Sorority party? My eyes narrow and I give him my own head-to-toe look, taking in the messy dark hair, the tattoos, the heavy boots, the finely shaped . . . I snatch the thought back before I can go there. “Look, Son of Anarchy, I appreciate the nice guy offer, but how do I even know you’re legit?”
He snorts. “You think I drive a tow truck around for fun? Call the number on the side of the truck if you want. But otherwise, I’ve got better stuff to do than stand here in the heat, smelling roadkill. Two minutes, princess. I’ll be in the truck. You want a tow and a ride? You get in. If not, good luck with Autoland.”
He turns to go, and I feel a little dart of panic at being left alone again—even if he’s not exactly the company I want. This isn’t the best part of Austin, and the sun is on its way down. “Wait, what’s your name? You know, so I can verify.”
He doesn’t turn around but calls back. “Monroe.”
I dial the number to the shop and, of course, they verify that Monroe works for them and is driving the truck today. The guy on the phone sounds amused by my questions. And his reaction makes me realize that I’m being paranoid, that my nerves are officially frayed, and it’s making me act like a bitch. I thank the guy on the phone, hang up, and take a steadying breath. This is going to be okay. Not everyone is out to take advantage. Some people actually do things to be helpful without ulterior motives.
My mother would laugh her ass off at that logic. Everybody’s got an agenda, Nattie.
I straighten the neckline of my dress, hike my purse up my shoulder, and walk over to the tow truck with as much dignity as I can muster for a sweaty girl in a dusty dress. Monroe hasn’t climbed back into the cab, but is instead leaning against the front bumper and watching the cars zoom by on the overpass up ahead. He doesn’t look my way. “Verified that I’m not a serial killer?”
“Verified that you work for Billy’s. The serial-killer part is yet to be determined.”
He smiles out at the horizon. “Want to check the backseat for weapons or body parts?”
“I have a feeling you’d be too sneaky to leave such obvious evidence lying around. And if you aren’t that clever, I’m going to be seriously disappointed in myself if I fall victim to a dumb serial killer.”
He chuckles and it changes his whole face, warming it. When he turns his head, his blue eyes meet mine and my stomach tightens a little. I do my best not to let my reaction show on my face. Last thing I need is him thinking that I’m interested in him. Because, of course, I’m not. I’m totally not. If there’s an opposite of my type, it’s this guy. And plus, I have Caleb. Cute, smart, on-his-way-to-big-things Caleb.
Caleb, who won’t answer his goddamned phone.
Monroe pushes himself off the bumper. “I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult, princess, but I’ll take it you’re going to ride with me.”
“Yes. But only because I can’t handle the dead-skunk smell for another minute.”
“I’m preferable to skunk guts? The flattery just rolls off you, doesn’t it?”
The jab lands squarely. I press my fingers to the space between my eyes and rub. “Sorry. I’m really not trying to be a bitch.”
“It just comes natural, then?”
My eyes snap open and I’m ready to hurl an insult back, but I find him wearing a playful grin and clamp my lips shut.
He angles a thumb toward the truck. “Get in . . .”
“Natalie,” I supply.
“Natalie. And kick the A/C on. Getting your car hooked up is gonna take a few minutes. You may want to call someone for a ride, too, because there’s no guarantee we can get this fixed tonight. I’m assuming you have plans.”
I glance down at my outfit, suddenly self-conscious about the sexy getup. It’s not my typical style, but tonight was supposed to be special, and I had wanted to knock Caleb on his butt. He’s been so wrapped up in work and school lately that I’ve felt a little like furniture. So I borrowed my roommate’s dress with its plunging neckline and treated myself to the new risqué lingerie I’m wearing beneath. I’m not exactly Ms. Vixen normally, so Caleb would’ve never seen it coming. Now it’s all a waste.
“I have a date with my boyfriend,” I say to Monroe.
“Right. So, he can pick you up?”
“He’s not answering his phone. But I’m sure I’ll get him soon.”
Monroe makes some noncommittal noise and nods. “I’m going to get to work. You go and cool off. There’s bottled water in the ice chest in the backseat.”
Before getting in the truck, I find myself watching Monroe walk back toward my car. He’s easily over six feet tall but doesn’t move in that awkward, hunched way that most of the taller guys on campus move. There’s an easy confidence to him, like he’s fully grown into his body and taken ownership—a man’s walk. My eyes follow him as he pops the hood of my car and leans over. The hem of his shirt lifts as he bends, exposing a strip of tanned, muscular lower back. I find myself wondering what it would feel like beneath my fingers and if he has any more ink hidden under there . . . I force my eyes away.
What the hell is wrong with me? I don’t have random illicit thoughts about complete strangers. Especially not strangers who have tattoos and call me princess.
I shake my head and pull open the door on the passenger side. Maybe I have heatstroke or something.
I lay my head back against the seat and close my eyes. But all I can see is the image of my new mechanic pulling his shirt all the way off, sweat dripping off him, me putting my hands . . .
I sit straight up.
Yep, definitely heatstroke. Has to be.



Readers looking for a little afternoon delight will find fun and flirtiness when two people push past their prejudices to find HEA in this perfectly-paced romance.  With its two likable main characters and witty banter this novella shows why Ms. Loren has become a favorite of mine and will leave readers wanting more.  From her Loving On the Edge series to this work readers are taken on an entertaining journey that fully immerses us in their sensual world and leaves us rooting for their HEA.

Natalie has always tried to be the good girl, distancing herself from her trailer park beginnings, in order to make a better future for herself than that of her mother.  She's heading in the right direction though with a clean-cut boyfriend moving up the social ladder and her burgeoning writing career, but something's missing.  On the night of her 21st birthday she discovers just what that is after her car breaks down on the side of the road and her boyfriend shows his true colors.  It's time to stop being what she isn't, her perfect facade's done nothing but gotten her cheated on.  It's time to embrace her dreams and experience true freedom with the sexy motorcycle rider with a heart of gold.  Natalie's prim and proper side was just waiting to explode and once it did it was refreshing and had me squealing with joy.  She was a cautious girl early on but her snarky and tell it like it is side soon came through to make her and Monroe's unexpected connection highly entertaining.

From the moment readers see Monroe you know he's going to give you a good time.  He's carefree, likes to have fun, and isn't looking for a long-term relationship.  Being around Natalie though brings out a different side.  He may not want to be her white knight but he ends up giving her the best birthday ever by showing her her true worth.  He's a tattooed God who may appear a bit rough around the edges but he's an honorable man with a sweet soul and I quickly fell for him.  His interactions with Natalie were flirty, playful, and teeming with sexual tension and it led to a crackling connection.  Just when their HEA appears in reach his plans to see the east coast put a damper on things as does her fears over taking a leap of faith.  Will his promise of happiness and freedom be enough to tempt her to join him for the ride of her life or will she go back to being cool, calm, and collected?

This was a quick read with the perfect balance of laughter and romance.  The connection between Natalie and Monroe might've been quick but it felt more real than what she had with Caleb.  Though she gave Caleb a piece of her mind over his cheating, I still felt that things between them were left undone.  I also would've liked to see more of Natalie's past as it greatly affected her relationships now.  Ultimately though this was another well-crafted story from Ms. Loren with two immensely likable characters and their sexy and sassy road to romance and I recommend it to readers looking for a little afternoon delight.

My rating for this is a B+

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


Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.
If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstarser, rock concerts. Yeah, that's it. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat. 



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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Book Spotlight for the Executive Decision Box Set by Grace Marshall

The entire Executive Decision Trilogy is now available in a boxed set! An Executive DecisionIdentity Crisis & The Exhibition are all three now available in one intense, sizzling, yummy package from Amazon. If you liked Interviewing Wade, you’ll love The Executive Decision Boxed Set. Go ahead, indulge yourself with the rest of the story, and what a story it is! Here’s your chance to meet the rest of the Pneuma Inc inner circle and indulge in the sometimes funny, sometimes hair-raising, always steamy adventures of Dee & Ellis, Kendra & Garrett, Stacie & Harris as they battle their way to success, happiness, and of course love. The Executive Decision Boxed Set is a binge reading must for those who like an intense, fast-paced story with hot romance between characters who are more than up for the task.

An Executive Decision – Book One in The Executive Decision Series
Overworked CEO Ellison Thorne has no time for sex, let alone romance. The only answer, at least where his retiring business partner Beverly is concerned, is a no-strings sex clause in her replacement’s contract, designed to make Ellis’ busy life easier – and hotter. But she’s joking, right?
When Dee Henning takes over Beverly’s job, sparks fly between her and Ellis, but work takes priority in driven Dee’s life too. Can one night of passion in a Paris hotel room prove Beverly’s Sex Clause is their secret to success in the boardroom and the bedroom, and what will happen if that private clause becomes public knowledge? 

Identity Crisis – Book Two in The Executive Decision Series
This romantic suspense novel is recommended to hopeless romantics who know love triumphs over all.
Tess Delaney is the hottest property in romantic fiction, but the reclusive Tess has a secret – she’s really the alter ego of Garrett Thorne, bad boy brother of business tycoon Ellison Thorne. When Tess is nominated for the Golden Kiss Award, Garrett recruits PR specialist, Kendra Davis, to keep his secret and be Tess for the awards despite their mutual animosity.
Hatred turns to scorching passion, but when Tess is stalked by a rabid fan, an identity crisis is eclipsed by a battle for survival. It seems Tess, the woman who doesn’t exist, just might understand Kendra and Garrett’s hearts better than they do. 

The Exhibition – Book Three in The Executive Decision Series
Successful NYC gallery owner, Stacie Emerson, is ex-fiancée to one Thorne brother and ex-wife to the other. Though the three have made peace, Ellison Thorne’s friend, wildlife photographer, Harris Walker, still doesn’t like her. When Stacie convinces Harris to exhibit his work for the opening of her new gallery she never intended to include him in her other more hazardous plans. But when those plans draw the attention of dangerous business tycoon, Terrance Jamison, Harris comes to her aid. In the shadow of a threat only Stacie understands, can she dare let Harris into her life and make room for love?


Outside someone shouted, ‘Hastings, check the crappers.’
Before Harris knew what hit him, Stacie pulled him into the cubicle at the other end of the row and locked the door behind him talking in a fast whisper. ‘Sorry about this. Not very professional, I know, but I promised to do my best to keep us out of jail, and I’m thinking groping in the ladies’ room’s not what this raid’s all about.’ The words were barely out of her mouth before she launched herself at him lips first. Damn it; he wanted to be mad at her. They were about to go to jail, for fuck sake! But instead of giving her a piece of his mind, he kissed her right back, hard, and felt her yield and open, and his tongue was in heaven sparing with hers, tasting, testing, thrusting. He found himself hoping that the inevitable arrest would wait until after he got his fill of Stacie Emerson, and that could take a while. She felt way better than she had even in his fantasies, and when his badly-behaving hands moved down to cup her magnificent bottom and pull her closer, she returned the favour and gave his ass a good grope. As though that gave him permission to explore, he slid anxious fingers inside her trousers wriggling down past a miniscule thong to cup an impossibly soft, impossibly firm buttock that gave a muscular clench in his hand, forcing her hips forward until she couldn’t possibly miss the press of his appreciative hard-on straining his jeans to get closer to her.
In the hall the noise got louder and the door burst open.
She had just managed a good firm stroke to the front of his trousers that had his full attention and then some, when a heavy-handed knock on the door caused her to yelp, and he nearly fell back onto the commode.
‘All right, you two, tuck it in, and come on out.’

***Grab it from Amazon HERE! FREE for Kindle Unlimited Members!***


Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.
KD has erotica published with SourceBooks, XciteBooks, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, CleisPress, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and others.
K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available. 
K D Grace also writes hot romance as Grace Marshall. An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition are all available.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Tour for Craving Stains by Alina Popescu (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Readers looking for a unique and thought provoking read will get just that with Craving Stains by Alina Popescu, a mish-mash of fantasy and reality.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of this compelling read, along with my impressions of it.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $20 Wayward Ink GC and 3 e-copies of this book too!

Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.
Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?
Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.
Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.
But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?


A young and happy-looking hostess whom Moira barely acknowledged greeted her and walked her to the Director’s office. They know how much of a screw up they have to weasel their way out of, Moira thought, a cold smile curving half of her mouth. She was going to make them sweat, and she was going to get everything she wanted from them.
Doctor Miller, the chief physician on Wynn’s case, the Director, and some mousy-looking little man who Moira suspected was an accountant or something along those lines were all waiting for her. They first offered her any and all treats and beverages in the universe, and when met with her brusque refusal, they slouched in their chairs and prepared for the onslaught.
“Gentlemen,” Moira started, smiling broadly, yet having no warmth reflected through her eyes. “I hear you’ve sent a report to the Finance Bureau, claiming my son is in perfect health,” she went on, her voice turning icier with every word. “Maybe it’s time for us to end our contract then. No use paying you that obscene monthly fee to have you donothing but hold his hand.”
“Miss Brenwood, it was simply the truth,” the accountant said in a bitter voice, but reconsidered under the murderous stare of the Director.
“Moira, darling, please ignore him,” the Director said, his heavy breathing being for once caused by something other than his obesity. “We clearly stated that this qualified as proactive care, preventing any other future illness in your son’s case.”
“Well, Clifton,” Moira said, stressing the man’s first name with a curl of her lip. “You weren’t very convincing apparently. They are going to investigate me for money laundering. As I have all the proper documents and invoices from you, I assure you, they will find nothing wrong with my papers. But as your reports indicate otherwise, I am sure they’ll think someone in your lower financial ranks isn’t in on it, thus forgetting to cover your tracks, and have your hospital investigated as well.”
She watched the man pale, his jaw dropping, making an obscenely gaping hole. She rolled her eyes, and then shook her head. What the hell had these idiots thought would happen? That when the Bureau came a-knocking and found nothing, they’d just go home with their tail between their legs? Of course they’d always investigate both or all parties involved in a potential fraud.
“Clifton, you really have no idea how the world works. How on earth do you manage this hospital?” She graced them with her special, mocking smirk, the one she’d developed in the many decades of being a rich wife with seemingly too much time on her hands.
“Mrs. Brenwood, I assure you, we will fix this,” the Director said, turning to look at the accountant sternly.
“Oh, I am sure you will. Now, Dr. Miller, I need a private moment with you.” She stood and left the office without saying goodbye, walking straight to Miller’s own office. Moira ventured a glance over her shoulder and saw the good doctor following her like the obedient little dog he was.




With around 50 pages Ms. Popescu has crafted a thoughtprovoking and atmospheric tale where fantasy and reality are blurred to lead readers on a merry chase.  With bits of sci-fi and futuristic elements too readers are shown a world full of dangers that a cruel woman uses to her advantage in her perverted name of love to wrap up with an ending that leaves readers guessing.

The cold and manipulative Moira Brenwood came from the slums but used all her twisted talents to rise to the top and become a very rich woman that uses those riches to keep her son locked in a gilded cage.  Under the guise of keeping him safe he's a virtual prisoner, never allowed to leave or interact with anyone other than his mother and his doctor.  Having lost the only two people she ever cared for has her desperate to keep Wynn safe but it feels as if there's more to her actions than just that and I felt that there were bigger secrets hidden beneath her pristine facade.

Wynn has been kept in isolation since a childhood illnes.  His life is completely regimented, full of bland colors and bland food, with one day blending into the next.  The only things that keep him going are the occasional promises to go out for a walk, which never come to fruition.  All of this makes Wynn a truly sympathetic character, but one who's also a bit naive around the edges.  Considering his cloistered state though this is no surprise.  As he gets closer to the edge, showing his frustrations more acutely, a mysterious man shows up to give him moments of happiness, newfound sensuality, and acceptance.  Is this man his savior or will he guide him further into the darkness?  Regardless of what the answer is, Doyle is a mysterious character who's the complete opposite of Wynn but who shows great compassion towards this young man with the hope and promise he represents being truly enticing.  How the story's conclusion is viewed will be up to the reader as they sift through the clues buried within the narrative in this memorable novella that deserves to be a full-length story.

My rating for this is a B.

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


Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.



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I f**ked a SEAL—the human kind, the kind who shoots terrorists, sports rock hard abs and tattooed biceps, and scores an easy lay with every girl he ever wants.
I should’ve known better. I should be studying harbor seals’ breeding habits, not conducting my own research into mating rituals of the Navy variety.
He’s a jackass. An arrogant, womanizing, patronizing, Harley-riding jerk.
A one-night stand. One night of the most incredible sex I’ve ever had. Shane is trained to kill with his bare hands in 300 different ways—and he knows 300 ways to f**k me, too.
Now my father is engaged to his mother. And we’re heading to Mexico for the wedding. The prick is blackmailing me. He’s threatening to ruin their big day if I don’t surrender to his demands.
Quit is not in his vocabulary. I hate him, but I know he’ll never give up until he gets everything he wants.
Screw that! I won’t give up—I’ll never submit to America’s cockiest badass.


Alana Albertson is the President of RWA Contemporary Romance Writers, former President of RWA's Young Adult and Chick Lit chapters, and the founder of Academe Advantage, a college admissions & test preparation company. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, Alana currently writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and four dogs. When she’s not spending her time needlepointing, dancing, or saving dogs from high kill shelters through Pugs N Roses, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes of House Hunters, Homeland, or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.

Linda Barlow is the author of 25 novels, with more on the way. She lives in New England with her mysterious spouse (who sleeps during the day, which has often made her wonder if he's a vampire) and their equally enigmatic and nocturnal cat. Linda has written in various genres, including historical and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, New Adult romance, family sagas, and general mainstream fiction. Publishers have included Doubleday, Dell, Penguin, Warner Books, Hachette, New American Library/Signet, Berkley/Putnam, Silhouette and Harlequin. Linda is a USA Today bestselling author. She's proud to have earned a few awards over the years, including the Rita from Romance Writers of America for Leaves of Fortune; New Historical Novelist of the year from Romantic Times for Fires of Destiny; and a Career Achievement award from RT.


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