Sunday, July 31, 2016

Book Spotlight on Reckless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell (GIVEAWAY)

It's a sensual tug-of-war between a woman trying to save her, and her family's future, and the man trying to find himself in this exhilarating western that I'm introducing you to today.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Reckless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell, as well as getting in-depth background from Ms. Dell herself, then add it to your bookshelf when it releases on August 2nd.  In honor of this first installment in the Texas Rodeo series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 10 copies of this book too!

A LETTER FROM THE AUTHOR...
Dear Reader,
There’s something about a rodeo. The scent of early morning dew and the quiet crunch of gravel under metal shoes. The first drowsy simmer of excitement wakened by the dull thud of hooves on rubber as horses hop into the trailer. One last check to be sure all the rope bags and bridles and the one certain saddle blanket are packed into the tack compartment. The life-giving aroma of coffee in travel mugs, and a half-hearted debate about whose turn it is to climb behind the wheel, and who drove last time, and yeah, honey, I know you hate those idiot Portland drivers. I’ve got that shift.
There’s something about a rodeo that takes you to places you would otherwise never venture. Tiny towns on dead end highways, with names like Weippe and Rosebud. Into the chaos of city traffic in Minneapolis and Seattle. Through endless miles of high desert to Winnemucca, and crawling up the side of Hell’s Canyon to Asotin.
There’s something about a rodeo. Bucking bulls and horses drowsing in the midday sun, tails twitching at the occasional fly. Voices and laughter echoing through a maze of pickups and trailers in the contestant parking area. How’d you do at Homedale yesterday? Great ride at Fort Pierre last weekend. Did you draw a good one today? Yeah, I got on Thunderfoot at High River. Better have your hammer cocked, he’ll throw some moves at you.
The whistle of ropes as cowboys pull out their gear and warm up their arms. The jingle of tack and the slap of leather, punctuated by an occasional whinny. Damp earth and diesel smoke as the tractor rumbles around the arena, preparing the ground, and the first, tempting wafts of grilled beef from the concession stand. And underneath it all, a slow-building tension.
Almost time...
There’s something about a rodeo. Old men in battered, sweat-stained cowboy hats and pearl snap shirts, clustered together in the stands to relive the good times, shaking their heads at how fast these boys are nowadays. Babies in strollers, and their older siblings scampering around in boots and spurs, swinging kid-sized ropes and dreaming dreams as big as the world.
Bucking horses peering out through chute gates, bareback riders standing over them with hats pressed to hearts as the Star-Spangled Banner streams behind a galloping horse and the notes of the national anthem soar into a blue summer sky. Heads bowed as the announcer’s solemn baritone recites the Cowboy’s Prayer.
We ask, Lord, that you be with us in the arena of life...
There’s something about a rodeo. The simmer turning to a buzz as your moment creeps closer. Muscles tighten, lungs constrict. Relax. Breathe. The concerted effort to clear the clutter from your brain and be here, now, in this moment. This few seconds that are the culmination of all the hours of training and practice and travel. Hands that want to tremble from anticipation when you tighten cinches and test your loop. The creak of leather and the musky scent of horse sweat as you swing aboard. Reins that twitch in your hands, bottling up the equine nitro that churns beneath your saddle, eager for the instant of explosion.
Almost time...
Minutes drag, and then race, and then drag again. Relax. Breathe. Riding the wave of adrenaline to the razor-thin edge between ultimate effort and tipping over into a debilitating tangle of nerves. Focus. Clear. You’ve done this a thousand times. Shut down your mind, trust your body.
There’s something about a rodeo. That moment when it’s your name booming over the loudspeakers. You backing into the roping box, climbing down into the chute. A ton of muscle and adrenaline quivering beneath you, primed to launch. Ready, ready...
And then you nod your head.
There’s something about a rodeo. And I hope you’ll grab a copy of Reckless in Texas and come along for the pulse-pounding, heart-stopping ride.

Violet Jacobs is fearless. At least, that’s what the cowboys she snatches from under the hooves of bucking horses think. Outside the ring, she’s got plenty of worries rattling her bones: her young son, her mess of a love life, and lately, her family’s struggling rodeo. When she takes business into her own hands and hires on a hotshot bullfighter, she expects to start a ruckus. She never expected Joe Cassidy. Rough and tumble, cocky and charming, Joe’s everything a superstar should be—and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out he’s way out of Violet’s league.
Joe came to Texas to escape a life spiraling out of control. He never planned on sticking around, and he certainly never expected to call this dry and dusty backwater home. But Violet is everything he never knew he was missing, and the deeper he's pulled into her beautiful mess of a family, the more he realizes this fierce rodeo girl may be offering him the one thing he never could find on his own.

EXCERPT:

Joe slid off his horse, face contorted with pain. He pressed his back against the nearest post and eased down, knees bent, hands clasped tight between his thighs, grinding out curses between clenched teeth. Violet dropped to a crouch between his feet, stomach churning at what she might find. Just a month earlier, she’d seen a team roper lose a thumb by catching it in his rope, and last year one of the tie-down ropers had crushed his wrist in a stray coil.
“Let me see.” She took hold of his forearms, trying to pull his hand out to where she could examine it.
“No."
“Yes.” She slid her hands down to his wrists, not feeling any gross deformities or blood, but he still had his gloves on. “Is it your thumb?"
“Go. Away."
“Stop being a baby."
His right hand snapped up, whip-quick, and clamped on the back of her head, bringing them nose to nose, eye to eye. “It’s not my hand, Violet. It’s what’s underneath."
“What’s—oh!"
Joe’s hand was cradling his crotch. That pop she’d heard? It was the knotted end of the rope whacking him where it counted. And her hand was right on top of his.
He bared his teeth. “Still wanna kiss it better?"
Mortification rolled over her, hot as molten lava. She tried to jerk away, but the force of Joe’s grip on her nape tipped her off balance. She grabbed his shoulders and her not-inconsiderable weight knocked him sideways. They tumbled to the ground in a tangle of limbs. She scrambled to get her knees under her. One of them made contact with something solid. Joe yelped, twisting hard and fast, flipping Violet onto her back. She arched, bracing to fight him off.
“Stop!"
Violet froze.
Joe was sprawled on top of her, his body rigid. Air hissed in and out between his teeth and sweat beaded on his forehead. “Just…don’t…move,” he panted. “Honest to God, you knee me in the thigh again, I’m gonna puke right down the front of your shirt."
Violet held her breath. If possible, she would’ve willed her heart to stop beating, in case the thud, thud, thud disturbed his stomach. Motherhood had done nothing to disable her very active gag reflex. As her head cleared, she sorted out what was where. Joe was draped over her, chest to chest, her kneecap flush against the inside of the thigh Dirt Eater had nailed. She carefully rotated her leg, removing the pressure.
“Thank you,” Joe breathed. “Just give me a minute to catch my air and I’ll get off of you."
Her hands were still clamped on his shoulders, but she couldn’t find anyplace else to put them. The longer she stayed put, the more aware she became of all the hard, lovely muscle under his T-shirt. If it were Beni, she could rub his back to make him feel better. She imagined sliding her palm down the sleek curve of Joe’s spine. Imagined his reaction. Yeah. He would definitely misinterpret the gesture. Much like her body was beginning to misinterpret their current position, the lean length of him hot against her, his cheek pressed to her collarbone, his face buried in the curve of her neck. Each short puff of air was a hot stroke on her skin.
"You sound like you’re in labor,” she said.
He huffed a laugh that tickled her ear. “If having a kid hurts as bad as gettin’ whacked on the pecker with a nylon rope, I need to buy my mother flowers."
“More like a new car,” Violet said drily. “And I thought it was your thigh."
“It’s both now, thanks to you."
“I was trying to help."
“Uh-huh. I’m guessing this is why you’re a pickup man and not a paramedic."
Degree by degree, the tension eased from his body, even as Violet wound up like a spring. Need coiled hot and low, and the urge to wiggle against him was almost intolerable.
“Up until then you were doing pretty good,” she said, by way of casual conversation. “I’ll have to tell Beni you can handle stock okay."
“Gee, thanks.” She could hear the eye roll in his voice. He blew out a long, slow breath—then nuzzled his face into her hair and inhaled deeply. “You even smell good when you’ve been rolling in the dirt."
She jerked her head away. “Do you always go around sniffing women like a damn stud horse?"
“Nah. If I were a stud horse, I’d do this.” He gave her a quick, light nip at the curve of her neck that electrified every nerve ending and shot a blue-white current straight to where his thigh was pressed between her legs.
She shoved at his shoulder. “Stop that!"
“Just wanted to see if you tasted good, too.” He pushed up onto his elbows, groaned, and eased sideways, an excruciating slide of body against body before he rolled clear and flopped onto his back, legs splayed. He lifted one hand in warning. “Stay back. I’ll be fine as long as you don’t help me anymore."
No problem. Violet couldn’t move, paralyzed for a few breaths by the sudden, aching absence of his weight. Then she scrambled to her feet, slapping the dust from her butt and legs. “Take all the time you want, tough guy."
His head snapped up. “You tackled me when I was already down."
“I thought you were actually hurt.” She flipped a casual hand at him. “No, don’t get up. Katie and I can handle it."
He made a noise like a pissed-off rattlesnake. She shook the dirt out of her hair, tugged her cap down low, and went to deal with the bulls before she lost her head and tackled him again.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BAM  |  BN  |  CHAPTERS  |  iBOOKS  |  INDIEBOUND

AUTHOR INFO:

Kari Lynn Dell is a ranch-raised Montana cowgirl who attended her first rodeo at two weeks old and has existed in a state of horse-induced poverty ever since. She lives on the Blackfeet Reservation in her parents' bunkhouse along with her husband, her son, and Max the Cowdog, with a tipi on her lawn, Glacier National Park on her doorstep and Canada within spitting distance. Her debut novel, The Long Ride Home, was published in 2015. She also writes a ranch and rodeo humor column for several regional newspapers and a national agricultural publication.

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

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Book Spotlight on As Rich as a Rogue by Jade Lee (GIVEAWAY)

Fans of historical romances will be drawn to the book I'm introducing you to today for its tale of a woman trying to reclaim her place in society and the man testing her every step of the way.  Keep reading to get a tempting glimpse of the sensual tug-of-war found in As Rich as a Rogue by Jade Lee, as well as ten fun facts about this book, then count down the days until the August 2nd release of this Regency romance.  In honor of this third installment in the Rakes & Rogues series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 10 copies of the first book in this series too!

TOP 10 FACTS ABOUT AS RICH AS A ROGUE...
1.  As Rich as a Rogue was inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. Can you say, duh? Everyone who writes and reads regency romance loves Austin’s work. But I was listening to an audio copy of Pride and Prejudice when I had the strongest desire to write a story based on an absolutely rude incident at a party.  Just like in Austin’s book, the heroine overhears the hero being awful, but then I made it more confrontational. She chastises him face to face and both of their lives are forever changed. Each spirals in a different way from that one incident. So, in short, P&P was the basis for my book!
2.  This series has an animal character in every book. 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake features a turkey that gets mistaken for a dodo bird. I wanted the publisher to put pictures of little turkeys in between every scene, but they refused. One Rogue at a Time features a pig who gets drunk and forces all sorts of mishaps in the mud. I just love bathing in the creek scenes. And then As Rich as a Rogue features a bet about a rude parakeet. Hero and Heroine are racing to see who can teach the parakeet an appropriate phrase first. So in my mind (and because I'm awful with titles) the books were the turkey book, the pig book, and the parakeet book.
3.  I am notoriously terrible at titles. In fact, my editor once called my title suggestion the worst she’d ever heard in 30 years of publishing. Guess what the original title of this book was.
a.  The Duke’s Cunning Plan
b.  That Nobody Chit from Hull
c.  Of Birds, Brides, and Men
d.  Megan and Peter’s Book
Answer: C and D – Option A, The Duke’s Cunning Plan was the original title for 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake. (Damon Suede changed that to the Duke’s Cunning Linguist which made my editor blush). That Nobody Chit from Hull was dubbed the worst title ever and became One Rogue at a Time. Birds, Brides and Men was just a cute thing I made up and used in my brain interchangeably with Megan and Peter’s book.
4.  I've had lots of great covers in my career. After 50 books, some of them have been absolutely stunning, but As Rich as a Rogue is probably my favorite. Guess why.
a.  Red and gold were my high school class colors. So of course, this would be my favorite cover!
b.  Doesn’t the hero look hot? Enough said!
c.  Her facial expression. She looks wickedly mischievous and I love that!
d.  My name. Big, bold, and gold! Yes sir, I do have an ego!
Answer: C – The colors are awesome, but that has nothing to do with my class colors. The hero looks hot, but without man chest, it’s just nice. And I do have an ego, so it’s great to have my name so large, but that’s not why I love the cover. It’s all about her face.
5.  One scene in As Rich as a Rogue was built directly from my Downton Abbey imagination. Guess which one.
a.  The love scene of course. I’ve built lots of love scenes in my imagination with the handsome male cast of Downton Abbey.
b.  The scene where the Cook and Housekeeper share tea with the hero and give him important information on the villainous things his father is doing. I set the scene in Mrs. Hughes’ tiny office and imagined her and Mrs. Patmore trying to tell Matthew Crawley something sensitive.
c.  In my mind, the ball was set in the Downton Abbey ballroom. Where else would it be?
d.  We’re able to visit a few lower class pubs in Downton Abbey and in my book. My imagination grabbed the seediest pub and put it into my book.
Answer: B – In my imagination, the hero’s Cook and Housekeeper worked in Downton Abbey’s belowstairs. So that setting was lifted directly into my book (minus certain appliances). All the other options above didn’t quite translate to the Regency time period. 
6.  All of the Rakes and Rogues books have a silly side to it. A part of the plot that is designed for humor and inevitably spirals out of control.  In 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, every person in the book has a plan that goes horribly awry. A zillion competing agendas clash in hilarious ways! In One Rogue at a Time, the heroine believes something that no one else does. Her insistence becomes funnier and funnier until the world aligns with her. In As Rich as a Rogue, I played with all the things we do to maintain or fight appearances until it becomes incredibly silly. Great fun to read, but OMG it was hard to write. Finding that spot of funny without becoming too silly is a difficult target to hit. I think I managed it, but you’ll have to decide for yourself.
7.  True or False: I wrote this book without benefit of coffee.
TRUE!  I hate having to search for coffee when travelling. Sometimes I have to get up incredibly early during conferences (well early for me), and adding in time to find a café for a soy latte is a real challenge. So I decided to go coffee free and see how I felt. Answer: TIRED! They say everyone has a drug of choice, and mine is caffeine. This book took a month longer than usual to write and I felt like I had to work twice as hard to be witty. All of that was magically solved the minute I went back on a morning cup of joe!
8.  My very first published regency romance, Rules for a Lady, featured a young street boy adopted by the heroine. He was a delightful source of a disagreement between hero and heroine. It works because the heroine has a very soft heart and picks up strays all over the place. In As Rich as a Rogue, I turned that around. The very practical-minded hero ends up adopting a street boy and trying to justify his tender heart. Plus, this street boy is a great deal more savvy than in my first book, so there’s a few more challenges there. Great fun!
9.  The first sexual encounter (more than a kiss) in As Rich as a Rogue had to be completely re-written several times. That’s extremely unusual for me. Normally love scenes are relatively easy for me. By the time the characters get sexual, I’ve built up the tension so high that the hero and heroine just implode together. But in this case, I couldn’t get the tone right. In the first go round, what started as a funny scene becomes hero dominant fast. That wasn’t right, so I lessened the funny and it just didn’t work with the lighter tone of the book. I tried fully funny and ended up with slapstick. OMG it was a mess. Finally, I just stopped and re-read the book from beginning again. I flowed deeper into the heroine’s mindset and managed a balance. My editor didn’t have one correction on the scene, so I think I finally got it right!
10.  Mari, the heroine of As Rich as a Rogue, appears in an earlier ebook novella titled Winning a Bride. In fact, that’s my favorite novella of all that I’ve ever written, but it has a significant error. It features a character named Megan when that name didn’t come into use until the twentieth century. Oops! So rather than perpetuate the error, I changed her name to Mari and wrote her story with that name.

Third in the saucy, vibrant Rakes & Rogues Regency romance series from USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee
Mari Powel’s fiery Welsh temper is up. Peter Norwood, Lord Whitly, is back in town after six years romping around India making his fortune. Mari blames him for her social downfall and has spent all this time clawing her way back into the ton’s good graces. How dare he show up on his first day back and publicly embroil her in a bet involving long-awaited apologies, illicit kisses, and Lady Illston’s unruly parakeet? Mari is outraged, and is going to show him—and everyone else—what she’s made of. Little does she know, the unrepentant Lord Whitly has been dreaming of her all this time. Now he’ll do anything to win the wager—along with Mari’s heart.

EXCERPT:

“I never imagined that I would have to fight so hard for the woman of my choice."
“Because you are a wealthy lord?"
“Yes."
She sighed and kicked idly at a stone. “If you wish to pursue this, you need only speak to my father. He will put me on bread and water and lock me in a dungeon until I accept your proposal."
His eyes narrowed. “Your father would do that?"
“Probably,” she said with a laugh. Her expression was easy despite what she was suggesting.
“So your father is a harsh man,” he pressed. This was something he needed to know.
“What? Papa? Well, no more than the usual, I suppose. He’s considered merciless in business."
“How merciless?” In his experience, a man’s business practices could be very ugly indeed. “I need particulars, Miss Powel."
She faced him squarely. “Then you should talk to my father."
He took a deep breath. “Very well,” he said. “I will.” It took her a moment to process those words and then another breath before she grabbed his arm in alarm. “Oh no. I misspoke. My father is the gentlest man in the world, and you should definitely not speak to him."
Now they were getting somewhere. “Afraid of bread and water, are you?"
“Yes! Well, no, not literally. Good God, why are we speaking of my father? You are correct, he is the one who wants the title and would do a great deal to see me wed to you. But after the vows are exchanged, you would not be shackled to him. It would be me in your bed. Day in and day out with a wife who spends most of her time wanting to throttle you."
He heard her words, but most of them were lost under the fantasy of her in his bed. Of her beneath him night after night and well into the morning, when he could wake her with sweet kisses and bold thrusts. “My lord?” she pressed when he had been silent too long.
He forcibly drew himself out of his reverie. “So what is it that you want in a man, if it isn’t a title or money?"
She glanced at him but quickly looked away. “Shall I name for you the countless well-heeled peers who would be a nightmare as a husband? There are exactly fifty-three."
“Are those the eligible gentlemen?"
She shuddered. “Goodness, no. The unmarried or widower titles number thirty-seven. Beyond that, there are over a dozen in my acceptable column, and exactly none who wish to court me, a wayward Welsh cit."
“Lord Rimbury is courting you."
“Well-heeled, my lord."
“I am courting you."
“You are in my nightmare category.” He turned to her. “Why?"
And here we are full circle. I have explained to you that we do not suit. We fight constantly. You make me want to do violence. Every single one of my good intentions fly to the boughs the moment you enter a room. You make me insane, my lord, and—” He did not allow her to say more. He knew her words were meant to dissuade him, but he heard what she didn’t say. He heard that she lost her careful plans when he was around. That she was mad for him. And if they were wed, she would be this creature who challenged him at every turn to speak better, to think more clearly, and to act in every way better than the lummox he had been. That he often still was.
So he kissed her.
He jerked her into his arms and put his mouth on hers. He wrapped her tight against his chest, knew the glorious feel of her breasts flush against his torso, and when her mouth opened on a gasp of surprise, he thrust his tongue inside.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BAM  |  BN  |  CHAPTERS  |  iBOOKS  |  INDIEBOUND

AUTHOR INFO:

USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee has been crafting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ballgowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than 40 romance novels and winner of dozens of reader awards, she brings laughter into the sexy nights of England's elite. Quirky characters and sexy banter are her hallmarks. Find out more at her website www.JadeLeeAuthor.com, or check out her wild contemporary half at www.KathyLyons.com.

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

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Book Tour for Hiatus by L.A. Witt (Review)

Fans of m/m reads will find themselves captivated by this emotionally intense ménage that depicts a couple falling apart and the efforts to reignite the closeness they once shared.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Hiatus by L.A. Witt as well as getting an in-depth look at the characters and their emotions.  You'll also get my impressions of it before adding it to your bookshelf!

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your life? - Sometimes yes, sometimes no. In Hiatus, Cameron’s anxiety/OCD and Theo’s depression are based quite a bit on my own. I write a lot of books based around the military life too because I’ve lived on/near bases for the past fourteen years. In general, I’ll draw from my experience if it works for that story/character, but it’s not unusual at all to write about things I’ve never experienced directly (World War II, gladiators, etc).

Three’s a disaster when things come unraveled.
Rock star Nate Keller is on top of the world, but his headlining tour has one drawback. It keeps him away from his boyfriends, Theo and Cameron, for weeks at a time. Yet after four-and-a-half years—and a lot of hard work—the trio is still going strong.
But then Cam comes to visit with devastating news. After seventeen years together, he and Theo have agreed to a trial separation. Nate tries desperately to fix his lovers' broken relationship, but there's only so much he can do from the road.
At home, Cam tries to carry on, but feels like his whole life is spiraling out of control. Theo struggles to cope with the split as his depression worsens. They’re both spinning their wheels, quickly losing hope they can keep it together—and keep the man they both still love.
Desperate, Nate drops everything in a last-ditch attempt to pull their trio back together before they hit rock bottom. Except their love could already be shattered beyond repair.
Warning: Contains two men who must face how broken they are before they can fix their failing marriage, and the man who loves them both—but doesn’t know how to save them.

EXCERPT:

“The Riverside Hotel, please."
The cab driver punched it into his GPS, turned on the meter, and pulled away from the fairgrounds. The enormous parking lot had mostly cleared out, but there were still a few people making their way back to their cars, so I kept my baseball cap pulled over my eyes. As much as I adored my fans, and still couldn’t believe they’d recognize me—never mind mob me—I had somewhere else I needed to be tonight.
In my lap, I turned on my phone and texted my boyfriend, Cameron.
Leaving now. Be there in 20.
Then I turned the phone over and grinned in the darkness. Cam and his husband, Theo, had flown in this afternoon. I hadn’t seen them in three weeks—not since they’d met me like this at another hotel in another city—and I’d been climbing the walls every night. Skyping, texting, and e-mailing only did so much to make up for the lack of physical contact while I was out on tour. For the last seven months, I’d been on the road, only occasionally dropping back into LA, and in between, seeing them whenever they could meet me. Seven months down, at least five to go, assuming more dates weren’t added again.
Technically, we had an open relationship. Especially while I was out on the road, they had no problem with me hooking up with other guys. The same went for them. The only rules were we had to use condoms with other people, and with each other if we’d been with anyone else.
In practice, though, they were monogamous except for me, and despite the option being open, I hadn’t touched anyone. My band thought it was hilarious—now that we’d actually made it big and could act like the rock stars we’d always thought we were, I was practically celibate. Go figure.
But I didn’t want anyone else. For the last four and a half years, the only men I’d touched were the two who’d welcomed me into their bed and their marriage. I was one lucky bastard too. They were sweet, generous, and both were dynamite between the sheets.
Didn’t hurt that they were gorgeous too. They were different, and yet somehow complemented each other. Fair-skinned Cam, who never managed to get any color despite living in Los Angeles. Theo, who could tan just looking at a photo of a beach. They both worked out and looked the part, and even though they’d long ago left the world of high-powered investment banking, they still looked that part too. Theo kept his dark hair short and professional. Cam looked studious and serious whether or not he had on his glasses. Small wonder they’d caught my eye that first night, since they’d both been wearing shirts and ties.
I shivered. God, those two were the reason business attire had been invented.
My phone buzzed. I turned it over, and Cam had written back.
Rm 1128. See you soon.
I put the phone down again and rolled my stiff shoulders. I was seriously tempted to ask him for a massage tonight, but damn it, he hadn’t come here to work. He and Theo were here so we could fuck each other senseless, which would tide us over until the next tour stop where they could meet me.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  KOBO  |  GOOGLE PLAY

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

As a reader who loves being put through the emotional wringer when it comes to romances, this book grabbed me from the very first page and squeezed my heart until its hard-fought conclusion.  Along the way readers are made part of the tug-of-war between a couple who thought they'd always be together and the third part of their triad who never saw their break coming.  In a relationship that seemed so solid at first, the break seems to come out of nowhere and seems impossible to heal.  Cam and Theo have been together over half their lives and have trouble saying goodbye to one another, but being together is becoming even more painful.  Hurt feelings and fear of admitting their own issues is holding them back and it will take hitting bottom before they can rise back up. In the meantime though Nate's feeling like a child of divorce torn between the two men he loves, making them happy, while trying to safeguard his heart.  It all makes for a messy and frustrating journey to HEA that will leave readers screaming over Theo and Cam's obstinence while cheering Nate's maturity and bravery in handling the situation.

This is a romance teeming with angst that had me aching with the characters every step of the way.  Triad relationships can be difficult to depict believably but Ms. Witt presents readers with a deeply committed couple and the man who turned both of their heads and becomes a solid base in keeping them together. Each man has a unique personality which makes it easy to bond with each one and feel sympathetic to the pain they're going through.  It's a pain that leads to desperate encounters, harsh words, and lots of tears.  It's also pain that seems easy to address but Theo and Cam refuse to admit their own issues, too close to the situation to see things clearly, and it's their pigheadedness that draws their pain out almost past the point of no return.  These emotional and mental issues are handled in a respectful manner though, vividly depicted to pull readers into the character's chaotic and depressive moments to make their situation easier to relate to. It's not all doom and gloom though as there are plenty of steamy encounters along the way.  Early on these scenes are tinged with sadness and desperation, but by the end the scenes are cleansing with a feeling of renewal.

This is a thought-provoking story when it comes to the handling of mental illness, vividly depicted and respectfully presented.  It's a sexy story at times too with its scorching m/m encounters as well as heartbreaking in seeing a deep love flounder.  It's the kind of romance that makes you feel on many different levels and kept me fully immersed from start to finish hoping for a HEA with each page turned.  The main characters are immensely appealing with words and deeds that sometimes leave you frustrated (notably Theo and Cam), but still rooting for them to find each other again.  Nate's the glue to their relationship and says what readers think, pointing out the obvious and forcing his lovers to deal with things head-on.  Surrounding this conflicted triad is a small cast of secondary characters with some being supportive and some being antagonistic, but either way they all have a hand in getting these men to keep working on their relationship in a story that pulls at your heartstrings repeatedly.  Ultimately, while the story does go on a bit longer than necessary, it's another satisfying addition to Ms. Witt's bookshelf and a tale that fans of m/m romances with want to experience.

My rating for this is a B.

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


AUTHOR INFO:

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn't lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don't tell Lauren. And definitely don't tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Cover Reveal for A Variety of Chains by Christine Blackthorn


Fans of the paranormal will find themselves drawn to this steamy tale set amongst vampires in a unique hierarchy.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of A Variety of Chains by Christine Blackthorn, along with the enticement of the sensual book cover, then count down the days until its August 20th release!

Kathryn McCulsky is an ErGer – a rare and highly prized individual in the supernatural world.
She has spent her life running and hiding, but circumstances have changed and the only way to protect her family is to hand herself over to the Vampire Lord of London to face slavery or death.
Lucian Neben runs his London court with a stern but fair hand, but political pressures are building from both the human and fey worlds, and taking possession of an ErGer would cement his position of power.
Kathryn is vulnerable and broken almost beyond repair, but she holds in her hands the one treasure Lucian desperately wants – the possibility of home and family.
Can he teach her to open herself up; to choose to life, and him, before reality forces him to take her freedom?

EXCERPT:

It was inevitable where this evening was going to lead. For an ErGer to bond, the mind needed to be broken open as only sex could – and her own body would force it soon enough.
"Pick up the wine and take a sip," he said.
"I don't drink," she replied.
His eyes remained expressionless, as was his voice when he spoke again. "It was not a request."
Absolute obedience for the safety of the girls.
She reached for the glass and took a small sip. As she tried to put it back down, his hands tightened on her waist and brought her attention back to him mid-movement.
"I am thirsty, too."
She offered him the glass, but he shook his head. "My hands are full."
To illustrate this fact he began to trace little half circles over her belly with his thumbs. She tried to offer the glass to his lips but he shook his head again.
"Not like that." There was a hint of amusement in his eyes and a twitch to his lips. Instead, she tried to offer her wrist, but that simply made him raise an eyebrow.
"How then?" She felt the desperation in her own voice and tried to suppress it while making the cold return.
"Take a sip and hold it in your mouth."
She was starting to have an idea where this was leading. She tried to lean forward to feed him the wine but his hands kept her from him.
"Set down the glass first, then let me drink from your mouth."
Carefully she put down the glass before leaning forward. In her haste and nervousness she parted her lips before touching his and spilled most of the wine down her chin and his neck. She froze in terror, aware of the strength in the hands around her waist and the sharp teeth entirely too close to her. His lips parted and his tongue snaked out to lazily lap at the liquid dripping down her lips and chin. Only when he had cleaned her thoroughly did he allow her to move back enough to meet his gaze. Her eyes fell to his mouth and the spilled wine that painted his neck and shirt red. Small droplets were still caught in the evening shadow of the beard along his cheeks.
"Clean it!"
The first flick of her tongue was tentative at best, barely a touch, but when he moved his head to allow her more access she became bolder. The taste of his skin, mixed with that of the red wine, filled her mouth – unidentifiable, subtle and strange. As her tongue reached his neck, his arousal grew impossibly large beneath her, pressing against the folds of her sex through only two layers of clothes. She shied back – feeling stupid immediately. It was inevitable where this evening was going to lead. For an ErGer to bond, the mind needed to be broken open as only sex could – and her own body would force it soon enough. In her experience, he had shown more patience than any other. Every Lord who had ever acquired her, either because her brother had sold her to them or because they had tracked her down, had taken her blood and body within minutes of their acquaintance. What was the point of delay?

FIND THIS BOOK AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON (US)  |  AMAZON (UK)

AUTHOR INFO:

In "real" life, I am an academic with degrees in Political Science, Economics, Philosophy and Law and an insatiable desire to confound, baffle and disconcert my students. Someone once suggested to me the reason for my stories lay in the desire to offset the tedium and rationality of academic life. He wasn't an academic or he would have known better. It is best to use research against tedium, students to offset the rationality and an unlimited supply of stressballs for the faculty meetings. The stories? Well, they are just for me - like a mental manicure.
I also write a blog on Feminism and Erotica - come talk to me:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Tour for The Matchmaker's Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken (Review & GIVEAWAY)


The theme of enemies to lovers grabs me every time which is just part of the reason why I'm thrilled to give you a glimpse of this sensual romance full of witty banter today.  After being charmed by the previous book in this series I was anxiously awaiting this one and if you keep reading you'll get a tempting glimpse of The Matchmaker's Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken along with my impressions of it.  You can learn even more by visiting the other sites hosting this tour while waiting for its release on August 9th.  In honor of this second installment in the Wingmen, Inc series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 5 print copies of this book too!

Wingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.
Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.
But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.
Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY AT AMAZON here.

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

As a reader who loves naughty boys with hidden hearts of gold I was presented with two delightfully decadent choices in the Wingmen, Inc. series.  In the first installment we were introduced to Ian who fell for the tomboy in a relationship of friends to lovers while slowly discovering the jewel in front of you.  Lex was his best friend and business partner and was the epitome of a playboy, treating sex as a quick and satisfying moment before moving on.  He never let his heart show but in spite of his emotional issues I found myself captivated by him and his intoxicating mix of snarky and sexy.  He and frenemy Gabi have known each other since they were children in a connection that was combustible and full of push and pull moments.  For every one moment of sweetness he showed her it was balanced with a moment of hurt and cold comments.  It was clear that he's always cared for her but was afraid to put his heart on the line. As adults though they can no longer ignore the rampant sexual tension between them.  With arguments ending in scorching kisses they can no longer deny their feelings. Though Ian's sworn Lex to not become involved with Gabi friendships will be put on the line in a war waged over love that leaves readers on edge.

From the moment I saw Lex I knew he was a character not easy to forget and in this tale where he takes center stage I was left drooling over his transformation from player to perfect boyfriend.  His childhood was one of parents always at odds with one another, never giving him time or affection.  He lashed out in every way, most prominently was in the area of sex, where he learned at an early age that sex equaled having someone care about you for at least a moment.  Those feelings have never left him and shows in his continued quick and casual one-night stands that are satisfying, and have women wanting to come back for more, but leave him feeling alone in the meaningless afterglow. He's always been drawn to Gabi, been her hero and her adversary, in a connection hard to define.  As they've gotten older his thoughts about her have become more erotic and more complicated as the small tastes he's had of her have only left him more conflicted.  His connection to Ian, the brotherly feelings they have as they've been there for each other during big losses since they were children, fuels his conflict and ultimately puts their friendship to the test.  Lex is a complex character when it comes to his words and deeds.  He insults Gabi in many ways, like a boy pulling the pigtails of the girl he likes, but whenever she needs help he's there riding to her rescue and never expecting acknowledgement.  He's a sexy guy, and knows it as his self-esteem is off the charts, but when it comes to feelings he seems a bit insecure as his parents taught him nothing but coldness.  Lex has so much to offer and for me he was the perfect romantic hero.  His scenes with Gabi were scorching with banter that was wickedly funny and decadent which made their scenes even hotter. Romance readers will find themselves charmed by this naughty boy, just as I was.

Gabi's the quintessential good girl who's been saving herself...saving herself for Lex as he's a temptation she no longer wants to ignore after a Christmas party four years ago showed her all the sexy possibilities.  Since they were young she's been drawn to him but conflicted by his push and pull feelings.  He's always been there for her and that's what has her coming back for more in a relationship full of verbal sparring and teeming with sexual tension.  She'll need his help more than ever though as her parents have fallen on hard times and she struggles to give them every penny which unleashes Lex's protective side in numerous sweet acts that slowly changes their relationship from frenemies to lovers.  Gabi's an admirable and strong-willed young woman who would do anything for those she loves, works her fingers to the bone and takes a job that puts her in danger.  She values her friendship with Ian as he's like a brother and hates keeping her feelings for Lex hidden, but fears the consequences of him finding out as she doesn't want to break up their family.  It's the only conflict in her relationship with Lex but it's an emotionally heartbreaking one that kept my fingers crossed for a HEA.

This was a decadently delightful read courtesy of the witty and rapid-fire dialogue between Lex and everyone else.  He's charming and oozes sex appeal but shows a bit of coldness towards relationships from a childhood of loneliness. When in Gabi's presence though you see a man with a hidden heart of gold as he goes out of his way to support her through many sweet and subtle acts that have you easily forgiving his moments of callous commentary.  Gabi's a strong woman going through a rough time but she never gives up, especially with Lex finally by her side, and together they're a formidable pair.  Theirs is a scorching relationship that doesn't really pick up steam until the mid-point of the story. The early stages are wonderfully full of verbal foreplay, sexy banter that made me tingle.  Once they finally admit their feelings though, their relationship evolves into steamy romps that are also playful and chuckle-inducing which put a smile on my face.  Theirs is ultimately a feel-good romance that brought this series to a wonderful conclusion.  Life changes for Ian and Blake and a true HEA for Lex and Gabi, and her family, leave readers with a warm embrace as the final page is turned on Wingmen, Inc!

My rating for this is an A.

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

AUTHOR INFO:

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!
You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com.

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

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