Monday, April 30, 2018

Book Spotlight on Lyric by Molly McAdams (GIVEAWAY)

Readers looking for a sensual and suspenseful read that will put them through the wringer alongside the compelling main couple fighting for HEA will get just that with this exhilarating series starter.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Lyric by Molly McAdams, then add it to your bookshelf!  In honor of this first installment in the Rebel series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $50 Amazon GC along with a signed print copy of this book too!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams delivers the first captivating, stand-alone novel in her REDEMPTION series spin-off—the REBEL series...
I’m not the kind of girl you forget.
I wish I was.
I wish I was normal.
That I could blend into a crowd. Have a future with the man I’ve loved my entire life...
Maxon James understands me in a way others can’t.
For as long as I can remember, he’s vowed that one day he would claim my wild, rebel heart. God knows I wanted him to try. I wanted the life he promised me in his lyrics.
But his assurances couldn’t change the past, and the infamous mafia blood in my veins guarantees my heart can’t be claimed.
Somewhere along the way, I slipped. I let myself believe we could have it all. Now a dark, menacing shadow hovers between us, mocking us for daring to hope for a normal future.
And it’s come to collect on a blood oath.
My name’s Elizabeth Borello—Libby for short. Don’t worry about forgetting it… He hasn’t.




Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she's not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm ... or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren't really happening.



Sunday, April 29, 2018

Book Spotlight on Until There Was Us by Samantha Chase (GIVEAWAY)

A scorching one night-stand between a woman who likes control and a carefree guy is something that neither of them has forgotten in this tale of second chances and forging HEA.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Until There Was Us by Samantha Chase, then add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this seventh installment in the Montgomery Brothers series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a prize pack from the author too!

He'll have to play his cards just right for her to take a chance on him...
Megan Montgomery has always been careful…except that one time she threw caution to the wind and hooked up with a sexy groomsman at her cousin's wedding. But that was two years ago—so why can't she stop thinking about Alex Rebat?
Alex has been living the good life. He loves his job, has a great circle of friends, and doesn't answer to anyone. The problem? There's only one woman he wants and she ran out on him after one amazing weekend. But now that Megan's coming back to town, Alex hopes he can convince her to take another chance on him…and on a future that can only be built together.


Tugging at the hem of her dress for the hundredth time, Megan silently cursed the fact that she’d let her mother talk her into it. The navy-blue fabric clung to every ample curve and was shorter than the dresses she normally wore, and all in all, she was feeling very self-conscious about the whole thing.
She was surrounded by family and knew she shouldn’t be feeling anything but happy to be here, but old insecurities still lingered. Okay, maybe they had resurfaced thanks to her ex constantly harping on her about losing weight. Megan wasn’t fat—she knew that—but she was definitely not slim. She envied her cousin Summer. She had the kind of body Megan had always wished she had—slim—and she looked good in everything. Whereas Megan had to worry about how every article of clothing she had would fit or if it would be too clingy.
Another tug at the hem of her dress as she looked around to see where Summer was. They didn’t get to see each other nearly enough and maybe...
“Excuse me?”
Megan turned and saw the most attractive man she had ever seen in her life. He was tall with sandy-brown hair and a smile that seemed almost too perfect. She swallowed hard,convinced he couldn’t possibly want to talk to her.
“Would you like to dance?” he asked, and Megan’s heart beat wildly in her chest.
She looked around and wondered whether someone had put him up to this. But he didn’t look the least bit insincere. If anything, he seemed slightly amused by her confusion.
She cleared her throat and nodded. “Um…yes. Thank you.”
His smile broadened, and it was almost lethal. He had dimples too. She had to stifle a sigh when she noticed them.
“I’m Alex Rebat,” he said, extending his hand to her. “I’m a friend of Zach’s. And you are?”
Blushing because his voice was as magnificent as the rest of him, she replied, “I’m Megan Montgomery. Zach’s cousin.”
She shook his hand, but he didn’t release hers. Instead, he led her onto the dance floor where a slow song was playing. At first, Megan felt a little self-conscious about dancing with a stranger, but as soon as Alex gently wrapped his arm around her waist, all negative thoughts disappeared.
They swayed together to the music as if they’d danced together for years.
They talked as if they’d known each other forever.
And they were both more than ready to move off the dance floor and find someplace quiet to talk after their fourth dance.
Alex kept her hand in his as he led her from the banquet room to the lobby and finally out to the garden. The sun had gone down, and the entire area was lit with hundreds of soft-white twinkly lights. To Megan it looked like something out of a fairy tale while she felt like she was living in the middle of one.
Hand in hand they walked along the paths as Alex told her about his job as a physical therapist, and the more he spoke, the more she wanted to know about him. He had confidence and passion as he spoke about his work and his life, and she found herself hanging on his every word. And when he asked about her—her job, her life—she felt inferior in comparison.
So she’d given him a brief overview of her IT career and her life in Albany before turning the conversation over to him. The smile he gave her told her he knew what she was doing.
“Not big on talking about yourself, huh?” he asked with a knowing smile.
Megan blushed as she shook her head. “There isn’t much to tell. My job is fairly boringcompared to yours. What you do really makes a difference in people’s lives—and after seeing all you did for Zach, I’m in total awe of you.”
They stopped walking, and Alex moved so he was standing in front of her. “Don’t,” he said, his voice a little gruff. “Zach did all the hard work. I was merely there to help. Not every case is as successful as his. He had the drive to do it, and he worked hard to make it happen.”
Both his words and his voice were so intense that Megan was overwhelmed with the urge to reach out and touch him—not just hold his hand but…soothe him. Comfort him.
And she did.
Reaching up with her free hand, she gently caressed his face and heard his sharp intake of breath. This wasn’t her—she didn’t do things like this, wasn’t this forward—and yet she couldn’t help herself.
“Megan,” he said softly as his head lowered toward hers.
She wasn’t an overly romantic person and didn’t believe in things like this actually happening, and yet the instant Alex’s lips touched hers, Megan swore she saw fireworks. Normally she was a little more timid, inhibited, but something about Alex changed that. Wrapping her arms around him, she melted against him—reveling in the heat of his body, the feel of his lean frame against hers. The feeling must have been mutual because she heard a low growl come from him as he pulled her even closer.
Never before had she been kissed like this—it was the kind of kiss that started slowly, and they both sank into it until it kept going and neither wanted it to end. Megan’s hands raked up into his hair, and when they were finally forced to break apart for breath, in only a matter of seconds they dove in for another taste.
For a few glorious moments, they had been cocooned in their own little world out in the garden, but it didn’t take long for other wedding guests to start coming out and walking around, and the mood was broken. Alex never stopped touching her though—everywhere they went her hand was in his, and she found she was thankful for the constant connection.
Over the course of the wedding reception, they danced again and talked and laughed, and Megan was nearly bristling with anticipation by the time Gabriella threw the bouquet. At that point, she knew she and Alex could leave. When she noticed other guests getting up to go, she looked over at Alex and said, “So...”
He was sitting beside her, and the expression on his face told her everything she needed to know.
He wanted to leave.
And he wanted to leave with her.
Casually they walked around and said their goodbyes separately. Out in the lobby, Alex took her by the hand—or maybe that time she took his—and they made their way down the massive hallway that connected the banquet hall to the hotel. Several times Megan had looked around to make sure no one saw them—and not because she was embarrassed but because she didn’t want the interruption. If she didn’t get Alex alone soon, she swore she’d spontaneously combust!
The ride in the elevator seemed to take forever, and she swore the walk to her room was a mile long. But once they were inside and the door was closed?



New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary romance, Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return in November 2011.
Although she waited until she was in her 40s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
With almost fifty titles currently to her name, she has no plans to slow down.  You won't find her books with the erotica or paranormal titles, all of her works are pure contemporary romances.
When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.



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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Book Spotlight on The Only Thing by Marie Harte (Review & GIVEAWAY)

A fake relationship soon becomes so much more in this sexy, fun, and flirty tale where family and friends all have a hand in bringing together two very different people.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Only Thing by Marie Harte, along with my impressions of it, then count down the days until this scorching romance hits bookshelves on May 1st!  In honor of this third installment in the Donnigans series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a prize pack put together by the author too!

What do you do when a "fake" relationship is so much better than the real thing?
Hope Donnigan is finally getting her life together. She's working a job she likes, has some amazing friends, and is steering clear of Mr. Wrong. Now if only she could get her mother to understand that. Maybe a hot tattoo artist from the other side town is just the ticket to teach her mom a lesson.
J.T. Webster fell for Hope months ago at his sister's wedding. So when she propositions him to be her fake boyfriend to get her mother off her back, he's all in. The only problem is J.T. had no idea their pretend relationship would be better than anything real he's ever had…


Hope couldn’t find it in herself to blink, focused on God’s gift to womankind. Her aunt’s invitation to dinner had come at the perfect time, giving Hope an excuse to avoid her mother’s weekly nagathon. Since her idiot older brothers had hooked up with the loves of their lives, her mother had deemed Hope fair game again. So much for their pleasant détente, where Hope stopped blaming her mother for her many issues and Linda Donnigan stopped getting on Hope for breathing wrong.
Yet Hope hadn’t anticipated seeing J.T. Webster. He hadn’t been at the last two dinners Aunt Sophie had invited her to. “Greg?” she asked, her mind on other things.
Like how incredible J.T. filled out a simple T-shirt and jeans. The man had the prettiest chestnut-brown skin. She could stare at him for hours.
Liam was white, and she knew J.T.’s mom had been black. She also must have been gorgeous, because J.T. had his dad’s height and brawn, as well as the face of an angel who liked to sin. A lot.
She swallowed a sigh and continued to visually eat him up, wondering if the size of his hands and feet could be correlated to the size of other things.
God, get your mind off sex, Hope. His father is here! Aunt Sophie is here! And you’re off men, remember?
“Yeah, Greg,” J.T. said, looking concerned. “Gas Works Park ring a bell?”
Geez, she’d seen Greg and J.T. just last week. “Oh, no. No problems on that front.” To Liam, who studied her a little too intently, she explained, “Ex-boyfriend. A jerk I ran into. No biggie.” She shot J.T. a look, pleased when he kept quiet.
Last weekend, Greg, a guy she hadn’t dated or seen in over four months, had accused her of using her brother to bother him. But Hope hadn’t thought about Greg the Cheater since she’d dumped him, so she knew her brothers couldn’t care less about the guy. When Greg had tried to get a little gropey at the park, she’d taken him down, courtesy of the self-defense classes her brothers taught.
J.T. hadn’t had to do more than watch her take Greg out. She’d been so proud of herself… when she’d been able to tear her imagination from what J.T. would look like naked.
So sad those images replayed themselves over and over again.
“Right.” Liam stared from her to J.T., a question in his eyes.
“So who’s pregnant?” she asked, hoping to shift attention away from herself.
Rena squealed. “Del is! A tiny little bun in her McCauley oven.”
Del looked embarrassed, which was funny, because Del could out swear the mechanics she bossed around on a daily basis and took woman power to the next level. The woman had arms covered in tattoos, funky ash-blonde braids, and icy gray eyes that seemed to look through, and not at, a person.
Hope could see a faint resemblance from brother to sister despite their different skin tones. Both J.T. and Del had the same shape of their eyes and stubborn chins, just like their father. Only someone as obsessed with J.T. would have noticed that, she realized, and felt like a moron for being so enthralled with the man.
Fortunately, Liam and Rena started badgering Del for details, letting Hope off the hook.
Since she hadn’t yet greeted her aunt, Hope started to turn and found J.T. suddenly in her way. “Oh, sorry.”
He put a hand out to stop her from bumping into him. And sweet baby sexy, she felt the touch go from her arm all the way through her body, centering between her legs. Oy.



With her latest release Ms. Harte has brought together the friends and families inhabiting some of her much-beloved series to have them all put in their two cents when it comes to the love lives of Hope Donnigan and J.T. Webster.  What starts out under the guise of a lie soon becomes oh so much more, but with familial intervention and inner fears it’s a somewhat rocky road to HEA.  Add in a bit of unnecessary drama courtesy of a scary secret admirer and readers will be left feeling a bit of whiplash but satisfied by all the action, sexiness, and banter.

Hope Donnigan is unlucky in love.  As the lone daughter in her family she has been surrounded by loving and overprotective brothers and a judgmental mother who have added to her burden in finding true love.  After two particularly awful relationships she’s sworn off men, but her mother’s criticism and meddling has her doing the unthinkable...creating a fake boyfriend (who’s the complete opposite of what her mother wants) in hopes of ending her mother’s matchmaking forever.  As she describes her new “boyfriend” though he starts sounding a lot like the hot tattoo artist she recently met at a family function.  This one lie changes everything for her and unexpectedly gives Hope exactly what she’s always longed for in a rocky and scorching journey to HEA.  Hope’s a likable heroine.  She’s strong-willed, down-to-earth, with a loyal heart. She’s not overly ambitious and isn’t consumed with finding a rich man to marry. She just wants to be happy.  She’s an average gal who told it like it was.  She has no filter when it comes to talking about sex and it often made me chuckle. She ultimately sees herself married with kids, but is tired of being hurt, and is in no rush despite her mother’s machinations. There’s a lot about Hope that’s easy to relate to and it had me rooting for her every step of the way.

J.T. Webster comes from a big family too, an outspoken and loving family.  He’s a bit of a player, but he’s so charming and sexy that women are happy with whatever crumbs he’s willing to give them.  Though there aren’t many women who’ve caught his attention...Hope definitely has him wanting her and happy to play her fake boyfriend. They’re a crackling couple from the very start and J.T.’s more than happy to jump into his role wholeheartedly.  In scenes that were funny yet erotically-charged you could see him growing closer to her against his better judgment as he’s also had heartache in his life courtesy of his dad who’s twice widowed.  It’s made him leery of opening his heart for fear the happiness he feels while being with Hope will be snatched away. When it comes to J.T.’s looks he’s one sexy beast!  He’s big and burly and more than capable of flexing his muscles.  Whereas Hope is blond with a sense of carefree to her, he’s got an aura of darkness and steadiness.  He’s devoted to family and gentle with the kids.  He’s charming with a talent for dirty talk too that made their scenes even hotter.  I fell for him completely and am still drooling over him nightly in my dreams!

Hope and J.T. are a likable and entertaining couple.  Their relationship was easy, minus the unnecessary crazy admirer, sweet and sexy with no angst.  The honesty between them about what they want and who they are made them even more likable and had me rooting for them.  Learning about each other to make their fake relationship more real was erotically-charged and their extended foreplay quickly evolved into so much more. Through their words and deeds it’s clear that they were a couple long before they admitted it to themselves.  Surrounding this dynamic duo was a large cast of characters from previous books who all started to get jumbled after awhile.  I forgot who was who and wished there hadn’t been so much stuffed into this story as it all became a distraction.  Another thing that I never warmed up to was Hope’s mother.  She meant well but her words and judgments were hurtful.  She could tear Hope down with just a few words and I wanted to slug her whenever she came on the scene.  The mystery surrounding Hope’s admirer was also unnecessary.  Hope and J.T. had enough excitement going on just becoming a couple that the danger and suspense this brought was just another distraction. Hope and J.T. were utterly delightful all on their own, with rapid-fire banter full of sexy innuendos, and I became captivated by them in a story where watching them together was satisfaction enough.  All the extras just got in the way of my enjoyment of Hope and J.T!  Throughout this story readers will have a perpetual smile on their face, along with a few blushes, as you soak in their decadently delightful relationship while waiting to see where life takes these families and friends next.

My rating for this is a B.

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


Award-winning author Marie Harte has been writing professionally since 2005. She’s both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and Harte.
She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks and Entangled. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense. Basically, everything romance with a touch of spice.
Before turning to writing full-time, she earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and spent several years in the United States Marine Corps as a communications officer.
Marie currently lives in Central Oregon with her family. There’s nothing she likes more than finding a good book to read and a great cup of coffee to drink.


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Friday, April 27, 2018

Book Spotlight on Too Hard to Resist by Robin Bielman (GIVEAWAY)

It’s a sensual tug-of-war between a sexy boss and his assistant who doesn’t want to jeopardize her job, but can’t keep fighting her attraction to him.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Too Hard to Resist by Robin Bielman, then add this fun and flirty contemporary romance to your bookshelf.  In honor of this third installment in the Wherever You Go series make sure to visit the link below to have the chance to win a $25 Amazon GC too!

One rookie assistant + one demanding executive = flirting that is too hot to handle.
Have you ever wished for the perfect job? Me, too. So when I land a temporary gig with a worthwhile and exemplary startup, I'm determined to make it permanent. That my boss is the gorgeous, clever Elliot Sax is nothing I can't handle. We may steal glances at each other and straddle the line of playing it safe, but our partnership is too important for complications. Not to mention workplace hookups are against the rules.
But when our attraction flames hotter, our best efforts are put to the test. I never imagined having to fight my feelings for him on a daily basis and keeping my hands to myself is absolutely killing me.
Until I can't. Until we can't. And what's at stake becomes more than our jobs. What's at risk is our hearts.


We land at the end of the bar, a dimly lit corner with one available stool. Elliot motions for me to sit. “Can I buy you a drink?” he asks.
Since my nerves are doing jumping jacks in my stomach, yes he can. “Okay.”
He waves the bartender over. The guy behind the counter is attractive and greets Elliot like he knows him. I order a tequila sunrise. Elliot orders a beer.
“This is weird,” he says.
I let out the breath I was saving for later, happy I’m not the only one who is restless. “It is.”
“It shouldn’t be.” He leans his elbows on the bar. Like me, he’s still in his work clothes. His shirtsleeves are rolled up. His collar is loose. He smells really good, a mix of man and some kind of cologne. His hair is finger-combed sexy, and I wonder if it’s as soft as it looks. “I don’t want it to be.”
“Me, either.”
He shifts, rests his side against the counter. Electric-blue eyes fringed with dark lashes hold me in place. “So let’s not let it. We work great together, and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.”
“Agreed. So, maybe when we’re not at work, we just forget we work together?”
“I can do that. What’s harder is forgetting we’re friends, too, while at work.”
I swallow. The way he’s looking at me…I think the attraction I feel isn’t one-sided. My heart starts to pound.
“I like you,” he says.
And my heart pounds double-time. “I like you, too.” But even if he weren’t my boss…he’s a million miles out of my comfort zone. I’d never be enough for someone like him. Someone far more experienced than I am—in love and life. I’ve heard enough stories from Mateo, and I’ve seen him with enough different girls over the years to know Elliot Sax is a playboy and isn’t interested in anything serious.
“Sometime this week, though—I take that back—I know exactly when. On Wednesday morning when you presented me with a month-long agenda divided into three sections that included strategy, growth, and investor management—we became a team.”
A huge smile splits my face in two.
“And correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you’re happy at ZipMeds.”
“I am. Very.”
“So friends it is, with the caveat that I am your boss, and there’s a line there we have to be careful of.”
“Right,” I say, realizing he likes me, but he doesn’t like me. Which is for the best.
“I have no idea what you get paid, but I’ll look into it.”
“That’s not—“
“I also want to make your position permanent.”
“You don’t have—” I stop myself. “What did you say?” Before the grin taking over my face gets too big again, I need to hear that one more time.
“Here you go.” In my periphery, the bartender puts our drinks down. Without taking his eyes off mine, Elliot picks up our glasses. He hands me mine.
“Congratulations, Madison.”
“You want to hire me full-time?”
“If that’s what you want.”
“Yes, it’s what I want.”
“Then we have ourselves a deal.” He clinks his glass to mine, then takes a big gulp of his beer.
I watch his lips move, his throat work. It’s sexy and—I dart my gaze everywhere else but at his face while I take a sip from my tiny straw. One sip turns into two, turns into three. I’m just going to drink the whole yummy thing. When I lift my eyes to his, I find them lasered in on my mouth. My breasts grow suddenly heavy. I ache between my thighs. It’s like he can command my body to respond just to his regard. This is bad.
But feels so good.



When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts most of her story ideas.
She loves to go on adventures, and has skydived, scuba dived, parasailed, gotten lost in the wilderness (and only suffered a gazillion bug bites for it) hiked to waterfalls, and swam with dolphins. In her spare time she also likes to put her treadmill to good use while watching her favorite TV shows, take hikes with her hubby, indulge her sweet tooth, and play sock tug of war with her cute, but sometimes naughty dog, Harry.
She dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers.



Thursday, April 26, 2018

Book Tour for Dark Desires by Aja James (Review & GIVEAWAY)

It’s an exhilarating thrill ride for readers with this paranormal romance set in a unique world where good and bad blur.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Dark Desires by Aja James, along with my impressions of it, then learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this third installment in the Pure/Dark Ones series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $10 bookstore GC too!

Ryu Takamura is the Dark Ones’ Assassin. He has never missed his target…until now. Until her.
Ava Monroe is a talented geneticist who holds the key to the vampire race’s future…and perhaps her own as well.
Their attraction is explosive from the first. She would do anything to have him. He would sacrifice all to protect her.
But will their love triumph over seemingly impossible odds as they battle enemies new and old? Especially the demons from Ryu’s past? And deep within his heart?


She was not what he expected.
Not that he knew what Professors or Doctors (or whatever one called someone with both PhD and MD as a suffix to their name) in molecular genetics looked like on average, if there was such a stereotype to begin with.
But he thought they might be…older.
Gray-haired with glasses and a wizened, wrinkled visage reflecting self-sacrifice (for how else would they have had the time to concentrate on their studies?) and solemnity (for what humor was there in such an analytical, methodological subject?).
For Ryu Takamura, who had been raised for the first ten years of his life in a whorehouse and abandoned thereafter at a Shinto shrine, formal education—hell—any education seemed foreign and antithetical to his own upbringing.
Perhaps this was why he always dressed and spoke with meticulous care.
To any observer, he appeared to be the immensely wealthy heir to a Japanese or Korean conglomerate, living a life of privilege and idleness with armies of servants to tend to his every need. His clothes were of the finest quality and tailored to fit his long, lean body to perfection. His wavy black hair was tousled just so, fuller on top and in the back and shaved closely on the sides to emphasize his aristocratic bone structure, all angles and points liked a laser-cut diamond.
He was so blindingly elegant, in fact, he could never have been mistaken for a real Asian heir. He represented what their alter egos might aspire to if they could ever look as resplendent as he. Rather like how K-dramas represented the ridiculously good-looking and wealthy on TV with actors who had undergone countless surgeries to mimic perfection.
If only they knew the truth. Ryu’s lips tipped at one corner in dark amusement.




With this third book in the Pure/Dark Ones series Ms. James continues to entertain with this exotic and sensual thrill ride as two people from very different worlds find a connection.  From familiar locations to a country far away readers get wrapped up in this enjoyable read, get introduced to new characters, and get a few smiles along the way.

Ava Monroe is one smart cookie, devoted to work and dedicated to helping her father.  Despite her smarts though, she’s not your typical nerd.  She’s strong-willed, snarky, outspoken, and is quick to stand up for herself and those she cares about.  There’s also a bit of naïveté about her that, all together, made for an interesting dichotomy.  On a trip to Japan where she’s been hired to work on important genetic testing she finds herself unexpectedly attracted to a serious-minded and mysterious man teeming with sensuality.  There’s an instant connection between them that ultimately leads to complications when he’s hired to stop her well as her.  Ava’s a likable heroine who was a good match for Ryu despite their differences.  I enjoyed her humor and found her easy to relate to when it came to her actions.  When it came time for her to talk medical though, I sometimes felt overloaded and pulled out of the story, which was frustrating as it was an entertaining read for the most part.

Ryu Takamura is someone we’ve seen glimpses of before and his taking center stage here shows us a sexy and mysterious hero carrying heavy emotional baggage from his past.  He’s a master assassin who’s never missed a target, but his attraction to a woman on a plane has him making an unexpected choice that will cause repercussions for his people.  Ryu’s past is dark and his return to Japan shows readers why.  In flashbacks, and in current time, readers get various pieces into the puzzle of what’s made Ryu who he is and it’s a tale that brought tears to my eyes.  His connection to Ava was freeing, bringing joy and acceptance to a life riddled with shame and theirs was a cheer-worthy romance balanced with suspense and danger.

On a whole this was a good book, but not my favorite of the series.  It felt more isolated and less-reliant on the world-building I’ve come to enjoy from Ms. James.  It was more heavy on the action and suspense and a bit less on the paranormal/fantasy side.  The romance between Ryu and Ava though was scorching.  They were a crackling couple despite their differences with sensual interludes nicely spaced to leave readers wanting more.  The culture of Japan was on vivid display in this book with dialogue that reflected the Asian ethnicity, the use of which added to the story’s feel, but which made the story flow a bit less smoothly.  A few characters from previous books also make appearances, which I enjoyed, but their inclusion was more nostalgic than important to the overall storyline.  Readers new to this series though will find this a book that stands strongly on its own.  Not having read the previous installments won’t make this any less enjoyable as it’s exhilarating and sensual with a main couple you’ll be rooting for from the moment they meet.  With the few threads left hanging by the turn of the final page, Ms. James has me agonizingly counting down the days until the next installment.

My rating for this is a B+

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


Aja has been writing stories since the age of six, and novels since the age of thirteen. While she'd be the first to admit that those early efforts weren't particularly good, she sure loved putting them down on paper!
The best part of writing, according to Aja, is that it’s completely organic, the way the stories develop. When the inspiration hits, she writes just so she herself can learn where the characters are headed because oftentimes, they take her by surprise! It is her ultimate dream to share her stories with as many readers as she possibly can.
Her other loves include art, cooking, and old movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, and all the song and dance numbers because she can’t watch them and not be happy!).
She adores taking long walks with her husband and running after her two rambunctious kids. She has traveled extensively (all seven continents except Antarctica) and has a multi-cultural upbringing. She speaks two and a half languages and binge watch TV shows when the mood strikes.
Aja has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Literature and Economics and two Master’s degrees, one of which is in East Asian Studies.



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