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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Poisonous by Allison Bennan

Author: Allison Brennan
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date of publication: April 2016

Teen-aged Internet bully Ivy Lake fell off a cliff and few people cared ... except her mentally-challenged eighteen-year-old step-brother, Tommy. He loved her in spite of her cruelty. He's distraught and doesn't understand why his blended family is falling apart. After a year, the police still have no answers: Ivy could have jumped, could have been pushed, or it could have been an accident. With too many suspects and not enough evidence, the investigation has grown cold.

Tommy thinks that if someone can figure out what happened to his step-sister, everything will go back to normal, so he writes to investigative reporter Maxine Revere. This isn’t the type of case Max normally takes on, but the heartbreak and simple honesty in Tommy's letter pulls her in. She travels to Corte Madera, California, with her assistant David Kane and is at first pleased that the police are cooperative. But the more Max learns about Tommy and his dysfunctional family, the more she thinks she’s taken on an impossible task: this may be the one case she can’t solve.
Poisonous is book three in the Max Revere series.  Each one can be read as stand alone book, but it doesn't hurt to start from the beginning to understand Max a bit more.  This time around, Max has received a letter from Tommy who has asked her to find who killed his step-sister Ivy.  It's not the normal kind of case Max would take, but something about Tommy's letter hits her in the heart and she can't resist.

The thing I love about this series is the characters.  I love getting to know more about Max with each book. I really sympathized with her over her feelings of not fitting into any family.  I also totally thought she was right regarding David and Nick over their custody situation.  I lost a bit of respect for Nick when he wouldn't share with Max.  I really felt bad for her.  Tommy has to be just about the sweetest character that I have read in a while.  He is mentally delayed but so sincere and honest that you can't help but root for him.  He just about broke my heart in every scene he was in.  I loved Max's interactions with Tommy, it made me like her that much more.

The mystery was really good and solid.  I was definitely kept guessing until the end.  I had my suspicions.  In the end, I was wrong, but that made me love the book all the more. I definitely recommend this one as well as the others in the series.  I can't wait to see what Max gets into next!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway of Test Drive by Marie Harte

Author: Marioe Harte
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: May 2016

A smokin’ hot new series from Marie Harte featuring tough-guy mechanics and the women who jump-start their hearts.

GET TO KNOW THE BODY SHOP BAD BOYS
Johnny, Foley, Sam, and Lou are the rough and tumble mechanics of Webster’s Garage. These reformed bad boys are used to living fast, but it’s the women in their lives who take them from zero to sixty in a heartbeat.

JOHNNY
Johnny Devlin’s a charmer with a checkered past. He’s had his eye on scorching-hot bartender Lara Valley for ages, but she’s rejected him more than once. That doesn’t mean he won’t come to her aid when some dirtbag mauls her. When she asks him on a date as a no-strings-attached thank you, he can’t say no.  And then he’s saying nothing but hell, yes.

Read an excerpt:

He’d never been so captivated by a woman before. He’d seen prettier women. But something about Lara Valley struck him in the heart, the brain, and yeah, right between his legs.
He hoped she kept her gaze on his face, because he couldn’t do much about his erection with her so close. She dabbed his cheek, and it stung. But then she blew on it, and he swallowed a moan. Dear Jesus, she was killing him. He smelled the flowery soap she’d used to wash her face. Fresh and clean, the way he always thought of her.
“Sorry.”
“What?” He sounded hoarse and had to clear his throat. “For hurting you. I saw you flinch.”
From wanting you too much. “Don’t tell the guys, okay? I have a rep.”
She chuckled and continued to be gentle with him. “I promise. I owe you.”
He stopped her from swabbing his cheek, his hand over hers. “No, you don’t. You don’t owe me a thing, Lara. I’m serious.” He didn’t want her gratitude. It made him uncomfortable, felt wrong, somehow. Taking care of her was no big thing. It just was.
Her slow smile warmed him all over again. “Okay. I don’t owe you. Then can you do me another favor and be a willing patient while I practice my nursing skills on you?” “Well, if you put it like that. And you did insist I eat your cookies.”
“I did.” She tried to look solemn, but her smile ruined her attempt.
He sat, staring at her, while she took care of him. Man, she was something else. So damn beautiful it hurt to look at her. She’d make eye contact before quickly glancing away, her eyes dark, a fathomless brown, rich and addicting and impossible to deny.
His heart raced any time she was near. And damn if he didn’t want to protect her from the world—himself included—while lusting after her all the same. I am so totally gone on this chick.
He tried to act cool and collected but feared he looked like a love-struck ass. Not that love had anything to do with the way he was feeling—or so he’d been telling himself for years—but it probably described his expression better than anything he could come up with.
She put a bandage across his cheek. “There. You were bleeding a little, and you’ll bruise, but you should be all better soon.”
“Thanks, Nurse Feel-Good.” He wiggled his brows, and she blushed.
Hell. If she looked down, she’d catch a real eyeful.
Fortunately, she put her tiny medical kit aside and moved back to her spot across the table from him. Then she took a cookie and eased into the bite. “Oh, these are good.” “I’m telling you. Whenever Ray puts your cookies on the menu, they sell like crazy. You sure you want to be a nurse? ’Cause I’m thinking you bake like an angel.”
“An angel?” She raised a brow, the one she normally used with him to indicate she didn’t believe a word of his crap. Another reason she’d captivated him. She saw through his bullshit. “That’s the best you can do?”
He pleaded exhaustion. “I’m sorry. I took a blow to the head. It’s all I’ve got.” He put on his needy face. “Careful. I might swoon.”
“Faker.” She snickered. “I know you don’t want my gratitude. So I’m thanking you with cookies.” Her amusement faded, and she looked down, then up at him, then away again.
“Lara? What’s wrong?”
She met his gaze and said in a rush, “How come you keep asking me out?”
Change of subject, but o-kay. “Because I wanted a date.”
“Wanted?”
“Want, wanted. Whatever.” He frowned. “Hold on. Don’t all of a sudden agree to go out with me because you think you owe me something. We settled that. Cookies for bruises. It’s a done deal.” He stood and took a few steps back from the table, not wanting to loom over her. She’d been assaulted tonight, even if she insisted she was fine. “Say what you want, but you’ve had a rough night. I should probably go.”
She just watched him with an expression he couldn’t read.
But he couldn’t leave just yet. “Lara, Ron’s an asshole. No one should ever touch you when you don’t want it.” He scowled, annoyed and unable to hide it, and reiterated, “And I sure as shit don’t want you going out with me out of some fucked-up sense that you owe me.”
Damn. Talk about some money to add to the swear jar.
Her slow smile confused the hell out of him. “What?” he snapped, aware his legendary calm seemed to have deserted him. And talk about the wrong person and the wrong time to act like an ass. First Ron, now him.
She stood and crossed to him, then took his large hands in her smaller, softer ones. Christ, she was smooth. Her silky palms felt hot against his, and he wondered if his scars and calluses reminded her of their differences. Around her he felt like a big, uneducated grease monkey. Lara Valley, bartender, waitress, and college kid. Well, college woman. He’d never thought of her as a kid, not with those curves. Besides, he only had two years on her.
“Johnny?”
“Yeah?”
“Ask me again.”
He stared down at her, at those eyes he could drown in. At that ripe mouth that looked so soft yet bore a bruise or two from fuckhead Ron. “Huh?”
“You know. Ask me.” She tugged him closer, until they stood so close he could feel her breath over his chin.
Lust and tenderness swamped him, and it was all he could do not to grab her and shove her up against the nearest wall, right now. “Ask you…?”
“For a date,” she whispered and pulled him forward.
To his shock, she kissed him. A soft taste of chocolate and Lara, homey goodness and sex appeal that had him hard and unable to think beyond getting more of her. She didn’t use any tongue, but he was leery of ending the moment by taking charge, so he let her lead the way.
Soft presses of her lips moved from his mouth to his cheek. When she kissed him gently over the bandage, he felt trembly. Unsure and confused and totally not himself. All his sly one-liners escaped him, replaced with a crazy need to hold her close and never let go.
She pulled back and waited.
“Lara,” he said, his voice husky. “Will you go out with me?”
“Yes. I think I will. How about dinner and a movie?”
How about I remember how to talk instead of staring at you? He swallowed audibly. “That would be nice.”
She smiled. “Great. It’s a date.”

Buy Links:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Marie Harte:

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking or biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. She lives in in Central Oregon.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Butchers HIll by Laura Lippman

Author: Laura Lippman
First published in 1998 by Avon

Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her shingle as a p.i.-for-hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it's not the best address in Baltimore, but you gotta start somewhere, and Tess's greyhound Esskay has no trouble taking marathon naps anywhere there's a roof. Then in walks Luther Beale, the notorious vigilante who five years ago shot a boy for vandalizing his car. Just out of prison, he says he wants to make reparations to the kids who witnessed his crime, so he needs Tess to find them. But once she starts snooping, the witnesses start dying. Is the "Butcher of Butchers Hill" at it again? Like it or not, Tess is embroiled in a case that encompasses the powers that-be, a heartless system that has destroyed the lives of children, and a nasty trail of money and lies leading all the way back to Butchers Hill.


Butchers Hill is the third book featuring reporter turned detective Tess Monaghan.  In this one she is hired to solve two separate cases. Both ended up with some big surprises in the end.  I thought this was a good solid addition to the series.  I liked it slightly more than the first two. Tess really begins to find her stride in the detective business.  While a little slow at times, I thought both mysteries were very well planned out.  I definitely didn't see any of the solutions coming so that is a major bonus.  I'm looking forward to continuing with the series. 




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Excerpt & Review of Let it Ride by Melanie Jayne

Author: Melanie Jayne
Publisher: Big Dog Publishing
Date of publication: April 2016

The first time he met her, he couldn't have her. In their world there are rules against that kind of interaction. So Remington Cooper watched, waited, and planned. 


Now his luck has turned and he five days to win the woman of his dream's heart.

Francesca Luchetti knows that Remy is interested, he's made that clear. She likes the idea of a fling. Conventions can be dull, so the promise of sex with a hot man will make things more exciting.\

When there is a threat to Francesca's safety, she learns that Remy is the man to keep her safe, but is she ready to gamble with her heart?

Let it Ride is a prequel short story to the Casino Nights series.  It introduces us to Francesca and Remy. They are both in the casino business and have been working together on a panel for a convention. Remy has designs on Francesca and hopes the convention is the place he can finally make his move.

I liked the story, but I didn't love it.  I did like the chemistry between Remy and Francesa.  I thought they were cute together. But, what made me not love it was the feeling that I was missing something in the beginning because I didn't get a good sense of the characters right off.  I would have liked to see more of Francesca with her security team to get a feel for them. I was also disappointed that it ended in a cliffhanger. It's a short story, but probably could have been combined with the first book in the series to make one book about the couple.  I'm not a fan of cliffhangers in general.

Still, I 'd say it's worth a read.  You may want to wait until the next book in the series comes out so you don't have to wait too long to finish out Remy and Francesca's story.



Excerpt:
  “I don’t like that a self-proclaimed enemy of Jimmy’s might be attending this event. He’s mentioned you by name in several of his rants.” Blade’s soft voice radiated concern.
“His career is over. His company has been through Chapter 11 and now they have nothing. He’s a pariah in this industry, so what does he have to lose if he harasses you?” Rico rested his hands on the table in front of him.
“Casino life is hard and the business is cut-throat. Jimmy ingrained that into me from the day he adopted me. I’ll be careful. I promise.” She gave Rico a reassuring smile. “I don’t want anything to happen to me, either if that makes you feel any better.”
“Plus it will be hard to get to know that Hoosier Hottie if you have a detail following you around.” Hadley added helpfully.
“Hadley!” She felt her cheeks burn. God she wasn’t a prude, how could she be after living and working in Sin City? Her body’s response frustrated her.  
Blade ran his fingers over his tablet and a photo of Remington Cooper flashed up on the flat screen hanging on the wall behind her chair. “I’ve done some research. This guy can take care of Frankie. I’m not worried. If he’s around her, she’ll be fine.” He flashed what could only be described as a shit-eating grin. “He’s had training, very specialized training, in the military. Plus he’s not too bad looking is he?”
“I suppose that he could protect her, but the question is, would he?” Rico looked straight at Frankie.
“Oh, I think he’d like to get next to Frankie any way he could.” Hadley winked and gave a salacious smile. “The man has been very busy pursuing our Francesca.”
“Enough.” She gave her friends an evil look. “I only talk to Remy because he is chairing the panel that I’m a part of.” She prayed that her hands weren’t shaking. Her attraction to Remy was becoming a problem. No matter what she told her body, it throbbed whenever she thought about him. “I think you all are exaggerating this just a little.” She displayed a half inch of space between her thumb and index finger.

She watched them exchange looks. This was the problem with spending so much time together. There were no secrets.

Buy links:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1VRGOlh
iBooks: http://apple.co/20yZ7ws

About the Author:



I live on a grain farm southeast of Indianapolis, Indiana with my very patient husband of twenty-five years and our two English Mastiffs, Buster Brown and Ginger. I graduated from Indiana University when it was the #1 party school in the country and I took great pride in helping the school achieve that ranking.

I haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I change careers every decade. I have worked in retail, a federal courtroom, travelled across the state closing loans, and behind the scenes in a casino.

I've always had an active imagination so when a good friend suggested that I try writing a book, I thought why not, it should be fun. It has, but I have had to work very hard to learn how to do it. I am so lucky for the outpouring of advice and education from so many in the industry, plus the hand-holding and cheerleading from My Gurls. I also have an incredible Ad-man-istrative Assistant, who tries to keep me under control. He rolls his eyes so much that I worry about a permanent condition.

When I ‘m not working or writing type stuff, I sleep, watch courtroom TV shows, and sports. I was a competitive pro-am ballroom dancer for ten years and I read as many books as I can.

I love to attend Author-Reader Conventions and look forward to meeting you.

Website: http://www.readmelaniejayne.com/
Newsletter: http://www.readmelaniejayne.com/contact-us.html
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mjsmut
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjsmut
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13547924.Melanie_Jayne

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Spotlight: Death at Breakfast by Beth Gutcheon

Author: Beth Gutcheon
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: May 2016

Indulging their pleasure in travel and new experiences, recently retired private school head Maggie Detweiler and her old friend, socialite Hope Babbin, are heading to Maine. The trip—to attend a weeklong master cooking class at the picturesque Victorian-era Oquossoc Mountain Inn—is an experiment to test their compatibility for future expeditions.

Hope and Maggie have barely finished their first aperitifs when the inn’s tranquility is shattered by the arrival of Alexander and Lisa Antippas and Lisa’s actress sister, Glory. Imperious and rude, these Hollywood one-percenters quickly turn the inn upside-down with their demanding behavior, igniting a flurry of speculation and gossip among staff and guests alike.

But the disruption soon turns deadly. After a suspicious late-night fire is brought under control, Alex’s charred body is found in the ashes. Enter the town’s deputy sheriff, Buster Babbin, Hope’s long-estranged son and Maggie’s former student. A man who’s finally found his footing in life, Buster needs a win. But he’s quickly pushed aside by the “big boys,” senior law enforcement and high-powered state’s attorneys who swoop in to make a quick arrest.

Maggie knows that Buster has his deficits and his strengths. She also knows that justice does not always prevail—and that the difference between conviction and exoneration too often depends on lazy police work and the ambitions of prosecutors. She knows too, after a lifetime of observing human nature, that you have a great advantage in doing the right thing if you don’t care who gets the credit or whom you annoy.

Purchase Links


About Beth Gutcheon

Beth Gutcheon is the critically acclaimed author of eight previous novels: The New GirlsStill MissingDomestic PleasuresSaying GraceFive FortunesMore Than You KnowLeeway Cottage, and Good-bye and Amen. She is the writer of several film scripts, including the Academy-Award nominee The Children of Theatre Street. She lives in New York City.

Find out more about Beth at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Tour Stops

Tuesday, May 10th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, May 11th: Dwell in Possibility
Thursday, May 12th: 5 Minutes For Books
Friday, May 13th: Back Porchervations
Monday, May 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, May 18th: Booksie’s Blog
Monday, May 23rd: Books and Bindings
Monday, May 23rd: Buried Under Books
Tuesday, May 24th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, May 26th: Staircase Wit
Friday, May 27th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, May 30th: Ms.Bookish.com


Monday, May 23, 2016

Blog Tour: Review and Excerpt of Remember When by RC Boldt

Author: RC Boldt
Publisher: RC Boldt Publishing
Date of publication: May 2016

The third installment of RC Boldt’s Teach Me series returns with two people who once had it all…

Over a decade ago, fourth grade teacher Tate Donnelly was attending college with the love of her life by her side. She had been certain, even then, that it was the forever kind of love. But she was proven wrong when he left her all alone to pick up the pieces of her life—and heart—when her entire world imploded.

Former Navy SEAL Miller Vaughn once had the love of a girl he thought would be his, and be by his side forever. Unfortunately, that only lasted until after he joined the Navy. Then she vanished, never to be heard from again. Throwing himself into his training, he vowed to become the best, toughest SEAL he could be, and never let a girl get the best of him again.

Years later, a man who resembles a boy she once knew reappears in her life. A boy she had loved with her whole being. A boy who had eviscerated her heart.

Though much time has passed, Tate and Miller still feel that same “pull” they did years ago. When truths about the past are revealed, will they both be able to move on from their painful past … or are they destined for heartbreak again?

Can they remember when their love was the most important thing in their world?


This series keeps getting better and better.  I really enjoyed Remember When, Book 3 in the Teach Me Series.  It's Tate and Miller's story.  We finally get to learn what happened between the couple and why they can't stand to be in the same room with each other.  Their story is just heart-wrenching. I was so rooting for them to get it together! The letters that started off each chapter just about broke my heart. I'm not going to give away what happened so you'll have to read to find out for yourself.  I will say that I was happy their getting back together took a while.  For me, it made the forgiveness and moving forward much more believable.  The "grand gesture" at the end was super cute!

This series is also great because of the extended cast of characters.  I love the banter between them all.  I can't wait for each of the single that are left to finally fall victim to the love bug, especially Lawson and Foster.  I can't wait for their stories!


Excerpt:There was no mistaking the glaring ‘Return to Sender’ stamps on the letters I held in my hand. Staring down at the letters I’d just retrieved from my mailbox in the commons area on campus, I couldn’t ignore the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Miller and I had begun dating during our senior year of high school and it had been nothing short of spectacular. When the popular quarterback of our school’s undefeated football team had slid into the vacant seat beside me in AP Biology, asking if I’d be his partner, I had been surprised, as the two of us normally gravitated in completely different circles. No, he wasn’t a dumb jock; I had noticed him in some of my other AP classes, but still. I had been the Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook staff. Not exactly scintillating by high school standards.

We had grown closer, become friends, as we dissected animals and I’d discovered that we worked well as lab partners. Far better than I’d ever expected. We began studying for our tests and, little by little, I warmed up to him. When he’d asked me to go to the Homecoming Dance with him, I had been decidedly cautious.

“I don’t know …” I had hesitated. “Don’t you think you’d be better off taking Kalli? Or Stephanie?” I offered up names of the two extremely popular cheerleaders at our school. These were girls who showed absolutely no hesitation in fawning all over the tall, handsome Miller Vaughn with his sparkling blue eyes and dark hair. He was extremely muscular, even for a high school senior, and with his six foot three frame, he appeared intimidating to many.

Miller had given me a patient smile. “Tate, if I wanted to ask someone else to Homecoming, I would have. But I didn’t. I asked you.”

Looking up into his eyes, I had thrown caution to the wind. “Okay. But if it turns out to be like a scene from the movie Carrie, I’m going to be really pissed.”
His head was thrown back in laughter before gazing down at me with a tender smile. “Tate, I promise I won’t let anything happen to you.”

And he hadn’t. We had gone to the dance and he’d been a perfect gentleman, opening doors for me, holding my hand, his shoulders thrown back with pride as he walked into the gym with me on his arm. I’d had more fun than I had ever expected. And when it came time for him to bring me home, his soft lips pressed against mine in the sweetest kiss.

From that point on, we’d been inseparable. And by the time graduation came around, he had told me he loved me and wanted to be with me, for us to go to the same college. When we had both been accepted to UMU, it had seemed like it was meant to be—like we were meant to be.


Until the end of our freshman year.



Goodreads:  https://goo.gl/13bcp3

Buy links:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1T3q3Um
Kobo: https://goo.gl/mEb9Kz
iBooks: https://goo.gl/F2ib1f

About the Author:


RC Boldt is the wife of Mr. Boldt, a retired Navy Chief, mother of Little Miss Boldt, and former teacher of many students. She currently lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing karaoke. If you're in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can't recall the lyrics to a particular 80's song, or just need to hang around a nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she's your girl.
RC loves hearing from her readers at rcboldtbooks@gmail.com.




Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Isaac Bell Series by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott

by:  Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
published by:  Putnam Adult

In The Chase we are introduced to Isaac Bell.  The hero of this series by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott.  It takes place in 1906 and tells the story of private investigator Isaac Bell and his quest to capture the "Butcher Bandit".  The Bandit travels by railway and Bell follows him all over the country in an attempt to catch him before he robs the next bank and kills all the witnesses.

The second book in this series is The Wrecker.  Isaac Bell is back and this time he is employed to capture a saboteur named The Wrecker.  He travels the railways, destroying rail
lines, blowing up trains and train depots.  However, he is someone that everyone least suspects.  He is a master of disguises and he is an elusive catch for Isaac and his team.

I really like this series.  The characters in these books are so much fun.  These books take place in the early 1900's and that's one of my favorite times to read about.  The writers seem to capture the atmosphere so well.  The audiobooks are also read by Scott Brick who does an excellent job.  I would definitely recommend this series to the mystery readers and the fans of historical fiction.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Blog Tour: Review and excerpt of Charged by Jay Crownover



Author: Jay Crownover
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: May 24, 2016


Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.


Charged, the second book in the Saints of Denver series, is another amazing story to come out of the wonderful imagination of Ms. Crownover.  Yeah, I'm a fan.  In her introduction, she talks about giving a story to a character that no one really likes. She hopes readers will eventually like that character by the end of the story.  I will admit that Avett was one of those characters for me.  I didn't like her in previous books. But after reading Charged, I'm convinced she deserved a story.

I devoured this book.  I loved Avett and Quaid together.  At first glance, it looks like opposites attracting. Yet, when you look under the surface, they are more alike than they seem at first. The chemistry between the two was off the charts!  I'm not going to give away any of Avett's secrets.  Just know that after hearing them you will be rooting for her as much as I was.

One of the best parts of the books is a sneak peek into Church's thoughts.  After that scene, I can't wait to read his story.  I just wish I didn't have to wait until 2017!  Enjoy the exceprt from Charged below and make sure to check out the giveaway!


Excerpt:

Avett
                I blew out a breath and felt that bottom I had careened onto reach up to embrace me even tighter. “It is what it is. I’ve let both my folks down a lot over the last few years but getting caught up with a guy that would rob the bar, a guy who could threaten my dad’s people.” I shook my head. “I deserve to rot.”
                I was being overly dramatic but that’s how I felt. I deserved to sit in jail and so much worse than that. Self-pity was good company down here at rock bottom and I wasn’t ready to let go of the warmth it provided just yet.
                He gave me a look I couldn’t read and headed for the door. “I’ll call your parents for you and see if we can have something in place before tomorrow. Working on your case will be a lot easier for both of us if you aren’t incarcerated. Remember, you need to listen to me, Ms. Walker. That’s the first rule in all of this.”
                Panic hit me like a truck. What if he called my dad and my dad told him he’d had enough of his problematic daughter and her endless nonsense? What if he couldn’t love me anymore? Jail I could survive; losing my father for good, well, it would be the end of me.
                Without thinking I jumped to my feet, which had the chains on both my hands and my legs rattling loudly, and two uniformed officers hurried into the room. I was about to make maybe the worst decision to date but I couldn’t stop the words from sliding off my tongue.
                “Don’t call my dad!” Recklessness, thy name was Avett Walker.
                The attorney turned around and looked at me like I had grown a second head. He didn’t say anything as the officers moved to either side of me and told me to calm down.
                “You can’t call my dad.” The words sounded as panicked and as desperate as I felt on the inside.
                His broad shoulders lifted and fell in a shrug like he really couldn’t give a shit that he was about to ruin my life…which was saying a hell of a lot considering where I was.
                “I have to.” He sounded bored and impatient with my outburst.
                I narrowed my eyes at him, and that vortex of awful, which I always seemed to be smack dab in the center of, started to spin faster and faster around me.
                “Then you’re fired.” I saw the cops exchange a look and my rushed words had the blond man turning fully back around to look at me. “I don’t want your help. I don’t want anything from you.”
                Finally, there was something other than indifference in his gaze. There was surprise, maybe a hint of admiration colliding with a huge splash of humor in the pale depths.
                “Sorry, Ms. Walker, but you didn’t hire me, so that means you don’t get to fire me.” That grin of his, which should be registered as a deadly weapon, flashed across his face again as he watched me, and then he was gone. 

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About the author:

About Jay Crownover: 


Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs. 

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Giveaway and Excerpt of Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle

Welcome Katie Ruggle!  She is promoting her latest book, Fan the Flames.  Enjoy a sneak peek at the book below.  Make sure to check out the giveaway as well!

Author: Kate Ruggles
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: May 2016


In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers…and with the girl he’s loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He’d die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath—and he may just have to.

Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she’s managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war—with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.

Excerpt:

“That’s my room.” With a tip of her head, she indicated another closed door and then tried to hurry past it. Her efforts were for naught. Ian gave her a wicked grin and reached for the knob.
“Wait!” she said, moving to block his entrance, but it was too late.
He stepped into her room and stared. When he was quiet for a long moment, she closed her eyes, dreading his reaction.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much pink in one place. It’s like falling into a bottle of Pepto-Bismol.”
“Okay.” By the heat in her cheeks, she knew her face was pinker than her bedroom. “You’ve seen it. Let’s move on.”
Ignoring her efforts to shoo him out of her room, Ian took another couple of steps away from the door. He eyed the pink walls, the pink and white bed, the white dresser with pink accents and, to top it all off, the fluffy pink bunny perched on top of the pile of pillows at the head of the bed. “I’m guessing you haven’t redecorated since you were…what? Eight?”
Her blush intensified. Dropping her gaze, she glanced around the room and then wished she hadn’t. It really was an extreme amount of pink.
“What?”
Her eyes snapped back to his. “What?”
Leaning a shoulder against one of the four posts supporting the pink and white canopy, he watched her like a hawk would eye a chubby ground squirrel. “What’s the story?”
Rory knew she should shut him down and get them both back to the relative sanity of the living room. For some strange reason, though, her mouth opened, and the truth popped out. “I just decorated this room a couple of years ago.”
The corners of his mouth tucked in, as if he was holding back a smile. “When you were twenty-three, then? So not eight.”
“Not eight.” Her face was going to burst into flames if she blushed any more. Good thing she had a firefighter in her room.
“You…hmm, like pink, then?”
“Yes.”
“A lot.”
“Yes!” Her humiliation turned a corner and morphed into anger. “I love pink, okay? Do you know what color my room was when I was a kid?”
He shook his head, watching her in apparent fascination.
“Brown. And beige.” The words kept tumbling out, as if Ian had opened the door to an overfilled closet in her brain. “And do you know what color almost all of my clothes were?”
This time, he just raised a questioning eyebrow.
“Camouflage. Mossy oak and desert sand, to be precise, depending on the season and where we were going to run drills that day. I’m a grown woman, and I like pink. So shoot me.”
Ian scratched his nose. She couldn’t tell for sure, but Rory was fairly certain it was to hide his smile. When he lowered his hand, his face was completely serious. “That’s probably not something you want to say in a gun shop. Well, in the bunker beneath a gun shop.”
“What?” Confusion killed a good portion of her indignation, and she deflated a little.
“‘So shoot me.’ It’s probably not a good habit to use that particular phrase with all these guns around.” A smile was definitely trying to break free.
“Out.” She pointed toward the door. A full-on grin slipped across his face as he turned to leave. With a huff, she gave his shoulder a shove. It didn’t move him off balance in the slightest, but it did make her feel a tiny bit better.
He looked back at her, his expression growing serious. “It’s okay to like pink, you know.”
Her gaze dropped to the floor. She startled as his hand cradled her jaw, tilting her face so he could meet her eyes again.
“I mean it. Having a pink-loving, girly side doesn’t make you any less of a gun-toting, zombie-smiting badass.” His smile was so tender that her eyes began to burn. “And I like both sides—all sides of you, actually.”
Looking into his beautiful, earnest face…she almost believed him.
Pulling away before she did something crazy, like tell him she’d been crushing on him for years, she squeezed by him and rushed back into the living room. The monitor on the desk caught her attention.
“Let’s check tonight’s camera footage,” she suggested.
Without waiting for him to respond, she sat in the desk chair and flipped the power button on the monitor. Ian leaned next to her, one hand on the back of her chair and one on the desk. Rory shifted in her seat. His position put him close enough to smell, a mix of leather and motor oil and wood-smoke and the clean, crisp scent of winter. All good things, but his scent made her too…aware. She started to rise.
“I’ll grab a chair for you,” she said, but her upward movement was halted by his hand on her shoulder.
“I’m fine.” He gently pressed her back into her seat.
“Okay,” she muttered, although she definitely wasn’t feeling okay with him hovering over her. Twitchy and too warm and off balance, yes. Okay, no.
Rory was happy for the distraction of checking the video. One by one, she scrolled through each camera’s footage of the evening, but nothing of interest caught her attention. The photobombing coyote managed to get captured by the south camera, trotting along the outside of the fence line.
It was a relief to find no sign of the intruder for the second night in a row. After finishing her scan of the last camera’s recording, she turned to Ian. His face was much too close to hers, and she jerked back to put some space between them.
“Um…” She couldn’t think when she was staring at his mouth. Quickly shifting her gaze to meet his brown eyes, she didn’t know if that view was any less distracting. Giving herself a mental shake, she forced her brain to concentrate on something besides the all-too-pretty Mr. Walsh. “I’ll check the pictures caught by the deer cameras tomorrow. It doesn’t look like there were any unwanted visitors while we were gone, though.”
“Good.”
“So…there’s probably no reason for you to stay here,” she said, her gaze darting toward the base of the stairs and back to Ian.
“Are you trying to kick me out?” he grumbled, although there was a note of amusement running through his words.
“Yes.”
He laughed. “Won’t work. I’m staying. I don’t think this is over, and you shouldn’t be here by yourself.”
“I’m not.” Rory gestured toward Jack, who was stretched out on the rug, snoring softly. One back leg twitched, as if he were dreaming about chasing ground squirrels, and then he settled.
“As ferocious as he appears”—his mouth quirked a little—“a dog is too easy to…subdue.”
His careful word choice almost made it worse. She cleared her throat, shoving away the mental image of someone harming Jack in their effort to break in. “I’m not easy to subdue. I’m also very well armed.”
He grinned. “I know. I’m still staying.”
“Fine.” The word was almost a groan. It was late, and she was tired. Having Ian there had kept her adrenaline hopping, but that nervous edge was beginning to fade, along with the last of her energy. “I’ll dig out some blankets for you.”
Once the bedding was arranged on the couch, Ian eyed it. “You weren’t kidding about the camouflage.”
With a snort, she shook the mossy oak pillowcase in her hands so the pillow dropped in the rest of the way. “I was not.” She tossed the pillow to the end of the couch, which was draped in a mossy oak sheet and two matching blankets. “Once you’re tucked into bed, I won’t even be able to see you.”
He laughed. “Your love for pink is starting to make sense.”
“Yeah.” Clearing her throat, she concentrated on straightening the pillow. “That’s another thing to keep to yourself.”
When he stayed quiet, she looked at him. His teasing grin made her close her eyes, as if in pain.
“Ian,” she said through set teeth. “If you even whisper one word about what you saw in my bedroom, I will use each and every knife on that wall to cut you into teeny-tiny pieces and then feed you to the chickens. Understand?”
If her threat had intimidated him, his expression did not show it. In fact, she was pretty sure his smile had widened. “You’re kind of hot when you’re making very specific and graphic threats.”
She made a sound somewhere between a groan and a growl. “I’m going to bed.”
Stalking away from him, Rory went into her bedroom and slammed the door. Although the sound from the living room was muffled, she was pretty sure Ian was laughing.



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About Katie Ruggle:

When she’s not writing, Katie Ruggle rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can SCUBA dive. Graduating from the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota near her family.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Luring a Lady by Nora Roberts


Author: Nora Roberts
First published in 1991 by Harlequin

Nothing in Sydney Hayward's background of wealth and privilege had prepared her to take the helm of her family's corporation. Her overflowing new responsibilities left no room for complications--and Mikhail Stanislaski was definitely a complication. Sydney had learned the hard way that she could never love anyone--least of all, this earthy, disturbingly masculine stranger who came from a world so different from her own.

Still, the way she felt when he put his hands on her--strong, work-hardened hands--made her doubt her resolve to remain alone. This gifted man seemed to have a rare talent for luring a lady, even a very reluctant lady, into his arms....


Luring a Lady is the second book in the Stanislaski series.  I reviewed Taming Natasha last week and decided to start this one right away.  Much to my dismay, I couldn't  even finish this book.  While I liked Mikhail, I couldn't stand Sydney.  I really  just couldn't stomach reading about another woman who thought she was frigid  and was the reason her marriage  failed.  Lady, he cheated on you because he was a douchebag and that is all.  I was liking the story until the scene in the limo when Sydney is saying that Mik displayed disgusting behavior toward her mother at the dinner party. Ok first, eww, and second he kissed her hand. But Sydney, who made out with a guy to get back at Mik, was totally innocent?  Then less than a minute later she is practically mauling Mik in the car and begging him to "take her".  Nope, can't do it.

I'm not sure if I will continue with this series.  While I liked Taming Natasha, it took I me a while to warm to Natasha. I didn't see me ever warming to Sydney. I need a book where I can like the characters.