Halloween in Atlantis (Warriors of Poseidon #8.5 by Alyssa Day

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Halloween in Atlantis.jpgHalloween in Atlantis (Warriors of Poseidon #8.5) by Alyssa Day

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Synopsis: A Halloween treat from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Alyssa Day.

Now that Atlantis has finally risen to take its place on the world stage, the Atlantean warriors are having to face some new and interesting dangers — like Halloween parties.

Arrogant warrior Liam doesn’t understand the beautiful, bubbly human whose entire function in life appears to be to plan parties, but he can’t seem to keep away from her, either. Jamie, who considers herself to be completely unflappable–the hallmark of a great event planner–doesn’t understand why the far-too-serious Atlantean manages to get under her skin with every single encounter. Even if he is the sexiest man she has ever seen.

When the two of them are thrown together to solve a mystery surrounding the queen’s missing jewels, sparks fly, secrets are revealed, and Halloween has never been hotter.

This novelette (longer than a short story, shorter than a novella) is perfect for reading on a coffee break – or in between handing out candy to trick-or treaters.

Review: This was a short, cute story. Passion was very tame; it could have been better with that. Liked the characters. Liked the plot. Loved going back to the world of Atlantis and warriors that protect it. But I needed steamy passion on top of all the parts of the story I liked. The relationship is set up so that we know they have actually seen and talked to each other for several weeks, so when they finally hook up to solve the mystery and crime of the stolen royal jewels it seems natural and not rushed (love that when an author can take a novella and make it not feel rushed), but they do nothing but flirt and kiss and I remember the warriors being a bit more steamy on the page then that.  I did like the story a lot, but needed passion.

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The Rose Red Bride (Jewels of Kinfairlie #2) by Claire Delacroix

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Rose Red BrideThe Rose Red Bride (Jewels of Kinfairlie #2) by Claire Delacroix

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Synopsis: More cherished than gold are the Jewels of Kinfairlie, and only the worthiest may fight for their love…The Laird of Kinfairlie has unmarried sisters, each a gem in her own right. And he has no choice but to see them all wed in haste.

Like a heroine in an ancient tale, Vivienne waited in the highest chamber of Kinfairlie’s tower for her fated lover. In the darkness he came for her, cloaked and hooded so that she would not see his face. He loved her sweetly, thoroughly…and Vivienne knew she had met her destiny.

But in the morning light, her dream is shattered. Erik Sinclair of Blackleith is no romantic hero but a disinherited warrior who arranged her abduction to regain his own legacy. Outraged by Erik’s insistence that he needs her solely to beget a son, yet ensnared by the passion he awakens, Vivienne realizes that there is more merit in her taciturn spouse than he would admit. Erik is skeptical of her growing faith in his honor and her desire to recapture his stolen birthright…

Little does he suspect that his rare gem of a bride intends to capture his barricaded heart as well.

Review: Book two in the Jewels of Kinfairlie series brings us the second to the eldest sister, Vivienne’s story.  She is a lover of tales so when her brother tells a tale about the uppermost room in the Kinfairlie keep, she knows she must sleep there to see if the tale is true.  What she doesn’t expect is that her brother tricked her into sleeping there so that the man her brother paid to marry her can get access to her.  A deal is struck between her brother and a man he believes is Nicholas Sinclair, a man who courted Vivienne years ago, has come back to win her hand. What neither sister or brother knows, is that it isn’t Nicholas and he hasn’t come to marry her, he has come to kidnap her in order to bare a son with her in hopes of gaining back his home and daughters from his brother Nicholas who stole all from him. Vivienne is a trusting sort and falls easily into his arms, but come morning, she expects one thing and he gives her something entirely different, he kidnaps her and she believes her brother is in on the scheme the whole time.  Eric Sinclair takes Vivienne and runs off, completely (well almost completely) unrepentant for his behavior. What he doesn’t expect is for Vivienne to pledge to give him a son when she learns the truth or that she stands by him and travels with him towards his home.  Their relationship was full of errors, bumps, bruises, and thoughtless actions (as seen from each party’s point of view). Their love story was enjoyable, emotionally tense at times, sad at others, and hopeful throughout. I enjoyed their adventure from beginning to end.  I did think that Vivienne was a bit too gullible, to begin with, but she matures during their travels and comes into her own independent and strong nature as she works towards winning Eric’s love and trust.  It was an enjoyably romantic tale.

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The Damsel (Bride Quest #2) by Claire Delacroix

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The DamselThe Damsel (Bride Quest #2) by Claire Delacroix

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Synopsis: Once upon a time, the legendary knight Burke Fitzgavin galloped into Kiltorren Castle and fell in love with Alys, the lord’s orphaned niece. But her uncle was determined that Burke marry one of his homely daughters instead. Through tricks and lies, Burke was sent away believing that Alys wanted nothing of his heart.

Pledged to a Bride Quest, Burke has vowed not to return home until he finds his long-lost love. He returns to Kiltorren to discover that the fiery young innocent has become a woman, a servant on her uncle’s estate. Paying penance for Burke’s long-ago embrace, she wants nothing to do with him. Burke knows he must earn her trust again.

Even as he slowly rekindles her desire, Alys’ family attempts to thwart their romance—determined that Alys should not marry before her cousins do. But Burke is a warrior and this battle to win the hand and the heart of his one true love will be his greatest challenge ever…

Review: Book two in the Bride Quest series brings us Burke, the man who tried to win Brianna’s hand with a troupe of performers in book 1, The Princess, though it was clear his heart was not in it. He had already given his heart to a woman three years prior to this poor attempt to win Brianna so when she charges him to go find this woman and win her, he does. What he finds is a spirited woman who is treated as a servant though she is directly related to the people of Kiltorren. She also hasn’t forgotten Burke and she doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind about what she thinks of his betrayal, abandonment, and the fact he has come to woo her cousin and not her. Or so she thinks. Lies told by the family to keep them apart come to light and her past with her dead mother’s memory leave Burke with a challenge to prove to her his affections are real and that he doesn’t want a simple tumble in the hay, he wants forever. It was a cute story. Antagonists were really easy to hate; it almost had a stepsister and stepmother/ Cinderella vibe to it at times. The plot was slow at times and the character development could have been a bit more fast-paced. The story as a whole was enjoyable if a bit slow. There is one moment I found annoying though, near the end of the story when Burke goes to see his mother alone, Alys immediately jumps to the conclusion that he has come to his senses and left her after she promised him that she wouldn’t doubt him again. I found her lack of trust in Burke a little frustrating.  He proved himself to her and the first moment of testing that trust, she let her doubts and fears lead to her doubting him.  I would have liked to have seen her trust in him more in that moment. Overall, it is a good story, not great, but good.

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The Wicked Vampire (The Last True Vampire #6) by Kate Baxter

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Wicked VampireThe Wicked Vampire (The Last True Vampire #6) by Kate Baxter

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SynopsisHe was one of the most feared creatures in the supernatural world, and yet, she was drawn to him unlike any other. His scent ignited her thirst. The sight of him drove her mad with want…

Lovers forever–or enemies to the death? 

Sasha Ivanov was born to be wild. A vampire party girl, she stalks the L.A. clubs at night. Dancing. Drinking. Indulging her darkest appetites. Never sated, she’s always looking for more: more danger, more excitement, more blood. But when she enters a supernatural fight club–and is tethered to her mortal enemy–Sasha realizes she’s playing the most dangerous game of all…

Ewan Brun was born to kill vampires. A powerful berserker and unbeaten champion, he doesn’t need a weapon to be deadly. He is the weapon. But when his soul becomes captive to the most beautiful vampire he’s ever seen, he is all but powerless. He cannot resist Sasha–and cannot fight his desires. Is their love strong enough to defeat the gathering forces of darkness that threatens to destroy them both?

Review: This is the first book by Kate Baxter that I have read and I got it through NetGalley. It was enjoyable, passionate (refreshingly so due to my most recent NetGalley reads), had strong characters, an interesting plot, a detailed conflict and villain, and the emotional turmoil that I am so hungry for in my romances. The characters had obstacles they had to overcome in order to get to their happily ever after, and it kept me hungry for more. I will definitely go back and read more from this series from the start since this is book 6 in the series. Loved Ewan, his character and personality appealed to me a lot, and Sasha was strong enough to be his match in everything, yet still have a vulnerability that Ewan had to win over in the end. Loved the whole story from start to finish.

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Christmas At Two Love Lane (Two Love Lane #1) by Kieran Kramer

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Christmas at Two Love LaneChristmas at Two Love Lane (Two Love Lane #1) by Kieran Kramer

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SynopsisThe best gift of all is the one you share with someone else. . .

From the moment he strode through the iron gate and into the offices of Two Love Lane on a crisp December day, it was obvious that Deacon Banks was something different. He wasn’t a Charleston native, not with that adorable Yankee accent. And unlike the usual client at the elegant matchmaking agency, he had no interest in finding a woman to marry–just a few no-strings dates while he was in town.

Macy Frost takes her professional services very seriously–how could she not, when she’s rumored to be a direct descendant of Cupid? Tech entrepreneur Deacon says he’s just trying to make his social-climbing aunt happy by being seen out and about with a few prominent beauties, but Macy insists she can make her client fall in love…for real. And Deacon can’t help but think she might be right. As charming as the palmetto trees and magnificent harbor may be, it’s the beautiful, breath-of-fresh-air Macy who’s become Deacon’s favorite part of the scenery. But can the hopelessly romantic Southern belle stop trying to fix him up and just let Cupid do his work on her own heart?

Review: This story was a sweet Hallmark romance complete with two people who didn’t want love. One was Deacon, a big successful New York playboy who didn’t want anything to do with love or commitment. He is in Charleston SC to help his aunt who raised him settle into her new condo and to fulfill her Christmas wish, for him to find a woman, but he has no intention of finding a real relationship. He is looking for some fun dates to pass the time who don’t want commitment either. In order to do that he goes to Two Love Lane, a local dating agency and meets Macy, a matchmaker that believes in finding everyone’s soulmate, not some quick hookups. She doesn’t have time for love either, she is too busy being happy with fixing everyone else up and doesn’t think she will find her soulmate for some time. Deacon annoys her at first, with his bossy demands for some Christmas flings, so she sets out to set him up with women she thinks could be his soulmate. Deacon wants none of that once he speaks with Macy; he wants to date her and only her and hopes to have his Christmas fling with her. Of course, as they get to know each other and Macy continues to try and set him up with women and ignore her own attraction to him they end up falling hard for each other. But once the secret plan that Deacon hatched with all of the women Macy set him up with comes to light he fears he has ruined everything and she feels hurt with the fact that he refuses to say whether he cares for her as more than just friends with benefits. In the end, Deacon comes to his senses and wins the only woman he wants in his life and they live happily ever after. The story overall was cute, the plot was interesting, and the conflicts kept it moving along. The passion was very tame, hence the hallmark kind of feel to the story. There isn’t anything wrong with that but if you want them burning up the page, Macy and Deacon don’t. They do have the hots for each other but those scenes stay pretty tame. Cute story and I liked the characters.

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Release Day Blitz The Scot’s Bride by Paula Quinn

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THE SCOT'S BRIDE

The Scot's Bride

The Scot’s Bride (The MacGregors: The Highland Heirs #6) by Paula Quinn

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Book Review Here.

SynopsisAN IRRESISTIBLE SCOUNDREL
Highlander Patrick MacGregor likes his life just the way it is. Fighting for his coin, enjoying a woman’s charms, and bearing no responsibility at all? Aye, that’s the life for him. That is, until Patrick sees her-a raven-haired beauty with eyes as dark as midnight. Patrick swore never to fall in love. Not even with a lass as wild as he…especially when she’s from a rival clan.

AN UNDENIABLE DESIRE
Charlotte Cunningham knows Patrick is trouble the moment she sets eyes on him. Her only goal is to escape the possibility of marriage. Any marriage. But as the summer days turn into sultry nights, enticing her beyond reason, Charlie is forced to choose between the freedom she craves and the reckless rogue she can’t forget.

In the New York Times bestselling tradition of Lynsay Sands, Hannah Howell, and Karen Hawkins comes a new book in Paula Quinn’s new sinfully sexy Scottish romance series.

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The Scot’s Bride – Excerpt

Charlie caught the subtle shift of his gaze toward her when she glared at him, doing her best to keep her eyes above his chin and ignoring his long, sculpted physique and broad shoulders. Was he speaking to her or her captor?

Dunbar laughed at his offer. “You don’t even carry a sword.” He looked him over. “Or even a place to hide one.”

It was true. Charlie hadn’t noticed it before. Patrick Campbell spoke like a Highlander and had dressed like one when she’d first seen him at Blind Jack’s yet he carried no obvious weapons.

“I dinna’ need one,” he claimed, his amiable smile changing slightly into something more ominous.

Charlie knew it was true. He had fought Hamish with no weapons other than his fists. What kind of Highlander didn’t carry a sword? The kind who doesn’t need one.

Campbell moved closer to her and the eight men behind her. His gait was wrought with ease and confidence while her brothers and her father remained still.

“I’ll kill you for this, Campbell,” Duff swore.

“That’s doubtful,” Campbell tossed back without turning around. Instead, he looked at Charlie, now only a few inches away, standing between him and her captor.

If there wasn’t a blade to her throat, she would have taken a moment to admire him and all his hard angles.

“Untie me,” he said to Dunbar, “and I’ll fight them all with no help or risk of injury to ye or yer men.” He lifted his bound wrists up, close to Charlie’s face and the dagger at her throat. “The Duke of Argyll will hear of how ye aided his nephew.”

Dunbar seemed to think it over for a moment and then moved the dagger away from her neck to possibly cut Campbell loose. But instead of waiting to be free, the Highlander moved in a blur of speed snatching the dagger from Dunbar’s hand. In one fluid movement that Charlie almost missed by blinking, Campbell, still bound and clutching the hilt in his fingers, lifted his arms and then brought them back down to capture Dunbar’s head between his forearms, and Charlie’s head between his thick upperarms.

An instant turned into an eternity while he pulled Dunbar closer, wedging Charlie up against his chest. Time slowed as she looked up and he tiled his head to meet her gaze. She stared into his summer-glade eyes—ringed by lashes that were that long—and the evidence of Hamish’s wrath on his lip. His current wounds and an older one which had broken his nose saved him from being pretty. His mouth crooked ever so slightly—just enough to flash his dimple and completely befuddle her. A rascal. That’s what he was. He was helping her. But why? Before she had to ponder it further, the instant was over.

He hauled Archie Dunbar an inch closer and knocked him out with a clean blow, forehead to forehead. He moved quickly and lifted his arms to release Dunbar from his hold then gave him a powerful kick in the guts to topple him over.

“Run!” He pushed Charlie behind him and faced the rest of the Dunbars alone.

Duff reached them at the same time and an instant before the stunned expressions on the faces of Dunbar’s men wore off and they rushed forward.

“Give me your hands!” Charlie commanded, tugging on Campbell’s sleeve. When he obeyed, she cut him loose using her black blade.

The fool took a moment to smile at her before she tucked the dagger back under her skirts.

Hendry finally joined the fight but Charlie couldn’t take her eyes off Mr. Campbell in the melee.


Book Information

Series: Highland Heirs, #6

Publisher: Forever

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Price: $7.99 USD

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paula QuinnNew York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven. She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.

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Release Day Blitz: Hard Breaker by Christine Warren

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Hard Breaker

Hard Breaker (Gargoyles #6) by Christine Warren

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Book Review Here.

SynopsisFrom New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren comes the sixth book in her red-hot romance series in which even the most beastly gargoyle is able to win the heart of a beautiful human woman.

Ivy Beckett has a special gift. She can hear voices, feel events, and receive messages from great distances. Which is also a curse. The moment her family is killed by the servants of the Darkness, she knows it. And the only way to fight these evil forces is to align her powers with a Guardian. A legendary warrior of stone who strikes fear in her heart―and fire in her soul…

Baen is a fierce and powerful gargoyle who has sworn to protect all humans from the Darkness. But when this mighty winged warrior swoops down to rescue Ivy from the jaws of death, he is drawn into a battle that is more dangerous―and more intimate―than he ever bargained for. The beautiful, gifted Ivy touches something deep within him, an all-consuming passion that puts both their lives at risk. Can he conquer the armies of evil itself . . . without losing the woman he loves?


Author’s Bio

Christine B&W

CHRISTINE WARREN is the author of Stone Cold Lover and Heart of Stone, as well as the Novels of the Others, including New York Times Bestsellers Big Bad Wolf, Walk on the Wild Side, and One Bite with a Stranger. Born and raised in coastal New England, Christine Warren now lives as a transplant in the Pacific Northwest. When not writing (as if that ever happens), she enjoys horseback riding, playing with her pets, identifying dogs from photos of their underbellies, and most of all reading things someone else had to agonize over.

“Soars with fun, witty characters and nonstop action.” —Publishers Weekly on Stone Cold Lover


Don’t miss the other books in the Gargoyle series:

Book #1: Heart of Stone
Book #2: Stone Cold Lover
Book #3: Hard as a Rock
Book #4: Rocked by Love
Book #5: Hard to Handle


Excerpt

Chapter Two

Ivy felt a surge of satisfaction. Well, adrenaline, really, but whatever.

“Perfect.” She got to her feet and pitched her voice back to where it could just be overheard— significantly louder, but still natural. Also, a bit wheedling. “Let’s get out of here, Marty. You promised me dinner in a proper restaurant, not a pub, and I’m also famished.”

Martin rose awkwardly, sending their glasses to wobbling again. “Lead on, then, darling. Wherever you like.”

She forced a giggle. She hated to giggle. “Oh, you’re such a pudding. But now I’ve got to decide. Hm, Judy told me about this café . . .”

Her mouth continued to babble, spewing nonsense she pulled off the top of her head as she led the way through the crowd— steering well clear of Teddy and his mates— and out the front door. Turning onto the pavement, she kept up the patter until they had stepped well away from the pub en route to the tube station. Even then, though she let the inane drivel dry up, she continued to clasp Martin’s hand in hers and lean into him. They hadn’t been the only ones to leave the pub and the streets continued to bustle with both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. It was important to keep up appearances all the way through this journey.

“Okay, stage two,” she said softly as they strode toward the Underground station. “I have a bag at Left Luggage in King’s Cross that we’ll need to pick up. It has more information you’ll need to look over for your time with Paul, some snacks, and cash and new identification for you hidden in the lining. I’ll show you where.  We’re on the last train tonight, but we should have plenty of time to make it, so don’t worry about that.”

He nodded, but his gaze was glued to the pavement in front of them. Poor guy really didn’t have the right temperament for all this cloak- and- dagger stuff. But then again, she hadn’t thought she did,  either, and look at her now— practically an expert, and armed on top of it.

Under her anorak and tight jeans, a custom-made dagger rode in a sheath at the small of her back. And oddly enough, she knew how to use it. Over the last several months, she hadn’t had much choice but to learn,  until these days, it felt so comfortable, she almost forgot it was there.

Until moments like this, that is, when the hair on the back of her neck began to stand up and her senses put her on high alert.

“Bollocks,” she muttered. Faking another giggle, she turned playfully into Martin’s side and pretended to bury her face in his shoulder. In reality, she used the opportunity to take a look at the area behind them. She had felt confident that there had been no nocturnis in the pub with them who might try to follow, but she should have paid a bit more attention to Teddy and his band of happy hooligans. Three of them had exited the bar after Ivy and Martin and now trailed sixty or seventy feet behind them.

Normally, Ivy would have considered such an event no more than a slight bother, but something about their posture niggled at the back of her mind. The aggression she would have expected, but for some reason their stance struck her as more menacing than it ought to be.

Damn it, they didn’t have time for this shit. Or even if they did, Ivy just didn’t have the patience. Even worse, she knew they were coming up on the narrow cross street they would have to traverse to get to the tube. She’d researched the route. The cross street was largely home to a few small businesses that would have closed down by six  o’clock, a  couple of daytime shops, at least one vacant building, and a church that had been abandoned a few years ago due to lack of funds available to repair a roof with more holes than tiles remaining. It was a quiet block, and quiet meant fewer people, which meant more opportunity for Teddy et al to try something stupid.

“What’s wrong?” Martin asked nervously as she turned back and casually picked up the pace of their walk. “What’s the matter? Is it nocturnis? Have they found me?”

The last question emerged on a squeak, and Ivy winced. She laughed loudly to cover up his blunder. “Oh, you!” she cried, then lowered her voice. “No, Martin. And you need to stay calm. How about you tell me more about yourself? What’s your main talent? I  don’t think you told me that.”

By talent, she was referring to the magical ability that made up the most basic requirement of becoming a Warden. All members of the Guild needed to possess a talent— demonstrate the ability to wield magic—in order to be considered for admission. With luck, Martin’s would have some utility in a fight.

“What? Talent? Oh, er, I’m a dowser. Water dowser.

Why?”

Oh, yeah,  because a nice, deep aquifer was just what they needed right now.

“No reason,” she gritted out, fingers itching for the hilt of her knife. “No reason at all.”

Which was when she glanced over her shoulder and saw a dark shadow coalesce around Teddy and his friends. A shadow that swirled and twisted and then seemed to disappear. Inside the three men.

Shit.

“What is it? What’s wrong.”

There went the panic again, creeping back into Martin’s voice at the least opportune of moments. Impatient, Ivy shook her head and urged him to walk a  little faster. Not that it was likely to do them much good. “Nothing. Let’s just concentrate on getting to the station,  shall we?”

She could hear her accent beginning to fray at the edges, her natural American pronunciation creeping in here and there, but right now that counted as the least of their worries. Much higher on the list was the fact that they were being followed down a now deserted street by three large, loutish men who hadn’t liked her to begin with and who now appeared to have fallen under demonic influence if not outright possession.

You know, one of these days one of her plans was going to have to go utterly smoothly, right? Just the law of large numbers made it inevitable,  didn’t it? Well,  today would have been a  really good day for that to happen.

Instinct had her increasing her pace yet again until she found herself half a step from jogging down the pavement, tugging Martin along by her side.

“Hang on, then,” he protested, pulling against her grip and trying to actually slow her pace. The idiot. “If nothing’s wrong, why are you suddenly running?”

“I think that’s down to us, mate,” a voice snarled, closer behind them than it should have been. Their pursuers had moved fast, faster than normal.

Faster than was natural.

An instant later, something hit Ivy from the side, hard. The impact sent her staggering into the alley that opened up between two buildings at the side of the street. She stumbled into heavy darkness, away from the abandoned Gothic church across the way, away from the sight of anyone else who might wander onto the nearby pavement. To her credit, though, she managed to maintain her grip on Martin in spite of that, so she pulled him into the shadows beside her.

Perfect. Now they could be in deep shit together.

The hit had come as a surprise, but the three shapes rapidly closing in behind her, driving her and Martin deeper into the alley, did not. Ivy’s hand had moved at the first moment of contact with her attacker, fingers closing around the hilt of her dagger and tugging it out of concealment in a smooth, practiced motion. Now, she held it in front of her as she used her grip on her companion to swing him out of the way behind her, placing him between her and the brick building wall.

“Ooh,  you’ve brought along a toy, have you?” Teddy asked, grinning as he stalked forward, herding them away from the street and the potential of being seen by passersby. “Want to play, then, do you, luvie? I like a good game now and then.”

Ivy flicked her gaze among the three looming figures. She recognized all of them from the group gathered around the bar earlier, the ones who had witnessed Teddy hitting on her and her subsequent rejection of him. They had laughed at the time and gone right back to drinking, already half- pissed when the whole thing began. Was it too much for her to hope that she had been mistaken? That this was just a garden- variety assault and maybe potential rape fueled by alcohol and wounded machismo?  Because frankly, that would be a relief compared to the alternative.

“Yeh, we like to play,” the second lad hissed as he stepped forward until Ivy could see his face in the dim light of the alleyway. “We especially like to play with his sort.” He bared his teeth, and his eyes lit up with malice.

And Ivy didn’t mean that metaphorically. His eyes actually lit up. As in, started glowing. With a sick, rusty- red light that reminded her of old blood and dried scabs.

Very attractive.

And very much indicative of demonic influence.

Yay. She’d been right. It wasn’t really her these three were after. They wanted Martin. They wanted the  Warden.

Well, they weren’t  going to get him. Not until they got past her.

“I’m ready to go, boys.” She took a step forward and flashed a toothy smile of her own. “And you know the rules. White makes the first move.”

Ivy struck with a feint toward Teddy, who stood closest to her, directly ahead. When instinct had him leaping back out of the way of her blade, she spun backward

to her left and landed a heel- first kick directly to the sternum of hissy boy. He grunted and stumbled back in surprise, but bachelor number three was already on the move. He closed in on Ivy from the left and grabbed her around her upper body, effectively pinning her biceps to her sides.  She’d been expecting the move and countered by thrusting the dagger in a short, upward dig that buried it deep in number three’s thigh.

“Go, Martin!” she shouted above Three’s scream. “Get to the station! Lost Luggage under your name! Now!

All of her attackers howled in protest. Three’s cry was still tinged with pain. It gave her a warm surge of satisfaction, even though it rendered her nearly deaf in her left ear, the one closest to his mouth. Jerking the knife back, she freed it from the man’s leg and went limp in his grip, relaxing her muscles until she slid straight out of his arms to the floor of the alley.

Even as she hit the cobbles, she was already moving. She braced one hand, shifted her weight, and swung one leg around, aiming a heavy kick at the knee of the grabby Three’s wounded leg. He crumpled with a heavy grunt.

Teddy and number two rushed in to take his place, converging on Ivy before she could manage a glimpse to see if Martin had followed her directions. If he hadn’t, he was either dumber than he looked, or part possum and his nervous system had shut down from fear. Neither option would keep him alive, though, and as skilled as she had become in hand- to- hand combat after her years of self- defense classes back in New York and her training since taking on her rescue work in  England, one  human  woman against three demonically influenced men  didn’t offer her very good odds.

Chances were she wouldn’t leave this alley under her own power. Hell,  she’d be lucky if she didn’t leave it in a coroner’s van. Which meant Martin had better be halfway down the steps to the tube already.

She ducked away from a swipe of Teddy’s outstretched hand, trying not to get distracted by the way the skin of his fingertips had split to allow the emergence of glistening black claws that dripped some sort of dark, stinking fluid. The smell of decayed flesh and filthy swamp water suddenly filled the alley, and Ivy had to fight back the urge to gag.

Oh, yeah. She’d say this officially went beyond the realm of demonic influence. Hell, this went beyond possession. Somehow, demons had not just taken over these men’s’ bodies, they had used the energy of the human bodies to allow them to fully manifest into the human world.

In case anyone wondered, that was a really,  really bad thing. Something Ivy wouldn’t have thought possible six months ago.

But then again, six months ago, the world hadn’t quite started coming to an end yet.  Today, anything was possible.

With that cheery thought filling her mind, she swung her dagger in a wide arc that managed to catch opponent number two in the side, opening up a wound that audibly sizzled and began to ooze something much darker and slimier than blood. It didn’t smell like blood,  either. The ichor reeked of the same foulness that hung around the venom dripping from Teddy’s claws.

Seriously, it was becoming a real challenge not to puke. What she wouldn’t give for a nice, stiff breeze right about then to dissipate some of the stink.

Two— Thing Two, Ivy decided to call him— hissed, his corrupt red gaze flicking between her and her blade with manic hatred. It made her smile in spite of the nausea.

“What’s the matter, pumpkin?” she taunted him. “ Aren’t you a fan of blessed and consecrated silver? Me, I just adore the stuff.”

She demonstrated those feelings with another quick slash of her arm, a motion that sliced through the jacket and shirt Teddy wore and into the flesh of his shoulder. She wasn’t particularly aiming for the brachial plexus nerve or a major artery, but she wasn’t going to cry if he started to bleed out or lost the use of his arm.

He screamed, but Ivy just continued her stroke and caught  Thing Two across the cheek, just millimeters away from his left eye. Hm, close call, that. What a shame.

“Bitch!” the demon howled.

Ivy blew him a kiss. “Aw, love you, too, snookums.”

Her mother had always told her that her smart mouth would get her into trouble one day. Somehow Ivy didn’t think this particular trouble was what she’d had in mind. You know, the whole “ripped apart by demons in a deserted alley”  thing. Dorothy probably hadn’t seen that one coming.

One would hope.

By now, Thing Three was back on his feet, and Ivy knew she was seriously fucked. Three against one. Three demons against one, with no backup on the way. Working alone was one of the keys to protecting the Wardens people like her assisted. Now, it looked like she was going to die alone.

“Sorry,  Uncle George,” she muttered, putting her back to the alley wall and keeping her gaze on the man-shaped creatures in front of her. They had realized her predicament just as clearly as she had, and now they were toying with her, watching her with evil, hungry gazes. Not the kind of hunger that would scare most women alone in an alley, but the kind of hunger that scared American turkeys in the middle of November.

“Sorry, Jamie,” Ivy added. “But on the bright side, looks like I’ll be seeing you both again soon.”

Thing Two snapped its jaws at her, jaws that it then unhinged to make room for the second row of pointed teeth that appeared to be growing behind the first,  human set.

“Very, very soon.”

Holding her dagger in front of her and carefully balancing her weight on the balls of her feet, Ivy prepared to die fighting.

Oddly enough, that’s not what happened.

One minute, she stared down the face of the Grim Reaper and the next, reality went sideways. Instead of the front of three demons clearly prepared to feast on her living flesh, she felt a rush of cool air, heard a pavement- shaking roar, and found herself staring into a wide barrier the color of dark, aged granite.

She blinked, then shook her head and blinked again. The view didn’t change. Gradually her brain caught up with her corneas, and she realized that what had looked like a barrier of solid stone was actually a pair of wings. Huge wings, each easily twelve or thirteen feet from base to tip, leathery and membranous like a bat’s.

And they were attached to the broadest, most muscular back she had ever seen. A back that could only conceivably belong to one of two things:

A dragon.

Or a Guardian.


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New Release! The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman

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The Right Kind of Rogue

The Right Kind of Rogue (Playful Brides #8) by Valerie Bowman

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Book Review Here.

SynopsisCan two star-crossed lovers come together―until death do they part? 

Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride―ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded. . .

Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry―or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance. . .for all time?


Author’s Bio: 

Valerie BowmanVALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides and Playful Brides series.

 

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today
“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews “Smoldering.” —Booklist


Excerpt:

CHAPTER TWO

“How in Hades’s name can you drink at this hour of the morning, Highgate?”

Hart tossed back his brandy, swallowed, and laughed at his brother-in-law’s words. The two sat across from each other at Brooks’s gentlemen’s club. It was decidedly before noon. The only reason Hart was up at this hour was because he’d promised to meet Lord Christian Berkeley. His brother-in-law rarely asked for favors and Hart suspected this meeting was his sister Sarah’s doing, but he would humor the viscount just the same.

“Berkeley, old chap, you don’t know the half of it.” Hart clapped the viscount on the back. “Helps with the devil of a head left over from last night, don’t ya know?”

Berkeley lifted his teacup to his lips. “No. I don’t. But I’ll take your word for it.”

That reply only made Hart laugh harder, which made his head hurt more. Hart liked his brother-in-law a great deal, but the man was decidedly humdrum when it came to amusements. Berkeley rarely drank, rarely smoked, and preferred to spend his time at his estate in the north of England or his hunting lodge in Scotland. Berkeley enjoyed quiet pursuits like reading or carving things out of wood much more than the amusements London had to offer. But Viscount Berkeley was a good man and one who clearly adored Hart’s sister, and that was what mattered.

The viscount had gone so far as to dramatically interrupt Sarah’s wedding to a pompous marquess and claim her for himself, thereby not only proving his commitment to Sarah but also saving Hart from having the self-involved Marquess of Branford as a brother-in-law. Overall it had been quite a fortunate turn of events for everyone. Everyone except Hart and Sarah’s enraged, thwarted parents, that is.

Berkeley tugged at his cravat. “How are your—ahem— parents getting on?”

Hart cracked a smile. “Still angry, of course, even after all these months. You and Sarah made a good decision, staying up north for the winter. Gave Father and Mother time to calm down.” His father’s anger at having a scandal mar his family name and his daughter marry a mere viscount as opposed to a marquess who had the ear of the Prince Regent had barely abated over the winter, but no need to tell Berkeley as much.

Berkeley leaned back in his chair and crossed one silk-stockinged ankle over an immaculately creased knee, his hands lightly clutching the arms of his chair. He shook his head. “They’re not calmed down, are they?”

“A bit.” Hart stopped a footman and ordered another brandy. “Don’t worry. They’ll be civil when they see you. For Sarah’s sake.”

“Well, that’s something. Are you seriously ordering another drink?”

“Are you seriously surprised?” Hart scratched his rough cheek. He’d been running late and hadn’t bothered to ask his usually drunken valet to shave him this morning. For Christ’s sake, that man drank more than he did. Not exactly someone he wanted near his throat with a straight razor. “Besides I have quite a good reason to drink today.”

“Really?” Berkeley tugged at his cuff. Ever since Sarah had taught him how to dress properly, the viscount was much more attentive to his clothing. He was downright dapper these days. “Why is that?”

“I’m getting married.” Hart emitted a groan to accompany those incomprehensible words.

Berkeley’s brows shot up. He set down his cup and placed a hand behind his ear. “Pardon? I must have heard you incorrectly. I thought you said married.”

The footman returned with the drink and Hart snatched it from the man’s gloved hand and downed nearly half of it in a single gulp. “I did,” he muttered through clenched teeth, wincing.

“You? Married?” Berkeley’s brow remained steadfastly furrowed, and he blinked as if the word were foreign.

“Me. Married.” Hart gave a firm nod before taking another fortifying gulp of brandy.

“Ahem, who is the, uh, fortunate lady?” Berkeley lifted his cup back to his lips and took a long gulp, as if needing the hot drink to banish his astonishment.

“I haven’t the first idea.” Hart shook his head. He was giving serious thought to the notion of ordering a third brandy. Would that be bad form? Probably.

“Now you’re simply confusing me,” Berkeley said with an unmistakable smile on his face. With his free hand, he pulled the morning’s copy of the Times from the tabletop next to him and scanned the headlines.

Hart took another sip of brandy and savored it this time. “I haven’t made any decisions as to the chit yet. I’ve merely announced to Father that this is the year I intend to find a bride. The idea of marriage has always made my stomach turn. After all, if my parents’ imperfect union is anything by which to gauge the institution, it’s a bloody nightmare.”

“Why the change of heart?” Berkeley asked.

Hart scrubbed a hand through his hair. The truth was, he wasn’t less sickened by the prospect of marriage these days, but he couldn’t avoid the institution forever. At some point he’d have to put the parson’s noose firmly around his own throat and pull. Wives were fickle, and marriages meant little other than the exchange of money and property. His own father had announced that fact on more than one occasion. His parents treated each other like unhappy strangers, and his father had made it clear that they were anything but in love. That, Hart supposed, was his fate. To live a life as his parents had in the pursuit of procreating and producing the next future Earl of Highfield. So be it, but was it any wonder he’d been putting it off?

“Seeing Sarah marry had more of an effect on me than I expected,” Hart admitted, frowning at his notquite-empty glass. “And if you ever tell anyone I said that, I’ll call you out.” He looked at Berkeley and grinned again.

“You have my word,” Berkeley replied with a nod. “But may I ask how it affected you?”

Hart pushed himself back in the large leather chair and crossed his booted feet at the ankles. “I started thinking about it all, you know? Life, marriage, children, family. I expect you and Sarah will be having a child soon, and by God I’d like my children to grow up knowing their kin. My cousin Nicole was quite close to Sarah and me when we were children. Nicole’s marriage isn’t one to emulate, either. She hasn’t even seen her husband in years. Last I heard, she’s living somewhere in France, childless. By God, perhaps I should rethink this.” Hart pulled at his cravat. The bloody thing was nearly choking him what with all of this talk of marriage.

Berkeley leaned back in his seat, mirroring Hart. “Perhaps you should focus on the positive aspects of marriage. I assure you, there are many.”

“Believe me, I’m trying,” Hart continued, reminding himself for the hundredth time of the reasons why he’d finally come to this decision. God knew it hadn’t been an easy one. “Whether I like it or not, it’s time for me to choose a bride. Sarah is my younger sister. While she wasn’t married, it all seemed like fun and games, but now, well, seems everyone is tying the proverbial knot these days what with Owen Monroe and Rafe Cavendish marrying. Even Rafe’s twin, Cade, has fallen to the parson’s noose.”

Just this morning when Hart had woken with a splitting head for the dozenth time in as many days, he’d thought yet again how he needed to stop being so reckless. He wasn’t able to bounce back from a night of debauchery nearly as quickly as he used to when he was at university. Seeing Sarah marry had made him consider his duties, his responsibilities, and his . . . age. For the love of God, he was nearly thirty. That thought alone was enough to make him want another brandy. It was his duty to sire the next Earl of Highfield, and duty meant something to him. What else mattered if he didn’t respect his duty? Hadn’t that been hammered into his head since birth by his father, along with all the dire warnings not to choose the wrong wife?

“It’s true that several marriages have taken place lately in our set of friends,” Berkeley replied, still leisurely perusing the paper while sipping tea. “But I thought you were immune to all of that, Highgate.”

“I have been.” Hart sighed again. “But I’ve finally decided it’s time to get to it.”

Berkeley raised his teacup in salute. “Here’s to the future Lady Highfield. May she be healthy, beautiful, and wise.”

“Thank you,” Hart replied. He tugged at his pythonlike cravat again.

Berkeley regarded Hart down the length of his nose. “Any ladies catch your fancy?”

Hart shook his head. He braced an elbow on the table beside them and set his chin on his fist. “No. That’s the problem. I’m uncertain where to begin.”

Berkeley let the paper drop to his lap. “What sort of lady are you looking for?”

Hart considered the question for a moment. What sort of lady, indeed? “She’ll need to be reasonable, well connected, clever, witty, a happy soul. Someone who is honest, and forthright, and who isn’t marrying me only for my title. Someone who doesn’t nag and has an indecently large dowry, of course. Father puts great stock in such things. Not to mention if I’m going to be legshackled, I might as well get a new set of horses out of the bargain. I’m thinking a set of matching grays and a new coach.”

“Oh, that’s not much of a list,” Berkeley said with a snort. “

I don’t expect the search to be a simple one, or a quick one.” The truth was Hart had no earthly idea who he was looking for. He only knew who he wasn’t looking for . . . someone like his mother. Or the treacherous Annabelle Cardiff. He wanted the exact opposite.

Berkeley tossed the paper back onto the tabletop. “Knowing your father’s decided opinions on such matters, I’m surprised he hasn’t provided you with a list of eligible females from which you may choose.”

Hart rolled his eyes. “He has. He’s named half a dozen ladies he would gladly accept.”

Berkeley inclined his head to the side. “Why don’t you choose one of them then?”

Hart gave his brother-in-law an are-you-quite-serious look, chin tucked down, head tilted to the side. “I’m bloody well not about to allow my father to choose a bride for me. Besides, after seeing you and Sarah, I hold out some hope of finding a lady with whom I’m actually compatible.”

“Why, Highgate, do you mean . . . love?” Berkeley grinned and leaned forward in mock astonishment.

“Let’s not go that far.” Hart took another sip of his quickly dwindling brandy. That’s precisely what confused him so much. He knew love matches existed. He’d witnessed one in his sister’s marriage. On the other hand, her choice had so enraged his parents, they still hadn’t forgiven her. Hart didn’t intend to go about the business of finding a wife in quite so dramatic a fashion. Love matches attracted drama. However, his parents’ unhappy union was nothing to aspire to, and he’d nearly made the mistake of marrying a woman who wanted nothing more than title and fortune before. It was a tricky business, the marriage mart, but he’d rather take advice from Sarah and Berkeley than his father. The proof of the pudding was in the eating, after all.

Berkeley laughed. “What if you fall madly in love and become a devoted husband? Jealous even. Now, that would be a sight.”

“Jealous? That’s not possible.” Hart grinned back at Berkeley. “I’ve never been jealous. Don’t have it in me. My friends at university used to tease me about it. No ties to any particular lady. No regrets.” He settled back in his chair and straightened his cravat, which was tighter than ever.

“We’ll see.” Berkeley took another sip of tea. His eyes danced with amusement.

“I was hoping you and Sarah might help me this Season.

Sarah knows most of the young ladies. She also knows me as well as anyone does. Not to mention, the two of you seem to have got the thing right.”

Berkeley glanced up. “Why, Highgate, is that a compliment on our marriage?”

“Take it as you will.” Hart waved a noncommittal hand in the air. He avoided meeting Berkeley’s eyes.

Berkeley settled further into his chair. “I shall take it as a compliment, then. I have a feeling Sarah would like nothing more than to help you with such an endeavor. She fancies herself a matchmaker these days.”

“Will you two be staying in London for the Season?”

“Yes. Sarah wants to stay and I, of course, will support her, at least as long as I can remain in the same town as your father without him calling me out.” A smirk settled on Berkeley’s face.

Hart eyed the remaining liquid in his glass. “I’ll be happy to play the role of peacemaker to the best of my ability.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” Berkeley inclined his head toward his brother-in-law.

“Who else is Sarah matchmaking for?” Hart sloshed the brandy in the bottom of the glass.

“She’s not merely matchmaking. No. To hear her tell it, she has an important mission this Season.”

Hart set down the glass and pulled another section of the Times off the table and began scanning it. He’d talked enough about marriage for one day. Odious topic. “A mission? What mission?” he asked, merely to be polite.

“To find Meg Timmons a husband.”

Hart startled in surprise, grasping the paper so tightly it tore in the middle. Tossing it aside, he reached for his glass and gulped the last of his brandy.

Meg Timmons. He knew Meg Timmons. She was Sarah’s closest friend, the daughter of his father’s mortal enemy, and a woman with whom Hart had experienced an incident last summer that he’d been seriously trying to forget.

Copyright © 2017 by Valerie Bowman and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.


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Lusting for Covers

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


Death Doesn't Bargain Death Doesn’t Bargain (Deadman’s Cross #2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Release Date: May 8, 2018

SynopsisDeath Doesn’t Bargain is the second historical fantasy title in New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Deadman’s Cross series. Where Deadmen tell their tales, and every soul is damned or redeemed by the final choices they make.

The Deadmen are back…

But so are the demons who have broken free of their eternal prison and are bent on mankind’s destruction. The worst of the lot is Vine, determined to claim their lives for taking hers. She will see the world burn…and has the perfect lure to destroy them all. One of their own.

Kalder Dupree has never known a day of mercy. Born to the cruelest of mer-races, he sacrificed himself for his crew and is in Vine’s hands. He expects no mercy or rescue.

Yet Cameron Jack is determined to set Kalder free. As a Hellchaser, it’s her calling, and she cannot allow even a not-so-innocent to be tortured for an act of kindness that spared her damnation.

To defeat evil, it sometimes takes an even worse evil, and Cameron is willing to do whatever she must to make this right. If Vine thought she had her hands full before, she hasn’t seen anything nearly as powerful as Cameron’s resolve.

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Dark Swan (Otherworld Assassin #2.5) by Gena Showalter

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Dark SwanDark Swan (Otherworld Assassin #2.5) by Gena Showalter

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Synopsis: The Alien Huntress series is back with fan favorite AIR agent Dallas Gutierrez from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling paranormal romance author Gena Showalter, who doesn’t disappoint with this sizzling hot alpha hero.

Lilica Swan isn’t quite human or otherworlder; she is the best—and worst—of both.

She is willing to do whatever proves necessary to save her sister from the seductive and deadly Alien Investigation and Removal agent, Dallas Gutierrez, even bonding her lifeforce to his by effectively marrying him. But the bond will fade without consummation. Can Dallas resist his insatiable desire for the powerful beauty? Or will she lead to his ultimate downfall?

Originally published in the Blood Red Kiss anthology.

Review: This story had such strong characters. There was tension and strife between the two main characters that kept the action moving along and kept the reader engrossed in their story. The humor was so entertaining, as well. The conflict was well developed and the back stories of the triplets was laid out well and in detail helping the reader to understand the connection between the triplets and their sense of loyalty. Dallas was a womanizer I enjoyed watching being brought down a few pegs and snared in the end by his perfect match. The story overall was enjoyable and I loved the interactions between Dallas and Lilica a lot.

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A Season of You (Cloud Bay #2) by Emma Douglas

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A Season of YouA Season of You (Cloud Bay #2) by Emma Douglas

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SynopsisIt’s Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season… Will Fraser has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina’s husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she’d want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he’s kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina’s heart. . . Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she’s kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can’t quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay’s first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas–and forever–is Will?

Review: This is the fourth book in the St Martin’s Holiday Romance set and it was enjoyable. Cute. Festive. Real. Passionate. Entertaining. And with a great ending. Mina has loved and lost before and she thinks she wants nothing more to do with love or men, even though she is still in her early twenties. Will has loved Mina from afar but has decided to keep his feelings to himself for she has already been through the loss of her husband, but when she has an accident outside of his distillery he rushes to her aide and goes above and beyond to show her that he cares. She is leery of him but she is attracted to him, so on Thanksgiving when he proposes a “project” where they enjoy each other’s company up until Christmas Day where they will then part ways with no hurt feelings, she can’t see why not. She does like kissing him, and drawing him, and imagining him in her bed so she agrees to his deal. Their relationship has highs and lows, drama and a few tense moments especially when she breaks things off with him a week early when he almost gets hurt. She feels like she can’t go through losing another man she cares about and if Will isn’t willing to change his dreams or life’s work then she has to cut her losses. How she wins him back in the end was sweet and well choreographed to earn his forgiveness. This one was enjoyable and sweet.

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St. Martin’s Press Holiday Romance Blitz: With This Christmas Ring

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With This Christmas RingWith this Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

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Book Review Here.

SynopsisA wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins. 

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget. 

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.


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Author Bio:

Manda Collins is the author of the Studies in Scandal series, The Lords of Anarchy series, The Ugly Duckling series and the Wicked Widows series as well as several other Regency-set romances. She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.


Buy Link: http://smpromance.com/historical/with-this-christmas-ring/

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St. Martin’s Press Holiday Romance Blitz: The Christmas Cowboy Hero

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The Christmas Cowboy HeroThe Christmas Cowboy (Hearts of Texas #1) by Donna Grant

Release Date: October 31st 

Book Review Here.

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Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant returns to Texas, where a small-town legend
just might find the greatest gift of all. . .
’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays—even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.  Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wits’ end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby—and the inescapable longing in his heart—off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?


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Author Bio: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.


Buy Link: http://smpromance.com/contemporary/the-christmas- cowboy-hero/

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St. Martin’s Press Holiday Romance Event: Deck the Halls

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Deck The HallsDeck the Halls by Donna Alward

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Book Review Here.

Synopsis: With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?


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Author Bio:
A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody's Baby, and Someone to Love.


Buy link: http://smpromance.com/contemporary/deck-the-halls/

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Lusting for Covers

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


The Thief The Thief (Black Dagger Brotherhood #16) by J.R. Ward

Release Date: April 3, 2018

SynopsisNew enemies rise from the shadows in the next novel of the New York Times bestselling paranormal romance series the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Having allied themselves with the Band of Bastards, the Brotherhood is committed now more than ever to eradicating the Lessening Society. Recovering from their most recent battle against the last of the lessers, the Brotherhood comes to realize that the fight against their enemies is far from over. Throe, Xcor’s former second in command, is using an ancient tome to summon a new army engineered by a force more dangerous and evil than the Omega. And now the brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will be tested both at home and on the battlefield.

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Deck the Halls by Donna Alward

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Deck The HallsDeck the Halls by Donna Alward

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Synopsis: With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

Review: This story has a Hallmark in the making movie vibe to it. It is sweet. It is innocent. It is a story of forgiveness and acceptance. Of healing and love. It was cute. I would have liked to see a bit more passion, but the storyline and character development were steady and real. George didn’t see his worth, though he was steadily rebuilding his life. He was filled with guilt and heartache and when he sees his dead best friend’s twin sister show up in his new life, he isn’t exactly pleasant. Amy though doesn’t give up and they strike up their old friendship and George does end up revealing the details Amy wanted to know how her brother died. Along the way, sparks fly and George pushes her away in a self-preservation moment and thinks he really screwed up something good when she doesn’t show up for a few days. The town pulls together to prove to George that he is seen, he is appreciated, respected, and that people do care about him. In the end, Amy comes back and shows him that she still wants to fight for him and for the future she sees them have. Overall, cute but tame. A  Hallmark holiday movie in the making. Read this as part of the St. Martin’s Press Holiday Romance Blitz.

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Soulbound (Dark Arts #3) by Bec McMaster

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Soulbound BMSoulbound (Dark Arts #3) by Bec McMaster

Release Date: October 24, 2017

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SynopsisA dark force is rising in London…

Sebastian Montcalm knows freedom for the first time in his life, but it has come at the cost of his father’s soul. If he can learn to harness his uncontrollable sorcery then he might be able to save his father from a demon’s grip, but every move he makes leads to failure. The only thing that gives him hope is the innocent touch of Cleo Sinclair, the woman he was forced to marry. But will his darkness drown out her light?

He could be her destruction…

Cleo knew her father only ever loved her for the power of her visions, but when he bartered her away in marriage to a man she’d never met, she realized how little value she truly had. Her husband, Sebastian, was nothing more than a dark warmth in her bed, a stranger who refused to touch her. But together, the two tortured souls found friendship. And now, when he needs her the most, he won’t even look at her.

…Or she could be his salvation…

When Cleo receives a powerful vision of a darkness that threatens London, she knows she is the key to defeating it. Only by working together can she and Sebastian prevail. But is Sebastian the one who can end this prophetic doom, or the one bound to begin it?

Review: The third and final book in the Dark Arts trilogy brings everything to a head and the couple I have very much looked forward to getting to know, Sebastian and Cleo. From the moment they grace the pages as secondary characters in books one and two they grabbed my attention so I was super excited to finally get to read their story. They deserved a happy ending the most, I think, and I loved their story from start to finish. The demon and its machinations come to a head in this one and the final battle to save not only London but Drake, if possible, was epic. The first two couples play big roles in this one, as well as Lady E, the mother I loved to hate Morgana, Remington Cross (who by the way is the first book in the spin-off series that will be coming out in the future-YAY), and a new tantalizing character by the name of Malachi Gray. He has some depths to him that I hope to explore in the spin-off series; he stole the pages he was on. Very yummy. The conflict was strong.  The struggles Sebastian and Cleo face to have a real marriage added an emotional tension and turmoil to the piece that just kept it entertaining and intense. When she finds the ticket, that scene and the subsequent confession by Sebastian in the library was so well crafted I had to read it twice. So good. Loved it. Love Bec McMaster’s way of story-telling and I am super excited to see what she has in store next.

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Goodreads Giveaway

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The Rogue is Back in TownThe Rogue is Back in Town (A wayward Wallflowers Novel #3) by Anna Bennett

SynopsisHide your daughters and your maiden aunts…Lord Samuel Travis is back.
―The London Hearsay, special society edition

Equal parts scoundrel and seducer, he’s returned to London determined to mend the rift with his older brother. All Sam must do is take possession of a tumbledown town house. A seemingly simple task, except the house is occupied—by an infuriating, whip-smart beauty who refuses to do his bidding.

Miss Juliette Lacey’s wallflower days are over. She has a plan to turn her eccentric family into the toast of the ton—but the devilishly handsome rake trying to oust them from their home thwarts her at every turn. How can one man be so vexing and make her simmer with desire?

As her attraction to Sam deepens, Julie’s problems grow—she may have, once upon a time, secretly shared a kiss with his honorable older brother. Suddenly, Julie’s caught between a rogue and a marquess, between passion and respectability. Torn between two brothers, what’s a girl to do?

via Book giveaway for The Rogue Is Back in Town (The Wayward Wallflowers, #3) by Anna Bennett Oct 02-Oct 15, 2017 | Goodreads

The Princess (Bride Quest #1) by Claire Delacroix

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The PrincessThe Princess (Bride Quest #1) by Claire Delacroix

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Synopsis: Princess Brianna was determined to marry for love despite King Henry’s decree that she wed one of the sons of the man who had conquered her family’s castle. So Brianna issued a seemingly impossible challenge: he who returned with a gift that made her laugh would win her hand. And thus began the bride quest of the three brothers Fitzgavin. Burke and Rowan, knights both, set out at her command.

Only Luc remained, refusing to indulge the whims of the glorious Irish princess. Even Brianna’s legendary beauty could not tempt him—until she invaded his senses…and his soul. But Luc thought a princess had no place in the life of a battle-weary warrior who vowed to lay down his sword forever—until he was forced to take up arms to protect the fair maiden who had seized his heart by divine right.

Review: This story took some time for me to get into. The concept was good. The story was sweet. The characters were interesting, Luc more than Brianna, and the conflict was strong. You don’t see who the villain was until the very end. Brianna was a bit silly and spoiled acting in the beginning until Luc starts to see the real her. It was like once he saw her depths was when the reader was also able to see that how she behaved, in the beginning, wasn’t the real Brianna. I did have trouble sticking with this one though. There weren’t a lot of tense moments or emotional turmoil until the very end, when their love and the seal to the one Keep Luc wanted from the very beginning, was revealed. The best part of the story was the mystery of who was the murderer, where the real Rose was located, and who was next to die or be harmed. I did enjoy the mystery and watching the characters solve the crimes committed. I needed more from my female lead character and the passion was kind of lacking until after the marriage. This definitely has an old romance vibe about it. Less passion more fairy tale, which is enjoyable, but a bit tame.  I have read the Bride Quest II trilogy and enjoyed them, so I will definitely see what the other two books in this original Bride Quest series has to offer.

A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion.

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The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas #1) by Donna Grant

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The Christmas Cowboy HeroThe Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas #1) by Donna Grant

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Synopsis: ’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays―even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.

Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wit’s end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby―and the inescapable longing in his heart―off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?

Review: Donna Grant is known for her Scottish Warriors, Dragon Kings, Fae Assassins, and Druids. Now she is tackling hot cowboys with military backgrounds. In the first book of her new series Heart of Texas, we meet the East family and more importantly we meet Clayton East, an ex-Navy SEAL who has been hiding from his past and his family. He is called home when his father has a stroke due to their CPA embezzling all of their money and someone stealing a lot of their cattle. He comes home to solve the mystery and then leave again. What he doesn’t expect to find is the sister of a teen who was part of the cattle rustlers. She is a mix of strength and vulnerability, loyalty and loneliness, and has the bluest eyes he has ever seen. He strikes a bargain with her teen brother; come work for him to pay off the debt for the lost cattle and he won’t file charges against him. Abby has been raising her two younger brothers ever since their mother walked out. She is exhausted and stressed and at a loss as to how to fix her brother’s latest mistake. What she sees in Clayton is a wounded man who carries around a lot of guilt. He is also very easy on the eyes and she is definitely attracted to him. With her brother working at the ranch she finds herself spending more time there and with Clayton. Sparks fly, passions flair, and walls are let down to reveal the scars beneath. Along the way, they work together to find out who stole the cattle and how the money was embezzled. It was a really great story. Loved it from beginning to end and really didn’t want it to end. I wanted more but I wasn’t left needing more. It was perfect. Their story was a great blend of passion and a story of getting to know each other and letting the other in. Great. Can’t wait till there is more.

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Lusting for Covers

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


High Voltage High Voltage (Fever #10) by Karen Marie Moning

Release Date: March 6, 2018

Synopsis: Immortal Faerie and ancient feuds, secrets and sacrifices—a thrilling new chapter in the bestselling Fever series begins, featuring Dani, Ryodan, and other exciting characters fighting to protect Dublin and the world from the legions of darkness.
 
There is no action without consequence.

Dani O’Malley was nine years old when the delusional, sadistic Rowena transformed her into a ruthless killer. Years later, she’s tough, hardened, yet achingly vulnerable and fiercely compassionate, living alone by her own exacting code. Despite the scars on her body, driven by deeper ones carved into her soul, no one is more committed to protecting Dublin. By day, she ensures the safety of those she rescues, by night she hunts evil, dispensing justice swiftly and without mercy, determined to give those she cares for the peace she has never known.

There is no power without price.

When the Faerie Queen used the dangerously powerful Song of Making to heal the world from the damage done by the Hoar Frost King, catastrophic magic seeped deep into the earth, giving rise to horrifying, unforeseen consequences—and now deadly enemies plot in the darkness, preparing to enslave the human race and unleash an ancient reign of hell on Earth.

There is no future without sacrifice.

With the lethal, immortal Ryodan at her side, armed with the epic Sword of Light, Dani once again battles to save the world, but her past comes back to haunt her with a vengeance, demanding an unspeakable price for the power she needs to save the human race and no one—not even Ryodan, who’d move the very stars for her—can save her this time.

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Release Day Blitz!

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Author Bio

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Kerrigan Byrne


The Scot Beds His WifeSummary:

The Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…


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My Book Review Here.


Excerpt

Chapter Two

Union Pacific Railway, Wyoming Territory, Fall, 1880

Samantha Masters squeezed the trigger, planting a bullet between her husband’s beautiful brown eyes.

She whispered his name. Bennett. Then screamed it.

But it was the woman in his grasp she reached for as he fell to the ground.

Though they’d known each other all of twenty minutes, she clung to Alison Ross as though the younger woman were the most precious soul in the entire world, and they sank to their knees as their strength gave out.

Alison’s hold was just as tight around her, and their sobs burst against each other’s in a symphony of terror, shock, and abject relief.

What in the hell just happened?

Not twenty minutes ago, Samantha and Alison had been no more to each other than amiable fellow passengers on an eastbound train, chugging across the wintry landscape of the Wyoming Territory.

What were they now? Enemies? Survivors?

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Samantha repeated the words with every short, sobbing exhale. Though she couldn’t have said who the apology was to, exactly. To Alison? To Bennett? To whoever had been shot on the other railcars?

To God?

This morning she’d been the irate, disillusioned wife of a charming and dangerous man. An insignificant and unwilling member of the outlaw Masters Gang.

This afternoon, she’d been the new acquaintance and confidant to Alison Ross, commiserating over childhoods spent on secluded cattle ranches.

This evening, because of what she’d just done, of what they’d all just done . . . chances were good that she’d be hanged.

This train job was supposed to be like any other. Each of the Masters boarded on the last platform for miles and miles. To avoid detection or suspicion, Bennett, Boyd, and Bradley Masters would each take a seat in separate passenger cars.

Samantha would be placed in the least populated car, usually first class, as it was also the least dangerous. Once civilization completely fell away, the signal was given, and the men would strike, rounding up all passengers into one car.

This was done for the safety of the passengers as much as the Masters, themselves, as the gang didn’t generally rob people. Cash, jewelry, and personal items were never as valuable as actual cargo. The Union Pacific Railway didn’t only deliver citizens across the vast American continent. It delivered goods, sundries, and often . . . federal funds.

Even in these modern times, when it seemed all the gold had been mined from the rich hills of California, American currency was still minted in the east. Which meant everything from company payrolls, to government bonds, to cash and precious metals were transported by transcontinental railways.

And the Masters brothers, aspiring entrepreneurs, had decided that if the government wouldn’t allow them land, nor the banks grant them loans . . .

Then they’d take what they needed.

This was supposed to have been their fifth and final train job. It was supposed to have gone like the others.

No one harmed or robbed. Merely a bit inconvenienced and perhaps a little shaken. The Masters would escape with a few bags of money that the government could simply print again, a “frightened” female hostage as played by Samantha herself, and the papers would have an exciting story to publish in the morning.

The signal, both to each other and to the passengers, was one shot, fired at the ceiling, and then a command to disarm, get moving, and a gentle promise that all this would be over before they knew it. Samantha’s job was to act like any other passenger, and incite them to obey. Then, if necessary, act as the hostage to force compliance.

“People are sheep,” Boyd had always said. “They’ll follow a sweet thing like you to their doom.”

On this job, Samantha had been more comfortable than any other. At this time in October, with winter settling in but Christmas still a ways off, travel wasn’t foremost on the mind of the average American.

Her railcar had only two occupants other than herself. Alison Ross, a lively, bright-eyed San Franciscan socialite, and a well-dressed businessman more interested in his paper than conversation.

At first, Alison’s friendly overtures had vexed Samantha, as she found it hard to concentrate on responses when her blood sang with equal parts anticipation and anxiety. But, she realized, to not engage would be suspicious, and before long she’d found herself enjoying Alison’s company.

She’d not known many women her age, least of all friendly ones.

Samantha imagined that in another life, she and Alison could have, indeed, been friends.

Had she not been about to rob the train.

Had there not been more gunshots than were agreed upon . . .

Had Boyd and Bradley not bailed with the money, leaving Bennett to come after his wife, his white shirt and dark vest splattered with blood.

Oh God. What had they done?

Over the deafening beat of her heart, she’d heard Bennett say something about federal marshals. About someone taking a bullet in the shoulder. Boyd? And then a shootout.

Through vision blurred with tears, Samantha glanced at the businessman, dead-eyed and bleeding.

Her fault. All her fault.

Bennett had shot him without a word or warning. Then he’d grabbed Alison and put his pistol to her temple, because he’d known.

He’d known the second he’d seen the horror and denial on Samantha’s face at the blood on his shirt, that she wouldn’t have gone with him. That, while she’d have stayed married to an outlaw, she could never love a murderer.

“Come with me, Sam,” he’d ordered tersely. “Come with me now, and we will go to Oregon.”

It was in that moment Samantha had known he lied to her.

They’d fought about it the night before, when he’d said Boyd wanted to go south to Texas or the New Mexico Territory instead of north to Oregon like they’d planned. That oil towns were the new gold rush.

She’d railed at him. It wasn’t the life he’d promised her. They were supposed to go to the sea to make their fortune in lumber. He was going to build her a grand house on a cliff and make love to her while serenaded by thunderstorms. They’d only just escaped their desolate life on a cattle ranch in the high desert. She didn’t want to go back to bleak sweaty days beneath the harsh, unrelenting sunshine. She wanted pretty green hills, trees, and meadows. She wanted to live somewhere she could wrap a shawl about her and listen to sea storms toss rain against her windows.

Last night, she’d been shrill, and Bennett had been cruel.

But he’d awoken his charming self, randy as he ever was before a dangerous job. And she’d lain beneath his thrusting body, unable to relinquish the churning of her resentments and worries enough to appreciate his affections.

Then it was time to wash, and dress, and commit a crime.

Bennett had promised to revisit the issue. To make her smile again, to fulfill her dreams.

Problem was, Samantha had already lost faith in Bennett Masters’s charming promises. A part of her had begun to accept what she’d long feared. Bennett would never go against his brothers, brutal and backward as they were. If Boyd decreed the family was going south to work in stinking, desolate oil towns, then there was no other option but to do exactly that.

Boyd had once whispered to her in secret that, while Bennett might love her, he feared him more, and fear was always more powerful than love.

“He’d let me fuck you, if I wanted,” Boyd had threatened once when she’d been mouthy. He’d grabbed her through her trousers, his fingers digging painfully against her sex. “You’d best keep that in mind.”

She’d never forgotten that night five months ago. Because she’d told Bennett of Boyd’s behavior.

And, as Boyd predicted, he’d done nothing.

Now, when Bennett held his pistol to this helpless woman’s head, and ordered Samantha to open the door to the railcar, she’d looked into the eyes of her husband of four years.

And seen a stranger.

“You’ll let her go,” she’d reasoned evenly. “You’ll let her go, and we’ll get out of here.”

She’d opened the door. Bradley had the horses keeping pace with the train as it slowed around the McCreary Pass bend. She motioned to him, and he spurred his ride faster. They’d get off the train, and she’d figure out just what the hell had happened before making any hasty decisions.

“She’s seen us.”

Bennett’s words had frozen her blood as she realized that he wasn’t wearing his bandana.

“People have seen us before,” she’d said over her shoulder.

“Not like this, Sam. We can’t leave witnesses. She has to die—”

Samantha had reached across her body, drawn her Colt single-action, turned, and shot him between the eyes in the time it took him to pull back the hammer of his highercaliber, slower-action Smith & Wesson.

Only now, while clinging to a stranger on her knees, did she have time to think about what she’d just done.

She’d killed a man. Not just any man.

Her husband.

“Thank you,” Alison said ardently against her ear. “Thank you. I know he was your man, but I wasn’t ready to die.”

Pulling away from Alison, Samantha noted the mark that Bennett’s recently used gun left on her pale temple. He had to have killed before, hadn’t he? He just . . . murdered that innocent man like it was nothing to him. He didn’t even hesitate. And then to even consider executing a slight and lovely girl like Alison?

Her husband of four years.

God, had she ever known him at all? Wood paneling splintered above them as a bullet pierced the wall, and Alison screamed, lifting her arms to cover the green silk hat perched above a wealth of mahogany curls.

Bradley.

Samantha’s head whipped around to see that he’d gained on their car, and had witnessed the entire thing. Luckily, of the four of them, Bradley was the weakest shot and only the second-best rider.

The distinction as the best, of course, belonged to her. Boyd was the gunslinger.

Samantha dimly remembered Bennett saying that Boyd had been wounded, and with any luck, those wounds would be fatal.

Bradley’s mount galloped closer, and Samantha realized that if he gained on the train, he’d be coming for her, and only one of them would survive the encounter.

She’d found her gun where she’d dropped it, but Alison stayed her hand. “I know a way to keep your neck out of a noose,” she said, her blueberry gaze surprisingly steady through the tears. “But we’ll have to . . . to get rid of the body.”

Samantha’s racing heart shriveled, but she and Alison stayed low as they rolled Bennett’s limp body the few feet to the door.

“You’re dead, Sam!” Bradley, unable to reload his pistol on horseback, was reaching across his saddle for his rifle. Which gave the women no time to pause. No time to hesitate.

Together, they pushed Bennett through the door, and the force of the train, the wind, and momentum pulled him sideways down the iron steps. The broken sounds his body made when he hit the earth nearly killed Samantha, but Alison slammed the door just as Bradley’s rifle had found purchase on his shoulder.

Samantha could tell his shot went wild, and waited a few eternal seconds for another.

Alison gathered her wealth of skirts and knelt on a seat, peeking through the window. “He’s stopped.” She breathed in obvious relief. “He’s stopped for your—for the body.”

It was only then that Samantha began to shake. Great, bone-rattling tremors coursed through her. All warmth leached out of her, and she slumped into a seat knowing her freezing limbs wouldn’t hold her weight for much longer.

Resolutely, Alison Ross claimed the seat across from her. A bone structure as sharp and perfect as hers was only accentuated by pink blush and rouged, full lips. Emeralds swayed and twinkled in her ears, catching the light as she leaned toward Samantha.

“He called you Sam,” she noted in a sweet voice that contrasted with her sharp tone. “That’s your name?”

“S-S-Samantha,” she managed through rattling teeth. “H-his brothers. T-they’re going to kill me. I’d rather hang.”

“You told me you grew up on a cattle ranch. Was this the truth?”

Samantha nodded, wondering if she’d ever be able to breathe again. Assaulted by the picture of Bennett’s handsome face marred by a perfectly round hole between his eyes.

“You can shoot, obviously. Can you ride, herd cattle, work figures?”

She nodded again, before the absurdity of Alison’s question registered. “W-why are you being kind to me? My—my husband almost—” She couldn’t bring herself to say it. It was too horrible.

In spite of everything, a corner of Alison’s painted mouth lifted at Samantha’s expression. “Where I come from, in my country, saving a life is no small debt. Also, in my savage part of the world, from the time we’re very, very young one law is paramount to all others. Tha an lagh comraich.”

Comraich?” Samantha blinked rapidly at the lovely, obviously wealthy woman. Either she’d gone mad, or Alison was speaking in tongues.

“It means sanctuary.”

Shaking her head, Samantha tried to understand the woman. That word had no meaning to her. What was Alison talking about, her country? She didn’t look or sound at all like an immigrant. Was she not American? Had she not said she had a fiancé in San Francisco? That her family had been wealthy ranchers and she was forced to travel east to settle a land dispute?

“I don’t know what you’ve been through, or what has happened to bring us to this place, but I think we can help each other,” the elegant woman was saying.

“I’m lost,” were the only words Samantha could conjure. Hopelessly, incredibly lost. Adrift. Misplaced. In every conceivable way.

Alison’s gaze gentled. “Tell me, Samantha, have you ever been to Scotland?”

Copyright © 2017 by Kerrigan Byrne and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.


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New Releases!

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Several came out today, so many books and so little time.  Happy reading!

With This Christmas RingWith Thie Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

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Book Review Here.

Synopsis: A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

Goodreads   |   Amazon   |   Barnes and Nobles   |   Pinterest   |   NetGalley


The Talent of Temptation

A Talent For Temptation (Sinful Suitors #4.5) by Sabrina Jeffries

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Book Review Here.

Synopsis: Filled with New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries’s signature charm and wit, this novella in the hugely popular Sinful Suitors series is sure to tempt you!

Widow Meriel Vyse is stunned speechless when someone tries to abduct her on her way to a ball. Fortunately, Quinn Raines, her secret beau, shows up to foil the attack. Unfortunately, as the two of them are struggling with her abductor, Meriel accidentally stabs Quinn with a knife.

Unbeknownst to Meriel, Quinn set up the fake abduction so he could play the hero and win her hand in marriage. But now that his plan has gone disastrously awry, can he convince her that he’s still the man for her?

Sabrina Jeffries brings her famous “quick pacing, witty dialogue, and charmingly original characters” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) to this enchanting romance.

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The Scot Beds His WifeThe Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels #5) by Kerrigan Byrne

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Book Review Here.

SynopsisThe Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

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No Other Duke Will Do (Windham Brides #3) by Grace Burrowes

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No Other Duke Will DoNo Other Duke Will Do (Windham Brides #3) by Grace Burrowes

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Synopsis: Julian St. David, Duke of Haverford, is barely keeping his head above water in a sea of inherited debts. Though he has a long-term plan to restore the family finances, his sister has a much faster solution: host a house party for London’s single young ladies and find Julian a wealthy bride.

Elizabeth Windham has no interest in marriage, but a recent scandal has forced her hand. As much as she’d rather be reading Shakespeare than husband-hunting, she has to admit she’s impressed by Julian’s protective instincts, broad shoulders, and, of course, his vast library.

As the two spend more time together, their attraction is overwhelming, unexpected… and absolutely impossible. With meddling siblings, the threat of financial ruin, and gossips lurking behind every potted palm, will they find true love or true disaster?

Review: The next Windham adventure takes us to a three-week house party (man sometimes I wish I lived in that era with the Season, house parties that lasted weeks rather than hours, and all other events the aristocracy got up to). We are dealing with Charlotte Windham and Elizabeth Windham, daughter of Tony and Gladys, can’t recall whether they had their own book. They are cousins though to my favorite group of brothers from The Heir, The Soldier, and The Virtuoso. Elizabeth is an on the shelf spinster and she hates that she has to go to this party whose sole purpose is to put marriageable young ladies and bachelors together in hopes that marriage might come about. Julian, the Duke of Havers, really doesn’t want to put on this house party for one it costs too much and he really can’t afford it and two he isn’t looking for a wife. His sister though has set out to get him married. When he meets Elizabeth her frankness and blunt speech about not wanting to marry and that she will not be setting her sights on him is a breath of fresh air. He finds with her he can simply be himself, speak what is on his mind, and not worry about being trapped into a marriage he doesn’t want. She finds him appealing for the same reasons, so they strike up a friendship and in each other’s company can let their guard down. This, of course, leads to frank discussions about wants, past deeds, and opinions. The more time they spend together the more they come to like each other, and when they give in and kiss they come to see the benefits of a sort-of friend with benefits type deal, friends are allowed to kiss friends. Kissing leads to other deeds and love blossoms. The conflict was decent, the villain shows up uninvited and ingratiates himself into the house party. The villain hates Julian and wants to ruin him. Julian owes him a lot of money and when his sister’s engagement is announced he calls in his debts. The story was enjoyable. I did think that Julian fell in love a bit too quickly or realized too soon that he loved her, but that small detail doesn’t detract from the enjoyable read. The different types of characters at the house party and the events that did for entertainment was interesting to watch and made me wonder if this is house the house parties back then progressed. Overall enjoyable story and strong main characters.

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Lusting for Covers

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


Blade of Darkness Blades of Darkness (Immortal Guardians #7) by Dianne Duvall 

Synopsis: Dana Pembroke has been able to glimpse the future of those she touches for as long as she can remember. But she never saw Aidan coming. When the tall, dark Celt with the charming grin yet world-weary eyes walks through her door, the future she sees for him is one full of violence, danger, deception… and passion. Because amidst the terrifying battles that unfold in her visions, she also sees herself in Aidan’s arms and in his bed. Dana knows she should keep her distance, but the tender moments and laughter they share entice her even as she finds herself thrust into a world of vampires, immortals, and other preternatural beings.

Immortal Guardian Aidan O’Byrne has been hunting and slaying psychotic vampires for nearly three thousand years, so visions of bloody battles don’t trouble him. The battles Dana foresees, however, show Aidan’s brethren turning against him, so he can’t help but feel alarmed. While he spends as much time as he can with Dana, struggling to decipher her dire predictions, Aidan finds himself utterly smitten. Hope rises that he has finally found a woman who can banish the darkness and loneliness that plague him. But when vampires begin targeting Dana and a powerful enemy spawns chaos, will fate grant them time to find happiness together?

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Goodreads Giveaway! The Chosen by J.R. Ward

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The ChosenThe Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15) by J.R. Ward

Synopsis: Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love… or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

 

via Book giveaway for The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15) by J.R. Ward Sep 26-Oct 26, 2017 | Goodreads

With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

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With This Christmas RingWith Thie Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

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Synopsis: A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

Review: This short book was a sweet holiday treat. Five years ago Merry walked out on their betrothal without a word or explanation but Alex suspects that his conniving grandmother had a hand in sending the only woman he has ever loved and still loves away. On his return from Paris, he plans on seeking her out but what he doesn’t expect is to find her on his doorstep with a baby in tow. He sees this as the opportunity he needs and he uses it to his benefit. His grandmother is a horrid woman and she doesn’t hold back her insults when Merry shows up with Alex to present the baby girl to his cousin, Will, and to give him the news the wife he left shortly after marrying her died giving birth to her. The story was an easy read and was enjoyable. I loved every moment.her died giving birth to her. The story was an easy read and was enjoyable. I loved every moment.

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The Scot’s Bride (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs #6) by Paula Quinn

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The Scot's BrideThe Scot’s Bride (The MacGregors: The Highland Heirs #6) by Paula Quinn

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SynopsisAN IRRESISTIBLE SCOUNDREL
Highlander Patrick MacGregor likes his life just the way it is. Fighting for his coin, enjoying a woman’s charms, and bearing no responsibility at all? Aye, that’s the life for him. That is, until Patrick sees her-a raven-haired beauty with eyes as dark as midnight. Patrick swore never to fall in love. Not even with a lass as wild as he…especially when she’s from a rival clan.

AN UNDENIABLE DESIRE
Charlotte Cunningham knows Patrick is trouble the moment she sets eyes on him. Her only goal is to escape the possibility of marriage. Any marriage. But as the summer days turn into sultry nights, enticing her beyond reason, Charlie is forced to choose between the freedom she craves and the reckless rogue she can’t forget.

In the New York Times bestselling tradition of Lynsay Sands, Hannah Howell, and Karen Hawkins comes a new book in Paula Quinn’s new sinfully sexy Scottish romance series.

Review: It was so much fun watching Patrick MacGregor fall to the “curse” of love that all of his relatives before him fell. He has run from the ideals of his childhood and revels in his rogue and wandering lifestyle, so when he meets Charlie he knows he should run for the hills and not look back but he can’t for the life of him leave. He knows what is happening and knows what she could mean to him but he keeps deluding himself into thinking he can handle it and leave once he has won her as a conquest. Charlie has no need for a man and in fact sees all men as the same; greedy, self-centered, and cruel beings. She knows Patrick is bad news but she can’t stop thinking about him or wanting his kiss. Their journey was so enjoyable and I really enjoyed watching Patrick fall in love. His internal struggle and the fact that he convinced himself that he can resist falling for her was just fun.  The conflict was great. The villain was strong. There were surprises and suspense and emotional turmoil that kept me coming back for more. Loved it and love Paula Quinn’s take on historical romance.

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Lusting for Covers (87)

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


Storm Gathering Storm Gathering (Scorpius Syndrome #4) by Rebecca Zanetti

Synopsis: Even before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Greyson Storm was a lone wolf navigating minefields. As a kid, he learned to take a hit and find safety. As an adult, he joined the military and quickly learned how to protect and defend. When the world ended, he created a mercenary camp with military precision, no entanglements, and a promise to avenge a fallen friend. As part of that vow, he kidnapped Maureen Shadow, but now that he has let her go, her blue eyes and intriguing mind keep haunting him…

As possibly the only Biotechnology Engineer still living, Maureen Shadow might be humanity’s one hope to survive the aftermath of Scorpius, making her frighteningly valuable to both allies and enemies. Even after sexual tension explodes with Greyson, she’s not sure which camp he belongs to—friend or foe? Worse yet, survival may mean thwarting his prime mission, putting her in even more peril. When danger and seduction collide, there is no safety in this new world.

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Hard Breaker (Gargoyles #6) by Christine Warren

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Hard BreakerHard Breaker (Gargoyles #6) by Christine Warren

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SynopsisFrom New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren comes the sixth book in her red-hot romance series in which even the most beastly gargoyle is able to win the heart of a beautiful human woman.

Ivy Beckett has a special gift. She can hear voices, feel events, and receive messages from great distances. Which is also a curse. The moment her family is killed by the servants of the Darkness, she knows it. And the only way to fight these evil forces is to align her powers with a Guardian. A legendary warrior of stone who strikes fear in her heart―and fire in her soul…

Baen is a fierce and powerful gargoyle who has sworn to protect all humans from the Darkness. But when this mighty winged warrior swoops down to rescue Ivy from the jaws of death, he is drawn into a battle that is more dangerous―and more intimate―than he ever bargained for. The beautiful, gifted Ivy touches something deep within him, an all-consuming passion that puts both their lives at risk. Can he conquer the armies of evil itself . . . without losing the woman he loves?

Review: The final battle has arrived. The seven major demons are ready to take their place in the world. And the only thing standing in their way are the seven Guardians and their mates. This installment doesn’t just bring us the next couple but one major bomb is dropped that the Guardians’ seventh brother is already on earth and has been from the very beginning. This one though focuses on Baen and Ivy. Ivy has been doing her part in this war in England where she helps the underground resistance to smuggle out Wardens and hide them from the Order. She can handle herself just fine but when a Guardian swoops in to save her she can’t help but eye him as some delicious side of hotness. What she can’t abide by though is losing her independence and doesn’t like that Fate has said that they will end up together. While Baen tries to win over his mate’s doubts and alleviates her fears, he also has his hands full saving her from one attack or another. The whole gang comes back together in Paris where they will stage their final stand and stop Armageddon. This one had all of the fun tongue-in-cheek humor that we have come to enjoy from Christine Warren’s gargoyles and their outspoken mates. It was a fun ride filled from beginning to end with action and adventure and the ride was fun to go along with. Their passion and the scene where they confess their love is so beautifully written. Loved Baen’s declaration and he handled it perfectly. Loved it. I do hope though that there might be one more book in the series about the last Guardian and his mate that we just very briefly met in this one.

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Shadow’s Curse (Imnada Brotherhood #2) by Alexa Egan

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Shadow's CurseShadow’s Curse (Imnada Brotherhood #2) by Alexa Egan

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SynopsisThe second novel in the dark and sexy Imnada Brotherhood trilogy featuring shape-shifters in Regency-era England.

Suffering under a horrible curse and renounced by his clan, the Imnada shape-shifter, David St. Leger, stalks the London nights in the form of a large black wolf, channeling his desperate rage on thieves and murderers. But when he’s captured by the very woman he sought to rescue, he’s thrown into the magical and dangerous world of the Other—half human, half-Fey, and one of the Imnada’s ancient enemies.

Forced by her half-brother to use her gift of necromancy as a money-making scheme, Callista Hawthorne wants only to flee to her aunt in Scotland where she’ll be safe. Considering David her last hope, she offers him a deal—freedom in exchange for his protection on the long journey north.

Now in a race for their lives, Other and Imnada must put aside centuries of animosity and work together if they are to overcome the dark forces intent on stopping them before they reach safety. For Callista is far more powerful than she knows, and with her help and her love, David may finally be able to break the curse of the Imnada…

Review: I had difficulty getting into this one and staying interested. The passion felt stunted and rushed in its description. The villain was good and the conflict was interesting, but the plot just was hard to get into.  Not really sure what it was exactly that I found hard to get into. The characters were good, though the tension between the two could have been more developed. The passion could have been explored and drawn out; he was a womanizer after all so that aspect could have played more of a role (his reputation coming back to bite him, him being placed in a situation where she could misconstrue what was going on, etc.) in the tension and emotional development of their relationship. When he goes into Death to save her was a good scene, that added some emotional suspense to the plot. There wasn’t anything bad about it; I was just a bit bored.

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Lusting for Covers (86)

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


Covert Game Covert Game (Ghostwalkers #14) by Christine Feehan

Release Date: March 20, 2018

SynopsisThe GhostWalkers deal with the explosive fallout from Power Game in the lastest suspenseful novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

Despite the death of a traitor and key conspirator, the plot to use the GhostWalker experiments to undermine the security of the U.S. by foreign interests still exists. The GhostWalkers themselves must race against the clock to neutralize the danger.

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The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld #12) by Gena Showalter

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Darkest TormentThe Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld #12) by Gena Showalter

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Synopsis: Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

Review: Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld hasn’t lost its appeal, even at book 12. You would think that it would get tiring or tedious but every book is fresh in the long term plot of the series. The war between Lucifer and Hades is building, and William and Gilly’s whole relationship-nonrelationship came to a head in this one. I really hope Gilly didn’t screw up everything, though I truly can’t see how she and William will get together with what she did in this one. (Sorry, no spoilers, you’ve got to read). Pandora’s role is changing. Galen, who was the villain for some time, is now looking like a straight up good guy. Baden definitely deserved a happy ending after all of the hell he suffered so I was so happy to witness his redemption and release from the guilt and demons that were plaguing him for so long. Katarina was a strong female character with her own dynamic personality and she certainly didn’t take any crap. Their story was entertaining and enjoyable from beginning to end.  I’m looking forward to Cameo’s story with Lazarus next and I really hope William and Gilly get their book soon.

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Lure of Obsession (The Muse Chronicles #1) by Lisa Kessler

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Lure of ObsessionLure of Obsession (The Muse Chronicles #1) by Lisa Kessler

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SynopsisThe Prophecy – “Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse.”

Melanie Jacoby teaches English at Crystal City High School. She’s also the reborn Muse of Tragic Poetry, but she isn’t prepared for the tragedy of finding her roommate dead at the bottom of the stairs.

Nate Malone is the detective assigned to the case, but as the evidence points to an accidental fall, the visions begin. He sees a killer in a gold Kronos mask.

Mel is the next target.

The Order of the Titans are eager to bring about the return of the Golden Age of Man, and they’re prepared to kill the Muses to complete their mission. But Nate’s desire to protect Mel is almost as strong as his hunger for her.

And tragedy isn’t part of his plan.

Review: This one was such an easy read. I finished it in a day. It is very similar to the Paladins of Darkness series by Alexis Morgan, the Eternal Guardians series by Elizabeth Naughton, and the Iron Portal series by Laurie London. The characters were easy to like, the conflict was believable, the passion was great, and the love story developed steadily. I liked the role reversal with the fact that the man is the one who comes to know the paranormal exists rather than the female.  The women come into their muse at 18 where the Guardians don’t come into their abilities until they cross path with their muse, so it is left to the women to induct the strong alpha type men into their world. It was a fun read and I’m glad I picked it up on NetGalley.

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The Scandalous Flirt (Cinderella Sisterhood #6) by Olivia Drake

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Scandalous FlirtThe Scandalous Flirt (Cinderella Sisterhood #6) by Olivia Drake

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SynopsisScandal begins with just one kiss. . . 

Aurora Paxton was once the belle of the ball, the most sought-after debutante of the season―until a scandalous mistake ruined her. Shunned by her family, Rory was banished to the country to live in disgrace. Now she’s been summoned back to London by her stepmother, who is being blackmailed by the least likely person Rory can imagine: Lucas Vale, Marquess of Dashell.

Lucas is someone Rory’s known for years―a man as devastatingly handsome as he is coldly disapproving of her. What in the world could he want from her or her family? Rory intends to find out as soon as she comes face to face with her old foe. What she never expects, however, is that the icy aristocrat has a soft spot for her―and a secret plan to redeem her status. Could it be that Lucas has been in love with Rory all along. . . and has finally found a way to win her heart?

Review: I had trouble getting into this one. It started out slow and didn’t pick up until chapter 9 when she is caught in his bed chamber looking for the letters. Once they team up to find the letters and blackmailer, the story does get better. Their romance was slow to start and there were some surprise villains and twists to who stole the letters and with her half sister Celeste. The surprises kept it interesting and book ended well.  Lucas was a strong male lead and his dilemma about whether he should marry the woman he has loved for years even though she is poor, or marry an heiress in order to save his family added some suspense to the plot.  I can’t say it was my favorite story I’ve read this year but it was enjoyable.

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Lusting for Covers (85)

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


Darkest Promise The Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld #13) by Gena Showalter

Paperback

Release Date: March 27, 2018

I did this one back at LoC 66, but there is now another edition of the book and so I decided to do it a second time.

Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Lords of the Underworld story about an iron-willed sovereign and the somber beauty who melts him with a glance…

Possessed by the demon of Misery, Cameo isn’t allowed to experience joy. If she dares, her memory is wiped clean. With no other recourse, she sneaks into a land more fantastical than any fairytale, determined to find the one man with the key to her redemption.

Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual rules his kingdom with unwavering focus: to build his army and annihilate his enemies. Nothing distracts him—until Cameo. He is relentless in his quest to make her smile…and seduce her into his bed.

As dark forces conspire against them, threatening to destroy the fragile bond they’ve forged, the once-calm Lazarus grows crazed. Every heart-stopping kiss and wicked touch causes Cameo to teeter on the brink of happiness. But if she falls, she risks forgetting him forever…

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The Right Kind of Rogue (Playful Brides #8) by Valerie Bowman

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The Right Kind of RogueThe Right Kind of Rogue (Playful Brides #8) by Valerie Bowman

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SynopsisCan two star-crossed lovers come together―until death do they part? 

Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride―ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded. . .

Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry―or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance. . .for all time?

Review: I enjoyed Meg and Hart’s story a lot.  There were great highs and lows in the emotional story of these two characters. The passion and suspense was intense at times, especially after they became engaged and then married. Man, I felt so sorry for Meg and I hated how Lucy went about trapping Hart into marriage with Meg. It had a strong plot and conflict that kept the reader engrossed. The characters were well developed and the development of the relationship moved steadily and had bumps along the way that kept the reader emotionally connected to them. I liked Hart and Meg and their story. How she has loved him since she was 16 and how he was too blind to what as in front of him from the very beginning added to the overall story. You felt sorry for Meg and you couldn’t help wanting to yell at Hart for being so cold and stubborn, though Meg was too. Overall, I loved it. I definitely need to go back and read the first 6 books in the series.

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Great Deal! Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling #12) by Nalini Singh only $1.99

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heart-of-obsidian-186x300Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling #12) by Nalini Singh

Only $1.99

SynopsisStep into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world…

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

From “the alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) comes the most highly anticipated novel of her career—one that blurs the line between madness and genius, between subjugation and liberation, between the living and the dead.

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A Talent For Temptation (Sinful Suitors #4.5) by Sabrina Jeffries

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The Talent of TemptationA Talent For Temptation (Sinful Suitors #4.5) by Sabrina Jeffries

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Synopsis: Filled with New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries’s signature charm and wit, this novella in the hugely popular Sinful Suitors series is sure to tempt you!

Widow Meriel Vyse is stunned speechless when someone tries to abduct her on her way to a ball. Fortunately, Quinn Raines, her secret beau, shows up to foil the attack. Unfortunately, as the two of them are struggling with her abductor, Meriel accidentally stabs Quinn with a knife.

Unbeknownst to Meriel, Quinn set up the fake abduction so he could play the hero and win her hand in marriage. But now that his plan has gone disastrously awry, can he convince her that he’s still the man for her?

Sabrina Jeffries brings her famous “quick pacing, witty dialogue, and charmingly original characters” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) to this enchanting romance.

Review: Super short story, probably the shortest story I have read. Two people love each other but neither is brave enough to stand up and say something until Quinn decides to fake an abduction in order to save her and be her hero. He thinks she loves another and wants for her to see that he can be what she needs. She desperately wants a normal life with him away from all of the spying she has been doing, but she doesn’t think he will be able to accept who she really is. When the truth of the abduction comes out though, will she be able to forgive the deceit when all she hungers for is the truth? The story was ok. There really wasn’t much to it. Cute but just ok. Too short to really get involved with the characters or their conflict.

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Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) by Lisa Kleypas

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Mine Till MidnightMine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) by Lisa Kleypas

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SynopsisWhen an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter…

Review: Book one of the Hathaway series by Lisa Kleypas came to me by the Heroes and Heartbreakers Book Club. I haven’t read one of her books before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I enjoyed it, it was a refreshing take on historical romance with eccentric families and something I haven’t seen in a lot of regency romance, gypsies, and their culture. I really liked reading something I haven’t read before. The concept of a gypsy man who runs a London gambling house and a very independently willed woman who thinks it is up to her to take care of all of her family was enjoyable to watch unfold. They had chemistry from the moment they met and their relationship developed slowly. The added drama amongst the siblings added humor, tension, sadness, and emotional appeal. The whole family does hook you into their story and makes the reader want more from the Hathaway’s. I definitely will have to pick up the other books in their series.

As part of the Heroes and Heartbreakers Book Club, they post questions to answer as part of the response to the book.   Below are the questions and my answers:

  1. Kleypas heroes are known for their quick wit and fondness for banter—what was one of your favorite quips of Cam’s in Mine Till Midnight?
  • One of my favorite quips was actually his first one when Amelia is at his club asking him for help to find her brother.  When he informs her that her brother is at a brothel, Amelia intends to go there herself to get him. Cam insists on going with her and his response to her insistence that his additional help wasn’t needed was “Obviously it will be to everyone’s benefit for you to retrieve Ramsay and leave London as quickly as possible. I consider it my civic duty to hasten your departure” (Chapter 2). With that first example of their banter and chemistry set the stage for the whole book and it was funny.

2. Amelia grew up taking care of her brother and sisters; did you relate to her need to put her siblings first or were you rooting for her to let go of some of that sense of responsibility?

  • I was definitely rooting for her to let go of some of that sense of responsibility.  She meant well, and I agree that her family needed someone to lead and guide, but it shouldn’t have to always be her and I really wanted to see her let loose.  When she finally does, watching her family respond was fun to watch.  Her sisters’ responses were cute and funny, especially the youngest sister’s response to seeing her sister breaking rules and acting out of character.

3. We’re introduced to the entire Hathaway family in this book—who is your favorite Hathaway?

  • This one is hard, but I think my favorite was Win.  The sub plot between her and Merripen peaked my interest. I really want to read their story. Win comes across as quiet yet fierce in her own way.

4. Who do you prefer as a hero: a self-made man or a noble?

  • I think I like the noble because in order to be a hero the noble has to overcome how they were raised, that they are above most other people and that they can do about anything and get away with it. To be a hero the noble usually has to go against the grain, against other nobles to break the mold, to accept (usually) a woman who should be beneath their notice. Don’t get me wrong, the self-made man can also make a good hero, especially when they can win and prove themselves to a noble woman and win their love.

5. Did you feel any sympathy towards Leo throughout Mine Till Midnight?

  • Towards the end, I did become sympathetic towards Leo, but for a lot of the book how he behaved and then had the gall to judge Amelia’s behavior did really annoy me.  He had no right to judge her choices when he was the one bringing more shame and disappointment to the Hathaway family.

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Heart of Fire (Legends of the Storm #1) by Bec McMaster

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Heart of FireHeart of Fire (Legends of the Storm #1) by Bec McMaster

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Synopsis: The old eddas speak of dreki—fabled creatures who haunt the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes, and steal away fair maidens.

Freyja wants none of such myths. Dreki seducing young ladies? Ha. They probably eat such foolish girls. But when the local dreki steals her last ram—costing her any chance of feeding her ill father through the winter—Freyja intends to confront the fearsome myth.

Sentenced to a life of exile from his clan, Rurik is fascinated by the furious woman who comes to claim her ram. She reeks of mysterious magic, and challenges him at every step. He intends to claim the passionate firebrand, but to do so he must take mortal form. It’s the only time the dreki are vulnerable, and with a dragon-hunter arriving on the shores of Iceland, he can barely afford the risk—but lonely Freyja, with her elf-cursed eyes and pragmatic soul, tempts him in ways he’s never felt before. Is she the key to reclaiming his heritage? Or will she be his downfall?

Review: A new series from the author that brought us the steampunk series, London Steampunk, is now trying her hand at dragons in 1800s Iceland. This was a fresh spin on the dragon genre of paranormal romance and I liked Bec’s take on the lore. The two main characters were strong and suited each other well. The plot developed nicely and slowly, and also kept the reader entertained. The conflict and villains varied in degrees of badness and not all bad guys ended up actually being bad guys, which kept it fresh and moving along. Freyja was a strong character and I am curious about her origins because Bec doesn’t tell us in this book what her origins are though little teaser hints are dropped along the way. Watching Rurik work to win her was fun and their passion was good though I could have used more. Overall, this series definitely has potential and I am already wanting to read more about the dragons and Rurik’s path towards returning home and confronting his uncle and mother.

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This book is also published in the anthology Myths and Magic: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection.

The Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels #5) by Kerrigan Byrne

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The Scot Beds His WifeThe Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels #5) by Kerrigan Byrne

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SynopsisThe Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

Review: This is the first book by this author I have read and I picked it up through Netgalley. I was a bit worried when I realized I’d be diving into the middle of a series but I wasn’t disappointed. This was such a fun adventure with gun slinging smart-mouthed women and broodingly arrogant men who think they are God’s gift to women but tout they have no heart to give. From the moment she falls into his orchestrated trap at the train station and doesn’t act like the spoiled rich debutant, I knew this was going to be a fun read. I loved it. Every single second of it was full of witty banter, tense emotional moments, great adventure, and just overall an awesome plot and characters. I will go back and read at least Liam and Mena’s story being they played a big role in this one.  Totally a great read.

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Lusting for Covers (84)

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


Judgment Road Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1) by Christine Feehan

Release Date: January 30, 2018

SynopsisAn outlaw motorcycle club sets up shop next door to Sea Haven in the dangerously sexy new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He’s a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can’t afford–until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin…

Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she’s desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper’s imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.

Anya’s touch is everything Reaper doesn’t want–and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club–his heart and his soul.

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Caught by the Scot (Made to Marry #1) by Karen Hawkins

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Caught by the ScotCaught by the Scot (Made to Marry #1) by Karen Hawkins

Release Date: September 26, 2017

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SynopsisCaught by the Scot is a fabulously witty and irresistibly sexy Scottish historical romance from New York Times bestseller Karen Hawkins. Fans of Julia Quinn, Monica McCarty and Julie Garwood will be won over by the spellbinding Made to Marry series.

When the dark Duke of Hamilton loses his beloved wife, he heeds her dying wish that he make certain her three brothers marry well for she fears they are all headed to ruin. Heartsick, the Duke approaches the task with a heavy hand, ordering the three brothers to marry within three months or forego their inheritance.

The middle brother, the dashing Conner Douglas, is not about to give up his independence, but he knows marriage doesn’t always mean one much change, does it? If anything, being married to a pliable sort of female would give him even more opportunity to seduce the married women of the ton. So he heads straight for the most pliable female he knows – a childhood acquaintance and now mousy spinster, the English born and bred Miss Theodora Cumberbatch-Snowe.

Conner is so certain Theodora will joyously agree to marry him, that he takes his time traveling to her house and has only one month to secure her hand and marry. Yet when he arrives at her parents’ house he discovers that Theodora has just run away with a local landowner—a farmer, no less! Unknown to Conner, Theodora has been wildly, passionately in love with him for years. But she’s accepted he only sees her as a friend. Unable to sit forever in her parents’ front parlor and wait for what will never happen, Theodora decided to marry someone comfortable in the hopes they might at least become good partners.

Unaware of Theodora’s feelings, Conner isn’t about to let ‘the perfect wife’ get away so easily. But as Conner seduces Theodora, his own feelings stir. And after surviving a trip of mishaps and traps, he discovers that he can’t image her marrying anyone but him.

Review: The first book in a new series brings a batch of brothers who would rather be wenching, flirting, and riding the high seas than to ever become an honest married man. That is until their older sister dies in childbirth and in her will she requires them all to marry respectable women within three months of her passing or lose their inheritance. The first brother up for wedded bliss is Conner, the middle brother, and he decides that he isn’t going to give up his chosen lifestyle. He is going to marry a quiet woman who he can set up at his country home while he goes off riding the high seas and seducing the wives of other men. He decides the perfect candidate is the younger sister of his best friend. But what he doesn’t plan on is that once he finally shows up to propose, she has run off with a local squire.

Thea has loved Conner since she was a young girl but he has never truly seen her. She is only the little sister of his friend and so she finally decides enough is enough and she wants her own household and family. Her candidate for marriage is a decent fellow but he doesn’t spark the desire Conner has always been successful at (if unknowingly) pulling out of her. When he shows up during her elopement and tags along, she comes to realize that she was never successful in giving up her love for him but spending time with him has also shown her that their love is doomed. He is married to the sea and will never be happy on land.

This was a fun story. The antics Conor gets up to to slow down the elopement were fun to watch and how she kept getting so frustrated with his meddling was great. I loved the scene in the breakfast room of one of the inns they staid at between her and Lance when they both decide that they aren’t meant to be was priceless. Lance does get his happily ever after too which was nice to see. Overall an enjoyable story and I look forward to watching the other brothers find true love.

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Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12) by Elizabeth Hoyt

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duke-of-desireDuke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Release Date: October 17, 2017

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Synopsis: A LADY OF LIGHT

Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS

Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER . . . AND DESIRE

Much to Raphael’s irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he’s drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael’s past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael’s own demons?

Review: The next installment in the Maiden Lane series brings us the dark and moody scarred Duke of Dyemore who we glimpsed at a ball where he warned Iris to leave immediately. Since then she was kidnapped and found herself surround by nude men in masks who planned to rape and kill her, and Dyemore deciding to rescue her from the Lords of Chaos.  Of course, he didn’t expect to get shot in the process by the very woman he set out to rescue or married to her to protect her from the other Lords. He thinks this will be a simple thing, marry her to protect her and then continue on with his quest for revenge. He doesn’t expect that his new wife has dreams and desires of her own and that includes children and a husband who isn’t afraid to come to her bed. The story was full of tension, banked and controlled passion, a woman who isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants, and a man who can’t resist the wife that has come to represent the light amongst all of his darkness. I enjoyed their adventure. The Dionysus was definitely hard to figure out, which kept you guessing as to who the bad guy was and it, of course, took almost losing her for Raphael to realize that he can’t live without Iris. The conclusion of the story was emotional and I am glad that Iris didn’t give up fighting for Raphael and their marriage.

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Lusting Covers (83)

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


Spellbinder Spellbinder (Moonshadow #2) by Thea Harrison

SynopsisFrom author Thea Harrison comes the latest story in the New York Times bestselling Moonshadow trilogy….

Kidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is revenge…

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Seduced by Fire (Dragons of Bloodfire #3) by Erin Kellison

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Seduced by FireSeduced by Fire (Dragons of Bloodfire #3) by Erin Kellison

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SynopsisDragon shifter Ryder Magnus is living a lie. In order to search for lost and forgotten treasure, he lives secretly among humans, posing as a professor of antiquities. When his cover is blown—in front of a classroom of students, no less—he is determined to find the Bloodkin responsible and make them pay.

Bloodkin Aura Ortiz is in a race against time. She must find the powerful Bastard’s Eye before it falls into the wrong hands. When a viral video surfaces of Ryder, smoking with anger and on the verge of a shift, she can’t believe her luck. No one hunts treasure better than he does. If he won’t do it for friendship—that had gone up in flames years ago—will he do it for vengeance?

Aura gets under Ryder’s skin like no other woman—she always has. Their collaboration re-ignites old passions and sets Ryder on a hunt of his own…Aura herself.

As they delve deeper into darkness, their adversaries multiply. Knowing whom to trust is the difference between life and death. Can they put the past behind them and blaze a trail through danger to forge a future together?

Review: The next installment in the Bloodkin series was quick both in the plot and in the conflict. The characters already knew each other and in fact loved each other so it was more a sense of the two coming together to finalize what was already there just never acknowledged. The characters were good, the passion was ok, and the plot was entertaining. I don’t think this is my favorite in the series but it was good. I would have liked more passion and the two main characters could have used some more bantering between the two of them. Their dialogue at times kind of came off as just ok. I did enjoy the read.

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A Touch of Flame (Flame #5) by Caris Roane

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A Touch of FlameA Touch of Flame (Flame #5) by Caris Roane

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Synopsis: A powerful alpha wolf. A gifted witch. Each haunted by death. Can passion drive them to an everlasting love? Or will the enemy forge a hopeless chasm?

The Graveyard was not the place Mark Braden thought he’d breathe his last. He was sure he’d die in the pine forest of Savage Territory, chasing a drug-runner and getting hit by a spray of bullets.
Instead, he’d been ambushed…
~ A Touch of Flame, A Paranormal Romance

About A TOUCH OF FLAME:

Braden should have died in the Graveyard, but the witch, Maeve, saved him. The call of his wolf is on him and he wants her. She can be his alpha-mate. But she has powers that can destroy him and a disrupted memory that holds the answers to his wife’s murder. Can he ever trust a woman who can kill with the power she streams from her bare hands?

Maeve has known only horror, death and destruction since her arrival in Five Bridges as a transformed alter witch. She goes to the Graveyard nightly to rescue those left for dead by the evil rampant in all five territories of her new world. She fears the power she possesses and the gaps in her memory frighten her more than anything else. But when she rescues Braden from an attack in the Graveyard, and she realizes she’s drawn to the handsome wolf, the nightmare really begins.

Review: The next installment in the flame series was good. Their interactions were good though sometimes with how easily he accepted her witchness was a little weak I think.  If he believed that a witch killed his wife then I would have liked to see his dislike and distrust of them play more of a role in the conflict. There could have been more tension there with him having to come to terms with her being a witch. The plot was good and the conflict was strong, I just needed a stronger interaction between the characters and more of a conflict with what each of them was and her role in his past. There was great potential for high emotional tension when the truth of who killed his wife came out and they teased at it, but I would have loved for it to be drawn out more before he went to her rescue. I enjoyed it but I don’t think this was a favorite of mine in the Flame series.

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Goodreads Giveaway!

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Hard BreakerHard Breaker (Gargoyles #6) by Christine Warren

Release Date: October 31, 2017

Synopsis:  From New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren comes the sixth book in her red-hot romance series in which even the most beastly gargoyle is able to win the heart of a beautiful human woman.

Ivy Beckett has a special gift. She can hear voices, feel events, and receive messages from great distances. Which is also a curse. The moment her family is killed by the servants of the Darkness, she knows it. And the only way to fight these evil forces is to align her powers with a Guardian. A legendary warrior of stone who strikes fear in her heart―and fire in her soul…

Baen is a fierce and powerful gargoyle who has sworn to protect all humans from the Darkness. But when this mighty winged warrior swoops down to rescue Ivy from the jaws of death, he is drawn into a battle that is more dangerous―and more intimate―than he ever bargained for. The beautiful, gifted Ivy touches something deep within him, an all-consuming passion that puts both their lives at risk. Can he conquer the armies of evil itself . . . without losing the woman he loves?

via Goodreads | Book giveaway for Hard Breaker (Gargoyles #6) by Christine Warren Aug 01-Aug 29, 2017

Halloween in Atlantis (Warriors of Poseidon #8.5 by Alyssa Day

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Halloween in Atlantis.jpgHalloween in Atlantis (Warriors of Poseidon #8.5) by Alyssa Day

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Synopsis: A Halloween treat from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Alyssa Day.

Now that Atlantis has finally risen to take its place on the world stage, the Atlantean warriors are having to face some new and interesting dangers — like Halloween parties.

Arrogant warrior Liam doesn’t understand the beautiful, bubbly human whose entire function in life appears to be to plan parties, but he can’t seem to keep away from her, either. Jamie, who considers herself to be completely unflappable–the hallmark of a great event planner–doesn’t understand why the far-too-serious Atlantean manages to get under her skin with every single encounter. Even if he is the sexiest man she has ever seen.

When the two of them are thrown together to solve a mystery surrounding the queen’s missing jewels, sparks fly, secrets are revealed, and Halloween has never been hotter.

This novelette (longer than a short story, shorter than a novella) is perfect for reading on a coffee break – or in between handing out candy to trick-or treaters.

Review: This was a short, cute story. Passion was very tame; it could have been better with that. Liked the characters. Liked the plot. Loved going back to the world of Atlantis and warriors that protect it. But I needed steamy passion on top of all the parts of the story I liked. The relationship is set up so that we know they have actually seen and talked to each other for several weeks, so when they finally hook up to solve the mystery and crime of the stolen royal jewels it seems natural and not rushed (love that when an author can take a novella and make it not feel rushed), but they do nothing but flirt and kiss and I remember the warriors being a bit more steamy on the page then that.  I did like the story a lot, but needed passion.

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The Rose Red Bride (Jewels of Kinfairlie #2) by Claire Delacroix

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Rose Red BrideThe Rose Red Bride (Jewels of Kinfairlie #2) by Claire Delacroix

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Synopsis: More cherished than gold are the Jewels of Kinfairlie, and only the worthiest may fight for their love…The Laird of Kinfairlie has unmarried sisters, each a gem in her own right. And he has no choice but to see them all wed in haste.

Like a heroine in an ancient tale, Vivienne waited in the highest chamber of Kinfairlie’s tower for her fated lover. In the darkness he came for her, cloaked and hooded so that she would not see his face. He loved her sweetly, thoroughly…and Vivienne knew she had met her destiny.

But in the morning light, her dream is shattered. Erik Sinclair of Blackleith is no romantic hero but a disinherited warrior who arranged her abduction to regain his own legacy. Outraged by Erik’s insistence that he needs her solely to beget a son, yet ensnared by the passion he awakens, Vivienne realizes that there is more merit in her taciturn spouse than he would admit. Erik is skeptical of her growing faith in his honor and her desire to recapture his stolen birthright…

Little does he suspect that his rare gem of a bride intends to capture his barricaded heart as well.

Review: Book two in the Jewels of Kinfairlie series brings us the second to the eldest sister, Vivienne’s story.  She is a lover of tales so when her brother tells a tale about the uppermost room in the Kinfairlie keep, she knows she must sleep there to see if the tale is true.  What she doesn’t expect is that her brother tricked her into sleeping there so that the man her brother paid to marry her can get access to her.  A deal is struck between her brother and a man he believes is Nicholas Sinclair, a man who courted Vivienne years ago, has come back to win her hand. What neither sister or brother knows, is that it isn’t Nicholas and he hasn’t come to marry her, he has come to kidnap her in order to bare a son with her in hopes of gaining back his home and daughters from his brother Nicholas who stole all from him. Vivienne is a trusting sort and falls easily into his arms, but come morning, she expects one thing and he gives her something entirely different, he kidnaps her and she believes her brother is in on the scheme the whole time.  Eric Sinclair takes Vivienne and runs off, completely (well almost completely) unrepentant for his behavior. What he doesn’t expect is for Vivienne to pledge to give him a son when she learns the truth or that she stands by him and travels with him towards his home.  Their relationship was full of errors, bumps, bruises, and thoughtless actions (as seen from each party’s point of view). Their love story was enjoyable, emotionally tense at times, sad at others, and hopeful throughout. I enjoyed their adventure from beginning to end.  I did think that Vivienne was a bit too gullible, to begin with, but she matures during their travels and comes into her own independent and strong nature as she works towards winning Eric’s love and trust.  It was an enjoyably romantic tale.

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The Damsel (Bride Quest #2) by Claire Delacroix

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The DamselThe Damsel (Bride Quest #2) by Claire Delacroix

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Synopsis: Once upon a time, the legendary knight Burke Fitzgavin galloped into Kiltorren Castle and fell in love with Alys, the lord’s orphaned niece. But her uncle was determined that Burke marry one of his homely daughters instead. Through tricks and lies, Burke was sent away believing that Alys wanted nothing of his heart.

Pledged to a Bride Quest, Burke has vowed not to return home until he finds his long-lost love. He returns to Kiltorren to discover that the fiery young innocent has become a woman, a servant on her uncle’s estate. Paying penance for Burke’s long-ago embrace, she wants nothing to do with him. Burke knows he must earn her trust again.

Even as he slowly rekindles her desire, Alys’ family attempts to thwart their romance—determined that Alys should not marry before her cousins do. But Burke is a warrior and this battle to win the hand and the heart of his one true love will be his greatest challenge ever…

Review: Book two in the Bride Quest series brings us Burke, the man who tried to win Brianna’s hand with a troupe of performers in book 1, The Princess, though it was clear his heart was not in it. He had already given his heart to a woman three years prior to this poor attempt to win Brianna so when she charges him to go find this woman and win her, he does. What he finds is a spirited woman who is treated as a servant though she is directly related to the people of Kiltorren. She also hasn’t forgotten Burke and she doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind about what she thinks of his betrayal, abandonment, and the fact he has come to woo her cousin and not her. Or so she thinks. Lies told by the family to keep them apart come to light and her past with her dead mother’s memory leave Burke with a challenge to prove to her his affections are real and that he doesn’t want a simple tumble in the hay, he wants forever. It was a cute story. Antagonists were really easy to hate; it almost had a stepsister and stepmother/ Cinderella vibe to it at times. The plot was slow at times and the character development could have been a bit more fast-paced. The story as a whole was enjoyable if a bit slow. There is one moment I found annoying though, near the end of the story when Burke goes to see his mother alone, Alys immediately jumps to the conclusion that he has come to his senses and left her after she promised him that she wouldn’t doubt him again. I found her lack of trust in Burke a little frustrating.  He proved himself to her and the first moment of testing that trust, she let her doubts and fears lead to her doubting him.  I would have liked to have seen her trust in him more in that moment. Overall, it is a good story, not great, but good.

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The Wicked Vampire (The Last True Vampire #6) by Kate Baxter

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Wicked VampireThe Wicked Vampire (The Last True Vampire #6) by Kate Baxter

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SynopsisHe was one of the most feared creatures in the supernatural world, and yet, she was drawn to him unlike any other. His scent ignited her thirst. The sight of him drove her mad with want…

Lovers forever–or enemies to the death? 

Sasha Ivanov was born to be wild. A vampire party girl, she stalks the L.A. clubs at night. Dancing. Drinking. Indulging her darkest appetites. Never sated, she’s always looking for more: more danger, more excitement, more blood. But when she enters a supernatural fight club–and is tethered to her mortal enemy–Sasha realizes she’s playing the most dangerous game of all…

Ewan Brun was born to kill vampires. A powerful berserker and unbeaten champion, he doesn’t need a weapon to be deadly. He is the weapon. But when his soul becomes captive to the most beautiful vampire he’s ever seen, he is all but powerless. He cannot resist Sasha–and cannot fight his desires. Is their love strong enough to defeat the gathering forces of darkness that threatens to destroy them both?

Review: This is the first book by Kate Baxter that I have read and I got it through NetGalley. It was enjoyable, passionate (refreshingly so due to my most recent NetGalley reads), had strong characters, an interesting plot, a detailed conflict and villain, and the emotional turmoil that I am so hungry for in my romances. The characters had obstacles they had to overcome in order to get to their happily ever after, and it kept me hungry for more. I will definitely go back and read more from this series from the start since this is book 6 in the series. Loved Ewan, his character and personality appealed to me a lot, and Sasha was strong enough to be his match in everything, yet still have a vulnerability that Ewan had to win over in the end. Loved the whole story from start to finish.

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Christmas At Two Love Lane (Two Love Lane #1) by Kieran Kramer

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Christmas at Two Love LaneChristmas at Two Love Lane (Two Love Lane #1) by Kieran Kramer

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SynopsisThe best gift of all is the one you share with someone else. . .

From the moment he strode through the iron gate and into the offices of Two Love Lane on a crisp December day, it was obvious that Deacon Banks was something different. He wasn’t a Charleston native, not with that adorable Yankee accent. And unlike the usual client at the elegant matchmaking agency, he had no interest in finding a woman to marry–just a few no-strings dates while he was in town.

Macy Frost takes her professional services very seriously–how could she not, when she’s rumored to be a direct descendant of Cupid? Tech entrepreneur Deacon says he’s just trying to make his social-climbing aunt happy by being seen out and about with a few prominent beauties, but Macy insists she can make her client fall in love…for real. And Deacon can’t help but think she might be right. As charming as the palmetto trees and magnificent harbor may be, it’s the beautiful, breath-of-fresh-air Macy who’s become Deacon’s favorite part of the scenery. But can the hopelessly romantic Southern belle stop trying to fix him up and just let Cupid do his work on her own heart?

Review: This story was a sweet Hallmark romance complete with two people who didn’t want love. One was Deacon, a big successful New York playboy who didn’t want anything to do with love or commitment. He is in Charleston SC to help his aunt who raised him settle into her new condo and to fulfill her Christmas wish, for him to find a woman, but he has no intention of finding a real relationship. He is looking for some fun dates to pass the time who don’t want commitment either. In order to do that he goes to Two Love Lane, a local dating agency and meets Macy, a matchmaker that believes in finding everyone’s soulmate, not some quick hookups. She doesn’t have time for love either, she is too busy being happy with fixing everyone else up and doesn’t think she will find her soulmate for some time. Deacon annoys her at first, with his bossy demands for some Christmas flings, so she sets out to set him up with women she thinks could be his soulmate. Deacon wants none of that once he speaks with Macy; he wants to date her and only her and hopes to have his Christmas fling with her. Of course, as they get to know each other and Macy continues to try and set him up with women and ignore her own attraction to him they end up falling hard for each other. But once the secret plan that Deacon hatched with all of the women Macy set him up with comes to light he fears he has ruined everything and she feels hurt with the fact that he refuses to say whether he cares for her as more than just friends with benefits. In the end, Deacon comes to his senses and wins the only woman he wants in his life and they live happily ever after. The story overall was cute, the plot was interesting, and the conflicts kept it moving along. The passion was very tame, hence the hallmark kind of feel to the story. There isn’t anything wrong with that but if you want them burning up the page, Macy and Deacon don’t. They do have the hots for each other but those scenes stay pretty tame. Cute story and I liked the characters.

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Release Day Blitz The Scot’s Bride by Paula Quinn

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THE SCOT'S BRIDE

The Scot's Bride

The Scot’s Bride (The MacGregors: The Highland Heirs #6) by Paula Quinn

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Book Review Here.

SynopsisAN IRRESISTIBLE SCOUNDREL
Highlander Patrick MacGregor likes his life just the way it is. Fighting for his coin, enjoying a woman’s charms, and bearing no responsibility at all? Aye, that’s the life for him. That is, until Patrick sees her-a raven-haired beauty with eyes as dark as midnight. Patrick swore never to fall in love. Not even with a lass as wild as he…especially when she’s from a rival clan.

AN UNDENIABLE DESIRE
Charlotte Cunningham knows Patrick is trouble the moment she sets eyes on him. Her only goal is to escape the possibility of marriage. Any marriage. But as the summer days turn into sultry nights, enticing her beyond reason, Charlie is forced to choose between the freedom she craves and the reckless rogue she can’t forget.

In the New York Times bestselling tradition of Lynsay Sands, Hannah Howell, and Karen Hawkins comes a new book in Paula Quinn’s new sinfully sexy Scottish romance series.

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The Scot’s Bride – Excerpt

Charlie caught the subtle shift of his gaze toward her when she glared at him, doing her best to keep her eyes above his chin and ignoring his long, sculpted physique and broad shoulders. Was he speaking to her or her captor?

Dunbar laughed at his offer. “You don’t even carry a sword.” He looked him over. “Or even a place to hide one.”

It was true. Charlie hadn’t noticed it before. Patrick Campbell spoke like a Highlander and had dressed like one when she’d first seen him at Blind Jack’s yet he carried no obvious weapons.

“I dinna’ need one,” he claimed, his amiable smile changing slightly into something more ominous.

Charlie knew it was true. He had fought Hamish with no weapons other than his fists. What kind of Highlander didn’t carry a sword? The kind who doesn’t need one.

Campbell moved closer to her and the eight men behind her. His gait was wrought with ease and confidence while her brothers and her father remained still.

“I’ll kill you for this, Campbell,” Duff swore.

“That’s doubtful,” Campbell tossed back without turning around. Instead, he looked at Charlie, now only a few inches away, standing between him and her captor.

If there wasn’t a blade to her throat, she would have taken a moment to admire him and all his hard angles.

“Untie me,” he said to Dunbar, “and I’ll fight them all with no help or risk of injury to ye or yer men.” He lifted his bound wrists up, close to Charlie’s face and the dagger at her throat. “The Duke of Argyll will hear of how ye aided his nephew.”

Dunbar seemed to think it over for a moment and then moved the dagger away from her neck to possibly cut Campbell loose. But instead of waiting to be free, the Highlander moved in a blur of speed snatching the dagger from Dunbar’s hand. In one fluid movement that Charlie almost missed by blinking, Campbell, still bound and clutching the hilt in his fingers, lifted his arms and then brought them back down to capture Dunbar’s head between his forearms, and Charlie’s head between his thick upperarms.

An instant turned into an eternity while he pulled Dunbar closer, wedging Charlie up against his chest. Time slowed as she looked up and he tiled his head to meet her gaze. She stared into his summer-glade eyes—ringed by lashes that were that long—and the evidence of Hamish’s wrath on his lip. His current wounds and an older one which had broken his nose saved him from being pretty. His mouth crooked ever so slightly—just enough to flash his dimple and completely befuddle her. A rascal. That’s what he was. He was helping her. But why? Before she had to ponder it further, the instant was over.

He hauled Archie Dunbar an inch closer and knocked him out with a clean blow, forehead to forehead. He moved quickly and lifted his arms to release Dunbar from his hold then gave him a powerful kick in the guts to topple him over.

“Run!” He pushed Charlie behind him and faced the rest of the Dunbars alone.

Duff reached them at the same time and an instant before the stunned expressions on the faces of Dunbar’s men wore off and they rushed forward.

“Give me your hands!” Charlie commanded, tugging on Campbell’s sleeve. When he obeyed, she cut him loose using her black blade.

The fool took a moment to smile at her before she tucked the dagger back under her skirts.

Hendry finally joined the fight but Charlie couldn’t take her eyes off Mr. Campbell in the melee.


Book Information

Series: Highland Heirs, #6

Publisher: Forever

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Price: $7.99 USD

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paula QuinnNew York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven. She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.

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Release Day Blitz: Hard Breaker by Christine Warren

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Hard Breaker

Hard Breaker (Gargoyles #6) by Christine Warren

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Book Review Here.

SynopsisFrom New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren comes the sixth book in her red-hot romance series in which even the most beastly gargoyle is able to win the heart of a beautiful human woman.

Ivy Beckett has a special gift. She can hear voices, feel events, and receive messages from great distances. Which is also a curse. The moment her family is killed by the servants of the Darkness, she knows it. And the only way to fight these evil forces is to align her powers with a Guardian. A legendary warrior of stone who strikes fear in her heart―and fire in her soul…

Baen is a fierce and powerful gargoyle who has sworn to protect all humans from the Darkness. But when this mighty winged warrior swoops down to rescue Ivy from the jaws of death, he is drawn into a battle that is more dangerous―and more intimate―than he ever bargained for. The beautiful, gifted Ivy touches something deep within him, an all-consuming passion that puts both their lives at risk. Can he conquer the armies of evil itself . . . without losing the woman he loves?


Author’s Bio

Christine B&W

CHRISTINE WARREN is the author of Stone Cold Lover and Heart of Stone, as well as the Novels of the Others, including New York Times Bestsellers Big Bad Wolf, Walk on the Wild Side, and One Bite with a Stranger. Born and raised in coastal New England, Christine Warren now lives as a transplant in the Pacific Northwest. When not writing (as if that ever happens), she enjoys horseback riding, playing with her pets, identifying dogs from photos of their underbellies, and most of all reading things someone else had to agonize over.

“Soars with fun, witty characters and nonstop action.” —Publishers Weekly on Stone Cold Lover


Don’t miss the other books in the Gargoyle series:

Book #1: Heart of Stone
Book #2: Stone Cold Lover
Book #3: Hard as a Rock
Book #4: Rocked by Love
Book #5: Hard to Handle


Excerpt

Chapter Two

Ivy felt a surge of satisfaction. Well, adrenaline, really, but whatever.

“Perfect.” She got to her feet and pitched her voice back to where it could just be overheard— significantly louder, but still natural. Also, a bit wheedling. “Let’s get out of here, Marty. You promised me dinner in a proper restaurant, not a pub, and I’m also famished.”

Martin rose awkwardly, sending their glasses to wobbling again. “Lead on, then, darling. Wherever you like.”

She forced a giggle. She hated to giggle. “Oh, you’re such a pudding. But now I’ve got to decide. Hm, Judy told me about this café . . .”

Her mouth continued to babble, spewing nonsense she pulled off the top of her head as she led the way through the crowd— steering well clear of Teddy and his mates— and out the front door. Turning onto the pavement, she kept up the patter until they had stepped well away from the pub en route to the tube station. Even then, though she let the inane drivel dry up, she continued to clasp Martin’s hand in hers and lean into him. They hadn’t been the only ones to leave the pub and the streets continued to bustle with both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. It was important to keep up appearances all the way through this journey.

“Okay, stage two,” she said softly as they strode toward the Underground station. “I have a bag at Left Luggage in King’s Cross that we’ll need to pick up. It has more information you’ll need to look over for your time with Paul, some snacks, and cash and new identification for you hidden in the lining. I’ll show you where.  We’re on the last train tonight, but we should have plenty of time to make it, so don’t worry about that.”

He nodded, but his gaze was glued to the pavement in front of them. Poor guy really didn’t have the right temperament for all this cloak- and- dagger stuff. But then again, she hadn’t thought she did,  either, and look at her now— practically an expert, and armed on top of it.

Under her anorak and tight jeans, a custom-made dagger rode in a sheath at the small of her back. And oddly enough, she knew how to use it. Over the last several months, she hadn’t had much choice but to learn,  until these days, it felt so comfortable, she almost forgot it was there.

Until moments like this, that is, when the hair on the back of her neck began to stand up and her senses put her on high alert.

“Bollocks,” she muttered. Faking another giggle, she turned playfully into Martin’s side and pretended to bury her face in his shoulder. In reality, she used the opportunity to take a look at the area behind them. She had felt confident that there had been no nocturnis in the pub with them who might try to follow, but she should have paid a bit more attention to Teddy and his band of happy hooligans. Three of them had exited the bar after Ivy and Martin and now trailed sixty or seventy feet behind them.

Normally, Ivy would have considered such an event no more than a slight bother, but something about their posture niggled at the back of her mind. The aggression she would have expected, but for some reason their stance struck her as more menacing than it ought to be.

Damn it, they didn’t have time for this shit. Or even if they did, Ivy just didn’t have the patience. Even worse, she knew they were coming up on the narrow cross street they would have to traverse to get to the tube. She’d researched the route. The cross street was largely home to a few small businesses that would have closed down by six  o’clock, a  couple of daytime shops, at least one vacant building, and a church that had been abandoned a few years ago due to lack of funds available to repair a roof with more holes than tiles remaining. It was a quiet block, and quiet meant fewer people, which meant more opportunity for Teddy et al to try something stupid.

“What’s wrong?” Martin asked nervously as she turned back and casually picked up the pace of their walk. “What’s the matter? Is it nocturnis? Have they found me?”

The last question emerged on a squeak, and Ivy winced. She laughed loudly to cover up his blunder. “Oh, you!” she cried, then lowered her voice. “No, Martin. And you need to stay calm. How about you tell me more about yourself? What’s your main talent? I  don’t think you told me that.”

By talent, she was referring to the magical ability that made up the most basic requirement of becoming a Warden. All members of the Guild needed to possess a talent— demonstrate the ability to wield magic—in order to be considered for admission. With luck, Martin’s would have some utility in a fight.

“What? Talent? Oh, er, I’m a dowser. Water dowser.

Why?”

Oh, yeah,  because a nice, deep aquifer was just what they needed right now.

“No reason,” she gritted out, fingers itching for the hilt of her knife. “No reason at all.”

Which was when she glanced over her shoulder and saw a dark shadow coalesce around Teddy and his friends. A shadow that swirled and twisted and then seemed to disappear. Inside the three men.

Shit.

“What is it? What’s wrong.”

There went the panic again, creeping back into Martin’s voice at the least opportune of moments. Impatient, Ivy shook her head and urged him to walk a  little faster. Not that it was likely to do them much good. “Nothing. Let’s just concentrate on getting to the station,  shall we?”

She could hear her accent beginning to fray at the edges, her natural American pronunciation creeping in here and there, but right now that counted as the least of their worries. Much higher on the list was the fact that they were being followed down a now deserted street by three large, loutish men who hadn’t liked her to begin with and who now appeared to have fallen under demonic influence if not outright possession.

You know, one of these days one of her plans was going to have to go utterly smoothly, right? Just the law of large numbers made it inevitable,  didn’t it? Well,  today would have been a  really good day for that to happen.

Instinct had her increasing her pace yet again until she found herself half a step from jogging down the pavement, tugging Martin along by her side.

“Hang on, then,” he protested, pulling against her grip and trying to actually slow her pace. The idiot. “If nothing’s wrong, why are you suddenly running?”

“I think that’s down to us, mate,” a voice snarled, closer behind them than it should have been. Their pursuers had moved fast, faster than normal.

Faster than was natural.

An instant later, something hit Ivy from the side, hard. The impact sent her staggering into the alley that opened up between two buildings at the side of the street. She stumbled into heavy darkness, away from the abandoned Gothic church across the way, away from the sight of anyone else who might wander onto the nearby pavement. To her credit, though, she managed to maintain her grip on Martin in spite of that, so she pulled him into the shadows beside her.

Perfect. Now they could be in deep shit together.

The hit had come as a surprise, but the three shapes rapidly closing in behind her, driving her and Martin deeper into the alley, did not. Ivy’s hand had moved at the first moment of contact with her attacker, fingers closing around the hilt of her dagger and tugging it out of concealment in a smooth, practiced motion. Now, she held it in front of her as she used her grip on her companion to swing him out of the way behind her, placing him between her and the brick building wall.

“Ooh,  you’ve brought along a toy, have you?” Teddy asked, grinning as he stalked forward, herding them away from the street and the potential of being seen by passersby. “Want to play, then, do you, luvie? I like a good game now and then.”

Ivy flicked her gaze among the three looming figures. She recognized all of them from the group gathered around the bar earlier, the ones who had witnessed Teddy hitting on her and her subsequent rejection of him. They had laughed at the time and gone right back to drinking, already half- pissed when the whole thing began. Was it too much for her to hope that she had been mistaken? That this was just a garden- variety assault and maybe potential rape fueled by alcohol and wounded machismo?  Because frankly, that would be a relief compared to the alternative.

“Yeh, we like to play,” the second lad hissed as he stepped forward until Ivy could see his face in the dim light of the alleyway. “We especially like to play with his sort.” He bared his teeth, and his eyes lit up with malice.

And Ivy didn’t mean that metaphorically. His eyes actually lit up. As in, started glowing. With a sick, rusty- red light that reminded her of old blood and dried scabs.

Very attractive.

And very much indicative of demonic influence.

Yay. She’d been right. It wasn’t really her these three were after. They wanted Martin. They wanted the  Warden.

Well, they weren’t  going to get him. Not until they got past her.

“I’m ready to go, boys.” She took a step forward and flashed a toothy smile of her own. “And you know the rules. White makes the first move.”

Ivy struck with a feint toward Teddy, who stood closest to her, directly ahead. When instinct had him leaping back out of the way of her blade, she spun backward

to her left and landed a heel- first kick directly to the sternum of hissy boy. He grunted and stumbled back in surprise, but bachelor number three was already on the move. He closed in on Ivy from the left and grabbed her around her upper body, effectively pinning her biceps to her sides.  She’d been expecting the move and countered by thrusting the dagger in a short, upward dig that buried it deep in number three’s thigh.

“Go, Martin!” she shouted above Three’s scream. “Get to the station! Lost Luggage under your name! Now!

All of her attackers howled in protest. Three’s cry was still tinged with pain. It gave her a warm surge of satisfaction, even though it rendered her nearly deaf in her left ear, the one closest to his mouth. Jerking the knife back, she freed it from the man’s leg and went limp in his grip, relaxing her muscles until she slid straight out of his arms to the floor of the alley.

Even as she hit the cobbles, she was already moving. She braced one hand, shifted her weight, and swung one leg around, aiming a heavy kick at the knee of the grabby Three’s wounded leg. He crumpled with a heavy grunt.

Teddy and number two rushed in to take his place, converging on Ivy before she could manage a glimpse to see if Martin had followed her directions. If he hadn’t, he was either dumber than he looked, or part possum and his nervous system had shut down from fear. Neither option would keep him alive, though, and as skilled as she had become in hand- to- hand combat after her years of self- defense classes back in New York and her training since taking on her rescue work in  England, one  human  woman against three demonically influenced men  didn’t offer her very good odds.

Chances were she wouldn’t leave this alley under her own power. Hell,  she’d be lucky if she didn’t leave it in a coroner’s van. Which meant Martin had better be halfway down the steps to the tube already.

She ducked away from a swipe of Teddy’s outstretched hand, trying not to get distracted by the way the skin of his fingertips had split to allow the emergence of glistening black claws that dripped some sort of dark, stinking fluid. The smell of decayed flesh and filthy swamp water suddenly filled the alley, and Ivy had to fight back the urge to gag.

Oh, yeah. She’d say this officially went beyond the realm of demonic influence. Hell, this went beyond possession. Somehow, demons had not just taken over these men’s’ bodies, they had used the energy of the human bodies to allow them to fully manifest into the human world.

In case anyone wondered, that was a really,  really bad thing. Something Ivy wouldn’t have thought possible six months ago.

But then again, six months ago, the world hadn’t quite started coming to an end yet.  Today, anything was possible.

With that cheery thought filling her mind, she swung her dagger in a wide arc that managed to catch opponent number two in the side, opening up a wound that audibly sizzled and began to ooze something much darker and slimier than blood. It didn’t smell like blood,  either. The ichor reeked of the same foulness that hung around the venom dripping from Teddy’s claws.

Seriously, it was becoming a real challenge not to puke. What she wouldn’t give for a nice, stiff breeze right about then to dissipate some of the stink.

Two— Thing Two, Ivy decided to call him— hissed, his corrupt red gaze flicking between her and her blade with manic hatred. It made her smile in spite of the nausea.

“What’s the matter, pumpkin?” she taunted him. “ Aren’t you a fan of blessed and consecrated silver? Me, I just adore the stuff.”

She demonstrated those feelings with another quick slash of her arm, a motion that sliced through the jacket and shirt Teddy wore and into the flesh of his shoulder. She wasn’t particularly aiming for the brachial plexus nerve or a major artery, but she wasn’t going to cry if he started to bleed out or lost the use of his arm.

He screamed, but Ivy just continued her stroke and caught  Thing Two across the cheek, just millimeters away from his left eye. Hm, close call, that. What a shame.

“Bitch!” the demon howled.

Ivy blew him a kiss. “Aw, love you, too, snookums.”

Her mother had always told her that her smart mouth would get her into trouble one day. Somehow Ivy didn’t think this particular trouble was what she’d had in mind. You know, the whole “ripped apart by demons in a deserted alley”  thing. Dorothy probably hadn’t seen that one coming.

One would hope.

By now, Thing Three was back on his feet, and Ivy knew she was seriously fucked. Three against one. Three demons against one, with no backup on the way. Working alone was one of the keys to protecting the Wardens people like her assisted. Now, it looked like she was going to die alone.

“Sorry,  Uncle George,” she muttered, putting her back to the alley wall and keeping her gaze on the man-shaped creatures in front of her. They had realized her predicament just as clearly as she had, and now they were toying with her, watching her with evil, hungry gazes. Not the kind of hunger that would scare most women alone in an alley, but the kind of hunger that scared American turkeys in the middle of November.

“Sorry, Jamie,” Ivy added. “But on the bright side, looks like I’ll be seeing you both again soon.”

Thing Two snapped its jaws at her, jaws that it then unhinged to make room for the second row of pointed teeth that appeared to be growing behind the first,  human set.

“Very, very soon.”

Holding her dagger in front of her and carefully balancing her weight on the balls of her feet, Ivy prepared to die fighting.

Oddly enough, that’s not what happened.

One minute, she stared down the face of the Grim Reaper and the next, reality went sideways. Instead of the front of three demons clearly prepared to feast on her living flesh, she felt a rush of cool air, heard a pavement- shaking roar, and found herself staring into a wide barrier the color of dark, aged granite.

She blinked, then shook her head and blinked again. The view didn’t change. Gradually her brain caught up with her corneas, and she realized that what had looked like a barrier of solid stone was actually a pair of wings. Huge wings, each easily twelve or thirteen feet from base to tip, leathery and membranous like a bat’s.

And they were attached to the broadest, most muscular back she had ever seen. A back that could only conceivably belong to one of two things:

A dragon.

Or a Guardian.


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New Release! The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman

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The Right Kind of Rogue

The Right Kind of Rogue (Playful Brides #8) by Valerie Bowman

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Book Review Here.

SynopsisCan two star-crossed lovers come together―until death do they part? 

Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride―ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded. . .

Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry―or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance. . .for all time?


Author’s Bio: 

Valerie BowmanVALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides and Playful Brides series.

 

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today
“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews “Smoldering.” —Booklist


Excerpt:

CHAPTER TWO

“How in Hades’s name can you drink at this hour of the morning, Highgate?”

Hart tossed back his brandy, swallowed, and laughed at his brother-in-law’s words. The two sat across from each other at Brooks’s gentlemen’s club. It was decidedly before noon. The only reason Hart was up at this hour was because he’d promised to meet Lord Christian Berkeley. His brother-in-law rarely asked for favors and Hart suspected this meeting was his sister Sarah’s doing, but he would humor the viscount just the same.

“Berkeley, old chap, you don’t know the half of it.” Hart clapped the viscount on the back. “Helps with the devil of a head left over from last night, don’t ya know?”

Berkeley lifted his teacup to his lips. “No. I don’t. But I’ll take your word for it.”

That reply only made Hart laugh harder, which made his head hurt more. Hart liked his brother-in-law a great deal, but the man was decidedly humdrum when it came to amusements. Berkeley rarely drank, rarely smoked, and preferred to spend his time at his estate in the north of England or his hunting lodge in Scotland. Berkeley enjoyed quiet pursuits like reading or carving things out of wood much more than the amusements London had to offer. But Viscount Berkeley was a good man and one who clearly adored Hart’s sister, and that was what mattered.

The viscount had gone so far as to dramatically interrupt Sarah’s wedding to a pompous marquess and claim her for himself, thereby not only proving his commitment to Sarah but also saving Hart from having the self-involved Marquess of Branford as a brother-in-law. Overall it had been quite a fortunate turn of events for everyone. Everyone except Hart and Sarah’s enraged, thwarted parents, that is.

Berkeley tugged at his cravat. “How are your—ahem— parents getting on?”

Hart cracked a smile. “Still angry, of course, even after all these months. You and Sarah made a good decision, staying up north for the winter. Gave Father and Mother time to calm down.” His father’s anger at having a scandal mar his family name and his daughter marry a mere viscount as opposed to a marquess who had the ear of the Prince Regent had barely abated over the winter, but no need to tell Berkeley as much.

Berkeley leaned back in his chair and crossed one silk-stockinged ankle over an immaculately creased knee, his hands lightly clutching the arms of his chair. He shook his head. “They’re not calmed down, are they?”

“A bit.” Hart stopped a footman and ordered another brandy. “Don’t worry. They’ll be civil when they see you. For Sarah’s sake.”

“Well, that’s something. Are you seriously ordering another drink?”

“Are you seriously surprised?” Hart scratched his rough cheek. He’d been running late and hadn’t bothered to ask his usually drunken valet to shave him this morning. For Christ’s sake, that man drank more than he did. Not exactly someone he wanted near his throat with a straight razor. “Besides I have quite a good reason to drink today.”

“Really?” Berkeley tugged at his cuff. Ever since Sarah had taught him how to dress properly, the viscount was much more attentive to his clothing. He was downright dapper these days. “Why is that?”

“I’m getting married.” Hart emitted a groan to accompany those incomprehensible words.

Berkeley’s brows shot up. He set down his cup and placed a hand behind his ear. “Pardon? I must have heard you incorrectly. I thought you said married.”

The footman returned with the drink and Hart snatched it from the man’s gloved hand and downed nearly half of it in a single gulp. “I did,” he muttered through clenched teeth, wincing.

“You? Married?” Berkeley’s brow remained steadfastly furrowed, and he blinked as if the word were foreign.

“Me. Married.” Hart gave a firm nod before taking another fortifying gulp of brandy.

“Ahem, who is the, uh, fortunate lady?” Berkeley lifted his cup back to his lips and took a long gulp, as if needing the hot drink to banish his astonishment.

“I haven’t the first idea.” Hart shook his head. He was giving serious thought to the notion of ordering a third brandy. Would that be bad form? Probably.

“Now you’re simply confusing me,” Berkeley said with an unmistakable smile on his face. With his free hand, he pulled the morning’s copy of the Times from the tabletop next to him and scanned the headlines.

Hart took another sip of brandy and savored it this time. “I haven’t made any decisions as to the chit yet. I’ve merely announced to Father that this is the year I intend to find a bride. The idea of marriage has always made my stomach turn. After all, if my parents’ imperfect union is anything by which to gauge the institution, it’s a bloody nightmare.”

“Why the change of heart?” Berkeley asked.

Hart scrubbed a hand through his hair. The truth was, he wasn’t less sickened by the prospect of marriage these days, but he couldn’t avoid the institution forever. At some point he’d have to put the parson’s noose firmly around his own throat and pull. Wives were fickle, and marriages meant little other than the exchange of money and property. His own father had announced that fact on more than one occasion. His parents treated each other like unhappy strangers, and his father had made it clear that they were anything but in love. That, Hart supposed, was his fate. To live a life as his parents had in the pursuit of procreating and producing the next future Earl of Highfield. So be it, but was it any wonder he’d been putting it off?

“Seeing Sarah marry had more of an effect on me than I expected,” Hart admitted, frowning at his notquite-empty glass. “And if you ever tell anyone I said that, I’ll call you out.” He looked at Berkeley and grinned again.

“You have my word,” Berkeley replied with a nod. “But may I ask how it affected you?”

Hart pushed himself back in the large leather chair and crossed his booted feet at the ankles. “I started thinking about it all, you know? Life, marriage, children, family. I expect you and Sarah will be having a child soon, and by God I’d like my children to grow up knowing their kin. My cousin Nicole was quite close to Sarah and me when we were children. Nicole’s marriage isn’t one to emulate, either. She hasn’t even seen her husband in years. Last I heard, she’s living somewhere in France, childless. By God, perhaps I should rethink this.” Hart pulled at his cravat. The bloody thing was nearly choking him what with all of this talk of marriage.

Berkeley leaned back in his seat, mirroring Hart. “Perhaps you should focus on the positive aspects of marriage. I assure you, there are many.”

“Believe me, I’m trying,” Hart continued, reminding himself for the hundredth time of the reasons why he’d finally come to this decision. God knew it hadn’t been an easy one. “Whether I like it or not, it’s time for me to choose a bride. Sarah is my younger sister. While she wasn’t married, it all seemed like fun and games, but now, well, seems everyone is tying the proverbial knot these days what with Owen Monroe and Rafe Cavendish marrying. Even Rafe’s twin, Cade, has fallen to the parson’s noose.”

Just this morning when Hart had woken with a splitting head for the dozenth time in as many days, he’d thought yet again how he needed to stop being so reckless. He wasn’t able to bounce back from a night of debauchery nearly as quickly as he used to when he was at university. Seeing Sarah marry had made him consider his duties, his responsibilities, and his . . . age. For the love of God, he was nearly thirty. That thought alone was enough to make him want another brandy. It was his duty to sire the next Earl of Highfield, and duty meant something to him. What else mattered if he didn’t respect his duty? Hadn’t that been hammered into his head since birth by his father, along with all the dire warnings not to choose the wrong wife?

“It’s true that several marriages have taken place lately in our set of friends,” Berkeley replied, still leisurely perusing the paper while sipping tea. “But I thought you were immune to all of that, Highgate.”

“I have been.” Hart sighed again. “But I’ve finally decided it’s time to get to it.”

Berkeley raised his teacup in salute. “Here’s to the future Lady Highfield. May she be healthy, beautiful, and wise.”

“Thank you,” Hart replied. He tugged at his pythonlike cravat again.

Berkeley regarded Hart down the length of his nose. “Any ladies catch your fancy?”

Hart shook his head. He braced an elbow on the table beside them and set his chin on his fist. “No. That’s the problem. I’m uncertain where to begin.”

Berkeley let the paper drop to his lap. “What sort of lady are you looking for?”

Hart considered the question for a moment. What sort of lady, indeed? “She’ll need to be reasonable, well connected, clever, witty, a happy soul. Someone who is honest, and forthright, and who isn’t marrying me only for my title. Someone who doesn’t nag and has an indecently large dowry, of course. Father puts great stock in such things. Not to mention if I’m going to be legshackled, I might as well get a new set of horses out of the bargain. I’m thinking a set of matching grays and a new coach.”

“Oh, that’s not much of a list,” Berkeley said with a snort. “

I don’t expect the search to be a simple one, or a quick one.” The truth was Hart had no earthly idea who he was looking for. He only knew who he wasn’t looking for . . . someone like his mother. Or the treacherous Annabelle Cardiff. He wanted the exact opposite.

Berkeley tossed the paper back onto the tabletop. “Knowing your father’s decided opinions on such matters, I’m surprised he hasn’t provided you with a list of eligible females from which you may choose.”

Hart rolled his eyes. “He has. He’s named half a dozen ladies he would gladly accept.”

Berkeley inclined his head to the side. “Why don’t you choose one of them then?”

Hart gave his brother-in-law an are-you-quite-serious look, chin tucked down, head tilted to the side. “I’m bloody well not about to allow my father to choose a bride for me. Besides, after seeing you and Sarah, I hold out some hope of finding a lady with whom I’m actually compatible.”

“Why, Highgate, do you mean . . . love?” Berkeley grinned and leaned forward in mock astonishment.

“Let’s not go that far.” Hart took another sip of his quickly dwindling brandy. That’s precisely what confused him so much. He knew love matches existed. He’d witnessed one in his sister’s marriage. On the other hand, her choice had so enraged his parents, they still hadn’t forgiven her. Hart didn’t intend to go about the business of finding a wife in quite so dramatic a fashion. Love matches attracted drama. However, his parents’ unhappy union was nothing to aspire to, and he’d nearly made the mistake of marrying a woman who wanted nothing more than title and fortune before. It was a tricky business, the marriage mart, but he’d rather take advice from Sarah and Berkeley than his father. The proof of the pudding was in the eating, after all.

Berkeley laughed. “What if you fall madly in love and become a devoted husband? Jealous even. Now, that would be a sight.”

“Jealous? That’s not possible.” Hart grinned back at Berkeley. “I’ve never been jealous. Don’t have it in me. My friends at university used to tease me about it. No ties to any particular lady. No regrets.” He settled back in his chair and straightened his cravat, which was tighter than ever.

“We’ll see.” Berkeley took another sip of tea. His eyes danced with amusement.

“I was hoping you and Sarah might help me this Season.

Sarah knows most of the young ladies. She also knows me as well as anyone does. Not to mention, the two of you seem to have got the thing right.”

Berkeley glanced up. “Why, Highgate, is that a compliment on our marriage?”

“Take it as you will.” Hart waved a noncommittal hand in the air. He avoided meeting Berkeley’s eyes.

Berkeley settled further into his chair. “I shall take it as a compliment, then. I have a feeling Sarah would like nothing more than to help you with such an endeavor. She fancies herself a matchmaker these days.”

“Will you two be staying in London for the Season?”

“Yes. Sarah wants to stay and I, of course, will support her, at least as long as I can remain in the same town as your father without him calling me out.” A smirk settled on Berkeley’s face.

Hart eyed the remaining liquid in his glass. “I’ll be happy to play the role of peacemaker to the best of my ability.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” Berkeley inclined his head toward his brother-in-law.

“Who else is Sarah matchmaking for?” Hart sloshed the brandy in the bottom of the glass.

“She’s not merely matchmaking. No. To hear her tell it, she has an important mission this Season.”

Hart set down the glass and pulled another section of the Times off the table and began scanning it. He’d talked enough about marriage for one day. Odious topic. “A mission? What mission?” he asked, merely to be polite.

“To find Meg Timmons a husband.”

Hart startled in surprise, grasping the paper so tightly it tore in the middle. Tossing it aside, he reached for his glass and gulped the last of his brandy.

Meg Timmons. He knew Meg Timmons. She was Sarah’s closest friend, the daughter of his father’s mortal enemy, and a woman with whom Hart had experienced an incident last summer that he’d been seriously trying to forget.

Copyright © 2017 by Valerie Bowman and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.


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Lusting for Covers

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Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!!lusting-for-covers-updated (2)

1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ).

2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there.

3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked!

(OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required.


My post for this fun meme is:


Death Doesn't Bargain Death Doesn’t Bargain (Deadman’s Cross #2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Release Date: May 8, 2018

SynopsisDeath Doesn’t Bargain is the second historical fantasy title in New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Deadman’s Cross series. Where Deadmen tell their tales, and every soul is damned or redeemed by the final choices they make.

The Deadmen are back…

But so are the demons who have broken free of their eternal prison and are bent on mankind’s destruction. The worst of the lot is Vine, determined to claim their lives for taking hers. She will see the world burn…and has the perfect lure to destroy them all. One of their own.

Kalder Dupree has never known a day of mercy. Born to the cruelest of mer-races, he sacrificed himself for his crew and is in Vine’s hands. He expects no mercy or rescue.

Yet Cameron Jack is determined to set Kalder free. As a Hellchaser, it’s her calling, and she cannot allow even a not-so-innocent to be tortured for an act of kindness that spared her damnation.

To defeat evil, it sometimes takes an even worse evil, and Cameron is willing to do whatever she must to make this right. If Vine thought she had her hands full before, she hasn’t seen anything nearly as powerful as Cameron’s resolve.

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Dark Swan (Otherworld Assassin #2.5) by Gena Showalter

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Dark SwanDark Swan (Otherworld Assassin #2.5) by Gena Showalter

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Synopsis: The Alien Huntress series is back with fan favorite AIR agent Dallas Gutierrez from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling paranormal romance author Gena Showalter, who doesn’t disappoint with this sizzling hot alpha hero.

Lilica Swan isn’t quite human or otherworlder; she is the best—and worst—of both.

She is willing to do whatever proves necessary to save her sister from the seductive and deadly Alien Investigation and Removal agent, Dallas Gutierrez, even bonding her lifeforce to his by effectively marrying him. But the bond will fade without consummation. Can Dallas resist his insatiable desire for the powerful beauty? Or will she lead to his ultimate downfall?

Originally published in the Blood Red Kiss anthology.

Review: This story had such strong characters. There was tension and strife between the two main characters that kept the action moving along and kept the reader engrossed in their story. The humor was so entertaining, as well. The conflict was well developed and the back stories of the triplets was laid out well and in detail helping the reader to understand the connection between the triplets and their sense of loyalty. Dallas was a womanizer I enjoyed watching being brought down a few pegs and snared in the end by his perfect match. The story overall was enjoyable and I loved the interactions between Dallas and Lilica a lot.

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A Season of You (Cloud Bay #2) by Emma Douglas

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A Season of YouA Season of You (Cloud Bay #2) by Emma Douglas

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SynopsisIt’s Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season… Will Fraser has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina’s husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she’d want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he’s kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina’s heart. . . Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she’s kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can’t quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay’s first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas–and forever–is Will?

Review: This is the fourth book in the St Martin’s Holiday Romance set and it was enjoyable. Cute. Festive. Real. Passionate. Entertaining. And with a great ending. Mina has loved and lost before and she thinks she wants nothing more to do with love or men, even though she is still in her early twenties. Will has loved Mina from afar but has decided to keep his feelings to himself for she has already been through the loss of her husband, but when she has an accident outside of his distillery he rushes to her aide and goes above and beyond to show her that he cares. She is leery of him but she is attracted to him, so on Thanksgiving when he proposes a “project” where they enjoy each other’s company up until Christmas Day where they will then part ways with no hurt feelings, she can’t see why not. She does like kissing him, and drawing him, and imagining him in her bed so she agrees to his deal. Their relationship has highs and lows, drama and a few tense moments especially when she breaks things off with him a week early when he almost gets hurt. She feels like she can’t go through losing another man she cares about and if Will isn’t willing to change his dreams or life’s work then she has to cut her losses. How she wins him back in the end was sweet and well choreographed to earn his forgiveness. This one was enjoyable and sweet.

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