Saturday, 28 September 2013

One Word Survey

Another fun post I saw at The Cooking Actress, and I thought you might enjoy to get a little more insight into my personal life ;-)

Answer the following questions with one word only: 

Your hair? pixie

Your mother? noisy

Your father? warmhearted

Your favorite material object? Kindle

Your dream from last night? comfort

Your favorite drink? water

Your dream car? Porsche

The room you're in right now? office

Your ex? friend

Your fear? regrets

What do you want to be in 10 years? content

What are you not? sporty

What did you do last night? cuddle

What's the last thing you did before this? write

What are you wearing? dress

Your favorite book? romances

The last thing you ate? pasta

Your life? mine

Your mood? sleepy

Your friends? loyal

What are you thinking about right now? sleep

Your summer? eventful

What's on your TV? series

The last time you laughed? yesterday

The last time you cried? dunno

School? graduated

Your favorite weekend activity? chilling

Dream job? writer

Your computer? old

Just outside your window? trees

Beer? fruity

Mexican food? yum

Winter? ugh

Religion? belief

Vacation? sun

On your bed? clothes

Love? yes!


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Q&A with Jill Shalvis about Always on My Mind + Giveaway

You all know I love small town romances and one of my favourite series is Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series. Whenever a new book in that series gets released I get excited and devour it in no time. It wasn't any different with her latest release Always on My Mind, the eighth book in the series, which I enjoyed greatly (as you can see in my review to be posted later today) that got released today! Woohoo! So join us as Jill tells us some behind the scenes secrets about the book and brings you a terrific giveaway! :-)


Q: Had you always known Jack Harper was going to be a firefighter?

A: Always. I was chomping at the bit to write another firefighter. What can I say, I adore them.

Q: Your main character Leah is a pastry chef- but you yourself are not a baker-was that hard to make it seem so natural for her?

A: I might not be a pastry chef, but I’m somewhat of an expert in eating pastries. All baked goods, actually. J Hopefully, that translated to the page.

Q: Jack’s dog Kevin has some of the best LOL moments in the book. Was he inspired by a real life pup?

A: Kevin is inspired by my own beloved “Frat Boy”, who never met a piece of food he didn’t like or a couch he didn’t want to nap on.

Always on My Mind by Jill Shalvis

Book #8 in the Lucky Harbor series

After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack's ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib - that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle . . .

No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine - perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their "just friends" rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?

You can read my review here.

Buy it at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - Book Depository

Excerpt

It wasn’t all that difficult to find Leah, once Jack set his mind to it. Since the beginning of time, when she’d been troubled, she’d been drawn to two things.

Him.

And the ocean.

She hadn’t come to him. That was new. There’d been a time when she’d have come to him no matter what was troubling her.

Except, of course, at the moment he was the source of her trouble, even though it was of her own making. The last time that had been the case, she’d left Lucky Harbor.

But he knew she couldn’t leave now. She was here for her grandma, and though Leah had plenty of faults, her grandma meant too much to her. Unlike himself… He tried not to resent that, but there was no getting around the fact – he did resent it. He was pissed off that she had no idea what she meant to him, back then.

Or now.

His heart squeezed a little, making room for a few other emotions besides his temper. Empathy. Maybe even reluctant affection. He could’ve gotten into the water with her, but it was after midnight and Christ, he was tired.

Nothing good ever happens after midnight.

His mom had always said so, and in this case, he was willing to bet it was true. So he sat on the sand, positioned halfway between her car and the water, giving her no easy escape. And waited.

And brooded. Because he was having lots of odd and unexpected urges as it pertained to Leah, and he didn’t know what to do about them. Once upon a time, she’d been the only highlight in his day, the only one to make him smile. She was still that person, but there was something new between them, and he wasn’t sure if it was good. In fact, he was pretty sure he should be running like hell.

Finally, she swam in, and then she was standing up in the water, and he nearly swallowed his tongue. It’d been a damn long time since he’d seen her in a bathing suit. Maybe since high school, when she’d been a head taller than all the other girls and skinny as hell.

She was still tall but she’d filled out in all the right places and then some. She wore a black bikini, nothing but a few straps low on her hips and two triangles over her breasts, and as a wave knocked her around a little, everything jiggled enticingly.

And suddenly he went from slightly chilled to very overheated. Good Christ, she was … beautiful. It should’ve assuaged his simmering temper just looking at her, but instead it stoked it, making him tense as hell.

Leah, on the other hand, was looking pretty carefree as she lifted her arms and shoved back her hair.

At the sight, his brain utterly clicked off.

She saw him then. He could tell because, from one blink of an eye to the next, she froze every single muscle. It’d have been fascinating to watch, except for the fact that she was freezing up over him. She’d never reacted this way before. He didn’t like it. And besides, he was the wronged party here. He was the one who got to be pissy.

“You’re still here,” she said flatly. “You scared me.”

“You need to be more aware of your surroundings.”

Dripping water everywhere, she crossed her arms over herself. “It’s Lucky Harbor.”

He rose to his feet. “Bad shit can happen anywhere.”

She met his gaze for one brief beat and then looked away. “What are you doing here, Jack?”

“I figured as your ‘almost fiancé,’ I should see how you’re doing.”

She winced but didn’t respond.

“What the hell is this all about, Leah?”

“You know it's about your mom's cancer,” she said, hugging herself a little tighter.

She always got defensive when she screwed up, and since she’d screwed up a lot, she had a lot of practice.

“My mom has enough going on,” he said. “She doesn’t need to be lied to.”

“Maybe not. But she does need to be happy to heal. And this made her happy. All week she’s been glowing.”

He knew it was true, and a stab of guilt hit him that he hadn’t been able to make her happy without help.

Leah didn’t say anything more but she didn’t have to. Yeah, she’d gotten them into this mess, but he knew damn well it’d been out of the goodness of her heart. Jack knew that she thought she owed him for all those years ago, when he’d done his best to protect her, the chivalry having been deeply ingrained by his dad.

But they were even.

In the dark, Leah shivered, and that chivalry had him torn between enjoying the sight of her cold and wanting to wrap her up in his arms. “Where’s your towel?”

“In the car.”

He pulled off his sweatshirt and tugged it over her head.

“I’ll get it wet,” she said.

“It’ll dry.”

“I’m—"

“Just wear the damn sweatshirt, Leah.”

There was an awkward silence while they stared at each other as behind her the water pounded the shore.

“I realize that this is really hard for you,” she finally said, pulling on his sweatshirt. “Having everyone think you like me that way. You’ll just have to pretend.”

He narrowed his eyes. Had that been sarcasm? Or…

Hurt? “There was a time when I wouldn’t have had to pretend anything,” he said. “But you flaked out, remember? You pretended, and then you left.”

She grimaced, swallowed hard, and looked away. “We were just kids.”

Was that how it played in her head? Seriously? “Does it make you feel better?” he asked quietly. “To downplay what we were to each other?”

She closed her eyes. “We were friends, Jack. Friends who’d made a quick, knee-jerk, stupid decision to become naked friends and sleep together.”

“Yeah. And then one of the friends didn’t show,” he said, much more mildly than he felt.

“It was a bad idea. I was leaving.”

“Which you forgot to mention.”

She dropped her head back and stared up at the sky. “I couldn’t stay, Jack.”

He took in her expression, filled with memories, and nodded. “I know. But you should have told me you were going.”

“You had another girl in your bed by the following weekend.”

Had he? Hell, probably. But she wouldn’t have meant anything to him. Not like Leah had. His chest tightened at the memory of the hole she’d left in his life. He didn’t want to go through that again. “I missed you.”

She said nothing, and he shook his head. Fuck it. He started to walk away, and then she spoke.

“Brandi Metcalf.”

He stopped. “What?”

“Brandi Metcalf was the one in your bed by the next weekend.” She turned her head and glared at him. “Pretty blonde Brandi with the perfect boobs.” She emphasized this by cupping her hands out in front of her own breasts. “So don’t even try to tell me you missed me.”

He shook his head. Apparently he wasn’t the only pissed-off one tonight. “Okay,” he said. “Let’s have it.”

“Let’s have what?”

“Well, I know why I’m pissed. Why the hell are you pissed?”

“It’s not like it’s going to be a walk in the park for me either,” she said, giving him a little shot to the chest. “Pretending to like you.”

“Me?” he asked, flabbergasted. “What the hell is there not to like about me?”

The sound she made assured him that she had volumes on the subject. “Don’t get me started.”

“I want to know,” he said.

“Fine. You watch that stupid ice fishing show like it’s a religion, you’re a horrible backseat driver, you drink out of the milk carton – and fyi, so does Ben – you don’t put the cap on your toothpaste, or put the lid down on the toilet, and you shush me when you’re watching sports.”

He stared at her. “That’s quite a list of shortcomings,” he eventually said. “Is that all?”

“No.” She shoved her wet hair from her face, though she managed to keep her regal stance, nose firmly in the air at nose-bleed heights. “I held back because I didn’t want to be overly rude.”

He laughed softly. “Don’t hold back, Leah. Let’s hear all of it.”

“Well, your truck has more sporting goods than a store, you never say you’re sorry, and your girlfriends look like super models. I mean what is that? There’s nothing wrong with real boobs, you know!”

He took it all in and had to admit that he couldn’t say she was wrong, about any of it. “And yet you call me The Picker.”

She ignored this. “And your mom told me that you need knee surgery again. You’re just too stubborn to get it done. So you can add ornery to the list.”
He blew out a slow breath. “It’s not ice fishing,” he said. “It’s crabbing. And sometimes I lose the cap on the toothpaste, or my dog eats it. And I don’t need knee surgery, I’m fine.”

Leah snorted. “You’re always ‘fine’. Your knee could be falling off and you’d say you were fine.”

“I fail to see the problem.”

She snorted again, and he was starting to feel greatly insulted. “You’re not exactly a walk in the park, Leah.”

“No?”

“No. You’re flighty, you live for your every whim, you downplay any real emotion you feel.”

She hugged herself tight. “Good thing this is all pretend then, isn’t it,” she said softly.

“Yeah.”

She was freezing. And hauntingly gorgeous, so damn gorgeous standing there wet and silvery by the moon’s glow, like a goddess. It’s Leah, he had to keep reminding himself. Leah, who’d once beaten him in a marshmallow eating contest only to puke all over him. Leah, whose dark green eyes had a way of telling the world to bite her. Leah, who’d run off on him and left him heartbroken. He took a step into her – for what exactly, he had no idea-- and she poked a finger into his chest.

“God,” she said. “You’re so …” Words apparently failed her, but she let out a sound that managed to perfectly convey how annoying he was.

“Ditto,” he said, and then grabbed the finger drilling a hole between his pecs and tugged her hard enough that she lost her balance and fell against him.

He wrapped an arm around her waist, entangling a hand in her wet hair.

She went still as stone and stared into his eyes. And then lowered her gaze to his mouth.

Yeah, they were in sync there. Suddenly he couldn’t breathe. Hers caught audibly in her throat, a good sign he decided. Maybe she wouldn’t knee him in the balls. Testing the waters, he grazed her jawline with his teeth.

She shivered.

Then he slid his mouth to the very corner of hers and was rewarded by the clutch of her hands on his shirt. Having her hold on to him like this, like he was her only anchor, sent a bolt of lust straight through him. “Leah,” he murmured, hearing the surprise in his own voice, feeling the heat course through him as he finally, God finally, covered her mouth with his.

Her lips parted for him eagerly, and he groaned, drowning in the erotic collision of her hot tongue and chilled, wet body.

Serious trouble. He was in serious trouble.

Because he had a taste of her now, a damn good taste, and it was better than he could have imagined, making him want the rest of her. With his fingers still in her hair, he pulled her in tighter, slanting his mouth across hers for more. She moved with him, into him, making the connection all the sweeter.

No. Sweet wasn’t the right word.

Hot. She was so hot she was turning him inside out. And then she made another of those soft, surrendering sighs deep in her throat, the sound slaying him. She still had a death grip on his shirt and had managed to catch a few chest hairs while she was at it. He didn’t care. Sliding a hand beneath his sweatshirt, he cupped her ass over her wet bikini bottoms, rocking into her.

She had to feel what this was doing to him. And given that she was breathing like she was running out of air, and still holding onto him tight enough to bruise, she also had to know where this was going.

Jack kissed Leah some more, sinking deeper into her taste, her softness, her scent, all while wondering how the hell she could drive him crazy and made him ache at the same time. It was a feat that totally wrecked his equilibrium. Maybe it was just the kiss. Because holy shit, the kiss. He still had a handful of her sweet ass, and he squeezed, wanting more. But they were outside and the night’s temp was quickly dropping. She was wet, trembling with the chill, and there was absolutely nowhere to go with this. Not here, not now. He’d had no business kissing her like he had an end game, and knowing it, he regretfully pulled back.

She blinked as if waking up from a dream. “What—" She cleared her throat. “What was that?”

“Insanity. It’s going around.”

Buy it at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - Book Depository


New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

You can find Jill at her website / blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


GIVEAWAY RULES:

To be entered to win a $100 USD gift card or books from Jill Shalvis' backlist just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway is open only to US shipping addresses and ends on 30 September 2013!

Good luck!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Excerpt: Season for Scandal by Theresa Romain + Giveaway



UNLADYLIKE RISK

Jane Tindall has never had money of her own or exceptional beauty. Her gifts are more subtle: a mind like an abacus, a talent for play-acting—and a daring taste for gambling. But all the daring in the world can’t help with the cards fixed against her. And when Edmund Ware, Baron Kirkpatrick, unwittingly spoils her chance to win a fortune, her reputation is ruined too. Or so she thinks, until he suggests a surprising mode of escape: a hasty marriage. To him. On the surface, their wedding would seem to satisfy all the demands of proper society, but as the Yuletide approaches, secrets and scandals turn this proper marriage into a very improper affair.

Excerpt

He gave her a dutiful smile. “What I mean is, at your cousin’s estate, you found a place you felt at home. In that, I envy you.”

“Because you never have?”

The silence that followed was like a fine crystal: leaden and fragile. Jane fumbled to fill it, but everything seemed the wrong shape for her mind, her throat, her tongue.

Without a single word, he’d let her know how utterly their marriage had failed to take root. He’d let her know—there had never been anything for it to grow in. He regarded himself as too ignorant, too parched, to nurture any sort of relationship.

“You’re wrong,” she said. “You are so, so wrong.”

“I wish I were.” His anger, coming so rarely in quick flashes, would be far better than this. Now he seemed not wistful, but resigned. “Come downstairs, won’t you? I think we’ve both seen enough up here.”

“No.” Before she could think better of it, she’d drawn closer to him and twitched back the canvas covering over the old portrait. “You’re wrong, Edmund. And maybe I was, too. Sometimes people shape us by showing us what we don’t want to be like. I didn’t want a small life. And you don’t want to be like this. A fake family, putting on a show in public.”

“No, but that’s hardly meaningful. Who would choose such a thing?”

A harsh laugh broke from Jane’s throat. “I’ve lived among the ton for a far shorter time than you, yet I’d guess many people do.”

“Not you, though.”

She looked at the painted face of the boy, already handsome, already shoved aside. “No, not me. I’m too—what was it? Stubborn and daring?”

“Real disdain is better than a fake love.”

It wasn’t fake, you idiot. “Well.” She made herself smile. “I hardly feel disdain for you.”

“But we still have…nothing.” His brows knit, and he, too, studied the faces. “You once said you loved me, but I didn’t know what to do about it. So I lost you.”

Still, always, he thought it was his doing when the people around him acted dreadful. What unutterable arrogance; what an unbearable burden. “You’re not responsible for the way I feel, Edmund. I’ve told you that before.”

He shook his head, and this time when he covered the painting again, she stepped back and let him have his distance. “I don’t understand love. I was a fool to think I could do better than they.”

“You’re a fool, all right.” She slashed the air, an impatient gesture. “I’m going downstairs, and I’ll see myself out. I’d say, ‘Enjoy your wallowing,’ but that would defeat the purpose.”

She had already turned away and eased by the face-down table before he spoke.

“Jane. Wait. Stay.”

“What do you want?”

“Tell me what you mean,” he said. “Tell me why you think I’m a fool.”

Slowly, she turned on her heel. The effect would be one of great exasperation, and therefore—she hoped—he would pay more heed to it. An answer one had to drag forth was far better than unsolicited advice.

“Oh, Edmund.” Her voice dripped with pity. “There are so many reasons. Where should I begin?”

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she is working on her next book. This September, she’ll begin a new historical romance trilogy with IT TAKES TWO TO TANGLE. In October, her third holiday historical romance—SEASON FOR SCANDAL—will be released.

For more info about Theresa and her books check: 



GIVEAWAY RULES:

One commenter per the total number of tour stops will win a signed print copy of SEASON FOR SCANDAL. Additionally, Theresa is generously offering a Grand Prize of all three Season books (signed print copies)!


To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 6 October 2013!

Good luck!

For more chances to win follow the blog tour HERE.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Cast your Vote in Entangled's Mr. September Throwdown + Giveaway!



The six heroes from this month’s BRAZENS are battling it out to be your Mr. September. Who gets your vote?

Each day this week the six heroes are stopping by some awesome blogs to answer both sexy and sweet personal questions, so you can really get a taste of what they’re like ;) Each day you get to cast your vote, and at the end of the week one sexy hero will be crowned the winner of the #MrSeptember Throwdown!

Remember, each vote also counts as an entry for one of SIX prizes so be sure to follow along and vote every day to increase your chances of winning! Visit Entangled in Romance for a recap on the awesome prizes!

Now, to meet the men competing in the #MrSeptember Throwdown!


Whew! Hot, hot, hot - these men have definitely turned up the heat!

Ian: Wicked Games by Samanthe Beck (part of the anthology)
Grayson: Seducing Mr. Right by Katee Robert (part of the anthology)
Landon: Tempted by His Best Friend by Cari Quinn (part of the anthology)
Derek: Protecting What's Theirs by Tessa Bailey (part of the anthology)


Here are today’s questions for the men:

Question #5: Do you work out?

Ian: Hell yeah. I’ve gotta keep up with a dancer.

Grayson: Every day.

Trick: It’s a must do for the job, but even if it wasn’t, I make it a rule to break a sweat every day…one way or another.

Derek: Nightly. And most mornings. I lose count how often on Sundays. Are we talking about the same thing?

Jett: I’m a keen surfer and living so close to the iconic Bondi Beach, I surf all the time. Nature’s workout. Surf, sand, sun. Nothing beats it.

Landon: Yes. I run, which is good practice for chasing after Steff. That woman keeps me on my toes, I'll tell you that.


Question #6: Favorite body part on a lady?

Ian: When it comes to Stacy, I love the whole package. Nothing off limits.

Grayson: I love the line of her back. It's an elegant and sexy part of any woman.

Trick: ONE? *firm headshake* Fuck that, not possible. I love that little dip of a woman’s spine, that super-soft skin on the inside of her thighs that rubs your cheeks when she wraps her legs around your face, that spot on the back of her neck that makes her squirm when you nip it…yeah, there’s a lot of good ones.

Derek: Her thighs. Fuck. Is Ginger off work yet?

Jett: Her eyes. I love being able to read a woman’s innermost thoughts and feelings in her eyes. The more expressive the better.

Landon: I love Steff's ear lobes. They're so delicate and she shivers when I raze over them with the edge of my teeth...or bite.


And now cast YOUR VOTE and win here:


Monday, 23 September 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (#122)


It's Monday, What are you reading? is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books to be finished this week.

Hey Everyone,

Life is continuing in its whirlwind rhythm and I've been pretty scarce. Well sadly my reading has been very slow as well, I find myself thinking, daydreaming, yawning or just gazing at the scenery on the commute instead of burying my nose in my book. But once I started reading the latest Jill Shalvis novel I couldn't stop, so it seems I just needed a fun and heart-warming book to keep me engaged, and Always on my Mind did that. :-) So here are the books I've read/am reading: 

Books I completed


A historical romance that sounded and looked sweet and light, but it was rather angsty. My heart ached for the poor heroine and hero.


Always on my Mind by Jill Shalvis

This is Book #8 in Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series (but the novels can be read as complete standalones). I enjoyed it a lot, just love revisiting Lucky Harbor and all the beloved characters and see their antics ;-p My review will be posted this week, and don't forget to come back on Thursday September 26th when Jill Shalvis will share with you some behind the scenes info and a great giveaway to celebrate the release of Always on my Mind.


Book I'm currently reading


Having met my own boyfriend online I was intrigued to read a series about online dating, first dates, blind dates, felt like this wasreally intended for me right now ;-p So far it is very cute and fun.


Book I can't wait to start


I LOVED the first book in Diana Quincy's Accidental Peers series (Seducing Charlotte was one of my favourite books in 2013) so I naturally can't wait to read its sequel! ;-)

And what are you reading this week?

Friday, 20 September 2013

Book Review: Seducing Charlotte by Diana Qincy

Title: Seducing Charlotte

Author: Diana Quincy 
Series: Book #1 in the Accidental Peers series
Release Date: 15 April 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing - Scandalous
Number of pages: 229 pages
Source: review copy provided by the publisher for review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Read an excerpt

Grade: 5 stars

Novellus perfectus!

2013 Top read

Goodreads appetizer: Opposites attract... Even if he is the catch of the season, Charlotte Livingston has a low opinion of the wildly handsome Marquess of Camryn. He’s an industrialist who thinks nothing of replacing workers with machines, depriving them of an honest living. Camryn is everything a social reformer like Charlotte detests. Besides, her loyalty belongs to another man.

Worlds Collide... Yet, as a violent machine-breakers rebellion rages across England, an undeniable attraction flares between the passionate adversaries. Camryn vows to destroy the rebel movement, unaware that the spinster who has captured his heart, harbors a secret - a shocking connection to one of its leaders that could shatter them both.

My Thoughts: I decided to read Seducing Charlotte because the blurb reminded me a lot of the story of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (where Richard Armitage played the hero Mr. Thornton in the TV adaptation), and although the story and its tone was quite different (Seducing Charlotte was much lighter, less gloomy) I enjoyed it a lot!

Seducing Charlotte was Diana Quincy's debut novel (and the first in her Accidental Peers series) and it blew me away! The writing flew smoothly, the story was captivating, the characters were loveable and their romance had me devouring the pages!

I enjoyed that Charlotte was an ordinary heroine: she was no stunning beauty
He’d always assumed a lack of eligible suitors accounted for her spinster status. In the glittering atmosphere of the Ton, he’d mistaken her clean simplicity for plainness, but others had not made the same error. This evening, she shined, appearing to be in her element as she commanded attention and interest. Charlotte Livingston was a diamond who could easily be mistaken for plain glass if one didn’t look carefully enough to appreciate all of her brilliant facets.
but she was intelligent, charming and kind. She was a woman I could easily see myself befriending in real life. It was refreshing that she had valid and thought-provoking, complex thoughts and opinions and she wasn't afraid of voicing them. She was a very modern, independent and smart woman not only the hero but I could respect as well.

“The person I perceived you to be is the smartest and most humane woman I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with, a woman who speaks her mind, who is full of visions for the future that fire my blood and take my breath away. A woman who satisfies every hunger in me, who answers questions in my very soul I did not even know I had.” [...] “Not a weak or fearful woman who refuses to reach for what she wants. Not a liar. Not a woman who cowers in front of any man, much less a servant.”

As for the hero, Cam was a worthy hero in every sense of the word. He was honourable, warmhearted and sexy, I was swooning for him even though I didn't have the visual bliss of seeing Richard Armitage play him ;-) lol He was wonderfully intense and many of his lines made it hard for me to swallow, like this one:
She swallowed hard, a useless attempt to ease the strangled feeling in her throat. “What will you do now?”
“You know what I must do.” Regret glinted his eyes. “It would be wrong of me to allow more people to die when it is within my power to put a halt to the violence.” He reached for the door and hesitated, turning to lock gazes with her. The fine creases around his sunlit green eyes seemed to have deepened overnight.“But also know this.There will never be another woman for me. I have already taken you to wife in every way that matters. When you leave me, there will be no other. You are the wife of my heart.”
Can you say 'aww'? *dreamy sighs*

I LOVED reading Charlotte and Cam's interactions, their dialogues (=mostly disputes) were meaningful, intelligent yet teasing and bantering at the same time. To see their romance develop through their heated discussions was one of my favourite things in this novel.
Their fiery intellectual connection, coupled with an astounding physical attraction, left him feeling keenly aware of what had been missing in his life.

Verdict: Don't let the somewhat dry blurb scare you off, Seducing Charlotte is an engaging, exciting and passionate romance you'll devour in no time. Diana Quincy's writing style and storytelling were captivating, the characters were delightful, I loved that the heroine was such a sharp, outspoken woman and I had a serious crush on the sexy and warmhearted hero. In short, Seducing Charlotte was a delight, I discovered a new favourite author and I can't wait to read more stories by Diana Quincy!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Cover: 10/10

Review originally posted at Book Lovers Inc.

Buy it:


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Guest post by Laura Bickle

You know what a fan girl I am when it comes to Laura Bickle and her breathtaking stories. *sighs* Well I've got some great news: Laura's latest novel, The Outside, the second book in her Hallowed Ones series got released, and she stops by to tell you a bit about it. Please give her a warm welcome and read on to see what monsters Katie will have to face this time around...


When Humanity Slips
by Laura Bickle

One of the scary things that happens in a story is when people stop being human and become something else.

That’s something my heroine, Katie, has to face in THE OUTSIDE. She’s been kicked out of her Amish community for failing to follow the rules, and is facing an outside world that’s been devastated by a vampire apocalypse. The contagion has spread far and wide, obliterating towns and cities, leaving an empty road before her.

These are not the vampires that Katie has read about in library books. They aren’t beautiful and romantic people yearning to recover their lost souls. They aren’t wooing vampires. These are chewing vampires. The vampires Katie faces are revenants from old world legends, bloodthirsty and amoral. There is no velvet seduction in them, no struggling with the fate of their immortal souls. They simply want to feed, to devour the flesh of the living…and the survivors are dwindling in number.

Katie is forced to view these monsters as less than human. They look somewhat human, and seem to retain some of their memories and power of speech. They haunt places they knew in life, waiting in the shadows to tear apart any unwary humans who would fall into their trap. Katie feels pity for them, to be certain. But in her world, she must kill them or be killed…there is no negotiation. She must not only destroy any vampires that approach with her homemade wooden stakes, but she must also prevent any vampire attack survivors from rising as vampires. That’s the most soul-crushing part for her – killing those she loves before they become inhuman monsters.

Katie fears that she’s lost her own humanity. Her religion is a nonviolent, pacifist one. She’s violated the rules over and over again in order to protect those she loves. She fears that she’s slipping, that she’s becoming nothing better than the creatures she destroys. At what point has she become irredeemable, a shell of what she was? At what point has she committed murder?

And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. At first, Katie thinks that they are angels, come to save the remains of humanity from the curse of vampirism. Can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all? If Katie joins them, will she become less than human…or more than human?

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Book #1 in the Hallowed Ones series

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - Book Depository

The Outside by Laura Bickle

Book #2 in the Hallowed Ones series

One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…

After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.

And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - Book Depository

Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. She has written several contemporary fantasy nov-els for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, connect with her at

Friday, 13 September 2013

Guest post by Tawna Fenske + Giveaway

You all know what a big foodie I am: I love cooking and baking, leafing through cooking magazines, spend hours browsing delicious cookbooks and of course devour culinary romances. So it comes as no surprise at all that when I first glimpsed the cover of Eat, Play, Lust by Tawna Fenske I was a goner and had to read it. Tawna Fenske stops by today to discuss guilty pleasures, which let's be honest are delicious, so share with us yours and you could even win! ;-)


What’s your guilty pleasure? Tawna Fenske, author of Eat, Play, Lust is sharing hers!

I’m a neurotically healthy eater.

All the food groups must be represented at every meal of the day, and I buy organic or grow my own produce every chance I get. I bake—rather than frying—chicken and French fries, and I was miraculously born without a sweet tooth.

Lest you think I’m a total food snob, now I’ll tell you my guilty pleasures.

I could eat two McDonald’s Egg McMuffins for breakfast every morning and still lick the wrapper clean when I finish.

I have been known to consume an entire bag of Ruffles potato chips and a family-sized carton of bacon-n-onion dip in one sitting.

I can eat my own body weight in Tater Tots.

We all have guilty pleasures, don’t we? Or embarrassing little habits we’d prefer not to share with others. That’s at the core of my new novella, Eat, Play, Lust.

Cami is an uber-fit woman who teaches people to do yoga poses while on a standup paddleboard. She grew up with a health-nut mother (emphasis on nut) who counted every calorie she ate and shamed her for any smidge of weight gain.

Can you blame Cami for having a secret junk food obsession?

Of course, she feels guilty about it, and does her best to hide it from Paul.

But Paul is busy trying to disguise the fact that he has a serious case of foot-in-mouth disease. He speaks before he thinks, which sometimes gets him into trouble. He’s refreshingly honest, uncensored, and self-deprecating, which are all qualities that draw Cami to him. But are the two of them too different in their world views and personalities?

These are things I had fun exploring when I wrote Eat, Play, Lust, and I’m hopeful you’ll enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Or you can just snicker at paddleboard innuendos like “stick it in” or “grip the shaft” or “spread your legs wider” the way I do.

Whatever rolls your socks up.

Do you have any guilty pleasures of your own? Please share ‘em in the comments. I promise not to laugh. Just save some Tater Tots for me, okay?


Tawna Fenske traveled a career path that took her from newspaper reporter to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek to PR manager for her city’s tourism bureau. An avid globetrotter and social media fiend, Tawna is the author of the popular blog, Don’t Pet Me, I’m Writing, and a member of Romance Writers of America.

She lives with her gentleman friend in Bend, Oregon, where she’ll invent any excuse to hike, bike, snowshoe, float the river, or sip beer along the Bend Ale Trail. She’s published several romantic comedies with Sourcebooks, including Making Waves and Believe it or Not, as well as the interactive fiction caper, Getting Dumped, with Coliloquy.

For more information on Tawna and her books visit



Cami Pressman is a yoga instructor with a lifelong secret love of junk food. Not even an irresistible man can replace the mouthwatering wickedness of her favorite foods.

Until, that is, Paul Hammond signs up for her class. He’s a gourmet chef looking to score some fitness tips, and a date with Cami. Suddenly Cami’s lust for junk food isn’t the only thing making her tingle.

When this sinful chef and hot yoga teacher eat, play, and lust together, they just might bring their obsession to a new level.

Tawna will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Eat, Play, Lust to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

Buy at Amazon - B&N

GIVEAWAY RULES:

There is a tour wide giveaway where a lucky commenter will win a $50 USD gift card!

To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and tell us in a comment: Do you have any guilty pleasures of your own?
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Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 15 September 2013!
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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Book Review: The Right Temptation by Diane Escalera + Giveaway

Title: The Right Temptation
Author: Diane Escalera 
Series: Book #2 in the Latin Heat trilogy
Release Date: 21 June 2013
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Number of pages: 94 pages
Source: ebook provided by the author for review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Read an excerpt

Grade: 3 stars

Novellus bonus!
Goodreads appetizer: Can a childhood crush mature into the real thing? Kayla Martinez has recently landed an RN position at a prestigious hospital in her hometown. The new job is everything she's hoped for, especially when one hot specimen shows up in the ER. She hasn't seen her childhood crush in years, and considering how much hotter he's gotten over time, she almost ends up needing resuscitation.

The last thing Nico LaCosta needs is a broken arm. Now his pal's kid sister wants to soothe his pain, but he'd rather keep his distance so her big brother doesn't break his other arm. Kayla's no child anymore, though. She's one hot-blooded woman, determined to remind him of a mind-blowing kiss back when they were teenagers. Leave it to Kayla to drop by his house unannounced and play Nurse Seductive. A guy has to follow the buddy code, or face the consequences. Still, sometimes giving in to temptation is worth it...

My Thoughts: I have read a couple of Diane Escalera's stories (Dangerous Desire and Still Hot For You) so I knew I could expect a hot, explosive muy caliente romance and The Right Temptation certainly delivered.

It is the story of Kayla and Nico (cousin of the hero in Diane Escalera's previous novella Still Hot For You, but there is no other connection, so no worries if you haven't read that one first, the two stories are complete standalones): they have pretty much grown up together since Nico is/was the best friend of Kayla's big brother. And although Kayla has been harboring a massive crush for Nico ever since she first discovered guys weren't all "eww", Nico has abided by the "thou shall not touch your friend's little sister" rule.

However, when chance lands Nico in Kayla's hospital she takes matters into her own hands and decides it's about time she got what she wanted, and that is Nico. So she takes out all the stops and starts an attack temptation Nico has no chance of resisting.

The story flew smoothly and Diane Escalera's writing was once again full of heat and sizzling, my problem came from Kayla. She was a heroine I found a bit obsessive:
“Get me something plastic and I’ll hook you up,” Kayla said. She stopped swinging and leveled a look at him. Her wicked smile could’ve shattered the defenses of Homeland Security, let alone his. Kayla didn’t just want to hook him up. She wanted to hook up. Period.
stalkerish:
“I’m glad you came. How long has it been, anyway?”
“I don’t know, like four or five years.” Last time they’d talked, she’d just started her senior year in high school. They’d run into each other at the local bodega and he’d actually said a few words. It had been exactly five years, three months and ten days. But he didn’t need to know that.
and at times I had the impression she was/acted way younger than her years warranted with all the "omigod", "yum" and "hot", she made me think of a high school girl with an infatuating crush.

Nico was a sexy hero, though in The Right Temptation it is Kayla without a doubt who has the reins in her hands and acted as the mastermind/puppetmaster. Though I admit that to mount such an irresistible seduction she had to be determined, confident and ballsy, maybe my lack of sympathy stems from being envious she has the cojones to go after what wants and really get the man. ;-)

Verdict: The Right Temptation was a short and steamy story one could gobble up in one sitting. It has a very determined heroine hell bent on seduction and a hot Latino man trying to do the honourable thing and resist her. If you are in the mood for witty repartee, hot seduction and even hotter lovemaking you should give it a go!

Plot: 7/10 - I love the childhood friends to lovers idea
Characters: 6/10 - wasn't really a fan of Kayla
Writing: 7/10
Ending: 6/10
Cover: 7/10

GIVEAWAY RULES:

For a chance to win yourself a copy of The Right Temptation enter the giveaway at Book Lovers Inc!

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 15 September 2013!

Good luck!
Buy it:


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Excerpt: Lethal Confessions by V.K. Sykes + Giveaway


Special Announcement

USA Today Bestselling Author V.K.Sykes is hosting a Release Day Celebration Facebook Event the night of Wednesday, September 11th from 7-9pm EST.

Ten additional authors will be dropping by that night with some pretty great giveaways that readers won't want to miss! You can find additional information HERE.


A gripping new romantic suspense from USA Today Bestselling author V.K. Sykes

The brutal murder of her twin sister drove Amy Robitaille into a career as a homicide detective for Palm Beach County. When a serial killer targets the wives of local baseball players, Amy has more than just a professional interest at stake—her only surviving sister fits the profile of the other victims. Amy’s hell-bent on catching the killer, not only to protect her sister but to destroy the demons haunting her since the death of her twin.

Baseball star and former soldier Luke Beckett has just retired from the game and is looking to move on with his life. When he’s asked to consult on the serial killer case for the local police, he finds the challenge he needs—despite the objections of lead detective Amy Robitaille. But Luke has no intention of backing away from the job and every intention of getting to know the intriguing detective.

Amy has no time to babysit a celebrity consultant while trying to catch a serial killer. But Luke is not the man she assumed him to be and he threatens to become a powerful distraction. That’s the last thing she needs, especially when the killer starts closing in on her family. But without Luke’s help, Amy stands to lose everything.


Excerpt

Detective Amy Robitaille is stunned when her commanding officer brings in a surprise guest to the team meeting—former baseball star Luke Beckett.

“Take your seats,” Cramer ordered. When they had all arranged themselves around the table, Cramer faced Poushinsky and Beckett ended up directly across from Amy. Just what she needed—constant eye contact with the baseball hero. Right on cue, he gave her another lazy smile. She angled her body to her left, fixing her gaze on the commander.

“As soon as we got confirmation that our victim was the wife of a baseball player, I contacted Luke,” Cramer said. “There’s got to be a baseball connection to these killings. They’re both baseball wives, and they had the same carved message. OUT could mean anything, but I take it to mean ‘out’ as opposed to ‘safe’. Like the guy’s a fucking umpire.”

An umpire.

Amy sucked in a startled breath. Of course. The guy who controls the game. The guy who gets to decide who’s safe and who’s out.

But what the hell was this killer’s particular game?

“We need somebody on our investigative team with in-depth insight into baseball,” Cramer continued. “Someone who knows the game inside out. Someone with connections. Nobody—and I mean nobody—could play that role more effectively than Luke Beckett. That’s why I’ve asked him to join our team for this investigation. And I’m happy to say he’s agreed.”

Jaws dropped around the table, and Amy had to stifle a gasp. What the hell was Cramer thinking? Not only was he bringing in an outside consultant without talking first to his lead detective, the so-called expert was practically an A-list celebrity. She couldn’t even begin to predict how this might screw up the dynamics of a squad that had problems gelling in the first place.

She looked at Beckett. His expression had morphed into impassivity, his high, strong cheekbones and square jaw seeming to convey a tough and indomitable sense of will. He returned her look and then, unbelievably, winked. It was so lightning quick that only she caught it.

Amy swallowed, her mouth going suddenly dry. With a silent curse, she diverted her gaze to the commander, furious at how off-kilter Beckett made her feel.

“This will be a whole new experience for me,” Beckett said in that deep, southern and, yes, sexy drawl of his. “I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be able to bring to your team, but I’ll tell you this. I’m prepared to do everything I can to help catch the bastard who killed those two women.” He gave a self-deprecating half-smile before continuing. “And I’ll try not to get in your way too much.”

“Fantastic,” Poushinsky gushed like a pimply teenager. “Welcome aboard, man.” Washington nodded like a bobble head doll. Even Adrianna seemed charmed, giving Beckett a smile that would have made her dentist proud. Only Ryan seemed less than ecstatic, having obviously gotten over her initial reaction to Beckett’s sex appeal. Amy was thankful for that. Ryan flirting with Beckett would have made her run for the nearest bathroom.

“We need to take full advantage of Luke’s expertise,” Cramer expounded in an annoyingly solemn voice, “and that means he needs to be involved in every aspect of the investigation. I want you to keep him in the loop on everything. And I mean everything. If you’re having meetings, I want him there. Am I making myself clear?” His heavy brows almost closed together as he frowned. “Robitaille, he rides with you.”

Amy resisted the urge to pound her head into the boardroom table. Cramer actually expected her, the lead investigator, to babysit a famous athlete in the middle of the most important case she’d ever had? The case that could make or break her career? What the hell did Luke Beckett know about police work, much less catching a serial murderer?

Cramer kept his gaze locked onto her, a warning clear in his eyes.

“Perfectly clear, sir,” she answered with all the professionalism she could muster.

What choice did she have? If her boss thought an insider’s knowledge of baseball would help the squad, she’d just have to make the best of it. If nothing else, Beckett’s contacts among the players and coaches might prove useful. She’d deal with it and make it work, like she did everything else in her life.

Amy stood up, giving Beckett another glance as she rounded the table. He was talking to Washington and Poushinsky, but she had the feeling he was tracking her every move, almost like a sniper with a bead on her.

As she brushed past the men, a voice in her head whispered that making the best of the situation with a man like Luke Beckett would not only be challenging, it might very well land her neck deep in a pile of trouble.


V.K. Sykes is really two people - Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance. The second book in their Philadelphia Patriots Series of sports romances won the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books of 2012 Contest, in the romance category. Vanessa also writes award-winning, Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name.

For more info about Vanessa and her books check: 



GIVEAWAY RULES:

One commenter per the number of tour stops will receive both a digital copy of Lethal Confessions (PDF or Mobi) and one V.K.Sykes backlist title of the winner’s choice.


To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:
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Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 15 September 2013!

Good luck!

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