Amazing Journey with SACKED by Jen Frederick

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What he wants he gets…

Knox Masters is a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Warrior. Champion. And…virgin. Knox knows what he wants–and he gets it. All American Football player? Check. NFL pros scouting him? Check. Now, he’s set his sight on two things. The national title. And Ellie Campbell. Sure, she’s the sister of his fellow teammate, but that’s not going to stop him. Especially not when he’s convinced Ellie is the one.

…but he’s never met her before.

But Ellie isn’t as sure. She’s trying to start a new life and she’s not interested in a relationship…with anyone. Beside it’s not just her cardinal rule of never dating her brother’s teammates that keeps her away, but Ellie has a dark secret that would jeopardize everything Knox is pursuing.

Knox has no intention of losing. Ellie has no intention of giving in.

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​EXCERPT
I lock my legs to keep from falling over and pull out the biggest barrel I have. “Masters, there are things about me that if you knew you wouldn’t want to spend another minute in my presence.”

He considers my words, the silence taking on a heaviness and part of me already aches for what I could have if I was just any other girl at Western. “Have you killed anyone?” he finally asks. I can feel his eyes assessing me and I keep my gaze averted afraid of what

I’ll see in his moss green gaze.

“No.”

“Have you slept with my brother?”
“What?” I can’t prevent myself from gawking at Masters, who’s smiling as he asks the question. “No! God, I’ve never even met him!”

“Are you catfishing poor athletes from Auburn? Wait, don’t answer that because I don’t think I’d find that objectionable. Oh, I have it—” He snaps his fingers.

“This isn’t a joke, Masters.”

He tucks a stray piece of hair behind my ear. “Until you tell me what it is, it’s not a reason to be apart either.”

I suck in my lower lip to prevent throwing myself at him and telling him to take me.

“Why?” I ask helplessly.

“Because I like you.”

He grips me by the chin and lays down gentlest, sweetest kiss. In that kiss he tells me everything. That he wants me. That he’s willing to take it slow. That he’s not giving up.

He kisses me as if this is the only thing he wants to do for the next ten hours.

His lips barely move but I can feel everything in me surge toward him. The short wedges
I shoved on this morning suddenly feel precarious. I grip his shoulders to steady myself and then find myself rising up on my tiptoes to press deeper against him. He hauls me flush against him until I can no longer touch the floor.

His one hand palms nearly my entire back while the other angles my head for better access. He may be a virgin, but the guy knows how to kiss. His tongue is finding places inside my mouth that I didn’t even know would feel good.

All the pent up desire that has been boiling in me for days comes pouring out of me. I attack him with my next kiss, biting his lower lip, sucking on his tongue.  Against my belly I can feel the hard ridge of his erection.

“God,” I breathe as he abandons my mouth to trace the line of my jaw with his lips. He growls in response and pushes me back against the bookcases but I don’t even mind that the shelves are biting into my back. I just want more.

And he gives it to me. We cling to each other, feeding off of each other’s seemingly endless need until I hear a gasp and then a muted giggle. And those two faint sounds somehow manage to break through the haze of lust and bring with it the realization that

I am in a very public place. I wriggle against him and he sets me down reluctantly.

“We’re in the bookstore,” I say in a scandalized voice.

“You’ve never kissed a guy in the bookstore before?” He grins, the wicked mischievous one I’m beginning to associate with something tremendously naughty. “There’s a first time for everything.”

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Jen Frederick’s Sacked was worth the wait.  From the first tease to the moment I finished the last sentence…worth every moment spent reading and anticipating Knox Masters.  I LOVED it!  And maybe being a huge college football fan didn’t hurt.
From the first chapter, Frederick provides readers with the very best reason to keep reading…Knox Masters.   The star defensive end and captain of the Western State Warriors runs into a bit of a mystery, the girl that doesn’t fall all over him.  The attraction is immediately apparent and had me wanting to know what the next play would be.
As a Maryland girl, it was fun to see the Big 10 teams mentioned but as an LSU Tigers fan, I might heavy sighed at the mention of the Crimson Tide.  I can’t wait to see what Frederick does next in her Gridiron series.  Sacked was filled with great football and some unexpectedly successful execution that has me believing I’ll enjoy Frederick’s writing for a long time to come.  I wish I could read Sacked all over again for the first time…since that isn’t possible, I was happy to gift a few copies to fellow readers.  I’m looking forward to finding out if Knox and Ellie work for them as much as they did for me.
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Virtual Tour and Review – FIRE ME UP by Rachael Johns

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 FIRE ME UP
Deacons of Bourbon Street #2
Rachael Johns
Releasing Sept 1st, 2015

 

Can a scorching affair with a bohemian beauty tame a motorcycle man with a dark side? Rachael Johns takes the wheel in the sexy series co-written with Megan Crane, Jackie Ashenden, and Maisey Yates.

Travis “Cash” Sinclair values only two things from his days with the Deacons of Bourbon Street: his prized Harley Davidson and the man who gave it to him. But now Priest Lombard is gone, and Cash has inherited the Deacons’ clubhouse—not to mentions its unexpected tenant. She’s exactly the type of woman he tries to avoid: all incense and art, with a sharp tongue that promises trouble. So why does Cash want to push aside those flowing skirts and lose himself between her legs?
Billie Taylor fled a bad marriage to start a new life among the grit and glamour of the French Quarter. She refuses to let another man distract her from her dreams, especially an outlaw biker with nothing to offer except hot sex and an eviction notice. Cash is dangerous, with an untamed streak he tries
desperately to conceal. He drives Billie wild, sending her too close to the edge for her own good. And she won’t fall under his spell—or into his bed—without a fight
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Fucking Ajax wanted to keep the joint, revive the damn club, embrace the old brotherhood, and Leon was all for it. They’d spent all night after the funeral downing bourbon, reliving “fond” memories and making plans, and had gotten progressively more obsessed. Only Travis and Micah could see that the best thing for all of them would be to sell off the buildings Priest had left them and get the fuck back out of town. Tallahassee might seem boring in comparison to New Orleans, but it was safe. This place still set him on edge; it made him feel things he didn’t want to feel. Travis knew the longer he stayed, the more likely he was to lose his shit with someone and end up in jail. Again.

Realizing she was still staring at him, he straightened and then gestured beyond them to the door that led inside. Despite her coolness, her paltry attempts at hostility did nothing to calm the fire rising within him. “Then you can show me to my room,” he told her, indecent suggestion dripping from his tone.

“Excuse me?”

Her outraged expression only wound the coil of heat inside him tighter. He turned and headed over to where he’d dumped his bag on the floor. Billie wasn’t wearing any shoes so he didn’t hear her stalking after him, but he felt her. She was following him and if he played his cards right, he could turn what had been a shitty day into one that would blow both their minds. Leaning over, he hitched his pack over his shoulder and then turned, expecting to come face-to-face with her alluring anger, but almost tripping over a little gray dog instead.

“What the fuck is that?” And where the hell had it come from? He steadied himself against the wall, his fingers closing around the edge of some grotesque fairy painting, and peered down at the thing that had almost resulted in giving him a broken leg. It looked up at him, teeth bared, a low growl emanating from somewhere beneath rolls and rolls of wrinkles. Travis had never been big on small dogs, but he had to give it to this one—it had balls.

Billie smiled that saccharine smile again. “This is Baxter, and I think what he’s trying to say is you don’t have a room here.”

“Well, Baxter.” Travis glared down at the pathetic excuse for a dog. “That’s where you’re wrong. In case you misunderstood before, Billie,” he said, looking back to her, “I’m the new owner of this building. And, as it happens, I need a place to stay for a few weeks. Maybe longer.”

“That may be,” Billie said, standing her ground, although he noted a quiver in her voice, “but I already live here, so you’ll have to find somewhere else.”

“I don’t think so.” He shook his head and made to move past Billie and Baxter.

She sidestepped so that she was in his way and Baxter bared his teeth even more, his growl growing deeper. “If you are my new landlord,” Billie said, her tone filled with disgust, “then you’d know I have rights as the tenant. You need to give me notice for an inspection and you definitely can’t just move in.”

“Sweetheart.” He leaned forward so he was invading her personal space. She smelled sweet, of some kind of strawberry shampoo or something that made his muscles tighten, but he ignored it. “No one tells me what the fuck to do. And if you can afford a lawyer, then you’re not paying us enough rent.”

“I . . . I . . .” Billie blinked, and her tits heaved up and down as she searched for more words.

He made no apology for looking, waited a beat, and when it seemed she didn’t have anything to add he tossed her one final question. “Can you afford a lawyer?”

Her shoulders slumped and she shook her head.

He smirked his victory. “In that case, you, me and Baxter are roommates.

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Fire Me Up is the second in the Deacons of Bourbon Street series.  I love picking up a story set in one of my favorite cities so I was excited to read Rachael John’s  installment in the MC series.

The sparks light immediately and the chemistry and banter hooked me in.  I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next with Cash and Billie.  There’s a bit of mystery with the Deacons that will keep me reading the series.  I’m looking forward to reading more about these MC guys in the Big Easy.

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Rachael_JohnsRachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a supermarket owner, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons. She writes contemporary romance for HQN and Carina Press and lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training. Rachael loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her website at www.rachaeljohns.com

 

Great Getaway with INDECISION by Elisabeth Grace

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About INDECISION

Jackie Davenport will try anything once, especially in the bedroom. Anything except falling in love. She lives a carefree existence packed full of fun, but free from emotional entanglements and that’s just how she wants to keep it. When she meets the new police officer in town, she’s unable to deny the connection between them. His over confidence and bullish ways grate on her…still she can’t help but find herself falling into his bed AND falling for him.

Jamie McTavish is man enough to admit that he probably didn’t make the best first impression when he met the 911 Operator. That doesn’t mean there isn’t still sizzling sexual tension between them. He’s a man of action and he’s not content to sit on the sidelines until Jackie works out her issues. But trying to tame this tiger might be too big of a challenge for even him.

Add INDECISION to your Goodreads list here!

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Elisabeth Grace isn’t giving away just one prize in celebration of INDECISION – she’s giving away a ton more! Be sure to keep an eye on Elisabeth Grace’s Facebook page this week for more information about a lot of really cool prizes you can win!

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Be sure to sign up for Elisabeth Grace’s newsletter – she’s releasing a new chapter of BUILT TO LAST every two weeks, which will be available to newsletter subscribers only as she writes it!

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Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+ | Instagram

If you’re US based and you want to receive a text message when Elisabeth has a new book go LIVE, text ROMANCE to 313131!

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Elisabeth Grace makes it easy to keep turning the pages once you open one of her books.  From that first impression, I was wanting to know what was going to happen next between Jackie and Jamie.  I definitely wanted to see how their attraction and chemistry was going to develop.  I loved how their story unfolds and couldn’t help but root for them.

I’m looking forward to catching up on all books Elisabeth Grace and for that next one too.

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An Amazing Journey with SUSTAINED by Emma Chase

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SUSTAINED (The Legal Briefs #2)

Emma Chase

Available now

 

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

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I am absolutely sold on Emma Chase’s guys! I think I have a new favorite…Jake Becker. I might have had a smile on my face for most of the book, maybe even a wicked grin a time or two. I didn’t even mind that I became so engrossed this womanizer’s POV. When he meets Chelsea, he doesn’t realize just how much will change. I loved the six McQuaid nieces and nephews, every one of them. The attraction between Jake and Chelsea probably would have been enough for me to enjoy Sustained. But the relationships that develop between Jake and the McQuaid six vaulted this read to one that I couldn’t put down. And one that had me sad to reach the end.

I cannot wait to read Appealed, the next in Chase’s The Legal Briefs series.

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Virtual Tour and Review – BROKEN PLAY by Samantha Kane

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BROKEN PLAY
Birmingham Rebels #1
Samantha Kane
Releasing Sept 1st, 2015
Perfect for fans of Shayla Black and Lexi Blake, the deeply sensual new Birmingham Rebels series introduces an unforgettable team of chiseled football gods—and the daring, provocative games they play behind closed doors.

Birmingham Rebels offensive linemen Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are inseparable, on and off the field. Cass, the captain with the cowboy swagger, is a loose cannon. Beau, the veteran tight end, is cool under pressure. And ever since they were caught on tape in a steamy threesome, their exploits have fueled more than a few tabloid headlines—and naughty fantasies.

Marian Treadwell knows all about the video. And now that she’s the Rebels’ new assistant offensive coach, she can’t look at Beau and Cass without picturing their hard, naked bodies—with her pressed in between. Marian would like nothing more than to indulge those impulses, but she knows better than to get too close to her players, a bunch of adrenaline-fueled alpha males who don’t always follow the rules.

Just the thought of sharing the gorgeous yet guarded Marian drives Cass wild. At first, Beau isn’t sure she’s right for them . . . and lately, all he desires is a little alone time with Cass to explore their new intimacy. But it’s only a matter of time before Cass breaks through both of their defenses. Because when seduction is the game plan, he always plays to win.
Broken Play is intended for mature audiences.
 
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Excerpt

There were days when you owned the world, and days when the world chewed you up and shat you out. Cass Zielinski, center for the redheaded stepchild of the National Football League, the Birmingham Rebels, had woken up thinking it was going to be the latter. First meeting after the draft, after a dismal second season and their complete and utter failure to make the play-offs, he’d expected some trash talk thrown his way and the offensive-captain patch to get ripped off his jersey. Instead he sat staring at the prettiest coach’s assistant he’d ever met, while the Rebels’ head offensive coach, Mike Richards, gave the traditional “This Is Our Year” opening speech. The speech wasn’t quite polished yet, but there were only four of them at the meeting, so he had time before trying to bullshit the rest of the team.

“Hat.” At the sound of the whispered word, Cass looked over at his best friend, Beau Perez. Beau gestured to the hat on the table. It was sitting right in front of the new assistant, and she couldn’t put her armful of papers down. “Hat,” Beau whispered again.

Cass clumsily yanked the cowboy hat off the table. He grew up in Texas, where people made room for hats on the table when there was nowhere else to put them. “Sorry, ma’am,” he said politely to the new assistant, who was staring at him. Marian, her name was Marian.

She blushed and smiled nervously, then looked away as she set her papers down at last. Damn, she was pretty. She had long, straight blond hair, part of it pulled back in some sort of professional-looking style, leaving the rest to hang down her back. Under the harsh lights, it shone brightly against the dark blue of her suit jacket. She was buttoned up like it was Sunday. He could still tell she was fit, long and lean and athletic. When they’d shaken hands she’d reached his chin in her low-heeled shoes. He was six four, so he guessed she was about five seven. Tall for a woman. She had a light tan to her skin, as if she spent time outdoors, not in a tanning bed. She made him think of those sexy beach-volleyball babes. Mike had told them she’d worked at a small Division III college in the northeast before coming to Birmingham.

Beau pinched his arm and he jerked away, glaring at him. “What?” he mouthed.

Beau wasn’t a captain, but where Cass went, Beau followed. It was part of the deal when they’d signed. Beau gestured toward Mike with his head, frowning.

Beau looked damn scary when he was frowning. He was six-six, with hair so dark it looked black. He had that sort of coppery skin Mexicans had, pretty and soft-looking. Not that Beau looked soft. His face was all angles, his nose broken a time or two, his neck as thick as pretty Marian’s thigh, Cass would bet. Beau’s mouth was fierce and wide, with thin lips, but he had a sharp indent above, making his upper lip bow. Cass jerked his gaze away from Beau’s mouth. Beau was looking at him, exasperated, and rolled his eyes at Cass. He looked like an exotic Hulk, but his brown-gold eyes full of laughter ruined the comparison. Beau got those pretty eyes and skin tone and hair color from his mama. Cass had met her. His daddy was some handsome stranger who had some fun and disappeared. According to Beau’s mom, he’d been tall and rugged, like Beau. Too damn bad he’d walked away. He could have had a son in the NFL.

“Cass? Anything to add?” Mike asked. Cass turned his gaze to the coach, who was standing there, arms crossed, his expression clearly showing he knew Cass hadn’t been paying a damn bit of attention. Mike was in his late forties, and with his short, graying hair he looked every inch the suburban dad who shuttled his kids to football and soccer practice and mowed the lawn every Saturday. In truth he was a workaholic who’d been divorced twice and had no kids. He paid someone else to mow the lawn of the house he barely saw.

“Nope,” Cass said, covering, frowning and nodding his head as if he knew what was going on. “Not right now. I think you said it all. I may have something after we talk.” Nice way to make a good impression on the front office, Cass thought, mentally kicking himself in the butt.

“I’ll just bet you will,” Mike said sarcastically. “You know we drafted a good running back in Tom Kelly,” he went on, getting down to business. “We traded for two second-round picks next season, as well. We’re still building this team.”

They sure as shit were. “Tom was a mediocre player,” Cass said, trying not to grind his teeth as he talked. Beau had told him that pissed people off. “And we got Danny Smith in the trade. We didn’t need two new running backs. We had a chance to grab Taylor Reutsch when he went free agent, instead.”

“Reutsch wasn’t a good fit for this team,” Mike said stiffly. “We discussed this.”

“And I disagreed,” Cass reminded him.

“Marian convinced me Tom’s stats indicated he had more potential than what we saw while he was at Nebraska. Their system didn’t work for him. Ours will. It’s done.” Mike’s tone indicated the topic was dead.

Cass glared across the table at Marian Treadwell. He’d underestimated her, obviously. She was more than a pretty face. And she was messing with his team.

“I’d be glad to go over his stats with you and explain why I encouraged the team to acquire him,” she said with a polite smile. There was nothing weak about her demeanor. He liked that. Liked that she spoke to him like an equal and clearly expected the same from him. Her offer was an olive branch. Cass recognized it. She wanted to stay. Cass had the power to make or break her here. He knew it. She knew it. The whole damn table knew it. But she wasn’t begging.

“Sure,” he said, with a stiff smile and a nod. “That would be good. But Reutsch—”

“Reutsch is a pig,” Mike said, cutting him off with a curl of his lip. “I told you to trust me, Cass. I know what I’m doing.”

“I heard that about Reutsch, as well,” Marian said. “I don’t like to give credence to rumors, but these were too prevalent to ignore. I didn’t feel that, personalitywise, he would fit in here.” She was cautious, but still exuded confidence with each word she spoke. It turned him on. He was surprised by his interest in her because normally he didn’t poach in team territory. But damn, she was going to be hard to resist.

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I love a good, sexy Samantha Kane romance.  I was excited to see that Broken Play was the kickoff to her Birmingham Rebels series.  A sports romance with MMF menage by Kane, you’re sure to get a hot read.  After reading Kane’s Brothers in Arms series, I was looking forward to a contemporary series.  I enjoyed Cass and Beau and Marian.  Broken Play introduces the Rebels and I’m looking forward to reading more in the series.RatingSystem-3

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Samantha Kane lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children, two boys and one girl. With a master’s degree in American history, she spent seven years as a high school history teacher before becoming a full-time writer and mom.
 
 

Virtual Tour and Review – DELAYED PENALTY by Sophia Henry

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DELAYED PENALTY
Pilots Hockey #1
Sophia Henry
Releasing Sept 1st, 2015
She closed her heart long ago. He just wants to open her mind. For fans of Toni Aleo and Sawyer Bennett, the debut of Sophia Henry’s red-hot Detroit Pilots series introduces a hockey team full of complicated men who fight for love.
Auden Berezin is used to losing people: her father, her mother, her first love. Now, just when she believes those childhood wounds are finally healing, she loses something else: the soccer scholarship that was her ticket to college.  Scrambling to earn tuition money, she’s relieved to find a gig translating for a Russian minor-league hockey player—until she realizes that he’s the same dangerously sexy jerk who propositioned her at the bar the night before.
Equal parts muscle and scar tissue, Aleksandr Varenkov knows about trauma. Maybe that’s what draws him to Auden. He also lost his family too young, and he channeled the pain into his passions: first hockey, then vodka and women. But all that seems to just melt away the instant he kisses Auden and feels a jolt of desire as sudden and surprising as a hard check on the ice.
After everything she’s been through, Auden can’t bring herself to trust any man, let alone a hot-headed puck jockey with a bad reputation. Aleksandr just hopes she’ll give him a chance—long enough to prove he’s finally met the one who makes him want to change.
 
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Excerpt

“Hey,” someone said, tapping my shoulder. I spun around to see the karaoke host.

“Greg.” He thrust his hand at me.

“Auden,” I said, taking his outstretched palm. “Thanks for switching songs.”

“Tina Turner didn’t seem like your thing.” Greg might’ve had a cute face hiding under his beard. Still not my type, though. Too monotone. Even the plaid flannel hanging off his lean frame was brown. His style screamed Eddie Vedder, nineties grunge rather than today’s hipster cool.

“Oh, I can rock some Tina. Just wasn’t feeling ‘Proud Mary’ without my backup dancers.” I pointed to Kristen and Lacy.

Greg laughed. “Need a drink?”

“I already have—” I searched the table for my drink, spotting it in Lacy’s boyfriend’s hand. “Actually, I do.”

Ignoring Kristen’s megawatt smile, I followed Greg to the bar. She better not have set him on me to boost my spirits. She knew he wasn’t my type. Douche bags like Crazy Hair and the guys he’d flipped off got my motor running. Douche bags and I were on the same wavelength. Neither of us wanted more than the other could offer.

Greg moved to the side so I could order. “Club soda with three limes, please.”

“And a Steam Whistle.” Greg pointed to a beer I didn’t recognize in the stand-up cooler behind the bar. The bartender nodded and extracted a bottle.

“You’ve got a killer voice,” Greg said.

“Well, there’re no Tina Turner–type vocals in that song.” I blew off his compliment.

“No, but it’s hard to sing that soft and keep your key.” His mouth curved into a wide, kind smile. “You from around here?”

“Detroit,” I said, nodding. “But I go to Central State.”

“Are you kidding?”

I shook my head and picked up the drink the bartender had placed in front of me.

“So do I. That’s crazy.” Greg held up a few bills, waiting until the bartender saw the money before setting it on the bar. “My roommates and I have a band and we’re looking for a singer right now.”

“You’re in a band? That’s awesome,” I said, focused on mashing the limes in my drink. I raised my glass to him. “Thank you, by the way.”

“No problem.” He picked at the label on his beer bottle. “Any interest?”

“In what?” I asked, looking at Greg over the top of my cup.

“Singing for our band.” He didn’t even blink.

“You’re joking, right?” I laughed. Asking me to sing in his band after hearing one karaoke song was hilarious. I’d never taken voice lessons, and as far as I knew, I didn’t have any significant talent.

“Why would I joke?” He didn’t seem to understand my laughter at all.

“I just sang in public for the first time and you’re asking me if I want to be in a band?” Being the center of attention for five minutes in a karaoke bar was one thing; standing on stage in front of people expecting a show was a different beast.

“So that explains your lack of stage presence,” Greg said as he ran his fingers over his beard, looking more English professor than rocker.

“Quite the charmer, aren’t you, G-man?” I took a drink. I knew I didn’t have stage presence. Hell, I didn’t make eye contact.

“Stage presence can be learned,” he said. “You have a great voice and a hot look.”

Once I realized he wasn’t kidding, I was speechless.

Greg continued peeling the label off his beer bottle as he waited for me to speak. “It’s nothing crazy. We just play bars in Bridgeland, well, mostly at Wreckage.” He chuckled.

“Yeah, I don’t think so, but thanks for asking.” I forced a half smile.

“Come on,” he pleaded. “Just try out. If you like it, great.”

“I don’t think I could even learn to be comfortable on stage.”

“I can get you over your stage fright.” Greg’s voice was molasses, thick and smooth; a contrast to his grunge-hipster vibe. The lights flickering above gave his previously plain eyes a sensuous sparkle as he waited for my answer.

Why did I have to be a sucker for sparkles? “Okay, sure.” My head bobbed in reluctant consent. “The worst that could happen is I fail miserably, right?”

“You might surprise me.” Greg winked. He searched the bar before grabbing a pen lying on an abandoned credit card receipt. Then he flipped over a coaster advertising some brewing company’s winter ale and began scribbling. “Here’s my number. Call me next week for an audition.”

“This is crazy.” I took the coaster from him.

“What do you have to lose?” His eyes were solid and intense as he stared at me.

Nothing. I’d long since lost it all. But he didn’t know that.

Without another word, he walked away, leaving me alone at the bar, perplexed by the interaction.

“What did Eddie Vedder’s son have to say?” Kristen asked, nodding toward Greg, who had resumed his place behind the karaoke machine. Of course Kristen would think of a similar description for his look. It was one of the many reasons we’d been calling each other the “other half” since the first day of freshman year when we were assigned the same dorm room.

“He wants to me to try out for his band,” I said, flashing her the coaster. “Which is stupid.”

“No it isn’t.” She snatched my hand and squeezed. “You’re really good.”

I shook my head. Right now I was high from my time on stage and the applause and compliments I’d received, but as soon as I got home and thought about the unexpected conclusion to my soccer career again, the euphoria would abandon me. Just like my team had.

Just like everyone does.

“You’re a popular lady tonight. The Mohawked hottie stared at you the entire time you talked to karaoke guy.”

I followed Kristen’s gaze to the table where Crazy Hair and his friends were sitting. Though the group seemed to be leaving, downing their drinks and grabbing their coats, Crazy Hair stood still, his penetrating eyes on me.

I had a feeling he was the type of guy who would say anything to get me to take him home, and then slink away without a word the next morning. Though drinking had usually been involved when that had happened, I couldn’t even blame the alcohol. I fell for guys like him because I needed the attention. I needed to feel like someone wanted me. I needed to pretend that someone might be able to love me.

The way parents should have loved me.

It was an impossible void to fill.

Crazy Hair slid one of the muscular arms I’d admired earlier around the shoulders of the girl with the tight red sweater. She had big everything. Big hair, big boobs, big smile. Still holding my gaze, he said something against her ear, and she threw her head back in a laugh revealing big white teeth. Moving his hand to her back, he allowed her to go first as they followed the rest of the group toward the door.

Which reminded me of another definition of smoke show: to dominate, crush, or otherwise humiliate the opposition.

Mission accomplished.

Douche.

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I have a new favorite series!  It is always hard to know what to expect when picking up the first in a new series.  I’m a hockey romance fan and couldn’t wait to get caught up in a new team.

I loved the chemistry and banter between Auden and Aleksandr.  With a few unexpected twists, I couldn’t put Delayed Penalty down until I read the last page.  I think I would have preferred dual point of view for Auden and Aleksandr’s story.  There were moments that reading his POV would have given the reader just a little bit more.

I can’t wait for the next book in the Pilots Hockey series.  I’m wondering who we’ll get to read next.

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Sophia Henry, a proud Detroit native, fell in love with reading, writing, and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to North Carolina, where she spends her time writing books featuring hockey-playing heroes, chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts with her husband.

 
 

Blog Tour and Review – COWBOY VALENTINE by Mia Hopkins

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Cowboy Valentine Synopsis:

Forget chocolate and flowers. This homegrown honey is all the sweetness he craves.

Small-town life is nothing but a waiting room for eighteen-year-old honor student Corazón Gomez. Work and school leave little time for love, but with a full-ride Ivy League scholarship and a one-way ticket out of the boondocks, who needs it?

The answer appears on Valentine’s Day when her old cowboy crush ambles into the ice cream parlor where she works, inviting her to go on a late-night ride in his truck. For the first time she wavers between staying on the straight and narrow, and going off-road with the handsome heartbreaker.

After four years working on ranches all over the country, Caleb MacKinnon is back on the family farm helping out his mom and brothers while his father fights cancer. The one bright spot: smart, funny, and wickedly sexy Cora.

From the start, they both know this blazing-hot love affair can’t last. But when autumn comes and Cora has to leave for the East Coast, Caleb must find a solution to keep himself—and his heart—from falling apart.

Warning: Contains hard, cherry-poppin’ sex in a pickup truck and a cowboy charmer who talks dirty in two languages.

Kindle  **  Barnes and Noble  **  Samhain  **  Books-A-Million  **  Kobo

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Mia Hopkins is an author I can wait to read again.  Cowboy Valentine makes for a quick, sweet and steamy hot read.  From the beginning, the chemistry between Cora and Caleb is hot and stays hot.  While the sexy scenes keep the pages turning, I would have loved more of their relationship development.  I loved that we see the hero, Caleb, vulnerable the default is usually much different.

I’m looking forward to reading the next Mia Hopkins romance.  I thoroughly enjoyed Cowboy Valentine and couldn’t believe when I reach that last page.

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Mia Hopkins Bio:

HEADSHOT (1)Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends.

When she’s not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good “teacher voice” and “teacher stare.” She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.

Website  **  Twitter  **  Facebook  **  Pinterest  **  Google+

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Great Getaway with BECAUSE OF SYDNEY by T.A. Foster

 

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BECAUSE OF SYDNEY

TA FOSTER

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Determined to establish a new life far from the ghosts of her past, twenty-two year old Sydney Paige is willing to try anything to launch her reporting career and quiet the painful memories of her family back home.

Money-driven Mason Lachlan knows exactly what he wants in life and how to get it. Nothing stands in the way of the successful millionaire’s next deal, not even the deeply-buried anguish he feels from being abandoned by his father and tucked away as a dark family secret.

When Sydney must report the biggest land deal to hit South Padre in years, Mason becomes the focus of her story. Problems surface when their undeniable attraction for each other compromises everything they both have worked for.

Can love exist when bottom lines and deadlines collide?

This is a standalone Contemporary Romance, there is NO cliffhanger!

Amazon  **  Barnes and Noble  **  Smashwords  **  Add it on Goodreads

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I loved that we get Mason Lachlan’s story with Because of Sydney.  After meeting him in Foster’s Kissing Eden series, I wanted to know more.

With a setting in South Padre, Mason and Sydney’s story makes for an easy, fun, and sweet romance.  The match between the two was not at all what I expected, but in no way a disappointment.  Their chemistry sparks and had me rooting for them.

I’ve become a T.A. Foster fan and can’t wait to see what comes next.

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Virtual Tour and Review – HER LUCKY COWBOY by Jennifer Ryan

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HER LUCKY COWBOY
Montana Men #3
Jennifer Ryan
Releasing Aug 25th
Avon

Champion rodeo rider Dane Bowden is eight seconds from winning under the Vegas lights, one last hurrah before reluctantly returning to his family’s Montana ranch. But his bull has other plans. When Dane wakes up, he’s sure he’s died and gone to heaven . . . because the doctor who comes to his aid is the same girl who saved his life and disappeared years ago.

Bell would do anything for Dane. He’s the fantasy that always kept her going. A child genius hidden away by her family, Bell was the secret no one talked about, the girl no one wanted. Despite finding success as a young surgeon, she’s still the awkward girl who’s never had a boyfriend. So why does Dane, a notorious playboy and sizzling-hot cowboy, insist on taking her on a real date?

Bell is the only woman in Dane’s heart. When a rodeo rivalry turns deadly, it’s his turn to save Bell’s life—because he sure as hell won’t lose his guardian angel again.

 
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Excerpt 

Bowden Ranch, Montana

Eleven years ago

Dane was flying.

One moment he was riding his horse across the far reaches of his family’s land, the next his horse reared up and kicked his massive hooves in the air, spooked by some unseen threat. Dane let loose the reins and fell sideways, hoping the horse didn’t trample him. Dane’s left foot hit the ground first, his ankle twisting painfully as his body slammed into the packed dirt and weeds. His shoulder hit next, breaking most of his upper body’s fall, but his head smashed into a jagged rock. Pain exploded through his head.

Hombre galloped away. Alone now, Dane rolled and lay flat on his back, staring up at the canopy of tree branches overhead. The sound of the rushing river next to him added to the thrashing heartbeat in his ears. He rubbed his hands over his eyes, hoping that cleared his spotty double vision. His left hand came away wet and sticky with blood from the gash swelling on his head.

He closed his eyes tight, his hands falling limp on his stomach. When he opened them moments later, he stared into a pair of dazzling blue eyes. The young girl’s dark hair hung down, covering most of her pale face as she stared at him. The most beautiful girl he’d ever seen.

“Are you okay?”

Such a soft, sweet voice. Where had she come from? No one lived out here. He liked the peace and quiet. The solitude.

“I must be dead. You’re an angel.”

Those ethereal eyes went wide with surprise. “Trust me, I’m no angel.” She filled those soft words with as much shock and disbelief as showed on her pretty face.

Calling her a liar probably wouldn’t make her like him.

She crouched, opened her hand, and set a long blue feather on his chest before touching her fingers to his aching head. The sting made him hiss in pain. Definitely not dead. Which meant she was real. Despite his prone body and inability to think clearly, one thing came through loud and clear. He wanted to know this girl.

“I need to stop this bleeding.”

He must have torn his T-shirt when he hit the ground. She ripped a piece free, walked to the edge of the river, and dipped it in the icy water. His vision blurred. He closed his eyes and moaned when she pressed the cold cloth to his head.

“There now. You’ll be okay.”

At fifteen, the last thing he wanted to do was ask for help, but his head swam and his ankle throbbed in time to his heart and the headache pounding in his head. No way he’d get home on his own. “My ankle hurts. Please, you have to get my dad. Find one of my brothers.”

Her soft hand settled on his chest over his heart. “You’ll be okay.” She snatched it back, like touching him burned her. He missed the sweet contact.

She reached for his foot and carefully pulled off his boot. He tried to bite back the groan, but it burst from his tight lips when the pain shot up his leg. Not cool to look like a wuss in front of a pretty girl, but with his head busted open, he was in bad shape.

She ripped his shirt again and used the long strip to bind his ankle. It actually felt better.

She sat beside him, her hands clenched in her lap. “I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t have touched you. I’m sorry.”

He didn’t understand her distress. He tried to sit up and comfort her, but he fell back to the ground, his eyes closing as blackness swamped his dizzy mind.

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I love when there’s a backstory in a romance.  Bell is the girl that saved Dane and then disappeared.  When she reappears in Dane’s life, this second saving kept me turning the pages.  Their story unfolds slowly but in a way that keeps you invested and needing to know what is going to happen.

Along with a bit of danger and suspense, Her Lucky Cowboy is a sweet cowboy romance that will tug your emotions.  I am loving Ryan’s Montana Men and can’t for for the next.

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Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.
 

Blog Tour and Review – TOGETHER WE HEAL by Chelsea M. Cameron

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Book Blurb:

Trish Grant is not a romantic. Okay, so she may read her share of romance novels, but that doesn’t mean she thinks that some fellow with a six pack is going to ride up on a horse and sweep her (literally) off her feet. Romance like that just isn’t for her. It belongs on the page.

Max Jackson noticed Trish at his cousin’s funeral, of all places. She was hard to miss with her citrus-colored hair, violet contacts and fiery attitude.

Trish was just as captivated by Max. He makes her laugh, which is rare, and it doesn’t hurt that he rocks blue hair and the most killer smirk that drives her crazy. Max is there for her during a rough time and even if she wanted to, she can’t shake him.

There are things about Trish that Max doesn’t know, and she’s not going to tell him. She hasn’t told anyone and doesn’t plan on it, thank you very much. But when Trish’s life is ripped apart by a dark piece of her past, will she let Max in? Or will she give up her potential fairytale to protect her already-scarred heart from further damage?

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TOGETHER WE HEAL – BUY LINKS:

.99¢ FOR RELEASE WEEK ONLY!

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 Together W Heal is the fourth book in the Rise & Fall series.  We get Trish and Max’s story. Yay!  I love that we are dropped right in the middle of their relationship.  That there’s an existing relationship and we get to see the development from that moment is refreshing.
I loved Max!  And I liked Trish enough.  Yes, just enough that I’d say Together We Heal was better than a good read.  Cameron delivers the angst in a package named Trish.  While appreciating a damaged character like Trish, I may have wanted to see her opening up a little bit more, a little bit earlier.  Max!  He’s a favorite.  I loved that he didn’t give up on Trish and that he was able to really see her.
I’ve enjoyed Cameron’s Rise & Fall series and would love to read more.
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 Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car, tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman) and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

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