Review: Outside the Lines by A.R. Barley

Monday, October 31, 2016

Title: Outside the Lines
Author: A.R. Barley
Series: Boundaries, #3
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: October 31st 2016
Find It Here: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:
Falling for the drag queen next door

Mitch Dalton can't stop fantasizing about his sexy and confident drag queen neighbor. He wants to make a move, but he's had a lot less experience with men and isn't sure Chi-Chi would be interested in a guy who's never gone all the way—let alone a widower and struggling single father. And when Mitch's child care falls through, he needs Chi-Chi's help more than he needs a boyfriend.

Chi-Chi Ramirez has his own struggles: getting his degree one class at a time, working too many jobs and performing at a nightclub to make his Broadway dreams come true. Mitch's offer of a nanny position is too good to pass up, even if seeing Mitch every day and not being able to touch him is torture. But when even a simple handshake feels like pure sex, soon touching is all either of them can think about.

A one-night stand, a quick fling—that's all Chi-Chi can give if he's going to leave town for New York City. But once they finally get a taste of each other, what if Mitch wants more?

My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

My Review:
Outside the Lines is the third book of A.R. Barley's Boundaries series.  Each book is a standalone but you see characters from the previous stories.  I've read all 3 books in the series, but I don't think you absolutely need to read them in order to be able to follow this one.  The previous characters don't play a very big role in this story.

I absolutely LOVED Chi-Chi!  He knew exactly who he was and was very proud of it.  Even though he is a drag queen, he is one tough cookie.  He had a rough upbringing and learned to stand up for himself.  Chi-Chi was really adorable with Mitch's kids.  I loved all of the scenes with them all together.

Mitch was a bit of a mess.  He is older than Chi-Chi, but you wouldn't really guess that by how he acts sometimes.  He lost his wife and didn't have any clue what he was doing with his kids.  He seemed a little too clueless to me.  What parent wouldn't have ANY edible food in their house because it slipped their mind?  He also can't seem to get his kids up on time for school...ever.  His son is 11 (i think?) and is more of an adult than he is.  So Chi-Chi enters the picture and automatically plays the "woman in the kitchen" role.  A little irritating, but after a while I let it go.  I also had a big problem with Mitch not being able to call Chi-Chi is boyfriend until the very end of the book.  Not cool.

Overall I liked this one more than the 2nd book and maybe a little more than the first book because I loved Chi-Chi so much. lol!

**  I received an ARC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. **

Find It Here:

Cover Reveal: Buried Secrets by J.C. Valentine

Saturday, October 29, 2016

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Buried Secrets


by J.C. Valentine 

Publication Date: November 29, 2016 

Genres: Adult, New Adult, Mystery, Thriller, YA, Suspense

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Synopsis: How do you live with yourself when you don’t even know who you are?
On a chill October night, a girl goes missing setting the small town of Oakridge on edge. James has spent the last five years running from a past that still haunts him to this day. Now he finds himself thrust back into a life he thought he left behind. Finding out his new home may be haunted and reconnecting with an old friend while being thrust into a murder mystery, James finds himself trying to figure out which end is up while questioning his own sanity. **AUTHOR’S NOTE** Buried Secrets is a New Adult, mystery thriller with very little romance but heavy on the suspense.


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EXCERPT - PROLOGUE

Fall crept in like a burglar while the town slept. It brought with it a chill that felt refreshing after one of the hottest summers on Oakridge record. A slight, sticky fog hung in the air and evidence of Halloween was on nearly every doorstep in the form of carved jack-o-lanterns. Skeletons hung on doors, and festive orange lights draped roofs. Leaves coated the ground, wet and matted to the sidewalks and streets.
James breathed in the cool air that stung his nose just a bit. He loved when school let out at the end of the day. He never could wait to get out of the confines of the small, overcrowded classrooms. Even now he couldn’t fully escape it. Classmates of his walked and ran the same mile stretch he was, laughing and talking about anything and everything. Right now, he knew the junior high girl and her friend from his science class walking a few feet behind him were debating the hotness of Tommy Henderson, the varsity basketball player for Oakridge High. Everyone knew him, and everyone loved him. He was going to take the team to the championships. Probably would graduate and take some college to their championship, too. Something the whole town could be proud of. 
They met a few years ago when James was playing in the woods. AJ found him digging for worms—he’d been on a mission, wanting to teach himself how to fish, to live off the land like the people from ancient times—and he’d offered to help. AJ had run off, leaving James to sit and wonder where he had come from—he hadn’t heard him approach in the first place. He returned cupping a handful of water in his palms. He’d dumped the liquid in the hole James had dug, and moments later, worms began squirming to the surface. 
They became fast friends. James kept their friendship a secret. He wasn’t sure why exactly, except that AJ was his only friend, and he wanted to keep him all for himself. If he told someone, they might want to meet him, then the magic might go away. So they spent all that summer collecting worms and pretending to be hunters in the deep woods behind Oakridge Park. When summer break was over and school was back in session, James was disappointed to find that AJ wasn’t in any of his classes. In fact, he wasn’t in any classes in the school. No one heard of him. 
He finally broke and told his mom and dad about him one evening over dinner, because he was worried about AJ and needed to share him with someone, so he could feel close to him again. Like if he kept him a secret, and didn’t see him, then he wouldn’t be real anymore. It was an odd way to look at it, he knew, but he hadn’t ever had a friend quite like AJ. He was fun and daring and super inventive, and he liked James, flaws and all. 
So when he told his parents about AJ, they were happy for him. His mom said he probably just missed him in the halls. The schools weren’t huge, but they were big enough to lose someone in. His dad said that AJ probably just went to a different school. Maybe in the next town over, since no one knew him here. That settled it for a bit, and the next time James saw AJ, which was at the park just after sunset one evening when James was on his way home from skipping rocks in the small stream in the woods, he asked him about it. AJ had told him that both theories were wrong. He lived a few miles west through the woods and his mom homeschooled him. He said his dad did some sort of factory work in the next town, which was just enough to pay the bills and put food on the table, according to him. It was only then that James realized AJ didn’t wear the best of clothes, and he wasn’t as kempt as James was. But that didn’t make any difference to him. In fact, he felt closer to AJ than ever before. Finally, he had found someone who would never judge him. Someone who could truly understand him. 
So when Mercy Worthington fell into step with him, James’s heart beat a rapid tempo and his stomach turned to knots.
“Hi,” she said in a very delicate, but cheerful voice.
James stared at the ground and muttered a hello, but he couldn’t get up the nerve to really look at her.
“I’m Mercy. You’re James, right? James Clearwater. I think my dad works with yours at old man Jenson’s. He does the proofs, doesn’t he?”
James nodded. His dad worked at Jenson Design Studio where he developed photographs in one of the two darkrooms. His dad had big dreams of one day owning his own studio and becoming a famous photographer. Mercy’s dad was a set designer. James knew everything there was to know about Mercy and her family, and not just because the whole town knew who her family was, but because he paid attention and took notes. James was in love with Mercy Worthington, and had been since the third grade when she’d taken a job behind the lunch counter for a day and handed him a carton of 2% with that big, white smile of hers trained squarely on him. She was a senior at the high school, which made her five years older than James, who was thirteen now and in the seventh grade.
Today, like every day, she was radiant. Her dull blond hair waved gently behind her as the breeze caught it and when he found the nerve to look up at her, he found her green eyes smiling on him. 
He was going to marry her one day.
“I thought so,” she said, grinning. She took in their surroundings. “Do you take this route every day?” He nodded. “I’ve never seen you, and I walk this way every day. How come I’ve never seen you?”
He shrugged. “I dunno.” He felt awkward and short on words. He stuffed his hands in his pockets.
“You don’t talk much, do you?” 
He glanced at her and caught her teasing smile. He smiled back, feeling a little of the tension leave his shoulders. Why was she being so nice to him? A part of him felt like this must be a trick, but when he looked around, he only saw other kids from school walking silently or in small groups or pairs, chatting quietly. Could she really be interested in him? The only kids besides AJ that talked to him were the ones who poked fun of his clothes or his haircut, his slight lisp or the way he tripped over his own feet. She probably just felt sorry for him. He had heard of that before, girls who felt sorry for the underdog and took pity on them. Normally, he would get mad at being a charity case, but right now he couldn’t care less. Someone other than his family knew he existed. Mercy Worthington knew he existed. Suddenly, he didn’t feel like a shadow slinking around in the world unnoticed anymore. 
“So how long have you lived in Oakridge, James?” Mercy asked, as they crossed the street.
“My whole life,” he replied.
She nodded. “Do you have any friends? I never see you with anyone.”
He shrugged. “Some.” He didn’t want to look like too much of a loser.
“What about a girlfriend, do you have one of those?”
He felt himself blush. “No.”
“I know what your dad does for a living. So what does your mom do?”
“She likes to garden, but no one pays her for it,” he said. His dad was old-fashioned and believed that the wife should be home with the kids while the husband went out and provided for the family.
“That’s cool,” she said. “My mom is a painter. Sometimes she sells her art to the museum or to some person with lots of money. She’s pretty successful. I was thinking of painting when I get out of college. What about you? Do you know what you want to do after college?”
Honestly, James wasn’t sure he even wanted to go to college. His dad never pushed the notion, insisting that he wouldn’t amount to much more than a gas-station  attendant anyway. He wanted to be an astronaut when he was little, like most boys that age did, then he switched to a fireman after a class field trip to the fire station in fifth grade. Now, he just wasn’t sure what he wanted. 
“I’m not sure,” he said honestly. “Maybe I’ll just travel across the world for a while and live off the land until I figure it out.” That had been a dream of his and AJ’s, to hitch rides all over the country with nothing but a backpack and a few dollars in their wallet. 
Her face lit up with excitement. “That is so cool that you said that. I always dreamed of seeing the world, but my dad said that education comes first. I will have all the time in the world to do what I want after I get my ducks in a row.”
James wasn’t sure he believed that, but he kept his mouth shut.
Heavy footsteps approached from behind and moments later a big, strong arm wrapped around Mercy’s shoulder. Tommy Henderson had arrived. 
“Hey, babe.” Tightening his grip on her neck, he pulled her in for a sloppy kiss.
“Hey,” she said when she came up for air. “Tommy, this is James. His dad works with my dad. He’s going to travel across the world one day.” She said this with a grin that made James’ stomach flutter a little. 
Tommy sized James up, and James knew he was trying to figure out where he knew him from. James knew him from the many times he “accidentally” knocked his books from his hands, and “inadvertently” tore up his homework. James was afraid if he recognized him, he might have to endure another embarrassing moment involving colorful adjectives and descriptive threats, and he just didn’t want to be made a fool of in front of a girl like Mercy Worthington. 
He hung his head, allowing a few scraggly scraps of hair to shield his eyes.
“Travel the world, huh? Like a hobo or something?” He laughed, his deep, belly rolling chortle that made all the girls weak in the knees. James thought it made him look and sound stupid. “What are you hanging out with this joker for? He’s like two feet tall. I could smash him with my pinkie.”
James felt his finger press down on the crown of his head in demonstration.
“Hey,” Tommy said, putting himself between James and Mercy. “You trying to steal my girlfriend?”
“Stop picking on him, Tommy,” Mercy snapped.
Tommy sneered at James, then his features smoothed, and he turned on a smile for Mercy. “Whatever you say, babe. Just making sure the boy understands there’s no competition. You’re my girl, aren’t you, babe?”
Mercy rolled her eyes. “Of course, Tommy.”
They had come to a fork in the road where James’ house was to the left and Mercy’s to the right. “I’ll see you around, James,” Mercy told him, smiling apologetically.
“Yeah, see ya,” Tommy said, then ruffled James’ hair like he was some little kid.
James watched after them as they turned and walked off. After a few feet, Tommy turned to face James. “And, James.” James raised a questioning brow. “Stay away from my girl.”
Mercy punched Tommy in the side playfully, and he laughed, tugging her closer as they resumed walking. James felt his body begin to shake. He was angry. At that moment, he wanted to beat Tommy Henderson until his arms were too weak to continue. For the first time in his miserable existence, James thought he felt angry enough to kill. 
As the sun set, the day turned bitter cold, and the rain had moved in. It was sheeting down now, and Mercy’s shoes were soaking wet as her feet beat through every puddle. She was running, the rain pouring down her face in rivers, filling her eyes and blinding her to her path. Someone was chasing her. 
She’d decided to walk home after an evening at her boyfriend, Tommy’s, house, and almost as soon as she rounded the first street corner, she felt someone following her. The shadowy figure kept pace for a couple of blocks, then steadily picked up pace, until Mercy broke out running…and so did they. 
She was crossing the park playground now, and she could just make out the hill ahead. Her house was just over that hill, and if she could make it, she could get help. As her feet slipped, trying to find purchase on the soft, mud covered ground, Mercy could feel her muscles begin to cramp and burn with exhaustion. Against her will, she was slowing. When her feet hit the loose bark covering the playground, Mercy did slip. She caught herself with her hands and scrambled to her feet, pushing herself harder until she finally reached the bottom of the hill. There she used her hands, her fingers digging into the grass, and pulled herself up until she could look over and beyond to her house. The lights inside were a warm beacon, and she felt a sudden urgency come over her. 
As she came to her feet, Mercy heard a muffled thud, and glanced over her shoulder. It was a mistake that she wouldn’t live to regret.
The shadow stood before her, and to her surprise, she recognized the dark figure.
“What do you want from me!”
A visual sweep revealed something big and heavy looking in their hand, and with quick precision, the shadow raised its arm high in the air and brought it down hard. A slow trickle of blood broke through her hairline and ran down her forehead, then her face and dripped off her chin. A second blow caused it to grow thicker and run faster and Mercy fell to her knees, then finally her face, where her eyes focused and glazed over and her breaths faded away to nothing. And still the shadow hit her, until all the fury, all the anger subsided.  
Her last vision was that of the warm yellow glow coming from the living room window where her mother and father, sister and brother sat watching the evening news and waiting for her to come walking in the door any moment.
Stooping down, the figure wrapped its cold, wet fingers around Mercy’s ankles and pulled, slipping frequently under the girl’s slight weight as it dragged her lifeless body into the copse of oak trees beyond the playground. Come morning, when the sun broke through the clouds, children would run and play, never knowing the horrors of what happened just a short distance away. 
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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

JC Valentine
J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry. J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors. Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston

Thursday, October 27, 2016


An emotionally charged series.


PULL ME CLOSE
The Panic #1
Sidney Halston
Releasing Oct 25th, 2016
Loveswept


Welcome to Panic, a sultry Miami nightclub where bodies and hearts move to a beat that doesn’t stop at sunrise—the setting for an emotionally charged series from the bestselling author of the Worth the Fight novels.

When Katherine Wilson passes out in the arms of the hottest man she’s ever seen, it’s not because of the lights, the pulsating music, or the crowded dance floor. It’s because she can’t enjoy a night out like a normal person, not with her debilitating anxieties. These panic attacks are going to destroy her life unless she takes control—or gets a helping hand. So after the club’s bad-boy owner personally escorts her home, Katherine feels something urgent and primal awaken inside of her.

Nick Moreno doesn’t need a headache like Katherine. A drug bust has put his father behind bars and forced Nick to take over the daily business of his family’s South Beach nightclub. His head tells him to walk away—but his body has other ideas. Katherine’s vulnerability, her grace and courage, compel him to reach out. And when they kiss, Nick is overcome by desire: to pull her close, and promise that his embrace will always be the safest place on earth.

My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

My Review:
Sidney Halston is one of those authors that I automatically pick up any of her books.  I always end up loving her romances.  I loved her"Worth the Fight" MMA series.  I always find myself pulled towards stories that have characters suffering with mental illness/PTSD, so I knew I had to read this one.

Katherine has been through a very traumatic experience in her life and it has left her with severe anxiety issues and a hand full of phobias.  Because of the phobias and anxiety disorder she has a difficult time trying leave her apartment at all.  I have an anxiety disorder myself (although not nearly as severe as Katherine's), and I thought the way Sidney Halston portrayed her illness felt very real.  I really loved that the author didn't make Katherine "all better" just by meeting a supportive man, and that she had to do a lot of hard work to overcome her fears.  It made it much more realistic and believable.

Nick comes off as a very abrasive and untrusting man when we first "see" him.  Well, I guess he remains cagey for quite a while, but he has good reasons.  His father originally owned the club that Nick and his twin brother own now, but has been arrested because of the illegal activity he was allowing in his business.  Nick and his brother almost got pulled into the mess and Nick's friends all turned their backs on him because they didn't believe in his innocence.  Nicks fiance at the time was a junky and also left him when he needed her most.

As Nick gets to know Katherine, it takes a long time for him to trust her but when he does he is really sweet and tries his best to help her with her anxiety issues.  He challenges her when she needs it, and gives her that extra push.

My only criticism is that I don't think that extra drama was needed towards the end of the book.  I know those types of events happen, but I don't know, it just seemed unnecessary. I felt as if the story was strong enough without it.

**  I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  **


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USA Today bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: "Just Do It"--Nike. And that's exactly what she did.

After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she's not writing, you can find her reading and reading and reading. She's a reader first and a writer second. When she's not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn't have it any other way.



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Excerpt & Review: Tempting Tristan by Melissa Foster

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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Title: Tempting Tristan (A sexy standalone M/M Romance)
Author: Melissa Foster
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: October, 2016

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Synopsis
Tempting Tristan is a stand-alone M/M romance featuring two sexy, hot alphas. Fresh off the heels of yet another bad relationship, Tristan Brewer is taking a break from men to try and figure out where he keeps going wrong. He knows his biggest fault--he leads with his heart, not his head--and that's never going to change. But after several introspective weeks, he's beginning to get a handle on things. That is, until badass heartthrob Alex Wells walks into his bar... Alex has spent eight years in the Army, months in a hospital bed, and far too long hiding his sexual identity. He's guilt-ridden, damaged, pissed off, and up for a Silver Star--for the incident that nearly cost him his life, and kept him from his grandmother's funeral. But all he wants to do is forget his stint with the institution that allows but doesn't necessarily accept, and live the life he's always dreamed of. The chemistry between Tristan and Alex ignites from the moment they meet, and the more time they spend together the hotter the flames become. But the closer Tristan gets, the more Alex's walls go up, and when the two walk onto a military base, Tristan finds out Alex's physical scars aren't the ones that run the deepest. ***

"Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!" New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely "With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!" New York Times Bestseller J. Kenner "Catching Cassidy is laugh out loud funny, heartwarming, sexy, and hands down one of my favorite reads so far this year!" #1 NYT Bestselling Author of The Bet, Rachel Van Dyken HARBORSIDE NIGHTS is a sexy, hot, and evocatively real series of stand-alone romances that follows a group of friends who have known one another for years as "summer" friends, and now come together after college to build their lives. They're tough, edgy, and accepting--most of the time. This series is written in the same loving, raw, and emotional voice readers have come to love by New York Times & USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Melissa Foster with LGBT themes.

Order your copy today!
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Excerpt
We step forward at the same time, and he presses his rough hand to my cheek. “I don’t know what kind of pussies you went out with before, but I wanted to fucking claim you in there.” He slides a hand around my waist, tugging our bodies together. I feel every hard inch of him, and he’s got me so hot I’m sure we’re going to combust. “I’ve spent almost nine years hiding who I am, and I’m not willing to do it anymore,” he says through clenched teeth. “Not here, where I came to start over. Where I came to live on my terms without the goddamn military hanging over my head.” “I have no interest in hiding,” I assure him. “You’re sure? Because I really want to kiss you right now, and I don’t care who sees us.” I respond by pulling his mouth to mine, my break from men long forgotten. We stumble backward, crashing into the railing, fighting for dominance as we did yesterday morning. The passion between us has a life of its own. My hands claw over his ass, up his back. I want to strip him down and take all of him. I want to discover why he’s so rough and learn what about those shadows that are lurking behind his gorgeous eyes. Instead I take, and give, and take more of the angry kisses. When we finally tear our mouths apart, my body’s still reeling, and we both curse under our breaths.

My Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

My Review:
This is the first Melissa Foster book that I've ever read, and I will definitely be reading more from her ASAP.  I loved this one.  Tempting Tristan is the third book in her Harborside Nights series.  Each book can be read as a stand alone, but contains characters from previous stories.  I actually picked up book #1 in the series because I loved this one so much.

Tristan recently single and has decided that he is on a break from men for a while.  He doesn't trust his judgement when it comes to finding the right guy.  He doesn't want a guy that will take adbantage of him or someone who won't give him the happiness he deserves.  He has a habit of leading with his heart and falling easily.

Alex is still healing emotionally from his honorary discharge from the Army.  He was hurt in combat and is very touchy about the scaring he has on his body.  He has spent 8 years in the Army hiding who he was (his sexuality), and now that he is out of the Army he has decided that he is going to live his life and really be "out".  He still has a few hangups with the way the military has made him think and act, but he wants to change.

I LOVED these two together.  Melissa Foster definitely knows how to write steamy scenes.  I can't even decide which of the two MCs were my favorite.  I loved them both.  Alex was so sweet and caring, and Tristan was too.  Tristan helped Alex work through a lot of things and also worked through his own insecurities too.  Can't wait to read more from Melissa Foster.

**  I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  **
 
About The Author
Melissa
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary CafĂ© and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.
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EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Sweetly, Deeply, Absolutely by Kira Archer

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Their fun and games just got extremely complicated.


SWEETLY, DEEPLY, ABSOLUTELY
Sweet Love #3
Kira Archer
Releasing Oct 17th, 2016
Entangled Lovestruck


Hello, Mr. Right...for Now.

With a month off from culinary school, Jenny Boyd has some serious party plans. Especially when the hottest guy in the club literally lands in her lap.  He’s 6’2” of cocky, sexy, man-candy, and just as commitment-phobic as she is. 

She’s definitely off limits…

Graphic designer Jared Crew is shocked when his best friend's sister-in-law doesn’t remember him right away. Luckily, she is more than willing to let him jog her memory, no complications required.

It’s all fun and games...until the condom breaks.

Excerpt:
“So let me draw you, then.”
“What, like pose for you?”
“Yes.”
She hesitated. “Like those?” She pointed at the portraits he had hanging on the wall.
He shrugged. “Any way you’d like to pose.”
“Hmm. Lying naked on a couch like in Titanic?”
He laughed and pulled her in close. “If you were naked on a couch I’m not sure I’d be able to keep my hands on my pencils.”
“Ah, but touching the model wouldn’t be professional, would it?” She ran her hands up his chest and he put his hands over hers, hoping she’d leave them there. He’d missed her touch. Had begun to crave it like an addict going through a withdrawal.
For a moment he thought she might draw him closer. But the moment passed. She dropped her hands and stepped away and he closed his eyes against the near physical pain of it.
“Well, I’m nothing if not professional,” he said quietly.
She didn’t look at him for a moment, but when she did her smile was back in place. “How do you want to draw me?” She raised her gaze to him and held it, her sea green eyes boring into his until he felt like he was drowning in them.
He grabbed his sketch pad and a pencil and held out his hand. “Come with me.”
She cocked an eyebrow at him, but took his hand. He led her out of the studio and down the hall to his bathroom where a big, old fashioned claw tub stood.
“You want to draw me taking a bath?”
He chuckled. “I’d actually love to watch you taking a bath, but I’m not sure how long I could remain on the outside of the tub.”
Her cheeks flushed and it was all he could do not to crush her against him and kiss her until she was moaning in his arms. He took a deep breath to get a little control and led her over to the tub and handed her a big, fluffy towel.
“I want to draw you sitting on the edge, your back to me, bare,” he said, his hand tracing the outline of her body down to where her waist met the swell of her hips, “down to here. With the towel draped over the rest of you.”
She watched him watching her, and then she held out her hand for the towel. He’d meant to turn around, give her privacy to undress. He wasn’t sure why. They’d seen each other naked. Several times. The image of her beautiful body would be ingrained in his mind until the day he died and hopefully long afterwards.
But she didn’t give him the option. She pulled her shirt off over her head. Unbuttoned her jeans and pushed them down her legs until she could step out of them. She stared right at him as she reached behind her to unhook her bra and let it slide off her arms. Her panties followed.
She stood before him, bare, breathtakingly beautiful. Neither one of them moved. His heart jack-hammered in his chest, while his body warred with itself. The desire to touch her, draw her into his arms and hold her there forever, made him ache. But the privilege of standing before such perfection was a moment he’d cherish the rest of his life. He wouldn’t ruin it by making an advance that might drive her away. For now, it was enough. More than enough, to just look and worship the unique beauty before him.
A faint smile touched her lips and she turned to sit on the edge of the tub, arranging the towel beneath her. She leaned forward and turned the faucet on. Within moments, steaming water began to fill the tub.
She glanced at him over her shoulder. “Seems a shame to waste the chance to soak in such a beautiful tub. Since I’m right here.”
Jared smiled and began to draw.
She raised her arms to gather her hair in a bun. A few tendrils escaped to tumble down her back. Absolutely perfect. He sketched quickly, his fingers drawing the lines he longed to touch in person, following the contours of her body.
He finished one sketch and pulled out more paper. She shut off the water and stood, swirling the water about with one foot. He drew her from that angle as well. Long, strong lines. Muscles defined beneath the soft curves of her body. He drew until he couldn’t take it anymore.
And then he put the paper aside and went to her.

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Kira Archer resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kiddos, and far too many animals in the house. She tends to laugh at inappropriate moments, break all the rules she gives her kids (but only when they aren't looking), and would rather be reading a book than doing almost anything else. She has odd, eclectic tastes in just about everything and often lets her imagination run away with her. She loves her romances a little playful, a lot sexy, and always with a happily ever after.



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Review: Just Drive by L.A. Witt

Monday, October 24, 2016

Title: Just Drive
Author: L.A. Witt
Series: Anchor Point
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: November 21st 2016
Find It Here: Goodreads

Synopsis:
For Sean Wright, driving a cab in the tiny Navy town of Anchor Point isn’t an exciting job . . . until he picks up just-dumped Paul Richards. A drive turns into a walk on the pier, which turns into the hottest hookup Sean’s had in ages.

After a long overdue breakup, Paul can’t believe his luck. Of all the drivers, he’s picked up by the gorgeous, gay, and very willing Sean. Younger guys aren’t usually his thing, but Paul can’t resist.

One taste and neither man can get enough . . . right up until they realize that Paul is Sean’s father’s commanding officer and the last man Sean should be involved with.

With two careers on the line, their only option is to back off. It’s not easy, though; the sex and the emotional connection are exactly what both men have been craving for a long time. But Paul has devoted twenty-four years to his career and his dream of making admiral. If he’s caught with Sean, that’s all over. He has to choose—stay the course, or trade it all for the man who drove off with his heart.

My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

My Review:
L.A. Witt is another one of those authors that are on my "auto-buy" list.  I enjoy almost everything that I've read from her.

I absolutely loved the chemistry between the two MCs.  It begins as a one-night stand but both quickly realize that they can't stop with just one night, and then it becomes much more for the both of them.  Even after learning the reasons that they should stay far away from each other they can't keep their hands off of each other.

I really loved that this is an "age-gap" romance and instead of the older guy being the one that is super "toppy" and the voice of reason, it ends up being the younger man.  It seems as if it's always assumed that the older guy is the one that has to take that role and it was refreshing to see the role reversed.  I absolutely LOVED that epilogue!  So so good!

If I had to give one gripe about the book, it would be that I felt as if we learned a lot about Paul's past, but not enough about Sean's.  We find out little things here and there but I wanted a bit more about him.

**  I received this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  **

Find It Here:

Sunday Post

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ and to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received.

I didn't get too many new books this week because I wasn't sure I would be able to keep up now that I have a fulltime job.

I also won't be around for the linkup next weekend because we are going to be out of town visit family.  My husband's grandma passed away and they wanted to get everyone together to release her ashes on Saturday.

A Week In My Life:

This week definitely had it's ups and downs for me.  

The good - I successfully survived my first full week at my new job!  It went pretty well.  There is a ton of new information to learn but I'm sure I will get it soon.  I feel like I've been catching on fast.

Our daughter did really well with her first week of being away from home/me (I've been a stay at home since she was born) since, I started working this week .  She was really excited and kept talking about all the fun she had at my friend's, my mom's, and my father in laws place throughout the week.  Next week she starts daycare, so fingers crossed that she enjoys it.

I've scheduled a giveaway for almost every day this week, because it's my birthday week (my b-day is the 29th, Friday)!  The only day that I forgot to schedule a giveaway was Monday, but be sure to stop by for the others.

The bad - I had one REALLY stressful day at work and thought I was going to have a panic attack afterwards (I have anxiety issues) but I had a much better day at work the next day.

I had the stomach flu.  It was awful. Not going into details. lol

My grandma was in the hospital again.  She has COPD, emphysema, and is on oxygen.  She was having a lot of trouble breathing and they couldn't get her heart-rate down.  She is now home and doing a bit better.

For Review:
Off Base by Annabeth Albert

Bought:
Strong Enough by Cardeno C.

Last Week's Posts: (links take you to my posts)
Love, Christmas Box Set (Release Blitz & Giveaway)
Hooked On Love by Jennie Marts (Review & Giveaway)
Overexposed by Megan Erickson (Review)
Christmas Under A Starlit Sky by Holly Martin (Review)
Alexander's Blood Bride by Lorelei Moone (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Coming Up Next:
Just Drive by L.A. Witt (Review)
Sweetly, Deeply, Absolutely by Kira Archer (Excerpt & Giveaway)
Tempting Tristan (Review & Giveaway)
Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston (Review & Giveaway)
Tempted by a Touch by Kris Rafferty (Excerpt & Giveaway)
Buried Secrets by J.C. Valentine (Cover Reveal & Giveaway)


EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Alexander's Blood Bride by Lorelei Moone

Friday, October 21, 2016

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Alexander’s Blood Bride: A Steamy, BBW Vampire Romance

by Lorelei Moone Vampires of London, #1 Publication Date: October 13, 2016 Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Novella, Romance Alexander's Blood Bride Cover

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Amazon (#FREE with #KindleUnlimited): http://amzn.to/2dYsy9u
Synopsis: Cat has never been a social butterfly. The only reason she even agreed to go to the stupid Halloween party was because her friend and room mate Shelly wanted to attend. When she gets spooked upon almost falling into bed with the host, she’s convinced it was all a big mistake. And what’s worse, now people are stalking her wherever she goes! Alexander Broderick has been hosting his annual Halloween parties for over a century. While his contemporaries use them as an excuse to engage in all kinds of debauchery, his own motives are more benign. He wants to converse, to get a feel for the times they live in through its people. But when Cat walks into his house, he forgets himself and is compelled to seduce her. There’s only one problem: she’s a so-called Blood Bride – a mortal woman whose blood smells so delicious that every vampire in town wants to drain her.
He knows he’s the only one wanting to keep her safe, but can’t act as long as she wants nothing to do with him. And then there’s his own growing hunger to contend with. Can he protect her from the rest of the vampire community, as well as his own lethal cravings?
It’s the ultimate forbidden romance; the love between a mortal and a vampire. What is it that makes flirting with death so utterly tempting? Read on and find out.

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#PREORDER YOUR COPY OF MICHAEL'S SOUL MATE, BOOK #2 IN THE SEXY, STEAMY VAMPIRES OF LONDON SERIES!

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Michael's Soul Mate: A Steamy, BBW Vampire Romance

by Lorelei Moone Vampires of London, #2 Publication Date: November 26, 2016 Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Novella, Romance

#PREORDER:

Amazon (#FREE with #KindleUnlimited): http://amzn.to/2drYuVk
Synopsis: Some vampires have trouble figuring out how they want to spend eternity, but playboy Michael Odell isn’t one of them. He knows exactly what he wants: fine wines and beautiful women fuel his passion and he’s made it his mission to sample as many of either as he can. Fate has other ideas. One night, on his way home, Michael discovers a woman lying face-down in an alley, who is losing the fight to live. There’s only one way of saving her: The Ritual. Little does Michael know that this little act of mercy is going to change his life forever and before long he finds himself falling for the curvy stranger. Anna doesn’t remember how she ended up discarded at death’s door in a dark alley, only that she woke up there. She doesn’t even know her last name. After coming face-to-face with her gorgeous rescuer, she passes out again and finds herself in a lavish mansion with a new lease on eternal life. Who - or more importantly, what - is she now? And the people who tried to kill her - why were they after her? Anna is determined to figure it all out for herself. But before her questions are answered, she has to learn that even in this new immortal existence, it’s good to have friends - and perhaps a lover - by your side.

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ABOUT LORELEI MOONE

Lorelei Moone
Lorelei Moone is an up-and-coming author of paranormal romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.

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