Review & Excerpt Tour: ELI’S TRIUMPH: A Reapers MC Novella by Joanna Wylde

 

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ELI’S TRIUMPH: A Reapers MC Novella by Joanna Wylde

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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B2A81005-88F7-44B9-86CC-B2ED89725860From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Joanna Wylde comes a new story in her Reapers MC series…

Peaches Taylor spent the last seven years slinging drinks and dodging drunks at the Starkwood Saloon. Some might call it a dead end job, but to her it was an investment—another six months, and she’d have enough money to buy the place.

Life would’ve been perfect if Eli hadn’t come home.

Eli King is ready to settle down. He stood by his brothers when they needed him, paying the price for their freedom with his own. Now it’s time to claim his reward—the Starkwood Saloon. He’s got the cash to buy the bar, the skills to run it, and just one person standing between him and his dream: Peaches Taylor.

She’s been driving him crazy since they were kids, and not in the good way. When she was six, she shoved a spider down his pants. When he was ten, he locked her in a closet overnight. Then she hot-wired his car at seventeen, and things got ugly…

They’re adults now, and the Starkwood isn’t a toy to fight over—it’s the hill they’ll die on. No prisoners. No compromises. No mercy.

Peaches Taylor and Eli King are going to war.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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Excerpt

Id earned this bar, paid for it with five long years in prison, holding my tongue and taking the punishment for a crime that wasnt mine. Gus owed me for that alone. The fact that hed get a cash payout was just a bonus at this point.

No reason for me to feel guilty. And that was the truth.

Still, I could see how much this sucked for Peaches. Shed put in time, too. Time and good faith. Riling her up was a blast, but Id never wanted her hurt. Not for real. I cared about the girl. Cared about her a lot.

Too much.

Gus had been weak. I loved my uncle, but hed f*cked this one up big time. She deserved better from him—and from me. I should be in there with them. Decision made, I reached for the door.

Get out! Get the f*ck out of here, you lying bastard!

The door burst open, and Gus stumbled out, walking backward. I caught his arm and steadied him as the slabslammed shut again. I heard the heavy bolt sliding shut, locking us out. My uncle looked at me, then sighed.

Actually went better than I expected.

Glad I dont have to deal with hiding a body.

Not yet, he replied, then sighed again. Shes not a happy camper. Probably shouldve warned her that our plans might change once you got out.

Why didnt you? Wouldve been a lot easier on her.

Guess I didnt want her turning on me,”my uncle admitted, surprising me with his honesty. I knew shed hate me for it. God, but I miss her mom. Saw her in town a couple weeks ago. Its been twenty years, and Glory still wont even look at me.

Raw pain filled his eyes. I cleared my throat, uncomfortable. F*ck. I didnt like this. Didnt like my girl hurting, and didnt like having to see my uncle like this.

Didnt like knowing I was part of it.

A loud thump came from behind the door, breaking the moment. There was a crash, and then some kind of tearing noise. Shit.

Some women pouted when they got upset.

Others cried.

Peaches had always skipped that part, moving straight to revenge. Another crash. This one so hard that the door rattled. I pictured her all pissed off in there, those glorious t*ts of hers straining against the front of her low-cut black StarkwoodSaloon shirt. My c*ck twitched. Christ, she was hot when she got angry.

Her cheeks would be flushed, and shed run her fingers through that wild, dark hair of hers in frustration.

Total sex hair.

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Black and white image of loving couple. Going to kiss.

Cori 4.5 Stars

Loved Eli! ELI’S TRIUMPH is a novella in Joanna Wylde’s Reaper MC Series, but it can be read as a standalone. I think the main characters are new because I don’t remember Eli in the other books. Some of the Reapers appear in the novella though. If you haven’t read the series you can try this one and if you like it I’d recommend starting at the beginning and reading it in order. The Reapers are addictive! This novella was a hot romance that captured and held my attention from start to finish. I highly recommend this entire series for readers looking for a hot biker series.

*Review copy provided by the Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle $2.99 | Amazon Paperback $8.99

Amazon Series Link

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✿Reapers Motorcycle Club Series by Joanna Wylde✿
✦#1: Reaper’s PropertyAmazon
✦#2: Reaper’s LegacyAmazon
✦#3: Devil’s GameAmazon | Review 5 Stars
✦#4: Reaper’s StandAmazon | Review 5 Stars
Silver Bastard (Silver Valley) ➢ Amazon | Review 5 Stars
✦#5: Reaper’s Fall Amazon | Review 5 Stars
✦#6: Reaper’s FireAmazon | Review 5 Stars
Shade’s Lady AmazonReview 5 Stars
Rome’s Chance Amazon | Review 5 Stars

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Joanna Wylde started her writing career in journalism, working in two daily newspapers as both a reporter and editor. Her career has included many different jobs, from managing a homeless shelter to running her own freelance writing business, where she took on projects ranging from fundraising to ghostwriting for academics. During 2012 she got her first Kindle reader as a gift and discovered the indie writing revolution taking place online. Not long afterward she started cutting back her client list to work on Reaper’s Property, her breakout book. It was published in January 2013, marking the beginning of a new career writing fiction.

Joanna lives in the mountains of northern Idaho with her family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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 Check out this Guest Post from Joanna Wylde:

 ✦S.I.L.V.E.R. Bastard Blog Tour – V is for Villain Guest Post from Joanna Wylde http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-2hk

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Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: BETTER THAN ME by Kimberly Kincaid

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BETTER THAN ME (Remington Medical Series Book 2) by Kimberly Kincaid

Publication Date: May 7, 2019 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

341C1E29-F7D2-4533-BFF2-5E104E6347EERemington’s most notoriously single,
notoriously sexy
surgeon
is about to fall for the one woman
he can’t have

Did I mention that she’s
A) his best friend
B) immune to his panty-melting charm, and
C) sleeping on his couch for the next six weeks?

But Jonah’s not made for commitment,
and a good man is the one thing Natalie deserves.
Not someone who can only offer up
a couple of sizzling hot, no-strings-attached nights
of pure pleasure.

Unless that’s what she wants.

Because Jonah wants her. And with each
moment they spend working together—
living together
the harder it is to resist temptation.

And even harder to resist the fall that
might break them both…

A steamy medical contemporary romance from USA Today best-selling author Kimberly Kincaid. Watch this cocky hero fall head over scalpel for his sweet and sexy BFF. Full-length standalone story with action in the emergency room and the bedroom, and a sweet-and-sexy happily ever after.

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Donna 5 Stars

I love Kimberly Kincaid’s books, but this has to be my favorite. Natalie and Jonah were easy to like, their interaction was effortless and nicely written. One of my favorite parts of this series, is the camaraderie amongst their friends and colleagues. It’s realistic and fun, pulling me into their world so that I want to stay. I have come to care about them all and how they deal with each other.

Sometimes a friends-to-lovers story falls flat for me. NOT this one. Natalie and Jonah moved smoothly from friends to smoking hot lovers. It is one of the most romantic sexually charged books I’ve read in a long time. Now I believe I need a little Remington Medical after-glow time. I cannot wait for the next one, the teaser has me quite anxious.

*Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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Excerpt

“Come on, Jonah. You and I are just friends, and my living with you would only be temporary. I’m neat and fairly low-maintenance, and I really can cook like a boss. I know you like your space.” It was a euphemism, and if the smile poking at the corners of her lips was anything to go by, Natalie knew it as well as Jonah did. He was a freaking island, and it wasn’t by accident. “So I can totally stay out of your hair if you want me to. But please.” In a blink, her smile disappeared. “I’m begging you. Don’t make me stay with my parents.”

Jonah’s nice-guy propensity came out of hiding to pick a fight with his defenses, both of them quickening his pulse. His defenses didn’t fight fair, though, reminding him that he had damn good reasons for not being a long-haul guy.

He opened his mouth to say he was sorry. To tell Natalie, rationally and with good reason, why he just couldn’t let her move in with him for six weeks.

But what came out was, “Okay. You can stay.”

           Christ, his inner nice-guy was a sneaky son of a bitch.

           “Really?” Natalie let out a gasp that quickly slid into an adorable ear-to-ear grin, and okay, Jonah was going to have to do some damage control here.

           “With a couple of stipulations,” he said, holding up his fingers to count them off. “If you want to watch rom coms or that channel that plays all those gooey holiday movies, you’ve got to do it on your iPad.”

Jonah knew from experience that she loved both, and with Christmas only a month away, she’d certainly want to mainline them whenever she had down time. But while happily ever after might be on some people’s agendas—and more power to them as long as they didn’t try to convert him to coupledom—he sure as hell wasn’t going to let it parade across his big screen TV.  

“Come on! Not even It’s a Wonderful Life?” she asked, but he stood firm.

“The only Christmas movie that flies in my apartment is Diehard.”

Her hands moved to her hips. “That is so not a Christmas movie.”  

“Take it or leave it, Kendrick. Yippie-ki-yay is all the holiday cheer you’re going to get out of me.”

Natalie frowned, but didn’t push her luck, so Jonah continued. “I’ll take that you cook, I clean bargain. I don’t mind doing all the dishes, and I wasn’t kidding when I said I can’t cook. No complaining about football or hockey—the Rogues are kicking ass again this year on the ice and I want to watch every game that I can. And for the love of all that it sacred and good, no bras on the shower curtain rod.”

           “Done.”

           His surprise must have stumbled over his face, because she laughed and tacked on, “What? You know I love hockey, too, and after meeting Finn Donnelly over the summer at that fundraiser at The Crooked Angel? I’m all-in for the Rogues. I promised you I’d cook, and the other stuff”—she lifted one shoulder beneath her light pink sweater—“I can stipulate, even if it iskind of grinchy. So, do we have a deal? I can come live with you until this mess is all fixed?”

           Jonah exhaled. “Yes, we have a deal.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Book 1: BACK TO YOU ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle

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About the Author

159C05B3-1F2F-4229-AF40-6FF3D6E9F51FKimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and 2016 and 2015 RWA RITA finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.

Facebook ✯ Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Pinterest ✯ Instagram

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Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: THE CARELESS BOYFRIEND by Erika Kelly

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THE CARELESS BOYFRIEND (The Bad Boyfriend Series, Book 3) by Erika Kelly

Publication Date: April 23, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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4B053A28-5D77-4E57-B0C1-55425C06DD87Gray Bowie broke the bro code: he fell in love with his best friend’s girlfriend.

For years, he hid his feelings…until one terrible night, it all came to a head.

Since her life blew up in high school, Knox Holliday has spent her time honing her skills as a couture wedding dress designer. But, just weeks before her debut, a freak accident wipes out her collection. The culprit: her ex’s former best friend, Gray Bowie.

Gray does everything he can to get her career back on track. As they work together, they find forgiveness and start to stitch together something that looks a lot like love. But, at the very moment they realize they have a chance for something real, her ex comes back to town, bringing opportunities Gray can’t provide.

This time, Gray’s not going to step aside, so he can only hope Knox will hold onto his heart.

She’s his dream, but will he be hers?

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Excerpt

“So, what’s up?” Knox let Gray in, and then went back into the kitchen. “What brings you by?”
“I haven’t checked in for a while.”
“You check in with Amelia and Zach all the time.”
“I want to check in with you.” He watched her carefully.
I miss you. We shouldn’t let that kiss keep us from each other. She should just put it on the table, whisk away the weirdness. “It was a good kiss.”
Color spilled into his cheeks, spreading like a sunburn to his earlobes.
That was really cute. It gave her the courage to go on. “It might’ve been the best kiss I’ve ever had.”
He swallowed hard, making his Adam’s apple jump. “But…?”
“But we can’t cross that line.”
“Right. Because…?”
“Because I like you. I like you better than anybody.” Although Delilah had leapt to the top of her list tonight. “And we work together.”
Need crackled in his eyes. He wanted her.
Would she ever get used to the idea?
His fingertips tapped on the granite. “And I’m leaving soon.” The four simple words sounded like he’d pried them out of his throat with a tire iron. And, yet, he kept that nonchalant stance of his, like nothing mattered.
But she mattered to him. She knew it not just because of what he’d told her that night in the hotel room, but because for the very first time she could read the truth in his eyes and the tension in his body. And it was just so profound that she could see the world through something other than the bully lens. That she could see desire in his eyes and not aggravation or pity or whatever she might have interpreted in the past.
“Gray.” She didn’t even know how to deal with such a volatile cocktail of emotion. Affection for him, because it sank deep that she wasn’t—had never been—a pity project. Attraction, brand new, but potent and alive, like magnetic waves of energy flowing, colliding, sparking between them.
And fear. God, it scared her death to have romantic feelings for a man like Gray.
She could fall so hard for him.
“We’re on totally different paths,” he said.
Love was complicated for her. Her mom hadn’t been reliable. She was the type of person who checked in with her daughter—You good? Texted pictures of her adventures, woke her up in the middle of the night to watch a meteor shower, and routinely stood at the sink to shovel dinner into her mouth before “heading out.” She sought her own pleasures in life, and while she cared about Knox, it was in a detached way.
Other than Robert—and that hadn’t been healthy—Knox hadn’t really loved anyone else.
What she felt for Gray was so much richer, deeper, more profound, because it involved her head and her heart, her body and her soul. It had the power to consume her.
“Right.” He tapped his knuckles on the counter. “So, that’s it. Glad everything’s going well.” He turned abruptly and headed for the door.
Panic fluttered in her chest. She set her mug down. Logically, she was making the right choice. But her heart, God, she was in a panic. She didn’t want him to go, didn’t want this distance between them. She’d meant to bring up the kiss to dispel the weirdness between them but managed to drive him away with a conversation about the impossibility of a relationship between them.
You’re expert level at driving this man away.
Right when his hand closed around the door knob, she gave him what he’d come for. “It was awful. Tonight. Like tumbling back through time and being that girl again.”
He tensed, his whole body hard and alert. He tipped his forehead to the door. “I hate that they did that to you.”
“But you should’ve seen Delilah. She was fierce.”
“Yeah?” Slowly, he turned toward her. “That’s what I heard. I’m glad she was there. Otherwise I’d be in jail right now.” He opened the door and strode out onto the porch.
Don’t leave me. Stay, and we can lay in my bed on our backs, our feet against the wall, sharing a pint of Cookies ‘N Cream ice cream.
He sailed off the steps, landed on the grass, and turned to her, walking backwards. “Can you get away tomorrow?”
Happiness danced all over her skin. “Of course. What for?”
“A little field trip. Be ready at eight.”

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I loved this one! Gray just became my favorite Bowie brother! THE CARELESS BOYFRIEND is the third book in Erika Kelly’s Bad Boyfriend Series. Each book in the series features a Bowie brother and can be read as a stand-alone, but I recommend reading them in order to fully enjoy the series. I devoured Gray and Knox’s story. It was a great second chance romance and I just completely fell head over heels for Gray. Erika Kelly always delivers a great feel-good romance that never disappoints.  I highly recommend Erika Kelly’s books for romance lovers looking for romances with happy ever afters that leave you smiling and wanting more.

*Review copy provided by the Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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✿The Bad Boyfriend Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. THE WORLD’S WORST BOYFRIEND ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. THE HEARTLESS BOYFRIEND ➢ Review 4 Stars | Kindle
✦3. THE CARELESS BOYFRIEND ➢ Kindle

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✿✿✿ ADDITIONAL SERIES ✿✿✿

✿Wild Love Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. Mine For Now ➢ Review 4.5 StarsKindle
✦2. Mine for the Week ➢ Review 4.5 StarsKindle

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✿Rock Star Romance Series by Erika Kelly✿

✦1. You Really Got Me ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. I Want You To Want Me ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦3. Take Me Home Tonight ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦4. More Than a Feeling ➢ Review 5 StarsKindle

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604CAF16-513E-40B9-A008-94B19D5E8AF7Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life—she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: VENGEANCE: A Dark Protectors/Rebels Novella by Rebecca Zanetti

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VENGEANCE: A Dark Protectors/Rebels Novella by Rebecca Zanetti

Publication Date: March 19, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

1B65681B-4337-44EF-9854-61DB348DFD4CFrom New York Times bestselling author, Rebecca Zanetti, comes a new Dark Protectors/Rebels Novella…

Vengeance and revenge are the only forces driving vampire soldier Noah Siosal since losing his brother to an enemy he’s been unable to find. He’s searched every corner of the globe, going through adversaries and piling up bodies until finally getting a lead. The last place he wants to be is in a ridiculous anger management group with people expressing feelings instead of taking action. Until one fragile human, a green-eyed sweetheart being stalked by danger, catches his eye. One touch, and he realizes vengeance can’t be anywhere near her.

Anger and self-preservation are the only motivations Abby Miller needs or wants right now. Falsely accused of attacking the man who’s terrorized her for years, she’s forced as a plea bargain to attend an anger management counseling group with people with some serious rage issues, while learning true self defense on the side. Yet a man, one more primal than any she’s ever met, draws her in a way and into a world deadlier than she’s ever imagined. He offers her protection, but she finds the fight is really for his heart, and she’s ready to battle.

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I loved this novella! Noah and Abby were perfect for each other and their story was a great mix of danger and  suspense with a romantic love story that steamed up the pages. VENGEANCE is part of the Dark Protectors/ Rebels Series, but it can be read as a standalone. If you haven’t read any of the books you can pick this one up and try out the series. I highly recommend the entire series. The Dark Protectors Series is one of my favorite paranormal romance series I read over and over again.

*Review copy provided by Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review.

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Black and white image of loving couple. Going to kiss.

Excerpt

His hand slid around her face and tangled in her hair, tilting her head back farther.
She sighed and kissed him, warming right up. Her eyelids opened to see his intense gaze on her. She jerked, her body stilling.
Holding her gaze, he lifted lightly, his lips barely a whisper from hers. “You okay?”
She nodded, even though his hand in her hair contained her movement. “Yes. You?”
“Yes. You want more?” He held himself still, like one of those racehorses in a stall right before the gate opened.
Her nipples peaked. Fast and hard. More? There was more? She should think. Take a step back. “Yes,” she said. “More.”
He moved faster than humanly possible, ducking his head and claiming her lips. This time, there was no gentleness or coaxing. It was all fire and electricity and demand. Hard and fast, he took her mouth, kissing her in a way that took her completely out of the moment.
The rain and cold disappeared along with her fear and sadness. Only passion and fire remained. She let him guide her, opening her mouth, wanting everything he was giving. Never had she felt this. Her body went from a slow heat to a full-on inferno, her thighs trembling for more of him. For all of him.
Headlights barely caught her attention. Then a door slamming. “What the hell?” bellowed a familiar male voice.
She jumped, fear instantly swamping her. “No.”
Noah released her and turned as Monte stomped toward them, fury morphing into red blotches on a face she’d once thought handsome. “What are you doing?” he yelled, arms swinging, getting too close.
Noah partially turned and punched him right in the mouth. Monte went down, splashing through a mudpuddle, his arms windmilling.
Abby gasped, her body chilling instantly. Horror caught her. Oh God. “What have you done?”

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Buy Links

Kindle $2.99 | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

 

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About the Author

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: YOU HAD ME AT JAGUAR by Terry Spear

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YOU HAD ME AT JAGUAR (Heart of the Shifter Book 1) by Terry Spear

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

F8CDDBB8-FF09-4212-9B90-7923B725285EThey’re not the only ones on the prowl…but they’re the most dangerous…

The United Shifter Force gives jaguar agent Howard Armstrong an impossible task—to protect fierce she-jaguar Valerie Chambers, when the last thing she wants is protecting. They’re going international to take down a killer and he can guard Valerie all day long. But guard his heart? He doesn’t stand a chance.

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3.5 stars Donna

This is a fast paced and action-packed story. It seemed to ramble a bit, but it all tied in toward the end. This book was so close to being a great read, but I never connected to the characters. Perhaps if there was less talking and explaining, and more showing, I would have cared about them more. It was still a suspenseful and sexy romance that kept me reading to see how it all turned out. I enjoyed it.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt

 As soon as he’d seen the striking redhead again, he was reminded of how she’d pinned him down during training. She’d cast him the wickedest smile. With his back on the floor and her on top of him, he couldn’t help smiling back at her. Of course, after her unorthodox move, the testers had made a new rule—no one was to move before the bell rang—because they were afraid they’d have chaos otherwise. When they’d mentioned the new rules, Howard had glanced in Val’s direction, and she’d given him a cat-that-ate-the-mouse look similar to the one he’d given her when she was lying on top of him at the training. He’d smiled back at her, thinking they might really have had a chance to date.
The three branches—the Enforcers, JAG, and Guardians—all had a common mission: deal with jaguar shifters who posed a threat to humans and shifters alike, though each handled different situations. The Guardians focused more on providing aid to injured jaguars, while the JAG went after the rogues, or humans who were dealing in jaguars. The end result—incarceration or death for the rogues—depended on the situation. The Enforcers were sent to terminate murdering jaguars. Period. They didn’t consider jail time for the offender.
Howard and Jillian were now with the USF, a special section of the JAG that took care of jaguars and wolves creating trouble or in trouble. They were currently the only two agents who had a break between cases. Since Howard was a former Enforcer, his boss felt he would be right for the job. The branches worked together when necessary, but usually all the agents involved would be well aware of the situation.
Jillian was mated to Vaughn, a gray wolf SEAL who was busy tracking down a murderous wolf with the two other jaguar team members of the USF. They hadn’t needed Jillian and Howard too.
Jillian got another text, the fourth one in a half hour. She texted back.
Howard didn’t have to guess who it was from. “Vaughn should have taken you with him.”
“This guy that Val is trying to neutralize is supposed to be a lot less violent than the one Vaughn’s team is trying to track down. At least as far as the general population is concerned. Benny’s wife was a different story.”
“I still wish Martin had allowed us to tell Val we are here watching her back.”
“The boss said she doesn’t like working with anyone else. Since many Enforcers work alone, she’d think her boss felt she couldn’t handle the case on her own. How well do you know her?” Jillian asked.
“I’ve been in training with her. Never worked with her though. She’s got some kick-ass moves, and I have to say she’s extremely quick-witted.”
Jillian smiled at him. “Did she ever get the best of you?”
He gave her a dark smile back. “Not that I’d ever admit to.” He ordered another beer. “You know, her mother, Gladys, was the first female Enforcer we had, and she and her mate, Jasper, are still on the force.”
“Wow. They don’t want to leave all the excitement behind?”
“That’s about it. They’re both good people, wanting to right the wrong and deal with the bad guys. And Gladys wanted to prove to her dad, who was an Enforcer, that she could do as good a job as any man. She and her mate have one of the highest success rates for eliminating rogue jaguars. They make a great team. But there has to be a time when Enforcers need to retire, when they might not be as quick to react or as strong as they had once been. Their boss just doesn’t want to force retirement on them. Not while they’ve been so successful, despite being in their golden years.”
“I think it’s great. Better to die doing what you love than live to an old age wishing you were still fighting the good fight.”
He smiled at Jillian. “Easy for you to say. Your kind lives much longer than we do. What a deal.”
“True. You know, Val’s been watching you. And she’s been watching the entrance. Do you think she’s onto us?”
“I doubt it. What would the odds be that Martin would send two of his USF agents to protect an Enforcer in a simple takedown operation without her being informed?”
“Not likely. Do you want to dance?” Jillian grabbed Howard’s hand before he could object.
“Hell, do you want this to get back to Vaughn? As a SEAL wolf, he’d kill me.”
Jillian laughed. “He knows we’re undercover, and this is just for fun. You never dated Val?”
“No. I never dated anyone in the Enforcer branch. How do you know she’s been watching me?” he asked as they danced to the loud beat, the lights flashing all over the dance floor. “Wait. It was when you went to the ladies’ room. That’s why you took so long to return. You were observing her.”
“And others. And you.”
“Me? I wasn’t about to blow our cover. What if she had a meltdown because we’re here to protect her?”
“You did good. You only looked her way five times and only when she was busy ordering a drink, telling a patron to bug off, and looking around at other people at the time. If you had caught her eye though, then what?”
“I would have waved. She knows me. I know her. It would be foolish to pretend I didn’t recognize her.”
They continued to dance to the faster beat, which Howard was glad for. He really didn’t want Vaughn to get any ideas about him and Jillian.
“You ought to ask her to dance. You’re no longer an Enforcer. Then she’ll know we’re not together in a boyfriend/girlfriend way. It might help our mission if it looks like we’re just here to have fun.”
“She’s on a job.”
“Right. But you aren’t supposed to know that. You’d be her cover too, though she wouldn’t realize it.”
“All right. You just don’t want it to get back to your mate that I only danced with you.”
Jillian laughed.
He led her back to the table, but the next dance was a slow dance, and he wasn’t going to ask Val then. Not that he didn’t want to, but he hated being here under false pretenses, as far as Val was concerned. What if they got a little too hot and heavy on the dance floor, as he’d like to with her, and then she learned he was only there on an assignment?
He sat down across from Jillian.
She smiled. “Coward.”
“Next dance.” But it was a slow one too. “Next fast dance,” he clarified.

 

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

5 Copies of YOU HAD ME AT JAGUAR by Terry Spear

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author TERRY SPEAR has written over 35 paranormal romances featuring werewolf and jaguar shapeshifters. In 2008, Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Spring, Texas.

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: DEVIL’S DAUGHTER by Lisa Kleypas

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DEVIL’S DAUGHTER by Lisa Kleypas

Publication Date: February 19, 2019

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

308BFA87-C123-482B-AE1A-93AD90C8A6E0Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself…as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire…not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn’t bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She’s the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past? Only the devil’s daughter knows…

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

“If you have any misguided thoughts about taking me into your bed, you would find it a vastly mediocre experience. I’d be on you like a crazed rabbit, and half a minute later the whole thing would be over. I used to be a proficient lover, but now I’m a burnt-out libertine whose only remaining pleasure is breakfast food. Speaking of which—”
Phoebe reached for him, brought herself up hard against him, and interrupted him with her mouth. West flinched as if scalded and held very still in the manner of a man trying to withstand torture. Undeterred, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him as passionately as she could, touching her tongue to his stiff lips. The feel and taste of him was exhilarating. Suddenly he responded with a primitive grunt and his mouth clamped on hers, wringing sensation from her with demanding pressure. Forcing her lips apart, he searched her with his tongue the way she remembered, and it felt so good, she thought she might faint. A whimper rose from her throat, and he licked and bit gently at the sound and sealed their mouths together in a deep, insatiable kiss that involved his lips, breath, hands, body, soul.
Whatever it might be like to go to bed with this man… it would be anything but mediocre.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

Paperback Copy

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

Winner will be selected Monday (2/25) by 6PM EST. Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway. Paperback was provided to Reading in Pajamas by HarperCollins.

 

~*~*~*~

About the Author

631ECADC-7146-4F41-905B-2019CA7AB86ANew York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She’s a RITA award-winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

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Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: BEYOND RISK by Connie Mann

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BEYOND RISK (Florida Wildlife Warriors, Book 1) by Connie Mann

Publication Date: January 29, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

958f8742-2fbb-40b9-a2f7-3b9a619713c6The river runs wild

Former Fish & Wildlife Officer Charlotte “Charlee” Tanner still carries the guilt of a tragic drowning accident that occurred on her watch. She hoped moving back home to the wilds of central Florida would provide a safe haven-until she learns the death was no accident, and she’s the intended target.

But no wilder than their passion

Tough and decisive, Lieutenant Hunter Boudreau loves his new job as a law enforcement officer with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Charlee is his best friend, so when she comes under fire, he’s not letting her out of his sight until the killer is caught. But Charlee won’t sit by and let anyone else die for her.

As danger closes in and Charlee and Hunter’s attraction threatens to consume them, Charlee has to decide if she can trust Hunter. And to save Charlee, Hunter will have to trust her, too.

~*~*~*~

Donna 5 Stars

This was a whitewater-rapids ride, with danger and suspense around every turn. I loved it. Charlee and Hunter were both believable and relatable, their backstories woven seamlessly into the story so that you became invested in them early on. I’m used to more graphic sex, but I did not miss it in the least, as the romance and physicality of it flowed well with the rest of the story. I could not put it down until I knew for sure who the bad guy was. Some situations may have been a little improbable, but they were sure fun to read. I’m looking forward to book two!

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

~*~*~*~

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Excerpt

While Hunter checked outside, Charlee popped the​second batch of cupcakes in the oven, his words echoing in her mind. Her heart ached for him over the loss of his brother. She would have wrapped him in her arms and told him how sorry she was if she thought he’d allow it.

She, better than most, understood the kind of guilt that gnawed at your heart, the sense of failure when things went wrong that never really went away. She also knew responsibility and the need to protect those you cared about. In that way, she and Hunter were exactly the same.

She shook out her fingers to get the blood flowing after clenching the wooden spoon so tightly. She knew every bit of the frustration churning inside him. But even though she knew things were different with Hunter, he still sounded just like her brothers. Or Rick. She wouldn’t tolerate a man telling her what to do “for her own protection.”

She snorted. Please. Capable woman here. Former cop. No pats on the head or macho swagger, thank you very much.

Hadn’t she followed her instincts and done what needed doing today? It had been exactly the right thing—no matter what he thought—and had shored up her battered confidence.

She allowed herself a little smile at that, then let out a breath. Enough. She had far more important things to think about than her muddled feelings for her maddening, altogether tempting best friend.

A bowl of chocolate fudge frosting sat on the table, and she was using her pastry tube to decorate the first batch of cupcakes when Hunter strode back in, his face void of all expression. She glanced up and went back to what she was doing. She didn’t have time to decipher what he was thinking. She didn’t care, either. At least that’s what she told herself.

He walked up behind her, and she could smell his woodsy scent and the heat that emanated from him. “Look, cher, I know you don’t like it, but I’m trying to protect you—”

He didn’t get any further than that. Without conscious thought, Charlee whirled around and shot half the tube of chocolate frosting right in his face, then calmly went back to her cupcakes. “Spare me the macho crap, Lieutenant. I don’t want to hear it.”

The silence went on for several beats, and Charlee had a moment to wonder if she’d gone too far. But then she heard him start to laugh. She looked up through her lashes and saw him tip his head back and laugh like she’d never heard him laugh, with his whole body.

She tried to keep from smiling, but finally gave up and joined in.

She was so distracted by the pull his laughter stirred in her belly that she yelped in surprise when a big glob of frosting landed on her nose. Followed immediately by another blob on her right check. And then her left. She tried to fight back with her pastry tube, but his assault was relentless, swiping frosting off his own face and transferring it to hers.

“Two can play this game, cher, and I’m betting I’ll win,” he warned, adding another layer to her chin.

“Oh yeah?” She went on the offensive, and they went back and forth, smearing frosting on each other.

Laughing and breathless, Charlee took a step back, stunned at the playfulness from such a serious man. She opened her mouth, trying to decide what to say, when his eyes met hers. Their laughter stilled as they studied each other. Behind the frosting and the laughter still dancing in his eyes, Charlee saw something more. Attraction, certainly. But something that went much deeper, that reached beyond friendship and caring and connected them in ways she was almost afraid to examine too closely.

Almost.

Charlee read the clear invitation in his eyes, and suddenly, her arms were around his neck, his wrapped around her back, and his hard mouth came down on hers. But where she expected aggression, he gave her featherlight kisses and licked the frosting from her lips, a smile on his own.

A shiver shot straight to her core, and she clutched his shoulders as he pulled her flush against him. The bands of muscle under her hands tightened, and she could feel the effect she had on him, but his arms didn’t feel like a cage, the way Rick’s had. No, Hunter was different. Danger clung to him like a second skin, but it was never directed at her. He growled low in his throat as he nuzzled her neck, and Charlee shivered, burrowing closer.

She shifted, giving him access to her neck, and ran her hands over his shoulders, down his arms, loving the way his hard grip made her feel safe even as his roaming hands and woodsy scent tempted her, invited her to move closer, to explore the fire that erupted whenever their skin touched.

When he nudged her lips open, she opened her mouth, welcomed his tongue in to dance with hers, hearts pounding, the kiss sparking and bursting to life until all Charlee felt was heat—his,
hers, theirs. Being in his arms was like nothing she’d ever experienced before.

It felt…right.

~*~*~*~

 

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

5 Copies of BEYOND RISK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

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About the Author

Connie Mann is a licensed boat captain and loves writing romantic suspense stories set in Florida’s small towns and unspoiled wilderness. She is the author of Beyond Risk, (Florida Wildlife Warriors #1), the Safe Harbor series (Tangled Lies, Hidden Threat, Deadly Melody), as well as Angel Falls and Trapped! She has lived in seven different states but this weather wimp has happily called the Ocala area home for more than twenty years.

When she’s not dreaming up plotlines, you’ll find “Captain Connie” on the Silver River, introducing boats full of schoolchildren to their first alligator. She is also passionate about helping women and children in developing countries break the poverty cycle and build a better future for themselves and their families. Besides boating, she and her husband enjoy hanging out with their grown children and extended family and planning their next adventure.

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Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: PLAYING FOR KEEPS by Jill Shalvis

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PLAYING FOR KEEPS: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel by Jill Shalvis

Publication Date: January 22, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

ac776d8f-131e-45f1-b8ed-b7c637268b7eIf you’re planning on falling in love…

When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s yoga pants, he’s a suit. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure…

Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you.

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.

~*~*~*~

Donna 5 Stars

I truly enjoyed this story. It pulled me in on page one, and never let me go. I think a lot of that is the banter and camaraderie of all the players that make me want to move there. Sadie had an interesting past, but she remained relatable and loveable. I fell hard for Caleb. He was all together on the outside, even as he dealt with shadows in his own past. They were both real, making mistakes, knee-jerk reactions to things and yet able to step back and think about it rationally. I liked that…they didn’t belabor the situation, they just moved on after talking it out. It was a sweet romance that stuck with me long after I finished the book.

*Review copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

“Sadie.”
She shook her head.
“Look at me. Please?”
It was the damn please that had her opening her eyes. He’d closed the gap so that if she so much as took a breath, they’d be touching.
So she did just that. She took a deep breath, and then their bodies were up against each other, his warm and hard. Everywhere. “What’s happening?” she whispered.
“I believe you’re deciding between kicking me in the nuts and kissing me.” One side of his mouth curved very slightly as he lifted their still joined hands above her head, against the wall.
“But that last part might just be in my dreams.”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Yes, it’s just in my dreams?”
She meant to say yes again, she really did.
She even opened her mouth to say it, because this was insane, this incredible . . . craving she had for him. It made no sense. Less than no sense, and yet . . .
She went up on tiptoe and touched her mouth to his.

~*~*~*~

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

Paperback Copy

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

Winner will be selected Saturday (1/26) by 6PM EST. Paperback provided by HarperCollins.

~*~*~*~

About the Author

22ef435a-7671-413d-8da9-3eb4413815b2New York Times and USA Today 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 sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: COWBOY WOLF TROUBLE by Kait Ballenger

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COWBOY WOLF TROUBLE (Seven Range Shifters, Book 1) by Kait Ballenger

Publication Date: January 01, 2019 

Genre: Paranormal Romance 

Synopsis

e5b8cb1c-3b21-4acf-98cf-fa4e24cb7756Seven shifter clans call the Montana mountains home.
But a new evil will stop at nothing to tear their world apart.

For centuries, the shifters that roam Big Sky country have honored a pact to keep the peace. Even bad-boy rancher Wes Calhoun, former leader of a renegade pack, has given up his violent ways and sworn loyalty to the Grey Wolves. But his dark past keeps catching up with him…

Human rancher Naomi Evans cares only about saving the ranch that was her father’s legacy. Until a clash with Wes opens up a whole new world—a supernatural world on the verge of war—and Naomi, her ranch, and the sexy cowboy wolf stealing her heart are smack dab in the middle of it.

~*~*~*~

Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed the start to this new shifter series. There was plenty of action, suspense and sexy romance to keep me turning the pages. Wes was the quintessential bad-boy looking for redemption, and Naomi was the strong capable woman putting up with all that came with him. There were a few times when the shifter’s actions/reactions were not consistent with being apex predators, and one or two “too stupid to live” moments for Naomi…but I still enjoyed the story and look forward to the next installment.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Excerpt

Naomi came to on a jolt of energy and fear. Dreaming. She had been dreaming. Closing her eyes again, she slowed her breathing. A gentle sway moved beneath her as she lay on her stomach, her spine curved in an upside-down U. Where the hell was she? Her head throbbed and her thoughts somehow felt fuzzy. Was she on a horse? The oily scent of coat polish permeated her nose, and from the gentle sway it certainly felt like it. But she didn’t trust her disoriented head. Hadn’t she been at home just moments ago? As she attempted to push herself up, a soft tug pulled at her wrists. She shifted until her wrists were in front of her face. Loosely tied rope wrapped around her wrists. Panic flooded her. She scrambled in an attempt to sit up. Immediately, she slipped from where she’d been perched and her back hit the cold mountain ground with a hard thud.
​A nearby male voice cursed.
​The moon above bathed the normally pitch-black forest in pale moonlight. A horse’s hooves leading up into thick muscled legs stood less than a foot away from her; its coat was as dark as the night sky. Equus ferus caballus. A black American mustang, a typically free-roaming species. She scrambled to sitting despite the ache in her shoulders from the fall. It took her all of two seconds to ascertain she’d been riding passed out on the back of the horse. And this horse was decidedly not free-roaming.
​She didn’t think. Jumping to her feet, Naomi darted into the trees. She had to escape. Had to get back to her ranch. Her feet flew over the hard mountain terrain as she ran downhill. Ten yards in a rock caught the toe of her boot and she toppled into the dried autumn leaves. She started to scramble to her feet again.
​And that’s when she saw him, looming in front of her. Her captor.
​He sat on the back of the dark horse, hands clutched in the beast’s mane, those same yellow wolf eyes narrowed in her direction. Thankfully, he was clothed now.
​He rode before her as a man. But his eyes told the true story.
​“Werewolf,” the word fell from her lips.
​“Glad we’ve gotten that out of the way,” he said.
​She jumped at the deep rumble of his voice. His voice was human, but those dangerous yellow eyes…
​He dismounted the horse, and her eyes widened as she took in the full sight of him. Mangy blond hair brushed beneath his chin, wild and unkempt. He stood unnaturally still, wolf eyes ablaze through the darkness. Harsh, brutal features comprised his face. Jagged cheekbones, a bladed nose, an angry slash of a mouth, and a strong jaw lined with a thin layer of coarse blond stubble clenched tight. He watched her with relentless intent. Violent battle scars marred the skin of his chest, highlighting the bloody wound at his shoulder from where her shot grazed him, and the deep slashes of the now removed wolf trap in his forearm only served to make him appear all the deadlier.
​Wild, fierce, virile.
​Dangerous.
​In her work as a biologist, she had developed a brief, flirting fascination with large apex predators. After she’d finished her degree, she’d accepted a brief summer internship at a large cat rescue in northern Florida, where she’d worked with the rehabilitated predators up close. She’d been captivated with the languid way they moved, their ability to become so still in anticipation before they struck or lunged at lesser prey, a trait common among predators across varying species. Being so close to such strength and power had filled her with both excitement and fear. She remembered once observing a cougar crouch in anticipation of a live rabbit that had been released into its cage. The intense, deadly look in its eyes had both thrilled her and terrified her. Making her want to draw closer while also being thankful a cage had stood between them.
​She had no such protection now.
​It was the cold, ferocious intent in his golden wolf eyes that paralyzed her, that held her captive. Even in this form, he was lethal, standing well-over six feet, his body unforgiving muscle and sinew that moved with predatory fluidness.
​Few would have called him handsome. Terrifying seemed more accurate, yet she couldn’t pull her gaze away. She didn’t want to.
​He wore nothing but a pair of loose jeans covered with riding chaps. The combination hung low enough on his hips to serve as a reminder there was nothing underneath. Her eyes followed the trail of blond hair on his muscled abdomen. The material covering him seemed so precariously perched there, that it sent a wave of embarrassed heat straight to her cheeks.
​Slowly, she shifted her legs underneath herself until she crouched over the tree roots. Though she naturally loved the outdoors, having grown up on a ranch, she’d never been a very fast runner. But she had to fight, had to try. She knew these mountains. She could find her way to her ranch, even in the dark. Right? He took one step toward her, and even that small movement was predatory, not fully human.
​And she was his prey.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

 5 Copies of COWBOY WOLF TROUBLE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

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About the Author

ROMANCE AUTHOR, WORLD TRAVELER, ENGLISH PROFESSOR, AND FORMER PROFESSIONAL
BELLYDANCER, Kait Ballenger hated reading when she was a child, because she was horrible at it. Then by chance she picked up the Harry Potter series at the age of eight, fell in love with reading, and never looked back. When she realized she could tell her own stories, the deal was sealed. After stints working as a real vampire (aka a phlebotomist), a bingo caller, and a professional bellydancer, Kait finally decided that her eight-year-old self knew best: Kait’s meant to be a writer…though the jury is still out on being the next J.K Rowling.

When Kait’s not preoccupied with writing captivating paranormal romance, page-turning suspense or love scenes that make even seasoned romance readers blush, she can usually be found spending time with her family or with her nose buried in a good book. She lives in Florida with her husband and two young sons.

And yes, she can still bellydance with the best of them…

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: ‪HOT TARGET COWBOY by June Faver

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HOT TARGET COWBOY (Dark Horse Cowboys Series, Book 2) by June Faver

Publication Date: January 1, 2019

Genre: Western/ Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

442d4b92-aa7d-457c-a034-8bc6aa82f2ebHis loyalty is to his family. But his heart belongs to her.

Eldest son Colt Garrett is the biggest, strongest and steadiest of the Garrett brothers. Colt accepts his responsibilities, knowing his future is tied to the land. Colt has stayed centered—but when he falls in love, he falls hard. He is mesmerized by Misty Dalton, the younger sister of one of his brother’s friends.

Misty Dalton has held together a family plagued with problems since her mother passed away. But when the threats to her family turn deadly, Misty turns to Colt. If anybody wants to hurt Misty, they’re going to have to go through the toughest of the Garrett boys first.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

It was at dinner that Misty announced her intentions of moving back to the Dalton ranch.
Colton could not have been more surprised if she had smacked him in the face.
There was a chorus of disappointment, but Misty seemed to have made up her mind.
Colton was angry. He tried not to show it, but he speared his food and shoveled it into his mouth in silence.
“Do you think it’s safe?” Leah asked, giving voice to his concerns.
Misty shrugged. “I don’t know why it wouldn’t be. Mark and I don’t know anything about the banker’s death or why he wound up there.”
Leah’s brow puckered in a frown. “But what about Joe? Whoever killed him is still out there. As I understand it, the sheriff doesn’t have a lead on the person who shot him.”
“Trust me, Joe’s death is on my mind all the time.” Misty’s lips trembled before she pressed them together in a firm line. “I—I don’t know anything about that, either. I mean…” Her voice dropped to a lower register. “Mark and I weren’t in the loop. Joe didn’t share his thoughts or his activities with us.”
Colton swallowed hard, his food going down like a load of concrete. “Yes, but whoever shot him might not know that. I don’t think you’ll be safe there.”
Her large, dark eyes appraised him, as though wondering at his motives … causing him to wonder what his own motives were. “Well, we can’t keep imposing on the Garrett family hospitality forever. We need to get back home and try to pick-up the pieces.”
Colton stabbed a piece of meat and poked it into his mouth, thus ending his commentary.
Later, he asked Misty to take a walk with him.
She hesitated, but took the hand he offered.
It wasn’t fully dark outside, but the sky was streaked with purples and crimson from the setting sun. Crickets chirped and the smell of damp earth and grass wafted on the light breeze.
Colton tucked her hand in the crook of his arm and laid his hand on top of hers. It always felt so small and soft when compared to his.
“What did you want to talk about?” she asked.
He sucked in a breath and blew it out in a huff. “I’m concerned about you and Mark moving back to your home so soon after all the violence. I wish you would give the sheriff a chance to find out who’s behind the murders of your brother and Mr. Hamilton.”
Misty hung her head, but stayed in step with him as they made a wide circle of the house and outbuildings. “I feel like such a moocher staying here. I appreciate you for taking us in when we were about to be thrown out. I appreciate you even more for all the sweet things you do without even thinking about it.”
He stopped, turning to face her, and lifted her chin. “Misty, honey—you’ve got to know how I feel about you.”
She gazed up at him solemnly. “No, I can honestly say, I don’t have a clue. I think you like me, but maybe you need to spell out your feelings for me.” The silence that followed was like a black vortex sucking him inside.
Colton’s chest tightened as though a steel band was constricting his lungs. He swallowed hard. “Well, I guess you could say I love you.”
She raised her brows. “Guess you could say? What the hell does that mean?”
He grinned. “Damn, you’re a tough woman. I love you. There! Are you satisfied?”
“Well, I don’t know. Why was that so hard to say?”
“Because I’ve never said those words to any other woman before. It’s you. You’re the one I love.” He stroked her cheek with the back of his fingers.
She broke into a wide grin of her own. “Now I’m satisfied.” She slipped both arms around his waist and delivered a fierce hug.
Colt wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight against him. Now she knows. He pressed a kiss against the top of her head, rocking her slightly.
“Oh, Colt. I’ve been hoping you felt that way about me.”
He snorted, indelicately. “Well, if you didn’t know, you were the only one. I’ve been taking heat from Beau and Leah … and my dad.”
She gasped, raising her head. “Your dad?”
“Yeah, everyone knew but you.”
She ducked her head again, but she was grinning. He thought she was blushing, but the diminishing light hid her embarrassment. “So, now what?”
“So now I ask you again, as the man who loves you, please don’t move back to your house until the sheriff has caught whoever murdered your brother and Fred Hamilton.”
“Well, since you’re the man who loves me, I’ll take your concerns very seriously.” She blew out a breath. “Do you suppose we could go talk to the sheriff tomorrow and see if he has anything new to tell us?”
He kissed her forehead and then her nose. “Sure thing. As long as you give him a little time to solve the murders.”
She broke loose with an impudent smile. “Why Colton Garrett. I do believe you like having me around.”
“More than you know.” He gave her a little squeeze. “Now promise to let the sheriff get to the bottom of the violence before you go moving back to your ranch.”
“It depends on what he has to say.”

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About the Author

.June Faver loves Texas, from the Gulf coast to the panhandle, from the Mexican border to the Piney Woods. Her novels embrace the heart and soul of the state and the larger-than-life Texans who romp across her pages. A former teacher and healthcare professional, she lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country. Find her at https://www.junefaver.com/