Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: THE ROOKIE by Kimberly Kincaid

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THE ROOKIE by Kimberly Romance

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

75C719E3-4A76-41C5-928F-6AE879168E75Police recruit Xander Matthews wants two things: to help people and to keep his dark and dangerous past in his rearview, where it belongs. He never thought he’d see brash, beautiful A.D.A. Tara Kingston after she tried to prosecute him two years ago.

Yet here she is, smack in the middle of a crime scene and now they have to work together to catch a killer.

Tara prides herself on being tough— after all, she learned the hard way how fleeting life can be. But the closer she gets to Xander the more she wants to open up and let him in. The more she wants everything.

The stakes are high and the passion is hot. But Xander’s secrets run deep and now, their hearts and their lives are on the line…

This is the first story in a brand-new, scorching hot romantic suspense series from Kimberly Kincaid. A shorter version of this story will appear in the Danger and Desire anthology from September 15-25, 2020. This is the extended version, containing bonus scenes and added content. It will be 99 cents for preorder and release week only (until October 13, 2020). Release day is October 6, 2020.

The Intelligence Unit series is a spinoff from Station Seventeen and Remington Medical. Xander first appears in DOWN DEEP. All of Kimberly’s romances stand alone.

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Donna 5 Stars

There are times that I worry about spin-off series, that they would somehow lose the spark of the series before. I’m glad I was proven wrong. This novella has glimpses of my favorite people from Station Seventeen and Remington Medical, yet it holds its own with the new direction. The Intelligence Unit shows the camaraderie that Ms. Kincaid is known for, making me wish I was a part of them – a group with history and binding friendships.

Xander pulled me in right way. Tough and determined with a good-guy empathy and character. I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure about Tara at first, but she grew on me quickly. They each have ghosts in their past (especially as how it pertains to each other) but they moved past all that and found strength from each other in a believable manner.

There wasn’t a lot of action in the story, which gave their romance time to build and show that it wasn’t just a physical attraction, but one from the heart. I loved it and am anxiously awaiting book two.

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

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Tara took a step toward him, her arms softening at her sides. “You’re a really nice guy, you know that?”

The urge to correct her was strong, but Xander bit it in half and said, “Just doing my job.”

“The standard answer when someone says ‘you’re a nice guy’ is usually ‘thank you’.”

The words carried none of her usual heat, filled instead with curiosity, and hell, Xander would take her ire a million times over the beautiful, wide-open look on her face right now. “Thank you.”

Another step, and now Tara was right in front of him, close enough to touch. “How come you don’t like being called a nice guy?”

His pulse flared, but that shit about old habits was real.

This time, he stepped toward her, cutting the distance between them to inches. “The standard answer when someone says ‘thank you’ is usually ‘you’re welcome’.”

“Oh,” Tara breathed. Her lips parted to release the sound as a sigh, and suddenly, there was nothing in the universe other than him, her, and the red-hot urge to claim her mouth. “You’re welcome, Xander.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Series Link

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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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Release Blitz & Review: COME AWAY WITH ME: A Christmas Novella (A Calamity Falls Small Town Romance) by Erika Kelly


COME AWAY WITH ME: A Christmas Novella (A Calamity Falls Small Town Romance) by Erika Kelly

Publication Date: September 17, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Can the handsome loner win the heart of the single mom? He’s about to find out on their Vegas road trip.

Single mom Skylar James is absolutely not interested in the broody, inked artist who works in her brother’s motorcycle repair shop. She’s focused on her four-year-old son and her thriving business as an image consultant. But when he asks her to work her magic on his widowed mom, how can she say no? She’s in—even if it means a road trip with the man who can’t take a hint.

When Jinx Costello rolled into Calamity, Wyoming, he met the woman who owned him heart and soul. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to convince her about their destiny. She won’t even go on a date with him. But when he sees her in action with a client, he puts his own needs aside to ask for help with his mom.

Away from her family and business, Skylar finally lets down her guard and realizes why she’s been fighting Jinx so hard: she’s wildly attracted to him. Which makes it hard to uphold her vow not to date while her son’s little.
Jinx can’t believe the woman of his dreams is finally giving him a chance. But is she just letting loose on a Vegas road trip?

Because this is it for him. She’s it.

And now he just has to prove it to her. 

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Cori 4.5 Stars

This was a sexy and quick read in Erika Kelly’s Calamity Falls Series. Jinx was swoon worthy hero material, I liked Skylar and her little boy was adorable. I immediately got swept up in this story and didn’t want it to end. If you haven’t read this series yet this would be a good one to pick up and try out. It’s a novella so you get a feel for the series and it’s priced lower. I love the entire series and recommend them all. They are all great love stories with yummy heroes and they have heroines I can root for. Erika Kelly is on my must read list.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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✿The Calamity Falls Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. KEEP ON LOVING YOU ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. WE BELONG TOGETHER ➢ Review 4 Stars | Kindle
✦3. THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
✦4. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
✦5. IT WAS ALWAYS YOU ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
✦6. CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE ➢ Review 4.5 StarsKindle

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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 Stars | Kindle

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604CAF16-513E-40B9-A008-94B19D5E8AF7 Award-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 lives in the northeast, drinks a lot of tea, and is always waiting for her cats to get off her keyboard.

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: ONCE IN A BLUE MOON by Sharon Sala

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ONCE IN A BLUE MOON (Blessings, Georgia Series, Book 10) by Sharon Sala

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

A94803D3-FB36-4D3F-8BDB-D3AF7B8FDA43New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Sala brings you back to Blessings, Georgia

How often do you find a love like this?

Cathy Terry is tired of running. Full of fear and hope, she backpacked across the country to Blessings, Georgia, not knowing if or when her abusive ex-husband would catch up to her. In Blessings she glimpses a safe haven and the closest feeling to home she’s had in a long time—even more so when she meets Duke Talbot. The sweet, strong, and handsome rancher provides a shoulder to lean on. The stakes get higher as the community embraces her and her relationship with Duke deepens—but can Cathy claim a new home and family before her past claims her?

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This is a lovely little romance not only between Cathy and Duke, but the town of Blessings as well. The banter of the residents make you feel like it’s a real place with real people that have known each other for years.  I liked Cathy and Duke right away, enjoying how they just knew there was something between them and no need to fight the attraction. The physical part of their relationship was behind doors, relying on the romance and friendship, so it will appeal to a wide range of readers. At times it seemed a little too sweet, but the suspense kept it from going into syrupy territory. This story can be read as a stand-alone.

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

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Excerpt

Duke loved this time of year. The leaves on the trees were as varied and colorful as the old patchwork quilts they’dslept under as children. And the sky today was a clear, cloudless blue—the same color as Cathy’s eyes.

The cows saw him driving across the pasture and looked up, hoping to see he was slowing down, which meant they would get fed. But when he kept driving, some moved beneath a small stand of shade trees, while others moved to the feeders with the big, round bales.

Duke had put up the cameras within a couple of hundred yards’ radius and facing the direction where the rustlers had come in before.

He walked a few yards into the trees to pick up the first cam and took it down. Out of curiosity, he stopped and rewound it to watch some of the footage and grinned at the view he’d caught of the backside of a boar raccoon waddling through the woods. He fast-forwarded through the minutes with nothing, then watched the footage of two black squirrels foraging on the ground.

There was more to be seen, but he could watch it at home if he wanted, so he packed it up, then started walking through the trees to the next location, where he retrieved the cam and put it in his backpack before moving on to the last.

As Duke approached the tree where he’d mounted it, he noticed a lot of paw prints in the area. They were from either dogs or coyotes, and if there was a pack of dogs running in the area, he wanted to play the tape back to see.

He was all the way on yesterday’s footage before he saw the coyote, and then it turned to face the camera. Duke gasped, watching as the coyote started staggering toward the camera, its head down, swinging slightly from side to side and foaming at the mouth. At that point he groaned, then stopped the camera.

The hair stood up on the back of his neck as he looked around at where he was standing. He’d only seen an animal with rabies maybe twice in his life, but the coyote he caught on the trail cam exhibited all of the symptoms.

They had to find it and put it down before it spread the disease to other animals. Something like that could easily become an epidemic. He needed to get home and call the county wildlife department and then notify the neighbors.

Duke drove home as fast as he could, then ran into the house carrying the cameras. He dumped them on the kitchen table and headed for the office. He had a friend who used to work for the county wildlife department and would know what to do and who to call.

He sat down without bothering to take off his jacket, found the number on an old business card, and made the call, then waited for someone to answer. This was the last number he’d had for Will, and he hoped it was still good.

And then the call was answered.

“Wildlife Animal Control, this is Carol.”

“Yes, ma’am. I’m trying to locate a ranger by the name of Will Polson. Does he still work there?”

“Yes, who’s calling please?”

“Tell him it’s Duke Talbot.”

Duke was put on hold, giving him time to put his cell phone on speaker. And then he heard a familiar voice and smiled.

“Well, hello, Duke Talbot! How the heck are you? Are you still out on the family farm?”

“Hi, Will. We’re doing good here, and yes, I’m still here. Listen, we have a problem out here. We had some trouble with cattle rustlers on the farm, so I put up some trail cams in the area, hoping if they came back I’d catch them. But they recently got themselves arrested. Today I went to take down the cameras and had quite a shock when I saw what was on the last one. It was a very obviously rabid coyote, and the last thing we need to have happen is to let this disease spread. There are a lot of farms around here, and people with kids and pets who roam the hills and creeks, not to mention the other wildlife that could get infected.”

“Oh man, this isn’t good. We haven’t had to deal with a rabies case in months,” Will said. “What were the date and time when you caught it on film?”

“Yesterday about this time of day,” Duke said.

“There’s no telling where it is by now, but I’ll get a crew together and head your way. You might notify as many neighbors as you can about the problem. Tell them to keep their dogs up until we find it. You said you’re still on the family farm?”

“Yes. Do you need an address?”

“Nope. I still remember how to get there. Can we drive up to the area?” he asked.

“Yes. To a point, and then the trees will be too dense. It will all be on foot from there.”

Excerpted from Once in a Blue Moon by Sharon Sala. © 2020 by Sharon Sala. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

KindlePaperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 copies of You and Only You

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Sharon Sala is a long-time member of RWA, as well as a member of OKRWA. She has 100 plus books in print under her name and her pen name, Dinah McCall. She is published in five different genres – Romance, Young Adult, Western, Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. First published in 1991, she’s an eight-time RITA finalist, winner of the Janet Dailey Award, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Magazine, five time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, and five time winner of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence, winner of the Heart of Excellence Award, as well as winner of the Booksellers Best Award. In 2011 she was named RWA’s recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books are New York Times , USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Release Blitz & Review: CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE by Erika Kelly

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CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE (A Calamity Falls Novel, Book 6) by Erika Kelly

Publication Date: June 11, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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CDB13F62-D9E2-43C7-8629-0843EC4D074DWhat happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas…

The moment Beckett O’Neill retires from professional sports, he swears off schedules and commitments. His new gig has him hopping from one exotic location to the next. No strings, no responsibilities. Nothing that will tie him down.

At least not until a chance encounter with the woman who stole his heart for a night in Vegas delivers the shock of a lifetime. He’s got a five-year-old daughter, one who believes wholeheartedly she’s a fairy. What’s he supposed to do with that? It’s not like he even knows what being a good father looks like.

Life didn’t go exactly as Coco Cavanaugh planned. Her big dreams of launching a business are derailed when a one-night stand with a charming stranger results in a surprise pregnancy. As a single mom, she manages to find a happy balance raising her adorable and hilarious little girl, while mastering the art of chocolate-making. It’s a good, safe life. One she’s proud of.

When fate brings them together again, Coco remembers exactly why she fell into bed with the irresistible Beckett. But she’s not that free-spirited girl anymore. And his jet-setting lifestyle isn’t conducive to raising a child.

Is this a second chance at another one-night stand or the beginning of something real?

They’re everything he never wanted.
And he’s everything she didn’t think they needed.

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I loved this book! Erika Kelly is on my must read list because she never disappoints me. CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE is the sixth book in Erika Kelly’s Calamity Falls Series. The Calamity Falls was previously called the Bad Boyfriend Series and some of the books in this series have new titles in case you have been following The Bad Boyfriend Series and see new books titles out there, they are the same books. I love the entire series and recommend them. Each book in the series can be read as a stand-alone.

CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE had everything I look for in a great romance with passion, a swoony hero, a great heroine I could cheer for and some humor. I couldn’t put it down and I didn’t want it to end. Erika Kelly always gives me a great love story with all the feels. I highly recommend this new release or any of her previous books.

*Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review and also purchased a copy from Amazon.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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✿The Calamity Falls Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. KEEP ON LOVING YOU ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. WE BELONG TOGETHER ➢ Review 4 Stars | Kindle
✦3. THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
✦4. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
✦5. IT WAS ALWAYS YOU ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
✦6. CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE ➢ 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 Stars | Kindle

~*~*~*~

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604CAF16-513E-40B9-A008-94B19D5E8AF7 Award-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 lives in the northeast, drinks a lot of tea, and is always waiting for her cats to get off her keyboard.

 

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: BEARS BEHAVING BADLY by MaryJanice Davidson

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BEARS BEHAVING BADLY (BeWere My Heart Book 1) by MaryJanice Davidson

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

05BD7247-46AD-4B7F-A1FC-C44533D8AD0DThese social worker bear shifters give the term “mama bear” a whole new meaning! Bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson is back with this brand-new paranormal romance series featuring a foster care system for at-risk shifter babies and teens.

Werebear shifter Annette Garsea is a caseworker for the Interspecies Placement Agency. When a selectively mute and freakishly strong teen werewolf is put in her custody, Annette has to uncover the young girl’s secrets if she’s to have any hopes of helping her. And not even the growling of a scruffy private investigator can distract her from her mission…

Bear shifter David Auberon appreciates Annette’s work with at-risk teen shifters, but he’s not sure if her latest charge is so much a vulnerable teen as a predator who should be locked up. All that changes when he, Annette, and her motley band of juveniles find themselves dodging multiple murder attempts and uncovering a trafficking cartel that doesn’t just threaten the kids, but risks discovery of the shifters by the wider world of homo sapiens.

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Excerpt

While David tore the intruders to pieces, Annette jacked shells into her .12 gauge. Twenty-inch barrel, six-round mag, and a place to attach a bayonet, not that she’d ever felt the urge.
She eschewed buckshot; slugs had the advantage of range, greater accuracy, would shred their target at 1,800 feet per second, and could knock a full-grown werewolf off all four paws. Slugs would also, to use the technical term, incapacitate like a bastard.
Annette stepped out of the room, socked the gun to her shoulder, fired at the
(sixty pounds, six-inch bite-wound radius, four feet at the shoulder, sees the gun but tries for my carotid anyway because he is a clear IDIOT)
werewolf, and moved slightly to her left as the werewolf’s momentum carried him another eighteen inches while the slug rearranged his coronary arteries.
To her left came a choked snarl that was chopped short. David had pulverized the werewolf’s vocal cords as he went in for the final strike. While she’d run for the gun case, he had killed the other one before he’d gotten a dozen feet from the car, now parked haphazardly at the far end of the yard.
“Oh, hell,” she said, popping the safety and inhaling. Blood, cordite, fear, blood, triumph, scones. “We live to bite another day, hurrah for us, but we’ve killed all our leads.”
Welp, as Mama Mac would say, better them than us. Then she’d bake a Bundt cake.
I would love a Bundt cake.

“Pat!” she called. “Sound off!”
“I’m good, we’re all good back here!”
“You okay, Annette?” David asked hoarsely. “You hurt?”
She turned to see David, all six-foot-plus of him, bloodied head to heels. He wiped his face with the back of a bloody hand, which was an exercise in futility. His dark hair was sticking up like he’d used gore for mousse, and he was all powerful arms and broad chest and long, blood-spattered muscles and, um, long…long…
Feet.
Do not gape at the man like a slack-jawed yokel, you slack-jawed yokel! Shifter nudity taboos were, by necessity, far more relaxed than anything in the Stable world. But it still wasn’t polite to stare, no matter how fine the Shifter in question was. Quite the opposite; it could be construed as a challenge.
“I’m all right. Are you?” She stepped closer, and there was no way, no way to stop herself from reaching out. “Well, hell. At least one of them got his teeth into you.”
“Worth it.” Now he stepped closer. Don’t read into it. Maybe he’s worried you can’t hear him from two feet away. He’s so considerate! “Are you sure you’re okay?”
She looked down at her sweater. “None of this is my blood, David.”
“That shouldn’t be as hot as it is,” he said, and cupped the nape of her neck and kissed her. Neither the time nor place, her inner Girl Scout primly pointed out, but damn, the man had a nice mouth. Mmmmm…Skittles…
Just as suddenly, he drew back, leaving her gasping. “Sorry.”
“That bad?”
He shook his head. “Christ, no. But I should’ve asked.”
“Is that an apology?”
“No.”
“Well then. This serves you right.” And she kissed him back. She was pressed up against him, more blood smearing on her sweater, and he was right—it shouldn’t be so exciting. But it was. It didn’t matter that she’d never shifted. Some urges were difficult to deny. For example, the urge to slide her hands down from the small of his back to the springy muscles of his ass, because for some reason men often had the most wonderful asses and David was walking around with a top-notch booty. It wasn’t fair.
She broke the kiss. “Dammit.”
“Yeah, our timing sucks. And I’m glad you’re okay, and you were right to go for the shotgun, but…” He trailed off, then added shyly, “I was kinda hoping to get a look at your beast.”
“Next time.” She took advantage of their proximity to take a closer look at his wound, while resisting the urge to stretch up and taste the spot behind his ear. “Not deep, at least. But you’ve definitely got more holes in you than you did this morning.”
“I’m fast, not infallible.”
“Noted.” Fast was an understatement. It hadn’t been two minutes since they’d gotten out of the car. “Let’s go check on the—”
“Okay, okay! I get it. Caro, you were supposed to drag me clear of the fight. Well, fight’s over, so it’s okay for me to leave the room, so you can just…dammit!”
Annette turned in time to see Pat limping into the kitchen while Caro, in wolf-form, gently clamped her teeth around his calf to hinder his momentum.
“Annette, will you tell her to step off, for the love of all that’s annoying?”
She went to one knee and stretched out a hand to Caro’s wolf, a beast the color of midnight with eyes like hurricane lamps. Such unusual coloring for a gray wolf Shifter. “Thank you so much. You did exactly right. You can let him fend for himself now.”
Caro dropped the bite and made a noise that sounded suspiciously like Hmph!
“Pat, are you okay?” She went to her roommate and started feeling him for injuries. “Does this hurt? Does this? How many of me can you see? Does…ow!”
“I’ll slap your hand again if you keep that up. You know I’m hyperticklish. Why is there blood on your face? Were you so hungry you just started biting them as a biped? Because yuck and I’ll have to get to work on an intervention.”
“It’s just back spatter from the shotgun,” she soothed.
“On your face? In the shape of fingers? Like someone grabbed your face? With their fingers? And snogged you silly?”
“Don’t say ‘snogged’ like you’re British, and can we please realign our priorities?”
“You want to talk priorities? Bad enough I’m ruining my favorite apron to shield the eyes of the tender minors in our care—”
“Pat,” she said, exasperated, “literally no one cares about your dick.”
“My Instagram begs to differ.”

 

Excerpted from Bears Behaving Badly by MaryJanice Davidson. © 2020 by MaryJanice Davidson. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

KindlePaperback

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Giveaway

3 Copies of Bears Behaving Badly

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

An award-winning author, MaryJanice Davidson is the NYT and USA Today best-selling author of the UNDEAD and UNWED paranormal romcom series. Her books have been published in over a dozen languages and have been bestsellers worldwide. A former model and medical test subject (two jobs that are closer than you’d think), she lives with her family in St. Paul, MN.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: YOU HAD ME AT WOLF by Terry Spear

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YOU HAD ME AT WOLF (Wolff Brothers Book 1) by Terry Spear

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

5AAED362-C75E-4372-B895-E6F7847E4C42First in a thrilling new series from USA Today bestseller Terry Spear featuring the hot, powerful Wolff brothers!

A wolf on a mission needs a partner…even if it’s only for one date…

The hot, powerful Wolff brothers have moved to the outskirts of Silver Town and opened a ski lodge. They’ve always wanted to live in a wolf-controlled area, and now they have their chance. They’re settling in for a quiet winter, when their lives suddenly become way more exciting than they’d ever planned.

Private Investigator and gray wolf shifter Josie Grayson is hot on the trail of a dangerous criminal hiding out at the ski lodge when her partner takes ill and must leave her to pursue the mission alone. Blake Wolff steps in—he can’t resist the allure of this brilliant and focused she-wolf whose presence awakens a long dormant yearning in his heart.

As pursuit of their quarry heats up, Blake has a mission of his own…to convince Josie that there’s more to life than work…and that she’s his perfect mate.

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Donna 4 stars

This is a nice spin-off series from the Silver Town Wolf Series. I thought they would incorporate the Wolff brothers and the lodge into that, but I do like this better. Blake and his family are enjoyable, and I do love the search and rescue part of running a ski lodge. It adds a nice dimension to the everyday running of the business. I also loved how the family jumped in to help Nicole and her investigation. Granted the sleuthing excitement seemed to go a bit slow for me, probably how it is in real life. But the pace did allow for the romance and her assimilation into the pack to proceed. I liked Nicole and Blake, especially as a couple. It seemed natural and nothing forced – nor was there a cosmic matching that they had to come to terms with. I liked that, just two people attracted to each other and finding their perfect mate. The romance also built slowly and heated up nicely. I look forward to what comes next for the Wolff family.

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

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Excerpt

“Looks like I’ve got some business to take care of.” Landon frowned, his gaze focused on someone behind Blake who he could hear was fast approaching. From the sound of the ski boots on the tile floor, he thought the person was female. “You go ski, and when you’re done, I’ll take a few runs down the slope.”
Blake glanced back and saw the pretty blond he’d noticed observing him and Rosco during the avalanche training. She was headed straight for them, her expression intense, brows furrowed, her gaze shifting from Landon to Blake. He smelled a whiff of her scent—fresh air and she-wolf. No wonder his brother was eager to assist her. At the same time, Blake was a little embarrassed that the woman approaching had witnessed him struggling with the snowblower. Good thing she hadn’t seen him with an out-of-control Saint Bernard even earlier.
Blake smiled. “I can hang around for a moment and take care of whatever issues she’s having.”
“No, that’s okay, Blake. The sooner you ski, the sooner I get to.”
Blake knew that wasn’t the only reason his brother wanted to take care of the woman’s concerns. Landon had recognized she was a wolf too.
When she drew closer to them, she targeted Blake, and he was eager to be the one to handle whatever was upsetting her. Happily. Conflict didn’t bother him or his brother. It was a chance to prove they could resolve any issues that arose at the lodge with the least amount of fuss. When he caught another whiff of her wolfish scent, that made him even more eager to help her. Though he reminded himself she could have a mate or a potential one.
She smiled brightly at Blake, her cheeks and the tip of her nose rosy from the cold. She was wearing a white parka, the furry hood down, a light-pink and white ski hat, dickey, and gloves, and formfitting light-pink ski pants and white ski boots, looking as if she’d just came off the slopes. She reminded him of cotton candy and snow bunnies, innocent and sweet.
When she reached him, she threw her arms around Blake in a hug, startling him. He smiled down at her, amused at where this was going. Since he was single, he didn’t have to worry about a mate throwing a fit. If he had, all she’d have to do was smell this woman all over him, and he would have been in the doghouse. As long as the woman hugging him didn’t have a mate either. Then again, wolves mated for life, so she probably wouldn’t act this way if she were mated or courting another wolf. She could smell that he didn’t have a she-wolf’s scent on him either. Not until now.
He was surprised at her action. Did she think he was someone else? But she would recognize his scent, which quashed that theory. The only other thought that flashed through his mind was that she was trying to pretend she had a relationship with him because some guy was hassling her. Whatever the reason, he was all too willing to play along and take care of whoever was giving her trouble.
She kissed him, startling him even more, and his brother laughed. “It appears your day is looking up, and I think you have a handle on this.” Still chuckling, Landon walked off.
Blake was enraptured with the woman. Her lips were soft and malleable as she pressed them gently against his, but she began building up the steam, licking his mouth and then nipping and melding hers with his.
Relishing the scent of the she-wolf and the crisp, cold out-of-doors that she carried with her, Blake wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her tighter against his body, enjoying her soft curves and warmth, building a slow fire deep inside him. They were kissing like they needed a room, he realized, not family fare in the lobby of their lodge. He very reluctantly pulled his mouth from hers and smiled. “Do I know you?”
“Took you long enough to ask.” She smiled up at him, and he wondered what he was getting himself into.
Hell, he was game.
“I’m Nicole Grayson, and you’re my fiancé. For the moment. My life depends on it.”
Blake frowned, worrying she was really in trouble, though she didn’t seem overly anxious—not in her facial expression, and certainly not in the way she’d been so easily intimate with him. “Do we need to call the sheriff?” He should have already had his phone out, but he didn’t want to let go of her if there wasn’t any need. This was just too damn nice.
“No, I’ve got a handle on this.”
He wanted to laugh at her choice of words since Landon had said the same thing about Blake. “All right, good show. By the way, I’m Blake Wolff.”
“Wolf? I’ll say.”
He smiled. He liked her easy banter and didn’t think she could be in any real danger. He would have smelled her anxiety for one thing, instead of her enticing arousal that was fueling his own. “I’d shake your hand, but I think we’re beyond that.”
“For this to be believable, yes.” She smiled up at him as if she truly adored him. “I saw all the trouble you were having with the snowblower earlier.”
“Uh, yeah.” That kind of blew his macho image, he was afraid. He had hoped she wouldn’t bring it up. “I’ve never used that kind before.”
“I kind of figured that. I haven’t either, or I would have tried to help.”
He smiled. “You watched instead.”
Her cheeks pinkened. “You were entertaining.”
“You saw everything?”

 

Excerpted from You Had Me at Wolf by Terry Spear. © 2020by Terry Spear. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Giveaway

5 Copies of You Had Me at Wolf

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: CALLING ON QUINN by Blue Saffire

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CALLING ON QUINN (The Blackhart Brothers Book 1) by Blue Saffire

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense 

Synopsis

412D9DDE-A97E-4A90-877B-ACD08D6B1FE5He’s trouble—of the very best kind

Quinn Blackheart is a private investigator, former cop, and no-nonsense, take-charge kind of guy who adores his sprawling Irish family. He likes to check all the boxes, and his niece’s gorgeous driving instructor just earned a place at the top of his to-do list.

Alicia Rhodes has had a tough, chaotic year, and she’s ready to put the past behind her and find happiness in the present. When handsome Quinn Blackhart shows up at a driving lesson, she can see he’s the very best kind of trouble—but is she game? Now isn’t a great time to get involved with a man—even if he’s the most romantic, supportive, understanding, magnificent man she’s ever met.

So between unfinished business of Alicia’s, and a dangerous case threatening the Blackhart family, Quinn is determined to both woo Alicia and keep her safe—which is going to make for one wild, sexy ride.

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Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this story, not just for the romance, but also the family camaraderie. I would love to belong to the Blackhart family. They poke fun at each other and get a little crazy, but when things get tough, they jump in to have each other’s backs. Quinn was definitely swoon-worthy and rather romantic. I wish his style of protection didn’t include constantly keeping Alicia in the dark. To me it effected the flow of the story. I didn’t warm up to Alicia right from the start, she was too deep into her past for me to relate to. But I understood her more as information was doled out and her personality began to come through. I’m glad, because then I was more invested in them both and cheered as they moved into a very sexy love-story. I also need to mention that the mysterious background story had me happily guessing until the end. I do wish more information was shared with the reader throughout the story because someone would get a call, faces were grim, then they rushed off to god knows where. Plopping the reader into the next scene to wait for the information to be shared. That is why I rated it a 4 and not a 5. Overall I loved the book and can’t wait for the next one.

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

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Excerpt

Quinn

That lass does my head in. I don’t know how she can annoy the fuck out of me and turn me on so much I forget my own name at the same time. My body wants to go after her, but my mind is telling me to stay put.

My brothers and I have been on rotation to watch over Erin. Ma and Da left a while ago so Ma could shower in her own home and spend time with the babes. Kasey and Molly need their grandma. All of this is a big adjustment for the family. I think we’re all exhausted.

I can’t say the last time my mum didn’t stay overnight here at the hospital, with my da right by her side. I was happy to sit in while they take some time away. However, now my jaw ticks as I watch the swaying hips of the woman who’s been on my mind for a week.

I need to talk to her. That call went all wrong the other night. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m nothing but awkward when it comes to dating. Still, that woman made it a hell of a lot harder to try to ask her out.

I twist my lips into a frown as I watch her walk away. Trenton walks past her in the hallway, turning his head to watch her go by. I release a growl, feeling possessive and irritated.

“Now, that’s a looker.” He whistles when he enters the room.

“Stay here,” I snap at him.

“Wait, what?” he calls after me, but I’m already in motion.

My long legs eat up the floor as I head in the direction Alicia retreated in. I have her in sight as the elevator arrives. She steps in and the doors go to shut. I get there just in time to stick my foot in the way of them closing.

The lift makes a dinging sound as it opens wide. Alicia looks up from her phone as I step on. Our eyes lock and I close the distance between us. She drops her head down shyly to break the connection. She has to feel the same thing I feel. This energy that’s charging the tight space between us has a pulse.

The elevator chimes and others begin to crowd on, causing us to move closer together. Alicia tries to take a step back, but my hand shoots out. It lands protectively on her waist, drawing her into me to shield her.

I trap a groan between my lips when her soft curves press against me. She still won’t look up at me, but she doesn’t wiggle out of my hold either. She feels so right this close.

I dip my head to whisper in her ear, “We need to talk.”

She lifts her head to look at me, her lush lips are parted, begging me to kiss them. I’m this close to listening. The lift stops again, allowing more passengers onto the car.

Alicia places her hands on my chest as we’re squished more closely. The look in her eyes tells me I’m not alone in this. She indeed feels it too.

When we reach the lobby, the crowd starts to exit. I maneuver her body in front of mine to cover her as I lead her out. She relaxes into my hold on her waist, causing me to have hope that this won’t be a fight.

As soon as we get off the car, my newfound confidence implodes. A stony-faced Kevin is standing outside the elevator. When he turns his eyes to me, I know my talk with Alicia is going to have to wait.

“We need to talk,” Kevin says gruffly.

“I should be going anyway,” Alicia rushes out.

She tries to take off, but I wrap my fingers around her forearm to stop her forward motion. She turns to look back at me. I grind my teeth against the electric current that zaps straight up my arm.

“This isn’t over. We’ll be having that talk,” I say before releasing her.

“Not such a good idea, but it was nice seeing you again. I’ll keep Erin in my prayers,” she replies softly.

Excerpted from Calling on Quinn by Blue Saffire. © 2020 by Blue Saffire. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Giveaway

3 Copies of CALLING ON QUINN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

As a young girl, Blue’s mother introduced her to the world of love and music through movies, but once she got her hands onbooks, an author was born. With more than thirty contemporary romance novels and novellas under her belt, she’s now an award-winning, bestselling author. She lives with her husband on Long Island.

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Blog Tour & Review: IT WAS ALWAYS YOU by Erika Kelly

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IT WAS ALWAYS YOU (A Calamity Falls Novel, Book 5) by Erika Kelly

Publication Date: February 13, 3020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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823851FB-EEC2-4A04-98DA-E1448C987287He’s the bad boy quarterback, one scandal away from being traded.

She’s the squeaky-clean pop star with a morality clause hanging around her neck.

And they can’t keep their hands off each other.

Cassian Ellis fell in love with Gigi Cavanaugh when he was fourteen. But he couldn’t have her. His mentor — her dad — promised to take him out of detention and all the way to the pros. The price: stay away from his daughter.

But Gigi was embedded in his soul — there was no distancing himself from her. And, senior year in high school, in a moment of desperation when he couldn’t take all the want and love and lust, he ended things in the worst way possible.

Now, nine years later, he’s forced to do charity work to clean up his party boy image.

And guess who’s working right alongside him?

Gigi can’t believe her bad luck. She’s on the same Dreams Come True tour as Cassian Ellis. And, with the press recording their every move, she has to pretend to like the man who tore out her heart and stomped all over it.

But Cassian couldn’t be happier since he never stopped loving her. And he’s determined to win her back. Only, someone’s leaking photographs, and headlines about the bad boy quarterback corrupting the squeaky-clean pop star could sink both their dreams.

Can their love overcome all the world has put between them?

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I could not put this book down! IT WAS ALWAYS YOU is the fifth book in Erika Kelly’s Calamity Falls Series. The Calamity Falls was previously called the Bad Boyfriend Series. The books in this series have new titles in case you have been following The Bad Boyfriend Series and see new books titles out there, they are the same books. I love the entire series and recommend them. Each book in the series can be read as a stand-alone.

IT WAS ALWAYS YOU had great characters, hot romance and a story that pulled me in. I really enjoyed reading about these characters basically growing up, finding themselves and their dreams along with their love story. Erika Kelly always delivers a great love story and never disappoints! I recommend this book for romance lovers looking to get lost in a great love story.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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✿The Calamity Falls Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. KEEP ON LOVING YOU ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. WE BELONG TOGETHER ➢ Review 4 Stars | Kindle
✦3. THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
✦4. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
✦5. IT WAS ALWAYS YOU ➢ 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 Stars | Kindle

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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.

Spotlight, Review & Excerpt: WHITEOUT by Adriana Anders

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WHITEOUT (Survival Instincts Book 1) by Adriana Anders

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

DB6A5991-F353-4688-B4C3-699802A192E7With a storm coming and a killer on the loose, every step could be their last…

Angel Smith is finally ready to leave Antarctica for a second chance at life. But on what was meant to be her last day, the remote research station she’s been calling home is attacked. Hunted and scared, she and irritatingly gorgeous glaciologist Ford Cooper barely make it out with their lives…only to realize that in a place this remote, there’s nowhere left to run.

Isolated with no power, no way to contact the outside world, and a madman on their heels, Angel and Ford must fight to survive in the most inhospitable—and beautiful—place on earth. But what starts as a partnership born of necessity quickly turns into an urgent connection that burns bright and hot. They both know there’s little chance of making it out alive, and yet they are determined to weather the coming storm—no matter the cost.

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Donna 4 stars

This is a new author that is going on my must-read list. I like how the author didn’t go into minute detail to explain the environment, yet I felt I was there. That made the story flow and not get bogged down. What a wild ride it was…I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see what would happen next. It had it all: A couple you grew to care about, villains you love to hate, ongoing human caused danger, survival of the elements in the balance, and people around them that blend as a group. Coop/Ford, was seriously introverted, yet the author let us see what was going on inside him enough to feel for the guy. Angel was my favorite heroine. Vulnerable, but when strength and determination are needed, she was right there leading the way. They made a great and believable couple. I am was excited to see the development of this new series – now I have to wait for book 2.

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

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Excerpt

They finished dinner, cleaned up, and went about getting ready for bed.
“Better take care of those feet,” he said.
A low sound of protest emerged from inside the sleeping bag, where Angel had already taken up residence. “Can it wait till the morning?”
“Frostbite’s not something to mess with. Let’s see them.” He didn’t intend to sound quite so bossy.
“I’ll do it.” Her words were slurred.
“You can barely move.” He held on to the kit, obstinate—and something else. Responsible, maybe. “I saw you limping out there. Your knee’s bugging you. Don’t deny it.”
She threw him a glare, but surprised him by complying.
He took hold of one slender foot and stripped it gently but quickly, since even in shelter, the risk of frostbite was real. It was light in his palm and mostly warm enough to alleviate his worry, though her toes were chilly. He touched each one. “Any numbness?”
She shook her head.
With great care, he peeled the bandages off, cleaned her skin, and reapplied fresh ones where needed, slipping the sock back on before starting the whole process with the other foot.
He couldn’t say exactly when it occurred to him that he held her naked foot in his hand, but once the realization popped into his head, it wouldn’t go away. Hung around like an itch he couldn’t get to.
A foot, for God’s sake. Ridiculous.
But the foot didn’t feel ridiculous right now. He gently squeezed it and expelled a harsh breath.
It felt…improper. Especially in comparison with the rest of her fully clothed body. And secret, somehow. He knew things about her now. He knew her second toe was longer than the big one, that her arches were high and elegant, her skin already roughened from two days of marching in the freezing desert air. He knew she’d put on a bright red nail polish at some point. It’d worn mostly off, but it made her toes look like candy. And he’d never craved sugar so badly.
The best course of action, now that she was all bandaged up, was to give her back her foot.
But he couldn’t.
Instead, he ran his thumb along the central curve, pressed forward beneath her toes, then down to her heel. The sounds she made were—he swallowed—obscene. A shocked gasp that urged him to look her way. He didn’t, though, because if their eyes met, he might have to stop.
And that was the last thing he wanted to do.
Another rub, deeper this time, bearing down on aching muscles. But it didn’t sound like pain when she moaned, low and guttural, and though he knew better, he let his eyes slide up her body to her face.
He froze. He’d never seen anything hotter—not on-screen or in the throes of sex or in his darkest fantasy.
Mouth open, eyes closed, cheeks flushed, everything about her screamed pleasure. Just to be sure, he stroked back and pressed again, wanting—no, needing—to know which notes this spot would play on her ever-changing face.
And she didn’t disappoint. Every feature cringed, slowly, sensually, in a magnified expression of pleasure-pain. Sweeping up to caress her toes now was sheer torture, because he was hard—shocking in this cold—and her reactions, though subtle, were more intimately real than any peepshow.
He could’ve gone on forever, rubbing, rapt, eyes glued to her face as she showed him just how good he made her feel, picturing how amazing she’d look if he were kissing her, or—
Her eyes popped open, ensnaring his in their velvet trap.
Everything went quiet, stilling as if the storm had taken a breath. Or maybe it was him going a little deaf, like when his ears needed popping in a plane. Except he could hear the things happening in this tent. Could feel and smell with overwhelming precision every fine detail blown up under a microscope.
They shared a couple hard inhale-exhales, the tension between them as palpable as the frigid temperature.
The press of his fingers lessened, his caresses slowed, until he did nothing but grasp her foot while she just as steadily held his gaze.
“That feels amazing,” she said in a bedroom whisper that he could feel deep in his bones, though it couldn’t possibly be loud enough to hear.
Her mouth closed and his attention flicked down, watching her swallow with something awfully close to hunger before sliding back up to find her eyes boring into him.

Excerpted from Whiteout by Adriana Anders. © 2020 by Andriana Anders. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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About the Author

Adriana Anders is the award-winning author of the Blank Canvas series. Under Her Skin, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017 and winner of two 2018 Holt Medallions, has been featured in Bustle, USA Today Happy Ever After, and Book Riot. Today, she resides with her tall French husband and two small children in France, where she writes the gritty, emotional love stories of her heart.

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: COLD NOSE, WARM HEART by Mara Wells

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COLD NOSE, WARM HEART by Mara Wells

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

EBA4BC02-46C3-4F1A-9336-D2AD9AA4AA6CA poodle, a black lab and a Chihuahua walk into a dog park…

All Caleb Donovan has to do to redeem his family name is take a rundown Miami Beach apartment building and turn it into luxury condos. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, that would also turn the local dog park into a parking lot and the neighbors aren’t having it. Caleb is faced with outright revolt, led by smart, beautiful building manager Riley Carson and her poodle, LouLou.

For Caleb, this project should have been a slam dunk. But even more challenging than the neighborhood resistance is the mutual attraction between him and Riley. It would be so much easier just to stay enemies.

Can Riley and her canine sidekick convince Caleb that what’s best for business isn’t always best for the heart?

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Donna 4 stars

This is a sweet debut novel by Ms. Wells, full of quirky characters, both human and animal. I enjoyed how the author wove this diverse group of people into a community that fit together perfectly. Riley could have easily sunk into bitch-mode under the circumstances, but luckily, she remained likeable and Caleb’s attraction was believable. I also appreciate that Caleb was written with all his emotional layers on display while he worked through his past and present obstacles. I liked them both and happily watched them work through the issues surrounding them. This romance had family drama, frustrations, humor and love. It was a pleasure to read.

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

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Excerpt

“LouLou!” a hoarse voice called. “LouLou!”
“Over here!” Caleb yelled, not sure where the voice was coming from, but hearing the pain in it and wanting to do anything in his power to make that pain stop. What could he say? Rescuing furry damsels in distress brought out his mushy side.
Through the sheets of rain, he spotted Riley limping along the sidewalk across the street from dog park. She didn’t look much better than LouLou had, hair flattened and plastered to her head, clothes sticking to her as though she’d taken a dunk in the ocean. And was she barefoot? All those shoes outside her front door, and she’d run out in the storm without so much as a flip-flop to protect her?
“You’re a pair, aren’t you?” He whispered to LouLou, waving frantically to get Riley’s attention. “Over here! Riley, I’ve got LouLou!”
Riley looked across the road, and he knew the moment she saw them. She collapsed to her knees, hands over her face, and a giant sob racked her body. So they’d be staying out in the rain a little longer. He crossed over and knelt beside her, the soaked poodle between them.
“It’s okay. She’s okay. You’re okay.” He sounded like an idiot. He knew it, but he kept saying stupid things anyway. “I’ve got her. She’s right here.”
Riley sucked in a big breath and looked up at him with her tilted eyes. “Thank you.” She held out her arms for LouLou. He shifted the dog’s weight to Riley’s hold, but LouLou curled her paw around his wrist, tight.
Riley’s chin sank. “I deserve that.”
“No, it happens.” Caleb didn’t know what he was talking about. What happened? Rain? Dogs running loose in the streets? “You didn’t do anything wrong.” He knew that part at least was right.
“I couldn’t find her.” She scrubbed at her face with the heels of her hands, eyes red and lids swollen from crying. “And now she’s hurt. What happened to her paw?”
“She’s fine, just a small piece of glass.” He pried LouLou’s paw off his wrist and handed the dog over, surprised at how giving her back felt like a loss. If he felt this attached after such a brief time with the dog, how bad must Riley have felt when she realized LouLou was missing? The impulse to make Riley feel better kept his assurances flowing. “Eliza patched her up, and she’ll be good as new in no time.”
“Thank you.” She buried her face in LouLou’s fur and stood, but as soon as she did, she lost her balance and keeled over with a squeak.
Caleb reached out to steady her. “What’s wrong?”
Riley closed her eyes and leaned heavily on him. “Think I stepped on something.”
“Let me see.”
Feeling a sense of déjà vu, he crouched to inspect the bottom of her foot, dark with dirt and specks of gravel stuck to it. “Looks like a bad bruise. Maybe from a rock.”
Riley bit her lower lip. “Sounds right.”
“Can you walk?” He levered her back to standing on her own.
“Of course.” One careful step forward. Then another. “Thanks for taking care of LouLou, but you don’t have to hang around.” She winced and took another step, face as white as the knuckles clutching her dog. “I’ve got it from here. No problem.”
It was painful to watch. Still, she’d said to back off, so he did. Until she stumbled, almost dropping the poodle, and a car horn blared at her for hogging up the road.
“This is ridiculous.” He scooped her up, exactly like he’d done with her dog. Unlike LouLou, she wasn’t grateful.
“Hey! What’re you doing?” Riley couldn’t bat at his chest because she was holding onto her dog, but she glared. “You can’t swoop in and take over everything.”
“Hang on tight. I’m taking you home.” Caleb clutched Riley and LouLou against his chest, her legs over his arm like in some damn rom-com movie, and strode back toward her condo. If he wasn’t mistaken, he could hear Eliza’s cackle following them, but he didn’t care. It felt good to save LouLou, and it felt even better to have Riley in his arms.

Excerpted from Cold Nose, Warm Heart by Mara Wells. © 2020 by Mara Wells. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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About the Author

Mara Wells loves stories, but especially stories with kissing. She lives in Hollywood, Florida with her family and two rescue dogs—a poodle-mix named Houdini Beauregarde, and Sheba Reba Rita Peanut, a chihuahua-mix. To find out more, you can sign up for her newsletter at marawellsauthor.com.

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