Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: RIDE THE TIDE by Julie Ann Walker

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RIDE THE TIDE (The Deep Six Book 3) by Julie Ann Walker

Publication Date: November 24, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

9089FFDF-FA32-44A9-906E-C8F0F156928AOnce a fighter, always a fighter…

Former Navy SEAL Mason McCarthy is done being a fighting man. Now he and the Deep Six Salvage crew are working feverishly to find the wreck of the Santa Cristina and its legendary sunken treasure. Unfortunately for Mason’s peace of mind, chatty, brilliant historian Alexandra Merriweather has joined the hunt and there’s no avoiding her. Alex is exactly the kind of distraction Mason can’t afford right now…or maybe ever.

When a murderous enemy from Mason’s past threatens the Deep Six, he must rely on old instincts and the skills he honed from years of running black ops to make sure nothing touches Alexandra. But with their lives on the line and the adrenaline running high, it’s inevitable that sparks will fly.

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Donna review 4.5 stars

I enjoyed this long-awaited installment in the Deep Six series. Four years is a long time to remember everyone and back stories, so I wish I had re-read them first. Not that you need to, the story is easy enough to follow and figure out, but it would have been easier to slip back into their world.

I loved Alex and her quirky, nerdy ways. Especially when she rambles while trying not to. I was able to identify with her on most things. The whole virgin thing and throwing herself repeatedly at Mason got a little old and came across as desperate. I began to feel sorry for Mason. Thankfully they figured out their problems….finally, providing a lovely HEA.

As with all Ms. Walker’s books, it’s the group dynamics and camaraderie that keep me reading. She has a way of making us believe these are real people who have history, friendship, and common goals. Add in danger and treasure hunting, and you have an exciting romance. I do wish more time was spent on the treasure hunt, but the threat confronting them was riveting enough to keep my mind off the ship. Danger, battles, sex, romance, humor and tenderness abound. I sure hope we don’t have to wait so long for the next book!

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

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Excerpt

Mason “Monet” McCarthy had a problem. 

She was five feet tall. Had curly red hair that was only fifty percent tamed under the best of conditions, and one hundred percent out of control this early in the morning. And she was sitting at a table by the window watching the multicolored ships of the shrimp fleet as they rocked precariously with the wave action out near the horizon while her fingers absently fiddled with the corner of a book. 

Oh, and she was also studiously ignoring him. 

She was wicked good at that last part. Was making a frickin’ hobby of it, as a matter of fact. Not that he could blame her, considering what she’d offered him. 

And what he’d turned down. 

Her name was Alexandra Merriweather. Alex for short, which was a ridiculously masculine moniker for such a tiny wisp of a woman. One with skin like porcelain, eyes the color of Colombian emeralds, and a laugh as sweet and tinkling as a music box. 

She was his problem because…well…he liked her. Like, liked her liked her. And if his cheating ho of a wife… Scratch that. Rewind… That would be his cheating ho of an ex-wife—had taught him anything, it was that he wasn’t fit to like a woman like Alex. 

Not anymore. 

All the years schlepping his ass through countless missions, maiming and killing in the name of the flag, had turned him into something…not normal. 

That was the phrase Sarah had used when he came home early to surprise her for her birthday, but instead found her screwing his ex-best friend in their marriage bed. Surprise! 

“What d’you expect, Mason?” Sarah’s expression had been so sincere. “You’re gone all the time, and when you’re here, you’re not normal.” 

Copy that. When it came to a life of violence, the effects were biological, physiological, and psychological. It was the price of being a warrior. 

So even though he’d been heartbroken by her betrayal, he’d never worked up much anger over it. Then and now, there was no way to deny the truth. Mason McCarthy was no longer capable of living an ordinary life with the house, the wife, and the two-point-three kids. 

The only reason he was sitting in this hotel bar now, a bona fide civilian, was because of a deathbed promise he and the rest of his teammates had made to Rusty Lawrence, the eighth man in their SEAL unit. Barring that, Mason figured he would’ve kept on running and gunning until he found the bullet with his name on it. 

With a fingertip, he traced the scrolling black letters inked on the inside of his left forearm. For RL they read. Picturing Rusty’s craggy face, he tried to determine whether to curse the sorry sonofabitch or thank him for forcing them all to make that vow and wave their fond farewells to the navy. 

A call of “G’morning, asshole!” cut into his thoughts. Turning, he found Ray “Wolf” Roanhorse standing behind him. 

Since he’d yet to determine how good the morning was or wasn’t, Mason grunted his reply. Wolf, used to Mason’s wordless responses, bent to scratch Meat’s exposed belly. 

The fat English bulldog slept on his back beside Mason’s barstool, dick and balls on display for the entire breakfast crowd, and his snores nearly drowning out the cries of the seagulls coming in through the hotel’s open windows. 

Meat was the only thing Mason had taken from the divorce. He’d let Sarah have their restored three-decker in Southie, along with the furniture and all the minutia that went with a “normal” life. But Meat? Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but he’d have crossed hell with nothing but a bucket of ice water before he’d let her keep his dog. 

“A wise woman once said, ‘If you risk nothin’, you risk everythin’.’” With the unaffected ease that came with being supremely fit, Wolf settled himself onto the barstool next to Mason’s. 

The two of them had become instant friends when they’d been teamed up as swim partners way back in BUD/S—Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL—training. And through all the intervening years, Wolf had never run out of inspirational quotes. He fancied himself a scholar of the world’s philosophers and religions. 

There were times, including this one, when that could get damned annoying. 

Instead of answering, Mason kept quiet. He hoped his silence conveyed his wish for more coffee and less talk. 

“I said,” Wolf said louder, “a wise woman once—” 

“First off,” Mason muttered irritably, “what part of this face”—he pointed to his scowling mug—“makes you think I’m in the mood for morning convo?” 

“You’re never in the mood for conversation,” Wolf drawled, his Oklahoma accent making the words sound twice as long as they normally would. “Don’t matter what time of day it is.” 

“Second off,” Mason went on as if Wolf hadn’t spoken, “what’s that supposed to mean anyway? If you risk nothing, you risk everything? 

“It means you should pull your head from your ass and go for it. Take her up on what she’s offerin’.” Wolf stuck a cocktail straw between his teeth and hailed the bartender to put in an order for a Bloody Mary. Hitching his chin toward Alex’s table, he added, “Come on, man. You know you want to.” 

Mason hadn’t been kidding when he said he wasn’t in the mood to talk. But he sure as shit wasn’t in the mood to talk about Alex and her heart-stopping offer. 

Excerpted from Ride the Tide by Julie Ann Walker. © 2020 by Julie Ann Walker. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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3 sets of Hell or High Water and Devil and the Deep

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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IMG_7397Julie Ann Walker is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She’ll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: WOLF UNTAMED by Paige Tyler

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WOLF UNTAMED (SWAT Book 11) by Paige Tyler

Publication Date: November 24, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

AB71C818-0440-4844-8066-1DA0BA921A58The guys in the Special Wolf Alpha Team (SWAT) are hotter than ever.

SWAT werewolf Diego Martinez was on a mission to save lives when he walked into the hostage situation—he didn’t expect to find a newly turned teenage werewolf and the kid’s fiercely protective mother. For Bree Harlow and her son, Brandon, Diego is a godsend, and not just because he saved the day.

Bree has spent the years since her divorce trying to do her best by Brandon. But lately the boy who used to tell her everything has been keeping secrets. In the face of all the bizarre things happening at home, there’s something about Diego that Bree can’t resist—especially when he’s able to explain Brandon’s new abilities.

But the hostage incident was just the start in a wave of violence that no one can explain, and when Bree and Brandon are caught in the middle, Diego will do everything in his power to protect the family he wants as his own.

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This is an exciting installment in the SWAT Series and kept me reading to find out the mystery. As with the other stories, the background is full of danger, intrigue, and mystery. One of my favorite parts of the SWAT Unit is the camaraderie and banter.  Even if you read this as a standalone, you can pick up on their closeness and history.

Bree and Diego may have been destined for one another, but their relationship still moved at a believable pace. Thankfully without either of them delving into the “I don’t want a relationship” mode. Neither did it feel like a done deal because of “the one” tract. It was nice and fun to read. I liked them both and they were just a good fit, her son included. Watching Diego learn to be not just a partner, but a father figure and alpha, was heartwarming.

The story was fun and romantic, even though a part of it seemed a bit far-fetched. (Which I know, is an odd thing to say about a paranormal romance.) That strangeness didn’t detract from my enjoyment though, it just has me curious about book 12. I can’t wait.

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

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Excerpt

Bree had no idea if seconds—or hours—passed, but then she heard something so out of place with her surroundings that it immediately snapped her back to reality. 

Growling. 

Low, soft, pained…growling. 

And it was coming from Brandon. 

She looked down to find him gazing up at her with vivid-gold eyes, half-inch-long fangs visible over his bottom lip. 

Bree had always considered herself to be a strong person. She’d gone through a lot in her life and dealt with it. But she couldn’t ignore the obvious. The accumulated stress of this situation had been too much for her. She was having a mental breakdown. Because there was no way she was seeing what she thought she saw. 

Suddenly, the SWAT cop was at her side, pulling Brandon up and talking to him in a slow, calm voice, telling him to relax and breathe, that everything was over and he was going to be okay at the same time he used his big body like a shield, keeping other people in the diner from seeing her son’s face. His voice was the most soothing and calming sound she’d ever heard in her life, and even though he wasn’t talking to her, she found herself breathing in time with his instructions—in through the nose, hold it for five seconds, and out through the mouth. 

Bree watched in stunned fascination as the yellow glow slowly receded from her son’s eyes and the fangs disappeared. All at once, his panicked breathing and frantic features relaxed, and she realized it was the first time in months he didn’t seem tense. 

There was a commotion behind her, and she glanced over her shoulder to see the other officers—dressed like Diego but with weapons and heavy-looking tactical gear strapped across their chests—quickly moving the rest of the hostages outside, herding them in such a way that they didn’t have time to look at the body on the floor…or Brandon. 

It was like they were all working together to keep anyone from seeing what was happening with her son. Like they all somehow knew something unexplainable was going on with him. 

“There you go, kid.” The SWAT cop’s deep voice made her turn back around, and she saw him standing there with his hands on Brandon’s shoulders. “Just a few more deep breaths and you’ll be good to go.” 

Diego was right. A few seconds later, Brandon was fine, and Bree found herself wondering if everything she’dseen was a figment of her confused mind. 

It could have been, right? 

She felt a gentle hand on her arm and looked up into the warmest brown eyes she’d ever seen, a little overwhelmed by the concern she saw there. Diego didn’t even know her, and yet he seemed genuinely worried. 

“I think we should get out of here,” he said, nodding toward Brandon. “This place is about to be crawling with cops, crime-scene techs, and general-purpose gawkers. I’d rather be somewhere else before they show up. We have a lot to talk about.” 

She was about to ask what he meant by that, but then it hit her. Everything she’d seen had been real. Diego had seen it, too. And now he wanted to talk about it. Because that’s what cops did. They dug into stuff until they knew everything. 

Bree’s heart began to thump hard all over again as she realized the danger her son might be in now. What if Diego revealed what he’d seen? Brandon would be treated like a monster. From the look on Brandon’s face, he realized the same thing and was on the verge of freaking out. 

“Relax,” the cop said softly, looking first at Brandon, then her. “I’m not a threat to your son. I promise.” 

Gaze locked with hers, Diego’s eyes flared vivid yellow-gold. The color was only there for a second before it disappeared, but it was impossible to miss. Or mistake it for anything other than what she’d seen in her son’s eyes. The cop looked at Brandon, earning a wide-eyed gasp. Bree had no idea what any of this meant, but it had to be a good sign…right? 

“Like I said,” Diego murmured. “We have a lot to talk about.” 

Excerpted from Wolf Untamed by Paige Tyler. © 2020 by Paige Tyler. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Giveaway

3 sets of Wolf Rising, Wolf Instinct, and Wolf Rebel

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About the author image

Paige is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy romantic suspense and paranormal romance. She graduated from The University of West Florida with a degree in education in 2000, but decided to pursue a full-time career as a writer in 2004. Since then, she’s written over fifty books in several genres, including paranormal, contemporary, western, sci-fi and erotica. She loves writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty, independent women who fall for them. From verbal foreplay to sexual heat, her stories of romance, adventure, suspense, passion and true love will leave you breathlessly panting for more.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review & Excerpt: LEOPARD’S RAGE by Christine Feehan

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LEOPARD’S RAGE (A Leopard Novel, Book 13) by Christine Feehan

Publication Date: November 10, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

AE607595-8308-4732-9213-6D06DBAED040It will take more than desire to tame the animal within in this Leopard novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

Leopard shifter Sevastyan Amurov has an anger inside of him that burns so hot it’s almost impossible to control. His barely leashed rage threatens to break free, until he meets a woman who soothes his restless soul.

Sevastyan wants Flambe Carver with every breath. He’s determined that the fiery-haired woman will want to be his completely. But his would-be mate comes with strings attached—a relentless stalker who intends to claim her for his own.

They barely know each other, but with a very real threat looming just out of reach, Sevastyan takes Flambe under his protection. And as their connection grows, the embers of desire sparking between them soon burst into an inferno that will consume them both.

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Another super-sexy addition to the Leopard’s Series. I don’t normally warm up to uber-alpha males, but Sevastyan got to me. His desire for love and a mate shone through right away. I also liked how hard he worked on the relationship. Flambe’ however, just didn’t hit it for me. We don’t learn enough about her motivation until late in the book, so I didn’t trust her and couldn’t warm up to her. It seemed he had to do all the work tiptoeing through emotional landmines. It finally worked out and I ended up caring about her. There is a lot of explicit sex involving Shibari. I enjoyed how the author described the rope play so that I could almost picture it and understand the artistic aspect of it.

The background story to the romance carries on from previous books, adding in how Flambe’ got there with her own troubles. The two stories blended well together and brought it to a suspenseful ending. I enjoyed the story and am glad that Sevastyan found his love.

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

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Nonexclusive Excerpt #1 (Chapter 1, page 6-8)

Sevastyan was unprepared for Shturm’s furious reaction. The leopard leapt at him, raking and clawing for freedom as if he would go hunting right then and find Flambé’s stalker. Sevastyan remained absolutely expressionless but he couldn’t stop himself from stepping in to her and circling her the way his leopard would, inhaling as he did so. The moment he did, his leopard went crazy. He felt a little insane himself. Her stalker was leopard. He wasn’t Amurov. He wasn’t from Russia, or from one of the lairs Sevastyan was familiar with, but none of that mattered, he was leopard and he was stalking Flambé for a reason.

“He struck you. Hit you. Did he do anything else to you?” Sevastyan forced himself to take a step back when he wanted—no—needed—to yank her closer, spin her around and see for himself.

Flambé frowned and touched the swelling on the side of her head, her hand trembling. She looked confused. “The moment he tried to throw me against the car, I fought him. He punched me and I went down to the pavement and hit my head very hard.”

Sevastyan wanted to pull her close to him, even on the pretense of just steadying her, but the attack had shaken her. Shturm was acting crazy, one minute rolling over and the next struggling to get out. He had to be careful with her.

“He straddled me, grabbing me by my hair, and I kneed him hard, managed to get to my feet and ran for your property. I’d been here a few times with my father so I knew approximately where the trees were the thickest. He’d planted them when I was really young.”

Sevastyan swore to himself. “Is this man someone you know? Someone you were promised to by your father?”

She tilted her head and studied his face for long moment before answering him. “No. He didn’t know my father. Clearly, you’re aware of what we are or you wouldn’t have been so set on hiring our company.”

“Before we go any further, if I ask you inside, will you be uncomfortable alone with me? There is no one else here. I didn’t know how much you knew about shifters and I wanted a chance to tell you what I needed from you when it came to landscaping without anyone around, but I don’t want you to be in the least uncomfortable. We can discuss this and then business on the outside patio if that is easier for you, but you need to sit down.”

Flambé hesitated, faint color stealing up her neck into her face, surprising him. Sevastyan studied her averted face as she once again peered over her shoulder before looking back at him. He had the feeling this time her hesitation wasn’t because she feared whoever it was that had struck her. She was avoiding looking at him.

“I’m not afraid of you. Your family has a certain reputation and there is honor and integrity involved.”

There was the smallest hint of untruth in her voice. She wasn’t afraid exactly, more like intimidated and he was okay with that. Sevastyan had been intimidating people nearly his entire life.

“And criminal activity,” he prompted.

For the first time a faint smile lit her face, doing extraordinary things to her eyes. “That too.”

He stepped back and held open the door. “Come in then. I’ve had a lot of work done to the interior, but it’s by no means finished.” He stayed where he was, forcing her to move past him. He took up a lot of space and that meant her smaller body would have to slide next to his, touching his briefly. He wanted to see what reaction his leopard would have. He already knew what reaction he had to her.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Christine Feehan, 2020.

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image#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan has over 40 novels published, including four series. Each of her four series has hit #1 on the NY Times. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature for 1999. Since then she has been published by Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards.

She is pleased to have made numerous bestseller lists including the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Bookscan, B. Daltons, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Waldenbooks, Ingrams, Borders, Rhapsody Book Club, Washington Post, and Walmart. She has received numerous honors throughout her career including being a nominee for the RWA’s RITA. She has received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times and the Borders 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

She has been published in multiple languages and in many formats, including large print, palm pilot, e-book, and hardcover. In October of 2007 her first manga comic, Dark Hunger was released in stores. This was the first ever manga comic released by Berkley Publishing and it made #11 on Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller’s List. Her ground-breaking book trailer commercials have been shown on TV and in the movie theaters. She has been featured on local TV, appeared on the The Montel Williams Show, and her book Dark Legend was featured on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine.

Christine Feehan has also appeared at numerous writers’ conventions and book signings including: Romantic Times Convention, Get Caught Reading at Sea Cruise, Celebrate Romance Conference, Emerald City Conference, and numerous Romance Writers of America Conferences.

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Review: WILDFLOWER ROAD by Janine Rosche

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WILDFLOWER ROAD (Madison River Romance Book 2) by Janine Rosche

Publication Date: October 13, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

63F72EDC-3438-44C0-B032-9840FAA4DB46A young widow is tempted to love again after her heartbreaking loss in this new Madison River Romance. 

After her husband’s tragic death, Ryann Marie Ashcroft’s only remaining dream is to save her family’s struggling mountain resort. And the last person she wants to rely on is a brooding stranger with secrets of his own.

Nicknamed America’s rock-and-roll pastor, Shane Olson arrives in Montana after a viral video destroys his marriage, his ministry, and his reputation. Working side by side on the banks of the Madison River, he and Ryann get a second chance at love. But not everyone wants to see their happily ever after.

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Donna 4 stars

This is a lovely story of not only second chances but finding your way when the world seems stacked up against you. Shane was hiding from his past in shame. He never lost his Christian faith, yet he struggled with feeling unworthy. Ryann was also dealing with a past trauma, and an ongoing threat that would not let her move on. Somehow, they found each other and provided the strength and comfort each needed to find a way forward.

Ms. Rosche has an easy writing style that pulls a reader through the ups and downs of the character’s lives. I’m glad she has written a great community of friends and family to build the close-knit world of Madison River. That kind of setting grabs a hold of me and builds the hope of a happily ever after. The story is a combination romantic suspense and Christian faith novel that keeps a reader turning the pages.

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

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Buy Links

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About the author

Prone to wander, Janine Rosche finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into each of her rustic romance novels in the Madison River Romance series. When she isn’t writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students, takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs, and embarrasses her four children and husband with boy band serenades.

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Review: BLACKLISTED by Jay Crownover

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BLACKLISTED (Loveless, Texas Book 3) by Jay Crownover

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Genre: Western Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

EB5607AB-F066-457F-93B7-87C5F41D76F5From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a doctor who plays by the rules and the outlaw who breaks them in order to protect her.

Dr. Presley Baskin has always lived a quiet, calm life. Unfortunately, nothing about her life in Loveless, Texas — especially not the wild, rowdy, and impossibly close-knit Lawton family who’ve claimed her — is quiet or calm. Which is how loner Presley finds herself roped into patching up local bad boy Shot Caldwell against her better judgment. Presley wants nothing to do with the dangerous, brooding leader of the local outlaw motorcycle club. But when someone starts stalking her, Shot is the only person she trusts to help. Plus he owes her one . . .

Palmer ‘Shot’ Caldwell has always known his life isn’t made for relationships. At least until shy, secretive, Presley reluctantly pulled a bullet out of him. He’s oddly protective of the pretty doctor, so when she comes to him for help, hard-hearted Shot suddenly realizes there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep her safe.

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I liked this installment in the Loveless, TX series. Shot’s reluctant attraction to Presley was fun to watch. He was the President of a local MC, but the club was just a sidebar to the story. I liked him. An alpha that wasn’t in-your-face about it, and new to feeling love in a realistic way. Presley was likeable as well. Even though she made some decisions that conflicted with her supposed intelligence, I understood her.

This book managed to give enough time to their budding relationship even though the danger was always near her. The suspense was intermingled with some dark and gritty moments, along with friends and family pulling together. Their romance moved at the perfect pace until it developed into a hot and sexy relationship. I will add that I was happy when they worked through a problem without the time-worn flouncing and accusations. Nicely done.

The author’s writing style appealed to me and kept me anxiously reading to see what would happen next. I look forward to more.

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

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Buy Links

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About the Author

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

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Review: MISTLETOE AND MR. RIGHT by Sarah Morgenthaler

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MISTLETOE AND MR. RIGHT (Moose Springs, Alaska Book 2) by Sarah Morgenthaler

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

4FBDEADD-3837-4F0C-92B7-D2BB48D9191BHow the moose (almost) stole Christmas.

Lana Montgomery is everything the quirky small town of Moose Springs, Alaska can’t stand: a rich socialite with dreams of changing things for the better. But Lana’s determined to prove that she belongs…even if it means trading her stilettos for snow boots and tracking one of the town’s hairiest Christmas mysteries: the Santa Moose, an antlered Grinch hell-bent on destroying every bit of holiday cheer (and tinsel) it can sink its teeth into.

And really…how hard could it be?

The last few years have been tough on Rick Harding, and it’s not getting any easier now that his dream girl’s back in town. When Lana accidentally tranquilizes him instead of the Santa Moose, it’s clear she needs help, fast…and this could be his chance to finally catch her eye. It’s an all-out Christmas war, but if they can nab that darn moose before it destroys the town, Rick and Lana might finally find a place where they both belong…together.

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3.5 stars Donna

This is a cute love story set in beautiful Alaska, complete with a Christmas hating moose. I enjoyed the overall story and dialogue. For me it missed on a few points. 1. Did a business savvy woman really expect the town to welcome her after buying everything up and planning things they don’t like? 2. Did the small business owners, who could barely pay the rent, really think that their shunning of tourist dollars was a good idea? 3. Why did Lana keep calling people, dearest? Even strangers. Perhaps that is a regional thing that I am unaware. In the situation she was in, calling your late-with-the-rent-tenant, dearest comes across as condescending to me.

All that being said…I did like the story and especially Rick. Yes, he did some things that confused me (like eating cereal for every supper, when he is some lumberjack kind of guy) but he was sweet and kind. I also liked Lana despite the few items I mentioned above. I guess not everything has to make sense when romance is involved. Overall, it is a nice little holiday romance.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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About the Author

Geologist and lifelong science nerd, Sarah Morgenthaler is a passionate supporter of chocolate chip cookies, geeking out over rocks, and playing with her rescue pit bull, Sammy. When not writing romantic comedy and contemporary romance set in far-off places, Sarah can be found travelling with her husband, hiking national parks, and enjoying her own happily ever after.

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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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Review: THE TWELVE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS by Lizzie Shane

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THE TWELVE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS (Pine Hollow Book 1) by Lizzie Shane

Publication Date: September 29, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

5D891BA5-D823-4657-8E55-6F3E5ED7DB69A delightful holiday romance about a small-town single dad and an animal rescue owner as they try to find forever homes for a dozen lovable pups before Christmas.

Pine Hollow has everything Ally Gilmore could wish for in a holiday break: gently falling snow in a charming small town and time with her family. Then she learns some Grinch has pulled the funding for her family’s rescue shelter, and now she has only four weeks to find new homes for a dozen dogs! But when she confronts her Scroogey councilman nemesis, Ally finds he’s far more reasonable — and handsome — than she ever expected.

As the guardian of his dog-obsessed ten-year-old niece, Ben West doesn’t have time to build a cuddly reputation. But he does feel guilty about the shelter closing. So he proposes a truce with Ally, agreeing to help her adopt out the pups. As the two spend more time together, the town’s gossip is spreading faster than Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. And soon Ben is hoping he can convince Ally that Pine Hollow is her home for the holidays. . . and the whole year through.

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Donna 5 Stars

This book was just what I needed. A heartwarming story about finding something you forgot you needed. Yes, it is based on a tried and true storyline, but it was told in a way that felt new. I fell into Ben’s spell from page one, he did frustrate me from time to time, but I still loved and understood him. Ally was also easy to like. She was open and so full of hope, that she pulled me into her journey as well. I couldn’t help but yearn for them to get together. The dogs, family and townspeople added just the right small-town holiday spirit that makes this a perfect Christmas book. This light romance made me tear up a few times as well as smile long after I read the last page. I’m now looking forward to book two in the Pine Hollow Series.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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About the Author3-Time RITA® Award finalist for contemporary romance and winner of the 2009 Golden Heart® award, Lizzie Shane is a romance nerd and an avid fan of the sociology experiment that is reality television. She launched the Reality Romance series, featuring love behind the scenes in a reality dating show, in 2015 with Marrying Mister Perfect, Romancing Miss Right, and Falling for Mister Wrong.

Lizzie lives in Alaska where she uses the long winter nights to craft more happily ever afters and also writes paranormal romance under the pen name Vivi Andrews.

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Review: BEYOND POWER by Connie Mann

BEYOND POWER (Florida Wildlife Warriors, Book 2) by Connie Mann

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

F5BD28AE-0F01-4B4E-B7E5-B81B4A14D7CFA slow-burn sultry romantic suspense set in Florida’s untamed wilderness filled with mystery, action, and adventure…

When your heart’s involvged.
If you dare venture beyond Disney’s magic and Miami’s high-rises, you’ll find yourself in Florida’s untamed wilderness. A bush pilot and officer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Josh Tanner is one of the tough cops needed to manage these rugged areas. And the minute he finds Delilah Atwood deep in the woods without a good explanation, he knows something is very wrong…

All the stakes are raised…
Delilah barely escaped her ultra-fundamental militia family years ago. Now she’s back to save her sixteen-year-old sister, and no government man is going to stop her. Josh isn’t going to stand by and watch Delilah risk her life, but unless he can get her to trust him, she may end up being the next victim.

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This was a fun, tension filled romance that kept me turning the pages. It helped that I liked Delilah and Josh from the start. They are both complex, yet relatable and I couldn’t wait for them to give in to the romance. The suspense part of the story kept me on edge wondering where the next incident would come from. Some of the situations may seem a bit farfetched in this day and age, but since it isn’t in my realm of experience, I went along for the ride and let it flow. Fast paced, action filled, and sweet romance….a nice combination. I can’t wait for book 3!

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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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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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.

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