Review & Giveaway: DARK ILLUSION (A Carpathian Novel) by Christine Feehan

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DARK ILLUSION (A Carpathian Novel, Book 33) by Christine Feehan

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

41020C94-2B43-4142-B5D6-C0B7297AEC0AA mage and a warrior must see beyond their facades and embrace the bond that links their souls in this powerful Carpathian novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

At any other time, Julija Brennan would find solace in the quiet of the Sierra Mountains, but now the mage is in the race of her life. Having broken free from her controlling family, Julija’s attempt to warn the Carpathians of the coming threat has failed and put a target on her back—and those who are hunting her are close behind.…

After centuries locked away in a monastery in the Carpathian Mountains, Isai Florea can’t believe he’s finally found his lifemate—the missing half of his soul. The second he sees Julija, his world blazes with color. But despite their explosive connection, Julija rebels against what she sees as Isai’s intent to control her and rejects the bond that would prevent him from becoming a monster.

As their unfulfilled bond continues to call to them both, Julija and Isai aim to complete the task that brought them together. They are used to facing danger alone, but now the mage and the ancient warrior must learn how to rely on each other in order to stop a plot that threatens all Carpathians.…

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Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this installment – for the most part. Do I dare say that they are becoming repetitive? Nothing new except the characters themselves? 33 stories have pushed this romance series to its limit? I rated it a 4 because I like her writing style, and I get sucked into the Carpathian saga. Granted, I was rather worried at the beginning that I would not like Isai at all. His behavior when they first met pissed me off. Thankfully that changed and I understood him more. Julija’s motives and actions were also believable with her background, so nothing jumped out at me and I’m glad they got together and found their love. I sadly found myself almost speed-reading through the many spells and over-abundance of pages to describe one action. If you love the Carpathians, you will enjoy this book and how it leads into the next one…leaving some unresolved issues. It’s not a cliff-hanger, just readying the readers for what comes next.

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

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Kindle | Hardback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

HARDBACK COPY

ENTER FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY HERE

Winner will be selected Monday (9/9) by 6PM EST. Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway. Paperback was provided to Reading in Pajamas by Berkley Romance. 

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image 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.

Website | Facebook | TwitterPinterest

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Review: THE BLACKSMITH QUEEN (The Scarred Earth Saga) by G.A. Aiken

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THE BLACKSMITH QUEEN (The Scarred Earth Saga Book 1) by G.A. Aiken

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Synopsis

59A03F5C-034D-45B2-B215-3C9320FFC9E9When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken.

The Old King Is Dead

With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals.

Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …

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Donna 5 Stars

What fun! Ms. Aiken has managed to create another world for us to dive into. She is a master at describing where and what, so that you are quickly immersed and feel a part of it all. Centaurs? Sure…Demon Wolves? Of course…they’re all real – right? I loved it all. Keeley and her family are a rowdy bunch that poor Caid and his fellow Centaurs can only gird their loins for what might happen next. I did wonder if it was a fantasy with romantic elements, but Keeley and Caid’s romance grew steadily, culminating in a steamy love-scene. So yes, this book had it all. Magical creatures, horrible antagonists, crazy family and friends, humor, romance and of course – a happily ever after. The kind of story that keeps you in its grasp long after the book is closed. I cannot wait for the second installment.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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About the author

Originally from Long Island, New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken has resigned herself to West Coast living, which involves healthy food, mostly sunny days, and lots of guys not wearing shirts when they really should be. Writing as Shelly Laurenston, she is also the creator of the wickedly funny Pride series for Brava. For more info about G.A. Aiken’s dangerously and arrogantly sexy dragons, go to http://www.gaaiken.com.

 Website | GoodReads | Shelly Laureson’s Website

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Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: HANDLE WITH CARE by Marie Harte

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HANDLE WITH CARE (Veteran Movers Series, Book 3) by Marie Harte

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

E223B426-BE6D-4213-B7F8-08387D585BE4Evan Griffith has had a hell of a day…

And that was before he met the stunning, sexy woman having a meltdown.

Evan Griffith has had many careers in his life. But who knew working for his family’s moving company would hold just as much action as his stint in the Marine Corps? On an unforgettable job, Evan finds himself taken by a teenage conman and confronted by a woman wielding a knife—and promptly falls head over heels for her.

Kenzie Sykes is doing her best to raise her little brother and keep him out of jail—all while dealing with her own broken heart that just hasn’t healed. She doesn’t have time for romance. He’s not asking… Until he is, and she finds herself saying yes.

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Donna 5 Stars

I enjoyed this installment in the Veteran Movers series. Evan’s story lived up to my expectations and then some. Kenzie and her crew were as funny and crazy as Evan’s, fitting both of their lives together like a puzzle. That opening scene was a hoot! Granted Evan could sometimes come across as too good to be true – and Kenzie edged close to my “she’s fighting the relationship too much” line, but neither circumstances made me groan. Another thing I liked about this story, is Kenzie’s younger brother was a part of the budding romance. I loved how Evan not only fell in love with Kenzie but grew to love her brother too. It was natural and never seemed forced. This is a sexy hot romance full of laughter and warm-fuzzies.

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

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Excerpt

Funny, he’d said. Evan had been set up. Again. Daniel Sykes needed some discipline, something the Corps, or a foot up his butt, might just provide. Then again, should Evan be upset at another opportunity to see Kenzie up close?

Damn, but even angry she turned him on. Yeah, that was it. He wanted her. Physical desire. That he understood. And if he ignored the quickening of his heart and the need to sigh just looking at her, he’d believe his own bullshit. Because falling for a woman he didn’t even know made no sense. And Evan was nothing if not rational.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, biting out each word.

“I’m supposed to meet your brother to discuss financial matters. He had a legitimate question about tax penalties, and since I was already in the area, I told him I’d meet him.”

Kenzie clenched her jaw.

“So he was lying?”

“No. I am having some issues with my books, but I’m not sure why Rachel’s moving guy is qualified to help us.”

Evan smiled. “I’m an accountant. I was, I mean. Well, I still am. I’m just working for myself now.”

“Why?”

“So much suspicion.” He grinned, not telling her how adorable she looked in her pique. Women didn’t like hearing that they were cute when trying to appear serious. “I wasn’t fired for any wrongdoing. I left the firm because I couldn’t handle the hours. But I’m still consulting for them, and I have a few clients staying with me who left Peterman & Campbell Accounting when I did.”

She blinked. “I know that firm. One of my clients uses them. They’re big money.”

“Yep.” Evan wanted to stroke her cheek, to see if she felt as soft as she looked. So he tucked his hands in his pockets.

“What was with lying to Rob about your clients using me? Or me being overbooked?”

He shrugged. “I know Rob. He’s competitive. The thought of him not getting to use your services because you don’t have time for him would annoy the crap out of him. Plus it never hurts to make people think you’re more than you are. Perception is everything, and before you know it, you will be overbooked.”

“Oh.” She gave him a tentative smile. “Thanks.”

“Mind if I grab a coffee and wait with you for your brother? It’s getting crowded in here.”

She nodded, her gaze thoughtful.

Evan picked up a coffee and a few pastries and returned to Kenzie. “How about some sweets as a peace offering? I had no idea I was interrupting a meeting.”

She accepted an apricot Danish. “Thanks. It’s not your fault I couldn’t snare Rob Talon on my own.”

He didn’t know about that. Rob had seemed pretty smitten when Evan had seen the pair sitting together.

“How do you know him anyway?” Kenzie asked.

“I knew his sister from a long time ago. She and I dated briefly in college. Rob is a good guy, and he and I became friends after Kayla and I broke up.”

“Really? Kayla is amazing.”

“She is. But I was the problem.” I was too boring for Kayla. And I really hate that word. “She wanted to see the world, and I had responsibilities.” He sipped his coffee, remembering the past and wondering where the time had gone. “Well, actually she wanted to go to India for some technology conference, and I wanted to go to Miami for a wild spring break. We parted ways after I joined the Marine Corps and she moved to Bangalore.”

“You were a Marine?”

Am a Marine.” He smiled with pride. “You’re never an ex. You become a ‘prior’ or ‘former’ Marine. It’s always with you.” Even though he hadn’t enjoyed many of the aspects of the military, he missed the camaraderie, which explained why he loved working with the gang at Vets on the Go! It felt like a mini-Corps of likeminded individuals.

“So if you don’t mind me asking, why are you moving furniture for a living? Because you burned out doing accounting?” She sounded disbelieving.

He couldn’t blame her. “Actually, I’m a partner in our moving business. My cousins and I own Vets on the Go!, and one of our guys is out due to a broken arm. So I’m helping out until he’s back. But to be honest, it’s been enjoyable using my muscles more than my brains for a while. I got tired working eighty-hour weeks for Peterman & Campbell.”

Her eyes softened. “That makes sense. I love my job, but I get tired too. I worked all weekend in between cleaning my house and running errands.” She sighed. “And today was a bust.”

“Sorry to hear that. I’ll make sure Rob calls you back since I interrupted you.”

“No, please don’t. I can handle my business myself.”

He sensed a little bit of tension there, but he understood the need for independence. “No problem. At least finish the Danish.”

She shoved half the pastry in her mouth and grinned at him. “Happy now?” she asked, her mouth full, and he laughed.

“You know, I can see where your brother gets that attitude.”

She managed to swallow the ball of dough and groaned. “Now I should be apologizing to you. I can’t believe he tricked you into coming here.”

“So you’re not having a problem with your taxes?”

“Yes, but—” The buzz of her phone interrupted her. She read a text and blinked. “Daniel just told me he’s on his way here to meet with you and not to be freaked out if I see you because you’re not stalking me, you’re doing him a favor.”

“Wow. He texted all that?”

“Mostly in abbreviations and emojis, but I understand teen-speak.”

Evan laughed. “Better you than me. I couldn’t even figure out how to change my name back.”

“What did he change your name to?”

“Well, my ringtone became ‘Dancing Queen.’ And my name became Sexy Moving Man with a Fine Ass.”

She couldn’t stifle her mirth, and he saw it.

Excerpted from Handle With Care by Marie Harte. © 2019 by Marie Harte. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

3 Copies of Smooth Moves

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Award-winning author Marie Harte has been writing professionally since 2005. She’s both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and character.

She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks and Samhain. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense.

Before turning to writing full-time, she earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and spent several years in the United States Marine Corps as a communications officer.

Marie currently lives in Central Oregon with her family. There’s nothing she likes more than finding a good book to read and a great cup of coffee to drink.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: BETWEEN YOU & ME by Kimberly Kincaid

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BETTER THAN ME (Remington Medical Series Book 3) by Kimberly Kincaid

Publication Date: August 13, 2019 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

BD940BDD-601B-4E73-AA91-4971DFFE085AHe hates the corporate world.
She’s all business.

Now they have to work together
on the one job that could
make or break them both…

Connor became a flight medic
for one reason, and
one reason only.
To help people.
If he can keep his head down
and his past in the past while he’s at it?
Even better.

Until Harlow appears to upend his world
with an offer he can’t refuse.

She’s calculating. Composed.
Scalpel-sharp.

And she’ll stop at nothing to make
her father’s business successful.

Even if that means teaming up with Connor
to turn around a failing clinic.

He shouldn’t like her.
He definitely shouldn’t want her.
But the more they work together
the less he’s able to resist.

But Connor’s secrets run deep.
Will Harlow’s ambition ruin him,
or will she be his salvation?

From USA Today best-seller Kimberly Kincaid comes an enemies-to-lovers story full of emotion and heat. This full-length romance features a muscle-bound veteran flight medic and a smart, tart female CEO finding happily ever after…the hard way.

Previous books in the series (books one and two stand alone, but book 3 contains some series spoilers, so all are best read in order!)

Book 1: BACK TO YOU ➢ https://amzn.to/2Gkw0N8
Book 2: BETTER THAN ME ➢ https://amzn.to/2D6zFdV

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Donna 5 Stars

I was wondering when Conner would get his book, I had so many questions about him and wanted to know his story. I was not disappointed! He made my heart pang one minute, then swoon the next. I could not imagine how prickly Harlow would ever be good enough for him and was prepared to dislike her from page one. Sometimes a “enemies to lovers” premise frustrates me on the attraction aspect. Thank heavens that didn’t happen. Ms. Kincaid gave Harlow enough depth to illustrate how and why Conner would fall for her beyond just lust. They fulfilled each other in such a way that I am still smiling. Their romance built beautifully to a steamy climax, never hindering the flow of the story. Then you add in all the other characters at Remington Medical, and you have a feel-good romance that I couldn’t put down.

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

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Excerpt

Christ, her need was pouring off her in waves, each one of them slamming into his chest. Without breaking the connection of their mouths, Harlow reached down, yanking his shirt up just far enough to close her fingers around the waistband of his scrubs.

It took everything he had—and he really meant everything—to capture her fingers with his own and bring them to stillness. “Wait,” he said against her lips.

“No.” She grasped the hem of her sweater, yanking the heavy material up and over her head. The move made her hair wild around her face, but not enough to cover the emotion there.

“Yes.”

Harlow froze, her eyes glinting in the low light. “Connor, I want—”

“I know what you want, sweetheart. But I want something, too.”

Her brows gathered in question, and he cupped her face to answer.

“Let me in, Harlow.” He tipped her chin back, kissing the juncture where her jaw came together by her ear. “If all you want to do tonight is feel, then let me make you feel perfect. Slow down and let me make you feel everything.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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REMINGTON MEDICAL SERIES BY KIMBERLY KINCAID
Book 1: BACK TO YOU ➢ Review 4.5 Stars | Kindle
Book 2: BETTER THAN ME ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
Book 3: BETWEEN ME & YOU ➢ Kindle

 

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About the Author

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

Facebook ✯ Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Pinterest ✯ Instagram

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: A SEAL NEVER QUITS (Texas Navy SEALs) by Holly Castillo

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A SEAL NEVER QUITS (Texas Navy SEALs Book 1) by Holly Castillo

Publication Date: July 30, 2019 

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

AA583A8F-9363-486F-917A-A110B2E6547CFirst in a thrilling romantic suspense series featuring a band of do-or-die Navy SEALs in Texas

A SEAL is ready for anything…except losing his heart…

Lieutenant Amador “Stryker” Salas and his tight-knit Navy SEAL team are undercover on a Texas ranch and tasked with covert ops across the border. It’s an assignment that requires all their skills, all their secrets, and all their know-how.

Anya Gutierrez, the local veterinarian, has been serving the ranch for years. She loves the animals and ranching life, and Stryker finds her a breath of fresh air in his otherwise rigidly disciplined existence.

When Anya gets caught in the crosshairs of a mission gone sideways, Stryker must tell her the truth about who he really is, risking everything to keep her out of harm’s way, even if it destroys him…

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Donna 4 stars

I loved the premise of a Special-Ops team setting up shop on a sprawling ranch with an ongoing antagonist hiding behind every bush. I did find that six handsome alpha males doing this in a small town close to the bad guys, with no believable story, and money to burn on said ranch…unbelievable and asking for trouble. However, I liked all the guys and their group dynamic. Stryker was believable and thankfully he didn’t dwell on the “I’m not good enough for her” too much. Anya was also believable and had an inner strength that moved the story along. Their romance was hot and moved along the storyline quite well. The bad guys were a little stereotypical, but fun to read and guess about who is pulling their strings. I found this book to be a fun and exciting read – making me anxious to see where the series goes from here.

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

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Excerpt

She had just lifted her hand for the doorbell when the door was yanked open by a man who could have been Stryker’s brother. His skin was lighter, and while Stryker’s hair had a slight wave to it, this man’s hair was straight and cropped rather short. He was tall, and, in his simple T-shirt and jeans, his muscles were obvious. He looked at her, then smiled, though it seemed it wasn’t something he was used to doing.

“You must be the veterinarian,” he said, and held the door open a little farther. “Come in.”

A wave of cool, air-conditioned air welcomed her into the foyer, and her eyes drank in the beautiful architecture and design of the house. She couldn’t see anything that reminded her of the previous house. It was as if the entire place had been gutted, and they had started over.

“My name’s Phantom, by the way,” her door greeter said, extending his hand to her.

She smiled up at him as she shook his hand. “I’m Anya Gutierrez. Are you—do you live here now too?”

He nodded. “I’m here, along with Stryker and four other men. Buzz is the newbie to the ranching world, so if you see a guy who looks totally out of place, that’s him.”

Anya grinned at him. “I’m sure you’re going to educate him just fine.”

A sly smile crept across Phantom’s face, and Anya suddenly felt very sorry for Buzz. “Oh, yeah. Buzz is in good hands.”

The sound of boots on the hardwood floors came from somewhere within the house, and Stryker suddenly rounded the corner and faced both of them. He eyed Phantom for a moment, then turned his full attention on Anya. “Are you ready to go?”

He was dressed in a navy-blue button-down shirt and a pair of jeans that fit him perfectly. Anya felt like asking him to turn around so she could get the full picture. Good grief, this man is turning my mind to mush. She felt the heat of a blush burning her face. “Y-yes,” she stammered. “I’m ready to go.”

“Be back later,” he tossed over his shoulder to Phantom, as he opened the door and placed his hand at the small of Anya’s back, guiding her out the door in front of him.

The feel of his hand through the cotton of her polo shirt sent a small thrill through her. She had to remind herself to breathe as he escorted her to his F-250, which already had the gooseneck trailer attached to it. It was a big trailer, and she knew they’d be able to bring home at least ten or more calves. It would be a good addition to his current cattle, especially since he had about twenty-five head that were ready to be auctioned off to make room for some heartier heifers.

The ride to Kingsville was punctuated by the sounds of the latest country music coming through the radio. Anya had come prepared for the drive with her ledger and a stack of invoices she needed to record before mailing them out. Stryker had taken one look at her paperwork, raised an eyebrow, and then returned his eyes to the road.

They hadn’t talked since the first day she had met him, and only briefly when she had called to tell him about this sale. She’d hesitated even to call him, but she’d made a commitment. She hadn’t expected him to say yes.

They pulled up to the sale arena where the Kleberg-KenedyCounty Junior Livestock Show was held every winter, and Anya remembered with fondness her years showing cattle and goats and even some turkeys. She had won the title of County Stock Show Queen when she was sixteen, and then had gone on to win the County Rodeo Queen when she was seventeen. She still had her tiaras and sashes.

“What on earth has put that look on your face?” Stryker asked. She realized at that moment they’d parked and she was still sitting in the truck with a goofy look on her face.

“Dreams,” she replied with a smile. “Haven’t you heard of them before, Stryker?”

Her quip at his expense seemed to take him by surprise. He shook his head at her, then left the truck. “Well, you’re about as much fun as getting a root canal,” Anya said to herself, before her door was yanked open and Stryker stood looking up at her impatiently.

She hopped down from the truck and instantly had to scramble to get her feet set right underneath her on the muddy ground. Suddenly Stryker’s muscular arm snaked around her waist, and he pulled her to him, holding her tight.

She was hit with the scent of his spicy cologne, leather, and man—pure, hearty man—and her hands immediately pressed against the front of his shirt as her feet settled beneath her. Buther mind and body were far from settled.

He leaned down and the feeling of his lips brushing lightly against her ear caused her heart to thunder so hard, she was afraid it would beat out of her chest. “Just for your information, I can be far more fun than a root canal…You just have to know what to ask for.”

Excerpted from A SEAL Never Quits by Holly Castillo. © 2019 by Holly Castillo. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Giveaway

3 Copies of A SEAL Never Quits

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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About the Author

Holly Castillo lives on an80 acre ranch, surrounded by cattle during the day and hearing the howl of coyotes by night. She has endless inspiration for her writing. Holly’s romantic suspense series about heroic Navy SEALs is set in her own backyard of south Texas. She lives with her husband and two children just south of San Antonio. Visit her online at hollycastillo.com/.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: COWBOY CHARMING by Dylann Crush

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COWBOY CHARMING (Holiday, Texas Series Book 3) by Dylann Crush  

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Genre: Western Romance

Synopsis

01BDEB0A-2B7D-47FA-B9D6-E674DA9E96ECThey call him Casanova. But can this charming devil of a cowboy teach a good girl how to change her ways?

Small-town preacher’s daughter Dixie King is used to having a lot on her plate. Keep tabs on her flighty grandmother? No problem. Handle the honky-tonk’s first ever Chili Cook-Off? In the bag. Vamp it up to charm a would-be developer into leaving Holiday, Texas for good?

…now there she might need a helping hand.

Enter Presley Walker: Holiday’s own Cowboy Casanova and the perfect tutor for a good girl looking to go bad. He’s got charm in spades, and he’s always seemed like a terrible idea waiting to happen. But as Presley and Dixie work together to save their beloved hometown, these polar opposites might finally see the good in each other…if they can only learn to trust their hearts enough to fall.

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Excerpt

Dixie King hoisted the tray of longnecks onto her shoulder and sashayed through a busier-than-usual Thursday-night crowd. Spring finals week must be coming to a close for the frat boys and pseudo-cowgirls who considered the Rambling Rose their personal stomping ground. Sidestepping a clean-shaven guy in a polo shirt with grabby hands, she delivered the bottles one by one to the impatient patrons.

That right there was why her daddy never wanted her to take this job. As the resident preacher in the tiny town of Holiday, Texas, he feared for her moral safety. Funny thing was, he had absolutely nothing to worry about. Beyond the occasional ass-grabber or drunken proposition, Dixie hadn’t been involved with a man in years.

She made her way back to the bar to snag another load. As she transferred the bottles and mugs onto the tray, a body slid onto the stool at the end of the bar.

Presley Walker.

She’d have known it was him by the hint of intoxicating cologne that drifted off the man in a hormone-inducing wave. If her daddy wanted to pray for someone, Presley should be at the top of the list. Although it may be too late for him. Dixie figured he might not have any morals still intact.

“Hey, Red.” He took one of the bottles off the tray and tilted it in her direction before giving her a wink and lifting it to his lips. Even though something as simple as a smile from Presley Walker could make her thighs quiver for days, she ignored the urge to slip onto a barstool and make believe it was her mouth receiving the attention of his lips and not a mere bottle of beer. Fantasies involving Presley were just that—fantasies. She couldn’t afford to get caught up in wishing anything more would ever happen between them. She’d play off his attention like she always did—with a mixture of disdain and sass. The combination had proven effective over the years at deterring any potential advances from Holiday’s resident Romeo. Not that he’d follow through anyway. The way her daddy had treated her first long-term boyfriend had pretty much guaranteed no other eligible man in Holiday would be willing to subject himself to Pastor King’s scrutiny.

“Red? Gosh, Presley, what wit. I haven’t heard that one before.” She rolled her eyes then grabbed the extra beer the bartender handed her. Her red hair came from her mother’s side of the family, specifically her grandmother. Too bad she hadn’t also inherited the free-spirited, devil-may-care attitude her grandma Eugenia was known for.

“Hell, Dixie, I’m just warmin’ up.” Presley’s gaze drifted over her. The man could summon heat from an ice cube. Her skin burned under his attention. She felt like she was standing in the middle of the crowded honky-tonk in nothing but her birthday suit.

She groaned and whirled around, ready to run the gauntlet through the handsy crowd again. She’drather face down a room full of cocky frat boys than get stuck face-to-face with Presley Walker. Her reluctance had absolutely nothing to do with the way his blue eyes sparkled or how his mouth tipped up in a crooked grin, making heat pool in places she didn’t want to acknowledge. And everything to do with the string of X-rated dreams she’d been having over the past several months—starring who else but Holiday, Texas’s most notorious bachelor.

Maybe she should do what her daddy had been encouraging her to do ever since she took this job—quit. But the tips were good, and working the late afternoon and evening shifts meant she could help out more at home. Besides, she needed the money if she wanted a place of her own someday. She had her heart set on opening a little artist studio where she could make and sell the handcrafted jewelry she’d been working on for the past few years. There were several other local artists in the area she’d love to feature as well. Another year or two and she’d be able to turn her dream into a reality.

Too bad that meant having regular run-ins with the blue-eyed demon. She shook her mass of red curls, trying to dislodge the memories of last night’s dream from her head. It wasn’t like Presley would stop coming around. Not only was he the local sales rep for the liquor supplier, but his sister, Charlie, and brother-in-law, Beck, owned the Rambling Rose.

Which meant she needed to keep him out of her head…and definitely out of her dreams.

Excerpted from Cowboy Charming by Dylann Crush. © 2019 by Dylann Crush. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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5 Copies of COWBOY CHRISTMAS JUBILEE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Dylann Crush writes contemporary romance with sizzle and sass. A romantic at heart, she loves her heroines spunky and her heroes super sexy. When she’s not dreaming up steamy storylines, she can be found sipping a margarita and searching for the best Tex-Mex food in Minnesota. Although she grew up in Texas, she currently lives in a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul with her unflappable husband, three energetic kids and a canine who doesn’t think he’s a dog. She loves to connect with readers, other authors and fans of tequila. You can find her at www.dylanncrush.com.

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Review: DANGEROUS LIES (Shades of Leverage) by Claudia Shelton

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DANGEROUS LIES (Shades of Leverage Series, Book 2) by Claudia Shelton

Publication Date: July 22, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

1243FEB9-49F6-4991-B2FB-540D91BB13DETo ex-Navy SEAL Mitch Granger, responsibility isn’t just a word. It’s his Code of Honor. But when assigned to protect Coercion Ten’s latest target, she challenges his authority, defies his rules, and wreaks havoc on his personal willpower. Fighting for her isn’t a problem. Giving his life for her isn’t a problem. Forgetting their world-stopping kiss? Definite problem. And if he can’t concentrate solely on keeping her safe, it may cost them both their lives.

Journalist Liz Walkert’s missing father sent her a cryptic message that she was in danger. What he didn’t tell her was why. Unbeknownst to Liz, her family has been in Witness Protection all her life. Mitch may be her bodyguard, but his protection comes close to being control, the one thing she has none of in his presence. After a kidnap attempt and a narrow escape from attacking CT forces, they both realize they’re going to need to focus on the mission and fight their attraction if they have any hope of surviving.

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3.5 stars Donna

This is an action-packed suspense, with danger around every turn. Some situations could seem improbable, but that only added to the thrills. I liked Mitch…the alpha-I’m-in-charge leader of this mission, especially when his thoughtfulness was at odds with his behavior. It gave him a nice depth to his character. I just could not understand his attraction to Liz beyond the physical one. She was all over the place. Petulant, frightened, sullen, shrew, and then sweet or sexy. Her behavior didn’t always match the situation or her world-traveler experience, or how she reacted to Mitch’s instructions when there was imminent danger. However, the romance progressed nicely with the physical relationship kept behind-closed-doors. All in all, this was an exhilarating, fast-paced story that truly kept you wondering how it would end.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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About the Author

Award-winning romance author Claudia Shelton could write her name before she started grade school. Now, she writes about alpha heroes and the women strong enough to love them. Most times, there’s a splash of suspense, intrigue or adventure, woven in to the story, plus a lot of sexy and sass. Plus in her writing world, the “good” guys always win.

Claudia’s debut novel, Risk of a Lifetime, released to 5-star reviews, reached Amazon’s Best Sellers Romance Series Top 100 and was named one of eBooks Galore top reads for 2014. She is also a two-time Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) finalist for excellence in mystery.
Nowadays, her time is spent on writing, social media and getting to know her readers. When she’s not in author mode, she loves spending time with family, friends and her two sweet, conniving rescue dogs. And, relaxing on her swing with a good book is always great a good idea.

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Review: DEVOTED TO LOVE: A Devoted Lovers Novel by Shayla Black

 

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DEVOTED TO LOVE: A Devoted Lovers Novel, Book 2 by Shayla Black

Publication Date: July 2, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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C8E7857A-5A53-4C8C-B60D-D21A535B0BDFHe was sent to guard her body… he didn’t expect her to steal his heart.

Her sister’s wedding was hardly the place to find a hook up, but after one look at friend-of-the-groom and special operative Josiah Grant, small-town Texas beauty Magnolia West immediately fell in lust. After a stunningly sensual night together, Maggie is prepared for the two of them to go their separate ways. After all, she’s not a happily-ever-after kind of girl. But Josiah—and danger—change her plans.

Josiah isn’t looking for love…but Maggie rouses his body and stirs his heart like no other woman. She’s got a rocky romantic past, and a smart man would steer clear. But when the murder quotient in Kendall County rises and all signs point to a mysterious group nearby who have been harassing Maggie’s family, he can’t leave her unprotected—especially when he realizes he’s fallen hard for her.

As tension mounts and the menace closes in, Josiah will do anything to prove to Maggie that their love is real…but can they stay alive long enough to share it?

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Donna review 4.5 stars

This was my first Devoted Lovers book and I had no problems keeping up with the characters. The beginning started like any other “meet at a wedding” trope, but the hints of upcoming danger added a nice edge. The smoking hot sex scenes also built onto the growing tension. Josiah is a Dom, but that didn’t overshadow their relationship or the story, rather it added a lusty heat to the bedroom. I connected with both characters to a point – I didn’t quite feel the love between them, only the lust and like. That didn’t ruin the story for me as their relationship and trust did build despite Maggie’s on-again/off-again behavior. (The “due to their pasts, they were both leery of any type of relationship, but powerless to stay away from each other” angle.) As for the antagonists in the cult, thankfully they weren’t completely stereotypical, instead showing a nice depth to their evil. I enjoyed this read and can’t wait for the next installment.

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

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Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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imageShayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels. For over fifteen years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold well over a million copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past seven years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and a very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

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Spotlight, Review & Excerpt: COWBOY IN WOLF’S CLOTHING by Kait Ballenger

 

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COWBOY IN WOLF’S CLOTHING (Seven Range Shifters Book 2) by Kait Ballenger

Publication Date: June 25, 2019 

Genre: Paranormal Romance 

Synopsis

288462FD-6BB0-4BB8-8072-604724CB9CBCBorn a cowboy and bred a warrior…

High Commander Colt Cavanaugh has spent his life defending his pack and its sprawling ranchlands. But the hardened Grey Wolf soldier has a dark secret that could destroy his life forever.

Belle Beaumont is a wanted woman, on the run from the wolf pack that kidnapped her. When fate brings her face-to-face with the Grey Wolf High Commander himself, rivalry becomes passion, and suddenly more than just her freedom is at stake.

Colt will fight to the death for the healing Belle brings to his battle-worn heart—and for this cowboy wolf, all’s fair in love and war…

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Donna 5 Stars

This is a great follow-up to Cowboy Wolf Trouble, showing that this series will be fun to read. The trouble started immediately and spread throughout the book at the perfect pace. The drama wasn’t only from the vampires, but also from Colt and Belle themselves. Colt is the standoffish soldier and Belle, the skittish rogue with hidden mettle. They’re both dealing with their pasts and trying to move forward, thus giving them a nice depth of character. Their relationship built from instant attraction, to hot and spicy romance, to love. All this bound together with the pack camaraderie and the message that DNA isn’t the only thing that makes a family. I can’t wait for book 3 in this series.

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

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Excerpt

“Good,” he said. “That leaves us time to discuss another negotiation.”

She raised a brow, pushed herself to standing, and crossed the clearing to return the spare adhesive and gauze to his saddlebag. “And what would that be?”

As she faced toward him again, a wicked grin crossed his lips. “The night we’re going to spend together.”

“Excuse me?”

He’d surprised her when he’d let slip that he wanted to protect her. Help her. But…Belle couldn’t have heard him correctly, could she?

“I want to make it clear that our prior agreements still stand, and they have no relation to your decision. Regardless of my position, you have a choice, of course.”

Maybe she had heard him correctly. He couldn’t possibly be serious. She gaped at him. Yes, there was heat between them. Tension. She sensed it too. But she wasn’t about to admit that. Definitely not to him. She couldn’t risk another relationship with an alpha wolf—no matter how attractive and brave he might be, or how tempting the offer. No matter how much she wanted to see that softer side of him again.

No. She needed to nip this in the bud before it got out of hand.

She settled on being saucy. It worked with him, and that seemed to be the only way they could converse without her simultaneously wanting to pull her hair out and feeling weak in the knees whenever he looked at her. “Do you often try to piss off women who saved your life?”

“Only when I’ve already seen them naked.”

She knew he was teasing, but still she forced a snarl.

Those intense gray eyes locked on to her, causing her stomach to fill with traitorous butterflies. “Is that what I do you to, Belle? Piss you off?”

The question was so to-the-point that it caught her off guard. She wasn’t certain she could define how he made her feel. Yes, there was frustration, but there was also something…more. Something complicated.

At her lack of response, he smirked. “I didn’t think so.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

He shrugged. “Only that you wear your emotions on your sleeve. You can glare and pucker those full pink lips at me like you’ve tasted something sour all you want, Belle, but your eyes give you away.”

She raised a brow. “Oh really? And what do they say?”

His gaze locked with hers. “They say that our verbal sparring doesn’t really piss you off at all. In fact, I’d go so far as to say you not only like it, you crave it.”

She laughed. “That’s absurd. I barely know you.”

“You don’t need to know someone to be attracted to them.”

“Me? Attracted to you?” She crossed her arms over her chest. “Not a chance.”

“You enjoyed when I held you naked against me—in the clearing.” He said it with such utter confidence, as if he knew it without a doubt. “You can’t deny that.”

She could, and she would for that matter, even if it wasn’t true. “Don’t flatter yourself, Colt.”

He chuckled darkly, pushing from where he sat on the log to stand. At his full height, he was all the more intimidating, towering over her. “I don’t need flattery. Most women find me attractive. It’s a matter of fact. Some are better at hiding it than others.” Those steely eyes fell to her. “But you’re not one of those women, Belle. You can’t hide your emotions, even when you try.”

She was hiding more from him than he’d ever know. “I’m not like most women.”

“No, you’re not,” he agreed. Colt’s eyes narrowed, and he stepped closer to the fire, staring into its depths. The flames burned bright, casting a dim orange glow on his face and creating shadows that hollowed the sharp lines of his cheekbones. “Most women bat their eyelashes, smile, and giggle when they find a man attractive. You, on the other hand, do the opposite. You narrow those pretty hazel eyes, pucker that little mouth, and let that viper-tongued wit fly, but it’s a defense mechanism. I’m a commander, Belle.” His gaze flicked toward her. “I know a defense tactic when I see one.”

“You think you have me all figured out, don’t you?”

“No.” He chuckled. “I know a challenge when I see one, and you work hard to be a challenge, Belle. But if the look in your wolf eyes is any indication, you may be a challenge, but you’re not as difficult to solve as you think. Not for me.”

She scoffed at him. “You’re not my type at all.”

It wasn’t true. Not in the slightest. But she needed to try to keep him at arm’s length. Her experiences with Wyatt had taught her that. It didn’t matter that she wanted otherwise. Before Colt, Belle hadn’t been certain she had a type, but with each passing second, she became more certain that if there were a reference book of her life, under “Belle’s type” Colt Cavanaugh’s picture would be the definition. See synonyms for reference: worst fear, here-comes-trouble, and The Devil Wears a Cowboy Hat.

There was that wolfish grin again. He saw straight through her. “Could have fooled me.” He turned away from the fire and drew closer. “I saw your desire in the clearing, felt the way you melted into my arms.”

Her hands clenched into fists. She was quickly losing this battle. “I was faking it.”

He shook his head, that grin still curving his lips in the slightest tilt as he prowled toward her. “You’re lying.”

He stood in front of her now, less than a foot away. She retreated until her spine pushed flush against one of the mighty pines behind her. The width and breadth of his shoulders dwarfed her, but still she fought to regain control. This was no more than one of his power plays.

“Then prove it.” The words slipped from her lips before she could stop them.

Those metal-gray eyes burned a molten liquid steel. “There are two things you need to know about me, Belle. The first is that I hate to be defied. As a commander, I’m more than used to getting my way. In fact, I damn well expect it. The second is that I never back down from a challenge”—his next words were a near growl—“because I always win.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Do your worst, Commander.”

Excerpted from Cowboy in Wolf’s Clothing by Kait Ballenger. © 2019 by Kait Ballenger. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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About the Author

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

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

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

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Review: HER OTHER SECRET: A Novel by HelenKay Dimon

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HER OTHER SECRET: A Novel by HelenKay Dimon

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

BEC793FA-320E-44F0-9C96-6973BF5B3A49Is it the perfect escape?

 Whitaker Island is more than a getaway. For Tessa Jenkins, the remote strip of land in Washington state is a sanctuary. Fleeing from a shattering scandal, she has a new name, a chance at a new beginning, and a breathtaking new view: Hansen Rye. It’s hard not to crush on Whitaker’s hottest handyman. At six-foot-three and all kinds of fine, he’s also intensely private—and the attraction between them soon simmers dangerously out of control.

…or a private trap for two lovers?

After a devastating family tragedy, Hansen finds the pebbled shores of the faraway island to be an ideal refuge. Letting down his guard for the sexy, impulsive Tessa is an unexpected pleasure. But there’s another newcomer to Whitaker. He’s no stranger to Hansen. And when he’s murdered, the crime casts a threatening shadow. As suspicion falls on Hansen, all his secrets are about to collide with Tessa’s. Now the pasts they were determined to outrun are catching up to them. So is a killer who’s putting their love—and their lives—on the line.

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Donna review 4.5 stars

I had fun reading this story. The witty repartee between Tessa and Hansen was easy and never seemed forced. The residents of the island added to the mystery and enjoyment, showing enough banter and secrets to make me hungry for more. I see a lot of future stories hiding in Whitaker.

Even though Tessa and Hansen were both hesitant to start a relationship, neither bogged down the romance with overdone reluctance. It all flowed nicely into a sexy story. As for the storyline…it was mystery upon mystery, with suspense and danger thrown in. Just when I thought I had things figured out – something new came up. The book was a bit convoluted at times, but that added to the who-done-it theme that wrapped up neatly in the end.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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About the Author

HelenKay Dimon is a former divorce attorney turned full-time romance author. Odd transition, right? She has sold over thirty novels, novellas and shorts to numerous publishers, including Kensington, Harlequin and Penguin, Samhain, Carina Press, and HarperCollins. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. But the best part of the job is never having to wear pantyhose.

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