Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: DEFENDING HARLOW by Susan Stoker

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DEFENDING HARLOW (Mountain Mercenaries Series, Book 4) by Susan Stoker

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author Guest Post

A Mountain Mercenary’s Sneak Attack with Author Susan Stoker

Defending Harlow is book 4 in the Mountain Mercenaries series. Each book features one of the men who were recruited by the mysteries “Rex” to work on his team to help rescue kidnapped women and children. In this book we meet Lowell “Black” Lockard who was a Navy SEAL before he became a Mountain Mercenary. He joined the group because after his stint in the Navy, he realized that he was happiest when he was being useful, helping others. He’d been close to his fellow SEALs when he’d been on active duty, but somehow he was even closer with his fellow Mountain Mercenaries.

They worked together, they played together, and they simply enjoyed spending time with each other both during missions and when they were living their lives in Colorado Springs.

Black loves that his friends have found women that completed them. Gray met Allye when he rescued her from a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and they had to swim for hours to safety. Ro met Chloe when her brother was holding her hostage in his house and was about to pimp her out from his strip club. And Arrow met Morgan when they’d been down in the Dominican Republic to rescue a child who’d been kidnapped by her non custodial father. Turns out, Morgan was one of the most famous missing people the United States had ever had, and she’d been held for over a year before she’d accidentally been found by the Mountain Mercenaries.

He loves that his friends are happy, but realizes that he is…bored. He wants someone to laugh with. To talk to at the end of the day. To break the routine of his life. He envies his friends for having that.

Meeting Harlow is a turning part in Black’s life. She makes him laugh and he’s intrigued more than he’s ever been by a woman before. And realizing they went to the same high school once upon a time makes him even more curious. But there’s a problem…Harlow has had bad date after bad date and she’s sworn off dating forever.

But Black won’t give up. He decides to “trick” her by refusing to call what they’re doing as ‘dates.’ They’re just “hanging out.” And the more he spends time with her, the more he likes her…and vice versa. Harlow will have to decide whether or not to take a chance on Black, and he’ll have to figure out how to neutralize the threat looming over Harlow and the women’s shelter she works at or else the semantics of what they’re doing will be a moot point, because someone might end up dead.

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Synopsis

E91B720F-CCD3-4946-ABE1-0C48AE0BA083Lowell “Black” Lockard, former Navy SEAL, has watched his fellow Mountain Mercenaries settle down with the women of their dreams, but he’s convinced he doesn’t need love. Then he gets a call from Harlow Reese—a chef at a local women’s shelter—and begins to reconsider his decision.

After being continually harassed by a local band of punks, Harlow asks Lowell to give the women of the shelter lessons in self-defense. She doesn’t expect him to take such a special interest in her safety, but he insists on escorting her to and from work, never taking no for an answer. Not that Harlow minds the personal touch…especially when it’s coming from her former teenage crush.

Despite her long history of bad dating luck, seeing Black again makes Harlow rethink her self-imposed celibacy. Easy on the eyes and hard to forget, the man has morphed into an alpha stud. And Harlow may be exactly the type of woman Black is looking for. Making her feel safe isn’t only a duty; it’s a pleasure. But the threats are escalating. The motives are a mystery. And as the danger burns almost as hot as their passion, there’s much more at risk than their hearts.

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Donna review 4.5 stars

This is my favorite of the Mountain Mercenaries series. Harlow and Black were both characters that were easy to bond with and I loved watching Black’s ingenious plan to win her heart play out. It was sweet, romantic, and had just enough sex to spice it up. Black’s fellow mercenaries interacted more, and their banter made them feel like a close-knit group with unshakable bonds. Just what I love in a group series. The action flowed quite nicely with the budding romance, never appearing gratuitous or forced as it reached its climax. I only have one request….I want to know more about Rex! I guess I’ll just have to wait impatiently for book 5.

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

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Excerpt

Neither said anything for a while as they drove toward downtown.

Finally, Harlow asked, “Where are we going?”

“The Pit.”

“Where?”

Lowell smiled. “Since this isn’t a date, and we’re talking about the shelter, I decided I should take you to the place where me and my team conduct business. The Pit.”

“It sounds scary. Please tell me there aren’t snakes on the floor and Indiana Jones isn’t going to pop up and run pell-mell through the place being chased by members of an ancient civilization because they want their artifact back.”

Harlow stared at Lowell when he threw his head back and laughed loud and long. She couldn’t help but chuckle herself. The man sitting next to her was so different from any man she’d dated in the past—no, wait … this wasn’t a date. Nope. Not even close.

“I can’t wait to tell the others that. No, Harl, The Pit is a combination bar and pool hall. It’s pretty much a hole-in-the-wall kind of place.”

“Why do you do business in a bar?” Harlow asked.

“To be honest, I’m not sure. The Pit is where we were interviewed when we were first asked to join the Mountain Mercenaries … I’m assuming you know about the team?”

She nodded. “A bit. Loretta told me. I’m sorry if she spoke out of turn, but she was trying to reassure me that you knew what you were doing and could help us.”

“I can help you,” Lowell confirmed. “And in a nutshell, me and my teammates are all former Special Forces soldiers, and we work for Rex, getting women and children out of untenable situations.”

“Why mercenaries? I mean, it doesn’t sound like that’s what you guys really are.”

Lowell shook his head, and a small smile formed on his face. “Why do women always concentrate on that word?” he asked, more to himself than her.

Harlow answered him even though he hadn’t really asked. “Because. It’s weird that you call yourselves something that you technically aren’t. I wouldn’t start a catering business and call it Harlow Photography.”

“Point taken. I don’t know why Rex chose that name. Probably because it was catchy and sounded better than Colorado Badasses, or Your Worst Nightmare.”

Harlow couldn’t stop the bark of laughter that escaped. “True.”

“The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what we’re called. We’re six men who go where we’re needed and do what we have to do to rescue those who need a helping hand. I know women are empowered, and there are many who are just as talented at what they do as we are. But the fact remains, there are a lot of men out there who feel the need to subjugate and beat down the women and children in their lives. They take advantage of teenagers who are too young to know better or those who have had horrible lives. They hurt them and force them to do things against their will. It’s not right, or fair, and me and my friends are playing a small part in trying to right those wrongs.”

Harlow wasn’t sure how their light and playful conversation had turned so intense, but she turned slightly in her seat to better look at Lowell. His teeth were clenched, and the hand on the steering wheel was holding on so tightly, she could see his knuckles turning white. He obviously felt deeply about the topic and his job, and Harlow couldn’t be more proud of him.

“I’m proud to know you, Lowell Lockard.”

He looked at her in surprise. “What?”

“The world needs more men like you and your friends. I don’t know why men like the ones harassing the shelter are the way they are. Why they feel the need to exert their power over those they deem weaker than them. But I’m glad you’re there to help tip the scales. Other than the high-speed-chase guy, generally I haven’t been afraid of my bad dates, I’ve just been disgusted by or disappointed in them. But I know there are a lot of women out there who’re in bad marriages and relationships, and it helps knowing there are people who care. People who will put their own lives on the line to help get others out of those situations, if asked.”

Lowell pulled into a parking lot of a dark and seedy-looking building, and Harlow wasn’t surprised to see the neon sign above the door that said The Pit. This was exactly the kind of place where she imagined Lowell and his fellow badasses would meet.

He stopped the engine, brought the hand he was still holding up to his mouth, and kissed the back of it. “Stay put. I’ll come around.”

He went to let go of her, but Harlow held on to his hand. “This isn’t a date,” she said, not sure if she was reminding him or herself. “It’s a work meeting. I let you pick me up, but I should’ve driven myself. And I can open my own door and pay my own way.”

Lowell leaned into her, and Harlow forced herself not to pull back.

“I know this isn’t a date. You don’t date. I heard that loud and clear, Harl. But in my world—and make no mistake; when you’re with me, you’re in my world—a man opens a door for a lady. He walks on the outside of the sidewalk, he picks her up whenever possible, and he pays for drinks and meals. If it makes you feel better, you can think of this as a business expense I can write off on my taxes.”

Harlow stared at him for a beat, then nodded. What else could she do? She didn’t want to like Lowell’s world, but she had to admit it felt good being there. She’d had doors shut in her face when men had entered ahead of her and hadn’t held them open. She’d had to pay for her own meals on dates. And she’d even had an experience when she’d literally almost been run over by a bus in Seattle because she’d been forced to walk on the outside of the sidewalk near the curb.

“Okay,” she said.

“Okay,” Lowell said with a small smile. Then he squeezed her hand once more and climbed out.

“Not a date, not a date,” Harlow chanted to herself quietly as Lowell walked around his car to come to her side. He opened her door and held out a hand. Taking a deep breath, Harlow put her hand back in his and allowed him to help her up and out of the low seat.

He didn’t let go of her hand once she was standing next to him, though. He simply shut the car door with his free hand and led her toward the door of the bar.

Not a date, she told herself once more as Lowell smiled at her and pulled open the heavy wooden door.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

If you have Kindle Unlimited you can borrow this series for Free!

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

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Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card and Digital Copy of Susan Stoker’s DEFENDING HARLOW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

A6A4A7AC-5A93-469E-AFD3-1946AC00DD2BSusan Stoker is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her series include Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, Delta Force Heroes, and Mountain Mercenaries. Married to a retired Army noncommissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri and California to Colorado and Texas—and currently lives under the big skies of Tennessee. A true believer in happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love.

 

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Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: SMOOTH MOVES by Marie Harte

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SMOOTH MOVES (Veteran Movers Series, Book 2) by Marie Harte

Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

E9FDB385-D64D-404F-8262-FBA0ACC3FF02He may be all brawn
But when it really counts… His heart is all gold

Former Marine Cash Griffith is a brawny beacon for trouble, always finishing a fight that someone else starts. Working at his family’s moving company, he does his best to keep a low profile, but he can’t help but tangle with the newest employee, Jordan Fleming.

When Jordan joins Vets on the Go! she has her hands full with her new job and her rebellious teenage brother, not to mention going toe to toe with the obnoxious, arrogant, incredibly hot Marine at work. Soon their battles turn to camaraderie, and one kiss leads to a connection neither of them expected. But when dark secrets come to light, will their bond break…or strengthen into a happily-ever-after they desperately desire?

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Donna 5 Stars

Oh my, I loved this story of the Vets on the Go. Cash had me intrigued in book one, but now he is my favorite guy. Rough around the edges, but a teddy-bear inside. I just knew he and Jordan would make a good pair. They each had the cutting wit and tough-guy persona that sparked between them. I was actually surprised to like Jordan as much as I did. Their romance was sweet with a huge dose of sexy thrown in….and I loved it. One of my favorite parts of this series is the camaraderie between the co-workers and family members. It just works and makes me want to apply for a job there. The dialogue is smooth, the romance is touching, and the group dynamic is nicely written. It ticked all my boxes.

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

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Excerpt

Smith left them, and Cash glared at Smith’s back until he disappeared into the office. “I hate that guy.”

“I think the feeling is mutual.” Jordan wondered why.

“Has he been bothering you?” The look in Cash’s dark-green eyes warned her the man spoiled for a fight.

“Nope. He’s easy to get along with.”

Cash seemed disappointed. “Oh.”

“And he rarely talks. We got the Jasper job done in one day. Would have been back sooner, but traffic sucked.”

He let out a long sigh. “So what’s this favor I ‘owe you’?”

“I need you to talk to my brother.” The admission she couldn’t handle her own family felt easier while looking at his chest.

“Your brother?”

She glanced up, saw his interest, the way it lit up his face, and did her best not to stare at his firm, kissable lips. Damn it. She needed to focus on the man’s irritability, not his sex appeal.

Jordan swallowed. “How about I tell you about it over dinner tonight? And before you get any weird ideas, this is in no way a date. I do not want to have sex with you. I am not flirting or leading you on in any way. This is strictly to help my brother.”

He just stared at her. Unfortunately, behind him, Reid and Smith stared at her as well.

She felt her cheeks heat and wished she could sink through the floor.

“Man, I heard that,” Smith just had to say. “She in no way, shape, or form wants you, Cash. Not fucking at all.” Smith laughed as he walked away. His shouted “Rejected,” followed by more laughter, boomed down the corridor.

“Please tell me I can hit him,” he said to Reid.

“No. But I’m curious to hear why Jordan thinks she has to have this conversation with you,” Reid said. Jordan privately thought of him as Cash-Light. He had the same good looks but not as concentrated. Reid had a more slender build than his bulky older brother, and he had gray eyes. Not the mysterious, deep green of Cash’s. The debonair Griffith as opposed to Cash’s raw, wild bad boy.

“I’m not harassing her. Jesus, Reid.” Cash ran a hand through his hair, which caused his massive biceps to bulge. “Tell him, Jordan.”

A sucker for a pretty body more than a pretty face, Jordan felt every time she looked at Cash as if she’d been hit by a two-by-four because he possessed both. She nodded, distracted, wondering how much he could really bench-press.

“He is harassing you?” Reid asked, frowning.

“What? No, not at all.” She felt like a moron and forced herself to meet Reid’s concerned gaze. “Sorry. I meant I agreed with Cash. He’s fine. I just wanted to make sure my offer of dinner wasn’t confusing.” She wryly added, “You know your brother does better when things are laid out on the table.”

“True. Subtle he is not.”

“I’m right here,” Cash growled.

They both ignored him. “So you’re good then?” Reid asked her.

“Dandy.”

“Great. I’ll see you tomorrow. Cash, I’ll be—”

“At Naomi’s. Shocker.” Cash shrugged, but Jordan had a sense his brother’s new relationship bothered him.

Reid didn’t seem to notice. “Have a good night, you two.” He started down the corridor. “Oh, and Cash, close up for me, would you?” Reid didn’t wait for his answer as he disappeared into the stairway.

“Why not? Not like I have a life or anything,” Cash muttered as he walked into the office. “Well? You coming?”

Jordan hurried after him and helped him turn everything off and lock up. They walked down the stairs and exited the building to the parking lot. She took a moment to watch the sun hide behind some purple clouds. Orange rays penetrated the sky-blue horizon and dotted through indigo and pink clouds, painting a picture. She wished she could bask in the moment, letting go of the worries dragging her down.

But Rafi hadn’t been around for breakfast this morning, and she knew he’d avoided her on purpose. Between yesterday’s conversation and the call she’d earlier received from his school advisor, she’d come to the end of her rope. And the timing couldn’t have been better, with her brother spending the next few days at their parents’ for a change.

Cash stopped at his car and turned to her. “Your place for dinner, you said?”

“Yes. Follow me. It’s a ten-minute drive. I’ll text you the address in case you get lost.” She sent it to him before getting into her car.

He followed without too much of a hassle since the hour had passed six. Once at her place, she parked and waited for him. The apartment complex didn’t look like much on the outside, but she had a furnished, one-bedroom unit for under a thousand in rent, and the landlord seemed like a nice lady. Since Jordan was ex-military, the woman had foregone the $200 nonrefundable cleaning fee and full rental deposit.

After letting them both in, Jordan took a glance around. The addition of Rafi to her tiny apartment made life cramped, but Jordan had lived under worse conditions. The place was clean, fitted out, and, if not to her taste, at least nothing to be embarrassed about. Yet she felt a case of nerves as Cash shadowed her, his large presence impossible to ignore.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of The Whole Package

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

Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: SEAL WOLF SURRENDER by Terry Spear

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SEAL WOLF SURRENDER by Terry Spear

Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

782E2A20-60C3-4D26-ACDB-D4A446E7F7A2For a shifter with no interest in she-wolves…he sure is territorial.

Wolf shifter and former Navy SEAL Brock Greystoke isn’t interested in she-wolves. The last one in his life ambushed him with the intent to kill. So when he’s tasked with helping his cousin’s friend get to a wedding, he has no intention of getting involved with her…

She-wolf Natalie Silverton has inadvertently crossed a group of dangerous criminals, and she’s in dire need of a bodyguard. Good thing Brock is there to protect her. At every turn, their work—and play—brings them closer to catching the criminals and to each other, but Brock will have to get them out of this alive if he has any hope of winning Natalie’s heart.

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3.5 stars Donna

I enjoyed the storyline in this SEAL Wolf installment and the garden store aspect added a nice touch to the story. The action rarely let up and helped to show the camaraderie of the pack while dealing with the antagonists. I liked Natalie and Brock as a couple, but wished there was more emotion in their romance, something to make me feel their attraction and blooming love instead of just being expected. It felt flat for me…which is a shame since I enjoy her books. That being said, I couldn’t put the book down until I saw how everything fell into place.

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

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Excerpt

Using her GPS, Natalie drove from the airport toward Granby, but somewhere along the way, she took a wrong turn, then another. After fifteen minutes of rerouting directions on her GPS, she called Angie. “Hey, my GPS is going crazy. Can you guide me there?”

“I’m sending a SEAL to the rescue. I’m in the middle of toasts. Here, talk to Brock.”

“No, that’s okay, I’ll just—-”

“Tell me where you are,” a sexy, deep–baritone male voice said. “I’ll meet you there, and you can follow me here.”

Ugh, if it didn’t mean so much to both of them for Natalie to be there, she would have just skipped it. She wondered if the SEAL was as sexy–looking as he sounded though.

She blew out her breath in an annoyed way. “I’m at—-” She looked around. “I don’t know where. I parked at a garden nursery called the Denver Garden Center.”

“There are four of them.”

Of course there were.

His voice calm, as if he was used to helping women in distress, Brock asked, “What are the intersecting roads?”

Oh, just great. “Wait just a minute.” She couldn’t see any intersecting roads! She looked at her GPS. “Um, I think I’m off North Boulevard.”

“Okay, that’s the nearest one to the restaurant. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.”

“You can just give me directions.” Otherwise, she would be thirty minutes late instead of fifteen.

“It’s your call, Natalie. I’m one of Aaron’s cousins, Brock Greystoke, by the way.”

“Nice to meet you, Brock. Yeah, it will save us both time, so just give me the directions.” And hopefully, she could make it there without having to be escorted the rest of the way. She could hear all the noisy lunch guests having fun without her. She preferred working with plants more than partying with people. And she had a total love–hate relationship with the GPS. She loved it when it worked. She hated it when it got her lost.

“All right, I’ll stay on the line and get you here that way,” Brock said.

She could listen to his calm, soothing, masculine voice all day. She imagined hers sounded frazzled and annoyed. “Okay.”

“Turn right onto North Boulevard. Stay in the right–hand lane. You’ll turn on the first exit to the right.”

“Okay, leaving the nursery. I’m on North Boulevard, coming up to the first exit on the right.”

“Good,” Brock said, and she was glad he didn’t sound as if he thought she was an idiot.

“Okay, exited North Boulevard.”

“Go down to the third signal and turn left on Elm Street.”

“Oak Street. Ash Street. Elm Street.”  

Brock chuckled. Okay, she knew she sounded silly, but she really, really hated getting lost in a strange city, especially when she was already late! She was really nervous about meeting all these strange wolves. Despite working in her parents’ garden shop and being used to meeting customers—-human customers—-or presenting educational programs to humans, she wasn’t used to meeting a lot of wolves.

“Keep going. You’re nearly there. Stay in the right lane, and at the third signal, you’ll turn right. Dallas’s Steak House is three buildings down on your right.”

“Thank you. I so appreciate it. I’m nearly there.” She should have just thanked him and signed off, but he wasn’t ending the call either, and she felt more at ease knowing if she missed the steak house somehow, Brock would redirect her and make sure she got there all right. “Okay, I see the steak house, and I’m pulling into the parking lot.”

“You’re driving a blue Toyota?”

“Uh, yeah.” She turned to look at the deck leading to the front door of the restaurant, where a large fountain was flowing into a basin.

Wearing blue jeans, a dress shirt, cowboy boots, and a Stetson, Brock was standing next to the fountain, appearing bigger than life, but he looked as though he was into roping steers rather than scuba diving as a SEAL wolf. Dark hair, dark eyes, and a sensuous mouth, curved up in a slight smile, greeted her. His gaze was intense, all–consuming. She parked her car and joined him.

“You must be Natalie, Angie’s best friend. Brock Greystoke, Aaron’s cousin.” Brock offered his hand to her and she shook it, but then worried hers was a little clammy from sweating out the drive there. She should have wiped her hand off on her skirt before she shook his hand.

“All Angie’s talked about was one of us running to the airport and picking you up so you wouldn’t get lost. You know, instead of staying at the hotel, you could stay with any of the families in the town of Greystoke out in Wolf Valley. That way, you won’t have to make the long drive there in the morning for the wedding. I know how it is when you want to have your own getaway vehicle though. Oh, and welcome to Colorado. Angie said you’ve never been here before.”

“Thanks, and no, I haven’t.” How could she tell the darkly handsome wolf she preferred staying at her own hotel because she didn’t want to put anyone out? They’d insist she wasn’t, but she just needed…her own space. She wondered how much Angie had told her new pack members about her.

She sighed, and Brock opened the door to the restaurant for her. The noisy conversation inside was nearly deafening, partly because of their enhanced wolf hearing. That was why she preferred her garden nursery to this.

The aroma of hickory–cooked steaks did appeal though.

“Are you ready for a good–sized steak after all the flying and rushing to get here?” Brock asked.

“Yes. I hate being so late.”

“Don’t worry about it. We just started at noon, and it’s only a quarter of one. Everyone is enjoying cocktails and appetizers first.”

Natalie figured no one would realize she hadn’t been there earlier since no one even knew her and Angie would have been too busy enjoying herself. But Natalie hated arriving late to anything, as if she were the star of the occasion and needed a big entrance. Yet she was vitally aware of the man walking beside her, his arm brushing hers as they moved closer together so that customers could get by them. When a waiter nearly ran into her, Brock adroitly slipped in behind her, pulling her out of the waiter’s way.

Heat spread through her whole body, and Natalie tried to think of anything other than the way his body was pressed against hers in the sudden crush of customers as a large party was leaving the restaurant. “Angie told me you and your brother, Vaughn, are Navy SEALs. Are you just here on a visit?” she asked Brock.

“No, we’re both out of the navy now, retired. You know how it is. We didn’t look like we were aging, so as soon as we could, we retired. Both of us had been private investigators. Vaughn hooked up with a jaguar policing force that’s called the United Shifter Force, and he has a mate now. They live out here, but their headquarters is in the Houston area. They travel there whenever they need to for a mission. I’m doing the PI business on my own now.”

“You look like you wrangle steers too.”

He smiled at her.

She felt her face flush with heat. Maybe that was the wrong thing to say to him. She saw men wearing western wear in Amarillo too, so she was used to seeing it.

“I help out on Aaron’s ranch when I can. I just like getting out and riding a bit. Do you ride?”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Giveaway

5 Copies of SEAL Wolf Undercover

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the Author

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

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Review & Giveaway: HOT TO THE TOUCH (Brotherhood by Fire) by Jaci Burton

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HOT TO THE TOUCH (Brotherhood by Fire Series, Book 1) by Jaci Burton

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

870664B8-3BE4-4F0D-859E-4394B8B6BF4ALove burns white-hot in this first scorching romance in an all-new trilogy about a family of firefighters from the New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play novels and the Hope series.

Firefighter Jackson Donovan doesn’t look back—as a rule. So when his past comes roaring back to life in the form of not-so-damsel-in-distress Becks Benning, the last thing he wants to do is relive old times. No matter how tempting she makes it seem…

Now thanks to his two interfering brothers, Becks is living with them while she looks for a new place and tries to pick up the pieces of her tattoo business that went up in flames. Which means a grown up, smokin’ hot Becks is in his house, sharing meals, and digging up old wounds. And despite his better judgement, the more time he spends with this smart, artistic, incredible woman the more he wants her in his bed—and his future.

Becks always had it bad for Jackson. Unfortunately for her, not much has changed–he’s still honorable, hard-working, sexy as sin—and closed off. But there’s more than one way to get to a man’s heart and if Jackson doesn’t want to recall old memories, she’ll just have to help him make new ones. Because now that she’s found Jackson again, she’s not letting him go.

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Donna 5 Stars

I am in love with the Donovan’s! I enjoyed the three brother’s banter and closeness…especially the story of how they came to call themselves brothers. As the eldest, Jackson carries a burden from his past that he tried to ignore. Thankfully Becks was the right person to reach inside him and break him free. That journey was heartfelt and sexy. What a combo. Becks could hold her own with the hesitant, and sometimes grumpy, Jackson. Her self-assurance – despite her past – was not clichéd, instead it was just right. Making them a couple that you wanted to know. I cannot wait for book 2!

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

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About the Author Jaci Burton Bio PicAfter spending too many years to count in the high stress business world, New York Times and USA Today Bestelling Author Jaci Burton is happy to be living her dream of writing passionate romance. She has written over forty-five novels and is contracted to write ten more. Jaci has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business that she is thrilled not to be using in the corporate environment anymore. She grew up in Missouri but migrated to California, where she lived for thirteen years, but now makes her home in Oklahoma with her husband and five dogs. She enjoys being outdoors in the summer and she and her husband are avid Harley riders.

Jaci writes in multiple genres, from erotic romance to romantic suspense to contemporary romance. She has won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award, and has been nominated for the award four times. She has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best and National Reader’s Choice Awards, and has won The Romance Studio’s CAPA Award four times.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review & Giveaway: SNIPER’S PRIDE (An Alaska Force Novel) by Megan Crane

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SNIPER’S PRIDE (An Alaska Force Novel, Book 2) by Megan Crane

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

60A57A97-791D-410C-A28E-2858F6F2E477Return to Alaska’s Grizzly Harbor where danger strikes with arctic precision and love thaws the coldest hearts in the newest romantic suspense from the USA Today bestselling author of SEAL’s Honor.

After Mariah McKenna lands in the hospital with a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction she knows she didn’t cause, she realizes her cheating, vindictive husband would rather have a dead wife than a divorce. Afraid that he will succeed in killing her next time, Mariah goes to Grizzly Harbor to hire one of the Alaska Force special operatives to help her survive long enough to finally live a little.

Griffin Cisneros traded in a comfortable future for boot camp, where he learned the virtue of patience and focus—skills that served him well as a Marine sniper. Few things get to him these days, but something about Mariah’s mix of toughness and vulnerability gets right under his skin. Until it’s clear she’s the one thing in the world that might melt the ice in stoic, reserved Griffin, whether he likes it or not.

If he can just keep her alive…

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Donna 5 Stars

This book took a hold of me right away and never let go. I related to Mariah and rode this crazy journey with her, rooting her on and understanding her attraction to Griffin. He was all that my imaginary heroes are. Handsome, strong and capable – yet holding himself back because of a tortured soul. I’m glad the author didn’t overly accentuate their inner struggles yet wrote them in a way that I could believe and feel the emotional pull when it all comes together.

As my readers know, I love a good group dynamic and the camaraderie that makes me wish I was a part of it all. This installment came closer to that, and hope future books delve deeper. I like caring about the heroes to come. I also enjoyed that the bad-guy and motive kept me guessing until the end. It was a fun read and I can’t wait to visit the Alaskan Force again!

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Giveaway

PAPERBACK COPY

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

*Winner will be selected Monday (5/20) by 6PM EST. Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway. Paperback provided to Reading in Pajamas by Berkley Romance.

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About the author

USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Megan Crane has written more than eighty-five books, and counting. She’s won fans with her romance, women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels as well as with the Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Dare, and contemporary cowboy books she writes as Caitlin Crews. These days her focus is on contemporary romance in all its forms, from cowboys to military heroes and beyond – including her take on futuristic Vikings, outlaw bikers, and fairy tale princes. She has a Masters and Ph.D. in English Literature, has taught creative writing classes in places like UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, and is always available to give workshops (or her opinion). She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her comic artist husband, though, at any given time, she is likely to either be huddled in a coffee shop somewhere or off traveling the world. Preferably both.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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

 

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

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peaches Taylor and Eli King are going to war.

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

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Excerpt

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

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

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

Too much.

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

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

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

Actually went better than I expected.

Glad I dont have to deal with hiding a body.

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

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

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

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

Didnt like knowing I was part of it.

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

Some women pouted when they got upset.

Others cried.

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

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

Total sex hair.

~*~*~*~

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

Cori 4.5 Stars

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

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

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Buy Links

Kindle $2.99 | Amazon Paperback $8.99

Amazon Series Link

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

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

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

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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 Check out this Guest Post from Joanna Wylde:

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

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

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

Publication Date: May 7, 2019 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Synopsis

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

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

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

Unless that’s what she wants.

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

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

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

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Donna 5 Stars

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

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

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

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Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

           “Done.”

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

           Jonah exhaled. “Yes, we have a deal.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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

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About the Author

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

Facebook ✯ Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Pinterest ✯ Instagram

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Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: IT STARTED WITH A COWBOY by Jennie Marts

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IT STARTED WITH A COWBOY (Cowboys of Creedence Series, Book 3) by Jennie Marts

Publication Date: April 30, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Western Romance

 

Synopsis

80520906-8ED2-457D-9475-2CD12A8698AEWhat will this cowboy risk for love?

Colt James is back home on the family ranch, and he’s done taking risks. A car accident ruined his shot at a professional hockey career and messed up his love life, and he’s not taking a chance on anything that seems too good to be true. Especially not on Chloe Bishop, his nephew’s irresistibly charming teacher and the one woman he can’t stop thinking about.

Chloe Bishop liked her life the way it was—orderly, structured and safe. Life goes from managed to messy when Colt talks her into helping him coach a hockey team of rowdy eight-year-olds. Being this close to the cowboy she’s crushing on is dangerous territory. But when a real enemy threatens Chloe, Colt will do anything to protect her. Even if it means risking himself—and his heart.

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Donna 4 stars

I enjoyed this story of two people finding their confidence and how they learn to let go of their pasts. Colt was sexy, handsome and a truly nice man. I liked Chloe well enough but wish she hadn’t come across so needy at times. At one point, she should have been the one to come forward to apologize, not Colt. That being said…they were good for each other. The danger to her was believable and flowed nicely with the story, showcasing her hang-ups, personality and giving nature. I also love the people around them, family and friends with their lifelong banter is something I enjoy in books.  It’s a nice and sexy romance that left me smiling.

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

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Excerpt

He passed her the towel, then turned his back. He should leave, he knew he should, but he couldn’t get his feet to move.

He heard the splash of water as she stood and stepped out of the tub. His eyes cut to the big mirror on the wall just in time to catch a quick glimpse of her wet, glistening body before she wrapped the towel around herself.

“You can turn around now,” she said, her voice timid and soft.

He slowly pivoted until he faced her again. It felt like something was happening here, and he didn’t want to ruin this chance. He opened his mouth to say something, anything. I like you. You’re beautiful. You have a great smile. I think you’re funny. Maybe best not to mention her sense of humor while she was standing practically naked in front of him. 

Before Colt could think of the best thing to say to dazzle her with his wit and charm, his eyes fell on the top half of her arm and the row of purple bruises there. “Holy shit.” He crossed the bathroom and gingerly lifted her arm to examine the marks. Flares of rage sparked through him, and he wanted to kill Rank Johnson. “I will never let that bastard put his hands on you again,” he said through gritted teeth.

“I’m okay. They don’t hurt that bad. And it could have been worse. Much worse.”

She was right. Rank was as mean as they came, and she was lucky he hadn’t done worse to her or the kids. “He shouldn’t have touched you at all.”

“I know,” she whispered.

The scent of her skin surrounded him, and he was caught between wanting to wrap her in a blanket to protect her and wanting to pick her up and carry her to his bed. At this point, either option would work for him.

He lifted his hand, raising it to cup the side of her face. Tendrils of her hair tickled the back of his hand. “I’m so sorry this happened to you.”

She shook her head, just the slightest movement. Then she placed her hand on top of his and leaned her cheek into his palm. “I’m not. If it hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be here with you now.”

This woman was going to flat–out kill him. He ached for her clear to the marrow of his bones. He leaned in, fully intent on capturing that pretty little mouth in a kiss, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He pulled back, shaking his head. “I like you, Chloe, but…”

Her face fell. Colt saw it and knew instantly that he’d blown it. Her shoulders shrank in, and she wrapped her arms around herself as if trying to cover the towel. “But not like that,” she finished for him. “I know. I get it.”

He shook his head. “No, I don’t think you do. I do like you, exactly like that. You’re all I’ve thought about for the past several months. And now you’re finally here, standing right in front of me, and I can’t do a damn thing.”

Her eyes widened, and she looked like she didn’t know if she should stay still or run—-like a dang deer caught in the headlights. A beautiful deer. He knew he was screwing this up. Of all the ways he’d imagined this moment would go, this hadn’t been one of them. He had to do something to save himself. As his dad used to say, it was time to fish or cut bait.

“Chloe, just listen. It’s not that I don’t want to…that I don’t want you. I do. And it’s killing me to say this, because I want you so bad, it freaking hurts. I want to kiss you and touch you. I want to take you to my bed and spend the whole day exploring every inch of your gorgeous body.” He let out a breath, his brows drawn together as if saying the words actually pained him. “But you’ve just been through this whole traumatic ordeal, and I want to give you time to heal. Someone hurt you, and I don’t want to be a jerk by not giving you the space you need. The last thing I want to do is make you feel uncomfortable. And I don’t want to take advantage of you.”

Q

Chloe stood perfectly still, as if her feet were glued to the tile floor. A cool drop of water dripped from a tendril of her hair and trickled down the front of her neck and into the terry cloth of the towel. Her skin was so hot that she wouldn’t have been surprised if the drop had evaporated into steam.

She tried to take in everything Colt had just said. She wasn’t sure she’d heard it all over the rushing in her ears that sounded after he’d said he liked her exactly like that and had been thinking about her for months. Then why had he pulled away when she’d kissed him at the rink? Why hadn’t he kissed her back?

Oh, for flint’s sake, what the French toast was she doing wasting time analyzing what happened a few days ago? It didn’t matter now. What mattered were the crystal–blue intensity of Colt’s eyes and the passion behind his words. He’d said he wanted her, said he liked her.

His words touched her, and she could appreciate the sentiment, and the chivalry, behind them. But she wasn’t a victim. She wasn’t a poor, helpless woman who needed space. A flaming–hot cowboy had just told her that he wanted to take her to his bed and explore her body. That was what she needed. Not space, not coddling. Despite the chill of the wet towel, her body was on fire and she wanted him, needed him.

Something inside her snapped, the deep part of her that had been fantasizing about this moment. The part that had been dreaming this could come true. And she knew in her heart this was the moment she’d been waiting for—-her chance to risk something, to be daring and fearless. She’d never wanted anything as much as she wanted Colt James, and this was her chance to grab him. No guts, no glory.

I can do this. I just need to pretend to be someone else. Someone who is brave and daring.

Her eye caught the swish of Agatha’s tail from where she lay next to the vanity, and Chloe knew that was the answer. She needed to think like a cat. Cats were bold and didn’t care what other people thought. They took what they wanted; they were adventurous and playful. She wrenched up her inner feline, brought her to life, and steeled herself to play.

I am woman, hear me roar. Or at least meow very courageously.

She reached for the knot securing the towel around her chest as she raised her chin and offered him her most seductive stare. “I like you too. And I love that you don’t want to push me, that you want to give me space, but I don’t need space. I need you. And I want you to take advantage of me. Right now.” She inhaled a breath as she took a step back and released the towel, letting it drop to the floor.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

3 Copies of YOU HAD ME AT COWBOY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Jennie Marts is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.

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

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

Publication Date: April 23, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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

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

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

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

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

She’s his dream, but will he be hers?

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Excerpt

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

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Cori 4.5 Stars

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

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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

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✿✿✿ ADDITIONAL SERIES ✿✿✿

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

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✿Rock Star Romance Series by Erika Kelly✿

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

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

Review: SECOND ACT (Second Glances Series) by Nancy Herkness

 

 

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SECOND ACT (Second Glances Series, Book 2) by Nancy Herkness

Publication Date: April 2, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

25D0A59B-A8E4-43CF-96CF-17DBAE99F7E4Lights. Camera. Romance.

Jessica Quillen, veterinarian for the charitable K-9 Angelz program, didn’t mean to stumble into the middle of a New York movie shoot. She just wanted to rescue the stray dog she’d been chasing. Instead, she’s playing catch-up with her ex-fiancé—and the screen’s hottest action hero, Hugh Baker. The only man she ever loved. The dream that disappeared. The heartthrob who’s now hoping for a “take two.”

Seeing Jessica triggers emotions Hugh has tried to forget. Abandoned by his mother to foster care, he still struggles to feel worthy of love and to open his heart to a woman. His biggest mistake was not trusting Jessica. It was his fault she left. All he wants now is to make up for lost time. But he has to prove that she can trust him.

Though the sparks still smolder, he’s still Hollywood—a world far away from Jessica’s. Now it’s up to her to give their love story a happily ever after.

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Donna review 4.5 stars

I liked Hugh and Jess immediately. They were both consummate professionals yet held a vulnerability that made them relatable. Their opposite lifestyles and obligations held a barrier that many would not be able to meld, especially with their history. So, it was fun to watch them, and their friends work through all the obstacles thrown in their path. The dialogue was smooth and easy as the author balanced the happiness and doubt in a realistic and believable manner. Making this sexy romance a joy to read.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Free via Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans (this link lets you sign up for a free 30 day trial)

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About the Author
Nancy Herkness is the award-winning author of the Second Glances, Wager of Hearts, and Whisper Horse series, published by Montlake Romance, as well as several other contemporary romance novels. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America RITA® award.

A member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, and Novelists, Inc., Nancy has received many honors for her work, including the Book Buyers Best “Top Pick” Award, the New England Readers’ Choice award, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.

Nancy graduated from Princeton University where she majored in English. In addition to her academic work in literature, she was accepted into Princeton’s creative writing program, and her senior thesis was a volume of original poetry.

After graduating, Nancy had a varied career which included retail management and buying, COBOL programming, computer systems sales and marketing, and a brief stint as a receptionist at a dental office. Once her children were in school full-time, she sat down and wrote A Bridge to Love, her first romance novel to be published.

Nancy finds nothing odd about writing in the genre she calls the “Rodney Dangerfield of the literary world. It gets no respect.” She explains: “I was trained as a poet, but from the day my grandmother gave me my first Georgette Heyer novel I wanted to write romance. Romance is the genre of optimism, and that’s why I like it.”

A native of West Virginia, Nancy now lives in suburban New Jersey with a goofy golden retriever named Brodie. She cheers loudly for the New Jersey Devils hockey team.

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