Review: INTENSITY (Chronicles of Nick) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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INTENSITY (Chronicles of Nick Book 8) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

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IMG_9760It’s a demon-eat-demon world for Nick Gautier. Just when he thinks he’s finally gotten a handle on how not to take over the world and destroy it, Death returns with an all-star cast that is determined to end the Malachai reign and lineage forever. Worse? Death and War have found the one, true enemy Nick can’t find, and even if he did, it’s one he could never bring himself to banish or kill.

Now framed for murders he hasn’t committed, and surrounded by new friends who might be turncoats, Nick is learning fast how his father went down in flames.

The heat in New Orleans is rising fast, and Nick’s threat-level has gone into a whole new level of intensity. He’s learning fast that when War and Death decide to battle, they don’t take prisoners. They don’t negotiate. And they’re both immune to his biting sarcasm and Cajun charm. To win this, he will have to embrace a new set of powers, but one wrong step, and he will belong to the side of Darkness, forever.

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INTENSITY is the perfect conclusion to an epic series. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick series is a Young Adult series featuring Nick who is in her Dark-Hunter Series. I don’t usually pick up YA books, but this is a great series for teens as well as adults and there are a lot of characters from the Dark-Hunter series in the Chronicles of Nick series so I highly recommend reading it if you’re a Dark-Hunter  fan. Nick is one of my favorite characters in Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series and the Chronicles of Nick tells his story up to the beginning of his life shown in the Dark-Hunter series. It’s emotional, funny, and packed full of action and suspense. I loved this series and can’t wait for Nick’s adult book in the Dark-Hunter series and the spin-off series, Shadows of Fire, that I think will pick up where INTENSITY ended. Sherrilyn Kenyon is a master storyteller and I’m always get swept up in the worlds she creates when I pick up her books. I love them!

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

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Kindle | Amazon Hardback

Check out Sherrilyn Kenyon’s INTENSITY book page HERE

Amazon Series Link

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THE CHRONICLES OF NICK – Amazon Series Link

  1. Infinity
  2. Invincible
  3. Infamous
  4. Inferno
  5. Illusion
  6. Instinct
  7. Invision
  8. Intensity

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✿DARK-HUNTER SERIES BY SHERRILYN KENYON✿
✦Amazon Series Link http://amzn.to/2eZUx7M
1. FANTASY LOVER ~ http://amzn.to/16ISJHM
2. DRAGONSWAN – Found inside the Other Worlds http://amzn.to/16ujtjq
3. NIGHT PLEASURES ~ http://amzn.to/12BAjbk
4. NIGHT EMBRACE ~ http://amzn.to/14vkpk7
5. PHANTOM LOVER ~ available in the Dark Bites compendium. http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
6. A DARK-HUNTER CHRISTMAS ~ available in the Dark Bites compendium. http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
7. DANCE WITH THE DEVIL ~ http://amzn.to/1fc574U
8. KISS OF THE NIGHT ~ http://amzn.to/12BCED0
9. NIGHT PLAY ~ http://amzn.to/15a2H80
10. WINTERBORN ~ available in the Dark Bites compendium. http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
11. SEIZE THE NIGHT ~ http://amzn.to/1dG0fHb
12. SINS OF THE NIGHT ~ http://amzn.to/1dfrJ7U
13. UNLEASH THE NIGHT ~ http://amzn.to/159TLso
14. DARK SIDE OF THE MOON ~ http://amzn.to/17W2u4B
15. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT SEARCHER ~ available in the Dark Bites compendium. http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
16. UNTIL DEATH DO WE PART ~ available in the Dark Bites compendium. http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
17. THE DREAM HUNTER ~ http://amzn.to/1c6QVug
18. FEAR THE DARKNESS ~ available in the Dark Bites compendium. http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
19. DEVIL MAY CRY ~ http://amzn.to/16IW0XJ
20. UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR ~ http://amzn.to/1dfsCxx
21. DREAM CHASER ~ http://amzn.to/14vlYhR
22. ACHERON ~ http://amzn.to/12BCeN5
23. WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD ~ available in the Dark Bites compendium. http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
24. SHADOW OF THE MOON ~ available in the Dark Bites compendium. http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
25. ONE SILENT NIGHT ~ http://amzn.to/19T3ADG
26. DREAM WARRIOR ~ http://amzn.to/1c6S4C0
27. BAD MOON RISING ~ http://amzn.to/1dG1Qg8
28. NO MERCY ~ http://amzn.to/17VZHs9
29. RETRIBUTION ~ http://amzn.to/14vgQtZ
30. THE GUARDIAN ~ http://amzn.to/1dFZ1M5
31. TIME UNTIME ~ http://amzn.to/141dgUU
32. STYXX by Sherrilyn Kenyon ~ http://amzn.to/1d3CtWU | Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-Cw
33. DARK BITES ~ http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
34. SON OF NO ONE ~ http://amzn.to/1GQKYUq | Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-1yl
35. DRAGONBANE ~ http://amzn.to/1H8NVNF | Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-2Pa
36. DRAGONMARK ~ http://amzn.to/2fYkwit | Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-77W

THERE IS ALSO AN EBOOK BOX SET
✦The Dark-Hunters (The Collection Thus Far) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Kindle: http://amzn.to/1GQL9zj

IMG_0613Also check out Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Lords of Avalon Series she writes as Kinley MacGregor! I’d recommend reading it before SON OF NO ONE and then following the Dark-Hunters series order. The Avalon world overlaps with the Dragons Rising series.

✦LORDS OF AVALON SERIES by Sherrilyn Kenyon/ Kinley MacGregor✦
1. THE WAGER available in the DARK BITES compendium. http://amzn.to/1PUDwdM
2. SWORD OF DARKNESS ~ http://amzn.to/2g5Nxws
3. KNIGHT OF DARKNESS ~ http://amzn.to/2wyxgHj
4. SON OF NO ONE ~ http://amzn.to/1GQKYUq | Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-1yl
5. DRAGONBANE ~ http://amzn.to/1H8NVNF | Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-2Pa
6. DRAGONMARK ~ http://amzn.to/2fYkwit | Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-77W
7. DRAGONSWORN ~ http://amzn.to/2kkwTG8
8. BATTLE BORN

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INFORMATION BELOW IS FROM SHERRILYN KENYON’S WEBSITE HERE

Shadows of Fire™

#1 New York Times and international bestselling saga continues…

The world of the Dark-Hunters® is unlike anything you’ve every seen before. It’s dark. It’s gritty. It’s dangerous…

And it’s a whole lot of unexpected action and snarky comebacks.

My name is Cyprian Malachai and I should have never been born. I know it. My mother knows it and most of all, my father, the Ambrose Malachai is more than aware of it. Every creature under the sun is out to end me.

But I don’t go down easy. Anyone who’s ever fought a Malachai knows that fact.

My father thinks that he’s heard the last of me . . .

He hasn’t. Our war is only on an interlude. It’s about to heat up and I have a massive grudge to settle. One that is far from over . . .

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**Please note that Shadows of Fire is a four book continuation of the Chronicles of Nick®, and is a Young Adult spin-off series from the Dark-Hunter® novels. If you’d like to read the ones with more adult content, they are listed under the Dark-Hunter series section.
The manga listed is for ages 14 and up.

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**Note to Dark-Hunter fans

The Chronicles of Nick *is* Nick’s real and true past. There is a huge surprise (several actually) in the series that I don’t want to spoil, but when you read them, everything you think is an inconsistency will make perfect sense to you. More than that, you will understand exactly why Nick is the way he is and why he continues to hate Acheron the way he does.

Remember the one promise that I try to keep in every book: Just when you think you know the truth about a character or event, you find out that things are seldom what they seem. Nick is one of those characters. There’s a lot more to our little Cajun than what you’ve seen to date.

Remember the one promise that I try to keep in every book: Just when you think you know the truth about a character or event, you find out that things are seldom what they seem. Nick is one of those characters. There’s a lot more to our little Cajun than what you’ve seen to date.

There are many, many secrets you’ll learn about a lot of characters, including Cherise and especially Jaden and Jared. Just hold on… you ain’t seen nothing yet 🙂
There are 8 books in the Nick Chronicles.

  1. Infinity
  2. Invincible
  3. Infamous
  4. Inferno
  5. Illusion
  6. Instinct
  7. Invision
  8. Intensity

There are 4 books in the Shadows of Fire series:

  1. Heart of Venom
  2. Will of Iron
  3. Fist of Fire
  4. Eye of Stone

Then there will have a separate trilogy of adult books to finish off the story arc.

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**Please note that the books listed under series are in their correct reading order even though they don’t have to be read that way. The ones listed under related are books/anthologies that contain characters from this series, but they exist outside of the series time line.

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✦Check out our favorite Sherrilyn Kenyon Quotes: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-iI

✦You can also check out an interview we did with Sherrilyn Kenyon Here: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-1n4

*Interview was originally posted June 20, 2014  with our “Born of Fury” review. It includes some info about “Son of No One.”

✦Order Coloring Books HERE

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image imageThe #1 New York Times bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, who is proud of her mixed Cherokee heritage, lives a life of extraordinary danger… as does any woman with three sons, a husband, a menagerie of pets and a collection of swords that all of the above have a major fixation with. But when not running interference (or dashing off to the emergency room), she’s found chained to her computer where she likes to play with all her imaginary friends. With more than twenty-five million copies of her books in print, in over one hundred countries, she certainly has a lot of friends to play with too.

In the last few years, she has placed more than 65 novels on the New York Times list in all formats including manga. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre she writes. Her current series include: The Dark-Hunters, The League, and Chronicles of Nick.

Her Lords of Avalon novels have been adapted by Marvel, her Dark-Hunter novels are a New York Times bestselling manga published by St. Martins. and the Chronicles of Nick manga are published by Yen Press. Chronicles and Nick and Dark-Hunter are soon to be a major motion picture and the Dark-Hunters are currently being developed as a television series.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: LAST GENTLEMAN STANDING by Jane Ashford

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LAST GENTLEMAN STANDING by Jane Ashford

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

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last gentleman standing coverA fortune hunter’s dream…

Miss Elisabeth Elham is an unlikely heiress. She never knew the curmudgeonly uncle who died suddenly and left her a fortune. She’s proud, outspoken and independent—a definite challenge for London’s fortune hunting suitors.

As various determined gentlemen vie for her attention at balls, routs, picnics and parties, Elisabeth finds herself embroiled with a charming rake, a mysterious nabob, and an elegant neighbor. This would all be great fun, if only she wasn’t so fascinated by the one man in London who’s not trying to woo her…

Rediscover this classic Regency romance! Originally titled Bluestocking, this classic story has been unavailable for over 25 years and is now returning from the vault!

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Elisabeth had recrossed a stile and was traversing an open field when she heard hoofbeats behind her. Turning, she was just in time to see the rider urge his magnificent chestnut up and over the fence she had just climbed. The form of both was flawless, and she forgot herself in her admiration of the jump, watching unself-consciously, as the horseman approached her.
The chestnut had white feet and was one of the most beautiful and spirited animals she’d ever seen. He moved with the ease and power of a true thoroughbred and might have made almost any rider appear insignificant, but the man on his back matched his quality. He looked to be tall, and his figure was well-molded and athletic. His buckskin breeches fitted him to perfection, and his coat fairly cried out its fashionable origin in the workrooms of a Weston or a Stultz. Elisabeth had seen a few gentlemen of the haut ton in Bath, and she knew enough to recognize that the deceptive simplicity of the folds of his cravat and the carefully casual arrangement of his hair were the signs of a veritable tulip, a top-of-the-trees corinthian. At that moment, she met his slightly mocking gaze and looked down in confusion, recalling herself with annoyance. She had been gaping like a schoolgirl, she thought.
The rider pulled up before her. “I almost feel I’ve been in a competition,” he said. His voice was deep and resonant. “I hope you gave me full points for that jump.”
Elisabeth looked up. His eyes were pale blue, she noted, in spite of his black hair and rather dark complexion. “I was staring quite rudely, I know,” she replied. “I beg your pardon. But I was transfixed by the way your horse took that fence.”
The man patted the chestnut’s neck, “He’s wonderful, is Tristram.”
“Tristram?” repeated Elisabeth, smiling. “That’s an uncommon name for a horse. Do you take it from Tristram Shandy?”
The rider looked at her with much more interest than he’d first shown. “Yes, I’m fond of Sterne.”
“Oh, it is my favorite of all books. I thought hardly anyone read it now.”
He smiled back at her somewhat quizzically. “And I should hardly have thought it fit reading for young ladies.” He surveyed her. He was the despair of his mother and several aunts, who had all at one time or another introduced to him dazzling debutantes calculated to urge him into marriage. But though he’d treated them politely, he’d been extremely bored in their company and really had very little notion of what to say to conventional young women. Seeing that Elisabeth was a bit uncomfortable under his gaze, he continued, “But then I rarely find young ladies wandering about my land unattended. So I can’t quite make you out. Are you someone’s governess, perhaps? Do you teach your pupils from Sterne?” His amused smile faded as he went on before she could answer. “No, that doesn’t seem right.”
Looking down at her drab garments, Elisabeth laughed. “I’m sure I don’t know why you say so. I do look very like a governess. In fact, until a few weeks ago, I was a teacher at a seminary for young ladies. Now that my uncle has obligingly left me his fortune, I shall have to change my style of dress.”
“Uncle?” he asked. His eyes narrowed. “You can’t mean old Anthony Elham? I heard of his death.”
“Yes. I am Elisabeth Elham. Though it is not at all the thing to go about introducing oneself to strange men,” she told herself reflectively.
The rider laughed. “I hope I’m not strange. But I beg pardon. I should have made myself known to you immediately. I am your neighbor, Derek Wincannon. Do you mean to say that old Elham has left you Willowmere?”
Elisabeth shrugged. “It is part of the estate. And a very ramshackle part, I must say. I have never seen so neglected a house.”
“It’s the scandal of the neighborhood,” said Mr. Wincannon. “Your uncle was a shocking landlord and a worse neighbor.”
“From what I heard of him,” answered Elisabeth, “he was uniformly shocking. I’m rather sorry I never met him.” The man laughed again. “But in any case, you may inform the neighborhood that I shall be putting the place to rights as soon as I may.”
“That’s good news. Will you be settling there?”
“No. At least, not immediately. I shall live in London for a time, at Elham House.”
“For the season, I assume.”
“Yes, I’ll be bringing out my cousin.”
You are bringing out someone? I’d have thought it would be the other way about.”
“Oh, no,” Elisabeth smiled. “I’m beyond that sort of thing. Quite on the shelf, in fact,” she added lightly.
“I see it now,” he responded dryly, “a veritable antique. How can I have mistaken you for girl in her twenties?”
She laughed. “Well, I daresay I shall attend a few parties also, if I’m asked.”
He smiled. “There can be little doubt of that, I should think. You’ll wish to sample the gaities of the season and attend the assemblies at Almack’s.”
“Almack’s? Oh, no, I shouldn’t think so.”
He raised his eyebrows.
“My father used to tell me stories about London, and he was most severe on Almack’s. He called it the Marriage Mart and painted such a vivid picture of the trials young girls undergo as they are catalogued and labeled according to their faces and fortunes that he gave me quite a horror of the place. I don’t at all wish to go there now.”
Mr. Wincannon’s interest was definitely caught. “Now?”
“Well, of course I might have done so some years ago had I been offered the opportunity,” Elisabeth explained obligingly. “When one is thrown penniless upon the world at the age of nineteen, one is willing to try any shift to come about again. I was very willing then to marry to make my fortune. But I wasn’t given the chance, and how fortunate that was, really. For now, you see, there is no need.”
Derek Wincannon laughed. “You are a most unusual girl,” he said.
“Because I prefer to order my own life now that I have the means to do so?” asked Elisabeth. “I’m persuaded you can’t really think so. Would you give up your independence without need? No indeed. When I was desperate and might have married, no one dared offer for me. I certainly won’t encourage anyone to do so now that I have an income.”
“Much good that will do you, I should say.”

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KindleAmazon Paperback

Amazon Author Page

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After enjoying this classic romance, dive into Jane Ashford’s current series, The Dukes Sons! Enter to win a copy of Heir to the Duke by Jane Ashford

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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JANE ASHFORD, a beloved author of historical romances, has been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, and Spain, as well as the United States. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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Review & Giveaway: THE FINAL SCORE (A Play-by-Play Novel) by Jaci Burton

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THE FINAL SCORE (A Play-by-Play Novel, Book 13) by Jaci Burton

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

IMG_9705In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Contact, a star quarterback is torn between his love of the game—and the woman who may be the love of his life.

Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget.

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza.

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia discover that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

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Donna 4 stars

This installment in the Play by Play series is a true slice of life, not only for Mia and Nathan, but the friends and family around them. I connected with Nathan from the beginning. I liked his humor and easy manner…and of course, his sexiness. I liked Mia as well, but she frustrated me a few times. Ms. Burton’s smooth writing style helped to ease those edges though, and wrote a fun romantic story – perfect timing for football season too.

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

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Excerpt

READ AN EXCERPT HERE

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Additional Store Links

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Final Score_Burton Giveaway Package

A Jaci Burton Football Prize Pack! One U.S. winner will receive all 7 football themed Play-by-Play novels, 2 custom koozies, and an adorable cooler!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: A GENTLEMAN NEVER SURRENDERS by Lauren Smith

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A GENTLEMAN NEVER SURRENDERS (Sins and Scandals Book 2) by Lauren Smith

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

Smith_AGentlemanNeverSurrenders_ebookLove is worth a little scandal.

Owen Hadley needs a wife. Preferably a wealthy one. Alas, there aren’t a great number of heiresses willing to marry a rogue of no particular fortune—luckily, if there is ever a gentleman capable of melting a lady’s chilly heart, it’s Owen.

Milly has had enough of the marriage mart. If matrimony means giving up her freedom for a foppish husband, then society can take their idea of marital bliss and toss it. But when the ton’s most notorious rogue mistakenly makes his way into her bedchambers, Milly finds herself unexpectedly and unwillingly at the altar . . .

Yet the more time she spends with her new husband, the more Milly starts to wonder if the marriage she never wanted may be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Now it’s up to Owen to convince Milly that what started as a mistake is anything but—and that every night with him will be more wonderfully scandalous than the last.

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Excerpt

Milly climbed onto the bed and pulled the bedclothes up around her chest and sighed. The bed was so large, and rather lonely. Usually she didn’t let such a melancholy thought bother her, but tonight for some reason, it did. There was a dull ache in her chest and she rubbed the spot with her hand. Somewhere tonight, Mr. Hadley was likely climbing into bed, dreaming of all the young ladies’ hearts he would steal and break. A treacherous little flutter in her chest made Milly wince. She ought not to think of Hadley, certainly not while she was in bed…yet thinking of him, as frustrating and maddeningly irritating as he was, flushed her with a welcome heat in the chilly room.
The oil lamp beside her bed was the only light left in the room and it burned steadily. Often she read late into the night and forgot to turn it off, but tonight she was too tired to read. She reached over and gently twisted the brass knob to kill the little flame. Darkness absorbed the dying light and Milly flipped onto her back. The cold of the sheets almost stung her bare toes and legs when her nightdress rode up to her knees. A cold bed, an empty bed. It shouldn’t have upset her, but after Mr. Hadley’s talk of heat and summer, she was off balance and bothered.
The mere thought of him and the way his eyes had darkened and seemed to shimmer with inner flames brought on another rush of warmth. His eyes, like honeyed fire, and his lips, the way he’d smiled sardonically, almost mockingly, in a way she rather liked, irritated her, yet fascinated her. There was no reason to like a man’s mouth or to imagine what it might be like to have that mouth pressed to hers in a kiss that caused the heat he was so fond of discussing. She knew his kiss would be hot, because when she thought of it, her body blossomed with a swelling of heat in her belly. His mouth is wicked…sinful…and I hate that I wish to know how he tastes. It was a forbidden thought, but one she couldn’t deny. She rolled over onto her stomach, fluffed her pillow, and squeezed her eyes shut, attempting to will herself to sleep. It was going to be a long night.

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Buy Links

Kindle $1.99 http://amzn.to/2gVSNQ4
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2sXY9if
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xgD8Vq
iBooks: http://apple.co/2gXrRTK

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Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of A Gentleman Never Surrenders!

http://bit.ly/2vwPcSf

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About the Author

LAUREN SMITH, winner of the 2014 Historical International Digital Award, attended Oklahoma State University, where she earned a B.A. in both history and political science. Drawn to paintings and museums, Lauren is obsessed with antiques and satisfies her fascination with history by writing and exploring exotic, ancient lands. She is currently an attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: PROMISE TO DEFEND by Diana Gardin

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PROMISE TO DEFEND (Rescue Ops Series Book 2) by Diana Gardin

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

Gardin_PromisetoDefend_ebookBy saving her, he might just save himself…

I’m broken. I have been for seven years. Ever since my wife was murdered while I was deployed overseas. I was protecting our country, but I should have been protecting her. I haven’t looked at another woman since–but then Olive Alexander crossed my path. She stirs up feelings I thought were long dead. So when her house is ransacked after she receives a threatening message, I know I have to step in and keep her safe. I failed my wife, but I won’t fail Olive. Unfortunately, Olive isn’t exactly ready to accept my help…

With her sexy-as-sin pencil skirts and sleek ponytails, Olive clearly doesn’t let anything–or anyone–mess up her perfectly ordered life. But years spent working as a special ops soldier has taught me how to read people… and I know Olive is hiding something. When my covert mission for Night Eagle Security collides with Olive’s past, I’ll have to get her to open up–or risk losing her. And losing Olive is not an option. If she’s in danger, I’ll defend her…even if it costs me my life.

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Excerpt

“Couldn’t sleep, Red?”
“No.”
Turning, he gets up and walks down the hall. I hear a door open and close and when he returns, his arms are laden with a cozy-looking gray chenille blanket. Pausing in front of me as I look up at him in confusion, he uses his leg to nudge my knee.
“Scoot over.”
Moving sideways, Ronin sits down and stretches out behind me on the couch. Then he spreads the blanket out over his legs and wraps an arm around my waist. He tugs, and I find myself settling down in front of him while he spoons me from behind. He places the blanket over both of us, and then wraps his other arm around me.
It’s like I’m trapped in the hardest, warmest, most protective, best-smelling cocoon there ever was.
At first, I’m stiff, because what?
Ronin’s scent wafts over me, and I breathe it in like a woman deprived of air. It’s partly cologne, but it’s a fresh, masculine clean scent with just the tiniest hint of spice. It’s amazing. His body, pressed up against mine in the most intimate way, is so hard that heat pools deep in my gut and my thighs clench together to try to fight the bubbling desire he’s stirring up inside me. A kind of true desire I haven’t felt in years.
His arms tighten around me, pulling me closer. “Relax, Red.” His words raise the hairs on the back of my neck, and a delicate shiver rolls through my whole body.
Taking a deep breath, I allow myself to soften against him.
“Not comfortable being touched, are you?” Ronin’s voice in my ear is husky and deep, and it feels like he’s reaching inside me rather than just speaking to me.
I shrug. “Not usually.”
“Do you want to talk about why that is, Red?”
My eyes trail over his hands as his capable fingers begin to stroke unassumingly along my forearms. It’s the slightest touch. Barely a caress, really, but the way I can feel it reverberating everywhere from my neck to my toes is unsettling. I’ve never been touched on a level as deep as this, and I don’t know what to do with the way it feels.
Shrugging again, I think about how to answer that question.
“I’m just…cautious…after everything.”
There. That should satisfy his curiosity.
But Ronin doesn’t quite let it go. “There’s more to you than cautiousness. And that’s okay…I get it. I have layers, too. Ones that go so deep I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the bottom of them. And I’d never expect anyone else to, either.”
The sheer understanding in his tone floors me. He doesn’t elaborate on his own issues, and he doesn’t ask me to delve further into mine. I’ve never been around a man who doesn’t ask for something from me, usually too much, in return for spending time with him.
Tentatively, I caress the bicep that holds me so tightly. The corded muscles jump beneath my touch, and I can feel the breath that Ronin sucks in.
“Tell me about these?” I ask, caressing the giant bird tattoo in the center.
His voice low, velvety, he answers me. “Well, this is an eagle in flight. I got it when I first joined the army.”
I trace the intricate details of the tattoo, the fine lines given to each of the bird’s feathers.
“And this one,” he continues, indicating the three thick, black bands stretching around his arm nearer his shoulder. “Represent each time I had to pass a test to achieve something great. Army entrance, officer exam, Ranger training.”
Marveling, I imagine the sheer amount of strength it took for him to achieve each of these goals.
He’s silent for a moment, and I trace the bright, bold heart tattoo entwined with rope. “And this one?”
Ronin stiffens slightly. He pauses, but then when he answers, there’s a cooler quality to his voice, one that I don’t understand. “That represents my heart.”
And that’s it. That’s all he says, and it surprises me how much that hurts.
We sit in silence for a few long moments, the tension swirling between us, when I finally feel his body relax against mine once again.
I haven’t stiffened since we started talking. I haven’t felt the need to flee from his hold, to shy away from his closeness. It’s huge, at least for me. This doesn’t happen. Not unless it’s on my terms, and with men I can keep at a safe distance.
But something tells me there’s no keeping Ronin at a distance. It should terrify me…but it doesn’t. Instead, a spark of hope flickers to life inside me. Hope that this man can succeed in breaking down the walls I’ve built so carefully around my heart.
When a chuckle rumbles through his chest, I almost jump out of my skin and his grip on me tightens for just a moment to reassure me.
“What the hell is this?” he asks.
Focusing my attention on the television, a smile ghosts across my lips. “It’s ‘Behind the Scenes: Big Top.’” Reality television is an addiction for me, and the show that follows the leading players in a traveling circus behind the scenes is one of my favorites.
His laughter grows louder and I can’t help myself; I chuckle right along with him.
“Red…please tell me why we’re watching ‘Behind the Scenes: Big Top.’” The teasing lilt in his voice makes my pulse race.
“I like it.” Feeling the need to defend myself, my tone is indignant. “If I weren’t an interior designer, and I was just a little bit braver, I think I’d probably be a circus performer.”
Ronin’s laughter fades away as he considers my words. “What act would you do?”
I can answer that question without a second thought. “I’d be a trapeze artist. Flying high, all those dangerous catches? The freedom of it? It’d be amazing.”
Ronin’s quiet for a moment. I think he’s forgotten all about my answer when he speaks again, his words dusting across my skin once more.
“That’s a circus I’d pay big money to watch, Red. Because I think I’d really enjoy seeing you look free.”

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2wTojr9
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2uSpzXF
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2gZzeGD
iBooks: http://apple.co/2wTD5Pv

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Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Promise to Defend!

http://bit.ly/2uyBzyb

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About the Author

Diana Gardin is a wife of one and a mom of two. Writing is her second full time job to that, and she loves it! Diana writes contemporary romance in the Young Adult and New Adult categories. She’s also a former Elementary school teacher. She loves steak, sugar cookies, and Coke and hates working out.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Review: THE NEGOTIATOR (Harbor City) by Avery Flynn

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THE NEGOTIATOR (A Hot Romantic Comedy) (Harbor City) by Avery Flynn

Publication Date: April 24, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Comedy

Synopsis

IMG_9683Wanted: Personal Buffer
Often snarly, workaholic executive seeks “buffer” from annoying outside distractions AKA people. Free spirits with personal boundary issues, excessive quirks, or general squeamishness need not apply. Salary negotiable. Confidentiality required.

Workaholic billionaire Sawyer Carlyle may have joked he needed a “buffer” from their marriage-obsessed mom, but he didn’t need a waiting room filled with “candidates” to further distract him. (Thanks, bro.) But when a sexy job applicant shoos his mom and the socialite in tow out of his office, Sawyer sees the genius of the plan. And the woman. In fact, Miss Clover Lee might just get the fastest promotion in history, from buffer to fake fiancé…

This “free-spirit” might look like hot sunshine and lickable rainbows, but she negotiates like a pitbull. Before Sawyer knows what hit him, he’s agreed to give up Friday nights for reality TV, his Saturdays for flea markets (why buy junk still baffles him), his Tuesdays and Thursdays for “date nights” (aka panty-losing opportunities if he plays his cards right). And now she wants lavender bath salts and tulips delivered every Monday?

Yup, she’s just screwing with him. Good thing she’s got this non-negotiable six-weeks-and-she’s-gone rule or Sawyer may have just met this match…

~*~*~*~

Donna 5 Stars

I loved this witty romance filled with enough sexual tension to keep me glued to the pages. Smart, sexy and so much fun. Sawyer and Clover are proof that supposed opposites attract, and in fun ways. All the characters are believable and the banter pulled me in so that I felt a part of it all. Loved it.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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About the Author

imageAvery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

Excerpt Blitz: LONG, TALL COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Carolyn Brown

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LONG, TALL COWBOY CHRISTMAS (Happy, Texas Series Book 2) by Carolyn Brown

Publication Date: September 26, 2017

Genre: Western Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

Brown_LongTallCowboyCHristmas_MMA heartwarming holiday read from USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown

Nash Lamont is a man about as solitary as they come. That’s exactly why ranch life in middle-of-nowhere Happy, Texas suits him. So what the heck is he doing letting a beautiful widow and her three rambunctious children temporarily move in? Before he knows it, they’re stringing Christmas lights and decorating the tree… and he’s having the time of his life. But after everything he’s been through, Nash knows this kind of happiness doesn’t last.

Kasey Dawson thought she’d never get over the death of her husband. Nash, with his strong hands and infinite patience, is stirring something she hasn’t felt in a long time. Kasey knows the sexy cowboy isn’t telling her everything about this past, though. And she refuses to risk heartbreak all over again. But her kids have a plan of their own: Nothing will keep them from having a real family again-even if it takes a little help from Santa himself.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

Padding out of the room in her flannel pajama pants and an oversized faded shirt, Kasey found Nash washing dishes and no kids in sight.
“Shhh…” He put a finger over his lips. “They just now dropped off for naps. If they hear your voice, they’ll wake up.”
She frowned and pointed toward the dining room. “What is that?”
“Camping out,” he explained.
A white sheet had been draped over the dining room table, creating a tent. Underneath were pillows, books and two sleeping children.
“They’re camping and I’m watching out for bears and skunks,” he explained. “Hungry?”
“Starving. I’m always nauseated at the onset of one of the headaches and afterwards so hungry I could eat one of those bears if you catch it.” She caught a whiff of Italian food. “You cooked?”
“Of course,” he said. “Sit down right here and let me work on your neck. Lots of headaches are stress related and come out of the neck.”
She eased down into a chair and Nash went to work on her temples first, placing his hands on her cheeks so that his thumbs worked on the spots between her eyebrows and hair line. Making lazy circles and increasing the pressure every few seconds, he kept up the massage for a good five minutes before moving around to the back of the chair. He took her neck in his hands, heating her hormones to the boiling point. Rolling it around in his hands, she could feel the tension leaving her body by degrees. Then he began to massage her shoulders, digging his fingers into the knots and dissolving them. The pain in her head dissolved to half strength and her stomach grumbled.
“Now for food. Sit right there and I will bring it to the table.”
Kasey couldn’t remember the last time a man had waited on her. “God, this is amazing,” she said after taking a bite of the spaghetti he put in front of her. “Did you make the sauce from scratch?”
He nodded. “Just like my cousin Amanda taught me. She married an Italian, and she’s an amazing cook. After eating her marinara, that stuff you buy in a jar at the grocery store is pretty bland.”
“You cook and watch kids, run a ranch—what can you not do?” Kasey asked.
“I’m not real good at talkin’ to most people,” he said.
“That’s not what I see.” She almost groaned when she bit into a slab of garlic bread.
“Oh yeah? And what do you see?”
“I see a man who’s got some demons, but you talk to me just fine,” she told him between bites.
“Well, you’re special,” he replied softly.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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✦HAPPY, TEXAS SERIES BY CAROLYN BROWN✦
1. TOUGHEST COWBOY IN TEXAS
2. LONG, TALL COWBOY CHRISTMAS
3. LUCKIEST COWBOY OF ALL

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About the author

Carolyn Brown Author bio picNew York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than sixty books.

Brown presently writes both women’s fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title and contemporary series. She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

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Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: HER DARK HALF (X-Ops) by Paige Tyler

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HER DARK HALF (X-Ops Book 7) by Paige Tyler

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

her dark half_ coverTrevor Maxwell
• Coyote shifter with an attitude
• Covert operator
• Trusts no one, especially his devastatingly beautiful new partner

Alina Bosch
• Former CIA, newest operative on the covert team
• Hired to spy on her partner
• Motto: “Never be deceived again.”

Coyote shifter Trevor Maxwell is teamed up with CIA agent Alina Bosch to catch a killer. But when the mission becomes much more dangerous than they expected, they’re going to have to ignore the attraction between them and learn how to trust one another to come out on the other side…

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Donna review 4.5 stars

I enjoyed this rollercoaster ride of a story. It never let up on the intensity so that I could catch my breath. Between the dangerous action and heated romance, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Although it would be easy enough to figure out what was going on, it isn’t a stand-alone novel, even though Alina is a new character. Reading the others in this series will help you know the players and the why of their actions. Trevor and Alina make a believable pair, and the lead-in to the next book has me waiting impatiently.

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

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Excerpt

“What’s the plan here?” she asked Trevor quietly as the restaurant’s patrons eyed them curiously. “Because I don’t see anyone warming up to us enough to invite us into the back room.”
“We’re Trevor and Alina Hoffman, a filthy rich, newly married couple from Silicon Valley,” Trevor said, glancing around as if taking in the ambience. “We’ve been on an extended honeymoon for the past few months and are currently heading for a trans-Atlantic cruise out of New York City. We decided to do some gambling and got tired of dealing with all the crap at the local casino.”
“You think they’ll buy that?” she asked as he led her across the room toward the door with the guards.
“You sell the fact that we’re a newly married couple, and I’ll make them believe I’m a rich guy with a gambling addiction.”
She could do that. Then she realized one big flaw in their cover story. “If we’re a newly married couple, shouldn’t I be wearing a ring?”
Trevor gave her a sidelong glance. “What makes you think you aren’t?”
She looked down at her hand in confusion and almost fell off her stacked heels as she saw the monstrously large diamond he’d somehow slipped onto her ring finger when she wasn’t looking. Oh crud, it was huge! And as beautiful as any she’d ever seen.
“When did you put this on? More importantly, is this thing real?” she whispered.
Thank goodness she had his arm to keep her steady. She was feeling faint at the idea of wearing a diamond that was probably worth more than her entire apartment.
“I put it on you when we were married on the first of June in Monaco,” he whispered back. “And of course it’s real. I would never put something fake on the love of my life.”
“Trevor, I’m serious,” she said.
He made a face. “Okay. I slipped it on your finger when I was helping you out of the SUV. And yes, it’s real, so don’t lose it. I had to sign my life away to get it out of the DCO safes.”
She gulped. “How much is it worth?”
“Nothing compared to you, sweetheart,” he said in a romantic tone as they stopped in front of the two guards.
The bouncers working this door were a little bit more professional than the ones outside.
“Can I help you?” one of the men asked in a deep, rough voice that made Alina wonder if he chewed gravel for fun.
“Someone told me a man might be able to find a friendly game of poker somewhere near here,” Trevor said casually. “I don’t suppose you two might be able to point my wife and me in the right direction for a game like that?”
The two men regarded him suspiciously.
“I think you’re talking about the Horseshoe Casino,” Gravel said. “It’s nearby, very clean and friendly.” Trevor chuckled. “The Horseshoe is very friendly. But the place doesn’t have the quite the atmosphere we’re looking for. It’s a little too…what’s the word?… sanitized for our liking.”
Gravel studied Trevor for a moment, then glanced at the bar, giving someone there a nod. Ten seconds later, a slim man in an expensive suit appeared at their side.
“My name is Teddy,” he said in a cautious yet friendly tone. “What can I do for you?”
“I’m Trevor Hoffman. This is my wife, Alina. We’re getting ready to head out on a cruise in a few days and decided to do some gambling while we’re in town. Someone told us this place runs a clean game, so I thought I’d spend some money here.”
Teddy surveyed them with a practiced eye, taking in the cut of Trevor’s suit and her expensive gown, not to mention the big honking ring she wore. He must have liked what he saw, because he nodded.
“If I could get some identification and a credit card from you, Mr. Hoffman, I can quickly check your credentials and set you up with a line of credit.”
Alina tensed as Trevor handed over the requested ID and credit card. They could be in trouble. The fake ID and credit card by themselves would have taken quite a bit of time and money to pull off. Coming up with an Internet background to support that would take even longer.
“What are they going to find when they run your name and that credit card number?” she whispered as he slipped his arm around her and casually urged her away from the two men guarding the door.
“Relax.” He flashed her a grin. “They’ll find us with all the relevant financial and societal tidbits one would expect to see when looking at the rich and bored.”
She glanced at Teddy. He typed something into a computer just out of sight behind the bar. A moment later, he lifted his head and frowned in their direction.
“Something’s wrong,” she whispered.
Even the two guards were eyeing them funny now. She was starting to wish she had a weapon. If things went bad, they were in trouble.
“Alina,” Trevor said softly as he tightened his arm around her waist and tugged her closer. “Now’s the time for you to sell the newlywed thing.”
She opened her mouth to ask him exactly how he suggested she do that when he pulled her even closer.
She wished she could have said it was years of CIA training that took over and made her kiss him. But that wouldn’t have been true. Instead, it was a totally different kind of instinct. The kind that made a woman want to kiss a hot guy.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle  | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Explore the world of X-Ops! Enter to win a copy of Her True Match by Paige Tyler

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the author image

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

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review & Giveaway: GOING DARK (The Lost Platoon) by Monica McCarty

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GOING DARK (The Lost Platoon, Book 1) by Monica McCarty

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

IMG_9622The members of a top secret SEAL Team can’t keep their passion under wraps in this thrilling contemporary romantic suspense series from New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty.

Like Rome’s Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.

After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.

Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she’d intended, there is only one man she can turn to. . . .

She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven’t exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he’s the kind of man she can depend on. Because he’s gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her. . . .

~*~*~*~

Donna 5 Stars

This story is fast paced and exciting. I liked both characters instantly, even though I didn’t have a lot in common with either one. I liked that they were almost polar opposites, and yet respected each other’s views with an open mind. Their disagreements never got to the “that’s enough already” stage for me, and I liked that. The romance part was smoking hot and blended well into the story, smoothly ebbing and flowing with the danger all around them. I can’t wait to read the next installment to find out what happens with them and the rest of the lost platoon! I loved it.

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

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Excerpt

Read an Excerpt Here: http://monicamccarty.com/books/goingdark.php

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

Paperback Copy of GOING DARK (The Lost Platoon) by Monica McCarty.

ENTER FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY HERE

Winner will be selected (9/15) by 6PM CST. Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway. Paperback was provided to Reading in Pajamas by Berkley Romance.

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About the Author

Monica McCarty is the bestselling author of The Arrow, The Raider, The Hunter, the Highlander trilogy, the Campbell trilogy, and more. Her interest in the Scottish clan system began in the most unlikely of places: a comparative legal history course at Stanford Law School. After a short but enjoyable stint as an attorney, she realized that her career as a lawyer paired with her husband’s transitory life as a professional baseball player was not the best match. So she traded in her legal briefs for Scottish historical romances with sexy alpha heroes. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Spotlight, Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: ON THE CHASE (Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit) by Katie Ruggle

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ON THE CHASE (Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit Series, Book 2) by Katie Ruggle

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

image003Injured in the line of duty,

His orders are simple:

Stay alive.

But when a frightened woman bursts into his life, Hugh and his K9 companion have no choice but to risk everything to keep her safe.

The sole witness to a horrific crime, Kaylee Ramay flees to the Colorado Rockies to start a new life. There she becomes Grace, a dog kennel employee desperately trying to avoid attention—especially from dangerously attractive K9 Officer Hugh Murdoch.

Because Hugh is tall, dark…and nothing but trouble.

Hugh is anxious to get back in the field after an act of heroism left him warming the bench. Until then, he and his K9 partner Lexi spend their hours teasing the town’s mysterious newcomer. But when their simmering attraction is nearly cut short by a sniper’s bullet, Hugh’s mystery woman must come clean about the secrets she keeps…

Or both of them will pay the price.

~*~*~*~

Donna 5 Stars

I love Katie Ruggle’s stories, the characters are fun and realistic no matter what situation they’re in. Hugh is, of course, handsome, and he has a sense of humor that is not over the top. I wasn’t sure about Kaylee at first, but she grew on me fast. Together they made a fun couple to read about. It was a fast-paced, action filled suspense, with enough romantic tension to keep me turning the pages for more. I’m liking this new series.

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

~*~*~*~

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Excerpt

“How’s your head?”
His smile dimmed just slightly before returning to full wattage. “Still where it’s supposed to be. I might have lost a few brain cells, but there were plenty to spare.”
Grace rolled her eyes. Of course he would joke about almost dying. Forget that she hadn’t been able to sleep or think about anything else for the past five days since Jules told her about the explosion. She didn’t know why she cared, why she worried about him, why the idea of him almost dying made her heart hurt. It wasn’t like they were friends. Every time they saw each other, they argued. Even now, seeing Hugh all happy and smirky and healthy-looking, she felt her worry turn to annoyance. “Have you found out who planted the bomb yet?”
“Can’t talk about an ongoing investigation,” he said lightly. “You know what we can talk about, though?”
“What?” she asked warily. He was just a few steps away, and she realized that she’d been moving closer without even realizing it. Stupid feet. Don’t they know he’s an ass?
Hugh gestured at her soaked coveralls. “This incredibly fashion-forward look you have going here.”
Her finger hovered close to the trigger. So maybe he’d lose a little skin if she gave him a quick spray. Really, it was what he deserved. With a great effort of will, she kept the washer down at her side.
“You like it?” Posing with her free hand on her hip, she gave him her best sultry-model face. If she had to be stuck wearing wet coveralls and too-large rubber boots, then she was going to own the look.
He chuckled, although his gaze heated as he took her in. “Oh yeah. It’s kennel chic.”
“Right.” Dropping the pose, she frowned at him, trying to figure out why he was looking at her like he wanted to eat her. There was nothing appealing about her at the moment. She’d known this even before she glanced down again, confirming the horrid state of her appearance. “I miss wearing pretty things.”
Immediately, his gaze sharpened. “Pretty things? Like what you used to wear to work? What did you do before in…Bangor?”
That slight pause reminded her that he was a cop—a cop who thought she was a liar. Tipping her head, she gave him a flirty look. “You want to know something?”
“Yeah. What?” He moved a half step closer, his inquisitive expression shifting to something a little…hungrier.
She smiled and leaned toward him. His gaze dropped to her lips. “I’m beginning to understand why someone would want to blow you up.”
To her surprise, he laughed. It made him even more stupidly attractive than usual, and Grace found herself unable to look away. “I’m told that a lot.”
Thrown off guard, she scrambled for a witty retort. “Maybe you should, you know, work on that.”
“Work on fixing my personality?” He leaned against the wall, and Grace gave a silent sigh. It looked as if he was settling in for a chat. As much as she welcomed an interruption from kennel cleaning, Hugh wasn’t her first pick. Whenever he was around, she felt strange, unsettled, almost jittery. He’d pop into her head at odd times, and just the thought of him sent a rush of adrenaline through her veins. It was…uncomfortable.
She realized that he was watching her with a tiny, knowing smile, and she tried to remember what they’d been talking about. “Whatever.” Grace figured that would cover most potential topics. “Why are you here?”
“Otto’s working with his latest project.”
“That explains why he’s here. Why are you here?”
He smirked. The man was impossible to offend. “I was bored, so I tagged along. It’s a good thing, too. We haven’t talked much lately. I was going to stop by to watch Tattered Hearts with you again, but Theo gave me a little lecture about the importance of keeping my lockpicks in my pants.”
“What a shame,” she said flatly, proud of herself for not giving in and smiling. It was hard to resist Hugh’s easy charm. “Well, this was a nice chat. We’ll have to do it again sometime…or not.”
His grin grew, and it became harder to keep her deadpan expression in place. “Oh, our visit isn’t over. Otto won’t be done for a while yet. So tell me, Not-Grace, how long did you live in Bangor?”
“Almost two years.”
“And before that?”
“Austin, Texas.”
“For how long?”
“Eight months.”
“Before that?”
“Portland.”
“Maine or Oregon?”
“Oregon.”
“Do you ever tell the truth?”
“Why do you think I’m lying?”
He smiled at her—a long, slow, easy, predatory baring of his teeth. “I can tell when someone’s lying. It’s my superpower.”
Grace shivered and immediately hoped he hadn’t noticed. By his expression, however, he’d seen it. He looked like a smug housecat, ready to pounce on a trapped mouse. “It’s none of your business. So I’ve moved around a lot. That’s not a crime. I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“Then why are you lying?”
“I told you.” To her annoyance, she couldn’t hold his gaze. Turning her head, she stared at one of the kennels. “I’m not lying. Go away. I have to get back to work.”
She started spraying down the kennels again. The entire time, she felt his gaze on the back of her neck, as hot as sunburn on her skin. It made her crazy that he could bring out such a reaction in her, when she was just a suspect to him. Every time Hugh was nearby, her skin buzzed and her blood flowed faster, and when he left, she felt let down and lonely. He was a cop, and an annoying one at that. Why did she allow him to affect her like this? When she reached the end of the row, she couldn’t take it anymore. Turning, she huffed, “Would you please just…”
He was gone.
She glanced around, but she was alone. Moving over to the door, she looked out and saw Hugh limping slightly as he made his way to the squad car.
It was her turn to watch him. Crazily enough, she felt slightly deflated now that he’d left. Shaking off her idiotic thoughts, she firmed her jaw and turned back to the kennels. Forget Hugh, she told herself firmly. There’s poo to clean.
Even so, she couldn’t resist a final glance out the open door.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

~*~*~*~

CHECK OUT BOOK 1:

RUN TO GROUND (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit Book 1) by Katie Ruggle Kindle | Review 5 Stars

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Also check out Katie Ruggle’s Search and Rescue series! 

Search and Rescue Series – Amazon Series Link: http://amzn.to/1QUqjBr
On His Watch (novella) ➢ http://amzn.to/1n61qck
Hold Your Breath ➢ Review 5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-4Am | http://amzn.to/1P4yEFa
Fan the Flames ➢ Review 5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-5orhttp://amzn.to/1SH25hR
Gone too Deep ➢ Review 5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-5Nbhttp://amzn.to/1LiJlm3
In Safe Hands ➢ Review 5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-6Nihttp://amzn.to/29HSXWW

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Giveaway

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SEARCH & RESCUE PRIZE PACK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author
imageWhen she’s not writing, KATIE RUGGLE rides horses, shoots guns, and trains her three dogs. A police academy graduate, Katie readily admits she’s a forensics nerd. While she still misses her off-grid home in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in a 150-year-old Minnesota farmhouse near her family.

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