Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE COST OF HONOR by Diana Muñoz Stewart

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THE COST OF HONOR (Black Ops Confidential Series, Book 3) by Diana Muñoz Stewart

Publication Date: November 26, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

7C76234A-2A67-495B-A06D-3DA3DB6B1B7FShe saved him. But to save her, he’ll have to walk away…

The only male to be adopted into the notorious Parish family, Tony Parish always did right by his vigilante sisters. But when an attempt to protect one of them went horribly wrong, he had to fake his own death to escape his fanatical family. As “Lazarus,” he disappeared to Dominica—only to awaken face to face with the woman of his dreams…

When Honor Silva plunged into stormy waters to rescue a drowning kiteboarder, she had no idea resuscitating the sexy stranger would bring life-changing love—and life-threatening danger—crashing into her world.

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Donna 4 stars

I was glad that I liked Honor and Tony right away, and that they just went with their desires instead of fighting it. Yes, he had his secrets, but that didn’t stop either of them. This romantic suspense had a lot going on – constant danger, mysterious murders, and sexy romance. I enjoyed almost all of it. My main problem that was not resolved for me, was the reason for his faked death. If he was that close to his family, why was there the need for his action….and why oh why was there a need for their actions. It made no sense to me and frankly, it ticked me off. It shows how much I liked the rest of the story with all it’s twists and turns, to rate it a 4, because one of my favorite things in books is a group dynamic. A closeness with those around them. I did not get that from this book. I hope there is a book 4 in this series, as I liked the writing style and all other parts of this story.

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

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Excerpt

As Honor opened the door to lead Laz into her chocolate store, she cursed her cowardice. Why hadn’t she kissed him? She could see he’d wanted her to. Could feel the scorching heat between them. And yet as he’d looked down at her, too handsome to be real, she’d froze.
Inside the store, the cool air smelled of sugar and chocolate and spices. And well it should with cases of chocolate, shelves of wrapped chocolate, fudge and elaborate displays of green and gold boxed chocolates.
As Laz looked around at the store, she closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and let it out with a satisfied sigh.
When she opened her eyes, she found him staring at her mouth. Heat rushed through her. She should’ve kissed him. Should’ve kissed him. “You like?”
He grinned.
“I mean the store.” What was wrong with her? “Do you like the store?”
His smile widened. “It’s a great store. Best I’ve ever seen.”
It was. It was, in fact, a perfect candy store. Her chocolatier’s dream. She was glad he enjoyed it, but one thing made her nervous. Well, many things about him made her nervous, but right now this. Getting him to taste something.
Time to bite the bullet. She pointed at the rows of dishes in the glass case, white china, filled with different types of chocolate and truffles. “What’s your favorite?”
He put down a chocolate bar whose wrapper he’d been reading. “My favorite? Would it disappoint you if I said I’m not a huge chocolate fan?”
Would it disappoint her? Was he kidding? “Are you trying to cause me physical pain?”
He laughed. “No. I love chocolate.” He moved closer to her, front to front. “Can’t get enough. You have anything with some bite?”
Biting. Yes. What? She was losing her mind. Oh, he was so hot. But this was her chance. Her chance to make up for her missed opportunity. Bold, Honor. Be bold.
She leaned past him, into him. Her entire front caught fire. She gathered up a jar of chocolate  sticks, took one out. Putting the jar back, she brushed his bicep. Hopefully he didn’t notice her shaking hands.
She held up the chocolate stick. “I invented this.”
“A small, chocolate straw?”
She pulled off the plastic wrapper. “It’s a kissing stick. The middle is filled with a warm surprise, but as you can see, it’s a little large for one mouth to suck on.”
He grinned at her. “I think I might need a demonstration.”
She grinned back. Oh good. That was what she’d wanted. “The things I do for my craft.”
She put the chocolate straw in her mouth, up to the center, tilted up her chin. He dipped down and captured the other end of the stick.
Heat. Heat like she never felt before shot through her body. She clutched at him, had no choice, no way not to. Her body took over, closed down her mind. Closer. More. Closer. Now.
The chocolate reacted instantly, melting against their lips. Her hot and needy tongue licked the chocolate from his full lips.
The cayenne warmed her already tingling mouth, and she found her boldness in her desire. She probed the kiss, begged him to let her inside.
He did. Eagerly.
She moaned and moved into him. He put his arms around her. He’d given her the first move, but he was taking control now, demonstrating his own need.
His body was hard against her, mouth pulling at her, tasting her. The chocolate melted, leaving the cayenne slick between them.
The jingle of the bells over the door brought her to her senses. What was she doing? In the middle of her store?
She broke off the kiss, licked her lips, stepped back from him. They stared at each other. Their breathing heavy and much too loud. The heat in their mouths was nothing compared to the heat building between them. She couldn’t have mumbled a single word.
What was this?
What was happening to her?
She’d never felt this way about a man. She’d thought it was a myth, this type of attraction—the kind that drove away doubt and common sense. She needed to take him to her room and rip off his clothes.
But was this unique for him too? Or did he act this way or feel this way with all women? A bolt of pain, real pain, pierced her chest. She had to be cautious. This was her first experience with these feelings, this desire, but that didn’t mean it was his. Maybe he did this to all women.
He licked his lips. “Sweet.” His voice was thick with need.
Though she wanted to grab another stick, take another chance with feeling his firm and eager body against hers, she found her voice and a better idea. “My grandfather usually finishes the tour around five, so we have some time. Would you like me to show you the rooms?”
His eyebrows jumped. “That sounds fantastic. Let’s start with yours.”
This man had just read her mind. Not that you needed to be a mind reader. She was sending up red signal flares that burst into the air between them spelling out, I’m going to take you hard. You’re mine.

Excerpted from The Cost of Honor by Diana Muñoz Stewart. © 2019 by Diana Muñoz Stewart. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Black Ops Confidential Series:
I Am Justice (Book 1)
The Price of Grace (Book 2)
The Cost of Honor (Book 3)

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Giveaway

3 Sets of I Am Justice and The Price of Grace

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About the Author

Having earned her MFA in Creative Writing, DIANA MUÑOZ STEWART went on to write several novels that garnered awards and recognition in the paranormal, science fiction, and contemporary romance genres. A believer in the power of words to heal and connect, she blogs and provides web-content on health, writing, and social issues.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: I AM JUSTICE by Diana Muñoz Stewart

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I AM JUSTICE (Band of Sisters, Book 1) by Diana Muñoz Stewart

Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

EF35DED4-71E7-45FC-BDC6-144988EEA0C7This bad-ass band of sisters plays for keeps.

She’s ready to start a war

Justice Parish takes down bad guys. Rescued from the streets by the world renowned Parish family, she joined their covert sisterhood of vigilante assassins. Her next target: a sex-trafficking ring in the war-torn Middle East. She just needs to get close enough to take them down…

He just wants peace

Sandesh Ross left Special Forces to found a humanitarian group to aid war-torn countries. But saving the world isn’t cheap. Enter Parish Industries and limitless funding, with one catch—their hot, prickly ‘PR specialist’, Justice Parish.

Their chemistry is instant and off-the-charts. But when Justice is injured and her cover blown, Sandesh has to figure out if he can reconcile their missions. With danger dogging their every move, their white-hot passion can change the world—if it doesn’t destroy them first.

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Excerpt

Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Deep inside the stone-and-spire main building of the 160-acre campus of the Mantua Academy for Girls, Justice knew the thing that sucked most about a family business. The family part.
She reached her sister’s office…door? Great. Bridget had followed through on her promise to have the door removed.
She rapped on the wood framing the empty doorway. Inside, Bridget sat cross-legged on her mesh, ergohuman office chair, eyes closed. Her frizzy, dark hair stabbed with a silver comb drooped lopsidedly, like a hairy modern art sculpture.
Justice smiled. This was so perfectly Bridget it almost deserved its own word, like freaktacular or weirdiful.
Justice knocked again. “Bridge?”
Bridget’s eyes fluttered open and locked on her. Justice instantly felt seen. As in seen below the skin. Shiva, uhm, Bridget quirked an eyebrow. “What can I do for you, Justice?”
“I need to talk to you about the yoga class. Is it true you have the girls chanting in Sanskrit?”
“Yes, but I’m not sure of your question. I submitted the yoga for approval through the director’s office.”
Justice walked into the office and plopped into a chair. “You got approval for yoga, She-pak Chopra. Not to have the girls chanting in Sanskrit. This isn’t good PR. And that’s bad for me. Means I have to do work.”
Bridget rested her hands on the desk. “I will limit my teaching to poses and centering music.”
Justice smiled. “Dammit, Bridge, you’re so easy.
Why can’t I have more sisters like you?”
“Perhaps, because you are as abrasive as a starving boar,” a voice said from the hall.
Justice turned. Sheared head, lips painted bright red, skin as satiny smooth and dark as a starless sky, and cocked against the doorway, the generous curve of boys- can’t-help-but-wonder hips clad in a leopard-print skirt. Dada, six-foot-two in spiked heels.
And this was the problem with having no doors. Justice slipped her shoe back on, rose, and crossed the room. “You’re home? Aren’t you supposed to be con- tacting your Brothers Grim informant?”
Dada’s forehead creased. She looked around the hall, but the school staff, a.k.a. no-idea-a-secret-society-of- vigilantes-existed-under-their-feet staff, weren’t in yet. “Have you checked your secure email this morning?”
***
After passing through security, Justice whisked through the headquarters of the Parish empire in Philadelphia. She was too pissed to pay attention to the repeated nods and hellos. Momma’s morning email had sent her scrambling for her Jeep keys. The mission to take down the global trafficking ring had been put on hold.
Nope. Not happening.
She didn’t care if the Brothers Grim had been alerted by her screwup with Tony last week. Or that they’d moved their meeting up by six weeks. Or that they’d moved the location to Jordan—the one place on the entire fucking globe where the League had no established cover. This was bullshit.
Ahead, at the mahogany double doors at the mouth of two intersecting hallways, Momma’s executive assistant, straitlaced Lorena of the cotton button-downs and starched pantsuits, stood from her desk and crossed her arms. Huh. A human barricade.
Good thing Justice had been trained for just such an event.
Sprinting forward, she lifted her foot, planted the arch of her shoe against the edge of the desk, toed herself into the leap, and vaulted into the air.
Lorena ducked and cried out. Instant classic.
Justice landed with a thud. Lorena was still sputtering vague threats when Justice closed Momma’s office door. Click.
For a confused moment, she stood within the inner sanctum. A huge corner office with buttoned leather couches, two flat-screen TVs, a hulking Thor of a desk, and a well-stocked kitchen. The self-satisfied grin slipped from her face.
Shit.
The man—built like a hot night of unforgettable, wild blond hair like a sandstorm, eyes the color of the ocean after a lazy day in the sun—drove the air from her lungs. She couldn’t move. Struck deaf, dumb, and blind meet deer-in-headlights. Damn, the man was tall. Like a
wall. A wall of man muscle. So hot.
“Justice.” Leland, Momma’s oldest friend and most trusted adviser, extended his hand with a warm smile. His silver hair gleamed under the canopy of recessed lights. The gray- checkered Armani suit draped over him as if upon the confident shoulders of dignity itself.
Justice took Leland’s smooth hand. He pressed down firmly and tugged her farther inside.
“Sandesh, I’d like you to meet Justice Parish.” Only the stern grip of Leland’s hand told her how annoyed he was. “She does PR for the Mantua Academy and will be working on the Greenville Initiative. She is familiar with all aspects of our newest philanthropy venture.”
Dude was good. Calm. Graceful. And full of shit. Greenville? What was that project about? Giving away money, judging by what Leland had said.
Behind Leland, Momma’s brown eyes showed as little as the rose-colored niqab that covered her hair and face and scars.
Justice turned and gave Leland a rictus grin meant to be a smile. She was usually more successful at hiding her feelings, but a high-pressure situation—you know the kind where you Jack-be-nimbled your momma’s executive assistant, barged into a business meeting, and eye- appraised-seduced-and-fucked a total stranger—had her off her game.
“Actually, my role in all philanthropic projects is still advisory. I wouldn’t want to mislead, uhm, what was your name?”
Blue-Eyes reached for her hand. “I’m Sandesh. Head of the International Peace Team. We’re partnering with Greenville in Jordan.”
He slid his long fingers along her palm in a hot brush that sent her skin tingling. He grasped her hand. Heat suffused her body, brought a flush to her stomach and a smile to her lips. Nice.
Who said philanthropy wasn’t sexy?
Wait. Jordan?

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of I Am Justice by Diana Munoz Stewart

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About the Author

Diana Muñoz Stewart is the award-winning, romantic suspense author of the Band of Sisters series, which includes I Am Justice (Sourcebooks Casablanca). She lives in eastern Pennsylvania in an often chaotic and always welcoming home that—depending on the day—can include husband, kids, extended family, friends, and a canine or two. When not writing, Diana can be found kayaking, doing sprints up her long driveway—harder than it sounds–practicing yoga on her deck, flying, climbing, or hiking with the man who’s had her heart since they were teens. Find Diana at www.dianamunozstewart.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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