Defending Nora, by Sarah Leyton Reply

Defending Nora

5 out of 5

Available for Purchase on

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Review:

Whew, think I need a shower.  Make that a cold one.  Steamy kinky stuff going on here lol.  Some light BDSM.  There is still action and a great story line to keep you interested and to give you a moment to cool off.  Nora is a well developed character.  Jack is a stubborn “jackass” to a tee.  I had a good time reading the banter going on between everyone.  I know I was laughing out loud over a few parts.  There was a slightly predictable and fast moving ending.  But all in all I had a good time reading.
Review by Fawnzy
Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
Description:

With nothing more exciting in her life than her bangs catching on fire while trying to flambé, Nora Connolly’s life was terrifically uneventful. Well, uneventful until her house got raided and she found out her boyfriend was actually a CIA agent turned traitor. When he escapes custody and begins stalking her she is forced to turn to the only man she knows can protect her, the man she’s been swooning over since high school.

When Nora shows up on his doorstep looking for protection, Jack Coleman tries to turn her way. Staying sane with Nora’s sexy ass was already hard enough, but she needs a safe house and keeping his hands to himself while trying to keep her protected would be more than even his rock hard control could handle.

 

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Excerpt:

“Why are we watching this? They’re supposed stars, but I don’t recognize half of them,” Nora groused from her slumped position on her sister’s couch.

“Because the girls got me hooked on this stupid show and now I have to see the finale,” Sam replied as she pulled another cake pop off the coffee table and proceeded to shove the entire thing into her mouth.

Nora just rolled her eyes and mindlessly stared as the B-list celebrities danced the foxtrot. Normally she enjoyed a little brainless reality TV like any good American, but with everything in her actual reality being thrown through a blender these days, she just didn’t have the stomach for the fake stuff.

“If you sigh like that one more time I’m kicking you out and you’ll have to go play with the kids,” Sam said without turning her gaze from the television.

The threat made Nora smile. She knew that her sister had every intention of following through should she need too. That girl took her dance shows seriously. Nora buttoned her lips so she wouldn’t sigh again and be relegated to the toy room. She loved her nieces and nephew, but in the mood she was in, the last thing she wanted to do was entertain little kids.

Closing her eyes, she tried to concentrate on the cake she was making for Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge’s Brazilian Carnival themed anniversary party next week.

She wanted to do at least five tiers, so she’d need support stands on each layer. The frosting had to be bright and colorful, with feathers and glitter accents to really make it fabulous. Maybe she’d even add sparklers or something to really up the wow factor.

“Okay, now you can help me with my baby name list.”

Sam’s voice startled her out of her mental cake decorating and she almost rolled off the couch.

“Geez, Nora. I didn’t mean to scare you out of your skin,” Sam said with a hand over her mouth trying unsuccessfully to stifle her giggles. “Were you asleep?”

Getting up to sit cross-legged on the couch Nora brushed her hair out of her eyes and looked at Sam in sisterly scathing.

“No, dearest sister. Despite the riveting drama between the overweight businessman and the out-of-work actor, I was cake planning.”

Sam stuck her tongue out and Nora rolled her eyes.

“Very mature, Sam. You’re a mother.”

“Right, and I’m about to give birth again. Matt and I are exchanging baby names tomorrow, and I need your help.”

After grabbing the list her sister held out, Nora glanced at the list of names.

“Oh Sam, please tell me you’re kidding with these names. I get that mom and dad gave us weirdo names, but give me a break!”

Sam snatched her list out of Nora’s hand.

“What do you mean? These are great names,” Sam said as she looked at the paper in her hand. “Besides, our names aren’t that weird.”

Nora had been named after her paternal grandmother who had come to the U.S. from Ireland after her husband died in the seventies. Nora and Sam’s father had been a teenager at the time. Sam had been named after the Russian city their mother had immigrated from as a nod to her heritage.

“Yeah, Nora and Samara are super normal.” Nora said sarcastically and launched herself off the couch to walk across the room to grab a soda out of the wet bar in the corner. “As for your baby name list—Murphy? And Evelyn? If you name your kid Evelyn, she’s going to be born sixty-five years old and wearing a polyester sweater. The first thing she’s going to do once she pops out is to offer the hospital staff some shiny ribbon candy.”

Nora popped the top of her soda dramatically to emphasize her punch line and Sam burst out laughing.

“You obviously missed your calling as a stand-up comedian, Nora.” Sam said after she got her laughter under control. “Toss me a bottle of water will you?”

Nora reached back into the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water to toss to her sister.

“I can’t believe you guys still have bottles of water in here. Isn’t Matt on some saving the planet, going green, stopping global warming kick?”

“Yes, but these are what’s left over from his pre-Captain Planet phase and I promised to recycle.”

Nora started laughing as she pictured her buff brother-in-law wearing tight spandex while he flew around town with a group of racially diverse children with super powers.

“Now I’m going to have to call him Captain Planet all the time.”

Sam and Nora both doubled over laughing like lunatics. When they finally calmed down they collapsed against each other on the couch and sighed. Sometimes it was like they were teenagers again. It had been she and Sam against the world back in those days, but they had kept each other standing, and in the end they’d both ended up okay.

“So, tomorrow,” Sam said. “I’m thinking we can meet up for coffee at like nine o’clock and then hit the shops on Michigan. I need to pick up a bunch of stuff for the kids and I need to look for a new couch for the den. Plus, I need to hit up the lingerie store for bras and add some members to my support group.”

Nora had forgotten about their plans for tomorrow. She’d been so busy with work and the fact that she’d accidentally sliced her arm open on a sharp shelf yesterday that it had flown out of her mind.

She looked down at her forearm at the thought of all those stitches. The stupid thing still ached like a beast, but it hadn’t been the first time and it sure as shootin’ wasn’t going to be the last. It seemed like every five minutes she was cutting herself, or burning herself, or catching her bangs on fire.

Ah, the hazards of a giant klutz working in a kitchen.

You know that your ability to screw up is top notch when the triage nurses and ER doctors start to know you by name. It was a good thing she had insurance because stitches didn’t come cheap and she didn’t plan on relinquishing her kitchen anytime soon.

“Yo, earth to my space cadet sister!” Sam waved her hand in front of Nora’s face before flicking her on the nose, causing Nora to flinch away.

“Hey! Quit with the theatrics. I’m listening.”

Sam gave her a patented I’m a mother and your big sister, and I don’t believe that for a minute stare down. It was equal parts frown, disbelief, and censure.

“All right, so I wasn’t listening, but your coffee and shopping plan for tomorrow sounds great.”

Sam didn’t relinquish her look right away, but eventually she blew out a breath and laughed.

“Fine. I’ll see you at the café at nine tomorrow morning.” Sam said as Nora hauled herself off the couch and grabbed her bag. Sam yelled after her as she made her way to the front door. “And wear tennis shoes this time!”

“Yes, mom!” Nora yelled back and slammed the front door with a satisfying thump of defiance. Where had she put those wedge tennis shoes with the three-inch heels?

 

Sarah Leyton

 

About the Author:

Sarah was small town girl who got a hell of an education about life and the world when she moved to the city. She writes about strong, independent women who love giving their hearts and bodies to alpha males who are more than up for the challenge. These are the stores written to embellish the lives we lead.

She might be a grown up who writes some very spicy love stories, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still love hello kitty, high heels, art and travel. However, her first love will always be to that majestic, powerful force of nature called coffee.

  • More books by Sarah Leyton.

 

Cover Reveal: Roped In, by L.P. Dover Reply

RopedIn_Final-high

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26048125-roped-in?ac=1

 

Description:

Who says a wild heart can’t be tamed?

For years, I lived for the job and let it control me. Violence was all I knew. I protected, killed, and served. My name is Blake Evans, one of the best undercover cops in the country. I thought I was about to live a quiet life on my ranch in Wyoming until an old friend showed up and changed everything. He brought me her, Hadley Rivers, country music sensation and the one woman I couldn’t have. I didn’t want her but she had me completely roped in.

My job is to protect her, to keep her away from some psycho who wants her for himself. However, there’s more to her story than I was led to believe. I promised to keep her safe and I won’t back down . . . even if I have to die trying. I can’t let him have her.

 

Dover_

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.

Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.

Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over seventeen novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.

L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
You can find L.P. Dover here:
www.lpdover.com
Email: authorlpdover@gmail.com
Twitter: @LPDover
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lpdover

Cover Reveal: Perfectly Aligned, by Stephanie Alba Reply

PerfectlyAligned

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26053094-perfectly-aligned

 

Description:

How does your mind move on from someone your soul can’t seem to forget? How can your heart resist a love that never fully came to be?

Ten years. It’s been ten years since Hailee saw Corwin Rogers. In person that is, because despite their lack of physical contact, Corwin’s gorgeous face has plagued her dreams all this time. In its most idle hours of the night, her mind always reverts back to the image of the teenage boy she loved in secret years ago.

They were classmates for four years, forging a limited friendship within school grounds and occasional parties, but they also shared a unique bond over their struggles. Hailee never told him how she felt, and she wasn’t sure if the feelings were reciprocated, but she always wondered. How could she not when he shared so much of himself with her and only her?

Seeing him a decade after their high school graduation presents the two with another fateful opportunity to be everything for one another. Hailee starts to consider that her inexplicable dreams actually mean something, and that her ties to Corwin are stronger than she ever allowed herself to believe. But after years of separation, their chance at happiness is challenged by secrets from their time apart. When the truth emerges, colliding pasts and futures, Hailee and Corwin have to decide if they truly are perfectly aligned.

 

StephanieAlba

About the Author:

Stephanie Alba has wanted to write for as long as she can remember. Writing was always a way to express herself, as well as an escape. In August of 2014, Stephanie decided to start writing a story that she dreamed about. At first it was just something fun for her to do, a way of keeping her sanity during her first year as a stay at home mom. Over the months she couldn’t stop writing and that’s where For Both Are Infinite came along. Rhys and Ellie’s story was hard work, but it allowed her to fulfill the goal she’d always had of writing a novel.

Before becoming an indie author, Stephanie taught high school English. Now she is a stay at home mom to the happiest baby ever, a wife to an amazing husband, and a graduate school student. She also hopes to continue writing. When she’s not glued to her laptop or with a notebook in her hand, she’s swimming, running, reading or chasing her toddler.

Stephanie is currently working on her second novel, a friends to lovers story set in Washington state. It is set to release during fall 2015. She also plans on writing more of Ellie and Rhys’ story, as well as stories focusing on other characters you meet in For Both Are Infinite.

Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

 

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Cover Reveal: Master of the Opera, by Jeffe Kennedy Reply

Purchase from:

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Master-Opera/Jeffe-Kennedy/9781616509484?id=6381981296076#overview

Also available as e-serial – http://www.jeffekennedy.com/master-of-the-opera-act-1/

 

Description:

An aria for lost souls

Fresh out of college, Christine Davis is thrilled to begin a summer internship at the prestigious Santa Fe Opera House. But on her first day, she discovers that her dream job has a dark side. Beneath the theater, ghostly music echoes through a sprawling maze of passageways. At first, Christy thinks she’s hearing things. But when a tall masked man steps out of the shadows—and into her arms—she knows he’s not a phantom of her imagination. What she can’t deny is that he is the master of her desire. But when her predecessor—a missing intern—is found dead, Christy wonders if she’s playing with fire

 

jeffe

About the Author:

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. A fifth series, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, released starting with Going Under, followed by Under His Touch and Under Contract.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.

http://jeffekennedy.com

https://www.facebook.com/Author.Jeffe.Kennedy

https://twitter.com/jeffekennedy

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1014374.Jeffe_Kennedy

 

 

Cover Reveal: The Edge Of Something More, by Andi Loveall Reply

EdgeOfSomethingGood.v2 (1)

Available for Pre-Order

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Edge-Something-More-Andi-Loveall-ebook/dp/B015HGNLMU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442664966&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Edge+Of+Something+More+by+Andi+Loveall

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24241421-the-edge-of-something-good?ac=1

Description:

After a nasty breakup, twenty-two-year-old Devin Ashford is on a mission to travel the world one random excursion at a time. He wants to forget his ex, discover new experiences and end up with some awesome stories to tell. If it takes spending all of his savings to do it, he is ready.

His first stop is a communal homestead in the Appalachians of North Carolina, which turns out to be a bohemian paradise. The weed is plentiful, the owners adore him, and the very sight of Cora, their nineteen-year-old goddaughter, makes him want to set up a permanent camp.

Cora warns that she isn’t ready for a serious relationship, but Devin is falling hard. Playful kisses turn into passionate sex, and each day is spent connecting and enjoying the mind-numbing awesomeness—until he makes the mistake of saying “I love you.” Discussing the future kills the good vibes, and Cora pushes him away.

Pissed off and rejected, Devin begins preparing for his next excursion: backpacking India. But just when it’s time to go, the death of one of the homestead’s beloved animals leaves Cora upset and in need of a friend. Devin’s kindness wins him another shot at romance.

With a plane ticket in hand and his pride on the line, Devin and Cora find themselves teetering on the edge of something more.

 

Andi

 

About the Author:

Andi Loveall grew up in the blistering heat of California’s Central Valley and has since traveled far and wide in search of adventure and romance. From the steamy streets of Bangkok to the dancing fireflies of the Appalachians, the places, people and things she has seen have convinced her of two things: Life hurts no matter where you go, and the world is a crazy-beautiful place.

A freelance writer by day and storyteller by night, Andi is on a mission to create characters that come alive in worlds she can’t quite reach. When she’s not writing, she’s usually hula hooping, dying her hair bright colors or making delicious home-cooked meals for herself and the people that she loves.

Author links:

Spotlight: Silenced Memories, by Brittney Sahin 1

SilencedMemories

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Description:

Kate Adams has never found it difficult to keep a professional relationship with her clients . . . but then she’s never had a client like Michael Maddox. From the moment she arrives in Charlotte, Kate is tongue-tied by the devastatingly gorgeous former Marine and intelligence genius turned multi-millionaire entrepreneur. Michael seems at first glance to be the perfect catch, except for one problem. He doesn’t do relationships. And Kate doesn’t do one-night stands.

But as the tension mounts between them, Kate discovers she has larger problems—an untraceable stalker . . . and a dangerous past. When Michael offers his protection, Kate is grateful, and yet afraid. For as they grow closer, she realizes that Michael has his own secret past. And while he might save her life, he will surely break her heart.

 

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Excerpt:

“Did you tell Julia that we’ve met already?”

Startled, Kate turned toward him, her soft eyes looking at him from beneath long eyelashes. Her arched brows gave hint of her embarrassment. “I am so sorry about your shirt. You should let me pay for it.”

“Did you know whom I was last night?” he asked with a deep voice.

She touched the back of her neck, as if working out a kink. “Yes.”

“Why didn’t you say something?” His eyes narrowed on her, and he took a step closer.

“I. . . .” Could she tell him she had been completely tongue-tied by his devastating good looks? “Honestly, I did not think you would remember me, and then I was in a hurry, so I just kind of rushed out when your friend showed up.” Her poker face was failing her.

“You thought I would forget you?”

His words sent shivers dancing up her spine, and she could have sworn she had a heart palpitation. She bit her bottom lip.

“If we are going to work together, I would strongly suggest you not do that,” he murmured, staring at her lips. His smoldering blue eyes turned a shade darker.

She allowed his words to hang in the air for a moment, free of gravity, as she contemplated the appropriate response. She couldn’t help but wonder if she’d wind up being the fourth planner fired. Was he attracted to her, or was it a game he was playing to unnerve her? She chose to ignore his comment and maintain professionalism. “Mr. Maddox, how would you feel about an auction?”

“Please, call me Michael.”

 

 

Brittney

About the Author:

Brittney Sahin began writing at an early age, with the dream to be a published author before the age of 18. Although academic pursuits (and, later, a teaching career) interrupted her aspirations, she never stopped writing–never stopped imagining.

It wasn’t until her students encouraged her to follow her dreams that Brittney said goodbye to Upstate New York in order to start a new adventure in the place she was raised: Charlotte, North Carolina. Here, she decided to take her students’ advice and begin to write again.

In 2015, she published her first novel, Silenced Memories. When she is not working on upcoming novels, she spends time with her family. She is a proud mother of a spunky toddler and a lover of suspense novels, coffee, and the outdoors.

Author links:

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Dodging Temptations, by Avery Flynn 1

DodgingTemptation_500

5 out of 5

Available for Purchase on

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Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1K94TKD

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1QplQ91 B&N: http://bit.ly/1VOvwNl

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1FyDrVH
iBooks: http://apple.co/1K94S9B

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1NqDvyV

 

Review:

This book has so many ways it could go at anytime it was great. I was at the end and still didn’t know what was going to happen!!  I loved the character for Dodge’s mom she had me cracking up.Harper I thought was going to be prissy and snobby however she was not at all it was great to get to know the new Harper :).

Reviewed by Brave One

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Description:

You can’t hide from love…or revenge.

Dodge Loving wants revenge…and he’s about to get it. On the cusp of closing a multi-billion-dollar luxury resort deal, Dodge can’t afford for anything go wrong. But then a fiery redhead shows up, the paparazzi hot on her trail, and throws his world into chaos. He has to get rid of her. Immediately.

Harper Conner just wants to be left alone, but after slapping her cheating senator ex-husband during a televised press conference, she’s a hot commodity. The ultra exclusive resort in Wyoming seems like the ideal place to hide-and work-so there’s no way she’s letting the Type-A jerk who runs the place fire her.

Despite the animosity sparking between them, Dodge and Harper can’t keep their hands to themselves. This thing between them can’t happen. It won’t. But his mother has other ideas…and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Harper and Dodge fall in love.

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Excerpt:

Twenty minutes and half a carton later Harper and Dodge were facing each other as they sat on the stainless steel prep table in the middle of the kitchen with the carton of mint chocolate chip between them, each armed with a spoon. He’d ditched the shoes, rolled up his cuffs—revealing sinewy forearms that made her heart stutter—and told stories about how he ended up with the first name Dodge City.

“So all of you are named after old cowboy towns?”

The idea of it was totally bizarre and endearing. Her being named Harper had scandalized her grandparents. Dodge City would have given them each a heart attack.

“Yep, my mother loves a theme.” He shook his head and laughed. “Stone is short for Tombstone and Griff is short for Fort Griffin.”

She scooped up a spoonful of ice cream, now melted more than when they’d started their midnight snack, and a line of green slipped over the edge. She stopped it with her finger before it could drip down to the table and licked the evidence off. “Did the other kids make fun of you growing up?”

When he didn’t answer right away she looked up. His mossy green eyes had darkened, and his gaze was locked in on her mouth. A flush burned its way up from her toes, and she scrambled to think of something to say before her panties spontaneously combusted. “For your n-n-name…” She stumbled over the words. “Did they tease you about your name?”

He winked and smirked, all cocky confidence and testosterone-fueled sex appeal. “Only once.”

If she could have gotten pregnant from a look, she’d be scheduling an appointment with her OB/GYN in the morning. Time to get out of this kitchen before the little seed of a romantic notion May Loving had planted took root and grew into the last thing Harper needed in her life right now.

She’d spent her entire life up until eight months ago living by a script she’d never had any say in, let alone took part in writing. Neither the universe nor a my-way-or-the-highway hottie like the corporate cowboy here was taking her back there. She was her own woman now.

“You look like you’re getting ready to wrestle a buffalo,” he said.

“I hope not.” Her denial came out far too soft and breathy for a woman only experiencing a sugar high.

“Then I’d suggest cleaning up a bit.” Dodge swiped his thumb across the corner of her mouth—soft and slow, coming away with a dab of mint chocolate chip on his thumb, which he sucked off. “The buffalo around here have a real hankering for ice cream.”

It took everything she had not to press her fingers to her tingling skin where he’d caressed her, as if her own touch could erase the sizzling sensation his had caused. It was only on that small space where her lips met, but it was the only thing she could feel. Her gaze held his, and her breath caught. There was no mistaking the want in his eyes. The air around them thickened, and words failed to materialize in her head.

Maybe it was the intimacy of the half-lit kitchen or the late hour, but she leaned forward over the carton between them without really meaning to. It wasn’t much, an inch or two, but it was more than enough. He mirrored her move. Her eyes fluttered shut, and her lips parted in anticipation, then she detected a hint of icy mint before his warm lips covered hers.

 

Avery Flynn

 

About the Author:

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

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Little Moments, by Madison Street Reply

LittleMoments

5 out of 5

Available for Purchase on

Amazon

Review:

This is a wonderful love story and well told from the point of view of both the hero and heroine. These characters are well developed and oh so easy to love. Melanie is a character first seen on book one, Little Things. Both books are worth the read. There is a wonderful story not just of love but of growth and struggle and in the end the strength that it takes to overcome adversity.  And how sometimes our whole life depends on Little Moments. The secondary characters are also well done and the relationships that develop throughout the book are strong. I am hoping there is another book coming that will further explore some of the lesser characters. If you enjoy romance with a good story then please check out Little Moments, and Little Things is well worth the read as well. Most Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Wildcatnana

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Description:

Think.

Think back to the exact moment when you fell in love for the first time. That split second. That precise moment. Can you remember it?

I can remember the day as if it were yesterday: from the light blue dress she wore, to her golden locks curved along her shoulders, down to the shocking tingle when our fingers touched. It was the happiest day of my life, and yet she didn’t even know I existed.

What if you had the chance to relive those moments? Would you take it?I’ve waited almost ten years for her and my time has finally come.

This split second, this precise moment will change her life forever.

 

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Excerpt:

Roman

THE SMELL OF SMOKE BURNS MY NOSTRILS. The faint cry of my mother’s screams echoes from behind the walls. Is this a dream? Mom, where are you?

Moving my sleepy fingers awake, I slowly open my eyes to darkness. The distant moonlight is grasping to shine inside my bedroom. As my eyes open wide, I see a haze of smoke surrounding me. Sitting up in bed, my hand reaches out to grab it. The siren of fire trucks grows louder.

My lungs begin to burn as smoke fills them. I buckle down and cough, gasping for clean air. Fear creeps along the back of my neck, as the hair stands still.

“Mom!”

I quickly jump out of bed and immediately feel the heat on my bare feet. Whoa, that’s hot! Remembering what I learned in school, I try to stay low to the ground. Slowly crawling to the window, I try to open it, but the lock is too tight for me to pry.

The heat from inside is getting hotter and hotter. Beads of sweat start to trickle down my face. I can’t see anything. It’s too dark.

The panic builds inside. Banging on the window, “Somebody help me!” The heat on the window burns slightly, but I ignore the pain.

I look out the window to see three fire trucks pull up beside the apartment building. Firefighters race to the hydrants, connecting the water hose, as others rush into the building. Police cars make their way alongside the building as well.

Sudden screams startle me, jolting me away from the window. Mom?!

Keeping low, I crawl to my bedroom door and tap the knob to see if it’s hot. Sudden heat tingles my skin, so I turn around to try and find something to protect my hand. Feeling my way along the floor, I pick up what feels like a t-shirt and head back toward the bedroom door.

The smoke in my room gets thicker and harder to breathe. Constantly coughing, I make way to the door to twist open the knob. Pushing it open, I see flames cover the living room and its walls.

Pictures of my mom and me, plants, furniture; everything I see is burning. Standing up quickly and shielding myself, I yell out, “Mom! Where are you?”

“Roman! Oh, thank God you’re alright?”

Frantically, I look around to see her, but the flames blind my vision. “Mom, I can’t see you.”

“I’m in the foyer; I’m coming to get you! Stay where you are. Keep low baby, keep low!”

Bits of the ceiling above, crash into the living room, engulfing in flames. Heat rises, flames grow higher; panic builds inside. I’m scared.

A heavy pounding crashes onto the apartment’s front door. The muffled sounds of deep voices carry from the other side of it. The pounding continues until a firefighter crashes through the door. I can’t help but scream.

The firefighter grabs hold of me, “Are you okay kid?” Where’s your family?” He quickly inspects my arms and legs for any signs of injury and burns.

Pointing toward the back of the apartment, “My mom is back there and she’s on her way.”

Nodding his head, ‘Let’s get you out of here.”

He talks into his radio, “This is Rivera. I have two residents on the sixth floor in need of extraction. I have the boy with me now.”

Another voice responds through the radio, “On my way, Rivera.”

He wraps what looks like a blanket around my body, “This will prevent you from getting burned.”

I nod my head, “Thank you.”

“Roman!”

Turning around, I see my mother reaching us. She pulls me into her arms, “Oh, thank you, thank you. I’m so happy you’re alright.”

I see tears spill out of her eyes, “what took you so long Mom?’

“I got stuck in the foyer. Some debris from upstairs fell. I’m okay though.”

The firefighter wraps a blanket around her, “Are you all right Ma’am? Anyone else in the apartment?”

“Yes, I’m okay. No one else lives here.”

At that moment, another firefighter comes barreling through the front entrance. “We need to get out now before it crumbles!”

Rivera picks me up, “Hold on kid,” and races off into the stairwell of the building. I look behind me and see my mother being carried by the other firefighter.

Smoke and flames surround us, and the unbearable smell fills my nose. I use the blanket to cover it, hoping I can breathe easier. Racing down the stairs, the building trembles and I hear debris falling.

As we pass each floor, cries for help echoed throughout the stairwell as I see firefighters attempt to complete their rescues. The building shakes again, and Rivera stops suddenly, grabbing onto the banister.

“Shit! Hold on to me, kid!”

As our bodies sway along the banister, I see the pieces of the stairwell beneath us crumble and fall into the darkness below. My eyes grow wide, and my breathing stops as fear of falling seeps in.

Rivera looks behind and yells, “We need to turn around! The stairwell is gone! Go back up to the fourth floor, and we’ll jump for it!”

As we turn around, I can see Mom wrapped safely in the firefighter’s arms, and she gives me a warm smile.

We follow closely behind until we reach the fourth floor. My mother’s rescuer runs to the nearest window, but suddenly debris falls in front of them. I hear her scream and the firefighter curse.

Rivera holds onto me tight as he radios for a jumping point. As he’s given his orders, he yells back, “We’re jumping off the west hallway! Follow us!”

He turns to race down another corridor, as I look back to see my Mom in the distance, “Mom!”

Rivera assures me, “Don’t worry kid. He’ll get her out.”

The building trembled again as we rush to the jumping point. I can hear Rivera’s heavy breathing through the oxygen mask, and he squeezes me tighter.

“Almost there. Hold on!”

I see light shine from a busted window casing as we get closer and closer. And as we approach for the jump, I hold with all of my might. Rivera leaps out, pulling me closer.

My eyes shut tight and loud screams from within escape me as we fly through the air. Until suddenly, we are bouncing up and down on a trampoline. As our bodies settle onto the trampoline, I look up at the building. It’s completely covered in flames. Smoke escapes broken windows; firefighters spray water to calm the fires while others are jumping out of the building into safety.

An explosion blasts from inside the building and it immediately begins to crumble into dust.

My heart sinks as I jump off the trampoline and rush toward the building, “Mom!”

Rivera grabs hold of me, “No! Don’t!”

I struggle in his arms, “No! My mom is still in there! She needs my help!”

I continue to struggle as tears trickle down my face as he holds onto me. What feels like forever is probably only a few minutes, my aching body surrenders in his arms.

I look back at the crumbled building as my body shudders. “She didn’t make it, did she?”

“No. I’m sorry son.”

 

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About the Author:

Madison Street was born in New York City and was raised in the Bronx, where she resided until she was 17 years old. After September 11, Madison joined the United States Navy to serve her country.

During the deployments, Madison constantly wrote short stories and she discovered her passion for writing. You will find Madison always on the computer, whether she’s on Facebook, designing websites, messing with Photoshop, or writing for her blog.

Besides writing, her second passion is music and dance. Even though she’s a terrible singer, she’ll still belt it out in the shower, especially if the song is her jam! She currently resides in Virginia with her husband of 8 years, 2 children, a dog, and a cat. She is so excited to start this amazing journey and is honored to be part of such a compassionate and loving community.

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Fall for Him (Forbidden Trilogy Volume 3) by J.C. Valentine Reply

Fall for Him Cover

5 out of 5

Buy Links for Fall for Him (Forbidden, #3):

Buy Link for Lie to You (Forbidden, #2):

Review for Fall for Him (Forbidden Trilogy Volume 3):

As I approached this last book of the trilogy I had learned a few truths. #1 This author can write!!! #2 She knows how to eek out every little emotion there is. And #3- I want to read more from this author. This is a gritty, gripping last chapter and it is extremely satisfying. This last book has its own share of problems for the two lovers but finally they learn to work together and not against each other.  They finally learn to trust and only then can they find a real and lasting love they both want.  Very Highly Recommended with another 5 stars.

Review for Lie to you (Forbidden Trilogy Volume 2):

The second book in the Forbidden trilogy begins with Joe (Josephine) having to choose between two similar men. She has begun to fall in love with her mystery man but then there is a large stumbling block in the form of another man. Now Joe’s emotions are all over the place. Both men have good qualities but she is drawn to one in particular and so after much anguish (and a lot of hot sex) she makes her choice.

Rebel is her choice but things never go smoothly in Joe’s life so after some wonderful days with Rebel, she makes a mind blowing discovery. At times I wanted to scream at her to just grow up and talk to the man instead of jumping to conclusions but then I had to remind myself that she is barely 21 and has had some things in her past to make her insecure. And she is trying to grow up. The book is skillfully written and brings the reader on this bumpy ride with Joe and Rebel plus a few friends. I read faster and faster wanting a resolution and then she again made her choice. There are tender moments but for the most part this is tough as nails, hard riding relationship and we are just along for the ride. And what a ride! Very Highly Recommended and another 5 stars.

Review for Dance for Me (Forbidden Trilogy Book 1):     

Without a doubt one of the hardest books I have ever read. This is the story of young love. Love between a college senior and a more experienced man. A Mystery man who she meets in the dark as she dances on a slender silver pole. And whom she meets secretly in a motel room. There is hot sex and that is what they each term what they have…just sex, The story tore at my heart strings. It made me hot and it drove me crazy. All of these things in a good way. The writing is sharp and tense and perfect for this story. I was turning my kindle pages as fast as I could as the relationship took form. Then it stopped. With the kind of bang that was deafening. I was dumbfounded and very grateful that I had both the next two books in the trilogy!!! This I a very good book. And getting better. Very Highly Recommended with 5 huge stars.

Review by Wildcatnana

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description of Fall for Him:

Two men. Both brothers. One life-changing decision.

I made my choice. One perfect weekend assured me I was right. One set of pictures proved me wrong.

Graduating college was supposed to be a happy time. Instead, I lost my best friend and suffered the worst kind of betrayal. Now, my whole life is in flux. I need my best friend. I need answers. There’s only one way to fix this. It’s time for a change. It’s time to take back control of my life, and the only way to do it is to face my problems head-on.

Even if it means walking into the lion’s den to do it.

*AUTHOR’S NOTE* Fall for Him is the third and final book in the Forbidden Trilogy. Dance for Me (#1) and Lie to You (#2) must be read first.

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Excerpt:

At five, I shut down the computer for the night and straighten up my workspace. Frank, who’s putting the finishing touches on his project, assures me that he’ll lock up when he leaves. Bidding him a good night, I make my way to reception and meet up with Darren, who stands up when he sees me and begins leading the way back to the elevators.

“So how was your first day?” he inquires as we wait for the descending car to arrive.

“Better than I expected,” I admit. I’d already shared with him at lunch that I was leery over working here for fear of running into someone I knew and wanted to avoid until I have a chance to settle in. “It’s my first time applying my degree to the real world. To be honest, I was pretty convinced I’d blow something up on my first day, but it all went as smoothly as I’d hoped. Of course, having you here was a big factor.”

“Oh, girl.” Darren waves his hand through the air, as though disbelieving the compliment. “I’ll tell you what my parents always told me: Never sell yourself short. You have a lot to offer this company.”

“I got the job because of my connections,” I remind him.

Casting me a you’re-an-idiot look, Darren says, “You may have had the right connections, but if you think Mr. Donnelly would hire a skill-less nobody and risk damaging his solid gold reputation, then you’re crazier than I pegged you to be.”

“You think I’m crazy?” I ask, frowning as the little bell on the elevator pings, and the doors begin moving aside.

“Anyone bold enough to wear white after Labor Day…”  he singsongs as he boards the car.

I’m shaking my head, smiling ear-to-ear as I follow him inside. If anyone here is a kook, it’s him, but I already love him for it.

“One please,” Darren says as he steps back and leans against the mirrored wall.

Just realizing that we’re not alone, I glance up to see who he’s talking to…and freeze. Oh, God. I spoke too soon. My stomach drops to my feet as I look up into a familiar set of fathomless black eyes that burn with equal amounts of interest and anger.

The tailored charcoal gray suit and pale pink button-down shirt do nothing to dispel the air of danger surrounding Rebel. With his jacket open at the waist, the material forced back by hands that are shoved deep into his pants pockets and his unapologetic stare fully focused on me, the power that emanates from him is unmistakable.

I’m rethinking everything—the call to Donnelly, the job, and most especially leaving Virginia. I could definitely do with a little more time away.

I suddenly become aware that we are standing here in dead silence, staring each other down, and Darren is a witness to it all. Standing off to the side, he’s watched the whole exchange, and when I look over at him, he lifts a knowing brow.

Great. The secret is out of the bag.

“Miss Hart.” The thunder of Rebel’s voice breaks the prolonged silence like shattering glass and travels straight through me until it is nothing more than a deep throb in the center of my body. Startled, I meet his intense gaze and swallow past the growing lump in my throat.

 

JC Valentine

 

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author J.C. Valentine is the alter-ego of Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of tales of romance spurred her to branch out and create her own.

She lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. As a university student, she studies literature, which goes well with her dream of becoming an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.

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Cocktales: An After-50 Dating Memoir, by Morgan Malone Reply

Cocktales

5 out of 5

Available for Purchase from

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Review:

I love this book and this author. I felt like Ms Malone was preaching to me. Being a single mother, over 50, and over weight she was showing me what I was missing and where I needed to go. This book really opened my eyes and has started making me think. I laughed and cried while I mulled over the prospects of the rest of my life. She really made me think. Maybe one day I will find the courage to step out of my comfort zone. Thank you for writing this book.

Reviewed by Epiphany

Our Blog was give this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Description:

An After-50 Dating Memoir…or Eight Years, around Eighty Men, but not nearly Eight Thousand Kisses.

There I was. Approaching 50, widowed for 15 years, alone for all that time, except for two kids, one dog, a full-time legal career, a house, a mortgage, some dear friends…and a wish. I just wanted to feel like a woman one more time. Not “Mom.” Not “Your Honor.” Not “Sis.” But, a desirable and desired woman.

I knew I wouldn’t, couldn’t fall in love again. My heart was buried in a grave in Brooklyn. But, I could offer a sense of humor, big blue eyes and intelligent conversation. I wasn’t sure about kissing or anything else; it had been a long time and I was not sure that sex was like riding a bike (which I could no longer do, given a bad knee and too many extra pounds). I was willing to try. Would anyone be interested?

To my surprise, the cyber-world was full of men like me; men who were looking for a second chance at love or lust, with a real woman, a woman just like me.

Cocktales is the true story of my adventures and misadventures in the world of online dating. It is full of practical advice (never wear knee-high hose on a first date, NEVER), giggles, groans and my growth as a woman. I cried a few tears, I made plenty of mistakes, but I also made many friends. I even fell in love. Join me on my journey. It is a roller-coaster ride I think you will enjoy.

 

 

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Excerpt:

Right before my forty-ninth birthday, I asked my husband if he minded if I had sex with another man. He didn’t answer me, so I persisted.

“Listen, I’m almost fifty years old, I know. Who would want me? I’ve had two kids and a hysterectomy. I’ve got stretch marks, scars and cellulite. And I know I need to lose at least fifty pounds.”

No response.

“It’s been a long dry spell, you know. Almost fifteen years. I think I’m entitled to at least one more orgasm that doesn’t come from something powered by a nine-volt battery.”

Still nothing.

“Okay, then, I take your silence to mean I am on my own in this. You don’t have an opinion one way or the other. Right?” Silence.

It was March and the Yankees were still in Spring Training so I knew so there were no distractions from current league standings or the pitching staff. His side of the bed was ghostly quiet. And empty. He had been dead for almost fifteen years.

I talked to him all the time. Not every minute of the day, but an ongoing dialogue in my head where I kept him informed of the day-to-day minutiae of our lives. I announced major developments then I waited for an answer. Call me crazy, but there were times when I heard his response in my head as clearly as if he had just spoken directly in my ear.

Sometimes, like now, there was nothing. Figure it out for yourself.

So, I turned out the light and sent a silent prayer Heavenward. “God, just once before I am over fifty, let me have sex with a man who wants me, let me remember how to do it. And let me feel. Amen.”

 

Morgan Malone

 

About the Author:

My pen-name is Morgan Malone. A twist on the old “What is my stripper name? A combination of the name of your first pet and the street you grew up on: Dino Homestead. I opted instead for the name of my first cat and my hometown to create Morgan Malone, an erudite yet brazen hussy, who decided, after 15 years of widowhood, to see if there were any men in America (and parts of Canada) who wanted to have sex with a 50 year-old woman. At least that is what I told myself I was doing. Along my almost ten-year journey through the online dating sites, I discovered men who were just as unsure of their intentions as I was. As I flirted with them, met them and even slept with quite a few, I began peeling off the layers of my emotional armor with less reluctance than I was peeling off my carefully coordinated lingerie. I found some really nice men, some very sexy men, some real dogs and a handful of genuine human beings who became friends as well as lovers. And I started to find myself: not just a mom, a lawyer, a wife and a widow but a woman I did not recognize. Yet there she was: a woman I did not like at times, a woman I thought no man would ever love, a woman who spent the first part of her life being the woman she thought she must be, a woman who was facing the last third of her life, finally, with anticipation.

My adventures and misadventures were met with disbelief by my friends who were convinced, almost to a woman, that the only men interested in a woman of our years was nigh on to 80 and in need of “a nurse and a purse.” So Cocktales has become not only a chronicle of my personal journey from widow to woman, from alone to independent, from needy to satisfied, but an instruction manual for the thousands of women facing the last half of their lives lonely and lacking confidence.

I am a published author of Katarina: Out of Control, an erotic romance with shades of “grey.” In September, my country singer-feisty reporter erotic romance, Unanswered Prayers, will be released by Turquoise Morning Press. I belong to several romance writers groups, with an online membership of several hundred voracious readers, authors, reviewers and bloggers, many of whom encouraged me to write. My blog is read regularly by many of these readers and also the growing audience of listeners who have heard me read my mainstream essays on NPR’s “51%”, a nationally broadcast show directed at women, and also on “Roundtable”, a popular program heard on WAMC, Northeast Public Radio.

I have just turned 62. I live near Saratoga Springs, NY with my chocolate Labrador Retriever. We enjoy occasional visits from my daughter who is a clinical psychologist and my son who is works in internet college sports reporting in Seattle. I paint watercolors, swim as often as I can and still practice law in between writing romance and memoir.

Her latest book is Cocktales: An After-50 Dating Memoir.

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