Saturday Song

A band that I always love listening to - here's Framing Hanley with Criminal.  Enjoy!
 

Guest Author: Cate Beauman - Justice for Abby

Cate Beauman is back with the sixth installment in her bestselling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Justice For Abby will be available for Amazon pre-orders starting March 27th and on sale through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes starting April 10th!

Cate is hosting a pre-order party on her website complete with giveaways. Winners will be selected on April 10 so be sure to stop by www.catebeauman.com before then for your chance to win!


Nowhere to hide…  
Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.

The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client.

As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn. Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.

Read an excerpt from Justice For Abby:

The black bag was ripped from her head, along with several strands of her hair. Abby blinked against the bold light of the naked bulbs hanging from the low ceiling. She glanced around the dingy space in shock as her gaze traveled from girl to girl—six young teens, dirty, bruised, and malnourished, staring up at her through bland eyes while they sat or lay on filthy mattresses on the dirt floor. “What—”

“In.” Victor shoved Abby into a small, windowless room, slamming the door, locking her in with a rusty scrape of something sliding against the heavy metal barrier.

She walked on shaky legs to the wooden chair in the corner and collapsed to the uncomfortable seat, clutching her arms around her waist, shivering as she bit hard on her bottom lip while tears rained down her cheeks. Where was she? What was this place? She shuddered, remembering six sets of listless eyes holding hers. Nothing good was happening here.

She covered her face with trembling hands and gave into her sobs, relieving the worst of her dread, wishing for nothing more than to be home with Lex and Livy. Thinking of her sister and niece, she forced away her tears, taking several deep breaths of stale air. If she wanted to see her family again she needed to pull herself together. She couldn’t get herself out of this—whatever this was—if she didn’t think. There had to be a way out. Her eyes darted around the barely lit space, searching for a weapon, another exit, anything.

The door opened, and she rushed to her feet as a tall, well-built man stood haloed in the beam of light from the room beyond. Abby blinked as he stepped forward. “Renzo?” She bolted from the corner and fell against her friend’s firm chest as a wave or relief flooded her. “Oh, thank god.”

His strong arms wrapped around her.

“I’m so glad you’re here. I don’t know what’s going on. I need help. Can you help me?”

“What happened?” He eased her back some, but she refused to release him from her grip.

“My family—we were on our way home from Virginia Beach. We stopped at a rest area, and two men grabbed me and brought me here.”

“You were with your sister and niece?”

“Yes, Alexa and Olivia. I think they’re okay, but I need to call and make sure. Will you get me out of here?”

“Of course.”

She could hardly believe she was leaving. “Thank you. Thank you.” She hugged Renzo again as tears of gratitude flowed free. “I knew this had to be some sort of mistake.”

“Come on, let’s get you home.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and walked with her to the door. “Oh, wait.” He stopped.

“What?”

“I can’t let you go.”

Did you enjoy the excerpt? You can read the first chapter on my website, www.catebeauman.com, or you can finish the whole book here!

The Inspiration Behind Justice For Abby

Justice For Abby is one of my favorite stories in The Bodyguards of L.A. County series (Okay, they all are, but I really love Abby and Jerrod!). I truly enjoyed writing their adventure. Oftentimes I found myself caught up in Abby’s rollercoaster ride as she heals from her experiences as a survivor of the Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring. At times I cried with her, and at others, I laughed. She’s so strong and sweet, but she’s vulnerable and struggling. Enter Jerrod Quinn, the perfect man to provide her protection and help her overcome her ordeal in his own quiet way.

Although Abby’s story is one of fiction, sex trafficking is a very real crisis for millions of young women, men, and children all over the globe. My idea for this novel came after a night in front of the television watching crime television. A segment showcasing the mysterious disappearance of a young woman named Amy Bradley bothered me greatly. She vanished from a cruise ship in March of 1998 while vacationing with her family. Unfortunately, Amy has yet to be found, but she is believed to be alive, stuck in the horrific world of human sex trafficking. I immediately began my research into this very troubling epidemic and shortly after wrote Forever Alexa, the story of Abby’s sister dealing with the aftermath of Abby’s disappearance. My readers have requested Abby’s story, and I felt the need to share her experience.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Abby and Jerrod as much as I enjoyed writing these two fantastic characters.

~Cate


The Unofficial Justice For Abby Soundtrack
Music always plays a huge part in my writing process. With two boys and two dogs in the house, music helps me “get lost” in my story. I typically listen to Pandora or YouTube and put together a playlist of songs that I feel represent the characters or the situations they face as the novel unfolds. Here are a few of the songs that I had on “repeat” while I created Jerrod and Abby’s story! You can listen to them on my website www.catebeauman.com.

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Justice For Abby:
· Applause by Lady Gaga
· Safe and Sound by Capital Cities
· She Is by Ben Rector
· I Should Go by Levi Kreis
· The Other Side by Jason Derulo
· Why Don’t You Love Me? by Hot Chelle Rae ft. Demi Lovato
· We Owned The Night by Lady Antebellum
· Stars Go Blue by Tim McGraw
· Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol
· Come Back by Pearl Jam
· By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North
· Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran

About the author:


Cate currently lives in Tennessee with her husband, their two boys, and St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. She is the author of the best selling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Before her career as an author, Cate worked in special education for 12 years.

“I’m a pretty lucky girl; one day I woke up and my entire life changed. I saw the light, so to speak, and decided I was going to be a writer. Now, three years later, I’m working on my seventh novel, Saving Sophie, and I’m an Amazon best selling author. I’m very grateful for the support and success I have had. - Cate “


E-Book Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contact Cate

Amazon Author Page
http://www.amazon.com/Cate-Beauman/e/B00A05KHVM/

Social links:
Twitter: @CateBeauman
www.catebeauman.com
www.facebook.com/CateBeauman
www.goodreads.com/catebeauman



The Bodyguards of L.A. County 

When All The World Sleeps Blog Tour with Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock + Review +Giveaway

Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, authors of When All the World Sleeps. We’re touring the web talking about our influences, our crazy ideas, this new book, and even giving you a sneak peek or two! And of course there’s a giveaway involved! Leave a comment to win!

Thanks so much to Tracy’s Place for having us, and to everyone following the tour. Here’s today’s look at When All the World Sleeps:

When we were writing When All the World Sleeps, we wanted to give Daniel Whitlock a past he couldn’t escape, so we made him a killer. Daniel is guilty, and guilt ridden, but there’s a big question mark hanging over his culpability: Daniel claims he was sleepwalking when he killed a man.

The law doesn’t always get it right, because there is a massive difference between the way the law is applied in courts and in actual justice. And you can take that any way you like. Either Daniel shouldn’t have gone to jail at all because he was sleepwalking when he burned down Kenny Cooper’s house with Kenny inside, or he should have rotted in there for the rest of his life because he took a life.

It wasn’t self-defence. Daniel was frightened of Kenny, and he was angry as well. He was holding a well-deserved grudge against the man who’d bashed him so bad it put him in the hospital. And wherever in his subconscious that Daniel buried his anger and his fear, one night it all boiled over while he was sleeping.

I think there’s one passage in the book that really sums up the reality of the situation where Bel, a cop, is talking to one of Daniel’s tormentors: 



“The law is done with Whitlock. You oughta be done as well. And if you ain’t, then next time we talk it’ll be at the station. You understand me?”

Brock’s mouth tightened.

“You understand me?” Bel asked again.

“Yeah,” Brock said, scowling. “I got you loud and clear, Officer. Kenny’s dead, Whitlock’s walking around, and I gotta let it go. That’s the fucking law.”

“Yeah, that’s the law.”

Brock stared at him for a moment. “Ain’t no wonder people take it in their own hands then, is it?”

Yeah, Bel thought as he watched Brock slink away like a stray cat. Ain’t no wonder.

There were no winners here. Not Kenny, not Daniel, and not the law. They were all wanting, every one of them.
Nobody in the town of Logan trusts Daniel. He’s shunned and hated and feared. And Daniel doesn’t trust himself either. He’s afraid he’ll kill someone else. He’s so afraid of this that he makes some bad decisions. He thinks he can keep himself contained. Then he thinks he can trust some guy he met on the internet to do it for him.

Bel makes some bad decisions too. In his reactions to and interactions with Daniel, he echoes some of the prejudices and victim-blaming tendencies held by most of the town. He initially believes that gay men in Logan should stay closeted and that Daniel could have prevented his bashing by not hitting on Kenny. Yet he’s drawn to Daniel, and the better he gets to know him, the more he wants to help. Except Bel’s a cop, and in a small town like Logan being on Daniel Whitlock’s side means having the rest of the town turn against him. Bel can’t cure Daniel, and he can’t erase the past. Nobody can do that.

Daniel can’t escape his past. Neither can Bel. All they can do is try and figure out a way to live with it.

Contest

Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away a great pair of prizes! Up for grabs is an ebook of our last co-release, Mark Cooper versus America, and a $20 gift voucher from Riptide. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On APRIL 2, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win this awesome prize!

About When All the World Sleeps:


Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.

Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.

Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him. 



Tracy's review:

Daniel Whitlock has lived in Logan all his life and he was always known as the freak but when he got older the term changed...to murderer. You see, Daniel sleepwalks. Only, when he does it, he is more than functional and capable of holding a conversation but yet remembers none of it in the morning. It started when he was a kid but he never quite understood why it happened. During the course of the book we even see him thinking back to see if there were triggers but it didn't matter if good or bad things happened during the day, he'd still sleepwalk and still do things – sometimes bad things.

So Daniel grows up and goes off to college and when he comes home he is beaten up by former high school friends who find out he's gay. They beat him almost to death but Daniel tells the cops he can't remember who it was. Everyone in town knew it was Kenny Cooper and his friends Clayton, RJ and Brock but no one is arrested. Months go by and then one night while sleepwalking Daniel wakes up, heads to the store for a candy bar, a soda and a lighter and sets Kenny's house on fire – with Kenny in it .

That was three years ago. Kenny served 8 months in prison for the arson and murder and returned to Logan to finish his parole. He tries to be an upstanding citizen but everyone thinks he's a murderer and a meth head because when he sleepwalks that's the way he acts. No one believes that he was actually sleepwalking when he set the house on fire and thinks he just made it all up to get out of it.

Joe Belman was always attracted to Daniel – even back when he was in Jr. High school. Now Joe, or as he's known in the book, Bel, is a cop and has his eye on Daniel again. He believes like everyone else that Daniel's a liar and that he really knew full well that he was killing Kenny - until he saves Daniel from his house when it's set on fire and he finds Daniel chained to his own bed.

Bel gets more interested in Daniel and he starts to volunteer to sit with Daniel while he sleeps so that Daniel doesn't have to feel so fearful after the fire. As Bel gets to know Daniel he starts to see another person than the one he always thought he saw. Now Daniel's not perfect by any means but he's what Bel wants and Bel's not gonna let anyone tell him he can't have Daniel – no matter what.

When All The World Sleeps is a very emotional book. Daniel is thoroughly messed up because of his sleepwalking and believes he needs the pain of BDSM to exhaust himself enough to sleep. Now Bel does some light BDSM – super light – but even that seems to work for Daniel. Bel takes care of Daniel when he wakes in the night and keeps him under control and out of trouble. I have to say that I SO admired Bel. He was only 23 years old but had a great job, a house and seemed much older than he was. He wasn't perfect either but he was kind and compassionate and his love was big enough to encompass all the baggage that Daniel came with and it was a shit ton, lemme tell ya.

Daniel I liked but wow was he an emotional roller coaster. He was up then down then wanting pain but not wanting it. It must have been so exhausting having to keep yourself up constantly for fear of what you would do when you were sleepwalking. I can't imagine the fear he must have felt. If that fear's not enough, he had Kenny's friends threatening him constantly which only made his bouts of sleepwalking worse. It was a vicious cycle.

Did I love Daniel and Bel together? Yes, they were cute together, I must say, but it was definitely a different kind of love story. The book seemed to focus on the same issues – pain, exhaustion and dealing with it – and it did seem a bit repetitious at times. It was a very long book and felt at times that I was reading the same scene over again just worded differently and in a different setting. The same went for Clayton and his friends who never had anything new to say so it kind of got old.

Despite my issues with the story I really liked it. It was dark and angsty and sad because of Daniels constant dark inner thoughts and messed up mental state, but it was written well with compelling characters and a wonderful love theme. The book didn't end with a twist and a ridiculously happy ending that made me wonder where the hell it came from. The story is REAL and gritty and definitely made me think for a long time after reading it and that's always a good thing in my book.

Rating: 4 out of 5


You can read an excerpt and purchase When All the World Sleeps here. 

About the Authors

Lisa Henry lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

You can visit Lisa her website, at Goodreads, or on Facebook or Twitter.

J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. J.A. lives mostly in West Virginia, and always with a beloved dog, Professor Anne.

You can visit J.A. at her website, her blog, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Review: Dazed by Kim Karr

Jagger Kennedy never went looking for fame, he just fell into it. After scoring a major modeling contract, his clean-cut good looks and charm catapulted his career. But when his actress girlfriend breaks his heart, he moves to L.A. to try his hand at acting. He needs to make a change, and the last thing he’s looking for is love…

Aerie Daniels is a woman in control … until she meets Jagger. Her surprising connection with him leaves her stunned, and it’s unlike anything she’s ever felt. But just when she lets her walls fall, she makes a startling discovery about him that breaks her fragile heart into a million pieces.
 

To keep from losing the one woman he can’t bear to be without, Jagger is willing to give up anything—including his career. But even that might not be enough to regain Aerie’s shattered trust…

Aerie Daniels is the kind of woman who uses organization to keep herself grounded. She can easily get caught up in things and the structure of her life helps keep her level. She doesn’t really date as she had a bad experience when she was 16 and never really recovered from it.

Enter Jagger Kennedy. He’s beautiful and hot as hell. He wants to get to know Aerie better but she’s not sure that’s wise. Against her better judgment she lets Jagger into her life and next thing you know she’s enjoying life in a whole new way. She’s trying new things and opening her heart to possibilities. That’s until she finds out that Jagger has been hiding the fact that his ex-girlfriend, the one he was going to ask to marry him, is not only in LA but that she’s up for a huge acting role opposite Jagger in a movie. Now Aerie’s not sure what she was thinking but she’s not about to stay open and risk getting her heart broken once again.

This was a great little story. We got to meet Aerie in the earlier Connections books but we never got to know her that well. That’s because really, no one gets to know Aerie that well, except her best friend, Dahlia. Finding out about Aerie’s past – not only with her parents and her beloved uncle, but also the boy she thought herself in love with when she was just 16 – shed a whole new light on her and how I viewed her. She was definitely a private person but she lived almost in a self-induced prison. Sure she was out and about but she never truly opened up to anyone. With Jagger she could let the walls come down and see a whole new life. Now when she loses trust in Jagger I thought it was a bit sudden and a bit overboard but I was happy with the resolution of it all and that made up for it.

I loved Jagger. He was just a care-free kind of guy. While some might think he was lazy and irresponsible what I saw was a guy who came from money but refused to rely on his parents for their money. I highly admired his determination to do it all on his own and though it hadn’t always been easy he’s managed to keep an optimistic view of life and that made me love him even more.

This was a novella so it wasn’t all that long but it got across all of the messages it needed to and gave us a wonderful glimpse into the romance of these two great characters. Definitely a satisfying read.
 

Rating: 3.5/3.75 out of 5


Kim Karr

Review: Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton

Logan McCormack likes his isolated life on the ranch, until a movie crew starts filming there. When actress Desiree Jenkins blows into his life, she wrecks it harder than the Oklahoma winds with her brutal honesty and soft touch. Des knows this is a temporary stay, but she loves the open freedom of the land, and for the first time in her life, Des feels like she might have found a place she can call home, with a man she might be falling in love with. But Logan’s heart is tougher than the soil beneath them—can she convince him that they belong together?

Logan McCormack is a rancher. He loves being a rancher, as his father did before him. His mother, however, was a city woman and hated every minute she was on the ranch. After his father died she couldn’t get off the ranch fast enough and has not been in contact with her three sons since then – that was 12 years ago. To say that Logan has emotional scarring from this event would be putting it mildly.

Logan is approached by a location scout and ends up renting part of his 42,000 acre ranch to a film crew. He’s not interested in anything they’re doing until he meets the lead actress, Desiree. Now Logan finds Des extremely likable and attractive but he’s not quite sure what to do with her. Logan puts woman into two categories – those who he can have sex with and then go on his merry way, without the strings - and those who want a relationship. He stays far away from the ones who want a relationship, but with Des he just doesn’t know how to categorize her so he tries to keep his distance. Des, however, is pretty persistent and pretty soon they’re blowing up the sheets and having a great time together.

Des is a woman who loves being an actress but she’s also unsatisfied with her life. The problem is is that she just doesn’t quite know what she’s unsatisfied with. She does know that she loves being on the ranch and loves being in Logan’s bed…and eventually loves Logan. Unfortunately Logan has himself convinced that Des is truly “city” and would never want to be with him on his ranch just like his mother (didn't I mention he was emotionally scarred?) so pushes her away in an attempt to save his heart.

Oh, this was another lovely Hope novel. I love the small town of Hope and all of its wonderful characters. I’m sure there must be some sort of bad element in town but for the most part we didn’t see any of that in this book – just the good people.

While we got a good portion of Emma and Luke from book 1 and all of their friends, the book really centered around Des and Logan’s relationship. Though Logan was afraid to call it a relationship he couldn’t seem to keep his hands and eyes off of Des whenever she was around. When she wasn’t around he couldn’t stop thinking about her. Early on in the story Logan was more cave man than rancher but he soon warmed up and became a pretty good hero. He was a bit of a bastard a time or two...or three, and pretty much shot himself in the foot a couple of times trying to act like he didn’t care about Des, but as the reader I could see that he truly loved the woman. I loved how Burton eased us in to Logan’s personality and we got to watch him grow.

Des was awesome – there’s just no other word for it. She was kind, considerate, honest, playful, loyal – just an all around nice person. She was friendly with just about everyone and I loved the fact that she was down to earth and not a snooty actress. She really drew me in during the book and I liked her more and more as the story went on. I loved how she didn’t take any crap from Logan and put him in his place when she needed to. They were really great together and I thought they were a perfect couple.

Overall the story was very good and I can’t wait to see what Hope brings us next.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jaci Burton

What I Read Last Week

It was more or less a lazy week in Tracyland. We didn’t have any pressing matters to take care of so I got a lot of reading done during the week. Then the weekend came and my youngest had a promotion test where so totally rocked. :) She was one of 2 that got the highest score. I’m very proud of her to say the least. I’m currently fighting with the app that joins all of the individual videos together to make one vid so when I win the fight and get it posted I’ll let you know. The rest of the weekend I hung with the kids, watched movies and just had fun. I think I read all of 70 pages the whole weekend. :)

I have two giveaways going right now. One ends today and the other on the 30th.

Giveaways:
1) A print copy of Marie Force’s All You Need is Love (open US residents only, sorry) – ends today at 11:59pm

2) A digital download (Kindle or Nook) of My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe. Ends at 11”:59pm on 3/30/14.

Anyway, on to what I read…


I started off the week with the week with The Glaring by Andrew J. Peters. This is a short novella that is book 2 in his werecat series. The story continues to follow Jacks while he deals with being a werecat and finding out more about what that means to him. You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was the anthology Love Between Men edited by Shane Allison. A grouping of short stories that ran the gamut from I didn’t particularly care for them to I really liked them. You can read my review of the anthology here. 3.5 out of 5

Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton is book 2 in her Hope series and it was another good one. This one was Logan’s story and had him with an actress who was part of the crew that was filming on his land. He was positive he could stay away from her but she proved irresistible. I’ll post my review of this one tomorrow. 4 out of 5

Olivia’s Choice by Taylor Grace is a more or less contemporary fantasy if that makes sense. It takes place in current times but it’s about a race of people that don’t exist so that’s where the fantasy comes in. Olivia’s goes to Viddion a city for one of the races of Tree People called the annax where she was born to set up an exchange program. She’s been living as a human and wants nothing to do with anyone annex but she didn’t plan on falling in love. You can read my review here. 3.5 out of 5 

Last for the week was Wishing For a Highlander by Jessi Gage. This is a medieval time travel novel about Melanie who makes a wish on an artifact and next thing you know she’s in the 16th century. She winds up falling for the man who originally found her which is a good thing as they’re married right away. Of course then she’s accused of witchcraft so that makes things a bit sticky. The story was actually really good and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. 4 out of 5

 



My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
So Right With You by Maggie Kaye
Disarm: The Complete Novel by June Gray

Happy Reading!

Review: Olivia's Choice by Taylor Grace

When her boss asks her to complete a project that takes her back to the annax city, Olivia’s lifelong avoidance of the race comes to an abrupt end. The last thing she needs is the arrogant son of the annax leader as a co-worker. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what she gets. To make matters worse, the pesky tionnax, sworn annax enemies, decide to butt in and capture Olivia. They hurt her so badly that Baphrem can only save her by turning her into what she fears most, an annax. Now, Olivia has to decide: can she love the man who made her worst nightmare come true.

Olivia Penny is a teacher who hates teaching. She gets up in front of class full of kids and freezes – why this is, we don’t know. Because of this she brought the idea up of doing an exchange program and heading up the organizing, etc. She’s very excited when the proposal is approved until she hears that she’s not going somewhere exciting like…China. No she’s going to Viddion – a city where one of the Forest Races live, and a place she ran away from years before.

Olivia swore that she’d never return to Viddion but it’s either return or lose her job. She chooses to keep her job and makes the trek through the forest to get to the city. Along the way she’s greeted by the Viddion guards and when she refuses to tell them why she’s there the head guard chucks her into the freezing river. She manages to make it to the city and not only gets into it with the head guard again (who she finds out is the leader’s son, Baphrem) but she also is reunited with her father and brother once again.

Olivia wants nothing more than to put the exchange proposal into place and leave Viddion but she’s working with Baphrem and they rub each other the wrong way. Olivia (who was born Teil) wants nothing to do with the strong and sexy Baphrem and is sure to emphasize her independence at every turn. Baphrem knows that this stubborn woman is the one for him and enjoys seeing the fiery side of her.

After one argument Olivia goes for a run and Baphrem’s enemies end up capturing and torturing her. The only way to save her is by turning her annax – something that Olivia’s always feared. Now she has to deal with Baphrem’s betrayal and seeing if she can face her fears head on.

Olivia’s Choice is a fantasy read from start to finish. The annex people – along with the other Forest Races that Ms. Grace has created – were well done. I’m not normally a fantasy reader but this one looked worth reading. I Thought when I first started that it would be very similar to Avatar but it really wasn’t anything like that and I was very happy about that.

I really liked all of the characters in this story…except Olivia/Teil. She started to grow on me after she stopped being such a stubborn woman but by that time most of the book was over. She called herself independent and Baphrem called her fiery. I called her rude, mouthy, bad-mannered, inconsiderate, self-centered and obnoxious. Now she wasn’t that way with everyone so I didn’t put the book down when her mouth started flying, but I did consider it. I’m happy I didn’t because it ended up being an entertaining story. Baphrem and the other characters in the book made up for Olivia’s lack.

Besides my dislike of Olivia, the story, imho, needed some serious editing. There were discrepancies, punctuation issues, spelling issues, words left out and words added in. I have to say that it put a damper on my total enjoyment and I was sad about that. I think had the book been edited more thoroughly it would have made it a stronger story. Ms. Grace has a very creative mind and I give her kudos for creating a good first book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Taylor Grace

Saturday Song

A little bit of All That Remains for a lovely Saturday.  Here's What If I Was Nothing.  Enjoy!

Review: Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston

Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise.

That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge…


Vic Barinov – tiger/bear hybrid shifter - has been given an assignment to help find a man by the name of Frankie Whitlan. He is wanted for a ton of crimes but the shifter protection agencies have been told to back off finding this man. As Vic works freelance he doesn’t have to follow those dictates. He uses his friend, Livy, who is a Honey Badger shifter, and comes from a family of thieves, to get into Whitlan’s daughters apartment to see if they can find a lead on Whitlan. What Livy finds is her father, shifted into his honey badger form, stuffed.

Livy is livid and determined to take down the man who did this to her father. She recruits her entire family and Vic and they go after Whitlan. While all of that is going on Vic and Livy, who have been friends for a while, get closer…start sleeping together…and then fall in love.

That seems like such a basic description of the book but the real story is Livy, Vic and her family. They’re so crazy it’s amusing to read about them. Livy is kind of what you would think of as an anti-heroine when you imagine a romance novel. She’s brash, rough, tough, foul-mouthed, doesn’t like to be touched randomly, and hates to be nice to people. She’s an independent soul and an artist. Vic is kind and caring, soft spoken (for the most part) and a really good guy. Put these two together, let Vic’s tiger side come out and they’re hot, sexy and explosive together. They’re so opposite but they get along so well and I loved the pairing. You truly have to appreciate Laurenston’s humor in this one as it’s definitely sarcasm at its best.

Livy and Vic are really just part of the books equation. Add in her crazy (and I do mean CRAZY) family, Vic’s friend Shen, characters from previous books and it all adds up to one hell of an entertaining story.

This is one I’m very happy that I didn’t miss out on and one I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Shelly Laurenston

Review: Love Between Men - anthology edited by Shane Allison

Filled with romance, passion, and lust, Love Between Men offers irresistible erotic fun while celebrating the coming together of souls as well as bodies. Two traveling husbears meet a willing twink in Jeff Mann's "One Afternoon in the Bible Belt." A sneaky environmentalist gets sandwiched between hedonistic mountain men in Bob Vickery's "Loggers." Two partners share a leisurely Sunday morning with scintillating surprises in Hank Edward's "Breakfast in Bed." Rob Rosen's "Skyrockets in Flight" is particularly delicious, with naughty bits in every line. Perfect bedtime reading for gay couples, Love Between Men is an inspiring and enticing testament to same-sex love

Love Between Men is an anthology of 17 stories of erotic get togethers either between strangers of men who have been in a relationship for years.

The overall tone of the stories was a happy one which was nice. I must say I didn’t enjoy quite as many in this anthology as I have in the past.

A few that I really enjoyed were:

Tokens by Pepper Espinoza – Jake and Ian met and got together. Ian, at first, limited himself from enjoying Jake’s company to just twice a month. Time in between meets gets shorter and shorter as they just can’t seem to stay away from each other. In this story it’s obvious that Jake wants more from Ian than just sex but Ian is being stubborn. We really know nothing about the characters except what we see in the hotel room but it worked. In the end there was the hope of something more and that made the story worth reading.

Tom’s Feet by Gregory L. Norris – This was an interesting story of a couple who have been together for 10 years and one of the men isn’t happy. The story doesn’t really go into depth about the instances that brought him to this unhappiness but he’s had a hard time making the move to leave because of various reasons. One of those is – you guessed it – Tom’s feet. A mild foot fetish this is not. The guy gets incredibly excited by stinky, smelly, sweaty feet. NOT my cuppa, let me tell you, but it worked for this story. I won’t give anything away but to say I was pleased with the ending.

Line of Sight by Nathan Burgoine was one of my favorites. Cam is a psychic and ends up saving Johnny from death. Johnny befriends Cam but as it’s all about Johnny he ends up wanting to use Cam to find out if there’s anything between his boyfriend Bill and Bill’s roommate, Tate. Cam meets the two men when Johnny invites him over for a bbq but that doesn’t end well. Johnny breaks with Bill but that leaves him open to giving Tate a wonderful birthday present – Cam. A very sweet story that was, like all the stories in the book, incredibly hot. I liked the psychic element in the story as it just added a little something extra.

In the end if you’re wanting some hot and sweaty man love on a pleasant afternoon this would be the book for you.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Shane Allison

Review: The Glaring - Werecat book 2 by Andrew J. Peters

Warning: This review contains spoilers from book 1, The Rearing.

Free from Benoit, the man who made him a shifter, twenty-two-year old Jacks tries to get on his own two feet while crashing with Farzan, the only person who knows about his werecat nature. It will take a grueling schedule of off-the-books jobs and a steady mantra of self-control.

Then a raid on a bodega pushes Jacks to transform into his mountain lion self to fend off a group of gun-wielding gangbangers.

Jacks scrambles to disguise the truth, but the incident leaves a thundering wake of questions. The police want to know what really happened to a freaked-out young thug in custody. Farzan, who has been crushing hard on Jacks since they met, begins to doubt that it’s safe to have Jacks living with him. Jacks wants to know where he belongs: with the man who took him in when no one else would or among his own kind. As he searches for answers, Jacks is confronted by a secret shifter society The Glaring. They have come to avenge the death of Jacks’ maker and to claim a powerful item that Benoit left behind.


In book one Jacks meets Benoit and becomes completely enamored with him. Benoit then turns Jacks into a Werecat and starts controlling every aspect of Jacks’ life. After Jacks is free from Benoit he moves in with his friend Farza. Jacks is practically killing himself trying to earn money to get out on his own as he feels bad about taking up space in Farzan’s basement apartment. One night, while working at Farzan’s family bodega, a group of gangbangers come in and almost kill Jacks. He manages to stay alive but now the police are interested in him because they can’t understand how two big cat incidences could have coincidentally happened at the same bodega in such a short time.

Jacks believes that he has to leave the area in order to take suspicion off of Farzan and his family but Farzan isn’t letting him go easily. Jacks also gets a visit from a man who is part of a shifter society called The Glaring – something that Jacks didn’t even know existed.

This was a nice follow up to book one. The stories are very short so we can’t get too in depth with either the characters or the story but what we got was good.

We see Jacks learning to deal with life as a werecat/human and we also see him getting closer to Farzan, which Farzan had wanted from day one. Having The Glaring step in was a bit of a surprise as Benoit never mentioned anything to Jacks about it but I thought it was an intriguing addition to the story. I’m curious to see what will happen next as Jacks heads out to get answers.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5


Andrew J. Peters

Book Spotlight + a Giveaway: My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe

The Bluestocking

Lady Corinna Mowbray has three passions: excellent books, intelligent conversation, and disdaining the libertine Earl of Chance.

The Rake


Lord Ian Chance has three pleasures: beautiful women, fast horses, and tormenting high-and-mighty Corinna Mowbray.

Neighbors for years, they’ve been at each other’s throats since they can remember. But when a twist of fate forces them to trade lives, how long will it be before they discover they cannot live without each other?


Excerpt

“Pelley is in there.”

Corinna halted her flight and looked over her shoulder. Ian stood in partial shadow, his long legs and handsome face slanted with torchlight.

“He is?” she said.

He folded his arms over his chest. “I thought that might stop you.”

“Are you telling the truth?”

“I never lie.”

She bit her lower lip. “I didn’t consider the possibility of his presence here.”

He frowned, his gaze slipping along her bodice to her hips. “Apparently.”

“Don’t look at me with such disapproval,” she snapped. “Your doxies wear much less than this.” How on earth had she gotten herself into this? What had she been thinking? He was right: this was not she. She was trying to be something she wasn’t and making a fool of herself. And now Lord Pelley would see her in this scandalous gown, and any last hope she might still have of convincing him she was the serious woman to whom he should sell his publishing company would be lost.

“I don’t disapprove,” Ian said. “Quite the contrary. I’m merely curious as to your motive.”

The words that were so easy to practice alone in her dressing chamber now clogged her throat. His eyes sharpened. For a moment that seemed like forever, neither of them spoke.

He strode forward and grasped her arm. Raindrops pattered on the shoulders of his dark coat and her lashes.

“I’m taking you home.”

She resisted. “What if I don’t want you to?”

“Oh,” he said in a low rumble. “You want me to.”

Buy it now for $2.99 for Kindle | Kobo | Nook
($3.99 after March 31st)
Coming soon for iBooks and in paperback.

About the Author

Katharine Ashe is the award-winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including How to Be a Proper Lady, an Amazon Editors’ Choice for the Ten Best Romances of 2012, and I Married the Duke, Historical Romance of the Year nominee in the 2013 Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Awards. A professor of history, she writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too. Please visit her at www.KatharineAshe.com


I've really enjoyed the Ashe books that I've read and I'm sure this will be no different. If you haven't read any - here's a chance to dig on in. If you have read her stories then here's a chance to read her newest release. Good luck! (Giveaway runs through 3/30/14. If for some reason the rafflecopter isn't showing up click on your refresh button and it should pop up.)

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What I Read Last Week

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and all that. Hope you had a lovely weekend. If you plan on going out tonight just be safe, okay? I like all my peeps just the way they are!



Here’s a little vid just to make you smile. How can you not love a cat on a skateboard? Especially when that tail’s in the air. :)

video

I didn’t end up reading all that much this past week. The church (where I work) was having a Goodwill Donation Drive fundraiser and I spent most evenings in my garage cleaning things out and getting items ready for donation. My garage is so much happier now – so am I! Then Saturday my kids and I spent the day at the Drive accepting items and filling bins with the donations. We ended up filling 45 bins and that raised $2,200.00 for our youth group. Very cool. Anyway – on to what I read…

I started off the week with Blitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh. This was a great story about a couple who starts a fake engagement and then ends up falling in love. It was very sweet and I liked the authors writing style a lot. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5

Next up was Dragon Heat 2-in-1 by Lolita Lopez. The book includes books 1 and 2 in the Dragon Heat series: Dead Sexy Dragon and Red Hot Dragon. (I actually only read the second story in this book as I’d read book 1 a while back.) The stories are both good. I definitely want more history on the dragons and their enemies in the future. :0) You can read my review of both stories here. Book 1: 3.75 out of 5 Book 2: 3 out of 5

Winter Bride by Anne Gracie is book 2 in the Chance sisters series. Damaris Chance never wants to get married. She is determined to keep this fact. We realize this has something to do with her past but we don’t’ know what til later in the book. Freddy, trying to get his mother to quit bride searching for him (as he also plans on never getting married), gets Damaris to fake an engagement with him to get his mom off his back. Of course the pair fall in love but Damaris is determined to never marry which creates a bit of a problem. Good story – very emotional. I’ll post my review in a couple of weeks. 4 out of 5

Last for the week was The Kraken King by Meljean Brook which is a serial novel of 8 installments that will release its first installment on April 15th and run weekly through June 3rd. The serial takes place in the Iron Seas world and its heroine is Zenobia Fox – sister of Archimedes Fox that we read about in The Iron Duke and Heart of Steel. I read parts I: The Kraken King and Scribbling Spinster 4 out of 5, Part II: The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm - 4.5 out of 5 & Part III: The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den - 4.25 out of 5 and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I’ll post my reviews of these as they come out. Besides the books being great I think that the covers of the stories are seriously to die for. Here are the covers for parts I, II & III:




My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Desperately Seeking Suzanna by Elizabeth Michels
I Found You by Jane Lark


Happy Reading!

Review: Feral Heat by Jennifer Ashley

Jace Warden is sent to the Shiftertown in Austin to find a way to free all Shifters from their Collars. But pulling off the Collars can cause Shifters to go mad or kill them outright.

In Austin, Jace meets Deni Rowe, a wolf Shifter with troubles of her own—she was deliberately run down in the road, and while her body has healed, she still has episodes of total memory loss during which she retreats into her pure animal self.

Jace has never met anyone like Deni. Courageous and beautiful, she volunteers to help him test the Collar removal. And as Deni and Jace work together, they feel the mate bond begin. But can Jace help Deni believe she can heal enough to be anyone’s true mate?


Jace shows up in Austin to meet Dylan and his sons Liam and Sean so that they can start experimenting on his collar to see if they can get it off without him turning feral. He shows up at the underground fight club as requested and is immediately attacked. He is besting the wolf but soon a woman wolf jumps in to defend him. While he really didn’t need the assistance he loves that an unknown woman thought to help him.

Deni is a woman who is on the edge. She was hit by a car (purposely) while riding her motorcycle and since then she blanks out and forgets who people are. She’s very close to turning feral at a moments notice. Fortunately for both Jace and Deni they find that the other calms them down and they each help the other in their own way. Between the human police constantly showing up in Shiftertown and a near fatal accident the two may never get to be together.

This was a short but fast read. The novella is on the go from word one and the excitement doesn’t stop until the last word is read.

I loved that Deni and Jace were helping each other out so much. I know that’s what mates are supposed to do in these stories but this one was very touching. They were both lonely in their own way and need the strength of the other to get them through. Though they’d just met they knew enough about each other to trust each other. The quiet affection in the story effected me more than anything, I think. It was very sweet even while the story was pretty wild. IDK – it was contradictory but I liked it.

Overall a good read and one I’m happy to recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Jennifer Ashley

Saturday Song

Altar Bridge is one of my favorite bands and frankly I just never get tired of listening to them.  This is Cry of Achilles off of their new album, Fortress.  Enjoy!

Book Spotlight + A Giveaway: All You Need is Love by Marie Force

Hoping to take the magic of the island and move it to the mountains with the Abbot family, purveyors of the odd and hard to find relics of a time long gone by in small-town Vermont. Hope you'll come with me to the Green Mountains! Watch for the first book in the series in early 2014!

The family-run Green Mountain Country Store is cherished by locals as a reminder of simpler times. The Abbott children are determined to keep it that way—but their father has different plans…

When Cameron Murphy heads to Vermont to build a website for a new client, she imagines a more relaxing trip than she gets. After wrecking her car by colliding with the town moose, she meets the most handsome hero she’s ever seen. Unfortunately, her savior, Will Abbott, is also the son of her client—and he wants nothing to do with the new website or the city girl creating it.

For all Will cares, Cameron can march her fancy boots right out of town and out of his family’s business. But he can’t seem to get her out of his head. As his family’s dispute heats up, so does the chemistry between the two, leaving them wondering if simple is better after all—especially when it comes to matters of the heart.


Read an excerpt here.


***All New Selfie Contest!***


The publisher of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE soooo loved the selfie contest, they asked us to do it again! Fun fun FUN! We have all new FABULOUS prizes up for grabs! Here’s how it’s going to work and please make sure you read ALL the way to the end so you can see the many ways to WIN!

Starting TODAY, get back out there and find ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE in your

local bookstore (Barnes & Noble, Target, WalMart, Books-A-Million, grocery stores, drug stores, etc,) or order your copy from an online retailer such as Amazon and take a picture of yourself holding the book. We want to see you WITH the print copy of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (sorry, no ebook copies for this contest). When you’re out and about, consider getting a copy of the book for a friend who loves to read and hasn’t yet discovered Marie’s books. And remember, books make great gifts for birthdays and other important events! Better yet, once your friends have the book in hand, they can enter the selfie contest too! While you’re out taking selfies, consider getting a copy of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE to donate to your local library, nursing home, hospital or other organization where people might enjoy Will and Cameron’s story! AND, if you’d like to have your book SIGNED, we can do that too with a signed book plate right from Marie! Send your request for an ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE bookplate and postal address to author@marieforce.com.

For each of the next THREE weeks, we will award a $100 gift card to one selfie photographer. You can enter as many times as you’d like to increase your chances to win. Entries carry over to the next week’s drawings, but we need ALL NEW selfies. The earlier ones will not count for this NEW contest. We will award the gift cards on Friday, February 28, March 7 and March 14. But wait, there’s MORE! On Friday, March 21, we will award YET ANOTHER grand prize trip to the Green Mountain Series Launch Party on June 28 at the Vermont Country Store in Weston, Vermont! This package includes:

• Two nights lodging for up to two guests in Weston, Vermont.

• $750 toward airfare for two from anywhere in the United States. We suggest flying into Manchester, NH (2.5 hours away), Burlington, VT (2.25 hours away), Hartford, CT (2.5 hours), Albany, NY (1.75 hours) or Boston, MA (3 hours).

• Reimbursement of up to approximately $300 for car rental and fuel to be used for transportation from the airport to Weston, VT.

• A special breakfast with Marie for you and a guest.

• $100 gift card to the Vermont Country Store

• $100 gift card to Bryant House Restaurant at the Vermont Country Store

• Your very own stuffed “Fred the Moose”

• Signed copies of All You Need Is Love and I Want to Hold Your Hand

Everyone who enters a selfie in the next three weeks will be entered into this grand-prize drawing. In order to WIN the prize, however, you must be able to answer three new questions about the short story TO KNOW HER IS TO LOVE HER, which is found ONLY in the back of the print book. (It will be released to e-readers on Marie’s website in May.) ALSO, everyone who enters this new Selfie contest will get our ALL NEW Green Mountain Romance sticker! UK, Australia, New Zealand readers: You are looking for YOUR LOVE IS ALL I NEED and your selfies count!

WAIT, there’s one more chance to win! If you SHARE this post, you will be entered into a drawing to win yet another super fun prize pack that includes signed copies of Marie’s books, Fred the Moose and other fabulous swag. Everyone who clicks the SHARE button on this post will be entered into the SHARE drawing!

So go forth and take those selfies and SHARE this post to get your friends out there taking pictures, too! We will feature as many selfies as we can on Marie’s Facebook page!

You must send your selfie to author@marieforce.com to be entered into the drawing. If you’d like the Green Mountain Romance sticker, please include your postal address (international entries permitted) and let us know if you’d like to be on the list for occasional postcards and other items by mail. NO selfies posted directly to Facebook or Twitter will count as entries. The only way to ensure that your entry is counted is to email it to author@marieforce.com with:


  • Your name: 
  • Where you found the book (store/location):
  • Mailing address if you want the Green Mountain Sticker: 
  • Do you wish to be added to the postal mailing list for occasional postcards and other swag during the year?

HAVE FUN!!! 


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Review: Dragon Heat 2-in-1 by Lolita Lopez

Dragon Heat 2-in-1 is one book that is a combination of 2 novella's - Dead Sexy Dragon and Red Hot Dragon.  These are books 1 & 2 in the Dragon Heat series.  I reviewed the first novella back in August but I'm reposting it for you in case you missed it.  

Dead Sexy Dragon

The last thing dragon shifter Stig Wyvern needs is his dead friend’s kid sister showing up on his doorstep. He’s just minutes away from entering a mating phase. Sharing his isolated house with the young woman he’s desperately lusted after for quite some time is a recipe for disaster.

But Cora Cardenas has nowhere else to go. She’s in deep trouble with some really nasty people and Stig is the only one who can protect her. That he’s deliciously sexy and makes her tingle with the simplest of smiles is just a bonus.


Cora quickly realizes Stig is hiding something from her. To make matters worse, she’s plagued with breathtakingly naughty dreams starring a shadowed lover who bears a startling resemblance to her host. And just what the hell is going on down in the basement at night?

Stig needs to get Cora out of his house but his inner beast has other ideas. He’s found his mate and she’s not going anywhere...


As the blurb states Cora shows up on Stigs porch just minutes before he’s due to lock himself up for the night. It is the first night that he will be in heat, an event that happens every three years, and he wants to be clear of Cora when it happens. He’s been hot for Cora since he met her but as she is the sister of his friend he’s always held himself back. When Cora starts having sexy dreams involving a dream lover and then has Stig’s voice telling her to go to him – she complies.

What happens next is a shock for all of them. Stig is floored when Cora touches him and changes start to occur. Of course after he mates with her Cora starts to show her own changes which frighten the crap out of her. On top of all of this Stig is worried about what his dragon brotherhood will say when they find out that he’s broken not one but two of their sacred rules – no human woman and definitely no mating. Oops.

This was a cute little novella. I thought it did a good job of giving us some background on dragon shifters in general, the brotherhood that Stig is involved in and who their enemies are. We meet a couple of Stig’s friends in the story as well.

There’s a little bit of action and a lot of lovin in this story and it all got wrapped together well. I think this was a decent start to what might end up being a great dragon shifter series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5


Red Hot Dragon

Griffin Cadogan is shocked to see Avani Monroe, sworn enemy of his dragon family, walk into his gym. With his mating phase soon approaching, Griffin is curious as to why she has to come enemy territory knowing the risks. Not only does she surprise Griffin and his cousin, Mad, by coming to enemy territory, but what she wants is borderline insane-Griffin must help her have a baby.

After her mother's line was annihilated by the Knights, Avani accepted her duty to ensure the continuation of their unique dragon breed. She's searched the dragon registries and Griffin is the most likely candidate for her crazy plan. Working up the courage to approach a man who considers her an enemy wasn't easy but she manages to calmly lay out her carefully orchestrated plan.

But Griffin isn't about to agree to her harsh terms. If she wants him to father her child, he intends to play an active role in his offspring's life, not simply walk away as she requires. Shocked by her instant attraction to him, she agrees to his terms. Once together, they realize their connection is about more than creating a child, but that happiness is short-lived when Mad suddenly disappears. Knowing the dragon slayers are behind it, Griffin must risk it all to save the ones he loves.


Griffin is a dragon who hasn’t ever taken a mate or had a child because his work is dangerous. In walks Avani Monroe and his mind changes on part of that.

Avani has done her research and has found that her best bet of having a baby that is of her kind (of which she is the last) is to try to have one with Griffin (due to the blood of his grandmother). At first he thinks she’s a bit nuts but he can’t say he’d mind getting down and dirty with her. He soon agrees and they head to her house to work off their “heat” together. He is adamant that when a baby is produced that he be a part of its life but Avani was only planning on single parenthood.

As the days of their heat pass (it’s about 9 days long) they find that they’re compatible in ways they never expected. Yes, in the bedroom they’re scorchin’ but they love being together and soon love is blooming. When Griffin can’t get in touch with his cousin Madoc they take a chance and head to his house (the possibility that they’ll be attacked by their enemy is high). They find Madoc gone and find other disturbing news. When they’re attacked Griffin starts to wonder if he can keep Avani and a baby (if there is one) safe from their enemies.

Red Hot Dragon was a cute novella and a fast read. There are a lot of sex scenes and one fight scene that’s pretty great.

I loved Griffin and Avani – from what I got to know of them. The story was pretty short so it was hard to get in-depth with anyone. I really want to know more about the Brotherhood that Griffin works for as well as the enemies their fighting. Hopefully more info will be provided in the next book (which I hope is Ivy and Madoc’s book). I didn't like it quite as much as book 1 but it was still a  sweet and sexy story. Great heat and chemistry between the two characters and of course awesome dragon shifting. Good stuff.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Lolita Lopez

Review: Blitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh

Emily Hamilton doesn't trust men. She's much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies' man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he'll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them together in a fake engagement that yields unexpected (and breathtaking) benefits.

Every time Brandon calls her "Sugar," Emily almost believes he's playing for keeps—not just to score. Can she let down her defenses and get her own happily ever after?


Emily is helping her sister out on Valentine’s Day by delivering some balloons, candy and a teddy bear to a football player at a football stadium in Seattle (she’s actually an opera singer who’s helping out her flower shop owning sister). It’s icy and when she’s startled she falls and hits her head. The man who helps her out and takes her to the hospital is NFL player Brandon McKenna. He has plans for V Day but when he sees that Emily has a concussion and no one to take care of her he cancels his plans and stays with her. He drives her home, stays with her and is just really great about the whole situation. When Emily is finally up on her feet again they find that the news is splashing their engagement all over the place. What? When Emily was in the ER they had jokingly referred to Brandon as her fiance so that he could stay in the room with her – apparently it got out and was thought to be true.

Brandon and Emily, after some heated discussions, decide that being engaged is something that will work for both of them. Brandon is negotiating a renewal contract with the Seattle Sharks and Emily is getting multiple bookings from the media coverage. It’s shallow but they go forward with it for 30 days. After 30 days has passed they find that neither one of them wants to end the engagement and they start dating. The relationship grows from there and next thing you know they’re setting a date…for real.

Unfortunately neither one of their pasts can stay in the past. For Brandon it’s an ex-girlfriend who comes forward and for Emily it’s the emotional trauma her ex-boyfriend inflicted on her. These test the relationship between Brandon and Emily and it may not survive.

This was such a sweet story. I loved so many things about it that I’m not sure I can remember them all. I’ll start with Brandon. Oh what a hottie. Not only sexy physically but his personality makes him that much sexier. Sure he’d made some stupid, wild choices in the past but he really never stopped being that considerate southern gentleman. He was nothing but wonderful to Emily and I loved how he treated her.

Emily had some serious self-confidence issues stemming from her previous relationship. After hearing what James said to her I wanted to beat the man senseless. Of course I also wanted to know why Emily stayed with him for so long. Did she really think he was the best she could do. Her confidence issues and past with James ended up playing a part in the book but mostly at the beginning and the end. I really liked her but I didn’t feel that I knew her as well as I knew Brandon by the end of the book.

My issues with the story had to do with the ending of the book. I found it wholly believable until the end. Yes, what they did to prove to the other that they loved each other was very touching but it could have never happened that way. I want to believe it would have but nope, my brain just wouldn't let me got there.

In the end I found the story to be incredibly readable and a fast read. I started it in the evening and I couldn’t put it down until I was done. I love a nice, sweet love story every once in a while and this one was that and more.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Julie Brannagh 


What I Read Last Week

Happy Monday!

I hope you all are doing well and reading up a storm.

Have you read any books lately that you feel like you need to tell everyone about? Or maybe you’ve read one that you feel everyone should avoid? Let me know!

Life is calm and pretty peaceful in Tracyland so I’ll get on to the books (as I know that’s why you’re here!).


First for the week was Dazed by Kim Karr. This is a story in the Connections series. The previous two books have been about Dahlia and River but this novella veers off and gives us Dahlia’s best friends story. Aerie Daniels is a woman who keeps herself organized. She’s a structured type of person and doesn’t break off from things she knows. Enter Jagger Kennedy, River’s cousin, and soon she’s living life in a completely different way and falling in love. This was a cute story that I really enjoyed reading. Aerie takes some getting used to but it worked in the end. 3.5/3.75 out of 5

Next up was Desperately Seeking Suzanna by Elizabeth Michels. This historical showed us Sue who, along with her sister and cousin, snuck into a masked ball. She meets Holden and they hit it off in a big way but when the masks come off Sue, who was referring to herself as Suzanna as she felt like a different beautiful woman, isn’t recognized by Holden at all. Parts of the story are really good and others frustrating. You can read my full review of the book on Book Binge by clicking here. 3.5/3.75 out of 5 

Reckless by Jessi Gage is a contemporary romance with a paranormal twist in it. Derek has a temper and ends up being the cause of an accident on the freeway (one he’s not actually involved in). He then starts thinking he’s having dreams that involved his dream girl and they fall in love. DG helps him change and he realizes he needs to take responsibility for his actions. DG, however, is actually Cami who was in the accident he caused and when she wakes up and he finds out that Cami is DG he’s not sure how she can forgive him causing it all. This was a good story. I liked how Derek grew throughout the book. I did think that the “I love you’s” came to quickly and I had another issue with Cami’s family but overall I liked the story and the writing. 3.75 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

So Right With You by Maggie Kaye is the story of a woman who finds her fiancĂ© cheating with her best friend and ends up staying with her boss who she then falls in love with. I didn’t care for this book. I thought that it was completely contrived and as the book was supposedly centered around Chloe and her best friends (it’s called The Girlfriend Series) then why did she not feel she could impose on them when she needed somewhere to stay. I found the story bland and nothing really happened. Not my cup of tea. 1 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Next was The Devil’s Pearl by Jennifer Haymore. Devlin and Julia were once lovers. He thought she knew he loved her but he treated her like a mistress and even tried to set her up in a house. She eventually leaves and moves to France but when she rejects another man’s advances he heads back to London and spreads rumors that she’s a courtesan. Now Dev is pissed that she cut him and took up with other men. When she heads back to England he kidnaps her and plans on keeping her forever. Ok, talk about anger issues. This guy was creepy and I think he’d actually lost it when he wanted to possess Julia. She needed to be with someone else entirely, imho. This is my first read by Haymore, and I liked the writing just not the character she wrote. I’ll definitely give her another chance but this one I found to just be ok. 2.5 out of 5 

Last was I Found You by Jane Lark. This is a new adult story about Jason who moved from small town Oregon to New York City. It’s not what he thought it would be at all and he’s pretty disillusioned. One night on his nightly run he finds Rachel on the Manhattan bridge about to jump off. He talks her down, takes her home and helps her out despite warnings from his mother, fiancĂ© back home, and co-workers. The pair end up falling in love but the road is not easy and the issues they have to deal with are many. I just finished this one last night and I’m still formulating my thoughts on it. For the most part it was good but I did have some issues with it. 3.5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
For His Eyes Only by Liz Fielding

Happy Reading!