February 23, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW, EXCERPT, GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Havoc (Mayhem #4)




Havoc (Mayhem #4), by Jamie Shaw
Publish Date:
February 21, 2017
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS


(Synopsis) When Hailey Harper left her family farm to enroll in veterinary school, she had a plan: keep her head down, ace her classes, and most importantly… don’t upset the uncle paying her tuition. Translation? Don’t piss off his dramatic, self-absorbed daughter, Danica, even if she’s a nightmare to live with.


Falling in love with her cousin’s rock star ex-boyfriend was definitely not part of the plan.

As the drummer of a now-famous rock band, Mike Madden could have any girl he wants. He’s sweet, funny, romantic, talented—and the only guy that’s ever made Hailey’s heart do cartwheels in her chest. The more she gets to know him, the harder she falls, but Hailey knows they can never be more than friends… because Danica wants him back, and she’ll fight dirty to win.


Mike is falling for Hailey too, but Danica’s threats and his rock star life—music video shoots, international tours, obsessed fans—could tear them apart before they’ve even begun. Hailey isn’t sure she’s the one for him, but Mike’s waited years for a girl like her… and he’ll do anything to prove it.

Talk about ending a series on the right note. In the fictional rock group The Last Ones to Know, we've met all the other members of the band. Adam, the lead singer, is the leader of the group. Joel, the rhythm guitarist, is the fun one. Shawn, the lead guitarist, is the brains of the operation. But Mike - Mike Madden, the drummer - he's the heart. 

Back in high school, Mike had a girlfriend who was his everything. But, Danica left him for greener pastures. Now that he's made it big, Danica is back and looking to reconnect with Mike and share his spotlight. Mike, being the sweet guy that he is, gives it a go. I mean, he's been hung up on her - or rather, the idea of her - for years. But, he didn't plan on her cousin Hailey being along for the ride. 

In the history of mean girls, there has never been one more awful than Danica. She is superficial, narcissistic, spoiled and hateful. She entered college just so she could get back together with Mike - not to get an education. But, Hailey, whose family doesn't have much money, is sent along with Danica to babysit her. Despite what an awful job that is, it comes with some undeniable perks. Her uncle is paying for all of her school expenses. And getting a degree and a good job that will help out her family is all Hailey cares about. So, she puts up with Danica's constant verbal abuse for the greater good. 

And Mike puts up with Danica because he feels he owes it to himself to explore this relationship that he has had up on a pedestal for so long. Now, this larger-than-life girl from his memories is back, and he wants to honor them by giving it a real try. 

Seriously - could Hailey and Mike be any more perfect for one another? Their martyr complexes are unbelievable. But, that's the wonderful thing about Havoc - in each other, they find a safe place. Someone around whom they can relax and laugh and be themselves. They can eat pizza, drink beer and play video games. They don't have to walk on eggshells for fear of setting off a bomb. Their existence in each others' lives becomes as necessary as air. 

Which is a problem for Hailey, since Mike is her evil cousin's boyfriend. Even when she tries to put distance between them, she and Mike keep finding ways to come back together. Never have I ever wanted to see a mean girl get put in her place and a couple truly meant for each other to have their big moment. 

There are so many incredibly satisfying moments in Havoc. Every time Mike and Hailey share a meaningful glance. Every time one of them helps the other out. Every time they find a way to be together despite Danica's constant presence - it feels like winning a big game. It's those moments that made Havoc such a fantastic book. Jamie Shaw gives us these winning moments here and there so that we're not so constantly frustrated by Danica's scheming. 

Since Havoc is the final book in this series, there's lots of time spent with the other band members and their girlfriends. The very end was so unbelievably perfect - it really put the exclamation point on the series as a whole. THIS is how a finale is done.


MEET THE HERO—MIKE MADDEN

Readers fell in love with drummer Mike Madden from the very first book in this series, MAYHEM, when it became clear that he wasn’t like the rest of the guys in the band: Mike never took advantage of the fact that groupies were throwing themselves at his feet; instead, he was always waiting for “the one.” Mike had his heart broken back in high school, when his band was just starting to pave their way in the music industry, but that never damaged his belief in true love. He was never looking for a one-night stand—he was looking for his future wife, the woman he would spend the rest of his life with. He waited for her through RIOT, he waited for her through CHAOS, and he finally meets her in HAVOC, when he finds Hailey Harper waiting with her cousin outside of his tour bus.

The fact that her cousin is his ex-girlfriend—the same one who broke his heart in high school and now wants him back—complicates things... a lot. But no one ever said Happily Ever Afters came easy...

At a door near the back corner of the room, my fun-loving cousin marches right up to the first security guard she sees, who also happens to be approximately five zillion times her size, with muscles made of stone and a face to match. “Who do I need to talk to to get backstage?”
At her bossy tone, Muscle-man lifts an eyebrow. “The Easter Bunny?”

“Excuse me?”

“No one’s allowed backstage.” The arms he crosses over his chest warn that he isn’t messing around.

“I’m with Mike,” Danica lies, and after studying her for a moment, Muscle-man laughs.

“Sure you are.”

“I am!”

When Muscle-man just smiles at her like she’s a petulant child, Danica resorts to acting like one. She demands to see his boss and threatens to get him fired. When that doesn’t work, she resorts to curse words. And when those have no effect, all hell breaks loose.

She’s torpedoing her finger into his chest and shouting something about his inbred gene pool when I try to pull her away from him. But Danica is on a rampage, and all my efforts get me is a hard shove that nearly knocks me on my ass. At five-feet tall, one hundred and three pounds, I’m not exactly in a position to throw my weight around, and I don’t make a second attempt to try. I’m rubbing my tender collarbone when the security guy picks my assailant up off her feet, and I helplessly follow as he carries her outside.

After serving as an armrest for a sweaty gigantor inside the club, after obliterating my eardrums in front of the world’s biggest speakers, after getting knocked around like a bratty child’s toy all night, all I want is to take a hot shower and crawl into my own bed to sleep for a week straight. Instead, I stand on the sidewalk outside of Mayhem, frowning at the furious look on Danica’s face as she glares at the big metal door the security guard just shut behind him.

She came here for one thing, and I know she’s not leaving until she gets it.

“You didn’t have to push me,” I mutter, and her eyes flare.

“You should’ve had my back!”

“And done what? Bite his ankles?”

In her four-inch wedge boots, Danica towers above me. I stare way up at her, trying to remember the girl who played dolls with me up in my parents’ hay loft. But she’s lost somewhere behind fake lashes and fifteen years of getting everything she's wanted.

“You’ve been nothing but a bitch this whole time,” she snaps, and I sigh and pull my shirt away from my skin again, letting the cool night air dry the sweat beaded on my lower back. There’s no point in trying to defend myself. In Danica’s mind, she’s always simultaneously the victim and the hero, and as her non-rent-paying roommate, I’ve learned to just accept that.

I appreciate everything she’s done for me. I do. If she hadn’t been the little voice in her father’s ear, persuading him to fund my schooling and begging him to make some calls to get us enrolled, I’d be home mucking stalls, not following my dreams. Her dad pays all of my bills—my tuition, my insurance, my living expenses, all of them. And while I suspect that Danica’s sudden interest in my life wasn’t entirely genuine—she’d flunked out of college before, and I think her dad was only open to the idea of her going back if she was living off-campus with a responsible roommate, AKA her boring farm-girl cousin—I owe her. I owe her the roof over my head and the massive student loan debt I don’t have.

When her phone rings, she wastes no time dismissing me to answer it. “Katie?” she says. “Guess who just got kicked out of the fucking club. Yes! Because this asshole bouncer wouldn’t let me backstage.” She gives me a dirty look. “Just stood there doing nothing. I know! No, she didn’t even try. Getting a place with her was stupid.”

An icy chill slithers up the back of my neck, and I chew the inside of my lip. Because of my uncle’s insistence that I focus all of my energy on school right now instead of also finding a part-time job, I have no income. My only “job” is not pissing off his daughter. And it’s a job that I’m learning I am very, very bad at.

With my mouth shut, I slink away before my mere presence can enrage Danica further, and when she asks where I’m going, I make up the lamest excuse ever. “To read this flyer over here.”

A resident of South Central Pennsylvania, JAMIE SHAW's two biggest dreams in life were to be a published author and to be a mom. Now, she's living both of those dreams and loving every minute of it. When she's not spending time with her husband and their young son, she's writing novels with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy leading men. With her MS in Professional Writing and a passion for all things romance, her goal is always to make readers laugh, cry, squirm, curse, and swoon their pants off, all within the span of a single story. She loves interacting with readers, and she always aims to add new names to their book boyfriend lists.

Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS


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February 22, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Royally Matched (Royally #2)



This book is EVERYTHING. Check out my review. Go buy it. You need it.


Royally Matched (Royally #2), by Emma Chase
Publish Date:
February 21, 2017
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher and InkslingerPR
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS


(Synopsis) Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.


He’s not handling it well.


Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him "space"—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:


Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.


A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world's most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.


While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.


The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit... and her naughty sense of humor.


But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

Royally Screwed was one of the best books I read in 2016. So, of course Royally Matched was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. A book coming with that much excitement - you get nervous before reading it, you know? What if it doesn't live up to my expectations? What if it's not as good as the first one? 

I should've known better. This is Emma Chase. Royally Matched was absolutely amazing and so heartbreakingly romantic, I swooned on a regular basis. When I wasn't swooning, I was laughing my head off. As I said - this IS Emma Chase. 

This should not be a big surprise to you. If you've read Royally Screwed, you already are familiar with the sort of man Henry is. He's the fun brother - the wild child, the party animal, the manwhore. And he is now the Crown Prince thanks to his older brother Nicholas. Where he used to live a life free from responsibility and care, now he is forced to buckle down and start preparing to be king some day. And he bloody hates it.

Now I have to be the Henry no one wants to hang around with. Serious. Scholarly. Upstanding, even if it kills me - and it definitely might... They're all counting on me. Depending on me. To lead them into the future. To be good. To be... King.

Sarah is probably the most opposite from Henry as anyone can get. She's shy, reserved, socially awkward and a virgin. She's very smart but suffers horribly from several PTSD-like symptoms, so those keep her out of crowds and large social situations. So, when her sister decides to become a contestant on the reality TV dating show being filmed with Henry at the center - Matched: Royal Edition - Sarah decides to accompany her as her assistant in order to get out of a speech at work. 

My absolute favorite part about this book was the transformation of Henry. In the beginning, he is all about himself. Henry is the person Henry thinks about the most. He enjoys being fawned over by beautiful women and having his pick of the lot. But, Sarah is different. She doesn't swoon. She doesn't want to be in the spotlight or to put a princely feather in her cap. Henry can be himself around her. He can be comfortable and relaxed. And her influence in his life starts to change him. His focus turns from himself to the others around him. And when he does that, he realizes that he cares more about Sarah and her feelings than about where the next party is. He starts to become a king.

This beautiful, broken, pitiful prince. Was Henry ever told how brilliant he is? Kind and strong, generous, and good? I don't think he was an they should've told him. Every single day.

Sarah went through her own reawakening thanks to Henry. He brought her out of her shell and encouraged her to break the mold - to do different things and really live outside of her books. The way they complimented each other was awesome and so romantic. And the way Henry took care of Sarah - absolutely breathtaking. 

So, both princes are now permanently attached - I sincerely hope that this is not the end of this series, because I am so in love with it and these characters.

Once a shell is broken it can't be put back together again - not really, not in the same way it was. The cracks will always be there. That's the Henry Effect.And it's miraculous. 

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Website: http://authoremmachase.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEmmaChase/?fref=ts
Newsletter: http://authoremmachase.com/newsletter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/emmachse
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551005.Emma_Chase

February 21, 2017

RELEASE DAY EXCERPT: Royally Matched (Royally #2)


Hear ye, hear ye! ROYALLY MATCHED is FINALLY here! Check out the trailer and an excerpt here and my review tomorrow! It's another 5-star read from the Queen of RomCom, Emma Chase.


Royally Matched (Royally #2), by Emma Chase
Publish Date:
February 21, 2017
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

(Synopsis) Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.


He’s not handling it well.


Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him "space"—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:


Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world's most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.


While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.


The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit... and her naughty sense of humor.


But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.



Sarah stands up and presses her lips against mine. And it’s so unexpected, so surprising—I freeze up. But only for a moment. As her mouth gently moves over mine, I begin to thaw. She’s so fucking soft, her taste so very sweet. The kiss is almost chaste—at least it’s the most chaste I’ve ever had. Unpracticed.

And yet, it still manages to make my heart pound against my ribs like an animal in a cage.


“What are you doing?” I whisper, when she pulls back just a little.


“I’m distracting you.” She looks up at me uncertainly. From behind those ridiculously prim little glasses with those big, dark eyes that could bring me to my knees. “Is it working?”


My tongue traces my lower lip, craving more of her.


“I’m not sure. Keep trying—I’ll let you know.”


She smiles quick and relieved . . . and then she reaches back up, wraps her arms about my neck, and kisses me.


Her two lips envelop my lower one, then the upper, all eager, pleasing sweetness. My hands find Sarah’s lower back and I pull her in close, tight against me. Slowly, I open my mouth and she mirrors my movement, opening for me. And it’s good. So very, very good.


It’s like my blood has turned to gasoline, and the touch of her wet, warm tongue is the spark.


I delve deeper, kiss her harder—more demanding—taking the lead. I cup her head in my hands, holding her still while I plunge and devour. A moan seeps from her lips and I devour that too.


But then, breathing harshly, I tear my mouth away.


“Sarah, maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe we should just—”


“I’m sick of being afraid, Henry. And I’m so tired of being alive . . . but not really living. I’ve wanted this for a long time. I want . . . you.” It’s only then that hesitation dims her eyes. “Do you want me too?”


I grip her arms. “More than I’ve wanted anything or anyone in my entire life.”


She takes my hands in hers, lifts them and presses my palms to her breasts. They’re soft and full and absolutely perfect.


“Show me.”


Beneath her robe, her bedclothes are paper thin. I trace my thumbs across her nipples, feeling them harden and peak. I want to suck on them until she’s mindless. I want to lick every inch of her skin and watch her flush with desire.

I wrap my arms around Sarah and lift her right off her feet. With a groan, my mouth is back to hers. Her small pretty hands cup my jaw as I carry her toward the bed. I stop against a wall on the way, knocking a frame sideways, lifting her leg in one hand and wrapping it around my hip so I can thrust against her.


There’s so much I know—deviant, filthy, lovely moves. And I want to teach her every damn one.

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Website: http://authoremmachase.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEmmaChase/?fref=ts
Newsletter: http://authoremmachase.com/newsletter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/emmachse
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551005.Emma_Chase

February 20, 2017

EARLY REVIEW: Till Death



Till Death, by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publish Date:
February 28, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult romantic suspense
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.


But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

Till Death is nothing like any other book by Jennifer L. Armentrout that I've ever read before, but absolutely no less incredible. The suspense, the mystery, the romance - all are ramped up and on full display for the entirety of the story. I love the characters Jennifer has created here - they're real and they're striking. And they're all going to stay with me for a long while. 

Sasha Keaton is the girl who lived. No - this isn't THAT story. A decade ago, She's the only one who survived The Groom - a serial killer that also ended up dead at the end of the ordeal. But, the damage to Sasha's psyche was done. Although she had a mother, friends and a budding relationship with an amazing guy, she left West Virginia for Atlanta. But, now her mother needs her help with the family business, so Sasha's coming home.

Her mother and friends are thrilled that she's home, but none is more happy than that boy she was dating before being kidnapped. Cole Landis has lived his life, having become a local cop and having other relationships, but he never forgot Sasha, and now that she's back, he's determined to embrace this second chance with her. But, when women start turning up dead like the first time, and Sasha appears to be on his list once again. But, this time, she has people to lean on and Cole to help take care of her. 

I promise you - Till Death will grab you, freak you out, give you all the warm fuzzies, and then let you go with the biggest book hangover ever. 

At its heart, Till Death is an epic second chance love story. Sasha and Cole had a real shot at a relationship before she was kidnapped, and then she left town and it seemed she would never return. Cole had always regretted not being able to protect Sasha from The Groom, but he never had an opportunity to make things right again. Now that Sasha's back, Cole institutes a full-court press to get her back. 

It's so obvious that their connection hasn't faded even with time and distance. Jen Armentrout is so incredibly good at creating couples with this crazy chemistry. At the heart of whatever she writes is always an epic love story. And yes, the arc in this book is all about The Groom and who he is and who he might kill next. But, the push and pull between Sasha and Cole and their rediscovery of each other and Sasha's rediscovery of herself - with Cole's help - is the real magic here. 

When we talked, we never ran out of things to say, and when he kissed me? I still remember how crazy he made me feel with just a kiss, as if lighting every cell in my body on fire. Being with Cole had made me feel like I was on the edge of a cliff, more than willing to fall off. I'd never felt anything like that again. Not even a smidgen.

Till Death is told almost entirely from Sasha's POV. There are a few flashbacks that help explain what happened to her ten years earlier at the hand of The Groom, but most of it is told in present day. We do get a few snippets from The Groom's POV, which just upped the creepy factor to delicious heights. They were the perfect addition - it wasn't too much, but rather just the right amount to keep me completely engaged. 

Although there's a certain heaviness to Till Death that we don't usually see in Jen Armentrout's books, she also gives us some levity in the form of interactions between Sasha and her two BFFs and, especially, the progression of her newly rekindled relationship with Cole. Those moments of tenderness, sweetness, and most certainly sexiness, were blended with the mystery and suspense to make the perfect story designed to keep you on the edge of your seat and swooning from extreme feels. I absolutely loved everything about Till Death.  


February 17, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Wintersong


It's been a long time since I've read a book like Wintersong. Actually - I'm not sure I ever have read a book quite like this before. Read on to see what I mean then enter to win a copy of Wintersong!


Wintersong, by S. Jae-Jones
Publish Date:
February 7, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher and Irish Banana Tours
Genre: young adult fantasy
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS


(Synopsis) Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.


All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.


But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.


Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

I love retellings. Seeing how authors create their own spin on familiar stories and picking out the similarities and the differences is thrilling. Lately, we've seen many of the classic fairy tales and Disney-fied stories made into wonderfully angsty YA books. But never have I seen anyone who tried to retell the Labyrinth. Me - SOLD. 

Instead of David Bowie's Jareth, we get an ageless, nameless Goblin King who needs a new bride from time to time in order for spring to keep showing up on the Earth above. He sets his sights on Kathe, a vapid, materialistic beauty from a small German village. But her older sister Elisabeth has something to say about that. 

In place of Jennifer Connelly's Sarah is Elisabeth, the plain jane on-her-way-to-being-a-spinster girl who fades into the background as she takes care of everyone around her, including her sister and younger brother Josef. The one thing that is hers is her music. She's a brilliant composer and plays several instruments. Elisabeth convinces The Goblin King to let her take Kathe's place, and she joins him in the underworld forever. 

S. Jae-Jones is a beautiful writer. Music plays a major theme in Wintersong - it's the common thread that binds Elisabeth and The Goblin King together. The words on the pages flow like music on the air.  It's lilting and prosaic and so colorful and vibrant. It was so easy to feel all the emotions of the characters - and there were a lot of emotions to be felt.

The Goblin King had walked into the tiny room of my life and upended its contents. I was left picking up the pieces, struggling to fit them back together into one semblance of what I had known before. M life was divided into two neat and perfect halves: Before and After. 

Elisabeth goes from exuberant and joyful to grief-stricken and despondent and back again, depending on her interactions with The Goblin King. The Goblin King is hopeful that his marriage to Elisabeth will result in some actually feelings on his part and that she might awaken his boring life. And then there was the romance. Some scenes between Elisabeth and The Goblin King were seriously sexy. And I could feel it all in the words S. Jae-Jones gave us. 

Truthfully, there were times when I felt a little like I was slogging through all those beautiful words. They seemed to slow the story down from time to time Also, I should say I wasn't crazy about the ending. I'm a sucker for traditional HEAs, and while some might view the ending of Wintersong as one, I definitely was looking for more. 
Despite that, Wintersong was an interesting retelling of a story I love. I'll definitely be looking for more from S. Jae-Jones in the future. 

S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of Wintersong, forthcoming from Thomas Dunne in February 2017.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram


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RELEASE BLITZ: Wicked Charming (Wicked Ever After #1)

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WICKED EVER AFTER SERIES BLURB:

It’s the dirtiest fairy tale of all…. Charm. Beast. Wolf. Everyone in the Kingdom–an exclusive, decadent BDSM club–knows the three friends and business partners. But no one has ever gotten close enough to touch them. Sex is easy, even when it hurts. It’s all any of them wanted. Love is off the table. Love is the thing none of them ever saw coming. In the Kingdom, control is everything. Who wields it and who surrenders. But some things even they can’t control. Welcome to the Kingdom, where every happily ever after hurts in the most wicked of ways.

 

wicked-charming-finalWICKED CHARMING (Wicked Ever After, #1)

PURCHASE ON AMAZON

Blurb:

He’s at the top of the world. He’s rich, sought after, and in control. And he’s bored. A string of one-night stands have left Samul Charming increasingly dissatisfied. When his mother pushes him to settle down, his best friends come up with a brilliant plan: Audition the submissives at The Kingdom. The problem is, Charm knows who he wants: the only girl to challenge him, while submitting as naturally as breathing. But he can’t have her. With the entire club watching and his parents expecting him to marry soon, Charm decides to settle. But love in the Kingdom is never simple and it is never painless. And Charm is about to be reminded of that.

 

 

WICKED BEAST (Coming February 20)

beast-finalPRE-ORDER ON AMAZON

Blurb: James “Beast” Lutz isn’t like his friends. He doesn’t crave control the way Charm and Mal do, and he doesn’t play the games Wolf thrives on. He lives on his knees, all of his strength bent to the will of his Domme. He’s never regretted that, until now. Now, when he’s trapped in an arrangement serving a Domme who can’t keep a sub. Now, when he’s not sure how to trust a woman wrapped in mystery and less sure he wants to. But the more he gets to know the Domme everyone knows as Beauty, the more Beast realizes everything he thought he knew was wrong.
   

WICKED WOLF (Coming February 27)

wicked-wolf-finalPRE-ORDER ON AMAZON

Blurb: Charles Wolf Blackwood likes the game. He likes chasing a new girl every week, loves seducing them and earning their trust. He doesn’t like to keep them. Until he meets Scarlet. The chase has never been quite as intoxicating as it is with her, the feisty sub with an innocent streak a mile wide. And for the first time, he wants to keep her, but Scarlet already has a Dom, and Hunter has no intentions of giving her up. Both Wolf and Hunter are in for a surprise when they realize Scarlet doesn’t want one of them. She’s playing to keep them both.
 
-----------------------------


nazareaandrewsNazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

AUTHOR LINKS:

February 16, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Park Avenue Prince


My love affair with all things Louise Bay started with Max in King of Wall Street, and now it continues with Sam in PARK AVENUE PRINCE.


Park Avenue Prince, by Louise Bay
Publish Date:
February 13, 2017
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, provided by Social Butterfly PR
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS


(Synopsis) I’ve made every one of my billions of dollars myself—I’m calculating, astute and the best at what I do. It takes drive and dedication to build what I have. And it leaves no time for love or girlfriends or relationships. 


But don’t get me wrong, I’m not a monk.

I understand the attention and focus it takes to seduce a beautiful woman. They’re the same skills I use to close business deals. But one night is where it begins and ends. I’m not the guy who sends flowers. I’m not the guy who calls the next day.


Or so I thought before an impatient, smart-talking, beyond beautiful heiress bursts into my world.


When Grace Astor rolls her eyes at me—I want to hold her against me and show her what she’s been missing.


When she makes a joke at my expense—I want to silence her sassy mouth with my tongue.


And when she leaves straight after we f*ck with barely a goodbye—it makes me want to pin her down and remind her of the three orgasms she just had.


She might be a princess but I’m going to show her who rules in this Park Avenue bedroom.

Sam Shaw is the ultimate reluctant billionaire. After being orphaned at age 12 and then thrust into the system, Sam had to learn the hard way to cherish every possession you had, because you never knew when it could be taken away from you. Even though he's become incredibly successful and wealthy, He doesn't live like it. He owns a beautiful new home on Park Avenue, but the only furniture in it is a thrift store couch and a mattress on the floor. 

After his best friend convinces him to at least buy some art to put on the walls (it's a good investment, and therefore not frivolous, so it's okay with Sam), Sam ends up at Grace Astor Fine Art and is immediately taken with Grace Astor, herself. He initially just wants to get her in his bed, but after he finally succeeds at that, he's shocked to find that he wants her there again. And again. And again. 

Although they were raised very differently, Grace and Sam have a lot in common. Even though her parents are rich, she doesn't think that extends to her. She believes she has to work hard to get what she wants and not to take handouts from others. She opened her own art gallery with her own money that she made. Even though it's not a job for the New York socialite elite, she does what makes her happy. Rich, pretentious men that her parents throw at her are not what make her happy, so she avoids dating suits and instead gravitates toward the artistic, creative sorts who need her help and encouragement in order to flourish. Unfortunately, this also means she gets screwed over a lot.

Both Sam and Grace have money (well, Grace's family has money), but it's nice that, for once, their money isn't a barrier to their relationship. No - their problems are far deeper than that. Between Sam's fear of abandonment and Grace distrusting Sam's overall character, they both had a lot of work to do. Their relationship progressed at a very believable pace. It's very clear in the beginning that they were hot for each other because of how they looked and because of this raw, exciting chemistry that always was present between them.

But beyond that, it took a lot of conversations and time spent together in order to slowly break down their walls. And it was definitely a gradual process. Trust is earned over time, and that's a lesson both Grace and Sam had to learn. But, their times together were sweet and poignant, as well as sexy as all get out. There was a lot of talk about art and their pasts and their futures and how - or if - they fit in. 

Since Grace is Harper's BFF from The King of Wall Street, we had a chance to catch up with Max and Harper and their kids, which was so much fun. Seeing them through Sam's jaded eyes was heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Sam and Grace finding each other and learning more about themselves in the process. 

USA Today bestselling author, Louise Bay writes sexy, contemporary romance novels - the kind she likes to read. Her books include the novels Hopeful, The Empire State Series, Parisian Nights, Promised Nights, Indigo Nights and King of Wall Street.

Ruined by bonk-busters and sexy mini-series of the eighties Louise loves all things sexy and romantic. There's not enough of it in real life so she disappears into the fictional worlds in books and films.

Louise loves the rain, the West Wing, London, days when she doesn't have to wear make-up, being on her own, being with friends, elephants and champagne.

She loves to hear from readers so get in touch!

Connect with Louise:
Faceboook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlouisebay/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/louisesbay
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8056592.Louise_Bay
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1WqwGAf

February 15, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Hard Wired (Cyberlove #3)


To say I've been anticipating HARD WIRED's release is like saying Henry Cavill is just okay looking. Check out my review, then enter the giveaway!


Hard Wired (Cyberlove #3), by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Publish Date:
February 13, 2017
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, provided by the authors
Genre: adult contemporary m/m romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS


(Synopsis) My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There's a first time for everything, and my first time with a guy turns out to be the hottest experience of my life.


But the next day, I find out my moody fan-artist is Ian Larsen AKA Cherry—someone I've known online for years. And he'd known exactly who I was while shoving me up against that wall. Before I figure out whether to be pissed or flattered, the con ends.


Now we're back online, and he's acting like nothing happened. But despite the distance between us, and the way he clings to the safety of his online persona, we made a real connection that night. I don't plan to let him forget.

It was so easy to fall completely in love with these two boys, and subsequently, this book. There was so much to read about  - so many different layers to get through. Their relationship certainly wasn't easy, but honestly, that was the best part. The best things come to those who work hard. 

We've met both Ian and Jesse in both Strong Signal and Fast Connection, although prior to this book, we knew them both by their gamer names - Cherrycakes and Garvy. It seemed in previous books that they played off each other with Cherry playing good copy and Garvy playing bad cop. Hard Wired is absolutely a study in how people are rarely what they seem to be on the surface or online, and that has never been more apparent than when Ian and Jesse meet in person at a con.

Jesse is just coming into his sexuality and realizing who he really is, while Ian has known all of that about himself for quite some time. It's Ian's sexual orientation, along with his art and his dislike of strangers and large crowds that has caused him to adopt different personas in order to deal with the people he meets - Cherry is his online mod persona who is happy and bubbly and Cerise is his artist persona who is broody and confident and wildly talented. He's been someone else for so long, he has forgotten who just Ian is. It takes Jesse to remind him.

I did owe him. A lot more than an admission that he'd already pieced together. I owed him pure, unadulterated Ian - all the weird parts of myself and not the fragments that I tended to show to specific audiences.

But, that's part of the problem. Ian initially buries himself in his art and in his games to escape from his life and the people in it. He doesn't think very highly of himself and doesn't think of himself as lovable. Jesse Garvy gets uncomfortably close to the heart of who Ian really is, and that scares the crap out of him. Even more unnerving is that Jesse really, REALLY likes who he sees. 

"You're talented and smart and so beautiful. Sometimes I wonder if I could ever be enough for you, or us together, if you don't even see your own value... when your value is infinity plus infinity greater than mine."

Jesse is determined to bring Ian out of his shell, though he doesn't know how to go about doing that. There's a lot of false starts and stops between the two of them as they learn about each other and each other's limitations. It's definitely not easy, and it's not always pleasant either. Jesse, in particular, feels a lot like a fish out of water when it comes to Ian. He thinks it should be easy to just be who you are, but Ian has learned the hard way that who you are sometimes gets you in serious trouble. It's hard for Jesse to know what to do with Ian and vice versa. 

Every conversation with Ian was another puzzle piece. I'd see enough to know Ian was someone I wanted in my life. I just hoped he felt the same.

The one place where they seem to know exactly what to do with each other is in the bedroom. Holy moly. As only Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell can, the sexual connection between Jesse and Ian was incredible. They never had problems connecting in that way, and as the book went on, it only got better. Even when they were separated by many miles and states - seriously, after reading this series, I know that Skype sex is a seriously hot thing. 

Buckle your seat belt for a ride of feels. Hard Wired is told in dual POV, so we get all the angst, all the emotion and all the frustration times two. Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson are an incredible writing pair, though. Their transitions are flawless and their voices are so strong. It's one of my favorite parts of this series. And, luckily, it seems like the series will continue, as we met a few new characters that definitely seem to have a story to tell. 

Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. 

She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.

Website: http://meganerickson.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormeganerickson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeganErickson_
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6879435.Megan_Erickson
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Megan-Erickson/e/B00AWD8MHS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1454466025&sr=8-2-ent
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1440306062901719/


Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Website (www.santinohassell.com)
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/santinohassellbooks)
Twitter (https://twitter.com/SantinoHassell)
Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/santino_hassell)
Amazon (amazon.com/author/santinohassell)
FB Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/gethasselled/)
Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/santinohassell)

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February 14, 2017

RELEASE DAY REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Royal Affair (Royal Scandal #1)


ROYAL AFFAIR by Parker Swift turned out to be one of the best books I've read this year. I loved every single thing about it - I can't wait for you to experience it too!


Royal Affair (Royal Scandal #1), by Parker Swift
Publish Date:
February 14, 2017
Publisher: Forever Yours
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS


(Synopsis) Behind the posh British accent, Dylan Hale possesses a down-and-dirty sexiness. Off-the-charts gorgeous, a ruthless architect . . . and did I mention he's a future duke? Every time we touch, it's wildfire. All need and lust and heat. But Dylan has rules: just sex, no one can know, and in the bedroom he gets complete control. All I have to do is follow the rules, because falling in love with Dylan Hale is all it would take to screw everything up . . . royally.

I am a total sucker for royal romances. For the past six months or so, they have been my jam - I seriously can't get enough of them. It's why I picked up Royal Affair in the first place. There's just something so utterly and completely romantic about a rich royal alpha male who is willing to give up everything for the right woman. 

In the case of Royal Affair, Dylan Hale might not be enamored with his charmed, royal life, but he's accepted it as a cross he has to bear. He has to put up with his stuffy, stuck-up, socialite parents and superficial socialite women who are only interested in him for his money and his title. There's not a lot of real in his life, but the real he finds, he is determined to keep all to himself - safe from prying and judging eyes. 

Lydia Bell very recently became an orphan. Even in her twenties, that's a hard thing. So, she's shaking up her life and moving to London for her dream job as an assistant to a famous fashion designer. Through a circuitous route, she meets and charms Dylan, and he completely sweeps her off her feet. But, to protect her from the vultures, Dylan resolves only to be with Lydia in secret. 

Can you even imagine? What choice would you make? I can't even answer those questions. Everyone - Lydia included - says that they would rather experience the heat and passion and connection with someone like Dylan in secret rather than not at all. But, I don't know. Because being the dirty little secret - the hot piece on the side - would make me feel like crap, no matter how special our times together were. 

Being with him felt less and less like a choice every time we saw each other. I couldn't imagine turning away from him, even if I wanted to. And even if I was hurt by the walls he was erecting between us, I now knew, without a doubt, that he regretted their existence as much as I did.

And, also like Lydia, I'm the type of person who would have no choice but to fall in love with someone like Dylan - someone who is handsome and charming and sex on a stick and knows how to treat a woman. Which would be a problem since Dylan is 100% committed to keeping things between he and Lydia completely on the DL. 

I think my favorite part about Royal Affair is that Dylan changes and grows and learns as he gets to know Lydia. He realizes that living and loving out loud and unafraid is so much better than keeping the best part of yourself a secret. 

It's obvious from how Royal Affair ends that Dylan and Lydia's story is not even close to over yet. Dark days appear to be before them. Will they be able to handle what's coming? I can't wait to find out. 

We weren’t a foot inside when he closed the door behind him and said, “Turn around, damsel,” indicating I should face away from him. I complied, and he slowly came up behind me, running his hands along my bare upper back and down my arms. He unzipped the dress and pulled it off my shoulders so it pooled at my feet. I was naked except for my insanely high heels. Grabbing my hips, he pulled my naked ass into his front, and I could feel his hardness pushing against the seam of his trousers. “Can you feel how much I want you? How much I want this?” he said firmly, increasing his grip on my hips, pulling me even closer.

I tilted my head back and to the side to try to steal a glimpse of him, and he rested his chin on my shoulder. His hands wrapped around and palmed my breasts. He pushed them in and up, molding them in his palms, and he began to tug at my nipples, rolling them between his thumb and finger, teasing them to the point where pain met pleasure.

“I’m breaking all sorts of rules for you, aren’t I?” He was kissing my neck, sucking my skin, nipping it gently between his teeth, devouring me in motions that mimicked what he was doing to my breasts.

“What rules have you broken for me?” I asked, practically whispering, searching for steadiness in my breath.

He spun me around and lifted me by my ass in one swift move. I locked my ankles behind his back. “For starters I rarely sleep with the same woman twice, at least not in the same week. I don’t spend the night. Ever. And neither do the women I see. And I don’t invite women into my office. Ever. But I couldn’t resist with you. I’d been dreaming about having my mouth on that pretty pussy on that table for weeks. Picturing you just as you were.”

“Did it live up to the dream?” I nuzzled into his cheek, desperate to get to a place where he was naked, where I could feel his skin on my skin.

“The dream didn’t stand a chance.”

“Well, I wouldn’t want you breaking any of your rules, would I? I mean, maybe we better stop now, and you could sleep on my sofa. Or you can get back on your horse—”

“Not on your life, smartass.”

Parker Swift grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and then grew up again in New York, London, and Minneapolis and currently lives in Connecticut. She has spent most of her adult life examining romantic relationships in an academic lab as a professor of social psychology. Now, she's exploring the romantic lives of her fictional characters in the pages of her books. When she's not writing, she spends her time with her bearded nautical husband and being told not to sing along to pop music in the car by her two sons.

Social Media Links:
www.twitter.com/parkeraswift

www.Instagram.com/parkeraswift


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February 13, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Fake Fiancee


Ilsa Madden-Mills does it again. FAKE FIANCEE was such an awesome book, and I can't wait for everyone to read it. Check out my review!


Fake Fiancee, by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publish Date:
February 6, 2017
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, provided by TRSOR Promotions
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

Rating: 5 STARS


(Synopsis) They say nothing compares to your first kiss. But our first kiss was orchestrated for an audience.

Our second kiss…that one was REAL.

He cradled my face like he was terrified he’d f*ck it up.

He stared into my eyes until the air buzzed.

Soft and slow, full of sighs and little laughs,

He inhaled me like I was the finest Belgian chocolate,

And he'd never get another piece.

A nip of his teeth, his hand at my waist...

And I was lost.

I forgot he was paying me to be his fake fiancée.

I forgot we weren’t REAL.

Our kiss was pure magic, and before you laugh and say those kinds of kisses don’t exist…

Then you’ve never touched lips with Max Kent, the hottest quarterback in college history.

There was a time when all I read were books in the new adult genre. I love the college setting and the angst and discovery of the kind of love that lasts forever. I don't read as much of it as I used to, but every time I read one of Ilsa Madden-Mills' books, those old feelings come back. 

Fake Fiancee grabbed me from the very first page. Sunny endures a frightening situation and is saved by a beautiful stranger that she gets to share only a few moments with before they're separated. Years later, Sunny is living across the street from a house full of football players from the private college in town. She's trying to keep her scholarship, her job, her car and her apartment, which can be challenging when the football skanks trash her stuff, she is trying to avoid her cheating ex, and on top of it all, someone starts stalking her. 

Enter Max Kent, her hero once before and now again. He's there to tutor her, give her a ride to school, and ber a buffer between her and her ex. In exchange, she pretends to be his girlfriend to keep his own ex, as well as the rest of the football bunnies, away. It's the perfect arrangement - until Max changes the game halfway through without telling Sunny first. 

There's a lot of elements to this book that we've seen before - the rich jock who gets around sees something special in the studious girl who isn't like all the rest of them. But, there's just something about the way Ilsa Madden-Mills writes and weaves her stories that make them seem like the first time I've heard them. 

The chemistry between Max and Sunny leaped off the page every time they were together. Maybe it was because of the way they first met. Or maybe it was because of the way Sunny didn't take any of his crap and fall at his feet just because he's the star of the team. She was the only girl who was real with him, and you could just tell how much that meant to Max, even as he kept proclaiming that football was the most important thing in his life. 

Fake Fiancee is told in dual POV, which I loved. If you like lots of steamy goodness, rest assured - it's here. LOTS of chemistry topped off by lots of hot action makes Krista a very happy girl. 

I hope we get more stories from Ilsa Madden-Mills set in this world. There's a whole host of other characters I want to know more about. And any chance I have to catch up with Max and Sunny will only be icing on the cake. 

Max stalked over to the barrier that divided the stands from the football field and jumped it. The fans went nuts as he brushed past them, some not even realizing it until he was down the aisle. The Jumbotron followed him.

“Good Lordy, what’s he doing?” Mimi asked, clutching at her chest.


“I don’t know,” I said rather weakly, taking the chance to study him the closer he came. He was beautiful, his shoulders impossibly broad. To add to the distraction, his helmet was in his hand and all that dark brown hair was flowing around his chiseled features as if he had a fan in his face. My Viking.


“He’s coming over here,” Mimi commented.


He was. But why?


I stopped breathing . . .right when he came to a halt in front of me and knelt down on one knee.


Eyes the color of a wild ocean gazed at me.


He took my left hand in his right one.


“Max,” I breathed, my heart fluttering.


He gazed up at me. “Sunny Blaine, will you marry me?”


The stadium went wild. In a daze, I looked up at the Jumbotron and felt like I was watching this happen to someone else. Camera phones flashed all around us.


My first clear thought was I’ll kill him.


Aloud, nothing came out but a faint wheeze. Clearly someone had stuffed a giant wad of cotton in my mouth. Clearly I needed something a lot stiffer to drink than this Diet Coke. Clearly my fake boyfriend was a freaking raving lunatic.


He sat his helmet on the ground next to my feet, reached inside it and pulled out a small black box.

No, no, no!


The box opened, and my stomach churned at the sight of the large round solitaire diamond ring that was nestled on the black silk. I blinked repeatedly to clear my vision.


With deft fingers, Max eased it out of the lining and slipped it on my left hand.


I stared down at it. Then back at him.


I was going to murder the hottest quarterback in the country.


Kiss her, Kiss her, the crowd chanted.


We were the focal point of the entire world.


Max stood and tugged me up with him until we were standing. He slid his hand around my neck and pulled his face to mine. The sky was blotted out as he kissed me.


But I hadn’t said yes!

I wouldn’t say yes.

Not to a fake engagement.


The applause of the stadium was deafening. And his kiss—it was deadly. Despite my rage, my body craved him. His lips were hot, so hot, and my tongue met his with a vengeance. We kissed hard, and I nipped at him, my teeth scraping across his lips. But the only one who’d end up bleeding in this scenario was me.


He eased back to take me in, and with a final look at my face he gave a thumbs-up sign to the entire stadium. They went nuts, chanting his name.


“I’m sorry,” he whispered in my ear, letting his hand trail down my arm as he stepped back from me. He walked away backward, eyes on me the entire time. The announcers for the game told everyone who might have missed it that Max Kent had just asked his girlfriend to marry him, and she’d said yes. More cheers came as they replayed him on his knee in front of me with a giant YES written across the top.


I plopped back down in my seat. Frozen.


“. . . did you see her face? Shocked . . .”


“. . . most romantic thing in football . . .”


“. . . luckiest girl in the world . . .”


My face went hot. Even my ears burned. I wanted to crawl under a seat.

God.


What a lie.


The half ended and our offense came out to the field, snapped the ball, and Max threw it straight to Tate who ran it in for another touchdown. My chest constricted and anger churned in my gut.


I didn’t care who won.

I hated football right now. Most of all, I hated Max Kent, and I was going to make him pay.

Wall Street Journal best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She's addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Ian Somerhalder, astronomy (she's a Gemini), and tattoos. She has a degree in English and a Master's in Education. When she's not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and fuzzy pajamas.

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors. Email her at ilsamaddenmills@gmail.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram

February 9, 2017

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Dangerous Highlander (Dark Sword #1)



Dangerous Highlander (Dark Sword #1), by Donna Grant
Publish Date:
December 29, 2009
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS


(Synopsis) He is magnificently strong—and dangerously seductive. One of the fiercest of his clan, Lucan MacLeod is a legend among warriors, inspiring fear in man and woman alike. For three hundred years, he has locked himself away from the world, hiding the vengeful god imprisoned in his soul. But then, a young lass caught in a raging storm awakens his deepest impulses...and darkest desires.


Cara doesn't believe the rumors about the MacLeod castle—until the majestic Highland warrior appears like a fiery vision in the storm, pulling her into his powerful arms, and into his world of magic and Druids. An epic war between good and evil is brewing. And Lucan must battle his all-consuming attraction for Cara--or surrender to the flames of a reckless, impossible love that threatens to destroy them both...

Swashbuckling Scots with a paranormal flair set in medieval times - there was no way I wasn't going to love Dangerous Highlander. And I did love it - particularly when read in Antony Ferguson's sexy British accent. I've been meaning to read this series and its spin-offs for a long time now. Having been published more than seven years ago, Dangerous Highlander has been around for awhile. But, now that I've finally got book one under my belt, I feel like I can't read the rest of them fast enough. 

In Dangerous Highlander, we get a lot of backstory. It's to be expected - this is the first book in a paranormal series with good druids and bad druids and gods and beasts and warriors. The reader needs to learn about how we came to be where we are now, who the good guys are and what they're fighting for. There were times in the beginning when the info dump threatened to be a bit too much, but once the story got going and we got to know the characters, I really got into it. 

There's a lot going on in Dangerous Highlander, but the story centers around the romance between Cara, a sweet, orphaned would-be nun and Lucan MacLeod, a tortured, 300-year-old Scottish warrior who has an ancient god living inside him. There are obvious barriers to them being together - Lucan's skin turns black from time to time and Cara is harboring powers she doesn't understand yet. Plus, there's a nasty druid out there trying to capture Lucan and his two brothers, and she's pretty darn determined. 

Dangerous Highlander has a lot of awesome stuff going for it. It is super swoony and sexy. Lucan is one hot, sexy Scot, and the connection he has with Cara is intense and immediate. He is the alpha male, even though he's the middle brother. He's incredibly protective of his brothers and of the woman he falls in love with. He's everything I love in a hero. 

There's also some awesomely cool mythology at play. The backstory of how the three MacLeod brothers got an ancient god locked inside of them and how that god gives them powers is interesting. I liked watching Cara start to discover her powers. And the other warriors with the different gods inside them was clever. 

We learn a lot about Lucan's brothers Quinn and Fallon and the differences between them. They all have handled their situation very differently, and I can tell that that will affect their future happiness. And, of course that will drive me forward into the next book. 

I listened to the audio version of Dangerous Highlander, and I really loved it. Antony Ferguson is a British narrator who does a fantastic Scottish accent. I really loved his performance and hope he does the other books in this series. Because I will assuredly be listening to them.