In For The Kill by Shannon McKenna [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

Romantic Suspense
Date Published: January 27, 2015

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Years ago, the McClouds and their friends rescued little Sveti Ardova from ruthless organ traffickers. Now she’s all grown up, and getting into some scorching trouble of her own . . .


NO SURRENDER
The risks ex-cop Sam Petrie has taken have turned his life into a train wreck. So he has nothing to lose by doubling down as the elusive Svetlana Ardova’s unwanted bodyguard on her ill-advised trip to Italy. Her crusade against modern slavery has blazoned a bullseye on her chest, but when one of the death threats against her almost hits the mark, Sam’s protective instincts go into overdrive. Every lethal obstacle and trap they encounter ups the stakes—and the undeniable heat between them.
Now they’re spiraling in on a deadly and explosive secret—one that could either redeem them or destroy them … and the closer they get, the shorter the fuse …
Praise for Shannon McKenna
“The McCloud series is an auto buy for me.” –Maya Banks
“McKenna writes intense, sensual stories.” –The B&N Review
“Shannon McKenna makes the pulse pound.” –BookPage
 
EXCERPT
All yours. Sam’s fantasy head rush was swiftly quenched when Sveti lunged for the door. He blocked her way. “No way.”
Her golden eyes widened, shocked. “You don’t think you’re keeping me in here, do you? You’re not serious!”
“You heard Tam,” Sam replied. “You leave this room, and she comes after my balls with the bolt-cutters.”
Sveti’s chest heaved, which highlighted her excellent nipple hard-on. “What Tam might do to you is nothing compared to what I will do to you if you try to stop me from walking out that door.”
Sam reached, and flicked the knob lock. “I’ll take my chances.”
She crossed her arms over the nipple jut. “Wrong answer.”
“Yeah? What are you going to do to me? You got a pair of bolt-cutters under your skirt, too?”
She snorted. “Most guys seem to think so.”
He admired the hot flush staining her cheekbones. “I don’t.”
“Good for you. Congratulations. You’re very brave. Now get out of my way. I can’t stand being confined. Not after what happened to me.”
He waved that away. “Don’t play the captive-waif-in-the-dungeon pity card with me. It’s old and tired. Move on.”
Her jaw sagged, in utter shock. “You asshole!”
“Yeah, sure,” he agreed. “I have nothing to lose. You already think I’m a dickhead. Why not say whatever I damn well please?”
Curling wisps of hair swayed around her chin as she shook her head. “I have bigger problems than your unrequited crush, Petrie!”
“Burrrrrnnn,” he murmured. “Tell me about those big problems, since we’re shut in here together. You can start with the death threats.”
Her eyes slid away. “I do not want to discuss that.”
“Too bad. I say we do.”
A tense silence followed that statement. She flicked him a wary glance from under those long lashes. “You can’t bully me,” she said.
“You think not?” he said. “Let’s see about that. Spit it out. Who, what, where and when. Was it that sweatshop bust, six months ago? Those piece of shit snakeheads Helen Wong and Him Goh?”
Her eyes went wide and startled. “How do you know about them?”
“I watch the news, Sveti,” he said patiently. “I’m a cop. I have friends. I hear things. Plus, you live-streamed, blogged and tweeted the whole thing to a hundred and twenty thousand followers.”
“And you are one of them, now? Spying on me?”
He plowed right on past that one, there being no point. “Sneaking into that place with a live video camera on you was suicidal. You should have just passed the tip onto the police, and let them deal with it.”
Her chin tilted up. “There were thirty-four trafficked Chinese nationals locked in there, slaving eighteen hours a day! I saw my chance, and took it! People have to see for themselves. It’s the only thing that makes it real for them! That’s what pulls in the donations!”
“You can’t help anyone if you’re dead,” he pointed out. “But never mind that now. Just tell me about the death threats.”
“It was just a letter,” she said, defensive. “Hand delivered. It said they were going to kill me. That’s all. Nothing came of it.”
“When?”
She shook it off. “Months ago, now.”
“So why aren’t you guarded twenty-four seven?” he snarled.
“I was! For months! Finally I put my foot down, because it was absurd, Sam. I can’t live my life like that. Don’t worry! It’s covered!”
Covered, his ass. But he knew a dead-end conversation when he heard one. He had lots of practice. Those were a Petrie family hobby.
“Fine,” he said. “On to the next item that’s not my business.”
Her eyes dilated. He wished he had the super-senses they said Miles had now. His heart pounded too hard to hear hers, certainly at that distance. He started to close that distance, and she skittered back a pace. It took all his willpower to stay motionless, leaving none to hold back the incredibly ill-advised question. “If you don’t want to talk about death threats, then tell me about your love life.”
Her mouth tightened. “I would rather not.”
“Tell me about loverboy. How long have you been seeing him?”
“You mean Josh? I’ve known him ever since Nick rescued me from Zhoglo. He’s a good friend.”
“Define ‘friend,” he said. “Does it mean, free to fondle your ass?”
The chin tilted up a notch. “You’re being invasive.”
“Yeah? Would you feel invaded to learn that he’s hitting on two girls on the catering staff, in between groping slow-dances with you?”
Her gaze dropped, but she did not look as startled or upset about that revelation as she ought to. “You have no right to judge.”
“Wrong,” he informed her. “That ten minutes in Ranieri’s home office two years ago. No matter how long ago, no matter how you’ve ignored me since then, that ten minutes gives me the right to give a shit. Tell me about Cattrell. Are you fucking him?”
“No!” The denial popped out, vehement and breathless.
“Planning to?” he persisted. If this was going to be the definitive crotch-kick of reality, then bring it on.
Sveti’s gaze dropped. He waited.
“You’re not involved with him at all,” he said.
“I told you,” she said. “We’re good friends.”
“And it doesn’t bug you that he was fondling the wait staff.”
“No, not anymore,” she said softly. “I’ve known for a long time that he doesn’t have feelings for me that I’d, um. Hoped.”
Hoped? Sveti had hoped, and the guy hadn’t delivered the goods? God. Cattrall must be brain damaged, not to hit on that.
“He was touching you as if you were lovers,” he said. “But you’re not a ass-grab kind of girl. You asked him to do that for my benefit. He was a safe date, in case I came to smoke you out. Your human shield.”
Her color rose. “Wow, Petrie. You may be surprised to learn this, but you are not, in fact, the center of all my thoughts.”
“Tell me if I’m right,” he persisted, though he was already sure.
“Get out of my way!” She tried to push past him, toward the door.
He grabbed her. He knew he shouldn’t, but the part of him that knew had no say. The rest of him clamped onto her, nerves janging at the sweet shock of contact. Her heat and scent overwhelmed his senses, laced up into that tight cage of crimson satin. Straining away from him. Provoking a dangerous, animal urge to drag her close. Pin her down.
“Let me go, Petrie,” she said. “Or I start to scream.”
“You treat me like I’m a criminal lowlife, out to rape and pillage,” he said. “I’m one of the good guys, Sveti.”
“Hah,” she muttered. “There are no good guys.”
“We’re all bad, then? You lump me in with Arbatov? Zhoglo?”
The mention of the two mafiya Vors energized her struggle. He clamped her tighter against his body. Her heartbeat was so frantic and birdlike. She felt so fragile. But she wasn’t.
“I can’t believe we’re talking about my love life, when that monster is in the ballroom with my friends and their kids eating tempura dipped zucchini flowers! He’s committed horrible crimes against innocents!”
“You’re not the only one who tries to protect the innocent.”
She sniffed. “Yes, of course. The police are so very noble.”
He waited for a moment. “Not fair,” he said quietly. “We try.”
She looked down, abashed. “That is true, and I apologize,” she said. “This is silly, Sam. I promise, I won’t be rude to the criminals. I won’t get myself or anyone else killed. Let go. Please. I’ll be good.”
Now she was trying sweet reason. Who cared. She may have gotten a handle on her self control, but he most definitely had not.
His grip did not slacken as he put words to the thought forming in his head. “You know what your problem is, Sveti?”
She tilted a winged dark brow. “I imagine you’re going to tell me?”
“Your love life, the thing with Josh. Me. It’s the same issue. You think sex is frivolous. The real deal is the big bad story of your life. Ogres trying to cut your heart out and sell it. The last minute rescue from a grisly death. The hell you went through gives your life purpose. It defines you. The rest is fluff. It doesn’t deserve your full attention.”
“And you think you deserve my full attention, Sam?”
“Yeah,” he said baldly. “My full, undivided attention, all over every inch of your body, for a prolonged period of uninterrupted time.”
She shrank away. “I don’t have time for games.”
“Yeah. Getting buried in a concrete bridge piling, that’s Svetlana Ardova’s idea of a good time. You must be lot of fun at parties, babe.”
“Fuck you, Petrie!”
Ooh, hostile. “You have to let the past go,” he told her.
“Do I?” She shook with a bitter jolt of laughter. “Really! Wow, Sam, thanks for the insight! Like it’s that easy! You have no idea.”
“You’ve still got to let go,” he repeated stubbornly. “The evil Vor, the dungeon, the whole fucking horrible mess. You survived. It’s over. The end. Stop dragging that ten ton weight around.”
“You don’t know shit about it! You can’t say that to me!”
“Of course nobody can say that to you. That’s why your love life is so hot and happening. All those unsayable things start to choke a guy after about ten minutes.”
“Let go of me, goddamnit!” She flailed furiously.
“But I can say the unsayable. You already think I’m scum. I don’t have to pretend to be anything but a dickhead. Ahhh. Freedom.”
“I never said you were a dickhead,” she whispered.
Happy news, but he wasn’t getting cocky about it just yet.
“Where do you get courage to say unsayable things?” she asked. “All the men I meet are afraid of me. So what makes you so brave?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. Just dumb that way, I guess.”
There was a floor length mirror. He tugged her across the floor until they were reflected in it, right down to the pointy toes peeping out of the hem of her skirt. She made a distressed sound, and fought her arm free to fumble for a tissue, with which she tried to wipe mascara.
“I scare you to death,” he said.
She somehow managed to look haughty while mopping up her nose with a tissue. “No, you do not. But you are very intense.”
“Just with you. Usually, I’m Mr. Mellow.”
“Oh, please. Mellow men do not become homicide detectives, Petrie. They become botanists, bicycle repairmen, mathmeticians, mindfulness bloggers. Organic gardeners. Zen monks.”
“Call me Sam.” He bent to smell her hair, and she arched away, a tremor rippling through her body. “You don’t have to be afraid of me.”
Laughter vibrated through her. She mouthed the word. Bullshit.
His hand slid, over her warm curves, shadowy dips and hollows. He wanted to eat up her delicate scent. Devour it in one breath. Miles could break down those pheremones into their chemical components and list their molecular formulas. But for Sam, it wasn’t chemistry.
It was magic. Crazy, balls-deep enthrallment.
“You just won’t give me a break,” he murmured, against her throat. “And I know why. You want to know my theory about you?”
She flinched away as he cupped her jaw, letting her delicate wispy ringlets tickle his wrist. Insubstantial as a puff of breath.
“No, Petrie,” she said. “To be honest, not really.”
“I’m telling you anyway.” He nuzzled the whorl of hair below her ear and dragged his lips over the edge of that crimson birthmark. “That day in Bruno’s studio. It was too good for you.”
A burst of laughter shook her. “Really?”
“It made you forget,” he insisted. “For a little while, it was just you and me in the room. No evil Vor, no organ pirates. No past. No future.”
“Marco was there. In his crib,” she corrected, primly.
“Whatever. You’re so wound up in this scary story of almost getting your heart ripped out. It defines you. It freaks you out, to be cut loose from that. It makes you feel lost. Scared.”
“Petrie, do everyone a favor, and don’t take up psychology.”
“You lost yourself,” he persisted. “I could help you find it again.”
The frown line between her brows deepened. “You’re so arrogant.”
“That day when I touched you. You came so hard. I dream about it at night. Wake up shaking. Drenched in sweat. So fucking hard.”
She shook her head. “Please,” she whispered.
He rubbed his cheek against that loose, gleaming topknock. “It scared you, baby. You thought you were going to die. But you won’t. I’ll take care of you. You won’t fall to pieces. Or if you do, it’ll only be for a few seconds, and I’ll hold you all together. I’ll hold you so tight. I’ll keep you so safe.” He tasted her, trailing his lips down to her collarbone.
“Sam,” she breathed out. “Please.”
“I’ll make it so good. I’ll get you off like that, over and over. I won’t be rough. I won’t scare you, and I won’t hurt you. Just . . . trust me.”
She looked up to meet his eyes. He went very still. The raw pain blazing out of them jolted him right out of his seduction schtick.
“I don’t know how to trust like that,” she said. “I just . . . can’t. I’m really not playing hard-to-get. You tempt me, yes. But I hold back because I just don’t have what you want. It’s not there, Sam.”
“What makes you think so?” he asked gently.
She shook her head, eyes squeezed shut. “That mechanism, it doesn’t work, in me. I don’t mean to be a tease, or cruel, or or disdainful. I never wanted to be a frigid bitch. It’s sad and it’s awful, but it’s the truth. It’s my reality, and I’m sorry if I . . . I’m just so sorry.”
He processed that. “So we’ll work on it,” he offered. “I felt a lot of potential, back there in Bruno’s office. We’ll fix it. No biggie.”
“No biggie, he says.” Her voice was strangled. “Don’t try to rescue me from my past. You’ll just hurt yourself. It’s bigger than you are.”
“How would you know how big I am?”
She shot him a glance, and snorted, reddening.
“I didn’t say it,” he crowed, delighted. “It was you.”
“English is not my first language,” she said haughtily. “Don’t try to trap me in word games. I will never get the joke.”
She wasn’t pulling away. He stroked her shoulders, encountered the straps that held up the cups of gathered fabric that her perfect tits were nestled in. He flicked the ribbons down. Her eyes widened as the fabric slid down-catching on her nipple. She jerked her hands up-
Or tried to. He caught them up short, staring into her eyes as the cups slid down to dangle over the shell of the bustier.
She didn’t fight, didn’t flail. Just stood there, breath stuttering rapidly in and out. Her high, beautiful breasts bared to him.
“You are so beautiful,” he whispered. “I’ve lain awake nights staring at the ceiling, imagining you exactly like this.”
He felt his way, slowly. Using those secret senses that jolted to life only when she was near. Eyes and ears that opened only for her. He strained for more. He wanted inside her hidden depths, to take possession. He waited, savoring the tension, until he dared to risk sliding his hands up to cup her breasts, with fingers that trembled.
A ripple went through her, then a sighing, barely audible moan. He caressed her, tender spiraling whorls over and around her taut, deep pink nipples, the soft plump under-curve, the tender fullness. So perfect. Springy, luscious. Suckable. But not now, because she’d rested her head on his shoulders, and the slight, warm weight of her head upon him was such a miracle of itself, he didn’t dare mess with it.
He inhaled her scent. Warm and spicy and sweet. Her hair had come unpinned, and the thick horsetail draped over his arm, making him wish his arm were bare. His sleeve blocked out the live heft of that heavy silken rope. His fingers buzzed. She was actually letting him touch her. It put him in a state of trembling, worshipful awe.
She twisted around and looked up. Lips in reach.
That was it, just like the last time. Conscious control vanished.
She melted into him, arms twined around her neck. Oh, God, that sweet, tender inside flavor, the impossible softness of her lips. A swift glance yielded scant possibilities for taking this tryst horizontal. The floor was gleaming oak. Spindly legged chairs, tables with runners, antique breakables. No couches or lounges. So it was the wall again. He could deal with gravity. What was upper body strength for, after all.
He scooped her up. A few steps, and he pinned her to the closest bare spot of wallpaper, fiercely intent upon tasting, touching, knowing more. He leaned to kiss her breasts, and she moaned, ribcage heaving, fingers twining in his hair. He lifted armfuls of skirt, slid his hand up her thigh. Hot, smooth. Stretchy lace, soft skin, filmy silk stretched over tender girl parts, the moisture seeping through. The heat, the wet. He couldn’t wait to taste it. Lick it. Get inside. Deep inside. Oh God, now. The wanting was a huge, feral beast inside him, clawing to get out.
Her thighs trembled. He slid his finger under the elastic, into silky golds that yielded sweetly, pressing deeper into a hot, slick paradise-
Rap, rap, rap. “Sveti? Sveti! Petrie? You in there?”
Rap, rap rap rap rap, louder and sharper. Tam’s voice. A brief pause, and then again, rattling at the locked door. Rap, rap, rap. “Sveti? Goddamnit, answer me!” Her voice was sharp with alarm.
Fuck.
What, was he under some kind of a curse?
About the Author

Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of over ten action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she’d ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments. She loves to hear from her readers. Contact her at her website, http://shannonmckenna.com, or join the newsletter by signing up here: http://shannonmckenna.com/connect.php.
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Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

Blind-Faith-Launch-Day-Blitz[22]

Zanetti_Blind Faith_MM[22]

BLIND FAITH by Rebecca Zanetti

(January 27, 2015; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)

A betrayal he couldn’t forget . . . 
For Nate Dean, love is a four-letter word. As part of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be ruthless soldiers with an expiration date. They were loyal only to one another . . . until Nate laid eyes on the woman who stole his heart and blew his world apart. Now, years later, his family is still paying the price for his mistake. But as time runs out, there’s only one person who can save his family: the very woman Nate swore he’d never trust again.

A love she couldn’t deny . . . 
The moment Audrey Madison spies Nate across a crowded ballroom, she can barely breathe. He’s just as undeniably sexy as she remembers, yet there’s an edge to him now that’s as irresistible as it is dangerous. When he asks for her help, Audrey can’t refuse. But she has secrets of her own–secrets that, if Nate ever discovers them, may cost them both their lives . . .

 

Excerpt

“Let’s dance.” He turned her toward the dance floor.

She balked. “No.” God. She couldn’t dance with him, couldn’t be touched by him.

“Yes.” His hold slid down to the back of her elbow, and he ushered her toward where the orchestra was playing “I Will Wait for You” by Michel Legrand. The warmth in Nate’s touch flared her nerves to life in an erotic need she’d worked hard to overcome.

“Nate—”

“Shhh.” He tightened his hold and drew her into an impressive erection.

She gasped, her face heating, her sex convulsing. Blinking, she glanced up in confusion to see if he was as affected as she was and stilled at the look in his eyes.

Furious. The man was truly furious. Even with the contacts masking his eyes, his anger shone bright.

She tried to step back and didn’t move. Yeah, she knew she’d hurt him when she’d ended their relationship, but after nearly five years, he shouldn’t still be so mad. He’d had freedom for five years, which was a hell of a lot better than she’d had. She’d had pain and fear and uncertainty. She blinked. “What is wrong with you?”

His impossibly hard jaw somehow hardened even more. “Oh, we’ll discuss that shortly.” Threat lived strongly in the calm words. “For now, we’re going to finish this dance. Then you’ll take the north exit and meet me in my car so we can talk.”

“If I don’t?” she asked quietly, wings fluttering through her abdomen.

His hold tightened imperceptibly. “I know where you live, I know your daily routine in working for Senator Nash, and I know where you go when you need time alone. You can’t hide, you can’t outrun me—and you know it.”

The hairs on the back of her neck rose. “How long have you been watching me?” More importantly, why hadn’t she noticed?

“A week. Long enough to know the two apes toward the doorway are following you, too. What’s up with that?” His hold tightened just enough to show his strength.

She shrugged. “They haven’t made a move, so I’m not worrying about it.” Not true, and by the narrowing of Nate’s eyes, he could still smell a lie a mile away. “The commander is having me followed.”

Nate’s jaw clenched. “Why?”

“Dunno.” They didn’t have time to discuss it. “You should go now.”

“No.” He spun her, easily controlling their movements.

Her leg hitched, and she stumbled against him.

He frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” None of his damn business, that was. “What do you want to talk about?”

His gaze narrowed, and he spun her again. She tripped again. Her damn leg didn’t move that way. She glanced toward the doorway and the two soldiers watching her. They’d straightened to alert stances. Damn it.

“What’s wrong with your leg?” Nate asked, brows furrowing.

Oh, they were so not going into her injuries on the dance floor. “You almost sound like you care.” She threw his words back at him, gratified when his nostrils flared in irritation.

His gaze probed deep, wandering down her neck. He blinked several times, his chest moving with a harsh intake of breath. “I like your dress,” he rumbled, his voice a low whisper.

With his tight hold, she had no doubt the tops of her breasts were visible. “Nathan, don’t—”

“Don’t what?” His gaze rose to her lips. A light of a different sort filtered through his angry eyes. She knew that look. Her body heated and her thighs softened. His erection jumped against her, and she bit down a groan.

“One kiss, Audrey.”

Her eyes widened to let in more light. “No,” she breathed. One of his hands held hers, the other pressed against her back. Thank goodness. He couldn’t grab her and kiss her, no matter how appealing the thought. “Bad idea.”

“I know.” Nate didn’t need hands. His lips met hers so quickly, she never saw him move.

His mouth covered hers with no hesitancy, no question—as if he had every right to go deep. His tongue was savage and demanding, holding nothing back and accepting no evasion. He tasted of loneliness, anger, and lust. Hard, needy, demanding lust.

The men at the door were watching.

But her body didn’t care—instantly igniting instead of pushing away. Her heart thundered in her ears, and she fell into his heat, uncaring of whether or not he caught her. He wrapped around her, his unyielding body holding her upright. He caressed her with his tongue, and she met him thrust for thrust, fierce pleasure lighting her on fire.

She forgot where they were, who they were, everything but the desperate need he created.

He broke the kiss, blatant male hunger crossing his face. His breath panted out even as he moved them in tune with the music.

She softened against him, allowing him to lead so she didn’t collapse. Her mind whirled, and she shook her head to regain reality. “Nathan, what do you want?” The question emerged as a breathless plea she couldn’t mask.

That quickly, all hints of desire slid from his face. His chin hardened. “Want? I want to know what happened to the child you were carrying five years ago when you ripped out my heart. Where’s my baby, Audrey?”

 

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About the author:

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She is a member of RWA, has won awards for her works throughout the industry, and has a journalism degree with a poly sci emphasis from Pepperdine University as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho. ZanettiFORGOTTENSINSRebecca[22]

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day-or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

 

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The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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THE SECRETS OF SIR RICHARD

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
Smythe-Smith Quartet # 4

By: Julia Quinn

Releasing January 27th, 2015

Avon Romance

 

Blurb

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second-or third-look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.

Iris Smythe-Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. And when his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something…even as her heart tells her to say yes.

 

Author Info

JULIA QUINN started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The New York Times bestselling author of twenty-four novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate JULIA QUINN-NEW PHOTOof Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is one of only fifteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

 

 

 

 

Links

 

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A Print Bundle of the Smythe-Smith Quartet, including A NIGHT LIKE THIS, JUST LIKE HEAVEN and THE SUM OF ALL KISSES

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Playing Dirty by Helenkay Dimon [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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PLAYING DIRTY

 

Playing Dirty
Bad Boys Undercover # 1

By: HelenKay Dimon

Releasing Jan 27th, 2015

Avon Romance

 

Blurb

As an elite Alliance agent—the joint undercover operation of MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, and the CIA—Ford Decker lives for the adrenaline. But when he befriends sexy property manager Shay Alexander in hopes of finding her cousin, a known national security threat, Ford crosses the line, getting to know her better . . . in bed.

After being burned by her last relationship, Shay wants to take things slow. Yet she can’t keep her hands off the drop-dead gorgeous hottie who’s moved into her apartment building. So when Ford’s identity as an undercover agent is exposed, his betrayal cuts deep. Shay never wants to see him again, but Ford can’t let her go, not when her life is still in danger. He will sacrifice everything to protect her, then be prepared to walk away from the only woman he’s ever loved, even if it breaks him.

 

Bio

HelenKay Dimon is a former divorce attorney turned full-time romance author. Odd transition, right? She has sold over thirty novels, novellas and shorts to numerous publishers, including Kensington, Harlequin and Penguin, Samhain, Carina Press, and HarperCollins. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. But the best part of the job is never having to wear pantyhose.

 

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Giveaway

Three Sets including an ebook of RUNNING HOT and Print Copy of PLAYING DIRTY

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Viette by J.A. Canter [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Cover_Viette

 

Viette

by J.A. Canter

 

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Blurb

Stripped of her nobility and taken as a war prize, Viette is determined to take control of her life at all costs, even if it means dominating a King to do so.

At every turn her world is filled with passionate intrigues, silver-tongue lies, and blinding deceit. ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ rings true, especially if the hand is that of Viette.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

EXCERPT

 

He stood abruptly, leaving Viette sprawling to save herself a fall, and stalked to the window. “I offered them a plan to forge the largest pillary north of The End Sea. A majority of the profits—”

 

He ground his teeth together, his chest heaved with angry breath. “And Aust insults me by fixing his eyes on you.”

 

She sat back on her heels, unsure of how to take his words. “It was mere commonplace flattery. Nothing more.”

 

“He wants you.”

 

“Competition then?”

 

The thought made her laugh, which only made his mouth twist in revulsion.

 

This feral jealousy of his excited her. Would he fight over her like a rabid hound? His furious expression fell and vulnerability came through. Hands behind his back, he walked this way and that until he was by the bed again. One hand found its way to her side. He held it there, barely touching, for a moment.

 

“One thing I won’t stand for is for him set his teeth into you to spite me.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Bio

Judy is a Romance and Erotica author who began penning stories a number of years ago. With an eye for trouble and a thirst for kinky intrigues her stories are often a grab bag of wicked delights.AuthorPic_Viette

 

 

 

 

 

Links

 

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Giveaway

J.A. Canter will be awarding a finely crafted burgundy pearl and niobium bracelet made by Canter herself to a randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter! (open internationally)*

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One Last Hold by Angela Smith [BookBlitz]

Romantic Suspense
Date Published: November 5, 2014

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Wesley Webb is at the pinnacle of his auto racing career when his main rival is murdered hours after their confrontation. That, along with evidence found at the scene, shades him as prime suspect. Now he’s under intense press scrutiny, particularly from Caitlyn Daniels, an ex-girlfriend who knows all about his secret past.
Caitlyn thought to never see Wesley again. Now, his life could be in her hands. Ten years ago, a tragedy tore apart everything she held dear, including their relationship. When she’s assigned to do an exclusive story with the reluctant race car driver she once loved, she believes this could be her purging. But chemistry tears apart her resolve to stay strong. Can they work out their differences and fall in love again, or will tragedy keep them apart?
Excerpt
She took a deep breath. Usually her interviews became more personal. She wasn’t sure how personal to get with him. She knew a lot about him—at least she used to—but she was scared of asking him the wrong thing. She didn’t want to set him off.
“What’s your favorite color?” Caitlyn held a pen in her hand, poised to write, trying to concentrate on the task at hand. Her focus, though, was Wesley’s deep green eyes. Eyes able to pierce her and reach a part of her no one had ever been able to touch before. Something about the way he looked at her, like he saw only her, deep down, clear to her soul.
A hint of danger lurked in his eyes, a predator-like stance that made her sense he was ready to devour her, sexually and otherwise. A vulnerability that made Caitlyn yearn to take him in her arms, to be as close to him as possible. His gaze held no arrogance, no indifference, and no deceit.
Her throat felt parched. His eyes devoured every morsel of her power and well-being.
She couldn’t think of a decent thing to say. Thank God it was his turn to talk.
“My favorite color,” he said as he leaned across the table, closer to Caitlyn, “is the capricious color of your eyes.”
His lips were only inches from hers so that his breath licked against her skin. His eyes possessed her.
She clutched her pen in midair, frozen in space for a mere second. He touched her hand.
The pen fell.
“Blueberry,” he said as he trailed a light kiss across her knuckle, his eyes still magnetizing hers. Her heart stopped in her throat. “Dark and wounded. Cornflower blue, tantalizing with banter and witticism.” He kissed the tip of her pinkie and went on to taste each finger, slowly taking his time with each one. “Sea blue, bright and sparkling like the waves catching a sunset, when you’re happy.”
Caitlyn, entranced with his words, was amazed he even noticed her eyes and more amazed he practically recited poetry. Where had he come up with this?
“Storm clouds,” he continued as he stroked the inside of her palm. “Brewing with a passion and desire you’re too afraid to feel. Sometimes periwinkle, sometimes almost lavender and sometimes a sultry gray. Right now though, they are definitely–”
She pulled her hand away and scooted back in her chair. Thoroughly aroused, she squeezed her thighs tighter in an attempt to bury the spark.
“You’re full of it,” she said. “My eyes don’t change colors that much and even if they did, you wouldn’t notice.”
“What makes you say that?” He leaned back in his chair, taking the two back legs to its haunches, something they both used to get in trouble for when they were kids.
She shook her head and didn’t answer. The touch of his warm mouth on her fingers still burned in her core.
“I always notice your eyes.”

About the Author
During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been her dream ever since her mother read stories of ‘Brer Rabbit’ to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it back to each other before they learned to read. She hasn’t stopped reading or writing since. A certified paralegal, work gives her perfect fodder for her romantic suspense stories. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she enjoys 4-wheeling, crafting, reading, and dreaming of the places she’ll visit one day.
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I Do by Rachel Gibson [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

I-Do!-Rachel-Gibson

 

Cover

 

 

I Do!

Lovett, Texas Novella

By: Rachel Gibson

Releasing January 20th, 2015

Avon Romance

 

 

Blurb

In New York Times bestselling author Rachel Gibson’s newest novella, Vince Haven and Sadie Hollowell are headed to the altar, and all their friends are headed to Lovett, Texas, to join them for the party of the year.

But Becca Ramsey doesn’t have time for all that. Fresh out of beauty school, Becca’s all business … and the last thing she needs is bad boy Nate Parrish anywhere in her life.

In the past, Nate was trouble. He’s been trying to repair his reputation—heck, he’s even got just one girlfriend. The problem is, she isn’t Becca. Now Nate’s in a whole lot of hot water. He needs to get Becca from “I won’t” to “I do” … but how can he do that when she won’t even say “I might”?

 

 

 

 

Author Info

Rachel Gibson lives in Idaho with her husband, three kids, two cats and a dog of mysterious origin. She began her fiction career at age 16, when she ran her car into the side of a hill, retrieved the bumper, and drove to a parking lot, where she strategically scattered the car’s broken glass all about. She told her parents she’d been the victim of a hit Rachel Gibsonand run and they believed her. She’s been making up stories ever since, although she gets paid better for them nowadays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links

 

 

Giveaway

Print Book Bundle including: DAISY’S BACK IN TOWN, RESCUE ME, RUN TO ME and WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU

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A Dangerous Reality by Layla Wolfe [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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A Dangerous Reality
The Bent Zealots MC # 1 
Layla Wolfe 
Releasing January 12th , 2015
Quicksilver Books

 


Keep your lovers close—and your enemies in bed.


 



TURK

 


My club sent me to track him down. And when my mission was over, I never wanted another one again. When I found him, I kicked the shit out of Havelock Singer. I issued the mightiest beatdown of all time. Problem is, we’re evenly matched. We’re equals in every way, and when we finished whaling on each other, exhausted, we fell into each other’s arms.

I’ve never regretted it for an instant. It’s been the ride of my life. But loving another man in the MC world is a risky business. As if our business isn’t already brutal and ruthless enough, Lock’s homophobic sergeant-at-arms Stumpy gets an eyeful of our lovemaking and blackmails us into doing some of his dirty work, or be exposed for what we are—a couple of deviants.

This run into the Indian reservation is sleazy and beneath us, but now I’m cornered, and I’ll do anything to keep my sweet master Lock from being lynched by his club.

LOCK

When that kingpin Carmine Rojas got a load of my beautiful stallion Turk Blackburn, he’d stop at nothing to have him—and Rojas gets what he wants. It’s my fault we’re in this situation. I should’ve kicked Turk’s ass and sent him packing back to The Bare Bones. I wasn’t even close to being ready to come out, but now they’re forcing my hand.

I can hear my destiny calling me. Either I’ll slink back to my club like a hetero bounty hunter with no morals—and no respect from anyone in my own backyard—or I’ll step up to the plate and be the lion of the day.

Either way, my lover and I are screwed. Our clubs are going to hound us underground or into another country before we escape this mess—if we don’t die trying.

“Living off the grid and being an outlaw brings a dangerous reality.”Ron Perlman

Publisher’s warning: This book is not for the faint of heart. It contains scenes of gay sex, consensual BDSM, illegal doings, dubious consent, and man-on-man violence.

 
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Bestselling author Layla Wolfe is satisfied with a leather jacket, one bad-ass pink camo compound bow, and a vicarious outlaw lifestyle. Layla Wolfe is the pen name of multi-published erotic romance author Karen Mercury.

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New York Dolls by Catherine L. Hensley [BookBlitz]

new york dollsCatherine L. Hensley will be on tour January 5-12 with her novel New York Dolls

It’s Fashion Week in New York, and Denton Hodges just got her first big assignment for Glitter magazine.

Denton’s assignment: Get in the show at the posh Regency Viscount Hotel, and find a story. But a chance encounter with hard-partying starlet Amber Donovan forever changes the course of the night—and Denton’s life. After a night of being chased by the paparazzi, swimming in swag bags, and falling heart over heels for Hollywood hunk Chris West, Denton’s not just on the story. She is the story.

Suddenly, Denton’s no longer merely a low-level assistant. Amber’s latching on like a BFF from hell, Chris is flirting and cooking her dinner, and as Denton falls for the real people behind the tabloid screen, neither knows about her ties to Glitter. Only Denton holds the secret—or so she thinks. Is Anna Creel, Glitter’s icy beauty editor, on to her? Will Denton be able to write a story exposing her new friends? And is Chris more than just a friend, or did Glitter get the headline right—“Chris and Amber: Hot Nights!”?

Step into the spotlight, and peek beyond the red carpet in New York Dolls.

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops!


CLP Blog Tours

Excerpt

I took Josie’s hand so as not to lose her to another bouncer this time. We made it onto the dance floor, weaving through the bumpers and grinders getting low, low, low. I spotted the doorway opening to the patio, finally, up ahead past the edge of the dance floor and to the side of the roped-off VIP area. Josie and I joined the line for the patio. Almost done, I kept thinking, like passing through this one final portal would be my rite of passage out of the tornado I’d gotten myself twisted up in. I wouldn’t have to lie that I’d been to the after-party. I could describe the scene, maybe see someone I recognized from the RV and get a quote. Or maybe Liz would buy an investigative journalism angle on this whole thing—“A Glitter World Exclusive: Reporter Denton Hodges Reveals Amber Donovan’s Hair Secret.” Play it like I was onto it all along.

And think of the material I could use—a puking Amber Donovan, needy, desperate, confused, not sure where she is or where she’s going, and Prince Charming Chris West, concerned, involved, pissed about having to make an appearance somewhere but willing to stay with you and make sure you’re all right, even giving you the shirt off his back. Who cares about what happened in between? I could take what I needed. This could be my exit—the patio outside and then a few slights of the pen. Waiting in that line, plotting so many ways to cover my ass and make it all neat and tidy, I felt dirty, and something more…something like…devious. For the first time since Liz had given me this assignment, I really felt like Anna Creel. Like I got the story, I did what I had to, and that’s all that matters, so go have a freaking fashionable night, because I’m…

“Denny!” MD was coming down the stairs from a VIP booth. “Oh my G!”

“Dee-Dee!” Amber pushed past the rope from the patio, tripping on her way toward me. Her purple wig had been replaced with a cherry-colored red one. “Oh my God, Dee-Dee! Where have you been? I neeeeeed you!”

“Anna?” That voice. I hope I’ll see you around.

I remembered his voice. He came up behind me and put his hand on my lower back. “Do you want to get out of here?” Why yes, Chris West, yes, actually I do. I don’t think I have the scoop on the story anymore. I am the story.


catherine hensleyBio:
Catherine L. Hensley is a professional freelance editor and writer. From fiction and nonfiction manuscripts to academic pieces, she provides an extensive range of copyediting, proofreading, content editing, and writing services to a wide variety of clients located around the United States and abroad.

A native of south Louisiana, Catherine received her master of arts degree in creative writing and media studies from New York University and her bachelor of arts degree in English from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, with minors in history and mass communication. Her writing has appeared in The Advocate (Louisiana’s largest newspaper), OT Practice magazine, Quiet Mountain: New Feminist Essays, and Mused, the BellaOnline Literary Review. For more, visit www.catherinehensley.com.

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The Curvy Girls Club by Michelle Gorman [BookBlitz}

 

The Curvy Girls Club US

Chick Lit

 

Imagine a world where looks don’t matter

Pixie, Ellie, Katie and Jane have been best friends since meeting at Slimming Zone. Tired of being judged by the number of calories they consume, they decide to form a different kind of club. The fun evenings they spend together, not worrying about their size, make them happier than they’ve been for years.

But the club doesn’t stop real life from getting in the way and together the girls have to address some much bigger issues than just their weight…

“This is a delightful book of friendship, acceptance, and belonging for anyone who has ever wondered: “What if?”” Publishers Weekly

Gorman is an advocate of helping women to learn to be happy in their own skin and hopes that this book will lend itself to engaging audiences and start the New Year feeling less obsessed by their weight and more focused on learning to love themselves.

 

Book Trailer

Author Bio

Michele Gorman is the USA Today best-selling author of eight books, including Bella Summer Takes a Chance and The Expat Diaries (Single in the City) series. Her first book, Single in the City, debuted at number 8 in The Bookseller’s Fiction Heatseekers bestseller chart. She is also a founding member of the publishing collective, Notting Hill Press, and has published upmarket commercial fiction under the pen name Jamie Scott. Born and raised in the US, Michele has lived in London for 16 years. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films but objects to spiders and the word “portion”.

UK Covers for The Curvy Girls Club

Curvy Girls Club UK eBook cover

 

The Curvy Girls Club UK paperback cover

 

Email: MicheleGormanPR@NottingHillPress.co.uk

Twitter: @MicheleGormanUK

 

One Last Song by S.K. Falls [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

One-Last-Song-Release-Week-Blitz

 

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I was seven when I swallowed my first needle.

My mom freaked out and rushed me to the emergency room.

She stayed by my side all night.

I never wanted it to end.

When you spend your whole life feeling invisible-when your parents care more about deals and deadlines than they do about you-you find ways of making people take notice. Little things at first. Then bigger. It’s scary how fast it grows. Then one day something happens that makes you want to stop. To get better. To be better. And for the first time, you understand what it’s like to feel whole, happy . . . loved. For the first time, you love someone back.

For me, that someone was Drew.

 

One-Last-Song-Quote-1-ON-SALE

 

Author Bio

2014 IPPY award-winning author S.K. Falls believes a degree in psychology qualifies her to emotionally torture her characters in an authentic fashion. When she isn’t writing her twisted love stories, she can be found gallivanting around Charleston, SC with her family.

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Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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BEST KIND OF BROKEN by Chelsea Fine

(January 13, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; $12.00)

 

Contemporary

SOMETIMES MOVING ON MEANS MOVING IN

Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can’t. And the damage is done. She’s hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there’s a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend-and maybe more-until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he’s right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she’d long buried . . .

Levi can’t believe he’s living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple “sorry” won’t suffice-not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie’s better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she’s so close, Pixie’s heart seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear-he can’t live without her.

Excerpt

It’s late, and most of the inn guests are already asleep.

I wait until I hear the TV click on in Levi’s room before I start plugging everything I own into the wall.

We argued today. We avoided each other. And aside from the weird look we exchanged in the hallway this morning and our little spat in front of Zack, everything is back to normal.

Which means I owe Levi for the cold shower I had to take.

I turn everything on and the lights go out. I hear the TV die in the next room and crawl onto my bed with a smile.

“Pixie!” Levi’s irritated voice rings through the walls and I’m feeling happier than a mature person should.

I hear stomping, and then he opens my bedroom door. Just opens it. Like he has the right to just waltz into my room. I could be naked in here; he doesn’t know.

“You’re going out to the fuse box this time.” He steps inside, and now he’s standing just a few feet away, pointing his finger at me.

I’m on the bed, trying to look casual, like lying in the dark playing games on my phone is perfectly normal. The only light in the room is coming from the glow of my phone and the half-moon outside, so we both look blue and soft. And in the blue softness, I see he’s shirtless.

I see Levi without a shirt on almost every morning, but I’ve never seen him half-naked in the dark, and something about it makes my body feel electric.

“Not going to happen,” I say.

He steps closer. “Well, I sure as hell am not marching outside to turn the power back on.”

I shrug. “Fine with me. I don’t need electricity tonight. I can watch TV on my fully charged phone.” I wiggle said phone at him.

He sighs. “You don’t understand. I was looking up the contact information for an alarm company I found so I can call and schedule the installation tomorrow. I need the Internet, Pix.”

“Then use your phone.”

“My phone is dead.”

The boy never charges anything. He almost makes the whole fuse-blowing thing too easy.

“Well, that’s too bad. I guess you’re going to have to turn the electricity back on after all.” I pretend to be very interested in my game.

“Let me use your phone. Just for a minute.”

“No.”

“Come on. It’s for Ellen.” He implores me with a pouty face I’ve seen him use on his mom a dozen times.

I scoff. “Please.”

“Dammit, Pixie.” The pout is gone.

“Maybe tomorrow you’ll remember to charge your own phone. Or hey, better yet, maybe you’ll let me have a hot shower.” I make a big production of pressing random buttons on my phone.

He slumps his shoulders like he’s accepting defeat, then whips out his arm and tries to swipe the phone from my hands. Sneaky bastard.

I pull my phone back and kick at him with my foot, but he grabs my ankle—because I’m not exactly a ninja with my kicking skills—and then we both freeze.

Because now I’m leaning back on the bed with my legs spread apart, and he’s got one hand on my ankle and the other on the bed next to my hip where he was reaching for my phone, and his body is in between my legs, which are completely bare except for the tiny gym shorts I have on, and my right arm is raised over my head with my cell phone still out of his reach, but my back is arched and my shirt has come up so my stomach is completely exposed and I’m hot all over.

Hot. Heat. Everywhere.

I mean, really. We look like we’re in the middle of having sex, but with clothes on. My body knows this. His body knows this. And our bodies are really, really happy about this.

He’s looking at me with nothing in his eyes except want. And I like it. No, I love it.

This must show on my face because his hand—still wrapped around my ankle—moves up my leg an inch, and he watches my reaction.

I try not to react because, hell, he can’t win. He can’t just be asshole Levi all day long and then climb into my bed at night and touch me wherever he pleases.

Ugh. Yes he can.

I part my lips and he slowly, slowly slides his warm hand up my calf and, holy hell, I could orgasm right here. I might, actually.

My calf.

My calf.

He’s touching my calf and I’m more turned on than I’ve ever been in my life.

His hand shifts again, and the only thought in my head is, Go higher, go higher.

Please, dear God, go higher.

 

Author Bio

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She Chelsea Fine Headshot 2lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

 

 

 

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5 Signed Copies of BEST KIND OF BROKEN*

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Blue Mountain by Cardeno C. [Audiobook Review + Giveaway]

Blue Mountain Audio Banner copy
Blue Mountain

by Cardeno C

Audio Book Tour

Blue Mountain: Pack Collection, Book 1

AUDIBLE | GOODREADS

WLK synopsis

Exiled by his pack as a teen, Omega wolf Simon Moorehead learns to bury his gentle nature in the interest of survival. When a hulking, rough-faced Alpha catches Simon on pack territory, he tries to escape what he’s sure will be imminent death. But instead of killing him, the Alpha takes Simon home.

A man of action, Mitch Grant uproots his life to support his brother in leading the Blue Mountain pack. Mitch lives on the periphery, quietly protecting everyone, but always alone. A mate is a dream come true for Mitch, and he won’t let little things like Simon’s rejections, attacks, and insults get in their way. With patience, seduction, and genuine care, Mitch will ride out the storm while Simon slays his own ghosts and Mitch’s loneliness.

©2014 Cardeno C. (P)2014 Cardeno C.

REVIEW

God really gifted Cardeno C with an extraordinary imagination that allows all of us loyal and devoted fans to enjoy the magnificent stories we all have come to love, and Blue Mountain is not the exception. Now, add (once again) the also talented Sean Crisden in the mix bringing to life these characters with his incomparable voice, and BOOM!, –another kick ass combo for another KICK ASS STORY-

When it comes to PNR there are only a few handful of authors who I really trust to make my reading experience a unique one, and Cardeno C is one of them. Since I was already acquainted with the ‘Mates’ Series, I had no doubts whatsoever about giving a chance to this new ‘Pack’ series’ first installment: ‘Blue Mountain’.

Although quite a bit short for my own taste, Blue Mountain gives us the story of Mitch Grant and Simon Moorhead. We learn based on events described that Mitch arrived with his brother Frederick to Blue Mountain 4 years earlier and took over the entire pack that was lead by a very evil character named Kristoff. We also learn that though Freddy and Mitch are twins and alphas, the one leading the pack is Freddy, who found his mate in Donia a female Omega; we know that Mitch wasn’t interested in being any type of leader, but, his twin loyalty makes him stick by his brother and support him with pack duties.

On Halloween night, after learning that a ‘male’ Omega (seems to be those are not that common but mostly are women) has been captured by pack members, he senses that finally, after waiting for so long, he found his mate.

From here, we see a series of events unravel for Mitch, as he nurtures and brings Simon back to health, taking him into his home and patiently caring for him. Simon, wounded, with a very tragic past, of course distrusts Mitch, but soon (and after Mitch’s affections) Simon realizes there is more to his caring and that love can manifest in the most unexpected ways. After that, the love story we expect just turns up a notch, but I won’t get into too many details and spoil your fun.

What I will tell you is that without a doubt, once again the team of Cardeno c + Sean Crisden delivered a magnificent story + audio experience that will definitely bring a huge smile to your face.

Book Trailer

WLK Author Bio
Cardeno C - Logo
Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”

Website | Facebook! | Twitter

Cafe Risqué ~ Shared Blog

Pintrest | Google+ | Youtube

 

WLK Giveaway

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Year Faves Part II [Drool-Worthy Book Covers]

01 year

The following selection of covers blew my mind. Like seriously BLEW.MY.MIND.

I’m no graphic designer, illustrator, cartoonist or anything close to that. Heck, I don’t even draw straight lines, I barely can draw connected circles AND I failed all my coloring tests in kindergarten. Up to this day I can’t color.

And I’m almost 34 years old.

No joke.

So this list, with no particular order whatsoever, was chosen by me, with no influence by anybody, just because I like the covers. They are pretty, and to me a pretty cover basically sells 90% of the book at first impression.

You may not agree, but to each it’s own. I think all of these covers ROCK TO THE MOON AND BACK.

I must add though, that this list was not easy to put together either, however I did take into consideration a few aspects before picking them:

  • Book to which they belong was released in 2014
  • I not necessarily READ said book, but have purchased it and it’s currently sitting in my TBR pile.

Did I mention they are SPECTACULAR?

Yes?

Well, here they are:

 

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen

Cliff Nielsen, mastermind behind all the covers for the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, made this list by default. There hasn’t been one cover I have not loved from him, and I am crossing my fingers so he can also be the mastermind behind the upcoming Dark Artifices, third Shadowhunter series by Clare. One thing is to see these covers in digital, which hold true colors and instantly catch your attention, but another one is to see them live, on the book, (a hardback) and see that not only the true colors remain as beautiful as they look in digital, but the dust jacket also has slight patterns. Pretty cool, I might add. 🙂

 

 

 

My Fave Covers

The Kraken King: Parts 1 to 8 by Meljean Brook

Cover: Berkley Publishing*

Berkley Publishing did Meljean Brook all possible justice. The Kraken King, split in an 8 part serial throughout the Spring turned out to be a fantastic experiment and all eight covers are possibly the most colorful and creative ones I have seen in THE LONGEST TIME. Of course, you have to be a little bit familiar with the entire story, and some have nothing to do with it, but in reality, the whole ‘Steampunk’ movement is well portrayed in these unbelievably beautiful pieces of art making them the icing on top of the fantastic adventure / love story of Zenobia Fox and the Kraken King.

 

 

 

 

WalkWithMeLG

Walk with Me by Cardeno C.

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

What haven’t I said about this book already to finally convince you this is a GREAT read? Well, the main reason I discovered this book in the first place was because of the cover. Just by looking at it, I KNEW this was another Paul Richmond creation. Pure BEAUTY. And see, I insist that covers sell stories, and this one with no doubt whatsoever was the one story that I knew absolutely NOTHING about, no blurb, nothing about the author, no reviews read, NOTHING. It was the blessed creative mind of Paul Richmond who brought to life this cover that instantly bought my curiosity. The rest is history. And just as a side note, every single person I have shared this book with, loved both the story AND the cover.

 

 

 

 

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Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Cover Artist: Joel Tippie

I must admit that dystopian fantasy is not my reading preference, but there is something in this series that caught my attention right off the bat. And guess what? IT’S FANTASTIC! (have you seen the movie? no? what are you waiting for then?) Now, if you mix a kick ass story with a very clever book cover, you know you will have the greatest of reading experiences. Joel Tippie had already scored with the previous three covers (for Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant) and once again delivered with the cover of Four.

 

 

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Cover Artist: Olga Grlic

Sometimes simple is just the way to go. Something simple, with not a lot of fuzz, couple of colors and voila! You have the book recipe for PERFECTION. Just as with the covers for Fangirl and Eleanor and Park, Olga Grlic delivered a very clever, basic and beautiful cover that says it all; just as Rainbow Rowell delivered to all her fans another knock out story worth a million smiles.

 

 

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Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Cover: Little, Brown & Company*

Little, Brown & Company scored another favorite of mine, with this gorgeous cover for Gail Carriger’s ‘Finishing School’ series. There is just something about a black and white image on a very colorful background that attracts you instantly. It’s simple, clean, DEFINETELY not too busy, and the thing is, you kind of have an idea about the story just by looking at this cover. Back in Curtsies and Conspiracies I knew NOTHING about this new series, and it was that exact cover that attracted me to buy the book. Three stories later, I am (as since The Parasol Protectorate) an avid fan of Mrs. Carriger and her Steampunk world.

 

 

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Deacon by Kristen Ashley

Cover Artist: Unknown*

 There is always something meaningful behind K.A.’s book covers. They all have to do with a very significant scene, or moment, or phrase or chapter in her books, and believe me, you need to READ and understand these to find the beauty behind it. I did, and never looked back since the first book I read from her, Raid, also from her ‘Unfinished Hero’ series. I wish I could give kudos to the cover artist properly, but, in the meantime I share with all of you how much I LOVE this cover that to the untrained eye is nothing but two leaves, but to me hold a very deep meaning behind an even more mind blowing story.

 

 

 

 

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The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

And once again, Paul Richmond created a masterpiece to be admired for years to come. If you ask me, I WANT THIS COVER IN A 60 X 60 portrait for my bedroom wall.

Is that too big?

Nah!

Any of Paul Richmond’s creations would never be too big to admire. I wish there was some sort of edict in his native Columbus to cover all front house entrances with one of his paintings. Seriously beautiful stuff he creates, trust me. And of course, TJ Klune knocked it out of the ballpark AGAIN, with a superb storytelling that deserved no less than this colossally beautiful cover to go with it. Match made in book heaven.

 

 

 

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Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Cover Artist: Unknown*

I think you can pretty much agree with me, that Tahereh Mafi is by far one of THE most fashionable authors ever. I can’t think of another author alive who has her sense of fashion / hip / chic / pop coolness who could rock stripes, plaid, and circles in the same outfit and still look impeccable. Just as her unquestionable excellent taste in clothing, her covers for the entire ‘Shatter Me’ series rocked a lot of people’s socks off. Her final installment in the trilogy, ‘Ignite Me’ is possibly my favorite of all. As I have mentioned, dystopian is still new to me, but I met Tahereh last year at the L.A. Times Festival of Books and fell under the spell. She is simply PHENOMENAL, and these stories deserved such beautiful artwork like the ones re -designed for them. Totally freakin’ cool.

 

 

 

*Covers marked as ‘unknown’ either I have not been able to identify the artist, or have been created by the publishing company / self published author not crediting an artist in particular. If you know who did them, feel free to comment and help me give them credit for such phenomenal work 🙂

Year Faves Part I: [Audio Books that Rocked my World]

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This has been a VERY hard task to accomplish.

Just so you know, I have listened to a total of 84 audiobooks between 11/30/13 and 11/30/14. You might think that’s a sh*tload of money (and yes, it might be), but I discovered late 2013 this crazy yet extraordinary gift from Amazon called Whyspersync for Voice (which if you haven’t tried I REALLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO). It saves you an even bigger sh*tload of money if you compare it to an Audible membership, and based on the possible fact that you’ve had those books sitting in your ever growing TBR pile since the beginning of the electronic age, this is actually an INVESTMENT rather than an expense.

At least that’s how I see it (totally my opinion) since it already knocked out those 84 books I had waiting to be read hopefully before the next solar eclipse.

So because audiobooks literally saved my life to the point where that’s all I’ve played in my car on my way to work since my first purchase, I decided to share with you my TOP 5, or in better terms the 5 audiobooks I mostly enjoyed this year and the ones I think deserve to win a freakin’ Grammy Award or something similar.

I have to point out that this list doesn’t reflect ONLY my love for the book. Of course, the story needed to be great, but that didn’t determine my love for the audio. The audiobook narrator did all the trick. In the Audiobook world, THE VOICE you put in the story is what will make it a KICK ASS STORY. And trust me, I’ve listened to several of my all time FAVORITE books being narrated by people who don’t make the cut, which has DISAPPOINTED me to the extreme, but hey, my love for the book won’t die because of it, they simply did not make this list.

Points I took in consideration to choose these:

  • I listened to this audiobook between December 1, 2013 – November 30, 2014.
  • I didn’t get to listen to a sample (surprise factor blew me away)
  • I have listened to this TWICE cause it’s THAT good.
  • I loved the audio regardless of whatever I thought about the book
  • The narrator is OFF THE CHARTS great. Mind blowing GREAT.

And without further ado, I give you my BEST audio experiences of 2014:

 

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5# Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley [Narrated by Susannah Jones]

Oh, GOD BLESS the extraordinary talented Susannah Jones for taking this task to THE MAX and making ALL 8 ROCK CHICKS THE MASTERPIECES THEY ARE in audio. See, I am a devoted Kristen Ashley fan, I know for a fact that anything I pick from her I will like and the entire Rock Chick journey was PHENOMENAL to say the least, now mix that with the absolutely hilarious and catchy voice of Susannah Jones and you have a time bomb ready to explode once people figure out the whole audio trick. Listening to a story you love, narrated with such professionalism and humor is a treat only few will enjoy though everybody SHOULD. I particularly loved them all, but above all, Rock Chick Revolution was THE BEST. All the voices she makes are fantastic, but there is something in Ally’s character that turns it up a notch. I think her best ones are Tex, Lee and Mr. Kumar.

Kudos to both of you ladies: KA, for being the FREAKIN’ QUEEN OF EVERYTHING, and Susannah, for bringing the gang to life with such easiness it will make you think you are witnessing everything from first row at the theater.

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#4 Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde [Narrated by Tatiana Sokolov]

This book had it ALL, hands down. And Tatiana Sokolov, contributed to turn it into a wild ride.

Literally.

Joanna Wylde delighted us with Preacher’s story, and Tatiana Sokolov (with a small collabo from no other than Sean Crisden narrating Preacher’s POV) knocked it out of the ballpark AGAIN. Reaper’s Stand is one of the best books I’ve heard her narrate (and I’ve heard quite a few) and since I hold Tatiana close to my heart (she’s the first narrator I ever listened to since I got myself an audible account) I just knew she would makes us enjoy another kick ass story. The author / narrator combo in this audio book made it reach another level of awesomeness to the point that I listened to it TWICE IN ONE WEEK. Tatiana has this way with characters and male voices that seriously sound so realistic you could hardly tell she’s the one behind them, and not every narrator has that gift. Trust me. To say it was a catchy and fun, and wild and explosive and IMPRESSIVE, is just not enough. It was AMAZING.

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#3 The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune [Narrated by Sean Crisden]

Lord Almighty, where do I start?

TJ Klune is with no doubt one of the most gifted storytellers to have ever lived.

Seriously.

See, there is something so special in the way he writes, and how he involves the reader with such ease, you just KNOW there is a magnificent and beautiful story waiting to be read. And when you mix the added bonus of a SUPERB narration from an equality gifted narrator like Sean Crisden, you are officially entering the big leagues.

If you ever read Bear, Otter & The Kid you know what the story is about. So much so, that if you loved it like me, you cried (a river, for real). Well, Tyson and the gang were brought to life (again) in the extraordinary voice of Sean Crisden who nailed it with every single character interpretation. There is no mistake on anybody’s voice, which makes the audio experience a really fun and happy one. If I have anything to say about this, is that it was TOO SHORT! 15 Hours were not enough of this man’s marvelous voice.

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#2 Chronicles of Nick: Infinity [Narrated by Holter Graham]

Mr. HBO himself has a legion of fans worldwide. I’m pretty sure the opinion of a random blogger is one of the things he can care less about; but OH-EM-GEE if there is one person I simply WORSHIP when it comes to voice off’s is Holter Graham. From the minute I heard the first sentence of the book, I knew who he was. I knew it would be a MIND BLOWING experience and sure enough, I finished all 5 books in a month. CRAZY! Think about it: approximately 50 + hours of Holter Graham giving a voice to Southern / Cajun Cherise Gautier, mighty Acheron, the winey Heifer Goddess and the rest of the Dark Hunters!

PARANORMAL PARADISE IN NEW ORLEANS!

To me, Holter Graham is one of the greatest narrators on the planet, and to have the HONOR and privilege of narrating a book by none else than mastermind genius Sherrilyn Kenyon….I kid you not, if it was me, I couldn’t sleep.

Infinity is possibly the best one of all 5 narrated by Graham. The voice he gives to Nick Gautier will only make you love him all over again (yes, before he turned all crazy and allied with Artemis)…

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#1 Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford [Narrated by Greg Tremblay]

My audio book experience would have never been the same this year if not for the TALENTED AND BLESSED VOICE OF THIS MAN. Actually, it would have never been the same without the GENIUS STORY of Cole McGinnis and Kim Jae Min. Rhys Ford brought a little bit of light to my life with this series and when I discovered the EXTREMELY WELL NARRATED AUDIOBOOKS, it was like opening a door to a totally new world.

Of all the many, many, audio books I have listened to this year; this is the best one. Hands down.

Greg Tremblay has a GLORIOUS gift. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the smoothness of his voice and the way how he juggles accents with such a natural way. The easiness he finds in switching characters leaves you speechless. His voice alone is a gift from heaven I wish I had (I seriously sound like a hyena laughing…) so yes, to say his narration talent is brilliant is just not enough.

IT’S EPIC.