Review and Giveaway: Fixed on You by Laurelin Paige

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Fixed on You tour hosted by AToMR Tours.  Today, I have my review of Fixed on You and an event-wide sweepstakes.  There are a buttload of awesome blogs and bloggers participating in this tour so if you would like to check them out, just click here.  Thanks for stopping by and happy Wednesday to you 🙂

Title: Fixed on You Author: Laurelin Paige Publisher: Mandevilla Press Release date: June 24, 2013 Genre: Contemporary romance Age Group: Adult Event organized by: AToMR Tours: http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

Title: Fixed on You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Publisher: Mandevilla Press
Release date: June 24, 2013
Genre: Contemporary romance
Age Group: Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours:http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

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Synopsis:

Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Pierce’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out – move up at the nightclub she works at and marry the manager, David. He’s perfect for her because, although he’s attractive, he doesn’t get her all turned inside out and upside down like some other men have. It’s a safe plan, one that assures she’ll remain in control of her obsessive love disorder.

But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous – the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of his plans to seduce her. Avoiding him becomes impossible after he offers a business proposition Alayna can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull.

Soon Alayna’s charmed by Hudson in every way possible and the control over her old behaviors slip. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

Source: Author for a fair and honest review

My Rating: 3½/5 stars

 My Review:

Dear reader,

This review for Fixed on You has proven to be one of the hardest I have ever had to contend with.  I have put off writing this review in the hopes that my little dog brain would come up with something (anything!) which would allow me to give this highly-acclaimed read more than 3½ stars.  And so, I will endeavor to write this review, keep it spoiler-free and hopefully make sense of my 3½ star rating.

My interest in this read was absolutely immediate based on the intriguing synopsis and gorgeous cover!  What could be better than two broken people overcoming their respective pasts in order to build a future for themselves?  How about two beautiful, highly intelligent and driven but broken people coming together to create a future for themselves?  Sounds like a grand slam to me . . . .

Alayna Wither is smokin’ hot bartender with a newly acquired MBA and a strong desire to work her way up through the ranks of The Sky Launch Nightclub.  Alayna loves the club scene and wants to see the Sky Launch become “the” place to be; with any luck, that will happen under her command and as a result of her fresh ideas and business acumen.  What Alayna doesn’t count on, is the club’s new owner, Hudson Pierce.  Hudson Pierce has everything, almost literally.  He is strikingly handsome, well-educated, impeccably dressed and, known throughout the business world for his skill and power.  He is exactly the kind of man Alayna must, at all costs stay away from.

Hudson Pierce has rarely ever been denied anything and he wants Alayna in the worst kind of way.  Both are undeniably attracted to one another but for very personal and serious reasons, each must avoid personal attachments – love is simply not an option.  And thus, a deal is struck.  Hudson needs to become disentangled from a completely unwanted arranged marriage and to do that, he must appear to be completely devoted to and in love with another.  His intense attraction to Alayna makes her a perfect candidate to become  his fake significant other.  Though Alayna assures Hudson she can play the part without becoming attached, neither are prepared for what happens between them.

Alayna and Hudson together are over the top hot in bed but on a personal level things are much cooler and far, far more serious.  Though Alayna tries to keep her feelings for Hudson from growing, she is totally unsuccessful and her past (absolutely scary!) behaviors begin to surface.  Though Hudson tries to keep his no love/no emotions directive in place, he finds (despite what is wretchedly cruel mother thinks) that he can indeed care for another without totally and completely destroying her.  Yes, Hudson has a past with some very dark and very scary behaviors as well.  The two try to reign in their emotions and actions but neither is able to do so before the other is hurt and somewhat damaged.

The Bottom Line:  I had to keep this review vague in order to keep the review spoiler free.  Just know, it is in the vagueness that I have issues.  I generally enjoy books about two damaged souls coming together to help heal one another and move forward but Fixed on You crossed a line for me.  Though I totally get that both Alayna and Hudson are fictional characters with fictional pasts, their pasts and their issues are just too much for me.   Though both characters have sought therapy, their issues are still very much a part of them and those issues kept me from connecting to or even liking these two characters.  With this being said, I did not DNF this title nor did I consider doing so.  While I didn’t care for either main character there are absolutely NO flaws with Paige’s writing style, pacing, technique, etc.  So, dear reader, I fully appreciate that I am in the minority on this one and I can honestly say, if Alayna and Hudson were a little less of their particular kind of broken, I would totally be among the 5 star majority.

About the author and where to find her:

lauralin paigeLaurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She is represented by Bob Diforio of D4EO Literary Agency.

Website       Facebook       Twitter       Goodreads

Links to find/buy Fixed on You:

Amazon       Barnes & Noble

Sweepstakes/Giveaway:

This one is short and sweet!  The author is very generously giving away a $50 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  All you need to do to enter for your chance to win is click on the Rafflecopter link below.  Please check out the terms and conditions for all the FTC mumbo jumbo. 🙂

RAFFLECOPTER SWEEPSTAKES

Thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing this tour 🙂

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Cover Reveal and Sweepstakes: Exception by Patty Maximini

Title: Exception Author: Patty Maximini Expected release:  October 24, 2013 Genre: Contemporary Romance Age Group: Adult Cover designed by: Okay Creations; www.okaycreations.com Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com

Title: Exception
Author: Patty Maximini
Expected release: October 24, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Cover designed by: Okay Creations; www.okaycreations.com
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com

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Synopsis:

With her life packed in boxes in the back of a U-Haul truck and a promise to her sister, Charlotte, that she’d find a way to let go and be happy, Emily crossed the country to escape the haunting memories of her past.

As she settles into her new life, Emily holds true to her promise and begins to open her walls to those around her and overtime, she selectively begins to trust again. However, some wounds are too great to overcome, and between her recurring nightmares and her fear of even the slightest physical contact, she wonders if she will ever heal completely.

In walks Taylor, a handsome out of towner, with his own past to overcome. Against all odds, an undeniable special friendship forms almost instantly between the two. Not minding his company or touch, Emily is jolted into realization that he is her healing, her strength, her protection and her escape from her daunting past.

He is her exception.

About the author and where to find her:

Author - Patty MaximiniI’m Patty, and words have always been a passion of mine. I’ve always loved to read them, write them and learn them in other languages. Last year, I’ve decided to take that passion and turn it into a book, the result was Exception, my very first novel due this October.

Whenever I’m not sitting behind my computer, I’m either enjoying the company of my dear hubby, Alex, and our four four-legged babies or reading. I’m a firm believer in long hand written letters, love of any kind and good stories.

Facebook       Twitter       Blog       Goodreads

Event-wide Sweepstakes:

In order to celebrate the reveal of her gorgeous new cover, the author is offering a sweepstakes/giveaway on her Facebook page.  Just click the Rafflecopter link below to be whisked away to the site where you can enter for your chance to win 🙂
RAFFLECOPTER SWEEPSTAKES

Thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing this cover reveal today 🙂

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Review: Totally Evil (Book #3: Miller Sisters Mysteries) by Gale Borger

Title: Totally Evil Series: Book #3: Miller Sisters Mysteries Author: Gale Borger Format: Paperback, 298 pages Published: June 19, 2013 by Echelon Press Publishing  ISBN:  1590808894 (ISBN13: 9781590808894)

Title: Totally Evil
Series: Book #3: Miller Sisters Mysteries
Author: Gale Borger
Format: Paperback, 298 pages
Published: June 19, 2013 by Echelon Press Publishing
ISBN: 1590808894 (ISBN13: 9781590808894)

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Synopsis:

Cotton candy, corn dogs, and another corpse! As Buzz Miller and Sheriff J.J. Green pull yet another senior citizen out of a dumpster at the county fair, the town folk of White Bass Lake, Wisconsin realize something totally evil is afoot. Three bodies, three senior citizens, three separate dumpsters; Buzz knows they must be connected, but how? Not even Buzz’s “Irish magic” can make sense of dead end clues and a mysterious note. Swallowing her pride and eating a little crow is a small price to pay for Buzz when she is forced to enlist the aid of her little sister Alexandra, the “Librarian from Hell.” Can Al and her unbeatable research skills help Buzz unravel the grizzly mystery and find the murderer before another senior citizen shouts out their last “BINGO?” Al’s research takes the Miller sisters all the way back to 1929, where some secrets still lie silently at the bottom of Lake Geneva. Al Capone, missing diamonds, a murdered actress, and a brave little girl weave a tale of greed and murder that spans three generations. When the bad guy kidnaps Alexandra and ninety-four-year-old Alva Sweetwater, Buzz races against time to trap the murderer, and the entire town plays a part in the final showdown. Welcome to White Bass Lake, where the brats are on the grill, the beer is in the cooler, and the Miller sisters are dumpster diving for something Totally Evil.

Source: Author for a fair and honest review

Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

Totally Evil is the third book in Gale Borger’s Miller Sisters Mysteries and woooo weeee do I loves me some Miller Sisters!!  Totally Evil begins with exactly what the title promises a scene of pure evil with Buzz and J.J. all up in the middle of the drama.  Someone has whacked a senior citizen and Buzz is working crowd control while J.J. and the Stooges dig through the dumpster looking for evidence.  Little do the two know, this death is the first of several seemingly unrelated senior deaths that will not only jeopardize the safety of the town’s seniors but Buzz’s life as well and J.J. ain’t havin’ none of that!!

It’s pretty much pointless to give you a list of what I liked about this book because I liked it all, start to finish.  Totally Evil is by far the most serious of the Miller Sisters mysteries but in typical Borger fashion, the drama is cut through with plenty of humor.  Evil is a fantastic story of the past and her secrets crashing right on into the present – one of my absolute favorite story types.  Nothing stays buried forever and in this case Buzz and J.J. are presented with a ton of randomness that is just that, random.  It takes the Dynamic Duo quite some time and help from some very surprising sources before they are able to pull all the pieces together and figure out whose whacking seniors.

One of my favorite parts of this particular read are the surprising sources Buzz and J.J. call on to help them solve this mystery.  The sources include the totally evil Miller sister, Alexandra and Mary Cromwell and the geriatric SWAT girls.  Though Alex has made a few very brief appearances in the other two books, she sashays right on in to Totally Evil and makes quite the impression on everyone.  Alex uses her impressive organizational and research skills to help Buzz pull together the pieces of the puzzle all while being impeccably well-dressed and kidnapped.  Yes, kidnapped L  And then there is Mary Cromwell and the geriatric SWAT girls: WOW are those girls some feisty old broads and I love them for every minute of their awesomeness.  Truly, Mary is some kind of fantastic and her antics provide several laugh-out-loud moments.

As the novel steam rolls right on through to its dramatic ending, the whole town comes together to back up Buzz and J.J., rescue Alex and one delightful little old lady and, take down the bad guy.  Though you don’t know if everyone is going to make it out alive, it is still a feel good moment seeing how everyone pulls together.  Seriously?  The rescue plan this town pulls off is audacious and awesome all at the same time!  Also of note, throughout the entire read and through all the drama, J.J. pushes Buzz to talk about their growing relationship – man, oh, man is that is that man yummy!  By the end of the novel, Buzz and J.J. (and the dogs, of course!) are stronger than ever and the big bad is taken down, Miller style!

The Bottom Line: The Miller Sisters and their mysteries are not slowing down one bit and Totally Evil is just as fresh and fun as the its predecessors, Totally Buzzed and Totally Fishy.  Borger recycles nothing but the awesome!  The plot is deep, a little dark, and totally (HA!) interesting and each of the characters continue to evolve and surprise me.  I am a little in love with Alexandra and can’t wait to see her make an even bigger appearance in upcoming novels and the SWAT girls, WOW!  More please!  As always, I have absolutely no reservations recommending this read to a wide range of readers.  It will certainly appeal to lovers of light mystery and romance and will absolutely appeal to all who are interested in a funny and well-written read!

A note about the cover: When Gale Borger contacted me about reviewing this title she mentioned nothing to me about the cover so imagine my surprise when I opened the eCopy, perused the cover and a saw a quote from one of my reviews on the cover.  Yes, there was squeaking, squealing and the waking up of the husband to show him the awesomeness!!  Thank you, Gale, it is an honor to be on the cover of one of your books 🙂

Some of my favorite Totally Evil moments:

Buzz reminiscing (on two separate occasions) about one of her least favorite people:

Tattle Tale Rosie grew up mean and graduated to Rosie the Floozy when she bragged about sleeping with her journalism professor to get a “B”.  At the time I asked her if the grade was for journalism or did he think she’s just a lousy lay. (page 24)

She ignored me, I insulted her, and everything became right with the world.

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“Buzz!”

“Watch Out!”

“Ohmygod Stooop!”

“DON’T KILL THE DEAD GUY!”

Don’t kill the what? (pages 23-24)

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Buzz to the indomitable Mary Cromwell:

“All right, Mary Cromwell, toss whatever you didn’t want Sheriff Green to see into the trunk”

Wide-eyed, Mary blinked slowly at me while she reached inside the pink monstrosity.  She proceeded to pull out a sap, two pair of handcuffs, four cans of pepper spray, a Bodyguard 380, a Model 29 Smith with an eight-and-three-eighths barrel in chrome.  It would have made Harry Callahan weep. .  . . . She pulled out pliers, a Slim Jim, a pair of nun-chucks, a sock monkey (a sock monkey? Involuntarily I shivered), and the largest box of condoms I’d ever seen (No, I did not ask).” (page 260)

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Again with the awesome of Mary:

“You know, the Green boy can be such a stick sometimes.  How the heck is a lady supposed to protect herself in her own home or feel safe on the streets if she is forced to leave her .44 at home?  Why, it’s an open invitation for some bad guy to break into my house and steal my Dirty Harry Special!” (page 280)

Links to find/buy Totally Evil (Book #3: Miller Sisters Mysteries):

Amazon       Barnes & Noble

Other books in the Miller Sisters Mysteries Series:

Title: Totally Buzzed Series: Book #1: The Miller Sisters Mysteries Author: Gale Borger Format: Paperback, 268 pages Published: August 1, 2010 by Echelon Press Publishing  ISBN:  1590807901 (ISBN13: 9781590807903)

Title: Totally Buzzed
Series: Book #1: The Miller Sisters Mysteries
Author: Gale Borger
Format: Paperback, 268 pages
Published: August 1, 2010 by Echelon Press Publishing
ISBN: 1590807901 (ISBN13: 9781590807903)

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Synopsis:

Trouble seems to follow Buzz Miller, and this time it finds her outside the town of White Bass Lake, Wisconsin, where the dead body of a neighbor woman turns up stashed under her mother’s house! The retired detective is reluctantly roped into finding out “who dunnit.”

In order to snag the bad guy, Buzz, along with her Biology teacher sister Mag, “The Maggot” Miller, have only to find the murderer by following the trail of a dead horse, uncovering the illegal importation of rare plants, breaking up an international drug trafficking ring, uncovering a designer drug lab, and avoid being bumped off by the bad guys.

Simple enough, right? That is, until her mom’s wacky “Geriatric S.W.A.T. Team” cronies turn the crime scene into a neighborhood barbeque and Buzz’s 160 pound Newfoundland chews up most of her initial investigation!

After a shoot out at the Not-So-OK-Corral, Buzz has to explain to Sheriff Green why his only solid suspect was now pushing up daisies while lying dead in the petunias!

Read my review of Totally Buzzed (Book #1: Miller Sisters Mysteries) here!!

Links to find/buy Totally Buzzed (Book #1: Miller Sisters Mysteries):

Amazon          Barnes & Noble

Title: Totally Fishy Series: Book #2: Miller Sisters Mysteries Author: Gale Borger Published: July 6, 2011 by Echelon Press LLC  ISBN:  001140535X (ISBN13: 2940011405358)

Title: Totally Fishy
Series: Book #2: Miller Sisters Mysteries
Author: Gale Borger
Published: July 6, 2011 by Echelon Press LLC
ISBN: 001140535X (ISBN13: 2940011405358)

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Synopsis:

Buzz Miller is up to her hip waders in trouble…again.

Two South American scientists swim in dangerous waters while assassins stalk them. A world-famous tropical fish collector is on a mountaintop involved in something very shady and totally fishy.

In White Bass Lake, two bargain basement hit men keep knocking off the wrong guys, and Buzz and her sister Fred find it more and more difficult to separate their criminal cases from the basket cases as 80-year-old Mary Cromwell is pole dancing on a parking meter in a blue go-go dress and orthopedic shoes!

Eventually, Buzz and Fred, along with the two scientists and a limo driver from Queens, try to reel in the bad guys while dodging bullets in the Venezuelan jungle. They dig up more than dirt when people and fish are dropping dead all around them, and they find themselves in danger of swimming with the fishes–permanently!

Can the Miller Sisters snag the bad guys hook, line, and sinker, or are they just cutting bait?

Welcome back to the zany world of the Miller Sisters where the brats are on the grill, the bait is on the hook and the Miller Sisters reel in another bad guy while leaving you up to your gills in laughter!

Read my review of Totally Fishy (Book #2: Miller Sisters Mysteries) here!!

Links to find/buy Totally Fishy (Book #2: Miller Sisters Mysteries):

Amazon          Barnes & Noble

About the author and where to find her:

GaleGale Borger is the author of the hilarious Miller Sisters Mystery Series. Gale brings to life the small town of White Bass Lake, Wisconsin and its wacky inhabitants in Totally Buzzed, a madcap romp through murder and mayhem. Second in the series, Totally Fishy is an uproariously funny tale complete with a pole dancing granny and two bumbling hit men who can’t seem to bump off the right guy! Gale’s short story, Totally Decked, was out in time for Christmas, 2010. Gale’s books are published by Echelon Press, LLC.

With over 20 years in law enforcement-the last fifteen years as a correctional officer, Gale has extensive experiences from which to draw material for her books. Growing up in a screwball household with a lifetime of practical jokes and a whole lot of laughter behind her, lends much humor to her writing. As Gale puts it, “I’ve always been told ‘write what you know,’ and I know bad guys and funny stuff, with a little gardening thrown in for good measure.”

Gale has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Education. She lives in Southeastern Wisconsin with her husband Bob, their sometimes-seen college student (dragging behind her a trombone and her dirty laundry), two dogs, two cats, about 1,000 tropical fish, a leopard gecko, a Pac-man frog, two turtles, and more flowers in her yard than grass. Visit Gale and get to know the Miller Sisters at http://galeborgerbooks.com

**Author info and photo from Goodreads**

Rafflecopter Sweepstakes:

Because I am awesome and I love this series so dang much, I have decided to offer ONE lucky US ONLY-winner a paperback copy of Totally Buzzed (Book #1: Miller Sisters Mysteries) and Totally Fishy (Book #2: Miller Sisters Mysteries).  Total value of both books is $25.88 USD and the winner will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter; if you would like to review them, all the terms and conditions are available.   To enter for  your chance to win click the Rafflecopter link below and good luck 🙂

RAFFLECOPTER SWEEPSTAKES

Release Event: Excerpt and Giveaway: Love of Truth by C.T. Oliver

Title: Love of Truth Author: CT Oliver Release date:  July 13, 2013 Genre:  Contemporary Romance Age Group: New Adult /Adult  Event organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

Title: Love of Truth
Author: C.T. Oliver
Release date: July 13, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult /Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

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Synopsis:

For the next eleven days all Amelia Adler wants is a nice relaxing vacation on the beach. All she’ll do is drink pineapple margaritas and read sexy steamy romance novels. She doesn’t want to think about the stress of her daily life nor the fact that she doesn’t know what to do with her life.

Craig Patrice just wants to spend his last spring break catching wave after waves during the day in the Pacific Ocean, and relax as much as he can at night. This is his last break before finishing law school and starting at a firm this upcoming summer. He has no desire for a fling or a girlfriend. All he wants is to buckle down and finish this year off right. That is until he gets a glimpse of his vacationing neighbor, and for the life of him, he can’t look away.

Though Craig and Amelia are somewhat reluctant for a relationship, they seem to find comfort in one another and can’t let go of each other. Finding romance on vacation is one thing, but can their relationship withstand the demand of real life and once their past catches up with them will believing in each other’s truth save their future.

Excerpt from Love of Truth:

Craig leans forward and kisses my forehead. “Because you were tired and needed your sleep. We were up late.” He reaches over and runs his hand up and down my stomach making me catch my breath in surprise. “So, I know you’re friends are here and everything, but I want to take you out to dinner tonight.” He tilts his head over and gives me a quick kiss on the lips. “It will be our first date. ” His grin gives me chills down my spine while his touch is blazing my skin.

            “Oh, okay,” I whisper, trying to mask my excitement. I’m feeling really joyous at the idea of going on a date with Craig. I want to jump up and down and do a little dance on the bed, but decide to play it cool.

            “Good.” He leans in and kisses down the side of me face. “I can’t wait for tonight. Pick you up at 1900, that’s 7:00 PM for you.” He plants a big, wet, curl your toes kiss on my lips while his hand roams over one of my breasts making me lift my hips towards him. All of the sudden he breaks from the kiss with a big smile on his face. “Tonight, baby.” He brushes his thumb over my nipple a couple of time before grabbing Larry and hops out of bed leaving me hot and bothered.

            I gasp. “Tease!”

Links to find C.T. Oliver:  Facebook       Twitter

Link to find/buy Love of TruthAmazon

Event Sweepstakes/Giveaway:

There are two separate sweepstakes/giveaways to go along with this release event.  YAY!!  To enter for your chance to win, just click on the links below 🙂

Giveaway #1: this one is sponsored by the author and up for grabs are four (4) $10 Amazon Gift Cards – Open internationally.

Giveaway #2: Up for grabs is one (1) eBook copy of Love of Truth: Gifted from Amazon; open internationally; value of eBook is $2.99 USD.

Thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing this release event 🙂

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Sexy Summer Read: FREE: Seductive Shadows by Marni Mann

Free ebook giveaway

Hey everyone!!  Check this out!!!  I adore this book (check out my review here!) and was so stoked to see this announcement in my email today.  This is a huge opportunity to snag a fantastic read for FREE.  Here are the details from the publisher:

This weekend only, starting at 11:30pm EST tonight, fans can go to the Booktrope store here:  http://shop.booktrope.com/products/seductive-shadows

Download Seductive Shadows in your preferred format (epub, mobi or PDF) for FREE. The free promotion will be limited to the first 250 readers, or end on Sunday night, whichever comes first.

Title: Seductive Shadows Author: Marni Mann Format: Paperback Expected publication: July 17, 2013 by Booktrope  ISBN13: 9781620153420 URL:  http://www.marnismann.com

Title: Seductive Shadows
Author: Marni Mann
Format: Paperback
Publication: July 17, 2013 by Booktrope
ISBN13: 9781620153420
URL:http://www.marnismann.com

Synopsis:

Charlie is a passionate, sensually-inspired art student, desperately seeking an escape from the abusive past that haunts her and a tragic accident that emptied her heart. Scarred and unable to love, her yearning for physical pleasure leads her into a tantalizing, dangerous world of power and seduction. The anonymity of the deal offers security; the money brings financial freedom and the madam is the mother figure she longs for.

But the thrill of the mansion and its arousing dominance quickly fades when she meets renowned-yet-mysterious Cameron Hardy, whose intense baby blue eyes send a nervous flutter through her core. Cameron is sexy, and not in a subtle way. He stimulates Charlie’s art, her intellect and her desires. Just as he begins to break through her emotional boundaries, she discovers a devastating connection between her past and her scandalous work at the mansion, shattering everything she thought to be true.

Provocative, intoxicating and erotic, Seductive Shadows is the unforgettable tale of a young woman’s self-discovery as she learns to forgive, to love and be loved, and to find redemption amidst a remarkable journey that will captivate your mind and stimulate your soul.

This book is for mature audiences. It contains explicit language and sexual content.

Excerpt and Giveaway: Speak Easy by Melanie Harlow

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Speak Easy tour hosted by AToMR Tours.  Today, I have an excerpt and an event-wide sweepstakes/giveaway for you.  This book is getting some great reviews from tour participants so if you would like to check out the rest of the tour stops, just click here to see what everyone is saying about this book.  Thanks for stopping by and happy Friday to you 🙂

Title: Speak Easy Author: Melanie Harlow Release date: July 22, 2013 Age Group: New Adult Genre: Historical Tour organized by: AToMR Tours: http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

Title: Speak Easy
Author: Melanie Harlow
Release date: July 22, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Historical
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours: http://atomrbookblogtours.com/

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Synopsis:

July, 1923. The ‘20s are roaring, and twenty-year-old Tiny O’Mara is desperate for a little anything-goes excitement. But when her father is kidnapped by a mobster in Detroit’s exploding organized crime scene, she’s shocked to find herself caught up in the bootlegging wars of Prohibition—and torn between two gorgeous gangsters on opposite sides.

To save her father’s life, she’ll have to choose between them. But deciding whom to trust isn’t easy in a world where everyone wants something—be it booze, money, power, or sex—and no one cares what it takes to get it.

Temptation is everywhere.

Excerpt from Speak Easy:

Several hours later, the ringing telephone jarred me awake. I stumbled down the stairs and into the darkened hallway to answer it.

“Hello?”

 “Tiny,” a male voice rasped. I thought it might be Daddy, but he’d spoken so softly I couldn’t tell for sure.

“Daddy? I can’t hear you. Hello?”

“The garage,” said a smooth new voice. “Come alone. And bring the money or he’s dead.”

“Who is this?” The phone went dead before I could get an answer, and my stomach turned over. Trembling, I set the receiver back on the switch hook. What money? Or who’s dead—Daddy? Racing up the steps up two at a time, I opened his bedroom door. The moonlight streaming through the window illuminated an empty bed. I dashed back into my room to dress without turning on any lights. The first outfit I got my hands on was the red blouse and black skirt I’d worn today, which I threw on over my chemise while questions pummeled my brain. Who was that? Should I really go alone? Should I call the police? Is this about a gambling debt? Does it have something to do with the letter?

Damn it, Daddy! What have you done?

I didn’t have any money at the house, and my tip envelope was at Bridget’s. The last thing I wanted to do was to alarm her or put the kids in danger—I’d have to see who it was and find out what they wanted first. If I ignored the instructions and involved the police, I might put Daddy in more danger than he was already in.

I shoved my bare feet into shoes and moved quietly down the stairs. As I let myself out the front door into the warm night, I tried to place the voice I’d heard. Daddy’s usual bookmaker was a cock-eyed sleaze called Ralph the Bookie, but he had a distinctive nasally whine. This voice was deep and smooth, with a slight accent. Was it Italian?

My stomach churned. The cops found unidentified bodies in the Detroit River all the time these days. Almost nightly, said the papers. Guys who’d been shot, beaten, drowned. I fought off the nausea by quickening my pace.

As I ran past darkened houses, a memory surfaced without warning—Daddy surprising me with a new Hawthorne bicycle on my ninth birthday and teaching me how to ride it. Running alongside me down this very street shouting encouragement. Clenching my fists, I dug my nails into my palms as I reached the end of the block and stopped to catch my breath.

Then with fear lodged like a hatchet in my chest, I turned the corner and inched through the alley toward the garage, my feet crunching on the gravel. At the back door, I closed my right hand around the handle and twisted—unlocked. I pushed it open and stepped in, hearing nothing but my own quick breaths. Seconds ticked by.

I was beginning to wonder if it was all a joke when I heard a rusty voice behind me. “Glad you could make it.”

The door slammed and a meaty hand clamped over my mouth. An arm snared my waist. Cackling, the man walked me deeper into the garage, pushing my legs with his own. Too terrified to resist, I moved forward like a rag doll in his grip.

When we reached the office door, he kicked out a leg and it creaked open.

I was struggling to make sense of the shadowy shapes in front of me when someone switched on the lamp—I gasped behind the sweaty, smothering palm.

On the chair was my father, slouched and bloody.

At his temple, the barrel of a gun.

About the author and where to find her:

Author, MelanieHarlowMelanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. SPEAK EASY was inspired by her cocktail culture obsession,
her affection for good gin, and the view from the end of her street. She lifts her glass to NA readers and writers  from her home near Detroit, MI.

Blog       Twitter       Facebook

Link to find/buy Speak Easy:   Amazon

Event-wide Sweepstakes/Giveaway:

The author is offering some very cool stuff for this tour sweepstakes.  All you need to do to enter for your chance to win is click on the Rafflecopter link below.  Be sure to check out the sweepstakes terms and conditions for all the rules and such.  Good luck!!  Up for grabs is:

US ONLY: One grand prize swag pack which includes: Valentine Vodka Swag, JewelNinjas Agatha Bracelet, Chrome Cocktail Shaker, MAC Lipstick, Great Gatsby Soundtrack or $10 iTunes gift card, Gatsby Style Flapper Headband, Signed Copy of Speak Easy, $25 Amazon Gift Card: Total Value: $150 USD

INTERNATIONAL: Eight (8) eCopies of Speak Easy: mobi or ePub only; value $3.99 USD

RAFFLECOPTER SWEEPSTAKES

Thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing the tour 🙂

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Review: Miss Watson’s First Scandal (Novella #1: Miss Mayhem Series) by Heather Boyd

Title: Miss Watson's First Scandal Series: Novella #1: Miss Mayhem Author: Heather Boyd Format: ebook, 99 pages Published July 2, 2013 by LLD Press  ISBN13: 9780987561404

Title: Miss Watson’s First Scandal
Series: Novella #1: Miss Mayhem
Author: Heather Boyd
Format: ebook, 99 pages
Published July 2, 2013 by LLD Press
ISBN13: 9780987561404

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Synopsis:

Overworked London banker David Hawke has two goals for his week in the seaside town of Brighton: one, demand repayment of a debt without losing a valued friendship and two, relax for the remaining holiday without further distractions—except he encounters his friend’s newly confident younger sister. Abigail Watson is flirty, bold, and determined David will agree to her bargain and save her brother from debtor’s prison. But is her game to prevent him from calling in the debt, or are her sweet kisses a sign she is after a much greater prize instead?

Source: Netgalley/LLD Press

My Rating: 4½/5 stars

My Review:

David Hawke has a serious problem: he has to foreclose on the house of his next door neighbor and friend.  What should have been a much-deserved and relaxing week at his Brighton home has turned into something far more serious and far, far from relaxing.  David Hawke has another problem: apparently while he was away working in London for the last year, Abigail Watson, the sister of the soon-to-be-foreclosed-on neighbor has grown up and oh, is she a sight!

Abigail Watson has a problem: her family home is about to be foreclosed on because her loving though seriously worthless brother has a gambling problem.  Abigail is a smart girl and thanks to a little clever snooping, she already has a plan in the works to get she and her brother out of financial trouble.  Abigail Watson has another problem:  The man coming to foreclose on she and her brother is David Hawke, her handsome, confirmed bachelor next-door neighbor whom she has had a crush on for years. What is a girl to do?

Well, if that girl happens to be Abigail Watson, then she takes her destiny in her own hands and sets out to fix everyone’s problems, including her own.  First, there is the matter of marrying her brother to a wealthy woman so they can keep their family home, next is the matter of attracting the attention of David Hawke without compromising her reputation and, finally there is the matter of ensuring that no one knows precisely what she is up too until the time is right.  That last part would have be a lot easier to do if Abigail hadn’t stolen and read the foreclosure note from David, gotten caught by him and, then kissed his socks in a moment of pure abandon.  Oh, dear Abigail!

I have to say, this little regency read kept me turning pages and grinning from ear to ear from the very beginning.  I love novels (in this case a novella) when a woman is ahead of her time and Abigail Watson certainly is.  Rather than fall in line with societal custom and marry for status and wealth rather than love, Abigail has chosen to pursue the man who captured her heart years ago.  David is a wonderful character who truly struggles with the task of foreclosing on his friend as well as managing his growing feelings for his much younger neighbor.  But alas, even this confirmed bachelor is no match for Abigail Watson!

The Bottom Line: I am apparently a huge sucker for this type of read.  Miss Watson’s First Scandal has a little bit of everything I love: a strong-willed and intelligent heroine, a kind and caring man (he takes in a stray puppy for cryin’ out loud!), fun secondary characters (Imogen!!  Wait ‘till you discover her secret), a period piece (regency in this case) and, a nice little cliffhanger guaranteeing I will be back for round two of the Miss Mayhem novella series.

Link to find/buy Miss Watson’s First Scandal:     Amazon