Review: On the Plus Side (Book #2: A Perfect Fit Series) by Alison Bliss

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Thanks to her bangin’ curves, Valerie Carmichael has always turned heads-with the exception of seriously sexy Logan Mathis. Just Valerie’s luck that the object of her lust-filled affection is also best friends with her overprotective brother. But Valerie’s determined to get Logan’s attention . . . even if it means telling a teeny little lie to get a job at his new bar.

Logan can’t remember a time when Valerie didn’t secretly fuel all his hottest fantasies. Now the curvaceous she-devil is working behind his bar, tempting him every damn night. It’s only when he finds Valerie’s naughty things-to-do list that Logan decides to break every rule in the book-by making each red-hot deed a reality.

No one warned them that they were going to fall this hard. And no one warned them that sometimes the smallest secrets can have the biggest consequences.  

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Source: Purchase and Netgalley     My Rating: 3/5 stars

**REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS**

Valerie Carmichael has never, ever had a problem attracting a man’s attention.  She’s curvy and confident, intelligent and outgoing, and she’s never been afraid to go after what she wants!!  Very little has been able to withstand a full-blown Valerie Carmichael assault.  The one man who frustratingly always has, Logan Mathis.  After years of being away from his hometown, he’s back, opened a bar, needs some serious help, and has no idea he’s about to be assaulted by a very determined Valerie Carmichael. 

Logan’s bar is more than just a labor of love, it’s an absolute necessity if he is to save his mother’s home.  Unbeknownst to Logan, his mother’s home is in foreclosure and if a pile of cash isn’t earned quickly, she’s going to lose the only real thing she has left in the wake of her husband’s leaving.  Logan’s bar isn’t staffed quite as he would have liked, but his mother needs him and so, the bar is opening!  With one super slow bartender and one truly slimy bartender, Logan needs help and he’ll be damned if that help is going to come in the form of curvaceous Valerie Carmichael.

Not to be deterred, Valerie decides to show Logan what she can do rather than try to verbally convince him.  When his back is turned, Valerie hops the bar and begins to work some Cocktail (the movie!) worthy magic.  In an instant, Logan’s patrons are not only entertained, but well-served and he must admit, albeit reluctantly that Valerie may just be the answer to his prayers.  Now if he can just stop thinking about all those curves . . . . . Some things are far easier said than done!

Starting a relationship of any kind with Valerie is exactly what Logan has wanted for years, but there are complications and obstacles that make such an arrangement difficult, at best.  Her brother is over the top protective and Logan, because of his past behavior and present financial situation, is certain he’s no good for Valerie.  Though he tries to convince her of the validity of his position, she is headstrong and determined and Logan is weak where she is concerned.  Against his better judgement, Logan gives in and discovers a whole new world of wonderful with Valerie.  Just as everything appears to be moving in the right direction, the bottom falls out from under Logan and everything he has been working for is gone in an instant including his bar, Valerie, and his mother’s home.  The culprit?   Valerie!

The Bottom Line: Right up to the last few chapters of this book, I was prepared to assign this read a five-star rating!  And then those last few chapters happened and it all went to hell in a handbasket.  While I certainly don’t mind a feisty, confident, determined woman, I do mind a woman (or man!) who is so hell-bent on having her (his) own way that the concerns of others are ignored.  Valerie wants what she wants and she lies to get her way.  In turn, Valerie’s lie costs Logan his liquor license, his insurance, his bar, and very nearly his mother’s home.  In the end, Logan is left with nothing except the clothes on his back and a whole heap of betrayal.  While this was certainly enough to make me cranky, what really pushed me over the edge is how the whole situation is made right and Valerie and Logan just skip off to an HEA.  There’s just too much betrayal and loss in this read for me to buy not only the super-quick forgiveness, but also the HEA.  I found much of the last part of this read to be a stretch, at best which was thoroughly disappointing given how much I enjoyed the rest of the read.  I’m not done with this series, but I sure hope the next installment has a far more believable ending.

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Spotlight: Ivan’s Captive Submissive (Book #1: Submissive’s Wish Series) by Ann Mayburn

When Gia Lopez signs up for the Submissive’s Wish Charity Auction she has no idea that she’s about to be bought by a Russian Dom who will do anything to make her fantasies come true. Including staging an elaborate kidnapping that Gia believes is real. Ivan is instantly drawn to Gia and he wants to be the best Master she’s ever had. As he spends time with Gia he begins to have intense feelings for the strong, independent, and sexy American woman. He’s only won a week of her service but wishes to keep her forever.

Unaware of Ivan’s true feelings, Gia fights her growing emotional attachment to him. All she wants is to settle down with a nice Dom in the United States, continue her career, and live a normal life. However, Ivan sets a plan into motion that will push Gia to all of her limits and take her on a global journey of self-discovery, extreme pleasure, and love.

Warning: Contains Erotic Spanking, Subspace, f/f situations, a devastatingly sexy Dom who knows what he wants, and a submissive who just might be ready to give him what he needs.

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Excerpt Reveal: Butcher by Leann Ashers

COMING SOON BUTCHER

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He stalked me from the moment he saw me. He watched me day and night.  Butcher is what everyone calls crazy. They see all the tattoos and scars and to be honest, to most people he looks downright scary. He’s dangerous. He is after all the enforcer to the Devil Souls MC.  But to me? He’s just Butcher. I see him. I see who he really is. I see a man who will do anything for the people he cares about. I see the man who will protect and love me above everything else.   I am just as obsessed with him as he is me. I will die for him and he would kill for me.   What everyone doesn’t know is I have the same crazy inside of me…

Excerpt from Butcher

“Fucking made for me,” he growls and gives me a deep, wet kiss. He slows down and rises on his elbows, which are on either side of my face. “Made for me,” he repeats. He slowly moves inside me and my toes curl. “I love you, my Shay.”

“I love my Butcher.”

He grins and presses his forehead against mine. I grip the back of his neck, holding him to me. We come together as one, staring deep into each other’s eyes.

“I have nightmares that this is a dream,” Butcher whispers and my heart breaks a little at his words. His dark eyes look deep into mine, his face scarred up and beautiful.

“It’s real. I am real.” I take his hand and press it to my heart. “This is yours.”

“I don’t deserve you, my Shay. But I am selfish and will take you any way I can.”

I shake my head furiously and grip his face between my hands. “I am the one who doesn’t deserve you, Butcher.” I kiss him deeply before placing my face in the crook of his neck. I feel Butcher relax into me and I close my eyes.

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About the author and where to find her: 

LeAnn Asher’s is a blogger turned author who spends her days reading and writing She released her debut novel early 2016, and can’t wait to where this new adventure takes her. LeAnn writes about strong minded females and strong protective males who love their women unconditionally.

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Spotlight: Billionaire Beast (Book #11: Billionaires Series) by Claire Adams

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After Billionaire Aiden Walker lost his entire family in a tragic plane crash fourteen months ago, he wanted nothing more than to be left alone, so much that he fired his entire staff in exchange for his solitude.

To make it worse, he mourned his loss by drowning himself in booze at a small bar on the wrong side of town, where the local bartender became his only friend.

So just when he thinks life couldn’t get any worse, one of the families involved in the tragic accident, which also took their son, is determined to ruin him with a lawsuit that could take his sprawling Savannah estate.

Lexa Patterson has been ignored by her parents since her brother’s death and was forced to deal with the pain alone until she meets someone who is worse off than her.

When Aiden leaves his friend’s bar drunk, he crashes his motorcycle and ends up in Lexa’s ER which proves too tempting when she finds out who he is.

She has to get to know him but knows if she tells him who she is, she’ll blow her cover.

The two fall into bed, but will her lies destroy any chance for love once Aiden learns who she is

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Addicted to Rhapsody (Book #4: Rhapsody Series) by Selena Laurence

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Guilt is the hardest habit to kick.  Garrett Jakes is the sexy and sex-addicted lead singer of Rhapsody. Now in recovery, he’s trying to clean up his act and atone for his mistakes. The only problem is he can’t stop the guilt he feels whenever he looks at his friend Savvy. They have history, and he’s not sure if he’s helping or hurting when he tries to become a bigger part of her life.

Savvy O’Roark is a widow and a mom at twenty-eight. She watched as her husband was murdered while trying to protect her. Now she’s struggling to keep her husband’s business and his memory alive, and Garrett wants to help. The only problem is she can’t stop the guilt she feels whenever she looks at him. Their history is one that haunts her, and she’s not sure that’s something she can ever get past.

As Savvy and Garrett struggle to overcome their demons, they must also face the one thing neither of them can ever take back. Will they learn how to honor and forgive, but also love and let go? Can something that started all wrong end up right? Or will guilt be a habit they simply can’t kick?

Excerpt from Addicted to Rhapsody (Book #4: Rhapsody Series): 

He smiles softly. “You were supposed to be gone more than two days. But you don’t listen very well.”

 I can’t help but chuckle at that. Kevin used to say the same thing. I guess I’ll have to accept the critique. “You haven’t broken anything, you’ve made it better.”

 He wraps an arm around my shoulders, placing a gentle kiss in my hair. It makes me so warm inside I feel like I might be glowing. Then he leads me back toward the kitchen.

 “And I’m not going to break anything. I’m going to make it all better, and you’re going to relax and trust me.” Then he stops, and turns me to face him, his hands still on my shoulders. He bends his knees slightly so he can look me in the eye. “I realize given who I am, and how we started, trust might seem like the last thing you should grant me. But you have to know I’ve never lied to you, not at the beginning, and not since. I will get this right, Savannah Scott.”

 I nod easily, because it’s true. Garrett’s never been anything but honest with me, and he’s never failed me. In fact, I didn’t want to admit it, but he’s been right here saving my ass ever since Kevin died.

 “I do trust you. I do. I don’t know how to let go, but I do trust you.”

 He smiles, pulling me into a hug that doesn’t last anywhere near long enough. “Good. Then do as you were instructed, and take a few more days away. Keep Ty home from preschool, go to the zoo, bake cookies together, have lunch and drinks with Tully. Take long hot baths, or get your nails done or paint the bathroom, whatever turns you on, Savvy. Have a staycation. Don’t do anything you don’t want to. Don’t do anything you won’t enjoy. Don’t do anything for anyone but you and Ty.”

 I gaze up at him and my heart races in an entirely different way than it did when I saw the plaque for Kevin. I almost can’t form words, because what I see in his face is so tender and strong all at the same time, it’s scary and overwhelming. And it’s also familiar, because another man looked at me that way once, and it feels wrong to let anyone else do it now.

 But as if he knows it’s confusing me, Garrett shuts down the emotions, closes off something inside of him, and he’s back to a smiling, helpful friend.

 “So off with you now, lass,” he says in a terrible Irish accent. He steers me into the kitchen and all the way to the backdoor. “Don’t call us, we’ll call you, right?” he asks as he opens the door.

 I laugh. “Ok, ok, I can see when I’m not wanted.”

 He gives me a gentle push outside. “Oh, you’re wanted,” he says. “Just not here for a while.” Then he slaps me on the ass, laughs like a maniac, and slams the door behind me.

 As I walk to my car, that strange feeling of lightness that I’ve had off and on the last two days returns. And I have to admit to myself that it’s not Ty or Tully, or the bar that’s giving it to me, it’s Garrett Jakes.

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About the author and where to find her: 

SelenaPortrait-135-2Selena Laurence is an award-winning and USA TODAY bestselling author who loves Putting the Heat in Happily Ever After. Her super sexy stories take place everywhere from rock concerts to family ranches, and her books can be found around the world in four languages, at libraries, bookstores, online, and in audio. 

Selena lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she can often be found at a local coffee shop, hiking the trails, or watching soccer. At home Mr L, her kids, “goldendoodle” and “demoncat” keep her busy trying to corral chaos. A veteran Indie author, Selena also coaches writers through her blog and workshops on turning #Passion2Profession. 

If you’d like to get to know her better, join Selena’s reader/reviewer group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/180909955632263/

Or subscribe to her newsletter and get FREE books: http://www.subscribepage.com/JoinSelena

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Goddesses Can Wait (Book #2: Myths and Mayhem Series) by Kim Baccellia


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Jordan Lake, a fifteen-year-old Audrey Hepburn-olic who’s a magnet for goddesses, has a chance to go to Paris with her grandmother and BFF Selena Garza. Even though she senses something is off, she decides to make the trip.

But when she kisses a cute Parisian boy a la Roman Holiday, she switches bodies with Aphrodite and is sent to the Greek netherworld. She must enlist the help of the Greek god (in more ways than one) Ares then complete seven trials set by his sister Artemis in order to return home.

Except time is running out, and if she can’t get Aphrodite back to the Eiffel Tower by midnight, she’ll be stuck in Greek mythology forever

Excerpt from Goddesses Can Wait

My fingers brushed against the wooden box. I pulled it out. A slight tingle vibrated through my fingers. Not unpleasant, still it felt as if I’d shocked myself. I gasped, dropping the box.

I winced, fearing I’d broken it. What would my grandmother do once she found out that I not only brought it overseas but now had damaged it? For all I knew it was invaluable.

I scanned the area, freaking out big time. Then to the corner I recognized the familiar woman on the mosaic top. Relieved, I bent over to pick it up and almost dropped it again. The blond woman blinked at me.

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About the author and where to find her:

When writing Goddesses Can Wait, Kim Baccellia watched almost all of Audrey Hepburn’s movies and learned to love this famous icon after watching and reading all she could about her. Two of her all-time favorite movies, Roman Holiday and Funny Face, are the inspiration for Jordan’s trip to Paris. What teen girl wouldn’t love to have a romantic moment on the Eiffel Tower?

A member of RWA, Kim is currently putting the finishing touches on a YA multicultural thriller. She lives in Southern California with her husband and son.

My website: http://www.kim-baccellia.com

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Fairy Tales Unleashed by Naima Simone

 

In the world of fairy tales, being wicked has never felt so good…

Bargain with the Beast: Desperate to keep her neighborhood community center open, Gwendolyn Sinclair seeks out Xavier St. James, her childhood friend…and brother of her dead fiancé. Xavier possesses the funds necessary to keep the center open, but he offers another bargain—a devil’s bargain: submit her body to his pleasure for seven days and the building doesn’t close its doors.

 Left scarred from an accident, Xavier is bitter, resentful and alone. When Gwendolyn reappears in his life, need and loneliness overrides conscience and he proposes an arrangement she can’t afford to refuse. With the woman he has always wanted—but could never have—finally in his bed, he hungers for more. Her heart. But could she come to love a beast?

A Perfect Fit:  For no-nonsense, less-than-warm Rowyn Jeong, being labeled the plainer, wicked stepsister has never bothered her…until Darius Fiore reappears in her life. Months ago, they indulged in a hot one-night stand, and the sexy business tycoon branded her like no man had before. But his return threatens her position within her stepfather’s company, and he’s the man her stepsister Cindy has within her sights—and hands.

Behind closed doors, Daruis discovered more lay beneath Rowyn’s hard exterior than the ice queen she presents to her family. Now, he understands the aloof reserve. Her family’s disregard has left her hungry for love and acceptance. But breaking down her walls will be no easy task. Especially since his presence threatens everything she’s worked so hard to achieve.

Beware. These aren’t your mother’s bedtime stories…

Author Note: The erotic romance novellas included in this set–Bargain with the Beast and A Perfect Fit–have both been previously published in 2013. I haven’t changed them, except to combine the two novellas into one set. If you’ve read them under the titles Loving the Beast or Stroke of Midnight, then they’re the same books. 

“What are you willing to do to save the center, Gwendolyn?”

Surprise snatched the air and words from her throat. An image swam before her—a cat with emerald eyes batting its paw at a mouse, toying with the unlucky rodent that bore an uncanny resemblance to her.

Leery and more than a little suspicious, she studied Xavier. “I-I don’t know what you mean.”

“Exactly what I said. What are you willing to do—to sacrifice—to save the community center?”

The better question would be what hadn’t she sacrificed to save the center? She’d agreed to a cut in salary, had extended her hours to compensate for the teachers’ shorter shifts. She opened the building at seven a.m. and locked the doors well after seven p.m. When she dragged into her small Dorchester apartment each night, her feet ached, her stomach grumbled and her head usually throbbed with worries about parents, bills and funding.

But right on the heels of those sacrifices came the rewards. The laughter of the children as they played kickball. The pride straightening the shoulders of the older teens as they walked across the stage to accept their high school diplomas. The gratefulness in a parent’s eyes as they picked up their child after work, knowing their son or daughter had been safe instead of in trouble on the streets.

“Anything,” she vowed. Yes, she was long on hours and short on pay, but the rewards couldn’t be numbered…or lost. “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep it open.”

A calculating gleam entered Xavier’s eyes and she almost retracted the pledge.

Oh God. So that’s what the devil looks like when he buys a soul.

“I can’t interfere with the grant application process at this late date,” he said, drawing his hands from his pockets and crossing his arms. “Whether the committee’s actions were right or wrong, to step in now would penalize the recipient and, regardless of how the decision came to be, that’s not fair.”

Tough shit. She snorted and Xavier arched an eyebrow.

“There’s another alternative.” He paused and she resisted the urge to glance over her shoulder and measure the distance to the door. Once again she was the mouse to his cat. Except he’d surpassed the toying stage and was licking his paws in preparation for dinner—her. “I’ll personally fund the community center for a year. I’ll donate a check in the exact amount of the grant.”

Joy soared in her chest even as relief flooded her veins, washing away the stink of desperation she’d worn for months. She hadn’t expected him to—

Suspicion delivered a ringing reality slap. Wait a minute. She narrowed her eyes. The offer was generous yet the man she’d encountered this evening didn’t strike her as the magnanimous kind. Niggling doubt warned her a booby trap loomed one step after her agreement to his gift.

“That’s generous of you,” she hedged. Then paused. “What’s the catch?”

“You,” he murmured. “You spend seven days and nights with me…in my bed.” His lashes lowered and he stared at her from under a hooded gaze that promised sex and sin. The timbre of his voice had deepened, conjuring images of dark, hot nights and naughty acts she’d read about, dreamed about…touched herself to. “In other words, Gwendolyn, give me your body for the next week and your precious community center remains open.

 

USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— writing sizzling romances with a touch of humor and snark.

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States

Email: nsimonebooks@aol.com