Mini-Review: Guardian’s Bond (Book #1: Ancient Ink Series) by Rhenna Morgan

G. BondFor decades, he’s been alone.  Now, she’s here. His fated mate.  His to win. To protect.  To provide for and pleasure.   Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.  Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.  Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions, and with his body.  Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic, or risking her as the next victim.

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Source: Netgalley and Audible          My Rating: 4/5 stars

The Bottom Line: I am new to the audio book world, so I just assumed every book would be awesome to listen to.  I was wrong!  I made it more than halfway through the audio version and finally gave up.  I had this title on my DNF list, but just couldn’t accept I would really dislike a book seemingly so far up my ally.  I liked this book so much better as a physical read and am quite glad I listened to my instincts on this one. 

By far, my favorite character is Priest with his strong will and determination to keep his people safe and once again see them thrive.  Priest is an absolutely dominate personality though is never heavy-handed.  Priest’s goal is two-fold: to convince Kateri she is his true mate, and to verify the continued existence of his evil brother.  Kateri is an OK character until she finally pulls her head out and accepts what Priest (and everyone else!) has been telling her from the beginning.  Once Kateri steps up, the story becomes even more interesting. 

There is so much tension, sexual and otherwise throughout this read, which leaves the reader somewhat on edge.  I found I generally liked this and am curious to see if this high level of tension is going to carry over into the next book(s) in the series.  With the number of characters introduced in this first installment, Morgan is clearly intending to continue this series for some time.  I find, as long as I stick with the physical reads and not the audio, I’m going to be just fine with this series continuing on 😊

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: You Send Me (Compass Cove Series) by Jeannie Moon

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YouSendMe-LARGEXX1XXX2XJordan Velsor didn’t want to need anyone. After dumping her cheating fiancé, caring for her sick dad, and nearly being crushed along with her car during a violent storm, she’s pretty much at her breaking point. If anyone needs some luck, it’s Jordan, but the last thing she wants is gorgeous Nick Rinaldi, her landlord’s grandson, hovering over her while she nurses a bad cold. The wounded Navy doctor seems too good to be true… which means he probably is. 

Nick Rinaldi left the Navy broken and adrift, wondering if he would ever practice medicine again. When his grandparents’ tenant is almost killed by a falling tree during a storm, he discovers Jordan is not only in shock, but suffering from pneumonia. Not one to miss an opportunity to play white knight, Nick arrives at her cottage to take care of her during the storm… But the lovely teacher has a fierce independent streak, and as he learns more about her, he wants to do more than merely help. 

Can Jordan and Nick let go of their separate pasts and seize their future together?

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Excerpt from You Send Me (Compass Cove Series):

The deep rattling cough woke her from a restless sleep. This cold was kicking her ass, but even though all she wanted to do was burrow under the covers, she was out of tissues, and the dog needed to go outside.

        Glancing out her window, the weather had worsened. She almost would have been content putting out a pad for Gertie to go inside, but her tissues and cough medicine were in the back seat of her car. She had to go out regardless.

        “Come on, Gertie, time to pee.”

        With a whimper and a moan from her spot at the other end of the couch, her little rescue buried her face in the corner. Gertie was no dummy.

        “Look, if I have to go out, so do you. Your bladder is the size of a thimble, and it’s going to get even worse later.”

        The dog sighed—sighed her annoyance at Jordan. A dog with an attitude. Didn’t it figure? Gertie practically rolled off the plush cushion and settled on her back on the blue patterned rug. Her short little legs were straight up in the air, feigning death.

        Jordan felt pretty dead herself, but they still had to go outside.

The wind howled, and all the windows in the cottage shook like it was going to lift up and fly away. Gust after gust provided a not-so-subtle reminder that the nor’easter currently blowing across Long Island was going to make all their lives miserable. This storm was brutal. It had been wreaking havoc for the last twelve hours and based on the latest weather report it had slowed down to a crawl, meaning it was going to stick around for a while.

        Grabbing the dog’s leash, Jordan gently nudged the little furry blob on the floor. Nothing. She didn’t budge. “Gertie! Come on!”

        Ninety-nine percent of the time, she loved the little mutt. This moment definitely fell into the one percent.

        After she broke her engagement, Jordan had the sudden urge to have a pet. A lot of people told her it would pass, but she knew that wasn’t the case. Jordan needed unconditional love in her home, so she kept her eyes open for the right opportunity. She couldn’t handle a puppy or a kitten, so when she wandered around a rescue fair one Sunday this past September, she found herself completely enamored with Gertie. A stubby-legged little mutt, Gertie was a tube of golden fur with a pointy snout and big, soulful brown eyes. She was about five years old, and her owner had just died, leaving the little dog all alone.

        Jordan felt a kinship with the pooch, and took her home that day.

        Lina Rinaldi, who usually frowned on her cottage tenants having pets, took to the dog right away, and Gertie loved the older woman right back.

        As Jordan stared at the lump still upside down on the floor, she was about ready to offer Mrs. Rinaldi full custody. Then a deep, rasping cough shook Jordan to the core. It racked her body violently, and pain shot around her chest. God, she felt awful.

        “Come on,” she said firmly to the pooch. “We’ll skip the leash this time. Out and in. Let’s get this over with.”

        Gertie rolled over and trotted to the front door, giving Jordan the side eye as she waited. Donning her parka and a pair of lined wellies that she pulled over her pajama pants, Jordan grabbed the remote and unlocked her car. When she opened the front door, she was hit by a blast of wind, rain, and sleet that stung her cheeks and chilled her to the bone. “Lord, it’s miserable.” Looking down at Gertie, she nodded. “Okay, let’s make this quick.”

        The two of them bolted outside, with Gertie heading for her favorite patch of grass and Jordan heading for her car. She stopped when she coughed so hard she could barely breathe. It hurt. She’d never had a chest cold that hurt so much. Finally, yanking open the door, she heard her pooch barking from the small covered porch. Jordan grabbed the bag that was filled with some basic food provisions, juice, tea, tissues, and a selection of over-the-counter cold remedies. She slammed the car door shut, and on her way back inside she noticed the whitecaps on Jennings Bay. The wind was forcing massive amounts of water into the coves and harbors around town, and she hoped the it didn’t breach the seawall surrounding the property. Jordan’s cottage was closer to Cove Road, but the Rinaldis’ big house was at risk.

        Without any further delay, Jordan made it back to the porch, feeling chilled and soaked to the bone despite all the foul weather gear she’d put on. Gertie was barking frantically, having positioned herself under the old wooden swing, and Jordan was starting to lose her patience.

        “Gertie, what the hell is the problem?”

        That’s when she heard the groan and crack. Jordan looked up just as a large section of an old oak tree, about fifty feet from the house, gave way. Throwing her body against the wall to avoid any debris, Jordan watched as the massive tree split in half and came crashing down, crushing her car in the process.

        If she had waited ten more seconds to head outside, Jordan would have been killed.

        Frozen in place for—she didn’t know how long—Jordan startled when a large, strong arm wrapped around her.

        She looked away from the wreckage in the front yard and into the gorgeous face of Nick Rinaldi.
“Damn. Are you alright?”

        Was she? She wasn’t sure. Jordan tried to answer, but she had trouble catching her breath. Sucking in air, he kept her steady when they walked into the house.

        Waiting for the dog before he closed the door, Nick sat her on the bench in the entryway. Glancing in the canvas tote from the market, his brow furrowed.

        “You’re sick? What’s wrong?”

        With a low rattling cough that had him pressing the back of his hand to her forehead, she muttered, “Chest cold.”

        Shaking his head, he helped her off with her boots and jacket. “Let’s get you settled in bed, and I’ll go get my bag. You’ve got a lot more than a chest cold.”

        “My car…”
“We can’t do anything about your car until the storm passes, so put it out of your head. It’s the last thing you need to worry about.”

        “Are you kidding? Not worry about it?” How was she supposed to get to work or see her dad? How was she supposed to do anything if she didn’t have a car? The pain in her chest wasn’t just from her cough at that moment, but at the wave of dread—helplessness—that rushed through her.

        “One thing at a time.” Nick, a former Navy doctor, was single minded. And as much as Jordan didn’t want to admit it, he was right. In this weather, there was nothing she could do.

        “Come on,” he said. “Lead the way.”

        “I’ll be fine,” she said, stopping in her tracks. Those few words taxed her already strained system. She coughed painfully into her arm while Nick guided her into her room. The coughing spell was so violent, ripping at her tender lungs, she couldn’t even object as he tucked her into bed.

        Sick as she was, Jordan wasn’t blind. Nick Rinaldi had been on her radar since he landed back in Compass Cove the previous fall. The guy was gorgeous, smart, and a gentleman to the core. But he’d settled back in with his grandparents almost six months ago, and other than a token hello, or a polite smile, he rarely spoke to her.

        Still, with his lean frame, dark hair, and kind eyes, he checked a lot of boxes.

She thought she heard him mutter something about being stubborn, but her lack of breath didn’t allow a response. If anyone was stubborn, he was. The man of mystery was a well-known do-gooder, and obviously she was his next project. There was only one problem with that. She didn’t want his help. Needing people was a slippery slope, and Jordan had no intention of heading down that way again.

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About the author and where to find her:

Moon_Headshot_2015Jeannie Moon, author of fifteen novels, has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. Married to her high school sweetheart, Jeannie has three kids, three lovable dogs and a mischievous cat and lives in her hometown on Long Island, NY. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.

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SWEEPSTAKES

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Part-Time Husband (Trophy Husbands Series) by Noelle Adams

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Part Time HusbandOn a Wednesday afternoon, I ask Trevor Bentley to marry me. He might be the most arrogant, obnoxious man I know, but I need him to be my husband for a year.

There are reasons.

He’s not going to be a real husband. Just part-time. Yes, I have to live with him. And, okay, I also have to share his bed. And, sure, he’s the sexiest and most exciting thing to ever happen to my controlled, organized life.

But still… It’s only a part-time marriage. I’m not going to give him my heart. I know what I’m doing, and I’m too smart to fall for my husband.

I hope.

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Excerpt from Part-Time Husband (Trophy Husbands Series):

The flash of annoyance I feel at his smug expression is enough to get me going again. I say in my most poised voice, “I have a proposition for you.”

No sense in wasting time in small talk. That’s not my way or Trevor’s.

He leans back in his chair, his eyes lingering on my face. Instead of looking like he’s descending from a pedestal, now he looks more like he’s solving a riddle. “A proposition?”

“Yes. A good one.”

“I realize Pop’s needs help with advertising, if those tacky commercials you’ve been running are any indication, but you have to know I’m no longer interested in working for you.”

My fingers tighten around the portfolio I’ve just picked up again, but I manage not to display my resentment on my face.

Tacky commercials.

He just said it outright to my face.

Yes, I happen to agree with his assessment, but still… Who does that?

“I’m not offering you a job with Pop’s,” I say, my voice almost prim in its coolness. “I actually have a favor to ask you, and so I’ve got something to offer you in return. Something you’ll want.”

His lips part just slightly, and I notice because my eyes keep slipping down to his lips.

So kill me. He’s got the sexiest mouth I’ve ever seen.

“What do I want?” he asks after a moment’s pause.

This part is easy. I slide a contract out of my portfolio and hand the stack of papers to him. He reaches to take it and then scans the top sheet with a bullet-point summary of the contract.

Basically, it’s an agreement for his company to develop a regional advertising campaign for Pop’s for a very large amount of money. I had to pull from other budget lines to find the financing for it, but I know any campaign Trevor puts together will at least double the money expended. He’s that good.

Both his eyebrows go up as he reads.

Very slowly his eyes (like dark chocolate) rise again to my face. “You must need a very big favor.”

“I do.”

While I don’t know the ins and outs of Trevor’s contracts with other companies, I have a general sense of the level he’s working at. He’s good enough that he could have made a success of it in New York or LA, but for some reason five years ago he moved back to Charleston, where he was raised. Most of the jobs his agency handles are local or statewide. The one I’m offering him has to be bigger than anything else he’s done yet.

He looks back down at the top sheet. “This is for real?”

“Yes, it’s for real.”

“Pop will never go for this. He despises me.” It’s not at all surprising that Trevor knows Pop’s opinion of him. Everyone knows.

“Yes, he does. But advertising got moved last year, and now it’s under me. I make the decisions. This is real. I’m willing to sign that contract right now.”

“But it’s not just because I’m so good.”

“No. It’s not because you’re so good. We need some better advertising, but we’re not desperate. I’m going to have to put up with a lot a grief from my in-house folks and from Pop to make this deal with you, so I need something in return.”

“A favor?”

“Yes. A favor.”

I’ve been killing it so far—sounding cool and professional and exactly on his level. I’ve even managed to keep my expression perfect and not blush the way I sometimes do when I’m emotionally discomposed.

But now the moment has arrived, and the truth is I’m nervous.

More than nervous. Scared as hell.

I’m about to ask this arrogant man to marry me.

Trevor waits a beat. “Are you planning to tell me what the favor is?”

It’s time. I have to just say it. “I need you to marry me for a year.”

Copyright© 2018 Noelle Adams

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About the author and where to find her:

Noelle Adams PhotoNoelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

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SWEEPSTAKES

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: The Surviving Girls (Book #3: Hidden Sins Series) by Katee Robert

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ROBERT-THESURVIVINGGIRLDS-24707-CV-FT-v1Twelve years ago, Lei Zhang and her friend Emma Nilsson miraculously lived through the notorious Sorority Row Murders that left twenty-one of their sisters dead. Still wrestling with the trauma but finally out of the limelight, Lei and Emma are now devoted to helping other victims find closure. But most disturbing for Lei—beyond the gut-wrenching survivor guilt—is that the killer was her boyfriend. He’s behind bars, but she’ll never lower her guard again.

When a copycat killer targets Lei and Emma, FBI Agent Dante Young is put in charge of anticipating the sociopath’s every move. But what he doesn’t expect is his immediate and overpowering attraction to Lei. The closer they get to each other, the more desperate and terrifying the questions become: Who wants to finish what the killer started—and why?

Now Agent Young vows to protect Lei at all costs. If they have any chance of a future together, first they have to stay alive…

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Excerpt from The Surviving Girls (Book #3: Hidden Sins Series):

Watching the women interact was fascinating on a level Dante wasn’t prepared for. He’d known Lei and Emma lived together, but he hadn’t had the opportunity to take a step back and consider the implications of that arrangement. Emma teetered on the edge of a breakdown and used Lei to pull herself back from the ledge . . . everything made a lot more sense.

They’d formed a symbiotic relationship, of sorts.

There wasn’t much data concerning situations like this one, mostly because they rarely arose, and each case was too individual to tie together in nice, easy studies. It stood to reason, though, that coming out of that sorority house as the only two survivors would send these women into one of two futures. In one, they never saw each other and pretended the other didn’t exist rather than be faced with the perpetual reminder of what they’d gone through.

In the other, they realized that no one would ever know what they went through as intimately as the other person who survived—and leaned on each other as result.

Lei was the one who finally met his gaze, and hell if her inky-dark eyes didn’t take his breath away despite the circumstances. Clarke had pulled both women’s photos on the way over there, but they were old—from their sorority days. Both beautiful in their own way, though they were a study in opposites. Emma had the sweet southern thing going for her, all blonde hair, big innocent blue eyes, and curves that suggested southern cooking. He couldn’t tell if her soft tone was practiced or natural, but it pricked at him every time she spoke.

Lei . . . She was something else altogether. She was petite in a way that should have read frail but reminded him of a blade waiting to be unsheathed. There were muscles beneath her light-brown skin, and he guessed that she’d have no problem keeping up with the monster dog at her feet during a search. Her straight black hair was pulled back into a no-nonsense ponytail, which left her features in stark relief. Beautiful, but doesn’t like to draw attention to it. Might as well have tried to hide the sky.

Fuck, get it together. You’re here to interview them, not to lose your damn mind over Lei Zhang.

Yes, she was beautiful, but he’d dealt with beautiful women before without jeopardizing his professional persona. Dante didn’t know what it was about this woman that called to something in him, but he had to shelve it.

He couldn’t afford to be distracted.

She clasped Emma’s hand but turned her body to face him more fully. “The night of the murders, I let Travis Berkley into the Omega Delta Lambda house. We’d been dating four months and he told me he had a surprise.” Her lips twisted. “It was against the rules, but girls broke the rules all the time.”

He noted her knuckles whitening where she held Emma’s hand, but her voice maintained its steady tone. “We had sex. Approximately an hour later, something changed. I still have problems putting it into words. Travis just . . . shifted. It was like he’d taken off a mask and I didn’t recognize the man beneath. He hit me. A few times.” She absentmindedly touched the little hooked scar on her cheekbone. From Travis’s ring. “I passed out. When I woke up, he’d barricaded my door shut and I could hear their screams.”

Lei’s breath hitched, and it was almost as if she inhaled and Emma exhaled. The blonde lifted her chin. “I was in the basement studying when it started. Finals were coming up, and I was struggling in history and needed the extra study time. The first sign of something wrong was Travis hauling Sarah—” She cut herself off and flinched. “I’m sorry. It’s hard to say their names, even now.”

Clarke huffed out a breath. “You don’t have to name every single girl he killed. We know their names. We know their stories. We just want to hear how it all went down from your perspective.”

They wouldn’t find anything new here. Dante knew it, and he suspected Clarke knew it, too. These two women had told their stories countless times over the years, and if there was information they hadn’t shared before now, he highly doubted this would be the time it’d magically come out.

Hearing the story through their own voices was a whole hell of a lot more jarring than reading it in the file, however.

Emma took them through it. How Travis Berkley brought the entire house of girls into that basement, how he was charming and terrifying and told them that he’d let them go one by one . . . if they did exactly as he asked. It wasn’t until the night was over and no one had come to save them that the remaining girls realized what was happening, and even then, they were too afraid to try to overpower him.

Herd mentality. Travis had to have known he could manipulate the whole group as long as he got them scared and in a single place. They believed the pretty lie because the truth was impossible to wrap their minds around.

Emma’s voice shook. “There were still . . . ten of us left when I realized I wasn’t getting out of that house alive—that none of the girls had gotten out alive like he’d promised. When he took the next girl, I hid under the couch.”

“None of those girls saw you hide?” Clarke frowned. “I find that hard to believe.”

“I don’t know. I don’t . . .” She dropped her gaze as if she couldn’t bear to hold her head up any longer. “We were in shock at that point—just sitting there, lost in ourselves. We didn’t talk. We didn’t even look at each other. We just sat there and . . . contemplated the fact we were going to die. I don’t know if they even noticed I was gone. I hid until every single one of them was gone. And he just . . . walked out.”

“He came for me. I guess it was then.” Lei didn’t shrink in on herself. She seemed to grow taller, sit straighter. “I heard him removing the barricade and I panicked. After listening to that all night . . .” She shook her head. “I knew what would happen if he got back into my room, so I climbed out the window.”

Clarke went still. “I saw the list of your injuries. You had a broken arm, your knee was so fucking swollen you shouldn’t have been able to walk, and you had several head wounds and a handful of broken ribs on top of that. How the hell did you climb out a window?”

Lei shrugged on shoulder. “He would kill me if I didn’t. I figured falling to my death was preferable to letting Travis have me, so I took my chances.”

It was only sheer dumb luck that it was late enough in the morning that a student jogging past saw Lei. By the time he’d come back with help, Lei was unconscious in the flower bed and Travis was gone.

Dante sat back, going over the story again in his head. As he suspected, there was no new information, but they’d have been remiss if they didn’t go over it one more time. He exchanged a look with Clarke. The killings in Seattle held some key differences. He didn’t think any of the girls had willingly let the unsub in, and he had carved his message into their bodies when he was through.

A message that might or might not have been meant for Travis Berkley. Hard to believe that someone who’d gone through the trouble of researching the murders would get the killer’s name wrong, but the alternative was that the girls’ deaths were meant as tribute to someone else. Both possibilities stretched the realm of belief and didn’t make a damn bit of sense.

The tension in the room grew like it was a living thing, coiling and snapping between the four of them. Once Dante and Clarke left, things would move quickly. They had to talk to Berkley. They had to head back to Seattle to go over things again with Detective Smith and the ME. They had to track down this bastard before he continued with whatever plan he’d begun with those girls’ deaths.

Dante, at least, would have the comfort of motion to keep him distracted from the scenes that he’d witnessed. Lei and Emma wouldn’t have even that. He leaned forward, catching Lei’s attention. “We can assign a protection detail. I don’t think you’re in any immediate danger, but if it would help ease your mind, I’ll make some calls.”

Lei’s lips quirked up at the edges, but the smile never came close to reaching her eyes. “Dante—Agent Young—we were in immediate danger the second that asshole singled Travis out as someone he wanted to emulate. We’re more than capable of taking care of ourselves.”

Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

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Praise for The Hidden Sins Series:

“…a captivating read, made all the more rewarding when good triumphs.” —Washington Post on The Devil’s Daughter

“Robert shows off her impressive versatility in this fast-paced and inventive new Hidden Sins series. The small-town setting is a masterful blend of quaint and oppressive, which ratchets the menace and thrill factor. The protagonists carry the full weight of their pasts with them, making their growing relationship as compelling as the mystery element in The Devil’s Daughter. With plenty of twists and betrayals, this is a book that is sure to earn Robert a wealth of new fans.” RT Book Reviews on The Devil’s Daughter

 “Katee Robert has definitely picked up the romantic suspense genre and made it her bitch. I can’t wait to see what we get next. Given some of the books I see she’s been using for research, I know it’s going to be frightening and amazing at the same time.” —Goodreads Review

“Every bit as complex as book one but with a totally different storyline, The Hunting Grounds once again proved Katee Robert is more than capable of spinning a thrilling romantic suspense tale that will keep readers on their toes.” Harlequin Junkie on The Hunting Grounds (recommended read)

 “Filled with suspense and lot of unpredictable twists and turns…Gripping.” Life at 17on The Hunting Grounds

THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER:  Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

THE HUNTING GROUNDS:  Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author and where to find her:

KateeRobertNew York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.”  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. 

 Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram

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Mini-Review: The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson

MumNate Turner has a nice life. He has a steady job as a driving examiner, and lives with his wife Sinead and son Flynn in a lovely house in a good part of town. Yes, it’s a very nice life.

Until one morning Nate comes downstairs to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table, listing all the many things that Nate does wrong – or doesn’t do at all.

Now, somehow, Nate needs to show Sinead he can change – fast. But as Nate works on being a better husband and dad, his life changes in amazing and unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?

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Source: Netgalley          My Rating: 2½/5 stars

The Bottom Line: Based on the description and the bright, fun cover, I think I expected this book to be something more than it is.  I expected this to be a funny and heartwarming read and what I got was quite the opposite.  What’s more, with the exception of one character, Flynn, I didn’t find a single character worth liking in this book.  Sinead is extremely selfish and unwilling to admit she had a significant part in the collapse of her marriage and Nate is just completely clueless about everything.  I stayed with this book all the way through to the end because I kept hoping something would salvage this book for me, but alas, that just didn’t pan out.  With all that being said, I would have absolutely DNF’d this book if the writing quality had been bad.  That is not the case at all and I can’t find any complaint with the mechanics of this book.  At the end of the day, this just wasn’t the story for me, but I can see it being quite an appealing and enjoyable read for many readers.

 

Spotlight: Whatever It Takes (Book #3: Healing Hearts Series) by Laura Farr

 

Title: Whatever it Takes

Series: Healing Hearts #3

Author: Laura Farr

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 24, 2018

 

When Quinn Montgomery leaves the horrors of her past behind
her, she never expects to run straight into the arms of a blue-eyed cowboy.
Sneaking into the stables and getting caught in a life-threatening fire was
never part of the plan. And neither was falling in love with the man who saved
her life, Brody Parker. 
 
The two share an undeniable connection, and slowly Quinn
begins to open up about her past. Putting her trust in the wrong person has
burned her before, so when Brody asks her to stay at the ranch, she can’t help
but wonder if she’s about to make another bad decision by staying. A decision
that could hurt everyone she’s come to care for. 
 
Will Quinn choose to run from the past that threatens to
catch up with her? Or will she stay and fight, sacrificing whatever it takes
for the man who sets her heart on fire?

 

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Author Bio

Laura Farr lives in Shropshire with her husband and
two children. When she isn’t working, or being a Mummy she is pursuing her dream of writing.
She is a romantic at heart and loves nothing more than writing stories with a happy ever after, even if there is the odd chapter of angst thrown in! Her desire to write came from her love of  reading and when she isn’t writing you will find her  attached to her kindle or spending time with her family.

 

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Spotlight: Dirty Rich Cinderella Story by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Dirty Rich Cinderella Story

Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Release Date: May 23, 2018
A new sexy standalone from Lisa Renee Jones…
 
SEDUCED FOR A NIGHT. TAKEN FOREVER.
 
With only nine months left at Stanford, and despite being top of her law school class, Lori Havens takes leave to care for her sick mother. That means she juggles three jobs, the best of which is researcher for novelist, and syndicated columnist of “Cat Does Crime,” Cat Summer.
 
One evening after finishing up her work at Cat’s apartment building, Lori has an encounter with a sexy stranger, and does something out of character. She goes home with him. The night is perfect, he’s perfect, wealthy, powerful and from out of town. Morning comes, and despite their connection, Lori leaves before he finds out she’s far from the equal he believes her to be. She’s not a charity case and she’s not after his money. She will make her own. In other words, she leaves before her prince charming finds out she’s no princess.
 
Flash forward a few months, Lori’s mother is healing, and Cat’s husband, Reese, has merged his firm with another and Lori lands an internship there, with school credit and scholarship money.. Everything is falling into place. That is until fate reveals a wicked twist of events and Lori walks into a conference room to find her new boss, Cole Brooks, one of the partners, is her one-night prince charming. One sizzling shared look across a boardroom, and it’s clear: this man is not done with her. It’s not long before Lori is informed that she’ll be working high profile cases with her one night prince charming which will require long nights and travel, starting immediately.

I own you.
 
With those words, my words, my intent in the air, and my fingers still tangled in Lori’s hair, I kiss her, a deep, possessive kiss meant to claim her, take her, make her mine, if only for this night. And she knows it too, because when my lips part hers, she pants out, “No one owns me.”
 
“Then, sweetheart, you’ve never been properly fucked.” I slide my hands under her jacket, settling my palms on her shoulders.
 
“I guess that depends on how you define properly.”
 
I turn her to face in the opposite direction, dragging the jacket down her arms and tangling it around her wrists, and then I lean in close. “As dirty as possible,” I promise. “And with you on my tongue, in as many ways as we both find possible.”
 
“Is this how you own me?” she demands. “By binding my arms?”
 
“As much as I’d like to have you at my mercy, sweetheart,” I say, tossing the jacket aside, and turning her to face me, “I’m selfish enough to want your hands and mouth fully available, in any way, shape, or place you so choose to use them.” I walk us backward, toward the oversized chair made perfectly for the kind of hot, wild fuck in our near future, before my hands fall from her waist. “I want to watch you undress.”
 
“When do you undress?” she challenges.
 
“We have one condom, sweetheart. Let’s make it last. Undress for me, Lori.”
 
Her teeth scrape her bottom lip, and for just a moment, her eyes cut, but not before I see the flicker of nerves in her stare. And right then, I know that I’ve read her accurately up to this point. I know that her control is both a necessity and a wall that protects her. I know that no one has made it safe for her to leave those things at the door. No one has ever seen her really truly naked and the only way that happens, is to do exactly what I’m doing. Push her out of her comfort zone, pull her into the moment, where she forgets the walls, and lives nowhere but here in the moment. That’s the place where nothing exists but the two of us.
 
Her eyes meet mine again, and I see the decision in them. She’s not going to run like she did on the street tonight. She unzips her skirt, and caresses it down her slender, but curvy hips. It pools at her feet, and she kicks it aside, allowing me to admire her long legs in lacy thigh-high hose, my gaze catching on the slender strip of lace in the vee of her body.
 
Her fingers catch on the hem of her blouse, and she tries to hide the small, inhaled breath of courage she draws before pulling it and her loose bra over her head. She tosses it, and stands before me, creamy pale perfection in nothing but silk and lace, her breasts high, full, nipples puckered to a pretty pink that will soon be in my mouth. “You’re beautiful,” I say. “Come here.”
 
“Quid pro quo,” she declares. “I’m naked, you’re naked.”
 
We’re still doing the push and pull, but I don’t mind, not when my mouth is soon to be all over her body, which means her mouth will soon be all over my body. I don’t want her kneeling before me unless it’s to put her mouth on my cock. That’s not my goal, not this time, at least. It’s to own her, and that means she is so damn present, she can’t think, she can only feel. That takes trust and I decide to meet her halfway. I sit down and take off a shoe, showing it to her before setting it down.
 
“So now I get a socked foot?” she teases, and I can feel a hint of her tension easing away, her comfort in her own skin begins to settle into place. I can feel her easing into me and the night, letting me glimpse the real woman, not the stranger.
 
And I find that I surprise myself by how much I want to know this woman, not just fuck her.
 
“The pants don’t come off with the shoes on,” I tell her, and by the time I’ve removed the second shoe, she’s standing in front of me, every creamy white, naked inch of her. She grabs it and tosses it.
 
“Now the pants,” she orders, making it clear that she’s no submissive, that she can hold her own, and I fucking love it. “Or the shirt.”
 
I reach for her hips and walk her between my legs. “You’ve distracted me,” I tell her, my lips brushing her belly, my tongue drawing a circle. She trembles beneath my mouth, and I glance up at her. “You’re owned when you can think of nothing but the person you’re with. Nothing but what they might do to you now, and in the next moment.” I twine the string at her hips in my fingers. “Or where they might lick, kiss, or touch.” I drag her panties down her legs and then lower my mouth to her sex, where I let my breath tease her. “Tell me to lick you,” I order.
 
Her fingers curl around the material over my shoulders. “No.”
 
I bite my bottom lip and shake my head. “That’s too bad, because I really wanted to know how you taste.” I nip her hip and when she gives a surprised yelp I lave the wound with my tongue, glancing up at her. “Do you want me to—?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Say it, Lori…”
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.
 
In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is also the author of the bestselling WHITE LIES and LILAH LOVE series. 
 
Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.