Vagabonda Reads

Bohemian in Thought and Deed . . .

Monthly Archives: February 2016

10 Things You Didn’t Know About AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER —

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AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER

by

STEPHANIE DRAY and LAURA KAMOIE

 

About AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER —

IMG_3246In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.

It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.

Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

 

– PURCHASE LINKS  –

 

AMAZON  BARNES and NOBLE  iBOOKS  KOBO

 

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– ABOUT THE AUTHORS –

 

About Stephanie Dray:

DrayAuthorPhotoSTEPHANIE DRAY is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

 

 

Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter 

 AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Website

 

About Laura Kamoie:

IMG_3248LAURA KAMOIE has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

 

Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter 

 AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Website

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Release Day Launch and Review Dance of Desire by Christopher Rice

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We are thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for DANCE OF DESIRE by Christopher Rice! DANCE OF DESIRE is a novella brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. DANCE OF DESIRE is the first contemporary romance told with the author’s trademark humor and heart. It also introduces readers to a quirky and beautiful town in the Texas Hill Country called Chapel Springs. Grab your copy of this sexy novella today!

 


AMAZON eBOOK   AMAZON PAPERBACK 

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

DANCE OF DESIRE - CoverWhen Amber Watson walks in on her husband in the throes of extramarital passion with one of his employees, her comfortable, passion-free life is shattered in an instant. Worse, the fate of the successful country music bar that bears her family’s name suddenly hangs in the balance. Her soon to be ex-husband is one of the bar’s official owners; his mistress, one of its employees. Will her divorce destroy her late father’s legacy?

Not if Amber’s adopted brother Caleb has anything to do with it. The wandering cowboy has picked the perfect time for a homecoming. Better yet, he’s determined to use his brains and his fists to put Amber’s ex in his place and keep the family business intact. But Caleb’s long absence has done nothing to dim the forbidden desire between him and the woman the State of Texas considers to be his sister.

Years ago, when they were just teenagers, Caleb and Amber shared a passionate first kiss beside a moonlit lake. But that same night, tragedy claimed the life of Caleb’s parents and the handsome young man went from being a family friend to Amber’s adopted brother. Has enough time passed for the two of them to throw off the roles Amber’s father picked for them all those years ago? Will their desire for each other save the family business or put it in greater danger?

DANCE OF DESIRE is the first contemporary romance from award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice, told with the author’s trademark humor and heart. It also introduces readers to a quirky and beautiful town in the Texas Hill Country called Chapel Springs.

READER ADVISORY. DANCE OF DESIRE contains fantasies of dubious consent, acted on by consenting adults. Readers with sensitivities to those issues should be advised.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

“What time was it last night when you saw the moon?”she’d asked him.

“Past midnight.”

“But you only went to bed at eleven.”

“I couldn’t sleep.”

They both knew what thoughts were keeping him awake, thoughts of his father’s drinking and of how crazy his mother was going trying to rein it all in.

“Wake me up next time,” she’d told him. “I’ll keep you company.”

Such simple words, but she’d felt like she was jumping off the edge of a cliff when she’d said them. Instead of answering, Caleb gave her a long look as he fiddled with the leg of his shorts. She’d silently cursed herself, called herself an idiot and worse.

Caleb was just a friend. Honestly, he wasn’t even that, was he? Circumstances had Dance of Desire - RWB Teaser 2thrown them together, that was all. He was the son of her father’s best friend, so they were basically like distant cousins, only with no shared blood in their veins. Crazy of her to think there might be more there.

If her friends could see her now, they’d probably laugh at her; the same friends who’d swooned that day her father had picked her up from school with Caleb in the passenger seat of his truck, and Caleb, wearing a Stetson that was about a half-size too big for his head, had given them a cocky grin, looked right into her eyes and said, Afternoon, pretty lady. Not afternoon pretty ladies, even though she’d had about four other girls standing on the curb next to her when he’d said it.

Clearly she’d made way too much of that moment. Sometimes afternoon just meant, afternoonand pretty lady was what a guy called you when he was trying to look cool.

Or so she’d thought earlier that day. Before he took her up on her offer and woke her up in the middle of the night so they could look at the moon together.

Which they do.

Because it’s beautiful.

When he lowers his right hand, the same hand with which he was just pointing to the night sky, her breath catches. Every muscle in her body tenses in anticipation.

Where will it land?

 

 

– REVIEW –

Amber Watson and Caleb Eckhart have been in love with each other since they were teenagers. Their parents are the closest of friends. But one night, a tragic twist of fate ensures that Amber and Caleb will never be more than siblings.  Yep, siblings.

When Caleb’s parents are killed in a car accident, it falls upon Amber’s family to take in the orphaned teenager. Which they willingly do — Abel and Tina Watson think of Caleb as a son.  But in order for Caleb to truly be their son, the Watsons ask that he forsake the romantic love he holds for Amber and consider her to be a true sibling. Amber’s mother, Tina eventually explains:

“ ‘Cause what Caleb needed more than anything was a family and you had to be part of that family, no matter what.  And like it or not — and I didn’t like it, not one bit — there was only one way your daddy knew how to make that happen.”

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Okay, let’s get this right out of the way: This is not a tale of incestuous love. Caleb and Amber are not biological siblings. They are in no way related. But because “Daddy” Watson came down hard on this “sibling” mandate, by the time Amber and Caleb have grown into adults, they’re pretty messed up in the love department. Understandably, Caleb and Amber’s lives have taken them in different directions and both end up marrying the wrong people.

Fortunately there is some Divine Justice in the Universe, as upon the death of “Daddy” Able Watson, a newly divorced Caleb is appointed trustee of his adoptive father’s estate. Which, in turn, is a godsend to Amber, as her slime ball ex-husband is just about to cheat Amber of her rightful share of said Daddy’s estate.

Things begin to immediately crackle and sizzle between Caleb and Amber, but what’s a good story without a little angst? It takes a while for these two to get their act together and ultimately, it takes an intervention by an interested party to get this show on the road. In the meantime, characters pop in and out from various 1001 Dark Nights Series novellas and it’s like old home week.

Dance of Desire by Christopher Rice is offering number four in this years 1001 Dark Nights roster.

Author Rice has a gift for creating original characters. His Texas gents may wear big hats and his ladies may have “air in their hair” but to call them stereotypical would be unjust — each character rings true.

Woven throughout this story are references to Rice’s hugely popular Desire Exchange Series, and well as Liliana Hart’s beloved MacKenzie Family Series. Plus, we get an introduction to The Haven Creek Inn (some great action going on there, folks — wink, wink). While it’s always nice to see some friendly faces in the crowd, it did feel at times that some of the cross-series interactions were less Dance of Desire related and more of a marketing strategy.

An enjoyable, quick read — at times funny, at times angsty —  and containing some “hallelujah” sex, Dance of Desire delivers on its title.

Note:  This is an adult romance, written for an adult audience. While taboos are suggested in this material, it is not incestuous.  Dance of Desire does contain adult themes, and as such, is great bedtime reading for the adults and not the kiddies.

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

*I received a copy of this novella from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

– BUY THE BOOK –

AMAZON eBOOK   AMAZON PAPERBACK

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

CHRISTOPHER RICE

 

Christopher Rice - author photoAfter publishing four New York Times bestselling thrillers by the age of 30 and being declared one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive, award-winning writer Christopher Rice became the first author to make his erotic romance debut part of the 1,001 DARK NIGHTS series. THE FLAME: A Desire Exchange Novella kicked off a steamy new series set in New Orleans, featuring magical candles and a sexy new breed of supernatural beings, The Radiants, who are devoted to helping heroes and heroines realize their heart’s desire. THE FLAME earned accolades from some of the biggest names in erotic romance and was quickly followed up by THE SURRENDER GATE: A Desire Exchange Novel, available from Evil Eye Concepts as a Blue Box Special. Aside from authoring eight works of dark suspense, Christopher is also the co-host and executive producer of THE DINNER PARTY SHOW WITH CHRISTOPHER RICE & ERIC SHAW QUINN, all the episodes of which can be downloaded at TheDinnerPartyShow.com and from iTunes. Make sure you’re subscribed to The Dinner Party Show’s You Tube channel to receive their newest content in 2016.

Website | Facebook | Twitter 

 DANCE OF DESIRE on Goodreads

Dance of Desire - Now Available

 

 

 

 

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Release Blitz: Booty Call by Ainsley Booth


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BOOTY CALL

by

AINSLEY BOOTH

 

 

Buy The Book

 

Amazon US  Amazon UK  

Amazon CA  Nook  Kobo

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– SYNOPSIS – 

 

BootyCalleBookCover.jpgI know what I’m doing when I text Scott at four in the morning.

He knows what I’m doing, too.

That’s why he shows up twenty-three minutes later, freshly showered with a condom in his pocket and a barely dissolved breath mint on his tongue.

I smirk as he looms over me. “You are such a dirty old man.”

“We need to stop doing this.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re twenty-one and I’m not. Because I want to take you on a f***ing date and you won’t. Because we wind up yelling at each other half the time.”

“But the rest of the time you’re inside me and it feels so good, right?”

His eyes darken and I don’t need to look down to know he’s hard for me.

 

* THIS IS A STANDALONE BOOK, CONNECTED TO THE HORUS GROUP SERIES *

– EXCERPT –

 

Scott

It’s obscene, this view of my cock sliding between her legs.

Beautiful, how wet she is for me. How slick her slit is, making me glide faster, rub harder.

That’s us. Beauty and the beast. My arms flex as I hold myself above her, surging our bodies together.

Almost fucking.

It’s even more perverted like this.

“See how much I’d fill you up,” I rasp, and she jerks her head up.

She was already watching, but now she’s looking right at me. Like she sees every twisted want in my head and they get her off. Blood pounds through my body. She licks her lips and the throb in my cock hurts so bad now.

“Yeah, I see,” she whispers. “You’re so big. You’ll never fit.”

That shouldn’t turn me on. It never has before, not like this. Not this fantasy. But it totally does. She writhes beneath me, taunting me to play, too. Fuck, yes. I press her legs wide and grind against her, my cock riding hard over her clit and onto her belly again. “I’d break you, Ali.”

“I want you to.” She reaches for me, winding her arms around my neck, and she tugs me down.

I could hold myself up. I could resist her. Make us both watch as her breath grows shallow, as her nipples tighten and her tits flush.

But if I let her bring me close for a kiss, if she wraps her legs around my hips, it’s going to feel…

“Oh,” she gasps, as the angle between us shifts, and suddenly, my cock is right there.

She’s so wet. It’s such a mindfuck, knowing that I can’t just slam into her.

My dick didn’t get the message. He’s drooling hard, a big fucking puppy dog barking at the park.

I don’t have a condom on. She’s never done this before.

We can’t.

She rolls her hips, and the tip—just the tip, holy fuck, it’s a wet dream come true—notches into place.

Yes. My mind scrambles with how good this feels.

“We can’t,” I mutter, and it’s so guttural I’m not even sure it’s English.

She kisses me, hot and frantic, her breath puffing against my mouth as she licks at me and looks down between us and then kisses me again.

“Come on,” she says. “Just a little bit. I just wanna feel you…” She whimpers as I press my hips. Just a little bit.

What she wants.

He’s not going in any further, not without one of us working hard for it. My balls pull tight, begging to blow their load in a virgin pussy, and she wants it. I want it. It’s the BootyCallTeaser1.jpgmiddle of the night and I can’t remember why this is a bad idea.

Two consenting adults.

A fucking shared craving that isn’t going anywhere, no matter what we do.

Heat and need are swirling around me now, binding me to her, but I can’t do this. I pull back, and this time I don’t let her hold me close. She growls beneath me, fierce and proud, and I haul her up and off the bed, holding her against me as I spin us so I’m sitting against her headboard and she’s on my lap.

My cock is safely wedged between us, his wet tip angrily slapping my belly.

“You want me inside you, Ali?”

She winds her hands into my hair. “You know I do. You got a virgin hang-up or something?”

I laugh, harsh and hollow. Or something. “You being a virgin isn’t a problem.”

She smirks. “I know it turns you on.” She licks her lips. “It turns me on, too. I wasn’t kidding when I said I want you to break me.”

“I’m not doing that to you. That’s not what sex is, Ali.”

“You going to teach me? I want to know every last dirty thing you know.”

“You’ve got Tumblr. You don’t need me to teach you.” My dick disagrees, and Ali makes this hungry little sound in her throat as my erection throbs between her legs.

“Stop perving on my Tumblr account, old man.” She rocks down my length. Back up again. Then she stops and grabs my hands. She presses them to her hips, then slides them up to her breasts. I love her tits so much. They’re ripe and firm and surprisingly heavy.

They’re fucking womanly. She’s making a point. Has been making it, and I’ve been missing it, and it’s a miracle she hasn’t punched me for being stupid.

We’re both breathing hard, and she whispers my name. I jerk my attention from her nipples—can’t blame me, come on, they’re perfect—to her face.

“I’m not a kid,” she says softly.

 

– RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY –

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

AINSLEY BOOTH

 

Mom by day and filthy romance writer by night, Ainsley is super grateful for caffeine, banana and blueberry muffins, and yoga pants.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Twitter  Facebook  Web  

Amazon page  Goodreads  Instagram

 

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Excerpt Tour: From Sanctum With Love by Lexi Blake

FROM SANCTUM WITH LOVE

Masters and Mercenaries, Book 10

By

LEXI BLAKE

Coming February 23, 2015

IMG_3197Psychologist Kai Ferguson has had his eye on Kori Williamson for a long time. His assistant is everything he’s ever wanted in a partner—smart, caring, witty, and a bit of a masochist. More than a little, actually, but that’s the problem. Kori won’t admit her own desires. She’s afraid of him and what he has to offer. Luckily for her, helping patients face their fears is one of his specialties.

Kori knows she wants Kai. Her boss is the most amazing man she’s ever met. She’s also smart enough to stay away from him. Having been down this road before, she knows it only leads to heartache. She’s just found a place where she can belong. Another failed relationship is the last thing she needs. It’s better to guard her heart and let Kai think she’s frightened of his dark, dominant nature.

When Kai is recruited for an operation with McKay-Taggart, everything is turned upside down. Kai’s brother, international superstar Jared Johns, is in town and Kai must juggle his family issues along with a desperate hunt for a serial killer. The investigation throws Kori and Kai together, and they quickly discover the chemistry between them is undeniable. But even if their newfound love can survive his secrets and her lies, it may not be enough to save them both from a killer’s twisted obsession.

 

– EXCERPT –

Kori heard some movement and then felt the whoosh of air caress her skin right before something thin and hard thwacked against her flesh. A gasp made her chest pulse as pure fire licked over her backside.

“This is a cane,” Kai explained. “It’s bamboo, nice and not too flexible. It leaves a mark if you apply enough force.” He brought it down on her again, this time on her thighs. Again, she struggled for breath. “Are you bored now, Kori?”

“No, Sir.” She barely managed to get the words out of her mouth.

“Excellent, then we’re making headway.” The cane came down again and again. “Where are we on the stoplight?”

“Green.” She didn’t even hesitate. The pain was doing its job, heating her up and making her soft. Each strike of the cane lit her up and then brought her back down, sinking deeper and deeper into that soft, fuzzy place of submission.

“Now we’re getting some truth.” He kept up his punishing pace. “She didn’t take her time trying to find a way out of what she didn’t want to say.”

“Why would she lie?” Jared asked.

“That’s a good question.” The blows continued, making her ache as Kai spoke. “I suspect she didn’t want anyone here to know that she’s a naughty masochist who can’t get off without a little bite of pain. Or a big one. She hasn’t accepted her nature. Or she has and expects that no one else will.”

“I accepted my nature a long time ago,” she managed to say.

The caning stopped and suddenly Kai’s boots were in view again. He dropped to one knee, that hard hand in her hair again. “Then tell me why.”

She couldn’t tell him. It was too much. “I’m yellow now, Kai. Don’t make me safe word out over an explanation I’m not ready to give.”

“Fine.” His hand moved from her hair down, skimming over her skin until his fingertips found her breast. Kai Ferguson was touching her breast. God, he was cupping her and she couldn’t breathe. “How about I put a scenario forth and you think about it for a few days. I think the reason you didn’t mention your utterly beautiful and sexy inclinations is me. You didn’t want me to know because you were perfectly aware that I’m the only one here who can possibly give you what you need. You knew that once I found out, I wouldn’t be able to help myself because you’re the only one who can do the same for me, baby. Do you know how fucking good I feel right now? How good this makes me feel?”

He rolled her nipple between his thumb and forefinger and twisted with a vicious bite that left her panting.

She squeezed her eyes closed because she couldn’t look at him, couldn’t see how beautiful he was. “It won’t work, Kai.”

Another nasty twist got her squirming. “It’s working right fucking now. Darling girl, your ass is up in the air and that means I can see how wet your pussy is. Tell me some other Dom here got you wet and ready.”

“You know I can’t.” She tugged at her restraints, but they didn’t move. The rope rubbed across her skin, keeping her here with him. She couldn’t run, and she had to admit she didn’t want to. She wanted this moment with him. Her pride might make her get up and stride away but every other part of her begged for what she’d denied herself for so long. He was the only man here who could give her what she needed. It wasn’t about who hit the hardest. Any of those other Doms could have adequately provided her with pain. She needed more. She needed connection, the ebb and flow of pain and pleasure coming from a man who was there with her.

Her dark shadow lover. Kai.

“I’m not the exhibitionist you are,” Kai admitted. “And that’s the only reason I’m not fucking you right now, but we’re going to have a long discussion in the morning about the way this needs to go. For tonight, I’m going to start the process that will allow you to remain friends with all those people you lied to. So you are going to give me everything I want. You’re going to cry for me. You’re going to let go and show them that you’ll cry for me.”

She shook her head. “You’re asking too much.”

“It’s cry or come, baby. One or the other, unless you want to find yourself in Big Tag’s office. Let me show him I can handle you.”

“I can’t. I haven’t done either in a very long time.” She hadn’t cried since leaving LA. She couldn’t. Wouldn’t. She hadn’t come either. Not a man-given orgasm. Her mind worked overtime. He wasn’t joking about getting called into Big Tag’s office. Whatever punishment Kai could come up with—nothing would touch Big Tag’s disapproval. They were all mad at her. It was enough to make her want to run away again.

Except it wasn’t that they wanted to see her humiliated. This punishment wasn’t about hurting her. It was about this group of people knowing that someone among them could take care of her. When she looked at it like that, it didn’t seem like punishment at all. It was about the Dominants giving a shit.

Morgan hadn’t cared when she’d lied to him. All he’d wanted was the next bit of work from her. After a while, he hadn’t cared about her finding subspace or her pent-up sexuality. He’d doled out the pain like it was bait for his trap. He would give her enough to ensure she stayed around and did what he needed her to do.

This wasn’t the same thing at all.

“I don’t want to cry in front of anyone, Kai.”

“Then let me show them you can let go in another way.”

 

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– PRE ORDER –

AMAZON AMAZON UK 

iTUNES GOOGLE PLAY

BARNES & NOBLE

 

❧❧❧❧❧❧❧

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

LEXI BLAKE

 
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her IMG_3192husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS – 

FACEBOOK  TWITTER  WEBSITE 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

 

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Sale: Tainted Black by Shanora Williams


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Sale Date: February 18th-21st, 2016

 

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Shanora Williams comes a steamy, forbidden standalone novel about a college woman who helplessly falls for her best friend’s father.

 

tainted black-ebook.jpgDear Mr. Black,

I know you were hurting. I heard your cries. I wished over and over again that I could make it better, but as you stated I was too inexperienced; too good for someone as bad as you.

Perhaps you were right, but it didn’t matter because what I did know was that I loved the way you felt—loved the way you smelled. I loved how hard you got for me, and when you called me your Little Knight.

I can still remember that day in the park, when you held me close and kissed me deep. How you effortlessly made me cry your name on top of sweet smelling grass, making me feel like the only girl in the world. I loved how you looked at me, how you spoke to me.

I had been madly in love with you ever since I was twelve years old, but I shouldn’t have been.

Isabelle would have hated it—my best friend. I couldn’t afford to lose her. Besides, you two had already lost enough. Losing Mrs. Black was the epitome.

It’s Chloe Knight.

I wanted to be there for you no matter what, but Isabelle needed me too.

And she would have hated me if she ever found out I was sleeping with her father.

 

** Tainted Black is a forbidden love-story about a girl who helplessly falls for her best friend’s father. After a tragic accident ends the life of Theo Black’s wife, he turns to the one person he has always found interesting.

Chloe Knight, the girl from across the street, his daughter’s best friend, and a person that is considered completely off limits for him. **

 

Amazon US Amazon UK Barnes & Noble

iBooks Kobo

 

 

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Review and Excerpt Tour: Mackenzie Family Series

Mackenzie Family Series Review and Excerpt Tour  banner

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Liliana Hart’s Mackenzie Family Series! Liliana Hart’s Mackenzie Family Series is brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. The novel and 5 novellas are all being released 2.16.16! Check out this amazing series below and grab your copy of each amazing story in the Mackenzie Family Series today!

 

A Letter from Liliana Hart:

Dear Readers,

I’m thrilled to be able to introduce the MacKenzie Family World to you. I asked five of my favorite authors to create their own characters and put them into the world you all know and love. These amazing authors revisited Surrender, Montana, and through their imagination you’ll get to meet new characters, while reuniting with some of your favorites.

These stories are hot, hot, hot—exactly what you’d expect from a MacKenzie story—and it was pure pleasure for me to read each and every one of them and see my world through someone else’s eyes. They definitely did the series justice, and I hope you discover five new authors to put on your auto-buy list.

Make sure you check out Troublemaker, a brand new, full-length MacKenzie novel written by me. And yes, you’ll get to see more glimpses of Shane before his book comes out next year.

So grab a glass of wine, pour a bubble bath, and prepare to Surrender.

 

Love Always,

Liliana Hart

 

DEEP TROUBLE

by

KIMBERLY KINCAID

 

 

 

– EXCERPT –

 

 

MacKenzie World_Kimberly Kincaid_300dpi_USA

 

He pushed himself out of the creaky bedside chair. While he wasn’t exactly Mr. Congeniality, or even a nice guy for that matter, she’d been through a shit-slide of emotions in the last day. A quick hey-how-are-ya couldn’t hurt.

But before Devon could make it halfway across the carpet, the bathroom door pushed open, and Kylie stepped silently over the threshold.
“Hey. I was just coming to—”

Devon’s words tripped to a halt in his throat. Kylie stood barely three steps away, wearing a thin white tank top and his borrowed sweatpants that she’d had to roll over her hips twice to even get them close to staying up. But her unconventional apparel wasn’t what had frozen him into place from lips to legs.

“You cut your hair,” he finally managed, and Christ, nobody would ever accuse him of being suave. But come on. She’d gone into the bathroom with a long, hot pink and black ponytail and now she was sporting a head full of chin-length, caramel colored hair that looked just tousled enough to be hot as fuck.

“Yeah, I…” Kylie broke off, taking a steady breath that outlined the press of her breasts against her tank top. “You were right. The pink was really obvious. I knew hiding it wasn’t going to work in the long run, and anyway, it’s just hair. So I cut it.”

“It looks…” Do not say wildly sexy, do not say wildly sexy, do not say… “You know. Pretty.”

Kylie’s laugh rode out on a soft puff of humorless breath, and man, she was a fighter. “I don’t know about all that, but I guess it’s not terrible. There were a few pieces in the back I couldn’t reach, though.”

She extended the scissors in her hand just far enough to hammer home her request, and Devon’s chin snapped up in shock.

“You want me to cut the rest of your hair?”

“Well, yeah. It’ll be pretty obvious if I leave it like this, won’t it?” she asked, gesturing to the handful of thick strands still cascading down her back.

Damn, she had a point. Still… “Cutting your hair is a little outside my wheelhouse, is all.”

Okay, so the words were a massive fucking understatement. Devon could dismantle an AR-15 with one hand chained to a radiator, but cutting Kylie’s hair?

Unless she handed over a pair of clippers and asked for a standard issue crew cut, he didn’t have clue one what to do.

But Kylie just served him with a no-nonsense stare. “This whole thing is outside my wheelhouse, Devon. But I trust you with my life. My hair is kind of the least of our worries, don’t you think?”

 

Deep Trouble Available Now

 

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Experience the Mackenzie Family Series Here…

 

Trouble Maker - cover

Liliana Hart’s Trouble Maker (A Mackenzie Family Novel)

Marnie Whitlock has never known what it’s like to be normal. She and her family moved from place to place, hiding from reporters and psychologists, all because of her gift. A curse was more like it. Seeing a victim, feeling his pain as the last of his life ebbed away, and being helpless to save him. It was torture. And then one day it disappeared and she was free. Until those who hunted her for her gift tried to kill her. And then the gift came back with a vengeance.

Beckett Hamilton leads a simple life. His ranch is profitable and a legacy he’ll be proud to pass onto his children one day, work fills his time from sunup to sundown, and his romances are short and sweet. He wouldn’t have it any other way. And then he runs into quiet and reserved Marnie Whitlock just after she moves to town. She intrigues him like no woman ever has. And she’s hiding something. His hope is that she begins to trust him before it’s too late.

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Rush - cover

Robin Covington’s Rush (A Mackenzie Family Novella)

Atticus Rush doesn’t really like people. Years in Special Ops and law enforcement showed him the worst of humanity, making his mountain hideaway the ideal place to live. But when his colleagues at MacKenzie Security need him to save the kidnapped young daughter of a U.S. Senator, he’ll do it, even if it means working with the woman who broke his heart his ex-wife.

Lady Olivia Rutledge-Cairn likes to steal things. Raised with a silver spoon and the glass slipper she spent years cultivating a cadre of acquaintances in the highest places. She parlayed her natural gift for theft into a career of locating and illegally retrieving hard-to-find items of value for the ridiculously wealthy. Rush was the one man who tempted her to change her ways until he caught her and threatened to turn her in.

MacKenzie Security has vowed to save the girl. Olivia can find anything or anyone. Rush can get anyone out. As the clock winds down on the girl’s life, can they fight the past, a ruthless madman and their explosive passion to get the job done?

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Bullet Proof - cover

Avery Flynn’s Bullet Proof (A Mackenzie Family Novella)

Being one of the good guys is not my thing.”

Bianca Sutherland isn’t at an exclusive Eyes-Wide-Shut style orgy for the orgasms. She’s there because the only clue to her friend’s disappearance is a photo of a painting hanging somewhere in Bisu Manor. Determined to find her missing friend when no one else will, she expects trouble when she cons her way into the party—but not in the form of a so-hot-he-turns-your-panties-to-ash former boxer.

Taz Hazard’s only concern is looking out for himself and he has no intention of changing his ways until he finds sexy-as-sin Bianca at the most notorious mansion in Ft. Worth. Now, he’s tangled up in a missing person case tied into a powerful new drug about to flood the streets, if they can’t find a way to stop it before its too late. Taking on a drug cartel isn’t safe, but when passion ignites between them Taz and Bianca discover their hearts aren’t bulletproof either.

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Cristin Harber’s Delta: Rescue (A Mackenzie Family Novella)

When Luke Brenner takes an off-the-books job on the MacKenzie-Delta joint task force, he has one goal: shut down sex traffickers on his personal hunt for retribution. This operation brings him closer than he’s ever been to avenge his first love, who was taken, sold, and likely dead.

Madeleine Mercier is the daughter of an infamous cartel conglomerate. Their family bleeds money, they sell pleasure, they sell people. She knows no other life, sees no escape, except for one. Maddy is the only person who can take down Papa, when every branch of law enforcement in every country, is on her father’s payroll.

It’s evil. To want to ruin, to murder, her family. But that’s what she is. Ruined for a life outside of destroying her father. She can’t feel arousal. Has never been kissed. Never felt anything other than disgust for the world that she perpetuates. Until she clashes with a possible mercenary who gives her hope.

The hunter versus the virgin. The predator and his prey. When forced together, can enemies resist the urge to run away or destroy one another?

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Deep Trouble - cover

Kimberly Kincaid’s Deep Trouble (A Mackenzie Family Novella)

Bartender Kylie Walker went into the basement of The Corner Tavern for a box of cocktail napkins, but what she got was an eyeful of murder. Now she’s on the run from a killer with connections, and one wrong step could be her last. Desperate to stay safe, Kylie calls the only person she trusts—her ex-Army Ranger brother. The only problem? He’s two thousand miles away, and trouble is right outside her door.

Security specialist Devon Randolph might be rough and gruff, but he’ll never turn down a friend in need, especially when that friend is the fellow Ranger who once saved his life. Devon may have secrets, but he’s nearby, and he’s got the skills to keep his buddy’s sister safe…even if one look at brash, beautiful, Kylie makes him want to break all the rules.

Forced on the run, Kylie and Devon dodge bullets and bad guys, but they cannot fight the attraction burning between them. Yet the closer they grow, the higher the stakes become. Will they be able to outrun a brutal killer? Or will Devon’s secrets tear them apart first?

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Desire & Ice - cover

Christopher Rice’s Desire & Ice (A Mackenzie Family Novella)

Danny Patterson isn’t a teenager anymore. He’s the newest and youngest sheriff’s deputy in Surrender, Montana. A chance encounter with his former schoolteacher on the eve of the biggest snowstorm to hit Surrender in years shows him that some schoolboy crushes never fade. Sometimes they mature into grown-up desire.

It’s been years since Eliza Brightwell set foot in Surrender. So why is she back now? And why does she seem like she’s running from something? To solve this mystery, Danny disobeys a direct order from Sheriff Cooper MacKenzie and sets out into a fierce blizzard, where his courage and his desire might be the only things capable of saving Eliza from a dark force out of her own past.

 

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About the Mackenzie Family Series Authors…

Liliana Hart - headshotLiliana Hart:

Liliana Hart is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author in both the mystery and romance genres. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she’d found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music.

Liliana is an avid reader and a believer in all things romance. Her books are filled with witty dialogue, steamy sex, and the all-important happily-ever-afters her romantic soul craves. Since self-publishing in June of 2011, she’s sold more than 1.2 million ebooks all over the world.

Visit Liliana Hart’s website.

 

Covington - headshotRobin Covington:

USA Today bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s not writing she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Chris Evans. Don’t send chocolate . . . send eye candy! Robin’s books have won the Golden Leaf Award and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, the Book Seller’s Best and the National Reader’s Choice Awards. She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies.

Visit Robin Covington’s website.

 

Avery Flynn - headshotAvery Flynn:

Award-winning romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. She was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs. Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the Internet, she’ll be your best friend for life.

Visit Avery Flynn’s website.

 

 

Cristin Harber - headshotCristin Harber:

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes steamy romantic suspense, military romance, and new adult. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and military romance bestseller.

Visit Cristin Harber’s website.

 

 

 

Kinkaid - headshotKimberly Kincaid:

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and a 2015 RWA RITA® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.

Visit Kimberly Kincaid’s website.

 

 

Christopher Rice - headshotChristopher Rice:

After publishing four New York Times bestselling thrillers by the age of 30 and being declared one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive, award-winning writer Christopher Rice became the first author to make his erotic romance debut part of the 1,001 DARK NIGHTS series. THE FLAME: A Desire Exchange Novella kicked off a steamy new series set in New Orleans, featuring magical candles and a sexy new breed of supernatural beings, The Radiants, who are devoted to helping heroes and heroines realize their heart’s desire. THE FLAME earned accolades from some of the biggest names in erotic romance and was quickly followed up by THE SURRENDER GATE: A Desire Exchange Novel, available from Evil Eye Concepts as a Blue Box Special. Aside from authoring eight works of dark suspense, Christopher is also the co-host and executive producer of THE DINNER PARTY SHOW WITH CHRISTOPHER RICE & ERIC SHAW QUINN, all the episodes of which can be downloaded at TheDinnerPartyShow.com and from iTunes. Make sure you’re subscribed to The Dinner Party Show’s You Tube channel to receive their newest content in 2016.

Visit Christopher Rice’s website.

 

 

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Song Release: Listen to Me by Kristen Proby

Listen to Me - Song Release banner

Kristen Proby is known for writing heartfelt characters with deep connections and sizzling passion. This April, she will seduce readers’ senses with a brand new series, Fusion, from William Morrow Paperbacks, in which five best friends open a hot new restaurant together. Today, we are thrilled to bring you a song written exclusively for LISTEN TO ME, the first book in the Fusion Series releasing April 12, 2016. LISTEN TO ME finds a hot former rock star looking for a steady gig at the restaurant, but he’ll have to convince the prickly front-of-house manager to take a chance on him—with her business and her heart. Don’t miss what Kristen has to say about the beautiful ballad,  If I Had Never Met You, and then grab your copy of the song and preorder the novel today!

 

 

Listen to Me - song banner

 

A Message from Kristen about If I Had Never Met You: 

From the minute song writer Jake Keller lays eyes on Addison Wade, a tune sets up residence in his head. As he gets to know her, the tune becomes a song. Their song. Addie’s song. The stakes are the highest they’ve ever been for him when he finally sings it to her, but will it be enough to keep her?

I can’t thank Brad Yunek and Dan Keseloff enough for writing this beautiful song to accompany Jake and Addie’s story. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Kristen Proby - signature

 

 

 

Listen to a sample of If I Had Never Met You here!

 

If I Had Never Met You is now available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon for just 99¢!

 

 

Listen to Me - cover

 

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About LISTEN TO ME –

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new series, five best friends open a hot new restaurant, but one of them gets much more than she bargained for when a sexy former rock star walks through the doors—and into her heart.

Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy…exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need.

Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him.

Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?

 

 – ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

KRISTEN PROBY

 

 

Author Pic - Kristen Proby
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Kristen Proby
is the author of the popular With Me in Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type—fiercely protective and a bit bossy—and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves. Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate, and sunshine. And naps. Visit her at KristenProby.com.

 

 

 

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InkSlinger Blogger Final

Chapter Reveal: Booty Call by Ainsley Booth


booty call - chapter reveal.jpg

 

We are delighted to bring you an excerpt from Booty Call (Forbidden BodyGuards  #2) by Ainsley Booth.

Sit back and enjoy the hotness.

 

Pre-Order it now for a special price, only 99¢

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– SYNOPSIS –

 

 

BootyCalleBookCover.jpg

I know what I’m doing when I text Scott at four in the morning.

He knows what I’m doing, too.

That’s why he shows up twenty-three minutes later, freshly showered with a condom in his pocket and a barely dissolved breath mint on his tongue.

I smirk as he looms over me. “You are such a dirty old man.”

“We need to stop doing this.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re twenty and I’m not.

Because I want to take you on a f***ing date and you won’t. Because we wind up yelling at each other half the time.”

“But the rest of the time you’re inside me and it feels so good, right?”

His eyes darken and I don’t need to look down to know he’s hard for me.

 

THIS IS A STANDALONE BOOK, CONNECTED TO THE HORUS GROUP SERIES  

 

– EXCERPT –

 

—one—

FEBRUARY

Alison

Happy birthday to me.

I’m supposed to be having an epic shop-a-thon with my sister in SoHo, but now we’re stuck at the Apple store because Hailey needs someone to fix her phone. Her fiancé Cole will have a fit if she’s off the grid.

God forbid. It’s not like she isn’t being shadowed everywhere by her bodyguard—big, brooding Scott Mayfair, of the dark, dirty looks and annoyingly consistent hands-off-Alison attitude—for our “girls weekend”. But her phone stopped working at lunch, so now Hailey’s waiting for a so-called genius to help her fix it.

Me?

I’m going to take advantage of the fact that Scott can’t leave Hailey’s side and go buy myself a present.

“I’m just heading around the corner,” I murmur to my sister. She knows where I’m going. Every time we come to the city, I visit the Mercer Street Agent Provocateur. It’s become my little ritual.

Alison Dashford Reid, all grown up and secretly wearing something naughty beneath her studious university student uniform of yoga pants and hoodies. Although that’s not what I’m wearing today—while it works for Washington…New York City, not so much. Not at the level that Hailey and I are playing at this weekend.

I’ve got my Jimmy Choo fuck-me boots zipped over my skinny Sevens, and a wool jacket over a silk camisole, because it’s February and there’s only so much cold my nipples can take in the name of fashion.

I sling the skinny strap of my purse across my body and join the flow of Saturday afternoon shoppers. New York is unlike any other city in the world, and SoHo might be my BootyCallTeaser3.jpgfavorite neighborhood in my favorite city.  Narrow shops and cobblestone streets. It brings out the girly girl in me, and I indulge that lucky bitch with pretty underwear.

Inside, Agent Provocateur is glossy black lacquer and sparkling crystal chandeliers. A sea of silk and lace. Black ribbons and satin cups. It oozes feminine power and celebrates all things sexy.

My private collection of lingerie is one step in the direction of claiming more of that attitude for myself.

One day soon, I’m going to be this woman.

I sigh. Maybe not soon. I have to keep my head down until I’m done school and can leave Washington. Leave the toxic world of my parents behind and just be myself.

Be Alison, girl with silk panties. Girl with an easy, breezy attitude toward sex and men and life.

“Can I help you?” A smiling salesgirl approaches, and I’m glad I dressed up. I look the part of the rich socialite, and all afternoon I’ve been getting that treatment. Not normally something I care about one way or the other—and if pushed, I lean toward other. Because seriously, being rich just gives people the excuse to be depraved fucks.

And then have children, and ruin their lives with the depravity.

I shudder inside.

But on the outside, I just smile at the salesgirl. “I’m going to look around a bit. First time in a while since I’ve been in the store.”

First time since all the weird shit went down with my sister last year. Now I can’t just get on the train and come to New York for the weekend. Now when I suggest a girls’ trip, it’s a full-on thing, complete with Scott tagging along if Cole is busy.

We made that mistake once in the fall. Ugh. Totally un-fun, although it did beat a totally awkward family Thanksgiving.

This trip wasn’t my idea, even though it’s my birthday weekend. But Hailey’s got a gleam in her eye about a wedding dress, which means Cole’s finally won their non-stop battle over whether or not to get married.

Well, not that there’s a battle over getting married. Just a battle over the actual “getting hitched” moment. As in, Hailey doesn’t want a wedding. Not one our mother can ruin.

So I bet they’ll elope, which is totally fine.

After all the shit she’s been through, Hailey deserves to be happy.

And if she wants to buy a non-wedding dress for a secret wedding that she’s not telling me about just yet, I’ll suck up a totally un-fun trip to the big city.

After all, when I get bored, I can always ditch the bodyguard and sneak into a lingerie shop.


I smirk to myself—which of course is when karma decides to punish me.

“Something funny, Miss Reid?”

Damn it. I sigh and roll my eyes to the sparkly chandelier, keeping my back to Scott. My sister’s bodyguard. My secret crush. My totally off-limits, no-fun babysitter for the weekend, apparently, since he’s followed me, and not for any fun, dirty reasons. “How did you find me? Do I have a tracking device implanted under my skin?”

Scott laughs quietly and circles around the display until I’ve got face full of cotton dress shirt and black suit jacket. Both fitted and stretched across strong shoulders.

A wide chest.

Probably a hard set of abs, but I’ve never gotten close enough to test that theory.

I don’t look up at his face. Instead, I pretend to look at the panties on the far side of the table, right in front of his hips.

His package is pretty substantial, too. Definitely stretching the fabric there.

I blush, but I don’t duck my head further.

I’m totally fine with Scott knowing that I’m thinking about his cock.

He’s not fine with it, but that’s his problem.

He clears his throat and crosses his arms, swinging a collection of our shopping bags in front of his body to hide what I hope is a monster reaction to me. “Your sister suggested I might find you in here.”

“And you left Hailey alone to come find me?”

“Cole showed up. Turns out he had business in the city after all.”

Of course he did. Which meant that our girls’ weekend just turned into me being a third-wheel on a romantic getaway.

Fuck.

“Then I might head back to D.C.” I say quietly. I’m not trying to hide the fact I’m disappointed. It’s my birthday. I can be fucking disappointed if I want.

I can swear like a fucking sailor and pretend I’m not a Dean’s List, finishing-school Good Girl, because it’s my twentieth birthday and I can’t even buy lingerie without my sister’s drama intruding.

And since that drama won’t let me check him out… yeah, I’m pouting.

“You can head home. If you want.” His voice is…is…

I jerk my eyes up to his face.

He’s mocking me.

Outrage surges through me, unexpectedly, at the barely contained laughter in his voice. I can feel my face turning red, twin dots of heat burning on my cheekbones. I pick up a complicated thong, with bonus straps that do nothing but torment the person looking at the wearer, probably, and I hold it up between us. “You don’t think I should do that, Scott?” I put my own mocking spin on his name. “What should I do instead? You think I should stay here in the big city, and buy these panties, maybe wear them out tonight under a little black dress? Knowing full well there’s not a chance in hell I’ll get peeled out of them at the end of the night by a hot guy? Happy birthday, Alison. Here’s to another year of bodyguard-enforced virginity.”

I’m being a whiny brat. I don’t care. It’s been months of this rock star treatment, and seriously, it’s overrated. We grew up in a wealthy family, so having private security isn’t totally out my realm of understanding, but Hailey’s relationship with one of Washington’s top crisis management guys—and getting tangled up in a human trafficking ring—has taken shit to a whole new level.

It actually doesn’t affect my everyday life. I go to school. I even have my own apartment now, having moved out of my parents’ estate at Christmas time because there’s only so much fucked-up drama one can handle and still stay on the Dean’s List.

But it does affect every “sister thing” I want to do with Hailey.

Including celebrating my birthday.

So I stare at Scott, daring him—fucking daring him—to tell me that I can do anything I want, of course I can.
Because I can’t.

He stares back, his face unreadable.

“I don’t think Cole is planning on going out for dinner with you two, if that’s your BootyCallTeaser1.jpgconcern,” he finally says gruffly, but I’m still pissed off. Anger sizzles under my skin and now I’m just thinking shit that’s not fair and doesn’t really matter. But that’s the thing about feelings, right? Once you have them, you can’t just un-have them.

Tears prick at the back of my eyelids, and no, that is not happening. I pinch the inside of my palm with my fingers and slowly roll my eyes back to the ceiling, exhaling as I tell myself to pull it together.

Let him think I’m a haughty bitch. I don’t care.

“Miss Reid,” he starts, and I drop my gaze, staring past him as I twirl the panties on the tip of my finger.

“I’m not a child. You can call me Alison, or Ms. Reid. Or nothing at all. That would be my preference.” I swing past him and hold out the lace and ribbon scrap of nothing to the sales girl. “I’ll take these with a matching 32C bra, please.”

I shake my head when she asks if I’ll need to try anything on.

While the thought of making Scott sit outside a change room would usually make me achy and wet, right now I’m not in the mood to play the tease. Not when it’s not going to get me anywhere.

I’m not a child. I told him that. I told my parents the same thing when I moved into my own apartment.

One of these days, I’m going to start believing it for myself.

And until then, I’ll fake it.

I’ve been doing that my entire life. I’m a pro.

After I pay for my purchases, I head for the door. Scott stands back, letting me move past him, but even though he hasn’t said anything, I still feel unsettled. Like maybe I haven’t had the last word.

He doesn’t get to do that to me.

I am not a child. I won’t be handled.

I stop and meet his gaze head-on. “Call the restaurant and change our reservation. Cole can join us. And you can, too.”

“I’m fine at the bar…Ms. Reid.” His jaw clenches, but that’s the only reaction.

“I understand that.” I lift my bag and wave it in the air. “But since my future brother-in-law won’t let me wear this for anyone else, tonight I’m wearing these for you. Whether you like it or not.”

 

– WATCH THE TRAILER –  https://www.facebook.com/ainsleyboothwrites/videos/1724315431125771/

 

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

AINSLEY BOOTH

 

Mom by day and filthy romance writer by night, Ainsley is super grateful for caffeine, banana and blueberry muffins, and yoga pants.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Twitter  Facebook  Web  

Amazon page  Goodreads  Instagram

 

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Blog and Review Tour: Absolution by Amanda Dick

 

 

life death truth lies teaser

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

ABSOLUTION - book coverJack McKenna is a man with two very distinct pasts.

One ended with a car accident involving his girlfriend, Ally, and a split-second decision with horrific consequences. Desperate to escape the guilt, he carved out a new life for himself. Four years spent hiding in the shadows, punishing himself for not having the courage to go back to her. Then, out of the blue, a phone call forces him to face up to everything and everyone he left behind.

Ally Connor’s life was split in two – before the car accident that shattered her spine, and after Jack’s sudden disappearance. Abandoning her when she needed him most, she fought hard to make it back from the brink. The face she shows to the world is strong and courageous, but behind the mask, the pain is burrowing deeper.

But fate had more in store for these two broken souls than either could have imagined. A funeral, a homecoming and a journey of self-discovery that would change both their lives – if they let it.

Suddenly, the secrets they want to hide from each other are the very secrets that could make them whole again.

 

 

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– EXCERPT –

 

Ally looked up to find Jack standing in the doorway. She froze. She had been lying to herself, she realised too late. She wasn’t ready for this, not by a long shot.

“Come inside,” he said, his desperate gaze holding hers. “Please?”

He had changed out of the torn shirt and jacket, and stood before her in jeans and a dark blue t-shirt. He looked very much the worse for wear, his eye swollen slightly, an angry-looking cut on his cheek.

Her heart pounded against her ribcage. She fought the impulse to turn and make her way back to the car. He moved aside and she maneuvered herself over the doorstep and into the hall. She wanted to cry. It felt wrong, like they were trespassing somehow. She wished like hell that Tom was there.

“I wasn’t expecting you,” Jack said quietly, closing the door behind her. “But thank you, for coming.”

He stood facing her, shoving his hands deep into his pockets. Had his eyes always been that shade of green? They seemed darker, heavier somehow. God, what was she doing here?  

“Ally… ”

Her hands gripped the handles of her crutches even tighter. The questions bolted out of her before she could stop them.

“Why’d you do it? Why’d you leave like that?”

The silence seemed to buzz in her ears, seconds stretching out.

“Why do you think?” he whispered, his eyes brimming with tears.

“That’s not good enough,” she shot back, tilting her chin in defiance. “I need to hear you say it – you owe me that.”

He ran a hand through his hair. “You’re right, I’m sorry. Look, I… this could take a while. Come through to the living room, I’ll get us something to drink.”

She frowned, afraid of losing her resolve if she moved any further into the house. Before she could answer though, he walked into the living room and she had no choice but to follow.

She had last been here two weeks ago, for dinner. The house looked exactly the same, except for the glaringly obvious fact that Tom was missing. Her heart ached for him. If he were here, he’d be the buffer she felt they desperately needed now. Without him, it was too raw.  

Jack poured the drinks, his back to her. To his left, on the side table, was an almost-empty glass that he topped up. Clearly, it wasn’t his first drink today. She couldn’t blame him.

He turned back to her, holding a glass in each hand, indicating the couch. “Shall we sit down?”

She ignored the couch and headed for the small dining table at the end of the room instead. She wanted to put something solid between them, hoping it would help her concentrate. She could feel his eyes burning into her back as she lowered herself into a chair, leaning her crutches against the table beside her. He set the glasses down on the table and pulled out the chair opposite her. She cringed as the chair’s legs scraped against the hardwood floor. Silently begging her trembling hands not to betray her, she reached for her glass and took a quick sip.

Tom had been the one to teach her about whisky – the good, the bad, the difference between blended and single malts, when to have water with it and when to have it neat.

“What do you remember about the accident?” Jack asked quietly, dragging her back to the present.

A black void where her memories should be.

She stared into the glass she held with both hands on the table in front of her. “Nothing. I don’t remember a thing. Callum told me what happened, after.”

“What did he say?”

“That it wasn’t your fault.” Why did she sound so frightened? She cleared her throat, mustering up the courage to look across the table at him. “He said there was nothing you could have done, that the other car came out of nowhere.”

He nodded slightly, his expression guarded. She waited for him to elaborate but he didn’t. She seized her chance, before she lost her nerve completely.

“I want to know why you left like that, if it wasn’t your fault. Was it because of what happened to me?”

He shook his head and she tried to distance herself from his obvious pain. She couldn’t afford empathy if she was to get through this. She needed answers.

“Was it? You were gone when I woke up from surgery, Jack. You knew what happened to me. Did you leave because of that, because you didn’t want to be with me? I want the truth. I can take it,” she lied.

He shook his head, swallowing back tears. “No.”

“You’re lying.”

“No, I’m not, I – “

“You’re lying!” she cried, anger bursting forth.

“No! I’m not lying, I swear to you,” he insisted desperately, leaning forward. “I left because of me, because of what I did!”

“What the hell does that mean?”

He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Something was going on behind his eyes that she couldn’t read and she frowned, searching deeper.

“I was driving. It was my fault.”

“So you left because you felt guilty?”

“I left because I was scared.”

“I was scared too – I woke up and you were gone!”

Breaking it down like that, so simply, hurt much more than she expected. All the things she couldn’t say – the fear that had overwhelmed her and pulled her under and nearly destroyed her – manifested as tears, overflowing and running down her cheeks.

“I’m so sorry,” he said brokenly, staring at his hands on the table. “I thought you’d hate me… I thought you’d all hate me.”

“So you just decided to run away instead?”

He didn’t answer, and anger and betrayal overwhelmed her as his face blurred.

“I wish I could take it all back – I wish I could change everything,” he whispered.

“You can’t.”

“I know. I’m so sorry. I should’ve stayed, I should’ve – “

“I’m not interested in hearing about what you should’ve done,” she snapped. “I know what you should’ve done, but you didn’t, did you?”

Jack looked devastated but she couldn’t help the words that came tumbling out.

“I lay in that hospital bed, counting the holes in the ceiling tiles, thinking about all the things that I would never be able to do again, and I kept thinking that if you were there, it would be okay – that you being there would mean that everything was going to be okay. But you weren’t.” She steadily held his gaze, binding him to her as surely as if she had used ropes or chains. “I hated you for that. I hated you for leaving, I hated you for not even saying goodbye – for not having the guts to talk to me before you left, for being such a coward.”

Tears spilled down his cheeks, but she wasn’t finished.

“Why didn’t you call? Or write or email – why didn’t you at least try? Did you even think about me at all?”

“I never stopped thinking about you,” he whispered, chin quivering.

It was on the tip of her tongue to call him a liar again, but something was wrong. He stared at her, and for an instant, she saw through the mask. Buried so deep it was barely visible, was the truth, and when she saw it, it took her breath away.

 

 

 

– REVIEW –

 

“What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us,”

– Jean-Paul Sartre

as referenced in Chapter 15 of Absolution

Jack McKenna, Ally Connor (his girlfriend), and their friend, Callum, are returning from a Pearl Jam concert when they’re involved in a nightmarish car accident. Jack and Callum suffer minor scrapes, while Ally sustains life-changing injuries. Upon the realization of the extent of a still-unconscious Ally’s injuries, Jack runs — from Ally, his family, his friends — from his life.

For four years (four years!), a self-loathing Jack lives in exile. Fueled by remorse, guilt and fear, Jack turns to the brutality of the fight ring in an attempt to exorcise his demons. Upon receiving the news of his father’s death, Jack is compelled to return home and finally face his own truth.

Author Amanda Dicks novel, Absolution, is a story of second chances, spiritual growth and personal redemption.

Employing a technique that alternates points-of-view and flashbacks, the author guides her readers along the path each of the three protagonists take to heal from their wounds — whether they be physical, spiritual or psychological. Additionally, the reader never really knows the exact locale of the characters – neither city nor country is referenced, and this bit of brilliance on the author’s part keeps the reader focused on the emotional/spiritual aspect of her characters.

The female protagonist, Ally, the character who has lost the most, is the one most healed. Author Dicks crafts a believable heroine who learns to overcome her losses — not only surviving, but thriving.  The character of Callum seems to be an altruist in the purest sense.  This reader found Jack to be the least sympathetic of these three characters —  he’s seemingly a bit of a coward — granted traumatized, but still a weak personality. And as such, his actions frustrated this reader.

There are portions of this novel that seemed to drown in angst and suffering, but given the subject matter, these passages are unavoidable and necessary.  While Absolution is a compelling read dealing with heavy subject matter, it’s not a negative story — it’s one of hope, of healing, of second chances and happily ever after. Have tissues on hand.

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 stars

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

Amanda Dick - author picAmanda Dick is a night-owl, coffee addict, movie buff and music lover. She loves to do
DIY (if it’s not bolted down, she’ll probably paint it, re-cover it or otherwise decorate it) and has tried almost every craft known to man/womankind. She has two sewing machines and an over-locker she can’t remember how to thread. She crochets (but can’t follow a pattern), knits (badly) and refrains from both as a public service.

She believes in love at first sight, in women’s intuition and in following your heart. She is rather partial to dark chocolate and believes in the power of a good vanilla latte.

What lights her fire is writing stories about real people in trying situations. Her passion is finding characters who are forced to test their boundaries. She is insanely curious about how we, as human beings, react when pushed to the edge. Most of all, she enjoys writing about human behaviour – love, loss, joy, grief, friendship and the complexity of relationships in general.

After living in Scotland for five years, she has now settled back home in New Zealand, where she lives with her husband and two children.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Web  Twitter  Facebook  Instagram

 Goodreads  Amazon Page

 

 

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Release Day Launch: Searching for Mine by Jennifer Probst

 

Searching for Mine - RDL banner

Today we are celebrating the release of SEARCHING FOR MINE: A Searching For Novella by Jennifer Probst, brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. Check out the excerpt and giveaway below, and be sure to grab your copy of SEARCHING FOR MINE today!

 

 

1001 DARK NIGHTS: Searching for Mine (A Searching For Novella)

– SYNOPSIS –

1001DarkNightsThe Ultimate Anti-Hero Meets His Match…

Connor Dunkle knows what he wants in a woman, and it’s the three B’s. Beauty. Body. Boobs. Other women need not apply. With his good looks and easygoing charm, he’s used to getting what he wants—and who. Until he comes face to face with the one woman who’s slowly making his life hell…and enjoying every moment…

Ella Blake is a single mom and a professor at the local Verily college who’s climbed up the ranks the hard way. Her ten-year-old son is a constant challenge, and her students are driving her crazy—namely Connor Dunkle, who’s failing her class and trying to charm his way into a better grade. Fuming at his chauvinistic tendencies, Ella teaches him the ultimate lesson by giving him a special project to help his grade. When sparks fly, neither of them are ready to face their true feelings, but will love teach them the ultimate lesson of all?

 

SFM Now Available

– BUY THE BOOK –

Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback

 

———-

– EXCERPT –

 

Connor Dunkle stood on her doorstep.
With a rush of relief, she flung open the door and held back a gasp.
My God, he looked good.
Struck mute for a moment, she gave in to impulse and hungrily took him in. Dressed in a button down navy blue shirt that clung to his broad chest, a casual jacket, and dark-washed jeans, he simmered with delicious masculine testosterone. Usually a hint of stubble clung to his square jaw, but tonight he was clean-shaven and smelled of spicy cloves. His thick dirty blond hair fell in waves over his forehead, brushing his ears, and those sea blue eyes framed with thick lashes struck her mute for a few seconds. He towered over her in a mass of rock-hard muscle, giving her the impression of both strength and protectiveness.
He was a walking, talking specimen of everything a woman dreams of in a man. Both Hemsworth brothers mixed with Daniel Craig and a sprinkle of old-fashioned Redford. Her poor body roared into overdrive and she felt a damp rush of moisture between her thighs.
God, she was acting like a sex-starved teen. So. Embarrassing.
Finally, he spoke. Even his damn voice was gravel and satin mixed together in a
symphony to the ears. “I saw your lights went out. Looks like some of the other houses on the block are affected. You okay?”
He was checking on her? To be nice or to get her to agree to extra credit? “Yes, we’re fine. Thank you.”
“Did you flip the breaker? Sometimes these apartments get overloaded and you need to reset it. That’s what I had to do with mine.”
“I haven’t gone down to the basement yet.”
“I’ll help you out.”
“Oh, you don’t have to.”
His gaze sharpened on her face, and his jaw clenched. Fascinated, she studied his features, noticing the air of irritation that briefly shone. “I want to, Ella. I won’t stay. I just don’t like the idea of you and Luke alone in the dark.”
She flushed and stumbled back. “I didn’t mean to be rude. I’m just used to doing things for myself. I’m sorry, come in.”
He walked inside and she realized it was a mistake.

 

 

– REVIEW –

 

Connor Dunkle works in construction. A hunky forty-year old with some serious cave man attitude, Connor can get any lady he sets his mind to — when the mood strikes.  (It hasn’t struck him for a while.) Connor is a good guy, having put his own ambitions aside to raise his younger brother when both are abandoned (for all intents and purposes) by their parents. Now that Nate (his brother) is happy and successful, Connor decides it’s his time to shine, to succeed. Part of Connor’s plan is to graduate from college — a degree will make him management material in the company that employs him.  Sounds like a plan, yes?

Enter Ella Blake. Divorced, thirty-something mother of Luke, Ella is just beginning to put her life together after a nasty divorce. She’s a professor, teaching English at the local college. Ella’s exhausted, and really, just a little bit jaded about life and men —  her ex-husband dumped her on Valentine’s Day — need one say more?

Connor needs one more class to graduate, and guess who’s teaching the Composition 102 class? None other than Professor Ella Blake. And what is the focus of her Composition 102 class?

“We’ll be diving more into short stories and examining the female writer and what she brought to society in comparison to men at the time.”

Kindle Loc 172  of 1845

Well dang, Connor’s caveman brain is going to struggle a bit with this topic, isn’t he? And the last thing Ella needs is a hot guy trying to charm his way into a better grade.  Bad move, Connor, bad move . . . .  Needless to say, Ella is happy to hand Connor his ass on a plate — repeatedly. (Blame the “Y” chromosome.)

At some point, the contentious exchanges between Ella and Connor trigger the underlying sexual tension that’s been simmering and kaboom! We have liftoff!

Jennifer Probst’s Searching for Mine is an 1001 Dark Nights stand alone novella featuring characters from her Searching For Series.

Connor Dunkle is a believable character — Probst has written him in a manner that reveals his genuine sense of good. There is a measure of nobility about Connor that comes across well and he’s a likeable character. Ella, eh, not so much. Even the “dumped on Valentine’s Day” scenario didn’t engender the sympathy on this reader’s part that it should have.  This reader found Ella’s behavior early on towards her student (regardless of his flirtatious behavior) to be borderline contemptuous. Author Probst’s secondary characters, Kennedy and Nate (veterans of Searching for Perfect) add dimension to the story and are instrumental in softening the character of Ella. (Note: It is not necessary to have read any of the series to enjoy this novella.)

Searching for Mine is an adult contemporary romance containing explicit sexual situations. Bedtime reading for the adults, not the kiddies.

⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

*I received a copy of this story for the author in exchange for an honest review.*

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

JENNIFER PROBST

Jennifer Probst
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers.

Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at:

www.jenniferprobst.com.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

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