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Category Archives: Great Summer Reads

Review Blitz: The Player by K. Bromberg (Book 1 of The Player Duet)

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Baseball has never been sexier in an all-new novel by New York Times Bestselling Author, K. Bromberg.

Easton Wylder is baseball royalty. The game is his life. His passion. His everything.

So, when an injury threatens to end Easton’s season early, the team calls in renowned physical therapist, Doc Dalton, to oversee his recovery. Except it’s not Doc who greets Easton for his first session, but rather, his daughter, Scout. She may be feisty, athletic, defiant, and gorgeous, but Easton is left questioning whether she has what it takes to help him.

Scout Dalton’s out to prove a female can handle the pressure of running the physical therapy regimen of an MLB club. And that proof comes in the form of getting phenom Easton Wylder back on the field. But getting him healthy means being hands-on.

And with a man as irresistible as Easton, being hands-on can only lead to one thing, trouble. Because the more she touches him, the more she wants him, and she can’t want him. Not when it’s her job to maintain the club’s best interest, in regards to whether he’s ready to play.

But when sparks fly and fine lines are crossed, can they withstand the heat, or is one of them bound to get burned?

 

– REVIEW –

 

I’m not a huge fan of sports romances — I find them pretty predicable. In the case of a baseball romance, the usual plot involves a sassy jock, and an equally sassy baseball Annie, some locker room smack, and ultimately revolves around a pennant chase. That is not the case with The Player. Author K. Bromberg takes that trope and elevates it to the level of pure poetry.

Scout Dalton lives and breathes baseball. Daughter of the legendary physical therapist, Doc Dalton, the lovely Scout follows in her father’s footsteps, rehabbing injured players. Having learned from the best, Scout has gained a sterling reputation of her own in the league. When Doc can’t make the trip to Texas to aid the Austin Ace’s franchise player, Easton Wylder, regain his million dollar arm, Doc sends Scout in his place.

Like Scout Dalton, Easton Wylder was born into the world of baseball. Son of legendary Cal ”Iron Man” Wylder, the gifted and hunky Easton has become a mega star in the major leagues. Ever conscious of the long shadow cast by his father’s success in the game, Easton wants nothing more than to heal his arm and return to his team.

While Easton plays baseball, he’s not a playa. The same could be said of Scout — passionate about the game, Scout is no cleat chaser. Both Easton and Scout are people of goodwill, with noble hearts that have been forged by tragedy and loss. That they are instantly attracted to one another is no surprise, but what is beautiful about this story is how they bond with each other over their love of the game, love of their family, and, ultimately, the love they have for one another.

I could rave about K. Bromberg’s writing style, but allow it to speak for itself — here’s Scout, reflecting about a baseball field:

“And right now I’d challenge anyone who told me this diamond doesn’t sparkle as brightly as the rock you wear on your finger. With empty seats or with a sold-out crowd, this outshines jewelry any day.”

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And here’s a peek into Easton’s heart:

“Who needs grass that’s greener on the other side when you’re a huge fan of how green the grass is beneath your feet?”

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Bromberg’s characters have depth — they’re so well crafted. Even the secondary characters in this story are clearly written. The plot is solid and stunning — no filler, no wasted words. The reader experiences both the heart-lifting as well as the gut-punching events right along with the characters (no small feat in this reader’s book). My only complaint is that it ends on a cliffhanger — a HUGE cliffhanger. Take it as a testament as to how much I loved The Player that, as soon as I finished it, I preordered the concluding story, The Catch.

K. Bromberg’s The Player is so much more than a sexy baseball romance — it’s an outstanding tale of adult people dealing with the curve balls thrown at them by life.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

 

*ARC provided from the author via InkslingerPR in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

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– ABOUT K. BROMBERG –

 

HeadShot ColorNew York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, K. has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

In April, she’ll release The Player, the first in a two-book sports romance series (The Catch, book 2, will be released late June), with many more already outlined and ready to be written.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales HERE

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 Goodreads | Amazon Author | Driven Group

 

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Release Day Blitz! The Player by K. Bromberg

 

 


 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Baseball has never been sexier in an all-new novel by New York Times Bestselling Author, K. Bromberg.

Easton Wylder is baseball royalty. The game is his life. His passion. His everything.

So, when an injury threatens to end Easton’s season early, the team calls in renowned physical therapist, Doc Dalton, to oversee his recovery. Except it’s not Doc who greets Easton for his first session, but rather, his daughter, Scout. She may be feisty, athletic, defiant, and gorgeous, but Easton is left questioning whether she has what it takes to help him.

Scout Dalton’s out to prove a female can handle the pressure of running the physical therapy regimen of an MLB club. And that proof comes in the form of getting phenom Easton Wylder back on the field. But getting him healthy means being hands-on.

And with a man as irresistible as Easton, being hands-on can only lead to one thing, trouble. Because the more she touches him, the more she wants him, and she can’t want him. Not when it’s her job to maintain the club’s best interest, in regards to whether he’s ready to play.

But when sparks fly and fine lines are crossed, can they withstand the heat, or is one of them bound to get burned?

 

AmazoniBooks | B&N | Kobo | Paperback

 

 


 

 

 

 

– ABOUT K. BROMBERG –

 

HeadShot ColorNew York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, K. has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

In April, she’ll release The Player, the first in a two-book sports romance series (The Catch, book 2, will be released late June), with many more already outlined and ready to be written.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales HERE

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 Goodreads | Amazon Author | Driven Group

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Release Day Review: Hot Addiction by Lynn Raye Harris

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Hot Addiction - About the book

HotAddiction_800x1200 First glance into Hot Addiction by Lynn Raye Harris.

Five years ago…

Dexter Davidson checked his watch for the thousandth time that morning. It was nearing noon and his bride-to-be was over an hour late. His father stood in the chancel, his rented tuxedo making him appear distinguished and genteel rather than rough and worn like the farmer he was. But the look on his face was what killed Dex the most. It was one of pity and a growing resignation.

“Fuck this,” Dex growled as he clenched his jaw tight and walked down the aisle, between the rows of pews where the guests waited for the ceremony to start. The chapel doors were open to the outside because it was springtime and warm. But it was also raining. A soft, gentle rain, but rain nonetheless.

Perhaps the rain had caused a delay. Dex stood in the open door and took his phone from his pocket. Annabelle still hadn’t answered his texts. He sent another one, just in case, and felt his heart shrivel just a little bit more when no answer came.

He tried calling but it went to voicemail without even ringing. “Belle,” he said, his throat tight and his eyes stinging, “where are you, baby? I’m worried. Please let me know you’re safe. If you’ve changed your mind, it’s okay. Just let me know.”

It wasn’t okay if she’d changed her mind, but what else could he say? Annabelle Quinn had been his girl for the past four years. He’d fallen madly in love with her in an instant. He’d known her most of his life, had ignored her for much of it because she was his little sister’s best friend, but one day, pow!, she’d smiled at him the way she had a million times before—and he was done for. He’d been hers from that moment forward.

And now they were supposed to be getting married. He’d come home on leave from the Army at Christmas and asked her to marry him. She’d said yes. She and his sister had planned everything while he went back to Afghanistan and did his best to stay alive. He didn’t know how long he stood there before he felt a presence beside him.

“I’m sorry, Dex.” Katie put a hand on his arm. “She’s not coming.”

 

– REVIEW –

 

“You always have a choice, Annabelle. You made yours and it ruined us both. It’s too late to change that.”

Dex Davidson

Hot Addiction

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Aw Dex —  you know you don’t believe that . . . .

Five years after Dexter (Dex) Davidson found himself left alone at the altar, the woman who jilted him reappears in his life to ask for his help. Annabelle (Belle) Quinn-Archer is desperate. Now a widow, her late husband, Eric Archer was killed when he tried to con a Russian operative into buying flawed surveillance technology. Belle, unaware of her abusive husband’s treachery, discovers the depths of Eric’s shady dealings when she receives a phone call informing her she’ll be dead within twenty-four hours unless she returns the millions Eric scammed.

Dex, a member of the Alpha Squad of an elite black-ops counterterrorism team known as the Hostile Operations Team (HOT), discovers that Belle is indeed an innocent victim caught up in a web of international intrigue. The HOT operative steps up to help his ex with a silent vow to himself that Belle won’t get a second chance to rip his heart in two. But before Dex has the chance to steel that wounded heart, Belle receives a nightmarish call informing her that her daughter is being held hostage. Four year old Charlotte, her babysitter along with the babysitter’s daughter are at the mercy of ex-KGB operative Dimitri Leonov.  Their fate hangs on Belle’s ability to discover the location of the millions of dollars Eric stashed into a secret bank account. As they frantically race to save the hostages from Leonov, Dex and Belle are forced to face the painful and surprising truths that have defined the past five years of their lives.

Hot Addiction is the latest installment in author Lynn Raye Harris’ wildly successful Hostile Operations Team series, and boy, what a book to pop my HOT cherry!  A stand alone novel, Hot Addiction is the tenth offering in HOT series, but you do not have to be familiar with the series to fully enjoy this book.

Written with an urgency that will keep the reader glued to the page, author Harris weaves a dramatic plot full of desire, espionage and intrigue. Dex and Belle are solid and sympathetic characters, and their chemistry rings true and unforced. The plot, while intricate, does not confuse. While the pacing of the story is set at a breathless and often breakneck speed, it still maintains a very even flow. (Major kudos to Harris as this story evolves over a timeframe of only a few days.) Secondary characters from the HOT series appear, and add rather than detract from the plot. Minor storylines are teased, as is par for a series, but the major storyline is absolutely solid and well-crafted.

An action-packed thriller wrapped around the hazy steam of a second chance romance, Hot Addiction is a terrific read. Well done, Lynn Raye Harris!

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

*ARC received courtesy of the author via The Next Step PR in exchange for an honest review*

 

 

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Hot Addiction Giveaway

Make sure to head over to the Author’s LIKE page on Facebook.

She will be doing an amazing release day giveaway for all readers!

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Hot Addiction - About the author

Lynn Raye Harris is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the HOSTILE OPERATIONS TEAM SERIES of military romances as well as 20 books for Harlequin Presents. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband, two crazy cats, and one spoiled American Saddlebred horse. Lynn’s books have been called “exceptional and emotional,” “intense,” and “sizzling.” Lynn’s books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

You can learn more at her website, http://www.LynnRayeHarris.com, or come and visit her at her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLynnRayeHarris. Lynn loves hearing from her readers! To sign up for Lynn’s newsletter–where you’ll be kept up to date about all of Lynn’s books–text the word HOTTIES to 66866 or go to http://lynnrayeharris.com/newsletter.

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Release Day and Excerpt: The Sapphire Heist by Lauren Blakely

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✮✮✮ THE SAPPHIRE HEIST is here! The highly anticipated conclusion of New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely’s new contemporary romance Jewel Novel Series, this enemies-to-lovers series is filled with sex, wit, glamour, and high stakes, with a rugged, ex-military, dirty-talking alpha hero! Don’t miss this explosive and passionate series! ✮✮✮

SapphireHeist_ProfileJewel

 

 

ABOUT THE SAPPHIRE HEIST

(Jewel Novel #2):

 

The Sapphire Heist - coverKeep your lover close and your enemy closer…

After giving in to a fiery night of passion, island adventurer Steph Anderson and bounty hunter Jake Harlowe are back to square one. With millions in stolen jewels at stake, it’s hard for Steph not to question her new partner’s true motives—no matter how sexy he might be. Jake is hungry for more of Steph, but he can sense her growing mistrust, which only fuels his own doubts. Worse, there’s undeniable evidence that someone else is now after the jewels—and that they are both in real danger.

Fighting against their magnetic attraction is a distraction these two can’t afford. In order to survive, they’ll have to pull off one more heist—and trust each other with something even more precious than jewels: their hearts.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

The best part of the windows was the view they afforded—a clear shot into the art gallery across the street, wedged next to an empty storefront on one side and the Atlantis submarine tours on the other, with a slim alley slicing between the gallery and the vacant shop. That must be the property Isla and Eli were trying to purchase to expand the gallery.

Good Lord, business must be good in “Artlandia” if they had the kind of change needed to annex a shop. He chuckled to himself. Of course business was good for Eli. The man was a thief. The bastard stole money from hardworking Americans. Jake dug his fingers into his palms, a burst of righteous anger fueling him—a reminder of why he did what he did for a living. Because rich, privileged men like Eli Thompson thought nothing of skimming a little off the top. Eli had done that to the tune of $10 million from his very own hedge fund, stealing it from the Middle America customers the fund served. Then he turned their retirement savings to diamonds and skipped out of the good old USA and into the Caymans with the loot in his pockets, and Jake had the evidence to prove it, thanks to his client—that same fund. All he needed to do now was locate those watermarked diamonds, take them back, and return the money to its rightful owners.

Eli had gotten away with his fraud so far. But the road stopped here with Jake. His mantra was simple: “Don’t let the bastards get away with anything.”

That was the promise he’d made as a teenager after the drunk driver who smashed into his parents’ car had gotten off scot-free. Now as an adult, Jake had no qualms whatsoever with tracking down the criminals and scum of the world to make sure they paid up.

Soon, it would be Eli’s turn.

And if the tip he and Steph had garnered last night about the location of the gems was right—inside the frames on the art in the gallery office—Eli’s opportunity to pay the piper was coming due any minute. Made sense that the rocks would be stuffed inside frames. You could store a lot of stones in that sort of clever hiding spot. Come to think of it, the frames he’d seen in the halls at Eli’s Sapphire nightclub had an unusual look to them, too. Strangely heavy for such light, contemporary art. One more possible option to pursue.

Jake lowered his shades, placed his palms on the windowsill, and stared across the street. From the second story of the church, he had a bird’s-eye view of the gallery. Well, it was really courtesy of the binoculars built into the awesome sunglasses he wore today that he was able to keep watch on the back door, then the front, then the alley along the side of Isla’s Island Gallery. The most useful sunglasses ever, they provided a close-up look into what was many feet away. He enjoyed the little gadgets of the job, like his lock-picking kit and the sunglasses with the built-in zoom.

With its bright white walls and steel framework, the gallery exuded class and style. The proprietor was catering to the wealthiest clientele on the island, even if it was located amid souvenir shops, bars, and tour operators. As Jake scanned the swank location, he took mental note of the number of employees visible in the gallery—three, including one at the reception desk—as well as the activity of the establishment.

Busy.

A green Honda pulled up outside the gallery, and a tall guy with graying hair emerged, glanced at the gallery doorway, then popped into a souvenir shop down the block. A thick, burly man in a suit strolled by next, ducking into the gallery for five minutes or so, chatting with Isla the whole time. A woman in a flowy red dress walked in next.

When the woman left the gallery, she blew a kiss to Isla, who held open the door. The woman breezed down the street with a brochure in hand. Jake checked his watch. One more hour ’til showtime. This morning in Steph’s hotel room, they’d checked out every angle of Isla’s Island Gallery with Google street view as they’d prepped, but it was wise to obtain an actual visual with one’s own eyes.

Though the visual he wanted in his line of sight again was Steph Anderson.

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon US   Amazon UK   Amazon Paperback   Amazon AU  Amazon CA

Audiobook (narrated by Sebastian York)

 

SapphireHeist_OutNow

THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR & THE SAPPHIRE HEIST are being released by Montlake, which is an Amazon publishing company, and will only be available for sale at Amazon. You can download a free Kindle reading app for any smartphone or tablet here:

http://amzn.to/1MIyrHi

 

**THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR & THE SAPPHIRE HEIST are available for free on Kindle Unlimited!**

 

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And Don’t Miss the First Book, THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR, now available!

Order your copy today!

 

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Audiobook (narrated by Sebastian York)

 

 

CLICK ON THE RAFFLECOPTER ‘CHOPPER FOR A GIVEAWAY!

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– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

LAUREN BLAKELY

 

Author pic - Lauren BlakelySince self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With ten New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than fifty times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone romantic comedies like BIG ROCK and MISTER O, which were both instant New York Times Bestsellers. In the fall she’ll release WELL HUNG, another romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter:laurenblakely.com/newsletter.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR Goodreads  |THE SAPPHIRE HEIST Goodreads  |Lauren Blakely Goodreads

 

 

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Excerpt and Review: Ruthless by Lexi Blake

 

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I’m THRILLED to be able to present to you RUTHLESS —  the first novel in Lexi Blake’s newest series, The Lawless Series. Carrying on in the tradition of Lexi’s fabulous Masters and Mercenaries Series, fellow contemporary romance readers you will not be disappointed – not for one single, heated moment.  – VR

 

RUTHLESS 

by

LEXI BLAKE

 

The first in a sexy contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

Ruthless_CVFThe Lawless siblings are bound by vengeance. Riley, Drew, Brandon, and Mia believe the CEO of StratCast orchestrated their parents’ murder twenty years ago to steal their father’s software program. And there’s only one way Riley can find some solid evidence…

Heir to the StratCast legacy, Ellie Stratton hires a new attorney to handle a delicate business matter—and she’s shocked by her attraction to him. Over the course of a few weeks, Riley becomes her lover, her friend, her everything. But when her life is threatened, Ellie discovers that Riley is more obsessed with settling an old score than in the love she thought they were building. And Riley must choose between a revenge he’s prepared for all his life and the woman he’s sure he can’t live without…

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

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EARLY REVIEWS FOR RUTHLESS

“Smart, savvy, clever, and always entertaining. That’s true of Riley Lawless, the hero in Ruthless, and likewise for his creator, Lexi Blake. Both are way ahead of the pack.” ~ New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry

“I love Lexi Blake. Read Ruthless and see why.” ~ New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

With Ruthless, Lexi Blake has set up shop on the intersection of Suspenseful and Sexy, and I never want to leave. ~ Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author

Ruthless is full of suspense, hot sex, and swoon worthy characters — a must read!” ~ New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst

 

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– EXCERPT –

 

“Why did you do that?”

It was the first time she’d spoken without being prompted. “Do what?”

Her face flushed the sweetest pink. The color went all the way down that sexy V-neck. Her breasts flushed as well as her face, and it made his damn dick tighten. “Kiss me. Why did you kiss me like that?”

Oh, so many reasons, but he gave her the most compelling one. “I wanted to.”

The minute she’d opened the door and he’d seen her standing there looking anxious, he’d known how to calm her down. All he’d had to do was put his hands on her and some odd connection flared between the two of them. She hadn’t fought him. He could have gone on kissing her. He’d been the one to pull away.

It was like the minute he walked in, he was the only thing that existed for her. It made him feel ten feet tall, but it also made him want to please her.

It was an unsettling sensation.

Her hands came up, fingers on the sides of the table. “You know what I’m asking. You knew I wasn’t alone. Why did you pretend to be my boyfriend?”

It was easy to see she’d wanted him to wait for her at the restaurant so as to avoid him meeting her sister and ex. When she’d opened the door, he’d immediately known something was wrong. He’d gotten a glimpse of her sister and known Ellie had likely needed a hand. It had to be tough on a woman’s ego to lose even a pathetic excuse of a husband to a younger sister.

“You were alone with your sister who slept with your husband. Excuse me. Ex-husband.”

She shook her head. “At the time, we were definitely married. How did you know he was my ex-husband?”

“He took half your net wealth. I’m your lawyer. At this level, a good lawyer is less legal counsel and more war consultant. I can’t properly perform my duties if I don’t know everything about you, including the fact that you tend to have terrible taste in men.”

She frowned. “I haven’t had a ton of boyfriends. I’m not sure what my taste is.”

He really wanted to understand why she’d married that obvious prick. “What attracted you to him? Because from where I was standing, he looked like a dickwad desperate to be twenty-one again.”

She bit into her bottom lip, her eyes glancing away from him. “He wasn’t always like that. I actually met him when he was twenty-one. He was far more mature then.”

He liked her candor. “You were in college?”

“Last year of undergrad. We dated for two years and then it seemed like it was time to get married. We’d moved back here to Manhattan so I could take my place at StratCast. I thought he was going to go to grad school, but he decided on a different path.”

“What path was that?”

A single brow rose over her right eye. “You don’t know?”

Of course he knew. He knew everything. “Are you referring to your ex-husband’s penchant for swinging for the fences? When it comes to investments, that is.”

It was what he liked to call “idiots who funded ridiculous ideas.” They never wanted a simple profit out of their money. They wanted millions and really fucking fast. They swung for the grand slam when all they needed to do was get on base.

It took a true genius to take a single idea and make millions off it. Drew had.

Her shoulders straightened. “He wanted the easy solution. A get-rich-quick scheme. He wasn’t that way at first. At one point he was very intellectual. It’s what attracted me to him. He was curious about the world and liked to discuss everything from politics to social jus- tice to movies we saw. He changed. I didn’t. In some ways, I blame getting involved with me for what happened to him. He got around my father and real wealth and wanted some of his own. When I met him, he wanted to be a professor. He wanted to teach.”

At least he’d gotten her this far. She was talking. Now he needed to get those shoulders down from around her earlobes. For one moment, for that moment when he’d drawn her into his arms and pressed his mouth to hers, she’d relaxed against him, given over to him. Her body had softened and she’d leaned into him, and if he’d pressed her, he didn’t know what would have happened. She might have continued kissing him, forgetting all about the other people in the room. He could have cupped her breast, her ass. Put his hands anywhere he liked.

She hadn’t given a damn that they hadn’t been alone. All she’d cared about was him.

 

– REVIEW –

 

Revenge is a dish best served cold, so the saying goes.  But what happens when the object of that revenge is a very hot dish named Ellie Stratton? Does the need for revenge outweigh what the heart wants? Such is the dilemma Riley (Lawless) Lang finds himself faced with in Lexi Blake’s newest offering, Ruthless.

Ruthless is Blake’s introductory novel in her new Lawless Series.

The Lawless siblings, Brandon, Drew, Riley and Mia survive the hellish night of their parents’ murders, only to be separated and placed in different foster homes. Reunited as each ages out of the system, they form a meticulously plan to exact revenge from those responsible for the deaths of their parents, Benedict and Iris.  When finally able to set their plan in motion, their first act is to take down StratCast, a software firm owned by two of Benedict’s former colleagues, Phillip Stratton and Steven Castalano StratCast is currently being run by Ellie Stratton, daughter of the now deceased Phillip Stratton, and it is Ellie that the Lawless siblings target first as their plan is put into action.

Riley Lawless, known professionally as Riley Lang, hires into StratCast under the guise of counsel to Ellie Stratton as she attempts to buy out Castalano’s shares of the company. Sparks fly between Riley and Ellie — the attraction is immediate and sizzles. And (thank you, Lexi Blake) these two waste very little time — they’re combusting all over desktops stat. But what happens when the truth comes out about Drew’s motives? And who is the real Ellie Stratton — is she a corporate shark whose sole interest is advancing her agenda, or is she something entirely different?

Ruthless is a terrific read — it’s a book about staggering loss, an obsession for revenge, and intrigue laced with passionate love. Lexi Blake is a master when it comes to stories that propel the reader by the raw energy of a well-written plot line. Every character is fully developed, nothing is extraneous and, while the overall story of the Lawless plan of revenge continues, the story arc of Riley and Ellie is resolved. You won’t be able to put this book down.

Well done, Lexi Blake, well done.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

 

*ARC received courtesy of Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

LEXI BLAKE

 


NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, 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.

 

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Release Day and Review: The Matchmaker’s Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken

The Matchmaker's Replacement Banner - Aug 9

 

THE MATCHMAKER’S REPLACEMENT

by

RACHEL VAN DYKEN

 

 

– SYNOPSIS –


VanDyken-TheMatchmakersReplacement-CV-FL-vC6-RGBWingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.

Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.

But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.

Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

“So,” a familiar voice said above the music. “New job?”

Damn it! “I didn’t even say your name three times!” I whined, turning around to face Lex. He was wearing a tight vintage black T-shirt with low-slung jeans on his hips and the ever-present sex-oozing smile.

“Three times?” He smiled wider. “You said my name three times out loud? Is it your new curse word? You know, like ‘Oh, Lex! Good Lex! Mighty Lex . . .’” His eyebrows drew together. “Somehow all of those sound like very familiar noises women make in my presence.”

“Die, Lex,” I said in an annoyed tone. “How about that one?”

“That’s new.” He snapped his fingers. “But it’s growing on me. Maybe it’s the way you say it, like you want me to die in your arms all Romeo and Juliet style . . .”

“Wow, ten at night and you’re already wasted.” I slapped him on the shoulder. “Take a cab.” I tried to move past him, but he grabbed my wrist and pulled me back, pressing us together. Whether it was on purpose or not I wasn’t sure, but he was warm.

And he felt . . . safe, familiar. My body was playing tricks on me; it was because I was vulnerable.

Like that night when . . .

I locked down my memories, especially that one, and threw away the key. “Lex, what do you want?”

“You,” he said in a serious tone. “Now get up on stage and take off your clothes. I paid for a show.”

I rolled my eyes. “Waitress, Lex. You’ll have to call one of the many numbers on your phone to get a free lap dance.”

“What if I pay?” His breath tickled my ear as my eyes burned with unshed tears. Normally, I wouldn’t let what he did affect me. Normally, I brushed him off, but my armor had already been stripped. Call it exhaustion or maybe just the last remnants of pride I had toppling to the floor.

But I couldn’t hold them in any longer.

One tear fell.

Then another.

I tried to wipe them, tried to jerk free from Lex’s strong arms, but he turned me so abruptly that all I managed to do was soak the front of his shirt with my tears and smear it with mascara.

“Gabs?” His voice rasped as he hugged me tighter. “Come on, we’re going.”

“No.” Panic surged through me as I tried to pull away. “You don’t understand!” I’d given the last of my paychecks to my mom so she could pay the bills at the house, leaving me completely broke for this week’s rent check. I was hoping to make enough money in tips for the rent.

Lex’s eyes crinkled at the sides as he took one look at me and the rest of the seedy bar. I knew what he saw: girls dancing on poles, guys getting drunk and shouting at the girls while they threw dollar bills onto the stage, and a scared, stupid girl clinging to him like her lifeline.

Finally, he released me. “Gabs, I’m sorry, I was joking. We always—” He licked his lips and glanced down at the filthy floor, cursing. “Where’s the money going?”

“Money?”

“New girl!” Dean, my boss, never called me by name, the idiot. “You working or flirting? If he wants time with you, he’s gotta pay.”

“Still a waitress?” Lex’s eyebrows shot up.

I held up my fingers to indicate I needed a few more seconds, but Dean was apparently in a mood and stomped over to us.

“Problem?” he asked, crossing his arms over his skinny chest. The guy was small; Lex could probably break his face blindfolded.

“Yeah,” Lex said, surprising me. “Your waitress just refused to dance with me because you guys are out of private rooms . . . so.”

Dean’s eyes narrowed. “You her boyfriend?”

“Do I look like a man who wants to commit to crazy?” Lex fired back. “But I do have this . . .” He reached into his back pocket and pulled out what looked like at least six hundred dollars in cash. “How long will that get me with your waitress?”

Dean’s eyebrows kissed his hairline as he sputtered out, “At least three hours.”

“I’ll add in another six hundred if I can have table service and a private room, no interruptions.”

“Done.” Dean snapped his fingers above his head as one of his security guards came barreling over. “Please take them to the Diamond Room, no interruptions. Stand outside the door. One waitress goes in and out to provide drinks.”

The security guard nodded.

And five minutes later I was stuck in a personal nightmare. A bottle of champagne rested on ice; two glasses were left on the table. Music pumped through the speaker system. A small stage was set up in the middle of the room, with two poles and some sort of swing that dropped down from the ceiling. I seriously didn’t even want to know what it was for.

“That will be all,” Lex said in a gruff tone. The waitress—I think her name was Holly—bobbed her head, then looked at me out of the corners of her eyes as if scared to leave me alone with the giant.

“It’s fine.” I waved her off and forced a smile.

The door closed.

“Stop pacing.” Lex grabbed a bottle of champagne. “And that ass better give you part of that money . . .”

“Huh?” I turned. Lex had his feet up on the table and was texting. TEXTING!

He glanced up. “What? Something wrong?”

“Uh . . .” I lifted my arms into the air. “You sick bastard, you just paid for private dancing! From me!”

“No I didn’t,” he said calmly. “Nobody knows what goes on in here. Take a nap for all I care, drink some champagne—or you can shock the hell out of me and cry again, but fair warning, I only had one hug in me tonight and you stole it, so . . . I’ll be reverting to the back pat.”

“Who are you?”

“Lex Luthor, philanthropist by day and rescuer of hot waitresses by night.” He smirked and held up the bottle. “Champagne?”

“Unbelievable.” I choked out a laugh. “You just paid over one grand to sit in a crappy club and drink champagne with someone you hate.”

“It’s my good deed for the decade. Just don’t tell Ian. He’ll think I’m sick or something, and the last thing I need is Mother Hen helicoptering around my inner sanctum. He’ll get pissed all over again if he finds out that I’m hacking.”

My skin felt sticky and sweaty, and my feet ached. With slow movements, I made my way over to the couch and sat, not even wanting to know how many germs were on the leather.

“So,” Lex said above the music. “Champagne? Or want me to order you something else?”

“Champagne’s good.” I swallowed and looked down at my hands. “I’m sorry I cried.”

“As you should be. Big girls don’t cry . . . they kick ass. Don’t freak me out like that again, it’s not good for my heart.”

“Finally admitting you have one?”

Lex spread his arms wide. “Clearly, otherwise you’d still be waiting tables.”

“Or dancing,” I muttered.

“Hah.” Lex laughed, actually laughed as if it was funny. “No offense, Gabs, but you’re not like those girls on stage. You can’t . . . you just can’t.”

“I can’t?” Why the hell was I getting offended? “What do you mean I can’t?”

Lex laughed harder. “Gabs, look, there’s nothing wrong with being innocent. Lots of guys dig a girl who has fields that have never been touched, watered, planted, plowed—”

I held up my hand. “I get it.”

“But those types of girls, the good girls, the ones who’ve never been . . .” He smirked. “Conquered? They don’t typically know how to use their bodies in a way that mimics sex on stage. Get it?”

“No.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t get it! Dancing is dancing! A two-year-old can do it!”

“Bad example, bad mental picture all around, Gabs, again solidifying my point. Good girls don’t dance, not like that.” When I didn’t say anything, he added, “Embrace your goodness, don’t get pissed. It’s a compliment.”

“The hell it is!”

“Damn, I love it when you swear,” Lex murmured, taking a long draw of champagne. “See, at least you do that right.”

“I can’t last in here for three hours,” I muttered, jumping to my feet and starting my pacing all over again.

“Want to play games on my cell phone?”

“Like a child!” I blurted. “That’s it! You’re treating me like I’m . . . a toddler! Like I should be thankful you just saved me from hell. Be honest: if you had a sticker and a sucker, would you give them to me if I shut my mouth the entire time?”

Lex gave me a guilty look.

“I’m a woman!”

“Well, if you were a dude, we’d be having a different conversation and you probably would have punched the guys grabbing your ass earlier . . .”

Without thinking, I grabbed my glass of champagne, chugged it, poured another, chugged that one, then with shaky hands grabbed the little remote, turned up the music, and jumped on stage.

I expected Lex to say something inappropriate or at least roll his eyes. Instead, he looked . . . panicked.

“Gabs!” he yelled above the music. “Look, I’m sorry! Just get down!!”

“Oh, I’ll get down!” I grabbed the pole with one hand and leaned back. “Just wait.”

 

 

 

– REVIEW –

 

 “Okay, point me to the Fortress of Solitude , and I’ll try not to sweat estrogen everywhere.”

“Upstairs.  And Gabs, I really mean it when I say . . . If you ever leave a tampon in my room, I will cut you.”

The Matchmaker’s Replacement

Kindle Loc 2229 of 4205

Let’s get to it — The Matchmaker’s Replacement (Rachel Van Dyken’s sequel to her wildly successful The Matchmaker’s Handbook) had me laughing (and snorting) out loud.

The Matchmaker’s Replacement is the story of the relationship between Wingmen co-founder and resident genius/hottie, Lex Luthor, and his childhood friend (and heart’s desire) Gabi Sava.

When Lex, along with his roommate Ian founded Wingmen, Inc., their purpose was to provide their female clientele with a customized plan of instruction and technique guaranteed to land any woman the man of her dreams.  Word of Wingmen’s success has spread, and now Ian and Lex are faced will male clientele. With Ian out of the picture, (having hooked up with Gabi’s roommate, Blake), Lex needs to bring in not only another partner, but one that’s female. Enter Gabi.

Now Gabi, Ian and Lex go back as childhood friends. Ian has always been protective of Gabi — he thinks of her as his little sister, and in big brotherly fashion lays down the law to Lex very early on that Gabi is not become another notch on Lex’s bedpost. (See where this is going?)

Fast forward to present time and Lex has begun tutoring the virgin (yes! virgin) Gabi on all sorts of Wingmen technique — from kissing to wardrobe. Lusty Lex can barely contain his desire for Gabi and tosses sarcasm and smack to hide his feelings for her.  Feisty Gabi is in the same boat — she’s always held back on her desire for Lex and dishes equally delicious snark right back at him.  This leads to some of the most clever, witty exchanges this reader has encountered written romantic comedy. The dialogue and interaction between these two is worth of any five star rom-com. (Don’t even get me started on the hilarity of the tampon vs condom war.)

Author Van Dyken is a master at not only the witty repartee, but knows how to deliver sizzle with a side of slow-burn.  Both Lex and Gabi are solidly written. The secondary characters are equally well written, and move the story along without being filler. While the friends/enemies/lovers trope is a popular theme, Rachel Van Dyken takes it to another level in The Matchmaker’s Replacement. Van Dyken’s courtship between Lex and Gabi is a brilliantly choreographed dance of dialogue, and it’s both mesmerizing and satisfying. (I could not put this book down – a one-sitting read.)  Straight through to its conclusion (and epilogue), Van Dyken never drops the ball regarding the level of writing or the pace of the story.  Brava!

Refreshing funny, original, and a most satisfying read, The Matchmaker’s Replacement is that rare find — a sequel that surpasses the original.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

 

– GIVEAWAY – 

IMG_5076

 

 

 

Passionate couple kissing

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

– NOW AVAILABLE on KINDLE in MOTION –

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AU

 

Kindle in Motion refers to Kindle books that include added visual features, such as art, animation and video. The features can be viewed on compatible Fire tablets and the free Kindle app for iOS and Android. You can switch features on or off at any time.

 

Exclusive EPIC news about this AMAZING RELEASE HERE

Passionate couple kissing

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

RACHEL VAN DYKEN

 

rachelborderRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken  or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com .

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS 

 AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE / NEWSLETTER

 

InkSlinger Blogger Final

 

 

 

 

 

Review: For the Win by Rochelle Allison and Angel Lawson

 

 

 

FOR THE WIN

by

ROCHELLE ALLISON and ANGEL LAWSON

 

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

FTW RGB eBookFormer All-Star collegiate goalie, Julian Anderson, has spent the last year off the grid, putting his life and health back together after losing nearly everything and everyone important in his life due to a series of bad decisions in college. But when he gets a call from the US Men’s Soccer team, asking him to play in the Olympic Games, he’s thrust back into the world he’s tried so hard to distance himself from.

Julian doesn’t want back in the league, especially when the dubious details of the arrangement are revealed, but accepting could give him a chance to reform his tarnished image. And, if he plays by the rules, he may have a shot at winning not just a gold medal but the heart of his first love, star forward of the Women’s team, Melina Diaz.

Focused and determined, Melina is skeptical that Julian can change his destructive ways. She plans to have little to do with her ex until the stress of the Games get to her and she finds herself falling back on the one person that knows her the best.

This August, all eyes will be on Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics as the world’s elite athletes come together to compete in the most prestigious sporting event of their lifetime. The Games will bring the world together but may tear Julian and Melina even further apart.

 

– REVIEW –

 

Not all Olympic heroes end up on cereal boxes.

Julian Anderson, along with his twin, Allie, grew up in a lower income area of Atlanta.  Raised by a single mom, Julian (a Type I diabetic) and Allie found their passion in the game of soccer. And their passion served them well — it proved to be the ticket that took them, along with their childhood friend (and fellow soccer player), Melina from the muddy athletic fields of their hometown to berths on the 2016 U. S. Olympic Team.

Julian’s story is the sort of “Up Close and Personal” human interest angle that causes media producers to salivate — whether the focus be on Julian’s heath issues, his relationship with Melina or the bond between the sibling Olympians.  But in the case of Julian, Allie and Melina, the canned story never comes near the triumphant truth of reality.

For the Win is a collaboration between first-time author Rochelle Allison and veteran author Angel Lawson.

A story of personal redemption, For the Win focuses on the rise of Julian’s career, his fall from grace, and ultimately, the selfless act that sets him back on a steady course in life. Told in three parts, the authors weave a seamless story using present day action and interviews interspersed with flashbacks that delivers to the reader an enthralling tale of love and sacrifice.  From a beach in North Carolina to the Rio Olympiad, this story flows at a rapid but steady pace. Julian, Allie and Melina are solidly crafted characters, all completely believable. The action in Part Three (In Rio) captures the excitement of competition from the athlete’s point of view in both a vivid and breathtaking manner. (The glimpse into life within the save haven of the Olympic Village was fascinating.)

An excellent read, For the Win delivers the gold for authors Allison and Lawson.

Ladies, take a well deserved victory lap.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*ARC received from the authors in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

AMAZON

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHORS –

 

ROCHELLE ALLISON

 
13707586_742958789177969_513109452188433396_nRochelle Allison has been living, and thriving, in her imagination since she was a little girl in the Caribbean. A true lover of words (books! thesauruses!), she can usually be found crafting stories, inspired by people, conversations and the world around her.

A wife of one and mother of two, Rochelle lives just outside of Atlanta. She’s a lover of hiking and the outdoors, photography and baking.

And…she loves love. More than anything, she loves love.

 

FACEBOOK  TWITTER 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

 

ANGEL LAWSON

 
21P+FG8AupL._UX250_Angel Lawson is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Romance author of adult and young adult fiction. She lives with her family in Atlanta and has a lifelong obsession with creating fiction from reality, either with paint or words. On a typical day you can find her writing, reading, plotting her escape from the zombie apocalypse and trying to get the glitter out from under her nails.

She is the author of the Creature of Habit Series, The Wraith Series, Serial Summer, FanGirl, and Vigilant. Book 2 of her zombie, dystopian novel Zocopalypse will be out fall of 2016!

 

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Review: Higher Ground by Nan Lowe

 

HIGHER GROUND

by

NAN LOWE

 

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

516RYo9RdqL._UY250_Nearly a decade after leaving her tumultuous high school years and New Orleans behind, Dr. Violet Foster is thriving in Atlanta. She’s landed a job in the English Department of a prestigious school and shares a home—and her heart—with Wade Price, the love of her life. Everything’s going according to plan. Until a phone call from Violet’s younger brother thwarts her holiday plans and upends her carefully constructed life. She’s managed to avoid her hometown for years and dance around the secrets she left buried there. A wedding reception and an ailing grandmother beckon her return to The Big Easy, but as her departure nears, Violet is forced to reconcile the person she was with the woman she’s become. Even if it means losing everything she holds dear.

 

 

– REVIEW –

 

 “To Violet, the calm between my storms.”

Higher Ground

Kindle Loc. 143 of 4537

A simple, lovely inscription that carries such a punch to the gut. Much in the same way Nan Lowe’s novel, Higher Ground delivered a stunning gut punch complete with a side of heartache to this reader.

A wedding reception for a beloved sibling forces Dr. Violet Foster to leave her safe haven in Atlanta and return to her hometown of New Orleans. There, amid the lush fragrances and exotic spells that define New Orleans, Violet confronts the traumatic past that has haunted and shaped her life. Truths are revealed, regrets are laid to rest and life, for better or worse, continues.

Higher Ground is the first published offering of author Nan Lowe an it is an exceptional debut.

Told in chapters that move the action between present day and the past, Lowe weaves a story that has the reader hanging on every word, gasping at times through plot twists.  It speaks to the talent of this author that even anticipated turns carried an impact — recognition of what was foreshadowed did not lessen the shock.

The four principal characters, Violet, Wade, Oliver and Van, are all expertly crafted. The ancillary characters are equally solid (truly, Miss Verity deserves, at the very least, a novella of her own). The settings so descriptive that one can feel the sultry humidity of NOLA while inhaling the aroma of coffee and beignets at the Café Du Monde.

At its core, it is the inherent truths contained in Higher Ground that set it apart — life is often hard, love is rare and precious, and sometimes, there is no shelter from the storm.

Brava, Nan Lowe!

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

*ARC received from the author in exchange for an  honest review.*

 

–  BUY THE BOOK –

 

AMAZON

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

NAN LOWE

 

B1U3988smfS._UX250_.jpgNan Lowe grew up in Memphis with barbeque and blues in her veins. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and is raising a son and daughter in a tiny town north of Graceland that has more cows than stoplights. Half farm girl and half city chick, she’s a little bit country and a whole lot of rock and roll. Most days, you’ll find her reading, writing, plotting, or listening to Pearl Jam, usually with a dog or two on her lap.

 

 

 

 

Review and Excerpt Tour: The Matchmaker’s Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken

The Matchmaker's Replacement Banner - Aug 9

 

 

THE MATCHMAKER’S REPLACEMENT

by

RACHEL VAN DYKEN

 

 

– SYNOPSIS –


VanDyken-TheMatchmakersReplacement-CV-FL-vC6-RGBWingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.

Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.

But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.

Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

I hated him.

HATED him.

Hate, hate, hate. I chanted the words to myself that very next morning as I stomped toward his ridiculously expensive house, next to the ridiculously nice lake, with his ridiculously loud red Mercedes parked out front. Jackass.

I’d be doing society a favor if I set it on fire.

Seriously.

The thing was probably filled with so much bodily fluid and disease that if he got in a car accident he’d infect the entire freeway and start a citywide epidemic.

I shuddered.

I compartmentalized Lex into two boxes.

The first box was Childhood Lex, the friend who used to hang out with Ian and me before he moved across town, never to be seen again. He used to ride with me to school, and when I was sick he gave me my own box of Kleenex—never mind that he stole it from his teacher’s desk. The point is, Childhood Lex was a keeper.

Box number two?

Asshole Lex, also known as the version I was walking toward. The Lex I met when I was eighteen, who momentarily stunned me speechless with his godlike beauty, had been a figment of my overactive, sad, hormone-riddled imagination.

On the outside? The perfect man.

With a brooding and sultry smile.

Biceps the size of my head.

Who gave me the distinct feeling that if I ran my hands over his buzzed hair I’d orgasm before he even touched me.

Whatever. I was over it. So over it.

A lot of people had stupid crushes when they were eighteen, right?

Now all I saw when I looked into his stormy blue eyes was syph or the clap, and that was being generous. The dude was a walking STD and seriously tried every nerve I had. He was an ass. Plain and simple, no sugar coating. He was the type of guy who’d tell a chick that she looked fat in a dress or who refused to share the communal breadbasket. See! He couldn’t even adhere to typical manners during mealtime! Just thinking about him had me tied up in knots.

Last year, when I went shopping and stupidly invited Ian along—which of course meant Lex had to come—I was told in no uncertain terms that if I would just stop drinking chocolate milk in the morning I’d be able to fit into a smaller size.

He’d smiled.

His dimples had deepened.

He’d even crossed his arms as if to say, Look, I did you a favor, pat me on the back.

Instead I had kicked him in the balls and tried to give him a black eye, clocking Ian in the face.

My point? Lex. Was. The. Devil.

I made a point of only hanging out with Lex when absolutely necessary, and even then I almost always had Ian as a buffer. But now that he was playing love nest with my ex-roomie, Blake? Well, I was on my own.

Lex opened the door after my third aggressive knock. Black sweatpants hung low on his hips, a vintage Mariners shirt fell open around his neck, and he was wearing black-framed glasses that made his eyes more appealing than should be legal.

“Sunshine,” he said, his smirk deepening as he crossed his burly arms over his chest.

“Dickhead.” I smiled sweetly. “New glasses? They look thicker than last time.”

“Better to see you with.” He leaned forward, his eyes narrowing into tiny slits. “There they are.” He reached for one of my boobs.

I slapped his hand away so hard my palm stung.

“Probably not the best way to treat your new male clients.” He shook his hand and turned towards the living room leaving the door wide open. Manners were completely lost on him.

Gritting my teeth, I slammed the door behind me and took off my shoes because I knew if I didn’t he’d give me hell.

He was a freak like that.

For as much ass as he got, it was shocking how much Lysol he used around the house. His clothes were never wrinkled; everything was pristine.

Even his breath.

Damn him.

He drank coffee like a Starbucks employee but never had coffee breath.

It was almost painful, staring him in the face, knowing that everything on the outside appeared perfect—but didn’t match the inside at all, not even close!

Beauty like Lex’s was dangerous and wickedly tempting, like something out of a paranormal romance novel. Sometimes, at night, when I dreamed of Lex getting hit by a car, I imagined him as a vampire roaming the streets in his favorite black sweats, shirtless, shimmering under the streetlights, just waiting for whores to line up so he could take a few bites.

A pencil flew by my head.

“Yo.” Lex’s eyebrows shot up. “We have a lot of work to do if we’re going to get you ready for the next two clients. Daydream about chicks on your own time.”

“I’m not a lesbian.”

He bit on his bottom lip, sinking back in his chair as his eyes slowly roamed from my mismatched socks all the way up to my head. “Okay, whatever you say, Gabs.”

I will not commit homicide. I will not commit homicide. “You know,” I said as I tossed my purse onto the table, “it’s offensive that you assume all lesbians dress like crap.” So what? I was wearing a ratty white T-shirt and ripped jeans, and I was pretty sure I still had mascara on from the night before. It was my Lex repellant. He hated sloppiness.

“Offensive.” He nodded. “Also true . . .” He used the spare pencil from behind his ear to slide my purse over to the farthest side of the table. “It wouldn’t kill you to wear something other than jeans and T-shirts, Gabs.” He sighed. “Say it with me: dresssss—”

I grabbed the pencil from his hand, broke it into two pieces, and handed them back to him. “I wear dresses, just not for you. Dresses are your kryptonite, especially short black ones. I refuse to be a part of your ‘shower time.’”

He snorted. “You wish.”

“Yes. Every night when I go to sleep I pray for Lex to dream of me while he jerks off because yet another girl refused to follow his instructions in bed : ‘Damn it, use the manual!’” I said, using my best imitation of Lex’s voice. I’d only heard him shout instructions to a girl once, and it had scarred me for life. What the hell are you doing? Do I look like I’m satisfied? There’s a diagram! Ugh.

Lex rolled his eyes. “Very funny, and the manual is there for a reason. Do you even know how many chicks get confused when I call out sexual positions? It’s like, get there faster, you know?”

My feelings were torn between fascination and disgust. “So,” I changed the subject. “Let’s train, because I have about ten years worth of Organic Chem homework.”

Lex sighed and held out his hand.

“No.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t need help.”

Okay, I needed help, desperately needed help, and Lex wasn’t just passably smart but a certified genius, at least when he applied himself. I refused to ask him to go over my homework just because Organic Chem was, to me, like reading a foreign language.

He cleared his throat.

I didn’t move.

Finally, he stood, slowly walked over to the end of the table, and fished the chem book from my oversized purse. “What chapter?”

“Lex—”

“If I’m teaching you Organic Chem, at least say Professor Lex.”

“Listen very closely, Lex.” I went over and jerked my book out of his hands. “I didn’t need your help last year when I almost failed biology, and I sure as hell don’t need your help now. Let’s just get this training done so I can go home and suffer in silence, alright?”

“Fine.” He dropped my book against the table and then, without warning, grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me against the counter that bordered the kitchen. My butt hit the cupboard . “Up until now we’ve been helping people find their perfect match. Basically acting like a wingman so that the idiots of this world see the girl who’s been standing in front of them all along .”

Why was he standing so close? Did we have to be touching? I told my body not to respond to his proximity, but Lex was magnetic, even if every part of him was evil. My brain was having trouble functioning while his large palms were pressed into the tops of my shoulders.

“Okay.” I swallowed. “And now that you’re allowing guys to become clients of Wingmen Inc., I basically do the same thing. Give them confidence, help them capture the one girl who’s always seen them as the friend—or worse, who they’ve been invisible to.”

“What’s that like, I wonder?” Lex still didn’t release me. “Being invisible . . . Maybe next time a dude ignores you, take notes.”

And another insult.

“Lex.” I huffed out a breath. “Just get on with it.”

“Right.” His eyes momentarily locked on mine before he rubbed the bridge of his nose where his glasses were perched. It was not sexy. It wasn’t. Really. That. Sexy. “So whenever we take on a new client, we give them a list of questions, meet them in a public place, and then use the power of human emotions like jealousy and curiosity to get the other person interested. That’s where you come in. If another girl sees our client as desirable, he becomes desirable.”

“That easy?”

“Sort of.” Lex leaned forward. “But you can’t suck.”

“Suck?”

“At anything.” His lips hovered near my mouth. He was starting to freak me out. I wanted to run away, but I was pinned.

“Lex, if you kiss me I will bite your tongue off. I swear.”

“If I was actually kissing you”—Lex released one of my shoulders and placed a finger against my mouth—“you’d know it. This, my frumpy friend, is training.”

His lips descended.

They pressed against mine, then pulled back. “Yeah.” He shook his head. “Gabs, you’re going to need to open your mouth a bit more. Guys are stupid. They always assume that more tongue means better kissing, when the opposite is true, but you still need to have your lips parted, not locked down like Fort Knox.”

“What’s happening?” I tried to push away from him.

Lex rolled his eyes. “Gabs, believe me, this is all business. You can even keep your hand on my junk the whole time.”

“What!” I roared.

“So you know without a doubt that nothing about you turns me on.” He grinned menacingly. “Seriously, I don’t mind.”

“I do!”

“Hey!” He chuckled. “I was just trying to help.”

“Grabbing your penis is not the answer, Lex!”

“Weird, because it so often is.”

“I hate today.”

“Is it the rain?” He frowned.

“It’s not—”

“It is.”

“Stop that!” I shoved him. “Hurry up and grade my kissing skills so I can go home and study.”

“Kissing, hand holding, hugging, cuddling, laughing, winking—just a few things you need to master.” He was firing off so many horrible, body-numbing words.

“Just hurry up,” I grumbled in a defeated voice as I tried to block out the fact that he was a good-looking ass who offended me with every single breath he took.

“Ah . . .” Lex held up his hand. “One never hurries a kiss.”

“What about a passionate kiss?”

“A passionate kiss isn’t hurried, it’s frenzied. Damn, don’t you know anything?”

Heat swamped my cheeks.

“How many guys have you kissed, Gabs?”

“Plenty!” Five. I’d kissed five.

“You blush down your neck when you lie.” Lex cupped my chin and then brought his lips down against mine again. “Part.”

Sighing against his mouth, I relaxed my lips while his slid across.

He pulled back, wearing a frown of irritation. “A bit more, Gabs. Guys want access.”

I kept my eyes open.

So did he.

I didn’t want him assuming I was into it, which was probably his exact line of thinking. Only keeping my eyes open was an entirely raw experience, watching him watch me while I felt him.

I shivered.

“Cold?” That stupid smirk was back.

“Frigid.” I glared, putting myself down before he had a chance to.

“You read my mind.” He nodded seriously. “Now stop being a bitch, and let me teach you how to kiss.”

“I know how to kiss!” I don’t know what came over me—maybe it was the need to prove myself, or possibly it was just stress over the entire situation. Needing to stay in school and hating that he was the answer, I wrapped my arms around his neck and jumped, my hips colliding with his as I mauled his mouth with as much passion as I could conjure up, this time closing my eyes and putting everything I had into it.

With a growl, Lex pushed me back against the countertop. As my butt collided with the edge, his tongue plunged into my mouth and his hands dug into my hair, pulling it free from its ponytail while he changed positions his lips demanding a punishing kiss from a different angle as his he gave my hair a harder tug back.

I grasped at his T-shirt, pulling him closer and nearly falling backward into the sink.

And then, just when I was in danger of losing myself to the kiss that would probably be the best kiss of my life, I bit down on his bottom lip.

That move didn’t work out the way I’d planned, not at all. In my head it was smart. I’d piss him off, get him to pull back and leave me alone.

It did nothing of the sort.

Nothing of the sort at all.

With a hiss he pulled back, fire blazing in his eyes. For a split second that seemed to go on for an eternity, he hovered and I waited, both of us on the edge of something. He wet his lips, I mimicked the movement, and then, like a snake, he struck. His mouth fused to mine in a punishing kiss, one that bruised my mouth while imprinting its essence on my soul.

 

– REVIEW –

 

 “Okay, point me to the Fortress of Solitude , and I’ll try not to sweat estrogen everywhere.”

“Upstairs.  And Gabs, I really mean it when I say . . . If you ever leave a tampon in my room, I will cut you.”

The Matchmaker’s Replacement

Kindle Loc 2229 of 4205

Let’s get to it — The Matchmaker’s Replacement (Rachel Van Dyken’s sequel to her wildly successful The Matchmaker’s Handbook) had me laughing (and snorting) out loud.

The Matchmaker’s Replacement is the story of the relationship between Wingmen co-founder and resident genius/hottie, Lex Luthor, and his childhood friend (and heart’s desire) Gabi Sava.

When Lex, along with his roommate Ian founded Wingmen, Inc., their purpose was to provide their female clientele with a customized plan of instruction and technique guaranteed to land any woman the man of her dreams.  Word of Wingmen’s success has spread, and now Ian and Lex are faced will male clientele. With Ian out of the picture, (having hooked up with Gabi’s roommate, Blake), Lex needs to bring in not only another partner, but one that’s female. Enter Gabi.

Now Gabi, Ian and Lex go back as childhood friends. Ian has always been protective of Gabi — he thinks of her as his little sister, and in big brotherly fashion lays down the law to Lex very early on that Gabi is not become another notch on Lex’s bedpost. (See where this is going?)

Fast forward to present time and Lex has begun tutoring the virgin (yes! virgin) Gabi on all sorts of Wingmen technique — from kissing to wardrobe. Lusty Lex can barely contain his desire for Gabi and tosses sarcasm and smack to hide his feelings for her.  Feisty Gabi is in the same boat — she’s always held back on her desire for Lex and dishes equally delicious snark right back at him.  This leads to some of the most clever, witty exchanges this reader has encountered in written romantic comedy. The dialogue and interaction between these two is worth of any five star rom-com. (Don’t even get me started on the hilarity of the tampon vs condom war.)

Author Van Dyken is a master at not only the witty repartee, but knows how to deliver sizzle with a side of slow-burn.  Both Lex and Gabi are solidly written. The secondary characters are equally well written, and move the story along without being filler. While the friends/enemies/lovers trope is a popular theme, Rachel Van Dyken takes it to another level in The Matchmaker’s Replacement. Van Dyken’s courtship between Lex and Gabi is a brilliantly choreographed dance of dialogue, and it’s both mesmerizing and satisfying. (I could not put this book down — a one-sitting read.)  Straight through to its conclusion (and epilogue), Van Dyken never drops the ball regarding the level of writing or the pace of the story.  Brava!

Refreshing funny, original, and a most satisfying read, The Matchmaker’s Replacement is that rare find — a sequel that surpasses the original.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AU

 

TAKE A LOOK AT THE EPIC COVER HERE

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

RACHEL VAN DYKEN

 

rachelborderRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken  or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com .

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS 

 AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE / NEWSLETTER

 

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Review and Excerpt Tour: 1001 Dark Nights Presents: Dragon Fever by Donna Grant

Dragon Fever - Tour banner

 

DRAGON FEVER by Donna Grant, a novella in her Dark Kings Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights, is finally here! Be sure you check out the trailer and all the stops on the tour. It’s available now so grab your copy today!

 

DRAGON FEVER

by

DONNA GRANT

 

A yearning that won’t be denied —

 

Dragon Fever - coverRachel Marek is a journalist with a plan. She intends to expose the truth about dragons to the world – and her target is within sight. Nothing matters but getting the truth, especially not the ruggedly handsome, roguishly thrilling Highlander who oozes danger and charm. And when she finds the truth that shatters her faith, she’ll have to trust her heart to the very man who can crush it…

A legend in the flesh

Suave, dashing Asher is more than just a man. He’s a Dragon King – a being who has roamed this planet since the beginning of time. With everything on the line, Asher must choose to trust an enemy in the form of an all too alluring woman whose tenacity and passion captivate him. Together, Asher and Rachel must fight for their lives – and their love – before an old enemy destroys them both…

 

– EXCERPT –

 

It had been so easy to gain Asher’s attention. Then again, she had dressed the part. Though Rachel hadn’t expected such an immediate interaction with him, she was still pleased. She’d guessed right in what would draw his attention.

“Good evening,” he said in a smooth, deep brogue that she wanted to hate but couldn’t.

She nodded, smiling “Evening.”

“Ah. American.”

“Is that a problem?”

He was quick to shake his head. “No’ at all. I’ve several close friends who are married to Americans. I’m Asher, by the way.”

She took his hand. His long fingers tenderly wrapped around hers as his Scottish brogue fell from his lips. “Rae.”

“A curiously male name for a verra feminine woman.”

“It’s a nickname.” It was a trick of any good undercover journalist worth their salt to remain close to the truth in any scenario. Sharing an old nickname allowed her to use something other than her name, but still answer to it because she knew it.

“And your real name?”

She smiled flirtatiously. “That I save for those I deem worthy.”

One side of his lips lifted in a shockingly seductive grin. He leaned back in his chair casually, those bright green eyes of his studying her, as if by staring he might be able to see all the secrets she kept hidden away.

Rachel found herself gazing into his eyes. Never had she seen eyes such a dazzling green before. Even if she hadn’t known he was an immortal and a Dragon King, the truth of who he was blazed in those eyes of his.

“Your smile is fading. Why?” he asked, a small frown forming.

“Do you believe you can see a person’s soul in their eyes?”

“Aye,” he replied immediately.

 

– REVIEW –

 

“This was their planet. From the dawn of time dragons have roamed this world, ruling all. They could’ve easily killed the humans when they appeared, but they hadn’t. The Kings made room for them.”

Dragon Fever

Kindle Loc. 373 of 2125

Dragon King Asher longs for his home, Dreagan, nested in the Scottish Highlands. Reluctantly, he finds himself in Paris attending the World Whiskey Consortium, representing Dreagan Industries. Dreagan Industries distills the finest Scottish whiskey (yes, whiskey) known to man.

Rachel Marek has made her name in investigative journalism.  When presented video evidence possibly exposing the existence of dragons on planet Earth, Rachel jumps at the chance to break this story to the public.  Knowing that there will be a representative from Dreagan Industries at the Consortium, Rachel heads to Paris.  Once there, Rachel goes undercover as Rae in hopes of collecting evidence supporting the video. Her plan is to seduce Asher.

Rachel is a pretty cool customer,  Confident of her skills as a reporter and as a woman, very little rocks Rachel’s boat — that is until she encounters Asher in the flesh.  Dragon King Asher is a glorious specimen to behold — dark haired, green-eyed, complete with a devastating burr — he’s irresistible.

Neither Asher nor Rachel can deny the combustion they feel for the other, and this leads to some very fevered, scorching times between the two. But the path of true love and soul mates between the mortal and immortal is never easy, and such is the case between Asher and Rachel.

So what’s it like getting it on with a dragon? Hot — verra, verra, hot!

Dragon Fever is the latest offering from the folks at 1001 Dark Nights, and book 9.5 in Donna Grant’s deliciously hot Dark Kings SeriesDragon Fever is a stand alone novella, and you do not have to be familiar with the series to enjoy this tasty tidbit. There is a little cliffie concerning the overall plot of the Dark King Series, but story featured in Dragon Fever is complete.

A confession: this reader was a bit skeptical concerning dragon/human erotica, but can now report that she happily popped that cherry while reading this book. If you’re a lover of paranormal/fantasy erotica, enter the realm of Dragon Fever. You won’t be disappointed.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review.*

CLICK TEASER FOR AMAZING VIDEO —

Dragon Fever - Tour teaser 1

 

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon AU

Download the Free Kindle App

 

Glass of whiskey on wooden background close up

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

DONNA GRANT

 

 

Donna Grant - headshotDonna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, four cats, and one long haired Chihuahua.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp| DRAGON FEVER on Goodreads

 

Dragon Fever - Available Now

 

 

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