Tuesday, September 17, 2019

#CharacterInterview - "One Woman Only" by Dee S Knight

Hi, Jonah. Im so happy to chat with you today. Let’s get started... 

What’s your name?
Jonah Goodman

What do you look like?
Kinda tall—about 6’2”—with hazel eyes. I don’t keep my hair trimmed as well as I should, or so my brother Daniel tells me. Sometimes I leave off shaving for a day or two, so I often have a dark scruff. But the ladies on the NASCAR circuit seem to like it, so I’m down with it, too.

What time period does your story take place?
Current day, though the story started at the senior homecoming dance, eighteen years ago.

What’s your goal in this story?
Goal, I have to have a goal? *sigh* Well, okay, I guess it’s to show that I’m not really what everyone always thought I was. And maybe to prove it to myself, too.

What conflicts are you facing?
Pre-conceived notions. I’m thought to be the guy who lets everything roll off his back, always smiling, always happy-go-lucky. No one thinks there’s a deeper man beneath the façade. I’ve forgotten that too, because it’s so easy to keep up the Jonah Goodman everyone thinks they know.

What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it? 
I’m a mechanic, often for the best NASCAR teams, but most often with my Uncle Zeb in his Darlington, SC garage. Am I good at it? Does a bear sh--, uh, defecate in the woods? Hell yeah. It’s what I was born to do.

What skill do you have that you’re proud of? Why?
I can make anything run. Engines? Not one can resist me. Just like women…

What did you think the first time you saw Kelly Shepherd?
We were in high school and back then I thought she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. (That hasn’t changed, by the way.) Then I found out she was smart, funny, kind—the whole package. And, her daddy ran the biggest company in town as well as being a board member at the bank and one who voted not to allow my daddy a job when he got out of prison. I knew Kelly was would of my league, but I loved her anyway. And was shocked as hell when she seemed to love me back.

What is your family like?
I have the best family in the world! Granted, mama was a stripper (but she was a world class stripper!), and daddy did go to prison for a few years after he was caught stealing from the bank where he worked (but his sentence was short because the bank folks loved him so much), but never did my brothers and I ever doubt we were loved as much or more than any kids in our hometown of Lucky Strike, NC. Oh yeah. My brothers. I’m one of a set of triplets. My brother Daniel has a PhD and taught in a snooty school in New Hampshire until recently. My other brother, Mark, has PHD, too. He’s a bona fide genius but needs someone to tell him when his sweater is buttoned wrong. I have a GED, make the most money and have the most notoriety. So why do I sometimes feel the black sheep?

What's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
I mean, I lost my grandparents—daddy’s parents—when I was a teenager. But the biggest personally was losing Kelly when I was an idiotic eighteen-year-old.

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
I was always interested in cars, and I was always good with them. But even I never thought I’d get to work with some of the greatest race car drivers of our time. How was it not what I expected? When you’re a kid you think something great would never get old. But eventually even the greatest job becomes just a job, and I guess that’s what surprised me the most about reaching the pinnacle of what I wanted when I was so young. Now here I am in my mid-thirties and wondering, “What’s there to do next?”

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Do the best you can. Don’t worry about money or fame because if you do your best, they will follow.

What is people’s first impression of you?
That I’m easy going.

Do you see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?
I’m willing to listen to reasoning, and there are a lot of shades of gray. But when it comes down to it, things are right or they’re wrong.

What’s your quirkiest habit? 
Crossword puzzles. I love ‘em! SO much so that I now set them for NACAR programs and a couple of local papers. Shh! No one would understand. That doesn’t fit in with the Jonah they know.

If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change in your life?
I would not try to make love to Kelly in the back of my car the night of our senior prom. A virgin should not try to have sex with a virgin in the cramped quarter of the backseat when she is wearing a killer dress that cost more than your dad’s annual salary. So much changed that night!

Why do you think your author chose to write about you?
Well, the woman did not choose to write about me first. Funny that, because I’m usually so much more persuasive with the ladies than Daniel is. But I think it’s because I’m fun and charming, and second chance love is so much more appealing than the old guy-meets-girl-guy screws-up-and-loses-girl stuff. And Mark—while I love him—is pretty darn boring.

What do you wish your author had not told others about you?
Some of my deepest thoughts. A guy like me isn’t supposed to have deep thoughts. If it gets out, my reputation will go straight to hell.

What other character from your book do you think your author should write a book about? Care to tell us why?
Boring or not, here he comes! My brother Mark is next in line. He’s a really good guy, and if he ever meets a girl who captures his interest—if he notices, that is—she’ll be in for a ride. I hope that happens for him!

One Woman Only
Release date, October 2019

Blurb:

As one of a set of triplets, Jonah always felt the need to make his individuality known. So where his brother Daniel was serious and completely focused, Jonah shunned commitment. Where his genius brother Mark was hailed in the scientific world, Jonah hid beneath a car tinkering. Thing is, being different wasn't all it was cracked up to be. It took a woman to make him see that focused and recognized in his field could turn a "good man" into a better man.

Excerpt:

"May I have this dance?"

Kelly turned at the sound of Jonah's voice behind her. Dinner had ended. All three of the boys had given best man speeches and Eve had even given a very creditable matron of honor speech, considering she had only known Marilyn and Caleb a short time. Lots of toasts had been raised and finally the live band had struck up the music. Caleb led his bride onto the floor for a foxtrot—a dance more than half of the guests had no idea how to do, including her.

Facing Jonah she sighed inwardly at how scrumptious he looked. Sure, his face was pretty much displayed on his brothers' heads, too, but there was something different about Jonah. His nose was just a little crooked from when Bobby Hendricks had broken it in ninth grade and his eyes held an especially bright sparkle in his eyes when he smiled. Maybe… Well, she didn't know what caused the difference between Jonah and his brothers. Whatever it was, she had never been fooled by the so-called identical nature of the identical triplets. She'd wanted to be his girl since elementary school. Thought she would be in high school. And then forced every last thought of him from her mind from senior year on.

Until now.

"I don't know how to foxtrot."

He shrugged. "Who does except those over fifty?" He glanced at his folks, still alone on the dancefloor, although a few couples were wandering out to join them now. "We can pretend."

She mentally compared standing on the sidelines alone now that Mama Rio left the party, or being held in Jonah's arms. Smiling, Kelly held out her hands. "Just don't step on my toes, Jonah Goodman, or there'll be hell to pay."

"Yes, ma'am." Together they walked onto the dancefloor. He took her right hand in his left and placed his right hand on her waist. Fortunately for them, the music changed to a slow tempo. Kelly laid her head on Jonah's shoulder, and he tugged her closer as they swayed to the music.

"This is nice," he murmured.

"Yes it is," she replied. So very nice. He smelled good. Beneath the light citrus fragrance of his aftershave was a slight whiff of pure man with maybe a twinge of motor oil or something so Jonah it brought tears to her eyes.

He rubbed a path up to her shoulder blades and gave a squeeze. "You fit me perfectly, Kelly."

"I do?"

"You sure do. I think our hearts can feel each other beat."

Kelly chuckled. "Smooth talker. Face to face like this our hearts are on opposite sides."

"Hey! I'm trying to be romantic here."

She sighed. "Keep on. It's appreciated."

"You smell…good."

She felt his smile. Raising her head she gave him a mock glare. "Watch it with those pregnant pauses, buster."

He used his hand to press her head back to his shoulder. "You do smell good, though. This isn't the same perfume you wore in high school. That was—"

"Lilac," they said at the same time. Once more she raised her head to look at him. "How did you remember that?"

"I remember much more than you might think." He turned her and moved her closer to the door onto the patio. "Each spring when lilacs are in bloom memories come flooding back. Does that surprise you?"

"More like shocks me," she said, grinning. And then she laid her head on his shoulder once more, finding she liked it more and more there in his arms. She stepped slightly closer and his arm tightened about her.

"Well, after a while I thought lilac seemed too girlish. I like the vintage scents, so in college I wore Wind Song. Then Shalimar was the scent Brad liked me to wear." She felt Jonah stiffen when she mentioned her ex, and really she didn't blame him. "But when I grew up enough finally to take charge of my own life, I started wearing Chanel No 5. A complex fragrance for what I hope is a complex woman."

"It suits you. Complex and beautiful." He kissed her temple. "Want to step outside for a minute?"

"Sure. It is a little warm in here."

On the patio, they could hear the sounds of the people from the television networks packing up equipment, chatting and laughing. Stars shone brightly in the clear night sky. Wood smoke from someone's fireplace wafted through the air and static electricity fairly crackled in the crispness of the autumn air.

"This is my favorite time of year," Kelly said. "The heat of summer is gone and winter nights curled up with a hot drink and blazing fire are ahead."

"Not me. I'm a summer boy all the way."

"A hothead you mean?" she teased.

"Oh, I'm hot all right." He waggled his brows at her. Kelly laughed.

"I do seem to remember that about you."

"You used to be pretty hot yourself. Still are." He leaned in. His eyes flicked down to her lips. Kelly sucked in a breath. She should stop him, she really should.
Buy Links:

One Woman Only will be out in October 2019. Please watch my website, https://nomadauthors.com, my Facebook and Twitter pages (see links below) for news of its release.

Bio:

A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex. Writing was so much fun Dee decided to keep at it. That's how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she's lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. For romance ranging from sweet to historical, contemporary to paranormal and more join Dee on Nomad Authors. Contact Dee at dsknight@deesknight.com.

Author links:

Website: https://nomadauthors.com
Blog: http://nomadauthors.com/blog
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DeeSKnight
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeeSKnight2018
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/265222.Dee_S_Knight
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B079BGZNDN
Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h8t2y6
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/dee-s-knight-0500749

Monday, September 16, 2019

#BookSpotlight - "The Unexpected Spy" by Liza O’Connor


"The Unexpected Spy" by Liza O’Connor


Blurb

Having come so close to Parliament falling into a foreign country’s hands, Amy wishes to help keep her country safe by being the finest spy Chavier has ever taught.

Since no one but Chavier, and those who know her well, perceive her to be anything but a charming, but silly young girl, she will have easy access to those who are apt to cause trouble, since they will think her harmless.

Amy is the finest spy that has ever existed. Her ability to hide in plain sight is almost magical. Her ability to heal is beyond what should be possible. Her hearing is acute as is her ability to smell. Thus, she can throw a knife with accuracy in the dark and hit her targets with precision. In addition, she now knows ten languages: English, French, Scottish, Dutch, Russian, German, Portuguese, Finnish, Spanish, and Swiss. Thus if, someone whispers in a different language she not only has acute hearing to hear it, but it is very likely that she will understand what they are saying.

Excerpt

“Do as you like. But I must say, I’m a bit disappointed to think you came to me with such foolishness. I would have enjoyed this evening far more dancing with my bride than discussing false accusations.”


“It appears your bride prefers my son over you.”

Chavier had not seen Amy leave the library, but there she was, clearly in Bishop’s son’s arms. “Well, he’s young, handsome, and a fine dancer. What woman wouldn’t wish to be in his arms?”

“Do you not fear you might lose your young bride?”

“Lose her, no! She’s having a pleasant time, I dare say. But rest assured, I will be the one who takes her home,” Chavier stated proudly. He hoped she had achieved her objectives before Bishop’s son showed up.

Once the dance ended, he claimed her hand and walked her into the garden. She chattered on about the ball and the nice young men as she continued to stuff his pockets with documents. He wanted to ask her why she didn’t just read and remember the items instead of stealing them, but she was so happy he couldn’t chide her.

Amy grinned. “Now, I’m going back in and will kiss the young man who showed me the location of the documents. He’s very angry with his father, due to their situation now. He was sent down from Cambridge, and he holds his father responsible.”

“So, you asked him for the documents?”

“No. He just gave them to me to give to you. I had intended to refuse them, until I discovered what they were.”

“What are they?” Chavier asked.

“Encrypted letters between Bishop and the man who almost destroyed England last year, Count Valesky. It turns out the count was the one in charge of last year’s fiasco, not Carlos. Worse yet, Catherine is not living with her husband anymore. She is with Count Valesky. One of the letters I just gave you discusses the possibility of using her in their next attempt to destroy England.”

“What is their plan?” Chavier demanded.

“They believe she is your child, not her father’s. They are certain that you will not fight them if they hold your daughter captive.”

“If that is true, I will need you to stop me from strangling Ann. Let us return to our carriage at once,” he ordered.

BUY IT NOW!

The Unexpected Spy

Available at 
Other sites by D2D
Barns & Noble
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And more. 

Check it out here!

More About the Author

Liza O’Connor’s favorite books are Pride & Prejudice and Douglas Adams’ four book trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Go figure…

Raised in the southern mid-section of U.S., Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stockbroker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations. Again…go figure.

She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ sports. However, her favorite activity was to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ. Jess is near 20 years old now, so he’s not up to much anymore. So, I just garden and write more books.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT


Investigate these sites:


I have over 50 books now.
I’ve stopped counting.
I’ve novels in several genres:
Contemporary Romance,
Historical Romance,
A 9 book series (soon to be 10)
Humorous historical sleuth series,
I also have several Sci-fi series
And some paranormal series, 
Plus, lots of one-offs that I’ve written 
Because the book demanded
To be written

Saturday, September 14, 2019

#BookReview – “Sea of Change” by Shelley Munro


Blurb

A sexy face in the crowd…

Orca shifter Asia Bolino can’t believe the gorgeous cutie is Roman Anderson. They belong to enemy tribes, but she’d love to run her fingers over his…assets. Roman doesn’t recognize her, and in a moment of weakness, Asia agrees to a late-night date, a little forbidden pleasure.

Someone attacks Roman while he waits for Asia. Aware of his shifter status, Asia does the only thing she can—she takes him back to her apartment. The problem is when he regains consciousness, he thinks they’re married. He parades around her apartment wearing nothing but a smile, and Asia is weak. She succumbs to his charm and skilful loving. Hip-deep in lies, she’s aware the sensual bubble might burst at any moment. That might mean bloodshed, and she can’t allow that to happen. Worse, Roman doesn’t seem to recall he’s a shifter.

Asia struggles with guilt while melting at Roman’s touch. Nothing can come of their relationship, and now it seems someone knows the truth and they’re both in danger.
 

Review

A thousand years ago, the Orca shape-shifters in the waters around Australia divided into two tribes and have warred ever since. Lately, the war has frizzled into distrust and a firm belief that the tribes should never mingle. They live and work among humans but keep their own communities.
Asia Bolino, a member of the Transient tribe, knows she should leave sexy Roman Anderson alone. He’s the leader of the Resident tribe, and he’s been busy trying to stop a civil war among his people. When he approaches her in the nightclub where she sings, she’s relieved he doesn’t recognize her as a fellow Orca. She agrees to a date, but three strangers later attack Roman and leave him unconscious on the ground. When he wakes up, he thinks Asia is his wife, and he has no memory of his life. Even though danger lurks, Asia follows along with his delusions but never expected to fall in love in the process.
I really liked Asia and Roman. They’re strong, funny, and determined characters. They have great chemistry and think alike in wanting to reunite the tribes. Asia has an overprotective family, and I really liked the way they finally supported her relationship with Roman. His friends are great, especially Victor, and I wished there would’ve been more about them.
For a novella, this story had a lot of sex scenes, which slowed the pacing a little. It’s told in third POV, in both the H/h’s voice, with proper scene breaks. I don’t think I noticed any typos. I’ve never read a romance book about Orcas, and I really enjoyed it. I definitely recommend it if you want something a little different from all the werewolves and werebears out there.
4.5 Stars

Friday, September 13, 2019

#BookReview – “Scottish Brides” by Christina Dodd, Stephanie Laurens, Julia Quinn, and Karen Ranney



Blurb

A land of legend and wild beauty--of clans, lairds, honor, and passion--Scotland forever stirs the soul to romance. Now, in one incomparable volume, four of Avon Romance's bestselling authors present stirring tales of hearts won and weddings to be, featuring a quartet of unforgettable heroines about to discover the rapture of love in a world as untamed as the men they will one day marry.

Displaying the bold and breathtaking sensuality that is her hallmark, bestselling author CHRISTINA DODD enthralls us with the tale of a willful Scottish beauty--kidnapped by an arrogant yet irresistible Englishman--who fights to keep from succumbing to her brazen captor's passionate, and persuasive, proposal.

Experience the fiercely emotional power of STEPHANIE LAURENS who is at her passionate best with this story of a wealthy gentleman who finds his childhood nemesis has blossomed into a most desirable lass--and he's determined to do everything in his power to claim her as his own, before she is quite unsuitably wed.

The delightful wit and warm humor of JULIA QUINN shine brightly in this winning romantic romp, in which a lovely English miss--feigning marriage to a dashing, beguiling Scotsman--discovers she has a very real desire for her make-believe groom.

Another strikingly dramatic and deeply compelling tale by KAREN RANNEY. A legend decrees that the sexy Laird of Sinclair must marry a woman he has never met. But only sweet, passion-filled love will him to his true--and forbidden--bride.

stories are:
Under the Kilt (Fairchild Family #2.5) by Christina Dodd
Rose in Bloom by Stephanie Laurens
Gretna Greene by Julia Quinn
The Glenlyon Bride by Karen Ranney
 

Review

I really enjoyed this anthology of four Scottish historical novellas. Other than head hopping, all the stories are well-written in third POV and without any typos. I definitely recommend this book.

In Christina Dodd’s “Under the Kilt,” Hadden Fairchild is determined to convince his former lover, Lady Andra MacNachtan, to marry him. Though he belongs to the ruthless Fairchild family, he’s gentle, polite, and respectful almost to a fault.
Andra is in charge of running and repairing the crumbling MacNachtan Clan castle. After past hurt in her childhood, she refuses to marry but longs for Hadden as he longs for her. When he demands to know about the legendary Marriage Kilt, she finds herself locked in the attic with a man who refuses to take no for an answer.
I really loved this story. It’s fast and to the point. Hadden’s back-story is breezed over, but I already knew a lot about him since I’ve read the previous books in the Well Pleasured series. Andra, a new character to the series, has a full back-story, and I understood her stubborn in regards to trusting Hadden with her heart.
5 Stars

In Stephanie Laurens’ “Rose in Bloom,” Rose Mackenzie-Craddock has spent every summer of her life at Ballynashiels, the Scottish estate of the Macintyre family, and she used to tease and torment Duncan Macintyre relentlessly. As the only two children on the estate, she was naturally drawn to him, but he always considered her nothing more than a pest. Given their eight-year age difference, that’s understandable. After twelve years apart, Duncan returns home for the summer with a potential bride in tow. Rose, likewise, has a potential husband with her. Though he finds Rose just as frustrating as ever, she’s not the same hoyden he remembers. Rose can’t help but tease the stoic, controlled man, and the game soon changes to one neither of them expected.
Rose and Duncan’s friendship, animosity, and romance sizzled on the pages. They have such great chemistry and are obviously perfect for each other, but they’re so blind they couldn’t see it. This is a great novella, and I really liked the H/h.
5 Stars

In Julia Quinn’s “Gretna Greene,” Margaret Pennypacker treks the long, dangerous journey to Gretna Green to stop her foolish younger brother from eloping. On her first night in town, three men accost her but a giant of a man saves her life.
Angus Greene is in town to find his younger sister, Anne, since she’s on her way to London for a Season, which he didn’t approve of. After he rescues Margaret and realizes she’s all alone and without money, he appoints himself as her protector. Attraction and friendship quickly blooms between them, and they argue and bicker like an old married couple. Though it’s not love at first, it’s damn close and it felt believable.
I really enjoyed this story. The H/h are smart, witty, and fully developed. Their reasons and motivations drive the story. There’s a HEA, but I would’ve liked an epilogue or more information about where they’ll live, what their families will think, and how their newfound love will affect their responsibilities. Even without that, I adore the characters and the story.
4.5 Stars

In Karen Ranney’s “The Glenlyon Bride,” Janet MacPherson has lived the last seven years of her life as a maid and companion to her cruel, vindictive cousin, Harriet. After Harriet is betrothed to a Scottish laird, Janet meets a dashing Scotsman in the woods outside the family manor. She longs for her homeland of Scotland, and even more so, she wants happiness, adventure, and a way to ease her terrible loneliness. Lachlan is a reiver—a raider and thief—and they’re instantly taken with each other.
Lachlan Sinclair, laird of the Sinclairs, believes Janet to be Harriet, his future bride. Though he doesn’t want to marry, he needs Harriet’s dowry to secure his improvised lands and ancestral home of Glenlyon. When he’s with Janet, thinking she’s Harriet, the marriage doesn’t seem so bad anymore. But when he discovers the truth, he fears his hopes and plans to save his people are dashed forever.
I love this story. Janet and Lachlan are wonderful and strong. They both have fears, responsibilities, and dreams for a prosperous future. I wish Harriet would’ve been punished for her cruelty, but Janet’s freedom from her was justice enough since Harriet will no longer have someone to hurt. Anyway, I think this story is my favorite of the four.
5 Stars

Book Overall – 5 Stars

Thursday, September 12, 2019

#BookReview – “A Well Favored Gentleman” by Christina Dodd


Blurb

Where has she been? The rumors fly throughout the Scottish countryside about Lady Alanna, the beautiful and mysterious displaced mistress of Fionnaway Manor. And now she has emerged from hiding, only to find her beloved estate besieged by greedy relatives. . .and coveted by a darkly handsome Englishman.

Ian Fairchild knows that Fionnaway belongs to him alone. For years he yearned for the cherished place where he passed his childhood. He can secure his rights to the manor only through marriage with the enigmatic Alanna, but the exquisite hellion has warned him at knifepoint to leave her house.

Now with skill and charm, Ian must penetrate the lady's defenses, and boldly lay claim to her body and spirit. But first he must prove himself worthy, and he holds the power to enchant and delight, inflame and inspire. . .and to convince this lady her true home is in her lover's heart.

Review

In the second book in the Well Pleasured series, Ian Fairchild arrives at Fionnaway Manor in Scotland at his dying father’s behest. As one of the infamous Fairchilds, he’s an illegitimate son trapped in a cruel family who taunts him and makes him feel inferior. He’s also part Selkie and has abandonment issues since his seal-shifter mother left him when he was a child.
Lady Alanna MacLeod is the long-lost rightful heir and mistress of the manor. She ran away four years ago to escape an unsuitable marriage and now plans to return on her twenty-first birthday to take control of the manor and her lands. Unfortunately for her, Ian wants her property just as badly as she does. He’s the son and heir to the cruel Leslie Fairchild, Alanna’s guardian. When she returns, Ian knows he’ll only get the property through marriage, so he sets out to seduce her.
I couldn’t relate to Alanna and Ian. They’re both strong, stubborn characters, but they constantly butted heads. He’s so desperate for a home and a place to belong that he selfishly seduces her without a care to her wants and needs. Likewise, she’s so naïve and hopeful to win back her home from Leslie that she can’t see all the problems ahead of her. (As a land-owning woman in her time-period, she doesn’t have many rights and needs a husband to secure her future. It’s not right or fair, but that’s how things worked.) Given her options, I found her very foolish for not giving Ian a chance to prove himself. Also, the age difference irked me. She’s 21 and he’s 34. It was a little much for me.
Though I liked parts of this book, I don’t understand why Alanna and Ian catered to Leslie, who was an absolutely horrible person. He despises his son and makes everyone around him miserable. In the previous book, he even had a woman’s hand chopped off as a joke.
As with the first book, this one is considered “politically incorrect.” Maybe I’m just jaded, but I didn’t think this one was that bad. Yes, Ian sleeps with Alanna and takes her virginity when she’s drugged and unable to consent, but he didn’t hurt her and she was awake enough to moan in pleasure, even though she thought the experience was a wonderful dream. I agree what he did was wrong, but I’ve read much worse in other books.
I wish Sebastian and Mary from book one would’ve made an appearance. Ian’s cousin, Wilda, was here, and she’s more childish than I remember. Still, I liked the development of her character. I enjoyed the history of the Selkies, the description of the Highland landscape, and the H/h’s romance once they finally worked through their differences. I would’ve liked an epilogue or some detail about how the Selkie pact will change since the death of one of the guardians. There’s one more book in the series, a novella in the Scottish Brides anthology, and I look forward to reading it.
3 Stars

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

#BookReview – “A Well Pleasured Lady” by Christina Dodd



Blurb

Prim, plain, desperately virtuous Lady Mary Fairchild stared at the seductive gentleman and wondered -- did he remember the elements of the night they met? Surely not. In the ten years since, she had abandoned her youthful impetuousness and transformed herself into a housekeeper -- disguising her beauty beneath a servant's dour clothing determined to conquer the passions of the past.

But Sebastian Durant, Viscount Whitfield, did recognize her as a Fairchild, one of his family's bitter enemies. When he demanded her help recovering a stolen diary, she dared not refuse him. When he proposed they masquerade as a betrothed couple, loyalty forced her to agree. And when the restraint between them shattered and pleasure became an obsession, Mary had to trust a powerful man who could send her to the gallows ... or love her through eternity.

Review

In the first book in the Well Pleasured series, Guinevere Mary Fairchild works as a housekeeper for Lady Valery in the Scotland lowlands. Ten years earlier, her father died and her cruel grandfather disowned her and her younger brother, Hadden.
Sebastian Durant, Viscount Whitfield, is Lady Valery’s godson, and he’s helping her track down her stolen diary. In the wrong hands, it could spark revolution in England. His investigation leads to Fairchild Manor, and he grudgingly needs Mary’s help in order to get inside. As they work together and navigate the viper nest of the cruel, greedy Fairchild family, they build a tentative trust. Their dark, painful secrets, however, could destroy their relationship before it really begins.
Mary is a sweet, sometimes naïve woman who wants to think the best of everyone, but life has shown her not everyone can be trusted.
Sebastian is a hard, stubborn man the Fairchild family betrayed him years earlier.
Both the H/h are likable with problems, mistrust, and clashing agendas between them. Despite the mistrust and his need for vengeance, their romance progressed quickly. For Mary, losing her inhibitions helped heal the pain in her past. For Sebastian, his trust in Mary, a dreaded Fairchild, healed his battered soul.
I really enjoyed Hadden, Mary’s 19-year-old brother, and her very sexy but illegitimate second cousin Ian. Both were fun, strong characters and were determined to protect Mary from the danger that stalked her. Lady Valery is a wonderfully strong and empowered woman. She’s in her seventies and still has men dropping at their feet to please her. It’s inspiring!
I’ve read quite a few reviews that bashed this book, and even on the author’s website, it’s listed as “politically incorrect.” I don’t understand the big hoopla. Was it because Ian tried to seduce Mary, or the forced seduction scene with Mary and Sebastian (it wasn’t rape, in my opinion)? In either case, I’ve read romance books with H/h cousins and full-on rape scenes waaaaay worse than in this book. To be honest, I was a little disappointed the story didn’t live up to the hype.
I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t like Mary’s decision in regards to her family at the end. It showed both strength and weakness on her part, but cruel people should never be rewarded. On that note, I side with Sebastian and understand his reasons for feeling betrayed.
Other than stray POV shifts, I don’t believe I found any typos. I look forward to reading all about Ian in the next installment.
4 Stars

Monday, September 9, 2019

#BookBlast - "Battle Scars" by Cara Carnes


Battle Scars
The Arsenal, Book 5

Blurb

Scars don’t always heal…

Jesse Mason chose duty over love and endured the hell of captivity comforted only with thoughts of the woman he left behind. Though the physical damage has healed, the emotional battle continues now that he’s home. He fakes happy and whole until Ellie is thrust back into his life. She’s everything he ever wanted but can never have. Getting wrapped up in her problems is not an option, but neither is leaving her in danger.

Without her he’d be nothing.

Scars aren’t always visible…

Ellie Travers salvaged her scarred heart and landed headfirst in a horrible marriage. Now divorced, broke, and desperate to care for her ailing mother, she accepts the only job offered—Office Manager at The Arsenal. Working for the man who broke her heart should be simple compared to escaping a hellacious marriage. But only she can help Jesse win the final war for his soul, and she’ll do anything to save him—even at the risk of losing herself.

The battle lines have been drawn. Together they must navigate the minefields of love and sacrifice because failure is not an option. 

Excerpt

“Out,” Jesse growled. 

The women stilled. Addy chuckled as she entered and leaned against the wall beside Levi.

“This isn’t a show. Get the fuck out,” he repeated.

“Not happening,” Addy said. The redheaded operative terrified the hell out of Ellie. She was like Wonder Woman, if Wonder Woman had also been James Bond. Maybe? Either way, she was so kickass she gave every operative at The Arsenal pause.

Even Vi’s husband Jud—and he’d been an assassin. Yikes.

Ellie swallowed as she processed the protective solidarity of her new friends—her tribe. The fact that she had one was a shock. She’d only ever had Jesse as a friend. Then he’d gone, and she’d had…

“There a reason you’re coming in here like you’re about to start World War III?” Vi asked. “Your growl doesn’t scare me, Jesse.”

Nothing scared Vi. All the women gathered around Ellie were amazing—each in her own unique way. The fact that any one of them had friended her was wild. All of them?

Jesse dropped something on her desk. Her pulse quickened as she watched the small object bounce a couple times then roll to a stop by her stapler. Silence descended as everyone looked at the piece of metal.

Addy and Vi cursed. Bree reached out and grabbed it.

“Why are you bringing this in and getting mad at Ellie?” The blonde looked at Ellie. “Why is he bringing this to you?”

Ellie took a moment to snap the pieces together. Someone had shot her tire out. It hadn’t been a blowout. Fear crawled through her, but the anger doused it quickly enough.

Phil.

That son of a bitch.

“Medina has a loud mouth,” she muttered, unsure what else to say.

“No. Don’t put this on Medina. He did what you should’ve done,” Jesse said.

“Actually, she should have called us when this shit went down instead of changing her tire on the side of the road after someone shot it out,” Levi commented from the wall.

Riley gasped. “When?”

“I’ve got Cord and Zoey finding the footage now,” Jesse said. “You want to tell me who shot your tire out and why?”

Ellie shook her head. “I didn’t know it was shot out. I thought it was a blowout. I swear.”

“What happened?” Jesse’s voice was low, but gritty like he’d swallowed sandpaper. His green gaze flickered with rage. His entire body vibrated with unspent anger. She’d never fully understood how, but she could read him easily.

Ellie looked around.

“We do this here or in the whiteboard room with the rest of the crew that isn’t here,” Vi said.

Jesse moved to her side of the desk and grasped her arm. Though his touch was gentle, he’d grabbed the same area Phil had used to yank her from the truck. Pain sliced through her body. A sound rose from her throat.

His gaze darkened as he removed his hand and rolled her sleeve up.

Though not much time had passed, bruises were forming in a distinct pattern. Fingers.

Tension struck the room. Everyone started talking at once.

Jesse leaned down until he was in her personal space. “You and I need to have a conversation about this, Peanut. You want to do this with just you and me, or do you want them involved? Either way they’ll know whatever you tell me.”

She’d sat in plenty of Arsenal briefings. The Masons, the women gathered around her, and the team leaders all converged and went over every speck of detail about a case. No stone went unturned. They hacked their way into impossible-to-get intel without thought.

Mary and Vi led the discussions and used the system they’d created. HERA. Ellie didn’t fully understand it, but Marshall and Nolan had both told her every government organization and country in the world wanted it.

Her stupid problems with Phil didn’t need their level of intensity. He was a pissant compared to the real terrorists, drug lords, regimes, militias, spies, assassins, and dictatorships they battled on a regular basis. Nolan said Mary and Vi had never failed on a mission. While Ellie really, really wanted kickass commandoes like Jesse and The Arsenal kicking Phil’s ass, more important and deserving people needed them more.

“It’s nothing.”

“Nothing doesn’t shoot out tires,” Jesse said. “Nothing doesn’t leave marks on you.”

Buy Links 

Books2Read (Retailers Available)

Author Bio

Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13.
In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves travelling, photography and reading.

Author Social Media links

Saturday, September 7, 2019

#FreebieAlert - "Bedeviled" by Madison Michael

Bedeviled
The Beguiling Bachelors, Book 3
By Madison Michael

♥♥♥ ~ Free September 7th - September 10th Only ~ ♥♥♥


About Bedeviled:

If You Build Your Love on Lies, You Better Run Faster than the Truth

Newly appointed Finance Director, Charlotte Roche escaped dangers lurking in Boston by moving to Chicago. A new name, a new beginning - all built on lies. Believing she is safe, Charlotte drops her guard and sets her sights on her ruggedly handsome and wildly sexy running partner, Alexander Gaines. Can she advance their relationship from the track to the bedroom and still maintain her charade? or will Alex's probing questions pierce her carefully rehearsed story?

Alex, with unrevealed secrets of his own, struggles to hold the irresistible Charlotte at arm’s length. But when Charlotte sustains a suspicious injury, Alex seizes the opportunity to cuddle up to the sassy beauty. Does he dare risk his reputation, his fortune, his friends, and his heart by letting her get close?

How can they build a bond with deceit on both sides? With exposure imminent, their freshly forged relationship is in jeopardy and so are their lives. Can their love survive or are they bedeviled?

Join Alex and Charlotte, in this steamy romance, the third in the five-star rated Beguiling Bachelor series. The suspense builds as the characters you’ve met and loved in “Bedazzled” and “Beholden” help tackle the maze of half-truths and cover-ups threatening the lovers.

ASIN: B06WLQL2FT
Genre: Steamy Romantic Suspense 
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/321d24H


Excerpt from Bedeviled:

Keeping his mind on the topic always took all of Alex’s effort anyway. When Charlotte sat hip-to-hip with him as she had today, he felt the heat of her skin, saw the long length of thigh exposed in front of him, heard her heavy post-run breathing until he was in sensory overload. She smelled so good, not stinky and sweaty like he must. She smelled classy and expensive with all those clean, floral scents. She smelled like a woman he could trust.
More like a woman I want to trust.
Thinking back, Alex recognized that she had been hiding something all along. When he wasn’t lost in a sensual fog, he was able to zero in on where the conversations lagged, when she got testy with his probing or tried to change the subject. It had something to do with her life in Boston before she moved to Chicago and it was something that had been going on for a while. She was practiced at her excuses by the time she used them on him. She was making too many trips back East for ‘Harvard stuff.’ She had met Regan Howe through this same ‘Harvard stuff’ yet Regan went back to her alma mater only once or twice a year, if that.
Oh yeah, Charlotte is definitely up to something and I intend to find out what. I have been patient long enough.
Sitting waiting now for Charlotte to arrive at Starbucks, Alex promised himself that he would get to the bottom of this or walk away.
Since she had declined his offer of a ride, Alex currently sat at a shady outside table enjoying the last of summer, waiting for her to walk over and speculating on her possible secrets. He was planning his subtle interrogation during the few minutes Charlotte would need to make her way across the park,
Stubborn. She should have just accepted the ride.
You driving over or walking?” she had asked him, once they caught their breath.
“I have the car if you want a ride?” When she hesitated, he tried tempting her. “I have the new car.”
Alex was the proud owner of a brand new Mercedes AMG. The sleek, luxury sports car suited him despite most people’s image of him as logical, conservative and staid. The need for speed was actually deep in his blood. “You will love it, tight on the curves, fast and quiet. She purrs,” he had bragged.
Charlotte hesitated on his last remark and Alex had been sure she would accept. “The new car, huh?” she sounded intrigued. “I am excited to see it at last, Alex. You have certainly been talking about it long enough.”
“I need to walk off this tight hamstring, so I’ll have to pass this time,” she had replied reluctantly. “Meet you there in five.” Of course, Charlotte had been Charlotte, and that included being unpredictable.
Charlotte, leaving Alex standing there, had taken off across the park without a backward glance. Alex stood dumbfounded a moment, watching her slow jog-walk toward the trail across the grassy lawns of Lincoln Park. She was heading directly toward their usual post-run Starbucks and if he didn’t get moving, she would be there first.
Still he stood, willing her to look back and flash him that smile that changed her whole face. She didn’t, of course, and Alex was left standing there, admiring her lithe figure and the smooth bunch and release of her muscles in those tiny running shorts as she moved into the distance. Reminding himself to close his gaping mouth, Alex jogged to the parking lot, trading an extra moment of admiring a beautiful woman for a few short moments admiring his beautiful new car.
Arriving at the coffee shop several minutes before Charlotte, Alex was forced to cool his heels. He spent the time piecing together anything he could think of to uncover Charlotte’s deep, dark, secret. Admittedly, he needed the ten-minute head start away from her to give his overheated blood a little cooling time too. He kept envisioning the two of them in that sweet ride, sitting close with their sweat-slicked bodies. The image had intensified the jolts of.electricity already coursing through his veins from running beside her scantily clothed body.
Too bad she turned me down. One of these days we will be in tight quarters, all alone, and I will make my move. I have resisted too long already.
Since the mention of her tight hamstring, all Alex could think about was massaging her leg, and moving up from there. Did the woman not understand what she was doing to him? After all, he was a healthy red-blooded man. How long was he supposed to watch her round little ass wiggle in front of him, or the glide of muscles in those incredible legs – or OMG – her breasts bob up and down in those little running tops. The woman was killing him. He wanted her so badly he could taste it.
He chided himself to stop thinking of her that way, as he always did when he lusted after her. He would catch himself wanting her and repress the overwhelming sexual response that had plagued him since the beginning. She was so much more than just beautiful and sexy. She was a brilliant woman, funny, witty, complex and delightful. She considered him a running partner, and a friend…
…but that body, oh, that body. Stop it!
Alex determined to stay focused on what she might be trying to cover up and got his desire under control. He reviewed the signs – when she changed topics or failed to make eye contact. He carefully dissected her words while he waited for her to arrive. He knew she was being intentionally elusive. Alex resolved again that today would be the day he found out what she was concealing, beginning as soon as she arrived.
Speaking of arriving, Charlotte should have shown up long before now. She would have, unless something had happened. How long had he been sitting, pondering? How much time had passed?
Heart racing like a freight train, Alex ran into the park. Unsure why, he was terrified of what he might find.



About Madison Michael: 

Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

Social Links:

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

#BookReview – “My Liege of Dark Haven” by Cherise Sinclair



Blurb

Threatened by university cutbacks, Professor Abigail Bern’s only hope is to publish a provocative research paper–soon. Planning to covertly observe behavior in the notorious Dark Haven BDSM club, she takes a receptionist job. When the owner calls upon her to assist in a demonstration, she’s appalled. Then fascinated. Under the unyielding hands of the master known as my Liege, she discovers a need to be more than an observer. 

Xavier’s new receptionist is striving to keep an emotional distance, and he’s intrigued. Although she’s intriguingly intelligent, beautifully submissive, and sweetly vulnerable, her defenses keep her on the fringe of life. As he draws her into truly participating, she, in turn, begins to fill his world. 

Ever since meeting Xavier, Abby questions everything she believes about herself. She’s falling for the stern owner of Dark Haven, and he’s beginning to care for her…until the day he learns why she’s in his club. 

Review

In the fifth book in the Mountain Masters and Dark Haven series, Professor Abigail Bern needs to publish an unusual, memorable paper for a respected journal before the end of summer, or she’ll lose her job at the university. She knows a little bit about the BDSM lifestyle since her horrible ex-boyfriend and fellow professor is a Dom, but she never felt comfortable with him to try it out. For her research into BDSM culture, she finds a job at Dark Haven, an exclusive club in San Francisco.
Xavier Leduc lives his life in a strict routine. He never does relationships or commitments, and he keeps his women in neat little categories. He’s lonely but committed to his club and his charity work. Then he meets Abby. He’s drawn to her and can’t let her go. After he finds out why she really joined the club, their tentative D/s relationship and her new friendships with several club members are put to the test.
Both Abby and Xavier are great characters. She’s intelligent and caring, but insecure and timid due to the mental and verbal abuse she’s suffered from her father and stepsister. Xavier is controlled and determined, but still reeling from the death of his wife a few years earlier.
The reader learns a lot about their pasts through their narrative, but Xavier and Abby didn’t share many details with each other, which I found frustrating. Even though they tried to help one another confront their pain and move on, they didn’t have enough information to do so, not with all the secrets and omissions wedged between them.
The couples from the previous books made appearances in this one. Since I’ve only read book one in the series, I only knew Logan and Rebecca, and it was nice to see how their lives have changed. The next book in the series is set up, and I loved every scene with Lindsey and deVries. Damn, that man is to die for! Yummy!
I love erotic romances, but in my opinion, the numerous sex scenes in this story slowed the pacing. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I wasn’t satisfied with Abby and Xavier’s brief discussion about her bitchy stepsister Janae and the too friendly way he acted with Janae at the party. The discussion barely wrapped up the problems and shouldn’t have been enough for Abby to forgive him. Also, I had trouble visualizing some of the scenes (not the sex scenes) and would’ve appreciated more description. There were a few unanswered questions but none affected the overall story arc.
Other than those issues, I really liked the story and the characters.
3.5 Stars