Friday, April 24, 2015

Surprise Cover Reveal & Pre-Order: ★Reaper's Fall★ by @joannawylde

Reaper's Fall (Reapers MC #5)
Author: Joanna Wylde
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Reaper's Fall is the newest standalone in the Reaper's MC Series and is currently up for Pre-order!
He never meant to hurt her.

Levi “Painter” Brooks was nothing before he joined the Reapers motorcycle club. The day he patched in, they became his brothers and his life. All they asked in return was a strong arm and unconditional loyalty—a loyalty that’s tested when he’s caught and sentenced to prison for a crime committed on their behalf.

Melanie Tucker may have had a rough start, but along the way she’s learned to fight for her future. She’s escaped from hell and started a new life, yet every night she dreams of a biker whose touch she can’t forget. It all started out so innocently—just a series of letters to a lonely man in prison. Friendly. Harmless. Safe.

Now Painter Brooks is coming home… and Melanie’s about to learn that there’s no room for innocence in the Reapers MC.

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Crushed★ by @_laurenlayne

Crushed
Author: Lauren Layne
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Loveswept: Flirt 
Lauren Layne’s latest novel about the healing power of redemption tells the story of a crush gone wickedly wrong, proving that what you want isn’t always what you need.

Growing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is dating Michael’s new half-brother, Devon.

Kristin’s mouthy, curvy sister Chloe has always been in love with Devon Patterson. So when Michael offers to help Chloe break up Devon and Kristin, Chloe agrees to a deal that seems too good to be true. Before long, Chloe finally gets her man, only to make a startling discovery: She no longer wants the guy she had to fight for—she wants the one who stood by her side.

After all he and Chloe have been through, Michael swears he’s damaged goods. Can Chloe convince him that love is worth the risk?

I’ve been in love with Devon Patterson since I was eight.

And I know what you’re thinking . . .

That I didn’t have hormones when I was eight, so it wasn’t real love, or even real attraction.

You’re wrong.

I love him.

And I know he could love me back, if only he’d look at me.

But ya know? I can’t even blame Devon for not seeing me.

It’s probably hard for him to be aware of his surroundings when my Disney Princess sister has her tongue in his mouth.

I mean, why would you want the funny sidekick when you can have the heroine?

And that’s the type of person Kristin is. Or at least thinks she is. She’s the heroine in every story.

Even other people’s.

As if he reads my mind, Devon slowly pulls back from his reunion kiss to join the land of the living where the actual people do not have eyelashes the size of small bats and a waist the size of a toddler’s.

But, actually, it’s not fair to pick only on Kristin for her blinding good looks.

Of the four of us here on this godforsaken tennis court, I’m the only one that’s not outright beautiful.

Take Devon, for example. Blond. Blue-eyed. Chiseled jaw. Tall, but not too tall, muscular but not bulging. Yummy.

As for the new tennis instructor . . . I don’t even know what to make of him.

My first thought? Beefcake. It’s obvious why he was hired, and it’s not because he can make contact with a tennis ball ten times out of ten.

Nope, it’s definitely the way his biceps strain the requisite Cambridge Country Club polo, and the way his tanned skin contrasts perfectly with the crisp white fabric.

That and the sulky bad-boy gaze that I’m pretty sure he’s aware of. Maybe even practiced.

New guy is definitely gorgeous. And Kristin’s definitely noticed.

I shift my gaze to where Devon is tucking a lock of Kristin’s ever-silky hair behind her ear. We both have curly hair, but Kristin’s is the kind that can be blown out into all kinds of satiny shine. Unlike my corkscrews, where each curl is like its own rebellious teenager.

It’s clear which version Devon prefers.

And Beefcake, too, given the way he was practically undressing Kristin with his eyes when he thought she wasn’t looking.

I liked that about him. The way he didn’t let her know he was looking. He was playing games, but by his own rules.

But, anyway, who cares about tennis boy.

Tall, dark, and brooding isn’t my type.

I like them blond, smiley, and kind.

I like them like Devon Patterson.

Did I mention I love him?



4.5 Stars
I don't think it's about who loves you first. It's about who loves you best."
There's a reason that Lauren Layne has become one of my favorite New Adult authors. There's just something about her writing and her characters that never fails to reel me in and keep me glued to the pages. It also never fails to give me that warm and fuzzy feelings right in my tummy that I've come to adore about New Adult. There's no insta anything and her characters are far from perfect and watching that progress and develop through the story is the best feeling in the world. I have to admit that I wasn't too keen on Michael after first meeting him in Isn't She Lovely. But then right around Broken that changed. My heart hurt for him and I couldn't wait for the guy that fell in love with his best friend's girlfriend only to be devastatingly rejected by her in the end to get his HEA.
Michael's world changed forever right around the time his heart was shattered into a million pieces. First he gets rejected by the girl he's been in love with for years. A girl that just so happened to be his best friend's girlfriend at that he cheated with. So in the span of one kiss, he lost the girl AND his best friend. Then his world gets rocked when he finds out that his whole life has been a lie and his father isn't his father. In the hopes to get to know the man that is his true father, he moves to Texas, but he's no longer the boy that he was. He's broody, he's disenchanted and jaded. He no longer believes in love, but working as a tennis pro for the rich and the bored, he has no problem being the boy toy to the spoiled housewives. But he has ulterior motives to working there. He has his eye on a girl that happens to be his half-brother's girlfriend. A half-brother that has no idea he exists. And while Michael has his eye on Kristin, the gorgeous and spoiled rich girl, her frumpy sister is in love with Devon.
On a good day I'm curvy. On a bad one, I'm plump.
Most of the days are bad ones.
Chloe is honestly what truly made this book for me. Her ability to laugh at herself and this lighthearted presence she had to her was a breath of fresh air. She's so fun and quirky and just this girl next door that could be anyone's best friend. Being the frumpy sister to the perfect skinny one is no easy feat. It's also twice as hard being in love with her boyfriend for as long as she remembers. But Chloe knows she has no chance. So when Michael offers her a chance to make Devon "notice" her, she may be hesitant at first, but she takes it. What ensues is an unwilling friendship that slowly begins to turn into much more.
Michael might be sick of being "second choice." But the rejected-woman part of me?
SHE'S tired of being the platonic sidekick.
These two were polar opposites but yet made perfect sense together. And the banter between them? Absolute perfection.
So, what's the problem?" he asks.
"I just...it's never like it is in the movies."
Michael makes a strangled noise and turns toward my nightstand, opening a drawer.
"What are you doing?" I ask.
"Looking for a gun," he mutters, before shutting it again. "Are you fucking kidding me? You're one of those girls waiting for the movie kiss?"
I scrunch my nose at his disbelieving face. "They do exist."
But then somewhere between the personal training and just hanging out together, their plans shift and it begins to turn into something much more.
With Chloe, it's easy to forget that I'm nobody. Because she makes me feel like somebody.
I loved the slow burn element to the story. It's truly brilliant when the reader discovers things right along with the characters. Chloe and Michael didn't lust for each other at first sight, and that was evident. But somewhere along the way their feelings shift, and you get to experience that with them.
It was perfection.

It's not often that this self proclaimed smut slut enjoyed a story that basically has zero sex this much. But to be honest, anything more would have been plain filler. The one and only scene is filled with so much feeling that it's satisfying all on it's own. Immensely so.

Did I also happen to mention the fantastic banter?
...at the lesson, the other day, she was...forward."
"FORWARD? I swear to God, Beefcake, every now and then you slip in a word that makes me think you're a nineteenth-century butler."
"Yeah? You like? What if I slip a British accent in there?"
"Don't you dare. I'll swoon. I mean it."
I adored this book. My only quibble was the somewhat cheesy-ish reunion at the very end, but then at the same time I was hoping for one, so I can't complain much.
If you're a fan of New Adult that has a witty heroine, a broody hero, a slow burn romance and incredible writing, this book is simply a must read!


Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.



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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spotlight, Exclusive Excerpt & #Giveaway: ★Kane's Hell★ by @ElizabethFinn77

Confession time: I'm an angst whore. A total and complete angst whore and I make no apologies for it. So it should come as no surprise that I'm a huge Elizabeth Finn fan. If you've read her books, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And if you haven't and you like your heroes to be alpha assholes, your heroines with an understated sort of strength, and enough angst to wallop you over the head and keep you glued to the pages from start to finish? Well, allow me to introduce you to your new favorite author.

Kane's Hell is Elizabeth's upcoming release (scheduled for May 1, 2015) and is a standalone. I'm so excited to be able to spotlight this incredible book today AND offer you all an exclusive teaser! Read to the end of the post to enter the GIVEAWAY for your chance to win an ebook of Kane's Hell.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Kane and Helene were the best of friends until a nightmare devastated them… Hopes were destroyed, dreams shattered, a budding teenage love torn to pieces. Eleven years later their lives are nothing like they once were. Time has changed them … and not for the better.

Helene is smart, driven, and accomplished—her education and achievements a smoke screen hiding the frigid and fragile child wounded long ago.

Kane is equally obsessed with his coping mechanisms—fighting … drinking … screwing … compulsively destroying himself one vice at a time.

When their paths collide again, their past becomes an obstacle no coping mechanism in the world can protect them from. But confronting the past so they can heal in the present is no easy task. Can Kane reach Helene and recapture what used to burn so warmly between them, or will his own self destructive demons pull her into his hell?

A woman determined to look forward. A man always looking back. A love desperate to be restored.
“You’re the brightest, warmest star in my universe. You’ll never be less than everything to me.”


Helene

“Do you want to have sex with me?” I asked. It was a loaded question, and given the nervous look on his face, he knew that. If he said he didn’t, he ran the risk of hurting my feelings. If he said he did, he ran the risk of objectifying me as nothing more than a piece of ass—much like the many pieces that had come before me.

He pulled his lower lip into his mouth, and I watched him. When he nodded it was tight, and he was staring at my chin instead of my eyes.

I nodded. “I see,” I said as I looked around for a way to end this and make my escape.

“No you don’t,” he said. “You’re… You’re—”

“Let me guess. Special,” I said with a cruel sarcasm I just couldn’t help.

“Fuck yes you are,” he spat back at me, his face pinched in anger. “Listen,” he continued as he shook his head. “I didn’t ask for a truce so I could fuck you. You asked the question. I answered it honestly. I’m just…” He threw his hands up in the air in frustration. “…attracted to you. I always have been. It doesn’t mean I expect you to have sex with me. But don’t ask me a question unless you want the honest answer, because you’re going to get the truth, however ugly it is, upsetting it is, or shocking it is.”

I stared at his chest, but he lifted my chin again.


“Please look at me.” His fingers squeezed gently against my skin. “I know this has been hard on you. The past few weeks, you’ve been forced to deal with the mess I’ve made of myself. You saw my ugly, and I was defensive, because you’re life looks beautiful to me. And it made me feel pathetic.”

“My life doesn’t feel beautiful,” I said quietly.


He nodded. “I know. I’m sorry. But please take that step over the line. I need you too.”

I nodded, and he sighed as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into his body. I slid my right hand up under his T-shirt, knowing exactly where I’d find the scar, and I covered it with my palm. His muscles tensed under my touch, but then he relaxed into it, and he inhaled deeply against my hair.

We stood there for too long, and I listened to his heart beat, and I soaked in the warmth of him. This felt good again, being close to him. I needed it to stay that way.

When he walked toward the kitchen, I followed. There was a large garbage can in the center of the kitchen floor. It was the same one that had been in the middle of the living room floor a few weeks prior, but instead of being filled with just wood scraps and pieces of drywall, it was now littered with broken liquor bottles, and it reeked of alcohol.

I stared into the garbage can as Kane pulled a carton of whipped cream out of the fridge and started eating it with a spoon.

“You could have emptied the bottles first you know, rather than smashing them full in the garbage can.” I smirked.

He smiled. “I know,” he said around the spoon in his mouth. “But they always smash them full in the movies. Sometimes in the sink, which… Why? Right?” he asked jokingly.

He scooped up another spoonful of whipped cream, and he handed it to me. I stared at it for a moment, but I took the spoon, popping it into my mouth.

“Who the hell wants to pick glass out of a sink?” he continued. “This is my ode to Hollywood cinematic ridiculousness. I suppose it’s visually powerful though.”

I chuckled quietly, pulling the spoon out of my mouth. “Are you an alcoholic?” I asked him bluntly.

“No.” His answer was simple and came without pause. “No. I do, however, tend to deflect pain by masking it with other things. I just decided I don’t want a bottle of the-easy-way-out sitting nearby when things get messed up in my head again.”

I nodded. He yawned, and the sight of his yawn made me yawn too.

“I should get going,” I said.

“You don’t have to.”

I smiled. “I have an early call with my dissertation director tomorrow morning.”

“I’ll wake you up early.” He bit his lower lip as he waited for me to say something.

I wasn’t sure what to say. I wasn’t sure what he was even asking. But as I stood there trying to figure it out, he yawned again and took my hand, pulling me toward the hallway. I followed him, my nerves prickling with something that fell between excitement and absolute terror.

He stripped out of his T-shirt when he walked into the same bedroom he’d always had, and I looked around. It wasn’t a mess, it was just a sad, old rundown room. I reached out to a broken knob on the dresser that I remembered, even now, from childhood. He stepped behind me, pushing his hands up under the back of my T-shirt. He undid my bra, and then he helped me pull the straps down from under the short sleeves of my shirt.

When his hands reached around and fumbled with the waist of my pants, I held my breath. He pushed them down to pool at the ground, leaving my underwear in place, and then I felt him undoing his own pants as he kept his body close to mine. His breath touched the back of my ear, and he leaned down kissing the top of my shoulder.

He took my hand, leading me to the side of the bed, and I crawled in as he followed me. The mattress sat on the floor, and there was nothing plush about it. But the sheets, blanket and quilt smelled clean like his skin.

The bedside lamp was on behind him, and as I rolled toward him, he watched me. He wasn’t smiling. He wasn’t frowning. He just watched me, pulling me up close to him, his legs intertwined with mine. He brushed the hair off my forehead, and he trailed his finger down along my jaw.

“I’ve missed you so fucking much,” he said quietly. “Nothing has made sense in my life without you.” His thumb stroked over my chin.

“I missed you too.”

He studied me for a while, not closing his eyes, not saying a word, and it was odd and comfortable at the same time. It gave me a chance to study him too, and I did. He was aging well, and he still looked young and handsome—even if he carried a heavy past.

I reached for his chin, stroking the whiskers.

“What are you thinking?” I asked him.

He looked at my mouth. “That I’ve never kissed you. And that I want to. Very much.”

I bit my lower lip, and he smiled. When I leaned to his mouth, his eyes opened wider for a moment, but then they fluttered. After that, I was too close to see or care what his eyes were doing. I was also entirely too stunned by my own actions to think straight.

My lips met his, and I could feel his whiskers tickling my chin. He moaned this deep low sound from the pit of his chest, and I could feel the vibration of it. He sucked on my lower lip, tugging it gently and then releasing it so he could capture my top one between his. His hand met my cheek, his fingers curling behind my jawline and pulling my mouth harder to his, and the kisses came fast then—one after another.

My top leg was between his thighs, and the smacking sound of our lips left warmth in my groin as I rocked against his thigh.

“Oh, fuck,” he murmured between kisses. “You’re torture. Do you know that?” But he never stopped kissing.

He finally groaned through gritted teeth, forcing his kisses to move off my mouth to my cheek and then down the side of my throat to the crook of my neck that met my shoulder. He stopped kissing, breathing heavily against my skin. I could feel the hardness and the size of his erection against my top thigh that was sandwiched between his legs.

“There is nothing frigid going on between your legs right now, Hell. The heat coming off your pussy is intense,” he said with his lips to my skin.

Yes it was. I sighed as my hips stopped trying to screw his leg like a dog in heat. What the hell was going on inside me right now?

“Go to sleep, baby,” he whispered even as he still breathed heavily. “I don’t think either one of us are ready for this yet.”

I pulled back, trying to figure out if I was offended or not.

He smiled instantly. “Tell that analytical brain of yours to shut up. I didn’t mean it in a bad way.”

“How did you mean it?” I asked.

He yawned again, but his expression became intense and focused. “This is a complicated thing for us.” He glanced over my shoulder for a moment, but then he looked back at me. “I always kind of assumed it would be me,” he said simply. “Your first. And in some twisted way … I’m still glad I was.” The side of his lip pulled up, but it fell just as quickly.

I understood what he was saying, and I nodded.

“But God it was supposed to be so fucking different,” he said almost angrily, and he shook his head. He finally smiled again. “Go to sleep.” He leaned forward, kissing me in the middle of the forehead. He reached back and turned the lamp off, and I closed my eyes.


* * * * 

I woke up when his arms tightened around me, and he hummed warmly against the back of my ear. “Do you want coffee?” he asked quietly, his voice hoarse with sleep.

I sat up, looking over Kane’s shoulder at the clock on the nightstand. It was six-thirty. “I better not,” I said as I stretched.

His hand slipped under the back of my shirt, and his palm ran over my skin, gently rubbing as it traveled up to the middle of my back. I sighed as I stretched my neck.

“When Dr. Briggs says she’s calling first thing in the morning, she means first thing in the morning. The woman once called me at seven-fifteen to review my grades. Talk about a rude awakening.” I chuckled as his hand continued to move and graze across my back. I glanced over my shoulder at him. I studied his face, and my cheeks flushed as goosebumps popped over my entire body. His eyebrows shot up as he felt it under his palm.

“What on earth are you thinking about?” he asked with a sly smile.

I didn’t say anything for a moment. “What would it be like if we decided to have a sexual relationship?”

His hand moved some more. “Emotionally or physically?”

My cheeks flushed again. “Physically.”

“I suppose…” he spoke slowly. “My mouth would likely be where my hand is right now. And if you wanted to ride my fucking thigh like you did last night, you wouldn’t feel the need to stop until you’d come all over my leg.” He sat up, still running his hand over my back. He rested his chin on my shoulder and I turned to face forward. “And I guess that kiss would have turned into full on fucking.”

The flush turned into warmth that radiated out through my limbs and then pulled back into my core to settle in my groin. “Emotionally?”

He kissed my shoulder again. “That’s more difficult,” he said.

I turned to look at him. His face was close to mine.

“In what way?” I asked.

He inhaled deeply. “It’s easy to make the physical things happen the way you want them to.”

“Sex, fighting, alcohol,” I said.

He nodded. “Good insight. Yeah. Those things have a very tangible feel to them. There’s a cause and effect. If you do this, you get that. It’s simple. It’s uncomplicated.”

“You’re saying the emotional side of all this is more complicated?”

“Do you see it any other way?” he asked.

I turned my body toward him then, and his hand slipped from underneath my shirt. “No, I don’t,” I said as I shook my head. My eyes drifted away as I contemplated that.

“Hey.” He pulled my face to look at him. When he opened his mouth to speak, he quickly closed it and sighed. But then he opened it again. “Complicated is okay.”

His eyes shifted down to my mouth. He looked vulnerable as though he were afraid of what I was thinking. Odd thing was I felt the same of him. He finally looked back at my eyes.

“If you want to know what it looks like… it’s open, it’s honest, we talk, we listen, we spend time together. The thing is, I told you I want to be close to you. That’s an emotional thing for us whether there’s sex involved or not.”

“Yeah,” I agreed.

He reached for my mouth, cupping my chin and running his thumb over my lower lip. “Don’t kiss me again…” he said quietly.

I gasped, and my eyes dropped to his chest.

“…unless that’s the direction we’re going.”

My pulse spiked, and I had to force myself to make eye contact. I was holding my breath when I did.

“Because I liked it too much. I need to know you’re not going to take that away from me if it happens again.”

My breath left me in a rush, but I nodded. He smiled gently, even seductively, but it was reassuring nonetheless.

I glanced at the clock again. “I really have to go. I’m sorry.”

He stood and pulled me up to my feet, and then he snatched my jeans from the floor. Once I’d put them on quickly, he stuffed my bra into the pocket, smirking down at me. He walked me to the door, and I ran out to my car as he watched from the porch.



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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & #Giveaway: ★Nice Girls Don't Ride★ by @roniloren

 NICE GIRLS DON’T RIDE
Author: Roni Loren
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Natalie Bourne thinks she has the perfect night planned for her twenty-first birthday. But when her car breaks down and her boyfriend bails on her, she’s left stranded in an auto shop dealing with a way too cocky, way too hot mechanic, who seems to be intent on pushing every button she has.

Monroe Hawkins knows he shouldn’t be messing with a girl from the uppity private college. Especially when he can tell she sees him as the help. But he’s having trouble resisting the redhead with the smart mouth and the killer legs. So when Natalie’s night goes from bad to worse, there’s no way he’s letting her spend her birthday alone. He makes her a deal—he’ll take her home but not until the sun comes up.

Ten hours, one motorcycle, and the city of Austin at their fingertips…things are about to take a major detour. And soon, there may be no U-turn in sight.


Chapter One

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday, dear...

I groan and lean back against the guardrail, shielding my eyes from the piercing sunlight. How exactly should I finish that?

Girl who currently smells like sweat and roadkill?

Girl about to go broke paying for this mess?

Girl whose boyfriend will not answer his goddamned phone?

My fingers move over the screen as I text Caleb again. Where r u???

I stare at my phone, willing a response out of it, but the screen goes black before there’s any answering ding. Caleb had warned me that he was going to be cutting it close for our date tonight. And I know his internship at the local campaign office sometimes runs late when they’re prepping for a rally, but he should be out by now.

My fingers move over the screen again. R U secretly Superman in ur off hours? Come on, u can tell me. If ur saving the world, I’ll understand.

Of course, there’s still no response. And now my neck is prickling with not just sweat but anxiety. What if something happened to him? What if he was in an accident? What if—?

I stop myself before the thoughts spiral, closing my eyes and taking a deep breath. Cool it, Nat. But that little exercise only gets me a lungful of the dead skunk that’s roasting in the heat a few yards away from me on the side of the highway. Blech. I press my fingers over my mouth, fighting a wave of nausea.

I check the clock on my phone for what seems like the hundredth time. The roadside-assistance lady said they would contact a local garage and get me a tow right away. But it’s been over an hour, and the only cars that have passed by have either ignored me or sent catcalls flying my way. Because, of course, my piece-of-crap car had to break down when I’m all dressed up in a low-cut dress and heels for my birthday dinner. Yay for timing.

One guy had at least offered to help and had seemed nice enough, but I’ve seen how those horror movies end. Girl on the side of the road accepts help from a seemingly harmless stranger, only to have her organs carved out later that night. No, thanks.

A grinding of tires on gravel draws my attention upward. A black tow truck rolls past me on the road and pulls to the side, sending a cloud of dust in its wake. I keep my phone clutched in my hand, quickly check the can of Mace in my purse, and then push off the guardrail. The side of the truck says Billy’s Custom Cycles and Auto Repair. There’s a tattoo-style logo of a motorcycle on fire, and I know that it’s definitely not the name of the repair shop the roadside assistance service gave me. It had been some big chain—AutoPlus or something like that. A little shimmer of nerves goes through me and I stop where I am, my heels sinking into the gravel.

The front door of the tow truck opens and a tattooed arm appears before anything else. For some reason, my eyes lock onto pieces of the man instead of the whole—like I can’t handle the entire view quite yet, only snapshots. That muscular arm as the driver slides out of the truck. The worn black motorcycle boots that hit the ground. I force myself to look up, tracking along the faded jeans and fitted black T-shirt, until I collide with a dark blue gaze.

“Looks like you need a ride.”

The deep voice startles me for a second and snaps me back into the moment like a slingshot. Ping! Pay attention, Nat. Now is not the time to let my guard down. “No, thank you, I don’t. I already have another shop on the way.”

His gaze tracks over my dusty dress, slow and lazy like, before he lifts a dark brow. “How long have you been waiting? It’s pretty hot out here.”

The once-over makes me more than a little self-conscious. He can’t be all that much older than me, early twenties for sure, but something about him is intimidating as hell. “I don’t know. Not long. I’m sure they’ll be here any second.”

He crosses his arms over his chest and eyes my car, which has chosen this moment to start smoking from under the hood—as if it senses help in its midst and is crying out for it. “What shop is coming?”

I brush at the skirt of my dress, trying to give my nervous hands something to do. I don’t want to look worried or scared or show him that I’m melting in this brutal Texas heat. “AutoPlus, AutoMart . . .”

He scowls. “Autoland.”

“That’s it.”

“You might as well set up a tent then. They take forever to get to calls, and they’ll charge you twice as much as we would. Plus, they close at six. They’re just going to tow you in and then lock up for the night.”

“Says the guy who wants to make a buck on a girl stranded on the side of the road.”

The corner of his mouth lifts. “Hey, princess, I’m just trying to be a nice guy and get you to your”—he looks me up and down again—“sorority party on time. I get paid the same either way.”

Princess? Sorority party? My eyes narrow and I give him my own head-to-toe look, taking in the messy dark hair, the tattoos, the heavy boots, the finely shaped . . . I snatch the thought back before I can go there. “Look, Son of Anarchy, I appreciate the nice guy offer, but how do I even know you’re legit?”

He snorts. “You think I drive a tow truck around for fun? Call the number on the side of the truck if you want. But otherwise, I’ve got better stuff to do than stand here in the heat, smelling roadkill. Two minutes, princess. I’ll be in the truck. You want a tow and a ride? You get in. If not, good luck with Autoland.”

He turns to go, and I feel a little dart of panic at being left alone again—even if he’s not exactly the company I want. This isn’t the best part of Austin, and the sun is on its way down. “Wait, what’s your name? You know, so I can verify.”

He doesn’t turn around but calls back. “Monroe.”

I dial the number to the shop and, of course, they verify that Monroe works for them and is driving the truck today. The guy on the phone sounds amused by my questions. And his reaction makes me realize that I’m being paranoid, that my nerves are officially frayed, and it’s making me act like a bitch. I thank the guy on the phone, hang up, and take a steadying breath. This is going to be okay. Not everyone is out to take advantage. Some people actually do things to be helpful without ulterior motives.

My mother would laugh her ass off at that logic. Everybody’s got an agenda, Nattie.

I straighten the neckline of my dress, hike my purse up my shoulder, and walk over to the tow truck with as much dignity as I can muster for a sweaty girl in a dusty dress. Monroe hasn’t climbed back into the cab, but is instead leaning against the front bumper and watching the cars zoom by on the overpass up ahead. He doesn’t look my way. “Verified that I’m not a serial killer?”

“Verified that you work for Billy’s. The serial-killer part is yet to be determined.”

He smiles out at the horizon. “Want to check the backseat for weapons or body parts?”

“I have a feeling you’d be too sneaky to leave such obvious evidence lying around. And if you aren’t that clever, I’m going to be seriously disappointed in myself if I fall victim to a dumb serial killer.”

He chuckles and it changes his whole face, warming it. When he turns his head, his blue eyes meet mine and my stomach tightens a little. I do my best not to let my reaction show on my face. Last thing I need is him thinking that I’m interested in him. Because, of course, I’m not. I’m totally not. If there’s an opposite of my type, it’s this guy. And plus, I have Caleb. Cute, smart, on-his-way-to-big-things Caleb.

Caleb, who won’t answer his goddamned phone.

Monroe pushes himself off the bumper. “I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult, princess, but I’ll take it you’re going to ride with me.”

“Yes. But only because I can’t handle the dead-skunk smell for another minute.”

“I’m preferable to skunk guts? The flattery just rolls off you, doesn’t it?”

The jab lands squarely. I press my fingers to the space between my eyes and rub. “Sorry. I’m really not trying to be a bitch.”

“It just comes natural, then?”

My eyes snap open and I’m ready to hurl an insult back, but I find him wearing a playful grin and clamp my lips shut.

He angles a thumb toward the truck. “Get in . . .”

“Natalie,” I supply.

“Natalie. And kick the A/C on. Getting your car hooked up is gonna take a few minutes. You may want to call someone for a ride, too, because there’s no guarantee we can get this fixed tonight. I’m assuming you have plans.”

I glance down at my outfit, suddenly self-conscious about the sexy getup. It’s not my typical style, but tonight was supposed to be special, and I had wanted to knock Caleb on his butt. He’s been so wrapped up in work and school lately that I’ve felt a little like furniture. So I borrowed my roommate’s dress with its plunging neckline and treated myself to the new risqué lingerie I’m wearing beneath. I’m not exactly Ms. Vixen normally, so Caleb would’ve never seen it coming. Now it’s all a waste.

“I have a date with my boyfriend,” I say to Monroe.

“Right. So, he can pick you up?”

“He’s not answering his phone. But I’m sure I’ll get him soon.”

Monroe makes some noncommittal noise and nods. “I’m going to get to work. You go and cool off. There’s bottled water in the ice chest in the backseat.”

“Thanks.”

Before getting in the truck, I find myself watching Monroe walk back toward my car. He’s easily over six feet tall but doesn’t move in that awkward, hunched way that most of the taller guys on campus move. There’s an easy confidence to him, like he’s fully grown into his body and taken ownership—a man’s walk. My eyes follow him as he pops the hood of my car and leans over. The hem of his shirt lifts as he bends, exposing a strip of tanned, muscular lower back. I find myself wondering what it would feel like beneath my fingers and if he has any more ink hidden under there . . . I force my eyes away.

What the hell is wrong with me? I don’t have random illicit thoughts about complete strangers. Especially not strangers who have tattoos and call me princess.

I shake my head and pull open the door on the passenger side. Maybe I have heatstroke or something.

I lay my head back against the seat and close my eyes. But all I can see is the image of my new mechanic pulling his shirt all the way off, sweat dripping off him, me putting my hands . . .

I sit straight up.

Yep, definitely heatstroke. Has to be.

3.75 Stars
Never have I been so bold. I don't make first moves. I've been the nice girl behind closed doors just like I have been in the rest of my life. But right now, all I want is a whole lot of bad.
I barely bothered to read the blurb when I saw this title. I'm a huge fan of Roni Loren's, so what the woman writes, I'll read. This was definitely very different from anything that I've read from her in the past. It's not BDSM or angsty. It's a light, steamy and quick NA romance that it just perfect for a quick afternoon read. This is not a long book (under 100 pages I think), but it still packs a steamy punch and I loved the story. Typically with short novellas I find it hard to truly get invested in the characters or their romance, but that wasn't the case here. Sure I wish it was a little longer simply because I enjoyed it, but it was the perfect length for what it was.
Remember, birthdays are like trips to Vegas. Whatever happens doesn't go on your permanent record."
So you're broken down on a deserted road, on your 21st birthday, in suffocating heat. You call a tow truck company but they may take over 2 hours to reach you. You have a fancy restaurant booked for a date with your boyfriend and no way to get there. Oh and your boyfriend is completely unreachable. What's a girl to do? That's precisely the predicament that Natalie Bourne finds herself in. But then a tatted up and sexy stranger proves to be her savior and biggest temptation. Natalie is the stereotypical good girl. Her childhood and drunk of a mother ensured that she keep herself in line...a very narrow one. She does what she's told, she doesn't make a scene, she dates the nice boys. Basically the exact opposite of the girl that would be interested in the bad boy mechanic that pulls over on the side of the road to help her out.

Monroe Hawkins is not into uptight and rich sorority girls, and Natalie absolutely screams uppity with her appearance. But there's also something about her that tempts him. As circumstances put them together and Natalie finds her inner bad girl, the attraction between them soon proves too much to ignore.
Because when Monroe braces his arms alongside me and holds my gaze while he moves inside me, I feel like this is bigger than a hookup. This is what sex is supposed to me like. Not just a whole-body experience, but a whole mind one.
Don't worry, Natalie's douchebag of a boyfriend isn't in the picture long and there's absolutely no cheating or love triangles. This is a super light but steamy read that's sure to hit the spot for any lovers of NA.

I loved the chemistry between Natalie and Monroe and seeing more and more of Natalie's true personality coming out with Monroe's presence. It was fantastic. I read this in one sitting and loved every page. So why not 5 stars? Well, as great as it wasn't anything that blew me away. It was an entertaining albeit a fairly forgettable read. But definitely one I'd highly recommend.

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that's it. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat.

Places to find Roni Loren:


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Third Debt★ by @PepperWinters

Third Debt (Indebted #4)
Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: Erotic, Dark Romance
Release Date: April 16, 2015
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1DglADL

ABOUT THE BOOK

“She healed me. She broke me. I set her free. But we are in this together. We will end this together. The rules of this ancient game can’t be broken.”

Nila Weaver no longer recognises herself. She’s left her lover, her courage, and her promise. Two debts down. Too many to go.


Jethro Hawk no longer recognises himself. He’s embraced what he always ran from, and now faces punishment far greater than he feared.


It’s almost time. It’s demanding to be paid.


The Third Debt will be the ultimate test...
4.5 Stars
We were both destroyed. And the cure was to give in.
Oh. My. God.
Oh. My. Sanity.
Oh. Mylanta.
This. Fucking. Book. I'm speechless. I'm shocked. My mind is fucked the fuck up. What. Just. Happened?! Want me to describe my state of being the entire time reading this book?
Yeah. Exactly. I was an over-caffeinated, anxiety filled mess. There was not enough booze in the world to help me get through this. It's a miracle I'm not a damn alcoholic after finishing it. Good grief. Intense doesn't even begin to describe it.
I'd given my heart to my enemy.
I'd fallen
Fallen.
Fallen.
HARD.

Now if you haven't read the previous 3 books, I have to warn you that this review will contain minor spoilers so stop reading right now. It will be completely SPOILER FREE for this book, however.
Nila had my heart. But my father had my very existence.
Nila and Jethro have been through 3 debt inheritences. It's changed them, it's broken them, it's fused them together. Neither are the same people that they were first introduced to be. Book by book and chapter by chapter, Pepper Winters has been systematically building two characters that are filled with so much depth, you find something new with every book. Nila continues to grow into her own, a stronger woman, a woman that just may have the strength to survive the brutalities done to her and fight for herself and for Jethro to bring them out of their hell. Jethro is taking a different journey.

While first we were introduced to someone seemingly unfeeling, cold and dark, Nila has been chipping away at all of Jethro's defense and walls. Now he is no longer able to hide his true self from her. But worse yet, he can't hide it any longer from his father.
I was firstborn.
This was my legacy.
After weeks of preparation, i'd agreed once and for all to prove it.
By killing Nila Weaver.
Everything that Jethro has tried to hide through the years from everyone and especially from his father is being brought to the surface by Nila's mere presence alone. He craves her and yet he has no way out of his duty to the Hawke legacy. A legacy he wants nothing to do with, but nothing short of death and blood would get him out of. He let Nila go to protect her but unfortunately it's not so easy when the woman who was once his prey doesn't want to stay away.

Nila may have suffered at the hands of her captor, but it didn't stop her from falling for him. But ever since she left, Jethro isn't the man she fell in love with. He seems lost in a cold fog and reverting back to the man she first met. A man she wants nothing to do with, but she's determined to bring the man she knows is hiding inside him back to the surface. But can both of them survive the repercussions when all the secrets begin to finally unravel?

Now I'll be first to admit that I have the worst case of series ADD ever. As in I barely find myself finishing any series past 3 books. Hell, even trilogies sometimes lose me. It's just that after so many books, I begin to lose interest in the couple. How much can they possible go through before it gets boring, systematic, redundant or predictable? That is NOT the case here, which is remarkable considering each book is a novel length. Each piece is intricately woven into the next that leaves you begging for more every time. I never thought I'd say that of a cliffhanger, but that's the same case with them. They're not there for shock value. I actually like getting that break between each book (even though I slowly die inside waiting for the next to be released). These books are simply too intense to be read back to back. They're perfectly paced to trickle feed you the story piece by devastating piece; answering one question only to leave you with a hundred more. So if you were like me and dying to know the secret behind Jethro's condition, breathe ease because you'll get your answers. But then you'll be left with a cliffhanger from hell. One that will leave you screaming, crying, ripping your hair out, and considering parting with an ovary just to get your hands on the next book just to find out what happens. Oh yeah. It's THAT bad. And that good at the same time. If you're not completely hooked on this series after this book...well, let's just say that you most definitely will be.
She is my salvation, my reason for existence, my queen.
It took me two days of rocking in a dark corner after that cliffy just to be able to write a coherent review. So now that I...mostly have, if you'll excuse me, I'm off back to my corner.


Series Reading Order

Debt Inheritance (Indebted #1) FREE
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1yzNQ37

First Debt (Indebted #2) 

Second Debt (Indebted #3) 
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1IN79vB


Third Debt (Indebted #4)




PREORDER Fourth Debt (Indebted #5) NOW
Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex... her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.

Her Dark Erotica books include:
Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1)
Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2)

Her Grey Romance books include:
Destroyed




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