Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Absolution by Amanda Dick - Sale Tour #Excerpt


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Jack McKenna is a man with two very distinct pasts.
One ended with a car accident involving his girlfriend, Ally, and a split-second decision with horrific consequences. Desperate to escape the guilt, he carved out a new life for himself. Four years spent hiding in the shadows, punishing himself for not having the courage to go back to her. Then, out of the blue, a phone call forces him to face up to everything and everyone he left behind.
Ally Connor’s life was split in two - before the car accident that shattered her spine, and after Jack’s sudden disappearance. Abandoning her when she needed him most, she fought hard to make it back from the brink. The face she shows to the world is strong and courageous, but behind the mask, the pain is burrowing deeper.
But fate had more in store for these two broken souls than either could have imagined. A funeral, a homecoming and a journey of self-discovery that would change both their lives - if they let it.
Suddenly, the secrets they want to hide from each other are the very secrets that could make them whole again.






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Ally looked up to find Jack standing in the doorway. She froze. She had been lying to herself, she realised too late. She wasn’t ready for this, not by a long shot.
“Come inside,” he said, his desperate gaze holding hers. “Please?”
He had changed out of the torn shirt and jacket, and stood before her in jeans and a dark blue t-shirt. He looked very much the worse for wear, his eye swollen slightly, an angry-looking cut on his cheek.
Her heart pounded against her ribcage. She fought the impulse to turn and make her way back to the car. He moved aside and she maneuvered herself over the doorstep and into the hall. She wanted to cry. It felt wrong, like they were trespassing somehow. She wished like hell that Tom was there.
“I wasn’t expecting you,” Jack said quietly, closing the door behind her. “But thank you, for coming.”
He stood facing her, shoving his hands deep into his pockets. Had his eyes always been that shade of green? They seemed darker, heavier somehow. God, what was she doing here?  
“Ally… ”
Her hands gripped the handles of her crutches even tighter. The questions bolted out of her before she could stop them.
“Why’d you do it? Why’d you leave like that?”
The silence seemed to buzz in her ears, seconds stretching out.
“Why do you think?” he whispered, his eyes brimming with tears.
“That’s not good enough,” she shot back, tilting her chin in defiance. “I need to hear you say it – you owe me that.”
He ran a hand through his hair. “You’re right, I’m sorry. Look, I… this could take a while. Come through to the living room, I’ll get us something to drink.”
She frowned, afraid of losing her resolve if she moved any further into the house. Before she could answer though, he walked into the living room and she had no choice but to follow.
She had last been here two weeks ago, for dinner. The house looked exactly the same, except for the glaringly obvious fact that Tom was missing. Her heart ached for him. If he were here, he’d be the buffer she felt they desperately needed now. Without him, it was too raw.  
Jack poured the drinks, his back to her. To his left, on the side table, was an almost-empty glass that he topped up. Clearly, it wasn’t his first drink today. She couldn’t blame him.
He turned back to her, holding a glass in each hand, indicating the couch. “Shall we sit down?”
She ignored the couch and headed for the small dining table at the end of the room instead. She wanted to put something solid between them, hoping it would help her concentrate. She could feel his eyes burning into her back as she lowered herself into a chair, leaning her crutches against the table beside her. He set the glasses down on the table and pulled out the chair opposite her. She cringed as the chair’s legs scraped against the hardwood floor. Silently begging her trembling hands not to betray her, she reached for her glass and took a quick sip.
Tom had been the one to teach her about whisky – the good, the bad, the difference between blended and single malts, when to have water with it and when to have it neat.
“What do you remember about the accident?” Jack asked quietly, dragging her back to the present.
A black void where her memories should be.
She stared into the glass she held with both hands on the table in front of her. “Nothing. I don’t remember a thing. Callum told me what happened, after.”
“What did he say?”
“That it wasn’t your fault.” Why did she sound so frightened? She cleared her throat, mustering up the courage to look across the table at him. “He said there was nothing you could have done, that the other car came out of nowhere.”
He nodded slightly, his expression guarded. She waited for him to elaborate but he didn’t. She seized her chance, before she lost her nerve completely.
“I want to know why you left like that, if it wasn’t your fault. Was it because of what happened to me?”
He shook his head and she tried to distance herself from his obvious pain. She couldn’t afford empathy if she was to get through this. She needed answers.
“Was it? You were gone when I woke up from surgery, Jack. You knew what happened to me. Did you leave because of that, because you didn’t want to be with me? I want the truth. I can take it,” she lied.
He shook his head, swallowing back tears. “No.”
“You’re lying.”
“No, I’m not, I – “
“You’re lying!” she cried, anger bursting forth.
“No! I’m not lying, I swear to you,” he insisted desperately, leaning forward. “I left because of me, because of what I did!”
“What the hell does that mean?”
He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Something was going on behind his eyes that she couldn’t read and she frowned, searching deeper.
“I was driving. It was my fault.”
“So you left because you felt guilty?”
“I left because I was scared.”
“I was scared too – I woke up and you were gone!”
Breaking it down like that, so simply, hurt much more than she expected. All the things she couldn’t say – the fear that had overwhelmed her and pulled her under and nearly destroyed her – manifested as tears, overflowing and running down her cheeks.
“I’m so sorry,” he said brokenly, staring at his hands on the table. “I thought you’d hate me… I thought you’d all hate me.”
“So you just decided to run away instead?”
He didn’t answer, and anger and betrayal overwhelmed her as his face blurred.
“I wish I could take it all back – I wish I could change everything,” he whispered.
“You can’t.”
“I know. I’m so sorry. I should’ve stayed, I should’ve – “
“I’m not interested in hearing about what you should’ve done,” she snapped. “I know what you should’ve done, but you didn’t, did you?”
Jack looked devastated but she couldn’t help the words that came tumbling out.
“I lay in that hospital bed, counting the holes in the ceiling tiles, thinking about all the things that I would never be able to do again, and I kept thinking that if you were there, it would be okay – that you being there would mean that everything was going to be okay. But you weren’t.” She steadily held his gaze, binding him to her as surely as if she had used ropes or chains. “I hated you for that. I hated you for leaving, I hated you for not even saying goodbye – for not having the guts to talk to me before you left, for being such a coward.”
Tears spilled down his cheeks, but she wasn’t finished.
“Why didn’t you call? Or write or email – why didn’t you at least try? Did you even think about me at all?”
“I never stopped thinking about you,” he whispered, chin quivering.
It was on the tip of her tongue to call him a liar again, but something was wrong. He stared at her, and for an instant, she saw through the mask. Buried so deep it was barely visible, was the truth, and when she saw it, it took her breath away.


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

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

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

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


Author Links
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: The Dirt On Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones


Description:
In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.


My Thoughts:
I was a little skeptical about the change in this book. I wasn't sure it would work for me but it did. Charley's personality is still there. And her friends, even if she doesn't know it. It is funny how she can be so clueless. It is completely in character for her, though. I love how she is discovering all of these things about herself from a new perspective. I really enjoyed this book. Sometimes a series can get old after so many books but I am still loving this! As always, can't wait to get my hands on the next one. 


My Rating: *****
Steam Factor: !!!
*Notes:
Language.

My Source: purchased



Where to get it:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes


Where to find the author:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Searching for Mine by Jennifer Probst - Release Day #Excerpt #Giveaway

 

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

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

Synopsis:

The Ultimate Anti-Hero Meets His Match…

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

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


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EXCERPT:

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

  

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

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

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

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: A Gentleman's Game by Theresa Romain


Description:
Suave Nathaniel Chandler can just as easily talk himself into a willing lady's embrace as he can broker a business deal. But no amount of charm is sufficient to cloak a chilling, recent discovery: every one of his award-winning racehorses has suddenly and mysteriously fallen ill. 

Determined to discover the source of the problem, Nathaniel searches for all possible explanations. His suspicions fall on the alluring Rosalind Agate, his father's new secretary. But for the sake of both their livelihoods - and his recent attraction - Nathaniel sets aside his suspicions. Instead, he decides to use Rosalind's wit and her wiles as key components of his investigative team.

As the upcoming race draws near, Nathaniel and Rosalind must use every trick up their sleeves to not only catch the culprit, but also satisfy the desire that burns between them…
 


My Thoughts:
I loved this one. Nathaniel and Rosalind are both likable characters and I liked now the book showed you about them instead of just telling. I really enjoyed the sense of humor. There was sweetness and also situations to overcome. The time period felt authentic. There was a lot about horse racing, which I wasn't all that familiar with before. I look forward to more from this series.  

My Rating: *****
Steam Factor: !!!


My Source:
Netgalley



Where to get it:

Amazon | B&N 


Where to find the author:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Friday, February 5, 2016

Boiling Point by Tessa Baily - Excerpt and Giveaway

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Publication Date: January 25, 2016 
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N| Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis: 
Falling for a con man is the most dangerous game of all… Con artist Austin Shaw’s been in disguise so long he’s not sure where his fake identities end and he begins. Now that he’s been strong-armed into working for a specialized undercover unit working with the Chicago police—criminals with unique “skills”—the last thing he needs is to risk his iron control. Especially when it comes to a certain stunningly sexy hacker who tempts him with every look of disdain. Polly Banks will never, ever trust a con man. On the trail of a ruthless crook who destroyed the only family she’s ever known, Polly is unnerved by the shadow who follows her every move. The one who makes her pulse pound and breath short with lust. Austin. He’s infuriating, enigmatic, and pure sex appeal, and she’s determined to resist him. But an untrustworthy man of disguise can become anyone he wants…including a man that Polly must trust if she’s to escape their dangerous game alive.

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Excerpt:

“Ms. Banks.” He made a savoring noise in his throat, dragging his gaze from the tips of her boots upward. “Should I assume from your punctuality that you were hoping to clock some alone time with me? I usually only take scheduled appointments, but you’re always the exception.”
She knew better than to take the bait. Another facet of Austin she had memorized was his sexual gravity. Step off the ledge when he challenged you with innuendo and, well, splat. There was no way to compete with innate charisma like he’d been blessed with. Dammit. “I had no idea you would arrive first. I assumed it would be Connor.” Their resident ex-SEAL insisted on neat edges and precise plans, was usually fuming by the time all six members showed up. “If I’d known, I would have killed some time in Starbucks.”
“Connor used to arrive first,” Austin said, sauntering toward her. “Until I realized it got under his skin when I do instead. So here I am.” He ran a hand over his sculpted mouth, his attention locked on the base of her neck. “And here you are.”
The hard wall against her back felt more like a trap the closer he came. “You go to such lengths to get under people’s skin, but you can’t get under mine.” She tilted her head. “That must drive you crazy, Shaw.”
“You. Are the only thing that drives me crazy.” The tips of his shoes bumped hers, sending a bolt of energy straight up her limbs. “And you damn well know it.”

***

DON'T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SIZZLING CROSSING THE LINE SERIES....

Riskier Business #0.5 Cover

RISKIER BUSINESS by Tessa Bailey Crossing the Line, #0.5
Publication Date: January 5, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N| Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis: 
One more game. And this time, there are no rules…
After a life of pool hustling and living on the wrong side of the law, Ruby Elliott is living on the straight and narrow with sexy-as-all-hell NYPD detective, Troy Bennett. Now the only trouble Ruby has with the law is the naughty kind, pinned against the wall by Troy's strict and spectacularly hard body. Obeying his every command. Both of them losing themselves in a lust that borders on obsession... But then her father returns with an offer she can’t refuse: one last hustle in exchange for information. Information she’d die to have. As the pieces and the players of the game reveal themselves, Troy feels the fine edges of his control slipping—control he can’t channel without hurting Ruby. The stakes are high, and the risk higher. Because losing this final game could cost more than Ruby’s heart…it might cost her life.

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RISKING IT ALL by Tessa Bailey Crossing the Line, #1
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N| Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis: 
NYPD detective Seraphia Newsom will avenge her brother’s death at any cost. Even if it means insinuating herself into a rough, Brooklyn street gang and going so far undercover, she’s not sure she’ll be able to get out. Every minute she spends in their midst means the clock ticking down on her life, especially when she overhears something that could get her killed. Bowen Driscol is the heir to a crime enterprise. He never asked for the job, but with his father behind bars, he has no choice but to step in and keep the operation running. But when the NYPD blackmails him with a piece of damning information in exchange for aiding an undercover cop, he finds himself on the other side of the law for the first time in his life. Bowen knows the danger Sera is in, and keeping her safe trumps saving his own ass. The problem? She can’t know he’s on her side. And there's the matter of the seriously inconvenient heat sparking between them that's incinerating his resistance. But Sera only sees Bowen's past, and men like him are the reason her brother is dead. If they're to get out alive, he'll have to risk exposing the man beneath, and hope to hell he doesn't blow the whole operation in the process.

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Up In Smoke #2 Cover

UP IN SMOKE by Tessa Bailey
Crossing the Line, #2 Publication Date: June 23, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N| Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis: 
Never start a fire you can’t control… Connor Bannon is supposed to be dead. Dishonorably discharged from the Navy SEALs, he's spent the last two years working as a street enforcer in Brooklyn for his cousin's crime ring. Through a twist of fate, he's now in Chicago, working undercover to bust criminals. But when a cute little arsonist joins the team—all combat boots, tiny jean shorts, and hot-pink hair—Connor’s notorious iron control slips. Erin "she's getting away" O'Dea knows two things. She hates authority. And… Nope, that's it. When she's forced to operate on the “right” side of the law, her fear of being confined and controlled blazes to the surface. The last thing she expects is a control freak like Connor to soothe her when she needs it most. Worse, something behind the sexy ex-soldier's eyes ignites a dangerous inferno of desire. One that invites Erin to play with fire. And one that could get them both killed…

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ABOUT TESSA BAILEY


Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

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