Blog Tour : Never Trust A Pirate (Playful Brides #7) by Valerie Bowman

Never-Trust-a-Pirate-Blog-Banner

The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. . .

A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

Never Trust a Pirate is part of the Regency-set Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman.

NTAP cover

Expected publication: May 2nd 2017 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks; 288 pages

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My Review

Rating : 4 out of 5 Stars

This historical-spy romance set in Post Napoleonic War England was a very entertaining read, with its adventurous plot, spunky heroine and intriguing hero. The hero, Cade Cavendish, is the black sheep of his aristocratic family. He has been out of the country for years and is recently back. He has a rakish reputation and is infamous for his dalliances with women. Cade is the exact opposite of his perfect twin brother, a famous war hero spy, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. But he is a master of disguise, a chameleon whose secrets complicate his relationship with his family. Cade is a globetrotter, feeling at home on the sea. He is in town to get information and life in London’s glittering high society circles is wearing on his nerves.

Danielle LaCrosse is a spy of French origin, she is strong, savvy and resourceful. She has secured a position of maid of Cade’s sister-in-law, Lady Cavendish and she plays her part to perfection. She mistakes Cade for his twin brother at first and is intrigued by his secretive nature. She finds him charming and yet dangerous and sneaky. Cade and Danielle both have hidden agendas and their mutual attraction is very inconvenient. Feelings can’t compromise their respective missions.

I loved the interactions between these two intelligent characters, their cat and mouse game was irresistible. They are flirting and at the same time testing one another. I enjoyed their battle of wits, Cade wants Danielle to believe he is a brainless rake living off his brother, but there is obviously much more to him than meets the eye. He may be her best ally and the one she has been looking for.

Valerie Bownan has delivered a cast of vibrant characters and a suspense filled plot with witty dialogue, sexy times and a heartwarming romance. This book is part of the Playful Brides series, but it can be read as a complete standalone. I definitely recommend this well-written and witty historical romance.

Thank you for visiting and happy reading!

ARC generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.

Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

London Harbor, July 1817

Only three steps. Only three steps separated him from the map. It was there, laying on the rickety wooden table in the captain’s stateroom aboard a ship aptly named Le Secret Francais. The only sound in the cramped space was his own breathing. Sweat beaded on his brow. He’d come this far. Braved the murky, cold water, swam out to the ship moored at the London docks. Climbed aboard silent as a wraith, dressed all in black. Wrung out his clothing to keep it from dripping so there wouldn’t be a trail. Managed to steal into the captain’s quarters as the man slept, and now, now only three steps remained between him and the priceless map.

One water droplet fell to the wooden plank floor like a hammer against steel. The sound of his breath echoed to a crescendo. The blood pounding in his head became a distracting whirring noise.

One step forward. The ball of his foot ground onto the plank. Stealth and silence. Always. The calling cards of the best thief in London.

The captain stirred slightly in his bunk and began to snore.

He froze. One leather-clad foot arrested on the wooden plank. A pistol rested on two nails directly above the captain’s bunk. If the man awoke, he might shoot first at any noise. The captain well knew the value of the treasure he carried.

He counted to ten. Once. Twice. He had long since mastered the art of keeping footing on a ship. He waited until his heartbeats became steady again before taking the next step. A slight creak in the wood floor. A hint of movement from the captain. Another endless wait. Impatience was a roiling knot inside his belly.

Out of the shadows now, he stood only one step away from the table bolted to the floor. The moon shone through the window above the captain’s bed, shedding light on the man’s balding head. The map lay spread out, anchored by pins in the four corners. He would have to remove those pins. Ripping the paper would be too noisy.

Another interminable wait as the captain turned away from him in his sleep. His snores subsided.

He glanced over at the bunk. The pistol shone in the moonlight. One hard swallow. He never carried a pistol. Too loud. Pistols brought the crew, the wharf police, and anyone else interested in such activity. The only weapon he carried was a knife, tucked in the back of his breeches. A weapon of stealth.

Another count to ten before taking the final step. There was no time for an in-depth study of the map now, but a quick glance revealed the destination. The island of St. Helena, off the western coast of Africa, circled in bold scrawl. The map of the route planned for Bonaparte’s next escape. That bastard in the bed had been planning it.

All ten fingers itched to snatch the paper and run, but he forced himself to take a deep, silent breath. Carefully, he dislodged the first pin at the top right corner. It popped out easily. The top of the map rolled toward the center, making a slight flapping sound. Breath held, he glanced toward the captain again. No movement.

He stuck the pin back into the table to keep it from rolling, then his hand darted to the next pin at the bottom right corner. It also popped out easily. He quickly stuck it back into the wood. With two sides free, he carefully rolled the map toward the center. Reaching up to the top, he grasped the third pin. No movement. It was lodged deeply into the wood. Must pull harder. With one black-gloved hand, he clasped the pin between a thumb and two fingers, pulling upward with as much strength as he dared. His own breath in his ear was the only sound … that and the water lapping at the sides of the ship.

The pin finally gave way. He pressed a hand to the top of the map, to keep the freed top left corner from curling and making a noise. His chest and torso flattened against the map and the table, he pressed the third pin back into the wood.

Click. An unmistakable sound. One he had heard too often before. Another hard swallow. Damn it. He’d been so preoccupied with keeping quiet, he hadn’t realized the captain’s snores had subsided.

Half-splayed across the table, he contemplated his options. The door was ten paces to the left, the open window five paces to the right. Would he fit through the window? It’d be a hell of a time to learn the answer was no.

“Step away from zee map, if you don’t want a bullet through your back.” The captain’s voice was harsh and angry.

He slowly rose from his position hunched over the map, arms braced upright at right angles near his head to show the captain he had no weapon. “Ye wouldn’t shoot an unarmed man, now would ye, Cap’n?”

“I’d shoot a thief without thinking twice,” the captain replied with a sneer, nearly spitting the word thief.

He glanced down at the map. Studying it in case he was forced to leave without it. He had been in worse situations, more times than he could count. He considered the knife in the back of his breeches hidden beneath his shirt. It would be simple, easy and quick to snake it out and whip it into the bastard’s throat. But a voice in his head reminded him … justice must be served in proper course.

“Turn around,” the captain ordered. “Slowly.”

“Why?” he asked, trying to garner some precious time.

“Because I want to see zee face of zee man who would steal my secrets.”

He began his turn. Slowly. So slowly and so quietly that he could have sworn he heard a drop of sweat from his forehead hit the wooden plank of the floor. He finally stood facing the older man.

Êtes-vous le Renard Noir?” the captain asked.

Pourquoi veux tu savoir?”

Visible in the light of the moon, the captain narrowed his eyes. “Ah, perfect French? Why do I find zat difficult to believe from an obvious Englishman?”

“Obvious?”

“Who else would want zis map?”

His fingers ached to choke the bastard. He might not be able to kill him, but he could wound the scoundrel. Nothing wrong with a wound. He whipped his hand behind his back, grabbed the knife, and hurled it at the captain. It hit the arm that held the pistol. The captain howled. The pistol fired. Smoke filled the cabin with its acrid stench. He ripped the map and fourth pin from the table and ran to the door.

Steps sounded on the planks above the captain’s cabin. In the pitch black belowdecks, he forced himself to wait in the shadows under the stairs until the first group of rescuers filed down the steps into the captain’s cabin. He flattened the map’s scroll and folded it into a six-inch square.

“He’s escaped, you idiots! Find him before he jumps from the ship!” the captain yelled in French.

The group dutifully filed back up to spread across the decks. The captain came running out, clutching his injured arm, blood seeping between his fingers, crimson dripping down his nightshirt. He made his way up the stairs and ran off across the deck.

Springing from the shadows, he raced back into the empty cabin. He flew over to the window, said a brief prayer to fit through the tight space, hoisted up to the ledge, and pushed his upper body through. He ripped off his black tricorn, stuck the folded map to his head, and pulled down the hat as firmly as possible.

A rope swung outside the captain’s window two feet to the right. Thank God for small favors. He lunged at it and grabbed it. Noiselessly, he lowered himself down the rope, bracing both feet against the hull to rappel toward the water. Lowering quietly, he winked back at the figurehead of a saucy French woman carved beneath the captain’s cabin. As soon as he made it into the water, he let go of the rope and swam like a mackerel fleeing a shark toward the shore, careful to keep his head out of the foul-smelling drink. He counted on the black of night and the murky Thames to hide him from the searchers on the ship.

As he covered the distance between the French ship and the shore, he could hear the Frenchmen yelling and running about. He dared a glance back. Every lantern on the ship appeared to have been lit and the crew was scurrying about like a bevy of ants on an infiltrated hill.

He swam to the darkest spot on the far end of the docks, around the bend from sight of the French ship, and pulled himself ashore beneath a creaky dock using only his forearms. Exhausted, he rolled onto his back and lay breathing heavily in the pitch-black night. One hand went up to clap the top of his tricorn and a wide smile spread across his face.

He’d done it. He’d escaped from a French ship with the map detailing the planned route to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena. Of course he had. He was the Black Fox.

Copyright © 2017 by Valerie Bowman and reprinted with the permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

 About the Author

Valerie BowmanValerie Bowman grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides series, starting with Secrets of a Wedding Night, Secrets of a Runaway Bride, and Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage.

Social Links:

Author Website

Facebook: @ValerieBowmanAuthor

Twitter: @ValerieGBowman

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GoodReads

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Riot Street by Tyler King

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RIOT STREET by Tyler Kind (April 30, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $3.99)

Sometimes, getting in too deep is the only way to survive…

As darkly charismatic as he is unpredictable, Ethan Ash knows me better than I know myself.  He’s spent years unraveling the family scandal I’ve tried desperately to escape.  I once thought that made us adversaries.  Now he’s the closest ally I have left.

Ethan’s both the chaos around me and the deep, calm center where I feel safe.  People warn me about him, tell me he’s dangerous.  Don’t fall for him.  But its too late.  Beacuase I can’t tell where my addiction ends…and his obsession begins.

Buy the Book!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2m3PZ4E

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My Review

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

King_RiotStreet_ebookThe minute I started reading Riot Street, I knew I was about to embark on something truly special. Tyler King has this way of making you fall completely into her story and you feel like you are experiencing every emotion her characters are going through. This story felt real to me. The raw emotion, the depth and complexity of the characters contribute to create a soul-stirring, poignant story.

The heroes of this story, Avery Avalon and Ethan Nash are connected in a strange, tragic way. Ethan is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author and a big deal in the world of journalism. Avery is a young journalism graduate, with a traumatic past. She grew up under the totalitarian authority of a self-appointed guru, secluded from society. Ethan wrote about Avery’s family story, and created her alter ego in a work of fiction. In his book, based on interviews of her father, Ethan has exposed her family’s dark secrets. He feels he owes her and asks her to accept a newsroom job at Riot Street, a news publication.

The exploration of Ethan and Avery’s slow burning relationship was perfectly executed. Avery is trying to move on from her past, but she still has nightmares and anxiety attacks. Ethan convinces her to stop hiding and feeling ashamed of who she is. Being with him takes her anxiety away, he is tender, honest and understanding. She can identify with him, they both had a troubled and secluded childhood, betrayed by the ones they loved. There are serious issues they both must overcome, they need time to grow beyond their past and allow themselves to be loved.

Tyler King writes beautifully, her style is crisp, clever, witty, her characters are vibrant, complex and engaging. This story was compelling, with a perfect blend of swoon-worthy and heartbreaking moments, angst and funny interactions. This book was my first read by Tyler King and it is a definite keeper on my shelf! I highly recommend it. Riot Street is a standalone, told from Avery’s point of view.

Thanks for visiting and happy reading!

ARC generously provided to me by the publisher, via NetGalley.

Giveaway!

Enter to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Riot Street! http://bit.ly/2nzrk9Q

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Excerpt

“You awake?” Ethan shifts next to me in bed beneath the blankets. “Something wrong?”
“I’m fine. Go back to sleep.”
He rolls to his side, wrapping his arm around my waist. “Talk to me.”
“Really, it’s nothing. I’m just restless.”
“You’re safe with me.” His fingers slide under the hem of my tank top to lightly brush bare skin. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”
“No, I know. It isn’t that, I’m just…”
I don’t have the words to articulate it. Even if I could, I’m not sure it’d make sense.
“What can I do?” he asks, trying to understand.
Ethan needs a problem he can fix. Something with bolts and buttons. Something he can take apart, reassemble, or knock with a hammer. People aren’t as easy.
Instead, I kiss him. My lips against his, it isn’t a solution, but it makes me feel better. Wrapped in blankets, secluded in darkness, he overwhelms my senses. The taste of mint on his tongue, the clean, rich scent of his skin—they drive all other thoughts from my mind. I feel only his mouth, his tongue teasing mine, and his heart beating under my palm.
“Avery,” he hums against my lips. “Wait a minute.”
My fingers comb into his hair, tugging. I don’t want him to speak. To let words break the illusion. I just want him, everywhere, all at once and nothing else.
“Listen to me.” He breaks away. “I want you to hear this.”
Hand caressing the side of my face, he runs his thumb under my bottom lip until I settle.
“I mean it. Whenever you’re scared or hurting, I want you to feel safe with me. I want to be the person you talk to, not the one you hide from. Anything at all, or nothing, whatever it is that gets inside your head and makes you want to run, give it to me. I’ll take it away. I’ll bury it in the ground, and never let it hurt you again. I promise, Avery, with all my heart. You never have to be afraid of anything when you’re with me.”
The darkness turns liquid and my chest clenches.
“Why do you say things like that?” I barely whisper.
“Because they’re true. And because I love you.”

 

About the Author

Tyler King was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Creative Writing. As a journalist, her work has appeared in Orlando magazine and Orlando Business Journal, among other publications. She is a proud army spouse currently living in Virginia with her husband.

Social Media Links

http://www.TylerAKing.com

https://www.facebook.com/TylerAKing

 

Release Blitz & Giveaway : Live Out Loud by Marie Meyer

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LIVE OUT LOUD by Marie Meyer (April 30, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $3.99)

I thought I’d live in silence forever . . . and then I met him.

I’ll never be able to hear, but music has always been a source of comfort for me. Rather than listen to the rhythm, I can actually feel the beat pulsing through me. It’s pure bliss. So the moment I saw Thorin playing his guitar, I was mesmerized. I’d never seen anything more beautiful . . . or intimate. I couldn’t tell where his body ended and the song began. He’s everything I need in my life . . . I’m falling fast, hard, and deep.

I want him more than anything. But while I live in silence, Thor lives in secrets. He’s holding something back-something that’s keeping this intensity, this longing from being real. And the silence may be too loud to bear . . .

Buy the Book!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2muNKdk

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Add Live Out Loud to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2muPJ1u

My Review

Rating : 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Meyer_LiveOutLoud_ebookThis beautifully crafted novel tells a poignant story of healing, hope and true love. The author wove her story with sensitivity and a great deal of talent.

Thor Kline is the guitarist of an up-and-coming rock band, and some serious eye candy! Harper King is studying to become a clinical pharmacist. Right from the start, I loved how Thor and Harper connected when they first met. They have apparently nothing in common, and yet they are able to understand one another and accept who they are.

I appreciated how the author made them work so well, even though communicating is like exploring uncharted territory for both of them. Harper is deaf but she is an expert at reading people, and she is pleasantly surprised by Thor. He is downright adorable and treats her like he would any other person. He isn’t put off by her deafness and their natural connection is undeniable.

Harper’s life has never been easy, she had to overcome language barriers and the guilt and insecurities of her parents still negatively affect their relationship. They try to protect her but she wants to live her life, be accepted for who she is and make her own mistakes. Thor and Harper understand one another, they are speaking the same language and find strength in each other.

Live Out Loud is an emotion filled read that packs a powerful emotional punch. It is beautifully written, lyrical and perfectly paced. I definitely recommend it. It is a standalone told in dual POV.

ARC generously provided to me by the publisher, via NetGalley.

Giveaway!

Enter to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Live Out Loud! http://bit.ly/2ol7lM5

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Excerpt

Shit, sweetheart, where’s the fire?

“Hey, Red, hold up,” I say, trying to get her attention. I don’t want to startle her, but it’s no use, she can’t hear me over the noise of the club. If I don’t stop her now, she’ll leave and I won’t get her number. I drop my hand onto her shoulder and she goes rigid under my touch.

Smooth, Kline. Way to scare the poor girl.

Very slowly, she turns around, almost as if she’s expecting to see the Grim Reaper standing behind her. When our gazes meet, her shoulders relax and she lets out a deep breath. Up close, she’s even more beautiful. And Jesus…her eyes. When I caught her gaze for a few seconds on stage, I knew there was something special about her eyes; I just couldn’t see them clearly. Up close, they’re extraordinary. I’ve never seen eyes like hers before…the color of emerald sea glass. A long forgotten memory surfaces, one of my earliest…walking along the beach as a kid…with my dad…before everything went to hell.

I shake off the phantom thought and focus on the girl. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you. It’s just…I…” I stumble over my words like I’m a thirteen-year-old boy. What the hell’s my problem? She’s not the first chick you’ve ever talked to. Spit the damn words out, Thor. “I saw you while I was up on stage, and I was hoping to get your number, I’d really like to take you out sometime.”

There. I said it. Not hard.

She smiles widely and nods. Lifting her hands between us, I notice her fingers move. Graceful and deliberate hand motions. Is she using sign language?

“She can read your lips.”

I glance to my right. A tall girl with long, half black, half blond hair flanks her side. Pretty, but pales in comparison to her friend.

“Read my lips?” I shake my head, not understanding. I point to the redheaded beauty and direct my question to her friend. “She’s deaf?”

There’s a tap on my shoulder and my eyes snap back to Red’s. Moving her hands again, she signs something, and I’m clueless. Her lips move, but she doesn’t speak. And apparently, I’m shit at lipreading. But at least her expression is playful. That’s a plus, right?

She lowers her arms and smiles. Damn, I love how the right side of her lips pulls up higher than the left.

I’ve never had to chase down a girl. For some reason, chicks dig guys in a band. They’ve always pursued me. But, the one time I see a girl so gorgeous, and take the time to run after her, she can’t even hear me.

I look at her friend. “What did she just say?”

Red’s friend folds her arms over her chest, wearing the same beatific smile she did when I stopped them. “She answered your question. Yes, she’s deaf. She also asked if you still want her number.”

I stare at the girl. With wild red curls framing her face and a mischievous smirk, she waits for my answer. Hell yeah, I do.

 About the Author

Marie Meyer is a teacher who spends her days in the classroom and her nights writing heartfelt romances. She is a proud mommy and enjoys helping her oldest daughter train for the Special Olympics, making up silly stories with her youngest daughter, and bingeing on weeks of DVR’d television with her husband.

Social Media Links

www.mariemeyerbooks.com

www.facebook.com/mariemeyerbooks

 

Release Blitz & Giveaway : Aces Wild (Elite Ops #1) by Emmy Curtis

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ACES WILD by Emmy Curtis (April 30, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $4.99; Elite Ops series #1)

In the heat of the Nevada desert, the most elite military pilots in the world are about to engage in some friendly competition. Only this year, someone is changing all the rules…

 RAF pilot Dexter Stone has been through his fair share of sticky situations. After living through a crash in enemy territory where no one expected him to walk away, the Red Flag training exercises should be a piece of cake-assuming he can keep his mind on the mission and not on the smart mouth of his gorgeous American competition.

As one of the few women in a sky full of hotshot flyboys, Maj. Eleanor Daniels has worked day and night to earn a coveted spot at Red Flag. And she’s not about to let some cocky British bad boy distract her from winning. But when the games take a deadly turn, he may be her only hope for survival.

Buy the Book!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2mkshUI

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Add Aces Wild to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2m4WHKe

My Review

Rating : 4 out of 5 Stars

Curtis_AcesWild_ebookMystery, betrayal, and non-stop action all come into play in this thrilling military romance, set in the desert of Las Vegas during a joint military training, dubbed Red Flag. This competition exercise between the best NATO air force pilots is sponsored by military contractors and billions in defense contracts are at stake.

Dexter Stone, aka Ironman, is a RAF pilot whose reputation was damaged after he crashed his aircraft in Iraq. Red Flag is the perfect opportunity to prove his ability to keep a firm hold on his impulses. Failure is not an option and would mean the end of a career that has shaped all his adult life. Dexter has found a worthy opponent in Major Eleanor Daniels, aka Bees Knees. Poised and sharp witted with a knack for teasing him, Eleanor is part of the Aggressor Squadron whose role is to prevent the others teams from achieving their assigned objectives. Eleanor has accepted to join Red Flag to prove her military rank has everything to do with her flying skills and nothing to do with her father’s influence. Her father is an officer of high rank and she has a complicated relationship with him.

Dexter and Eleanor have a lot in common and their friendly connection is a way to release the stress of the training. Eleanor is a seductive combination of daredevil attitude, and girl-next-door type. Dexter and Eleanor’s chemistry is instant, but neither one of them is willing to surrender to their mutual attraction, their focus must be on the competition. They are the perfect team, though. Cooperating will be a matter of survival when they are both caught in a twisting spiral of duplicity and corruption and their life is at stake.

The combination of danger, betrayal and chemistry makes this an entertaining read. I loved the angsty and thrilling ride of suspense, the steady rise in tension! The writing is well-paced, the story was interesting and intriguing. The happy ending was a bit rushed and abrupt, I would have enjoyed more relationship development between Dexter and Eleanor. Some plots twists were partly unresolved, but this book being the first in a new series, I hope we’ll get the answers in a next installment!

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

Giveaway!

Enter to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Aces Wild! http://bit.ly/2olkcOc

aceswild-sharegraphic-01

Excerpt

There was little that would keep them warm tonight, except each other’s body heat. Dex tried not to smile, reminding himself that they were stranded in the middle of a desert with little water.

Water. He bent to get the half bottle that was left. A small piece of rock jumped, blowing a tiny amount of dust in the air. He was moving before his brain had caught up with what he’d seen. He jumped at Eleanor, yanking her to the ground. “Sniper!” he yelled, even though she was underneath him.

Another sliver of rock exploded, close to his knee. “We’re pinned.” Adrenaline spiked through his blood.

“We’ve got company,” he said, moving his body fractionally so she could turn her head to see the truck steaming across the flat base of the valley. Dust spat up behind it like it was on fire.

“Can you reach the backpack?” she asked.

Nope. Not without being target practice. “Sure. Wait a moment.” He slid off her and crawled, flat-out like a crab, toward the bag. He hooked it in his elbow and made his way back. He knew he was a wide open target. But there was no shot. No chipped off rocks, and no dust.

“The sniper is not trying to kill us,” he said.

“Care to test that theory?” she asked rooting around in the backpack.

“Not really.”

“Okay, I will.” Before he could say anything, she sat up bag between her legs and looked at the truck coming toward them.

“Damn, do you have a death-wish?” Now he just felt like a complete tool, lying down, as if he were cowering from something she wasn’t scared of. He sat up and joined her.

“He’s pinning us down all right, but I think he’s just keeping us in place so that these guys can get us.” She pulled a Maglite from the bag they had taken.

“And that’s your weapon of choice?”

She turned and smiled at him. “Only for the sniper.”

Then he understood what she was doing. He pulled out his weapon and chambered a round. “It’s going to be tricky.”

“What have we got to lose?” She cocked an eyebrow.

“A beautiful wedding in Gretna Green?” he asked.

“What’s Gretna Green?” She took her weapon from her pocket and charged it.

“It’s where we are will be eloping to. A town in Scotland where you can get married without any ceremony, or registration. It’s like the Vegas of Europe.”

“What makes you think I want to elope? What makes you think I don’t want a huge dress, a huge cake, and eight attendants?”

“Well I’m certainly up for a huge cake.” He shrugged. “Whatever gets you to the altar.”

Her mouth dropped open. “Wait a minute, you don’t think we getting out of this alive, do you? You think we’re going to die here in the desert at the hands of these…whoever is trying to kill us, and you’ll never have to marry me. We’ll be dead, won’t we?”

“I’m hurt by your cynicism. And yes, maybe you’re right, but it’s got to say something that I’m at death’s door and the only woman I want to marry is you.” He tried not to smile.

“I’m the only woman here.” She reached over and shoved him.

A rock exploded at their feet. “Shit. Now you’re just trying to get me killed, so you don’t have to marry me.”

About the Author

Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She’s lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference…well, she already considers you kin.

Social Media Links

http://www.emmycurtis.com

https://www.facebook.com/EmmyCurtisAuthor

Excerpt Tour : The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan

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TheHotShot Amazon-2First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

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EXCERPT

CHESS

Grumbling, I toss on some black lounge pants and my oversized Tulane t-shirt and head to the drugstore.

My head throbs by the time I get there, and my insides are writhing. I rest my hand against my lower stomach and grab a basket before calling James to complain.

“I swear,” I tell him as I grab a bottle of painkillers. “It’s like this entire day has been cursed.”

He snickers. “Curse. Get it? Curse?”

I roll my eyes, even though he can’t see me. “Laugh it up. Meanwhile, it feels as if someone is playing Battleship in my uterus.”

“Poor Chessie bear. At least we know why you were in such a foul mood.”

A flush washes over my cheeks. “Yeah.” Lie. Lie. Lie. A tub of salted caramel gelato makes its way into the basket.

“Tell me you’re getting some gelato,” James says.

I smile. “Just grabbed it.”

“Salted caramel?”

“You know it.”

I find the feminine products aisle and search for my brand. “I’m going to go home, take a long bath with my gelato, and forget this fucking day.” Forget Finn. “And then I’m going to go on Amazon and buying a freaking year’s supply of tampons so I don’t have to make these kinds of emergency runs anymore.”

A low, deep chuckle rumbles from behind me, and all the tiny hairs lift on my arms.

“But you’ll still need your gelato,” a familiar—fuck me, seriously?—voice points out.

My insides swoop even as my cheeks burn.

“Who is that?” James asks in my ear.

I slowly turn on one heel. “The plague,” I say, glaring up at Finn Mannus’s smiling face.

“From asshat to plague.” Finn scrunches up his brow. “I’m not sure if that’s a step down or a tie.”

“Who is that?” James nearly yells now.

I don’t take my eyes off Finn. “I’ll call you back.”

James’s squawks of protest cut off as I hit the end button.

“Are you stalking me, Mannus?”

Finn a rests his hands low on his lean hips. “Having a healthy amount of conceit myself, I have to admire yours, but no, buttercup. My buddy Woodson lives a few blocks away. It’s poker night. I’m stocking up on beer.”

It’s only then I notice a twelve pack tucked under his other arm.

“And tampons?” I ask, with a pointed look around the aisle we’re standing in.

“Not tonight,” he says easily. “Though we used to keep a pack of them back in college. Light flows were perfect for stopping up bloody noses.”

A snort escapes me. “Now there’s a visual.” Somehow, I’ve taken a step closer to him. He’s freshly showered, the golden brown strands of his hair still damp at his temples. And I wonder if he’s just come from the gym or practice. “So back in college you went and bought these tampons?”

“Nah,” he says with a cheeky smile. “I’d ask one of the girls hanging around to get me some.”

“Of course you did.” My nose wrinkles with annoyance.

“Give me a little credit, Chess. I’d buy them now if I had to.”

“Hmm…” I eye him, trying not to return his smile. If only because it’s more fun when he teases. “So why are you in this aisle now, if not for potential nosebleed needs?”

“That’s easy.” He steps closer, a warm wall of muscle and clean scent. “I heard your voice.”

For a second I just blink. “You recognized my voice?”

His gaze darts over my face as if he’s trying to get a read on why I’m gaping at him. “Not to be…ah…rude, but you’re loud when you talk on the phone.”

“Yeah, but… You recognized it.” We’d only just met. It occurs to me that I’d recognized his both times he’d snuck up on me. Then again, his voice is distinctive, flowing like hot honey when he’s relaxed or hammering down like iron to rock when he’s taking command of a situation.

A soft flush of pink tints the tips of his ears. If I wasn’t staring at him, I might have missed it. He shifts his weight. “Was I not supposed to?”

“No. Yes.” I shake my head and laugh. “I don’t know.”

He grins then. “You’re cute when you’re flustered.”

“I’m not flustered.” I am.

THS1

KCauthor

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

First Look & Giveaway : Forbidden Promises (O’Malleys #4) by Katee Robert

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A First Look at Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert!

 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert delivers the next book in her sizzling O’Malleys family series, hailed as “The Godfather meets Romeo & Juliet.” FORBIDDEN PROMISES features Sloan O’Malley and her mysterious new next-door neighbor, Jude MacNamara.

Meet Jude!

Pre-order FORBIDDEN PROMISES and add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get a sneak peek at FORBIDDEN PROMISES and to enter the giveaway for a $15 Amazon gift card!

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Title: Forbidden Promises
Author: Katee Robert

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central/Forever
Series: The O’Malleys
Page Count: 336 pages

Format: Digitial and Print
ASIN: B01KT7YSJM
ISBN-13: 9781455597031

Synopsis:

Some lines should never be crossed . . . not even for love.

Sloan O’Malley just left her entire world behind-her family, her wealth, and even her real name. For the first time in her life, she’s free. She can live the “normal” life she’s always wanted. A life without fear. But there’s nothing safe about her intensely sexy next-door neighbor.

Jude MacNamara has no room for innocence in his life. Only revenge. Still, he’s never been able to walk away from the forbidden, and Sloan-who is every inch of pure, mouthwatering temptation-has forbidden written all over her. Only after it’s way too late does he discover the real danger: claiming Sloan as his puts a target on her back. To protect her, Jude is willing risk everything . . . and to hell with the consequences.

Pre-order at:  

 Amazon → http://amzn.to/2oQ7Ikw

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Enter to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card from Katee Robert!

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Forbidden Promises Excerpt

Copyright © 2017 Katee Robert

She nearly tripped over Jude when she opened the door, and that was the last straw. “What is your problem?”

He raised a single eyebrow, not looking perturbed in the least. “Sorry?”

“No, you’re not. You’re not sorry that you turned me down last night, or that you left in a hurry, or that you were an…an insufferable jackass this morning.”

If anything, his eyebrow inched higher. “You’re in a mood.”

“Are you kidding me?” She pushed at his chest, but he didn’t even pretend she had the strength to move him. “You weren’t interested last night, so you don’t get to waltz into the diner and order me to go out with you. I’ve taken orders my entire life, and I’ll be damned before I take one from you.” The outburst left her feeling deflated, but she clamped her mouth shut and refused to apologize. Maybe she was being the slightest bit dramatic, but that didn’t mean she was wrong.

Jude took a step closer, towering over her, his shoulders so broad, they filled the doorway. “Are you done?”

Just like that, she had a whole lot more to say. “Actually—”

“That was a rhetorical question, sunshine.” His big hand cupped the back of her neck, his thumb tracing over her jaw and up to drag against her bottom lip.

The touch shocked her into silence.

For a moment. “Jude—”

Apparently he wasn’t finished. “I didn’t say no last night because I wasn’t interested. I wouldn’t have apologized—twice—if I wasn’t interested.”

“But—”

“You want to know the truth? The truth is that I can’t look at you without wanting to strip you down, to run my hands over that tight little body of yours, to spread those sweet thighs and fuck you with my tongue until you’re screaming my name and begging for mercy.”

She swayed, her anger, her ability to think or move or talk or do anything except stare helplessly at him, all gone. She licked her lips, forgetting that his thumb was there, and stroked him with her tongue instead. His chocolate eyes went even darker, and he suddenly seemed larger.

Say something.

“You shouldn’t say things like that.”

“It’s the fucking truth, sunshine.” He stroked her bottom lip with his thumb, his hand gentle yet holding her in place easily. “You’re a good girl. I don’t have to spend any time with you to know that. You deserve better than the likes of me, even for a fuck. But that’s the difference between us. I’m not good. I might as well be the goddamn devil as far as you’re concerned, but I’ve never been good at walking away when I have my mind set on something. And, sunshine, I have my mind set on you.

She couldn’t speak, couldn’t take a step, though she was at a loss if she’d move away from or toward him. It was like he held her captive with only a single hand, stalling out any and all reasoning ability.

Jude’s grip tightened, ever so slightly. “I was going to take you out. It’s not my scene, but I was willing to give it a shot. I changed my mind.” He stepped into her, his chest lightly pressed against her breasts, his thighs bracketing hers, his…Oh my good lord. His hard length pressed against her stomach, and it felt perfectly in proportion with the rest of his massive body, not that she was an expert on these matters.

His other hand came to rest on her hip, fingers bunching the fabric of her dress as he kneaded her. “Tell me to stop, and it’s done. I’ll walk away, and I’ll do my damnedest to leave you alone. Tell me to walk away, sunshine. Just say the words.”

She knew he was right. He was no good for her, and this would only end in tears on her part. The man wasn’t asking to date her. He didn’t want to get to know her. He was telling her all the things he’d do to her body.

But she couldn’t say the words to make him leave.

Sloan had never taken anything for herself in her entire life. She’d stayed in the background and gone with the flow and done everything in her power to play least in sight. Her brothers ran off any boy remotely interested in her, and she’d allowed it to happen. If her father had decided to move forward on his plans to marry her off, she would have walked down the aisle to a man of his choosing.

She’d never done a single selfish thing in her life until she asked Teague to help her escape.

Until she tentatively ran her hands up Jude’s chest, sucking in her breath at the way his muscles tensed beneath her fingers. Until she looked up into his stormy dark eyes and said the word that would damn them both. “Stay.”

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Praise for The O’Malleys Series

“It can be hard to make a ruthless assassin into a sympathetic character, but Robert handles the task with ease. She also deftly shows Sloan’s transformation from a pampered and protected naïf to a strong woman with a backbone of pure steel. A tension-filled plot full of deceit, betrayal, and sizzling love scenes will make it impossible for readers to set the book down.”—Publishers Weekly on FORBIDDEN PROMISES

“You will finish it in one sitting and die after you’re done because the next book isn’t out yet. This was one sexy ride!”—Reviewer Top Pick, Night Owl Reviews on FORBIDDEN PROMISES

 “Katee Robert’s has created a fictional underworld of such veracity, that one almost expects the characters to turn up on the front-page news. It never feels over the top or implausible; the author writes extremely well-crafted stories… The romance between Cillian and Olivia is very beautiful, tender and real.”—Fresh Fiction on AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

“Will keep you turning pages.”—RT Book Reviews on THE WEDDING PACT

“If you like angsty reads, this book is right up your wheelhouse.”—Heroes & Heartbreakers on THE WEDDING PACT

“Dark, dirty, and dead sexy.”—Tiffany Reisz, bestselling author of The Original Sinners series, on THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

Other Books in The O’Malleys Series

 THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

THE WEDDING PACT

AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

UNDERCOVER ATTRACTION (Coming soon!)

 

About Katee Robert

KateeRobertNew York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.”  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

 

Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram

 

Release Day Blitz: The Playboy Bachelor (The Bachelors of Arizona #2) by Rachel Van Dyken

The eBook of Rachel Van Dyken’s THE PLAYBOY BACHELOR has been released early!!  Check out the Excerpt & Giveaway!

#amreading!!

FOR_plaboy_blitz

THE PLAYBOY BACHELOR

by Rachel Van Dyken

The Bachelors of Arizona, #2

April 11, 2017

Forever

eBook: $4.99 USD

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2o5XmKC

 

She’s no Sleeping Beauty. And he’s definitely no prince . . .

Margot McCleery could have lived her whole life without seeing Bentley Wellington again—her ex-best friend and the poster boy for Hot, Rich Man-Whores everywhere. But Margot’s whiskey-augmented grandmother “buys” Bentley at a charity bachelor auction, and now suddenly he’s at her door. Impossibly charming. Impossibly sexy. And still a complete and utter jackass.

Bentley’s just been coerced by his grandfather to spend the next thirty days charming and romancing the reclusive red-haired beauty who hates him. The woman he abandoned when she needed him the most. Bentley knows just as much about romance as he knows about love—nothing. But the more time he spends with Margot, the more he realizes that “just friends” will never be enough. Now all he has to do is convince her to trust him with her heart . . .

ThePlayboyBachelor_ebookBUY THE BOOK HERE!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nPUtzP

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nEqOZQ

iBooks: http://apple.co/2pmuzB8

Google: http://bit.ly/2mTqMyo

Excerpt

“I’m writing a kissing scene!” she blurted, mentally kicking herself for screaming it in his face. “And the guy’s a complete jackass. Since my only experience with jackasses is you…” Her voice was shaky, just like her body. Could he tell how much she wanted him? How much she hated that her response was this—raw. “I-I figured you were the only one who could show me what it’s like.” Good one, Margot. Do you really have to sound so…desperate?

“What what’s like?”

“A kiss. From a jackass.”

“Got the jackass part.” He treaded water and then grabbed her by the arm and pulled her deeper into the pool until they were on the opposite end, his body pressed against hers. At least his eyes were still locked on her face. “And you’ve never been kissed?”

She rolled her eyes. “Not by someone like—”

“If you keep insulting me, this kiss won’t ever happen, Red.”

“Don’t call me that,” Margot whispered. Was she so weak that she’d forgive his abandonment for one kiss? “Please?”

“This kiss.” His calculated gaze didn’t make her feel any better about the situation. “How long does it need to be? How deep? Where do you want my hands?”

Margot’s mouth dropped open. “That’s not how kisses work! You can’t just map out the kiss. That takes all the romance out of it!”

“Oh, so you want romance?”

“Yes! No! I mean. I didn’t say that!” Her face flamed, and she sagged in defeat. Admitting she wanted romance kind of felt like she was on the losing end of the little battles they’d been having, like she was giving him an in. And if he got in, he’d only hurt her again.

“I was joking,” he said, just before his lips brushed hers. His tongue slid across her bottom lip and then sucked it for a few seconds before he slid it into her mouth and deepened the kiss.

Her lips softened beneath his gentle coaxing, and his hard thighs pressed against hers as a deep hunger awakened within her.

Oh, this was bad.

So bad.

And very, very good at the same time.

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THE BACHELORS OF ARIZONA SERIES

The Bachelor Auction, #1

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The Playboy Bachelor, #2

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Series Page on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2nLI77V

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rachel-van-dyken

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult, Regency, and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her husband, son, and their snoring boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

Website: http://bit.ly/2djDuzm

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2djEDXD

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2d1YlW5

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2cGTf5k

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