Review : Black Sheep (Dark Desires #2) by Zara Cox

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BLACK SHEEP

By Zara Cox

Dark Desires, #2

August 8, 2017

Forever

Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD

My Review:

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

“In a family of cold-hearted black sheep, I, Axel Rutherford, am the blackest. Abundantly despised by my three brothers, actively hated by my father.”

Dayum, this romance was compelling, it kept me hooked until the last page. Zara Cox’s riveting storytelling took my breath away, I was consumed by the story of Axel and Cleo, two childhood sweethearts doomed from the start by their parents’ greed. Black Sheep is epic, amazing, intoxicating!

Axel Rutherford is haunted by demons from his past and by Cleo’s betrayal. She was his one true love but she chose his father, Finnan Rutherford, over him. Eight years later, Axel is worth billions but money didn’t bring him happiness or redemption. He is bitter, tortures himself with his longing for the woman he can’t have and is plotting his revenge. He intends to dismantle his family’s business, linked to the violent world of underground crime and trafficking. This character is fascinating, calculating, intense and multilayered! His need for punishment was heartbreaking.

Cleo is nothing but a pawn in Finnan’s Rutherford twisted game to regain his son’s cooperation. Finnan is cruel and manipulative, blackmailing and abusing her. She complies but is bent on revenge and is biding her time. Axel and Cleo are bitter enemies, but their hatred for each other is based on false perceptions and deception. Cleo is convinced that Axel killed her parents in cold blood and Alex can’t forgive Cleo’s betrayal. There is however a fine line between love and hate.

“Gentle. Sexy monster. Caring. Cold-blooded psychopath.”

Axel is cunning, dominant, powerful but under his compelling exterior, he is utterly vulnerable. Cleo is his weakness, his addiction and he can’t break her, even if he wants to. For years, he has tried to shut off his emotions, he feels exposed and raw. Cleo and Axel’s feelings are unchanged and their reunion really packed a powerful emotional punch! Their sexual chemistry is intense, dark and highly erotic.

I was mesmerized by the deep layers of emotional complexity, palpable tension and angsty feels throughout this dark and mysterious story. Black Sheep is the second installment in Zara Cox’s Dark Desires, but it can be read as a complete standalone. I highly recommend it and will read anything this author comes up with next!

This book is now available in print!

ARC kindly provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zara Cox has been writing for almost twenty-five years but it wasn’t until nine years ago that she decided to share her love of writing sexy, gritty stories with anyone outside her close family (the over 18s anyway!). This series is Zara’s next step in her erotic romance-writing journey, and she would love to hear your thoughts. Visit her at www.zaracoxwriter.com.

Blog Tour : The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

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THE FORBIDDEN by Jodi Ellen Malpas (August 8, 2017; Forever trade paperback original; $15.99)

A new story of dangerous temptations from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man trilogy. 

Annie has never experienced the ‘spark’ with a guy – the kind of instant chemistry that steals your breath and blindsides you completely. Until a night out with friends brings her face to face with the wickedly sexy and mysterious Jack. It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her and who could bend her to his will so easily, must be dangerous. But she’s already in too deep. And Jack isn’t only dangerous. He is forbidden.

“Every kiss, every sexy scene, every word between this pair owned a piece of my soul.  I could read this book a hundred times and still react as if it was the first time.  The Protector is a top 2016 fave for me.” –Audrey Carlan, #1 bestselling author of The Calendar Girl series

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Buy the Book!

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My Review

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

From the very first word to the last, I was hooked and consumed by this story. Cheating is such a touchy subject in a romance novel, though. Jodi Ellen has managed to write a soul crushing story of true love that is raw, touching and realistic. I love her writing style, the complexity of her characters and the emotions their story evoked in me. This book was honest and you could grasp the characters’ love, their guilt, anguish and reticence. I smiled so much throughout this book. I also held my breath a couple of times and even got a little teary eyed, wondering what up and downs the characters would have to go through before they could get their happy ending. I know there are a lot of people out there who hesitate to read a book if there is a hint of cheating, but I think you should try this book for yourself. I went into it with an open mind and I am so glad I did.

Annie Ryan loves her freedom and her job of architect. She is busy building her career and is convinced she is immune to men, until her life is turned upside-down by a chance meeting with Jack Joseph. Jack oozes charm and a bit of arrogance, no man has ever caught her attention and emotions so completely. Their connection is instant and Annie can’t believe she falls for him so easily. She is never reckless but with Jack, she wants everything, she is consumed by him. Neither one of them has previously experienced the instant chemistry or the intense need they feel for one another.

Annie thought their story was just a one-night-stand, fully expecting to never see Jack again. As it happens, Jack is the contractor of the project she is working on, and he is married. An affair feels so wrong, what she experiences with him is illicit, but their mutual feelings are undeniable. They can’t keep their relationship just business. Needless to say there are trials and tribulations in their relationship. There are fears and even some uncertainties but none of these seem to deter them. Jack feels trapped and miserable in a loveless marriage and, even though his wife refuses to accept it, he intends to ask for a divorce. Annie has given him a purpose and a reason to leave.

Jodi Ellen Malpas has delivered a story with passion, the forbidden and that all-consuming battle of attraction.  I have to admit that it was easier to support Jack’s choices, considering his wife’s attitude. So if you enjoy a story of true love that is written with honesty, emotion and passion, with relatable characters and cheating is not a trigger, then this book is definitely not to be missed and I highly recommend it!

Thanks for visiting and read on for an excerpt from this book!

ARC generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley

Excerpt

“Thank you for your help,” I say quietly, studying him, definitely detecting that he’s deep in thought. Don’t ask, don’t ask, don’t ask. I need to get back into my apartment without engaging with him, which could prove tricky when he’s blocking the doorway and looking like he has no intention of shifting to let me in.

“Annie,” he breathes. “I’m struggling so badly.”

“I’m not doing this.” I swallow, pushing my way past him. He grabs me by the top of my arm and holds me in place. “Let me go, Jack.”

“I’ve already told you I can’t do that. Annie, I’m drowning here. I’m going out of my mind, and the more time I spend with you the fucking worse it’s getting. Listening to you, talking to you, sharing a passion with you that goes way beyond the amazing time we had in bed together.”

“You have to forget!” I yell, knowing anger is the only way forward. Be angry with him. Let it dominate me and rule me, because the alternative scares me to fucking death.

He pushes me into the hall and slams the door behind us, forcing me to back up. “No,” he says, straight and even. “No,” he repeats, moving one more step forward, except this time I don’t retreat. Because I can’t. Because he has me locked in place with those grey eyes, and now they’re back to their full glory. Sparkling, even if it’s with anger. He reaches for his shirt and starts unbuttoning it before shrugging it off and throwing it to the floor, revealing the chest that’s haunting me.

I quickly look down at the pile of material, my mind reeling. His chest. His perfect damn chest. “What are you doing?”

“I have no fucking idea.” He reaches for me and slides a hand around my neck, pulling me to him. Our chests meet, and my determination to repel him vanishes under our connection. Wrongs turn into rights. Conflict turns into craving.

“I can’t get you out of my head, Annie.” His forehead meets mine, his palm massaging away the tightness in my neck muscles, softening me up until I relax in his hold. “I want you all over again, and I can’t even find the will to worry about how much more that’ll make me want you.” He breathes down on me. “I’ve played that night on repeat. I’ve dreamed of holding you in my arms again. I’ve craved the sound of your voice, the feel of your touch, the softness of your lips on mine. I know I shouldn’t want you. But I do. Nothing has ever made me feel this insane with need. Nothing has taken up so much space in my head. I can’t fucking help it, Annie.” His grey gaze sinks into me, my heart steadying to an even thrum. His head starts to shake mildly, his splayed hand moving up to the back of my head and fisting my hair. “I don’t want to help it,” he growls. “I want you. I don’t care how wrong it is.” His clenched fist tightens, gripping my hair harshly. “I know I’ve been on your mind since I fucked you every which way in that hotel room. Stop denying it. Don’t insult me and tell me you don’t crave that amazing feeling all over again. I can see it in your eyes every damn time I look into them. You. Want. Me.”

It’s me who moves in first. All me. I lunge forward and smash my lips to his, the magnetic force winning. His words winning. Jack winning. My heart winning. I coax his mouth open with hard, hungry kisses. I’ve lost my mind to a craving too powerful to fight off. And, like Jack, I don’t care how wrong it is.

Lost.

Yet as he walks me backward until my back slams into the wall, I feel found again.

I cry out, and Jack moans. We’re clumsy and desperate. He’s pushing me up the wall with the force of his kiss, then he’s rolling away, taking me with him until it’s his back slamming into the wall. It’s the elevator all over again. The atmosphere is sizzling. I’m on fire. He scoops me up, pinning me to him, and carries me into my bedroom. I focus on him. Only him and the return of feelings that I’ve fantasized about since that unforgettable night. All the guilt is abandoning me, and I let it, unprepared to let anything stop me from taking the forbidden.

Blog Tour Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 10 copies of The Forbiddenhttp://bit.ly/2qXSfOk

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About the Author

Jodi Ellen Malpas author photosJodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands’ town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing until it became impossible. She wrote in secret for a long time before finally finding the courage to unleash her creative streak, and in October 2012 she released This Man. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters have become her passion, a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.

Social Media Links

www.jodiellenmalpas.com.uk

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Release Day Blitz : Wicked S.O.B. (Dark Desires #2.5) by Zara Cox

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Title: WICKED S.O.B.: A Dark Desires Novella

Author: Zara Cox

Series: Dark Desires, #2.5

On Sale: August 8, 2017

Publisher: Forever

eBook: $1.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

For so long, I lived for revenge. Now I live for her.

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that Quinn Blackwood is not someone you mess with. I see. I want. I take. And you better not get in my way. That’s how I built my billion-dollar empire. That’s how I made my enemies pay. That’s how I won the one good, pure thing in my life, Elyse “Lucky” Gilbert. But after what I’ve done, my luck may have run out.

There is a fine line between love and obsession.

I’m not a fool. I didn’t think coming back to Quinn would be easy. That we would fall into a happy future and the darkness inside him would just disappear. Still, after everything we’ve been through, I couldn’t leave him to fight his demons alone. I’ve tried to convince myself nothing else matters as long as we’re together. But if I give him what he needs, will there be anything left of me?

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My Review

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

Who needs sleep when you start (a bit late in the evening) a book that has you riveted right from the first page? The conclusion to Quinn and Elyse’s story was captivating! This novella is the sequel to “Beautiful Liar” and is heartbreakingly beautiful, with a good dose of angst. The intensity of their feelings is their strength, their chemistry is sizzling and radiates off the pages. But Quinn’s elaborate revenge scheme against those who orchestrated his mother’s suicide has taken a toll on him. For almost half his life, retribution had been his endgame and he thought he wouldn’t make it to his 30th birthday. Loving Elyse has changed everything.

He revels in Elyse’s love, their passion is all-consuming. She is his much-needed rock, but he is afraid she is too good for him and refuses to drag her in his darkness. He’s so messed up but he’s trying his absolute best to be everything his girl needs him to be. I love how on the outside he’s this larger-than-life billionaire tycoon but on the inside, he’s just a man, broken and damaged, who wants to be loved, who wants hope. He is used to getting his own way, but he so afraid he will lose Elyse. He envies her strength, her selflessness and her compassion.

Elyse is a wonderful character, her love is unconditional. Quinn is her reason for living, her everything. But she knows that his self-destructing tendencies have to be dealt with. I really liked her strength of character, her ability to compromise and convince Quinn. The road to happiness may have been a bit bumpy for these two characters, but their happily-ever-after was utterly satisfying!

I’m in awe of Zara Cox, her stories and characters really get under my skin, so to say. I’m fascinated by complex characters and boy, did she deliver with Quinn Blackwood and Elyse Gilbert! And she sure does know how to turn up the heat! I highly recommend this novella  if you enjoy dark, steamy and romantic love stories that leave you breathless!

Thanks for visiting and read on for an excerpt!

ARC generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.

Giveaway

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Excerpt

It’s 5:45 a.m.

From the living room window, I stare eastward and take in one of the many spectacular views from Quinn’s penthouse ninety-two floors up. I love watching New York City come to life in the mornings. Love watching the light on the Chrysler Building’s spire blend into the rising sun’s rays. Love the warmth of first morning light on my face. And having just come through my first, fierce NYC winter, I crave the sun with almost rabid zeal. It must be the native Californian in me.

New York City is fast becoming the center of my world, though. It’s where the love of my life, the reason for my existence, lives after all. I don’t doubt that Quinn’s presence in the city is what makes it extra special for me.

But it’s also become clear that while he lives in the most dynamic city in the world, this isn’t his home. He doesn’t have a home. I don’t have a home either.

Between Quinn and me, we’ve lost sight of what a true home means. I’ve tried to convince myself nothing else matters as long as we’re together. My heart clenches in fear at the thought of losing what we have. In a world of unlikely possibilities, Quinn and I ending up together was one in a million.

I didn’t fool myself into thinking the path to our future was going to be easy. I returned to him on my own terms, despite knowing from the beginning that taking on a man like Quinn Blackwood would be the challenge of a lifetime. I live that overwhelming reality every day. Even before I saw his face, I knew his power over me was borderline absolute and that he intended to own every last cell in my body the way he owns half of the city we live in.

My mouth twists in a smile. I’m not with Quinn for his money, but if I were, I’d slavishly fulfill his every desire for the chance to live in this stunning Park Avenue apartment every day for the rest of my life.

A few days after we moved in three months ago, we woke up to an overcast city below us and nothing but blue sky above us. The sensation of floating above the clouds was incredible. We spent the day in bed, staring at the view from our California King when we weren’t fucking in the heavens.

I want many more days like that.

I sigh. Turn around. And freeze.

He’s lounging against the wall in the hallway, wearing gray low-riding sweatpants and nothing else, with one knee propped behind him. My mouth goes dry as those penetrating eyes watch me in silence.

Quinn’s deathly stillness is one of the many unnerving things I noticed about him when we first met. Despite his towering six-foot-three height and his sleek but solid frame, he moves with a quiet, devastating elegance that literally stops my breath when he walks into a room. And that is even before the exquisite masculinity of his sharp cheekbones, square jaw, and sensual lips. The contrast between his startling silver blue eyes and dark hair never fails to trap and hold the attention of anyone he comes into contact with. I’ve literally seen grown women, and men, stop and stare when he walks on the street.

That dangerous attraction holds my total focus now.

His eyes search mine, the unnervingly direct gaze examining every corner of me. Probing for flaws I can’t hide and concerns I’m struggling to contain. But then that’s nothing new.

“Tell me what you’re thinking about,” he commands from across the room in a low, sleep-rasped voice that makes my toes curl.

I want to start this day with a cleanish (snort) slate. But I know any attempt to evade him will be spotted a mile off. He sees too much. He always has. “Your money,” I reply, choosing the least volatile truth.

His eyes flare for a moment before he shakes his head. “No, you’re not. You go out of your fucking way to avoid anything to do with my money. Try again.”

I’m not touching that statement with a ten-foot pole, so I shrug inwardly and state another truth. “I love this apartment. I’m not moving.”

His unwavering eyes gleam the way they do when he’s debating the pros and cons of giving me what I want. His leg slowly straightens, and he moves toward me. He stops behind the wide sectional sofa he fucked me on last night. Strong, elegant fingers spread over the back of it as he angles his body toward me. “I see. Have I finally found something of mine that you love enough to claim for yourself, Elyse?”

When he holds out his hand to me, I don’t even think of refusing. He guides me around the sofa, pulls me into his arms, and spears his fingers into my hair. Our lips meet in a hungry, thorough greeting. Then he nibbles at the corner of my mouth, my cheek, my jaw to my ear. “I’ll think about not moving us if you agree to spend the day with me.”

I frown and plead with my melting brain to function. “It’s Monday, Quinn.”

One hand trails down my body to squeeze my ass in silent rebuke. “I know what day it is. I’m taking the day off.”

My jaw drops to the floor, and I jerk back to look into his eyes. “No way.”

“Shut your gorgeous mouth before I put my cock in it. I’m buying you breakfast; then we’re spending the rest of the day being slobs.”

THE DARK DESIRES SERIES

Dark Desires

BEAUTIFUL LIAR, #1

BLACK SHEEP, #2

WICKED S.O.B, #2.5

ARROGANT BASTARD, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zara Cox has been writing for almost twenty-five years but it wasn’t until nine years ago that she decided to share her love of writing sexy, gritty stories with anyone outside her close family (the over 18s anyway!).

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Review Tour : The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise #2) by Aly Martinez

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The conclusion of this new, highly emotional must-read duet by Aly Martinez is LIVE! Buy THE BRIGHTEST SUNSET now!

The Brightest Sunset–Book Two in the Darkest Sunrise Duet by Aly Martinez

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Blurb

The-Brightest-Sunset-For WebSticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Bullshit.

Words destroyed me.

“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”

“Daddy, he can’t breathe!”

“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Lies.

Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.

Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.

“He’s gone.”

In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise.

“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”

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My Review

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

This duet definitely captured my heart and touched me on so many levels, as a mother and a wife. The way Aly Martinez has built her plot is absolutely brilliant. By taking the time to imbue her story with authentic, rich and emotional moments, she achieved real drama. It never felt overdone and kept me frantically turning the pages. While reading this story, I was trying to fathom how Aly Martinez was going to give her readers a satisfying ending, though. The situation was complicated, to say the least. But she did it in a superb way!

Charlotte is finally reunited with her son. She is happy but at the same time, she tries to ease the panic and turmoil inside her, her son is like a stranger to her. She is overcome by emotions she hasn’t felt in years. The dramatic situation involves three persons who have seen their whole world turned upside down. There is nothing Porter wouldn’t do to get his son back. This character has a luminous personality, he is a fighter and yet he is so vulnerable. He feels guilty he didn’t recognize his late wife had some serious psychological problems.

Charlotte, Porter and Brady are engaged in a fierce legal battle to obtain full custody of Travis. Neither one of them will get through unscathed if they are not willing to compromise to find an agreement. I loved that Charlotte and Porter’s priority is Travis. They fully understand that the only option for them is to cooperate to ensure he is happy and taken care of. This boy is such a great kid, so brave. I loved him to pieces.

The deep layers of emotional complexity, the palpable tension, the authenticity and originality of the plot, the flawless characterization, all contribute to making a true masterpiece. So kudos to Aly Martinez for this fantastic duet! And I hope Tanner will get his own story!

ARC generously provided by the author and Inkslinger PR

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The Darkest Sunrise (Book One in the Darkest Sunrise Duet) is now #LIVE and #FREE on #KU for #KindleUnlimited users!
#OneClick your copy today if you haven’t yet!

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About the Author

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

Author Links:

Website: www.alymartinez.com

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Blog Tour : The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise Duet #1) by Aly Martinez

Welcome to my blog tour stop for The Darkest Sunrise by Aly Martinez. It is the first book in a contemporary romance duet, and is it available to read for FREE on KindleUnlimited.

You can follow Aly’s newsletter for exclusive news about the duet.

The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #1)

Purchase it now:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis:

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Whoever coined that phrase is a bald-faced liar. Words are often the sharpest weapon of all, triggering some of the most powerful emotions a human can experience.

“You’re pregnant.”

“It’s a boy.”

“Your son needs a heart transplant.”

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Lies.

Syllables and letters may not be tangible, but they can still destroy your entire life faster than a bullet from a gun.

Two words—that was all it took to extinguish the sun from my sky.

“He’s gone.”

For ten years, the darkness consumed me.

In the end, it was four deep, gravelly words that gave me hope of another sunrise.

“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.”

Add The Darkest Sunrise to Goodreads

My Review

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

Gut wrenching and gripping, this book is a masterful blend of mystery, dark secrets, heartbreak and romance. The way the author introduced her characters was absolutely brilliant and immediately drew my attention. I instantly cared about them and the baffling proximity between them kept me on the edge of my seat.

Charlotte Mills is a dedicated pulmonologist, striving to give her patients the best possible care. As a mother, she has been in a desperate place for the last ten years. She left her baby boy alone in his stroller for a few moments, to help someone, and he was kidnapped. She has tried to cling to the hope of finding her son, but the agony of her loss has become her way of life. Time didn’t heal her wounds, but she stays busy and tries to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Porter Reese is totally pissed at the universe. Since the death of his wife, he has gone from being a workaholic investment banker to a single father. He has a wonderful family, though, and they stepped up to help when he needed them. But Porter has had to deal with the life-threatening heart defect of his son, Travis. Aly Martinez doesn’t sugarcoat the anguish of having a child with a serious illness. Due to his heart condition, Travis suffers from recurrent episodes of pneumonia. Porter wants to convince Charlotte to treat his son, but to no avail, she avoids kids at all cost.

Charlotte and Porter have a lot in common, both of them are survivors, they share the same emptiness, the same anguish. They lock their emotions away, hiding behind a smiling face, trying to carry on with their lives. They understand each other, forge a connection and are finally able to share their darkest secrets.

Reading The Darkest Sunrise felt very much like watching a movie, breathtaking and gripping. I was captivated by this dramatic and thrilling story from start to finish. Aly Martinez definitely delivered with this first installment that reveals shocking twists and turns. The vibrant characters, the evocative writing, the brilliant premise, the gripping and well-developed plot, all contribute to making this book a winning read for romantic suspense lovers. It ends on a major cliffhanger and I can’t wait for the next book that will be out soon.

ARC generously provided by the author and Inkslinger PR

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The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #2)

Coming July 27th

Pre-order it Now

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

—————————-
 You won’t want to miss this amazing series!

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

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Blog Tour : The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel #3) by Sarah MacLean

  
A love that neither can deny…
THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS
Scandal & Scoundrel #3
Sarah MacLean
Releasing June 27, 2017
Avon Books

 

The one woman he will never forget…

Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…

After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…

The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day…

 

tastytoursreview

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars 

Sera and Malcom’s story is powerfully put into words, there is so much beauty in Sarah MacLean’s writing! It’s the kind of writing that transports you to another time and place and makes you feel all the feelings! This author captured my attention with clever, witty dialogue and amazing characterization. She engaged my emotions with her poignant and moving tale, the overload of feelings had me all misty-eyed several times through the book! And I loved it!

Malcom Bevingstoke, the Duke of Haven, has lost everything that mattered to him and he is to blame for it. His wife, Seraphina, left him and more than two years later, while he was still searching for her, she has returned and required a divorce he refuses to grant her.

Both of them made mistakes, she trapped him into marriage and he married her to punish her. He ruined her hopes and her dreams of happiness. Their past story is told in flashbacks and some scenes are heartbreaking. Malcolm is a duke, but he wants to be loved for himself and not for his wealth or the prestige of his title. As it happens, Sera trapped him because she desperately wanted him. But he refused to believe her and pushed her away with cruelty and coldness. This character is not easy to like at first, he is totally flawed, conceited and jaded. And yet, he grew on me and Sarah MacLean managed to make me love him. He is consumed by his shame and his feelings of guilt, his regrets are genuine. Of course, his explanation is not an excuse, but he takes responsibility for his mistakes and wants to make up for them. He wants a marriage in truth, not a divorce. He is driven to do anything in his power to convince his wife that he has changed and to give him a second chance. Obviously, he has his work cut out for him.

Sera is a wonderful character, bold, defiant, determined and vibrant. She has drawn strength from her husband’s cruelty and disdain. She has moved to America, has built a new life and has found a new purpose. She is ready to claim her future and her freedom. Malcolm’s best laid plans to spend time with her and woo her are going awry and prove to be wholly inadequate. Sera get support from her sisters, and, not surprisingly, they loathe him. These secondary characters enhanced the plot significantly with their vital connections to their sister. The Talbot sisters, aka the Dangerous Daughters, stick together.

This book had some of the best groveling scenes I have ever read, it is full of breathtakingly painful moments of clarity. The connection between Malcolm and Sera was undeniable, the romantic and sexual tension between these two realistically flawed characters leaped off the pages. The epilogue of their story was absolute perfection! This book is the third one in the author’s Scandal & Scoundrel series, but it works perfectly well as a standalone and I can’t recommend it enough!

An advanced copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, via Edelweiss.

be2d3-tastytoursexcerpt

Chapter 1

DESERTED DUKE DISAVOWED!

August 19, 1836

House of Lords, Parliament

 

She’d left him two years, seven months ago, exactly.

Malcolm Marcus Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven looked to the tiny wooden calendar wheels inlaid into the blotter on his desk in his private office above the House of Lords.

August the nineteenth, 1836. The last day of the parliamentary session, filled with pomp and idle. And lingering memory. He spun the wheel with the six embossed upon it. Five. Four. He took a deep breath.

Get out. He heard his own words, cold and angry with betrayal, echoing with quiet menace. Don’t ever return.

He touched the wheel again. August became July. May. March.

January the nineteenth, 1834. The day she left.

His fingers moved without thought, finding comfort in the familiar click of the wheels.

April the seventeenth, 1833.

The way I feel about you . . . Her words now—soft and full of temptation. I’ve never felt anything like this.

He hadn’t, either. As though light and breath and hope had flooded the room, filling all the dark spaces. Filling his lungs and heart. And all because of her.

Until he’d discovered the truth. The truth, which had mattered so much until it hadn’t mattered at all.

Where had she gone?

The clock in the corner of the room ticked and tocked, counting the seconds until Haven was due in his seat in the hallowed main chamber of the House of Lords, where men of higher purpose and passion had sat before him for generations. His fingers played the little calendar like a virtuoso, as though they’d done this dance a hundred times before. A thousand.

And they had.

March the first, 1833. The day they met.

So, they let simply anyone become a duke, do they? No deference. Teasing and charm and pure, unadulterated beauty.

If you think dukes are bad, imagine what they accept from duchesses?

That smile. As though she’d never met another man. As though she’d never wanted to. He’d been hers the moment he’d seen that smile. Before that. Imagine, indeed.

And then it had fallen apart. He’d lost everything, and then lost her. Or perhaps it had been the reverse. Or perhaps it was all the same.

Would there ever be a time when he stopped thinking of her? Ever a date that did not remind him of her? Of the time that had stretched like an eternity since she’d left?

Where had she gone?

The clock struck eleven, heavy chimes sounding in the room, echoed by a dozen others sounding down the long, oaken corridor beyond, summoning men of longstanding name to the duty that had been theirs before they drew breath.

Haven spun the calendar wheels with force, leaving them as they lay. November the thirty-seventh, 3842. A fine date—one on which he had absolutely no chance of thinking of her.

 

 

New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com’s Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her “gracefully furious.” A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

 

Blog Tour : Revenge (Lawless #3) by Lexi Blake

Passion and danger collide in the latest contemporary romance featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

When Drew Lawless discovers a fatal flaw in his plan to avenge his parents’ deaths, he turns to the one woman he promised he wouldn’t touch. He offers her a deal, one that will bring her into his investigation, his life, and his bed.

Investigative reporter Shelby Gates never dreamed how twisted the case would become—or how fascinated she would be with Drew. Every day they spend together binds them. And every night brings her closer to realizing he might be the man for her.

As Drew’s feelings for Shelby grow, so does the danger. From the streets of Dallas to Austin’s high-tech business world, Drew and Shelby play a game begun twenty years before—a game they will win, or die trying.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2etd4xJ

iBooks: http://apple.co/2qugg17

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2rgrK98

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2rskmVx

My Review

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

Revenge is the intense, powerful and riveting conclusion to the Lawless series and the book I have been waiting for. It combines passion and familial love with intrigue and danger in a fast paced and enjoyable story. It is centered on two amazing characters: tech billionaire Andrew, aka Drew, Lawless and Shelby Gates, reporter extraordinaire and badass investigator.

Revenge picks up where Satisfaction ends. Drew has found the people responsible for his family’s destruction. But one of them is still alive, and he needs to protect his siblings. He has hired Shelby to help him track down this dangerous predator and master manipulator. I loved getting into Drew’s head, he is rational, self-assured, cocky and yet so vulnerable. Drew and Shelby got off on the wrong foot, but they are a great team. Shelby wants to help him finally find justice. Drew is deeply scarred by his tragedy, he is amazed that Shelby can handle him, with his weird, manipulative and ruthless side. She puts up with his socially awkward, frustrating nature. He’s not the most emotional guy, at least not outwardly, but he cannot deny the attraction he feels for her. Their bond keeps getting stronger, they have a natural connection despite their rocky beginning.

Drew is a man who plots and plans to get what he wants, his courtship is unusual. But even though he is a shark in business, with his family, he is sweet, loyal and protective. He has learned to guard himself, but he wants to be a better person for Shelby. She is a wonderful character, warm, tolerant and patient. And obviously, she is not immune to his charm.

I was captivated by this dramatic, sexy and thrilling story from start to finish. Lexi Blake definitely delivered with this final installment that reveals shocking twists, turns and harsh truths. The way this author writes romantic suspense is flawless, with a perfect balance between the characters’ smoldering romance and heart pounding action and drama. I loved the Lawless family, with their dedication to one another and great family spirit. Highly recommended!

Thank you for reading!

ARC generously provided by the publisher and Inkslinger PR, via NetGalley.

Excerpt

“I suppose we’re going to be seeing Carly and Bran while we’re in Dallas next week.”

She had one week to get comfortable around Drew. One week to figure out if she could actually sell this cover to his family.

“It would seem odd if I didn’t pay them a visit. Bran knows I have a meeting with Taggart scheduled. We’ll be in Dallas for two days. Dinner with Bran and Carly and Mia and Case has already been planned.”

“Exactly. And you don’t want to raise a bunch of questions. So I was thinking it might be smarter for me to get my own hotel room. I can lay low and they don’t have to know I’m in town.” She’d sat up for a good portion of the night doing two things: thinking about how much she’d wanted to kiss Drew Lawless and then freaking out about it because that was a bad idea. Beware of billionaires with six-pack abs. It was her new mantra. Yes, she’d signed the contract last night, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t reason with her new . . . boss . . . partner . . . whatever he was.

“I told Bran you’re coming with me.”

This was exactly what she’d worried about. “You told him? I thought I would have more time. How am I going to explain this to Carly? I think she’ll wonder why one of her closest friends didn’t mention she was dating her future brother-in-law.”

“I’ve already explained it. We wanted to make sure it was real before we went public. It’s that simple. We met in Los Angeles. I contacted you. We went on a few dates and we’ve been talking a lot. You’ve come out to Austin because we’re contemplating moving in together. This is a trial run,” he said calmly, as though he hadn’t upended her entire life. “Also, I asked Bran not to mention it to Carly because you would rather tell her yourself. It was a safe bet Bran wouldn’t ask too many questions, but Carly will want to know everything. It’s why we need to get our stories straight.”

She focused on the words that messed with her life. “Moving in together? You told them we’re thinking of moving in together?”

“How else was I supposed to explain it when all your belongings arrive here?”

“What?” She winced because the words had come out in a screech. “I’m having your things packed up as we speak. They’ll be here in a few days.”

“Why the hell would you do that?” How was she going to get everything back to LA?

Drew relaxed again as though he’d already gone over this argument in his mind and knew he would win. “I wanted you to be comfortable. This is going to be a full-time job, and not a quick one. I suspect we’ll have to keep up our ruse for at least six months. Potentially a year. Also, that apartment you were living in was incredibly dangerous. Did you know it was recently condemned? The movers told me about it when they explained they were charging me extra for how fast they had to move. It’s scheduled to be demolished in two weeks.”

“What?” She stared at him. He expected her to live with him for six months to a year? Somewhere in the back of her head she’d been thinking a week or two tops, and then she’d go back to LA and work from there. Her apartment building was shitty and she was fairly certain someone cooked meth in part of it, but it was all she could afford. And it was solidly built. There had been no hint that anyone was planning on building in her part of LA. Gentrification had not reared its upscale, hipster head yet, so that left her with one very manipulative bastard. “Tell me you did not buy my apartment building and schedule it for demolition in an attempt to leave me with nowhere to go.”

He managed to look almost angelic in the soft light of morning. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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