Book Blitz [Review, Giveaway and Excerpt]: Lead by Kylie Scott

Lead

Title: Lead (Stage Dive #3)
Author: Kylie Scott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Release Date: 7/29/14
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis
As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it’s booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.  

Lena’s not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

My Review
This third book of the series focuses on Jimmy Ferris, the lead singer of Stage Dive.  If you read the previous books, you already know him to be a bit of an ass.  As a recovering addict, we finally find out what led to his addiction and overall dickish behavior.  His childhood was not a good one, but he managed to shield his brother, David, from most of the drama.

Although he’s a moody prick, I knew there was a reason for his turn to alcohol and drugs.  No one could seem to control his pain in the ass ways, until Lena Morrissey.

“Why, you two are getting along like a house on fire already! It’s like you’ve known each other for years. I think she’ll make you a wonderful live-in assistant,” said Mal. “Tell him, Lena.”

While they don’t hit it off right away, the band quickly recognize that Lena might actually be perfect for him, in that she won’t put up with his shit.  She’s a pitbull herself, and developed a thick skin after being taken advantage of one too many times.  She manages to not only tolerate Jimmy’s rude behavior, she seems like the ideal match to keep his sobriety in line.  It’s when Jimmy has some tender moments in her presence that her feelings change from more than tolerance.

A feeling, a sensation worked its way up from deep in my belly, spreading right through me until it tingled in my toes. It was all about him. It was hot and cold, forever and never all at once.

She tries to walk away numerous times, knowing that the feelings she has now developed could only end badly, given that Jimmy has no emotional capacity for love.  But Jimmy’s new dependence has become Lena, and he won’t let her get away.  Even though every moment they are together breaks her heart.

Of the three books in this series so far, I found this one to have the highest level of angst.  There was a battle against addiction, unrequited love, and Lena’s struggle on how to manage both.  I really felt bad for her as our heroine.  She could save herself from heartbreak, which could result in a sobriety breakdown from her boss/friend/owner of her heart.  She is so invested in helping Jimmy, and he took advantage of her every step the way.

Fancy falling for someone you didn’t even particularly like half the damn time. Who did something so stupid?
I mean apart from me, obviously.

I really wished we got some of Jimmy’s POV.  What were his feelings for her?  Why was he fighting their relationship so much?  Was he aware how much he was hurting her?  We find some of this out later, but it would have been interesting to be inside his head.

While this is Jimmy’s story, and I thought it was an emotionally strong story, I think Mal Ericson not so quietly steals the show.  I actually listened to Play on audio, which is amazing btw.  And I swear, each time I read his character’s words in this book, I could hear the narrator’s voice, which just made me smile.  He’s still completely loonie in this book, and I love him for it.  But he’s also very observant and has no shame in pointing out the tension/chemistry between Jimmy and Lena.

Mal’s green eyes narrowed, “Your lips are unnaturally puffy and your lipstick is all worn away. What the hell were you two doing in the bathroom within sight of my firstborn child?”
(Note, Mal would be referring to his puppy Killer, here. Loooooonie!)

There’s an unexpected turn in this book, which you know can only lead to bad things.  Broken hearts galore.  But don’t worry your pretty little heart, we do get a HEA.

Ben’s book is next and based on the cover that was just revealed, I am dying to find out the story behind the little surprise.  Somehow, I have a feeling someone’s sister is going to be involved.  Eeeeep!  Deep will release on January 6th, 2015.  Way too far away!

*An ARC was received from the publisher via RockStarLit PR for an honest review.

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EXCERPT
“Lena, you seen my old black Led Zep shirt?”
“Nope.”
“You sure?” His brows became one dark cranky line. The scratches on his face were healing well, thank goodness. Though it didn’t reduce my desire to throttle his mother on a daily basis.
“Yes. I haven’t seen it.”
Can’t find it anywhere…”
“And this is a surprise, how?” I slipped my hands into my back jean’s pockets. “Jimmy, you own more clothing than Cher, Brittney, and Elvis, put together. Things are bound to go missing.”
“Sure you haven’t seen it?”
“For goodness sake, what do you think, Jimmy? That I stole it to sleep in or something?” I laughed bitterly. Sure as hell, the truth deserved a good mocking. I’d sunk so despicably low.  I hadn’t even meant to steal the stupid thing, but the shirt had been mixed up with my laundry a few days ago. It’d been the first top I laid my hand on after stepping out of the shower, ready to go to bed. Without thought, I’d put it on and it’d been so soft, the scent of him lingering beneath the laundry detergent. Every night since, I’d found myself in it come bedtime. My shame knew no limits. And no, I still hadn’t quit. The words still hadn’t come even close to leaving my mouth.
He frowned. “No.”
“That I have some deep secret longing to feel close to you resulting in my stealing your shirt like some creepy perv?”
“Course I don’t fucking think that,” he replied crankily, reaching up to grip the top of the doorframe. All of his bulging muscles stretched the arms of his white T-shirt in the nicest way. It was all I could do not to start drooling, my heart beat taking up residence somewhere down between my thighs. And who could blame it? Not me. Maybe if I got laid, this would go away and things would return to normal. It’d seemed safer to avoid rubbing up against any men just in case I got carried away and started dating again. This new situation, however,
changed everything.
“Well, of course not! That would be crazy.” And wasn’t that the god’s honest truth? Cray-zeee. Lock me up and throw away the key because it wasn’t like I didn’t know better.
“Just can’t figure out where the hell it could be.”
Angels couldn’t have smiled as innocently. They might have tried, but they would have failed, the dirty-mouthed, winged, little liars. “Jimmy, I don’t know where it is. But I’ll look around for it later, okay?”
“Yeah,” he said, and then added as an afterthought, “and stop looking at me weird.”
“I’m not!”

Lick (Stage Dive #1): Amazon / B&N / Goodreads

Play (Stage Dive #2): Amazon / B&N / Goodreads

Deep (Stage Dive #4) available on January 6th, 2015:

Amazon / B&N /Goodreads

Check out more of Kylie’s work:

The Flesh series

Colonist’s Wife

Heart’s A Mess

Kylie

About Kylie Scott:

Kylie is a long-time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.
Twitter |Amazon Author Page | Facebook| Goodreads | Website

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Book Review: Sugar on the Edge by Sawyer Bennett

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Title: Sugar on the Edge (Last Call #3)
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 264 pages
Release Date: 7/28/14
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
He’s utterly alone…

Tortured and existing in a dark spiral of despair, bestselling British author, Gavin Cooke, has come to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to escape the seedy lifestyle he had been living in London and in a desperate attempt to regain his writing focus. He’s twisted, bitter and angry at the world. He’s a loner… needing not a single thing other than his Scotch and a laptop upon which he can bang out his next erotic, dark thriller.

She’s running in place and getting nowhere…

Savannah Shepherd’s life is falling apart. Her dream of being a wildlife photographer seems a distant memory and she’s barely able to make ends meet. Driving herself forward with no clear goals apparent, she’s about ready to pack up her bags and head home with her tail between her legs.

Two unlikely lovers…

He’s raw, forceful and a dirty talker. She’s a flowers and romance type of girl. Yet within each other, they find a mutual craving that can only be satisfied by giving in to their desires for one another.
Lust turns into something more… something they were not looking for but tentatively accept. Will it be enough to push them past the obstacles of Gavin’s bitter past?

*SUGAR ON THE EDGE can be read as a stand-alone*

My Review
Reviewer note: As the author mentioned, while this is the third book of the Last Call series, it can be considered a standalone. But I’ve really enjoyed the previous two books, I’d recommend that you read all three books in order. If you’re not a book addict like myself, and don’t have time for all that, carry on.

The Outer Banks, one of my favorite places on Earth, has been invaded!  A British invasion!

My first impression of this Brit, Gavin Cooke: ASS!
Second impression: ASSHAT!
Third impression: BLOODY ASSHAT!
You get the picture.

Ass

BUT, what’s this?  A timid lamb, Savannah Shepherd (such a lamb like name, am I right?) has entered his den, and I feared for her safety!  Ok, so I’m being a bit dramatic, but, I didn’t see this going well.

Savannah, as Gavin quickly labels her, is the anti-heroine.
Yes, she’s make a wonderful character in one of my books . . . an anti-heroine of sorts that the reader would feel a bit of kinship to, but would be well satisfied when she met her demise because she’d probably deserve it due to her lack of confidence and complete innocence.

She’s a bit of a pushover.  Or is she?  Seems as though a shy girl might have some bite and a backbone after all.  While she is often taken advantage of by the people around her, and does little to stick up for herself due to her financial issues, she does have a limit.

“I thought your backbone was made of jelly and I’m thinking I might have misjudged you a bit.”

When Gavin begins to push her buttons, she pushes back, which surprisingly turns him on.  It turns out that although she can be shy and submissive in nature, she has a sexual curiosity about her that Gavin needs to explore.

“Show me what you got inside of you . . . deep down inside. Take a walk on the wild side . . . you know you want to.”

Go on girl!  Take this Brit for a ride.

This book told from alternating POVs, shows how both Gavin and Savannah believe they are all wrong for each other.
“I’m too bitter for your brand of sweet.”
But they eagerly are interested in pushing those differences aside for a moment of lust.  Gavin’s initial nickname for Savannah, Sweet, was due to her gentile nature.  That nickname evolves as he can’t stay away or get enough of her sweet taste.

In the short time I’d known her, I had become addicted to her brand of sweet.

What I liked most about this story was how Savannah, initially was the anti-heroine of his new book, a paranormal erotica.  As Gavin learned more about her, she slowly began to rewrite his story.  She evolved from the anti-heroine to the heroine.

She represented everything that’s the antithesis to my darkness. She represents the possibility of moving myself out of that darkness, and allowing a little bit of bright back into my life.

I also liked that she was able to figure out Gavin by reading his previous novel, Killing the Tides.

“I think it’s raw, disturbing, and overwhelming. It reminds me of you.”

While I liked Brody in Make it a Double, I liked him even more in this book.  As Savannah’s best friend, he plays the role of protector, while also encouraging her to take chances.  Who knew an ex-con could be so thoughtful?  Oh wait, if you read the last book, then you already know.

Overall, I liked Savannah, although I thought she could have been more aggressive, career wise.  Staying in a small town with limited career options didn’t seem to make sense.  But I guess the plot of the story would be ruined if she moved away.  There is a big plot twist in the story though, and although it wasn’t a surprise, Gavin’s reaction was disappointing and put him back in the ASSHAT category.  I won’t give away any spoilers, but my heart hurt for both characters, and I wished they would have reacted differently.  Thankfully we have Brody to save the day!

Fingers, arms, and toes crossed that Cassie gets the next book.  She deserves her own HEA!

*An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.

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Sensual couple Sensual couple

About the Author

USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern
woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

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Book Review: Come Back by JA Huss

Come Back cover

Title: Come Back (Dirty, Dark and Deadly #2)
Author: JA Huss
Genre: Erotica, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis
“Secrets keep the darkness alive,” Harper tells me. But that’s not how I see it at all. Secrets keep me alive. The truth is overrated. Honesty is never the best policy. And everything you know absolutely can hurt you.

The contracts I fulfill are just agreements. Death is a business deal. Secrets are currency in my world. I pay my debts with them. I feed on them. They ground me in the present and they promise me a future. I’ve lived a life filled with secrets for so long—I forgot what it’s like to… feel.

Until I saw Harper. Until I saw how beautiful she’s become. How perfect, and pure, and innocent of all the ugly that goes on around her. And that dirty promise I refused the night her father turned me into a killer twelve years ago is suddenly on the table again.

Harper can be mine. No—Harper will be mine. All I have to do is complete the mission.

Death is a business deal.

And I just shook his hand.

My Review
WARNING: If you have any intention of reading the Rook & Ronin series, my suggestion is that you hold off reading this book.  While you will not be lost if you proceed, there are MAJORLY HUGE spoilers that will ruin some of the suspense of Taut, and more so with Guns.  If you don’t mind spoilers, or don’t have time to read the awesomeness of that 7 book series (I get it, that could be daunting), then carry on.

This book pretty much picks up where Come left off.  James Fenici, aka Tet, aka Number Six, has run off for an assignment, but Harper Tate isn’t much of a fan of waiting around, and takes off with the intention of finding him.  As they come back together, everything is intensified; the mystery, the threats, and the sex.

“I always fantasized about you waking up and watching me and then you’d stick your fingers in your pussy and we’d masturbate together, coming at the same time.”
Do they live out this fantasy?  Let’s see, I’m half naked and reaching for batteries.  What do you think?

I loved this story from page one.  Like the novella, the storyline is complex. The author slowly reveals layers to the story as it alternates from James and Harper’s POVs.  Within those layers remains secrets that neither is willing to share, just yet.  Those secrets are not predictable in any way, at least for me they weren’t, which made reading this so much more enjoyable.  I never knew who to trust.  While it is apparent to everyone that James is being set up, the whos and whys are not apparent.  So you just go for the ride and watch it all unfold.

“Can you make sure if I die, then I don’t die for nothing?”

As the story develops, you learn of the long-time connection between James and Harper, his Lionfish.  (Pay attention here=>) Promised to James on her six birthday, when he becomes Six, the two, while 10 years apart in age, formed a bond.  While awkward and inappropriate at that age, the early bond creates a connection that is impossible to break when Harper finally becomes 18.  And we all know what happened then (ok, if you don’t know, then I suggest you read/reread Come).

Added to the mix is Sasha Cherlin, who you may remember if you read Slack.  She was a completely unexpected character.  From her interaction with Ford in that novella (yes, his name is mentioned often in this book *happy dance*), she came off a bit innocent.  She is anything but that.  Of the three, Sasha seems to have the most secrets.  She is a true wild card.

At times Sasha was frustrating, as her emotions were back and forth.  I could sometimes sympathize with James’ reactions to her.  Quite frankly, he is a bit of a dick to her, but he occasionally lightens the mood between them by giving her various “Smurf” nicknames.
Soldier Smurf
Smurfette
Kamikaze Smurf
Cocky Smurf
I wasn’t sure if I should trust Sasha, but nevertheless, I liked her character.  She’s smart, strong for someone her age, and brave.  Oh, and she just wants to be with Ford (did I mention he is on my top 5 BBF list?).  Obviously, she is wise beyond her years. *wink*

The common theme of this book is trust.  The trio all have moments of mistrust about each other, rightly so.  The secrets they refuse to share only add to that mistrust.  James begs Harper to trust him.  But she’s not there yet and I don’t blame her.

“You can’t have it both ways. Either you want something convenient and fast filled with sex and that’s it. Or you want something meaningful and you earn the trust that comes with it.”

Although I didn’t always trust James, his secret put the group at risk, I think he is genuinely a good guy.  Sensing that he was being set up, he clearly thought ahead to protect Harper and Sasha.  The title of the book is based on James’ promise to Harper, that if he ever had to leave for an assignment, he will Come Back.

“If I tell you to walk through fire, it’s because I know beyond a doubt that you are fireproof. If I tell you to take a bullet, it’s because I know that you are bulletproof. If I tell you to walk away from me, it’s because you know I will come back for you.”

Whether James will keep his promise to be away from Harper no longer than 10 days, remains to be seen, but I have high hopes.

“This feels like something new. Something apart from what I was and a way forward into what I can be. This feels like hope, baby.”

And so we wait, and hope . . .

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Book Review: Thrive by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Thrive

Title: Thrive (Addicted 2.5)
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Genre: New Adult
Length: 425 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
Two years will change them forever.

When rumors spread like wildfire—like having three-ways with her boyfriend’s rock climbing brother—Lily Calloway spirals into a dark place. Her bedroom. Loren Hale is more confident and determined to keep their sex life private, even from their friends, and he helps Lily in the only way he knows how. But how much love is too much?

Their lives are filmed, watched, and criticized. And through it all, Lily and Loren have to face enemies they never thought they’d see, demons they don’t know if they should bury, and setbacks they didn’t think they’d meet. Not this soon.

And one rumor could be too much for them to handle. It will test their greatest limitations, and if they don’t hold onto each other, someone is going to drown.

A full-length New Adult Romance that bridges the gap between the second and third books. Thrive must be read before Addicted After All if you have not read the Calloway Sisters spin-off series.

My Review
If you are reading this review, then I’m guessing you’ve already read the authors previous books in this series.  So you know the level of their talent.  As far as I’m concerned, these twins have set the bar for the New Adult genre, and that bar is high.  Most other books fall well below that bar.  With that said, it shouldn’t be unexpected that the minute I finish one of their books, I just want to start the next.  Their words are like drugs, and yes, I AM AN ADDICT.

I could write at lengths about the amusing banter between Rose and Conner, or the growing chemistry between Ryke and Daisy, which results in conflict between Ryke and Lo.  But this is Lily and Lo’s book. We get their alternating POVs thru the scandals of the Calloway books.  We see the pain the experience every day, and the love they share, which helps them survive that pain.  So rather than do the traditional review, I wanted to take some time to address Lily and Lo, and tell them all the reasons why they are one of my all-time favorite book couples.

“We’re going to have our happy ending. It just may take us awhile to get there.”

Dear Lily,
You don’t know me.  I feel like I know you though, I’ve been following you for a while.  Not literally.  I’m not a stalker.  But I heard about your story and it sucked me right in.  I don’t judge you in any way.  I wish we could be friends.  And since that isn’t likely, I’ll just tell you all the fun things I wish I could do with you – not sexually, just to be clear.

*I wish I could dress up and go to Comic Con with you.  I’d be Wonder Woman, she was always my favorite.
*I wish I could race piggy-back with you (me on my husband’s back, you on Lo’s, of course).  I’m pretty sure you’d win though.
*I wish you could share some intimate Lo stories with me.  He must be spectacular.  Don’t blush.  Be proud.
*I wish I could personally witness the way you and Lo look at one another.  If you two should kiss, I can guarantee I’m not going to look away.  (I hope that doesn’t sound creepy).
*I wish I could give Wendy Collins, Scott Van Wright, and Celebrity Crush a piece of their own medicine.
*I wish you could go back to Lucky’s Diner and eat in peace.
*I wish you could leave your house (or room, for that matter) and not live in fear.
*I wish I could hold your hand or give you a hug when you feel that fear.
*I wish you and Lo happiness for the rest of your days.

And I’m tearing up while writing this.  So rather than say anything stupid, I’ll leave it at that.

Oh wait, one last thing: I love Lily 3.0!

XOXO!
Grace

*takes a deep breath*

Dear Lo,
Before you crumple up this letter and throw it away, just give me five or so minutes.

You are not Lily Calloway’s boyfriend.  Ok, by pure definition, you are, but that’s not my point.  You are LOREN fucking HALE.  You are your own person.  I feel like you need to be reminded of that sometimes.  You mean something.  And more importantly, you mean something to a lot of people.

Don’t role your eyes at me!

If you read the letter I wrote to Lily, than you know I had a lot of wishes for her.  I have one wish for you.

*I wish you could see all the love that surrounds you.

Conner loves you.  Your flirty banter is more than just a game to him.
“I’m not afraid of Rose, but thanks for the concern, darling.”
“Anytime, love.”

Rose . . . er . . . likes you . . . maybe?
“But you and Lily – you two love each other. It’s not that difficult to put my feelings aside when I can see how happy you make her.”
I’m afraid that’s as good as it gets with Rose, so let’s move on.

Ryke loves you.  No one stops their life to support someone they barely know, even if they are family.  It’s not guilt, or lack of trust that has him looking out for you.  Ok, maybe that is part of the reason, but there is more.  He can’t afford to lose the one person in his life the means something to him (other than Daisy).  BTW, that fight broke my heart but I’m so proud of you for expressing all of your feelings to him.
“I just wish you could love me more than you hate him. Is that even fucking possible?”
“I love you, you know that.”

Daisy loves you.  She might not express it, but like Rose, she sees how you treat her sister, and she doesn’t want to do anything to change that.  The ultimate secret keeper.

*brace for it*
Jonathan loves you.  Yes, he is an awful father.  He did it all wrong.  But deep down I believe he does care about you.  He wouldn’t push your business, and fund it for that matter, if he didn’t think you had potential.
“Don’t let any motherfucker come into your life and destroy what belongs to you. Not your woman, not your home, not your money or your career. You protect all of that, you hear me?”

*brace again*
I love you! Yes, I know you don’t know me, just roll with it.
I love how you call Julian, Julius.
I love that you insist on reading comics at the same time as Lily. Or have specific rules for her if she reads ahead.
I love when you flirt with Conner.
I love when you spar with Rose.
I love that you and Lily have the same thoughts.
“Congratulations, you are officially the cockiest human being on planet Earth.” That’d be Iron Man. But I held my tongue.
“That’s Iron Man,” Lo says. I literally rise like I’m floating. I kiss him on the lips, so suddenly that I think he’s caught off guard too.
I love that you can pleasure Lily for four hours straight. *standing ovation*
I love how you and Lily look at or touch each other and passion instantly sets in.
I love how you treat Lily like she is your everything. And no one who knows you could say otherwise.

Which leads me the last person . . .
Lily loves you.  Your soul mate.  I’m sure you already know this, but you are lucky.  Your courtship may not have been traditional, but the love that formed, is stronger than most will experience in a lifetime. You saved each other.
What’s the first best day? I press send in an instant.
She’s quick to reply.
The day I fell in love with you. – Lily

Lo & Lily

I hope you already knew everything I just wrote (although maybe I was a happy surprise *expectant smile*), but I thought it was worth repeating.

My parting advice, should you still be reading this sappy letter: embrace the love that surrounds you, don’t hide from it.

There is nowhere safer than in Loren Hale’s arms.

I have high hopes for you and Lily.  If you two can show your incoming addition, an ounce of the love you have for each other, everything will be just fine.

XOXO,
Grace

For any fan of this series that loves Lily and Lo as much as me, this book will break your heart and then put it back together.  Now you’ll begin the agonizing withdrawals until Addicted After All is released.  So dear authors, don’t make me wait too long for my next fix.  I AM ADDICTED.  Waiting isn’t good for my health ; )

Our love is rare. It’s one I can’t abandon, even if I tried. When she screams, and identical one rips through me. When she cries, my world rains with grief. When she loves, I truly, truly fly.

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Cover Reveal: Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

Burying Water

New Adult Romantic Suspense novel scheduled for release October 7th!

Add BURYING WATER on Goodreads!

About BURYING WATER:

The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

Pre-Order BURYING WATER Now!

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In Her Wake

You can read Chapters 1-4 of BURYING WATER in the back of IN HER WAKE, the Ten Tiny Breaths prequel novella from Trent’s POV! IN HER WAKE is out September 1st. Pre-order your copy today!

KA Tucker

About K.A. Tucker:

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

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THE SEDUCTION SERIES SPOTLIGHT: REVIEW (BOOKS 3 & 4) + EPILOGUE + GIVEAWAY

Quickie collage 2

Seduction 3

Title: The Seduction 3
Author: Roxy Sloane
Genre: Erotica
Length: 88 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis
I thought he would protect me.
I believed his beautiful lies.
I wanted to give him everything – and I was willing to pay the price.

Now everything has changed.

He may be the Seducer, but I’ll be the one who takes the ultimate prize:

His heart.

My Review
In this third installment of this kinky thriller, Keely, with Vaughn, jets off to New York to find out about her new empire, Ashcroft Industries.  Out of all the novellas in this series, this one was the most intense.

The mystery runs deeper.
Small discoveries are made, only to create more questions.
Possible threats to the business and associates.
All out sketchiness from Brent, the slimy asshead.

Emotions get stronger.
Keely truly opens herself up to Vaughn, giving him all the power.
For Vaughn, you get to see his detached uncaring persona begin to slip.  FINALLY.

How will I destroy her, when she’s the only one I want?

Oh yeah, and the sex is hotter!!!

She loves it, greedily sucking down every inch of me, and fuck that just makes me harder, pump deeper. I’m on the edge of a fucking precipice, plunging all the way, so deep I can feel the ridges at the back of her throat, hitting against my head with every thrust.

While the sex in this book will get your panties wet, and the mystery will get you flipping the pages quickly, what I liked most about this installment was Keely’s building confidence.  She is given a global empire which to anyone could be daunting and overwhelming.  But I loved how she responded to Brent’s slimy tactics and her approach to learning the business.  In addition, her inner vixen is shining brighter. And Vaughn can’t look away.

Just when things are looking up for Keely and Vaughn, it all goes to shit.  And we get another cliffy . . . but have no fear, the final installment is here.

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Warning: Don’t read the following synopsis or review, if you want to avoid spoilers.

Seduction 4

Title: The Seduction 4
Author: Roxy Sloane
Genre: Erotica
Length: 92 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
**Warning: Vaughn is going to give it to you harder & hotter than ever! The explosive final installment in the scandalous serial. No cliff-hanger!**

There’s not a woman in the world who won’t spread her legs for me.

Admit it, you’re already wet, imagining my hands gripping tight around your wrists, holding you down. Showing you what a real man’s cock feels like buried all the way to the fucking hilt.

I was the Seducer, the best damn night of your life. But all that’s behind me. Now I only want one thing.

Keely Fawes.

My secrets destroyed her. My quest for revenge tore us apart. But now I know she’s in danger, there’s nothing I won’t do to keep her safe.

This girl is everything to me, and I won’t stop until I claim her completely.
Her body.
Her mind.
Her heart.

*18+ This book contains spanking, dirty talk, and all your deepest, naughtiest fantasies. Adult content is definitely on the menu*

My Review
Poor poor Vaughn.  No longer in control.  The tables have been flipped.  Keely has him begging.  And it is awesome.

Dammit, I’m dying here.
No, worse, I’m already dead. Wheel me off to the fucking coroner’s office and mark down cause of death: Keely’s dirty mind and miraculous cunt.
Fuck.

Keely has become a completely different person since book 1. Remember when I wanted to shake some sense into her?   Well, this clever girl has figured out a way to have her cake (Vaughn) and eat it too.  She’s no longer a wallflower, but a woman in charge.  And strangely, Vaughn, who was initially to be her downfall, is the one giving her the power.  The power to fight back.

Something about Vaughn always makes me feel better, stronger, braver. Like he’s the man who makes me the best version of myself.

An old friend of Vaughn’s makes an appearance and their relationship is once again tested.  But don’t you and your vibrator worry, Vaughn gets his mojo back.

“If I tell you to suck my cock, you better be bent double choking on the whole fucking length before I can reach my zipper. If I want you on all fours, you drop and fucking lick the floor. The moment you stepped through that door, you gave up the right to resist me in any way at all. Try it now, and I will punish you so hard, you’ll be screaming for mercy.”

The threats to Keely and the mysteries surrounding Ashcroft Industries are finally exposed in this book.  Everything ties together. All that Vaughn knew and believed in are turned on its head.  I liked how Keely and Vaughn, along with another ally brought down the Three Fucketeers (Brent, Carter and a mystery guy – no spoilers).

And we finally get our HEA!  This series was a wild ride, a fun 9 inches of deliciousness.  My first impressions of both characters changed along the way, where Keely & Vaughn together made a hell of a lot more sense than the two being apart.  As wrong as the relationship seemed, they actually made each other better people.  Yes, it’s a fucking cliché, but damn, it is one scorching version of one.

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THE SEDUCTION EPILOGUE
“Wake up, sleepy-head.”

I drift, drowsy from the soothing sound of the ocean. I’m having the the most amazing
dream. I’m on a tropical beach, where clear crystal water laps the power white sand,
and palm trees shade my lounger. And there’s a man. Mmmm. A gorgeous, sexy man
stroking every inch of my body…

His fingers brush over my bikini top, playing with my breasts. I let out a moan.

“That’s right, baby.” He chuckles. He squeezes with my nipples through the thin fabric
until they’re hard and aching. “Are you awake yet?”

“No,” I whisper, wanting to stay in the bliss of this dream. It feels so good.

“Hmmm… how about now?” His hand moves lower, over my bare stomach. I shiver. He
traces lightly down between my thighs, stroking over my clit. Even through my bikini, the
sensation spirals through me. I gasp, rocking up against his hand.

“Still sleeping?” he murmurs.

I smile, but keep my eyes shut. I want to see where this goes.

“You really are tired, poor baby. I wonder what’s been wearing you out?” He sounds
amused.

“My boyfriend,” I murmur, still laying with my eyes closed. “He’s insatiable.”

“I don’t blame him.” He pushes my bikini bottoms aside and rubs my clit, a maddening
rhythm that makes me writhe. “Just looking at you like this, I want to sink deep into that
sweet pussy and fuck you slowly until you lose your mind.”

“So why don’t you?” I challenge, breathing faster as he strokes. God, right there. Yes.

He laughs. “Soon, baby. But it’s time to wake up. I’ve got something planned for us.”

“Does it involve your cock inside me?” I moan. He answers by sliding two fingers into
my wet core. Fuck.

“You can bet on it.” His palm presses my clit as his fingers pulse deep inside me and I
break in a delicious ripple of orgasm.

I open my eyes to find Vaughn kneeling beside me with a wicked grin.
“I was just dreaming about you,” I smile. The beach glitters, totally empty except for us.
Vaughn leans down to claim my mouth in a hot kiss.

“Good dream?” He murmurs, stroking my hair. His eyes rove over me, dark and
possessive.

“The best.” I let out a contented sigh, looking at the ocean, and the setting sun — and
him. “This is heaven.”

Vaughn lifts me to my feet. We stroll back to our beachfront cabana: the doors wide
open to let the tropical breeze in. “You hop in the shower,” Vaughn tells me, “I’m going
to get your surprise ready.”

I feel a jolt of anticipation. Vaughn loves surprising me, and his plans usually end with
multiple orgasms. “Give me a hint?” I ask.

He shakes his head. “Not this time. Go on.”

He’s using that voice I love, the one that’s all man, so I follow his order and go shower
off in the huge bathroom. It’s big enough for two, and we’ve definitely tested it out many
times this vacation, soaping up for hours together under the jets.

When I step out of the shower, there’s a box on the cabinet, tied with red ribbon.

Wear this.
(And only this)

I open the box. It’s a gorgeous red silk dress, with a short skirt and tiny spaghetti straps.
There’s nothing else in the box. No lingerie. I grin, slipping it over my head. The silk
slides over my body in a shiver of sensation. The skirt flares mid-thigh, dangerously
high, and my nipples are visible through the fabric.

Something tells me we aren’t going out for dinner tonight.

My cellphone rings just as I’m applying makeup. It’s Cam, holding down the fort back at
the company.

“Hey boss,” he says, when I answer. “Still enjoying paradise?”

“I love it here, we might never come back.”

He laughs. “Don’t. We need you.”

“Everything running OK?” I ask, fixing my hair in the mirror to fall in loose, natural
waves.

“Nothing that won’t wait. The police say Carter will do jail time for attempted murder,
and there’s still no word from Brent.”

That reminds me. “Will you do me a favor?” I ask. “Check on Isabelle. I don’t know
what’s going on with her, but I know she’s mixed up in something with Brent. I just have
a feeling, she might need help.”

“Sure,” Cam sounds surprised. “I’ll keep an eye on her.”

“Thanks. I’ve got to run.”

“A busy schedule of beach and cocktails?”

I laugh. “Something like that.”

I hang up push open the bathroom door, stepping out into our suite.

“Vaughn?” I call, but there’s no reply.

Another box sits on the coffee table. I open it, my anticipation rising. Inside is a red satin
blindfold and another note.

Later.

My pulse kicks. I’m going to like this surprise, I’m certain.

I hear movement outside. I step out onto our private patio to see a table laid for two
with beautiful white linens and silverware. There’s delicious-looking food, and candles
flickering as the sun sets lower over the ocean in a blaze of pink and gold.

“You look beautiful,” Vaughn’s voice comes from behind me. I turn. He’s wearing dress
pants and a white shirt open at the neck, devastatingly handsome like something from
a movie. He carries a bottle of champagne and two glasses to the table, pausing to
murmur in my ear as he passes.

“You’re going to look more beautiful naked in that blindfold with your wet mouth
wrapped around my cock.”

Still my Vaughn. I feel a rush of heat between my naked thighs. Vaughn chuckles and
pulls out a chair for me.

I sit, taking in the gorgeous scene. “I can’t believe you did all this for me.”

“It’s our last night on the island,” Vaughn smiles across the table at me. “I want it to be a
night you remember.”

“I remember everything,” I admit, feeling a rush of love and desire. “Every minute we
spend together.” Ever since meeting Vaughn, my life has turned upside down. We’ve
been through so much together, and even though I feel closer to him than anyone else
in my life before, it still amazes me how new and exciting this feels.

He surprises me. He challenges me. And God, he turns me on.

“No regrets?” Vaughn asks quietly. His eyes burn into mine from across the table. He
looks weirdly serious.

“None.” I swear, reaching to hold his hand. “I love you. I’m just glad all the mess with
Ashcroft and Ridley is over now. We can just be together.”

Vaughn pulls his hand away. “One last surprise,” he says, pulling a final box from his
pocket. He places it on the table in front of me, tied with another red ribbon.

A ring-sized box.

My heart stops. It can’t be…

I look up at him, but he just smiles. “Open it.”

I unwrap the ribbon with shaking hands. Inside is the most beautiful diamond ring I’ve
ever seen in my life.

“Vaughn…”

He goes down on one knee beside me. Vaughn takes the ring box, and cradles my
hand. “You’ve changed my life, Keely. I was lost before I met you. I never thought that I
could have this. Us. That I would love someone like I love you.”

I feel a sob rise in my throat. “I feel the same,” I whisper. “I’m so happy I have you.”

“Be mine forever,” Vaughn asks, and already I’m crying too much to get the words out. I
just nod,

“Yes! Of course, I say yes.”

He slides the ring on my finger and then pulls me into his arms. I fit just right, made to
press against his firm muscle and heat. It’s overwhelming, the thought of him forever. All

Vaughn. All mine.

“You and me, baby,” Vaughn murmurs, claiming my lips in a scorching kiss. “I promise,
I’m going to spend the rest of our lives making you smile… making you laugh…”

His hands slide lower, under the hem of my dress.

“Making you scream.”

THE END

 

Book Review: How to Reprimand your Rock Star by Mina Vaughn

How To

Title: How to Reprimand your Rock Star
Author: Mina Vaughn
Genre: New Adult, BDSM, Humor
Length: 280 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
In this fun and saucy romance novel, all-star college basketball player Thea dominates on the courts—and off—with a rock star who is determined to win her over.

Thea is a star basketball player at UConn on track to be Rookie of the Year. That is, if she can stay focused on the game. Lately that hasn’t been going so well, as her knee has been bothering her. But that’s not the only thing on her mind…

Ever since rock star Keaton Lowe surprised her in the girl’s locker room, Thea can’t stop thinking about him. On top of his status and enticing ways, he seems to know everything about her. But some of his actions cross the line, and Keaton needs to be punished. Will Thea keep her head in the game, or get distracted by her other favorite pastime—reprimanding her rock star?

My Review
Did you read the synopsis and scratched your head, not sure what to think about this book?  I did.
A hot British bad boy rock star falling for a freshman basketball phenom?  With a BDSM backstory?  Whaaaaaaaat?

It’s a crazy, unrealistic, amazingly fun read!

Reading about Keaton, the rock star and “Heartbreaker of the Century”, I was totally expecting one thing, only to get something completely different.  On his chance meeting with Thea, he immediately makes a connection with her.  She’s not the typical groupie.  Hell, she doesn’t even know who he is, which for him, is freshening.  What makes this book different than other insta-love books is that he senses something he is eager to explore, a dominance he wants to submit to.  She is his Goddess.

“I’ve been waiting for a girl like her, you know, “ he said over my head toward the newcomers. “A fiery, wild goddess who doesn’t give a fig who I am.”

Thea has hit a confidence bump on the road to her “Rookie of the Year”.  Her coach and team are doubting her.  But meeting Keaton becomes a life altering experience, literally.  She’s a college freshman, not exactly who you’d expect to become a Domme.  His encouragement for her to take control wakes up a part of her she never knew existed.

This may sound strange, but given Thea’s age, I liked the innocence of her introduction into the kinky world.  And that’s where the book title comes from.  Scarlett, the basketball team’s landlord also happens to have a little side business, one involving whips and bondage.  Scarlett is the one who brings Thea into the BDSM world, teaching her how to become a Domme and tame her wild rocker.  I thought Scarlett was an excellent mentor, slowly teaching Thea without throwing too much at her.  She lets Thea assimilate through a voyeuristic way and let her control when she was ready to try new things for herself.  I also liked how she offered Thea guidance when she struggled with her confidence.  And she has a nice protective side, second guessing Keaton’s intentions and not wanting to see Thea get hurt.

I loved how the whole storyline connected together.  As Thea slowly learned the lifestyle, she finds the benefits of control throughout her everyday life, and even more important for her, when playing basketball.

Someone lifted the lid on the glass jar and let the air back into the room. The brightness of the lights dimmed and the sound of the crowd’s roar had little effect on my ears.
It was my body and I could control it the way I wanted.

Thea, as our narrator, is a fun guide through this new world.  She’s smart but willing to take risks and enjoy herself.  While she has some brief moments of self-doubt, she is able to reign back the control and stay focused, making her a likable heroine.  A rare feat.  Even though there would be reason to doubt the Heartbreaker of the Century, he proves time and time again that he is 100% committed to Thea.  While he offers her guidance and encouragement, you can truly see how much he enjoys her taking control.  The banter between them is both fun and sexy.  This unlikely pair seem to make it work.

Man tied

Callie is the ultimate best friend.
“Dude, I minutely poisoned myself on your behalf. The least you could do is tell me you’ve arranged for at least my ticket and orgy.”

And as the role as best friend, she is the cheerleader/supporter of Thea’s budding romance with the rock star.  The two of them have a fun relationship that adds humor to an already fun story.
“Wasn’t Rome known for their orgies?” I joked.
She fanned herself. “Don’t get me started. I read some Julius Caesar fan fiction last week that would-“

Coming into this book with some hesitancy, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  With a bizarre but fun storyline, likable characters, humor and sexy times, this book would really make a great movie.  It’s got the dialogue and quirkiness to stand out in a sea of other romance movies.  But until someone agrees with me and gives this author a contract, this is a great summertime read.

“My future is on the line. I am not to be fucked with right now.”
He smiled and tossed me the tape. “I needed to see that fire again, Goddess. Thank you for burning so bright.”

*An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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Author Bio

Mina

Kink with a wink! Mina Vaughn is an international woman of mystery and a shoe whore with a heart of gold. When she’s not writing her unique brand of fun smut, she’s plundering Sephora for any pin up girl makeup she can find. Mina’s debut novel, an erotic comedy entitled How to Discipline Your Vampire is about a punishment-seeking vampire who meets a quirky Domme with a serious role play fetish, available now from Simon and Schuster’s Pocket Star. How to Reprimand Your Rock Star, a sexy New Adult contemporary romance about a basketball phenom and a world-famous rocker, arrives Summer 2014. How to Punish Your Playboy arrives Spring 2015.

 

New Release, Giveaway & Excerpts: Come Back by JA Huss

Come Back cover

COME BACK – Release Blitz
Dirty, Dark, & Deadly #2
By JA Huss
Erotic Suspense

Giveaway
(2) $50 gift cards plus signed copy of COME BACK and swag
(3) $25 gift cards plus signed copy of COME and swag
(5) $5 gift cards plus signed limited edition character cards

RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

COME BACK: Dirty, Dark, & Deadly, #2
Synopsis
“Secrets keep the darkness alive,” Harper tells me. But that’s not how I see it at all. Secrets keep me alive. The truth is overrated. Honesty is never the best policy. And when your job involves killing the most dangerous men on earth, knowing more than you should, will get you killed.

“Death is a business deal,” I tell her back. And I make that deal every chance I get. Secrets are currency in my world. I pay my debts with them. I feed on them. They ground me in the present and they promise me a future.

But Harper Tate is everything I’ve ever wanted. She is my promise, she is my past, she is my future. She can be mine. She will be mine. All I have to do is complete the mission.

There’s just one problem.

I have no idea what it is.

LINKS:
AMAZON: www.amazon.com/J.A.-Huss/e/B009BNUTTO/
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/j.-a.-huss
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22103788-come-back

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JA Huss
JA Huss is the USA Today best-selling author of the Rook and Ronin series, the epic science fiction I Am Just Junco series, and hundreds of kid-friendly science books in subjects such as biology, physics, anatomy and physiology, astronomy, and forensics. She has an undergraduate degree in equine science and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology. She has never taken a creative writing class and she hopes she never will.

PG-13 Excerpt
Merc picks up on the second ring too. I love consistency. “Jasus fucking Christ, where the hell have you been?”

“Traveling. You think I have hidden wormholes I can pop in and out of to get places or what?”
“Yeah, well, Twifter is not happy, asshole.”

“Twifter can kiss my ass. None of that shit this morning was me. But anyway, we’re here. Thanks for the beer.” I take a swig and let out a long, “Ahhh,” trying to piss off Merc, but that’s when I see the Smurf watching me from the jail cell up on the foyer terrace. “Call you later,” I say, and then I press end on the phone. “What the fuck you doing up there?”

“Who the hell were you talking to?” she snarls back.

“Merc.” I hold up my beer and give her a pretend cheers.

“Obviously that phone call was Merc. Before Merc, who the hell were you talking to?”

“My secretary.” She stares at me and then gets up and walks to the jail cell door. That little shit was sleeping up in that jail cell. What a freak. “Why? I ask her. “You got a problem with me making calls?”

She walks towards the steps and stops at the top. She’s all sweaty and flushed from the heat, and her hair is still wet from her earlier shower. The scratches from the thorn run-in this morning are still there, but now that the dried blood has been properly washed away, they are not so bad. She looks better and worse all at the same time. She looks unstable.

“When you make a call to an associate from a phone that’s supposedly not secure, a phone that had some cryptic message you tried to blame on me, then yeah. I have a big fucking problem.”

“Watch your fucking mouth around me, kid. Or I’ll smack the shit out of it.”

She reaches behind her and pulls out a gun and points it at me. “Is that right?”

“You better shoot me right the fuck now. Because if you don’t, I’ll kill you just for pointing that weapon at me.”

She reevaluates her target and decides on a spot above my head. Smurfette is clever. “Who were you talking to?”

I eye the diameter of the chamber on her weapon and guesstimate .40. “You sure you can handle that thing? It’s got a nice kick to it. And if you miss me, I won’t miss you.”

“I don’t miss. And I’ve been shooting this Glock for a while now. So I’ll happily take my chances. Now, who were you talking to?”

“I already told you. My secretary, checking for messages. And Merc, returning a call.”

“You were checking in. Who’s running this operation?”

“I thought you knew?”

She thinks about this for a few seconds. Gives it some consideration before she answers. “I know who I’m working for. I know who sent you to get me. And I don’t think we’re on the same side anymore.”

“That’s too bad then,” I tell her with a shrug of my shoulders. “I was just beginning to like you. I was starting to hope I wouldn’t have to kill you.”

“Funny,” she says with a coolness that sends a chill up my arm. “I was thinking the same thing.”

SEXY Excerpt
He takes three quick steps towards me and I back up instinctively, but I hit the sink. And then before I can come up with another plan, he’s pressed up against me, standing over me almost. His stare is captivating because everything about his expression, his body language, his breathing—all of it says this moment counts. His hands hover over my shoulders and then he give me a crooked smile.

“Harper,” he says calmly.

“What?” I snap again.

“I want you. I’m going to touch you. I’m not fighting with you anymore. It’s a waste of time. I’m going to fuck the shit out of you right here, right now. In this goddamned desert shithole bathroom even though you deserve to be fucked on a tropical beach or somewhere with a mountain view, or, hell, even the goddamned Hummer would be better than right here. But you know what?”

I swallow down my surprise. “What?”

“You gotta make the most of what you got. And we’re not on a tropical beach or in front of a goddamned beautiful mountain. And fucking Smurfette is probably out in the Hummer. So this is all I got.”

“None of this has anything to do with the fight we’re having.”

He smiles and then nods at me. “Oh yes, it does. Because here’s the thing, Harp. We are about to have makeup sex. Right the fuck now. And if you don’t want me to do that, then feel free to finish this fight properly. You ready?”

“So you’re gonna force me.”

“I’ll count to three so you can have a few more moments to decide. One.”

My heart begins to beat wildly. “What the hell—”

“Two.” His hands are still hovering above my shoulders but now they slowly descend to rest on my upper arms. “Three.”

I expect to be turned around, pushed against the sink, and fucked from behind.
But that’s not what I get at all.

His hands descend down my bare arms, stopping at the elbow for a brief moment to caress the soft skin on the underside. And then they continue down to my waist. He eases them underneath my tank top, and then places both palms flat against my skin. “I’ll take that as permission to proceed, but feel free to stop me at any time.” And then his strong hands grab my waist and place my ass on the edge of the sink. He cups my face and leans in, his lips lightly touching mine.

I kiss him back. With tongue.

I can feel the smile on his lips. Because he knows I gave in with that tongue. He won this fight hands down. I am out for the count before the bell even rings.

“I win,” he whispers into my mouth. “I’m not here to fight with you. I’m not here to trick you. I’m not here to kill your pain-in-the-ass piece-of-shit brother. I’m here for you, Harper. And that’s all there is to it.”

 

 

Book Blast: [Review, Interview & Giveaway] Ruthless People by J.J. McAvoy

Ruthless People

Ruthless People

A Novel by

J.J. McAvoy

Release Date: July 17, 2014

Published by The Writers Coffee Shop

Available from: TWCS PH Web PageAmazonBarnes and NobleKobo

Genre: Romance, Crime, Thrillers & Suspense
Length: 325 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
“Mr. & Mrs. Smith meets the Sopranos…”

To the outside world, they look like American Royalty, giving to charities, feeding the homeless, rebuilding the city. But behind closed doors is a constant battle for dominance between two Bosses, cultures, and hearts.

Ruthless People is a romantic crime fiction set in modern day Chicago, and follows the life and marriage of Melody Giovanni and Liam Callahan—rivals by blood and leaders through fear. Their marriage, arranged by their fathers in hopes to end years of bloodshed between the Irish and the Italians.

Liam believes he’s getting a simple-minded wife, one he can control, one who bends to his every need . . . the complete opposite of Melody. She knows exactly what type of man he is, and would rather die than give up the power she has spent her life building.

The Mafia of the past has evolved, and with rival bosses gunning for them, Melody and Liam will have to learn to work as one to take down those who stand in their way.

1 Marriage x 2 Bosses = 3x the Chaos

*Warning: Due to bad language, graphic violence and sex this is for over-18’s only* Theses are not mobsters with a heart of gold….

They do VERY bad things and will NOT change.
They are criminals…murders.

If things like that bother you Ruthless People is not for you. You’ve been warned 😉

My Review
Ruth•less: adjective \ˈrüth-ləs also ˈru̇th-\ : having no pity : cruel or merciless.

That word, RUTHLESS, perfectly describes this book and the characters within it.  Expecting love to change two blood thirsty mafia heads?  Think again.  This story is brutally violent – like a Quentin Tarantino/Rob Zombie movie on crack violent – shocking, and on a rare occasion, sad.  Is there sex, you ask?  Yup.  Is it hot?  Yup.

If you read the synopsis above, you get an idea of the story but I truly wasn’t prepared for how RUTHLESS the book would be.  Only one thing matters to these characters – family.

Rule One: You kill for family. You die for family. Because you can’t trust anyone else.

Threaten the family and you get a bullet in your head, if you are lucky. So what happens when two mafia families comes together in the hope of world domination?  Let’s just say one of them limps away with a gunshot wound.

Rule Two: Take no prisoners and have no regrets about it.

Something must be wrong with me, because I loved Melody (Mel) Giovanni.  She is BADASS!  I mean, I’m terrified of her, but man oh man does that woman have some balls!  She puts ever man in line, including her soon to be husband, Liam Callahan.

This book mostly alternates between Melody and Liam’s POVs, but on occasion, we get inside the heads of the secondary characters – Liam’s family.  While there is some love in the story, power is what drives this family, and with Melody’s addition, they gain more power – the “Boogeyman of the East” and the “Wicked Witch of the West”.
As a mafia family, they do A LOT of bad things.  They won’t blink to kill a cop and his family, even the children.  You’ve been warned.

Rule Three: Just because you sell drugs for a living isn’t an excuse not to dress well.

While the morals of these characters was way out of line from mine, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.  The union between Melody and Liam was toxic from the get go, and that toxicity blended with pure lust, brought them closer together, despite their declared hatred for one another.

Rule Four: No bloody divorce.

As ruthless as Liam might be, his union to Melody, is more than power.  Spending most of his life lonely, he has finally met his match and his determination to get her on the same page is fun to watch.

He was a force, and I wouldn’t have minded, if he hadn’t come into my house and tried to make me into his little Stepford wife.

This story is fast paced, from Melody and Liam’s scary pranks on each other, to the lust filled moments, and eminent danger threatening their whole family, I had a hard time putting the story down.  The characters are deeply flawed and one could never agree with the path and direction of their lives, but just like everyone else, bad people need love too.  And it’s fun in the very unconventional sense in how they go about achieving it.

One final warning, this story has a bit of a cliffhanger.  I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, but this one is manageable, and a HUGE plot twist.  I can’t wait for the next book from this messed up family.

*An ARC was received from the publisher for an honest review.

INTERVIEW WITH JJ MCAVOY

This book seems like is a pretty honest and scary look into the mob world. What inspired you to write this story?
I wanted to read something different and I didn’t want to sugar coat it. Plus I really wanted to write a woman who was so badass it was kind of scary.

What research did you do in preparation for writing this story?
The first I did was watch documentaries, (Cocaine Cowboys, The Union: The Business Behind Getting High and the American Drug War) all of these helped me get the facts of the drug life and how ruthless it really was. Then on top of that I watched more entertainment (the Godfather, American gangster) to get a balance. I just wanted to build on that.

That ending . . . *gives you the stink eye* . . . When is book 2 coming out?
I still have no idea. But the moment I do know, I will tell you all.

Do you speak Italian and/or Irish? If not, how did you make sure the translations were accurate?
I do not speak Italian or Irish. I know a little French and speak English and Igbo but that’s about it. I just asked friends and then spent a few hours also looking through as many translators as possible. My editing was also a HUGE, help they all spent a long time on those.

I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to love or hate the characters (I did like Mel and Liam, I have no idea why). Writing from multiple POVs, who’s head did you most enjoy being inside?
Each person has a different way about them. Melody and Liam are always raging. I think my favorite is Orlando’s because we only hear from him like once before he’s gone. Being in his head and him being so close to the end of his life was touching for me.

What made you decide to become a writer?
I’m not sure if I ever decided I wanted to be a writer. I just felt the need to tell a story. I think it was only after I had finished my first ever book (which I will never publish but still have) did I realize I could do this.

Lightning Round
What are you currently reading?
To Kill a Mockingbird

Who is your favorite author?
Oh man I can’t chose! I just can’t!

Favorite romance novel?
It will forever and always be Pride and Prejudice.

Favorite Batman actor?
Christian Bale

The Vampire Diaries or True Blood?
Vampire Diaries

Biggest vice?
Lol I don’t know. I haven’t done anything Vice worthy…yet.

Favorite mobster movie?
Goodfellas

Pepsi or Coca Cola?
Coco Cola

Thanks for having me -JJ.

About the Author

JJJ.J. McAvoy first started working on Ruthless People during a Morality and Ethics lecture her freshman year of college. X number of years later, she is an insomniac who has changed her major three times, and is a master in the art of procrastination. If you ask her why she began writing, she will simply tell you “They wanted to get their story out.” She is currently working on her next novel . . . so please bug her on Twitter @JJMcAvoy

Connect with J.J. McAvoy

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Book Review Double Header: Very Wicked Beginnings/Very Wicked Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Very Wicked Very Wicked 2

Title: Very Wicked Beginnings/Very Wicked Things (Briarcrest Academy 1.5/2)
Author: Isla Madden-Mills
Genre:
Length: 68 pages/
Rating: 4 stars overal

Synopsis: Very Wicked Beginnings
A Prequel Novella
Girls say I’m a walking, talking sex god. Guys call me Hollywood because my life is golden.
It’s not.
But, ESPN did rank me as a four-star recruit, calling me one of the best defensive players since Briarcrest Academy opened its esteemed doors. So yeah, with football and a stellar GPA, my future seemed good.
Then Dovey Beckham shows up in her short skirts and ballet shoes. Driving me insane. Making me want to beg for her attention.
But that wouldn’t happen, because Cuba Hudson didn’t beg for
anything.
She walked around BA like she owned the place, and most days she looked right through me…the one girl I couldn’t have.
So, of course, I made it my mission to claim her, to put her notch on my bedpost.
Because no girl can resist the Heartbreaker of BA.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where wicked love begins…and ends.

WARNING: This dark and twisty new adult romance contains sexual situations and graphic language.

Synopsis: Very Wicked Things
Born on the poor side of town…
Ballerina Dovey Beckham is a scholarship student at Briarcrest Academy, determined to prove she’s more than just a girl with the wrong pedigree. She does whatever it takes to succeed in her endgame, even if it means surrendering her body…but never her heart.
Until the day she meets him, and he rips apart all her well-laid plans. Suddenly, the girl everyone thought unbreakable might just shatter.
Born into wealth and privilege…
Cuba “Hollywood” Hudson is rich, spoiled, and a star football player. With his fast cars and superficial girlfriends, he lives the high-life, hiding his secrets from the world.
Until the day he meets her, and she offers him something he’s never tasted… love.
But once in a lifetime kind of love doesn’t come easy. When trust crumbles and doubts creep in, both will have to decide to either love or let go… forever.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where sometimes, only the wicked survive.

My Review
I decided to do a joint review, as one really can’t read the novella, Very Wicked Beginnings, without reading the novel, Very Wicked Things. Could you skip the novella?  Sure, you get a recap of the novella within the novel, but you will lose some of the other character’s perspective, so I’d recommend you read both, back to back.

In the novella, we learn about Cuba and Dovey.  They are not a typical match, their backgrounds are worlds apart.  He’s VERY rich.  She’s dirt poor.  He’s the most popular guy at Briarcrest Academy.  She only has one friend, Spider.  He’s a star football player.  She’s a ballet dancer. Despite their difference, the attraction between them builds slowly in the novella.  Reading this, I immediately pictured a John Hughes movie, only maybe sadder.  I can see Molly Ringwald now . . . or maybe Lea Thompson . . .

While the novella ends with some hope for the twosome, the novel starts off one year later, and things are NOT good between Cuba and Dovey.  Thru alternating POVs and a series of flashbacks, we learn the highs and lows of their courtship.

Something had shifted in me today at our lockers. Something had clicked or been turned on or whatever. I was feeling more. It was as if I was finally waking up after being submerged in water for a year. Drowning my feelings had been comfortable, and I wanted it back.

*begins rant*
Although I sympathized with both characters and the horrible turn their lives had taken, I was annoyed as shit with how they treated each other.  Regarding Cuba, he was a class A douche for a good part of the book.  He ignored Dovey most of the time, but when he did open his mouth, I just wanted to staple it shut.  Nothing about what he said made me like him.  Feel sorry for him, yes.  Want him to be with Dovey?  HELL NO!.  And this girl, jeez, where do I start?!?  For as strong as she appears at times, she is utterly weak and with no backbone whenever she was around Cuba.  She could do SO much better in my eyes, and I don’t know why she continued to fawn all over him when he treated her like crap.  I’m with Spider on this one!
*end rant*

BUT, it’s clear that these two have some sort of “soul mate” thing going on.  Cuba is just being a blockhead and ignoring the obvious. His motives are ridiculous, but whatever.  Deep down, you know he cares for her.

Cupping my cheek, he took my mouth hesitantly, almost as if he was afraid I’d run, or perhaps, he was afraid he’d run. His lips feathered over mine gently, his tongue massaging mine, reigniting flames that had never been distinguished to begin with. And heaven help me, our kiss was fire and ice rolled into one. Love and hate, light and dark, our lips made a perfect symmetry.

Despite how I personally felt about the characters, the story is well written and kept me hooked throughout. The flashbacks show how good the highs were in their relationship, and I was scratching your head as to what caused it to go so wrong.  And then it’s revealed and things become clear.  Do I think that Cuba’s response was right?  HELL NO!  Way to be a drama queen Cuba!  When you could have gotten support to help you through the pain, you alienated the one person who truly cared about you, only causing more pain!

Regarding Emma, am I supposed to feel sorry for this girl?  That would be another, HELL NO!  I . . . I just can’t . . . ugh . . . what she did was just not cool.  So dear author, my vote for the next book would be for Sebastian.  I am dying to know what happens to him.  Yes, I’m greedy and still want Spider’s story too, but Sebastian first, please!

Very Wicked Beginnings                Very Wicked Things

Amazon                                          Amazon

Goodreads                                  Goodreads