Blog Tour (Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway): A Necessary Sin by Georgia Cates

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Title: A Necessary Sin (The Sin Trilogy #1)
Author: Georgia Cates
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 243 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis

Bleu MacAllister is consumed. A horrific childhood incident has caused every decision in her life to revolve around bringing a monster to justice. With years spent studying The Fellowship, an organized crime brotherhood of liars, thieves, and killers, Bleu will rely on her skills as a special agent to cut Thane Breckenridge off at the knees. But walking hand in hand with retribution means risking collateral damage, in the form of Breckenridge’s son Sinclair—until Sin becomes so much more than Bleu bargained for. She’s always known this undertaking would place her life in danger—she never imagined her heart would be as well.

Grace Review

What’s a stronger motivator – revenge or love? Can one overpower the other? These are the key questions in this intense story filed with rules, an endurance test, an initiation, and of course, passion. Seems like an odd mix? But it works, really well.

All her life, Bleu MacAllister has been driven by revenge, preparing to take the life of the man responsible for causing her devastating loss. A family situation forces her to stop up her plans and she heads off to Scotland to enact her plan. Bleu always saw Sinclair (Sin) Breckenridge as the key to her achieving her plans. Little did she know how much he would change those plans.

Sin is the next in line to take over The Fellowship, a secret society, probably equivalent to the Mafia, one with more rules. No outsiders are meant to have relationships with Fellowship members. So yeah, when you think on that, it’s a bit gross. But those rules don’t stop Bleu from trying to connect with them, and in many ways, succeeding.

While I loved the mystery of this secret crime filled world and the ongoing tension as to whether Bleu would get her revenge, what kept me glued to the story was the strength of the two main characters. Bleu is my ideal kind of heroine. She has a sexy vulnerability about her, but she is far from weak. You insult her, you risk a broken nose, or worse. Loved her!

“I won’t give my body to someone who’d fuck me in a storage room or on a desk in the office of a bar. I want to enjoy the pleasure that goes along with great sex, so I will only sleep with a man who is eager to please me. I must be able to trust that you aren’t in it only for yourself. I’ll demand more of you than any other woman ever has, and for that, I’m completely unapologetic.”

Do feelings get in the way of her plans? Unfortunately, or depending on how you look at it, fortunately, yes. When those feelings are tied to a sexy powerful and successful Scot who wants to “claim her”, despite the rules, you can understand why she was conflicted. And the rules she had established for herself, begin to fall apart as well.

I loved how Bleu infiltrates Sin’s life with a purpose to get in and get out, only to realize she may never want to leave. And she has a great impact on Sin’s life, not only getting him to challenge the rules of the Fellowship, but the ways he gets around those rules are shocking. Sin will clearly do just about anything for Bleu. A bone breaking love (you’ll understand once you read the book).

While Sin doesn’t come outright and admit he loves Bleu, he gets pretty dare close with this statement which is part of the claiming, when you feel closest to that person.

“Into me . . . you see.”

Given the Fellowship’s rules about outsiders, Bleu has a hard time making friends. But she finds an unusual ally in Sin’s mother, Isobel. The reason it is interesting is that Sin has had very little interaction with his mom prior, due to some decisions his dad, Thane, made along the way. But Bleu seems to bring the mother and son together, and in return, Isobel provides strong guidance for Bleu as she tries to adapt to this new world. I liked how the two helped each other and provided support to one another, with love for Sin as an incentive.

Even though Bleu never forgets her reasons for being in Scotland, I began to doubt her plans. I’m fairly certain that she has the wrong target. To avoid spoilers, that’s all I’ll say, but if I’m correct, it should be easy to pick up who I think the real target should be.

As part of a trilogy, this book ends in a cliffhanger. So much is up in the air with so many unanswered questions. I’m so eager for book 2! Fortunately, it doesn’t look like we have to wait too long – with an expected release date of 2/9 for book 2, The Next Sin. CAN’T WAIT!!!

– Grace

*An ARC was provided for an honest review.

Amazon

Goodreads

The Next Sin – Release Date – Feb 9th, 2015
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20623833-the-next-sin

One Last Sin – Release Date – March 23, 2015
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20623840-one-last-sin

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Excerpt

Sinclair Breckenridge’s POV:
“People don’t realize the things they say without uttering a word. Something as simple as the lift in the corner of one’s mouth can reveal thoughts and emotions better than any voice. Body language—it’s nature’s crafty trick, second only to falling in love.”
“Aye. It’s a shan.”
“A shan?”
“Americans would probably use the word shame.”
“Oh. You sound like you know from experience.”
I have no experience. I’m far too intelligent for such nonsense. “When one falls in love, that person makes the decision to become vulnerable. It’s not a path I’d ever willingly choose so, no. What about you? Has Bonny Bleu ever been in love?”
“I’ve tried dating but it never matters what I do. I’m always what’s wrong.” She’s nervously twisting the ring on her thumb. “I’m able to capture other’s emotions in photos yet I can’t get a grip on my own. I avoid connecting with people. I make myself an island so it gives me an excuse to remain alone.” She sighs and looks embarrassed. “Wow. That sounded like a psychological profile … or something.”

About

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Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her iPod and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

Representation: All questions regarding subsidiary rights for any of my books, inquiries regarding foreign translation and film rights should be directed to Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich.
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Georgia-Cates/213130102082500?ref=br_tf
NEWSLETTER: http://goo.gl/ILvz8L
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/GeorgiaCates
WEBSITE: http://www.georgiacates.com/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5228869.Georgia_Cates
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Georgia-Cates/e/B005RQM69U/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1412959384&sr=8-2-ent

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Travel the Holidays with Audible (Giveaway)

Travel

Ho Ho Ho…we’re on the road for the holidays with audiobooks!  This event will run until January 3rd. This week we’re featuring:

Colleen Hoover
Tammara Webber

MAYBE SOMEDAY by Colleen Hoover
NA Contemporary Romance

From number-one New York Times best-selling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance.

At 22 years old, Sydney has a great life: She’s in college; working a steady job; in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter; and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter’s cheating on her – and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to his playing his guitar every day out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one….

Listen to a sample HERE!

EASY by Tammara Webber
NA Contemporary Romance
A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion.
A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal.
Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?
Listen to a sample HERE!

BREAKABLE by Tammara Webber
NA Contemporary Romance
As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise – until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.
All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy….
As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat.
Tammara Webber, the New York Time best-selling author of Easy, now delivers a daring and entirely new perspective on love, and why falling for it is beyond our control.
A college age, New Adult romance.
Listen to a sample HERE!

 

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New Release (Book Review & Excerpt): The Pact by Karina Halle

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Title: The Pact
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
It all started with a pinky swear…

Linden McGregor is tall, rugged, and gunslinger handsome; a helicopter pilot with a Scottish brogue and charm to spare. He’s also one of Stephanie Robson’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as she’s known him.

Beautiful, funny and an ambitious businesswoman (with one hell of an ass), Stephanie Robson is one of Linden McGregor’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as he’s known her.

But some relationships can’t be boxed, can’t be classified, can’t be tamed.

Back in their mid-twenties and tired of the competitive hit-or-miss dating scene of San Francisco, Steph and Linden made a pact to marry each other if neither one of them are in a serious relationship by the time they hit thirty.

It sounds like fun and games but as the years to thirty tick past and lovers come and go out of their lives, the pact becomes larger than life.
Sex is inevitable. Friendships are tested. Hearts are on the line.

The pact is about to change everything.

The Pact is a standalone, contemporary adult romance.

Grace Review
This is not your typical Karina Halle book. She even admits as such in her end of book comments. Despite this book being more light and fun that than her previous work, she still brings her great storytelling and flawless writing, with a plot that hooks you quickly.

The idea behind the marriage pact isn’t new. People who have found love to be allusive, turn to their friend, someone they can trust as a last resort of sorts, so that they won’t be alone all their lives. What made this pact unique was who the pact was made between. Linden and Stephanie are best friends, that part isn’t unusual. The part that’s unusual is that they are also best friends with James, Stephanie’s ex. Sure, the two parted and remain friends but there is generally an unwritten rule that friends don’t date each others exs. Big no no.

But this pact is just made in fun. Or is it?

As the book progresses, while neither Linden or Stephanie act on their feelings, it is clear there is an attraction between the two, and feelings of jealousy seems to arise when either of them is in a relationship with someone else. As the years count down to the pact end date, when they both turn thirty, they independently begin to question the what-ifs. Would their friendship be ruined if they confessed or even acted on their growing feelings?

How do you ensure someone feels the same way about you without telling them how you feel?

One dare changes everything.

I loved the connection between this couple. They are flirty, sexy, sweet and caring. It’s clear both have harbored feeling for a long time. And a future together doesn’t seem like a joke anymore, and is far from a last resort.

While this story is light, the drama and angst is still there. The code, Bros before Hoes, drives that drama. I was frustrated by Linden’s actions during this drama, not fighting for love, but his family history and lack of experience with the emotion were likely a driving force, so I’ll give it a pass.

But, despite the minor hiccup, I really liked both main characters.

Oh, how I love Linden, let me count the ways.
1) The author pictured him as Scott Eastwood.  YUM!

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2) He flies helicopters.  Not for fun like that kinky CEO.  No, he flies them for a living. *swoon*
3) He’s Scottish!  And while the accent has faded, it makes the occasional appearance within the story. Works for me!
4) He likes Disney movies!

Should I continue?  Ok, I will.

5) Good sense of humor. Even as a ginger, this gave me a laugh:

It’s true what they say about red-headed chicks, you know, they all have a wee bit of crazy in them.

6) HUGE COCK!  In his pants, obviously.  Yes, he’s a bit of a man-whore, but he treats the right girl right.
7) And if that wasn’t enough for me, the piece de resistance, he loves hockey!  The San Jose Sharks to be exact.  At one point he even dons a Shark Head to a game, which would probably look something like this:

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Or this:

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And while I’m not a Sharks fan, I do love hockey and sharks are my favorite animal (seriously), so I have to appreciate this type of player entrance.

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BADASS!

Ok, enough about Linden, Stephanie is a great heroine. Clearly she’s a bombshell, but isn’t even aware of the sexual appeal she has. But it’s not the “I’m not pretty” ridiculousness. She’s comfortable in her own skin and is just blissfully unaware of how she drives Linden mad with lust.

I was initially fearful of whether I would like her based on her unwillingness to take risks. She eventually takes the plunge with her own business, but I still felt she played things too safe when it came to her heart. However, she really came around for me when she took a chance with her heart.

As for James, I was all over the board about him. He seems to put a lot of pressure and unnecessary blame on Linden for their vastly different upbringings, which wasn’t fair. And he selfishly destroys everything. Yes, amends are made, but that was fucking wrong!

So does the pact stand? You’ll have to read for yourself. But yes, you get your HEA, with blindfolds!

“That new heart, that new world, it’s all you. I feel like it takes up every inch of my body, like I’m blooming each day. You’re in me and I can’t hide it or contain it or ignore it. You blind me. You are me.”

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RJD8LOS?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00RJD8LOS&linkCode=xm2&tag=aftdarboolov-20

Goodreads

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Excerpt

Her eyes are so blue and wide, like the morning sky, her mouth so perfectly full. I contemplate running my thumb over her lips before I kiss the salt off of them.
I should just do it. I should just fucking do it.
I swallow hard, my throat feeling closed up but I know it’s not from my cold. It’s from want and it’s from fear.
“What are you staring at?” she asks me, her voice shaking slightly.
Just fucking kiss her.

About

Karina
With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiancé and rescue pup.

LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karina-Halle/140649372629593

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetalBlonde

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4785031.Karina_Halle?from_search=true

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Karina-Halle/e/B0050KE63C/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407546895&sr=8-2-ent

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Book Review: Amour Amour by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Amour
Title: Amour Amour
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Standalone New Adult Romance
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis
Love is a circus

“Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”

The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”

When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future–acrobatic partners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world.

Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.

This sexy and exhilarating New Adult Romance can best be described as Cirque du Soleil meets the steamy, athletic romance of Center Stage.

*standalone & no love triangles—recommended for readers 18+ for mature content*

Grace Review

This book was a really interesting departure for twin dynamo authors. Bringing us into a world of bright lights under the big top. Thora leaves the comfort of her family, her BFF, and her college education, to chase that dream.

As a HUGE fan of the Addicted series, I saw some similarities between this book’s main character, Thora, and Lily. They both share a vulnerability, but for very different reasons. I’ve seen some reviews call Thora weak. I thought the complete opposite. From page one, everyone seems to doubt her talent and ability to achieve her dream. No one gives her their encouragement in taking such a big risk. And while I appreciate their honesty, not lying to her about her talent, it didn’t seem like anyone helped her to improve. How strong do you have to be to overcome doubt? How long can you take people telling you that you’re not good enough?

Thora is a fighter, in the true sense of the world. For what she lacks in talent, she has in spirit, relying often on her inner cheerleader. When one person comes into her life, in the oddest of ways, she finds a reason to fight even harder. It was hard to figure out Nikolas. He’s a bit of an enigma for a good part of the book. As the star of Amour and patriarch of sorts for his brothers and sister, he has a great burden on his shoulders. At times, it seemed he was dealing with everything out of obligation. But as the story evolves, you realize how much family means to him. It’s not obligation but love that drives him. He’s guarded so much, that he doesn’t expose that love often, but its clear that its there, deep down. It’s not until Thora enters his life that love begins to be exposed. Just like with his family, he guards his emotions and like a good poker player, doesn’t show all his cards.

What I love about this story was that Thora’s journey wasn’t an easy one. She put her former life on hold and took a chance on something that was deep in her heart. While the skills weren’t there from the beginning, the passion and will to do better were there. And that spirit to not give up, to challenge herself is what brings her and Nikolas closer together.

Proud clapping fills my head, not the room. I don’t care if I’ve imagined applause for myself. I’m still my biggest cheerleader and possibly even my biggest fan.

Nikolas not only trains her to become better, he prepares her to succeed. And he becomes the first one to truly believe in her.

“I knew I was attracted to you, but it was more than that. Your energy, your idealism and optimism – I missed those things, the places inside of me that made me feel more alive.”

This is a sweet story about determination and passion. About never giving up. And most importantly about Amour – a show and a feeling that bring two people together, making both of their lives more complete. Love conquers all.

Side note: As I mentioned previously, being a HUGE Addicted fan, I loved how they were mentioned on occasion throughout the book. I may have squealed at their mere mention.

– Grace

Amazon

Goodreads

Final Results: Reader’s Poll Results and Reviewer Recap

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The results of our 2014 Reader’s Poll are in and the winners are . . .

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Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

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Runners Up
Black Lies by Alessandra Torre
Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

2
Alessandra Torre

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Runners Up
Colleen Hoover
Shay Savage

3
The Gypsy Brothers by Lili St. Germain

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Runners Up
Stage Dive by Kylie Scott
The Original Sinners: White Years by Tiffany Reisz

And to recap our blog pics . . .
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Yaya’s and Michelle’s Pick
The Saint by Tiffany Reisz

The Saint

Grace’s Pick
The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon

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It’s unanimous!!!
Tiffany Reisz

The Saint The King

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Yaya’s Pick
In The Company of Killers by JA Redmerski

Killing Isabel

Swan Seeds

Michelle’s & Grace’s Pick
Social Media by JA Huss

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CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE AUTHORS ON A GREAT YEAR!!!

Book Review: Path of Destruction by E. Lee & Caisey Quinn

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Title: Path of Destruction (Broken Heartland #2)
Author: E. Lee and C. Quinn
Age Group: Upper YA/NA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 24, 2014
Rating: 4 stars

Amazon
Goodreads

Synopsis
They ignored the warning signs and it cost them everything…

At the end of a life-changing summer a devastating tornado hit the small town of Hope’s Grove, Oklahoma.

While the brick suburban mansions of Summit Bluffs saw very little damage, their occupants weren’t so lucky. As the members of both communities struggle to put the pieces of their lives back together, lies will be told, truths will be revealed, and nothing will ever be the same. The road to recovery is long and paved with past hurts and future heartbreaks.

They ignored the warning signs, and one of them didn’t make it out alive. The four that remain know they’d be crazy to think the storms are actually over..

Because it’s just when you think you’re safe that you find yourself right in the path of destruction.

Grace Review
I don’t typically read YA books, but Storm Warning came highly recommended by one of my friends.  Told from 5 POVs, I was leery I wouldn’t connect with the characters.  Also given the age difference between them and myself (I AM OLD), I thought maybe it would be hard to relate to their issues, but that couldn’t be further than the truth.  The authors did a great job of capturing each characters emotions, making their stories easy to connect to.  I felt like I was transported back to my high school days, with insecurities and crushes, catty girls and douchey boys all reigning the hallways.

Then that ending!  All I can say is that I’m so happy I had book 2 in my hands already, as that cliffhanger was brutal.  Despite my eagerness to begin book 2, I was equally terrified.

WARNING: Don’t read this next part, if you haven’t read book 1.
We know people died at the end book 1, we just didn’t know who.  Reading page 2 of this book, dread started to seep in.
Side note: The downside of reading an ARC is that sometimes you can’t do a group read and get the emotional support a book like this needs. I even sent out a plea to the authors.

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I had a feeling that one of the main characters died, and as I was trying to prepare myself, I realized I wouldn’t be ok with any of the 5 main characters passing.  Like some of the characters, I was in a bit of denial as I was reading, trying to avoid what truly happened.  But at 10% it is officially confirmed and my heart broke.  Whhhhhhyyy?  I should have known this was coming based on the series title, but the authors pull no punches in this book.  You feel the pain of loss with each character.  My heart hurt A LOT, and I fought tears throughout reading this story.

To avoid spoiling who dies, I really can’t talk about any of the characters.  But I will tell you, it is hard to tell who had it worse. Each of the 4 remaining characters are going thru so much, on top of just surviving high school, I wanted to give them all a hug.
Some characters begin a downward spiral, while others try to move on to forget.  But the pain seems to resurface at every turn. I felt like yelling at the authors, “Come on, cut these people some slack.”  There were some minor points of happiness, as a new relationship is formed.  But lots of old relationships are tested or broken.

As this series will have four books, this one ends in another cliffhanger.  Is it as bad as the first book?  Hard to say.  But given the series title and one character’s lost hope, I have a feeling these authors aren’t done in breaking me down.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Storm

Title: Storm Warning (Broken Heartland #2)
Author: E. Lee and C. Quinn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: December 12, 2013
Age Group: YA

Goodreads
Amazon | BN

Synopsis

Sometimes you can’t see the storm coming until it’s too late…

Severe Storm Warning Tip #1:

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

Severe Storm Warning Tip #2:

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Severe Storm Warning Tip #3:

They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.

Situated just outside of Oklahoma City, Calumet County is divided into two drastically different communities: Hope’s Grove and Summit Bluffs. One is the small backward town where dirt roads lead the way to field parties and railroad tracks. And the other, a sprawling suburb where paved drives lead to the landscaped lawns of the wealthy and over privileged.

For five teenagers smack in the middle of Tornado Alley, summer is heating up fast. The winds of change are blurring the invisible line that divides the rich and the rural.

One has a secret.

One has a crush.

One has been lying.

One will get caught.

And one might not make it out alive.

They’re from two different worlds…but one summer is about to change everything.

Series info:
Whether you believe in destiny, divine intervention, or just plain ol’ dumb luck, several things happened in 2013 that caused E. Lee and C. Quinn’s paths to cross. It may have been that the stars aligned perfectly, or the fact anytime Luke Bryan was mentioned on a social media site both of them were tagged, or maybe it was just that their small town roots and country girl attitudes were magnetically drawn together—calling out to one another, “Y’all should write a book!” Despite geography keeping them apart—Lee in Illinois and Quinn in Alabama—they did. Thanks to three-hour phone calls, ridiculous amounts of online chats, and umpteen Google Docs—Storm Warning is the first book in their edgy new Young Adult series, Broken Heartland.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

About 2

EL

Elizabeth Lee
Born and raised in the middle of a Midwestern cornfield (not literally, that would be weird), I’ve spent my entire life imagining stories. Stories where the right guy always gets the right girl, first kisses are as magical as they are on the big screen and anything is completely possible if you believe.

Although this journey began years ago, it recently took on a whole new life.

After years of devouring hundreds of Romance, YA and New Adult novels, I had an epiphany… I should write a book. And I did it!

If I’m not reading, writing, enjoying drinks with my amazing group of girlfriends or chasing around a sarcastically funny kid, I’m probably watching television shows that were created for teenagers, while my husband teases that I’m too old to watch them.

Connect with Elizabeth:

Facebook | Twitter | Website

Caisey

Caisey Quinn
Caisey Quinn lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series as well as several New Adult Romance novels featuring country girls finding love in unexpected places. You can find her online at http://www.caiseyquinnwrites.com .

Website: http://www.caiseyquinnwrites.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7041163.Caisey_Quinn
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCaiseyQuinn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaiseyQuinn

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The 2014 Shortie Awards: Grace’s Picks

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Book of the Year
The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon

Law cover
There isn’t much I can say that wasn’t already said in my review, but this book hit me hard. It left me with a book hangover that took me days to recover from. The message of this story and how well it was written, will stay with me for a long time.

My review => http://afterdarkbooklovers.com/2014/12/04/blog-tour-book-review-the-law-of-moses-by-amy-harmon/

Other top favorites:

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Within These WallsBlack Liesfrenched
Author of the Year
Tiffany Reisz

The Saint The King

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My shortie YaYa introduced me to the Original Sinners last year, and it quickly became one of my all time favorite series’. With the White Years, I was wondering if the author could give us something fresh and yet maintain all that I love about the Sinners. And with the releases of The Saint and The King, Tiffany blew me away once again. The Saint is easily in my top 5 for the year. But aside from the Sinners, she released a number of other stories, showing her range as an author. Misbehaving is a MUST if you are interested in a fun light read.

Aside from her books, she is a fan-friendly author. She’s respectful, humble at times, and always interactive. I had the pleasure of meeting her this year, which only increased my respect for her. She comes across so honest and real, it was easy to talk to her. I feel blessed to have met her.

Breakthrough Author of the Year
JA Huss

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I’m taking some liberties with this category, since Julie isn’t a new author. But for 2014, she was new to me. The first book I read from her was Taut, and I literally fell head over heals for Ford Aston. I regretted not reading the Rook and Ronin series first, but after backtracking and reading them, it only cemented my feelings for him. Guns, the final book in that series, still has, in my opinion, one of THE BEST EPILOGUES EVER!

In May, in collaboration with CD Reiss, they put together the Bend Anthology. See my categories below, this was one of the hottest books of the year. So hot, it got banned! In that book, we are reintroduced to Tet (from Guns) and are taken on a wild ride with his series, Dirty, Dark and Deadly.

And if that wasn’t enough, this author comes up with the Social Media serial. In my mind, this serial sets the bar for all future serials. Not only was it perfectly timed, with releases every two weeks, the plot line was well planned, and the storyline was completely original and relevant to the growing obsession with social media.

Series/Serial of the Year
Social Media by JA Huss

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See above, or you can read all of my reviews here. This series was PURR-FECT! I know all three of us (Michelle, YaYa and I) miss discussing these novellas every other week. I can’t wait for this spinoff series this coming summer!

Biggest Book Hangover
Nine Minutes

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This book took me days to recover from, THANK GOD I found a support/discussion group on FB.

My Review => http://afterdarkbooklovers.com/2014/11/18/book-review-nine-minutes-by-beth-flynn/

Hottest Book or Series
Bend Anthology (Since being banned, this anthology is sadly no longer available, but you can purchase most of the stories individually).

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Best Tear Jerker
The Will by Kristen Ashley

the will

I was crying like a baby for the last 20% of this book.  Thankfully they were happy tears.
“It’s never too late to reach for happiness and no matter what life has done to you, it’s never too late to find it.”

Best Mind-Fuck
Black Lies by Alessandra Torre

Black Lies

While I figured out the BIG TWIST fairly early on, there was so much more to this story than the twist.  This is a very unique story that drew up book discussions, and that’s one of my favorite parts about reading a good story.   The author opens up your mind, shakes it up a bit, and leaves you thinking about the story well beyond the last page.

Best Love Triangle
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

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This is the first time I’ve read a love triangle where there wasn’t a “favorite” scenario, where you preferred one person over the other. I was equally invested in each character and was very fearful that in the end, no matter which person Ridge choose, someone’s heart would be broken. And it would therefore break my heart.  But Colleen makes it all work, if you had any doubt.

Best Ensemble Cast
Kiss The Sky by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Kiss the Sky

Connor, Rose, Lily, Lo, Ryke, and Daisy.   The perfect cast.  Manipulated, lied to, for all the world to see, as Scott, the evil producer pulls the strings.  I don’t watch reality TV, but The Princesses of Philly would have me changing my ways.

Best Audio
Play by Kylie Scott

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Whenever someone is looking to try out audio, this is one of the first I recommend.  Awesome story that hit all of my emotions.  And Mal – LOVE HIM!!!

Best Audio Narrator
Susannah Jones (Rock Chick series by Kristen Ashley)

Rock Chick 1 Rock Chick 2 Rock Chick 3

Rock Chick 4Rock Chick 5Rock Chick 61c

Read any of my Rock Chick audio reviews.  This narrator is perfect for the series and will make you feel like you are watching the story, rather than just listening to it.

Favorite Book Boyfriend of 2014
Ford Aston from the Rook and Ronin series by JA Huss

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I think this quote says it all:
“So you might as well get your dirty talk over with so you can concentrate on behaving tonight when I have your ankles ties to your thighs and your pussy open for inspection.” – Taut

Favorite Female Character of 2014
Melody Giovanni from Ruthless People by JJ McAvoy

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If this woman wasn’t so sexy, I’d swear she had balls. Total badass!

Favorite Couple of 2014

Addicted to you riccocet Addicted for now

Thrive AAA
Lily Calloway and Loren Hale from the Addicted series by Krista & Becca Ritchie
I love this couple, so so much! Everyone should have a love like theirs.
I fell in love with Lo like a little girl opening her heart to magic. It always seemed surreal until the moment it became true.

– Grace

*Click on the images below to purchase any of these ebooks.

***MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUR FB PAGE ON 12/23 FOR GRACE’S GIVEAWAY

Book Review: Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

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Title: Bad Romeo (Starcrossed #1)
Author: Leisa Rayven
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 417 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis

When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan’s romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time.

Cast as romantic leads once again, they’re forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they’ll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks.

Guest Review

Today we have a special guest reviewer on the blog, Ivy.  We “met” via Goodreads and I just love the way she does her reviews.  Hope you enjoy as well.

This story features Cassie and Ethan, two young acting students navigating the trials and tribulations of an intense, angsty first love.

The Good, The Bad and Everything In Between
Past and present collide: There’s an extra twist in telling their love story from two different points in time, with the chapters alternating between when they first meet at acting school and six years later when they’re reunited to work on a new play on Broadway.  It was interesting to see Cassie and Ethan, by turns, be the pursuer and the pursued, both brave in wanting to explore their undeniable connection and afraid to love again.

It begins when Cassie sees Ethan at rehearsals for a new Broadway show that they’re starring in. Cassie Taylor has come across the country to go to the Grove, a prestigious acting school called the Grove, where she meets Ethan Holt.  From the moment they meet, sparks fly and madness ensues.  They’re forced into close proximity when they’re cast as the titular leads in their school production of Romeo & Juliet and they struggle (well, Ethan more than Cassie) with their attraction.  This is just in my romance novel wheelhouse, those angsty tales of loving someone you really shouldn’t, so I was well and truly hooked.

There’s something about the rush of first love: Do you ever forget that first time everything in you simply stops functioning at the sight of another person?  When all you can see is that person, and everything else fades into the background?  This book conveys those feelings perfectly.  Which leads me to…

The chemistry burned a hole in my kindle: Chemistry is subjective, but in this case, this story is extremely dependent on the reader being able to feel that connection between Cassie and Ethan.  I can easily see extreme reactions to their romance.  In my case, I had no problem feeling that. if you’ve ever had an OTP, you know the signs.  That indefinable something that keeps you watching two characters dance around their feelings. Cassie and Ethan had it in spades.

Solid writing with 1st person POV: The entire story is told from Cassie’s point of view in a very entertaining manner.  Seeing an entire story through the eyes of one character can narrow the scope of the tale, and usually leaves me a bit unsatisfied, but I didn’t feel that here.  Honestly, I struggled to slow down my reading.  The first 20% of this book was compelling, and the build to their first kiss drew me in and made me yell (in a whisper) at my Kindle “just do it already!!”

A relatable heroine: Cassie’s “voice” is strong, funny, and it was easy to understand her emotions and her intense reaction to Ethan when she meets him.  She’s innocent yet forward, initiating a lot of their sexual contact and I liked that little twist on the usual shy virgin gets deflowered routine.  She had her shy moments, but she was certainly enamored of his body.  A lot.

A hero with entire subscriptions, not just issues: Ethan was snarky, brash, vulnerable and on occasion, a bastard.  His need to pull away from Cassie and not let her in emotionally was frustrating, but the glimpses of his vulnerability showed the loving man he could be, if he’d just let go.

Excellent grovel, but: When the time came to finally know what Ethan’s issues were, and when he finally exposed all of his tender bits to Cassie, I was thrilled! And then ….

Damnit! It’s a cliffhanger: As I got closer and closer to the 100%, a weight started developing in the pit of my stomach.  There was a lot that isn’t exposed in this story – how did things go horribly wrong?  What lead to their first and second breakup? There’s a lot of pain but I have only vague ideas as to what caused that.  It was a perfect setup for a cliffhanger and when I read the last words, I had to accept that it happened.  I even tapped my screen a few times, hoping for a hint of what’s next, but…nada. Hmph.

I am not a fan of the cliffhanger.  At all.  I was extremely unhappy to find out that I’m left waiting to find out happens next.  I think there was a good portion of the story that felt overwrought with unnecessary angst that now makes perfect sense, since there will be (at least) another installment and I would have liked to read the entire story now, as opposed to waiting.  This isn’t everyone’s preference, but it is mine.

The Bottom Line (4 stars)
I’m so damned angry right now.  First because I’ve been reeled in hook, line and sinker into a cliffhanger.  But it was so damn entertaining, I’ll definitely be getting the next book just to find out what will happen next.

– Ivy

*ARC provided by publisher through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon

Goodreads

The 2014 Shortie Awards: Michelle’s Picks

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Today is Michelle’s day.  One of two Puerto Rican’s on our blog, she our Reviewer extraordinaire, and our legal counsel (should we ever need it).  ; )

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Book of the Year
The Saint by Tiffany Reisz

The Saint

Uhm hello, see my Author of the Year note. We finally get Søren and Nora’s love story in full detail. I didn’t want this book to end that’s for sure.

Author of the year
Tiffany Reisz

The Saint The King

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Not only have we finally get the skinny on how Soren and Nora meet and fell in love, but we also got The King and how the 8th Circle became the 8th Circle. Besides those two, we had several non-Original Sinners books this year alone! She makes you laugh, think and cry while reading her books. Like her many fans, I will always praise at the altar of Tiffany Reisz and light her candles.

Breakthrough author of the year
Jewel E. Ann

Holding you Releasing Me Undeniably YouIdle Bloom

Yes, I will admit, I have a serious girl crush on Jewel E. Ann. She can write a good fucking book. She will make you laugh out loud, maybe throw things around the room, make you refill you meds before reading her book, but overall, you will have a smile on your face after reading her books. She writes good angst as well some funny one liners. She was one of my first reads when I started blogging with After Dark. The texts between me and Grace were priceless. So readers, get her books, you will not regret the one click, that’s for sure.

Best serial (novella series) of the Year
Social Media Series by J.A. Huss

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This was my first time reading J.A. Huss’ work. Me and the girls read this series together. The texts back and forth regarding this series was comical. I need a lot of catching up to do reading more of J.A.’s books that’s for sure.
Hottest Book/Series of the Year
The Invitation by Roxy Sloane

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I loved me some Ash Pierce. Hot damn he was hot, hot, hot! Roxy erotica writing keeps getting better and better. I know me and the shorties devoured this series.

Best mind fuck
Black Lies by Alessandra Torre

Black Lies

I fell in love with Alessandra’s writing when I read the Innocence Series. After that, I started downloading all her other books. I have yet to read the Girl in 6E which is in my TBR. So when I asked the lovely Alessandra Torre to send me the ARC to this book, not only did she send it to me, but she also let me share it with the girls. I was on vacation when I received this lovely ARC. Holy smokes, the mind fuck. All I kept saying to myself “WTF have I just read?”. My beautiful Yaya so graciously sent me a signed copy of this wonderful book. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do.

Favorite dark read
Tears for Tess by Pepper Winters

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I will be the first one to admit that I’m not a big fan of dark reads (or paranormals), but after lots of “you have to read this Michelle”, I finally decided to take the plunge. Yup, I needed a few days before I could even write a review for Goodreads (pre After Dark), then I needed a few more days to start Quintessentially Q.

Funniest book
Tied by Emma Chase

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I love, love, love Emma Chase. I had to pleasure of meeting her back in October at Romance Riot NYC. I fell in love with Tangled. I read the whole series. She can write a male’s POV like no one’s business. I can’t wait to read more of Emma’s books.

Erotica Author to Watch Out For
Roxy Sloane

The Seduction the seduction 2 Seduction 3 Seduction 4

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After reading The Seduction Series and then The Invitation Series, Roxy is the one to watch for. I really want her to do a full length novel in the future, hint, hint Roxy, get to it.

Goddess Author
Songs of Perdition by C.D. Reiss

Kick Use

C.D. Reiss is doing it again with Songs of Perdition. If you haven’t read Songs of Submission, I suggest you start ASAP.

Hot Series: The Relatively Famous Series by Heather Leigh. I was introduced to Heather’s writing by my fellow shortie, Yaya. I’ve read all of her Famous Series books and now hitting up her Incite Series.

Biggest Book Hangover
One Night Promised and One Night Denied by Jodi Ellen Malpas

One Night PromisedOne Night Denied

I love Jodi Ellen Malpas. I know my shorties weren’t a fan of Lord Jesse from the This Man Series, but I found him extremely funny and a pain in the ass. Oh, but Miller Hart has my heart (and my panties shhh). Me and Yaya still have a book hangover with this series.

Best Book Cry
Perfectly Broken by Prescott Lane

Perfectly Broken

Yup, cried like a big baby reading this book. You will too. What Peyton went through was so sad, but when Reed came into her life, he made things better for her.

Best Bring Out Your B.O.B. Book
The Invitation Series by Roxy Sloane

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I know, I picked her for my Hottest Book/Series of the Year and Erotica Author to Watch Out: Roxy Sloane but this Series OMG, can I say sex club scene.

Best Teacher/Student Book
Veiled Innocence by Ella Frank

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Who doesn’t like a little bit of taboo in their reads? I loved this book from beginning to end.

Best M/M Book
Try and Take (Temptation Series) by Ella Frank

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Loved Logan and Tate. I can’t wait for Trust to come out in 2015.

New Authors to Keep a Look Out For
Kate Canterbary and Jessica Prince

Underneath Space Between

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You need to read her Kate’s Walsh Series and Jessica’s Picking up the Pieces Series. They are both witty writer and can write some good sexy times.

Best MC Book
Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

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This was my first time reading a MC book. Thanks to Grace who gifted this awesome read, I was floored from beginning to end. The endless texts, then personal messages on Facebook and finally the Facebook chat with the author opened my eyes to this story. What a mind fuck of a book. A must read.

Best Dirty Talker in a Book

Night 1Night 2 Night 3

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I had to pick two, sorry, not so sorry. Clay Nichols from the Seductive Night Series 1-3 and Jack Sullivan (Nights with Him Seductive Series #4) by Lauren Blakely. While Clay was raunchy, Jack was raunchier and used sex toys.

Best Book Boyfriend

Undeniably You

This one was really hard to pick. I ended up picking Lautner Sullivan from Undeniably Yours by Jewel E. Ann. He’s sweet, romantic, funny and very easy on the eyes. And yes, you would want him as your BBF.

Best Book Girlfriend

The Saint

Nora Sutherlin uhm hello! She’s hot, sexy, a Dominatrix and let’s not forget an erotica author. Enough said.

– Michelle

*Click on the images above to purchase any of these ebooks.

***MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUR FB PAGE ON 12/22 FOR MICHELLE’S GIVEAWAY

New Release: Angel by Kelli Maine

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On the run, Luc gets word from LLMC that the cartel has agreed to return Angel to them
instead of killing her, but they need a replacement.

If Luc hands over Lilith, trained and ready to be delivered to the cartel, the club will forgive him
his betrayal and welcome him back into the fold.

Luc must decide where his loyalty lies—with the club that saved his life and Angel who almost
broke his resolve to never keep anyone for himself, or with Lilith, the crazy bitch who got inside his
head and knows him better than anyone ever has.

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All available now.
ANGEL Book 3 (Lucifers Legions Motorcycle Club)
http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Lucifers-Legion-Motorcycle-Club-ebook/dp/B00R95OWDU/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419081156&sr=1-4

Lucifer’s Legion Motorcycle Club #1 : Lilith
http://www.amazon.com/Lilith-Lucifers-Legion-Motorcycle-Club-ebook/dp/B00PI8QSKA/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419081156&sr=1-3

Lucifer’s Legion Motorcycle Club #2 : Nomad
http://www.amazon.com/Nomad-Lucifers-Legion-Motorcycle-Club-ebook/dp/B00QCRYU4M/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419081156&sr=1-2

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Kelli Maine is the erotic romance author of USA Today Bestseller and #1 Nook book, Taken, and the
Give & Take series, along with the Dolls & Doms novellas and Chains. She lives in
Northeast Ohio with her husband and kids. When she’s not writing, Kelli enjoys watching reality T.V.,
getting lost in random Wikipedia pages and searching online ads for vintage muscle cars.

Favorite Author: Diana Gabaldon
Favorite Food: Japanese
Favorite Superhero: Spiderman
Favorite Place I’ve Been: Yucatan Peninsula
Writing Must Haves: Coffee and chocolate
Plotter or Pantser: Proud Pantser

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kellimainebooks
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kellimaine/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KelliMaine
Website: www.kellimainebooks.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/0v8A5