Audio Review: The Promise by Kristen Ashley

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Title: The Promise (The ‘Burg #5)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Narrator: Amanda Bruton
Length: 18 hours 3 mins, 518 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis

Since his brother’s death, Benny Bianchi has been nursing his grudge against the woman he thinks led to his brother’s downfall. He does this to bury the feelings he has for Francesca Concetti, his brother’s girl. But when Frankie takes a bullet while on the run with Benny’s cousin’s woman, Benny has to face those feelings.

The problem is Frankie has decided she’s paid her penance. Penance she didn’t deserve to pay. She’s done with Benny and the Bianchi family. She’s starting a new life away from Chicago and her heartbreaking history.

Benny has decided differently.

But Frankie has more demons she’s battling. Demons Benny wants to help her face. But life has landed so many hard knocks on Frankie she’s terrified of believing in the promise of Benny Bianchi and the good life he’s offering.

Frankie’s new life leads her to The ‘Burg, where Benny has ties, and she finds she not only hasn’t succeeded in getting away, she’s doesn’t want to.

Grace Review
Story: 4.5 stars
“You’re the shit, Benny Bianchi.”

Fact: I love Italian men.  They truly are world class flirts.  Sometimes that could be a bad thing, but not in this story.

Fact: I love a man who can cook.  What woman wouldn’t?  And to make a successful business of it, even better!

Fact: I love a man who will drop everything for a woman.

Fact: I love a strong Alpha outhinking a stubborn woman.

Benny Bianchi fits all of the above, so it should be no surprise that he has cracked my KA Alpha top 5 list (truth be told, I think I change the #5 spot with each book, but Benny now holds that spot).

Ever since I read At Peace, I wanted to read Benny and Frankie’s story.  Hell, I almost skipped books 3 and 4 in the series, just to read their book, but I’m a loyal KA reader, so I’d never skip a book.  Anywho, chronologically, this book takes place after At Peace and before Golden Trail.

The story picks up right where At Peace left off, with Frankie recovering from a gunshot wound after trying to help Violet.  Not knowing how Benny has come around for her, she does everything to steer clear of him and his family.  Thankfully, Benny is one step ahead.   Out of the fiction world, his actions are basically kidnapping.  But in the book world, I found his actions to be hilarious because they were ultimately for Frankie’s own good, taken to the Alpha extreme.

The title of the book held two meanings.  First, their was “the promise” of Benny Bianchi.  Frankie has finally found someone who supported her, protected her, and had her back.  Benny offered her the comfort and commitment she craved for so long and never received from his brother.  Benny offered her the promise of a better life.

Second, as KA women are known to do, Frankie often had a wild hair to get involved in dangerous activities, trying to do the right thing.  One time it got her shot.  I loved how they men in her life joked about her bad luck, stating that she could be standing in a field and a dead body would fall out of the sky.

However, with the promise of Benny, guiding her, she shows her commitment and belief in him.  Showing she has come full circle and will do anything to keep the happiness and life she has built with Benny.  I wanted to give her a virtual high five, so proud of her.

With Frankie’s friendship to a mob boss, the suspense in this story was a bit of a surprise.  As mentioned previously, trouble is always finding Frankie.  But I loved how she and her co-workers were determined to do the right thing.  As a major bonus, Nightingale Investigations (Rock Chick series) gets involved.   AND, Luke Stark makes a personal appearance.  *squeeeeee*

In the end, while Frankie may have suffered years of solitude, Benny makes up for lost time and delivers on his promise, in spades!

Performance: 4.5 stars

I have yet to hear one KA narrator I didn’t like.  Their task isn’t easy.  KA’s books are filled with vastly different personalities, and in this story, a number of different accents.  And this narrator delivers on all fronts.  I particularly loved the voices of Sal, and Benny’s parents, Theresa and Vinny senior.

Told in dual POVs, she also captures the various emotions from Frankie and Benny as they take their journey together.

Overall: 4.5 stars
Take one big haired Italian woman, one hot blooded protective Italian Alpha, throw in a mob boss, one Luke Stark, and you have a book that will keep you thoroughly entertained.

– Grace

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Click on the images below to purchase the previous books:

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Blog Tour (Book Review & Excerpt): Servicing the Target by Cherise Sinclair

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Title: Servicing the Target (Masters of the Shadowlands #10)
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Genre: Erotica
Length: 347 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis

A discharged Army Ranger, Ben considers his job as a BDSM club security guard to be an excellent hobby. He’s never been tempted to join in. But everything changes when the notorious Mistress Anne inadvertently reveals the caring heart concealed beneath her Domme armor.

Now, he’s set his sights on the beautiful Shadowlands Mistress. Maybe he’d considered himself vanilla, but she can put her stiletto on his chest any day, any time. He’ll trust her delicate hands to hold his heart. And if she wants to whip his ass on the way to an outstanding climax, he’s just fine with that too.

Sure, he knows she likes “pretty boy” slaves. And he’s older. Craggy and rough. And six-five. Minor hindrances. The mission is a go.

 Amazon ** iTunes ** GooglePlay ** Barnes & Noble ** Kobo ** ARe

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Today, Michelle and I discuss our joint read, Servicing the Target by Cherise Sinclair. Ben and Anne’s story is the tenth in the Shadowlands series – he’s a discharged Army Ranger who moonlights as a security guard at the club.  He’s been the strong, silent type throughout the series, but when he sees the caring heart caring heart concealed beneath Anne’s tough exterior, he’s not going to let a trifle like never having been into the BDSM scene stop him from being with the woman he wants.

Anne hates change. She had enough of that in her childhood to last a lifetime. When she starts to realize that what she wanted in her twenties aren’t the same things she wants today, she has to decide – will she let Ben top from the bottom and let him service all her needs, body and soul?

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Ivy: Like Anne’s body, there’s so much to love (and lust over) with this book. Let’s get down to the kinky fuckery that is the Shadowlands lol.

Michelle: Kinky fuckery indeed. I haven’t read a BDSM book in awhile so this was a very nice treat.

Ivy: For me, there were some lovely gifts (such as scenes with couples other than Ben and Anne) for long time readers that I thoroughly enjoyed. Now, Michelle I know you haven’t read any of the Shadowlands books before this one, how did it feel reading the mini-scenes with couples from previous books?

Michelle: That was a bonus! And now it makes me want to read the other Shadowland books, especially Master Z’s! He seemed all proper and the dominance he has within his club and circle was really hot to read.

Ivy: Z is the man that started it all for me, girl. The Dom who can read all your dirty thoughts and make them come true – who doesn’t want that?

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Ivy: But back to this book – Ben’s a fantastic hero. A gamma type, he’s so protective and take charge when he needs to be, but so willing to let Anne have her way in the bedroom. The way he got off on it just made him sexier.

“All right, Benjamin. Let’s see how well you use that mouth and tongue.” His brown eyes lit with anticipation, turning golden in the bright sunlight from the window. “Thank you, Jesus.” “I prefer Goddess,”

Who doesn’t want a six and a half foot ex-Ranger at their mercy, willing to do anything for your pleasure? By the end of the book, Ben’s got to trust Anne a lot, but it works for their relationship. How’d you feel about the level of kink?

Michelle: I love reading about female Dommes. The level of kink was spot on. Oh Ben, I just wanted to hug him. Although he had his reservations, he was willing to give kink a try especially if it was at the hands of Anne. I kept imagining this big guy on the St. Andrews cross and getting off on the pain. Yeah, good times.

Ivy: Female Dommes are hit or mis. Sometimes their hard edges aren’t exactly easy to love, but Anne really worked for me. I’ve read the entire series, including the novellas, so I had a preconceived notion of Anne and well, she’s definitely a ballbuster. In previous books, she was not afraid of bringing the pain and I did wonder how she’d play as the lead. I loved getting to know her as more than just a hardass, as well as seeing her change and grow throughout the story.

Michelle: As I mentioned earlier, this is my first Shadowlands book, but adding the rest to my TBR. My heart also went out for Anne. A woman trying to make it in a man’s world. She was a badass! Yet, I sensed that although a sadist, she truly is a great person, especially among her BDSM world.

Ivy: One of the (many) things I love about Ms. Sinclair’s Shadowlands ‘verse is that while there’s always hot sex and plenty of BDSM scenes, there’s also strong character development and action. The subplot having to do with her turd of a cousin and the work she did for the womens’ shelter helped to really build up their little corner of the ‘verse, instead of feeling like the characters exist in a kinky vacuum.

Michelle: I agree Ivy! The sex, off the chains, but it was more than that, the subplot was perfect. I hated Anne’s cousin Robert! I loved how she would help out the women seeking shelter from abusive partners. And how adorable was Anne with baby Sophia and cuddling Bronx?

Ivy: Babies and puppies get me. Every time lol. It’s not often that a BDSM book can leave you hot and bothered one minute then all aww with the fuzzy feels. I loved Anne and Ben just joined my stable of book boyfriends. The things I could do to him. Yum. As a long time reader I was very satisfied with all of this. Was there anything that didn’t quite work for you?

Michelle: The only thing I wished they’d done more of was actually communicating with each other instead of assuming. But it was such a well written read, I really enjoyed the hell out of this book. Anne and Ben? loved them so hard. I really need to catch up on this series!

And that’s it – another Shorties approved read. Check out Servicing the Target

– Michelle and Ivy

**ARC provided by author for review**

Goodreads

Excerpt

The one she was looking for wasn’t where it had been last time. Z’s tendency to rearrange and redecorate rooms annoyed the hell out of her.

And there it was.

She led him into the room she’d titled: Cowboy Central—although Z called it the Texas room.

Dour Nolan had actually laughed when he saw it.

The walls were paneled with dark wood rather than wallpaper. Cowhide rugs were scattered on the gleaming hardwood floor. An antique chest served as an end table to an oversized black leather armchair. A handwoven Navaho rug in dark-red and black brightened one wall. The other held amounted buffalo head—and she really, really didn’t want to know if it was real or not.A wagon wheel chandelier provided light. Toys were stored in an aged walnut armoire.

Barely loud enough to be heard, country-western music came from the speakers.

She smiled as she saw Ben relax slightly.Big guys tended to prefer rooms without fragile glass and furniture.

When he saw the decorations surrounding the armoire on the far wall, his eyes widened.

Welded horseshoes had been turned into hooks to hold a variety of floggers and whips.

She’d noticed how Z enjoyed using implements of pain as artwork.

After setting her toy bag on the chest, she tookout some thin Velcro strips.“Strip, then stand under the chains, please.”She pointed and watched Ben’s shoulders tense as he sighted the two heavy black chains hanging from the dark, exposed ceiling beams.

He silently stripped, still too subdued, still so far into his own head and emotions that he was almost separated from the world.

She could pull him out of that place. But if she didn’t effect some change in his thought processes, he’d fall back into his funk afterward.

Her lips pressed together.There were times that being a Domme was like driving up in the mountains. In the dark. On a tiny, curvy road.

Mistakes could be very, very bad.

He trusted her not to screw up his body; he didn’t realize she was more worried about his mind.

About

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Having to wear glasses in elementary school can scar a person for life.

Dubbed a nerd at an early age, Cherise Sinclair has been trying to live up to the stereotype ever since. And what better way than being an author?

Known for writing deeply emotional stories, the USA Today Bestselling Author has penned sixteen erotic romance novels, most with a BDSM theme. (Please do not mention the phrase mommy porn in her presence.) Her awards range from a National Leather Award to a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice nomination to a GoodReads BDSM group award for best author of the year.

Cherise lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. Their two fledglings have left the nest recently to try their wings and hopefully will fly high and strong. The “ascendant erotica queen” (Rolling Stone Magazine) now spends her days writing with occasional supervision from a sadistic calico cat.

Website**Facebook**Twitter**Author Goodreads**Novel Goodreads**1001 Dark Nights

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Author Spotlight (Interview): Rachel Blaufeld

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Interview

Hey there followers of After Dark Book Lovers.  It has been awhile since the Shorties have done an Author’s Spotlight, we are so happy and honored to be featuring Rachel Blaufeld.  She recently released Vérité and both Grace and myself loved this book.  My first book of Rachel’s was Redemption Lane and [I] fell in love with her writing.  I know Rachel is currently working on the second novel to Redemption Lane which will feature Lane’s twin brother Jake.  If you check on Goodreads, she has also written Electrified (The Electric Tunnel, #1) and Smoldered (The Electric Tunnel, #2). Let’s get this party started.  Thank you Rachel for taking the time and answering some questions.

What made you become a writer, or rather, what inspired you?
Honestly, I’ve always been a dreamer. I used to make up stories in my head as I fell asleep when I was a young girl. Seriously!

Then, a few years ago, I fell into blogging and freelance writing…but I still had all these damn characters in my head! I started writing another book first––one I never published––before I wrote Electrified. I keep thinking I will go back to my first book…it was a second chance love story.

I never imagined I would love writing as much as I do, but honestly, there is nothing I’d rather do. And YES, I do spend a few days a month in my robe, drinking coffee and writing.

What has been most challenging about writing?
The hardest challenge for me is switching between my non-fiction and fiction voice. I still write a few freelance columns, and I have to write those on a day I’m not writing my characters. Otherwise, everything gets jumbled up!

So let’s discuss a little about your latest novel Vérité, for those who haven’t read it yet, can you give us a bit of background?
Vérité — little synopsis – Up until this point, I had only written bad boys/alpha males, and while Tiberius is an alpha, he is also very much a good guy. I thought it would be interesting to turn the tables and write a stand-up Hero. I guess for some, Tingly is frightening, weak with issues and not the fixer of the relationship, but to me she symbolized so many frailties of college-aged women.

I think many college girls question who they are, who they should love, and what their parents may or may not want for them. Even if they pretend to be strong, it’s not always the case.

So in real life, are you a basketball fan?
YEP! I love NCAA basketball and my oldest son plays ball (he is entering high school). I get way into it, cheering and yelling. My husband sometimes comments he cannot believe what a nutcase I am with all of it!

What made you write a sports theme book?
Honestly, it just felt right. I loved the whole college setting, and I knew more about basketball than any other sport.

Grace and I fell in love with Tiberius, who was your muse for him?  And who was your muse for Tingly?
For Tiberius, I didn’t really have one muse, I combined a number of basketball guys I know into one.

For Tingly, I was channeling Kate Bosworth circa Blue Crush.

Are you considering writing a book from any of the secondary characters, say for instance, Jamel?
Yes! I am going to write Jamel’s story and also I have a new player I am going to introduce.

What are you working on now?  If it’s Jake story, what can we expect?
I am wrapping up Jake’s story––Absolution Road. Jake’s love affair is not one of those slow-burn type affairs, but with Jake, it wouldn’t be. He is the impulsive brother, the guy with a temper but a gigantic heart. In Redemption Lane, he was the one to convince Bess to go after Lane. Without admitting it out loud, he believes in love, and when he finally recognizes he deserves it…holy hell, he goes after it!

This is an emotional series, full of angst and not for the weak at heart. I did cry a good bit writing this story – so don’t forget your tissues.

Are you writing full time?
I consider myself a full-time writer, full-time mom, and full-time advocate for women. In my other life, I help women build businesses while raising a family. I still consult with mom entrepreneurs, and I am a champion of women doing whatever their heart tells them to do.  Especially, if it is reading romance and drinking coffee!

Do you listen to music while writing and if so, what type of music do you listen to?
Yes. OMG, if you saw my collection, you would faint!  It is everything from Neil Diamond to Miley Cyrus to Rick Ross.

Lately, I’m obsessed with Taylor Swift and whenever I cannot find something to fit my mood, I turn to Fleetwood Mac.

Ok so now let’s have a little fun with rapid fire questions:

What are you currently reading?
The Girl in the Comfortable Quiet by Susan Ward. I love this series, and now it’s ending. L

Favorite Author and/or Book?
I really can’t answer this. Honestly, I have so many. I still read about four books a week (I’m not a big sleeper).

If you had a gun to my temple, I would probably say Are you there God, its me Margaret by Judy Blume. It was a game-changer back in the day for me.

Favorite Romance Novel?
Aaagh, no way I can pick one.

Favorite Musician?
All time favorite – Michael Jackson or Madonna (tough decision)

Biggest dislike?
People sneezing and coughing on me. *GERMAPHOBE

Coke or Pepsi?
Neither. Coffee with skim milk and no sweetner.

Carnivore or Vegetarian?
Carnivore.

Favorite Star Wars Character?  (This is a required Shorties question, just saying).
Definitely the Ewoks. My younger son loves these movies, and he allows his Ewok LEGO mini-figure to hang on my kitchen window ledge with Buzz Lightyear.

Thank you again Rachel for hanging out with us and answering our questions.

About

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Rachel Blaufeld is a social worker/entrepreneur/blogger turned author. Fearless about sharing her opinion, Rachel captured the ear of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog, BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and inventing a product, often at the same time. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and StartupNation.

Turning her focus on her sometimes wild-and-crazy creative side, it only took Rachel two decades to do exactly what she wanted to do—write a fiction novel. Now she spends way too many hours in local coffee shops plotting her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end lusciously.

Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs. Her obsessions include running, coffee, icing-filled doughnuts, antiheroes, and mighty fine epilogues.

Twitter / Facebook / GoodreadsWebsite

Check out Rachel’s books:

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Book Title: Electrified (The Electric Tunnel #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 294 pages

Synopsis

Everyone knows her as Sienna Flower.

Her curves and long lashes tease and taunt from her very own billboard where the desert meets the Las Vegas Strip. She’s the hottest stripper in town, known for her sultry and indecent moves coupled with her virginal eyes.

She’s a heady and unique combination, and a mystery to all who come to see her. Sienna captivates crowds nightly at the Electric Tunnel, leaving them wanting to know more about the sensual enigma. But no one ever sees beyond the heavily guarded stripper onstage. She is Sienna Flower 24/7.

No one other than her closest friend and boss, Asher Peterson, who helped turn a young and frightened girl into who Sienna is today. Together they created the sexual illusion known as Sienna Flower. They will go to any lengths to protect her image, which is why Sienna is convinced she must remain unattached and alone.

Like everyone else in Vegas, Sienna is hiding something and playing a role. A good girl in her former life, she was raised to be obedient and accepting of her fate, but there are some circumstances no one should be expected to accept. She escaped to a world light years away from the one she was subjected to…the Electric Tunnel.

Now she can never be anything other than Sienna Flower. Not only would she be hurt, but everyone around her would suffer the consequences.

That is, until she meets private detective Carson Graham, the dark and mysterious ex-FBI agent who watches her dance every weekend. With his dark hair and chocolate-brown eyes, Carson begins to heat Sienna’s heart and body, melting away the layers and secrets. Sienna doesn’t want to get attached to Carson, but when another man surfaces and starts hunting her down, bringing out the scars of her old life, she can’t help but seek comfort in Carson’s protection.

With everyone trading on the secrets of her past, Sienna finds herself caught in an awful web of lies. Her ultimate fear is hurting her friends at the Tunnel, but she doesn’t know who to trust. Namely, Carson. Is he good? Or bad? Does she have the luxury of finding out?

Amazon

Goodreads

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Book Title: Smoldered (The Electric Tunnel #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 281 pages

Synopsis

**BOOK 2 in the Electric Tunnel Series — Can be read as a standalone.**

Asher Peterson is a self-made man, owner of the Electric Tunnel, Sin City’s hottest adult entertainment spot. Brazen and formidable in designer T-shirts and motorcycle boots, he seems unflappable whether he’s making his rounds through the decadent decor of the Tunnel, or whipping through the desert heat on his bike. But inside he is a shattered man, desperate to understand what unconditional love from a woman feels like.

Hiding the effects of his emotionally stunted youth behind a gritty persona, and keeping his fractured soul buried deep while seeking out his baser instincts, Asher is convinced he is man enough to leave the past in the past. The only clue to his broken soul is his deep-seated need to provide safety and a good life for emotionally damaged women within the glamorous walls of his strip club.

Fooling himself that he deserves little in life, Asher keeps his big heart tightly guarded with everyone but Sienna Flower, his friend, business partner, and headliner. Until, that is, the night he runs into his childhood friend, Natalie Parker. While trolling a rival strip club, perusing their offerings for his own personal pleasure, he collides with his past. Coming face-to-face with a woman he only knew as a girl, he’s shaken when he finds the dark-haired beauty in a precarious position. Now all grown up, she’s a hardened soul who reminds him of where he came from, and stirs within him the need to protect yet another woman.

Known as Nat to most everyone, Natalie is a single mom to Quinn. But when she’s under the bright spotlights in a thong, she’s known as Natasha or Nataleigh Dallas. A girl who once had everything going for her, she’s now a jaded stripper with only room for her son in her life, and has erected impenetrable barriers around her heart. The strength of those walls is challenged the night a man she has known since childhood steamrolls his way back into her life, flashing those smoky-gray eyes that have always melted her.

A man she has loved from afar since she was a young girl, one who lights fire to her walls, burning deeper, setting everything ablaze––smoldering her.

Asher and Natalie, two people who are equally tormented by their own demons, set out to rescue each other as part-time lovers in a torrid, desperate workplace affair. Thinking they can remain friends while keeping their hearts at a safe distance, they find themselves at odds when their situation morphs into a messy, tangled mess.

Ripping free of each other proves impossible as they learn that the very web that connects them goes much deeper than they ever expected.

Amazon

Goodreads

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Book Title: Redemption Road (Crossroads #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 295 pages

Synopsis

Sometimes the past bleeds into the future.

Bess, a wild party girl running from herself, literally falls victim to her demons when she collapses in the most unexpected of places.
Lane, a tightly wound, up-and-coming CEO who can’t seem to stop enabling his brother, doesn’t know what hit him when Bess falls at his feet and into his life.

It was a night she doesn’t remember, and one he can’t forget.

But rather than stay and help the needy college coed, Lane decides to teach his brother a long overdue lesson––a decision that later comes back to haunt him and only adds fury to the transgressions of his past he is already fleeing from.
Years later, Bess and Lane meet again. She doesn’t know him, and he doesn’t share that he knows what happened on that ill-fated night when she almost died. After all, he has a web of complicated lies from his own youth to protect.

Both are seeking salvation in the arms of others and ignoring the truth—that the only road to redemption lies in confronting your past.

When the past and present collide, is there any chance at redemption?

Review: http://afterdarkbooklovers.com/2015/05/12/book-review-redemption-lane-by-rachel/

Amazon

Goodreads

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Book Title: Vérité
Genre: Sports Romance
Length: 243 pages

Synopsis

That’s me—Tingly Simmons—athlete, foreign-language major, professor lover, obsessed idiot girl. Definitely not a frat rat or sorority slut. I’ve never even played beer pong.

I ditched the vapid, soulless high-society life of Los Angeles for the promise of something more meaningful in rural Ohio. Accepting a track scholarship for college, I tried running my way to happiness, but instead I ended up sleeping with my French professor and falling head over heels for him.

When that relationship fell apart, so did I.

Barely hanging on by a thread and using the most absurd coping skills, I was determined to hide behind my past indiscretions. That was, until I met Tiberius Jones. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d learn the truth about love from a six-foot-five basketball player.

Review: http://afterdarkbooklovers.com/2015/06/19/blog-tour-book-review-verite-by-rachel-blaufeld/

Amazon

Goodreads

Blog Tour (Book Review & Giveaway): Out of Time by Beth Flynn

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OUT OF TIME is the HIGHLY ANTICIPATED sequel to NINE MINUTES where Grizz, Kit & Grunt’s gritty tale continues!  You aren’t going to want to miss this!

NOW AVAILABLE

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1CQRoCD

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1TRNLAx

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Synopsis

RECOMMENDED FOR READERS 18 AND OLDER DUE TO

STRONG LANGUAGE, SEXUAL SITUATIONS AND VIOLENCE

Out of Time is book two in a series. It is not a standalone novel. I highly recommend that you read my first novel, Nine Minutes, to be able to understand the background stories of the main characters. There are many twists and turns in both stories that can best be connected if read consecutively.

Although I do answer all of the outstanding questions from Nine Minutes, there is more to this story, and some readers may consider it a cliffhanger. If you do not like cliffhangers, you may want to wait until the third novel is released in 2016.

They thought with his execution it would all be over.

They were wrong.

The leader of one of South Florida’s most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs has been put to death by lethal injection. Days later, his family and friends should have been picking up the pieces, moving on. Instead, they’ve been catapulted into a world so twisted and dangerous even the most ruthless among them would be stunned to discover the tangled web of deception, not only on the dangerous streets of South Florida but all the way to the top.

In this gripping follow-up novel to Nine Minutes, Out of Time takes readers from the sun-drenched flatlands of 1950s Central Florida to the vivid tropical heat of Fort Lauderdale to the halls of Florida’s Death Row as we finally learn the gritty backstory of Jason “Grizz” Talbot and the secret he spent his life trying to conceal.

Not even Grizz’s inner circle knows his full story—the tragedy that enveloped his early life, the surprise discovery that made him the government’s most wanted and most feared, and the depths of his love for Ginny, the tenderhearted innocent he’d once abducted and later made his wife.

Once Grizz’s obsession and now the mother of his child, Ginny has spent years grieving the man she’d first resisted and then came to love. Now remarried to Tommy, a former member of the gang, the pair have spent more than a decade trying desperately to live a normal existence far from the violent, crime-ridden world they’d once carved out on the edge of the Florida Everglades. For Tommy, especially, the stakes are high. Desperately in love with Ginny for years, he’s finally living his dream: married to the woman he never thought he could have. But even with the façade of normalcy—thriving careers, two beautiful children, and a genuinely happy and loving marriage—they can’t seem to put the past behind them. Every time they turn around, another secret is revealed, unraveling the very bonds that hold them together.

And with Grizz finally put to death, now Ginny has learned secrets so dark, so evil she’s not even sure she can go on.

Will these secrets tear their love to pieces? And how far will Grizz go to protect what he still considers his, even from beyond the grave?

Grace Review

This book was a full on assault to my senses! It had so much depth to it, that can’t be rushed. This is a story you take your time with, to absorb every word, every bit of detail. From the prologue, which is heartbreaking, to the end that left me shaking for over thirty minutes, this book hits hard.

Told in the third person, the story flips from past to present, with the present being in the year 2000, and the past starting at 1950 and building slowly to the present.

There is so much backstory in this book, and I don’t want to give any of it away. But we learn a lot more about Grizz and Grunt’s childhoods, and how invested they were with Ginny prior to the kidnapping.

In the present, Ginny is trying to come to terms with what she has learned about Grunt and his relation to Grizz. Trying to save their marriage, Grunt opens up about secrets both he and Grizz kept, to “protect” her. Was everything they did in her best interests? Ehhh, not so much.

* The story behind Ginny’s “first time” is revealed. Big shocker how that was planned out.
* The steps and lies Grunt used just to be close to Ginny.
* Grunt’s marriage to Ginny.

So, am I Team Grizz or Team Grunt? I have no frickin’ idea!!! Let me break it down. Neither would be the right guy for me, so I’m merely looking at this as who is right for Ginny. Grizz is all kind of wrong. He’s ruthless, a true criminal. BUT, he has one major redeeming quality, at least in Ginny’s eyes. He loves her to the core and will do anything and everything to protect her. In flashbacks we see the level that he protected her, well before she even met him.

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Then there is Grunt. I’ll be honest, I wavered back and forth as to whether he was right for Ginny. It is clear he too loves her and will do anything to make her happy. There was several times where I felt bad for him and what he had to sacrificed for her. But his deceit messed up his “good guy” image.

To be clear, neither guy did right by Ginny. They both made decisions for her that weren’t always in her best interest, but theirs. Were their hearts in the right place? Maybe. Guess that’s for Ginny to ultimately decide. She is faced with a lot of “what ifs” in this book and has challenged herself with the path she will take going forward.

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Looking back to Nine Minutes, I simply couldn’t understand some of Ginny’s actions. This story made her more likable, in my opinion. I understood her struggle more with what Grizz did and how deep her love was for him. And Grunt challenges her coping mechanism after all she has seen or heard about.

“It means that you are the best person I know for putting your head in the sand and pretending something doesn’t exist.”

I wanted to give Grunt and “amen” for finally addressing this. However, it was clear with the information being revealed, from Grunt personally, and from Moe’s diary, that a lot of things were kept from her, leaving her head in the sand.

What surprised me the most was how many people hated Grizz, and how their actions to try to hurt him, impacted Ginny and Grunt.

***Moe – I always felt bad for her, but she made some bad choices that put her in a worse place than she was before Ginny.
***Willow – yeah, I have a word for her that starts with the letter C
***Jan – the backstory there is so different that you might expect with the ending of Nine Minutes
***Sarah Jo – WTF!!! This one was the biggest surprise, on multiple levels, and that’s all I’m saying.

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“The dark king is gone.  Can’t play without the king.”

Going into this book, the biggest question everyone had will be answered. But it is definitely not in the way you’d expect. The last hour of reading (not sure of the page count) is one that will really kick you in the gut. I personally wouldn’t recommend reading this part right before bed, as this is how I felt when I finished:

There is one twist after another. On their own, each twist is a game changer. Combined? I have no fucking clue what is going to happen. I just know that I can’t wait for the finally installment of this story.

My only regret with this book was that I didn’t reread Nine Minutes before it, to refresh my memory on some details. So my recommendation would be:

1) If you read Nine Minutes more than 5 months ago, reread it.
2) Then read Out of Time

If you haven’t read Nine Minutes yet and are waiting for the third book, don’t be a pansy ass! Yes, this book ends another cliffhanger, but don’t let that stop you from reading this. Put on your big girl panties and dig in, these books are worth your time.

– Grace
*Teasers made by Yaya

**An ARC was received for an honest review.

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Haven’t read this series yet, check out Nine Minutes for

ONLY $1.99!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Gerd3c

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1BCH3cV

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1KXRtHk

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About

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Beth Flynn is a fiction writer who lives and works in Sapphire, North Carolina, deep within the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Beth and her husband, Jim, have spent the last 17 years in Sapphire, where they own a construction company. They have been married 31 years and have two daughters and two dogs. In her spare time, Beth enjoys writing, reading, gardening, church and motorcycles, especially taking rides on the back of her husband’s Harley. She is a five-year breast cancer survivor.

STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Rock Star Page

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Book Review: Wicked Fall by Sawyer Bennett

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Title: Wicked Fall (Wicked Horse #1)
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic
Length: 304 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
Synopsis

Never in your wildest dreams could you begin to imagine all the filthy and depraved things that go on inside The Wicked Horse. Step inside and Woolf Jennings will make every one of your dirty fantasies come true.

He’s covered in a facade of deception. An enticing blend of multi-millionaire and hot-as-hell Wyoming rancher, those that think they know Woolf Jennings admire his abilities to preside as CEO of his family’s cattle and oil empire. But only a privileged few truly understand what fuels the glitter of depravity in those gorgeous blue eyes. Only a few know he’s opened up a sinfully erotic and private sex club named The Wicked Horse right at the base of the beautiful Teton Mountain range.

Sweet Callie Hayes has returned home to Wyoming and is looking forward to starting her life over again. After a night of impetuosity, she’s managed to put herself right in Woolf’s line of sight… the man who she foolishly offered up her virginity to years ago and was flatly turned down.

Now Woolf is seeing that Callie is all grown up and has a kinky side to her that leaves him as confused as it does turned on. Worse yet, both Callie’s dirty desires and sweet heart are getting under his skin, and making Woolf question everything he’s ever believed about himself.

Ivy

Woolf Jennings is a man with secrets. The biggest of which is his club, The Wicked Horse, and what kinky goings-on happen in the Silo. He loves his hedonistic lifestyle, until Callie Hayes comes back to Wyoming and shows him what he’s really been missing, You know…romance.

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I love Bridger: Now this is rare that I start a review with this much love for a supporting player, but really? Bridger has the potential to be the shiznit. I have warned my fellow shorties that I have dibs on him. He’s the alpha, he has the dark and mysterious past, smoking sexuality, no problem with commanding a room and yeah, I want him. Like, right now would be great Ms. Bennett. Thank you.

Good chemistry between Woolf and Callie: Ok, onto the main event – when it comes to the featured players, Woolf and Callie, I thought they were a good bridge between your usual Sawyer Bennett hero/heroine, into a slightly kinkier iteration in this series, which is more sexcentric than any of the previous books I’ve read by her.  Woolf’s always been attracted to Callie, but he felt he didn’t deserve the good girl. Callie just wanted him since the moment she realized boys were different. There’s a sweetness to their attraction and I loved seeing Woolf get possessive (even with some of the events later in the book) and Callie break out of her shell. I would have liked some more dialogue between Callie and Woolf, to really showcase an emotional connection. There’s a hint of it when they go camping where you really feel their underlying friendship, but I just wanted more talking. But the sex did distract me, because it’s titillating.

Kinky fuckery: Their sex scenes have a good amount of heat and they’re more daring sexually than traditional romances, especially with introducing another player into their personal mix. Like say, Bridger. Which made me all

Now, as long as dirty talking’s your main thing, that’s cool because there’s no real BDSM scenes. There’s multiple partner sex and some anal play, but beyond that the rest is only implied. This book was more about Woolf stopping his kinky ways than any real exploration into the lifestyle. There’s alot of talk in the beginning about what goes on in the Silo, but I feel that the kinky fuckery is only window dressing here.

Woolf’s more of a beta: Woolf is hot with Callie, and their chemistry is strong, there is no doubt. But Bridger is the alpha man who captured my interest. Woolf deferred to Bridger for his kinks, and Bridger’s the reason he’s even into the Silo. Bridger’s the one who guides Woolf through alot of this story and just felt like the man in charge. While I enjoyed this book, the one I really want is Bridger.

Callie wants to walk on the wild side: Callie meets Woolf after years apart when he catches her about to enter a wet t-shirt contest at the Wicked Horse. Callie’s pretty clear about her feelings for Woolf and is willing to dip her toes into the kinky waters, but she’s really not built for that lifestyle. Especially considering her family connections. My only quibble with her is how she tends to back down and fall into “good girl” mode a little too easily. She’s more passive than I would ave liked and she defers to daddy when the inevitable final obstacle happens. That didn’t work for me that well, even if it fit her character.

Series potential: With the introduction of Bridger and the other employees at the Wicked Horse, there is good potential for future books. Basically, I felt there’s a good tease that makes you want more. Did I mention that I think Bridger’s book is going to be the one that really hooks me? Because, yeah I’d like that one now.

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The Bottom Line [3 ½ stars]

Woolf and Callie have their own sweet heat, and for a foray into BDSM for Ms. Bennett, I think it’s a good start to a new series. I liked it, but I have a feeling it’s the future entries in the series that will really be my faves. Yes, I’m still looking at you Bridger.

– Ivy

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

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Review Tour (Book Review): The Pledge by Laura Ward and Christine Manzari

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Title: The Pledge (College Bound #1)
Author: Laura Ward & Christine Manzari
Genre: New Adult
Cover Designed by: Okay Creations, Sarah Hansen
Release date: July 27, 2015
Length: 202 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads

Synopsis

Taren needs a do-over. She’s decided the best way to put the high school bullies behind her is to pledge a Taylor-Swift-lip-syncing, beer-guzzling, sorority. Sisterhood helps Taren find the acceptance she’s always craved, but not the love she needs.

Alec wants freedom. To escape his father’s iron fist and unrealistic expectations, he pledges a campus acrobatics club where he finds that drugs and alcohol aren’t the only ways to get high. His addiction to danger helps him gain his independence, but it comes at a heavy price.

When the two cross paths, Alec fears his undeniable attraction to the party girl just might threaten everything he’s worked so hard to earn. Taren hasn’t forgotten that Alec humiliated her back in high school, but she also can’t deny the chemistry they share.

Alec and Taren have nothing in common, but fate is bound and determined to bring them together. They know falling in love is a risk, and yet it’s too hard to ignore. When their worlds clash and they both end up suffering, will they fight to stay together? Or are some pledges too hard to keep?

Grace Review

The book seemed like a twist on the story of the Ugly Duckling, with an ugly (geeky) girl who later blossoms into a beautiful woman.

Taren grew up as a self described geek.  Raised by her aunt, and lacking friendships, she took the kindness of one man, a guy she crushed on, and learned the harsh realities of peer pressure.

Alec grew up under heavy expectations from his father’s with a life plan set out for him, which he had no interest in.  He took a friendship and destroyed it because he couldn’t stand up to those around him.  A mistake he regretted.

Told in alternating POVs, both Taren and Alec look to college as their escape, a chance to reinvent themselves.  Taren was looking for acceptance.  Alec was looking to set his own life path.  But can the pain of the past be forgiven?

I don’t read a lot of New Adult, and that isn’t intentional.  Because it seems every time I read one, I’m transported back to a world that is so familiar to me.  The insecurities from high school, and discovering a new identity in college.  It was so easy to relate to.  I can’t say I’ve ever been bullied, but I get those insecurities and just like Taren, I reached out to a sorority to make more friends. Sororities can be judgmental of others, that’s the downside.  But I personally made so many friendships in that world, that I could see exactly why Taren wanted to be part of that.

Call it fate, or something less magical, but Taren and Alec end up at the same college and repeatedly cross paths, despite hanging out in separate circles.  Initially, their past actions towards each other, particularly Alec’s prior actions towards her, creates a lot of anger.  It’s not until they end up in the same class, that they put the past to rest.  From there on, it is full on passion.

“Second chances don’t change the past.  They just prove that we can learn from our mistakes.”

What I loved:
*I liked the idea behind their fate, tied to the red ribbon.  Did you see the book cover?  It actually holds a lot of significance.

“It’s a East Asian belief that a red string connects two people who are destined to be together.”

*William – this side character is a breath of fresh air.  He and Taren meet as part of a sorority community project, but she immediately feels a connection to him and builds a friendship beyond the expectations of the project.  I absolutely loved William (Will, Bill, Willy) and his enthusism for life.  While Taren was there to help him, there relationship was reciprocal and he often served as a sounding board as she stressed about her relationship with Alec.  He pretty much is the hero that saves the day, sort of.  And the last chapter in his POV, so sweet!

“I met a girl who looked like sunshine, and she wanted to be my friend.”

*Caz – Alec’s roommate and resident troublemaker.  He provides the laughs in the story and is the key reason for Alec’s new direction in life.

What I didn’t love:
Maybe it was due to their age difference with myself, but their lack of trust in each other was frustrating.  But I will agree with Alec, that I hated when it seemed like Taren put her sorority before him.  I get the importance of friendships, but given that she lived at the sorority house, I didn’t see why she would choose activities with them, when it was clear Alec was making time for her.

*Amanda – this is the girl I dreaded seeing on the page.  She isn’t a bitch, really.  But her loose morals always seemed like a red flag.  I both hated and loved how she yelled at Taren for not being there for Alec when he needed her.  Oddly, I wouldn’t mind if she had her own story in this series.

This story was a nice escape for me, travelling down my own personal memory lane.  It captured the spirit of the college experience, learning to spread one’s wings and create one’s own path. And had a sweet a love story, tied nicely with a red bow.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

About

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Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.

Contact Laura at:
http://www.facebook.com/LauraWardAuthor
Twitter — @laurarosnerward
Instagram — _Laura_Ward

Email — laurawardauthor@yahoo.com

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The first thing Christine does when she’s getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She’s addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.

Social Media Links:
Website: http://www.christinemanzari.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristineManzari
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Xenatine
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7218946.Christine_Manzari
Blog: http://tinelibrary.blogspot.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/xenatine
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/xenatine/

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Book Review: Step F*@k Four by Scarlett Ward

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Book: Step F*@k (Book Four)
Author: Scarlett Ward
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 64 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis

The fourth and final installment in a four-part series*

SWIPE LEFT.

That’s all I did. A few too many glasses of wine with my best friend and the bitch convinced me to go on one of those dating websites.

A one-night stand.

A booty call.

And you know what? It.was.amazing.

I spent all night in a sexy stranger’s arms, hot and sweaty, until it was time to sneak out and do the walk of shame back to my apartment.

I never thought I’d see sexy stranger again, and I was totally fine with that – until my mother’s wedding.

She’s getting remarried, see. And sexy stranger just happens to be my new stepbrother.

All the wine in the world isn’t going to make this better.

Michelle's Review

Before you continue on your quest, please read my previous reviews.  This last and final installment was a big disappointment.  The author left the angst or sorrow for the final installment, which for me as a reader, did not make sense.

Emma is living her dream in Paris of becoming an artist.  She’s trying to get over her feelings for Jai.  Jai, on the other hand, is back in London also licking his wounds.  It’s been months since their parents wedding.  Although Jai and Emma tried moving forward for a bit with others, it seemed Jai really wanted Emma.

Like I mentioned above, this was a disappointment, I the angst or the emotional party of the story came in this last installment.  There is an HEA but the build up for it did not make sense to me at all.  Not as funny as the previous books and hardly any sexy times.  I think maybe the author could have done a full length novel instead 4 separate books, but that’s just my opinion.

– Michelle

*An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review.

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Release Blitz: Out of Time by Beth Flynn

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OUT OF TIME is the HIGHLY ANTICIPATED sequel to NINE MINUTES where Grizz, Kit & Grunt’s gritty tale continues!  You aren’t going to want to miss this!

NOW AVAILABLE

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1CQRoCD

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1TRNLAx

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Synopsis

RECOMMENDED FOR READERS 18 AND OLDER DUE TO

STRONG LANGUAGE, SEXUAL SITUATIONS AND VIOLENCE

Out of Time is book two in a series. It is not a standalone novel. I highly recommend that you read my first novel, Nine Minutes, to be able to understand the background stories of the main characters. There are many twists and turns in both stories that can best be connected if read consecutively.

Although I do answer all of the outstanding questions from Nine Minutes, there is more to this story, and some readers may consider it a cliffhanger. If you do not like cliffhangers, you may want to wait until the third novel is released in 2016.

They thought with his execution it would all be over.

They were wrong.

The leader of one of South Florida’s most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs has been put to death by lethal injection. Days later, his family and friends should have been picking up the pieces, moving on. Instead, they’ve been catapulted into a world so twisted and dangerous even the most ruthless among them would be stunned to discover the tangled web of deception, not only on the dangerous streets of South Florida but all the way to the top.

In this gripping follow-up novel to Nine Minutes, Out of Time takes readers from the sun-drenched flatlands of 1950s Central Florida to the vivid tropical heat of Fort Lauderdale to the halls of Florida’s Death Row as we finally learn the gritty backstory of Jason “Grizz” Talbot and the secret he spent his life trying to conceal.

Not even Grizz’s inner circle knows his full story—the tragedy that enveloped his early life, the surprise discovery that made him the government’s most wanted and most feared, and the depths of his love for Ginny, the tenderhearted innocent he’d once abducted and later made his wife.

Once Grizz’s obsession and now the mother of his child, Ginny has spent years grieving the man she’d first resisted and then came to love. Now remarried to Tommy, a former member of the gang, the pair have spent more than a decade trying desperately to live a normal existence far from the violent, crime-ridden world they’d once carved out on the edge of the Florida Everglades. For Tommy, especially, the stakes are high. Desperately in love with Ginny for years, he’s finally living his dream: married to the woman he never thought he could have. But even with the façade of normalcy—thriving careers, two beautiful children, and a genuinely happy and loving marriage—they can’t seem to put the past behind them. Every time they turn around, another secret is revealed, unraveling the very bonds that hold them together.

And with Grizz finally put to death, now Ginny has learned secrets so dark, so evil she’s not even sure she can go on.

Will these secrets tear their love to pieces? And how far will Grizz go to protect what he still considers his, even from beyond the grave?

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Haven’t read this series yet, check out Nine Minutes for

ONLY $1.99!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Gerd3c

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1BCH3cV

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1KXRtHk

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About

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Beth Flynn is a fiction writer who lives and works in Sapphire, North Carolina, deep within the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Beth and her husband, Jim, have spent the last 17 years in Sapphire, where they own a construction company. They have been married 31 years and have two daughters and two dogs. In her spare time, Beth enjoys writing, reading, gardening, church and motorcycles, especially taking rides on the back of her husband’s Harley. She is a five-year breast cancer survivor.

STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Rock Star Page

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Release Blitz: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

TruthOrBeardBlitz

Truth or Beard

by Penny Reid

Winston Brothers #1

Publication Date: July 23, 2015

Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance

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Amazon • Nook • Kobo • iBooks

Synopsis

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

Series Description:

Everyone in Green Valley, Tennessee knows that the six bearded Winston brothers have been imbued with an unfair share of charm and charisma… and are prone to mischief.

Truth or Beard is book #1 in the Winston Brother’s series. Each book is a standalone, full length

(110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers.

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About

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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Book Review: Katherine in Gold by J.B. Hartnett

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Book Title: Katherine in Gold (The Beachy Bride #2)
Author: J.B. Hartnett
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 239 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis

*Warning: this is a love story with sexual situations and copious swearing. It also deals with an inappropriate relationship between an underage girl and a much older man.

When Katherine Symes experiences heartbreak at the age of twenty, she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and declares no man will ever break her again. The independent, potty-mouthed Katherine makes no apologies for how she lives her life. Marriage, babies, and husbands are ideas she’s never even entertained. There is only one thing she’s never had the guts to do.

Open her own cafe.

The day of her best friend’s engagement, a stranger bulldozes his way into her life. Handsome, tall, and annoying as hell, he pushes all her buttons. A mutual acquaintance introduces them, and the stranger, Holst Rutherford, wastes no time in presenting Katherine with half ownership in a coffee shop he wants to open in Laguna Beach; he just doesn’t want to do it alone.

Can she put up with Holst to achieve her lifelong dream?

Holst moved to the coastal town of Laguna Beach with clear intentions: a fresh start, concentrate on his new business, and enjoy the beach at his doorstep. After ending a toxic relationship, he never considered entering a new one. But there is something about the ever-combative Katherine which makes him realize she could be much more than a business partner. She just might be the one.

However, she is going to need a little convincing

In the second installment of the Beachy Bride series, we follow the story of Katherine and Holst. A tale of shaking off the past, embracing the future, and finding true love.

Michelle's Review

What a sexy, funny, and heartbreaking book.  This is Ms. Harnett’s second book in the Beachy Bride Series and can be read as a standalone.  Right from the very beginning I adored Katherine.  She’s extremely funny, has many awesome friends and is loyal, but you sensed that she guarded her heart.  She tells it like it is and although she told her boyfriend (Goya/Mark) that she didn’t want anything serious, just keep it causal, he seem to not have gotten the memo.  The only thing Katherine wants is to own her own coffee shop and make her parents see she could become successful whether they agreed with her or not.

Holst, oh my, that man is swoon worthy.  I want him as my new book husband, not boyfriend, husband.  He just got out of a serious relationship, but unlike Katherine, he believes his true love is out there and he sees that in Katherine.  Holst knows what he wants and he sees it in Katherine, but Katherine is so scared to let her heart in the mix.  These two characters have some sad secrets that come up, but Holst is willing to make things better for Katherine.

The dirty talking banter between these two, holy smokes was it hot.  And although you may find Holst a little dominant and/or alpha it’s the way he wants things from Katherine that will melt your panties off. Case in point:  “I’m going to slide inside your body, and when I do, there’s no turning back.  I tasted you and plan to do it again…often…and I will not abide any other man to eat you, to fuck you, or make love to you as I plan to do right now.”  And there goes the panties!

The story flowed and at times I reached for some tissues, I laughed out loud at many times and most of all I didn’t want to put this book down.  My two favorite book couple!  This is my first time reading a J.B. Harnett novel and I hope it will not be my last.

– Michelle

*An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review.

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Click on the image below to purchase book one in the series:

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