2/22/17

AWESOME GIVEAWAY ALERT + REVIEW: ROYALLY MATCHED BY EMMA CHASE!!

Ahhhhhhh!!! I'm SO thrilled for everyone to read Prince Henry and Sarah's story!!! I had no idea what to expect when I heard this was going to be like "The Bachelor: Royal Edition" but Emma Chase NAILED IT!!! So sexy, so adorably sweet, so so so funny... I JUST LOVED IT. A must read!!! My full review is below!

Title: Royally Matched
Series: Standalone - Royally Series Bk #2
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: 2/21/2017
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SYNOPSIS:
Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.
He’s not handling it well.
Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:
Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.
A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world's most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.
While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.
The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.
As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.
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 Without even opening an Emma Chase book you can almost guarantee it'll be packed to the brim with humor, sex, and delicious romance. Royally Matched is certainly overflowing with all of that but this book was also rife with the expected. It's surprisingly intense and emotional. This is one of those stories that is as memorable in its romanticism as it is in its earnestness. Royally Matched is fun and refreshing but it's unlike anything else Emma Chase has written. From start to finish I was lost, swept away in the pomp and grandeur of royal responsibility, in the divine gravity of first love, in the amusing antics of a prince about to be king and the librarian who never saw him coming.

Prince Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook and Sarah Von Titebottum are two people a bit overwhelmed with the task set before them. The impetuous, carefree Prince Henry is set to inherit the throne. Sarah, a demure, circumspect librarian is faced with a job responsibility that utterly terrifies her. Both looking for distraction from their respective circumstances, they find themselves swept up in the royal edition of a reality television dating show. Sarah, the unassuming book worm, and Prince Henry, the life of the party, forge an unlikely friendship that spirals into a messy tangle of attraction and duty. Told in dual points of view in a way only Emma Chase can, this story is a boldly enchanting rom com that I couldn't put down.

True to form, Emma Chase laces this storyline with hilarity and sharp banter. These characters are as magnetic as they come and everything from their dialogue to their antics to their undeniable chemistry embody what my romance reader dreams are made of. This is a story about two people who are forced to embrace changes they're not ready for. It's about two characters who are polar opposites in almost every way but who find strength in their unexpected connection, find exactly what they need in each other in order to go and take what they want, to face their fears. Royally Matched is an epic romance that had me swooning and laughing, had my heart pounding and cracking. This royally delicious story is a journey in self discovery, in facing fears, in taking chances, in stepping up. And I absolutely loved it. Royally Matched is the full package. It's an unforgettable royal romance full of heart and heartache, sensuality and angst and it's going down as one of my absolute favorites from Emma Chase.

Jessica's Rating:


Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS


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Read the review for Royally Screwed, the first STANDALONE in this series here! 




2/21/17

BRAND NEW REVIEW AND $100 AMAZON CARD GIVEAWAY ALERT: SEX SAYS BY MAX MONROE!!!

HORRAHHHHH! It's HERE!
I am so happy that Reed and Lola are here and now you can read. You guys... this story is so unique and refreshing and funny and sexy! FULL review below, but I just LOVED it. You must read. It's amazing.

Title: Sex Says
Series: Standalone Novel
Author: Max Monroe
Release Date: 2/21/2017
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SYNOPSIS:
Lola
My name is Lola Sexton, and I’m a sex addict.
Okay…that’s a lie.
Truth is, I’m a serial dater turned dating and relationship columnist for The San Francisco Times. My readers call me Sex. Sex Says.
I love my job.
I love my life.
And I hate Reed Luca.
***
Reed
My name is Reed Luca, and I’m a liar.
Ironically, that’s the truth.
I’m 31, and my occupation is…well, complicated.
My favorite kind of woman comes in all shapes and sizes, but always has a big brain.
I’ve never hated anything.
Lola Sexton hates me.
Luckily, it’s a thin line between love and hate, and with my help, pretty Lola will only be able to straddle that line for so long.
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First off, I have to say that I had HUMONGOUS expectations for this book. From all the teasers that were posted the month leading up to release, to the cover and the blurb (that is just fantastic), I was DYING to get my hands on a copy of this standalone novel. The build felt CRAZY GOOD and so, when I finally did get a copy of Sex Says, I literally felt like it was the BEST DAY OF MY BOOKISH life.  And mother of freaking ahhh, it was so good.  

Unique and quirky, absolutely enthralling, Sex Says is a love/hate romance that takes your expectations and CRUSHES them. This story slays. From the moment you pick up the book, to those last words, you are OWNED. And I mean owned. It's funny, it's sexy, it's heartfelt and it's refreshing. It's completely different than what I thought I was going to get and it blew me away. 

Lola Sexton is a character you cannot help but fall in love with. Funny, snarky, eccentric, and downright ridiculously lovable, Lola is like a human unicorn (crazy funny and too cute for words). I wanted her as my BFF. Seriously. Can I be BFF's with Lola? I'm calling that now. Lola Sexton, you are my new bestie. I have a girl crush on you. And I feel like I can love you better than Reed can. Hahahaha! Just kidding, not really 😜

Talk about refreshing. I feel ENERGIZED by this book, by these characters. I feel like they were the most unique and well written characters I have read in awhile. When Sex Says starts we are introduced to Lola who is in a bit of a writing funk. She has a deadline and she can't figure out what she wants to write. You see, Lola is a majorly popular relationship columnist for The San Francisco Times.

Reed Luca is a bit of a vagabond. He does what he wants when he wants and his main purpose in life is to do whatever makes him happy. He lives easy and breezy, going from job to job. He defies life expectations. One day, in a coffee shop, he happens to grab a copy of Lola's Column, Sex Says. He reads it and **lololol**, he thinks it's complete bullshit. It makes him feel passionate and he decides to make a video rebutal addressing this column. 

And well..... 
**AHAHAHAHA**

The video he posts to Youtube ends up going viral and what ensues is the best thing ever. When Lola sees Reed's video, she is pissed and the story takes you on the absolute best journey. It's just so good. 

Really, I loved Reed and Lola. Their dynamic was intoxicating. I loved the fun and flirty way they reacted to each other. Even when they were being hateful, there was this completely hilarious element to it. And HOLY WHOA they are dynamite in bed. Lola is, like I said before, a very eccentric character and so is Reed. Their quirkiness is such a refreshing thing to read in romance. This isn't your cookie cutter hate/love story. It's more than that. Max Monroe took the concept or trope, whatever you want to call it, and gave it the best spin. 

I LOVED IT!

I loved every minute of losing myself in this story! 

Overall, I highly recommend this read. I'm such a HUGE fan of Max and Monroe. They write flawlessly together. Their stories are always filled with humor and steaminess and the best takes on some of my favorite tropes. They are a force to be reckoned with in RomCom. The best of the best, IMO. And I'll read anything and everything they write because it's always so flipping incredible and consistently good. 

Sex Says is nothing less than impeccable writing, dynamic dialogue, sizzling sexy times, and an absolute refreshing plot-line. A complete MUST READ

 Angie's Rating:

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you a sexy, laugh-out-loud new series…& more. ;)

New writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half.

Stay tuned for the future—this is where the fun begins.
Max Monroe is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of Jane Rotrosen Agency.






2/19/17

BRAND NEW RELEASE AND FIRST CHAPTER REVEAL: SWITCH BY ADRIANA LOCKE!!

LOOK what's LIVE on Amazon. AHHHH! I absolutely ADORE this author. Each book in the Landry Family Series is a stand-alone novel. Today, I have the FIRST chapter of SWITCH - Graham Landry's book! I cannot wait to dive into this novel. If you have not met Barrett (Sway) and Lincoln (Swing) you can do that NOW. ALL three books are LIVE on Amazon and FREE if you read with Kindle Unlimited. 

Title: Switch
Series: Landry Family Series Stand-alone
Author: Adriana Locke
Release Date: 2/19/2017
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SYNOPSIS:
Mallory Sims is late for her first day of work.
After spilling her tea, she discovers she has no gas in her car. Add that her arm keeps sticking to her dress from syrup left on the console of her car, flustered feels like an understatement.
Then she sees her new boss.
Graham Landry is the epitome of NSFW in his custom-fit suit, black-rimmed glasses, and a look so stern her libido doesn’t stand a chance. Being flustered is just the start of her problems.
Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go. Then she rushes in with her doe eyes and rambling excuses, smelling like bacon and lavender. The termination paper falls to the side as she falls in his arms.
This is a disaster in the making. Not because of his pinpoint exactness or her free spirit, but because when they’re together, the sparks that fly threaten to burn the whole place down.
PURCHASE HERE:
Chapter One
Graham


I’m not used to this. Hell, I’m really not even okay with this.

The stillness before the sun comes up is my time. I get more accomplished in that precious window than I do all day long. Why? No one else is up and around to bother me.

That is until my brother Ford came back to town.

Glancing across my desk, he’s leaned against the wall with a paper cup in his hand. His sandy, military-cut hair has started to grow over the last couple of weeks since he was released from the Marines with more medals than an Olympian. He knows his morning visits annoy me, but like our other siblings, a part of him finds frustrating me amusing. Assholes. Still, as he meanders his way towards my desk, I can’t really be mad. At my oldest brother Barrett? Possible. At my youngest brother Lincoln? Often. But Ford? It’s hard to do.

“Do you show up here just to throw off my day?” I try, and fail, to hide my grin.

“What can I say?” he laughs. “The military doesn’t approve of staying in bed. After all those years in the service, old habits are hard to break.” He takes a sip from his cup and sits in the black leather chair across from me. “I need to find a new routine. I’ve had one imposed on me for so many years, it’s a little odd not having someone threatening to have my ass before dawn.”

“I can assure you I’ll be tossing you out on your ass if you keep showing up here before the day starts. It throws me off schedule.” Glancing at my watch, I scowl. “And so does being late.”

Ford raises his brows. “Your new secretary starts today, doesn’t she?”

“She’s supposed to. Mallory Sims. Remember her?”

“Sort of. Did I go to high school with her?” He scratches his head. “Damn, that feels like a long time ago.”

“Because it was,” I laugh. “She’s a friend of Sienna’s.”

At the mention of one of our twin sisters, the youngest of us all, Ford looks worried. I get it. It also worries the fuck out of me to know I’ve stooped this low. And low it is. But I didn’t have a choice.

My former Executive Assistant, Linda, up and quit on me a few weeks ago. She was everything you could want—efficient, orderly, experienced. She worked for my father before I took over for him and knew this business inside and out. When she left, I realized she was irreplaceable.

I’ve gone through so many temps in her vacancy, hired people from ads placed in newspapers, and even tried promoting one woman from another department and none of them worked. Not one of them meshed with my style or filled the role as I needed them to.

One weekend night, after missing a family lunch because you couldn’t see the top of my desk for papers, contracts, and files, Sienna called. She’d run into a girl we used to know. In the midst of conversation, my sister realized she had experience as an administrative assistant, needed a job, and grabbed her resume for me.

It looked good. Her references checked out. She had experience as not just a secretary, but as an Executive Assistant. I also remembered her from before and was fairly certain she wasn’t a psychopath. So I forwent the standard interview and just hired her. What did I really stand to lose?

“Can I just ask what on Earth made you think that was a good idea?” Ford asks. “I mean, I love Sienna and Camilla, but their friends aren’t exactly … employable.”

“Desperation is the name of the game.”

My brother stands. Although he’s a couple of years younger than me, he’s a few inches taller. “It must be.”

“Tell me about it,” I groan. “But there is a method to the madness.”

“Let’s hope. If not, I’m calling Dad and letting him know you’ve lost your mind and we need to vote you off the board.”

“I vaguely remember Mallory. She must’ve been a freshman or sophomore my senior year. I had Latin Club with her,” I say, picking up a pen.

“You and Latin Club. I just … I can’t.”

“Fuck you,” I say, throwing the pen at his head. Because Ford has reflexes similar to Lincoln’s, it misses and clinks against the wall. “You better be glad one of us takes things seriously. Can you imagine our family being reliant on Barrett? Or, worse, Lincoln? We’d be investing in baseball and Skittles.”

Ford picks up the projectile. “Speaking of Lincoln, how weird is it to see him so pussy-whipped?”

“It’s one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen happen with my own eyes. He went from total man whore to monogamy at the flip of a switch.”

“Danielle must have some good pussy,” Ford chuckles.

“That or a magic wand.”

“Yeah, but I get it. I think he made the right decision. Seeing some of the shit I’ve seen overseas really puts things in perspective for you. Often the things we think are important aren’t.” Ford’s gaze hits the floor. “But,” he recovers, pasting on a smile, “Lincoln doesn’t have to worry about money. We have you.”

“If only I had an assistant.”

“What time was she supposed to be here?”

Glancing at the clock, my irritation grows. “Six minutes ago. She’s supposed to start at eight.”

“That’s what you get for choosing employees out of Sienna’s circle.”

My hand flies through my hair as every worst-case scenario plays out before my eyes.

Looking at Ford, I know his main concern: Landry Security. I can’t blame him. This is his dream, much like managing Landry Holdings is mine, and he can’t get to work until I do mine. I get it, that’s why it drives me insane that Mallory isn’t here and I’m not working at full capacity.

Sighing, I shrug. “Her resume was infallible. The references she listed all checked out—sang her praises to be exact. They all said she has unlimited potential and would be an asset, even knowing it’s Landry Holdings we’re talking about. I can’t believe she’s late. Who does that? On their first day, no less?”

My brother tosses the pen on my desk. “If you need help with Landry Security, let me know.” I can tell he’s antsy and is trying to play it cool and that frustrates me. He shouldn’t be worrying about this. He should have faith in me, and my lack of a fucking assistant is shaking that.

“I’ll be fine,” I reassure him. “I have a plan. Even though things here have been a little more unsettled than I’d like with Linda’s departure, I have been moving forward. Landry Security is happening.”

Ford’s hand rests on the doorknob and he looks at me. His brow is furrowed, reminiscent of our mother’s when she’s trying to decide how to broach a subject with us.

There’s no way he knows how much this has affected me. Losing sleep. Popping antacids like a motherfucker. All because I. Don’t. Fail.

“I’ll help you however,” he reiterates carefully.

“I know. And I do appreciate that—”

“But you’re too fucking anal retentive to let anyone else get involved at this stage,” he grins.

“I prefer the term ‘professional.’”

“I bet you do,” he laughs. “I know you have control issues and all, but consider trusting someone else to help out. You don’t have to do it all yourself.”

“This is my legacy. You have your hero medals. Barrett has his public service. Lincoln has batting titles and Golden Gloves. I have this.”

“No one wants to usurp you,” he insists. “We just want to help.” When I just look at him with no response, he sighs. “Fine. But cut the new girl some slack. If you look at her like that when she walks in, she’ll probably march right back out.”

“What? I don’t give off the empathetic boss look?”

“Uh, no. You give off the asshole dictator look.”

“Good. At least she’ll know what she’s in for,” I wink. “Now get out of here so I can figure out what to do when I fire Mallory Sims on her first day at the office.”

He chuckles. “I’ll call this afternoon and see if anyone has sent you to the psychiatric ward.”

“Make sure the walls have extra padding. If it’s an added expense, charge it to Barrett.”

“Will do.” With a shake of his head, he disappears out the door.

The silence I love so much descends around me, the only sound coming from the coffee maker in the corner. The city below the third-story windows encompassing two walls of my office is just beginning to awaken. I love to watch everything sort of turn on for the day. Being awake and working before that happens makes me feel like I’m a step ahead of the game. That no one got anything over on me while I was sleeping.

Sleeping, like my new employee probably is when she should be here.

I fire off an email to Human Resources, letting them know I plan on not hiring Ms. Sims after all, and print out their response to hand to the almost-employee if she ever shows up.

Slipping off my suit jacket, I hang it on the hook behind the door. Rolling my sleeves up to my forearms, I’m mentally going over the list of applicants to replace Mallory when a loud clamor booms from the entryway into the suite.

As I round the corner and peer into the reception area, I spy a woman bent down. The floor is spattered with miscellaneous items. Bobby pins, sheets of paper, a water bottle, and a paperback are being scooped up and shoved into a large bag.

Irritated at another disruption to my day, I lean against the doorframe. A million thoughts roll through my mind, most of them along the lines that as CEO of Landry Holdings, I should not be dealing with this hassle. As my temples begin to throb, I fold my arms over my chest.

She stuffs the last sheet of paper into the bag and stands. Her eyes flick to mine and she stills. I think I do too.

Her skin is pale and creamy, a soft framework for the deep chestnut hair hanging to her waist. A dress the color of moss in the summer showcases toned arms and a long, lean line from her shoulders to her calves. A thin rope belt cinches her trim waist, one that I can imagine digging my fingers into.

I clear my throat. “Can I help you?”

With something besides getting out of that dress?
“I think you probably can,” she says, then blushes a pretty shade of pink. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. What I mean is …”

She’s flustered. It’s adorable and sexy at the same time. I should say something, interject, help her out, but I don’t. I like this entirely too much.

“I’ll stop talking now.” She flashes me a pretty smile, one that catches my attention in ways it shouldn’t at eight sixteen a.m. Taking a step towards me, the toe of her shoe catches on the water bottle she didn’t pick up and she comes barreling my way.

Before I know what’s happening, I reach out and catch her under a spray of loose leaf paper.

“Oomph!” she heaves as she lands in my arms and I’m surrounded by a sweet, floral scent.

I should let her go. I should back away, direct her to the front desk to get directions to wherever she’s going, and retreat to my office. Regardless of how sexy her breasts feel pressed against me or the way her ass pops as my fingers lace together at the dip at the bottom of her spine, I have things to do today. Important things. Lots of them. Even if I can’t pinpoint one at the moment.

Large, nearly golden eyes peer up at me. They’re crystal clear, almost like I can see all the way to the depths of her soul. They’re incredible tones of the purest gold and I can’t look away.

The feel of her body against mine sparks something inside me—a carnal, visceral reaction that’s led by feeling rather than intellect. “Are you okay?” I ask, trying desperately to use the brainpower I’m known for in most circles and not the cock I’m known for in others.

“I think so.” She pulls her gaze away from mine. A connection is actually snapped between us and I’m almost certain she feels it too because her features fall. “I’m just running late …”

Hell. Fucking. No.

I’m afraid to ask the next question. If the answer is what I think it is, I’m going to kill my little sister.



Have you met the Landry Brothers? Welp, you can NOW! 
BK #1 SWAY (Barrett Landry)
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Bk #2 SWING (Lincoln Landry)
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BK #3 SWITCH (Graham Landry) 
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USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather's nice and there's always a piece of candy in her pocket.

For sneak peeks, giveaways, and more, please join Adriana's Facebook Group, Books by Adriana Locke, or her Goodreads group, All Locked Up.

NEW REVIEW AND EXCERPT ALERT: BLACK HEARTS BY KARINA HALLE!

Title: Black Hearts
Series: Bk #1 in the duet
Author: Karina Halle
Release Date: 2/19/2017!
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SYNOPSIS:
From New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle comes a BRAND NEW standalone duet that will get your pulse racing.
For Vicente Bernal, truth is all he’s known. The son of an infamous drug lord, Vicente was born to help run the family business, which means he’s been raised on a throne of sordid pasts and dirty laundry, violence and pride. But when Vicente stumbles across someone he’s not supposed to know about – a woman from his father’s checkered past – he sets out to California to find her behind his father’s back.
What Vicente doesn’t expect to find in San Francisco is Violet McQueen, the woman’s twenty-year old daughter. Beautiful and edgy with a vulnerability he can’t resist, Violet tempts Vicente from afar and though he promised himself he’d stay away from her, curiosity and lust are powerful forces. Besides, Vicente has always gotten everything he wants – why shouldn’t he have Violet too?
Soon his wants turn into an obsession, one that sweeps Violet into his games as they fall madly, deeply in love with each other, the type of first love that can drive a person mad.
But it’s a love with tragic consequences.
Both the truth – and the lies – not only threaten to tear them apart, but threaten their very lives.
Someone has to pay for the sins of the fathers.
And they’ll be paying the price with their souls.
NOTE: BLACK HEARTS is BOOK ONE of the SINS DUET, with the sequel & conclusion, DIRTY SOULS, releasing on March 17, 2017.
PURCHASE HERE:
I'll preface by telling you that Black Hearts is 100% a standalone novel. (Well, sort of... it's the beginning of a duet. But you DO NOT need any backstory before you start reading.) Vicente Bernal and Violet McQueen take the reader on their journey of uncovering their family history and unearthing all the ways their parents were connected in another life. If you've never read a single book by Karina Halle before, you can start here without missing a thing because you'll come to know the truth right along with this new generation of characters. (But seriously though, who even are you if you haven't read her books yet?!)

If you've previously read The Artist's Trilogy and the Dirty Angels series, you're familiar with the twisted, violent nature of the world you're about to step back in to. If Black Hearts is your first Karina Halle book, I'll tell you that you're about to be absorbed into a world of treachery and lust where criminals fall in love and lie and betray and kill, where loyalties are tested and bullets speak louder than words. Either way, brace, because you're in for a brutally delicious little treat with Black Hearts, a darkly intoxicating story that bridges generations when the children of former lovers meet for their own story of love and betrayal.

I'm over the moon that Karina Halle has introduced us to these characters in such an unexpectedly brilliant way. I mean, is this really happening right now? In some sick twist of fate, could a Bernal and a Watt FINALLY find true love amidst lies and violence and secrets and betrayal? Is history repeating itself, or righting itself by uniting a violent, power hungry cartel leader with a strong, feisty young woman unknowingly brought into the fold of debauchery and deceit by the lies of her parents? I could die a happy death if this plays out the way I'm hoping. (Because Team Javier FOREVER!) But I know Karina Halle, she's done this to me before. I know nothing is certain. I know these characters are inherently bad. I know money and lust and power and greed always trump love. So what will come of these characters is anyone's guess. 

Despite the depravity and the despicable behavior in these pages, I found myself giggling hard in certain scenes. The first time Mama McQueen meets the man in her daughter's life was especially hilarious, a sudden, sharp reminder of what a versatile writer Karina Halle is. This book is peppered with humor, layered with unexpected eroticism, woven with violence and deceit, and charged with romance. It's a delicious, thrilling romantic storyline that will consume both seasoned Halle fans and brand new readers. This story will piece together history while simultaneously breaking trusts and breaking hearts. Black Hearts is a brilliantly complex web that will ensnare the reader whether you're privy to their history or not. No matter what you know, or think you know, Black Hearts is a fresh new, untold story that will satisfy every reader and leave you ravenous for more.

Jessica's Rating:

The fog is continuing to roll in, bringing a briny mist that you can taste. Only the tops of the bridge remain visible, the orange red seeming to glow against grey skies, while shadows of the structure come and go as the fog moves in.

Violet stares in quiet fascination, her dark eyes taking it in. I can see the fog reflected in them, giving her an eerie quality. She appears to be listening but whether it’s the fog horns, the chatter of the fishermen, the lapping waves, or the dull roar of the bridge traffic, I don’t know. Could be something else entirely.

I don’t want to break her concentration or bring her back from whatever world she’s in. I just stand beside her and let her be. If anything, it says a lot about her comfort level with me if she lets herself drift away.

After a few minutes, she slowly turns to me and blinks. “How long did you say you were going to be in San Francisco for?”

“I don’t know,” I say carefully. “It depends if I find what I’m looking for.”

“And what are you looking for?”

“A reason to stay.” I hold her gaze with mine. The sea breeze picks up a few strands of her hair, moving them across her face like a black veil. Without thinking, I reach over and brush them away, tucking them behind her ear.

I could kiss her. I should kiss her. The feel of her skin against my fingers ignites a million torches inside.

Then she looks away, uncomfortable, the silence between us changing.

I steer the subject onto her. “You said your mother is a famous photographer. Does she have a studio?”

She lets out a soft sigh, her eyes back on the bridge. “Yeah. In the mission district.”

“And you don’t want the same for yourself?”

She rubs her lips together in thought before looking down at her hands that hang over the side of the railing. “As I said, I don’t know what I want. I’m not sure I feel comfortable with the idea of having a studio. My mom does portraits of people. That’s not what I like to shoot.”

“Not a people person?”

A wry smile cracks her lips. “No. Not really. It’s too…intimate. My mom is great at it because people feel comfortable with her. She can…I don’t know, manipulate their feelings.”

Interesting. Very interesting.

People like my father.

“So they end up exposing pieces of themselves that they don’t see. I guess I have the same intuition as her but the one on one is too much for me. I prefer to work with nature. With this.” She gestures to the fog. “No one else really understands how beautiful this is to me.”

I look back at the fog, moving faster now. I wouldn’t call it beautiful. Moody. Dark, maybe. If anything, her beauty stands out more because of the bleakness around her.

“My goal is to take photos that show how I see the world. All the beauty in it. The world is such an ugly and beautiful place, horrible and hopeful. I want to show the light in all the dark places.” She pauses and gives me a sheepish look. “Sorry. I know that must have sounded hella pretentious.”

I slowly shake my head because she sounds anything but that. She sounds real. She sounds like something I want to shake loose from her, to let free and run wild.

“You’re not pretentious,” I tell her, my voice low. “Not even close.”

“That’s not what I hear.”

“What do you hear?” I move in closer to her, the distance between us just a few inches. She doesn’t back up. “What does the world tell you you are?”

I watch her swallow, take a moment. “Oh, you know. I’m too self-absorbed. Narcissistic. Pretentious. I live too much in my head, I’m too anti-social, too distant. I feel too much, care too much. My mother has always chided me for being too sensitive and then I was diagnosed with having hyper-sensitivity, so it turns out she was right. I am too sensitive. About everything. And there’s not a single thing I can do about it except know that when I experience reality, it’s not what everyone else experiences. For better or for worse.” She sighs. “Mainly for worse.”

I feel like this is something she doesn’t unload on many people. My instincts about her were right. She’s fragile but not weak, too much a part of the world and too much removed from it. A contradiction.

“I’m sorry,” she says, shooting me a glance. “I didn’t mean to blab away like that. I know you probably think I’m crazy now. Hell, I think I’m crazy half the time. I really wish I could just be like everyone else. To just…shut it all off.”

“You’re not crazy,” I tell her. “I’m just understanding you better.”

Her mouth quirks up into a dry smile. “I’m surprised you understand me at all. We’ve only just met.”

“True,” I tell her as I reach out and run my fingers along her jaw, tipping her chin up. “But I’m sure you of all people would know that sometimes you can connect with someone in ways you didn’t think you could. Or should.”

She barely nods, her eyes focused on mine, anticipation on her brow. I’m met with the overwhelming desire to protect and shield her which is extremely inconvenient, if not unwelcome, given the circumstances. One minute I need to fuck her, the next I need to protect her, and in the end, what I really need is to do the job I set out to do


Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

2/18/17

NEW REVIEW: WARDROBE MALFUNCTION BY SAMANTHA TOWLE!

Title: Wardrobe Malfunction
Series: Standalone
Author: Samantha Towle
Release Date: 2/18/2017!
PURCHASE HERE:
PURCHASE AMAZON

SYNOPSIS:
From New York Times bestselling author, Samantha Towle, comes a new standalone romantic comedy.
Vaughn West, Hollywood heartthrob, has been at the top of his game for years. He thinks he’s untouchable—until a betrayal brings him spiraling down. Now, everyone pities him, and if there’s one thing Vaughn hates, it’s pity.
After a few months of working his way through every available actress, pop star, model, and waitress in California, Vaughn needs to get his life back on track and focus on what he does best—making hit movies. 
Charlotte Michaels is in love. Just not with one person.
Louis Vuitton…
Christian Dior…
Valentino…
Gucci…
And the list goes on.
Sadly, Charly’s limited bank account doesn’t allow her those luxuries, and the closest she gets are lucky finds in charity shops and working closely with some of those names in her job as a wardrobe assistant.
Now, Charly has landed the mother of all jobs—working on the new Vaughn West movie. Excited doesn’t even cut it.
Only things don’t go as planned, and it turns out that Vaughn is actually a jerk. A hot jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.
So, why do their clothes keep falling off whenever they’re around each other? And why can’t Charly keep her mind in the closet and off Vaughn?
Getting mixed up with a smart-mouthed, fashion-obsessed wardrobe assistant is the last thing Vaughn needs.
Getting mixed up with an arrogant, self-centered, obnoxious, jumped-up actor who has a lack of respect for fashion is the last thing Charly needs.
Things are about to get hot, dirty, and messy in Hollywood. Very messy. Especially if Charly’s closely guarded secret falls out of her closet.
PURCHASE HERE:
It's perfectly appropriate that I just finished reading Samantha Towle's newest book on Valentine's Day. Wardrobe Malfunction is an exquisite blend of sweet romance, delicious steam and pulse pounding angst and, for a romance reader that craves all three, there's no better way to spend the holiday made for love than getting lost in a lush love story like this one.

I haven't read a good Hollywood romance in quite a while, so I found the timing of this story beautifully refreshing. Vaughn West is an A-list movie star just coming down from a tabloid scandal. Charly Michaels is a wardrobe assistant who just landed a job on the set of Vaughn's next film. The storyline Towle crafted for these characters was just...so... right. Adorable. Sexy. Funny. It's everything a light and sweet romance should be. Everything from the sexy banter to the delicious pace to the unexpected moments of angst and heartbreak were just SO GOOD.

I love the celebrity element in this story, the fame, the glitz, the decadence. There's something so delicious about a story set upon the pedestal of Hollywood. There's a sense of unavailability in Hollywood, this feeling of a movie star being untouchable to the rest of us. And, honestly, there's no greater fantasy for anyone than a celebrity falling in love with them. Undeniably, that's what all of our romance dreams are made of. But so much sweeter, to be honest, is the simplicity of a romance between a regular guy and a regular girl. Lucky for us, in Wardrobe Malfunction, Samantha Towle gives us both. She creates this megastar who has it all, success, fame, wealth, privilege, and she makes him a relatable, sweet, flawed guy-next-door with a funny family and the desire to settle down with the right girl. With obstacles at every turn, both the cliche Hollywood-type drama and the kind of troubles any couple faces when secrets and jealousy and love are involved, this story is as angsty as it is romantic, as trying as it is satisfying. 

This story is perfectly paced, packed with sharp banter, and laced with just the right amount of conflict that's timed just right. I devoured Wardrobe Malfunction in one sitting. This story is sexy and oh so steamy. It's a story of falling in love when the timing is all wrong but the chemistry is just right. It's a Cinderella story where the Prince of Hollywood finds himself reluctantly chasing the off-limits girl who mends his clothes. It's smart and witty and romantic and I laughed as often as I swooned. This one is a win!

 Jessica's Rating:


Samantha Towle is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She began her first novel in 2008 while on maternity leave. She completed the manuscript five months later and hasn’t stopped writing since.

She is the author of contemporary romances, The Storm Series and The Revved Series, and stand-alones, Trouble, When I Was Yours, The Ending I Want, Unsuitable and Sacking the Quarterback, which was written with James Patterson. She has also written paranormal romances, The Bringer and The Alexandra Jones Series. All of her books are penned to the tunes of The Killers, Kings of Leon, Adele, The Doors, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, Lana Del Rey, and more of her favorite musicians.
A native of Hull and a graduate of Salford University, she lives with her husband, Craig, in East Yorkshire with their son and daughter.