2/29/16

REVIEW: BEAUTIFUL BOSS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN!!!!

Title: Beautiful Boss
Series: The Beautiful Series Bk # 9
Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: February 29, 2016
PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON

SYNOPSIS:
The ninth work in the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling series that started with Beautiful Bastard. In this e-novella, Will Sumner and Hanna Bergstrom (from Beautiful Player) find that a wedding and everlasting love were just the beginning.
One Player tamed. One nerd girl satisfied. And one more major life decision to make. When Will fell for Hanna, her quirky sense of humor and fierce dedication to her career were part of the attraction. (Not to mention her coy newbie attitude toward sex and her willingness to let him teach her everything.) But when the job offers start rolling in for her—and oh, they do—Hanna has trouble deciding what she wants, where they should live, and how much she should burden Will with the decision. Magic between the sheets is only one part of a relationship...getting on the same page is quite another altogether.
PURCHASE HERE:
 Will and Hanna are my favorite favorite favorite Christina Lauren couple. I loved everything about how they came to be in Beautiful Player, how their unexpected love story evolved, how quirky and academic they both are. They're so so so perfect together, so likeable individually. Their sexual chemistry and the profound depth of their love made them completely unforgettable and that emotion and raw attraction is ever present in this delicious little novella. 

From the very first page, I was reminded of how uniquely special this couple is. They're adorably nerdy and I almost forgot how much that endeared them to me. They're both analytical and scientific by profession and they approach their relationship and the imminent changes their relationship faces with the same logic they apply to their work. They don't allow superstitious traditions to influence them into entering into their marriage the way the other couples did. They rely on facts and data and their concrete emotions to allay each other's fears and it's that reliance on logic and research and cold hard facts that sets the tone for this novella. 

Hanna and Will rode into this story on a cloud of joy and hope and love. It was hard to imagine where the conflict in this story could possibly come from. I wasn't even sure there'd be any. But it does come. This little novella is packed with some serious angst, some realistic drama and a few hard socks to the gut. But those feels, both good and bad, are so perfectly consistent with who these characters are. It was so right, so believable, so authentic. 

Beautiful Boss is equal parts raw emotion, heartfelt drama, laugh out loud humor, and hot sex. This story made me fall in love with Hanna and Will all over again and it reaffirmed why I loved them so much from the beginning. It also further cements the ever evolving yet always constant bonds between this beautiful group of friends. With their signature wit and hilarity, Christina Lauren delivers another unputdownable, delectable, sexy sexy sexy addition to one of my most favorite series EVER. 

Jessica's Rating:

EXCLUSIVE POV EXCERPT: THE RULE BREAKERS SERIES BY ROYA CARMEN!!

Title: The Ground Rules Undone
Series: The Rule Breakers #3
Author: Roya Carmen
Release Date: February 23, 2016
PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON

SYNOPSIS:
The Ground Rules were impossible to follow. It was hard not to become completely consumed by the beautiful and enigmatic Weston Hanson. The heart of a romantic was not fit for this kind of exchange. So, when it ended, I was shattered, but it was all for the better…or so we thought.
The Ground Rules were rewritten, and then bent. We lied to ourselves. We told ourselves we could handle this. Not a single one of us realized just how big this was...just how devastating it could become.
And now, there are no Rules. We are undone.
Lust… infatuation…blinds you. It can tear everything apart. But sometimes, life needs to be completely torn apart before it can be mended – not just cracked at the edges, but utterly shattered, before you can truly see the mess you’ve become.
I love them both, but I can’t have them both. While one pulls me in, the other pushes me away. And when both eventually open their hearts, I must make the hardest decision of my life.
PURCHASE HERE:
First date… part Two – Bridget – Book 1

Note: contains sexual content 18+


As I stretched to the edge of the bed, Gabe inched his way to me and grabbed a handful of my rear. “Bridget, stay.”

I found my panties on the floor and slipped into them quickly. “I need to get home,” I told him, although he very well knew this. My husband, though brilliant and sweet, is a stickler for rules, and sets his life by his watch. He specifically requested that we both be home not a single minute past midnight. Looking down at the lovely watch he gave me on my last birthday, I knew I didn’t have much time to waste.

Gabe rubbed his eyes and shot me a wicked smile. “We could go another round.”

I laughed. “We’ve already gone another round.”

“Round three?” he suggested playfully. “You tempted?” The sight of him naked didn’t leave me unfazed, but I had a schedule to follow, a rigid plan already set in motion.

I grabbed my clutch and headed off to the en suite to powder my nose. I stood in my silk underwear, staring at my tired reflection when he appeared right behind me. He was completely naked; tall and built like a god, and eager… so very eager. I couldn’t believe my eyes – the man was insatiable. He stood there, smiling at my reflection and he knew he had me. He knew it, but I didn’t… yet.

He swept my hair to the side with a gentle touch and kissed my shoulder softly. “If you don’t want me to fuck you in your bed again, how ‘bout right here, on the bathroom counter?”

I laughed, rinsing my mouth. “I’m serious, Gabe. I have no time. I need to go,” I reminded him. “Weston will have my head. We agreed to both be back at home by midnight,” I said, suddenly feeling like a trampy modern day Cinderella.

“Right,” he said, not quite listening as he looped his fingers through the lace trim of my panties.

I was getting a little frustrated with his childish behaviour, but also very worked up. “Seriously, Gabe. Hands off.”

He chuckled, his breath hot against my back. “Oh I see… hands off… your wish is my command, beautiful.”

Good, I thought as I dabbed on some lipstick. But Gabe wasn’t quite done with me. He stood behind me, staring; hazel eyes intense. Then he gripped the counter, his large hands on both sides of me – he had me caged. I stood, studying our reflection; his tall dark heavy body against mine; slim and fair. Just the sight of all that inked skin had me weak at the knees.

His hands remained gripped to the counter. They did not move as he licked my shoulder, biting hard at the flesh. A heat spread through my core, and I knew I was done for. I closed my eyes as he scraped his teeth along my back, biting at the soft flesh on my hips; that extra inch I can never seem to lose. There was pain, but there was also pleasure. And when he bit my ass through the fabric of my panties, a soft moan escaped.

“Naughty girl,” he teased just before he managed to peel off my panties – with his teeth – no hands needed.

As he kissed my ass softly, I was getting so turned on, I couldn’t have cared less about Weston. All I wanted was for Gabe to make me come again. I leaned over on the granite vanity counter, my elbows pressed on the cold surface, and pushed my ass against him. “You can use your hands…”

He laughed; a wicked chuckle. “Oh I can… can I?” He was going to make me beg. I knew him already. How did this happen, I wondered. One minute I am ready to leave him, then he seduces me, and the next, I’m begging. He loves this. The hotter I am for him, the more I beg… the more he can have it his way… rough. And that’s the way I like it too.

As he traced a finger along the edge of my ass, he asked with his trademark smirk, “You want me to touch you again?”

“Yeah…” I moaned.

His hands were completely still when he said, “What’s the magic word, baby?”

I smiled up at his reflection in the silver framed mirror. “Please,” I whispered, the word small.

“I want you to bend over the counter for me,” he then ordered. “I want to see that gorgeous ass of yours.” I did as ordered, desperately craving his touch. He left for a moment, making me wait.

When he finally returned, he teased me, soft and slow, sliding his long fingers against my wet pussy. I reveled in his skilled touch. As soon as he had me all worked up and primed, he took me from behind, hard against the counter. I pressed one hand against the cold granite, and the other on the wall to keep my head from banging into the mirror.

Gabe already knew me well. Our first night together, and I didn’t need to say a single word. He knew I liked it rough, fast and hard. He pleasured me with his hand while he pounded into me. I came apart for him again in a matter of seconds.

My body ached when we were done, and I knew it would the next day as well. I also knew the teeth marks would take a few days to fade.

But it was exactly what I had wanted.



I am a mom, book junkie and romance writer. A graduate of Ryerson University, I worked as a graphic designer before staying at home with my little ones. I have been writing for over ten years, finding my passion for romance in 2008.  When I’m not spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, painting, and writing – there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down at my laptop and making up my own stories – and if those stories should include beautiful men, a little romance, and a few steamy scenes, all the better!

I am a member of RWA.
Education: B. Tech. Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 

COVER REVEAL + GIVEAWAY: BEGUILING BY ALEX LUCIAN!!!!!

Title: Beguiling
Series: Tempting #2 (Standalone)
Author: Alex Lucian
Release Date: March 31, 2016
PURCHASE - TEMPTING (Bk #1) 

SYNOPSIS:
Hate: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward.
Scarlet Jennings, the preacher’s daughter who lived across the street, was a royal, uptight pain in my ass. When she looked at me, she saw a college quarterback asshole with rocks for brains, but she didn’t have a single word for what was happening between us.
When we were forced to ride together every single day that summer, there was definitely some dislike going on. Extreme hostility was a given, considering that we were spending so much time together in close quarters.
One night of bed-breaking, body-shattering, lose-your-voice-from-screaming passion had surprised us both, but it was only just the beginning…




Alex Lucian is an author living on the eastern coast of the United States who appreciates being anonymous, for personal and professional reasons. Tempting is Alex's first novel



Beguiling Cover Reveal Giveaway


2/19/16

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: BOOTY CALL BY AINSLEY BOOTH!

Title: Booty Call
Series: Forbidden Bodyguards Standalone
Author: Ainsley Booth
Release Date: February 23, 2016
PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON (0.99)

SYNOPSIS:
I know what I’m doing when I text Scott at four in the morning.
He knows what I’m doing, too.
That’s why he shows up twenty-three minutes later, freshly showered with a condom in his pocket and a barely dissolved breath mint on his tongue.
I smirk as he looms over me. “You are such a dirty old man.”
“We need to stop doing this.”
“Why?”
“Because you’re twenty-one and I’m not. Because I want to take you on a f***ing date and you won’t. Because we wind up yelling at each other half the time.”
“But the rest of the time you’re inside me and it feels so good, right?”
His eyes darken and I don’t need to look down to know he’s hard for me.
*** THIS IS A STANDALONE BOOK, CONNECTED TO THE HORUS GROUP SERIES ***
PURCHASE HERE:
 Scott

I leave the Horus Group offices and pull my phone out of my pocket. The text message I got earlier in the day is still on the screen when I swipe in my password.

A: I’m going to be studying late tonight.

We’ve done this a few times now. Sometimes I find her. Sometimes she tells me she’s out alone. I walk her home, and leave her at her door because up until tonight, I’ve had obligations that make things complicated between us.
Tonight is going to be different.
Tonight, I’m no longer her sister’s bodyguard.
Tonight, I’m a free man.

S: Dashford Library?
A: Darkest corner of the campus… and I’ll be walking home all by myself
S: Not tonight
A: … don’t get my hopes up
S: What time should I pick you up?
A: Midnight
S: That’s some serious studying
A: I’m a serious girl
S: I have no doubt
A: Any chance I can turn this walk home into a booty call?

I don’t answer her. I don’t trust myself, either way. Yes, there’s a chance. There’s also a chance I’ll find my inner moral compass and leave this girl alone.
Not a good one, but there’s always a chance.


Mom by day and filthy romance writer by night, Ainsley is super grateful for caffeine, banana and blueberry muffins, and yoga pants. CLICK ON THE ORANGE FOLLOW BUTTON TO STAY IN TOUCH!

And you can also SIGN UP FOR HER MAILING LIST HERE: 




2/17/16

DOUBLE REVIEW AND EXCERPT: ONE DAY SOON BY A. MEREDITH WALTERS!!!

Title: One Day Soon
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Release Date: February 17, 2016
PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON

 

SYNOPSIS:
He found me in blood and tears.
I stayed with him through darkness and fire.
We loved each other in the moment between innocence and bitter truth.
We were the kids easily ignored, who grew into adults we hardly knew.
We weren’t meant to last forever. And we didn’t.
He ran away.
I tried to move on.
Yet I never stopped thinking about the boy who had fought to keep me alive in a world that would have swallowed me whole. He was the past that I buried, but never forgot.
Until the day I found him again, years after believing I had lost him forever.
And in cold, resentful eyes, I saw the heart of the man who had been everything when I had nothing at all. So I vowed to hold onto the second chance that was stolen from the children we had been.
Sometimes fate is ugly. Life can be twisted.
And who we are can be ruined by who we once were.
For two people who had survived so much, we would have to learn how to hold on before we were forced to let go.
PURCHASE HERE:
 So... I finished this book yesterday, and to be honest, I haven't been able to write a cohesive, articulate review of my thoughts and feelings. 

This was a doozy of a read. 

It screamed and punched the reader with emotion so raw and brutal, it's left me completely winded. I went to bed early last night, because I was EXHAUSTED—physically, emotionally, One Day Soon took it all. It's without a doubt a memorable read, one that had me so sad and so broken, I had to read it slowly. I had to take breaks just to breathe. Truly, I didn't know if I was going to make it through the emotional whipping these pages provided. With each turn, I felt as though a hurricane was being unleashed inside me. 

It's ... It's hard to describe. 

That said, I'm going to leave you with my Goodreads review. It's short, but it's my IMMEDIATE feelings after I finished reading this WHOA book. 

_________________

OH MY GOD. 

I'm going to go drown myself in sugar and coffee, grab a fluffy blanket, snuggle into my husband, and just try to soothe myself.

**talks to self** "You're okay, Angie. It's going to be okay. It's all okay. You're fine. Life is fine. Everything's fine. Just breathe, nice soothing breaths... that's it. Let the tears fade. Let it all go..." Bwahahahahahaha. 

HOLY FECKING ANGST FEST. 

To be honest, my first thought: you don't know what angst is until you've read this book. 
YOU JUST DON'T KNOW. **sobs**

I felt so much dread and pain and hurt and despair. 
I felt suffocated by this story. It literally stole my ability to breathe.
I kept having to take emotional breaks. 
I felt sick.
I felt distraught.
I felt overwhelmed.
I felt PAIN.
It was heavy—very intense, very heavy. 

I don't even know what I feel right now, except relief that I made it through this turbulent ride.
I'm emotionally worn out. 

I'm pretty sure this is the angstiest story I have ever read. I mean, I know it is. 
I cried buckets of tears.
BUCKETS <<--- FREAKING BUCKETS. 

There's too many thoughts going on inside me. Too many emotions swirling. I need to try to calm down. I'm pretty sure my blood pressure is SKY HIGH. 

But I will say this... 

What a painful story! This hurt so much. So so so so so much. 
There were many twists and turns. 
It felt very real to me.
The sad, heart wrenching mess these characters were in was NOT glossed over. 
This author can write, she delivered a very complicated, very gritty, very tumultuous and dark read that will strip your heart into ribbons of blood. 

ANGST LOVERS ... THIS IS YOUR BOOK.

Angie's Rating:

One Day Soon is hard to read. Alternating between the present day and flashing back to 15 years earlier, we're brought full circle from where Yossarian Frazier and Imogen Connor met to where their paths have unexpectedly crossed again. I'm not sure what's more heartbreaking, the glimpse into their teenage lives as desperate, homeless runaways, or seeing how broken they each are as adults, separated by time and deplorable, unfathomable circumstances. Prepare yourself. This story is hard to read.

A. Meredith Walters is notorious for tackling the tough subjects honestly and memorably. But she does so by weaving profound love stories through the darkness, the painful, the ugliest sides of humanity, subsequently delivering poignant works of fiction that feel authentic and important. That has never been more true than with One Day Soon. This is a book that forces the reader to reexamine our own humanity.  It forced me to face head on all the ugly things I really don't want to see, and more importantly, ask myself why.  It's easier to pretend the ugly things don't exist, that people can't be this desperate, that they'd be so alone that they'd do what they do to stay alive.  Walters insists we stop being spectators and demands we fall in love with her characters so she can break our hearts with their reality.

This story caused a visceral reaction in me, tight squeezes of my heart, repeated kicks to the gut. There's something in me that always rebels against the idea of romance developing in the sort of circumstances Yossarian Frazier and Imogen Connor find themselves in. While I've never read a story quite like this one, I have read a few others with similar backdrops and I have consistently felt the same way. Like a romance set on the streets is somehow tainted by all of the illicit activities, the grime, the dirt, the sin, the struggle that exists there. But Walters demonstrates here, with One Day Soon, that love is love, regardless of time or circumstance or how messy and painful it may be. The dirt and grime and degradation of the streets is a stark contrast to the purity and beauty of the exquisite love story that transpires within these pages and Walters executes that truth painfully and perfectly.

One Day Soon is both hopeful and hopeless, beautiful and despicable. I struggle with calling this a feel-good romance because the only thing that feels good about it is the second chance that rises from the ashes, even if that second chance seems doomed from the start. This story is brilliant and wholly unforgettable, but the melancholy, the desolation between these pages far outweighs the sweetness and joy. This is a story of finding the silver lining, the good amidst all the terrible. And that terrible, there is a lot of it. The love story of Yossarian Frazier and Imogen Connor is grim and it's plagued with the kind of sadness and tragedy and filth that is impossible to let go of, no matter how pure and right and deep their love is. This is a gritty story. It's raw and it hurts and it's somehow beautiful in all of that ugliness. It hurts to read yet it does, somehow, some way, feel good and perfect. This is the kind of story you'll remember for all the reasons you wish you could forget it. I wish I could erase some of the heartbreaking images from my mind and keep the good times, the happy moments in the forefront. It's just not that kind of book. This isn't a pretty story. But somehow it's still beautiful.

Jessica's Rating:

“Maybe I should tell you a story. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. You always liked when I made up dumb stuff to get you to smile.” I chuckled. “The more improbable the better, right? So let me think of something completely unrealistic.”

I sniffled, wiping my wet cheeks. I hadn’t realized I was crying.

“Once upon a time there was a sad, lonely boy who was actually a forgotten prince. No one knew that he was rich and powerful and had a family that was searching for him.” I smiled sadly, wishing, more than anything, that this particular story had been true.

“One day he met a girl who swore that she would help him get back home to the castle. They fell in love. The prince wanted her to come back to the castle with him so they could live there together. They fought dragons and defeated ogres. They ran from witches and swam through oceans. And finally they found the castle. The prince’s family welcomed him home and he married his princess. And they lived happily ever after.”

I rested my forehead on the back of his hand, hating how cold his skin was. “You always loved your fairytales,” I mused, wishing he had been able to find his.

The hand in mine stirred and I bolted upright. Yoss’s face was contorted in pain, his eyes fluttering.

I got to my feet and reached for the call button so I could alert the nurse that something was wrong.

Then he let out a breath and his eyes opened. They were clouded and confused as they darted around the room, taking everything in.

I was rooted to the spot, not moving. He frowned and then winced when he tried to sit up.

“Uh, you shouldn’t do that. Take it easy,” I instructed, my voice shaking.

Then the wild, green eyes found me. There was no immediate recognition and I felt the crushing weight of disappointment.

He doesn’t know who I am.

His eyes were cold. So cold. Dead. He groaned as he lifted his hand to his face, touching the bandaged skin.

“Let me call the nurse. Your doctor will want to see you now that you’re awake—”

“Where am I?” he asked, his voice rough and hard.

It was a voice I had heard a million times in my dreams.

A voice I never thought I’d hear again. Not in real life.

“You’re at Lupton Memorial Hospital. You were brought in last night.” I didn’t give him any more details. I wasn’t sure he was ready for all that. He had just gained consciousness after all.

“The hospital,” he repeated. He struggled to sit up and hissed in pain at the effort.

“Seriously, you should wait and let me call the nurse—”

His eyes flashed in my direction and the cloud of confusion lifted as he speared me with a look that I felt in my bones.

Recognition.

His eyes widened and his mouth parted in disbelief.

I wanted to say something—anything—but my tongue felt frozen behind my teeth.

Yoss shook his head and closed his eyes. He let out a noise that sounded a lot like a sob and my heart knew the sound of pain when it heard it.

When he opened his eyes again, they were wet. Long, dark lashes spikey with tears that refused to fall.

A hundred memories arched between us. A thousand words spoken softly in the dark.

A dozen promises never kept.

His lips curved upwards into the shadow of a smile that I remembered and loved so much.

“Imi,” he whispered.

I nodded, still otherwise paralyzed.

“Imi,” he said again, a tear traveled the length of his cheek and dripped off his chin.

“It’s me, Yoss,” I said finally, forcing myself to speak.

Our eyes met. They held.

They clung and they devastated.

Fifteen years had passed but none of that mattered.

In that instant we were kids again. Remembering a time when, to each other, we were everything.


The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.



2/15/16

CHAPTER ONE SNEAK PEEK: PLATINUM BY K.A. LINDE!!!

Title: Platinuim
Series: All that Glitters - Standalone
Author: K.A. Linde
Release Date: Feburary 18, 2016
PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON

SYNOPSIS:
Cheating is my hard limit.
The only thing I truly fear.
My heart was shattered once before, and I swore it would never happen again. This time I chose the safe guy who wouldn’t destroy me. Turns out…they don’t exist.
So when the sexiest Brit I’ve ever met dances right into my life, I offer him a one night stand. No strings attached. My perfect rebound, with zero chance of betrayal. It’s everything I hoped for. But he demands more than I’m willing to give.
I refuse to be fooled again, because I know a man I can count on is rarer than… Platinum.
Follow the conclusion to Trihn’s story in this sexy, heart stopping fourth book in USA Todaybestselling author K.A. Linde’s All That Glitters series.
*This is the book 4 in the All That Glitters series, but can be read as a stand alone. Although characters from the rest of the series appear throughout. ATG order: Diamonds, Gold, Emeralds, Platinum, Silver.
PURCHASE HERE:

THIS WAS A VERY BAD IDEA.
Trihnity Hamilton sighed heavily as she stared at the name on the screen of her phone and avoided the knowing looks from her best friends, Bryna Turner and Stacia Palmer.
“Just don’t invite him,” Bryna said irritably.
“I’m not inviting him,” Trihn snapped back.
Trihn had been dating her boyfriend, Neal, for over a year and a half. They had met and fallen for each other over their mutual love for artistic endeavors. He was a graphic design major while she studied fashion design with a focus in art. Unfortunately, the artsy lifestyle didn’t exactly fit with Trihn’s love for partying.
Or so Neal had said.
Frankly, Bryna flat-out hated him, and at this point, Stacia barely tolerated him. The disconnect between the two most important things in her life—her friends and her boyfriend—was causing some...unnecessary strain.
“I’m just going to answer this, and then we can go,” Trihn said.
She turned away from her friends before they could say anything to change her mind. And she knew Bryna would try.
“I just don’t think it’s a good idea,” Bryna said to Stacia behind Trihn’s back.
“Leave it be, Bri,” Stacia said.
Trihn took a breath and answered the phone with forced enthusiasm, “Hey!”
“Hey, what are you up to tonight?” Neal asked.
Trihn twirled her long brown-to-blonde ombrĂ© hair around her finger and tried to calm herself down. She was not going to argue with Neal tonight, not about going to the club for a girls’ night. He’d understand.
He will.
She would just keep telling herself that.
Her stomach knotted anyway, twisting and turning against her will, as fear crept up her spine. No matter how much she tried to tamp it down, it’d just slither its way back up.
She took a deep breath. “I was just about to head out with Bri and Stacia. We’re going to this club that’s having some kind of crazy dance party.”
“Let me guess,” he said dryly. “Bryna’s suggestion?”
“Maya actually!” she said, trying to keep pep in her voice. “She’s meeting us there later after she gets off work.”
Maya was their favorite bartender at the local club they frequented, Posse. It was located just off the Las Vegas State campus where Trihn was starting the second semester of her sophomore year.
“I see. Well, never mind then.”
“I would totally invite you,” Trihn insisted.
Bryna coughed noisily behind her. Trihn swiveled around and glared at her and Stacia.
“But...it’s a girls’ night. I’m so sorry. I didn’t know you would be getting back early. I should have checked with you about your schedule.”
Stacia snorted and shook her head. Bryna looked like she was ready to rip the phone out of Trihn’s hand and tell Neal exactly what he could do with his schedule.
“It’s fine, Trihn. I was going to see if I could come over since I just got back from San Francisco.”
“I know,” she whispered.
Over winter break, Neal had had a graphic design internship in San Francisco where his parents lived. It had been a continuation of his work from last summer. She had only seen him for a couple of days when her parents had flown him out to New York City for New Year’s. He had gotten back to Las Vegas two days early. She had thought he wouldn’t be in town until the Sunday before school started, but his parents had decided otherwise. She felt bad that she already had plans. She would have run over there in a heartbeat, but Maya never got out of work to hang out with them. Trihn couldn’t pass up the opportunity. She figured she would just see Neal tomorrow, and all would be fine.
“So...” she said softly.
The silence stretched between them as she waited for him to say something. She bit her lip and fought against the growing awkwardness in their relationship. When he had visited her only a couple of weeks ago, things had been strange. He’d been more interested in getting to know her sister, Lydia, than spending time with Trihn. She and Lydia still had a strained relationship after what had happened post–high school graduation, and it didn’t help that Trihn had another boyfriend who seemed to be enamored by Lydia.
“I’ll just talk to you later or something,” Neal said after a few silent seconds. “I’ll probably go to The Kiln since you don’t want to see me.”
Trihn cringed. She actually hated The Kiln. It was an artistic dream in theory—a bar with live music and slam poetry under the same roof as a pottery studio. But, in reality, everyone would sit around and bemoan the state of the art movement, or the lack thereof, in America while getting high as fuck, and then they’d make art with their bodies with whoever was around. It wasn’t uncommon for the place to turn into an orgy.
“It’s not that I don’t want to see you,” she insisted. “I really do, but we’ve had this planned for a while.”
“Okay.”
“But...do you have to go to The Kiln?” she managed to get out.
He knew she hated that place. It was a breeding ground for bad behavior. All the while, he’d claim that the clubs she went to were bad.
“You’re going out to some club to get wasted with your friends and basically have sex on the dance floor, and you’re asking me not to go out?” he asked in a tone that brooked no argument.
“I’m not going to have sex on the dance floor,” she argued anyway. “But I know that people do at The Kiln. It’s just...gross.”
“Trihn, don’t lecture me about what I can and can’t do.”
“I wasn’t,” she whimpered. “I just—”
“Look, I’m going to go. If you decide to stop fucking around and want to take us seriously, then come to The Kiln, and we can talk.”
“I—”
The line went dead in her hand, and she nearly screamed. How dare he insinuate that I’m going out to fuck around and that I don’t take out relationship seriously!
She was the one putting all the effort into their relationship. Half the time, he would be pissed off about what she was doing and who she was hanging out with. It was blatantly clear that he didn’t trust her. She didn’t get it because she had never done anything to make him think otherwise. She was the most loyal person alive.
After the fiasco with Preston, she couldn’t even imagine fooling around behind someone’s back. Just the idea of cheating pissed her off.
She tried to rein in her emotions. The last thing she wanted was to be in a bad mood when she went out with the girls. Things with Neal would work out. They always did. He would get mad and lash out, but when they got back together, everything would be fine. He was just frustrated.
“All right,” she said, dropping the phone to her side, “are you guys ready to party?”
Bryna and Stacia exchanged equally sympathetic looks. They knew things between Trihn and Neal were rocky even if they had only heard half of the conversation.
“Is everything okay?” Stacia asked hesitantly.
“I really don’t want to talk about it,” Trihn said stiffly. “Let’s just go have a good time.”
She hoped that would still be possible.


USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde has written the Avoiding series and the Record series as well as the new adult novels Following Me and Take Me for Granted. She grew up as a military brat traveling the United States and Australia. While studying political science and philosophy at the University of Georgia, she founded the Georgia Dance Team, which she still coaches. Post-graduation, she served as the campus campaign director for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An avid traveler, reader, and bargain hunter, K.A. lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband and two puppies, Riker and Lucy.

2/14/16

EXCERPT + REVIEW: THE LIE BY KARINA HALLE!!!

Title: The Lie
Standalone Novel
Author: Karina Halle
Release Date: February 15, 2016
PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON

SYNOPSIS:
Their love led to a lie.
Their truth led to the end.
Scottish enigma Brigs McGregor is crawling out from the ashes. After losing his wife and son in a car accident - and, subsequently, his job - he's finally moving forward with his life, securing a prestigious teaching position at the University of London and starting a new chapter in the city. Slowly, but surely, he's pushing past the guilt and putting his tragic past behind him.
Until he sees her.
Natasha Trudeau once loved a man so much she thought she'd die without him. But their love was wrong, doomed from the start, and when their world crashed around them, Natasha was nearly buried in the rubble. It took years of moving on to forget him, and now that she's in London, she's ready to start over again.
Until she sees him.
Because some loves are too dangerous to ever rekindle.
And some loves are too powerful to ignore.
Can you ever have a second chance at a love that ruined you?
The Lie is a second-chance romance with a dark, forbidden twist.
PURCHASE HERE:

"Our love was wrong. 
A lie we told ourselves. 
And it cost us the world."

The Lie is a raw, palpable romance plagued with devastation, heartbreak and uncertainty. It's a powerful story of longing and ferocious love written in Halle's lush, fiery writing style. This is a taboo story, a forbidden romance, a heartbreaking tragedy, a second chance wrought with passion and sensuality and stellar characterization, all swathed together by Halle's exquisite writing. This story is magnificent. Truly. I want to weep because I loved it so much, loved these characters so deeply, and because I'm moved and awe inspired by what this author can create with some choice word placement. It's amazing to me that we're all given the same 26 letters in the alphabet to use each day yet Karina Halle is able to mix them up in such a way that this devastating, unforgettable piece of magic was born.

Within a handful of paragraphs upon starting this book, several things became abundantly clear. First, this story would gut the hell out of me. Brigs McGregor has a tragic story to tell and it was going to hurt. Second, Karina Halle's writing, I swear, is far more stunning than I remembered, and I remember it being pretty freaking beautiful. Her sentences, her words, are simply breathtaking. Third, I'd decided that if, between the stunning cover, the captivating prologue, and the superb writing that seemed to just wind and melt and flow from the pages, this didn't turn out to be one of my absolute favorite stories from this author, I'd be stunned. And yes, I'd decided all of this midway through chapter one.

This is a story that forces the reader to see rightness in all the wrongness. It doesn't make excuses for impropriety, it doesn't try to justify betrayal. It's simply an authentic, honest depiction of humanity. It's a story of love and chemistry born in the most unexpected circumstances. It's about decent people doing the decent thing and it still not being enough to prevent the catastrophic effects of colliding hearts. You may only see selfishness in this type of romance, but all I see is sacrifice. You may think that this is a black and white story of emotional infidelity but I see a story of honor and respect. You may believe this is a story of lies and deception, but all I see is truth. So much truth. 

Halle's scintillating writing style and ardent storytelling set all of her books apart for me. She's one of the most versatile romance authors I've ever read. The pithy prose and the crisp voice exclusive to this author juxtaposed with the profoundly magnetic characters and their emotional journey in The Lie makes for a story a reader will undoubtedly get lost in. I certainly did. You should never open one of Halle's books expecting it to feel similar to one you've read before and that's never been more true than with The Lie. The previous books in this series are all unforgettable love stories in their own right, but they feel much more modern compared to this book. The Lie has such a unique tone, fitting for such extraordinary characters and an even more extraordinary love story. The Lie feels more classical, transcendent, timeless. The Lie is everything an epic romance was ever intended to be and I won't soon forget it.

Jessica's Rating:

Without even thinking, I end up in Natasha’s neighborhood, on her street. I pull the car over and stare at her building. I can drive off. I can go blow off some steam with Lachlan. I can drive and scream and wish to god that things were different.
But I don’t want to do it alone.
I get out of the car and head to her flat.
I knock on her door, wondering if she’s even in, if she might still be sleeping. It’s still early on a Saturday and we don’t see each other on the weekends without it being work related, such as seeing a classic film at the cinema. I hadn’t planned to talk to her until Monday, her last week of work as my research assistant before going back to London.
My heart pinches at that thought.
She’s leaving me.
What the hell am I doing?
But then the door opens slowly and she’s staring at me with wide eyes, her hair piled on top of her head in a messy bun, a fluffy robe around her body.
“Sorry,” I say quickly, immediately feeling bad. “Did I wake you up?”
She yawns. “Kind of, but I should be getting up anyway. What’s, um, up?”
I rub my lips together. “I…I wanted to know if you wanted to go for a drive?”
“Where?”
I shrug. “I don’t know. Far away. But not too far. I have to be back by twelve-thirty for Hamish.”
“What time is it now?”
“Eight-thirty.”
She rolls her eyes. “And you were wondering if you woke me up. I should still be sleeping for at least another two hours.”
I nod, embarrassed at my enthusiasm. I’m being inappropriate. “I should go.”
I turn around, but she reaches out and grabs my arm, holding tight. “No, don’t,” she says. “I want to go with you. Just give me five minutes, okay?”
I turn to look at her and she’s flashing me a persuasive smile.
“I’ll be in the car,” I tell her.
Somehow she’s true to her word. In five minutes she’s jogging down the steps of her building, dressed in jeans and a tank top that shows off the tawny warmth of her summer tan. She hasn’t touched her hair at all; it’s still up in that bedhead bun, and there isn’t a bit of makeup on her. She doesn’t need it. She looks joyful. She looks absolutely beautiful.
“You’re fast,” I tell her as she slips into the passenger seat.
She giddily drums her hands across the dash and beams at me. “I’m fast when I want to be. I love this car. Where are we going again? Oh right, somewhere far away. Can we get coffee first? I’m dying.”
I can’t help but grin at her as I turn the key. The car starts on the first turn. She’s my good luck charm. “You don’t seem like you need coffee.”
“I always need coffee,” she says emphatically. “You know this. So where to?”
“I honestly don’t know. You pick.”
“Do you have a map?”
“Of Scotland?”
“Yeah.”
I nod at the glove compartment. “In there.”
She opens it and it falls open with a clunk. She takes out an old faded road map and starts looking it over.
“Anything strike your eye?”
“I’m looking for Loch Ness.”
“That’s too far.”
“Okay, is there like another lake with a swamp monster?”
“Nearly all the lochs are in the Highlands.”
Arrrrrrrrrr in the Highlands,” she says playfully, imitating my accent.
“Okay, maybe no coffee for you.”
“Don’t be cruel, Professor Blue Eyes.” She goes back to studying the map but the mention of my nickname makes a small fire build inside me. And not one of anger.
She points on the map. “Here. Balmoral.”
“That’s where the Queen lives.”
“I know. I want to say hello.”
“It’s a two-hour drive,” I point out.
“Well, then we better get cracking,” she says. “The Queen is expecting us.”
She’s definitely full of spirit today. It seems to latch onto me and I ingest it like a tonic. She’s erasing all the humiliation and pain from the morning.
We head out of the city, taking the A-90 to the M-90 and speed north. After we get her some coffee and we share a couple of sausage rolls for breakfast, I warn her that we literally will see the estate and have to head back. But she doesn’t mind.
And honestly, neither do I. I crank the old radio on the car to pick up an oldies station playing a special on Otis Redding. The day is warm and gorgeous, and even though we’re going fast, our windows are down, enjoying the wind and the sun on our skin.
About an hour into our drive, Natasha turns to me and says, “Tell me the truth. Why did you come to get me this morning?”
“Was it that unusual?” I ask without looking at her.
“Yes,” she says. “The last time you came to my house without me knowing…”
“Back then I was following up on an email. I wanted to know if you were all right,” I tell her before she can tell me anything else about that night.
“And now I want to know if you’re all right,” she says gently.
I glance at her. There’s a softness in her eyes that undoes me. I grip the wheel hard, conscious of my every movement and how they might appear to her. A good man, after the night she kissed me, the night I kissed her right back, would have never been alone with her again.
But I’m not a good man.
I’m a man who is slowly but surely falling in the wrong direction.


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

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

2/13/16

THIS WEEKS UPCOMING RELEASE LIST!!!!!!!


NEXT week is CRAZY full of books. HERE'S A LOOK AT WHAT'S COMING!!!!

✦ UNLEASHED ➔ http://amzn.to/1O36rrt
✦ RED CARD ➔ http://amzn.to/1O36Aev
✦ OVER YOU ➔ http://amzn.to/1T7Qtml
✦ LAST CALL ➔ http://amzn.to/1T7QHdl (0.99)
✦ THE LIE ➔ http://amzn.to/1T7QIxS (0.99)
✦ THE BILLIONAIRE ➔ http://amzn.to/1T7QTJk
✦ ASK ME AGAIN ➔ http://amzn.to/1O36Vha
✦ TEN THOUSAND WORDS ➔ http://amzn.to/1O372JH
✦ TAKING THE SCORE ➔ http://amzn.to/1T7RuLi
✦ FADE INTO YOU ➔ http://amzn.to/1O3783N
✦ YOU'RE STILL THE ONE ➔ http://amzn.to/1O37eIV
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✦ EMERGENCY ENGAGEMENT ➔ http://amzn.to/1T7Sn6r
✦ A LOVE SO TRAGIC ➔ http://amzn.to/1O37t6K
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2/12/16

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: ONE DAY SOON BY A. MEREDITH WALTERS!!

Title: One Day Soon
Series/ Standalone: Standalone
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Release Date: February 18, 2016
PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON

SYNOPSIS:
He found me in blood and tears.
I stayed with him through darkness and fire.
We loved each other in the moment between innocence and bitter truth.
We were the kids easily ignored, who grew into adults we hardly knew.
We weren’t meant to last forever. And we didn’t.
He ran away.
I tried to move on.
Yet I never stopped thinking about the boy who had fought to keep me alive in a world that would have swallowed me whole. He was the past that I buried, but never forgot.
Until the day I found him again, years after believing I had lost him forever.
And in cold, resentful eyes, I saw the heart of the man who had been everything when I had nothing at all. So I vowed to hold onto the second chance that was stolen from the children we had been.
Sometimes fate is ugly. Life can be twisted.
And who we are can be ruined by who we once were.
For two people who had survived so much, we would have to learn how to hold on before we were forced to let go.
PURCHASE HERE:
 “Maybe I should tell you a story. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. You always liked when I made up dumb stuff to get you to smile.” I chuckled. “The more improbable the better, right? So let me think of something completely unrealistic.”

I sniffled, wiping my wet cheeks. I hadn’t realized I was crying.

“Once upon a time there was a sad, lonely boy who was actually a forgotten prince. No one knew that he was rich and powerful and had a family that was searching for him.” I smiled sadly, wishing, more than anything, that this particular story had been true.

“One day he met a girl who swore that she would help him get back home to the castle. They fell in love. The prince wanted her to come back to the castle with him so they could live there together. They fought dragons and defeated ogres. They ran from witches and swam through oceans. And finally they found the castle. The prince’s family welcomed him home and he married his princess. And they lived happily ever after.”

I rested my forehead on the back of his hand, hating how cold his skin was. “You always loved your fairytales,” I mused, wishing he had been able to find his.

The hand in mine stirred and I bolted upright. Yoss’s face was contorted in pain, his eyes fluttering.

I got to my feet and reached for the call button so I could alert the nurse that something was wrong.

Then he let out a breath and his eyes opened. They were clouded and confused as they darted around the room, taking everything in.

I was rooted to the spot, not moving. He frowned and then winced when he tried to sit up.

“Uh, you shouldn’t do that. Take it easy,” I instructed, my voice shaking.

Then the wild, green eyes found me. There was no immediate recognition and I felt the crushing weight of disappointment.

He doesn’t know who I am.

His eyes were cold. So cold. Dead. He groaned as he lifted his hand to his face, touching the bandaged skin.

“Let me call the nurse. Your doctor will want to see you now that you’re awake—”

“Where am I?” he asked, his voice rough and hard.

It was a voice I had heard a million times in my dreams.

A voice I never thought I’d hear again. Not in real life.

“You’re at Lupton Memorial Hospital. You were brought in last night.” I didn’t give him any more details. I wasn’t sure he was ready for all that. He had just gained consciousness after all.

“The hospital,” he repeated. He struggled to sit up and hissed in pain at the effort.

“Seriously, you should wait and let me call the nurse—”

His eyes flashed in my direction and the cloud of confusion lifted as he speared me with a look that I felt in my bones.

Recognition.

His eyes widened and his mouth parted in disbelief.

I wanted to say something—anything—but my tongue felt frozen behind my teeth.

Yoss shook his head and closed his eyes. He let out a noise that sounded a lot like a sob and my heart knew the sound of pain when it heard it.

When he opened his eyes again, they were wet. Long, dark lashes spikey with tears that refused to fall.

A hundred memories arched between us. A thousand words spoken softly in the dark.

A dozen promises never kept.

His lips curved upwards into the shadow of a smile that I remembered and loved so much.

“Imi,” he whispered.

I nodded, still otherwise paralyzed.

“Imi,” he said again, a tear traveled the length of his cheek and dripped off his chin.

“It’s me, Yoss,” I said finally, forcing myself to speak.

Our eyes met. They held.

They clung and they devastated.

Fifteen years had passed but none of that mattered.

In that instant we were kids again. Remembering a time when, to each other, we were everything.


The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.