New Beginnings in RIDE ROUGH–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review for a new contemporary romance from Laura Kaye. RIDE ROUGH is the second book in her Raven Riders series and find the club VP, Maverick Rylan, reconnecting with his first and only love-Alexa Harmon-right when she needs him most. If you want to catch up on the series, check out my review for RIDE HARD.

About the book:
Maverick Rylan won’t apologize for who he is—the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club Vice-President, a sought-after custom bike builder, and a man dedicated to protecting those he loves. So when he learns that the only woman who has ever held his heart is in trouble, he’ll move heaven and earth to save her.

Alexa Harmon thought she had it all—the security of a good job, a beautiful home, and a powerful, charming fiancé who offered the life she never had growing up. But when her dream quickly turns into a nightmare, Alexa realizes she’s fallen for a façade she can’t escape—until sexy, dangerous Maverick offers her a way out.

Forced together to keep Alexa safe, their powerful attraction reignites and Maverick determines to do whatever it takes to earn a second chance—one Alexa is tempted to give. But her ex-fiancé isn’t going to let her go without a fight, one that will threaten everything they both hold dear.

How about a little taste?

“What am I going to do? My entire life is wrapped up in him. My job. Where I live. My car. Where Mom lives. Everything. Oh, God. This is going to be a nightmare, isn’t it?”

Maverick grasped Alexa’s hands. “One thing at a time. You’re out. You can stay here as long as you need to. I have plenty of room. I’ll help you through it. That’ll give you time to figure out what it is you want. There’s no rush.”

“Okay,” she said. “Okay. God, thank you.” A shiver raced over her skin.

“You don’t have to thank me. I’m so relieved for you that I might fall the fuck over,” he said, his thumb rubbing over her knuckles. She almost managed a little smile. “Your hands are like ice, Al. I shouldn’t have made you stand her all this time when you’re soaking wet.”

Alexa shook her head. “It felt good to get it out, Maverick.”

“Glad to hear it. Would a hot shower make you feel better? I can find you a T-shirt and a pair of boxers to change into while your clothes dry.”

All the TLC and understanding he was giving her reached right inside her chest. When was the last time someone had taken care of her this way?

The last time you were with Maverick. The truth of that thought made her breath catch. “Yeah. I’d like that,” she managed.

He gave a tight nod and stepped back, and she missed his heat immediately. “Uh, good. That’s good. You remember your way around?”

“Of course,” she said. How much time had she spent here over the years? Even before they dated? At one point, Maverick’s place had practically been a second home.

“You okay?” he asked, watching her.

She pushed off the door. “I don’t know yet,” she said, coming to him. “But what I do know is how grateful I am to you. For everything. For being there when I told you not to. For listening. For just . . . being you.”

“Always.” He crossed his big arms and ducked his chin, like something about the exchange made him uncomfortable.

“I mean it,” she said, and then she pressed onto tiptoes and kissed his cheek, his stubble tickling her lips. “You saved me tonight.”

“No,” he said, eyes flashing, one brow arched. “You saved yourself, Al. I was just your getaway driver.”

Staring into one another’s eyes, the tender moment stretched out, morphed, suddenly flashed hot. Being so close to him set her body on fire, and finally she could actually consider acting on it. Need roared through her, a living, breathing thing. “Maverick,” she whispered.

“Fuck, Alexa, I think you better go take that shower,” he said, his jaw ticking. “Now.”

She released a shaky breath and nodded. He was right. Of course, he was.

So, showering. She could handle that. Afterward, God only knew what she was going to do.

My Review:
Alexa Harmon is caught in a dangerous bind; she’s due to marry her fiance, Grant, who happens to be one crack away from physically abusive. He’s certainly not the nice guy who wooed Alexa over the past several years–and Alexa isn’t sure when that all changed. Grant’s a wealthy real estate developer, and he’s the owner of the construction company Alexa works for. If she pulls out of the wedding, what will happen to her job? Or, her hoarder/invalid mother living rent-free in one of Grant’s properties.

Thing is, Alexa’s beginning to recognize that Grant’s temper and mood swings aren’t normal, and pose a very real threat. She’s scared and has few close friends to seek shelter from, but one man in her life was once her rock: Maverick Rylan. Mav was her elder brother Tyler’s best friend–and her boyfriend–until Tyler died in a motorcycle wreck. Alexa freaked out that Mav would be next and broke things off. Now, she turns to Maverick to see if she’s just got jitters, or the dread she’s sensing in her gut is justified.

Maverick never thought he’d see Alexa again, but he’s not about to let her walk out of his life a second time, and especially when he’s not sure who is responsible for the bruises on her face. Maverick’s MC, the Raven Riders has been in a land battle with Grant for the better part of a decade, and Grant’s tried every dirty trick in the book to claim the prime real estate the Raven Riders own. Even if Mav can only have Alexa’s friendship, he’s willing to accept it–but he’s more than a friend. He’s able to cajole Alexa’s mother into a better living situation, as she trusts him from so many years of acquaintance. And, Mav’s even smitten by Alexa’s hairless cat. When Grant gets word that Alexa’s been seen in Mav’s company, well, it’s a rotten experience for all, but Mav’s there to help her pick up the pieces.

While this book has lots of plot points just on the edge of abuse, the climax is a tense and emotional scene. Mav and Alexa make a good pair, and their reunion is really tender. They had a good love way back when, but it was raw and young, and they’ve both grown a lot in the meantime. Grant’s a Class A Jerk, and he’s no less than lethal by the end. The Raven Riders get several tests to challenge them when they are still suffering the loss of members in the past few weeks and months. I liked how Alexa was humble, and made amends with Mav’s dearest friends and family. It’s an interesting read with a good love story, but could be a trigger for fans with a history of domestic abuse.

Interested? You can find RIDE ROUGH on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

***GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win one of THREE $10 GC to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice!)
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

LauraKayeAbout the Author:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Out Today! TOO HARD TO FORGET–Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Hi there! Sharing another book birthday, this time for a contemporary romance from Tessa Bailey. I’ve read the first two books in her Romancing the Clarkson’s series, TOO HOT TO HANDLE and TOO WILD TO TAME, and really enjoyed them. TOO HARD TO FORGET is out today, and features the youngest Clarkson–Peggy–finding her ‘one that got away’…and bringing him back.

Catch and excerpt below and be sure to scroll down and enter the giveaway for one of 10 paperback copies of TOO HARD TO FORGET, too!

About the book:
The third book in New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey’s Romancing the Clarksons series about four siblings on a cross-country road trip, perfect for fans of Gena Showalter and Julie James!

This time, she’s calling the shots.

Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he’s been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy’s determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she’ll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.

How about a little taste?

“I don’t know, Peggy.” He whirled on her, closing in until she was forced back onto the desk. “I had an All-American on my squad this morning and now I don’t. That’s all I know.” He pointed a finger toward the window. “I solve problems down on the field. Saving people isn’t my job.”

Saving people. God, there was such a wealth of regret and pain in those two words. But he couldn’t hear it and she couldn’t address it. Letting him know she saw right through his façade to the hurt beneath might force Elliott to close himself off. “You didn’t always limit yourself. Why are you doing it now?”

“Accepting things that can’t be changed isn’t a limitation. It’s realistic.”

“But how will you know if something can’t be changed unless you try?”

“When it comes to certain things, Peggy, trying leads to losing.” He was in her face now, the mint from his toothpaste familiar and inviting where it slid over her lips. “And I don’t lose.”

No one ever stood up this man but her, and she wouldn’t be cowed now. “No? You’re out a receiver.” She hitched herself up on his desk. “I’d call that a loss.”

The tips of his shoes met Peggy’s, his hands gripping the furniture on either side of her hips. “Who do you think you are, little girl? Coming into my office and telling me what I’ve done wrong?” His eyes were brilliant in their vexation, the attraction he was trying so hard to fight. “Where do you get the goddamn bravery?”

“The bravery is what you liked best about me,” she breathed, heat sizzling in a downward V toward her thighs. “Isn’t it?”

“No. That bravery is what almost led to my downfall.” His hands found her bottom, jerking her to the edge of the desk. “I resented it. Still do.”

“Liar,” Peggy whispered, easing her thighs wider. “You’re dying for an excuse to head for another downfall.” When her legs were as open as she could spread them, she leaned up to Elliott’s ear and let her breath shake loose. “One thrust.”

Elliott’s right hand came up out of nowhere, molding over Peggy’s mouth as his hips crowded into the notch of her legs. With a quick maneuver to recline her halfway back, Elliott’s erection found the apex of her thighs, delivering an aggressive pump against her underwear that sent a scream climbing up Peggy’s throat, only to be trapped by his hand. Knees jerking up out of reflex over the rush of sensation, an orgasm almost—almost— broke past the surface, sending her waters rippling out on all sides. Her legs wanted to hug Elliott’s waist, her voice wanted to beg for one more, one more, one more, but he shook his head, denying her, even though his gaze was hot, a low groan issuing from his harshly masculine mouth.

He leaned in and nipped the lobe of her ear. “Next time, ask for two.”

I really can’t wit to read this one!

Interested? You can find TOO HARD TO FORGET on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo Books-A-Million, and IndieBound.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win one of 10 paperback copies of TO HARD TO FORGET.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

TOO HOT TO HANDLE - coverInterested in the first book, TOO HOT TO HANDLE? Watch shy Rita get wooed by a man working hard to turn his lady-killer reputation around.
It is both sweet and sexy…

And the second book of the series, TOO WILD TO TAME, was a surprisingly tender book that featured the jaded political analyst, Aaron, falling for a girl suffering years of PTSD. Catch my review for more deets.

 

Tessa Bailey - headshotAbout the Author:
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

You can catch up to Tessa online on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Unexpected Strength IF NOT FOR YOU–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary romance from Debbie Macomber. IF NOT FOR YOU is the third book in her New Beginnings series, but easily enjoyed as a standalone. I did read A GIRL’S GUIDE TO MOVING ON, the second book, and I liked it too.

About the book:
An emotionally stirring novel that shows how obstacles can be overcome, differences can be strengths, and sometimes a choice can seem wrong even though it’s absolutely right

If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she’s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not and her parents worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who’s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn’t exactly Sam’s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either.

But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both.

Before long, Beth’s strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam’s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she’s come to love.

My Review:
Beth is a 25 y/o sheltered woman, striking out on her own to build a career and life outside of her mother’s stern grasp. She’s relocated to Portland, Oregon to be near her dear Aunt Sunshine and take a position as high school music teacher. Her meek, but kind, physicist father has guaranteed that momma bird will stay back in Chicago for at least six months, before she’s able to come and inspect Beth’s new life.

Beth is a delicate-looking woman, and a new colleague offers to set her up with he husband’s best friend, Sam. Sam is not delicate. He’s a bearded, tattooed mechanic, and a darned good one. Still, he’s not excited to meet Beth at his buddy’s home and the set-up date is a awkward as can be. They develop a camaraderie about being set-up, and when the expectations of “no thanks” are realized on both sides, they part with smiles. Sam and Beth take the same route home, which is how Sam witnesses Beth’s tiny car getting broadsided when a texting teen runs a red light.

Beth’s in bad, bad shape, and Sam’s, well, he’s by her side in an instant, and holds her hand while calling 911. Beth’s pain is immense, and Sam’s gruff voice and tight grasp are pivotal in keeping her from fading out altogether. This unlikely couple, who could barely spend a dinner together, soon become very good friends. Sam visits Beth in the hospital, and a rapport grows. They share conversation, at first, but soon it’s clear that they want more than just a friendship. They make music together–and I mean that in the literal sense. Sam brings his guitar, and Beth plays the rehab center’s piano. The music solidifies their bond, and Sam longs for the day Beth will walk out of rehab and into a relationship. Which is odd, because Sam hasn’t dated in more than a decade.

Beth is a cock-eyed optimist, and has her heart set on fixing everyone around her, including her never-married Aunt Sunshine and Sam, who grieves a lost child. But her well-meant efforts don’t bring about the desired results. At first.

Beth is a nice gal, but she’s so naive. It was good to see her grow and develop into a strong adult, now that her mom’s not pulling her strings. Sam’s a decent guy, and I was glad he found love–even though he was rather stubborn about it. There’s a subplot regarding Beth’s mom, aunt, and a man they both loved back in college. The one that got away, if you will. Well, that was a darker plotline clearly developed as a foil to Beth and Sam’s romance. That said, it’s nice that the family rift was healed after so many years. This book ends with an HEA, but it’s a quiet romance. Don’t expect more than some chaste kissing on the page.

Interested? You can find IF NOT FOR YOU on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other discount book outlets like Target, WalMart and your library, undoubtedly. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

about the Author:
Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 990 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Sixteen of these novels hit the number one spot.

There’s so much more to know about her, but I’d suggest heading to her website, Facebook, or twitter for all that!

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

TWO TO TANGO Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a cover reveal for a new contemporary romance from Kate Kisset. TWO TO TANGO is part of her St Helena Winery books, of which I enjoyed KISSING MR. MISTLETOE and JUST A KISS.

TWO TO TANGO releases this Wednesday, but you can drop down and check out an excerpt and get in on the gift basket bonanza giveaway, too!

About the book:
An unexpected roommate. An unlikely dance partner. A match made in wine country.

Sexy veterinarian Scarlett Halle jumps at the chance to move home to St. Helena and start over after being dumped by her fiancé. She’s determined to break out of her timid shell and go after what she wants, but the fear of failing still stands in her way.

While staying at a friend’s vineyard retreat arranging her relocation, she discovers an unexpected roommate. Not just any roommate, but a man she spent an unforgettable evening with years ago.

San Francisco sportscaster Jake Martelli will do anything for his family, but this time his aunt ChiChi has gone too far. After being publicly humiliated by a geriatric mod squad, he’s forced to hide out in wine country. This time the punishment for his loyalty is learning how to tango in order to win a local dance competition. He’s not looking for a partner, but when he finds he’s hiding out with someone from his past, it would seem fate has other plans.

With Scarlett by his side, will Jake discover a three-minute tango is the dance of a lifetime?

How about a little taste?

“Sorry I hit you.” Scarlett peered at the ceiling, searching for a stray cobweb, something—anything—to keep her eyes off him. After Regan and Gabe’s wedding, she and Jake saw each other at least a few times a year at family occasions, or during the holidays. Although the timing hadn’t been right, because one or the other was always with a date, Scarlett felt those sneaky tingles of possibility around Jake every time they met.

She didn’t want to look again, and really didn’t mean to, but the sight of Jake’s gorgeous face and moist-from-the-shower, tanned, taut body overpowered any rational thinking. With his towel draped precariously low, exposing the curvature of his pelvis…which was, quite frankly, made to make a woman’s eyes travel down to where the trail of hair would no doubt lead to the happiest place on earth…Scarlett did what any woman would do. She gawked. Mouth wide open.

And…Jake caught her staring. Making a miraculous recovery from his head injury, his dark, sexy eyes flashed across the room in obvious flirt mode. “It’s nice to see you too.”

“Why aren’t you dressed?” she demanded.

“Probably for the same reason you’re not wearing a bra.” His eyes locked on her chest, his stare stepping from left to right and back again. “Like I said, it’s great to see you.”

His raspy, deep voice triggered another round of thrills, which didn’t help her concentration. Scarlett hadn’t experienced a solitary, male-driven flutter since her fiancé confessed he’d fallen out of love with her. In fact, she hadn’t seen this much hairless skin on a male animal with two legs in over a year.

“It’s nice to see you, too,” slipped out of her mouth. She contemplated the lock of hair on his forehead, his sculpted chin, his chest, and south. She caught herself at his belly button, feeling heat rush up to her cheeks. Adding insult to blushing, her nipples brushed against her T-shirt, sending a wake-up call below.

Scarlett folded her arms, making a silent promise to kill Regan. This had to be a setup. There was no other explanation.

Three quick knocks on the front door interrupted their stunned silence.

“Expecting anyone?” Unfortunately, Jake still clutched his towel, eliminating the possibility of it hitting the floor or even flying open.

Another round of pounds rattled through the house.

“I’ve got this.” Scarlett bolted, thanking the Lord for a reason to get away from the Jake eye-candy banquet, ready to give Regan a piece of her mind. How could Regan even consider setting her up at a time like this? She straightened her T-shirt and took a deep breath…but every modicum of composure vanished when she turned the knob.

“What’s going on, Regan?” she snapped. “What the hell are you up to?”

“I don’t think your mother would be pleased with your greeting, Scarlett,” Chiara Amalia Giovanna Ryo huffed. Clad in a smart cream pantsuit, she brought a bejeweled hand to her head and patted her stiff gray updo.

Then she turned to a gray-haired woman standing next to her. Their facial features were almost identical, except the other woman’s hair was a mass of gray curls, and she wore a long, flowing blue caftan, gold dangling earrings, and about a pound of necklaces.

“Do you believe this?” she demanded of her as-yet-unnamed friend.

Great. The last thing Scarlett needed was to piss off Chiara Ryo in front of her friend. Scarlett’s family had known the DeLucas for years, and Ms. Ryo raised her son’s children after he and his wife died in a terrible car accident. And although Scarlett wasn’t a close friend of Chiara’s, she knew enough to fear the founder of Ryo Wines, and St. Helena’s self-appointed meddler-matriarch.

“I’m so sorry, Ms. Ryo.” Braless, with the matriarch’s half-naked nephew in the kitchen, Scarlett opened the door wider, gesturing for the women to enter. Nice way to make a good impression.

Sounds like a hoot!

Interested? Unfortunately, I don’t have any pre-sales links, but I’ll update this one the book goes live on Amazon.
In the meantime….

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a fabulous gift pack filled with goodies!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

HeadshotKateKissetLGFile.About the Author:
Former San Francisco Radio Disc Jockey Kate Kisset has a passion for telling great stories. After playing thousands of Hot AC, Country, Rock and Oldies tunes, for her primarily female fan base, she changed her tune and became an author.

Just a Kiss is the first book in her wine country romance series, The Single Girls Wine Club.

She lives in Northern California and Santa Barbara with her family and rescue pup “editor” Luciana Parmigiana, where she hikes, reads, listens to music, and drinks wine.

Catch up with Kate online on her private Facebook Readers Club, website, Amazon Author Page, Twitter, Facebook Page, and on Goodreads.

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Simple Math of LEANING INTO THE FALL–Review, Interview and Giveaway!

Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a new M/M romance from Lane Hayes. LEANING INTO THE FALL is the second book in her Leaning In series, and pairs an awkward computer genius with an older, discriminating vintner. I really enjoyed watching these guys get together.

Scroll down for an interview, excerpt and to enter to win a $25 GC.
About the book:
Nick Jorgensen is a quirky genius. He’s made a fortune in the competitive high tech field with his quick mind and attention to detail. He believes in hard work and trusting his gut. And he believes in karma. It’s the only thing that makes sense. People are difficult, but numbers never lie. In the disastrous wake of a broken engagement to an investor’s daughter, Nick is more certain than ever he isn’t relationship material.

Wes Conrad owns a thriving winery in Napa Valley. The relaxed atmosphere is a welcome departure from his former career as a high-rolling businessman. Wes’s laid-back nature is laced with a fierceness that appeals to Nick. In spite of his best intention to steer clear of complications, Nick can’t fight his growing attraction to the sexy older man who seems to understand him. Even the broken parts he doesn’t get himself. However, when Wes’s past collides with Nick’s present, both men will have to have to decide if they’re ready to lean into the ultimate fall.

Random fun bits from author Lane Hayes!

Leaning Into the Fall is book 2 in my new series set in San Francisco. This story belongs to Nick and Wes, the uptight genius and the laid-back businessman. Or the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a Napa Valley winery owner, respectively. If you’ve read my short story, Leaning Into Love, you may remember Nick as Eric’s best friend. He’s a little brash and unpredictable, but ultimately he’s a very special guy with a very unique perspective on life.

And speaking of unique perspectives, here’s a quick Q&A with some exciting topics to give you a little insight about me. LOL! Enjoy!

1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how “cool” are you?
2…LOL. No, I’ll myself a 5. Depending upon whom you ask, the answer would vary. I’m not into trends but I try to stay informed. But I’ve given up keeping my “cool”-ness on point. I am who I am.

2. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
15 minutes tops! I can do it in 5 if necessary. ☺

3. What is the one thing you have always wanted to do?
Write a book. Done! Now I’d like to write 50 books and make a movie or ten out of them. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

4. What TV sitcom family would you be a member of?
I always wished I could be an honorary member of the Brady Bunch. *sigh

5. What store do you shop at the most?
Trader Joe’s! Gotta feed my peeps!

6. What is the most delightful word you can think of?
Serendipity.

7. What is your least favorite beverage?
Any carbonated drink. I’m not a fan of soda at all.

8. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
I notice how people carry themselves, regardless of whether they’re male or female. You can tell so much from the set of someone’s shoulders and whether they’re willing to make eye contact. And if they smile, they’ve generally made a good impression on me. ☺

9. What was your favorite book growing up?
Nancy Drew books. I’m a proud owner of the first sixty books of the series!

Thank you for having me on your blog today! Happy Reading!
Lane Hayes xo

How about a little taste?

Wes led me to a small room at the opposite end of the building filled with barrels. The temperature dipped at least ten degrees here and the strong scent of fermenting wine was offset by the smell of oak. I moved toward the round table in the middle and glanced up at the tower of barrels. Each was labeled and dated, but as far as I could tell, the order wasn’t chronological. I categorized and filed the numbers in my mind in an attempt to solve a mystery that probably wasn’t so mysterious after all.

“These are special reserve wines. The best of the best. Theoretically anyway,” Wes said, picking up the long-sleeved plaid shirt draped over one of the chairs at the table.

“What do the numbers mean?” I asked, running my fingers over the printed tag on the barrel.

“It’s an internal code that basically tells us exactly which vines yielded the harvest. Some have information about soil disruption or weather flux. Of course, once the wine is fermenting that information is no longer significant but—”

“Where are the dates on these labels? Isn’t timing everything in the wine business?”

“Some might argue timing is everything in every facet of life.” Wes regarded me curiously before pointing out the dates in the middle of the tag. “It’s all here. See?”

“I don’t understand your system,” I said, stuffing my hands in my back pocket and staring up at the barrels.

“It’s an internal system. You’re not meant to understand. It’s for us only. The same way you wouldn’t explain the science behind how an advanced operating system works to one of your clients. They might say they’re fascinated but they aren’t really interested in the details. Same goes for wine. People come to tour the winery every day. They want to know about grape varietals and blends and some even ask about topography, weather and the fermentation process. But the true science of wine making confounds them. At the end of the day, truth is in the bottle.”

In vino veritas.

Wes smiled as he pulled his shirt on. “’In wine, truth’,” he translated. “Different context, but yes… truth. Are you going to tell me why you’re here or do I have to break out a bottle of Pinot to get the real story?”

Wes’s wolfish grin spread slowly across his handsome face as he closed the distance between us. He tilted my chin with his forefinger and stared deep into my eyes as though he was trying to read my mind. Or devour me whole.

“You look like you want to eat me,” I said before I could stop myself.

“I do. I want to do lots of things to you. Is that why you’re here? You want me to eat you, Nicky?”

“You invited me.” My eyes drifted shut when he ran his fingers along my jaw then splayed his hand behind my head and tugged my hair.

“I did. I’m glad you came.”

“Well, we were in the middle of listing our all-time favorite bands or artists by decade. That’s not the kind of thing you can leave for a whole week. It’s important.”

“You’re right. What were we thinking?” He licked my bottom lip in a sensual line from one corner of my mouth to the other. “We’ll have to continue that discussion later. I want to do other things first.”

My Review:
Nick Jorgenson is a 30 y/o computer programmer, and CEO of a tech security firm he started out of college with his best-friend and once-boyfriend Eric. Eric is president of the company, and they are really doing great. The business is booming, and Nick’s on the edge of a breakthrough in his new cybersecurity algorithm. Personally, however, Nick’s a bit of a mess.

He’s quietly jealous of Eric’s happy-shiny marriage to one of their college buddies, and he’s disgruntled that his own engagement to the daughter of one of his financial backers fell through. He’s got ten cases of very expensive personalized wine in his office that he’s tried, unsuccessfully, to return to the Conrad Winery–where Nick had made his ill-fated proposal. The bottles were meant to be favors for the wedding that wasn’t, and Nick thinks they are bringing bad ju-ju to his creative process. Nick is a socially-awkward, borderline Asperger’s, superstitious man, who’s edge of brilliance is sometimes overshadowed by his inability to relate to “normal” humans. He knows and owns this, and yet it still gets him tearing off to Napa with his pristine Range Rover filled with pinot bottles.

Wes Conrad isn’t amused at his wine being returned for the fourth time. He’s not going to accept it back, re-label it, and re-sell it, no matter what nonsense the sexy younger man is spouting about “starting over with a clean slate.” When Nick’s car is wrecked and the bottles are a total loss, however, Wes does help him out with clean clothes, and well, a little bit of masculine affection.

Nick’s turned on and turned inside out by Wes’ tough loving. He’s never been with a man bigger, or stronger, than himself. And, he finds that he likes a little bit of rough play. Not that it’ll happen again. Except, they run into each other at a private benefit in San Francisco and it’s even better. So much so that Nick takes Wes’ invitation to visit the winery again to heart. And he does. They’re “friends with benefits” relationship seems to overtake Nick’s progress on his algorithm, and there’s a lot of paranoia building regarding competitors and their proximity to Nick, Wes and other players in their business. It turns out that Wes had a tech firm a decade before and one of Nick’s biggest competitors had made it a hard row to hoe–so much that Wes sold out and bought the winery with his best friend and former lover.

There is a whole lot going on in the book, but the center of it is always Nick and his struggles to be who he is. Wes is excellent at accepting Nick and his idiosyncrasies–even when Nick is intolerant of himself. Nick really struggles with balance; he’s impulsive and manic and all-in on things before he even knows what he’s agreed to. He has a dedicated set of friends, who care a great deal for him, and Wes is a patient and tender man, who guides Nick into seeing that he can have a good, satisfying life, if he just backs away from his blind ambition a little.

I didn’t read the first book in this series, but it wasn’t necessary to enjoy this one. There is a sweet collection of college friends, including Eric and Nick, who each seem to find the man of their dreams–so I expect that’s what’s going to happen going forward. I loved falling with Wes and Nick, and I look forward to watching the next romance unfold.

Interested? You can find LEANING INTO THE FALL on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 Amazon GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

Catch up with Lane on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.

Getting Trapped in THE DEEP END–A Review

facebookdeependHi there! I’m sharing a review for a new erotic romance from best-selling author Kristen Ashley. THE DEEP END is the first book in her Honey series and has all the hotness and all the sweetness and all the sexytimes.

deepend_highresAbout the book:
Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are committed to fulfilling a woman’s every desire…
Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him hungers for the lifestyle offered by this exclusive club. Here, no boundary will be left untested…and one’s deepest fantasies will become an exquisite reality.

When Amélie invites Olivier to surrender, she gives the alpha submissive what he craves. Soon they both find themselves falling harder than they ever anticipated—but as their connection deepens, the truth about Olivier’s past could destroy everything…

Gripping and seductive, The Deep End is the first book in a sensational new series from bestselling author Kristen Ashley.

How about a little taste?

She turned back to him. “You seem to have a good deal of stamina.”

“Amelie…Mistress, I don’t think you’re getting’ that I seriously find you not hard on the eyes.”

She bent closer, as intended for this part of their session, some of her fair falling on his chest in another caress. She did this letting her amusement show, if not all of the emotion she felt at his compliment.

“I wonder, mon chou, if you think you can butter me up with compliments.”

“I don’t know. Maybe. Though not sure why I’d bother since I didn’t give you one and you just made me shoot a huge-ass load the like that have never come from my cock.”

“And he gives another compliment,” she said through a smile.

“You earn it, I’ll say it, he replied, his lips twitching. “That is, if I’m physically capable of speech.”

She was still smiling when she reached out a hand and delicately traced circles around his nipple.

His eyes darkened.

Her good humor increased.

“You’re of course aware I should do something about you being so audaciously cheeky.”

Another darkness crossed his face. “What?”

“I shouldn’t allow you to be cheeky with me.”

“Cheeky?”

“Impudent,” she explained.

The look fled. “You mean, in uppity, hot-chick speak, a wise-ass.”

Amelie couldn’t help it, she laughed softly.

“She’s got a pretty laugh, too, to go with that pretty accent,” he murmured and she saw his eyes on her lips.

I could get lost in this one, she thought. Lost and never found.

My Review:
Amelie is a well-respected Domme searching for an alpha submissive to play with. She’s intrigued by the newest “toy” at the Honey Club, a big, brooding man called Olivier. One look and she knows she must have him–at least for one night.

So she takes him, and gives him exactly what he’s been searching for: a worthy Mistress to submit to. This book is all about finding your way, even when it’s not what you expect. Olivier has long believed his desire to be a submissive renders him weak, and he’s struggled to build any lasting relationships as a result; he just can’t articulate his needs. He got some advice from a good friend who owns a kink club, and sought out Mistress Amelie, recognizing that her reputation was absolutely deserved. Still, Olivier cut corners in order to get his membership the the Honey, and that he has minimal experience in BDSM and kink put him at risk for abuse. Amelie isn’t that kind of Domme, but she does make assumptions that Olivier can’t quite handle.

These two get on like a house on fire, when they aren’t burning themselves to ashes. Amelie wants a partner, and Olivier wants a partner, but neither can see that they need to talk it out more, because their chemistry is so in sync. It took me a while to warm to Amelie, and it wasn’t because she’s hard. She’s just a super thinker. Like, she thinks and thinks and considers and mulls, and rambles. Being in her head didn’t connect for me, at first. Not until she started to think about other people besides her own self, her desires and her needs. She seemed one-dimensional, for about the first third of the book, but then she really put her focus on Olivier, and her friends, and I could see through her veneer and recognize she’s just a self-isolating character. That she’d been hurt badly, and struggled to open herself up to further vulnerability, until she began falling for Olivier.

Olivier is conflicted throughout most of the book. He thinks he needs to conform to a hetero-normative, masculine ideal. His emotional needs are also complicated by his fear of being “less than” due to having less money than his dear Amelie. I liked how his father really set him straight. I also liked how Olivier owned his mistakes, and his hot-temper, and made amends for how he goes off at times. Their language and thought patterns are so different, which made being in their headspaces very interesting.

As for sexytimes, whoa. There are lots and they are intense. Amelie is a creative Mistress, and she know how to ring Olivier’s bell. Over and over and over again. Olivier is a fun guy to observe, as he’s so open and in your face, and so absolutely grateful to Amelie for wringing him inside out and sideways. While I felt it started slow, I was turning the pages double-time by the end. There’s some background shenanigans that cause distress later–with a rogue Domme harming her “toys”. Because Amelie steps in she becomes a target. I liked how all this played out, and how it set up a few jumping off points for new books in this series. I expect new books will feature new couples, and I’d be eager to follow their stories, too. Amelie and Olivier cement a complete HEA, and their kinky ways are sure to please fans of erotic or BDSM romance.

Interested? You can find THE DEEP END on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, IndieBound, and BAM.

kristen-ashley-headshotAbout the Author:
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better. Catch up with Kristen on her website, Facebook, twitter, sign up for her newsletter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram.

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Finding Love and WANDERLUST–A Review

Hi there! I’m sharing a review for a contemporary romance from Daisy Prescott. WANDERLUST is a romantic comedy that spans three continents, but it’s previous title, Missionary Position, had some…difficulites. It kept getting mixed in with books about Mother Teresa. Or, more erotica-type books. And this book is neither. It’s a sweet and snarky romance and kept me entertained.

wanderlust-amazonAbout the book:
“A captivating story about life, love, and an exciting and unintentional quest for self-discovery.”
Selah Elmore is a confident, curvy woman who knows exactly who she is and what she wants. Her less-than-stellar love life is another story. Hoping for a fresh start, she leaves her home and job in the Pacific Northwest to spend six months in West Africa.

After accepting an offer from a stranger in an airport bar, Selah’s real adventure begins during a stopover in Amsterdam. Will the daring, mysterious Kai show her what love really is?

Sparks fly on three continents when perpetually single Selah discovers there’s more to love and life than she ever imagined.

Wanderlust is book three in the Modern Love Stories series. It’s a spin-off/standalone from Geoducks Are for Lovers.

#1 Top Rated Book in Humorous Women’s Fiction
Top 20 Humorous Women’s Fiction Best Seller
Romantic Comedy Best Seller

My Review:
Dr. Selah Elmore studies depictions of the female form in tribal art. She has a 6-month sabbatical planned in Ghana to study fertility relics in the local museum, and on the way she’s going to the Netherlands for an exhibit opening and auction of more relics–which helps support her research.

While eating sushi ate JFK airport, Selah meets Anita, a beautiful Dutch woman, and they hit it off. Anita insists that Selah look up her brother, Gerhard, when she arrives in the Netherlands, and Selah’s a sex-positive 40ish woman, so she decides to do exactly that. Gerhard turns out to be aligned with the sponsors of the exhibit Selah went to view, and they strike up an acquaintance that sparkles with possibility, but Selah doesn’t push for more–to her chagrin. Still, Gerhard’s contacts span the time after she leaves for Ghana, and Selah relishes every one of those texts.

Getting settled in Ghana isn’t difficult; Selah makes friends easily, but she keeps everyone at surface level–including Gerhard. Well, at least until Gerhard pops in unexpectedly, with a plan to join Selah while he works on some of his micro-financing plans in Africa. There are a lot fo misconceptions/misunderstandings they need to work through, but the super-hot monkey sex Selah had craved back in Europe is now on the table (and the bed and wherever they land) in Ghana.

This is a longer-style romance, as Gerhard and Selah have a few months of time to spend exploring each other, Ghana, and the possibility for a real relationship. Selah is not accustomed to being wanted for more than a fling, and is apprehensive about being hurt by Gerhard–though I didn’t quite get why. She makes a pretty quick jump overboard when Gerhard seems to be willing to make things more permanent–and it’s always Gerhard that’s the pursuer, here. I really liked him, and Selah was funny, but narrow-minded. The end is really sweet, with Gerhard winning her back spectacularly. I totally enjoyed the setting descriptions, and often felt like I was on safari in these exotic (to me) locales.

Interested? You can find WANDERLUST (previously titled Missionary Position) on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

new daisy prescott full sizeAbout the Author:
USA Today Bestselling author Daisy Prescott lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband and an indeterminate number of imaginary housegoats. When not writing about people falling in love, she can be found traveling, gardening, baking, and reading a good book. Her novels include the Modern Love Stories series, the Wingmen series, and several short stories. She’s also working on expanding the world of Bewitched this fall.

Catch up with Daisy on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, or sign up for her Newsletter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

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