Scorched By Love BURNING IT DOWN–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a M/M contemporary romance from C Koehler. <a href="BURNING IT DOWN is the third book in his CalPac Crew series. This book features a mature, but injured, fire battalion chief winning the broken heart of a man on the run from his abusive partner. I’ve enjoyed ROCKING THE BOATand TIPPING THE BALANCE, and enjoyed seeing the characters from those books return to advise our new couple.

Scroll down for an excerpt, and to enter the giveaway for a $10 GC.
About the book:
Owen Douglas, Sacramento’s first out battalion chief, is grievously injured in the line of duty. When Brad Sundstrom finds out that Owen’s been noncompliant with his physical therapy due to depression, he pushes Owen into the Capital City Rowing Club’s adaptive rowing program.

Adam Lennox, a former collegiate rower, escapes an abusive relationship and makes his way to CCRC and quickly finds himself dragooned into helping out with adaptive rowing.

Owen, much to his surprise, finds both rowing and Adam much to his liking. When he realizes that Adam returns his interest, the sparks fly and they start a relationship. But even Eden has its snake, and Adam’s ex, Jordan, comes looking for him, willing to do anything to make Adam and Owen pay.

How about a little taste?

Late summer, approximately a year and a half after the start of Rocking the Boat.

Four months into his new job as battalion chief for Sacramento City Fire’s second battalion and Owen Douglas still couldn’t sit still. Sure, he knew the job from a theoretical standpoint, and every day he learned more from a practical standpoint, but he couldn’t ignore the niggling discomfort he felt when he saw those bugles on his collar. Like his new uniform didn’t fit quite right, and perhaps from a certain point of view, it didn’t. No matter how he squinted or how many times he turned it this way or that, he couldn’t see all that much light between his investigation into the arson at the Bayard House at the beginning of the year and his promotion to battalion chief. More to the point, neither could the men and women under his command.

Not to mention every time he opened his mouth, unicorns crapping glitter and rainbows popped out. At least, that was what people seemed to be waiting for. He liked to think he was discreet, that nothing at work proclaimed him Big Gay Owen, no snapshots of boyfriends, no photos of him shaking his ass on a Mardi Gras float, no matter how much fun he’d had in Sydney, just a subtle rainbow on his battered 4Runner, a bar no bigger than the head of a toothbrush. He tried not to play the gay card, but he was the first out battalion chief in the fire department’s history, and well he knew it. More to the point, the people under his command knew it. Maybe he was just making too big a deal out of it or felt guilty for being promoted over the heads of more senior firefighters.

His intercom buzzed with his secretary on the other end. “Yes?” Owen said.

“Prissy Morrain to see you.”

“Oh! Send her in, please.” He dashed to his office door. He didn’t expect her until tomorrow.

Owen routinely left his office door open, but he quickly got out from behind his desk to greet his visitor, and not just because she outranked him.

“Chief Morrain! I’m so sorry! I must’ve made a mistake in my calendar. I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow—”

Prissy Morrain waved a manicured hand. “Retired Chief, and I’m a day early. We both have better things to do than make small talk over hors d’oeuvres over at some white-tablecloth restaurant. Did you bring your lunch today?”

Owen nodded. Since he was a “first” for the department, he’d sought out the advice of another “first,” the first woman battalion chief, now retired from active firefighting and promoted off to one side to do something less dangerous involving paperwork. “I’ll grab it out of the fridge. There’s a nice park a block away. We can eat there.”

“That’ll do fine.”

Prissy Morrain was a handsome woman, Owen thought; really, she could’ve been one of those older models, the ones with silver hair and flawless skin who pitched vitamins to women of a certain age. Her wrinkles weren’t so much age lines scoring her face with years but delicate lines of character radiating out from her eyes and around her mouth to accentuate a ready smile. How she’d managed that with a career spent fighting fires and sexism, he’d never know.

He spent the short walk to the park rehearsing what he wanted to say, but when Prissy asked, “So what’s the problem?” Owen could only blurt, “I’m just not clicking with the people under me. This station, sure. My office is here, but the other stations in this battalion not so much, and there’s one station that when I walk in everything stops for a few minutes while I walk back to talk to the captain on duty, and that’s just creepy.”

“Have you talked to human resources?”

“Don’t be absurd” slipped out before he could stop it.

Prissy laughed. “Smart man. You don’t want this on your record.”

And that was why he’d contacted her. “Team-building exercises aren’t my thing at this point and are just a waste of time. I’m not in a burning building with these guys. They simply need to function with each other and work in coordinated groups, and they do. But I don’t like getting the stink eye either.”

“Look, hearts of gold, most of these guys, but it’s a conservative profession. The younger ones are yours,” Prissy said, arching one eyebrow, “maybe even literally. There’s more than one gay man among the recruits, and you’re a fine-looking specimen yourself.” She peered over the rims of her mirrored sunglasses, holding up one hand when Owen opened his mouth to interrupt. “Of course, you know better than that, but you know what I mean. It’s the ones who’ve been around a few years, the ones who’re your age and older, you may have to prove yourself to, the ones who might’ve even been up for your job. They’re the ones thinking ‘fag’ behind their smiles.”

“Or not, some of them,” Owen grumbled. “A few of them don’t even bother to smile.”

Prissy chuckled. “They’ll soon learn the stupidity of that. They may be comfortable for A or B shift, but if they’re dumb enough to piss in the battalion chief’s Wheaties, then they’ll have plenty of time to learn the errors of their ways on C shift, or better yet, transfer to someone else’s command. Too bad for them you’ve got just about the best battalion in town.”

It was true. Since he’d captained one of the downtown stations, when he’d been promoted, the fire department put him into an entirely different battalion so he wouldn’t be in immediate charge of his old buddies. The open battalion encompassed Midtown, East Sac, and part of the Pocket, named for the land inscribed within a bend in the Sacramento River. Sometimes he wondered if it was a coincidence that the city’s first out battalion chief also oversaw the gayborhood. He shrugged mentally. Oh well, easier relations during fire inspections, right? “That just seems so petty.”

“And the frat boy antics aren’t?”

Owen sighed. “True enough.”

“It’s not something you want to do often, because you will hear from their union reps about that, and about anything else if they develop an axe to grind,” Prissy said, “but used strategically, it can make your point quite nicely, and the best part is, it’s hard to prove.”

Owen nodded his head slowly. “One hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week, and five stations to staff twenty-four seven in three shifts.”

“Exactly. If you need to, you can always find something miserable for someone to do for a shift or two.” She ate some of her sandwich while she thought. “One more thing, and I hesitate even to mention it, but it was something a few—a very few—of my own firefighters used against me.” At his quizzical look, she said, “Sexual harassment.”

Owen sat back, tossing his own sandwich down. “Oh, that’s just what I need.”

Prissy patted his hand. “Don’t go borrowing trouble. It hasn’t happened yet, but you need to be aware of the possibility. You’re an out gay man, and you supervise a lot of men, some of whom are, by your own admission, not very happy right now. If they can’t pin anything else on you, they may try that.”

“Did that happen to you?” Owen asked, no longer hungry.

“Oh yes. I was a by-the-book chief, and when they couldn’t come up with anything else, some union rep had the bright idea of sexual harassment. Male firefighters, female chief. It was a situation rife with possibilities. Too bad for them and their credibility none of it was true, which quickly emerged when it came to a hearing. The judge laughed them out of court. It may be the same with you. You’ll be a by-the-book battalion chief, but some of them won’t like you just because you’re you, and the only thing they’ll come up with is that you ‘looked at ’em funny’.” She snorted. “Like you’d go for their stringy asses.” She stood up. “You know how to reach me, so do it if you need to. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sculling. One of the advantages of seniority and a desk job is that you can take off more or less at will and no one will miss you. Of course, that’s one of the disadvantages too.”

Rowing. Brad. “Does everyone in this town row?”

“Only the best people. You should come check it out. The Capital City Rowing Club’s adult learn-to-row camps are about done for the summer, but there are still learn-to-scull lessons available.”

“Thanks for the talk. I really appreciate you taking the time,” Owen said, remembering a time he had been anything but by-the-book. The Bayard House. The second floor. Brad. He shivered at the thought of what they’d done. Unprofessional as it had been, it had also been damn hot.

And just the kind of thing people looking to take him down would eat up with a spoon. Fortunately, Brad didn’t seem like the kind to tell tales out of school. He was just too nice a guy. Brad had spent their one encounter thinking of someone else, someone who’d dumped him, and still the big sweetheart had pined for that other guy, even with Owen’s lips wrapped around his cock, and hadn’t that ever done wonders for his ego.

Owen wanted that, wanted that kind of devotion, he thought, sitting there in the leafy green silence of the park. Instead, like that time in the still-smoldering Bayard House, he was just the hookup. He got Brad off and sent him home and then followed up to make sure Brad called whatshisname. He liked to think he was more honorable than most, always the nice guy, always finishing last.

Then he heard the sirens and that was it, no more lunch. That was fine. He’d parted company with his appetite around the time Prissy had mentioned sexual harassment. The park was barely two blocks from the station, but he jogged back. “What’s going on?” Owen asked the dispatcher when he got back.

“A small grass fire at Cal Expo, sir. It doesn’t sound like anything to get excited over.”

Yet. In Owen’s experience, all fires were worth getting excited over, at least until proven otherwise. But maybe that was why he was a firefighter. He liked suiting up in his turnouts and racing to a fire in an engine running hot. He shook his head to clear the rising tide of adrenaline. He’d given some of that up to become battalion chief.

Then the radio went off. He picked it up. “Douglas.”

“I need four more alarms. This thing’s bigger than we were told. Much bigger, and it’s heading for structures.”

“On our way.” He put the radio down. “You heard Captain Chin. Get those trucks moving and notify Arden-Arcade,” he told the dispatcher.

“Beaufort!” he yelled for his driver as he ran for his office and his turnouts. A huge grass fire at Cal Expo that’s heading for the pavilions, and the state fair in less than a month. Why do I always end up involved in political fires?

He wore his turnout pants over his uniform. Sure, he’d sweat like a thoroughbred in moments in the heat once they arrived at the fire. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time. The rest he chucked in the backseat of the command SUV with the communications equipment. Then he checked his watch as he climbed into the passenger seat. Less than five minutes. Not ideal, but at least he beat his driver.

Beaufort came running up seconds later. “Damn, sir. How do you do that?”

“Because I’m a firefighter.”

“Ha ha,” Beaufort replied, climbing behind the wheel and flicking the sirens and lights on. But it was true. After earning his bachelor’s in biological sciences at UC Davis, Owen had gone to the Fire Academy at Sierra College. Beaufort studied communications and joined the department in that capacity, along with driving Owen’s now important executive-level ass to big fires.

Owen glanced out of Beaufort’s side of the SUV. “Look—!”

All he could tell was that it wasn’t one of his, and then the enormous fire truck smashed into them, tossing the SUV aside like a rag doll. He lost consciousness as the airbags deployed with a thunderclap.

My Review:
This is the third book in a series, but it can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Owen Douglas is the first out fire battalion chief in the Sacramento Fire Department. He’s in his early 40s and a little sad that he’s always the hook-up never the boyfriend. He’s responding to a fire when he’s involved in a fatal crash with an engine truck. He survives, though badly injured, and is upset that his young driver is killed. He’s despondent about his recovery, shying away from the necessary PT he needs to learn to walk again. His physical therapist is adamant that activity is necessary and pushes Owen toward adaptive rowing. Owen’s once hook-up Brad Sundstrom is a former collegiate rower, and he’s a coach on the open men’s rowing club that supports the adaptive rowers. Brad makes it a mission to get Owen to the water’s edge.

Adam Lennox is a veterinarian, and a man hiding in plain sight. After enduring more than a decade of an abusive relationship, Adam has changed his name and licensure and moved to Davis to restart his life. He’s learning to reintegrate with people outside of the watchful eye of his abuser, his college sweetheart named Jordan. Adam had been a collegiate rower and he joins the open men’s rowing club headed by Brad and his former college coach, Nick Bedford. (Both Brad and Nick were MCs in the previous stories.) Nick taps Adam to be a pair rower with Owen, when he turns up for adaptive rowing, and the chemistry is instant.

Both Adam and Owen suffer PTSD from their respective traumas. They are immediately attracted to one another, but neither feels whole. While they begin a tentative connection, Adam is living in fear that Jordan will return–and his hallmarks are appearing again. Owen’s got a pal on the police force, but it seems he might not be able to intervene until Jordan, who is both wealthy and wily as all get-out, is caught confronting or abusing Adam. Owen’s recuperation is put on hold when he’s mysteriously attacked, and Adam is sure that Jordan is involved. It could be someone for the fire department, though, as Owen’s position is pretty tenuous. He’s reinstated for active duty, but grudgingly and with a disability hearing that could bounce him out of the service he’s been a part of for two decades. With both their lives in flux, Owen isn’t willing to let Adam shut him out–not when he’s finally found a man worth loving and fighting to keep. Meanwhile, Adam’s just fighting to stay alive.

This story has some graphic bits of violence, and descriptions of violence against animals. There is a definite sense of the victim’s mentality, of feeling that pain and potential death at the hands of person he loved is simply inevitable. Owen’s strong and fearless love gave Adam hope in his times of complete distress. Owen needed to take charge of his own life in a way he had not, before getting the time his recuperation allowed him to invest in himself. These men finding such a deep love that satisfies on a soul-deep level was so sweet and bittersweet. It rides a fine line between romance and romantic suspense. I really enjoyed the tenderness, and the conflict, and of course the happy ending.

Interested? You can find BURNING IT DOWN on Goodreads, NineStar Press, and Books2Read.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 NineStar Press GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Christopher Koehler always wanted to write, but it wasn’t until his grad school years that he realized writing was how he wanted to spend his life. Long something of a hothouse flower, he’s been lucky to be surrounded by people who encouraged that, especially his long-suffering husband of twenty-nine years and counting.

He loves many genres of fiction and nonfiction, but he’s especially fond of romances, because it’s in them that human emotions and relations, at least most of the ones fit to be discussed publicly, are laid bare.
While writing is his passion and his life, when he’s not doing that, he’s a househusband, at-home dad, and oarsman with a slightly disturbing interest in manners and the other ways people behave badly.

Christopher is approaching the tenth anniversary of publication and has been fortunate to be recognized for his writing, including by the American Library Association, which named Poz a 2016 Recommended Title, and an Honorable Mention for “Transformation,” in Innovation, Volume 6 of Queer Sci Fi’s Flash Fiction Anthology.

You can catch up with Christopher on Facebook, and twitter.

Out today! FRACTURED HONOR Release Blast and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release blast and giveaway for a new contemporary veteran romance from Kaylea Cross. FRACTURED HONOR is the first book in her new Crimson Point series and it packs a big emotional punch.

Scroll down of a tasty tidbit, and to enter the book giveaway!

About the book:
An elite warrior struggling to find his place in the civilian world.

Weary from his years on the battlefield, SF Captain Beckett Hollister has returned home to Crimson Point to take over the family business for his dying father. But adjusting to life outside the military is harder than he imagined, and being back home forces him to confront things he’d rather not face. Including the one woman he shouldn’t want and can’t have—his best friend’s little sister.

A love that was always meant to be.
Town vet Sierra Buchanan has known Beckett her entire life. She’s crushed on him for years, but because of his relationship with her family, the stubborn man refuses to see her as more than the girl he grew up with. As tragedy brings them together, neither of them realizes that the sins of Beckett’s past have come home to haunt him. When Sierra becomes the target of his unforeseen enemy, Beckett must vanquish his demons to save her.

How about a little taste?

Beckett focused on her, the impact of that deep brown gaze setting off a sizzle of heat in Sierra’s belly. His quiet intensity drew her with a power she wasn’t strong enough to resist.

Against her will, her gaze dipped to his mouth. His features were harsh, even foreboding, but his mouth looked so soft. She’d imagined those full lips on hers so many times, wondered if his quiet intensity would translate to the bedroom.

She was willing to bet it did.

The thought made her heart skip and her blood race, imagining what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of that intensity in bed. To feel that hard, powerful build against her, on top of her. His strong, capable hands holding her in place as he caressed and licked every sensitive spot on her body, then driving into her with urgency. Something told her Beckett would be unlike any other lover she’d had.

He wouldn’t be emotionally closed-off then.

I’ve already finished reading the review copy I was sent, and I liked it. Look forward to a full review from me next week. In the meantime…feel free to pick up a copy or jump into the giveaway. Or both!

Interested? You can find FRACTURED HONOR on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter Giveaway link for your chance to win one of FIVE copies of FRACTURED HONOR.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and has been nominated multiple times for the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.

Catch up with Kaylea on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram.

Their Futures Are Tied–BOUND TO SUBMIT–Review and Giveaway

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Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand new BDSM erotic romance from Laura Kaye. BOUND TO SUBMIT is the first novel in her new Blasphemy series. Expect sweet sweet loving, and dirty rope tricks…

Check out the excerpt below and enter the giveaway for a set of two autographed books for three winners.

LauraKaye_BoundToSubmit_800pxAbout the book:
From the ruins of an abandoned church comes Baltimore’s hottest and most exclusive BDSM club. Twelve Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy.

He thinks he caused her pain, but she knows he’s the only one who can heal her…
Kenna Sloane lost her career and her arm in the Marines, and now she feels like she’s losing herself. Submission is the only thing that ever freed her from pain and made her feel secure, and Kenna needs to serve again. Bad. The only problem is the Dom she wants once refused her submission and broke her heart, but, scarred on the inside and out, she’s not looking for love this time. She’s not even sure she’s capable.

Griffin Hudson is haunted by the mistakes that cost him the only woman he ever loved. Now she’s back at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, and more beautiful than ever, and she’s asking for his help with the pain he knows he caused. Even though he’s scared to hurt her again, he can’t refuse her, because he’d give anything to earn a second chance. And this time, he’ll hold on forever.

Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

“A searingly sexy story with some of the hottest scenes I’ve read in a long, long time. Laura Kaye shows her mastery of the BDSM world. I’m eagerly anticipating more in this bold new series!”
~ Cherise Sinclair, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters of the Shadowlands Series

“Smoldering and sexy, Laura Kaye’s Blasphemy series is everything I look for in a romance. Haunted heroes and strong heroines populate this one of a kind club and I can’t wait to see the big bad Doms fall one by one.”
~ Lexi Blake, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters and Mercenaries Series

A yummy taste!

After he bound her hands and feet, Griffin leaned in and kissed the corner of her mouth, the gesture a little reward that poked at things inside her chest. “I could be very happy with having you just like this. But do you want more, Kenna?”

“Yes. More, Sir, please.” She wanted rope marks imprinted deep into her skin. Everywhere.

His chuckle was full of a sexy smugness. “That almost sounded like begging. And I always did like when you begged.” He moved behind her, pulling the rope attached to her wrists around the back of her neck, knotting it to her opposite wrist, and then creating a crisscross that ran between her breasts and wrapped around her torso.

Kenna whimpered, because it felt fucking amazing to be bound this way. But she was going to cut the PVC bodysuit she’d worn to shreds the minute she got home for keeping her from feeling the rough, direct press of the twine.

“Regretting that suit now, aren’t you?” He came around her and winked as he surveyed his handiwork.

She twisted her lips and kept silent, because he already knew the answer. Damn him.

Silently, he walked around her, observing her as she observed him in return. The beautiful, confusing tattoo on his back. Those broad shoulders, the perfect fit of those black jeans on his thighs and ass, the prominent bulge of his cock under the denim, the longish black hair that she knew he loved for her to grip when they kissed. The thought made her struggle against the bindings.

He paused in front of her, his gaze dragging over his handiwork. “Fuck, Kenna. I have bound you in my dreams a thousand times.” He shook his head. “But not one of those compared to the privilege of actually getting my hands on you again.”

He’d dreamt of her? His words, being bound again after all this time, her arousal, all of it nearly made her dizzy.

And then he reached between her legs and unsnapped the closure of her bodysuit.

My Review:
Six years ago Kenna Sloane and Master Griffin were really building a bond in their BDSM play, or so Kenna thought. When she wanted to take it to the next level, a permanent bond by collaring, he balked. She felt rejected and unhappy, and it led to a series of decisions that took her to Afghanistan as a Marine.

She’s been stateside for two years and is well-adjusted to her arm-wrist-hand prosthetic, but she still suffers nightmares of loss and phantom pain from her missing limb. She remembers that BDSM often took her head into directions that removed her pain and worries, and decides to return to Club Blasphemy, knowing that Master Griffin is likely there.

Griffin has kicked himself for six years wishing he could have found his “little one,” Kenna, and explained how sorry he is that he let her walk away. He’d looked and looked for her, back then, and has given up all hope of finding such a perfect match for himself ever again. Seeing her in the crowd during one of his Shibari demos, he can’t believe she’s there, and he seeks her out the second he gets a spare moment. Their reunion is measured, and tense. Kenna wants to protect her heart, and Griffin is afraid she’ll bolt. He offers his services immediately, and is taken aback when he finds her prosthetic, but treats her exactly as he always had: with patience and desire. It’s unsettling to Kenna that a man might find her broken and scarred body attractive, but the release he’s able to provide gives her peace of mind enough for the best night’s sleep she’s had in years.

Over the next few days, Kenna’s mood begins to sort itself out. Griffin’s attentions are melting that impenetrable core she’d built within herself, and Kenna’s able to reach out to others and rebuild relationships she’s discarded in her grief. She’s still suffering from survivor’s guilt, and it’s not easy for her to let that go, but Griffin’s a rock at her side and his constant love and approval are a bolster to her shattered self-esteem.

This is a rather low-conflict second-chance romance with a significant dose of bondage to keep it kinky. Kenna is a sweet gal with a tragic backstory. I really liked that we got a heroine who is a veteran and an amputee. I think there’s a lot to be said for the psychological impact of amputation on women, and mostly our fictional focus has been on men, and how they cope. This was an unique view, for me, and I think her fears, and emotional issues, resonated well. Griffin’s a man who’s been grieving the love of his life for years–and her homecoming is a second coming, for him. No amount of physical scars or emotional damage would keep him away if Kenna will open her heart to him once more. That’s always a great read in romance fiction–a determined hero–and he plays the part well. He’s a BDSM Master, but he’s a considerate man, and a gentleman. He owns his mistakes, and he vows to be a dedicated partner. The sexytimes are copious and yummy, with plenty of private moments, and a dash of voyeurism. The descriptions of Shibari was simple enough to enjoy without being overly detailed or confusing. Also enjoyable–the moments we get to see other characters from previous books in the new ones, which is a LK constant. It’s another knock-out book for fans of Laura Kaye to enjoy.

Interested? You can find BOUND TO SUBMIT on Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and iBooks.

Meet the Masters of Blasphemy in Hard to Serve, now available. Catch my review for more on that absolutely erotic BDSM romance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win one of THREE sets of autographed copies of HARD TO SERVE and BOUND TO SUBMIT.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Laura Kaye - author picAbout the Author:
Laura Kaye 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.

Catch up with Laura on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or her newsletter.

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Being There For BEDMATES–Review and Giveaway!

bedmatestourHi there! I’m super excited to share a release day review for a contemporary New Adult military-vet romance from Nichole Chase. I’ve enjoyed FLUKES and THE ACCIDENTAL ASSASSIN, so I couldn’t wait to read BEDMATES, an enemies-to-lovers romance that features the President’s daughter and the VP’s son!

Drop down to check out the review, excerpt and enter the giveaway for a $50 GC!

BEDMATES_CoverAbout the book:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly Royal comes the first in a sparkling new series about America’s favorite royal—the First Daughter.
Everyone makes mistakes, especially in college. But when you’re the daughter of the President of the United States, any little slip up is a huge embarrassment. Maddie McGuire’s latest error in judgment lands her in police custody, giving the press a field day. Agreeing to do community service as penance and to restore her tattered reputation, Maddie never dreams incredibly good looking but extremely annoying vice president’s son, Jake Simmon, will be along for the ride.

Recently returning from Afghanistan with a life-altering injury, Jake is wrestling with his own demons. He doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with the likes of Maddie. They’re like oil and water and every time they’re together, it’s combustible. But there’s a thin line between love and hate, and it’s not long before their fiery arguments give way to infinitely sexier encounters.

When Jake receives devastating news about the last remaining member of his unit, the darkness he’s resisted for so long begins to overwhelm him. Scared to let anyone close, he pushes Maddie away. But she isn’t about to give up on Jake that easily. Maddie’s fallen for him, and she’ll do anything to keep him from the edge as they both discover that love is a battlefield and there are some fights you just can’t lose.

How about a little taste?

“Have you been crying?” Warm fingers touched my cheek and I jerked in surprise at the sparks that danced through my blood. I couldn’t remember if he had ever touched me except for obligatory dances at celebrations and fund- raisers. “What happened? Are you okay?”

“No, I’m fine.” I stepped out of his reach and rubbed under my eyes. Tearing my gaze from his I leaned over and picked up his cane. “It’s allergies.”

“We’ve known each other too long for you to lie to me.” He let his hand fall back to his side. I handed him the cane and stepped back. “Someone told you that I was on my way, huh? We all know how much you hate me. I’m surprised you didn’t jump out of the window.”

“It was an option.” I rolled my eyes. I guess I wasn’t the only one that remembered our last meeting hadn’t been pleasant. “I also considered hiding in the closet, but was too slow.”

There! Take that, perfect Jake Simmon. I was quick on my feet today.

“So, you know why I’m here.” The way his eyes ran over me as if taking stock was obnoxious.

“I’m your body guard. When the crazy women start running after you, I’m to dive in the way.” And damn if they wouldn’t come running when they saw how he looked all grown up and rough around the edges.

“I’m glad they have a plan.” He scratched his chin. “Getting bombarded with underwear and bras is a health issue.”

“If they got to know you, it wouldn’t be a problem.” I rolled my eyes.

“What does that mean?” His head cocked to the side.

“I thought you lost your leg, not your brain.” My eyes widened, but it was too late to take it back. Why was it that I said the most horrible things around him? Even when we’d been younger I’d had diarrhea of the mouth. Especially around Jake.

He threw his head back and laughed. “I don’t think they’re after my brain, Maddie. Thankfully the part they’re most interested in is still fully functional.”

His lazy smile and sparkling eyes had me swallowing hard.

Heat crept up my neck and I fought to not look away. “Well, good for you.”

My Review:
Madeline is a college senior when she’s apprehended for a foolhardy attempt at releasing scientific lab animals from a pharma company. While being the First Daughter comes with lots of responsibility, perks include getting pulled out of a jam without any real fuss. Well, to make amends she’s “requested” to assist the agency that’s helping returning war veterans get settled state-side. It wouldn’t even be a hardship except she’s working alongside beautiful, broken Jake Simmon, eldest son of Vice President Virginia Simmon. Let’s just say that the VP does not approve of Maddie.

Jake, however, finds Maddie to be even more charming and beautiful than he’d thought before shipping out to Afghanistan. He’s home now, and operating well with his prosthetic leg. He still suffers nightmares from the helicopter crash that claimed all his comrades, save one: Cyrus–who’s adapting to a prosthetic leg and hand, and trying to help raise his growing family. Cyrus and his wife Kyla will move in to the very first home Jake, Maddie, and the team complete building, and Maddie’s all extra-effort. It touches Jake, and he’s finally empowered to do more than watch. Maddie and Jake can’t fight the attraction, but they know they have to keep it somewhat quiet. There are always haters in the weeds, and one of them is Mama VP. She’s used to wielding her political might, and she’s threatened to prevent Maddie from helping out the lab animals, if she doesn’t pass muster.

In the midst of this, we get an unfortunately up-close and personal look into Jake’s PTSD, as well as what plagues Cyrus. Like many in this world, we don’t see the inner darkness shielded by these battle-hardened men. It’s a tragedy, and it breaks something between Jake and Maddie.

I really liked the considerate way that Maddie and Jake build their budding relationship. Maddie’s a sweet girl, who really means well. She wants to fix problems, and save the world–and I’m not going to discuss the whole “release the lab animals” premise, because it’s not a Real World option. Maddie does take advice to heart that enables her to help more than the few local animals that she may have “helped” (it’s my experience as a scientist that such shenanigans are actually far more harmful, but I digress). And she wants to help Jake, and Cyrus + family, but mental illness/depression is a tricky foe.

Jake realizes that his life without Maddie really isn’t as comfortable as it had been before he’d gone and done something ridiculous like fall in love. Some friends reach out and save him from himself, which is really awesome. Jake’s a good guy, and he’s had it rough for a long time, even before his injury. That said, getting help he wants isn’t the easiest for a man whose mother controls so much power. The resolution was very sweet, and the reunion extra spicy. Lincoln bedroom anyone?

For a New Adult romance these two have tons of baggage, but they are strong enough to heft it well. Expect hard truths, dirty talk, sex-filled moments, broken dining tables, and one unsexy incident with mashed potatoes. Also, an HEA.

Interested? You can find BEDMATES on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and BAM.

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NicholeChaseAbout the Author:
Nichole Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Suddenly Royal, The Accidental Assassin, Flukes, The Dark Betrayal Trilogy, The American Royalty Series and several short stories.

Nichole lives in Georgia with her husband, energetic daughter, two rescue dogs, Sulcata tortoise, and two cats. When not writing, you may find her reading, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.

You can catch up with Nichole on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

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