Archive for April, 2012

The ARC winner of CHAOS BURNING by Lauren Dane is……..


Please email me your address to madATromancereaderatheartDOTcom so I can send it out to you.

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Dangerous. Ruthless. Savage.
And she’s the good guy.

Abby Sinclair had a desperate childhood until she was rescued and adopted by a retired army ranger who molded her into a master of self-defense. Now, she’s a cunning and fearless assassin thrust into assignment after dangerous assignment, using everything she has—nerve, resilience, strength, sex—to come out on top. Her only rule: never trust anyone.
Abby’s latest assignment is in Columbia: go undercover and snuff out a dangerous arms dealer active in the underground sex trade. But when Abby purposely blows her cover in a last-ditch attempt to free the helpless victims, deadly mercenary Kane Woodland is recruited as back-up. His mission: get Abby out of that hell hole.
The last thing Kane expects is to feel primal attraction for Abby. But when she convinces him to join her on her perilous mission, their newfound passion could put the lives of their whole team at risk.




This week I’ve been blogging a lot about powerful women, since Abby Sinclair, the heroine of my latest release, MIDNIGHT RESCUE, is just that—a powerful woman.  But as much as I love Abby’s strength and determination and stubbornness, she probably wouldn’t be as fun if she didn’t have an alpha male to go up against.  So today I’m blogging not about the kickass heroine, but the alpha male.


Here’s the thing—in real life, I’m not sure I want some bossy, hot-headed man ordering me around.  I don’t want someone making demands of me, or making decisions without asking for my input, or doing all those other annoying things alpha males do.


But in a romance?  Bring it on!  There’s nothing sexier than a hero who knows what he wants, doesn’t apologize for it, and goes after it, especially when what he wants is a woman who’s going to make him work for it.  That’s actually my only caveat—don’t give me an alpha hero if the heroine doesn’t have a little alpha in her too.  Shrinking violets drive me nuts, and I want a heroine who can stand up to the big, bad tough guy in her life and doesn’t let him walk all over her.


The hero of MIDNIGHT RESCUE, Kane Woodland is definitely a little domineering.  Fine, a lot domineering.  But when you’re dealing with a woman as tough and emotionless as Abby, what else is he supposed to do?  He’s gotta wear her down somehow, so if it means being bossy and arrogant and pushing her at times, well, he’s totally up for the task.


My favorite romances are the ones in which the hero and heroine are equals.  They can both kick butt and they order each other around.  To me, that sounds like way more fun!


So what about everyone else?  Do you like the alpha hero with an alpha heroine or a “beta” heroine?  What’s your favorite alpha male quality? Who’s your favorite alpha hero in a romance?


I’m giving away one copy of MIDNIGHT RESCUE to anyone who stops by and comments today, so comment away!


Also, if you want to know more about me or my books, stop by my website (www.ellekennedy.com), “like” me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AuthorElleKennedy) or follow me on Twitter (@ElleKennedy)

Buy link:



*Open to US/Canada residents only

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also wins a copy of Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr!



wins Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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Cindy Overton

wins Darkest Caress by Kaylea Cross. Please email Kaylea at info@kayleacross.com to claim your prize.


Kathleen O

wins Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr


Jill M.

wins all four of Stefanie Sloane’s Regency Rogues books


Simply Ali and Shelley Bagby

wins a digital book from Chloe Cole’s backlist


Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns—a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father’s wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she’s not thrilled…even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.


Having to fend for herself for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist’s assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn’t the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn’t the only thing that needs a little TLC…




One of the things I love about this story is that my hero and heroine are kind of trapped together. Oh, it’s not a mountaintop cabin a snowstorm—it’s a tiny cottage on the northern coast of Maine, in the middle of summer, and no one is being forced to stay. But Parker has a job to do: patch up the cottage so she can sell it as soon as humanly possible. When her father’s personal attorney shows up, she’s torn: he’s the last person whose help she wants, but she’d be silly to turn away the help. James worked as carpenter during college; Parker has never been to a hardware store before. But she’s not a prima donna…she’s willing to get down and dirty. Her afternoon swims are torment for James (even after a kid, she still rocks a bikini), and Parker finds herself with a bad case of ogling-the-hottie syndrome.


Parker, at least, tries to pretend to be unaffected by James, who is far too appealing. He’s been sent up to watch over her, she thinks, and clearly the last thing she needs is a relationship (especially with him), even if her plans did kinda sorta include a summer fling. Meanwhile, James is doing his best to get under Parker’s skin…and remind her about that one time they hooked up a couple years ago.


I’d love to give away a copy of Until There Was You, which was listed as one of Barnes & Noble’s six best romances of 2011, to a commenter. And thanks for stopping by today!






*Giveaway open to US contestants only

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Micah’s new living arrangement with her best friend is quickly becoming unbearable. Not because Tomas isn’t a good roommate. When they’re alone, he shows her his sweet, loyal side. It’s just that he shows the rest of his parts to half the women in town. If she can’t scrape together the money for her own place soon, witnessing the aftermath of his late-night carousing is going to break her heart.


Then again, if it’s going to break anyway, maybe she should just go ahead and make a move on the man she’s loved since high school. And risk his rejection a second time.


It hasn’t been easy for Tomas to share space with the one damsel he can’t bear to see in distress. To have her within easy reach has been torture. His foster mother’s words echo in his head: a classy girl like Micah deserves more than the likes of him. But lately Micah’s been rattling his cage. If she does it one more time, she’d better be ready for the animal she awakens.


Unfortunately for him, Micah’s hot little hands are already wrapped around the bars…


NT: Hi Chloe! Thank you for being my guest today.

Chloe: Thanks for having me! Very excited to be here.

NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

Chloe: Oddly enough, I always wrote, but I never really thought of writing as a career. It just didn’t seem possible that something I loved so much could be the thing I did to earn money. When I returned to college at 35, I was encouraged by my creative writing professors to pursue it seriously. So I did. I wrote my first manuscript, a shifter romance novella called Pray in December of 2009 and just kept going from there. My first sale was in August of 2010, so it took about eight months for me to be published. I have 20 books to date (either published or under contract) and it’s been the most awesome, rewarding experience of my life.

NT: You have a new release this month, Just One Night. Can you tell us about it?

Chloe: I love this book. I don’t always say that, either. It’s about two best friends, Tomas and Micah, who have been in love with one another since high school, but have never managed to connect as a couple for various reasons. Tomas has lived a tough life and doesn’t want get any of his “dirt” on Micah. And, as what I call a “Bedroom Dom”, he also has some intense sexual preferences that he doesn’t think she can handle. Micah, on the other hand, never thought Tomas wanted her, and has sort of suffered in silence while he lives it up as the town playboy. Little does she know he wishes every one of those women was her. I really love their banter and when they finally do hit the sheets? *fans self* It’s super hot.

NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

Chloe: I have a full time job right now, so my writing day is weird. I do what I call “Writerly extras” for about an hour in the morning before work. That means anything writing related but not writing. Could be updating my website, interviews or blog posts, filling out cover art forms, blurb forms, updating royalty spreadsheets etc. On my lunch hour at work, I write. Then, in the evenings I spend a few hours with the family (I have a husband and four older boys). At about 10:00 pm, that’s when things get popping! I usually write from 10-1:00, sleep for five hours, repeat. Of course, if I’m under a tight deadline, this all goes out the window, hubby takes over the house duties and the kids and I hole up, sometimes for two or three days, and write. It’s great having a supportive partner and I’m hoping this year will be my last year writing part time.

NT: I know you write under two pen names. What should readers expect to be different (or the same?) in a Chole Cole novel versus one written as Christine Bell?

Chloe: I would say it’s mainly a heat factor thing. Chloe Cole books are very very steamy, no holds barred sexual, whereas Christine Bell books, while they do have open door sex scenes, are less graphic and less plentiful. Books under both names almost always have a thread of humor running through them. I think the key to a truly happy relationship is to have a partner you can laugh with, so that belief comes through in my writing for sure, where my characters tend to have a lot of banter etc.

NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing 😀 )

Chloe: I love to read, play board games and go to the movies with my kids. I also love to play tennis and Texas Hold ‘Em poker. Oh! And my husband is in a really cool Dave Matthews cover band and I have a great time going to see him play gigs as well.

NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

Chloe: Near future, let’s see. On May 28th The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale, the next book in my steampunk romance series, comes out with Carina Press. That’s a really fun, swashbuckler that takes place right after the Salem Witch Trials. Then, in July, Dee Carney, Cari Quinn, Dee Tenorio and I have sort of gotten the band back together for another summer anthology. Last year we released Undercover Lovers and got a great response, so we’re hoping people will enjoy this one as well. I also have a superhero novella called Scarlett Fever coming out with Entangled Publishing, tentatively scheduled for August.

The second part of this question literally makes my stomach hurt, lol. I have six *wince* projects in the works at one stage or another, so if I think about it too much, I send myself into panic mode. Mostly filling up end of 2012 and first quarter 2013 slots. My goal is one release per month, or close to it. Since I typically write novellas or category length, it’s very achieveable as long as I make my 2k word a day minimum writing goal.

NT: How can readers contact you?

Chloe: I love reader mail and I love interacting with people on Twitter. I have a contact page at my website www.christine-bell.com and my twitter handle is @_christinebell

NT: Thanks for being our guest today

Chloe: Thanks for having me, it was fun!


For a chance to win any book listed on Chloe’s website, leave a comment below. Two winners will be drawn Sunday. Good luck!

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Today’s a big release day! I’ve probably missed a few but here’s a sample of what’s out today. Clicking on the cover or covers will take you to Amazon to read blurbs if you want. 🙂

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NT: Hi Stefanie! Thank you for being my guest today.

Hi Fatin! It is so lovely to be back with you here at Romance Reader at Heart. Thank you so much for the invite.


NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

In my mid-twenties to early thirties I worked as the Amazon.com Romance editor. It was while working there that I began to play around with the idea of writing a book. Add in the fact that my best friend is a romance writer as is my mom, and, well, I think fate did its thing.


The first book I wrote, back in 2003, did not sell. I took some time off to lick my wounds, raise my girls, and pretend to do housework. I started work on The Devil in Disguise in January 2008 and sold it in October of that same year. Apparently, the second time, not the third, is a charm!


NT: You have a new release this month, THE SAINT WHO STOLE MY HEART. Can you tell us about it?

Thank you so much for asking! Here’s a quick description:

Possessed of a brilliant mind and a love for puzzles, Dashiell Matthews, Viscount Carrington, is a crucial member of the elite Young Corinthians spy league. Assuming the façade of an addle-brained Adonis, he hunts for a notorious London murderer known as the Bishop. When fate causes him to cross paths with Miss Elena Barnes, Dash discovers an enigma that will prove delightfully intoxicating to unravel: a voluptuous beauty as intelligent as she is fearless.

Only the lure of a collection of rare books bequeathed to her family by Dash’s late father could tempt Elena from her cozy rural life to the crush and vanity of London. But if Elena finds his lordship to be the most impossibly beautiful man she’s ever seen, he also seems to be the stupidest. Which made her body’s shameless response to his masterful seduction all the more unfathomable. Yet when she discovers Dash’s mission to track the dangerous Bishop, she willingly risks everything—her trust, her heart, her very life—to join him.

I have to say that this is my favorite book I’ve written so far. I learned a lot about myself as a writer during the process and am inordinately proud of the finished story.


NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

I tend to do my work around others—in some cases, literally, if the dogs are trying to block me from reaching my desk. I grab a couple hours in the morning then a few more in the evening to do the bulk of my work. And when I’m under deadline? I lock myself in the bathroom with my laptop and pretend not to hear the knocking.


NT: Is there anyone you use as a sounding board when you’re stuck on a scene?

I could not write without my mom, Harlequin author Lois Faye Dyer. She’s good at, well, everything when it comes to writing a book. And she’s helped me out of plenty of stuck scenes—and stuck plots, and stuck characters. I’m so lucky to have her in my corner.


NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing *G*)

I’d really like to say exercise, but that would be a lie. I spend most of my free time with two ill-behaved dogs, two fiercely strong-willed children, and only one husband. Together, we attempt many family activities with moderate success, including biking, game nights, and cheering on the Seattle Sounders.


NT: What are the latest additions to your TBR? What are you most eager to read?

Gah, there are too many to count! But a few are Taming an Impossible Rogue by Suzanne Enoch, Monica McCarty’s The Saint, and Elizabeth Boyle’s Brazen trilogy.


NT: Any advice to aspiring authors?

My advice to aspiring writers is to write. You can think about writing a book. Talk about writing a book. But if you want to be published, you have to, you know, write and allow your voice and skill to grow. Practice makes perfect, after all.


NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on revisions for the fifth installment in the Regency Rogues series, entitled The Scoundrel Takes a Bride. It features a somewhat tortured hero and the fascinating woman who saves him. I can’t wait for readers to meet Nicholas and Sophia!


NT: If someone has not read any of your books, which would be the one you’d recommend they try first?

I would start with either The Devil in Disguise or The Saint Who Stole My Heart. Both are Regency Rogues books, so they are set within the world of the Young Corinthians. But each is the first of three with a closely tied story that carries throughout.


NT: How can readers contact you?

Good question! Here are some helpful links:



NT: Thanks for being our guest today!

The pleasure was all mine! And I would like to offer your readers a parting gift: simply comment below and you’ll be automatically entered to win all four of my Regency Rogues books!

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The Book



The Tease


“Ben—” Melissa spluttered. Fury darkened her eyes. Fury and desire. “I refuse to discuss this further.”

“And I refuse to talk about work after what just happened between us.”

“Fine, then we won’t talk. I didn’t want to talk in the first place. I didn’t even want to walk outside with you.”

“That’s a lie, Mel, and you know it. You want to be with me. You just don’t want anyone to be aware of it.”

She turned and marched off. He fell into step beside her.


“Why what?”

“Why won’t you be seen in public with me?”

“I’ve already told you.”

They exited the building, jogged down the stairs and hit the footpath, both of them taking a right towards the car park. “And I’ve already told you that excuse doesn’t cut it. Do I embarrass you? Scare you, maybe?”

“What? Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Hardly ridiculous when you won’t acknowledge my existence outside of my office.”

“Of course I acknowledge your existence. We work together.”

“We don’t have to just work together. We could actually be—” he clutched his heart dramatically and gasped, “—friends.”

Melissa almost tripped but righted herself just in time. She shrugged off Ben’s steadying hand. “I don’t want friends. I’ve already told you that. I want to make partner. I don’t have time for a social life.”

“Partner or not, we all need friends. Life’s too short and too lonely to go without.” Man, had he ever learned that lesson from experience.

“I’m doing just fine without, thank you very much.”

Melissa wouldn’t look at him.

“Are you? Really? You’re reduced to fucking a colleague in an office when the rest of the company has gone home. Is that what you want? Emotionless sex to tide you over until you make partner? And then what? Socially, your life is going to be perfect all of a sudden? Because you’ve succeeded in your business goals, you’ll miraculously have a life?”

She turned to glare at him, but anger was not the only emotion he saw on her face. Hurt and pain framed her ire. It made Ben want to take her in his arms and hold her. Hug her. Protect her. Make everything better.

“Making partner is my life, Cowley. Sex with you is a…fringe benefit.”

Ouch! “Ah, so now I’m a fringe benefit. Nice.”

“I never gave you any reason to think you would be more.” No, she hadn’t, had she? And yet there’d been moments, several of them, when they’d connected on a level that hadn’t been purely sexual. Or purely professional. And it was those moments that gave him reason to want more from her.

“You never gave me reason to believe you wanted to fuck me either, until you stripped naked in my office.”


The Blurb


All work and no play? Not for this girl. Not anymore.

Melissa Sparks has had enough. Enough of being the high achiever, enough of ignoring her social life in favor of her job and enough of being lonely. Just this once she wants a change. Something different. Something that looks very much like her business associate, Ben Cowley.

Ben Cowley is all alone in the deserted offices of Preston Elks. He’s gorgeous, he’s single and he’s been her secret fantasy for the last two years. It’s a split-second decision, but there’s no going back.

When Ben looks up from his desk, the last thing he expects to see is his too-serious, straight-laced colleague stripping naked. It’s been a year since his last relationship ended, and though he’s still picking up the pieces, Melissa throws his carefully balanced world off its axis. So does her offer: a brief affair, no strings attached.

Right about the time he realizes a simple affair will never be enough, she’s back in professional mode—and clearly as distant as ever. Now it’s up to him to show her that what they have is no fluke…and he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her. Even if it means inviting another man into their bed.

Warning: This book contains a man haunted by his past decisions, a woman determined to succeed, sex hot enough to steam up every office window on the block, and a voyeur who gets off watching those windows steam up.


Office Affair will be available on May 1st from Samhain Publishing or your favorite online ebookstore

Buy Links:



Barnes and Noble


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Former marine Tom Cavanaugh’s come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind.

Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother?

Nora may not have a formal education, but she graduated with honors from the school of hard knocks. She’s been through tough times and she’ll do whatever it takes to support her family, including helping with harvest time at the Cavanaugh’s orchard. She’s always kept a single-minded focus on staying afloat…but suddenly her thoughts keep drifting back to rugged, opinionated Tom Cavanaugh.

Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong…



A lot of readers have written to ask if Virgin River is based on an actual town, because they’d like to move there.  Unpack those boxes – the town lives only in my mind.


It didn’t take long for readers to reach out to me, to let me know what appealed to them about the series.  They have naturally enjoyed the strong, handsome, virile men of Virgin River; they’ve admired the beauty, inner strength and intelligence of the women.  But what I hear about most is a place where commitment is law – and not just romantic commitment, but the bonding of brotherhood, the fealty of neighbors, the loyalty in friendship.  It seems the number of people who have ties to the military is simply huge – and the fact that the Virgin River men have served their country in times of war has lent greatly to their appeal.  Not their sex appeal nearly as much as their emotional appeal.  They seem to embody those values that readers hold as admirable.  Honorable.


My readers like to watch the Virgin River characters work out their problems, cope with their challenges, get their lives on track again.  It begs the question – can we find answers and role models in fiction?  Well, considering one of the reasons we read fiction is for entertainment and we’re not very entertained unless the characters are up against a lot, must overcome great odds and evolve, I think it’s possible.


Virgin River is a town that not only exists in my mind, but can be created in any heart – it’s a place where the glass is half full, where burdens and challenges give us strength rather than break us, where fealty and friendship have more value than money, commitment is honored, and people do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do.  And there’s lots more to come from Virgin River.


Want to live in Virgin River?  Close your eyes….  Open your heart….



To find our more about Robyn Carr and the Virgin River series, visit www.robyncarr.com. And for a chance to win a print copy of Sunrise Point, leave a comment below. Open to US contestants only. Good luck!



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