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Archive for the ‘Entangled’ Category

TemptingBella_Final Mockup500

Mirabella can hardly remember the man she married as a girl to settle a gaming debt between their fathers . And it’s just as well. She feels nothing but contempt for the man who married her for her fortune and promptly forgot she existed.

Sebastian has been apart from his child bride since their wedding day, after a teenaged marriage forced upon him to rescue his family from certain ruin. His attempt to honor his vows to his absent wife has earned him the nickname, “The Saint.” But when he encounters an enchanting beauty at the opera, Sebastian cannot resist learning who she is. He is thrilled to find she is none other than his long-ago bride.

Already resentful of his early abandonment, Bella is suspicious of her husband’s unusual activities—mysterious midnight outings and apparent liaisons with pretty servant girls. Then there is the mounting evidence that Sebastian is not who he claims to be.

Guarding the painful secret of his true identity, Sebastian is entranced by Bella and is eager to make her his wife in truth. But he soon realizes the beguiling lady has no intention of coming meekly to the marriage bed!

~~**~~**~~

A 13-year-old girl is forced to marry the heir to a dukedom in order to settle a gaming debt between their fathers. After the ceremony, the bride and groom go their separate ways. Years later, the groom spies an enchanting beauty at the opera and is thrilled to learn she is his wife.

The true love story of Lady Sara Cadogan and Charles Lennox, the Earl of March, who later became the Duke of Richmond, inspired my latest historical romance, Tempting Bella, the second book in my Accidental Peers series.

According to accounts from the time, the marriage was arranged after the first Duke of Richmond lost a round of cards to the first Earl of Cadogan. To settle the 5,000-pound debt, a marriage between Lord March, the duke’s heir, and Lady Sarah Cadogan, the earl’s daughter, was arranged.

The following day, the debt of honor was paid when Lord March was brought from university and young Sarah from the nursery, to stand before a clergyman. When the handsome young groom spotted the plain awkward girl, he is said to have exclaimed in disgust,  “You are surely not going to marry me to that dowdy!” (more…)

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UndyingDestinyKenric St. James is out for revenge. Over 300 years ago, an ancient female vampire turned him against his will and killed the woman he loved. He’s spent more than a century building an Enclave of warrior vampires who have sworn to defend humanity against his evil sire and her minions. But when Kenric finds a woman he finally burns to claim as his own again, Kenric knows loving her means giving his sire another target.

Emily Ross just wanted a fresh start. She’s a survivor, coming off the tail end of an abusive relationship, and craves time alone to learn who she is and to save the home that holds her heart. The last thing she needed was a controlling, alpha male calling all the shots.

Meeting Kenric might just have changed her mind, though. He is wrong for her in all the right ways. But in order to keep her heart from breaking, he first has to keep the hoards of evil vamps from stealing her very breath.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

 

Excerpt

 

“Whoever you are, you’d best have a damn good reason to continue breathing,” Kenric rumbled.

It took balls for someone to enter his secured, private quarters within the compound while he slept. A part of him respected the bravado, but he despised games.

The cold edge of serrated steel trailed down his midsection. “Now, Kenric St. James, is that any way to speak to your sire?” An unmistakable female voice whispered at his ear.

He lunged.

Kenric’s momentum propelled them both across the shielded darkness of his bedroom. Her head smacked the wall with a satisfying crack followed by the thud of the blade against the hardwood floor.

With his hand constricting her throat, Kenric hissed through descended fangs, “Death is all that awaits you here, Marguerite.” The thundering beat of his heart filled his ears. “I will see you pay for murdering Annice. And I’ll have revenge for every other life you’ve destroyed.”

A wicked smile curled her lips before she laughed. Ready to purge three centuries of vengeance from his gut, he tightened his grip.

His hand collapsed around dead air. “Son of a bitch!”

Seconds later, a force slammed into his chest, propelling him across the room. His back struck the mattress. A naked, grinning Marguerite appeared, straddling his hips. Her hand slid between their bare bodies.

Kenric snatched her wrist. “That will never happen again.” Tossing her off him, he leaped to his feet.

“Maybe this would be more to your liking?” Marguerite’s form shimmered. Her black-as-sin hair morphed into long blonde ringlets. Her body transformed. Layers of white satin and lace soon covered her nakedness.

His gaze followed the familiar white dress down to her small slippers, then up again, following her soft curves and slight bosom. A sorrow-filled lump, the size of his heart, formed in his throat. His breath hitched. The gown was exactly like the one Annice had been wearing the day he’d proposed—more than three hundred years ago.

Large blue eyes, almost too large for her face, met his gaze. He grabbed the nearest bedpost, steadying his legs. Kenric stepped forward before his mind even registered he’d moved. But reality slammed into his brain and he yanked on the brake.

How could Marguerite be this evil? What the hell was he thinking? Marguerite Devonshire didn’t give a shit. She didn’t care if she ripped open old wounds and flooded them with salt. She only cared if the action suited her own needs.

Annice was dead. And the woman wearing the masquerade had murdered her.

“How are you doing this, Marguerite?” he growled. “And what the hell do you want? You’re too narcissistic for a death wish, and I damn well don’t need a reminder of what a sadistic bitch you are.”

“Ouch, darling.” Marguerite clucked her tongue and wagged one thin finger back and forth. “Now that’s not nice. I’m here because I’ve missed you.” She rose and sauntered forward, a disturbing blend of Annice’s body with Marguerite’s voice. She lifted her hand as if to rest it on his chest. Kenric backpedaled before she could make contact. Her eyelids narrowed as she dropped her arm to her side. Yeah. It was Annice’s face, but malice leaked through her pores like venom, a stinging reminder that she was all Marguerite.

“I wanted to surprise you. Do you like your dream so far?” She caressed the curves of her borrowed image.

A fucking dream. She was inside his head and screwing with his mind. Marguerite had already taken his life and blackened his soul, but no way in hell was she going to crawl around inside his brain and infect the only part of him left that was human: his memories.

With a smug grin, she added, “I had to do something to get the master of the Enclave’s attention. We’ve been out of touch for far too long. What has it been, three hundred years now?”

If she wanted chitchat, she had the wrong enemy. He shot her a look that said, get to the damn point.

“Don’t look so grumpy, love. I wanted to remind you of how perfect we are for each other. Annice would have never been happy with you.”

“Don’t even go there. You defile her name,” he spat. “You didn’t know a damn thing about her.”

“Oh, I’m sure the pitiful human female would have wanted children, and as you know, that’s not possible. You would have made her miserable. Not to mention the bloodlust that would have plagued you each time you fucked her.”

She giggled. “Her sweet little heart would have never fared well with that healthy…” Her gaze dipped low, then back to his face,“…appetite of yours.” She released a long sigh before continuing. “We belong together, Kenric, and you need to accept that fact.”

“The only fact that needs to be accepted here is that when I find you—” his voice dipped into a snarl,“—and I will find you—you’re going to wish you’d never tasted my blood. Because I’m going to make sure Annice’s death is paid for with yours.” He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of a reaction to her declarations about Annice—it would only encourage her. Even if she was right. Not about the children. The bloodlust. Unlike human men, he’d been gifted or cursed, depending on how you looked at it, with the benefit of never having to worry about disease or pregnancy when he fucked. The burden he carried was much worse. Sex and bloodlust went hand in hand. He never wanted to submit any female to the cravings he’d experienced during his time as Marguerite’s slave.

Marguerite scowled and whirled. “You always were a self-righteous, holier-than-thou son of a bitch. I see a few centuries without me have done nothing to improve your personality.”

His jaw ached under the pressure of his clenched teeth. She stood there, with her head held high and spine straight, as if she were the victim.

“We can see each other a little more often, now that I’ve mastered my new skill. You would like that, wouldn’t you?” Marguerite tilted her head, glancing at him over her shoulder. She reached out, intending once more to touch him. Kenric whipped his arm forward, knocking the vile appendage away. He couldn’t stomach the thought.

“Is there any point to this?”

“Tell me, my dear. I’m dying to know…” Her eyes blazed with fury, but her lips wore a smile of seduction. She stepped closer, her words hot against his skin. “Do you enjoy seeing your precious Annice again?”

A roar erupted, and his rage unleashed. With the power of a thought, Kenric launched Marguerite into the air and against the far wall. With his mind, he held her up with her feet dangling. Every instinct rebelled at causing pain to the image of innocence reflecting back at him. It isn’t her. It isn’t her. The mantra looped in his head as he stalked closer.

“This is my mind, Marguerite. It would serve you well to remember that the next time you think to play in my head.”

Her stunned expression shifted to a sneer, exposing her fangs. “You think you have the upper hand, love? You always were a little cocky.” Her gaze dropped to his groin. She licked her lips and tongued a fang.

Kenric hit her with another blast of energy, choking off her humor. The force pressed her body and head tighter against the wall. He couldn’t resist having his moment. She couldn’t die here in this delusion of her creation. But he didn’t give a damn. It was too sweet not to try to kill the coldhearted bitch.

“Fine, Kenric. You win. This round,” she conceded, lifting her shaking hands in surrender.

He sucked in a deep breath before releasing it along with his hold. Her body glided down until her feet met the hardwood floor.

“I can feel how much stronger you are Kenric, even as you sleep. Think about it. A master vampire, one with the potency that you possess, blended with the strength of my six centuries, plus the power I’ve procured—we would be a force unlike any vampire or mortal has ever seen. Nothing and no one could ever touch us.”

He didn’t think it was possible, but she’d grown even more insane. She spoke of power as if it were a lover, her eyes wild with lust. “What have you done, Marguerite?” Christ, what had she tapped into? “What is this procurement? Is that how you’re doing this?”

“So many questions.” She shook her head. “Join me, and in due time, all shall be revealed.” Marguerite planted another beckoning smile on her face.

“My answer still hasn’t changed, Marguerite. Never! Never again will I submit and give my mind and soul to you.”

She stepped forward, squared her shoulders, and pinned him with a glare. “You’re a fool, St. James. You’ll regret those words.”

“So be it.”

Her eyes shifted from blue to green. Her face, body, and clothing reversed to their original state. Her hips rocked back and forth in invitation.

She was pure sex.

But it was difficult to be aroused when his every instinct would rather rip her apart than fuck her.

“This isn’t over,” she simply stated. A red ring swirled around her green irises, giving away just how pissed she really was. Good.

He seized her chin, enjoying her sharp intake of air from his sudden grasp.

“For you, Marguerite, it soon will be.”

She pulled herself free and raked him with a hungry glare. Their gazes held once more in challenge before she erupted in laughter. Her image faded to mist.

Kenric gasped, lunging upright in bed. What remained of his bed linens lay tangled at the foot of his mattress. A fine sheen of sweat covered his body, chilling him to the core. The room was still, except for the sound of his rapid breaths. He scanned the darkness of his bedroom.

He was alone.

The shower door swung wide, striking the side of the glass block encasement, rattling its hinges. Even though it had been an illusion, it had felt good washing the touch of that evil bitch off his skin. Kenric stepped out onto his rippled bath mat and grabbed a towel from the bar.

The moment he dropped down on the edge of his bed, the house phone beeped. He groaned. It had to be Guerin. With the edges of the sun barely dipping below the horizon, the only person ringing this soon would be him, since he’d covered operations last night. Reaching over, Kenric pressed the speaker button.

“Yeah. What is it?”

“Damn, man. Good fucking evening to you, too,” Guerin said, laughing. “Who pissed on your sheets?”

Kenric let silence hang on the line and breathed deep before he took any more of his anger out on his second-in-command. “Marguerite was here.”

“Shit! How? There’s no fucking way she should’ve been able to get through without detection. We’re sealed tighter than damn Fort Knox. Do you want me to run a diagnostic on the sensors?”

“No, that’s not necessary. There’s nothing wrong with your sensors.” Kenric ran his hands through his damp hair, pushing the unruly waves over his head, and leaned against the headboard. The antique wood frame creaked from his weight. “She was here, but not in the physical sense.”

“Not in the physical sense. What do you mean? Like a ghost? What, is she dead? Could we get that lucky?”

“Shit, do you think I’d sound so pissed off if that were the case? No, in fact she’s gotten stronger, and apparently, when I’m asleep, she’s fucking found a way into my head. She’s discovered a new talent, and now she can crawl inside my mind and pay me a visit.”

Guerin whistled, long and low. “Damn, she’s one sick bitch. Any idea how she’s gained this new strength? If she’s here messing with you, she must not have found a new male to get her hooks into.”

“No. To quote you, ‘I didn’t get that lucky.’”

“We’re going to find her. It will happen, my man. But you’ve got to promise me one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“A ringside seat when you run her through. You hear me?”

“Yeah, I hear you. And you’ve got it.”

Guerin started detailing the previous night’s watch. Kenric picked at the loose fiber in his towel, the other male’s voice a distant hum in his ear. In the shower, he’d replayed every word Marguerite had uttered. There had to be a clue. She did nothing without an agenda. Marguerite was too arrogant not to have given him a hint so he’d figure out what she’d accomplished. “Blended with the strength of my six centuries, plus the power I’ve procured.” Could it be that simple? “I want you to ask Elle to research something for me,” Kenric cut Guerin off.

“Oh, okay. Spill.”

“I need her to find out everything she can on vampire lore from around the fifteenth and sixteenth century.”

“All right,” Geurin drawled. “Any particular thing she’s searching for?”

“Marguerite chose her words carefully when she mentioned her new power. She brought up the fact that she’s six-hundred years old and that she’d procured her new strength . . .”

Kenric flexed the fingers of his other hand, curling and uncurling his fist. “See if she can find any mention of ancient vampire myths pertaining to relics, or artifacts of power from that time period.”

“Good idea. I’ll get her on it.”

“Anyway.” Kenric shook his head, as if the act could erase the memory and her voice from his mind. Yeah. If only it were that easy to change his reality. Like the one where he woke every night to a dawn that consisted of shadows and moonbeams instead of UV and blue skies. If he had that kind of Etch-A-Sketch ability, he would have shaken it. “You were saying something about last night? What went down?”

“Another body’s been found. A human female. Like the rest, raped and drained dry for the euphoric high by another DE-addicted vamp. That’s three now in the past four nights.”

“Too damn many.” Kenric closed his eyes and squeezed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. A headache hammered at the back of his eyeballs. “Where was she found?”

“The Docks. Arran found her on a side street, slumped behind a Dumpster. We took care of the remains.”

“Marguerite’s getting inside my head must be connected to the surge in the number of Death Euphoria-addicted vamps. She’s turning innocent humans then watching them kill and fry their brains. No doubt they’re her calling card to get my attention. And her presence felt too real to have been carried off telepathically from a long distance. She must be tired of playing hide-and-seek and now wants a game of tag.”

Unbidden, Kenric’s fingernails lengthened and curved into claws that dug into his palm. He needed to shift. The ability to shape-shift was the best part of being a vampire. If such a thing as a good part even existed. “Good” and “vampire” didn’t quite belong in the same sentence. God, he needed to run, run until he exhausted some of his anger, before he exploded.

“Guerin, inform Arran I’ll be on patrol tonight. Those murdering bastards are mine. Their cravings aren’t going to give them a rest, and they won’t be smart enough to find a new area for their prey. They’ll be hunting tonight… And so will I.”

~~~*~~~*~~~

For find out more about Jessica Lee and her books, visit http://www.jessicaleenovels.com/. And for a chance to win an ebook from Jessica’s backlist, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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Seducing Charlotte CoverA grand passion. A ruinous secret. An impossible choice.

The wildly handsome Marquess of Camryn is an industrialist who stands for everything social reformer Charlotte Livingston detests.

She’s mortified by her intense attraction to the aristocratic factory owner who thinks nothing of replacing workers with machines, depriving them of honest work.

Stirred by Charlotte’s tart tongue and refreshingly direct manner, Camryn launches a relentless campaign of seduction to win the spinster’s heart, but she is loyal to another man.

As a violent Luddite rebellion rages across England, unrelenting desire flares between the passionate adversaries.

Camryn vows to destroy the rebel movement, unaware Charlotte harbors a secret — a shocking connection to the machine wreckers that could shatter them both.

 ~~~*~~~*~~~

Technology is changing so fast, sometimes it’s hard to keep pace and not feel like you’re falling behind.

 

With the rapid advances in smartphones, tablets and social networking, that sensibility is certainly applicable in our modern lives. But it’s also a critical theme in my debut historical romance, Seducing Charlotte, which is set against the backdrop of real historical events.

 

The hero, the Marquess of Camryn, “Cam,” is an industrialist who uses new machines that are quickly putting skilled individual weavers out of work. In real life, groups of these disenfranchised laborers took part in what became known as the Luddite uprisings, which involved breaking into factories at night to wreck the new machines.

 

When I first read about the Luddites, I immediately thought about writing a story that places my hero and heroine on opposite sides of the conflict. So Cam became a factory owner while Charlotte is a social reformist and writer who advocates for the weavers, as well as for improved working conditions for those who toil in the factories.

 

It is a classic “opposites attract” love story, with intense heat, passionate romance, and a heavy dose of mystery as we begin to suspect there’s a little more to Charlotte’s involvement with the rebellion than meets the eye.

 

Today, the term Luddite generally refers to people who oppose technological advancement. What about you? What is the one piece of technology you can’t live without? Leave a comment for a chance to win one of two $25 giftcards to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 

Link for rafflecopter giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MWNiNTU0OTUyMGNlZDFiOGJmOTc5ZmExZmRmZDJmOjM4/

 

About the author:

 

Diana QuincyDiana Quincy is an award-winning former television journalist who decided she’d rather make up stories where a happy ending is always guaranteed.

Growing up as a foreign service brat, Diana lived in many countries and is now settled in Virginia with her husband and two sons. When not bent over her laptop or trying to keep up with  laundry, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and dreams of traveling much more than her current schedule (and budget) allows.

Diana loves to hear from readers. You can keep up with her online at the following links:

Website: http://www.dianaquincy.com/

Blog: http://www.dianaquincy.com/category/news/

Twitter: @Diana_Quincy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DianaQuincyRomance?ref=hl

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7045151.Diana_Quincy

Buy Links

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 Be sure to follow the rafflecopter link to be entered in the giveaway

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His Risk to Take

The blurb:
The greater the risk, the hotter the reward…Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation on the Chicago PD for being fearless and in control—until the night his daredevil partner is killed during a raid. From that moment on, he swears he’ll never again be responsible for the loss of a loved one. To escape his demons, Troy transfers to the NYPD, bringing him up close and personal with Ruby Elliott, a beautiful, street-savvy pool hustler.

Reckless and stubbornly independent, Ruby embodies everything Troy’s avoiding, but when she walks into Quincy’s Pub and blows his carefully laid plans to hell, Troy knows he has to have her—risks be damned. But there’s a connection between Ruby’s shadowed past and a case Troy’s working involving a notorious Brooklyn felon, throwing her safety into jeopardy. Confronted with his biggest fear, will Troy push Ruby away to keep her safe or fight to keep her in his arms where she belongs?

I mentioned on Twitter while reading this that Tessa Baily should win an award for her dirty-talking heroes and I stand by that. I hereby crown Ms. Bailey the Queen of Dirty Talking Heroes. Troy was just…shew. He was this perfect blend of a charming, humorous, protective boyfriend outside of the bedroom but when the doors were closed, he was dirty, controlling, and delicious. I adored Troy. And Ruby’s tough attitude and stubborn independence was perfect for him. Troy called her his pain-in-the-ass and she really was. My favorite part, though, was when Troy makes a mistake, he owns it. I love a good grovel and His Risk to Take provided that.
fivestarsNT

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 13, 2013
Format: Digital

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RealMenSerial bachelor. Celebrity author. Her perfect forever?

 

When famous author Luke Maguire decides to write his next novel in the small town of Burronga, Australia, he’s sure he can ignore the fiery redhead next door. Not only has he just been burned from a high-profile breakup, but he’s never been one to set down roots. No, he’ll finish his novel and leave Burronga. And soon.

 

Tyler Jones just wants to run her business with her best friend, Ally, and take care of her three-year-old daughter, Chloe. She’s never needed help from anyone, especially not a man, and the brooding, rugged writer next door can’t tempt her. Not in the least.

 

Only Tyler and Luke can’t stay away from each other. So they set rules. No staying overnight, no future plans, no sappy good-byes when Luke inevitably quits town. But the chemistry between them is too strong to contain in a rulebook. Are Luke and Tyler ready to risk their lives of independence for something more?

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

In my new book, Real Men Don’t Quit, the hero, Luke Maguire, is a famous author who is suffering a severe case of writer’s block. He’s months behind his deadline to hand in his much anticipated sequel and can’t find inspiration anywhere. To make matters worse, he secretly isn’t proud of his highly acclaimed bestseller and dislikes the main character he has created and must write about.

 

As a writer I found it interesting to explore the subject of writer’s block. I have had periods where everything I wrote seemed terrible to me, and I felt I was going nowhere in a hurry. On one occasion I spent weeks writing a 50K word story only to get to the final chapter and realise that it was weak and boring, and nothing could be salvaged. I reluctantly scrapped that story and had to start all over again. It felt like I was swimming upstream against a powerful current and getting nowhere for all my efforts.

 

When I feel myself losing focus (and spending too much time surfing the web!) I often find that simply changing location helps. I move my laptop from the quiet of my bedroom into the noise and bustle of the kitchen, and often that’s enough to unlock fresh ideas. Luke Maguire also tries shifting location away from his mother’s house (his mother has recently passed away) where he is constantly reminded of her pride in his achievements. Luke moves town to his agent’s weekend house, hoping the change of scenery will overcome his writer’s block, but almost straight away he runs into his sassy new neighbour, Tyler Jones.

 

Tyler’s never met an author before. She imagines “…writers to be older, with beards and leather elbow patches, and either boring everyone in their uppity voices or swearing and getting roaring drunk on whiskey.”  Luke definitely doesn’t conform to her ideas about authors! Despite their initial prickly confrontation, there’s an almost instant attraction between these two. Desperate to finish his novel, Luke knows he shouldn’t get involved with the spirited and sexy Tyler. But as his writer’s block grinds on, it’s too easy to get distracted with her and her cute little three year old daughter, Chloe.

 

Luke does eventually overcome his writer’s block, but it’s a difficult and risky journey, and along the way he discovers what’s really important to him.

 

I never suffered any mental blocks writing Real Men Don’t Quit. In fact, I had a hard time cutting back on my word count because I got a real kick writing about Luke and Tyler finding love and happiness together. I hope you’ll also enjoy their story.

 

Thanks Fatin for having me on your blog!

 

Coleen Kwan

 

About the Author

CKColeen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.

Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.

 

Author Website: http://www.coleenkwan.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/coleenkwan.authorpage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/coleenkwan

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5210210.Coleen_Kwan

~~~*~~~*~~~

GIVEAWAY!

 

Coleen will be giving away 3 – $10 gift cards at the close of the tour. Gift cards will be good for Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Kobo (winner’s choice). For the chance to win, enter the Rafflecopter HERE.

 

 

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ExtremeLove

Blurb

New body. New clothes. New men.

Used to the average Joe, Caitlyn Moore is overwhelmed when the supremely masculine Dante Jones walks into her life and expresses an interest in her. At first she pushes him away, refusing to encourage the attention of a cage fighter. Then she learns Dante has a love ‘em and leave ‘em reputation. What better way to fine-tune her non-existent flirting skills than with a male who won’t stick around? But Dante has no intention of being a practice dummy; he’s out for all or nothing. Now Caitlyn must accept Dante—violent career and all—or let him go.

Dante “Inferno” Jones has one goal: win the Welterweight Championship. At a time when focus is crucial, the last thing he needs is a distraction. Yet Caitlyn Moore becomes a challenge he can’t resist. When the light-hearted pursuit shifts to a battle to win her heart, his focus is shot. Faced with losing the biggest match of his career, Dante must decide if his extreme life also has room for Extreme Love.

Caitlyn has spent most of her life battling obesity and the social stigma that can go with it.  She never expected a ripped MMA fighter like Dante to be attracted to her. Even though she’s lost 10 dress sizes, she still sees herself as fat when she looks in the mirror and doesn’t understand why Dante wants to be with her. Add in that she hates violence, Dante has a rough road ahead with convincing Caitlyn to give him a chance. Luckily, Dante is used to fighting for everything he wants and he’s never wanted anything more than Caitlyn.

I liked this one. Caitlyn is a heroine with believable flaws. Her insecurities and inexperience with men led to many mistakes on her part but I liked watching her grow stronger throughout the book. And I just plain loved Dante. A hot, sweet, considerate hero that can flip to hot, protective, possessive hero with the right motivation? YUM!

I’ve seen a few references by other readers to some “fat shaming” that occurs in the book but I didn’t see it that way. Most of the weight issues addressed are from Caitlyn and the way she sees herself. The two villain-type characters do use her insecurities to cut her down and, once again (and unfortunately), I found this believable. There are people in the world who are cruel and will attack whatever someone is most sensitive about.

The villainous characters were my one real problem with this book but not for the reason mentioned above. They came across as very one dimensional and almost a caricature of a villain. There was no real depth with any characters outside of Caitlyn. Everyone was either really good and always right or really bad and always wrong. It kept me from investing in the story as a whole.

3.5 stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Format: Digital

Preorder:
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down-and-dirtyHe was a dare she’d never been able to resist…

Cat Thomas has never been the kind of girl to stick. A self-professed infatuation junk, she latches on the newest, hottest guy on the block, then finds a reason–real or imagined–to dump him. When she accepts a dare to rekindle her high school flame and jump in bed with her brother’s best friend, Shane Decker, she knows she’s in trouble. She can’t resist the man, even after all these years apart, and that just won’t do.

Shane has come back to town for a couple reasons. The biggest one? He’s tired of living away from those he loves, including Cat. But now she’s spooked and will do anything to drive a wedge between them, including trying to fix him up with other women through an online dating service.

What does he have to do to make her see that settling down doesn’t mean settling, and he’s ready to spend a lifetime proving it?

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

Thanks so much to the ladies at RR@H for inviting me by today! I thought it would be fun if, instead of me rambling about my book, we got to know each other a little! I’ll start off with MY top five pet peeves. THEN, I’ll ask YOU guys to list YOUR top five pet peeves in comments! And one random  winner will get a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card and a digital copy of Down For the Count, book 1 in the Dare Me series. (unless their pet peeve is contests. In that case, I’ll pick another person.)

  • People who say “No offense, but,” and then unleash the absolutely most offensive observation ever. “No offense, but you look pregnant.” FOR REALZ??? Well, “No offense, but you’re a *%&(#ing %&#hole.” Doesn’t take the sting out of it, does it?

 

  •  When I unload and load the dishwasher, and the sink is all shiny and nice, and one of my kids comes and cavalierly tosses a bowl STILL FILLED WITH CEREAL into it. Who is going to drain the milk and then wipe all those Cheerios into the garbage when you walk away? THE SINK FAIRY?

 

  •  People who bring babies to R rated movies. I am ALL about kids in kid or even PG family movies laughing and talking back to the screen and sometimes even crying. I am NOT all about going to watch The Rock exact revenge on his enemies for killing his family and then having to listen to someone’s baby cry because they’re bored or, worse, watching something that they are emotionally traumatized at having to watch. Do what the rest of us who’ve had kids did. Accept the fact that you will have no life until they’re old enough for you to leave them home by themselves, and get in line for Pokemon.

 

  • Talking to a computer instead of a person when trying to get customer service. I have about a three question tolerance for this. If they’re just trying to funnel callers to the right person with a FEW broad questions, I get it. Beyond that, when it delves into the most twisted version of that childhood game “Telephone” that’s when I start feeling stabby. It’s like, “Why are you calling today. Please say ‘purchase a ticket’, ‘check a reservation’ or ‘cancel a reservation.’” And I’m like “Cancel a reservation.” And it’s like “You said Camping for Taxation, is that correct?” And I’m like, “Um, NO. That wasn’t even an OPTION.” And it’s all “I’m sorry, we don’t offer adoptions.” Me: -_-

 

  •  Maggots. To clarify, I have never seen living maggots. And, to put a finer point on it, I don’t think they qualify as a pet peeve, per se. More like an all-encompassing fear. I just feel like this was a good opportunity to let people (and all things holy) know that I am REALLY adverse, and want it to go on record that I’d very much prefer that my maggot-free state continue from now until long after my death. Hence my cremation demands. So it is written.

 

Okay, so that’s me. What about YOU guys? What drives you nuts? It doesn’t have to be rational. It could be “The sound of my husband chewing lettuce” and I won’t judge. This is a judgment-free zone!

 

Oh, and if you’d like to learn more about my Dare Me series, click HERE for the first chapter in each book!

 

 

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down-and-dirty

The blurb:

He was a dare she’d never been able to resist…

Cat Thomas has never been the kind of girl to stick. A self-professed infatuation junk, she latches on the newest, hottest guy on the block, then finds a reason–real or imagined–to dump him. When she accepts a dare to rekindle her high school flame and jump in bed with her brother’s best friend, Shane Decker, she knows she’s in trouble. She can’t resist the man, even after all these years apart, and that just won’t do.

Shane has come back to town for a couple reasons. The biggest one? He’s tired of living away from those he loves, including Cat. But now she’s spooked and will do anything to drive a wedge between them, including trying to fix him up with other women through an online dating service.

What does he have to do to make her see that settling down doesn’t mean settling, and he’s ready to spend a lifetime proving it?

DOWN AND DIRTY, book 2 in the Dare Me series, was a little different than I expected. As I said in our review for DOWN FOR THE COUNT, I was a big fan of Cat and was hoping for her story. In the previous book, she was very out-spoken and fun. This Cat was different. She was flawed and vulnerable, with walls built to avoid commitment. There were many, MANY times I wanted to shake her throughout the book, even as I understood the reasons behind her issues. Shane was a fantastic, steady hero who wouldn’t let her push him away and I kept wondering if he deserved better. In the end, Cat was able to overcome her problems and be the heroine I wanted for Shane. While I didn’t love this one quite as much as book 1 (Galen is a hard act to follow), DOWN AND DIRTY was an enjoyable read with quite a few laugh-out-loud moments.

fourstarsNT

Favorite quote:

Her skirt was so short that Cat caught a flash of rhinestones that were either appliquéd onto the front of a flesh-colored thong or part of the girl’s attempt at vajazzling. Cat’s professional curiosity required her to investigate further—even if she didn’t design underwear—so she squinted hard, half-tempted to squat down for a proper look. If she eyeballed the girl’s lady parts any harder, she was going to feel obligated to buy her dinner or something.

 

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2013
Format: Digital

Order:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

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HRRThe last place city girl Desiree Burke expected to find herself was living at and working on a ranch, much less butting heads with the ranch’s sexy cowboy owner, Zach Gamble. But that’s exactly where she ends up after an incident at work leads her to her best friend Rory’s doorstep. Desiree is a gifted physical therapist, and Rory knows exactly where her brand of tough love is needed the most. Zach’s been through hell and back. A devastating car crash left his brother gone, his father paralyzed, and him with mental scars a mile wide. His survivor guilt alone makes him sure he doesn’t deserve to find love. But as Des works her way into his ranch, his family, and his life, suddenly the last person who belonged there is the only one he believes belongs…with him.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

I like it when I can put faces to the voices in my head. I know that sounds a little crazy, but oh well.

Carson Granger, from Three River Ranch, was easy: Josh Holloway, who played Sawyer on Lost.

Zachary Gamble, the hero of my latest book, His Reluctant Rancher, is a wounded (of course) and environmentally-conscious Montana beef producer. Zach is tough, rugged and gorgeous… but that’s as far as I got. I knew his character immediately. I knew he was tall, dark and handsome. But that’s as far as I got.

So tonight, while watching The Walking Dead, my daughter was texting me photos of actors she thought might work. Tough job, right?

Eric Bana? Very nice. But a little too civilized.

Jake Gyllenhaal? Also very nice, but he’s got blue eyes. Zach’s definitely brown and brown.

Then The Talking Dead came on… AND JOE MANGANIELLO was a guest!

“Mom, it’s Zach!” yelled my daughter. “Isn’t it?”

(She doesn’t read my books, so she was going by my description of Zach. We have a mutually agreeable policy involving immaculate conception and “don’t ask, don’t tell.” It works for us. When you’ve raised three daughters, you can judge me.)

Anyway. “Yes!” I yelled back.

“He looks a little fat,” said my husband, then ducked to avoid the flying remote control.

So, Cowboy Joe. What do you think?

What do you think about cowboys in general? Are you a fan? Is it the chaps? Is it the horses? Why do you think cowboys have such enduring popularity in romance novels?

Drop us a line. All comments will be entered to win a prize. I can’t remember for sure what it is… but probably a $20 Amazon gift certificate.

www.roxannesnopek.ca

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Take one arrogant Spanish banking and property billionaire, dress him up in smelly rubber boots, then splatter him with manure when he’s not looking. Then acquire one English farmer’s daughter, make her over with designer clothes and jewels before throwing her to a pack of camera-brandishing paparazzi in Ibiza town. Yeah, why not …?

One of the great pleasures of being an author is making things up as you go along and having some fun with your characters. Certain themes or tropes in a romance also add a certain spice to the mischief making – take different worlds or a fish out of water theme as a starting point and you have a perfect way to get the hero and heroine sparking off each other nicely from the very start of the book. Fun, huh? I think so, and then I can make their developing relationship still more explosive by upping the stakes and conflicts even more.

If the hero and heroine come from completely different worlds, they’re going to have natural obstacles to overcome when I throw them together.  There’s rich potential for misunderstandings and distrust. There may be a language barrier. Society itself may even decree that these two people can’t be together, and yet somehow they must have a happy ending all of their own because it’s a romance novel. It’s my job to make that happen, whatever it takes, and I just love being able to do that day after day.

In The Spanish Billionaire’s Hired Bride I tried to push billionaire playboy Ricardo to the limits of his endurance and patience with his sham bride, Helen. She makes him do things he would never dream of doing normally, like eating a messy paper-wrapped kebab in the street and other much naughtier things …

Want to know exactly what Helen and Ricardo get up to? Well, here’s your chance: one lucky commenter will win a free eBook copy of The Spanish Billionaire’s Hired Bride on Monday November 5th.  All you have to do is to put a ‘fish out of water’ for me by the end of Sunday 4th November. Give me a hero or heroine and make life difficult for them. For example: ‘Diamond merchant millionaire, Aristotle, is forced to wear flip-flops and catch a bus to an important meeting.’ Why, how or when, it doesn’t matter – the comment that makes me laugh the most wins. Easy!  I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

 

He bought her with cold, hard cash, but can she stop him from stealing her heart?

Blackmailed to marry against his will, Ricardo Almanza needs a wife before he’s thirty, and time is running out. A notorious playboy, marriage is the last thing he wants, but his stepmother’s sexy, debt-ridden personal assistant is the perfect solution. He makes her a business deal she can’t refuse—one million euros for three months as his wife. He might even enjoy being married to her … if she doesn’t kick the crap out of him again.

Helen Marshall can’t believe she’s considering Almanza’s outrageous proposal, but she must help clear her parents’ debts or they face financial ruin. The small print on the marriage contract changes to read three months as his wife in every way—including in the bedroom. Has she gotten in too deep, or will she need a new contract addendum, extending their marriage forever?

Buy links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spanish-Billionaires-Hired-Bride-ebook/dp/B009R82P5O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350471239&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Billionaires-Hired-Bride-ebook/dp/B009R82P5O/ref=sr_1_sc_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350463397&sr=1-3-spell

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-spanish-billionaires-hired-bride-rachel-lyndhurst/1113499401?ean=2940015515824

Find Rachel at:

http://www.rachellyndhurst.com/

https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/rachel.lyndhurst.7

https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/RachelLyndhurst

https://twitter.com/RachelLyndhurst

 

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