Archive for the ‘February 2013’ Category


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.


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

Barnes & Noble

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Welcome to the next stop on Vivian Arend’s HIGH RISK blog tour!

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Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win an Adrenaline Swag Pack plus winner’s choice of any book from Vivian’s digital backlist. Good luck!

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Pat Cochran

wins LESSON IN ROMANCE by Harmony Evans


Amber Fox

wins FALLING FOR FINN by Jackie Ashenden



wins a $20 Amazon gift card from Roxanne Snopek


Diane P. Diamond

wins LADY BELLING’S SECRET by Amylynn Bright


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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Bellings1800x2700Francesca Belling is torn between two worlds—her past infatuation with her brother’s best friend and her future obligations. She never intended to end up in the bed of her longtime crush, Thomas Wallingham but that’s exactly where she finds herself.

Unfortunately, mail is slow during a war. She thought he knew everything. He had never suspected.

Thomas has always wanted to be a part of the Belling’s family but he was too foolish to grab the chance when she threw herself at him before. Instead, he ran off to war.  Emboldened by his new-found appreciation for a grown-up Francesca, he finds that dream is within his reach.

If she thinks he’s running away this time, she has no idea what she’s in for.


So – I write historical Romance, specifically Regency. I’d love to tell you exactly when that time period was but it’s the cause of some argument. If you want to get really technical, it’s the time from 1811 to 1820 when the Prince Regent ruled England. Some will argue that it’s any time between 1795 and 1837. But, really, won’t people argue about anything?

I write historical romance because I’m lazy.

“Huh?” you ask. When I started reading romance, my first was a Regency. Julia Quinn, actually – I came to romance late, but that confession is for another blog. It seems a bit cliché to say I fell in love with Romance but there is no other explanation. After that, I read A LOT of romance – contemporary, paranormal, you name it. Still, I kept coming back to historicals. I devoured them from all time periods, but Regencies were my favorite. There’s something about the manners of the time and the subsequent exploitation of those manners that occurs in a juicy story. Think of reading Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility or every lyrical version of Jane Austen you’ve ever seen produced.

That is Regency.

Lush. Gorgeous. Complicated.

When I poised my fingers over the keyboard to begin my very own romance, of course it was a Regency. That’s where the lazy part comes in. As a voracious reader, I knew the rules of Regency. I liked the idea of writing about a world not so very different from our own and the idea of building my own world for a paranormal was just too daunting. So I started writing about a Marquess and a Lady.

Boy, was I naïve.

I quickly discovered there are all kinds of troubles with a historical. The heroine goes to a bank. Does she go through a revolving door? No, she does not. The invention of revolving doors was patented in December 1881.

If she and the Marquess are riding through a field, does she encounter barbed wire? Nope. Barbed wire was an American thing from the time of Lincoln in 1867.

This is taking forever. All this research…

Alright, forget the barbed wire and the stupid door. Would the footman have brought muffins to her in the morning room while she was writing her letters? Probably not. The things we call muffins would have been referred to as “American Muffins” and didn’t really come to England until the late 1800’s.

Forget eating. How does she mail these letters anyway? What the hell is the deal with franking? When did stamps come around? And . . . I’m back on the internet. The first stamp was issued in Great Britain in 1840 and cost a penny.

I haven’t managed to write a single cohesive paragraph without getting lost on the internet for twenty minutes at a hop. Next it was spices, the amount of time it would take to sail from London to Boston, and the cost of letting a room in a less than fashionable district.

Then bad things started to happen. The internet wasn’t enough anymore. Pretty quickly I was cruising Amazon for research books like it was crack. I bought several about English gardens, the inner workings of the manner house, and a multitude on Regency fashions. You simply have no idea how much you don’t know about underwear until you delve into the small clothes situation these people dealt with.

I knew it had gone too far when I finally acquired a map of London drawn up in 1919 so that I could use the correct names of the streets, parks and neighborhoods.

So much for going the lazy route.



Amylynn read her first romance novel in 2008 after being a lifelong literary snob.  By the time she was done, she was hooked. Inspired, she challenged herself to write an entire manuscript from start to finish.  Lady Belling’s Secret became the first in a three series set.

She is an Arizona native and lives in the same house her husband owned before they were married.  Amylynn fears she will never call another state home unless someone tells her husband there are forty nine others to choose from.  In reality, she’d settle for a walk-in closet.

Her family consists of the aforementioned husband, two beautiful children, two dogs, two cats, some fish, and a hankering for a panda. She’d like it mentioned she’s never been in prison but we’ll see how that panda thing works out.


For a chance to win a print copy of LADY BELLING’S SECRET, just leave a comment below. Good luck!


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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.


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FallingForFinn_v2When you’ve been burned, the heat of the moment is the scariest place to be.

Six months after a sexual assault, Anna Jameson has decided enough is enough. She’s sick of being a victim, of letting the experience have power over her. She wants her fear of physical intimacy gone, as in now.

In the quest to reclaim her sexuality, she needs a man. A man she trusts absolutely. A man like her best friend, Finn.

Finn Shaw is all about taking risks. He does it every week on his extreme sports TV show. But there’s one boundary he’s never pushed, and that’s his friendship with Anna. When his hyper-intellectual family kicked him to the curb over his dyslexia, Anna stuck by him.

Her request to become friends with benefits throws him for a loop. He can’t deny her anything, but this is a whole different ball game. Once they’re skin to skin, there will be no hiding the fact that he’s loved her for years.

When their chemistry burns out of control, Finn decides he’s the one who’s had enough. It’s time to break out of the friend box—and show Anna that risking her heart is a risk well worth taking. Even if it costs him her friendship.

Warning: This book contains a strong-willed heroine who knows what she wants, a daredevil hero intent on showing her how much more she could have, sexy love scenes that’ll melt your heart, and a grand gesture you’ll need a tissue for.


So, welcome Anna and Finn, glad you could join us today.


A: It’s very nice to be here, thank you.

F: Likewise


Okay, so Anna, you first. Tell us a little bit about yourself.


A: Right, well, I’m a lawyer. I work at Black, Fox and Associates in Auckland. It’s a big corporate law firm and I love working there. The people are great….What Finn?

F: Nothing. Didn’t say a word.

A: I saw your eye roll. Look, I know you don’t much like lawyers but—


That’s great Anna, I’ll just interrupt you there since we don’t have much time. Now Finn, I understand you have your own TV show. Tell us about that.


F: It’s called Wild Life and it’s about extreme sports. About conquering your fears and pushing your boundaries.


And I guess you’re pretty comfortable doing that sort of thing?


F: Yeah, that pretty much sums me up.

A: You do other stuff though.

F: What other stuff?

A: Remember that Karaoke bar we went to? And you started singing Delilah by Tom Jones?

F: What? I do not remember—


Oookay, thanks Finn. So you guys are pretty close huh?


A: I’ve known him since he was seven and I was five. He was on his skateboard showing off. We’ve been best friends ever since.

F: A long time in other words.


That’s longer that some people’s marriages! Ever had any bust-ups?


A: No. Never.

F: Well, mostly never.

A: Hey, come on. We never argue.

F: Sometimes we do.

A: No we don’t.

F: See?


Riiiight. So, come on, give us some insider information. Have you two ever…you know…pushed the friendship boundary?


A: That’s a very personal question.


Off the record.


A: No, we haven’t.

F: Yes, we have.

A: Well, this is awkward.

F: You don’t remember your twenty-first birthday?

A: Oh that. You were drunk. It didn’t mean anything.

F: Sure. Nothing.


You don’t look too sure, Finn. What went down at Anna’s birthday? Again, off the record.


F: I kissed her. It was no biggie.

A: Like I said, awkward. Can we talk about something else now?


So it wasn’t all that great, Anna?


A: Look. We were drunk. It was a one-off thing. He’s my best friend, come on.


So you haven’t even had just the teensiest fantasy?


A: No. And I’m not answering anymore questions.

F: I think we’re done here aren’t we?


But I haven’t finished with the questions.


F: You heard Anna, she’s not answering anymore questions. And neither am I.


Okay, so there we have it folks, Anna and Finn. Thanks for visiting with us today.


*waits until Anna and Finn have gone*


All right, so did anyone else think there’s something going on there? Or is it just me??  😀



For more information, visit jackieashenden.com. And for a chance to win a digital copy of FALLING FOR FINN, just leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀


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In MOONGLOW, book 2 in the Darkest London series, Inspector Winston Lane was attacked by a were and his life was changed. He never knew supernatural beings existed but his wife of 14 years, Poppy, was more than aware. She has powers of her own and has been on the front line of the battle for their entire marriage. Trust destroyed, Winston doesn’t give Poppy a chance to explain. He just leaves.

WINTERBLAZE picks up a few months later. Disfigured and no longer an inspector, Winston has left for Paris to decide his next steps and try to put the feelings for his wife to rest. He fails miserably. He still loves Poppy but can’t get past her lies. When Poppy shows up on the ship traveling back to London, he hopes she’s there to grovel. To try to apologize and explain her deceptions. To give him an excuse to take her back.

When Poppy gets word that a demon she has fought in the past has targeted Winston, she immediately heads to France to protect him. It doesn’t matter that he walked out on their marriage and broke her heart, she’ll keep him safe. Filled with hurt, anger, and distrust they must find a way to work together to stop this demon or they will lose everything that matters.

With so many twists and turns, lies and secrets revealed, WINTERBLAZE kept me on the edge of my seat. The first bombshell is dropped in the first couple of chapters and the hits just kept on coming. Early in the book, Winston discovers Poppy isn’t the only liar in their marriage. His actions set in motion the current events. He needs to earn Poppy’s forgiveness, as well. They were both to blame for the collapse of their marriage. Winston always felt Poppy was holding back but he never pushed. Poppy was always waiting for Winston to find out the truth and hate her so she never fully let him in. They took each other for granted. Watching the two of them try to rebuild their relationship into something stronger was beautiful and sometimes painful to read. Winston has to learn to forgive Poppy and accept her for who she is and Poppy has to let go of the fear and trust that this time Winston will stand and fight for them and not just walk away.

I loved every part of this book. The suspense, the darkness, the incredibly hot sexy times, the angst, and even the parts that made me flinch. This series has only gotten better with every book and I can’t wait to see what’s next in this world filled with things that go bump in the night and the heroes and heroines that bump back.

Favorite quote:

Now he knew with every fiber of his being that she was his. Not as a possession, but his in a way that made him who he was. Take Poppy out of the equation, and he was all wrong, an uncompleted work. He’d thought he’d known his wife all these years. Now? Now he understood his wife.


Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Format: Print and digital

Barnes & Noble

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Lesson in Romance_Harmony EvansAlex Dovington is a man with a secret. The internationally famous jazz musician never learned to read. If the world—and his legions of fans–knew, it would be a disaster.

That’s where Cara Williams comes in to teach the music legend. The sultry teacher has just three days to him everything she knows. But the instructor becomes the student when Alex turns their mountaintop classroom into a sensual duet of passion.



Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Phew, right? Perhaps you celebrated with your husband or lover. Perhaps you spent it alone or with friends. My only problem with Valentine’s Day is the expectation that it generates. On that day, our society expects you to have someone, to give something (even if it’s just flowers to yourself), or to be as happy as Cupid shooting a bow and arrow.

To me, love is best when it comes unexpectedly. When it comes as a surprise, especially in the midst of a crisis, that’s when it’s most often real. Take Cara Williams, the heroine in LESSON IN ROMANCE, my debut novel for Harlequin, for example. She’s spent her life doing what she loves most – teaching adults how to read. But Beacon House, the literacy center she built from the ground up and runs in Harlem, is on the brink of closing due to lack of funding. She’ll not only lose her life’s work, but her community will suffer as well.

An unexpected phone call leads to a possible solution to her troubles, and a very hot man. She’s got just three days to teach sexy jazz saxophonist Alex Dovington how to read. His donation will help save Beacon House, but is she willing to risk her heart in the process?

Unexpected love is probably the most risky of all. And the most thrilling. For me, that’s what I hope for, and I know it will likely happen at the oddest time. When I least expect it. And when I need it the most.

Share a time in your life when love came completely unexpected. One lucky commenter will receive a free copy of LESSON IN ROMANCE!

Bio: Harmony Evans is one of the newest Harlequin Kimani Romance authors. She is a finalist for the Romance Slam Jam 2013 Emma Awards (Debut Author of the Year) and a 2012 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards Double-Finalist (First Series Romance and Kimani Romance).

You can visit her at her website http://www.harmonyevans.com. Follow Harmony on Twitter. http://www.twitter.com/harmonyannevans or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/harmony.evans.


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Climbers! Climbers with angst! Climbers doing dirty things with ropes!

You may be wondering about my new obsession with climbers 😉 It’s all the fault of Vivian Arend’s upcoming release HIGH RISK.  And we have an advance reader copy to give away!



Adrenaline, Book 1

LIFELINE: an elite search-and-rescue squad based out of Banff, Alberta. Specializing in high-risk rescue missions, this team goes wherever the job takes them…

Rebecca James was once revered for her devil-may-care attitude and backcountry survival skills. But ever since she lost her partner in a fatal accident, patches of her memory have been missing. And until she can recall those final, tragic moments before the accident, she can’t move on.

Since Marcus Landers was permanently injured during a mission, all his energies have been focused on his Lifeline team. When Becki—whom he had an intense affair with seven years ago—arrives in Banff, he’s inspired to reignite the spark they once had. Their mutual ardor slowly awakens Becki’s dormant, haunting memories.

New truths surface until Becki must at last confront her greatest fear. Remembering the past might mean a future without the man she loves…

March 5, 2012


For a chance to win, just leave a comment below. This giveaway will run through Friday. Be sure to check back then to see if you’ve won. Good luck!

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More winners!


wins a digital copy of FALLING INTO PARADISE by Kamy Chetty


June M., musingbookworm and hollie8985

wins 2013 limited edition dog tags from Vivian Arend


Brenda Hyde

wins MIDNIGHT ALIAS by Elle Kennedy



wins the TIME DANCER necklace from Inez Kelley


Josette Schaber

wins The Eldwyn Chronicles by Inez Kelley in digital


yohanna baez

wins a digital copy of RELENTLESS by Winter Austin


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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