Archive for the ‘Penguin Group’ Category


Excerpt from Down London Road by Samantha Young. Copyright May 2013.

For the first two hours, I somehow miraculously managed to avoid Cam’s end of the bar. I worked at the opposite end and Joss worked in the middle. I chatted sporadically with her about nonsense anytime we were close enough to hear each other over the music. Braden, Ellie, and Adam came in and took their usual table directly across from us so that Braden and Joss could screw each other with their eyes. I, on the other hand, did a good job of pretending that my entire body wasn’t aware of every single move Cam made, of every wicked smile he flashed at an attractive customer, at the way his jeans cupped his bite- worthy ass every time he bent over for something, or that when he reached up for a new bottle of Jack Daniel’s his T- shirt rode up, to show a slab of taut abs.

It was just pure muscle under there.

I wondered what it would be like to have him stretched out naked on a bed, his hard body and golden skin laid out for me to savor. I would start with the sexy V cut of his hips, licking along the definition, pressing wet kisses up his sculpted torso, then flick his nipples and feel him harden against me—


I jolted out of my daydream, spilling the fresh orange juice I’d just taken out of the fridge. I gaped at Joss, my cheeks flushed with embar­rassment.

She was gazing at me with a quizzical smile. “You were gone for a minute there. Where did you go?”

The red in my cheeks deepened and I cast a quick look at Cam, who was busy serving a customer. I was thankful for the low lighting that hid my cherry red cheeks, but unfortunately Joss must have caught the embarrassment in my eyes and the quick, not so surreptitious look I’d shot Cam. She glanced down the bar at him and then back at me. “Oh, okay.” She grinned.

New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young is a 27 year old book addict who graduated from the University of Edinburgh.  She lives in Scotland.  Visit her online at:





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Down London Road revised artwork


The blurb:

Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control….

It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.
But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.
Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets…even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.

After a life filled with abuse, Johanna has no self-worth. She knows she’s pretty and uses that to try to provide security and stability for her little brother’s future. When she meets Cam, there is immediate sexual attraction but she is dating Malcolm, a wealthy older man whom she cares about. Cam jumps to the wrong conclusion about her and Johanna finally stands up for herself. As Cam starts to realize his mistakes, their attraction builds until it’s undeniable.

I’ve never read a book where a heroine had as much personal growth as Johanna. Watching her realize her own worth was amazing and the author managed to bring me along on that emotion-filled journey. By the end of the book, I loved Johanna. And that brings me to my one big drawback with the book. I connected so much with her that when Cam says something incredibly hurtful and basically crushes Johanna, I felt it with her. At that point, she thinks:

I hated him. Right then, I actually physically hated him.

I was right there with her. I hated Cam and wanted nothing more than for her to dump him. Of course, they worked it out but this happened so late in the book that I didn’t have the chance to fully forgive him before I got to the end.

For the most part, I enjoyed this one. It was full of emotion, angst, and sexual tension.


3.5 stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Format: Digital and print

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9781101623152_medium_TrueWhen Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…


Erin McCarthy, author of the New Adult novel True, shares her top 5 Rom-Coms of all time and why they make the cut.


1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding because the romance feels genuine and the insane family familiar.


2. Mamma Mia!  Who doesn’t want to be Meryl Streep being wooed by three guys? Because I do. The secondary romances are also sweet and amusing.


3. The Proposal.  Ryan Reynolds = foxy. Sandra Bullock = awesome chick we feel like we’re friends with.  I’m in.


4. 50 First Dates.  I thought I would HATE this movie because of the horrible premise, but Drew and Adam just charmed me into forgetting the tragic amnesia angle.  Um, a guy who spends every day making you fall in love with him??  Sold.  Plus the cover of The Cure’s “Love Song” makes me feel 18 again.


5. There’s Something About Mary.  It’s a classic because it turned the whole genre on its ear and made us laugh in true LOL fashion.


6. And this is six, but Moonstruck.  Cher is amazing and Nicholas Cage so angsty and dramatic that you can’t help but fall for it.  “Snap out of it!” Awesome line.




Erin McCarthyErin McCarthy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 novels and novellas in the paranormal, contemporary romance, and young adult genres.  The author is a RITA award finalist and an American Library Association winner of the Reluctant Young Reader award.  She lives with her family in Ohio.

Website: www.erinmccarthy.net/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorerin

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erinmccarthybooks

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7941.Erin_McCarthy




For a chance to win a digital copy of TRUE, just leave a comment below. US/Canada only

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Rising Darkness

Mary has felt different her whole life. She married Justin in an attempt at normalcy and when he admitted he was gay and their marriage was dissolved, all she felt was relief that she didn’t have to pretend anymore. Now the chaos in her life is coming to a head. Dropping weight she can’t afford, losing sleep because of dreams she can’t understand, and suddenly hearing voices in the wind, Mary is on the edge. To avoid a doctor’s appointment Justin insists on, she takes off for a drive, not knowing that one decision will save her life and change everything she thought she knew.

After a day filled with visions, kidnap attempts, and murder, Mary is found by Michael who starts to explain to her why she has felt different. They are from an alien race that came to Earth over 6,000 years ago in search of a criminal, The Deceiver. They are born to humans and their souls are reincarnated after death then reborn, where it takes years for them to recover their memories. Each of their members have a partner, a counterbalance to their soul that they aren’t complete without and Mary is Michael’s. But this is the first time in 900 years that Mary’s soul has been reborn as Michael has searched each life for her. Now Mary must adjust quickly to her new reality and old memories that are flooding in because she is on The Deceiver’s radar and that is the only hope Mary and Michael have of surviving this life with their souls intact.

Rising Darkness has a much different feel than Harrison’s Elder Races series. It’s dark, it’s sinister, and while it is definitely a romance, it has a very strong urban fantasy vibe. Intense and tightly woven, it drew me in from the beginning and kept me reading late. This is also a two-parter. Mary and Michael’s journey will continue in Falling Light next February. I was a little torn on what to say in this review because I can’t recommend Rising Darkness unequivocally to everyone. If you prefer the more traditional romance with the HEA tied up in a neat bow at the end, you may not love this book as much as I did. If you are looking for a unique, intense paranormal romance with strong world-building, then I’d recommend giving Rising Darkness a shot.


Favorite quote

“You’re a miracle,” he said. “I didn’t think I knew how to feel anymore. I thought I was half dead.” He covered her mouth with his and whispered against her lips, “My miracle. My home.”

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Format: Print and digital

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TheTurncoat_100Lovers on opposite sides of a brutal war, with everything at stake and no possibility of retreat.

Major Lord Peter Tremayne is the last man rebel bluestocking Kate Grey should fall in love with, but when the handsome British viscount commandeers her home, Kate throws caution to the wind and responds to his seduction. She is on the verge of surrender when a spy in her own household seizes the opportunity to steal the military dispatches Tremayne carries, ensuring his disgrace—and implicating Kate in high treason. Painfully awakened to the risks of war, Kate determines to put duty ahead of desire, and offers General Washington her services as an undercover agent in the City of Brotherly Love.

Months later, having narrowly escaped court martial and hanging, Tremayne returns to decadent, British-occupied Philadelphia with no stomach for his current assignment—to capture the woman he believes betrayed him. Nor does he relish the glittering entertainments being held for General Howe’s idle officers. Worse, the glamorous woman in the midst of this social whirl, the fiancée of his own dissolute cousin, is none other than Kate Grey herself. And so begins their dangerous dance, between passion and patriotism, between certain death and the promise of a brave new future together.



Set in decadent, occupied Philadelphia during the winter of 1777, The Turncoat is a swashbuckling tale of romance, war and espionage.

Say “winter of 1777” and most Americans think of Valley Forge. Of snow and hardship and barefoot soldiers and log cabins. But there was another side to that winter. In the 18th century, armies didn’t fight in freezing weather. They retired to winter quarters.

When Benjamin Franklin heard that the British had taken the rebel capital, he quipped: “Howe has not captured Philadelphia. Philadelphia has captured Howe.” In 1777 the City of Brotherly love was the largest in North America. The public buildings and private homes were elegant red brick Georgian confections, and the recently opened City Tavern was said to be as fine as any establishment in London.

General Sir William Howe set the tone for his officers, bringing with him from Boston his married mistress, Elizabeth Loring, said to be the most beautiful woman in New England and dubbed by Boston papers “the Sultana” for her extravagant dress and habits. His spymaster, Captain John Andre, spent his spare time organizing amateur theatricals and seducing the Tory daughters of the town. It was a winter of decadence and excess.

Into this dazzling world comes the heroine of The Turncoat, Kate Grey, farm-girl turned spy, tutored in espionage by the alluring Widow of Mount Holly, and determined to help Washington drive the British out of Philadelphia–until she falls in love with the British officer who has been ordered to discover and destroy her.

You can find out more about the glittering winter of 1777, and the world of The Turncoat, at my website: www.donnathorland.com


For a chance to win a copy of THE TURNCOAT by Donna Thorland, leave a comment below. The winner will be drawn on Sunday. Open to US residents only.

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The Submissive

The first in Tara Sue Me’s seductive and scandalous series that has enthralled millions…

Abby King has a secret fantasy.

New York knows Nathaniel West as the brilliant and handsome CEO of West Industries, but Abby knows he’s more: a sexy and skilled dominant who is looking for a new submissive. Yearning to experience a world of pleasure beyond her simple life as a librarian, Abby offers herself to Nathaniel, to fulfill her most hidden desires.

After only one weekend with the Master, Abby knows she needs more, and fully submits to Nathaniel’s terms. But despite the pleasure he takes in Abby’s willing spirit, the Nathaniel hidden behind the rules remains cold and distant.

As Abby falls deeper into his tantalizing world of power and passion, she fears that Nathaniel’s heart may be beyond her reach—and that her own might be beyond saving…


Today, I thought I’d sit down with the two characters from THE SUBMISSIVE for a little chat.


Tara: Thanks for joining me today guys.


Abby: We’re glad you invited us.


Tara: I thought it’d be best to get some answers straight from the horse’s mouth.


Nathaniel: Did you just call me a horse?


Tara: Trust me, I’ve called you a lot worse. But, you know, moving on. First question, Nathaniel, what do think attracts women to a dominant male?


Nathaniel: I don’t know why you’re asking me, I’m not a woman nor have I ever been attracted to a dominant male.


Tara: Someone’s still upset over the horse remark I see. Okay, Abby, what do you think?


Abby: I don’t think there’s just one answer to that question. I think it could be any number of reasons and it’s probably different for each woman. For me it’s the feeling of giving yourself entirely to someone you know you can trust, not only with your body, but your mind and soul, too. You’re able to drop all your doubts and fears, resting totally in the knowledge that you’re the most important thing in the world to him.


Tara: You bring up an important point, Abby, and that’s how much care and attention the dominant has for a submissive in their care. It’s not a way to take advantage of someone. Different side of the story, Nathaniel, what’s it like when someone gives you that sort of power over them?


Nathaniel: It’s like no high imaginable. To have someone almost literally place their life in your hands? It’s the biggest turn on there is. How can you not turn that back around and bring them the greatest pleasure possible? When Abby submits to me she’s not just saying, “Here I am, do whatever you want to me-“


Abby: Hmmm, no. That’s pretty much what I’m saying.


Nathaniel: *squeezes Abby’s knee and kisses her cheek* Okay, you’re saying that to an extent, but you’re also saying, “I trust you to take me beyond what I think is possible, to give me just a bit more than what I think I can handle, and then to bring me back safely.”


Abby: Okay, you’re right. That’s what I’m saying.


Nathaniel: *stroking Abby’s cheek* I know, my lovely. Just as I know you’re going to enjoy what I have planned this weekend, though you might not believe me to start with.


Tara: This sounds good. Let me grab a pen.


Nathaniel: This one’s just for me and Abby, Tara. Maybe next time.


Tara: I guess I owe you that much. Thanks so much for talking with me today.


About the Author:

Tara Sue Me wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. It would be twenty years before she picked up her pen to write the second.

After completing several traditional romances, she decided to try her hand at something spicier and started The Submissive. What began as a writing exercise quickly took on a life of its own. An avid reader of all types of fiction, she soon discovered she enjoyed writing a variety as well.

Tara lives in the Southeastern United States with her family, two dogs, and a cat.

Visit her online:
Website: http://tarasueme.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tarasuemebooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tarasueme


Coming out in August and October, books 2 and 3, THE DOMINANT and THE TRAINING

The Dominant

The Training

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I have a thing for tropical locations. I’ve written quite a few books set in Hawaii, Florida and the Caribbean. There’s something about the sand and the ocean that gets to me. Maybe it’s because I’m landlocked here in Oklahoma, and the feel of sand between my toes and the view of ocean as far as I can see is my idea of the perfect getaway. So when I want my characters to take a vacation, I send them to my idea of nirvana. Some people like to go snow skiing, maybe tour ruins or climb a mountain. Me? Put my butt in a beach chair, hand me a tropical drink and I could stare at the sea for days on end, my mind drifting, completely empty. Ahh, now that’s relaxation for you.

In my current release, No Strings Attached, Ella Hicks hasn’t taken a tropical vacation to spend mind numbing time on the beach. She’s looking to get laid. A widow for the past five years, she wants to get away from the familiar and everyone she knows and have a no holds barred fling with a complete stranger. That is, until she meets up with her friend and business rival, Clay Mansfield, who thinks sex with a stranger is the worst possible scenario for Ella. So he offers up himself as a safer alternative—her companion for the duration of the vacation. He’s offered to indulge her every fantasy, and it’s an offer Ella can’t resist. And after, they can go back to the way things were.

Or can they?

I had the most fun writing this story. First and foremost, because I got to—at least virtually—revisit Hawaii, one of my favorite places in the world. Lush and tropical, it’s always been one of the best vacation spots, and Ella and Clay have a wonderful time there. I’ve been to a few of the islands, and love them. There’s always so much to do, from snorkeling to swimming, driving around the islands to visiting the stunning beaches and waterfalls, nonstop shopping to gorging yourself on amazing luaus and enjoying Hawaii’s rich history. I can’t wait to head to the islands again.

If you were going to have a sexy, romantic vacation, where would you go?

I’m offering up a $25 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble to one commenter here. And hey, if you win, you can search out some books on my backlist and find out how many of my characters I’ve sent to the tropics. 😉






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Dragos has two spots to fill in the ranks of his most trusted warriors and is hosting the Sentinel Games to find them. A televised event in a packed Madison Square Garden with dignitaries from all demesnes attending, it requires Dragos’s full attention. As the games begin, a pregnant Pia heads to South Carolina to try and fix the problems Dragos caused with the Elves in Dragon Bound. As usual, Pia is a trouble magnet. When she arrives in South Carolina with her new security team, an ancient Power is waiting.

For the first half of the book, Dragos and Pia are in separate locations and I was worried that this might impact how much I enjoyed the story. That wasn’t the case. They met every night in their dreams, as we first saw them do in Dragon Bound. It also gives glimpses into their memories of the past year, the more intimate moments as well as the fun times. It allowed me to catch up on what’s been going on with them since their book and where their relationship is now. Dragos is trying to learn to bend and be a partner after spending all these years as an autocratic leader. Pia is making strides in finding her place in a world she has hidden from her whole life and learning to stand her ground with a mate that is as old as creation.

One thing that has stayed the same is the pure badassness of Dragos. Harsh, impatient, able to nurture a grudge for centuries, his word is law and he takes pride in everyone being afraid of his temper. Except Pia and their unborn child. Watching such a tough guy lose it when he thinks they are in danger and tremble when they are safe made me melt. I adored every page where they were together. The action and suspense were good. I enjoyed the way this world continues to change and the additions Ms. Harrison made to it but it was the bond between Dragos and Pia that made Lord’s Fall so wonderful for me. It gave us moments like this:

She was his beacon to what others called decency, not because she told him how to act but because she made him want to try.

And this:

The dragon came to a realization and was amazed. In the unending years of his acquisitive existence, despite all of his hoarding of the treasure of kingdoms and emperors, he had never been rich before this. She had come into his life to steal from him, and in the process she had given him everything she had.

I was happy sighing all over this book. It was everything I was hoping for. I should warn that it will not stand alone very well. Not only is Dragon Bound necessary to this story but other threads throughout the series are pulled together in Lord’s Fall. Rune and Carling make an appearance as Dragos battles his anger and hurt over his former First’s desertion. The prophesy that was revealed in Serpent’s Kiss and carries over to Oracle’s Moon plays a very large part in this plot. More is revealed about the mysterious Quentin. Even the Gods mentioned in the novellas published through Samhain Publishing are important. Some of this is covered again but not a lot of time is spent on it.

If you are caught up on The Elder Races series, I can’t recommend Lord’s Fall highly enough. It was fantastic! If you love paranormal romance and aren’t caught up on this series, you’re missing out.

5 stars


Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Format: Print and Digital

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I will start by saying that the blurbs on the author’s site, publisher’s site, Amazon, and Goodreads are wrong. The setting and hero’s name is right, everything else including the heroine’s name, background, and plot are incorrect.

Here’s the real story.

Dawg Mackay has four teenage half-sisters he never knew about. Timothy Cranston shows up to break the news, with the sisters and their mother in tow. Family is everything to the Mackays and Dawg steps up to take care of them. This is in the prologue. The story takes place five years later.

Eve Mackay is the oldest sister. She’s had the hots for Brogan Campbell, one of the men who lives at the family’s bed and breakfast, ever since he came to town two and a half years ago. The attraction is mutual. Brogan was sent to work undercover in Somerset with the main objective to get close to Eve for reasons unknown. He waited because he didn’t want to drag her into the middle of an operation but now he’s tired of waiting. Dawg has heard the rumors that Brogan is a traitor and forces Eve to promise she’ll stay away from him. This is a promise Eve can’t keep.

I would like to tell you more about the plot but I can’t. Not because it’s spoilers. I just didn’t understand it. It’s the most convoluted book I’ve ever read. I couldn’t follow it with a map and a flashlight. After reading the entire book, I still don’t know why Eve was involved.  Or who the mystery man is that was mentioned constantly during the first half of the book. Or what Dawg knew and when he knew it. It was all, well, dumb. At one point Brogan thinks:

What the fuck was going on in this place, and just how screwed up were the criminals operating here?

I don’t know, Brogan. I’m wondering the same thing.

More than having a wacky plot that confused me, this book made me angry. The blatant disrespect for women by the men in this book was rage inducing. In the prologue, Natches calls his terrified teenage cousins that he just met bitches.  Later, Eve is explaining to Brogan that she’s not sleeping with him until he sees her as his equal. He tells her when “you’ve grown a ten inch dick at some point” he’ll consider her his equal. It looks like in the new Mackay world you are only worthy of respect if you have a penis.

Brogan was once engaged. The condom broke, the fiancee became pregnant then aborted his child without talking to him. He dumped her. Fast forward to the first time Brogan and Eve have sex. The condom breaks and he doesn’t tell her. The next afternoon, he has sex with her again, this time without the condom. When she mentions it, he says it doesn’t matter. Whatever happens was started the night before when the condom broke. When she asks why he didn’t tell her, he said he wanted to wait until it was too late for her to take the morning after pill because he doesn’t believe in abortion. She is hurt and feels betrayed.

She couldn’t believe he would even suspect she would do something so horrible. That she would abort her baby, just get rid of it as though it were trash.

Where do I even start with that? Maybe with the fact that the morning after pill isn’t abortion? It only prevents conception, the same as regular birth control does. Or maybe what a jerk Brogan is for not giving Eve the courtesy of knowing the condom broke. He didn’t even assure her he was disease free. And he never once offers an apology at any point in the book. I expected many things from this book but a morality lesson from the author wasn’t one of them.

A few of the interactions between Natches and Rowdy were amusing. Other than that, I found nothing redeemable about this book.

1 star

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Format: Print and Digital

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*ARC provided by publisher

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Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn’t stay away. I didn’t want to. He was my addiction… my every desire… mine.

My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful… except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity. We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession…

I’m not sure what exactly to say about this book. Reflected In You starts where Bared to You left off. It’s the morning after the fight with Eva’s roommate and it’s more of the same anger, jealousy, possessiveness, obsession and self-destructive tendencies. Nothing has changed. The only new element comes at the end of the book and is a huge spoiler, so nothing I can talk about.

There was no light in this book. No moments of Eva and Gideon just being happy together and that left me with no real reason to root for this couple. It’s difficult to imagine a HEA for two people when they are this messed up and aren’t showing any growth by book two. If anything, the issues have only gotten worse.

I loved Bared to You and was really excited for this one but by the end of Reflected in You, I was tired and vaguely depressed. I’ll be picking up the final book for this trilogy to see how it all ends but, for now, the excitement is gone.

2.5 stars

Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 2, 2012 (digital) and October 23rd (print)
Format: Print and digital

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*ARC provided by NetGalley

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