Friday, May 20, 2016

WORTH THE WAIT, A Divine Island series starter By Julie Ann Levin Virtual Tour-Excerpt & Giveaway!


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WORTH THE WAIT
Divine Island #1
Julie Ann Levin
Releasing May 17th, 2016

 

Tropical beaches and second chances...

As a rule, Chase Hammond avoided going home to Divine Island whenever possible. But when his father has a heart attack, he's left with no other choice but to go back and hope that he can avoid trouble and stay focused.

Recently divorced and struggling to keep all the elements of her life together, Natalie Rey has absolutely no desire to make her life any more difficult than it already is. But when Chase Hammond shows up on her doorstep, the man who rejected her years earlier, she'll have to do her best to avoid the monumental distraction.

The last thing either of them needs is their sizzling chemistry getting in the way of their goals.

Can Natalie resist the sexy man who broke her heart years ago?

Will allowing him back into her life only lead to more heartache?


Chase returned to Natalie's close to eleven at night.
The rental's lights were on, and a repetitive clunking sound came from within. He followed the sound until he reached the laundry room. There was Natalie, no longer in her work scrubs, but in a pair of low-riding sweatpants and a tank top.
A small strip of her smooth skin showed as she bent over, hitting the water heater with the wrench for all she was worth.
“Nat, we have to stop meeting like this.”
She gasped and stood up. “Jesus Christ, Chase. Don't sneak up on me like that. I almost hit you over the head with this wrench.”
Chase smiled. “You and your trusty wrench, huh?”
“Sometimes it helps.”
Chase crowded her in the small room. “Sometimes what helps?” She'd showered and smelled so damn good.
“The water heater. Sometimes it helps when I hit it with the wrench. I saw Dylan do it one time, and it worked.” She then proceeded to bang on the heater some more.
Chase curled his hand around her wrist to stop the assault on the machinery. “Why don't we...”
“I'll figure it out. I always do. I don't usually have an audience, of course.” She gestured at him with her hands.
“You don't have to be good at this, you know? You're good at lots of other things.”
“Don't have to be good at what?”
“At plumbing, electrician work, you name it. You don't have to be good at it. You can ask for help.”
She shook her head. “You're wrong. I do have to be good at it, and I am. Fifty percent of the time.”
“I thought it was sixty percent of the time.”
“The past twenty-four hours have seriously weighed down my averages.”
He gripped her shoulders, stroking her upper arms. “Is it that terrible if I use your shower?”
“Yes! No...” She exhaled. “It's not that. I need to get it to work and don't tell me you're going to look at it because you already fixed the bathroom stuff. I'm sorry if I didn't thank you already.”
Her hair was down, tangled, framing her face. Without putting any thought into the action, he cupped her jaw and ran his thumb across her cheek.
Her body turned rigid. “Chase.”
“Tell me something,” he said. “Is there something going on between you and my brother?”
Natalie shook her head. “Dylan? No.”
He paused since her answer left room for interpretation. “Any of my brothers?”
“No. Why?”
He tipped her chin up so he could look her in those caramel eyes, and traced his thumb along her full, bottom lip. “Because I'm going to kiss you right now.”
“Oh. Wh—What if I were seeing someone else?”
“I don't give a shit about anyone else, so you'll have to stop me if you do.”
He stepped into her until their thighs were touching. He put one hand against the wall above her head and curled the other hand behind her neck before his fingers weaved into her hair. “Are you?”
“Am I what?” she asked, her eyes already closed.
He pressed further against her body. “Going to stop me?”
She shook her head before Chase covered her mouth with his. This was a bad idea because she tasted incredible. He'd meant for it to be short and sweet, but there was nothing short and sweet about what he was doing now.
It turned into a hot, wet kiss, as Chase held Natalie up in his arms. He nudged her thighs apart with his leg. The sweet moan that escaped her hit him like a punch to the gut.
And then much too soon, she tensed in his arms, probably because the evidence of his own tension pressed up against her inner thigh. She pushed at his chest gently. He pulled back from her mouth and stared down at her. Her lips were swollen, cheeks flushed, and her already unruly hair was a mess as his hands were still tangled up in the locks.
“What are you doing?” she whispered.
“Kissing you. Here, let me try that again.”
She disentangled herself from his body and took a step back in the small space. “Why did you do that?”
“Hell if I know.”
“You're unbelievable,” she said, pushing past him and leaving the confines of the small laundry room.
“Nat,” Chase said, following her through the house. She was booking it through the living room and right out the front door. He purposely didn't catch up with her, because he didn't know what he was going to say.
They were outside, walking across the vast expanse of gravel that separated the two houses. The moon waned and he barely made her out in the night. He stopped when she whirled around.
“I can't believe you did that.”
“It was that bad, huh? Because I gotta to tell you, for me, it was holy shit, Natalie.”
She threw her hands up in the air and muttered something unintelligible before making off toward her house. Just as abruptly, she turned back to him again. “Bad, Chase? Of course, it wasn't bad.”
“Then what's the problem?” he asked, already knowing the answer.
“The problem, Chase, it that it's ten years too late!”
The words felt like a slap in his face. She turned and started back to her house. Chase followed her but stopped at the bottom of the porch steps.
“Nat,” he said. He had no right to kiss her, but he hadn't exactly been thinking with his head. Well, not the right head.
She turned around and pursed her lips. Chase braced himself for verbal assault, but instead she launched herself at him with her whole body pressing up against him, sliding her fingers into his hair to better clutch his mouth to hers. She kissed him with all she had, and before he had a chance to get his arms around her, she retreated two steps.
“Unbelievable,” she said, her chest rising and falling with labored breaths. And then she turned around, walked right into her house, and slammed the door in his face.
“The good kind of unbelievable?” he asked.




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Can't wait for more?
CRAZY FOR YOU, Divine Island Book Two
Releases June 14th




Julie Ann Levin grew up in Miami, Florida. She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in English, majoring in Creative Writing. She loves to read all genres of Romance and especially loves contemporary, suspense, and paranormal.

She is known to binge read and is always binge writing.



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Virtual Tour for SILENT HEARTS By Melissa West. Great Giveaway!


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SILENT HEARTS
Hamilton Stables #3
Melissa West
Released May 10th, 2016
Lyrical Shine


The Hamilton brothers have horse racing in their blood, and their sprawling Kentucky farm is the family’s pride and joy. But they’ve got plenty of passion to spare…

Nick Hamilton has always known he’d take the reins of the family business when his father died, but that doesn’t make it any easier when the time comes. Especially with his two siblings tempted by a shrewd offer from a huge corporation to buy Hamilton Industries. Needing advice, Nick turns to his sensible childhood friend, Becca Stark—and finds her suddenly grown-up beauty ignites brand-new confusion, and crystal clear desire…

Becca has loved Nick for as far back as she can remember, but she decided long ago that telling him would be a mistake. Stubborn, strong Nick doesn’t see her as anything but the tomboy she used to be—or does he? As she helps him untangle his feelings about the ranch’s future, the familiar bond between them heats into an explosive attraction—and the kind of love that just might take the lead…



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Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA, with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction. 


For sneak peeks at upcoming works, prizes, and more, join Mel's Madhouse: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MelsMadhouse

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Club Thursday: Catching Up With Authors May 19th



Hi Readers! Welcome back to Book Club Thursday. If you are voracious readers like we are at BCT, I am sure that you sometimes fall behind on some of your favorite authors like we do. That's why we have our monthly features, like Catching Up With, so that we can play catch up with our faves. This month, we are each "catching up with" author Sherrilyn Kenyon!


I can't believe that I haven't read Sherrilyn Kenyon since 2011. I love the Dark Hunter's, but have fallen far behind on the series. It didn't help when it went hard-cover in the middle of the series,jmo. I will not whine, well maybe a little. It doesn't seem fair that fans of a series have to wait longer to read the next installment because they can't afford hard-covers. That is why some readers begin to put their faves on the back-burner. Oh well, anyway, I needed to read RETRIBUTION as my catch up selection.


Harm no human...


A hired gunslinger, William Jessup Brady lived his life with one foot in the grave. He believed that every life had a price. Until the day when he finally found a reason to live. In one single act of brutal betrayal, he lost everything, including his life. Brought back by a Greek goddess to be one of her Dark-Hunters, he gave his immortal soul for vengeance and swore he'd spend eternity protecting the humans he'd once considered prey.

Orphaned as a toddler, Abigail Yager was taken in by a family of vampires and raised on one belief - Dark-Hunters are the evil who prey on both their people and mankind, and they must all be destroyed. While protecting her adoptive race, she has spent her life eliminating the Dark-Hunters and training for the day when she meeting the man who killed her family: Jess Brady.

A gun in the hand is worth two in the holster....

Jess has been charged with finding and terminating the creature who's assassinating Dark-Hunters. The last thing he expects to find is a human face behind the killings, but when that face bears a striking resemblance to the one who murdered him centuries ago, he knows something evil is going on. He also knows he's not the one who killed her parents. But Abigail refuses to believe the truth and is determined to see him dead once and for all.

Brought together by an angry god and chased by ancient enemies out to kill them both, they must find a way to overcome their mutual hatred or watch as one of the darkest of powers rises and kills both the races they've sworn to protect.





     I have to start by saying that RETRIBUTION was not my favorite of the Dark Hunter series. The beginning was slow moving and it didn't seem to go anywhere. I liked Jess who was given his second chance at life to be a dark hunter. He was a killer, but he did find redemption which you find out later in the story. What I didn't like was some of his dialogue was a little 1950's television corny at first and then it just seemed to disappear. Jess also watched out for the woman he loved and almost married and was separated from, and this becomes a key issue to the story. It made me like him more. I had mixed feelings about Abigail. I hated her in the beginning, she killed dark-hunters, but that too is addressed in later chapters as Kenyon gives you more layers in the story. Both Jess and Abigail dealt with their murderous pasts and neither tried to sweep it under the rug. That made me feel something for their redemption.
     This story takes place in the west USA and has some Native American mysticism which I enjoy. I also loved some brief visits from favorite characters like Zarek. The second half of the story really takes off and I found myself intrigued with the storyline, although part of it was confusing as well. It also is a bit insta-love between Jess and Abigail which some readers would find implausible. I think other reviewers either loved it or hated it 50/50. Overall, it was a good, but not great story and it certainly won't keep me from reading more of the series.



I hope that stop by and leave a comment about today's blog. Don't forget to join me and stop by to see which book by prolific author Kenyon they caught up on. Stop by again next week, May 26th, when we are doing our monthly Reading Challenge. Until then, Happy Reading!



     




Romancing the Readers-Ann                                               born to Read Books-Cyndi

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Book Club Thursday: Free Day! May 12th, 2016


Hi Readers! It's Book Club Thursday and we are glad that you are here to join us. This week is our Free Day!
     I thought that I would review a historical romance for my selection. I admit, that I don't always get a chance to read them as much as I would like. Avon has a lot of great historical authors. Some are old favorites and some are new to me. And let's face it, the historicals have some of the most beautiful covers and they beg "read me." One series that has been calling to me is the Wicked Quills of London by new to me author, Eva Leigh. Though it is the third book of the series, TEMPTATIONS OF A WILDFLOWER can easily be read as a stand alone.



Temptations of a Wildflower
The Wicked Quills of London Book #3
Eva Leigh
Avon Publishers
April 2016

     In society circles she’s known as the Watching Wallflower—shy, quiet, and certainly never scandalous. Yet beneath Lady Sarah Frampton’s demure fa├žade hides the mind of The Lady of Dubious Quality, author of the most titillating erotic fiction the ton has ever seen. Sarah knows discovery would lead to her ruin, but marriage—to a vicar, no less—could help protect her from slander. An especially tempting option when the clergyman in question is the handsome, intriguing Jeremy Cleland.
     Tasked with unmasking London’s most scandalous author by his powerful family, Jeremy has no idea that his beautiful, innocent bride is the very woman he seeks to destroy. His mission must remain a secret, even from the new wife who stirs his deepest longings. Yet when the truth comes to light, Sarah and Jeremy’s new found love will be tested. Will Sarah’s secret identity tear them apart or will the temptations of his wallflower wife prove too wicked to resist?



I'm glad that I answered the call to read Temptations Of A Wallflower. It's an engaging story that had me turning page after page. Sarah was a wallflower, ignored by most of the male members of the ton because she was shy and quiet (aka smart and not worried about the hypocrites of high society). Society didn't know that the mild-mannered Sarah had a wild side, she wrote erotica under an assumed name, The Lady of Dubious Quality. Though a lot of society was gobbling up the books, Sarah and her wealthy family would be ruined if society found out who wrote the sensational stories.
     Jeremy is the son of a wealthy family also, but he is the third born son, so he is the spare of the spare to the heir. Which meant that dad held the purse strings and picked his career for him-a country vicar. Go dad! Dad wants to find out who the nasty person is that is ruining society with the tawdry writing, so he sends Jeremy to London town to expose the writer. Then his purse-strings will loosen up a little. 
     Sarah and Jeremy meet and keep running into each other, becoming friends. They both know nothing more can come of their friendship even though there are sparks between them. And of course Sarah has her secret. So what do two people do when they should stay just friends? Yep. Get married.
     Jeremy is a nice man, handsome with a good heart. Not an alpha, but he does care for Sarah.  He does tick me off in a scene though. Sarah is the star of this book. She was so smart when it came to getting her manuscripts to the publisher to hide her identity. She also thinks that a woman should be able to enjoy her sexuality with her husband. The love scenes between the newlywed couple are playful and sexy. I love how the author makes you feel for Sarah and her writing and how it is so much an important part of her. I really enjoyed this story and I am definitely going to pick up the two previous novels. One of the heroines writes a gossip newspaper and the other writes for the theater. And Eva Leigh does a wonderful job writing about writers!


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Thanks for stopping by. I hope you join us next week, May 19th, when we are reading one of our Catching Up With authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon. Until then, Happy Reading!