Blog Tour: All In by Aleah Barley

AllIn_BlastBadge
Today is my stop during the blog tour for All In by Aleah Barley. I share a excerpt form the book with you and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

All In CoverTitle: All In
Author: Aleah Barley
Series: Leaving Las Vegas #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
World-class statistician and poker prodigy Daisy Drake has two rules: never risk anything you can’t afford to lose, and never, ever, trust a gambler. Which is why she gave up the game and moved to Los Angeles, where she became a tenured professor. But when an old acquaintance calls needing Daisy’s…expertise…to help catch a cheater, she heads back to Las Vegas and the poker tables.

FBI Agent Ryan DiNatto’s been a gambler since he was four, and a hustler since he hit puberty. Coming off an undercover mission that ended with him shot and his partner in a wheelchair, Ryan’s out for blood. With a mob accountant and a hit man on the loose, the stakes have never been higher, and this time, he’s determined to make things right—even if it means beating spunky, sexy, Daisy Adams at her own game.

Excerpt:
In the two weeks he’d prepped to go undercover as a tournament poker player at the Hendrix, Ryan had studied the case file more thoroughly than he’d ever studied anything in college. This was his chance to prove he was really back. That he wasn’t just the screw-up who’d gotten Jack shot.
More importantly, it was his chance to take another crack at Vic Morelli. There’d been enough stolen property in the warehouse to send Vic upriver for five to thirty—depending on the judge—but the Feds were still working to build racketeering and corruption charges. Ryan wasn’t about to let that stand. He wanted the mobster in jail for life or—better—parked on death row for conspiracy to commit murder.
Forget the drug dens in Manhattan or the warehouse in the Bronx; he was going to hit the man where it hurt.
His wallet.
Edgar Blethins was Vic’s best friend and personal accountant. The FBI had frozen all of the accounts he managed, but there was still a chunk of money unaccounted for.
Ten million, seven hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars to be exact.
Almost eleven million dollars hadn’t just gotten up and walked away. So when Blethins signed up for the Hendrix’s inaugural poker tournament in Las Vegas, it only made sense to send an agent in undercover to keep an eye out for him.
Ryan had demanded to be put on the case. He’d fucking begged, and when he’d finally gotten the go-ahead for the assignment? He’d started doing his homework.
He knew every employee, every longtime guest, and every big winner currently checked into the hotel. He for damn sure knew every player registered to play in the tournament, but he didn’t know “Adams, Daisy Adams” from Eve.
The woman had to be a last minute entry.
But how? And why?
In the world of professional gambling, the women who played were tough, domineering, and sexy as hell. Men wore TT-shirts, shorts, and lucky charms, anything to stay comfortable. Women wore low-cut shirts and too much makeup, working their own special charm to gain the slightest advantage.
Daisy Adams wasn’t sexy. She was cute.
Wearing a pair of cotton-candy pajamas with fluffy white sheep embroidered on them, she was adorable. The pajamas were a size too big, hanging loose on her already petite frame, but they didn’t completely hide her curved hips and firm, high breasts. Her hair was inky black, loose waves flowing around her heart-shaped face like a dark and twisted halo. Her features were delicate, like the rest of her. Her eyes were royal blue, so deep they were almost purple.
“Is there any other reason I’d be in Las Vegas?” she snapped, answering his earlier question. Her tone was harsh, coming from soft pink lips that curved generously on top and were full on the bottom. At five in the morning, she probably wasn’t wearing any makeup, so the apple red color of her cheeks had to be all natural. Fresh from bed, she smelled like the orange trees his grandparents kept in their dining room in Coney Island in winter, then dragged outside for the summer months.
Fresh faced and innocent, what the hell was she doing in the casino?
“You play poker?” Ryan asked, just in case he was missing something.
“Sure, want some pointers?”
Cute wasn’t his type. He liked leggy law-enforcement professionals who knew the score—he’d been engaged to three of them—but Daisy had spunk.
Ryan liked spunk.
It kept things interesting.
He wondered if the blush that was coloring her skin went all the way down, underneath those absurd pajamas. The way she was glaring at him, she’d probably cut his throat if he tried to find out, but it might be worth it. His gaze moved back to those warm, full, lips. It would definitely be worth it.
“I’m always up for improving my technique.” He ran his fingers through his hair, wishing he’d had time to brush it before he opened the door. “Give me a second to throw on a shirt, and I’ll take you out to breakfast.”
“What?” Daisy’s hands went to her hips—all spunky and defiant—and those threadbare pajamas pulled tight against her petite curves.
Ryan lost the ability to think.
Damn. Daisy might be small, but she was very well proportioned, with luscious breasts and full hips. What was she wearing under those things anyway? A gentleman would step back and close the door, but—fuck it—he definitely wasn’t a gentleman.
He moved closer for a better view.

Check Out the First Book in the Leaving Las Vegas Series!
LLV Cover - NEWTitle: Leaving Las Vegas
Author: Aleah Barley
Series: Leaving Las Vegas #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
When West Virginia wild child, Glory Allen enters a private poker game with her town’s dreams at stake she loses it all. To make matters worse, she’s trapped in a car with the sexy but infuriating man who won—and accused her of cheating. Now because of him, she’s on the run from the mafia who put out a hit on the stuck-up casino magnate with the toe-curling good looks—and he isn’t even her type. So why can’t she cool the explosive chemistry between them?

She’s out of control…and she’s enough to drive Luke Tanner crazy. Yet she’s the only one willing to put her neck on the line…for him—a complete stranger she professes to hate. Now he’s in debt…to her. And it’s a debt he’s willing to work off any way she wants…on the hood of his sports car, in a waterfall—wherever she’ll have him, he’s willing to pay the price.

But the stakes are raised when they return to West Virginia—helping Luke escape has put Glory and her hometown in the sites of someone who wants him dead. This time Glory decides she’s not going to end up empty-handed—it’s time for the winner to take all and she won’t stop ’til she wins his heart.

Aleah Barley Author PhotoAbout the Author:
Aleah Barley is a writer of explosive romance for everyone. She lives and writes in Detroit, Michigan, with a cat who’s recently learned how to levitate, an over enthusiastic Labrador, and the cutest guy in the world. She will do anything for a hot cup of coffee or a wild romance–and, she can spell onomatoepia without using spell check.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Blog Tour: Wicked Reunion (Wicked White #2) by Michelle A. Valentine

Wicked Reunion releaseday
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Wicked Reunion (Wicked White #2) by Michelle A. Valentine. I share my review with you and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

Wicked ReunioncoverTitle: Wicked Reunion
Author: Michelle A. Valentine
Series: Wicked White #2
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Wicked Reunion teaser 3

Blurb:
College sweethearts London Uphill and Jared Kraft were inseparable. He was a rising baseball star with a promising future, and she seemed destined to become “Mrs. Kraft.” Then a tragic night and a series of devastating mistakes caused Jared to walk away from his life, leaving London without any explanation and tearing the couple apart.

Five years later, Jared has reinvented himself by putting down the bat and picking up a guitar to play for the red-hot band Wicked White. In all that time, London hasn’t gotten over her forever love—or the pain—despite seeking solace in the arms of the one man no one dreamed she’d run to.

When Wicked White’s lead singer goes MIA, Jared finds the time—and courage—to return to his hometown and face the mess he made. He’s shocked at how London’s life has changed, yet he’s determined to prove their love is worth fighting for. Is this breakup too big for any hope of a reunion tour? Or can London open her heart to Jared once again?

Wicked Reunion teaser 1

My Review:
I have mixed feelings abut this book. On the one hand, I loved the premise and it’s what sucked me in, but unfortunately, the execution of the story fell flat in parts which dented my overall enjoyment.

London and Jarod have been in love since they were kids. Jarod’s older brother Wes also seems to be harboring romantic notions toward the lovely London, which she is largely clueless about. Everything seems to be going according to plan for our lovebirds until a family tragedy turns their world upside down overnight. Then everything turns a full 360. Cue betrayal, sacrifice, heartbreak, and angst.

I enjoyed London’s character, for the most part, and I felt she was the most consistent. Though, I didn’t like her treatment of Wes at the end- she was very unfair to him.

I really loved Julie, and I thought she handled the conflict with her sons in a very fair manner. Those scenes were very well written.

I didn’t warm to Jarod for ages. Honestly, he was a selfish self-obsessed jerk. Wes was too much of a wet blanket for me to lust after him, so I found myself reading a book with no enticing man to root for. That was definitely a turn-off.

I felt both character development and plot development required more fleshing out. I didn’t really feel the characters emotions or pain, and it was difficult to remain engaged the whole way through the story.

At times, the writing is excellent, at other times not so much.

This book had so much potential, and the actual concept is brilliant, with further development I think it could be fantastic. But as it stands it was a bit frustrating to read. However, the quality is still decent and that’s why I’ve rated it 3 stars instead of lower.

Wicked Reunion teaser 2

About the Author:
Michelle A. Valentine is a Central Ohio nurse turned New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of erotic and New Adult romance. Her love of hard-rock music, tattoos, and sexy musicians inspired her erotic BLACK FALCON series.

Links:

Be a little naughty – join Valentine’s Vixens (http://on.fb.me/1mh1uFq) on Facebook for sneak peeks at Michelle’s upcoming works, as well as fun and chatting with her and other readers!

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Review: Say You’re Mine (Shillings Agency #5) by Diane Alberts

Say You're MineTitle: Say You’re Mine
Author: Diane Alberts
Series: Shillings Agency #5
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Military Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
She’s a challenge he can’t afford to lose…

Navy SEAL Steven Thomas has only ever been able to count on three things: waking up in the morning, going to sleep sometime during the night, and Lauren Brixton. She’s been his best friend since grade school, and what they have is the only relationship he’s managed not to ruin.

Until one drunken night puts that all in jeopardy.

Lauren’s watched Steven flit from one-night stand to one-night stand, seemingly not interested in something more. So when the long-ignored attraction between the two of them blows up in their faces, she does the only thing she can-she pretends she doesn’t want him. But all’s fair in love and war, and Steven’s not about to lose the only person in his life who matters…

My Review:
This is a well-written ‘friends to lovers’ story and an entertaining quick read. Steven is a Navy Seal who has returned from his stint overseas struggling to deal with the horrors he faced. He’s been in self-destruct mode since then, drowning in booze and women. Lauren has been his best friend since forever. At the same juncture, they both seem to realize that they have more than friendly feelings toward each other and the story is essentially about their transition to lovers.

There is plenty of witty dialogue and tons of sexy scenes, and it’s signature Entangled/Brazen.

I enjoyed Diane’s writing style and the two mains were solidly developed and likable despite their flaws. I also liked Holt and Lydia and they were decent side characters. I assume Mark and Daisy’s story is coming next and I look forward to reading that in the future.

For me, this book felt like it was missing an element. The story is purely about the romance and generally, I only enjoy contemporary romance where there is an extra dimension or layer to the plot. For example, with Elle Kennedy’s Out of Hours series and Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Gamble Brothers series (both from the same publishing house) there was a mystery/suspense/dramatic sub-plot running behind each romance that made it more intriguing and added more depth.

That said, I still massively enjoyed reading this book and if you are a fan of this series, or of this author, in general, then I think you’ll love it.

Actual Rating: 3.75 stars

Diane AlbertsAbout the Author:
Diane Alberts is a USA TODAY bestselling Contemporary Romance author with Entangled Publishing. Under the name Jen McLaughlin, she also writes New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books with Penguin RandomHouse. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Links:

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Blog Tour: Teased (Dark Protectors #7.5) by Rebecca Zanetti

TEASED - R&E Tour banner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Teased (Dark Protectors #7.5) by Rebecca Zanetti. There will be an excerpt from the book and I share my review.

Teased 1001 Dark Nights Rebecca ZanettiTitle: Teased
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #7.5
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The Hunter

For almost a century, the Realm’s most deadly assassin, Chalton Reese, has left war and death in the past, turning instead to strategy, reason, and technology. His fingers, still stained with blood, now protect with a keyboard instead of a weapon. Until the vampire king sends him on one more mission; to hunt down a human female with the knowledge to destroy the Realm. A woman with eyes like emeralds, a brain to match his own, and a passion that might destroy them both—if the enemy on their heels doesn’t do so first.

The Hunted

Olivia Roberts has foregone relationships with wimpy metro-sexuals in favor of pursuing a good story, bound and determined to uncover the truth, any truth. When her instincts start humming about missing proprietary information, she has no idea her search for a story will lead her to a ripped, sexy, and dangerous male beyond any human man. Setting aside the unbelievable fact that he’s a vampire and she’s his prey, she discovers that trusting him is the only chance they have to survive the danger stalking them both.

Teased now available

My Review:
This was an enjoyable enough read, but I can’t say that I was blown away because I wasn’t. I must point out at the outset that I haven’t read any other books in this series, and I definitely think it helps if you are already familiar with the world and the characters. It can be read as a stand-alone but if you’re like me, you might feel it slightly lacking as a result. If you’ve read and enjoyed all the other books in the Dark Protectors series then more than likely you will love this one. To be fair, the author did a superb job of explaining minor details about the world and I didn’t feel like I missed out in this regard. In fact, Rebecca has created a very intriguing world, and I must admit to being curious to read more.

I also liked the writing, in the main, and it’s clear that Rebecca is an experienced author.

The main issue, for me, is character and plot development. Everything felt too rushed and lacked depth. The plot was nonsensical at times – cue lots of eye rolling. I didn’t connect with the characters on a deep enough level to really care what happened to them. In general, I make this comment a lot after reading novellas, and I think they only work if they are providing backstory to an existing series and further developing characters we’ve already met. Of course, this may very well be the case with this book. So, I think I’m going to decline to read novellas in future unless I’ve already read the existing books in the series.

While I liked Olivia, I didn’t like how easily she succumbed to Chalton’s allure. Though I usually enjoy soulmate stories this all just happened too fast to be believable. I didn’t feel the chemistry or the connection so didn’t really buy into their love.

It was a very quick read, and I’m grateful to have been introduced to this interesting world. I’m definitely going to check out this series from the start.

Teased teaser 3

Excerpt:
“Are you empathic?” he murmured.
She jerked. “No. I don’t think so.”
Interesting. “But you can tell a falsehood?” He’d never heard of an enhanced female being able to do so, but it could be an offshoot of empathic abilities, so it did make some sense.
“I just have good instincts.”
Ah, the lies humans told themselves to avoid anything they couldn’t rationalize with logic. He stepped right into her space.
“What are you doing?” she gasped, her chest rising.
He slid curly dark hair off her shoulder. “I’m facing a bit of a dilemma.”
Her head lifted, although her gaze only reached his lips and stayed there. “How so?” Her voice lowered to a breathiness that licked along his cock.
“I need a shower to wipe off the blood and grime, so my choices are to bind you or have you join me.” It was crazy, but he’d give his left arm for her to join him in the shower.
She half-coughed and half-laughed. “Are you hitting on me?”
His hand curled around her nape. “Yes.”
Her gaze lifted to his, and her pupils widened. “That’s insane,” she whispered.
“I know.” Hell, the woman was right. “But here’s the deal. My brothers won’t return for several hours, and then we’ll have to move again. I want you, and you want me, so let’s take the edge off so we can think.” His mind hadn’t been clear since he’d first sighted her two days ago, and he needed clarity. One good night, and he could get her out of his system. “What do you say?”
“I say you’re crazy.” She stepped back against the window. “If all I wanted was an orgasm to take the edge off, I sure as heck don’t need you for that.”
Humor bubbled up, and he full-on laughed. The woman was one of a kind. “Well then.” His hands slowly went to unbuckle his belt, and he drew the heavy leather through the loopholes, quite enjoying the way her breath caught and her eyes widened. “Plan B it is, then.”

Teased teaser 4

RebeccaAbout the Author:
New York Times Bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the USA Today, NY Times, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Her current series are: The Scorpius Syndrome, The Dark Protectors, The Realm Enforcers, The Maverick Montana Cowboys, and the Sin Brothers series.

Links:

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Review: No Limits (Ultimate #1) by Lori Foster

no limitsTitle: No Limits
Author: Lori Foster
Series: Ultimate #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A surprise inheritance reunites a mixed martial arts fighter with the woman he’s never forgotten in the first in a smoldering new series from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster…

Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He’s also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she’s older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon.

Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather’s legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette’s scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he’ll break all the rules to do it…

My Review:
I actually read the third book (Tough Love) first and then decided to start at the beginning (as you do.) At the time of writing this review I have now read all 3 books, and this book is my favorite so far.

Cannon is a Saint, in more ways than one. He has always been there for Yvette whenever she needed him. As soon as she reappears in his life he steps up and never lets her down. And I just loved him for it.

Yvette is a woman on a mission – she’s out to prove that she is not damaged by her past and that she is a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need Cannon to swoop in and save her all the time. Yvette has been in love with him for years though she doesn’t realise that Cannon has never forgotten her. With his help, she is finally able to leave the past in the past.

This book contained all my favorite ingredients – compelling characters, angst, longing, betrayal, hurt, revenge, suspense, intrigue, swoony romance and redemption. I loved it in its entirety and I’d highly recommend it.

Review: One Night of Trouble (After Hours #3) by Elle Kennedy

One Night of TroubleTitle: One Night of Trouble
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: After Hours #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
No More Mr. Nice Guy…

The moment AJ Walsh sees the sexy, tattooed pixie walk up to his bar, it’s lust at first sight. He’s always been labeled the “nice” guy―opening doors, buying flowers, and never, ever having one-night stands. But with this wicked little angel with red lips and unfathomably dark eyes? Oh, yeah. Tonight, “nice” has nothing to do with it…

Brett Conlon is trying to convince her family that she’s put away her reckless wild girl side for good. Nothing―and no one―could be better for her reputation than golden boy AJ Walsh. So they make a deal: if he plays The Good Boyfriend for her family, he can be a very, very bad boy with her. Now their one naughty night is about to turn into a whole lot of trouble…

My Review:
So this is AJ’s story and for me this book was the best in the series.

AJ is carrying his fair share of baggage as a result of a tragic accident when he was a kid. Consequently, he has spent most of his adult life trying to please others – trying to be the perfect son, friend, and boyfriend. But there is only so much of that a person can take before they start to fall apart. AJ is in that space when he bumps into Brett in Sin (the nightclub he co-owns with his friends Gage and Reed)

Brett is almost the antithesis of AJ. She has lived her life the way she wants and she’s been rather reckless. Her choice in men has been disastrous up to this point. She has finally copped on and is trying to sort out her life and stay on the straight and narrow. These two meeting when they are at completely different stages could have been disastrous but it isn’t. They are perfect for one another.

Brett wants AJ to be the person he truly is and the man she fell in love with and AJ is a rock for Brett as she tries to focus on her career and convince her dad that she has what it takes to manage their new business.

This book is HOTT – yes, Extra-T worthy hot – and uproariously funny. There is one scene where AJ ends up in the wrong place and is forced to spend the night at a gay couple’s wedding. I almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard. Man, it was so so funny.

I loved this book in it’s entirety and you won’t hear me complaining about a single thing. Elle Kennedy’s writing is amazing and I can’t get enough of her books.

Highly Recommended.

Cover Reveal: Cowboy Resurrection by Mia Hopkins

CR_CoverRevealBadge
Today is the cover reveal for Cowboy Resurrection by Mia Hopkins!

Cowboy ResurrectionTitle: Cowboy Resurrection
Author: Mia Hopkins

Links:

Blurb:
Marketing hotshot Monica Kaur has put her big-city life on hold to help bail out her brother s failing business. Now she s got three months to plan and promote a rodeo, the first her tiny hometown has ever seen.

To ensure the rodeo s success, Monica enlists a local hero, a rancher s son who s made a name for himself on the bull-riding circuit. Problem? She can t stop daydreaming about the cocky bastard and all the things she longs to do to him out behind the chutes.

Professional bullfighter Dean MacKinnon is home helping his family while his father fights cancer. Haunted by bad memories, jaded by love, Dean finds escape in a no-strings-attached go-round with brainy, sexy Monica, whose close-knit Sikh-American family would sooner run him out of town than see her with a notorious rodeo romeo.

In private, Monica and Dean play as hard as they work. But as the rodeo draws near, that clean break they promised each other is getting more and more hung up in the rigging.

“Warning: Contains rope play, motel nooners, a blue-eyed charmer with a taste for kink, and a brown-eyed princess with a taste for cowboys.”

Excerpt:
“So,” he whispered against her lips. “What do you want?”

“I don’t know.” Her voice was barely audible, a ghost of air carried away by the wind.

“I think you know.” He kissed her again, and before she knew what was happening, he’d pulled her down to the ground with him. The dry grass and soft blanket of flowers crinkled like hot paper beneath them. He sat down and she straddled him, her knees crushing petals that looked like orange fire in the desert.

Dean took off his hat, placed it on the ground, and traced a trail of hot kisses down the side of her neck. Pleasure ran a circuit through her body, firing her nerve endings as her lust rose to high tide.

She dug her hands through his dark hair. It was silky, long enough to curl. When he began to lay hot, open-mouthed kisses on her throat, she grabbed his hair in her fingers and tugged at it gently. A low moan rumbled in his chest.

His lips found hers again. They quickly established a rhythm of breath and tongues that pulled all consciousness from her brain. She was flying, far too high on Dean to realize she was riding him, rubbing herself against the hardening bulge in his jeans.

He broke their kiss and rested his forehead against hers. He let go of her waist and dragged his fingers through her hair, clasping it and gently pulling it back until her lips parted with a gasp.

“Tell me what you want.” His deep voice sent shivers up her spine.

She was silent, paralyzed with pleasure.

“Tell me what you want, Monica,” he said again. His firm tone made her insides clench. Already she could feel how wet she was, how ready.

“You need it. Same as I do.” He touched her face and skimmed his fingertips down her throat. “Don’t you?”

“I do.” She was still. “But no one can know about this.”

“I understand.”

“Dean, I’m serious. Not a soul. Promise me.”

He nodded. “I promise.”

Check out the first book in the Cowboy Cocktail series by Mia Hopkins!

CowboyValentine_300finalAbout Cowboy Valentine:

Forget chocolate and flowers. This homegrown honey is all the sweetness he craves.

Small-town life is nothing but a waiting room for eighteen-year-old honor student Corazón Gomez. Work and school leave little time for love, but with a full-ride Ivy League scholarship and a one-way ticket out of the boondocks, who needs it?
The answer appears on Valentine’s Day when her old cowboy crush ambles into the ice cream parlor where she works, inviting her to go on a late-night ride in his truck. For the first time she wavers between staying on the straight and narrow, and going off-road with the handsome heartbreaker.
After four years working on ranches all over the country, Caleb MacKinnon is back on the family farm helping out his mom and brothers while his father fights cancer. The one bright spot: smart, funny, and wickedly sexy Cora.
From the start, they both know this blazing-hot love affair can’t last. But when autumn comes and Cora has to leave for the East Coast, Caleb must find a solution to keep himself—and his heart—from falling apart.

Warning: Contains hard, cherry-poppin’ sex in a pickup truck and a cowboy charmer who talks dirty in two languages.

Links:

See what people have to say about Cowboy Valentine, Cowboy Cocktail #1 by Mia Hopkins!
“Mia Hopkins one of the most exciting new voices in red-hot contemporary romance. Add her to your must-read list. Now!”
-Samanthe Beck, USA Today Bestselling Author

“Mia Hopkins’ sexy cowboy hero and sassy bookish heroine burn up the pages from the moment they lock eyes.”
-Cat Johnson, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

“Beautifully descriptive…hot, sexy and full of yearning!”
-Delilah Devlin, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

“I love this author’s writing style; her prose is beautiful, and I can definitely see myself checking out her future work. I’m wondering if Caleb’s brothers will feature in future books?”
-My YA & NA Book Obsession

HEADSHOTAbout the Author:
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends.

When she’s not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good “teacher voice” and “teacher stare.”

She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Review: Under the Influence by L.B. Simmons

underteaser1

Under the Influence coverTitle: Under the Influence
Author: L.B. Simmons
Series: standalone
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Dalton,

I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.

Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.

I loved you.

I raged for you.

I wept for you.

And now, I’m letting you go.

Author’s Note: Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.

underteaser4

My Review:
Wow! What an amazing read! Under the Influence is a beautifully written love story that tugged at my heart strings. I loved everything about it – the writing, the plot, characterization, and worldbuilding. While this is my first L.B. Simmons book, I know it won’t be the last.

This is Spencer (Spence) and Dalton’s story, and it’s narrated from point characters perspectives. I love reading books in dual POV, and I especially love reading the male perspective so extra brownie points for that.

Spence and Dalton met as kids and thus began a friendship that lasted until they were in their late teens. When we first meet them, Spence is 17 and in her last year of school, and Dalton is 18 and he has just finished. This is the second book in a row I’ve read where the male character had a troubled background filled with abuse and neglect. And like that other book, Under the Influence made me feel everything he felt, and made me care. I felt a deep emotional connection to both of them. I adore books that really delve into the emotional layers beneath the surface, and this book delivered on that front. I thought both characters were very well-developed, but especially Dalton. It was difficult being in his head at times – raw, gritty, and painful, but it was realistic.

Dalton has cut himself off emotionally from everyone, and even his best bud Rat, and Spence, only catch the odd glimpse of his real persona. He hides who he is in front of Spence out of misguided loyalty and in an attempt to shelter her from the seedier side of his life. He was preyed on as a youngster and has gotten himself into a nasty mess, but he is struggling to see any way out. Because of this, he won’t even entertain the notion of a romantic relationship with Spence even though it’s what both of them want and need. Eventually, they cave to their feelings and become a couple, and it was so sweet. We got to see a different side to Dalton and he was lighter and brighter as a result.

One beautiful night turns disastrous and they are torn apart from one another. I won’t say any more for fear of spoiling the story, but suffice it to say that there is plenty of heartbreak and angst for our young couple.

I thought it was a little slow-paced at the start but after a few chapters the pace picked up and it kept my attention the whole way through.

I loved the secondary characters, especially Cassie. The author is writing her story next and I will definitely check it out. She is an intriguing character, and she had some of the funniest lines and scenes in the book. She always had Spence’s back and I loved her as a best friend.

I love this author’s writing style! Her prose is beautiful – poetic and eloquent, though others may find it overly descriptive in parts. Not me, I loved every word.

I liked the note the author put in the back – that was a nice touch. I also love this cover. It’s stunning!

Overall, this was a fantastic read and it had bits of everything – love and romance, friendship, family, suspense, drama, heartache, sacrifice, and above all else – redemption. I’d highly recommend it.

Actual rating 4.5 stars.

underteaser5

LB SimmonsAbout the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author of The Mending Hearts Series, The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller, and Under the Influence

Links:

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Review: The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy

The MistakeTitle: The Mistake
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres:
Links:

Blurb:
He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

My Review:
This is Grace and Logan’s story and I loved it every bit as much as The Deal, the first book in this series. Logan intrigued me in The Deal so I was delighted that Elle was writing his story next and it didn’t disappoint. Logan has been a major player the whole way through college, but as the story progresses we begin to understand why. He is shouldering some unbelievable pressure and the prospect of not being able to take up any offers to play professional hockey. Grace comes into his life at just the right time and they click (though it’s not without it’s ups and downs). I loved both characters, loved that we got to see Hannah and Graham again, and the writing is exceptionally brilliant. I cannot wait for Dean’s story next. This is an amazing series and a must read for all NA fans.

Blog Tour: The Truth About Him by Molly O’Keefe

TTAH_BLOGTOUR
Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Truth About Him (Everything I Left Unsaid #2) by Molly O’Keefe. I share my review with you and there’s a giveaway!

the truth about himTitle: The Truth About Him
Author: Molly O’Keefe
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
We played our roles, told each other lies.

But now Dylan is no longer just a mysterious deep voice on the other end of the line. We’re face-to-face and our relationship is very, very real.

We still have secrets—but so much is crystal clear:

The thrilling danger.

The raw, naked desire.

The need to keep feeling the way he makes me feel. Forever.

Dylan is putting up walls, trying to keep me safe, but he can’t shut me out. He has seen my darkness and rescued me. Now it’s my turn, if only he will let me.

OKEEFE_TruthAboutHim_ecard2

My Review:
Emotionally charged. Dark. Destructive. Compelling. Hopeful. Addictive. Those are just some of the words I’d use to sum up this book. This story had me hooked from the get-go and I found it very difficult to put this book down – and I only did so because I had to. All I could think about during the down period was how quickly I could get back to my Kindle so that I could finish it. Honestly, this book made me feel all the feels. It really sunk its teeth into me and didn’t let go until I had devoured every last word.

Dylan Daniels (I love that name – doesn’t it just roll so smoothly off the tongue?) keeps himself well and truly caged inside his damaged skin. It’s not all that surprising when you consider that those who are supposed to have loved and protected him let him down so badly. Now, he lets no one in, trusts no one, not even himself. He has built a mountainside fortress where he lives and works and he has basically become a hermit. Until he crossed paths with Annie and his world turned upside down. Annie has had her own fair share of trauma and she also has a troubled background. Definitely a case of two tortured lost souls gravitating toward one another.

I hadn’t read the first book when I read this book (I have since ) but I didn’t need to. The author did a superb job of backfilling the story and it was easy to pick up the plotlines. Boy, did this book open with a bang and I was instantly pulled into the world.

Annie and Dylan intrigued me from the minute I met them. I’m in awe of this author’s ability to create such complex-multi-layered characters who are flawed but also such nice people underneath all the shit life has thrown at them. I was rooting for them so badly and really hoped they would get their HEA. Both of them deserved it. They struggle to share the truth but gradually they learn to let each other in as they grapple with the evil forces threatening to pull them apart. When Dylan told Annie that no one had ever said I love you to him, I thought my heart would split wide open. I felt his pain as if it was my own. Now, that’s talent.

I love books with strong romance once there is another dimension to the story, and once the romance doesn’t overtake the story at the expense of all other plotlines. This book skillfuly combined all plotlines and there was a strong subplot bobbing beneath the surface which added supsense and mystery and more than a hint of danger.

The romance was sweet and depraved in equal measures and the chemistry was scorching between our couple. Steamy stuff.

I thoroughly enjoyed Molly’s writing style and the pacing is perfect – there was no urge to skim as every word had meaning and added value

For me, the underlying message is that no matter how dark and disturbing life can be, true love can elevate your world from dark into light, and that love can appear in so many different guises. This was a book of hidden depth and meaning about love, family, relationships and the challenge of life.

Summary: If you enjoy emotionally complex well-developed characters, strong worldbuilding, and excellent writing, then you will love this book. I know I did.

TTAH_AVAILABLE

About the Author:
Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New