Review: The Dead List by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: The Dead List
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary/ Mystery
Links:

Blurb:
It’s Ella’s senior year of high school and she and her best friend Linds plan to make it the best year ever. At Brock Cochran’s end of summer pool party, the girls vow to have as much fun as possible before they head off to different colleges next fall. But when Ella is mysteriously attacked on her way home from the party, everything changes. Ella’s carefree senior year plans disintegrate as she finds herself at the center of an attempted murder investigation.

Ella tries to move on, but her attacker isn’t done yet. He shows himself in the form of horrifying signs and symbols: a clown mask strewn on her bed, a dead bird in her backpack, a shadow moving past her window in the night. And as the weeks pass, it turns out that Ella isn’t the only one being tormented.

With the help of an old flame, Jensen Carver, and her friends and family, Ella tries to attain some sense of normalcy, but she can’t seem to shake the feeling that there’s a dark pattern hidden in the killer’s every move. Suddenly, even those in her innermost circle seem suspicious. In her seemingly safe West Virginia town, Ella starts to wonder who she can trust.

My Review:
Initial Thoughts: Wow! What a fantastic read! I had a very difficult time putting this book down and only did so to sleep.

Full Review:

The Dead List is a well-written captivating romantic thriller that had my heart swooning and panicking in equal measure!

Read it for the romance as much as for the mystery because let’s be honest, Jennifer Armentrout writes some of the most amazing book boyfriends EVER and Jensen Carver is no exception. Where do I even begin? He’s hot, loyal, honest, supportive, funny, and so, so protective of Ella and I was in love with him pretty much from the get-go. One of the things I especially enjoyed was how confident he was in himself and his feelings for Ella and he didn’t shy away from articulating same.

For example, see how amazingly perfect this quote of Jensen’s is:

“I want to be that guy-the one that when your phone rings, you hope it’s me. The one who holds your hand in the hallway at lunch. The guy who gets to hold you. I want to be the one who gets to touch you. I want to be yours.”

We are told he didn’t date, enjoying casual hook-ups, and while it wasn’t specified I took that to mean he was just waiting for Ella to open up and let him back in and he had no genuine interest in any other girl. That only made me love him more!

Ella was a great character too. A loyal friend to Linds, Gavin, and Jensen, and a nice person to boot. The opening scene when she was leaving the party showed she was a fighter, a survivor, and that only endeared me to her more.

I’m going to be brutally honest -my real interest with this book was the blossoming romance and the mystery/intrigue surrounding the murderer took a back seat for me. I’ve seen some readers suggest this is a horror but I wasn’t scared. It reads like more of a thriller to me. I never felt like Ella was in a genuine life-threatening situation and I was more invested in when she and Jensen were going to get it on than I was in identifying the killer, lol, HOWEVER that doesn’t mean I wasn’t intrigued because I was. I enjoyed how the past and the present intertwined even if it was a tad bit predictable. I liked the flashback scenes. I actually had figured out the murderer’s identity at one point but I kept changing my mind as Jenn threw out different hooks. Love when an author has me second guessing myself and Jenn did a great job here with throwing me off the scent! That twist at the very end was brilliant because I was a bit confused wondering how it was all stacking up and then bam, that came at me and my heart was in my mouth – that was so well written.

I ended up reading this in less than twenty-four hours and then I kicked myself for having read it so fast because I always do that with Jenn’s books and then I’m left feeling bereft.

In summary, this was a fantastic read and Jenn continues to prove she deserves to be at the top of my fave authors list. If you enjoy swoony romance intertwined with intriguing mystery and a fast-paced writing style then you’ll love The Dead List. Highly Recommended.

Thanks to the author and her assistant for providing an ARC of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed.

Review: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Happy book birthday to Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout!

Title: Till Death
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Romantic Suspense/ Mystery
Links:

Blurb:
In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

My Review:
A gripping suspenseful read with a fantastic romance to boot, Till Death is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

I was very intrigued to read this book as it’s a new departure for Jennifer Armentrout and I was interested to see how she would pull it off. Well, my reigning fave author has just proven she can turn her hand to any genre and deliver a knock-out story.

Sasha fled her hometown ten years ago in the aftermath of a hideous kidnapping at the hands of the serial killer known as The Groom. She left behind a mother and a boyfriend she loved and started a new life away from all the horrific memories. But she returns home to the Inn she has always dreamed of running and things pretty much pick up where they left off. Her college boyfriend is now hot FBI agent Cole Landis and his reappearance in her life the minute she shows up in town tells you all you need to know. Their romance was cut short due to her ordeal ten years ago and it’s obvious both of them never forgot the other.

Any fans of JLA that are worried about lack of romance – let me reassure you, you will not be disappointed. Cole and Sasha are an amazing couple and their chemistry is electrifying. They reconnect slowly but surely and it was an integral part of the plot. Cole feels like he let Sasha down ten years ago so he’s determined to protect her this time. And, boy, does she need it because strange things are happening around her and women are missing, and it’s clear that she is being targeted again.

Cole is one of the best book boyfriends Jennifer has written. He was suave, charismatic, intelligent, protective, hot, loyal, and I could add so much more but you get the gist. I loved him, and he was quite a different male character for Jen to write which I appreciated. Sasha was a great heroine. She was strong and brave despite all she had been through. I also loved her mother.

JLA perfectly blends the romance with the suspense and everything builds to an explosive climactic scene that was superbly written. I had chills all over reading the last few chapters.

The only reason this is a four-star review is the fact that I guessed the who and the why early on (like ridiculously early on) and it dented my enjoyment. I was hoping I was wrong but as more clues were dropped I knew I was right. While one part of me was mentally high-fiving myself for figuring it out so early, another part of me hated that it was so predictable (to me anyway.) Now, if you don’t read a lot of romantic suspense or mystery/thrillers I don’t think you will work it out, but I spent years reading thrillers/crime novels and one of the reasons I stopped reading them was because it was too easy to work out the plot twists and that was the case with Till Death. That doesn’t detract from the fact this is a very well-written book with a decent plot, perfect pacing, great world building, and complex characterization.

Overall, I can say this was a great read and mean it, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to Jennifer’s fans or fans of romantic suspense.

I’d like to thank the author and her assistant for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Blog Tour: Fidelity (Infidelity #5) by Aleatha Romig

Infidelity series
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Fidelity by Aleatha Romig. This is the fifth and last book in this series. I share my review with you, some teaser images and an excerpt!

FidelityTitle: Fidelity
Author: Aleatha Romig
Series: Infidelity #5
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
She thought she could save those she loved.
He thought he could save her.
They’ll both learn the truth.

FIDELITY, the dramatic conclusion to the epic five-novel series INFIDELITY, following Lennox “Nox” Demetri, Alexandria “Charli” Collins, the Montagues, Demetris, Fitzgeralds, and Spencers is finally here.

When the vows are complete and the dust settles, who will be left standing?

No one is safe, and no alliance is above suspicion in the much-anticipated finale to this hot romantic-suspense saga. Our heroine has survived betrayal, cunning, deception, and entrapment…what will happen when she’s faced with fidelity?

Infidelity, it isn’t what you think.

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a sexy, new dominant hero who knows what he wants and a strong-willed heroine who has plans of her own. With classic twists, turns, deceptions, and devotions, this new, epic romantic suspense will have readers swooning one minute and screaming the next.

Have you been Aleatha’d?

FIDELITY is the fifth and FINAL of five full-length novels in the INFIDELITY series.

*This series does not condone nor does it advocate cheating.

Fidelity teaser Make Love to me

My Review:
Aleatha ends this EPIC series with a bang, proving she is the queen of romantic suspense! Seriously, talk about knocking it out of the park! My thoughts are all scattered and I’m still reeling from this marvelous conclusion to a wonderful series.

When I think back to Betrayal, the first book in the series, I realize how much both Alex/Charli and Nox have developed and grown as individuals and as a couple. She has grown more confident and self-assured, while he has dropped his mask and opened his heart and finally let another woman in. And it was AWESOME to read. Nox is so protective of Charli in this one and I swooned along with her. While Charli is strong and she faces up to her demons, she also isn’t afraid to lean on him for support and I saw that as a strength, not a weakness.

I also loved the chapters from Oren and Adelaide’s perspective and I love how the past, present, and future collide with both relationships. I was somewhat shocked that Adelaide knew what had gone on in the past (being vague on purpose) but was glad it didn’t stop them getting their HEA.

It was great to see the Fitzgeralds and Spencers get what was coming to them and boy was Bryce out of control in this one. While they were manipulative and cunning and horrible to Alex, what happened to Bryce and Suzanna didn’t sit well with me because they weren’t guilty but it was poetic justice at its finest.

The sexy/romantic times were a bit scant in this one but there were so many twists and turns in the saga that I really can’t complain. Just when I thought I had it figured out, bam, I was hit with another unexpected reveal. It was definitely an edge-of-the-seat read.

I’m really sad that this series has come to an end because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Aleatha is a fantastic writer and I really enjoy her writing style. She writes superb characters and great romance intertwined with amazing mystery and intrigue and a healthy dose of drama for additional pleasure. I also love books with cliffhangers and Aleatha ended every book with an agonizing cliffhanger that had me begging for more!

Now, can I just mention how incredible the epilogues were? Oh, be still my beating heart. Yes, it was a bit predictable and cliche but my romance-loving heart lapped it all up.

This is a fantastic series and I highly recommend it to fans of well-written romantic suspense. Definitely another winner for my library.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read advance complimentary copies of each book in this series via Inkslinger PR. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Fidelity Teaser Our hands

Chapter 4
Alexandria

Pandemonium prevailed as my heart beat faster. The world around me was falling apart, and I was again powerless. I’d said I didn’t want to leave the mansion. I’d protested, but here I was, being ushered, forcibly, toward the front of the house. Though I couldn’t see the guests, their voices were audible over the click of Suzanna’s and my heels as we stepped upon the marble floor.
“Dear, you’ll need to fix your make up.”
I joined the others in ignoring Suzanna as panic bubbled in the depths of my stomach, creating a sour concoction. I needed to get away—not go with them. I’d done all I could to stall, slowing my steps, claiming I needed to go up to my room, anything. Each moment I searched for aid, for Patrick, for Jane, or for anyone who could offer me a lifeline. Even Judge Townsend had disappeared. Now as we made our way to the front door, the corridors and foyer were exactly how Alton had ordered them to be—empty.
With each step, memories flashed in front of my eyes of my recent return to Montague Manor. Nine days ago as I walked these same hallways, the walls had been lined with Alton’s soldiers—his show of power. Their absence was the same display. Alton Fitzgerald could make people appear and disappear. Maybe I’d been wrong about my stepfather’s ability to entertain. He wasn’t a singer or dancer. He was a magician.
There wasn’t even a staff member present to open the front door as we approached. They’d all slipped into the secret dimension that only they could access. For a moment I wondered if they could see us and then I realized they couldn’t. Nor could they hear. They were paid too well for that.
Suzanna reached for the large handle and pulled the massive door inward. As we stepped onto the porch, the cool night air blew wisps of my hair about my face. My skin prickled with goose bumps as a chill raced through me.
“I need a coat,” I tried.
“Nonsense. The car is warm,” Alton said as a limousine pulled up the drive.
A sense of déjà vu filled me with the same doom I’d felt at Magnolia Woods.
I tugged my arm free from Alton’s grasp as the autumn leaves danced, creating a trail in the car’s wake. I wanted to push Alton for answers, but weighed my words. Over the last few minutes, his panicked sense of urgency had turned to a quiet resolve. The new demeanor gave me no sense of security.
As much as I despised the thought, I missed Bryce.
It was the knowledge that I was again alone at Alton’s mercy. Despite Bryce’s bipolar psychotic episodes, he had protected me from my stepfather more than once.
I tried not to think about how I wasn’t protected when he and I were alone, or how he’d treated Chelsea—his whore. Even his title for her made me ill. As we waited I longed for a phone with the blue dot app. It hadn’t been necessary when I’d been the one to wear the necklace, but now, I wanted to know that Chelsea was with Nox. If she and my mother were safe, I could break free.
My fingers trailed the diamond choker around my neck. The loss of the tracker necklace was suffocating. I reassured myself that it had been the right move. If for any reason Chelsea had been detained along the way, the beacon on the necklace would have led Nox to her.
Shivering, I wrapped my arm around my midsection and turned toward my stepfather as the car approached. “Please, tell me about my mother.”
“Really, Alexandria?” His warm breath reeked of whiskey as he looked up from his phone. No doubt his time spent with the VIPs in his office had been filled with the best alcohol in the mansion. “Your husband needs you and you’re asking about your mother. She’s probably sleeping peacefully, still detoxing.”
“Probably? You don’t know? And Bryce and I aren’t married. Do you know about my mother for sure?”
Suzanna didn’t speak as she turned her attention to Alton.
He shook his head. “Your mother is being taken care of. But, daughter, you’re mistaken about your marital status. You were married yesterday. Tonight’s party had been to announce your surprise nuptials. I just received confirmation. Ralph Porter will have the paperwork drawn up and Judge Townsend will make it all legal.” His thin lips formed a strained smile. “Congratulations, Mrs. Spencer. Today is your one-day anniversary.”

Fidelity Teaser That's it Princess

aleatharomig1About the Author:
Aleatha Romig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romance with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK will be published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

Links:

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Cover Reveal: Home Tears by Tijan

cr-banner
Today is the cover reveal for Home Tears by Tijan. I am excited to show you the cover for Tijan her next book Home Tears! There’s also an excerpt of the book and a giveaway!

home-tears-ebook-coverTitle: Home Tears
Author: Tijan
Genres: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
Dani’s survived a lot of sh*t storms.

Her mother died. Her two sisters loathed her. One aunt hated her. The other was strangely distant, but the worst storm—being dumped by her childhood best friend/high school boyfriend/first love for her younger sister.

There went the one person who was hers and with that, the main reason she stuck around. So, she left for ten years. But now she’s back, and nothing’s the same.

With help from Jonah Bannon, a reformed—kind of—bad boy she remembers from high school, Dani uncovers family secrets that have spanned generations. And along with those, she’s about to face the biggest sh*t storm of her life.

Only this time, she may not survive.

Sign up here to receive an email once Home Tears is available for purchase.

Excerpt:
“Why’d you push me earlier?”
“It’s not important.”
But it was. She felt it in her chest. It was so important, and she needed him to say it again. She was salivating for the chance. She wanted to reassure him, and this time she felt it in her heart. She knew she wasn’t going anywhere. She wanted him to see it in her eyes, that she meant every single word.
She whispered now, “Ask me. Ask me again.”
His eyes met hers, narrowing slightly. He was looking into her, reading her.
She was letting him. There was no wall, no hesitation this time. She wanted him to know her, not just her body. All of her. A second passed. He was still searching in her. Another second. More. He waited a full thirty before asking, his voice so soft and tender, “What would you do if you found out another person cared about you? If you mattered to one more person?”
“Nothing.” She was trying to convey her feelings through her eyes. She wanted him to know so badly. “I wouldn’t run. I wouldn’t walk. I wouldn’t hide. I’d do nothing except stand and embrace it.”
His eyes darkened, an emotion passed in them, one that had her heart beating so fast again. “Yeah?” He let go of her hand, but touched the side of her face. He held her in the palm of his hand, and his thumb rubbed over her cheek. It was like he was smoothing away any lingering worries she might have. “What if I was that person?”
She leaned toward him, her eyes going from his lips back to his gaze. Both were pulling her in, making her yearn for more. “Then I’d say, I feel the same.” Her breath held in her throat. They were talking in code, but it was out now. She was telling him how she felt, and a second later, his lips were on hers.
This. She turned, wound her arms around his neck. This was everything.

home-tears-teaser-1

About the Author:
Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing Fallen Crest Six (untitled) along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

To find what to read next of hers, go to http://www.tijansbooks.com/

WALLSTREET JOURNAL, NEW YORK TIMES, AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Links:

Giveaway
There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Never Never: Part Three (Never Never #3) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never part threeTitle: Never Never: Part Three
Author: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Series: Never Never #3
Rating: 3.25 stars
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
New York Times bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are back with the much-anticipated final installment in the Never Never novella series.

Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything.

Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

My Review:
Actual Rating: 3.25 stars.

The mystery is finally revealed and to be honest, it was a bit anti-climactic. Though I’m not unhappy with the reason why they both lost their memories (despite the fact that there is no rational explanation because it’s supernatural but I’ve no issue with that, it was actually sweet) I’m still feeling unsatisfied. The ending was very rushed, and that epilogue was a bit meh. This part was definitely not up to the same standard as the first two parts, and I hate finishing something feeling let down. Not sure that I’d recommend this series now, which is a shame because the writing is good and the concept is decent. I think if the last part was further developed, and less rushed, and it was released as one book it would have far more appeal. But that’s just my personal opinion.

Review: Never Never: Part Two (Never Never #2) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never part twoTitle: Never Never: Part Two
Author: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Series: Never Never #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last.
And never stop loving me between all of them.
Never stop, Charlie.
Never forget.”

Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can’t imagine, beckons to be found.

“Where are you, Charlie?”

My Review:
I really love Silas and Charlie and some things are starting to make sense though it’s still very mysterious. My only complaint is regarding the length, it was way too short, and why is it taking so long to release the next installment? I really feel if you are going to serialize a story in this way then you should release a new installment every month. Still excellent though and I’m anxiously awaiting the next one.

Blog Tour: Into the Light (The Light #1) by Aleatha Romig

intothelightbanner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Into the Light (The Light #1) by Aleatha Romig. I share an excerpt and some teaser images.

Into the LightTitle: Into the Light
Author: Aleatha Romig
Series: The Light #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
An investigator’s search for a friend draws her into a world darker than she could have imagined.

Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light.

Stella Montgomery investigates the news on the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella investigates—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel.

As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price…

Into the Light teaser 2

Into the Light teaser 3

Excerpt:
Sara
My thoughts drifted to that night after service, the hunger in Jacob’s touch and the way his lips had claimed my body. Just the memories made me tingle. Lying back on the bed, I held my side and sighed. If only he weren’t so worried about my ribs.
Courtesy of the truck ride yesterday, the injury was more aggravated then it had been. I’d tried hiding it. Shaking my head, I wondered if it was possible to hide anything from him. According to Elizabeth it wasn’t allowed. The way I saw it, I wasn’t lying. I was withholding information for the benefit of both of us. By the way his breathing became labored and his body hardened that night at the clinic, I wasn’t the only one who wanted to make love.
It seemed as if it didn’t matter if I told Jacob what I was thinking or not; he knew. Somehow he always seemed to know, sometimes even before I did. Maybe it was because we’d been together so long.
If only I could remember how long.
The sound of the rising garage door pulled me from my carnal thoughts, and I covered my cheeks. With a giggle I hoped they weren’t as flushed as they felt. If they were, he would know what I’d been thinking . . . I shook my head. I didn’t want that conversation. Exhaling, I willed the pink away.
When I heard the garage door lowering, I stood and made my way toward the stairs. Wearing the boot on my right foot made walking with my cast much easier. As I approached the landing, I took a deep breath and visualized the stairs. Since I’d counted them multiple times, I knew there were fifteen steps. I might not have my sight, but I was trying to be as self-sufficient as possible. I made it only to the second step from the top when I heard his voice.
“Sara?”
“I’m coming down,” I called, taking one step at a time, cautious not to go too fast.
Even before I reached the bottom step, I knew he was there. When we went to service, I’d realized why I associated him with the scent of leather; it was his coat. When he wasn’t wearing it, just the right amount of aroma lingered around him. When he wore it, as now, the leather scent was overpowering. That, plus the sound of his boots walking and stopping on the wood floor, prompted me to stop on the fourteenth step. If I went one more, I was afraid I’d run into him.
“Sara.” His voice came from very close.
Gripping the banister, I tilted my face toward his. Smiling and hoping my cheeks had returned to their normal color, I replied, “Yes?”
“Did you hear the garage door go up?”
“Yes.”
“And what did you think that meant?”
“I assumed it meant you were here.”
“So you knew I was home and yet you chose to not greet me?”
What the hell?
“Answer me,” he demanded, his tone now too calm. “Why weren’t you waiting for me at the door?”
The thoughts I’d entertained upstairs evaporated. I knew this tone. I not only recognized it, but with everything in me, I wanted to avoid it. My heartbeat quickened and my mouth dried like the Sahara. “I was on my—”
Interrupting, he rebuked, “On your way is not there, waiting as you’re supposed to be. When I return, I expect to find you waiting for me, greeting your husband.”
The bubble of apprehension that had waned and waxed in my chest since I awoke nearly three weeks earlier began to grow. “At the door . . . wh . . . I’m sorry . . . I didn’t know . . . you didn’t tell me to—”
He grasped my arm, the harsh movement a stark contrast to the eerie calmness of his voice. “Do tell, Sara, are you blaming me for your forgetfulness?”
What the hell is his problem?
“I’m sorry,” I pleaded. “I’m not blaming . . . I didn’t remember. If you told me . . . from now on, I’ll do it.”
“Must I remind you of everything?”
“I’m trying to remember; I am. I’ll be there from now on, at the door, when you come home.”
“Perhaps you need a reminder?”
My body sagged and my knees weakened. The bubble within me grew and popped, filling my nervous system with dread. “No. I don’t need a reminder. I’ll remember from now on. Please give me another chance.” If it hadn’t been for his iron grip on my forearm, I might have fallen to the step where I stood.
If I had, I wasn’t sure if it would have been because of the sudden dizziness his tone induced, the bout of trembling, or that it would’ve enabled me to beg. It wasn’t something I was proud of considering, but to avoid his belt, at that moment, I was willing.
“Sara, go to the door.”
Inhaling more pleas, I nodded. When he released my arm, I stepped down and down again. Around the steps, past the closet, I found the door between the living quarters and the garage.
He was right behind me, his voice still eerily calm. “You may stand or kneel; the choice has always been yours.”
I swallowed the vile bile bubbling from my stomach. In that moment I couldn’t for the life of me fathom that merely minutes ago I had been having pleasant thoughts about this man. I also couldn’t imagine kneeling.
Who does that?
I brought my feet together, straightened my neck, and said, “I’ll stand, thank you.”
He reached for my chin and lowered it.
“This is where you are to be when I arrive, and if you choose to stand, your head will be bowed.”
“Yes, Jacob.”

Into the Light teaser 4

aleatharomig1About the Author:
Aleatha Romig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romance with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK will be published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

Links:

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Blog Tour: Lovegame by Tracy Wolff

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Lovegame by Tracy Wolff. I share my review today with you and there’s an excerpt of the book and a tour wide giveaway.

LOVEGAMETitle: Lovegame
Author: Tracy Wolff
Series: standalone
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
True Crime novelist Ian Sharpe has spent his career writing about serial killers for very personal reasons. For his latest exposé, he is taking on the sadistic madman known as the Red Ribbon Strangler, and when his research leads him to Hollywood’s most private and provocative actress, he will break every rule to uncover her truth.

The daughter of one of Hollywood’s golden couples, chased by paparazzi and treated as a commodity her entire life, Veronica Romero wields her sex appeal like a weapon. She expects Ian to be as easy to control as every other man she’s ever known. But from the beginning, he refuses to fall into line. Mysterious and cool, challenging and just a little bit dangerous, Ian somehow makes her feel safe—even as he digs into the deepest secrets of her life and pushes her to the breaking point.

As raw ecstasy gives way to agonized truths, their dark obsession exposes secrets that have been buried for far too long. Ian wants to tear down her walls and heal the sensual woman underneath. But if Veronica’s learned anything, it’s that the line between pleasure and pain is a narrow one—and when caught between them the only thing that matters is how you play the game.

My Review:
A sexy, seductive, enthralling read that was a really gripping page-turner.

I was intrigued by the blurb and looking forward to getting stuck into an old-Hollywood royalty read. It didn’t disappoint.

Ian is a highly-successful author whose latest blockbuster has just been adapted for the big screen. Enter the gorgeous and highly acclaimed Veronica Romero, to play the aptly-named Belladonna. Ian has secured a gig writing a high-profile piece about Veronica in the run up to the movie release, but he is there on false pretense. He is writing a new book and he’s discovered that Veronica has a hidden past linked to a horrific serial killer, and he’s determined to dig deeper. Until he meets Veronica and they fall for one another.

Both of them are vulnerable and hiding aspects of their true natures to avoid opening up the past. Lovegame takes us on a journey of discovery as they learn to push past their vulnerability and let one another in. But, oh, the path to true love never runs smoothly, and there was plenty of back and forth witty banter and one-upmanship.

When they give into their lust for one another, it quickly became quite depraved. That was probably the only aspect of the story I didn’t like. While they did have explosive chemistry, it was very clear that Veronica had psychological issues tied up with sex. She isn’t adverse to playing up her sex-symbol status, or using it where the situation demands it, but it isn’t who she is behind the actress persona. She actually has some series issues, as a result of the horrific trauma she suffered in the past, and it was obvious they were unresolved. Therefore, I found it difficult to accept her sexual transformation with Ian, when they had only just met and they hopped into bed quite quickly and especially given everything he did to her.

Veronica fears she is losing her mind when certain inexplicable situations arise. She becomes confused and unsure who she should trust. I enjoyed this part of the story, even if it was fairly easy to predict the culprit. It was still very well-written.

I loved the call that Ian made toward the end of this book, and he was prepared to put his love for her above everything else. I was so rooting for them.

I also really enjoyed the epilog.

The pacing was consistent, the writing accomplished and the world-building stylish and effortlessly described. I always enjoy dual POV and Lovegame was no exception.

In summary, this was a fantastic read which will appeal to fans of well-written erotic romance.

Thanks to Barclay PR and Loveswept for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Excerpt:
I take picture after picture, with a vintage champagne glass in my hand or my face buried in a huge bouquet of dahlias. Toward the end, Marc has the stylist and his assistant wrap me up in a long string of artificial belladonna since the real stuff can cause problems if it touches the skin. Then they heap my gloved hands with a mountain of the poisonous black berries and Marc has me hold my hands out to the camera in a deadly macabre offering.
Again and again Marc shoots me like that, taking pictures from every possible angle. On his knees in front of me, looking up. From a ladder above me, looking down. Beside me. Behind me. Across the room. Up close. Again and again he points and clicks. Again and again, I smile and pout and make every other expression he asks for. I even take his suggestion to tilt my head back with my mouth open wide and hold one of the berries between my thumb and index finger as I pretend to be about to drop it in. As I do, I close my eyes and pretend not to be totally icked out.
When I open them two minutes and twenty shots later, the first person I see is Ian. He’s leaning back against one of the mirrored walls and for once his omnipresent notebook is nowhere to be seen. Instead he’s staring straight at me, a half-snarl on his normally calm face and his eyes burning with a mixture of contempt and desire.
It’s the first time I’ve seen anything but pleasant or puzzled interest from him and it has the tiny hairs on the back of my neck standing up. Has ice skating down my spine and a desert taking up residence in my mouth. Because, in that moment, as our eyes lock and his turn impossibly darker, impossibly blacker, I don’t know who he sees. Can’t tell who he wants.
Me or her?
Actress or murderer?
Sentient being or a character he helped create?
It’s just more fuel to add to the fire of my earlier doubts and in that one tense and electric moment, it comes to me. What the cover shot should be.
What I need it to be.
Marc backs off a little, has his assistant come forward with a trash bag for me to throw away the last of the berries and the gloves I’ve been wearing. As she pauses to tie up the bag in front of me, I ask her for a couple wipes.
She quickly returns with a box of baby wipes and I smile my thanks even as Marc instructs me back against the mirror for what he calls “the last series of shots.”
I do as he instructs, but as he’s fiddling with the lighting, I turn toward the mirror and swipe the wipe over the right half of my face.
“What are you doing?” my makeup artist squawks as he comes racing across the room at me.
“Trust me, Dalton,” I tell him as I continue to scrub.
“Stop doing that!” he orders as he grabs on to the end of the wipe and actually tries to wrestle it away from me.
“Just wait,” I instruct, refusing to let go no matter how hard he tugs.
“But—”
“What are you up to, Veronica?” Marc asks. He sounds more intrigued than annoyed.
“I’ll show you,” I tell him, pushing gently at Dalton’s hand until he finally lets go with a whimper.
And then, with the whole room—including Ian—watching me intently, I wipe the entire half side of my face clean of any and all makeup. I do it carefully, making sure that the line that runs down the center of my face is exact so that both sides are completely symmetrical.
When I’m done, I reach up and take off my right earring and hand it to Dalton who still looks slightly shell-shocked. Then I step back and stare at this new reflection of myself in the mirror.
Half me at my most natural, half her at her most armored, it’s a devastating look. Made even more so by the elaborate fifties makeup Dalton has me in—all red lips and thick black liner and long, long lashes.
There is a difference, I tell myself fiercely as I study myself. I am not her. I will never be her, no matter what it felt like four months ago.
In the background I’m aware of Marc cursing softly, of him snapping picture after picture. I don’t turn around, instead continuing to give him my back so that he gets both me and my reflection in each shot.
“Turn around,” he breathes after he’s taken at least three dozen pictures.
Reluctantly, I do as he requests, then follow his impatient gesture for me to move away from the mirror. I step forward and then the camera starts again, clicking away to get the shot from this angle as well.
At that moment, Ian moves and I make the mistake of glancing his way. Our gazes lock and heat slams through me at the look he’s giving me, has my eyes widening and my lips parting on a gasp as I struggle to draw air into lungs that have abruptly forgotten how to work.
“Fuck,” Marc breathes from where he’s narrowing in on my face. “That’s it. That’s the money shot.”
I drag my eyes away from Ian, but it’s too late. For the first time in a very, very long time, I feel vulnerable. And I hate every second of it.

Tracy WolffAbout the Author:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she’d found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes romances that run the gamut from sweet contemporary to erotica, from paranormal to Urban Fantasy and from young adult to new adult.

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There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Blog Tour: Risk of Exposure (Alpha Ops #6) by Emmy Curtis

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Risk of Exposure (Alpha Ops #6) by Emmy Curtis. There’s an excerpt of the book and a tour wide giveaway.

RiskofExposure4_RGB300Title: Risk of Exposure
Author: Emmy Curtis
Series: Alpha Ops #6
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
He is a trained professional—but nothing can prepare him for the hottest mission of his life. Assigned to protect his boss’s daughter, British former SAS operative Malone Garrett breaks the first rule of covert surveillance—don’t make contact. And especially don’t take your mark out to dinner, then agree to a rooftop quickie. But now that Mal has Abby in his arms, he has no intention of ever letting her go.

Abby Baston told herself it was a hit and quit, a one-nighter with a hot, handsome stranger whose hands were trained to take action. Working undercover for the CIA, she can’t risk anything more. But when an international crisis ignites, Abby must make a call: trust Mal with her secret—and her heart—and partner up, or lose everything in a split second . . .

You can read my review of Risk of Exposure here

Excerpt:
He reached for her.
“You can stop right there.” Her voice startled him. He dropped his arm to the covers.
“I was just going to shake you awake. You’ve been snoring like a bear,” he said, swinging his legs out of bed.
She ignored his insult, such as it was. “You were supposed to wake me when it stopped snowing,” she said, also climbing out of bed and seemingly not caring a whit that she was totally naked.
He sat still, taking in the sight. Her nipples puckering in the frigid air, her tight muscles moving in glorious efficiency toward the bathroom. “It was your watch. Technically you should have woken me.”
“Ass.”
“Don’t you forget it, love.” He stood and got dressed, having dug out his Under Armour thermals from the kit bag he’d brought.
She poked her head around the bathroom door. “What? Don’t forget what?”
“That I’m an ass. You’ve blackmailed me into helping you, and someone as well trained as you knows that isn’t a recipe for success.” He finished tying his laces.
She shrugged. “I trust you.”
“You shouldn’t. I have a healthy regard for self-preservation and even I don’t know what I’ll do if you get in the way of that. So you’re much better off not trusting me for anything. Just a friendly PSA.” He knew he sounded like a dick, but he just couldn’t help himself.
“I’m not worried. If you piss me off, or if you’re in the way of my self-preservation”—she punctuated with air quotes—“or my mission, I won’t hesitate to shoot you.” She disappeared again.
“There’s one problem with that, love. I’ve got your gun.”
She didn’t reply, but he heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun being charged. “Fair enough,” he said, trying not to smile at her resourcefulness. “What else have you got in there?”
“Hairspray,” she said.
“Awesome.” She was such a smart-arse. His sister would love her. He made a mental note that no matter what, they would never, ever meet. Ever.
She came out of the bathroom as if she’d come through a Tomb Raider portal. She wore a white snowsuit that matched his, a white knife strapped to her thigh, a white holster holding a white handgun under her shoulder, and a white shotgun on a white strap over her back.
“I’m sorry. The CIA gave you all that gear but couldn’t give you a sat phone that worked? What the fuck?” Jesus. This was why he was in the private sector now. One too many times he’d been put in a sketchy situation without the right equipment. That didn’t happen anymore.
She shrugged. “I guess they thought snow was more likely than the need to use an emergency phone?” She frowned, though, as if she was only just now considering that herself.

Alpha_Ops_Series

Start this series with the novella Dangerous Territory for only 0.99$!
Links:

Author_EmmyCurtisAbout the Author:
Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She’s lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference…well, she already considers you kin.

Links:

Giveaway
There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Risk of Exposure (Alpha Ops #6) by Emmy Curtis

RiskofExposure4_RGB300Title: Risk of Exposure
Author: Emmy Curtis
Series: Alpha Ops #6
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
He is a trained professional—but nothing can prepare him for the hottest mission of his life. Assigned to protect his boss’s daughter, British former SAS operative Malone Garrett breaks the first rule of covert surveillance—don’t make contact. And especially don’t take your mark out to dinner, then agree to a rooftop quickie. But now that Mal has Abby in his arms, he has no intention of ever letting her go.

Abby Baston told herself it was a hit and quit, a one-nighter with a hot, handsome stranger whose hands were trained to take action. Working undercover for the CIA, she can’t risk anything more. But when an international crisis ignites, Abby must make a call: trust Mal with her secret—and her heart—and partner up, or lose everything in a split second . . .

My Review:
High-octane well-written romantic suspense. This was a fab read – punchy, fast-paced, packed full of witty banter and smoldering sexy times, and a healthy dose of action scenes.

Malone was such an ass at times, but a loveable one. Abby had a cranky side too. Together, the sparks flew. They had this explosive chemistry that jumped off the page. Seriously well written. Both were complex characters, loners because of their jobs, and not used to letting others in. I did find the progression from that state of mind to ‘love and marriage’ way too quick, but it didn’t dent my enjoyment.

The plot was complex and solidly progressed though I did feel it was a little rushed at the end. I enjoyed the world-building, setting, the background of political intrigue and espionage, the CIA and military angles. Really interesting.

I hugely disliked how Abby fecked off on Malone at the end. On the one hand, she seemed happy to blast her boss out of it and then she capitulated, on the other hand, heading back to the States on his orders with her tail between her legs. That was a little inconsistent for my liking.

The writing was very good and pacing was decent.

Overall, this was a great read.

Actual rating 3.5 stars.

Thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Alpha_Ops_Series

Start this series with the novella Dangerous Territory for only 0.99$!
Links:

Author_EmmyCurtisAbout the Author:
Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She’s lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference…well, she already considers you kin.

Links: