Blog Tour: Lovegame by Tracy Wolff

LoveGame_BlitzBadge
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.

Links:

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Blog Tour: Risk of Exposure (Alpha Ops #6) by Emmy Curtis

RiskofEx_badge1
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:

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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:

Review: Find Me (The Found Duet #2) by Laurelin Paige

Find MeTitle: Find Me
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: The Found Duet #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance/ Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
The Conclusion of Gwen and JC’s Story

Gwen Anders came to The Sky Launch to begin fresh, away from the horrors of her past. She fit in quickly, becoming good friends with her co-manager, Alayna Withers and the owner of the club, Hudson Pierce. Though the circumstances that brought her here were not the best, she’s never felt more at home.

But starting a new life means letting go. And there are some things she doesn’t want to leave behind – like JC, the man who taught her how to let loose. The man she wasn’t supposed to fall in love with. The man she doesn’t want to lose.

Now, with the reason she ran still a threat, Gwen fears she’ll never be able to move on completely. And if she does, can she still hold out hope that JC loves her enough to come and find her?

My Review:
I downloaded Find Me the minute I finished reading Free Me because I couldn’t wait even one second to find out what was going to happen next.

We finally learn the full story behind JC’s fiancee’s death and the extent of the danger he’s in. JC really wants to protect Gwen, but he can’t stay away from her even though he risks exposing her. Though they are initially a little wary of one another, their relationship pretty much picks up where they left off.

There is the added complication of Chandler who has unfortunately grown attached to Gwen and he hovers around making a nuisance of himself. Gwen feels rotten that she ever indulged him, and she’s also carrying a massive chip on her shoulder over Cory. She very much feels like she’s playing second fiddle, even though JC never treats her like that. It’s pretty much all in her head. JC is still quite controlling, but he’s a real sweetheart too.

This book ticked all the boxes – great plot development, complex characters, superb writing, and lashings of the steamy stuff.

I enjoyed reading about Alayna and Hudson and I’m definitely going to check out their book. I’m totally hooked on this series now, and can’t wait to read more from this author.

All in all, an epic read.

Blog Tour: First Touch (First and Last #1) by Laurelin Paige

First Touch blog tour
Today is my stop during the blog tour for First Touch (First and Last #1) by Laurelin Paige! I’ll share my review of this awesome book with you today!

First TouchTitle: First Touch
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: First and Last #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Romantic Suspense/ Erotica
Links:

Blurb:
When Emily Wayborn goes home to visit her mom while on hiatus from her hit TV show, she receives a voicemail from her former best friend, Amber. Though the two were once notorious party girls, they haven’t spoken in years. Although the message might sound benign to anyone else, Amber uses a safe word that Emily recognizes, a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild days. And what’s more chilling than the voicemail: it turns out that Amber has gone missing.

Determined to track down her friend, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to the enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis, a hotelier known for his shady dealings and play boy reputation. Now, in order to find Amber, Emily must seduce Reeve to learn his secrets and discover the whereabouts of her friend. But as she finds herself more entangled with him, she finds she’s drawn to Reeve for more than just his connection to Amber, despite her growing fear that he may be the enemy. When she’s forced to choose where her loyalty lies, how will she decide between saving Amber and saving her heart?

FIRST TOUCH_teaser 3

My Review:
My initial thoughts:
Honestly there are no words. Why isn’t there a ten-star rating, hell a gazillion star rating? I’ve read some amazing books recently but they all pale in comparison to First Touch. That cliffhanger is the best cliffhanger EVER. Damn, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s sick and twisted and depraved and the most addictive story ever. LP is a phenomenal writer. Okay, must stop gushing now, need sleep. Freaking amazing book.

FULL REVIEW:

Laurelin Paige delivers another scintillating good read that will blow your mind. Wow. Superb writing combined with complex characters and a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat has ensured First Touch a place on my absolute favorite reads of 2015.

Emily appears to be the consummate up-and-coming TV personality on the outside; beautiful, intelligent, professional, and self-sufficient. But underneath that carefully created exterior lurks a girl who is almost the exact opposite. Since she parted ways with bestie Amber seven years ago (on bad terms) she has reinvented herself and tried to suppress that side of her nature. Now, Amber has reached out, indicating she’s in trouble, and out of a misguided sense of loyalty, Emily sets out to uncover the truth behind her friend’s disappearance.

Her quest for the truth brings her to elusive billionaire Reeve Salis, hot hotelier with a somewhat dubious rep. Ah, Reeve. Love the name, and by the end of the book, I loved the man. At the outset, I believed everything that was said about him, and I was scared for Emily, but as the story progressed and Emily’s opinion started to change so did mine.

I really enjoyed the mystery/suspense element of the plot and the mob connection. My personal view is that Reeve was being coerced or blackmailed, and I never believed he was willingly involved in that whole scene. What he says toward the end seemed to corroborate that view. I am so curious to see where this goes in the next book.

Sex, power, and control are a huge theme in this story. The relationship between Reeve and Emily is abusive though consensual. She liked to be debased and hurt and it was the sickest, most depraved thing I’ve ever read. But weirdly addictive. Even as I was disgusted at several scenes I couldn’t stop turning the pages. As they grow closer they start to open up to one another and we see a different side to both of them as individuals and as a couple. In the last few chapters, they are very close to admitting the love they share, and certain things are brought front and center stage. Then that cliffhanger happens. OMG. I can’t say the thought hadn’t crossed my mind because it did, but it was still an electrifying, suspenseful end to this book. I have not been able to stop thinking about it and I think I’ll die if I don’t get to read what happens next.

This is such an incredible read and it’s hard to find words to properly express how amazing it is. This is sheer genius. Superb writing (as I’ve come to expect from the phenomenally talented Laurelin Paige) bang-on pacing, subtle yet strong plot development, excellent characterization with both mains being steadily developed with their fair share of complex strengths and weaknesses. Emotional depth is there – I felt a strong connection to the two mains, and the secondary characters are decent too.

This may not be for everyone as some of the scenes are difficult to read, but if you are a Laurelin Paige fan, or you enjoy well-written erotic romantic suspense, then is is a MUST read.

Thanks to the publisher for supplying an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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About the Author:
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman and Friedman Literary.

Links:

Blog Tour: Burn for You (Protector #3) by Stephanie Reid

BurnForYou BT Banner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Burn for You (Protector #3) by Stephanie Reid . I’ll share my review with you today! And there’s a tour wide giveaway!

BurnForYou_EbookTitle: Burn for You
Author: Stephanie Reid
Series: Protector #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance/ suspense
Links:

Blurb:
Vic Russo is just one of the guys. Except she’s not a guy. A paramedic, affectionately known as Vic within her firehouse, Victoria is a permanent fixture in the friend zone. But when her childhood crush, firefighter Graham McAndrew, becomes single once again, she decides enough is enough. It’s time for Graham to see her as the woman she’s become. There’s only one problem. A photo of her in the arms of another man has captured the nation’s attention.

Jason Meadows is not thrilled to have his police work interrupted by a small media craze. In fact, he’d be content never to see Victoria or that photo-gone-viral again. But a series of fires in town, paired with a growing attraction to the quirky paramedic, make staying away impossible.

Determined to ferret out a potential killer, Jason enlists Victoria’s help as his eyes and ears inside the firehouse. And while threats rise from within, Victoria is forced to choose between the love of her past and the man who’s ignited her fire within.

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My Review:
This was a fantastic read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Burn for You is the story of Victoria and Jason. She is an ex-veteran paramedic working with the fire department, and he is a cop and newly appointed arson investigator. They cross paths through their work and an instant attraction sparks leading to a full-blown love affair. Except Jason doesn’t do relationships and he’s a pro at keeping women (and people in general) at arms length. So the path of true love is definitely not going to run smoothly for our couple. Cue plenty of emotional angst and drama, throw in a smattering of the sexy stuff, and a meaty mystery subplot, and you have the recipe for a great read!

When we first meet Vic (or Toria as Jason comes to call her) she is pining for Graham, her old on-again-off-again crush. What she has ever seen in him is beyond me. Seriously, he was a total preening idiot who thought the whole world revolved around him. I loved the scene at the end where she finally put him in his place.

I really loved how the sex didn’t overshadow the plot in this book. So many times I pick up a book where the sex completely eclipses everything else, so this was a refreshing read. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of romance and sexy scenes, but it never took away from the story.

The plot around the arsonist was solidly built and added plenty of intrigue and mystery.

Character development is really strong in this book and both mains were multi-layered. Jason, in particular, has a dark, complex past which was gradually revealed as the book progressed. My heart bled for him. I enjoyed Vic’s character – while she was sassy and independent she had a vulnerable side that she didn’t shy away from. Essentially she is a really nice person and someone who always sees the best in others. An easy MC to warm to.

It’s obvious this author has a counseling background as the character development spoke to overcoming deep-rooted anxieties and fears and dealing with past trauma. The author writes with strong emotional impact and it’s clear she has a firm grasp on human behavior, motivations, and drivers, and strategies for dealing with self-destructive traits/actions.

The writing style is very good and consistent with the genre. Pacing is spot-on, and I also really enjoyed the worldbuilding.

While this is part of a series it is a standalone read. I haven’t read the other two books, and I didn’t need to. It was a seamless smooth read.

Highly recommended if you enjoy well-written character driven romance with a well-developed plot.

Author Photo--Stephanie ReidAbout the Author:
Stephanie Reid writes contemporary romances with heart, humor, and a happily ever after. She holds a master’s degree in Human Development Counseling and enjoys using counseling theories on her fictional characters (and from time to time her husband).

She draws inspiration for her stories from life experience, and when writing, she frequently asks her police officer husband for his input on all things law enforcement. They’ve agreed not to discuss the bits of advice she doesn’t take when it doesn’t serve her plots well, and this makes for a very harmonious marriage.

Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Stephanie now resides with her husband and three children in central Illinois.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Blog Tour: Protecting the Prince by Dana Volney

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Protecting the Prince by Dana Volney. I’ll share my review with you and there’s a tour wide giveaway.

Protecting The Prince FINAL coverTitle: Protecting the Prince
Author: Dana Volney
Series: standalone
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
Eliam Prince is finally where he wants to be in his late father’s shipping enterprise: at the helm and ready to navigate. However, when a mysterious car tries to run him off the road on his first day as CEO, it’s clear he needs a personal bodyguard—even if the idea annoys him to no end.

Winter Wyn has built a thriving personal security business after surviving a horrific tour in the Middle East. Eliam is just a routine middle-of-the-night call—until she arrives at his penthouse, where it’s clear her strict policy of not mixing business and pleasure with her clients is in serious trouble. Keeping this man safe—from sabotage, blackmailers, assassins, and his own stubborn pride—isn’t nearly as hard as protecting her own heart.

But as the stakes rise, Eliam and Winter have no choice but to break all the rules if they want to survive. Fans of Castle will love the sparks that fly on this most unlikely couple’s journey to their happily ever after.

My Review:
Eliam Prince has only just managed to take back control of his family business from his step-dad Franklin when an attempt is made on his life. His Head of Security calls in an ex-military subordinate of his to provide extra personal protection. Cue the arrival of Winter Wyn and her team of specialists. The book describes the efforts made to protect their high-profile client, and there is plenty of action, twists and turns, and suspense to propel the plot along.

I enjoyed both main characters and they each had their own issues to deal with. They are instantly attracted to one another and it doesn’t take much for them to cave to that attraction. To be fair, their lives are at stake and they need to draw comfort from one another in order to survive. I wasn’t sure about them as a couple at the start, but I believed in it by the end. There’s a decent smattering of smoldering scenes to liven things up.

The writing is good, the pacing is consistent, and the words flowed smoothly. This was a very enjoyable, quick read. The only issue was the villain of the piece: it’s pretty obvious who it is and I would have preferred more intrigue around the culprit’s identity. But it didn’t dent my enjoyment at all and I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

I’d like to thank the publisher and Inkslinger PR for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Author:
Dana Volney lets her imagination roam free in Wyoming where she writes romances and helps local businesses succeed with her marketing consulting company. Surrounding herself with good friends and family, Dana thrives on moments and memories created with loved ones, especially while baking. Not possessing the natural ability to want to cook every day, she still enjoys watching culinary shows while eating take-out. It helps her to dream up sweet treats and sexy men. Dana is bold, adventurous and, by her own admission, good with plants, having kept a coral cactus alive for more than one year. Find Dana Volney at www.DanaVolney.com , on Facebook at
www.Facebook.com/DanaVolney , on Twitter @VolneyVentures, and Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/DanaVolney .

Links:

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Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

dont look backTitle: Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Mystery/ Suspense/ Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

My Review:
Sammy wakes up bloodied and battered with no recollection of where she is, or how she got there. This is further confounded when she can’t even remember her name, or who she is. Her family arrive at the hospital to reclaim her and that doesn’t jog her memory. Her brother Scott, his girlfriend Julie and Carson the sorta-boy-next-door all try and help her to piece back the memories of her life. She discovers that she wasn’t a very likable person and quickly realizes this is a ‘second chance’ that most don’t get.

Her best friend Cassie is still missing and her body is subsequently discovered prompting the police to begin a murder investigation, with Sammy prime suspect.

Her parents have a non-existent relationship and the family atmosphere is tense, heightened by Sammy’s obvious distaste towards long-term boyfriend Del and some serious crushing on Carson.She quickly discards the majority of her so-called friends, who are in the main nasty and bitchy.

Sammy’s mind is playing tricks on her as she suffers hallucinations/visions, surges of memory/recollections, eerie images of dead Cassie, and mysterious warning notes that are left in close proximity.

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of JLA’s writing and I adore the Lux, Covenent and Dark Elements series. This is the first contemporary novel I’ve read from JLA and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, it didn’t hook me as much as the other books did. The romance is quite muted compared to her other novels, and I missed that. Because boy can JLA write great romance scenes.

However, she has deftly developed the mystery/suspense theme within this novel and as a reader, you constantly wonder whether Sammy is being told the truth by those around her, and continuously ponder who is trustworthy. I did guess the culprit pretty early on – the clues are subtly embedded throughout the story – but I constantly questioned myself, and switched my mind a few times.

The writing was sublime, and the pacing bang-on, as usual. I don’t think the dialogue was as engaging as normal, lacking the humorous/satirical element that is regularly found in her fantasy books, however I felt the characters were a bit more unique and individual as a result.
I finished this book in less than 24 hours, and that says it all really.

Another epic read from writing power-house Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Blog Tour: Impossible Promise by Sybil Bartel

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Today I am part of the blog tour for Impossible Promise by Sybil Bartel.

Impossible PromisesTitle: Impossible Promise
Author: Sybil Bartel
Series: Unchecked #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance/ Mystery/ Romantic Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
Three years ago, Layna Blair listened in horror over a telephone line as her parents were murdered. When the killer said she was next, Layna panicked and made a deadly deal—his secret in exchange for her life. She’s paid the price every day since, becoming a prisoner in plain sight.

Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson offers Layna a way out—her freedom, his rules, no questions asked—and she takes it, despite knowing what her keepers do to people who get too close. She doesn’t know Blaze is fighting his own demons or that beneath his warrior façade is a man on the verge of breaking.

Embarking on a wild revenge mission with Blaze and his smooth-talking best friend, Talon, is not what Layna signed on for. But attempting to run when Blaze has made no secret he intends to make her his is a reckless mistake. With the killer closing in, it’s up to Blaze to save them all—and to Layna to realize that she’s risked the one thing she can’t afford to lose.

Book one of two

Some Teasers for this book are below:
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Author Bio:
I grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but really, any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.

I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you really want to know about me.

I grew up a faculty brat. I can swear like a sailor. I love men in uniform. I hate being told what to do. I can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out. My favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—I can’t decide. I have a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on me for driving directions, ever. And I have a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell my husband

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