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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Cloaked in Danger by Jeannie Ruesch

Cloaked in DangerPublisher: Carina Press
 ISBN: 1306166977
 Pages: 280 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Mystery
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: AmazonBarnes and Noble,Kobo

Summary:

Aria Whitney has little in common with the delicate ladies of London society. Her famous father made his fortune hunting archaeological treasures, and her rustic upbringing has left her ill prepared for a life of parties and frippery. But when Gideon Whitney goes missing in Egypt, Aria must embrace the unknown. Armed with only the short list of highborn men who'd backed her father's venture, she poses as a woman looking for a husband. She doesn't intend to find one.

Adam Willoughby, Earl of Merewood, finds London's strangest new debutante fascinating, but when he catches her investigating his family's secrets, he threatens to ruin her reputation. He doesn't intend to enjoy it so much.

When their lustful indiscretion is discovered, Adam finds that he regrets nothing. But now, as Aria's father's enemy draws near, Adam must convince his betrothed that she can trust him with her own secrets...before it's too late.

My Review:

Intro Babble: I didn't quite know what I was getting to when I started this one. I was in the midst of the Epic Reading Slump of 2014 so it was either going to be great or a soul breaking disaster. It turns out it landed right in the middle of that. In the comfy place.

Characters:

Heroine: Aria-First of all, I love her name. For some reason, names are really important to me in books. Especially in romance. She was a really great heroine. Smart and capable with a lot of moxy and humor.

Hero: Adam-He was pretty much the highlight of the book for me. He was one excellent hero. He was the “Mama Bear” type of hero. Very alpha.Very protective. But not overbearing. I loved him.

Chemistry: I thought Adam and Aria worked very well together. I am one of those that love the whole “we had to get engaged/married because we did badish things together” plot. And this one was definitely that. It lacked a bit of the angst that I like to go with it but I really loved the book nonetheless.
Chemistry Rating: 

Ending Babble: I enjoyed this one. I was surprised that this one was so heavy on the mystery though. I normally stay away from most mysteries unless it is an author I am sure of but this one worked out well for me. I loved the writing style. The dialog was spot on. I also loved that it had the historical aspect. Kind of taking me out of my comfort zone while still being in the safe place.



Author Info

Jeannie Ruesch wrote her first story at the age of the six, prompting her to give up an illustrious, hours-long ambition of becoming a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and declare that writing was her destiny. That journey to destiny took a few detours along the way, including a career in marketing and design.

Her first novel, a fairy-tale like historical romance, was published in 2009, but the darker side of life had always captivated her. So after a dinner conversation with friends about the best way to hide a dead body, she knew she had to find a way to incorporate suspense into her writing. (The legal outlet for her fascination.) Today, she continues writing what she loves to read - stories of history, romance and suspense. She lives in Northern California with her husband, their son and an 80 pound lapdog lab named Cooper. She can be visited at www.jeannieruesch.com or found regularly on Twitter or Facebook.

She is also the creator of the WIP Notebook, a writer's tool to help stay organized while you write, which you can find at her website.

Author Links
Twitter
Website
Facebook

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Ariel's Song by Evie Knight

Ariel's Song (In Bed with the Enemy, #1)Publisher: Evernight Publishing
ISBN:9781771306157
Pages: 206 pages
 Genre: Romance/Contemporary
 Series: In Bed with the Enemy 
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, ARE

Summary:

Colin Hoskins, famous classical violinist, is tainted by his past. Angry at life, unable to move beyond the betrayal of his dead fiancé, he’s sworn off performing or falling in love ever again. All Colin wants is to be left alone, except no one listens. Especially the pretty little assistant he can’t fire and his body burns to claim.

Stranded in a foreign country, bankrupted heiress Ariel Parks needs a job to fund her way home. Assistant of sorts to the musician she’s fantasized about for years sounds like a dream job. She never imagined the gorgeous genius would be a reclusive beast. But the real problem is the way every nerve in her body tingles at the mention of his name.

My Review:

Intro Babble: I have been trying to post this review all day. My internet keeps dying and me being the behind the times person I am does not have a smart phone. I did, however, really enjoy Ariel's Song.

Characters:

Heroine: Ariel-I liked her in that way I like all people who confuse me—I try obsessively to figure them out and then when I do, I make my judgements. Once I did figure Ariel out, I decided that I liked her a lot. There is a lot of realism about her. She has her faults and she owns up to them. It was easy to like her based on that alone.

Hero: Colin-It was so nice to see a bad boy musician type hero who was not in a rock band. I did want to smack him for the majority of the beginning of the book. He doesn't treat Ariel very nicely at all at the start but I gradually began to warm up to him.

Chemistry: Like I said about Colin, he started out badly. He wasn't at all nice to Ariel. It took me a while to even approach accepting them as a couple because of that. But once I did, I really began to like them together. Ariel brings out a somewhat softer side to Colin and they worked really well together.

Chemistry Rating:


Ending Babble: I must confess that I read this book twice. Once about an hour after I received the book and second when my internet went kerplunk for the millionth time while writing this review. I really enjoyed Ariel's Song both times I read it. The writing was excellent and the development of Ariel and Colin's relationship was great and chock full of angsty goodness. I do kind of wish the book was longer...but that's just me. I breeze through a 200 page book in 45 minutes. I was without the internet for 2hrs.

Review: The MacGregor's Lady by Grace Burrowes

The MacGregor's Lady (MacGregor Trilogy, #3)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN:1402268726 
Pages: 406 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
 Series: The MacGregors-1,2
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:


What if the steps they take to avoid marriage...

The last thing Asher MacGregor, newly titled Earl of Balfour, wants is a society wife, though he has agreed to squire Boston heiress Hannah Cooper about the London ballrooms. When he's met that obligation, he'll return to the Highlands, and resume the myriad responsibilities awaiting him there.

...Lead instead to impossible love?

At her step-father's insistence, Hannah Cooper must endure a London season, though she has no intention of surrendering her inheritance to a fortune hunter. When she's done her duty, she'll return to Boston and the siblings who depend upon her for their safety... or will she? The taciturn Scottish earl suits her purposes admirably-until genuine liking and unexpected passion bring Asher and Hannah close. For if the Scottish earl and the American heiress fall in love, an ocean of differences threatens to keep them apart.

My Review:

Intro Babble-I am a big huge fan of Grace Burrowes. I love all of her books in an embarrassing fangirl kind of way. But it took me a bit longer than usual to get through this one. I have no idea why. This book was beyond excellent. I hope it's not the start of another epic reading slump of doom.

Characters

Heroine: Hannah-I spent the majority of the book in a state of complete frustration with her. Usually, this is a signal of a bad heroine. But in this case, it wasn't. I liked her anyway. I loved that she was fiercely loyal to her family. That's something I really admired about her.

Hero: Asher: Oh dear did I love Asher. He was such an excellent hero. He was sweet and kind with a bit of a tough edge. I love it when I come across a hero that manages to be incredibly sweet but have some gritty edges to him. Grace Burrowes does that excellently with most of her heroes.

Chemistry: I found the dynamic between Hannah and Asher to be quite interesting. Hannah is very loyal to her Grandmother who lives in Boston so she is almost always completely focused on protecting and eventually returning to her Grandmother. It was a very interesting roadblock and something I haven't encountered many times but I loved it and loved how it was resolved.

Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble: I am still waiting to read a Grace Burrowes book that I don't love. At this point, having read almost all of them, I am pretty sure it won't happen. I absolutely love how Burrowes writes heroes and her heroines are just perfect. It did take me awhile to get through this one but that doesn't say anything bad about the book because I think it would take me a month to get through a take out menu right now.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Redemption of the Duke by Gayle Callen

Redemption of the Duke (Brides of Redemption, #3)Publisher: Avon
ISBN: 0062267965
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
Series:  Brides of Redemption-1,2
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

A duke who needs to be tamed . . . a lady who refuses to be rescued.

Adam Chamberlin was the third son of a duke, known for gambling binges and drunken nights. No one expected anything of him . . . until tragedy strikes. Now Adam is the new Duke of Rothford, determined to right the wrongs he's done. Except a secret in his past means helping the one woman who doesn't want his help at all.

It's not every day that a duke introduces himself to a woman sitting by herself in Hyde Park. Faith Cooper is even more surprised when Adam offers her a position as a lady's companion to his elderly aunt. Faith refuses to be beholden to a man again—certainly not this man, who both infuriates and attracts her. But with passion simmering between them, will Faith surrender to forbidden desire?

My Review:

Intro Babble: Yep, the three books in this tour definitely had a conference and decided that that would be just awesome enough to get Grace out of her reading slump. This one hit on my love of the broken boy complex rake.

Characters:

Heroine: Faith-One of the most likable heroines I have ever come across. She was strong and extremely intelligent. She had this inner strength that it was impossible not to admire. I don't think there was a moment where I did not like her and that's pretty rare for me.

Hero: Adam-Adam...hero crush. So bad. I'm not ashamed to admit it. He had a bit of the broken boy thing going and he had some bad behaviors. But he is just so earnest in his search for redemption that it was difficult not to love him.

Chemistry: This was a case of two perfectly written characters being written excellently as a couple. Their chemistry was amazing. It was a slower burn but perfectly paced. They were both such strong characters but together they were even better.

Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble: Before this book I had never picked up a Gayle Callen book before. I have all of them because I knew I would love her but I procrastinate books all the time. I just love her writing style from her characters to how she builds chemistry. My weekend is so so busy. May have to put a do not disturb sign on my life for the weekend.

About the Author
After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than eighteen historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion and the Laurel Wreath Award.
Gayle lives in Central New York with her three children, her dog, Apollo, and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero.
 Visit her website at www.gaylecallen.com.

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Review and Giveaway: How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days (An American Heiress in London, #2)Publisher: Avon
ISBN: 0062118196
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
Series: An American Heiress in London-1
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:


From USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke comes the story of a bargain, a marriage of convenience...and the chance for love to last a lifetime.

They had a deal...

From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she's delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.

But deals are made to be broken...

By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family's enormous debts, and Edie's terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it's time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?

My Review:

Intro Babble: It's almost like the three books in this tour had a conference and decided that they would be the books to finally break me out of the Epic Reading Slump of 2014. They all hit on something I love. This one hit on the angst that I love to find in my romances. It wasn't overbearing but just enough.

Characters:

Heroine: Edie-Oh Edie. She was such a wonderful character. So complex. She was so very reluctant to reconcile with her husband. For good reason. I loved how cautious she was with Stuart. He was the one in pursuit and I don't know if I prefer that but it was definitely different.

Hero: Stuart-I loved how he approached Edie. He didn't push her but treated her with respect. He didn't try to cajole her into staying married to him but he worked at getting her to open up to him. I love that he was so dedicated to his pursuit of Edie. He never gave up on her. 

Chemistry: I loved them together. They weren't perfect. Edie was stubborn and Stuart had some dunderheaded tendencies but I was rooting for them the whole book. The slight bit of angst was also perfect and quite necessary in a story like this.

Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble: The only problem I have with this book is the title. I walked into this one expecting a light-hearted book because I've seen the move, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. And what I got here wasn't light-hearted at all. The title was incongruous with the content of the book. But other than that, there was absolutely nothing to complain about with this book. Lovely writing, lovely story, lovely characters. And Laura Lee Guhrke is just amazing. I also have all of her books. My weekend is filling up rapidly.



Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Laura has penned over twenty historical romances. Her books have received many award nominations, and she is the recipient of romance fiction’s highest honor: the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. She lives in the Northwest with her husband (or, as she calls him, her very own romance hero), along with two diva cats and a Golden Retriever happy to be their slave. Laura loves hearing from readers, and you can contact her via her website: www.lauraleeguhrke.com.

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Review and Giveaway: It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden

It Takes a Scandal (Scandals, #2)Publisher: Avon
 ISBN: 0062244906
 Pages: 384 pages
 Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
 Series: Scandals-1

 Challenges-TK
Buy this Book:
Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

Sometimes It Takes a Scandal...

Abigail Weston has everything: beauty, wit, and one of the largest dowries in England. Her parents hope she'll wed an earl. Abigail hopes for a man who wants her desperately and passionately. But the money seems to blind every man she meets—except one.

Sebastian Vane has nothing. He came home from war with a shattered leg to find his father mad and his inheritance gone. He's not a fit suitor for anyone, let alone an heiress. But Abigail lights up his world like a comet, bright and beautiful and able to see him instead of his ruined reputation. And it might end happily ever after...

To Reveal Your Heart's Desire

...Until Benedict Lennox begins courting Abigail. Ben is everything Sebastian isn't—wealthy, charming, heir to an earl. Sebastian won't give up the only girl he's ever loved without a fight, but Abigail must choose between the penniless gentleman who moves her heart, and the suitor who is everything her parents want.

My Review:

Intro Babble: My weakness for heroes named Sebastian is quite well known. And Max too. But mostly heroes named Sebastian. I have no idea why but if a hero is named Sebastian, I tend to give the book a whole lot more leeway than I normally would. I sound really crazy, don't I? I just made my whole opening about a characters' name...but the rest of the book is just as awesome. I promise. Even if I am rambling on about nonsense right now. I blame the white noise background sound I have going right now.

Characters: 

Heroine: Abigail- Abigail was one of those spectacular heroines that rarely come around. She hits on absolutely none of my peeves in terms of heroines and why they sometimes annoy me. She is smart and calculated but not in a negative way. I love how she never bent to other's will. I really loved seeing such a strong heroine.

Hero: Sebastian- If there is anything I love more than a hero named Sebastian it's a hero named Sebastian who broods. And brood he does but he's a good man. A really good one. He is that perfect mix of light and dark in a hero that you come across very rarely but when it happens you feel pure joy at your discovery.

Chemistry: Oh dear did I love Abigail and Sebastian together. Their story was just so well paced. It was a slow burn type of development with them and it just worked so well with both of their characters. These are not two people who are going to jump into instalove but approach cautiously. It was just...perfect.

Chemistry Rating: 

Ending Babble: Love so much love. This is my first Caroline Linden book even though I have all of her books on my shelves waiting for me. I need to read them ASAP. This was one of those books that I loved from the first page and then devoured in an hour (at 5 am when I should have been sleeping). I spy a marathon read in my near future.

P.S. I also really loved Benedict. I hope he's the hero of the next book.


Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, two Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at www.carolinelinden.com

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: The Right Side of Mr Wrong by Jane Linfoot

The Right Side of Mr WrongPublisher: HarperImpulse
ISBN:0007591713
Pages: 208 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

One-off, moving on sex, wasn’t meant to be this hot…

When determined singleton Shea Summers is persuaded to become the “wife” of the Lord of Edgerton Manor, the last thing she wants to do is play house with a stranger.

Brooding playboy Brando Marshall is far from happy when Shea turns up at his sprawling estate with production crew in tow. Surely she’s just another woman after his wallet? And if she’s looking for Mr Right, she’s definitely hitting on the wrong guy. Then again, after catching an unscheduled glimpse of her knickers, perhaps Brando needs to teach this “gold-digger” a lesson!

She’s seizing the moment, he’s breaking the rules, and when bad boys can be so much fun, who can resist getting on the right side of Mr. Wrong…


My Review:

Intro Babble: The first thing I noticed about this book was the cover. Those shoes! Completely superficial but I would buy the book just to gaze at those shoes. The storyline also seemed quite interesting even if the idea of reality TV gives me the creeps.

Characters:

Heroine: Shea-I was delightfully surprised by Shea. She was less vapid than I thought she would be. Actually, she was extremely likable. She was interesting and, for such a short book, I think I really got to know her well.

Hero: Brando-I can't help it but his name is Brando. So when I think of him, I see Marlon Brando from On the Waterfront in my mind. I don't think there is a better image when thinking of a hero. Maybe Guys and Dolls Brando...? He also had a bit of the Darcy complex which just added to his awesome.

Chemistry: I loved Shea and Brando together. The have this really electric chemistry. I loved that it was Brando who was a bit wary of Shea. I am so used to seeing the heroine be the cautious one. I was really surprised at how much depth of emotion Linfoot was able to cram into Shea and Brando's story given the book is not all that long.

Chemistry Rating

Ending Babble: I really enjoyed this one. I think I enjoyed it so much because it was so focused on the romance and the main couple. There were no extraneous plots. The book was zoned in on Shea and Brando. It gave a great depth of emotion to their story that I really enjoyed. The reality show bit was a tad troublesome for me at the start but it's not a huge part of the story and I actually found that it worked well in the story.


P.S. I really don't like reality TV, if you can't tell by this review, but I loved this book :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Dash of Peril by Lori Foster:

Dash of Peril (Love Undercover, #4)Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 0373778570
Pages: 480 pages
Genre: Series: Love Undercover-1,2,3
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

A no-nonsense female cop reluctantly teams up with the one man who makes her lose control in a deliciously sensual new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster 

To bring down a sleazy abduction ring, Lieutenant Margaret "Margo" Peterson has set herself up as bait. But recruiting Dashiel Riske as her unofficial partner is a whole other kind of danger. Dash is six feet four inches of laid-back masculine charm, a man who loves life—and women—to the limit. Until Margo is threatened, and he reveals a dark side that may just match her own…. 

Beneath Margo's tough facade is a slow-burning sexiness that drives Dash crazy. The only way to finish this case is to work together side by side…skin to skin. And as their mission takes a lethal turn, he'll have to prove he's all the man she needs—in all the ways that matter….

My Review:

Beginning Babble-I should begin by saying that Lori Foster is one of the few authors my mother and I completely agree on. We both love her and this series. I have been looking forward to Dash's story and I am thrilled to say that I loved it.

Characters

Heroine: Margo- She was beyond awesome. She was independent, strong and so kickbutt. She also had a vulnerable side and a tragic backstory. It's nice to see a heroine not descend into the Mary Sue territory in order to be a strong character. She simply was awesome.

Hero: Dash-He's a very strong, alpha hero but he knows when to have his quiet moments. Don't get me wrong, he's as alpha as you can get in a book like this but he has a gentleness about him.I like that a lot. I seem to be able to tolerate gentler traits in my alphas in contemporaries than historicals for some reason.

Chemistry: There is so much to love about this couple. I love how Margo and Dash bring out the gentleness and vulnerability in each other. I also love how it was Dash who already had a thing for Margo. So often it's the heroine with a crush and it was nice to see a reversal of that.

Chemistry Rating: 

Ending Babble: I love this series—perhaps not as much as my mother does because she's a complete fangirl for all of the books in this series—but it does go quite high on my list of favorite contemporary romances. Lori Foster is excellent at creating likable characters and magnetic chemistry all while keeping the suspense plot interesting.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review and Giveaway: California Thyme by Casey Dawes

California ThymePublisher: Crimson Romance
ISBN: 144058091X
Pages: 274 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazon,Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iTunes

Summary:

Caterer Mandy Parker doesn’t want to turn out like her mother, an aging bi-polar actress desperate for the love. Avoiding anything Hollywood-related is vital for Mandy’s sanity. Her ideal man has a nine-to-five job and coaches Little League—someone true to her and to their family, unlike her philandering Hollywood producer father. But when waitress shifts at Costanoa Grill are cut, she’s forced to find additional work as a movie caterer.

Since the woman he’d loved had married his best friend, movie set location manager James Lubbock has put women far behind advancing in his career. The assistant caterer is attractive, but he’s more focused on figuring out who was sabotaging his set. If he can’t determine the culprit, he’ll lose everything he’s worked for over the last five years.

Sparks fly between Mandy and James, but can they overcome their painful pasts to risk a chance on each other?

My Review:


Beginning Babble-I am officially in the middle of a reading slump of great proportions. Every books I pick up is all "Meh" and I am all sad. I don't even have a way out of it because I just finished my annual reread of Anne of Green Gables and that's usually my slump buster. So any slump busting reading suggestions would be very welcome. I am also happy to say that I read California Thyme way before my reading slump started and I really enjoyed it.

Characters

Heroine: Mandy-It took me a while to warm up to her. For some reason, I just had a bit of a disconnect with her. It happens. This was one of those rare cases where the heroine is perfectly okay--smart, reliable, likable with an interesting backstory ---but the reader--mainly just me-- just can't connect to her.

Hero: James-Now just as much as I was ambivalent about Mandy, I was so totally not ambivalent about James. I loved him. He was one of the most quietly awesome heroes I have come across in a long while. He was awesome--kind, sweet, nice guy. He had angsty bits in his past and they gave him some nice depth.

Chemistry-This is where it gets interesting. In normal cases, I usually end up not liking the book if I am all "meh" with either the hero or heroine in a romance. But this was completely different because while I may have had my issues with Mandy on her own, when paired with James she was perfect. They worked so well off of each other. They each had their own difficulties in the past that they had to work through and they had such great chemistry

Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble-I started this book without an expectations. As I do with most authors I have never read before. I do my best to avoid reviews and such so I can form my own opinions without any noise. California Thyme exceeded all of my expectations. Even with my issues with Mandy. I loved the writing style, the characters, the character development.

About the author
Casey Dawes has lived a varied life--some by choice, some by circumstance. Her master’s degree in theater didn’t prepare her for anything practical, so she’s been a teacher, stage hand, secretary, database guru, manager in Corporate America, business coach, and writer.
With a few marriages, two sons, and three step-children, her personal life was a challenge when she met and married her current husband who has proved to be the love of her life. They reside in Montana where she quilts, writes, and coaches on the banks of the Clark Fork River. The couple has been adopted by two gently used cats.


Author Links

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Seducing Mr. Right by Rebecca Rose

   
                                                  
Keep an eye out for my review with another giveaway for a digital copy on April 2nd!
Excerpt: 

Jake leaned against the office door with a smirk and crossed his legs at the ankles. Fire built in her eyes at his obstructing her exit. He wondered what would send her into a blaze. “Yesterday when you were nursing me, I thought you were an angel.”

“I was. If it was up to those guys out there, you would’ve had makeup on your face and your finger nails painted.” She shifted. “I’d love to continue this conversation but I really need to leave, Jake.”

He laughed because she was so right on the truth. They would have done that and probably much more. “What about Trixie?” he asked her. A shy smile formed on her lips while an impatient hand pulled her purse strap tighter on her shoulder. Jake shook his head. “You knew there was no Trixie.”

“You deserved it.” She began to pace the room with jerky movements. “Your brother told you I was starting and now you’re trying to get me off the subject of my ex. Thanks, but I need to go. Move.”

He didn’t budge when she tried to get by him. Jake knew the need to get pent-up aggression out, so he let her shove him, smack his arms and hiss vulgar threats. “Do you know how to ask?”

“Move, damn it!”

She became increasingly more volatile with slaps and swears while Jake used his hands to protect himself. “Sophie, I’m going to ask you nicely to stop.” When she kicked him in the shin, Jake controlled himself from pushing her to the floor. “I understand you’re upset and I don’t mind you taking some of that out on me, but that hurt.”

Sophie growled at him, “I wouldn’t have to hurt you if you’d just move.”

“You need to calm down--”

“I do not need to calm down. I need to leave.” She tried kicking him again but Jake dodged it.

“Wow, you’re feisty. I’m going to ask you again to stop or I’ll stop you.”

“Yeah, right. Move, damn it!” She pushed at him with both hands and before she could get any more physical, Jake stopped her. He cuffed her wrists above her head with one hand and pinned her back against the door. The move left only mere inches between their vibrating bodies.

“Sophie, do you need help getting the stuff? Or maybe someone to come along and make sure you don’t do anything stupid?” When her eyes narrowed at him, Jake repeated the questions.

“I can control my temper very well, and there is nothing heavy I need to get, now let go of me.”

Jake tilted his head to the side and examined her still body. Lust shot through his loins for the woman before him. In reflex, he moved a little closer. “You know most woman would be frightened by me doing this to them.”

“Don’t even think about it, Jake.”

The warning he saw in her eyes had him thinking twice about placing that hand on her ribcage and slowly moving it up to mold her breast. It had been so long since he’d felt the pull of a woman that the urge became almost uncontrollable. Almost. With little control left, Jake reminded himself that he really didn’t need further complications in his life. Especially, the female kind.

“Would you like me to go along and scare the crap out of him? I don’t even have to do anything physical.” He saw her processing the information so he added, “It would make up for yesterday. Plus, I won’t have to worry about getting a call that you need bail money. That would ruin my day.” Without thought, his eyes roamed her curvy body. By the way she held herself he became certain she’d been a ballerina. Where she rested on her toes, they were pointed. Her body was stretched up farther then would be comfortable for someone without training and she held her head with an unmistakable eloquence.

“Okay,” she said with a husky tone. “Now will you please let me go?” When he did, she socked him in the gut with her right fist. Despite his toned abs, the air rushed out of Jake’s mouth.

“What the hell was that for?”

“Today and that flower comment. Also, don’t ever touch me like that again.”

The seriousness in her face was real and Jake found himself too shocked to say a word. Years of training in combat situations and this woman planted a right hook to his gut that he never saw coming.

“Okay, Jake. Let’s go.” She picked up her purse and sashayed out of the office. Jake stood where he was for a moment processing the fact that a woman just got the best of him. In disbelief he was struck dumb. Empty to all thought except, next time be more alert and thankful she’s not the enemy.

About the Author:

Once Rebecca Rose picked up her first romance novel she knew her destiny was typed on those pages. She lives to find romance in ordinary life doing everyday things, by believing you just need to be conscious enough to look for it.  While being slightly dyslexic has created some challenges for her, she feels compelled to write about the characters living in her head.

With multiple books out, she is a full-time writer with a nagging muse who even talks obsessively in the car. That is of course, when the voice can get a word in edgewise with her three children and husband of 17 years.
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