Author Spotlight: Re/Paired by Michele Zurlo


Re/Paired is the second book in the Doms of the FBI series. Fans asked for Keith’s story, and I delivered.

Keith Rossetti grew up the hard way–fleeing from his older sister’s fists and finding addiction at a young age. It’s a miracle he was able to make it into the FBI, and he fiercely guards his relationships with a handful of close friends.

 When Katrina Legato’s brother brought home his Marine buddy all those years ago, she fell head-over-heels in love. Ten years have elapsed, and she hasn’t forgotten that toe-curling kiss he gave her for her eighteenth birthday. She knows he’s a demanding Dom who doesn’t respect his submissives or keep them for long, but if that’s all she can have of him, then she’ll take it.

 When refusing Kat sends her to another Dom, Keith rethinks his decision. He plans to show her exactly why he’s not a suitable life partner for anybody. But Kat, one of the only women he’s allowed into his heart, isn’t what he expected. She’s no pushover. She demands more from him than anybody ever has, and he finds himself wanting to be the man she thinks he is.

 As she repairs his damaged soul, a stalker targets her. Is it just a coincidence that his mother pops back up in his life and his sister is suddenly calling his office?

 Ever wonder what goes into writing a story? The plotting and research that an author does? Where the inspiration came from for a particular character? There are many hidden secrets or information that we wouldn’t know about the book or writing process. A lot more goes into the writing than we think! Here are some interesting facts you may not know about Re Paired.


1. Rossetti (Keith’s last name) is the name on the tag of my purse. I couldn’t think of a name when I created the character, and that was right there in front of me.

2. Some of the cases in Re/Paired were based on press releases from the Detroit US District Attorney’s office and the FBI. They issue joint statements.

3. Katrina’s boss’s resume is the same as the Chief Prosecutor’s at the Detroit Office. (Unless they’ve undergone some changes in the last year, in which case, it’s based on the former Chief Prosecutor’s resume.)

4. The details of the buildings/locations in Detroit are real.

5. The thoughts that go through Keith’s head about being a Dom (the reasons he likes to do certain things) were taken from a list given to me by Master Mike–my Dom friend who has read excerpts from Letting Go 2 and Wanting Wilder for the GoodReads BDSM group.

6. I always guess whodunit when watching a TV show, so I assume anybody can. That’s why the bad guy(s) don’t hide.

7. I revised the parts with Layla as I plotted/drafted the third (untitled) book in the series.

8. Re/Paired took over a year to write. I completed three other novels while working on it.

9. After submitting Re/Paired to my editor at Loose Id and signing the contract, I sent a frantic email asking if I could overhaul the ending. They let me.

10. The bad guys are modeled after an amalgam people I don’t like.

11. Loose Id had me cut the first 20 pages. (Yes–it was painful, but I survived.)

12. Originally I waffled between having a gynecologist scene and a harem girl scene. Then I read a book with a harem scene, so I decided to go the other way. I was going for comic relief. I think the scene ended well on all counts.

13. Keith’s mom’s “accent” is based on speech patterns found in southeastern Michigan, specifically the Downriver area where I grew up.

14. I refused to remove the Sandra Bullock reference during the editing process. LI has a policy of not having references that can “date” a story. I feel like Sandra is eternal.

Links:

One lucky person will have the chance to win an ecopy Re/Paired! Please leave a comment and your email address so the winner can be contacted. Thanks!

Question- What did you find most interesting about the Fun Facts Michelle wrote up about Re/Paired?
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ARC Review: Hunter by Jax

Good vs. Evil
One hot white witch
The battle of a lifetime
Finding your ONE!
All of these things make Hunter one HOT, fun, intense book.
Tatyana is on her way to visit her brother, but he doesn’t know she’s on her way. Along the way, her car dies and she’s forced to walk. It’s a dark, deserted road in the middle of the night. It’s cold, freezing in face, as she only has a shawl to keep her warm. She finally makes it to the house where her brother is staying. She leans on the door to get a twig out of her shoe, when the door opens and she falls into his arms. Hunter.
The prodigal son has finally returned. On Hunter’s first night back, she falls into his arms, literally.
They’re both instantly attracted to each other. There’s a sizzle, a spark. But Hunter has secrets. In fact, everyone in the house has secrets.
What follows in an intense story of attraction, bonding, magic and good versus evil.’
I admit, I was hooked from the very beginning. Jax has a way of writing that is witty, sarcastic and funny, with a dry humor. The intense scenes between Hunter and Tatyana were HOT. I could feel the passion and heat that was building between them.
Jax did an amazing job of building a world that lives along side the world we all live in. Her easy explanation account for how these witches live in our society, yet we know nothing of their world.
I liked the idea of the differing schools of magic. Each school of magic gives the witch or warlock certain advantages and disadvantages. No two witches are exactly alike. The power level of each witch is different as is the school of magic and their ability.
It was just a neat world to be a part of. Now, I don’t KNOW that this is the first in a series. But I certainly hope it is. While there were no cliffhangers, there certainly were hints of the possibility of future books with this witch coven. I certainly hope there is!
Favorite Quote: “Now, here I am, a stranded woman marching down a spooky, remote road with no one to hear me scream. I’m in a damned plot for a B horror flick!”
Find it on GoodReads!

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=doitharo-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B00B3YDEYQ

Cover Reveal: Abel by Elizabeth Reyes


Prologue
“I’m game if you’re game,” Nellie said, staring at him anxiously.
A man’s burning urges often ignore all logic. Abel Ayala knew this was all this was. A day of sipping on cocktails and lying around the deck of a cruise ship watching scantily-clad bikini-wearing women giving him the go-ahead smiles had done it to him. But now he stood here staring into Nellie Gamboa’s eyes, a divorcee eight years older than he was who from what he’d heard was still carrying a load of emotional baggage—probably still held a torch for her ex as well. She was someone he would not and should not be thinking of in terms of releasing some sexual tension, damn it.
The fact that she’d turned her life around after what had been hailed by his friend’s wife and Nellie’s best friend, Roni, as one of the most grueling experiences any woman could go through didn’t help. She’d gone and shaped up and did a complete makeover from the mousy woman he once remembered her as. If he didn’t know it, he’d never even guess this sexy-as-hell woman would be hitting thirty soon. The sexual tension between them had been a living breathing thing and going on for months now. Only up until now he thought he might be imagining her requited feelings of lust.
His twenty-two-year-old ass had no business with a woman her age—no business getting involved with Roni’s best friend—especially knowing full well that he’d never take a relationship with her seriously. But this changed things. Nellie was telling him she was all for a no-strings-attached relationship. She was as interested in anything serious as he was. Coming off what she called the divorce from hell, she said she wanted to live it up now. He was glad for the liquid courage Nellie’s wine had provided. She said she was all for a fun-and-run experience and she’d had her eye on him for some time.
It was still a risk, his brain reasoned. Things could sour. This could even cause a rift between him and his good friend’s wife if any hurt feelings came from this. But the already throbbing parts of his body said otherwise.
She tilted her head in that sexy way she did so often with curved lips that practically called out for his. To hell with logic! Pulling her delicate frame against his immediately released some of the pent-up tension that had been building every time he’d been around her lately.
Swallowing hard, he stared at those lips—lips he’d wondered far too many times what they must taste like. “Hell yeah, I’m game,” he said as he took her mouth in his. Feeling a desire like none he’d ever felt before, he kissed her deeply, sucking her tongue, her lips. Damn, he wanted to eat her up.
He’d been fighting it—over thinking it—for months. This was just his ever-so-curious body’s reaction to finally giving into a longing that had peaked tonight as they’d enjoyed a few friendly dances. That’s all it was. But he needed more than just a kiss now. God he wanted somuch more, and since she was game . . . He pulled away from her just long enough to catch his breath and take a look around the almost-empty deck.
“I’d invite you back to my room, but Hector and Charlee might—”
She tugged his hand and was already on the move. “Let’s go back to mine.”
The second the elevator doors closed, Abel pushed her against the wall, pulling her by the waist to him, and his mouth and tongue sucked at every inch of hers. She panted softly, running her fingers through his hair as he moved down to her soft neck and sucked softly then a little rougher.
As the moving elevator came to a stop, Abel tore himself away. No sooner had the doors opened when they were out in a rush to her room. They turned the corner down the long corridor of rooms.
“How far down?” Abel asked.
“All the way to the end,” she replied, taking even longer strides.
Feeling crazed with anticipation, Abel’s eyes searched for the ice/vending machine room like the one on his floor. The moment he saw it, he pulled her in it.
He answered her confused expression with a kiss as he closed the door and pushed her against it. “I need to refuel.”
All right, he needed to get laid more often. This was ridiculous. Obviously he’d been spending too much time training and not enough socializing, because he’d never felt this kind of urgency. Duly noted—he’d move a few things around in his schedule. She lifted her leg, bringing it around him.
“Careful,” he warned, biting her lower lip, “or I may just finish you up right here.”
“Do it,” was her only response and he froze.
Pulling back to look in her eyes, he could see she was serious. “Right here?” He asked, his hand already traveling down under her dress.
She nodded as his fingers felt the dampness between her legs and how hot she already was, pushing his heart into overdrive. He squeezed his eyes shut as he leaned his forehead against hers. “Sweetheart, don’t play with me.”
“I’m not,” she assured him breathlessly.
Abel opened his eyes, looking down at her big brown eyes. Up until that moment, he’d never noticed the golden specks that were sprinkled throughout. The desire he saw in them now was as urgent as his own, although he didn’t miss the slightest bit of apprehension. He couldn’t blame her. Anyone could walk in on them, though he was certain he’d be able to hold the door closed against the force of any one person or maybe two if they pushed against it. At least until he was sure she was decent. But he didn’t want her doing anything she wasn’t completely certain about.
“Are you sure about this?” He slipped his finger under her panties, her moisture inviting him all the way in.
She gasped, closing her eyes at his touch and nodded. “The kiss on the deck,” she said, her eyes remaining closed. Abel stared at her lips as she continued to speak a little more breathlessly with every caress of his finger to her silky wet skin. “The elevator . . . This . . . It’s exciting. I’ve never done something so . . .”
Nellie stopped to swallow, licking her lips, and Abel kissed her before she could finish. She didn’t have to. Suddenly the need to make this happen for her, make this experience with him be one she’d never forget, took over. It was just an ego thing. Nothing more. What guy didn’t like knowing they were a woman’s first anything?
Abel reached for his wallet, but his lips never left hers. She kissed him back just as urgently, her hands grasping the front of his shirt. She gasped harder at the sound of his zipper opening. So he stopped and looked at her wide eyes. “I’m sure,” she said before he could ask again, pulling him to her, and he groaned against her mouth.
Working fast, he got the condom on and reached under her sundress, pulling her panties down. When they hit the floor, he lifted her easily off the ground. “Wrap your legs around me.”
She did and he adjusted her, groaning loudly as he entered her. Kissing her harder now as he fucked her against the door, he tried in vain to stifle his moaning, but it felt so damn good to be inside her. Here he’d been under the assumption that women who had been married, especially for several years, wouldn’t be this tight. She was tighter than some of the younger women he’d been with, and it felt just too damn good to finally be doing what he could only fantasize about up until now—so good it was almost alarming.
With her arms tightly wound around his neck, she began to pant with every thrust, and he went even harder, her panting growing more frantic as he felt her begin to pulsate around him each time he slid into her. Just as her entire body began to tremble with pleasure, he felt her arms tighten around his neck as she pulled her mouth away from him to breathe and cry out. Abel couldn’t hold it any longer either. Groaning again, he came in an explosive climax. Sinking deep inside her, he pushed his body against hers, burying his face in her sweet neck. Nellie clung onto him for dear life, gasping for air.
“We’re…” Nellie started to say before stopping to catch her breath, “still going back to my room, right?”
Abel smiled, squeezing her naked behind and looked up into her somewhat embarrassed eyes. “You bet this hot little ass we are. That was just an appetizer. I hope you have all night, because what I have in mind is gonna take that long.”
Her eyes sparkled now with excitement and she nodded. Hot damn! She was going to be more fun than he’d expected.

About me? Well, I was born and raised and continue to live in sunny southern California. I’m married and have two wonderful teens. My love for writing began when I was just a kid though, I never really had any dreams or aspirations of doing it for a living. Then along came the age of eReaders and I saw an opportunity to get my writing out for the world to read without jumping through hoops and getting past the red tape of trying to get traditionally published.
 
For Funsies: 11 things about me:


1. I’m considerably tall for a woman about 5’9 and I love wearing HIGH heels. Though I don’t so much lately. But I used to do the Valerie thing when I was younger BIG shoes! Good thing my husband is 6’3. =)

2. I chew my nails. *sigh* a habit I’ve sadly never been able to break out of.

3. I love to sing. Yep karaoke is a good friend of mine.

4 . Like in so many of my stories I married my first love. And we’re still together after almost 18 years. Unlike most of my stories we’ve NEVER broken up. Not even for a day. And yes ladies he is an alpha through and through.  =)

5. My first job was a cashier at Kmart.  My first real job (and by real I mean I was counting on it to pay the bills) 411 operator for the phone company. “What city please?” lol

6. I own and love Great Danes. And yes Diesel was the name of my first one. He’s passed now =( but now we have Dexter.

7. In case none of you have guessed it by now.  I have quite the potty mouth. Writing Manny and Max’s and Romero’s dialogue was much easier for me than you guys would imagine. In fact toning down the language in my books is actually harder for me. =/

8. I LOVE the holidays! And I mean LOOOOVE the baking, cooking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, playing the songs, choosing the perfect tree you name it. I’m always a little down in January every year when it’s all over. =(

9. You may have noticed my characters are always grubbing. That’s because I love to cook. Most of the dishes mentioned in my books are some of my specialties. =)

10.  I’m a tree nerd. BIG time. I have a half acre backyard and I love spending time out there planting more and more trees. =)

11. I love deviled ham and crackers. Unsalted tops please.  


Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Darkness Before Dawn by Claire Contreras

Is love ever enough?

Faced with obstacles she could have never imagined, Blake is brought to darkness and back by forces in her past she never knew existed. Desperate to stay connected to the only thing he loves, Cole is forced to revisit his past and align himself with the people who knew about Blake’s disappearance.

Separation has forced both Blake and Cole to learn how to live under the worst circumstances, each of them alone in their own hell. When they reunite, can they be the same two people they were before darkness swept upon them?


Told in separate points of view, Darkness Before Dawn is the continuation of Blake and Cole’s fight to make it to the light.

Snippet:

“I didn’t know you were awake,” I reply turning my body toward him and caressing his arm.
He gives me a lopsided smile. “I just woke up. How can you be so pretty in the morning?” he muses as his eyes scan my face.
“I’m not,” I groan throwing my head back on to the hard mattress. “This bed sucks.”
He chuckles. “You are,” he replies as he covers my body with his, opening my thighs with his and settling his weight between my legs. “You’re the most beautiful creature ever made…and you’re right, this bed sucks ass.”
“You’re just saying that because you want to have sex,” I say with a laugh as I look at him, thinking the same about him.
He tilts his head as he regards me. “Nah, we’re going to have sex anyway, I don’t have to sweet talk you into doing that.”
My laughter is cut short when he grinds against me, the hardness in his boxers making me gasp and tilt my pelvis toward it.

To read a longer snippet from DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN CLICK HERE.

Claire is giving away one custom made bookmark made by Oh Whimsical Me!! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment with your email address and add to your Goodreads list.

Interview & Giveaway: Kendall Grey

Smut, oh how I missed you and thank you Kendall for bringing it back to me!

WARNING: STRINGS is not suitable for slut shamers, uptight stone throwers, Holier-Than-Thou prudes, humorless virgins, persons with chronic neck or back pain, pearl-clutching bitties, those who disparage crude humor or vulgarity in their many forms, closed-minded people with sticks up their asses, or anyone under the age of 18. The vile, base language and shocking, unholy sexual acts contained herein are not condoned by anyone with a lick of sense and should certainly not be reproduced without proper training and protection. The potty-mouthed and perpetually horny “heroine” (the term is used loosely) of this book does not resemble a normal, well-adjusted, or remotely believable person in any way, shape, or form. The author acknowledges that the characters in this book are shallow and two-dimensional; the plot is both ridiculous and insipid. She makes no apologies for any of it.

The warning is what caught my attention. I thought to myself, let’s see what this author can do and I can tell you KG does it like no other. She created a story that I haven’t come across with her excellent writing, characters that you can’t help but love even with their potty mouths and the one liners. <—-I'll share some of those with y'all in a bit.

We are introduced to Letty Delinger, a rock singer/bass guitarist who is like no female heroine I’ve ever met. She’s in your face, crude, hilarious, makes no apologies, loves sex and wants to be a famous rock star with her band Cherry Buzz Float. While at a bar she meets ‘Shades’ and from here the smut comes into play. All I’m saying about their first encounter is that if a man lets you take a strap on to him, SLAMS HANDS ON TABLE, he’s a keeper in my book.

‘Shades’ is sexy, hot, pierced tattoo guy who is somewhat mysterious. He’s something special, and no it’s not because of the strap on…ok I lied, it’s somewhat because of that but he’s also honest and sweet and the things he says and does had me smiling. Later on in the story we meet the “real” man.

Other band members are introduced Rax(biggest horndog), Toomb(mystery man), Jinx(just as mysterious) and they are just as horny, crude, hilarious as Letty and Shades.

Let’s get down to the smut part cause it was my favorite. You get raw, nitty gritty hardcore fucking, oral, double penetration, light m/m, squirting, anal…you name it, you got it.

The one liners had me LOL and I shared it with my co-workers and I shall share it with y’all.

If I had nuts, they’d have crawled so far up my ass, my breath would smell like cum.

My twat churns out a fresh batch of batter in my drawers.

His curled finger and thumb pull my chin up and the sincerity in his face incites my twat into mass production of rainbow cum bullets. I’ve got one in the chamber and at least a couple waiting anxiously in the magazine. Ready, aim, fire!

Before I can get on my knees to bow before the altar of Shade’s glorious wanger and praise it with my mouth…

“This might be the last time yo uget to drive the beef bus to tuna town,”

“So, you’re not opposed to another leisurely stroll up the Hershey Highway? Be still my beating heart.”

I could go on and on and on but I’ll stop. Read the book, you should not be offended if you read the warning so I don’t want to see any ugly reviews out there cause DUH…you’ve been warned.

*side note* Twat broth has been added to my vocabulary.

 

1. Tell us a little about yourself and Strings.
I’ve been writing since 2008. My first book INHALE was published in May 2012, and the other two books in that urban fantasy trilogy, EXHALE and JUST BREATHE, came out in June and January. I included some pretty steamy scenes in the JUST BREATHE series, and reviewers seemed to like the heat, so I decided to try my hand at erotica. From plotting to publication, STRINGS took me two months. The others were FOUR YEARS in the making.

2. Who or what inspired you to write Strings?
Dissatisfaction with my JUST BREATHE Trilogy’s sales inspired STRINGS. Sales weren’t terrible, but I’d poured SO much time, heart, money, and energy into those books, I *really* thought they would do better than they did. I believe the books are well-written, so I don’t attribute the series’ performance to quality issues. I think people just aren’t interested in urban fantasy anymore. Add to that the fact that my books feature Elementals (no vamps, shifters, or demons here), a strange Dreaming world, and whales of all things, and my target audience is narrowed down to only a sliver of the reading population.

When all was said and done with the JUST BREATHE Trilogy, I rebelled by writing something completely different. I knew many readers wanted sex, sex, and more sex, so I that’s what I wrote. Sex sells. *Shrugs*

3. What is your writing process? Do you like to write in a coffee shop, alone, outside, etc.
I don’t have much of a process, but I tend to be much more productive in the morning, and I must have quiet to write. Once my Demonlings get home from school, I can’t get any work done.

I spend most of my day writing with my dog beside me. I rarely sit in the same place twice and often stand while I write. I also meet a fellow writer/friend once a week at Starbucks. We drink coffee, bounce ideas off each other, and chat about where our stories are going. I love those weekly meetings!

4. Letty is a character within herself. Do you know a real Letty?
Um…yes. The truth is…Letty is me. Not the sex-addict part of her (HA!), but her personality and her struggle. I channeled a lot of my anger and frustration with the publishing industry into her. That’s all I can say about that. 🙂

5. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The first two chapters started off as one big chapter. It was my favorite because it flowed so fast and smoothly. When I finished writing it, I went back to read it, fanned myself, and said, “Damn, that was hot!” I actually didn’t have to change much of it in edits. I guess I caught the wave at the right time, and rode it into the sunset. 🙂

6. Which character(s) do you relate to?
As I mentioned above, Letty is a lot like me, so I relate most to her. She’s wild. She speaks her mind. She doesn’t give a crap about offending people. But she’s also hugely passionate about her art. That’s where her heart is.

7. I play the trumpet and can do a mean beat on some table tops. Do you play any musical instruments?
Trumpet…cool! I played bass clarinet in high school. A little bit of oboe too. I also sang in a couple of bands. I love to sing. Does voice count as an instrument? 🙂

8. What can we look forward from you in the future?
BEATS and NOCTURNES are the other two books planned in the Hard Rock Harlots series. I’d like to get those out by the end of 2013.

After JUST BREATHE wrapped, I plotted a 5-book spin-off UF series featuring some of the characters from the trilogy. That series got shelved when I realized there’s no audience for it. Naturally, I can’t get it out of my head. The characters have been screaming at me lately. Now I’m trying to decide if I should go for it and say, “Screw what the readers want. I’m writing this book for me!” Much as I love Letty and the band, I love my urban fantasy characters even more–especially Sinnder, whose book would be up first if I write the new series. 🙂

9. What are you currently reading?
I don’t read. It’s against my religion. HA! I don’t have the time, and nothing holds my attention from start to finish. I average about two books a year. No joke. BUT…I just read an early version of a book that will be coming out in the next year or so. I can’t mention the person’s name or the title, but I’ll say that this book totally blew my mind, and with an attention span like mine, that’s pretty damn hard to do.

10. The warning for Strings is what caught my attention. How did it come about?
Funny story…My JUST BREATHE series is frequently mislabeled as Young Adult, despite the CLEAR warning at the beginning of the blurb: “WARNING: this book contains graphic language, sex, and violence. NOT SUITABLE FOR READERS UNDER THE AGE OF 18.” How do people read that and think, “This is YA”? I have no idea. It became a running joke among my friends. They love to tease me and say I’m a YA writer. So, when I put the STRINGS blurb together, I jokingly made up this huge disclaimer as a “screw you” to every dumbass who’s ever complained in a review about the sex and language in my books despite the massive warning label. I read it to my husband, and he loved it. So I put it on the Goodreads page for STRINGS before the book came out, and I got a huge, positive response from it. I decided, “Why not put it on the book seller product pages? Can’t hurt.” Now, I’m so glad I did it. What started off as a joke has brought me a ton of sales from people who told me, “I bought this book solely because of the warning label.” SCORE! 🙂

I have to say a HUGE THANK YOU for getting me out of my reading funk. The last couple of reads didn’t do nothing for me and when I finished Strings, I texted all my smut book lovers that they had to start this. I loved it! And on a side note I shall be using twat broth in my vocabulary from now on. Thanks for the interview and keep up the smut!

Aww, thanks! I’m glad to be the one to pull you out of your funk. 🙂 Twat broth was a good one, wasn’t it? HA!

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=doitharo-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B006TEW7KWhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=doitharo-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B00CGC6CP2http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=doitharo-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B00AY0K0TC

Kendall is offering one person a chance to win an ecopy of STRINGS or JUST BREATHE!! Please leave a comment for Kendall and your email address so a winner can be contacted. Thanks!!

Review: The Stark Trilogy: Release Me and Claim Me by J. Kenner

Today I’m reviewing two books in the Stark Trilogy by J. Kenner. The first one Release Me was published January 1, 2013. The second one Claim Me was released April 23, 2013. The final installment is Complete Me and is scheduled to be released July 30, 2013. So, get ready for hot romance with a dreamy leading man!

Let’s begin, shall we?

Review: Release Me

OMFG! OMFG! 
This is one amazing story. Unfortunately it will be compared to Fifty Shades of Grey and while there are a couple of similarities, it is NOT a retelling of that story! It’s its own unique story, full of passion, tension, and heart wrenching moments.
Damien Stark is a former tennis pro who now runs his own multi-million dollar business conglomerate. He’s a control freak in every part of his life. Nikki is a former beauty pageant winner who is fresh to LA and looking to make her mark. She wants to do it on her own and away from her mother.
The tension between them is fierce and wonderful. It’s not just sexual tension but emotional tension as well. They both have secrets and they’re afraid those secrets will drive the other one away. They both crave intimacy with each other, emotional intimacy, but they’re scared.
Damien introduces Nikki to wonderful decadence and the finer things in life. She lets him spoil her and takes it all in stride. She does all this without being a gold-digger or out to get all she can from him. It’s part of who he is and accepts it as that. He’s edgy and dark and controlling. Nikki is no stranger to edgy and dark, maybe not in the traditional manner, but she’s no stranger to pain, fear and loss of control. The loss of control she has with Damien intrigues her and scares her at the same time.
Some secrets were revealed in Release Me. Others are yet to come. There has to be a second story with Nikki and Damien. We don’t have all the secrets and there are hints of more scandal to come. While there’s no big cliffhanger at the end, you are left wondering. What else is there?
J. Kenner does an amazing job of grabbing you in the very beginning and not letting you go. At one point in the story I did get frustrated with Ollie, Nikki’s friend, and Damien, my interest never wavered. I devoured this book in one day! I could NOT put it down.
It’s a wonderfully emotional and tension filled story that will leave you wanting more!
Review: Claim Me
Claim Me is the second story in the Stark Trilogy. It picks up right where Release Me left off.  While Claim Me picks right up where Release Me left off, J. Kenner does an amazing job of summarizing what happened in Release Me. It’s done in a way that isn’t overbearing to the current story and it doesn’t take up much of the story in Claim Me. It was just enough to refresh my memory!
Damien and Nikki’s story is a wonderful story about accepting people for who they are and not what you want them to be. It shows how two people, who are very flawed can let their scars hang out there and those who love them will accept them as they are. Build them up. Make them stronger. Be someone to lean on.
We learn so many things about Damien in this story. His history is not pretty. It’s brutal and makes you wonder how anyone could survive that and turn out partially normal. Nikki learns that she’s really quite strong. Where she thought she was weak, was actually strength. Damien brings that out in her.
One of the greatest things about this book is Damien. He’s a master with words. He could build an erotic scene and ratchet the tension up using only his words. He didn’t have to  lay a hand on Nikki to get her (and me) all hot and bothered. His words were enough. I could imagine his voice. Like smooth whiskey going down. Mmmmm………
HOT HOT HOT!!
Another great aspect of this story is how their relationship continued. It was refreshing to see a couple continue to learn and explore each other without breaking up and running from each other at every turn. When there were problems, they got mad, argued, gave each other space and moved on. It was nice to see a couple deal with issues instead of running at the first sign of problems.
Now, my big problem….Ollie. That man needs to get a reality check. He’s trying to protect Nikki, but he’s doing it all wrong. He’s going about it in the wrong way. He loves her. We get that. But Nikkie will never love him the way he loves her. Not only that, he’s just continuing to drive a wedge between him and Nikki. It’s actually quite sad to watch.
We’re left with a bit of a cliffhanger. There are some problems that Damien must face. I can’t tell you what they are, as that would give away the big secret. But let me just say, it’s no small matter.  We’re left with some unresolved issues for Damien, but luckily Nikki is the perfect woman for Damien and she makes sure he knows it!
Now, we just need the third installment and we’re good.  Bring it on J. Kenner! I’m ready!
Find them on GoodReads!


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Jerk of My Dreams #11

Jerk. Asshole. Douchenozzle. Admit it- you hate to love the jerks. That alpha male character who is so arrogant and rude but sexy as hell. That foul mouthed douche bag of a man who rocks your traitorous heart. We’ve all read them and we’ve all liked them to some extent. In real life you wouldn’t touch the man with a ten foot pole. But in the fictional world? Nothing can stand in the way! Everyone would be lying to themselves if they didn’t admit that the meaner the man, the further we run… Towards them! *sigh* 

That’s what this weekly meme is about- those jerky delicious men! Each Friday this meme will go up, and you can share your jerk anyway you want: review, interview, lines and quotes, giveaway of a book. However you want! All you have to do is sign up HERE and follow the linky. Any time you comment on someones post, leave your link so that person can comment back.
 
 
 

Holy.
Freaking.
Crap.

That ending…

There are no words.

My mind has literally been blown. This book seriously surpassed all of my expectations… And more. I don’t plan on spoiling anything about this book in my review so I’m not going to go into much detail when it comes to the plot- So to make a long story short, I’ll just tell you this: This is a story about Ellie Watt… Errr… Well, whoever she’s calling herself on whatever particular day it happens to be. Anyhow, she’s not your average heroine. She’s a liar. A con artist. A cheater. A thief. …Heck, if it involves anything illegal then she’s your girl. Now I’m not one to typically love the stand-offish in-your-face types when it comes to my heroines, but Ellie is one bad-ass chick that I couldn’t help but love. She’s extremely guarded and hostile but after learning about her horrific past that affected nearly every aspect of her life, I just couldn’t help but warm up to her because I learned to accept that she really just doesn’t know how to be any other way. She’s wronged, hurt, and disappointed a lot of people in her life but it just went to show that she wasn’t perfect and I absolutely loved that about her. Her imperfections was what made her seem so real and it was something that I really appreciated about her character.

Now, down the road and after years of being on the run she decides to look for a legitimate job and really try to get her life back on the right track… That is until she bumps into Camden McQueen: Ex Goth, the most tormented boy in high school, and former friend… That is until she eventually wronged him too and lost any chance of ever having that friendship again. However, luck was on her side the day she ran into him- Turns out, Camden went from “freak” (by society’s standards) to sexy tattooed God and he’s willing to give his friendship with Ellie a second chance… Only he’s not the same person she once thought she knew. This man had his own personal grudges and is a firm believer in revenge. He doesn’t easily forgive and forget… A little fact that Ellie didn’t happen to be clued in on…

Camden… Where do I even begin? I just have so many mixed feelings about him- I started this trilogy with On Every Street which could be a big reason why all of my thoughts kept turning towards Javier- Ellie’s first love… And first heartbreak. …But what can I say? I love my jerk heroes. It just seemed as if anytime I would start to grow stronger feelings for Camden, we would be thrown back in time and the story would start reminiscing about his high school days- It was just extremely hard to picture his character as attractive when the only man that came to mind was a Gothic drag queen with big ears.

…Am I being a bit harsh? Probably. But I’m nothing but honest in my reviews and while Camden may have grown on me, I was still never quite sold on him by the end of the novel. Perhaps I’m just being a bit biased about my feelings for Camden since I was already going into this story with stronger feelings for another character. I really and truly was hoping that I’d end up falling just as hard for Camden as I did for Javier… Truly, I did. But Javier has a certain charm and charisma about him that takes bad boy and naughty to a whole other level…

And let’s face it: I love me some naughty bad boys…  

After reading this book, you just can’t help but feel like your emotions are all over the place which could explain why this review is a super tough one for me to write. This story was full of scams, car chases, run-ins with the Mafia, kidnapping, murder… My God, you name it and this book had it in spades.

Karina Halle is seriously the God of all authors out there- The woman not only has a gift for writing but can create one hell of an unpredictable, compelling and edgy world that I just couldn’t get enough of. It’s such a refreshing change from most romances out there these days because the story-line and everything involved is just so uniquely its own. This isn’t your average romance novel by any means… It’s way more. I’ll admit, I was a bit hesitant about starting it because it really didn’t sound like something that I would typically jump on the band wagon to read- But what I thought would end up being a book completely out of my league, ended up turning into a story that I can officially call perfection.

★ Oh, and for the record: This book ends on a major cliff-hanger.

★ Oh and also: The next installment to this trilogy isn’t out yet for at least another month…




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BLog Tour & Giveaway: Bayou Heat

New Year. New World. New Species.

LEGEND OF THE PANTERA
Hidden in the depths of the Louisiana bayous, the Pantera, have become little more than a legend to most humans. It’s rumored that in the ancient past twin sisters, born of magic, had created a sacred land and claimed it as their own. From that land was born creatures who were neither human or animal, but a mixture of the two. Faster and stronger than humans, they have hyper acute senses, and when surrounded by the magic of the Wildlands they’re capable of shifting into pumas. It was also whispered that they possess other gifts. Telepathy, witchcraft, immortality, and the ability to produce a musk that could enthrall mere mortals.

Mothers warned young girls never to roam alone near the swamps, convinced that they would be snatched by the Pantera, while young men were trained to avoid hunting anywhere near the protected Wildlands. Not that the warnings were always successful. What girl didn’t dream of being seduced by a gorgeous, mysterious stranger? And what young man didn’t want to try his skill against the most lethal predators?

As the years passed, however, the sightings of the Pantera became so rare that the rumors faded to myths. Most believed the entire species had become extinct. Sadly they weren’t entirely mistaken…

Book #1 and #2 in the Bayou Heat Series

The brilliant and dangerous diplomat of the Pantera shapeshifters, Raphael has devoted his life to discovering the key to the infertility that is threatening the extinction of his puma race. Creating a vast network of spies worldwide, he never expected to discover that the answer might be beneath his very nose. But when Ashe, a beautiful human female, crosses his path, his most primitive instincts are stirred.

Unable to resist, he takes her to his bed, and is shocked when she becomes pregnant with his child. It’s a miracle that might prove to be the salvation of his people, but only if he can keep her safe from the mercenaries determined to kill her.

Untamed and undeniably sexy, Parish, leader of the Pantera hunters, rarely leaves the magic of the Wildlands to deal with the humans he despises. But with the prized and risky Pantera birth on the way, puma shifter, Parish must travel to New Orleans to find and bring back a human doctor. The moment he sees the lovely, talented and all too human Dr. Julia Cabot he cannot resist the wild, potent drive to make her his. Betrayed and destroyed by love, Julia will not let her heart choose her path again. But as she and Parish fight to save the life of an unborn child, a fierce and overwhelming bond develops between them, threatening her frozen heart with the secret hope and ultimate temptation of love and family.


Bayou Heat Series, #3 and #4

Available now for Only $0.99
Amazon / B&N / Kobo
 

The fight continues in the Wildlands. Facing extinction, the Pantera have been given a miracle. A child. The first one in over fifty years. But even as they prepare to celebrate, the enemy strikes, putting at risk the fragile female who carries the hope of their people.

BAYON
Charming, drop-dead gorgeous Hunter Bayon is thirsting for revenge on the enemies who slipped into the Wildlands and attacked Ashe and her vulnerable child. Pledging to track down the cowards, Bayon goes on the hunt, pursuing the humans to a nearby town. But searching their shabby hideaway, he makes a discovery that shocks him to his very soul and might very well destroy the heart of the Pantera.

JEAN-BAPTISTE
Tattooed and pierced, sexy Nurturer Jean-Baptiste has been living in utter isolation. His cat is out of control, and the only thing that soothes the beast is a rare mineral he keeps inking into his skin. Until he meets her: Genevieve Burel. The beautiful and buttoned-up female puma is unlike anyone he’s ever met. She makes his cat purr, and he knows he must possess her, mate with her. But the secret she’s keeping might threaten not only their unbridled passion for one another, but the very future of the Pantera race.

 BIO:
About Laura Wright: 

Author of the Bestselling Mark of the Vampire series, Laura Wright spent the early years of her life immersed in the worlds of singing, acting and competitive ballroom dancing. But when she started writing, she knew she’d found her true calling. Laura lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, two children, three dogs, two frogs and two fish. She’s been thrice nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, and loves hearing from her readers.

Connect with Laura:

  

About Alexandra:

Alexandra Ivy is the New York Times bestselling author of the Guardians of Eternity series, the Immortal Rogues series and the Sentinels.

Alexandra graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons.

Connect with Alexandra:

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Midnight Sacrifice by Melinda Leigh


When two hikers disappear, their hometown in Maine blames the blinding storms. But the truth is far more sinister. Unaware of the danger, tabloid photographer Jayne Sullivan follows an anonymous tip to find the most reclusive sculptor in the art world. Instead, she finds sexy handyman Reed Kimball—and a small town full of fatal secrets.
Five years ago, Reed buried his homicide detective career along with his wife. But when a hiker is found dead, the local police chief asks Reed for help. Why was a Celtic coin found under the body? And where is the second hiker? Avoiding the media, Reed doesn’t need a murder, a missing person, or a nosey photographer. Then Jayne is attacked, and her courage is his undoing. Reed must risk everything to protect her and find a cunning killer.

One by one, people are mysteriously disappearing from a small Maine town.
Four months ago, a ruthless murderer killed two people and kidnapped three more, including Danny Sullivan’s sister, who barely escaped. Unfortunately so did the killer, vanishing without a trace into the vast wilderness. When the police fail to find his sister’s captor, Danny returns to Maine to hunt him down.
He begins his search with another survivor, bed and breakfast owner Mandy Brown, but her refusal to cooperate raises Danny’s suspicions. What is the beautiful innkeeper hiding?
Mandy Brown has a secret. But sexy Danny Sullivan, his relentless questions, and the desire that simmers between them threaten to expose the truth. A revelation that puts her family in danger. As more people disappear, it becomes clear the killer is planning another ritual…and that he’s circling in on Mandy.

BIO:
Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. A life-long lover of books, she started writing when her youngest child entered first grade as a way to preserve her sanity. in 2007, she joined Romance Writers of America, learned a few things about writing a book, and decided the process was way more fun than analyzing financial statements. It was time to get serious about making her hobby a career. She began submitting her work in 2008. In 2009 she signed with an agent, who sold Melinda’s debut romantic suspense novel, SHE CAN RUN, in 2010 to Montlake Romance.

SHE CAN RUN released in November 2011 and became the #1 Bestseller in Kindle Romantic Suspense. SHE CAN RUN has been nominated for a 2012 Thriller Award for Best First Novel.


Melinda is also an avid martial artist. She holds a 2nd degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, studies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and teaches women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband, two teenagers, a couple of dogs and one neurotic cat with an inexplicable fear of ceiling fans. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination

To find out more about Melinda and her books you can connect with her online:

 

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Review: True Love Story by Willow Aster

God, so much happened in this book that I can’t even begin to put it all into words even if I tried- For starters, This book was okay. It wasn’t great… It wasn’t horrible… It was just… Okay. Once again, I got caught up in all of the amazingly high ratings and reviews and decided to give this one a try in the hopes of feeling the same way. …And while I still enjoyed the book, it just wasn’t captivating or memorable enough for me. There were times when I was entertained and even a few times here and there when I was engrossed in the angst, but over-all I just can’t say that this book was really worth the read.

The characters were just… Ehhh. I honestly can’t name a single basis for Sparrow and Ian’s relationship other than the fact that they’re both amaaaazinglyyy good-looking and only had eyes for each other because of this fact. Apparently being extremely attractive is all you really need to fall in love these days. The hero Ian was supposed to be this gorgeous musician with bad-boy tendencies and commitment issues, but he didn’t come across that way to me at all. First of all, he was way too nice…

I just couldn’t take it. His consistent overly cheesy compliments had me rolling my eyes on more than one occasion and it grated on my nerves… A lot. It was like he knew of nothing else to say on a 24/7 basis, aside from overly dramatic praise and appreciation for the heroine’s looks- It got old fast. Not to mention, it was borderline creepy. All of that aside though, Ian was always good to Sparrow… Until he wasn’t.  




Forgive my language. His character tends to bring out the worst in me- Let’s rephrase to something nicer, shall we?

There. That’s better.

…What started off as a relationship that held promise, eventually turned into one that was full of doubts… Of course that was to be expected since a long distance relationship isn’t always the easiest… But Ian turned difficult into impossible. I won’t go into details here, because I like to avoid all spoilers in my reviews… But I don’t think I ever one hundred percent forgave Ian for what he did. I get it… People make mistakes all the time, and I’m not unforgiving of that. However, it’s just really hard for me to understand how someone can claim to love another so deeply, yet deceive that love by doing something so incredibly deceitful. To say my heart was broken at one point in this story would have been an understatement- Did I eventually truly feel like Ian was sorry for what he had done? Yes. …But at the same time I also couldn’t help but feel that he was only trying to appease his own guilt by doing what he did to try and win Sparrows forgiveness. Bombarding someone with flowers and showering them with love letters and songs doesn’t rectify the situation or make it right. I do think that Ian really and truly did love Sparrow…But I don’t think he loved her enough otherwise he wouldn’t have hurt her the way that he did… And therein lays my biggest issue with Ian. By the end of the novel, I couldn’t help but look at him and his love for Sparrow in a completely different light… And quite frankly, it all just became a big disappointment for me in this book. As for the heroine Sparrow… All I can say is she’s a much stronger woman in her relationship with Ian than I ever would have been. I will say this though: She didn’t let him off easy after he broke her heart and I completely and one hundred percent commend her for that.

Without a doubt, this story was extremely realistic. People find themselves in similar situations and relationships like Ian and Sparrows on a daily basis, and I can’t imagine how it would be easy for any person involved. For me however, the characters were just such a contradiction to the story- From the very beginning you could just feel the love these two had for one another. Reading page after page of how they interacted and felt about one another made it seem like they both had similar feelings… It was as if nothing or no one could ever get in between their love for one another, which is why what happened in this story to cause such a rift and heartache in their relationship made absolutely no sense to me- I honestly felt no connection and had no understanding as to how a person can love someone on such a strong and emotional level , yet take the risk (numerous times) of throwing it all away on something that was never even important in the first place- I just didn’t get it.

I’ll go ahead and give credit where credit is due here and say that this story definitely touches on forgiveness and second chances. …I was honestly happy to read about a happily-ever-after for these two characters; Lord knows after the relationship that they had been through that it was well deserved. I may not have been able to forget what had happened and what was done… But I was able to eventually forgive. People mess up… We all make mistakes and sometimes it’s those certain mistakes that shape and make us into the person that we are today. Some people aren’t ever able to move past being wronged or hurt… Others may never be able to forgive themselves for the pain that they’ve caused someone else. …And then there are some out there who are able to over-come certain situations and become an even better and stronger person in the long run; The same could go for relationships. Without a doubt, this story takes you on a long journey filled with heartache and pain… But through all of the good and the bad, this book can teach you that time can certainly heal many wounds and through forgiveness and second chances, it’s always possible to reach that forever desired true love story.


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