Release Blitz: Brave By Natalie Gayle

A moment in time, that’s all it took. Beauty, pain and tragedy.

Xander “Pretty Boy” Todd was a demon in the ring. A professional MMA fighter with a career that had the world a buzz—but now it’s gone. Or is it?

Eden Sommers had her dreams of an international modelling career within her grasp—and lost it. Gone within a few seconds, leaving nothing but pain.

How do you go on, when the one thing that defines you is suddenly ripped away—only to leave scars and a hollow shell in its place? Has the beauty gone forever? Or has it just retreated—to now be hidden, and dormant; guarded by the inner demons?

Can these two wounded souls find the inner strength to fight back the demons together and find the beauty in their lives once again?

To do this, they must first accept—The hardest demons to defeat are the ones inside. They’ll have to be BRAVE.

I was first introduced to this author when I reviewed her previous series for a different tour and really liked the books so when I saw that she had a new series out I was excited to check it out.  Especially when I read the blurb I wanted to read it even more so I jumped and signed on as soon as I could to read and review Brave.  Let me tell you, I was expecting it to be emotional, angsty and possible a little on the darker side.  What I didn’t expect was to be sucked in from the start and be completely unable to do anything but read until I reached the very end.

This book was proof that beauty can come from pain and that even the worst of out demons can be battled when you are with someone who heals you.  I quickly fell in love with Xander, my heart broke for Eden, I cried tears of sadness, anger, loss and finally love.  Be prepared Brave will pull your emotions from your body on more than one occasion.  This is the first book of the series and I will anxiously await the next.  

If I could give Brave more than five stars I would. It deserves so many more than that. It has become my number one book of 2015 and one that will stay with me for a very long time to come.”   Angela—Books and Friendz Blog


“This book has a lot of heart and so many emotional moments!! I totally fell for Xander, I mean how can you not?? Great great book, you’d be crazy not to one click this!!!”  Melissa—Apha Book Club

“This book contains it all! There are swoon-worthy moments, witty moments, steamy moments, and tearful moments that all come together to make this one fabulous read.” Paige Smith—Hooked on Books Blog


Links to Buy


AMAZON US / UK

Book Trailer
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Excerpt


Fear struck through me. I hated the conversation directed to me, particularly when there were strangers involved. I could have cursed Tori. She knew better than to put me on the spot like this. I could just see her smirking face across the table from underneath my lashes as my throat started to constrict.

“You’re more than welcome to come along and watch. I encourage people to come along and see for themselves what it’s all about.” Oh, there was that voice again.

I was torn. I didn’t want to look up. I didn’t want to see the embarrassment and the man with the beautiful voice looking uncomfortable when he realised what my face looked like.

Surely there was a limit to the torture?

Manners, fear, self-consciousness all warred within me.

The silence around me was deafening. I could tell they were all waiting. I could feel three sets of eyes on me watching and wondering if I was actually going to respond. Finally I took a deep breath. What did it matter if he rejected me? It had happened before, and it would happen again. I could do this. It would hurt, but I was no stranger to pain, both physical and emotional.

Very slowly I raised my chin and turned just slightly towards him. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t because my throat was closed in fear and uncertainty.

The first thing I noticed was the dark jeans that hung on narrow hips, then a white T-shirt that emphasised his flat belly and defined pecs. Bravely, I raised my eyes a little higher and the pecs ran into a set of wide shoulders. There was a hint of a tattoo peeking out from under one of his short sleeves. It only made his bicep look more delicious and enticing.

I took one final harsh intake of air and allowed my eyes to complete their journey. They travelled up and up the column of his corded neck to his wide angular jaw.

His full lips were slightly turned up in what looked like a half smile or was it amusement? I could only image how it would look once the shock registered when he saw my face.

Above those lips, that looked far too sensual for any man, was a long straight nose with a hint of a flare to the nostrils. The knot in my stomach tightened even further as I finally tilted my head back far enough so my eyes could meet his.

Every muscle in my body was tensed waiting for the shock, horror and embarrassment I was about to see, once my scars registered with his brain. It was an involuntary reaction I realised. Nobody could hide it, no matter how hard they tried. It was just the shock and surprise. I don’t blame them for their reactions, it just hurt that was all.

I raised my eyelids that final few millimetres and forced my eyes to focus on his. Right then and there the world stopped spinning for me. Time halted. My sisters faded into the background and I looked into the eyes of one of the most compelling people I had ever seen. Oh, he was handsome, but he was so much more.

But that was not what had me struck dumb—nope that wasn’t it.

It was his eyes—those bottomless pools of black onyx. I did a mental double take. For eyes so dark they should have appeared cold and icy.

But they didn’t—they weren’t cold at all. They were warm and rich. Right then was the first time I could recall in the last five years, a stranger looking at me with warmth in their eyes. Not shock, not pity, not embarrassment. It was warmth.

The shock paralysed me. I didn’t know what to do or how to act. My brain was shorting out. Nothing made sense. Somewhere in the back of my mind I registered my leg being kicked under the table, but even that didn’t break through my connection with those eyes. I wanted to swim in them, wrap myself in their warmth and burrow down tight.

I have no idea how much time passed.

Finally, he thrust his hand forward to me and without conscious thought, I placed my hand in his to shake. What happened next shocked me even more.

He lent across the table and pulled me into a loose hug and brushed his lips against my left cheek.

My brain was fried and my nerves were all misfiring. Nothing made sense. I was so far out of my comfort zone.

He pulled back slowly and gave me a smile that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Then he spoke and his words seemed to swirl around me in a caress.

“Hi Eden. I’m Xander Todd.” Suddenly, I realised I had no box to categorise him into.

Author Bio

A confessed readaholic and romantic junkie, Natalie spends her time juggling a busy career as an IT professional and author. In between staring at a computer screen (she spends lot time doing that!) Natalie, enjoys living the Gold Coast life with her very tolerant husband and two school aged children.

She loves spending time with family and friends, hitting the beach, cooking, working out and curling up with a good book. Her pet hates are cleaning and anything else that can be considered “domestic dullness”. If she could have one wish it would be to be able to fit 48 hours into 24.

Natalie is the author of the Centre Games Series. A fast paced, romantic suspense series set on the Gold Coast, Australia. The series tells the stories of the Centre, a quasi government agency established to fight environmental, biological and agricultural threats. The Centre Games books are filled with hot alpha males and the feisty independent females strong enough to capture their hearts. Natalie’s books pack lots of action, hot romance and surprises.

Natalie is currently working on her fifth instalment for the Centre Games Series and a brand new series for 2015. Look out for her new release BRAVE, coming very soon and a couple of surprise projects.

Author Links

Giveaway

Release Blitz: Fighting For Forever By JB Salsbury

Slut. Hooker. Whore. 

The taunts never bothered me. They only see what I allow them to see, and a Las Vegas stripper is the perfect cover.

My life had direction. I had a mission—until the man I needed vanished and is presumed dead.

It’s time to move on—give up the dream for revenge—and no one shows me that more than the mop-headed fighter with eyes the color of the ocean.

If anyone can teach me just how sweet life can be, it’s him. But first, I’d have to let go.

Mase. Baywatch. Mayhem.

I’m known by many names, but there’s only one that stirs panic and worry in my gut every time I’m called it.

Brother.

I’ve bailed him out of trouble for years, so when he turns up in Vegas and asks for me, I’m prepared for the worst. And the worst is exactly what I get in the form of a lilac-eyed beauty named Trix.

She’s everything I hate about Vegas: a stripper, loose with her body and her morals. But there’s something about her, a complexity that she buries deep, and I’m determined to uncover it.

The deeper I go, the less I understand. When I finally learn the truth, we engage in a battle where life and death hang in the balance. Fighting could kill us both, but if we win, forever is the prize.

It’s no secret that I have loved the Fighting series and recently read all of the books in preparation for Fighting For Forever.  I wanted Mason’s story from the first time we meet him and to say that Rex now is not alone when it comes to my favorite fighter would be an understatement.  Both Rex and Mason share that title now, sorry guys I can’t choose just one of you!
Mason is the good guy, the one who always ends up hurt.  He really liked Eve and when she chose Cam it hurt big time, especially since he has to see both of them on an almost daily basis.  While Mason may be called Baywatch because of his surfer days, he does have a harder edge to him that no one in the UFL knows about.  So the few times he’s an asshole to a certain stripper it may seem like it doesn’t bother him, but it does.  Little did he know that stripper would turn his world upside down as well as his heart.
Trix is a stripper.  She isn’t ashamed of it, nor is she overly proud.  It is a means to an end, and a way to find out information about her sister’s murder.  She is on a mission to find out about who killed her sister, and nothing and no one will make her change that course she is on.  Trix may come across as just a stripper but she’s hard on the outside but has a soft spot to her inside, well that is once Mason chips it away.  Trix is a strong, sassy, and sometimes bitchy heroine; but she is also loyal to her family, takes care of those she cares about and wants Mason to be hers.
Like the previous books there is drama, some smoking hot sex, sexy fighters, and the women who bring them to their knees.  So what kept this from being a solid 5 star read for me?  Sadly it was Trix, but let me explain before you say “hey didn’t you say she was a strong heroine and you usually love those?”  Trix ended up getting on my nerves for the last 30% or so of the book.  She let her need for information hurt Mason and in the end was it even worth it?  Well that is for you to decide when you read the book, but for me I wish she would have done it differently.  Don’t let that keep you from reading Fighting For Forever because you will fall in love with Baywatch and want a surfer boy turned fighter for your own.

Links to Buy

AMAZON US / UK
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AMAZON US / UK
Author Bio

JB Salsbury, New York Times Bestselling author of the Fighting Series, lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day as a domestic engineer. But while she works through her daily chores, a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles claws away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.
 
Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to sink her free time into novel writing.
 
For more information on the series or just to say hello, visit JB on her website, Facebook, or Goodreads page.
Author Links

Giveaway

Blog Tour: Fighting To Start By S.L. Ziegler

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Reed “Riker” Collins is my story… The beginning, middle, and end.

Our love was intense, emotional, and raw, the kind that sticks with you forever. I thought we had it all, the thing that would make us last… Until we didn’t.

Reed promised me forever, and I believed him with everything in me. But it’s never that easy. Without a second thought, Reed left me to follow his own dream of becoming a professional fighter. Five years of going through life without him has left me only drifting through life, never truly living, leaving me more damaged than ever before. But then, Reed walks back into my life when I needed him the most. Will I be able to forget all the pain he caused? Will he be able to heal the emotional wounds his love had left me with?

Can I fight to start? Or will I end up forfeiting it all just to make it go away?

Holy shit.  Those two words may not be the most descriptive or the most professional but sometimes the words “Holy Shit” can describe a million feelings, thoughts, or emotions in just those two little words.  I was not expecting everything I felt, thought, or cried about when I started Fighting To Start, I didn’t expect half of what I would feel let alone be at a loss for words trying to describe it beyond the two words I began this review with but I honestly am not sure what to say.  And that ending? Well another swear word comes to mind and I think you can guess which one I mean, I’ll give you a hint it starts with the letter “F”.  Normally I would just straight up type it but considering I am trying to be better at the whole swearing thing I am giving it a shot.
Be prepared to have to set your kindle or book down and just cry.  Have tissues and wine (or whatever alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink of your choosing) ready because you will need them.  Be prepared to scream and possibly want to hunt the author down after you reach the end to demand the next book.  Be prepared to have your emotions be shredded.  Be prepared to fall in love with Reed, I know I sure as hell did.
All I can say is that I need the next book sooner rather than later because I have questions that I must have the answers to.  Plus I want more of Reed and Hadley.  
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Teaser 1
Excerpt

Chapter 1

Hadley

“Reed. Really, baby? Twice didn’t help you at all, did it?” I poke him in the ribs, trying to get off the bed. He grabs me by the waist and pulls me into him, running kisses up my shoulder to my neck. Goose bumps cover my skin at the feel of his lips on me. “What fun is it to stop now? You are just too damn sexy for your own good and I can’t get enough. And I know if I keep going”—Reed glides his hand to my shoulder, moves my hair off my neck, and kisses me lightly behind my ear, sending chills through my body—“I will get you to forget about going to see that dumbass movie with your mom and come watch my fight.” Without warning, I’m flipped onto my back, Reed hovering over me. I stare into his breathtaking hazel eyes, about to wrap my arms around him, when his phone chimes with a text message, interrupting us. Reed growls against my temple, “Cock blocker,” and kisses me one last time before getting up to look at his phone. I can’t help but admire him as I push up onto my elbows. Reed looks like such a bad boy—defined muscles, colorful tattoos over his chest, arms, back, and down to his thighs, shaved head. He has it all in one nice six-foot-two-inch delicious package. And it’s all mine. I could stare at him all day, but I didn’t have the time. I had the rest of my life to appreciate his physique, so I roll off the bed and pick up his boxers off the floor, throwing them at his chest with a smirk. He quickly grabs my arms, pulling me into him with a smile of his own. I knew what that grin meant. Lifting myself to my tiptoes, I give him a chaste kiss and whisper against his lips, “I love you.” “Me too, babe.” I walk away with a smile on my lips after he slaps my ass. I shake my naked hips a little, teasing him some more, and then hear his deep laugh as I walk the rest of the way to our closet. I grab the first thing that catches my eye. A few minutes later, I come out dressed in my favorite pair of True Religion jeans, a plain fitted black shirt, and my black Chucks. Reed is sitting on the edge of the bed, hunched over as he puts on his work boots. He must hear me approach, because his eyes lock with mine, awakening the butterflies in my stomach. Around Reed, I always have the fluttering in my belly, no matter how long we’ve been together. And I have no doubt in my mind how he feels about me. Whenever he looks at me, his eyes tell me everything I’d ever need to know. I have always seen the love Reed has for me, for us—even at the beginning when he’d tried his hardest to fight his feelings for me, I always knew it was there. Now, two years later, Reed never hides it—not from me or from anyone else. My hair could be greasy, unwashed for days, I could be drenched with sweat from our runs, or have yesterday’s makeup smudged beneath my eyes, and he’d still look at me like I’m the only one in the room. It’s the same way I look at him. We fell recklessly and wildly in love with each other. It wasn’t normal or the falling-off-a-cliff type. It wasn’t running through a field of daisies, either. No, it was like jumping headfirst out of an airplane without a parachute, running through a burning building—the kind of love that feeds on one another, that takes hold of every inch of your soul, takes away every breath and leaves you feeling as if you’re just now experiencing life. The kind of love that only gives you two options: if it works out, you’ll have lived with more love than most. You’ll be lucky enough to see everything for the better because that person is your better. But if it doesn’t work out, you are so utterly broken that you’re left beyond repair. Reed Collins is my once in a lifetime, the one people wait for, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m in deep—some say too deep. And just maybe they are right. Because now, I feel a changing in the air between us and I’m beyond scared shitless of what the next step with us is. Fights and underlying tension that never used to be there has put our once blissful relationship on unsteady and uncharted ground, and I don’t know how to handle it or what to do to make it better. But I will do everything in my power to keep it from falling away. I graduate in a couple of months with my nursing degree, and Reed is at the make-it or break-it point in his fighting career, causing us to walk this tightrope into the next chapter of our lives. I can only hope that as a couple, we are steady enough for everything the real world will be hurling at us soon. The restlessness billows around him like a plume of smoke after an explosion, and I can see it by simply looking at him. It’s as if Reed has the weight of the world on his shoulders. My feet carry me to him and I straddle his legs, wrap him in my arms, and rest my head on his shoulder, feeling the tension literally loosen. Reed, my boyfriend, and “Riker,” the fighter are two totally different people and I knew that the moment I saw him walk into the cage for the first time. The Reed I know is only shown to me—he’s sweet, caring, loving, and will protect me with everything he has. But “Riker” is all alpha, all the time. He sees one solution to any problem—fighting. The nickname “Riker” came from one of his many underground fights he used to do for money. Some old guy said he hadn’t seen someone fight like that since he left Rikers Island. The Riker part stuck and fits that side of him to a T. I learned a long time ago that you couldn’t love one without loving the other, and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Reed has been busting his ass, training three times a day, six days a week, for the last four years to make a name for himself in Ohio and the surrounding states, but that’s not enough for him—Reed wants total domination. After all the time we have been together and all the fights I have seen him prepare for, I know today’s fight is different because he is different. He’s always hyped before a fight—it’s natural for him—but lately, he’s been on edge and I can’t figure out why. Riker seems to be showing up more and my loving boyfriend only comes out when I drag it out of him. It’s causing me to worry that something is happening, something he’s hiding. And whatever that something is, it’s big. “Reed, what’s up with you lately? What aren’t you telling me?” I plead quietly as my lips graze his ear. He holds a lot in. He’s been the strong, silent type for the two years we have been together, and it’s like pulling teeth to get any kind of information from him. I learned early on to just accept what he offers because each piece he gives knocks down a layer and shows me who he truly is. Reed only shakes his head, silently dismissing my question. Not wanting to push him any further into silence, I attempt to get up, but he holds on to me tighter. Knowing his touch is my downfall, he’s using it to stop me. “I know you promised your mom you will go to the movies, babe, but you rarely miss one of my fights, and with these…” He trails off and turns his head toward our nightstand where a framed picture of us sits. “What is it, Reed?” I press for more, needing him to open up to me. “I just want you there. That’s all. Plus, you know you’re my good-luck charm, Hads. I get all caveman with you there and can’t help but prove my manhood to my woman.” Reed jokes—it’s his way of telling me the conversation is dead. His lips meet the middle of my forehead and rest there. I know if I keep pressing him, it will start yet another argument and he doesn’t need that before his fight tonight. So I give up yet again, pushing my need to know deep down in order to comfort him. “Baby, I really wish I could, but you know my mom and I always go to the opening day of the movies to the books we read. She had this planned before the movie was even made and I can’t disappoint her. Not to mention, Riker Collins will undoubtedly kick this guy’s butt whether I’m there or not. And I won’t say it again. I’m not your good-luck charm. That red hat I gave you is. That’s your juju, not me. Courtney and I will meet you and Lance at the bar after, so you can tell me all about how you conquered this fight. We’ll have our celebratory drinks, get drunk off our asses, and you’ll forget all about how I wasn’t there. I’ll make you a promise though, and you know I never break one of those”—I wink teasingly at him—“this will be the last time I ever miss a fight of yours. I’ll be by your side so much that you will get sick of me and beg me not to be with you.” I wrap my pinky around his and lift our intertwined fingers to my mouth, laying a soft kiss on his. With great force, I pull his arms and lead him to his feet. “Come on, we’ve got to get downstairs before my mom uses her damn key again.” As soon as my foot hits the bottom step, my mother comes barging through the front door. My mom and boundaries don’t mix—not even close. I don’t think she will ever understand that I live with my boyfriend and, sometimes, privacy is needed. It’s a good thing that my parents spread out their time between Columbus and Atlanta, because I have a feeling she would be here all the time if not. “Mom, we gave you a key for emergencies only. That doesn’t mean you can use it instead of knocking every time you come here.” Reed, being so used to my mom barging in, just shrugs it off. He leans in and whispers in my ear, “Look at the positive side, babe, at least you got her to stop coming over without notice.” He then goes to my mom and gives her a hug and a quick kiss on the check “Hey, Mrs. Thomas, how are you doing? I hope you ladies have fun tonight. I know how you two love those young sparkling vampires,” he says sarcastically.   My mother, Julie Thomas, is naturally gorgeous. She’s fifty-six years old but doesn’t look a day over forty without any help from cosmetic doctors. At five-four, she has a body that looks like she spends hours in the gym, even though she’s never stepped foot in one. She just has a naturally shaped and toned body—to everyone’s envy, but mostly mine. Her brown hair is shiny and always perfectly in place, and it complements her soft blue eyes well. As if that wasn’t enough to be jealous of, she also wears a natural glow all year around, never needing to waste time on getting a tan. It’s a real travesty that I’m adopted and didn’t get those amazing Thomas genes. My dad, William—a highly successful and powerful man—and my mom have been married for over the thirty-five years, which has given her plenty of time to channel her perfect trophy-wife look. I swear, she even sleeps in her makeup, Chanel, and flawlessly styled hair. She grew up with nothing, and always tells of how she was never able to play dress up. Apparently, she’s only making up for the lost time, although I think she’s spent more time making up for it than she actually spent without it. Her appearance is slightly deceiving, because she is the most humble person I know. My parents’ story is one for the books, they were high school sweethearts, and both came from the same rough neighborhood in Columbus. My father wanted more out of life and decided to join the Army straight after high school, marrying my mom right before he shipped off to basic. He got my mom pregnant with my brother Mark within the first couple months of their marriage. Six years after that, my brother Matt was born, and that’s when my father left the Army. He started a business in security with his best friend, Joe, using the small inheritance he had received from my grandfather. Within ten years, they had built it into a multi-million dollar company. Now, they have their hand in everything and have been on the Forbes list of highest earners for the last ten years. Even with all that, my father still brings my mom breakfast in bed every Saturday and cherishes her like his own queen. I hated it growing up, but now, I just look forward to having what they do one day with Reed. They adopted me when I was a baby—Mark was sixteen and Matt was ten. With the huge age difference, I’m not really close to them, but neither has ever made me feel anything less than loved. Mark has always been more of a background brother, only showing up if I needed something, while Matt is the fun one—poor guy…I was the annoying sister that followed him around like a lost puppy half his teenage life. I learned early on that if I needed help with my homework, Mark was the one to go to, but if I needed to get away with anything, Matt was my guy. Those boys never made me feel anything other than a Thomas.   “Reed, I told you to call me Julie about a thousand times. And thank you, I know I will have fun. It is my darling Hadley who won’t, though. I know she will be thinking about you the whole time—and that thing you call work…fighting or whatever it is. She won’t even care about who is on the screen or that she is with me.” My mom can’t fathom how Reed would want to try to make a living in the cage, but she’s never tried to understand it, either. My parents want his head in something that has a sure-future, but a sure-future career isn’t Reed. His life was unfocused and going nowhere before he found his love for boxing at twelve years old. He wrestled all through high school and had a ton of scholarship options, but he turned them all down to take up mixed martial arts instead. With his back ground in wrestling and boxing, he was a natural at it. Reed has since developed into an impressive fighter through the help of his best friend, Logan, and his coach/trainer, Kenny. He makes ends meet now by doing underground fighting and taking side security jobs through my family’s business. But mostly, he just trains, trying to make it in a sport that would rather see you fail than make it. But if they accept you into the sport that ninety-seven percent of people fail at, and you become that meager three percent, it’s paramount. But my parents don’t feel that it’s enough. They think it’s dangerous and nothing more than a hobby. “Mom, let’s not go over how you hate what Reed does again. I’m going to go walk him out,” I say and then follow Reed out to his motorcycle before she has time to reply. Reed reaches his bike and leans on it, reaching for my hand to guide me into him. His eyes capture mine as he speaks. “Hadley, you know you’re mine, and everything I’m fucking doing is for us so I’ll be the one to support us in the long run. Please don’t forget that.” How can I when it feels like he’s talking to my soul? “No matter what, you will make it, baby. Even if you don’t believe it, I’ll have the faith in you, for the both of us. I’ll be by your side every step of the way. I could live in a nasty box under a bridge as long as I had you with me.” Putting my hands up to his stubbly cheeks, I remind him, “It’s just like that song on that oldie country station. We are two sparrows in a hurricane, baby, only need some love and a whole lot of faith.” He shakes his head at me, giving me a heart-stopping smile that shows off his slightly crooked teeth. “I always knew you were a huge ass dork, but that shit you just said takes the cake, babe.” “Yep, I know. That’s why you love me.” “Damn right, woman, and it doesn’t hurt that you have great tits.” Reed turns his hat backward as he bends down, kissing my lips, and like always, it deepens, allowing our passion for each other to take over. After what seems like hours, I push off him. “Go, Reed. Call me when you are done. Court and I will meet you guys at Flats. Make sure you have my vodka soda waiting for me.” He smiles, and lands one last peck on my lips before I take a step back. “Sure thing, babe, and this time, I may actually remember the limes. Maybe, if you’re a good girl, when we get back, I’ll take advantage of you a couple more times and after that and you can make the bruises I’ll get better,” he says smugly as his leg swings over his bike. “Remember, actions speak loader than words, so you better just show me.” Reed laughs. He snaps his helmet and sunglasses on, and then the roar of his bike sounds around me like thunder. I blow him a kiss and stand there, waiting till he speeds off until I can’t see his taillight anymore. And just like that, I feel like the biggest part of my heart is missing.

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Review: Combative By Jay McLean

We all play victims to our pasts; to the choices we make and the lives we create.

They define who we are.

And sometimes if we’re lucky enough, the past stays where it belongs: in the past.

I’m not one of the lucky ones.

I never have been.

Because now the past is knocking on my door, offering deals I have no choice but to take… deals that will help bring justice—not just for me, but for my brothers.

The problem?

The deal is a ticking time bomb.

One I didn’t know existed.

Tick.

Tock.

I am sitting here confused and wondering what in the ever loving hell did I just read.  I went into reading Combative thinking it would be one thing and ending it knowing it is something totally different and I am confused, kind of questioning did I really just read what I just read, and a doing a lot of cursing.  Yes I read the synopsis, obviously.  I think I am having a hard time because there are a whole lot of questions that I didn’t even come close to finding answers to, secrets, lies, and maybe a little pissy over the whole Ky having PTSD from serving in Afghanistan but nothing being followed up.
I have had a 50/50 love/hate thing going with this author, some of her books I really have liked and some I have put down never to finish again.  Combative is surprisingly somewhere in between for me.  I did like it, believe it or not with how this review is going so far, but I did.  I think I connected with Ky almost immediately, there is just something about him that calls out to you and makes you want to protect him and just show him love.  Madison however, does not draw those same feelings out from me.  I started out giving her the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe she was sick and didn’t want to burden Ky, but the more secrets she kept, the more evasive change of subjects happening more frequently, and the fact that you just knew she was lying about something.  Unless she really redeems herself in the next book I doubt I will ever end up liking her character.

The secondary characters made the story more enjoyable as well especially when I got so confused about what was going on that I kept reading for them.  I want to get more of Jax and a certain Dr.’s history, I want to know more about Christine, I want more information on Jax and I want to know why Tiny seems to be more bark than he is bite.  I have been left with more questions than I have answers and while sometimes that can be a good thing, in this instance I am angry that we have to wait to find out what is the truth.  Will that stop me from reading the next book? No it won’t because I need those answers and the only way to get them is to read the next book when it comes out.  So why I didn’t love Combative, I am intrigued enough that I will be looking forward to the next book, I just hope it releases sooner rather than later.

Blog Tour: Burn By Allie Juliette Mousseau

Liam Knight, a sexy panty-melting, hard-bodied streetfighter and renowned tattoo artist, is rising up the ranks of the UFC Middleweight Division, but he’s about to get knocked out by his past.

Quinn Kelley is a semester away from becoming a college graduate when her mother’s death sends her spiraling, forcing her to go back to her hometown and a past she can’t outrun.

Nearly a decade ago, Liam and Quinn fell in love while surviving on the city streets together, but they were torn apart by one irreversible night. Now each has moved forward without the other, but like a tattoo on the heart, absolute love creates a lasting burn.

Quinn has kept a tight rein on her emotions, but with the passing of her mother, the foundation she’s built begins to crack. Will seeing Liam again crumble her fortress to the ground, uncovering the flame that still burns? Or will it extinguish the fire forever?

Liam’s tough exterior and resentful demeanor hides more than a wounded heart. He’s tormented by guilt over what happened to Quinn—and the secret he kept, even from her. But revealing his secrets would require unearthing the all-consuming monster he keeps caged in the darkest part of his soul, the one that threatens to devour him.

When they’re given a second chance, will they let go of their fear and pride and let the flame between them become one? 

Or will the heat burn them both?
There is something about the way this author gets you emotionally involved with her characters from the start that makes you just want to take them into your arms and take away all the pain and abuse they have ever felt.  I thought I had loved the previous book, Dare, but Burn has blown it away.  Please make sure that you have read Dare before reading Burn, not only will you have a better understanding of the connection the characters share, but how they became brothers of ink and steel.  I am going to warn you, this book deals with abuse and rape, it also deals with healing, love and the family you make not the one you are born into.
Liam and Quinn share a relationship that is special, they are each other’s other half.  They protect each other, heal each other, and their story was one that should have never been dealt even more pain and suffering.  I cried more than one time at the circumstances they were in, the hell both of them lived through, and the heartbreak literally shatter something inside of me.  It is hard to describe the connection they share, all I can say is that while it may have been built on a painful past, it is something beautiful.
Allie Juliette Mousseau has written another book that is more than a survivor of abuse and rape, a fighter or a tattoo artist, but she has written a book that proves that family does not have to be only through dna, but it can be anyone who would ever have your back, help you heal from hell and show you what heaven can be like when you have people around who will fight to protect you and love you no matter what your past may have been.  I really hope that the next book is released soon because I want to see how she is going to top Burn, which in my opinion is going to be damn hard to do.
One more hour before Josh shows up.
Maybe he’ll get distracted with Sophie and Charlie—his beautiful new family. Then he can call and apologize for missing it, and I can say, Better luck next time.
Damn I hope that happens.
I shade with snow-white opaque, platinum and charcoal and finish off the edges.
I’m actually thankful to Quinn for walking in on me this morning—I could’ve fucked up my hands bad and would’ve had to cancel this session—and doing this is the best therapy I could give myself.
“I think you’re done, man. Why don’t you go take a look?” I tell him.
He slides off the chair and goes up close to the full mirrored wall. “Holy Fuck! It’s incredible!”
“Happy you like it.” I smile and begin cleaning my area.
“Man, it’s a fucking masterpiece.”
“Thanks.”
“Aren’t you afraid if you continue fighting in the MMA, you could hurt your hand so bad you wouldn’t be able to tat anymore?” he asks.
Wow! That statement hits too close to home.
“I don’t mean nothing by it—you’re a hell of a fighter—could become a world titleholder,” he continues. “But you’ve got an amazing talent right here.”
“Thanks.” It’s just another subject and another question I don’t have an answer for.
After he leaves and my station is all cleaned up, I walk out into the waiting room.
“He was a happy customer,” Adrienne chirps.
Adrienne has been working for me since I opened the place. She and her longtime girlfriend live in the apartment above the shop. They’re great people.
“Josh just called. He’s on his way,” she says.
“Great,” I mutter and then look around at what I’ve built: black walls with red trim and black and red checkered flooring with a Persian area rug welcoming clients to sit on the black leather sofas. My artwork hangs on the walls … they’re good, but these pieces aren’t parts of my soul. Those are colors I’ve only ever let one person see. After her, I pulled the dark shades down over those windows.
“Want to talk about it?” Ade shakes me from my daze.
“No thanks. I definitely do not want to talk about it.”
“Are you going to talk to her about it?”
When I look over at her, she has her arms folded across her chest defiantly. Her spaghetti strapped dress shows off her colorful, flowered arm sleeves.
“You’re going to get on my case too?” I accuse.
“Well, you know there are no secrets here.” When she tilts her head to challenge me, the light reflects off her silver chin post. “I think fate is giving you a lucky draw from the deck, and you need to play your cards right. You’ve been pining after her for as long as I’ve known you.”
“Ade—” I begin.
“I’m not finished speaking. This is do or die, Jack—where you find out if she still has a thing for you or not. Maybe then you can get on or move on.”
“Jesus Christ, I hate all of this free advice!” I sweep my fingers through my hair.
“Free advice just means you have a family that cares about you,” she quips.
At that moment, the buzzer rings, announcing someone has opened the door behind me.
Shit.
“Welcome to The House of Ink and Steel,” Josh announces. 
“Hi there!” Adrienne coos with the biggest smile. “You must be Quinn. I’m so excited to meet you.”
“Thanks.” She sounds unsure and distrustful.
“This is Adrienne, she’s been working here for forever,” Josh says.
“Oh yeah! Since Liam opened the place.”
“It’s impressive, Liam.”
When Quinn says my name, I feel as if I could melt.
“Would you like the tour?” Josh asks her when I don’t answer fast enough.
“I’d love it,” Quinn says. “You know, I’ve watched you on Ink Master.”
She’s still talking to me.
“Really? You watch that show?” I finally turn to face her.
“Well, only when you’ve been a guest judge. Guess I’m partial to your work as an artist.” She bites her lip and her gaze drops to the floor.
It’s her shy look. Her I-want-to-hide look.
“Come on, I’ll show you the alcoves.” Josh takes her arm in his. “Talon and Ryder do quite a lot more work around here than he does.” 
As he leads her through the place Adrienne comes close and whispers in my ear, “It’s going to be alright, Liam. The universe has a way of working things through when it’s the right time.”
“At least one of us believes that.”
“Don’t be so cynical,” she scolds. “You just got handed a second chance.”
Before I can shoot her a dirty look, Josh and Quinn come back through the lobby. “Let’s get some lunch,” Josh says. “I’m famished.”
I give Adrienne a kiss on her cheek. Even though she’s just frustrated the living hell out of me, I know she cares.
We step out into the parking lot.
“I like the family SUV look you’ve got going on here,” I razz Josh, who used to drive a sleek Gillette Vertigo around. He still has it, but now he also owns a souped-up (with all the safety features) Chevy Tahoe. It has a pink flowered car seat in the back, which I’m sitting next to, along with the toys I had to push over to make room for my ass. A purple sippy cup sits in the drink holder next to Josh.
“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” he admits with a shit-eating grin.
“I’d love to meet your family.” Quinn smiles over at him from the passenger seat.
“I can make that happen,” he tells her.
Soon, though, Josh drives the scenic route around Lake Calhoun.
“Look!” He indicates the colorful snow kites gliding over the frozen lake. Before anyone protests, he pulls into the recreation area’s parking lot.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen those,” Quinn says. “It looks like a kaleidoscope.”
“Good thing we’re all dressed warmly. Let’s get a closer look.” Josh turns off the engine. “I could use the fresh air too.”
This is turning into more than lunch. Before I lose my cool, I try to get back into the state of mind I had when I was tatting the guy’s arm.
“Sounds good,” Quinn says, and that solidifies it.
We all walk out to the lake’s edge. There’s so much going on here, even in the middle of February, and it reminds me why I love this city. Vendors are serving hot cocoa and warm, freshly baked pretzels; kids are running around in full snow gear, and of course, there are the snow kites. A snow kite looks a lot like a windsurfer, only it’s built to stand and sail on ice. The colors remind me of a hot air balloon festival, when hundreds take to the skies.
“There must be close to fifty of them,” I say.
“Have you ever tried it?” Quinn asks, and I realize she’s talking directly to me.
“No. I’d fall flat on my ass.” I smile.
“Yeah, and break it, then I’d be the one carrying you home.” Josh laughs.
“Asshole.” I shove him lightly. “You know, Connor’s into it. Has his own kite and everything. He’s good at it.”
 Josh asks Quinn, “So, where are you living these days?”
“Georgia. I’ve been there the past few years.”
“Do you like it?” he prods.
“It’s hot and humid in the summertime, but the winters aren’t so bad.” She shrugs. “I sort of like the storms that blow through.”
She didn’t really answer his question.
“It’s really cool you two became such close friends.” She stares off dreamily at the kites.
“Yeah, I put up with him,” Josh quips and shoves my shoulder. “You two entertain each other for a second, I need to use the loo.”
I’m going to kill the fucker. I have no idea what to say! And obviously neither does she, as we both just stand there, painfully uncomfortable.
“Adrienne seems sweet,” Quinn finally says.
“Yeah, she’s cool.”
“How long have the two of you known each other?”
“Since I opened shop six years ago.” I watch a novice kiter fall on his ass. I know how you feel, buddy, I think.
“Six years is a long time,” she says.
“I guess.” I just shrug my shoulders. I’m now plotting the ways I’m going to kill Josh. “You never did finish telling Josh if you liked living in Georgia.”
“The people are really nice. I love the southern hospitality and big smiles. The people make you feel really welcome.” She continues, “I’ve made some great friends.”
“But?” I say, while I crane my neck towards the bathrooms.
“But …?”
“It’s an easy question, do you like living in Georgia?” It comes out more rough-edged than I intend it to. 
“Yes, I do,” she snaps back at me.
Perfect, I’ve made her angry.
Trying to save this conversation, which is already a train wreck, I try, “I’d miss the winter too much, I think, to live down south.”
“I miss the winter, the smell in the air and the prickly feel of the cold on your face,” she says, then slowly states. “I’ve been thinking for a while now about … maybe … moving back up into this area.”
It’s a big city, but not big enough. “Would your boyfriend go for that?” FUCK! Way to be subtle. And I don’t even want her to answer that! “You know, Josh is taking a long fucking time. I’m going to walk by the bathroom and see what’s taking him so long.”
I walk away fast, hoping she’ll forget that I asked her anything. Now I’m getting pissed off because I’m acting like a fucking teenager!
“Wait, I’ll go with you,” she says, catching up.
Without paying her much mind, I throw open the door of the men’s bathroom and walk inside, calling Josh’s name. When I get no answer, I come back out.
“Did you see him?” I ask.
“No.” She looks at me like I’m nuts. “Maybe he had to go to the car to get something.”
We walk together out into the parking lot, until we’re standing in the empty space Josh’s SUV had been parked in.
“Okay … that’s weird. You know, I’ll just call him.” She fumbles through her coat pockets. “He may have gotten a call from … Sophie … my phone isn’t here. Oh, shit! I just remembered, Josh asked if he could borrow my cell phone when his battery died. He must not have given it back to me.”
“I’ve got mine.” I feel my jacket’s inner lining and find only a piece of paper.
Sorry, Liam. Josh made me do itAdrienne
I close my eyes as the reality of what Josh just pulled off becomes completely clear.
“That asshole!” I look around the lot, hoping it isn’t what I think.
“What is it?”
“He drove us out here, left us on purpose, and stranded us further by confiscating our fucking phones!” I’m fuming.
How the fuck could he do that to me? What the fuck would make him think this was a good idea?
I hear a soft giggle beside me. I peer over to see Quinn trying to stifle her laughter behind her mitten-covered hand.
“It isn’t funny!” I state. “It’s a five mile hike back to my place.”
That doesn’t stop her. Her response grows from a giggle to an all-out laughing fit.
“He didn’t even fucking feed us!” I growl.
But her eyes still sparkle when she laughs, and it sounds so good and beautiful I can’t help but get sucked into it.
“You think it’s funny?” I reluctantly smile at her.
She nods with tears in her eyes.
I have to hand it to him, this is definitely one way to force us together.
Allie Juliette Mousseau is a USA Today Bestselling author.
She can always be found writing, playing in puddles with her children, hiking with her husband, or adventuring somewhere in the world. Her favorite place to write on warm days is outdoors, but when the weather gets too cold, she’ll be inside at her desk inspired by the mountain view from her home office in Montana where she lives with her loving husband, children, and golden retriever. She loves to travel and lived for three years in her RV with her family while visiting the national parks and forests of the U.S. and a couple Canadian provinces. She is excited to add all of Canada and Alaska in the near future!

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Review: Fighting For Flight By JB Salsbury

What happens when in order to win, you’re forced to lose?

The only daughter of an infamous Las Vegas pimp, Raven Morretti grew up an outsider. Liberated from the neglectful home of her prostitute mother, she finds solace as a mechanic. With few friends, she’s content with the simple life. Flying under the radar is all she knows, and more than she expects.

Until she catches the eye of local celebrity, UFL playboy Jonah Slade. 

Weeks away from his title fight, Jonah is determined to stay focused on everything he’s trained so hard to achieve. Undefeated in the octagon, he’s at the height of his career. But resisting Raven’s effortless allure and uncomplicated nature is a fight he can’t win. 

Jonah trades in his bad-boy reputation and puts his heart on the line. But when her father contacts her, setting in motion the ugly truth of her destiny, Jonah must choose. In a high-stakes gamble where love and freedom hang in the balance, a war is waged where the price of losing is a fate worse than death.

Will the hotheaded Jonah be able to restrain his inner fighter to save the woman he loves? 

Or will Raven be forced into a life she’s been desperate to avoid?
For me there is something about a bad boy who has a reputation as a man whore who gets TKO’ed by a woman and is willing to change his ways but own up to the fact that this woman not only owns his heart but his soul as well.  Add in that he is willing to do whatever it takes to protect his woman, even at the cost of something for himself and doesn’t even blink at the thought and that right their ladies and gentlemen makes me love him even more. 
Jonah was exactly as I just described him, a bad boy whose reputation was well known.  He is an MMA fighter, an alpha, a man whore and gets knocked on his ass, figuratively of course, when he meets Raven.  He wants her, okay that may be a slight understatement, he is drawn to her like a moth to a flame and can’t help it. 
Raven is a mechanic and has not had a good life.  Her mother has never loved her, and when she learns who her father is after years of just wishing for him to be a father and love her, to say she is heartbroken is putting it lightly.  She was as drawn to Jonah as he was to her and loves that she is able to work with him to restore his car.  They continue to get closer and closer and when they finally are together holy hell I thought my kindle would catch fire. 
Together Raven and Jonah are stronger and when something happens that risks their relationship I was on the edge of my seat to see what would play out.  Did you honestly think I was just going to tell you?  Come on now you know better than that so read the book. 😉 

I think any fan of MMA books will love this series.  Fighting For Flight is the first book in the Fighting series and you get to meet the other fighters and let me just say these guys are all alpha men who will make you want to drop your panties in a heartbeat and will have you fighting for their attention.

Review: Taking Chances By Molly McAdams

Her first year away is turning out to be nearly perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

Eighteen-year-old Harper has grown up under the thumb of her career marine father. Ready to live life her own way and to experience things she’s only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father’s unit, she’s on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family, and emotions. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with both her new boyfriend, Brandon, and her roommate’s brother, Chase. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both men adore Harper and would do anything for her, including taking a step back if it would mean she’d be happy.


Normally I wait until after the tears have stopped flowing before I write a review, it kind of helps with the whole seeing the screen thing but I am almost compelled to do this right now.  I just previously read another of Molly McAdams’ series when my self-proclaimed book bestie Gabrielle (although she really is) almost bullied me into reading Taking Chances saying that this will shred me but I have to read it.  So I gave in pretty quickly and said okay let’s see what all the fuss is about.  I wish I could share my text messages that I sent her during my reading of Taking Chances, but I will spare you my sometime curse word creative bitching while at the same time couldn’t put it down messages about my feelings while reading.
We have Harper, Chase and Brandon in a love triangle that has your emotions on high alert from almost the start.  Chase is this asshole who can get under Harper’s skin like no other but she is falling in love with the bad boy while she is in a relationship with Brandon, the good guy who even though I tried to hate him because I was team Chase from the get go I just couldn’t.  (Bite me Gabrielle I know when you read this you will say some smart ass comment.)  We watch both relationships begin and end because of feelings that can’t be denied aren’t and hearts are broken.  I am warning you right here and now you will need boxes (yes boxes damn it) of tissues because something happens that not only makes you violently throw your kindle one minute but has you so broken down the next that you have to re-read what you just read to make sure it actually says what it does.  Hell here come the tears again just thinking about it. 
Now, am I conflicted about events that happen later in the book?  Yes I am.  Did it make me hate the book?  No it didn’t and do you know why?  Because it still made me feel all those heart wrenching feelings I had felt from the start, but just for another reason this time.  I want to read Stealing Harper right now to get Chase’s POV but I am waiting because I am so emotionally distraught and drained from Taking Chances that I need to go into it with fresh emotions. 

I want to say thank you Gabrielle for making me read this book and I still love you despite what I said to you in my texts when my emotions were so high from what I was reading.  I also want to say that Molly McAdams, damn women you know how to totally destroy your readers and have the talented ability to make us feel so many different emotions that we just don’t know how to turn off those emotions when we are finished with the book.

Blog Tour: Fighting Silence By: AlyMartinez

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it’s the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to? 

I’ve always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn’t a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting for my career.

Fighting the impending silence.

Fighting for her.

Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

I think that’s the sound I’ll miss the most.

Every once in a while there will be a book that not just makes you feel what the author is trying to portray but something deep inside will be awakened, and for me this happened with Fighting Silence.  It may have to do with the fact that one of my best friends is deaf and has been that way since I have known her, or maybe it was the fact that this book was so much more than just another fighter novel.  Whatever it was exactly I may never be able to put into words but what I can say is that it was one of the best reads of this year so far for me.
When we first meet Eliza and Till they were thirteen years old and you can tell from the beginning that they will be something special, not just to each other but individually as well.  Together they took care of each other and already started to become a family even if at the time neither knew it.  Both have loved each other for years, even if they never acknowledged it.
Till is losing his hearing, and one day he will go deaf, but while that doesn’t hold him back in most everything it does when it comes to Eliza.  It melted my heart the way he never wanted to lose the fantasy in his mind, and the way he was with her was so sweet.  He just really was a good guy and he deserved to be happy.  Eliza has loved Till since before he knew she existed, she wants him to be with her but she knows she needs to put her foot down and I was proud of her for that even though it hurt her to do so.

There is so much more to this book than Till’s disorder or his fighting.  There is friendship, sacrifice, family, protection, and last but not least there is the beauty of the love that is shared.  I have never read a book by this author before but I can guarantee that is going to change after reading this.  I want the next book so bad because I have a feeling it will be just as beautiful as Fighting Silence was.




Excerpt:
“That wasn’t yours to take away,” he exploded into the otherwise silent night. His words echoed off the surrounding buildings, each wave slicing me to the quick all over again. “That was our place. Not yours.” His voice cracked right alongside my heart.

“Yeah, well, there was a lot of stuff that wasn’t yours to take either.” I held his gaze, desperately trying to be strong, but as his eyes grew wide, I whimpered.

His long legs strode forward, stopping only inches away from me. He was crowding me, but he still leaned in closer to my face. “There is nothing in this world that was ever more mine than you,” he stated. Though it was the absolute truth, I wished with all my heart that it were a lie.

“Till,” I cried, swiping the tears from my eyes.

“Why!” he shouted, causing his muscles to tense under the force. “Goddamn it! I needed that place.”

Porch lights flashed on from the surrounding apartments, illuminating not only the dark but also my rage.

I shoved my hands into his chest. “What about what I needed? You left! I waited in that fucking apartment for weeks.”

He didn’t budge, but my bare feet slipped, sending me toward the ground. Impossibly fast, Till’s hand snaked out and caught my arm. I didn’t let his chivalrous gesture douse my fire. I had six months’ worth of words to say to the man I was irrevocably in love with.

“You took what you wanted. Then you left me.”

“Doodle,” he whispered.

I had been perilously close to the edge of insanity, and with one single word, he’d pushed me over.

I lost it completely.

Pounding my fists against his chest, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “It’s Eliza! My name is fucking Eliza! Not Doodle!” I spun to march away, but Till’s arms folded around me, lifting me off my feet to restrain me.

I was miniscule compared to him. There was no use in fighting, but I still kicked my legs, irrationally desperate to get away from him—but only because I knew I couldn’t keep him for forever.

“Stop it!” he growled into my ear. “I know your Goddamn name—probably better than I know my own.”

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

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Release Day Blitz: Where Darkness Lies By: Bella Jewel

Anger and pain brought them together, but their passion might just set them free.

Dimitri wants only one thing: revenge. His stepfather, Hendrix, has caused him nothing but pain and heartache. At last Dimitri can take something—someone—important to Hendrix and make him pay: Jess.

Jess is feisty and strong headed. Her past haunts her and connects her to the dangerously dark Dimitri in an unexpected way. Dimitri keeps his secrets locked deep inside, and Jess is drawn to this broken man like no one before.

With little to cling to besides their haunting pasts, both could have been doomed to lives spent raging against the darkness that holds them prisoner. Instead, it seems that as their pain draws them closer together, it is their desire that will set them free.

I was a huge fan of Enslaved By The Ocean but in my opinion Where Darkness Lies has blown it away.  You first meet Dimitri in Enslaved By The Ocean and you want to hate him but you know that he has suffered and he blames his step-father, Hendrix, revenge and rage has fueled him for years.  Dimitri thinks that Jess is the way to achieve his goal, little does he know that Jess will do so much more for him than he ever had planned.
Jess is a nurse on Dimitri’s ship but she has a damaged past, one that she believed ruined her from ever having true happiness.  When Dimitri kidnaps her she sure as hell doesn’t make things easy for him.  Slowly she starts to see beneath Dimitri’s hard exterior and sees that there is more to him than people see. 
I loved how both Dimitri and Jess interacted with each other, and that Jess didn’t cower from his intensity.  The relationship between them slowly moves from captor/captive to sort of friends and then so much more.  Neither person trusts easily, which is understandable but it is beautiful when these two begin to trust each other.  Is their relationship perfect?  Oh hell no!  Both make mistakes, Dimitri makes a massive one, one where even reading it the second time (cause yep I had to read it twice it really is that damn good) I wish I could have punched him in the balls.  I love how this book shows that even in the darkness, a light can break through and not just bring in the light but also bring healing and forgiveness. 

I am very curious as to who the next book in this series will be about.  I have stated before how much I love Bella Jewel’s books and my love has grown more with Where Darkness Lies.  Make sure you read Enslaved By The Ocean first and I promise you that you will love these pirates as much as I have.
4.5 Stars!
Links to Buy
AMAZON US / UK / AU
Also Available
AMAZON US / UK / AU
Author Bio


Bella Jewel is a self published, USA Today bestselling author. She’s been publishing since 2013. Her first release was a contemporary romance, Hell’s Knights which topped the charts upon release. Since that time, she has published over five novels, gaining a bestseller status on numerous platforms. She lives in North Queensland and is currently studying editing and proofreading to further expand her career. Bella has been writing since she was just shy of fifteen years old. In Summer 2013 she was offered an ebook deal through Montlake Romance for her bestselling modern day pirate series, Enslaved By The Ocean. She plans to expand her writing career, planning many new releases for the future.

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Blog Tour: Oceans Collide By: M.A. DeOlmos

Warning!
You will fall in love with this amazing trio. This book contains not one but TWO heart-warming, swoon worthy, and panty-melting book boyfriends. Go ahead. Lawrence & Ocean Hawthorne are anxiously waiting for you to sink your teeth into them…careful though…they just might bite back! 😉
For years, Livie Acosta has lived in a sheltered bubble, avoiding people, along with any aspect of life that requires one to show emotion. Not to mention her decision to stay close to her mother has her leaving the comfort of her own home nearly on a nightly basis to save her mother time and time again. It takes the sudden death of her mother to force Livie out into the world in search for a new purpose. Upon this forced quest she immediately meets one of two souls that are going to rock her world into a new dimension.

Lawrence Hawthorne knows pain, grief, and emotions period, all too well. Despite his carefree nature and easy going personality he also harbors some tough demons that immediately draw him to Livie. It doesn’t take long to recognize the deeply seeded pain that resides in her own soul and that leads Lawrence to call on his right hand man for help in protecting her. 

As soon as Ocean Hawthorne steps onto the scene, Livie’s world… the void world she’s known since forever changes in a way that threatens to expose her secret. The Hawthorne cousins, vow to protect her from her self-destructive qualities amidst the angst, pain, and trials they all individually go through. Desperately they hold onto each other for support and as love and passion blossom it threatens to destroy the weak foundation of solitude that Livie has strived so hard to achieve. Will the intrusion of two beautiful and tortured souls finally be enough to induce the strength Livie needs to fight her demons, or will their love and devotion finally push her far enough to make the deepest cut she’d ever been forced to make?

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Also Available
#2 Oceans Submerged

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#3 Hawthorne’s Calm

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Excerpt

“LIVIE!”
There he goes with the fucking name!
“Don’t call me that!” I screamed as I stormed out of his bedroom toward the living room.
As I turned the sharp corner to give him a rather large piece of my mind for calling me by my birth name, I tripped over my own feet and collided with a body.
Only this body wasn’t Law’s. I felt the distinction instantly. This massive rock hard frame sent chills through my entire body and had my womb vibrating in a way I had never experienced before. I’ve pleasured myself, but this was a thousand times more intense.
“Hey, slow down Zena.” The voice spoke to me and I swear I was about to have a massive orgasm right there.
The strangers’ strong and beautifully built arms came up as he steadied me with his hands on my shoulders. The current that was racing through my body jacked up a million fucking notches. Since my off the shoulder top was hanging dangerously low, the skin-to-skin contact was making me dizzy. I squeezed my knees together to fight for some form of control over my already moistened lady parts.
I looked up at the stranger who was also the same height as Law at about six foot two, maybe three. His tan was perfect defining his sharp jaw and facial features. His eyes were a warm milk chocolate brown that looked like they were rippling with deep sprinkles of green.
His lips, oh my god, his lips. He had those Tom Hardy lips that a girl just wanted to kiss, bite, suck, nip, and just do dirty things to.
The right side of his mouth turned up into a smirk and the leaky faucet between my thighs finally sprung a massive panty-drenching leak.
This gorgeous man standing in front of me looked like the best of Stephen Amell, Jon Ryan, Alex Pettyfer, and Tom Hardy all rolled up into one fucking dangerous beast.
His shoulders were wide and broad, certainly great for boxing. His torso reminded me of Law’s…long, lean, and well defined.
He had on a black, fitted tee that was stretching to the max over his sculpted muscles and his dark denim Abercrombie jeans were dangerously low showing off the tips of his boxer briefs.
“You okay, Zena?” The deep voice asked again.
Even his voice was too sexy to be legal. It sounded bad enough to be bottled up and sold as an illegal substance, deep and rumbled as he rolled the words off those juicy lips.
Shaking my head to clear away the spell that I had allowed myself to be pulled under, I looked up into his eyes.
“The names Livie not, Zena, and you are?” I didn’t mean to sound so bitchy, but no one in the history of my life had been able to bring out that strong of a reaction from me and my lady parts before. Virgin lady parts, at that!
“I know. I heard you yelling at Law for calling you Livie, so is there something I’m missing?” he asked me as he leaned forward, causing me to take an awkward step back.
What the hell?! I never backed down from anyone!
This sexy son of a bitch was pissing me off.
“I don’t care what you heard. To you, it’s Livie and to Law, it’s Sunshine! You don’t need to know why and I don’t care to share why. Don’t call me Zena again!”
“I see you two have met,” I heard Law say from the hallway.
The frown on his face and the way he was staring down this stranger put me at ease a little. He caught my gaze and winked at me. “Sunshine, this here arrogant douche bag is my cousin, Ocean Nathanial Hawthorne.”
Author Bio

My name is Melissa De Olmos, it’s quite a mouth-full but that’s me. I live in the sunny, tropical and extremely too tranquil city of Palm Bay, Florida with my two lovely crazies’ ages six and three. I could say that writing novels has been a passion that I’ve always pursued but I can’t. Writing for me has always been my own secret escape into a land of wonders, opportunities, timeless loves and so much trouble that I sometimes wonder if I need medication for the stories that pop into my head. I am in love–no– I am obsessed with everything mystical, fantasy, true to a reader’s heart, and fiction. It has been an enormous pleasure and indescribable experience sharing my Oceans Series with the world and I cannot wait to fill this world with more crazy for you awesome people to devour.
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Giveaway
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