If We Fly by Nina Lane ~ Sarah A’s Review

The past won’t let her go.

When Josie Mays returned to her hometown of Castille, Maine, she wanted to say goodbye to the past and start a new future. Then the “past” loomed up in the form of Cole Danforth, Josie’s former love who has now turned into a ruthless CEO out for revenge on the town that failed him.

Though Josie is convinced her ocean-loving boy still exists behind Cole’s toughened veneer, Cole is determined to shut her out. But not even this cold tycoon can resist the cherry-sweet, talented artist he once loved with his whole heart.

Just as Josie and Cole are starting to find their way back to each other, the tragedy that tore them apart years ago returns to threaten everything they are. And when Josie discovers the secret Cole has been keeping, his worst nightmare comes true.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

If We Fly was a sweet, intriguing conclusion to Nina Lane’s What if duet. It tied up all the loose ends from the first book and gave us an incredibly satisfying end to Josie and Cole’s story. It was a pretty short read and every moment of it was full of love, answers, healing, and hope for the future.

Nina Lane packed an emotional punch into If We Fly, in many ways. Some moments were so beautiful they made my heart skip a beat, and there were times when the revelations were so heartwrenching the pain Josie and Cole were experiencing was palpable. Ms. Lane did a remarkable job of conveying the range of feelings her characters were going through in this book and took her readers on that roller coaster right along with them.

I loved that Ms. Lane didn’t add a lot of added drama and suspense to If We Fly. There was already so much going on with Josie trying to recover her memory, the town’s perception and treatment of Cole, and the tenuous rekindling of the relationships in Josie’s life, anything else would have felt gratuitous and unnecessary. Focusing only on healing from the mistakes of their shared pasts made this story more poignant than it would have been if any other elements had been brought in.

If We Fly is the third book in Nina Lane’s What If duet. These books are one story written in three installments – If We Leap, the prequel novella telling the story of Josie and Cole’s relationship ten years ago – and must be read in order; If We Leap isn’t strictly necessary to the understanding of the second and third books but does add a level of understanding about the extent of their love and devotion to one another. If We Fly is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Josie and Cole.

What If duet PREQUEL

***  FREE  ***
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

NOW LIVE!! If We Fly by Nina Lane

The past won’t let her go.

When Josie Mays returned to her hometown of Castille, Maine, she wanted to say goodbye to the past and start a new future. Then the “past” loomed up in the form of Cole Danforth, Josie’s former love who has now turned into a ruthless CEO out for revenge on the town that failed him.

Though Josie is convinced her ocean-loving boy still exists behind Cole’s toughened veneer, Cole is determined to shut her out. But not even this cold tycoon can resist the cherry-sweet, talented artist he once loved with his whole heart.

Just as Josie and Cole are starting to find their way back to each other, the tragedy that tore them apart years ago returns to threaten everything they are. And when Josie discovers the secret Cole has been keeping, his worst nightmare comes true.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

While I’ll take Josie wherever I can get her, I’d rather be with her at the cottage than anywhere else. Reminds me of our cramped apartment where we were always bumping into each other and never had enough room.

As both a girl and an artist, Josie came with stuff. Hair bands. Fuzzy socks. Premium pastels. A thousand tubes of lip balm. I loved her stuff because I loved her. But I’d also been baffled by her inability to hang up a sweatshirt.

Her cottage isn’t any neater, which is just one reason I like it there. She doesn’t answer my knock. I unlock the door and let myself in.

She’s sprawled on the bed in the sunroom, her body moving with quick, shallow breaths indicating a restless sleep. One shapely legs rests over a pillow, and her T-shirt is pulled up far enough to reveal the curve of her ass encased in panties printed with purple butterflies.

Much as I love the sight of her, I dislike like her insomnia, the way she sleeps in fits and starts. Though I haven’t seen evidence of a nightmare, that doesn’t mean she’s not still having them. And going back to the accident site…

My chest tightens. I sit in a chair by the window and rub a hand over the back of my neck.

Two weeks. That’s it. Then she’s gone. After that…hell, you don’t have to think about after. You just need to make sure the truth stays locked down. That means keeping her away from Peterson and any reminders.

Or taking her away.

A roll of half-opened Lifesavers rests on the windowsill. Peeling it open, I find a red one and stick it in my mouth. Sugar and cherry spill over my tongue.

“You’re going to pay for that.” Her sleep-husky voice draws my attention.

She’s watching me, her arms around a pillow.

“I’ll share.” I push to my feet.

“You’d better.”

After crossing the room in three strides, I sink onto the bed beside her and lower my mouth to hers. Though I had every intention of talking to her first, her kiss fires me with heat. The tension in my chest loosens. I brush her silky hair back from her face and slide my hand over her cheek. Breathe in her strawberry smell. My unease slides away, overpowered by her soft sweetness.

She flicks her tongue into my mouth and over the cherry candy. After passing it to her, I lower her back onto the bed. My dick is already getting hard. I cup her breasts and rub my thumbs over her nipples, urging them to tighten. Josie sighs and shifts, hooking her legs around my thighs and wiggling her hips against me.

“You need to stop wearing jeans when you’re here.” She pushes me away and rises up to unbutton my jeans and shove them off. “Makes it hard for this spontaneous sex thing we’ve got going on.”

“I’m always hard for this spontaneous sex thing.” I shed my clothes before climbing on top of her again. Nuzzling my nose into her neck, I lick the hot hollow of her throat. I fucking love that tender little spot where her pulse beats so fast.

I inch my hand up her shirt, pulling it up far enough to expose her breasts, her pink nipples sticking straight up. The sight of her naked body jerks my cock into full hardness. Josie breathes out a moan and grasps my dick.

“God, Cole.” She shifts, urging me closer and parting her cherry-red lips. “Put it in my mouth.”

“Not this time.” With effort, I detach her hand from me and bend to kiss her breasts, pulling her nipple into my mouth. Her groan of satisfaction fires my lust hotter. I slide my hand between her thigh and into her pussy. Ah, fuck, my girl is already wet and primed, like she’s been waiting for me.

Moving lower on the bed, I push her thighs open. She rises to her elbows, her eyes widening. “Cole…”

When we first got together, it had taken her a long time to let me go down on her. No matter how aroused she was or how careful I was, she’d tense up and get self-conscious about being so exposed. But we’d both persisted, and I’d started with gentle licks of my tongue that soon had her panting and pumping her hips. And when she came…more than once, I’d been unable to hold back and ended up shooting my load all over the bedsheets.

That’s not happening this time.

What If duet PREQUEL

***  FREE  ***
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

If We Fall by Nina Lane ~ Sarah A’s Review

We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Gut. Punch.  I had prepared myself for an emotional hurricane when I started If We Fall, but I was unprepared for all the twists and turns Nina Lane took us through in this book.  Particularly when it ended, and I started to piece together all the little hints places throughout the story regarding the night that forever changed Josie and Cole’s lives.

After reading If We Leap, I couldn’t fathom what could have pulled Josie and Cole apart.  When I finally found out the ins and outs of their separation, I was devastated, and from what we’ve learned of their time apart it was evident neither of them fared well alone.  My heart ached for what Cole had sacrificed – and why – and for everything, Josie had lost in one fell swoop.  I’m still reeling from all the pain and heartbreak they’ve suffered, and I don’t know how my heart is going to hold up through If We Fly if its even half as emotionally draining as If We Fall was.

I am thrilled I had the opportunity to meet Cole and Josie first in If We Leap; the changes in them were so stark in If We Fall I’m not sure if I would have appreciated how much they’d changed without that first glimpse at them.  I loved them in both iterations and just want to see them find the pieces of themselves they’ve lost over the years.  Getting to see little glimpses of their former selves has lit a spark of hope for healing and wholeness for them.  Both Cole and Josie deserve love and happiness, and I can’t wait to see how Ms. Lane delivers the future they both deserve.

If We Fall is the first book in Nina Lane’s What If duet.  These books are not standalones, and the series should be read in its entirety for comprehension.  There is also a prequel If We Leap, that tells the story of Josie and Cole’s first chance at love and I highly suggest reading it before starting this series.  If We Fall is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Josie and Cole.

Nina Lane has only recently appeared on my radar, and I’m impressed.  Her work is profoundly emotional and pulls deeply on my heartstrings.  The stories she tells are fascinating and complex, her characters sympathetic and real.  With both of the books I’ve read by her, I’ve found myself thinking about the stories and characters for days after I finished reading.

What If duet PREQUEL

***  FREE  ***
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

The conclusion to the What If Duet

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES SEPTEMBER 13  ***
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

NEW RELEASE!! If We Fall by Nina Lane

We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

“Sir?” The security guard phones in from downstairs. “There’s a woman here insisting she needs to speak with you.”

“Name?”

“Josephine Mays.”

“Let her in.”

I turn off the intercom and unlock my office door. A few minutes pass before the door flies open. Josie barges in, her hands fisted and an angry light in her eyes.

“You are an asshole,” she snaps.

“I’ve been told.”

“How dare you pull that kind of stunt?”

“It’s the truth.”

“And we both know damned well you brought it up only because I’m involved.” She tosses her backpack and art portfolio onto a chair. She’s trembling with anger. “I don’t care what you think about me, but bringing the people of this town into our personal shit is low, even for you.”

My shoulders tense. “Even for me? What do you know about me?”

“Nothing anymore.” She slams her hands to her hips, her features twisting. “But I used to know everything about you. Do you remember that? Then you walked out on me right when I needed you the most, proving you were never the man I thought you were. Now I find out that you run this company like a dictator, you’re crushing independent businesses and putting people out of work, and you’re publicly trying to stop me from creating a mural that’s intended for both this town and my parents. What the hell happened to you?”

You happened to me.”

The words fly out of my mouth before I can stop them. The pencil I’m holding breaks in two with the force of my grip.

Josie steps back, her eyes widening. Her dark hair is windblown, her cheeks flushed, her chest heaving under her old army jacket. I’d once had the right to comb her hair back from her forehead, slide my palm over her neck before edging my fingers into her V-necked T-shirt…

Anger crushes my chest. I shove away from my desk and stride toward her. Fear flashes in her green eyes, which pisses me off even more. When the fuck was she ever afraid of me?

I grab the lapels of her jacket, yanking her closer. Our lower bodies collide. She gasps, a little catching noise in the back of her throat that used to get me hot in a second.

It still does. My blood starts to boil. She tilts her head back, her eyes flashing. I lower my head to look at her, fighting to ignore her scent—goddamned summer leaves and cherry candy.

“I once would have done anything for you.” The words grate roughly from my throat. “And then I failed you in the worst possible way. I failed you, I failed Teddy, and I failed your parents.”

She stares at me, her eyes widening. “Cole, I—”

“When you left, I hoped with everything I was that you’d have a chance at a normal life.” I pull her closer, anger warring with the undeniable flare of lust. “That you could be happy again if you weren’t constantly surrounded by reminders of everything you lost. Everything I took from you.”

“Goddamn you, Cole Danforth.” Fire flames over her expression. She plants her hands on my chest and shoves herself away. “The only thing you took from me was you.

What If duet PREQUEL

***  FREE  ***
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

The conclusion to the What If Duet

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES SEPTEMBER 13  ***
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

What If duet by Nina Lane ~ COVER REVEAL

We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES AUGUST 30  ***
**  If We Fall will be a LIVE RELEASE on AMAZON  **
iBooks

***  To receive “If We Leap” free on release day, sign up for Nina’s newsletter  ***
NEWSLETTER

The conclusion to the What If Duet

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES SEPTEMBER 13  ***
** If We Fly will be a LIVE RELEASE on AMAZON  **
iBooks

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

SUGAR RUSH series by Nina Lane ~ COVER REVEAL

SWEET DREAMS

He makes sweet the new sexy.

Sugar Rush Candy Company CEO Luke Stone is a devoted businessman who doesn’t do relationships. He does short-term affairs with clearly defined rules. But when a sexy bohemian sweetheart propositions him in a bar, Luke is tempted to want more.

Polly Lockhart is horrified when she wakes the morning after her twenty-fifth birthday to realize she made a fool of herself with a sinfully delicious man. She tells herself she doesn’t have time for romance anyway, as she’s fighting to keep her mother’s beloved bakery afloat. That all changes when Polly collides with her dream man again.

As she succumbs to their hot attraction, Polly soon realizes her bakery isn’t the only thing that needs saving. Luke, driven and unyielding, will burn out unless someone convinces him to taste the sweetness of life. But can Polly remember this sugar rush is only temporary?

WARNING! Contains chocolate eclairs, skinny dipping, hard candy, hammocks, hippie music festivals, and super hot tent sex.

SWEET DREAMS is a sexy contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling author Nina Lane. It can be read as a standalone or enjoyed as part of the Sugar Rush series.

***  FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME  ***
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

SWEET ESCAPE

She wants to leave. He has to stay.

Hannah Lockhart travels the world and blogs about love. At least she used to before she promised to look after her sister’s bakery. Now, stuck in small town California for the next six months, Hannah is desperate to find romantic content for her blog or risk losing both readers and income.

Then a whipped cream disaster sends her into the arms of sexy, charming Evan Stone, heir to the Sugar Rush Candy Company.

Since childhood, Evan has been battling his overprotective family. Known as “The Heartbreaker,” he’s found an outlet with women. And when bad news strikes him, he seeks a diversion by offering to show Hannah the romance of the Bay Area.

Hannah jumps at the chance…as long as they keep things platonic. But soon Evan’s hot combination of charm, perfect kisses, and a serious sweet tooth melts her defenses.

As Hannah and Evan surrender to their delicious attraction, they are forced toconfront the reality of her wanderlust and his responsibilities. When love and hearts collide, can Hannah and Evan find their sweet ending?

WARNING! Contains Sparkle Pops, knee-high socks, wanderlust, road trips, and wicked acts involving a chocolate mousse cake laced with Kahlua and ancho chilies.

SWEET ESCAPE is a sexy contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling author Nina Lane. It can be read as a standalone or enjoyed as part of the Sugar Rush series.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

SWEET SURRENDER

He’s an encyclopedia of sex. She’s ready to do some research.

Super-efficient Kate Darling needs lessons in love. As executive assistant to the CEO of the Sugar Rush Candy Company, Kate knows everything about organization and nothing about relationships. Then she literally falls into the arms of Tyler Stone, youngest Sugar Rush heir and notorious bad boy.

After a colossal screw-up involving a pretty girl and a stolen speedboat, Tyler is facing the punishment of an actual job. His father has sentenced him to organize the company library, which is Tyler’s definition of cruel and unusual punishment. But if he can convince industrious, resourceful Kate to help him, he’ll earn his release in no time.

Kate is no fool. Tyler is an encyclopedia of sex, and she’s ready to do some research. She’ll help him with the library – if he’ll teach her about the erotic side of romance.

Cataloging, alphabetizing, and metadata collide in a storm of lust, sweat, and dirty talkas Kate and Tyler get to work on both the library and each other. But when he starts falling for her, their hot affair will be one for the books.

WARNING! Contains kitchen sex, disco music, classic cars, pancakes at 2:00am, dirty movies, and bad puns.

SWEET SURRENDER is a sexy contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling author Nina Lane. It can be read as a standalone or enjoyed as part of the Sugar Rush series. 

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

SWEET TIME

A rock-hard bodyguard gets a sassy, sweet treat.

Stuck in a boring insurance job, vivacious Mia Donovan has spent the last few years searching for her life’s true path. She fills her time helping plan the wedding of her best friend to the CEO of the Sugar Rush Candy Company.

Mia has also been trying to attract the impossibly rigid Sugar Rush security chief Gavin Knight. But for well over a year, the unyielding Mr. Knight has ignored her, despite her short skirts, tight sweaters, and patently obvious flirting. And when he finally approaches her, it’s only to assess the wedding plans for potential security risks.

A former soldier, Gavin has intercepted hostile anonymous letters threatening the high-profile wedding. Determined to keep everyone safe, he’s forced to work with the maddeningly sexy Miss Donovan of the thousand-watt charm and irresistible body.

Irked by Gavin’s many months of disregard, Mia takes her teasing flirtations to a whole new level. But her coquettish ways are no match for the edgy, lust-fueled dominant he conceals behind his impassive exterior. And when Gavin exerts his full control, Mia discovers he can protect everything except her heart.

WARNING! Contains caramel coffee with rainbow sprinkles, fairy coloring books, Rodents Of Unusual Size, and a hot controlling hero who does dirty things with a whoopie pie.

SWEET TIME is a sexy contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling author Nina Lane. It can be read as a standalone or enjoyed as part of the Sugar Rush series.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

SWEET LIFE

He knows if she’s been bad or good.

Amidst the sugarplums andmistletoe, fashion stylist Julia Bennett is every inch a scrooge. Known for her ice-queen ways, she’s having a meltdown over a botched business deal and an upcoming milestone birthday. Add the pressure of forced holiday cheer, and she’s ready to dive into the spiked eggnog and not come out until summer.

Warren Stone, president and owner of the Sugar Rush Candy Company, is determined to make Julia slow down and enjoy the holidays. As her friend and confidante for thirteen years, he knows her better than anyone. But when decking the halls leads them to an explosive, sexy night, everything suddenly changes.

When Warren decides Julia is all he wants for Christmas, will she risk their longtime friendship for the gift of love?

WARNING! Contains Christmas peppermint martinis, Grinchiness, designer gowns, red stilettos, mountains, pickles, mistletoe sex, Rubik’s Cubes, mulled wine, and a hot silver fox.

SWEET LIFE is a sexy contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling author Nina Lane. It can be read as a standalone or enjoyed as part of the Sugar Rush series.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

The Secret Thief by Nina Lane ~ Sarah A’s Review

Behind his beautiful eyes
Lay a thousand secrets and lies.
But my own secrets are all laid bare
The twisted reality of a disgraceful affair.

I once deciphered the mysteries hidden in art
Then mistakes and desire tore me apart.

Now I’m shipwrecked at the end of the earth
Desperate again to prove my worth.

The lighthouse keeper is a stranger to me
Yet one night with him sets me free.

We find ourselves united by the stars above
Both of us needing the salvation of love.

Until our secrets and shame continue to build
And what was flourishing will soon be killed.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Oh. My. Gosh!  Why haven’t I read anything by Nina Lane before!?  Total misstep on my part, The Secret Thief was amazing.  I loved Flynn and Eve, and their backstories were everything.  I am on a total reader’s high after reading this book and finding another author to add to my must-read list.

The Secret Thief is a standalone novel.  As far as I could tell there is no crossover with any other novels or series, as there was very little interaction with other couples in this story.  The book is written in first-person perspective, narrated by Eve.

My hands-down favorite part of this book, save the relationship between Flynn and Eve, was how Ms. Lane wove fairytales throughout the novel.  They were such an important theme, both in the way they brought Flynn and Eve together and in how different parts of the story so closely mirrored a wide assortment of them.  I particularly appreciated how the author included the original legends rather than the watered-down Disney versions we’re so used to.

Flynn and Eve were so similar and so diametrically different.  Their secrets, both personal and stolen, made them each so intriguing.  Those same secrets made them uniquely suited to understand one another’s plights.  They had chemistry in spades, even before Eve knew him – or had really seen him – at all.  I could nearly feel the crackle of electricity sparking when she first saw Flynn in the lighthouse and again when they touched for the first time.  This was a great study in how to convey chemistry; it wasn’t about telling the reader how explosive they were together, it was in each tiny detail that caused an added layer of awareness between them until it all combusted.

The Secret Thief was a slow-burn in the beginning but so worth it.  There were so many layers, so many moving pieces to set up that it had intrigue in spades.  The climax is one of the few, including some suspense novels I’ve read recently, that truly surprised me.  I’m not sure, even knowing what happens now if I could pick up on any breadcrumbs to lead me to decipher exactly how the chips would land when they did.  I was wholly impressed by how well it was all laid out without ever giving anything away.

As I said earlier, this is the first book I’ve read by Nina Lane; I’d been aware of her for some time but hadn’t been compelled to read her work before now.  I regret that choice after reading The Secret Thief; the writing was en pointe, the plot rich and well-developed, and the characters multi-faceted and compelling.  I am rarely caught unaware by a plotline and the fact Ms. Lane was able to deliver on that front impressed me greatly.

The minute Flynn opens the workroom door, my whole body zings with excitement and anticipation. Even with his dark frown, the remoteness surrounding him like an aura, the clipped tone of his voice, I react to him as if he were stroking my hair and whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

Jeremy hadn’t come close to eliciting anything even close to this…which is exactly the reason I’ll go out with him again, if he asks me. Jeremy is solid, grounded, honest. Everything about Flynn is a mystery and a fantasy. I’d gotten caught up in a fantasy with David—whose “mystery” had been a lie—and I’d paid the price.

Never again.  

“How was your weekend?” I set my satchel and lunch bag on the desk.

“Fine. Yours?”

“Great.” I give him a once-over, looking for evidence of an encounter with a chick, but while he looks edible in his worn jeans and T-shirt, like a warm, rumpled bed I could nestle right into, his demeanor is as impassive as ever.

Does he ever smile? Every now and then I’ve caught a glimpse of amusement, a twitch of his mouth, but I’ve yet to see him fully smile.

“Any special instructions for today?” I turn on the laptop computer and open my notebook.

“Stay away from Jeremy King.”

Shock bolts down my spine. I jerk my head up to stare at him. He’s watching me with a narrowed gaze, his mouth set in a stern line.

“Um…what?” I can’t get another word out.

“Stay away from him,” Flynn repeats. “He’s not good for you.”

Irritation breaks past my shock. “How would you know who is or isn’t good for me? You’ve barely said twenty words to me the whole week I’ve been working here.”

“I don’t need to say anything to know the facts.” His tone hardens. “I don’t want you around him.”

“Well, you have no right to tell me that,” I retort. “How did you know I went on a date with him anyway?”

His jaw tightens. “You think people around here don’t take notice when their favorite son is out having dinner with the new girl in town?”

Christ. I experience a sudden longing for the cold anonymity of a big city.

“I know people are talking about me,” I snap. “But I refuse to let gossip dictate what I can and can’t do. And for your information, Jeremy knows about what happened to me, and it didn’t seem to bother him.”

“That’s not the point. You can’t work for me and see him.”

My shoulders tense. I focus on the computer, hitting the key to bring up the database software.

“My date with Jeremy has nothing to do with my work here,” I reply stiffly. “I didn’t, and won’t, tell him anything about the job or the fact that you’re my employer. You don’t need to worry about breach of contract.”

“This isn’t about the damned contract.” His voice is suddenly sharp.

He steps closer to me, his soapy, warm scent filling my nose. I hold my ground, not wanting him to see me weaken even though I’m melting inside at his nearness. Impassive though he is on the exterior, I can almost feel the energy coursing through him, his heavy strong heartbeat, the rush of his blood.

“I don’t want you around King,” he repeats.

“Does your animosity have something to do with him wanting to sell the lighthouse?”

“I’m not answering questions.” His gray eyes turn the color of metal. “I’m telling you to stay away from him.”

My pulse races. “You don’t have that right.”

“I’m your boss.”
“That doesn’t mean you can make that demand.” The words snap out of my mouth without thought. “And if you think you can threaten to fire me over this, then step back, mister, because I’ve been through the worst wrongful termination I can imagine. And even though my employer fucking won that battle, I still have plenty of fight left in me. I’ll put on my gloves and go another round with you, if I have to.”

Wow. Go, Eve.

I’m breathing fast, and my knees are quaking with sudden fear that he’ll make me prove my bold statement. I dig my fingernails into my palms. The air between us sparks with electricity. I force myself to hold my ground, to look directly at him and—

Admiration flashes in his eyes, like a silver comet streaking across the sky. His stern expression doesn’t change, but that brief glimpse of warmth eases the tension knotting my shoulders.

“I’m not going to fire you.” His voice is measured and controlled. “But I will not have you seeing King.”

“You don’t like him, so that means I have to stay away from him?” I ask. “Sorry, no. He’s one of the few people in this town who has been nice to me, and I enjoyed our date. I refuse to discount the possibility of Jeremy being my first real friend here.”
Flynn’s jaw clenches. “He wants to be more than your friend.”

“I know.” I put my hands on my hips and look him in the eye. “He even kissed me.”

Anger crashes over his features, and a vein throbs in his forehead. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was jealous.

But I do know better. He’s mad because I’m refusing to do something he wants me to do. Despite, or maybe because of, his isolated lifestyle, Flynn is clearly a man accustomed to getting what he wants.

“He kissed you.” The word grind out of his mouth like broken glass.

“Yes. And I kissed him back. Like our date, it was nice. Nice hasn’t been the norm in my life lately.”
“I could kiss you,” Flynn retorts, his hands fisting. “But it wouldn’t nice.”

“Oh yeah?” My heart kicks into gear, blood rushing through my veins. “What would it be, then?”

He pulls in a breath, his gaze settling on my mouth. “Hot.”

“Prove it.” Borne of my endless nighttime fantasies, the dare flies out of me without thought of the potential repercussions.

Before I can take another breath, he grabs my shoulders and pulls me against him. I freeze, stunned by the reality of a moment I’d imagined more times than I can count—the sensation of his body against mine. And God, he feels exactly the way I’d imagined, a solid wall of heat and muscle pulsing with life. Rock-hard arms that could wrap around me so tightly nothing would get past them.

He stares down at me, his steel-like gaze sparking with intent like iron striking stone. I can’t move, can’t breathe, can’t think.

Then his mouth crashes down on mine, an onslaught, a possession, a claiming. Hunger bursts through me, a desire so sharp and intense it destroys all my defenses in one fell swoop. I moan, everything inside me weakening and aching for more. He slides a hand to my lower back, fitting our bodies together. I yield everywhere, my curves softening against him, any thought of resistance dissolving in a haze of disbelief and craving.

I part my lips tentatively, let him inside. My head spins with the taste of him—something decadent and forbidden. Our tongues touch, breath mingling. Arousal floods me, swift and hard, as if all the fantasies in which I’ve indulged have primed me for this moment. I bring my hands up to his face, his stubble coarse against my palms, slide them down to the sides of his neck where his pulse throbs heavily. He’s like the sea—mysterious, unpredictable, powerful. I could get lost in him, drown, let him sweep me away to a distant land where no one knows who I am and what I’ve done.

He lifts his head, breaking our kiss and stepping away from me at the same time. Heavy breaths saw from his chest, and his eyes are darkened to black. I bring a shaking hand to my mouth, suddenly unsure if the kiss just happened or if I’m like Alice in Wonderland, spinning downward, lost in my intricate imagination.

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

NOW AVAILABLE!! The Secret Thief by Nina Lane

Behind his beautiful eyes
Lay a thousand secrets and lies.
But my own secrets are all laid bare
The twisted reality of a disgraceful affair.

I once deciphered the mysteries hidden in art
Then mistakes and desire tore me apart.

Now I’m shipwrecked at the end of the earth
Desperate again to prove my worth.

The lighthouse keeper is a stranger to me
Yet one night with him sets me free.

We find ourselves united by the stars above
Both of us needing the salvation of love.

Until our secrets and shame continue to build
And what was flourishing will soon be killed.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

The minute Flynn opens the workroom door, my whole body zings with excitement and anticipation. Even with his dark frown, the remoteness surrounding him like an aura, the clipped tone of his voice, I react to him as if he were stroking my hair and whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

Jeremy hadn’t come close to eliciting anything even close to this…which is exactly the reason I’ll go out with him again, if he asks me. Jeremy is solid, grounded, honest. Everything about Flynn is a mystery and a fantasy. I’d gotten caught up in a fantasy with David—whose “mystery” had been a lie—and I’d paid the price.

Never again.  

“How was your weekend?” I set my satchel and lunch bag on the desk.

“Fine. Yours?”

“Great.” I give him a once-over, looking for evidence of an encounter with a chick, but while he looks edible in his worn jeans and T-shirt, like a warm, rumpled bed I could nestle right into, his demeanor is as impassive as ever.

Does he ever smile? Every now and then I’ve caught a glimpse of amusement, a twitch of his mouth, but I’ve yet to see him fully smile.

“Any special instructions for today?” I turn on the laptop computer and open my notebook.

“Stay away from Jeremy King.”

Shock bolts down my spine. I jerk my head up to stare at him. He’s watching me with a narrowed gaze, his mouth set in a stern line.

“Um…what?” I can’t get another word out.

“Stay away from him,” Flynn repeats. “He’s not good for you.”

Irritation breaks past my shock. “How would you know who is or isn’t good for me? You’ve barely said twenty words to me the whole week I’ve been working here.”

“I don’t need to say anything to know the facts.” His tone hardens. “I don’t want you around him.”

“Well, you have no right to tell me that,” I retort. “How did you know I went on a date with him anyway?”

His jaw tightens. “You think people around here don’t take notice when their favorite son is out having dinner with the new girl in town?”

Christ. I experience a sudden longing for the cold anonymity of a big city.

“I know people are talking about me,” I snap. “But I refuse to let gossip dictate what I can and can’t do. And for your information, Jeremy knows about what happened to me, and it didn’t seem to bother him.”

“That’s not the point. You can’t work for me and see him.”

My shoulders tense. I focus on the computer, hitting the key to bring up the database software.

“My date with Jeremy has nothing to do with my work here,” I reply stiffly. “I didn’t, and won’t, tell him anything about the job or the fact that you’re my employer. You don’t need to worry about breach of contract.”

“This isn’t about the damned contract.” His voice is suddenly sharp.

He steps closer to me, his soapy, warm scent filling my nose. I hold my ground, not wanting him to see me weaken even though I’m melting inside at his nearness. Impassive though he is on the exterior, I can almost feel the energy coursing through him, his heavy strong heartbeat, the rush of his blood.

“I don’t want you around King,” he repeats.

“Does your animosity have something to do with him wanting to sell the lighthouse?”

“I’m not answering questions.” His gray eyes turn the color of metal. “I’m telling you to stay away from him.”

My pulse races. “You don’t have that right.”

“I’m your boss.”
“That doesn’t mean you can make that demand.” The words snap out of my mouth without thought. “And if you think you can threaten to fire me over this, then step back, mister, because I’ve been through the worst wrongful termination I can imagine. And even though my employer fucking won that battle, I still have plenty of fight left in me. I’ll put on my gloves and go another round with you, if I have to.”

Wow. Go, Eve.

I’m breathing fast, and my knees are quaking with sudden fear that he’ll make me prove my bold statement. I dig my fingernails into my palms. The air between us sparks with electricity. I force myself to hold my ground, to look directly at him and—

Admiration flashes in his eyes, like a silver comet streaking across the sky. His stern expression doesn’t change, but that brief glimpse of warmth eases the tension knotting my shoulders.

“I’m not going to fire you.” His voice is measured and controlled. “But I will not have you seeing King.”

“You don’t like him, so that means I have to stay away from him?” I ask. “Sorry, no. He’s one of the few people in this town who has been nice to me, and I enjoyed our date. I refuse to discount the possibility of Jeremy being my first real friend here.”
Flynn’s jaw clenches. “He wants to be more than your friend.”

“I know.” I put my hands on my hips and look him in the eye. “He even kissed me.”

Anger crashes over his features, and a vein throbs in his forehead. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was jealous.

But I do know better. He’s mad because I’m refusing to do something he wants me to do. Despite, or maybe because of, his isolated lifestyle, Flynn is clearly a man accustomed to getting what he wants.

“He kissed you.” The word grind out of his mouth like broken glass.

“Yes. And I kissed him back. Like our date, it was nice. Nice hasn’t been the norm in my life lately.”
“I could kiss you,” Flynn retorts, his hands fisting. “But it wouldn’t nice.”

“Oh yeah?” My heart kicks into gear, blood rushing through my veins. “What would it be, then?”

He pulls in a breath, his gaze settling on my mouth. “Hot.”

“Prove it.” Borne of my endless nighttime fantasies, the dare flies out of me without thought of the potential repercussions.

Before I can take another breath, he grabs my shoulders and pulls me against him. I freeze, stunned by the reality of a moment I’d imagined more times than I can count—the sensation of his body against mine. And God, he feels exactly the way I’d imagined, a solid wall of heat and muscle pulsing with life. Rock-hard arms that could wrap around me so tightly nothing would get past them.

He stares down at me, his steel-like gaze sparking with intent like iron striking stone. I can’t move, can’t breathe, can’t think.

Then his mouth crashes down on mine, an onslaught, a possession, a claiming. Hunger bursts through me, a desire so sharp and intense it destroys all my defenses in one fell swoop. I moan, everything inside me weakening and aching for more. He slides a hand to my lower back, fitting our bodies together. I yield everywhere, my curves softening against him, any thought of resistance dissolving in a haze of disbelief and craving.

I part my lips tentatively, let him inside. My head spins with the taste of him—something decadent and forbidden. Our tongues touch, breath mingling. Arousal floods me, swift and hard, as if all the fantasies in which I’ve indulged have primed me for this moment. I bring my hands up to his face, his stubble coarse against my palms, slide them down to the sides of his neck where his pulse throbs heavily. He’s like the sea—mysterious, unpredictable, powerful. I could get lost in him, drown, let him sweep me away to a distant land where no one knows who I am and what I’ve done.

He lifts his head, breaking our kiss and stepping away from me at the same time. Heavy breaths saw from his chest, and his eyes are darkened to black. I bring a shaking hand to my mouth, suddenly unsure if the kiss just happened or if I’m like Alice in Wonderland, spinning downward, lost in my intricate imagination.

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter