Cards of Love: The Pope by LP Lovell ~ Sarah A’s Review

We’re celebrating the release of Cards of Love: THE POPE by LP Lovell! One-Click today!

I’m a priest, a messenger of God, a good man. At least that’s what I would have them all believe.

She’s a lost lamb, cast adrift from her flock and seeking shelter from the wolves snapping at her heels. She’s looking for salvation, protection, forgiveness for her sins. I’m not the man to give it to her. But for the first time in my life, I want to be.

Little does she know…

For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

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The Pope was a decadent thrill ride that kept me glued to the pages and had my heart racing with all the secrets and insanity. I’ve read a lot of forbidden romances, all different types including some involving priests, but the twists in The Pope were entirely new and fresh. I was simultaneously enraptured and horrified by all of it.

The Pope was wicked in the best way possible. Usually romances are about making the people better, having them find their light in the dark. The Pope took another path, Judas saw the darkness in Delilah and knew helping her embrace that piece of herself would free her from the constraints she was holding herself under. Watching that immorality blossom in her was disturbingly satisfying and made me feel a strange sense of fulfillment that she’d finally found her place in the world, no matter whether it was socially acceptable or not.

If you’re familiar with Bible stories at all the significance of the characters’ names, Delilah and Judas, is immediately evident. I loved how Ms. Lovell injected the biblical characters into the personalities of the leads in this story. There were wonderful parallels that came into play as far as both Delilah and Judas’ betrayals of things they held dear to their hearts. It was a glorious tie-in, and I really appreciated it.

LP Lovell has slowly but surely won me over with her dark, depraved romances. She’s found a balance between the things we as humans find inherently wrong and the beauty of love and romance under any circumstances. I find myself craving her twisted worlds and treacherous storylines because they are so fascinating and engrossing.

Lauren Lovell is an indie author from England. She suffers from a total lack of brain to mouth filter and is the friend you have to explain before you introduce her to anyone, and apologize for afterwards.
She’s a self-confessed shameless pervert, who may be suffering from slight peen envy. 

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Long Live the Beautiful Hearts by Emma Scott ~ Sarah A’s Review

Never again would I allow my heart to become the plaything of someone else. 
Never again would I let a man (or men) come between me and my goals. 
Never again would I love without feeling the fullness of that love in return. 
Not until I knew it was real. And if that took me a lifetime to find, so be it. 

Those were my vows, and after all that had happened with Connor and Weston, I was determined to keep them. To protect my heart. 
And then he came home, and my vows became his promises.

He held my heart in his hands with reverence and care. 
He helped me find my soul’s greatest purpose in life. 
He loved me with a love so pure and vibrant, I knew I’d never feel anything like it in a hundred lifetimes. 
It was real.

Until it wasn’t. 
Until it all came crashing down when I discovered the deep love I thought I’d found was nestled in a web of lies—so soft and silken I hadn’t noticed it was there.
Until it was too late.

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Long Live the Beautiful Hearts is the emotional, heart-wrenching conclusion to the Beautiful Hearts Duet by bestselling author, Emma Scott, and is inspired by the classic tale, Cyrano de Bergerac. (Roxanne) THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL LOVE TRIANGLE #confusedhearts #notamenage 
THIS BOOK IS NOT A STANDALONE. It should not be read without first reading Bring Down the Stars

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I’m again left without the words to accurately convey my thoughts and feelings about this duet from Emma Scott. Long Live the Beautiful Hearts was so exquisite and moving, I could nary rip myself away from the pages, I felt like I owed it to myself and the characters to ensure they found their strength and happiness before I put the book down.

Long Live the Beautiful Hearts transcended the romance genre and became something more. It was tragic and hopeful, full of loss, healing, and finding happiness. Autumn and her men had all been broken in so many ways before this book, and in the opening chapters of Long Live the Beautiful Hearts, they each had so much to overcome, to relearn, to accept. Watching them navigate the turbulent waters of lives and situations they’d never anticipating was heartwrenching at times, but it was also beautiful to see them begin to accept and thrive in their new normals.

The love story that began in Bring Down the Stars was more than just a love story between a man and a woman; it explored the love between two men who were closer than brothers, a love manipulated for the purest reasons, and a love that had been concealed and denied to protect something precious. The dynamics by the three people in this beautiful and complicated love triangle was unique and compelling. I was completely entranced by every word on every page of both books in this duet. I’ve never read anything like it, and I feel like a more compassionate person having had the privilege of reading these words and seeing the world from a view I’d never considered.

Long Live the Beautiful Hearts is the second book in Emma Scott’s Beautiful Hearts duet. This book is not a standalone and must be read after Bring Down the Stars. There is one more companion novella coming from this world, focusing on another couple introduced in this book. Long Live the Beautiful Hearts is written in dual first-person perspective.

The Beautiful Hearts duet is my first experience reading Emma Scott’s work. I am so blown away by her skill in these books; I can’t adequately convey how deeply her words affected me. Not only was her prose among some of the most stunning I’ve read, but the story itself was also so engaging and poignant I’m not sure when was the last time I experienced something so vital and magnificent. With these books, Ms. Scott has quickly and easily earned herself a place at the top of my must-read list.

I fell for Connor Drake. I didn’t want to; I fought against it, but I fell in love with him anyway. With his words. With his poetry. With him. The gentleness and beauty of his soul that speaks directly to mine. He writes as if he can feel my heart, hear its cadence and compose the exact right lyrics to accompany every beat and flow. 

I’m in love with Connor…so why do I feel an inexplicable pull to his best friend, Weston? Grouchy, sullen, brooding Weston Turner, who could cut you down with a look. Fiercely intelligent with a razor sharp wit and acid tongue, he’s the exact opposite of Connor in every way, and yet there’s electricity in the air between us. The thorny barbs Weston wraps around himself can’t keep me away. 

But the more time I spend with these men, the more tangled and confused my emotions become. When they both sign up for the Army Reserves during a time of increasing strife in the Middle East, I fear I’ll never unravel my own heart that sometimes feels as if it will tear straight down the middle…for both of them.

Bring Down the Stars is book one in Emma Scott’s Beautiful Hearts duet

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Emma Scott is a bestselling author of emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy thoughtful, realistic stories with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy my novels.

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Lock by Molly McAdams ~ Sarah A’s Review

The next thrilling installment in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’s REBEL series.

I’ve waited for him for over a decade.
Loyalties kept us apart. A death set us free.
Our passion unleashed, nothing could stop us.

Until my world was rocked—my greatest failure leaving me with my greatest heartbreak.

Now Maverick is baring his soul to me, begging me to let him in. God knows I want to, but I love him, and that means I’ll do anything to keep him from the pain haunting me. Even if it destroys us both.

Someone has been waiting for this perfect moment to strike.
Watching me.
Studying me.
Waiting for me to be too consumed with hurt to notice he was there.
Someone who knows me.

I’m Einstein . . . like the genius, only smarter and with better hair.
There’s nothing I can’t hack into, crack open, or figure out. Well, almost nothing.

And if I can’t beat his sinister game, it won’t just be my heart that stops beating.

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Every time I read a Molly Mc Adams book I feel like her writing has surpassed everything I’ve read by her before. Lock was an incredibly emotional and challenging read. Some parts of the book were so heartbreaking I could feel the ache in my chest. Other moments were so harrowing I could only set my kindle down and allow myself a moment to breathe and recuperate. Einstein’s story wasn’t easy, but it was beautifully told.

Avery, aka Einstein, has been a huge question mark for me since we first met her in Firefly. There was an inherent melancholy around her I needed to understand. Her story ended up being far more tragic than I could have anticipated. Her huge heart had been battered and bruised by the worst kind of human, all the while it was reaching for someone else entirely. Then, just when I thought her story was going to turn a corner life took that damaged but healing heart and obliterated it. God, my heart broke for her. Watching her experience that, then continue to wallow in that devastation while also subjecting herself to more pain was heartrending.

Andrew, aka Maverick, was a perfect and beautiful partner for Einstein. He was supportive and selfless, and I fell irrevocably in love with the way he relentlessly loved her. The pain and suffering he and Einstein experienced was 100% worth it because of him. As much as they had been through Maverick always had a light and hope that shone through his pain. Even in the greatest devastation of his life, there was something in him that allowed me to feel there was nothing he wouldn’t do to ensure he and Einstein find the happiness they’d earned.

Lock was intense, both in Einstein and Maverick’s love story and in the plot. There were so many moving pieces, so many points of interest to distract from figuring out the endgame; I was on edge through the entirety of the novel trying to understand how everything fit together. Written by any other author Lock may have had too many plots and subplots, but Molly McAdams wove each part together seamlessly and produced an intricate and sublime story of pain, heartache, suspense, and love.

Lock is the second book in Molly McAdams’ Rebel series. These books are interconnected standalones, each focusing on a different couple, and can be read independently. However, I would highly suggest starting with the Redemption series in its entirety, then moving on to the Rebel series and reading both books, in order, to fully understand the intense, crazy world Ms. Mc Adams has created. Lock is written in dual first-person perspective, alternating between past and present, and is narrated by Einstein and Maverick.

Molly McAdams is a true wordsmith. She takes these words, bends them to her will, and fabricates a story that is sharp, solid, and stunning. I am taken aback again and again by the sheer artistry she produces with the brush that is the English language. I continually find myself eagerly anticipating the next time I will be able to lose myself in her words and her worlds, as they always leave me with more emotions and things to consider than I could ever imagine.

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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After the End by Natasha Preston ~ Blog Tour & Excerpt

One fatal mistake changes Tilly and Linc’s lives forever. 

After the tragedy, Linc and his family fled a town they were no longer welcome in. 

Still grieving the death of her brother, Tilly’s world is rocked again when, three years later, Lincoln Reid has to come home. 

Linc tries to stay away from Tilly, but once he sees her fighting feelings for him, he can’t stay in the shadows. 

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“Tilly,” I groan as she leans flush against my chest. 

The alcohol has given her permission to let go of the reservations she has over us being something. 

The beach has now cleared completely, everyone has gone, and I’m supposed to take Tilly to Hanna and Jack’s, but she’s making it very difficult.

I want to take her back to mine.

She looks up at me, and her amber eyes lose focus. “It’s you, isn’t it?” Her voice is barely a whisper, but I feel the fear in each word.

“What’s me, Tilly? You really should have stopped drinking about an hour ago.”

“I couldn’t stop.”

“Drinking? Why not?”

“Because I know this is the only way that I won’t feel immediately guilty for being this close to you.” Her eyes flit closed. “I want so badly to be this close to you.”

My breath catches. I want to pull away because her words are gutting me, but my body needs to be closer to her, too. My fingers dig further into her flesh, holding her closer, tighter, never wanting to let go.

“Tilly, there is no need for you to feel guilty. Robbie would have been okay with this.”

“I know. It’s not him I’m worried about.” She leans forward and lays her head against my chest. “My parents are having a hard time with you being here.”

I rest my chin on her head. She’s tucked so closely into me. “Have they told you that?”

“They don’t need to.” Her arms wrap around my back like she’s scared I’ll walk away after hearing this. 

There is nothing she could ever say to scare me off. I love her unconditionally. 

“I don’t want to hurt them, but I don’t want to hurt you either. It’s such a mess, Linc. I wish we were just two normal people without a past.”

“Everyone has a past.”

“Not everyone’s past is all mixed together,” she replies. Her voice is a little slurred, but our conversation seems to be sobering her quickly. “Ours is messy.”

“Yeah, it’s messy.” 

But she is admitting she wants me!

With raw emotion clogging her throat, she breathes, “I don’t want our families to fight.”

I bend my head and whisper in her ear, “I’m not giving up on us. It’s worth the fight, Tilly.”

“Then, fight hard, Linc, because I don’t know how to stay.”

UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since.

She enjoys writing contemporary romance, gritty Young Adult thrillers and, of course, the occasional serial killer.

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Perversion by TM Frazier ~ Sarah A’s Review

USA Today best-selling author of the King series, TM Frazier, brings you an all-new trilogy with an anti-hero you’re going to love to hate and a ballsy heroine with tricks up her sleeve.

Love is supposed to be magical.

Ours is suicidal.

The first time I met Emma Jean Parish,

she conned me into taking her p*ssy.

Her 𝑐𝑎𝑡

When she was sixteen,

she manipulated me into giving her

her very first kiss.

At eighteen she gave me 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔.

She’s a con artist.

I’m a criminal.

I use her.

She manipulates me.

The attraction between us is explosive.

When it detonates

we could both wind up dead.

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Perversion made me uncomfortable in the most delicious way.  It was not without horrific circumstances or the worst parts of the human race, but there were wonderful moments of real love and care that somewhat tempered the more atrocious happening of the book.  Perversion is definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you like your books dark and aren’t worried about triggers, it’s a fantastic start to what promises to be a sordid Romeo and Juliet-esque tale.

The imagery and scene setting in Perversion was so immersive I felt like I was in the town of Lacking.  To the point, I could nearly feel the dust and grit of the town and the Los Muertos compound on my skin.  Between that and the fabulously engrossing storytelling, I was completely spellbound by the book with morbid fascination.  I was enthralled with every aspect of the story and impressed by how different it felt from other star-crossed lover and gang books.

Emma Jean and Tristan were both very intriguing characters.  There was also a very interesting duality between them regarding the ways they’d grown and changed in the opposing familial dynamics they’d been thrust into in the opening chapters of the novel.  I am quite looking forward to seeing how the differences in their experiences during the years they spent apart will inform the rest of their relationship.

Perversion is the first book in TM Frazier’s Perversion trilogy.  These books are a true trilogy and will need to be read in order, for the complete story.  There is a small tie to one of Ms. Frazier’s other series, but it has no bearing on the understanding of this book.  Perversion is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Emma Jean and Tristan.

Though I am relatively new to TM Frazier’s writing, I am definitely a believer.  She has completely won me over with her taboo, gritty writing and heavily flawed characters.  She has a great ability to make situations and people who should be wholly unforgivable sympathetic and easy to relate to.  I am continually impressed with her work and look forward to enjoying her stories for years to come.

Emma Jean

When I was younger, I fell in love with magic. I learned every card trick there was from library books and unmasking magic TV specials. I used to put on shows for Gabby that included escaping from complicated knots and trick handcuffs. But what’s magic besides a sleight of hand?

It’s a lie.

And lying is what I’m damn good at.

My ability to spin a tall tale or two lead to stealing wallets and conning people into taking stray pets for the thrill of it. Now, I’m using it to earn for Marco. The thrill is there, but it’s muted, hindered, lost under his pile of mounting threats.

The inside of the casino smells like stale cigarettes, spilled beer, and burnt coffee. We’re not supposed to be in here. It’s Bedlam territory. But that’s also why it’s perfect.

It isn’t like anyone would recognize us here.

We’ve made friends with a few of the cocktail waitresses by giving them a small cut, and they don’t ask questions or ring any alarms when they see us working. I’ve also been straightening my hair over the last few years since my crazy curls stand out like a reflector on a dark highway. I’ve dyed it a few shades darker than my normal honey blonde to help blend in.  

Tonight is starting off well. Gabby and I are working a con we’ve run a few times before.

Gabby walks away, her long dark hair swooshing behind her. She gives me a nod as she passes me by on the slot machine I’m pretending to play. She’s just faked losing an expensive engagement ring at another slot machine. I watched out of the corner of my eye as she frantically looked around for it, then loudly announced a thousand-dollar reward would be waiting at the casino cage for whoever returned it.

She is flawless. She should be an actress. And in another life, she would be.

But we don’t live in another life.

We live in Lacking and belong to Los Muertos.

Our lives are not our own.

A few people casually look around the area, then return to their machines when they don’t find the ring Gabby was ranting about. They won’t either. Because it’s not there.

Yet.

It’s go time.

I strut over to the area Gabby just left and put a dollar in the machine. While the wheels spin, I pretend to pick up the dime store ring I already have in my hand. By the time the machine dings to tell me I’ve lost my dollar, I’m turning the ring over, inspecting it like I don’t have half a dozen more just like it in my drawer back at the apartment.

“Would you look at that?” I mutter to myself loud enough so others around me can hear.  

A man in an Adidas jumpsuit with a potbelly taps me on the shoulder. “I’ll take that. I saw the woman who dropped it. I’ll go return it to her.”

Liar. You just want the reward.

“That’s so nice of you,” I say. I hold it out, about to drop it into his hand when I pull it back. “I bet there’s a reward for something this valuable.” I start to walk around the man. “I’ll take it up to management. Maybe, they know…”

“Here,” the man says, holding up a hundred-dollar bill. “Take this. I’ll take it to her. I just…you know, as I said, I want to make sure it gets back to the right person.”

You’re not even a good liar.

Sometimes, it’s just too freaking easy. And this scam wasn’t even an Emma Jean and Gabby original. We saw it a long time ago in a movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Doesn’t anyone else watch movies?

I shrug and pass him the ring. Plucking the bill from his hand, I tuck it into my bra. “Thanks,” I say before quickly making my way toward the large glass front doors. It’s Thursday. Marco’s money is due in two days, and we’re short this week.

Really short.

I walk slowly and wave goodbye to the valets with a smile on my face. “Any luck, tonight?” One asks me.

“I think so,” I answer with a smile. Once I’m down the sidewalk and out of view, I scramble to the side of the casino where I kick off my heels and change from the sequined dress I’d stolen from a dry-cleaner into a pair of cut-off shorts and my yellow Keds.

Now, all I have to do is wait for Gabby.  

I don’t have to wait long.

“Run!” Gabby yells, darting from the doors of the casino with two large men wearing tight black security t-shirts close behind. Running from security is terrifying enough, knowing that we’re running from members of the Bedlam Brotherhood kicks it up a notch.

I grab my backpack and sling it across my shoulders. I move as fast as I can until I’m running right alongside her. We race through the gates, cross the street, narrowly avoiding being hit by two cars. We duck into a hole in a fence and run through one backyard after the other.

“One of those cunt waitresses must have tipped them off!” Gabby says, through shallow breaths. She’s barefoot in a black mini-dress hiked up to her ass to give her long legs room to run. Her long thick hair is wrapped around her face, sticking to her mouth.

We hit the sixth backyard. Without another word, we separate behind a clothesline. We’ve mapped out this escape plan a thousand times, but this is the first time we’ve ever had to use it.

When I make it into the central part of town, to the Los Muertos/Bedlam border, I can no longer hear the shouts of the security guards. I lost them.

Hopefully, Gabby did, too.

I use a tower of stacked-up wooden pallets on the sidewalk like a ladder to scale a concrete wall, then drop down into the alley.

I grow more panic-stricken the longer I wait for Gabby. I bite the inside of my lip, pacing back and forth along the high wall. The Bedlam Brotherhood runs the security at the casino. If they catch her and find out who she is? Or worse? Who her brother is? They’ll… I shake the thought from my mind. She’ll be fine.

She HAS to be fine.

Please be okay, Gabby. Please.

I’m trying to catch my breath and pull myself together when I hear a clink echo through the alley as if someone dropped some spare change, followed by the sound of something heavy dropping to the asphalt.

“Gabby?” I ask into the darkness. Thinking it’s her, relief washes over me like rain on a barren desert.  

My only answer is the flickering of a fluorescent light mounted high on the roof’s edge of the adjoining building. And the hiss of what sounds like a cat behind a dumpster.

I walk over and peer around it.  “Gabby? Are you hurt? Say something!” I whisper-shout.

Someone moves from within the shadow.  “Get out here, Gabby. We’ve got to go before Mar…”

The light flickers again, for just a second. That second is all I need to see that the someone slowly stalking toward me is not Gabby.  

It’s a man…twice my size.

“Who are you?” I ask, shuffling backward as the man cloaked in a black leather hood emerges from the shadows. The front of his jacket is open. Underneath, he’s shirtless, covered in a sheen of sweat, and more tattoos than visible skin all the way up the front of his throat. His muscled chest and abs flex with each step he takes. The hood shadows most of his face, but when the lights flicker again, yellow eyes glow from within.

And they’re locked on me.

My ‘save your ass’ mode kicks in.

The man is blocking the only exit. My only other chance of escape is to scale the same wall I used to drop into the alley.

I keep moving backward as he approaches until my back hits the wall. I look left and right for something to use to climb on.

There’s nothing but emptiness.

My stomach sinks, but surrender is not an option.

I swallow hard as the alarm bells scream in my head for me to run. Somewhere. Anywhere.

There’s nowhere to go!

My legs tremble. Fear crawls like a million spiders along the backs of my legs. I push myself further against the wall as if I can squish the feeling away, but it’s useless.

Fear consumes me. Swallows me whole.

He continues toward me. As he gets closer, I realize it’s not just sweat glistening on his skin. There’s something else splattered across the tattoos on his chest and on his stubbled jaw.  

It almost looks like wet paint.

My breathing stops when he’s close enough that I can make out the tattoo on the front of his throat.

A bleeding black rose.

The symbol of the Bedlam Brotherhood.

I’ve heard stories about Grim. The man in the hood. The executioner for Bedlam. They were all terrifying, but not nearly as terrifying as the reality of coming face to face with the man himself.

“We didn’t do anything,” I blurt. “I mean, we did, but it wasn’t a big deal. I’ll…I’ll give the money back. Just tell your men not to hurt my friend. It was all my idea. Let her go, and you can take me.”  

“Who the fuck are you?” he asks. His voice is so thick and deep I feel it more than hear it. Shivers erupt all over my body.

He raises his arm, revealing a long curved blade.

For the first time in my life, I can’t seem to be able to hide my fear with my wit or sarcasm. My throat tightens. I can’t swallow, never mind speak. I’ve lost my words completely, along with my nerve.

The man’s blade drips red onto the pavement from the serrated tip.

Every fear response I didn’t even know I had runs rampant. I’m holding my breath. My muscles tense as if running was still an option. The hairs on my arms and the back of my neck prickle my skin as they stand on end. I raise up to my tip-toes and push back, trying to make myself disappear into the wall.

I glance from the knife back to his chest, then back again. The splatters across his skin?

It’s not fucking paint.

Before I can process what the hell is happening, he switches from slow-stalking mode into hyper-speed, pinning my wrists above my head. His hard, bloodied chest pushes against me, smearing blood across my white tank top, forcing the back of my head to connect roughly with the wall.  

“I’ll only ask you this one more time. Who the fuck are you?” His low guttural growl rattles my bones.

His unblinking, angry, golden eyes lock onto mine. Without the fluorescent light, they’re more golden brown than a glowing yellow. As much as I want to, I can’t look away. He could be the last person I ever see.

The thought is just the spike of adrenaline I need.

“Let me go,” I say, finally finding my words. I try and jerk my wrists from his grip with no luck. I’m trapped. My fear and anger rise to the surface, but I shove it back down. Fear won’t get me out of this situation, so it will have to wait for its damned turn.

He digs his rough fingers into my skin. “Answer me. Who the fuck are you?”

The bite of pain only makes me angrier. I throw his question back at him. “Who the fuck are you?”   

He glances down at my rapidly rising and falling chest before pinning me with his stare. The corner of his mouth tugs up in a half-smirk.

“So much confidence for someone who’s trembling,” he says with an amused glint shining in his demonic eyes.

I shrug. “Maybe, I’m just not a fan of enclosed spaces,” I say through gritted teeth.

“You didn’t answer me,” he says.

“Why do you have blood all over you?” I answer him with yet another question. “You know, if you were committing some kind of crime back there, you should be more careful. I recommend a bleach bath and death by fire for your clothes the first chance you get. If it’s self-harm, I’m sure there’s a helpline you can call.”

He cocks his head to the side. His nostrils flare. His face is only inches away. I can feel the heat from his body against mine. His cool breath flutters against my neck.

I’ve never been this close to a man before. My trembling grows. My inner thighs shake sending a rippling wave of something very unfamiliar coursing through the center my body.  I try and press my legs together to stop it from happening again, but when he uses his knee to wedge my legs apart, caging me in even further, it only grows, uncoiling from within like a slinky being pulled apart at the ends.  

I swallow hard as the stubble of his jaw presses against my neck.

“Name,” he demands, his voice raspier than before.

I shut my eyes tight for a beat, trying to gain composure, control, something that will help me as I try and reason my way out of this. “Listen, I didn’t see anything,” I blurt. “That is if you did anything. I’m not going to call the police if that’s what you’re worried about. I wouldn’t anyway, even if I saw something, which I didn’t.”

His brows knit together in a harsh line. “Why?”

His question confuses me.

“Why what?”

“Why wouldn’t you tell the police?”

Because Marco owns them.

“Let’s just say that I haven’t exactly been a model citizen myself tonight. Let’s face it. If the police around here weren’t being paid not to do their jobs, half this town would be locked up.” I take a deep, shaky breath. “Especially people like us.”  

He stills. There’s no more talking. Only heavy breathing and a battle of wills. He releases one of my hands. I think he’s reaching for his knife. My blood turns cold. I can feel my face pale as my heart starts beating as faster and faster as if it wants to get in as many as possible before the end.

I’m surprised when he doesn’t go for his knife. Instead, his hand travels slowly down my chest into my cleavage.

“No, don’t!” I say, but it’s too late, he’s already yanked on my locket.

“Please just give it back, and let me go,” I plead. Feeling like it’s my real heart he’s torn from my chest. “It’s the only thing in this world that means anything to me. Besides my best friend, it’s all I have.”

I hate the desperation in my voice, but it’s the truth.

He’s silent for a moment. He raises his arms. I flinch, raising my arms over my face defensively. But when nothing happens, I lower them, just in time to see him push back his hood, revealing his face.  

“Why?” I ask, closing my eyes knowing full well that the only time a criminal reveals himself to a witness is right before they take them out.

“Look at me,” he demands, holding my face in his hand.  

“No!” I say, shutting my eyes tighter.

“Look at me!” he bellows. He’s on me again. This time, he holds my head in his large rough hands. “Open your fucking eyes so you can see me.”

With no other choice than to get my head squished like a turtle under a car tire, I do as he demands. Opening my eyes, I blink through the haze, and when it clears, I’m met with tousled, medium-length, light brown hair, slicked back on the top, shorn close to head on the sides. His nose is slightly crooked like it’s been broken a few times before. The stubble on his square, defined jaw is a few days over needing a shave. A jagged scar runs through his chin like an angry white lightning bolt.

He’s the most fucking beautifully terrifying man I’ve ever seen.

He’s searching my eyes for something, but I don’t know what.

“Why?” I ask in a whisper.   

His hands release mine, but he doesn’t step back. He leans in closer, speaking against my cheek in a rumble of a whisper. The strange feeling from earlier comes back as a zap of electricity bouncing around my insides looking for somewhere to ground.

I’m breathing heavy. Our lips are so close, almost touching. He slides one hand off my face, snaking it around my neck, pulling me closer. He starts to answer in a rumble of a whisper, causing goosebumps to rise on my already prickled skin. “Because I want you to see the face of the man who’s just—”    

“Where the fuck are you?” calls Gabby from the other side of the wall. “I lost them!”

The moment, whatever it is, is now broken. The man releases me so suddenly I brace myself against the wall to keep from falling. I turn my head toward her voice.

“Gabby!” I shout back.

My heart is beating out of control. Out of habit, I raise my hand to my chest, seeking familiar comfort.

I look up.  The man in the hood is gone.

And so is my locket.

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES NOVEMBER 6  ***
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***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES DECEMBER 11  ***
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T.M. (Tracey Marie) Frazier never dreamed that a single person would ever read a word she wrote when she published her first book. Now, she is a five-time USA Today bestselling author and her books have been translated into numerous languages and published all around the world.

T.M. enjoys writing what she calls sexy ‘wrong side of the tracks romance’ with morally corrupt anti-heroes and ballsy heroines.

Her books have been described as raw, dark and gritty. Basically, what that means, is while some authors are great at describing a flower as it blooms, T.M. is better at describing it in the final stages of decay.

She loves meeting her readers, but if you see her at an event please don’t pinch her because she’s not ready to wake up from this amazing dream.

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Guilty as Sin by Meghan March ~ Sarah A’s Review

Guilty until proven innocent.

That’s the way the world works, right?

I’m tired of being convicted without evidence, all because my last name is Gable.

The Riscoffs might own this town, but I’m done following their rules.

If only I could forget just how easily Lincoln Riscoff can drag me under his spell.

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Oh my gosh. I have so many theories and thoughts and, this book did nothing but make me more wrapped up in all the entanglements of Gable. Whitney and Lincoln are working against some horrible odds, but even with the wrath of so many outside forces converging against their relationship they managed to begin understanding they were worth more than what everyone thought.

Guilty as Sin popped us right into Whitney and Lincoln’s story exactly where we’d left off in Richer than Sin, and I was immediately wrapped up in all the energy, secrets, and intrigue that had been built in the previous book. Meghan March did a fabulous job of giving just enough info to refresh my memory concerning the major plot points of the story without making it feel awkward or obvious. I was very thankful for the memory jog since it had been a minute since I’d read Richer than Sin.

I loved Whitney’s growth arc in Guilty as Sin; for a little time as passed in this book, she realized a lot about herself, what she’d been through, and what she was going to demand from the future. Whitney really seemed to grow into her own in this book, and I was beginning to see what a strong, independent woman she was under all the BS other people had heaped upon her for most of her life.

Lincoln redeemed himself a lot in this book; I wasn’t sure how much I liked him in Richer than Sin, so it was nice to see a different side of him in this one. He, too, began to peel back all the layers of façade society had pressed upon him to reveal who he was at the core of his being.

Guilty as Sin is the second book in Meghan March’s Sin Trilogy. These books are all about one couple, a single story told across three volumes and must be read in order for comprehension. Guilty as Sin is written in dual first-person perspective, alternating between the past and present, narrated by Whitney and Lincoln.

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a brand new saga of forbidden love and second chances.

A Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after. Our family feud is the stuff of legends.

Ten years ago, Whitney Gable caught me off guard with her long legs and grab-you-by-the-balls blue eyes.

I didn’t know or care what her name was.

Like any Riscoff worth the family name, I went after what I wanted. We burned like a flash fire until she married another man.

She hates me, and she should.

I objected on her wedding day.

Now she’s home, with those same long legs and man-eater stare, but there’s no ring on her finger.

They say a Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after . . . but I’m not done with Whitney Gable.

I’ll never be done with her.

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Whitney Gable is the kind of woman you fight to the death to protect.

To keep.

To cherish.

I’ve finally learned my lesson, and it’s time to prove I’m the man who’s worthy of her.

I don’t care what it takes, because failure is not an option.

No matter who or what stands in our way—this time, she’ll be mine forever

Reveling in Sin ~ RELEASE DATE: October 23
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A New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels, Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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NEW RELEASE!! Timid by Devney Perry ~ Sarah A Review

Willa Doon has always been shy. Her quiet demeanor was something she’s always embraced. That is, until Jackson Page moves to town. The one man she desperately wants to take notice struggles to remember her name.

Year after year, Willa stands by, watching as the bartender slash playboy drowns his demons in beer and sex. Then one night, he shows up at her door, suddenly aware that the girl he’s seen around Lark Cove is now a beautiful woman.

Except what he doesn’t remember is that this visit isn’t his first. They spent a night together once before. A night he’s forgotten, thanks to a bottle of tequila.

A night that crushed a timid girl’s heart, and set a broken man on the path to heal them both.

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For as many heartbreaking moments in this book, there were five times as many beautifully touching instances to make up for them. Each Devney Perry book I read is sublime, and I would be hard-pressed to tell which my favorite was as they each have touched me deeply in their own ways. Timid delivered everything I’ve come to expect from Ms. Perry and more.

After reading Tattered, I knew Willa and Jackson’s story was going to be phenomenal, and it delivered more than I could have ever anticipated. They were such polar opposites in almost every way I was expecting a highly angsty story – and we did get moments of that – but I was so happy that Timid focused more on building up their relationship and Willa and Jackson coming into their own. Their connection was so strong from the first moments they spent alone together; there was never any doubt in my mind they belonged to one another.

Willa surprised me, especially after what we’d seen of her in Tattered, she’d been so insecure and quiet I wasn’t sure if it was a result of her surroundings or the whole of her personality. Watching her evolve from that shy, nervous girl to the person she was by the end of Timid was sublime. She’d shown flashes of who she could be in the beginning, but once she fully came into her own.

Jackson had called to me in Tattered since we learned parts of his story through Thea I knew whatever he projected to the world was to hide the broken boy who lived inside him. Willa saw that and knew he was more than anyone gave him credit for, then helped him to discover the man she already knew she was. His growth arc in this book was phenomenal, and he proved himself to be everything Willa thought he was and everything she deserved.

Timid is the second book in Devney Perry’s Lark Cove series. These books are interconnected standalones and can be read independently. The timelines crossed over a little, and if you’re reading the entire series, Tattered should be read first. Timid is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Willa and Jackson.

Devney Perry has yet to let me down with her books. They all pack an emotional punch and deliver sweeping love stories with fascinating characters and great growth arcs. Her writing is always spot-on and consuming. I love how she takes popular romance tropes and puts her own spin on them to make them feel entirely new and unique.

I scooched my chair in toward the table, trying to put a little more space between Jackson and me, but he wasn’t having it.

He put both hands on the back of my chair, then leaned in close. “Hi, Willa.”

“Uh . . . hi.” I shivered at the heat from his chest on my bare shoulders.

Why was he standing so close? My parents were right there. Our table was one of four tall, square ones in the center of the room and there was plenty of space between tables.

Plenty. P-L-E-N-T-Y.

But was Jackson using any of that plentiful space?

No sirree. He stayed pressed against the back of my chair, like there were only three inches of usable space behind him, not three feet.

My skin prickled he was so close. I tried to nudge my chair forward again but it barely moved. Sweat beaded on my temples and I pulled in a shaking breath.

Jackson’s woodsy, rich scent was everywhere. It overpowered the stale beer, pizza and peanuts, and I inhaled a deep breath, unable to resist.

Sexy Hot Forest. That’s what they’d call his cologne.

Thea Landry has always known her place in modern-day society. It’s somewhere just above the trash can her mother dumped her in as a newborn but below the class where much comes easy. With her tattered shoes and bargain-bin clothes, her life has never been full of glamour.

So when a rich and charismatic man takes interest, she doesn’t fool herself into thinking their encounter is anything more than a one-night stand. Months later, she’s kicking herself for not getting his phone number. Or his last name. She’s given up hope of seeing him ever again.

Until one day, years later, Logan Kendrick waltzes into her life once more and turns everything she’s built upside down. This time around, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s going to fight to keep him in her life—not for herself.

But for their daughter.

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Devney lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories.

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NEW RELEASE!! Siren in Waiting by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Re-released in a second edition with new content.

Bethany “Mouse” Hobbes spent her entire life waiting, especially for the love of Bo O’Malley. But for the first time in her life, she is ready to start living, with or without him. She has found her dream, restoring a rustic farmhouse on the outskirts of town.

Trev McNamara left Deer Run a high school hero and has returned, his football career in ruins. When Trev meets Mouse, he discovers a passion strong enough to overcome his past. But can she accept his need for control?

Bo O’Malley has lived his whole life in the shadow of his brother, never committing to anything or anyone. When the woman he secretly loved all his life begins an affair with the man who betrayed his trust, Bo will do anything to claim her as his own.

Transformed by their love, will Mouse be enough woman for both of them?

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Each and every time I read a new release (or re-release) from Lexi Blake I am reminded of why I’m so obsessed with her work.  Siren in Waiting hit all my Lexi Blake buttons and gave me a satisfying love story and a tale of redemption in one.

Siren in Waiting is a little friends-to-lovers, a little enemies-to-lovers(ish), and a lot about the characters learning who they were.  I loved Trev and Beth together, he gave her so much self-confidence, and she gave him more strength than he knew he had.  Bo, while he eventually became a really great guy, was more elusive to me.  I think he rounded out their relationship nicely, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.

I was so happy to see Ms. Blake touch on addiction in this novel.  I thought she treated it respectfully and honestly.  I loved getting to see Trev’s inner struggles, and how he redirected and battled his impulses on a minute-by-minute basis.

The plot of Siren in Waiting, while a little predictable, was an exciting ride.  I was sure who was at the root of what was going on but not completely sure why, for most of the book.  Ms. Blake never tried to hide who the ‘bad guy’ was in this book, though, so I think that was by design.  I loved how she brought the book full circle.  It was a brilliant literary device and served to highlight one character’s fortitude.

Siren in Waiting is the fifth book in Lexi Blake’s Texas Sirens series.  These books are interconnected standalones and do not need to be read in order.  This book was previously released under the penname Sophie Oak and has been re-released as a second edition with new content.  Lexi Blake’s series are interconnected, and we get to see some favorites from other series in this novel.  Siren in Waiting is written in third-person limited perspective, narrated by Trev, Bethany, and Bo.

Lexi Blake continually delivers intriguing stories with fabulous characters and sweeping love stories.  I love how she uses suspense and intrigue to draw her characters together and make them grow.  I also appreciate that her characters are flawed, her women aren’t all stick-thin, and each book delivers a unique relationship dynamic.

Bo walked up, his boots resounding against the pavement. His dark-blond hair was curling over his shirt collar. He was so beautiful, but in a different way than Trev. His hand came out to touch her shoulder. “What’s wrong?”

And he’d always been able to read her when he bothered to try. “I didn’t get the loan.”

She tensed a bit. Bo hadn’t wanted her to buy the house in the first place. He would probably tell her it was for the best and now she could sell the land to a developer and move someplace safer and way more boring.

“Oh, baby, I’m sorry.” Bo pulled her against his chest right there in the middle of Main Street. He wrapped his arms around her. “I know what that meant to you.”

She froze for a moment. He usually kept his affectionate nature private. It was sweet to be held by him, something she’d dreamed of a thousand times. He still smelled like the soap from the shower he’d insisted on taking before they left for town. His well-worn cotton shirt was soft against her cheek, but his chest was all muscle. After a moment, she let herself sink into him. The tears were back. She couldn’t hold them off when he was giving her a place to cry.

“I don’t know what to do. They said I don’t qualify. I have to have that money. I can’t fix up the house without it.”

His hand found her hair. “It’s going to be okay. We’ll find another bank. Hell, Aidan knows lots of people with money. You’ll see. It’s going to be okay. Now, come on, dry those tears and let’s go get some pie. I was talking to Jerry at the feed store, and he said Patty had pecan today.”

She loved pecan pie.

Relief washed over her as Bo began to lead her toward the diner. She’d been terrified that Bo would be angry that she was seeing Trev. She’d played it off as nothing, but she’d been scared he would turn away.

Instead, he opened the door for her and started to ask her about her plans. He seemed interested for the first time. Bo ordered for them both and then gave her his full attention. He was quieter than she’d ever seen him before. Well, except for that night when she’d had to find her way to Austin to get him. He’d been quieter then. He hadn’t talked for days. She didn’t like to think about that night.

“Hey,” Bo said, leaning over and putting a hand over hers. “It’s going to be okay, you know. We’ll find a way to get your house fixed up. Tell me something, is that boyfriend of yours going to be worth anything beyond hauling you into bathrooms in the middle of the day? Does he know anything about home repair?”

She flushed, but Bo had said the words with no accusation in his tone, just a sad smile on his face. She shook her head. “He told me to buy a book.”

Bo sighed. “We’re in trouble. Well, show me your plans. Let’s see how screwed we are.”

He gave her that smile that lit up her world and reminded her of all the reasons she’d fallen in love with him in the first place. He was a sunny presence. He always made her laugh, and deep down, he understood her.

Trev was her lover, but she would miss Bo. She would miss him so much.

She showed him her list, and by the time they were done, she felt better.

She would find a way. She would fix her house, and she would keep Trev and Bo in her life. She needed them.

Re-released in a second edition with a prologue and three new chapters.

Two cowboys looking for love…

Jack Barnes and Sam Fleetwood met in foster care. Over the years, they’ve become best friends and partners. They share a business as cattle ranchers and a house. There’s only one thing missing: a woman to share. The men are sure they’ve found that woman when Abigail Moore arrives in their small town, Willow Fork, TX.

A woman trying to find her place in the world…

Abby left her hometown twenty years before under a cloud of scandal. She’s raised a daughter, forged a new life for herself, and is ready for the next phase when she meets the handsome cowboys.

One small town that’s ready to explode…

They’re a dream come true—Jack is the sexy Dom, and Sam the playful lover. It’s everything she’s ever fantasized about. There’s only one problem. She’s still not welcome in Willow Fork, and someone is willing to kill to keep her away.

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Re-released in a second edition with new scenes.

Jack and Sam married Abby. It was supposed to be for forever, but lately Abby wonders where her alpha male has gone. Jack has retreated and life has become decidedly vanilla. It isn’t the true marriage she and Sam wanted. Sam and Abby know the time has come to fight for what they need.

A call from his mentor forces Jack to revisit the club where he discovered his sexuality. Jack’s half-brother is in the city and interested in a little blackmail. Can Jack handle two defiant subs and a brother in need of some tough love?

Sometimes all it takes to find the way home is a little love and a lot of mischief.

Come back to the beginning and revisit some of your favorite old characters or find new ones to love. Siren in the City has been revised and new scenes added. And if you look closely, you’ll find not only the beginnings of the Sophie Oak world, but also the seeds of how McKay-Taggart began…

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Re-released in a second edition with new scenes.

Julian Lodge has everything a man could want. He’s rich, successful and owns the most exclusive club in Dallas. But something is missing.

Finn Taylor has worked his way up in the world from humble beginnings in Willow Fork, Texas. The only thing he still loves in his hometown is Danielle Bay. He never told her he was actually bisexual, and he never confessed his love for her. Now she’s getting married, and Finn is sure he’s lost his chance with the only person he’ll ever love.

Julian’s vacation to the Barnes-Fleetwood ranch brings them all together. After Dani jumps into Julian’s car while fleeing her wedding, Julian knows he has to have her. But nothing is easy in Willow Fork. A danger from Julian’s past threatens them all. Julian will have to convince both Dani and Finn that being his will be the best decision they ever made.

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Aidan O’Malley walked away from his fiancée, Lexi, and their best friend, Lucas, after a night of passion left him shaken to his core. Years later, Aidan returns home from Iraq haunted by all he has lost. The enemy broke his body, destroying his dreams of a career in music. Worse still, he lost Lexi and Lucas. That damage he’d done all by himself. While he can’t restore what combat took from him, he’s determined to reclaim the two loves of his life.

Lucas Cameron is a changed man. After connecting with his brother, he found the discipline to get his life on track. His legal career is flourishing, but his love life is a train wreck. The woman he loves is spiraling out of control. After Aidan abandoned them, Lucas and Lexi clung together but no matter how hard he tries, Lucas can’t find a way to heal the wounds that Lexi carries.

Lexi Moore feels like a jigsaw puzzle with too many missing pieces. Losing Aidan was hard, but the true reason for her shattered spirit is a secret she only shares with her beloved Lucas. She knows she is drowning and the time has come to heal, but the holes in her heart hold her back from moving on. Shedding the burden she carries is her only hope for a happy future, but she fears she will never have the strength to reveal her secret.

When Aidan walks back into their lives, Lucas and Lexi know everything is about to change. But as they fight to reconcile their past and reclaim what they lost, a vicious predator stalks Lexi. In order to stop the killer, all three must confront the secrets they’ve carried…before they’re buried by them.

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NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Memento Mori by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Six men with no memories of the past
One leader with no hope for the future

A man without a past

Jax woke up in a lab, his memories erased, and his mind reprogrammed to serve a mad woman’s will. After being liberated from his prison, he pledged himself to the only thing he truly knows—his team. Six men who lost everything they were. They must make certain no one else gets their hands on the drugs that stole their lives, all while hiding from every intelligence organization on the planet. The trail has led him to an unforgiving mountainside and a beautiful wilderness expert who may be his only hope of finding the truth.  

A woman with a bright future

River Lee knows her way around the Colorado wilderness. She’s finally found a home in a place called Bliss after years lost in darkness. The nature guide prefers to show her clients the beauty found in the land, but she also knows the secrets the mountains hold. When she meets Jax, something about the troubled man calls to her. She agrees to lead him to the site of an abandoned government facility hidden deep in the forest. She never dreamed she was stepping into the middle of a battlefield.

A love that could heal a broken soul

Spending time with River, Jax discovers a peace he’s never known. Their passion unlocks a side of himself he didn’t even know he was missing. When an old enemy makes his first move, Jax and River find themselves fighting for their lives. But when his past is revealed, will River be caught in the crosshairs of a global conspiracy?

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I’ve been waiting for the Lost Boys’ stories since we found out about them, and I was not disappointed.  Memento Mori was a fabulous way to kick off this series, and Jax was a fabulous hero.  This first book in Lexi Blakes’ Masters and Mercenaries: the Forgotten also gave us a lot of our favorite characters from the original Masters and Mercenaries series as well as a look at our friends from Bliss.  It was an exciting ride with a lot of nostalgia and laughter.

Jax was a lot more sweet-tempered than most of Lexi Blake’s heroes, and I was in love with him.  He was unafraid of his feeling and expressing how deeply he cared for and needed River.  While I do love her formidable alpha males, Jax’ vulnerability – some of which was easily attributed to his naiveté – made him one of the most sympathetic male characters I’ve read from Ms. Blake.  Even though he wasn’t as hard as other characters, he was no doubt an alpha male.  His instincts ran to the caveman side of things, but he was able to temper them and only let out his protective and possessive compulsions at highly opportune times.

River was more of a wild card for me.  She was frustrating to the extreme at times, even if I understood why she vacillated between love and hate so often and easily.  I was exceedingly happy she looked out for herself after what she’d been through.  In the end, though, I was affected by her strength and how much she had grown into her own throughout the novel.

The plot of Memento Mori was excellent.  The Lost Boys were equally hilarious and heartbreaking.  Their innocence of the world coupled with their criminal pasts and extreme skills in combat and military-level espionage and investigation made this book incredibly unique, since they didn’t know how to operate in day to day life, but were easily capable of planning a complex infiltration operation.  I loved how Lexi Blake threaded so many different elements we’ve been following through her other stories into Memento Mori, and it made the experience of the book incredibly rewarding.

Lexi Blake is one of my must-read authors, and this book showed me exactly why.  Her characters are complex and perfectly flawed, her plots are intriguing and intense, and her writing complements the action and erotica her includes wonderfully.  I’ve loved all of her series, to date, but there was something more special about The Forgotten, and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for our Lost Boys.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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