LIVE NOW!! Behind the Bars by Brittainy C. Cherry

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.

I was the awkward musician, and she was the high school queen.
The only things we had in common were our music and our loneliness.

Something in her eyes told me her smile wasn’t always the truth.
Something in her voice gave me a hope I always wished to find.
And in a flash, she was gone.

Years later, she was standing in front of me on a street in New Orleans.
She was different, but so was I. Life made us colder. Harder. Isolated.

Caged.

Even though we were different, the broken pieces of me recognized the sadness in her.
Now she was back, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting her go again.

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
When we met again, she was the darkest storm.

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Hi! I’m Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I’m learning, things I’m re-learning, things I’m forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.

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GIVEAWAY ~ Black by KL Grayson ~ New Release & Sarah A’s Review

Family.
Everyone has one.
Some are close.
Some are dysfunctional.
Some are simply gone.

Nine-year-old Shae Black entered the Witness Protection Program after the murder of her father, mob boss Luca DiMarco. New name. New identity. And a ready-made family that had no idea who she really was.

Fourteen years later, a letter from a ghost thrusts Shae back into the life she was forced to leave behind. As secrets unravel, revealing unexpected truths, Shae sees an opportunity to avenge her father’s death by destroying patriarch Sal Ambrosi, the man responsible for her father’s murder. Getting to the heart of the family will be difficult, but nothing and no one is going to stop her—not even the heirs to the Ambrosi family empire.

She’s prepared for the two brothers, Dante and Rex, to put up a fight, but she isn’t at all prepared for the danger they will bring to her life and her heart.

One will love her.
One will hate her.
One will vow to protect her.
One will vow to kill her.

All in the name of family.

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  At one point, I was sure I had only read about 10% farther than the last time I’d checked when, in reality, I’d read another 30%.  That, my friends, is a sure sign of an engrossing story.

KL Grayson didn’t pull any punches with Black.  It was gritty and intense, included a touch of the taboo, and was altogether wonderful.  It was also nothing I expected from KL Grayson.  Her other books tended more toward the softer, sweeter side of romance, while this one toed the darker side.  I loved it.  From the very start of the book, I knew I was going to be in for quite a ride and I was not wrong.

It’s difficult to surprise me, so I was able to guess the direction the story was going, but it did not take away from the story at all.  All of the secrets and lies and cover-ups made this story so much fun to read.  I’m a sucker for a good romantic suspense and Black fit that bill well.  I hope that KL Grayson continues to write books within this genre, as her signature sweet romance gave a lovely nuance to a genre that can sometimes venture into the unbelievable.

I particularly loved the characters in this book.  Each of them was developed enough to feel complete, but there is still enough to learn about all of them, including Rex and Shae, the main characters, to leave plenty of things to learn throughout the rest of the series.  I found myself especially curious about Shae’s roommates and hope to eventually learn more about who they are in addition to the character whose book was teased at the end of Black.

After devouring all of KL Grayson’s published works some months ago I found myself anticipating each of her releases since with great longing.  Her works always find a way to tug at my heartstrings and it was no different with Black.  I dare say that this book may be her best to date.  Though I only finished this book a mere hour ago, I am already antsy to get my hands on the next one.

“So, Shae, tell me a little about yourself.”

“Really? You want to talk?”

I chuckle. “You sound surprised.”

“Because I am.”

“What’s wrong with getting to know the woman I’m about to fuck?”

“Are there things about me you’re dying to know?”

You have no fucking idea. “As a matter of fact, there are.”

She studies me for a moment and tips her glass, finishing off what’s left of her wine. She sets it on the counter, strides across the kitchen, and opens the curtains, revealing a breathtaking view of the Chicago skyline.

With her back to me, she takes a deep breath and when she exhales she says, “Let’s have it.”

In one gulp, I finish off my wine and set the glass next to hers. I slowly walk across the room, enjoying the view in front of me as I do.

And I’m not talking about the skyline. The dips and valleys of Chicago’s cityscape may be impressive, but they have nothing on Shae’s soft curves.

Her skirt is a little rumpled, her blouse untucked, and her long, dark hair falls in waves around her shoulders. Her body draws mine like a magnet, and when I step into her, pressing my chest against her back, she doesn’t move. There is no gasp of surprise, no stiffening spine, she’s just here in this moment with me.

“Let’s start with your favorite color.”

“Purple.” Her voice is shaky, and when I run my finger down the back of her neck, she tilts her head, allowing room for my lips to graze the silky smooth skin.

“Favorite food.”

“Italian.”

“Great choice.” I kiss a path along her shoulder. A shiver runs through her, and I smile against her skin. “Favorite sport.”

“Baseball.”

“Mine too. Favorite team?”

“C-Cardinals.” I nip at her soft skin, and Shae sucks in a breath. “What was that for?”

“I’m a Cubs fan.”

“That’s okay; I forgive you.”

I nip her again, run my tongue along the side of her neck, and blow lightly. Goosebumps race across the creamy skin.

“You’re so responsive, Shae. I can’t wait to see what else I can get your body to do.”

She takes a shuddery breath, and I can tell by the flutter of her pulse against my lips that my words excite her.

“What did Erin mean when she said you hadn’t been with a man in quite some time?” She doesn’t immediately respond, so I turn her in my arms.

Her cheeks turn the prettiest shade of pink as she looks at the floor. “You caught that, huh?”

“It’s pretty much all I’ve been thinking about.”

She looks up. “Really? Why?”

Fuck if I know. Maybe because I like you and the thought of other men touching you makes me want to strangle someone. But telling her that now probably isn’t the smartest idea, so I just shrug.

“Don’t know. Just curious is all.” Shae still doesn’t answer, and I can feel the air around us growing thick. “How many men have you been with?”

Her eyes grow as wide as saucers. “I don’t see how that’s any of your business.”

“It’s not. But I want it to be.”

Glancing down, she fiddles with the hem of her blouse. “Not many.”

“How many is not many?”

She tries to look away, but I don’t let her, so she opts to fold her arms over her chest. A universal defense mechanism. She thinks she’s shielding herself, but all she’s doing is fluffing her tits, putting all of that smooth, silky skin on full display. “I’m not a virgin, if that’s what you’re wondering.”

“I never questioned whether you’re a virgin.”

“Good, because I’m not,” she says firmly, and then her voice trails off. “I’m just not that experienced.”

“How inexperienced?”

Finally frustrated, she throws her arms out to the side. “Why does it matter?”

Running my hand up the back of her head, I thread my fingers through the silky strands of her hair. Something I’ve wanted to do since the moment I laid eyes on her. Gripping it tight, I tug and her head dips back. She looks up at me, her eyes smoldering, and I wonder what else she’d let me do.

“Because I want to fuck you, and I’m not a gentle man, Shae.”

Sucking her bottom lip between her teeth, she bites gently as I wait for her to respond. Something…anything would be good. Then she looks at my mouth, and what happens next isn’t at all what I’m expecting.

“We should probably kiss first.” She smiles coyly, and I do the only thing I can do.

I kiss her.

K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males, brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that order.

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Release Blitz ~ Found Underneath by KL Kreig

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FOUND UNDERNEATH by KL Kreig is LIVE!

It began as a ruse.

Take a girlfriend. Divert the press from the fucked up mess that’s my family until my father is re-elected. Stage a public breakup. Move on.

Only that brilliant plan went straight south the moment I set eyes on Willow Blackwell.

I found her.

My center. My future. A soulmate with the will of a mule and the mouth of a harpy.

I now want things I never wanted before. Permanent kinds of things.

Only Fate—and her ex—have other plans for us.

In some sort of cosmic impossibility, our lives unknowingly intersected years before when tragedy befell both our families. Once the devastating truth is finally revealed, the future I’d found in her will come crashing down around us and for the first time in my life I’m completely helpless.

I may very well lose the only woman I’ve ever loved to a past neither of us saw coming.

*warning: 18+ only. Contains foul language, explicit sex and a hot alpha (or two, or three). NOTE: This is NOT a standalone. It’s the conclusion to LOST IN BETWEEN, which MUST be read first.

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AUTHOR BIO

As a USA Today Bestselling author, I write stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans ARE flawed and if we read about perfect characters living in their perfect world, first of all, snoozer, but secondly, we never experience the gratification of redemption.

Outside of writing, I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KL-Kreig/808927362462053
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Website: http://klkreig.com
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Release Blitz ~ Unfinished Night Duet by Violet Duke

Today we have the release day of Unfinished Nights – Complete Duet by Violet Duke! Check it out and grab your copy of this great series today!

About the Unfinished Nights – Complete Duet:

BEFORE THAT NIGHT:

Before that night, Addison Milan had been just a college dropout secretly raising her two young siblings in a beat-up minivan she’d bought with her first semester’s tuition refund–the only money her addict mother hadn’t taken off with when she’d abandoned them nearly two years ago.

Before that night, Caine Spencer had been just a rough, gruff cop sent to check out the phoned-in claims of suspected child neglect involving the same woman he’d met just months prior when she’d first served him the city’s worst diner coffee…which he’d been drinking daily ever since.

Before that night, Addison would never have thought the man she’d been fighting hard not to fall for–her only friend in her new shadow of a life–would be in a position to rip her family apart.

Before that night, Caine would never have believed any woman could make him fall head over heels, let alone make him feel so damn compelled to look the other way when it came to his job.

 

Then that one perfect night changed everything.

EVERY NIGHT WITHOUT YOU

Seven years.

Seven damn years of wondering whether the woman was still alive…whether she’d spent the last two thousand five hundred fifty-five days wondering if he was still alive.

Wondering whether that night was as burned into her memory as it was his.

Seven years having his heart tethered to Addison―and now she’s back. With even more reasons to run than she’d had then.

Only this time, Caine isn’t letting the gorgeous little flight risk out of his sight.

Regardless of how noble her reasons may be.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

 

Caine stopped with his hand on the doorknob and studied her for a bit, with those deep, stormy eyes of his that always saw too much, read her too well. Then, he quietly pushed open the door to the darkened room and walked in.

But he made no move to flick on the light switch.

Instead, he simply stood there, just inside the doorway, holding the door open for her silently, waiting for her to decide if she wanted to go into the pitch-blackness with him.

Addison knew the choice to step over that threshold, into the unknown, was symbolic of so much more than what he was asking in that moment…a fact she was certain hadn’t escaped him.

He didn’t back down. But he didn’t push, either.

“Alec thinks there’s no way you and I can be friends,” she whispered, in a feeble attempt to keep them away from a ledge they’d be tempted to jump off of, where there would be no coming back from. “This is sort of an experiment he’s conducting to prove his hypothesis.”

“Did I mention I hated that ‘just friends’ idea from the start?”

Yeah. Her too.

“You want to know what I was thinking about when you suggested it?” he continued, reaching up to put his forearm against the door jamb, crowding the opening with his broad, six-foot frame.

She shouldn’t. No good could possibly come from being allowed inside Caine Spencer’s head. “Yes.”

The gravelly rumble of his voice turned hypnotic. “I was remembering how those soft, sexy sounds you’d make when I’d kiss you on your neck—right where that new tattoo is—would test me, nearly break me of my control every time.”

When his eyes began tracing intently over the lines of her tattoo, the air in her lungs thinned, and slipped past her lips before she could stop it.

His jaw tightened, and his forearms flexed. Once. Twice. Before his voice dropped a full octave lower. “A test. Every. Single. Time.”

Oh God, she wasn’t going to make it.

He took a step back.

She followed him in.

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About Violet Duke:

NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education ecstatic to be on the other side of the page now writing emotion-rich stories with fun, everyday characters and sweet, sexy match-ups. Since her debut series in 2013, over a million readers have put all four of Violet’s laugh & cry contemporary romance series on bestseller lists and Top 10 charts across the major eretailers, both in the U.S. and internationally.

When she isn’t feeding her book-a-day addiction, Violet enjoys doing far too many things without checking the directions first (often with outrageous power tools she has no business operating), and cooking impossible-to-replicate ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. She lives in Hawai’i with her kids (Violet & Duke) and Mr. Violet Duke (their ringleader), with a PJs-and-rubber-slippers work dress code she takes very seriously.

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GIVEAWAY & Release Blitz ~ Breaking Gravity by Autumn Grey ~ Sarah A’s Review

I’ve always followed my dreams with ruthless determination.

My life was going well. Success was at my fingertips.

Until it wasn’t.

All it took was three seconds to send my world crashing down around me, ripping my dreams to shreds.

Then I meet her, with her large hazel eyes that slay me at first glance.

And everything starts to make sense again.

I try to keep my distance.

To remind myself I am her mentor.

That we can’t be more,

but every time I push away, I’m pulled deeper into her.

The line between student and teacher is blurring.

One kiss.

One taste.

They’re all it would take to cross the line.

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The thing I regret most about my experience in reading this book is that I didn’t reread Fall Back Skyward right before I started.  These books have overlapping timelines and I hadn’t read Nor’s story since shortly after it released in May of 2016, understandably I had forgotten a lot of what had transpired in that book and I feel like having that all fresh in my mind would have made Breaking Gravity so much more impactful.  Throughout the story, I continually regretted my decision to not do a reread.  I will definitely be scheduling a series reread before the next book in the series comes out.  Just for clarifications sake, I would like to assure you these books are interconnected stand-alones and can be read without having read the other books, but I would highly recommend reading the books in order and the series in full.

Elon and Nathaniel had both been horribly scarred by love, both physically and emotionally.  Elon, however, made the decision to continue living whether she was destined for love or not.  Nathaniel chose to live in his pain, grieving the loss of the things he loved most in the world became the crux of his existence.  They were so similar, both so damaged, so alone, yet wildly different in the ways they faced the world after the events that changed their lives so terribly.  It was these differences, these completely different world views, coupled with the acuity of their pain, that made Elon and Nathaniel such perfect partners.  Each of their strengths and weaknesses were perfect counterpoints to the other.

Breaking Gravity was deeply moving and quite different from other student/teacher romances.  There were honestly times when I forgot Elon and Nate had a student/teacher relationship at all because they seemed on a completely level playing field outside of the classroom, if anything Elon often had the upper hand in matters of the heart.  I have a deep appreciation for how Autumn Grey depicted the quiet strength Elon possessed and how she used that strength to both her own heart and Nate’s.

I would have loved to have seen the end of the book explored more thoroughly.  I appreciate that the loose ends were tied up as well as they could be, while still leaving room for the next book in the series, but it felt rushed to me.  After an otherwise well-written and purposeful book the last few chapters didn’t have the same feeling or tempo as what had come before.  I always prefer a show, don’t tell approach to storytelling and that aspect of the ending feel short, for me.

Autumn Grey has proven to me, over the course of the two books of hers I’ve read, that she is someone to pay attention to.  Her stories are important and fresh, her writing allows me to get lost in words that I love.  I am sure that her artistry will continue to provide poignant and innovative storylines.  I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next and the ways she’ll make me feel those words deep in my heart.

Fall Back Skyward (Fall Back #1) by Autumn Grey

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Autumn Grey is the author of Havoc, Obliterate, Mend (Havoc series) and Fall Back Skyward. And just like her characters, she is quirky, sometimes funny and definitely flawed. She writes sexy contemporary romances full of drama, steamy kisses and happy ever afters.

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GIVEAWAY & Release Blitz ~ War Poppy by Nicole Lynn ~ Sarah A’s Review

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Love and war. Two words that should have little association, but to me the two go hand in hand. Both are a tragedy. They rip you open and spit you out. The war killed my husband, Connor, shattered my will to live, and took my best friend. Brandon may not have physically died in that war, but his soul did. And now we’re left to pick up the wreckage. Expected to move on when all that is left is the ruins of a life we once had.

Brandon

War. It took everything from me, even myself. When you’re only able to exist, death seems like a blessing. Pain…a welcome distraction. I ran from everything associated with my past, and then she found me, fighting, drowning myself in whiskey, trying to forget. She reminds me of Connor, of what I’ve lost—what we’ve lost. In the midst of destruction, she’s a salvation I don’t deserve.

I shouldn’t love him.

I shouldn’t love her.

Love is a war we never should have fought.

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War Poppy was painful to read.  It hurt me bone deep.  It was difficult and perhaps a little controversial, but beyond all of that, it felt very real.  Not everything gets tied up in a pretty, pink bow in real life.  Not everyone gets whole and healed because someone else hopes they will.  Life is messy, love is messy and all of it tends toward the painful.  War Poppy portrayed the truth of living in a very authentic way.

Not all wars are fought on battlefields, tons of the are fought within ourselves and others are battled in homes where the enemies take up residence within the souls of the people we love.  This was the case for Brandon and Poppy.  Watching them both battle an enemy they couldn’t control, one who was literally changing the core parts of who Brandon was, was gut-wrenching.  Even more so than seeing them struggle with the ghost of the person who was both his best friend and her husband, the person who they both loved and lost in the most tragic of ways.

The message in War Poppy, beyond the effects of war and that type of loss on a person, was poignant, it told of the consequences of making choices based on the wants and needs of another instead of looking out for your own.  It illustrated how damaging not considering your own well-being can be, no matter how altruistic your intentions.  It was devastating to watch the fall-out of those types of decisions.

War Poppy was wonderfully written.  I found it to be a wildly compelling story and a departure from most romances.  As painful as the story was, it was wonderfully refreshing to see something out of the normal romance tropes, I loved reading something that felt so true to life.  I was won over by the words, the writing, the reality of this book and will definitely be reading more books by LP Lovell and Stevie J. Cole.

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#2 War Hope – releasing May 2, 2017

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STEVIE J. COLE

Stevie J. Cole lives deep in the woods of Alabama with her husband and two precious daughters. She studied Epidemiology concentrating on cancer research but has always had a passion for writing. Some of her stories will strip you bare, some will give you nightmares, but the one thing she can promise is that she will always give you stories that make you feel.

Raw. Gritty. Love.
Because sometimes characters need to be flawed.

P.S. Stevie’s greatest fear is the impending zombie apocalypse. Think about it: swarming armies of decaying, oozing corpses stumbling around with clicking teeth, trying to eat your face. Nothing about that is good. NOTHING!

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LP LOVELL

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 apologise for afterwards.

Lauren is a self-confessed shameless pervert, who may be suffering from slight peen envy.

LP loves to hear from readers so please get in touch.

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GIVEAWAY & Blog Tour ~ Ever Over After by JA DeRouen

highres_eoaMarlo … wild-eyed, untamed, and every single thing I’ve ever wanted from this life. I wasn’t ready for her back then. I was a stupid boy with adult feelings and no idea what to do with them. I squandered away every chance she gave me.

Yes, love like ours either burns white hot or crumbles under the pressure.

And now I’m back to sift through the rubble.

Questions and excuses are two things I have in spades. What I need now are answers.

Answers and Low.

Always Low.

My name is Ever Montgomery, and this is my story of love resurrected.

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I honestly don’t have the appropriate vocabulary to talk about this book.  And I can not talk about it without including its mate, Low Over High.  The two books are so seamlessly and fantastically entwined if I hadn’t just finished both I could not begin to tell you where one ended and the next began.  This duet also flows perfectly from the Over series, from which it is based.

God.  Marlo and Ever.  Each couple in this series had more than their fair share of hurdles to overcome but this couple.  These people.  They hit me hardest.  Their story was the one that I could relate to most readily.  Their pain was more familiar to me than the others was.  While I hadn’t been in all the places both of them had, there were traumas I had experienced and demons I have watched people close to me fight.  To witness two people, fight all those horrific things when they were so young tore my heart and soul to pieces.

I am in awe of how sublime the Marlo and Ever’s story was.  I was completely taken aback by the ways that Marlo grew and dealt with the injustices she had been dealt.  I was even more impressed by how awe-inspiring Ever’s journey through neglect, loss, drugs, and recovery was.  The anguish he had suffered at the hands of his parents, his ‘friend’, and himself could have easily been insurmountable but that marvelous, devastated boy managed to find the strength within him to overcome and soar to amazing heights.

As much as I loved the catharsis that was the reunion of Ever and Low, it was equally devastating.  There were moments I wanted to hate Marlo for the ways she tried to push and hurt Ever, since it was from a place of protecting herself it was hard.  Watching them both lay all of their scars out for one another, seeing them begin heal each other from those mortal wounds, I felt it all down in the deepest edges of my soul.  It was heart-wrenching and beautiful.

Until five days ago, JA DeRouen was completely new to me.  I’d never opened a single page of her books.  Now, I’ve read them all.  As soon as I figured out this duet was a continuation of her Over series I knew I had to read them first.  And good lord, am I glad I did.  This entire series was wonderful, the premise, the characters, all of it.  For me, the best part was seeing how greatly JA DeRouen had grown as an author.  From Hope Over Fear to Ever Over After there was an amazing amount of growth as an author.  While Hope was an amazing story and well told, it didn’t hold a candle to the story-telling that was in Ever.  I am so happy that I was able to see how she honed her skills and improved her craft in these books.  I can only hope that she continues to grow and evolve in the same way.  I will also wish and beg for her to continue writing in this world she’s created.  There are so many more stories I want to see, particularly Jeb’s, that guy needs a break.

5 feathers

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J.A. DeRouen lives in South Louisiana with her husband, son (aptly named “The Professor), and her furry friend, Scout. She holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and nursing.

When she’s not writing or inhaling romance novels by the stack, she works as a women’s health nurse. She’s been an avid reader and daydreamer since childhood, and she’s never stopped turning the page to get to the next happily ever after.

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Release Blitz ~ A Harmless Little Plan by Meli Raine ~ Sarah A’s Review

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3-a-harmless-little-plan-ebook-coverTurns out there was a second video from that awful night four years ago. Mine wasn’t the only tape.

Too bad mine wasn’t the worst.

Drew can’t protect me no matter how hard he tries, but the roles are flipped now. I have to help him, but I’m not wired that way. Not anymore. That one night changed me more than anyone knows.

More than anyone could predict.

Three men think they’re above the law. They’re right.

But I’m willing to go beneath the law to make sure they never harm anyone else. Their threats don’t scare me.

When you have nothing left to lose because someone took it all away, you create the most dangerous creature imaginable.

Me.

Game over.

A Harmless Little Plan is the final book in this political thriller/romantic suspense trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.

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This series kept me on tenterhook for nearly its entirety.  I was just hoping for a little more resolution in this final book.

A Harmless Little Plan, especially the first 75% or so was everything I could have hoped for.  It was the ending that left me unfulfilled.  It just didn’t give me all of the answers I was looking for.  Yes, there were reasons we didn’t get some of the answers I wanted and I mostly accept that but there were other things that seemed glossed over.  Lines that were partially answered then left unresolved.  For me, it just didn’t fit with the rest of the series.

Up until that last 25% percent of the final book of this trilogy I was completely in awe of Meli Raine.  She seemed uninfluenced by what the romance community has come to expect from a romance novel.  It was only in that last small fraction that she seemed to cave to those whimsies.  I wish I could have got that same quality of storytelling to end the series.

4 Feathers

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Think about Drew, I tell myself. Remember his arms, how he smells. Look around the bathroom. There’s a can of shaving cream. A bar of used soap. A toothbrush holder with a crooked toothbrush hanging from it. The sink is messy, with small speckles on it. An electric razor is next to the shaving cream.

Huh. Wonder why he shaves both ways.

As I breathe my way to a relaxed state, I let myself indulge in imagining what it would have been like to become domestic with Drew. To come here and hang out. Spend the night. Slowly work our way toward a long-term relationship. Mom and Daddy would never put up with my living with him, but eventually, we’d get married.

My ring finger on my left-hand tingles at the thought.

Married.

Mrs. Andrew Foster.

Years ago, I had these fantasies. I lived a life before the attacks where I could be like any other woman, dreaming about the future. We even talked, tentatively, about what life would be like after Drew graduated from West Point.

We were just about there.

And then it was all taken from us.

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A Harmless Little Game ~ Book 1 ~ Available now

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A Harmless Little Ruse ~ Book 2 ~ Available Now

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Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them.

Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

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Release Day Blitz ~ The True Story of Atticus and Hazel by Fisher Amelie

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 It only took a second.

Overwhelming chemistry isn’t something anyone ever prepares you for. It’s not like your mama sits you down and warns you one day you might stumble upon someone impossible to resist, someone who sets your soul on fire. Combustible, explosive attraction is just the tip of the iceberg for Atticus Kelly and Hazel Stone. One touch between them can set them on fire, one word from their lips can send them careening, one look can cripple them to their knees. They are an inferno and they’re approaching the end of their wick.

Burning too fast, way too fast.

Except there’s nothing to temper the fever.

And the ramifications may be more than they can afford.

Everyone knows when it goes up in flames, there’s no saving the kindling.

The decision only took a second. Just a second.

“Hazel, what happened?”

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Come read the first chapter of The True Story of Atticus and Hazel! Start at Vilma’s Book Blog for the first half and end at Natasha is a Book Junkie for the second!

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I looked over at my equally beautiful friend. She was holding Simon’s hand, and I felt so happy for her. I looked down at Atticus’s hands as they swung at his sides. I found myself wanting one of his to take one of mine. My eyes followed up his arms, his shoulders, the side of his neck, over his tattoo of Juniper’s name, and settled on his face. I wonder, I thought, if we could ever be as we were, if it we could ever be simple, if he could ever love me. I wondered many more things as we followed the sinking path toward the open iron gates below, toward the stalactites and the stalagmites, reaching toward each other, desperate to connect, just like Atticus and me. They had much time to wait, though. I could only hope that wasn’t the case for Atticus and me. I didn’t know if I wanted to wait anymore. I was tired. Tired of suffering without him, tired of the weight of how I felt for him, tired of dragging it around with me, heavy, and begging to be lifted.
The sun had disappeared as we nestled deeper and deeper into the recesses of God’s earth and we found each other in the dull light of the scattered lanterns in a part of the caverns where the ceilings were barely eight feet high. Etta and Simon had gone ahead about a hundred yards where the cavern lifted a hundred feet into the air, studying the nature surrounding them more quickly than Atticus and I could absorb it.
We came upon a stalactite and a stalagmite separated by mere inches. They too looked tired to me. We circled them twice, each of us on opposite sides. Atticus bent his head to peer at me through the gap. I leaned forward and smiled at him but the smile quickly fell.
“So close yet so far,” I told him quietly, my whisper betraying me and echoing against the cavern walls. It bounced off our ears over and over.
“At least another thousand years,” his answer repeated.
“Such a long time to wait,” I said.
“They’ll get there,” he said.
“Will they, though?” I asked him.
Atticus’s eyes softened and he stood upright. He followed the base of the stalagmite around until he was standing about a yard away from me. He stuck his hands in the pockets of his jeans, his T-shirt straining against his shoulders and biceps.
“You know something, Hazel?” he asked me.
“What’s that, Atticus?”
“When they meet, those two points, when they finally come together after the wars, the battles, the wrong that has surrounded them in the ripples of their existence, after the longing, the misery, the torture of seeing each other as their future complete, that moment, that second, that instant will be their most vindicating time. It will be quiet; it will be unassuming. No one who sees it will be aware of their perfect collision, but it will be an explosion amongst themselves, for only them to know, for only them to feel. It will be proof they can weather anything, absolutely anything that comes their way. Even if it meant the end of the earth, Hazel Stone, it would not mean the end of the world. They are perpetual. They are forever.”
My heart pounded. He took a step closer to me. Another. Another. Until the chasm between us matched theirs.
“I have missed you more than you could possibly comprehend, Atticus.”
His eyes filled with something, an emotion. “I think I could,” he revealed.
Tears spilled over my cheeks. “But I don’t deserve you.”
He shook his head back and forth slowly; the backs of his fingers found my cheeks and dragged across. I turned my head into his skin, desperate to feel him for as long as possible. “No, I don’t deserve you.”
I shook my head in disagreement, tears coming stronger. “But I pushed you away.”
“You were trying to protect yourself, protect Juniper. I don’t blame you for any of it, Haze. It was what it was and it made us who we are.”
I nodded, knowing exactly what he meant. “Can you forgive me, still?”
“Only if you forgive me?”
“Of course. Of course I do. You know I do.”
He placed my face in the palms of his hands. “All is forgiven. All of it. All, Hazel.” He took a deep breath.
“Do you still hate my face?” I asked him.
His head lolled softly side to side. His thumbs started at my forehead and dragged down the sides of my face. “No, Hazel, I no longer see my pain there. I only see my future happiness, our future hope.”
I let out a groan of emotion, unable to hear that without a physical reaction. “I feel guilty admitting this—”
“Don’t. Juniper wouldn’t want that for us, Haze.”
I nodded. “I don’t feel the despair anymore. I feel calm now. I feel the memory without the searing pain. I think— no, I know it’s because of you.”
Atticus brought me into him, wrapping his arms around my shoulders, and I wrapped mine around his neck.
“You’re my best friend, Hazel,” he whispered to me.
“You’re mine, Atticus, my favorite friend, my forever friend.”
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Release Blitz ~ Twisted Palace by Erin Watt ~ Sarah A’s Review

twisted-palaceThese Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.

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***CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOOKS 1 & 2, Paper Princess and Broken Prince***

I was so ecstatic to read Twisted Palace, after the cliffhanger I was left with in Broken Prince I was dying for answers.  DYING!!  My heart might have skipped a beat when it showed up on my kindle.  Let me tell you, the book lived up to my expectations and then some.

Broken Prince left off with some absolutely insane revelations, Brooke had been murdered, Reed was the prime suspect, and Steve had apparently come back from the dead.  I was completely reeling with that ending.  It took me days to come to terms with the lack of closure I had.  I had so many theories, so many ways the story could pan out, for months it seemed like I was taking part in a choose-your-own-adventure book trying to guess how Ella and Reed’s story would end.

Some of the revelations in this book absolutely floored me.  Even in my craziest theories I never came close to how the events in this book played out.  There were some things that I had guessed correctly, but the way they played out were so far removed from what I thought, I can’t even give myself credit for those.  I am wholly impressed by how well Erin Watt kept everyone on their toes with the conclusion of this book.

Twisted Palace was a fast, intense read.  I was so invested in what was going to happen next I was hardly able to notice the passage of time as I read.  I was carefully dissecting each tiny piece of information in order to help me deduce what had happened during the fateful night Brooke had died.  There was also all of the insanity that was released in the reappearance of Steve and how he was trying to cultivate a relationship with Ella; it was all very strange and uncomfortable, yet oddly compelling.

Erin Watt really knocked it out of the park with this series.  There was enough intrigue to drive the story forward, enough romance to warm my icy heart, enough pain to keep me emotionally invested in every character in the book (even the ones that I hated).  Twisted Palace ended in such a way I was completely satisfied with the conclusion of Ella and Reed’s story, but it left me wanting to know more about Easton, about the twins, about Gideon.  The world created in the Royals series is one I would happily revisit, hopefully in order to get the brothers’ stories.

5 feathers

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paper-princessFrom strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

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broken-princeThese Royals will ruin you…

From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

She might be right.

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.

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Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share one creative imagination. Their greatest love (after their families and pets, of course)? Coming up with fun–and sometimes crazy–ideas. Their greatest fear? Breaking up.

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