Rogue Royalty by Meghan March ~ Sarah A’s Review

Unthinkable. Unbelievable. Inconceivable.

I don’t recognize what my life has become. I can’t tell where the lies end and the truth begins anymore.

He came into my world and urged me out of my safe little corner.

All my dreams are coming true except the one thing I want most— my own happy ending.

But I’ll fight for it.

For now.

For always.

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I’m a little heartbroken to be saying goodbye to Temperance and her man. These stories captivated me so thoroughly, and I’ve been so eager to get my hands on the next one, it feels like I’m going to miss the anticipation of re-entering their lives. I’ve so enjoyed their fascinating dynamic, their sexy as sin physicality, and the danger that has plagued them from the off.

My heart broke for Temperance as this book started. It was the first real moment of weakness I’ve felt from her, and she totally deserved that moment. She’d lost so much, and her life had changed so significantly in such a short time, she was due a little mental health break. The way she picked herself up when she was ready and took life by the horns was amazing. She could have easily let everything she’d been through destroy her, but she only used it to make herself stronger.

Her man was equally wonderful. He supported her so fully and did anything in his power to make her happy; I love a hero who puts their own needs aside to ensure their loved one has their needs tended to. He continually proved to me, to Temperance, to himself that he was so much more with her than he’d ever been without her.

There were tons of twists in this book, only a few of which I was able to call ahead of time. I was completely taken aback by the climax; I would have never in a million years have guessed things were going to play out that way. Rogue Royalty kept me on my toes and completely engrossed in how it was all going to come together in the end. It was a wild ride, with some seriously sexy scenes, and a few beautifully touching moments between Temperance and her man.

I will continue to kick myself for not discovering Meghan March sooner. She is a fabulous wordsmith and fabricates intense, unique storylines. Each book I’ve read from her, series included, is excellently plotted and have held me captive from start to finish. I certainly hope to see more from the seedy underworld of Meghan March’s New Orleans because there are still a few people I’d love to get to know.

Who knew things could get even darker and dirtier in New Orleans? New York Times bestselling author Meghan March introduces the Savage Prince of the city, the man you never want to meet. 

I do what I want and who I want. I don’t follow anyone’s rules—even my own.
I knew I shouldn’t touch her, but it didn’t stop me. 
Didn’t stop me the second time either. Only made me want a third. 
My lifestyle suits the savage I am, and she doesn’t. 
But Temperance Ransom is my newest addiction, and I’m nowhere near ready to quit her yet.
I’ll have her my way, even if it means dragging her into the darkness.
Hopefully it doesn’t kill us both.

Savage Prince is book one of the Savage Trilogy, set in the same world as Ruthless King, however you do not need to read the Mount Trilogy to devour this scandalously hot new story.

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He’s a mystery. An enigma.

His very identity is a secret buried beneath layers of deception.

He’s also an addiction I can’t shake. An attraction I can’t fight.

And then I found out exactly who he is—a man more dangerous than the devil himself.

Now I need him in order to save everything that matters to me.

I have to pull back. Protect myself from the danger that haunts his every step.

Which would be easy . . . if I could stop myself from falling in love with him.

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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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NEW RELEASE!! Rebel Heart by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland ~ Sarah A’s Review


A Contemporary Romance Duet

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Authors
Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Rush and Gia’s story continues in the gripping conclusion to Rebel Heir…

How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons:

Sleep with your boss. Check.

Blow all your money on a rental you can’t afford. Check.

How to walk away from a man you fall in love with at the end of a summer:

…I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Rebel Heir is the second book in the Rush Series Duet.  Book One, Rebel Heir, is available for sale now.

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Rebel Heir left us on a huge reveal. Epic even. I was so happy to get my hands on Rebel Heart to see how that affected Rush and Gia’s relationship. Rebel Heart put my heart through the wringer in the best way. It was a major angst-fest, but I never for one second questioned Rush and Gia’s love for one another.

As much as I loved Gia and Rush in Rebel Heir, they were better in Rebel Heart. They were dealing with a pretty devastating revelation on top of all the things they already had on their hands and instead of acting out and being petulant about things they couldn’t change, they acted like adults and took the time and space they needed to work through everything. They communicated well, and it was so refreshing not to have assumptions and miscommunication be the root of conflict. I’m not saying it was an easy road, far from it, but I loved how it was handled.

Gia was in, quite possibly, the most unenviable position a woman can be in. I couldn’t imagine being her. Yet, she handled it with as much grace as a person in her place could. She didn’t make excuses; she didn’t whine in a corner. She grabbed her awful circumstances, reigned them in, and made the best she could of a life she never expected, even as she lost the life she thought she’d have for a hot minute. She was a pillar of strength while the world around her was crumbling. Sure, she had her moments of despair, who doesn’t, but she remained her smart-mouthed self, pulled on her big girl panties, and tried to make lemonade.

The new information was no less life-altering for Rush. After his behavior in the first part of Rebel Heir, I was pleasantly surprised by how well he handled himself in Rebel Heart. With one small exception, he didn’t resort to destructive behaviors to cope. He was unendingly supportive and protective, even when he wasn’t sure if he could come to terms with everything. I loved that he didn’t take what amounted to a monumental mistake on Gia’s part out on her since there was no way she could have anticipated the consequences.

Rebel Heart was a very moving story. It dealt with some pretty heavy subject matter in a considerate, sensible manner. One of my favorite things about it was how respectful Gia and Rush were of one another’s feelings, while still moving to protect themselves and heal from the pain they were dealing with. Having Rush’s relationship with a man who wasn’t his birth father, but a father-figure no less, play such a pivotal role in his decision-making process was fabulous. There were so many things about this book that were perfectly done; I could wax poetic about them forever, it seems.

Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland collaborations are some of my favorites. They do such an amazing job of playing off each other and coming up with new, interesting storylines; I always find myself completely lost in their books. The Rush series duet is undoubtedly my favorite work of theirs, to date, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next, as their work is just becoming better with time.

How to kick off a great summer in the Hamptons:

Snag a gorgeous rental on the beach. Check.

Get a job at a trendy summer haunt. Check.

How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons:

Fall for the one guy with a dark leather jacket, scruff on his face, and intense eyes that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the tony looking crowd.  A guy you can’t have when you’ll be leaving at the end of the season.

Check. Check. Check.

I should add—especially when the guy is your sexy, tattooed God of a boss.

Especially when he not only owns your place of employment but inherited half of the town.

Especially when he’s mean to you.

Or so I thought.

Until one night when he demanded I get in his car so he could drive me home because he didn’t want me walking in the dark.

That was sort of how it all started with Rush.

And then little by little, some of the walls of this hardass man started to come down.

I never expected that the two of us, seemingly opposites from the outside, would grow so close.

I wasn’t supposed to fall for the rebel heir, especially when he made it clear he didn’t want to cross the line with me.

As the temperature turned cooler, the nights became hotter.  My summer became a lot more interesting—and complicated.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.

Rebel Heir is the first book in the Rush Series Duet.  Book Two, Rebel Heart, will release six weeks later on May, 22, 2018.

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Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list seventeen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

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 Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in fourteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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The Wright Love by KA Linde ~ Sarah A’s Review

A sexy new contemporary romance duet from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I have the perfect life.
Until the day my husband tragically dies.
Being a single mom and widow was never part of the plan.
When David Calloway enters my life, I have no room for love in my heart.
But he’s determined to do right by me.
Could he be the Wright love?

The Wright Love is the first book in the Wright Love Duet, and Sutton and David’s story will conclude in The Wright One—coming May 29th! Get ready for your newest binge read.

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It had been so long since I’d read a book by KA Linde, I thought this was the first one I had. Honestly, I was doing myself a disservice. I’ve had several of her books chilling on my kindle for years and have no excuse for not reading more of her work between 2013 and now. The Wright Love was so good, and now I know I need to go back and binge all the other Wright series books.

The first chapter of The Wright Love broke my heart. Sutton’s grief was palpable; a living breathing thing that was all-consuming and devastating. I was in no way prepared for how deeply her loss, a loss that happened before this book started, would affect me. And the opening scene where she visited her husband’s grave on the first anniversary of his death to talk to him just ravaged my soul.

David was amazing. His quiet support, his unending understanding, his gentle perusal of Sutton’s heart, it was wonderful to read about a hero who wasn’t an overbearing alpha (not that I don’t love them, but it’s nice to have a change). When we finally learned why he was so understanding of Sutton’s grief, my heart ached for him; an acute ache that comes with the understanding of what he’d been through. A sad as it was that they were able to commiserate on that level, it was lovely to see how much their mutual anguish allowed them to bond.

The pacing of The Wright Love was perfect for this story. Sutton was healing and in pain, unsure of what her future could or should hold, worried about her son, so her hesitance to move forward with anything was justifiable. David’s gentle and unwavering comfort of her allowed her to learn to trust him with her heart, while he slowly dismantled the walls she’d built around it. I loved their dynamic, it was so tender, so uplifting, while still maintaining a heat and intensity that couldn’t be denied.

I was taken aback by the climax of this book. I definitely didn’t see it coming, though thinking back, I wonder if I should have. There were enough breadcrumbs left throughout the book to make it very believable without completely spoiling the shock of the reveal. I am o anxious to get my hands on The Wright One to see how this new information affects Sutton and David, as well as the rest of the Wright clan.

The Wright Love is the first book in KA Linde’s Wright Love duet. This book is also part of the Wright series world. I can tell you from firsthand experience it is not necessary to have read the other Wright books before reading this duet. It did whet my appetite for the Wright siblings enough that I know I’ll be making time to read their books in the near future. The Wright Love is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Sutton and David.

It has been ages since I last read a KA Linde novel, long enough that I don’t remember much about the book I read before, and I was definitely missing out all these years. She did an excellent job of pulling me in and playing my heartstrings from the off and continued to pluck them throughout the novel. I was impressed by how emotionally charged her prose was and how deeply she made me connect with her characters. While this may have been the first book I’ve read by her for some time, it will not be my last. Far from it.

A new sexy contemporary romance duet from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

Secrets swarm all around.
My world is crumbling under the strain.
I don’t know if we can survive this.
My heart is in the Wright place.
But is his?

The Wright One is the last book in the Wright Love Duet that began in The Wright Love. Find out if Sutton and David survive their world of secrets in the conclusion to the Wright Love duet! 

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES MAY 29, 2018  ***
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K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

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Rebel Heir by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward ~ Sarah A’s Review

How to kick off a great summer in the Hamptons:

Snag a gorgeous rental on the beach. Check.

Get a job at a trendy summer haunt. Check.

How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons:

Fall for the one guy with a dark leather jacket, scruff on his face, and intense eyes that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the tony looking crowd.  A guy you can’t have when you’ll be leaving at the end of the season.

Check. Check. Check.

I should add—especially when the guy is your sexy, tattooed God of a boss.

Especially when he not only owns your place of employment but inherited half of the town.

Especially when he’s mean to you.

Or so I thought.

Until one night when he demanded I get in his car so he could drive me home because he didn’t want me walking in the dark.

That was sort of how it all started with Rush.

And then little by little, some of the walls of this hardass man started to come down.

I never expected that the two of us, seemingly opposites from the outside, would grow so close.

I wasn’t supposed to fall for the rebel heir, especially when he made it clear he didn’t want to cross the line with me.

As the temperature turned cooler, the nights became hotter.  My summer became a lot more interesting—and complicated.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.

Rebel Heir is the first book in the Rush Series Duet.  Book Two, Rebel Heart, will release six weeks later on May, 22, 2018.

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Wow. I did not see that ending coming. And I need Rebel Heart NOW! Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward completely blew all their past work out of the water with this book. I’ve read a few of their other collaborations, and they don’t hold a candle to the magic they achieved in Rebel Heir. I love every second of this book.

Rebel Heir is the first book in Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward’s Rush series duet. The book does end with unanswered questions, but book two, Rebel Heart, is scheduled for release on May 22, so the wait isn’t unbearable. The story is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Gia and Rush.

First, I have to tell you how much I loved Gia. Is it possible to describe a person as both outspoken and reserved? Because I felt Gia exhibited both traits. She was quite a quandary, with Rush she felt so much freer than she did when left to her own devices. From the off, she had a special dynamic with him, and it seemed to boost her confidence in a fantastic way. Regardless of what came at her, however, the girl was tough, she took whatever was thrown at her, dealt with it, and pushed through.

Rush was a study in not judging a book by its cover. The face – dare I say mask – he wore for the world belied who he was behind that carefully constructed façade. While I did love his gruff, bad boy persona, the man his mother raised – his true self – was exceptional. His loyalty and protective nature were endearing, and it was easy to understand exactly what Gia saw in him. Side note, I absolutely adored his mother and hope we get to see more of her in Rebel Heart.

Now, I’ve read a ton of romance novels, and it’s rare to find a book that includes something I haven’t read before, but the twist in Rebel Heir is not something I’ve read before, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. Given the information we have, it could either go really poorly or amazingly well. I am on tenterhooks waiting for the next book as I can’t wait to see how things play out with the added wrinkle to their already complex situation.

I love Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, both the work they do together and their solo projects. Their stories are consistently compelling and consuming, with interesting dynamics and wonderful characterizations. I love both of their writing styles and continually attempt to decipher who wrote which chapters on their co-writing projects, it adds an extra layer of intrigue for me.

 

Rebel Heart: book 2 ~ Releases May 22
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Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list seventeen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

 Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook Fan Page

 Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in fourteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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Savage Prince by Meghan March ~ Sarah A’s Review

Who knew things could get even darker and dirtier in New Orleans? New York Times bestselling author Meghan March introduces the Savage Prince of the city, the man you never want to meet. 

I do what I want and who I want. I don’t follow anyone’s rules—even my own.
I knew I shouldn’t touch her, but it didn’t stop me. 
Didn’t stop me the second time either. Only made me want a third. 
My lifestyle suits the savage I am, and she doesn’t. 
But Temperance Ransom is my newest addiction, and I’m nowhere near ready to quit her yet.
I’ll have her my way, even if it means dragging her into the darkness.
Hopefully it doesn’t kill us both.

Savage Prince is book one of the Savage Trilogy, set in the same world as Ruthless King, however you do not need to read the Mount Trilogy to devour this scandalously hot new story.

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What a ride. This story was intense, in so many ways. So. Many. Secrets. So few answers. I absolutely loved it. I was intrigued by the vague blurb, and I’m not sure I have figured anything else out after having read the book. I do know I need the next book and am completely OBSESSED with figuring out all the things and all the players who are tied to Temperance’s life.

Savage Prince is the first book in Meghan March’s Savage trilogy. This trilogy is part of her Anti-Heroes collection of which the Mount Trilogy is part, reading those books will give you a sense of the world and just how dangerous a position Temperance may be in. It is also set in the same world as the Beneath series. Some of those characters have cameos in this book, but not a huge role. Savage Prince is written in first-person, narrated by Temperance until the end.

Savage Prince was an explosive beginning to this new series. I was addicted to Temperance and her mystery man from the onset of the novel. Their chemistry was immediate and apparent from the moment they shared page time. It was as if I felt the same pull toward him as she did when it had been a page too long since he’d appeared there was a longing in me to have them come together and combust, again.

All the other moving pieces in Temperance’s life made her story so much more intriguing. In the Mount trilogy, she was so focused on her job; I wanted to know what made her tick since it seemed like there was a lot she was keeping to herself. Savage Prince delivered in a massive way on that front. Temperance is the very definition of still waters running deep, and I have a feeling we’ve barely begun to wade past the banks of her turbulent river.

I’ve barely finished this book, and I am chomping at the bit to get the next one. Savage Prince is a drug, and I NEED my next hit. I keep looking back for clues I’ve missed to answer all the questions I have, but I’m certain all of the tiny crumbs that were left were artfully placed to make sure whoever is reading the book has enough information to be intrigued without having enough to start putting the puzzle together yet.

Meghan March is a guilty pleasure author for me. The books I’ve read by her are dark and decadent and oh so sexy. I find myself getting lost in the world and she adds in the cameos from her other characters in such a way that I know I need to read their stories too.

“That you, Temperance?”

My gaze searches the darkness, interrupted only by the Chinese lanterns and fairy lights hanging from the trees, until it lands on the red dragon emblazoned on the back of a black silk kimono, topped by a fluffy white head of hair.

Shit. My landlady.

“I’m so sorry to disturb you, Harriet. I’ll just—”

She spins around, spry for her advanced age. “Oh, girl, you’ve got sex hair. At least that makes one of us.”

I squeeze my eyes shut in humiliation. “I . . . uh . . . got—”

“Done up right by a real man, I’d say. About damn time, girl. I was starting to think you were a lost cause of all work and no play. Almost wondered if I’d have to find a new tenant to get some entertainment around here.”

I blink twice as she shuffles toward me, fluffy pink marabou slippers on her feet. “You were going to kick me out because I work too much?”

I knew my landlady was a little nutty, but I didn’t realize she was downright crazy.

“It would’ve been a last resort. I was going to send you a male stripper first. Girl, you need some fun in your life, and you do nothing but go between here and work. Boring as hell.”

Her point is finally sinking in, but part of me is still in shock. “I’m boring?”

“Of course you are. I swear, you go out of your way to stay that way too. But not tonight. Tonight, you look like you got dicked down by a real man.” She takes a seat at the outdoor patio table and reaches for a bottle of wine. “Here’s a glass. Now, sit down and consider part of your rent spilling the juicy details.”

Dumbstruck, I close the distance between us and take a seat at the table. “It’s nothing. I swear.”

“Girl, you’re practically walking bowlegged. I’ve been around the block plenty of times. You won’t shock me.”

I reach for the glass of wine and take a long drink. Good Lord, I needed this.

“I shouldn’t even be admitting what I did tonight.”

Harriet’s aged eyes practically light up as she grins. “Those are the best stories. Come now, I’ll take it to the grave.”

I squeeze my eyes shut. “I think I accidentally went to a sex club.”

Harriet’s wineglass clinks the metal of the table. “I knew this was going to be good. How do you accidentally go to a sex club?”

I tell her about the note that came to the office, and rushing to meet the appointment, assuming I was there to sell whiskey . . . and end with the part about running from the room.

Harriet claps with childlike excitement. “There’s hope for you yet, Temperance. When are you going back?”

I’m stunned at her reaction. I didn’t exactly expect her to judge, but I sure didn’t think she’d cheer me on.

“Never. I can’t. That’s not me. I’m not . . .”

“Interesting? Sexually adventurous? Up to be manhandled regularly by a real man?”

“I don’t even know his name!”

Harriet waves off my concern. “If I had a nickel for every man whose name I didn’t know, I’d be even richer than I am now. You can’t take life so seriously. You’ll never make it out alive. Now, you go upstairs, take the rest of this bottle of wine, and get tipsy enough to forget all the shouldn’ts and can’ts. If you need me to do some stalking to find this guy, just let me know. I have connections.”

IRON PRINCESS
PREORDER ~ Anticipated Release April 24, 2018
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ROGUE ROYALTY
PREORDER ~ Anticipated Release May 22, 2018
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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. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

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Gentleman Nine by Penelope Ward ~ Sarah A’s Review

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

Growing up, the three of us were friends.
He was the nerd.
I was the playboy.
She was the beauty.

Deep down, I only ever wanted her. I kept it inside because Rory and I made a pact that our friend, Amber, was off-limits.

He lied.

I went off to college, and he got the girl.
Amber never knew how I felt.
They were together for years—before he broke her heart.

Through it all and across the miles, she and I casually stayed in touch.
When my job sent me to Boston for a three-month contract position, Amber let me stay in her spare room.

Still reeling from her breakup, she’d sworn off men.

One night, I opened her computer to find the shock of my life. She’d hesitantly contacted a male escort company. Afraid to date and get her heart broken again, she was looking for sex with no strings.
Every emotion imaginable ran through me: protectiveness, jealousy—curiosity.
Amber had chosen Gentleman Number Nine and sent him a message.
She opened up to him, confessing, among other things, her physical attraction to her friend—me. But she considered me off-limits—and she thought I was a manwhore. (Ironic, considering the circumstances.)

Eventually, she set up a date to meet Gentleman Nine at a hotel.
When she showed up several nights later to meet him, she got the surprise of her life to see me standing there—with an offer I hoped she wouldn’t refuse.

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It took me two days to read the first 25% of this book and about three hours to finish the rest.  I had a hard time connecting with the characters in the beginning, and I kept hoping there was going to be *that* moment, the one that finally made me NEED to read the rest of the book.  I can’t vouch for a hugely impactful event that made me start to love the story; it happened slowly, as they became vulnerable and real, I found myself needing to know how their story played out.

Gentleman Nine is a standalone novel.  It’s told in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Amber and Channing.  Mostly.

When I started this book, I was sure Amber was going to be the character with whom I connected most.  By the end, I somehow had the shallowest connection with her.  Not that the connection was weak, there was just something about Channing and a few of the other characters that spoke to me on a deeper level.  They needed my affection more than Amber; she didn’t know how strong she was or how much everyone else relied on her unwavering care and support.

Like all of Penelope Ward’s books, this is a much more emotional book than is hinted at in the blurb, it’s a hallmark of her work, for me.  She draws me in with fun, flirty cover copy then hits me with feelings I’m never prepared for.  Gentleman Nine wove several intense situations, primarily different types of loss into its storyline.  Some of them so intense it made my heart ache.  One of the tertiary characters, Boris, that old man, he broke my heart, and his message was so profound; he may have been my favorite person in the entire novel.

The big reveal, the climax of Gentleman Nine completely took me by surprise.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was not prepared for what happened, and it changed everything for me.  I questioned everything, much like Amber.  I’m still a little taken aback by it; and honestly, I’m not sure I know how I wanted the storyline to play out after that.  I was torn, devastated by all the information I had.  It was wholly unique and heartbreaking.

My only wish for this novel would be the beginning be more intriguing.  I know there was a lot of things that needed a delicate set-up in this book, but so much time was taken getting all of those little pieces put in place, my attention was lost.  Had this been another author, one I wasn’t as familiar with, I may have given up before the story even started.

Penelope Ward is a great storyteller; as I said earlier, she always weaves fantastically powerful themes into stories that could otherwise be very light.  She usually draws me in from the first sentence, and I knew she’d deliver on this book, so I stuck it out and am so happy I did.  Her characters are wonderfully surprising and never quite what I expected.  Ms. Ward’s books are what they’re talking about when they tell you not to judge a book by its cover because they are always so much more.

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list sixteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

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Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry ~ Sarah A’s Review

From critically acclaimed author Katie McGarry, comes SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME—a story of two people from different worlds pushing themselves, and each other, to get what they deserve!

SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME is now available at all fine book retailers. Grab your copy today!

“Doesn’t matter who did it. Not anymore. I did the time. It’s over.”

When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

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This book started out SLOW; I felt like I was moving backward at times during the first half of the book.  Fortunately, the second half completely redeemed the book.  After I finished the book and looked back at the beginning, I don’t think it could have moved any quicker or the poignancy of what happened throughout the rest of the book.

Say You’ll Remember Me is a standalone novel.  It is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Elle and Drix.

I loved the characters from the beginning.  I found them both to be surprisingly relatable, considering they were teenagers. The secondary characters – particularly Drix’ brother, Axle – were wonderful.  They were just as well-developed and sympathetic as Elle and Drix, and I would love to read more about all of them.

This book broke my heart a lot more than I expected.  From what Drix had been through, to Elle’s parents, the different types of neglect and ways they’d been used tore at my heart.  I didn’t expect to feel so deeply invested in them and the way people kept failing them, whether those failures were intentional or not.  Katie McGarry did a great job of juxtaposing Elle and Drix, on the surface they seemed diametrically opposed, but the more we learned about each of them, it was evident they were both struggling with the need to be more than what people saw on the surface.

Initially, I would have said I wished the beginning had not been as drawn out as it was.  After completing the book and reflecting on the book in its entirety, I know the book wouldn’t have been as impactful without it being exactly as it was.  There was one event I REALLY wish hadn’t happened, but that horrific heartbreak heightened the emotional fallout of the other events in the novel and pushed the book into being more than your typical young adult novel.

Katie McGarry won me over, as a reader, years ago with Pushing the Limits.  While Say You’ll Remember Me wasn’t quite the emotional powerhouse that book was, for me.  It still highlighted important issues and made me think of things I’d never considered before.  That is one of my favorite things about this author and YA books, that attention to social issues that aren’t always touched on in other genres.

~Ellison~

The two of us are different. Complete sliding scale different. The only thing we have in common, as far as I can tell, is that he appears about my age and that we are both wearing shoes. My sandals to his scuffed combat boots. His sagging jeans with rips and white T-shirt to my ironed khaki shorts and fitted blue top. My diamond earrings and gold bracelet with a heart charm to his black belt that has metal studs and silver chain that hangs from his belt loop to his wallet.

By looks, I should have more in common with the loser college boys, but it’s this guy I’m comfortable with. “What’s your name?”

He throws the ball, and he’s right, he sucks at it. While he has unbelievable power, his aim’s completely off. The ball hits the back curtain with a loud thud, then drops to the floor. “Drix.”

“Drix?” I repeat to make sure I heard him correctly.

“Drix. It’s short for Hendrix. Like Jimi Hendrix.”

“That’s cool.” Because it is.

I wait for him to ask for my name, but he doesn’t. Instead he says, “Are you here alone?”

He throws the second ball, and this time he hits the top of the three bottles, sending that one to the ground.

“No. My parents are here. I’m supposed to meet them at the convention center. What about you? What happened to the people you were with? Or are you here alone now?”

“Yes, but no.” Drix pulls his arm back, releases the ball, and when the ball hits the bottom bottles, my heart lifts with the idea that he won, but only one of the bottles goes flying. The other stays completely untouched.

He turns in my direction, but his gaze roams over my shoulder, then flickers to the left. Drix then glances behind him, and when he returns his attention to me he raises his eyebrows. “They appear to be gone.”

That’s awesome news, but I’m still stuck on his answer of “yes but no.” Honestly, I’m stuck on him. He’s a million questions without a single answer, and he makes me incredibly curious.

“My parents weren’t thrilled about me hanging out alone at the midway, but I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. It’s just Whack-A-Mole, you know?”

“And a ball toss.”

“And a ball toss. None of it should have been complicated.”

“Shouldn’t have been.”

“Elle!” Part of me is relieved to see Andrew craning his neck over the crowd. Another part of me is majorly disappointed. There aren’t many times in my life I’m left alone. Not many times I’m able to explore new places and people without someone hovering and not many opportunities when I would meet someone like Drix.

“Elle,” Andrew calls again. I wave at him, hoping it will buy me a few seconds, and he waves back in a way that tells me he needs me to walk in his direction. That works well for me.

“Is that a friend of yours?” Drix asks.

“Yes, but no.” I borrow his answer because it’s apropos. Andrew’s a few years older. More friend of our family than a personal friend of mine, and I don’t like the idea of explaining that my parents think I need a babysitter.

Drix’s mouth twitches at my words, and my lips also edge upwards. “I just made you smile a third time. Is this a Guinness Book of World Records thing?”

“I liked your answer.”

“I’m just creative like that.”

Order your copy of SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, register and you will receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER, a novella that features your favorite Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road characters!

From the Pushing the Limits series, Noah, Beth, Isaiah, West and Logan are all grown up. Catch up with your favorite characters as one of them finally says, I do.

Pigpen, Eli and Addison from the Thunder Road series: Three separate personalities who still needed to find love…and still had someone important to meet.

This is a limited time offer! So hurry! Registration ends on February 3, 2018! You must register your order to receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

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Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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Combust by K. Bromberg ~ Sarah A’s Review

From New York Times Bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes the second standalone book in the Everyday Heroes series. Just how hot will firefighter Grady Malone turn up the heat?

Songwriter Dylan McCoy has been burned.

By her boyfriend she found in her bed . . . with someone else.

By the contract she signed that obligates her to work with him until the songs for his new album are complete.

By her agent when she asked Dylan to keep their breakup on the down-low.

When she finds herself in Sunnyville, she refuses to let her new roommate burn her too. Still . . . a rebound has never looked so good.

That’s her first thought when she sees firefighter Grady Malone.
Sexy. Charismatic. Unapologetic. He’s a man who carries his own scars—the ones on his back, the survivor’s guilt on his soul, and the fear in his heart.

When an unexpected visitor puts their roommate status to the test, will their undeniable attraction burn out, or will they both take a chance and play with fire?

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A little humor, a dash of angst, a sprinkle of heartbreak, and a lot of healing; that’s what went into making this book such a great read.  Combust was heavy enough to keep me wholly invested in the characters, their histories, and their healing, while still having enough levity to keep it from feeling like the subject matter was as heavy as it actually was.

Combust is the second book in K. Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes series.  It can be read as a standalone, as each book deals with a different couple, but the men in these stories are brothers, so there are cameos from the other couple in this book.  If you are going to read all of them, I suggest reading in order, just to get the experience as intended.  Combust is written in dual first-person perspective, in Dylan and Grady’s voices.

Dylan was such a relatable character.  She was so strong in some areas and in others, so insecure.  The things she struggled with, in particular, her looks, is something almost every woman I know has dealt with.  It was good to see that not be her primary storyline, however.  My favorite thing about Dylan was her ability to admit her shortcomings and use them to support those around her and help them come to terms with the things they weren’t happy with themselves.

Grady, oh Grady.  He broke my heart in so many ways.  I can’t begin to relate to the kind of grief and fear he lived with day in and day out, and that is what made him so human.  Often book boyfriends are this unattainable demi-god of perfection – and I’m not saying Grady didn’t fit that mold in some ways – but the pain of existing, most days, for him grounded him.  Knowing that he bore the scars of his past and felt them every moment made my heart yearn for him to forgive himself.

Combust was a highly emotional book, from the highs of Dylan getting to prove she was more than her ex thought, to the lows of reliving what were the worst moments of Grady’s life, it was quite a rollercoaster.  From Dylan’s lyrics to Petunia to Grady’s resolution to never put someone in the position to lose him, K. Bromberg delivered a fascinating story of healing and learning to love yourself.

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New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, K. has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

In April, she’ll release The Player, the first in a two-book sports romance series (The Catch, book 2, will be released late June), with many more already outlined and ready to be written.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales: http://bit.ly/254MWtI

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Escape by Jay Crownover ~ Sarah A’s Review

Everything inside of him is screaming that he needs to run, he needs to go, he needs to escape.

Lane Warner is used to being overshadowed and overlooked.

After all, he’s the youngest brother and the most laid back one in the family. He’s the one known for going with the flow and not making waves, even when things seem to be at their worst.

Very few things in life have had the ability to rile Lane up and get under his skin. At the top of that list is his childhood friend Brynn Fox…no…Brynn Warner. The fact that they share a last name was the one thing that has the power to light him up and spin him out of control like no other. There was no calm, cool and collected when it comes to all the reasons why Brynn had to become part of his family.

It’s slowly killing him to keep wanting what he can’t have, so Lane sees only one way to stop himself from doing something they’ll both regret…he has to leave.

Everything inside of her is calling out to find him, to follow, to bring him home.

Brynn Warner is used to being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

After all, she’s the daughter of an unrepentant gold-digger who never once blinked at being the cause of her daughter’s pain and suffering.

Very few things in her life have ever brought happiness and a sense of security. At the very top of that list is Lane Warner. She has unwaveringly loved the youngest Warner since the first minute she laid eyes on him. He was everything Brynn ever wanted and everything she knew she could never have.

Sometimes the right choice is the one that hurts the most and Brynn’s had to make a few that felt like they might be the end of her.

When Lane takes off, one thing is clear, the only choice Brynn has is to go after him.

She’s going to bring her wayward cowboy home….whatever it takes.

Escape is a standalone novel, the third book in the Getaway series, which features the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women who dare to love them. These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

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Escape was a story about going home, but it was also a lesson in knowing that home isn’t a place but the people in it. It was also a tale about family being more than the people you share DNA with; your family is made of the people who love and care for you regardless of what you can offer or the things you’ve done in the past. As happy as I am to have finally seen the final Warner find his forever, I’m also a little bit sad that they’re all paired up, I can only hope that we get to see more of this world through the stories of the secondary characters.

Escape is the third book in Jay Crownover’s Getaway series. It can be read as a standalone, but the first two books set up a lot of the tension and world that Brynn and Lane are living in. Escape is told in dual first-person perspective – with the exception of the prologue, which is told in third-person – by Lane and Brynn.

I am ecstatic that Escape was not what I expected. I was certain it was going to be full of Brynn and Lane fighting against what they both wanted because they were sure they didn’t deserve it. I loved getting a book that focused on them figuring out what they had. The tension that had been brewing between them through the first two books had given me enough anticipation for the resolution of their issues. If there was ever a couple, who had been dealt enough of a shitty hand before their story even started it was them, so seeing them start to figure out how to shovel out from under the past and look to the future warmed my heart.

I was a little surprised by the suspense in Escape. Considering how much suspense was in the first two books in the series, it shouldn’t have, but I was not expecting the turn it took while they were headed home from California. I was happy to see them have something to work together on, and think it helped immensely with their relationship to have something to focus on outside of themselves. Bauer’s story was heartbreaking, and I am happy baby Warner and Brynn stumbled upon him and took him under their wings. No doubt, his story, and many others, would have ended quite differently without their intervention. And maybe the intervention of a certain sexy cop from Denver.

Jay Crownover is a long-time favorite of mine. I love the grittiness of her characters and how she makes their flaws turn into assets. Her writing style is raw and visceral, and I always feel so many things when I read her books. I can’t wait to see what all she has in store for her readers and hope she revisits the Getaway crew so we can find out the stories of some of the secondary characters.

Brynn

For the first time in days, it felt like my world was set back to rights.

Everything was crooked and off center the minute Lane walked out of the house in Wyoming and disappeared. I couldn’t think straight. Every step I took was wobbly and unsteady. From the moment I opened my eyes, to the second I fell into a fitful sleep at night, it was like I saw things through a grainy black and white filter. There was no color in any of my days when Lane was gone. There was no joy or light. There was only a massive void where I knew I should be able to feel my heart hurting and my soul suffering, the way they always did when it came to the youngest Warner, but when he left there was nothing.

I thought I knew what it felt like to have everything inside of me freeze and shatter. When word came that Lane had been shot while trying to protect his niece from a madman hell-bent on destroying everything that was important to Sutton, I was sure I would never be able to breathe or feel again. That icy pain, that frigid fear had nothing on the numbness that followed when Lane walked out the door seconds after Jack dropped to his knee. At that moment, I knew I was supposed to focus on the man asking me to share his life with him, the one who wanted me for me, and not because he was driven by some chivalrous need to save me from my messed up family and tumultuous home life.

But I hadn’t been focused on Jack. All I could see was the resignation and regret flashing through Lane’s pale blue eyes. We were both reliving the moment another man had asked me to marry him. Only that time, Lane hadn’t been able to escape the outcome. He’d been reminded of it for years, every waking moment when I’d technically held the title of his stepmom. I was something neither one of us could get away from no matter how hard we tried. It was amazing how much one little yes could change everything.

Now that he was standing in front of me, looking much thinner and more haggard than he had even when he came home from the hospital, I finally felt like I could inhale again. Everything that was fuzzy and blurred around the edges pulled back into sharp focus. I could look at the sky behind his tousled head and see that it was the same stormy blue as his eyes. I could also focus on the lines of tension and stress radiating out of the corners of those eyes and the bruised, dark hollows underneath them. Without him, nothing felt like it mattered. There was no home. There was no peace of mind. There was no safety and security.

When he was close, the littlest things felt hugely important and essential. The twitch of his lips into a wry grin spread warmth that chased away the emptiness for the first time in what felt like forever. The heat radiating off of his long, lean body made my heart kick back to life. When his arms wrapped around me for a seriously overdue hug, I finally felt alive. Finally felt something other than the echoing loneliness and hollowness that consumed me the minute he turned his back on me. Even with Daye trapped between us, I still felt a tingle at every single spot where his body touched mine.

“It’s so good to see you.” I meant it with every fiber of my being. Looking at him, even as worn and as drawn as he appeared, settled something deep inside of me.

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Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

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GIVEAWAY!! Whore by Willow Aster ~ Excerpt

“I need a reason to exist.”

Beautiful, intelligent, independent, strong-willed, wealthy—Lilith Fontenot seems by all appearances, to have it all. But that’s not how the highest paid prostitute in New Orleans sees herself.

A stain on society. A scourge. A waste. Outsider. Prisoner…

Any idyllic dream of the normal life she may have once imagined, Lilith buried long ago. Her only plan now is survival.

But mob boss Nico Santelli and community center owner Soti Christos have not given up on Lilith. Each has his own very specific, very opposing, plans for her, and neither will rest until it becomes a reality.

WHORE is a singularly bracing take on an ancient tale of tireless love, betrayal, and the possibility of redemption.

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It’s all about her.

I give her a shaky smile and she returns a faint one. I kneel down and sit in front of where her arms are resting on the tile. The water splashes as I put a leg on either side of her.

Her hands drag leisurely up my legs until they reach my waist, and then she pulls hard, until I slip in the water with her. Her smile is full of mischief. My chest might cave in, it’s pounding so hard.

“There. Doesn’t it feel good in here?” She puts her arms around my neck and wraps her legs around my waist.

I grip her thighs, drawing her closer. “Like heaven,” I mutter.

Her hands dig into my hair, as she leans in and gives me the barest whisper of a kiss. Her eyes seem shy, but then she traces my bottom lip with her tongue. She smiles when it becomes obvious just how much her touch controls me.

“I like you, husband,” she whispers.

“I like you, too, my wife,” I whisper against her lips.

Our kiss deepens and I can’t tell if she’s trembling or if it’s me. Our hands are everywhere at once. My tongue twists with hers like it has finally found its favorite place. Our bodies leave no room for doubt. She engraves her name on my heart; I know exactly when it happens. She leans back just long enough to look in my eyes, as if checking to see if this is real. What she sees there reassures her, and we both shake with the knowledge of it. Two lost souls, found.

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Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and the upcoming release, Whore. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming and make fun of her for reading while cooking.

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