What’s Kim Reading: 5 Books on My Summer Reading List

In a few weeks, I’ll be heading off to Sicily for a much needed vacation and some writing time. I’m looking forward to eating lots of gelato, drinking vino rosato and feeling the heat of the sun on my skin.

When I am on vacation, I devour books. I’ve already got a few books on my June vacation reading list. I head to the US in August, so I will probably save a few books for that trip (and buy a few more).

Camden by Xio Axelrod

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Xio Axelrod‘s got a new book coming on 23 May and I seriously cannot wait to read it! It’s called Camden and right now it’s available for preorder exclusively through iBooks, but will be sold wide.

I love the cover copy:

Sometimes there’s a moment when you know you’ve screwed up. For Camden Skinner, it’s the night a dead pop star walks into his pub.

As one-half of Skin, an agency which specializes in cleaning up behind the ultra-rich and infamous, Cam has gotten used to getting his hands dirty. A little too used to it. After the young singer at the center of a client’s controversy is found dead, Cam decides he’s out. He walks away from Skin in search of a simpler life. Maybe even a shot at redemption.

Redemption arrives in the form of Yara Bujold.

The singer’s meteoric rise to the top surprised no one more than Yara herself. All she ever wanted was to make music. Caught up in the dark underbelly of the industry, Yara is forced to fake her own death. But she can’t hide forever.

Yara tracks down one of the principals at Skin, the very people that helped to tear her down. She’ll force Camden Skinner to make it right, whatever it takes. What she doesn’t expect is remorse from the man that helped to ruin her. And she certainly doesn’t expect to lose herself in him.

Cam finds himself sucked right back into a world he’d hoped never to step foot in again, but he can’t walk away. He has to fix this. Not only for himself, but for her. For Yara. Because she might just be everything he didn’t know he needed. She just might be everything.

Intrigued? I know I am! 🙂

Somebody Else’s Sky by Jessica Hawkins

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Last summer, I stumbled upon Jessica Hawkins’s books and now I am hooked. I’ve got Somebody Else’s Sky on my Kindle, but I am waiting until Sicily to begin reading it. I want to be able to savor this without any distractions (other than my lovely hubby).

Here’s the blurb:

If I closed my eyes, I could still see them—all blonde sunshine, ocean-blue eyes, and long limbs. The glint of Lake’s gold bracelet. Pink cotton candy on Tiffany’s tongue. My scenery may have changed from heaven to hell, but some things never would: my struggle to do right by both sisters. To let Lake soar. To lift Tiffany up. The sacrifices I made for them, I made willingly.

A better man would’ve walked away by now, but I never claimed to be any good. I only promised myself I’d keep enough distance. If I’d learned one thing from my past, it was that love came in different forms. You could love passionately, hurt deep, die young. Or you could provide the kind of firm, steady support someone else could lean on.

Lake was everything I wanted, and nothing I could ever have. I was nobody before I knew her and a criminal after. The way to love her was to let her shine—even if it would be for somebody else.

Book two in the Something in the Way series, an epic, 3-book saga of forbidden love…

Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks

summerslease-ebookI’ll have to wait until July for this one, but I will make sure I have a lazy weekend to enjoy Carrie ElksSummer’s Lease.

If you’ve never read her books, you’re missing out on something good.

Here’s the blurb:

Meet the Shakespeare family: four sisters, four stories . . . four ways to find true love

Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. Six years after the play she wrote bombed at the box office, she’s unable to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and worst of all her family have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her the use of his friend’s Italian villa for the summer, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

When Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton sees his name splashed across a gossip rag, all he wants to do is hide. That’s how he finds himself traveling to Italy, deciding to spend the summer in his family’s empty villa on Lake Como. Except when he arrives it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.

Over the course of the hot Italian summer, Cesca and Sam have to come to terms with their pasts. What begins as a tentative friendship quickly grows into an intense attraction – and then a scorching fling. But they can’t hide from reality forever . . . as their different worlds collide, Sam and Cesca face a choice: is this just a summer romance, or could their love weather even the coldest winds?

A brand new series from the bestselling author of Fix You and the Love in London series.

 

The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 11.53.02Mika Jolie’s latest came out at the end of April, but I am saving it for my summer holidays.

If the cover isn’t enough to whet your whistle, then check out the blurb:

According to the law of attraction, women and men can’t be friends.

Contrary to this myth, my friendship with Coriander Phillips does not rest on unrequited love or un-actualized lust. We’ve been inseparable since the day I pulled one of her pigtails and she punched me in the gut.

She’s hilarious, fun to hang out with. Together, we’re like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, wings and beer. A match made in heaven.

She’s the bomb.

Did I mention she’s smokin’ hot? I’ve checked her out…maybe once or twice. Hey, I’m a guy.
Seriously, no awkwardness, no secret yearning for our relationship to escalate beyond the purely platonic. I’m the boy friend—the loyal shoulder she cries on, the dispenser of coffee, sympathy, hugs, advice, and affection with no expectations.

Until the invisible line between friends and lovers became blurry.

Now I want more. I want her.

All I have to do is convince her we can be more than friends.

Right?

If only it were that easy.

The Promise: Tactics of Love by L.S. BergmanScreen Shot 2017-05-22 at 12.03.07

L.S. Bergman’s The Promise: Tactics of Love is another title I purchased a few months ago, but that felt more like a summer book, so it’s on my vacation reading list. I love the cover–it’s intriguing!

Here’s the blurb:

Every girl wants the fairy tale, ‘the promise’ of a perfect love.

Alessa Monroe is no exception.

Every guy has his way, his tactics for getting what he wants.

Keith Parker has enough skills and fame to consider himself a pro, and Isaiah Fieldman’s powers hate to be underestimated.

One woman is responsible for both men’s sudden awakening and moment of reckoning… Alessa Monroe.

For Alessa, her life feels like it’s finally on track.

With a bright ‘too-good-looking’ mentor and boss, Isaiah Fieldman, and a dreamboat celebrity boyfriend, Keith Parker, everything in Alessa’s world seems to be on the fly. The niggling feeling at the base of her stomach, that it is all too good to be true, too perfect; Alessa is happy to ignore, until … she can’t help but read the writing on the wall.

Words that say. Men and their wily ways don’t always add up. What you think you see is not always what you get. The guy you think you’ve got all figured out isn’t who he seems.

Because love is like that, complicated, oft bumpy, seldom smooth. These are how the games oft go in the tactics of love.

So that’s what my summer reading list looks like so far. Have you got suggestions for books you think I should add to it?

 

Cover Reveal: Chance Encounter by SJ McCoy

Chance Encounter

A Chance and a Hope, Book One
by SJ McCoy
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Cover Design: Dana Leah @ Designs by Dana
Cover Model: Andrew James
Photographer: Golden Czermak FuriousFotog
Publication Date: May 16, 2017

iBooks | Barnes & NobleKobo | Google Play | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Chance knew love once—a long time ago. She died when they were eighteen and the best of him died with her. Since then his work on a ranch in Montana has allowed him to keep his distance from people and from happiness. Eighteen years later, he may be ready to start living again—maybe. He’s watched all his friends find love and embark on the next stage of their lives. Part of him would like to do the same; part of him would rather cling to the past.

He’s hoping that a trip to the Oregon Coast, and a couple of weeks away from his normal life, might help him figure out how he can move forward and maybe even be happy.

It’s taken him eighteen years to get this point, but a chance encounter on the beach will make him want to figure it all out in just two weeks.

He’s come a long way, but can he really open his heart up to happiness—and to Hope?

Chance Encounter is the first of three books in A Chance and a Hope Series.

These are not standalone reads. In fact, when you get to the end of this story, you may be faced with a cliffhanger – or you may not. The choice is yours!

What do I mean? Well, when you reach the end of Chapter Twenty you’ll be left with a warm and fuzzy Happy-For-Now. Then you’ll be faced with a choice – read on, all the way up to the edge of a cliff where I’ll leave you hanging, or stop right where you are and wait for Book Two to come out on June 13 and read Chapter Twenty-One then. If you love a cliffy, you can have one. If you detest a cliffy, you don’t have to deal with it! Also, if you’d rather wait until the entire trilogy is complete you’ll only have a couple of months to wait.

Book Two: Finding Hope releases June 13
Book Three: Give Hope a Chance releases July 11

About SJ McCoy


Hi, I’m SJ, a coffee addict, lover of chocolate and drinker of good red wines. I’m a lost soul and a hopeless romantic. Reading and writing are necessary parts of who I am. Though perhaps not as necessary as coffee! I can drink coffee without writing, but I can’t write without coffee.

I grew up loving romance novels, my first boyfriends were book boyfriends, but life intervened, as it tends to do, and I wandered down the paths of non-fiction for many years. My life changed completely a few of years ago and I returned to Romance to find my escape.

I write ‘Sweet N Steamy’ stories because to me there is enough angst and darkness in real life. My favorite romances are happy escapes with a focus on fun, friendships and happily-ever-afters, just like the ones I write.

These days I live in beautiful Montana, the last best place. If I’m not reading or writing you’ll find me just down the road in the park – Yellowstone. I have deer, eagles and the occasional bear for company, and I like it that way :0)

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

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New Release: Yes, Prime Minister by Aria Cole

 

 

 

 

 



As the Prime Minister of Canada, boyishly handsome Bryce Gallagher gets exactly what he wants, exactly when he wants it. He’s never met a foreign dignitary he couldn’t charm—or an office assistant who didn’t swoon at one of his panty-dropping smiles. But Bryce has never met a woman who’s caught his attention. And then Juliette Alexandre walks into his life.

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks requires grit, and Juliette Alexandre has it in spades. She’s worked tooth and nail for every accomplishment she’s earned, which is why she is zero percent interested in the perfectly round, incredibly taut, viral-worthy ass of her new boss, Prime Minister Gallagher. She’s finally landed the dream job…

Now she just has to avoid eye-fucking the sexy-as-hell Prime Minister every time he shoots her that orgasm-inducing grin. The fate of the country may depend on it.

Warning: Get your passport ready. You’ll be crying “Oh…Canadahhhhhhhhhhhh” once Bryce sets his sights on you.

 

 

Aria Cole is a thirty-something housewife who once felt bad for reading dirty books late at night, until she decided to write her own. Possessive alpha men and the sassy heroines who love them are common, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily ever afters so sweet your teeth may ache.

For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn’t take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!
Follow Aria on Amazon for new release updates, or stalk her on Facebook and Twitter to see which daring book boyfriend she’s writing next!

Sign up to get a NEW RELEASE ALERT from me!
http://eepurl.com/ccGnRX

 

Review: A Love for Romance Anthology by SBR Media Authors

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Book Title: A Love For Romance Anthology

Authors: SBR Media Authors

Release Date: April 24, 2017

Cover Designer: Freya Barker

 

Do you have a love for romance stories? Included in this anthology are stories that will have you intrigued; make you swoon; all the while warming your heart.

Fifteen SBR Media authors present to you: A Love for Romance.

 

A preview of Trading Yesterday by USA Today Bestselling Author Kahlen Aymes
The Break (Breaking Free, Part 1) by USA Today Bestselling Author Debra Presley
Always Too Late by Micalea Smeltzer
Until the Stars Forget to Shine by Amber Garza
The Only Chance by Magan Vernon
Awakened: A Leila Marx World Novella by Amber Garr
Do You Mind? by Freya Barker
Cock-Blocked by W. Ferraro
What Happens on Spring Break by R.C. Stephens
Always There by Elizabeth Hayes
Falling for Lindy by Ashlee Taylor
Burning the Midnight Oil by Eilson Grace
Babysitting for the Biker by Sammi Starlight
Chasing Love by Misha Elliott
Spellbound by Ashlee Sinn

Review

Looking for something to feed your Kindle? A Love for Romance should do the trick! It gives you a taste of some great love stories. So far, I’ve read Do You Mind by Freya Barker and Always Too Late by Micalea Smeltzer and enjoyed both stories. I’m looking forward to delving into more stories during my May Day long weekend.

Do You Mind by Freya Barker starts off with a meet-cute at the airport in Atlanta. Bernice, also known as Bernie, is a romance writer on her way home to Toronto after a conference in Biloxi, Mississippi. When her flight is delayed, she’s given the chance to either take a flight the same day or wait until the next day. She’s more than a little surprised when wildlife and nature photographer Jack asks if they can share a table–despite there being enough places for him to sit alone. What could have resulted in uncomfortable silence leads to something more. After having lunch together, Bernie finally admits to herself she is attracted to this rugged hottie and, when he convinces her to stay until the next day, she goes against her better judgment and agrees. What follows is a sweet yet sexy story of two strangers whose attraction could lead to something more. This was a short, sexy, fun read. I give it 4 stars!

Micalea Smeltzer‘s Always Too Late is a prequel–the beginning of Remy and Mathias’s love story–before he became the most wanted lead singer of Willow Creek. When two young outcasts–though he is considered already then a very sexy bad boy–are thrown together, it should lead to love, but there’s tragedy waiting in the wings. When he asks her out, she thinks it’s a joke, but she eventually agrees. They commiserate over pizza and realize they are kindred spirits. This is a story of first love and when fate plays tricks on them–we know that this will not end well, but it’s only the beginning so there’s more to their story. It’s a sweet coming of age story and I give it 4 stars. My only quibble is a small monkey wrench that’s tossed in that felt like it came out of nowhere, but I can suspend my disbelief and read the continuation of the story in Micalea’s Never Too Late.

Going to delve into even more stories in the anthology at the weekend and looking forward to it, but I think you’ll enjoy these short love stories.

Overall rating: 4 stars.

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Cover Reveal: Somebody Else’s Sky by Jessica Hawkins

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Coming May 22nd, the second book in Jessica Hawkins‘ sexy, forbidden love series, Something in the Way.

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Blurb

If I closed my eyes, I could still see them—all blonde sunshine, ocean-blue eyes, and long limbs. The glint of Lake’s gold bracelet. Pink cotton candy on Tiffany’s tongue. My scenery may have changed from heaven to hell, but some things never would: my struggle to do right by both sisters. To let Lake soar. To lift Tiffany up. The sacrifices I made for them, I made willingly.

A better man would’ve walked away by now, but I never claimed to be any good. I only promised myself I’d keep enough distance. If I’d learned one thing from my past, it was that love came in different forms. You could love passionately, hurt deep, die young. Or you could provide the kind of firm, steady support someone else could lean on.

Lake was everything I wanted, and nothing I could ever have. I was nobody before I knew her and a criminal after. The way to love her was to let her shine—even if it would be for somebody else.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR list and pre-order your copy now

Amazon ➜ http://smarturl.it/sesamazon
iBooks ➜ http://bit.ly/sesapple
Nook ➜ http://bit.ly/sesnook
Google Play ➜ http://bit.ly/sesgp
Kobo ➜ http://bit.ly/seskobo
Goodreads ➜ http://bit.ly/somebodyesgr

Haven’t read Something in the Way, the first book in the series?

1-click it — it’s available now–and it’s a page turner!

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Purchase Links

Amazon ➜ http://smarturl.it/sitwamazon
iBooks ➜ http://apple.co/2hOCBPh
Nook ➜ http://smarturl.it/sitwnook
Google Play ➜ https://goo.gl/B6vVos
Kobo ➜ http://smarturl.it/sitwkobo
Paperback ➜ http://amzn.to/2q0rbji

About the Author

Jessica Hawkins is an Amazon bestselling author known for her “emotionally gripping” and “off-the-charts hot” romance. Dubbed “queen of angst” by both peers and readers for her smart and provocative work, she’s garnered a cult-like following of fans who love to be torn apart…and put back together.

She writes romance both at home in the California desert and around the world, a coffee shop traveler who bounces from café to café with just a laptop, headphones, and coffee cup. She loves to keep in close touch with her readers, mostly via Facebook, Instagram, and her mailing list.

Keep up with Jessica Hawkins

FacebookInstagram – Website – Mailing List

Blog Tour: Captured by Sabrina Sims McAfee

Captured, the first book in The Good Doctor’s installment is out now!

17916417_1325195797535355_744396414_oTitle: Captured by Sabrina Sims McAfee
Genre: Romance/romantic suspense/women’s fiction

SENSUAL***THRILLING***STEAMY ROMANCE

Bestselling Author Sabrina Sims McAfee brings you another steamy romance filled with twists and turns and edge of your seat suspense.

Love and War brings them together. But with evil lurking in the dark shadows will they stay together?

Dr. Sean LeBlanc past experiences taught him that being in serious relationships is not for him. His only interest right now is providing medical care for the underserved people in the Democratic Republic of Congo—Africa.  However, when his new roommate arrives—Dr. Santana Kingsley—he’s shocked to learn it’s a woman—a strikingly beautiful woman at that. From the moment he lays eyes on her sparks fly and everything he thought he never wanted is now right in front of him.

Santana’s horrible past leads her to Africa where she plans to escape and drown herself in work. When she arrives and meet her boss, she never expects him to be her roommate and a gorgeous hunk. Though she’s instantly attracted to him, she’s sure he would never cross the line.

As Sean and Santana work day in and day out together, their professional relationships turns into a steamy romance.

Then suddenly, a war erupts and the unthinkable happens—Santana goes missing.

Now Sean is determined to get back the only woman he’s ever loved—his sweet Santana.

 

Excerpt

Prologue

Santana
Dr. Santana Kingsley sat on the bleachers, watching her son play soccer with the neighborhood kids. A smile washed over her face. She’d never been happier.
Dylan looked too cute, kicking the soccer ball down the field, running beside the other kids.
Santana’s eyes traveled over to where her girlfriend, Gina, stood. Gina smiled at her and then waved for her to come over.
She rose to her feet, descended the bleachers, and began making her way over. As she crossed the lawn, the hot sun burned her face. It was a great day to go to the pool. Perhaps she’d take Dylan for a swim—
A loud horn blasted the air.
Screams erupted.
Santana spun around and faced the commotion. Her heart dropped, twisting violently in her chest.
“Noooo!!!!” A tortuous screamed erupted from her lungs.
Dylan lay sprawled in the street in front of the car with the soccer ball beside him.
She took off running.
Fear and panic coursed through Santana’s veins as she plummeted to her knees, placing a finger on Dylan’s neck, checking for a pulse. There was a faint one.
The driver paced back and forth, gripping his head. “He just came out of nowhere and ran in front of the car! I’m sorry!”
“Is he dead?” someone asked.
“Who was supposed to be watching him?” another person asked.
Santana’s shoulders rocked violently as tears seeped from her eyes. “Someone please call 911!”
Terror gripped her. She pinched Dylan’s nose, covered his mouth with hers, and blew.
“Come on, Dylan. Breathe, baby. Please breathe,” she said, sobbing, administering chest compressions to his tiny body.
“Oh my God! Dylan!” the familiar voice screamed. She glanced up to find her husband glaring down at her. “What happened?!” Eric dropped to his knees beside her.
“I only took my eyes off him for one second.”
Tears made a burning trail down Eric’s jaws. “You were supposed to be watching him!” he barked, crying profusely.
Dizziness assailed her as she sobbed, painfully. She gathered Dylan in her arms, cradled him against her chest, and prayed harder than she ever had before.

Chapter One

Democratic Republic of Congo
many years later

Santana
Dr. Santana Kingsley sat in the front passenger seat of the opened window Jeep, taking in the view of the rain forest. Nervousness swarmed inside her veins, but the anticipation of providing medical care to the underserved people of Congo brought warmth to her inner being.
The nonprofit organization she was going to be working for—DEAR: Doctors Emergency Aid & Rescue—had a stellar reputation as to how they went about epidemics, conflicts, and disasters. And although she always dreamed of being a philanthropist, she knew she wouldn’t be here if her son—Dylan—hadn’t died.
The remembrance of her son dying in her arms after he’d been struck by a car made Santana shiver. She felt hollow and empty. If she would’ve been watching Dylan more carefully, he’d still be alive and her husband would’ve never divorced her, leaving her with nothing but an aching heart.
Santana stared at the powder blue sky. I miss you so much, Dylan. Mommy is so, so sorry. Deep regret filled her soul as she felt her eyes grow wet.
“It’s nice of you to come here, Doctor.” The sound of the African driver’s thick accent cut into her painful thoughts.
The Jeep rocked vigorously over the unpaved road. Santana gripped the handlebar to steady herself, hair whipping at her face. She transferred her gaze to the driver. “I’m glad to be here. Africa is so beautiful.” She swiped at the hair brushing her lips.
The male African driver gave Santana a despondent stare, then fixated his gaze back on the road ahead. Shaking his head negatively, he cleared his throat.
“The view you see now is indeed a pretty sight to see, but as we get farther into the east into Kinshasa, you’ll see it’s quite ugly. The sea is infected with garbage, dead animals, and human remains.” A harsh breath expelled from his dark lips. “My uncle died in the water, trying to escape the rebels.”
“The wars here are bad. The worst in the world.”
“Yep. They’re horrible. Here in the Congo…people are slaughtered for no good reason. We need your help, Doctor. Thank you for coming.”
God sent me here to restore my soul and to help others. “You don’t have to thank me. It’s my pleasure to be here. I’m looking forward to helping.” A short moment of silence passed. “How long will it be before we get to the DEAR house?” She was anxious to see where she’d be living.
“Not long. We’ll be arriving any minute now.” The driver pulled off the main road and drove into the forest. Tires crunching branches resounded in Santana’s ear. Where exactly was she going to be staying? In the jungle?
The driver cleared his throat. “Dr. LeBlanc takes great pride in his medical foundation—DEAR.” He smiled. “He’s a mighty good man. Us Congolese people have high regards for Dr. LeBlanc. We think he’s the best thing next to God. Out of the goodness of his heart he hired me, and now I’m able to buy food from the local market to feed my family.” He chuckled. “My wife and children can eat good food now because of the doctor. We finally getting some meat on our bones,” he said on a laugh.
Santana smiled at his fond words pertaining to Dr. LeBlanc. “I can’t wait to meet him. I’m looking forward to working for him.”
She reached into her purse for the DEAR brochure. On the cover was a nice photo of Dr. Sean LeBlanc. Dressed in a navy suit, he had gray hair, dark eyes, and looked to be around sixty years old. He’s such a handsome older man. From what she’d researched, the doctor had a stellar reputation and was a genius. Perhaps Dr. LeBlanc could teach her how to start up her own nonprofit humanitarian aid organization.
The Jeep came to a screeching halt. Sand whooshed up from the worn tires, stirring the air. “We’re here, Doc!” The driver flashed a wide grin.
Santana took in her surroundings. A white, tiny house made of sun baked bricks was centered dead smack in the middle of the forest. In the middle of…ummm…nowhere. Looking beyond the tall trees, she could see the mountains. This was her new home.
Immediately, she felt culture shock. She was going to be living in the actual jungle. In a tiny shack.
Anxious to meet Dr. LeBlanc, she opened the door and stepped onto the grass. Strong stenches of wildlife assaulted her nostrils. Her nose wrinkled.
The driver pulled her luggage from the trunk and came to stand beside her. “So what do you think of your new home?”
“It’s different. Real. Different.” This is going to take some getting used to, that’s for sure.
Shaking his head, he chuckled. “I’m sure it’s different all right,” he mocked, dragging her suitcase along the grass.
Santana followed him.
Suddenly, the front door of the shack cracked open and a handsome man appeared in the entryway. Tan complexioned and dark hair, he wore a white tank top and light denim jeans. Opening the screen door, he walked onto the porch.
Santana paused at the foot of the steps, glancing up at the fine man. He must be a servant of some sort. He’s gorgeous.
He offered her a gorgeous smile, causing her heart to do somersaults. Then he descended the staircase.
The hot sun beat down on his masculine face as he peered down at her, towering over her, making her feel short beneath his bold, domineering stance.
As her eyes glazed over him, lust crawled through Santana’s system. She swallowed. She was nearly melting like an icicle, and he hadn’t said one word yet. Body temperature rising, she tucked a pieced of hair behind her ear.
“Hi. I’m Dr. Sean LeBlanc,” he said in a husky voice, outstretching his hand.
Santana’s heart dipped. Dr. Who? What? Wait!
She was confused. When she grasped his calloused palm, warmth spread through her hand and up her arm before spreading through her chest like a wildfire.
“Hi. I’m Dr. Santana Kingsley.”
Sean’s eyes spread wide with shock. “You’re Dr. Santana Kingsley!” His voice pitched. She nodded. He ran his hand raggedly through his hair. “Apparently, there’s been a mix up. Your application stated that you were a man.”
“What? I’m not a man.”
Sean’s blue eyes gleamed. “Well, I can see that.” A baffling expression settled on his face. “I’m Dr. Sean LeBlanc,” he repeated, “the CEO of DEAR. And umm. I’m your new roommate.”
Santana’s heart dropped as a lump clogged her throat. And all of her bravado was shot straight to hell. There was no way in hell she could live with a man that looked like him!
What in the world was going on?
“I’m confused. The man on the brochure and the website had gray hair and was a much older man,” she said wearily. She pulled the DEAR brochure from her purse and held it up to his face.
Sean surveyed the brochure. “That’s my father. He’s the founder of DEAR and just recently retired. I’ve been running the organization for the last couple of months now.”
Santana’s heart lurched with strained excitement. Working with an old man that had wrinkly skin was one thing, but how in the world was she supposed to work with a man as fine as Sean? Heat rushed through her body. She wanted to blame it on the temperature outside and not some man she’d just met, but then she’d only be lying to herself if she did. Guys like Sean could be more vicious than the war in Congo itself.
“I’ll take it from here,” Sean told the driver.
The driver released the handle of the luggage. “Have a good day, Dr. LeBlanc. Nice meeting you, Doctor.” He walked away.
Her roommate is a man, her mind screamed. “Wait! Am I staying here? Isn’t there a hotel room somewhere around here?”
“Sorry. You’re stuck with me. Now let’s get out of this heat and go inside where it’s cooler.” Sean hefted her suitcase and climbed up the steps. The door creaked when Sean opened it. “Ladies first,” he said, stepping to the side.
Santana entered the quaint homestead. Sliding her hands into her jean pockets, she surveyed the inside. Stone floors, white walls and two bedrooms, the DEAR house was tinier than her apartment back home. But it was spotless, especially for a man.
Sean shut the door. His tall, domineering presence standing behind her caused her heartbeat to spike. “With time, you’ll get used to it.”
When she glanced over her shoulder, their gazes linked. Tingles spread through her bones. “Used to what?”
His powerful presence completely unraveled her. She swallowed.
“Your reduced living standards. It’s quite different than living in a big city like Chicago.”
“Yes, it’s very different.”
“I’ll show you to your room.” Rolling her luggage behind him, he strode into the den and then into the bedroom on the left. Inside was a full-sized bed and a dresser. “I know it’s not much, but—”
“It’s plenty,” she said. “Thank you.”
“For what?”
“For hiring me.”
His lips drew back into a handsome grin. “Don’t thank me just yet. Wait until after you actually start.”
“Why so?”
“Working in the Congo is extremely hard work. Many doctors that come here don’t make it past two weeks before they end up quitting.”
After what she’d been through with losing her son and husband, she felt she could handle anything. “I’m tough. I’m sure I can handle it.”
Sean’s gorgeous blue eyes roamed up and down her body. “Tough, huh?”
“Yeah. Tough.”
“No offense, but you don’t look like you have one tough bone in your body.”
She bet he had a tough bone in his though. “I’m tougher than I look,” she said, folding her arms across her chest.
“For your sake and mine, I hope you are, because the Congo is in dire need of strong doctors. Are you tired from traveling?”
“No. I slept a lot on the plane.”
“Well, if you’re up to it, I’d like to show you one of our nearby clinics.”
“I’m up to it.”
“Good, I’ll be right back, going to get my medicine bag. Oh yeah, there’s a white DEAR shirt in the closet. Thinking that you were a man, my administrators ordered a size large, so it’ll be big on you. I’ll order another one for you tomorrow.” He walked away.
Santana opened the closet to find several white DEAR shirts hanging. She removed her clothing, pulled the shirt from the hangar, and then slipped it over her head.
My new roommate, huh? How in the hell had this happened? Santana flopped down on the mattress to find it hard. Yikes! The bed was in need of a mattress pad bad. She reached into her purse for a brush. As she began detangling her hair, she spotted Sean in her peripheral vision, standing beyond the doorway, staring at her.
Oh snap.
Pretending as if she didn’t see him, she unzipped her suitcase, pulled out a mirror and hooked it to the nail on the wall. Just as she looked into the mirror, Sean entered and their gazes hooked. Her heart took a perilous leap.
From a looks point of view, Sean was everything she’d want in a man. If she was looking for one. But she wasn’t. After her husband had divorced her, she’d vowed to never remarry, and she planned on honoring that vow.
Santana slowly turned around, her gaze instinctively reconnecting with Sean’s. Like wires on a computer, electricity shot to her sex and her labia quivered.
She shook her head, hoping to shake off whatever it was she was feeling for him—her boss. Get it together, Santana.
She had to get a freaking grip. Like yesterday.
“Are you ready?” Sean asked, huskily.
“Yes,” she said, trying to tamper down her inclined pulse rate.
“After I show you the clinic, we’ll head to one of the villages. It’s about twelve miles from here.”
She grabbed her medical bag from her suitcase, strapping it over her shoulder. “I’m ready when you are.”
“Let’s go, Doc.” When he’d called her Doc, it had such an affectionate undertone to it.
Santana descended the porch behind Sean and headed towards the white SUV parked beneath the tree. The word DEAR was written in red, bold letters on the side of the vehicle. As she crossed the front yard towards the SUV, her eyes skimmed over Sean’s firm butt. Nice, hard ass. She smiled.
She climbed inside the truck, buckled her seatbelt, and the SUV drove even deeper into the east of Congo—a war-stricken country.

 

About the Author

Bestselling author Sabrina Sims McAfee is your writer of contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and romantic suspense. She loves writing about alpha men and sexy strong women, and the adventurous journeys they travel.

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Book Review – An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 06.50.37Alyssa Cole has done it again: written a historical IR romance set in a tricky time period and done so with amazing aplomb! I am usually skeptical about IR romances set during the American Civil War. This is due to too many of them romanticising the master-slave relationship in a way that, for me, feels disingenuous. In An Extraordinary Union, Cole takes the completely different angle to her story.

Instead of giving us the stereotypical master and slave who fall in love trope, we get something far more exciting–two Union spies in the Loyal League infiltrating the household of a Confederate senator. One of the spies is Elle, a free Black woman with the gift of being able to remember *everything*; as a spy, she puts her life on the line by going to Richmond, Virginia to pretend to be a mute house slave to get information that will help foil the Confederacy. The other spy is Malcolm, a Scottish immigrant pretending to be a Confederate soldier who manages to get close to the senator for the very same purpose–to get whatever information he can about the Confederates’ plans in order to bring them down.

Of course their paths cross in a not-so-meet-cute, but it’s exciting and it sets up the story well. We are reminded constantly of the dangerous situation that Elle and Malcolm are in–if they are found out, they will be tortured and/or killed. And for Elle, who has seen the horrors of slavery as a child and has willingly put herself back in the same situation for the sake of the Union, she is not willing to give in to the attraction she feels for Malcolm–initially she does not know he is also a spy, but also because she has seen the reality of her situation face to face–she and other slaves are property, they are seen as breeders, less than human, disposable. And she’s seen it from the side of slavery and from the abolitionists, some of whom view abolishing slavery as a mission while not caring about or even respecting the very people they claim to want to help. Malcolm’s own experiences in Scotland at the hands of English tyranny have left an indelible mark on his life and that of his family. And while he knows it cannot compare to what Elle has seen and experienced, it does make him more aware of the reality they face and it strengthens his conviction that this is not the sort of world–where men can deem other men as being less than human, buy and sell other men, rip apart families, even kill other men with no fear of the law–he wants to live in.

Cole has woven an exciting story that hooked me from the first page. And my skepticism was completely blown away thanks to her writing a story that does not shy away from the harsh realities of slavery and racism. I used to live in Richmond, Virginia–the capital of the Confederacy–so it was nice being able to picture the story taking place there.

Highly recommended! I am definitely looking forward to the next instalment of this series.

My rating?

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Blog Tour: Love Under Contract by Sharon C. Cooper

blog tour

Book Title: Love Under Contract
Author: Sharon C. Cooper
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Goodreads

book blurb

Timing is everything.

Sumeera Robinson refuses to settle for less than she desires, even if what she craves is the sexy, smart, and charming Nicolas Jenkins-Moore. At her age, she wants marriage and a family, not the empty promises Nick offers. Yet, there is just something about the man that makes moving on nearly impossible.

As the new senior manager of Jenkins & Sons Construction, Nick’s five-year plan is on track with marriage and starting a family at the bottom of the list. Sumeera is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside, but not even she can entice him to abandon his carefully plotted road to success. That is until she walks away without looking back, leaving him yearning for her presence in his life.

Nick is determined to convince Sumeera that he wants the same things she wants. But will an unexpected development keep them from the life they desire? Or will fate bring them closer than they’ve ever been before?

excerpt

“It changes everything!” He leaped up. “And for the record, we didn’t agree that we didn’t want the same things. That was all you. Baby, I want what you want, but I have a plan…well had a plan.”

Nick rubbed his hand down his face folding his thick arms across his chest. His arms were one of her favorite parts of his body. Hell, who was she kidding? Physically, he was male perfection, stirring a lustful sensation inside her without even trying. Still taking in his upper body, she tapped her fingers against her thigh, fighting the urge to run her hands up his flat abs and over his rock-hard pecs. But gone were the days when she could take such liberties.

“I’ve made it clear that I’m crazy about you, Meera.” He paced in front of her, his hands shoved into the front pockets of his jeans. “I don’t know what else you want me to do to show you just how much. Maybe I should have explained myself better while we were dating, but there were certain areas of my life that I wanted to be better prepared for before considering marriage. My plan included being financially stable, having a home and ensuring that Jenkins & Sons is on course to expand. I never said I didn’t want to get married and have a family. I just said that I wasn’t ready…at the time.”

Wait.

Sumeera stood slowly. “What are you saying?”

Copyright © March 2017 by Sharon C. Cooper

meet the author

Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic – loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award – Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net

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Blog Tour: More than a Mistress by Delaney Diamond

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Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 15.49.52Title: More Than a Mistress

Author: Delaney Diamond

Genre: Contemporary Romance, IR/MC Romance

Release Date: March 31, 2017

Synopsis

Will their arrangement ever be enough?

Relationships are not a priority for restaurateur Esteban Galiano, and when he sees Sonia Kennedy at a party, he plans to make her a conquest in a long line of many. But she rebuffs his advances and forces him to adjust—determined to meet the challenge and do whatever he must to make her his.

All her life, Sonia’s beauty has caused unnecessary problems, and right now she needs a job, not a suitor. When Esteban makes an indecent proposal, her first instinct is to turn him down. But soon she’s rethinking her response. Maybe it’s time for her to use what she’s got, to get what she wants.

Getting to Know Delaney Diamond

Tell us about yourself.

I’m the middle child of three and an aunt to one nephew and one niece. My siblings and I are very close and live near each other. My favorite TV shows tend to be comedies, such as Modern Family, Blackish, and Fresh Off the Boat. I also like documentaries, romantic comedies, action flicks, and stand-up comedy—which, thanks Netflix, I can get my fix of numerous options. My biggest pet peeve is meanness. I think we can have a difference of opinion without tearing each other down, but nowadays that’s becoming more and more difficult to do.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I won some writing contests back in high school, but I never considered becoming a romance writer until about 8 years ago. I did my research, joined the Romance Writers of America, and within a year I was published. My first book was a novella titled The Arrangement, and it was the first book in the Latin Men series.

Name something readers would be surprised to learn about you.

People are always surprised when they find out I don’t like musicals or plays, lol. I know, I know, what’s wrong with me! I’ve tried to get into them in the past, but it never ends well. Years ago I went to see “Cats the Musical” with a friend and dozed off. The production was great, but it just didn’t hold my attention.

What are your favorite genres to read?

I read romance more than any other genre. Within romance, you’ll most often find me with a contemporary or historical novel, but I also enjoy a good romantic comedy. The other genre I enjoy is thrillers—the more over-the-top the better—and a well-paced suspense keeps me up all night and turning the pages.

Your bio states you like to travel. Tell us about one of your favorite trips.

Is it okay if I mention two? The first is the summer I spent in Paris, ages ago when I was in graduate school. The friends I made then are still friends I have today. My French-speaking skills got a lot better, and I traveled throughout the country of France, visiting Marseille in the south and Dunkerque in the north. I had a blast.

I also thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the Galapagos Islands, where I spent a week. It was on my bucket list, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to visit. It’s practically untouched. I was able to get up close and personal with seals (they’re very tame and not afraid of humans), turtles, hike to a volcano, eat some great food, and go snorkeling in some of the most beautiful water. I still love looking at the photos from that trip.

How do your travels influence your stories?

Traveling gives me ideas of places I can write about. For instance, in Perfect (book 2, Johnson Family series), the hero and heroine went to southern Spain for their honeymoon. I was able to incorporate some of what I experienced when I went there myself, such as the burro (donkey) taxis and dining at a seaside restaurant.

 More Than a Mistress (book 5, Latin Men series) takes place in Miami. I visited there in January, so the setting was fresh on my mind—eating brunch on Ocean Drive, the craziness of South Beach at night where everyone is showing off their cars, and checking out the homes of the wealthy on Star Island, which is where my hero, Esteban lives.

Tell us about the excerpt you brought to share with us.

This scene takes place before Sonia becomes Esteban’s mistress, but after she agrees to work as a wine consultant for a private party at his home. The attraction between them is mutual, and Esteban has no qualms about letting her know how he feels about her.

MTM blog tour prizes

 Don’t miss out on your chance to win Delaney Diamond’s More Than a Mistress Giveaway!

PRIZE DETAILS: $25 VISA gift card and a Blakemore Winery Duet gift basket from Wine Country Gift Baskets that includes a chardonnay, cabernet, wine stopper, and several sweet and savory snacks. NOTE: If the winner is from a state that restricts wine sales, they will receive a gift basket that does not include wine. Contents may vary.

ELIGIBILITY: Open to U.S. entrants only.

HOW TO ENTER: Enter your name and email address on the form below.

DEADLINE TO ENTER: 11:59 PM EST April 10, 2017

*Winner will be contacted via email.

Excerpt

For the multicourse meal, she picked a red, with a rich, earthy flavor she thought would go well with the meat dish, and a white for the fish course.

When Esteban came out, he was scrumptious in a pale blue button-down shirt and dark slacks. Sonia averted her eyes and gestured toward the table. “Well, what do you think?”

“Lovely. Surpassed my expectations.”

Pleased, she turned to look at him again, but he wasn’t looking at the table. His eyes were on her, his hot gaze tracing the curve of her behind in the figure-hugging skirt.

A soft blush crept into her cheeks.

Esteban walked closer but stopped a few feet away. “It’s unfortunate you’re not accustomed to hearing compliments.”

Sonia clutched the back of one of the dining chairs as his gaze practically caressed her, sliding from her face down over her body.

Her heart raced. She told herself she hated the way he looked at her, but a little voice inside whispered, Liar.

Guilt deepened the heat in her cheeks.

“You clearly don’t hear compliments enough, or you’d be used to them.”

“I get compliments, but I’m not used to receiving those kinds of compliments from men I work with.”

“I find that hard to believe. I think…” He gave a knowing smile. “I think maybe you are not used to liking to hear those things from a man you work with.”

BUY LINKS

Autographed print copies – Amazon – Amazon UK – Amazon Canada 

 Nook – iBooks –  Google Play – Kobo

About the Author

Delaney Diamond is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sweet, sensual, passionate romance novels and the owner of Garden Avenue Press, a digital-first press that publishes romance novels and women’s fiction with people of color. Born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Atlanta, Georgia is now her home. She reads romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, and a fair amount of nonfiction. When she’s not busy reading or writing, she’s in the kitchen trying out new recipes, dining at one of her favorite restaurants, or traveling to an interesting locale. To get sneak peeks, notices of sale prices, and find out about new releases, visit her website and join her mailing list. Enjoy free reads and the first chapter of all her novels at www.delaneydiamond.com.

Keep Up with Delaney Diamond

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Release Blitz: The Marriage Pact by K. Larsen & Mara White

3DTitle: The Marriage Pact

Author(s): K. Larsen & Mara White

Release Date: April 4, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Synopsis:

Ryan Walters and Jackie Bowen became instantaneous friends during their wild and free years of college. He, the rugged, yet all American football player from a stable family fell hard for Jackie, the exuberant, spontaneous girl from a broken home who lived and loved life to the fullest. Too young to commit and wary of damaging the unique bond they shared, the friends to lovers make a pact promising to find one another again at the age of thirty and marry—if not already committed.

TMP teaser

Years apart, after much growth and change, the two best friends seek one another out. In college, neither Jackie or Ryan could possibly know that every relationship to come would fall short of the one they’d shared together all those years ago.

When the two meet again, love and chemistry soar beyond their wildest dreams and they agree to make good on their promise. But a second chance at love can be fickle and fleeting.

The Marriage Pact is a story about letting go and loving with your whole heart no matter the circumstance—or how much it hurts.

The Marriage Pact, the second book in The Viral Series following Missed Connection, by romance authors K. Larsen and Mara White is based on a heartbreaking viral Reddit post. Each book is a stand alone novel.

Purchase Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nOUZxD
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marriage-pact-k-larsen
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-marriage-pact-9
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-marriage-pact/id1220146402

 

tmpteaser (2)The Review

The Marriage Pact is one of those novels that will tear you up inside. This is the story of two people who are meant to be but fear of commitment and other issues always seem to get in the way. Jackie and Ryan, our couple in question, are not a love at first sight couple. This is more of an easing into love…at least for Ryan. They’re friends, they are also something more, though neither puts it into words at the beginning.  But Jackie plays too many games with Ryan in an attempt to hold him at arm’s length. So why is it called the Marriage Pact? The two made a pact that they’d marry one another if they hadn’t found the One by the time they turned thirty. And since we follow these two from their youth to adulthood, we have plenty of time to see the progression and the pitfalls of their relationship.

I am a huge fan of Mara White’s writing, and I really enjoyed Missed Connection, her previous novel co-written with K. Larsen. This is an emotional rollercoaster of a read with the sort of flawed characters I love reading about and who may not always be likeable but whom you eventually come to love.

Highly recommended!

My rating?

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