What’s Kim Reading? – April 1-7

What's Kim Reading?

You all know that I am a voracious reader. Here’s a list of books I’ve #1clicked this week.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 10.57.36Title: The Makeover

Author: Nia Forrester

Synopsis:

They’ve got the ‘friends’ part down pat. But now, they have to learn how to be lovers.

Samantha has been best friends with Colton since they were toddlers. His NBA career has never impressed her, nor would he want it to. Their friendship is based on two things: a long, shared history, and Sam’s tendency to keep things real with him, even if the rest of the world doesn’t.

When Sam realizes that the feelings she has for Colton—that are much stronger than friendship—might be returned, it seems like their problems are over, but no, that’s when the real trouble starts.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 11.00.15Title: Vienna Dawn (The Imperial Season, Book #3)

Author: Mary Lancaster

Synopsis:

En route to Vienna, where the great powers of Europe are making peace and elaborate entertainments, spirited Russian countess, Dunya Savarina, is rescued from ruin by Captain Richard Trelawny, a wounded British officer who has given up on life and happiness.

Resourcefully, Dunya secures Trelawny’s alliance in her master-plan to marry her first love. After all, having lost an arm and an affianced bride in rapid succession, the captain is clearly in need of her peculiar brand of help in his own affairs. Together, they embark upon a deception intended to win back their old loves.

Roused from indifference by Dunya’s whirlwind vitality, Trelawny adroitly handles his sham engagement, hostile family, wicked seducers, espionage, elopements, and duels, all the while protecting Dunya and trying very hard not to fall in love with her.

And Dunya begins to suspect that first love is not always the greatest love – or even the most fun.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 11.05.07Title: The Swedish Prince

Author: Karina Halle

Synopsis:

I never believed in fairy-tales.

Never held out for Prince Charming.

Growing up poor in small-town California as the oldest of six siblings, I knew I would never ride off into the sunset with anyone. That was even more apparent when a senseless tragedy took the lives of my parents, forcing me to become the sole guardian of our dysfunctional household at the mere age of twenty-three.

Then a fateful encounter literally brought Prince Charming to my doorstep.

At first I thought Viktor was just your average businessman passing through, albeit obscenely handsome, six-foot-five, blue-eyed, and mysteriously rich.

But soon I discovered the truth behind Viktor’s façade.

Beneath his quiet, enigmatic gaze and cocky charm, is a man who is running away from who he really is. A role he’d rather not fulfill.

He is Viktor of House Nordin, His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince of Sweden.

Yet uncovering Viktor’s secret was only the first step.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with him.

I didn’t expect to have my whole life turned upside down.

When you’re from two different worlds, can your hearts meet somewhere in the middle?

Or do happily-ever-afters only exist in fairy-tales?


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Carl Philip, the real Swedish Prince

I’ve just started reading The Swedish Prince. It’s New Adult, which is not a genre I usually read, but it’s fun so far–especially since I live in Stockholm, Sweden. Our real Swedish Prince (Carl Phillip of Sweden) is pretty dishy and very married these days, but it’s nice to dream. 😉

Once I finish reading The Swedish Prince, I’ll start with The Makeover. I am a diehard Nia Forrester fan. She is an author whose work I automatically #1click without even needing to read the synopsis. Why? She *always* delivers stellar fiction.

What are you reading this week?

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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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Release Blitz: Falling by Allyn Lesley

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release day blitz

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Book Title: Falling
Author: allyn lesley
Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult
Release Date: September 27,, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

A good man falls seven times,
But I’m far from a good man.

I’ve got my own set of rules,
And I never stray from them.
I live by a simple set of guidelines and they’re easy to follow.

But when Chelsea Robinson walked into my garage,
The rules went out the door.
Suddenly, I was falling.
No, that’s not right.
It was more like a crash-landing,
Because I sure as hell couldn’t stop myself.
And now, I’m still falling,
Uncontrollably.
For a woman I shouldn’t even want.
But when love steps in, you have no option but to break your own rules.

excerpt

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Anita,” Chelsea says, looking like the Cheshire Cat.

Her low, satin-like voice is doing all kinds of things to my cock. I barely respond with, “Anita who?”Maybe I can cool down with a sip of water. My hand finds one of the bottled waters I’d pulled out from the refrigerator earlier.

“Anita dick inside me!” she says, cracking up.

Water comes flying from between my lips. Chelsea is beside me, cackling, and I’m choking. Did she just say she needs a dick inside her? I can’t catch my breath. I think about my next move. How much can I say?Fuck it. Might as well be upfront. Once I collect myself and put the bottle down, I catch and hold Chelsea’s gaze. “How about mine?”

“What?” she whispers, leaning away from me in a hurry.

I move closer to her as I’ve longed to do since we sat down. I have to touch her, and I settle on fingering a few of her long curls, twirling them around. I’m trying to collect myself and not come off as a desperate fool. I take in a few deep breaths to help me regain some of my composure. “I know where I’d like this to end, Chelsea.”

Her tongue slips through her lips and moistens them. I move closer to her, breathing her in, and I do believe I could actually come right now. Mutual desire saturates the air as our eyes connect and our bodies lean in at the same time. Unable to decide where to touch again, my hands drop to her thighs, where her skirt is hiked up.

Counting helps to calm me down. “I’ve been dying to see what’s under this thing since I saw you at the garage.” My hand slides up from her bare flesh to the edge of her skirt.

She hesitates, even though her mouth opens.

“Come on; you can tell me,” I prompt.

“I’ve wanted to see more of this for the last two weeks.” Her hand travels up my arm then grips it.

That’s all I needed to hear. I drag her over my lap so she’s straddling me. Her skirt rides up even more. All of her is exposed: gorgeous thighs and her more-than-handfuls ass cheeks. My hands get greedy, palming the body part—one of many—that has driven me wild since seeing her in those denim cut-offs. My finger trails down the thin strip of material that’s between her ass.

“Mmm,” she hums.

“Chels, you have to tell me to stop.” I give her an out, just in case she needs one. But she rubs her barely-covered pussy on me, and I take that as her answer.

“I don’t want you to stop.”

teasers

Falling Teaser

Falling Teaser

 

meet the author

allyn lesley writes real stories about real people.

As a teen, allyn lost herself in the pages of some of Romance’s heavyweights, trusting that a happy ever after was just around the corner. In allyn’s own writing journey, as in life, she’s learned that people don’t always experience recovery and restoration after a fall. Her stories speak to the gritty side of life where the right choice isn’t always easily identified and happiness not quickly gained.

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Review

I’m not usually a fan of alpha male love interests. Usually I find that I don’t feel I know enough about the character to understand *why* he is the way that he is, which is annoying.

Happily that is NOT the case with Allyn Lesley’s Falling. We get enough of Dylan’s background to discern what makes him–initially–such a jerk. And then as we read, we learn he isn’t really the jerk we thought he was. As we peel away the layers, he begins to change, grow and mature as a man and it’s all because of love. Because of their age difference (Dylan is twenty-four, Chelsea is just turning eighteen) they want different things. They keep being thrown together because of their families and various circumstances, which Dylan initially hates. But it soon becomes obvious that Chelsea is the girl who chips away at the wall Dylan has built around himself (yes, that Alpha Male Wall). 🙂

One of the things I enjoyed about this story was that I found the characters to be very believable. They make mistakes, they screw up, they grow. This made me feel, as a reader, like I was always in their corner because I could empathise with them. And that is something I always appreciate.
Both characters have an interesting arc and the supporting characters (all the family members and mutual friends) add another rich layer to this story. I have the feeling there will be more to Dylan and Chelsea’s story.

A solid love story! My rating? 4 stars! A Recommended Read.

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Cover Reveal: Sugar Love by Victoria H. Smith

 
 
SUGAR LOVE by VICTORIA H. SMITH
 GENRE: NEW ADULT
RELEASE DATE: April 2016
 

SYNOPSIS:
 
Sugar…
That’s some kind of name, isn’t it?
It wasn’t any type of name I’d heard of, but across the world, it seemed I was the
only one.
 You see, he’s an international superstar, talented, sexy, and one day, he comes
walking into my record store. He tells me he wants to buy some music, and later
on, wants to get to know me a little better.
I had no idea he was here for his American debut, nor that he was one of the most
successful rappers South Korean music had ever seen. If I had, I might not have
been so frazzled when I found out and accidentally kidnapped him.
But then again…
Maybe that wouldn’t have mattered anyway. 
 
 
 
 
AMAZON Pre-Order Link
 
 
 
AUTHOR BIO:

Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, reading, watching Scandal, and general geekery in the form of Sherlock and DC Comics. She’s a bestselling author and the 2014 Swirl Award winner for Best New Adult Romance, as well as the recipient of the 2015 AMB Ovation Award for her new adult romance FOUND BY YOU. She writes both new adult and adult fiction in many genres, but mainly focuses in contemporary interracial and multicultural romances

 Stay connected with Victoria:

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New Release: Dolce by Rachel Blaufeld

 

Dolce Live

 Dolce, the newest stand alone to the

Love at Center Court Series is NOW LIVE!

GET YOUR $0.99 COPY AT:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MZUe6f

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1SaVxqX

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“Who just stole my thunder across the Hafton airwaves, you ask? Right now, right this very second, listeners, I have Hafton’s one-and-only, the main man with the ball in hand, Blane Steele is in the studio. Mark my words—he’ll not only steal the ball, but your lady’s heart too. Watch out, gentlemen, the Stealer is in the house!”

— Sonny Be Knocking Boots, Hafton Radio 96.9

Coed antics.

Chaos.

Angst-ridden twists in fate.

Caterina is an intern. Sonny is her shock-jock boss. And Blane is a good-hearted baller…except when he steps on the court. Between on-air dares, an evil feminist professor, a straight-shooter of a coach, and rumors from the league surrounding Steele, these three are destined to screw it all up.

Rather than a love triangle, this is a friends-to-lovers story where the disc jockey acts as the catalyst, and a basketball player finds his life transformed when center court intersects with love.

teaser

Verite (Book One) Love at Center Court ONLY $0.99

**stand alone**

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1SGDN61

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1O9CKGj

 

Meet Rachel

rachel blaufeld

Rachel Blaufeld is a social worker/entrepreneur/blogger turned author. Fearless about sharing her opinion, Rachel captured the ear of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog,BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and inventing a product, often at the same time. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and StartupNation.

Turning her focus on her sometimes wild-and-crazy creative side, it only took Rachel two decades to do exactly what she wanted to do—write a fiction novel. Now she spends way too many hours in local coffee shops plotting her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end lusciously.

Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs. Her obsessions include running, coffee, icing-filled doughnuts, anti-heroes, and mighty fine epilogues.

 

Stalk Rachel at:  website / Twitter / Facebook

Sign up for her  newsletter for the latest news on releases, sales, giveaways and other updates.

 

Review: Boyfriend by Faye McCray

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BF Cover Final (Online)Boyfriend by Faye McCray

ISBN: 1508818142
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 332 Paperback; 214 Kindle
Publication Date: 3/23/2015
Genre(s): New Adult, Multicultural, Romance, Literary
Intended for mature readers.

SYNOPSIS

Nate Best enrolled in college to escape a painful and complicated past. Together with his roommate, he parties more than he studies and sleeps with girls like it’s a Division I sport. When Kerry Wallace, an innocent young woman from a privileged background captures his interest, he jumps at the challenge. He eagerly denies all he ever was for the chance to be someone completely different with her. Before long, he starts to believe he can be. 

When Kerry’s best friend, Jayna Lavajo, sees right through his good boy façade, he is irrepressibly drawn to her. Unable to resist her wild beauty, unapologetic spirit and charm, he finds himself on the verge of destroying everything. Tangled in a web of lies, lust and deceit, Nate is finally forced to confront the past he tried so desperately to escape.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

REVIEW

I always like when I get to delve into the mind of a male character, especially when it’s a story about relationships. Boyfriend by Faye McCray gives you that opportunity. Nate wants to reinvent himself. He wants to put his difficult past behind him and thinks his relationship with Kerry, who comes from a very privileged background, will help him escape his past. Like so many social chameleons, he begins to believe in the version of himself he has created. But then he meets Kerry’s best friend, Jayna, and suddenly Nate cannot hide behind his carefully constructed facade. She sees through it and him better than anyone else, and it’s not long before Nate finds himself unable to resist being drawn to her free spirit.

Boyfriend is an interesting story of love and identity. Though I felt the beginning was slow going, the story soon picked up and I was able to empathise with Nate, even as he behaves badly. There were times when I wanted to scream at him (and Jayna) but that is always a good sign for me–it means the author has succeeded in getting me to feel something for her characters.  Boyfriend is not an easy story–if you don’t like stories about cheating, then this probably isn’t the story for you. But if you like stories about complicated relationships and what can be the impetus to someone thinking they want one person while longing for another, then you should definitely give Boyfriend a try.

While I enjoyed reading Boyfriend, I felt like it ended a little too abruptly. It would be interesting to revisit the characters and find out if Nate’s decisions lead him to becoming the person he thinks he wants to be.

My rating: 3.5 stars

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Book Tour: Unrestrained – a Duology by Shyla Colt & LaQuette

Title: Unrestrained: A Duology 
Author: Shyla Colt and LaQuette
Genre: Contemp/NA/Erotic Romance
Published: August 28, 2015
Power Privilege & Pleasure by LaQuette 
When a need for unrestrained power and control unfurls…chaos usually follows.
Alexis-Jeovonni Tenetti is the most prolific legal mind of her time. She uses her genius to create intricate solutions for the problems her clients often find themselves in. Her mind sees what most can’t, providing her with the ability to initiate and master the manipulative games she’s accustomed to playing. Her ability to outthink everyone else around her has kept her successful and in control of almost every aspect of her life, and the lives of the clients she serves. 
After all, control is necessary to keep things in order. Order is the only thing that keeps chaos away and allows most people to embrace the illusion of freedom. She was all too aware that freedom came at a cost and was often a privilege of those in power. The one time she’d forgotten that fact and relinquished her control had resulted into the living nightmares that chased her even in her waking hours. 
Life had taught her in a very vivid way that there were only two options in her world…control or be controlled. And the latter just wasn’t an option she was willing to entertain.
Sometimes the only way to regain control is to stop playing the game…
Elliot Alan Quillen was raised in big business; he had everything at his 
fingertips until a tragic accident stole the most important thing in the world to him. Deciding the brass ring that had been dangled in front of his face was no longer an incentive for letting others control him, he walks away from everything his privilege has offered him. 
Cast aside by his overbearing family, Alan is left to pick up the tattered pieces of his life and soul alone. He’s resigned himself to feeling nothing but the pain of loss for the rest of his life until his first encounter with his new boss’ lawyer clues him in that he might just be ready for something more.
Arrogant and frustrating, Alan quickly learns to suppress his desire for the lady lawyer and her infuriating mouth. If only he could stop daydreaming about what that mouth would taste like on his tongue, then maybe he could stop the desire that he’s been fighting like hell to bury along with the rest of his emotions.

When secrets from A.J.’s past come spilling out of her tightly sealed closet and bring danger to her door, Alan has to make a choice. Willingly step into another set of manipulative power games, stand by her and forgive her secrets, or let a murderous maniac decimate A.J. and her entire family.
Or will they both realize that her power combined with his privilege could equal the ultimate pleasure?
For the Love of Dixie (Kings of Chaos #3)
by Shyla Colt

After having her heart broken by Echo, Dixie Dunn makes a new life for herself, away from the Kings Of Chaos. Now, she must return in order to get her stubborn father back to fighting shape after a heart attack. She knows she’ll have to face Echo, as he has made it clear over the years that she still belongs to him. But she refuses to give him any chance to crush her heart again. 

Echo, Joel Spencer knows that Dixie hates him, but he also knows she yearns for him. After being forced by his hateful father to practically leave her at the altar when they were teens, he realizes that he has his work cut out for him. One thing is on his side, he knows what she wants and needs. This time, he WILL make her his again, and to hell with whoever gets in his way.

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Power Privilege & Pleasure by LaQuette 
“You think this shit is funny?” he asked. “I was ready to close a deal that was going to bring in millions into the company,” he rumbled, the room shaking with the unexpected boom of his voice.
She tilted her head slightly, staring at him, appearing to really see him and his anger for the first time since he’d come barging into her office. She backed her chair away from the table and stood up. Here face settling in to a canvas of hard tight lines accompanied by the ticking of her jaw.
Was that anger?

In all the years they’d been fighting, in all the years they’d kept this seemingly ongoing professional tug of war going between the two of them, she’d never seemed bothered or concerned with his anger. If he was honest, that was the thing that pissed him off the most about her. While he was ready to punch something, she was always the picture of calm, never concerned with the fact that he was ready to break things after being in her presence for more than five minutes.

Finally, after five years of her passive-aggressive bullshit, we’re really going to have an honest argument.

Almost giddy with the fact that he’d seen a glimpse of actual emotion from the woman standing in front of him, he decided to keep pushing for more. He couldn’t really say why it was so important to him, but there was just something about the knowledge that he’d finally been able to make her lose her shit even in the slightest way, that made him feel like this was a win in his column.

“You made me look like a fucking fool,” he bellowed. He inched closer to her, stepping into her personal space. He pressed and pressed until she was backed up against the table. But even though he had her cornered, her shoulders were pulled back in defiance and holding her head up in that stubborn confidence that she kept in place no matter the circumstance.

“If you felt like a fool, it’s probably because you are. You’ve worked for Kenneth for five years now. This is not news to you, Quillen. You know damn well you can’t make a move without Kenneth or my say so. You were foolish for not setting things in proper order before you ever sat down to close that deal and you know it. Don’t try to blame the shit your arrogance got you into on me.”

She was standing there, hands on her hips, chest heaving, eyes wild looking like the perfect mix of anger and sensuality he’d ever seen. Before he could stop himself he looked down at that luscious mouth of hers and his dick jumped with excitement again, filling and thickening and pulling all of the blood flow from his brain.
That’s the only explanation he could think of for the words that fell out of his mouth next.
“You have the sexiest fucking mouth I’ve ever seen,” he growled. “It would look so much prettier stretched around my cock than spewing the venom you insist on spitting.”

He waited for the slap that he knew was coming. If he’d been on the receiving end of a statement like that he’d certainly have been looking to hit someone. But she didn’t hit him, even though she had every right to. Instead, she stepped closer into his space and spread those fuckable lips into the most alluring smile.

“If you think you’re man enough to get me to put my mouth to use like that, Quillen, then make me. Or are you just all talk?”
For the Love of Dixie (Kings of Chaos #3) by Shyla Colt
I press my foot on the gas and open up the engine of my Chevy Camaro. Black Betty growls. I weave through the cars on the highway; hell bent on reaching my hometown. Thoughts of my father swim in my mind. Is he still alive? Will he survive this? 
The years spent pulling all-nighters, partying hard, and taking on too much stress have finally gotten to him. They wheeled him into Mount St. Joseph hospital two hours ago. 
I made the drive from Santa Monica in under an hour, breaking laws and driving with the aggressive skills honed on the busy highways of California. The familiar landscape is nothing more than a blur. I’m going too fast, and my ability to focus is shot. All that matters is reaching San Mateo. I know how their hospital is going to play it. They’ll bust the club’s balls and tell them they can only let in and release information to the next of kin emergency contact. 

Despite the AC blowing from the vents, a fine sheen of sweat coats my body. My father is everything to me. Mother, Father, sister, brother, and extended family. I never knew my mother, and unlike many single fathers in our lifestyle, he never pawned me off on someone else. His philosophy is…we’re in it together. That means it was him and me against the world. 

And then I left. 

Guilt shreds me from the inside like poison tipped claws, releasing toxins into my bloodstream. I hit the brakes and skid into the parking lot, steering the car precariously into an open spot. I fumble with the seatbelt with clumsy fingers and shaky hands. I manage to remove the strap, stumble from the car and take a shaky breath. This wild-eyed, panicked persona won’t win me any points with the Kings, or help him. 

Knock it the fuck off, Dunn. Time to woman up. 

My heels clack against the blacktop as I walk through the rows of cars. I spot a line of parked motorcycles up front. My stomach drops, and I feel as if I’ve started the decent down a large hill. I run out of steam a few feet from the Harleys, faltering at the thought of facing their knowing eyes and censure. Everyone has an opinion about me and the way I handled things. I’m used to the malicious stares peppered in. It’s the silent accusations that kill me. At least I have the Grans. Grandpa and Grandma Dunn had accepted me and loved me with the single-minded-all-consuming-love that only grandparents are capable of. 

As I stare at the double doors, my past rushes up and consumes me. The loneliness, shame, self-loathing, are the bile creeping up the back of my throat. God hates me. I’ve suspected it from the minute I was old enough to realize how fucked up my living situation was. I didn’t let that stop me. I’m a part of Chaos. We don’t bitch and whine. We change what doesn’t work and keep it moving. It doesn’t matter if we’re dying inside. Maybe that’s why so many of us have a wicked vice of going a little mad. All that holding in emotions and pretending to be okay. Never mind the dirt, blood, and secrets that cover each and every one of us. We can pretend it’s a motorcycle club that loves to ride, but in the back of our minds, the reality is always there starring us in the face. It’s a fucked up thing when you see shit on the news and know the people you love caused it. The club has an ugly side and a hefty price tag. 

I didn’t want to pay the toll, so I left. There was no gain for me. Not when I was treated like a pariah. It wasn’t everyone, just a few. It was one too many. I know I shouldn’t’ have let it stop me. Nothing changes the fact that I ought to have been around more for Pops. 

Maybe this is my punishment for being a shitty daughter. 

A month after I broke my rule about mixing with the club, I’ve returned with no immediate exit strategy in sight. I’ve avoided this place like the plague for over ten years, and now I can’t get away. I’d do anything for my father. The man loved me and fought for me from the minute he knew I existed. It wasn’t easy being a single father in the club. When you add the fact that I represented everything some of the patch members were against, its miraculous I came out as well as I did. I think I was drawn to psychology because what I wanted most when I left San Mateo was answers. About myself, about the world I grew up in, and about people who blindly hate. 

I’ve learned a lot over the years, but the one thing I could never figure out was how to come home without feeling like I was compromising myself and undoing all the work I’d done. I grew up in the club, but I never felt like I belonged. It put a strain between me and my father. I regret my choices now, as I pray the cardiac arrest he went into doesn’t steal him from this world. I let it go too long. I knew better. No one understands better than I and my family, how fleeting life can be. My mind goes back to Psycho’s fucked up assassination, because truly that’s what it was. A senseless snuffing out of life. 

I give advice to people all day long, but I’m too chicken shit to face my demons. It’s ironic really. Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t function in a non-dysfunctional manor, become psychologists. Or at least I had. It made me feel like a fraud. Tired of being help captive by the bonds of the past, I square my shoulders like a soldier going into battle, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. I gave them the finger once and road off into the sunset with a full ride to college and plans for a good life. I won’t revert to the cowardice preteen now. 

With my spine rediscovered, I enter via the double doors with my head held high. The sight of all their cuts boasting the crowned kings makes me queasy. 

“Dixie Rose,” a voice booms. 

I glance up and spot Stone. 

“Where you been, girl? Get your ass over here, so we can find out how your daddy is doing,” Stone says. His voice is husky and his eyes are bloodshot. 

I scurry over. When this man says something, you immediately comply. “I’m sorry, I got here as soon as I could,” I say, glad to have my task clearly labeled. “What happened?” 

“One minute he was fine and the next, he was clutching his chest, and collapsing. His lips started turning blue. We managed to get an aspirin in him. I don’t know how much good it did.” Stone shakes his head. 

“Are the Grans here?” 

“No, they were out at the cabins. They’ll be pulling in soon.” 

I grip Stone’s arm and let him lead me to the nurse’s station. I cannot lose my dad. “He has to be fine, he’s too damn ornery to let this take him out,” I whisper. 

“His next of kin is here,” Stone says to the nurse at the desk. 

“I’d like to see some identification,” the dark haired nurse with the sever bun and dour facial expression says. 

I grit my teeth, used to the disbelief that comes from having dark skin, and a Caucasian father. I dig into the purse hanging at my side, pull out my Driver’s License and glare as she looks from my picture to the information they have on my father. “I see you are his emergency contact. You’re father suffered a cardiac arrest.” She nods her head. “Okay, Ms. Dunn. I’ll call the doctor in to speak with you.”

“No, you need to tell me something, now,” I say. 

“Ma’am, that’s against policy.” She glances over at Stone nervously. 

“No. You don’t look at him. You look at me. I’m the one you need to be worried about right now.” I lean over the desk. “These men are my family. Don’t let this face and these work clothes fool you. I want to know if my father is alive and I’m not going to wait for you to track down the doctor who’ll take his sweet time getting up here to tell me.” 

She clears her throat and shifts in her chair. “He is alive and stabilized, that’s all I can say.” 

“There…was that so hard?” I ask. 

She shakes her head. Her hazel eyes are full of disdain, anger and fear. 

I want to feel bad, but I don’t have it in me. From the minute I walked up, she judged me and gave me shit at the worst possible time. There were things I missed about this life, like getting straight to the point. There was no need for fake niceties. “You get all that, Stone?” I ask. 

“Yeah, I got it, baby girl. Let me go tell the others,” Stone replies. 

The mention of the others thrusts me back into icy waters. A chill rushes down my spine, and I can’t help but follow his journey with my gaze. I scan the crowd, searching for the one person I want to see the most, and the least at the same time. 

Leaning against the wall, he looks like a mythical being. The golden strands of his hair fall around his shoulders, and his muscles flex in his forearms. All he needs is a hammer, and he’d be Thor. 

His bright blue gaze collides with mine, and I’m lost. My heart bangs against my ribs like a prisoner rallying for freedom. Unable to move, I remain rooted like a tree grown up from the white and green tile floor. 
2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in Erotic Romance, 2015 Swirl Awards Finalist in Romantic Suspense, LaQuette, a native of Brooklyn, New York, spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator. 

Writing–her escape from everyday madness–has always been a friend and comforter. She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she’d forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic.

She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. 
Shyla Colt grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but has lived a variety of different places thanks to her wanderlust, interesting careers, and marriage to a United States Marine. She’s always loved books and wrote her very first novel at the age of fifteen. She keeps a copy of her first submission letter on her desk for inspiration. 

After a lifetime of traveling, she settled down and knew her time had come to write. Diving into her new career like she does everything else, with enthusiasm, research and a lot of prayers, she had her first book published in June of 2011. As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there’s never a dull moment in her household. 

She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company. A self-professed rebel with a pen. Her goal is to diversify romance as she continues to genre hop, and offer up strong female characters.

 

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Review: In the Nothing by Nia Forrester

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 21.13.58Nia Forrester’s In the Nothing is one of those stories that sticks with you. This emotionally-charged story is set in Washington, DC and focuses on Trinity, a young woman temporarily living with her verbally abusive aunt and her disaffected cousin while she tries to figure out a better situation for herself. Trinity has been living with them since her mother died of AIDS and has had to deal with her aunt’s fluctuating moods and her cousin’s resentment. All Trinity wants is a better life and, when her aunt tells her one time too many that it’s time for her to look for a new place to stay, Trinity goes uptown and stumbles upon a job at a health food store called the Green Banana. There she meets the charismatic and sometimes very cruel Skylar, who pulls Trinity into her sphere and exposes her to a completely different kind of life.

All I can say is…WOW. In the Nothing shakes you and doesn’t let go. Trinity’s story is so riveting that you can’t help but feel empathy for her, even when she is doing things you wish she wouldn’t. And her cousin, Chanelle, who is silently struggling with depression yet has no way of dealing with it, has perhaps the most heartbreaking story. Her search for love doesn’t go as she’d planned but at the end of the day there is hope for her. And then there is Skylar–dynamic, spoiled, entitled Sklyar. We all know someone like her. She is a whirlwind of unnecessary drama and her bouts of generosity are almost always followed by thoughtless (and sometimes intentional) cruelty. We all know someone like her.

One of the things that I really love about In the Nothing is how Nia handles this story of haves and have-nots. Too often, less-experienced writers simply portray the haves as being entitled whites without considering that entitlement is not simply relegated to whites. Having grown up in a working-class Philadelphia neighborhood and gone to school in a very diverse, affluent neighbourhood in downtown Philadelphia, I could relate to this story. Trinity and Chanelle’s uneasy relationship was almost too close to home for me–I understood Trinity’s desire for something more than the limitations her old neighbourhood represented and I understood Chanelle’s initial inability to realise that her fate was in her own hands.

Pure magic, Nia. Pure magic.

My rating?

5_Star

Review: Love Reality by Nana Malone

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 20.29.45Nana Malone‘s Love Reality is the second book in her The Donovans series and it’s a fun, sexy read. The book revolves around my favourite hate object–reality dating shows–and what happens when two rival dating bloggers end up as contestants on the show. Mia, whose blog Lonely Girl is gaining success, is cast as Cinderella for the show while Ryan, whose blog Single Guy teaches men how to woo women with romantic games, is snared as one of the Prince Charmings set to win Mia’s heart reality TV style. There just one catch: they know each other already. Mia thinks she hates Ryan. Ryan’s only agreed to be on the show to write an exposé. But one thing goes without denying–the chemistry between them is smoking hot.

Love Reality is a great page turner that’s funny and sexy with characters whose backstory pulls you in. Though you think you’re going to hate Ryan, you end up developing a bit of a crush on him. And Mia’s past as a foster child and how it still affects her makes her an interesting character study.

Lots of sexy scenes and oodles of chemistry, so perfect for people who like their romance extra hot.

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New Release: Livvy – Book 4 in the Choisie Series by Lori L. Otto

ChoisieCompletedSeries-Page-CoverIf you love YA fiction and haven’t discovered Lori L. Otto’s Choisie series, now’s your chance. The series, which started with Contessa, is now complete with the December 9th release of Livvy! Find out why so many readers are head over heels for the Choisie series.

Teasers

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What Readers Are Saying

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Where to Purchase the Livvy and the Choisie series

Contessa (Choisie 1)

Kindle: http://bit.ly/ContessaJackson

iBooks: http://bit.ly/ContessaiBooks

Nook: http://bit.ly/ContessaNook

Paperback: http://bit.ly/CONpaperback

Olivia (Choisie 2)

Kindle: http://bit.ly/choisie2

iBooks: http://bit.ly/OliviaiBooks

Nook: http://bit.ly/OliviaNook

Paperback: http://bit.ly/OLIpaperback

Dear Jon (Choisie 3)

Kindle: http://bit.ly/DearJonKindle

iBooks: http://bit.ly/DearJoniBooks

Nook: http://bit.ly/DearJonNook

Paperback: http://bit.ly/DJpaperback

Livvy (Choisie 4)

Kindle: http://bit.ly/LivvyAmazon

iBooks: http://bit.ly/LivvyiBooks

Nook: http://bit.ly/LivvyNook

Paperback: http://bit.ly/LIVpaperback

And there’s even a giveaway!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6fa401115/