Review: Perception by Terri Fleming

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 14.28.45Title: Perception

Author: Terri Fleming

Publication Date: July 13, 2017

Synopsis:

Mary Bennet does not dream of marriage. Much to her mother’s horror, Mary is determined not to follow in the footsteps of her elder sisters, Jane (now Mrs Bingley) and Lizzy (now Mrs Darcy). Living at home with her remaining sister, Kitty, and her parents, Mary does not care for fashions or flattery. Her hopes are simple – a roof over her head, music at the piano, a book in her hand and the freedom not to marry the first bachelor her mother can snare for her.

But Mrs Bennet is not accustomed to listening to her daughters.

While Kitty is presented with tempting choices and left trying to resist old habits, May discovers that things are not always what they seem and that happiness has a price. But by the time she realises that her perceptions might be false, could she have missed her chance at a future she’d never imagined?

REVIEW

As much as I love Jane Austen’s novels, I tend to avoid the stream of sequels to them written by contemporary authors. Initially, I fall under their spell and read them, but more often than not they don’t really leave me feeling satisfied. Imagine my happiness now that I’ve finally read a Jane Austen sequel that was very satisfying and left me wanting to read more! Yes, I can happily say that Perception is a Jane Austen sequel I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Perception picks up several years after Pride and Prejudice. We follow the lives of Mary and Kitty Bennet, the only daughters still at home with Mr. and Mrs. Bennet now that Jane, Lizzy and Lydia are married. As with Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet bemoans the plight of still having two unmarried daughters and wonders what will become of them. Mary, who is a bookish introvert who has accepted that she is not as beautiful as her sisters and also hates the societal conventions that require women to be frivolous and vapid, seems to accepted her lot in life. She assumes she will be a spinster who must take care of her parents when her sister Kitty eventually marries. For her part, Kitty worries that she will never meet anyone she wants to marry. She also assumes that she will end up a spinster, still living in her childhood bedroom and caring for her ageing parents. But, of course, fate…and the arrival of a very eligible bachelor shakes things up for both Mary and Kitty.

Perception excels at returning the reader to Longbourn House of Pride and Prejudice and into Mary and Kitty’s lives. Fleming does a wonderful job of recreating slightly older and (not always) wiser Mary and Kitty and their every day worries and squabbles. I loved watching the evolution of two women as individuals and as sisters. I also felt that the potential suitors Fleming created for the sisters were perfect choices and the arcs of their relationships was enjoyable to read, especially as Fleming often took unpredictable turns in the course of the story.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I can highly recommend Terri Fleming’s Perception. I loved following this wonderfully written sequel to Pride and Prejudice, and I look forward to reading more novels by Fleming.

My rating? 5 stars

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Review: A Winter’s Tale by Carrie Elks

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A heartwarming, sexy and funny holiday romance.

What would you do if you’ve been trying to find an internship for ages but your shyness seems to get in the way? That’s Kitty Shakespeare’s predicament when, instead of an internship, she’s offered the chance to be a nanny over Christmas to the son of a hot (though notoriously difficult) Hollywood star. Not an ideal situation, but Kitty takes it and hopes it will help her get her foot in the door. What she isn’t counting on is totalling her rental car once she arrives in West Virginia. Luckily, a sexy but taciturn stranger comes to her rescue….he’s a bit of a jerk, but at least he gets her to her destination. That stranger turns out to be Adam Klein, documentary filmmaker and estranged brother of her employer. Yes, sparks are going to fly and you’ll love it.

A Winter’s Tale is the second story in the Shakespeare Sisters series and it’s a wonderful Christmas love story set in the Blue Ridge Mountains (which are beautifully described in the novel). When I was reading A Winter’s Tale, I forgot I was reading a book—I felt like I was immersed in one of my favourite Christmas movies. I loved it. I started picturing Tom Hardy as Adam Klein…yes, my imagination got the best of me. 🙂 It’s a great opposites attract story that’s heartwarming, funny and sexy at the same time.

I loved the scenes between Kitty and Annie, the housekeeper who keeps all the Klein family secrets, and little Jonas is such a sweetie you wish you could give him a hug through the pages. But the very rugged Adam Klein is deliciously sexy—yes, you’ll wish you could spend Christmas with him.

So should you read A Winter’s Tale? Absolutely! And will you love it? Yes, I am pretty sure you will! And even though A Winter’s Tale is the second book in the series, it reads like a standalone, so it’s okay if you haven’t read the first book (Summer’s Lease), but I think you’ll want to read it too.

My rating? Five stars, without a doubt.

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Note: I received an ARC from the publisher, which I voluntarily chose to review.

3 Recent Reviews: Something New, The Lover and New Years in Stockholm

It’s been a while since I posted reviews here. I’ve remembered to post them on Goodreads and Amazon, and then I forget to share them here. Naughty me! Let’s catch up with three recent book reviews. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 07.14.57Something New by Lena Hart

Release Date: 25 July 2017

Even though I am a big city girl, I love a good small town romance. I like reading about towns where everyone knows one another and there’s a good vibe. Lena Hart delivers this milieu and a charming love story in Something New, the second book in the Brides of Cedar Bend series.

This is an opposites attract story, with the initially haughty Savannah meeting the down-to-earth Damian meeting thanks to car trouble and a rainstorm. Actually, Damian comes to the rescue twice and it’s pretty obvious there’s chemistry between the two. Savvy’s in town to help her cousin prepare for her wedding and also trying to get rid of the gold digger reputation hanging over her. When she and Damian end up in a fake engagement…well, I won’t say more. I don’t want to spoil the story for you.

I really enjoyed following their path to love. It was a fun summer read and the set up gives the story the perfect rom-com-wish-this-were-a-movie feel. I really liked the cast of characters and the setting, and I thought the story flowed really well. So why four stars and not 5? If only I could give it a 4.5. My only reason for giving the story a four instead of a five is that it took me a while to warm up to Savvy. I was all-in with Damian from page one. But this is a wonderful romance and a great summer read. Highly recommended.

Note: I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book.


Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 07.27.20The Lover by Nia Forrester

Release Date: 18 June 2017

What happens when two people who don’t necessarily believe in love agree to have a baby together? Love, of course. 🙂 And what’s at stake when their secrets threaten to derail them? That’s the conundrum Ryann and Spencer face in Nia Forrester’s The Lover.

This is one of those books you want to savor. It’s a page turner–there’s no doubt about that, but you don’t want to rush. Especially not when the story is so rich and so emotionally satisfying. So what makes it so satisfying? Forrester touches on real-life issues and uses the drama and conflict to create a compelling dynamic between the sometimes emotionally distant and sometimes reluctant to commit Ryann and the sexy former bad boy who doesn’t realize he’s looking for something have and hold Spencer.

Should we talk about characterization? Of course we should. Forrester excels at creating multifaceted characters who are imperfect, who fuck up and who still pull at your heartstrings –and she does this without resorting to clichés. Ryann is not an easy character to love. She holds so tight to her secrets and the carefully constructed facade she uses as her defense against the world. But little by little we see there are chinks in her armor that reveal the real Ryann, the one who wants to be loved and doesn’t always know *how* to love. And with Spencer–he has his own issues he needs to deal with, but one thing is certain: beneath that sometimes a bit too much of an Alpha male facade, his capacity for love is great and what he wants most is to be with Ryann, even when it scares him.

There’s also the fact that this book is beautifully written. Nia Forrester is a consummate author. Her choice of words, the way she describes settings and the emotional depth of her characters…it’s magical. I am never disappointed when I read one of her books, and The Lover definitely does NOT disappoint.

Definitely a recommended read. Five stars!


Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 07.38.11New Years in Stockholm by Rebecca Hunter

Release Date: 13 July 2017

The fourth and final episode of the One Night in Stockholm series by Rebecca Hunter starts with Alice showing up at Jonas’s doorstep on Christmas Eve–a few days earlier than planned. The Jonas she gets is not what she expected. He hates Christmas and is not in the best mood or shape when she arrives. What could have become a complete fiasco flares into something much hotter and than Alice imagined–but she’s disappointed when Jonas announces he needs to leave for a few days to sort things out with his father.

As with the rest of the books in this series, New Years in Stockholm is a very sexy read. Jonas is as intense as ever, and Alice’s unquenchable desire for him practically jumps off the pages. The key difference with this episode is the emotional clarity and complexity. Jonas and Alice are on the cusp of what could be something amazing or could go horribly wrong. The question is will fear of fucking up prevent them from having what they both so desperately want? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out. 🙂

It may be winter in New Years in Stockholm, but this book is definitely a must-read of this summer. My recommendation? One-click it ASAP and enjoy!

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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Book Tour: Watching the Sky Cry by J.B. Hartnett

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New from J.B. Hartnett!

Watching the Sky Cry is a beautifully written,

emotional story and is NOW AVAILABLE

& Free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2cXnRNh

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2d3EQfk

 

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Blurb

Ten years is a long time when you’re thirty-two. We’d seen our share of ups and downs, but I could honestly say, they were mostly up. That’s the thing about happiness though. It lulls you into a false sense of security.

Neither one of us ever thought we’d ever be touched by crippling loss or immeasurable grief. But not all stories have a happy ending, and I knew, better than anyone, that sometimes, one of you won’t make it till the end. One of you has to go first. And one of you will be left behind to pick up the pieces.

That one is me.

But starting over isn’t what I thought it would be. I need escape from the memories that plague me, remind me. So I went back to where it all began. To the town where I was born. To the place whose beauty could pierce my pain. Where I experienced my first kiss, where I fell in love, where a man was my earth. And I…

I was his sky.

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Excerpt

You never had a girlfriend.” I whispered.

“No, Rylie. I didn’t.”

I pushed away from him, my mouth coating itself in preparation for what was to come, and ran toward the field behind his parents’ house. I threw up everything in my stomach, but I kept heaving with wracking sobs, unable to keep my shit together. If I’d listened….if I’d answered his letters…if I hadn’t met Nick…

His hands were in my hair, pulling it back, but it was no use. I was a mess in every way possible.

“This isn’t…” I hiccupped, “how I imagined this going.”

“Yeah?” he said softly. “How’d you imagine it?”

“We would have it out, and then we’d have angry sex, and then we’d fall in love and have babies and live happily ever after.”

See? Honesty.

“Oh Rylie,” he said with humor in his voice, not at all bothered when he wiped the edges of my disgusting mouth with his hand. “I’ll be pissing you off again…probably on purpose just so we can have that angry sex you just mentioned.”

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REVIEW

If you like you’re like me and a sucker for a second chance at love story, then J.B. Hartnett’s Watching the Sky Cry just the story for you. Get your tissues ready because Riley’s story of how she found love with Nick only to find it all falling apart and grieving, and then reconnecting with Quentin and finding love a second time is so emotionally charged and beautifully written.

The characters are complex and their journey to love is not smooth–which makes you want so much for them to find happiness. Really enjoyed this story, and I think you will too! A recommended read!

My rating? 4 stars!

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About the Author:

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Julie is a southern California native, a fan of a really good story (preferably a romance with a happily ever after), really good pie (preferably pumpkin)and copious amounts of coffee (preferably Folgers).

She has always enjoyed writing and at one time thought she might be a singer/songwriter. The ‘writer’ part is that one that stuck.

Julie is obsessed with Pi…the equation and the food. She’s allergic to cats, cantaloupe and hates mushrooms. So if you ever want to give her a gift, those are out for sure.

She currently lives with her romance hero husband and two boys in Melbourne, Australia.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

GIVEAWAY

$25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MDk5NjRmMDM5ZDM4YTBjYWM0YzAyYzM0NGI2ODRhOjg5Ng==/?

 

Review: The Shooting by James Boice

theshootingcoverfinalThe Shooting by James Boice is one of those books that overwhelms your every sense. With its focus firmly set on America’s pervasive gun culture, The Shooting takes on what leads up to and the consequences of what happens when a young man is shot by a paranoid man with a guns.

Tightly written and almost uncomfortable to read at times, The Shooting forces readers to view the bruality and rawness of what makes Lee Fischer go from being a normal little boy longing for his father to come home to the wealthy, paranoid man with a gun in a penthouse who shoots the building superintendent’s sleepwalking son.

Don’t be put off by the rawness of the language, that is the beauty of The Shooting. Boice confronts the reader with bare bones honesty of his writing and his choice of subject. 

It’s not a feel-good novel. It’s a novel that confronts the reality of America today–a country where you are more likely to be shot simply for being the wrong color than for committing a crime, a country where the Second Amendment’s original intent has been bastardized. James Boice has an amazing writer’s voice, but it will not speak to everyone. Prepare to be challenged as you read. This is not a book for people who want escapism, but it’s a book which *should* be required reading for people sitting on both sides of the fence regarding gun control.

A must-read!

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Reviews: Let It Shine & Stunning in Stilettos

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 23.35.51Leave it to Alyssa Cole to write a historical IR romance that tackles one of our most violent and divisive periods of history. Thank you, Alyssa, for writing Let It Shine and sharing it with us. I loved it from start to finish!
This tightly written novella is a coming of age story for Sofie and Ivan, who’ve known one another since they were children–Sofie’s mother Delia was the housekeeper for Ivan’s family and Sofie and Ivan were childhood playmates whose friendship was cut short by the death of Sofie’s mother. Now years later, they’ve both become activists, getting involved as nonviolent protesters in the civil rights movement while the communities around then advise otherwise. For Sofie, her father only wants her to be respectable and not make waves. He thinks he is keeping her safe in trying to groom her into a docile young woman. For Ivan, now a regional champion boxer, he and his father are at odds over his boxing–his father wanted him to be a scholar–and in how they each deal with their grief over the loss of Ivan’s mother. This would be enough to cause problems for the two–but race and religion separate them. Sofie is black and Christian; Ivan is white and Jewish. And in this point in history, interracial relationships are punishable by law. And segregation is the law in Richmond, Virginia in the 1960s.

What I loved about Let It Shine that it weaves in the politics and history of the time so seamlessly with the love story. Both have equal weight in this story. And really, this is not something we can ignore. It would have been disingenuous to ignore or pretend that the violence directed at the Freedom Riders never took place. And to write a story set during this time period–the early 1960s–and setting and NOT take it up would have led to a boring and not very interesting story. But Alyssa Cole took the challenge and tackled it head on, giving the readers a fantastic sense of the courage and fear Sofie and Ivan have as they embark upon their journey into adulthood and to the reality of what their lives will be in 1960s America.

A five-star read! I look forward to Alyssa Cole’s next release!

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Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 23.41.48Nana Malone scores with another winner with Stunning in Stilettos. If you haven’t read the other books in the Stiletto series, it’s okay–this one is a standalone, but you’ll probably be hooked and want to read the others as well.

Stunning in Stilettos focuses on Kyra & Bryan and their instant attraction. For Kyra, This book was about Myra and Bryan’s story. Both Star Trek fans (he of Deep Space Nine, she of the Next Generation) , they meet when Kyra is on what should be the final interview for her dream job. The person who should interview her is late, but then Bryan arrives and an instant spark ignites between the two. Both have sworn off relationships after a string of bad ones and–when Kyra discovers that Bryan is actually her boss and not the simple colleague she assumed him to be, she tries to put professional distance between them–but it’s not easy for either of them. Especially considering they are both fighting a losing battle with that red-hot attraction that keeps bringing them together.

What I loved about Stunning in Stilettos is that Kyra and Bryan respected one another, even with all the bickering and coming at odds. Their chemistry and the common ground they shared laid a great foundation for their relationship. And, of course, Nana is a master at turning up the heat, so prepare to fan yourself a few times. Two thumbs up to this fast-paced and fun-to-read love story!

**Note: I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.**

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Reviews: Slip of the Tongue and Scot Appeal

slip of the tongue coverCan you be in love with two people at the same time?

This is the question that Sadie Hunt struggles with in Slip of the Tongue. On the one hand, there is her husband, Nathan, who–until recently–treated her like she was the centre of his world. Suddenly he’s become cold and distant with her and makes her feel like she is invisible and unwanted in his life. On the other hand, there is Finn, the sexy new neighbour who’s just moved in across the hall from Sadie and Nathan. From the moment she meets him, there’s a white-hot connection between them.

Now, before you ask: this is a novel about marriage and infidelity. So if you have a problem with reading about people cheating, then maybe you should still read this book to gain a different perspective.

What I loved about this book was how all three characters showed us their best and worst sides. No one is the good guy here. Even Nathan, who is presented as the good guy, is actually pretty selfish and manipulative when he wants to be. But what is so interesting with Slip of the Tongue is how Hawkins handles the affair. Even if you don’t agree with how it starts, you empathise with the characters. Well, at least, I did.

This is a very intense book with some very sexy moments. It’s also a book that takes a good, long look at what is marriage and what makes a good one…and what makes a bad one. It’s also about second chances at love. But what I think will resonate with readers is the emotional layers in this novel. It’s not a straightforward love story, but it is definitely a story about love–romantic, illicit, familial. And I loved Slip of the Tongue.

5_Star

MelissaBlueScotAppealMelissa Blue has done it again: made me absolutely adore the sexy Scotsmen she creates. Marcus, our ruthless CEO who’s pretending to be a handyman to get the company and the position he wants, is very, very sexy. And he thinks he doesn’t have the capacity to fall in love. Now, I usually avoid any stores about ruthless businessmen, because they usually bore me. But Marcus and his backstory are quite intriguing. And then there is Ivy–who is a virgin even those she’s closing in on thirty–but she’s not one of these insipid ones that goes around saying “holy cow!” or talking about her “inner goddess”. She’s kickass and she feels authentic and real.

What I really enjoyed about Scot Appeal (and the entire Under the Kilt series) is that the relationships and the conflicts the main characters experience feels very grounded and realistic. These are adults dealing with adult problems and behaving like proper adults and not as overgrown teenagers. And the way race is addressed is very subtle without it becoming an overblown sticking point.

Following this story of unlikely neighbors who become lovers was so much fun. I admit: I ignored my yummy Swedish hubby to finish reading this book and he was a good sport about it. I will have to make it up to him this weekend. 🙂

I loved Scot Appeal and the chemistry between Marcus and Ivy, and I think you will too.

5_Star

 

 

Review: Falling Stars by Xio Axelrod

FallingStars_coverWhen Xio first told me about Falling Stars (which was called Starstruck back then), I was really excited about it. She initially serialized it on Tumblr and–though I discovered it rather late–I loved the story from the very beginning.

Xio spent many months revising and re-crafting Starstruck until it became Falling Stars, and I am so happy that it is now live so everyone else can discover this incredible love story.

Review:

Sometimes we meet the right person at the wrong time in our lives. That’s what happens in Xio Axelrod’s Falling Stars on the set of We the People–the fictional TV show set where Val and Sam, two actors on the opposite spectrums in their careers, meet and fall in love.

One of the things that I love most about Falling Stars is the spot-on character development. Both Val and Sam are fully-fleshed characters whose flaws make them all the more real. As we follow their relationship (and their attempts to remain platonic when it’s already written in the stars that they should be together), we get to know what makes them tick and we understand immediately why they resist and why they are tempted to give in.

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I also loved the behind the scenes look at life on the set of a popular TV show. This aspect of the story adds context and complexity to the situation Val and Sam find themselves in–they are actors who play lovers, they are falling in love in reality but trying to hide it. The reader feels like she gets an insider’s look at Hollywood and how life in Tinseltown can be life in a fishbowl.

Xio Axelrod

Author Xio Axelrod

Xio does a great job of handling the struggle for Val–and especially for Sam–as they both try to do the right thing. They want to be together, but they can’t–not when Sam is still married–but the chemistry between them is off the charts and they are drawn to each other time and again.

I loved Falling Stars–this is definitely one of my favourite books of 2015. It’s a beautifully written love story that will challenge and intrigue you. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Add Falling Stars to your Goodreads TBR list.

Xio is having a giveaway. Head over to her author site for a chance to win a Kindle Fire. Hurry–the giveaway ends on 30 November!

Get your copy of Falling Stars now!

Amazon

http://amzn.to/1SzZh22

Google Play

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Xio_Axelrod_Falling_Stars_Falling_Stars_Book_One?id=i6XmCgAAQBAJ

iBooks

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/falling-stars/id1060179367?ls=1&mt=11

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/falling-stars-17

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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