AWAKENED: THE ORACLE CHRONICLES BOOK ONE BY MONI BOYCE

AWAKENED: THE ORACLE CHRONICLES BOOK ONE BY MONI BOYCE

Secret lineage, a ruthless vampire, and forbidden love.

Willow Stevens dreams of stardom are eclipsed by the real nightmares of a sinister man haunting her dreams. Unbeknownst to her, Eli Walker, her hot but snobbish co-worker, may know the reason nightmares plague her, but their history shows he is more prone to reject her, than help her. 

Then Willow passes out at work only to wake in Eli’s apartment. There she has her chance to learn more about her heritage. But, knowing why the vampire king stalks her doesn’t make the nightmares disappear. If anything, they become more real as she now faces off against a slew of creatures she’d always believed were myth. 

That Eli is one of those creatures is just her luck. Secret witch guild or not, his natural ways are casting spells her heart can’t escape. As a Protector his only focus should be her safety. Anything else is forbidden. He plans to stay in task, but some women break a man, or tempt him to break the rules. 

Can Eli keep Willow alive and safe from the vampires long enough for her to grow her own powers or will both cast aside rules for a reckless passion that will only lead to danger?

AWAKENED is the first installment in The Oracle Chronicles series. This interracial, paranormal romance is a great mix of magic, adventure.

**This book is part of a series and ends in a cliffhanger**

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EXCERPT

Sleep was pulling and tugging at every part of her physically and mentally. The long yawn that left her mouth made her shake her head. The minute she hit the mattress she was asleep in seconds.

Where am I?

When the thought entered her mind she knew she was dreaming, but wherever she was, she’d never been there before. She looked down at her body and saw she was still wearing the bathrobe. A chill crept up her spine because this felt eerily real. In any other dream she wore a random outfit. The hallway was massive, like she was in a palace. Her bare feet made no sound as she tiptoed down the corridor, frightened she would encounter someone. This place had an ominous feeling. She shouldn’t be here.

“Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.” The whispered words did nothing, because she remained in the dream or whatever it was.

A large doorway loomed at the end of the hall. The door was slightly ajar. Against her better judgment she crept towards it. 

What am I doing? Why am I going to investigate? I should head in the other direction.

Despite the screaming thoughts in her brain she proceeded to the door, frantically looking around for anyone or anything that might lurk in the shadows. The sliver of an opening was enough for her to press her eye to and attempt to look around without being caught. It was a bedroom. There were floor to ceiling windows on the far side of the room. There must have been a balcony or terrace situated outside because the flimsy, gauzy curtains billowed out from the windows, caught by a breeze. In the dimness she could barely make out a sleeping form in the cavernous bed. The room seemed devoid of anything else, save a large armoire.

Something made her crack the door open and walk inside.

What are you doing you crazy person? Go back. Get out of here.

Still she moved closer, her curiosity carrying her closer and closer. Seconds later, she stood on the stairs that led up to the bed. Her hand and arm shook as she reached out to touch the shoulder of the sleeping form that had their back to her. 

“Who’s there?” 

His sinister voice froze her in place. The hairs all over her body stood on end. This was Killian’s bedroom. He rolled over and sat up. The covers slipped down revealing his naked chest. His green eyes scanned the darkened chamber. She was sure his vampire sight allowed him to see just fine despite the lack of light. The crazy thing was, he seemed to look right through her like she wasn’t even there. She waved her hand in front of his face.

“You can’t see me?”

His eyes continued to search the room. While she was definitely dumbstruck that she was invisible to him, her mind chose that moment to have a stupid thought. 

If he’s a vampire why isn’t he sleeping in a coffin or underground?

She wanted to kick herself.

Really? Right now is not the time for this.

“I can smell the witch on you, Willow.” His nostrils flared. 

Her body went rigid with terror. 

He knows I’m here.

The derision in his statement made her wonder if he knew she was staying at the Walker Coven. After the attack he already knew she traveled with witches.

“I will find you.” He sounded so sure she swallowed to keep from choking and clutched her throat feeling like he was strangling her.

Wake up!

Her eyes flew open, and she took in a deep, much needed breath before she sat up and looked around the beige and white, eighteenth century bedroom she occupied at the coven and sighed.

ALSO AVAILABLE

ENLIGHTENED (BOOK TWO)

COMING SOON – SEPTEMBER 24

EMPOWERED (BOOK THREE)

ABOUT MONI BOYCE

Moni Boyce is a writer, filmmaker, poet and author of contemporary and paranormal romance novels. She spent the last fifteen years working in the film industry and now creates characters of her own and brings them to life on the page. Moni has ghostwritten romance novellas and novels for over a year now and decided to put some of her own creations out in the world. She considers herself a bookworm, film buff, foodie, music lover and an avid world traveler having visited 32 countries and counting. She lives a bit of a nomadic life, but considers Los Angeles home. Which is the subject of her first travel book: Greater Than A Tourist – Los Angeles, California: 50 Travel Tips From A Local.

CONNECT WITH MONI BOYCE

AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Coming soon: Earned by the Billionaire 2 by Shani Greene-Dowdell

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Title: Earned by the Billionaire 2

Author: Shani Greene-Dowdell

Genre: IR Romance

Publication Date: 2 March 2018

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

Amazon

SYNOPSIS

Pamelon Jackson
I had a full-blown love affair with Lyle Walker when I was in high school. It was just a puppy love that turned out to be one-sided with me being on the wrong side of the coin. Somewhere deep inside of me I felt he loved me. There was something in his eyes that told what he wasn’t ready to share with the world. None of that matters now. Our love is lost and cannot be earned again.

Lyle Walker
By ruining her, I became undone. When Nate asked me why Pamelon was following me around senior year, I should have punched him in the jaw. It was a sad existence to love her and not have the nerve to show it because I was worried about what everyone would say, especially my parents. That was the boy Lyle Walker. Not the full-blooded man, ready to do whatever it takes to earn my woman back, including opening the vaults to my bank and my heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shani Greene-Dowdell

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 10.31.08Shani Greene-Dowdell is a wife, mother of three, grandmother to two awesome tots, and has worked 18 years as a medical transcriptionist. Shani enjoys weaving words of romantic fiction and suspense and has written her way into a new reality as a full-time writer. It all started with a Black Expressions subscription back in 2004. Shani burst open the first shipment like it was Christmas Eve and soaked in the soulful and riveting stories of Kimberla Lawson, Eric Jerome Dickey, Carl Weber, Zane, Darrien Lee, and too many other greats to name. Inside of great storylines is where her zest for storytelling was born. She completed her first book, Keepin’ It Tight, and self-published it in 2007. To date, Shani has 20 books to her credit in Interracial Romance, Erotica, and Urban genres.

CONTACT

You can find Shani Greene-Dowdell at her website: www.shanigreenedowdell.com or email her anytime to chat books at shanibooks@gmail.com.

Review: Strings of Subversion by K. Victoria Chase

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Title: Strings of Subversion

Author: K. Victoria Chase

Genre: Historical Fiction, IR/Multicultural Historical Fiction

Release Date: 30 April 2017

 

SYNOPSIS

Based on true events.

Berlin 1935

On the eve of the Olympics, musician Willie Cooper is banned from performing her beloved jazz. With her half-German niece and nephew in need of food and shelter, she turns to the music underground to earn money. Each illegal gig brings the feared SD closer to her people, who are needed for an experiment only spoken of in feared whispers on the streets.

British Intelligence Agent Klaus Hummer’s mission is to observe and report as a journalist for Das Schwarze Korps, the Nazi’s premiere newspaper. The immersion into Nazi propaganda and culture reveals an alarming agenda that will put him on a path to sacrifice the life of a beautiful jazz singer for an assignment that cannot fail.

REVIEW

I love historical romance, so when a friend recommended K. Victoria Chase’s Strings of Subversion, I was intrigued.

You could say that Strings of Subversion is a forbidden love story: it’s set in Nazi Germany in 1936, just prior to World War II, with Germany preparing for the Berlin Olympics. Willie, an African-American jazz singer and violinist is living in Berlin with Margot, the German common-law wife of her uncle John, and their two children, Johannes and Dorotea. Though the Nazis are making life ever more difficult for all who are not “aryan” enough, Willie doesn’t want to leave Margo and her children on their own–especially with John out of the country performing and funds being low. So Willie and her musician friends do what they can to make ends meet, performing jazz (which has recently been forbidden by the Nazis) in underground clubs as well as German classical music in clubs that will still allow black and Jewish musicians to perform. Into the fold walks Klaus Reithoffer–handsome, charming…and possibly a Nazi. Or is he…? One thing is certain: sparks fly between Willie and Klaus, even when both have good reason for keeping their distance.

What I enjoyed about Strings of Subversion was how Chase weaves so many layers of intrigue into the story. Chase does a very good job of sketching her characters so that you can picture them and understand most of the motivation for their actions. I thought she did an especially good job of clueing us into Klaus, who proves that looks can be deceiving. I also loved the slow burn between Willie and Klaus and how not everything was as it appeared to be. I could easily see this story as a movie.

So why am I giving this story a 4-star review and not a 5-star review? Two things ate at me a bit while I was reading: Willie’s refusal to leave Berlin even when she understood how dangerous and inhospitable it was becoming, and the way the story ended. I know we need to have a strong-willed heroine, but I sometimes had a hard time believing that a sensible woman like Willie would remain in a country that was falling under the thrall of Hitler and the SS’s propaganda. Also, as the story came to a close, I’d expected that book #1 would tie up any loose ends and we’d get the rest of the story in the upcoming instalment. However, the ending came rather abruptly and was a cliffhanger. I’m not against cliffhangers, but this one took me by surprise.

Still, even with these two quibbles of mine, I really enjoyed reading Strings of Subversion and look forward to reading Book 2 in the series once it’s released.

Highly recommended!

My rating?

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Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

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Title: The Wedding Date

Author: Jasmine Guillory

Publication Date: 30 January 2018

SYNOPSIS:

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

REVIEW

What would you do if a really gorgeous stranger asked you to be his date for a wedding? Would you say no and laugh it off? Or…would you say yes and see what happens? That’s the situation Alexa Monroe is faced with when she has her meet-cute with Drew Nichols once the two are stuck in an elevator during a power outage in a swanky hotel in San Francisco. What starts off as a fake date has the potential to become something more for commitment-phobe Drew and over thinker Alexa. Will they take their fake date to another level or will they keep on pretending?

The Wedding Date is a fun, sexy (though probably not graphic enough for some readers) romance about the world of modern dating between a black woman and a white man in post-Trump America. Does Guillory touch upon race? Yes, in a very relevant way and with a light hand. It never feels like a sociology lesson and it flows naturally with the plot.

Will you enjoy reading the ups and downs Alexa and Drew experience? Yes, and you won’t want to put your Kindle down. I loved how Guillory handled the subjects of interracial relationships, long-distance relationships and the pitfalls of trying to interpret text messages. So many of the situations in the book made me laugh as I’ve been through them myself.

Take my advice, get thee to your favourite bookstore and pick up a copy of The Wedding Date. You’re going to love Alexa and Drew and you’ll wish it was already a movie.

Highly recommended!

My rating?

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Review: A Summer Affair by Janae Keyes

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 06.47.44I love short stories. I like the feeling of satisfaction I get when I can read a complete story while on my morning commute or during my lunch break. Not every short story succeeds in eliciting that satisfied sensation–the pacing may be too rushed or the characterisation flimsy, but Janae Keyes’s A Summer Affair most definitely succeeded.

With A Summer Affair, Janae gives us a very emotional and relatable story about unexpected love. We meet Ashlee, a wife and author who is dealing with a clingy child and a neglectful husband. We also have Kyle, the author who just happens to be as sexy as all get-out. Of course sparks fly. And we want them to–even when we know they shouldn’t.

I loved the emotional rollercoaster that Janae takes us on. I also loved how she depicted Ashlee and Kyle’s feelings for one another. It came across, for me, as believable and understandable. This was my first time reading a Janae Keyes book and it definitely will not be my last.

My rating?

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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.

Connect with Sabrina

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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: 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

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest

Blog Tour: Lies You Tell by LaQuette

Lies You Tell

by

LaQuette 

Blurb:

A mob boss finding his dead lover alive six years after her death, shocking.  Learning they’ve got a five-year-old son…deadly.

Six years ago Sanai Ward fled her life in Florida when her lover’s infidelity nearly brings her life to a fiery end.  Scared and devastated, Sanai starts over from nothing, determined to create a safe and happy life for the child she discovers she’s carrying.

Single parenthood isn’t easy. But the joy of watching her beloved Nazario thrive is more than enough motivation to ignore the ache in her heart for the man that shattered her soul.
Dante De Luca is a passionate man who’s had his life stolen from him.  Six years ago he was in love and happy, until his woman was killed in a fire. Sanai was gone.  There was nothing left in the ashes but the locket he’d placed around her neck.  Too angry to deal with his loss, Dante seeks to make the rest of the world pay for his broken heart by forming an unholy covenant with an unspeakable ally.  He knows he’ll live to regret it, but signing away your humanity to the devil seems meaningless when your soul is already gone.
When an accident involving a family member draws Dante to New York, and forces an unexpected meeting between he and Sanai, Dante has to decide what’s more important.  His rage and revenge, or the safety of the woman he once loved and the health of their son?
Just when Sanai’s deception is beginning to sting less, Dante is faced with the fallout of his own lies.  Will she forgive him?  Will they survive them, or will their lives become tragic casualties of the dangerous lies he told?

Excerpt:

She watched her son glance back and forth between the two men now sitting on either side of him. He was biting on his fingernails, a nervous habit he had developed when he began school. Sanai’s first instinct was to cross the room as quickly as she could and snatch her baby up.

 Yeah, it was just hair, and it was already falling out from the chemotherapy, but her protective instincts weren’t exactly running off of logic.
This plan Dante had of cutting it all off sounded rational, but being rational wasn’t really high on her list of priorities. That was her baby, and if he wasn’t on board with the idea, she was shutting this entire plan down.
She moved to take a step in their direction, but Dante’s smile halted her. He wasn’t looking in her direction—probably had no idea she was watching him so intently. But the easy way he smiled at her son, the way Nazario mirrored Dante’s same crooked smile that spread slowly across his little mouth and lit up his entire face—the power of it held her in place.
Tony opened his bag. He pulled out a drape and shook out its folds. She saw Nazario stare at the drape with a bit of trepidation shaking his small frame. Tony lifted it in the air and placed it carefully around Dante’s neck.
Her eyes met Dante’s, silently asking for answers. Before she could form the words of her question, Tony turned on his clippers and took a quick pass up the side of Dante’s head. When he pulled the clippers back, she saw scalp, or more aptly described, scalp covered by a short fuzz.
She glanced back at her son. He  had a front-row seat of Dante getting his hair shaved off. Nazario stared at the man, his fear morphing into curiosity. Without so much as a word this man took the fear out of something for her child, making it something fun.
In a few minutes, those beautiful dark curls that were Dante’s signature were gone. When Tony was done with Dante, he cleaned him up, shook out the drape, and motioned for Naz to take Dante’s place.
The boy hesitated for just a minute and then settled into his chair. Tony secured the drape and turned the clippers on. Nazario jumped a little at the sound, but Dante calmed him down by leaning in front of him and giving him a thumbs-up. While Dante kept him distracted, Tony shaved the boy’s hair down to his scalp, and with what appeared to be practiced ease, he lined the boy’s edges up, making the haircut look less like they were attempting to cover up illness and more like a trendy haircut a young boy would wear.
Tony dusted off the excess hair from Naz and pulled off the drape. When those dark brown eyes she loved so much looked up with both excitement and approval, she pulled on a trembling smile. She walked up to him, running a gentle hand over his head.
“You look real good, Naz. Mr. Tony did a good job.” Her voice felt thick and heavy as she spoke. The little boy fell into her arms. She hugged him as tight as she could and lifted watery eyes to Dante and Tony. Too full to speak over the growing ball of emotion in her chest, she simply mouthed a silent thank you to them.
They each nodded, but it was the red rim around Dante’s eyes that pulled her attention. In their depths she found understanding. Her brain questioned briefly how Dante could know just how relieved she was to see a happy smile on her boy’s face.
It almost didn’t compute that someone else could fathom how much it would mean to her that her son looked less like a sick cancer patient and more like an average five-year-old. But when Dante’s watery gaze fastened on to hers, she realized something crucial. Dante was Nazario’s father. Not just in blood, but in every way possible.
Orchestrating this haircut to preempt the trauma of hair loss was something only a parent would recognize as necessary. Only a father would sacrifice his own healthy mane to make his son feel less afraid, less abnormal.
Sanai opened her free arm to Dante, inviting him into the embrace she and their son shared. He hesitated briefly, and she hated that he thought he had to. Truth was, there was no one else she could blame for that.
She’d done this. She kept her arm open, and he finally leaned in. He circled
them both with strong arms, and she lightly scraped her fingers against his
near-smooth scalp.
“Thank you,” she whispered in his ear. He didn’t speak. If he was experiencing the same emotional overload, she understood why. He simply tightened his hold and squeezed Sanai and Nazario closer to him.
Her annoying mind kept trying to bully its way into the moment, but she refused to allow it. She wasn’t going to worry about how right it felt to be in Dante’s arms, how protected she felt with his arms surrounding them. She wasn’t going to listen to the fear screaming in the back of her mind that Dante was getting too close too soon. She simply burrowed into his embrace and let her battle shield fall.

 
 
 

Author Bio:

LaQuette is an erotic, multicultural romance author of M/F and
M/M love stories.  Her writing style brings intellect to the drama.
She often crafts emotionally epic, fantastical tales that are deeply pigmented by reality’s paintbrush. Her novels are filled with a unique mixture of savvy, sarcastic, brazen, and unapologetically sexy characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page.
This bestselling Erotic Romance Author is the 2016 Author of the
Year Golden Apple Award Winner, 2015 Swirl Awards Bronze Winner in Romantic Suspense, and 2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in Erotic Romance. 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 source of comfort. At the age of sixteen she read her first romance novel and realized the genre was missing something: people that looked and lived like her.  As a result, her characters and settings are always designed to provide positive representations of people of color and various marginalized communities.
She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running
around in her head causing so much trouble.  Contact her on FacebookTwitter, her website, NovelsbyLaQuette.com, Amazon, her Facebook group, LaQuette’s Lounge, and via email at LaQuette@NovelsbyLaQuette.com.
 
 

Lies You Tell

Book Trailer

by

LaQuette

Spotlight: Shyla Colt

 

Coming soon from Shyla Colt

PRETTY HURTS

Coming 23 September

Pre-Order your copy now
http://smarturl.it/PrettyHurtsColt

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Blurb

Efia Bello knows firsthand how much Pretty Hurts. As a make-up artist and stylist, she’s seen the cruelty and unrealistic expectations of perfection required in the industry. When her hair begins to fall out and she discovers she has Alopecia Areata she’s forced to dig deep and find the beauty in herself. The last thing she expects to find during her struggle is love, but barber, Edgar Gilborn is a temptation she may not be able to resist.
When Edgar Gilborn agrees to open his Barbershop early to accommodate a woman with a hair crisis, the last thing he expects to walk in the door is a curvaceous dime piece who threatens to break his one-year dating drought. Healing from a broken engagement he’s focused on his business and family. Now he has his eyes set on a different prize.
Can he show her hair doesn’t matter, and the chemistry between them is worth exploring?

 

Watch the trailer!

About the Author

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Shyla Colt is the sassy international bestseller of the popular series Kings of Chaos and Dueling Devils M.C. This genre-hoppers stories feature three of her favorite things: strong females, pop culture, and alternate routes to happy ever after. Listening to her Romani soul, she pens from the heart, allowing the dynamic characters, eccentric interests, and travels as a former flight attendant to take her down untraveled roads.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, this mid-west girl is proud of her roots. She used her hometown and the surrounding areas as a backdrop for a number of books. So, if you’re a Buckeye, keep an eye out for familiar places.

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.

Connect with Shyla Colt online

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