Search Results for: eban

Eban by Allison Merritt

EBAN
Eban by Allison Merritt
The Heckmasters Book 2
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (181 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

If love can’t save them, there will be hell to pay.

The Heckmasters, Book 2

Grateful for his mother’s human blood that cools the dark fire of his demon father, Eban Heckmaster has set up a medical practice in New Mexico territory. But there’s no hope of living a normal life until he rids himself of a seductive demon that’s been pursuing him.

Vanquishing it won’t be as simple as sharpening his demon-hunting sword. The clever creature is hiding inside his best friend’s head, and she has no idea of the havoc she’s been wreaking, especially with his body.

Beryl suspects Eban knows why she’s been waking up with no memory of where she’s been or what she’s done, but he’s not talking. But when she inevitably learns what he’s hiding—or rather, what’s hiding inside her—she wonders if her love for him is real, or an illusion created by the demon’s lust.

Eban is losing the battle to hold his rising desire in check. There may be only one way to extricate Beryl from the beast entangling her mind. Call upon his demon blood…and offer it as a sacrifice.

“They’d been conceived in love, they battled demons, but their blood ran thick with barely controlled evil”

This is the second book in the series depicting the story of the second brother, Eban. This series is solely focused on the three Heckmaster brothers who are half demon. Their father is a full-fledged demon who fell in love with a human.

There is a history in all the three books, which mainly comprises of what happened to their parents and their only sister. If you want to know more about all of this I would very much recommend for any reader to start from the first book, Wystan.

All of the brothers are very different from each other. Eban is a healer at heart. Fighting is not what he likes though he is good at it like his brothers. His heart is for healing people. I think this is where his urge to get the demon residing in Beryl comes from. He has a soft spot for Beryl though in his mind he still think himself in love with Rhia who is married to his elder brother, Wystan.

This book begins where Rhia and Wystan got married and left for their honeymoon, leaving Beryl in charge of the school and the classes including their otherworldy children or students.

Eban is bent on making sure Beryl lives, no matter the consequences. Their relationship did start with friendship though it wasn’t merely that for Beryl. However, their chemistry is at first very light. I could almost take it for lust. But at some point the passion and chemistry becomes difficult to ignore.

I loved the ending immensely. It was unexpected but not disliked in any way. I liked the ending very much and am looking forward to the third book and the surprises in store.

This is an easy recommend for any paranormal romance lovers.

Havoc and Hell by Marie Harte

HELL
Havoc and Hell by Marie Harte
Ethereal Foes Book 3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (116 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, M/M, Ménage, Anal Sex/Play, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

When a demon and a dragon get busy, “burning up the sheets” gets real.

James thought stealing a royal dragon egg was a terrific idea—until the prank went sideways. His sister and twin brother have done their penance. Now it’s his turn. Ten days of servitude to Teban, the dragon prince—James’s best friend. Such a light sentence has to have a catch, so James does what any good demon would do. He bolts.

His string of bad luck holds steady when he falls prey to a pretty woman with sharp teeth. Kihra is havoc, a race of lower-realm creatures even demons fear. When she joins forces with Teban, their torment becomes delectable sin. No vice is too addictive, no demand too brutal when it comes to satisfying his lovers’ needs.

All seems hellishly perfect—until the angels arrive for some payback. Kihra’s kidnapped, Teban is missing, and James suffers the beatdown of the millennium. But he has no intention of letting his lovers go, though he risks the wrath of the demon king, the ire of the dragons, and an angelic punishment that could start a world-ending war.

Steal a dragon egg…blame it on the angels…what could possibly go wrong?

James Sinclair learned that not all pranks are good ideas, especially if the dragon egg in question just happens to be a royal egg, and holds the next King of the Dragons. For his penance, his father Asael sentences him to ten days of servitude to Teban, prince of dragons and brother to the, now hatched, egg in question. While Teban is James’ best friend, James is not quite sure what is in store, so he does what any smart demon would, he runs. Unfortunately, James gets lost, and is caught by an adolescent Havoc, a race he knows nothing about other than they are extremely bloodthirsty and strong. When the young Havoc’s aunt comes along, she has decided she likes how James looks and decides she will keep him. When Teban catches up with James, he is also ‘taken’ by Kihra, and together Teban and Kihra decide to claim James as their own. Things heat up once Kihra and Teban take James back to Teban’s home and each of these three claims the others in a hot and steamy triad. When the angels kidnap Kihra as payback for the prank James started, will James be able to rescue her in time? Will Teban survive his impromptu visit with the Havoc deity Kingu and return in time to save James? Can James accept that he has feelings for both Teban and Kihra? Can these three stay together in the face of opposition from the Havoc and the angels?

Havoc and Hell is a return to Marie Harte’s Ethereal Foes world, where paranormal beings exist and passions run high. This tale gives a glimpse of beings that even the demons fear, a dangerous race known as the Havoc. This is a look into one of the lower realms, with the different beings that inhabit that world. I enjoyed the descriptions of the homelands of the Havoc, and the many ways it differs from what the inhabitants call ‘the Ordinary’ or the realm of humanity.

James Sinclair is a strong and smart demon, twin to Duncan and more than a bit of a rascal. It was his idea that started the whole mess, and now that he is to pay, he does what demons do best…he tries to escape his punishment. When he meets Kihra, he is drawn to her, and is a bit surprised by the strength of his attraction to the woman. I like James and his snarky sense of morality, and his determination to avoid his punishment. I also like that he is honest enough to admit it when he realizes his attraction to Teban as well as the one to Kihra.

Teban is the dragon prince, strong and handsome, and very determined to finally make James his mate. He also wants Kihra in his life as a mate as well. I like the chemistry that is so palpable when these three are together, and I was very impressed when Teban made the ultimate ‘sacrifice’ for Kihra. I like the passion that Teban lives his life with.

Kihra is a wild being, like no woman either of these two males has ever met. I like her combination of sensuousness and innocence, a seductress with a sweetness that shows in her wide eyed amazement of the dragon world. I also like that she is determined to ‘keep’ both James and Teban, claiming that they are hers because of her devotion to her deity, Kingu, as her reward for her life of service to Kingu and her people.

There are some interesting twists to this one. When the angels kidnap Kihra and lay the blame on the demons, there is threat of a war between demon kind and the Havoc, and Kihra must pretend to like Heaven until her rescue comes. There are secrets hinted at but left unsolved for now, and there is a mystery of what the new dragon king knows and his ultimate plan for everyone. I read this late one night and could not put it down. I recommend lots of ice water and tissues, because there are tears and laughter and scorching hot passionate encounters between James, Kihra and Teban.

The Story of Us by Ariel Tachna and Nicki Bennett – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes Nicki Bennett and Ariel Tachna, the authors of Checkmate.

The Story of Us

Ariel:

People ask us occasionally how we met and came to write together. Since it never ceases to make me smile, I thought it might be a fun story to share.

About thirteen years ago, Nicki and I were both very active in the Lord of the Rings fandom, but we hadn’t really interacted. Then I posted the next chapter of the opus I was writing, and I got this e-mail. “The characters you’ve spent 120 chapters lovingly creating wouldn’t act the way they did in chapter 121.” It then went on to explain in great detail why the author of the e-mail felt that way. It turns out she was right (she’s always right). So I rewrote the end of chapter 121, sent it back to her, and asked if that was better. She agreed that it was, so I issued a correction on the forum where I shared the story. Then I wrote chapter 122 and sent it to her, asking if she’d like to read it before I posted it. She said yes.

Since then, I have written all of four things that she hasn’t read first, sometimes as I’m writing them (quite literally—I write a paragraph and post it in a chat window and then write the next one), and all four of those things were gifts for her: Testament to Love, two chapters of Partnership in Blood that were birthday presents for her, and an unpublished retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac with a male lead in place of Roxane.

For all that the story of how we met is fun and funny, it’s also very telling. Nicki has an eye for detail and characterization that makes her an invaluable beta reader and writing partner, and that wasn’t something I had to learn through trial and error. From our first interaction, I knew she cared about my story as much as I did, because when I say she gave me a detailed explanation of the characterization error I made, I’m not kidding. The e-mail was almost as long as the chapter! She had clearly put so much thought and care into her e-mail that it resonated with me. Here was someone who was as passionate as I was, not just about Lord of the Rings, but about my specific take on them. The jump from beta-reading to writing together was, for me, a no-brainer.

Nicki:

What Ariel left out of her side of the story is that the reason I felt so passionate about her opus was that she had made the characters come alive, not just retelling their actions during the LOTR trilogy but envisioning their lives and relationships before and after the fellowship, in original and entrancing detail. (Those of you fortunate enough to have read The Price of Pride know exactly what I mean.) I was incredibly nervy sending that e-mail, but I’d come to respect her and the characters she’d made her own, and the scene just felt wrong. I honestly expected her to either ignore me or tell me she knew her characters better than I thought I did. I never expected her to rewrite the chapter based on my comments! But that’s the thing about Ariel—even though we rarely disagree (the whole sharing-a-brain thing), she’s always open to listening to another viewpoint and changing things when it will make a story stronger.

I have to laugh at her casual statement that “the jump from beta-reading to writing together was, for me, a no-brainer.” What she neglects to mention is that I wasn’t a writer before knowing her. Oh, I’d written job-training aids and technical manuals for my evil day job, but the only creative writing I’d ever done was a truly horrible Mary Sue fantasy short story when I was twelve (blessedly long lost). I learned the craft of writing from Ariel, so that when she prompted me to try my hand at writing something myself a few months after we “met,” I knew I could rely on her to help me develop my skills, until I improved to the point that we started writing together. I’ve written a few things on my own since, but I still think the strongest writing I’ve done are the things I’ve written with her. We bring out the best in each other.

Ariel:

What Nicki isn’t telling you is that the first thing she sent me was so powerful that I went running down the hall at the school where I was teaching at the time to show it to two friends because they absolutely had to read it right now! I may have convinced her to try her hand at writing, but I didn’t have to teach her anything.

Tell us about how you met your best friend—we’ll choose one comment to give away an eBook copy of any title from either of our backlists.

7_25 CheckmateFS_v2When sword-for-hire Teodoro Ciéza de Vivar accepts a commission to “rescue” Lord Christian Blackwood from unsuitable influences, he has no idea he’s landed himself in the middle of a plot to assassinate King Philip IV of Spain and blame the English ambassador for the deed. Nor does he expect the spoiled child he’s sent to retrieve to be a handsome, engaging young man.

As Teodoro and Christian face down enemies at every turn, they fall more and more in love, an emotion they can’t safely indulge with the threat of the Inquisition looming over them. It will take all their combined guile and influence to outmaneuver the powerful men who would see them separated… or even killed.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Esteban stared out at the street from the window of la taberna Castellán, as he had for most of the past three days. Teodoro did not like him to visit the tavern where they sometimes took meals when they were in funds, but the small window in their rooms at the parish residence did not give much view of the street, and after three weeks had come and gone and Teodoro had still not returned, Esteban could no longer sit upstairs and pretend to study the lessons his tío, Inocencio, had left for him. If he had known exactly where his guardian had gone, Esteban would have set off in search of him, but since Teo had neglected to provide him with that information, he could do nothing but wait, watch for him, and worry about what would happen should he not return.

It was growing dark, and Beatriz, the tavern owner’s wife, had started throwing him looks (which he was doing his best to ignore) to indicate it was time to return home before the night’s heavy drinking began, when Esteban caught sight of a figure in a familiar wide-brimmed hat and worn brown jerkin. When he was younger, he might have run out the door, crying out to anyone with ears to hear that Teo had returned, but with age Esteban had learned some discretion and also some self-preservation. Slipping quietly outside, he tried to appear as if he were simply strolling the street to take some air and just happened to notice that Teodoro was approaching. He was so relieved to see Teo that he did not at first realize he was not alone.

Christian had sighed with relief when Ciéza pulled the horse to a stop. He was sure this was Madrid, though he had never been there before, which perhaps meant they had reached the end of their journey. Even if they had not, they were stopping for the moment, giving him a much needed break from Ciéza’s proximity. The last near fortnight had been… difficult, the Spaniard’s nearness a constant prod to Christian’s libido, until his erection seemed to nag at him day and night. Ciéza had not seemed to notice, but Christian needed a respite. Fortunately, they had left the horse at a livery stable and were now on foot. He glanced around to see an inn of slightly lesser quality than the one he had inhabited in Valencia, but that seemed to be their destination. A youth some years younger than Christian’s own age lounged against the wall, pushing off when he saw them and approaching eagerly. Christian frowned, wondering who this was.

“You’re late, Teo,” Esteban said accusingly, stopping in his tracks when he noticed the gentleman accompanying Teodoro. The man was elegantly dressed, if somewhat dusty and rumpled, and he was undeniably handsome, but something about way he dogged Teo’s steps like a shadow set Esteban’s teeth on edge. “Who is this?” he demanded, nodding at the stranger.

“My commission,” Teodoro answered shortly, amused that Esteban sought to distract him by taking the offensive. “Your Excellency, this whelp is my son, Esteban. Esteban, this is Don Cristian Blackwood.” He didn’t bother with the Englishman’s full title; it wouldn’t mean anything to Esteban, and if all went well he wouldn’t be around long enough for it to matter in any case. The younger men bowed to each other with the air of two dogs sniffing each other warily.

Christian had already discovered a weakness for Ciéza’s voice, but hearing his name spoken, not with boring English rhythm, but with the Spanish flair that made everything more alluring—Cristian, not Christian—only increased his susceptibility.

“Now, since you’ve obviously made yourself familiar with the tavern in my absence, make yourself useful and have Beatriz send us some food—and a bottle of wine.” Teo gestured to Blackwood to precede him into the taproom, his gaze following the graceful sway of the younger man’s backside as they entered. “Better make it two bottles,” he called to Esteban, forcing his gaze away.

About the Authors:

Growing up in Chicago, Nicki Bennett spent every Saturday at the central library, losing herself in the world of books. A voracious reader, she eventually found it difficult to find enough of the kind of stories she liked to read and decided to start writing them herself.

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When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.

She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands).

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Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press.

Campus Cravings: Higher Learning MM Boxed Set

CAMPUS
Campus Cravings: Higher Learning MM Boxed Set by: KyAnn Waters, Whitley Gray, Cassandra Carr, Mia Downing, Annabeth Albert, Dalton Diaz, Bianca Sommerland, Sara York, L.A. Witt
Publisher: C-Squared Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (461 pages)
Other: M/M, anal sex, toys, spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lilac

Welcome to Cathia University, where school is in session! Nine of today’s hottest gay romance authors have crafted brand-new interrelated novellas celebrating everything wonderful about college, including sophisticated professors, sexy teaching assistants, ambitious grad students, and spirited undergraduates, all looking for the same thing: an A+ in true love.

Annabeth Albert: Winning Bracket

Metrics and tournament brackets—who knew they were sexy? When competing dorm advisors Edwin and Ollie bet on a basketball tournament, neither expects he’s risking his heart. As the challenge becomes a hot bedroom battle to avoid real feelings, the two “frenemies” must change their definitions of losing to win a shot at lasting love.

Cassandra Carr: The Eloquent Jock

Hockey jock and English Lit major Brendan knows he’s gay, but hasn’t come out to anyone, fearing a possible backlash. Then he’s tapped to be a TA for a hot professor and feels an immediate connection. Now he must decide how much he’s willing to risk to score the ultimate goal.

Dalton Diaz: Lesson Learned

Adam Warren is counting down the days until he can put “Professor” next to his name—and his disastrous past with Tyler Ford behind him. When a fluke puts Tyler in Adam’s class, the graduate assistant faces some hard choices while Tyler faces an uphill battle for a second chance at first love.

Mia Downing: Switching Leads

Coach John Graham needs a new assistant for Cathia U’s equestrian team. The last person he expects to get the job walks into the barn and stops his heart. How is he supposed to focus on the team when his ex-lover—sexy horse trainer Finn Parker—wants back into his life…and into his bed?

Whitley Gray: Artistic Endeavor

When friends ask one-night stand connoisseur Michael Esteban to introduce shy virgin Cobey Miller to the joys of sex, Michael balks—lust is his thing, not teaching. But Cobey’s problem meeting men fuels Michael’s decision to help Cobey become a gay-sex-loving guy. It’ll all be fun and games—unless someone falls in love.

Bianca Sommerland: Solid Education

Gage Tackett comes off as a bad boy—detached and maybe a little dangerous. Definitely not Vet Sciences Professor Derek Paulson’s type. When Gage arrives at Derek’s veterinary clinic with a frostbitten stray dog, Derek realizes his most difficult student has a few things to teach him. Things he’s more than willing to learn.

KyAnn Waters: Private Lessons

Ryan Kane could lose his scholarship and his position on the pitch. Jake Finely offers to help. Only Ryan and Jake discover their private lessons have more to do with sex ed than Business Ethics. When a tenured professor offers Ryan an indecent proposal to make the grade, will he choose soccer or Jake?

LA Witt: Did Somebody Order a Pizza?

Paul Switzer has been miserable ever since his childhood love, Cory Bowman, chose a fraternity over him. When a pizza delivery to the frat house lands the exes face to face for the first time in eighteen months, the wound is reopened… and so are Paul’s feelings for the only man he’s ever loved.

Sara York: The Dust Of Everyday Life

Cole only has the courage to lust after the swim team from afar. When Seever asks to share a table at the packed coffee house where Cole is studying, he’s sure it’s a joke. But after one touch and one scorching kiss, Cole thinks the chance meet could lead to something with substance.

An anthology about gay men in a fictional campus surroundings of Cathia University, with an occasional common hangout, like Palozzo’s pizza joint.

Private Lessons by KyAnn Waters

A fairly simple and predictable tale about an out and proud teaching assistant and a closeted jock student. Both want the other in secret. When they realize the attraction is mutual, sex happens right off the bat. This story had no real tension or climactic scene, as Ryan’s coming out to his teammates is remarkably swift and accepting. The end result didn’t really justify Ryan’s fears of coming out. Also, a professor as bad as Turner should be booted off campus. Basically, a hot little fluff piece.

The Dust Of Everyday Life by Sara York

Cole is into music and Seever into swimming. They get together for some hot loving, and are outed in a paper by a homophobic so-called journalist who smelled a scandal and believed everyone would take her side. The writing in this story is okay but nothing special. When it comes to society’s attitudes toward gays, however, this paints a wonderful positive image of encouraging friends and strangers. So, not bad.

The Eloquent Jock by Cassandra Carr

Being a jock doesn’t mean one doesn’t have a brain. That was a nice twist in the set-in-stone jock character. Brendan plays hockey but he’s also an English lit major. I appreciated that aspect, how one thing doesn’t define you as a whole. A shy professor was also a nice change from the confident and even aggressive alpha male type, and I quite liked Scott, even though at times his reasons for resisting Brendan’s advances seemed a little thin. Nonetheless, the sex scenes are hotter than hot. I admit, too, prior to reading this story I’d never heard the term puck bunnies.

Switching Leads by Mia Downing

Lost lovers reconnecting after a decade. What could be hotter? The tension is already there in more ways than one. Since John, a coach for an equestrian team, has plenty of reasons to hate Finn, his alcoholic ex who is also his new assistant, this read like enemies-to-lovers story, which I liked a lot. Making amends through hot angry sex? Why not. Plus, the memories of what they shared, the good and the bad, added a touch of beauty to their reconciliation.

Solid Education by Bianca Sommerland

A cute little rescue dog, Matty, totally steals the show here, which was good since the characters didn’t grab me. Derek, a veterinary professor, is something of a jerk. Gage, a veterinary student and ex-military man, has traumas, injuries, and a dead K-9. Derek was really mean to Gage a lot, and I didn’t like that. Sure, Matty the dog does bring out Derek’s softer side but by then I already disliked him too much to care. Gage deserved better in my honest opinion. In any case, I found that this tale didn’t quite fit with the overall campus theme. Just felt like the odd story out, so to speak. The sudden one-eighty to love baffled me too.

Did Somebody Order a Pizza? by L.A. Witt

This story was very well written. Especially the flashbacks to Paul and Cory’s student days had quite an impact, reading as awkward and realistic. But… there was a really bad hazing incident and a subsequent breakup. Cory wants Paul back, but I wanted Paul to kick Cory’s tail. Cory was not a likable character, and Paul forgave much too soon. This tale of too quick a redemption, told in first person, left a bitter taste in my mouth. There’s so much hate and violence and cowardice here it was a bit of a downer.

Winning Bracket by Annabeth Albert

By far the best of the bunch, this story delivers where the others in the anthology have failed. We get a beautiful, awkward, cute, realistic love affair even though Edwin and Ollie start out as sort of frenemies (that’s a word, right?). A silly bet over basketball leads to a kiss, and much, much more. Edwin may be the sweet little virgin but he wants his kiss, dammit, and he wants it from popular jock Ollie. I loved their interaction, be it talking or smooching, teasing or goading. Beautifully crafted tale of two young men playing games, bantering, and falling in love. Made me miss real life kissing sessions.

Artistic Endeavor by Whitley Gray

Two artists—a graphic design professor (at 25?) and a painter—are brought together because one is knowledgeable about sex and the other is a virgin. Yeah, the story’s predictable in every sense. But both Michael and Cobey were kinda cute, the former playboy who falls in love for the first time and the other a virgin who finds love on his first go. Even when Michael hurts Cobey’s feelings by rejecting him, I got that Michael’s just scared and falling. There’s a lot of kissing, adorable moments, emotions shared, and a slowly forming relationship. This is the longest story in the anthology. Despite the no-surprises plot, the ending was sweet.

The Biker and the Banker’s Daughter by David Spiteri – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David will be awarding an eCopy of The Biker and the Banker’s Daughter to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheBikerAndTheBankersDaughterMimi had never been on a motorbike before she met Peter Winifred, president of the Miners Motorcycle club. He is smitten the second they meet, but she isn’t so sure she wants the life of the Prez’s girl.

These are saucy selected scenes that reveal the sexy underbelly of an outlaw motorcycle club, taken from the bestselling true-to-life novel THE PREZ.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Winnie was lying in bed trying to recall what had happened the night before; all he could think of was Mimi — he could still smell her perfume — but he couldn’t work out exactly what had happened. He opened the back door and saw his mates lounging around the backyard.

‘You sheriffing cunt,’ Brian yelled. It was a good thing he smiled.

‘I know. Do you want to know what happened?’

‘Yeah,’ they all answered, anticipating a lewd story.

‘When we went for our stroll in the sand dunes we sat down and she rolled me a smoke of marijuana.’

‘The bikies in the States are into that,’ said Kev. ‘What was it like?’

‘Better than piss, mate. We both just lay there smoking while I played with her titties. Fuck, they were nice.’

‘Yeah, I noticed,’ Brian said and grabbed his crotch.

‘Go on, Winnie, what happened?’ Ocker always wanted to know every dirty detail.

‘It turns out she’s some rich cunt’s daughter from Rose Bay. You wouldn’t believe it, after you blokes left I was trying to think where I could take her when she jumped off, got in a taxi, said thank you and fucked off. I still can’t believe it.’

‘Bullshit,’ said Kev and the boys laughed until they almost cried.

‘Fucking oath, boys, I suppose she’s telling her rich girlfriends all about it by now. The only good thing about last night was the marijuana. There could be a decent earn in that for us. We’d better look into it.’

About the Author: David Spiteri was a founding member and President of one of Australia’s first biker gangs. He is ‘semi-retired’ from the club now. He saw outlaw motorcycle clubs (OMCs) develop from loose affiliations of like-minded riders to the well structured and well connected groups we see today, with links to police, politicians and lawyers. David lives in Rosebank, Northern NSW. Find the author at Facebook. Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wystan by Allison Merritt

WYSTAN
Wystan by Allison Merritt
The Heckmasters Book #1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (228 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy
Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.

The Heckmasters, Book 1

Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff.

The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

A search for safe shelter has brought them to a town filled with otherworldly creatures.

Rhia Duke arrived in an almost non-existent town looking to apply for the schoolteacher’s position that was advertised.

Upon arriving with her younger sister, Sylvia, and friend, Beryl who is sick, Rhia finds out there is no job for her there. But due to the weakened state of her friend she, along with her small entourage, is given permission to stay in town. During that time she uncovers a legacy about demons, second chances, love and death.

Wystan the eldest of the three brothers is absolutely against the new arrivals staying. However, in time he falls in love with Rhia. The romance and passion that is between them is a wonder. Their relationship developed. By the end I could see their love for each other and their strength. Except, will they have a Happily Ever After?

The Heckmasters intrigued me from the start and it was well worth the time fantasizing about what their story is.

I expected demons to star in this but not the other creatures. But it was pleasant and nice. I really wanted to know more about these creatures. Not a full biography but, enough to understand them.

There are three Heckmasters in this story. The eldest Wystan, then Eban, last but not least, is Tell. There was one other female Heckmaster, Sabrina. But what happened to her will be explained in this book.

Wystan, as the eldest, wants to save the town. There are questions that still remain. I think these answers will come with Eban and Tell’s stories. I was hooked with Wystan’s story and how it ended. So, I am very much going to read the other books.

I believe The Heckmasters series is going to be a hit with paranormal loving readers.

Spring Blogfest: Misty Simon

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Win one digital copy of Something Old Something Dead by commenting on this post. Also click on the banner to enter the rafflecopter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC, one of four book packs, or one of four swag packs (US only on book and swag packs).

Come on, Spring! By Misty Simon

Here in Central Pennsylvania, we keep getting just a taste of Spring before it gets yanked away by the snow. I love the fluffy, white stuff, don’t get me wrong. Who can resist snow angels? Impromptu snow ball fights? Dogs who come in with white beards from playing alongside you? But I would love real Spring to please stand up!

This time of new growth and budding things always makes me think of stories, of love and of the promise of new beginnings. I adore stories about reunion romances and second chances for two people who maybe just didn’t get it right the first time. But those about first chances and new love? Well, those I gobble up like the fluffy marshmallow birds that are so popular this time of year.

Who doesn’t love to go on the joy ride, or even the roller coaster of two people finding each other, struggling through their issues and their barriers to break down walls and let someone else, someone who doesn’t necessarily complete them, but complements them, in? I love that hope, that growth, that joy in turning the last page, signing out a sigh of YES! and wishing the happy couple all the luck in the world to build off their mutual foundation.

It’s what I do, it’s why I do this crazy thing called writing romance. And it’s why at this time of year, when the birds are singing and the flowers are emerging from the ground and opening their beautiful blooms, I wish you love happiness and a giggle or two!

MISTY SomethingOldSomethingDead_w9326_medIvy Morris never thought she’d be walking her new stepmother down the aisle to her father. Not a flawless event, because, really, when is anything in Ivy’s life flawless? At least she avoids tripping. It’s the reception that has the flaw. The wedding singer nearly chokes to death on a glass of water, and then Ivy’s sister finds something unexpected in the parking lot.

And that’s not all. Something odd is going on in the sleepy little town of Martha’s Point — for some reason, no female under the age of fifty can keep her hands off Ivy’s boyfriend. Ivy’s little shop enjoys a tremendous increase in business as those women keep running in to buy more new sexy lingerie, but her heart is anything but happy.

What will it take to solve these mysteries? Is Ivy up to it? Well, she’s about to find out.

About the Author:Misty Simon loves a good story and decided one day that she would try her hand at it. Eventually she got it right. There’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter and three insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at misty@mistysimon.com

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Five Top Things on my Bucket List by Lily Dalton – Guest Blog and Giveaway

1_30 Never-Surrender-to-a-Scoundrel-Blog-Tour

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win the complete One Scandalous Season trilogy.

TOP FIVE THINGS ON LILY’S BUCKET LIST

My list isn’t adventurous or thrilling, in that I have no wish to do things like “learn to fly a plane” or to jump out of one. But here are the first five things that come to mind!

1. I used to live in Panama, and I loved it. It’s been several decades since I’ve been there, but I’m determined to go back, and I want to stay for two or three weeks and jump off waterfalls, eat plantains, walk the beaches and enjoy.

2. I’d love to visit Highgate Cemetery, outside of London. I want to see the Egyptian Avenue and the Circle of Lebanon and visit Elizabeth Siddal’s grave.

3. I want to spend a couple of weeks volunteering at the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. Have you seen baby sloths? Awww! Enough said. 

4. I want to drink a good beer and dance a polka in the Bavarian Alps. I actually stole that one from an elderly lady who once sat by me in Sunday School, and announced that as being on HER bucket list. But it sounded pretty great, so I’m putting it on mine too.

5. I want to learn to dance to Zydeco music. My husband and I went to Café des Amis in Breaux Bridge for the Saturday Zydeco breakfast, and I thought THAT is what I want to learn to do. Such fun!

1_30 Dalton_Never Surrender to a Scoundrel_MMA Reckless Desire . . .

Lady Clarissa Bevington is in trouble. A reckless indiscretion has left her with two choices: ruin her family with the scandal of the Season, or marry Mr. Kincraig, the notorious scoundrel mistaken as her lover. Desperate and disgraced, Clarissa vows to love and cherish a veritable stranger, a man whose eyes smolder with danger-and undeniable desire . . .

An Unexpected Arrangement

As an agent for the Crown, Lord Donovan Blackmer has spent the last two years guarding Clarissa’s grandfather from an unknown assassin while disguised as the rakehell Kincraig. His mission may now be over, but his duty has just begun. Salvaging his beautiful, impetuous wife’s virtue will cost him his fortune and his position as an officer-but it might save him from the ghosts that haunt his own past. When their marriage “in name only” leads to exquisite seduction, Donovan must risk the only thing he has left to lose . . . his heart.

Enjoy an excerpt:

He set the nightshirt back on the bed, and spoke over his shoulder.

“I think it’s time you returned to your room.”

He spoke the words without passion. She could only assume he’d had enough talking and wanted her to leave. The night air chilled her skin, and she wrapped her arms around her waist for warmth. She felt rebuffed by him. Stung. Her husband, the man with whom she would spend the rest of her days, did not have the slightest interest in spending a moment more in her company.

She knew she ought to calmly say ‘Very well then, I bid you good night,’ and quit the room, but she feared with a certainty that if she opened her mouth and attempted to utter a single syllable, her voice would falter and reveal the confused tumult of her emotions.

Not because she cared for him. Of course she didn’t. Clearly he did not care for her.

They’d been thrown together, and no amount of wishful thinking or good intentions would create a spark between them, when such a spark was never intended to be. She blinked away tears. Foolish tears! As if he had hurt her, but he hadn’t.

It had just been a long day, and a long night before that, and she’d made a terrible mess of everything, and she hated Quinn. And perhaps still loved him. And she was lonely. So very lonely and frightened of what the future held.

So instead she nodded jerkily, her chin outthrust, and turned on her slippered foot to escape into the dark dressing closet, taking care to close the first and the second door firmly behind her. Miss Randolph reclined in her sleeping gown and robe on the chaise with her book open and steepled across her forehead, snoring, which was just as well because Clarissa could not face the woman’s questions or her pity.

She doused the lamps and, in darkness, with only the scant light from behind the fire grate to see, crawled into bed and lay on unfamiliar sheets, her mind tangled with thoughts of… Mr. Blackmer.

Suddenly, the door swung open, and a shadow moved toward her, stealthily and swift, with only the faint white swath across his hips visible in the night. She recognized Blackmer instantly and desire ignited inside her. He crouched above her, breathing hard, his skin still damp and the tight flex of muscles in his shoulders darkly illuminated. The scent of the soap from his bath filled her nostrils. Her pulse raced, her heart near exploding.

“You,” he growled deep in his throat. “Are my preference.”

A second later, he kissed her hard, pressing his thumb against the side of her jaw, commanding her lips to part while his tongue boldly entered and teased. She gasped for breath, stunned into half-senselessness…and surrendered, her mouth opening fully to accept each deep, possessing stroke.

He gave a husky groan. His large hands caught hers by the wrists, pinning her to the mattress. She squirmed beneath him—but with no intent to escape.

Moments before he had dismissed her coldly, and made her feel invisible and unwanted and yet in this moment, he revealed his true feelings, ones he’d tried to conceal. She knew without a doubt that her husband desired her. Something about that made her weak, and—

His mouth moved to her cheek…her neck, leaving her skin hot and awakened wherever his lips touched. Sensations she’d never experienced spiraled up from inside her, delicious and achingly sweet, awakening a need in her body and rendering her unexpectedly wild.

God help her, she didn’t understand, but she wanted him as well. The moment he released her hands she moaned and seized his shoulders, sliding her hands upward over his neck, finding unexpected appreciation in the powerful contraction and flux of his muscles beneath her palms. He exhaled, filling her mouth with his breath, and sucked her bottom lip—

Only to groan and twist away.

No. She reached, her hands trailing over his shoulders and his arms, desperately wanting more. More of his kiss, and his warm, firm skin. And yes, for him to ravish her so she would forget—

Then nothing.

The bed creaked, relieved of his weight. She heard his sharp exhalation of breath–a laugh, perhaps?

“Good night then, Mrs. Blackmer,” he murmured.

Silence filled the room.

“Good night,” she answered breathlessly.

He crossed the room, disappearing into the dressing closet, gone the way he had come. She heard the door close.

After a long moment of silence, Miss Randolph’s voice came from the direction of the chaise. “Well that was rather thrilling.”

About the Author:1_30 Lily Dalton Author ImageLily Dalton grew up as an Army brat, moving from place to place. Her first stop after relocating was always the local library, where she could hang out with familiar friends: Books! Lily has an English degree from Texas A & M University and after graduation worked as a legal assistant in the fields of accident reconstruction and litigation. She now lives in Houston, Texas, with her family. When she isn’t at work on her next manuscript, she spends her time trying out new recipes, cheering on her favorite Texas football teams and collecting old dishes, vintage linens and other fine “junque” from thrift stores and flea markets.

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A Perfect Catch by Anna Sugden – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anna will award a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter, as well as 4 signed copies of A Perfect Catch AND 4 exclusive A Perfect Catch notebooks. (international giveaway). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

He’s the perfect catch…for now!

When it comes to romance, Tracy Hayden is not looking for a rematch. She’s had epic passion—and problems!—with professional hockey player Ike Jelinek. Brilliant on skates and magic in bed, his too-traditional-for-her views were like a bucket of ice water on their affair.

Then an injury takes Ike out of the game, and everything changes. Suddenly he needs her services-providing business—even though he once claimed it was their biggest problem. Tracy’s determined to be professional, despite the sizzling attraction between them that won’t go away. Maybe they need a second fling to fix that!

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

Ike wasn’t as superstitious as most goaltenders, but he knew it was a bad sign to fall flat on his ass in the pre-game warm-up before he’d even made it to his crease.

He jumped up and made a show of poking at a nick in the ice, then called for a water bottle from the bench.

Kenny brought one for him, laughing. “I was expecting a freaking crater the way you wiped out, bro.”

Ike let his brother’s comment slide. He knew Kenny was excited to be back in the lineup after having been a healthy scratch again for the past week’s games. Kenny had only played once—the night after baby Joe’s birth—before Coach had benched him again. The rationale had been that they’d needed one of the tougher fourth-line guys in Kenny’s place for the harder, more physical games, against those opponents. Facing a younger, faster team tonight, Kenny had earned his place back.

“Do you need salt to throw over your shoulder?” Jean-Baptiste Larocque added as he joined them. “We don’t want to start the game with bad mojo.”

Ike flicked the bird at the star forward, then poured water into the divot. “Nah. No bad luck involved. I must have caught it funny.”

Jake skated over and tossed Ike a puck to smooth off the newly frozen patch of ice. His blue eyes were rimmed with red and he looked like he hadn’t slept in a week.

“Has your son been keeping you from your beauty sleep again, Bad Boy?” he said, to deflect the attention from himself.

Jake’s glare didn’t have its normal cutting edge. “Yeah. I’m thinking of getting a hotel room so I can get my pre-game nap in peace.”

“You can always crash at my place, bro.”

“Thanks.” Jake leaned on his stick. “I may take you up on that. Especially when we play Detroit and Toronto.”

Both teams were riding winning streaks and had strong road records. The way the Cats had been playing lately, they’d need to bring their A-game to have a chance of getting any points off either team.

“Anytime. There’s a bed with your name on it.”

“As long as you don’t take a nap while you’re on the ice, Bad Boy.” JB punched Jake in the arm and skated off.

The captain, Scotty Matthews, frowned at them as he glided past. “Stop flapping your gums and get some action going. The Oilers are going to come out hard tonight.”

The Islanders had handed Edmonton their butts last night in a game the Oilers should have won. Edmonton’s players would be looking to redeem themselves, which wasn’t good news for the Cats, who desperately needed the win.

Ike tossed Kenny the water bottle, then kicked the puck at his net. “Just fixing the ice to make sure no one else falls on their ass.”

“Aye aye, captain.” Kenny saluted Matthews, before dumping the bottle at the bench and joining the rest of the guys skating drills.

Scotty skated back around, then stopped. “So, do you need to sacrifice a chicken or something to ward off the bad luck after your tumble?”

Ike rolled his eyes. “Not this time.”

Scotty slapped him on the back. “You sure? We could razz that new kid on the equipment team.”

They both laughed. For a moment, Scotty looked like the young rookie he’d once been, rather than the grizzled veteran he was now. As Scotty skated off, Ike knew he’d miss him when the captain retired at the end of the season.

Retirement. Even though it loomed on the horizon at some point for Ike—sooner rather than later—it wasn’t something he looked forward to.

Pushing that thought from his mind, Ike warmed up, easing the stiffness from his muscles as he prepared to face shots. He practiced sliding between the pipes, right side, then left side, then right again. He’d need to be on his guard for fast break-outs to¬night, especially with the speedy Oilers’ wingers.

About the Author: Harlequin SuperRomance author, Anna Sugden, loves reading and writing happy endings as much as hockey! When not reading or watching hockey, she loves football, good food & wine, making simple cross-stitch projects, and collecting memorabilia, penguins and fab shoes!

A former marketing executive and primary teacher, Anna lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and two bossy black cats. Learn more about Anna, her heart-warming romances and her shoes at www.AnnaSugden.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on the Romance Bandits blog .

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Harlequin.

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Nowhere to Run by Jeanne Bannon – Spotlight and Giveaway

11_14 nowhere to run MBB_NowhereToRun_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jeanne will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

11_14 nowhere to run Cover_NowhereToRunWhat’s a girl to do when she falls in love with the man whose mission it is to bring her down?

With the murder of her only sister, Sara, just a few months past, Lily Valier—a woman of beauty and substance—tops the sheriff’s list of suspects in small town Maine, and for a very good reason. Dear old Dad had willed his fortune to Sara and only Sara, leaving Lily to fend for herself. However, with no murder weapon or witnesses, the evidence against Lily is only circumstantial.

Enter P.I. Aiden O’Rourke, black-haired and blue-eyed, charged with gaining Lily’s trust and learning her secrets, all to finally get the goods on her. Things move fast and feelings run deep, yet when Lily discovers the truth about Aiden, everything begins to come apart.

Aiden’s torn. Despite his feelings for her, Lily is the most logical suspect, with a great big fat motive. Except something’s not quite right. Aiden trusts his instincts and they’re screaming at him to have a look at a former suspect with far more to hide than first appeared. With little left to lose, Lily decides to stand her ground, and staying put has its consequences when the murder weapon finally turns up—and it’s Lily’s gun.

What happens to love, when trust is betrayed?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The ghosts of those we love never leave us. They live on in our hearts but break them too, Lily thought as she flipped the sign on the door of the Higgstown Diner from “Open” to “Closed.” Then she sank wearily onto a stool at the counter, finally at the end of the workday. Now she could let loose the heaviness weighing her down. Hot tears stung her eyes and she let them. It was OK. There was no one around to witness her breakdown. She rested her head in her hands and heaved with sobs.

“Sara, please talk to me. Give me a sign you’re still around,” Lily said to the air. “I miss you so much.” More tears washed down her cheeks. It had been three months since her sister’s death, and there was still no escaping Sara’s ghost. Even the chipped Arborite counter where she now sat, with the wonky red upholstered stool that swiveled just a little too much to the right, brought back memories. Lily could see her older sister as plainly as if she were standing in front of her now, black hair piled high in a bun and that blue eye shadow she was so fond of. Lily smiled through her tears.

Sara had been a whiz at the grill, whipping up orders faster than Lily ever could. God, how long had the diner been a part of their lives? More than twenty-five years, she guessed. They were just kids when their mother, Nancy, bought the place—Lily, seven, and Sara, twelve.

A creak came from the back of the diner. Lily lifted her head to listen. Another small groan of the floorboards. Could Sara be giving her a sign?

“Sara?” Lily slid off the stool.

A tall, dark figure loomed in the doorway.

Lily froze, her heart near exploding. “What do you want?” she choked out in a thin voice.

He stepped nearer. “Open the register.” His voice was a deep whisper.

A balaclava hid his face; the seams of a dark gray coat strained over a thickly muscled physique. He aimed the gun in his right hand at her chest.

Her feet seemed rooted to the floor.

“I said, open the register.”

The man moved close enough for Lily to catch his scent—a mix of sweat and cheap aftershave. He shoved her forward, snapping her from her stupor, and followed as she made her way behind the counter to the cash register.

A glowing red light caught her attention. She hadn’t turned off the coffee maker! In one quick movement, Lily grabbed the pot’s plastic handle and launched the scorching brew at the woolen knit of the intruder’s balaclava. The gun landed with a thud between his booted feet as he clawed at the steaming mask plastered to his face.

Now was her chance. Lily shouldered past him to the front door. Her fingers, thick and clumsy with panic, fumbled as she tried in vain to turn the two deadbolt locks. She ordered herself to calm down. Take a breath. C’mon, you can do this, she told herself, but her heart jackhammered in her chest, and her ears pulsed with the rush of blood behind them.

Suddenly, a face appeared on the other side of the glass front door of the diner, sending Lily backward, nearly tripping over her own feet.

The stranger on the other side of the door took her in. A look of confusion flickered across his face. Then, as if coming back to himself, he yelled, “Hurry. Unlock the door!” The cold night air whipped his dark hair wildly around his face. His pale blue eyes locked on hers.

Panic had hijacked her brain. She didn’t know what to do. He could be an accomplice.

About the Author: 11_14 nowhere to run authorpicJeanne Bannon has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. She currently works as a freelance editor and writer and is represented by Karen Thomas of the Serendipity Literary Agency.

Jeanne’s debut novel, Invisible, is a young adult paranormal romance, published by Solstice Publishing and has recently been optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally and continues to receive wonderful reviews.

On October 3rd, 2014, Nowhere to Run, Jeanne’s latest novel, is set to be released by Etopia Press. Nowhere to Run tells the story of Lily Valier, a woman of substance and beauty, and her dilemma when she falls in love with a man whose mission it is to bring her down.

Currently, Jeanne is finishing up work on her third novel, Dark Angel, a paranormal thriller.

When not reading or writing, Jeanne enjoys spending time with her daughters, Nina and Sara and her husband, David. She’s also the proud mother of two fur babies, a cuddly and affectionate Boston Terrier named Lila and Spencer, a rambunctious tabby, who can be a very bad boy.

Buy Nowhere to Run at Amazon.

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