Texas Homecoming by Leigh Greenwood – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Leigh Greenwood whose first book in his new Night Riders series, Texas Homecoming, releases on April 4. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of the book.

She’s his last chance to find peace…

Cade, Captain of the Night Riders, is determined to lead his men home to Texas to recover from a long and brutal war. But when a fellow Rider betrays the team, Cade sets aside his hopes for peace and swears he will hunt down the traitor no matter what it takes…

He has a foolproof plan to use the feisty Pilar diViere to lure her traitorous brother out of hiding. And yet when he takes the dark-eyed beauty into his arms, Cade can’t help but remember the passionate past they shared. He would do anything for a chance to rekindle that flame…even spare her brother’s life.

The war has changed them all, and each of the Night Riders must decide what is more important: love or revenge?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Let’s go for a walk instead.”

“I don’t want to walk,” she said, angry he’d forced her to leave the fiesta. “I can do that any time.”

“We can walk along the river. The moonlight on the water makes it look like a river of silver.”

A walk sounded awfully dull compared to dancing, but she’d never seen a river in the moonlight. Young ladies of aristocratic lineage weren’t supposed to be interested in such things. Cade made it sound very pretty. “Okay, but if I don’t like it, I want to go back to the fiesta.”

The fruit drinks had undoubtedly contained more tequila than she suspected. She had never felt so uninhibited, so unfettered by tradition, so unrestrained by her grandmother’s strictures. It felt absolutely marvelous.

“Have you walked along rivers in the moonlight with a lot of girls?” she asked.

Cade chuckled softly. “You should ask Owen that question.”

“I’m not interested in Owen. I’m interested in you.” She didn’t mean it quite the way it sounded, but it was too much trouble to explain.

“No one seemed particularly interested,” Cade said.

Pilar couldn’t understand that. To her, Cade seemed like exactly the kind of man a woman would want to walk with in the moonlight. He was strong, handsome, and dependable, everything a young woman would look for in a man.

“I can’t believe the young women you knew were so silly.”

“Young ladies want excitement, clever words, flattery,” he said.

“They’d want something very different if they’d been driven out of their home and forced to cook for a living.” She hadn’t meant to mention that, but what he said seemed so frivolous, she couldn’t help herself.

“Some lost more than you. They just wanted to forget.”

She would never forget. “Let’s not talk about the war. Pretend I’m one of those silly women who pant after Owen. Tell me I’m pretty and you get lost in my eyes.”

Pilar felt herself flush with embarrassment. She didn’t know where those words had come from. She’d never even thought anything so foolish in her entire life.

“You’re not pretty,” Cade said.

That’s what she got for putting words into a man’s mouth.

“You’re beautiful. Any man would give his right arm to be able to drown himself in your eyes.”

Pilar didn’t know what more those Virginia beauties could want. Manuel had never said anything half so poetic.

“Your fiancé should be cut into small pieces and fed to the coyotes for leaving you unprotected. If I had been your fiancé, not even loyalty to my country could have been enough to make me leave you.”

Pilar was wise enough to know that no man ever valued his wife above his loyalty to his country; his money or his children perhaps, but never his wife. But the effect on her was the same as if it had been the truth. She’d never felt so important in her life, and she liked it.

“Would you really have stayed in Texas if I’d been your fiancée?”

“Maybe not, but I’d have made sure you were safe before I left.”

“Why?”

“A man protects what he values. Nothing is more valuable than the woman a man loves.”

Pilar had never expected to be loved by her husband, but when she was alone and faced with the future, she couldn’t help dreaming about it. Respect and all that stuff about lineage and money didn’t seem enough in a world that could turn cold and cruel at any moment.

“How would you show a woman you loved her?” Pilar asked.

“Like this.” Cade took her in his arms and kissed her.

Pilar knew that some part of her must have been wanting this, hoping for it, but a part of her was shocked to find herself in Cade’s embrace. That same part was even more shocked to discover how much she wanted it, welcomed it, moved forward to meet him. Nor did she back away from the kiss when it turned from a genteel brushing of lips to an unbridled expression of pent-up emotions.

She didn’t know what was responsible for the feeling that her life had suddenly turned in a new direction, had taken on a different meaning. She didn’t know how to account for the emptiness inside her, or the conviction that Cade was the only one who could fill it.

She only knew she’d been swept up in Cade’s powerful embrace, and it was the most wonderful feeling of her whole life.
She’d never imagined that anything could feel as wonderful as this kiss. His lips were full, his mouth soft. His tongue darted between her teeth before she knew what was happening. But even as her conscious mind started to reject the idea, her body’s response was the opposite—and enthusiastic. Her own tongue rose to duel with Cade’s, entwining sinuously around his, plunging deep into his mouth.

Gradually Pilar became aware that other parts of her body were reacting to Cade’s embrace. Her breasts—pressed hard against his chest—had become extremely sensitive, her nipples swollen. A feeling unlike anything she’d ever experienced uncoiled deep in her belly, then began to spread through her limbs, causing her muscles to go limp. Instinctively she clung still more tightly to Cade.

Without warning, Cade broke the kiss, took her by the shoulders, and thrust her away from him.

The shock was total.

“We have to go back to the hotel before I forget you’re a lady I’ve promised to protect,” Cade said.

Pilar’s brain refused to function. She couldn’t understand what Cole was saying. She could only understand that all comfort had suddenly been torn from her. “What would you do if I weren’t a lady, if we didn’t have to go back to the hotel?”

About the Author: Leigh Greenwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboys, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never intended to be a writer, but he found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write.

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Forever Mine by Erin Nicholas – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized to celebrate the release of Erin Nicholas’ newest book Forever Mine, the second book in her Opposites Attract series. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win a copy of the book.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always been a writer! Even as a little girl I was making up stories and writing them down. Raised in a family of readers, books and stories have always been a part of my life and I can’t imagine not writing

How long have you been writing?

All my life essentially. I wrote my first “true” romance (that didn’t have wizards and magic in it) when I was pregnant with my daughter who is now 20, but I didn’t pursue publication for several years. I’ve been published since 2009.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

READ! Know the genre, study what successful writers are doing, figure out what you love about the books as a reader first.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Infrequently. If I do get “stuck” I read, work on another project, or just let it all go for a day or so. When I give myself permission not to think about it, usually I can’t stop! 

Who is your favorite author and why?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips, hands down. She is a master story teller. She can make the most flawed characters loveable, has such great subtle humor, and is one author who can totally take me out of my own author head and just make me a giddy reader!

The second book in New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas’s series about three geeky girls and the hunky guys who fall for them.

Maya Goodwin doesn’t believe in holding back. Ever. As a cop, she never hesitated to throw herself into harm’s way to save someone. Even after an injury on the job forces her to retire, she’s not afraid to keep risking it all to get the life she wants. With a new career teaching martial arts to kids already underway, she’s looking forward to the future – and taking a chance on the unbelievably hot Dr. Alex Nolan.

Maya – daring and spontaneous – is the exact opposite of what Alex always thought he wanted. But when a nine-year-old daughter he never knew existed shows up on his doorstep, Maya is the one who helps them hold it together. With love on the line, will the guy who’s always played it safe be willing to take the biggest risk of all?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Alex laughed. He liked Maya. The thought hit him directly in the gut.

Maya smiled brightly, and he admitted that he was intensely attracted too. Now fast attraction—that he’d experienced before. But it had been a long time since even that had happened.

“I’m Dr. Alex Nolan. I’m on staff at Boston Children’s Hospital. I’m on their website if you want to look me up.”

Maya suddenly frowned. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.”

“Of what?”

“Googling pediatricians and finding out who you are after the mall the other day,” Maya said.

Alex raised an eyebrow. “Wouldn’t that be a little creepy?”

“Probably,” she agreed. “Maybe that’s why I didn’t do it.”

He laughed. “Well, to further decrease the creep factor, I do have a kid,” he said. “A daughter. Charlotte. We call her Charli. She’ll be ten next month. She’s very into superheroes, GR, and swords, and I know nothing about any of that. I liked the demonstration at the mall and thought I’d come check out your studio.”

“So you’re wanting to sign her up,” Maya said with a nod. “Okay, not creepy at all.”

“Uh…” Alex knew this was going to sound strange. “Actually I want to take the class myself.”

Maya frowned. “These classes won’t teach you about superheroes exactly,” she said. “They are kind of a combination of stage fighting and martial arts and self-esteem workshops.”

“I know.” He’d been on the website. Which is how he’d found out more about the studio. And where he’d stared at Maya’s photo before going in to look up more about her on the internet. Which was how he found out that her classes had won some local awards, she’d been a brilliant cop—who had not, incidentally, been fired for beating someone up—and that she regularly blogged about superheroes and their fandom and the psychology of that fandom. He’d bookmarked her page immediately.

“And the things you do in class sounds like the perfect bonding activity for Charli and me. I’ll take the class and then go home and teach her.”

Maya looked puzzled. “Why not just bring her to class?”

“She…” He swallowed. Charli would love Maya. Hell, if she saw Maya with those pointy-weapon-things, she’d want to be Maya.

But Alex had only seen Maya twice, and he’d already witnessed her get hit with a Bo staff, punched in the ribs, and cut with some kind of sharp hand weapon. Which reminded him that she’d been bleeding.

He looked down, but the bleeding had already slowed or stopped. Which was what happened when a person with normal blood got cut. But Charli didn’t have normal blood. She didn’t bleed faster, but she would bleed longer—because of the genetic mutation he had passed on to her.

He’d told her mother that Charli should be able to try whatever she wanted. But he’d also told her he’d keep Charli safe. If Charli took classes here, he would have to fill Maya and her staff in on the hemophilia and precautions and treatment…

“She has some special needs,” he said, cringing a little as he said it, knowing that Maya might easily jump to conclusions that were not at all correct. But it didn’t matter what she thought. This was the right thing for Charli.

But Maya didn’t even blink. “Okay,” she said. “I understand. Maybe…” But she trailed off while watching him thoughtfully without completing the sentence.

“Maybe what?” he asked.

“Maybe I could teach you and your daughter a private Super You class.”

He was surprised at her offer, but more—he was tempted. Which meant he had to say no. The timing for meeting a gorgeous, intriguing woman couldn’t have been worse. “I think a class with lots of other people, especially kids, would be better.”

“Why?”

Maya was direct. He liked that. And he could return the favor. “Because you look just as good in workout pants as you do in leather.”

Her eyes widened in surprise just a beat before her smile widened. “And that’s a problem?”

“It is when I’m trying to give all of my extra time and attention to my daughter.”

She studied him for a moment. “Okay,” she finally said with a nod. “And once you see the class, if you change your mind, she’s always welcome.”

Alex relaxed. “Thanks.”

“You’re not going to feel funny taking a class with a bunch of kids?”

“I love kids,” he told her.

“What about the tights and cape?”

“Tights and cape?” Alex repeated.

“The costume,” she said with a nod.

“Thought the participants all helped create their own character,” he said, realizing she was messing with him.

“They do.”

“Well, there’s no way in hell I would create a character that would wear tights.”

Maya’s gaze wandered over him, head to toe, before she said, “Too bad.”

About the Author: Erin Nicholas is the author of sexy contemporary romances. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She loves to write about reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines and happily ever afters. She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).

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A Day in the Life…Author Style by Adriana Anders – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Adriana Anders, who is visiting with us this morning to celebrate the release of her newest book By Her Touch. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book (US only please).

A Day in the Life… Author Style

Adriana Anders

I’m probably the only person in the world who adores Monday mornings. While most everybody is getting up and heading to their day jobs, I get my kids on the school bus, throw my computer bag over my shoulder, and head to the coffee shop. It usually looks something like this.

It’s been a little tougher to get started recently, so I mainline my first cup of coffee while surfing social media, maybe post a line from the WIP or research such delightful topics as whether it’s possible to scuba dive with a prosthetic leg (apparently there’s new technology that makes this easier, but it’s also possible to dive with one leg!). Oh, and I pin. Lots and lots of pins

When inspiration (caffeine) finally starts flowing, I open up Scrivener (not a must-have program for all authors, but I’m not sure I could have finished any of my novels without it), reread what I wrote the last time I sat here, and start typing.

At some point, the lovely Madeline Iva (writer of sexy paranormal romance) and Joanna Bourne (mistress of historical spy romance) waltz in, settle down, and start typing away. It’s pretty awesome writing in such creative company, you guys. The stories galloping around that table are incredible.

By this time, the coffee shop is crowded, the earphones are on, and the music is loud enough to block out the sound.

Afternoon at the cafe… words, words, words…

A post shared by Adriana Anders (@adriana.anders) on

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It’s a race to the finish sometimes, with the kids to grab off the bus in the afternoon, but those good days—the ones where it all comes together and thousands of words flow from my brain into my fingers and onto the screen—those are magic. It’s magic to sit across from such great writers, to ask questions and answer theirs, to brainstorm and plot and put the world to rights around a tiny Mac-covered bistrot table, littered with empty coffee cups, smuggled Kind bars, and Madeline’s woo-woo tea blends.

More than anything, though, it’s magic to see those words appear, eventually, in print, on audio, or lit up on someone’s Kindle.

Undercover cop Clay Navarro left the Sultans biker gang a changed man. Its ringleaders may be awaiting trial, but he wears the memory of every brutal act he was forced to commit tattooed across his skin. He doesn’t have space in his messed-up life for anything gentle—not now, maybe not ever.

Dr. Georgette Hadley is drawn to the damaged stranger’s pain, intimidated but intrigued by the warmth that lies beneath Clay’s frightening exterior. But when the Sultans return looking for revenge, she finds herself drawn into the dirty underbelly of a life forged in violence…that not even her touch may be able to heal.

About the Author: Adriana Anders has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small nonprofits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children and fat French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, gritty, steamy love stories of her heart.

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Holding Fire by April Hunt – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour to celebrate the release of the second book in April Hunt’s romantic suspense Alpha Security series, Holding Fire. It’s perfect for fans of Julie Ann Walker, Lora Leigh, and Rebecca Zanetti.

Alpha Security operative Trey Hanson is ready to settle down. When he meets a gorgeous blonde in a bar, and the connection between them is off the charts, he thinks he’s finally found the one. But after their night together ends in a hail of gunfire and she disappears in the chaos, Trey’s reasons for tracking her down are personal . . . until he learns she’s his next assignment.

Elle Monroe never expected to see Trey again. The night they shared was incredible, but the last thing she’s looking for is a relationship. Now that it’s clear she’s being targeted, though, she has no choice but to trust this man she barely knows with her life. And Trey’s not just determined to keep her safe . . . he’s determined to win her heart.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Elle stared, transfixed by the clock behind the airport’s claims counter. Each snap of the second-hand took about five years off her life. Being a few weeks shy of her thirtieth birthday, she estimated she had roughly ten-and-a-half seconds until the coroner needed to be called. Twelve, max, with a little bit of luck, but her luck seemed to be in short supply.

Her normal patience was at an all-time low, sucked into a black hole right along with her personal hygiene and her luggage. Twenty total hours in a plane, plus an unscheduled six-hour stop for mechanical repairs, was to blame for the first. The latter two were entirely the fault of the airline.

With a deep sigh, Elle looked around the large, open space. People milled through the airport, bulky suitcases bouncing behind them as they scrambled to their destinations, while others procured blankets and pillows and looked to be settling in for the duration of the night.

On her left, two children tackled the legs of a tall, slender soldier dressed in desert fatigues. Laughing, the woman bent, spreading kisses over every surface of their little cheeks.

Elle ignored the faint ache in her chest and watched the happy family walk away. As they disappeared around the corner, a new sensation whittled its way in—a tingle; the one she’d felt the instant she and Shay unloaded from the gate—the one that came with the ardent focus of someone’s attention. It took root in the pit of her stomach and didn’t let go.

When she’d sensed it earlier, she blamed the paranoia on lack of sleep and inhumane travel hours. But the prickle of awareness came back tenfold, turning her head until she noticed the man leaning against the far wall, reading a newspaper.

Elle did a double take. It wasn’t Trey. It couldn’t be. She’d left him back in Thailand without so much as her last name, much less her travel itinerary, yet the longer she stared at stranger across the room, the faster her heart galloped.

Worn blue jeans encased his thighs perfectly. Not tight. Not baggy. No doubt if he turned around, the rear would look as impressive as the front. Both his face and his hair were disappointedly half-hidden by a baseball cap and sunglasses, but he had the same strongly chiseled jaw and sexy blond scruff that made her want to throw every razor known to man straight into the garbage.

Though he never looked away from his paper, the wall lounger’s lips twitched, almost as if sensing her visual appraisal. That smirk. Those lips. The stretch of a long-sleeved T over a chest wide enough to land an airplane on. Elle nearly collapsed into an X-rated memory of how lips nearly identical to those of this stranger had pleasurably ripped away all her sensibilities only a scant few days ago.

Standing in the middle of a busy airport definitely wasn’t the time to relive her night with Trey. When her turn came up at the counter, she gave herself a mental slap and focused on giving the attendant the information the airline needed to reconnect her with her suitcase. And then with a Have a nice day and her single carry-on, Elle shuffled away to wait for Shay to finish in the bathroom.

She searched her purse for her cell phone and bounced off the chest of another traveler.

“Oh, my God. I’m so sorry.” She reflexively reached out to steady to victim.

“Shut it,” a low voice snarled.

Oh, hell no. Exhaustion mixed with an insane need to shower off the last day and a half made her head swivel to Mr. Attitude. She looked up. And up. Whoa. He was ridiculously tall.

If she’d had a little bit more sleep she’d probably be able to talk herself out of confronting someone so freaking huge, but she’d had a middle seat, and both Shay and the man to her left had been armrest hogs. Elle was eight hours past polite.

She narrowed her eyes, wishing her glare would make him squirm. “It was an accident. I said I was sorry. There’s no need to be a jerk about it.”

“Actually, there is.” Mr. Attitude clamped a hand around her upper arm and squeezed.

“Ow. Hey, watch it!” She tugged, and he tightened his hold.

He leaned his large body way past her personal boundaries. That was when she saw the scar, half-hidden behind his sunglasses. It looked angrier up close, the skin around his eye socket puckered straight up to his hairline. Cold dread licked up Elle’s spine.

It was Alley Man.

“I told you to shut. The fuck. Up.” He emphasized each word and punctuated it with a sharp jab to her ribs. When she attempted to twist away, the poke came again—this time with the cool sensation of metal.

A gun.

Alley Man stepped closer, careful to keep it hidden from view. “If you so much as twitch, sputter, or look at anyone cross-eyed, I won’t hesitate to make this very bad for you. Do you fucking understand me?”

Elle re-swallowed the bile that had risen to her throat. “I should probably warn you that I don’t have any money. Well, I have about ten dollars’ worth of Thai baht, but that’s about it. And maybe a fuzzy breath mint.”

Tightening his grip, he steered them away from anyone who would remotely care what was happening. And let’s face it: This was one of the busiest airports in the country. No one was going to notice one travel-ravaged blonde, even if she stripped down to her cotton undies and streaked half naked through the terminal.

Alley Man kept the gun pressed firmly between her ribs as he directed them to the exit. “I don’t want your money, Miss Monroe.”

Elle’s heart went from a steady thunder to an apocalyptic roar. He knew her name. He knew she’d be at this airport. On this day. On this flight.

The only thing Elle knew was that she was really—and completely—screwed.

About the Author: April blames her incurable chocolate addiction on growing up in rural Pennsylvania, way too close to America’s chocolate capital, Hershey. She now lives in Virginia with her college sweetheart husband, two young children, and a cat who thinks she’s a human-dog hybrid. On those rare occasions she’s not donning the cape of her children’s personal chauffer, April’s either planning, plotting, or writing about her next alpha hero and the woman he never knew he needed, but now can’t live without.

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The Highland Duke by Amy Jarecki – Spotlight and Giveaway


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Amy Jarecki who is visiting with us to celebrate the release of her print debut The Highland Duke. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Indie author Amy Jarecki makes her print debut with a brand-new series about rugged Highland lords.

She’ll put her life on the line for him . . .

When Akira Ayres finds the brawny Scot with a musket ball in his thigh, the healer has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to save his life. Even if it means fleeing with him across the Highlands to tend to his wounds while English redcoats are closing in. Though Akira is as fierce and brave as any of her clansmen, even she’s intimidated by the fearsome, brutally handsome Highlander who refuses to reveal his name.

Yet she can never learn his true identity.

Geordie knows if Akira ever discovers he’s the Duke of Gordon, both her life and his will be forfeit in a heartbeat. The only way to keep the lass safe is to ensure she’s by his side day and night. But the longer he’s with her, the harder it becomes to think of letting her go. Despite all their differences, despite the danger-he will face death itself to make her his . . .

Enjoy an Excerpt

Curled under Geordie’s arm, Akira finally stopped shivering. All around them rain splashed. Everything was soaked and their little alcove smelled of horse—not a horrid smell, but not one she’d choose for her boudoir, either. If she had a boudoir.

She chose to ignore the voice in the back of her head telling her it wasn’t proper to allow a strange man to put his arm around her shoulders and offer her warmth. But there was something in the way Geordie looked at her that made her feel all warm inside and, moreover, protected. Aye, he’d been in a great deal of pain—was still in great pain—but since he roused from his last bout of unconsciousness, he’d behaved admirably. He’d brought the horse under control, figured out where they were, and formed a plan to take them to someone he could trust to provide her with an escort home.

With darkness, the air grew colder. Clutching her fists under her chin, Akira curled into Geordie’s heat. He smoothed his palm along her outer arm, his touch soothing.

When he turned his lips toward her, his warm breath skimmed across her forehead. “Try to sleep.” The gentle burr of his voice imparted all the more comfort.

But she couldn’t get too comfortable; she must to do her duty. He was still her patient. “I’m the healer. I should be telling you to do the same.”

His hazel gaze drifted to her mouth, and he grinned.

“Very well.” He pulled his arm away, but not before running his fingers across her back. Blessed tingles spread over her skin as if she’d been caressed by feathers. Oh, heaven help her, his touch was unbelievably sublime. If only she could ask him to run his fingers back and forth again—just one more time.

She reached for the hem of his kilt, then quickly snapped her fingers away. What had she been thinking? True, she’d applied the salve before, but that was when he was mostly unconscious and definitely before he’d put his arm around her shoulder and smiled at her like a…like a…brawny Highlander.

“Have you gone shy, lass?” he asked with a hint of humor in his deep brogue.

About the Author: Amy Jarecki is a descendant of an ancient Lowland clan and adores Scotland. Though she now resides in southwest Utah, she received her MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Winning multiple writing awards, she found her niche in the genre of Scottish historical romance. Amy writes steamy edge-of-your-seat action adventures with rugged men and fascinating women who weave their paths through the brutal eras of centuries past.

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Crazy for You by Rachel Lacey – Spotlight and Giveaway


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Rachel Lacey as she celebrates the release of her newest book Crazy for You, the second book in her Risking It All series. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

The second book in Rachel Lacey’s irresistible contemporary romance series about three foster brothers who return to their hometown to open an extreme sports business, perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins, Rachel Gibson, and Jill Shalvis!

SHE’S TAKING A WALK ON HIS WILD SIDE

Emma Rush can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a thing for Ryan Blake. Haven’s resident bad boy is just so freakin’ hot-with tattoos, a motorcycle, and enough rough-around-the-edges sexiness to melt all her self-control. Now that Emma’s over being a “good girl,” she needs a little help being naughty . . . and she knows just where to start.

Before Emma’s brother enlisted in the military, he made Ryan promise that he would protect her from everything–including himself. When her brother doesn’t come home, Ryan needs to turn his screwed-up life around to honor his pledge. But he knows he’s still not the right kind of guy for someone as sweet as Emma. Only he can’t stop wanting to be with her. Wanting her. Falling in love with a good girl may be the craziest risk this bad boy can take . . .

Enjoy an Excerpt

Ryan Blake held a bottle of Maker’s 46 in his right hand, a tumbler in his left. With a flick of his wrist, he tossed the bottle. It flipped once before landing back in his grip, top down, ready to pour. He filled the tumbler, set a napkin on
the bar, and placed it in front of the brunette on the other side. “Bourbon, neat.”

“You’re good.” She picked up the glass and tipped it in his direction. “Not what I was expecting in this little bar in the middle of nowhere.”

“I try,” he said with the friendly, semi-flirtatious smile he always used on single ladies seated at his bar. She wasn’t wrong. The usual clientele at The Drunken Bear had little use for fancy liquor or bartending tricks, but the trio in front of him were tourists looking for a good time, and he’d see that they had one.

“You were just about to tell me about this tattoo.” She placed her hand on his biceps, fingering the eagle he’d had inked there after he flew this coop ten years ago.

“That’s right.” He shifted backward so that her hand slipped to the countertop. He encouraged flirting—it led to better tips and made the night more interesting—but this chick was getting a bit too friendly, considering the diamond band on her left ring finger. “This one was for spreading my wings. Thought I’d fly far away, and yet, here I am back in Haven.”

“You’re from here then?” one of the other women asked, shamelessly ogling the tattoos on his arms while giving him an eyeful of cleavage.

“Born and raised. Moved around a lot, but I can’t seem to shake this place. It’s in my blood.” Once upon a time, he’d been hell bent on getting as far away from this sleepy North Carolina mountain town as possible. Spent the better part of a decade drifting from place to place, taking with him only what he could carry on his bike. Funny how things came full circle. He picked up an empty pilsner glass another patron had left behind.

“Ryan?”

He turned at the familiar voice to find Emma Rush standing there, one hip propped against the bar, and he damn near dropped the glass. Emma’s trademark ponytail and jogging pants were nowhere in sight. Tonight, her blond hair cascaded over her shoulders in shiny waves, her blue eyes sparkled at him from behind a tasteful—yet sexy—amount of makeup, and her red top was tucked into a pair of jeans that fit her like a glove. He swallowed past the sudden dryness in his throat. “Hey, Em. What brings you out tonight?”

“Girls’ night,” she said with a smile, gesturing to her friend Mandy, who stood by the door talking on her cell phone. Emma slid onto an empty barstool. “I wasn’t expecting to see you.”

“I’m still here a few nights a week.” His new business venture—Off-the-Grid Adventures, an extreme outdoor sporting facility he’d opened with his good buddies Ethan Hunter and Mark Dalton six months ago—was finally bringing in enough income that he soon wouldn’t need to bartend to pay his rent. “What can I get you?”

“Untapped amber ale, please.” She watched while he filled a frosted mug. “Thanks.”

“My pleasure.”

She lifted the mug to her lips and took a long drink. “Damn, that’s good,” she said with a happy sigh, setting it on the bar.

“Always been more of a pilsner guy myself.” He tried not to stare as she licked froth from her upper lip.

“Hi, Ryan.” Mandy stepped up to the bar beside Emma. He leaned back, tearing his gaze from Emma’s lips. “Hi.”

Emma turned to her friend with a smile. “Ready to get a table?”

“Yep,” Mandy said.

“Have fun, ladies.”

“We will.” With a wave, Emma walked off after her friend, and damn, those jeans cupped her ass like perfection. No doubt about it, Emma looked hot tonight. And his thoughts were way out of line. He’d promised Derek he’d look out for his little sister, not drool all over her.

“Your girlfriend?” the brunette at the bar asked, eyebrows raised as she sipped her bourbon.

Ryan cleared his throat and dragged his eyes away from Emma. “Just a friend.”

“Mm-hmm.” The brunette gave him a look that said she didn’t believe him.

About the Author: Rachel Lacey is a contemporary romance author and semi-reformed travel junkie. She’s been climbed by a monkey on a mountain in Japan, gone scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and camped out overnight in New York City for a chance to be an extra in a movie. These days, the majority of her adventures take place on the pages of the books she writes. She lives in warm and sunny North Carolina with her husband, son, and a variety of rescue pets.

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It Started with a Kiss by Ella Quinn – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ella will be awarding an Autographed ARC of IT STARTED WITH A KISS (US Only) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What is a young Worthington woman to do when the man of her dreams is not who she thinks he is?

This season, all eyes are on the Earl of Worthington’s spirited, beautiful sister, Lady Louisa Vivers. Many gentlemen are vying for her attention in and around the ton. Yet, Louisa longs for someone who can take her beyond the ballroom—a man who is worldly, adventurous, and passionate. She won’t settle for just any suitor. She wants her true soul mate—and she’ll know him when she sees him.

Is Gideon, the Duke of Rothwell, him? The moment he and Louisa meet, they share a powerful attraction. Rides at sunrise and waltzes at dusk follow. Finally, Gideon can no longer resist the urge to embrace her, and Louisa is sure he will ask for her hand. But Gideon believes he is in no position to marry. The Rothwell estate has gone bankrupt, a scandal simmers in its wake, and he has nothing left to offer. Now, he must decide if he will let pride stand in the way of true love—or if he will risk everything, and let the lady decide for herself…

Enjoy an Excerpt

Early morning, Hyde Park, May 1815

Dawn had broken only a few minutes before, but a light fog clouded the air making the sun look like a small yellow ball. Gideon, Duke of Rothwell, was certain he was the only rider at this hour of the morning. Needing the calm a hard ride gave him, he thundered down the empty carriage way. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a dark bay burst through the mist, disturbing his solitude. Yet it was the massive dog, almost the size of a pony, keeping pace with the horse that caught his notice.

What the devil?

Faisu, his black Murgese stallion, pranced nervously as Gideon brought him to a halt. “Easy, boy. We don’t need that beast tangling with you. He could sever your hamstrings in an instant.”

A moment later, a twist of long, dark hair pulled loose from under the rider’s hat, riveting his attention on the woman. By the time she was even with him, he’d taken in the neat figure encased in a dark blue riding habit, and her excellent seat.

She glanced over, slowing her horse for a bare moment as she passed him. Her cheeks were pink from the cool air and a smile graced her lush rose lips. Their gazes collided and held. As if they were the only two people on earth. In that second, Gideon felt as if he would tumble into the vivid blue of the rider’s eyes that reminded him of lapis.

She cannot be real.

He blinked and she was gone. He might have dreamed her except that a few seconds later, a groom raced by, clearly attempting to catch up with his mistress.

For a moment he was tempted to follow as well, but it wouldn’t do him any good. She was obviously a lady, and even if he could obtain an introduction, and their relations proceeded satisfactorily, he was not yet in a position to wed.

It was pure fantasy to think of marriage in conjunction with a woman he’d seen in passing. Still, he would have liked to have been able to dream.

Blast Father! If he were still alive, I’d shake some sense back into him.

But the old duke had been in the ground for over three months when Gideon had returned from Canada. Now all he could do was pick up the pieces his father had left behind.

About the Author: Bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series, The Worthingtons, began in April 2016.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America. Europe is next!

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A Small-Town Bride by Hope Ramsay – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes USA Today bestselling author Hope Ramsay, who is visiting with us to celebrate the release tomorrow of her newest book A Small-Town Bride. It’s the second book in here Chapel of Love contemporary romance series about a small-town wedding chapel is perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, and Sherryl Woods. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Top 5 Favorite Spring Activities
I love the Spring, it’s my favorite season. So paring down the list to just five things is hard. But I’ll try:

5. Planting the annuals in my front flower bed. I go to the nursery every year on Mother’s day and select bedding plants for my yard. It’s a wonderful way to spend a late spring day.

4. Going to the Winchester, Virginia Apple Blossom Festival.

3. Sitting under the Wisteria vine in my back yard when it’s in full bloom, usually in April. There is nothing like dining alfresco under the vine, drinking a glass of wine and drinking in the sweet smell of the wisteria.

2. Baseball’s opening day on (or around) April 1. In my opinion the opening day of the baseball season should be a national holiday. And I ought to mention that some years I have made the trip to Florida to catch spring training games. Ah, now that’s heaven.

1. Visiting the cherry blossoms on the tidal basin in downtown DC. I’m so lucky to live in the nation’s capital and can enjoy the cherry trees every year.

Amy Lyndon is tired of being the Poor Little Rich Girl of Shenandoah Falls. In her prominent family, she’s the ordinary one – no Ivy League education and no powerful career. But when her father tries to marry her off, she knows it’s finally time to stand up for herself, despite the consequences. Now that she’s cut off from the family fortune, her first challenge is to fight her attraction to her handsome new boss.

When Amy shows up looking for work with his landscaping crew, Dusty McNeil thinks there’s no way such a pampered princess will ever get her hands dirty. But as Amy proves him wrong and gets down to the nitty gritty, Dusty’s admiration turns to like, then lust – and then love. But can a high-society woman like Amy ever fall for a man like him?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Hon, are you all right? You’ve been in there a while, and I . . . ”

Amy opened the door. “I’m fine.” Her voice wobbled. She would not ask to borrow the phone. There had to be another way.

“No, I don’t think so,” Gracie said. “You come out and have your eggs and bacon.”

Oh crap. What was she supposed to do now?

“I . . . I . . . don’t. I mean I can’t . . . ” She let go of a long, trembling breath. “Daddy locked me out of the house yesterday and told me I had to marry Grady Carson. Then he took all the money out of my checking account. And I probably should call Grady, but I have to borrow your phone.” The words came out in a terrible, hoarse whisper.

She expected Gracie to yell at her for using the bathroom without having any intention of buying food. Or, worse yet, to take her into the back room and hand her a phone. But instead Gracie draped her arm over Amy’s shoulder. “Come get your breakfast. You can pay me for it later, after you sort things out with your father. And no woman should ever marry someone she has second thoughts about. Shame on your daddy.”

The tense muscles in Amy’s neck and shoulders relaxed as Gracie led her to the counter, where a plate of eggs and bacon awaited. “Eat your breakfast. You’ll feel better.”

Amy did as she was told, downing the eggs and bacon like a starving person. She had no idea where her next meal would come from, so she allowed Gracie to refill her coffee cup several times while the diner filled up with the usual Saturday crowd.

Pippa Custis, the owner of Ewe and Me, the yarn shop in town, came in for a bowl of oatmeal.

Walter Braden came in holding hands with his new wife, the former Poppy Marchand. For a couple of old people, they were sweet. They ordered two big breakfasts and spent the entire time gazing into each other’s eyes.

Alicia Mulloy, the hygienist at Dr. Dinnen’s office, ordered three different kinds of donuts. Amy wondered if Dr. Dinnen knew about Alicia’s sugar habit.

And then Dusty McNeil strolled through the door and turned Saturday into Man Candy Monday. Wow. He was like some unholy combination of Thor and Captain America all rolled into one gorgeous example of maleness.

Gracie swooped down on him with a cup of coffee and a plate of eggs and bacon, as if she’d been expecting his arrival. He gave Gracie a smile full of laugh lines and dimples and white teeth. And then he turned toward Amy.

Unlike the other customers, he didn’t pretend she was invisible. Oh no. He gave her a long, assessing gaze that made Amy’s pulse jump. Dusty McNeil had a badass reputation as a player who preferred the showgirls and cocktail waitresses who worked up at the casinos in Charles Town, West Virginia.

So why was he ogling her?

She had no idea, but she returned the favor. Who wouldn’t enjoy gazing at that chiseled face or those bright baby blues or all that golden blond hair?

And that’s when a crazy idea popped into her desperate head. Maybe she could invite herself over to his place for some Netflix and chill. Spending a night with him wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. And it would probably be way more fun (and warmer) than sleeping in the Z4.

Or sleeping with Grady for that matter.

But no. Initiating a booty call would not be the right next step. She’d chosen to sleep in her car instead of falling back on a man. She’d taken a principled position. So she pushed the ridiculous idea of sleeping with Dusty McNeil out of her mind and concentrated on her coffee mug while she tried to figure out what her next step ought to be.

She came up with exactly nothing.

“Y’all seem to be busy up at Eagle Hill Manor these days,” Gracie said to Dusty. And since Amy didn’t have anything better to do, she eavesdropped.

“Yep. Ever since that article in Brides. Willow’s hiring another event planner. Know anyone who might be interested?”

Gracie shook her head. “No, but I’ll keep my eye out.”

A job.

Why hadn’t Amy thought of that before?

A job would solve all her problems. And becoming an event planner sounded like the perfect fit except for the fact that she had zero real work experience. But she had been her sorority’s social secretary and had planned all kinds of themed parties and charitable events. She’d even had a hand in helping several of her sorority sisters with their wedding plans.

This was perfect. She’d get a job instead of a husband.

And wouldn’t that blow Daddy’s mind?

About the Author:Hope Ramsay is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming contemporary romances. Her books have won critical acclaim and publishing awards. She is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her Southern heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Virginia where, when she’s not writing, she’s knitting or playing her forty-year-old Martin guitar.

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What I Would Tell an Aspiring Writer by Marilee Brothers – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn winner and print copies of AFFLICTION and ALLEGIANCE to another randomly drawn winner (US only) via rafflecopter during the tour.

What I Would Tell an Aspiring Writer

Don’t be a Quitter

Thousands of people start writing books but, somewhere along the way, get bogged down and never finish. I can’t say I have all the answers, but here are some of the roadblocks I’ve experienced.

Expecting First Draft Perfection

The odds against writing perfect prose the first time around are astronomically against you. Nobody, I mean, nobody is capable of writing a final draft the first time around. One of my favorite writing books is Write Away by best-selling author Elizabeth George. Each chapter begins with a quote from the journal she kept while writing one of her 150,000 word novels (yes, that’s an enormous book). This woman, who’s sold a bajillion books, whose fans anxiously await her next offering, said after viewing her daily quota of words, “What am I doing pretending to be a writer?” We all have self-doubts. We can’t let them cripple us into believing we have to strive for perfection the first time around. That’s what re-writes are for.

Don’t Get Bogged Down in Research

I adore research. Google, I love you! Here’s an example of how research led me astray. In the last book of my series, Midnight Moon, I wanted to describe an interesting piece of Native American jewelry, one that might be easily imbued with mystical qualities. Had I been more organized, I’d have done my research well ahead of the time I actually wrote about it. But, no, I wasted three hours scrolling through countless websites as I looked for the perfect ring, pendant, bracelet or locket to fit my needs. Since the Big Dipper figures into the final plot, of course I had to order a pendant featuring the seven stars. For inspiration (heh). Bottom line: research first or better yet, underline or highlight the area that requires research. Trust me, it will save you time and money.

Fear of Rejection

Before I sold my first book I knew the odds were against me. A close family member told me only two percent of books submitted to agents and editors are published. Why did I persist? I admit I have a stubborn streak. When someone tells me I can’t do something, the little voice inside my head says, “Oh, yeah?” I wanted to prove I could start and finish a book. And I did. Even today, with six published books under my belt, old doubts still float to the surface. What if I can’t come up with a fresh plot? What if nobody likes my latest book? Fear of rejection is paralyzing. It stifles your creativity and moves you backward instead of forward. So, do what I do. Take a deep breath and kick it to the curb.

Forge a Relationship With Someone Who Will Make You a Better Writer

Writing is solitary, lonely business. The Internet has made it less so. Because it is absolutely impossible to be objective about your own writing, join a critique group, find a beta reader or, if you plan to self-publish, hire a competent editor who will go over your manuscript with a cool, dispassionate eye and offer the constructive criticism needed to polish your book. Trust me, it will save you many an embarrassing moment. How do I know this? Because people simply love to point out the error they found on page 44.

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

You started the journey. You’ve made progress. Instead of looking back at what you’ve written and agonizing over your unpolished prose, take a moment to be proud of what you’ve accomplished. While you’re at it, promise yourself that you will finish. Try to squeeze in a little writing time each day. Before you know it, your book will be done and you will have accomplished what many others set out to do but failed, probably because of one of the roadblocks already described. Writers write. They persist even when discouraged. They finish what they start. You can do it!

Twenty-two year old Honor Melanie (Mel) Sullivan has an affliction. Due to childhood trauma and inappropriate social behavior, she is diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of autism. But, Mel knows Aspergers is not her true affliction. She prefers not to gaze into a person’s eyes because she is a soul reader, and what she sees can be frightening. It can also get Mel into trouble.

After a brush with the law, Mel leaves her family home in Southern California and travels to Oregon where she meets Harley-Davidson riding William McCarty (Billy the Kid) and stumbles upon a human trafficking/baby-selling scheme involving a foreign girl from Kazakhstan, and others. Even though Mel’s life is in danger, she won’t stop until she finds the answers that will help those unable to help themselves.

*****

Transplanted California girl, Melanie Sullivan, vows to stay in Oregon until she nails the killer of her best friend, Dani. Mel’s ability to search a soul for innocence or guilt is a big plus. Her love for Billy the Kid, former Marine and now a detective with the 3 Peaks police department is also a factor in her decision. She’s not quite sure what’s going on with Billy. Has the PTSD from his Middle East deployments returned?

When a hate crime is committed in 3 Peaks, Mel is recruited by sexy Homeland Security agent, Mick, who requires her soul-reading ability. Mick doesn’t hide his feelings. He’s more than eager to step in if Billy steps out, a complication Mel doesn’t need or want. As she goes undercover, Mel embarks on a dangerous journey, aided by her Uncle Paco and devoted friends. Along the way, she learns a valuable lesson about the power of forgiveness.

Enjoy an Excerpt from Allegiance

I lean down to drop a chaste farewell kiss on his forehead. A split second later, I’m flat on my back, pinned to the bed and Billy the Kid grins down at me like a naughty little boy. He rips out his ear buds and pulls the cord free until the music washes over us. It’s a rock and roll tune, a blast from the past.

“Hey, baby,” he says. “Wanna dance?”

Before I can form an answer, I’m swept off the bed and twirled around until I’m dizzy and laughing uncontrollably.

He sets me on the floor and pulls me tight against his body. “You sneaking out on me, Minnie Mouse?

I manage a weak, breathless protest. “I’m supposed to meet Steve at 9:30 a.m. I need to get going.”

He cups my face between his palms and brushes his lips across mine. “You sure about that?”

“Well, um…”
My body says bring it on. My brain chimes in, promptness is overrated.

About the Author: Marilee Brothers is a former teacher, coach, counselor and the author of ten books. Marilee and her husband are the parents of three grown sons and live in central Washington State. After writing six young adult books, Marilee is once again writing romantic suspense for the adult market. She loves hearing from people who have read her books.

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Sheik’s Rule by Ryshia Kennie – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ryshia will be awarding a $20 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.

His sister’s life is at stake, and despite his wealth and power, Sheik Emir Al-Nassar feels helpless. At least heading his family’s security agency provides him with resources to track down her kidnappers. But when the ace profiler he’s sent turns out to be K. J.—Kate—Gelinsky, Emir is furious. Finding the kidnappers’ desert hideout is dangerous enough without the distraction of a beautiful woman.

But K.J. is unlike any woman he’s ever known. Her fearlessness and incisive mind inspires Emir’s admiration. And her compassion breaches his guarded heart. Still, rescuing his sister is a perilous mission. And allowing desire to cloud his focus could endanger them all.

Read an excerpt:

Just looking at that hand confirmed every doubt he had. It wasn’t just about customs, she was female and because of that and so many other things, she was the wrong person for the job.

“I’ll help you find your sister. You just need to trust me.”

“No!” The word came out with the pent-up fury that had built since the fateful call from Tara’s kidnappers and now the full impact of it sparked in his eyes as his temple pounded and his fists clenched.

“No,” he said with less edge but with no room for negotiation. He was wasting time, had wasted time, first waiting and now in a senseless airport run. “I don’t care what you specialized in. You’re a woman and because of that you’re going home,” he said bluntly. “I’ve wasted enough time. I’ll speak to the pilot and we’ll get you out of here.”

“You’re not being fair.”

“I’m not being fair,” he repeated, emphasizing each word. If she’d been a man he would have had her by the collar up against the wall, his face in hers. But she wasn’t and that was the problem. “You’re useless to me. I’d have to watch out for both you and me. That’s a distraction. Look at you – you couldn’t swing a punch or…”

One minute he was seething, glaring at her, and the next he was flat on his back.

“You bloody flipped me,” he snarled, leaping to his feet.

About the Author:

The Canadian prairies are my home and while the prairie landscape is blessed with beautiful blue skies, it also has four seasons that come on full throttle – especially winter and because of that I like to travel. Often on those trips, stories are born.

In 2011 I won my city’s writing award, and was the first romance writer to do so since its inception. In 2013 my romantic suspense was a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. Published in historic romance and paranormal romance as well as romantic suspense, in February 2016, my first novel was published by Harlequin Intrigue.

There’s no lack of places to set a story as my imagination and the too long prairie winters may find me seeking adventure. The memories of those worlds both near and far, the words of a stranger, the furtive look one man gives another, often become the catalyst for a suspenseful story with a deadly villain and an intrepid hero and heroine who must battle for their right to love or even their right to live.

When not dreaming of other stories, I can be found scouting out a garage sale or two, dusting off my roller blades or just thinking about the next adventure that may be miles away or in my own backyard.

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