A Stardust Summer by Emily March – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Emily March who is celebrating the release of her newest book A Stardust Summer.

Return to the beloved small town of Eternity Springs in the newest installment of Emily March’s New York Times bestselling series with A Stardance Summer.

Sometimes the end of one road
Brick Callahan enjoys every minute of chaos at his campground, Stardance Ranch, especially after the Tornado Alleycats arrive for an extended summer stay. The members of the all-female glamorous camping club are primarily seniors—active and adventurous, friendly and fun. But when he discovers Liliana Howe frolicking with the glamping grannies in a late night skinny-dipping session, he fears he’s in for a summer of trouble. Because his best friend’s kid sister has grown up to be drop-dead gorgeous.
. . .is the start of another

Betrayed by those she trusted, Lili decides she’s put her career first for too long. She sells her practical sedan, buys a travel trailer, and heads to Eternity Springs for a summer of rest, relaxation, and reassessment as the newest member of the Alleycats. The last person she expects to find running an RV resort is her high school crush. Their undeniable mutual attraction is a reminder that life is full of surprises. But when the past comes calling, will their summer romance stand the test of time?

Enjoy an Excerpt

I won’t cry. I absolutely, positively will not cry.

Liliana Howe silently repeated the mantra as she rang the doorbell of her parents’ home in Norman, Oklahoma. She still had a key to the house, but her arms were full with two large white paper bags of her father’s favorite Tex-Mex from the taqueria over by Oklahoma University.

Brian and Stephanie Howe met at home for lunch every day, but it was rare for Lili to join them. She usually worked through lunch. But then, today was not a usual day, was it?

Her father answered the door. His gray eyes rounded in surprise. “Lili? Did we forget a lunch date?”

“No, Dad. I was in the neighborhood. Thought I’d surprise you with lunch from Miguelito’s.”

“Well, that’s nice.” He opened the screen door. “Come on in. Let me help you with those bags.”

He led her through the house back toward the kitchen. “That smells wonderful. This is a real treat, Liliana. Your mother doesn’t let me have Mexican too often.”

“It’s been too long since I’ve seen you guys.”

They walked into the kitchen to find her mother seated at the table staring intently at her computer. Typical Stephanie Howe. Always working. Without looking up, she said, “Stevenson has the best rating, but—”

“Look who’s here, honey,” Lili’s father interrupted.

Stephanie Howe finally glanced up, her thoughts obviously somewhere else, because she gazed at Lili as if she didn’t recognize her. Lili waved her fingers. “Surprise.”

“Oh.” Stephanie gave her head a little shake. “Lili. Hello. Did we forget a lunch date?”

Inwardly, Lili sighed. “No. I was in the mood for Mexican and I thought of Dad.”

“It’s not good for his cholesterol.”

“No, but once in a blue moon won’t hurt him. Dr. Derek told me that himself.”

She unloaded the bags, setting tacos, cheese enchiladas, refried beans, guacamole, and tortilla chips in the center of the table. Her mother brought plates and silverware from the cabinet.

“Nevertheless, it’s nice to see you. It’s been too long. How are you, Lili? Have you recovered from tax season?”

“It’s definitely behind me,” she replied with a wry twist of her lips.

They all filled their plates. Not anxious to spill her own beans, Lili took an extra spoonful of refried and asked, “So, what do you hear from Derek?”

Her parents spent quite a bit of time talking about their renowned heart surgeon son. Nerves caused Lili to make a pig of herself on chips and guacamole, and she didn’t miss her mother’s judgmental frown.

Finally, after extolling Derek’s most recent peer recognition award, her father asked Lili what was new with her work and the moment was at hand.

She sipped her water, wished it were a beer, and summarized the sequence of events that had led her to this crisis point. Then she waited for them to react.

And she waited.

And waited.

Her parents shared one of those long, hard-to-read looks that made Lili’s stomach do a bit of a sick flip. Her father cleared his throat. “It’s an incredible tale.”

Her mother nodded. “Unbelievable.”

Lili sucked salt off her bottom lip. She hadn’t expected them to jump to their feet and vow to make the villains pay, but she’d thought they’d be angry on her behalf. Not . . . reserved.

Deep within her, despair kindled to life. They were her parents. She was counting on them. Nevertheless, she pressed ahead, calmly and logically laying out the approach she wanted to take and the assistance she needed from her mother and father.
Again, her parents shared one of those inscrutable looks. Lili’s heart began to pound. “I don’t know, Liliana,” her father said, rubbing the back of his neck. “It would be hard to fight them. They’re powerful people. I hate to say it because it’s not the way this country was supposed to work, but if a Normal Joe tries to go up against powerful people, most often he loses.

“I don’t want to see you get involved with making a charge against the police. That could turn nasty real fast. This cop . . . you said you think your bosses might have threatened him, too? He might be in an even tougher position than you.”

“But he lied, Dad! He falsified records.”

“But you have no proof of that, do you?”

“Just my word.” Isn’t that enough, Dad? At least for you?

About the Author: Emily March is the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Indie Bound, or Powells.

 

He Takes the Cake by J. Lynn Rowan – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a randomly drawn commenter with a $20 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Life is good for Tess Gardiner: Her Savannah, Georgia, bakery and cafe is thriving. She’s earned Master Pastry Chef status from the American Culinary Federation. And she’s attending a regional culinary convention in Charleston, where she’s been invited to sit on a small business panel discussion. The opportunity to tout her success will, hopefully, lead to bigger and better things in her professional life. As for her personal life? The relative contentedness she’s enjoyed for years receives a sudden jolt when she comes face to face with Tyler Brinks, the ex-boyfriend she summarily dismissed from her life eight years ago.

Tyler’s success as a highly-trained chef has launched him into the stratosphere. He already owns one ridiculously successful restaurant, and he’s aggressively working on plans for a second. But he’s never quite gotten over Tess, and he’s never really been sure what actually went wrong between them. So when a pastry and baking competition is announced for the week following the culinary convention in Charleston, Ty jumps at the chance to tempt Tess with the challenge of being his partner, giving him the perfect opportunity to remind her how good they once were together.

As the competition heats up in the kitchen, it soon becomes clear to Tess that Ty has more than cream puffs and cupcakes on his mind. And she can’t deny that her feelings for Ty never truly cooled, but have been simmering all these years, despite the way their relationship ended. Now Ty’s attention has her wondering—is this just the path to final closure? Or could this be a second chance at true love?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Ty comes to a stop a couple paces away and settles his hands on his hips. “Hey, Tess. Long time, no see.”

“Yeah, well . . .”

That’s got to be the lamest opener ever. I clear my throat, relieved that my voice is working at all, and muster up my pride.

But before I can come up with a real comment, Ty says, “I saw you listed on the small business panel discussion. Must be exciting.”

“This from a featured presenter.” Squaring my shoulders, I tilt my head slightly and jerk my chin at him. “You always walk around in your chef’s coat?”

“Only when I’m hoping to run into my ex-girlfriends at culinary conventions.”

The teasing note in his deep voice has my eyes narrowing. “Tyler—”

He holds up his hands, palms out, and chuckles. “Geez, I’m kidding. Calm down, Contessa.”

“Do. Not. Call. Me. That.” I grind the words out from between my teeth.

“Wow. Still touchy, are we?” He crosses his arms again and tips his head back while he surveys me. We don’t have a big difference between us in height, but whenever he does that, it makes me feel about five inches tall. “I was actually prepping for a demonstration, and was just taking a little break.”

Irritation slides through me, both at Ty as well as myself. I shouldn’t be letting the old hurts bubble up like this. I haven’t seen him in eight years. Even if we parted on the worst terms possible, he deserves the benefit of the doubt, as a fellow culinary professional if nothing else.

“Sorry.” I make a show of folding up the pamphlet, forgotten until now, and sliding it into my bag. The move allows me to break eye contact and re-center myself. By the time I look up again, Ty’s smirk is back in place. Hoisting my bag into a more secure position on my shoulder, I fold my arms in a mirror of his posture. “You’ve probably got a busy few days ahead. Odds of us running into each other again are slim, so . . .”

A knowing light flashes in his eyes, even as he offers a handshake. Against my better judgment and with only the barest hesitation, I accept.

Fires start popping up all along my nerves the instant our palms touch. By the time I realize my mistake, it’s too late to pull away.

Ty gives my hand a gentle squeeze. “Maybe I’ll see you around.”

He releases me, takes a couple steps backward, and gives me a wink before turning to walk away. I stand there, my hand still hanging in the air like a limp fish.

Maybe I’ll see you around?

Coming from Ty, that’s not a possibility.

It’s a promise.

About the Author:J. Lynn Rowan started writing stories as a small child, usually starring her favorite cartoon characters. Most of her work through middle and high school was filled with typical teenage angst and melodrama, and usually mirrored the books she loved to read. But eventually she found her own author’s voice and decided to seriously pursue a writing career.

Historical fiction remains J. Lynn’s “first love”, but she has enjoyed the journey to becoming an author of romance and chick lit. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Central New York Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society. She is also a teacher who tries to instill a love of learning, reading, and writing in her students.

When she’s not writing, J. Lynn enjoys travelling, gardening poorly but enthusiastically, studying various topics in American history for her own expertise, and channeling Julia Child every time she steps into the kitchen.

A native of Oswego, NY, she now lives in Charlotte, NC, with her own Romantic Hero of a husband and their little rainbow, affectionately known as Babycakes.

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Buy Better Than Chocolate at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Buy When in Rome at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Buy The One I’m With with Amazon.

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Kelly Bowen Sweepstakes + Vote on Kelly’s New Duke

Forever Romance is giving away a Kelly Bowen historical romance prize pack and asking for your help in choosing the cover design for Kelly’s February 2018 release. Click the link below to enter for a chance to win and you can cast your vote on the dreamiest duke while you’re at it!

Click here to enter for a chance to win.

Prize pack consists of a Forever/Forever Yours tote bag and the following six (6) Forever titles from Kelly Bowen:

Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

A Good Duke is Hard to Find by Kelly Bowen

I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm by Kelly Bowen

You’re the Earl That I Want by Kelly Bowen

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE CHANCE OF WINNING. Void where prohibited. Must be legal US resident 18 years or older as of June 16, 2017 to enter. Sweepstakes begins June 16, 2017 at 12:01 am ET and ends June 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET. Visit http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/forever-romance/kellybowen/ for Official Rules and details. Sponsor: Hachette Book Group, Inc., 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104.

 

 

Suzanne Rock Spotlight


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Suzanne Rock as she celebrates the release today of Protecting His Interests and Keeping Her Close, both from her Hot Heroes in Blue series.

Protecting Her Interests

What if the roles in the movie Pretty Woman got switched?

After spending months undercover at a high-end escort service, Special Agent Gabriel Ferreira hits a dead end in his case. Then a gorgeous art restorer picks him as her date, and his luck changes in more ways than one.

Gabe won’t let Scarlett Bishop come between him and his goal of taking down Miami’s newest serial killer, no matter how great she is in bed. Unfortunately, the more he tries to distance himself from the sexy redhead, the more tangled up she becomes in his investigation. Now she has a target on her back, and he must figure out her connection to the killer and keep her safe at the same time. Every second he spends with the sarcastic beauty, he becomes more infatuated. Now if only he can keep his hands off of Scarlett’s gorgeous body and concentrate on his mission before they both become pawns in the killer’s dangerous game.

*****

Keeping Her Close

As the newest SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team member, Officer Maximo “Max” Ferreira is irritated that his first assignment is not diffusing a terrorist threat, but instead providing protection to the controversial blogger Tess Abbott during her lecture tour in New York City. He believes the job is nothing more than glorified babysitting but after one look at the sexy journalist, suddenly, his job is no longer a hardship.

The attraction between them is immediate, and Tess’s take-charge personality in the bedroom is like a dream come true. Unfortunately, Tess is too wrapped up in her work to take their relationship seriously. When an attempt is made on her life, it will take all of Max’s training to convince her to stop trying to handle everything on her own and stay where he can protect her best–in his arms.

About the Author:

Vector illustration of a young girl

Suzanne Rock married her college sweetheart and has been with him for over twenty years. Every summer she drags her husband and two daughters to Maine on a quest for the perfect lobster dinner. Every fall she can be found down in Foxboro, Massachusetts cheering on her favorite football team. In between those trips, she’s a chauffeur, a maid, a chef, an event planner, a hairdresser, a wardrobe stylist, a tutor and a sometimes masseuse. To keep her sanity, she often drinks copious amounts of coffee and stares at the blank screen of her laptop, dreaming of great adventures. Sometimes she even writes them down for others to enjoy. For a listing of her books and appearances, please visit her website. She also loves to hear from readers!

Note: Suzanne also writes mainstream romance under the pen name Ava Conway. To learn about her more sensual works, please visit her website.

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Buy Protecting His Interests and Keeping Her Close on Amazon.

Paperback Release: Colorado Mountain Series by Kristen Ashley – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Kristen Ashley as she celebrates the release of new paperback editions of THE GAMBLE, SWEET DREAMS, and LADY LUCK from the Colorado Mountain series in stores on Tuesday. Enter to win 1 of 5 sets of The Gamble, Sweet Dreams, and Lady Luck! http://bit.ly/2r26Avw.

ANNOUNCING THREE BEAUTIFUL NEW TRADE PAPERBACK EDITIONS FROM THE COLORADO MOUNTAIN SERIES!

THE GAMBLE

Life isn’t meant to be perfect. It’s meant to be lived . . .

Nina Sheridan thought she’d found the perfect man who would become the perfect husband. She was wrong. When Nina realizes the man she planned to grow old with doesn’t know her at all, it’s time to rethink her idea of perfect. And what better place to get her life in order than a remote Colorado mountain town halfway around the world?

Gnaw Bone, Colorado, may not be flashy or cosmopolitan, but it’s got a brand of hospitality all its own. Nina isn’t entirely sure she’s ready to trade the life she thought she wanted in England for cozy evenings in her mountain retreat, and she definitely isn’t sure she’s ready to handle the connection she feels to the owner of her rental house, Max Holden . . .

Nina didn’t come to Colorado to find love, but even the best-laid plans can go awry. Now, if Nina can let go of her past, Max-and a future in Gnaw Bone-might just be the perfect second chance she’s been waiting for.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, or Goodreads.

SWEET DREAMS

When you lose everything, anything is possible.

Lauren Grahame needs a whole new life. A simpler life. After leaving her cheating husband, she moves to Carnal, Colorado, takes a job as a waitress, and realizes she might have finally found the hometown she’d been searching for. Except things are about to get a lot more complicated . . .

Lauren’s fresh start does not include her growing feelings for her boss, Tate Jackson. She’ll take the new friends, the new job, not to mention the incredible banana bread from the local coffee shop, but love is not on the agenda.

However, the people of Carnal know chemistry when they see it, and they’re not about to let Tate and Lauren miss their chance.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, or Target. Add Sweet Dreams to your shelf on Goodreads.

LADY LUCK

All you need is a little luck.

Lexie Berry has had nothing but bad luck. You name it, Lexie has probably survived it-or worse. But there’s only so much bad luck a girl can take, and now one promise is all that stands between her and a brand-new life.

When that promise brings her to Carnal, Colorado, Lexie isn’t sure the rough, yet strangely charming, town is for her. But there’s something Carnal has that might just make staying around worth it . . . and that’s Ty Walker.

For five years, Ty was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he wants revenge on the people who framed him. Lexie knows there’s a difference between vengeance and justice, and she’ll do everything she can to make sure Ty gets the latter. And with the good people of Carnal on their side, Lexie and Ty might finally find their luck is changing for the better.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, or Target. Add Lady Luck to your shelf on Goodreads.

About the Author: Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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Gun for Hire by J.J. Montgomery – Spotlight and Giveaway


Long and Short Reviews welcomes J.J. Montgomery who is celebrating her debut release, Gun for Hire. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

The job should have been easy—patrol a swank beach that serves as a backyard for Maui’s rich, kick out the riffraff, and get a tan in the process. But rent-a-cop Samantha Winters didn’t anticipate a deliciously grumpy cop, Sergeant Grady Roark, who comes down to the beach to bust her chops and instead leaves her breathless…and wondering why the one man who could help her seems determined to thwart her at every turn.

Grady is keeping secrets from Sam that have him walking the line between attraction and duty. But when Sam becomes the target of a shadowy organization, Grady will have to choose between the law and the temptation of a woman who has him breaking every rule he’s ever known.

The job should have been easy, but when the bullets start flying, Sam learns nothing is as easy as it seems when you’re a Gun for Hire.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Why John Deacon, Sam?” Grady’s hands tightened on the steering wheel.

I threw my hands up. “It could be Jesus Christ himself signing my paycheck and I’d still be doing it for the same reasons! The job works for my family. What is your problem with John Deacon? And don’t tell me nothing—you owe me more than that.”

“Maybe I’m just jealous.” Grady stared ahead. “Like you said.”

My stomach did a loop. “Don’t use your charm on me, I’m immune—”

“You think I’m charming?”

“Hell no, I don’t! And particularly not when you’re avoiding my question.”

“But you said I had charm.” He tilted his head and gave me a long, sly look from the corner of his eyes. His teeth flashed white from that tanned face and I nearly had to fan myself when I realized I loved the feeling of Grady teasing me.

I threw my hands up in the air. “I give up!”

He wanted to talk about confusing? All I knew about Grady prior to this day was that he was six-foot-two of gorgeous and about as warm as a polar bear on the North Pole in January. And now—

About the Author:J.J. MONTGOMERY writes romantic suspense novels with a sense of humor. Her heroines are as smart as they are smart mouthed and the men in their lives are just trying to keep up. Gun for Hire is the first book in J.J.’s Maui Heat Series.

If you’d like to know more, including info on her newest book, where she gets her ideas, and how it’s possible she can’t use Facebook, please visit her.

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Buy the book at Amazon or The Wild Rose Press.

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Why Music Inspires My Writing by Amy L. Gale – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amy will be awarding a $10 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.

Why Music Inspires My Writing
Bone-rattling drums vibrating through your chest, the scream of an electric guitar sending sweet melodies along the air waves, a crisp raw voice cutting through the dark of the night, Is there anything more magical than experiencing your favorite rock anthem?

I’ve always thought of music as pure emotion. A story played out through melodies and lyrics to create an audio version of exactly what a person in that situation would be feeling. Fast hardcore chords mimic frustration and anger while slow soft melodies imitate love and sometimes heartbreak. Music expresses the human soul in a unique way, just like a book can.

When I started my journey as a writer, I combined my passion for music as well as my love of romance to create Blissful Disaster. I was never the girl who wanted to ride off into the sunset on a white horse with Prince Charming. I was the girl who wanted to hop on the tour bus and ride off with a hot rock God that everyone wanted, but was all mine. What better way to start a story than with your own personal fantasy? I sat down with my laptop, fired up my IPod, and placed my ear buds in my ears. I was ready to snag my rock God.

As I plotted out my story I thought about my favorite songs, the stories that I can’t get enough of and can listen to over and over again. What would it be like to be in one of those songs? Would capturing the heart of my hot, sexy, rock God be everything I thought it would? I sank back into my couch, closed my eyes, and drifted off into the fantasy music world. As my mind experienced the adventure, the storyline for Blissful Disaster played out like a movie in my head. I took a deep breath, opened my eyes, and began to type.

Every night I couldn’t wait to submerge myself back into my fantasy rock world. I repeated the same process night after night, writing while gathering inspiration from my favorite tunes. I needed some new material, so I rummaged through the shelves of my closet and checked out the inventory. I’ve gathered quite a collection of cd’s, records, and cassette tapes over the years. I pulled out the oldies but goodies and played a variety of different tracks, some happy and some sad but all of them creating new emotional adventures for Ali and Tyler. As the music flowed through me and onto the pages, I thought about my fairytale. Is there always a happily ever after or do real fairytales contain some type of tragic force that just won’t let life be perfect, a blissful disaster.

One night stands.
Career-driven Ali Whitman, never dreamed of having one, until she finds herself waking up next to a handsome tattooed man she knows nothing about. After celebrating her promotion to field reporter at Entertainment Rocks! magazine, she breaks her number one rule – to focus on work without the distraction of the opposite sex.

Rules.
Tyler Young lives by his own set. As bassist for Devil’s Garden, he exudes sexual energy and lives for the moment; no strings attached, no regrets, and no looking back.

When the two are brought face to face during an interview it goes sour, sparking a string of disasters. As their feelings for each other grow, they find themselves living by a new set of rules, but demons from the past haunt their new found love. Is it possible to crawl from the ashes of the aftermath or will it all go down in flames?

Love.
Perfect bliss or complete disaster?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Throbbing pain pulsates through my head, sending echoes of agony through every crevice of my skull. I lift my head and grimace. Bad idea. My heartbeat pounds a fierce rhythm in my ears. If it’s possible for a human brain to explode, mine wants to unleash the wrath of an atomic bomb. It’s like I’m reliving the morning after my twenty-first birthday, three years later. Well, the hair of the dog theory never seemed to work for me. Maybe a little fresh air will help. I rub my eyes and spring into a sitting position. Bright rays of sunlight burst through the window, temporarily blinding me. I’m never drinking again. Sure, I’ve told myself that after almost every hangover. Why don’t I listen? Within seconds everything becomes clearer. A ripple of soft satin flows across the length of my queen-sized bed, moving toward me like a snake slithering through the grass. A silhouette enrobed in the white sheets lies asleep on the opposite side of me. I cover my mouth holding in the scream that’s dying to escape. No, I couldn’t have. I mean, I came to L.A. to pursue a professional writing career and now I’m a one-night floozy. Oh my God, what the hell happened last night?

About the Author:Romance author by night, pharmacist by day, Amy Gale loves rock music and the feel of sand between her toes. She attended Wilkes University where she graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In addition to writing, she enjoys baking, scary movies, rock concerts, and reading books at the beach. She lives in the lush forest of Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, six cats, and golden retriever.

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Buy the book at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords.

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Stranger by Robin Lovett – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the release today of Robin Lovett’s Stranger.

Warning: Stranger by Robin Lovett is a scorching, intense romance novel featuring an anti-hero out to get revenge against the trust-fund woman whose family destroyed his life.

This isn’t supposed to be a love story. This is not the kind of book where a girl gets swept off her feet. Where the hero is her knight in shining armor. This is a novel about ruining someone’s life. But even the simplest plans for revenge can go wrong.

I like the way he watches me, this man I don’t know. It’s something I’ll never confess to, never tell a soul. But with one look of those penetrating eyes, I feel as if he’s unwrapped me, turned me inside out, rubbed away at my trust-fund-holding, good-girl exterior until I’m raw and exposed.

He looks like he wants to destroy me. Like he wants to obliterate me and my shallow, perfect life until there’s nothing left.

And once I meet Logan, the crazy part is, I want him to.

***

I hate Penny Vandershall.

I hate her money and her family and her privilege. I hate her innocence and her smile and her shine. I want to annihilate her lightness and consume her with my darkness, my anger, my red-hot rage until there is nothing left of her.

I know the truth about her, the truth that will make it easy to bring her down. To ruin her for good. But through the blinding haze of my hatred, my burning need for revenge, she’s starting to get to me. She looks at me in wide-eyed fear, like a girl approaching the tiger’s cage. And yet she refuses to walk away; edging closer until she can meet the beast who wants to rip her apart.

And even though I set out to ruin her, she may be the one to destroy me.

This is a series of standalones that can be read separately or in this order:
Book 1: Stranger, a dark stalker romance
Book 2: Deceiver, a dark revenge romance
Book 3: Keeper, a dark captive romance

Enjoy an Excerpt

I’m cooking when she opens the door.

I shouldn’t be in her kitchen, but I haven’t had a kitchen in weeks. I need to eat and she has food in her fridge.

She drops her purse on the table and stares at me.

The circles under her eyes are a lot bigger than they were two days ago.

It’s because of me. I’m stressing her.

Good. I’ll make it worse, inflicting it on her body and her mind. My plans have solidified today. There’s nothing more torturous than being denied something you want. And if she wants sex, I have to find out how badly that includes me. If it’s as bad as I think, my new plan is by far the best I’ve ever thought of.

“You’re cooking,” she says.

“I do eat.” I stir the pan.

“What are you making?” She walks into the kitchen and I don’t like it. It’s too domestic. Her, coming home to me cooking. It’s too familiar. I should’ve made ramen on my cookstove out on her deck.

“Stir fry.” I frown at the vegetables and meat frying in the pan.

“Smells good.”

She comes close to me. Too close. Despite everything I’ve done to make this woman afraid of me, the more scared she is, the more she can’t stay away. Her arm brushes mine and I can smell her.

Over the sesame seeds and the soy sauce, stronger than the steam or the food, it’s her.

She smells like girl. Like too much sugar, too much sunshine, and way too much soap. Why does she have to be so clean?

“I’ll make rice.” She too gracefully goes to the cupboard.

I refuse to watch her. But I can feel her behind me. Her softness and too gentle movements. It should make me want to get rid of her. I don’t have to hang out in her house. Why am I here? I should be down on the beach.

But I’m not.

I’m in her kitchen with her pulling out pots and pans behind me. And I want to touch her.

It’s a strange sort of want. Like a physical pulling. Like a rubber band pulled taut begging to be released. Like it’s harder for me not to touch her than it would be to haul her against me and bury my fingers into her skin and my tongue in her mouth. It would be easier to take over her the way I couldn’t stop myself yesterday. My hands beneath her clothes, her fingers clutching my hair, begging to go deeper.

And it’s almost like she’s begging for it again. Reaching in front of me to plug in the cooker, when there’s a perfectly good outlet on the side. Pulling open the drawer next to my hip for a spoon when there’s a perfectly good one in the jar by the stove.

I turn the burner down to simmer, then back her into the corner.

I cage her with my arms on either side of her, and her eyes widen in fear.

“You want to play my game?” I can’t help my eyes roving over her face: her mouth, those pert little lips, her eyes, even her nose with these tiny freckles you can’t see except up close. She’s sickeningly sweet.

Makes it all the sweeter when she stutters her answer. “I’m, uh, h-hungry.” She’s panting, her mouth open. I catch a glimpse of her pink tongue.

I lean over her and mock her. “What do you want? Do you want more of me? Are you aching for me to give you the fuck of your life?”

She shakes her head. “N-no.” But her chest is pumping air at a fierce rate and her tone goes up in that way it does when she’s lying.

She does want more of me.

I don’t understand why. But I can use this. I can work her to my advantage. Toy with her. Torture her. I would enjoy that. I would enjoy seeing her driven mad with wanting me—the man who’s out to destroy her life.

Fear. And Need. Her body is stiff like she wants to run, but her eyes scream wreck me, use me, make me into something other than me.

I lean toward her ear. “Are you tired of being a good girl?”

She moans.

“That’s not an answer.” I breathe against her skin.

“Yes.” She shivers.

“You like it when I scare you.”

Her eyes fall closed. “Yes.”

“You’re afraid I’ll make you do things you would never do.”

Her throat works on a swallow. “Yes.”

“You want me?”

Her eyes flash open, those light blue ovals that are so clear, I can almost see myself.

She wants me.

I stand back and go to the stove.

I have my answer. It should disturb me, surprise me: I don’t want her to want me. She doesn’t know me. No one does. No one will.

I don’t want them to know me.

But it doesn’t matter. My plan is accomplished. Now she knows she wants me. She’ll long for it. I’ll never give it to her.

But I’ll taunt her without mercy.

About the Author: Robin Lovett is the author of Stranger. She enjoys writing romance to avoid the more unsavory things in life, like day jobs, housework, and personal demons. Reading romance has always been her addiction of choice. When not writing or reading with her cat, she’s busy embracing untamable curly hair or adventuring into the outdoors with her husband. She loves chatting about life and romance on Twitter and Facebook, so don’t be shy!

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Highland Hellion by Mary Wine – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Mary Wine who is celebrating the recent release of her newest book Highland Hellion. Enter the Raffleocpter at the end of the post for a chance to win 1 of 2 bundles of Mary Wine’s Highland Weddings series (3 books). Read our 5 star review here.

KATHERINE CAREW:
· Illegitimate daughter of an English earl
· Abducted to Scotland at age 14
· No family, no reputation…
· No rules

ROLFE MCTAVISH:
· Heir to an honorable Highland laird
· Can’t believe how well tomboy Kate can fight
· About to learn how much of a woman she really is

Scotland is seething with plots, the vengeful Gordons are spoiling for a fight, and the neighboring clans are at each other’s throats. All it takes is a passionate hellion with a penchant for reckless adventure to ignite the Highlands once more.

Read an Excerpt

Katherine made sure the straps of her saddle were tight. She took a great deal of pleasure in the fact that she knew as much about preparing a horse for riding as every one of the men surrounding her. That would certainly not be the case if she’d been raised in England.

Her old life was only a memory now, hidden behind her adventures in the Highlands. She smiled as she recalled the many things she’d done at Robert’s side while disguised as a boy. She gripped the side of the saddle, making ready to mount.

But a hard hand dug into the back of her jerkin and lifted her into the air.

“What?” Katherine was startled, or she wouldn’t have spoken because her English accent persisted. More than one head turned in her direction as she landed and found herself looking up into the eyes of Marcus MacPherson, war chief of Clan MacPherson.

“I told her she should nae go.” Robert was quick to assign blame to her.

Marcus had braced himself between her and the horse. The war chief was huge and stood considering her from a position she’d seen too many times to count while she trained under his command in the yard. Of course, he thought she was a boy, which made Robert’s choice of words very bad.

Very, very bad.

“You clearly did nae tell her firmly enough.” Marcus shifted his full attention to Robert. “There will be a reckoning owed when we return, sure enough.”

Robert bristled as more men came to witness his chastisement. “She’s the one who will no’ listen to good sense.”

“Agreed,” Marcus said. “Which is why ye should have pulled her off her horse as I just did, since it was you who brought her into me training yard six years ago.”

Katherine gasped. She hated the way the sound came across her lips because it was so…well, so feminine. The men were frowning at her, clearly disapproving.

She shook her head and leveled her chin. “I have trained, and I am as good as many a man standing here.”

“Ye are a woman,” Marcus stated clearly. “And ye do nae belong riding out with us when we are going to needle the Gordons.”

“It isn’t a real raid,” Katherine protested, but she kept her tone civil. She would always respect Marcus for teaching her to defend herself. “Just a bit of fun.”

“Aye,” Marcus agreed. “And yet, not as simple as that. Men get their blood up when they are testing one another’s nerve. It is no place for a woman, even less so for a maiden.”

“Ye see?” Robert said. “I told ye.”

“But ye did nae make certain she could nae venture into danger. That’s the difference between a lad and a man.” Marcus spoke softly, which only gave his words more weight. “It’s past time for ye”—he pointed at Robert—“to recognize that a little lass like Katherine has more to lose if our luck does nae hold. As a MacPherson retainer, I expect ye to make sure the women are taken care of. That’s the real reason they respect us, no’ simply for the sake of our gender.”

Marcus shifted his attention back to Katherine, and she felt the weight of his disapproval. “Ye could be raped and ruined.”

“My reputation is already ruined because I am here,” Katherine protested.

“That is no’ the same thing at all,” Marcus informed her in a steely voice. “And I hope to Christ ye never discover the truth of the matter. For tonight, ye’ll take yerself back inside, and I will deal with ye when I return.”

Marcus’s word was law on MacPherson land. Only his father and his brother, Bhaic, might argue with him, and Katherine wasn’t dense enough to think either of them would disagree. So she lowered her chin and bit her lip. It earned her a soft grunt from Marcus before he moved back toward his horse.

Then the muttering started.

“English chit…”

“More trouble than we need…”

“Damned English always think themselves better than Scots…”

Men she’d thought of as friends suddenly turned traitor, calling her “English” as though she had only recently arrived on their land.

She’d truly thought her feelings dead when it came to the subject of her blood. The rush of hurt flooding her proved her wrong.

About the Author: Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons.

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Four White Roses by Judy Ann Davis – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Judy Ann will be awarding a $25 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.

When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels.

Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s.

Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries plaguing them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt

Later, as Torrie and Rich sat in the kitchen and ate Lulu’s sandwiches and salad, the roar of a motorcycle and rumbling of a pickup interrupted their peaceful meal.

Joe Bradley and Gus Larson appeared at the back door, both holding the sides of their heads with their hands as they smashed their noses against the glass and peered in.

“Golly gee,” Rich said with a smirk. “Just what I’ve always longed for—the Sesame Street duo. Bert and Ernie. And on the day we rid ourselves of Lulu and the girls. What luck!” He looked at her with a suggestive glint in his eye. “Do you think if we sit here motionless, your brother and his sidekick will think we’re wax figures and make like bees and buzz off?”

“For heaven sake, Rich, let them in.” Torrie rose, crossed to the French doors, and opened them. “You’re just in time for German chocolate cake made by Lucille Smith. It’s the prize-winning one she bakes for the church bazaar and county fair.” At the mention of chocolate cake, both men wore grins as wide as sock monkeys. Behind her she heard Rich groan out, “Nice work, Torrie. Let’s have a party and have all your friends over to eat my food.”

Trying hard to hide her amusement, Torrie returned to the kitchen with Joe and Gus trailing behind her like eager taste testers at a holiday bake-off. They scrambled to get a seat at the table and nodded a curt greeting to Rich.

“I thought this would be a good day to check on your ideas for the living room. I just finished up installing a new bathroom sink for Marlene,” Joe said. “Lulu’s chocolate cake? What an awesome treat. Thank you.”

Rich eyed him warily.

“And I’m off from the garage for a few days. Business is tapering off, so I’m ready to tackle any handy work you might need outside. I thought I’d start on the overgrown rhododendron,” Gus said. “Man, this is not just a chocolate cake. It’s her famous, blue ribbon chocolate cake! What a stroke of luck. Do you have some milk to go with this?”

This time Rich didn’t try to hide an outright irritable snort.

About the Author: Judy Ann Davis began her career in writing as a copy and continuity writer for radio and television in Scranton, PA. She holds a degree in Journalism and Communications and has written for industry and education throughout her career.

Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines and anthologies, and have received numerous awards. She is published in multi-genres, including romance, mystery, western, and comedy. Four White Roses is her fourth novel to date.

When Judy Ann is not behind a computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are few.

She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America, and divides her time between Central Pennsylvania and New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

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Other Judy Ann Davis titles
KEY TO LOVE
RED FOX WOMAN
UNDER STARRY SKIES
SWEET KISS [A Novella]

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