The Lady’s Arrangement by Colleen L. Donnelly – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Colleen 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.

Neither Rex nor Regina wants a spouse, but they do have needs.

Ranger Rex Duncan needs a false identity—just long enough to uncover a ring of Kansas ranch thieves. Answering Regina’s ad for a temporary husband, he leaves his beloved red dirt of Oklahoma to assume that disguise. But the most obstinate woman he’s ever known confounds his assignment, and with hair the red color that has always made his heart beat a little faster.

Regina Howard needs a new Mrs. in front of her name—just long enough to reclaim her deceased husband’s ranch, since Kansas law won’t allow women to own property. When Rex answers her ad for a husband who can take orders as part of a brief business arrangement, she finds this stubborn man ignores her every command. Yet a good man is far more than just a name…

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt

I came off the wall and stepped along the inside of the barn doorway. I peered through one of the gaps between the boards. Doc stood near her, very near her, looking down in a way the widow deserved. “Thank you, Doc,” I called and waved as I strode out where they could see me. Doc and Regina each took a step back from the other.

“No—thank you.” Doc nodded, but I caught the baffled look on his face. “And thanks to your horse, there, also. Walter.” He tipped his head toward Walter.

I could see the ready in his eyes, the ready that would take care of Regina and Jess, whether they were ready or not. I waited for Regina to chime in, say anything to either him or me, but she didn’t. Her face picked up a sheen. A crimson flush that made her look right attractive where she was, here on a ranch instead of somewhere frilly back east. Red. I was way too fond of red. I felt a similar sheen creep up the back of my neck.

“Thank ya,” I said again. I rubbed my hands along my trousers, making old memories sting. Doc needed to go. I dropped my hands. No, he needed to stay. I watched him and Regina. If I’d known the rules for moments like this, Becky wouldn’t be Becky Carson right now. Doc was reserved, but he seemed to know how to stand and how to look. “Anything special I can do for Jess?” I called across the brown dirt to where they stood.

“Ben…” Regina looked my way. We stared at each other across that color of ground I didn’t care for, her red on the other side like a rising sun.

Doc should go. No, he should stay.

“Thank ya again, Doc.” I knew I should hie it back into the barn. Doc would love that woman, but he sure couldn’t lead. Ted would run over him every chance he got. So would she. It was the look on Regina’s face that gave me what I needed to leave them alone. I dragged one boot backward, and then the other until I was on my own in the barn’s dim light. Walter nickered from outside the doorway as they began to speak again. To each other. Soft, so I couldn’t hear. I went back to the low wall and bent forward, bracing myself against it with both arms. I leaned into my fists and listened until Doc Harris’s buggy finally rolled away. Wheels grinding into the solid dirt, the crunch getting farther and farther from Regina.

“Ben…”

I heard her behind me, the step that said West as much as East, the clip of her deceased husband’s boots stopping not far from my back. I knew what I had to do. I drew in a deep breath and turned. She opened her mouth the same time I opened mine.

“Will you marry me?”

About the Author: Born and raised in the Midwest, Colleen earned a four-year degree in Medical Technology and used it to travel and explore other parts of the country while working in the field of science.

Outside the laboratory she delves deeply into literature, both reading and writing, her interest piqued by tales involving moral dilemmas and the choices people come up against.

A lover of the outdoors as well as a comfy living room, Colleen is always searching inside and out for the next good story.

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Buy the book for only $0.99 at Amazon.

Also available at Amazon:

Mine to Tell
Love on a Train
Asked For

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What Would I Tell a New Author? by Barbra E. Ross – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbra E. Ross will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What would I tell a new author?

I have been writing for years and I still feel like a new author. I learn new things everyday about advertising, writing and editing. It is an ongoing process. When I look back to when I started writing, I think about what I would have liked to know then, that I know now. Here is my list that I would tell myself or anyone who is thinking of starting to write.

1.) Don’t ever give up. I know this sounds easy, but when you get your first bad review and they tear your writing to shreds, it is not that simple. It felt like someone kicked me in the ribs and knocked all the wind out of my body. I wanted to crawl in bed and forget the world. Thankfully, I had a great support network who reminded me that you can’t please everyone.

2.) Write what your heart tells you to write. Don’t let trends or people tell you what you should write. It won’t be believable if it isn’t true to you.

3.) Promote yourself. Go to local bookstores, libraries and show them your work. Just because you published, doesn’t mean the work stops there. That is when the real work begins. Writing was easy to me, marketing myself wasn’t.

4.) Network with other authors. See what they are doing to advance their work. You can get great advice from fellow authors.

5.) Learn how to write an effective query letter for agents and publishers. I self-published, but I still send out queries to agents and publishers. You never know when that one letter will land on the right desk.

6.) Invest in yourself and your book. It takes money to get your name and product out there. But who better to invest in than yourself. If you wrote it, believe in it and go for it.

7.) Make a website and join social media to promote your work. I can’t tell you how awesome it was when readers started writing me and telling me how they enjoyed my books. It still gives me butterflies when I think about it.

8.) Take care of you and give yourself the time to write. Set up free time where you can do your best work. I like my days off from work, when I am alone to write. Just me and my animals while I type away.

Bottom line is… do what you love to do. If I had listened to people who told me I was crazy for writing vampire romance, I would not be where I am today. And I am darn happy with what I have accomplished so far. You are never too old or too young to do anything. Keep reaching for the stars. Or in my vampire’s case, keep flying to the stars…

Barbra E Ross

One night changed everything for bachelor Justin Bertolli. A womanizer at heart, never quite ready to settle down, he meets the woman who would change his life forever. Ambra Taylor is that woman, but is she all that Justin bargained for? When Justin discovers the truth about who and what she is, will he still love her? Will he still want her? Find out, as their hearts collide in this epic tale of love.

The sequel, MARZIO’S REVENGE, is now available.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Justin, please, don’t leave!” I heard her yell.

“Why the hell not? You are playing me for a fool!” I yelled back.

“No! I am not. I love you!” she yelled.

“I am not stupid Ambra! I know something is going on here.”

“Nothing is going on! Please believe me!” she cried.

“Oh yeah? An empty closet? You, running away every morning, working every single day. Even God took a day off Ambra,” I said, smartly.

“I cannot tell you! I cannot!”

“Then we are done. Finished. Over.”

I opened the door and went out in the hallway. I pushed the button over and over again for the elevator. I was on fire. I heard her come into the hallway. I looked up at the glowing numbers, waiting for them to count up to her floor. She stood in her doorway and I heard her sobbing. I glanced over at her and she looked so sad. I felt badly for second and quickly snapped out of it. I knew I was being played.

“Justin,” she whispered.

“I’m done talking,” I said and noticed the elevator was close now. Finally.

“Please. I am begging you to change your mind,” she said and I heard the ding of the bell. The door slid open and I put my hand on them to stop them from closing.

“Give me one good reason why I should. I don’t like being lied to. I have never lied to you Ambra,” I told her, still holding the doors.

“Because, I believe you are the only man I will ever love. I knew it the second I saw your face, and I believe that you feel the same way about me,” she said, still crying. I let go of the doors and they slid shut.

“Then tell me the truth,” I said. “Or I am gone.”

About the Author: Barbra E Ross lives in Michigan and is a nurse by day, lover of fiction at night. When people ask me what my book is about, I pause a moment because it is not so simple to describe. It is a vampire romance, I say and then, I pray that doesn’t scare them away. Because what are books really? I believe that books are a way to escape the daily routines of life.
I wanted to take an ordinary man and put him in fantastic situations. To bring a bit of fantasy down to reality. It is a love story at its heart. If I can take the reader on a journey and give them a laugh, cry, or simply bring a smile to their face, then it is all worth it. This story helped me through rough times in my life, and I can only hope it will do the same for the reader.

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The Five Best (or Worse) Things about Living in Florida by Celia Kyle – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the recent release of Wolf’s Mate, the first book in Celia Kyle’s Shifter Rogues series. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Five Best (or Worst) Things about Living in Florida
1. Best: Eighty degree holidays! It’s so awesome to be able to wander around in shorts and flip flops during Thanksgiving.

2. Worst: The heat during the summer.

3. Worst: Did I mention the HEAT? Now add on almost 100% humidity. Hell is real and is also known as Florida.

4. Best: The beaches! I live on the west coast so I get all of the lovely white sand which means I don’t get burned feet.

5. Worst: The lack of seasons. Sometimes, when I’m feeling crazy and delusional, I wish it’d snow or get cool enough to actually need a jacket and jeans. Of course, I only want that weather for maybe a DAY. Then the northern states can have their snow back.

Danger shouldn’t be this sexy…

Cougar shifter Abby Carter always plays it safe. That’s why she’s an accountant—no excitement, no danger, and no cocky alpha males. She loves her quiet life, but fate has other plans. When Abby uncovers the shady dealings of an anti-shifter organization, she’ll have to trust the too-sexy-for-her-peace-of-mind werewolf Declan Reed… or end up six feet under.

Declan Reed is starting over. After two years with Shifter Operations Command, it’s time to put his past behind him. Now Declan is the only thing standing between the gorgeous Abby and an early grave, and if he’s going to have any chance of keeping her alive, he’ll have to embrace the darkness he’s fought to keep at bay. But first he has to convince Abby that there’s no safer place in the world than the arms of a big bad werewolf.

Enjoy an Excerpt

There was nothing sexier than a man—half-naked and sexy as hell—in the kitchen. Declan opened an upper cabinet and grabbed a pan, stretching to reach handle. The move made his jeans drop just a hint, exposing more of those muscles she wanted to lick and nibble.

Her center clenched, clit throbbing with a surge of desire, and she bit her lip to keep her whimper in check. Then… then he made it so much worse—better? He set the pan on the stove and went to the fridge, tugging on the door so it swung open. It gave her a clear view of his back, of the play of muscles while he moved, the way they slid beneath his skin. That was when he made it all worse. He leaned down to peer into the space, attention firmly on the fridge’s interior.

Meanwhile her attention was firmly on his ass. She wanted to bite and nibble him there, too. Okay, she wanted him everywhere, all of him. Oh, she wouldn’t destroy herself in that way—Declan was dangerous, heartless—but that didn’t mean she couldn’t ogle. A lot.

“You done staring, yet?” Laughter tinged his words and she wrenched her attention from his ass. He remained bent over and peeked at her from beneath his arm. She met his teasing gaze for a split-second, his twitching lips enough to make her face flush, and then shot her stare to the ground. “Or should I go ahead and strip for you?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she mumbled.

“Liar.” His chuckle turned deep and dark, like smooth chocolate that lured her forward a step before she realized she’d moved. He straightened and turned away from the fridge, nudging the door closed with his foot.

His bare foot.

Could feet be sexy?

Abby’s cougar purred. Apparently.

“Come eat.” He placed a carton of eggs and bag of shredded cheese on the counter.

“You keep trying to feed me.” She steeled herself for being so close to Declan without touching him.

“Because you need to eat.” He didn’t give her a spare glance, just cracked an egg on the edge of the pan, a nice sizzle following the move. He tossed the empty shell in the sink and then focused on her, blue eyes intent. “You need to be prepared for what’s coming.”

“Coming?” Her heartbeat stuttered, her banked fear resurged and threatened to take over.

Declan’s eyes bled amber for a moment, flickered between man and wolf, and he refocused on the stove. “A team is hunting you on behalf of the director.”

“I don’t know what that means.” Or rather, she didn’t want to know.

He was quiet then, attention wholly on the frying pan as if his cooking decided the fate of the world. The longer he ignored her, the more nervous she became until she simply couldn’t take it anymore.

“Declan?” He didn’t make a sound, just flipped the second egg onto the plate and slid it across the counter

“Sweetheart,” he murmured, blue eyes back and staring deep into her soul. “Until we know more, you’re with me. Once we’re holding all the cards, we’ll figure out our play. For now, it’s just us.”

About the Author:Celia Kyle is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, ex-dance teacher, former accountant and erstwhile collectible doll salesperson. She now writes paranormal romances for readers who:

1) Like super hunky heroes (they generally get furry)

2) Dig beautiful women (who have a few more curves than the average lady)

3) Love laughing in (and out of) bed.

It goes without saying that there’s always a happily-ever-after for her characters, even if there are a few road bumps along the way. Today she lives in central Florida and writes full-time with the support of her loving husband and two finicky cats.

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Five Things Readers Might Not Know About Me by Linda Broday – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Linda Broday who is celebrating the release of Knight on the Texas Plains, the first book in the Texas Heroes series. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book (US only).

Five Things Readers Might Not Know About Me

Some authors really don’t enjoy sharing personal things and you can include me in that bunch. But, I’m about to really open up so get ready. You’re about to learn Linda Broday’s secrets.

1. My grandfather was a moonshiner. He practiced the art for a long time…and got caught. He spent some time in jail around 1918. My dad was only 5 years old at the time. My grandmother used to tell the story how on Saturday she’d dress the kids up in their Sunday best, hitch up the wagon and drive into town. One by one, she’d lift each kid up to the bars to talk to their father. Then she’d go back home and wait for the next Saturday. I think he served about 6 months. But even so he continued making moonshine.

2. I’m a teensy-weensy bit OCD. I’m not proud of it but it is what it is. I really, really can’t stand wrinkles in the bed. When I was young and my little sister used to sleep with me, I’d wake her up in the middle of the night to make the bed. Then, we’d crawl back under the covers and sleep. I’m a lot better now. I still don’t like wrinkles but I can tolerate them better. I’ve given the heroine of my May 2018 release the same flaw. You’ll like her. She’s a great person. Kinda like me.

3. I’m an occasional wine drinker and, when I do imbibe, it’s white Moscato. That stuff is so good. And bring me a margarita on the rocks from time to time and I’m a happy camper. The rest of it you can keep.

4. I love the ocean and wish I lived near the water, not 672 miles inland. Whenever I get a chance to go, I stand for hours smelling the air and listening to the waves. A deep peace seeps into my soul and I feel as though I’ve come home. The ocean is such a special place for me.

5. I’ve been homeless twice in my life. The first time I was very young and I lived in a tent with my parents and three siblings. That should tell you how poor we were. I was about five or six when we moved into a real house. The second time was following the 1979 tornado in Wichita Falls where we lived. Going through that and barely surviving is a story for another time. The worse was in the year following when we didn’t have a home and bounced around from relative to relative with no place to put my things. I felt so lost and alone.

He’ll do whatever it takes
To keep them safe

Duel McClain has lost everything he’s ever loved: his wife, his son, his sense of self. But when a strange twist of fate—and a poker game he’ll never forget—leaves an innocent little girl in his care, Duel vows to defend his new family to his very last breath. If only he knew a single thing about taking care of babies…

Just as Duel swears his life can’t get any more complicated, a beautiful woman stumbles into the light of his campfire, desperate for help. Jessie Foltry is hungry, tired, and running for her life. She agrees to help Duel care for the child in exchange for his protection, even as she fights to guard her broken heart. But Duel will do whatever it takes to make Jessie see that the Texas plains have more than one kind of knight, and perhaps their salvation is closer than either of them could have dreamed…

About the Author: At a young age, Linda Broday discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She resides in the Texas Panhandle and is inspired every day.

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An Earl by Any Other Name by Lauren Smith – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lauren Smith who is celebrating the release today of An Earl by Any Other Name.

An earl in the streets, a rogue in the sheets . . .

Leopold Graham, Lord Hampton, was never a man to let propriety stand in the way of his pursuit of pleasure. Hedonism is his only desire in life—until his father’s death saddles him with debts that threaten to bankrupt the entire family. Now the only thing that stands between him and utter ruin is marriage to a proper, and preferably wealthy, young lady.

Ivy Leighton is no sweet English rose. Perhaps it’s her gypsy roots, but she would rather make a spectacle of her independent spirit than sit quietly on the sidelines. If that means that the only place she’ll ever have in society is firmly on the shelf, then so be it. But when Ivy runs into the handsome, rakish Leo who’s looking for a respectable, well-bred wife, she can’t stop thinking about the troubles they can get into. Now she just has to convince him that a life with her is really what he needs.

About the Author LAUREN SMITH, winner of the 2014 Historical International Digital Award, attended Oklahoma State University, where she earned a B.A. in both history and political science. Drawn to paintings and museums, Lauren is obsessed with antiques and satisfies her fascination with history by writing and exploring exotic, ancient lands. She is currently an attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Do You Have a Summer Vacation Planned? by Terry Spear – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Terry Spear, who is visiting with us to celebrate today’s release of her newest book SEAL Wolf Undercover.

Do You Have a Summer Vacation Planned?

Years ago, the RWA conference was supposed to be held in Nashville. The weekend before was my son’s wedding. He was at Pensacola, Florida, in A.F. navigator training, and so my college-age daughter and I were going to the wedding, and then would return home. But flooding ruined the hotel the conference was scheduled to be at in Nashville, and the only place that could handle the number attending the conference was at Disney World. Yay!!!

My daughter and I went straight from the wedding in Pensacola to Disney World and from the time Epcot opened at nine in the morning, until midnight when the fireworks went off, we had a blast every day. Think of it! Rides, walking, riding ferries and trains and more rides, seeing the sights, shopping, eating at special restaurants—Japanese, French, Dinosaur, you name it—and seeing the shows. Seeing some of the places we visited when my daughter had only been about six years old, and my son was nine the last time we’d been there was fun too.

I was just a kid when Disney World actually opened and we got stuck in the Haunted Mansion ride, a lot of the glitches still not worked out of the system. But those are fun memories I had with my parents when we lived in Florida. And I love making them with my “kids” too.

It was hot and humid, of course, because the conference is in July, but we had a wonderful time. This summer, the conference is again at Orlando. My daughter and her husband planned to go with me this time, and my son also, but my daughter and her husband had their first baby the last day of March. My son-in-law has never been to Disney World, so it would have been fun with all of them. Now it’s just my son and me and we’re thrilled we’re doing this together.

It’s important to build enjoyable memories with your kids, even when they’re all grown up. Disney is the place of imagination and when I go there it’s a reminder that that’s what I share with the world too—a world of imagination. The world of shifters.
I can hardly wait to have a great time with my son, and then enjoy all that the conference has to offer.

Never be so foolish as to fall for the enemy…

Special wolf agent Jillian Matthews has joined the jaguar-run United Shifter Force to track down a deadly criminal. She’s even willing to work with PI Vaughn Greystroke—until the hot, growly SEAL wolf makes the mistake of getting in her way. Naturally, she shoots him. Who could blame her?

Vaughn Greystroke has always worked alone. But when a string of attempted murders puts him in the crosshairs, teaming up with the Shifter Force begins to sound like a good idea. Even if he has to work with alluring—and potentially treacherous—Jillian Matthews. Vaughn is a trained SEAL, after all. He can surely keep his distance from Jillian…no matter how much she’s getting under his skin.

About the Author: USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over 35 paranormal romances featuring werewolf and jaguar shapeshifters. In 2008, Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world and is raising two Havanese puppies. She lives in Spring, Texas.

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In His Hands by Adriana Anders – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Andriana Anders who is celebrating the release tomorrow of the third book in her Blank Canvas series, In His Hands. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end for a chance to win a book bundle from the author.

The rules are simple:
Never speak to outsiders.
Never yearn for something more.
And never, ever seek the pleasure of a stolen kiss…or a whispered promise that with him, she can finally be free.

Abby Merkley has been a member of the Church of the Apocalyptic Faith since she was a child, and there’s no way out…until her darkly handsome, brooding neighbor defies the rules and takes her into the safety of his arms.

He should frighten her, but everything inside Abby thrills at Luc Stanek’s rough manners and shockingly gentle touch. He excites her, ignites her, leaves her shaken and wanting more. But evil men follow in her footsteps, and it may take more than one fierce beauty to defend her loving beast.

Blank Canvas series:

Under Her Skin (Book 1)
By Her Touch (Book 2)
In His Hands (Book 3)

Enjoy an Excerpt

Luc swallowed, his eyes glazing over.

“We shouldn’t have kissed,” he said, looking angry with himself.

“No. We shouldn’t have.”

“You’ve never done it before?”

“Not really,” she whispered, knowing full well it was time to walk away. But I don’t want to. “I want another one, Luc.”

“Another what?” he asked, looking truly puzzled for a few seconds.

“Another kiss.”

He shook his head, only instead of the refusal she expected, he said, “I can’t stop thinking of your mouth.”

She pressed her lips together subconsciously. Her body was glued in place, but her mind raced ahead. How would it feel, in here, with no eyes to see them? No weather to disrupt them? Would the wrath of God reach in through that enormous window and strike her down?

What if it didn’t? What if…

It didn’t matter. Let him punish her. It was too late, anyway. What was a little kiss after the thoughts she’d denied since the first time she’d seen this man?

Slowly, she stepped forward, eyes on Luc.

“Kiss me,” she whispered, full of the knowledge that this could well be the end. What if he doesn’t want this?

She watched as he reached out to graze her dress with his fingers. Just the fabric, not the body beneath, but even that was heady, different. New.

“You want this.” It wasn’t quite a question. If anything, the words came out disbelieving.

“I want you.”

That did it. Whatever it was. Like they’d busted through their shell, only it was more like a dam had blown, and the man she’d known until this moment—quiet, contained, restrained—transformed into something wild. Unleashed.

Several feet away one moment, the next they collided.

It felt like falling, inside and out, a fatalistic succumbing. She could barely contain a sob when his skin finally touched hers, his lips moved to her neck, his hands on her shoulders. One hand went to her nape, cupping, cradling, but firm as well. And his face, as it made its way from the hollow beneath her ear, up and over her jaw, her cheek, to her mouth… Gracious, the man was drinking her in, learning her, smelling her.

And she wanted to do the same to him.

By the time his lips made it to hers, she thought she’d be ready for it. She was wet between her legs like she’d never been in her life, and heavy, too heavy to move.

Only somehow, her hips were doing a dance all on their own, tilting toward him.

He stopped right before her mouth. “You want this, Abby?” His whispered words felt wrenched from his massive frame, each one a hot little brand against her face.

“I’m afraid,” she whispered in his ear.

He stilled. “Of me?”

“Goodness, no.” She almost laughed. “I’m afraid of what God’ll think.”

“Of this?” He pulled back and frowned. “A kiss?”

It might sound absurd when he said it like that, but they couldn’t all be wrong, could they? Mama and Isaiah, Hamish and the other folks?

And was this really just a kiss? That hardly seemed possible.

She couldn’t think straight with the smell of him so close. Like nothing she’d experienced, it was heady and intriguing, and all she could think was This is what a real man smells like.

“What happens, over there, if you do something sinful?”

“You’re punished.”

“By who? God or the man who leads the Church?”

Weren’t they one and the same? “Guess I’m not sure anymore.”

“We shouldn’t do this, then,” he said, running the back of his hand over her cheek and behind her ear, where his fingers sifted through her hair. “I don’t want to hurt you, Abby.” He sounded tortured. Was this the punishment—this strange, frenzied fluttering, this agony of need? “I’ve never…I’ve never been with someone like you.”

“Someone like me?”

“Innocente.” The word, his accent, the strain of his voice—all of it built and built until she could barely breathe. Her lungs were so full, she’d die if something didn’t ease the pressure.

Tell me it’s wrong, she prayed. Show me a sign.

“Just ’cause I haven’t done things doesn’t mean I haven’t thought of them,” she admitted.

With a growl, he kissed her, and Abby didn’t stand a chance against that kiss. No, it was so much more than a kiss, drawing at parts of her body that shouldn’t be connected to her lips. And not just her lips, but her tongue and teeth, her nose, her face, all of it prey to that mouth and those callused hands. It came together in a mixed-up cloud of dark, confusing sensation she’d never even fathomed. She’d never been so aware of herself before, of her skin, explicit, right and lush.

I’m going to die, Abby thought. This is going to kill me.

She’d had no idea before. None. She’d seen people kiss when she’d worked in the market—had watched surreptitiously, entranced, as the couple in the alley went way beyond just mouths into certain sin—and she’d wondered what pushed them to act like that. Lord, now she knew.

He muttered something against her cheek before biting her jaw, gently—not enough to mark, although suddenly, she wanted him to with something close to compulsion.

Never had she pictured this…this overwhelming wave of need. Goodness, the things she needed right now.

To be touched. Her skin ached with it. This body that had never had eyes upon it. She wanted him to eat her up with his gaze.

He stepped away instead, backing into the bar, looking agonized.

“I can’t,” he gasped.

About the Author: Adriana Anders writes romance that’s dark, smart, and full of heart. She 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 two cats in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the gritty, emotional love stories of her heart.

Her award-winning Blank Canvas series is available now.

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

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Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the release of Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a beach prize pack.

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancé’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Sutton stared at the lace concoction. From La Perla’s fall collection. Fine Italian lace. Ridiculously expensive for something so small. A special order with the addition of a small embroidered heart to sit at the owner’s hipbone. Oh yes, she was acquainted with the underwear but not intimately acquainted. She’d ordered them through Abigail’s Boutique, but not for herself. She was too practical.

Wyatt Abbott shook them even closer to her face, obviously expecting her to take them. The thought of touching the lace made her shrink against the driver’s door, and she fumbled for the handle, finally finding it and yanking. The door opened and her momentum sent her to the shop floor on her butt.

Her skirt bunched around her thighs, probably high enough for Wyatt Abbott to see her simple cotton pink panties from Victoria’s Secret. The fact they weren’t white was the wildest she got. She’d even waited for them to go on sale. With a bruised ego and bottom, she scrambled up.

Wyatt hadn’t moved. His mouth was parted, still in a slight smile, the panties dangling from his fingers. Instead of the roil of emotions gaining steam inside of her, she concentrated on his hands. They were rough-looking and callused. The nails were short but lined with grease. And they were big. They built things. Fixed things. Put things back together.

A darkness came over his face, clouding his earlier good-humor and giving him an edge of danger she hadn’t sensed through his teasing. Instead of getting out of the car from the door, he stood up on the passenger seat, stepped to the driver’s seat, and hopped next to her, the black lace of her betrayal dangling in his hand.

“What’s the problem?” he asked.

A jackhammering noise from the other bay filled the space so she didn’t have to. The crazy thing was that she had sensed something wrong. Something had been wrong pretty much since she and Andrew had gotten engaged.

She’d tried to put it down to nerves or how busy they both were with work. But the truth was she’d been dragging her feet with the wedding preparations. Between the two of them pulling away, the distance had grown until only an echo of what had drawn them together remained.

The hum of a motor and the flash of sunlight on metal drew her attention to the open bay door. Her best friend, Bree Randall, stepped out of her BMW coupe dressed in heels, grey slacks, and a sleeveless silk shell, the pink contrasting beautifully with her dark brown hair and ivory complexion. She was a lawyer for Cottonbloom, Mississippi’s city government and had been Sutton’s best friend since first grade.

No way could Sutton smile and pretend everything was fine. She grabbed the front of Wyatt’s coveralls and looked up at him. The boy she remembered had been too cool and a borderline jerk, teasing her incessantly, almost to the point of tears. The man was still too cool, yet something new lurked behind his ease. She hoped it was akin to kindness.

Bree drew closer. Stuck between a devil she knew and one she didn’t, Sutton took a chance. Her voice was hoarse and begging and she didn’t care. “Get me out of here. Please.”

Without taking his eyes off her, he called out, “Yo, Jackson. Could you put the lady from the Beemer in the waiting room? Tell her Miss Mize isn’t feeling well and stepped out back for some fresh air.”

If his brother answered, she didn’t hear him. Wyatt put a strong, stabilizing arm around her shoulders and guided her around various pieces of equipment and mechanical parts to a door tucked away at the back of the shop floor. She stepped outside, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. The freshness of the air counteracted the bile rising in her throat.

Her knees wobbled as the stark reality of the situation and the fallout took shape in her mind. She glanced at the man by her side. What was Wyatt Abbott thinking right now? Probably that she was borderline psychotic.

A huge red barn sat behind the shop, and they passed from sun back into shadows. A body-sized punching bag twirled from a high beam as they passed by. That explained why the arm at her back was so solid. Her heels tapped on the wide-planked floor. The smell of weathered wood was overlaid by something sweeter. Honeysuckle, maybe.

No hay was stored in the Abbott’s barn. Two tarp-covered cars, the bottom curves of their tires the only part visible, formed a path to the back where a scratched up leather couch and mini-fridge sat.

“Sorry it’s so dusty in here. We like to keep the doors open if the weather’s nice because of the views and cross breeze.” He took a blue towel from his back pocket and wiped off a section of the couch, leaving yellow streaks of pollen. Getting a little dirty was way down on her list of worries and she plopped down, wrapping her arms around her stomach and leaning over so her forehead nearly touched her knees.

“You want a Coke or tea or something?”

She raised her head enough to see his big hand holding out a bottle. He shifted back and forth in his black work boots, the hem of his coveralls ombrèd black to grey with grease.

“It’s a little early for whiskey, but I’ve got that too if you’d rather.” He sounded so worried and unsure, she straightened, took the Coke and pressed the cool plastic against her cheeks and neck.

“You must think I’ve gone batty.” She rarely drank alcohol and never whiskey, but for a moment she considered it as a viable option, even though it was still technically breakfast. It was five o’clock somewhere, right?

“I think something really bad happened,” he said. “I’m not sure what, but I suspect it has something to do with the restaurant receipts and the underwear.”

“Oh God. The receipts.” Her mind hadn’t even circled back around to those, but everything notched into place like a puzzle whose missing piece turned up stuck on the bottom of a shoe covered with chewed up old gum and bug guts.

His late nights working. Breaking dates at the last minute. His distraction. How long had it been since they’d shared the same bed? Two months? Three? She’d put it down to the natural progression of a committed relationship and the busyness of their lives, assuming things would be better once they were living under the same roof.

“I’m a moron.” Tears crawled up her throat and choked off her feeble attempt of a laugh.

About the Author:An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. Then He Kissed Me, a Cottonbloom novel, was named as one of Amazon’s best romances of 2016. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she’s shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as big as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.

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

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Saving Mr. Perfect by Tamara Morgan – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Tamara Morgan, who is celebrating the release of her upcoming book Saving Mr. Perfect. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

“A sexy, fun, cat-and-mouse chase that hooked me from page one!” —JENNIFER PROBST, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of The Marriage Bargain

She’s a famous jewel thief.
He’s FBI.
What’s that saying? Keep your friends close…and your husband closer.

Being a retired jewel thief certainly has its perks.

1. Oh, wait.
2. No it doesn’t.

Without the thrill of the chase, life’s been pretty dull. Penelope gardens, drives her gorgeous husband up the wall, and watches as her old world slowly slips away. But what’s that old saying? When one thief closes the door…a copycat jimmies open a window.

And now all fingers at the FBI are pointed at her.

Set up to take the fall for thefts worth millions, Penelope have no choice but to strap on her heels and help her FBI agent husband track the thief. Grant might not think he needs a partner, but this is one case only a true professional can solve. Besides, she’s got to know who’s been taking her bad name in vain.

Let’s just hope curiosity doesn’t kill the cat burglar.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“I’m sorry,” Grant says. “I don’t mean to be so overbearing, but you have to remember that as much as I love you, you’re not a favorite with everyone at the Bureau.”

“Give me time,” I say. “I’m only one woman. It might take me a few years, but I’ll get there.”

His lips twitch. “Penelope…”

“And it’s not as if he said or did anything bad,” I add, eager to leverage that oh-so-promising break in his exterior. “We mostly talked about you. He seemed nice.”

“That man is not nice. I don’t want you to have anything to do with him or with this case from here on out. Promise me.”

“I’ll do no such thing,” I scoff. “I’m not a child you can order around.”

“Promise me,” he repeats, firmer this time. He also takes an anticipatory step forward, though I’m not sure whether it’s to kiss me or throttle me. “If there’s any self-preservation in that crooked heart of yours, you’ll swear not to have anything to do with Christopher Leon or the Peep-Toe Prowler.”

As if I could promise that now.

“Why? What are you hiding from me?”

“I’m not hiding anything,” he says too quickly, his normally implacable exterior slipping. “Could you please be conciliatory for once in your life and do as I ask?”

I think about it. I really do—for a whole two seconds and everything—but there’s more to this situation than he’s letting on. A man doesn’t grow distant and moody from his loving wife for no reason. He doesn’t throw around sex shoes unless he’s trying to create a distraction. And most importantly, he doesn’t lay down mysterious ultimatums without secretly wanting her to do everything in her power to determine the cause.

That one’s plain common sense.

“I can promise to try not to get in the way,” I hedge. Trying not to do something always makes for a good promise, since there’s no real rubric for measurement. I tried not to steal things for years. I just wasn’t any good at it. “But you can’t ask me to pretend this whole conversation never happened—that these past few months haven’t happened.”

“This has nothing to do with you.”

“Yeah, but I’m emotionally invested in the Peep-Toe Prowler now. I want to catch her as much as you do.”

It’s only through sheer force of will that Grant suppresses his smile in time. “Penelope, so help me…”

“Helping you is what I intend to do.” I stand on my tiptoes to graze his jaw, rough in all the right ways. “I can, you know. I might be able to access information that’s closed to you. Thieves talk.”

“You aren’t a thief anymore, remember?” He makes a vague gesture around the room. “The walls have ears.”

“And you did want me to get a hobby…”

“Swimming is a hobby. Interfering in a federal investigation is obstruction.”

“It’s not obstruction if I help you solve the case,” I point out. “Besides, didn’t you just say you wouldn’t arrest your own wife?”

His reluctant and groan-filled laugh is all the confirmation I need to know I’ve won this round. A nice side effect of having an important and busy husband is that he can’t always spend as much time arguing as he’d like. He has a job to get back to.
Unlike me. I, unfortunately, have nothing to do and no one to do it with. I’m not one of the good guys, but I can no longer be one of the bad ones, either. I’m just a housewife with nothing but time on her hands and mischief on her mind.

“To be perfectly honest, my love,” he says with a mock sigh, “the idea of putting you behind bars grows more appealing every day.”

About the Author: Tamara Morgan is a contemporary comedy romance author. Ninety-nine percent of her information comes from television, movies, books, and all other pop culture activities that limit the amount of time she has to spend in polite company.

Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them. She lives with her husband and daughter in the Inland Northwest, where the summers are hot, the winters are cold, and coffee is available on every street corner.

Tamara loves to participate in reader conversations, blog tours, and the occasional venture into public, so feel free to drop her an email at tamaramorganwrites (at) gmail (dot) com.

Website

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Never Dare a Dragon by Ashlyn Chase – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Ashlyn Chase who is celebrating the upcoming release of her newest book Never Dare a Dragon, the third book in her Boston Dragons series. Enter the Rafflecopter to win an Ashlyn Chase bundle.

Third in Ashlyn Chase’s light paranormal romance series featuring hot dragon shifters. No one would believe that lovely Lt. Kristine Scott of the NY Fire Department is an actual dragon, but there’s no denying the flames that ignite when she meets firefighting phoenix shifter Jayce Fierro.

One Boston Phoenix + One New York Dragon = Scorching Heat

You think it’s tough being a dragon? It’s a piece of cake compared to being a phoenix shifter. Dragon shifters just have to worry about accidentally setting their stuff (or a loved one) on fire. A phoenix can rise from the ashes, but then they have to start over…as if growing up once wasn’t tough enough..

Meet Lt. Jayce Fierro of the Boston Fire Department, and Kristine Scott of the FDNY. A long distance relationship could never work—especially not with the secrets they’re keeping. But when Kristine lands herself in a blaze of trouble, she’s in no position to turn down Jayce’s help. Even if it means letting down their guards…and giving in to their sizzling attraction.

Boston Dragons

I Dream of Dragons (Book 1)
My Wild Irish Dragon (Book 2)
Never Dare a Dragon (Book 3)

Enjoy an Excerpt

The rest of the dinner went well. In fact, Kristine was surprised by how well it was going. She hadn’t dated a guy like Jayce in a long time. Their connection seemed to be almost instantaneous. It was just too bad he was a firefighter—and lived three hours away as the Acela train flies. Actually, a quick plane ride would reduce the commute to only an hour and a half, but the hassle and time it took to go through security would make the trip even longer.

Walking down the wide sidewalks of Times Square, hand in hand, sure made her feel as if the trip might be worth the hassle. His hand was warm and rough. For once she wasn’t concerned that hers were the same way. No hand cream could stand up to a firefighters’ routine. Wet gloves, rough weather, unbearable heat… All of that detracted from the soft, supple skin she longed for.

They had decided over dinner to visit the top of the Empire State Building. Jayce had never been there before, and Kristine had only visited with friends—never a date. It was supposed to be romantic. She’d never understood why. Probably because her cynical ex-boyfriend thought it was hokey. As she glanced over at Jayce, he glanced back, and they smiled. One thing she wasn’t seeing in him was a city dweller’s pessimism. Its absence was a refreshing change.

Eventually, they arrived at their destination, and as luck—or the stars aligning at the right moment—would have it, they stepped into an elevator with no one right behind them. The doors whooshed closed while they were still alone.

She spun toward Jayce with a hand over her mouth. “I guess that wasn’t very nice of me. I probably should have waited.”

He stepped right into her space. “I’m glad you didn’t.”

As the elevator began to ascend, he leaned in and captured her mouth with his firm lips. She looped her arms around his neck, and he pulled her close. She immediately opened her mouth, and their tongues found each other and swirled together. Kristine wasn’t at all sure her light-headed feeling was due to the elevator traveling so fast. Unfortunately, she felt as if she were falling instead.

Don’t think about it. Whatever happens happens… She seemed to have found a new mantra. She heard the ding of the elevator doors opening, and they were greeted by chuckles and a wolf whistle.

“Yeah, yeah…” Jayce said, but he was grinning and holding Kristine’s hand as they made their way off the elevator.

When they spotted a space at the building’s edge that was fairly deserted, they walked over to it with no hesitation.

“You’re not afraid of heights, I guess…” Jayce said to her.

She laughed. “I’d be in deep trouble if I were.” Not only was she a firefighter in a company that specialized in high-rises, but she was a full-fledged, fire-breathing, wing-soaring dragon. She could hover at this height and enjoy the view.

Speaking of enjoying the view…

Jayce turned his back on the dazzling city lights and kissed her knuckles as he stared into her eyes. She felt as if her insides were melting. A deep shimmer in his eyes must have been reflecting the lights. Or not. His eyes seemed to glow for a moment, and then he quickly turned back toward the city.

She took her first good look at the city lights as well. Dear Lord. At last she realized why people thought this place was romantic. At night, so many lights against the velvet black sky were more beautiful than Christmas. Some even seemed to twinkle like stars. Below, white headlights and red taillights trailed through the landscape, but the sounds of the city were far away.

A chilly breeze ruffled her hair. Jayce enveloped her in a side hug. If she felt a chill, it was forgotten in favor of his warm, strong body alongside hers. Everywhere they touched, merging heat radiated through her. Wow. How she’d missed this! Or had she ever had this feeling?

Good Lord, Kristine… Get ahold of yourself!

“So, Jayce… What do you think of the view from up here?”

He turned her toward him and said, “I think the view right in front of me is as beautiful as it gets.” Leaning in, he delivered another toe-curling kiss, and she realized she was a goner.

About the Author: Ashlyn Chase was a registered nurse for twenty years. During those years she wrote articles for professional journals and a thesis, but eventually, thank goodness, discovered the joy and freedom of writing fiction.

Ashlyn considers herself lucky. Her degree in behavioral sciences is a combination of psychology and sociology, so she has studied people most of her life. She doesn’t have to write out exhaustive character sketches to understand her characters or predict how they will behave. That doesn’t mean they don’t surprise her. Sometimes they take her on grand unexpected journeys.

Ashlyn has learned to go with the flow. To enjoy the journey is not only one of her writing goals, but also a challenge in life. She tries to follow where the story takes her. Her identified theme involves characters who reinvent themselves. And why not? She has reinvented herself numerous times—from artist, to nurse, to hypnotherapist, to author, and she has lived in seventeen different places. At last, she’s all settled down and comfy in New England.

Website

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