Grigori by Lauren Smith – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lauren Smith who is celebrating today’s release of Grigori, the first book in her brand new series Brothers of Ash and Fire.

He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline …
Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia.

She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…
Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Grigori Barinov stood in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows in his executive office, staring out over the city of Moscow. Body alert, every muscle rigid, the expensive gray wool suit he wore felt tight as he shifted. Below him, people were passing on the streets. A flash of silver caught his attention. It was the wink of a diamond earring dangling from a well-dressed woman’s ear. With eyes that were ten times as powerful as a mortal’s, he scanned the streets, absorbing every detail.

Searching . . .

“For the last few days, his senses had picked up on something in his city. A creature he didn’t recognize. It made him restless. Moscow was filled with supernatural beings—werewolves, vampires, shifters of all kinds, and magically gifted humans were all present—but none of them fired up his instincts. No, he’d never felt this before in his life, but he knew in his gut what it was. An enemy was in his city, a creature that posed a threat to him. As a dragonshifter, few creatures in this world could give him pause and put him on his guard. He only wished he knew what sort of beast it was so he could hunt it down and remove the threat.

The sapphire dragon tattoo on his forearm itched, but he didn’t scratch it. He knew the dragon inside of him was trying to warn him to stay on his guard. The phone on his desk buzzed and his personal assistant, Alexis spoke.

“Mr. Barinov, you have a call from the Russian State Library.”

Every muscle in his body tensed. There was only one reason anyone from the Russian State Library would be calling him. That damn book by James Barrow. He’d been too softhearted and Barrow had been so earnest. He’d gone against his better judgment and allowed the Englishman to spend a year studying him and his brothers. And he’d been paying for it for the last 200 years. He’d been lucky Barrow’s heirs had sent him the journal. Thankfully, it had never been sent to a publisher; Barrow had kept his word about his writings remaining a secret.

I should’ve burned it. But he hadn’t been able to. Barrow had become a friend and Grigori hadn’t wanted to destroy the memory. There was also something fascinating about reading an insightful human’s observations about him and his brothers.

He couldn’t leave it at his office or his home in the country. His enemies had frequently broken into both places more than once, searching for anything they could use against him. He’d thought he’d be clever and tuck it away in a library amid other obscure texts that no one ever looked at in a guarded collection. It had been safe all these years, hiding in plain sight. Until now.

“Mr. Barinov?” Alexis queried again.

“Put the call through.” He turned away from the window and walked over to his mahogany desk just as the phone rang.

He answered. “Yes?”

“Mr. Barinov, my name is Yuri. I’m a guard for antiquarian book room at the Russian State Library.” A man spoke, his voice hushed and anxious.

“Yes.” Grigori waited, his patience on a razor’s edge.

“When I first took over security for this room I was given strict and confidential instructions to call you if anyone ever came asking about a certain title in the collection. Someone checked out the Barrow book, Mr. Barinov.”

Grigori closed his eyes, holding his breath for a moment. “And?”

“I followed protocol. She did not leave the library with the book. But . . .” The guard hesitated. “She was taking pictures. I have no instructions regarding pictures.” The phone cracked as Grigori’s temper flared.

“Pictures?”

“Yes. She was using her phone.” The guard’s voice wavered as though he sensed Grigori’s building rage.

Pictures. Fuck, if any evidence of his existence was discovered and exposed in the world of mortals it would put a target on his back and that of his two brothers. The magical world knew of his family, the last three brothers in ancient bloodline of Russian Imperial Dragon shifters, but the rest of the world didn’t know . . . Couldn’t know.

“Can you detain her until I arrive?” he asked the guard.

“But she’s leaving now—”

“Stop her!” Grigori barked. The other end of the phone was full of panting, the flapping of rubber soled shoes on marble, a muffled shout for someone to stop. Grigori tried to picture the library in his mind, wondering why the guard couldn’t catch up with this woman. Finally the footsteps stopped, and Grigori heard the sounds of streets of the city muted beneath the guard’s gasping for breath.

“She ran—I couldn’t catch her before she left the library. She’s gone. But I have the book.”

Grigori sighed. “I will come to collect it. When I do, I want every detail you have about this woman. Her name, where she’s from, everything.”

About the Author: Lauren Smith is an Oklahoma attorney by day, author by night for Grand Central Publishing, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

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A Gentleman Never Surrenders by Lauren Smith – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lauren Smith who is celebrating today’s release of A Gentleman Never Surrenders, the second book in her Sins and Scandals series. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of A Gentleman Never Surrenders!

Love is worth a little scandal.

Owen Hadley needs a wife. Preferably a wealthy one. Alas, there aren’t a great number of heiresses willing to marry a rogue of no particular fortune—luckily, if there is ever a gentleman capable of melting a lady’s chilly heart, it’s Owen.

Milly has had enough of the marriage mart. If matrimony means giving up her freedom for a foppish husband, then society can take their idea of marital bliss and toss it. But when the ton’s most notorious rogue mistakenly makes his way into her bedchambers, Milly finds herself unexpectedly and unwillingly at the altar . . .

Yet the more time she spends with her new husband, the more Milly starts to wonder if the marriage she never wanted may be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Now it’s up to Owen to convince Milly that what started as a mistake is anything but—and that every night with him will be more wonderfully scandalous than the last.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Milly climbed onto the bed and pulled the bedclothes up around her chest and sighed. The bed was so large, and rather lonely. Usually she didn’t let such a melancholy thought bother her, but tonight for some reason, it did. There was a dull ache in her chest and she rubbed the spot with her hand. Somewhere tonight, Mr. Hadley was likely climbing into bed, dreaming of all the young ladies’ hearts he would steal and break. A treacherous little flutter in her chest made Milly wince. She ought not to think of Hadley, certainly not while she was in bed…yet thinking of him, as frustrating and maddeningly irritating as he was, flushed her with a welcome heat in the chilly room.

The oil lamp beside her bed was the only light left in the room and it burned steadily. Often she read late into the night and forgot to turn it off, but tonight she was too tired to read. She reached over and gently twisted the brass knob to kill the little flame. Darkness absorbed the dying light and Milly flipped onto her back. The cold of the sheets almost stung her bare toes and legs when her nightdress rode up to her knees. A cold bed, an empty bed. It shouldn’t have upset her, but after Mr. Hadley’s talk of heat and summer, she was off balance and bothered.

The mere thought of him and the way his eyes had darkened and seemed to shimmer with inner flames brought on another rush of warmth. His eyes, like honeyed fire, and his lips, the way he’d smiled sardonically, almost mockingly, in a way she rather liked, irritated her, yet fascinated her. There was no reason to like a man’s mouth or to imagine what it might be like to have that mouth pressed to hers in a kiss that caused the heat he was so fond of discussing. She knew his kiss would be hot, because when she thought of it, her body blossomed with a swelling of heat in her belly. His mouth is wicked…sinful…and I hate that I wish to know how he tastes. It was a forbidden thought, but one she couldn’t deny. She rolled over onto her stomach, fluffed her pillow, and squeezed her eyes shut, attempting to will herself to sleep. It was going to be a long night.

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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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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A Day With Lauren Smith Behind the Scenes – Guest Blog and Giveaway

3_11 lauren Seduction_BlitzBadge

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter to win signed copies of the full Surrender series as well as Mirror Mirror on either Blu Ray or DVD.

A Day With Me Behind the Scenes
Every writer has their own unique schedule or agenda each day. We all do things a little differently. People often ask what it’s like to work as a writer during the day. It seems to be a special sort of mystery that they can’t quite figure out when they picture you chilling at a coffee shop with you laptop for a few hours. It sure doesn’t seem like work. But it is. Hard work. And the trick is staying focus. So here’s your guide to my typical writer day.

5am- I’m up early and getting a good start to the day by walking my two dogs, Fritz the black schnauzer and Evie my wheaten terrier. I admit I’m one of those really annoying bright happy people early in the morning. I drink Diet Dr. Pepper and I’m good to go, no coffee for me.

6am- I’m already turning on the laptop to knock out an hour of editing on the computer for whatever I’m currently working on. I also might do some legal work since I do legal work by the hour for other attorneys.

7-8am- I usually make a trip to the gym to get in some cardio and weights. You got to stay trim when you’re planning to spend the afternoon in your writer’s chair.

Midmorning- I’ve usually taken the dogs on a second walk and then head out of the house to grab some lunch.

Afternoon- That’s my time to check on the laundry, clean a sink or maybe vacuum a bit. The dogs tend to bring in all sorts of crazy stuff from the great outdoors.

Late afternoon- I’m back at the laptop, typing some stuff up. Because did I mention I hand write every single book? It just seems to flow better for me creatively to put a literal pen to paper. Then I have to type it up.

Evening- I’m usually ready to call it a day on the heavy lifting part of my writing or my legal work and I turn to reading whatever research books I need for my current project whether it’s Jane Austen’s World or The Idiot’s Guide to Rugby.

Then it’s time to eater dinner and call it a night! I’m definitely not a night owl and don’t stay up late since I’ve had an early start. The main thing for me is a positive balance of life and work.

3_1 lauren Seduction1_RGB300Tristan is a man who knows what he wants. And he wants Kat in his bed. All he has to do is convince her they belong together . . .

Kat knows the connection she and Tristan share is special. Her British bad boy is too much of everything: too hot, too arrogant, too irresistible to stay away from. He’s her addiction and one night with him isn’t enough.

That’s what hurts the most. They can’t date, can’t be a normal couple, not when their parents are getting married. Because now that she knows he’s going to be her stepbrother, no one can ever find out what they’ve done . . .

Part 2 in the Her British Stepbrother series.

Can Tristan convince Kat that, despite their parents’ upcoming nuptials, that she belongs with him? Find out in SEDUCTION, part 2 of Lauren Smith’s sexy New Adult series, HER BRITISH STEPBROTHER!

Grab both, FORBIDDEN and SEDUCTION in the HER BRITISH STEPBROTHER series for only $.99! What a steal! Make sure to grab your copies today! #bingeread

About the Author: 3_11 Lauren_Smith_2014Amazon Best-Selling Author Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

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Top Five List of Favorite Books of All Time by Lauren Smith – Guest Blog and Giveaway

6_9 LaurenSmith The-Gilded-Cage-Release-Week-Blitz[2]

This post is part of the author’s Release Week Blog Tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a copy of The Gilded Cage.

Top Five List of Favorite Books of All Time by Lauren Smith

1) The Host by Stephanie Meyer

This is hands down one of the most heart achingly beautiful portrayals of a long quadrangle as well as a deeper discussion as to what makes human good or evil. I read it at least once a year and I still cry in a few places every time. It reminds me how a writer can touch a reader’s soul without overly flowery language or crazy plot arcs.

2) The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

No, you can’t pick just one of them. For me, this series is a packaged deal. J.K. Rowling changed my life when I was 12 years old and started reading Harry Potter. It made me see the power of stories, especially upon young readers, and how sometimes, a good story is what really matters when you write.

3) The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

This book! I can’t say enough about it! It’s a bit of an echo of the old children’s Secret Garden book but with a darker, more adult twist to it. Morton’s language makes places and characters come alive, in fairy tale sort of way full of reach diction and dialogue that make you want to savor every page as well as linger over the story itself.

4) She by H. Rider Haggard

One of my favorite novels of the old Victorian-era adventure novels. She is all about feminine mystique and power, not just over men, but the universe in general. And it’s also a love story. The language Haggard uses is classical, but so poetic that his observations on the nature of mankind are brilliantly delivered in the midst of a powerful story.

5) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

This is a book that every girl should read when she’s at least 21. When you’re younger, you miss a lot of the fine details, but any woman past 21 will really enjoy this. The emotions that Scarlett endures with the various men and her struggles during the war and after are poignant and timeless. This book resonated with me deeply, and kept me entranced by an era both beautiful and sinister and now gone forever.

6_9 LaurenSmith_The Gilded Cage_E-Book[2]Passion that takes no prisoners, and love that tests the limits of ecstasy . . .

Fenn Lockwood comes alive in the shadows. Though he might have physically survived the kidnapping that stole his childhood, the trauma and pain he lived through have marked him forever. Now the only place where Fenn can be himself is within the walls of his private BDSM world—a place of erotic obsession, where desire isn’t just captured . . . it’s bound.

Hayden Thorne knows that behind Fenn’s hardened exterior is a man worth fighting for. Yet to save him from the past that still haunts him, Hayden will have to abandon every inhibition she’s ever had and venture into Fenn’s intoxicatingly sensual world. Each tantalizing second she spends in Fenn’s searing embrace is more delicious than the last and soon Hayden begins to think that she may never want to leave such torturous bliss . . .

About the Author:LAUREN DIANA SMITH was born and raised in Tulsa. She 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.

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