Monday, March 30, 2015

Couple's Spotlight from Full Contact (Redemption #3) by Sarah Castille

Today we are pleased to sit down with Ray “The Predator”and Sia O’Donnell, the protagonists from Sarah Castille’s Full Contact (April 2015). From March 30th through April 20th the couple will be answering questions about their relationship at each stop in their tour!

If you could get rid of one of your partner’s things, what would you get rid of?

Ray: Her hidden stash of potato chips. Very unhealthy!
Sia: His alarm clock. Sane people don’t wake up at 5am to work out.

Full Contact
Redemption #3
Sarah Castille
April 7th, 2015
Sourcebooks Casablanca

Ray wraps his arms around me and holds me tight as if something terrible has happened and he doesn’t want to let me go. 

Full Contact. This is how Ray speaks when his emotions overwhelm him. I melt into his stillness. His body is hot and hard, his breath warm on my neck. He smells of leather and sweat, sex and sin. Nothing can tear me away.

When you can’t resist the one person who could destroy you…

Sia O'Donnell can’t help but push the limits. She secretly attends every underground MMA fight featuring The Predator, the undisputed champion. When he stalks his prey in the ring, Sia is mesmerized. He is dominant and dangerous and every instinct tells her to run.

Every beautiful thing Ray “The Predator” touches he knows he’ll eventually destroy. Soft, sweet and innocent, Sia is the light to Ray's darkness—and completely irresistible. From the moment he lays eyes on her, he knows he’s going to have to put his dark past behind him to win her body and soul.

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Full Contact
© 2015 Sarah Castille

Ray grabs my wrists and pins them to the mat over my head, his body angled over me. My breath catches in my throat, and I steel myself for the memories, the black rush, the heart-pounding fear, but it doesn’t come. Instead, a red haze settles over my vision, and I press my lips together and buck my hips, throwing him slightly forward.

Bad plan. Now his groin is only inches away from my face. He’s still wearing his jeans, which means that bulge isn’t a cup.

His face softens. “I hurt you.”
“Yes, you hurt me. Keeping secrets hurts me. It makes me feel like you don’t respect me. And it makes me feel like I can’t trust you. So maybe you could return to your proper seat now. Tray table up.”

He shifts down, settling his weight over my hips, but he doesn’t release my hands. “I hurt you. Means you care.”

I swallow hard and meet his gaze. “You hurting me means I was being stupid. Things were going where I didn’t want them to go. Now I’ve had a wake-up call. You have secrets you can’t share. You need to protect your secrets. I need to be with someone I can trust, and I need to stand on my own two feet. It’s just not going to work between us.”

His gaze darkens, searing me to the core. “You want to be done? Or are you scared and trying to push me away?”

The air shifts between us, electrifying, tightening my nipples and heating my blood. I am hyperaware of his thighs tucked against my hips, carrying most of his weight as he sits astride me in a dominant MMA position. My wrists, hot under his palms, press against the cool mat, restrained in a way I could never have imagined allowing them to be restrained. My chest rises and falls twice for every one of Ray’s breaths, and my core tightens. The innuendo isn’t lost on me. God, yes. I want to be done in the carnal sense of the word. But only by Ray. And I don’t really want to let him go.

 “I don’t want to lose you.”

Ray’s hands tighten on my wrists, and he leans down and brushes a kiss over my lips. “I don’t want to lose you either, but I live in a dangerous world. I’ve got stuff in my life that would make your head spin. I need to protect you from that, and I’ll do what it takes to keep you safe, even if it means you hate me for it, because for the first time in my life, I want something more than doing my duty. I want a life and I want you in it. I’ve got one bad guy to catch and then I’m free. And after I’m done and after what went down this evening, you’ll never have to worry about being safe again.”

Finally, he releases my hands but I don’t move. Heat sweeps through my belly. I feel both vulnerable and curiously safe lying beneath him. My gaze shifts from his intense gaze to his sensual lips, and my breasts swell, remembering the touch of his hands, the gentle press of his lips. He wants me. Not just today, but tomorrow and the tomorrow after that.

“You make it sound like I don’t have a choice about being with you.”

“You don’t.” He leans down and kisses me with a savage fierceness that takes my breath away.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah Castille writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha males and the women who tame them. A recovering lawyer and caffeine addict, she worked and traveled abroad before trading in her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home in shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Readers can find her at

Sarah's Links

Friday, March 27, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt from Four Nights with the Duke (Desperate Duchesses # 8) by Eloisa James

Four Nights with the Duke
Desperate Duchesses # 8
Eloisa James 
March 31st, 2015

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As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him-so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia’s audacious proposal, but there’s one thing he won’t give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil’s bargain… he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart-and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can’t afford to lose.

Four Nights with the Duke
© 2015 Eloisa James

“Love custard”? Mia hadn’t the faintest idea what that meant, but she knew instinctively that it was something disgusting. Boys were disgusting by nature; she’d temporarily forgotten that while pining for Vander. When she thought he was godlike.

In reality he was a heartless pig.

“You haven’t gotten under her skirts, have you?” Oakenrott sounded gleeful at the prospect. “Her father could take this line about beinglost in your sweetness and pressure you to make an offer.”

“Never!” Vander sounded so appalled that the word slid over Mia’s skin like a snake. “It’s a little odd to think that she’s been lusting after me. What sort of fifteen-year-old girl thinks in these terms? 

Though I suppose she is her father’s daughter.”

Mia could hardly breathe because she was trying to sob without noise. He made her sound repulsive, saying that she was lusting after him. It wasn’t like that. She wasn’t like that.

“Have you ever noticed her staring at you from the side of the room?” Thorn asked. “Because here it says, Like the bird that gazes all night at the moon, I gaze at you.”

“Like a bird, or a Bird of Paradise?” Oakenrott put in. “Maybe she can set herself up as a literary light-skirt. One sovereign for a poem and two for a you-know-what.”

“All I can say is she’s a God-awful poet,” Vander said. “Even I know that poems are supposed to rhyme.”

What an idiot.  Mia took a shuddering breath. She had to escape. She simply could not stand any more of this.

“I think you should frame it,” Thorn said, “because I can tell you right now that no one else will think you’re pretty enough to rhapsodize about. Especially given the size of your moonbeam.”

That brought on a scuffle and more laughter. At her expense. Mia could feel the air rattling in her throat. Likely it was the death rattle. Maybe she would die, and they’d find her body in this very spot.

“You know, I have to warn the fellows,” Oakenrott said. “Some bloke might be chatting with her right now, having no idea what a jam tart she is.”

Mia stiffened.

“If she’s like that at fifteen, what’ll she be like at twenty?”

“Don’t even jest about it. You’d ruin her,” Thorn said sharply. “You mustn’t say a word.”

“The poetry is evidence for the obvious,” Oakenrott protested. “She’s got a sluttish look about her. It’s all there. Most girls that age have apple dumplings in front, but hers are more like cabbages than cherries!”

Cabbages? Cabbages?

Mia stifled another sob. There was silence for a second, just long enough so that Mia could imagine Vander standing up for her, like a knight in shining armor. Growling, Shut your mouth, Oakenrott. She does not look sluttish.

That didn’t happen.

A New York Times bestselling author, Eloisa James is a professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but who can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is an honest to goodness Italian knight!) Eloisa’s website offers short stories, extra chapters, and even a guide to shopping in Florence. Visit her at

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review of Crashing Into Love (The Bradens #12) by Melissa Foster

"Your apartment isn't what I want to come inside, Fi." - Jake Braden

Crashing Into Love
Series: The Bradens # 12
Author: Melissa Foster
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: March 17th, 2015
Source: author for review

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - Kobo - iTunes
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Fiona Steele has a great career, strong friendships, and a loving family. To an outsider, her life appears happy and fulfilling. But the one thing that’s missing is true love, and the only man Fiona wants is the one she can’t have, sinfully handsome and seductively intense Jake Braden—the man whose heart she broke, which she has regretted ever since.

As an LA stuntman, Jake Braden’s at the top of his game. He’s hired for all the best movies, hooks up with the hottest women, and lives an unencumbered lifestyle where his needs come first—and where he doesn’t have to examine his life too closely. Except when he visits his family in his close-knit hometown of Trusty, Colorado, where he spends his time avoiding Fiona—the only woman who knows who he really is.

When Fiona’s best friend is hired to act in Jake’s movie, Fiona jumps at the chance to try to win him back. There’s no denying the white-hot attraction burning between them. With every encounter, Fiona hopes Jake can’t resist falling back into the love they once shared. But her well-orchestrated rendezvous doesn’t go over well with the brooding heartthrob. Living in the fast lane is perfect for a guy who’s buried his emotions so damn deep he’s not sure he can remember how to feel—and he’s not sure he ever wants to.

Another Bradens series comes to an end. Crashing Into Love, the perfect conclusion to the Bradens of Trusty, Colorado, featured a second chance romance between Jake Braden and Fiona Steele. The word I feel best describes Crashing Into Love is hope... Hope is abundant in this book. Fiona is still in love with Jake, but she avoided him at all cost since breaking his year years ago. She's done hiding and secretly pining for him. Fiona is on a mission to win him back and she hopes that he can find it in his heart to forgive her. Jake, on the other hand, is understandably reluctant at first. He closely guards his heart by refusing to get close to another woman. The moment Fiona walked back into his life, Jake can't ignore his feelings any longer. As their romance blossoms, Jake tries to clean up his image and hopes that he can be the boyfriend and lover that Fiona deserves. I loved Fiona's tenacity. She knows what she wants and she won't stop until Jake is back in her arms. I loved how Jake tries to be his best with Fiona. He's bound to screw up along the way, but he learns and that makes him so endearing to me. Crashing Into Love was another fabulous Melissa Foster book. It made me smile, swoon, and fall in love with two characters that fight through all their crap in hopes of a bright future together.

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Release Day Review for Manwhore (Manwhore #1) by Katy Evans

"Dibs." - Malcolm Saint

Series: Manwhore #1
Author: Katy Evans
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Source: Netgalley

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N
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Is it possible to expose Chicago’s hottest player—without getting played?

This is the story I've been waiting for all my life, and its name is Malcolm Kyle Preston Logan Saint. Don’t be fooled by that last name though. There’s nothing holy about the man except the hell his parties raise. The hottest entrepreneur Chicago has ever known, he’s a man’s man with too much money to spend and too many women vying for his attention.

Mysterious. Privileged. Legendary. His entire life he’s been surrounded by the press as they dig for tidbits to see if his fairytale life is for real or all mirrors and social media lies. Since he hit the scene, his secrets have been his and his alone to keep. And that’s where I come in.

Assigned to investigate Saint and reveal his elusive personality, I’m determined to make him the story that will change my career.

But I never imagined he would change my life. Bit by bit, I start to wonder if I'm the one discovering him...or if he's uncovering me.

What happens when the man they call Saint, makes you want to sin?

Dibs! Holy Mary Mother of Hotness, I call dibs on Malcolm Saint. In fact... Do you remember that car commercial where people were licking the door handles of the car they wanted? I wonder if that would work in this case... There's only one way to find out!

I am beyond words about how much I freaking loved Manwhore. Katy Evans, I adore you. Your book held me captive for an entire day, not only reading it, but also recovering from the deliciousness that is Malcolm Saint. He is amazing. Not only is he tall, dark, and handsome... He's also guarded, both his body and his heart. Watching him transform from the king of all womanizers to the man he was at the end of the book was fantastic. I won't go into a lot of detail about his relationship with Rachel towards the end of Manwhore because that is something best experienced first hand. Malcolm needed someone that wouldn't take his crap. He needed someone to challenge him... Someone that'll push back when he reverts to his old self. Rachel Livingston was that woman. She's incredibly determined to prove herself as a journalist, but underneath that facade, she's very insecure. Not knowing the love of a man, she often pushes Saint away thinking that she's not worthy of love, that no one like Saint could fall for someone like her. I loved the contrast between Rachel and Saint, but when it comes down to the matters of the heart, they are more alike than they realize. Both don't know how powerful love can be and are determined to believe that it is not for them. That made their transformation throughout Manwhore just that much sweeter.

I loved everything about Manwhore, from the characters to Katy's writing style. Malcolm, Rachel, and their friends left me in a state of awe. I seriously wanted to strangle Tahoe a couple times in the book. I loved how protective Rachel's friends were. They had her back when she needed it, especially Gina. I think there is something brewing between her and Tahoe. I'd like to see her keep him in line. Katy's writing style was spectacular. I loved the mix of sexy and fun. The chemistry between Saint and Rachel was off the charts. When it ignites...yum! This was my first time reading a book by Katy Evans and I know for a fact that it will not be my last. While I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the Manwhore series to come out, I think I will go back and start reading some of Katy's previous books. I just love finding a new favorite author...

Katy Evans grew up with books and book-boyfriends until she found a real sexy boyfriend to love. They married and are now hard at work on their own happily ever after. Katy loves her family and friends, and she also loves reading, walking, baking, and being consumed by her characters until she reaches “The End.” Which is, hopefully, only the beginning…

Katy's Links

Up for grabs is one paperback copy of Manwhore. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is sponsored and is only open to residents of the US and Canada.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Review of Twice Upon a Blue Moon (Surface Tension #1) by Helena Maeve

"You and I are going to have so much fun." - Dylan

Twice Upon a Blue Moon
Series: Surface Tension #1
Author: Helena Maeve
Publisher: Totally Bound
Release Date: March 13, 2015
Source: publisher for review

Buy Links: Amazon (coming soon) - B&N (coming soon) - Totally Bound
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Some affairs are like playing with fire, but knowing you’ll get burned is no reason to throw the game.

When her best friend doesn’t show up after a no-strings date with a man she met in a fetish club, Hazel is duty-bound to fetch her from what could be a sticky situation. She doesn’t expect to find her friend’s date so attractive—or so unflappably cool. Not that it matters. Hazel has been burned before and she knows to stay away from handsome men who are patently out of her league, especially when they’re involved with her one and only friend.

Tesla-driving, suit-wearing Dylan more than fits the bill. But every barb Hazel throws him makes him rise to the challenge, and he doesn’t want her to find a way to say no. But not only does Dylan have his own playroom and a sound grip on the S&M lifestyle, he’s also a man of many secrets. Dylan sees a place for Hazel in his bed, but what he wants is more than a one-night stand.

As she acclimates to the idea that Dylan may not be entirely straight or entirely single, Hazel soon finds herself caught between two dominant men whose bond seems to balance on a knife’s point.

Helena Maeve's Twice Upon a Blue Moon was a deliciously wicked introduction into her new three part serial, Surface Tension. In Twice Upon a Blue Moon, readers are introduced to Hazel, Dylan, and Ward, all of whom carry secrets. As their past secrets are unveiled, their lives are intertwined as they grow closer together until a spark ignites their sizzling chemistry. Hazel's secret is about to bite her in the ass...again. Although he likes to believe that he is upfront about his relationship with Ward, Dylan's lips are sealed when it comes to just how deep their relationship runs. And as for Ward... Well, what the heck isn't he hiding? 

When I first picked up Twice Upon a Blue Moon, I wasn't aware that it was actually the first of three novellas that make up Maeve's Surface Tension serial. So needless to say, the ending surprised me quite a bit. There is a cliffhanger, but I think as cliffhangers go, it is fairly minor. I really enjoyed Twice Upon a Blue Moon. It is a fun and very sexy MMF romance between three very complex characters. You really don't know for sure what is going on in their minds at first, but once Hazel gets to know Dylan and they both work through the factors that hesitated them, I started to get more understanding of what is driving their attraction. Dylan loves the challenge that Hazel represents and Hazel has always been drawn to Dylan's BDSM lifestyle. As she gets to know Dylan on a more personal level, she's thrown into the same space as Ward... And, well... That's a whole different story. I loved the mixture of sexiness and secretiveness that Twice Upon a Blue Moon offered. I loved how quickly both Dylan and Ward felt protective of Hazel. It didn't take them long to lure her into their complicated relationship. The sexy time was sizzling hot... That is all I'm saying about that because it is something best experienced when you're reading it. Overall, I had a lot of fun reading Twice Upon a Blue Moon and I am counting down the days until I can read the second novella, A Smile as Sweet as Poison.

A self-confessed food geek and web aficionado, Helena Maeve has always been globe trotter with a fondness for adventure. Recently, much to the consternation of her fellow travelers  she has begun putting to paper the stories she’s thought up in her excursions. When she isn’t writing romance and erotic novels, she can usually be found in an airport or on a plane, furiously penning in her trusty little notebook.

Helena's Links

Coming April 10th on Totally Bound's website or general release on May 8th

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt from Feeding the Fire (Rosewood #2) by Andrea Laurence

Feeding the Fire
Rosewood #2
Andrea Laurence
March 16, 2015
Pocket Star

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Pepper has no interest in Grant Chamberlain…until she accidentally wins him at a school auction and finds the mega-hot firefighter impossible to ignore. Find out what happens next in the second playful and sexy ebook romance in the Rosewood series!

Living in the small town of Rosewood, Alabama, hairdresser Pepper Anthony has one rule—never date a Chamberlain. She’s always said, “the only thing worse than being ignored by a Chamberlain is being dumped by one.” But Grant Chamberlain, town fireman, isn’t used to rejection, and Pepper has consistently turned him down since high school. She isn’t intimidated by his family; she’s one of the few who refuses to take their crap.

When Grant volunteers at the charity bachelor auction, to his surprise, Pepper buys him. She hadn’t meant to, but Adelia Chamberlain dropped a cold drink in her lap, sending her leaping into the air at precisely the wrong moment. Suddenly she had a massive bill to the town and Grant at her disposal. Since the money has to come from her “restore the house” fund, she decides to use Grant for manual labor instead of romantic dinners. Grant is happy to help, sweaty and shirtless, because one way or another, he’s going to get Pepper to admit she’s attracted to him. All it takes is a small spark, and soon they’ll be fanning the flames.

Feeding the Fire
© 2015 Andrea Laurence

Grant stepped out from behind the curtain to a roar of applause. The minute the lights hit him, Pepper felt her heart skip a beat in her chest like she’d been hit with paddles of a defibrillator. He was wearing a black, slim-fit suit with a black shirt and tie. Even though he was indoors and it was nighttime, he was wearing his trademark Ray-Ban sunglasses. The glasses always seemed to accent the square line of his jaw and the sharp angle of his nose.

His full lips curled into his charming smile, with the slightest hint of a dimple visible on his cheek. It reminded her of him looking at her, just like that, from between her trembling thighs.

Damn him for being so sexy. His confidence made him that much more attractive. And frustrating. And irritating. Her fingers itched to reach for her paddle, but she resisted. She wasn’t going to pay for his time, even when he smiled at her that way.

“The lucky lady with the winning bid will go with Grant to a romantic dinner at Brio’s in Birmingham and if she likes, he’ll take her on an exhilarating ride down a windy country road on the back of his motorcycle.”

Pepper could almost see all the wild fantasies rushing through the heads of every woman in the room. It was a nice thought—hair blowing in the wind, thighs clamped around Grant’s narrow hips, arms wrapped around his waist. Even she could imagine the hard feel of his abs beneath the thin cotton of his T-shirt and the vibration of the engine against her most sensitive parts. There was a rumble of approval as they readied their paddles and sized up their competition.

Good luck to them, Pepper thought.

Like a beach ball bouncing around the room, the bids flew fast and furious. Before long, they’d topped three thousand.

Suddenly Pepper felt awkward. Even though she and Grant weren’t dating, she didn’t exactly want to sit around and watch other women battle for him. Looking around the room, she spied Adelia Chamberlain coming back to her table with a glass of ice water. Maybe another drink would help. Or perhaps it was the right time for a restroom break. She could beat all the other women that would rush the ladies’ room when the auction ended.

Pepper slipped her purse onto her shoulder and picked up her paddle so she could dump it in the bathroom trash can. “I’m going to get some air,” she whispered to Ivy, then started to get up.

The ambush was sudden and unexpected. When they first came in Pepper had noticed the cable that the A/V people had taped to the floor, but the room was much darker now. Adelia didn’t see it and caught the toe of her shoe on it. She didn’t fall, thank goodness, but she did stumble, slinging her full glass of ice water into Pepper’s lap.

With a cry of surprise and alarm, Pepper leapt out of her chair, holding her arms high to avoid the water that practically covered her from neck to knees.

“Four thousand!” Allison Price announced from the stage.

The MC’s words were an even larger shock to Pepper than the water. She turned her head toward Grant and the action onstage. He was looking straight at her with a wide smile of confidence across his face. He winked at her, and Pepper felt her stomach sink into her boot. Allison was pointing in Pepper’s direction, trying to coax a higher bid out of the audience.

Yes, please, she screamed in her head. Make it forty-five hundred. Hell, make it four thousand and one penny. Just outbid her. She was answered with deafening silence. The only one in the room making a sound was Allison up on stage. It seemed that suddenly, all the battling women seemed to give up. Even Grant wasn’t worth that much, it seemed, and she agreed.

“No!” Pepper shouted, but there was no stopping it.

“Going once . . . going twice . . .”

“I didn’t mean to—”

“Sold! To the lady in the blue sweaterdress, paddle twenty-two!”

Pepper looked down at her dark blue sweater, suddenly made even darker by the spreading water mark. Her damned paddle, the one she never wanted to begin with, was still in her hand. She watched as it slipped from her fingers, clattering to the ground in slow motion as the gravity of the situation caught up with her. Four thousand dollars. She’d just bid four thousand dollars. Because of well-aimed ice water.

“Oh, Pepper,” Miss Adelia fussed, dabbing her with an inadequate cocktail napkin and shaking off the well-meaning hands of the folks that were more concerned about the older woman nearly falling. “I am so sorry. I didn’t even see that silly cord,” she said. “Is your dress okay?”

She couldn’t respond. All Pepper could do was close her eyes and try to keep the tears of frustration and aggravation from rushing down her cheeks.

She had just paid four thousand dollars for a date with Grant Chamberlain.

Andrea Laurence has been a lover of reading and writing stories since she learned to read at a young age. She always dreamed of seeing her work in print and is thrilled to finally be able to share her special blend of sensuality and dry, sarcastic humor with the world. A dedicated West Coast girl transplanted into the Deep South, she's working on her own "happily ever after" with her boyfriend and their collection of animals including a Siberian Husky that sheds like nobody's business.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt for Tiger Lily (Tiger Lily #1) by Amélie S. Duncan

Tiger Lily
Tiger Lily # 1
Amélie S. Duncan
February 10th, 2015

Buy Links: Amazon
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What started as an assignment became more than Lily could have ever hoped for...

Lily Salomé has encountered more challenges than the average twenty-four year old. After a horrendous crash killed her parents, an abusive relationship was all she needed to calcify her broken heart to stone. So when Lily’s boss comes to her with a challenge most girls would balk at, she knows there isn’t much left in this world to be afraid of.

The target: Jonas Crane, a brooding business mogul who hasn't smiled once since his divorce. Dark, dangerous and mouthwatering, Crane has written a book about life in the fast lane and with the recent publicity, Lily's boss wants the rights. Problem is, Crane won't return a phone call, let alone agree to a meeting. But if a pretty publishing assistant happens to run into him at the Waldorf, with a business card and a smile...what could go wrong?

A lot, it seems. Lily thinks she's going to the Waldorf to meet a rich jerk, or worse, a playboy, but the truth is way more challenging. Jonas Crane is smart, engaging...and devastatingly out of her league.

Tiger Lily
© 2015 Amélie S. Duncan

I managed to not stare in awe at the murals, and walk confidently inside the softly lit lounge of Sir Harry’s.

The sleek mahogany bar with porcelain snack bowls dotted along the top took up a prominent portion of the room, and thereby was the first thing I noticed upon entry. Searching for a place to stand or sit,
I zeroed in on one of the empty Japanned leather bar stools, and briskly made my way to secure the seat before someone else. With luck, I captured the vacant seat and swiveled around. Eyeing the eclectic mix of patrons, I stared over the high-fashioned starlets, middle-aged tailored gentlemen, and nouveau-riche designer clad tourists and wondered where I fit in.

Not sure, but I patted my back on arriving with ten minutes to spare before Jonas Crane was due to arrive. Jonas! It finally dawned on me I didn’t have a plan for approaching him. Knitting my brows, I tilted my head down and tried to focus on making an impromptu plan. What would be a good opener? Hello, yes. Jonas? Can I call you Jonas? I’m Lily Salomé from Arch Limited, and I’m your publishing house stalker, nice to meet you.

Fidgeting and inward gazing didn’t mix. At least not when holding my satin handbag with sweaty palms. Unfortunately, this realization came too late and my bag took flight, sliding across the floor.

Shit. I had barely made it inside the bar and hadn’t even ordered my first drink or eaten a pistachio nut without embarrassing myself. Straightening my shoulders and ignoring the burning of my cheeks, I lifted my chin and eased over in the direction of my bag, doing my best to pretend I was bored and didn’t care, or that I had maybe even purposely tossed it around. Spotting the bag, my insides winced at the polished leather shoes it had bounced against. I hastened my steps, but paused as a pair of large tanned hands with a golden ring on the left ring finger picked it up.

Gazing up further, I met the most luminous eyes I had ever seen. They were a rare combination of blue and turquoise like a tropical sea. He had black wavy hair that hung a little longer on the top and sides. Some lines around his eyes, but boasted of an otherwise flawless face. With a smooth angular jawline, straight nose, and well-defined cheekbones most women would die for, he was divine. Not to mention, full sensual lips were flashing a perfect set of teeth.

My hand trembled a little as I took my handbag from him, and recognition finally set in. He was not only gorgeous, but he was the man I had come here for, Jonas Crane. Serendipitous or cliché, it didn’t matter. My “accidental on purpose” encounter with him had taken place.

Amélie S. Duncan writes contemporary, erotic romances with a dark edge. Her inspiration comes from many sources including her life experiences and travels. She lives on the West Coast of the United States with her husband.

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