October 31, 2013

Book Review: Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen, #1)
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Suspense

Synopsis:
Infinite possibilities….
Infinite passion…..
Infinite danger….

His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.


At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loves to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten–even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets down her guard, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.

On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?





Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen, #1)Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**Free copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

First of all I have to say that the cover of this book is amazing. I was totally not drawn in by the title, but the cover hooked me.

This book started off slow for me. I'll skip the synopsis, but just say that Amy has been living in New York for a couple of years. She's hiding from someone, but we don't know who. One day, she receives a message taped to the mirror in the museum where she works that is supposedly from her anonymous "handler." It tells her that she has been found and needs to run. There are instructions on what she needs to do and where she needs to go, so without any further questions, Amy hops on a plane to Denver. It is on this plane that she meets reclusive billionaire Liam Stone. He is pushy and overbearing, and hot. I had no problem with the chemistry between them, or the instant attraction, but I had to wonder.....for someone like Amy who has been on the run for 6 years, and who trusts no one, and whose life is supposedly in danger from some mysterious stranger, would she really just open herself up and throw herself into an affair with Liam? And not only an affair, but a relationship. I didn't think it was quite realistic that she let him in so easily. But, I was able to overlook that discrepancy and get lost in the story very quickly. I loved the overhanging sense of danger and anxiety that shadows the entire story. It keeps you guessing and second guessing as to who Amy's friends really are and who are her enemies. For instance, the whole cover story and "job" that she supposedly has. But the office is always closed, Molly is always "out with customers," and Amy hasn't been able to meet either one of her bosses. And then the deal with Jared. He is her next door neighbor who is only going to be in town for a month, but he seems super familiar to her, and happens to be from Texas - the place where the awful thing happened to Amy that sent her on the run. Is he a good guy or a bad guy? Or is it just coincidence that he's from Texas and looks familiar to Amy? That's the other twist that's going on during this book. Amy apparently suffers from some kind of amnesia surrounding the trauma in her past. She has flashbacks and blackouts, but still hasn't remembered all of the pieces.

In order to avoid any spoilers, I won't tell you how the book ends, but I will say that it is definitely a cliffhanger. And even though this book was a slow starter for me, I was totally engrossed by the end, and I was a fan of Liam and Amy being together. Now, I'm not so sure .... but I will definitely pick up book two to find out where the story goes.

View all my reviews

Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT TRILOGY which has sold to more than ten countries for translation with negotiations in process for more, and has now been optioned by STARZ Network for a cable television show, to be produced by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland).

Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 30 books with publishers such as Simon and Schuster, Avon, Kensington, Harlequin, NAL, Berkley and Elloras Cave, as well as crafting a successful indie career. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on twitter and facebook daily.

Release Day Event: Eighth Note by Kimberly Stedronsky

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Book: Eighth Note (Fire Ballad One)
Author: Kimberly Stedronsky
Genre: Paranormal Horror Romance
Release Date: October 31, 2013
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Synopsis


Eva Reed saved the world.

Actually, she saved two worlds, but who’s counting?

Finding herself in the middle of present day suburbia, married and a mom at only twenty years old, she’s beyond bored. Even with her popular music blog and her handsome husband Will catering to her every impulse, she longs to use the incredible powers that she possesses.

But Earth is no place for magic.

When Cole Mathison arrives, asking for Eva’s help in solving the death of a famous pop star, she cannot resist the overwhelming pull to use her abilities again.
Eva finds that there is more to the sinister murder than what the evidence shows.

People who listencontinue to die, and she must rely on her immortality to protect her from a frequency that is shattering minds and stopping hearts.

There are forces at work that she could never have imagined...

And evil will be heard.

Meet the Author


Kimberly Stedronsky is an Ohio author who prefers an epic love story. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education, which she uses as an excuse to be as immature as possible on a daily basis.

She is married to a stand-up comedian Marine veteran, and their three children are appropriately sarcastic.

Excerpt


“I’ve spent the last thirty years proving to myself that I wasn’t crazy. I’ve… helped… people with paranormal activity.”

“You’re a ghost hunter?” I snorted, listening to the monitor crackle and Perry cry out softly. Will gave a deep, amused sigh, gesturing to the house.

“I am going to bed. Ten minutes, Eva.”

I automatically scowled at his order. “I’ll be up in a little while,” I countered, using all of my self control not to tell him off for treating me like a kid.

“Yes, love.” He bent to me, practically lifting me off the ground to catch me off guard with a possessive kiss. I could only hold on to his shoulders as his mouth moved over mine, and it took me five witless seconds to realize that the display was completely for Cole.

Men, marking their territory. Please.

“I won’t keep her long,” Cole promised, and Will responded with a quick nod before heading for the house. “All happily ever after here, I take it?”

I turned to him, tucking my hands under the sleeves of my hoodie. “Obviously. Now tell me what’s going on.”

He scratched his chin. “No, I’m not a ghost hunter. I just… lend a hand. When crazy, unexplainable shit happens.”

“I hate to tell you this, but people die. Every day. I’m sure the toxicology reports will come back with some fun party results.”

He stared at me, contemplating. I returned his look, waiting impatiently. Finally, he pulled his phone out of his pocket, handing it over to me.

“The security cameras caught her death. There’s no sound. Eva honey, are you sure you can handle this?”

I accepted his iPhone, shrugging. “Um, I set my father-in-law on fire from the inside out. I think I can handle watching someone die.”

His palm covered my hand, and his fingertip swept the screen open. His nails weren’t nearly as manicured as Will’s, and his calloused skin felt rough on mine. “No sound,” he repeated, and I nodded, trying not to appear as confused as I felt.

The street lamp flickered over our heads, and I waved my hand to turn the bulb completely off, leaving us in darkness.

The video began with an aerial view of Nina, black and white, in the studio. I could hear that the sound had been wiped from the video, and the continuous, looping whisper kept time with my heartbeat as my pulse began to pound in my ears.

Nina was tall and blonde, with adorable dimples that kept her looking years younger than her actual age. She had two fingers over her earpiece as she sang, and I watched her drag the back of her other hand over her brow in mid-verse.

She stopped singing, and the rushing sound intensified.

She was coughing; I watched her reach for something, and then tip her head back and take a long drink from a bottle of water.

Cole’s hand slid around my waist, and I almost screamed. I’d been so involved in the video, waiting, holding my breath, I’d almost forgotten he was next to me.

“Eva.” He warned. I ignored him, narrowing my eyes and focusing on the iPhone screen.

Nina stilled suddenly, and the water bottle slipped from her hand.

Long seconds passed as she stood there, frozen, still, and I started to lift my finger to touch the screen, checking to see if the video paused.

Her head jerked down violently, chin to chest. All of her hair surrounded her face.

When her head snapped upward to meet the camera face-on, my hand clamped over Cole’s arm.

Her mouth was a wide, dark O, no teeth, no sound… no pupils. Blackness seeped from the corners of her eyes, and she began to bend backward, further, further still, until her entire body was folded- backwards- at the waist.

Text copyright © 2013 Kimberly Stedronsky

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October 30, 2013

Book Review: Wild Child by Molly O'Keefe

Title:  Wild Child
Author: Molly O'Keefe
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, this sizzling romance tells the story of a sexy small-town mayor and a notorious “bad girl,” who discover that home really is where the heart is.

Monica Appleby is a woman with a reputation. Once she was America’s teenage “Wild Child,” with her own reality TV show. Now she’s a successful author coming home to Bishop, Arkansas, to pen the juicy follow-up to her tell-all autobiography. Problem is, the hottest man in town wants her gone. Mayor Jackson Davies is trying to convince a cookie giant to move its headquarters to his crumbling community, and Monica’s presence is just too . . . unwholesome for business. But the desire in his eyes sends a very different message: Stay, at least for a while.

Jackson needs this cookie deal to go through. His town is dying and this may be its last shot. Monica is a distraction proving too sweet, too inviting—and completely beyond his control. With every kiss he can taste her loneliness, her regrets, and her longing. Soon their uncontrollable attraction is causing all kinds of drama. But when two lost hearts take a surprise detour onto the bumpy road of unexpected love, it can only lead someplace wonderful.




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Wild ChildWild Child by Molly O'Keefe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Wild Child is a story about two damaged individuals that are opposites in every sense of the word, but find a way to be together and help heal each other. Monica Appleby is a former reality t.v. star turned accredited author. She spent her teenage and young adult years rebelling and lashing out at her mother by partying, drinking, having sex, and being an all around Wild Child. She has since cleaned up her ways, become a published author, and is now moving back to her home town of Bishop, Alabama to write a book about the night her mom "murdered" her dad. Jackson Davies is a man who has the weight of the world on his shoulders. His parents died in a car wreck when he was in college, and he had to give up his dreams of being a lawyer, and move back home so that he could raise his much younger sister, Gwen. To complicate his life even more, when he moved back he ran for, and won, the position of Mayor of Bishop, so now he is not only taking care of his teenage sister, he is also trying to save a quickly dying town. Jackson believes that he has found just the thing to answer his prayers regarding Bishop when he hears about a t.v. contest. A major cookie manufacturer is wanting to move their factory and workers from overseas back to the United States, and has decided to hold a contest where towns can compete to "win" the factory. Jackson is convinced that if he can present Bishop as a picture perfect small town, they will win the contest and the revenue and jobs provided by the factory will save the town. But, when the very famous, hell raising Wild Child, Monica Appleby turns up in town, Jackson feels like she is going to ruin all of his plans. When Jackson confronts Monica with the intentions of running her out of town before she can ruin his plans, he quickly realizes that not only is there an instant attraction between the two of them, but Monica may not be anything at all like what the world thinks she is. In fact, she may be just what he needs more than anything else in the world.

This story was powerful. It wasn't all rainbows and puppy dogs either. There were some hard moments, and some hard truths that had to be faced, but all of the main characters had some major growing that needed to be done. And Monica and Jackson, especially, had very emotionally heavy issues from their pasts that had to be dealt with. Overall, I really liked this story. It was real and raw, and it made me forge a connection with the characters that had me caring about them and what they were going through. This book was definitely a good read.

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Author Bio:
Molly O'Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn't looked back. She loves exploring every character's road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she's not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.


Blitz: Scarred Love by M.S. Brannon



Scarred Love by M.S. Brannon
(Sulfur Heights #1)
Publication date: June 6th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Purchase:
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Synopsis:
“I am certain, without any doubt, she was meant to be in my life. We belong to each other. I spent too much of my time consumed with what everyone else thinks of my feelings for Darcie, but the truth is, it was always supposed to be this way.” ~Reggie Evans
Darcie Claiborne spent several years of her young life living with a monster, always fearing what he would do next. Clasping onto her last ounce of hope, Darcie releases a scream. It’s her final attempt to live; to survive the villain of her reality. Sweeping her up in his arms, Darcie’s knight in shining armor rescues her from the hell she’s been living; from the stepfather she’s feared for all those years.

Reggie Evans has been forced to grow up before he’s ready when his mother dies of an overdose, leaving him responsible to raise his younger brothers. One fateful night, Reggie jogs by an old, run down house and discovers a young girl clinging to life as she screams for help.

Three years later, Darcie is healing and always protected by the man who saved her, but now she’s fighting with something she isn’t prepared to face. The growing love for the man who saved her life three years ago, the same man who’s nine years older. All the while, Reggie fights to protect Darcie from the demons of her past and new ones of her present.

**Mature Content Warning** 17+ for language and sexual content**



Excerpt:
It’s about one in the morning when we pull into the driveway and park next to Reggie’s Camaro. I am wasted. Unable to walk, shitfaced, wasted. I can’t form a single thought and my lips are numb. All the guys are pissed at me. Apparently, I was running my mouth to Vanessa during the entire race and ended up chucking my empty tequila bottle at her head. I can’t remember if it hit her or who won the race for that matter.
Jeremy runs around to the passenger seat and hoists me out of the car. I climb onto his back and he carries me up the back steps into the kitchen. I’m attempting to sing “Creep by Radiohead, but butchering the song with every syllable when Jeremy sits me down on the counter. Jake avoids me as he makes his way down to the basement. Screw it! I could care less right now. I achieved my goal; I’m drunk as hell and it’s amazing!
I swing my feet back and forth while singing the lyrics to “Creep.” “I wish I was special. So fuckin’ special...”a little louder now“…but I’m a creep!” Jeremy’s hand comes across my mouth, quieting me. I jerk my head back smacking it on the cupboard and shout, “Hey! I’m singing, Jer!”
Jeremy hands me a glass of water and a couple of Advil. I swallow the pills and let out a loud burp. He rolls his eyes, trying to hide the smile across his face.
“Do you want me to help you to bed, Darcie?” he asks.
“Ahh, Jer. That’s so sweet. Where’s Presley? She can help me. It might be weird seeing your sis in her underwear.” I laugh obnoxiously at my strange comment. God, I’m wasted.
Jeremy blushes. “She’s with Drake and I’m not going in there. If you need help, then I’ll help you.”
To Jeremy’s relief, Reggie walks around the corner, glaring at both of us. He looks sexy as hell, wearing only a pair of black basketball shorts that are slung low on his hips. I’m practically drooling as I look at the slight trail of blonde hair below his belly button and the defined V of his abdomen. His hair is loose and tousled from sleep. Oh shit. There go my hormones again. I want to rip his clothes off and suck on his…lips? I let out a small giggle followed by a hiccup from my dirty thoughts.
Jeremy’s angry as he looks over at me. “She’s fucking wasted, Reg. She drank a pint of tequila and started running her mouth to that girl she beat up at school. Everyone else bailed on me. I’m trying to get her to bed.”
Reggie rolls his eyes and shakes his head in disgust. “I’ll put her to bed.”
Relief passes over Jeremy’s face. He smiles then sprints out of the kitchen and flies down the stairs, heading for the basement. Man, I didn’t think I was that much of a pain in the ass.
Reggie walks over to me and puts his hands on either side of my thighs. My breath hitches at our closeness and flashes of last night play in my mind.
I press my forehead to his and whisper, “Always my knight in shining armor.”
“Always.” His lips stay close and I’m hoping he will crash them into mine, but he doesn’t.
“I’ve had a bad day.”
He lets out a small sigh and says, “Yeah… I know.”
Reggie slides his hands behind my butt pushing my core against his waist. Butterflies are swarming in my stomach as I wrap my legs and arms around him. I plant my face in the crook of his neck and that familiar smell of salvation engulfs me. It’s divine, a combination of soap and Reggie. Lifting me off the counter, he walks down the hall toward my bedroom. I look into his eyes where I find fierce, ocean blue pools, drowning me in desire. My body is warming with pleasure as I feel his hard muscles constrict with every movement.
Reggie kneels on the bed hovering over me. I let go of my grip and push myself to the top, lying on my pillow. He lifts one of my legs and pulls off my leather boot. It drops to the floor and he repeats with the other. He’s sitting up on his knees between my legs and my body is rushing with excitement. His hands slowly slide down the zipper of my jacket. I can’t believe this is going to happen. I don’t want anything more than to give him the innocent part of me. Now, I wish I was a little more sober.
“Sit up.,” Reggie demands, never taking his eyes off mine.
I comply. His hands skim over my shoulders, moving my jacket down and the heat from his touch is sending me over the edge. Reggie tosses my jacket to the floor and then he leans down and puts a faint kiss to the cigar burn on my left shoulder. My breath hitches from his gesture and I wish he could take all of it away. Using a gentle touch, his hands guide me to lie down. I’m panting with want. All the familiar feelings of our storage room make-out floods my body. Moving off the bed, Reggie pulls the comforter over my body then leans down and places a gentle kiss on my forehead.
“Goodnight, Darcie.”
Wait. What? He’s leaving me?
The door clicks shut. Embarrassed and rejected, I roll over onto my side and cry for the second time in twenty-four hours.
AUTHOR BIO:
M.S. Brannon was born and raised in the Midwest. She still resides there today with her wonderful husband and son. When she is not writing or reading, M.S. Brannon spends time with her family, watching movies, and discovering new music. She writes romance because she believes love and heartache is the rawest emotion one can experience.

Twitter: https:/twitter.com/MSBrannonAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7103293.M_S_Brannon

Cover Reveal: Favorite Places by Kelly Gendron

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Book Title: Favorite Places (A Trouble Maker Novel)
Author: Kelly Gendron
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance
Release Date: December 2013
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Synopsis
A five-minute trolley ride, one troublemaking luggage, and two stolen identities. Six months later, two strangers discover they’re married. She wants an annulment. He has other plans.

Being illegally hitched is about the only way Chase Lennox would ever be shackled to any woman. But when the multimillionaire playboy finds out he’s married to the woman who caused him to lose the biggest deal of his life, Chase decides before he gives his new wife an annulment, she’s going to help him close the deal he’d lost.
Jessina Landi has a three-foot radius comfort zone. The last man she let into it cost her a lot more than a broken heart. And the huge debt she owes for that trust, well, it’s due. If she takes Chase Lennox's up on his offer, it’s sure to cover the bill.
There’s an annulment waiting at the end of their rainbow… well, that’s if they can get through the next two weeks without consummating the marriage.
Meet the Author
Kelly GendronKelly resides in a quiet suburb somewhere between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY. Her day job? Kelly works in health care representing a group of nursing facilities in the WNY area. She’s been faithfully writing for three years but did write her first book ten years ago. She put it down to raise her son as a single mom and then picked it back up when she and her son finally grew up. That's when she settled into her newly married adult life and started to seriously write again. She's dabbled with Romantic Suspense stories, but recently she's been on a contemporary kick. The recipe for the men in her stories: a dash of bad boy attitude, a cup of strong and confident and, of course, besides being packed with magnificent bodies, and doused with shameless aptitudes, they must have a tender heart you want to rip out of the pages (or your e-Reader) and take to bed with you at night.
Excerpt

“Finish getting ready. We’re outta here in a few minutes,” he said, then turned his back to her.

She struggled to retort from the total body meltdown. “Are we heading back to your apartment?”

“Yes,” he said just as he disappeared from the doorway.

“Good.” She raised her voice. “You can drop me off at the bus stop then.”

Chase’s head swayed back in the doorway. “Come again?”

“I’m going home, but I’ll be back in time for Caplin’s arrival on Thursday.”

Chase stepped back into the room. “Why do you want to go home?”

The question caught her off guard. She’d assumed he’d be pleased to be rid of her. Nonetheless, telling him the truth wasn’t an option. “As you said, the only reason we needed to spend time together was so I could get to know you, so we can convince Caplin we’re married.”

His forehead wrinkled. “And you feel like you know me now?”

“Well enough to pull off a bullshit marriage, yes.”

“Hmm.” He rubbed his chin, then dropped his hand and took a step toward her. His intense regard held her captive.

She clung to those dark eyes, waiting for him to say something.

“I don’t want you to go.” His low, husky words resonated in her ears.

Her body hesitated, her heart skipped, and her nerves stammered. She was convinced that all of her senses had failed her, because she was sure she hadn’t heard him right. “What?”

“There’re a few more things you need to know about me in order to successfully pull this off, Jessina.”

Every single one of her senses came back to life as he approached her.

“Will you stay here with me just one more night?” he asked, stopping in front of her. “So I can show them to you?”

“What?” Heat flushed through her body once more. “What sort of things?”

Dark, ravishing eyes dropped to her mouth as he drew a finger down the side of her cheek. It trailed along her neck, gently grazing her shoulder and caressing the length of her arm. “The sort of things I would do with my real wife.” He looked back up at her, his hand now settled on her hip. The weight of his touch caused her stomach to clench with desire. His hand shifted to the small of her back, and her next breath got caught in her throat. “I want to show you how my wife would make me feel when I’m this close to her.” He applied light pressure with his hand to her back, and the space between them descended. Their bodies became one.

“Chase…” His name fell from her lips in a near whisper when his hardness pressed into her tight-with-desire belly.

“Jessina…” he hissed back in a throaty murmur…

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October 29, 2013

Book Review: Broken Fences by Kelly Gendron


Title: Broken Fences (TroubleMaker #1)
Author: Kelly Gendron
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Self/Indie
Release Date: 10/15/2013
Heat Level: Sizzling
Word Count/Length: 47,000

Synopsis:
Colden Saint James, Dusty Owens, and a single night of passion had equaled to poor old Mr. McAllister’s broken fence. Add six years, a troublemaking photo, and there’s not a fence in Texas that’s gonna be safe. 

It took Dusty Owens two years to land Colden “Saint” James, even if it was for only one night, but the very next day, he was gone. Now, years later, the “Saint” has returned, but he’s no longer the do-gooder rookie cop Dusty remembers. 

Dusty Owens always had a way of making every single one of Colden’s man parts go all hard. He’d been so close to falling for the girl before he’d left Odessa. Now, due to a troublemaking photo, Colden must return to his hometown to keep her safe. Trouble is, he’s a different man—not to mention the change. Well, it’s gonna cause all kinds of problems where Dusty Owens and all of his man parts are concerned. 

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Broken Fences (TroubleMaker, #1)Broken Fences by Kelly Gendron

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was pretty good. It could have been great, but there were just a few things that bothered me that made it just okay for me. The premise was interesting and the characters were great, but it just didn't mesh together perfectly.

Dusty Owens has been pining away in Odessa - remembering the night six years ago that she lost her virginity to Colden St. James. He up and left town the next day and she hasn't seen him since. She heard that he has been working for the government in Georgia and has a wife and three kids. Actually, that couldn't be further from the truth. Colden has actually been working undercover for the FBI in Detroit for the last six years. He has never been able to forget the sexy spitfire that he fell hard for back in Odessa, but at the time he was scared of how he felt for her. Once the FBI catches wind that Colden's cover may have been blown, he hightails it back to Odessa to protect Dusty in case the men he was trying to bring down try to hurt her. Their sexual chemistry and strong feelings are still there, but Dusty is still hurt and Colden is reluctant to tell her the truth about his past, so they can't seem to bridge the gap that has grown between them. The question is, is it gonna be too little too late when Colden finally comes clean to Dusty, or has he hurt her one too many times to make things right?

The sexual attraction between Dusty and Colden was way hot and sexy, and the push and pull of their complicated relationship was very well done and enticing. I was drawn in to the story and read it in a couple of hours, but at times the writing seemed clunky and awkward and kind of threw me out of the story. Plus, there were two really big things that annoyed me and really broke the flow of the story. I really, really don't mind when a character in a book gives another character a cute pet name. Especially if it's between the two main characters. Cutie, sweetie, honey, baby, studmuffin....whatever it may be is fine. However, please PLEASE don't use it every single time that character speaks to the other character. It not only kills any sort of romantic, special feeling that comes from reading the pet name, it is also really annoying. For instance, it seemed like every single time Colden spoke to Dusty, he was calling her girl, or pretty girl, or naughty girl, or good girl, or Dusty girl. Every. Single. Time. And girl is not even that great of a pet name. It seems sort of condescending. But whatever - to each his own. Just don't overdo it. My last complaint was the awkwardness that seemed to pop up a couple of times during sex scenes, or descriptions of sexual acts or feelings. If the book I'm reading is in the romance or erotica category, I certainly expect to see the words "pussy", "cock", and "dick." What I don't expect to read is the above words, and then randomly a term like "man parts" or "lady parts" gets thrown in. As in, "She was making my man parts hard." Ummm...no. Not only does that throw a bucket of figurative cold water straight on the sexy feelings that were going on in that scene, but it's also confusing. You can't go from extremely graphic and crude terms to something that seems like someone in the 1950's would say to describe a penis and vagina. It's just doesn't work together.

Besides those things, I did enjoy this book and the story and the characters. I will probably pick up book two to see what happens with the rest of the characters.

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Excerpt:


“Just admit it. You want me.” A crooked grin tugged on his lip.
Dusty glared at him from the corner of her eye. “Okay.” She gripped the railing and swayed back. “Yes, once I wanted you—once. But like I said, let’s not dwell on the past. I’m so over you, St. James.”
The smug son-of-a-bitch’s smile broadened. He shook his head. “I’m so not convinced, Dusty girl,” he said with sparkling, playful eyes.
“Stop calling me that!”
“What?” He arched a badly behaving eyebrow. “Girl?”
“Yes!”
“Well, you are one, aren’t you?”
“Yes, but—”
“Oh, I get it,” he rudely interrupted. “Too generic? How ‘bout I call you, uh…my pretty girl? Would you like that?”
In false protest, her nose and forehead scrunched. But she could already see it. The minute that little fawning left his sexy mouth, she’d drop to her knees, ready to give the man whatever he wanted.
“No?” He rubbed his chin and released a low, sexy, “Hmm.” A second later, he lifted an a-ha finger. “Tough girl?”
Her entire face flushed with heated anger.
He grimaced. “Don’t like that either?” His eyes hooded. “I know what kind of girl you are.”
She snorted. This oughtta be good. “Yeah? And what kind of girl am I?”
“A bad girl,” he huskily drawled. “You want to be my bad girl, don’t you?”
“No!” Oh God, yes! Who wouldn’t want to be his bad… anything? The new and improved St. James was hot, and her knees were already begging to hit the floor for him. Shake it off, bad girl. Just, shake it the hell off!
“Come over here.” An arm wrapped around her waist. “C’mon.” He dragged out the words as he dragged her up to his side. “It’s all good. You can be my bad girl anytime, Dusty Owens.”
When he bent his head down, warning bells went off in her addled brain. Sissy and Jimmy could see them from where they were standing. She veered back, her hand pressing into his shoulder, “Colden!”
“Don’t be so skittish.” His lips turned up, and his grip tightened. “Where’s that brazen girl? Where’s the girl who showed up at Rusty’s Tavern with Britt Weber, the player of all plays?”
Her eyes widened. Is he really going to bring up that night?
“And after a slow, naughty bull ride performance in a very slinky white dress, I might add, that bad girl dirty danced with the scumbag.”
He even remembers my dress? God.
“Where’s that brazen girl who took a huge risk, hoping I’d come to her rescue and save her from the sleazebag?”
The night flooded into her brain, Colden pulling her out of Britt Weber’s truck. Him punching Britt, who was twelve years her senior, right in the face, and Colden chasing after her and catching up with her at old man McAllister’s fence. Crazy for him, her attempt at making Colden jealous had worked. She’d tried to keep him hot by picking a fight, but Colden hadn’t taken the bait. Without saying a word, he’d just walked up to her and kissed her hard, a kiss he didn’t break until they broke McAllister’s fence—until she’d surrendered her virtue and her heart to him.
“So? Where’s that bad girl now?” he provoked.
Dusty shook her head and told him the truth. “She grew up.” She knew it was immature to try to make Colden jealous back then. He wasn’t a kid. He was a man, and he had shown her that night just what kind of man he was, the kind she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.
“Nah.” Sturdy fingers pressed into her hipbone. “I think she’s still in there. She just needs some coaxing to come out and play.” He leaned in and huskily taunted, “Come out, come out, wherever you are! Be my bad girl and admit you wanna play.”
“In your dreams, St. James. Why don’t you get over yourself? I’ve already told you that I don’t feel anything for you—not anymore,” she lied, trying to save herself.
“I don’t believe you.” His eyes wickedly twinkled with the statement.
“I don’t really care what you believe.”
“Take your panties off.”
As angry as he was making her, her body had to respond to the command, and every muscle froze. “What?”
“If they’re bone dry,” he said, tilting to the left and dropping his voice, “I’ll believe you.”
“Colden, look where we are, for God’s sake. You’re crazy if you think I’m gonna­—”
He tilted slightly closer, his eyes dark and daring. “Take them off.”
“I-I can’t,” she mumbled, hypnotized by his captivating, intent look and even more stunned by the crazy demand.
“Why?” The corner of his mouth lifted. “Oh, right.” His smile grew bigger. “Don’t worry. I don’t mind getting my hand a little wet.”
What? Absolutely incorrigible! “You’re an ass.”
“Well, if that’s not your excuse, what is?”
“Besides the obvious, it’s a rude a request.” She smirked at him. Yeah, that’s right, buddy. Two can play at this game. “I can’t give them to you because…” She inched closer to his tempting mouth. “I’m not wearing any.” Unable to ignore the pleasure she got from seeing the astonishment light up his eyes, her smile grew too.
“Damn, girl.” He exhaled, letting out a very noticeable whistle. His hand slid slowly down her hip, as if to confirm her claim, then roamed to her backside. “Do you know what a statement like that can do to a guy?”
“Again, I don’t care.”
“Well then, let’s make you care…”


Author Bio:
Kelly resides in a quiet suburb somewhere between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY. Her day job? Kelly works in health care representing a group of nursing facilities in the WNY area. She’s been faithfully writing for three years but did write her first book ten years ago. She put it down to raise her son as a single mom and then picked it back up when she and her son finally grew up. That's when she settled into her newly married adult life and started to seriously write again. She's dabbled with Romantic Suspense stories, but recently she's been on an Adult Contemporary Romance kick.

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