Friday, November 20, 2015

Cover Reveal: Lust is the Thorn by Jen Mclaughlin

Today we are revealing the cover for LUST IS THE THORN by Jen McLaughlin. This book is being released by Random House on April 19th, 2016. Check out the fantastic blurb below.

Lust is the Thorn_McLaughlin


From the bestselling author of Bad Romance (“A sexy, emotional, steamy read.”—Addison Moore) comes an edgy novel about a reformed bad boy training to be a priest and the fallen angel who makes him think twice about giving up earthly pleasures.

Growing up hard and fast on the mean streets of Chicago, Thorn McKinney didn’t have a prayer—until tragedy inspired him to join the seminary. Now the time has come to take his vows, and yet he’s haunted by the woman he can’t leave behind: his best friend’s little sister. Despite Thorn’s promises that he’d keep her safe, she’s going through hell. And now he finds himself torn between duty and desire, entranced by the seductive pull of her trusting eyes, innocent heart, and sinfully sweet curves.

Trying to let Thorn pursue his calling, Rose Gallagher has been hiding some things: namely her abusive boyfriend and her job as a stripper. But when she hits rock bottom, Thorn is there for her—and now there’s no denying the raw temptation that draws them together in their darkest moments. Rose may have found salvation in his strong arms, but she knows that Thorn must choose his own path: in the church, or in the warm embrace of a woman’s love.
Praise for the novels of Jen McLaughlin

“Addicting from start to finish!”New York Times bestselling author Addison Moore “With hot, sexy chemistry and heroes to die for, Jen McLaughlin’s books always deliver!”New York Times bestselling author Laura Kaye “Jen McLaughlin’s books are sexy and satisfying reads!”New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst



Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of sexy books with Penguin Random House. Under her pen name, Diane Alberts, she is also a USA TODAY bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, hit the New York TimesUSA TODAY and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and four cats. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: The Sweetest Kiss (Chasing Love, 3) by Candace Shaw

Title: The Sweetest Kiss (Chasing Love, 3)
Author: Candace Shaw
Publisher/Publication Date: Harlequin Kimani Romance; October 20, 2015
Format/Source: Paperback; Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Book Summary from Goodreads

Too tempting to resist

Luscious, tantalizing, delectable…and that's just Tiffani Chase-Lake's cupcakes. The moment Broderick Hollingsworth sets eyes on the sexy baker herself, he's truly intrigued. For the first time, the wary real estate developer is ready to open up to someone. Then he realizes that his next business deal is going to leave Tiffani and her cozy bakery high and dry…

Just as hardworking single mom Tiffani is falling for Broderick's easy charm, she learns about the property deal that will destroy her business. Even her most decadent dessert can't eclipse the bitter taste of betrayal. Tiffani's livelihood and her independence are on the line. Walking away from their sensual chemistry won't be easy—but is trusting him a recipe for heartache? 

My Thoughts

In The Sweetest Kiss, Candace Shaw skillfully created dynamic characters and an intriguing storyline. Tiffani was depicted as a strong, independent heroine. She was a single mom and business owner. Even though there was a strong chemistry between Tiffani and Broderick, she hesitated to get into a committed relationship and struggled with maintaining her stance on relationships while being fearful of losing control. As for Broderick, he’s that hero that you love to love. Although Tiffani placed him in the friend zone early on and he was misunderstood at times, I loved his persistence as he attempted to prove his feelings for her. Overall, it was a sweet and steamy romance novel that you that you won’t want to miss.

Rating 5/5 

Her Perfect Candidate
Title: Her Perfect Candidate
(Chasing Love, 1)
Author: Candace Shaw
Publisher/Publication Date:
Harlequin Kimani Romance;
May 20, 2014
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Journey to Seduction

Title:  Journey to Seduction
(Chasing Love, 2)
Author: Candace Shaw
Publisher/Publication Date:
Harlequin Kimani Romance;
January 20, 2015
Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Review: 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

2 A.M. at The Cat's PajamasTitle: 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas
Author: Marie-Helene Bertino
Publisher/Publication Date: Broadway Books, August 5, 2014
Genre: Contemporary
Format/Source: Paperback, Blogging for Books

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who also happens to be an aspiring jazz singer. Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, she doesn’t realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia's legendary jazz club The Cat's Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat's Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.

As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud...

My Thoughts:

Like all books I gave 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajama the first hundred pages to impress me, but as it turns out this story just wasn’t for me. The cover is cute and charming, but I was extremely bored. There was little about the book that kept my interest and eventually I decided to call it quits. Madeleine is described as “smart-mouthed”, “precarious nine-year-old” and “an aspiring jazz singer”—and she does sing, but she was also incredibly rude. After all, she describes herself as being a “jerk” and is consistently mean to those who would have liked to be her friends. However, the people around her—namely at the school she attended—were two kinds of terrible as well. There were a lot of characters, and plenty of perspectives all crammed into the 99 pages that I read, but despite this I couldn’t get into the story.

This book will have an audience—people who will enjoy it—but sadly, in the end, I was incredibly disappointed.

Rating DNF

I received this book from Blogging for Books (Publisher) for this review, thank you!

About the Author...

Marie-Helene Bertino's debut novel 2 AM AT THE CAT'S PAJAMAS will be published by Crown in August, 2014. Her collection of short stories SAFE AS HOUSES received The 2012 Iowa Short Fiction Award and the Pushcart Prize and was long-listed for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award and The Story Prize. She hails from Philadelphia and lives in Brooklyn. She was an Emerging Writer Fellow at NYC's Center for Fiction and teaches at NYU, Sackett Street Writers' Workshop, The Center for Fiction, and One Story's Emerging Writer's Workshop, where she was the Associate Editor for 6 years. She has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Hedgebrook and currently works as a biographer of people with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Launch Day Blitz & Excerpt: The Gilded Chain by Lauren Smith


For years, Callie Taylor has been obsessed with two things: a man she can never have and escaping to Paris where she can follow her artistic passions. But everything changes when Callie meets Wes Thorne, a wealthy, mysterious art collector and famous dominant. Despite all the nights she's spent dreaming of another man, it is Wes's predatory gaze that suddenly consumes her every thought and sets her body on fire. One touch from him promises unforgettable passion, but Callie knows that passion often comes with a price..

From the moment he sets eyes on Callie, Wes is intrigued by her artistic talent and her delightful innocence of all things erotic. A stolen kiss leaves him aching and desperate to claim her in a way he's never wanted any woman. But first he must convince her to surrender her control. And what better place to seduce an artistic soul like Callie's than Paris? 

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       Callie needed to get away from him. Just because she’d agreed to go to Paris with him didn’t mean she wanted him to follow her around all day. She wanted to be left alone, left in peace. Not being intimidated by a man who was the personification of sin when she’d just sworn yesterday to avoid men like him. This bet was likely just a way for him to amuse himself. He had to be playing with her. Nothing more. There was no way a man like him would have any interest in her, and she didn’t want him to. Wes would want a tall, polished model, a thin society beauty, not a short, curvy girl in jeans with calloused hands. It just didn’t make any sense for him to be interested in her. He had to be really bored out here if he was paying attention to her. I must be the only female for miles if he’s paying attention to me. It was a depressing thought.

       “I’m sorry. I’m not in the best mood. You should probably just go.” Please go away, she prayed. If she had to ask again, she feared her plan to avoid men like him wouldn’t last. She’d be a sucker all over again and throw her heart into something only to get hurt. No more Ms. Nice Guy. I have to protect myself, don’t I?

      The intense wolfish gleam in his eyes softened and he inched toward her. Before she could move, he trapped her against one of the posts bearing an old saddle she’d been oiling earlier that day. The thick scent of the hay, the tang of the oil, and the exhale of Wes’s breath consumed her, shrinking her universe into this one infinite yet enclosed span of time. He rested one hand on the saddle by her waist, so close, but not quite touching her hip. His other hand curled under her chin and gently lifted it up so she had to tilt her head back to look him in the eye. His gentle but firm touch made that newly built brick wall around her heart quake.

       No, I can’t let him get inside my head. She had to control her emotions and her response to him.

       “Shed your tears for him, Callie. You are allowed that much,” he whispered. His warm breath fanned across her lips as his face inched closer to hers.

       “Allowed?” She bristled and flattened her hands on his chest, pushing hard. He didn’t budge.

       “Yes.” He smiled, almost coldly. “You’re allowed to cry when your heart is broken, but just know that when you’re ready the entire world awaits you.”

       Wes cupped her cheek, closed the distance between them, and pressed his lips to hers. It was no chaste kiss. His tongue slid inside, stroking hers, and she jolted against him. He assaulted her senses, his hands suddenly everywhere, sliding slowly over her back, tracing her hips, caressing the sensitive skin at the nape of her neck. Her blood thundered in her ears, like the resounding beats of a mustang’s hooves upon the fields on the other side of the mountains.

       His teeth sank into her bottom lip, the little sting making her gasp in shock and a traitorous zing of awareness and pleasure rippled through her. He coaxed, teased, and played with her mouth and seemed to be memorizing her body with the way his palms shaped her curves and slopes. She couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe. She had to stop this. She needed to…When she started to tremble he suddenly stepped back and rested his forehead against hers, their shared breaths an equal measure of soft pants.

       “You aren’t ready. Not yet.” He brushed a lock of her hair back from her face and tucked it behind one of her ears. The gesture was intimate and tender. She trembled.

       “Ready for what?” she demanded, but her tone was breathless.

       “For me. But you will be. I have thirty days to prove it to you. Unfortunately I have to return to Weston for a few days but I’ll come back and pick you up.” He withdrew from her personal space, gazing for one minute longer at her before he strode out of the tack room and away from her.     

About Lauren Smith

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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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Falling Into Bed With A Duke by Lorraine Heath


In the first in a dazzling new series, New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath introduces the Hellions of Havisham-three charismatic rogues destined to lose their hearts…

After six unsuccessful Seasons, Miss Minerva Dodger chooses spinsterhood over fortune-hungry suitors. But thanks to the Nightingale Club, she can at least enjoy one night of pleasure. At that notorious establishment, ladies don masks before choosing a lover. The sinfully handsome Duke of Ashebury is more than willing to satisfy the secretive lady’s desires-and draws Minerva into an exquisite, increasingly intimate affair.

A man of remarkable talents, Ashe soon deduces that his bedmate is the unconventional Miss Dodger. Intrigued by her wit and daring, he sets out to woo her in earnest. Yet Minerva refuses to trust him. How to court a woman he has already thoroughly seduced? And how to prove that the passion unleashed in darkness is only the beginning of a lifetime’s pleasure…?


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“Heath’s first Hellions of Havisham Victorian romance is wonderfully entertaining….Heath adeptly juggles numerous new and familiar characters as she sweeps fans of her Regency novels into the Victorian era.”—Publishers Weekly

“With her usual flair for richly nuanced characters and elegant writing, RITA® Award-winning Heath launches her new Hellions of Havisham historical series with a tale that simply sizzles with sensuality.”—Booklist

“She dazzles with fascinating characters and a naughty plotline, but most of all she mesmerizes with the depth of emotion in this highly sensual story.”—RT Book Reviews, **4.5 Stars, Top Pick!**

“Falling into Bed with a Duke is a great start to Lorraine Heath’s new series, and book two can’t appear fast enough.” –All About Romance, Desert Island Keeper Review

“FALLING INTO BED WITH A DUKE is a passionate Victorian romance that leaves the reader sighing in happiness…” –Fresh Fiction

Excerpt from Falling Into Bed With A Duke

The Duke of Ashebury was on the hunt for a pair of long, shapely legs. Standing casually with a shoulder pressed to a wall in the front parlor of the Nightingale Club, he observed with a jaundiced eye those who entered. The ladies wore flowing silk that caressed their skin as a lover might before the night was done. The shimmering fabric seductively outlined the body, hinted at dips and swells. Arms were bared. Necklines were low, the silk gathering just below a tasteful showing of cleavage designed to entice. People murmured and sipped their champagne, while exchanging heavy-lidded gazes and come-hither smiles.

The flirtation that occurred within these walls was very different from that found in a ballroom. No one here was searching for a dance partner. Rather, they wanted a bedding partner. He appreciated the honesty on display, which was the reason that he often stopped by when he was in London. No pretense, no ruses, no duplicity.

He had already claimed a bedchamber, the key nestled in his jacket pocket, as he wanted no one to disturb what he had so painstakingly set up. His needs were unique, and he knew that within these walls, they would be kept secret. People did not discuss what occurred at the Nightingale Club. For most of London, its existence was something spoken about in longing whispers by those who knew it only as myth. But for those familiar with it, it served as a sanctuary, liberator, confidant. It was whatever one needed it to be.

For him, it was salvation, bringing him back from the brink of darkness. Twenty years had gone by since his parents’ deaths, yet still he dreamed of mangled and charred remains. Still, he heard his mother’s terrorized screams and his father’s fruitless cries. Still, his behavior when he’d last seen them taunted him. Had he known that he’d never look upon them again—

With resolve, he shook off the haunting musings that sent a chill down his spine. Here, he could forget, at least for a few hours. Here, the regrets didn’t gnaw unmercifully at him. Here, he could become lost striving for perfection, for the ultimate in pleasure.

He had merely to determine which lady would best suit his purposes, which would be willing to concede to his unusual request without protest. It bothered him not at all that the ladies wore domino masks. He cared little for their faces, understood their need for anonymity. Their concealment worked to his advantage as he’d discovered that ladies were more comfortable with his request when they were assured it would remain their secret—and his not knowing their identity made them bolder than they might have been otherwise. They liked being a little naughty as long as they weren’t caught. He couldn’t catch them if he didn’t know who they were.

Still, he had one cardinal rule he always observed: never the same lady twice.

The ladies brought their own masks, seldom changed them, as the fa├žade became their calling cards, as effective at identifying them as the ones handed over to butlers in the early afternoon when they were making proper visits. The woman in the black mask decorated with peacock feathers had a scar just above her left knee from a tumble she’d taken from a pony as a child. The blue mask, black feathers had two delightful dimples in the small of her back. The green mask outlined in yellow lace possessed bony hips that had proven a challenge, but he’d been pleased with the results when their time together was finished. But then he’d always embraced the challenge of discovering the perfection in imperfection.

The three glasses of scotch that he’d enjoyed were thrumming through his veins. The din of intimacy was calming. The muscles that had been so tense earlier were relaxed. He was in his element here, or he would be in short order. As soon as he found that for which he was searching. He wouldn’t settle for less than what he wanted; he never did. If one sure thing could be said about the Duke of Ashebury, it was that he knew his own mind. That he was stubborn when it came to acquiring what he needed—or wanted. Tonight’s endeavors straddled the line of both what he needed and what he wanted. All needs would be met before dawn. Then, perhaps, he could be glad to be back in London.

Lifting his glass for another sip, he watched a woman wearing draping white silk and a white mask with short white feathers walk hesitantly into the room as though she expected the floor to drop out from beneath her at any moment. She wasn’t particularly tall, but based on the way the silk moved over her flesh with each graceful step, it was obvious that she possessed long, slender legs. He wondered if she was meeting someone, already had an arranged assignation. Some ladies did—it was one of the reasons that the men didn’t wear masks. So they were easily identifiable if their paramours wanted to meet them here. Another reason was that men simply didn’t bloody well care if anyone knew that they were in the mood for a good tupping. Even the married ones were brazen with their presence.

The woman in white appeared to have dark hair, gathered up in an elaborate style that no doubt required an abundance of pins. He couldn’t be absolutely certain of the exact shade because the lighting in the room—only flickering candles—enhanced the mood of secrecy as well as creating an ambiance for intimacy while providing a gossamer disguise for some distinguishing characteristics that were easily identifiable by color: hair, eyes, even the fairness of skin. Perhaps she moved slowly because her eyes were adjusting to the dimness. Gentlemen not yet spoken for did not swarm to her side. But then that was the rule here. Seduction happened slowly. Ladies needed to hint at an interest.

But then, if this was her first time, she might not be aware of the subtle rules. He was fairly certain he’d never seen her before. A connoisseur of the body, he would have remembered the elegance of her movements, the way the cloth glided over her skin, outlining her form. Slender legs, but meat where it counted. No bony hips there.

With one long swallow, he finished off his scotch, relishing the realization that the hunt was over. He’d thought he wanted a tall woman. He’d been mistaken.

He wanted her.


LORRAINE HEATH always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. After reading a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s RITA® and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.


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