Monthly Archives: October 2016
Posted by mindygrindstaff
Revised as of September 23, 2016 In 1888, Kira Wall, surviving daughter of missionaries swept away in a tsunami, lives a primitive, but enjoyable life with natives on an isolated island in the South Pacific. But her serene world is turned upside down when an Australian merchant ship, commanded by the sinister Captain Darcy Coleman, arrives with an overabundance of modern and lavish goods. Kira suspects ill intent. Chief Ariki refuses to listen to Kira’s warning, forcing her to uncover the real plan of the captain on her own. Unfortunately, she has a distraction. A six-foot tall, blond, and handsome distraction. Trevor Marshall, doctor and botanist, hopes to find exotic plants on the island to research new cures and medicines. He is dedicated to science, but when meeting the strong-willed, beautiful Kira Wall, he’d prefer to spend time researching her—all night. The captain thwarts Kira’s attempts to call him out at every step, turning the village chief against her. With only Trevor and her best friend Malana by her side, she stalks the captain and his officers through the dense, predator infested jungle, toward the island’s inactive volcano. Frustrated by her failure to reveal the captain’s true intentions, Kira begins to think maybe she’s wrong about everything. Then an explosion and earthquake bigger than anyone on the island has ever seen renews her resolve. Was the blast natural or man-made? She is determined to prove it was the captain’s doing. Kira races against time and the island people’s naivety to stop the captain from destroying her home and killing everyone she loves.
This author spins an intriguing tale of adventure, love and mystery on an exotic island. Kira, the main character, is a strong confident young woman who has lived amongst the natives of the island her entire life. Then one day a ship arrives and the moment Kira meets the captain she doesn’t like him and she sure doesn’t trust him. The Islanders don’t agree and give the captain and his men run of the island, putting Kira her friend Malana and the ship’s doctor and botanist Trevor in a race against time to prove Kira is right about the captain. All the while Kira has to fight her attraction to Trevor. Can they find out what the captain and his men are up to before they destroy the island and everything Kira loves?
I occasionally enjoy a good historical romance and this one hit the spot. The author wrote such a vivid description of the island I wanted to go there right now. The characters were well-written and fleshed out and the storyline kept me interested to the end. I enjoyed Kira’s independent confident nature along with her innocence and love for the island and the natives.
Independent reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock. 4 hearts.
Through Smoke by Marissa Dobson
A Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle Worlds Novella
Release Date: October 13th, 2016
Monica Robinson moved to Texas in the hopes of adventure, little did she know she’d find danger in that mix. Firefighter Smoke Wilson has never found a woman that could put up with his career or keep his attention long enough for him to try to balance the two. When circumstances throw Monica and Smoke together, can they conquer the past in order to make a future neither knew they wanted?
The door exploded inward and through the smoke firefighters emerged. “Monica!”
Coughing she crawled toward them, the heat intensifying around her. Just a little further…fresh air… Someone hauled her into his arms, through the gear and face mask she couldn’t see who it was.
“I got her.” It sounded like Smoke but the muffling from the face mask made it hard to hear him.
“Paramedics are standing by.” The other firefighter said as she was carried out.
“Wilson, get another line.”
Wilson? Smoke are you here?
“Go on, brother, I’ve got it.” The second firefighter who rescued her jogged toward the fire engine.
“Let me down…” A coughing fit overcame her again and he raised her in his arms slightly. “I can walk.”
“Not a chance, darling.” Ignoring her demands he headed toward the ambulance.
Not caring who her rescuer had been before, she hadn’t bothered to look that closely, but now that she was out of the burning house and safe, she looked into his eyes. “Smoke.”
“Shh darling, you’re safe now.” He eased her onto the gurney before he squatted down in front of her and took his breathing mask off.
“Is this the woman you were talking to Fire about earlier?”
“Shut up Sam and help her.” Smoke eyed the paramedic for a moment before returning his gaze to her. “Blaze is on his way and I’ll be back soon. I’ve got to help the guys get the fire under control.”
“Go. I’m fine.” She put her hand up, stopping Sam from putting the oxygen mask over her face. “Thank you.”
“I’d always come for you.” He kissed her forehead, rose, and headed back to the other firefighters battling the blaze.
“My home…” She mumbled more to herself than anyone else as Sam placed the oxygen mask over her mouth.
“Things can be replaced. What matters is that you’re alive. Now lie back and let me look at your hand. Are you burned anywhere else?”
About the Author:
Born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, Marissa Dobson now resides about an hour from Washington, D.C. She’s a lady who likes to keep busy, and is always busy doing something. With two different college degrees, she believes you are never done learning.
Being the first daughter to an avid reader, this gave her the advantage of learning to read at a young age. Since learning to read she has always had her nose in a book. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she started writing down the stories she came up with.
Marissa is blessed with a wonderful supportive husband, Thomas. He’s her other half and allows her to stay home and pursue her writing. He puts up with all her quirks and listens to her brainstorm in the middle of the night.
Her writing buddy Pup Cameron, a cocker spaniel, is always around to listen to her bounce ideas off him. He might not be able to answer, but they’re helpful in their own ways.
Website – Facebook – Facebook Fan Group – Twitter – Pinterest – Newsletter
My Maker’s Keeper
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: November 1, 2016
Hannah Clark used to be an ordinary girl. She used to be a lot of things. Until she was bitten.
Five months ago, Hannah woke up in the middle of the woods as a vampire. She didn’t know how it happened or who turned her. She just knew she wasn’t safe in her hometown anymore.
Fort Wayne was supposed to be her fresh start. Her chance to finish high school without any other incidents. But then she met Jackson. Their attraction was instant and awakened something deep inside of her. Her thirst for blood.
Things only got worse when her maker, Lucas, came to town. He might have been sexy, but he was one dangerous vampire. And if Hannah wanted to keep Jackson safe, she had to protect him from Lucas’ ravenous ways. Even though she found herself excited by them.
But Lucas wasn’t there for her. Something sinister was happening in town. Vampires were going missing, and if Hannah didn’t want to be next, she had to work with Lucas to solve the mystery. But could she trust him? Or should she trust Jackson? She had to make a choice—and her life might just depend on it.
This is the first book in the series and ends with a lot of questions. Hannah is a high school senior who wakes up one day as a vampire. She has dreams about her maker, but has to learn to live her new life on her own. Moving to a new school, Hannah and her mom have a new start, one without Hannah’s dad. Hannah tries to blend into the background, but catches the attention of a senior jock, Jackson.
>Jackson is unaware of what Hannah is. They have the sweetest connection. I was under the impression that this was a young adult book. Most of the first half of the book was not very explicit or violent. The last part of the book is all adult. There are sexually explicit scenes involving both Lucas, Hannah’s maker, and Jackson. These scenes were confusing to me. Even Hannah did not seem sure of whom she was most attracted to. The violence and gore factor was definitely adult in the second half of the book as well. I hope the book is targeted to an adult audience.
>Lucas and his sister, Vivian have a confusing relationship. I felt there was a hint of a choice made at the very end, but the story had a lot of false leads, twists and turns, so I am not sure. I enjoyed the story. A secret vampire at a high school trying to fit in, while investigating a paranormal mystery, made for a plot that kept things moving.
>I hope the next book clarifies the love interest. A romance where one is not sure who the romantic interests is can be frustrating. I am a reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock. This book is appropriate for an adult audience. I am giving the story 4 stars.
About the Author:
Tiffany Current earned her Bachelor’s degree in dramatic writing from Drexel University. Her first book, the self-help relationship guide How to Move in with Your Boyfriend (and Not Break Up with Him), was published by Turner Publishing.
Tiffany writes paranormal, young adult, urban fantasy, and self-help books. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys reading books, watching trashy action movies, and pestering her cat.
Official website: http://www.tiffanycurrent.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/TiffanyCurrentAuthor/
Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/tiffanycurrent
Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4856745.Tiffany_Current
Tour giveaway – Rafflecopter Oct 24 – Nov 6
3 copies of My Maker’s Keeper
2 $15 Amazon gift cards
Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard
Kai met Avery only once–in the moment he died saving her life. Now when he’s not using his new healing powers to help people, he watches helplessly as Avery’s life is unraveled by his death. To help her, he risks everything by breaking the rules, dangerously blurring the barriers between life and death.
Praise for the Book
“Vividly imagined, this novel is the perfect mix of modern love story and literary fiction. One brimming with genuine emotion that had me re-reading passages simply because they were too beautifully written to experience just once.” –Julie N. Ford, author of With No Regrets
“This book is not only an engaging and satisfying supernatural romance, but also a beautiful story about life, death, and the gray places in between.” –E.B. Wheeler, author of The Haunting of Springett Hall
“This is one of those stories that stays with you long after the closing scene. It was beautifully imagined and vividly written and I absolutely loved it!” –Teresa Richards, author of Emerald Bound
Author Sarah Beard had just released the Audiobook of Beyond the Rising Tide.
You can listen to a sample of the book HERE.
Author Sarah Beard
Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels Porcelain Keys and Beyond the Rising Tide. She earned a degree in communications from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in writing from VCFA. When she’s not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
KBS Next Generation
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction Fantasy
Publisher: 7th House, Imprint of Andromeda LLC
Date of Publication: October 28, 2016
Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 76k
Cover Artist: Victoria Danann
IT’S THEIR TURN!
The next generation of the Knights of Black Swan have been inducted and vested with all the privileges and responsibilities of the legends in whose shadows they took their training. They are coming into their prime as servants of The Order, but still have most of their lives ahead. Or so each one hopes.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Victoria Danann, brings us a sizzling new take on the Knights of Black Swan. The boys are all grown up and bursting at the seams looking for action.
The new Director of Operations is cute, curvilicious and has Falcon reeling. And he doesn’t need distractions when he’s busy saving the world.
The epic saga that has won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES the past three years in a row (Reviewers Choice Awards, the Paranormal Romance Guild) continues with a new crop of vampire hunters that we already know and love. Preorder TODAY and be one of the first to find out why KBS is called astonishing, breathtaking, nail biting, spectacular, unique, and a wild and sexy ride.
Storm wanted to appear nonchalant, but couldn’t help sneaking a glance at Ram when he said, “I’ll bet Elora would like to sashay by there tonight. We know she has a thing for talking vampire.”
Ram caught the mischievous gleam in Storm’s eye and knew Storm was teasing, but it was also a dig that didn’t go down easy. After three children and years of married life, the way Baka and Elora had interacted, back in the day, still bothered Ram. And Storm knew it.
Rammel carefully set his whiskey tumbler down on the table beside him before launching himself out of his chair so fast it looked like he’d been sitting on an eject mechanism. He flew across the space that separated them and attempted to get Storm in a headlock.
“What are you doing?!?” Storm wheezed, turning red and trying to get his breath while Ram’s forearm cut off his windpipe. “It was a joke!”
Ram didn’t respond to that protest because he didn’t care if it was a joke. He jerked Storm out of the chair by his neck, which was a testament to Ram’s strength because Storm was still a big well-muscled guy. As soon as they fell to the floor together, Ram hauled back and launched a fist that caught Storm in the side. Storm reacted by rolling over so that he could get enough room to clip Ram on the side of the face. Kay, of course, was yelling and doing his best to break it up, but in the process took punishing hits from both of them.
Several of the other knights came to assist Kay and fifteen minutes later, the three veteran members of B Team were standing in the Sovereign’s office, being called on the carpet like they were kids.
“The. Hel.” said Glen, clearly furious. “Every trainee in Jefferson Unit has already heard that B Team were brawling in our own club lounge, rolling around on the floor like… like…”
“Brawlers?” Kay suggested.
“Famous legendary elite vampire hunters indeed.” The sarcasm was dripping from every word Glen uttered. “A fine example you set for the next generation tonight.”
“He started it,” Storm mumbled.
“You did not say what I think you just said,” Glen looked incredulous. “Is this some kind of midlife crisis?”
That hit a mark. All three men looked horrified. “We’re no’ yet even thirty five,” Ram protested.
“You’re acting like you’re not yet five.”
Ram glared at Storm. “There are just some things you do no’ say about an elf’s mate.”
Glen pulled back and studied Ram for a minute. “I don’t believe there is any power in heaven or hel that could make me believe Engel Storm insulted Elora Laiken.”
“Well,” Ram hedged, “he did no’ insult her per se.”
“Per se,” Glen repeated.
“Aye. Per se.”
Glen threw up his hands. “You know, I don’t really care what happened. If you were Z Team, I’d just roll my eyes and say, ‘What else is new?’ The three of you are going to be guest speakers at one ethics and decorum class per grade during this term.”
“Oh, for…” Kay started.
“Not. Another. Word.” Glen walked over and opened the door to his office. “Get out. And shame on you.”
Standing in the outer offices, Kay looked at the door that had been shut in his face and said, “I didn’t do anything! In fact I tried to stop it.”
Ram and Storm started walking down the hall toward the elevator. Storm turned to Ram and said, “Look what you did now.”
“You want me to? Pull your shirt up so I can see.”
“There’s nothing to see. You on the other hand are going to need some ice soon if you don’t want that eye to swell shut.”
Ram reached up and touched it. “You got me good,” he smiled.
Storm’s face split into a proud smile. “You’re gonna be wearing my mark for a while. Elora’s gonna chew your royal rear end when she hears about this.”
By that time Kay had caught up. From behind them he said, “Maybe you two are having a midlife crisis.”
I’m thrilled we’re back in with the Order of the Black Swan group again. Boy did I miss B and K teams, along with the Sovereign Glen.
This story centers on K team, Falcon,Sin, Wakey and Spaz. Of course we get to see B team too but it’s mostly about the boys of K team. Monq has tried to create a cure for the virus causing vampirism and instead of finding a cure he created a more viscous and blood thirsty creature. It’s gotten so bad Glen has to call B team out of retirement and even the old Sovereign Rev. has come to help, as Glen says “All hands on deck”.
Falcon has met the new Operations Officer Gretchen Galen and and for Falcon it’s like not again. He does all he can do to avoid her.
Then when it seems like they’re losing against the new vampires along comes Jaxon Kell, born in the year 1379, he’s a GET, a form of Vampire that the Order has never heard of. He approached Falcon with a offer, to help the Order destroy the as he calls them “deadheads”.
Now can Jax be trusted? Is he being truthful about his reasons for wanting the deadheads gone? An action packed wonderfully written amazing world that I’m more than happy to be visiting again. Another home run by Ms. Danann.
Independent reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock. 5 pounding thrilling hearts.
About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author of thirteen romances. Victoria’s Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES THREE YEARS IN A ROW. Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.
Co-host of the ROMANCE BETWEEN THE PAGES podcast.
Her paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on “imaginary” creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and, occasionally, enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, werewolves, hybrids, psychics, or past life therapists. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners… usually.
The rich characterizations come from being a lifelong student of behavior, casually, and a serious student of behavior academically. She also studied comparative religion, myths, and Dark Ages history.
Victoria lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.
3 shirts – vee neck, cut for women, in silky fabric. U.S. only.
About the Book
Author: Roxanne D. Howard
Genre: Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Piper Goldhirsch is the head reporter for Business Buster, an Undercover Boss-esque tabloid exposé show. While it was never her dream job, it pays the bills. When she attends a masked Halloween Ball and has a passionate affair in the billiard room with a sexy costumed pirate captain who calls himself Captain Jack, what starts out as a few kind words and exchanged kisses soon transforms into the greatest sex of her life, and she’s haunted by the powerful magic between them. Piper parts ways with the mysterious stranger, and assumes she’ll never see him again… until he becomes her job’s next target.
Captain Jack Spencer runs his own brand new whale watching company, Ahoy, Matey, on the outskirts of Costa Mesa and Balboa Island. He’s so good at it he’s garnered the attention of rival companies. Piper is called in by Jack’s nemesis to go undercover on an ocean tour to expose him, and reveal his alleged illegal tricks that have made his business so successful in a short amount of time. But when Piper realizes he’s the same sexy man she slept with at the Halloween Ball, she’s emotionally conflicted. Jack is unable to forget the woman from Halloween, and when they do meet up again, they can’t keep their hands off each other. It’s time to Batten Down the Hatches, because the waves are about to get wild!
This is the first book in the Cost Mesa series and ends in a cliffhanger. Jack and Piper meet at a masquerade ball and indulge in a one night stand. Both Jack and Piper want more, but Piper leaves without getting any contact info from Jack. Piper is a journalist who does exposes on different companies. She is just realizing how damaging her job is to thepeople who own and love these companies. Piper seemed very bright. Her not realizing the hurt her show causes was not very realistic.
>When fate sends her undercover to Jacks whale watching business, she goes undercover, but finds no wrongdoing. As Jack and Piper meet again, they fall for each other. The romance is quick and hot. They break up over a perceived sabotage, but Piper is long gone when Jack figures out the truth. I am assuming the second book has Jack searching for Piper to make amends.
>This book had a unique story, but a lot of odd coincidences. Why was Jack at the ball to begin with? He didn’t seem like the type to hob nob with the famous. He thinks Piper is a news anchor and starts to fall in love with her. I think it is odd her never wants to see her news show to support her, kind of like loving an author and never wanting to read their books. If he saw her shoe, he’s realize what type of journalist she really was and maybe be able to listen to her explanations later.
>This book is appropriate for an adult audience. I am giving the book 4 stars. The story idea was good, but the story as written needed more.
Roxanne D. Howard is a romance novelist who resides in the mid-western United States. She has published At the Heart of the Stone and Chicks Dig the Accent, and her most recent Costa Mesa Series with Loose Id. Roxanne is a U.S. Army veteran, and has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. She is also an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and loves everything related to marine biology. She is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, several pets, and loves to spend time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more, please visit her website at www.roxannedhoward.com.
A Knight Like No Other
Realm of Honor
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Michelle Miles
Date of Publication: 10/4/16
Number of pages: 280 pages
Word Count: 89,810
Cover Artist: Erin Dameron-Hill
Will the knight of Princess Allanna’s heart be able to save her from a dark lord’s evil plan?
By the king’s order, Princess Allanna is betrothed to Lord-Regent Marath, an Elven noble with an evil agenda who’s manipulated his way into royal favor. Marrying him will be a fate worse than death, especially when Allanna yearns for the sexy and irresistible Sir Drake—the knight who holds her heart. A knight she is forbidden to love. She flees her family to be with Drake, giving up everything she knows for him.
Enraged at her defiance, Marath summons a mage to kidnap and kill Allanna. Drake, determined to protect the woman he loves, will stop at nothing to see her safe. Their desire for one another burns hot and nothing can keep the two lovers apart. Nothing but Marath’s evil plan to do away with the Fae and separate Drake and Allanna forever.
His mouth moved to her throat. Her skin burst into flame as he made his way around to her earlobe and nibbled. This was what she dreamed of, what she wanted. Now that it was finally happening, her mind exploded with more possibilities. Little pinpricks of light pierced her vision as her eyes fluttered closed. Heat flooded her body and pulsed dampness between her legs, making her feel things she never expected.
And, oh gods, she loved the velvety feel of his mouth.
“Aye?” His breath wafted over her skin, sending heated chills over her.
“I…came to…to…” Oh gods, she couldn’t think. Her mind wouldn’t form the words. She knew what she wanted to say but how to say it was another matter. And her tongue swelled into a thick, useless muscle.
“To?” His eyes glinted almost as though he knew what she wanted to say.
Oh, bollocks. “To kiss you back.”
She swept her tongue over his lower lip then sucked it gently between her teeth. He groaned again. His body felt good under her hands, the way his chest curved and the sprinkling of coarse hair. The tips of her fingers trailed down his corded abs to the edge of the waistband of his breeches and halted. She couldn’t go forward even though she wanted to. Fear clasped her, made her stop. She knew what she wanted to do yet she couldn’t force her hand to move.
Breaking the kiss, she dropped her head to his chest, inhaling the deep, masculine scent of him. A woodsy scent. Something that was inherent to him. Mayhap because he was human. She didn’t know.
He stroked her hair as he held her and then dropped a kiss on the top of her head. It was then she remembered his wound and bolted upright.
“Did I hurt you?” Her gaze landed on the bandage on his side. She was relieved to see there was no blood.
He chuckled. “No, princess. You didn’t. You couldn’t.”
“I meant your…your wound. Is it better?”
“Almost healed like Turin said.”
“That’s good.” Her gaze flickered over him and she blushed when she saw the hardened length between his legs. The length she had stopped herself from running her fingertips over.
“I came to check on you,” she said. “I’m glad you’re better.”
“Is that the only reason you came?”
Could he read that on her face? Was she so transparent? She bit her lip again.
“Ah, you really shouldn’t do that.”
“That.” His gaze fixed on her lips.
“Why?” She blinked.
“Because I like it too much.”
A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. Her confidence soared. “You like it?”
“Aye, I do.”
“And what would happen if I did it again?”
“You really shouldn’t do it again.”
“Shouldn’t I?” She did it again.
He reached for her and dragged her to him. “Are you trying to torture me?” He said it against her mouth, his breath mingling with hers.
“No. Am I?”
“Should I apologize?”
“Do you intend to do something about it?”
“Is that an aye?” She grinned, enjoying teasing him.
“Do you want to deny me again?”
“I will not take what does not belong to me.”
“I do belong to you, Drake,” she whispered. “I’ve already given you my heart. Isn’t that enough?”
She could see the flash of pain in his eyes before he regained his composure. “I wish it were, princess.”
“What more do you require of me?” she asked.
“I require marriage vows. You are too precious to me. I would not ruin your innocence.”
“Oh, Drake. It wouldn’t be ruining my innocence. I give myself to you freely.” She pressed her hands against his chest, slid them upward to his shoulders. “I’m prepared to love you. Here. Now.”
“Please don’t deny me again.”
A moment of indecision flashed through his eyes and then he pulled her tight against him before he pushed her to the mattress. His body pressed against hers. Her breath caught in her throat as she looked up at him, into those deeply penetrating eyes. Was he going to forget all that he was? Would he make love to her here? Oh gods, she wanted him.
“I do not deny my feelings for you,” he said.
“You are still chaste. And I’m still a knight.”
“I’m still a knight but by Saint Mary you drive me mad.”
“You challenge my honor with every flutter of your lashes.”
“And with every flutter, I find you harder to resist.”
His mouth covered any retort she had. She was conscious of every touch. Every movement. He leaned on his good side, kissing her. His hands slipped over the curve of her body, over her small breasts and flat abdomen. Flames followed by a warming shiver swept over her.
Drake is an English Knight and jousting hero but is not considered good enough for Princess Allanna because he is only a human.
They come from two different worlds but their love is strong. Can they defeat dark magic and save the Woodlands? Will their forbidden love be accepted by the Elves? Can Drake protect Allanna?
This is the fourth book in the Realm of Honor series but the story stands on it’s own. Michelle Miles writes a very descriptive story, pulling the reader into the worlds she has created.
I am an independent reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock!
3 out of 5 hearts
About the Author:
Michelle Miles grew up in North Central Texas in a rodeo town but was far more interested in nerdy things like Star Trek and Star Wars. She started writing fan fiction in high school. When being an archeologist like Indiana Jones or a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader didn’t work out, she decided writing was her gig and has wanted to write her own stories ever since.
Her love of romance started when she picked up Victoria Holt and Daphne du Maurier and was immediately smitten with the genre. But she also found another love in the fantasies of Patricia A. McKillip and Anne McCaffrey. Since she couldn’t decide which genre to pick—and because she’s a true Gemini—she decided it would be super fun to write contemporary and fantasy romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and has served on the board of several chapters as president and treasurer.
In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, reading, cross-stitching and watching movies. A Native Texan, she loves castles, dragons, fairies and elves and is an avid Game of Thrones fan. She can be found online at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.
Website and Blog: http://www.michellemiles.net
Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/MM-VIP
3 digital copies of the book in winner’s preferred format
At the Heart of the Stone
Roxanne D. Howard
Genre: Contemporary Romance,
Publisher: Loose Id
Date of Publication: February 16, 2016
Number of pages: 323
Word Count: 118,000
Cover Artist: Dar Albert
Dreams are the perfect shelter for our fantasies, safe havens to step inside without changing our daily lives. For Lark Braithwaite, all that is about to change. During the last six months, Lark has dreamt of a mysterious Irish lover who knows what she wants and gives her exactly what she needs. In her waking life in busy London, things aren’t as ideal, as her long-term relationship with Charles, her controlling fiancé, has hit a dry spell.
When Lark is called home to Oregon for her father’s funeral right in the middle of a high-stakes corporate merger, she heads back to face the demons from her past. What she doesn’t expect is to meet her dream lover in the flesh. Niall O’Hagan steps straight out of her fantasies and right into her life, and the powerful connection they share rocks her foundation. Although she’s dealing with the bitterness of being betrayed by Charles and his jealousy, Niall soon stirs Lark’s awareness of the superficiality of her existence and reawakens not only her sexuality, but her soul.
The blindfold was tied on and made of soft black material that caressed her skin. Though she knew it was light out, the mask bathed her in darkness. Still, she was aware of his touch, his heated, pulling kisses that moved away from her lips and trailed down her jaw to her throat, over her collarbone, toward her breasts.
A tug pulled her hoodie up a little, and he slowly zipped it open, yanking the front of her T-shirt down, her bra right along with it. She couldn’t see anything, but knew it was him. Her dream lover.
She expected him to latch on to her nipple, but he didn’t. He caressed it instead, flicking his fingernail along the sensitive bud, marking a trail of pebbling, tantalizing kisses around the entire circumference of her right breast. He laved the sensitive underside with his warm tongue, making her whimper, while his hand came up to fondle her left breast.
Lark was aware they were both lying on the porch swing, but he distracted her by seizing her nipple with his teeth.
She groaned. He chuckled, the vibrations reverberating through her whole body. She clutched him tighter. Lark wanted to pull off the blindfold, but he had her pinned down. He continued his ministrations, kissing his way over her bared, flat stomach, across her hip bone, and closer to his ultimate goal. She covered his hand at her hip with hers and grasped it. She was a sweaty mess from her run, but it seemed like he was taking in everything about her.
“Wait,” she said. “I-I can’t see you. I want to. Take this off.”
“I’m here,” he assured her, crawling back up over her body.
Knuckles brushed softly down her cheek, and she could feel his gaze on her. “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured.
Lark gave up fighting her blindness and self-lamentations as his lips pressed against her own. “Mmm, yes,” she moaned between kisses. “Kiss me, God, yes. I don’t want to feel anything anymore but you.” There was something about the darkness that emboldened her. She felt his chest and encountered the lapels of a jacket of some sort. She yanked him all the way down, moaning and sucking his lower lip between her teeth.
In an instant, the full weight of his body came down upon her, and his kisses changed from having been demanding and passionate to the complete polar opposite.
It was as if he was timid and reluctant, yet the more she gave to him–putting her arm around his neck and releasing the fury of her frustrations out on him–the more he began to respond. Tentative at first, with a hint of reluctance he’d never shown before. What was this? A cool breeze blew past her face, and a sense of déjà vu of the night before overtook her.
* * * *
If the kiss had stayed careful and guarded, she might have continued to question it. But the blindfold disappeared, and she realized she’d fallen asleep. Her eyes flew open, and he was there. Oh my God. He was there! Heated eyes watched her. Rakish dark hair fell over his forehead as he breathed hard, and the morning sun lit up the world behind him. She took a deep, shuddering breath to speak, but his hands moved to cup her face. He held still and closed his eyes as his lips took her mouth. Right then and there, it was very clear that this was real. That was the weight of a real man on top of her, clothed, and smelling citrusy and clean. What in the hell is happening here?
How did he get here? He was only her dream lover.
Or was he?
Confused beyond all comprehension, Lark didn’t have any time to contemplate what was really going on. His lips delivered a breath-stealing, soul-shattering kiss, and then they were all over each other. This, ah, this she knew. Lark hooked her ankle over his and put a hand on his shoulder, trying to rid him of his jacket and draw him closer. She clenched her hand in his hair as he devoured her mouth. He tasted the same as her dream lover, and she put her tongue in his mouth to savor more of that tangy sweetness.
They were both making noises they never had in her dreams, little breathy gasps and blasts of air as their mouths met and separated as they sought new angles and depths to their passion.
He made a disgruntled sound as he tried to get more comfortable in the cradle of her hips over the hindrance of clothes, and she realized she really wasn’t dreaming anymore. He nibbled on her lower lip as she opened her mouth to tell him to stop, but then she was carried away in the undercurrent of his large, warm hands, which were caressing the skin of her stomach beneath her hoodie and T-shirt. She continued to accept his kisses but pawed down her still zipped-up sweat jacket. Okay, so she was still clothed. He was rock hard against her, and he ground his hips into her, a disbelieving grunt escaping his lips. Lark rolled her eyes back, shivering at the jolt that went through her.
“Wh– Mmm. Whoa. Stop!” She finally managed to say against his mouth. She furrowed her eyebrows and scrutinized him as he breathed in and out, bracing himself on the weight of his hands above her, his bright green eyes bearing into hers. His face was the face of her dreams–the sensual, bowed lips and cleft chin, the built body, and the thick hair. His hair… She blinked. It was cut at the nape and styled for a day at work. She glanced down at what he was wearing.
“Um, why are you wearing a suit and tie this time?” she asked, squinting against the sunlight. Please, God, let this be a dream. He moved his head, putting her in shade.
“This time?” He lifted an eyebrow, perplexed. “You’ll have to forgive me, lass, but I’ve no idea what the devil you’re talking about.” He maneuvered himself off her and sat upright at the end of the swing.
She tucked her feet against her and sat up, unable to do anything more than blink at him in utter disbelief.
“I was coming up to knock on the door when I saw you lying here, and given how you were tossing and the noises you were making, it looked like maybe you were having some sort of a seizure.”
He seemed contrite, and he turned his head as he licked his lips, full and abused from her kisses. Something close to mortification bloomed inside her.
“Erm, you…begged me to kiss you, and then you yanked me down. One thing led to another and, well, that was pretty much the way of it. I am only human, though I know that’s no excuse.” He swallowed and stared at her, his Adam’s apple moving in his throat. “I apologize. I shouldn’t have gone down when you pulled me, but it was strange–like you knew me or something.”
Lark leaned forward and rubbed her eyes. This couldn’t be real. She was hallucinating. She had to be. When she opened her eyes she’d see a man in his fifties with a receding hairline, glasses, and a beer gut. She reopened her eyes, and there he was: The full package. In the flesh. There was an air of intelligence in the way his eyes scrutinized her. She sat up and planted her feet on the porch, then put a hand to her head. The vertigo from earlier returned. “No, I’m sorry. I was dreaming…”
“Excuse me for saying so, but it must’ve been one hell of a dream.”
Lark nodded and tried not to black out as a wave of dizziness came over her.
“You look like you’re dehydrated. Hold on.”
The lilt of his familiar Irish accent soothed her like warm milk. He stood and walked over to a black laptop case propped near the front door that had several thick manila folders sticking out of its open center, one of which she could see said BRAITHWAITE in large, capital letters on an index label. He crouched down and unzipped the front pocket, extracting an unopened plastic water bottle.
“Here,” he said, unscrewing it and holding it out to her.
“Thanks.” She accepted the bottle and took a long sip of the cool water. It almost instantly revived her. She wiped a little water off the corner of her mouth with the top of her knuckle as he watched her. She offered it back to him, but he shook his head and reclaimed his seat next to her.
“Keep it. Drink.”
“Thank you.” She closed her eyes and took several large gulps, the cool liquid a balm to her throat.
“My name’s Niall O’Hagan.”
His voice was deep and pleasant. It sounded different, lighter than the sultry bedroom voice she was used to from her dreams.
“I’m the Braithwaites’ attorney.”
Lark paused in midsip and lowered the bottle in her hands. “You–no.” She laughed, glancing at him.
His mouth lifted at the corners, as if it were dawning on him he was the butt of a joke he wasn’t aware of. “I…what?”
Oh, the irony of dreaming about her father’s lawyer this whole time. Oh my God. She started giggling. This was it; she was officially losing it. She got up and walked over to the top step of the porch, put a hand over her face, and plunked herself down. “I am so messed up.”
A sudden, unwanted flash of Gemma saying “darlin’” to Charles yesterday surfaced, and tears stung her eyes. She went silent and willed them not to fall. It was no use.
After a moment, Niall sat down on the step beside her. “I’d offer you a drink, but I quit ten years ago.”
Lark laughed, despite the tears. “An Irish attorney who doesn’t like Guinness is like an Englishman who doesn’t like fish and chips or something.”
“I know; shameful,” he said with mock contrition. “Don’t hold it against me. I’m doing the world a favor. Trust me. I was a horrible drunk. Seriously, though, are you okay, miss?”
Lark scoffed and gesticulated with her hands to the sky. “It’s Lark. And what a loaded question of the day.” She couldn’t look at him, not after what happened. She clenched the edge of the step on either side of her and stared out at the trees.
“Well, considering we’ve already gone to second base, we might as well be open with each other. Forgive me if I’m candid, but it seems you were having an alleged, eh, intense dream, and you woke up and believed I was him. Is that right?”
Horror dawned on her at what she’d done, and her jaw dropped. “No!” Yes. She glanced at him, and his knowing expression said he knew that was exactly what happened.
“I see,” he said, his tone careful but persistent. “Then why did you kiss me like that?”
“I-I don’t have to answer that.” She lifted her chin with defiance.
He scooted closer to her. “No, you don’t. But I wish you would.”
She scratched her head in frustration and jumped up, moving toward the door.
“I’m sorry to embarrass you,” he said, and she paused with her hand halfway to the doorbell. “I’m decent. I would never– I never meant to take advantage of you at all, please know that. When you kissed me like that, so familiar, I…”
It occurred to her Niall was being a lot more of a gentleman about the whole thing than most men would be, given how horrid the situation was. And she, meanwhile, was being a total bitch. And the poor guy had no clue as to why.
He met her in two quick strides, and his proximity alarmed her. They’d never both been standing in any of her dreams. He was at least a few inches over six feet, well built with wide shoulders and a lithe, muscular frame to complement the height.
He assessed her as well, and his eyes widened with realization. “Wait. Lark? Rick’s daughter? But you’re so little,” he said, surprised. “From the pictures, I assumed you’d be, erm-
“Fatter?” she asked, glad she was at least back on sure ground. She could always toss jokes around about her heavy days. “It’s okay. You can go ahead and say it. I’ve lost a lot of weight.”
Niall put a hand to the back of his neck. His eyebrows rose. “I think ‘a lot’ is an understatement. Good on you! My mam struggled with her weight too; I know from growing up with her how hard it is to lose it. Well, you look amazing. Wow.”
He rolled his eyes at himself and glanced away. The bizarreness of seeing him act misplaced and common, and not at all like a sex panther, was messing with her.
“I’m sorry.” He laughed. “I sound like an idiot. Listen, I hope you don’t think I’m some leering wanker. This is…awkward.”
“You can say that again,” she murmured with a small smile, wondering what he would say if she told him she’d been having erotic dreams of him every night for the last six months. It was bad enough she’d just made out with the guy.
She held out her hand but didn’t make eye contact. “So listen, how about we forget it ever happened, okay? I’m Lark Braithwaite. I flew in a couple of days ago from London.”
He took her hand and closed his long fingers over hers. “Niall O’Hagan. Pleasure.” He stepped a little closer. “And I’m all for a clean slate, but forgetting’s not on my agenda, lass. I’m taking that one to the grave. Hands down the best snog I’ve ever had in my life. Client’s daughter or no, you can’t take it back.”
Whilst in the middle of a huge business deal Lark receives devastating news and has to return home immediately. While there not only does she have to face her demons fromthe past but she also meets the man of her dreams literally.
Niall is an estate attorney helping to settle the will of a dear friend when his world is turned upside down. The daughter of his late friend has come home and she makes him remember what it feels like to be alive. The only problem is when her fiancé turns up.
This is one of the best romance novels I have read for a long time and I found myself stating up way too late to finish it. Lark is a woman who has lost her way, she thinks she has it all but when she meets Niall everything changes. I loved the development ofLark from a woman stuck in a rut to a strong, independent woman in control. Therelationship between Lark and Niall is passionate yet sensual and the sex scenes are very well written.
Niall is what every male lead should be strong, caring and passionate. He is very well developed and I felt as if I knew him by the end of the book. I also love an Irish accent.
Roxanne Howard does a fantastic job of engaging you from the start and you cannot put it down. The plot is beautifully written with some great twists that kept me totally engrossed until the last word.
This is a great romance with a fresh plot line. There are hot sex scenes, out of the blue twists and a HEA what else could anyone want. I will happily recommend this book and I’ll be looking out for future releases.
Independent Reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock On
About the Author:
Roxanne D. Howard is an author with Loose Id. She has two titles published and one series coming out over the holidays. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. She is also an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and loves everything related to marine biology. She resides in the mid-western United States, and is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, several pets, and loves to spend time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and she can be contacted at email@example.com.
To find out more, please visit her website at www.roxannedhoward.com
$10 Amazon giftcard
by Heather M. Walker
GENRE: Paranormal romance
In the deep south of Doltree, Georgia, not everything is what is seems. Long accustomed to life as an outcast, the beautiful and demure Annaleah Grace has learned to stand apart from the crowd with dignity. Being the daughter of a white witch and a white witch herself, living in a town of devout Christians, has earned her more than a few raised eyebrows.
When she meets the handsome, yet snarky, Professor Bainbridge with whom she will be teaching at the local University, everything in her life abruptly changes. Something about him seems intimately familiar to her in a way she can’t totally identify. Even though he’s brusque and intimidating, Annaleah is drawn by his otherworldly eyes and foreign mannerisms.
With the help of angels, both Holy and fallen, she discovers just how unique she truly is. Dreams become a meeting place between this reality and the next, and Professor Sebastian Bainbridge’s true identity is revealed.
When her dreams begin to be more than dreams and she wakes up with Georgia red clay she walked through during a nightmare still wet on her feet, Annaleah knows something intense and powerful is going on, and that somehow, Professor Bainbridge is part of it. She is determined to embrace the profound destiny that awaits her and the Professor, even if that means taking up a sword to fight the Devil himself.
Sebastian caught Annaleah neatly in his arms, and encircled her in his wings, holding her so close she felt she could melt right into him and together they would burn as one being. Tears came to her then, spilling down her cheeks and falling onto her breasts, a silver light coming from them as they fell. Sebastian opened his wings then and placed a finger under her chin, tilting her head up to look into his mirror eyes. As she saw herself in them, glowing and alive and beautiful, it felt so very right. Sebastian wiped the tears from her eyes, slowly, gently and with great care. His eyes never left hers as he bent his head down, until right before the moment when he caught her lips with his, and everything in the world ceased to exist but their kiss. In that sacred, glorious moment, as their lips pressed together, she was pierced to her heart with all-consuming adoration, and from behind her she felt a great motion, as if she had moved something with a great weight on her back. Confused, and a bit shocked, she broke the kiss, turning to see what was happening behind her.
Sebastian laughed despite her apparent confusion and said, “Oh Annaleah my darling, did you forget?”
Feeling a bit betrayed by his laughter when he could plainly see her distress, Annaleah asked, “Did I forget what?”
At this Sebastian outstretched his magnificent wings to their full height and length, blocking out the sky and the moon hanging therein.
“Your wings Annaleah; you forgot you had wings.”
I want to start with saying that I love the overall message behind this story. From beginning to end it was constant. That said this book didn’t really capture my interest and seemed to drag a bit in the beginning but pick up towards the end. There were spelling and grammar mistakes I noticed throughout the book but you were able to follow along. I wish the author had done more character development because the heroine and hero’s connection seemed rushed and forced that it doesn’t really seem plausible even given what beings they were. I also think the author fell short on the promise of prologue, as you expected multiple attacks from at least several different beings but it focused more on one creature. I think the story was unique and clever and had lots of potential. This book is for young adults. I am an independent. reviewer for Romance Author’s That Rock and rate this book 3 Hearts
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Heather was born into a military family, and has lived everywhere from Mountain Home, Idaho, to a small town in England called Bloxham. She eventually settled down In LaGrange, Georgia with her partner of 15 years, Billy, her 7 year old daughter Makaylah, and her 4 indoor cats. She considers herself first and foremost, a mother. She enjoys being a writer, a jeweler, a glass artist, a painter, and avid crafter. It has been her life long dream to publish a book, and she has lovingly worked on “The Otherling” in its various stages for almost 3 years. Heather loves to read, mostly horror, fantasy and occult books. She studies angelology, mysticism, Wicca, psychology and the human mind. Her writing goal is to create a book that comes to life in her reader’s hands and minds, and places them there in the middle of the story. It is her deepest wish that “The Otherling”, as well as her other written works, will accomplished this, and make a home in the hearts of all those who read her words.
Link to buy on Amazon:
Barnes and Noble:
The Otherling will be $0.99 during the tour.
Heather M. Walker will be awarding a hand painted set of two wine glasses, painted to resemble stained glass and a ten card tarot reading (US/Canada only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.