{Blog Tour & Giveaway} Just One Night by Lauren Layne

 

JUST ONE NIGHT: Sex, Love and Stiletto Series
Written by Lauren Layne
Published by Loveswept
ISBN: 978-0-34554727-9
On sale: March 11, 2014

Blurb

New York’s hottest “sexpert” has been living a lie—and it’s up to one man to keep her honest . . . all night long.

Riley McKenna knows sex – good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed.  After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.

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AUTHOR INFO

Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

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{Blog Tour & Giveaway} Absolution by Amanda Dick

A freak accident, a moment in time, and life changes forever. Stay or go – there’s no such thing as the easy way out. The accident wasn’t his fault but in the horrific aftermath, Jack’s actions may have possibly caused consequences he could never have foreseen. Consumed with guilt and unable to listen to reason, he takes the only option he believes is open to him: he disappears. Living a quiet life away from everyone he loves, he drops off the grid but the memories continue to haunt him.

Four years later, a funeral signals a homecoming fraught with tension as he finally forces himself to face up to the consequences of his actions. Betrayed and angry, his former best friend Callum wants nothing more than to see him disappear once again – for good this time. Meanwhile his ex-girlfriend Ally has moved on and he can see that his return is anything but easy for her. People change, life goes on and things are never as simple as they seem. The past has a habit of catching up with you when you least expect it.

Living with regret and guilt almost tore him apart, but there is no guarantee that trying to make amends will soothe his soul or help the people he loves the most.

Courage has many faces. Fighting for what you believe in, no matter what. Showing strength of mind and body when the cards are stacked against you. Rising to the challenge and playing through the pain.

And yet sometimes, courage means simply standing your ground.

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excerpt

“You want to know if I told her about what happened that night.”

Callum glared at him, and Jack could tell he was on the right track.

“The answer is no, I didn’t. But why the hell didn’t you? You were there, you knew.”

“Because it wasn’t my place to tell her – it was yours.” Callum snapped.

“Jesus, Callum! You just let her think God knows what, all this time?”

“What the hell do you care what she thought! You weren’t here, remember? I didn’t tell her because what the hell would be the point?”

“What would be the point?” Jack repeated indignantly. “She would have known!”

“Known what? That you were a coward? She figured that one out for herself when she woke up and you were gone!”

Jack opened his mouth to speak, but Callum cut him off.

“Don’t you dare come back here and start blaming me or anyone else! No one told you to go – you made that choice yourself.” Callum hissed, eyes blazing. “You did the wrong thing then and by coming back now and stirring it all up again, all you’re doing is making it worse. You’re here for your own selfish reasons, not because of Tom or because of her!”

“I’m trying to make it right!” Jack insisted, heart racing.

“And how in the hell do you think you’re gonna do that?”

Jack stared at him dumbfounded, knowing that he had asked himself that question a million times and come up empty.

“She doesn’t need you anymore. The best thing you can do now is just crawl back into whatever hole you crawled out of and leave her be.”

Jack shook his head determinedly, his heart pounding. “No. I’m not going anywhere, not this time.”

Callum laughed scornfully. “That’s your master plan? Seriously?”

Jack glared at him in silence, his anger mounting.

“Oh come on – you gotta admit, that’s a reckless statement, especially for you.” Callum snorted derisively. “You disappear when the going gets tough, remember?”

Jack clenched his teeth so tight his jaw ached. “That’s not what happened and you know it.”

“Do I? Because that’s what it looked like from where I was standing!”

“You know damn well why I left!” Jack blurted out, his voice thunderous and desperate. “You knew what I did – you were there!”

“Yeah, I knew what you did – big deal! You were trying to save her life – she wouldn’t have blamed you!” he said hotly. “You did the wrong thing, Jack – you should’ve stayed.”

Jack stared at him, his heart racing. He thought about the relationship they used to have – how close they were. Like brothers. And now this; strangers – worse than that; enemies.

“I made a mistake.” he choked. “I won’t make that mistake again.”

Callum shook his head. He stood up straight and took a step backwards, eyeballing Jack as he forced his hands back into his pockets.

“Here’s the thing – you made your choice. Now you have to live with it, just like the rest of us. You can’t change what happened and if you stick around, you’re only gonna hurt her. Is that what you want?”

Jack opened his mouth to reply but Callum didn’t give him a chance.

“She was just starting to get her life back together, after everything she’s been through. Don’t rip it all apart again.” he pleaded quietly, clearly emotional. “Do the right thing this time – leave.”

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about amanda

Amanda Dick is a night-owl, coffee addict, movie buff and music lover.  She also writes.

Born in Opotiki, New Zealand, she is rather partial to dark chocolate and believes in the power of a good vanilla latte.  She has a passion for the colour green (particularly in clothes and gemstones) and insists there is nothing sexier than a man in a kilt.

She spent several months traveling around Europe in her late 20’s (there’s a story there – she’ll get around to writing it one day).  After ridding herself of her wanderlust, she met the love of her life (while working to pay off said wanderlust) in Edinburgh, Scotland.  They moved in together the week after their first date – so yes, she believes in love at first sight.  She also believes in Women’s Intuition and following your heart.

She writes on her trusty laptop, predominantly late at night, when it’s quiet and interruptions are few.  Most of all, she enjoys writing about human behaviour – love, loss, joy, grief, friendship and relationships in general.  She loves to put normal, everyday people into situations that will test their boundaries.  She is passionately curious about how we, as human beings, react when pushed to the edge.

After living in Scotland for five years, she has now settled back home in New Zealand, where she lives with her husband and two children.

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{Book Blitz & Giveaway} Breaking Lauren by Jordan Deen

Breaking Lauren

Book Blitz

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Book Title: Breaking Lauren
Author: Jordan Deen
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: February 18, 2013
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Danny Cummings’ life is far from a fairytale, but that’s okay since he doesn’t believe in happy endings. After spending a year in juvenile hall for maliciously beating his sister’s boyfriend, Danny embraces his badass image. Spending most nights drinking, fighting and collecting gambling debts for his Uncle, Danny’s life is out of control. His addiction to the bad boy lifestyle won’t let him do anything about it, even with his family begging him to go straight. But, when fifteen-year-old Lauren McIntosh stumbles into one of his nightly escapades, the self-proclaimed anti-romantic can’t concentrate on anything except Lauren and the fact that she’s on the same path his sister was on. Danny knows true love happening for the villain is as common as gamblers paying their debt on time, but he’s never backed away from a challenge before and he hates the idea that history will repeat itself. Growing old with the man she loves-in the small town where she was born-is the only dream Lauren McIntosh has ever had; that is until her family is practically run out of town amidst rumors of arson and adultery. So, when she meets Danny at her new school and hears the rumors about his activities from her new friends, she wants nothing to do with him or the gossip that seems to follow Danny everywhere. After a dangerous and ill-fated attempt at sneaking out, she develops unwelcomed feelings for Danny that he seems to reciprocate. But, Danny’s unrelenting pursuit makes Lauren nervous, especially since he’s the only one that wants to know the secrets surrounding her family’s move. Lauren can’t tell if Danny’s intentions are true or if he has other plans for their newfound and unlikely friendship. The only way to figure out is to let him in and that could destroy everything, including the popularity and social acceptance she desperately seeks.

Meet the Author

“Jordan Deen is an Award-Winning Young Adult and New Adult Author from East St. Louis, Illinois. Her debut novel, THE CRESCENT was a 2010 Reader’s Favorite Award Winner. Her second novel, HALF MOON released in 2011. BREAKING LAUREN is her third novel and was a finalist in the Texas Literary Awards. The sequel, LOSING LAUREN was released on 12/5/2013.

Jordan is published with Black Rose Writing, a non-genre specific press out of Texas.

‘Life is about the journey…’ “

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{Blog Tour} Regency Romance By Arabella Sheraton

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clip_image002The Dangerous Duke

Author: Arabella Sheraton

Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten

Editor: Celina Summers

Ebook Designer: Coreen Montagna

Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance

Audience: romance lovers

Formats: e-books (pdf for hosts)

Publisher: MUSA Publishing

Pages: 229

Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-037-1

ASIN: B005S68D6Y

Date Published: 10/10/2011

Blurb-

When the beautiful but impoverished Fenella Hawke takes up the position of Companion to the elderly Dowager Duchess of Wyndlesham, she is unprepared for the hostile attitude of the current Duke. The handsome and arrogant Devlin Deverell suspects Fenella has secrets to hide. From the moment they meet, Devlin and Fenella experience an overpowering and frightening attraction. They try to fight their growing arousal, but find themselves irresistibly drawn to each other. However, when Lady Penelope Vane, Devlin’s extremely jealous mistress, discovers that Devlin’s attentions are wandering, she sets in motion a ruthless plot to discredit Fenella, with the help of her ally, the rakish Sir Marcus Solesby. Can Fenella keep her secret from the dangerous Duke? Or will Lady Vane’s diabolical plan succeed?

Book Links-

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Excerpt-

“Then what is the point?” Fenella was exasperated. “It is none of your business who I speak to and with whom I associate.”

“Oh, yes it is!” Devlin snapped. “I am your employer.”

“No, you are not.” Fenella’s gaze was unflinching. “Her Grace is my employer and you have no right to criticize what I do when I am not on duty. You are not the judge of my conduct.”

“Hear me, Madam,” said Devlin, a dangerous note creeping into his voice. He tightened his lips. “I am the only judge of the conduct of those who reside under my roof. Sir Marcus Solesby is a known seducer of young women.”

Memories flooded into Fenella’s mind of how Devlin’s presence played daily havoc with her. The feeling of his lips against hers plagued her constantly. Worst of all was reliving the night when he had slid his hand under her nightdress and fondled her body—without considering the consequences. Yes, she had failed to stop him until liberties were taken and his unbridled lust and her blossoming sensuality exposed. She had stopped them both in the end.

Not him. He should never have begun this dangerous game and now he had the effrontery to monitor her every move and decide with whom she should associate?

“Oh, really? And what do you call yourself then?” Fenella’s whole body shook with suppressed fury.

Her barb hit home. Devlin went white with shock and rage—shock at hearing his conduct described as that of a roué and anger that this chit of a girl whom he could not control was daring to defy him in his own home.

“I forbid you to speak to that man!”

“Forbid? Fiddlesticks!” Fenella tossed her head.

“You are the most stubborn, insubordinate and aggravating female it has been my misfortune to meet.”

“And you are the most ill-mannered, domineering, selfish brute it has been my misfortune to meet.” Fenella stamped her foot, her cheeks red with rage. A strength she did not know she possessed rose from within; strength and a fierce sense of independence. She would not be bullied by this man, not after all that had happened between them. She saw in Devlin’s expression his struggle with some kind of gigantic force, the towering emotions that consumed him.

Is it rage? she wondered, almost faltering in her decision to stand firm. Have I gone too far?

Perhaps her upbringing had failed her in the end: one certainly did not defy a member of the nobility. As Devlin opened his mouth; Fenella decided that discretion was possibly the better part of valor. She turned on her heel and flung open the library door to find an astonished Freddie standing in front of her, his hand raised.

“I was about to knock,” he stammered.

“Don’t bother.” Fenella ground the word through gritted teeth. “We’re quite finished here.”

clip_image005Married At Midnight

Author: Arabella Sheraton

Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten

Editor: Tamara Frigoletto

Ebook Designer: Coreen Montagna

Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance

Audience: romance lovers

Formats: e-books (pdf for hosts)

Publisher: MUSA Publishing

Pages: 206

Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-077-7

ASIN: B007L3U4HI

Date Published: 16/03/2012

Blurb-

When the Earl of Pennington discovers the inheritance from his great-uncle depends on him marrying at midnight on the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he is irate. Marriage is not part of his plan to save his impoverished estates. He crosses paths unexpectedly with the beautiful Roxanne Chesney, who is fleeing from her abusive husband. He offers her a contract: marriage for six months to help him fulfill the conditions of his great-uncle’s will, enabling him secure his inheritance. In return he will pay her a small fortune. Can Roxanne resist this offer? What about the revolting Edgar Doyle who forced her into a loveless marriage that has not been consummated? Roxanne has escaped Edgar’s clutches, but she wonders how long she will manage to evade him. The Earl’s contract has no strings attached. The offer is irresistible except for the fact that Roxanne is already married!

Book Links-

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Excerpt-

Edgar sat next to her, his face at a slight angle so that anyone observing them could not see his expression.

“What do you want?” she murmured though stiff lips.

Edgar snorted. “Want? I want what’s due to me, that’s what I want.”

Roxanne avoided looking directly at him. She knew his hypnotic stare would wear her down again. She watched the happy throng of guests twirling around the room, laughing and enjoying themselves. A terrible sense of suffocation began to overwhelm her. Fighting to retain her self-control, Roxanne unfurled her fan and waved it in front of her face. The regular movement helped calm her and provided a flimsy shield against Edgar’s dreadful gaze.

“I have no money, if that’s what you’re looking for,” she said with calm hauteur.

Another derisive snort. “D’ye expect me to believe that? What with you engaged to the wealthy young Earl of Pennington?”

“He is not wealthy.”

Edgar sniggered as he leered at her in triumph. He lifted her hand and pressed his mouth on the inside of her wrist. Roxanne squirmed at the feel of those loose wet lips against her skin. She snatched her hand from his grasp.

“Not yet, me darlin’, not yet. I hear he’ll be inheriting soon, once he’s married. Something about an old uncle or aunt?”

“His great-uncle Oswald,” Roxanne said, without thinking.

Edgar’s reaction made her wish she’d bitten her tongue instead.

“So you do know there’s money coming then?”

Roxanne tossed her head, affecting nonchalance. “The whole of London knows he had a wealthy old relative. His great-uncle wanted to see him married.”

Edgar leaned closer. The smell of stale sweat mixed with cheap cologne wafted towards her. She wrinkled her nose. Julian always smelled so clean, so masculine.

He sat back, an angry look in his eyes.

“Don’t put on airs and graces with me. You were grateful enough to have me, weren’t you? When you thought you’d be all alone in the world. Pity you didn’t stay long enough to let me show you what you’ve been missing.”

Roxanne felt as if she could explode with rage as she turned to face him. “Let me explain something to you, Mr. Doyle.”

Her voice was low and hard, without a shred of fear. Her eyes blazed an intense green. Anger had burned away all her previous terrors. Edgar recoiled in his seat just a fraction. It was enough to tell Roxanne that he was taken aback by her sudden courage.

“I despise you in every possible way. I knew from the start you were not my father’s cousin. You are a fraud. You intimidated my father into thinking marriage with you would protect me in society. Then you forced me into marrying you and tried to rape me. But I won’t have it, Edgar Doyle, I won’t stand for it.”

Edgar narrowed his eyes. His lips pinched in anger.

“Now you look here, my girl,” he blustered.

“No, you look here,” Roxanne retorted. “How dare you think you can bully me in the Duke of Silverton’s house? Who do you think you are?”

She waved a hand at the crowd of guests. “This is the cream of London society. You are nothing but a fraud, a poseur and a charlatan.”

Edgar curled his lip as he grasped her wrist, squeezing hard.

“Don’t forget something, me darlin’. You and me—we’re married. So if you get hitched to your high and mighty Earl of Pennington, won’t he get a nasty shock when it comes out his new bride is already wed.”

clip_image006The Wayward Miss Wainwright

Author: Arabella Sheraton

Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten

Editor: Elaine Golden

Ebook Designer: Coreen Montagna

Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance

Audience: romance lovers

Formats: e-books (pdf for hosts)

Publisher: MUSA Publishing

Pages: 203

Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-361-7

ASIN: B009R939AS

Date Published: 15/10/2012

Blurb-

Miss Helena Wainwright is determined to see her nieces and nephew well settled with their new guardian, the Duke of Rotherham. After six months of transition, the children are beginning to bond with their uncle, but Helena and the Duke aren’t able to get much past the barest of civilities. Now that the duke is poised to offer for the shy Miss Fanshawe, Helena is horrified to discover an awful secret about the young lady and her scheming mother. What is she going to do–keep the secret or reveal all in her own bid for the duke’s heart?

Ready to settle down and provide a stable environment for his wards, Vernon Wroxby, the Duke of Rotherham, has decided the amenable Miss Fanshawe will do, even if he dislikes her outspoken, uncouth mama. If he could just quit wondering what Miss Wainwright is doing (and with whom) he’d be able to appreciate the match a bit more. But as his wards begin to rebel against the idea of this marriage, and he starts to realize that his affections really reside with Miss Wainwright, will one determined marriage-mart mama ruin any chance he might have for true happiness?

Book Links:

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Excerpt-

As she made her way back to her room, there was a shadowy figure standing in the passage. Her candle cast a faint glow in the gloom, so she could not see clearly until she came closer where a man leaned against the wall. She hurried up to him. It could only be…

“Your—I mean, Cousin Vernon,” she whispered. “Is anything the matter?”

He looked dazed, as if he had just woken up, and he wore his brocade dressing gown and slippers. He pressed a hand to his forehead.

“Have you been sleepwalking?” she whispered.

He smiled a lazy, drowsy smile she had never seen before. “Oh, Helena, my love, it seems as if I have been sleepwalking.”

His words startled her. Had he said “my love?”

She took him by the elbow and tried to steer him in the direction of his room. What would people think if they knew he wandered around the place half-naked? Some might say that, as the owner of the title and the property, the Duke of Rotherham could walk around Rotherham Park, any time of day, dressed or undressed.

“Helena, I have been blind,” he said in a loud voice.

“Shhh. Yes, I’m sure you have,” she whispered, trying to speed up their pace.

“No, I mean it. I never saw you before, and once I had, I tried to forget you. But it’s impossible. You changed my life. I want you and I need you so very much, my darling.”

Helena was even more confused. Rotherham must be rambling. Possibly, he had consumed too much wine and his jumbled thoughts of Emily were rising to the surface of a brain fuddled with alcohol.

“What time is it?” he asked.

“Oh, it’s late, very late,” she whispered. “Tine for you to get back to bed.”

He stopped. “Is it too late?”

Helena placed the candlestick down on a small decorative table. “Too late for what?”

He smiled in a way that made her giddy, and he clasped her face in both hands. His robe fell open. Helena glanced down, and then quickly away, face flaming. He was naked under the robe. Where he had been?

“Is it too late for us?” He leaned closer, until their lips almost touched.

“I…I don’t know what you mean,” she said, trying to ease out of his grasp.

“I know what I mean,” he said firmly. “This is what I mean.”

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Miss Dashwood’s Dilemma

Author: Arabella Sheraton

Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten

Editor: Wendy Clements

Ebook Designer: Cera Smith

Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance

Audience: romance lovers

Formats: e-books (pdf for hosts)

Publisher: MUSA Publishing

Pages: 138

Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-585-7

ASIN: B00HGELU66

Date Published: 20/12/2013

Blurb-

When Miss Diana Dashwood accepts an invitation to Lady Prescott’s Christmas party, things do not go quite as she imagines. Through an unexpected event, she is forced to spend the night in a woodsman’s hut with one of the guests. What a scandal! Of course, Sir Gareth Blakely must propose, and he does. Unfortunately, Miss Diana Dashwood has already been engaged to and broken off her engagement from Sir Gareth Blakely after a bitter quarrel. Is it likely she will bow to social pressure and accept his proposal, one made only to save her reputation, and if they marry, does their union stand a chance of survival? And what about the pretty heiress, Miss Jemima Plymstock, whom everyone thinks is the lady Sir Gareth had his eye upon? Headstrong and proud, Miss Diana Dashwood is caught in a dreadful dilemma.

Book Links-

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Excerpt-

 “Oh!” Rage surged in her breast as she sat up in the chaise lounge. It was impossible to express indignation while lying supine. The effrontery, the gall of the man. She raised her voice. “So now I am stupid because I deliberately strained my ankle?”

His voice became louder as well. “I did not say that—”

“But you meant it,” Diana said through clenched teeth.

“How dare you just announce that we are engaged because of some antiquated idea of saving my virtue? I don’t need you to protect my reputation.”

His jaw dropped. “Oh, really? I suppose you are thinking along the same lines as when you abandoned me just a day before our wedding. You did not do your reputation any good then.”

“It was two days,” she retorted. “Does it matter how many days it was?”

This time his voice was quiet. “It amounts to the same thing.”

Humiliation stung her. “So now you are calling me a jilt?”

The chair scraped on the floor as he stood. “I had no need to do so. The whole of London did it for me.” Then he strode to the door.

Diana’s breath caught in her throat. Shame burned her from head to toe. “You are the most…horrible, cruel, callous, nasty, ill-mannered man I have ever had the misfortune to meet.” She pulled off the ring and clenched her fist, ready to throw it in his face. “I will not be engaged to you. I will not marry you.”

In two strides, he was by her side, and gripping her hand. His fingers tightened painfully on hers. He knelt and stared right at her with a grim, unforgiving expression. “You will remain engaged to me, Miss Dashwood, and for as long as I choose. Do not trifle with public opinion, my dear, or you will be sadly the loser. I tried to protect you and you have flung my best efforts in my face. Have you thought about my reputation? Or that of my aunt and uncle, and your mother, who would also be embarrassed by your petulant behaviour? Have you given any thought to anyone else but yourself in this fiasco?”

She drew in a trembling breath. “No,” she said in a low voice. She dropped her gaze, fuming that he was treating her like a naughty child.

“I will not force you to marry me. I am not such an ogre and I do not want to punish you for what you did. But cooperating with me in this regard will be to your benefit.” He put one hand under her chin and tilted her face upward. “Will you cooperate?” His face was so close to hers. His eyes were like the sky after rain, his mouth so firm…he bent his head closer. Diana thought she might faint. The most ridiculous feeling of dizziness overcame her.

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clip_image010 About The Author -

Arabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

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{Review Blitz & Giveaway} Fierce by Clarissa Wild

Fierce Review Blitz

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Handsome young man posing.

Book Title: Fierce
Author: Clarissa Wild
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: January 27, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Synopsis

Fight for your dreams. Fight for your life. Fight for love.

Nerdy girl Autumn Blakewood is the prime example of a goody two-shoes. She studies every night, is never late for class, and always follows the rules. She has never felt the need to step out of her comfort zone. That is, until she meets Hunter.

Hunter Bane is a cocky, confident bad-boy, who’s nothing but trouble. He’s a dangerous distraction to everyone around him. Sexy and strong, Hunter enjoys the swooning effect he has on women. Especially those who aren’t used to attention, like Autumn.

Autumn finds it hard not to give into Hunter’s advances, even though it all seems like a game to him. Trying to understand him is impossible, because he shrouds himself in mystery.
What she doesn’t know is that Hunter has more baggage than anyone should have to carry. When she discovers he’s in an illegal frat club to save the one person that matters to him, Autumn realizes this could mean the end of her undeniable connection to him. Even their lives are at risk.
But it’s too late to turn back now …

excerpt

Suddenly, a shadow is cast over the pages of my novel. The sun is blocked by something … or someone.

As I peer up with furrowed brows, I see it’s Hunter, and my annoyed look turns into a cheerful smile.

My eyes light up the moment I see him. He’s towering above me, wearing ragged pants and a flimsy tank top, which barely covers his broad chest. I gulp at the sight, especially because his black jacket makes him look so tough.

He’s like a motorcycle rider, only he isn’t. He just looks like one.

Hunter goes to his knees and snatches away my book.

“Hey!” I snap. “I was reading that.”

“Yeah, ‘was.’ And now you’re not.” He holds out his other hand. “Get up.”

I grab his hand, and the moment my fingers touch his it sends electrical shocks through my entire body. He’s so strong, he can lift me in one go without my help. My boobs bounce from the way he jerks me up, and I see his eyes flick to them for only a fraction of a second.

I gulp, and a flush spreads across my face as I pull my shirt up higher.

“What’s this for?” I say.

“Time for some training.” He leans forward, grabs the blanket, and folds it up.

“What, now?”

“Yes, now. My classes are finished, and by the looks of it so are yours. We don’t have much time, so let’s make the best use of it.”

“B-but I have to study and―”

“But, but, but,” he mocks, making a pouty face. “If you wanna learn how to defend yourself, you gotta put in the effort.”

I frown. “I was busy. You think I’m just going to adjust to your schedule?”

“You can read a book anytime you want. I can’t do this with you anytime I want. If I could, I would, trust me,” he grunts with a thick voice that makes me shiver.

My pupils dilate when he says that, and my core heats up. Damn, why does he always do those things? And why do I find it so goddamn attractive?

He steps back a little, putting on a cocky smile as he throws my … his book in the grass. Then he throws the blanket on top of it. Grinning, he takes off his jacket. The lines of his muscles show clearly through the thin fabric of his tank top, and my heart is already beating in my throat just seeing it. His biceps bulge and for a second I think he’s flexing them.

“C’mon,” he says, rubbing his hands together. “I’m ready for you.”

One of my eyebrows lifts up. “What? In these clothes? I’m not dressed for sparring.”

He snorts. “You won’t be dressed for it when they attack you again either. Now c’mon.” He signals to me with his fingers, lifting his eyebrow only a little to taunt me.

I take a deep breath and place my hands on my waist. He’s gawking at me from a distance, bending through his knees like a professional wrestler. If the look on his face wasn’t so goddamn sexy, I would’ve shaken my head and walked away, but I can’t.

For some reason I’d love nothing more than to tussle with him.

“Well? Are you going to come at me or what?” he says.

Swallowing, I fling my arms and legs to shake some life into them after sitting for so long. I take a deep breath and a good look at him. His tan muscles are already primed, ready to go. He looks like a football player waiting for the ball to be thrown into his hands so he can race off.

“Don’t make me wait … I hate it when girls make me wait.”

I chuckle. “Oh, really? What then? Are you going to kick a wall again or something?”

He muffles a low laugh. “I’ll come after you myself if I have to. And things get rough with me pretty fast.”

There’s some sexual innuendo in there, I’m sure of it. The way he groans makes me want to bite my lip. God, he’s so hot.

Goddammit, I have to stop thinking like that.

No way a guy like him would ever fall for a nerd. He could pick any girl he wants. Who’d want to pick me?

Clearing my throat, I say, “Okay. Here I come.”

After taking a quick breath I bolt toward him. I put all my strength into it, but he still manages to stay upright as I crash into him. He’s like a rock in the ocean, forever unbreakable, and I’m the fish slapping up against it.

I try to tackle him, but instead I’m the one falling on my ass.

“Ouch!”

He laughs, so loud it makes me feel embarrassed. Everyone can hear him.

“Why are you announcing you’re going to attack? That’s like playing right into my hands,” he says, and he holds out his hand.

I grapple him and try to pull him down, but he remains as balanced as ever. Shaking the finger on his free hand, he says, “You think it’s that easy to bring me down?”

“I’ll make it happen. Eventually.”

He chuckles. “I like your spunk.” He takes a few steps back. “Try again.”

I clean the dirt from my legs and bite on my cheek while thinking about a tactic. If I could only get him to move, then I could take him down. I thought he was going to teach me something, but instead I’m charging into him. Not my idea of learning self-defense.

“C’mon. I can take you, Leafy,” he says, biting his lip.

That name he has for me … God, I hate it. Why can’t he just call me by my real name?

I’ve had enough of his provocations. Maybe I’ll just kick him in the balls instead. That’ll show him not to mess with me.

I know it’s below the belt. Literally. But at least I can try to win this way.

God, I’ve changed, too.

I charge forward without warning this time. As I lift my knee he deflects my leg by pushing it down with his free hand. With the other, he grabs my lower arm.

“You’re getting dirty.” He squeezes my wrist, hard, and makes it impossible for me to escape. “I like it,” he murmurs.

With clenched teeth I fight to get loose, but he won’t release me.

“Put a little effort into it,” he says. “Nobody’s going to be nice for you. I’m not either.”

I slam his arm with my free hand, but he still won’t let me go. It’s like he doesn’t feel anything. Nothing. Nothing at all.

Damn, is he some kind of brick wall?

He chuckles. “C’mon, hit me.” At first it sounds like he’s pushing me, but after a while it becomes plain mean. “Hit me!”

“I’m trying!”

“You’re a wuss. A boneless nerd. You can’t fend for yourself. Can’t live in the real world. Not even one day.”

“Shut up!” I gather all my strength and punch him so hard in the gut his stomach retracts, and he takes one step back. His grip on my wrist loosens, and I jerk myself free.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” I say, my eyes welling up with tears again. “You’re being an asshole, and you know it.”

“Damn, that was a good jab,” he grunts.

“Who cares? You’re a bully.”

He laughs and steps forward. When I try to hit him again, he grabs both my wrists and comes to a halt right in my face. “I’m helping you.”

“Helping me? You’re insulting me, belittling me, and making me feel like a pile of crap.”

“And those guys didn’t?”

“What do they have to do with it?” I snap.

I try to jerk my wrists free, but he won’t let me go.

“Anger helps you fight. It fuels you.” His lips quirk up into a devilish smile. “Guess this is your first time finding out about the power of rage.”

“Whatever.”

“C’mon. You know I didn’t mean any of it. It’s just to get you worked up.”

“Let me go,” I hiss.

“Make me,” he says jokingly.

I’m so pissed, I kick him against the shin so hard I think I’m going to snap bones.

Instead, I break his stance, and he slips. I see him tumble down to the ground, but not before he grabs my leg and pulls me with him.

I squeal as I land right on top of him.

I’m staring into his face, my body resting on his body.

Oh. My. God. I can’t believe this.

I think my heart has stopped beating, because all I hear is his breathing. My body tenses up, feeling his skin against mine. I want nothing more than to press my body closer to his.

His chest moves against mine each time he inhales, and these few seconds feel like an eternity.

His hand lifts. When it reaches the top of my head, I swear I’ll fall to pieces right here, on top of him.

Something tickles, and then he retreats. In his hand is a leaf, which was probably stuck in my hair. He releases it and lets it drift away with the wind. Then he stares at me, his eyes suddenly showing a little hesitance. His lips are parted and perky, and all I want is to press mine against his.

And then smack him again.

He’s breathing against my chin, and I feel my groin heat up. I’m getting all wired up because of him.

Shit.

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Meet the Author

Clarissa Wild is the erotic romance author of the Blissful Series, The Billionaire’s Bet series, the Doing It Series and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

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{Blog Tour & Giveaway} Daring The Wild Sparks by Ren Alexander

In the follow up to “Chasing the Wild Sparks,” Hadley Beckett’s quest for wedded bliss perseveres…

What would you do if the love of your life were closer to making your dreams come true?

Riding high in her relationship with her sportscaster/local daredevil boyfriend, Finn Wilder, Hadley Beckett makes plans concerning her future with Finn. Big plans.

Spending time with Finn at his parents’ house for Easter, Hadley can’t wait to share some of her ideas with him, hoping he will go along. She knows she has an uphill climb ahead of her, but she’s optimistic that after what they recently went through, Finn will be receptive to what she has to say.

Infamously anti-marriage, Finn promised Hadley he’d consider taking her to the altar if she gives him more time. Diving headfirst and with encouragement from her best friend Morgan, Hadley devises a backup plan if Finn can’t make a decision soon. However, her other close friend, Rod, disagrees with Morgan’s advice, partly to just oppose her in spite, but also having actual valid points of his own. Feeling conflicted, Hadley takes both of their suggestions and blends them together, formulating her own way to handle Finn.

On the other hand, unbeknownst to Hadley, Finn has plans of his own as well.

Hadley is determined to succeed, yet is she unwittingly destined to fail?

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Daring the wild sparks

ren alexander

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Excerpt

 He buries his lips against my neck and purrs, “I’m sorry, baby. How can I make it up to you?”

     “I don’t know. I’ll think of something.”

     “I can think of something.”

     “No way. I get to decide, not you.”

     He drags his lips up and down my skin, and closing my eyes, I swallow when he asks, “Are you going to tease me all day?”

     I squeak, “I might.” He lifts his head from me and tries to turn me around, but I grab onto the fence, preventing him from doing so.

     “Is this how you’re going to be?” I hear the ambiguous grin in his voice, causing me to smile more.

     “Maybe.”

     I eye him from over my shoulder, his lips dangerously close to mine as he asks, “What am I going to have to do to get my kiss?” His eyes are marginally pleading and he rolls his lower lip under his teeth, surely tempting me. Gripping the fence tighter, I viciously resist those full, glistening lips of his, and kissing him with wild unrestraint.

     Wickedly smirking at him, I whisper, “Work for it, Wilder.”

     Turning, I walk along the fence and around the corner, finding another sign to distract me. Stopping, I glance at Finn through the white metal as a few women walk past him, furtively checking him out and giggling as they walk by. Unless they watch him online, I doubt they’re Finnatics since we’re far from Richmond. No, they were staring at my boyfriend because of how scrumptious he is.

     It’s positively the mood-ring hair.

     Wait. On second thought, it has to be his scorchingly carnal, dark-chocolate eyes that melt your soul with just one look.

     Still in the same spot I left him, Finn transiently angles his head to see where the laughter is coming from. Not being able to help himself, he gives the women a polite nod accompanied by a crooked, shameless grin. Instantly, their mouths drop and they stop blinking as they bump into each other, caught in his magical allure. He must be recruiting new Finnatics.

     It’s definitely his sexy smile.

     I should be pissed at his flirting, like I was at the race, but I’m used to seeing him flash that smile on TV to his Finnatics, making them hot and bothered. I trust him. I’m okay with him innocently acknowledging other women—it’s part of his public persona. However, when they’re all over him, touching him in places that only I should be, that’s when I can’t take it.

     Finn Wilder is mine.

     Finished with his apparent networking, he looks back at me and I give him a flirty smile, obviously gawking at him myself. He rolls his eyes and looks away from me. Is he chagrined that I caught him checking out other women or is he proud of himself checking out other women in front of me? Putting his hands on his hips, he laughs and shakes his head.

     Finn embarrassed? Never.

     He languidly starts walking to me, looking thoughtfully around him, as if he’s formulating a plan. I watch him approaching as he passes by the metal rails, the view of him alternatingly obscured by the vertical bars. He turns the corner and I shift my stare to the sign in front of me. Every molecule of my being is on high alert, eagerly anticipating his closeness.

     With the hair on the back of my neck on end, he’s once again behind me, and for a second time, he puts his arms around my waist and his lips against my neck. My body is singing for his touch. He discreetly flicks his tongue as his lips close over my skin, doing this up to my ear. He then nips at my earlobe, causing me to harshly inhale. He repeats biting my ear several times, driving me crazy. As I continue to stare at the sign in front of me, I strive to not be too affected, since we’re openly in public. Unexpectedly, he tersely breathes into my ear, huffing in short bursts, simulating his panting during sex. I gasp and reach up to hold onto the fence.

     Grasping the fence on either side of me, his lips graze my ear as he brusquely whispers, “Do you want to kiss me now, Becks?”

     I swallow and wheeze, “Nope.” Be strong.

     I feel his smile against me. Finn Wilder lives for one thing in life: a challenge he refuses to lose.

     He pants and groans into my ear. “Oh, Hadley, baby, you’re so sexy. I want you. I don’t care who watches. I’m going to come so hard inside you.” My knees nearly buckle. I quietly whimper and close my eyes.

     I’m supposed to be showing him other ways than sex to be close to me. My plan is backfiring, big time. Damn it!

     He whispers, “What about now?”

     I nod and hoarsely say, “Yes.”

     He whispers, “Good.” He slides his teeth over my ear. “Because two can play at this game.”

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Chasing the wild sparks

Book #1

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What would you do if the love of your life doesn’t want the same life you do?

Hadley Beckett has failed in not only her career, but as a daughter, friend, and girlfriend.

Hadley’s longtime boyfriend, Finn Wilder, who is Richmond, Virginia’s local daredevil and favorite sportscaster, isn’t afraid of anything…except for LASIK surgery, dancing, marriage, and kids—the last two being what Hadley desperately wants with him. Finn leads a very public life; however, he leaves Hadley in the dark about most of it. Despite his public persona, Finn is viciously protective of his private life. Excluding their families, his best friend and Hadley’s friends, nobody knows he has been dating her for three years. Finn loves Hadley and he knows she wants to get married. Nevertheless, he has his own reasons for not wanting to marry her.

Fearing at 33 that she will soon be too old to have kids, Hadley wants Finn to change his mind and marry her, yet her insecurities about his seemingly charismatic personality and his constant rebuffs have her questioning her aspirations. With conflicting advice from her friends, Hadley concludes she should take things into her own hands.

Would he change his mind then?

Finn pressures Hadley into moving in with him, but being traditional, she wants to be married first and she wants to stick to her beliefs, just as he clings to his own. Finn has tolerated Hadley’s stubbornness long enough and he’s reaching his breaking point.

Finn Wilder has his own story to tell.

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about the author

Ren Alexander was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, but grew up in a nearby tiny, historical, college town in the Northern Panhandle of the state. She graduated from West Liberty University, where she received a B.S. in criminal justice. Although interested in that field, her true passion was reading and writing.

She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband, two daughters and two cats.

“Chasing the Wild Sparks” is Ren’s first novel.

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