Sunday, October 21, 2018

New Release & Review - temp·ta·tion by Micalea Smeltzer


temp·ta·tion by Micalea Smeltzer is live! Check out all the details, an excerpt and my review below.




temp·ta·tion a desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise. 

After the death of my boyfriend, my whole world is tossed upside down. I lose not only him but my home and, suddenly, nothing is the same. 

Then I meet him. 

Siva. My savior. 

He’s dark and brooding, the complete opposite of everything I’ve ever known. 

Somehow, though, I’m able to see the light in him that no one else can. He tempts me ever closer, my heart reaching out to him, even while my mind shouts out me to stay away. That it’s too soon. That it’s wrong. 

But when temptation becomes too strong, who am I too resist?





 


PROLOGUE

I always knew death would touch my life at some point.
It’s inevitable, really.
We all die after all.
I guess I never expected it to be the man I loved—or if it was, I expected us to be old and gray in our beds.
But life had other plans, and now Devak is gone, and I’m … I’m numb.
I wiggle around on the hard pew, trying to get more comfortable. It doesn’t work.
The man at the podium drones on and on.
About nothing.
About everything.
About life.
About death.
Devak wouldn’t have liked this. He was a simple man. He wouldn’t appreciate so much fussing over him, and he definitely wouldn’t appreciate his step-mother blubbering her eyes out in the front pew.
His father, Rajas, pats his wife’s back in comfort.
It takes all my energy not to roll my eyes.
Although, I guess I’m bitter since they stuck me in the back like I’m unimportant. Since Devak and I weren’t married, Rajas and his wife, Lila, consider me null and void now. They never liked me. They thought me to only be a thieving American, after his money and name. They couldn’t be more wrong. I truly love Devak. Loved. I loved him. Past tense. I nearly choked. It didn’t seem right to be thinking of him in the past tense.
The man speaking finishes and everyone stands.
Everyone except me, that is. My legs feel like they weigh five-hundred pounds.
Probably five-hundred pounds of tears.
I haven’t cried, not once, since I got the news Devak was killed in the car accident. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
I will the tears to come now, as Lila and Rajas take one last look at Devak, but nothing happens.
All that exists is the numbness.
Rajas looks sadly at his youngest and favorite son, gone from this world too soon. Dev has—had—an older brother, but I’ve never met him. I’ve never even seen a photo of him. He’s something of a pariah.
Although, if Rajas were my father maybe I’d be the same way. The man takes the word overbearing to another level.
Though, I never really understood why Dev didn’t talk about his brother.
He didn’t talk about his mother much either except to say she left shortly after his brother stopped coming around.
I look around the people still gathered in the church, and no one looks like they could be his mother or brother.
They probably don’t even know Dev’s gone, and it makes me sad. They deserve to know, though I’m sure Rajas would disagree.
Several people eye me, and I see Rajas say something to one of them. I’m sure it isn’t anything nice. If he’d ever actually bothered to get to know me he would’ve seen how much I loved his son.
They could think what they wanted, though, since I knew my love for him was true.
I wasn’t in the habit of caring what people thought of me. I learned a long time ago the opinion of others was useless.
The church emptied, and I was left alone with a somber Rajas and Lila, both of them looking at me like I was a speck of dirt they wanted to wipe off their designer shoes.
Rajas is tall and handsome like Devak.  He’s full Indian with dark caramel skin and inky black hair. His eyes are as dark as his hair, and his mouth is almost always set in a frown. He has a regal air about him, like royalty, though he’s not.
Lila has pale skin, light blond hair, and lifeless blue eyes. She’s the complete opposite of his first wife, Isla. I’d only ever seen a picture of the woman, but she was beautiful, with black hair, olive skin, and violet colored eyes.
“Sloane,” Rajas says sternly.
“Sir,” I address him. I’m not allowed to call him Rajas, or even Mr. Kapur.
“What are you doing?” he asks, his eyes raking over me where I sit, picking apart my black dress and shoes I’m sure.
“Sitting,” I say sarcastically, since it’s pretty obvious what I’m doing.
I’m not normally so short with him, since I usually want to impress him, but with Devak gone I can’t bring myself to care. What’s the point anymore?
He starts to smile but it quickly disappears when he catches himself. He clears his throat. “Aren’t you leaving?”
I resist the urge to roll my eyes. “Not yet. I’m not ready to leave,” I answer honestly. I need another moment with Dev. This is my last chance with him.
Lila stands slightly behind her husband, peering over his shoulder at me.
Rajas clears his throat. “Don’t be too long.”
I nod as he straightens his suit jacket.
“I won’t be much longer.”
Stiffly, he takes Lila’s hand and starts for the doors. I watch them leave. Rajas pauses at the door and looks back for one last look at his son. He looks heartbroken, and while he might be a raging asshole to me, I think he truly loved his son—well, at least the one.
He shakes his head and places his hand on Lila’s waist, ushering her out the door.
The heavy doors bang closed and I’m finally alone with Dev.
I lean forward with my elbows on my knees and bury my face in my hands.
One tear.
All I ask is for one tear.
One tear for the man I love.
I get nothing.
“Oh, Dev,” I whisper into the empty church. “Why has this happened?”
Of course no one answers.
Time passes slowly as I sit, and still no tears come even as I beg—beg to feel something besides this emptiness now residing in my chest.
The doors behind me open, and I jump to a standing position, thinking it’s Rajas come to tell me my time is up.
“Sorry, I’m sorry,” I stammer, my head bowed as I grab my coat. “I was going.”
“Oh?” responds a voice I don’t recognize but feels entirely familiar at the same time.
“What the—?” My head shoots up and my eyes connect with violet ones. I nearly choke on my tongue because the guy is gorgeous.
He narrows his eyes on me, his two dark brows drawing together. He’s handsome, it’s undeniable. His black hair is brushed away from his face and his skin is a beautiful honey color, and I wonder if it’s as soft as it looks. His face is chiseled, with full lips, and a dimple in his chin. He’s tall, easily six-feet, but I’d say taller, and lean but still well built so it’s clear he works out. His dress shirt clings to his chest and his gray dress pants hang delectably on his hips.
And I’m checking out a guy at my boyfriend’s funeral. Just fucking great.
The man stalks toward me slowly, his brows still drawn together, giving him an angry look. Each step is slow and deliberate like he’s stalking a frightened deer.
I probably do look like a deer caught in headlights.
“You are?” he asks in a British accent.
My hands wring together. His intensity has me unnerved. “Sloane,” I reply.
Sloane,” he repeats, testing out my name on my tongue. He makes a face, and I’m not sure he likes the flavor. His unusual violet eyes narrow on me. “What are you doing here?”
I swallow thickly. “I’m attending my boyfriend’s funeral.”
He looks around at the empty room and then back at me, as if to make a point.
I clear my throat. “Everyone … uh … left.”
“But not you?” He stares at me like I’m some fascinating exotic bird he’s just discovered. I have news for him—I’m not interesting.
I look to the floor, my shoes, anything but his inquisitive violet eyes that seem to see too much. “They don’t like me,” I finally respond. “I wanted a moment alone.”
His laugh fills the air, and it surprises me. I get the impression this isn’t a man who laughs a lot. “We have that in common, Sloane.”
“What?” I asked stupidly.
“They don’t like me either,” he whispers conspiratorially, like he’s letting me in on some sort of secret.
“Why?” I ask, my eyes roaming over him. He looks familiar, so much like Dev, but I know I’ve never met him before.
He shrugs. “Because I dare to go against the grain. I find rules are meant for breaking.”
“Who are you?” I finally ask, in awe of him.
I feel like he’s put a spell on me or something.
“Siva,” he answers.
My eyes narrow in thought. I know his name—but how?
My mouth pops open as clarity hits me.
Oh.
Siva … as in Siva Kapur.

Dev’s brother is back.



Micalea Smeltzer is a new to me author with temp·ta·tion being my first read by her. To be honest, the book didn't grab me right away and I wasn't sure I was going to finish it. I am very glad I kept reading because I was soon drawn in. Siva and Sloane's story is intriguing and complex and the turns and twists kept me riveted. I couldn't put it down because I wanted to know what happened next. I definitely recommend it.


Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Join my Facebook group for an early look at covers, exclusive teasers, behind the scenes photos, and much more. 

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Review & Giveaway - Twisted by Mandi Beck


Title: Twisted
Author: Mandi Beck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 19, 2018



Three friends walk into a bar . . . One walks out the fake girlfriend of a hot, bearded Scotsman. 
Fannin McGuire is up for promotion at Nolan and Krane Enterprises, but first she has to make it through her stepsister’s wedding. To Fannin’s ex. Yep. Her ex-fiancĂ© is about to be her new brother-in-law. One big happy family. And lucky her, she also gets to work with him. 

While Fannin is putting all of her energy into her career, her ex is putting all of his energy into making her life hell. Just when Fannin is sure she’ll be attending the wedding without a plus one, in walks Jasper James to save the day. He’s the bartender at the Iron Flask, the account she’s trying to land, and everything she didn’t know she needed or wanted. 

Before Fannin knows what’s happening, Jasper is playing knight in shining armor and she likes it. And him. A lot. With his smooth Scottish accent, ridiculously good looks, and that beard? She doesn’t stand a chance. 


Jasper isn’t in the habit of rescuing anyone. But when Fannin is confronted by her ex about her lack of a date for his upcoming nuptials, Jasper can’t help but step in. Her wild hair, violet eyes, and killer legs have him doing a few things he normally wouldn’t. Never mind that he shouldn’t be getting involved with the woman in charge of making the bar a global success. 

Their fake relationship becomes more real than either thought it would. Now they’re at the mercy of their feelings when truths are twisted, and the lies don’t taste as smooth as the whisky.




Previously released as a part of Kindle Worlds, Twisted by Mandi Beck has been given an update and additional bonus content. Even if you've read it before, I would definitely give it another read. Fannin and Jasper held me captive just as much as the first time I read it. I mean, who doesn't love a hot Scottish guy and a fiesty heroine. Toss in a condescending ex and a narcissistic stepsister determined to cause trouble and you've got a fabulous story that will leave you wanting more.











Mandi Beck has been an avid reader all of her life. A deep love for books always had her jotting down little stories on napkins, notebooks, and her hand. As an adult she was further submerged into the book world through book clubs and the epicness of social media. It was then that she graduated to writing her stories on her phone and then finally on a proper computer.

A wife, mother to two rambunctious and somewhat rotten boys, and stepmom to two great girls away at college, she shares her time with her husband in Chicago where she was born and raised. Mandi is a diehard hockey fan and blames the Blackhawks when her deadlines are not met even though her favorite hockey player calls her…mom.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Release - This Love by Kelly Elliott



This Love, the latest book in Kelly Elliott's Cowboys and Angels series, is live! Check out all the details below.






I was a self-appointed bachelor and happy to have the title. Everyone thought it was time for me to settle down and find a nice girl. Well, no thank you. This cowboy wanted to stay clear of relationships. I wanted the freedom that came with no strings. But what did I know? Nothing apparently. Everything changed when I looked into her green eyes; my world tilted when she smiled at me. What was this feeling? Whatever was happening had me losing my damn mind. I fumbled with my words. My body wasn’t my own. I wanted her … desperately. Was I ready to give up my bachelor days, or was this Irish girl simply an itch I needed scratched? This Love is book 6 in the Cowboys and Angels series.




Kelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author. Since finishing her bestselling Wanted series, Kelly continues to spread her wings while remaining true to her roots and giving readers stories rich with hot protective men, strong women and beautiful surroundings. Her bestselling works include, Wanted, Broken, Without You, and Unconditional Love, to name just a few. Kelly has been passionate about writing since she was fifteen. After years of filling journals with stories, she finally followed her dream and published her first novel, Wanted, in November of 2012. Kelly lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter, and two pups. When she’s not writing, Kelly enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is down to earth and very in touch with her readers, both on social media and at signings. To find out more about Kelly and her books, you can find her through her website. www.kellyelliottauthor.com 

New Release & Review - Crave by Adriana Locke


Crave, the latest in Adriana Locke's The Gibson Boys series is live! Check out all the details, an excerpt and my review below.






Hadley Jacobs is over Machlan Gibson. 

Sure, she’ll always be a little weak to the dimple in his right cheek and the way his five o’clock shadow makes him ruggedly handsome. But that’s not enough to cover every other thing about him because they all drive her nuts. Like how he’s won’t admit he’s wrong even when he knows it and how he drives his stupid car a million miles an hour on wet asphalt. As she rolls back into town and takes a seat at Crave, she won’t take the bait. She’s over him. Mostly.

Machlan isn’t over her.

It’s not because he hasn’t tried. He reminds himself over and over that she’s not the girl for him. After all, she drives him insane with her sassy attitude and the way she calls him out on everything. She beats him at poker, even though she doesn’t know the difference between a straight and a flush, and when she looks at him with her bright, blue eyes, it’s unnerving. When she climbs onto that bar stool and orders a drink, he puts it in front of her and ignores the sparkle in her eyes. He’s not over her, but she won’t know that.

But she does know that. And he knows she’s not as over him as she’s pretending to be. When life forces their hand this time, there’s more on the line than a pile of poker chips. It’s their forever.




“What brought you back to town?” Peck asks. “Haven’t seen you in a while.”
I gaze at the horizon and the way the sun is barely visible over the tree line. I wish I were on Bluebird Hill watching it go down.
“Do you remember that tire swing we put up on Bluebird Hill?” I ignore his question and ask one of my own. “Is it still there?”
“I think so.” He takes off his hat emblazoned with a machinery company’s logo and runs a hand over his head. “I haven’t been up there in a while. The last time ended up with my truck being buried up to the axle in mud and me having to call Machlan to come get it out at two in the morning.” He grins sheepishly. “I’ll let you guess how that call went.”
My feet stop moving, so Peck halts too. We stand a few feet from the doors to Crave. His eyes search mine in a way only capable someone you’ve known for a long time can.
“He’s in there,” he says, motioning toward the door with his head.
“I hope so.”
Peck’s brow furrows. “Not the answer I was expecting.”
“Why else would I show up here?”
“Don’t you guys usually try to do this behind closed doors?” Peck asks.
“Do what?”
He runs his tongue along his bottom lip before biting down to withhold a grin. It doesn’t work. I roll my eyes at both his question and reaction and head toward the door.
Whatever happens once I’m inside Crave will be fine. Either he’ll serve me a drink or he’ll be a major ass—either option I can work with in my plan to get over Machlan Gibson. 
“Are you ignoring me?” Peck asks.
“I just want a drink,” I lie.
“And what do you drink these days?” he prods, seeing through my lie. I’ve never been much of a drinker, and I’m definitely not the kind of girl to just stop by a bar for a drink—this bar, no less.
My mind races to come up with a drink I’ve heard my friends order, all the while trying not to let Peck see how hard my heart is racing and the sweat glistening on my palms. “I’m drinking a tequila and Coke.”
Peck chuckles behind me. “Can I give you one quick tip?”
“No.”
With a deep breath, I step into the building. Antique lanterns on the ceilings and various Christmas lights strung around the building illuminate the bar. I hold my breath before allowing the scent to hit me. It’s the smell of desperation and sweat, of a thousand spilled beers and even more bad decisions. It’s like perfume on your man that isn’t yours: repulsive.
 “Fine then,” Peck says. “But when Machlan laughs his ass off because no one has ever, in the history of the universe, ordered a tequila and Coke, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
My cheeks burn. “Oh.”
“Rum and Coke or tequila shots. Not tequila and Coke, Had.” He shoves his hands in the pockets of his worn jeans as he eyes me with amusement. “But do the rum and Coke. You’d be a mess on tequila, and while I’d pay a lot of money to watch Machlan lose his shit over that, I’m not sure he’ll even serve it to you.”
“He has to if I order it,” I say.
Peck leans back and releases a full-belly laugh. “You tell him that.”
“I will.” Looking him in his bright, blue eyes, I almost lose my courage and tell him to get me the hell out of here. He would. He’d take me to Goodman’s, buy me a sweet tea, and drive me around as I spilled my guts. But I can’t do that to him. Or me.
This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. It’s been a long time coming, and I finally broke down last week and realized it had to be done. I have to figure out how to move on with my life. I can’t put roots down somewhere else and allow myself to fall in love or really start a life when my heart is still here. With Machlan.
Peck’s face breaks into a sympathetic smile. “Take my advice and order the rum and Coke. You have a shot at getting that. Though it’s a small one, it’s better than your tequila chances, which are negative sixteen hundred.”
“I don’t understand why you don’t think he’ll serve me.”
“Rhubarb moonshine mean anything to you?” He makes a face reminiscent of someone dying before heading toward the bar.
I stand next to the bulletin boards lining the front wall, thinking about the night with the moonshine. How Mach and I got into a huge fight and I didn’t realize what moonshine was. And how he picked me up and took me home and stayed with me all night to make sure I didn’t pass out in my own vomit.
Besides the people playing pool in the back, the only other patrons drinking are seated near the old jukebox. As my gaze runs across a pair of pink panties pinned to the top of one of the bulletin boards, it settles on Peck. He waves at me to join him.
His merriment at my situation is written all over his face. I hope confidence masks the fear on mine. No matter how I get to the end result, this is going to hurt.
No, this is going to be hell.
I make my way over the cement floors. A man wearing a sleeve of tattoos and an undeniable invitation tickling his lips passes me. He turns around and whistles as he walks backward to the door.
This helps.
My confidence slightly bolstered, I look back at the bar.
This doesn’t help.
My feet shuffle, nearly tripping over an invisible boulder in my way as Machlan’s lips form a thin, hard line. His arms cross his thick chest.
Even with the cool reception, my cheeks still heat.  
Machlan sure knows how to make hell feel like home. 



Machlan is the latest Gibson to get a story in Adriana Locke's latest release, Crave. With a poignant past, Hadley is back in town to get over Machlan and move on. However, letting go and moving on is harder than expected. Adriana weaves a story of second chances that will have you laughing, crying and hoping for the best. A great addition to The Gibson Boys series.


USA Today and Amazon Top 10 Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather's nice and there's always a piece of candy in her pocket.


Please contact Adriana at www.adrianalocke.com. She loves to hear from readers.