Tag Archives: burn for me

Burn For Me by Lauren Blakely Needs the Warning Label “Hot Firefighters Barely Contained Within”

9 Jun
Burn for Me (Fighting Fire #.5) by Lauren Blakely (Entangled Brazen, June 9, 2014)

Burn for Me (Fighting Fire #.5 – Jamie and Smith) by Lauren Blakely (Entangled Brazen, June 9, 2014)

“I’ve had enough hot firefighters,” said no romance reader, ever.

There’s a reason for that. While your local fire station might abound in earnest, married volunteers fighting a middle aged sag (and we still admire them), in romance fiction, firefighters are 99% single, with rippling abs and need to use the wipers on the fire truck in order to swipe away the rain of panties as they progress to the nearest three-alarm burning building.

In Lauren Blakely’s first novel of her new Fighting Fire series, Burn for Me, not only do we have the incredibly hot Smith Grayson, firefighter and construction worker, but he happens to be the good friend of bar manager Jamie Lansing. Smith wants Jamie but knows they are very different people – she’s a wine and poetry type while he loves beer and dirty talking during sex. When they give into the mutual heat in the storeroom of Jamie’s bar, it’s wonder they don’t set all that alcohol on fire with the sparks between them. Smith is elated that Jamie seems to get off on his brand of sex and wants to start a relationship, but that’s where he hits a stumbling block.

Jamie likes Smith – really likes him – but she’s can’t walk through their small town without seeing one of his ex-girlfriends. Since her sister is barely recovering from a disastrous marriage with a serial cheater, Jamie is hesitant to be with someone who hasn’t been all that interested in a relationship so far. Yes, she wants him so much her teeth ache, but she finally hits upon the compromise that they could have a wild, no strings affair for a week and get each other out of their system.

The New York Firefighters calendar features the city’s finest in front of historical backdrops and a portion of the proceeds benefit the Burn Centers of New York.

Smith is a little hurt that Jamie doesn’t seem to believe he wants something more but he’s happy to use her suggestion of a week of sex to show her how great they can be together, providing she agrees to a real date at the end of it. She doesn’t seem to realize that the other women he’s dated didn’t work out because he’s had his eye on her all this time, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to show her. When it becomes clear there isn’t a lot of trust on her part, Smith has to decide if he wants to walk away before he really gets hurt or take a chance to prove that he and Jamie are in fact a perfect fit.

I always love the “friends to lovers” trope and my first Lauren Blakely novel was no exception. Since this is a novella, there wasn’t a ton of real estate for her to develop the story, yet she drew compelling characters with a conflict I was really worried they weren’t going to overcome. I did wonder about a couple of points. Smith wasn’t a manwhore like Jamie’s brother-in-law, he was a serial dater, so I didn’t really understanding the cheating fear, it seemed like she should be more worried that he would move on to someone else quickly. My impression was also that they lived in a small town, yet there was zero worry about people seeing them together. Considering how much kissing and sexy shenanigans they got up to around town and on their “date,” I really had to wonder that both of them didn’t receive a decent amount of interest from their friends and acquaintances in that time. Hmmm.

This novella was an excellent setup for the next installment in the series, which will feature Jamie’s hot boss Becker and her best friend, Megan, who is moving home after a really horrible relationship. I’m looking forward to reading it based on how much I enjoyed Burn for Me. Another great point to note (besides Entangled’s great $.99 intro pricing for new books) is that Lauren Blakely is having a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 Victoria’s Secret gift card and 10% of the proceeds from Burn for Me will benefit the National Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund, a charity that provides financial relief for first responders when they are the ones being affected by a federally declared disaster. Yet another reason to enjoy this novel – you’re actually helping others while enjoying firefighter sexy times. Life is good.

Grab yourself a tall, cold glass of water and be ready to put out the fire that Burn for Me will start. Happy reading! 🙂

Don’t Miss It! New Books, Fun Stuff and Great Deals You Might Have Missed, Week of May 11, 2014

11 May

New and Upcoming Books

I’m a big fan of romantic suspense a la Lori Foster, so in case there are readers out there who have not yet read her Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series, you’re in luck, as Foster just released all of them in a book bundle for $9.39, a great price for four full-length novels and a novella. This series is outstanding, focusing on a group of men with various military/law enforcement backgrounds who work together on their own to fight human trafficking. Foster’s research is excellent, but her ability to write protective, hot alpha men and the feisty women who bring them to their knees is unbelievable.

The third book in Rebecca Zanetti‘s excellent Sin Brothers series is out and the ebook version is only $2.99, so fans will want to leap on this while the getting is good! Focusing on a group of enhanced warriors who were cruelly raised to kill as children, the paranormal operatives are now on the run and trying to find out the details of their creation by attempting to evade the authorities while hunting down the scientists responsible for their abilities. In the third book, Blind Faith, Nate Dean loved the chief scientist’s daughter Audrey when he lived in the compound and while he always maintained her innocence in any wrongdoing, all the soldiers had their doubts. Now he must go the woman who broke his heart years ago and ask for her help in saving his chosen family, risking their safety and his emotions once more.

Considering how much I enjoyed Tawna Fenske’s novella, Eat, Play, Lustand her laugh aloud, sexy novel, Marine for Hire, I can’t wait to tackle her latest novel, Frisky Business, which just came out this past week. Marley is surrounded by rich, bossy men and she’s had enough. She’ll schmooze with the donors because that’s her job, but from now on, isn’t only working class guys with dirt under their nails for this jaded woman. Naturally she butts heads with her new boss, eccentric millionaire William Barclay the Fifth, whose questionable fashion choices, attending dog pack and strong opinions about she does her job makes her crazy. But when their charity is put in danger, the two of them realize not only they are playing for the same team but that their friction has been hinting at some serious chemistry…if they can put aside past prejudices to embrace what is right in front of them.

Contemporary romance fans know the value of Lauren Dane‘s Petal, Georgia collection, a spin off from her Chase Brothers (*fanning myself*) series. Set in the same small, southern town, the women of Petal are hot and the men determined, which make for a pretty unbeatable combination. In Count on Me, the third book of the series due out on June 10th, Dane once again explores the challenges of a romance that involves at least one person from the wrong side of the tracks, as lawyer Caroline Mendoza returns home to find out if her father really did kill her mother sixteen years ago. Organic farmer Royal Watson is busy with his business but cannot resist this smart, sexy woman, who quickly discovers he’s a naughty alpha male in disguise. But with the real killer nervous as she digs deeper, Caroline and Royal may not have a lot of time to enjoy their new feelings before someone threatens to put an end to it.

June 17th will mark the publishing of Janet Evanovich‘s twenty-first full-length Stephanie Plum novel, Top Secret Twenty-One, with that characters usual antics amidst a mystery and the two men who hold her heart. In this installment, feral chihuahuas, assassins and our favorite bounty hunter attempt to figure out the location of a missing used car dealer who skipped bail while also helping Ranger who is getting some murderous attention (and Stephanie’s help uncovers more about Ranger’s mysterious past). I’ll be teasing my hair and getting my gum ready to crack in anticipation!

Yes, I realize that October 28th is a long way away, but Nalini Singh fans don’t care (or we care more than other people), when that date houses the debut of the seventh Guild Hunter novel, Archangel’s Shadows. I am head over heels in love with this series, and the powerful archangel Raphael and his lover, vampire hunter turned angel Elena, are the main reason, but the secondary characters are fantastic and one of the best parts about Singh is that she periodically showcases them in novellas and full-length novels. In the last book, Archangel’s Legion, Raphael and Elena barely survived a war, managing to save the vast majority of the humans and vampires in their territory of New York, but the threat to them has not diminished as much as they would like. In this novel, an insane enemy means that Raphael must call upon one of Elena’s friends, fellow Guild Hunter, Ash, and the sexy Cajun vampire, Janvier, who is both her nemesis and her obsession. Working together, the two of them must track and take down a person of such power that their survival is in question, but the two of them discover something worth fighting for between them that will hopefully tip the balance in their favor. BRING. IT. ON.

October 28th is going to be a banner day (please note that I feel a terrible flu coming on October 27th) as the husband and wife team of Ilona Andrews also has the first in their new Hidden Legacy series debuting, Burn for Me, via Avon Publishing. Considering that I worship every page of their Kate Daniels series (I just reread the whole thing, including novellas and extras, last week) and their Clean Sweep novel blew me away with it’s originality, I’ve been excited about this series since they began discussing the project on their blog. Set in a hierarchical world of magic users, the book’s heroine, detective Nevada Baylor, is swept up in a deadly game that forces her to be an unlikely ally with the powerful billionaire Connor “Mad” Rogan, whose power is only superceded by his allure. I’m beginning to fan myself and I haven’t even seen the heat between them yet. Thank heavens the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a cool fall season – I’m going to need it!

Contests and Giveaways

Cindy Dees is known for her deft rendering of romantic suspense tales, probably due to the fact that she’s a former military pilot and no stranger to intelligence work. Loving her authentic voice, my ears perked up when I heard there was a Goodreads giveaway for her latest book, Close Pursuit. Katie McCloud agrees to travel to the mideast with Dr. Alex Peters, a Doctors Unlimited volunteer specializing in women in childbirth. She’s an excellent translator and with brothers in Special Forces, no stranger to keeping her eyes and ears open to look for danger. Recognizing that the drones she’s spotting means that things are not safe for them, particularly after they lose a mother in surgery, Katie wonders if the handsome doctor is hiding any secrets. Alex, the son of a Soviet spy, hates his father’s profession but has to reluctantly call him for an airlift out of the country, but even a return to the U. S. doesn’t take either him or Katie out of the crosshairs of whoever wants to silence them, throwing these two people together in an adventure that reveals there is more between them than a shared enemy. Enter before May 15th for your chance to win!

Despite it’s questionable cover (be careful with that rose, milord!), Eliza Lloyd‘s erotic historical romances are popular for a reason, so the fact that she’s giving away a copy of the third book in her Wicked Affairs series (in time for the RT Booklovers’ Convention in New Orleans next week) is cause for celebration. Wicked Lord contains a sensual, talented heroine who is happy to pursue her art and dream of being a good wife to the Baron to whom she’s betrothed. When her father changes his mind and gives her to rakish Lord Redding instead she’s honor-bound to marry him. Edward Chase, Lord Redding, was delighted to steal the fiancee of his rival, but realizes quickly that’s he won much more in his talented, innocent wife. Determined to seduce her into forgetting the man she thought she loved, he employs all his erotic talents to the point that his lovely and sated bride has to ask herself if she loves her husband or merely their bedsport. Enter before May 14th to win a copy.

If firefighters are good, smoke jumpers are better based on how many authors are putting out excellent books about the men and women who battle wildfires (Nora Roberts and M. L. Buchman are just a few). Anne Marsh‘s Smoke Jumpers series is going strong with great reviews so it was awesome to find the fifth book in her series, Sweet Burn, due out on May 30th, being featured in a Goodreads giveaway. When the town’s bartender and resident bad girl, Mimi, has a wedding hook up with former Special Forces soldier, Mack, they are lucky the sheets don’t catch on fire. But she’s not the person to be sweetly courted and he’s not a man who is going to give up after finally finding the place – and woman – who helps him confront his demons. Enter before May 15th to see if you can snag a copy (and note that the fourth book in the series, Smoking Hot, is available in the below

Fun Stuff

If you’re already planning your summer reads, take a look at Harlequin’s brilliant flow chart to help you discover the book(s) perfect for your beach bag. Several of my favorites are on there and now I have more to discover!

Tea and books have always gone together, as has the desire for peace and quiet while you’re enjoying your favorite romance, so Oxford University’s Bodelian Library’s gift shop has the perfect teapot, emblazoned with the reminder “Silence Please” for just those times. Matching cups, a creamer pitcher and sugar bowl, can complete the set if you choose, but just the teapot is £40.00, about $67 U. S. dollars. 

The next time you are sandwiched flying coach as a four year old kicks your seat and a stranger spills peanuts in your lap, give yourself a mental fantasy vacation flight by thinking about Etihad Airways’ incredible airbus, complete with suites containing real beds, full private bathrooms with showers and big screen televisions.

Want to show your literary side proudly? Consider doing it with your next manicure! Espionage Cosmetics offers “Literary” nail wraps that are book excerpts. These are super thin stickers with nail lacquer on top made of high quality and without a ton of yucky chemicals like so many of the novelty nail decorations out there. Espionage even has a terrific tutorial on their website to walk you through how you can make them look amazing (honestly, it looks easier than painting your nails with your non-dominant hand!). Talk about a conversation starter as you are sipping your latte in that cute coffeehouse and a sexy man walks up to ask you what you are reading…oh, wait. I think I slipped into a book again. 🙂

Great Deals

Hmm…Red Hot Chance is a sexy short story by K.T. Grant set in Las Vegas (and we know how that city affects people!). Brian’s returned home to Sin City to attend his best friend’s engagement party and to help his sick father despite their estrangement. When said best friend asks him to take out his fiancee’s boss, Brian’s wondering how much worse this trip home can get, that is until he catches a glimpse of the beautiful Diane. Diane’s not been much for dating since her fiancee’s death, but her best friend convinces her in can’t hurt to just talk to the date she’s arranged. When sparks fly and kissing ensues, Diane’s guilt at feeling something for someone other than the man she loved and lost causes her to run…but this time someone is running after her, and he’s not accepting no for an answer. Currently available for free on Amazon.

Maggie Shayne has a ton of fans and her books regularly hit the best-seller list, so I feel rather guilty about not having read that much of her work. Luckily for me, the three books that make up her Immortal Witch series are now available as an ebook bundle entitled Eternal Love, available for only $.99, pretty awesome for about 600 pages! These books each focus on one woman who was pursued by dark forces when she was a witch in the past, only to find those same forces bent on her destruction in the present day. Considering that each witch has a lover from the past determined to help them survive makes this books a blend of historical and contemporary with a healthy dash of paranormal. Sold!

Where would we be without ebook bundles? I’d certainly have not discovered some great authors, hence my devotion to them. The Beyond Desire Collection: (A Limited Edition Boxed Set of Alpha Males, Badboys and Billionaire Romance Novels) is 1500 pages of exactly what it’s title promises, with authors I admire like Roxie Rivera, Deanna Chase and Marie Hall among others. Take a look now since I’m not sure when the $.99 price tag is going to expire.

Come Away With Me by Kristen Proby (the first book in her insanely popular With Me In Seattle series) is currently free on Amazon right now, so readers will definitely want to download it and same this author’s writing. When Natalie Connor is doing what soothes her scarred soul, taking morning photographs on the beach, she’s startled at why the good-looking man walking in the sand flips out and accuses her of deliberately taking his picture. Luke Williams quickly realizes that the stunning woman with a camera really has no idea who he is, and therefore has no idea of why he’s so tired of being on the wrong side of a telephoto lens. Rather than enlighten her, he decides to get to know a woman just as himself…and quickly realizes his fallen hard for this ethereal beauty. But when Natalie, who has reason to despise lies, finds out about his deception, photographs might be the only thing he’s left with.

Another ebook bundle that looks tempting is exactly what a romance reader needs for Memorial Day weekend by the pool. SEALS of Summer: Military Romance Superbundle contains ten novels and novellas by authors such as Delilah Devlin, Sharon Hamilton, Anne Marsh, and Roxie Rivera (again!). I have an entire Kindle collection dedicated to military romance so this anthology is going to live quite happily in there after I’ve devoured it. Did I mention it’s only $.99 right now? Uh-huh. Show your patriotism by grabbing this bargain while you can.

Historical romance readers will want to check out Kasey Michaels second book of her The Redgraves series, which focuses on a aristocratic family determined to unearth their possibly tainted past. In What a Lady Needs, Lady Katherine Redgrave and her brother are given the task of finding her father’s journals in the hope that they will reveal more about the traitorous conspiracy endangering her family. Simon Ravenbill, a Marquis, also wants to find those journals in order to find out the truth about his brother’s murder, so he allies himself with the beautiful Lady Katherine in the hope that seducing her will distract her enough that he can get to the journals first. The only problem is that what starts as a clever strategy rapidly becomes something much more as he falls for this independent beauty, one who may just run when secrets are revealed. Doesn’t that sound great? And it’s only $.99 right now for the ebook at Amazon.

Biker romances are hot (I guess it’s the throbbing machine between their legs) and readers who’d like to dip into this phenomenon may want to take a look at Riding Desire: Alpha Bad Boy Boxed Set which has collated 14 stories from various authors into 1200 pages of fan yourself goodness. With such authors in the lineup as Opal Carew, Sarah Castille, Lauren Hawkeye, Eden Bradley, R. G. Alexander and Mari Carr, this compilation definitely errs on the erotic side (yay!) with a few menage stories and hot and dirty sex to accompany the romance in every title. The price tag of $2.99 seems a lot cheaper than a Harley to me, so take a ride on the wild side.

Stacey Kennedy‘s erotic Club Sin series is incredibly popular among erotic romance readers and now interested fans have the chance to pick up the second book, Bared, for only $.99. Filled with the BDSM sex and roiling emotion she’s known for, this installment has a Master, Aidan Knight, who is renowned for uncover the hidden desires of his submissives in the Las Vegas club. His ability to read people has him fascinated with Cora Adams, a woman who has come to the club to escape her heartbreak. As a kindred damaged spirit, he recognizes that she’s keeping secrets, and determines to use all his talents to bring her emotions to the surface in the hope that by doing so he can heal and free them both.

Amazingly, the super sexy bundle, Bring On the Heat: Romance Box Set (Bad Boys and Alphas and Handcuffs, Oh my!) is still only $.99, so I’m jumping on this deal and riding it home. With BDSM, menage, naughty cowboy and dark shifter stories from ten best-selling authors, including Stephanie Julian, Ann Mayburn, Cassandra Carr, Eden Bradley and Cari Quinn, this set is sure to do exactly what its title promises!

Happy reading everyone. 🙂

Reflections: Upcoming Books, Fun Stuff and Great Deals You Might Have Missed, Sunday, March 23, 2014

23 Mar

Sorry to have been away so long. We have a lot to catch up on!

Upcoming Books and New Releases

 Anyone who reads this blog knows my undying admiration for Nalini Singh, who has captivated me with both her amazing Guild Hunter series (for urban fantasy or angel fans) as well as the fabulous Psy-Changeling series, which features the SnowDancer Wolves and DarkRiver Leopards and the humans and Psy who interact with them as the world inches closer to a major change. Now Whisper of Sin, a terrific novella that is one of the prequels in the Psy-Changeling series, is available as a stand alone novella for only $2.99 as of late February. Previously only published in the Burning Up anthology (published in 2010 and containing a great novella from Meljean Brook from her Iron Seas steampunk series), this novella tells the story of high-ranked soldier Emmett and how he helps rescue a human in San Francisco’s Chinatown only to realize that she is his mate.

Bella Andre‘s Sullivan series fans will want to make sure that the latest volume of the Sullivans series, Just To Be With You, made it to their mailbox or ereader on March 5th (and if it didn’t, get on it!). Can you believe it’s the 12th book in this hit series? These Seattle Sullivans are just as compelling as their California cousins, with the jaded, successful CEO of Sullivan Investments, Ian Sullivan, about to fall for the gorgeous actress, Tatiana Landon. She’s been waiting for a strong love like this, but with Ian’s history of failed relationships, nothing is going to be easy about this happily ever after.

Donna Grant knows her Highlanders, which is probably one of the reasons she’s begun a new novella series, Rogues of Scotland (love the name). First up is The Craving, which came out on March 6th and features a woman who retreats to her family home in order to mend a betrayed heart, only to find a man trapped by a woman and a gypsy curse in a mirror. Trusting and loving the woman who finds him will take a leap of faith he’s not sure he can give, but it might be the only way to set them both free.

Historical romance writer Katharine Ashe just came out with her first book in a new (self-published?) Regency series, My Lady, My Lord, on March 10th and it looks wonderful. When an intelligent book reading lady is forced to give the time of day to her libertine neighbor, sparks are sure to fly, particularly since he adores torturing her as much as watching fast horses at the races. At only $2.99 for over 300 pages, Ashe fans have quite a bit to rub their hands in glee about.

Kit Rocha‘s unbelievably good erotic dystopian Beyond series finally added Beyond Jealousy this week, and weren’t we all waiting with baited breath? Tattoo artist and former gigilo Ace has wanted Rachel from the moment she left her comfortable, sheltered life and became an O’Kane to settle her father’s debt, but all he’s done is hurt her, especially after he became a couple with a man she had tried a relationship with, the resident hero and former special ops soldier, Cruz. Neither Cruz nor Ace have ever stopped loving Rachel so when the opportunity presents itself for all three of them to come together, the results are combustible, particularly in trying to work through everyone’s emotional baggage while a major turf war erupts in the sector.

We all know what a fangirl I am for anything written by Jennifer Ashley and I have big circles on my calendar for every installment of her Shifters Unbound series. Well, Feral Heat, Jace and Deni’s story, came out this week and it did NOT disappoint! This novella is right between the two full-length novels, Tiger Magic and the upcoming Wild Wolf (April 1st cannot get here soon enough), and is just as phenomenal as every other book in the series. It’s a hot, sexy love story that still manages to propel her fascinating story arc of the shifters attempting to discover how to rid themselves of the collars that keep them second class citizens. This author does not know how to write a mediocre book and I for one applaud her high standards!! Did I also mention this outstanding volume is only $1.99 and it’s not a short novella, but a meaty one equaling a lot of category romance novels. Great writing and an awesome value – I heart Jennifer Ashley!

Book seven of Eloisa James‘ Desperate Duchesses series will come out on March 25th, and Three Weeks With Lady X looks like a keeper. A bastard son of a duke needs to marry a woman with a serious reputation and he turns to Lady Xenobia India, an independent woman who quickly becomes the focus of his efforts. But this woman is no wallflower to go into a marriage of convenience, and the gentleman in question finds he must give everything to get everything if she’s to agree to his terms. Keep in mind if you pre-order this puppy and provide proof of your purchase with a picture of a receipt or a screenshot of your browser screen confirming your purchase, James is having a contest for a lucky reader to get special bonus content sent directly from her!

Also out on March 25th is the next book in Nora Roberts‘ latest trilogy, The Cousins O’Dwyer, Shadow Spell. This fantastic series has a strong paranormal story arc linking an Irish brother and sister and their American cousin to their long ago Irish ancestors. With evil sorcerers, plenty of magic and an abundance of animal familiars set in the Irish countryside, Roberts’ fans get to see this writer in her element once more. Don’t worry about having to wait too long for the final volume. The third book, Blood Magick, will be out on November 4th and is already available for pre-order.

March 25th is clearly a big day for romance, since Lori Foster’s next book in her Love Undercover series, Dash of Peril, also debuts. This series is outstanding, and I for one am eager to see construction business owner Dash help his brother’s frosty lieutenant take down nefarious human traffickers with a little heat on the side. Mrrrrooowww. If you haven’t yet indulged in this series, get your butt in gear as there are sexy alpha males galore as well as beautiful woman who inspire fierce protectiveness and love in the worst of circumstances. So good!!

It’s never too early to begin looking at the spring releases (and pre-ordering them to lock in great prices). Elle Kennedy has an addition to her Killer Instincts series coming down the pike on April 1st, and fans of “mercenaries with a heart” stories will want to take note of Midnight Pursuits. The fourth in this highly rated series has a rookie to the group assigned to assist a loner deep in Eastern Europe on a mission gone horribly wrong. While she usually has no use for working with someone, this former Marine has a skill set that she can definitely use…and the heat between them seems to have the added bonus of warming her cold heart.

In addition to the Cousin’s O’Dwyer paranormal novel mentioned above, Nora Roberts also has one of her romantic suspense novels, this one entitled The Collector, due out in hardcover on April 15th. When a professional apartment sitter is the sole witness to a heinous crime, the brother of the main suspect seeks her help as he knows his sibling could not possibly be responsible. The two are drawn closer as they come closer to discovering the actual perpetrator, hopefully before it’s too late.

Historical romance author Amanda Quick announced she will be publishing a stand alone novel, Otherwise Engaged on April 22nd, featuring her usual brand of bold heroine (this one a world traveler) who finds herself the target of a madmen obsessed by her name being linked to that of a gentleman scientist. That the man in question is also a spy for the crown thickens the plot and he has no intention of her reputation suffering – or of the fiery beauty getting hurt – due to his actions.

Paranormal doyenne Christine Feehan will be publishing the third book of her Sisters of the Heart series (a spin off grouping that takes place in the same town as the Drake Sisters books), Air Boundon May 27th. Each book focuses on one of six women who have come together as part of a special grief support group for women who have lost someone to violent crime. The heroine of this book not only suffered with her paranormal ability by growing up in a special government facility, but also recently lost her mother at the hands of a murderer. Kidnapped and aboard a ship, she finds herself at the mercy of an intriguing captor, one who intended to use her for his own purposes, only to find himself drawn to her instead.

Maya Banks‘ KGI series fans need to circle June 24th on their calendar as that is the publication date for the next novel in this wildly successful series, When Day Breaks. When a wounded and scarred Afghanistan veteran is assigned to protect a stunning model with a violent stalker, no one could have predicted that these two people would find something in common. But serious heat and attraction exists and neither party is about to let a murderous stalker get in the way.

The husband-and-wife writing team of Ilona Andrews have been blogging for months about a paranormal romance they have been working on for Avon Publishing – and the link is finally live! The official name is Burn For Me and it will be the first of their Hidden Legacy trilogy which the authors have confessed is more like a paranormal political thriller versus the paranormal heroic journey/police procedural of the Kate Daniels series (which is phenomenal). As the only thing I wish for in the Kate Daniels series is a little more sexy times between Kate and Curran, I was thrilled to hear that the heat level is a bit more “fan yourself” in this upcoming work. The only bad news? We’ll have to wait until October 28th for it to come out, but with the current ebook price at a mere $4.99 for almost 400 pages, it’s worth pre-ordering now in case the price raises a little closer to the fall.

Contests and Giveaways

Paranormal author Robin D. Owens is embarking on an urban fantasy series starring a woman who can see ghosts and the sheriff who finds himself drawn into her life, all with a Western setting. The aptly named Ghost Seer (series with the same name) is debuting on April 1st and from now until March 24th, you can enter a contest on Goodreads to win a copy of the book. With the second book due out in early September, fans of instant gratification won’t have long to wait to see how this storyline develops.

You can win a signed copy of the first book in historical romance writer Elizabeth Hoyt‘s Prince series, The Raven Prince, which came out in both in 2006 and then was reissued under a new (and gorgeous) cover in 2012. When a widow in dire financial straits is almost mowed down by a aristocrat in desperate need of a secretary, problems for everyone seem solved, except that the Earl’s newest secretary takes exception at his decision to visit a brothel to assuage his “manly” needs…and so she decides to be a mystery woman who will take care of his every wish, in and out of the study. Enter before March 31st to win your autographed copy!

Category romance fans who enjoy the secret baby trope will definitely want to put Andrea Laurence‘s His Lover’s Little Secret (a Harlequin Desire novel out on April 1st) on their to-read list. When a millionaire has a chance run in with the lover he never forgot, he can do the math and realizes her little son is his child – and he’s not about to let either of them go. But while the mother of his son might be willing to let him into their life, she’s not about to give into his bossy ways and let him into her heart again. Enter by March 31st for a chance to win a copy.

Fun Stuff

If you are looking for a fun activity for a bachelorette party or your best friends’ sleepover, look no further than Pornogami: A Guide to the Ancient Art of Paper-Folding for Adults. Actually written by a master of the art of origami, this guide takes a beginner through making fun looking spermatozoa all the way to a realistic vajayjay. Do I hear a drinking game coming out of this book? You bet I do.

Allison Yates at the Kinsey Confidential blog has an intriguing post about the recent startling mannequins which appeared in the American Apparel stores on Valentine’s Day who clearly were sporting bushy pubic hair amidst all their provocative underwear. The rubbernecking by passers-by was purportedly astonishing (and these are jaded New Yorkers we are talking about) but Yates dissects some fascinating trends and insights regarding our culture’s view of sexuality and body hair.

Librarian and romance lover Amy Alessio put up a wonderful article in honor of St. Patrick’s Day on the Romance University blog featuring some perennial favorite books featuring Ireland (or sexy Irish heroes and heroines). From J. D. Robb’s Roarke to Mary Jo Putney’s Irish setting in Sometimes a Rogue, she’s picked some winners worth reading.

I’m a big fan of the Etsy shop, Spunky Fluff, who produces amazing signs with heart-inspiring sayings to adorn your walls. Whether it’s “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” or “Suck It Up Buttercup” these wall adornments always seem to contain heart and humor. With the majority of stock ranging between $40 to $60 and around 12 x 18 inches, these signs come in colors to match any decor and are truly unique items that will inspire a smile and a sigh each day.

Great Deals

There are a lot of good boxed sets and there are a LOT of “meh” boxed sets, but this one looks fabulous! Fated Mates: The Alpha Shifter Boxed Set offers readers twelve shifter books by authors such as Adriana Hunter, Georgette St. Clair and Eve Langlais among others – for only $.99! Just out on March 4th, the description page warns that the special price is for a limited time (and then it will go to $9.99, still a bargain) so get it at the special price while it lasts.

Carrie Ann Ryan has got a terrific book bundle for the first three books in her Dante’s Circle series, featuring paranormal creatures who find their future in the form of humans with a bit of the otherwordly in them. Usually these books go for $3.99 each, but you can get over 650 pages of the three novels together for only $2.99 right now. Yowza! Grab it before the fourth book, Tangled Innocence, comes out in April.

Tawny Weber‘s fun short, Rules of Engagement, is only $.99 and it’s a good example of the great brand of military hero you get when signing on board for a Weber romance. When a woman who has always crushed on her brother’s best friend finds herself being propositioned for hot sex in a moonlight garden she says, “yes!” knowing she’s not his type. While the hero has always steered clear of the feisty due to the sister card and the fact that she’s nothing like the petite, little woman types he’s preferred in the past, he’s a little astonished to discover what his “rules of engagement” have been designed to discover – the perfect woman for him – might have been all wrong all this time.

Six well-known romantic suspense authors – Elisabeth Naughton, Alexandra Ivy, Cynthia Eden, Laura Wright, Katie Reus, and Joan Swan – have banded together to produce the Sinful Seconds Boxed Set (meant to follow their other highly successful set, Wicked Firsts). Out on St. Patrick’s Day, you’re the one who will feel lucky reading quality books from these best-selling authors, it’s only $2.99 (and the preceding boxed set has been marked down to a mere $.99) so read the descriptions and see if these tempting novels should be in your ereader.

Fans of romantic suspense (particularly ones who enjoy the occasional paranormal element) will want to pre-order the great bargain, Dangerous Dozen Romantic Suspense Box Set while it’s only $.99 for twelve books by authors like Paige Tyler, Maureen Child, Tawny Weber, Nina Bruhns, and Charity Pineiro among others. Nothing like getting 3300 pages (no, that is not a typo) for this kind of bargain, right? Undercover cops, investigative reporters and determined shifters pepper these pages, but that price seems to have a deadline, so I plan on ordering this long before its April 7th release date and encourage you to do the same!

That’s it for this week. Happy reading! 🙂

Sunday Reflections: Upcoming Books, Fun Stuff and Great Deals You Might Have Missed, February 2, 2014

2 Feb

Upcoming Books and New Releases

Any reader of this blog knows my near-worship of the talented Tessa Bailey and her phenomenal Line of Duty series, so don’t be shocked that I’m putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on my door for anyone who attempts to come between me and Staking His Claim, the fifth novel in that fantastic series. A wicked NYPD sniper agrees to drive his best friend’s little sister home from college and ends up with a sinfully tempting roommate instead. Except it’s really the sister in disguise, one she’s happy to adopt when she catches an eyeful of the blisteringly hot cop whose eyes hint at dark, kinky tendencies she’d like to explore. This is one grad student who is going to show how she learns fast and aces any exam her lover can dish out, if he would just give them a chance.

Carly Phillips’ recent release Dare to Love is $3.99 right now and the reviews are outstanding. When a sexy, domineering man who loves his family but only skates the surface of a relationship finds a woman who presses all his buttons, he begins reevaluating his stance on something long-term, but the woman he’s set his sights on comes with the package of the half-brother he wants to forget exists. But the lady in question is worried about her reaction to his bedroom control, with her own past a little too close for comfort.

Just out yesterday is Karen Foley‘s latest in the U.S. Marshals series, Hard to Hold, and wow, does this sound like a kidnapping a reader could get behind! A desperate young woman who needs money for her brother’s ransom takes a hot lawman hostage – with a toy gun, no less – but Stockholm syndrome has nothing on the heat between these two.

S. E. Gilchrist’s latest in her Legends of the Seven Galaxies series featuring those serious Darkon Warriors (one of my guilty pleasures), Star Pirate’s Justice, also debuted on February 1st and I can’t wait to read it. A woman desperate to return home to her ill sister captures a Darkon traitor with the necessary information and tech to get her there, but neither counts on their tentative alliance deepening to real feeling. And when those Darkon warriors find a mate, nothing keeps them apart…

Contests and Giveaways

Love the amazing fantasy writing of husband and wife team, Ilona Andrews? The fabulous duo responsible for the Kate Daniels series, the Edge series, and now the outstanding Clean Sweep is busy recruiting readers and fans to help name their latest venture with Avon Publishing. If your title is chosen, not only do you get the glory of simply helping them, but you can win a spot on the Beta team to read the new book, get a full set of Kate Daniels books to date, or win the new book (and all subsequent books in the series as they are published). Wow!

Entangled Publishing’s Covet line (the sexy paranormal stories, yum!) is celebrating their latest release, Love at Stake by Victoria Davies, about a paranormal dating service with a fun giveaway. You can unlock the Rafflecopter contest interface by leaving a blog post with your worst date story and gain multiple chances to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Enter before Valentines Day for your chance to win!

RT Book Reviews is giving away five copies of Cynthia Eden‘s latest novel Burn For Me, the first in her new Phoenix Fire series about paranormal beings hunted by a dangerous scientist who wants them for his own nefarious experiments. Fire isn’t the only thing hot about this novel (trust me, I’ve read it already!) so go over and enter by February 6th for a chance to win.

Haunt Me by Heather Long came out this week and its spookily awesome. When a writer inherits her great-aunt’s haunted house she’s hoping to finally break the writer’s block she’s been suffering from, but the spooky domicile is harboring some serious secrets which a sexy local architect is happy to help her uncover. To celebrate, Entangled Publishing is having a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and a choice of books from Long’s backlist. Enter before February 20th for a chance to win.

Fun Stuff

If a gentleman in your life claims that he has difficulty finding condoms that fit him properly, consider directing him to sources like the Condom App (available for iOS) or the Condom Size Calculator website, each of which allows you to dial in girth and length measurements for a specific brand recommendation. The calculator actually allows you to select material type (for people with latex allergies or vegan preferences) and has over 100 specific types in its database.

Sometimes I see a gadget and think “only the Japanese” usually because the item in question is techy and quirky. As today’s example, please see the “True Love Bra” which, using technology laced through the bra plus data from a corresponding Smartphone app, says it can “sense” when the wearer is actually in love and then and ONLY then does it allow itself to be taken off. This thing actually flies off with such violence, I’m really hoping the lady’s partner in question isn’t at eye level, otherwise they will be sporting the True Love Eyepatch, but don’t take my word for it, watch the hilarious video (with subtitles)!

Also from the world of new gadgets is the prototype for a “sensory fiction” book straight out of MIT Media Labs. The scientists have created a book holder and companion vest which alters the ambient light, can squeeze you to make your heartbeat faster or even alter body temperature to mimic weather or promote anxiety, all while knowing exactly what you are reading at a given moment in the story. I’m a little interested to know what direction romance novels could travel if we start having companion electronics that know when to work at various points in a novel. There could be a LOT more romance readers in the world if that ever got off the ground!

Great Deals

Category romance doyenne Maisey Yates combines the classic sheikh romance with a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with her novel Hajar’s Hidden Legacy (from the Beasts of the Desert series) which happens to be free for download right now. A princess who has always resigned herself to being a pawn in a political marriage is surprised when the man his people call the Beast of Hajar ends up being a wounded man with hidden depths, inflaming her interest and her love.

Dead Man’s Deal, the second book in Jocelynn Drake‘s The Asylum Tales is only $1.99 right now. Urban Fantasy lovers might want to check this one out as the series features a tattoo artist who has left the formal world of magic behind to occasionally add a little something extra into a tattoo. In a world of wizards, elves and trolls, this hero has a lot to juggle but does so with a certain amount of sexy aplomb.

Nicole Jordan‘s first book in her successful Courtship Wars series, To Pleasure a Lady, is on sale for $.99 right now and Regency romance readers will want to take a closer look at this bargain. When a roguish nobleman inherits three sisters as his wards, his goal is to get them married off as soon as possible, but spicy eldest sister awakens an erotic yearning in them both, causing him to make a bet that he can seduce her into marriage in the space of two weeks. To resist her gorgeous guardian will mean her freedom and that of her sisters as well as the ability to continue running her finishing school. Who will win this contest of wills?

Lisa Kleypas‘ amazing book Tempt Me At Twilight from her enormously successful Victorian series starring the eccentric Hathaway family is only $3.99 right now! I cannot say enough about this amazing series (which I religiously re-read a few times a year), and this book featuring the brainy Poppy Hathaway and the ruthless hotel mogul and inventor she teaches how to love is one of my favorite books in the series. Pick. It. Up. Now!

Billionaire fans, be sure to hop over and take a look at the first book in Nadia Lee‘s Hearts on the Line series, Vengeful in Love, which has a gorgeous billionaire bent on revenge who thinks the perfect opportunity has dropped into his lap when he realizes that his enemy’s daughter is working at his company. When he discovers that the vulnerable woman is actually kind and loving – the opposite of what he expected – he begins to fall for her but can he keep her when the truth comes out? The fourth book in this series will be out in March, so this is a great way to sample Lee’s writing for free right now to see if you want the other books in the series.

That’s it for this week – happy reading!

Sunday Reflections: Upcoming Books, Fun Stuff, and Great Deals You Might Have Missed, Week of January 26, 2014

26 Jan

Upcoming Books and New Releases

Self-publishing got a huge boost when historical powerhouse Stephanie Laurens jumped on the bandwagon and her latest novella, The Peculiar Case of Lord Finsbury’s Diamonds, came out January 6th, so go pick it up when you have a chance. Fans of her exceptional Cynster series will enjoy seeing a very pregnant Penelope Adair and her wonderful, crime-solving noble of a husband Barnaby (as well as the ubiquitous Stokes of the police force) join forces to solve a baffling mystery. That a new couple in the making is also desperate to get to the bottom of the murder forms her trademark Regency romance. Keep in mind that this book is one of her ongoing The Casebook of Barnaby Adair series featuring Barnaby and Penelope as well as new couples and I for one am interested to see the reception and type of stories which will emerge in this framework.

In just a couple of days, sensual paranormal and romantic suspense writer Cynthia Eden will be kicking off her new series, Phoenix Fire, by releasing the first novel, Burn For Me, on January 28th. Seeming to focus on paranormal creatures held against their will and the potential mates they encounter, this is a premise we’ve seen before but never with this level of sexual tension or Eden’s great writing. I was fanning myself just from the excerpts from Burn For Me and the second series book due in April, Once Bitten, Twice Burned.

Also on the 28th is the massive release of Jeaniene Frost‘s seventh book in the incomparable Night Huntress seriesUp from the Grave will be her last Cat and Bones novel and she has never written anything that didn’t blow my socks off so this one has been pre-ordered since last July. Frost admits that the couple might pop up in other books in the Night Huntress world (remember we still have another book in the Night Prince series and I’ve got my fingers crossed that Ian has evolved enough to be the hero in his own novel soon). With those possible novels on the horizon (and having the utmost confidence in the creative imagination residing in Frost’s mind), I’m happy to thank her for finally offering Cat and Bones a happily ever after since they’ve been through a lot in their time together! January 28th will be a little bittersweet, but with Frost at the helm, I’m sure to enjoy every page.

Good news for military romance lovers! The next Tawny Weber Uniformly Hot! Harlequin Blaze novel featuring her sexy SEALs will be out on March 18th. Entitled A SEAL’s Kiss, this delicious story involves a SEAL on leave who agrees to be a pretend fiancee to help a woman alleviate the worry of her ailing father. You can imagine that the “no sex” rule of the arrangement becomes increasingly harder to keep as our hero and heroine become attracted to one another! Pre-order it now from Amazon so the day after St. Patrick’s Day will be a little brighter for you.

Also due out on March 18th is Jennifer Ashley‘s latest addition to her unbelievably good paranormal series, Shifters Unbound. Feral Heat is the latest novella which focuses on Jace, the son of the leader and third in command from the Las Vegas Shiftertown who visits the Austin Shiftertown (bring on the sexy Morrisseys, thank you) to discover how to remove the crippling collars which render the shifters at the mercy of humans. When a shattered, beautiful woman, Deni, volunteers to be the test subject, Jace is moved by her circumstances and drawn to mate claim her, but it’s uncertain whether her fragile state can survive the collar removal so she can be a full mate to Jace. We met Deni, the wolf shifter in the novella featuring her brother, Lone Wolf, and this woman’s road has been a heartbreaking one. I cannot wait to see her (and Jace, who is a blisteringly hot feline if ever I saw one) get a HEA.

Erotic author Paige Tyler has succeeded in practically every subgenre of romance fiction – erotic, science fiction, romantic suspense, and paranormal – so I was thrilled to see that Sourcebooks Casablanca picked it  up and will be publishing her upcoming series, entitled X-Ops. The first book entitled Her Perfect Mate not only has a killer cover but a terrific premise. A human Special Forces hero is partnered with a diminutive, seemingly gentle covert ops partner, only to discover she can switch on her feline DNA to deadly effect when necessary – and he loves it. I’ve pre-ordered this one!

Historical romance readers always seem to like the novels of Erin Knightley, so they’ll be thrilled to see that the first book in her new series, Prelude to a Kiss, is due to be published on June 3rd. The Baron Next Door has a cranky war hero recovering from his injuries using the restorative waters at Bath consistently annoyed by the music coming from next door. Discovering the beautiful young musician creating it instills a very different feeling and it’s not long before his feelings undergo a radical change.

Contests and Giveaways

Suspense fans love Cristen Harber’s Titan series, so they will definitely want to enter the Goodreads contest to win book 4 of the series, Savage Secrets, about the firm’s new second-in-command who is on an undercover mission to nab a terrorist. Sounds like an average day at the office for this crew, but unfortunately for him he’s got some strange brain hallucinations he’s neglected to discuss with anyone and is posing as the newlywed husband to a gorgeous woman bent on revenge. Things suddenly just got a lot more complicated…

For those readers who can’t get enough MMA fighters (yes, I am one with you, sisters!) should be aware that Gina Maxwell just released her third book in her Fighting for Love series, Fighting for Irish, and it looks WONDERFUL (a hard-working waitress has to come up with thousands of dollars to cover an ex’s debt and the fighter she’s always loved from a distance steps up to offer himself as collateral *sigh*). Because it was only released on January 13th, we are still enjoying the blog tour and Entangled’s giveaway. Enter before February 6th and you’ll have a chance to win a $50 gift card to B&N or Amazon (reader’s choice). Did I mention the book is also ONLY $.99 RIGHT NOW?! Run and fight for your copy before it goes back to full retail.

Those angels over at Paranormal Romance blog have put together a book giveaway of some terrific authors (Gena Showalter, Michelle Hauf, and Maggie Shayne, for example) for readers who leave a comment on the post detailing their favorite paranormal romance author. I chickened out and revealed my tie between Jeaniene Frost, Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews (seriously, talk about a Sophie’s Choice to choose a favorite!), but get your vote in before the January 30th deadline to see if you can win.

Fun Stuff

Who knew the Consumer Electronics show could be this exciting? The personal pleasure business OhMiBod revealed that they are offering a fabulous remote controlled vibrator, The Club Vibe 2.OH (*chuckle*). This beautifully crafted electronic device is a rechargeable vibrator which comes with a remote. While obviously a person or their lover can use the remote to activate the vibrator in a more traditional way to excite the wearer, this particular vibrator has a “club mode” which has the microphone of the remote initiate vibrations to the rhythm and intensity of the ambient music (or voice, etc.). This latest edition is a nice complement to the other company products like their Freestyle W:Wireless Music Vibrator which connects to your smartphone or MP3 player and syncs the vibrations of a rabbit style vibrator to the music you are listening to. Gives a new meaning to “beats per minute,” doesn’t it?

The Australian Romance Readers Association was kind enough to put one of their banquet’s most popular speakers, the wonderful Julia Quinn, online (in three parts) giving fans about 45 minutes of pure Julia, who has a wonderful back and forth with the moderator and fans and answers questions about her various series and characters, and her outlook on romance writing. You’ll find even more to love about her!

I know I’m not alone in freezing like a popsicle these last couple of weeks (I celebrated yesterday because it was a whole 6 degrees in my car when I got in it – and I was just ecstatic it wasn’t a negative number anymore!). What do you need to keep warm and make a fashion statement? A literary themed scarf, naturally! Those wonderful people at Book Riot have assembled a terrific list of book-related scarves, several of which look both warm and trendy, so go take a look.

A terrific article in The Atlantic details some recent research showing that regular sex actually improves brain function and long-term memory (while viewing pornographic images has the opposite effect) even making a connection that older adults with early onset Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to not have had sex recently. All the more reason to make that meaningful connection and improve your brain health!!

Great Deals

Donna Kauffman is not only a terrific author who moves the heartstrings but she also makes you hungry as delicious food (usually dessert) features prominently in her writing (thank god). Lucky for all of her devoted fans, Sugar Rush, the first book in her Cupcake Club series, is on sale for the ebook edition, currently only $2.51 on Amazon. When a baker returns to her small town is astonished that her former boss, a British powerhouse she nicknamed Chef Hot Cakes decides to film his cooking show in her storefront, she’s baffled as to why. He knows why he’s there, and it’s not to steal recipes..just her heart.

The first book in Lynda Aicher‘s well-rated Wicked Play erotic series is only $.99 right now, so BDSM fans might want to head over and pick up Bonds of Trust while it’s still at a great price to see if they want to try the other novels in the series. This first one features a heroine who ended a bad marriage and is more than ready to try out all the fantasies she was denied with her ex. Heading to the nearest sex club is naturally the next step (how many of those are there around the country, anyway?). She finds a Dom intrigued by introducing her to the lifestyle but what starts as instruction quickly becomes something much more emotional, and neither party knows if they are ready for that level of commitment.

Readers who love shifters as much as I do will want to take a look at the bundle, Shifter Seduction Box Set, which has novels by Eve Langlais, Mandy Harbin, Tressie Lockwood, S. K. Yule, Crymsyn Hart, and LeTeisha Newton. This wonderful collection definitely falls on the erotic end of the spectrum with this line-up with many of the books focusing on menage relationships that truly are unleashing the animal within. Mrrrooowwww.

Readers of this blog know how much I love the military romance chops of writer Kaylea Cross, particularly her fabulous Titanium Security series. In honor of the latest book of the series, Rekindled having been released just last week, the first book in the series, Ignited, is currently on sale for only $.99. Fans of well-written, detailed and emotional military romance will not be disappointed by Cross, so I’d recommend you pick up this book ASAP!

Happy reading this week! 🙂

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