Tag Archives: librarian

Two Long Awaited Titles Finally Arrive from Katee Robert and Gina Maxwell

13 Jan

IBwMW300New York Times bestselling author Katee Robert kicks off her new Out of Uniform series with IN BED WITH MR. WRONG, a hilarious enemies-to-lovers story you don’t want to miss. Air Force Pararescuer Ryan Flannery avoids his hometown at all costs, so he’s not thrilled when he’s set up on a blind date—until he meets mousy librarian Brianne Nave. Her sweet curves and kissable lips are a siren’s call, but her smart mouth? Not so much. How can two people have so little chemistry outside the bedroom when they fit together so perfectly in it? When Ryan and Bri are stranded in a cabin by their friends, they’ll be forced to find out…if they don’t kill each other first.

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Gina L. Maxwell comes out swinging with the latest installment of her New York Times bestselling Fighting for Love series, FIGHTING FOR IRISH. When he learns a friend’s sister has forty-eight hours to make good on an ex’s debt to a crime boss, former MMA fighter Aiden “Irish” O’Brien heads to Louisiana to offer himself up as collateral. But to satisfy the debt, he has to do the one thing he swore he’d never do again: fight. With more than just money on the line, can Irish reclaim the man he once was for the woman he can’t live without?

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The dynamic duo took the NYT and USA TODAY lists by storm the last time they released together, so we can’t wait to see what shenanigans they have in store for 2014!

Excerpt: In Bed with Mr. Wrong by Katee Robert

Don’t think for a second you’re getting a good-night kiss.”

A kiss from you?” He stepped forward into her finger, forcing her to open her hand against his chest or take a step back. She refused to budge. He leaned down, crowding her. “I’d rather kiss a snake.”

Then it’s too bad it’s winter, because they’re in short supply.” She pushed at his chest again, nearly snarling when he didn’t move. “You should just burn something else down. That might draw a few to the heat.”

Or maybe I’ll just set fire to your goddamn granny panties. That’s sure to create a big enough blaze.”

Her jaw dropped open and she swallowed hard. “As if you could.”

Watch me.”

He grabbed her hips and yanked her against him. Bri gasped. There was so much heat in his blue eyes, it was a wonder every single article of clothing she wore didn’t go up in smoke. “You—”

But then she saw it. The challenge hidden behind the heat. He didn’t think she could handle this. Handle him.

His mouth curled into a smirk, and his hands tightened on her hips. The feel of his fingers digging into her flesh through the thin fabric of her skirt made her want to throw all caution to the wind. He thought he’d won, did he?

Screw it.” She grabbed the lapels of his shirt and went up on her tiptoes to smash her lips against his. He froze, then stumbled backward and slammed into the wall of her screened porch, taking her with him. A wave of victory went through her. For all his talk, he hadn’t expected her to make a move. She moved one hand to the back of his neck and tipped his head down so she could set her teeth into his bottom lip.

Just like that, he came alive in her arms and pulled her tighter against him. His tongue delved into her mouth, stroking hers with no hesitation, igniting her passion until she couldn’t fight back a moan. How could one giant brute taste so decadent? She slid her tongue along his, not sure if she was searching for an answer or simply enjoying the way her very nerves seemed to spark and dance at every place they touched.

Would her whole body do that if they were naked?

Whoa. Where had that thought come from? She was proving him wrong, not jumping into bed with the man. She tried to pull away. “I think—”

Stop talking.”

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Excerpt: Fighting For Irish by Gina Maxwell

Aiden dropped his hands to her hips and stepped closer. “Will you stay tonight?” he asked softly.

I’ll stay.”

One night. He could do that, couldn’t he? Then he could get this need for her out of his system and focus on winning the tournament to free her from any danger. His job would be done, his debt paid to Jax, and he could move back home to continue his daily penance and meaningless existence.

But right now he wanted to feel alive again, if only for a night in the arms of the woman who’d had his balls on lockdown for months. She was the reason no one else even appealed to him anymore. He needed her, just this once. But he wouldn’t do it without an understanding between them.

Kat, can I be honest with you?” Aiden was aware of the fine line he was walking. Now he just had to do it without sounding crude or disrespectful, which would be a challenge. He was no smooth-talking Romeo.

Meeting her expectant gaze, he took a deep breath and prepared himself for the possibility of getting slapped. “I wanna be with you tonight.”

As in, with me with me?”

Yeah,” he said, amusement lifting a corner of his mouth. “With you with you. It’s been a really long time since I wanted someone as much I want you.”

Really?” she asked breathlessly.

You sound surprised.”

She offered a weak shrug and suddenly found interest in the floorboards. “You seem like you’d be more into exciting, exotic looking women. Like one of those sexy, new-age pin-up girls with the flawless skin and beautiful tattoos.”

He almost laughed until he realized she was serious. She had no idea what she did to him. Grabbing one of her hands still resting on his shoulder, he slowly dragged it over his chest and down his stomach until they finally reached his stiff erection straining against the restrictive boxer briefs under his shorts.

Aiden groaned as he molded her hand over his cock. The feel of her gripping him nearly redefined the word “premature.” She drew in a quick breath and raised her eyes to his. Her cheeks filling with a pretty shade of pink did crazy things to his insides. The more her innocence showed through the more he wanted her.

He couldn’t make sense of it. She was right. Typically he went for the larger-than-life women who treated every day like it was their own personal thrill ride. Kat was something else entirely. Worldly beyond her years, yet somehow more innocent than she should be.

This is how into you I am, sweetheart. Believe me when I tell you I couldn’t fake this kind of interest,” he assured her. “I want you, Kat. Wicked bad. But I don’t have anything more to offer you than one night. That’s me being honest. So if you wanna give me the red light now I’ll understand, but you gotta let me know while I still have use of some of my brain.”

Green.”

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Sunday Reflections: Upcoming Books, Fun Stuff and Great Deals You Might Have Missed, Week Ending September 22nd

22 Sep

Upcoming Books

While I’m still waiting for Laura Kaye’s new book, As Hard As It Gets, to come out in late November, I’m delighted that the cover and blurb of the second book in this new series has been released. As Hard As You Can looks just as yummy not only in terms of the chiseled muscles and hot tattoo on its cover, but also for it’s plotline.

Lovers of small town romance should mark their calendar for Lizbeth Selvig’s new offering, Rescued by a Stranger, which comes out October 1st. I love a romance when one side of the couple blows into town running away from something, only to find the community tugging on his or her heartstrings. That this hero fits the bill and is driving a motorcycle only making it that much sweeter. *vroom*

It’s a rare delight when you an enjoy a historical romance involving American heiresses in London, but luckily for readers who do, Laura Lee Guhrke is planning on an entire series of them, starting with When the Marquess Met His Match, to be published on October 29th. A stone-broke Marquess gets cut off by his father for dissolute behavior, only to have to turn to the premier matchmaker in order to find a bride in a hurry – maybe one of the American heiresses shopping for a title. Only the matchmaker, who herself was one of those same Americans prior to her marriage and subsequent widowhood, won’t take him on as a client. What’s a desperate nobleman to do? Charm the matchmaker into marriage, naturally.

Kristen Ashley just announced that the latest book in her Colorado Mountain series, Jagged, is available for pre-order and the cover is definitely an improvement on past books in this series, reflecting the quality of the prose much more accurately. In this latest offering from Carnal, Colorado, a past love returns needing to convince the woman he left behind that he’s a changed man, but after his walking away and the devastation she’s recently endured, can she trust him again? With a cover blurb from Maya Banks, I think people will be lining up to order this novel long before the November 1st publication date.

Paranormal doyenne Kresley Cole announced this week that she’s jumping on the serial bandwagon with a three part erotic romance, The Professional, to be released in three parts this December. I’m sooooo not a fan of the serial (I read way too fast and don’t like to be kept waiting), but for a writer as good as Cole, I’m willing to make an exception, particularly since she’s smart enough to keep the publication dates close together, with everything coming out within a month.

Jennifer Ashley (who makes the Great Deals section with her bundled Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries) has her Shifters Unbound series fans waiting with baited breath for the upcoming books in that series, including the next full-length novel, Wild Wolf. Luckily for all of us, it’s recently been targeted by Amazon as one of the discounted paperback pre-orders, now listed at the price of $4.79. Snap it up! It will make the waiting until April 1st almost bearable knowing it was such a great deal.

Fans of J. D. Robb‘s Death series need to note (if they haven’t already) that the thirty-seventh book, Thankless in Death, just came out September 17th. Rabid fans of Eve Dallas and her sexy husband Roarke will find themselves watching their favorite couple dealing with not only his big Irish family but a family who wasn’t so lucky – they ended up murdered – and Eve must unravel the pieces before the killer strikes again.

Contests and Giveaways

I love historical romance when the hero/rake finds a beautiful woman who seems respectable on the surface, but secretly has “underground contacts” that make her far from a shrinking violet – Tracey Devlyn’s third book in her Nexus series, A Lady’s Secret Weapon, fits the bill! Lucky for me, the Goodreads giveaway ending September 27th, is giving away five copies so I have a chance to win it! If not, the book comes out October 1st.

Everyone is more than aware of my love for anything written by Lauren Dane so I’m excited that her next book in the Brown Siblings series, Drawn Together, not only is coming out October 1st, but has a Goodreads giveaway (deadline September 26th). With the complex heroine of the non-monogamous tattoo artist Raven and Jonah Warner (whose dominant brother, Levi, we’ve already fallen for in the novella Sway, found in the Cherished anthology), I know that Dane’s writing will make me fall for these two just as I do every other couple (or triad) that she writes.

The wonderful Paranormal Romance blog is giving away three copies of the recently released Twilight Hunter, the first book in Kait Ballenger’s new Execution Underground series (and it looks freakin’ awesome!). All you have to do is leave a comment on the post by September 26th, naming your favorite bad boy. Not an easy task with so many of them out there to love, but it looks like we might all have another with werewolf hunter Jace McCannon!

Category romance fans are always looking to find a new great author to follow, so if you fall into this category, you may want to try the I Heart Presents blog’s giveaway of The Divorce Party by Jennifer Hayward, last year’s winner of the So You Think You Can Write contest. Simply leave a comment on the blog post about what inspires you by October 3rd to enter.

Fun Stuff

The people behind Klever Case know what they are doing when it comes to customized Kindle covers. Whether you want your new paperwhite to look like a classic hardcover book (Dracula and The Great Gatsby are popular) or your looking for a just a generic book cover, these are your best bet. You can even customize the bookplate inside! While this is a British company, the additional two pounds for shipping for US orders is hardly prohibitive. And they make them for all major ereaders, including the iPad mini. Just be careful you don’t put your ereader on a shelf and then forget it doubles as a book now!

Gracious! It seems 3D printing has taken an understandable turn in the naughty toys department. Whether the gentlemen in your life gets laser scanned for his…um…replica, or whether you help him with the creation the old fashioned way (warning: the Clone-a-Willy kit is very messy), the end result will be an exact replica to keep you company when he isn’t able to. No, there will not be accompanying pictures for this one! ;-D

Media literacy is incredibly important, particularly when sex education is involved. As I mentioned in my post about condom use and romance novels, all too many students are leaving high school early or attending schools where abstinence education is paramount, resulting in a lack of understanding of how our bodies work and preventing diseases and unwanted pregnancy. Compounding the problem is the rampant misconception regarding sex and what a “normal” body looks like, a lack of understanding that many sexuality professors lay at the feet of easily accessed pornography. To counter it, a hilarious video using kitchen foods has been created to help people understand the realities of sexuality versus the porn version. Be warned, you will laugh out loud!

Avid readers might empathize with librarians who just love reading so much, that they choose awesome tattoos which reflect their passion. Whether it’s a tarot card, the symbol for library or just their favorite Dewey Decimal number, the quirky magazine Mental Floss has put together quite a few of them for your viewing pleasure. Not willing to make that kind of a commitment? Publisher’s Weekly reviewed a great book of temporary tattoos which might be more your speed.

I’m a gigantic fan of Nalini Singh‘s Psy-Changeling series (HUGE fan) so it was fun to see the video from her recent booksigning where she talks not only about how we are all going to have to wait for the books about the younger changelings (nertz!) but how she feels that she’ll be writing this series into her nineties. From your mouth to God’s ears, Nalini!

Anyone within travel distance of Princeton, New Jersey may want to check their calendar to see if they are free on Thursday, October 24th and Friday the 25th. Princeton University is hosting The Popular Romance Author: A Symposium on Authorship in the Popular Romance Genre, beginning with a keynote on Thursday night starring literature professor Kay Mussell and romance author Jennifer Crusie. The keynote is free and open to the public, and there is only a small fee for the various panels and presentations of the academic papers presented on Friday, so see if your calendar has an opening for what sounds like an educational couple of days. Kind of appropriate the Princeton mascot is a tiger, eh? Mrrrrrooooowwww.

I’m a huge fan of the free MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) offered through various services, and I have to say that Coursera is my favorite. For enthusiastic readers, there always seems to be a course available to take your understanding to the next level and two are starting up soon that might interest readers of this blog. The University of Michigan has a Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, The Modern World course that looks great – beginning with fairy tales and taking the reader chronologically up through 19th century horror to the modern era (Bradbury, LeGuin, Doctorow). For historical fiction readers and writers, Plagues, Witches and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction not only has a roster of great reading and analysis, but the second half of the course has award-winning historical fiction authors teaching about their techniques and methods. And it’s FREE. Both courses clearly state on the information pages how many hours per week they take and you can do the exercises or not – remember it’s free. This is no guilt learning at its finest!

Great Deals

Suspense maven Lisa Gardner’s first Family Secrets novel, Maggie’s Man, is on sale at the ebook price of only $2.99. First published in 1997 under her Alicia Scott pen name, this trilogy stars three half-siblings attempting to uncover the truth about their shadowed family. In this first installment, Maggie Ferringer gets a lot more than jury duty when she reports to the courthouse, and is instead taken hostage by Cain Cannon, who was wrongly convicted of killing his girlfriend six years ago. He wants revenge and Maggie is coming along for insurance, but soon their relationship turns a corner and it’s uncertain who is the captive.

Everyone knows my love of Jennifer Ashley, whether it’s her stellar historical romance Highland Pleasures series or her heart-pounding paranormal novels from the Shifters Unbound series, but were mystery lovers aware she has a great historical mystery series written under her other pseudonym, Ashley Gardner? The Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries series now offers the first four books bundled together for only $.99 for people who would like to sample this different side of a talented author.

Shannon McKenna is a terrific suspense writer and I loved her novel, One Wrong Move, for it’s taking a highly unlikeable uber-alpha hero and revealing his internal marshmallow self when it came to a heroine with a highly scarred past. Now this well-written novel is on sale in ebook form for only $.99. While it’s book nine in McKenna’s McClouds and Friends series, you need zero acquaintance with the other books to enjoy it (although I’ll warn you that you’ll find yourself snapping the others up after this steamy adventure).

Speaking of awesome suspense, Lori Foster is going to debut her book Getting Rowdy in just a couple of weeks, and it would serve you well to nab the previous book in her Love Undercover series, Run the Risk, considering it’s reduced to $1.99 for the Kindle version. These are angsty, hot reads with plenty of danger and heroes who underestimate the sexy heroine only to realize she’s their perfect match. You will NOT be sorry you tried them – I promise!

What a terrific week for readers! Enjoy, everyone. 🙂

Countdown to Christmas: Did You Know Santa Had Sexy Sons? Try Penny Watson’s Terrific Klaus Brother Series

9 Dec

Sweet Inspiration (Klaus Brothers #1 – Nicholas and Lucy Anne’s story) by Penny Watson (The Wild Rose Press, 2012)

I was busy cruising the holiday books list at Goodreads and came across this little self-published gem which had rave reviews. The idea of Santa having sexy sons who had to take over the business was an interesting premise, one I was curious to see if author Penny Watson could pull off. For a mere $3.99 on Amazon, the price point was worth trying it out.

No sooner did I finish the first book, Sweet Inspiration, then I immediately ordered the second book, Sweet Magik, published by The Wild Rose Press. Yes, the first was THAT good!

Sexy, bearded Nicholas Klaus is a sober, hard-working master chef and baker who, when not running the bakery back at the North Pole, trots the globe sampling the best food around the world. In upstate New York, he hears about a local bakery with a great reputation and stops in for a judgmental bite. One taste equals the best sugar cookie he’s ever had and that was before his heart stopped, and it’s not from the butter content. He sees petite, red-haired Lucy Brewster, owner of the bakery, and he is a man obsessed, returning every day to try something new and wrestle his body and mind into submission.

You see, Nicholas isn’t allowed to bring a Sudlander, a southern-dweller, back to the North Pole without permission and even then it better be a darn good reason. And what normal woman is going to do anything but dial 911 if he told her that he was a chef, and…oh, that’s right…the oldest son of Santa Claus? And would you come back to the North Pole to live with me and the elves?

Lucy is fascinated with the hot, stranger who looks at her like she was a sugar cookie. When he helps her in a bakery crisis, she realizes the common interests they share and a hot night together in her office is further proof there’s something special between them. But a shocking accident takes Lucy to the North Pole to see how Nicholas and his family really live. The question exists if the magic between them will be enough or will Lucy have to face reality and go home to New York without the one man who makes her feel like she was in front of a hot oven?

I loved both the character of Lucy and Nicholas (how can you not adore the free-spirit who helps the uptight automaton loosen up?) and the way Watson turns the tables, making Santa and Mrs. Klaus the opposite of what you expect is a fun surprise. That elves are these working class toughs with animal spirits to spare (yet warm-hearted and so welcoming to Lucy) is another valuable story layer, and the only part I missed was my reindeer bubble bursting (sleighs are run on magic, not reindeer).

Sweet Magik (Klaus Brothers #2 – Oskar and Kiana’s story) by Penny Watson (The Wild Rose Press, November 3, 2011)

With responsible Nicholas having four sexy, younger brothers, all with disparate personalities, we have a lovely series in the making. Nevertheless, I was surprised that the next brother in line was green-haired, tattooed, snowboarder Oskar. In Sweet Magik, we see that Oskar is the head of the elven workers (not an easy HR gig with the drinking, fighting and magik), yet who pulls off his job and his eccentric Dr. Seuss hats with equal aplomb.

When Gregor, the financial wizard brother, invites his siblings to his Manhattan high rise apartment for a New Year’s Eve party complete with supermodels, Oskar happily goes along. Yet a surprise is in store when he spots a dowdy woman tucked in a corner talking to his brother Sven. Ignoring the blond supermodel jonesing for his bad boy looks, Oskar tries to engage Ms. Prickly and Covered Up in conversation. They actually read a lot of the same books and Kiana Grant, the name of his mystery gal, is clearly a gorgeous woman hiding from the world.

Kiana has a no reason to trust bad boys. Back in home in Hawaii, she fell victim to one and it hurt her badly. Joining her best friend Trish in New York allowed Kiana to get the librarian degree she always wanted and Trish’s trust fund has them living in a great apartment. Shocked at the raw attractiveness of Oskar, Kiana tries to shut down her reaction, but not before they have one hell of a New Year’s kiss. Oskar pesters her for a date and she gives in, only to have his cell ring in with a horrible work emergency. He’s frustrated to have to leave her, but events conspire to give her an unexpected ride to the North Pole where they are both in danger, physically and emotionally, of getting seriously hurt by a vicious elf bent on revenge.

Oskar is fun and a little lonely, and making him an insatiable reader (bibliophiles will drool over the description of his house) is icing on the hero cake. As a librarian it always chafes when authors insist on making us dowdy, repressed sexpots, but Kiana was an empathetic character with some serious emotional baggage. I love how Oskar never gave up on her and realized his heart’s doors were thrown wide open with this woman. Love magik is easy to believe in.

It’s interesting to note that while the first book was self-published and about 160 pages long, this book was picked up by The Wild Rose Press (which produces great romances) and is double that length. I’m glad of it as this storyline fleshes out the world a little more, adds in some excellent three-dimensional secondary characters, and has a romantic suspense subplot of the evil elf. The love scenes in both books are sweet and hot and interestingly enough (with all the erotic romance I read) I can’t remember the last time the hero and heroine orally pleasured one another at the same time – go Penny Watson for adding in this much needed element to the world of hot romance! How else are those couples supposed to stay warm up at North Pole anyway? Eh?

Penny Watson’s writing strength is her terrific world-building. She’s created a reality in which a Klaus made a bargain to protect elves and work with them for the benefit of children everywhere, moving them to the North Pole (made habitable by elven magik). It’s pure fantasy, but rather than get bogged down in rules and vocabulary, Watson feeds us exactly the right amount of information and specialized language (German, if you spreche Deutsch) to show us that these are a group of people and elves with a history, bonded through a common experience and way of viewing the world.

My sole problem with this series was the cover of Sweet Inspiration – those cookies look terrible! Nicholas wouldn’t be caught dead serving something that looked so unappetizing. Sadly the next two brothers (let one of them be Wolfie!! Please!!) won’t have their books released until the end of 2013, but I’m eagerly looking forward to getting the Klaus family, in all their sexiness, for Christmas next year. Thanks, Penny!

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