Friday, 18 August 2017

The Friday 56: A Different Blue by Amy Harmon


Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
* Head over to Frida's Voice to find more #Friday56





56% on Kindle: A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

“Take care of yourself, Blue.”
“You too, Mason.” I turned and made my way to the door. Mason called out behind me, and his voice seemed awfully loud in the almost empty courtroom.
“I never pictured you with a guy like Adam.”
I turned and shrugged. “Neither did I, Mason. Maybe that's part of my problem.”

(blurb from Goodreads) Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing. 

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.






Thursday, 17 August 2017

New Release Spotlight: Disciplined by the Duke by Alyson Chase

Click on the above image to follow the tour.


Disciplined by the Duke
Lords of Discipline #1
By: Alyson Chase
Releasing August 15, 2017
Swerve
Disciplined by the Duke

Lords of Discipline series


The day her sister murdered their abusive father, Elizabeth Wilcox stopped being a gentleman’s daughter. Willing to do anything to save her sister from the hangman’s noose, now she is a spy... A servant. A liar. A thief. A submissive.
Masquerading as a parlor maid and entrenched in the Duke of Montague’s estate, Liz is willing to risk all to uncover the secrets that would save her sister. But submitting to the duke’s peculiar brand of discipline surprises her with a heady mixture of pleasure and pain. Eager to relinquish control of her messy life, Liz soon craves the rough hands of Montague and his powerful, passionate attentions. Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? And what punishment will she face when he realizes her betrayal?




Look at me.” His voice was quiet. Kind. But no less commanding than when he gave orders to his steward. Or his dogs.
Her gaze rose over hard thighs, the fall of his trousers, the flat expanse of his stomach, and the wider expanse of his chest. She looked up until his eyes captured hers and held on. Her breath caught in her throat. His eyes weren’t the gray of unyielding stone anymore, but rather the shifting silvers and subdued greens of an ocean tossing in a storm.
I don’t make a habit out of breaking anyone’s, anything’s, spirit.” Dropping to a squat, Montague ran his fingers under Reggie’s jaw.
The heat from his body, his sudden nearness, curled around Liz. She took a deep breath to calm her racing heart. But she was swamped with his scent, and her pulse ratcheted up even higher.
Sometimes animals need to be molded so they can become their best selves. Guidance, a firm hand, training.” His breath bloomed across her cheek with every word. “My horse, Darkwing, has as much spirit as he did as a foal. I merely redirected it to productive channels. Now, he and I have a partnership. We each trust the other.” His lips quirked. “More so than I do most men.”
Digging his fingers into the soft fur at the back of Reggie’s neck, Montague gently lifted the pup. “Now if this fellow doesn’t wish to be molded that is his prerogative. He might not make the grade for a work dog at my estate, but he will make someone a lovely pet.”
Reggie yipped, and the duke lowered him to the ground. The puppy coiled around himself like a snake, obviously exhausted from his day. Montague kept his hand on the dog, his palm almost large enough to span Reggie’s entire back. He ran his long, tapered fingers slowly through the puppy’s coat, and Reggie gave one more sleepy yip before tucking his nose under his tail.
You seem to have an affinity for the scamp.” Montague gently rubbed the tip of Reggie’s ear between his thumb and forefinger. Liz’s own earlobe tingled. “Perhaps you’d want him as a pet.”
Her heart twisted. She’d love to spoil a dog. But it wasn’t to be. And the duke should have known that.
Where would I keep him?” She hated to do it. It would ruin the moment, these amazing few minutes when the duke spoke to her like she was a real person, an equal, not the hired help. She’d forgotten what it felt like to be able to sit without fear of violence or discovery. To not have every moment revolve around a job for Westmore, scraping together enough money for food for her and Amanda, finding enough coal to keep her warm at night.
This was like an afternoon of days past, when gentlemen treated her with respect and she wanted for nothing. She felt like her old self, if only for a moment. The decadence of it almost made her dizzy.
But being the old Miss Elizabeth Wilcox was a luxury she could no longer afford.
So she twisted the blade, just a little. Just enough to sting. “Mr. Todd doesn’t allow servants to have pets. And if Reggie followed me around on my duties I think he’d probably make more of a jumble than I could clean in a day.” Taking a deep breath, she clenched her stomach. “It doesn’t make sense for a chambermaid to have a puppy.”
And there it was. That small flicker. The stormy sea hardening back into granite. Montague had forgotten himself. Or, more accurately, forgotten her. Forgotten how low she was in relation to him.
Her lungs burned with the effort to keep her breathing steady. The reminder stung more than she’d expected. The duke would probably forget his momentary lapse in the time it took him to return to his house.
It would take her longer.
And she couldn’t keep forgetting who she was, why she was here. It hurt too much when reality crashed back in. So she dug the knife a little deeper into her side.
Picking up the sleeping puppy from her lap, she laid him next to Reggie. Standing, she brushed at her skirts, plucking an errant strand of fur from her apron. “Now if you will excuse me, Your Grace, I have some chamber pots I need to empty.”
Without looking to see whether she had shocked him, Liz turned on her heel and made her way back to the side door of Hartsworth. The servants’ entrance.
It wasn’t until she’d refilled Molly’s bucket and lugged it halfway up the stairs that she realized she’d forgotten to curtsy before leaving the duke. She could only hope her disgraceful chamber pot reference had distracted the man too much for him to notice.
Alyson Chase writes historical romances that are just a bit…naughty. She is a former attorney, and thought that her flair for dramatic and sexy writing was seriously undervalued in her legal career. She also writes under the name Allyson Charles. 
She lives in Northern California where the incredible weather and natural beauty so far outweigh the overcrowding and congested freeways. Also, the food in the Bay Area rocks. 
If you want to know when the next book is coming out, visit her at website and sign up for her newsletter.


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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Release Day Spotlight & Review: Swept Into Love by Melissa Foster

Click on the image above to follow the blog tour.



Swept Into Love
The Ryders #5
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing August 16, 2017
World Literary Press
Swept Into Love

The Ryders series


It’s been years since Sally Tuft’s husband died and she was left to raise her teenage son alone. And almost as long since she told the only other man she’d ever wanted that they should be just friends. Now her son has left for college and Sally has no distractions to keep her from thinking about her best friend and coworker, Gage Ryder, and what could have been.
Gage always believed that one day Sally would move past the death of her husband and they would finally explore the passion that’s simmered between them since the day they met. Tasked with opening a new youth center in Oak Falls, Virginia, Gage hopes the trip away is just what they need to finally come together.
Before Gage and Sally ever reach Oak Falls, one night at a conference changes everything, putting their friendship—and their love—on the line, and the two must decide if getting swept up in love is the beginning of forever, or the end of their friendship as they know it.


AMAZON | B & N | GOOGLE | ITUNES | KOBO 


Friends to lovers is a favourite trope of mine and Swept into Love more than meets my expectations.

Widowed Sally Tuft is a single parent who's son Rusty is now in college. In the time since her husband died, she's worked hard to provide a secure home for them both as well as forge a close friendship with her work colleague Gage Ryder. A trip to Vegas changes her relationship with Gage forever. However, can come to accept their 'careless mistake' as a sign to build a life together as a couple?

Gage Ryder has spent the years he's known Sally Tuft patiently waiting for the right moment. He met his best friend at work after her husband died and since then they have forged a friendship so close, her son sees him as a father figure and confidant. During a trip to Vegas, their lives take a fascinating turn; Gage is eager to cling to what happened because he finally has what he's patiently waited for...Sally.

Gage and Sally have always shared a respect for each other which has developed over the years into a deep friendship. Their connection on the surface has been one of platonic affection yet underneath both have feelings that time hasn't given them an opportunity to share. Until one fateful night.

"It turns out what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas."

Despite the best of intentions, plans tend to go awry. The morning after the night before is the first time the protagonists don't agree on what happens next. Understandably, Gage is a man on a mission. After releasing some of the pent up passion he's hidden over the years, he's a man determined to prove to the woman he loves they haven't made a mistake. However, as a Mom, Sally has reservations about how the world sees them. Specifically, her son's reaction to the change in status between his Mom and her best friend. So, it's intriguing to discover the dynamics of the bond between Gage and Rusty. How best intentions are not always the way to go as exposed secrets cause unnecessary upset and distress.

As always, Melissa Foster delivers a well written, entertaining novel that keeps your attention the duration of the novel. I've always loved the familiarity of knowing (most of) the secondary characters in her books as they add an extra depth to the protagonists' story and Swept Into Love is no exception. The easy banter is full of humour keeping the proceedings light and fun. Even when the narrative turns serious to address a complex, emotional issue, there's always a balanced point of view with a thoughtful conclusion. The romance is sexy with an overall heart-warming feel. If you've never read any of the other Ryder's novels, you'll love this just as much as any reader who is familiar with the series and happy endings

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher World Literary Press***



Sally Tuft awoke to a freight train running through her head and the worst cotton mouth she’d ever experienced. She lay on her back, eyes closed, trying to remember what happened last night after the conference she’d attended. Thank God what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas, because she didn’t need her boss finding out she got rip-roaring drunk. She rolled onto her side, coming face-to-face with hot whiskey breath. Her eyes flew open and she bolted upright, clutching the sheet to her chest. Her heart pounded wildly as she took in the gorgeous sandy-haired man lying next to her. Oh shit! Shit, shit, shit!
No. This can’t be happening.
She slammed her eyes shut, trying to calm her mounting panic by breathing deeply, but that made her head hurt even worse.
Her eyes opened slowly, roving over Gage Ryder’s scruffy jaw and the full lips she’d fantasized about so many times she should be arrested. This was bad. Very bad. Gage had been her best friend and co-worker since her husband was killed in a skiing accident several years ago. And worse, he was her son’s confidant. The man whom Rusty went to with problems his father was no longer there to help him with.
Her gaze trailed over his broad shoulders and muscular chest as realization set in. She bit her lower lip, holding her breath as she lifted the sheet. Please let me have something on. At least underwear. The pit of her stomach twisted at the sight of her closer-to-forty-than-thirty, less-than-perky bare breasts, and stomach that had never quite regained its elasticity after having her now twenty-year-old son. Oh God!
Gage rolled onto his back, and her eyes were drawn to the formidable bulge lifting the sheets. Look away. Look away.
She couldn’t look away. He’d made his feelings for her clear without ever actually spelling them out. Would he mind if she looked? Oh God! I should mind! She needed to force those desires back into Ignore mode. Closing her eyes and gritting her teeth, she tried to do just that. But the urge to look was too strong, and they popped open again, drinking in every hard inch of him.
His left arm stretched over his head, coming to rest on the pillow. The other reached beneath the sheet and adjusted himself. Her nipples prickled to tight points. Now was not the time to get turned on, but she couldn’t stop staring as he sleepily pushed the sheet down his chest, revealing solid abs she’d seen a million times—but never once in bed. They were sexier than when he was playing basketball or chopping wood to heat his home. Oh God, she loved to watch him chop wood.
Her eyes moved to the other wood in sight. She heard a whimpering sound and realized it came from her. She snapped her mouth shut. She had to get out of there before he woke up and realized what they’d done.
What if he remembered what happened—or didn’t—last night? She was never going to drink again. Not in this lifetime, and definitely not with Gage Ryder.
She clutched the sheet and slid to the edge of the bed, struggling to dredge up memories of last night from the muddled recesses of her mind, but her head was spinning. At least her hangover had taken a backseat to the reality of having slept with Gage. He rolled toward her as she stepped quietly from the bed. The sheet caught beneath him and pulled from around her.  She gasped, her hands darting to cover all her private parts as Gage’s amused blue eyes opened and followed her frantic hands. A slow smile crept across his gorgeous face. She needed more hands! She yanked the sheet from the bed and turned around.
“Don’t look!” she yelled as she tried to wrap it around her. “Oh my God. Gage!”
“Sally…?”
“Don’t say a word. Wait. Please tell me we didn’t have sex. Just…” She shook her head and spun around, bringing Gage and all his naked glory into full view. For a second she was struck mute, her jaw hanging open. His thick arousal lay nestled between powerful thighs, on a manicured tuft of dirty-blond hair.
“See something you want?” Gage said with a chuckle, snapping her brain into gear.
“You’re naked!” She spun around again, breathing so hard she feared she might pass out.
“You whipped the sheet off me,” he said far too casually.
I’m naked!”
“I see that, and I prefer you without the sheet.”
“Gage!” She huffed. “Put a pillow over yourself! Cover that thing up.”
He sighed loudly and she heard the rustling of the pillow.

“Okay, Salbird. I’m covered, but given that we’re both naked, I’m pretty sure you got more than an eyeful last night.” 

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.
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Release Day Blast: Once Upon a Lady by Addie Jo Ryleigh



Once Upon a Lady
The Soul Mate Tree Series - Book 8
By: Addie Jo Ryleigh
Releasing August 16, 2017
Soul Mate Publishing


Respectable Lady Katherine Baxton, striving to meet the requirements of her station, has become the ultimate dutiful daughter. And now, the Duke of Blackthorn’s betrothed. Far from a love match, Kate is nevertheless determined to do as expected and marry. That all changes the night she panics at her impending future and runs, stumbling upon a private grove, a mysterious tree. . . and a half-naked man.
The youngest son of a viscount widely thought to have purchased his title, Jackson Cooper demonstrates his disdain for the aristocracy by affording himself every luxury available—drinking, wenching, and gambling—while eschewing anything representing the ton. Jackson has little care for his reputation and no desire to marry. His escape from London is all but complete.
Until fate—in the form of a beautiful, mysterious lady—interrupts his plans, enticing him with the very thing he never wanted.
   AMAZON

Kate felt his approach before she saw him. Which wasn’t all that surprising since her body had remained mindful of his presence. Fighting the impulse proved fruitless.
When his tall frame blocked the sun and cast her in shadow, she knew besides giving him a direct cut, she had no escape. If only she hadn’t ventured from her sister’s side. At the time, abandoning Helena had been her singular option since their slow stroll through the gathering had traveled too close to the very man standing beside her. She’d been delaying the inevitable.
Kate was now alone, as she tried to keep her attention on the lawn activities before her, hoping no one would witness what was about to happen.
Aren’t sprites confined to the trees?” His deep voice washed over her.
She didn’t turn to acknowledge him. “How nice to see you properly dressed for once.”
His chuckle warmed her. “Are you following me?”
An unladylike snort refused to be repressed. “Hardly. You are rather difficult to overlook, being the only unknown face here.”
That’s not true. You’ve seen my face . . . as well as other, more interesting parts.”
Kate wished she’d listened to her sister and worn a bonnet. Anything to mask the heat flaring in her cheeks.
Thankfully he remained at her side and hadn’t a clear view of her face. “We have not been introduced. I can’t be seen speaking to you.”
Then let us go where we can't be seen.”
Her heart raced at his boldness. Why was this man so tempting? She was spoken for, though still unofficially. Proper ladies didn’t follow strange men to private locations, regardless of their marital status. “Absolutely not.”
Even if I have something of yours?”
Blast! Her ring. Given her luck lately, she would have lost it in the grove of all places. Her aunt would toss in her grave knowing Kate had misplaced her gift.
A true gentleman would return it.”
His deep laugh caused her pulse to flutter. “I’m no gentleman. Or haven’t you heard?”


Addie Jo Ryleigh writes historical regency romances that feature rakish heroes and strong feisty heroines. 
Addie Jo has lived in the same cold-winter-hot-summer area of Minnesota her entire life. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her very understanding husband who endured being dubbed “The Duke” by his co-workers. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from her side. And recently the newest addition to their family, a black lab named Max.
Addie Jo has always had a love and passion for romance books and became engrossed in historical romance (particularly Regency) soon after graduating from Lurlene McDaniel’s young adult books. Currently, she reads any genre that has a great emotional story that keeps her reading into the early hours of the morning.
Addie Jo has a bachelor degree in accounting and is a financial coordinator when not playing chauffeur for her hockey-playing boys, cuddled up with a good book, or writing her next story.


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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

New Release Blast: Irresistible You by Kate Meader



Irresistible You
Chicago Rebels #1
By: Kate Meader
Releasing August 14, 2017
Pocket Star
Irresistible You

Chicago Rebels series


Hot in Chicago series author Kate Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series, featuring her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times). Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…
**Pre-Order and Release week special price of just $1.99 **

    AMAZON | B & N | GOOGLE | ITUNES | KOBO

Excerpt from Irresistible You
© Kate Meader
He looked uncomfortable standing there, balancing on his skates, ready to spring for the door. But she knew he wouldn’t sit while she stood because his mother had raised him to respect women. Something fluttered in her chest at that notion. DuPre might be a lot of things—ladies’ man, good ol’ boy, thorn in her side—but she suspected he would never hurt someone weaker than himself.
You’ve got three minutes, Harper.”
Do you remember what I told you in Boston, DuPre?”
Somethin’ about needin’ me to instill leadership and help these boys get to the playoffs.” Warm honey flowed through her veins at the timbre of his voice. She could have sworn her panties slipped an inch.
I did say that. I meant it. And I thought you understood.”
He rubbed his chin, the scrape against stubble delicious to her ears. All he was missing was a Stetson, a blade of grass, and some flighty piece in a cropped tank and Daisy Dukes. “I understood the words because you’d put them together in a highly entertainin’ way, and to certain ears, they might make sense. Then I told you what needed to happen to ensure my cooperation.”
This nonsense stopped here. “Is that why you’re playing like you can barely walk, much less skate? What’s wrong, old man? Feeling a touch of arthritis in your joints?”
For a brief moment, she thought she might have found his weakness: vanity. But no. He merely threaded his arms over his chest—over the Rebels logo of a big C with a hockey stick and a cutlass crossed behind it—and cocked his head.
You’re gonna have to use a little more finesse, Harper.”
More surprising than the fact Remy had used the word finesse correctly in a sentence was that he didn’t seem annoyed with her. He seemed . . . amused. As if she were a toy he could happily bat around like a kitten would a semiconscious mouse.
Applause sounded, signifying the beginning of the final period. Neither of them moved, hands metaphorically hovering at their hips like Old West gunfighters.
The trade deadline,” she said, feeling livid and helpless. “Give me that.”
The all-star game.”
Three months. The all-star game, held in late January, was traditionally viewed as the halfway point of the season. On the cusp of the busy trade period, it led into a month of bartering and haggling as everyone lined up their teams for the big push to the playoffs.
At her hesitation, he leaned in, those cobalt blues flashing. It wasn’t enough to unholster her gun; she should have already taken her shot, and that delay was her undoing.
Would you rather three months of my full effort or a whole season of my skatin’ like I’m playin’ squirt hockey?”
You can’t seriously be reducing this to a game of ‘would you rather’?”
His voice dropped to an intimate tone, her panties another inch with it. “If you shake on it now, I’ll begin that full effort tonight.”
The siren blared in the distance, followed by the home crowd’s roar. Five zip. Harper didn’t enjoy being blackmailed, but she enjoyed losing even less.
She thrust her hand forward impatiently. He took it in his firm grasp. That electricity setting her skin aflame was her body telling her she’d made the right decision. Nothing else.
You have a game to finish.”
He held on, and now he inclined his head so close she could count each and every one of those pretty-boy eyelashes. Her pulse rate spiked, and she was certain he could sense it. Sense her heart thumping rabbit kicks, her vein pulsing in her throat.
We’ve shaken on it now, minou, so don’t you dare think about welshing. I might sound like I spend my spare time spitballin’ from the rockin’ chair on my porch, but don’t let my accent fool you none. I’m not the kind of man you want for an enemy. We clear?”
She might have rolled her eyes if she wasn’t just a wee bit impressed by his chutzpah. Still, he needed to be informed that while he might have won this battle, the war was far from over.
Try not to trip on your way to the rink, DuPre.”
He laughed, deep and robust, clearly delighted with himself. Idiot. His thumb pressed against her inner wrist, and a crackle of energy leeched from him into her body.
You feel that, Harper?”
She snatched back her hand. “If you mean my goodwill evaporating with every second you’re standing here, then, yeah, I feel it.”
I think we’re havin’ a thing.”
They were. Oh, God, they were. “Why are you still here again?”
His mouth curved. “Lady, I got the distinct feelin’ these next few months are gonna be fun.”
He picked up his stick and, with more grace than a six-foot-two brute wearing skates on dry land should possess, he left the locker room.
Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.
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