Monday, 1 February 2016

New Release Spotlight and Review: I wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne.

In Honor of Superbowl Winning Quarterback Jackson Burke, 
Enter to Win a  Ladies "TEAM" T-Shirt from 
Lady Fanatics Sports Apparel Winners Choice 
(up to $40.00 Value)

Oxford #2
Lauren Layne
Releasing on February 2, 2016

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

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Jackson took a sip. Perfection. Although what did it mean that Jackson’s life had turned into one where the highlight of his day was a well-made cocktail?
It wasn’t that Jackson needed the booze. He enjoyed it, certainly. Had relied on it more than he probably should have in those first few days when he’d gotten out of the hospital and come home to a whole lot of nothingness.
But these days he could take it or leave it.
Tonight, however, he was taking it. Sobriety had no place when you had to sit across from the most off-limits woman on the planet.
Knowing that didn’t stop the anticipation, however. He hadn’t seen her since she’d shown up in his hospital room to deliver a bag of Gatlin’s BBQ and . . .
His divorce papers.
That had been eight months ago.
He’d avoided her ever since, and he couldn’t even say why except that he’d avoided pretty much everyone. Jackson still spoke with his parents every Sunday, but everyone else—all the old teammates, the old neighbors—had eventually stopped calling.
Mollie hadn’t, though. Mollie had never given up on him. Until today, he hadn’t responded to a single text, a single email, and yet she hadn’t stopped sending them. That was Mollie for you. Fiercely loyal to both him and Madison, even when things had started to go to hell.
Mollie had been accepted to Columbia just about the time that he and Madison started coming apart at the seams. In hindsight, he was grateful that Mollie had been in New York when things started to go to hell in his marriage. That she hadn’t seen him at his worst.
At the time, however, he’d been hit with an unfair sense of abandonment. He hadn’t realized how much he’d come to rely on the much younger Mollie to mediate things between him and the volatile Madison until she was in a different time zone.
Even now, more than a decade since first meeting Mollie, he struggled to reconcile the fact that she and Madison had come from the same parents. Madison was perfectly coiffed, charming only when she was in the mood, and manipulative as all hell. Mollie, on the other hand, was adorably awkward—a brainy research assistant who cared a hell of a lot more about her scientific journals than her manicure.
But somewhere along the line, Mollie Carrington had ceased to be that awkward kid who talked about bugs at inopportune times. Somewhere along the line, she’d become his rock. The one person in the world, save for perhaps his parents, who always knew the exact right thing to say to make him feel like a human whenever he’d started to feel like a caricature of himself.
For years he’d tried to tell himself that it was just sibling affection—that he cared about her the way he would a sister. But then things had gotten worse with Madison—way worse. And Jackson had been hit upside the head with the truth: that maybe he’d married the wrong sister. That he didn’t want to spend the rest of his days married to the beautiful, brittle Madison.
He wanted someone who made him laugh. Who listened. Someone who cared more about people than she did about hair appointments.
Someone like Mollie.

Tonight, at her sister's wedding, Mollie Carrington had gone and fallen head over heels in love.
With the groom,” Yes! Ms Layne certainly grabbed my attention with that line.

The second surprise with the second standalone novel in the Oxford series is the introduction of a new guy... Jackson Burke. The former quarterback of the Texas Redhawks, is the newly appointed fitness editor at Oxford. Those that have read Irresistibly Yours will recognise him as Penelope “Tiny” Pope's biggest sports crush/idol.

Like a fish out of water...Jackson Burke is in New York, re-building his life as a columnist although he sees it as a temporary but necessary move until he gets to be back where he belongs...with the Redhawks in Texas. A car crash ended his playing career and his ex-wife did a fine job at ruining his reputation. Still, he hopes that the Redhawks' coach will one day send an email and offer him a coaching job so he doesn't have to bother with a suit and tie every day. Corporate America is not his thing and his new work colleagues are friendly but a bit cliquey.

Mollie Carrington has always had a close relationship with her big sister who made personal sacrifices to raise her after their mother's death. Equally, she shared a close friendship with her brother-in-law, until he and her sister divorced. Since then Jackson Burke has ignored her attempts to contact him, which isn't surprising when she was the one to hand deliver his divorce papers. Now living in New York, Mollie's sister Madison wants her to talk to Jackson about a reconciliation, with an outcome neither expected...Jackson and Mollie become room-mates!

There is a slow build up to Jackson and Mollie realising that they can't ignore or deny their feelings any longer. I had a couple of eye-roll moments when “guy code” and “girl/sister code” was mentioned as our protagonists faced the consequences and potential repercussion of their actions. Whilst this could have been highly dramatic, it wasn't. I'm thankful Ms Layne writes intelligent characters who work through difficult situations with maturity. Jackson comes across as aloof but I see him as a guy lacking social confidence in his new world. The Stiletto/Oxford gang add fun, light-hearted banter to the storyline but to a big sports hero, it's a bit too overwhelming at first to deal with. Mollie is just adorable and intuitive. You just want her to break out of the shadows and shine.

For those that are fans of Oxford's resident man-whore Lincoln Mathis and are waiting for his story, we are treated to a tantalizing little nugget of information about him as Mollie calls him out on his reputation.

Keep my secret?” he said with a wink… “Seriously,” he said quietly. “Keep my secret?”

The plot rounds off with a satisfying happy ever after as all the wrongs are righted. I love the overall feel good feeling I have after reading a Lauren Layne novel and this humorous, sexy story littered with witty dialogue is no exception.

***arc generously received courtesy of Loveswept (Random House Publishing Group) via NetGalley***

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals. 
Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).
Oxford Book One

New Release Spotlight: The Last Riders - First Four Votes by Jamie Begley.

Enter to Win a Print Set of The Last Riders Books 1-4

Razer's Ride, Viper's Run, Knox's Stand & Shade's Fall
Jamie Begley
Released Feb 1st, 2016
Young Ink Press

The Last Riders are a Motorcycle Club created by eight ex Navy SEALS, that make no excuses for the life they have chosen to lead. These men fight hard and f**k harder. Get your first four votes from Razer, Viper, Knox and Shade. 

Razer’s Ride: Book One

Beth Cornett is the town good girl, so staying out of the way of the motorcycle club’s dangerous members was a no brainer. Unfortunately, she manages to catch the eye of Razer, who has every intention of tempting her to take him on despite her misgivings. When her worst fears are realized, she is left heartbroken, determined to forget her walk on the wild side. 

Razer was not going to change for any woman, not even Beth. Their lifestyles were too different; betrayed she ran. Realizing his mistake too late; she was not about to forgive and forget. It takes a killer intent on targeting Beth to bring her back to him and The Last Riders for protection. Razer may have learned his lesson, but this time, as long as she is at the club, she has to play by their rules. 

Viper’s Run: Book Two

Winter Simmons received the surprise of her life when she discovered the man she had  been dating for the last two years was actually Viper, president of the Last Riders. A high school principal, Winter has no intention of ruining her reputation in the community to be with a man who betrayed her trust.  Unforgiving, she turns her back on him, only to find that Viper is not the gentleman he portrayed. 

Determined to find his brother’s killer, Loker James kept his identity as President of The Last Riders a secret from Winter. When the truth comes out, he is determined to make her see the real man who can control not only a group of dangerous bikers, but a woman whose life is a rulebook. Unable to prevent herself from being drawn into the very club she despises, Winter is about to lose everything
important to her, unless Viper can prove she’s more than a moonlight run.

Knox’s Stand: Book Three

Knox, a former Navy Seal, has been in several dangerous situations, but nothing compares to dealing with Diamond Richards. Framed for murder, he needs the passionless lawyer to prove his innocence. But when he no longer needs her help, he’s going to show her the passion she’s capable of and walk away a free man.

Diamond plans on earning her huge fee to prove Knox is innocent, but she had no idea the muscled biker could bring out the passion she kept hidden behind her designer clothes. Trying to find a murderer is easier than dealing with The Last Riders and Knox’s sexcapades. He’s going to find out there is one woman worth standing and fighting for, despite his desire for freedom.

Shade’s Fall: Book Four

Shade is everything Lily doesn't want in a man. He's rude, obnoxious and he's definitely not a cowboy. The tattooed enforcer for The Last Riders is a mystery Lily doesn't want to solve. He's too much for her to handle, especially with the nightmares from her past constantly threatening her sanity.

Lily is everything Shade wants in a woman. She's sweet, kind and submissive. When she discovers the truth about The Last Riders, it threatens to tear apart every relationship within the club. Her rebellion causes the predatory instincts to rise in the ex Navy SEAL sniper.

When The Last Riders are threatened by another motorcycle club just as determined to claim Lily, Shade is her only hope of surviving the approaching confrontation. Could their passion be Shade's downfall?

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"I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.

Taking after my mother, I've always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.

For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.

Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.

All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

Blog Tour Stop: Anything More Than Now by Rebecca Paula

Reagan Landry is months away from college graduation, but instead of excitement, she’s frozen by the fear of letting go — of her ex-boyfriend, of the comfortable life she created for herself in Portland, of the years-long search for her older sister who abandoned her as a homeless teen. When she’s finally forced to decide what’s next, Reagan is met with another complication — her ex’s best friend, Noah Burke, who seems determined that she embraces what could be instead of what has been.
Drunkenly hooking up with his best friend’s ex, Reagan, is a mistake, but being secretly in love with her is so much worse when things seem one-sided. A disenchanted frat boy about to fail out of college, Noah has been living out someone else’s dream after a horrible accident five years earlier. Just when he thinks he’s lost any chance he has with Reagan, she surprises him by agreeing to spend the summer together at his family’s ranch in Montana.
And suddenly what started out as a complication between them becomes serious...until the past starts ripping apart their future.

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He rounds the table and sits beside me, reading over what I’ve underlined with my red pen. His thumb plays over the lip of his coffee cup, his brows drawn in focus. And again, I’m left questioning all my life decisions.
My face warms, and I shift in my seat. “Did you remember to bring the money?”
He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a folded envelope. My name is scribbled across the front. I fight back the urge to trace the long swoop to the capital R, giving my name more significance then it deserves.
“Poetry is language, Rea,” he continues, pulling me away from the money on the table. “That’s why you read it and it makes you feel something. Words and language I think are two different concepts. It’s why there are great poets and shitty ones. They can take the ordinary in this world and make it…”
I roll my eyes. So maybe he’s not a realist, but I sure as hell wouldn’t have pegged him as a romantic. “I’m a lit major and I think you just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.”
“That’s a first. Usually it’s my shoes.” I elbow him, and he laughs. “You don’t understand though, do you?”
“I get it just fine. But I’m talking about your paper. Your argument has nothing to do with what the actual mechanics of poetry mean to the modern reader.”
Noah thinks about what I said, tapping his pen over the tabletop to a jittery beat. When he doesn’t say anything, I take a sip of coffee and focus on reading his revised paper again. His hand stops mine as I circle back on a sentence, about to comment on his annoying habit of relying on dangling modifiers.
“Why did you decide on Portland?”
“I like the rain,” I admit without pause. It has something to do with the way he drops his voice to a husky whisper, how his thumb skims the back of my hand in a slow, burning sweep. It’s a move that shows interest, that shows he’s invested…it’s beyond a flirtatious touch. And if I’m honest, it leaves me with a knot in my stomach.
“Didn’t you grow up in Florida? It doesn’t rain there?”
I’ve decided that we’re really good at reading between the lines. I’ve also decided that when he looks at me—and I mean looks—wherever I go in my head to push people away crumbles. And then it’s just me and him, those burning eyes of his searching for an answer he trusts I have hidden away.
“It’s temporary there. Here it’s…”
He licks his lips, intent. “What? The rain’s like what here?”
I lean close, closer to him, closer to his mouth. “It’s promised. It’s a sure thing. And it lasts.”
“There’s your poetry, Rea.”

Rebecca writes smart, emotional New Adult and historical romances featuring flawed characters struggling to find their place in the world, from Paris to Portland. She’s a lover of rainy days, an unabashed anglophile, and a devote Earl Grey tea drinker. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their very spoiled cat, Bella. A wanderlust connoisseur, Rebecca can be caught daydreaming about her next travel adventure when not writing.

Rebecca loves hearing from readers and writers. You can follow her on Twitter @beckapaula or find out more about her and her books at

Blog Tour Schedule:
January 27th                    
Engaging Secrets              Review
Textteaser           Review

January 28th                    
Extreme Bookaholics Blog            Excerpt
New Chicks On The Blog                Review

January 29th                    
Bad Boy Book Addicts     Review
Home. Love. Books          Review
Pop KittyBook reviews    Review

January 30th                    
Zili in the Sky                     Review
Connected by Books       Review
Reading Addict                  Guest Post

January 31st                     
Mikky's World Of Books                Excerpt
Alpha Book Club               Review

February 1st                     
Ellesea Loves Reading     Excerpt
Love Affair With Fiction                 Excerpt
Mama she's crazy about books   Review

February 2nd                    
I'm A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore         Review

February 3rd                    

February 4th                    
Best Book Boyfriends      Review
Liz's Reading Life              Excerpt

February 5th                    
Book-o-Craze     Review
A Dream Within A Dream             Playlist

February 6th                    
Ramblings From This Chick           Review
Books Need TLC                Review
Evermore Books               Excerpt

February 7th                    
Beneath The Covers Blog              Excerpt
deal sharing aunt             Interview

February 8th                    
Best Book Boyfriends      Review
Ellesea Loves Reading     Excerpt

February 9th                    
The Phantom Paragrapher            Review

We Like It Big Book Blog                Review