August 31, 2015

COVER REVEAL & EXCERPT: Take Me Home Tonight (Rock Star Romance #3)

I am so excited to show you the cover of Erika Kelly's third book in her Rock Star Romance series, TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT. It is SO. AWESOME. And this series is super cool too. I'm excited to see what is in store for band newbie Calix Bourbon. And, judging by the excerpt below, it's going to be hot. But first... the cover.

Take Me Home Tonight (Rock Star Romance #3), by Erika Kelly
Publish Date: April 2016
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

(Synposis) Calix Bourbon might seem like a free spirit, but that’s all a front. In reality he’s just trying to keep his fractured family together while working as a session musician. When Blue Fire hires him to replace their keyboardist, Calix is determined to make the most of the opportunity—but he can’t help being distracted by the band’s sexy personal chef.

Mimi’s temporary gig is great, but she has her heart set on auditioning for a televised cooking show. There’s just one problem: she only has a week to acquire the skills necessary to survive the competition. Luckily, the band’s new keyboard player can teach her exactly what she needs, in the kitchen and in the bedroom...

Mimi Romano is a contestant on a TV cooking show, and Calix, the new keyboard player for Blue Fire, is helping her learn how to cook. He’s come with her to give her support and now, after successfully making it through the first competition, they’re headed back to her apartment.

Calix wasn’t sure why he was boarding the elevator in her steel and glass high rise, but he’d come this far. He might as well get her to her apartment.

The moment the doors closed, she leaned against the wall, and a slow bloom of satisfaction spread across her pretty features. “I did it,” she said quietly. “I freaking did it.”

Somehow standing so close to her in this dimly lit box made him forget all his reasons to stay away from her. He wanted her. Plain and simple. There was something irresistible about this girl. He caught her hand in his, brought it to his mouth, and kissed her open palm. “You did. You were fantastic.”

“You helped me.”

“Don’t think they’ll be using offal.”

“Not that.” She touched his arm, like she needed him to understand. “I meant by being there. In the audience. Every time I started to freak out I looked at you, and your bad-ass energy picked me up. Every single time. I needed that.” She held his gaze. “You made me feel like I could do it.”

“You could. You did.”

She didn’t look tired anymore. Her features softened, her lips parted. A crazy energy spun through him, throwing out images—those sultry eyes looking up at him, her mouth wrapped around his cock. He could picture it so vividly, his fingers touching her lips as she sucked him deep, and an explosion of erotic sensation detonated in his chest.

The car landed, and the doors opened. Mimi took one step forward and winced.

He stopped her. “You okay?”

“Just a blister.”

She’d had enough. So had he.

He scooped her off her feet and stepped off the elevator. Lowering his nose into her sweetly scented hair, he breathed her in. Need rocked through him, and he held her more tightly to his chest.

“Calix.” But she didn’t pack any fight in her tone.

He carried her down the hallway. “Which one?”

Instead of answering, she tucked her face into his neck and clasped her arms around him. “Thank you.” Her breath was warm on his skin, and her fingers curled in his hair.

Something hot and alive moved through him. “Gonna run out of carpet in a minute.”

“Is it terrible to say I don’t care? I think I want to stay like this forever. You feel so good, and I’m so tired.”

“Come on, sweet pants.”

“Fine.” Big, dramatic sigh. “622. See that crystal chandelier?” She didn’t even lift her head. “My door’s closest to it.”


She started to pull away from him, but the loss of her touch made him tighten his grip. When he didn’t let go, she lifted her head to look at him.

They’d never been this close. Close enough to see the pale nick of a scar right at her cheek bone, that expressive mouth, and the question in her eyes. Need burned through him, sending electrical impulses down his spine and through his dick. He needed her bare, warm skin against his. Needed the wet heat of her mouth, the slick tangle of her tongue. He needed…oh, fuck him.

His mouth settled over hers, and sparks fired in his blood. Her body turned toward him, fingers gripping the back of his shirt. The hunger took over, and he swept his tongue across her lips, licking inside her mouth.

With a sharp intake of breath, she was kissing him back. And, holy hell, this wasn’t some gentle exploration. This was mouth-fucking.

She clutched the back of his neck, her tongue stroking his, and raw desire streaked though him, setting him on fire.

Keeping his arm firmly around her waist, he set her down. But if she thought he was letting her go—not a chance. He just repositioned her so he could lift her against the wall and spread those legs around his hips. Nothing could stop his body from pressing into her and taking that mouth he’d fantasized about for months.

Her tits, her hands, the way she writhed against him, made him frenzied. “Jesus, Mimi.” And then she was making noises, hot, hungry purrs deep in her throat. He ground his cock against her. Heat blistered through him.

“God.” The back of her head hit the wall, and she fought to pull her legs out of his grip.

It took him a moment to shift gears, but he slowly lowered her to the floor. She looked as shaken as he felt. His knees barely supported him, so he braced both arms against the wall to hold himself up.

He needed a moment to cool down.

Jesus, he’d never had a kiss like that.

Erika KellyAward-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life—she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.


August 28, 2015

REVIEW: The Darkest Flame (Roadmap to Your Heart #1)

The Darkest Flame (Roadmap to Your Heart #1), by Christina Lee
Publish Date: August 17, 2015
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: adult m/m romance/suspense
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Vaughn O’Keefe has been part owner of the Hog’s Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he’s never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named “Smoke” walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.

“Smoke” Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He’s on the right path and isn’t about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.

When the Hog’s Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can’t have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.

As Smoke’s past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it’s time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he’ll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe.

When Christina Lee wrote There You Stand, which was the fifth book in her Between Breaths series, I was so excited that she took the plunge into the m/m new adult romance pool. And, it was a really good book. The Darkest Flame is a spin-off from There You Stand, and it's also m/m, but everything in it is... MORE. More hot bikers. More drama. More heat. 

We met both Vaughn and Smoke in There You Stand, and The Darkest Flame tells their story. I knew there was something between them, but it was obvious that they were not free to be out, given their current situations. Smoke is a recruit for the Disciples of the Road and finally on the right path in his life. He is wildly attracted to Vaughn, the part owner of the Hog's Den, which is where the Disciples always hang out. 

The attraction is definitely not one-sided. Vaughn has had his eye on Smoke for a long time. The best part about The Darkest Flame is the crazy amount of sexual tension. It is RIDICULOUS. Bikers and motorcycle clubs are very hetero. They are full of testosterone-laden man-whores who love to bang the biker babes that hang out at their club houses. It's not exactly accepted to be gay and in an MC.

Both Vaughn and Smoke are bi-sexual, so they've been able to hide their proclivities thus far. But, when Smoke is forced to work behind the bar with Vaughn, both men fear their days of hiding are numbered. Subtle nudges behind the bar, storeroom meet-ups, late-night closings - it was just a matter of time before they gave in to their attraction. 

Smoke and Vaughn were desperate to get back to business as usual. They weren't used to having their attentions so divided. Smoke has been wholly devoted to the club since they helped him kick his habit, and Vaughn's life is his bar. All of a sudden, both men are thrown off kilter by each other, and in their desperation to put their universes back to rights, they decided to just "get it out of their system." Now, how many times have we read about this plan? It's adorable that they thought that would actually work. 

After a few hot and heavy interactions, they finally get down to business. Holy. Crap. When Smoke and Vaughn decide to quit dancing around each other, they absolutely set my Kindle on fire. FIRE, I tell you. And, of course, once was not enough (DUH). They kept testing those invisible alleged boundaries set by the club, all while getting closer and closer to one another. 

The Darkest Flame was not all about the forbidden love between Vaughn and Smoke. The club is trying to bring down a rival gang that is in to some really bad things - Smoke's former club, in fact. And, since Smoke has the inside knowledge, he's asked to help by ratting on them. Despite the fact that Smoke knows his old club is into bad things and was a really bad thing for him, personally, he's a good, loyal guy, and he struggles with the morality of this. Since his loyalty has shifted, he does what is asked of him, but it never sits right with him, and eventually, Smoke has to answer for his actions. 

Luckily he has Vaughn's support the whole time. Although Vaughn is not part of the club, he is as close to it as he can be without being in it. That affords him protection and friendship from them. And, since the club meets at the bar all the time, Vaughn also has a bit of knowledge about how things go for them sometimes, so he knows Smoke is right smack in the middle of this operation, and he knows it can be dangerous. Suddenly, Vaughn is very worried about the man he's come to love, but there isn't anything he can do about it, since he's only on the periphery. 

It was fun seeing Cory and Jude a few times during The Darkest Flame. They've settled into life and are happy, which made my heart happy. I can't wait to see what the rest of this series will bring - and I can't wait for the recap we might see from Vaughn and Smoke.

August 26, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Wicked Ties (Wicked Lovers #1)

Wicked Ties (Wicked Lovers #1), by Shayla Black
Publish Date: January 2, 2007
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult erotic romance/suspense
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) She didn’t know what she wanted until he made her beg for it...

Morgan O’Malley has seen a lot of kinky things as the hostess of a cable sex talk show. But she’s never met a man like Jack Cole before. A self-proclaimed dominant, he’s as alpha as a male can get–and good for Morgan to have around when an obsessed stalker ratchets up his attempts to get to her.

Though Jack is a bodyguard, Morgan feels anything but safe in his presence. Because slowly and seductively, Jack is bringing her deepest fantasies to the surface. And when he bends her to his will, what’s more shocking than her surrender is how much she enjoys it–and starts to crave his masterful touch. A willing player in Jack’s games, Morgan knows that his motives aren’t pure, but she has no idea how personal they are…

A few months ago, I was having a conversation with my girl Hannah from The Irish Banana Review about BDSM. Well, more specifically, BOOKS about BDSM. I was explaining to her that I like my romance with a side of BDSM, and not the other way around. Luckily, since we're sistahs, she totally got me, and immediately started pushing me toward Shayla Black's Wicked Lovers series. Naturally, since Hannah has never steered me wrong, I got on that right away and got Wicked Ties, which is book 1 in the series, in audio (I also bought book 2 in paperback!). And, of course, she was right. 

Morgan, host of a cable TV show about sex, is floundering. After her last boyfriend left when he showed his true colors, she's buried the things she really wants deep down, convinced she's somehow... wrong. On top of that, she now has a stalker who's messages to her are increasingly creepy and threatening. To escape them, she runs from her west coast home to her half-brother's house in Texas. 

I have to give Morgan some credit. Even though she's repressing a lot of her wants and desires, she's still actively engaged in her cable TV show, and that can't be easy for her. And, when she is threatened, she goes to the police and anyone else she can trust. She does all she can do to protect herself. And, when she can't do anymore, in steps Jack. 

Jack happens to be a Dom who Morgan was planning to interview for her show. He also happens to be a professional bodyguard in the right place at the right time. And, when things get really hairy for Morgan, Jack saves her and brings her to his remote cabin in the bayou of Louisiana until he and his partner can find the person responsible for stalking her. And, you know, if he gets to give her lessons on how to be a submissive while she's there, all the better for both of them, right?

Needless to say, since her ex demeaned her into thinking that sort of behavior is disgusting, she fights Jack every single step of the way. And, Jack takes it all in stride, determined to break down her walls. And, somewhere along the way, he develops real feelings for her and real concern for her safety. And that is a problem. A big one. Because Jack had ulterior motives for agreeing to the interview and then later for seducing Morgan. And he knows that he will have to come clean to her about them at some point, and that revelation will not go easy. 

Jack was definitely something else. Initially, I wasn't a big Jack fan. I thought he was a bit pushy and forward. And then when I learned what his game was, I REALLY wasn't a big Jack fan. Thank goodness Wicked Ties is told in dual POV, because if I didn't have the chance to get inside Jack's head, I'm not sure I would've ever become a Jack fan. But, he had a lot going on upstairs, and his thoughts and the way he was always so determined to both protect Morgan and also bring her out of her shell and wake her up definitely endeared me to him. I loved the relationship he has with his grandfather, as well as the one he has with his business partner and best friend. And, although he did some things that I really didn't like, he more than made up for it eventually.

The mystery of who Morgan's stalker was is carried through until the end. Granted, the main focus of the book is Morgan's awakening sexual awareness, but that nagging question of who was sending her those threatening notes and photos is always there as Jack tries to figure out who it is. The culprit isn't a big surprise, but how his final attack plays out was. 

The audio version was really well done. Lexi Maynard added the perfect subtle Creole accent to Jack's voice to make it completely believable. Her pacing was really nice too. I hope she voices all the books in this series, because I think I'd like to listen to more of them. 

So, Wicked Ties gave me what I was looking for - a little BDSM with my romance. Nothing Jack and Morgan ever did was so hard core it made me cringe. It was never demeaning or nasty. Hannah knew what she was doing when she recommended this to me. So, now I can recommend it to you. If you like your BDSM with caring and love, then you should definitely check out Wicked Ties. It won't disappoint.     

August 25, 2015

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2)

Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2), by Emma Chase
Publish Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

Oh my gosh. How does Emma Chase do it? How does she so effortlessly weave a tale that is in equal measures hilarious and heartbreaking? Okay - maybe not equal parts. SUSTAINED was definitely more hilarious than heartbreak.  

Remember Tangled? Remember how hard you fell in love with Drew when he was telling the story of he and Kate and how much of a douchebag he was at times along the way? Well, I think Jake and Drew were twins separated at birth. Don't get me wrong - Jake's and Chelsea's story is nothing like Drew's and Kate's. It's got a different vibe, and for sure the side characters are totally different. But, reading Sustained, which is told from Jake's POV, I just felt the same sort of feeling as I did when I read Tangled - that, despite Jake's less-than chivalrous attitude toward women, there was an amazing man underneath it all. And I couldn't wait to get to him. 

The only thing Jake loves more than himself is going in for the kill. He's a defense attorney, and he routinely and swiftly gets his rich clients off for the various infractions they commit. At night, he has his pick of women, so long as they don't expect him to ever put a ring on it. As long as both parties get off, he considers it a check in the win column, and heaven forbid if they even show so much as a hint of attachment. 

Sorry, Cinderella, but the clock struck twelve. The coach has turned back into a pumpkin and its time to collect your glass slipper. I never pretended to be Prince Charming.

And then, he meets Chelsea - aunt to six orphaned children ranging in age from 6 months to 14 years. She gave up her life on the west coast to come to the DC area to raise them when her brother and his wife are killed in a car accident. She's doing a great job, all things considered, but one of the middle boys is giving her an especially hard time, and as it turns out, Jake can relate to him. This little boy put the first crack in Jake's stone cold veneer, and Chelsea's plight, along with her sweetness, strength and beauty blew the rest of it apart. 

Jake was so... likeable... when he was with Chelsea and the kids. You take the suit out of the stone and glass building and put him in the middle of a messy kitchen with screaming children, and as one would expect, he doesn't exactly fit in. But, while most men in his position would run for the hills, it is absolutely not in Jake's nature to give up. If that means he has to Google how to change a diaper or accompany a bunch of teenage girls to a One Direction concert, then he does it. Because Jake Becker does not give up. He does not say die. He does not turn away from something he wants. And, Jake has decided he wants Chelsea. 

Well, that is, until Jake is faced with the very real fact that a life with Chelsea and six kids doesn't really fit with the persona he's worked his entire professional life to cultivate. He starts thinking maybe he doesn't want to work 100 hour weeks and defend scumbags anymore. And that rocks him to his very core. 

Jake might be a strong guy, but Chelsea is even stronger. It takes some kind of woman to give up everything to come raise six kids that she didn't give birth to. All while grieving her brother's death and the death of the life she had mapped out for herself. She asks for help when she needs it. She steals moments with Jake when she can. And, when she can't, she makes the best of it. Jake was exactly what she needed. And she was exactly what he needed. 

I. Loved. This. Book. Every single minute of it. I loved Jake and when he showed those pieces of himself that you knew were special. I loved Chelsea and her quiet strength and her big love. And I loved all the kids - each one had a different personality and quirk that made him or her memorable and special, and I loved reading about the different ways that Chelsea and Jake dealt with them. 

The humor you have come to expect from Emma Chase is there in spades. This is a hysterical book! I laughed out loud during most of it - it was just such an enjoyable read. It was also hot as hell. Jake is an intense guy, and when he and Chelsea finally give in and get together, holy crap. SO. GOOD. And, yes, there was heartbreak. As you can imagine, Jake doesn't always do the right thing. And the kids' situation is anything but happy. There were times I was close to tears. 

Please read this book. I want you to experience Jake and fall in love with him the same way I did. And, after you finish, you'll see that there's absolutely no way to avoid it.

August 24, 2015

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Leaving Amarillo (Neon Dreams #1)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Leaving Amarillo (Neon Dreams #1), by Caisey Quinn
Publish Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: e-book, gifted
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.

I'll admit - at first glance, I passed on Leaving Amarillo. I'm not a country music fan, so I wasn't sure I would be able to get into a book about a country band trying to make it big. And, then in April I met Caisey Quinn, and she was really cool. And yet, I still balked. But, then I started seeing other blogger friends absolutely RAVING about it, so I finally added it to my wishlist, and my OTSP Secret Sister, whoever that sweet gem is, bought it for me. 

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for country music, I was immediately grabbed by the story. First of all, the main character, Dixie, plays the violin. (I played the violin for 10 years.) And, second of all, Caisey Quinn brings you to the main point of the story immediately, and it's not country music. 

Dixie is in love with her band mate and her brother's best friend Gavin, and she has been for a long time. Her brother, and band front man, Dallas, is definitively against them being together. He knows Gavin's past and doesn't think he's good enough for his baby sister. But, Dixie's suffered in silence long enough and decides to lay it all out there for Gavin and tell him how she feels. 

And, my goodness - that took some serious guts. To put yourself out there and not know how it will go - especially when the person you're spilling your guts to is your best friend in the whole world, and you're in a band together and have to see each other all the time. Yeah. I give mad props to Dixie. She's is so incredibly strong and brave. I would've never been able to come clean to Gavin and tell him how I felt like that. 

Most of us have experienced unrequited or forbidden love in our lives. It sucks. A lot. It's heartbreaking. And I felt ALL OF IT. Caisey Quinn is such an incredible writer. As Dixie was sifting through her feelings about Gavin both internally and as she poured her heart out to him, I felt SO MUCH, and it stayed with me for days afterward.

And, after it all, Dixie gets Gavin to agree to spend one night with her. She thinks that's all she'll ever have, and is hoping that she'll get enough good memories to exist on for the rest of her life, because she knows that without even a kiss or a touch from him, Gavin has already ruined her for all other men. That night - holeeeee crap. It was so incredibly hot. I might've read that section of the book three times in a row. Maybe four. 

Now, I know I said this book wasn't about country music, but it did serve as the backdrop. And, trust me when I say, you don't have to love country in order to appreciate this book. Dallas, Dixie and Gavin's band, Leaving Amarillo, is playing at a big festival, hoping to be noticed by producers or an agent. For all three of them, this band and each other are everything. We get the story entirely from Dixie's POV, so we go through the book knowing that playing in this band and being with Gavin are really the only two things that Dixie wants in the whole world. 

So, we spend the entire book wondering if Leaving Amarillo will hit it big and get noticed by someone important, and if, along the way, Dixie and Gavin can figure out their stuff enough to be together without fear of Dallas or of the consequences to the band. Throughout the course of the book, Dixie grows up a lot. She experiences a lot of hurts from a lot of different sources, and she deals with all of them as best as she can, given her youth. Some things she handles better than others, but all of her reactions were organic and realistic and so steeped in emotion. 

Nothing is resolved by the end of the book. In fact, only more questions are presented. What happened to Gavin during the year Dixie spent in college? Will Dixie really never play in Leaving Amarillo again? What are Gavin's plans to make Dixie his for good? And, when he gets around to implementing them, will she still want him? It's these questions, and more, that drove me on to book #2, Loving Dallas, immediately after finishing Leaving Amarillo. And, it took only this one book to solidify this series as one of my favorite new adult series ever.  

August 21, 2015

REVIEW: Easy Love (Boudreaux #1)

Easy Love (Boudreaux #1), by Kristen Proby
Publish Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Ampersand Publishing
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Eli Boudreaux’s family has built ships and boats in Louisiana for generations. He comes from a hard working, wealthy family and his empire is growing by leaps and bounds. At thirty, he is the youngest CEO to ever head Bayou Enterprises, co-chairing with his eldest brother. His head for business and his no-nonsense work ethic is also quickly making him the best the company has seen in generations. His staff admires him, women adore him and Eli’s family is solid. But he’s recently discovered that someone on the inside of his business is stealing from him and he’s determined to find out who.

Kate O’Shaughnessy is hired by companies all over the world to slip inside and investigate every member of the organization from the CEO down to the custodial staff to find the person or persons responsible for embezzling. She’s excellent at blending, becoming part of the team, and finding the weakest link. She’s smart, quick-witted, and she’s now been hired by Bayou Enterprises, specifically Eli Boudreaux. The attraction is immediate and the chemistry is off the charts, but Kate has heard all about Eli’s playboy past and she has a job to do. Sleeping with the boss isn’t a part of that job, even if just the sound of her name rolling off that Cajun tongue and the way he fills out a designer suit does make her sweat.

Eli’s southern charms surprise Kate. The man whose reputation labels him as a ruthless, callous womanizer is not the man she’s coming to know intimately. He’s generous, protective and makes her smile. Cracking through Kate’s cool, reserved demeanor and discovering her love of sexy, expensive lingerie is a challenge Eli can’t resist, but her sweet nature, love of family and sense of humor pull at him in ways no one else ever has.

But when the person responsible for trying to single-handedly dismantle Eli’s empire comes to light, and it’s time for Kate to move on, to what lengths will Eli go to keep the woman he’s fallen in love with by his side?

I can always count on Kristen Proby to give me what I need when I need it - a book with epic romance, hot and steamy sex, very little drama and an HEA. EASY LOVE had all those things, plus it's set in the city of New Orleans, which only made it more awesome. 

Eli Boudreaux is one of six siblings. He, his brother Beau and his sister Savannah run a multi-billion dollar company, and it consumes all of Eli's time. In the beginning of the book, I thought he was kind of a hard ass. Even when his siblings joked around with him, he wasn't quick to joke back. He's very focused and driven, qualities that were impressed upon him by his father right before he died. He's a tall, dark, handsome manwhore workaholic with a sexy as hell accent. 

So, when Savannah hires her best friend from college, Kate O'Shaughnessy, to try and ferret out an embezzler, it was not surprising (and kind of funny) when she warned Eli away from her. It was like, she knew exactly what would happen as soon as they saw each other. 

It didn't help matters when Kate and Eli end up not only living next to one another, but also sharing a balcony. I loved learning about Kate through Eli's eyes. She had never been in New Orleans before, and Eli, as an excuse to be close to her without explicitly violating his sister's request, shows her around introducing her to the food, people and culture. And through Kate, Eli came to realize how much he's been taking for granted. 

For her part, this job came at a perfect time. She's recently divorced from a horribly abusive man, and now is surrounded by Savannah and younger Boudreaux brother Declan - two of her dearest friends. It's like the perfect therapy. Of course, she's immediately attracted to panty-dropper Eli, but tries valiantly to keep her work and personal lives separate. You know what they say about the road to good intentions. 

Eli's and Kate's relationship is combustible. They are fantastic together. Not only is there great chemistry there, but it seems like each one has something the other one inherently needs. Eli needed Kate's exuberance and thirst for life to remind him of all the truly important things in life. Kate needed Eli's patience and support to find her faith in men and relationships again. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with, especially when things hit the fan for people in both of their lives, and they are needed. 

My only complaint is that I didn't feel enough attention was placed on the main reason why Kate was brought to New Orleans in the first place. Every so often, there would be a few sentences about how she was still searching for the person stealing money from the company, but then the focus would return to Eli's and Kate's budding relationship. Even after the culprit was found, there wasn't enough closure for me to that part of the story. I wanted to know how it all went down, what happened afterwards, why the person did it, and what the people working for the company thought about Kate being a plant. 

Easy Love is told in dual POV. It was an easy read - the pacing was perfect, there was hardly any angst and it was a nice length. I finished it in just over one day. There was a good amount of time spent introducing the Boudreaux siblings and their businesses and personalities. They are a very close-knit family, which I'm sure will mean that we will always be able to catch up on our favorite couples as the series moves on. I, for one, can't wait to continue the series, but I think I might get the next book in audio format. I see that Sebastian York is one of the narrators, and I freaking LOVE him. Has anyone listened to this series? Is it good? Youngest sibling Gabby's story is next, and I can already tell I'm going to love it.  

August 19, 2015

ARC REVIEW: Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1)

Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1), by Abbi Glines
Publish Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: upper YA contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

So, this was me during my reading of UNTIL FRIDAY NIGHT:

Sure there was football games, mean girl throw downs, teenage boy pissing contests, and underage drinking at Friday night field parties. But, underneath all that is a story about a boy who just wasn't ready to say goodbye to his dying father and the girl who helped him do that. 

In the beginning of Until Friday Night, West is not a nice guy. He treats his girlfriend, his teammates and the new girl Maggie pretty badly. But, we know that he is acting that way to hide the extreme amount of pain and stress he's under as he watches his father slowly waste away at home from cancer, and his mother's inability to deal with it. It makes his douchetastic behavior a little bit more palatable. 

And then there's Maggie. She sent her father to prison for murdering her mother, and after that, the sound of her own voice was so abhorrent to her that she decided that not speaking was a better way to deal with the pain she was feeling. It was her survival mechanism - If she couldn't speak, then people wouldn't ask her to talk about what happened that night, and there was no way she wanted to relive it. 

Poor Brady gets saddled with showing around his mute cousin, and you could tell he was really not happy about that. What 18-year-old senior and star quarterback would be? He has an image to maintain, girls to woo, friends to joke around with. But, despite his lack of enthusiasm for having to drag Maggie around everywhere, you could also catch glimpses of the concern he had for her. He warned all his friends away from her. He helped her out, even when she told him not to. She was family, and ultimately, Brady has a good heart. 

Despite trying to stay away from her, West is drawn to Maggie - especially after he learns about why she doesn't speak. West had resolved to not tell anyone in town about his dad, so he's been dealing with the inevitability of losing a parent all by himself. All of a sudden, he sees Maggie as a kindred spirit - someone who understands the pain and loss and heartache he's experiencing. And, Maggie just knows that West needs for her to offer him comfort and support. And so, she speaks to him. And only him. 

I loved Maggie's and West's secret relationship. Although they professed it was just a friendship, it was obvious from go that it was more than that. But, I think neither one wanted to push something more on the other when both were dealing with so much. Noble, yes, but impractical. You spend so much time with one another and share so many deep and meaningful thoughts and experiences together, it's inevitable that the relationship would move beyond friendship. And, when it does, it definitely complicates matters. 

West and Maggie get to a place where they have to ask themselves if they're together for the right reasons. It's a good question, and one that takes a lot of stones to ask. But, it was a turning point in the book, and one that caused me to cheer a little bit. 

I loved Maggie's relationship with her aunt, uncle and cousin. I thought they were amazing people, and I was so glad we got lots of time with all of them - especially Brady. I hope there's a book for him coming up in this series. I really need more Brady time. 

The only set-back for me was the fact that it seemed like there were a few unfinished story lines. Or, maybe we'll get to those in future books. But, at the end of the book, West's mom was acting weird, and I suspect I know why, but it was never talked about. And, there was something mentioned at the end that had to do with Maggie's dad that absolutely intrigued me, but was never brought up again. 

Until Friday Night is told in dual POV, which is good since Maggie doesn't speak for the first third of the book. Being in her head is pretty necessary if we want her take on things. And you do - trust me. Maggie is wise beyond her years when it comes to some things and painfully innocent when it comes to others. Although this book is classified as YA, I would move it toward the upper end. There's language (as is to be expected from 18-year-olds) and sex, but most of that is pretty glossed over. 

I suspect it is West's teammate Gunner's story that will be the subject of the next book. It's introduced briefly, and that teaser was done nicely. It was woven into Maggie and West's story well, and I got just enough of a glimpse to make me eager to learn more. I can't wait Until Friday Night rolls around again!

August 18, 2015

DOUBLE COVER REVEAL: Boiling Point (Crossing the Line #3) and Raw Redemption (Crossing the Line #4)

Tessa Bailey is one of my favorite authors - I will read and love anything this woman writes. So, I'm doubly excited to help her reveal the covers of not one but two of her upcoming books, both in the Crossing the Line series. First up is BOILING POINT, due out in January 2016. And, it's about Austin and Polly! SQUEE!

Boiling Point (Crossing the Line #3), by Tessa Bailey
Publish Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Select  
Genre: adult contemporary/crime romance
To Pre-Order: Amazon * Barnes & Noble 

(Synopsis) Falling for a con man is the most dangerous game of all...

Con artist Austin Shaw's been in disguise so long he's not sure where his fake identities end and he begins. Now that he's been strong-armed into working for a specialized undercover unit working with the Chicago police—criminals with unique “skills”—the last thing he needs is to risk his iron control. Especially when it comes to a certain stunningly sexy hacker who tempts him with every look of disdain.

Polly Banks will never, ever trust a con man. On the trail of a ruthless crook who destroyed the only family she's ever known, Polly is unnerved by the shadow who follows her every move. The one who makes her pulse pound and breath short with lust. Austin. He's infuriating, enigmatic, and pure sex appeal, and she's determined to resist him.

But an untrustworthy man of disguise can become anyone he wants...including a man that Polly must trust if she's to escape their dangerous game alive.

As an extra special bonus, you are getting the hot-off-the-presses first look at the cover for the fourth book in Tessa Bailey's Crossing the Line series, RAW REDEMPTION. It doesn't come out until June 28, 2016 (NOOOOOOOOOOO!), so there is no synopsis or pre-order links yet available. We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with this hot goodness for another few months:

Books in Tessa Bailey's Crossing the Line series:

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband of seven years and three-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

Learn more about Tessa:  Website | Twitter | Facebook

August 17, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Built (Saints of Denver #1)

I think that Jay Crownover's BUILT, the first in her Marked Men spin-off series, Saints of Denver, is one of my most anticipated books of 2016. Luckily, I won't have to wait long after the new year to get it - it releases on January 5, which is still way too long from now for my liking. 

I remember attending an Avon KissCon event in April that Jay attended. She remarked that men with beards - like, BEARDS, not Nick Bateman scruff - were her current passion. Judging by the description of Zeb in Asa (Marked Men #6) and the cover of Built, I can tell that those bearded men are definitely on Jay's mind.

Built (Saints of Denver #1), by Jay Crownover
Publish Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks  
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Pre-Order: Amazon * Barnes & Noble 

(From Goodreads) Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn't matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn't return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.


I met her at a bar.

She had a beer bottle in her hand even though she looked like she should be sipping champagne out of an expensive flute, and that inexplicably turned me on. She was pretty and looked completely out of place in the no-name bar sitting across from one of my longtime friends who also happened to be her long-lost brother. He was the reason she was here. In that split second that I laid my eyes on her I wanted to be the reason she stayed.

I knew it was rude and that the two of them needed some time together, some time to figure out what they were to each other now that she had blasted into his life unannounced. If I was a better friend I would have left them alone. As it was, I made my way over to the tiny table and sat down. I was covered in sawdust and had drywall mud caked in the hair on my head and on my face, but she didn’t flinch or bat an eyelash when I purposely broke up their party of two and placed myself as close to her as I could without actually touching her.

My buddy Rowdy St. James lifted his eyebrows at me as I stared at her while he introduced us. Sayer Cole. Even her name was elegant and sophisticated sounding. She was an enigma, this pretty woman that seemed like she should be in any place but this bar with the two of us. She’d showed up out of the blue a couple of months ago claiming to be Rowdy’s half sister, claiming that they shared a father, claiming that all she wanted was to be in his life and have some kind of family of her own. She looked too delicate to be that brave. Came across as way too proper to have said “fuck it all” and picked up her life to move it someplace unknown without being sure of her welcome. She looked like silk, but if my guess was right about her, it was silk wrapped around steel.

Luckily Rowdy was a good guy. After the shock of discovering he wasn’t alone in the world, and once he realized he had someone tied to him by blood forever and ever, he had warmed up to the idea of having a sister and appreciated that the sister was Sayer.

I liked Rowdy a lot. He was a stand-up guy and a good friend, but I had a feeling I was going to like his newly found big sister even more. In my usual tactless way I asked him without looking directly at the knockout blonde, “So you have a sister? A hot, classy sister?” A sister that was also a lawyer, so beautiful and smart.

I expected a giggle from her or an eye roll at the outlandish compliment, but what I got was a wide-eyed stare of disbelief as eyes bluer than anything I had ever seen on earth danced between me and her brother like she wasn’t sure what to do with herself or with my overt interest in her.

I thought that I had gone too far, pushed the beautiful stranger too far out of her comfort zone. I was a big guy and knew I looked far wilder and rougher than I actually was. I figured it might be too much for a woman already obviously out of her element and depth to take.

Instead, Sayer surprised me and I could see by the way he stiffened that she surprised Rowdy, too. While she wasn’t exactly overflowing with welcome and warmth, she did ask me about the current project I was working on after Rowdy explained I was a general contractor and had rebuilt the new tattoo shop he worked in. She seemed genuinely interested, and when I told her that my specialty was rehabbing old houses and giving them new life, her eyes practically glowed at me. I wanted to touch her to see if she felt as smooth and polished as she looked. I wanted to leave streaks of dirt on her perfect face to mark the fact that I had touched her, that she had let me touch her. It was a primal and visceral reaction that I couldn’t explain and I liked the way it felt. Liked the weight and heft of it in my blood even if I knew the feeling wasn’t likely to be returned.

She told me all about a fantastic but crumbling Victorian she had purchased that was falling down around her. She asked me for a business card and I saw Rowdy stiffen across the table. I sighed and rubbed a hand over my already messy hair. I watched her eyes follow the light cloud of dust that escaped the strands. I was great at my job, loved what I did, but I couldn’t do anything with her or for her without laying everything on the line. Especially not with Rowdy giving me the death glare from just a few feet away.

I dug the card out of my wallet, and when I handed it over our fingers touched. I saw her eyes widen and her lips part, just barely. She looked a little dazed when I grinned at her.

“You take that card, but understand that the man giving it to you has a past.”

She blinked at me and cleared her throat. “What kind of past?”

It wasn’t something I liked to tell a beautiful woman when I first met her. It was something I liked to work up to, liked to prove it was behind me, but with this one it seemed like I wouldn’t get that chance.

“I tell everyone that I do any kind of work for or that considers hiring me on for a project that I have a criminal history. I spent time locked up for a few years, and while I’m not proud of it I can’t deny it happened. I was a hotheaded kid and it got me in trouble, but I’m the best at what I do, so I hope that doesn’t discourage you from giving me a call.” Hopefully for more than some construction.

Usually I got a concerned frown followed by a hundred questions about what had led me to serving time. I got none of that from the stunning blonde. She tilted her head to the side and considered me silently for a long moment before reaching down and slipping my card in her purse. If anything, I could have sworn she was wearing a look of sympathy when she told me softly, “I see it every day from the inside. Sometimes the system simply gets it wrong.” A slight grin turned her mouth up at the corners, and I wanted to lean over and kiss it. “People make mistakes. Hopefully they learn from them.”

I don’t know that “wrong” was accurate in my case so much as misguided, but the complete lack of judgment or censure coming from her made me want to pull her into my arms and hold on to her even more. I had made a mistake, a huge one, one that I was forever going to have to carry around with me, but I had learned from it, was still learning from it. That kind of understanding from a total stranger was so rare, especially coming from someone in the legal field. I wasn’t accustomed to someone looking at me and seeing me, just me, not an ex-con loser after I explained where I had been. It was wildly refreshing and attractive. I couldn’t quite get a handle on what made the woman tick, but I would welcome any opportunity she gave me to figure it out. I found her outwardly flawless and pristine demeanor tempting to taint with my dirty hands and ways, and there was something about the way she watched me, the way she turned toward me like she was drawn to me, that made me think maybe I wasn’t alone in the inexplicable pull department.

Rowdy left and she stayed.

We had a couple more beers and talked some more about her house and what she wanted done with it. She already hired one contractor but felt like the guy was ripping her off. It happened a lot in the industry, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy was taking her for a ride. Spending time with her was easy. She was fun to talk to and really fun to look at. I really wanted to get my hands on her house and of course on her, and I felt like she was maybe, kind of, slightly leaning in the same direction when I made the mistake of asking her about her past.

I asked about where she had been before she found out about Rowdy and decided to move to Denver so that she could get to know him. I was curious what kind of life she had where she could leave everything behind and not be missed. Really I wanted to know if she had a boyfriend or husband stashed somewhere, but the simple inquiry must have touched a nerve. The next thing I knew she had paid out the tab for both of us and disappeared into the night. She went from glowing and bright to frigid and untouchable in the span of a heartbeat.

I figured I blew my shot by being too blunt, as always. I assumed she probably did have someone else in the picture and had been friendly and polite only because I was good friends with her brother. I thought I would never hear from her again and was baffled why the thought of that made my chest ache and my heart feel like it weighed two tons.

Imagine my surprise when she called me and hired me to renovate her house a week later without a bid, without a contract, without even knowing if I was half as good as I claimed to be.

Of course I accepted, but I knew once I was inside I would need to knock down and rearrange more than just the walls of the house, in order to get at something beautiful and lasting.

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Links:   Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY: Missing Dixie (Neon Dreams #3)

I have very recently discovered Caisey Quinn, and I'm so glad I finally did. Her Neon Dreams series is absolutely incredible, and the final book is coming out in only a few short months. And, I'm super excited to help reveal the cover to you. It's seriously gorgeous. Ready?

Missing Dixie (Neon Dreams #3), by Caisey Quinn
Publish Date: October 27, 2015 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks  
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Pre-Order: Amazon * Barnes & Noble   

(From Goodreads) Fighting for redemption…

I've lived most of my life in darkness, beneath the shadows of secrets and addictions. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt the only girl I'd ever loved-the one who brought me into the light. In my entire life I'd made one promise-a promise I'd intended to keep. I've broken that promise and now I have to live with the fallout. Dixie Lark hates me, and I have to tell her that I love her. I also have to tell her a truth that might destroy us forever.

Can she love me even if she can't forgive me?

Learning to move on…

Gavin Garrison broke his promise to my brother and he broke my heart in the process. I may never love anyone the way I've loved him, but at least I won't spend my life wondering what if. We had our one night and he walked away. I'm finally beginning to move on when my brother's wedding and a battle of the bands brings us back together.

Our band is getting a second chance, but I don't know if I can give him one. How do you hand your heart back to the person who set it on fire once already?

Caisey Quinn lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series as well as several New Adult and Contemporary Romance novels featuring southern girls finding love in unexpected places.

Learn more about Caisey Quinn --> Website / Facebook / Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 14, 2015

BLOG TOUR REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Resist (Sphere of Irony #3)

I'm so excited to be a part of the blog tour for RESIST by Heather C. Leigh! Check out my review and an excerpt from the book, and then enter the amazing giveaway for a new Kindle!

Resist (Sphere of Irony #3), by Heather C. Leigh
Publish Date: August 9, 2015 
Publisher: Shelbyville
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: adult m/m romance
To Buy: Amazon * iBooks  

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) All Gavin Walker, bass player for the multi-platinum selling band, Sphere of Irony, wants to do is surf, play music, and occasionally get laid. The problem is that Gavin has a stalker. A potentially deadly one. The threats he receives always mention something about Gavin being gay, which isn't public knowledge since the record label wants to keep it quiet.

Mitch Hale used to track serial killers for the FBI. A life-changing incident led him to quit the bureau and start his own company providing computerized security for Los Angeles' wealthiest people. Mitch doesn't know anyone when he moves across the country from D.C. to California, and all he has for companionship is a pathetic string of failed relationships with women.

When Gavin's manager hires Mitch to find the stalker, the men instantly hate each other. Despite the constant fighting, attraction between the two blazes hot, confusing the former FBI agent. Spending time with Gavin forces Mitch reflect on what he's denied about himself for the last ten years. Listening to Mitch's plan to catch a madman thrusts Gavin's personal life out in the open for the entire world to see.

Can Gavin and Mitch stop fighting long enough to stop a stalker before someone gets hurt? Or will they stubbornly resist the feelings that develop when they're forced to work together?

Rock stars. Danger, mystery and intrigue. Not one but TWO hot MCs. Seriously - what is not to love about RESIST?

When Resist opens, Gavin, the bass player for the famous rock band Sphere of Irony, is in a bad place. He's dealing with some serious lingering PTSD from a crazed fan incident that happened recently, and now on top of that, he has a stalker who doesn't seem content anymore with simply leaving slightly frightening notes. I tried to take myself out of my own head and try to put myself in Gavin's shoes for just a minute, and I couldn't do it. I'm safe in my house, with my loved ones surrounding me, and a job that doesn't put me in front of thousands of strangers every night. Gavin isn't safe anywhere. Not at work. Not at home. And, he doesn't have family to support him since his only family - his dad - has written him off for being gay. 

So, Gavin's handlers, wanting to protect their investment (ugh - what leeches), hire Mitch Hale to watch Gavin's back. Mitch used to work for the FBI hunting serial killers until a very uncomfortable incident with his former partner caused him to quite and go into private security. Mitch might not have some psycho trying to hunt him down and kill him, but he has his own issues, particularly with this job. Not only is Mitch trying to figure out who is stalking and threatening Gavin, but he's completely thrown by his crazy attraction to the man. 

Mitch has known deep down that he's gay for a long time, but because of his profession, and the sick crap his former partner put him through, he has pushed that part of him down deep and continued pretending to be straight. But, Gavin makes that damn near impossible. For awhile, Gavin's and Mitch's interactions were really volatile. No matter how attracted to Mitch Gavin is, he is so disgusted with himself and his inability to stop being afraid of everything. He's pissed that this stalker is messing up his life and his band mates' lives. And he's incredibly frustrated that Mitch won't acknowledge what they have between them. And he takes all that out on the guy who's physically the closest to him.

As the book moves on, we catch glimpses into Gavin's and Mitch's pasts and how they are shaping their presents. We start to get clues as to who the stalker is. And the danger and suspense are seriously ramped up, along with the heat between Gavin and Mitch. Right when you think they've found their stride, one of them backs off, and they're both miserable again. It was a roller coaster there for awhile, but so worth the ride. 

I would've liked more band time (I love the bassists!), but I get why it wasn't there. I haven't read either of the first two books in the Sphere of Irony series (something I plan to remedy), but not having read them didn't detract from my enjoyment of Resist. It was told in dual POV, which was important since both guys were working out some serious stuff. The ending was exciting and everything I hoped it would be. I really loved this book, and look forward to more from Heather C. Leigh.

Before I can ask any more questions, there’s a knock and the door opens a crack. “Mr. Evans, Mr. Hale is here.”

“Send him in please, Donna.” Ross stands and adjusts his suit, straightening out the cuffs and fixing his expensive tie until it lays just so.

I rake a hand over my hair, but it’s pointless. I’m lucky I bothered to shower this morning after my company left. I’m sure I look like shit—with the lack of sleep and the constant stress I’m surprised I don’t look worse.

Good genes, I guess. I frown at the thought of my father.

I can hear Donna outside. “Go right on in.”

The door opens and a man enters. No, not just a man. A gorgeous man. Stunning, actually. For the second time in five minutes, my jaw hangs open.

The man is a study in opposites. His hair, swept back from his face and so dark it’s nearly black, is paired with bright slate grey eyes, a color I’ve never seen before. He looks rugged and dangerous, as if he could kill a man with his bare hands. Yet he’s wearing a tailored and expensive charcoal grey suit that showcases his body to perfection. He’s rough and he’s polished.

And I can’t stop staring.

“Mr. Hale, thank you so much for coming on such short notice.”

Ross has circled the table and is shaking the man’s hand.

“Call me Mitch, please.”

Jesus, even his voice is hot. Deep and silky, it’s as smooth as fine whiskey.

“This is Gavin Walker,” Ross introduces me, stepping aside.

It takes both of them staring at me and an uncomfortably long silence for me to realize I’m still gawking. Embarrassed, I snap my mouth shut.

“Sorry.” Jumping up from my chair, I extend a hand. “Gavin Walker. Thanks for coming.”

He clasps his hand around mine, large and hot and coarse, and pumps it firmly. “Mitch Hale, good to meet you. Wish it were under better circumstances.”

He smiles and I have the sudden urge to rub myself all over his beautiful, hard body. Heat spreads up from our joined hands, sending a flush of pleasure over my skin.

Mitch clears his throat and glances down where I’m still clutching his hand. Shit. I let go, flinching back in humiliation. I jam my hand into the pocket of my jeans, fingering the smooth, heart-shaped stone I keep there.

“Let’s sit.” Ross directs Mitch to the conference table. “Drink?”

Mitch holds up a hand. “I’m good.” I catch the slightest twitch in one of Mitch’s intriguing eyes.

“Okay. Here is the file we have so far.” Ross pushes a folder across the table.

Mitch opens it, scanning the contents. Waiting for him to read about the stalker that’s been harassing me is humiliating, yet it gives me a chance to study the man further. I should resist staring, but I can’t. He’s too gorgeous to ignore.

I flick my gaze over to Ross, who is busy returning emails on his laptop. Good. I don’t want Ross to catch me ogling the new guy. When my eyes land back on Mitch, I have to hold in a groan.

This guy is trying to kill me.

As he flips through the pages in the file—photos, descriptions, police reports—the end of his very wet, very pink tongue pokes out between his lips. Every once in a while, it sneaks back in so he can pull that lush red bottom lip between his teeth, biting on it in concentration.

Jesus. As subtly as I can, I shift on the chair to adjust the semi pressing against my pants.

More contradictions. That tongue, the biting of the lip, both so playful and innocent against the serious image he projects with the suit and the perfectly styled hair and the—I inhale deeply—hint of designer aftershave.

Suddenly, Mitch closes the folder and sits up, folding his hands on top of it. I jerk away, sitting back in my chair instead of leaning halfway over the table like a besotted teenage girl.

“This man is not to be taken lightly,” he cautions, his intelligent gaze traveling back and forth between Ross’ and mine.

Ross closes his laptop, giving Mitch his full attention. “We’re not taking it lightly. Gavin has security with him at all times since the…” Ross glances at me, “the incident in New York.”

“And before that?” Mitch asks. I stare at the hard line of his jaw then drop my eyes down to the curve of his throat where it disappears into the top of his crisp dress shirt. I pray that he doesn’t see the way my hands shake or the heat prickling my face as lust washes over me.

“Before that we weren’t documenting anything we received, just throwing them away. They were mostly letters, gifts…” Ross trails off.

“But no involvement by law enforcement?”

My eyes bounce back and forth between the two men.

Ross sighs. “Not until the New York incident.” When Mitch scowls, a look that makes him look even more dangerous and a hell of a lot sexier, Ross elaborates. “Do you know how many crazy fans are out there? Hell, Adam gets over a hundred bizarre gifts and letters a week. That’s just the strange ones. Plus, keeping this out of the media is important to the record label.”

Mitch nods. “I understand. I’m not judging. I’m just trying to get a feel for what I’ll be dealing with. That includes how long law enforcement has been checking into this guy.”

“Not long,” I whisper, surprised to hear myself speak. I’m used to being discussed as if I’m not in the room. It comes with the job—decisions made for you without your input.

Two sets of eyes focus on me and I feel my cheeks blaze hot. That intense grey stare has me squirming, and this time it’s not from embarrassment. Another rush of heat ripples down my spine. I run my hands through my hair to catch the beads of sweat that have popped up on my temples.

Mitch opens his mouth to say something then snaps it shut. He blinks a few times before speaking. “Tell me how this began, Gavin. What you’ve noticed personally.”

“Shit, how long do you have?” I scoff.

The corner of Mitch’s mouth quirks up. “I have time.” He puts two fingers into the collar of his shirt and tugs gently.

The subtle motion brings images of Mitch tearing off his clothes, sending another wave of sizzling need through me. Nodding, I take a sip of water to cool down the desire inspired by Mitch’s proximity.

Ross’ cell phone rings, startling me. I fumble with the glass, nearly spilling it.

“Damn. Sorry.”

This time, Mitch smiles. My eyes fixate on that mouth as his lips part to reveal two rows of perfect teeth.

“I have to take this,” Ross confesses. He glances over. “You okay to do this without me?”

No. I’m not okay. You’re going to leave me in a room with one of the hottest guys I’ve ever seen while I’m a nervous, blundering wreck.

That’s what I’m thinking. What I say isn’t even close.

“Yeah. I’m good.”

Ross stares at Mitch. “I’ll be back to discuss the specifics of your contract.”

“No problem,” Mitch agrees. Leaning back in his chair, he crosses one ankle over his knee.


Now he’s given me a direct view of his crotch, hugged tight by those tailored grey slacks. There’s a lot to look at. Jesus. If what I’m seeing isn’t an illusion, he is hung. I don’t realize that I’m staring right at Mitch’s dick until his leg drops and he leans forward, elbows on his knees.

“It’s okay to be nervous.”

Blinking, I look up to see those deep gunmetal eyes waiting patiently for me to respond.

“Ummmm, I’m not nervous.”

I am, but not for the reasons you think.

Mitch puts his large hands back up on the table, his eye twitching again. “Do you mind if I get a drink?” He gestures towards the tray Donna set out.

“Not at all.”

“So,” he continues as he removes his jacket, hangs it over his chair, and circles the table. “Tell me about the letters.”

Mitch picks up a mug, turning his back to me to prepare his coffee. My mouth goes dry at the sight of his perfect, round ass showcased by the tight grey fabric that clings to every curve.


I can’t do this here with him. Alone. With that ass, those eyes, and the scent of whatever cologne he’s wearing. My brain won’t function properly while bombarded from all sides by filthy sexual fantasies starring Mitch.

“I-I forgot. I have somewhere to be.”

Jumping up, I catch a surprised expression on Mitch’s face right before I bolt out the door.

After growing up in New England, I currently live just outside Atlanta, GA.

I love the Red Sox and hate the Yankees.

I love hot, sexy romance novels, but hate long, drawn out misunderstandings as a plot line.

I love book series, but hate cliffhangers.

I love alpha males, but hate when they borderline on abusive.

Mostly? I love love love chocolate.

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