Friday, January 18, 2019

Cover Reveal: Handle with Care

Handle with Care
Helena Hunting
(St. Martin’s Paperbacks; August 27, 2019)

The next book set in Helena Hunting's hilarious and sexy world of Shacking Up!


Excerpt

I’m startled out of my thoughts when my brother jumps up and shouts a bunch of profane nonsense, hands flailing like he’s trying to swim on land, or approximate the chicken dance while on an LSD trip.
“You can’t do this! It’s absolute bullshit!” Armstrong yells.
I look around the table, trying to piece together what I missed.
“I’m sorry, Armstrong. I know this is a shock, but we feel it’s in the company’s best interest to put Lincoln at the helm during this transitional stage,” G-mom says firmly.
At the helm? I look to G-mom who’s busy not looking at me.
Armstrong jabs at finger at himself. “But I’m the one who’s put in all the time here! I deserve to run the company! Lincoln doesn’t know the first thing about Moorehead. All he knows how to do is dig wells and forage for food in the wilderness. How are those valuable assets here?” He turns his attention to our mother. “Did you know about this? How can you let this happen? Look at him. How can that be the face of our company? He looks like he crawled out of a gutter and mugged a twenty-year-old college kid on a bender. How is this better for our bottom line?”
My mother clasps her hands in front of her. “I’m sorry, Armstrong, but this decision wasn’t mine to make. I know this is hard for you, but your grandmother and fath—”
Armstrong stomps his foot, exactly as a toddler would. “The company is mine! Lincoln can’t have it!”
I raise a hand, half to quiet my brother and also to find out what the freaking deal is. “Whoa, let’s back this bus up.  Can someone explain what’s going on?”
“You’ve been appointed as the CEO of Moorehead Media, according to the will,” Christophe—no R, because that would make it far too pedestrian a name—my father’s lawyer says.
I’m working on trying to remain calm as I address my grandmother. “You didn’t say anything about me being CEO. You said you needed my help.”
“Running the company, yes,” she says through a practiced, stiff smile.
It’s her warning face, but seriously, when she said she needed my help for a few months I figured it meant I’d be keeping Armstrong in line while she sorted out who was going to take over the company, which I realize now was a stupid assumption.
“I didn’t think that meant CEO. How am I going to run a company with this dickhead on staff?” I motion to my brother.
“The name calling is unnecessary,” G-mom replies.
“Lincoln’s not even part of this family! He hasn’t attended one event in the past five years except for Dad’s funeral. He didn’t bother coming to my wedding and now he’s going to run the company? How is that fair?”
I snort. “Your wedding was an expensive joke.”
He crosses his arms over his chest. “I was set up. Amalie had cold feet and made me out to look like the bad guy.”
The woman beside him shoots him disgusted look.
Armstrong clears his throat and tugs at his collar. “My wedding is not the real issue. The point is that you’ve never involved yourself in any part of this family and now you think you can come in and take over. I will not stand by and let this happen!” He keeps jabbing his finger at me, as if he’s engaged in a finger sword fight.
I lean back in my chair and lace my fingers behind my neck. Armstrong has always been reactive. And self-absorbed. For a while it seemed like he finally had it together—back when he was engaged. But ever since that fiasco of a wedding he seems to have come completely unglued. Again. But worse this time. “Someone needs a timeout.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the
outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Review: An Anonymous Girl - Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl
Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
Published: January 8, 2019 St. Martin's Press

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.


I enjoyed Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's previous release, The Wife Between Us, and when I had heard they were releasing another novel, and so quickly, I knew I had to read it as soon as I could. The two know how to write, blending their unique voices together to create characters that are stunning, mysterious, and quite often, very unreliable. We meet Jess in An Anonymous Girl, a makeup artist struggling to make ends meet in New York City who has found an interesting way to make money by answer a research professor's questions. It's simple, she must honestly answer the questions on the screen, collect check, come back at another time and do it again. Except the questions become increasingly more invasive and soon Jess is concerned with just how much the person on the other end might now know about her. As the research becomes real life tasks, Jess becomes paranoid that Dr. Shields has gone too far, but just like secrets, obsessions too can take over your life.

With an incredibly unique premise, An Anonymous Girl takes readers on a suspenseful journey where one woman's obsession just might turn out to have deadly consequences. At first we see New York and the research from Jess' eyes, an innocent woman with secrets of her own desperate to help her family. As tensions increase the perspective shifts, allowing us a glimpse into the mind of Dr. Shields, a professor using the guise of research to make Jess do what she needs. Jess is not comfortable completing the twisted tasks, but her fear of Dr. Shields and the secrets she now knows forces her to ignore her morals. Soon Jess is questioning reality, unsure of what is real and what Dr. Shields has just made her believe. What was once prying questions is now a high stakes competition where Jess must complete the puzzle before Dr. Shields' own pieces are in place.

I was enthralled by this story, I pictured myself in Jess' shoes and as I read I felt the fear and the beginnings of distrust. She's a smart girl desperate for a solution and as we read on we realize that Dr. Shields just might have picked the wrong girl for the research. As Dr. Shields fights for power, Jess undermines her, and much like the battle between predator and prey, she must find a way to sneak away unharmed. This novel is twisted, a psychological thriller that will leave you unable to think of anything else. Pekkanen and Hendricks reveal things slowly, the puzzle pieces dropping into the story as Dr. Shields true nature is revealed. It is impossible to tell the truth, to know which character to place your trust into, and it only gets more intriguing as the novel's pacing picks up.

An Anonymous Girl was an all-consuming read for me, I couldn't put this book down for anything. I think the story line is appealing for readers, one that toes the line of believability and preys on our desires to understand human nature. It's fascinating, I've got no idea how they came up with this novel, but I loved it and cannot wait to see it come to life on a screen. Filled with secrets and deceit, An Anonymous Girl is a compelling psychological thriller that will hold readers' attention.

ARC provided.


About the Authors
GREER HENDRICKS is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

SARAH PEKKANEN is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Cover Reveal: Tomboy - Avery Flynn

Tomboy, a hot romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Avery Flynn is coming February 18th, and we have the brand-new cover!

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Don’t miss the next installment of the USA Today bestselling romantic comedy series and find out what happens when the whole town thinks Fallon Hartigan slept with the most hated man in Harbor city.

Pre-order your copy today!





About Avery

AveryFlynn.jpgUSA Today bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.


Connect with Avery

Release Blitz & Review: The Consequence of Falling - Claire Contreras

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“Claire Contreras delivers ALL the feels in this charming, witty and sexy enemies-to-lovers romance, and it will own your heart from cover to cover.” - Mary, Frolic Media
The Consequence of Falling, a contemporary romance by New York Times Bestselling Author Claire Contreras is Live!
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The list of things I hate is short. Not even my soon-to-be ex-husband is on that list. Nope. I save only the worst of the worst, the crème de la crème, the absolute I cannot even for this list . . .
1. Black coffee
2. Rude people
3. Nathaniel Bradley
Which is why when my father informs me that he’s making Nathaniel Bradley his new business partner, and in turn, my boss, I flip out.
1. He’s an annoying know-it-all.
2. He calls me a spoiled princess every chance he gets.
3. He disapproves of everything I do.
I go into this knowing I’ll hate every second in his presence. Except the longer he’s around, the more I find myself staring at his lips and remembering the one time they were on mine. I randomly find myself looking at his hands and wondering how they’d feel on my skin.
I try to snap out of it, but I guess I’m not as smart as I thought I was. No matter how many times I remind myself of the times I’ve practically thrown myself at him and he’s pushed me away, I keep falling little by little.
I’d always heard that it was a bad idea to mix business with pleasure and if that’s the case, this thing with Nathaniel has demise written all over it.

Download your copy today!
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Review
4 Stars
Presley Rose thought her life had a plan, at least she thought it did until her junior year of high school when her world changed completely. Presley and Nathaniel don't have the best first meeting, he think she's a spoiled brat, she thinks he's the child her father always wanted. Those first impressions stick with them as the years go by, with Nathaniel continuing to call her princess even as he becomes a partner in her father's business and technically her new boss. Presley is going through a divorce, trying to prove to her father she can be successful in his business, and deal with the unwelcome feelings she has overtime she's around Nathaniel. It's obvious they both like each other, but can they put the past they've shared to the side to allow love in?

Oh my word, I forgot how well Claire Contreras can write a romance. I could not put down this enemies-to-lovers story, I loved the push and pull between Presley and Nathaniel. We see some of the interactions between the two as they attend college at the same school, as Nathaniel shadows Presley's father, and in time as Nathaniel takes on an ownership role in the company, but these glimpses only give us a bit of the chemistry that has been brewing between the two. These two are straight fire together, but it is obvious that the path to love will not be easy for them.

Nathaniel has fought his way to the top and while he desires Presley, he still sees her as a spoiled little girl. Presley, having loved and lost, is only fighting to be a good daughter to her father again, but Nathaniel threatens her patience and her time with her dad. Their romance moves fast and is incredibly sexy, but it's only when things stop being easy that they really get to know one another truly. I loved the relationship the two had, their banter made the book just that much better, but more than anything I loved the relationship each character had with Presley's father. He very much so is the father that everyone thinks of as partly their own and it gave this story a personal touch for me. It made everything seem sincere and realistic, so much so that I was very invested in each character individually. And yes, I cried, a lot, I always do when the characters come to life for me and in The Consequence of Falling they certainly did.

Sweet, romantic, funny, and emotional, The Consequence of Falling is a standalone by Claire Contreras that is sure to please all readers. The enemies-to-lovers storyline feels fresh in this book and the witty banter between Presley and Nathaniel gives a humorous touch to an otherwise emotionally charged story. I highly recommend this one to my fellow romance lovers.
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About Claire:
Claire Contreras is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Her books range from romantic suspense to contemporary romance and are currently translated in seven different languages.

She lives in Miami, Fl with her husband, two adorable boys, three bulldogs, and two stray cats that she refuses to admit are hers (even though they live on her porch, she named them, and continues to feed them). When she's not writing, she's usually lost in a book.

Connect with Claire:Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon

Friday, January 11, 2019

Blog Tour & Review: The Kiss Thief - L.J. Shen

THE KISS THIEF
BY L.J. SHEN
Release Date: January 9th
Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser at RBA Designs

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage. 

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.

Two men.

Three lives.

Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.
 AVAILABLE NOW!
FREE IN KU!
Review
4 Stars
Francesca's kiss, the one meant to be bestowed upon her by her future husband, is stolen by a handsome brute. Now he's stolen her future too, declaring her his betrothed and whisking her off to his gated mansion. He promises wealth and education, but no romance, no love, no happily ever after, not the kind she's always dreamed of at least. She wanted Angelo, a friend, the heir to a powerful family in The Chicago Outfit, what she got was Senator Wolfe Keaton. He's got it out for her father though and things get very twisted. He's not what she wanted, but the notes point to him and as time goes he wears her down and soon she finds her heart tied to his.

"Disloyalty had a taste. It was bitter. It was sour. It was even a little sweet"

Francesca and Wolfe are the sort of couple that, in a book, are meant to be. Their fiery personalities, their clashing perspectives, their beauty are like puzzle pieces that just need matched properly. Francesca, though innocent in many ways, has been a pawn in The Outfit for longer than she even knows. Wolfe, though, is the exact opposite. He's the one that finds the pawns and makes them fit his needs. As humans we don't pair the innocent and the bad together very often, those qualities are not often good things, especially with the type of bad Wolfe is. In books though, these characters thrive together. Francesca inspires a soft side of Wolfe and Wolfe reveals the fierce heroine that Francesca has hiding inside her. Their romance, though not soft and sweet and marred by ugly, burns bright between them and the hard moments push them together. The push and pull between them is realistic, it's a bit dramatic, and it's incredibly romantic. I was drawn in by the two, I loved the power play between them, and I could've easily lived in this book for several more chapters.

I will admit I had some trepidation when it came to starting The Kiss Thief. I love L.J. Shen's work, I love her bastard heroes who find their hearts, I love her strong heroines, and I always love the stories. That said, I am a fierce and loyal mafia and crime romance reader, I have a hard time letting new authors into that circle. I was impressed with The Kiss Thief, I enjoyed that it wasn't as deep into the crime world as many others are. There are times when the details weren't as on point and times where the crime drama didn't have as much fear to it as I've grown used to in similar novels, but it was believable enough for me. I did have some other complaints, particularly with how much emphasis was put on the character's age and how often she did act young, despite touting often than she wasn't. Both are incredibly immature, but it does allows for their growth as individuals and as a couple. We go through some really annoying OW/OM drama, ultimately though we get the romance, the smut, the addicting story that L.J. Shen is known for.

"Our hearts were tarnished. Stained. And guilty. Unpredictable to a fault. And bound to break."

The Kiss Thief is the big surprise release we've been waiting for from L.J. Shen since she first teased it. Wolfe, like many of her other heroes, is all sharp edges, handsome looks, and fierce loyalty. He's the hero you can't help but love and Francesca is the one to reveal his truths. It's a romantic novel with just the right amount of drama and entertainment.
Excerpt
“Are you sure you’re on my card?” I turned to the man with a polite yet distant smile. I was still disoriented from the exchange with Angelo when the stranger pulled me against his hard body and pressed a possessive hand lower than socially acceptable on my back, a second from groping my butt.

“Answer me,” I hissed.

“My bid on your card was the highest,” he replied dryly.

“The bids are undisclosed. You don’t know how much other people have paid,” I kept my lips pursed to keep myself from yelling.

“I know it’s nowhere near the realm of what this dance is worth.”

Un-freaking-believable.

We began to waltz around the room as other couples were not only spinning and mingling but also stealing envious glances at us. Naked, raw ogles that told me that whomever the blonde he’d come to the masquerade with was, she wasn’t his wife. And that I might have been all the rage in The Outfit, but the rude man was in high demand, too.

I was stiff and cold in his arms, but he didn’t seem to notice—or mind. He knew how to waltz better than most men, but he was technical, and lacked warmth and Angelo’s playfulness.

“Nemesis.” He took me by surprise, his rapacious gaze stripping me bare. “Distributing glee and dealing misery. Seems at odds with the submissive girl who entertained Bishop and his horsey wife at the table.”

I choked on my own saliva. Did he just call the governor’s wife horsey? And me submissive? I looked away, ignoring the addictive scent of his cologne, and the way his marble body felt against mine.

“Nemesis is my spirit animal. She was the one to lure Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection and died of vanity. Pride is a terrible illness.” I flashed him a taunting smirk.

“Some of us could use catching it.” He bared his straight white teeth.

“Arrogance is a disease. Compassion is the cure. Most gods didn’t like Nemesis, but that’s because she had a backbone.”

“Do you?” He arched a dark eyebrow.

“Do I…?” I blinked, the courteous grin on my face crumpling. He was even ruder when we were alone.

“Have a backbone,” he provided. He stared at me so boldly and intimately, it felt like he breathed fire into my soul. I wanted to step out of his touch and jump into a pool full of ice.

“Of course, I do,” I responded, my spine stiffening. “What’s with the manners? Were you raised by wild coyotes?”

“Give me an example,” he said, ignoring my quip. I was beginning to draw away from him, but he jerked me back into his arms. The glitzy ballroom distorted into a backdrop, and even though I was starting to notice that the man behind the demi-mask was unusually beautiful, the ugliness of his behavior was the only thing that stood out.

I am a warrior and a lady…and a sane person who can deal with this horrid man.

“I really like Angelo Bandini.” I dropped my voice, slicing my gaze from his eyes and toward the table where Angelo’s family had been seated. My father was sitting a few seats away, staring at us coldly, surrounded by Made Men who chatted away.

“And see, in my family, we have a tradition dating back ten generations. Prior to her wedding, a Rossi bride is to open a wooden chest—carved and made by a witch who lived in my ancestors’ Italian village—and read three notes written to her by the last Rossi girl to marry. It’s kind of a good luck charm mixed with a talisman and a bit of fortunetelling. I stole the chest tonight and opened one of the notes, all so I could rush fate. It said that tonight I was going to be kissed by the love of my life, and well…” I drew my lower lip into my mouth and sucked it, peering under my eyelashes at Angelo’s empty seat. The man stared at me stoically, as though I was a foreign film he couldn’t understand. “I’m going to kiss him tonight.”

“That’s your backbone?”

“When I have an ambition, I go for it.”
A conceited frown crinkled his mask, as if to say I was a complete and utter moron. I looked him straight in the eye. My father taught me that the best way to deal with men like him was to confront, not run. Because, this man? He’d chase.
About the Author
L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.
Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.
She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with L.J. Shen
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bookbub | Goodreads | Amazon
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