Book Review – Lost in You


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Lost In You

The Monroes series

by Jules Bennett

The only thing that could bring Liam Monroe back to Haven, Georgia, is his loyalty to his late sister–so he’s agreed to serve as a chef at the resort his brothers have built in her honor. But he’s not staying. At least that’s the plan. . .

Macy Hayward always admired the Monroes. Adopting four kids—including the brooding, mysterious Liam—they were an example of the loving family she wanted for herself someday. Now, ironically, Macy’s got an unexpected new tenant in the apartment above her hardware store: none other than Liam.

Most of Liam’s furniture consists of weightlifting equipment, since he has no intention of settling in. He can’t wait to run away again, from his brothers and his bitter memories—and from Macy, with her relentlessly seductive curves. Still, while he’s around, he should do the poor woman a favor and teach her to cook, before she poisons someone. . .

Soon, their sessions in the kitchen are getting spicy. But Macy has roots in Haven, and she wants to plant more, including taking in a little girl who needs a home. Meanwhile, Liam has an opportunity for his own restaurant in Atlanta. Will choosing love mean giving up their separate dreams? Or will the heart find a way?. . .

Liam is the most closed off of the brothers and I think lots of returning readers are really looking forward to discovering what makes him tick.  He’s struggling with a lot of things, leaving him moody and sometimes erratic.  Proximity to his brothers and working on his sister’s dream is doing a lot to bridge some old hurts and forge a better relationship with his family.  But it doesn’t help that one of those things he’s having trouble with is an attraction to his sexy landlord and close family friend.

Macy seems like such a well put together person that you wouldn’t realize that she’s got some pretty big secrets.  She’s funny, energetic and friendly – the perfect girl next door.  Or in this case, girl downstairs.  And she’s had a thing for Liam for AGES so if she could only get behind his walls it might lead somewhere fantastic.  Whew, he has walls though!

I think that Bennett’s superb writing and fun characters will help keep the attention of readers who aren’t all that thrilled with the on/off of this relationship.  Because Liam definitely waffles.  A lot.  I kinda get where he’s coming from, because small town living makes it hard to get away from anything in your past.  Especially something as big as the car wreck that left him with a scar on his face.  And he’s has an idea of what his future would be, which doesn’t include life in said small town.  But things are starting to come together with the brothers and their business, so when you throw in a girl that he has trouble resisting… well, I think he resists a little too much  🙂  It takes him some time to work out what he really wants and where he needs to be.  But of course, he gets there in the end.   (There’s quite a bit of angst though before then so make sure you are prepared.)


Spotlight – Never Be Tamed


This one is getting some great reviews – people are just loving Jenna!


Never Be Tamed

A Standalone Enemy-to-Lovers Romance

by Clare James

April 10, 2017


Falling for your sister’s nemesis?

Only a low-life dog would do something like that, right? And that ain’t me, not anymore. I mean here I am, trying to be a stand-up guy for once in my freaking life—I’m finally making smart decisions, helping my little sister, and getting my shit together.

For once, things are finally going my way…until Jenna shows up.

As soon as I meet her, I know she’s the enemy. I’ve heard enough to understand that she’s off limits. Banned. Forbidden. Not for me!

She’s the bad girl I have to stay away from if I want to keep my family intact. So I try. Trust me, I REALLY try. But it’s not as easy as you’d think, and surprisingly, I discover that she’s not as bad as everyone says.

Of course, she’s difficult, selfish, and a royal pain in the ass, but she’s also gorgeous, smart, kind, and…well, let’s just say I am that low-life dog. Traitor. Turncoat. And the world’s shittiest brother.

Woof. Woof.

Never Be Tamed is a hot and hilarious full-length stand-alone that can be read on its own or as part of The Impossible Love Series.


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Author Info:

Clare James writes contemporary romance and new adult novels with spunky heroines and sexier-than-sin heroes. Her books have made several best-selling lists including the tender love stories in the Impossible Love series; the steamy romantic comedy Dirty Little Lies; and the touching family drama Two-Hour Truce.

Caught, the first in a series about the women of Elite PR and their very naughty clients, published with Entangled Publishing’s Brazen line, is a #1 Amazon Best-Selling Romance Series. Book two in the series, PLAYED, is out now!

A former dancer, Clare still loves to get her groove on – mostly to work off her beloved cupcakes and red wine. She lives in Minneapolis with her two leading men – her husband and young son – and is always on social media chatting with readers.








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Reviews – Never Be Tamed

Reviews – Before You Go

Book Review – Truly, Madly, Whiskey


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I just can’t get enough of Melissa Foster’s work … and she’s showing us again why she seriously rocks!


Truly, Madly, Whiskey

by Melissa Foster

Releasing April 10, 2017

World Literary Press


A new sexy standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster.

Eight months is a long damn time to have the hots for a woman who keeps a guy at arm’s length. But Crystal Moon is no ordinary woman. She’s a sinfully sexy, sass-mouthed badass, and the subject of Bear Whiskey’s midnight fantasies. She’s also one of his closest friends.

Just when Crystal thinks she has her life under control, scorching-hot, possessive, aggressive, and fiercely loyal Bear pushes all her sexual buttons, relentless in his pursuit to make her his.

The more Bear pushes, the hotter their passion burns, unearthing memories for Crystal that are best kept buried. But there’s no stopping the collision of her past and present, catapulting the two lovers down an emotional and sexually charged road that has them questioning all they thought they knew about themselves.

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“Really, Bear. I can drop you at your place before I go to the fabric shop.” Crystal started the car, feeling more in control than she had inside the shop. She hated the way she’d frozen up when things had gotten hot between them. She wanted him. After putting herself through three years of therapy, dealing with not only the trauma of the attack, but the bullshit with her mother and the loss of her father, she was sure she could handle anything. She’d dated other guys since she’d left college without issue. Why did it have to be different with the only guy she wanted to be close to? It pissed her off that her past still owned a piece of her, and she needed to get over it before Bear got fed up and walked away for good.

“I have to go to the store anyway.” He flashed one of his smiles. “We might as well go together.”

“You need to go to the fabric store?” she said flatly, knowing he was bullshitting her. She realized her car smelled different, cleaner. The seats were shiny, the dashboard dust free. “Did you clean my car?”

“Detailed it,” he said casually, as if he did this type of thing every day. For all she knew, he did. “Changed your oil, topped off your fluids. You really need to do those things every three thousand miles.” He touched the doll hanging from her rearview mirror. “I dusted off this, too, even though I’m a little worried that it’s a voodoo doll.”

She wasn’t about to tell him it was a worry doll that she loved more than life itself.

“Bear.” She couldn’t suppress her smile about the voodoo doll as she drove toward the store. “You really need to stop acting like you have to take care of me. I appreciate you handling the inspection, which I’m paying you for, by the way. But you don’t have to do all these things for me. I already like who you are.” Even if I have a hard time showing it.

“I know you do,” he said, as cocky as ever.

Why is that such a turn-on?

“I didn’t do it to get your attention. Shit, six three, two thirty.” He flexed his biceps and winked. “You’re sitting next to Peaceful Harbor gold, baby. I’ve got your attention.”

She couldn’t suppress a laugh. “That you do, and probably half the women in this town.”

“Only half?”

He kept her laughing the whole way to the fabric store, and it was just what she needed. It really had been a long day. They’d hosted three parties, and one of the mothers was just about the most obnoxious woman on earth. She’d pushed her daughter toward pink frilly outfits for the first half hour, when all the little cutie had wanted was to dress up as a skateboard princess. Gemma realized Crystal was going to strangle the wench, and she’d calmly suggested the woman head down to Jazzy Joe’s for coffee. The rest of her day hadn’t been much better. Plus, she’d spent the morning overthinking everything about her relationship with Bear, which was probably why she’d freaked out when she’d really been dying to kiss him.

She parked in front of the fabric store. There were some things that just didn’t fit in the world as Crystal knew it, and Bear Whiskey clad in a tight black T-shirt that said Whiskey Bro’s across his massive chest, a pair of snug, low-slung black jeans, and leather boots strutting into Jennilyn’s Fabric was on the top of the list.

She pulled her list from her bag as his eyes coasted over the store. What was he thinking, coming with her? That was dedication she could not ignore. The epitome of commitment.

That is Bear.

My Bear?

She toyed with that as he draped his arm over her shoulder. She wondered what had taken him so long. She’d expected him to do it the second she’d stepped from the car, but he was probably in shock that they were actually going to a fabric store. She smiled to herself as he leaned closer and rubbed his nose along her cheek.

“Can I help you?” she asked with a laugh.

“You smell like jelly beans, and I happen to have a thing for sugary goodness.”

“You can’t seriously have that good a sense of smell.”

He pressed an unexpected, and deliciously warm, kiss to her cheek and reached into her purse, withdrawing a bag of jelly beans. “Hoarding? Or were we going to hide these later in your body and let me find them?” He moved his mouth beside her ear and whispered, “Blindfolded. With my hands tied behind my back.”

He nudged her deeper into the store. Holy crap. She’d stopped walking. Was she breathing? And was that a thing? Blindfolded? Hands tied behind his back? Oh, the control that would give her. She’d be at no risk of being overpowered. But would she want that much control? She imagined herself lying naked on her bed, watching as his greedy mouth moved over her breasts, down her belly, and she felt herself go damp.

No, no, no.

Ice cream. Ice baths. Cow poop!

Her body continued vibrating from the inside out. This was bad. Really, really bad. Like a virus she couldn’t shake. She needed an anti-Bear pill. Stat!



**Warning: maybe some minor spoilers ahead**

Bear Whiskey is just about perfect.  He’s strong, caring, protective, sensitive, loyal, sexy … I could go on and on, but I don’t want to ruin him for you  😉  His only flaw that I could find is he may be a little too dedicated to his family.  He’s got dreams that he’s put on hold because of his father’s stroke and he’s taken on a lot of responsibilities over the years.  The man just doesn’t slow down!  But now he’s got a chance with the woman he’s been pursuing for almost a year AND an opportunity to design motorcycles for a premier company.  He just can’t figure out how to work it in with everything else.  His devotion to those he loves and his strong sense of responsibility is definitely not a problem, it just is making it hard for him to find a time to put his needs first.  Especially now that Crystal has stopped pushing him away.

Crystal had a pretty rough childhood and she finally manages to get away to college, only to be raped at a party.  A little broken, she heads home again to try to pull herself together again.  It’s taken her quite a few years (and some serious reinventing of herself) to get where she’s finally feeling steady enough to actually do something about the intense pull she has towards Bear.  It’s a pretty emotional journey – getting herself back on her feet and finding a way to tell those closest to her what happened.  She’s strong for figuring out how to get help and make her way through it all.  And with her friends and a good man by her side, things are looking really good.

While Bear is not quite a Tru, Foster once again proves that she can create some amazingly addictive characters.  I loved him, and Crystal, from page one.  Not just their interactions together, which are funny and sexy and full of so much understanding & love, but with their friends and family.  Because Truly, Madly, Whiskey isn’t just a romance, but it is about love for friends, family and those you call yours.  This group is so amazingly supportive of those in their sphere and they don’t hesitate to offer support of any kind when it is needed. Their little circle keeps getting bigger and better every year, and they keep proving what  awesome people they are.  It gives you such a happy feeling to see them pull together like that … but they are also family though so they aren’t afraid to give each other a little hell now and again  🙂

(Although this does continue the stories of people we met in Tru Blue, it can easily stand on its own … but if you want some serious feels make sure you pick it up once you finish this one.  I dare you not to fall in love with this amazing group of people!)


Author Info:

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




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Spotlight – Into the Light


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We saw A Shot in the Dark earlier this year and now it is time for the next one in the series.  If you enjoy romantic suspense, this series is getting some great reviews!


Into the Light

Dark series, Book 2

by J.G. Sumner

Romantic Suspense

Date Published: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Limitless Publishing


Laney Pearson was shot at point blank range…

With the help of his friend and colleague, Dr. Nathan George, Josh Stone managed to save her, giving them both a new start and a second chance at love. But when Laney’s parents try to take their recovering daughter back to Missouri, Josh fears he’ll lose her…possibly forever.

A mysterious stalker and Laney’s family aren’t the only ones who want Josh and Laney apart…

Jillian Stone has struggled with her own demons, always leaning on her brother Josh for support. When she sees him doting on Laney, spending days on end by her hospital bed, Jillian grows increasingly jealous. She pictures a life where Laney is gone and she and Josh can be closer…​much closer.

A familiar shadow still threatens the light…

They thought Laney’s stalker was completely erased from their lives, arrested when he tried to kill her. But they find it wasn’t Laney’s ex-boyfriend who tormented her for weeks on end, even if he was the one who pulled the trigger. They are now on the lookout for the ​real stalker, who becomes braver with each passing day, always in shadows, never creeping into the light…

They fear he might be back to finish what he started…​sending Laney to an early grave.


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“Can you hear me, Laney? Is there anyone home inside that pretty little head of yours?”

The fog dissipated as Laney heard the familiar voice.

“You’re so innocent lying there in that bed. I know the truth about you. You’re not innocent, and you don’t deserve to be with that handsome doctor.”

Why is this voice so familiar? Who is it? Why is she here?

Laney sensed this person wasn’t good. Perhaps even dangerous. Her heart pounded in her chest like a jackhammer. She could hear the sound in her ears. The fight or flight response kicked in. Laney willed her body to move to be able to get up and run away or fight back. To no avail, her body refused to respond. She just lay there like a prisoner in a cell and listening to the person talking.

“He’s mine. You got that? He was mine before you came into the picture, and he’ll be mine when you’re gone. You’d better heed my warning and walk right out of his life.”

So this person wants to be with Josh. Is she an ex-girlfriend? Holy crap! What’ve I gotten myself into?

“How could he be interested in a train wreck like you? He deserves better than a little slut. You’re nothing! Yet you monopolize all of his time. Maybe if I just get rid of you, he won’t spend so much time in here.”

The medications weighed on Laney making it difficult to think clearly. She felt intoxicated.

“I see your parents have arrived. Are they taking you home with them? You should go. It’s better for you to be far away from here. You’ll be safer there, and all of your problems will disappear. If you stay, these unfortunate events may continue to occur. Is that what you want?”

The woman was leaning over Laney. The warmth of her breath spewed across her face. Peppermint. Her breath reeked of peppermint like the breath mints one got at a restaurant after dinner. Hands formed around her neck. Laney wanted to push them away, yet she was frozen. She couldn’t do anything to stop her. She couldn’t open her eyes even though she wanted to so badly. The pounding in her head grew louder and faster. Her heart was about to jump out of her chest. All of a sudden, the peppermint and hands left. She was gone. It was silent except for the alarming from her monitor. Time seemed to stand still before someone turned the alarm off.

“Jesus, your heart rate is too high. What’s happening?” It was a different voice. Perhaps a nurse. Someone who knew how to operate the machines. She pressed buttons and the alarms stopped. A heaviness seeped into Laney’s veins and spread throughout her body. She struggled to fight it. She needed to be awake and find out the identity of the peppermint woman. The more she struggled, the foggier her world became. Silence took over Laney’s world, preventing her from feeling or thinking.


Author Info:

JG Sumner is a Registered Nurse who went rogue.  As good as she was at starting IV’s, she enjoys writing the down the stories in her head even more.  Most of the time the characters won’t stop pestering her until she has them down on paper.
JG can often be found with a glass of red wine or prosecco in front of her computer.  When she’s not creating, she enjoys the outdoors hiking, bike riding, snowboarding, and camping.

JG has a very dry sense of humor, and should never be taken too seriously.  She loves to hear from her fans, and even those who aren’t and would love to hear your opinion on her books.

JG writes romantic suspense/thrillers including: A Shot in the Dark, Into the Light, The Surrender Trilogy including Surrender, Shattered, and Saved which will be available through Limitless Publishing soon.


Twitter: @jg_sumner


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Book Review – Fighting Attraction


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I read Against the Ropes and now I’m wishing I’d kept going with this series!  Castille sure knows how to bring the big, bad alphas …


Fighting Attraction

Redemption #4

by Sarah Castille

Contemporary Erotic Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Published 04/04/17


My sweet, sexy Penny has a dark side. Just like me.

I will have her. And then I will lose her, and suffer a lifetime of regret.

Rampage. Everyone loves him. He is Redemption’s top heavyweight fighter and the biggest gossip in the gym. But he isn’t the teddy bear everyone thinks he is. He’s hiding a dark secret-and he hates himself for it.

Twice a week, Rampage transforms into Master Jack, a notorious dom only the most hard-core submissives will play with. How can he-a Southern gentleman, bred to respect and protect women-want to dominate them?

But Penny Worthington wants him. Beneath her pearls, kitten heels, and prim British exterior beats a tortured heart…Master Jack is the only one who can set her free.


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Fighting Attraction is the fourth book in a full-length, standalone, award-winning series by New York Times bestselling author, Sarah Castille, featuring deliciously sexy MMA fighters and the women who can’t help but love them.

PRAISE for Sarah Castille’s Redemption series:

“Powerful. Gritty. And sexy beyond belief. Sarah is a true master!”-Opal Carew, New York Times bestselling author of His to Claim

“Hilarious, hot and occasionally heartbreaking. I loved it! ” – Maryse’s Book Blog on Against the Ropes

“Castille’s follow-up to the excellent Against the Ropes doesn’t pull its punches.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review for In Your Corner

“Emotionally charged, amazingly sexy, and flat out fantastic.”-Fresh Fiction on Full Contact

Redemption Series

Against the Ropes

In Your Corner

Full Contact

Fighting Attraction



So, while I dabble here and there in BDSM reading I am definitely not all that well informed on it.  I know when it works for me and when it doesn’t, and here it definitely does.

Jack has some serious conflict about himself as a sadist.  He had people close to him turn against him when the truth came out so he’s worked hard to keep it separate from his daily life.  Unfortunately it is as much as part of him as anything else which means that he feels that he has to avoid any intimacy in his life … regardless of how sexy he finds sweet Penny.  But Penny is hiding secrets of her own and a little glimpse into Jack’s world has her curious.  Making Jack let her in is a fight she’s not willing to lose.

I really liked these two together.  They have fun, definitely rock the entertaining banter, and set the pages ON FIRE.  There’s a whole mess of emotions to go along with it as well, though.  They struggle a lot with their feelings, both for each other and about themselves, but with each other’s help they might be able to figure things out.

You are definitely going to have to be OK with some sizzling kink with these too, including a seriously strong Alpha with a need to inflict pain.  But more importantly, you need to be ready for a lot of difficult times, ups & downs & abouts & arounds, because these two don’t make it easy on themselves.  Or us  🙂  But it is definitely a ride that I enjoyed!  I’m looking forward to seeing what Castille has in store for us next.  And I’ll be adding those missed books to my TBR pile too … It just never gets any shorter!



Jack “Rampage” Caldwell is the first MMA fighter I created for the Redemption series, and even when I first brought this Southern gentleman to life, I knew he had a secret. But Penny has a dark secret, too. After Jack discovers what she hides from the world, he makes her promise to come to him if she needs him. But trust doesn’t come easily for Penny. She breaks her promise, never expecting that Jack will find out. But, of course, he does…and crossing a sadist is never a good idea!

“I’ll call you back. Jack is here.”

Cora sucks in a sharp breath. “I’ll see you at class tonight. I can hardly wait to hear all about it.”

I end the call and swallow past the lump in my throat. It’s only been three days, and yet it feels like I haven’t seen Jack in forever. He’s wearing a white T-shirt that clings to his taut, muscle-ridged abdomen, and worn jeans that ride low on his narrow hips.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, trying to keep my gaze above his belt.

He pins me with a direct stare, his eyes fierce and hard. I feel like he’s trying to see into my soul, but my heart is pounding so hard I’m not sure enough oxygen is getting to my brain to make any sense of what’s going on.


His gaze rakes over my body, lingering on my thighs as if he can see beneath my skirt. He tenses, and his eyes narrow. If I didn’t know X-ray vision was impossible, I would swear he knows I broke my promise.

“Are you alone?”

“Yes.” My pulse kicks up a notch. “Everyone’s out for the rest of the afternoon.”

He takes a step toward me, and the hair on the back of my neck stands on end.

“Lock the door.”

A thrill of fear shoots through me, and sweat beads on my forehead. What if he knows? Or suspects? What will he do?

“Now.” His deep, commanding Dom voice ripples through me, fanning the flames of my desire. Do I trust Jack enough to lock myself in the office with him, especially when I know what is coming? Do I trust myself?

I brush past him and lock the front door.

“Your office,” he snaps after I return.

I jump at his sharp tone and scramble out of his way as he brushes past me and through my office door, a lithe and powerful animal herding its prey.

“What’s going on?”

“Stand in front of the desk.” He gestures to the big oak desk Amanda and I refinished when we first moved into the building.

Puzzled, I do as he asks, my breath catching in my throat when he closes and locks the door behind him.


He gives me his back as he draws the curtains at the side of my office. “Don’t move.”

A sting of disappointment hits me in the chest. Has he come to reject me all over again? Does he want to make sure I understand there is nothing between us? It shouldn’t bother me because I got the message the other night. I’m nothing. Nothing special. Nothing extraordinary. Not worth his time, especially since he’s on the cusp of fame. I’m just his pal. Plain old quirky Pen. But he doesn’t have to be so cold.

Worthless, no-good piece of shit.

No. No. No. My fingers tighten on the lip of the desk. I haven’t even started to heal from last night. I don’t need the past intruding on the present.

Jack leans against the door across from me, thick arms folded over his massive chest.

“Lift your skirt.”

Shock steals my breath away, and all I can do is stare.


“You heard me. Lift your skirt. Now.”

Bang. Bang. Bang. My heart thuds frantically against my ribs. Adrenaline pounds through my veins, and I feel a rush of heat between my legs. He knows. I can see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice…

“Why?” I whisper, stalling. And why is this turning me on?

“You know why,” he snaps. “You didn’t keep your promise.”

I smooth my hands over my cream skirt, silky underneath with a cotton macramé overlay, pressing it tight against my thighs. “It doesn’t matter if I kept it or not. We’re not in the club. There’s nothing between us. You made that clear the other night.”

“I fucked up the other night.” He shifts his stance. “I’m not good for you, Pen. You need to be with someone normal. A nice guy who’s going to treat you right and doesn’t want to hurt you.”

My hand fists on my thigh. “I don’t like nice guys. They don’t understand me. They’re too gentle. My life is about pain. Emotional and physical pain. It’s what I know, what I understand, what I need.”

“So you hurt yourself?”

“I didn’t—”

He cuts me off with a scowl. “Don’t lie to me.” He pauses, and his voice takes on a deeper, cutting edge. “Show me.”

My mouth goes dry at his abrupt command, and I fiddle with the edge of my skirt, at once indignant that he would try to boss me around and aroused that he did.

“What if I did?” I say defiantly. “There’s nothing you can do about it.”

His corded throat tightens when he swallows, and he fixes me with a level stare. “I’ll give you what you need.”

All the air leaves my lungs in a rush, and I feel a disconcerting wetness between my thighs. “You wouldn’t dare. I’m at work.”

“Try me.”

Electricity sparks in the air between us, and a curious mix of fear and arousal courses through my veins. Stiffening my spine, I curl my fingers under the edge of my skirt and draw it slowly, painfully slowly up my thighs. Jack stills. His eyes flick down and then back up again. He licks his lips, and his eyes darken.

I have awakened the beast.


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Book Review – Finding Purpose


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From a troubled rocker to a troubled SEAL, it’s a week for men who need help finding their way …


Finding Purpose

Colorado Veterans series

by Tiffani Lynn


Once upon a time, when Quincy Hannigan needed saving, he was there to hold her hand. Years have passed since she was that weak, broken girl; instead, a strong, intelligent woman stands in her place. She’s making the world a better place one arrest at a time and has everything she’s always wanted—except Judson Rivers.

When Judson’s father died suddenly, he dropped out of college and became a Navy SEAL. He left everything from his old life behind, including the girl he loved, but never told—Quincy. After ten years, Judson’s military career ends abruptly when the vehicle he’s in runs over an IED. He has his hands full learning to live with one leg, PTSD and a civilian life he wasn’t ready to return to.

Judson and Quincy are reunited when their mentor dies. Once Quincy realizes the depth of his pain, she knows it’s her turn to be the savior. Years of pent-up passion are unleashed, but it may be too late if Judson can’t crawl out of hell. Quincy has every intention of healing this wounded warrior before his demons are the ones who determine his fate.



I turn the knob and step inside. Relaxed on the love seat by the bay window, she lifts her eyes to mine. Her legs are curled up under her, hair still up, book in hand and she’s now wearing a pair of sexy black-framed librarian glasses. I feel a stirring in my pants and the shock of it must register on my face because her forehead wrinkles as she asks, “Are you okay?”

I’d love to tell her I’m great, but I don’t think she’d be quite as impressed by the beginnings of a hard-on as I am. This is the first time I’ve had any kind of action down there since the accident. The doctor told me not to worry about it, the function would eventually return, it’s mental more than physical, but I was afraid it never would. For a guy my age, no blood flow to the dick is a terrifying thought.

I cross my hands down low, trying to discreetly cover up. She’d never understand. Who gets a boner the same day he buries someone close to him?

“Yeah, I’m okay. I just wanted to come and say goodbye.”

She lifts the glasses from her face and sets them on top of the book she’s placed on the table next to where she’s seated. When she stands and takes a few steps toward me I realize my heart is pounding harder than it was when I knocked on the door, like I’ve run a few miles. It’s been far too long since I’ve had this kind of reaction to a woman.

“How long are you staying?” I inquire.

“A couple of weeks. I promised the Colonel I’d help Ms. Polly take care of everything. We have to go through some things out in the shed this week too. Are you leaving to go back East right away?”

“No. I’m moving back here. I’m staying at one of those extended stay hotels by the interstate until I can find something. If you need help going through any of his stuff or lifting some of those things, let me know. I don’t have a lot on my schedule yet.”

Her head tilts and her eyes narrow like she’s trying to figure out if my offer is genuine.

I lift up my hands in a gesture of surrender as I say, “I’m not saying you can’t do it, just that I’m available if you want help. I’ll write my cell number down and you can use it, or not.”

She watches me intently as I jot down my number and leave it on the table. Then I walk back over, place my hands on her shoulders, kiss her forehead, lingering a little longer than I should so I can absorb the scent of her again, and limp out the door. I don’t wait to see if she has anything to say or any reaction to the chaste kiss. My heart and body both ache and I wish I were a different man. A better man. One that could have a woman as beautiful and amazing as she is and be worthy of her.



For me, this book is  an interesting mishmash of things – we have the first part (most of the story, actually) with Quincy and Judson coming together again and addressing their feelings for each other, plus his issues with losing his leg.  Next there’s a short bit over halfway thru where they can’t keep their hands off each other and it feels a bit like an erotic novel (not that I’m complaining, mind you  🙂 ).  And then at the end there’s some suspense and danger.  It all moves together and the story is great all around but it almost feels like separate sections instead of one continuous flow.  It didn’t bother me but I’m throwing it out there just in case it might bug you.

There is a ton of conflict and tangled emotions in the early parts.  Both Quincy and Judson have had feelings for each other for more than a decade but his time as a SEAL separated them.  Not that that stopped the love, just kept it buried, and now that they are together it’s hard to keep ignoring it.  Except that Judson’s having problems figuring out who he is since he left the SEALs, believing himself to be less of a man.  He’s struggled for a long time and cut himself off from people who cared.  Instead he’s self-medicating and drowning in negative emotions.  There are a lot (and I mean A LOT) of ups and downs as they deal with all the turmoil and try to get to a healthy place, whether that’s together or apart.

Once they do, though, it is a lovely thing.  I like how they find a life that fits them both and makes them happy.  It’s not all smooth sailing (don’t forget the whole suspense element is out there, just waiting to strike) but it does help them get a hard-won HEA that makes up for all the bumps along the way.  Plus, an epilogue that tugs at your heart while teasing at the second story in the series.

As long as the way the story moves isn’t going to be an issue for you, Finding Purpose has a lot of great things to offer.  The complicated characters and attention grabbing beginning definitely had me hooked!  I didn’t want to put it down and I’m looking forward to finding out what comes next.


Author Info:

Tiffani currently resides in Florida with her husband, three daughters and chunky yellow lab. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in social science and spent five years working for Hospice. When she’s not writing or taxiing her children around she enjoys reading and attending concerts. Tiffani is also a crazed fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, and the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.



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Spotlight – Lyrics Heart & Soul



Today brings us a bad boy rocker and his chance for redemption …


Lyrics Heart & Soul

by Anne Marie Citro

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: November 14 2016


One of America’s most reclusive rockers, Ryder Vaughn, gets an unusual sentence handed down to him. The judge, hoping to teach him the value of human life, sentences him to ten months of community service at Reach Within Centre for individuals with special needs. Ryder is convinced that, if he isn’t crazy already, he will be by the time his sentence ends. However, his only other option forfeits his band’s livelihood.

Five minutes after stepping into the centre, his entire life changes when he meets a gorgeous, little spitfire who will challenge everything he has ever believed about himself and the world around him.

Francesca’s devotion has always been to her family, friends, and the job she is passionate about. Her life hasn’t been easy. She sacrifices a lot for the ones she loves and for her dream to visit Italy. Then Francesca finds herself in a desperate situation, and the tattooed beast who is serving his debt to society must save the headstrong woman from a secret that could destroy her. In turn, Francesca teaches Ryder, if you love something enough, it’s worth fighting for.

Ryder knows he isn’t worthy of love, but this incredible beauty makes him want it.

Ryder can save Francesca from her secrets, but can she save him from his? Is Ryder strong enough to endure the kids she loves and her crazy Italian family?

Ten months can fly by or it can last an eternity.


Barnes and Noble:





Chapter 1

“Bad to the Bone” By George Thorogood

“The bailiff asks everyone in the courtroom to stand. The court of the Second Judicial Circuit Traffic/Criminal Division is now in session. The Honourable Judge Linda Belmore will preside.”

The judge finished walking up to her podium and took her seat. “Thank you, bailiff. I assume all parties are present and ready to hear my sentence?”

“Yes, Your Honour,” replied the Crown, Matthew Fairchild.

“Yes, Your Honour,” replied the criminal defence lawyer, James Quinn.

“Then I will proceed. Let me start by saying I have closed this court to the public for obvious reasons. The accused would usually remain standing throughout sentencing, but I am going to ask all parties to sit. I have a few things I would like to say to Mr. Vaughn.”

Ryder Vaughn looked at his lawyer in surprise as he sat. He knew his fame wouldn’t help in sentencing. He had a feeling it might work against him this time. What was the worst they could do to him? Throw him in jail for a year or two? At this point in his life, he didn’t give a fuck if they locked him up and threw away the key.

“Mr. Vaughn, you have been charged a second time within a year with racing/stunt driving and dangerous driving. One is under the traffic code section 168 racing/stunt driving, and the other is under the criminal code offence 117 of dangerous driving.

“Sir, these are serious offences, and you obviously have not learned your lesson after just acquiring your licence back three months ago. Therefore, I had to think long and hard on what type of sentencing would make an impact on you. Mr. Quinn has argued that, because of your fame, it would be unadvisable to place you in the prison system, and regrettably, I agree. However, if you don’t agree to my terms, you will in fact find yourself incarcerated.”

She busied herself with looking over papers as she continued, “Your financial situation is so immense that a substantial fine under the laws I must abide will be no punishment. Taking away your licence has no bearing—you just hire drivers. So, sir, I have a very unconventional sentence to hand down to you.” To this statement, she finally looked up at him.

“I have researched the letter of the law on this sentence, and consulted appellate court findings on the chance you could appeal my sentence. I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that it would be impossible to overturn. If you choose to go the other route, that is a criminal charge of ten years. Of course, you might get parole after serving one-third of your sentence. But with a criminal conviction, you would be unable to enter the United States ever again, which would not be good for your career or fans.

“Please keep in mind, if you choose that, I would have to place you in protective confinement because of your fame. You would only have access to the outdoors for thirty minutes a day, and no access to the gym. A third of your sentence will feel like thirty years. Or, you will take the sentence I have been working on and hopefully gain some insight.

“Mr. Vaughn, you have a blatant disregard for your life, and lack of judgment which, in turn, makes you a danger to yourself and possibly others. I came about my decision after reading the letters submitted for your character reference. The one that impacted me the most was from Sick Kids Hospital.” Now she flashed him a look that could only be described as regret or disappointment with a flicker of hope.

“I was shocked and instantly moved by the fact that you donated a million dollars a year for the last nine years of your career. Although that wasn’t what touched me the most—anyone with any wealth can donate to a hospital, if for no other reason than to get a tax break. It wasn’t until I read further and discovered that you donate your time—two weeks in the winter and summer—to teach sick children how to play the drums. I was also impressed you had a soundproof music room built for the hospital and furnished it with instruments.

“All of your donations of time, money, and equipment to the hospital has been strictly anonymous. I came to realize you have a deep connection with this hospital and its patients. I don’t know the reason, but I do applaud it. You help children you have never met, but you still have no respect for the life you were given.

“Therefore, my sentence is as follows. You are to report to Reach Within Centre for individuals with special needs for a term of ten months where you will volunteer and shadow a CYW—a child and youth worker.

“I understand you have a police check from the volunteer work at the hospital. It will start in September and will continue until June. You will not be teaching music; you will be in the classroom, working under the direction of Frankie Moratti, assisting students with life skills.

“I am very familiar with this facility and the work they do with exceptional children and adults. It’s a wonderful organization, and I believe they will teach you the value of life in every capacity.

“You will retain your anonymity since people don’t know your real name. You will work eight-thirty to three-thirty, five days a week. If you renege on this agreement, you will be incarcerated with the time you have spent deducted from your sentence and a criminal record will be instated. I will give you fifteen minutes to make your decision. Choose wisely.”

As the judge stood, the bailiff asked everyone to stand as the judge exited the courtroom.

Ryder was stunned into silence. When he regained his senses, he responded, “Can she do this to me? Can she force me to work with mental kids?”

His lawyer turned towards him. “This is very unconventional, but she has done her homework. And really, it’s not as bad as I expected. You’re the client, so the decision is yours, but I urge you to take this deal. Otherwise, you will never play another concert in the US, and you will never be able to volunteer again with a criminal charge.”

“Fuck!” Ryder couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t sure what sentence was worse. He thought he was probably as retarded as the kids. What could he possibly learn from them? Honestly, if he ever became like them, he wished someone would just put him out of his misery. Not only that, but the judge was putting him with some little, greasy Italian pussy boy. Frankie Moratti. Fucking perfect.

“Watch what you say, or you’re going to blow it before you have a chance to accept the deal,” his lawyer rebuked his outcry “Does this mean you’re going to accept it?”

“Like I have a choice.” Ten months were going to feel like a life sentence. Nevertheless, his band had a tour set for next year, and he couldn’t screw the guys out of their livelihood. “Yeah, I’ll take the sentence.”


Ryder left the courthouse and got his affairs in order. He had moved into the condo he purchased in Toronto, and had two of his cars and his favourite Harley transported to it. He might have to work in suburbia, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to hang out there afterwards. He didn’t sleep great at night and tended to hang out at strip clubs. He also didn’t cook, so he needed access to lots of restaurants.

His condo had a gym, but he needed more than the building provided, so he joined a huge gym by the centre. He could go in the morning and probably after school hours. He would need some way to excise his demons after working with mental kids all day.

He went for the touring bike, figuring he would spend his weekend cruising. This was the last weekend he had left before reporting for duty at the centre, and he was going to party hard and hopefully dull a few brain cells. He sure as hell didn’t need them.


Ryder arrived at the centre an hour early, unsure how long it would take to get to suburbia. He knew Mr. Fucking Frankie Moratti, the greasy, little Italian pussy, would be writing his hours in his bi-weekly reports for the judge until his sentence was completed. Dammit!

As he pulled up to the centre and parked in front of a room that was already occupied, he saw a flash of burgundy whip past the window. He slowly took off his helmet, leaving his sunglasses on, as he got off his bike, all while staring into the room.

There stood the most stunning little chick with gloriously long, thick burgundy hair and porcelain white skin. She was hot, and his dick acknowledged what he was seeing with a twitch. Damn, he hoped he got to see more of her around the centre. She must be the teacher in that room.

It was only seven-thirty. Christ, these nine to fivers were dedicated. With the band, he never woke up before noon.

He walked into the building, heading towards the main office. The door was locked and the lights were off, so he decided to sit on the bench outside of it and wait.

There was a window behind the bench with the blinds closed, but he knew it was part of the room that chick was in. He heard music blaring from the room, and she was singing. Well, not singing, per se. She sounded horrible. Thankfully, she was beautiful.

He could hear the female voice pounding out lyrics about not fitting in. He knew she couldn’t really feel those lyrics, because she would fit in anywhere.

Ryder was a lyrics man. He wrote a lot of lyrics for the band’s songs, and words were important to him. He didn’t speak a lot. Instead, he chose to let the lyrics do his talking. That was why he hated pop music. They just slapped words together and people bought that shit.

Holy fuck, now she was playing Bryan Adams and Barbara Streisand, singing “I Finally Found Someone.” He cringed then chuckled to himself when the beauty tried to hit the high notes. Jesus Christ, she had better keep her day job.

He was relieved when the song ended. His ears felt like they were bleeding.

He heard the door open around the corner as the beauty went barreling past him to the office door, completely oblivious to his presences, still mumbling the words to the song she had just decimated. She looked like she was on a mission as she tried to open the door, surprised when it didn’t budge.

“Oh, David, you must be out of practice after the summer. You usually open up the office before I get here,” she mumbled to herself as she turned then squealed at the sight of Ryder sitting there. “Holy moly, you scared me half to death!” She held her hand to her chest as she walked towards Ryder. “Are you waiting to get into the office? They won’t be here for half an hour or so, and the custodian obviously hasn’t opened the door yet.”

Ryder moved his glasses down his nose as he looked her up and down, blown away. This beauty had it all: whiskey coloured eyes with a ring of black lashes; flawless, smooth skin; and a full bottom lip with a delicate, thinner upper lip coated in sable coloured lipstick. He could envision them wrapped around his cock. Twitch.

She was wearing a feminine off-white jersey shirt with three quarter sleeves. Its scooped neck was tight on her bust with a satin ribbon woven tightly under her breasts. The shirt continued down and flared out to mid-thigh. Khaki green capris dressed her legs with dainty flat shoes on her feet. She also wore a chunky stone necklace in the shape of a dragonfly. She was captivating and delicate.


As Ryder pushed his glasses back up, in a deep voice laced with undertones, he said, “Sorry. I was admiring your necklace.”

“Yeah … okay. Well, the office will be opened soon,” the beauty replied rather peevishly as she quickly turned and stomped back towards her classroom.

She switched the music to some man-bashing shit, and Ryder smirked. He couldn’t think of the artist’s name, but she was the truest form of ball buster ever born. She always wrote about her on-again, off-again hubby.

Ryder respected the singer to the ninth degree. She could write a song like no other pissed off broad. Plus, she was a tad psycho, and he admired that quality equally as much. Despite that, he couldn’t help thinking he must have made the beauty angry. Not a great start to the next ten months.

“Hi, can I help you with something?” the administrator of the centre walked in after twenty minutes and greeted Ryder.

“Are you Mrs. Ramara? I’m Ryder Vaughn. You should be expecting me.”

“Oh, yes. Sorry. Welcome to Reach Within.” She stuck her hand out to shake Ryder’s. “Please follow me into my office.”

He entered her tastefully decorated office, where there was a big desk facing the door with two chairs in front of it. Off to the side, she had a smaller table with four comfortable looking chairs around it.

“Please take a seat, Mr. Vaughn. I am the administrator of the educational part of Reach Within. Today is the first day after the summer break, meaning it will be busy. I’m glad you’re here early so I can give you the rundown and our expectations of you during your stay.” She said “stay” like Ryder was on vacation, instead of the living hell that would be his existence for the next ten months.

“Mr. Vaughn, I don’t mince words, so let’s get right down to it.” Mrs. Ramara put on her serious face. “I’ve had many conversations with Judge Belmore about your situation, and I’m going out on a limb by accepting you to work with the most vulnerable sector in society. She and I are both putting a lot of trust in you, and I advise you to take it seriously.

“This centre is highly regarded, and we have an impeccable reputation to uphold. The work we do here is important, and the students have a lot to deal with. I expect your behaviour to be professional always.

“I understand you will remain anonymous, and refuse any press interviews. I’m the only one who knows your true identity and will keep your secret. But in return, you will not discuss any students outside of this facility. Confidentiality is a must, as I am sure you can understand.

“To be in this facility, the students all have to have a minimum of three disabilities, one being developmentally delayed. Most of the students are in this facility because they have severe behavioural issues, or are medically fragile and need specialized equipment. Our staff is trained in behaviour management and crisis intervention, and are very good at what they do. In fact, the teaching staff is top notch and work their tails off with very little recognition or rewards. I am telling you this because they deserve respect. They work in an extreme environment and are unfathomably dedicated to their students.

“Judge Belmore and I both decided to have you shadow and support Frankie Moratti. Frankie is dedicated, kind, and compassionate. The students love and trust her, and for good reason. I’ll let you discover that on your own.

“I spoke to Frankie last week about your situation. However, she is unaware of who you are. Frankie was more than willing to take you on and made the preparations needed. I do not want you to have any physical contact with any of the students—leave that to Frankie. You are not allowed to intervene under any circumstances. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” he replied, knowing he wouldn’t intervene if he could. He would leave that to Frankie boy.

“Good, then without further delay, I will call Frankie and introduce you. Then I’ll touch base with you later. Do you have any questions?”


“Okay, then, Mr. Vaughn. I understand this will be daunting and will be overwhelming to begin with, but I believe that, in one month, you will have a totally different outlook on this centre than you have this week.”

Mariana picked up the phone and dialed an extension. “Good morning, Frankie, and welcome back … I was wondering if you could come to my office and meet Mr. Vaughn … Great. Thank you.”

Not two minutes later, a knock came to the door.

“Frankie, I would like you to meet Mr. Vaughn.”

Ryder was still facing the desk and didn’t turn until Mariana finished her introduction. Then he stood and turned, hoping his height and size would intimidate the little pussy boy.

He nearly toppled over the chair when he came face-to-face with the beauty he had just pissed off. He must have looked like a moron with the shock on his face as he stuck out his hand.

“Ryder. Ryder Vaughn. Pleasure to meet you, Frankie …?”

She extended her hand with a chuckle, and his engulfed hers.

She could read his face. He thought he would be working with a man, one he hoped to intimidate with his bulk. He had met his match, because she might be small, but she could kick ass with the best of them. She had two brothers and could hold her own.

“It’s actually Francesca. One of my students overheard my brother call me Frankie, and it kinda stuck. Pleasure to meet you. Follow me, and I’ll get you settled.”

Ryder followed the beauty back to her classroom, feeling like he was in deep shit. He couldn’t take his eyes off the sway of her beautiful, curvy hips and ass. Twitch. He had extreme control, but she had splintered his reserve. How was he ever going to work with this beauty? Jail might have been a much better choice.

She could feel his glare on her back, thinking he wasn’t happy having to follow a woman around.

“This will be yours,” she said as she stopped at a locker. “You have a one-digit lock. The combination is thirteen. If you can’t remember it, let me know, and I will remind you.” She raised an arched brow.

The way her eyebrows curved over her eyes made them look like angel wings. Shit. Francesca was going to make him pay for giving her the once over. Well, game on, sweetheart. Give it your best.

He lifted a corner of his mouth into a semi-lopsided grin, not a smile. He never smiled. “Got it.”

Wow, a man of many words. Not. Perfect, she could deal with that. Her focus was for the kids, not this beast.

Francesca’s smile grew as the nickname she had just branded him with settled into her bones.

He was a very imposing man, standing closer to heaven than anyone she had ever met. He had to be six and half feet easily, and he was freaking massive. Her mom would have said he was built like a brick shit house.

His arms were huge, probably the size of her thighs. He had longish, brown, curly hair with natural gorgeous auburn highlights. His thick eyebrows were arched in way that made him look malicious, the right one having a scar through it. She was sure there was a story there.

His eyes were so dark brown they looked almost black, and they were extremely intense. His skin tone was a dark olive tone, with tattoos peeking under the sleeve of his shirt and one crawling up his neck. He had a goatee that was light brown, and a shadow of whiskers from his goatee along his jaw. Holy smokes, he was good-looking in a rough sort of way.

He reminded her of that actor, Jason Momoa, eyebrows and all. Sweet, now that would screw with her mind.

She looked up, way up, to see him with that lopsided semi-grin. He knew she was giving him the once over.

She blushed from her chest to the edge of her hairline.


“Just thinking it would probably take me a few more seconds than I originally thought to take you out at the knees,” she answered quickly and without much thought, knowing she was being equally as rude as he had been.

The intense moment was broken by his cackle.

“Give it your best shot.”

Goddamn, she had balls bigger than most guys he knew, and a sense of humour to boot.

“Follow me into our class so I can give you the rundown on the teachers and students.” She buzzed them in then went to the computer to turn down the man-bashing music. Then she grabbed some papers and sat down at a round table before the door even closed. She moved around like a bee on crack.

She got right down to business, looking at her papers. “Okay, Mr. Vaughn, Mariana and I formulated a cover to explain your presence at the centre. We decided to tell people you’re here from California because you’ve been asked to create a similar facility in your city.”


She lifted her eyes to his, then quickly moved them back to her papers. “Excuse me?”

“My name is Ryder, not Mr. Vaughn.”

“Okay, good. Because, unlike other places, we don’t insist on the students calling us by our surnames. We are much more relaxed than the school boards.

“Julianna Kerr is the teacher in this room,” she continued. “She’s responsible for the curriculum, while we, the CYWs—a child and youth workers—and teaching assistants, adapt it to the students’ individual needs. She is fabulous; you’ll like her. We have five students.”

She then went on to tell him about the other two CYWs and explained all about the students and their different diagnoses. She reiterated that, regardless of what the kids did, he was not to step in. He started getting uncomfortable with all the talk of this “hands-off policy.” Really, how much damage could a head case do?

The three remaining staff members eventually entered the room. Francesca greeted them all with hugs, and then introduced Ryder to Julianna first. She was friendly, average height, a bubbly woman with strawberry blonde hair. Layla was a tall, attractive black woman with a beautiful big smile and welcoming personality. Amanda was Southern European with olive skin. She made no bones about telling Ryder how delicious he looked.

He hated forward woman like her. She thought she was all that and more—cocky and blatant. After all the lectures he had received in the last hour, he was surprised by her unprofessionalism.

“Okay, people, the busses are here,” Julianna announced. “Let’s get this party started. Francesca, you get Mason. And just to warn you, his group home emailed and said he went off the rails on Saturday. They figure it’s anxiety about a new year starting.”

“Understood. Anyone hurt?” Francesca asked.

“Nope, but about seven thousand in damages. Feel out his demeanour and let me know.”

“ ’Kay, will do. Let’s roll.” Francesca gave Ryder a wave to follow her. “Just follow my lead, and I’ll introduce you once I know his anxiety level.” She buzzed to the busses just as quickly as before. Even with his long legs, he had trouble keeping up, meandering around all the staff and students.

He watched the seventeen-year-old kid who looked normal to him step off a bus, looking totally pissed off at the world until he spotted Francesca.

Mason was lanky, about five-nine; four-inches taller than Francesca. He had long, straight black hair with long bangs that he had to keep throwing his head back to move from his eyes..

“Hey, Mason. What’s shaken, my friend?” Francesca greeted him like a long-lost friend, giving him a high-five.

“Lookin’ smokin’ hot, Frankie. Did you miss me?” He smiled at her with worship in his eyes.

“Always miss you, buddy. But let’s not start with the inappropriate comments already, okay?” She gave him a big smile so it would seem like she wasn’t reprimanding him. Smart girl. However, her remark had instantly pissed him off.

“Whatever,” he retorted.

She didn’t let him withdraw as she linked her arm with his. “Did you have a good summer?”

“Yeah, same shit as always … like being in prison,” the kid answered as they walked into the centre with many of the staff welcoming him back, which he ignored.

The kid didn’t look like he had any issues, except a bad attitude, which Francesca had warned Ryder about, saying his behaviour was unpredictable. She had also told Ryder that he had been a crack baby and had Shaken Baby Syndrome. Thus, he was developmentally delayed and had a seizure disorder.

Francesca got Mason into the classroom where he grunted his hello to the teacher, then took his handheld game console out of his knapsack and started to play, ignoring everyone around him.

Francesca turned to Julianna and flashed eight fingers. Julianna nodded and headed out to warn the rest of the team that he could blow this morning.

“Frankie, who’s the wrestler? New staff or a bodyguard? If you think he scares me, you’re fucked,” Mason said without lifting his head.

Ryder couldn’t control his reaction, growling at the disrespect Mason was dishing out, “Her name is Francesca.”

Francesca’s eyes flew to Ryder’s with a scowl of her own as she shook her head no then gave him a chin lift to indicate he should move away.

“Mason, language, buddy. And yes, he is a staff member, but he isn’t teaching. He wants to build a centre like this in California, so he is here to learn from us.”

Mason still didn’t lift his head as he ground out, “They don’t have any school for crazy freaks like us in California?”

She ignored his dig. “Mason, this is Ryder. Please put your game down for minute and say hello.”

He ignored her, not acknowledging the comment about his game. Then, after about three minutes, he said, “What kind of stupid name is that, Ryder? Your mom must have been a junkie like mine.”

Ryder’s spine stiffened. This kid was a punk who was jealous of any male in Frankie’s vicinity.

“Come on, Mason; let’s turn this around. Don’t ruin our first day back together. I missed you, and I want to hear all about your summer. Now say hi to Ryder, and let’s start over, okay?” She moved over and rubbed her hand up and down his back in comfort.

When he lifted his eyes to hers, that worshipping look was back. He looked starved for her attention.

He turned to Ryder. “Hey.”

“Hey,” Ryder responded, figuring if Mason could move on, then so could he.

Francesca had said at least a dozen times this morning not to take anything personally. Therefore, he wouldn’t. Still, he didn’t like this kid, not at all. Francesca had said she loved him. He wasn’t sure how she could, or why.

Julianna looked at Francesca, and Francesca smiled. Their silent language inferred that Mason had been defused.

The door opened, and four more students walked in with the rest of the staff. They definitely looked challenged to Ryder.

A blond, curly-haired kid ran in the room and threw his arms around Francesca. “Give me some tongue, Frankie.” He tried with all his might to get his tongue near Francesca’s mouth.

Frankie laughed as she pulled him off. “Theo, let me look at you. How are you? How was your summer?”

“Give me some tongue, and I’ll tell you.”

“No. Nice try. How many other people did you try to tongue on your way in?”

Theo grinned from ear-to-ear. “Everyone. But I like your mouth the best.” He licked his lips.

“I bet you say that to all the girls.” She turned towards Ryder. “Theo, this is Ryder. Say hello and shake his hand.”

Ryder backed away, nervous the scrawny, little boy would try to tongue him. Gross.

“Fornication with elation, Ry Herr!” Theo said as he held out his fist for a bump.

Ryder was dumbstruck. The fucking kid knew his band’s name was Fornication, and his stage name was Ry Herr? Fuck!

He fist-pumped the kid and waited for the backlash. But Theo just turned away like he didn’t have a clue, on to better things, like trying to tongue every chick in the room.

“Sorry, Ryder. He says random stuff like that all the time,” Julianna told him.

Ryder just nodded, relief sweeping through him. They didn’t know the kid had him pegged.

He was introduced to the other three kids. Veeta was an Indian girl who walked with canes due to a severe limp, and she had a slurred language he couldn’t understand, yet everyone else seemed to. Katrina was a pretty, little redheaded thing, who didn’t even acknowledge his existence. And lastly, Taz, who walked in holding his ears, humming loudly.

Fuck. If he wasn’t crazy now, he sure as hell would be by the end of his sentence.

At the end of the day, Ryder was so mentally exhausted he couldn’t even go to the gym. First thing he did when he got home was grab a beer and turn on his music. “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood blared out of his speakers.

Since the day he heard the song, he thought it best described him. Great lyrics. But those kids gave it new meaning.


Author Info:

Anne Marie Citro grew born and raised in the greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a large, loving family. Anne Marie is married to a very patient man. He is the love of her life. They have four very cool sons, and the girls they brought into their family that have become daughters of her heart. She has been blessed enough to finally have a beautiful granddaughter after four sons. She has her own personal gaggle of girlfriends, who enrich her life on a daily basis and make her laugh. Caesar Friday is her favourite day of the week. Caesars with the girls and date night with her hubby. She works with special-needs teenagers, that have taught her how to appreciate life and see it through gentler eyes. Anne Marie was encouraged by her husband to follow her life long dream to write. She loves the characters that take over imagination and haunts her dreams. She loves the arts and she has tried her hand at painting, wood sculpting, chainsaw carving, wood burning, metal and wire sculptures. Yes, her husband is a very patient man! Anne Marie is an avid reader and enjoys about three books per week. But nothing makes her happier then riding on the back of her husband’s Harley and throwing her arms out and feeling the wind race by. Anne Marie and her husband take a few weeks every year to travel to spectacular destination around the world. Anne Marie is excited and can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for her life.and enjoys about three books per week.



Twitter: @AnneMarieCitro




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Spotlight – Hot Addiction


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Have I got something ah-mazing for you today.  If you like military ops/suspense romances, Lynn Raye Harris is a must read!  I’m so thrilled that we’ve got the first look at her newest Hostile Operations Team (HOT … of course) book.  Come check out Dex with me!



Five years ago…

Dexter Davidson checked his watch for the thousandth time that morning. It was nearing noon and his bride-to-be was over an hour late. His father stood in the chancel, his rented tuxedo making him appear distinguished and genteel rather than rough and worn like the farmer he was. But the look on his face was what killed Dex the most. It was one of pity and a growing resignation.

“Fuck this,” Dex growled as he clenched his jaw tight and walked down the aisle, between the rows of pews where the guests waited for the ceremony to start. The chapel doors were open to the outside because it was springtime and warm. But it was also raining. A soft, gentle rain, but rain nonetheless.

Perhaps the rain had caused a delay. Dex stood in the open door and took his phone from his pocket. Annabelle still hadn’t answered his texts. He sent another one, just in case, and felt his heart shrivel just a little bit more when no answer came.

He tried calling but it went to voicemail without even ringing. “Belle,” he said, his throat tight and his eyes stinging, “where are you, baby? I’m worried. Please let me know you’re safe. If you’ve changed your mind, it’s okay. Just let me know.”

It wasn’t okay if she’d changed her mind, but what else could he say? Annabelle Quinn had been his girl for the past four years. He’d fallen madly in love with her in an instant. He’d known her most of his life, had ignored her for much of it because she was his little sister’s best friend, but one day, pow!, she’d smiled at him the way she had a million times before—and he was done for. He’d been hers from that moment forward.

And now they were supposed to be getting married. He’d come home on leave from the Army at Christmas and asked her to marry him. She’d said yes. She and his sister had planned everything while he went back to Afghanistan and did his best to stay alive. He didn’t know how long he stood there before he felt a presence beside him.

“I’m sorry, Dex.” Katie put a hand on his arm. “She’s not coming.”


Author Info:

Lynn Raye Harris is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the HOSTILE OPERATIONS TEAM SERIES of military romances as well as 20 books for Harlequin Presents. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband, two crazy cats, and one spoiled American Saddlebred horse. Lynn’s books have been called “exceptional and emotional,” “intense,” and “sizzling.” Lynn’s books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

You can learn more at her website,, or come and visit her at her Facebook page: Lynn loves hearing from her readers! To sign up for Lynn’s newsletter–where you’ll be kept up to date about all of Lynn’s books–text the word HOTTIES to 66866 or go to

Author Links:



Twitter: | @LynnRayeHarris









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Book Review – The Heart


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Sexy hero hockey player … not a bad way to head into Monday!


The Heart

Ice Dragons Series

by RJ Scott


The team captain and the rookie firefighter never meant to fall in love; but they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect what they have.

Alex Simard, captain of the Ice Dragons hockey team, didn’t intend on rescuing a baby from a burning car. Doing what anyone else would’ve done doesn’t make him a hero. Add the press hounding him, to on-ice injury, warring Russians, and the season from hell, and he’s losing focus. Getting his team to the Stanley Cup is his priority; falling in love isn’t even a footnote on his to-do list.

Jo Glievens, rookie firefighter, never meant to fall in love with a hockey player. Her career is everything to her and right now she doesn’t want to add a man to her life. She has a plan and is sticking to it. But someone is out there planting bombs, destroying lives, and she has to make choices when this criminal’s actions hit way too close to home.

The Heart (Book #2) – Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Code (Book #1) – Amazon US | Amazon UK



Jo walked in on a team meeting.

Not her team; not the big burly firefighters that formed her life and mostly sat around looking all kinds of badass whenever they had a meeting.

Nope, it was the key members of the Ice Dragons hockey team that had congregated in her friend Kat’s living room. Of course, it was also Ryan’s living room given Kat and Ryan were recently engaged, and it was their new house. Hence why Ryan would be there.

“Excuse the noise, we’ll study upstairs again where it’s quiet,” Kat said.

“It’s a team meeting then?”

“Less meeting, more smack-down and telling Alex like it is. Poor guy can’t stay at his own place because of all the media attention, so he’s staying here, but he’s pissed and probably scared of being off-ice for far too long.”

“It’s fine,” she said, although she wasn’t exactly concentrating on what Kat said, so had missed most of it.

And all because, from there she could see the center of attention, one Alexandre Simard, or Simba as his teammates liked to call him. She only knew that Simba was his nickname because he’d done those ridiculous car sales ads for a local Toyota dealership a couple years back. They’d made this whole thing about his blond hair, and his name, likening him to a lion based on his hockey nickname.

She’d seen the ads so many times she could almost recite them from memory; too much down time at the firehouse between calls.

Of course, his face had been fixed firmly in her mind after she and Mitch had been the ones who dragged his trapped and heavy ass out of that car, the flames burning through his jacket and the jersey beneath. He’d been the one who looked up at her and asked, not about himself, but about the baby.

The damned man had crawled back into the burning car for the dad. He could have died. Jo had been furious at his actions; the last thing professionals needed were civilians getting involved, but when the action of the call had faded she’d thought past the rookie checklist for civilian interaction on scenes. Instead, she’d gone from seeing him as a man who’d helped to sell cars, played a game for a living, to a man who risked his own life for a child and father.

With no thought for his own safety.

He was pretty much a local hero if you listened to the news, a tall, gorgeous, blond-haired, blue-eyed hero. Could the guy be any more of a cliché? And why did he have to look so sexy and handsome, even when he was angry?

“They’re all mad,” Lieutenant Dennison had said when they were working on getting the car clear. “Hockey players, all mad,” he elaborated when she’d stared at him not really understanding at first.

Seems like they weren’t just mad for putting themselves in danger, but they were mad-angry as well. So, it wasn’t so much a meeting she’d been warned was happening at the same time as her study session, as much as a heated debate.

There was some language she didn’t understand, although it was deep and guttural and likely Russian, and then one hell of a lot of cursing. She caught some of it, a shouting match over ice time and why couldn’t their fucking captain understand the concept of fucking rest.

She didn’t watch hockey that much, sometimes caught highlights on shift down time, but being the probie at the firehouse kept her busy. That would all be ending soon when she passed probation and her exams, but for now, it sucked. She kind of wanted to watch hockey, the way that her fellow officers and the paramedics talked about it, the game was fast and changed on a dime. Burlington had an expansion team, or so she’d read in the paper that morning. In fact, she’d learned a lot about hockey the past few days. Ever since the accident actually, because the articles on it were everywhere.

To be fair, every article she’d read about the Dragons’ captain and him risking his life had begun with the words Alexandre ‘Simba’ Simard, Captain of The Dragons, the NHL’s newest expansion team…she’d looked it up, knew what expansion meant, that it was a new team, only five or so years old, and that this year they’d started strong before setbacks had them trailing in the rankings.

Not to mention they’d lost their captain for at least four weeks. Maybe six. One writer pointed out the team didn’t have the chance to label it as a generic upper body injury, meaning other teams wouldn’t know the captain’s vulnerabilities. Nope, there were pictures and news reports of burns and a fractured radius.

According to news reports, the team losing their captain was vital, and Jo could understand that. Captains were key pieces in their teams, the leader, the one that everyone looked up to. He was also a real American hero, or at least that is what the news was painting him as. Without thought for his own safety, he’d rescued a father and baby from their car only seconds before the fire spread.

Brave. Not everyone was a firefighter like her, not everyone would have risked their own life to rescue others. Not everyone was trained like her. Brave, stupid, they were different sides of the same coin.

She glanced into the main seating area, the one with the views out over Burlington, in the beautiful place that Kat and her fiancé had bought. They’d only just moved in, but this was the third time Jo had visited. The view included shouting, sexy, angry hockey players; men who were clearly pissed at something.

“You’re not coming back early,” one strong, steady voice said, and Jo recognized Ryan, Kat’s other half, as the owner of the voice.

“Fuck you, Flynn,” the captain snapped.

“This is not up for discussion, you hard headed idiot,” Ryan shouted louder. Seemed it was that kind of meeting where each person shouted louder than the last just to be heard.

She counted it as a win that they hadn’t spotted her; there was something compelling about being able to see them in person. Kat was watching with amusement on her face. Of course, her fiancé was one of them, and she probably knew more about the whole thing than Jo ever would.



I’ve read quite a few of Scott’s books and somehow she surprises me every time.  They don’t only have new characters but they each have their own feel as well.  With The Heart we spend quite a bit of time learning about Alex and Jo individually as well as seeing themgure things out as a couple.  And because of that it feels a bit more like a character piece than your typical romance.

Alex is doing a lot of juggling between his duties as coach (and friend). trying to figure out his new relationship with Jo, and the aftermath of the accident.  Jo is also working out things with Alex, as well as being a probie firefighter and some family issues with her dad’s recent death.

It makes it all so real because that’s the way normal people deal with falling in love.  Not only do you have the new person and all the feels that go with that, but you also have your normal everyday life and the responsibilities that go with it.  Scott keeps it going together smoothly with interesting characters, engaging writing and just enough drama to keep you on your toes.


Author Info:

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.



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Tour Info:

March 29 – Foxylutely BooksArchaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books

April 7 – Nicole’s Books MusingsMaking It Happen

April 10 – A Page To Turn ReviewsBooks Lovers Reviews & RecommendationsWicked Faerie’s Tales & ReviewsRomantic Reads and Such

April 12 – Wicked Reads

April 14 – Xtreme Delusions

April 17 – Lustful Literature

Book Review – Crazy for You


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I’m so happy to have Rachel Lacey here to answer a couple of questions before giving us a look at her newest book!


What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I loved writing all the fun, adventurous things Ryan and Emma did together in CRAZY FOR YOU – rock climbing, cliff jumping, motorcycle rides, etc. They were so much fun to write, and it was the perfect balance to some of the heavier themes in the book. These two characters really bring out the best in each other, constantly pushing each other out of their comfort zones.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Dream On by Aerosmith – “Dream until your dreams come true!”

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

Chapstick! I have a weird obsession with it.

A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.

Contemporary Romance Author. Wife. Mother. Animal Lover & Rescue Advocate. Hufflepuff. Powered by wine, chocolate, and books!

If you could have dinner with any three authors (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

First, JK Rowling because she is a literary genius and a fierce feminist, and I’d love to chat with her about anything and everything. Next, Mary Higgins Clark because she was my very first “favorite author,” and I’d love to thank her for that. And of course Nora Roberts because she is my hero and gives great advice. All three of these ladies have inspired me so much, and I would love to just soak up all the knowledge they could impart.

What are your favorite types of stories to read?

My favorite books make me laugh *and* cry. I want ALL THE FEELS while I’m reading!


Crazy for You

Risking It All #2

by Rachel Lacey

Releasing: March 28, 2017



“Rachel Lacey is a sure-fire star.” — Lori Wilde, New York Times bestselling author


Emma Rush can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a thing for Ryan Blake. Haven’s resident bad boy is just so freakin’ hot-with tattoos, a motorcycle, and enough rough-around-the-edges sexiness to melt all her self-control. Now that Emma’s over being a “good girl,” she needs a little help being naughty . . . and she knows just where to start.

Before Emma’s brother enlisted in the military, he made Ryan promise that he would protect her from everything–including himself. When her brother doesn’t come home, Ryan needs to turn his screwed-up life around to honor his pledge. But he knows he’s still not the right kind of guy for someone as sweet as Emma. Only he can’t stop wanting to be with her. Wanting her. Falling in love with a good girl may be the craziest risk this bad boy can take . . .

Goodreads Link:

Goodreads Series Link

Buy Links:      AMAZON | B & N | GOOGLE | ITUNES | KOBO



Whoa. Emma closed her eyes and let out a shriek as Ryan guided the motorcycle onto Main Street and picked up speed. The cold wind whipped her face, taking her breath away. Beneath her, the engine rumbled and roared like a wild thing. Holy sh*t. She was on the back of Ryan Blake’s bike, and it was amazing.

The wind bit through her thin, knit gloves, hitting her fingers with an icy blast. Actually, every part of her was freezing, but she didn’t care. She wrapped her arms more firmly around Ryan’s waist, anchoring herself to him so she didn’t tumble off the back of the bike, and somehow her hands slipped beneath his jacket. Ahh. That was better. Toasty warm, and also…her hands were on his T-shirt. Even through her gloves, she felt the hard contour of his abs, and nope, she wasn’t cold now.

And this was absolutely freaking amazing.

She hung on tight as he guided them over Haven’s twisting mountain roads, deserted at this hour. Overhead the moon shone like a beacon, illuminating the night in its soft, silvery glow. The roar of the engine and the slap of the wind against her face shocked her senses. It was thrilling, invigorating, so completely different from riding inside a car.

She’d never have done this if Mandy hadn’t dared her, and now she felt like her eyes were open for the first time in years. This was what she needed. Somewhere along the way, as she sat at the bar talking to Ryan, she’d realized she was having fun, really having fun. And she wanted more. She wanted it all, every last wild and crazy fantasy.

All too soon, her building came into view. Ryan cut the engine and guided them quietly into the driveway, coming to a stop behind her silver Toyota RAV4. He turned his head to look at her, so sexy in his helmet and riding glasses. “So how was it?”

“Even better than I thought it would be.” She gulped for air. His lips were way too close to hers, and she was still a little bit drunk on beer and a whole lot drunk on her first motorcycle ride. Mandy’s words echoed in her ears. Bonus points if you kiss him. Just stand up a bit, lean over his shoulder, and…

Emma leaned forward, her chest sliding up his back as she tipped her face to his. Holy hell, she had completely lost her mind, but she was going for it. Every nerve in her body went haywire.

Clunk. Her helmet smacked into his, drawing her up an inch short of his lips.



Crazy for You has so many things I just love – friends-to-lovers, best friend’s sister, good girl/bad boy … that’s just a start  🙂  We’ve already seen the first book in this series, Run to You (and I’ll have a review up for it soon!) and Lacey just keeps getting better with this trio of troubled heroes!

Emma and Ryan are so adorable together.  Even while they spend a good part of the book trying to convince themselves that their friends-with-benefits relationship hasn’t turned into something more!  Years of knowing one another, plus the bond of losing their families at a young age, give them a special understanding of each other.  And it’s so delightful to see Ryan help step out of her comfort zone while she helps keep him guessing on where they’ll go next.

While the trouble that comes to this relationship isn’t surprising, it’s the falling in love part that will capture readers’ hearts.  Lacey does an amazing job of keeping the characters’ interactions fun and the feels coming from the beginning all the way to the wonderfully delightful epilogue.


Author Info:

Rachel Lacey is a contemporary romance author and semi-reformed travel junkie. She’s been climbed by a monkey on a mountain in Japan, gone scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and camped out overnight in New York City for a chance to be an extra in a movie. These days, the majority of her adventures take place on the pages of the books she writes. She lives in warm and sunny North Carolina with her husband, son, and a variety of rescue pets.




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