Sara Humphreys Blitz Day 3: Trouble Walks In – Review & Excerpt

Untitled

9781402293702-m

Trouble Walks In by Sara Humphreys is the second book in her McGuire series and this book is packed with mystery, romance and lots of chemistry. If you are a reader who is drawn to a book by it’s cover, then this is your lucky day. I love this cover.

Ronan McGuire a NYC cop with the K-9 division and works hard to protect both the citizens of his town and his friends. Will work prevent him from finding his own happy ending? With his brothers impending nuptials will everything fall into place? A family man and a man dedicated to protecting the community is a hero we all want to be with.

Maddy Morgan was involved with a man who worked with Ronan’s brother and his death affected her deeply. It’s been a while since she’s allowed herself the chance to open up and be with aother man.

Working in NYC is supposed to be an adventure and filled with fun filled days. So when Maddy’s world takes an odd turn and women she’s acquainted with are being murdered everything changes.

Suddenly Ronan is there to help make sure she stays safe. The heart never forgets and when these two are together again will things turn out differently? With all the chaos surrounding her world, can Ronan protect her?

We desperately want these two to find their happy-ever-after and know that it’s a matter of time before they can trust each other.  Two strong and bold characters will face a few obstacles before they can figure out what their story has in store for them.

Sara has once again created a world of second chances, duty and honor. The McGuire that we’ve met so far are strong and intense men who will stop at nothing to protect the woman they love.

Discover for yourself how sexy a NYC cop is, especially one with a cute furry partner. This two peppers spicy latte hot 2 Jalepenosdelight has just enough sizzle to make you tingle and a lot of action! Oh, and yes, it’s for  mature readers 18+.

While this is part of a series it can be read as a standalone. I received this ARC from the publisher for a fair and honest review. I wanted to read this book before I saw the cover and am happy the publisher sent it my way. I look forward to finding out who is next in the story line-up.

Thank you Sara for a fun filled few days with me on the blog!

Check it out with this Excerpt:
CHAPTER 1

“I told you that I’d be there, and I meant it.” Maddy Morgan pressed the iPhone harder against her ear. She was attempting to block out the sounds beyond her office door while her best friend pestered her to within an inch of her life. “I’m your maid of honor, for heaven’s sake. What? You think I’m gonna bail after everything you and Gavin have been through? Hell no!”

“Okay, well, you can’t blame me for double-checking, can you?” Jordan hesitated, her voice concerned. “We’ve hardly spoken. I mean, you haven’t been home since… It’s been over a year and…”

Maddy stared out the window that overlooked the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and sucked in a deep breath, her friend’s unfinished thought hanging in the air. She nibbled her lower lip and fought the sudden, unexpected swell of emotion. It had been fifteen months since Rick died and a full year since she had been back to the town she’d always called home.

At least, she had until recently.

“I know,” Maddy said quietly.

She swallowed the lump in her throat and refused to cry. She’d cried enough at Rick’s funeral and during the weeks following. No more tears. If Rick were here, he would tell her to put on her big girl panties and get on with life.

“I’m not missing your wedding,” she said firmly. “Jeez, Jordan. You and Gavin have waited sixteen years to finally get hitched. Hell, you two would have gotten married last Christmas if it weren’t for me.”

“That’s not true,” Jordan said firmly.

“Bull.” Maddy laughed.

“Okay, well, it wasn’t the only reason.” Jordan replied. “Gavin’s parents wanted to throw us a huge Christmas wedding, and four months wouldn’t have been enough time to pull it all together. Deciding to wait a year has been a win-win. My future mother-in-law had plenty of time to do her thing, and we all had time to properly grieve for Rick. But I’m still worried about you…”

“I’m fine, Jordan, and I promise… I’m gonna be there to witness your dream coming true.”

“Okay, but—”

“No buts.”

“Yo, Maddy.” The increasingly irritating voice of Chris Drummond shot into the room as he barged in. “That blond, the Brenda chick—are you gonna to take her out to an open house this weekend, or should I? And what about those newlyweds? I know you’ve been slammed. I could take them out to see the new listings, if you want.”

“Hang on, Jordan,” Maddy said tightly.

She covered the phone with her hand and leveled an irritated gaze at her colleague. She knew that Terrence, the owner of the realty agency, had hired Drummond because he had an amazing reputation for selling and one of the best portfolios in the business, but he was a letch. A letch that thought anyone with boobs wanted him. Maddy had learned a long time ago that big talent usually meant even bigger egos.

Unfortunately, this talent was also turning out to be an asshole. She had already reported him once to Terrence for inappropriate advances on the young women in the office. Big talent or not, he was making her tired of him and his misogynistic bullshit. And lately, there had been attempts to steal her clients.

“Did you happen to notice that my door was closed?”

“Yeah.” He leaned in the doorway with his usual casual arrogance. Tall, slim, well dressed, and always perfectly coiffed, he was considered good-looking by most. But the air of entitlement he wore like a cloak was a turnoff as far as Maddy was concerned. Besides, she would never date a colleague.

“I’m on a call.”

“Right.” He jutted his thumb over his shoulder. “Anyway, should I take that Brenda chick out and, uh, show her the ropes? We could take the newlyweds, the, uh…”

“The Bartholemews,” Maddy finished for him. “No, I can handle my client list. Thank you.”

“Fine, then let me take Brenda out.”

The smarmy smile on his face gave Maddy pause. He’d been hitting on the assistants, who were savvy New Yorkers and more than capable of handling themselves, but now he was moving on to the young real estate agent. Brenda was a recent college grad from the Midwest. She was pretty, smart, and naive.

A prime target for a guy like Drummond.

“No,” Maddy said firmly. “Terrence asked me to handle her training. Thank you, and please close the door on your way out.”

His smile faded, and a hard, cold look settled in his eyes. Maddy had moved up the ranks quickly since joining Cosmopolitan Realty House, and her rise hadn’t gone unnoticed by Drummond. He hated not being number one, but she suspected that being second to a woman was a bigger insult.

“Sure thing,” he murmured.

Drummond left but neglected to shut the door. Maddy crossed the room, pausing only to tell Sharon, her assistant, to hold her other calls before she closed her door once more.

“Sorry about that, Jordan.” She caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window and grimaced before running one hand through her unruly brown curls. “I’m coming into town a week before the wedding so I can help you with whatever you need. Y’know, all that bridesmaid stuff. I mean, I’m not a real girlie girl, but it’ll be fun to hang out. And tell Gavin he better not try to horn in on our girls’ night out. It might only be the two of us, but there’s a no-boys-allowed rule in effect for that event.”

“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Jordan said through a chuckle. “All four of his brothers are coming in early as well. From what I hear, Ronan has quite the bachelor party planned. Speaking of Ronan, why don’t you two ride back to Old Brookfield together? I mean, you’re both in the city, and he is the best man.”

“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. I’ll take my own car, thank you very much. I’m staying at the Old Brookfield Inn, and Ronan will be at his parents’ house, obviously.” Maddy’s eyes narrowed, and the smile on her face grew. “Your matchmaking scheme hasn’t worked, Jordan. But I’ll give you and Gavin an A for effort.”

“What are you talking about?” Jordan asked with feigned innocence. “When you moved to the city last year, Gavin merely suggested that Ronan should look out for you. He’s been a cop there for over a decade. Besides, I heard through the McGuire brother grapevine that you two have been going running on the weekends, so Ronan can’t be all bad.”

Nope. –That was half the problem. He was exactly the right kind of bad.

They had gone jogging in Central Park almost every weekend for the past several months, but Maddy had made it clear from the start: she wasn’t interested in dating. Not him, nor anyone else. Friends? Sure. Romance? No way.

Her heart couldn’t take another turn through the shredder. Dating a cop, just because he also happened to be one of the sexiest men God ever put on this earth, would not be a smart move.

Besides, Ronan had a reputation as a total ladies’ man.

Not that she could blame any woman for taking a ride on that handsome train. When he flashed that lopsided grin and his bluish-green eyes crinkled at the corners, it took superwoman strength for Maddy not to drop her panties. He was a combination of mischievous little boy and irresistible alpha male—a deadly pairing.

Ronan McGuire was wickedly sexy. The worst part was that he knew it.

“Well, yeah,” Maddy said quickly. She sat at her desk and spun the chair to face the window so she could see the rest of the world. Living and working in this city made her feel like a rat in a cage sometimes. “Running around, getting sweaty, and panting in the cold is not exactly dating, Jordan.”

“Sweaty and panting sounds promising,” Jordan teased.

Maddy’s face flushed. “That’s not what I meant.” She quickly added, “I was talking about Bowser.”

“Sure,” her friend said slowly. “Sure you were.”

“You know Ronan doesn’t go anywhere without that dog. Speaking of which, are you prepared to have a drooling animal at your wedding?”

“Oh fine, change the subject.” Jordan sighed. “Any chance I can talk you into coming for Thanksgiving?”

“Sorry, babe. I’m slammed.”

“Then how about staying for Christmas? The wedding is on the twenty-third. Come on. Please? The girls would love it,” she said, referring to her two adorable daughters. “You’re going to be here for a week, so what’s a couple more days? You said they were closing your office between Christmas and New Year’s anyway.”

Maddy had never been part of big family holidays, and that had been fine with her, but the pleading tone in Jordan’s voice was starting to make her rethink her decision.

“You know the holidays were never a big deal for me, Jordan. My mom hated celebrating them after my dad died, and then once she was gone, I didn’t really want to. And besides,” she added quickly, “Rick and I never even got a tree or anything. He was always working, and so was I.”

“I know, but I hate to think of you alone in that big city on Christmas. Again. It’s bad enough you wouldn’t come last year. Please think about it?”

“I’m hosting a huge New Year’s Eve party for my clients—it’s at my apartment.”

“You could leave on the twenty-sixth and still be back in plenty of time to be party ready,” Jordan persisted. “I’m sorry, but I’ll have to call bullshit on that excuse. You and I both know your assistant already has the whole shindig tied up and ready to go.”

Jordan was right. The party was a lame reason not to spend the holiday with them. Besides, it was all being catered, and the invitations had been sent. What did Maddy really have to do other than show up and schmooze? And what was here for her on Christmas? She didn’t even have a cat or a fish to feed.

Ugh. She felt more pathetic by the second.

“Okay,” Maddy said with a dramatic sigh. “I’ll think about it. Jeez, when did you become such a nudge?”

“Since I had two children and learned that being a nudge can sometimes be quite effective.”

A knock on Maddy’s door sent a flicker of irritation up her back. But when she spun around, Sharon’s tearstained face stopped her cold.

“Girl, I have to go.” A knot of dread curled in her gut. “I’ll see you in a few weeks. Give Gracie and Lilly a kiss from Aunt Maddy.”

Maddy hit End and set the phone on her desk. Her legs felt like Jell-O as she rose to her feet. Sharon was still weeping while she closed the door behind her, and before it shut, Maddy saw two of the other agents in the office crying.

“Sharon, what is it?”

“Th-they found her.”

“Who?” Maddy asked shakily, her fingertips pressing into the mahogany desk. But she knew the answer before Sharon said it.

“Lucille Bowman.” The young woman swiped at her eyes and let out a shuddering sob. “She’s dead.”

***

(Excerpt posted with permission by Sara Humphreys)

Pre-order your copy here:

Trouble Walks In (The McGuire Brothers)

 

ICYMI: Blitz Day 1
ICYMI: Blitz Day 2

Happy Reading!

BIO:

13256138_10154381558225628_7265465400019627073_n

Sara Humphreys is the award winning author of the Amoveo Legend series. The third book in the series, UNTAMED, won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. The first two novels from her Dead in the City series have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award. Sara was also a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.

She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook.

For a full list of Sara’s books and reading order, please visit her website.

Sara Humphreys Blitz: Day 2 Brave the Heat – Review & 8 Tantalizing Tidbits!

 UntitledBraveTheHeat_FinalREDO copy
Brave the Heat (The McGuire Brothers Book 1) by Sara Humphreys is a contemporary romance about second chances and not giving up on your dreams. From the smoking hot revamped cover (thank you Sourcebooks!) to the fast paced story this book is a great way to spend an afternoon by the pool.

Jordan McKenna hasn’t been home in years and the reasons surrounding her sudden departure are still unclear. When she finally returns to town there are questions and more mystery.

Gavin McGuire is the Fire Chief and his job is to protect and keep people safe. A sexy firefighter who still desires the one that got away – I love it!

Gavin and Jordan are looking for a second chance and an opportunity to make things right both with their family and with each other. There are secrets they have yet to share, can she trust him after all these years when he asks for the real reason she skipped town and left him behind? Will he open up with her about what happened when he was younger? Both will need to open up and take a chance.

When Gavin falls for Jordan he be faced with the danger of his job and how it affects the ones he cares for. Our hero wants to keep everyone safe and find out who is responsible for the fires in tow.  There are plenty of people in town who once wanted them apart, will they encounter the same road blocks?

I love the way that Sara has created a story and series with plenty of brothers…I smell a ton of future books dear readers. If they are half as sexy as Gavin then we are in for a treat!

Discover a great series from a must read author. While this is part of a series it can be read as a standalone. Tomorrow I’ll be featuring the second book in the series who just happens to be Gavin’s brother and a NYC cop! I love Sara’s characters and the connection they have with each other. There is a great world waiting to unfold and I hope that you dear reader will get your copy now and make the McGuires part of your reading family.

Get your copy here:
Brave the Heat (The McGuire Brothers)

I received this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

******** 9 Tantalizing Tidbits  about Sara Humphreys ********

1. What is a must read book and why?

The Secret. It will make you look at the world differently.

2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?

I live in a small town outside of NYC so I would tell you to go to NYC. lol

3. Castles or Beaches?

Beaches!

4. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go?

Hong Kong!

5. What is your guilty pleasure?

Donuts. I love donuts.

6. What are you afraid of?

Losing my family.

7. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one?

I have one. It’s a blue star at the base of my back. I got it when I was 36.

8. What’s your favorite TV show and why?

The Walking Dead. I love apocalyptic movies and television because when you shake it out, they’re all about hope and fighting for survival.

9. Motorcycle or bicycle?

I will only go on a motorcycle if Norman Reedus comes through on his offer to take me on a ride.

ICYMI: Coffee With Sara Humphreys

BIO:

13256138_10154381558225628_7265465400019627073_n

Sara Humphreys is the award winning author of the Amoveo Legend series. The third book in the series, UNTAMED, won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. The first two novels from her Dead in the City series have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award. Sara was also a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.

She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook.

For a full list of Sara’s books and reading order, please visit her website.

Sara Humphreys Blitz Day 1: Coffee With

Untitled

BraveTheHeat_FinalREDO copy           9781402293702-m

transparent mugtransparent mugtransparent mugtransparent mugtransparent mugtransparent mug

Rae: First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking an iced Coffee as I’m ready for the summer 🙂 ! What would you order?

Sara: Well, it’s summer, so I’d get a large iced coffee with extra skim milk and one splenda.

Rae: Thanks so much for hanging out with me today.

Sara: Thank you for having me!

Rae: For those who are not familiar with your work can you tell us a little bit your books. You have multiple series, stand-alone and anthology reads in your backlist. Can we expect any more releases from your current series? Do you have any new series in the works that you can give us a tease?

Sara: Sure. I write hot paranormal and contemporary romance with suspense elements. My paranormals are all connected, meaning they’re part of the same closed society. Most humans don’t know about the vampires in New York City (Dead in the City) or the Amoveo shapeshifters in Montana (Amoveo Legend), or the demons, Fae and witches (Princes of Hell) but they all know about each other. Well, except for the dragons (Amoveo Rising and Dragons Rising)….they’ve been hiding out for half a millennium but will be making their return shortly.

I decided to branch out into hot contemporary romance with my McGuire Brothers series. The five hottest bros around are all men in uniform. They’re bound by duty, honor, and family but so far, none of them have settled down. However, in BRAVE THE HEAT (#1) Gavin’s old flame comes back to town and the passion between them still burns. She’s divorced and has two little girls in town and he’s the fire chief in their hometown. Add an arsonist into the mix…and there are all kinds of sparks.

Rae: With a bookshelf of contemporary and paranormal reads, is it easy to keep characters from crossing over?

Sara: Since all of my paranormal series are connected, many of the characters from one series show up in another. UNDONE (Amoveo Legend #4) is the big crossover book. It introduces the vampires and the demons. In terms of keeping supernatural powers straight, it is getting a little dicey now, so I just hired an assistant to create a Character Bible for me.

As for the McGuire Brothers, I have a list of each guy and his physical qualities. They’re related, so obviously there are similarities but I don’t want they to be too alike.

Rae: Your covers are fabulous and I LOVE how your publisher decided to change the first book in your McGuire series after the designed Trouble Walks In. You are one lucky gal – they are sooo sexy! Love the change in direction. Don’t get me wrong the first cover for Brave the Heat was great but I really love the cover now!

Sara: YES! I am super lucky! I absolutely LOVE the new cover for BRAVE THE HEAT! One of the reasons I love Sourcebooks so much is because they’re willing to take chances and hit the reset button if necessary. I’ve had a lot of support. The Art Director, Dawn Adams, creates the most delicious covers and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for UNDISCOVERED (Amoveo Rising #1), this is a bridge book that connects two series–Amoveo Legend and Dragons Rising.

Rae: As a blogger I know how difficult it is to stay fit while sitting in my office chair to get my work done. I think its fabulous how much you speak out on social media about staying fit, healthy and aware. Writing with commitments is a challenge, do you have a writing ritual or secret location to get the work done?

Sara: My writing location jumps between my office (aka writing cave), my kitchen table, and my deck. If the weather is too nice, I hate being stuck inside! Staying fit while writing is a challenge. I’ve struggled with my weight all of my life but I knew I wasn’t alone. I started Romance Fit Club for Readers and Writers (you can find us on Facebook) as a way for folks in the romance community to find support for their health and fitness journey. It’s a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE! If you want tough love…you’ll have to find it somewhere else! LOL.

Rae: Now that summer has finally arrived do you have any traditions or trips you are excited about?

Sara: YES! Every summer, my family spends a week or two in Rhode Island at our family beach house. I feel so blessed to be able to escape there and share quality time with my parents, my siblings and their families and my clan. This summer, I have an extra special trip planned! Author Samantha Chase and I are going on a book tour! Our Road Tripping with Romance Tour is from August 17-20. We’ll be signing books, giving away goodies, chatting about writing, publishing, hot heroes, and more! Big thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for sending us out on the road!

RoadTrippingWithRomance-Graphic1-2 copy

AUGUST 17: B&N Brier Creek Commons– Raleigh, NC 7pm-9pm
AUGUST 18: Park Roads Books– Charlotte, NC 7pm-9pm
AUGUST 19: Fiction Addiction– Greenville, SC 5:30pm-7:30pm
AUGUST 20: B&N Forum at Ashley Park –Newnan, GA 2pm-5pm
**We may be adding up to 2 more locations to the tour. Stay tuned!**

Rae: Congratulations to your and your family on your son’s recent graduation from High School – 🙂

Sara: Thank you! We have four sons, ages 21, 18, and our twins are 15. Life around here is never ever dull!

Rae: It was so much fun having you here today!

Sara: Are you kidding? Thank YOU for hosting me xx By the way, here’s are the new video trailers for BRAVE THE HEAT https://youtu.be/x7rT0ppjYlk

and TROUBLE WALKS IN https://youtu.be/EUZVuXZovYQ

Rae: Dear readers be sure to stop by for more fun Friday and Saturday.

Happy Reading!

BIO:

13256138_10154381558225628_7265465400019627073_n

Sara Humphreys is the award winning author of the Amoveo Legend series. The third book in the series, UNTAMED, won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. The first two novels from her Dead in the City series have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award. Sara was also a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.

She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook.

For a full list of Sara’s books and reading order, please visit her website.

Winter Extravaganza Day 10 Post 2 of 2: Barbara Devlin – Pirates of the Coast, Excerpt, Giveaway and more!

Winter Extravaganza

****** Congratulations to the winner of the Day 10 Giveaway  ******

***** Exclusive Giveaway *****

***** GIVEAWAY CLOSED ****
Prize no longer valid
Cosmicread you have won the BARBARA DEVLIN PRIZE :

ONE Amazon Kindle Fire 7″
a Kindle copy of To Catch a Fallen Spy AND The Black Morass
for 
one lucky winner in the US/Canada.

**International winner will receive a GC from Amazon.com **

 Cosmicread you have 24 hours to e-mail booksilovealatte@gmail.com or a new name will be drawn.

As the Winter Extravaganza comes to a close with this last post I want to thank all the authors who made the past NINE days so much fun and who were generous with their time and contributions. Thank you Kimberly Kincaid, Sandra Lake, Stefanie London, MK Meredith, Entangled Publishing, Allison Butler, Hildie McQueen, Nancy Northcott, Jeanne Adams, Samantha Chase, Suzanne Ferrell, Dianna Love, Anna Campbell, Tessa McFionn, Naima Simone, Robin Covington, Elizabeth Heiter, Elizabeth Hoyt, Lauren Blakely and Barbara Devlin.

Thank you ladies and thank you readers.

Don’t forget to comment on the posts from Day 7, 8 and today.  ALL winners will be posted by 7/22/16.

13579910_1784159655160894_632528050_o

13555579_1784160078494185_1828578065_o13599111_1784160261827500_2034707442_n

The Black Morass, the first book in the Pirates of the Coast series by Barbara Devlin focuses on Pirate Jean Marc Cavalier who appeared a character that appeared in To Catch a Fallen Spy (Brethren of the Coast Book 8).  This somewhat dubious hero deserved his own book and Barbara delivered a must-read book for fans and introduces us to a sexy pirate who is naughty, daring and seeking redemption for a crime he didn’t commit. Unfortunately the path to clearing his name is not as short one and will require a few compromises if he’s to survive the terms.

Lady Madelen Davies has no idea what Jean Marc is capable of whe she is resuced from her sinking ship by the pirate and his crew. Will he live up to his reputation or surprise her with the first of many reformed acts? Will he do the right thing or will his eccentric and spicy appetites become his downfall? Dear readers this pirate will pursue Madelene and push boundaries that have not been broached in the other Brethren books.

All our heroine wants is to return home to her family. It seems a simple request and our hero obliges – with quite a few catches along theway. However, Lady Madelene also makes some bold decisions of her own. Their journey is one that will push and pull them both. They will discover who they can trust, what their dreams are and that sometimes, family is the one you make of your own free will.

Can the tough man who once cared only for himself discover that his heart isn’t broken after all? In fact it beats strong, and maybe he’s finally found a woman who can satisfy his cravings and stand up to him despite the unknown fear of walking the plank?

There is balance in the tender and merciless way Barbara has crafted this new world. If you think the Brethren are spicy than just wait till you set sail with her pirates!

This book is a four pepper read for full on 4 Jalepenosno holds barred and “go for it” sensuality & situations. For mature readers 18+.

I look forward to reading the next installment in the Pirates of the Coast series and can’t wait to discover what adventure awaits for our next pirate as he seeks his redemption.

Time to take a peak at The Black Morass….with an excerpt.

(Excerpt edited for content to maintain blog PG-13 rating)

Atlantic Ocean
March, 1816

Virtue was a highly overrated characteristic in his estimation. In truth, he ranked it in the miserable depths of humanity comprised of respectability and righteousness. For the strong and fearless, the glorified traits of honor and integrity functioned as an impenetrable barrier to the excitement of the worldly existence filled with violence and debauchery in which he once reveled on a daily basis. In exchange for societal approval, grown men surrendered their dignity, and their whore’s pipe, he would argue, to abide by a set of rules in which most had no say, and for what? High principles? Prestige? Indeed, such noble qualities sucked dry the marrow of life, leaving naught but the simple pleasures to enjoy, as the Black Morass rode the waves.

Sunshine glittered on the ocean, as a sea of precious diamonds, and a cool breeze sifted through his long black hair, as Jean Marc Cavalier directed the helmsman. Restless and yearning for stimulation, something to feed the hunger that gnawed at his harrowed soul, he approached with caution what appeared to be a burning schooner that he might offer aid, in accord with the pact he signed in a moment of weakness or perhaps insanity.

“No movement on deck, Cap’n.” Tyne, the bosun, lowered his spyglass. “Should we continue our advance?”

“We will maintain course and heading, just to be sure there are no survivors in need of rescue.” For some strange suspicion he could not quite shake, Jean Marc surmised all was not as it seemed, given the nearest vessel disappeared below the horizon before he could inquire after the circumstances of the misadventure. For a seaman, naught struck fear in the heart more than fire aboard ship, which could send an entire crew to Davy Jones’s locker. And he had given his word to perform meritorious deeds for a full year, in trade for an unconditional pardon. At the end of twelve months, Jean Marc and his men would be free of past crimes, beholden to none.

But at what price had he bartered his autonomy?

It was for that reason Jean Marc refused to sail past the doomed lady. And then he spied activity at the stern rail, on the quarterdeck.

“Come about.”

“What is it?” Peering over his shoulder, Tyne narrowed his stare. “Is that a white flag?”

As they drew closer, Jean Marc smiled, and a familiar itch in his palms had him flexing his fingers. The lure of conquest burned bright in his loins, and he struggled with a craving for fresh meat, if only to reassert authority over his life. “It is a woman.” He laughed. “And she waves her undergarments.”

Perhaps fate smiled upon him, as the chit might be just the balm to ease his unrest and allow him to regain a measure of control.

Obligated to the Crown, and no longer the master of his destiny, he thirsted for the power of ultimate domination, and nothing compared to the supremacy inherent in seduction.

“Bloody hell, she is a tasty bit o’ fluff.” Tyne licked his lips. “And a bottle of Jamaican rum says she is unspoiled, too.”

“I believe you are correct in your assertion, mon ami.” That tempered Jean Marc’s ever-growing arousal, as he never claimed virgin’s blood, because he preferred experienced whores who knew what he wanted and gave it to him, without complaint or inconvenient emotional attachments. Then he got a good look at the boon, in question, as the Morass glided to a halt, and full-blown lust threatened to consume him. Maybe it was time to sample the tender flesh of an innocent. “Ahoy, dear lady. Jean Marc Cavalier, most definitely at your service.”

“Kind sir, I would be grateful for passage to Port Royal.” Behind her, the masts collapsed, and she shrieked. How he ached to make her squeal with enthusiasm, as he would wager she could scream much louder with the right inducement. “As you can see, my current accommodation is about to sink, and I am in dire need of new transportation.”

“Lower the plank.” He signaled the crew. “As I am certain we can strike a mutually beneficial bargain.” With a lush figure made for sin, and of that he could envision committing many with her, and alabaster skin he fully intended to explore in more intense inspection, once he got her alone, she presented a delightful distraction. “How is it your ship fell into such misfortune, and where is the crew?”

“They are dead.” Tears pooled in her vivid blue eyes, and she emitted a soft sob, but he cared not for her sad tale. “We were attacked by pirates, and I hid in the captain’s cabin, in a small compartment beneath a concealed floor panel, which he revealed he previously used for smuggling, thus I was spared.”

“Come here, mon chou.” As the bow dipped below the surface of the water, he slipped an arm about her hips and whisked her aboard the Morass.

“Oh, do collect my bundles, as they hold irreplaceable personal items, including some of my mother’s keepsakes.” She pointed to two pillowcases, knotted at the opening. “Please, sir. I cannot lose them, and I shall ensure you are handsomely compensated, when I reach my destination, as I hail from a family of means.”

“Is that so? Then your every wish is my command.” And she would compensate him, all right, but not in the coin she proposed, as he had something else in mind for the delectable brown-haired wench. In seconds, Jean Marc jumped to the now high-pitched stern, grabbed the belongings, glanced into the waist of the doomed vessel, and discovered the remains of a massacre, which made no sense. At the very least, the sailors could have been sold into slavery, so why would anyone surrender such valuable cargo? A large crack in the boards indicated the ship yielded its last breath to the force of the ocean, and he took a running leap to safety. When he gained his footing, the woman flung herself at him and wept. “Now, now, none of that, mon chou.”

Guileless and genteel, his unwitting prize had no idea of the scheme he would enact to reclaim a portion of his pride, as the King stipulated naught in regard to conquest of the fair sex. Indeed, she possessed no means of defense against his provocative persuasion, and he would employ everything at his disposal to well and thoroughly invade every inch of her. Before he landed the little angel on Jamaica’s shore, he would instruct her in the art of pleasure, such that she would perform, at will, what even some professionals considered obscene, and render her quim raw. And then he would leave her, unharmed but a bit worn about the edges, without so much as a backward glance, as was his way.

“I thought I was going to die, and you saved me when all seemed lost.” Well, he was not so sure he saved her, inasmuch as he delivered her from one precarious position to another, though she knew it not. Whimpering, she hugged him tight, and he savored her soft and feminine curves. “How can I ever thank you?”

**Edited for content and approved by Author **

“You may start by telling me your name.”

** Edited for content and approved by Author **

“Lady Madalene Davies, sir. (**Edited for blog and approved by Author**) Is this a passenger-for-hire ship or a privateer in His Majesty’s Navy?”

“Not usually, and I am no longer a pirate.” He advanced, as her chin quivered, and desire surged in his veins. “Thus I am willing to negotiate terms, if you are amenable.” With a shrug, he trailed a finger along the gentle curve of her jaw. “Else I can return you to the sea.”

“I beg your pardon?” Lady Madalene blinked. “You are no longer a pirate?” She made another perfunctory study of his men and gulped.
“Am I in danger? Did you kill the Trident crew, and am I to suffer the same fate?”

Mon chou, you insult me, as I would have taken them captive were that my work. And never would I waste something so lovely.” Swift and sure, he caught her in his arms, and she screamed, just as he claimed a lengthy kiss, to ribald hoots and hollers. When she wrenched free, pounded his chest with her fists, and prepared to protest, he nodded and thrust her into Tyne and Randall’s waiting escort. “Take her to my cabin.”

#

Freedom often commanded a steep price, in many instances exacted against the will of the innocent soul caught in its implacable lure, and Lady Madalene Davies pondered the cost her liberator, a self-proclaimed, one-time pirate blackguard who seemed much invested in his former trade, given his bawdy behavior and iniquitous demeanor, might demand in exchange for safe passage to Port Royal. But could she endure the consequences of such a bargain, as she foundered somewhere between the devil and the deep blue sea?

Out of place in her new cabin, which contrasted with her modest chamber aboard the Trident, she doffed her cloak and bonnet. A plush, red velvet counterpane covered the largest bunk she had ever seen, given Captain Hammond used a hammock, and the mattress hosted a mountain of matching pillows.

** Edited for content and approved by Author**

Behind the thick oak panel stood a surly looking character she dared not challenge, and the small side chamber held naught but clothing. A locker marked with unique carvings revealed additional personal items, so she gave her attention to the hand-tooled desk, to search for some indication of the character of her erstwhile savior.

In the top drawer, she discovered a logbook, a set of maps and charts, and a deck of cards with the usual suits on one side and shocking images of ladies sans garments on the other, and she dropped the offensive items. Then her gaze lit upon a rolled parchment secured with an elegant ribbon. With a cursory check to ensure privacy, she untied the swath of silk, smoothed the paper, and examined what she realized was an official document, distinguished by its heading, Letter of Marque and Reprisal.

“Upon my word.” Madalene gasped. “Jean Marc Cavalier was a pirate.”

Before she could read the entire contents of the pact, a telltale voice brought her up short. Lightning quick, she restored the parchment to its secure space, glanced left and then right, and hugged herself. Adopting a relaxed stance, she peered beyond the window at the floating debris—all that remained of her ship, and considered her options, and of that there were few. It seemed she had traded one perilous predicament for another, and she knew not if she would survive to be reunited with her father, as her life depended upon a questionable creature Aunt Eileen would have no doubt described as a man with loose morals.

“You daydream, mon chou.” Her not so chivalrous rescuer slammed shut the door, and she jumped. With a cocksure swagger, her less than noble knight strolled to the impressive desk, drew a bottle and two glasses from a drawer, and then pulled a chair from a small dining table. “Have a seat.”

“Thank you.” Stiffening her spine, she perched on the edge and settled her clasped hands in her lap to conceal her trembling, as she studied her opponent.

Unlike the sailors, the captain wore a white linen shirt, buckskin breeches, and a polished pair of Hessians. Chiseled lines comprised his classical profile but did little to dispel his menacing guise. A long, jagged scar traced from his left ear and across his clean-shaven cheek, disappearing under a black patch adorned with a large ruby, which concealed his eye, and a leather strip tamed his long ebony locks. Although he might have been handsome at one time, he struck her as a dangerous adversary, and she would zealously guard her virtue in his company.

Madalene cleared her throat. “Good sir, I—”

“First, let me correct you, mon chou, as I would have us understand each other.” A sly smile played on his lips, as he leaned forward, and a tremor of dread traipsed her flesh. “I am no sir, and neither am I good. From this moment forth, you will address me as Jean Marc, as it is what I prefer, or I will give you to the sea.”

“But that is not proper decorum for a lady of character, sir.” Something in his expression, not to mention his threat, gave her a shiver, especially when he laughed. “And while I asked for transport to Port Royal, I would amend my request and have you put me ashore at the nearest dock.”

“No, and I have no use for proper decorum.” He shook his head, and her confidence plummeted to new depths. “You will tell me your history, and then we will negotiate compensation for my assistance.”

“I do not have much money, sir—Jean Marc.” When he arched a brow, Madalene gulped. “What I mean is I hold a trifle with which to pay my fare, but my father will reimburse you for any related expenses or a ransom, should you hold me prisoner.”

“You sell yourself short, as you are a handsome wench, but I will clap you in irons, if it will make you feel better.” Everything in his manner conveyed equal parts of power and peril, and she dared not protest, so she held her tongue. Tapping his chin, he narrowed his stare. “Everyone aboard this ship fills a need, and I wonder how you might serve me.”

“What would you have of me?” Bereft of viable alternatives, she composed a list of skills, the sum of which she could provide to the captain’s benefit. “I can cook a few dishes, and I can sew, but I am unaccustomed to manual labor. However, I am willing to learn, if you have the patience to teach me.”

“Oh, I am more than willing to teach you what I require, and I hope, for your sake, you possess a strong constitution.” His chuckle only increased her trepidation, as she had an inkling their intentions conflicted. “So you live well, Lady Madalene?” Reclining, Jean Marc gazed at her with unveiled interest and folded his arms, and she realized, too late, she made a grievous mistake. “Tell me of your wealthy father.”

“In truth, I know little of him, as he departed Boston when I was but a child of four, and I have not seen him since.” Never had her sire written a letter inquiring after her health, and her mother indicated he cared not for his daughter, but Madalene clung to faith, as she yearned for a relationship with her father. “When I was ten, my mother died of a nasty fever, and my grandfather became my guardian, but the task fell upon Aunt Eileen after he passed.”

“And I presume Aunt Eileen is gone?” His eyes, so blue, reminded her of the crystal waters off Boston Harbor, and she would do well to avoid his captivating gaze, as it mesmerized her. “Have you no siblings?”

“No, I am an only child. And I lost my aunt in January, to an unknown malady.” She bowed her head, as a tear coursed her cheek. “I was very close to my aunt, as she was all I had in the world, which is why I was so glad to receive my father’s missive, asking me to journey to Port Royal.”

“Why does he live in Jamaica, when he is an English lord?” The ex-buccaneer tapped his fingers to the tabletop. “Is he a wanted man?”

“Not that I know, but he is a stranger to me, in a sense.” And that bothered her more than she was willing to admit to herself or anyone else, as she knew not what awaited her in the equally foreign place. “I suspect his request that I join him has something to do with Aunt Eileen’s will. Given my mother preceded my grandfather in death, he left his vast estate, which includes a sugar plantation just outside Port Royal, to be divided between his surviving daughter and myself. As Eileen never married, there are no other beneficiaries.”

“Am I to understand that, in light of your aunt’s demise, you are the sole heir to the family fortune?” With an expression of surprise, Jean Marc stretched upright. “Indeed, you are the owner, according to American law.”

“So it seems, per an attorney and a probate judge in the Boston courts.” She nodded. “Now will you help me?”

“Were you traveling alone, and what precisely happened aboard the Trident?” The menacing captain rubbed his chin and shifted his weight. “Did the attackers take anything or anyone? Did you see them? If so, can you provide a description, as I am curious as to their identities?”

“My governess, Miss Wimple, accompanied me, but she was killed.” In a flood of unpleasant memories, Madalene revisited the screams of horror, and she shuddered and wrenched to the present. “I heard plenty, and it was terrible, but I saw nothing, and for that I am grateful. Captain Hammond bade me hide before the pirates overtook our ship. Once silence fell on the vessel, I emerged from my makeshift shelter and found everyone murdered and the boat in flames. Had you not come along when you did, I would have drowned, as I cannot swim, which I already told you, so I thank you for sparing me that fate.”

“Believe me, it is my pleasure, mon chou.” For a while, he simply studied her, and she fidgeted with nervous anxiety. “You had a governess.” It was a statement, not a question. “How old are you?”

“Eight and ten,” she murmured, as she toyed with the lace trim of her sleeve.

“Why are you not married?” When she shrugged, Jean Marc sighed. “Given your beauty and your inheritance, I gather you are popular in Boston.”

“While I appreciate the compliment, I am not interested in such flattery.” To her regret, she met his azure stare, which she suspected gleaned too much for her liking, and she swallowed hard, as he appeared on the verge of devouring her. “And I have no beau, given my father never negotiated a match.”

“You would leave such things for your father to arrange?” He snickered. “The English treat the most important commitment a man and a woman can make as a financial agreement.”

“If you intended to insult me, I take no offense, as I am an American.” Madalene sniffed. “And my private affairs are no business of yours, sir.”

“In that you are correct, and I told you that I prefer you address me as Jean Marc.” He licked his lips, which she tried but failed to ignore. “Since you do not strike me as stupid, I can only presume you deliberately bait me, which is never wise, because I may take more than you are willing to give. Perhaps I should throw you and your private affairs into the sea.” He snapped his fingers. “Then again, you cannot swim, so I encourage you to consider your words with caution, in the future, else you may not enjoy the consequences.”

“I apologize.” Never had she met anyone like Jean Marc Cavalier, and she wondered if the ocean might prove less dangerous. Still, if she hoped to reunite and reconcile with her father, she had to keep the irascible captain happy. Given her grandfather’s cantankerous nature, she knew how to placate a temperamental man, as they shared much in common with spoiled children, so she had but to appease Jean Marc until they reached Port Royal. “To my shame, I spoke in haste, and I humbly ask that you forgive my inadvertent slight.”

“You choke on those words.” With a snort, he slapped his thigh. “Ah, but this crossing proves far more interesting with each passing minute.”

“But I am sincere, Jean Marc. I do so covet compromise and will do my best to perform to your satisfaction, in whatever you command of me.” Fearing a watery grave, she accepted the lone option at her disposal. She would defend her chastity, maintain what she could of her dignity, sacrifice her pride, pray no one ever discovered her ill-fated trip to Jamaica, and persist. With that, she resolved to indulge her unpredictable host beyond the usual social dictates. “Given you wish me to serve you, where should I begin?”

“You may pour me a drink.” In that moment, he lowered his chin, scooted the bottle in her direction, and cast a half-grin, which she viewed as an olive branch, of sorts, until he whispered, “For now.”

Get your own copy here:

The Black Morass (Pirates of the Coast Book 1)
$2.99

 I’ve attached a list of all the books linked to my previously posted reviews Barbara’s books.

Just click on the title of the book below so that you can see for yourself why so many readers can’t get enough from this talented and best-selling author!

Loving Lt. Douglas

Enter The Brethren (The Brethren Book 1)
My Lady, The Spy (The Brethren Book 2)
The Most Unlikely Lady (The Brethren Book 3)
One Knight Stand (The Brethren Book 4)

Coffee With Barbara Devlin

Captain of her Heart (The Brethren Book 5)
The Lucky One (The Brethren Book 6)
Love With An Improper Stranger (The Brethren Book 7)

Arucard (Brethren Origins Book 1)
Demetrius (Brethren Origins Book 2)

Missing a book in her amazing collection? Take advantage of an amazing boxed set…

Brethren of the Coast: Volume II

For $3.99 you can get One Knight Stand, Captain of her Heart and The Lucky One.

Purchase single volumes here:

Loving Lieutenant Douglas: A Brethren of the Coast Novella **FREE**

Enter The Brethren (Brethren of the Coast Book 1)
$0.99

My Lady, The Spy (Brethren of the Coast Book 2)
$2.99

The Most Unlikely Lady (Brethren of the Coast Book 3)
$2.99

To Catch A Fallen Spy (Brethren of the Coast Book 8)
$2.99

The Black Morass (Pirates of the Coast Book 1)
$2.99

Arucard (Brethren Origins Book 1)
$3.99

Demetrius (Brethren Origins Book 2)
$0.99

That’s ELEVEN books for less than $22.00!  Click the links above and start reading today!

***** Exclusive Giveaway *****

Barbara Devlin has generously donated the following for ONE lucky reader:

ONE Amazon Kindle Fire 7″
a Kindle copy of To Catch a Fallen Spy AND The Black Morass
for 
one lucky winner in the US/Canada.

**International winner will receive a GC from Amazon.com **

For a chance to win tell us ..

Do you have any movie traditions the night before or during the holiday season?

Contest runs from 7/19/16 12:01AM thru 7/21/16 11:59 PM
** all entries from the Blitz earlier this month will be added to these comments for a chance to win **

Winner will be announced on this blog post on 7/21/16.

Winner MUST comment on this post within 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.

Be sure to follow me the blog (link on homepage),  Facebook Page  (Books I Love A Latte Page) and Twitter @RaeLatte so you don’t miss that announcement post!

Be sure to swing by Barbara Devlin’s webpage and follow her on twitter (@barbara_devlin) to stay up to date on the world of Knights, Pirates and other fabulous news!

ICYMI: Blitz Day 1
Blitz Day 2

Author Info:

13563260_1784160338494159_1971736373_n

Bestselling author Barbara Devlin was born a storyteller. A Texan, through and through, Barbara hasn’t been without a book in her possession since she was in kindergarten. She wrote her first short story, a really cheesy murder-mystery, in high school, but it was a Christmas gift, a lovely little diary with a bronze lock, given to her in the fifth grade that truly inspired her love of writing.

After completing part of her undergraduate studies at the University of London, where she developed a love of all things British, Barbara returned home and began a career in banking. But the late 80s weren’t too promising for the financial industry, and every bank that hired Barbara soon folded. So she searched for a stable occupation, and the local police department offered the answer to her prayers.

Initially, Barbara wasn’t too sure about her new career in law enforcement, but she soon came to love being a police officer. And then one uncharacteristically cold and icy day in December 1998, Barbara was struck by a car and pinned against a guardrail while working an accident on a major highway. Permanently disabled, she retired from the police department and devoted her time and energy to physical therapy.

Once Barbara got back on her feet, she focused on a new career in academia. She earned an MA in English and continued a course of study for a Doctorate in Literature and Rhetoric. She happily considered herself an exceedingly eccentric English professor, until success in Indie publishing lured her into writing, full-time, featuring her fictional knighthood, the Brethren of the Coast.

Winter Extravaganza Day 10 Post 1 of 2: Robin Covington, Lauren Blakely, Elizabeth Heiter, Sandra Lake and Elizabeth Hoyt

gift-boxes-templates-vectorgift-boxes-templates-vector

Winter Extravaganza

****** Congratulations to the winners of the Day 10 Giveaway  ******


ROBIN COVINGTON PRIZES:

Congratulations to Michelle Hayes you won ONE print copy of RUSH 

SANDRA LAKE PRIZE WINNERS:

Congratulations to Keri B and Julie K you won an e-book set of A Sons of North Romance series.

ELIZABETH HOYT PRIZE WINNER:

Congratulations kaisquared4 you won a copy of The Duke of Sin

ELIZABETH HEITER PRIZE WINNER:

Congratulations Linda Bien you won ONE autographed print set The Profiler books (Hunted, Vanished & Seized).

US/Canada

LAUREN BLAKELY WINNER: 

Congratulations Leslie S you won ONE e-book of Big Rock

You all have 24 hours to e-mail me your information at booksilovealatte@gmail.com or a new name will be drawn.

******************************************************************

 Today I’m featuring books by Robin Covington, Elizabeth Heiter, Sandra Lake, Lauren Blakely, and Elizabeth Hoyt. Their books include Erotic, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance and Historical Romane so there is something for everyone.

Be sure to check out the amazing e-book giveaways at the  very bottom. It’s going to be a sweet and spicy day!

*******
ROBIN COVINGTON ******

Covington-005-300x200

Bestselling author Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her bestselling books. When she’s not writing sexy, sizzling romance she is collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Manganiello.

You can find Robin at her website (robincovingtonromance.com), Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Don’t send chocolate . . . send eye candy!

Robin lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!) and her beloved furbabies.

OneLittleKiss_600x900

One Little Kiss by Robin Covington is absolutely sinful and I am thrilled to see it’s a contender in the 2016 RITA Novella category. It’s got depth of emotion and plot, amazing characters and a VERY emotionally satisfying ending. Without sacrifice, work or challenges, love isn’t worth the risk!

Leighton Greer is on her way to Dublin for a chance of a lifetime until a raging blizzard delays her flight and strands her at the airport.

Karma can be worse than an crazy ex-boyfriend. For Leighton it smacked her straight into the very man she ran out on. Now, it will take a little Irish luck to charm her way around the very man who stole more than just her heart.

Jonas Sutton has a secret, he’s in love with Leighton and absolutely pissed she walked out on him. Things are totally complicated now, she’s his best friend’s sister.

Desperate to spend time and find out why she left him, Jonas rescues her from the airport. They are given a second chance for redemption, both at the airport because they are headed out of town. What are the odds?

Leighton is shocked by his sudden news and forced to face her feelings, will she run again? Can they both have their dreams? Will these two souls desperate for each other finally connect?

This three pepper spicy latte sizzles and is a must read. I sat down to read it and did not get out of my chair till I clicked on the last page. I am in love with this tasty tale.

3 JalepenosThis story is pretty hot with content for mature readers 18 +.

Excerpt:

The guy leaning on me really needs an Altoid.

I shift to the side as my impromptu airport floor roommate snuggles closer and lets loose a snore that makes my nearby fellow captives look in our direction in alarm. I’m not looking forward to riding out the snowstorm in Terminal D with a man who needs an industrial strength nasal strip but I fought hard for the prime spot along the wall close to an electrical outlet and I’m not moving.

When the airline had begun cancelling flights due to the unexpected blizzard three days before St. Patrick’s Day, the first wave of activity in international departures was to secure a hotel room for the night. Being neither a platinum or some other precious gem level member at one of the big hotel chains had meant I was out of luck in securing any kind of room for the night so I’d wedged my way in between overstuffed carry-ons and whiny kids to grab my piece of prime real estate along the wall.

Two hours later, my phone is fully charged but the answer is clear—there is no room for me in the inn. Or the Marriott. Or the Hilton.

A great way to start my first adventure.

Two and a half months from my college graduation and I’m taking the chances in my life that I should have been taking all along. Finally. I’m beginning to feel like the person I am supposed to be but not everyone is on board with my accelerated program of development. The parentals, my twin brother—they mean well but they worry about me. Too much.

I am the fragile one. The one who needs to be careful. The one they almost lost. You’d think beating childhood leukemia would have made me brave, fierce. Nope. I’d bought into their characterization and worn it like a cloak to protect me from the big bad world until I’d almost suffocated under the weight. And then a few months ago, Brian-the-cheaterface had kicked my ass to the curb two weeks before Christmas for a girl named Silver who had green hair, ear gauges and a tongue stud and blamed it all on my being only slightly less boring than a bag of flour. Actually, his exact words were “if you’d only live with the passion you put into your fucking music I wouldn’t have had to look elsewhere” but it all amounted to the same thing.

And as big a cheating asshole Brian was, he wasn’t wrong.

So, I wallowed in my misery for a week and then grabbed the nearest bottle of champagne and proceeded to spend New Year’s Eve “living with passion” in the bed of a guy I’d wanted for what seemed like forever. I also beat feet out of there before the morning after ruined the memories of the night. A cowardly move, I know.

He must have been on the same page because he avoided me in the weeks following our night of sweaty fun between the sheets. The times when we had to be together were infrequent but held a level of awkward somewhere between catching your parents making out on the couch and leaving the restroom with your skirt stuck in your panties. Good times.

But I am determined to live with passion, so when my music program selected me to go to the Celtic Music Festival in Dublin a month ago, I dusted off my passport, spared a moment to regret the terrible ID photo, and booked my ticket.

And now my flight is cancelled until the snowstorm passes, I’m stuck in the airport with a million other spring breakers, and my folks have lost their minds. It isn’t like taking a spring break trip to Ireland is the height of danger but you’d think I was pledging to marry a death-row inmate or something, the way they are acting.

They finally stopped calling after I let their calls go to voicemail but they weren’t shy about pulling out the big guns and so the next series of calls were from their not-so-secret weapon—my twin brother Landon.

I hit the screen and sigh, making sure a little bit of bitch is added to the overall tone of annoyance. “Landon. I’m going to Dublin. The flights will be back on tomorrow. Stop calling.”

“Number Two.” I bite back the urge to tell him for the eleventy billionth time to stop calling me that childhood nickname. I was three minutes behind him in arriving on this planet and he never lets me forget it. “Mom is shitting a brick because she thinks you’re going to be murdered in your sleep by someone who wants your carry-on.”

I glance at the small backpack at my feet. Yeah, I have the usual electronics in it —iPad, iPod—but the real treasure is in the hard case tucked close to my side. My violin, Wonder Woman, is inside and worth at least a year of tuition according to the insurance papers. She is my best friend, an extension of my body. My heart. We’ve been together since I was sixteen years old.

“If someone wants her they’ll have to pry her out of my cold, dead hands.”

He laughs. “And that is exactly what mom’s having a cow about.”

“Landon,” I sigh.

“Number Two.”

Did I mention how much I hate that nickname?

“I wish everyone would stop treating me like I am helpless or something. I’m not going to break or have a breakdown because I have to sleep at the airport.”

“We worry about you,” he says and then mumbles something to himself I can’t make out.

“What? What did you say?”

“Look. I sent the cavalry,” he rushes in and I let out a groan that catches the attention of several of my fellow strandees. I smile, trying to reassure them that I’m not the wacko they need to worry about as he keeps talking. “It was either this or mom was going to call airport security.”

“She didn’t.” If she did I was going to die on the spot. Melt into a pile of embarrassed goo and be nothing but a dark stain on the disgusting industrial carpet.

“She didn’t because I offered a compromise.”

“What kind of compromise?” But I knew. I knew because I saw it walking towards me with a slow grin and six feet three inches of lanky, sexy, muscled body. I can’t help the way my mouth drops open on a whispered, “oh my God” as I end the call. Hell, I’m glad I can still form a sentence at this point in time since the last person I want to see and the one person I’m desperate to have saunters towards me.

Jonas Sutton.

The guy I spent the night with on New Year’s Eve and then ditched before the sun came up. My brother’s roommate and best friend.

He stops right in front of me, forcing me to look up to see his face. He stares down at me, not missing a damn thing and barely hiding the smirk teasing at his lips.

“Who’s your boyfriend?”

I glance at the dude still leaning against my shoulder and lightly shove him away. He sways in the opposite direction for a nanosecond but then falls back against me, a loud snuffly snore joining the waft of bad breath he aims in my direction. I shudder and try to breathe through my mouth.

Jonas shoves his hands in his pockets but I’m not fooled by the casual manner, the zinger is coming. He’ll never let a moment like this pass him by.

“You gonna ditch him in the morning too?

Get your own copy here –
One Little Kiss – $0.99

******* LAUREN BLAKELY *******

 

About Lauren Blakely:

DaisyWhitneyLaurenBlakelyheadshot_small

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With nine New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller List more than three dozen times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love and Fighting Fire. She recently released BIG ROCK, a sexy standalone romantic comedy that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. In the late spring, she’ll release MISTER O, another standalone romantic comedy.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

*****

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]
Mister O by Lauren Blakely is a sexy and fun adventure of a man that will knock your socks off. In her latest release Lauren has once again written a story that is full of charm, impeccable comedic timing and sizzle. For those who read Big Rock and thought it couldn’t get any better, you haven’t read Mister O.😉

Satisfaction guaranteed is Nick Hammer’s motto, a skill he’s quite proud of and not afraid to mention to anyone willing to listen.  In fact, when his best friends younger sister needs help with men, Nick is all too eager to help. There’s just one catch, Nick needs to remember that she’s practically family and off limits. If Nick isn’t careful he’ll discover that he’s attractive to her nerdy ways and quirkiness.

Nick is a cartoonist and has it all going for him, a hit TV show, a lifestyle that suits his single ways, and loves living in NYC. But, is he ready to let go of his heart and fall in love?

Harper Holiday has known Nick for years and is clumsy, nerdy and absolutely unable to talk to men. At least a man who isn’t a friend. When Nick witness’s her blunder when men approach her, intervention is necessary. Harper admires Nick’s uncanny way with words and wonders about the truth to the rumors of his skills in the bedroom. With her brother away for a week on his honeymoon, it’s time to put her plan into action. Will Nick help her learn what she needs to finally find a man?

A week is a long time for advice, tutoring and lots of time together to perfect a few necessary dating skills to secure a man. Hmmm, will these two friends discover that the chemistry between them is more than just a fleeting moment? It’s obvious to everyone around them, but they are too scared to admit it to each other.

Between the flirty texts, the sexy moments and the intense banter this book will become a new favorite read. I’m looking forward to reading about the other supporting sexy men that Lauren has written about.

If you loved reading about Spencer and Charlotte in Big Rock, then you will LOVE Mister O. I’m also thrilled to read that Nick’s brother Wyatt will have his story next. Congrats Lauren on a fresh, fun and intensely sexy read!

Please be sure to check the blog tomorrow for my Coffee With Lauren!

4 JalepenosThis 4 Jalapenos Spicy Latte is full on, no holds barred and go for it sensuality and situations. Definitely heats it up and might offend. For mature readers, 18 +.

I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.

*****

lipspartteaser

Excerpt:

“You’re good, Nick. You know just what to do and how to behave. This is why you attract women in droves.”
I kind of want to protest. I feel like she has this impression of me that I don’t necessarily want her to have, but I’m not sure how to deflect this. “Because I have a gift?”
“That and several other reasons.” She waves broadly at my arms. It’s October, but it’s not chilly tonight so I don’t have a jacket on. “First, there are the arms. All that ink and muscle.”
She roams her eyes over my biceps. “I mean, your ink is awesome,” she says, pointing to the shapes and swirls I designed myself. The tattoos are abstract lines and curves, but inside them there’s a sun, a moon, and stars, because those were the first things I realized I was good at drawing.
“Then, the body. Mr. Men’s Health-I’m-so-fit,” she says in this mocking tone, but it’s not me she’s making fun of. It’s the article.
“You read it?”
“I read everything. I devour information,” she says, and we’re right back to that place I seem to inhabit with her, where she compliments me, but she could be saying it like I’m a car she’s considering buying. And this one has one hundred seventy horsepower.
“And then, there’s your face, and you have all this awesome scruff on it.”
I run a hand over my jaw, and the neat, trim beard that’s like an additional sex toy I can bring to the bedroom. “Chicks dig the beard,” I say, with a lopsided grin.
“I bet they do,” she says under her breath. She doesn’t say anything else right away. She presses her teeth into the corner of her lip and then speaks, more softly than before. “Can I feel it?”

Get your Amazon copy here –Mister O

iBooks: https://tinyurl.com/MisterOrgasm

Kobo: https://bit.ly/1oXCxRi

B&N: https://bit.ly/1Y1PCEI

Google Play: https://goo.gl/4Ygf2m

** I received the excerpt, graphics, and all non-amazon links from Ink Slinger.**
(** re-posted from 5/2/16)

*****

FBcouplehappy

Big Rock by Lauren Blakely is available now!

Does size matter? It depends on what you’re talking about! For many, some will say no, it doesn’t matter, for others, they will say yes, it does. Spencer Holiday loves to brag. If you want to know how he feels, read Big Rock.

Spencer is perfect in almost every way. Gorgeous, smart, a savvy businessman and heir to the renowned jewelry store in the heart of New York City. You know, the one that puts all their jewels in a little blue box. It’s a family business that just might need his help but he’s content with his own business, the one he runs with Charlotte Rhodes, his best friend.

Charlotte is both a perfect business partner and best friend. She’s the kind of woman that knows what Spencer needs, most of the time. Beautiful in her own right, she’s always willing to partake in a plan or rescue without hesitation

When Spencer randomly mentions to his father during a key meeting for the family jewelry store that he’s just proposed to Charlotte, will they take him seriously? Engaged? Can he go through with it? Perhaps there’s more to it than changing the outcome of the meeting? Sometimes a plan doesn’t always end the way it should.  Spencer might just find out that what he’s been looking for has been right in front of him the entire time.

Discover what happens as Spencer and Charlotte kick their game up a notch. Can these friends convince everyone their love is the real deal despite being “just friends?”

Is it true that New York City’s notorious playboy is off the market and ready to commit to forever with one woman?  Everything is perfect, but someone isn’t happy about Spencer and Charlotte’s impending nuptials. Will they make it down the aisle?

If you are looking for a standalone read that’s off the chart with sizzle from the super smokin’ cover to a story written from his POV, then you will want to get your copy now. At $3.99 the price is just right for a mid-week treat. Tackle those  mid-week doldrums with a Spicy Latte read.

This was the first book I’ve read from Lauren and I thought her writing was flawless, witty and super steamy. A quick mention to the cover designer, creative use of the wording on the cover😉

This 4 JalepenosSpicy Latte is full on, no holds barred and go for it sensuality and situations. Definitely heats it up and might offend.  For mature readers, 18 +.

I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.

(** re-posted from 1/6/16)

******* ELIZABETH HEITER ********

 

ElizabethHeiterWeb

ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range.

Checkout a few books from Elizabeth’s Harlequin Intrigue series.

 

Seduced by the Sniper

Seduced by the Sniper, by Elizabeth Heiter, is the second book in The Lawmen Series from Harlequin Intrigue.  Chelsie Russell, an FBI negotiator, is involved in a tragic hostage situation that doesn’t end they way she’d planned. The results affect her family and colleagues. Scott Delacorte is an FBI agent trained to rescue hostages and has a reputation for being a playboy. When an unexpected development in a supposedly resolved case puts them in jeopardy, will they have the strength to admit the truth about how they feel towards each other?

Assumptions were made that could interfere with him protecting her. Can Chelsie open up to him? Will he put his playboy ways behind him? Scott is determined to keep her safe at all costs. There’s just one problem, he is still thinking about what happened between them before the hostage ordeal and it’s driving him crazy.

There is something so sexy about an FBI agent who can’t figure out his way around women but knows how to fire a weapon with precision and accuracy. So sexy!  This story will keep you engaged with enough action, sizzle and heat to keep you reading till the very last page.

This was the first book I’d read by Elizabeth and I absolutely LOVED it. I receive this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review but would have purchased this book for myself or a friend. Get your copy now!

(** re-posted from 3/29/15)

*****

 

SWAT Secret Admirer

SWAT Secret Admirer (The Lawmen), by Elizabeth Heiter, is a must read. Maggie Delacorte has been haunted by a madman from an unsolved case that has remained so for the past ten years, with very few leads. Everything she’s done, her job and relationships, has been affected because of what happened. Working for FBI SWAT is vital to her physical and emotional survival. When an unexpected letter arrives, everything changes and no one is safe.

Grant Larkin is new to the SWAT team and unbeknownst to Maggie, knows more than she probably would like about her past. When Grant is assigned to her case, things become clear, risks must be taken, and secrets need to be revealed. However, Grant wants more than friendship from Maggie and isn’t sure how to tell her. If he pursues his feelings it could jeopardize everything. How will she respond? How will he react? Maggie can’t afford to let herself get close to him, or can she?

This book is another great read from Harlequin Intrigue and has all the elements of it that we expect from a fabulous publisher! The perfect amount of romance, hot young FBI agents in a compelling and griping story that twists and turns!

While this book reads great as a stand alone, it’s even better when read in order as there is crossover from other great characters in each book.

I received this ARC from the Author for a fair and honest review and would absolutely buy this book and any future Lawmen series books. In fact, I look forward to more. Who’s will be next, Kammy? Clive? There just has to be more!

(** re-posted from 3/30/15)

**** ELIZABETH HOYT ****

 

Elizabeth Hoyt headshot

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Website: https://elizabethhoyt.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethHoytBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizabethHoyt

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elizabethhoyt/

Tumblr: https://elizabethhoyt.tumblr.com

 

duke-of-sinThe Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt is the tenth installment in the Maiden Lane series. Welcome to the world of secrets, games and fairy tales wrapped in a beautiful cover!

Bridget Crumb is the loyal housekeeper for a man who seek out the worst in people and holds those secrets for his gain. When circumstances force the Duke out of town, Bridget is left to manage his home and it leaves many questions unanswered. Intent of saving someone she loves from his wicked schemes she seeks out the truth from within the house. If her boss is away, why does she always feel like someone is watching her too?

Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery has witnessed his share of horrific acts by men who were supposed to keep people safe. Now a grown man he is still on a quest to find out the truth to that painful night all those years ago. The grown Duke is not a man anyone wishes to cross and with his collection of secrets it could be disastrous for anyone who crosses him. Can the man who controls everything let himself be tamed? One question still haunts him, who is Bridget loyal too?

Growing up without love can destroy a man rendering himself unable to reciprocate when the opportunity presents itself. When Bridget sets out to fix the pain Val has inflicted, what will he do with the news of her betrayal? Is it really a betrayal if it’s with good intention?

Elizabeth has infused this story with redemption, honesty and love. When Val believes he is unable to be loved it is due to the knowledge of atrocious acts inflicted by those closest to him. The damaged is from witnessing the effect it had on the one person he cared about. Yet, years later, he hasn’t been broken. While he still carries that secret close to him it is out of love to protect his sister. It will take a strong woman to show him that he is worthy of love and affection with someone of his own.

Another captivating read from Elizabeth with attention to most intricate details. From the characters to the house Val lives in, this story is fantastic. There is a certain expectation when you sit down to read a Maiden Lane book. What is that dear reader? A great story infused with a magical  fairytale of wisdom and truth, animals of all kinds, and absolute chemistry for our hero and heroine that sizzles.

Are you new to the series? Fear not dear readers this book can be read as a standalone but I think you will enjoy your reading pleasure more if you read the entire series in order. There are TEN books to dive into. So, wherever you obtain your books from – library, bookstore or e-retailer, you can find them anywhere!

A spicy 2 1/2 pepper read and has enough two half jalepenosheat to make you sizzle and is for mature readers 18+.

Get your copy here and have it delivered to your e-reader before you wake up this Tuesday. A wonderful gift to yourself this holiday weekend.

Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane)

************************************************************

Excerpt: 

Around back of the stables Bridget saw a group of boys surrounding something on the ground. As she gasped, a boy—a great big fellow, nearly as big as a man—drew back his leg and kicked.

The thing on the ground yelped.

“No!” Bridget shouted, but she was drowned out by a gunshot.

She turned to see the Duke of Montgomery, standing in his shirt-sleeves and pink embroidered waistcoat and breeches, hip cocked, a smoking pistol held almost negligently aloft in his left hand.

He smiled, as sweetly as an adder baring its fangs, at the boys. “Won’t you please vacate this area?”

The boys seemed frozen by surprise—or stark fear.

The duke tilted his head and his smile dropped from his face, leaving it blank—and somehow much more frightening. “Now.

There was a mad scramble and then the mews was deserted save for her and the duke.

Bridget blinked and hurried to her little terrier, tied quite disgracefully by a cord around his neck to a stake in the ground. He lay on his side in the mud, but his tail thumped against the dirt when he saw her. He jumped to his feet, shaking himself, and tried to limp toward her, but was stopped by the cord.

She knelt in the mud and tried to pull the cord from his neck, but it had been tied terribly tight and her hands were shaking.

She felt the duke crouch behind her, his arms reaching around her, warm and hard, and felt a moment’s confusion before he leaned forward and murmured in her ear, “Here.”

He placed her opened chatelaine knife in her hands.

She took it gratefully. “Thank you.”

Carefully she cut the cord and picked up the little dog, his body warm and rather smelly in her arms.

The terrier immediately began licking her chin.

Bridget inhaled on a sob, even as she felt the brush of the duke’s tongue at the corner of her eye.

“Your tears taste like salvation.” His voice was deep, resonating against her back, and he almost sounded puzzled.

She shuddered, gasping, but didn’t dare look around, and then he was gone.

Biting her lips, she smoothed her hands over the dog’s small, wriggling body, trying to feel for broken bones. As far as she could tell, the terrier was bruised, but fine, although he had a bit of blood over one eye. He gazed up at her adoringly and it came to her all at once that his name was Pip. 

Pip.

She looked up.

The duke was still there, watching her in the gloaming, his beautiful golden hair ablaze in the setting sun.

She cleared her throat. “I…thank you. For saving him.”

It was hard to tell his expression in the dim light, but she thought he smiled.

She still held Pip, loath to let him go. Would the boys find him again, perhaps kill him this time? “I…er…I didn’t know you liked dogs?”

“I don’t.” He shrugged. “But you do.”

************************************************************

 

*************** GIVEAWAY ********** GIVEAWAY ***************

Check out the featured prized that have been generously donated for the first post of the day. Check out what you could win…

From Robin Covington:

MacKenzie World_Robin Covington_300dpi_USA

ONE print copy of RUSH

~~~~~~~~~~

From Sandra Lake:

The Warlord's WifeUntitled-5 13396739_1547512798888445_1400472465_o

SIX e-book sets of A Sons of the North Series (The Warlords Wife, The Iron Princess, and The Northman’s Bride)

~~~~~~~~~

From Elizabeth Heiter:

Profiler-Books-Promo-from-Postcard

ONE autographed print set The Profiler books (Hunted, Vanished & Seized).

US/Canada

~~~~~~~~~~~~

From Lauren Blakely

ONE e-book of Big Rock

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From Elizabeth Hoyt

ONE Paperback copy of the Duke of Sin

US only

~~~~~~~~~~~~

For a chance to win one of these AMAZING prizes please comment and respond to the following questions on this blog post:

How do you decide where to go for your big meal of the holiday? Is your family so big that you have to spread it out? What is your favorite dish to make and what do you do while you are waiting for it to all cook? 

Do you cook it all or split it up and have everyone bring a faborite dish?

Contest ends 7/20/16 at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be randomly selected AND must comment on this blog post OR on the public Books I Love A Latte FaceBook Personal Blog Page.

 Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@RaeLatte) the blog (button on homepageand my FB page (Books I Love A Latte ) to keep up to date on everything.

If the winners do not comment within 24 hours a new name will be drawn. Don’t miss out!

Good luck to all!


 

Update for Nancy Northcott and Jeanne Adams Winter Extravaganza Post

gift-boxes-templates-vectorgift-boxes-templates-vector

Winter Extravaganza

Dear followers and readers who have attempted to comment in the past few days. I have left the giveaways open for another day due to a blog error that prevented many of you from commenting. The problem has been fixed and I want to allow time for those who wanted to comment to do so.

All contests for Day7 with Nancy Northcott and Day 8 with Jeanne Adams will stay open till tomorrow, July 19 at 2PM.

You must comment on these pages to be entered to win.

ICYMI: Winter Extravaganza Day 7

ICYMI: Winter Extravaganza Day 8

Thank you for your understanding and good luck to all 🙂

Happy Reading!