Sunday Spotlight: The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren

Posted June 24, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 1 Comment

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I was really interested in the premise of this series when Roni Loren first announced it and I couldn’t wait to read the first book once it came out. I enjoyed that book so much that The One You Can’t Forget went straight to the top of my wishlist so I’m super thrilled to be featuring this book today. It’s just as great as the first book and I hope today’s excerpt entices you to read it.

Check it out.

Sunday Spotlight: The One You Can’t Forget by Roni LorenThe One You Can't Forget (The Ones Who Got Away, #2) by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones that Got Away #2
Also in this series: The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away, #1)
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
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Goodreads

Most days Rebecca Lindt feels like an imposter...The world admires her as a survivor. But that impression would crumble if people knew her secret. She didn't deserve to be the one who got away. But nothing can change the past, so she's thrown herself into her work. She can't dwell if she never slows down.

Wes Garrett is trying to get back on his feet after losing his dream restaurant, his money, and half his damn mind in a vicious divorce. But when he intervenes in a mugging and saves Rebecca―the attorney who helped his ex ruin him―his simple life gets complicated.

Their attraction is inconvenient and neither wants more than a fling. But when Rebecca's secret is put at risk, both discover they could lose everything, including what they never realized they needed: each other

She laughed and kissed him. This morning she'd melted down. But somehow this man had her laughing and turned on only a few hours later. Everything inside her felt buoyed.

She felt...light.

She'd forgotten what that felt like.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Wes Garrett peeked through the crack in the door to the apartment inside, eyeing the small group of women laughing and drinking champagne. One was wearing a party hat with a big light-up dick on it. He shut the door and leaned against the wall in the hallway. “I can’t believe I’m considering this.”

Suzie grinned wickedly at him, her lip ring glinting in the hallway light. “Don’t be such a prude, Garrett. What happened to that wild, try-anything-once guy I used to know?”

His jaw clenched. “Are you really asking me that?”

She waved a dismissive hand. “You know that’s not what I mean. I don’t want post-apocalyptic you. That sucked.”

“Ya think?”

She rolled her eyes. “I’m talking about the you before everything went to shit. You’ve swung too far in the other direction.” She shrugged. “Walking the straight and narrow doesn’t mean not having any fun or, you know, a sense of humor.”

“Suze…”

“This is a good gig.” She pinned him with her gaze. “Three hundred bucks for two hours of your time. All you’re going to be doing is teaching drunk chicks how to cook simple things. You teach cooking every day. This is no different.”

He gave her a droll look. “I teach cooking to teenagers. I get to wear my chef’s whites. I don’t have to cook naked.”
“Ugh. You’re not going to be naked. That would be a major kitchen hazard. Just…shirtless. And hey, with all your tattoos, you have some added coverage.”

Christ. This was what his life had come to? From four-star restaurants to this? He’d thought teaching at an after-school program was a giant tumble down the staircase from his chef dreams, but this was a new level. The basement. At least with the kids, he could convince himself he was training future chefs. Here he would be the special of the day. “I don’t know.”

She reached out and grabbed his hands, her face earnest beneath the fringe of bright-pink hair. “Come on, Wes. My other guy called in. Shirtless Chefs is just getting off the ground. If I have chefs no-showing for parties, I’m going to catch hell in the online reviews, and the business will tank before I really get rolling. You’ve got the skills. You’ve got the blond bad-boy thing going, which is going to rock their socks off. And once upon a time, you could charm the ladies, so I know you’re capable. Plus, you said you needed the extra money. This is easy cash. Win-win.”

Wes grimaced. He hated needing the money. Hated that he was anywhere near that place he’d been so long ago, where he’d had to scrape together every damn dime. He’d thought he was far past that, and then boom, life had exploded. But need wasn’t even the right word. He had enough to live on right now with his teaching gig. He knew how to stretch his dollars. What he wanted the money for was a stupid idea. Something he shouldn’t be messing with. His family would kick his ass if they even knew he was thinking about it.

Still, he couldn’t help closing his eyes and picturing the beat-up school bus his friend Devin had shown him last week. The old bus had looked like it’d been rolled off the side of a rocky cliff and set on fire, but Wes had been able to see the bones beneath, the potential to be converted into a food truck. He’d gotten that itch he’d tried to ignore since he’d lost everything. The what-ifs.

He’d found himself inquiring about a loan at the bank. He’d known the answer before asking, but he’d asked anyway. And he’d put out feelers with his friends, telling them to give him a call if they had any extra catering or temporary cooking gigs.

Of course, Suzie had been the one to call, and she hadn’t told him exactly how her new private chef business worked or the name she’d chosen for it until he’d arrived. She was smart enough to know he would’ve run in the other direction.

But now he was here and she needed his help. And dammit, he wanted the money. He tilted his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. “What am I teaching them to make?”

When she didn’t answer immediately, he lifted his head, finding her biting her lip.

“Suze,” he said, warning in his voice.

She held up her palms. “Don’t hate me, okay? There’s a bruschetta recipe and a bourbon nut brittle that you’re going to love. But some of the other stuff is…themed.”

His shoulders sagged in acceptance. “I’m making dick-shaped things, aren’t I?”

“Um…” Her nose wrinkled. “There may be recipes for Big, Meaty Balls and Eat My Taco Dip.”

“I fucking hate you.”

She grinned and stepped up to pat him on the cheek. “You’re the best, Garrett. If I didn’t want to put lipstick on the merchandise, I’d kiss you.”

“You say the sweetest things, Suze. I just feel showered by your sweetness and affection.”

“Right?” She pinched his hip. “Now go in there, be nice, and look pretty.”

He gave her a look. “You treat all your employees like cattle?”

She stuck out her tongue. “Only my friends who won’t sue me.”

He let out a tired breath. “I won’t sue you, but if you tell anyone about this…”

“I won’t.”

“I could lose my job.” Not to mention whatever shreds of dignity he had left.

She mimed sealing her lips and tossing the key. “Your secret’s safe. I swear.”

“Fine. I’ll go in.”

She did a little celebratory clap, but then her smile sagged a bit. “And you sure you’re cool with alcohol being at the party? I mean, I know I’m pushing you to do this, but for real, if that part’s a problem—”

“I told you it’s not an issue,” he said, cutting her off, anger trying to surface. “Tonight, that’s the least of my worries.”

She pressed her lips together and nodded. “Okay. Good.”

He ran a hand through his hair, resigned. “Let’s get this over with.”

“Right.” She swept an arm out toward the door. “Godspeed, my friend.”

With one last steeling breath, he stepped past her and pushed open the door. All eyes turned his way, and the blond woman with the penis hat grinned widely and clapped her hands together. “Ooh, y’all got me a stripper?”

Wes almost reversed his steps right there. Three. Two. One. Right back out the door. But he gritted his teeth and kept moving forward.

The Ones That Got Away

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Gleam giveaway widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: June 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Roni Loren

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | YOUTUBE | GOODREADS

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.


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What Are You Reading? (+ Kieran Kramer Giveaway)

Posted June 22, 2018 by Holly in Features | 5 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I am obsessed with the Dark Protectors series by Rebecca Zanetti. Obsessed. I took a break to read Ocean Light by Nalini Singh, but went right back to the DP series. I’m currently on the fourth book which is Consumed. I can’t put it down. I’m an early to bed type of person (to which Holly and Rowena can attest), but I’m actually staying up late to read. I haven’t done that in years. Nothing has held my interest that much.

I’ll be sad when it’s over.

Holly: This week I finished up my re-read of the Kate Daniels series with Magic Binds. I’m all caught up and very eager to read Magic Triumphs in August.

I read Shadow’s Edge and Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger, an Urban Fantasy series. I enjoyed book 2 more than book 1. I almost started book 3, but I ended up starting Midnight Valentine instead. It’s a contemporary romance and I’m loving it.

I also reread Giving Chase and Taking Chase by Lauren Dane. I snagged the refreshed version of Giving Chase (along with the audio add-on) a few weeks ago when it was on sale for $0.99. It’s been awhile since I read the series and I ended up falling right into it. So good! I’ll probably read the next two books right away.

Rowena: My reading slowed down some this week but it’s all good. I finished up Ocean Light by Nalini Singh, which I enjoyed a lot more than I was expecting considering all of my friends didn’t love it the way we normally do but it was good to me. After that, I started Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean and I’m almost done. It’s Felicity from The Day of the Duchess and I so love Felicity. I still completely adore her and am enjoying this read so I should be done tonight.

Next up is One Small Thing by Erin Watt. I really enjoyed the last standalone of theirs that I read so I’m really excited about this one.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Kieran Kramer Giveaway)A Wedding At Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer
Series: Two Love Lane #2
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 346
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Never say never when it comes to love.

Greer Jones has made a real name for herself at the elegant matchmaking agency Two Love Lane. For a lot of reasons--including a past engagement she broke off--practical tech expert Greer is more interested in the business of love than the experience of it, but she can't help but covet a gorgeous wedding gown that's the prize in an upcoming cocktail-party contest. In a moment of brazen inspiration, Greer asks a handsome Brit she's only just met to accompany her to the party. He agrees--and Greer believes her date is a starving artist. Little does she know the truth. . .

Ford Smith, as he calls himself, is actually Stanford Elliott Wentworth Smythe, the Eighth Baron of Wickshire. Fresh off a breakup with a money-grubbing siren who deceived him all the way to the altar, Ford has no desire to fall in love--especially with Greer who, like the desired wedding gown, is beautiful but only skin-deep. But soon Ford realizes that there's more to Greer than meets the eye. Her professionalism is matched only by her passion for life and love. . .and, best of all, she has no idea that he's to the manor born. Could it be that true love is priceless after all?

What Are You Reading: A Wedding at Two Love Lane

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Review: Fated by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted June 22, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Fated by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Fated by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #1
Published by Brava
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 299
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Marry Me! Cara Paulsen does not give up easily. A scientist and a single mother, she's used to fighting for what she wants, keeping a cool head, and doing whatever it takes to protect her daughter Janie. But "whatever it takes" has never before included a shotgun wedding to a dangerous-looking stranger with an attitude problem.

Or Else! Sure, the mysterious Talen says that he's there to protect Cara and Janie. He also says that he's a three-hundred-year-old vampire. Of course, the way he touches her, Cara might actually believe he's had that long to practice. . .

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This was my first look into the Dark Protector series and I have no idea why I waited so long to dive into it. I’m hooked on Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome series, love paranormals in general, so why did I wait? I have no clue. There were a few parts of this particular book I wasn’t down with, but…shrug. I got past it.

Cara Paulson is a special type of person. She has been an empath since she was a young girl. So it makes sense that she would give birth to a very special child. She had no idea that her child would be prophesied to save a race of evil vampires. Vampires that she had no idea existed until one burst into her home to save her and Janie’s lives. Cara isn’t having any of it even when Janie tells her that Talen is the one that is going to save them. All she sees is a strange man coming into her home trying to kidnap her and her baby. Forget the fact that she has this inappropriate and completely confounding attraction to the man. Being disgusted with herself can come after she gets away from him.

Talen had no idea that Cara was his mate until he comes to her rescue. And come to her rescue he does because he can sense the Kurjans, the evil counterpart to his vampire race, coming to get them. Three hundred years of peace are broken because of Cara’s young daughter Janie. They have no idea what’s coming for them. Before he knew she was his mate, it was his job to protect Cara and Janie. Now it is is duty and honor. He can do nothing less that protect the woman he has looked for over the centuries and the little girl that is now his daughter. If only he could convince Cara that she isn’t getting away from him.

There were a lot of things that I liked about this book. I liked the instant connection between Cara and Talen. Talen was very sweet. The love between the two was very sweet. Talen really cared about how Cara felt. He knew that she had a hard time living in their headquarters below ground and made sure she had plants that she loved to help her cope. He just did little sweet things that really made me like him. Other the other hand, I really disliked how he referred to her as “mate” all the time. Like it was her name. It made her sound like a possession. I didn’t enjoy that all. As for Cara, she was a strong heroine, but made stupid fucking decisions. Including a TSTL one that almost got her killed. Just because she was mad at Talen over a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING. TSTL decisions always happen after stupid BIG MISUNDERSTANDINGS, don’t they?

Even with the things that bothered me, I did find this book enjoyable and am looking forward to continuing this series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks

Posted June 21, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya BanksReviewer: Holly
Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks
Series: McCabe Trilogy #2
Also in this series: In Bed with a Highlander, In Bed with a Highlander, Never Love a Highlander
Published by Ballantine
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 323
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Goodreads
four-stars


Maya Banks, the New York Times bestselling author of romance and romantic suspense has captivated readers with her steamy Scottish historical novels, perfect for fans of Julie Garwood. In Seduction of a Highland Lass, an indomitable Highland warrior is caught between loyalty and forbidden love.
 Fiercely loyal to his elder brother, Alaric McCabe leads his clan in the fight for their birthright. Now he is prepared to wed for duty, as well. But on his way to claim the hand of Rionna McDonald, daughter of a neighboring chieftain, he is ambushed and left for dead. Miraculously, his life is saved by the soft touch of a Highland angel, a courageous beauty who will put to the test his fealty to his clan, his honor, and his deepest desires.

An outcast from her own clan, Keeley McDonald was betrayed by those she loved and trusted. When the wounded warrior falls from his horse, she is drawn to his strong, lean body. The wicked glint in his green eyes ignites a passion that will follow them back to Alaric’s keep, where their forbidden love draws them deeper into the pleasures of the flesh. But as conspiracy and danger circle closer, Alaric must make an impossible choice: Will he betray his blood ties for the woman he loves?

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on November 29, 2011.

Where the first book in the series had more external conflict, this one has a lot more internal conflict.

Alaric MacCabeis on his way to a neighboring clan to formally offer marriage to the Laird’s daughter, Rionna MacDonald, to secure an alliance, when he’s attacked. All of his men are killed and he’s gravely wounded. He manages to make it to Keeley MacDonald’s cabin on the outskirts of the clan. She’s a skilled healer and is able to save his life. When his bothers, Ewan and Caelen, show up, they decide to keep Keeley since they need a healer in their clan. Not only is Keeley charged with caring for Alaric, but Ewan wants her to attend the birth of his first child.

Keeley was cast out of her clan as a young girl after the Laird made unwanted advances and his wife cried her a whore. She’s been living alone ever since. The idea of being accepted as a healer in a new clan is appealing, but she’s not happy to have been snatched from her home with no choice. The deciding factor in her not fighting her situation is Alaric. They formed a deep bond while Keeley was caring for him.

The problem is Alaric promised to marry Rionna MacDonald. The MacDonald land lies between the McCabe keep and the new land Ewan McCabe (the laird) inherited when he married his new wife. Without the alliance the clan will be divided, not to mention the other alliances they’re working on might be jeopardized. Alaric knows his duty. As much as he wants Keeley, he knows he can’t have her. Not permanently.

Although Duncan Cameron, the villain from the first book, is still a threat in this novel, but the focus is on the internal conflict of Alaric and Keeley being in love but unable to marry. The story could have become bogged down with angst, but Banks managed a good balance between sexy-times, humor and conflict.

Keeley was a practical woman. Her clan threw her out, but she isn’t so hung up on it she’s willing to cut off her nose to spite her face. When Ewan offers her a place with the McCabe clan, she takes it. Her practicality and levelheadedness worked well with the conflict, too. Yes, she wanted Alaric, but she understood what was at stake and what would happen if they risked everything. Alaric also knew his duty, but my heart broke for him. He knew right away that he wanted Keeley and no other, but he also knew he didn’t have a choice.

I think too often in historical novels the main characters throw convention and duty out the window to the detriment of the story. Yes, it happened, but it was rare. I think for a couple to focus more on duty than on love brought a touch of realism.

The story isn’t perfect. There were times when it was bogged down with useless info. The dialogue ran toward cheesy now and again. I also found myself struggling to connect to Keeley in the beginning. Thankfully that didn’t last long. 

Overall this was a satisfying read. I enjoyed the characters and the conflict. Banks has penned a strong second novel for this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

McCabe Trilogy

four-stars


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