Tag: Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted October 15, 2017 by Holly in Features | 4 Comments

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

This is it, the last Maiden Lane book. I’m so sad to see the series ending. As part of the blog tour, we’re sharing an excerpt for our Sunday Spotlight this week. I can’t wait to read this book.

Sunday Spotlight: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth HoytDuke of Desire (Maiden Lane, #12) by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #12
Also in this series: Wicked Intentions, Wicked Intentions, Lord of Darkness, Darling Beast, Dearest Rogue, Sweetest Scoundrel, Duke of Sin, Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane #10.5), Duke of Pleasure
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 364
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.


Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.


Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

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DUKE OF DESIRE– Short Excerpt

Desperately she flung herself at the opposite seat and tugged it up. Thrust her hand in.

A pistol.

She cocked it, desperately praying that it was loaded.

She turned and aimed it at the door to the carriage just as the door swung open.

The Wolf loomed in the doorway—still nude—a lantern in one hand. She saw the eyes behind the mask flick to the pistol she held between her bound hands. He turned his head and said something in an incomprehensible language to someone outside.

Iris felt her breath sawing in and out of her chest.

He climbed into the carriage and closed the door, completely ignoring her and the pistol pointed at him. The Wolf hung the lantern on a hook and sat on the seat across from her.

Finally he glanced at her. “Put that down.”

His voice was calm. Quiet.

With just a hint of menace.

She backed into the opposite corner, as far away from him as possible, holding the pistol up. Level with his chest. Her heart was pounding so hard it nearly deafened her. “No.”

The carriage jolted into motion, making her stumble before she caught herself.

“T-tell them to stop the carriage,” she said, stuttering with terror despite her resolve. “Let me go now.”

“So that they can rape you to death out there?” He tilted his head to indicate the Lords. “No.”

“At the next village, then.”

“I think not.”

He reached for her and she knew she had no choice.

She shot him.

The blast blew him into the seat and threw her hands up and back, the pistol narrowly missing her nose.

Iris scrambled to her feet. The bullet was gone, but she could still use the pistol as a bludgeon.

The Wolf was sprawled across the seat, blood streaming from a gaping hole in his right shoulder. His mask had been knocked askew on his face.

She reached forward and snatched it off.

And then gasped.

The face that was revealed had once been as beautiful as an angel’s but was now horribly mutilated. A livid red scar ran from just below his hairline on the right side of his face, bisecting the eyebrow, somehow missing the eye itself but gouging a furrow into the lean cheek and catching the edge of his upper lip, making it twist. The scar ended in a missing divot of flesh in the line of the man’s severe jaw. He had inky black hair and, though they were closed now, Iris knew he had emotionless crystal-gray eyes.

She knew because she recognized him.

He was Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, and when she’d danced with him—once—three months ago at a ball, she’d thought he’d looked like Hades.

God of the underworld.

God of the dead.

She had no reason to change her opinion now.

Then he gasped, those frozen crystal eyes opened, and he glared at her. “You idiot woman. I’m trying to save you.”

You guys! Ahhh!

Maiden Lane

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

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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


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.

Enter the publisher sponsored giveaway as well! They’re giving away 10 copies of Duke of Desire!

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Sunday Spotlight: Storm Gathering by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted October 8, 2017 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 3 Comments

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 am loving dystopian romance right now. There are several authors that write it and Rebecca Zanetti is one of my favorites. I’ve been waiting for Grey and Moe’s book for awhile and I know it won’t disappoint. If you are wanting to give the post-apocalyptic world a try, you won’t go wrong with the Scorpius Syndrome series! Isn’t the cover hot?

Storm Gathering by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Scorpius Syndrome
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalpyse Romance
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: RAZ INK LLC

Even before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Greyson Storm was a lone wolf navigating minefields. As a kid, he learned to take a hit and find safety. As an adult, he joined the military and quickly learned how to protect and defend. When the world ended, he created a mercenary camp with military precision, no entanglements, and a promise to avenge a fallen friend. As part of that vow, he kidnapped Maureen Shadow, but now that he has let her go, her blue eyes and intriguing mind keep haunting him…

As possibly the only Biotechnology Engineer still living, Maureen Shadow might be humanity’s one hope to survive the aftermath of Scorpius, making her frighteningly valuable to both allies and enemies. Even after sexual tension explodes with Greyson, she’s not sure which camp he belongs to—friend or foe? Worse yet, survival may mean thwarting his prime mission, putting her in even more peril. When danger and seduction collide, there is no safety in this new world.

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Clouds covered the moon and threw rain onto the sand, but the chill was serving to finally focus Greyson. He made it to the deck before he noticed that Moe’s outside doors were open. Soft candlelight filtered outside. What the hell?

He paused.

She stood in the doorway, watching the storm pummel the ocean. The candles lit her from behind, making her hair glow. Those blue eyes cut through the darkness somehow.

He moved for her, unable to stop himself. “Your doors should be closed.”

She jumped and then pivoted. “Greyson.”

Was that relief in her voice? He stepped closer. “Did you hear me?”

She crossed her arms. “I’m not deaf.” Her voice slurred a little.

“Okay.” He wanted her to smile again like she’d done the other day. Just once. “I’m sorry I had to kidnap you.”

She huffed out air. “You didn’t have to do anything.”

Yeah, that was true. “You look like an angel with the candles behind you.”

She swayed. “Greyson.”

Man, his brain was screwed up. Too much booze and fighting. So he reached for the door. “Go inside, Moe. I’ll lock up.”

“No.” She pushed at him.

No? He didn’t move. “Yes.”

She stepped into him. “You like me.”

The scent of wild bluebells covered him, tempting him. His body went from zero to a hundred in a second flat, and his cock woke up like it had a place to go. “I do like you,” he mumbled, wishing she’d stop splitting into two people in front of his eyes.

She ran her hands up his chest. “I don’t want to like you.”

“Don’t blame you.” Her hands created too much warmth. Man, he wanted to be warm. Step back. He really needed to step back.

She leaned up and nibbled beneath his chin.

Desire cut through him with a painful sharpness. “We can’t.”

“I know,” she whispered, pressing her full breasts against his chest. “Kiss me, just once.”

He couldn’t say no. So he lowered his mouth, taking hers. Sweetness. She made a sound, one he’d never forget, in the back of her throat. Then she kissed him back.

At that point, he was lost. Completely.

Greyson. sigh

Scorpius Syndrome

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

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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


Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.

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Sunday Spotlight: Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie Ann DiRisio

Posted October 1, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 3 Comments

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

This week’s Sunday Spotlight is a little different. Normally, we spotlight a romance novel but this week, we’re spotlighting Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie Ann DiRisio. I have followed Brooding YA Hero on Twitter for a while now and I have laughed quite a few times while reading “his” tweets and that’s quite the accomplishment considering Twitter has been so negative as of late. So when I found out that Brooding YA Hero was getting his own book, I was stoked.

What a fun writing guide this book promises to be. Check it out.

Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie Ann DiRisio
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Skypony Press

Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.

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Narrative Interlude: Evil Appears!

There. It was done. With at least twenty-seven beautiful adjectives and more than thirty perfectly necessary adverbs, it was certain to be a bestseller. Broody smiled at his masterpiece, his work of art, his autobiography. It was perfect. He should frame it. Or publish it. Maybe both.

But the room suddenly went cold, washed in a foreboding doom that smelled faintly of strawberry lipgloss. The air carried with it the sweet sounds of last year’s biggest pop hit, layered with that female vocalist whose lyrics always got stuck in your head. Broody gasped, grabbed his book, and leapt to his feet. Only one character could be identified by her makeup right from the start of the novel. Good female characters always waited until after the plot dictated a makeover to start dressing up.

Only one character could make Broody quake in his (manly, and metaphorical) boots.

Blondie DeMeani appeared. He’d been right to be afraid.

As always, she was dressed flawlessly, perfectly made up, her blonde hair in lovely ringlets. No matter the time period or setting, Blondie always shone like a radioactive star that would probably kill you if you got too close. Broody would know. Blondie was . . . his evil ex-girlfriend.

Unlike a heroine, Blondie knew she was beautiful and flaunted it. Not one for nondescript adjectives, or mousey hair, she held her head high, like she deserved to be noticed.

That, in part, was one of the many reasons why she was pure evil. Self-confidence in a female character was just horrifying. And if that wasn’t evil enough, Blondie had also been known to have her own motivations, which sometimes included ignoring Broody’s own goals. And she’d even kissed multiple guys other than Broody! Sometimes, she became stronger and more powerful after she’d gotten dumped. Totally was ridiculous. Everyone knows that a woman with a broken heart should melt into a soft, mushy puddle of complete passivity in order to let plot happen.

Truly, Blondie was an archvillain.

“What are you doing?” she asked Broody.

“I—I am . . .” He set his chin. “I am writing a book about how to become the most broody you can be.” He folded his arms. “And about being a hero. Which you would know nothing about.”

But when her eyebrow arched, Broody stepped back. He wasn’t scared. It would be ridiculous to be scared of a girl. He just moved backward because it was a cool thing to do, not
because he was retreating.

“Sure,” Blondie purred. She was always purring. He sometimes wondered if she was a werekitten. “Of course you can write a book about yourself. That’s your favorite topic.”

“It is not!” he thundered, his eyes flashing. Broody was 5 percent raincloud, on his mother’s side. “I . . . have lots of other favorite topics.”

Her eyebrow quirked even higher. Broody cursed the fact she had gotten better marks than him in Eyebrow Expressions 101. Finally, she said, “Like what?”

“True love?”

“So you’re supportive of your love interest and that other guy in the love triangle finding happiness? Or your love interest running off with some other character who isn’t you?”

Broody clenched his fists. No. That wasn’t okay at all. How could he appear in the sequel if he was written out of the love triangle? He needed to be the hero of all relationships. It wasn’t about his ego; it was about preserving the main character status quo.

“Maybe,” Blondie said, “you should tell the reader how to become a main character.”

“What?” Broody’s eyebrows knitted together. Good. Finally, he’d remembered an expression from Eyebrow Class. Now, Blondie would remember he was a character not to be trifled with. Only the most badass characters got to have dynamic eyebrows. “Why would I do that?”

“Have you ever spoken to a supporting character?”

“Uh. Sure. Lots of times. You know, I ask them things like “Hey, what’s that cute new girl’s name?” or “Yo, dude, give me a compliment.”

Blondie’s eyebrow stayed lifted like a golden arch of judgment. “Wow. Those must be some fascinating conversations.”

“What else am I supposed to ask a supporting character about?” They weren’t main characters, after all. They didn’t have hopes or dreams or even the possibility of becoming a love interest.

“I don’t know. Have you ever considered treating them like every other character?”

Blondie drawled, studying her nails. They were, of course, painted the perfect shade for her— the blood red of her enemies. Broody would know. He was usually her enemy.

“No, because they’re supporting characters.” Broody spoke the words slowly, confused why Blondie was finding this such a hard concept to grasp.



Though she sometimes played the role of the antagonist, usually Blondie was just a supporting character. She never had an arc or plot points or any character growth. Once in a while, the narrative taught her a lesson or punished her for partying and being a badly behaved teen.

Of course the story never did that to him. Mainly because he was a dude, and therefore infinitely better than any female character.

Blondie made a great show of checking her nonexistent watch. “You done interior monologuing? Honestly, you main characters spend longer doing that than actually solving plot problems.”

“Yeah, well, at least we get to actually have plot,” he shot back, and was surprised to see her flinch. He must have struck a nerve he never knew she had. “I’m sorry. I . . . it’s just . . .weird being visited by my evil ex-girlfriend.”

Blondie paced around the room, examining the souvenirs and trophies from his billions of main character moments. “Broody, why am I so evil?”

“Well, you’re really good-looking, and you know it.” But after he responded, he realized he didn’t know what she’d meant. Was Blondie’s evil like his was brooding? A very part of her being? Or did he just think she should be evil.

Ugh. He needed to get back in a book, and soon. He’d started interior monologue like some wishy-washy main female character. Blondie was evil. Period.

A mirror flashed in front of him. Blondie spun it to show him his own reflection. “And you’re not good-looking?”

“Uh, well,” he rubbed his neck, and took a moment to shoot finger-guns at the dashing guy in the mirror before replying. “You’re also very rich.”

“Yeah, so are you.”

“I guess.” Broody turned away from his reflection, though it was very difficult to stop staring into those beautiful lapis lazuli orbs, and went to his desk. “Blondie, you’re an ambitious, beautiful, powerful woman. You’re never going to be a protagonist.”

She whirled on her heel. “Just go back to writing your stupid book, Broody.”

The door slammed shut behind her.

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

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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

Carrie Ann DiRisio


Carrie Ann DiRisio is a YA writer and creator of @BroodingYAHero. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with one large fluffy cat, and is currently pursuing her masters in Digital Marketing, although her true dream is to become a Disney Villainess, complete with a really snazzy gown.

In addition to writing and plans for world domination, she also enjoys running, coffee, Krav Maga, and knitting.

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Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh

Posted September 24, 2017 by Holly in Features | 2 Comments

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

Another Guild Hunter novel! I love Elena, Raphael, the other Guild Hunters and his Seven. Venom wasn’t my favorite of the Seven going into this book, but man do I heart him now. Archangel’s Viper features Venom and Holly, the only living victim from book one, Angels’ Blood.

Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini SinghArchangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #10
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Enter New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s breathtakingly passionate Guild Hunter world with the story of a woman who isn’t a vampire or an angel…or human…

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

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Holly is such a smartass. I love the banter between her and Venom.


“Has Neha ever tried to lure you back?”

Venom sent Holly another slow smile, wondering exactly how much she’d picked up of the current state of archangelic politics. It was probable that she had no idea Neha now considered Raphael an enemy, though Venom had the feeling Neha’s hostility was intermingled with a deep sense of loss. When beings lived that long, their emotions tended to be complex, layered things where contrary feelings could exist side by side.

Venom wasn’t that old. His emotions were less knotty—and his pleasures simpler. Annoying Holly ranked at the top. “Everyone wants me.”

She snorted. “Doesn’t being that delusional make it hard to function?”

He felt his lips tug up . . . right as Holly stumbled on a crack in the sidewalk. He’d snapped out an arm and curved it around her waist before she did more than sway a little. She’d reacted quickly, too—just not as quickly as him. The side of her body slammed into the front of his, his hand fitting into the curve of her waist.

She was gone as fast, jerking out of his hold with the inhuman speed that made her so much fun as a sparring partner. “If I wanted to be pawed,” she said, brushing her arm as if brushing off his germs, “I’d go to a furry convention.”

“If you thought that was pawing, kitty,” he said with deliberate sophistication in his tone, “your education has been sadly lacking.”

She forgot her coolly elegant persona and made a face at him. He’d reached out a finger and flicked her nose before he thought about what he was doing. Eyes narrowing, she hissed at him, flashing those tiny fangs he still couldn’t believe were functional. “Next time you touch me, I’m going for blood.”

“It’s been said that once you go Venom, you never go back.”

“Argh!” Holly fought the urge to take off one of her high heels and throw it at his smug head. But she’d spent good money on those heels, she reminded herself. Money she’d earned in the work she did with Ashwini and Janvier—work that meant she had far better contacts in this part of town than Smugface Venomous.

Taking a deep breath in an effort to control her racing heart as the otherness that lived in her stretched inside her skin, she turned her attention to the club that had appeared out of the darkness. The neon was pink and blazing and the outside walls matte black covered in creative white graffiti.

Used needles lying carelessly against one wall glinted in the neon glow.

“They like pretty boys here,” she said to the deadly vampire who was very much a man. “You shouldn’t have anything to worry about.”

His hand was suddenly against her lower back.

Holly went to kick back her heel when he said, “Don’t.”

It wasn’t the word that got her to pause, it was the tone. It was the same calm, dangerous tone he’d used just before they’d fought off the goons who’d tried to kidnap her. Scanning the area in the way Ash had taught her, she caught the furtive movement on the left, deep in the shadows to one side of the club.

Her chest eased. “I know them.” She stepped away from Venom’s coiled body. “Don’t follow me.”
He just looked at her.

Rolling her eyes, she patted the taut muscle of his biceps. “It’s okay, Sir Venomous, Knight of the Tower. You can move fast enough to rescue the damsel in distress if she squeals for help.” She turned and walked away before he could respond.



Guild Hunter

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

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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

Bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.

If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Sunday Spotlight: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Posted September 17, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 3 Comments

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

Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry are authors that both Holly and I love the hell out of so when we found out that they were writing a book together, we were stoked. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on their book and honestly, we couldn’t read the book fast enough.

Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 12, 2017

The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the one who can ruin everything…

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful — pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works–if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can’t afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo…

An American heroine and an Australian hero? Count us all the way in!

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After giving myself another minute to pull the Walker family mask of indifference back on, I went downstairs again to my guests. Some were beginning to make their way toward the exit, and I bid them goodnight.

I shook more unfamiliar hands. “Great man, your uncle,” a Mr. Crowley said, pumping my hand. “I did a little legal work on the Robinson Center with him last year.”

Legal work. “You never did any estate work for Jack, did you?”

“No.” The lawyer frowned. “Just a real-estate contract for a nonprofit. A pro bono job. He talked me into it.”

“Of course he did!” I said with a smile, smoothing over my awkward question. “Thank you for coming.”

The rest was a blur of well-wishers and booze. By the time there was nobody but Grace and I alone in the apartment, I was weary to the core. The caterers were coming back tomorrow to clean up. But Grace hadn’t gotten the memo. She was collecting glassware and stacking mini plates onto the bar.
“Grace, let the restaurant handle that. I’m paying them to do it.”

“You can’t leave a mess overnight,” she said. “This is Manhattan. There could be mice. Or worse.”
“Not on Central Park West,” I argued. “Mice aren’t allowed in these buildings. They can’t afford the co-op fees.”

She rolled her eyes at me.

“Go home, O’Malley. It’s late. I appreciate your help tonight, but I’m starting to feel guilty now. Do you want me to call you a car? I’m in no shape to drive.” I wasn’t so much drunk as flattened by tonight’s emotional cocktail.

“Let me just…” She broke off to rescue another plate from the edge of a potted plant. “The plates are everywhere.”

I took two steps toward her and grabbed the plate. But Grace surprised me by hanging on. And when I gave another tug, the small abandoned bite of lemon cake leapt from the plate and went airborne. For a nanosecond, we both watched its ascent. Then it lodged itself right on Grace’s chin.

“Oh, fuck. Hold still,” I said. A snort of laughter escaped me. Because Grace—normally so pristine—looked hilarious with icing stuck to her face, and a bit of cake clinging to it.

“Now you’re laughing at me?” she asked. Her forehead furrowed. But then I saw her lips twitch. She wiped the icing off her face with her finger. But instead of looking about for a napkin, she reached up and smeared it on my face.

“O’Malley!” I gave an unmanly squawk of outrage.

“You deserved that,” she said with a grin. “Here, let me…” She reached for my face, but I ducked. “Hey now. I come in peace this time.”

Then her slim hand landed on the side of my face, and a gentle thumb stroked across my cheek, coming away with icing on it. Acting on instinct, I opened my mouth and took her thumb against my tongue, licking the icing away.

I felt her go absolutely still.

The air thickened around us. I took Grace’s hand in my suddenly shaky one, and I kissed the palm, then looked down, meeting her gaze.

Soft brown eyes looked back up at me, full of wonder.

My self-control was done and dusted. I tugged on her hand to draw her closer, then leaned down. I found the corner of her mouth with my lips and just hovered there, teasing her. Grace made a breathy little sound of surprise, but she didn’t pull away.

I pressed my lips against her warm skin, then caught her mouth under my own. Her moan was all I needed. I deepened the kiss, and her lips felt soft and supple beneath mine, as I always knew they would.

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About the Author

Sarina Bowen


Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of New England.

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She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of the RITA award winning HIM, and its sequel, US, as well as the WAGs novels.

Sarina also has a new Vermont contemporary romance series, True North. She’s also unrolled new hockey novels from Penguin Berkley including Rookie Move.

Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks, and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

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Or join her Facebook group, or tweet her @sarinabowen.

Sarah Mayberry


Sarah Mayberry was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is the middle of three children. From the time that she first “stole” paper from kindergarten and stapled it together to make “books,” Sarah has always wanted to be a writer. In line with this ambition, on graduation from high school she completed a bachelor of arts degree majoring in professional writing, then sat down to write a book. When inspiration didn’t strike, she began to wonder if, perhaps, she needed to live some life first before writing about it.

This still left the burning question of how to pay the rent. She found her way into trade journalism, working off the principle that it was better to write anything for a living than nothing at all. Her time there lead to the opportunity to launch a new decorator magazine for one of Australia’s major retailers, an invaluable and grueling experience that she found very rewarding.

But the opportunity to write fiction for a living soon lured Sarah away. She took up a post as storyliner on Australia’s longest running soap, Neighbours. Over two years she helped plot more than 240 hours of television, as well as writing freelance scripts. She remembers her time with the show very fondly — especially the dirty jokes and laughter around the story table — and still writes scripts on a freelance basis.

In 2003 she relocated to New Zealand for her partner’s work. There Sarah served as storyliner and story editor on the country’s top-rating drama, Shortland Street, before quitting to pursue writing full time.

Sarah picked up a love of romance novels from both her grandmothers, and has submitted manuscripts to Harlequin many times over the years. She credits the invaluable story structuring experience she learned on Neighbours as the key to her eventual success — along with the patience of her fantastic editor, Wanda.

Sarah is revoltingly happy with her partner of twelve years, Chris, who is a talented scriptwriter. Not only does he offer fantastic advice and solutions to writing problems, but he’s also handsome, funny and sexy. When she’s not gushing over him, she loves to read romance and fantasy novels, go to the movies, sew and cook for her friends. She has also become a recent convert to Pilates, which she knows she should do more often.

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