Tag: Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

Posted September 22, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s War by Nalini SinghArchangel's War by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #12
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, 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, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all.

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. 🙂

After Archangel’s Prophecy left us hanging, we’ve all been dying to read Archangel’s War. Soon, my pretties. Soon. In the meantime, here’s a little snippet for your enjoyment.

Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s War by Nalini SinghArchangel's War by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #12
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, 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, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all.

Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt #2 from Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

It had taken Montgomery a year. He’d asked if he could go to Neha’s court, to Titus’s, to Uram’s, to Lijuan’s, so he could see examples of an archangelic home and Raphael had sent him off with suave and sophisticated Trace as a guide.

Montgomery had come back with painstakingly knotted silk carpets from India, wall hangings from Africa, a hand-carved settee from the hinterland of Uram’s territory, artisan-painted screens from China.

He’d also returned with a statuette he’d found “abandoned” in Neha’s court.

It had taken Raphael two decades to realize that Montgomery had “rescued” the item because it wasn’t being appreciated. By then, the vampire was running his home with elegant efficiency and his tendency to rescue items now and then was a small peccadillo. Raphael quietly returned what needed to be returned, and Montgomery continued to ensure his house was a stunning showpiece in the formal areas—and a welcoming haven elsewise.

Emerging into the sunshine on that thought, he told both Illium and the Primary to clear the skies and to ensure no one had returned to nearby homes since their earlier evacuation. “I do not foresee a second explosion but let us not take any chances.”

Only once the two confirmed the area remained devoid of unauthorized life did Raphael drop back down into the chasm. Halting a quarter of the way up from the bottom, he began to surgically target the walls with his power. What emerged from his hands was a melding of vivid blue and lightning-shot gold.
The archangel he had been and the archangel he was becoming.

He had to recalculate after the first hit did more damage than good; his power was violently strong, more so than prior to the chrysalis. It took him three strikes to gain an accurate gauge of what was needed. The chasm began to crumple inward with slow grace below him as he flew up, continuing to weaken the walls as he went.

This time when he shot out into the fall sunshine, it was to turn and see the scar in the earth collapsing behind him. The rumble of sound was huge and dull, and it seemed that the soil moved in slow motion. But dust soon puffed into the air, the rumble ceasing as the earth settled. Loosened by his strikes, much of the compacted soil had released itself back into the chasm, but a significant dent remained.

© Copyright 2019 by Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: September 2019

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 Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.


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Sunday Spotlight: Dark Illusion by Christine Feehan

Posted September 1, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 6 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. 🙂

I started reading the Dark series waaaaay back in 2000. My son was a newborn and I needed to find something to do while I stayed at home with him. I headed into a used bookstore (you know, back in the day when they had used bookstores) and saw Dark Prince displayed. It is the first book in the series. I picked it up and ended up reading it in one day. Dark Illusion is the 33rd book in this series. Although at times it can get monotonous, I still love it. I’ve really enjoyed this new story line that CF has going on. If you have been looking for a good paranormal, this is a good place to start.

Sunday Spotlight: Dark Illusion by Christine FeehanDark Illusion by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark #33
Also in this series: Dark Illusion
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

A mage and a warrior must see beyond their facades and embrace the bond that links their souls in this powerful Carpathian novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

At any other time, Julija Brennan would find solace in the quiet of the Sierra Mountains, but now the mage is in the race of her life. Having broken free from her controlling family, Julija's attempts to warn the Carpathians of the coming threat has failed and put a target on her back—and those who hunt her are close behind...

After centuries locked away in a monastery in the Carpathian Mountains, Isai Florea can't believe he's finally found his lifemate—the missing half of his soul. The second he sees Julija his world blazes with color. But despite their explosive connection Julija rebels against what she sees as Isai's intent to control her and rejects the bond that would prevent him from becoming a monster.

As their unfulfilled bond continues to call to them both, Julija and Isai aim to complete the task that brought them together. They are used to facing danger alone, but now the mage and the ancient warrior must learn how to rely on each other in order to stop a plot that threatens all Carpathians...

Exclusive Excerpt

The world looked very different when one was soaring through the air in the middle of the night. Julija found herself laughing, elated, exhilarated. I love this.

Pay attention to what you are doing, kislány hän ku meke sarnaakmet minan. Stay focused.

Was there panic in his voice? Julija thought there might be and that made her laugh all over again. The stars were brighter this far up. Everything below her seemed very small. The cats were running flat out on the rocks below, Carpathian blood calling to them. They would find Julija and Isai before dawn when Isai found a place for them all. In the meantime, she could do a few crazy tricks, like try to do somersaults in the air.

Julija. You will behave yourself. Pay attention. Do you have any idea of all the things that could go wrong?

I want to kiss you right now. She did. Kissing him sounded wonderful. Completing. That was exactly what she needed to make flying the best thing that ever was. She thought about his face. The lines etched deep. The strong jaw. Aristocratic nose. That long hair, pulled back in his braid with cords tying it every few inches. Always neat. Never ruffled. She laughed all over again. Your feathers seem a little ruffled now. Her laughter grew. That was true—and funny.

The larger owl dropped down to cover the female with one widespread wing. I think you have truly lost your mind, woman. Stop laughing.

There was no stopping, not when she was this happy. Are you crazy? This is—wonderful. Perfection. I can’t believe how flying feels. I could do this all night.

It is your first time, sívamet. There was a hint of a smile coming through the panic along with resignation. You will tire easily. Please keep your mind focused on what you are doing. If you lose the image, even for a moment, you will fall from the sky.

She knew that, and it should have scared her, but it didn’t. She’d always had the ability to give details her full attention. She was aware of everything around her. She’d had to be. Her father was very exacting of all of them, but of her in particular. Her stepmother was very cruel; knowing where she was in the house at all times had saved Julija from many beatings. She wasn’t going to think about her. Nothing was going to mar her enjoyment of flying through the air on silent wings.

Stay with me. Your owl has excellent hearing and vision. We are looking for Iulian’s trail. I was searching for him when I discovered you. I tried reaching out to him, but he didn’t answer. Neither, when the theft was first discovered, did he answer the prince, Gregori or Tariq.

I felt him up until about forty-eight hours ago. He felt . . . sad. Very sad. His sorrow weighed him down.

You said you connected with him when he was with his lifemate.

She was very tired. She must have been in her eighties or nineties and alone in a nursing home. He held her until she passed.

Isai was silent for so long she was becoming alarmed. In the body of the owl she twisted her neck, although the eyes could see his owl very clearly.

What are you thinking, Isai?

The entire time he was close to you, you could connect with him?

Yes. I felt his emotions, even though he could not. She settled into a pattern, flying close to him, allowing the larger bird to keep her nearly beneath his wing.

Was that common for you? Feeling the emotions of others?

Automatically, her owl observed everything going on below her. For the most part, there was little movement of humans or even mages on the vast acreage laid out below them. Twice she’d seen hikers, but when Isai had dropped low to ensure they were truly hikers, both times they’d been legitimate.

To feel other’s emotions, yes. To connect so strongly with a Carpathian male? No. That was the first time and it was extremely strong. I was shocked that he didn’t seem aware of it.

You were behind him by several days and yet you were able to pick up his trail again once you were here in Yosemite?

Yes. The pull was extreme again. There was no getting away from it. He was broadcasting sorrow so deep, at times all I could do was weep for him. That was the truth as well. His brother, Iulian, had moved her beyond all self-centered thoughts. Beyond anything. His sorrow was that deep.

Then suddenly that trail abruptly ended?

Again, she twisted her neck to look at him. His voice had been pitched exactly the same, but she listened for any little inflection. Something was off. He was going somewhere with his inquiry, not just trying to find a detail she missed.

I don’t believe he was selfishly looking to keep the book. It didn’t feel that way to me at all. What are you thinking?

The same thing you are. He took the book to protect it. He had to have had a plan. My blood calls to his, yet it goes unanswered. The book was sealed with the blood of sacrifice. To keep that blood sacrifice from calling to the any member of the high mage’s family— He broke off.

Julija knew what was coming. She’d entertained the idea she knew was moving through Isai’s mind. She wanted desperately to stop him from voicing it. Already she could feel the beginnings of sorrow in his mind. She couldn’t stop herself. She had to delay the inevitable, even if it was just for a few minutes.

Dark Series

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: September 2019

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 Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times bestselling author multiple times over with her portfolio including over 40 published novels, including five series; Leopard Series, Dark Series, Ghostwalker Series, Drake Sisters Series, & the Sisters of the Heart Series. All five series hit the #1 spot on the New York Times bestselling list as well. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature (PEARL) in 1999. Since then she has been published by various publishing houses including Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards since Dark Prince.


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Sunday Spotlight: Blood Truth by J.R. Ward

Posted August 18, 2019 by Casee 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. 🙂

The Black Dagger Legacy series is an offshoot of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. In this series we have the trainees that are being trained by the BDB to be fighters for their race. I have really enjoyed this series since the first book came out. It has a freshness than the BDB releases have lacked as of late. I think it’s the new characters plus the continuation of existing character storylines. I’m really looking forward to reading this one. The last book was released some time ago.

Sunday Spotlight: Blood Truth by J.R. WardBlood Truth by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #4
Also in this series: Blood Fury, Blood Truth
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Savior brings you the next sizzling and passionate paranormal romance in the Black Dagger Legacy series.

As a trainee in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s program, Boone has triumphed as a soldier and now fights side by side with the Brothers. Following his sire’s unexpected death, he is taken off rotation against his protests—and he finds himself working with Butch O’Neal, former homicide cop, to catch a serial killer: Someone is targeting females of the species at a live action role play club. When the Brotherhood is called in to help, Boone insists on being a part of the effort—and the last thing he expects is to meet an enticing, mysterious female...who changes his life forever.

Ever since her sister was murdered at the club, Helaine has been committed to finding the killer, no matter the danger she faces. When she crosses paths with Boone, she doesn’t know whether to trust him or not—and then she has no choice. As she herself becomes a target, and someone close to the Brotherhood is identified as the prime suspect, the two must work to together to solve the mystery...before it’s too late. Will a madman come between the lovers or will true love and goodness triumph over a very mortal evil?

Excerpt

29th and Market Streets
Caldwell, New York

Boone’s shitkickers shredded the frozen tire tracks down the middle of the alley, his powerful body churning through the dirty city snow, air sucking into his lungs cold and punching out hot as steam from a locomotive’s stack. In his right hand, he had a twelve-inch serrated hunting knife. In his left, a length of chain.

Up ahead, by about thirty feet, a lesser was running as if its undead life depended on all the Usain Bolt the thing was pulling. The telltale sickly sweet stench of the enemy was thick in its wake, a tracker that Boone’s sensitive nose had picked up on seven blocks ago. The slayer was sloppy of foot, flappy of hand, and given how saturated its smell was, Boone wondered whether it was already injured.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood’s commanding officer, Tohrment, son of Hharm, set the nightly territories for the Brothers and fighters, carving up sections of downtown into quadrants that would be stalked for the enemy. Trainees such as Boone were paired with more experienced people, either Brothers or members of the Band of Bastards, in the interest of safety—especially as there was a new threat out on the streets.

Shadow entities. That were killing innocent vampire civilians.

Boone glanced over his shoulder. Tonight, he was working with Zypher. The Bastard was a great partner, a big, brutal male who nonetheless had a teacher’s patience and an eye for constant improvement.

It was supposed to have been Syn. And a relief when it wasn’t.

Syn was . . . different.

Boone’s favorite to work with, bar none, was Rhage. But the Brotherhood was otherwise occupied tonight. Every last one of them.

And Boone was the one who had set them on a mission that he hoped and prayed didn’t result in death.

His father’s, specifically.

In the intervening twelve months since their blowup over the broken arrangement, he and Altamere had settled into an uneasy détente. Which was what happened when you finally called a bully on their push-and-shove. The two of them kept up appearances, something that was not hard given how starchy and superficial their relationship had always been, but Boone had drawn a line and instead of the threatened repercussions, in return he’d gotten a retreat of hostility.

He probably should have moved out, but as petty as it was, he had enjoyed getting the upper hand and keeping it. Especially after he joined the Brotherhood’s training program, something he was well aware his father disapproved of. Altamere’s “son” a soldier? Fighting in the war? How brutish. The move had made Boone’s bookish decades seem like a fine hand of cards.

But he loved the challenge and he was damn good at the work—and a new kind of life and rhythm had started, where he and his sire rarely saw each other.

Except then came the invitation: The pleasure of his father and stepmahmen’s company requested at an aristocrat’s home this very evening. Going by the card stock alone, it was clear that other members of the glymera were included on the guest list.

Social gathering? Maybe. Treasonous violation of Wrath’s ban on the Council coming together? More likely.

It had been the first time in a year that Boone had spoken to his sire about anything of note. Yet how could he not urge the male to stay home? That viper pit of aristocrats had already tried to take down Wrath’s throne, and if they were planning another attempt?

The training center had taught him in detail all of the things the Brothers were capable of doing to someone who crossed them. And he might not like his father . . . but that was the point. With his alarm bells going off about treason, if he didn’t at least try to keep the male away from that party, he would feel like he had killed Altamere himself.

And that was too close to what he had at times wanted to do, and who needed to live with that guilt?

Predictably, his father had refused the wise counsel. So Boone had gone to the Brothers directly, and that was why he was paired with a member of the Band of Bastards this fine, Crystal-cold winter’s evening.

Refocusing on his hunt, he threw some more speed into his legs, his thighs beginning to burn, his calves tightening, his bum ankle issuing the first of what was going to be a lot of complaints. All of that was background chatter easily ignored, utterly forgettable.

Just breathe, he told himself. The more oxygen he could get into his lungs, the more he got into his blood, fuel for his muscles, speed for his body.

Power.

And what do you know, he was closing the distance. The problem? He was getting farther and farther away from Zypher, who was dancing with a slayer of his own three blocks—now four blocks—back.

Time to do this.

Per protocol, he hit the locator beacon on his shoulder to notify the other squads that he was about to engage. And then he closed his eyes.

Dematerializing was something that vampires ordinarily had to concentrate and calm themselves in order to accomplish. Boone, however, had trained himself to find that place of inner equilibrium even when he was running full tilt boogie in pursuit of the enemy. And courtesy of all his practice, his physical form disintegrated into a scatter of molecules and he shot forward, passing the lesser.

He re-formed in front of the enemy, his boots planted, his knife up and his chain down, ready to party.

The slayer did what it could to slow its roll, arms pinwheeling, shoes slapping at the snow and skidding as it tried to stop on ice. Momentum was not its friend. Unlike some of the scrawny new recruits, this one had a football player’s thick neck and barrel chest, and all that body weight was a boulder bouncing down the side of a mountain, all keep-going instead of back-that-ass-up.

As he had been trained to do, Boone’s peripheral vision imprinted the alley’s contours and possible cover opportunities. His brain also did a lightning-quick assessment of threat potential, cataloguing fire escapes, rooflines, doorways, and windows, all of his instincts feeding information into the calculation of his own safety. On the physical side, his body braced for contact.

And the length of chain began to swing.

Boone wasn’t aware of giving his hand and arm that particular command, but things had started happening like that in the field over the past month. According to the Black Dagger Brother Vishous, there were four levels of skill development: unconsciously unskilled, which meant you didn’t know how much you didn’t know and couldn’t do; consciously unskilled, which was when you began to be aware of how much you needed to develop; consciously skilled, which was the level at which you started to use what you’ve trained yourself to do; and, finally, unconsciously skilled.

Which was what happened when your body moved without your brain having to micromanage every molecule of the attack. When your training formed a basis of action so intrinsic to who you were and what you did in a given situation that you were unaware of any cognition occurring. When you entered “the Zone,” as the Brother Rhage called it.

Boone was in that sweet spot now.

The whirring sound of the chain links circling beside him was soft yet menacing, like the easy breathing of a great beast—and Boone knew the second the slayer was going to move because one of its shoulders lifted and its hips angled ever so slightly.

The knife the lesser had tucked in its hand came flying out at Boone end over end—proof that Boone’s subconscious hadn’t considered quite everything. But his reflexes were on it, jerking his torso to one side, the surge of aggressive energy flowing through him so acute, so pleasurable, it was almost sexual.

His counterattack started with the chain. Licking the links out, he sent them around the slayer’s neck, a snake of metal with a tail that swung wide and doubled up on itself. With a tight loop locked in, he yanked with his full body.

The slayer pitched forward into the snow face-first.

And that was when Boone lifted his own hunting blade over his shoulder.

Black Dagger Legacy

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: August 2019

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 J.R. Ward

Author J.R. Ward wearing sunglasses

J.R. Ward is the author of over thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, The Black Dagger Brotherhood. There are more than 15 million copies of Ward’s novels in print worldwide and they have been published in 25 different countries around the world.

After graduating from law school, Ward began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot.


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Sunday Spotlight: Unbreak Me by Michelle Hazen

Posted August 11, 2019 by Holly 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. 🙂

Michelle Hazen is a new-to-me author, but I’m crazy excited for Unbreak Me. The early reviews have been great and the blurb makes me think this is my kind of jam.

Sunday Spotlight: Unbreak Me by Michelle HazenUnbreak Me by Michelle Hazen
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

A contemporary romance about a New Orleans cowboy battling systemic racism post-Hurricane Katrina and a woman recovering from a public trial following a sexual assault.

What could two troubled souls from different walks of life have in common? Maybe everything.

Andra Lawler lives isolated at her family’s horse ranch, imprisoned by the memories of an assault in college. When she needs help training her foals, she hires a Haitian-Creole cowboy from New Orleans with a laugh as big as the Montana sky.

LJ Delisle can’t stand the idea that Andra might be lonely—or eating frozen TV dinners. He bakes his way into her kitchen with a lemon velvet cake, and offers her cooking lessons that set them on the road to romance. But even their love can’t escape the shadow of what they've been through. Despite their growing friendship and his gentle rapport with the horses, LJ is still an outsider facing small-town suspicions.

Before they can work through their issues, LJ is called home by a family emergency. In the centuries-old, raggedly rebuilt streets of New Orleans, he must confront memories of Hurricane Katrina and familiar discrimination. And Andra must decide if she’s brave enough to leave the shelter of the ranch for an uncertain future with LJ.

Excerpt

She leaned against the refrigerator where it stuck out from the counter, and closed her eyes. She was not imagining the double meaning to his every word. Nobody’s mind was lower in the gutter than LJ’s. He was flirting with her, had probably always been flirting with her, according to her father. It was just a different brand of flirting than she knew what to do with. All possibility, no pressure. And he was certainly doing it on purpose. The man missed nothing. Not the tiniest flick of a horse’s ears, not the morning he brought her coffee because her belt had missed one loop on her jeans and he figured that meant she’d been in a rush that day.

What bothered her was how easy it was. He’d invited himself into her kitchen and her life from virtually his first day on the ranch.

“You took this job for the horses, right?” Her voice came out a little faint, and she opened her eyes to see him frown at her.

“I certainly didn’t take it for the pension plan.”

She bit her lip, hesitating. Watching her, his expression changed.

“Ah.” He laughed. “Don’t flatter yourself, darlin’. You were something else, riding that fancy stallion like you both belonged in the Olympics. But it was Taz who ran away with my heart that first day. That and all this.” He nodded toward the window. “Big sky full of second chances.”

Her stomach twisted, uncertain whether she was relieved or offended he hadn’t taken the job because he wanted to pursue her. Then the second part of his statement caught her, and her eyes narrowed.

“Do you need a second chance?” she asked slowly.

“Doesn’t everybody?” He flicked off both burners and stepped close to her all in one smooth movement. One hand landed on the refrigerator, above her head; one on the counter, next to her hip. He was near enough to let her feel his body heat, but not caging her in. She could step out from under his arm easily, and with a surge of her pulse, she almost wished she couldn’t. LJ stood so close his body was her entire world. Cozy but thrilling. She wanted him pressed against her so she could drown in that bizarre reaction, breathe it in and glory in it.

He ducked his head, his drawl a lower pitch than usual. “What’s on your mind, beautiful?”

She could only blink, as if steam were effervescing out of the air between them and she couldn’t quite see.

“You keep asking all these questions.” He licked his bottom lip, a quick slick of tongue over that mouth of his. “Why don’t you ask me what you’re really wanting to know?”

“The cooking lessons.” Her mouth was so dry she had to swallow before she could continue. “Was that flirting? Is that why you offered in the first place?”

His hand dropped, the inside of his wrist warming her shoulder as he opened the fridge. Taking her other shoulder, he spun her around. “See that?”

She stared, puzzled. Milk, orange juice. Cheese and eggs and containers of leftovers and some lettuce that was starting to go off.

“That’s what a fridge is supposed to look like.” He let the door fall closed. “I like you.”

She didn’t move. He was right behind her, the closed fridge giving them no excuse to keep looking in its direction. They were too close for anything except hugging, her bottom so near the front of his jeans that she couldn’t even shift her weight without touching him. This was the point where she should pull away.
He tapped one finger against the fridge door. “I would have done that much even for somebody I didn’t like. As for the rest?” His knuckles skimmed down the back of her arm so lightly that the rough yarn of her sweater woke up her entire body, her skin rippling with goose bumps. “Now that might be flirting.”

“Might be?” she asked breathlessly.

His breath stirred her hair, as if he’d bent a little closer. “Depends on if you want it to be.”

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: August 2019

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 Michelle Hazen

Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. She found her voice with the support of the online fanfiction community, and once she started typing, she never looked back.

She has written most of her books in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, an off-the-grid cabin in the Sawtooth Mountains, a golf cart in a sandstorm, a rental car during a heat wave in the Mohave Desert and a beach in Honduras. Even when she’s climbing rocks, riding horses, or getting lost someplace wild and beautiful, there are stories spooling out inside her head, until she finally heeds their call and returns to her laptop and solar panels.


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Sunday Spotlight: Diamond Bay by Linda Howard

Posted August 4, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 8 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. 🙂

This is an oldie, but goody. Kell Sabin is smokin’ hot and Rachel is a strong, capable heroine. This book has everything. Romance, suspense, hot sex. If y’all haven’t read this book, what are you waiting for? It’s a gem that you don’t want to miss out on!

Sunday Spotlight: Diamond Bay by Linda HowardDiamond Bay by Linda Howard
Series: Rescues #2
Also in this series: Heartbreaker, Midnight Rainbow (Rescues #1)
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: November 24, 1997
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 247
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Rachel Jones wasn't looking for trouble, much less a man, but in Kell Sabin she found both. On a hot summer's night Kell is washed up - barely alive - on a Florida beach and into Rachel's life. Her instincts tell her to help him, and their love blossoms as he recovers from his injuries. But by falling in love with Kell, Rachel has put her own life in danger from the forces that want him dead. Once fate has brought them together, can they learn to live apart?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Excerpt

“Have we been sleeping together?”

Her breasts had tightened painfully, begging for that touch to be transferred to them, for him to claim them as he had before.His question destroyed what little concentration she had left.”This… there’s only this one bed. I don’t have a couch, only the love seats – ”

“So we’ve been in the same bed for four days,” he interrupted, stopping a flow of words that she had felt edging toward incoherency. His eyes were glittering again, but this time with a different fire, and she couldn’t look away. “You’ve been taking care of me.”

She drew a deep, shuddering breath. “Yes.”

“All alone?”

“Yes.”

“You’ve been feeding me.”

“Yes.”

“Bathing me.”

“Yes. Your fever – I had to sponge you with cool water to keep it down.”

“You did everything that had to be done, took care of me like a baby.”She didn’t know what to say, what to do. His hand was still on her, his palm warm and hard against the softness of her flesh.

“You touched me,” he said. “All over.”

She swallowed. “It was necessary.”

“I remember your hands on me. I liked it, but when I woke up this morning I thought it was a dream.”

“You did dream,” she said.

“Have I seen you naked?”

“No!”

“Then how do I know what your breasts look like? How they feel in my hands? It wasn’t all a dream, Rachel. Was it?”

A hot, wild blush colored her face, giving him an answer even before she spoke. Her voice was stifled, and she looked away from him, her embarrassment at last freeing her from his gaze.

“Twice, when you woke up, you… uh…grabbed me.”

“Helped myself to the goodies?”

“Something like that.”

“And I saw you?”

She made a helpless gesture toward her neck. “My nightgown drooped when I bent over you. The neckline was hanging open….”

“Was I rough?”

“No,” she whispered.

“Did you like it?”

Rescues

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: August 2019

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 Linda Howard

Linda Howard is the award-winning author of many New York Times bestsellers, including Up Close and Dangerous, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time, To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, and Dying to Please. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.


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