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Blog Blast, Review & Giveaway: Naturally Yours by Adele Downs

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BOOK INFORMATION

Title – Naturally Yours
Author – Adele Downs
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Publication Date – October 7th, 2014
Length (Pages/# Words) – 26,000 Words
Publisher – Boroughs Publishing Group

Naturally Yours

BOOK BLURB

Who will save the man that saves the world?

Paramedic Mickey Kendall hasn’t slept a full night since his return from Iraq. He rescues victims by day and protects the innocent after dark. Mickey doesn’t do it for glory; he wants absolution, not admiration. He lives by the rule: No personal contact after a rescue. That code meets the ultimate test when Mickey saves a child’s life on a roadside and declines the parents’ invitation to dinner at their upscale restaurant.

Master chef Amanda Greer lives by the principle that delicious food and good company build bridges. When she learns Mickey has refused her partners’ hospitality, she persuades him to change his mind. On the night the handsome paramedic visits her restaurant, Amanda joins him at his table, and their unexpected chemistry leads to a passionate kiss.

In Amanda’s arms, Mickey finds relief from the stressors that haunt him, but resists falling in love. When Amanda challenges him to confront his demons and accept the love she offers, Mickey arrives at a crossroad. The war-weary paramedic must face a different kind of battle to claim the woman who reignites his passion for living and revives his wounded heart.

BUY & TBR LINKS

Amazon Kindle LinkGoodreads Link

EXCERPT

(Book is rated PG-13. Sensual, but not explicit.)
“They called you a hero in the press.” Her dark lashes lowered and lifted and she smiled at him with admiration shining in her eyes. “They were right, of course. What you did for Jack can never be repaid.”

Mickey winced at the hero reference. “I hate to disappoint you, but I only did what I’m trained to do.”

Amanda made sounds of disagreement low in her throat. “Elena told me at least a hundred and fifty cars passed her on the highway. Every one of them ignored her cries for help. Of all those people, don’t you think one might have been medically trained? Or at least cared enough to respond? No. You stopped. Only you.”

Oh. He hadn’t thought of that.

She pointed a finger at his chest. “There’s a difference between you and other people. There’s no other way to explain what happened on that roadway. Elena is convinced you’re special, and I never doubt her perceptions. That’s another reason why I wanted to meet you.”

Mickey stared into Amanda’s eyes and her pupils dilated. Her lips parted, ever so slightly, as if to welcome a kiss. Her tongue touched the inside of her bottom lip and disappeared. Mickey knew then, she felt it too. Synergy. Chemistry. An attraction so powerful it turned kinetic on contact.
Some called it love at first sight.

Amanda. Even her name was beautiful.

She took a sip of her drink and he watched her mouth and throat work the liquid. When she set down the tumbler, she wiped a droplet from the corner of her mouth with a trimmed, unpolished fingertip. Mickey wished he could have swiped the bead away with his tongue.

Amanda leaned closer and pressed a hand to his wrist. “Trained or not, you were the only stranger on that highway who had a heart.”

Mickey laid his hand over hers and she let him keep it there. Until now, he wasn’t sure he still had a heart. His had been chipped away, piece by piece, like a block of ice since the war. He’d considered it long gone, with his soul. In mere minutes, what was left had thawed in the center, leaving him raw and exposed.

Amanda continued to speak; clearly unaware she’d stripped away another layer. “I love Jack like he’s my own son. He’s a terrific kid. I’ve helped take care of him since the day the Martins and I started this restaurant. When you saved him, you saved us all.” Amanda leaned in and pressed a quick, sweet kiss against Mickey’s jaw.

Their gazes locked when she sat back in her chair. The gravity of her words and her straightforward kiss humbled him into speechlessness. He’d been thanked many times before, but this woman had gotten to him like no one else. He squeezed her hand and then downed the rest of his drink. Amanda took another sip of hers and set the glass on the table before retreating into silence. She turned the tumbler slowly in her hands.

Mickey looked back at her and tapped two fingers against the menu’s leather cover. “Nothing here is what I expected.”

Amanda returned a quiet smile, either assuming he meant food choices, or pretending he had. She tucked her arms beneath her breasts and leaned forward against the edge of the table, lifting perfect white swells above the neckline of her red blouse. “Organic means untouched by artificiality. Grown and consumed in its natural state. We eat only healthy foods unspoiled by chemicals, preservatives, hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and genetically modified seeds or cells. Pure.”

Pure. Mickey gazed at the stunning woman by his side and sensed that was true for her, too. The texture of her skin looked smooth as cream and welcoming to the touch. He longed to run his hands along her thighs, imagining sleek roads leading to heaven at their apex. “I like the sound of that.” The way she looked back at him while he studied her face made him wonder if she’d read his mind.

The one that had gone dirty.

Review

The cover and blurb are both amazing and suck you into wanting to read one of the best contemporary romances I have read in months.  Maybe up in the list of my top 20 romances this year so far.  Seriously, seriously good.  So let the beautiful cover and awesome blurb work on you to snatch up a copy.  No way will you regret it.

There isn’t much to say about Mickey and Amanda except wow.  The roller-coaster ride of emotions you go through with this amazing couple was brilliantly done and served to make the reader feel and empathize with the characters in a way few writers can accomplish.  In fact, the only thing I can say negatively about any of the characters is I am not a fan of the name Mickey.  Yeah, it’s a petty small issue, but seriously.  My nephew loved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for the past 2 years and every time I watched him (which was every weekend), I got to watch over 8 hours of that show.  Over, and over, and over again.  So yeah, Mickey makes me cringe now.  Ahem, but the story was so good, by the end I wasn’t exactly cringing anymore!  I was at least used to it.

It’s a beautiful love that sprung up between Amanda and Mickey.  Not just filled with heat, but filled with emotion and depth.  It was honestly one of the more beautiful loves I’ve read in a long time.  Adele Downs is a master at evoking emotions from her characters.

The story was nicely done as well, although honestly, I was so absorbed in the book, I didn’t make as many notes for the review as normal.  So maybe that’s a sign.  It enveloped me and didn’t let go until the story was over.  I loved it!

5 stars!

Author’s This or That

Coffee or Tea?
Coffeeeeeeee!

Scarier: Spiders or Snakes?
Snakes (Can’t stomp those.)

Heroes or Lost? (TV Shows)
Lost

Damon or Stefan? (Vampire Diaries – TV or books)
Neither, sorry.

TV or Books?
Books

Home or Out on the Town?
Homebody

Sleep or No Time for Sleep?
Sleep

Chocolate or Carrot Sticks?
Chocolate, of course!

Paranormal or Mundane?
Mundane with a touch of magic.

Dresses or Jeans?
Jeans

Top 10 Authors

Lisa Unger
Lisa Gardner
Stephen King
Arthur Golden
Susan Wiggs
Diana Gabaldon
Laurell K. Hamilton
J.K. Rowling
Gillian Flynn
Tami Hoag

AUTHOR BIO

Adele Downs writes contemporary romance inside the office of her rural Pennsylvania home. She is a former journalist, published in newspapers and magazines inside the USA, UK, and Caribbean.

Adele is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter where she serves as a past-president. She has written several articles for RWR magazine (Romance Writers Report), the trade journal of Romance Writers of America, and has presented workshops for writers.

When Adele isn’t working on her current project, she can be found riding in her convertible or reading a book on the nearest beach.

FOLLOW LINKS

Amazon Author Page – Website/Blog – Facebook
Twitter – Pinterest

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GIVEAWAY PRIZES

USA Residents Only Please

Firefighters Kick Ash! — Hanging ornament and Swag (1)
Fire & Rescue Refrigerator Magnet and Swag (1)
Amazon Kindle Gift Copy of NATURALLY YOURS (1)

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1-MINIBUTTON

Spotlight & Review: Peyton 313 by Donna McDonald

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Amazon Purchase Link

BLURB

Worst epic fail of her scientific career? Falling for a cyborg she helped create.

Kyra Winters never meant fcyborgcoveror her cyber science discoveries to be used for evil, but that’s exactly what happened. Now returning Peyton 313’s humanity is the last chance she’ll ever have to atone. She can’t get back the lost decade, but she can change the present by restoring the cyborg who was once Marine Captain Peyton Elliot.

Certainly her grand plan for rectifying her mistakes didn’t include madly kissing the confused, passionate Marine when he begged her to. The same scientific mind that constructed the cyborg creator code now warned her not to let Peyton’s tempting offers of heaven cloud her rational decision making. Yet it’s difficult to  resist the cyborg she’s restoring when he’s also the most intriguing man she’s ever known.

EXCERPT

Satisfied by his fierce complaining, Kyra walked back to the chair and knelt at his feet again. She had thumb-printed the chair restraint locks so a light swipe across the sensor instantly opened them. After the ankle ones were removed, she removed the one across his chest. Lastly, she moved to his wrists, pausing as she met his questioning gaze. She had to tell him what she was feeling. The urge was too compelling and his gaze was too full of hope. “Today you are more yourself than you’ve been in a long time, Captain Elliot. Since this may be the only nice conversation you and I are ever going to have, I want to thank you for your military service and all the amazing things you’ve done. I’ll even admit that you’re far more charming than your record indicated. In another time and another place, I might have been willing to play all kinds of flirty games with you. But this is definitely not that time or place. We are suspended between heaven and hell right now, and neither of us is an angel.”

“Sleep in the cage with me tonight and I’ll show you heaven, Doc. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a woman as much as I want you right now. Sorry if the speed of my interest offends your sensibilities. I’m listening to a little voice that keeps yelling inside me. It’s saying this may be my one and only chance to get you to see I’m more than just some super soldier machine in need of fixing.”

Kyra felt her lip tremble and bit it hard to make it stop before she answered. “I already know that about you. That’s why I’m doing this. Now don’t make me like you any more than I already do.”

“See? I knew you liked me,” Peyton bragged, wishing she’d come a lot closer. She smelled amazing.

Kyra wondered if Peyton’s desire for her was a lingering after-effect of all those years of Cyber Husband programming? He would have studied her file extensively because Norton would have made him do so. He would have learned all he could about her likes and dislikes. That’s how the program worked. She purposely hadn’t removed that chip because she needed him to like her at least a little for just a while longer.

Peyton stared at the woman’s disappointed face. She looked ready to cry and he couldn’t stand seeing her that way. “How about a kiss to test your theories about us, Doc? Just one. I need it and I think you need it too. You already admitted you weren’t married. Look—my wrists are still chained to the chair. What could one kiss hurt? Come on—what do you say?”

Kyra sighed. She was as exasperated with him as she was charmed by his pleading. Tomorrow Peyton Elliott was going to hate her. She was one hundred percent sure of it because it had been proven true twice already before him.

Tomorrow when Peyton Elliott knew the truth, he would hate his life and those who had consigned him to his living hell. Tomorrow the machine would be partially back and Peyton would not be this light-hearted, mostly human version of himself. He would be a new kind of redefined cyborg. While no one knew what that was going to be like—not even her—she would bet her retirement Peyton was still going to hate her after he integrated the present with his past.

“Please—one kiss, Doc. That’s all I’m asking,” Peyton whispered.

Kyra sighed loudly. “You’re a hard man to say no to and today I’m a sentimental fool. Close your eyes, Captain. I haven’t kissed a man in a long time. I can’t look at you or I’ll lose my nerve.”

When Peyton sighed dramatically in return and leaned his head back, Kyra climbed on the electrical shield at the bottom of the operating chair until she was standing between his legs. Heat emanated from every inch of the man and he still smelled a little like burnt circuitry. Yet underneath that stark reality, Peyton also smelled masculine and very alluring.

Kyra sighed again. “I wish I could send you out the door to live whatever kind of life you want just as you are right now. That’s what you deserve, Captain Elliott. I want that badly for you, but I can’t make it happen. Your cybernetic enhancements require you to retain knowledge of how they work. Too much is at stake and the outcome of your healing affects more than just the two of us. But thank you for giving me a glimpse of why putting you through this hell is so important. This moment—it’s very humanizing for both of us—to want to be kissed and then be kissed. Thank you for sharing this moment with me.”

“Man, you sure talk a lot. Still waiting for that kiss, Doc,” Peyton said. He was keeping his eyes tight and his mind off how sexy she sounded when she got all philosophical.

Kyra snorted at his chastising. She touched her lips to Peyton’s and instantly found her bottom one nipped aggressively between two rows of even teeth. Moaning at the delicate trap he’d set for her, her body tipped forward against his and she had to catch herself on his wide shoulders. Her hands slipped over them and down his chest without her mind questioning the action.

When she moaned against his mouth, Peyton ordered himself to turn loose. After he did, he stared hard at the lip he’d bitten. The woman wanted him. He could taste it, smell it, and damn it he wanted her too. It was exhilarating to feel such pure desire flowing so freely through his cells.

A demand to sate that intense longing came from some desperate part of him that was both familiar and strange at the same time. What the hell was happening to him mind? It was both relieving and like finally waking up after being asleep for too long.

“Climb up here and give me a real kiss, Doc. And don’t be so damn stingy with sharing your tongue. I intend to use it to imagine what else I’m going to do when you cut me loose from this freaking chair.”

Groaning at how aroused he’d just made her with his sexy declaration, Kyra climbed into Peyton’s large lap to straddle him. It gave her better access to his mouth and the chance to indulge just a little more as she eased her hips down on him. She sighed at her nearly out-of-control feelings and touched her forehead to his.

“The only reason I’m doing this is because I know you’re going to take great pleasure in ridding yourself of this memory tomorrow. I won’t blame you for that action, Peyton. I think it’s the smartest thing you could do.”

“Stop whining about what hasn’t happened yet, Doc. It’s damn cruel to suggest this instant attraction between us is nothing. Now kiss me like you want to—and damn it I know you want to. I am a cyborg, you know.”

He ordered his processor to store the image of her face just as she caved into his demand and dipped her mouth to his. Her lips were lush and hot and wet, and her kiss was the most deliriously wonderful experience he could recall happening in ages. He watched her eyes close in pleasure as he strained towards her, but froze in the chair when he saw two tears run down her face. A second later, tears were flowing off her chin in two tiny, steady streams.

“What? What is it, Doc? What’s wrong with this? The attraction is mutual, isn’t it? We’re alone in here just the two of us. I’m wearing too many damn restraints to do much harm to you. Hell, keep the chair restraints in place woman—just be with me before I die from wanting you.”

“I can’t. I can’t take advantage of you, no matter what I’m feeling,” Kyra said, lifting her arm to swipe at her eyes. “Thank you for the sexy kiss, Captain. It’s been a very, very long time since I felt anything remotely close that level of desire for a man. Even if you wipe this away, I’ll never forget it—or you.”

Kyra slid reluctantly off his lap and straightened her clothing. “I’m going to release the last of the chair restraints now. Please keep your distance so I don’t have to use the controller. I’ve hurt you enough in the last couple of days.”

PURCHASE LINKS:

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Review

To be honest, despite the awesome cover and blurb, I was a little leery of this story.  I love my sci-fi romance when I read it, but I’m not usually one for cyborg romance.  However, I WAS curious about how this was to unfold, so I volunteered to review it and here we are!

Firstly, I loved the world Donna McDonald created.  It was a realistic and well-visioned 22nd century.  Honestly, because this was a romance first and foremost, the world was excellently done.  If this were a sci-fi first, though, it would be a tad lacking.  However, since I don’t usually read straight science fiction, it had just the perfect amount of detail into the world our story takes place in and I honestly wouldn’t change it.  Yes, she could have expanded on it more, but it didn’t need to.  It was enough to give us answers and setting without distracting us from the actual story.  This is the story between the cyborg Peyton and Kyra and emotions, and about everything in between.

Okay, Peyton was hot.  Even me – the non-cyborg fan – thought he was hot.  I’d take him.  He could be my fiction book boyfriend #4 of this week!  I loved how he was from start to finish, his emotions, needs, the chemistry with Kyra, everything was very well done.  Now the hard part.  I didn’t like Kyra for the first third of the novel.  I seriously thought she was too big of a crier.  I mean, I can read just about any type of heroine, and especially love timid, weak ones finding their power.  However, I really dislike whiners and criers.  So, I was rather upset with our main heroine for quite a while into the book.  BUT once you get to understand her and her past better, you find you can tolerate the first part of the story better.  Still didn’t LIKE it, but I understood it.  Plus she turned into such an strong woman later on.

Storyline was excellently surrounding the two main characters, which in a romance, is par for the course.  The writing was a tad awkward with dialog sometimes when a character does or says something I personally didn’t think fit well, or sounding too weird or cheesy.  But these times weren’t that often and easily overlooked.  As long as it doesn’t jar me from enjoying the story, it’s not too bad of a negative.

Overall, this story is definitely worth the read.  Anyone on the fence curious enough about a cyborg romance or just brave enough when their first thought is someone boinking a terminator without the human skin?  Yeah, that WAS my first thought.  I know, I know, that’s more of an android, all machine.  Cyborg DOES have human parts.  But yeah, still thought terminator boinking a human.  Very weird for me.  Ahem, in any case, you all NEED to get this book.  It’s a great read!

4 stars!

Donna McDonald

donnamcdonaldwww.donnamcdonaldauthor.com

Donna McDonald is an active dreamer and finds writing to be the best way to use her creativity.

Needing to satisfy both sides of her brain, she is a cross-genre author of contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal romances. Her books appear on bestseller lists for humor, romantic comedy, space opera, and more.

She craves laughter from her readers and focuses her attention on making that happen as often as possible. She loves to hear from anyone who has read her books.

Donna McDonald considers herself blessed to be a best-selling author in Contemporary Romance, Humor, and Paranormal Romance. Paranormal reviewers are calling McDonald “a literary alchemist effortlessly blending science fiction and romance”. Contemporary and humor reviewers often write to tell her that the books keep them up laughing all night. She likes both compliments and hopes they stay true forever.

Her idea of success is to be sitting next to someone on a plane and find out they are laughing at something in one of her books. She hopes that will be you.

Release Day Blitz & Review: High Strung by T. Gephart

 

BOOKHigh Strung 

SERIES: Book One of Power Station Series.

RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2014

HOSTED BY: Book Empire Promotions

Add to Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Ashlyn Murphy was not living the dream. Twenty-seven years old, college educated, up to her eyeballs in debt and yet she’d been relegated to pouring beers at a local bar. She desperately needed an out and was willing to do anything to get back into the corporate world. Well, almost anything. Dan Evans, Rock Star was NOT one of those things. In fact she despised him. Apparently he didn’t get the memo.
Dan Evans, bass player of international rock band Power Station had it all. He was rich, travelled the world, played to millions of adoring fans and had no shortage of beautiful women willing to share his bed. He didn’t need a moody redheaded knockout with a superiority complex complicating his life. Or did he?
When two people who couldn’t be more opposite cross paths, it’s bound to be explosive; sometimes all you can do is sit back and enjoy the show.

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PURCHASE LINKS
 
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Review

OMG!!  I really don’t need a review other than that, do I?  I mean… an ass-kicking rock star romance that is hilarious?  What more needs said?  Oh, you probably already saw the nifty cover and read the niftier blurb.  But let me tell you neither did this novel justice.

The two main characters, Ash and Dan, are so completely opposite and yet so incredible suited to each other, it is absolute fireworks, earthquakes, supernova explosions when they come together.  I can’t rave enough about them.  It might be that I absolutely adore the rock star type of man with tattoos and attitude, or it might be that I like independent women in my novels.  Whatever it is that T. Gephart figured out to write such ass-kicking chemistry, she needs to bottle it and sell it.  It’s so rare to see a romance that has such perfect chemistry.  I have to admit to being in love with Dan though.  I’d steal him.  Yummy.

As for the actual plot – although, who needs plot after the simple words ‘ass-kicking rock star romance’?  Seriously, do any of you care after I just drooled over the main man?  Who IS the one that is a rock star?  Oh, okay, there probably IS one person who cares.   Honestly, I do too.  Even if the rest of my review were politely worded negatives, the amazing characterization and chemistry between the couples would give this book a solid 3 stars.

However!!  This author can write!  This is my first novel from this author and I’m going to get the rest of her books put on my TBR list and try to get to it ASAP.  Admittedly, I can’t actually FINISH my TBR list in this lifetime it is sooooo big.  But I did snatch up Lexi – the first prequel novel of her Lexi series.  It IS free right now.  Link is somewhere in this post!

Okay, I kind of got the topic, didn’t I?  Ahem.  Storyline.  Check.  I mean, this is a rock star romance, so yeah, admittedly some plot points WERE a tad predictible.  It didn’t bother me, but it might bother someone.  Being as when I read MC romances, or sports romances, or rock star romances, there will always be that predictable element as that is why we read those books.  BUT the rest of the story had me laughing out loud and seriously made those around me think I was nuts.  I was also pleasantly surprised in places, and even had a sniffle or two for other spots in the novel.  The writing was good enough to evoke emotional responses in me, and THAT is something.  I’m pretty stoic, so seriously?  This woman can freaking write!

So to summarize, if you don’t read this book, I think you should have your rock star romance card revoked.

4.5 stars!  EXCELLENT!

OTHER BOOKS BY T.GEPHART
 
Book #0.5: Lexi (FREE) AMAZON  I ITUNES
Book #1: A Twist of Fate: AMAZON  I ITUNES
Book 1.5: Twisted Views:  AMAZON  I ITUNES
Book #2: A Leap of Faith: AMAZON  I ITUNES
Book #3: A Time for Hope: AMAZON  I ITUNES
 
ABOUT T.GEPHART

T Gephart is an indie author from Melbourne, Australia.

T’s approach to life has been somewhat unconventional. Rather than going to University, she jumped on a plane to Los Angeles, USA in search of adventure. While this first trip left her somewhat underwhelmed and largely depleted of funds it fueled her appetite for travel and life experience.

With a rather eclectic resume, which reads more like the fiction she writes than an actual employment history, T struggled to find her niche in the world.

While on a subsequent trip the United States in 1999, T met and married her husband. Their whirlwind courtship and interesting impromptu convenience store wedding set the tone for their life together, which is anything but ordinary. They have lived in Louisiana, Guam and Australia and have travelled extensively throughout the US. T has two beautiful young children and one four legged child, Woodley the wonder dog.

An avid reader, T became increasingly frustrated by the lack of strong female characters in the books she was reading. She wanted to read about a woman she could identify with, someone strong, independent and confident who didn’t lack femininity. Out of this need, she decided to pen her first book, A Twist of Fate. She enjoyed the process so much that when it was over she couldn’t let it go. T loves to travel, laugh and surround herself with colourful characters. This inevitably spills into her writing and makes for an interesting journey – she is well and truly enjoying the ride!

Based on her life experiences, T has plenty of material for her books and has a wealth of ideas to keep you all enthralled.

CONNECT WITH T. GEPHART
WEBSITE:  www.tgephart.com
(SJ’s Comment:  For the record, sometimes with formatting you can NOT get a line to obey.  So I’m so sorry about the format up there.  I could not get that line to go back to where it is supposed to be.  *sigh*)

Review & Giveaway: Secondhand Heart by Kristen Strassel

Title: Secondhand Heart

Author: Kristen Strassel

Age: NA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 10/7/14

Daisy Mangold thought she had her life figured out until a roadside bomb in Afghanistan changed everything. Now a twenty-one-year-old military widow, Daisy moves back home to start over.

Cam Hunter won the reality show The Spotlight, and thought he was on his way to becoming the next big country star. But when whispers of how he won begin to surface, Nashville is less than welcoming. After he loses his record deal, Cam heads back home to open a country bar. When Daisy meets Cam, she isn’t sure she’s ready to let go of the ghosts from her past. Cam’s ex-wife isn’t ready to move on either, and the tragedy she causes will expose Cam’s secrets and shatter Daisy’s family.

Will Daisy be able to follow her heart into a future with Cam, or will her grief keep her trapped in a past that no longer exists?

Review

Before I get into the actual review, I’d like to say, the model and actual cover of this book is amazing!  The female model is so beautiful and she fits just perfectly for this book.  Heck, the title is perfectly suited as well!  So bravo whoever designed the art and such to grab our attention.  it definitely worked!  The cover was the entire reason I joined the review tour of this book!

As for the characters, I want to first lay claim to Cam.  Seriously.  He’s mine.  No one else get him.  He’s my current book boyfriend.  I don’t even LIKE country music, but even I have to admit some male country artists are seriously hot.  Ahem, I’m a little off topic here.  It’s not just that he’s a country artist.  It’s the way he was written in Secondhand Heart.  I absolutely fell in love with him in this novel and I nearly cried when it was over because that meant, no more Cam!  OMG!

As for Daisy, I did like her but I wasn’t as emotional invested in her as I was in Cam.  However, the fact she meshed so well with Cam and the chemistry between them that you could actually feel made up for that, I think.  The romance and heat between the main characters was very well done and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about their growing relationship.

The overall story was also nicely done.  It kept me entertained and hooked as any good story does.  There were a few parts that were a tad awkward, but overall, also nicely done.  NA isn’t my normal genre (and if I do read it, it’s usually paranormal romance based) but I do enjoy it and I can happily say this novel is worth the read.  Seriously.  (Yes, seriously is my word today).  Pick it up, NA readers!  You won’t regret it.

4 stars!

Purchase Links

SHH Teaser 1

Giveaway

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About Kristen Strassel
 

Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross. She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are. She’s worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world’s worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and author. She loves sunshine, live music, the middle of nowhere, and finding new things to put in her house.

Review: Finding His Swing by Cassidy K. O’Connor

Hitting His Swing by Cassidy K. O’Connor

Book 2 of the Love Protector Series

Released on OCT. 1st
Avail on Amazon!!!!
Blurb:
Jake Reynolds has everything he could want in life, fame, fortune and the greatest job in America as a professional baseball player. He didn’t realize anything was missing, until the day he met Chelsea Simmons.
Chelsea is Jake’s biggest fan and can’t believe her luck when she wins a contest to meet the players on the field before a home game. Meeting Jake was a dream come true, she never thought she had a chance at love with him.
After finding his soul mate but ignoring his heart Jake goes into a hitting slump. Chelsea is what society calls a curvy woman, Jake fears she won’t be accepted into his world and would rather give up being with her than risk her happiness. Can he continue playing ball knowing his soul mate is within reach?
Keara’s second mission as a member of the faery clan The Laochra Gra is vastly different from her first. She has her work cut out for her putting these two in situations that usually end in unexpected and hilarious antics. Can Keara help them see past society’s small mindedness and give into the love they feel for each other?

0d60692545082573bd1d1df67df02472Review:

I love the premise behind the book.  I love the idea of using the Fae in this manner, making the focus on the book about finding a true mate.  I even love the idea of fighting the preconceptions of curvier women vs. skinny ones.  I love that the author chose this story for that.  I most especially love that he’s attracted to her as she is.  We need more books like that!

I love of course Keara.  She’s the strongest character in this book I thought.  Jake I did like, although I felt he deserved a bigger presence, I guess would be the best way to describe it.  I adored that he loved Chelsea the way she was, though. (I know, I made a redundant statement).  That he thought of her happiness first.  And Chelsea was a sweet curvy woman that was very well portrayed. I most especially loved Jake for the fact that meeting her and knowing he was giving up something made him lose focus playing.  It kind of emphasized how much she would and did mean to him at that point.  Nice job, Cassidy!

As this is the second mission of Keara’s, I found myself enthralled by reading how she dealt with this couple’s obstacles.  I know I’ll be just as engrossed in the third mission as well!

There were some awkward scenes, but overall, I would definitely recommend this read!  There is something about the whole idea that makes you want to see what Keara’s next mission is.  Like I said, she is the strongest force in the novel I thought.  My only problem with this series is I wish I could connect a bit more with the main couple.  However much I connect with Kaera, I should feel more for the main couple.  So a nifty 3.5 stars!

And if Cassidy is taking requests, I’d love to see Kaera end up with someone!  However you make that work, it’d be awesome!

Top Ten:  Animals

  1. Dogs
  2. Horses
  3. Unicorns (does it have to be real?)
  4. Miniature elephant (Journey to the Center of the Earth 2)
  5. Kittens (not cats, they aren’t active enough for me)
  6. Spider Monkeys
  7. Penguins
  8. Panda Bear
  9. Giraffe
  10. Otters

(Sj’s Comment:  Real?  Of COURSE not!  You can add in the paranormal or fantasy as whim insists!!)

This or That:

Coffee or Tea?

Hot tea but my favorite is sweet tea (cold), it’s always frustrating to visit up North and you can only get unsweet tea!

Diet or Regular?

Definitely Regular and Definitely Coke

Chocolate or Carrot Sticks?

Chocolate is near and dear to my heart, we are deeply connected on every level. I am a fan of carrot sticks though, especially when eating buffalo chicken.

Paranormal or Normal?

I guess normal , historical romance is my favorite genre. Ironic that I don’t actually write it though.

Scarier:  Spiders or Snakes?

Definitely spiders – those bitches have no qualm about crawling on you. At least snakes try to get away most of the time.

Homebody or Social Butterfly?

Tough one…I used to be a social butterfly but I found most people to be undependable. I got really tired of last minute cancellations so I have become more of a homebody now.

TV or Books?

A year ago I would have said books, since taking writing more serious and actually publishing I’ve found I need a break from books and turn to TV.

Damon or Stefan?

I have a teenage daughter so I have watched some Vampire Diaries and definitely think Damon is hotter but those guys have nothing on Sam and Dean from Supernatural! I’m Team Dean in that case 🙂

Team Edward or Team Jacob?  (LOL)

Just off looks and personality I’m all about Jacob, after reading the series I don’t think you can actually be on a team. Jacob is not meant for Bella so it’s not really a question.

Vampire or Werewolf?

If I had to choose I would go with werewolf – I don’t want be with someone that is immortal if I’m not and depending on which story line you follow they can only be with you at night. I want my lover by my side as much as possible!

(SJ’s Comment:  Oh, Team Dean from Supernatural all the way!!  Or Team Castiel, because he’s such a hoot sometimes.  In a hot, clueless type of way.  Or he’s doing bad things.  Or he’s not.  You never know!)


Author Bio:
Cassidy K O’Connor is a born and raised Floridian who loves to travel but never forgets where her roots are. She married her high school sweetheart, they have 3 kids and a crazy dog. Travelling and reading are her two favorite hobbies. Cassidy loves all things Ireland and has been lucky enough to visit twice. Her first book ‘The Evolution of Sam’ was published August of 2014 and she has plans for many more.






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Release Blitz: Sinful Desires Vol. II

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Synopsis

I wasn’t entirely sure why I’d accepted Brock’s invitation to be his date for his sister’s wedding. A wedding to a man who’d confessed that he didn’t love his wife-to-be. All I knew was that I didn’t belong in that world.

When Piper Black returned to Philadelphia to attend the wedding of the man who’d broken her heart, she never imagined that she’d end up falling for her date…who just happened to be Reed Stirling’s new brother-in-law.

Will Brock Michaels be able to heal Piper’s heart or will her connection to Reed tear apart more than one relationship?

The second volume in M.S. Parker’s sizzling Sinful Desires series isn’t to be missed

Buy Links

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Teaser

Sensual pose of an attractive young couple

close up of heterosexual couple having sex

* Start the series off with Sinful Desires Vol. I if you haven’t! *

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About Author

M. S. Parker is a USA Today Bestselling author and the author of the Erotic Romance series, Club Privè and Chasing Perfection.

Living in Southern California, she enjoys sitting by the pool with her laptop writing on her next spicy romance.

Growing up all she wanted to be was a dancer, actor or author. So far only the latter has come true but M. S. Parker hasn’t retired her dancing shoes just yet. She is still waiting for the call for her to appear on Dancing With The Stars.

When M. S. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading- oops, scratch that! She is always writing.

Author Links

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Unabridged Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Synopsis

Book Length: 144 pages
Date Published: Aug. 17, 2014
Published by: Melinda De Ross (INDIE)
Steam Rating: Steamy
Main Characters: Angelina & Blade
Ironically, it all starts with a popular book about BDSM. When Angelina Jameson steps into her boss’s office armed with an acid article about ‘Billionaires, BDSM and Blah-blah-blah’, she thinks her career will take off. But her career aspirations drop into second place when she finds herself face to face with her nemesis.

Blade Spencer is the new editor-in-chief of Unabridged—the literary magazine where his ex-lover Angelina works. For three years, since she fled small town Jamestown without a word of explanation, they haven’t heard from one another. Now, when they meet again, the past and all the feelings they once had between them come rushing back, making them realize their love has never died. But can they reconcile their new circumstances and the changes that have occurred during the three years they were apart? Neither is the person the other used to know.

Then there is the faceless shadow who hunts them from the dark, driven by obsession and greed…

*This book contains strong language and explicit descriptions of sex.
 

LoversExcerpt

“Choice?” His voice rose as the ambiguous surprise on his face faded, once he understood. “You’re talking to me about choices? What choice did you give me, Angelina? We could have worked it out, but you took it upon yourself to make my decisions for me without even telling me. You left me like a coward, letting me think you didn’t love me anymore, letting me drown in misery all these years without a word of explanation! I didn’t even know if you were still alive!”
His booming shout almost rattled the windows, and made me absurdly angry.
“Well, you seemed to have recovered quickly, and enough to take a wife!” I screamed back at him, pushing my face close to his. “And I’ll bet that Allie person wasn’t the only one you’ve slept with during all this time!”
“Oh, you’re always quick to judge! Have you lived like a nun since you left me?”
“Yes!”
The word vibrated in the abrupt, disbelieving silence.
Next thing I knew, his hand grasped the back of my head and his mouth came down hard on mine. His tongue darted deep inside my mouth, forcing my lips to open, as he yanked me to him in a desperate embrace. It didn’t even occur to me to protest. On the contrary. I responded to his kiss with the blind surrender I yearned for. I swept his mouth with my tongue, thrilling in the masculine taste and scent of him. My fingers plowed through his hair, holding his head in place for our stormy, passionate kiss. Our breaths were shallow and loud, mingling together like swirling steam. Even though our clothes were still wet, heat was radiating from our hot bodies.
His hands were everywhere, cupping my face, sliding all over my body, combing through my damp hair. I trailed my tongue over his jaw, then descended down the skin of his throat, grazing my teeth greedily over him, intoxicated by the avalanche of unleashed desire that had gathered up inside me for three years.
I fumbled with the buttons of his clinging wet shirt, then tore them off impatiently to bare his chest to my eyes and touch. He was superbly built, even more gorgeous than I recalled him to be, all subtle muscles delineated by shallow lines that defined his pectorals and abdomen. His chest was dusted with a perfect amount of dark hair.
I tasted the low sound that vibrated in his chest when my mouth closed over his nipple and sucked greedily. When I flicked my tongue over the other, his fist tightened in my hair and he dragged me back to him, kissing me with increasing urgency. His hands slipped under my wet T-shirt, cupping my breasts. They fit so right in his palms and I moaned, overwhelmed by the pleasure of his knowing touch. He slid the T-shirt over my head and took me in his arms. I pushed my body against his, rubbing my breasts against his bare chest, frantic to feel his naked body close to mine. His hardness pushed against my middle and he drew me closer, cupping my bottom with strong hands, as he continued kissing me hungrily.
He lifted his head and I saw his eyes were smoky with arousal, just as mine must have been. His voice sounded rough when he said, “Do you want to go to the bedroom?”
“No,” I whispered, biting his lower lip and dragging him to the floor.
The rug felt soft and cozy beneath my bare back, and I was thrilled by the feel of Blade’s weight on top of me. He kissed my mouth, my neck, then stopped on my breasts, sucking one nipple deep in his mouth, then moving his attention to the other one. I gasped and struggled with the zipper of his pants. When I folded my fingers around his steely length, we both stopped breathing for a moment.
“God, I want you so much, Blade! You can’t imagine how I’ve longed for you all this time,” I said raggedly.
“Yes, I do. I love you, Angelina,” he whispered raspily. “You are and always will be my woman. Sweet and innocent, yet who inspires sin.”
As he looked down at me, his eyes were filled with love and tenderness, and clouded by primal lust. He tugged at my shorts and panties, and I kicked them aside. Then he discarded the rest of his clothes, remaining gloriously naked. I only had one moment to admire his impressive erection, before he stretched above me. Our bodies fit like the halves of a two-pieces puzzle. I quivered in response to the nearness of this monument of raw sexuality.
He sent his tongue deep inside my mouth, just as he slipped inside me. The throbbing pressure made me tense. After three years of abstinence on my side, I think we both relived the loss of my virginity, but this time I was more than ready. The pain of his penetration was brief, but the pleasure was infinite. I arched my hips up to meet his, as he rocked against me, inside me. He was hesitant at first, mindful of hurting me, but as I relaxed under him, his strokes became more powerful, more possessive. He pushed up hard, until I wrapped my legs around his waist and sank my teeth into his shoulder, shaken by a brain-melting orgasm. I think I cried out his name, but the pounding of my heart was so loud in my ears that I couldn’t be sure. When he felt me tensing around him, Blade sank all of himself into me and came, uttering a low, guttural sound, with his face buried in my neck.

Teaser 2Review

This is a second chance romance with a crap ton of humor thrown in for shits and giggles.  Rat the cat was bloody hilarious.  Ahem, so I was writing out the review.  Blade and Angelina are the starring couple of this short, steamy novel.  I’m not going to recap the series here because it’s recapped way up there in the synopsis and I hate being redundant.  Now, about the book!

First off, and I know this has nothing to do with the actual story, but I had to say, I freaking adore the cover.  I mean seriously!  I have no idea who came up with the idea, or guidelines, or whatever, but the artist did an amazing job putting that together!

Secondly, Angelina is freaking hilarious.  She just is, Melinda De Ross can write some serious humor (…oxymoron there), as in, I fell off my bed laughing, knocking my laptop over.  I also laughed out loud while hanging out with my mother watching tv.  She thought I was nuts.  Blade, I thought, was well-rounded for the length of the novel, although he didn’t really stand out to me.  Except for the sex scenes, of course.  But I’ll discuss those later.  In any case, Angelina and the humor actually made the story for me.

Now then, the actual story.  I felt the novel could have been longer and a bit more drawn out.  This plot idea could have been brilliant but it fell a little short of that.  I also had a few issues with dialog being kind of weird.  Not like the characters were supposed to be weird.  Just the dialog didn’t feel natural to me in some places and that made it a tad jarring when reading.  This oddness also prevailed a bit in the actual writing, but the dialog part really stood out.  And the sex scenes were hot and steamy!  Definitely a plus!

Overall, the story kept me engaged and laughing, and of course, with the hot sex scenes, blushing!  (I’m kidding, sex scenes don’t make me blush, they make me very hot as does this book’s cover!)  With Angelina and Rat the cat, I’d give this story 3.5 stars!

Man touching girl’s ass while kissing. Laying together on Americ

Author Bio

Not long ago, to my surprised delight, somebody described me as being “charming, witty, supremely talented and dangerously fun”. I don’t know how accurate this description is, but I’m curious if the readers will find some of these features reflected in my writing. Speaking of my writing, I must mention that living in Romania – which is considered a projection of the enigmatic and much controversial Shambala, the supposed spiritual center of the Earth – is quite a source of inspiration. I have a native inclination to the occult and paranormal, to mystery and philosophy. The woman in me is a romantic and sensual creature. All these considered, I could describe my writing as being captivating, intriguing, sensual in places and, on the whole, a surreal experience. Enjoy!
 
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Giveaway

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Tour Schedule

 
October 1st
 
 
 
BookJunkyGirls – Review
 
A One-click Addict’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
 
Book-Lover – Review, Excerpt, Interview & Promo Post
 
We Like It Hot, Hot, Hot – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Words Turn Me On – Promo Post
 
Snugglebooks – Review
 
Fictional Boyfriends – Promo Post
 
Who Picked This? – Promo Post
 
Deliciously Wicked Books – Review, Playlist & Dream Cast
 
 
Romance of Daydreams – Review, Excerpt &Promo Post
 
Love, Lust & all the Pages in Between  – Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
All Things Books – Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
Joyfully Reviewed – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
SBM Book Obsession – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Little Shop of Readers – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Queen of the Night Reviews – Excerpt & Character Drop-in
 
Relentless Book Chics Ramblings & Reviews – Review, Excerpt, Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
October 2nd
 
Country Gals Sexy Reads – Review, Excerpt & Playlist
 
 
 
Page Turners Book Blog  – Review, Playlist, Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
Romance Obsessed Book Blog – Review & Interview
 
She Hearts Books – Review
 
Beautifully R.E.E. – Review
 
Sassy Ray Book Reviews – Promo Post
 
Southern Babes Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
 
 
Avid Reader Amy’s Reviews – Excerpt, Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
That Just Sort Of…Happened – Review, Excerpt, Playlist, Dream Cast, Promo Post & Character Drop-in
 
Addicted to books and authors – Review & Character Drop-in
 
Thirty Second Book Reviews  – Excerpt, Promo Post & Character Drop-in
 
Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
A Little Bit of R&R – Excerpt, Playlist, Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
October 3rd
 
Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – Excerpt & Playlist
 
2 Girls a Book and a Glass of Wine  – Excerpt, Playlist, Dream Cast & Teasers
 
Promoting Authors, Books & Reviews – Review, Excerpt, Interview, Playlist, Dream Cast, Character “drop-in” & Promo Post
 
Explicit Escapes – Review, Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
Mommy’s Naughty Playground – Review, Excerpt, Interview, Playlist, Dream Cast, Character Drop-in & Promo Post
 
Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt
 
Books Eater – Review, Dream Cast & Character Drop-in
 
I Think I Need More Books – Character Drop-in & Promo Post
 
Sizzling Book Blog – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Books, Tea and Sweets – Review, Excerpt, Playlist, Dream Cast, Promo Post & Character Drop-in
 
My Dirty Romance – Review, Excerpt, Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
For The Love Book Blog – Review, Excerpt, Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
T. Strange – Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
Sassy Lit Chic Reviews – Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
Bookwench I Am – Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
 
♥The Romance Vault♥ – Review, Excerpt & Playlist
 
October 4th
 
Rusty’s Reading – Excerpt & Playlist
 
This Girl Loves Books – Review, Excerpt & Playlist
 
Those Crazy Book Chicks – Review, Excerpt, Interview & Playlist
 
 
 
BeanieBrain Reader – Review, Excerpt, Playlist & Dream Cast
 
A Girl Who Loves Books – Review, Excerpt & Dream Cast
 
 
Book Boyfriend Junkies – Review, Excerpt, Dream Cast, Character Drop-in & Promo Post
 
A Coffee Addict’s Book Reviews – Review, Excerpt, Playlist & Dream Cast
 
White Hot Reads – Review, Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
Killion Slade – Review, Excerpt, Interview, Playlist, Dream Cast, Promo Post & Character Drop-in
 
Breezy Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
 
Naughty Girls of Romance – Promo Post
 
October 5th
 
Obsessed by Books – Review, Excerpt, Playlist & Character Drop-In
 
BookSkater – Excerpt & Playlist
 
 
Double M Rocking Book Buddies – Review, Excerpt, Character Drop-In & Promo Post
 
Stephanie’s Sexy Reads – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Rosie’s Book Heaven – Review, Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
Shelly’s Books – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Naughty and Devilish Book Blog – Excerpt, Interview & Character Drop-in
 
Reader’s Candy – Promo Post
 
Books are my friends, come see why – Excerpt, Playlist, Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
Undercover Book Reviews – Review & Promo Post
 
The Heart of a Reader – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Archaeolibrarian – I dig good books! – Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
This Mommy Loves to Read – Review & Promo Post
 
2 read or not to read – Review, Excerpt, Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
Crystal’s Sweet Reads and Reviews – Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
The Cantu Sisters Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
 
October 6th
 
Book Boyfriends Rock – Review & Excerpt
 
Coast to Coast Book Divas – Review, Excerpt & Character Drop-in
 
 
2 Chicks & Their BookBoyFriends – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
 
Discrete Divas – Review, Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Book Club Sisters – Excerpt, Interview, Playlist, Dream Cast, Character Drop-in & Promo Post
 
There’s This Book – Review, Excerpt & Playlist
 
It Started with a Book Blog – Review, Excerpt & Playlist
 
In The Pages of a Good Book – Playlist & Promo Post
 
Evocative Book Reviews – Review, Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Hooked On Books Forever – Review, Excerpt, Playlist, Dream Cast & Promo Post
 
Sexyways of Reading – Review & Promo Post
 
October 7th
 
Book Happiness – Review
 
Watz Books and Teasers – Review, Excerpt, Playlist & Dream Cast
 
 
Babu’s Bookshelf – Review
 
Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt
 
 
Pretty Girls Read Books – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Sinamen Reads Romance – Playlist & Promo Post
 
Book Friends Forever – Promo Post
 
Cover to Cover Book Blog – Excerpt, Playlist & Promo Post
 
Those Crazy Book Chicks – Excerpt, Promo Post & Character Drop-in
 
Books and Friendz – Excerpt & Promo Post
 
Once Upon An Alpha – Review & Promo Post