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Spotlight & Review: Peyton 313 by Donna McDonald

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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.”

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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.

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Release Day Blast: Apolonia


We would love for you to join us in celebrating the release of   APOLONIA by New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie McGuire!
TitleAPOLONIA
Author: Jamie McGuire
Age: NA
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Publisher: Jamie McGuire LLC (October 6, 2014)
Cover Design: Okay Creations, Sarah Hansen
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Blurb:

“They killed me, but I survived.”

Three years after Rory Riordan foiled her own murder, she still trusts no one. Not Dr. Z, the eccentric college professor who has taken her under his wing, not Benji, the endearing, attractive classmate who insists on following her around, and certainly not Cy, the beautifully dark and mysterious boy who sits on the first row in Dr. Z’s Astrobiology class and asks far too many questions.

When Rory witnesses Cy being abducted by soldiers in the middle of the night, she finds herself submersed in a world that holds even more secrets than she could imagine–even darker secrets than her own.

From #1 New York Times Bestseller Jamie McGuire, experience the perfect combination of her bestselling books Providence & Beautiful Disaster. This New Adult Sci-Fi Romance is an action-packed, whiplash-inducing roller coaster ride. Page after page, this unpredictable, dark and sexy nail biter will keep readers guessing until the very end!

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EXCERPT

“Welcome!” Dr. Z began. “I am Dr. A. Byron Zorba, and you’ve
arrived at Geobiology and Astrobiology . . . uh . . . with lab. That’s a
separate class. Uh . . . later,” he added. “You should also be enrolled in the
lab, separately from lecture. If not, see administration. So! Here, and in the
partnering lab, you will study organic matter from microbes, rocks, and environmental
samples. In lab, you’ll extract and, more importantly, interpret these samples.
Beyond that, we will reconstruct ancient environments to understand how life
evolved within the samples.”

“Yeesh,” Benji whispered.

“It’s really not that bad. Don’t be a baby,” I said, keeping my
voice low as the professor went over the rules and syllabi.

“I’m still running in the mornings,” Benji said. “You should come
with me sometime.”

“I don’t run.”

“It’s good for you. You should try it.”

“I’m not getting up at the crack of dawn to run until I stop
freezing. That’s not healthy. It’s stupid.”

Benji just smiled, clearly amused.

“Excuse me, professor,” Cyrus said, holding his pen in the air.
“Whom shall I contact . . .?”

I blocked out the rest of his question. The trace of a British
accent in his voice and his perfect grammar would have never piqued my
attention before, but on that day it was annoying and snooty.

Not only was Cyrus tall, dark, and handsome but, as class
progressed, he also proved to be Dr. Z’s most adept and eager student.

“That would be Dr. Rosen,” Dr. Z said. “May I ask . . . from
where do you hail?”

“Excuse me?” Cyrus responded.

“I was curious to know if you happen to be Egyptian?” the
professor asked.

I don’t know what expression was on Cyrus’s face, but he must
have smiled, because Dr. Z clapped his hands once, and a wide grin made his
already full cheeks puff out.

Dr. Z patted Cy’s shoulder and shook his finger a few times.
“We’ll have much to talk about. See me after class.”

“Oh, Christ, get a room,” I snarled under my breath.

The professor’s hobby was trying his hardest to be an Egyptian
scholar. I thought maybe Cyrus’s origin was the reason for Dr. Z’s fascination,
but that didn’t turn out to be it at all. Cyrus never answered the questions
that Dr. Z presented to the class, but he asked at least a dozen of his own. He
was curious, and I couldn’t deny that his questions were a work of art.

Dr. Z answered a few questions before lecturing for just ten
minutes, giving us a reading assignment, and then waving us away, twenty
minutes earlier than expected.

Everyone looked around, unsure what to do until I began packing
my things. That started a chain reaction, and noise filled the room as students
crammed their laptops into their bags and moved to leave.

After our dismissal, Cyrus stood next to Dr. Z’s podium, and they
spoke in low voices with a lot of nodding and a few smiles. Oh, hell no. I
stood up, grabbed my bag, and walked down the steps, standing in the space next
to Cyrus.

“Cyrus has just returned from a summer in Mali,” Dr. Z said,
smiling.

“Oh?” I said, with cold eyes. “You have family there?”

“No,” Cyrus said flatly. He didn’t offer further explanation, so
I stared at him until he became uncomfortable and looked away. That was my very
favorite thing to do to everyone.

“Cyrus is researching the Dogon tribe. Very interesting,” Dr. Z
said. “He’s the third member of our team.”

“What?” I said the word louder than I’d meant and high enough to
be embarrassing.

Cyrus nodded once to us both, and then he was gone.

“Are you replacing me?” I asked, my heart pounding. My assistant
job was connected to my scholarship. If Cyrus stole it from me, I could be in
real danger of losing that money. It was too late to find a student position
that wasn’t already taken.

“Of course not. You saw the data I sent. You’ll never have time
for anything else if I don’t add someone to the team.”

“I can do it,” I said, only feeling a tiny bit relieved. “You
know I don’t go home for the holidays. I don’t mind working weekends.”

Dr. Z smiled. “Rory, I know you don’t mind working weekends, but
you should.”

He walked out of the classroom, leaving me among his weird
sculptures and artifacts. None of it made sense. Dr. Z had always been careful.
I couldn’t imagine he would invite someone he didn’t trust into his precious
laboratory. Something about Cyrus felt off, but he didn’t seem dangerous or
untrustworthy. If the professor had been considering Cyrus as just a third team
member, he would have mentioned it before today. The only explanation for my
exclusion from this news was that he was planning to replace me. What’s more, hastily
inviting a new student into his lab wasn’t just uncharacteristic; it was
troubling.

My eyes were all over the place, looking at a different inanimate
object with every thought. I couldn’t lose my position as Dr. Zorba’s
assistant. Everything was riding on it.

The room grew darker, bringing my attention to the large windows.
The clouds outside were gray. At this time of year, the weather was more likely
to bring in a cold front than a storm. The wind began to blow the few leaves
that had just started to fall from the huge oak trees. I pulled one of several
tubes of lip balm from my jacket pocket and ran it over my lips. I loved winter
up until the night I died. Now it just seemed ominous.

Clenching my teeth with determination, I lifted my bag and swung it over my
shoulder. I refused to lose my assistant position with Dr. Z. Cyrus could take
his thought-provoking, eloquently worded questions and shove them up his ass.

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GIVEAWAY:
3 Prints, 5 APOLONIA ebooks
 
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About the Author:

Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with international bestseller, Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written apocalyptic thriller Red Hill, a novella titled A Beautiful Wedding, and the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy.

Jamie lives on a ranch just outside Enid, OK with husband Jeff and their three children. They share their 30 acres with cattle, six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.

Find Jamie at http://www.jamiemcguire.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Review: A Mere Formality by Ilona Andrews (Short Story)

A mere formalitycoverGoodreads Synopsis: 

Warning: this story is one big dirty joke. There is no actual sex, but there is a lot discussion about it. It was written on a dare. Someone told us that we couldn’t write a short story around one particular phrase, and we did. So I recommend this for people 18+. Because you know, we wouldn’t want to corrupt your minors.

Genre:  Science Fiction Romantic Comedy?

Review:

I’m a huge Kate Daniels series fan (which I am currently rereading so that I can read the new book that came out when I wasn’t looking), so I pretty much read just about everything by this husband and wife writing team.

A Mere Formality is a science fiction short story that has a smidgen (and I do mean the tiniest smidgen) of romance in it. It’s extremely short, but the world, the people, the porn humor in it was absolutely amazing. I honestly couldn’t have imagined any other writer capable of building that world and those people in such a short story. It could of course, evolve into an entire involved series if the Andrews wished, but to be honest, I loved it the way it was.

I laughed my ass off through a lot of it, of course. The humor I know in Ilona Andrews’ books is not lacking here. Although, there is only so much raving one can do for a story that is too short for an anthology and revolves completely around an adult theme in such an epic way. Any fan of theirs should grab it (if you’re 18+ of course!). It’s a fast read and you’ll enjoy it. For a short story, 4.5 stars!

You can grab your own copy FREE on the Ilona Andrews website:  http://www.ilona-andrews.com/books/ebooks/a-mere-formality/

About the Authors

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. author2smIlona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children, and many dogs and cats. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

Author Stalker Links:

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