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Friday, May 29, 2015

#New! The Lady Mentor by G.E. Taylor #multicultural #romance

The Lady Mentor

When beautiful Joanna Huntington left the law firm of Petersberg, Ryan and Cole, she never dreamed the storm would force her into the path of the car driven by Vaughn Gordon, the man whom she thought she would never see again. Coming face –to- face with Vaughn at the hospital brought back memories of their first encounter when she‘d lived in Chester. How she’d boldly asked Vaughn to kiss her after she’d sensed the attraction between them was mutual. His touch made her forget any cautious teachings she’d heard and his kisses had sent so much heat flowing through her that every cell in her body clamored for his full possession. But now she wanted to hide.

Vaughn had everything he wanted, except the woman of his dreams. Joanna had been marked off limits, not because she was biracial and he was white but because that was demanded of him. He agreed to back off…for a time. But then she disappeared. Now here she was lying before him possibly hurt.


Fate would not be so cruel to take her from him again just when he found her.


Excerpt:

    “At last,” said Vaughn’s deep voice.
    Joanna was so shocked she flopped down into the nearest chair.
    “Are you there, Joanna?”
    She cleared her throat. “Yes, I’m here. What can I do for you?” she asked, politely while her heart raced away like an unstoppable train.
    “I take it you have fully recovered from the accident?”
    “Yes. And it’s not necessary for you to continue to call.”
    “It’s not necessary?”
    “No. As a matter of fact, I wish you wouldn’t. I think you should forget you ran into me. Forget you saw me.”
    “But I can’t do that,” came the husky reply. “We’ve been over this already, Joanna. Please have dinner with me this evening.”
   “Now, why would I do that when I just told you−−−?”
   “Joanna, I’m picking you up this evening. I’m not playing the waiting game anymore. If you’re not ready when I get there, it will be my pleasure to personally dress you.”
Arrogant bastard! “Why don’t you go harass someone else? I’m sure that banker’s daughter wouldn’t mind. Both of you look like a nice little couple in the papers.”
    “I don’t mess around with married women, which she is now. At the time, I was asked to escort her to the function. Besides, I want to be with you, no one else.”
Well, he’d told her he would not waste time, and apparently he’d meant it. He was moving forward with the relationship. Truthfully, she wanted to see him again. They had a lot of unfinished business. Some she couldn’t make go away. Having dinner with him should give her some answers.
    “Joanna, is eight okay?”
    “Yes, that will be fine. Where are we going?”
    “Downtown Newark, to the Neck, to one of the Spanish restaurants. You liked Spanish food, as I recall.”
    “You remembered,” she stated quietly, blown away that he would remember such a small thing about her after all this time.
    “There’s very little I don’t remember about you, Joanna. Give my regard to your lovely mother, and I’ll see you at eight.”
    She replaced the phone in its cradle thoughtfully, a deep frown creasing her brows. There was no going back now. Truth be told, she was excited and was actually looking forward to being with him. There was no denying the fact that nobody else made her heart race with such speed or sing with such joy. The time spent away from him made her body even more responsive to him. She craved his touch and felt so alive when she was with him. She didn’t want to look too deeply into why. She only knew that from the first day they’d met, something special, magical was between them. Apparently that had not changed.
    As Katherine entered the apartment, she sensed a change, and she looked at Joanna seated on the chair. “Is everything all right, Joanna?” she asked anxiously.
    “Yes. I’m going to dinner with Vaughn tonight.”
    “Are you sure this is what you want to do?”
    Joanna understood this was no ordinary question.

Buy Links



About G.E. Taylor
I became hooked on reading romance novels during my teen years and my attempt at writing began in high school. All of my manuscripts were mailed under my bed. Eventually, I threw out most of them. That was painful especially since I’d hand written them first, then typed them on my old typewriter.

In college I majored in English but ended up with a Master in Social Work and a Master in Education.

Though I had these different career paths, I never gave up my passion for writing. Now I’m much more committed to it and writing full time. I’ve drawn on my years of practicing social work to give my work authenticity and realism.
I live in New Jersey with my family.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Release Blitz: unDefeated by J.C. Valentine #new #Kindlegiveaway @AuthorJCV

unDefeated Blitz Banner

unDefeated by J.C. Valentine Wayward Fighters #3 Publication Date: May 26, 2015 

Also in this Series: Wayward Fighters: Books 1 & 2 Genres: Contemporary, Romance
unDefeated Cover

Buy: Amazon - Amazon UK - Amazon Paperback - Nook - Kobo - iBooks

Synopsis:

Spencer Bradley ruins everything he touches. Addicted to gambling, he’s lied, cheated, and stolen to get what he wants. Now, in order to protect those he cares for, he’s keeping his distance. Rehab’s taught him a lot, but when his time runs out and he finds himself with nowhere to turn, he seeks help from the one person he’s capable of destroying. Olivia Carter fell in love the day she met Spencer Bradley. Despite him being responsible for the downfall of his best friend’s career and landing himself in rehab, she can’t bring herself to stay away—even if it means risking her own recovery. *Note* While this book is a part of the Wayward Fighters series, unDefeated can be read as a standalone.
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unDefeated Teaser  2

Also in the Wayward Fighters series

KNOCKOUT (FREE!)

Knockout

Knockout by J.C. Valentine Wayward Fighters #1 Publication Date: April 6, 2014

Genres: Contemporary, Romance FREE: Amazon - Nook - Kobo - iBooks

Synopsis: From the wrong side of the tracks... Alyson Blake had learned early on that the only one she could depend on was herself. The only light in her life was a boy whom everyone agreed was destined for prison; but with his first kiss, he had set her soul on fire. Since the day the police dragged him away in handcuffs, she had managed to lead a quiet life, but when she attends an event fraught with mayhem, trouble resurfaces. The one person she can’t forget... Jamison Weston is the kind of guy dads load their shotguns for; endowed with a hot temper and a rap sheet as long as both tattooed arms. Known as “The Judge,” Jami’s hot temper, lethal fists, and cocky attitude have earned him respect and admiration both in and out of the ring. But just when he thinks he’s pummeled his past to death, Alyson Blake reenters his life. Two paths collide… After years of separation, Alyson is eager to reexplore the man who’s never left her thoughts, but for Jamison, she’s both the distraction he wants, but doesn’t need. As the two embark on a relationship that neither of them expected or bargained for, an outside threat closes in. When Alyson crosses the line of professionalism and takes her work home with her, her life is put in danger, leaving Jamison with no choice but to once again step in and become her protector.
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TAPOUT (99c!)

Tapout

Tapout by J.C. Valentine Wayward Fighters #2 Publication Date: July 8, 2014 

Genres: Contemporary, Romance 99c: Amazon - Nook - Kobo - iBooks

Synopsis: History brought them together. Circumstances may keep them apart.
Alyson Blake’s past left her with scars. Scars that she tried to fix the only way she knew how—by helping others. But actions have consequences, and Alyson is about to find out that being naïve is no excuse. Fighting is Jamison Weston’s passion. Alyson is his obsession. Despite the past and a few lingering concerns, their relationship is as solid as ever. Until a shocking lie is uncovered and all of his plans begin to unravel. Now, Jami is rushing to pick up the pieces, but as relationships are put to the test, will he be strong enough to keep it together, or will it all just fall apart?
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About J.C. Valentine

JC Valentine
USA Today Bestselling author J.C. Valentine is the alter-ego of Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of tales of romance spurred her to branch out and create her own.
She lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. As a university student, she studies literature, which goes well with her dream of becoming an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.
IndieSage PR

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Under the Gazebo: Naughty Hottie Memorial Day Blog Hop @ngwngroup @giveaway



Hi friends, and welcome to the Naughty Hottie Memorial Weekend Blog Hop, brought to you by members of the Nice Girls Writing Naughty Author/Reader Group! We're all here to share some naughty fun. There are prizes and fun at each blog on the hop. The Grand Prize, offered by author Leela Lou Dahlin, is a $50 Amazon gift card! In order to qualify for the Grand Prize, just stop by each blog on the hop (link posted below) and leave a comment.
 The naughty hottie I'm featuring is Bryan Dunn, a sexy college professor who appears in my upcoming release, Write to Me. Bryan is taken with the lovely Gloria Navarro, who has found a love letter between the pages of a used book. Though the note has nothing to do with him, Bryan allows Gloria to think he wrote it as a means to get closer to her.
Let me share this excerpt from the novella, where Bryan and Gloria's stroll in the park is interrupted by a thunder storm:
   
Gloria, still holding his arm, strolled by his side. A rumble of thunder sounded in the distance. She shuddered. “That doesn’t sound good.”
“No.” A fine mist of rain began. He squeezed her hand and nodded toward a gazebo in the distance. “Let’s head over there.”
Their clothes and hair were damp by the time they reached the structure. Bryan tried not to let his gaze linger on the way Gloria’s pretty sundress clung to her curves.
She smoothed her shoulder length hair. “It’s frizzing up already. I must look awful.”
“No.” Without thinking, he threaded his fingers through her dark tendrils. Her hair felt delightfully soft and luxurious. “It’s lovely.”
Her breath caught and her hands fell to her sides. Bryan went still. He didn’t want to stop touching her. The air around them felt electric, from the storm or from their mutual attraction. If he took one step closer, he could kiss her…
Thunder rumbled again and fat heavy drops of rain began to fall. Gloria stepped back, her smile hesitant. “How have people reacted to your new haircut?”
He took her cue to put some space between them. “I’ve gotten quite a few compliments, actually.”
The corner of her mouth lifted. “From your adoring female students, I’m sure.”
His eyebrows flew upward in surprise. Was there a tinge of jealousy in her voice? The thought pleased him.
She shook her head. “I shouldn’t have said that. Of course you’ve gotten compliments. The cut is very becoming, if I do say so myself.” She moved to sit on a wooden bench in the center of the gazebo. “We should talk about the letter.”
He blinked. “Ah. The letter.” Of course they’d come round to that again.
“Yes.” She cleared her throat. “That’s why we’re here, yes?”
No. He didn’t want to waste time talking about the damn letter, but he’d boxed himself into a corner. It was the only way she’d continue seeing him.
Man up, his better self urged. Tell her the truth. She’ll be pissed, sure, but she’ll get over it. Then you can tell her how you really feel.
And how did he feel? This whole adventure began with him wanting to get Gloria into bed. He still wanted that, but he wanted more, too.
Something new for him. Uncharted territory he had no idea how to navigate.

I hope you enjoyed that little snippet from Write to Me! Though Bryan imagined kissing Gloria under the gazebo (the pictures describe what he'd *like* to be doing with her), they have yet to share their first kiss. For a chance to win the $10 Amazon (or other) GC I am offering, please comment and answer this question:

Where did you and your sweetheart share your first kiss?

I'll announce the winner on Monday here and on the Nice Girls Writing Naughty Readers Group on Facebook. If you haven't yet joined our group, now's your chance :-) We have events and prizes every month!

Don't forget to comment at all the stops for a chance to win the Grand Prize! Find them all here!

Thanks for taking part in the Naughty Hottie Memorial Day Blog Hop!




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#Review: One Week in Hawaii #romance #newrelease #anthology

ONE WEEK IN HAWAII
Sun, sand, and seduction…
Alexis Anne, Audra North, Julia Kelly, and Alexandra Haughton sweep you away to paradise for One Week in Hawaii.
A wedding planner breaks all the rules to have just one night of pleasure, only to find that a stolen moment might hold the key to forever.
A movie star falls hard for her sexy co-star…who just happens to be her best friend.
A former black sheep risks falling from grace again when she seduces a handsome stranger with a dark history.An artist has to choose between dating a guy who will please her parents and one who will please…and pleasure…her.
Sex on the beach is so much more than a drink in these four sizzling contemporary novellas by the authors who brought you One Week in Wyoming.
****Nona's Review of One Week in Hawaii****

Each story in this romance anthology offers the adventure of a week spent in Hawaii—whether for a wedding, a business offer, or a well-earned vacation— and the magic of romance.

The Wedding Week by Julia Kelly tells Annie's story. She's a wedding planner for an upscale hotel and prides herself for always being on top of things, always having control. But her control snaps when she meets sexy Chris, and indulges in a passionate affair with him, even though mixing business with pleasure could mean the end of her career. I had a lot of sympathy for Annie as much of her need for control stemmed back to a difficult childhood and a constant need to prove herself. Chris was sharp and ambitious, but his desire to be with Annie trumped his career goals and made him a worthy romance hero.

Kissing Rebecca by Alexis Anne was a cute and funny friends-to-lovers tale. Rebecca and Luke have known each other and worked together for years in a successful film franchise and have always been "best buds." But during that time their feelings have grown, though there's never been a right moment to express those feelings. Now they're both free, but neither is sure the other is ready for, or even interested in, taking that next step. Luke's a real doll and I couldn't help but love him for all caring ways he tries to woo Rebecca. The poor guy can't catch a break, though, as bad luck dogs his every move. His refusal to give up is what makes this story so sweet. Both characters were extremely likeable, which helped make this lighthearted story a real charmer.

After the Fall by Alexandra Haughton featured two complicated people, both trying to "come back" after difficult circumstances. Joss is a successful businesswoman but her family won't let her live down an embarrassing incident from her wild child days. Drew was a photojournalist who turned his back on his career after a devastating experience overseas. Drew and Joss are "strangers in the night" when they meet, but offer each other comfort and acceptance (not to mention awesome sex). I wanted these two to get together, but complications from Joss' business woes and secrets from Drew's past kept getting between them. I really enjoyed the tenderness between the two characters and the support they gave each other, but sometimes felt as though there were a bit too many complications involving former spouses and lovers. I also wished there had been a bit more explanation about why Joss had acted out so much in her younger days. This story is for readers who enjoy an angsty, intense romance.

Blinded by Audra North introduces us to Mike, smitten with his buddy's younger sister. Chelsea, however, only has eyes for a different friend, a slick attorney. Mike is a down-to-earth, fun-loving guy with a good heart but Chelsea finds him annoying. He always seems to be around when she's trying to flirt with Brandon. When Chelsea suggests to Mike that the two of them act like a couple to make Brandon jealous and pique his interest, Mike reluctantly agrees. It becomes a case of "be careful what you wish for" when Brandon starts showing interest in Chelsea as she realizes that Mike is the man for her. There's a lot of humor in this situation, and plenty of frustration for the hero and heroine. I cheered when the main characters finally gave in to their passion. But there were still bumps in the road ahead. I really enjoyed this story and how the author took the trope of "girl loves brother's best friend" and put a twist in its tail.


One Week in Hawaii is a very enjoyable read. If you can't travel to the beautiful island state in real life, then visiting it through these four sexy stories is the next best thing.

Buy links:
amazon-logoamazonUKitunes barnes__noble_logo kobo

Thursday, May 7, 2015

#BookBlast & #Giveaway: Summer's Family Affair @CynthiaGailBook #romance #GoddessFish




***Cynthia Gail will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please scroll down to enter.***


BLURB:

Jenny Cohen defines successful independence: she put herself through college, couldn’t ask for better friends, owns a consulting firm, wears designer clothes, and just moved into her dream home . . . But she’s alone, except for her ailing mother whom she supports in a nursing home. As the marketing consultant for Chester, Dorsey & Tanner, she’s surrounded by male attention. Too bad it’s the overly-protective big-brother type. 

Architect, Craig Stone, hasn’t looked at another woman since his wife passed away four years ago. His time is taken—building a career while trying to be both mother and father to his eight-year-old son. But when his appointment with the largest development firm in Nashville is double-booked with a black-haired beauty, he finds himself reaching for new possibilities.

The attraction sets off more fireworks than the Fourth of July. Yet, their relationship is riddled with issues neither one of them expected. Somewhere in the middle they must find a way to compromise or let go of a chance for love they may never find again.


Excerpt:

All thought froze, as a beautiful voice cut through the near-silence of the room. Craig stared at the portfolio for just a second more before turning his attention to the front desk. He couldn’t see far enough around the corner to get a good view. What he did see . . . a pair of black strappy stilettos.

“Better you than me. He’s in an awful mood. Jeffry was out for just three days and his temp 
messed up the entire week’s schedule.”

Craig quietly moved down the row of chairs. Though his line of sight was much improved, he still couldn’t see the face behind the voice.

“You know it’s only going to get worse. It’s just Monday. How bad is it, really?”

She must be leaning over the desk, because her voice was now a faint whisper and the scene 
that greeted him was a firm derriere and a pair of runner’s legs that made his heart skip a beat.

“I’m not sure. I do know that you’re double-booked with the gentleman sitting across the room. Don’t look now.” Someone cleared their throat. “He’s a new architect Nick’s consulting with on the expansion designs. Too expensive to reschedule. Sorry.”

“Oh.”

“Brandon’s supposed to be part of their meeting and the temp had it on his calendar for noon tomorrow, instead of nine today.”

“I guess I can take second place. Only because it puts Brandon at my mercy. Tell Jeffry to come to the lobby and we’ll work it out. I’m always flexible, especially when it gives me an edge.”

The women laughed, a beautiful melody that rang through his entire being. Craig watched as she straightened and he could now see long, wavy black hair, falling against a ruby-red silk blouse. She reminded him of a Victoria Secrets model—long and lean, with a hint of curve.

“That’s why I like you so much. It’ll be a few minutes, if you’d like to have a seat.”

Craig shifted his attention back to the contract in his hand and purposefully read the title five more times. Slowly. He listened as her shoes clicked across the hardwood floor, waiting until the sound stopped before turning in her direction. She’d taken the chair he’d previously occupied and was sliding her phone into a black designer clutch.

Then she greeted him with a smile that still held a spark of amusement. He took a deep breath and swallowed. She had a hint of summer tan that made her skin glow, a touch of sheer gloss on her lips, and chocolate-brown eyes that instantly warmed him to the core.

His throat went suddenly dry and his mind raced for something to say. He stared silently, feeling like a teenage boy who’d never spoken to a girl before. Somehow, he found his footing and stood, then walked over to the chair next to hers. “Craig Stone.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our three dogs. When I'm not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.

Website:  http://cynthiagail.com/ 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CynthiaGailRomance 
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CynthiaGailBook 
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6564818.Cynthia_Gail 
Amazon Author Central:  
http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Gail/e/B009WQTTQE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1426743860&sr=8-1 
Amazon buy link:  http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Gail/e/B009WQTTQE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1426743860&sr=8-1 

Other Books in the series:
Winter’s Magic   http://amzn.to/1Gsi6OM 
Spring’s Surprise   http://amzn.to/1Np002k


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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

#New! Summer Fling by MJ Compton #baseball #eroticromance @Comptonplations


Happy Tuesday, all! And happy release day to my friend, MJ Compton, whose sexy sports romance Summer Fling is out today from Loose Id! If you enjoy stories featuring strong heroines and hot athletic heroes, you'll love this one!


Blurb:

Caroline Maplethorpe spent a summer as plaything for a minor league baseball team…and oh, how Win Winston played.

Seven years later, she’s respectable, and he’s in the big leagues. Now that he’s found her again, he still wants her in a major way. But their second-chance relationship attracts too much publicity, and the third member of their long-ago ménage threatens to destroy the respectable life Caroline so carefully reconstructed after that crazy summer.



Excerpt:

This was my life now. Calm. Orderly. Mundane. I had this great Armory Square apartment, I was on speaking terms with my family again, and I had a job I enjoyed. It was enough. 

The intercom buzzed, but I ignored it. Drunks stumbling out of the multitude of bars often amused themselves by annoying the residents. Chandler would have either returned to the café or gone home, and my family always called before they visited me. 

A lone figure lurched into view, shoulders hunched against the cold. Snow swirled around him. He stood under the streetlight, looking up at me. 

Win. 

Our gazes met. I swallowed hard. Just like that, he knew where I lived, and that was not a good thing. He stared at me for what seemed like forever, then ambled away. 

My intercom belched again. I uncurled from my perch and stumbled to the speaker. “Yes?” 

“Carrie Thorpe.” 

I still heard that voice in my dreams. I was going to have to speak to Win eventually. Might as well get it over with. 

I buzzed him in. Then I opened the door and watched him lumber up the dimly lit stairs. 

He was larger than life, filling my doorway with his height and bulk, bringing the cold and the scent of winter with him. 

I didn’t offer to take his coat. “What do you want?” 

His dark eyes glittered in the flickering candlelight. Flakes of snow melted in his black curls. “Carrie Thorpe.” 

“There’s no such person,” I said. 

“No wonder I couldn’t find you.” His deep voice rumbled through me. “I looked, you know. For years. On every form of social media I heard of. But no Carrie Thorpe ever popped up.” 

“She doesn’t exist,” I repeated, not believing him. 

“Caroline Maplethorpe slumming it in Cortland.” His tone was bitter. 

“Caroline Maplethorpe trying not to trade in on her father’s name,” I retorted, stung by his accusation. The truth was far less dramatic. 

Win still had the power to annihilate me, but I’d never let him know how vulnerable he made me. Survival. That was my priority. 

“You’ve done well for yourself,” I said. I’d followed his career to the majors, his injury two seasons ago, and the subsequent surgery that led him to a rehab stint in Syracuse. 

“If you mean better than Flash, then yeah.” 

Flash. Jordan “Flash” Gordon. He’d introduced Win to me, in a manner of speaking. 

“I got called up for three games, and you disappeared,” Win said. “I went a little crazy.” 

“It was time for me to leave. College was starting. The timing had nothing to do with your getting called up.” 

That was the truth. Part of it anyway. 

He stared at me. Through me. He’d always been able to peer into the crevices of my soul. 

“What do you want?” My voice shook. 

The intensity of his gaze never wavered. “I don’t know.” 

That was new. Seven years ago, Win Winston had always known what he wanted. 

“I thought I wanted you, but now you’re telling me you don’t exist.” 

There were many things I could have said. I could have asked if he’d never had a meaningful relationship with another woman, but that would imply he’d found our relationship meaningful. While it was certainly memorable, I doubted it had much meaning for him. 

Didn’t he understand the rules? What we’d had that long-ago summer was a fling. He was a young, good-looking, up-and-coming pitcher, and I was a young, out-of-control, self-destructive girl on the run from emotions I couldn’t handle. I would have done anything to be able to feel.


I did everything I could in order to feel something. Anything.


Purchase Summer Fling from:


Loose Id


Amazon



MJ Compton grew up near Cardiff, New York, a place best known for its giant, which inspired her to create her own fiction.

Although her 30-year career in local television included such highlights as being bitten by a lion, preempting a US President for a college basketball game, giving a three-time world champion boxer a few black eyes, a mention in the Drudge Report, and meeting her husband, MJ never lost her dream of writing her own stories.


MJ still lives in upstate New York with her husband. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Central New York Romance Writers. Music and cooking are two of her passions, and she enjoys baseball and college basketball, but she’s primarily focused on wine . . . and writing.





Friday, May 1, 2015

#Review & #Giveaway: Ride Me Hard @ShariSlade #bikers #newrelease

RideMeHard Banner

Ride Me Hard by Shari Slade
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

RideMeHard Cover (1)

Synopsis:

When a big scary biker shows up at Jimmy's Diner fifteen minutes before the end of my shift, covered in tattoos and looking at me like I'm on the menu, I should flip the open sign to closed. But I don't, because I'm too used to doing what I've been told. Too used to working and struggling and surviving to do anything different. A closed sign wouldn't stop him anyway. He's here to collect a debt. And I'm the only one left to pay. 

Author's Note: Ride Me Hard is part one in the Devil's Host MC serial.

Buy for only 99c! Amazon - B&N - Kobo - iBooks



Add to Goodreads

Excerpt:

A bark of laughter, deep and rough, startles me from behind, and my first thought is son of a bitch because if that’s a new customer wanting dinner, all my fifteen-minute plans have turned into an hour at least.
“Looks like you’ve got a little hitch in your giddyup, sweetheart. Why don’t you bring me a menu and come sit on my lap?”
I whirl around to tell him right where he can put a damn menu, and my breath catches.
I can’t process all of him at once. He’s that big. He is scruff and muscle and a white T-shirt tucked into dusty jeans. He looks weathered and road weary, like most of Jimmy’s clientele, but…more. Everything about him is intense. His knife-blade cheekbones. His heavy brows.
His blue eyes flash icy heat, and some animal instinct tells me this man isn’t looking for sass, that if he finds it, he might do something about it, something I won’t like at all.
He’s made himself comfortable in the booth with his leather jacket tossed on the opposite side along with a sleek black helmet. I’m pretty sure there’s a motorcycle parked out front now to match his accessories. If only I’d heard the rev of an engine and the spray of gravel, but I was too busy humming and watching the clock. A warning would’ve been nice. I might have locked the door a few minutes early, even if it did mean Jimmy would dock my pay.
No. I wouldn’t have locked a customer out. But I’d have braced myself better.
His hands are massive and flat on the tabletop. Tattoos crisscross his blunt knuckles, the ink broken by spidery scars. It takes my brain precious seconds to decipher the blue-black loops and whirls as letters.
It’s like he’s put them there for inspection. But not the “clean enough for supper, ma’am?” kind of inspection, the “how much damage do you think these can do?” kind.
A lot of damage. That’s the answer. A lot. Those are knuckles that have been through walls and windows. Flesh and bone.
I want to say we’re closed, but Jimmy’d can my ass for turning away a paying customer. I want to run back to the kitchen and get Harry to tell him to take his business elsewhere, but Harry isn’t any match for this man. And I’m frozen in place anyway. I can’t peel my eyes away from his hands.
I stare harder, and it hits me that the letters over his knuckles form words.

Lost. Soul.

***Nona's review of Ride Me Hard by Shari Slade*** 

Star's life is going nowhere. She works in a crummy diner and is barely getting by. She's not even sure she'll be able to pay the rent due on her rattrap little apartment. But life goes from bad goes to worse one night when Noah, a big tough tattooed biker enters the diner looking for Harry, who owes Noah's biker buddies money. When Harry sneaks out the back door, Star's the only one left to deal with Noah. And he might just decide to make Star pay off the debt…

Ride Me Hard is a short read that provides an intro to the author's Devil's Host MC series. Star's a survivor whose tough life made me sympathize with her. Noah is a hard alpha male who wants dirty sex with Star and makes her want it too. She's turned on by him but also a little afraid of him. He's a bad guy, but there's good in him, too—when he lets it show. When he and Star hit the sheets, he makes it clear that he's in charge, and she likes it that way. The story is gritty and raw, with a thread of dubious consent. By the end of the tale, I was hooked into wanting to know what will happen to these two characters. Star may be in for a world of trouble, but I got the feeling that Noah will be beside her, protecting her as best he can. If you enjoy dark, gritty stories featuring anti-heroes and lots of hot sex you'll find plenty to like in Ride Me Hard.

About Shari Slade

Shari Slade
Frequently found in a blanket fort, you can also find her contributing at Wonkomance, on twitter, facebook, or tumblr. For new release updates, sign up for the newsletter.




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