A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Seizing his one chance to escape, Ethan Hosking leaves his violent ex-boyfriend, leaves his entire life, and walks into the path of a raging bushfire. Desperate to start over, a new man named Aubrey Hobbs walks out of the fire-ravaged forest, alive and alone. With no ID and no money, nothing but his grandfather’s telescope, he goes where the Southern Cross leads him.

Patrick Carney is the resident lighthouse keeper in Hadley Cove, a small town on the remote Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. After the tragic death of his lover four years ago, he lives a solitary life; just him, a tabby cat, the Indian and Southern Oceans, and a whole lot of loneliness. He’s content with his life until a stranger shows up in town and turns Patrick’s head.

Patrick never expected to be interested in anyone else.

Aubrey never expected to be happy.

Between Aubrey’s love of the stars and Patrick’s love of the ocean, these two fragile hearts must navigate new waters. If they can weather the storm of their pasts, they could very well have a love that eclipses everything.

Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker was simply one of the most moving, heart felt romances I’ve read in a long time.  The combination of island, lighthouse, small town atmosphere, and memorable characters make this story one to carry in your heart for some time to come.

There’s also this almost intangible overlay of something magical, call it fate…call it the stars but N.R. Walker has cast a spell over her narrative so that this contemporary romance has a mystical feeling when the men need it the most.  Or perhaps when you least expect it, a touch of magic brushes over the story.

How these men need it and each other.  Walker has created two wounded souls in Patrick and Ethan.  Patrick lost his partner years ago to the sea and he has never recovered from the loss. Now he just goes about his life as the keeper of the local lighthouse at Hadley Cove, his romantic life nil. Ethan Hosking’s life has  gotten so dark, so full of despair and pain that he can’t see his way out until a fire and desperation points a way.  Using his grandfather’s telescope, it’s Aubrey Hobbs who walks out of the fire and eventually makes his way all the way to Hadley Cove and into Patrick’s life.

Walker’s ability to make us see the frailty of Ethan/Aubrey as he tries to ease his way into being a part of life at Hadley Cove is amazing.  You are there as Patrick slowly befriends the skittish new person in town, finds him a job, and in the  slow burn way, builds a trust that will allow the men to form a relationship and love.  And in turn, Ethan who now is truly becoming Aubrey teaches Patrick how to start to let go, grieve, and truly celebrate what he had with his first love.

Plus there’s all the secondary yet so important cast that is needed to shore up Aubrey’s recovery from his years of abuse into the person he’s becoming in Hadley Cove.  And the food that Patrick cooks  and serves up that’s simple but mouthwatering. The descriptions of the warmth of the hearth in the lighthouse and the cat that mourned and now accepts Aubrey.  It’s exemplary and all just means this book is beautifully written. Everything about this story will break your heart and put it back together again.

I just love it.  And it’s on my to be reread pile soon.  Yes, I highly recommend it.  I will leave you sighing and so happy for days after the book is done.

Cover art is perfect for the story. I wish I could have found the artist. Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 313 pages
Published June 23rd 2018 by BlueHeart Press
Original TitleGalaxies and Oceans
ASINB07DZNX1LT
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Balefire (Whyborne & Griffin #10) by Jordan L. Hawk

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The saga of Whyborne and Griffin against the Fideles and the masters continues and Whyborne’s Endicott family members show up to enlist his help in taking back their ancestral manor from whoever has commandeered it.  That may be the Fideles as there’s a mysterious barrier surrounding the island that houses Balefire and no one has been able to get through.

Of course, Christine and Iskander come along to help and Whyborne’s mother, Heliabel, accompanies the group as the emissary of the ketoi.  The mission is more complex than simply getting through the barrier and all five of our favorite characters are needed for this one. 

Without going into a great deal of detail, I definitely want to salute the author for taking the time to patiently explain and re-explain all the confusing relationships between the Fideles, the maelstrom, the masters, and more. I don’t know if all the info has been present all along, but this time I was able to highlight key points as I went through the story and discovered that it made much more sense to me than it had previously. Added to that, there’s new information as to plans the maelstrom may have initiated hundreds of years before, including the reason Whyborne and Persephone, his twin sister, were conceived in the first place.

As ever, Griffin guards his love. (I will never stop loving the fact that he calls Ival “my dear.”) Griffin uses his shadow sight to help the group get through the barrier to the heart of the estate.  Iskander uses his knives and, of course, Christine uses her club and anything else she can get her hands on.  The group is, by now, a well-honed machine when they are on a mission.  Nevertheless, expect the unexpected.  Jordan Hawke has an unlimited and uncanny imagination and takes us places that are definitely not foreseen.   

As this story draws to a close, it appears Whyborne’s cousins, the Endicotts—at least those who still survive—will be coming to Widdershins and will be on hand when the series evolves to the final confrontation with the masters. In fact, there’s an underlying theme of family in this book as quite a few family threads are woven throughout the story, starting with Griffin’s brother working with him in his PI business, to Ival’s relationship with his mother and his father. There’s acknowledgement of Sanford’s actions before his death and time to bereave his loss, and there’s the fierce protectiveness for the Endicott family children who have been isolated at the manor.  And then there’s the family of the heart that includes Christine and Iskander and their relationship with Whyborne and Griffin. Without giving away any spoilers, one of my favorite scenes is when Christine points something out to Whyborne that is personal and feminine and totally flummoxes the sweet, innocent man. 

The author is laying the groundwork for the grand finale. Perhaps she’s been laying it all along and the family is the mortar to the bricks and blocks that have been laid in past books. Time will tell. On a minor note, the only thing I didn’t care for in this book was the slow start of the story—it didn’t have the early excitement of others in the series where the action adventure occurred almost from the start. Nevertheless, I very highly recommend this book. Note: at this point in the series, the book can’t be read as a standalone, so I very highly recommend readers begin immediately with Widdershins and don’t stop until caught up.  We all need to be on board in time for the grand finale!

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Cover by Lou Harper is outstanding and features Whyborne in the foreground with fire sizzling between his two hands.  In the dark cloudy background is his husband Griffin.  It’s very attention-getting and in keeping with others in the series.

Sales Links:AmazonAppleBarnes & NobleKoboScribdSmashwords!ndigoAngus & Robertson

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: July 13th 2018 by Jordan L. Hawk
ISBN139781941230312
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesWhyborne & Griffin #10

An Ali Audiobook Review: Leaning Into the Look (Leaning Into #6) by Lane Hayes and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.

Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and leaninto the look.

I’m a big fan of this series and I keep thinking there’s got to be one I don’t like but so far it hasn’t happened.  I really like this group of friends and the guys they fall for.
We’d met both Grant and Miles numerous times in previous books so we already had a bit of a feel for them.  This story is told from Grant’s point of view and we learn of all his insecurities and the expectations (from his family and from himself) that he deals with each day.  He’s a complex character and one I thought was well done.
Although we don’t get Miles’ point of view I still felt he was a well fleshed out character and one we got to know well.  Miles is a lot and I wasn’t sure I was going to like him from his scenes in the other books but I ended up really liking him.  He was a bit of a mess but he was a good guy and he and Grant somehow ended up being perfect for each other.
I liked the overall plot as well as the characters.  The romance was touching and sweet and I was rooting for these two the entire time.
This audiobook was narrated by Nick J. Russo who I thought did a very good job.  I’m not a big fan of the same narrator doing all the books in a series if they’re about different couples.  It makes me think “Oh such and such MC sounds like such and such MC”.  Overall though it wasn’t a problem.  This series seems to be going back and forth between Mr. Russo and another narrator.
So….another really good book in this series and another really good narration.
Cover:  I thought the cover was lovely.  I like the covers in this series.  They’re all nicely done and they are uniform in a way that immediately lets you know that they’re all part of the same series.
Sales Links:  Amazon
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 9 pages
Published June 18th 2018 by Lane Hayes (first published March 21st 2018)
Original TitleLeaning Into the Look
ASINB07DPTPJ7Q
SeriesLeaning Into #6

Morgan Brice on Mediums, Monster Hunters, and her new release ‘Badlands’ (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Badlands

Author:  Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Genre/s: urban fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Add on Goodreads 

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Kobo 

Nook/B&N

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Morgan Brice here today talking about her latest release Badlands. Welcome, Morgan.

♦︎

Mediums and Monster Hunters

By Morgan Brice

My favorite stories have ghosts and monster hunters. Bonus points for two sexy guys who fall in love with each other while fighting off supernatural danger. They don’t always have to save the world—just each other, a few random strangers, and maybe a city while they’re at it.

Badlands, my newest release and the first in a new series, checks off all the boxes. Medium and clairvoyant Simon Kincaide owns a Myrtle Beach boardwalk shop where he runs ghost tours, holds seances, and offers private psychic readings, making a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal.  But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can’t say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.

I’ve loved ghost stories and tales about creepy monsters and scary magic since I was a kid. Every time I go on vacation, I buy a book or two of regional ghost stories—partly for inspiration for the next book, and mostly because I love to curl up with a spooky read. On the other side of my writing life, as Gail Z. Martin, I write several monster hunter series that focus more on action, and less on romance. What’s so much fun for me with Badlands (and my other new Morgan Brice series, Witchbane) is getting to put all my favorite things together in a recipe that’s equal parts spooky suspense and sexy romance!

I’m also a sucker for a scarred and wounded hero (or in this case, two of them) who is fighting the good fight but worn down by fate. Whether the monsters are human (like a serial killer) or occult (like vengeful ghosts and other things that go bump in the night), the battle takes a toll, and finding true love can be both healing and dangerous, because daring to care means being vulnerable. Add in two good looking guys and some ghosts and magic, and you had me at ‘hello’.

As a writer, I naturally am drawn to write the kind of books I enjoy reading. So buckle up—I want to take you to cool locations, give you some supernatural thrills and chills, throw in some magic and mayhem, and hope you fall in love with the sexy main characters while they fall for each other!

Watch for Lucky Town, a Badlands Christmas novella, later this year. Witchbane is out, and you can expect a second novel and a novella by the end of 2018, so there will be more adventures in both series!

I’ll be a Hosting Author at RomCon and a Supporting Author at Gay Romantic Lit Retreat in October, so please look me up and say hello!

Badlands is available in ebook on Kindle, Kobo and Nook and coming soon in print. We’re working on audiobook.

About me: Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions.

Follow Morgan on Twitter @MorganBriceBook, on Facebook in the Worlds of Morgan Brice group https://www.facebook.com/groups/143333126341151/ and check out the Morgan Brice Books and Stuff board on Gail’s Pinterest page at www.Pinterest.com/Gzmartin You can find more about Morgan at www.MorganBrice.com

Blurb

Simon Kincaide owns a boardwalk shop in Myrtle Beach where he runs ghost tours & does seances and private psychic readings, a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal.  But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can’t say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.

What Amazon reviewers are saying about Badlands:

“…steamy, complicated and totally engaging.”

“Highly recommend this one.”

“An excellent well written book…”

“A brilliant story that has you invested in the characters and guessing what will happen next.”

“Can’t say enough good things about this book!”

Excerpt

“Bikes are a big deal here,” Simon said to fill the pause. “I’m always amazed at how many come through for Bike Week.” Several major motorcycle events each summer turned the Grand Strand into a cavalcade of the hottest cycles on the coast.

Cop Dude shrugged. “I always liked Born to Run. Springsteen fan. What can I say?”

“Sir?” the voice called from the counter, making Simon turn away. “You’re next.” Simon had never been less happy to get to the front of the line.

“I’ll have a Dread Pirate Roberts,” he mumbled, not wanting to look like an idiot to the guy he was trying to impress. He handed over the money, took his change as she rang him up, dropped a one dollar bill in the tip jar, and moved down the counter to wait for his drink.

“I’ll try that, too,” the cop said, flashing him a grin. “What the hell? Live life on the edge.”

Le Miz baristas were fast. Simon knew he needed to come up with a way to extend the conversation without looking like a creeper or lose the connection, maybe forever. Just as the barista handed both of them their drinks, a deafening thunderclap sounded, rattling the windows, and the rain came pouring down.

“Want to grab a table?” Simon asked, nervous enough that his throat felt tight. “We’ll drown if we go out there now.”

“Sure. Why not.”

Simon led the way through the crowded outer room where the tables were all taken to the back room where there was once a display of pirate doubloons and recovered sunken treasures. The room kept its murals of sailing ships and scruffy pirates, along with the odds and ends left behind by the previous owners—a beat-up old chest, a pirate mannequin everyone called “Mo” and a bedraggled stuffed parrot on a perch, dubbed “Percy” by Le Miz regulars.

“You must come here a lot to know there’s a second room.”

“Told you, I take my coffee very seriously,” Simon teased as he sat down. “I’m Simon, by the way.”

“Vic,” the man replied. “So what’s in this mystery drink?”

“Do you like the smell?” Simon asked.

Vic leaned over his cup, took a deep breath, and his eyes fluttered almost closed. Simon’s heart did a little samba, instantly imagining what Vic would look like blissed out and debauched after sweaty sex. Simon’s erection strained at the fly of his jeans, and he was insanely glad they were seated at a table where Vic couldn’t see how aroused he was.

“Good?” Simon asked, hating that he sounded a little breathless.

“Yeah,” Vic replied, with a little moan that made Simon painfully hard.

“Glad I could turn you on to a good thing,” Simon replied, hoping he hadn’t read the signals wrong since he was blatantly flirting.

“Much obliged,” Vic replied, and maybe it was Simon’s imagination that the man’s voice dropped a little lower, a bit huskier, than before.

“You’ve been here before, you said?” Simon asked, finding that his pick-up skills were as woefully rusty as his ability to make polite chit-chat.

“A few times,” Vic replied. “I haven’t gotten to the boardwalk as much as I’d like.”

“I try not to overdo the special coffees,” Simon said with a self-conscious smile. “I know the sugar adds up. But you’ve got to do something to make yourself feel good now and then, right?” Oh lord, that sounded really bad. I can’t believe I said that.

A wicked twinkle came into Vic’s eyes. “I’m all for feeling good,” he replied, and his foot bumped into Simon’s beneath the table.

It’s just his foot. Doesn’t mean anything. Could have been an accident,Simon told himself, but Vic didn’t move away, and Simon hoped his smile looked encouraging instead of merely nervous.

“So are you in town for business or pleasure?” Simon asked, and cringed internally. What’s wrong with me? I’m never smooth, but I didn’t used to be this awful at picking up a date.“I mean, are you a local or just visiting?”

Vic’s full, sensuous lips quirked in a smile. “Neither,” he replied.

Simon tried and failed at not staring at his lips and imagining them around his cock. Get a grip!Shit, that only changed the mental image to a hand job. So not working! Don’t fuck this up.That didn’t help at all.

“Moved here not too long ago, so I don’t feel quite like a local, but definitely not a tourist,” Vic added.

“You can still take in the sights, even if you live here. Most people don’t take time to enjoy what’s in their backyards. I’d love to show you some of my favorite spots.” Oh, just shoot me now. That sounded like the worst line from a cheap porno. I totally suck at this. No, don’t think about sucking…

“Sounds fun,” Vic said, and Simon was so lost in his embarrassment that he almost missed it.

“You would?” he asked, then cleared his throat. “I mean, that’s great,” he failed miserably to cover his awkward reply. Simon was just about to ask for Vic’s number when Vic’s phone went off.

The ringtone sounded odd, and Vic’s manner shifted in the blink of an eye, going from casual and relaxed to tense and alert. “I’ve got to take this,” he said, without even glancing at the number. “I’m sorry. It’s work. Confidential—need to step away.” With that, he got up and headed toward the service corridor that went toward the men’s room, taking his coffee with him.

About the Author 

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin.

Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions Morgan Brice will be a Supporting Author at Gay Romantic Lit convention and a Hosting Author at RomCon in October.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Group -The Worlds of Morgan Brice 

Twitter

Pinterest: See the Morgan Brice board 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of three $10 Amazon Gift cards.

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Z. Allora on Writing, Painting, and new release The Temple of Heaven (Made in China #2) (guest post and giveaway)

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The Temple of Heaven (Made in China #2) by Z. Allora
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: PL Nunn

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press ebook and paperback

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Z. Allora here today talking about painting, writing, and the lastest release in the Made in China series, The Temple of Heaven.  Welcome, Z.

♦︎

 

Greetings! Thank you Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and your fabulous readship for the opportunity to share a little bit about me, Chinese painting, and my new release The Temple of Heaven. To celebrate I’ll be doing a giveaway: 3 e-books of The Great Wall, 5 e-books of Finally Fallen and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner. (Details about the giveaway are below.)

Most folks know I love art. When I lived in China I was lucky enough to take classes with art professor. She spoke as much English as I spoke Chinese meaning NOT MUCH.


My teacher and I met at an art auction.

I converted her work but the price quickly went well beyond my budget. I was horrified that the man who won didn’t seem to appreciate her or her incredible talent. He just wanted the status of donating that much to charity.

In my broken Chinese I told her how much I loved her work.

She gave me her number and address.

My friend called for me and scheduled a time for us to meet. I thought I was going to her gallery but she had invited me to her home.

I found out that she was a retired art professor at one of Suzhou’s colleges. I had nothing to lose so I asked if I could persuade her to take me on as a student.

My friend translated.

The artist ran out of the room.

Had I insulted her?

Within 30 seconds she returned with a chopstick in hand and held it out to me.

HOLY FUK! This was my karate kid moment. I could feel it deep in my bones. The pressure built. I didn’t want to screw this up.

I took a deep breath and grasped the chopstick between my fingers and thumb.

She snatched my hand and studied my finger placement.

I started to sweat. Did I do it right?

She looked me in the eye and said, “I teach you.”

I wanted to dance around the room but I settled for shaking her hand and calling her teacher… or mouse because the words sound almost the same.

Over the next six years while I lived in China, I created seven pieces. Chinese Brush Stroke (or water color) is time consuming… especially if you don’t know the language and have little talent for painting. She taught me through demonstration and at times with hand over hand.

I included a few of my pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fun Facts:

*Many of the shades of green are made from Indigo Blue and no yellow needed to be added.

*Chinese Water color is done with mostly water.

*You’re supposed to hold your water and your ink brush in one hand (though if you’ve just had carpal tunnel surgery like me that’s not possible).

*Students are not allowed to create original pieces. You learn by reproducing what the Masters before you have made.

*My paintings were made by her tracing other artists designs and then I was to paint them after practicing exactly what to do off page.

*My chop (signature stamp) was too “mannish” for my teacher’s liking.

*After every class she made me eat watermelon > I don’t like fruit. I ate it weekly for six years.

In The Temple of Heaven, Jordon Davis takes art class from my teacher. While once I got past the idea of copying someone else’s work, he does not. We see him struggle with her demands that he adhere to the rules. In the end he negotiates and addresses his issues with drawing his own boundaries.

The Temple of Heaven’s Blurb

Music is Tian Di’s life and his love, and he’s made plenty of sacrifices. His career is finally taking off with his band, Made in China, and he’ll continue to put music first… until he meets Jordon. Then insta- lust becomes insta-love and a commitment to the future—no matter how difficult it might be.

Jordon lives in a bubble constructed by his overprotective older brothers, who are so controlling that they’ve kept him from dating. A talented artist, Jordon managed to keep his success with a Japanese manga publisher a secret from his family, but now he fears discovery. It’s easier to let his brothers handle everything, but Jordon has reached his limit. He’s ready to draw some boundaries so he can be his own man and face all the challenges that come with that.

Their families and careers aren’t the only obstacles. Jordon must accept his identity as a gay man who doesn’t top or bottom. Fortunately, Tian Di—and his special talents—help Jordon open up to his sexuality in an erotic adventure that spans Japan and China, and with love, luck, hard work, and open minds, will end in a happily ever after.

 

To Enter the Giveaway: Leave a comment telling us what you would paint if you could. Winners will be picked July 20th. (Leaving your email helps but isn’t necessary)

Many hugs, Z. 

To contact Z. Allora: 

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com

FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora

Website: www.zallorabooks.com 

Twitter: @ZAllora

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/z-allora-637

99c Book Blast – Double Dare (The Dare Menage Series #1) by Jeanne St. James (excerpt)

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99c BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Double Dare (The Dare Menage Series, bk 1)

Author: Jeanne St. James

Publisher: Self

Cover Artist: April Martinez

Release Date: March 25 2010

Genre/s: Contemporary Erotic Romance (Interracial, MMF, LGBTQ)

Length: 67,500 words/260 pages

It can be read as a standalone but is the first book in a series.

Add on Goodreads  

Buy Link – Double Dare is only 99c for a limited time

UNIVERSAL AMAZON LINK  

Blurb

What could be better than waking up next to a hot guy? Waking up sandwiched between two of them.

Quinn Preston, a financial analyst, is not happy when her friends dare her to pick up a handsome stranger at a wedding reception. What better reason to give up men when her previous long-term relationship had not only been lackluster in the bedroom but he had cheated?

Logan Reed, a successful business owner, can’t believe that he’s attracted to the woman in the ugly, Pepto-Bismol pink bridesmaid dress. And to boot, she’s more than tipsy. After turning down her invitation for a one-night stand, he finds her in the parking lot too impaired to drive. He rescues her and takes her home. His home.

The next morning Quinn’s conservative life turns on its ear when Logan introduces her to pleasures she never even considered before. And to make things more complicated, Logan already has a lover.

Tyson White, ex-pro football player, is completely in love with Logan. He has mixed emotions when Logan brings home Quinn. But the dares keep coming…

Note: This book in the series can be read as stand-alone. It includes an HEA ending. It is intended for audiences over 18 years of age since it includes MMF scenes between all three characters.

Excerpt

When Logan glanced up again, he saw a pink vision stalking toward him, and he sat up straighter. Shit, the cause of his earlier hard-on was coming his way.

She looked determined, and she still had a grip around her glass like it was a lifeline.

She stopped directly in front of him and put one hand on her hip.

“Are you Logan Reed?”

Oh shit. “Yes?”

“You don’t know for sure?”

“Oh, I’m sure.”

“Are you fucking anybody right now?”

“Right this minute?” He glanced around to see if anyone else was hearing this surreal conversation. Luckily no one was paying attention.

“No. Do you have anyone who is going to get mad if I ask you to dance?”

“Uh. No.” Well, hell, that was a unique way of asking someone to dance.

She placed her drink on the table, and he asked, “Is that still your second one?”

“No, third.”

“I was afraid of that.”

She grabbed his hand and pulled, but he was too heavy for her to lift, so he unfolded himself from the chair to accommodate her.

“Are you asking me to dance?”

“You have a problem with that?”

“Not at all.” He interlaced his fingers with hers and led her to a corner of the dance floor. Luckily for him, the DJ had turned the lights down and was playing a series of slow tunes. Ones he could dance to. There was no way he was doing the chicken dance or line dancing. He had his limits.

As the slow, wailing tune blared through the large speakers, Logan slid his palms around her waist, his splayed fingers coming to rest at the small of her back. The fabric of her dress felt terrible, and he didn’t know why women wore shit like that and suffered. The dress certainly wasn’t flattering.

But it wasn’t the outer package that mattered to Logan; it was the prize he found inside when it was unwrapped.

He stepped in a little closer and pulled her hips against his. He swore he heard a little gasp. He smiled into her overstyled, dark blonde hair and nuzzled it. Underneath all the hairspray, he caught a scent of wildflowers. It smelled nice.

“What’s your name?” he murmured into her hair.

“What?” She turned her head a bit, and she ended up nuzzling his neck. Her lips, the shape of which reminded him of an archer’s bow, were warm and soft, and he could detect the fruity scent of the slammers on her breath.

She was average height for a woman, which made her a bit shorter than him, so he had to lean down a bit to place his lips against her ear.

“What’s your name?”

He felt the shiver of her body against him, so he traced the delicate shell of her ear with the tip of his tongue. The touch was light enough, but she unmistakably felt it. In response, she arched her back slightly, pressing her hips harder into his.

“Quinn,” she finally answered him, her voice breathless.

“Quinn,” he repeated while moving one hand up her back to the bare skin rising out of her dress. He drew the pad of his thumb along the smooth expanse of flesh, along her exposed spine, moving up to her neck to cradle it in his palm. His thumb continued to stroke her skin along the vein in her neck.

He pulled away a little and looked down into her face. Her eyes were heavy, and her lips were parted. Her breaths were short and quick.

He struggled to keep from thrusting against her. If she looked this good in that god-awful dress, he wondered what she looked like in normal clothes. Or no clothes at all.

Or just a pair of handcuffs.

His balls tightened, and he released a long breath out of his nose to steady his pulse.

“Quinn, do you like sex?” He placed his cheek against hers, and they swayed to the music, their hips, their thighs brushing against each other.

Her eyelids fluttered a bit before she answered, “Sometimes.”

“Why only sometimes?” he whispered against her ear.

She shrugged slightly, and one of her off-the-shoulder sleeves slid down a bit, exposing more creamy flesh.

Logan brushed his lips along her collarbone. It was delicate and covered with smooth skin. When he got to her shoulder, he worked his way back, and in the hollow of her neck, he placed a kiss.

There was a groan. He didn’t know whom it came from. Her? Him? He didn’t care. His hand at the small of her back slipped lower, to just where the rise of her ass was. The fabric of the dress kept him from feeling details, but his imagination took over.

One song transitioned into another, and they weren’t even aware of the other couples dancing nearby.

His hips kept a steady side-to-side rhythm, while his hand on her back kept her close and in perfect time with him.

He was hard. There was no doubt she could feel it. Even with the yards of fabric around her midsection, her belly brushed against his length, teasing his cock.

“What kind of sex do you like?” His voice sounded low and gruff to his own ears.

“The kind when I get to come.”

Logan chuckled against her temple and slipped the hand he had around her neck to her shoulder. His fingers brushed her skin lightly. He couldn’t help but notice goose bumps suddenly appearing everywhere he touched her. Which meant her nipples were probably hard and aching for his fingers and mouth.

Her dress had slipped down a bit, and the neckline rode low on her chest. The fabric rested just on the crest of her breasts; he could see she wasn’t wearing a bra. In fact, he thought he could see the crescent edge of one nipple, even in the dim light.

He wanted to dip his tongue between her breasts.

“Quinn?”

“Hmm?”

“Why did you ask me to dance?”

“Because my friends…” Her soft voice faded off.

“Your friends?” He prodded.

“My friends dared me to. They think I am such a loser when it comes to men.”

“Ah.”

“I always pick Mr. Wrong.”

“Am I supposed to be Mr. Right?” He brushed the backs of his knuckles over the rise of her breasts.

“No. Just Mr. Right Now.”

She was direct. He wondered if it was just the alcohol talking. “So you just want to use me.”

“Basically.”

Her boldness wavered, disappointing him a bit.

He raised his eyebrows. “Huh. And you don’t think I’d care?” He leaned back a bit and looked down at her, her skin a canvas for the colorful light bouncing off the mirrored disco ball above the dance floor.

She wouldn’t meet his gaze. “Do you?”

About the Author

JEANNE ST. JAMES is a USA Today bestselling romance author who loves an alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing. Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages. Want to read a sample of her work? Download a sampler book here: BookHip.com/MTQQKK

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