Thursday, June 30, 2016

Into the Nothing by BT Urruela- Blog Tour

Title: Into the Nothing
Series: Broken Outlaw #1
Author: BT Urruela
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Xander Evans has been on the road for many years. Never settling. Always moving from one place to another, unable to let go of his past. He lived a tragic childhood, spending most of those years in foster care. He's never felt like he's had a home. That is until he stops in the small town of Truman Valley, Missouri, where he meets a woman who will change everything he's ever known.
Paige Watson has it all. A loving family, beautiful home, and a great career. The only thing she's missing....is love. After escaping an abusive relationship, she opens her heart up to a stranger. He is unlike any man she's ever met. He came into her life and turned it completely upside down. Everything is perfect. That is, until one fateful night. 
A night that would tear the Watson family apart, never to be put back together again. 
A night that would send Xander away to prison for life.




"How about twenty questions?" I ask.
"I hate twenty questions."
"How about five questions, then?"
He cracks a smile and lifts an eyebrow. "How about three?"
"Deal!"
"So, have I mentioned how much I fucking hate Tuesdays?" Brandi's voice cuts right between us. Xander looks relieved.
Me? Not so much. "Damn it, Brandi!"
"What?"
"Oh nothing. Can you grab me Fireball though? Pretty please. Two of them." I look at Xander. "You're taking one."
"Three. I am too, bitch! Fuck Tuesdays!" Brandi calls out from across the bar as she begins filling the shot glasses from the Fireball chiller.
"Question one. You said you’ve been traveling for a while now, right? Do you ever get tired of it? Ever feel like settling?”
"Damn. Starting out with the heavy hitters, huh?" He eyes the shot glasses as if hoping it will somehow make them fill faster.
"Need me to go easier on you? Maybe a finger or two first before I go in with the whole fist?"
He looks at me in disbelief. "Did you really just say that?"
"Just answer the question, two fingers or three?"
BT Urruela was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour to Baghdad, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Director and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts motivational speeches, works as a cover and fitness model and he's a personal performance trainer. He co-wrote the military romance novel A Lover's Lament and will be releasing his debut solo novel, Into the Nothing, on June 21st, 2016.

Summer Lovin' by Jacquie Biggar- Release Tour

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pinpoint by Olivia Luck- Release Blitz and Review!

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Book Title: Pinpoint (The Point Series) 
Author: Olivia Luck 
Genre: New Adult 
Release Date: June 2016 
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

All my life I followed the rules. I lived under the iron rule of my father and did what was expected of me.

Until now.

I want to live in the big city. Make new friends. Get a great job. Meet a man that makes me swoon. Fall in love.

Sounds straightforward enough, but making my way in a city of six million isn’t as seamless as I'd hoped. And the man is more sour than sweet.

Something’s got to give. And this time it won’t be me..


My Review

Pinpoint (Point, #4)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have enjoyed each book in the Point series by Olivia Luck so far, and Pinpoint was no exception. This book could be read as a stand-alone, but there are additional delights for those of us who already know and care about some of the other characters. 

Here we get Iris's story. Iris is the younger sister of Violet (for those of you who have read others in the series). Iris and Violet were raised in a very strict religious home with parents who had a lot of rules and plans for their daughters that didn't include taking their opinions into account. Violet escaped by going to college, and when she returned years later, she helped Iris leave. Iris is thrilled to be living and working with her sister in Chicago. She has a passion for baking, and has found a way to blend her love of baking and her desire to help others. She meets Oscar Alexander, a well-known chef, and acquaintance of her sister. Oscar has no desire or time for a relationship, and even though he is very attracted to Iris, he knows that she is too sweet and naive for the kind of relationships he has with women. Iris is ready to experience life and make choices for herself and one thing she wants is to explore her desire for Oscar. 

Iris is a very likable character and it is easy to cheer her on throughout the story. She is definitely inexperienced, but she doesn't let that hold her back from experiencing or exploring what she wants in life. Iris takes good care of those around her and I was really hoping she would find happiness in her freedom. Oscar is a pretty great character as well. He doesn't always make the best choices, and he is obviously struggling with some personal issues, but overall I liked him as well. This story is pretty predictable, but I enjoyed it and enjoyed spending a little time with characters I came to know in Luck's other books. I will gladly read more by this author in the future.

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review 


excerpt
prologue

A piercing cry echoed through the delivery room as the baby came into the world.

“It’s a girl,” a nurse cried exuberantly.

Exhausted, the child’s mother collapsed onto the stiff white sheets of the hospital mattress while the father watched on in dismay.

Despite the joyous occasion, the father’s mood was remarkably dour. Another one? he thought grimly. Neither of his daughters would be able to take his place at the head of his Baptist congregation.

There was nothing to it.

They would have to have another child. The plan began forming in his mind even as he went through the motions of drumming up a pleased expression. Father had his attention wrapped so tightly around how to get a male heir to carry on his lineage that he almost didn’t notice the flurry of activity teeming around his wife.

Something was terribly wrong. His eyes darted to where a nurse placed his daughter in a clear-sided case as activity swarmed around him. Another nurse hooked her arm around his elbow to lead him out of the delivery room and into the hallway. Dimly, he acknowledged her words – bleeding, emergency, infection, surgery.

In the waiting area, his escort gently deposited him in a hard plastic chair and then scurried off, promising to return with news. Closing in on two in the morning, he realized the room was nearly empty. His other daughter was at home with one of the parishioners from his church, unbeknownst to the struggle her mother faced. Slumping forward, Father rested his elbows on his knees, dropped his head into his outstretched palms, and waited, silently praying for the life of his wife.

Later – he wasn’t sure how much time had passed – the grim-face doctor strode into the waiting room and called his name.

“My wife?” he choked to the man clad in dark blue surgical scrubs.

“She’s resting comfortably in the recovery room.”

“What happened?” Father wasn’t one to tremble, but at this moment, his voice shook. He couldn’t lose her. No other woman was worthy to fulfill the role of his wife.

The doctor began a lengthy medical discussion of what had occurred. Most of the terminology passed outside his understanding of medicine, but he was too proud to ask the doctor to explain.

He understood one word.

“Unfortunately, we had to perform a hysterectomy,” the doctor said gently. “She will never be able to have children again.”

A silent fury crept through him at the injustice of the situation. But he could not reveal the full depth of his emotion. He was a respected member of the community; as the pastor, the community called upon him for weddings, funerals, counseling … No, he could not scream at the doctor for butchering his wife’s body. He could not wail because he would never have the son that he’d dreamed of his entire adult life.

“Come back and see your wife. We’ll bring your daughter in. She’s doing beautifully. Do you have a name picked out?” the doctor said, reading the pastor’s silence as shock.

The pastor cleared his throat. His lips pressed into a taut line. “My wife selects the names for the girls.” He kept his voice to a murmur; afraid any inflection would betray his disbelief and disdain for another girl. Was it so much for a man of faith to want a son to carry on his family name and heritage? He was a pastor, his father was a pastor, his father’s father was a pastor, and so forth. The only way to control who would take over his congregation would be by selecting a husband for one of his daughters. He wasn’t opposed to the notion, but he would prefer to have a son to mold into the ideal successor.

Fighting a sigh, the pastor dutifully entered the hospital room where his fatigued wife lay with a bundle of pink blanket on her breast. He moved to her side, making the appropriate cooing noises, and stroked his hand over the child’s wispy blond strands of hair. It wasn’t as if he had no feelings at all for the baby girl. She evoked a sense of pride and a corner of softness in his heart, but she wasn’t what he truly wanted.

“What would you like to call her?” His voice sounded rough like sandpaper when he spoke. Thankfully, none of the nurses in the room or his wife took notice, likely assuming his wife’s near-death experience had left him tired and shaken.

“Iris,” his wife said resolutely. “My baby girls are my flowers. I already have a Violet and now an Iris.” She gazed at the child with such love and affection, the pastor momentarily wondered if he was looking at this scenario backward. His wife survived the traumatic birth and held their healthy daughter in their arms. What more could he ask for?

A son.
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meet the author

Olivia Luck calls Chicago home. She loves traveling with her husband, baking for her parents, and taking walks with her dog. Olivia started writing when she was eight and paused to dabble in various other pursuits like dance and piano. In the end, she always came back to her pen and notebook.

Get in touch with Olivia, she adores emails: olivialuckauthor@gmail.com
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

That First Kiss by J.C. Valentine- Book Blitz& Re-Reveal. Plus Reviews!

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That First Kiss

by J.C. Valentine Night Calls #2 
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

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Purchase: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes

Synopsis: 

Mercurial and charming, Tate Larson is a rising author and playboy who has a different woman on his arm every night of the week. Focused on his work, Tate has no plans to settle down any time soon. That is until he meets his pretty new assistant, Piper Donovan. Desperate to escape the promise of backwater living, Piper ditched her Alabama hometown and never looked back. That was almost two years ago. Now that she is out of a job and her bank account is running on fumes, she’s desperate to find a job, fast. She finds the break she is searching for when she lands a position at Bookish Temptations. A little dancing and a lot of drinks with the girls seem the perfect way to celebrate. After a brief but explosive encounter with a man she was never supposed to see again turns out to be the same man she will be bending over backwards to please, her every instinct tells her to run. But when running means leaving the life she has struggled so hard to create, Piper decides her only option is to continue working for the devastatingly sexy Tate Larson…even if it kills her. Unable to deny their growing attraction, they struggle to keep their distance in a relationship that requires anything but.


My Review

Piper Donovan is thrilled to land a job that will keep her living in the city she loves and prevent her from having to go back to a life she doesn't want in rural Alabama. While out celebrating her new job with friends she has a very intense encounter with a man she meets at the club. She starts her new job only to realize that the incredibly challenging frustrating man she is now the assistant to is the same man she hooked up with at the club. 

Tate is an author who is very demanding and has caused a number of assistants to quit rather than work for someone like him. Piper is able to stand up to him and deal with his moods and demands- but both of them find it difficult to deal with the serious sexual chemistry between them. Both have been hurt in the past, and both struggle to decide how to handle their feelings about one another, which are growing ever more complicated. 

Based on the author's description of the book, I expected to like it- but I didn't expect it to hook me so quickly or to like it as much as I did. There are elements of the story line that are familiar to this genre, but the characters felt fresh and there were many elements of the relationships that were unique. I really liked Piper and her girlfriends right from the start. They seem like a lot of fun and obviously create a good support system for each other. Tate was frustrating and screwed up a lot, but it didn't take long for him to hook me too. Piper and Tate had a lot of challenges to face- both personal and professional. Even with the serious chemistry they shared, it wasn't clear how or whether they were going to be able to sort everything out. This was a book that I had a hard time putting down. I found myself thinking about the characters and their situation when I was away from the book. Also- it is funny in a great way. A lot of books I've read lately have seemed a little too aware of how funny they are, and sometimes it seems that the author is trying to hard to be constantly hilarious and it ends up feeling a little fake. The great thing about this book was that a lot of the funny stuff caught me off guard. I would just be reading along, and then all of a sudden one of the characters would totally crack me up. It felt great to experience.  If there is anything to be critical about, I'd say that like many other books in this genre, once characters decide to be honest about their feelings for one another they get a bit hyperbolic.  

This book is the second in a series, but I have not yet read the first. This book can easily be read as a stand-alone. The writing was good, and I will definitely be reading more from this author. 


*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review

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EXCERPT- THAT FIRST KISS

Where was his goddamn assistant? For the hundredth time, Tate Larson glanced to the door watching another suit enter and approach the counter to place his order. Checking his watch again, Tate gritted his teeth and dropped his eyes back to the screen before him. So help him God. Felix promised he had found a good one this time. He swore this was the one. Foolishly, Tate had believed the man, though why he did was beyond him. The last dozen or so certainly hadn’t worked out, so why should this one? Was it too much to ask for a person to be on time these days? Well, Felix was going to be pissed to hear that he fired this one on the spot. He didn’t tolerate incompetence well. The bell over the door chimed again, announcing another arrival. Pausing mid-sentence, his fingers hovering over the keys, Tate lifted his eyes to the door once more, pausing on the pretty little thing that stepped inside. Dressed as a professional in a nice buttercream blouse and fitted pencil skirt, he was unable to keep his eyes from wandering over her luscious curves. She wasn’t as tall or slim as the women he normally chose, but there was just something about her that drew the eye. Maybe it had something to do with the woman he had hooked up with at the club over the weekend—lush lips, curvy body and bedroom eyes. Exactly the type of woman he went for and actively avoided. He was still reliving that moment nightly, hell, daily. He never should have kissed her. It went against his personal code of never kissing a one-night stand. But kiss her he had and now he was suffering the memory of that kiss and the way the woman tasted endlessly. Glancing around, he noticed that half the men in the shop had paused what they were doing to take notice of the woman, too. He watched curiously, studying her form, the way the morning sunlight created a total body halo making her look positively heavenly, the way her eyes darted around the room nervously, landing on each man only long enough to disregard them and move on. Hmm, why only the men, he wondered as those innocent brown eyes snagged on him. Oh, hell no. Tate straightened from his slouched position and dropped his feet from the chair in front of him to the floor with a dull thud. It couldn’t be. This had to be some kind of trick. Some sick twist of fate. Two things occurred to him at once: He was looking at the object of his current fantasies—the woman he had screwed in a women’s bathroom and hadn’t been able to shake from his memory since—and he was pretty damn sure she was his new assistant. He knew she recognized him by the way her mouth dropped open in a small O and her brown eyes widened. She started toward him, her steps faltering only slightly before she visibly pulled herself together. His eyes narrowed as the woman stopped in front of his table and peered down at him. “Hey, fancy meeting you again.” She smiled, showing off pretty white teeth that weren’t exactly perfect but still managed to set off her smile. His gaze lingered on her full, pouty bottom lip, remembering how it had tasted against his tongue. “Yes, fancy that,” Tate replied tightly. “Piper was it?” Dressed the way she was, looking the way she did, he never would have figured her for the business type. Judging from their first encounter, he pegged her as easy, just some bimbo, good for taking to bed and not much more. Okay, that wasn’t entirely true. She seemed different from the women he normally screwed. Compelling him to kiss her was proof enough of that. Not that he would have minded taking this woman to bed, though. Hell, he already had her once bent over a bathroom sink, but he needed an assistant just now. What he didn’t need was the aggravation of working with a woman who he’d already slept with. Sitting back, he folded his arms over his chest and propped his foot up on the chair across from him. “Ah, you remembered.” “What can I say? I’m good with names, and I never forget a pretty face,” he replied smoothly. She blushed, which oddly pleased him. Too bad he was going to have to wipe that pretty look off her face. “So, what are you doing here?” “I’m supposed to be meeting my new assistant,” he said, looking up at her meaningfully, “but they’re late.” Brows pinching, Piper frowned at him. He knew the exact moment that she put two and two together. “You’re Tate Larson?” she screeched. He pursed his lips. “I am. Are you the assistant?” She swallowed, her hands twisting nervously in front of her. “Yes, that’s me.” “Good. You’re fired.”

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DON'T MISS STRANDED, THE FIRST BOOK IN THE NIGHT CALLS SERIES, #FREE ON ALL PLATFORMS!

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#FREE on All Platforms! Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

Synopsis: Burned, Felix Sinclair has all but vowed never to get seriously involved with another woman as long as he lives. After a long day's work, Felix Sinclair is looking forward to getting back to his luxury apartment in the city. When he detours onto a road less traveled in order to shave off some travel time, the last thing he expects is to wind up stranded in a roadside ditch in the middle of a downpour--or to fall into the arms of a beautiful woman. Recently divorced, jobless, friendless and utterly alone, Poppy Montgomery is struggling to convince herself that single life is what she wants--needs. Then a handsome stranger staggers into her life and sparks fly. Riding out the storm together is bound to stir up heat, but once it passes, will they be able to walk away?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: STRANDED is the first in an interconnected series of erotic romance. Each book can be read as a stand alone, but you will find that each new character has been previously introduced in some way. As an introduction to the series, STRANDED is a novella, but rest assured each new addition will be a full length novel worth sinking your teeth into.

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My Review

Stranded (Night Calls, #1)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I started reading this series backwards. I read the second in the series and liked it so much that I wanted to go back and read the first in the series. Stranded was a lot shorter and less developed than That First Kiss (Night Calls #2). If I didn't already know Felix and Poppy, I'm not sure that this book would have engaged me enough to continue with their story. I never would have guessed that this was their back story based on my understanding of them after reading That First Kiss.

Basically, I just wanted a lot more. I also didn't feel like this book helped me to understand Felix and Poppy even as much as I came to understand them when they were peripheral characters in another book. I like this author and like this series, and will be continuing on with it. I almost want to recommend that people read book #2 first since I feel that is a stronger book and will lay a foundation that will help this story along a bit.

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

JC Valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry. J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors. Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! 


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Willem by Victoria Danann- Release Tour