Category Archives: Review

[Review & Giveaway] The Wedding Date by Cara Connelly


The Wedding Date by Cara Connelly
A Save the Date Novella
Releasing November 19th, 2013

Julie Marone isn’t your ordinary matchmaker. Instead of setting up singles, she matches already-happy couples with their dream homes. It’s her calling. Her gift. And since she lost the other half of her own happy couple, it’s become her passion.
Cody Brown isn’t your ordinary cowboy. Instead of roping runaway steers, he wrangles sick kids and strung-out junkies as an ER doc. It’s his job. His responsibility. And since his brother lost his wife to a drunk driver, it’s his mission.
When Cody moves from Austin to Boston, he wants Julie to find him a condo, and fast. But she’s got issues with that. Because not only is Cody single, he’s a doctor to boot, and ever since her fiancé died, she’s got a major grudge against doctors.
Cody charms her into breaking her “couples-only” rule, but when he angles to be her date for her sister’s Christmas Eve wedding, he finds out Julie’s “no-doctor” rule is unbending. Still, he’s not quitting, because as hard as Julie fights it, there’s heat between them. If Cody has his way, they’ll be a couple by Christmas, and the next dream house Julie finds will be their own.
Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | iTunes 
My Review: 
4.5 Star Review – The Wedding Date

I recommend this book.

This book contains heartache, passion, and laughs.    

Julie has a gift for matching couples to there perfect homes.  When Cody stops in her office he needs a condo.  She turns him down as she only works with couples. 
When he talks her into helping him out she does but she’s not happy about it. He is not part of a couple and even worst he is a doctor. 

Something in her past has made her hate all doctors.  How will Cody breakdown her walls if he is hated by her for his profession? 

Cody is very attracted to Julie and really wants to get to know her better.  With her doctor issue is it even worth it?

I like Cody and Julie.  You can feel the chemistry jump off the pages.  On one hand you can understand Julie’s issue with Doctors but since Cody was not even around can she really blame him also?  Love how Cody slowly breaks down her walls one by one. 


Author Info
Cara Connelly is an award-winning author of contemporary romances. Her smart and sexy stories have won high praise, earning Cara several awards including the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart, the Valley Forge Romance Writers’ Sheila, and the Music City Romance Writers’ Melody of Love. Cara lives in rural upstate New York with her handsome husband Billy and magical rescue dog Bella. Cara is proudly represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal/Lyon Literary Agency.
Author Links


Outside, a sleety December drizzle came down from a leaden sky. Cars shissed past, spraying sludge. She sprinted next door to the Plaza and marched straight up to the desk. “I’m looking for Dr. Brown,” she informed the pretty brunette with the “Ashley” nametag. “Can you ring his room?”

Ashley broke into a smile. “Oh, Cody’s not in his room. He went down the street to Starbucks.” Looking up over Julie’s shoulder, her smile widened. “Here he comes now. And he’s got my latte. Isn’t he sweet?” She sighed.

Julie turned around. And sure enough, here came Cody, swaggering across the ultra-opulent lobby, a dozen gilt-framed mirrors ricocheting his reflection off every wall. Even if she’d tried, she couldn’t escape the golden hair, the stubbly sun-kissed jaw. She couldn’t ignore the nut-hugger jeans that served up his package on a plate, and the battered leather jacket, unzipped to display a rain-spattered T-shirt plastered to his paving-stone abs.

Ashley sighed again.

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Filed under Avon Books, blurb, Cara Connelly, Excerpt, Giveaway, Review, Save the Date, Tasty Tours

[Review & Giveaway] All I Want for Christmas is a Cowboy by Katie Lane, Emma Cane & Jennifer Ryan

All I Want for Christmas is a Cowboy by Katie Lane, Emma Cane & Jennifer Ryan


What’s better than Christmas? Christmas and Cowboys. Contemporary romance stars Emma Cane, Jennifer Ryan, and Katie Lane join together for a holiday anthology to remember.

“The Christmas Cabin” by Emma Cane
Sandy, recently diagnosed with MS and abandoned by her husband, is determined to make Christmas special for her five-year-old Nate. While they’re trooping through the woods to cut down their Christmas tree, a snowstorm arises, and a mysterious old ranch hand points them toward an abandoned cabin. Little do they realize, the ranch hand also guides cowboy Doug Thalberg to the same place…

“Can’t Wait” by Jennifer Ryan
Before The Hunted series, Caleb and Summer had a whirlwind romance not to be forgotten…
Caleb Bowden has a lot to thank his best friend, Jack, for – saving his life in Iraq and giving him a job helping him run his family’s ranch. He also introduced him to the most incredible woman he’s ever met. Too bad he can’t ask her out. You do not date your best friend’s sister. Summer and Caleb share a closeness she’s never felt for anyone, but the stubborn man refuses to turn the flirtatious friendship into something meaningful. Frustrated and tired of wishing to be happy, Caleb tells Jack how he feels about Summer. With his friend’s help, he plans a surprise Christmas proposal she’ll never forget – because he can’t wait to make her his wife.

Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Katie Lane
Alana Hale is tired of irresponsible beach bums whose only plan for the future is catching the next “awesome” wave. So when she tries her luck with an internet dating service and ends up hitting the Responsible-Sensitive-Man jackpot, she wastes no time accepting Clint McCormick’s invitation to spend the holidays on his family’s ranch. But when an unexpected blizzard strands Alana, she’ll be forced to find refuge in the arms of a womanizing rodeo cowboy who knows how to take the chill off a cold winter night. Now Alana will have to make a choice between the man who heats her blood and the man who touches her heart. Or will she? Mistaken identity will give Alana the man of her dreams and a very “Marry” Christmas.


Buy Links:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Link to Follow Tour:

My Review: 
4.5 Star Review – All I Want For Christmas Is A Cowboy

I recommend this book.

This book contains 3 stories.    

“The Christmas Cabin”

A story about two people pushed together because of a snow story and a mystery cowboy on a horse.  Sweet story where both of the characters fall in love in a cabin when they might not have meet under any other circumstances.

“Can’t Wait”

This story is about friends falling in love.  About a brothers best friend who needs to stay away from the girl to keep the friendship or so he thinks….  You do not date your best friend’s sister no matter what or do you?  Can you have the friendship and the girl?
“Baby It’s Cold Outside”

This story is about Mistaken identity.  Don’t judge before you know…
Alana met a guy online who is perfect for her.  On her way to surprise him she ends up in a cabin with his brother who makes her melt.  But is it really the brother?  Or is it the same man she met on line? 

I liked all three stories in this book. 

Author Info

EMMA CANE grew up reading and soon discovered that she liked to write passionate stories of teenagers in space. Her love of “passionate stories” has never gone away, although today she concentrates on the heartwarming characters of Valentine, her fictional small town in the Colorado Rockies. Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma

JENNIFER RYAN, author of The Hunted Series, writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances.
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home, and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.
Please visit her website at for information about upcoming releases.
Follow her on:
Twitter: @JenRyan_author


KATIE LANE started writing in fifth grade when she wrote a fictional story about being a skirt.(yes, you read that correctly. The story was told in first-skirt rather than first-person.) Since then, she’s stuck to telling stories about people. Going Cowboy Crazy is her first novel in the Deep in the Heart of Texas series. Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her high school sweetheart and can be contacted through her website

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Filed under blurb, Emma Cane, Giveaway, Jennifer Ryan, Katie Lane, Review

[Review Tour & Giveaway] Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye
Hard Ink #1
Genre – Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Release Date – November 26, 2013


Tall, dark, and lethal…

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey’s tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome–pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He’s left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander’s daughter. Loyalty won’t let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn’t expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge…


Amazon US Kindle –

Amazon US Paperback –

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Amazon UK Paperback –

Barnes & Noble NOOKBOOK –

Barnes & Noble Paperback –



My Review: 
4.7 Star Review – Hard As It Gets

I recommend this book.

This book is a rollercoaster ride of action and passion.  You get a missing person, a failed kidnapping, two tossed houses and old military buddies who are packed full of testosterone. 

Nick is sex on a stick.  Becca is a feisty ball of trouble.

Becca needs Nick’s help finding her brother.  She tracks him down to Hard Ink.  He turns her away because of something her father did to him and his team in the past.  He decides to follow her for a few days anyway to make sure she is safe.  After following her for a few days he sees someone in her house and chases them off. 

He is going to help her but he still doesn’t want to.  The more they investigate the more trouble seems to find them.

After someone tries to kidnap Becca, Nick realizes that he needs to call in his old brothers in arms.   There is a lot of anger, pain, and hurt between these guys.  Can they over come the past and work together to find and bring Beeca’s brother home?  Who has Becca’s brother?  Does it have anything to do with her father?  Will Nick tell her why he hates her father?

I love the characters in this book.  You get a feel for all of them.  Together all the guys are freaking hilarious.

Conversion between Nick and Shane:

“You seriously do ink?” Shane asked, hiking Becca’s medic kit on his shoulder.

Rixey braced.  Oh, goody, something else for him to ride me about. “Yeah I seriously do.  Occasionally.” He shrugged.

“You any good?”

“Bare some skin and find out.”

Shane grinned, his expression making it clear he enjoyed harassing Nick, “If you wanna get me out of my clothes, lovah boy, you gotta wine and dine me first.”

It was maybe the first smile Nick had cracked around Shane since the guy had arrived yesterday. And, damn, it felt good. Normal. Like before. “Asshole.”

“That’s southern fried asshole, to you.”

Very hot and sexy read!!  Can’t wait for Laura’s next book. 

Which is out in February 2015 Hard As You Can: A Hard Ink Novel –> Pre Order AMAZON this is Shane and Crystal’s story make sure you pre-order it!!

About Laura Kaye:


Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


Excerpt ~ Chapter 11, just after Becca has survived a kidnapping attempt:

Becca’s insides nearly vibrated with the need to know what the hell Nick wasn’t telling her. She’d hit the edge of her tolerance for any more mystery, even of the tall, dark, and achingly handsome kind.

His lips pressed into a grim line and his eyes flashed. “Becca, let’s just—”

“No.” She stepped right into his space and jabbed a finger into the granite of his chest. “Don’t put me off anymore. I deserve to know. I need to know,” she said, hating the strained pitch of her voice.

His expression went dark and his jaw ticked. She saw it in his eyes the minute he made the decision to spill. Her stomach plummeted to the floor. It was bad. He didn’t need to tell her that much. Everything inside her braced for the onslaught of bad news.

When he spoke, the words were even, straightforward, factual. “Someone ransacked your house. Picked the back door lock again. Went through just about every room.”

The brick walls bent and warped around her, but she shook off the dizziness and forced herself to focus on Nick’s face. His presence was the only thing grounding her. “Why would they do that? Could you tell if anything was missing?”

He shook his head. “The why of it I intend to figure out. I promise you. But the place was too much of a mess to—”

“Take me.” Becca pushed past him and hit the handle on the door.

Arms wrapped around her from behind. “Becca, we—”

“No!” She threw off the hold and scrambled away, her back coming up hard against the wall.

Nick’s expression was a roiling sea of emotion. Surprise. Fear. Anger. Concern. “I’m sorry. What just—”

“That was how he grabbed me.” She swallowed hard and shuddered at the remembered press of the man’s flesh against hers. “I’m sorry,” she rasped, embarrassment heating her face, despair and exhaustion sucking the fight out of her.

He came forward slowly. “Don’t apologize,” he said, his voice cranked tight. “And don’t cry.” His thumb swiped under her eye, once, twice, and then his knuckles caressed her cheekbone. The little touches were comforting, sweet, and she thought maybe he needed to give them as much as she needed to feel them. He tucked the loose strands of her destroyed ponytail behind her ear.

“I’m not crying,” she said despite the wetness plain on her face. She shook her aching head, then pressed her cheek into his hand. “I’m not.”

“I know.”

Peering up at him, her breath caught. The moment their gazes connected, his expression shifted from sympathetic concern to uncontrollable desire. His mouth fell open. His chest rose and fell against hers. His fingers burrowed into her hair.

Becca went hot all over, like the sun had hung itself in the stairwell above them.

He leaned closer, closer, his free arm bracing on the wall above her shoulder. The warm puff of his breath caressed her lips as his gaze bore into hers. She couldn’t move, couldn’t blink, couldn’t breathe.

He kissed her on a groan so needful it made her dizzy and wet. His mouth devoured hers, his big hand cupped the back of her head, his body completely surrounded and trapped hers against the bricks. It was a full-body onslaught, with every part of him engaged in the act of claiming and seducing.

Becca clutched at his coat, his shoulders, his back, his hair. Anything to bring him closer, deeper. His lips pulled and tugged, his tongue stroked and twisted. He smelled of leather and mint and tasted like sin.

The harder he came at her, the more her conscious mind let go. Her aches, the stitches, her house, even Charlie—for a few minutes, just a few precious minutes, Becca let it all go.

The surrender was euphoric. It rushed through her blood and sent her flying.

“That was so close, Becca. Too close,” he rasped, kissing her jaw, her ear, her neck, and sending her heart flying. His fingers stroked down over her breasts and found the hem of her shirt. And then those warm, calloused hands snaked up her stomach, pulled down the cups of her bra, and caressed her breasts skin to skin. He massaged her, teased her with roughened fingertips, and tormented her until she was panting.

She gripped the collar of his coat, half afraid her knees would go soft and give out. Nick pulled his body away just enough to tear the coat off his arms and throw it to the floor. Geez, the gun holster was sexy hugging tight over his shirt, but he slipped out of it, too, and eased it to the floor with a thunk. Then his hands were back on her breasts and his tongue was back in her mouth, stealing her breath and convincing her she could live without it.

God, this kiss. It was the kind she’d remember forever, that would invade her dreams and haunt her in quiet moments. The kind her older self could look back on and know, once, she’d really lived. The kind that, no matter what, she could never, ever regret. And it made a part of herself bloom with affection for the man who’d made her feel that way.

She snaked her hands under his shirt, moaning when her palm smoothed over the hard planes and muscled ridges of his abdomen, his sides, his chest. Her fingers swirled through the light covering of hair on his chest and swiped light, teasing brushes over his nipples. The low growls he released into the kiss as they explored each other thrilled her, made her yearn for the opportunity to bring a man as powerful and deadly as him to his knees in ecstasy.

“Closer,” he ground out. With one arm, he ripped the cotton over his head, revealing a body that was no doubt capable of inflicting pleasure and pain in equal measure. Desire roared off his skin and his hands were everywhere, massaging her breasts, kneading at the swell of her ass, pulling them harder together.

The heat of his demanding touches ripped through her and settled a pressing ache low in her abdomen. She squeezed her thighs together in response, emphasizing her arousal against her panties.

“I want you, Becca. I’m not gonna lie.” He spoke in low tones against her cheek, but pulled back to meet her gaze. “But I think—”

She placed three fingers over his mouth. “Don’t think.”


Did you have a favorite line from the excerpt?

Thanks for reading! ~Laura


“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”

~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets


About Hard As It Gets:

Five dishonored soldiers.

Former Special Forces.

One last mission.

These are the men of Hard Ink.


Tall, dark, and lethal…

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey’s tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome–pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He’s left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander’s daughter. Loyalty won’t let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn’t expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge…


Read an Extended Excerpt of Hard As It Gets


Terms & Conditions
The Kindle Paperwhite 3G giveaway is international unless excluded.  If your country is not on the list that Amazon delivers to, you will not be eligible win this prize.
Author Laura Kaye is not responsible for damage to the Kindle in transit.  All issues regarding this must be addressed to Amazon.
All accessories for the Kindle Paperwhite 3G must be purchased by the winner – the prize is the Kindle Paperwhite 3G only.
Entrants must be 18 or over.



Filed under Contemporary, Excerpt, Giveaway, Hard Ink, Laura Kaye, Review, Romantic Suspense, Synopsis

[Review] Dare To Love by Carly Phillips

Dare To Love by Carly Phillips

Dare To Love series


New York Times Bestselling Author Carly Phillips turns up the heat in her newest sexy contemporary romance series, and introduces you to the Dare family… siblings shaped by a father’s secrets and betrayal.

Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.

Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men – until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she’s stunned to discover she likes it. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything.


Buy Dare To Love

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

My Review: 

4.7 Star Review – Dare To Love

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Carly.  This book includes Erotic fun, passion, laughs, heartache, and betrayal.

What can I say besides hot and steamy.  If you are looking for that in a book Carly delivers it in spades.  

Ian Dare wants Riley.  She is friends with his half brother so she is off limits.  Or is she??

Dare will do whatever it takes to get her.  He has to be in control.  She is very independent and insists on doing things for herself. 

Two headstrong people collide and the passion flares out of control pulling them both into a twisted relationship that neither of them might be able to control.

Love both of these characters.  They are both funny and sweet together.  Plenty of steamy scenes and plenty of chemistry. 

Can’t wait for Carly’s next book in this series.
Contact Info for Carly Phillips



Facebook | Twitter | Website | GoodReads

About Carly:

N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today’s readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly made the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. She also hopes to rediscover the pure joy of writing without expectations. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She’s a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.



Read an Excerpt


Once a year, the Dare siblings gathered at the Club Meridian Ballroom in South Florida to celebrate the birthday of the father many of them despised.  Ian Dare raised his glass filled with Glenlivet and took a sip, letting the slow burn of fine scotch work its way down his throat and into his system.  He’d need another before he fully relaxed.
“Hi, big brother.”  His sister, Olivia, strode up to him and nudged him with her elbow.
“Watch the drink,” he said, wrapping his free arm around her shoulders for an affectionate hug.  “Hi, Olivia.”
She returned the gesture with a quick kiss on his cheek.  “It’s nice of you to be here.”
He shrugged.  “I’m here for Avery and for you.  Although why you two forgave him –“
“Uh-uh.  Not here.”  She wagged a finger in front of his face.  “If I have to put on a dress, we’re going to act civilized.”
Ian stepped back and took in his twenty-four year old sister for the first time.  Wearing a gold gown, her dark hair up in a chic twist, it was hard to believe she was the same bane of his existence who’d chased after him and his friends until they relented and let her play ball with them.
“You look gorgeous,” he said to her.
She grinned.  “You have to say that.”
“I don’t.  And I mean it.  I’ll have to beat men off with sticks when they see you.”  The thought darkened his mood.
“You do and I’ll have your housekeeper short sheet your bed!  Again, there should be perks to getting dressed like this and getting laid should be one of them.”
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that,” he muttered and took another sip of his drink.
“You not only promised to come tonight, you swore you’d behave.”
Ian scowled.  “Good behavior ought to be optional considering the way he flaunts his assets,” he said with a nod toward where Robert Dare held court.
Around him sat his second wife of nine years, Savannah Dare and their daughters, Sienna and Samantha, along with their nearest and dearest country club friends.  Missing were his other two sons, but they’d show up soon.
Olivia placed a hand on his shoulder.  “He loves her, you know.  And Mom’s made her peace.”
“Mom had no choice once she found out about her.”
Robert Dare had met the much younger Savannah Sheppard, and to hear him tell it, fell instantly in love.  She was now the mother of his four other children, the oldest of whom was twenty-five.  Ian had just turned thirty.  Anyone could do the math and come up with two families at the same time.  The man was beyond fertile, that was for damned sure.
At the reminder, Ian finished his drink and placed the tumbler on a passing server’s tray.  “I showed my face.  I’m out of here.”  He started for the exit.
“Ian, hold on,” his sister said, frustration in her tone.
“What? Do you want me to wait until they sing ‘Happy Birthday’? No thanks.  I’m leaving.”
Before they could continue the discussion, their half-brother Alex strode through the double entrance with a spectacular-looking woman holding tight to his arm, and Ian’s plans changed.
Because of her.
Some people had presence; others merely wished they possessed that magic something.  In her bold red dress and fuck-me heels, she owned the room.  And he wanted to own her.  Petite and curvy, with long chocolate-brown hair that fell down her back in wild curls, she was the antithesis of every too-thin female he’d dated and kept at arm’s length.  But she was with his half-brother, which meant he had to steer clear.
“I thought you were leaving,” Olivia said from beside him.
“I am.”  He should.  If he could tear his gaze away from her.
“If you wait for Tyler and Scott, you might just relax enough to have fun,” she said of their brothers.  “Come on, please?” Olivia used the pleading tone he never could resist.
“Yeah please, Ian? Come on,” his sister Avery said, joining them, looking equally mature in a silver gown that showed way too much cleavage.  At twenty-two, she was similar in coloring and looks to Olivia, and he wasn’t any more ready to think of her as a grown-up, never mind letting other men ogle her – than he was with her sister.
Ian set his jaw, amazed these two hadn’t been the death of him yet.
“So what am I begging him to do?” Avery asked Olivia.
Olivia grinned.  “I want him to stay and hang out for awhile.  Having fun is probably out of the question, but I’m trying to persuade him to let loose.”
“Brat,” he muttered, unable to hold back a smile at Olivia’s persistence.
He stole another glance at his lady in red.  He could no more leave than he could approach her, he thought, frustrated because he was a man of action, and right now, he could do nothing but watch her.
“Well?” Olivia asked.
He forced his gaze to his sister and smiled.  “Because you two asked so nicely, I’ll stay.”  But his attention remained on the woman now dancing and laughing with his half-brother.
Riley Taylor felt his eyes on her from the moment she entered the elegantly decorated ballroom on the arm of another man.  As it was, her heels made it difficult enough to maneuver gracefully.  Knowing a devastatingly sexy man watched her every move only made not falling on her ass even more of a challenge.
Alex Dare, her best friend, was oblivious.  Being the star quarterback of the Tampa Breakers meant he was used to stares and attention.  Riley wasn’t.  And since this was his father’s birthday bash, he knew everyone here.  She didn’t. 
She definitely didn’t know him.  She’d managed to avoid this annual party in the past with a legitimate work excuse one year, the flu another, but this year, Alex knew she was down in the dumps due to job problems and he’d insisted she come along and have a good time. 
While Alex danced with his mother then sisters, she headed for the bar and asked the bartender for a glass of ice water.  She took a sip and turned to go find a seat, someplace where she could get off her feet and slip free of her offending heels.
She’d barely taken half a step when she bumped into a hard, suit-clad body.  The accompanying jolt sent her water spilling from the top of her glass and into her cleavage.  The chill startled her as much as the liquid that dripped down her chest.
“Oh!” She teetered on her stilettos, and big, warm hands grasped her shoulders, steadying her.
She gathered herself and looked up into the face of the man she’d been covertly watching.  “You,” she said on a breathy whisper.
His eyes, a steely gray with a hint of blue in the depths, sparkled in amusement and something more.  “Glad you noticed me too.”
She blinked, mortified, no words rushing into her brain to save her.  She was too busy taking him in.  Dark brown hair stylishly cut, cheekbones perfectly carved, and a strong jaw completed the package.  And the most intense heat emanated from his touch as he held onto her arms.  His big hands made her feel small, not an easy feat when she was always conscious of her too-full curves.
She breathed in deeply and was treated to a masculine woodsy scent that turned her insides to pure mush.  Full-scale awareness rocked her to her core.  This man hit all her right buttons.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
“I’m fine.”  Or she would be if he’d release her so she could think.  Instead of telling him so, she continued to stare into his handsome face.
“You certainly are,” he murmured.
A heated flush rushed to her cheeks at the compliment and a delicious warmth invaded her system.
“I’m sorry about the spill,” he said.
At least she hoped he was oblivious to her ridiculous attraction to him.
“You’re wet.”  He released her and reached for a napkin from the bar.
Yes, she was.  In wholly inappropriate ways considering they’d barely met.  Desire pulsed through her veins.  Oh my God, what was it about this man that caused reactions in her body another man would have to work overtime to achieve?
He pressed the thin paper napkin against her chest and neck.  He didn’t linger, didn’t stroke her anywhere he shouldn’t, but she could swear she felt the heat of his fingertips against her skin.  Between his heady scent and his deliberate touch, her nerves felt raw and exposed.  Her breasts swelled, her nipples peaked and she shivered, her body tightening in places she’d long thought dormant.  If he noticed, he was too much of a gentleman to say.
No man had ever awakened her senses this way before.  Sometimes she wondered if that was a deliberate choice on her part.  Obviously not, she thought and forced herself to step back, away from his potent aura.
He crinkled the napkin and placed the paper onto the bar. 
“Thank you,” she said.
“My pleasure.”  The word, laced with sexual innuendo, rolled off his tongue, and his eyes darkened, an indication that this crazy attraction she experienced wasn’t one-sided.
“Maybe now we can move onto introductions.  I’m Ian Dare,” he said.
She swallowed hard, disappointment rushing through her as she realized for all her awareness of him, he was the one man at this party she ought to stay away from.  “Alex’s brother.” 
“Half brother,” he bit out.
“Yes.”  She understood his pointed correction.  Alex wouldn’t want any more of a connection to Ian than Ian did to Alex.  
“You have your father’s eyes,” she couldn’t help but note.
His expression changed, going from warm to cold in an instant.  “I hope that’s the only thing you think that bastard and I have in common.”
Riley raised her eyebrows at the bitter tone.  Okay, she understood he had his reasons but she was a stranger.
Ian shrugged, his broad shoulders rolling beneath his tailored dark suit.  “What can I say? Only a bastard would live two separate lives with two separate families at the same time.”
“You do lay it out there,” she murmured.
His eyes glittered like silver ice.  “It’s not like everyone here doesn’t know it.”
Though she ought to change the subject, he’d been open, so she decided to ask what was on her mind.  “If you’re still so angry with him, why come for his birthday?”
“Because my sisters asked me to,” he said, his tone turning warm and indulgent.
A hint of an easier expression changed his face from hard and unyielding to devastatingly sexy once more.
“Avery and Olivia are much more forgiving than me,” he explained.
She smiled at his obvious affection for his siblings.  As an only child, she envied them a caring, older brother.  At least she’d had Alex, she thought and glanced around looking for the man who’d brought her here.  She found him on the dance floor, still with his mother, and relaxed.
“Back to introductions,” Ian said.  “You know my name; now it’s your turn.”
“Riley Taylor.”
“Alex’s girlfriend,” he said with disappointment.  “I saw you two walk in.”
That’s what he thought? “No, we’re friends.  More like brother and sister than anything else.”
His eyes lit up and she caught a glimpse of yet another expression – pleasantly surprised.  “That’s the best news I’ve heard all night,” he said in a deep, compelling tone, his hot gaze never leaving hers.
At a loss for words, Riley remained silent.
“So, Ms. Riley Taylor, where were you off to in such a hurry?” he asked.
“I wanted to rest my feet,” she admitted.
He glanced down at her legs, taking in her red pumps.  “Ahh.  Well I have just the place.”
Before she could argue, and if she’d realized he’d planned to drag her off alone, she might have – Ian grasped her arm and guided her to the exit at the far side of the room.
“Ian –“
“Shh. You’ll thank me later.  I promise.”  He pushed open the door and they stepped out onto a deck that wasn’t in use this evening.
Sticky night air surrounded them, but being a Floridian, she was used to it, and obviously so was he.  His arm still cupping her elbow, he led her to a small love seat and gestured for her to sit.
She sensed he was a man who often got his own way and though she’d never found that trait attractive before, on him it worked.  She settled into the soft cushions.  He did the same, leaving no space between them, and she liked the feel of his hard body aligned with hers.  Her heart beat hard in her chest, excitement and arousal pounding away inside her.
Around them, it was dark, the only light coming from sconces on the nearby building.
“Put your feet up.”  He pointed to the table in front of them.
“Bossy,” she murmured.
Ian grinned.  He was and was damned proud of it.  “You’re the one who said your feet hurt,” he reminded her.
“True.”  She shot him a sheepish look that was nothing short of adorable.
The reverberation in her throat went straight to Ian’s cock, and he shifted in his seat, pure sexual desire now pumping through his veins.
He’d been pissed off and bored at his father’s ridiculous birthday gala.  Even his sisters had barely been able to coax a smile from him.  Then she’d walked into the room.
Because she was with his half-brother, Ian hadn’t planned on approaching her, but the minute he’d caught sight of her alone at the bar, he’d gone after her, compelled by a force beyond his understanding.  Finding out she and Alex were just friends had made his night because she’d provide a perfect distraction to the pain that followed him whenever his father’s other family was near.
“Shoes?” he reminded her.
She dipped her head and slipped off her heels, moaning in obvious relief.
“That sound makes me think of other things,” he said, capturing her gaze.
“Such as?” She unconsciously swayed closer and he suppressed a grin.
“Sex.  With you.”
“Oh.”  Her lips parted with the word, and Ian couldn’t tear his gaze away from her lush, red-painted mouth.
A mouth he could envision many uses for, none of them tame.
“Is this how you charm all your women?” she asked.  “Because I’m not sure it’s working.”  A teasing smile lifted her lips, contradicting her words.
He had her, all right, as much as she had him.
He kept his gaze on her face, but he wasn’t a complete gentleman and couldn’t resist brushing his hand over her tight nipples showing through the fabric of her dress.
Her eyes widened in surprise at the same time a soft moan escaped, sealing her fate.  He slid one arm across the love seat until his fingers hit her mass of curls, and he wrapped his hand in the thick strands.  Then, tugging her close, he sealed his mouth over hers.  She opened for him immediately.  The first taste was a mere preview, not nearly enough, and he deepened the kiss, taking more.
Sweet, hot, and her tongue tangled with his.  He gripped her hair harder, wanting still more.  She was like all his favorite vices in one delectable package.  Best of all, she kissed him back, every inch a willing, giving partner.
He was a man who dominated and took but from the minute he tasted her, he gave as well.  If his brain were clear, he’d have pulled back immediately, but she reached out and gripped his shoulders, curling her fingers through the fabric of his shirt, her nails digging into his skin.  Each thrust of his tongue in her mouth mimicked what he really wanted, and his cock hardened even more.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” his half-brother said, interrupting at the worst possible moment.
He would have taken his time but Riley jumped, pushing at his chest and backing away from him at the same time.
“Yeah.  The guy who brought you here, remember?”
Ian cursed his brother’s interruption as much as he welcomed the reminder that this woman represented everything Ian resented.  His half-brother’s friend.  Alex, with whom he had a rivalry that would have done real siblings proud.
The oldest sibling in the other family was everything Ian wasn’t.  Brash, loud, tattoos on his forearms, and he threw a mean football as quarterback of the Tampa Breakers.  Ian, meanwhile, was more of a thinker, president of the Breakers’ rivals, the Miami Thunder, owned by his father’s estranged brother, Ian’s uncle.
Riley jumped up, smoothing her dress and rubbing at her swollen lips, doing nothing to ease the tension emanating from her best friend.
Ian took his time standing.
“I see you met my brother,” Alex said, his tone tight.
Riley swallowed hard.  “We were just –“
“Getting better acquainted,” Ian said in a seductive tone meant to taunt Alex and imply just how much better he now knew Riley.
A muscle ticked in the other man’s jaw.  “Ready to go back inside?” Alex asked her.
Neither one of them would make a scene at this mockery of a family event.
“Yes.”  She didn’t meet Ian’s gaze as she walked around him and came up alongside Alex.
“Good because my dad’s been asking for you.  He said it’s been too long since he’s seen you,” Alex said, taunting Ian back with the mention of the one person sure to piss him off.
Despite knowing better, Ian took the bait.  “Go on.  We were finished anyway,” he said, dismissing Riley as surely as she’d done to him.
Never mind that she was obviously torn between her friend and whatever had just happened between them, she’d chosen Alex.  A choice Ian had been through before and come out on the same wrong end.
In what appeared to be a deliberately possessive move, Alex wrapped an arm around her waist and led her back inside.  Ian watched, ignoring the twisting pain in his gut at the sight.  Which was ridiculous.  He didn’t have any emotional investment in Riley Taylor.  He didn’t do emotion, period.  He viewed relationships through the lens of his father’s adultery, finding it easier to remain on the outside looking in.
Distance was his friend.  Sex worked for him.  It was love and commitment he distrusted.  So no matter how different that brief moment with Riley had been, that’s all it was.
A moment.
One that would never happen again.

Riley followed Alex onto the dance floor in silence.  They hadn’t spoken a word to each other since she’d let him lead her away from Ian.  She understood his shocked reaction and wanted to soothe his frazzled nerves, but didn’t know how.  Not when her own nerves were so raw from one simple kiss.
Except nothing about Ian was simple and that kiss left her reeling.  From the minute his lips touched hers, everything else around her ceased to matter.  The tug of arousal hit her in the pit of her stomach, in her scalp as his fingers tugged her hair, in the weight of her breasts, between her thighs and most telling, in her mind.  He was a strong man, the kind who knew what he wanted and who liked to get his way.  The type of man she usually avoided and for good reason.
But she’d never experienced chemistry so strong before.  His pull was so compelling, she’d willingly followed him outside regardless of the fact that she knew without a doubt her closest friend in the world would be hurt if she got close to Ian.
“Are you going to talk to me?” Alex asked, breaking into her thoughts.
“I’m not sure what to say.”
On the one hand, he didn’t have a say in her personal life.  She didn’t owe him an apology.  On the other he was her everything.  The child she’d grown up next door to and the best friend who’d saved her sanity and gave her a safe haven from her abusive father.
She was wrong.  She knew exactly what to say.  “I’m sorry.”
He touched his forehead to hers.  “I don’t know what came over me.  I found you two kissing and I saw red.”
“It was just chemistry.”  She let out a shaky laugh, knowing that term was too benign for what passed between her and Ian.
“I don’t want you to get hurt.  The man doesn’t do relationships, Ri.  He uses women and moves on.”
“Umm, Pot/Kettle?” she asked him.  Alex moved from woman to woman just as he’d accused his half-brother of doing.
He’d even kissed her once.  Horn dog that he was, he said he’d had to try but they both agreed there was no spark and their friendship meant way too much to throw away for a quick tumble between the sheets.
Alex frowned.  “Maybe so but that doesn’t change the facts about him.  I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“I won’t,” she assured him, even as her heart picked up rhythm when she caught sight of Ian watching them from across the room.
Drink in hand, brooding expression on his face, his stare never wavered.
She curled her hands into the suit fabric covering Alex’s shoulders and assured herself she was telling the truth.
“What if he was using you to get to me?”
“Because the man can’t be interested in me for me?” she asked, her pride wounded despite the fact that Alex was just trying to protect her.
Alex slowed his steps and leaned back to look into her eyes.  “That’s not what I meant and you know it.  Any man would be lucky to have you and I’d never get in between you and the right guy.”  A muscle pulsed in Alex’s right temple, a sure sign of tension and stress.  “But Ian’s not that guy.”
She swallowed hard, hating that he just might be right. Riley wasn’t into one-night stands.  Which was why her body’s combustible reaction to Ian Dare confused and confounded her.  How far would she have let him go if Alex hadn’t interrupted? Much further than she’d like to imagine and her body responded with a full out shiver at the thought.
“Now can we forget about him?”
Not likely, she thought, when his gaze burned hotter than his kiss.  Somehow she managed to swallow over the lump in her throat and give Alex the answer he sought.  “Sure.”
Pleased, Alex pulled her back into his arms to continue their slow dance.  Around them, other guests, mostly his father’s age, moved slowly in time to the music.
“Did I mention how much I appreciate you coming here with me?” Obviously trying to ease the tension between them, he shot her the same charming grin that had women thinking they were special.
Riley knew better.  She was special to him and if he ever turned his brand of protectiveness on the right kind of woman and not the groupies he preferred, he might find himself settled and happy one day.  Sadly, he didn’t seem to be on that path.
She decided to let their disagreement over Ian go.  “I believe you’ve mentioned how wonderful I am a couple of times.  But you still owe me one,” Riley said.  Parties like this weren’t her thing.
“It took your mind off your job stress, right?” he asked.
She nodded.  “Yes and let’s not even talk about that right now.”  Monday was soon enough to deal with her new boss.
“You got it.  Ready for a break?” he asked.
She nodded.  Unable to help herself, she glanced over where she’d seen Ian earlier but he was gone.  The disappointment twisting the pit of her stomach was disproportional to the amount of time she’d known him and she blamed that kiss.
Her lips still tingled and if she closed her eyes and ran her tongue over them, she could taste his heady, masculine flavor.  Somehow she had to shake him from her thoughts.  Alex’s reaction to seeing them together meant Riley couldn’t allow herself the luxury of indulging in anything more with Ian.
Not even in her thoughts or dreams.

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Filed under Carly Phillips, Excerpt, Review, Synopsis

[REVIEW] A Home for Christmas by Ann Vaughn

A Home for Christmas by Ann Vaughn
Publication: November 28, 2013


Single mom, Jenna Blackwell wasn’t having a very good start to the Christmas season; her purse got stolen on Black Friday. She’s cursing her luck and herself for even being out in the Black Friday madness when the store manager brings in Riley Stanton, a former Navy SEAL who chased down the thieves and recovered her purse. Jenna is blown away by Riley: his looks, his smile, the fact that he ran down the purse snatchers, everything.

Riley Stanton had no idea when he chased down the kids who stole a few purses that he would walk into a room and have his life changed forever. He looked into the eyes of Jenna and saw a strength in her that he found intriguing.

Riley soon learns that Jenna is everything he ever wanted in a woman. He falls for her and for her son harder than he expected to. Jenna is cautious but welcoming and hopes that she and her son can give Riley the one thing he hasn’t had in years, A Home for Christmas.

Buy It links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

My Review: 
4.7 Star Review – A Home For Christmas

I recommend this book.

This book contains passion, a kidnapping, and some very funny parts. 

Riley witnesses a bunch of kids snatching purses and chases them down to get the purses back.  When he is returning the purses he meets Jenna.  She thanks him for getting her purse back and he asks her to lunch.

As the story unfolds you get pulled into the sweet and loving side of Riley.  He is a natural protector and try’s to protect not only Jenna but also her son Cam from her ex-husbands problems.

You get to see just how strong a person Jenna is and how far she will go to protect her family.   

Cam has a lot of anger issues because of his father and how he has been treated by him over the last few years.  Sometimes it seems like some of his thoughts throughout the story are of a much older boy.

As Riley and Jenna spend more and more time together you can see them falling in love.  You can also see how that love is making Cam very happy.   

Very good read. Can’t wait for Ann’s next book.  Hope some of her next stories will be about some of the other characters from this story….. 

Excerpt #1:

Riley came over every evening after work. He helped Cam with his homework. he got there before she did on Wednesday and he and Cam had dinner ready by the time she got home. Jenna had to fight tears as she sat at the table. It had been so long since someone had cooked for her. To be honest, other than her mother, she didn’t think anyone ever had. Wade, her ex, certainly never did. Watching Cam work so closely with Riley, having Riley there filling the role that Wade had abandoned, even sitting at a table with candlelight and roses and food she hadn’t had to prepare…it was a lot for her to handle. She was barely hanging on by a thread and when Riley had initiated the blessing, she lost it. “Mom?” Cam asked, uncertain of what was happening. Jenna covered her face with her hands, silently crying. She heard the scrape of a chair and then suddenly Riley was there, his arms around her, lifting her from the chair. She heard him say something to Cam and then he carried her from the room.

He sat on the sofa and cradled her in his lap and just held her while she cried. After several minutes, when her tears had subsided somewhat, Riley reached down to cup her chin in his hand and lift her head so he could look into her eyes. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “Nothing to be sorry about,” he said, smoothing his hands over her cheeks to wipe her tears away.

“Mom?” Cam asked again, drawing her attention. “You OK?” “I’m good, bud, I’m sorry.” Riley looked up at Cam and made eye contact with him. Jenna wasn’t sure what passed between them, but Cam got up and left, leaving her there with Riley. “Look at me,” he said, softly. When she raised her eyes to meet his gaze, he lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles. “What’s going on?” She took a deep breath. “It’s just…no one’s ever done something like this for me before.” “Like what? Take care of you?” She nodded. “Better get used to it, babe. I’m not going anywhere.” She squeezed his hand, tears falling down her cheeks again. This time, Riley leaned forward and kissed them away before touching his lips to hers. For the first time, Jenna didn’t hold herself back.

Maybe it was because Cam was just down the hall and she knew it couldn’t get out-of-control. Whatever the case, she turned in his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss. “Thank you, Riley,” she whispered when they pulled apart, pressing her forehead to his, and placing her fingertips against his lower lip. He nipped her fingertip lightly, then ran his tongue around her finger. “Anytime,” he replied, “and I mean that. You don’t have to do it all alone any more.” “Riley,” she whispered, kissing him, “please don’t make promises you can’t keep. My heart is fragile enough, but Cam…” He kissed her back. “Quit while you’re ahead. Don’t piss me off.” She smiled and combed her fingers through the hair at his nape. “I’ll try.” “Good. Let me take care of you, Jenna.

You and Cam.” She took a deep breath. “Tell you what. You’re still here by Christmas? We’ll talk,” she said, giving him a final kiss then sliding off his lap. He watched her walk down the hall to Cam’s room. Closing his eyes and letting his head fall back on the couch, he reached down to adjust himself in his jeans. For the first time since leaving the Navy, Riley felt like he wasn’t just spinning his wheels.

Excerpt #2

Riley followed Cam into the living room and through the crowd so that they were standing at the front of the ring of people who had gathered around Jacke’s piano, his mother on his right and Jenna’s mother on his left. “Ladies and gentlemen,” Jenna’s father began, “I want to thank you for coming tonight. It is an honor and a joy to see so many of you in our home to celebrate this wonderful, joyous season with us. The wait staff is coming around with trays of champagne. Please, take a glass, and as they have done every year since they were five years old, allow my beautiful daughters to wish you and yours a wonderful, Merry Christmas.” Jackie began to play as polite applause lauded their father’s speech. Riley’s eyes were locked on Jenna as the lights were dimmed and she was illuminated only by the twinkling of Christmas lights and the flames from the candles in the room. When she began to sing “O Holy Night”, a chill ran through him at the purity and clarity of her voice.

She sounded, in his opinion, like an angel. Her voice was soft and sweet and reminded him of the times he’d heard the Celtic Woman group perform. When she hit the high note at the end, his breath caught. She was incredible. He placed his hand over his heart and flashed a bright smile to her when she finished, making her give a slight giggle. “This next song,” she announced, “has been on my heart since I met this handsome sailor,” she said, gesturing to him. “The other night, we were talking about the Christmases he spent in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, and even once in Bethlehem while in the Service, and how he missed being home for Christmas so many years. So, Riley, this one is for you.” Jackie began playing, and then, singing in a completely different voice than she had the previous song, she locked eyes with him. Her voice was sultry as she sang, “I’m dreaming tonight, of a place I love, even more than I usually do. And although, I know, it’s a long road back, I promise you…I’ll be Home for Christmas…”

Beside him, his mother placed her hand on his bicep. he reached over to touch her hand, but could not tear his gaze away from Jenna. When she finished, proper or not, he stepped forward and drew her into his arms, giving her a brief, tender kiss in front of the assembled crowd. “Thank you,” he whispered softly into her ear. “I love you, Riley,” she whispered back. He kissed her brow and started to step away but she held him to her with an arm around his waist. “We have one final song. Thank you for spending your evening with our family.” Once again, Jackie began playing, and this time, with Riley at her side, Jenna sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Riley had his hand on her back and could feel the notes reverberating through her as she sang. He was so impressed with her singing; her voice was beautiful, different with all three songs that she sang. Sweet, sultry, soft and gentle all mixed together. He was so unbelievably turned on he was afraid the whole room would know. When she finished singing, she turned into him once more, kissing his cheek when he leaned down to whisper, “You’re amazing,” into her ear.


About  the Author

Ann Vaughn is a Native Texan now living in Oklahoma. She’s been writing since the seventh grade (many MANY moons ago) when she and her friends were obsessed with the Sweet Valley High series. Back then, access to books wasn’t as easy as it is now, so to tide her over between SVH releases, she began writing her own, Texas versions of SVH, full of lots of Texas Friday Night Lights and pitfalls and perils of teenage life in the 80s. Writing has always been a comfort and a release for her, though she never expected to be published. It wasn’t until a conversation with her husband about the rise of eBooks that she decided to try her hand at self-publishing. It was scary and exciting and ever since the release of her first book, Long Way Home on August 7, 2013 she has been on a wild roller coaster ride that she wouldn’t trade for the world. 


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Filed under Ann Vaughn, Excerpt, Review, Synopsis

[Review & Giveaway] AMBER’S FANTASY by Pepper Anthony

Amber’s Fantasy by Pepper Anthony
Beachwalk Press


 If you had the chance to act out your secret fantasy, would you dare?

Ray Ferris is the first person to discover Amber Jackson’s naughty secret desires. While helping her move some boxes, he stumbles on her stash of erotic romances featuring ménages. Despite a strict company policy prohibiting co-workers from dating, Amber finds herself inexorably drawn to Ray. She’s never been attracted to a white man before, but his intriguing invitation to actually have sex with two men at one time captivates her imagination. When the barriers to their relationship are swept away, will Amber have the courage to finally act out her forbidden fantasy? And if she does, will the experience open doors to a whole new world, or cost her a chance at true love?

Contains scenes of explicit sexual activity

Erotic Contemporary Romance/Interracial Romance/ Ménage


Buy Links:



Link to Follow Tour:

My Review: 
4.3 Star Review – Amber’s Fantasy

I recommend this book.

Amber enjoys reading ménage stories on her lunch break but no one knows about them or that her secret fantasy is to try re-creating the stories. 

When she can’t get her computer to work before a big meeting she asks Ray for help.  After helping Ray offers to help move her boxes and stumbles across her books.

When they are alone he offers to help make her fantasy come true she is embarrassed and turned on at the same time.  Ray has no idea what he is doing but he totally wants Amber.  So if in order to get her he has to do something different he decides that it is worth it.

Should she take him up on the offer?  Truly will it be worth it in the end for either of them? Or will it tear apart even the friendship between them both?

Very hot and sexy read!!  Can’t wait for Pepper’s next book.


Author Info

Like most writers, I’ve worn quite a collection of hats over the years ~ voice actor, artist, bookkeeper, retail sales ~ but I’ve always wanted to be a writer. My biggest dream was to see my name on a book cover. Now, with the advent of e-publishing, the covers may be virtual, but the thrill of seeing my name on them is real. I am so humbled by the idea that my stories might draw in a reader and provide her an hour or two of entertainment.

I’ve been married to my best friend Tom for thirty years. Together we’ve raised two amazing sons, and recently welcomed our first grand daughter, Leona Mae. Most days you can find me at our family’s computer repair shop in a small town outside Portland, Oregon. At night I go home to my rambling fixer-upper in the woods and toil at my writing, assisted by a small menagerie of furry assistants.

I love it when a reader takes a moment to reach out and let me know what she thinks of my stories. I hope you’ll feel free to email me or leave a comment on my website. 


Author Links




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Filed under Beachwalk Press, Giveaway, ménage, Pepper Anthony, Review, Tasty Tours

[Review] Naughty Christmas Nights by Tawny Weber

Naughty Christmas Nights by Tawny Weber

Publication date: December 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
<div style=”font-size:11px”>Publication date: 05/01/2013</div>Pages: 221

Back of the book

This Christmas, it’s nice vs. naughty… 

Lace stockings… 

Hailey North has worked her butt off to make Merry Widow Lingerie a success. But if she doesn’t win the bid for Rudolph’s department store, she’s in big trouble. Her strategy? To prove that romance, playfulness and eroticism are what women want. The problem, however, is what Hailey wants…her wickedly hot, sexy competitor. 

Or black leather? 

Sex sells, and the Milano line is certainly all about sex. Besides, winning is the only way Gage Milano can extract himself from the family business. Unfortunately, Hailey’s romantic lingerie threatens not only his freedom, but his libido! But when their professional rivalry turns into a red-hot rendezvous, the competition really starts heating up. And Xmas is about to get a whole lot more X-rated!


Pre-Order Naughty Christmas Nights

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Harlequin | BAM

My Review: 

4.5 Star Review – Naughty Christmas Nights

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Tawny.  This book includes Erotic fun, passion, laughs, heartache, and betrayal.

Tawny will pull you into the story and before you know it you will either be laughing out loud or yelling out loud!!  

Hailey North needs to win the contract to save her company. 

Gage Milano needs to win the contract so he can get a year off from his family’s business.

When it all comes down to it who will win the contract that they both want?

They are attracted to each other even before finding out they are competing for the same contract. 
How will they set aside the attraction to win the contract?  Is that even possible?

Hailey knows what it like when people let you down.  Seems everyone has always let her down.  Will Gage also let her down?

Love both of these characters.  Gage is tough but also sweet.  Hailey is a sweetheart who hopes that everyone is not going to let her down but gets disappointed every time.  They are both funny and sweet together. 


One of my favorite parts:

“The party’s great,” she said, nerves starting to poke through the champagne bubbles. ” I thought it was a fun theme, coming as your favorite holiday character. At least I did until I saw the guy dressed as a pair of Christmas balls waving his candy cane around.”

“You think I did all of that?  You actually like that I called you on being a jackass?”

“Well, I’m not saying I want it to be my new nickname or anything. But I appreciate that you see me, that you understand me. And that you believe in me.”

Contact Info for Tawny Weber



Facebook | Twitter | Website | GoodReads

About Tawny:

I love romance.

Happily ever after, hot love scenes… all the good things in life.

For a long time, I was content to explore this enticing world through books. Then, wow – I found out it can happen in real life. I met my husband, who showed me that all those wonderful, magical feelings described in the books are real. Hey, what d’ya know, fiction really IS based in reality.

Once that particular dream came true, it was like Pandora’s Box opened… if I could have that dream, why not the one I’d hidden away in that quiet corner of my mind… the one about putting those stories dancing around in my head onto paper (or computer screen) and writing my own romances? It took awhile. Workshops and classes, voraciously devouring every how-to book I could buy, studying the market and finding my niche, to say nothing of my voice. Throw in those little distractions like life, children and such… but the dream started taking life.Once I joined RWA I found another form of magic. Camaraderie, support and friendships that have touched my heart. The dream is blooming. Over the years, I’ve served as President, Secretary and VP of Administration in various RWA chapters, as well as Publicity Chair, Mentorship Chair, Critique Chair, Judged and coordinated various contests and moderated a few other programs. All of this gives strength to that dream, and keeps it grounded. 2012 will see my thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth Harlequin Blaze novels in the shelves, as well as three indie Karma Cafe novellas.

I do have other dreams that I’m happily tending: my own real-life hero husband and our two children. Our Northern California home, an ode to ideas and obsessive redecorating/remodeling. Good thing my hero is handy with a saw. Gardening, scrapbooking, crafting and an incredibly supportive family round things out. Along with homeschooling our children and writing, I work from home with my Intuitive Consulting business. I would love to hear from you.



Read an Excerpt

Hailey North loved the holidays.

All the glitter and fun. Smiling faces glowing with joy, the secrets and excitement. And the gifts. Gifts and surprises always rocked. Especially hard-earned ones, presented at a fancy dress-up ball. Or, in this case, a ballroom packed with the rich and influential of the Northern California fashion scene all dressed up like holiday cartoons.

She should be ecstatic. Over-the-moon excited.

Tonight she’d finally be sure that her lingerie company wouldn’t be joining Father Time in waving goodbye at the end of the year.

Instead, she was afraid the past couple of months of financial worries and stress over keeping her company had sent her over the edge into Crazyville.

Here she was surrounded by male models and wealthy designers, many of the most gorgeous specimens of the opposite sex to be found in the Bay Area. And it was the six-and-a-half feet of green fur, snowshoes and a bowling-pin shaped body across the room that was making her hot.

Hailey squinted just to be sure.

Nope. There was absolutely nothing enticing about the costumed guy at the bar. But sex appeal radiated off him like a tractor beam, pulling her in. Turning her on.

Green fur, for crying out loud.

Wow. Month after month of no sex really did a number on a healthy woman’s libido.

Or maybe it was a year dedicated to the objective of making romance sexy. Of studying romantic fantasies, and finding ways to tastefully re-create them in lingerie form and show women that as long as they felt sexy, they were sexy.

Or, possibly, it might have something to do with the glass of champagne she’d knocked back for a little social courage when she’d walked into a ballroom filled with high-powered movers and shakers, most of whom had more money in their wallets than she had in her bank account. And all of them here to impress Rudy Rudolph, a department-store tycoon with a wicked sense of fun and prized openings in his new spring fashion lineup.

She glanced at her empty champagne flute, then at the bar. She should trade this in for something nonalcoholic. Something that didn’t make her go tingly over green, grouchy holiday figures.

Then the Grinch pushed back his fur to check the time. When the hairs on his fingers caught on his leather watch-band, he yanked off the gloves in an impatient move, tossing them on the bar.

Thirst forgotten, Hailey stared at his hand as he reached for his own drink. Long and lean, with tapered fingers. Even from across the room, his palm looked broad. Her mind played through every hand-to-penis-size euphemism she’d ever heard and came up with the only conclusion possible.

The Grinch was hung.

The only question was, did he go for cute elves? Or was he strictly a man-and-his-dog kind of guy? Maybe she should have dressed up like a Who?

She’d taken two steps toward him, her body desperate to find out, before she caught herself.

No. She was here for business.

She peered at the baggy, saggy, furry back and grimaced. Not for fun. No matter how big the fun’s hands were.

“Hailey, darling.”

Relieved, both at the distraction from lusting after the Grinch and at there actually being someone here who knew her name, Hailey turned.

Her social smile shifted to genuine delight at the sight of the man who’d made this night possible for her. Jared Jones, assistant to the wealthiest—and most eccentric—tycoon in the department-store business.

Jared had taken her under his wing last summer when they’d met in an elevator. Hailey had been on her way to pitch her lingerie designs to the sales team and Jared had been bemoaning a rip in his shirt. Before they’d reached the sixth floor, she’d pulled out some fabric tape for a temporary mend, earning his gratitude and his endless devotion.

Apparently, a fashion faux pas was, to some, the end of the world.

“Jared,” she greeted, leaning in for a hug but careful not to let him bump her head. It’d taken her twenty minutes to get the bell-festooned elf hat pinned to her curls in a way that didn’t make her hair look like fluffy poodle ears.

“I love your gingerbread-man costume. Is that your favorite holiday character?” she asked, flicking her finger on one of his cheerful, oversize buttons. Her eyes widened before she laughed aloud as she noted the words Eat Me etched on the red plastic.

“Edible goodness, that’s me,” he said with a wink. Then he shifted his head to the left and gave a little wag of his chin. “And if all goes well, that drummer boy over there will be having a taste before the night is out.”

Used to Jared’s aggressive sexuality by now, Hailey gave the drummer an obligatory once-over before sharing an impressed look with her horny gingerbread friend.

“But look at you,” he gushed, his loud enthusiasm aimed as much at getting the drummer’s attention as it was appreciation for Hailey’s costume. “You know, I’ve seen at least a dozen elves tonight, but you’re the best by far. You look fabulous. Is everything you’re wearing straight from your lingerie line?”

“Everything but the skirt,” Hailey confirmed, arms wide as she gave a slow turn to show off the goods. Her candy-cane-striped bustier with its red satin trim and white laces paired nicely with her red stockings and their white seams up the back that ended in clever bows just below the hem of her green tulle ballerina skirt. She was proof positive that the right lingerie could make any woman feel sexy.

Nothing like a year in the gym, a carb-elimination diet and a great tan to make a girl look damned hot in lingerie.

Too bad she’d only hit the gym maybe four times in the past twelve months, loved carbs like she loved her momma and was closer to winter-white than sun-kissed tan.

But that was the beauty of Merry Widow lingerie. A girl didn’t have to have a supermodel body to look—and feel—fabulous in it.

“Oh, darling,” Jared breathed in admiration as he completed his inspection.

Hailey didn’t have to follow his gaze to know where he was staring. After all, the guy might not be interested in what her lingerie was covering, but he was all about fashion.

And her boots were pure fashion candy.

The white Manolo booties were an early Christmas present from her father. Well, not really from him, since he never knew what to get her. But she’d bought them last month with the holiday check he’d sent, so that made them his gift to her.

“Hailey, you have the best taste in footwear,” he sighed. “Those boots are perfect. And such a great touch to bring the outfit from cute to couture.”

“Thanks. Will Mr. Rudolph be arriving soon?” she asked, shifting from one foot to the other. She wiggled her toes in her most excellent boots as a reminder that a girl could handle anything if she was wearing fabulous footwear. “Since he’s announcing his choices for the spring exclusives, shouldn’t he do it before all the designers are drunk?”

While she was still tipsy enough to use getting one of those prized exclusives as an excuse to seduce the Grinch.

“Drunk designers only add to Rudy’s sense of fun,” Jared told her with a sly grin. He didn’t say a word about the contracts, though. She knew he knew who’d been chosen. And he knew she knew. But they both knew she wouldn’t ask.

“Quit obsessing,” Jared said, giving her a nudge with his shoulder and leaving a streak of glitter on her arm.

“Maybe you should see if the drummer boy’s sticks are worth checking out.” She tilted her head toward the guy he’d been scoping. “I can’t clear my head enough to be fun company.”

“Darling, I’m here to enjoy the party with my favorite designer. If there was anything I could do to set your mind at ease so you could give the party the appreciation it deserves, I would. But you know me—I don’t kiss and tell.”

Giving in to her nerves, and reminding herself that she’d taken a cab here, Hailey traded her empty champagne glass for a full one, then arched one brow at Jared.

“Okay. So I don’t spill company secrets.” He hesitated, then wrinkled his nose and leaned closer. “At least not the ones that could get me fired.”

Then he looked past her again. This time when his face shifted, it wasn’t into lustfully suggestive lines. Instead, he came to attention.

“I don’t think the news will be secret for long, though,” he told her, twirling his finger to indicate she turn herself around.

“Welcome, welcome.”

Hailey, along with the rest of the ballroom, turned around and came to the same subtle attention that Jared had as a skinny Santa took the stage with two helpers dressed in swaths of white fur and a whole lot of skin.

She leaned forward, peering at the trio. The nerves in her stomach stopped jumping for a few seconds as she stared in shock. “Wow. Mr. Rudolph sure looks different without his tie.”

Or maybe it was the fact that the pervy old guy was shirtless under his plush red jacket. Wasn’t he in his seventies? Now, that wasn’t a pretty sight. Afraid to look at it too long, in case it rendered her blind, Hailey glanced at the rest of the crowd. Nobody else seemed surprised.

“Thank you, everyone,” he said, “for joining the Rudolph-department-store annual holiday costume party. As you can see, my favorite character is Santa Claus. Appropriate since I’m the man giving out the gifts tonight.”

Fingernails digging into the soft flesh of her palms, Hailey puffed out a breath, trying to diffuse the nerves that’d suddenly clamped onto her intestines.

This was it. The big announcement.

She felt like throwing up.

“This year, instead of simply awarding spring women’s-line contracts, I’ve decided to make things fun. I’ve chosen two favorite designers in each department. Women’s wear, shoes and lingerie. Those designers will compete through the holiday season for the top spot.”

Hailey’s stomach fell. Competing? That didn’t sound good. She wasn’t the only one who thought so, either, if the muttering and hisses circling the room were anything to go by.

She gave Jared a puzzled look, trying to shrug off the sudden despair that gripped her. The contracts weren’t being awarded tonight? But she needed to know. Without that contract, she was going to lose her business.

Jared ignored her stare, tilting his head pointedly to get her to pay attention.

She dragged her gaze to the stage with a frown. Instead of looking abashed, the old man seemed delighted by the angry buzz. His grin shifted from wicked to a visual cackle as he held up one hand for silence.

It took all of three seconds for him to be obeyed.

“So without further ado, here are the finalists in women’s wear,” he announced. A model featuring an outfit from each line crossed the stage behind him as he named the designer.

Hailey swallowed hard, trying to get past the tight worry in her throat. It wasn’t as if she’d irresponsibly put all of her hopes on this deal. It was more a matter of everything else falling apart until this deal was all that was left to hope for.

She shifted from one foot to the other, trying to appreciate the gorgeous shoes as Rudolph announced the designer finalists for footwear. But not even the studded black leather stilettos could distract her worry.

Then he got to lingerie.

She didn’t even listen to the names.

She just watched the models, her eyes locked with desperate hope on the curtain they entered from.

One strutted out in a wickedly sexual invitation in leather. It was the complete opposite of the Merry Widow’s style, a look that screamed sex. Hot, kinky sex.

Hailey frowned. It wasn’t her style, of course. But it was appealing. If you like hot, kinky sex.

Did she like hot, kinky sex? She’d never had the opportunity to find out. For a second, she wondered if the Grinch was into leather. Before she could imagine that, worry crowded the sexy thoughts right back out of her brain. She held her breath.

“And last but not least, Merry Widow Lingerie.” Echoing the announcement was a model in a white satin chemise trimmed in tiny pink rosebuds, a design Hailey had labeled Sweet Seduction.

Fireworks exploded in her head, all bright lights, loud booms and overwhelming excitement.

“Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod,” she chanted, hopping up and down in her gorgeous booties. She spun around to grab Jared in a tight hug, then did another little dance. “That’s me. That’s me. I made it.”

She made it. She had a chance.

An hour later, she was still giddy. It wasn’t a contract, but it wasn’t a rejection, either. And she’d learned young to take what she could get.

“This is so cool.” Ever since Santa Rudolph’s announcement, people kept coming up to congratulate her. That part was great. What was even better, though, were the compliments about her designs, which were displayed all around the room.

She felt like a rock star.

“I’m excited for you, darling. I am sorry it’s not a definitive answer, though,” Jared said quietly, his face taking on a rare seriousness. “I know how bad you need this deal, and I’ve been pitching hard for you. But Rudy got this wild notion that a contest would bring in more publicity and make it more fun. He’ll decide before the New Year, though. He has to for marketing purposes.”

“What kind of publicity?” Big publicity? Good publicity? Could it net her some new clients, maybe a few features in the fashion rags? Hailey’s stomach danced again.

“Well…” Jared drew out, wrinkling his glittery nose. “I honestly don’t think he has a lot of publicity lined up. We were all under the impression that he was simply choosing a single designer for each line. But Friday he talked to some marketing guru who convinced him that it’d bring in great promotion if he made it a competition of some sort instead of a straight-up announcement.”

“Who makes the final decision?” she wondered.

Jared pulled another face and shrugged. Clearly he didn’t like not being in the know any more than she didn’t like not having a clue.

But before Hailey could ask more questions, they were joined by a dapper-looking guy dressed like a festive reindeer with his green-and-red-plaid bow tie.

“Congratulations, Ms. North. I’m Trent Lane, the photographer for Rudolph department stores. I was happy to see your designs in the running. I’ve taken test shots of each submission and yours is my favorite.”


“Really. It seems to epitomize romance. But sexy romance. The boudoir-photo kind, not the Hustler- spread kind.”

Hailey giggled, wondering if the leather getups were Hustler material.

“It’s my favorite, too,” Jared agreed. “I told you when I first saw the line. It’s perfect. Next season is all about nostalgia with overtones of passion. Bridal fresh but womanly confident.”

Hailey wrinkled her nose, wondering if he realized he’d just described her gorgeous designs in the same terms used for feminine-hygiene products.

“Baby’s breath and air ferns lining the runway. Satin backdrops. Maybe one of those long couch things, like Cleopatra would lounge on,” Trent mused, falling into what she immediately saw was a creative brainstorming habit between him and Jared.

“A chaise. Perfect,” Jared agreed. Tapping his chin, he added, “Maybe carried down the runway by four muscle-bound sex slaves?”

“That’s not romantic,” Trent dismissed. “You know Rudy really wants to lead the trend this season. If you suggest sex slaves, he might seriously consider Cassia Carver’s mesh love sleeves for a part of the women’s-wear line.”

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Filed under Blaze, Excerpt, Harlequin, Review, Tawny Weber

[Review] Intractable Souls by Tricia Daniels

Intractable Souls by Tricia Daniels

A brilliant IT consultant with a tragic past…

Meets a sexy, successful Irishman with a wicked temper…

and a Psychic who claims they are soul mates, destined to find each other in every life.

Sometimes the one you need, is exactly the one you want.
You only have to choose to believe.

It’s been years since brilliant IT consultant Olivia James, fell for a man who had a deeply hidden compulsion to violence and control. Left healing physically and emotionally, she became a shadow of the confident woman she used to be. That is, until she meets Ethan O’Connell, a man who makes her burn with a powerful desire. Haunted by fear and insecurity, she desperately tries to resist him, doing all the right things to protect her heart, but she is betrayed by her desires and her attraction to confident men. With stubborn perseverance, he ignores her attempts to push him away, leaving her wanting, desiring his love, needing it to feel alive and whole.

Ethan O’Connell is extremely successful in his businesses, with a seriously sexy Irish accent and a lethal kind of flare and charm. More than any one man should ever possess. Ethan knew, from the very first moment that he saw her that she is meant to be his. Used to getting the things he wants, he is determined to have her and struggles to control his Irish temper, the reason for his own troubled past. Olivia James is the woman that makes him want more, the kind of girl that would make any man think about forever. Afraid that he can’t live without her and unwilling to lose her, he hides his secrets and ignores his dark desires and fantasies of control.  

Eccentric Psychic, Eva Storm is drawn to the energy around them. She knows that they are soul mates bound by past lives and helps the universe steer them together. Ethan is hesitant to believe at first, but there are things he can’t ignore. Things he couldn’t possibly know, but does. Neither of them can deny the dreams and memories that they both share, but Olivia is too afraid to believe and not willing to trust her heart.

Convinced that she is “THE ONLY ONE” for him, Ethan refuses to walk away, vowing that he will never give up on her, even if it means he has to fight hard enough for both of them. Can he control his temper and his needs in order to keep her in his life? Can she heal her past wounds and let him in? Like no other woman in his life, Olivia challenges him with her strong will and sharp sense of humor, making him wonder if she could ever become a willing captive of his dominance. Ethan hopes with all his heart that she will become equally addicted to his love, and a sneaky suspicion that falling in love with Olivia James is about to bring on a shift in the balance of power in his world.

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My Review: 
4.3 Star Review – Intractable Souls

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this story for many reasons.   Love the push and pull between the both of them.  Have to say I wanted to smack both Scott and Noah for different reasons.  They both deserved a least one smack each if not more. 

Chemistry is strong between them.  I love the snarly comebacks from the both of them.  They keep you laughing throughout the story. 

Olivia James is afraid of men with tempers because of an issue in her past.  If men get angry around her she pulls into herself.  Ethan O’Connell has a temper and comes to blows with a man over a game.  She is attracted to Ethan but even with a temper he makes her feel safe. 

She spends a lot of time pushing Ethan away.  When she gets sick he steps up to help her.  When she decides to give him a chance she finds that he is sweet and funny. 

Ethan knows that she is the woman for him.  He wants to beat down anyone that touches her.  Firsst he must find out why she keeps pushing him away.

When a Psychic approaches them both separately she knows that they are soul mate and destined to be together.  As they both have dreams of long ago they realize that they are destined to be together.

Cannot wait for her next book.

About The Author

Tricia Daniels lives in a small town in Southern Ontario, Canada, where she raised three kids as a single parent. Creativity and imagination is something there is never a short supply of in her home. Between her quick wit and wicked sense of humor she found that she has a passion for writing steamy romance novels. Her goal is simple, tell her story, warm a few hearts, shed a few tears, share a silent chuckle, and occasionally, make people blush.



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Filed under Review, Synopsis, Teasers, Tricia Daniels

[Review] I Found My Heart In West Virginia by Chelsea Falin

I Found My Heart In West Virginia by Chelsea Falin


Cheyenne makes the huge decision to move with her four young children to the mountains of West Virginia. Despite coming from a small town in west-central Florida, she had been living in upstate New York with her ex-husband… had been, those were the key words. After finding out her ex-husband was having an affair with a childless eighteen year old girl, Shy calls it quits. West Virginia had long ago found a special place in her heart. The mountains are beautiful, the people are friendly, and you can find a piece of the old life hidden out in the hollers. Shy hopes she will find a new life for her and her children. She wants freedom, and a simpler way of life. What she doesn’t expect to find is a rough-around-the-edges backwoods boy with plenty of troubles of his own to entrap her heart so quickly after the end of her marriage… or ever, come to think of it.

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My Review: 
4.3 Star Review – I Found My Heart In West Virginia

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this story for many reasons.  I felt that the characters were believable and very down to earth.  This is not a lust filled story.  This story is about LOVE.  The characters fall in love as they go along.  They must blend their families and work out everyday issues between the two of them.  I think it give a little more to the story by throwing them into situations that are happening every day around us. Money struggles and family issues are front and center.

Cheyenne has just divorced her husband.  She moved her family (4 kids) to West Virginia.  When she is introduced to her cousin’s friend, everyone thinks they should be a couple.  They start out as friends and build upon that friendship.  As the story goes on that friendship develops into a love story.

I feel that the author pulls you into the town and introduces you around so you also get a feel for the other character in the story.

One thing I didn’t like about the story was that Cheyenne (or better known as Shy) drinks and parties while someone else watches her kids.  I was not cool with that but really this also happens every day and does not pull from the story line so no points taken off for something I personally don’t like.

About The Author:

Chelsea Falin was born on June 4th, 1990, and raised primarily in the small west-central Florida town of Dade City, although she spent some time in the surrounding areas of Zephyrhills, Webster, Brooksville, and Weeki Wachee. She has always wanted to be an author, and from the time she could write her own name, she has been creating stories and putting them to paper. She began writing her first novel at the age of sixteen, and at nineteen years old, she finally published. This followed a slew of publications, and four years later she has over ten titles out. She continues to write, and has a stand alone novel in the works at the moment, along with another cook book.



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Filed under Chelsea Falin, Review, Synopsis

[Review] The High Price Of Secrets by Yvonne Lindsay

The High Price Of Secrets    

by Yvonne Lindsay

Publication date: December 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Desire

<div style=”font-size:11px”>Publication date: 05/01/2013</div>Series: The Master Vintners # 4
Pages: 192

Back of the book

In this Master Vintners novel by USA TODAY bestselling author Yvonne Lindsay, surprising secrets bring two people to the brink….

Protecting his foster parents means everything to Finn Gallagher. So when stunning Tamsyn Masters appears on his doorstep, looking for her mother, he does what he has to do—he lies to her. It’s not as if Tamsyn hasn’t done worse. And if a harmless seduction will keep her where he wants her, why not?

Now Finn has another secret…he’s falling for Tamsyn. She’s not what he thought, and time is running out. The choice is clear—Tamsyn or the truth. Because he can’t have both.   

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The Master Vintners series reading order

The Wayward Son

A Forbidden Affair

One Secret Night

The High Price of Secrets

My Review: 

4.5 Star Review – The High Price Of Secrets (The Master Vintners # 4)

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Yvonne.  This book includes passion, laughs, heartache, secrets, and betrayal.

If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books first from “The Master Vintners” series.

The Wayward Son

A Forbidden Affair

One Secret Night

The High Price of Secrets


Tamsyn has just found out everyone has been keeping secrets from her.  Her mother (Ellen) that she was told was dead is in fact alive. So she travels to the last town her mother was known to be in to find her. 
Finn wants to protect Ellen at all costs.  Where was Tamsyn when her mother needed her and why did it take so long for her to come find her mother.
When Finn finds out Tamsyn thought she was dead he is torn in two as her is starting to like her but made a promise not to reveal her mother’s location.
When Tamsyn finds out Finn has been lying to her will it rip them apart?  Will she ever be able to forgive and trust him?  Will she find her mother?
Seems that everyone puts Finn in a tough spot.  Tamsyn has been lied to by those closest to her all her life.  Makes it very hard to trust anyone.  You can feel the chemistry pull these two together. Very good read.   

Look forward to the next book by Yvonne.

Contact Info for Yvonne Lindsay


About Yvonne:

Always an avid reader, I was introduced to the joy of reading romance at the age of 13 by an elderly neighbour. Each week I’d visit her and we’d sort through bags and boxes of books – she didn’t know it then but she’d unleashed a monster! A wannabe romance writer monster. At the age of 15 and totally inspired by the books I’d read, I tried my hand at my first romance novel (an abysmal attempt which still remains shrouded in dust somewhere!) 
Many scribblings, many years, a slew of secretarial and sales repping jobs, marriage and two kids later I heard the wonderful Harlequin Mills & Boon author, Susan Napier, speak at a local writer’s group. She mentioned Romance Writers of New Zealand and its contact details. At first I couldn’t believe there was a group for people like me but after about a year I plucked up the courage to join RWNZ and spent several years working on their committee. The sheer bliss of meeting with other people with the same dreams and aspirations, was indescribable.

Eventually I learned that to really be a writer you had to actually finish a book, so I did and won a few awards along the way including Romance Writers of Australia’s 1999 Emma Darcy Award and Romance Writers of New Zealand’s 2004 Clendon Award. In 2005 I changed my target market from Mills & Boon in London and sold to Silhouette Desire, a line I’ve always loved to read and one I’m thrilled to be a part of. 
The morning I got The Call I was in the bathroom, getting ready for work, and just finishing putting on my make up. When my husband called me to the phone I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Silhouette wanted to buy my book. My first thought was, “OMG, this is really happening!” I’d always read other people’s call stories and thought about how I’d handle The Call (I had thirteen good long years to think about it ) I swore to myself I wouldn’t go all gushy. Guess what? I gushed. I cried. I told my editor it was the happiest day of my life. Once my family realized that I wasn’t crying because someone had died, they all lay on the bed watching me talk to my new editor, frantically taking notes on everything she said. The makeup, by the way, was a total wreck by the end of the call. After we finished talking, I quickly rang two of my best writing friends in Australia (they are two and two-and-a-half hours, respectively, behind me time-zone-wise). I woke both of them up but hey, it meant they could celebrate with me all day long. Then I had to head off to work (a half hour late but I wasn’t in any state to care – or work for that matter :-)).

It’s taken me a good many years to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, but it’s been worth the wait and the support from my peers has been fantastic. If I can impart any wisdom about my journey so far it’s this – never give up. Ever! Keep your self-talk positive. Dream a big dream and be open to continually learning more about the craft of writing. Take ownership of what you do. Be proud of your writing. Tell people about it. If you hide your biggest passion from everyone how can you ever expect them to take you seriously. This last one is a really major soapbox issue of mine – I have had the snarky comments and putdowns about romance writing, the offers to help me with a chapter of my book, the sly winks and too loud laughter. But I’ve held firm. I believe in romance, I believe in what I’m doing and I firmly believe in the power of love in all walks of life and at all ages. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in that. Be involved in your organization. You’ll never regret the friendships and the wonderful contacts you make. And never give up! Ever!

Connect with Yvonne:

Read an Excerpt

“What do you mean you quit? It’s only four and a half weeks to Christmas! We’re so busy with guests and functions that we can barely move. Look, let’s talk about it. If you’re not happy, we can work around that. Find you something else to do.”

Tamsyn sighed inwardly. Find her something else to do. Sure, that would solve how she felt right now—not. She couldn’t blame her brother, Ethan, for wanting to make things right for her. He’d done it all her life, after all. But this situation was beyond his fixing. That was why she’d needed to get away.

A holiday was something she’d been thinking about for a while. Working at The Masters, which in addition to being their family home was a vineyard and winery with luxury cottage accommodation on the outskirts of Adelaide in South Australia, hadn’t given her any satisfaction for a very long time. She’d been restless, feeling as if she didn’t really fit in anymore—at work, at home, in her family, even in her engagement.

The debacle of the night before had only proven just how right she was.

“Ethan, I can’t talk about it. I’m in New Zealand.”

“You’re in New Zealand? I thought you were staying here in Adelaide with Trent last night,” Ethan’s incredulity was clear as it transmitted through the hands-free kit in her rental car.

Tamsyn counted slowly to ten, letting her brother continue to let off steam before replying.

“I’ve ended our engagement.”

There was the briefest of silences as her words sunk in.

“You what?” Ethan sounded as if he wasn’t certain he’d heard her correctly.

“Long story.” She swallowed against the pain that had lessened to a persistent dull throb deep in her chest.

“I have ears.”

“Not now, Ethan. I c-can’t.” Her voice broke and tears spilled uncontrolled down her cheeks.

“I’m going to hurt him,” Ethan growled from far across the Tasman Sea with his characteristic brotherly protec-tiveness.

“No, don’t. He’s not worth it.”

Her brother sighed and she could feel his concern and frustration in that single huff of air. “When are you coming back?”

“I…I don’t know. It’s kind of up in the air at the moment.” She didn’t think that now was a good time to tell him she’d only bought a one-way ticket.

“Well, at least you trained your assistant to take over when needed. Is Zac up to date with everything?”

Even though she knew he couldn’t see her, Tamsyn shook her head and bit her lip.


“Um, no. I fired him.”

“You wh—?” Ethan fell silent as he started to put two and two together, coming up with his usual four. Even so, he couldn’t keep the incredulity from his voice. “Zac and Trent?”

“Yup,” she said, her throat almost paralyzed and strangling the single word.

“Will you be okay? I’ll come over. Just tell me where you are.”

“No, don’t. I’ll be fine—eventually. I just need…” She drew in a shuddering breath. She couldn’t even find the words to say what she really needed—she had to simply tell him something he’d understand. “I just need some time alone. Some space so I can think things out. I’m sorry about leaving like this. Everything is in my computer, you know the password, and the bookings are all duplicated on the wall planner as well. Worse comes to worst, they can phone me if they need to.”

“We’ll take care of it, don’t worry.”

Her big brother’s firm conviction wasn’t as good as being right there with him, but in terms of comfort it came close.

“Thanks, Ethan.”

“No problem, but Tam? Who’s going to take care of you?”

“I will,” she said firmly.

“I really think you should come home.”

“No, I know what I need to do. It’s important to me, now more than ever.” This part, she had to share with him—even though she knew he wouldn’t like it. “I’m going to find her, Ethan.”

Silence, then another sigh. “Are you sure now is the best time to go searching for our mother?”

It had already been a few months now, but the shock of discovering their mother—who they’d long been told was dead—was alive and living in New Zealand still reverberated through her mind almost every moment of every day. Learning after his death that their father had lied to them all this time was one thing, discovering the rest of their family had supported him in the lie was another—but realizing that their mother had chosen to remain apart from them, to never even try to make contact, well, that had raised so many questions in Tamsyn’s mind they’d begun to define everything about the way she saw herself.

Tamsyn grimaced and shook her head slightly. “Can’t think of a better time than now, can you?”

“Yeah, actually, I can. You’re hurt, you’re vulnerable. I don’t want you to get let down again. Come home. Let me put an investigator on to it so that you know what you’re going into when they find her.”

She could picture him right now, the frown on his forehead, the thinned line of his lips as he worried from afar.

“I want to do this myself. I need to. Look, I’m not far from that address you gave me a couple of months ago. I’d better go,” she said, checking the distance on the screen of her GPS.

“You’re just going to show up, no warning?”

“Why not?”

“Tam, be sensible. You can’t just arrive on someone’s doorstep claiming to be their long-lost child.”

“Except I’m not lost, am I? She knew where we were all along. She’s the one who left and didn’t come back.”

She couldn’t hide the hurt in the words. A hurt that warred with resentment and anger and sorrow and so many unanswered questions that Tamsyn had hardly had a full night’s sleep since she’d heard the news that her mother still lived. That the woman she’d quietly fantasized about, a mother who’d loved her and cared for her too much to ever leave her behind, didn’t exist. She had so many questions and she had convinced herself that she was strong enough now to face the answers. She needed to so she could move forward with her life, because what she’d believed up until now had been based on lies and fabrication. Trent’s betrayal was the final straw. She didn’t even know who she was anymore. But she was ready to find out. Ethan’s voice broke into her thoughts.

“Do me a favor, find a motel or somewhere and sleep on it before you do anything you might regret. We can talk in the morning.”

“I’ll let you know how it goes,” Tamsyn replied, ignoring her brother’s plea. “I’ll call you in a few days.”

She disconnected the phone before Ethan could say another word and listened carefully as the disembodied voice on the GPS carefully enunciated that her turn was coming up in five hundred meters. Tamsyn’s gut clenched tight. She had to do this. As irrational and out of character as it was for her, the woman who usually planned everything out to the finest degree, she needed to do this.

Carefully, Tamsyn turned in at the imposing stone-wall-lined entrance to a long driveway. She drew the car to a halt and closed her eyes for a moment. This was it—soon she could be face-to-face with her mother for the first time since she was three years old. A shudder passed through her body as her adrenaline levels kicked up a notch.

The past twenty-four hours had been a roller-coaster ride. One that had alternately left her giddy with anticipation or sick to her stomach. Tamsyn opened her eyes and took her foot off the brake. The car began inching forward, rumbling loudly over the cattle guard beneath the tires and along the long straight stretch of driveway that gently inclined up the hill.

To the left and the right of her, regimented lines of grapevines grew, their foliage lush and green and the early signs of fruit could be seen hanging on the vines. Considering it was only late November, Tamsyn’s experienced eye could see that this vineyard was in for a bumper crop.

She continued along the long driveway. It snaked up a steep incline until finally, after a particularly tight hairpin turn, she saw the house ahead of her. The sprawling two-story building, crafted in stone and cedar, dominated the crest of the hill. Her lips set in a firm line of disapproval. So it clearly hadn’t been a lack of money that had kept her mother from staying in touch, she thought cynically. Was this how Ellen Masters had used the money her husband had sent her for the past twenty-odd years?

Tamsyn used that cynicism to propel her out of her car and toward the front door. It was now or never. Taking a deep breath, she reached for the iron door knocker and lifted it, only to let it drop with a solid clang. A short time later she heard footsteps echo from inside. Her stomach tied in knots as every last ounce of her resolve suddenly fled. What the hell was she doing here?

Finn Gallagher opened his front door and had to force himself not to take a step back. He recognized the woman standing in front of him with a surety that went soul deep. Ellen’s daughter.

So the little princess from Australia had finally decided to visit. Too little, too late, as far as he was concerned. Far too late.

The pictures he’d seen of her over the years, hadn’t done her justice, though he had the sense he wasn’t seeing her at her best. His sweeping gaze took in the mussed long dark brown hair that cascaded over her shoulders and the dark bruises of tiredness that stained porcelain skin under wide-spaced brown eyes. Eyes that reminded him so much of her mother. The woman who, together with her partner, Lorenzo, had mothered him when his own family had disintegrated.

Her clothes were creased but still stylish, and clung to her curves in a way that drew his eye to the opening of her blouse and especially to the tempting swell of creamy skin exposed there. Her skirt skimmed her hips and down her slender thighs to end just above the knee. Not long enough to be dowdy and not so short as to be inappropriate, but somehow still enticing.

It all spoke to the privileged upbringing she’d enjoyed. He found it difficult not to feel bitter when he knew how hard her mother had scraped and worked for a decent life. Clearly the Masters family had looked after their own—they just didn’t look after those who walked away from them. Those who didn’t conform.

His gaze drifted back to her face where he noticed her full lips tremble slightly before pulling into a nervous smile.

“H-hello, I was wondering if Ellen Masters lives here?” she said.

Her voice was tight, as if her throat was constricted and in the late-afternoon sun that slanted across her face he could see telltale signs of tear tracks. Natural curiosity rose from inside him but he quelled it with his usual determination.

“And you are…?” he asked, knowing full well what the answer would be.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She held out a delicate hand. “I’m Tamsyn Masters. I’m looking for my mother, Ellen.”

He took her hand in his, noting instantly the coolness of her touch, the fragility in the bones of her fingers as his larger, stronger ones closed around hers. He struggled against the instinct to go into protection mode. There was something very not right in Tamsyn Masters’s world right now, but, he reminded himself, that wasn’t his problem.

Keeping her away from Ellen was.

Two here’s no Ellen Masters here,” he replied, letting go of her hand. “Was your mother expecting you?”

She had the grace to look shamefaced. “No, I kind of hoped to surprise her.”

Surprise her? Yeah, he just bet she did. Without sparing a thought to whether or not her mother would, or could, see her. How typical of her type, he thought angrily. Pampered, spoiled and thinking the world spun for her delectation. He knew the type well—unfortunately. Too well. They were the kind who’d always expect more, no matter how much you gave. People like Briana, his ex. Beautiful, seemingly compassionate, born into a life of opportunity—but in the cold light of day as grasping and as single-minded as Fagin in Oliver Twist.

“Are you sure you have the right address?” he asked, tamping his fury down.

“Well.I thought.” She reached into her handbag and pulled out a crumpled sheet of paper and read off the address. “That’s right, isn’t it? I’m at the right place.”

“That is my address, but there’s no Ellen Masters here. I’m sorry. It looks like you’ve had a wasted trip.”

Before his eyes, every particle in her body slumped. Her eyes suddenly brimmed with unshed tears and a stricken look froze her delicate features into a mask of sadness. Again that urge to protect her welled within him—along with the compulsion to tell her of the well-concealed and unsealed driveway she’d have passed on the road here. The one that led to the cottage where Ellen and Lorenzo had lived for the past twenty-five years or so—but he just as determinedly pushed the impulse back.

He knew for a fact Tamsyn Masters had legally been an adult for ten years. What whim had finally driven her to seek out Ellen now? And, more important, why hadn’t she reached out to her mother sooner, when it could possibly still have made a difference to the other woman’s happiness?

“I—oh, well, I’m sorry to have bothered you. My information can’t have been correct.”

She reached into her handbag for an oversize pair of sunglasses and shoved them none too elegantly onto her face, hiding her tortured gaze from view. As she did so, he caught sight of the white band of skin on the ring finger of her left hand. Had the engagement he’d read of over a year ago come to an end? Had that been the catalyst to send her searching for her mother?

Whatever it was, it was none of his business.

“No problem,” he answered and watched as she walked back to her car and turned it around to drive back down the driveway.

Finn didn’t waste another second before reaching for his cell phone and punching in a number. It went straight to voice mail and he uttered a short sharp epithet in frustration while listening to the disembodied voice asking him to leave a message.

“Lorenzo, call me. There’s been a complication here at home.”

He slid his phone back in his pocket and closed the front door of his house. Somehow, though, he had the feeling he hadn’t completely closed the door on Tamsyn Masters.

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