Review: With Everything I Am (#2, The Three) by Kristen Ashley

My Thoughts

Intense, sexy and unputdownable!

4halfstars

Synopsis

with everything that i am coverOne night, Callum is driven into the woods by instinct, an instinct to protect… what, he does not know. Until he, in the form of wolf, meets a young, human child who he is instantly drawn to in a fierce way he doesn’t quite understand.

But in the end, she protects him. Then he finds this human child is his destined mate.

Sonia Arlington has lived a lonely life. She has certain abilities that make her strange and she has a rare disease that, if untreated, could kill her. Her mother and father are assassinated but before, her father makes her vow that she will never let others discover her abilities. This forces Sonia to stay distant from others, no family, no close friends and always guarding against exposure.

Then the intelligence leaks that Sonia is Callum’s human mate. He is now King of the Werewolves and therefore she becomes targeted by the wolves who have aligned with other immortals to enslave the human race. Callum has war on his hands and is forced to claim his mate and quickly integrate Sonia into a world that is strange and frightening to her.

As Sonia attempts to adjust, not entirely successfully, Callum attempts to cope with the knowledge that his mate is mortal. He will have her beauty and gentleness only the length of a mortal life and as werewolves only have one mate their entire lives, their union for him is unbearably bitter as well as unbelievably sweet.

Then he finds that due to her illness, her human life will be even shorter and he is forced to endure the increased bitter while doing everything he can to make Sonia’s short life incredibly sweet.

My Review

I want to both magically inhale every Kristen Ashley book that exists and also savor every delectable moment. I feel immeasurably happy reading her novels and this series… The Three series is so explosively addictive, rife with intriguing juxtapositions that make grip me wholly: control and submission, power and vulnerability, desire and love, destiny and reality, misunderstanding and acceptance. There’s something compelling about these dueling emotions and concepts, and in these first two books, we see couples try to understand and surrender to a fate dictated long ago. A fate that had been prophesied. In book 1, Until the Sun Falls from the Sky, Lucien and Leah, a vampire and a human mortal, fall in love defying rules and traditions. In this second installment, it’s a wolf and a human, Callum and Sonia, who must claim their future… however uncertain and difficult that future might be. For as long as that future extends.

Sonia Arlington has not had an easy life. Her parents died when she was a child, leaving her alone to be taken care of by a guardian who was caring, but not affectionate. In addition, she endures an extremely rare disorder that requires daily injections that set her blood ablaze. Alone, in a fog, and with a gaping hole in her heart, she’s lived her thirty-seven years. Sonia also has special abilities, heightened senses, that she cannot reveal to anyone. Her father required her to keep silent. And despite her solitude, her dreams are filled with visions of a wolf—her wolf—that she met as a child the night her parents were killed. She had not forgotten him. And one night, when attacked in her own home, the wolf of her dreams came alive, saved her.

“You’re mine, Sonia Arlington. You’ve been mine for centuries.”

Her wolf is none other than Callum, King of the Werewolves. A gorgeous, muscled, towering man that commands attention. Demands respect. Takes what’s his. And in an unexpected turn of destiny, Callum informs Leah, that she is his mate, his queen, for their eternity. No choice. No discussion. No softness. No understanding. And in one fell swoop, her life as she knew it is completely different. Gone. 

“Callum didn’t date. He didn’t court. He seized.”

Callum wasn’t used to discussion. He certainly had never courted a woman. Never had to work to get a woman in his bed. It wasn’t the way of his people, nor was it his way. He’d never spent much time with humans, but he knew that Sonia was his mate and he needed to claim her… fast. His world was in peril, war upon them, and they were all in danger if he didn’t get to the business of winning that war. Problem was, Sonia was not happy with the situation at hand. The chemistry between them was scorching, no denying that, but their days were charged with anger. One second they were fighting, the next they were playing, hard, between the sheets. It was hot and hotter with these two.

Callum is as alpha as you can imagine… rough around the edges, so domineering, so demanding, that he doesn’t realize the turmoil of emotions that Sonia struggles through. Sonia, on the other hand, battles with losing her sense of self, her life, even though she can’t seem to deny Callum’s touch, nor his allure. There is definitely a connection, but when feelings get ignored and misunderstandings push them apart, they have to wonder if fate indeed got it right.

“Did all the good that was Callum, all that was tender and affectionate and warm and teasing outweigh the things that were bad?”

As Callum and Sonia spend more time together, and truly try to understand each other, they fall in love earnestly. The wolf culture was vastly different than what Sonia was accustomed to, and the human world was something that Callum simply did not consider. Whereas they both had to surrender to their destinies, they also had to accept each other as they were. And once they did, once the fierceness and intensity of Callum melded with Sonia’s own fire and sensibility, it was a beautiful thing to witness.

“You love me?…”
“With everything that I am, baby doll, and everything I’m meant to be.”

But since this is a KA book we’re talking about, danger continues to lurk and secrets foretell more pain than is bearable. Ashley takes us on quite a ride the last quarter of the book, as my heart pounded furiously through the events that culminated in one surprising happily ever after. And in true KA fashion, we also see Lucien and Leah again!

I think The Three series so far has some really fantastic common threads and messages, which first and foremost seem to be about acceptance. Vampire, wolves, humans and a whole cast of immortals are thrust together in ways that duel organically, but that in an unexpected twist of fate, must live together in harmony with understanding, acceptance, and for these fated, prophesied Three, love.

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Reading Order and Links

 until the sun falls from the sky with everything that i am cover rev

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Chapter 1 Reveal: Filthy Beautiful Lust (#3, Filthy Beautiful Lies) by Kendall Ryan

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Coming November 10th is the third book in the super sexy Filthy Beautiful Lies series by bestselling author Kendall Ryan—Filthy Beautiful Lust! I’m so excited to share the first chapter, exclusively with only three other blogs!

Filthy Beautiful Lust: AmazoniTunes ★

Synopsis

filthy beautiful lust coverPace Drake loves sex. He knows where get it, what to say, what to do, and he makes no apologies for satisfying his needs. But when he meets single mom, Kylie Sloan, he’s enthralled by her, and begins to question his standard operating procedure. After all, there’s no chase, no mystery when banging a woman in a nightclub bathroom. Kylie’s depth and determination make the sloppy, drunken hookups that fill his weekends seem empty and shallow. She’s the opposite of the desperate, clingy women he’s used to. She doesn’t want or need anyone to take care of her and that only makes him want to care for her more.

Kylie’s trust in men has vanished. The last guy she was with played ding-dong-ditch-it with her uterus and left her with a baby to raise. Now her infant son is the only man she has time for, even if she misses sex and intimacy more than she’d ever admit. Opening her heart up to a younger man who’s best known for no-strings-attached sex and his casual lifestyle is probably the worst idea she’s ever had. But Pace wants to prove to her there are still a few good guys left, and watching the sweet way he interacts with her baby makes her want to try…but she can really trust that his days of hitting it and quitting it are in his past?

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Chapter 1

Pace

The blonde on my arm is driving me nuts. If it weren’t for her giant fake tits, that I very much want to play with later, I would have ditched her at the door.

We’re at a fancy gala for Colton’s charity, the five thousand dollar a plate dinner is designed to bring in the last of the donations they need to ensure the school and hospital Colton plans to open are fully funded in the years to come. It’s a great cause. But all I want to do is leave.

“Pace,” my date says, tugging on my tuxedo clad elbow. “Which one is your brother again?”

The one that looks exactly fucking like me, I want to answer. Instead, I point straight ahead to where Colton is standing talking with a group of benefactors. “Right there in the center. That’s Colton. And his fiancé Sophie is beside him.”

We’ve been mistaken for twins numerous times. He’s three years older, but we share many similar features – tall stature, dark hair, deep blue eyes. The main difference – where Colton is hard edges and serious expressions – I’m friendly, open and relaxed. Life is too damn short to take too seriously. But apparently, grasping our similarities is beyond the capabilities of her three brain cells.

“Are you going to introduce me?” she asks.

She wants to meet my family? No. But rather than provide her with an answer she doesn’t want to hear, I choose that moment to take a swig of my bourbon and pretend I didn’t hear her.

I’d invited Sheena here tonight after meeting her at my health club. I didn’t want to come to Colton and Sophie’s big event alone and thought it might be nice to have someone to talk to over dinner. Unfortunately the only thing Sheena wanted to discuss was her recent enhancements and how the plastic surgeon convinced her to go to a bigger cup size and how she thought he only wanted to sleep with her.

Well no shit he wanted to fuck you sweetheart. Line forms to the left, gentleman.

After enduring two hours with the date from hell, all I want to do is fuck her in my car, and then drop her off at home. Classy, I know. But you try spending ten thousand dollars on dinner for the world’s most annoying date. I deserve a blow job at the very least.

Something tells me that on Monday I’ll be looking for a new health club…

I’ve changed gyms six times this year. The cancellation fees are killing me. Maybe it’s time to rethink my pick up strategy. Nah. There are lots of places in town with treadmills and free weights, and I have no problem switching clubs just to avoid running into my former hookups.

“Let’s get you another champagne,” I say, steering her toward the bar.

Once Sheena is situated on a bar stool, I slip away, making an excuse to use the men’s room. Instead I head straight for where Sophie and Kylie are talking across the room.

My brother’s fiancé, Sophie Evans looks great tonight. Long silky dress, jewels at her throat and her hair is twisted up in some type of knot. She looks happy.

“Hey, sis,” I greet her with a kiss to the back of her hand.

I won’t treat her any differently after her sister’s passing, because I know she wouldn’t want it, but I do try to be sweet to her. After everything she’s been through, she didn’t break, and I’m so thankful. Colton needs a strong woman and Sophie is the perfect complement to him. I don’t plan to settle down anytime soon, but one day I hope to find a girl as good as Sophie. I still didn’t understand where he met Sophie, or why she was just living with him one day, but he was a lucky guy. At least he knew that.

“Hi, Pace.” Sophie grins up at me.

Next I turn to Kylie, who I’ve been trying to figure out for the past several months. She works for my brother, running the office operations for his charity, and I’m pretty sure she’s the one responsible for the gala tonight. She’s stunning – in a deep purple gown that flows beautifully over her curves, fiery auburn hair that falls in loose waves over her shoulders and brilliant green eyes that sparkle on mine. The way she watches me sends tingles shooting down my body, pulsing in my groin. My cock begins swelling. What the fuck? She’s exquisite and classy and put together. The complete fucking opposite of my date.

“It’s a great event. Congratulations,” I lift her hand to my mouth and whisper against the back of it while watching her eyes.

She flinches at the contact and tugs her hand back, but treats me to a warm smile. “Thank you, Pace.” The tone of her warm voice wrapping around my name is fucking sinful. I want to hear her moan out my name when she climaxes, I want to see her green eyes darken with lust, and watch her completely come apart underneath me.

I know she’s a single mom, and I should just steer clear. She’s nothing like the women I typically date, but something about her hypnotizes me.

“Where’s your date?” Sophie asks.

“I’m not sure,” I lie. I can see her from the corner of my eye, she’s still at the bar and seems to be chatting it up with the bartender. Good. Maybe I can offload her on him tonight. I wouldn’t mind going home with the elegant and sophisticated beauty I see before me.

“I was hoping to meet her,” Sophie says.

Sophie doesn’t understand there’s a reason I’ve never introduced her to any of the women I’m seeing. They’re all temporary. And besides, I doubt they’d hit it off. Sophie interests go a little deeper than nail polish and handbags. My brother chose well.

“Isn’t that the woman you were with?” Kylie asks, pointing across the room.

I follow her gaze to Sheena.

Fuck.

Sheena’s currently bent backwards over the top of the bar so that her tits are practically hanging out and she’s letting the bartender pour shots of tequila down her throat.

Christ. This isn’t a college frat party. It’s an exclusive black-tie affair for millionaires and politicians and the nation’s leading entrepreneurs. We’re here for an important cause, not to get wasted and dance on the damn bar. But something tells me my date doesn’t get that.

I don’t often feel embarrassed, and shit, I love to cut loose and have fun as much as anyone, but this is not the time, nor the place. My face flushes slightly and I clench my jaw.

I like a woman who knows how to handle herself – someone poised and put together when she needs to be and freaky as hell in between the sheets. My eyes find Kylie’s and something tells me she’d be that kind of woman.

“Yeah, Sheena’s fun,” I say, clenching my fists in an attempt to hide my true feelings.

Kylie frowns. “I introduced myself to her earlier, and she said her name was Trina.”

“Shit. Is it?” I rub a hand through my hair. The look in her eyes tells me this is a piece of information I should have known.

Sophie excuses herself a moment later, and I’m thankful for the private moment with Kylie.

“Can I get you something else to drink?” I offer, tossing her a flirty grin.

Her answering smile is coy, guarded. “Shouldn’t you be getting back to your date?”

A quick look over my shoulder at Sheena, or Trina, or whoever the hell she is, tells me I have no desire to spend any more time with her. In contrast to the beautiful woman standing before me, my date is all but forgotten. I might have thought she was sexy before, but now, I see her for what she really is – her dress is too short and her breasts are too large, even for my big hands. Kylie, in comparison, is perfectly proportioned–soft and curvy–just like a woman should be. I wouldn’t mind exploring the valleys of her body for hours on end. With my tongue. And my cock. The bastard throbs at the thought.

“She looks pretty well taken care of right now,” I remark.

The bartender is all but ignoring the other customers in his eagerness to talk to her. He can have her for all I care. Good luck, buddy.

Kylie sets down her empty wine glass on the tray of a passing waiter. “I’m actually not much of a drinker. A glass of wine or two is generally my limit.”

Good to know. I file that information away. Remembering her little one, I ask about him. “Where’s Max tonight?”

She smiles lightly as though thinking about her baby brightens her mood. I like that, and I don’t know why. “His nanny stayed late tonight. I’m sure he’s in bed by now.”

I still recall that day in the pool last summer when I’d taken the crying baby from her and entertained him all afternoon. I couldn’t’ even be sure why I’d done it. I suppose, looking back, she just looked like she could use a hand. I never liked seeing a woman struggle. Although a damsel in distress, she is not. I get the sense she’s the type to never back down from a challenge and has enough strength and determination to succeed at just about anything she tried. A sexy quality, to be sure.

As we stand there, me sipping my bourbon, and her grinning politely at the crowd, the silence between us grows. I feel like we have nothing in common, and I’m at a loss, trying to think of something to say, anything that will keep this beauty in my presence. There are so many things I want to know about her, but none of them are appropriate to ask. How she tastes, what noises she makes when she comes. I also want to know how she ended up a single mother, and if Max’s dad is still in the picture. I tried asking Colton about it once, but he remained incredibly vague. The asshat. He’s pretty much the worst wingman ever.

“Have dinner with me this week,” I say. It wasn’t what I’d been planning to say, but once the words leave my mouth, they just feel right.

“Pace, that’s sweet of you to ask, but I can’t…” She pauses, like she wants to say more, but doesn’t. Her body language is all wrong too. Where women are normally vying to get closer, placing their hand on my bicep, or even brushing their breasts against my arm, Kylie stands straight and tall, like she wants to avoid physical contact at all costs.

“Are you here with someone?” I ask. It’s absolutely none of business, but I’d happily shell out ten grand just to find out if she’s fucking someone.

“No,” she confirms.

“No boyfriend?” I press further. I need to know what I’m up against.

“There’s been no one since Max’s father,” she says, quietly.

My inner alpha male beats on his chest in triumph. “That’s quite a dry spell.”

“Indeed,” she murmurs.

“It’s just dinner, Kylie. It’s not like I’m offering to step in and raise Max.” I treat her to a playful, crooked smile, my dimple out in full force. I’ve heard it’s quite irresistible and that’s what I’m banking on.

“That’s exactly why I can’t. I’m sorry.”

Fuck. Why am I such a fucking idiot?

“Oh,” I stammer, at a loss for words for the first damn time in my life. Christ. Grow a pair, Pace.

“Besides, something tells me if you’re interested in a woman like that,” Kylie tips her chin toward the bar where Sheena is making a spectacle of herself, “that you can’t possibly be interested in a woman like me.”

Hold the fuck on. Now that’s where she’s wrong. “Why’s that?” I ask, meeting her fiery green gaze. If she’s about to criticize herself, I will not hold back in proving to her how very wrong she is.

“Pace,” she admonishes. “Look at her. They look…inflatable.”

When I realize she’s not tearing herself down, but instead chastising my taste in women, I almost want to laugh. “A woman like that is good for only one thing and we both know it,” I say.

She raises her eyebrows, waiting for me to explain.

“Fucking once,” I continue.

“You’re crass.” Her eyes light up, and her mouth twitches in an attempt not to smile.

“I’m direct, and I think you like it.”

She shrugs. “At least you’re honest. That’s more than I can say for most men.”

“Go out with me. One time, Kylie. What do you have to lose?”

I can practically see the wheels turning in her head, and for one brief, beautiful moment I think I might have a chance. “Bye Pace.” She turns and walks away, her long legs carrying her across the room while my heart throbs.

Fuck.

“Kylie, wait.”

She turns and tosses me a sexy wink. “Go have fun with Malibu Barbie.

This is not over.

I play to win.

Reading Order and Links

Filthy Beautiful Lust is the third book in the Filthy Beautiful Lies series, however it can be read as a standalone novel (no cliffhanger). To understand the full growth and development of the characters, it is recommended that you begin with book 1, Filthy Beautiful Lies.

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About Kendall

15k-kaKendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels, including Hard to Love, Unravel Me, Resisting Her and When I Break. She’s a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. She lives in Minneapolis with her adorable husband and two baby sons, and enjoys hiking, being active, and reading.

Visit her website  for the latest book news, and fun extras.

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Review: Until The Sun Falls From the Sky (#1, The Three) by Kristen Ashley

My Thoughts

Super hot, explosive and addictive.
Kristen Ashley proves once again she can conquer any genre.

4halfstars

Synopsis

until the sun falls from the skyLeah Buchanan’s family has been in service to vampires for five centuries. Even so, Leah wants nothing to do with her family’s legacy. But when she’s summoned to her Selection by the Vampire Dominion, under familial pressure, she has no choice but to go.
Lucien has been living under the strict edicts of the Vampire Dominion for centuries but he’s tired of these ancient laws stripping away everything that is the essence of the vampire.

So he’s taking it back.

And this is because Lucien has been watching and waiting for decades for Leah to become available for a Selection and he will not be limited with what he can do with her. He will have her, all of her.

Therefore, Lucien is going to tame Leah, even if he gets hunted and killed for doing it.

What neither Leah nor Lucien expects is the strong bond that will form between them, connecting them on unprecedented levels for mortals or immortals. And what will grow between them means they will challenge their ways of life and their union will begin The Prophesies which makes them one of three couples who will save humanity… or die in the effort.

My Review

Three words with the potential to rock my world:

Kristen Ashley vampires.

And boy, did it ever. This book was an eruption of blazing chemistry, addictive angst and undeniable love. It was delicious drama from the first page to the last. A story turned up loud in all its volatile, vivid glory. Leah and Lucien’s romance is anything but typical. It’s non-stop bickering and chaos, but also a rightness that lit the pages on fire.

It rocked my world.

Grab a gorgeous, powerful vampire, a delightfully stubborn mortal, a bunch of rules that beg to broken and mix them all together with Kristen Ashley’s skillful hand, and I was hooked.

“I’ve been waiting to have you since I knew you existed. But I’ve been waiting for someone like you for five fucking centuries ”

When Leah Buchanan is invited—or rather required—to attend the Selection. She knows it’s the beginning of forsaking her life, at least for the foreseeable future. The Buchanans are a well-respected, well-known family of vampire concubines, and at the Selection, a vampire is to choose her for a contractual arrangement… an arrangement that allows the vampire to feed from her anytime he chooses… until he’s done with her, that is. For most mortals, the allure of being with a vampire in this capacity is sensual, desired, but for Leah, this is the worst possible thing that could happen. And as things turn out, it seems the vampire that chooses her, under duress too, is a powerful, well-known, much-feared-upon individual named Lucien.

“Mine,” he declared.
“Never,” she returned.

Immediately, Leah’s temper flares, her stubbornness full-out, and Lucien is both intrigued and angry at her behavior. Their dynamic is explosive from the very beginning, a mixture of desire and anger and intrigue. It was fascinating thing to see unfold. Lucien is a big, badass alpha vampire who demands control… demands her submission, but was also clearly taken by this woman.

“He wanted her more than he’d ever wanted a female, vampire or mortal.”

In the throes of his frustrating alphaness, I hated Lucien, and in the vulnerability of his sweetness, I adored him. Kristen Ashley creates an addictive dynamic, and I couldn’t get enough of these two people interacting on the page. Leah is an absolutely awesome character. She’s fiercely independent and outspoken, and her inner musings along with her brazen dialogue made me laugh.

“Oh my God.” I breathed out loud.
I was deranged.
I liked being kissed by a vampire. Worse! I liked being kissed by Lucien, the Big, Bad, Jerky, Controlling Vampire.
I’d lost my mind.”

As the story continues to evolve, we realize that Lucien has broken many a rule to be by this woman’s side… these decisions having significant consequences for them both. As forceful wills soften, and these two people—mortal and vampire—begin to fall for each other, things get immensely more complicated as danger surrounds them. In addition, secrets Lucien keeps could threaten to shatter it all, as both begin to ponder a future together, if one is even possible.

“He wanted her trust, her acceptance of his power, his dominance, not to wield it against her, but to use it to keep her safe, protected, nurtured, thriving.”

Both Lucien and Leah struggle to give the deepest part of themselves… Leah for fear of her heart being tossed away… Lucien for fear out of not being able to be accepted for all that he is. They must face their fears, overcome the past, and submit to each other if they are to finally find a happily ever after. But even so, their relationship is forbidden, and being together could cost them their lives.

I loved that this book still had the one-of-a-kind Kristen Ashley feel. There was drama, alphaness (both male and female), action, super-hot sexy times, emotional gravity and so much more. It was a paranormal, but done in a way that even readers who don’t frequent the genre will enjoy. I so look forward to continuing with the series, which will undoubtedly have me furiously flipping the pages in utter addiction.

“You love me. I love you. We’re connected. What we have is beautiful and that’s all it’ll ever be. For eternity. Until the end of days. Until the sun falls from the sky, all you and I will share is beauty.”

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Reading Order and Links

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Excerpt + Giveaway: Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Kristen Proby, Melody Anne and Kate Meader

BABY

When so many of my favorite authors come together for a holiday anthology, I can’t wait to grab a warm cup of coffee and snuggle up to stories that will surely make me laugh and swoon and smile. Baby, It’s Cold Outside is out this week and I’ve got a special excerpt to share with you!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Amazon | B&N | iTunes ✦

Synopsis

baby its cold outside coverOutside it may be frosty, so turn the heat way up with these stories of desire!

Can a determined woman executive and a playboy billionaire survive being stranded together in a snowstorm? Jennifer Probst depicts an encounter almost too hot to handle…

Drew and Kate play an encore to Tangled in this sexy take on a “Christmas Carol” by Emma Chase. When a Christmas Eve argument condemns Drew to a troubled night, three dream women teach him that no gift could be more tantalizing than Kate…

With Kristen Proby, ski slopes are quite delightful. Grace Douglas is sure she’ll never learn to ski, but instructor Jacob Baxter could teach her lessons of a different kind…

Can a southern California transplant survive Montana’s deep snows? Melody Anne, author of the bestselling Andersons series, melts the icy drifts completely away with the heat between sexy Hawk Winchester and brand-new teacher Natalie Duncan…

What could be hotter than a firefighter? Kate Meader shows how hot it can get as Beck Rivera and heiress-turned-tattoo-artist Darcy Cochrane discover that nothing ignites holiday flames like rekindling a lost love…

Excerpt

“Safe in His Arms” by Melody Anne

Way too much eggnog!

The party was over and her head was beyond fuzzy, but Natalie walked about the nearly empty firehouse with the other volunteers who’d offered to stay for cleanup. She wasn’t capable of doing much to help them, but she could at least say she was trying to help.

After a couple of dances with Hawk, the two of them had been separated, so here she was, trying to decide whether to go home alone or to wait him out. She knew she would rather wait, but on the other hand, she didn’t want to seem desperate. The alcohol was messing with her rational mind.

Music was playing softly over the speakers, smooth country tunes, mellow, relaxing. She felt her eyes grow heavy, and she spread herself out on the front of the nearest fire engine. The step was wide enough for her to get just a little rest.

No one would notice if she lay down for just a moment . . .

Before she knew it, she was asleep.

###

“See ya later, chief!”

Hawk watched as the last people trickled from the fire station. They’d done such a great job of cleaning, it didn’t even look like there’d been a party. Good. He liked it when things were all in order. He valued a job well done. Only one problem remained.

He’d been separated from Natalie too soon. He hadn’t been ready for their night to end, and he still wasn’t. And now as he turned out the lights and did his final walkthrough of the station, he felt an odd emptiness settle inside him.

It was ludicrous. Hawk didn’t need to be around a woman to find fulfillment. He didn’t have to have companionship. But in the space of a couple of weeks, he’d found himself counting down the hours until he got to see Natalie again. The highlight of his day was when he walked into that gym and found her there, speaking with the children, smiling, gifting them with her laughter.

This was so far beyond anything he’d ever experienced before that he couldn’t even identify what exactly he was feeling. One thing he knew for sure, though—he wasn’t going to wait until Monday to see her again.

He couldn’t. He had to see her. Tonight.

Walking around the front of his line of fire engines, Hawk stopped in his tracks.

“What happened?” Natalie’s voice came out huskily as she began sitting up on the front bumper of the fire engine before him.

So Hawk didn’t have to go anywhere to find Natalie.

She was within grasping distance. At the sight of her sleepy eyes and tousled hair, he could think only of taking her, right now.

“Everyone’s gone,” he said, his voice a low growl.

Her eyes widened, and then, even under the dim lights, he could see the change in her expression. She knew what came next. They both did.

About the Authors

Jennifer Probst’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels, novellas, and ebooks include the acclaimed Marriage to a Billionaire series, as well as Searching for Someday and Searching for Perfect. She lives in upstate New York. Visit her at www.jenniferprobst.com.

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Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Tangles, Twisted, Tamed, and Tied. She lives in a small town in rural New Jersey with her husband and children. Follow Emma on Twitter and Facebook, or visit her at www.emmachase.net.

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Kristen Proby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Loving Cara and Seducing Lauren, as well as the popular With Me in Seattle series. Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her at kristenproby.com.

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Melody Anne is the New York Times bestselling author of the indie published Billionaire Bachelors series, the Baby for the Billionaire series, and the Surrender series, and she has a new series coming soon from Pocket Books. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her at www.melodyanne.com.

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Kate Meader is the author of the sexy new series Hot in Chicago, coming soon from Pocket Books. When not writing she works in an academic library in Chicago. Visit her at www.katemeader.com.

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VBB Weekly – 10.27.2014

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Highlights

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Currently Reading

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Currently Listening To

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Up Next

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New Releases

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Releasing This Week

made coverMade (Forever) by JM Darhower (Available Now)

Corrado Moretti.

The world knows the notorious Kevlar Killer, but few have ever seen what lies beneath his armor. The abused child. The neglected teenager. The broken man. He always did whatever he had to do in order to survive.

It’s kill or be killed.

Throughout his life, he has been there in the shadows, a witness to everything from beginning to end. Bound by loyalty and honor, there’s only one thing he would sacrifice it all for: family.

Never get close. Never get attached. It’s a lesson that has been brutally pounded into him since childhood, but they’re words the DeMarcos make it difficult for him to follow. Through them he finds love and grieves loss, realizing the world isn’t quite as black and white as it’s made out to be.

Made.

Made can be read as a standalone.

Reading Order: Sempre | Sempre ForeverMade

2940046309324_p0_v1_s260x420Anguish (#3, Joker’s Wrath) by Bella Jewel (Available Now)

From International and USA Today Bestselling Author comes the Third Book in the exciting Jokers’ Wrath Series.

There are a lot of things in this world that are easy to escape from. Having a son you didn’t ask for isn’t one of them.

Mack is a nomad. He likes his own space and he struggles with emotion. His past is grey and his future looks about the same. That is until his ex-girlfriend dies and his son is handed over to him. A two month old baby he didn’t know existed. Until now.

His world comes crashing down around him.

Desperate, he hires a nanny.

Jaylah has gotten herself into some serious trouble, so when she sees the job opening for a nanny pop up, she jumps on it. Of course she’s not a nanny, but she figures she can pull it off. I mean, how hard can it be?

She’s thrown into a world of diapers, hourly feedings and a whole lot of laundry. She’s also introduced to the most rugged, gorgeous man she’s ever had the pleasure of meeting.

The best part, he’s the baby’s father.

The worst part, he’s a biker.

Their sexual tension is huge, but he’s a hard nut to crack. She’ll get in, though. She makes it her mission to break through the wall Mack has built so high around himself.

Her world is about to spiral out of control, and she’s taking Mack along for the ride.

Reading Order: Precarious | Melancholy ($0.99) | Anguish ($0.99)

here with me coverHere With Me by Heidi Mclaughlin (Available Now)

Ryley Clarke has grown up with the military in her blood, with both parents serving their country. Ryley knows the risks of being married to the military. But when the unthinkable happens, and her future husband is killed in action, Ryley can barely survive… until Evan’s twin brother, Nate, helps her pick up the pieces.

After serving on a special mission with the military for six years, Evan Archer returns home to find the unthinkable – the love of his life, Ryley Clarke – engaged to his brother, Nate. With Nate on deployment, Evan needs to figure out what happened in his absence, and more importantly, how to win Ryley back from the man he once considered his best friend, but now thinks of as his rival.

This is the first book in The Archer Brothers series.

baby its cold outside coverBaby It’s Cold Outside by Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Kristen Proby, Kate Meader, Melody Anne (Oct 28)

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling indie authors Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Kristen Proby, Melody Anne, and debut author Kate Meader come together to write a sizzling romance anthology.

Outside it may be frosty, so turn the heat way up with these stories of desire!

Can a determined woman executive and a playboy billionaire survive being stranded together in a snowstorm? Jennifer Probst depicts an encounter almost too hot to handle…

Drew and Kate play an encore to Tangled in this sexy take on a “Christmas Carol” by Emma Chase. When a Christmas Eve argument condemns Drew to a troubled night, three dream women teach him that no gift could be more tantalizing than Kate…

With Kristen Proby, ski slopes are quite delightful. Grace Douglas is sure she’ll never learn to ski, but instructor Jacob Baxter could teach her lessons of a different kind…

Can a southern California transplant survive Montana’s deep snows? Melody Anne, author of the bestselling Andersons series, melts the icy drifts completely away with the heat between sexy Hawk Winchester and brand-new teacher Natalie Duncan…

What could be hotter than a firefighter? Kate Meader shows how hot it can get as Beck Rivera and heiress-turned-tattoo-artist Darcy Cochrane discover that nothing ignites holiday flames like rekindling a lost love…

Oct-28

Last Light (#2, Night Owl) by M. Pierce (Oct 28)

Tensions rise, secrets grow bigger, and passions run deeper—and hotter—in Last Light, the second novel of the Night Owl Trilogy from bestselling author M. Pierce.

Matt Sky is missing. After a solo ascent of Longs Peak that left only a large blood stain, tatters of climbing clothing, and the tracks of an animal in the snow, he is presumed dead.

Hannah Catalano is guarding a secret: she knows Matt is alive. After Matt’s memorial service, she lingers on the East Coast with his family, but it soon becomes clear that his brothers’ motives are less than gracious. Nate Sky is bent on tracking down the author of Night Owl, a book that charts the last days of Matt’s life with uncanny and scandalous accuracy, and which appeared only after his death. Seth Sky is bent on getting Hannah into his bed.

Hidden away in the woods, Matt and Hannah strive desperately to maintain their ruse and their relationship—but their web of lies only tightens as Matt struggles with the consequences of his decision, and Hannah tries to escape Nate’s libel suit and fend off Seth’s advances…until Hannah is put in danger, and Matt must make a life or death choice.

Last Light is the second book in the Night Owl trilogy, which should be read in order.

Reading Order: Night Owl | Last Light | After Dark

All Broke Down (#2, Rusk University) by Cora Carmackall broke down cover (Oct 28)
✩ VBB Recommendation ✩ 

In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, education—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail for a few hours, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and not at all her type, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

All Broke Down is the second book in the Rusk University series, but can be read as a standalone.

Reading Order: All Lined Up ($0.99) (Review) | All Broke Down (Review) | All Played Out

dark duet platinum

Dark Duet Platinum Edition by CJ Roberts (Oct 28)

or the first time ever ALL the BESTSELLING BOOKS in the DARK DUET series are available in one complete set.

CAPTIVE IN THE DARK (BOOK 1): 
Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him.

SEDUCED IN THE DARK (BOOK 2): 
What is the price of redemption?
Rescued from sexual slavery by a mysterious Pakistani officer, Caleb carries the weight of a debt that must be paid in blood.
The road has been long and fraught with uncertainty, but for Caleb and Livvie, it’s all coming to an end.
Can he surrender the woman he loves for the sake of vengeance?
Or will he make the ultimate sacrifice?

EPILOGUE: THE DARK DUET (BOOK 3): 
It didn’t happen exactly as Livvie said. She’s been very kind to me in the retelling of our story. The truth is far more…complicated.

The Platinum Edition also includes:
1) The NEW 30,000 word novella DETERMINED TO OBEY, featuring secondary characters Kid, Felipe, and Celia.
2) Eight scorching-hot fan-written Dark Duet short stories hand-selected by the author.
3) CJ’s favorite interviews & Reviews

Over 1300 pages of content for a fraction of the combined individually priced books in the series and bonus content.

Oct-28

Until the End (#9, Sea Breeze series) by Abbi Glines (Oct 28) 

The backstory that fans have been clamoring for—how Rock and Trisha fell in love—is the final installment in the Sea Breeze series from New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines. And don’t miss the sizzling epilogue, where Abbi wraps up all the Sea Breeze couples’ stories!

Trisha Corbin always knew how to hide a bruise. With her momma’s boyfriends unable to keep their hands off of her, she had no choice. And as long as it meant the guys wouldn’t go near her little brother, Krit, it was worth it. But her days of dreaming that Prince Charming would ever come rescue her are far, far in the past.

Rock Taylor always had a plan. Through football, he would rise above the life he was born into. A full ride to play for a major college team was within his reach—assuming he didn’t let anything get in his way. But scoring a date with the hottest girl in Sea Breeze was proving harder than expected. Trisha Corbin was every man’s walking fantasy, and she wouldn’t even glance his way.

When Rock finally does get Trisha in his truck, it isn’t for a date. It’s because he picks her up on the side of the road, beaten and bruised and walking to the local hospital. Before Rock knows it, football is no longer his life. Trisha Corbin is. And he’ll do anything to save her. And keep her.

In addition to Rock and Trisha’s love story, this special conclusion to the Sea Breeze series contains the wrap-up stories of all your favorite Sea Breeze couples: Sadie and Jax, Marcus and Low, Cage and Eva, Preston and Amanda, Jess and Jason, Krit and Blythe, and Dewayne and Sienna. The steamy romance won’t stop until the very last page!

Everything.

This is the final book in the Sea Breeze series.

Reading OrderBreathe | Because of Low | While It Lasts | Just For Now | Sometimes It Lasts | Misbehaving | Bad For You | Hold on Tight | Until the End

Even The Moon Has Scars by Steph Campbelleven the moon has scars (Oct 28)

Two strangers.
Two broken hearts.
One night to set each other free.

Almost dying from an undiagnosed heart condition means every second of your life is a precious gift to be guarded.
Lena Pettitt was born a miracle.
And her parents never let her forget it.
Even if that daily reminder kept her from experiencing the one thing they were trying to protect most–her life.

Gabriel Martinez’s heart has been ripped out.
His pride has been stomped on.
Oh, and he now has an arrest record that’s caused an even bigger rift between him and his DA mother. All for a love that wasn’t really true.

Now he’s exiled to his grandmother’s, working on his late grandpa’s old Corvair, when a shivering girl knocks on the garage door. Lena, left alone for the first time ever, has locked herself out of her house. Gabe knows he could help this girl get back inside her house–but that may mean missing the next train to Boston to pick up the part he’s spent eight weeks tracking down. She can wait for him at his grandmother’s or…

A few hours, an aluminum valve cover, and some strong coffee later, neither Gabe nor Lena can feign disappointment when they race to the station and arrive just as the last train home from Boston is pulling out.

As jaded as he is, Gabe can’t deny the fact that he’s excited to spend the night exploring a city he knows nearly every corner of, with a girl who sees magic in the simplest things.

Lena has been waiting for her tiny world to crack open her entire life. Now that it’s finally happened, she finds the only thing she can focus on is the unexpected tour guide who opens her eyes to possibilities she never imagined.

All they have is this one night, together, under the bright moon in a city full of hidden beauty.
It’s one night that will change how they see the world and the paths their hearts will take forever.

This is a standalone young adult novel.

rellik coverTalon by Julie Kagawa (Oct 28) 

In Julie Kagawa’s groundbreaking modern fantasy series, dragons walk among us in human form.

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey—and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Rellikrellik cover by Teresa Mummert (Oct 28) 

Rellik Bentley is to die for.

He can have any woman he wants and they will do anything to be with him. He uses and abuses them like drugs and tosses them out with the trash. The only thing he gives a f*ck about is his music. That is, until Ella Leighton walks into his life and stumbles upon one of his darkest secrets. In the midst of doing damage control, he begins to obsess over the mysterious woman who wants absolutely nothing to do with him.

Rellik won’t take no for an answer.

Rellik is a standalone novel.

insidious coverNeed You Now by Lisa Renee Jones (Oct 28) 

Life is hard. Life leaves you beaten, broken…alone. Then one day, a stranger touches your hand and you feel something intense, unforgettable, but yet, you want to forget. You need to forget. It’s safer than believing in things you’ve decided don’t exist. You know all about shattered promises and lost hope. You know them so much better than you know this excited, warm, wonderful feeling, and it scares you. He scares you, but he also makes you feel alive again. He makes you realize you haven’t really been living. You’re surviving and you fear he’s the one who’ll make you forget how to keep doing it. But what if he’s the one who changes everything?

Oct-28

Cherish (#1.5, Covet) by Tracey Garvis Graves (Oct 28) 

Fans of Covet by New York Times bestselling author Tracey Garvis Graves will be delighted by this novella-length sequel.

When Daniel Rush wakes up in the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the head, the last person he expects to see at his bedside is his ex-wife Jessica. Their marriage disintegrated after the death of their infant son Gabriel, and Daniel gave Jessie what he thought she wanted: the freedom to start over with someone else. But Daniel never updated his emergency contact information, and Jessie is the one who receives the call with the devastating news.

Daniel was Jessie’s one true love. Together since college, Jessie had dreams of raising a family with Daniel, and growing old together. When Gabriel died, Jessie buried those dreams with her beloved son and shut everyone out, including Daniel.

Daniel faces months of grueling rehabilitation and he’s going to need some help. Jessie is the last person anyone expects to volunteer, but this is her one chance to make amends, giving her and Daniel a shot at getting things right this time.

The road to recovery will be long and arduous. But with Jessie leading the way, Daniel just might be able to get his old life back.

Daniel knows how to covet. But can Jessie help him remember how to cherish?

Cherish is a novella-length sequel. Reading Covet before Cherish is highly recommended.

Reading OrderCovet | Cherish

prototypePrototype by Gretchen de la O (Oct 30)

Lauren Matthews believes she will be dead in seven days. She’s done witnessing others around her meeting that exact fate. With the device Marshall Grayson installed in her head as the only golden thread linking them, Lauren is left with no choice but to believe it is her destiny to die.
Unable to see her professional world in Washington DC is about to be ruled by her personal life in San Francisco, Lauren’s two realities collide when Grayson Industries’ influential financier, Alejandro Fernandez, infuses himself in her life. Enchanted by Alejandro’s old world charm and modern sensitivity, Lauren becomes tangled in a web of sex, love, deceit, and murder. She struggles to find a balance between self-preservation and ethical responsibility.
With the full scope of the prototype slowly possessing her every thought, she truly understands―her life is not her own. Will Alejandro’s love be enough to reawaken her soul and change her destiny?

among monsters coverAmong Monsters (Red Hill novella) by Jamie McGuire (Oct 30)

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

Reading OrderRed Hill (Review) | Among Monsters

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Must Read of the Week

The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons

the-collectors-society-front-coverRiveting. Inventive. Phenomenal. This words immediately come to mind when I think of Heather Lyons’ new release, The Collectors’ Society. I assure you that you’ll be blown away by this fantasy/adventure/romance which focuses on Alice’s life post Wonderland. Yes, I’m talking about the Alice in Wonderland! She’s an adult now and she’s been trying to get a grip on her sanity after her last long stay in that magical place we’ve all come to know. But when an enigmatic stranger offers her a deal difficult to refuse, she finds herself in present day New York City amidst a secret group named The Collectors’ Society.

Alice and her new partner, Finn, and their friends must work together to find a villain who threatens to annihilate all that many hold dear. It was romantic, sexy at times, exciting and completely captivating. Don’t be afraid of jumping into such a fantastical story… truth be told so much of it reads like a contemporary romance novel, but it has dimensions of richness and originality that make the story stand boldly apart from the rest.

Read my spoiler-free review.

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