VBB Weekly – 08.17.2015

VBB WEEKLY BANNER

This past week I fell in love with Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas… IT. IS. BRILLIANT!!! Best book in the series thus far!!! It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I was on such a high and already cannot wait for the next book. My review will be up a day ahead of release on the 31st of August. Watch for it!

I also read and loved Thicker Than Blood, a collaboration between Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley. I didn’t know what to expect. It’s about two friends who try to survive in a world consumed by the infected (zombies). But the writing was on point and the story was so much more heartfelt than I anticipated. It was great! (Review below and note, this book is currently $0.99!).

Lastly, make sure to check out my interview with author A.M. Irvin (also known as A. Meredith Walters) as we talk about her suspenseful projects. It’s up on my Love in Suspense column on USA Today.

I’ve got lots of reading planned this week, before my kids start school and my evenings are filled with homework, reading and a million other things!

Have a great week and happy reading! ♥

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Release Recap

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Releasing This Week

Tyrant by T.M. Frazier (Available Now)

I. Remember. Everything.

Only now I wish I didn’t.

When the fog is sucked away from my mind like smoke through a vacuum, the truth that has been beyond my reach for months finally reveals itself.

But the relief I thought I would feel never comes, and I’m more afraid now than I was the morning I woke up handcuffed in King’s bed.

Because with the truth comes dark secrets I was never meant to know.

I will put the lives of those I love most at risk if I let on that my memory has returned, or if I seek help from the heavily tattooed felon who owns me body and soul.

I don’t know if I’m strong enough to resist the magnetic pull toward King that grows stronger every day.

He’s already saved me in more ways than one. Now it’s my turn to do whatever it takes to save him.

Even if that means marrying someone else…

Reading Order: King | Tyrant

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The Darkest Flame by Christina Lee (Available Now)

From the author of There You Stand, a new male/male romance about an errant motorcycle recruit and the captivating bartender who sends his wheels spinning down an all too tempting road.

Vaughn O’Keefe has been part owner of the Hog’s Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he’s never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named “Smoke” walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.

“Smoke” Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He’s on the right path and isn’t about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.

When the Hog’s Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can’t have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.

As Smoke’s past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it’s time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he’ll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe.

Standalone novel.

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Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino (Aug 18) Read my review | Read interview
VBB Top Recommendation

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M

Standalone second chance romance.

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Friction by Sandra Brown (Aug 18)

FrictionFrom #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

Crawford Hunt wants his daughter back. Following the death of his wife four years ago, Crawford, a Texas Ranger, fell into a downward spiral that left him relegated to deskwork and with his five-year-old daughter Georgia in the custody of her grandparents. But Crawford has cleaned up his act, met all the court imposed requirements, and now the fate of his family lies with Judge Holly Spencer.

Holly, ambitious and confident, temporarily occupies the bench of her recently deceased mentor. With an election upcoming, she must prove herself worthy of making her judgeship permanent. Every decision is high-stakes. Despite Crawford’s obvious love for his child and his commitment to being an ideal parent, Holly is wary of his checkered past. Her opinion of him is radically changed when a masked gunman barges into the courtroom during the custody hearing. Crawford reacts instinctually, saving Holly from a bullet.

But his heroism soon takes on the taint of recklessness. The cloud over him grows even darker after he uncovers a horrifying truth about the courtroom gunman and realizes that the unknown person behind the shooting remains at large . . .and a threat.

Catching the real culprit becomes a personal fight for Crawford. But pursuing the killer in his customary diehard fashion will jeopardize his chances of gaining custody of his daughter, and further compromise Judge Holly Spencer, who needs protection not only from an assassin, but from Crawford himself and the forbidden attraction between them.

FRICTION will keep you on the edge of your seat with breathtaking plot twists and the unforgettable characters that make Sandra Brown one of the world’s best-loved authors. It is an extraordinary novel about the powerful ties that bind us to the ones we love and the secrets we keep to protect them.

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The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (Aug 18)

For fans of We Were Liars and How I Live Now comes a haunting, sexy, magically realistic debut about a family caught between a violent history, a taboo romance, and the mysteries lurking in their own backyard.

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season—when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17—is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There’s a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she’ll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she’ll uncover the dark origins of the accident season—whether she’s ready or not.

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Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (Aug 18)

In this imaginative escape into enthralling new lands, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family she can be whoever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best contenders. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between two Fives competitors–one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy–causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

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The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy (Aug 18)

Romance, friendship, and dark, bone-chilling fear fill the pages of this summertime thriller in the spirit of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.

Now Stella is seventeen, and she’s over it. She’s the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it’s her small town’s ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She’s got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.

Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.

And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.

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Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman (Aug 18)

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains, and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedon’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world, but finds himself drawn to a newcomer…

Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while keeping hidden her own mission: kill the queen. But she doesn’t account for her first love…

Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete withHephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.

And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known, Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

First in a series.

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The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick (Aug 18)

The Boy Most Likely ToA surprising, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door—great for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han 

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this novel is for readers of The Spectacular NowNick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Paper Towns.

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Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake (Aug 18)

From the New York Times bestselling authors of the Masters of Ménage series . . .

They are the Perfect Gentlemen of Creighton Academy: privileged, wealthy, powerful friends with a wild side. But a deadly scandal is about to tear down their seemingly ideal lives . . .

Maddox Crawford’s sudden death sends Gabriel Bond reeling. Not only is he burying his best friend, he’s cleaning up Mad’s messes, including his troubled company. Grieving and restless, Gabe escapes his worries in the arms of a beautiful stranger. But his mind-blowing one-night stand is about to come back to haunt him . . .

Mad groomed Everly Parker to be a rising star in the executive world. Now that he’s gone, she’s sure her job will be the next thing she mourns, especially after she ends up accidentally sleeping with her new boss. If only their night together hadn’t been so incendiary—or Gabe like a fantasy come true . . .

As Gabe and Everly struggle to control the heated tension between them, they discover evidence that Mad’s death was no accident. Now they must bank their smoldering passions to hunt down a murderer—because Mad had secrets that someone was willing to kill for, and Gabe or Everly could be the next target . . .

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Love After Dark by Marie Force (Aug 18)

Paul Martinez has been run ragged by the demands of managing the family’s landscaping business and his mother’s battle with dementia. It’s been so long since he had sex, he can’t remember the last time. The arrival of nurse Hope Russell brought some badly needed help to Paul and his brother Alex in managing their mother’s illness, but Hope’s presence has sparked a whole new problem for Paul—lusting after one of his employees, something his late father would never condone.

Hope and her young son Ethan badly need this second chance on Gansett Island, and she’s determined to make her new job work for both of them. Kissing her boss, however, was not part of the plan. The more time she spends with Paul, the more she admires the way he cares for his mother and the attention he pays to her son. But when Paul finds out about her shameful past, will he still want her and Ethan in his life?

Come back to Gansett Island to find out what’s going on with all your favorite characters, including Mac and Maddie, Seamus and Carolina and the rest of the Gansett crew. Weeks before Alex and Jenny’s long-awaited wedding, Alex begins to worry that his bride is getting cold feet—or is something else going on? It’s September on Gansett where the days are cool, bright and sunny and the nights are hot and sexy!

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Forsaken (#3, The Secret Life of Amy Bensen) by Lisa Renee Jones (Aug 18)

forsakenIn this third book in the sexy, suspenseful “The Secret Life of Amy Bensen” series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones, we meet Amy’s brother Chad–and the woman who either loves him or wants him dead.

Six years ago, Chad’s hunt for a dangerous treasure turned deadly when his family home was set on fire, his parents killed. Faking his and his sister Amy’s death to protect her from further retaliation, he set her up in a new life with a friend’s help, letting her believe he’d died.

But now the men who hired Chad to find the treasure have found him, imprisoning and torturing him to learn where it’s hidden. A dark-haired beauty named Gia helps him escape, promising him access to his worst enemy. And as he tries to unravel the deep secrets of the past, he starts falling for her…only to discover she’s not what she seems.

Unable to trust anyone, Chad focuses on only two things: protecting his sister Amy and getting revenge. Is love even possible in the midst of heartache?

Can be read as a standalone.

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Never Say Never (#2, Sniper Security) by Nicole Edwards (Aug 18)

Ryan Trexler has devoted his entire life to his family’s security business. And now that he’s slated to take over the reins for the company, RT knows that his life is only going to get more complicated. Add in the fact that he’s lusting over one of the men who works for him and RT knows that there are some serious tough times ahead.

Zachariah Tavoularis—nicknamed Z—has been employed by Sniper 1 Security for a decade. Despite being known as the most loyal enforcer outside of family, Z also has a reputation of being quite the playboy, though that was based more on rumor than fact. When an assignment comes up that forces the two of them to work together, Z knows it’s time to show RT he’s not the man he thinks he is.

Can they complete the mission, despite the fact that it puts them in a tenuous situation, bringing them closer than either of them ever expected? And will Z allow RT to convince him that they can never be together, no matter how much they both want it?

Reading Order: Wait for MorningNever Say Never

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Together We Heal by Chelsea M. Cameron (Aug 18)

Trish Grant is not a romantic. Okay, so she may read her share of romance novels, but that doesn’t mean she thinks that some fellow with a six pack is going to ride up on a horse and sweep her (literally) off her feet. Romance like that just isn’t for her. It belongs on the page.

Max Jackson noticed Trish at his cousin’s funeral, of all places. She was hard to miss with her citrus-colored hair, violet contacts and fiery attitude.

Trish was just as captivated by Max. He makes her laugh, which is rare, and it doesn’t hurt that he rocks blue hair and the most killer smirk that drives her crazy. Max is there for her during a rough time and even if she wanted to, she can’t shake him.

There are things about Trish that Max doesn’t know, and she’s not going to tell him. She hasn’t told anyone and doesn’t plan on it, thank you very much. But when Trish’s life is ripped apart by a dark piece of her past, will she let Max in? Or will she give up her potential fairytale to protect her already-scarred heart from further damage?

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Something Beautiful by Jamie McGuire (Aug 18)

America Mason, a sassy undergrad at Eastern State University, is in love with a Maddox–Shepley Maddox. Unlike his cousins, Shepley is more lover than fighter, but a road trip to her parents’ home in Wichita, Kansas could mean the next step, or the end of everything.

 

 

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The Way We Rise by Cassia Leo (Aug 18)

The Way We RiseThe highly anticipated conclusion to the USA Today bestselling Story of Us series. 

With Liam’s fate no longer in the balance, Rory and Houston are poised on the precipice of a life-altering decision. When Rory’s father arrives in California to comfort Rory and make amends, Houston finds the decision becomes much easier to make.

When Houston suggests they take a break Rory thinks he must be joking. But he’s not. And his timing couldn’t be worse.

With Houston and Rory vowing to keep their new friendship strictly outside of the bedroom, their friends and family seize the opportunity to draw out the torture and surprises. Ensuring that Houston and Rory’s story has an ending they’ll never forget.

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Life Unwritten by Andrea Johnston (Aug 19)

Life Rewritten

Victoria Bennett has been blessed with a loving husband, a wonderful son and amazing friends. Always the organized planner, Victoria was thrown life’s curve ball when she found herself a widow and single mom before 40.

After mourning the loss of her husband and rejoining her friends and family in her once simple life, Victoria finds herself venturing into the world of online dating with little success.

After hanging up her keyboard and focusing on new experiences and hobbies, Victoria is as surprised
as everyone else when her favorite pastime leads to a new career and passion for life. When a friendship turns to romance, her life is once again thrown for a loop. Like everything new in her life she takes on the relationship with gusto, and a series of mishaps.

Victoria soon learns that sometimes the life you’ve planned isn’t the life you lead. It is still your life, just your life rewritten.

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Capture by Rachel Van Dyken (Aug 20)

Falyn Fairchild can walk away from anything. Already leaving behind her car, her education, and even her parents, the daughter of the next governor of Colorado is back in her hometown, broke and waiting tables for the Bucksaw Café. After every shift, Falyn adds to her shoebox of cash, hoping to one day save enough to buy her a plane ticket to the only place she can find forgiveness: Eakins, Illinois.
The moment Taylor Maddox is seated in Falyn’s section at the Bucksaw, she knows he’s trouble. Taylor is charming, breaks promises, and gorgeous even when covered in filth—making him everything Falyn believes a hotshot firefighter to be. Falyn isn’t interested in becoming another statistic, and for a Maddox boy, a disinterested girl is the ultimate challenge.

Once Falyn learns where Taylor calls home, everything changes. In the end, Maddox persistence is met with Falyn’s talent for leaving, and for the first time, Taylor may be the one to get burned.

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New Reviews

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Pre-Orders

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Bargain Books. Always 50-90% Off

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BOOK SALES BANNER REV

Current sales list for Amazon U.S. Click on image to purchase; click here to search my reviews.

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