Posts Categorized: Contemporary Romance

Book Review: A BEAUTIFUL MESS by T.K. Leigh (@TK_Leigh)

February 24, 2014 Adult, Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense 0

About the Book

 

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Title: A Beautiful Mess (Beautiful Mess #1)

Author: T.K. Leigh

Release Date: August 28, 2013

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

What happens when you lose everyone that promised they would always be there for you? How can you protect the few pieces of your shattered heart that remain?

Olivia Adler is a woman with a troubled past. After losing her parents at the young age of six and being raised by an uncle who she lost years later, she refuses to get attached to anyone, including friends. For the past decade, she has been able to remain unattached to any man, too worried about losing someone to get too close. Until Alexander Burnham walks into her life one night and changes everything. But he has issues of his own. And he’s keeping a secret that could turn Olivia’s world upside-down. Will Olivia let Alexander in enough for him to get close and protect her from a force threatening her very existence, or will she push him away, scared of letting Alexander in, in order to protect her heart?

A Beautiful Mess is the first installment of a three part series sure to captivate the heart with a story of secrets, courage, and love.

Recommended for ages 18 and up due to sexual situations, language, and mild violence.

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My Review

“Alexander didn’t care if she was the girl from all those years ago; the one who stole his heart when he was a little boy and he never really got it all back. Because the girl sitting in front of him now was filling the pieces of his torn heart. And she was worth getting to know.”

As a whole, this book intrigued me. It has a hot leading man, an (understandably) unbalanced female lead, sexual tension, relationship drama, and hot sex. I enjoyed all of those aspects of the story but that added element of suspense is what truly kept me flipping the pages. There’s a mystery behind Olivia and Alexander’s seemingly intertwined pasts, and the author slowly fills in some of the blanks, giving hints and facts, keeping the reader interested, all while  enjoying the intense chemistry and drama of a budding romance.

Any romance that involves Alexander Burnham is bound to be exciting. Gorgeous, rich, and down-to-earth ex Navy SEAL with a penchant for music, sexual domination, and a beautiful young woman with potential ties to his past.

” ‘People only have to call me Mr. Burnham in the bedroom,’ he whispered in her ear. She gasped, her eyes growing wide. He smiled, rubbing his thumb over her bottom lip. ‘Call me Alexander… For now.’ ” 

BUT, he also keeps secrets, secrets that could destroy Olivia, and the stress of having to watch him keep something so important nearly drove me to drink.

I will admit, some of Olivia’s craziness made me want to shake her. I get it, she’s damaged and it’s not her fault. I understand, even empathize with her, but it’s incredibly frustrating to watch her struggle with her emotions. The thing is, despite her issues, I like her character very much and want to see her happy. This book left me wondering if I ever will.

“And that was the one thing that scared Olivia the most. Love. It chilled her to the core. Because once you loved, then you could lose, and she didn’t know if she could deal with that pain.”

When it comes down to it, these characters frustrated me because I connected with them. The author made me care for them and the outcome of their story, both their romance and the bigger picture of their pasts and potential futures. This is one of those books that as the pages wound down and I realized there was way more story than book left, I nearly panicked until I remembered that book #2 is already out… Thank the book gods!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

About the Author

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T. K. Leigh, otherwise known as Tracy Leigh Kellam, is a producer / attorney by trade. Originally from New England, she now resides in sunny Southern California with her husband, dog and three cats, all of which she has rescued (including the husband). She always had a knack for writing, but mostly in the legal field. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to try her hand at creative writing and is now addicted to creating different characters and new and unique story lines in the Contemporary Romantic Suspense genre.

When she’s not planted in front of her computer, writing away, she can be found running and training for her next marathon (of which she has run over fifteen fulls and far too many halfs to recall). Unlike Olivia, the main character in her Beautiful Mess series, she has yet to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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More from T.K. Leigh

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5 Star Book Review: CHANCE OF RAIN by Amber Lin (@authoramberlin)

January 24, 2014 Adult, Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Favorite Books 0

You all know that I’m a fan of Amber Lin’s Lost Girls and now I’m a fan of her lighter side as well! Enjoy my review <3

 

About the Book

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Title: Chance of Rain

Author: Amber Lin

Publication Date: November 4, 2013

Publisher: Carina Press

 

The only things Natalie Bouchard wants to change are the weekly specials in her Gram’s diner. So when her high school sweetheart strolls back into Dearling, Texas, she allows herself to indulge in a little flirtation, but that’s as far as it goes.

Navy SEAL Sawyer Nolan has returned to sell his father’s land and get the hell out, no matter how enticing he still finds Natalie. Until a storm rolls over the Texas hills, stranding them together at the farm…and the memories of their steamy past lead to a reunion filled with hot days and long nights.

Soon Natalie’s so far under Sawyer’s skin he can’t imagine being without her. But he has a lot of history in Dearling he’d like to leave behind, and Natalie is practically married to this town. If Sawyer wants to be more than just another person who leaves Natalie, he’ll have to give his hometown—and himself—one more chance.

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My Review

My Rating: 5 Stars

” ‘You make me a lot of things Miss Natalie Bouchard, but crazy isn’t one of them. I got there without your help.’ “

So here’s the thing: I like my romances all dark and twisty and kinky edgy. BUT, apparently I also love second chance romances that are lighter, heartwarming, charming, sexy, (and maybe just a teeny bit kinky), as long as they are written just like this book. That’s not to say that Chance of Rain is all sugary sweetness and light. It’s not over sweet: there’s real life drama and palpable emotion emotion, sizzling chemistry, and HOT and slightly edgy sex. The author strikes the exact perfect balance between romance and sex and hope, only tinged with a bit of relatable darkness.

The small town setting is perfect for the lovable characters that inhabit Natlie’s world and were once a part of Sawyer’s, though he left directly after high-school to become a Navy SEAL. He left behind an innocent and heart-broken young girl that grew up to be a beautiful women that had reserved a place in her heart for him. Sawyer, a surly, sexy alpha male, can’t help his attraction to the loyal and independent Natalie. The tension and chemistry as they reconnect is fantastic and the sparks fly as they move from flirtation to steamy sex.

Their story is beautifully written, I was completely taken by the emotion and the characters of this wonderful, hopeful book. I swooned at the romance, and laughed and cried as the pages flew by, all the way to the happily-ever-after. As far as I’m concerned, this perfect combination of sex and sweet and drama and emotion is exactly how romance is done.

“Yes. I can’t admit it yet, but I want every kinky, dirty, passionate thing in the night, a counterpoint to the whole, heartwarming days.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

About the Author

Amber Lin writes edgy romance with damaged hearts, redemptive love, and a steamy ever after. RT Book Reviews called her debut novel, Giving It Up, “truly extraordinary.” Amber married her high school sweetheart, gave birth to a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.

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More books I love from Amber Lin

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Book Review and #Giveaway: KNOWING JACK by Rachel Curtis (@RachelCurtis0)

January 21, 2014 Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Past Giveaways 4

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Welcome to the Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis Book Tour! Read my review and enter to win a $50 gift card and a copy of the book!

 

New Adult Contemporary Romance

By Rachel Curtis

 Released January 17, 2014

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I am not a slut, although I’ve been called one often enough. Yeah, I spent three months screwing one of my college professors, but I was crazy about the guy. Then he broke up with me.

I am not a bitch, although people like to say I am. I kept our relationship secret. I’m not responsible for telling the university administrators about it, but a lot of students still blame me for getting their favorite professor fired.

I am not a drama queen, although everyone thinks I am now. When I got a few nasty messages, I just deleted them. When I got the threat, I assumed it was someone being stupid. I still think that’s all it was. My parents worry, though, so they hired me a bodyguard. Now Jack follows me around, intimidating everyone who approaches me and looking obnoxiously hot.

This is what I am. I’m Chloe. I’m a twenty-year-old art history major. Kind of shy, although I pretend not to be. Stubborn enough to stay here for my senior year, even though everyone hates me.

And I’m stuck with Jack.

He calls me “Princess,” but I’m not a princess either.

 

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My Review

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

“No matter how much I want her, I’m not going to let go. I’m not going to fall. If I fell with her- for her- then I’d never be able to stop.”

I truly enjoyed this story: the story of two people who are dealing with the buried guilt and aftermath of their perceived mistakes. No matter how many walls these two put up, and how hard they push each other away, it’s clear that their efforts are in vain.

The story is written from the perspectives of both of the main characters, and the alternating POV is executed smoothly, never interfering with the flow of the book. I particularly enjoyed Chloe’s voice. Both voices feel very real, genuine, and honest, but the humor in her tone, mixed with sadness and strength, really struck a chord with me. Jack’s voice is a bit more intense, but has the same very natural and relatable feel. Nothing about the interaction between Chloe and Jack feels forced: the chemistry is unmistakable, the banter charming, the sex hot, and the emotional roller coaster they experience as they come to terms with their attraction has the right balance of angsty emotion.

Chloe’s character shows both vulnerability and strength in the ways she deals with her situation. Though she feels very innocent, she is unapologetic about her sexuality and I like that. In contrast to the tiny and somewhat naive Chloe, Jack is all raw strength and protective alpha male, with just a touch of brokenness: and it’s hot.

“It’s Jack. Only Jack. In all of his strength and passion and possessive fire and absolute devotion. And it’s all centered on me. For whatever reason. He’s giving it all to me.”

This is simple story, told with just enough emotion and angst, and punctuated by a sexy romance. An an enjoyable read, with very genuine characters, some striking moments, and a satisfying ending that promises more to come.

“When you strip everything else away, you’re left only with the raw, vulnerable core of another person. And, if you can’t trust the other to take care of it, to protect it like they protect themselves, then the shell closes down around it again, keeping the other away from anything that matters.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About the Author

Rachel is a writer, a teacher, a romance reader, and a dog-mom. She loves animals and art and hot men with soft hearts under a tough exterior. She tries to write love stories that feel real, even in unlikely circumstances.

Connect with Rachel

Website: http://rachelcurtisauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelcurtisauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelCurtis0

 

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5+ Star Book Review and #Giveaway: ROME (Marked Men #3) by Jay Crownover (@JayCrownover) @LiteratiAuthors

January 10, 2014 Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Past Giveaways 0

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Welcome to the Rome (Marked Men #3) by Jay Crownover Book Tour! Read my 5+ Star review and enter to win some super fab prizes!!

 

CLICK HERE to follow the tour!

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Title: Rome (Marked Men #3)
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre: New Adult
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

Synopsis

Cora Lewis is a whole lot of fun, and she knows how to keep her tattooed bad boy friends in line. But all that flash and sass hide the fact that she’s never gotten over the way her first love broke her heart. Now she has a plan to make sure that never happens again: She’s only going to fall in love with someone perfect.

Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn and rigid, he’s bossy and has come back from his final tour of duty fundamentally broken. Rome’s used to filling a role: big brother, doting son, super soldier; and now none of these fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes the only color on his bleak horizon.

Perfect isn’t in the cards for these two, but imperfect might just last forever . . .

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Purchase Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Indie Bound

 

My Review

 

My Rating: 5+ Stars

“Don’t be scared, Captain No-Fun, we got this.”

I loved this book! It gave me some fantastic reading moments, moments of intense emotion: happiness, heartbreak, fear, and love. It also provided me with one of my favorite reading experiences… the ugly cry punctuated with laughing out loud. For that reason alone, I suggest you grab this book, give yourselves a few hours of privacy, and enjoy!

Cora is a female lead you can’t help but adore. Sassy, spunky, tiny, tattooed, pierced, and strong as hell, she takes care of those around her. She’s a force to be reckoned with: a woman that has faced devastating heartbreak head-on and is charging in to a now uncertain future with such courage. Despite her strength, she shows just enough vulnerability and weakness, she’s emotional and real.

“She tasted sweet. She tasted like redemption. She tasted like the future I didn’t need to figure out anymore.”

Rome, our male lead, absolutely did it for me. The author’s descriptions created a drop-dead gorgeous adonis, with some sexy battle wounds, visible and invisible. A soldier, brother, and fantastic lover. I want him to protect me, and to take him in my arms and help him heal, but I can’t help but feel that Cora is absolutely the only one to do that for him. His story feels important, and I enjoyed the unique way the author tells this story, and the unconventional (but perfectly imperfect) path to healing.

“It was so easy just to get lost in him. The more I did it, the less I wanted to be found.”

This is an amazing story of healing and redemption, heartbreak and hope. I loved the angst balanced with humor, and all of the very real, funny, and rough around the edges characters. I was taken in by the intense emotion and mind-blowing sex. The writing is clean, witty, clever, and even poignant and there’s more than a few oh-my-god surprises to keep the pages flying.

Rome is the first of the Marked Men books I have read (I know, I know! I suck!) but I’m hooked. I loved the main characters in this story, Rome and Cora, but I’m desperate know to read the rest of the stories. The author has created such a cohesive group of vibrant, unique, and relatable characters; even with all of their difficulties and turmoil, I want to be their friend!

“I realized now love didn’t do any good if you held on to it in a death grip. It only had purpose, had power, when you had the courage to hand it over to someone else for safekeeping.” 

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About the Author

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I’m supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I’m an natural redhead even though I haven’t seen my real hair color in years, I’m a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I’ve been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that. I love to write, love to read and all I’m interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.

Connect with Jay:Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

 

 


Book Review, Excerpt, and #Giveaway: BETTER (Too Good #2) by S. Walden (@swaldenauthor)

November 29, 2013 Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Past Giveaways 3

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Welcome to the Better by S. Walden Book Tour! Read my review of the follow-up to Good and enter to win a signed copy of the book!

 

CLICK HERE to follow the tour!

 

About the Book

 

Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.
For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her parents and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.
Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home—to be her protector. But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily. He knows he must share his secret with Cadence. And he hopes his revelation won’t tear them apart. He hopes it will draw them closer, and make their love better.

 

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My Review

 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

“She’d destroy him, and he thought he wouldn’t mind.”

A fantastic follow-up to the difficult and heartbreaking Good, Better gives depth to Cadence and Mark’s love story as they struggle to build a lasting, stable relationship.

The dust has mostly settled. Mark is not going to jail. Cadence is eighteen and this is no longer a forbidden, illicit relationship. This is two people with different pasts, different experiences, and plenty of baggage trying to make a go of it. To further complicate things, the age difference rears its ugly head, Cadence is struggling with adolescent insecurities and a self-destructive streak, and Mark is carrying a secret that could destroy the shaky foundation of their relationship.

This is a wonderful continuation of the first book: told from multiple perspectives, and with flashbacks to the first book through Mark’s eyes, Better adds depth to the unforgettable story of Good while still smoothly transitioning in to the new story of Better. It adds depth and understanding to a romance, that perhaps began in a questionable way, but that I was completely invested in from the start. Like it or not, I love this couple together and wanted desperately for them to overcome their struggles and be the sexy, warm, loving, complicated couple that they can be. Though their individual issues are different, that’s what makes them compelling: they are very separate characters with an undeniable chemistry and connection. These two belong together, despite all of the roadblocks. In addition the Cadence and Mark, a fantastic cast of supporting characters bring complications, levity, and depth.

This story is emotional and heartbreaking, sexy, romantic, and even humorous. There’s a spiritual undertone: faith, God and religion is woven subtly throughout the book, adding an interesting, thoughtful layer. There’s plenty of darkness and the stark reality of death and those it leaves behind lurks quietly in the pages. The writing, dialogue, and situations feel genuine: it’s an honest and unflinching portrayal of this couple’s struggle, and the struggles of those around them. At it’s heart, it’s a beautiful story of growing up, of great love, tragedy, friendship, hope, and forgiveness, and a reminder that family is not always blood, but the people we choose.

“The need for another human being. Skin on skin. That fusion of minds and hearts. The need for constant love- dirty, wrecked, beautiful, imperfect, essential. Love. Better than hope. Better than faith. The greatest thing.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Excerpt

 

Mark sat in his car staring through the windshield. Any minute now, Cadence, dressed in graduation robe and cap, would round the corner with her brother and Fanny. All he wanted was to see her smile.

He knew her parents didn’t show up. They made their intentions clear three nights ago when Cadence called home to speak to her mother. After she hung up, she told Mark she didn’t care that they refused to attend, but he awoke later that night to the sounds of her soft cries. She was curled up lying close to the edge of the bed, far away from him. He reached out to touch her, then stopped. Something told him not to, that it’d be disastrous if he tried to comfort her. So he left her alone. The next morning she was bright and cheery and as fake as he’d ever seen her.

He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. “Please smile. Please smile. Please smile.”

He thought back to the first time he saw her really smile. She grinned at him on the side of Highway 28, but it wasn’t until she sat on a metal bench in the bus parking lot on the first day of school that he saw a real smile. She giggled about the names she’d been calling him, revealing pretty teeth with one imperfection. She had a calcium deposit on her eye tooth. Yeah, he’d noticed. And he recalled feeling like a total creep for liking it so much.

 

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About the Author

 

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S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about it.
She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.

 

Connect with S. Walden: Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

 

Better is the second book in the Too Good series…

Book #1: Good

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Book Review, Excerpt, and #Giveaway: SURRENDER TO LOVE by J.C. Valentine (@brandellavanela)

November 27, 2013 Adult, Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Past Giveaways 7

Surrender To Love JC Valentine

Welcome to the Surrender to Love (Night Calls #3) by J.C. Valentine Book Tour! Read my review and enter to win a $10 gift card, signed paperback, and swag!

 

CLICK HERE to follow the tour 🙂

 

About the Book

 

Surrender to Love

Night Calls Book Three

By: J.C. Valentine

After finding herself out of luck and out of love, Patricia Jacobs has written off the male species. No one but her father has ever given her the love and devotion she knows she deserves, and she’s sick and tired of it. Until she collides, literally, with a man whose devastating smile and seductive charm that should be considered illegal, destroys her plans. He’s everything she’s ever dreamed of in a man: handsome, intelligent, successful, they share a love of cars and best of all; he looks at her like she’s his light in the dark. What more could a girl ask for?

Jonathon Bradshaw, destroyed by a past that has haunted his every waking moment for the last five years, isn’t looking for a serious relationship, until he meets Patricia. Sweet, saucy and as hot as the summer is long, Jon can’t deny the draw he has toward her. For the first time, he has hope. Determined to shake the ghosts of his past, Jon focuses on forging a future with Patti, but he’s always been a master at standing in his own way.

When Jon’s past refuses to be forgotten, will Patti be able to live with the truth about the man who’s stolen her heart?

 

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My Review

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

The third book in J.C. Valentine’s Night Calls series is an enjoyable, sexy read.

Jon and Patti are a couple with tons of chemistry, evident in their fast moving, nearly love-at-first-sight romance, and HOT sex scenes. They are engaging characters, relatable in their emotions. They feel genuine, and are quite easy to connect with.

The story is a smooth read: well-paced, easy reading, complete with dialogue that feels real. It’s not super dark or terribly angsty but there’s a great balance of hot sex, romance, drama, and emotion, with a touch of humor, sweetness, and fun.

Though this book is part of a series, it is a stand-alone, with characters from the other books making appearances. A great read that will make you want to read the others in the series!

” ‘You’re right, things are moving fast, but sometimes I think that’s what it takes to open your eyes to what’s standing right in front of you.’ “

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Excerpt

 

“What kind of business person do you think I am, Patricia?”

She grinned at his playfulness. “I don’t know you well enough to speak on your business habits, but I think I should tell you now, I don’t mix business with pleasure.”

Jon pushed open the first set of doors and stopped in the enclosed space that separated the outside from in. He slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her closer. “Am I to take that as an invitation to give you pleasure?”

Patti’s chest heaved with her shortened breaths. She became increasingly aware of how close they were, of the heat emanating from everywhere their bodies touched. “You can give me anything you want,” she whispered.

His eyes flared with desire. Cupping her face in his hand, Jon tilted her head back and leaned down. Patti’s stomach tumbled and need thrummed through her veins with white-hot intensity.

Before their lips could meet, a roll of thunder crashed outside and a bolt of lightning split the night sky. Patti nearly leaped out of her skin.

“Looks like rain,” Jon chuckled at the exact moment the skies opened up to unleash a torrential downpour. Patti, still a little shaky from her unexpected shock from the heavens, shuddered. “Easy, baby, it’s just a little thunderstorm.”

Patti released a stilted laugh, her cheeks heating in humiliation. “I’m not afraid of thunderstorms. That was just a little unexpected is all.”

Looking out across the rain-soaked parking lot, Jon considered this. A wicked smile crossed his face. “Wanna make a run for it?”

Patti peered through the glass doors. “I don’t mind getting wet,” she said, biting her lip when he tugged her tighter to his body to let her know the deliberate double entendre hadn’t escaped him. “But I don’t know how well I’ll fare running in this weather in these heels.” She pointed to her shoes, which bore no need for explanation. It would be obvious even to a blind man that she would break an ankle if she attempted anything faster than a leisurely stroll.

“You’re probably right,” Jon conceded. “I guess I could just bring the car around…” he trailed off, thinking. “Or…”

Patti squealed in surprise when Jon bent low, grabbing her around the knees, and hefting her over his shoulder. The next thing she knew, she was bobbing up and down as he burst through the doors and raced across the parking lot. 

 

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About the Author

 

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J.C. Valentine is the alter-ego of Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of erotic tales of romance spurred her to branch out and create her own.

Brandi Salazar lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. As a university student, she studies literature, which goes well with her dream to become an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.

Connect with J.C. Valentine: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

 

 


5 Star Book Review, Author Interview, and #Giveaway: SEDUCTIVE SECRECY by Marni Mann (@MarniMann)

October 31, 2013 Adult, Author Interview, Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Erotica, Favorite Books, Past Giveaways 0

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IT’S HERE! Seductive Secrecy, the follow-up to Marni Mann’s absolutely brilliant Seductive Shadows is on tour! I have some fabulous things going on today including: my review, an excerpt from the book, an interview with Marni, and a HUGE giveaway!! Seductive Shadows (Shadows #1) is one of my favorite reads… read my 5+ star review HERE.

 

CLICK HERE to follow the tour!

 

About the Book

 

Seductive Secrecy Cover

 

Title: Seductive Secrecy (Shadows Series #2)

Author: Marni Mann

Genre: Erotica/Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 24th, 2013

Publisher: Booktrope (http://booktrope.com/)

 

“We were two broken souls who had found each other in a world of shadows. We were held together by a connection of secrets, dark and fearful and reluctant to leave. Their depth was seductive and overwhelming, an endless ocean of black that threatened to cover the brilliance we kept reaching for with each other.”

With her art career flourishing and the mansion predators no longer a threat, Charlie is creating a new life. Her desires have changed, and she has a chance at a healthy, loving relationship with Cameron—if they can bury the memories and doubts that plague them.

Can they overcome the destruction of their clouded pasts, or will the revelation of more painful, shocking secrets pull them back into the shadows?

**This book is for mature audiences. It contains explicit language and sexual content.

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Excerpt

 

A gust of cold air burst through my body, tightening every muscle and clenching my lungs. The feeling was always the same, and it only came when I thought of that place…when the memories were thicker than the lessons I had learned by leaving there.
I set both brushes in a jar of water and walked across the hall to the apartment. Then I moved through the kitchen, my hands yanking at my sweater, lifting it over my head and releasing it once I got to the entryway of the bedroom. I peeled off my black skinny jeans until I reached my knee-high boots and dropped both along with my pants in front of the bathroom sinks. My panties and bra fell before I stepped into the shower and turned on the water.
The wall of glass that separated the shower from the rest of the bathroom began to fog, and the marble under my feet turned warm. Windows spanned both sides, overlooking different sections of the Back Bay; below the ledges were niches that held our bottles of shampoo and body wash, and benches for us to sit on. The back wall was a mosaic, an abstract. Water shot out from every direction, spraying from all sides as well as the ceiling. There were even streams below that covered my feet.
My skin was sweating now. Drops of scalding water ran off my body. The places that were being hit directly by the jets had turned a bright red. But it couldn’t stop the chill that continued to spread beneath my flesh.

Six months had passed since I’d left the mansion. I didn’t think about it as much as I used to, but when something instigated those thoughts—something like the mirrored floor in the painting—I had a hard time calming them down again. I still wasn’t sure how I was supposed to process what I had done there, what I had allowed to happen and how much I had once enjoyed it. Part of me didn’t want to take it back; part of me could barely keep down the bile that threatened to rise when I remembered. But that time in my life had gotten me here. And I was here, unlike some of the girls I had shared that house with.
I moved closer to one of the shower heads and pressed my hands against the cold marble that tiled the wall, leaning into the stream of water. It massaged the top of my head.
Breathe.
The drops that filled my ears blocked any noise that was around me. I could taste the product that drizzled from my hair—the spray I had used to hold my curls and the oil that gave it shine. My eyes closed and I inhaled the steam, trying to find a place of relaxation.
A place where the images and the screams would quiet to a dull moan.
And just as I found it, just as my palms no longer kneaded against the stone and my back didn’t pump and arch to find that place of complete comfort, just as I had finally gotten used to the temperature of the water, his arms wrapped around my chest. His hands cupped each of my breasts, his thumbs grazing my nipples.
“Why didn’t you wake me?” he whispered into my neck. His lips followed his words to my skin, his tongue circling the spot just to the side of my throat. It didn’t matter how often he had roamed my body, or how many times, it still felt so new, so unexpected.
“You need your sleep…” I told him. As soon as he touched me, I completely lost my voice. All I had were my desires, and they consumed me.
“I need you more,” he breathed.

 

My Review

 

My Rating: 5+ Stars

“What if Cee was really the soul of me, and Charlie was just another mask I wore?”

This book is one that have been anxiously waiting to read from the moment I knew that it would exist; and I’m absolutely ecstatic to say that it did not disappoint. The reader gets to see in to Charlie’s soul as she struggles with her new life after the mansion. She no longer feels the weight of poverty and abuse and has an amazing man in her life: a man whose dark past and bright future rivals her own. The story is deliciously dark, gritty, and sexy; intense emotions, both ecstasy and despair, mesh perfectly with a suspenseful and engaging story. The plot itself, with its twists and surprises, is compelling enough. But, what makes this book truly special is the artistic style to Mann’s writing: scenes described with a sensual artistic quality using beautifully realized colors, textures, and details.

I was impressed by how much Charlie’s character has grown. She is stronger and braver, she still struggles, but is trying to come to terms with her demons, to find comfort, stability and love. But this story is not only about Charlie. It’s also about the people around her and the relationships she is forging. Now that she is not simply surviving, but actually living, she is connecting with people on more than just a sexual level. She is forced reconcile these new found connections with her past and her future, and moving forward will not be easy.

We are introduced to a whole new cast of well-realized secondary characters. I truly enjoyed getting to know new angels and enemies, and witnessing new stories of darkness and light, of tragedy and triumph. Especially Cameron; He is my perfect broken hero. Gorgeous and damaged and sexually insatiable, his connection with Charlie is undeniable and I loved seeing the evolution of their relationship, in spite of nearly insurmountable obstacles.

“I tilted my head, looking in to the crystal clarity that stared back at me. The only thing cold about him was the blue of his eyes. Everything about Cameron spoke of his warmth. ‘Do you think I’m crazy?’

‘No,’ I said as I shook my head. ‘I think you’re wonderful.’ “

I must admit, I am such an enormous fan of Seductive Shadows that it would be nearly impossible to top that book for me. I highly recommend reading it first; the background is necessary to fully enjoy this book (and it’s an AMAZING read!!). Seductive Secrecy is it’s own story, though. We have a new Charlie, with glimpses of Cee, but this Charlie is more accessible and I feel that this book has a more relatable quality. It is heartbreaking and intense, but the pinpoints of light are just a bit brighter in this installment. These books, with their perfect combination of romance, sex, suspense, devastating darkness, and brilliant hope have captured my heart and soul.

“Maybe I should stare at the sky more often. Maybe I should enjoy the night air instead of shielding myself from it. Rather than letting the the never-ending blackness overwhelm me, maybe I should appreciate it for what it is; a background for the brilliance of stars. After all, without darkness there can’t be light.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Author Interview

1.     Seductive Secrecy is the sequel to Seductive Shadows, how does it differ from the first book? 

Seductive Secrecy really focuses on Charlie and Cameron’s relationship, if they’re able to move on and grow from everything that happened while they were together as well as what had occurred in their pasts. Of course, with the sequel comes a whole new set of problems and they either have to weave through them together or the issues will drive them apart.

2.     What character have readers asked you the most about? Which left an impression on them, and did it surprise you?

Cameron is the most asked about character: who inspired his looks, is he based on someone I know, will he receive his own story? I would also say he’s left the strongest impression on my readers. Cameron has haunted me for a while (he still does!), so I can’t say I’m surprised by their curiosity. I’m more intrigued by their questions, if anything.

3.     What is the best personality trait of your heroine, Charlie?  Worst personality trait?

Underneath Charlie’s mask, her scars, her erotic behavior, is a survivor. She truly has an instinctive will to survive regardless of what she’s faced with. Her worst personality trait is that she’s fearless.

 4.     Did you know how Seductive Secrecy was going to end, before you wrote it? It was quite the shocker! 

Ha! Thank you! 🙂 I knew the main events that were going to take place, but the details weren’t flushed out until I wrote the actual ending. Because the ending is so layered, those points were smoothed out even more during the editing process.

5.     Is there a message in the Shadows Series that you want readers to walk away with? If so, what is it?

It’s always darkest before the dawn.

6.     Will there be a third book? What can we expect in the next installment?

As of right now, there is no plan for a third book. I did write a short story in Cameron’s point-of-view that readers can receive by purchasing a copy of Seductive Secrecy before November 1st (details are here: http://marnismann.com/claim-your-electronic-copy-of-camerons-point-of-view/) My next release is tentatively scheduled for January and it’s a New Adult title.

7.     Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Write as much as you can. Every writer has his or her own unique voice and it’s impossible to find that voice unless you experiment. My other piece of advice is read everything you can get your hands on because behind every great writer is a great reader.

 

 

Giveaway!

There will be 7 winners in the Seductive Shadows Tour Giveaway!

Grand Prize — $100 Victoria’s Secret eGift Card & Seductive Secrecy E-book
First Runner-up — $50 Total Wine eGift Card & Seductive Secrecy E-book
(5) Runner-ups — Seductive Secrecy E-books

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For a limited time, Seductive Shadows is only $0.99!

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About the Author

 

A New Englander at heart, Marni Mann, now a Floridian is inspired by the sandy beaches and hot pink sunsets of Sarasota. She taps a mainstream appeal and shakes worldwide taboos, taking her readers on a dark and breathtaking journey. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, she’s scouring for chocolate, traveling, reading, or walking her four-legged children.

 

Connect with Marni Mann

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Book Review and #Giveaway: WORTH THE FIGHT by Vi Keeland (@ViKeeland)

October 12, 2013 Adult, Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, Past Giveaways 3

Welcome to the Worth The Fight by Vi Keeland Book Tour! Enjoy my review and enter the giveaway for the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

 

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About the Book

 

Title: Worth the Fight

 Author: Vi Keeland

 Release date: October 3, 2013

 Age Group: Adult

 Genre: Contemporary Romance

 Tour organized by: AToMR Tours

 

It didn’t matter that the ref called it a clean hit. Nico Hunter would never be the same.

Elle has a good life. A job she loves, a great apartment, and the guy she’s been dating for more than two years is a catch and a half.  But it’s boring…and she strives to keep it that way. Too many emotions are dangerous. Her own past is living proof of what can happen when you lose control.

Then Nico walks into Elle’s office and everything changes…for both of them. But what can the tattooed, hard-bodied MMA fighter and the beautiful and always steady attorney have in common? A lot more than they bargained for

 

My Review

 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

“His breath is so close to my ear when he speaks, I feel the words throughout my body as he speaks them. ‘But when I finally get you underneath me, I’m definitely not going to treat you like a lady.’ “

*Shivers*. That what Nico Hunter does to me, gives me the chills, makes me tingle all over. He’s smokin’ hot, tattooed, possessive, sweet, and broken. Though you may not see it on the surface, Elle is broken, too. They have more in common than they realize, but their dark pasts threaten to tear them apart. This a fantastically sexy story, a great romance, and a difficult journey towards healing and understanding.

Keeland writes a romance that transitions easily from dual points of view. Both main characters are given a unique voice and perspective, but the flow of the story stays perfectly intact. I enjoyed each voice equally, his rough and hers a bit more refined, but their feelings were clear: this thing that is brewing between them could change their lives forever.

The chemistry is absolutely sizzling, and the sex scenes are super hot. Nico is a possessive alpha-male both in the bedroom and out. Elle is a great match for him: smart, sassy, and determined. I loved this couple together and was so pleased that the author let their relationship start to solidify somewhat early in the book. The reader gets to spend time with Elle and Nico; we get to experience their blissful happiness, the difficulties that occur when their pasts come back to haunt them, and the intense emotions that come along with facing demons and finding love, healing and redemption.

I truly enjoyed Nico and Elle’s story: the juxtaposition between the rough fighter and lawyer with the polished exterior. This is a complete story, carrying the reader from the relationship’s sizzling early chemistry, to a tentative romance, times of difficulty, a tear-jerking climax, and a hopeful conclusion. The author promises more books in this series, and I can’t wait to read the next one.

“God, the man is beautiful. And not just on the outside… on the inside too… and he doesn’t even have to try. It’s just who he is. Underneath 220 pound of tattooed hard muscle that screams trouble is the most sensitive and beautiful soul I’ve ever met. For the first time since I was eight years old I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About the Author

 

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work.  She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!

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To see other stops on the tour for reviews, guest posts, and excerpts click here or the tour button below.

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5 Star Book Review and #Giveaway: I STAND BEFORE YOU by S.R. Grey (@AuthorSRGrey)

October 9, 2013 Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Past Giveaways 1

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Welcome to the I Stand Before You by S.R. Grey Book Tour! Read my review and enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card and one of five ecopies of the book!

 

About the Book

 

I Stand Before You01cFINAlsmall

 

Title: I Stand Before You (Judge Me Not #1)

Author: S.R. Grey

 Release date: September 3, 2013

 Age Group: New Adult

 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tour organized by: AToMR Tours

 

When it comes to tattooed bad boys, Chase Gartner is the real deal. Partying, engaging in meaningless sex, getting into fights—Chase indulges in it all during his late teen years, thus firmly solidifying his status as a heartbreakingly gorgeous but way-too-dangerous-to-trust guy in his hometown of Harmony Creek, Ohio. Then, following one fateful night of reckless decisions, Chase’s actions finally catch up to him and land him in prison.

Now, four years have passed and Chase finds himself a free man. He returns to Harmony Creek, ready to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding his shattered life.

Things are off to a promising start when he meets Kay Stanton, a young woman with a tragic past of her own. Despite a powerful attraction, Chase and Kay are naturally hesitant to become involved. That’s why friendship feels like the safest option. But when passions ignite and love blossoms, a relationship that is destined and meant to be can only be resisted for so long. When Chase and Kay finally succumb to their feelings they realize being together feels more right and true than anything they have ever experienced.

But their love is soon tested. Chase’s wild past still haunts and tempts him, and Kay is keeping a secret that could tear them apart.

I Stand Before You is a journey of hope and forgiveness, coming to terms with the past and moving forward. But mostly it’s a story of two damaged people who take a chance, open their hearts, and find true love.

New Adult/Contemporary Romance genres. First in a series.

***Warning: contains graphic sexual situations, drug use, some violence, and profanity***

Recommended for ages 17+

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My Review

 

My Rating: 5 Stars

“As I stand before you, judge me not.”

I Stand Before You is a  brilliant combination of darkness and light, love and friendship, utter despair and blinding hope. A story of a relationship that on the surface seems unlikely, where it quickly becomes obvious that these two people were made for each other.

This story of friendship turned love is told from both Chase’s and Kay’s points of view, and the author executes this flawlessly. Both main characters possess a unique voice, illustrating how different they are, and also how much they are the same. Chase and Kay are each broken in their own way. As their relationship moves from easy friendship laced with underlying chemistry to an intense romance, they begin to heal. Their clear love and acceptance of one another is something neither have ever really experienced, and it’s salve on old wounds.

One of my favorite things about this book is the way the author combines hardness and softness, darkness and light. Chase is the ultimate hard-ass bad, boy: good-looking, sexy as hell, with a checkered past, and tons of ink, but there’s a softness when it comes to Kay. And Kay, the beautiful, soft girly-girl has had to develop a hard-shell just to survive what life has thrown her way. This hard/soft combination is evident throughout the book. The story itself is perfectly balanced. Just when I thought it might become sticky sweet, there’s just enough turmoil to balance it out. Kay’s kind voice is balanced with Chace’s much rougher tone, and beautifully romantic lovemaking is balanced with down and dirty fucking. Both sides of the story are equally satisfying.

This is a story of overcoming past demons and learning to live again. It’s a book filled with friendship and laughter, drugs and violence, healing, redemption, sinners, saints, death, and a love that could change everything. I was completely engaged in these two character’s intense emotions, their struggles and triumphs, and rooting for them all the way. This part of Kay and Chase’s narrative is complete in its own right, but there are new conflicts on the horizon, and I can’t wait to follow them in to the next chapter of their lives.

“If Chase’s wings are broken, then mine are shattered. Maybe that’s why we work so well together, why we have from the very beginning. Some things are meant to be, and Chase and I have been destined from day one. We are two broken people who, when put together, become whole.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About the Author

 

S.R. Grey is the author of Harbour Falls and Willow Point, first and second novels in A Harbour Falls Mystery series. She is also the author of I Stand Before You, first novel in the Judge Me Not series (New Adult/Contemporary Romance).

Ms. Grey resides in western Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Robert Morris College, as well as an MBA from Duquesne University.

She is currently working on Wickingham Way, the third installment in A Harbour Falls Mystery series, to be released in January 2014, as well as Never Doubt Me, second novel in the Judge Me Not series.

Other interests include reading, traveling, running, and cheering for her hometown sports teams.

 SR Grey

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Book Review and #Giveaway: ADAM’S APPLE by Liv Morris

October 4, 2013 Adult, Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Past Giveaways 8

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Welcome to the Adam’s Apple by Liv Morris Book Tour! Enjoy my review, a teaser, and enter the giveaway for the chance to win gift cards, signed copies of the book, ecopies of the book, and swag!

 

About the Book

 

Adams Apple

Touch of Tantra #1

By: Liv Morris

Adam Kingsley reigns as the young prince of Manhattan. Everything he touches turns to gold, making him the envy of Wall Street. Women swoon at his feet, money falls out of his pockets, and his killer good looks are as wicked as sin. A dangerous trifecta.

What more could a thirty-two-year-old man wish for? Maybe that his life never changes and his past stays far away? Sounds reasonable, but life seldom is.

Kathryn Delcour is a beautiful and alluring socialite with unique erotic tastes. When she suddenly appears on the New York City social scene, Adam finds her too tempting to resist. He has to have her, but she is warned to stay away from him and his player ways. She tries her hardest to keep him at arm’s length, but Kathryn’s arms may not be strong enough to hold Adam at bay.

Hidden secrets, Kathryn’s passion for an ancient sexual practice, and a former business partner wanting to inflict a deadly revenge set the scene for a wild ride as Adam tells the story in his own words.

 

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Teaser

“My breath hitches as I feel her fingers undoing the ties of my pants. Loosening them until they’re free and hanging open. She places her hands on the area above my boxers and gives me a devilish look. One which promises to undo me. I keep eye contact with her, though; I’ve learned to follow rules tonight.”

 

My Review

 

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

“So far the beast in me remains wild and undomesticated. However, I don’t remember a woman inducing such a raw desire in me like Kathryn Delcour.”

Adam’s Apple offers a little something different than the more typical billionaire romances. This is not a story of a young, innocent ingenue being swept off her feet by the sexually brilliant but emotionally flawed businessman. Adam is a wealthy man with no shortage of young, beautiful women to take care of his sexual needs. Enter Kathryn: stunning, clever, and with her own wealth and sexual prowess, she is Adam’s equal, if not his superior in many ways. She’s a strong, confident character, and they are a great match.

There are so many aspects of this book that worked for me. I loved Kathryn and her clever remarks, her confident sexiness. I enjoyed the engaging storyline, the original plot, and the chemistry between the main characters. I was excited to read a book from the male character’s point-of-view and the author does a good job creating an interesting, multi-layered character, but I didn’t love Adam. Something about Adam’s voice just read a little off for me. It didn’t sound natural or flow as well as I would have liked. It did interfere with my ability to really connect with his character.

As a whole, this is a completely enjoyable story, with a great combination of romance and suspense, an interesting tantric twist, and a fantastically refreshing female lead.

” ‘The truth is all the money you possess can’t make you a man.’ “

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About the Author

 

Liv Morris resides in Manhattan with her husband of twenty-eight years. After relocating eleven times during her husband’s corporate career, she qualifies as a professional mover. Learning to bloom where she’s planted, Liv brings her moving and life experiences to her writing.

A native of the beautiful Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri, Liv feels blessed to have a supportive and close family. Her three grown daughters are scattered across the country, but thankfully call home on a regular basis.

She received a B.S. in Communication from the University of Maryland. Liv has published five short story series, Love in the City. Two of her short stories have landed on Amazon’s top best sellers list in Contemporary Romance. Her novel, Adam’s Apple, is due for release this summer.

Liv

Connect with Liv

Website ~ Facebook

Twitter: @Living_Write