Review – Ride Dirty by Laura Kaye

REVIEW:

I really enjoyed the love story of Caine and Emma.  You can’t deny that they are so different but click in such a beautiful and powerful way that it was impossible not to fall in love with them both.  Caine…mostly silent, always brooding, and with what appears to be insurmountable walls finds himself feeling things for Emma that he never imagined he would feel…and this shocks him to his core.  His life has not been easy and he feels so deeply that I spent most of my time reading this book both being heartbroken for him and wanting to climb in the book and heal him myself.  He is alpha and strong and doesn’t think he’s worthy of Emma but all this makes him sexy and addictive….not to just me as a reader but to Emma.  Emma herself hasn’t had the easiest life but she has such an upbeat personality and it was impossible not to adore her.  I loved her openness and honesty and most of all her very compassionate and giving spirit.  These two were perfect for one another in their imperfections.  The battle was not easy for Emma, trying to convince Caine he was worthy of love, life, and all the good things the world had to offer him.  The sex was erotic but intensely emotional.  The twists and turns kept me engaged in this plot from the very beginning and I admit to both crying tears of extreme sadness then overwhelming happiness for this couple who deserved the best of everything they found with each other.  There was a little bit of angst, but nothing over the top, and a bit of a suspenseful plot that offered a wonderful level of intrigue without inundating me with too many details or a complicated web I had to untangle.   I loved this story for the depth of feeling it inspired and was profoundly sad when it ended….but the ending was so amazing, it didn’t matter that I just wanted more.  Overall, this was a story that moved me, wrecked me, and rebuilt me and I treasured every second of Emma and Caine’s path to happily-ever-after.  5 stars!

 

From New York Times Bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes RIDE DIRTY, a new novella in her Raven Riders Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

 

 

About RIDE DIRTY:
Caine McKannon is all about rules. As the Raven Riders Sergeant-at-Arms, he prizes loyalty to his brothers and protection of his club. As a man, he takes pleasure wherever he can get it but allows no one close—because distance is the only way to ensure people can’t hurt you. And he’s had enough pain for a lifetime.

But then he rescues a beautiful woman from an attack.

Kids and school are kindergarten teacher Emma Kerry’s whole life, so she’s stunned to realize she has an enemy—and even more surprised to find a protector in the intimidating man who saved her. Tall, dark, and tattooed, Caine is unlike any man Emma’s ever known, and she’s as uncertain of him as she is attracted. As the danger escalates, Caine is in her house more and more – until one night of passion lands him in her bed.

But breaking the rules comes at a price, forcing Caine to fight dirty to earn a chance at love.

 

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Laura Kaye’s RIDE DIRTY – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

March 14th

Booked All Night – Review & Excerpt

Canadian Book Addict – Review & Excerpt

Deluged with Books Cafe – Review & Excerpt

Elenasbookblog – Review

JordansBookReviews – Excerpt

Les Chroniques Aléatoires – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Dirty and Flirty – Review & Excerpt

Romance as a first language – Review & Excerpt

Thoughts of a Blonde – Review

March 15th

Always a happy ever after – Review

Booknerd1107 – Review & Excerpt

Cara’s Book Boudoir – Review & Excerpt

Eye in bookland – Review

Feeling Fictional – Review & Excerpt

Knotty Girl Reviews – Review & Excerpt

My Girlfriends Couch – Excerpt

Nice Ladies, Naughty Books – Review

Reviews by Tammy And Kim (Rachel and Jay) – Review & Excerpt

March 16th

AC Squared Book Blog – Excerpt

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Ebook Indulgence – Review & Excerpt

I Love Books – Excerpt

Lovinghotbooks – Review & Excerpt

Melena’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

NallaReads – Review & Excerpt

Relentless Romance – Review & Excerpt

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

March 17th

Bobo’s Book Bank – Review & Excerpt

Bookgasms Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review

Evermore Books – Review & Excerpt

Kari’s Book Reviews and Revelations – Review & Excerpt

Novel Addiction – Review

Read more sleep less – Review & Excerpt

Romance Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

The Book Disciple – Review & Excerpt

March 18th

Abibliophobia anonymous book reviews – Review

Book Nook Nuts – Excerpt

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

From the TBR PIle – Review & Excerpt

KDRBCK – Review

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Romancing the Dispatcher – Excerpt

The Book Boyfriend Addict – Review & Excerpt

March 19th

Book Munchies – Review & Excerpt

Books According to Abby – Review & Excerpt

Lit. 4 Ladies – Review & Excerpt

Obsessive Reading Disorder – Review & Excerpt

Romancing the Readers – Review

Sweet Red Reads – Review & Excerpt

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

Wickedcoolflight – Review & Excerpt

March 20th

Bingeworthy Book Blog – Review

I’m A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore – Review & Excerpt

iScream Books Blog – Review & Excerpt

Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Ruby’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Sweet and Spicy Reads – Review

The bookworms obsession – Review

Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt

March 21st

A British Bookworm’s Blog – Review

Books 2 Blog – Review & Excerpt

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

I love my bookgasms blog – Review & Excerpt

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm – Excerpt

Ms. Me28 – Review & Excerpt

Reading in Pajamas – Review & Excerpt

Somewhere Lost in Books – Review & Excerpt

March 22nd

A Hopeless Romantic’s Booklandia – Review & Excerpt

Books, Coffee & Passion – Review & Excerpt

Love Notes Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads – Review

Spoons, Hooks, and Books – Review & Excerpt

Tangents and Tissues – Review & Excerpt

The Romance Reviews – Review

Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess – Review & Excerpt

March 23rd

Alphas Do It Better Book Blog – Review

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Book Sniffers Anonymous – Review

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Ripe For Reader – Review & Excerpt

Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews – Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review

True Story Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

What I’m Reading – Review & Excerpt

Wicked Babes Blog Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 

 

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About Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Raven Riders, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Blog Tour – Collision Point by Lora Leigh

Collision Point cover.jpg

From #1 bestselling author Lora Leigh comes Collision Point, part of the thrilling Brute Force series—packed with powerful men, steely women, and explosive passion.

SHE’S NOTHING BUT TROUBLE

Riordan Malone is more than a bodyguard. As an Elite Ops agent, he’s ripped, raged, and ready to rumble—a true warrior, inside and out. But no war zone can compare to the battle in Rory’s heart when he lays eyes on the only woman he’s ever loved—and thought he had lost forever. . .

 

HE’S EVERYTHING SHE NEEDS

As the daughter of a crime lord, Amara Resnova has endured the cruelty of her father’s enemies—and has tried to escape that world ever since. Now, she must reach out to the one man who saved her life, even if she’s never forgiven him for breaking her heart. But Amara is tougher today than she was then. She’s also more desirable to Rory—and dangerous to love. Can he protect her from her father’s enemies without surrendering to his own passions…or will love seal their fate for good?

Chapter one

Six months later

She’d been told that West Texas in the spring wasn’t much different from West Texas in the fall, but as Amara Resnova pulled in the driveway of the small house outside Alpin, she felt she had to disagree with that summation.

Stretched out in front of the house with its wraparound porch was a lush green valley fed by a lazily running stream winding through it. Sunlight speared from the cloudless blue sky, bright and warm, spreading its heat in a comforting embrace.

And the charming little house sat just beneath the warming sunlight. Spreading out in front of it was the picturesque valley; behind it, the normal West Texas part-grass, part-scrub, potential-desert landscape that never failed to amaze her.

On a rising knoll stood a lone tree, thickly branched and heavily leafed, shading what appeared to be a small cemetery. Rather than looking desolate and lonely, that little plot of land with its surrounding black iron fence, appeared instead to keep watch over the land below it. As though those buried there kept a gentle eye on those who came after them.

As isolated as the property was, it should have appeared stark. Instead, an air of contentment and peace lay over it. As though the land, the house, the vibrant green of the valley, and the cemetery that overlooked it all, knew all there was about life and love and had locked all those secrets within it to sustain it.

Drawing in a deep breath to steady herself against the fears she hadn’t been able to push behind her even in such a lovely setting, Amara turned off the engine, forced her hands not to shake, and opened the door before stepping into the warmth that filled the valley.

It wasn’t a blazing heat, but rather a gentle wave that filled the air and wafted around her. And in it there was a strange sense of familiarity. A “been there before” feeling that had her heart racing, her mouth drying as she stared around and drew in the sights and whispered sounds of a land as yet untouched by civilized life.

Here, a person could see the stars at night rather than the city lights. The sound of the lonely coyote rather than the rush of traffic. Peace rather than a hectic race.

Here, perhaps, she could find some answers. And maybe there was a chance to find everything she’d lost.

Tugging the hem of her tank, she straightened it over the band of her jeans beneath the light denim jacket she wore as she walked slowly from the car to the stone path that led to the porch. The thick carpet of grass stretched from the valley to surround the house, but she’d noticed as she parked that it became sparser at the back. As though that carpet of green with its lazy stream could only struggle so far to embrace the weathered home.

The dark blue pickup parked at the side of the house attested that someone lived there. And she knew the vehicle belonged to the man those in town called Grandpops Malone.

Riordan Malone Sr. was grandfather to Riordan Malone the younger, she’d been told, when she stopped at the gas station and auto repair garage outside town that bore the name MALONE AND BLAKE—SERVICE AND REPAIR. There, she’d learned Riordan the younger was part owner but currently out at his “grandpops’” place.

Riordan.

That name haunted her dreams, her fantasies. Though the man in those dreams wasn’t an old man. The one who came to her in those nightly images was tall, strong, impossibly sexy.

As Amara forced herself to walk to the porch, she looked around, searching for the face, listening for the voice of a man she knew only in those dreams. The man she’d escaped her father’s protection to go search for.

Was he friend or foe?

Even she couldn’t answer that question, not fully. But for some reason, she couldn’t seem to help the need to learn which he would be.

As her foot lifted to the first step, the front door creaked, causing her to pause, to wait with bated breath as it slowly opened to reveal an aged, gray-haired gentleman she suspected was Riordan Sr., Grandpops.

In his worn loose jeans, well-washed white shirt with sleeves folded neatly back below his elbows, scuffed leather boots, and with that serene expression, the man looked as old and wise as the mountains themselves. And there was no doubt he was just as damn stubborn.

“Well, hello there.” The smile that lifted the corners of his mouth was reflected in his dark blue eyes. “Can I help ya, young lady?”

There was a whisper of a lyrical accent. Irish. Just a whisper though, not the full, male lilt she sometimes heard in memories that never fully revealed themselves.

“I’m looking…” She swallowed nervously. “I’m looking for Riordan Malone.”

His head tilted to the side, his thick graying hair neatly trimmed but giving a hint of the rogue he must have been in his youth.

“I’d say you’re looking for my grandson rather than myself,” he said gently. “He should be along in a bit. His da just called to say he’s done stole that wild pony again and headed this way.” A chuckle filled the air. “Come along up to the porch and sit with me till he arrives. That wild beast always gives a show when he comes barreling through the valley.”

Moving gingerly up the steps to the porch, she followed him to the comfortable-looking cushioned rockers that faced the valley.

“Does he steal ponies often?” She frowned as she sat down, feeling more off balance than she’d felt in her life—which was saying something considering the past six months.

“Just that wild-assed black son of a satan that took a liking to him.” He grinned back at her, his gnarled hands gripping the arms of the rocker loosely. “His da threatens to kill the beast every time Riordan takes it out. He swears it’s gonna kill the boy.”

Boy.

That didn’t sound like the man she was searching for. But, everything she learned assured her this was the one place she was certain to find him.

“Ahh, here he comes now.” Fondness filled the old man’s tone as he motioned to the valley.

He appeared at first as no more than a storm of dust rising beyond the verdant green of the valley.

Amara watched, her heart racing as that trail of dust grew steadily closer.

It was an imposing sight, she had to admit.

A sensual, exhilarating sight.

The horse, black as midnight, neck extended, flying across the deserted landscape, was enough to hold the eye. But the sight of the man, bent low to the horse’s neck, black hair flying back from his face, riding without a saddle, was a bit more than simply imposing.

It was exhilarating.

Imposing and savage and wildly erotic.

Amara could feel her body responding to the sight, weakening, filling with a sensual lassitude she couldn’t combat.

“Be watching this now. That horse loves ta take him on a wild ride he does,” Grandpops said softly.

The horse flew over a gully as though he had wings, before jumping the stream, neck and legs extended as it went airborne for precious seconds. The animal then took a series of fences as though they were nothing, and as she stared, she felt she knew how those women felt from centuries past as they watched a conquering warrior bearing down on them.

When the horse flew over the fence that enclosed the house yard, Amara was certain there was no way it could pull up before slamming headfirst into the porch itself.

With no more than a few yards to spare, the beast came up on his hind legs, a triumphant equine scream filling the air before landing again and prancing about with pure high-spirited joy before finally settling.

And Riordan sat firm on the animal’s back the whole time, holding onto the horse’s mane rather than a bridle, thighs gripping the animal’s heaving sides as he stared at her with blazing, furious blue eyes before turning them on his grandfather.

The younger Riordan dismounted smoothly, the soles of his moccasined feet hitting the ground as he slapped the beast on the rump. It came up on its hind legs once more in another display of savage beauty as it reared up, pawed the air, then shot off back the way it came the second it landed.

Flying like the wind, strong legs launching it over the fence, the gully, then the stream before a trail of dust followed it around the bend of the mountain.

So much beauty, she thought. A display of savage male temper and strength, and no less showed in Riordan’s expression as he propped his hands on his lean waist and glared up at her where she sat next to his grandfather on the porch.

Well-worn denim encased his hips and legs, and the moccasins that covered his feet weren’t fringed or fancy, just well made. A black T-shirt stretched across a broad chest, emphasizing his muscular abs and making her fingers itch to remove it.

Yes, this was him. The savage who invaded her dreams, the fury who slashed at her nightmares. Vivid sapphire eyes, daunting features, proud, imposing. A man who knew his own demons as well as those that inhabited other men. Or women.

She rose slowly to her feet, aware of Riordan’s “grandpops” as he sat comfortably in his rocker, watching in interest.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” the words that passed from his lips caused her to flinch; their icy tone caused her heart to sink.

The tender tone, the edge of lust and hunger she’d dreamed of, was nowhere in sight.

His gaze raked over her and there was none of the sensual promise she’s seen in his eyes when he’d invaded her dreams, none of the dominant sensualist who tormented her with his touch in her fantasies.

She hadn’t expected this. This wild fury and enraged demand. He didn’t seem the least bit glad to see her, she had to admit. What made her think he would be? she wondered.

Was she wrong? Did she not know him?

She was certain she had to have known him, certain that somehow, someway, they must have meant something to each other. Could she have been so wrong?

“Riordan!” Grandpops’ surprised tone had a grimace contorting Riordan’s face.

Evidently the grandfather thought little of the grandson’s language.

“Grandpops, perhaps you should go back to Grant’s.” He turned to his grandfather, his voice firm. “Noah, Sabella, and the babies will be there in a bit.”

Grandpops continued to glower at him.

“I’m certain I can handle whatever language he wants to use, Mr. Malone,” she assured the older man. “I’m not exactly a stranger to it these days.”

Her father cursed more often, brooded more often, and Amara knew the situation she’d found herself in was weighing on him. If she didn’t do something, didn’t fix things, then she was terrified of what may happen. Of what her father would do to fix things himself.

“But can his grandmother?” The old man sounded disappointed rather than angry. “Remember whose home your using that language in, boy.”

Rising from his chair, Grandpops moved to the steps stiffly and made his way down, casting his grandson yet another warning glare.

“Drive carefully, Grandpops. No more racing with those Brickford boys,” Riordan stated as his grandfather passed by.

And Amara could have sworn she saw a gleeful grin tease at the older man’s lips. But he merely grunted as he passed.

A few moments later the truck started, and they watched Grandpops ease around the circular drive and onto the road that led to the small valley.

The silence that stretched between them was heavy—with his anger and her uncertainty.

As the truck took the curve around the rising hill, she turned back to Riordan and tucked her hands into the pockets of her light jacket, her fingers curling into fists.

She’d faked the last six months with friends and most of her family. Taking cues from her father and his assistant Nikolai, she’d smiled and faked her way through every damn meeting and gathering she’d been forced to attend until she slipped silently from her father’s estate the week before and, in essence, ran away from home.

Not that he was letting her run without giving chase. He and his men weren’t far behind her and she knew it. They’d almost caught up with her the night before, outside Houston. If she didn’t do something, if she didn’t find a way to eliminate the threat shadowing her, then her poppa could do something she may not be able to live with. And it was that decision that sent her running to Alpine and the man who shadowed her dreams.

She was here now. She’d found the man she’d gone searching for, and she knew the days of lying and pretending to be who she’d been six months before were over.

She lifted her head, straightened her shoulders, and stared up at him in determination.

“Whatever I did to you, I’m sorry,” she told him, miserably aware that if she’d offended him in the past, angered him, then there was the possibility it couldn’t be fixed with an apology. She hadn’t been the nicest person she could have been in the past.

His eyes narrowed on her before once again moving to sweep over the landscape. There was a tension that surrounded him, a steady watchfulness she’d noticed her father and Ilya always carried as well. That prepared and ready-for-action thing strong men always seemed to carry with them.

“Go home, Amara,” he told her when those brilliant eyes turned back to her. “Go back to daddy. This is no place for you.”

He knew her. He was angry, but for a second, she swore she saw something more in that flash of heat in his expression.

“No. Riordan, please.” He couldn’t make her leave. Not yet, not until he knew what was coming, because what was coming didn’t affect just her. She could sense it, her dreams assured her of it.

Turning, Riordan dismissed her just that easily and strode up the steps to the porch, leaving her to stand alone as the storm door slammed behind his retreating back.

Alone.

Strange, but this feeling of “alone” didn’t seem nearly as unfamiliar as it should have.

Inhaling deeply, she followed him rather than doing as ordered. Not that she often did as she was ordered. That was probably how she found herself where she was now. Opening the door quietly, she stepped into the house, her gaze taking in the homey atmosphere of the large living area.

A comfortable leather couch, recliner, and matching chairs were grouped around a cold fireplace. The mantle held a variety of family pictures that she would have loved to have time to check out. The wood floor was smooth, aged with a sheen of time and caring.

There were more family pictures in frames on the wall, many appeared old and passed down through the years, the frames lovingly polished, the photos a bit faded from time.

As she stepped into the room, Riordan watched her silently, leaning against the wide doorframe into the kitchen, his arms crossed over his broad chest as he simply stared at her, his expression still and remote.

“What the hell are you doing here?” he asked, that rumble of his deep voice sending a stroke of sensation up her spine.

What was she doing here?

Trying to survive, to live.

“I need your help.” She had to force herself to say the words, and still they came out as barely more than a whisper. “Please, Riordan. I need your help.”

* * *

Six months.

For six bloody months this damn woman had tormented his dreams while asleep and his thoughts while awake. He’d given his life for her on a dark, blood-filled night, then again on an operating table, only to be told she never wanted to see him again when he’d been released. And now, two months after he’d returned to Texas, here she was.

Son of a bitch. Just when he thought he could get through a night without being tormented by her, she just showed up out of the blue. And it was all he could do not to touch her, to jerk her to him and show her exactly what she was dealing with in coming to him.

But, she’d been his weakness from the moment he’d met her, hadn’t she? From the second his gaze touched hers, she’d been the one woman he couldn’t get out his head. And God knew he’d fought it.

Tiny and delicate, she made a man want to wrap her in cotton and hide her away from the world. Resilient, stubborn, and independent, she made a man realize fast that she wouldn’t allow him to do so.

Her once-long, straight silky black hair was shorter now, courtesy of her abductors. At first jagged and close to her scalp, it had grown a good six inches or so and feathered around her delicate face becomingly. Piercing gray-blue eyes stared back at him, somberly.

Frightened.

Riordan straightened from the doorframe, his eyes narrowing on her. That was fear in her eyes, along with the uncertainty and the heat he always saw there.

“You need my help?” he couldn’t help the mockery that tinged his voice simply because it flooded every corner of his mind. “Strange, two months ago you never wanted to see my damn lying ass again. What changed?”

What had changed? For a moment, that question had her pausing.

God, if only she could tell him. She was damned if she knew herself what had changed. All she knew was that now, six months after she’d awakened, she was unable to remember what had happened or who had abducted her or what they had wanted. The nightmares had grown worse, the sense of imminent danger and panic that fueled them had become overwhelming. In each one, this man stood with his hand outstretched, his voice whispering to her, urging her to find him. To come to him.

She swallowed tightly, uncertain what to say, how to explain. She didn’t trust him, not by any means. But she didn’t trust anyone now. She didn’t know who to trust.

“I’m sorry.” But she was damned if she could remember telling him he wasn’t wanted.

No doubt she’d had a good reason. Savagely hewn, rough and sexy, and a cowboy to boot. No doubt he had a wandering eye and hands that had no idea how to be faithful. The one type of man she despised. But personal fidelity and the ability to protect weren’t always intimately acquainted, she’d since learned. The man who cheated on his wife and walked away from his children could also be the very man willing to give his life for that same woman, or those children.

Men had never made sense to her, even from an early age. But she didn’t need him to make sense to her, she needed him to fulfill the promise he made in her dreams and help her figure out who was determined to see her dead and why she was so certain it was someone she knew and loved.

“You’re sorry?” he snorted, flashing her a look filled with disgust. “Fine, go home and be sorry there. I don’t have time for it here.”

The panic was beginning to build inside her chest. It thundered through her veins and raced to her heart. If he made her leave, if he threw her out and forced her to run again, she was going to die, and she knew it.

“You promised you’d help me,” she snapped, her tone more demanding than she would like despite her uncertainty and the fact that the words tore from her almost involuntarily. “You swore it. You can’t renege now.”

Had he really promised, or had she just dreamed it? Was the memory of that dark little hole and the pain that filled her just another nightmare? Had he really been there, swearing he’d always save her, or had she just imagined it?

“Did I now?” Softly voiced, the question held that bit of Irish sexy, lyrical sound that she often heard in those fantasy dreams filled with pleasure rather than pain. “And when did that happen?”

She shook her head. Memory or nightmare?

“You swore you’d always be there if I needed you.” She fought to believe it was memory. “All I had to do was reach out to you. Well, dammit, I’m reaching out. Do you want me to beg too?”

She could see his hand outstretched, his expression somber, demanding. He wouldn’t come to her, she had to go to him.

Riordan felt as though his world had narrowed, that nothing existed but this moment, this woman, and the dreams that had haunted him. Dreams of her cries, her pleas that he come to her. And no matter how desperately he tried to reach her, she was always but a touch away. No matter how often he’d urged her to take his hand, to come to him, just reach out to him, she never did.

The dreams had become so insistent over the months, he’d actually contacted his former security team members who still worked for her father to check up on her.

All was well, he’d been told. Princess Resnova was still the princess, and the czar still protected her like the cherished daughter she would always be. And still, he dreamed, reached out to her, and urged her to take his hand.

I’ll always be here for you. Just reach out to me.

He hadn’t told her that, he’d whispered those words in a dream.

And son of a bitch if that wasn’t enough to make a man force himself not to shake in his boots.

“Why?” he demanded. “Why the hell do you need me when your father has over fifty protection agents, and every damn one of them is on call in case they’re needed to protect you? What the fuck do you need with me?”

Damn her. She’d waited six months to come to him. She’d let him lie in a hospital out of the country, half alive for weeks, and hadn’t once called or reached out him. Why the hell was she short circuiting his brain now?

“I need you to help me,” she whispered again. “I need someone I can trust with my life, Riordan, before I die because I don’t know anymore who’s a friend and who’s the enemy. But you might know. I need someone I can trust to watch my back while I figure out who the hell is trying to kill me and why.”

Kill her?

According to every source he had in her father’s organization, she was safe. The men at the farmhouse where they’d found her were all killed. The bodyguard they’d identified as being behind the abduction and her beating was dead as well.

“Your father’s men can protect you.” God help him. If he even tried, he’d get them both killed—because he wouldn’t be able to stay out of her bed.

She was shaking her head even as he spoke. “I don’t trust them. I don’t trust anyone.” Desperation filled her expression now. “You don’t understand, Riordan. All I have are these crazy dreams of you. Every nightmare I have you’re at my back, protecting me. That’s all I have because I don’t remember what happened before my abduction or the abduction itself. I’ve lost a year of my life and I don’t know why and I damn sure can’t force those memories back,” she cried out, fury filling her tone. “All I have are the nightmares and dreams, and the only person I can see, the only person I can trust in them is you. And by God, I want to know why.”

She faced him, fists clenched, anger flushing her face, but that was heat in her eyes. It wasn’t just nightmares she had, it wasn’t simply dreams.

It was this bond he could sense between them even as she stared back at him, furious, frightened.

And he’d waited long enough.

Taking the steps that separated them, he jerked her into his arms, his lips stilling her cries, his arms tightening around her, holding her to him.

Her lips parted in shock, and he took full advantage of it. He tasted her. Lips and tongue possessed her kiss, and he let his senses grow drunk on her.

Because somehow, someway, she’d shared not just her dreams with him, but those incredibly erotic fantasies that filled his head as well.

And now, he wanted a taste of all that passion, that feminine hunger and need he hadn’t nearly had enough of before her abduction.

Then they could discuss the rest.

 

Copyright © 2018 by Lora Leigh in Collision Point and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

 

 

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#1 New York Times bestseller Lora Leigh is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.

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Twitter– @LoraLeigh_1

 

Review – Legal Seduction by Lisa Childs

REVIEW:

This is the first book that I have read by Lisa Childs, but it certainly won’t be the last.  Bette and Simon are our featured hero and heroine in this decidedly dirty love story…and I freaking adored Bette!  Bette is everything you want in a heroine.  She’s classy, smart, beautiful, kind, and has a very strong sense of self and what she wants out of life.  I loved her plucky attitude and the way she was able to stand toe-to-toe with Simon, without cowering like a simpering female.  Sure, she’s sexually attracted to him but she is a woman who knows her worth and she’s not afraid to say what she feels or what she thinks.  Simon, however….I will be very honest.  I almost stopped reading this book because of his attitude about himself.  It’s one thing to be confident, it’s another to be cocky and too much of thinking about how amazing you are pushes you right to the cocky attitude that I find to be a complete turn-off in my romance heroes (not to mention, I did get annoyed at how often Bette equated him to being blindingly gorgeous).  But, I’m glad I stuck with this because it ended up being a very good, sinfully entertaining book.  Bette and Simon have very obvious chemistry but Bette has plans outside of the legal field where Simon is a partner, and those plans don’t mesh well with Simon’s vicious business tactics.  Bette is moving on to greener pastures…but Simon isn’t quite ready to let her go without a fight.  Simon has more than one reason for trying to keep Bette close and when everything backfires…well brace yourself for some pretty heady fireworks.  This book has a great plot, very likable characters (if you can get over the whole “cocky lawyer” attitudes), and some pretty down and dirty sex scenes (which were perfect, and the main reason I decided to give this new line a try).  Overall, with the exception of having to warm up to my hero, this was a wonderful way to spend my afternoon and I’m on pins and needles for the next book in this series.  Ms. Childs has definitely piqued my interest and left me wanting more!  4 stars.

 


Legal Seduction Cover
Title: Legal Seduction

Author: Lisa Childs
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin DARE
Series: Legal Lovers
Digital ISBN: 9781488082375

“You are mine for the next two weeks.”

Resigning might be the sexiest thing she’s ever done…

Quitting her job puts executive assistant Bette Monroe in a very compromising position. She has ten days left, and powerhouse lawyer Simon Kramer is working her late into the night…and seducing her into oblivion! While he’s convinced she’s selling business secrets, the bombshell secret she’s keeping would shock him more. Does she bare all…or keep him guessing?

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Excerpt: Copyright © 2018 Legal Seduction by Lisa Childs

“So then more money will get you to stay,” he said dismissively, as if he’d closed a case. He tossed her crumpled-up resignation letter into the brass trash can sitting beside his desk.
Frustration—and not just with this conversation—overwhelmed her, overcoming her natural inclination to avoid confrontation, and she blurted out, “No!”
Working for him these past two years had increased her frustration because of all those damn fantasies he’d inspired.
“But you just said—”
“I took the job because I needed money,” she said. “I needed money then.”
His eyes narrowed more as he studied her face. “And you don’t need it now?”
“My reason for leaving has nothing to do with money,” she said. Had she not found another source of income, she would have been forced to stay, but he didn’t need to know that.
“So you do have a reason.”
He wasn’t the trial lawyer of their partnership, but he could have been. She felt like she was being cross-examined on the witness stand. And she didn’t enjoy it one bit. Quitting was not a crime.
“I don’t have to give you a reason.” At least she didn’t think she did.
Maybe she should have had a lawyer look at that employment contract before she’d written her resignation letter. But no matter how much she paid, no lawyer would be as good as Simon Kramer. He was the best.
And, according to his ex-lovers, not just at the law…
“Why don’t you want to tell me?” he asked, and he stepped closer now, so close that she could feel the heat of his body through his suit and her cardigan and skirt.
Heat flushed her body, making her skin tingle. She tried to step back but the desk stopped her, the hard wood pressing into the backs of her thighs as he nearly touched the front of her. Her breasts pushed against the front of the gray cardigan as she struggled for breath. She had never been this close to him before. It was more than unsettling. Her knees trembled and her already tripping pulse quickened even more.
“Because it’s personal,” she murmured. And they had never been anything but businesslike with each other, except in her dreams.
He leaned down, so close that his warm breath whispered across her lips as he asked, “Are you in love with me?”

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Review – Nobody Does It Better by Lexi Blake

REVIEW:

Wow!  I am stunned and moved and….there just aren’t enough words to describe a book that made me feels so many things!  I’ve been dying for Kayla’s story and I could not believe how amazing her story turned out…or about the twists and surprises Ms. Blake managed to get into one book!  And Kayla’s hero…Josh?  Completely swoony and panty-melting.  He was perfect….a little cold at first but he melted my heart rather quickly.    Kayla is our resident bad-a** female butt kicker and one of the most positive and nurturing people in the entire series.  I mean who knew that one little female could be this awesome (think Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels and you are just about spot on).  I loved  her vulnerability though, and the way she lets her guard down when she is with Josh.  She has to be one of my favorite heroines of this entire series.  Josh is perfect for her.  They are completely different but entirely meant to be together.  Josh, being a movie star, doesn’t quite know what to do with someone who doesn’t care about his money or fame.  And when he finally reveals his deep, dark secret…I cried so hard.  It was so surprising yet so damaging.  And how he rose from the ashes.  Utter perfection.  However, this is McKay-Taggert so you know that there is no easy path for this couple.  Nope….this book broke my heart so hard and still put it back together at the end.  There were some great laughs, some crazy surprises, and the revelation of where the Masters and Mercenaries series is going from here.  The plot was suspenseful and moved at a brisk pace.  All the characters were engaging and entertaining.  But the chemistry and sex!  Whew…it blew me away with it’s sheer force and utter perfection.  It was highly charged, ultra erotic, and deeply emotional.  This book was one of the best books I have read this year and I am super excited to learn what Ms. Blake has in store for us in the future.  The epilogue just about gave me a heart attack from sheer excitement.  Nobody writes erotic romantic suspense better than Lexi Blake and Nobody Does It Better simply proves it.  5 stars!

 

A spy who specializes in seduction

Kayla Summers was an elite CIA double agent, working inside China’s deadly MSS. Now, she works for McKay-Taggart London, but the Agency isn’t quite done with her. Spy master Ezra Fain needs her help on a mission that would send her into Hollywood’s glamorous and dangerous party scene. Intrigued by the mission and the movie star hunk she will be shadowing, she eagerly agrees. When she finds herself in his bed, she realizes she’s not only risking her life, but her heart.

A leading man who doesn’t do romance

Joshua Hunt is a legend of the silver screen. As Hollywood’s highest paid actor, he’s the man everyone wants to be, or be with, but something is missing. After being betrayed more than once, the only romance Josh believes in anymore is on the pages of his scripts. He keeps his relationships transactional, and that’s how he likes it, until he meets his new bodyguard. She was supposed to keep him safe, and satisfied when necessary, but now he’s realizing he may never be able to get enough of her.

An ending neither could have expected

Protecting Joshua started off as a mission, until it suddenly felt like her calling. When the true reason the CIA wanted her for this assignment is revealed, Kayla will have to choose between serving her country or saving the love of her life.

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“Kayla?”

Her eyes came up, a flash of recognition there. “Yes?”

“Are you going to sign the contract or do you have more questions?”

She picked up the pen sitting on top of the contracts that would bind the two of them together for the next six months. They would reevaluate the relationship at that point in time, but for the next six months, she was his. His bodyguard. His submissive.

Bought and properly paid for. He would take care of her and she would give him what he needed.

She signed with a flourish and sat back, a gleam of curiosity in her eyes.

He was curious, too, and there was zero reason to not satisfy their curiosity. Hard and soft limits had been gone over. They would find their communication style as they went along. But first she should understand that he was in control.

“Come sit on my lap.”

She didn’t hesitate. She stood and turned, shifting so she could maneuver her way onto his lap.

Her weight came down on him and he wrapped an arm around her waist. Damn but she made him feel big. He’d seen her take out a man twice her size, but sitting here in his lap she felt small and vulnerable, and fuck but that did it for him.

He slid a hand along her knee, letting himself indulge in the silky-smooth feel of her skin against his palm. “Did you do as I asked?”

He was well aware his voice had gone husky, deeper than normal.

“Yes, Joshua.” She squirmed the tiniest bit, as though trying to find a comfortable position. It might be difficult for her because she was sitting right on his cock, and it was harder and thicker than he could ever remember it being.

“How can I trust you?” This was all part of the game he loved. Here he could let go and play out the darker of his impulses—to control, to take, to possess.

See. Want. Have.

“You’ll have to check,” she replied. “Though shouldn’t we go inside?”

He reached out and picked up his cell with his free hand, pushing one number and connecting to the security room. He put them on speaker. She needed to understand what she was up against in order for the game to be fair. “Landon?”

“This is Burke,” the deep voice replied. “Shane’s on patrol. What can I do for you?”

“Burke, I would like to fuck my submissive on the third-floor balcony. Is anyone watching us? Can you see any cameras pointed our way?”

A low, masculine chuckle came across the line. “No, Mr. Hunt. And given the angle relative to the beach, you should enjoy your evening without worry. The only peepers I would worry about would be your next-door neighbor, and Jared is out for the night.”

“I wouldn’t care if he wasn’t. Keep up the good work.” He hung up and his hand tightened. “I would prefer when we’re playing that you don’t question me like that. I know where I want to fuck you. I know when I want to fuck you, and I’m in charge. If I want you in the middle of a crowded freeway, your only response is a yes or a no. Not to question me.”

She seemed to relax back against him, as though she was giving up the struggle and choosing to submit. “Yes, Joshua. Yes, I understand, and yes to the sex. Please.”

He liked the breathy please and loved how she squirmed. Still, he wasn’t absolutely sure she’d obeyed him, and he was a man who required proof. He slid his hand up her thigh. “Spread your legs for me.”

Her knees fell apart, and he could feel the heat from her core. He slipped a hand up until he made contact with her softest skin. No panties. Nothing but wet heat waiting for him, and it was obvious the play had cranked her up, too. His free hand eased one button on her shirt free, and then another and another until he could move in like a soldier conquering territory. No bra. Her breasts were like the rest of her. Soft and delicate. One nipple rolled against his palm, hardening then and there.

“I can see you’ve been an obedient sub,” he said, his mouth against her ear. “You need to stay that way or there will be punishment. I’m not a sadist, Kayla. I truly don’t get off on your pain, but I will give it to you if you need it. I am a disciplinarian. I gain satisfaction from your obedience. In exchange, I’ll show you how good it can be to obey me.”

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

 

Review – Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley

REVIEW:

I have been chomping at the bit to read Rosalie and Snapper’s story and when I finally got it in my hands, life around me stopped until I could take in each and every word!  I LOVED this story.  Rosalie is so brave and fierce and that she tries to save her boyfriend but is brutalized the way she was…my heart broke.  I literally sobbed for the first few chapters.  But Snapper….now, he is absolutely, 100% the man for her and the way he puts her back together was beautiful.  Snapper was completely devoted to Rosalie and unbeknownst to everyone around him, she has always been the woman for him.  I was on the fence initially when I heard Ms. Ashley was writing this story because of Rosalie’s history with Shy but this book made me feel so many things and I was amazed at how easily Rosalie put the past behind her and how integrated she became into the Chaos family.  The chemistry was phenomenal between Snapper and Rosalie so be prepared to change your panties!  But their love was even more beautiful and real.  I was tickled to death reading all the scenes which featured Rosalie’s mom….she is quite the character and the relationship she has with Rosalie is pure beauty!  This book was darker, in my opinion, than any of the other books in this series and I foresee quite a bit more angst than usual in the books that follow Rough Ride but I am waiting with bated breath because, in all honesty, Kristen Ashley is the queen of human emotion and no one can write an epic love story any better than her.  The plot was flawless, the characters perfect in all of their imperfections, and the bad guys….yeah, they are really bad.  I have to say, I was in awe at the relationship Tabby and Rosalie developed and it is what real sisterhood is all about!  Overall, I enjoyed every single word of this story and with the way Rough Ride ended…I’m not sure my heart will be able to handle the next book in this series.  However, I don’t care….because I simply can’t get enough of the Chaos men and the way in which they love their women!  5 stars!

 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes a new story in her Chaos series…

 

 

About ROUGH RIDE:

Rosalie Holloway put it all on the line for the Chaos Motorcycle Club.

Informing to Chaos on their rival club—her man’s club, Bounty—Rosalie knows the stakes. And she pays them when her man, who she was hoping to scare straight, finds out she’s betrayed him and he delivers her to his brothers to mete out their form of justice.

But really, Rosie has long been denying that, as she drifted away from her Bounty, she’s been falling in love with Everett “Snapper” Kavanagh, a Chaos brother. Snap is the biker-boy-next door with the snowy blue eyes, quiet confidence and sweet disposition who was supposed to keep her safe…and fell down on that job.

For Snapper, it’s always been Rosalie, from the first time he saw her at the Chaos Compound. He’s just been waiting for a clear shot. But he didn’t want to get it after his Rosie was left bleeding, beat down and broken by Bounty on a cement warehouse floor.

With Rosalie a casualty of an ongoing war, Snapper has to guide her to trust him, take a shot with him, build a them…

And fold his woman firmly in the family that is Chaos.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

 

 

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Kristen Ashley’s ROUGH RIDE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

February 14th

Agents of Romance – Review & Excerpt

Bambi Unbridled – Review & Excerpt

Crystal’s Book World – Review & Excerpt

I’m A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore – Review & Excerpt

Jezabell Girl and Friends – Review & Excerpt

Marieke’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Reviews by Tammy And Kim (Rachel and Jay) – Review & Excerpt

Sweet Addiction Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

February 15th

All romance reviews – Review & Excerpt

Blushing babes are up all night – Review & Excerpt

Edgy Reviews – Review

Garden of REden – Review

iScream Books Blog – Review & Excerpt

Nice Ladies, Naughty Books – Review

Read more sleep less – Review & Excerpt

Three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt

Under The Covers Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt

February 16th

Bookgasms Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Escaping Into Books – Review

Melinda Barrera – Review & Excerpt

Night Session Reader – Review & Excerpt

Queenzany – Review & Excerpt

Red Cheeks Reads – Review

The Fairest of All Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

We Like It Big book Blog – Review

February 17th

After Dark Book Lovers – Review

Book Twins Reviews – Review & Excerpt

KDRBCK – Review & Excerpt

Live Read and Breathe – Review & Excerpt

Mustreadbooksordie – Review

Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt

Random Book Muses – Review

February 18th

Alii’s Book Jungle – Review & Excerpt

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

KinkyGirlsBookObsessions – Review

Love Between the Sheets – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

The bookworms obsession – Review

Two Book Pushers – Review & Excerpt

February 19th

Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt

Lit. 4 Ladies – Review & Excerpt

Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews – Review & Excerpt

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt

February 20th

Always Books – Review & Excerpt

BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Disheveled Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Reads All the Books – Review & Excerpt

Relentless Romance – Review & Excerpt

Vanilla & Spice Books – Review & Excerpt

February 21st

Collector of book boyfriends – Review

Feel the Book – Excerpt

Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review

Love Notes Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Hopeless Romantics Book blog – Review

The Romance Reviews – Review

February 22nd

All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt

Books chocolate and lipgloss – Review & Excerpt

Desert Divas Book Addiction – Review & Excerpt

Literary Misfit – Review & Excerpt

TBR Book Blog – Excerpt

The Book Enthusiast – Review & Excerpt

The Dirty Book Girls – Review

February 23rd

Angie and Jessica’s Dreamy Reads – Review & Excerpt

Books to Breathe – Review & Excerpt

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

OMGReads – Review & Excerpt

Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews – Excerpt

TDC Book Reviews – Excerpt

The Book Junkie – Review & Excerpt

 

 

About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

 

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Review – Off Limits by Clare Connelly

REVIEW:

What a fabulous introduction to Harlequin’s most risque line to date.  Jack and Gemma are dynamite and I just don’t mean as far as their sexual activities go.  Jack is Gemma’s boss and what a demanding, broody, sexy, a**hole he can be. Seriously, you don’t know if you want to punch him or rip his clothes off.  Gemma is great.  She handles him like a pro and you almost don’t even know how desperately she lusts after him.  She is certainly no doormat and I admire her fortitude and grace, especially when I myself would have delivered a swift kick in the junk to Jack, had I been in her place.  She is plucky and smart and I adored her!!! Still, her downfall is her secret infatuation with Jack.  Jack plays on this because he is aware of it but never crosses a line.  However, with chemistry like theirs, there is no way to ignore the way the sparks fly and when they catch, they burn like a raging wildfire.  I loved the witty banter between the two of them but even more, I adored how Gemma so desperately tries to “fix” Jack and how Jack must grovel when he realizes she means more to him that he ever imagined. The sex scenes are fantastic, the plot fresh and fun with plenty of raunchy humor and sweet tender moments.  If this is the starting line of a marathon, Harlequin is sure to be the winner at the end of this race.  Entertaining, engaging, erotic…I DARE you to pick Off Limits up!  You won’t be disappointed!  5 stars!

Introducing DARE from Harlequin!

A new imprint from Harlequin featuring strong, independent women and sizzling hot heroes. DARE delivers riveting, irresistible romance stories featuring highly explicit sexual encounters, making it the publisher’s sexiest series ever. Look for four new titles each month.

Sexy. Passionate. Bold.

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Off Limits CoverTitle: Off Limits
Author: Clare Connelly
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin DARE
Digital ISBN: 9781488082368

“I want to taste you tonight.”

With chemistry this hot, it’s worth getting burned…

Billionaire Jack Grant is totally off-limits to Gemma Picton. He’s wild, deliciously dangerous…and her boss. When working late turns X-rated, it’s better than her wildest imaginings—and Gemma’s imagined a lot! But Jack has major emotional baggage, so when Gemma starts wanting to heal his heart as well as enjoy his body, she knows she’s in big trouble…!

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads

Available For FREE at: Harlequin | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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Excerpt: Copyright © 2018 Off Limits by Clare Connelly

I am holding my breath again. Is that how I’m going to get over this little hurdle? Suffocate myself? Is that even possible? I’m pretty sure we have some breathing trigger in our brains, but my brain is a bit pissy with me so maybe it would conveniently forget about the button.
I push air out consciously, quietly, and he takes his seat.
‘Anyway…’ I prompt impatiently.
His smile is a clicker. Is he laughing at me? Arrogant arsehole! That’s be just like him. See? That’s the problem! I know him. I’m not one of his other women. I know that is he as bastardy as he is sexy.
‘How did you sleep?’
I blink at him, my eyes wide. ‘You’ve already asked me that.’
‘You didn’t answer.’
I except a sign that speaks of anger. ‘Like I always do. Seriously, Jack. My desk is covered in paper. I have to get to work.’
‘I’m your work,’ he says with a shrug.
Insolent bastard.
He leans forward, and while his face is casual there is an urgency in the flecks of gold that fill his eyes. ‘Did you see him last night?’
I want to remind him of the salient fact I pointed out the night before. It’s not his damned business. But I’m not sure I can say that with such conviction now that I’ve tasted his mouth; now that I’ve been stunned by his desire.
Can I skirt around his question?
‘You’re my work? Okay, the thing is I have the New York guys waiting on contracts, you have a meeting in a week that I have to prepare for and Athens wants your input-which means my input- on a lease agreement. And I need to – ‘
‘Quiet.’
God! Don’t hate me, but when he’s bossy I love it. And he’s almost always bossy.
I glare at him across his desk; it’s best if he doesn’t know that this is just about my favourite version of him.’

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Review – Away From Me by Lexi Blake

Review:

Oh my goodness.  Talk about a sultry, sexy, scintillating romance about forgiveness, second chances, and love that will last a lifetime.  Gabrielle is the sweet submissive to Callum’s decadent dominance.  But Gabrielle is facing crisis and instead of turning to Callum and confessing all, she pushes Callum, gets rejected, and runs.  I adored Gabrielle so much. What an amazing and courageous young woman.  I loved her grit, determination, and passion.  She has been dealt a very hard and emotional hand of cards but faced it with so much bravery and strength that it was impossible not to admire and love her.  Now Callum…while I thought he was pretty awesome too, I seriously wanted to jump into this book and punch him in his junk…and more than once too!  However, he makes up for it with his actions and blatant devotion to Gabrielle and being the man she deserves. They have some wicked hot chemistry and in pure Lexi Blake fashion, the sex scenes were scorching and erotic.  I loved the emotion this book brought forth in me and every second was a delightful treat.  You can expect buckets of heat and sex and so much feeling you should keep a box of Kleenex close by.  Overall, this was pure Lexi Blake and as always, I am not disappointed.  5 stars.

 

 

Re-released in a second edition with updates.

Shattered by the loss of his wife, Callum Reed is a man surrounded by rules designed to protect him. He rebuilds his life with careful discipline, but can’t deny what he feels when he meets the lovely Gabrielle Sullivan. She’s everything he wants in a woman, but he views all relationships as contractual. Despite her misgivings, Gaby signs his contract and becomes his perfect partner. Until the night she breaks his cardinal rule.

After three years of perfect obedience, Gaby declares she wants love and she isn’t settling for less. Love isn’t in their contract, so Cal lets her go. But Gaby has a secret reason for leaving. When Cal discovers the truth, nothing will stop him from following her.

On a secluded island paradise, Callum will do anything to prove he’s the perfect husband for his defiant love.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Google Play | Kobo | Smashwords | Print

“Hello, Cal,” she said evenly. “How are you?”

He looked her up and down, his dark blue eyes showing absolutely no expression. Those eyes assessed her, roaming every inch of her body in a decidedly clinical fashion. “I’ve been perfectly fine, Gabrielle. How have you been?”

His hand was suddenly on her elbow. Her skin tingled where he touched her. He didn’t pull at her, merely squeezed gently, and she let him lead her. Yes, that was a force of habit, too, but perhaps her Irish friend was right. If they had any hopes of being comfortable around each other, they had to talk. They began walking slowly away from the pool.

“I’m well.” That could have come out a little stronger. She sounded like a scared rabbit and that wasn’t at all the impression she wanted to make on Cal.

“That’s nice.” Naturally, his voice sounded perfectly even. He could be negotiating a deal rather than talking to an old lover. “From the evil glances I’m getting from some very old friends, I would think I had tried to kill you.”

“I’m sorry, what?” This wasn’t the way she’d expected their first meeting to go. She’d kind of avoided thinking about it.

His jaw went tight. “I’m talking about all my friends looking at me like I’m some kind of criminal. I’ll admit I haven’t exactly been social lately, but I didn’t expect to walk into a party and find myself completely unwelcome. The only thing that’s changed is the status of our relationship, so I’m wondering what’s been said about me.”

Damn Heather and her big mouth. It was supposed to be a secret. She smiled brightly and slipped her arm through Cal’s. Yes, she needed to handle this. She’d never intended to make anyone hate Cal. He simply hadn’t been able to love her.

She had no interest in the two of them becoming a focus of gossip. If she seemed comfortable with her ex-lover, perhaps the other guests wouldn’t talk about them. She tried to look nonchalant. “I have no idea why. I haven’t seen any of these people since I left town ten months ago. Maybe it’s me they’re wary of.”

“I doubt that, pet,” Cal said, all silky and smooth. His voice had a direct line to her soft parts. “Even my oldest friend seems to have turned on me. Greg barely spoke to me this evening. His friendliest words were to tell me to leave you alone. I swear, Gabrielle, if he didn’t need me to broker his deals, he might not talk to me at all. Now I wonder why that is.”

Gaby flushed, guilt flooding her system. She truly hadn’t meant to hurt him, but she didn’t want to rehash the end of their relationship. She’d kept the secret this long. There was no reason he should know about it now. “I don’t know. I have never spoken to Greg about us.”

“I’m sure Heather talks enough.”

Gaby felt her heels sink into the grass as they left the deck. The evening grew darker as the lights from the torches got further away. The gazebo in the distance seemed to be Cal’s destination. She followed willingly. If they were going to talk, it was best to do it in private.

“I can’t control Heather’s mouth. That’s supposed to be Greg’s job. He’s her husband, after all.”

Cal helped her up the gazebo’s steps. He was always solicitous. It was one of the first things to attract her. He was a Dom of the first order. Gaby had been looking for someone like Callum since the day she realized there was a whole world out there for people like her. She’d gone through a couple of men who claimed to be Doms but really just used it as an excuse to be selfish. A real Dominant was someone like Cal, who always took care of her, even if he didn’t love her.

“Well, as it was pointed out to me recently, a Dom only has as much control as his sub allows him.” His deep blue eyes were almost black in the moonlight and there were lines around them that hadn’t been there before. There was a weariness to his frame that called to her. She fought the urge to smooth down his tie and snuggle in his arms. He wasn’t hers to take care of anymore. He turned to her. “So what have you been up to since you left?”

Her hand unconsciously went to her breast, thinking of the pain that centered there. “This and that.”

He leaned back, staring at her as though trying to decide something. “I never could figure you out, Gabrielle. I didn’t know if you were simply content to be kept or if there was some ambition lurking under the placid surface.”

The darkness was a welcome ally as she felt herself flush. If they’d been under even the soft lights of the party, he would have known how much that hurt. “Well, you weren’t interested in my ambitions.”

He shrugged. “I just wondered what you did all day.”

Her laugh was bitter and without an ounce of humor. “I ate bonbons and watched soaps. I counted the hours until you got home.” She turned away from him and looked out over the yard. In the distance, her friends mingled and laughed. She still seemed so far away from them. Maybe she would always seem far away now.

Distance had given her some perspective, especially when it came to her old Dom. “You weren’t interested in who I was as a person, Callum. You were interested in who I was as a sub. My submissive self was docile and sweet. That was what mattered to you. I didn’t ask questions or make demands. It was a D/s relationship. It wasn’t a love affair.”

She knew the difference now.

His fingers ran across the exposed skin of her shoulders and she held on to the railing of the gazebo. The spaghetti straps that held her dress up offered little protection against his gentle assault. She shivered at the touch.

“And you don’t want that anymore, do you? You don’t want a man to dominate you? You don’t want a man to take charge?”

Oh, there were certainly parts of her that did. His hands ran down to her waist, settling on her hips. Push him away. Do it now or this is going to go poorly. You are not capable of handling this.

But she’d waited too long. When he pressed his groin against her backside, she could feel the hard ridge of his erection, and she knew she wasn’t going to walk away.

It was only sex. Sex with Callum had been mind-blowingly good. There wasn’t any reason she couldn’t enjoy it again as long as she held herself apart. It had been so long. And tomorrow morning, she would be on a flight back to her island, where she was surrounded by gorgeous men she couldn’t fuck because they were either an employee or a guest. She was starting over. Shouldn’t she honor her past with one last nice night?

Yeah, her girl parts were super stupid and they were firmly in control.

Cal pressed his hard dick against her and her brain no longer mattered. That dick had been the best she’d ever had and her whole body reacted. It was like her body knew what it had been through in the last ten months and was demanding payment. That big, hard dick was payment for all the pain.

She could handle it. Hell, after what she’d been through, she could handle anything.

 

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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